Monday, December 3, 2012

The Nature of Humans

People disappoint people.

Girls disappoint boys.
Dads disappoint daughters. 
Friends disappoint each other.
Idols disappoint fans.
We disappoint ourselves.

What is it about disappointment, since we know it will come after us eventually, that stings so badly? 
Why do we put faith in the idea that "this time will be different" when that idea is proved wrong over and over and over?

Human nature is odd in that we have this fantastic ability to dull the hurt someone causes us just enough to be able to dive back into the relationship with renewed hope.  For the smartest things walking this planet, we aren't very bright.

Maybe it's just because we have this irrational need to fix everything, or maybe its because we grew up with the fairy-tale idea of a "happily-ever-after."  

I think that maybe we are too afraid to face whatever unknowns this world holds for us and we would rather just blissfully pretend the people we trust won't hurt us in the end.

I grew up in a world unfit for a child.  I grew up surrounded by disappointment and yelling and leaving and crying and rebuilding and starting over.  
So maybe that's why, when I look at the people I surround myself with, I don't expect too much.  

I don't expect people to follow-through on their obligations. I don't expect people to be there when I need them.  I don't expect anything but the bare minimum: a polite, maybe friendly smile, some conversation, and promises that won't be kept.

This way,  I am not constantly disappointed but instead pleasantly surprised when those promises are fulfilled, the conversation has meaning, and the smiles turn to laughter.

People disappoint people, but we are in charge of who has the power to hurt us.

Monday, November 26, 2012

you. it was always you.

I was drowning my thoughts and dancing where every boy could watch when you saved me from myself.  I told you nothing could happen between us.  I warned you that I was broken and no good and that it woud only lead to heartbreak.  You just looked at me, shook your head, and proceeded to kiss me anyways.  And how could I ever say no? I was broken, but you were too.  And the love we founded on blurred weekends and slurred words healed both our hearts.  I warned you I was trouble, but you held me tight and lent me the strength I needed to smile again.
I'm still afraid to break you like she did; you are more fragile than you like to let on.  I'm even more afraid to lose the only thing that shines in the darkness surrounding me.  You're chest, that simple thump-thump-thump of your heart, it's my anchor. My faith when I hid from God.  
I'm broken, but you aren't in a hurry to fix me.  You love me anyways, you say. And if you can love me at my saddest, I can't wait to see how easy this is when I'm healed and happy again. 


"I just think you deserve better"  I was told.

Well, I do.  I deserve better than him.  He's not perfect, he doesn't always do the right thing.
But he's mine, and he deserves better than what I give, too.

How can I hold high expectations when I am such a tumultuous ball of uncertainty?
I can't.

He may not be perfect, but he is perfect where it counts.
He doesn't push me for answers I can't even start to give.  He doesn't question the reasoning behind my less-than-lovely moments.  He takes my moods and tucks them away without really feeling the venom in my words.  He holds me when he knows I need it and he let's go when even the gentlest touch makes me bristle.

"I know I deserve better" I retorted, looking out the window.  But there was no conviction, because somewhere inside my mind was the convicting idea that I have more than I deserve.

I'm no good, yet I'm blessed with someone who loves me even at my worst, without ever seeing my best.  Not many can say that.

We are just two people with damaged hearts and stories that hurt to share.

Someday we will be at our best, that perfection that deserves one another.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


It sweeps over me sometimes.  It's a sudden onslaught of absolutely paralyzing clarity.
 A reminder that you are truly gone.  

Before I can move, breathe, think, rationalize again, I have to close the flood gates. 
 There are too many memories.

Long walks in the middle of the night.  Your camper.  Summer evenings so humid our skin felt as if it melted together.  The pool.  Signaling from the guard chairs.  Your smile.  Your laugh.  The way our hands fit together.  How you always just knew when I needed a hug.  Our salvation army date.  Your suit jackets.  Our first time under the stars.  My ring.  Ice cream runs.  Your indulgence in my crazy rants.  
Your tears.  My trust.  Secret-telling.  Impromptu rapping.  
Voicemails where you sang to me. Passing love notes.

How does one let go of someone, or the idea of someone, who shaped her soul?  

I breath deep, like the therapist taught me, tracing "tranquil" in my mind because I like the curves of the cursive. I close my eyes, squeeze until red dots invade my black, and when I open them you are more ghost than real.
 I step back and tell myself its over.

It's over.  It's over. It's over.  We are over.

Yet  my heart breaks for the umpteenth time.  I don't even know if that's true.  I think it just stays broken and never really gets sewn back up.

How can it?

How do I ever bounce back from my stability erupting, leaving me alone and speechless and broken?

More than a year, and I am still brought to my knees by this paralyzing clarity:
 my best friend, a part of me, left without looking back. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

see saw

we are the abandoned see-saw in the corner of the park:
 unwanted, untouched, overlooked.
we are full of divots and carvings and a splotchy paint job.
we are the one that parents warn children of, considered unhealthy and dangerous.
the years we have endured are recorded in paint color:
 red, orange, pink, blue, white, green, and yellow
each trying to claim the most space on our surface.
we are carved.
we are marked by the brave who ventured close enough and long enough to leave their impression on us, and we are unable to rid ourselves of them.
we are beyond conventional repair. 
we are all alone, left to mull over our pasts and have fruitless hope
that the future will be different.
we are uneven, unstable, undesirable.
we are us.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Of course...

Squeezing shut my eyes, I silently pray that when I open them again my attitude will be fixed.  I silently pray that all of humanity's annoy quirks will suddenly becoming meaningless to me. I silently pray that I will be able to look around me and smile a real, unhindered smile.

Of course, when I finally get brave enough to peek out through my lashes, the world assaults me with too many annoyances.  I have to squeeze them shut and start over. And I silently pray.

I like my showers hot enough to turn my entire body bright pink.  I stand under the too-hot water, let it turn me the color of a coddled newborn, and hope that it will cleanse me of any negativity.  I hope that when I get out, wrap myself in my soft towel, and return to my 8x11 dorm room I am reborn;  I hope for a DIY baptismal.

Of course, when I turn off the water, I am still me.  I am me with pink skin and clean hair and apricot scented  armpits.  But as I walk down the hall I still feel all of that negativity dragging behind me, almost begging me to try the process again.

Most mornings, as I lay in my bed counting the  minutes before I get to hit the snooze button again,  I also make a mental list of the reason I have to get out of bed: Res life, meetings, tests, residents, boyfriend.  Because without that short list, I would just sleep forever.  Sleep is a cleansing process in and of itself.  Sleep might just be my best friend.

Of course, sometimes that short little list doesn't matter and my brain tells my body to pretend its paralyzed so that I stay in bed.  Sometimes I think my mind needs a break from the exhausting routine that has become my life.  I tend to agree.

Maybe someday I'll wake up, look in the mirror, say "You look beautiful today" and actually mean it, and then spend the entire day with no annoyances or negativity or need to curl in a ball and hide from everybody.  Maybe I'll laugh and smile and be happy without repercussions.

Of course,  That day will probably come when I quit being a wuss and face my little personal demons.  It's up to me to be happy. It always has been and I've always known that.  Yet, for whatever reason, I'm not quite comfortable with the idea that I deserve real happiness.

So for now, I'll keep my eyes squeezed shut, my skin scorched pink, and my finger on my snooze button.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Suck it up.

We are just blips in the the grand timeline of things; we are each minuscule tidbits of the world, largely unnoticed and not cared about.

So, why do we feel so entitled to things we have no true right to?  Things like happiness, easy money, material goods, or a trouble-free life.  It's incredibly easy to complain about the smallest problems in our lives, yet we have no God-given right to anything except our own bodies and thoughts and soul.  God never sat down to make a person saying, "Yeah, I want to give this girl the right to a happy marriage and I want to give this guy an easy life while in school."

No. Instead, we are born naked and vulnerable, thrown straight into whatever type of world our parent have prepared for us.  And maybe that world is spectacular and there is nothing to complain about.  Or, you are standing along with the majority of us who were born into messed up, screwy, completely life-screw-uppy worthy atmospheres.

Is it our right to feel bad for having a poor childhood, or a less-than-acceptable job, or a best friend who flakes all the time?  I don't think so.  Do we? Of course.  But we have no right to complain about employment because we don't own the right to a secure job we like.  And if we can't own the right to something that unimportant (in the grand scale of things), we sure as hell don't have a hold on the people that raise us or the actions of another human being.

The only thing we own the rights to in any situation is how we choose to look at/react to it.

And that is a fact that many people are uncomfortable embracing.  Lord knows it scares me.  It's too easy to say "Well I feel this way because X, Y, and Z happened today and it really made me upset." No.  I made myself get upset, I let myself work up to a negative emotion. I didn't own my emotions, I let things that I can't control take over one of the only things I have an absolute right to.

Gosh, sometimes I write things and wish I actually followed my own wisdom.  My life would be so much better if I could erase my sense of entitlement towards happiness and the help of others and just learned to be happy with doing everything myself and being sad every night.

Of course, there is always progress to be made, and the only way to make progress is to first realize there are things that need to change, but being accepting or content and being complacent are two separate things.

So, sometimes we need to stop thinking about our microscopic lives and remember that we are such a tiny part of such a big thing.  In such an enormous world, there is no way to secure anything for yourself except what you were born with.

And remember, you were born naked and vulnerable, with only your soul, your thoughts, and  your fragile body.  That's it. So I guess its time to stop sobbing and start taking accountability for the direction life is going, for the good or bad.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Because this helps me figure out who I am...

Fear is the main driving force behind many of the stupid decisions that people make.

Fear of rejection. Fear of being hurt. 
Fear of the unknown. Fear of falling.
Fear of being the outcast.  Fear of ridicule.
Fear of being wrong. Fear of losing control.
Fear of change.

Fear is what makes people cheat on their loved ones, play sports they hate, lie to those who are closest to them, shy away from trying something new, keep quiet when something should be said. Fear is where secrets are kept and lies are buried.

The problem with fear is that it's just like a gateway drug; it oftentimes morphs into something much worse.

Anger. Disdain. Regret.
 Recklessness. Hatred. Obsession.
 Jealousy. Insecurity.

And once you get to that point, it's hard to turn back, to reverse the negativity that's eating away at your happiness and figure out how to be who you used to be.  It becomes hard to even remember who you are in the first place.  At that point, a person just has to sit back and write out what she knows to be the truth about herself.  She needs to take stock of what is real before she can begin to expel the irrational jealousy or insecurity or hatred and get rid of unnecessary obsessions.

So, here we go. Here are the few things I know to be my truths, because I've come to realize that I've lost myself to the grip of my fears and obsessions and jealousy and recklessness.

My name is Jenna Brianne Long.
I am stubborn and too proud most days.
I hate to admit I'm wrong.
I would rather do things by myself than with others.
I rarely cry, but I am ultra-sensitive to how others treat me.
I feel called to help others in any possible way.
A good book and my bed will always be my go-to pick-me-up.
I used to cut myself because I wanted to look as ugly as I felt on the inside, 
and every day is a struggle to see myself as something beautiful.
I may have a retail therapy problem.
I put my everything into my relationships with people I love.
I am more serious than fun or outgoing.
God may have created me without a censor for my thoughts.
Confrontation terrifies me; a raised voice will send me running.
I can write well.
I was born to lead, and someday I'll figure out why.
Trust is hard for me,
but expressing thoughts I know will hurt someone is even harder.
I tend to hide behind a really good "I'm fine" mask.
I need routines and plans to avoid anxiety.
I love Jesus, but right now I have my reservations.
Sleeping is my favorite hobby.

Maybe I know more morbid truths than happy ones, but they all make me who I am and who I am is in constant transition. And hey, without trials it would be impossible to embrace the joys of life.

Life is a roller-coaster, or maybe more like a game of bumper cars: sometimes you feel like you are untouchable, awesome, and at the top of your game while other times you feel helpless, out of control, and thrown around by people who shouldn't have that power.  All one can do is ride it out, not letting the fear of getting a little beat up stop us from trying.

Monday, July 9, 2012

&& then it hit me like a brick wall

I used to look at couples who depended on each other for happiness as if they were lunatics.  I would snort, all high-and-mighty, telling myself that it didn't matter how happy they seemed because having to depend on someone else for happiness could only lead to one thing: disaster.

After all, if you don't first love yourself how can anyone else love you?  If you aren't happy with yourself how can you be happy with someone else?  ....right?

The problem with this way of thinking, this mindset, was only recently revealed to me during an argument.  I'm not sure how I managed to overlook it for so long considering how prevalent it is in my life.

Sometimes it takes someone who loves you on all human levels to show you how beautiful and awesome of a person you really are.  Someone who cares about you as a lover, who knows all your secrets like a best friend, who is concerned for you as a family member would be, who can kiss and hug and cuddle and argue and yell and make up and pressure the secrets out of you.  That someone is instrumental for a person like me, a person is is scared to share her secrets and is insecure and afraid and used to pushing everyone of importance away.

People aren't meant to go through life alone, we are meant to go through life with a group of people holding and supporting us.  Most of us will never be happy on our own, will never feel complete on our own.  And when we give a part of our soul to someone else, how can we ever expect to feel complete without them in our lives?

We all need help being happy, and I think it's the most natural thing in the world for that help to come from the person closest to us, the person who knows us on every level and doesn't run away. No mother or best friend can know us on the same kind of level a boyfriend or girlfriend can.

Obviously, I need to be happy with who I am as an individual, but is it so wrong for me to like myself better because someone else helped open my eyes to how lovely I really am? For me to like myself better when someone else is in the mirror too, protecting and loving me and making me smile?  I don't think it is.

I've spent years trying to see what everyone else does when they look at me, but it wasn't until recently that I can glimpse it every so often.  How is someone screwed up enough to hurt themselves supposed to feel capable of loving and caring for herself without feeling the warmness it from someone else first?

So, now that I've become one of those lunatics who radiates happiness when shes around her boyfriend and can't stand being away from him because something just feels like its missing, I understand why my attempts at being happy with myself have never worked; doing it on my own simply doesn't work.  I needed to be taken by the hand and shown by someone who isn't afraid how all of my mistakes have made me a more beautiful soul.

After all, God did make woman from the rib of man, he made us in a way that forces us to depend on one another for our survival.  He made us in a way that we need one another on levels several thousand feet deeper than sex and reproduction.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

just when you think it's all figured out

Sometimes you think you know what you want for yourself, or what you need to be the best you can be but then you go to obtain those things and every single plan you have made crumples just when it's within reach.

Then what?  What happens when you are left with nothing?

Start by sitting down in the rubble, examining a handful of broken dreams and hopes, and figuring out why it didn't work out.

And then the rebuilding starts.  The restructuring of your future, your dreams and hopes, your ideas of who you think you want to be. Pick up whatever remnants are left and then make up stuff to fill in the gaps. 

But this time take a moment to be influenced by the people and things around you, by the small signs that you have been noticing but ignoring because you hate to be wrong.  Let them take part in the shaping of your soul. And don't focus on the past: let new people and experiences in.

Not taking those thing into account is probably why everything failed to begin with.

Take the time to be upset, to be disappointed.  But don't dwell too long on what you've lost because there is something absolutely amazing just a few steps into the darkness of the future, waiting for you to put your damn shoes on!

My "normal" self (the person that most of you reading this know and remember me as) would now insert a great bible verse or relation to how great our Father is and how His timing isn't the same as ours.  Except I'm not the same person you guys knew, and I'm just starting to come to terms with and accept the fact that I may never be as preachy or religious as I was, or at least not in the same way I was.  I'm starting to accept the fact that my life fell apart and the way that I put the pieces back together made me better, no worse.

If nothing else, the nineteen years and two months I've existed have been full this cycle. I build a plan, watch it collapse (usually at the most awful time), break down because of it, resist accepting that things are changing, and then embracing it and allowing myself to be remolded into something new.

All we can do as human beings is try our best not to mess up too terribly and hope that we leave an imprint on someone's life.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Actions and Words

Actions prove who someone is, 
Words just prove who they want to be.

Dang, how true is that?  How often do we see someone in our lives saying something but doing the opposite? How often do WE do that? 

But what's wrong with hoping to be more than we currently are, with wanting others to see us in a better light?  I think that it is more of a problem to think you are okay and have no way to improve...God made nobody perfect.  

We are human. We hurt people. We get hurt.  We are sad and lonely and angry at the world sometimes.  We laugh at things that shouldn't be funny.  We do things we know are wrong just because of some strange impulse.  We live the only way we know how, the way we think will bring us the most pleasure.  

Yet, more often than not, the way we live is hurtful and harmful and needs improvement. One of the best things about being human beings is having the opportunity to change the course of our lives a hundred times before we reach the end of it.  We start out with the most basic goals as children: to have fun, hot dogs in our mac & cheese, and our favorite toy tucked into bed with us.  From that point our views of what's most important will change a thousand times: boys, marriage, partying, careers, vehicles, animals, staying out of trouble, God, our health, moving, being happy, having children, growing a record-size tomato, walking to the bathroom by ourselves, family.  

What makes us who we are is constantly changing.  What we want, what we dream of, what we pray for, what we work towards is constantly changing.  So yes, our actions prove who we are today and who we were in the past, but our words prove what we aspire to be tomorrow and the day after that and the year after that.

People change and as hard as it is to accept, sometimes the changes cause friendships to break, relationships to end, beliefs to disappear, morals to be altered, and lives to flip-flop. 

We are on this crazy, crazy ride and the best we can do is hold on through the flips, curves, slopes, and hills.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Livin Young and Wild and Free

My heart got broken in the most unexpected place, by the most unexpected person, at the most unexpected and worst time a few months ago.  A normal girl would cry, get mad, and then get over it.  I, however, don't seem to have been blessed with normal coping mechanisms.  I get angry and snap at undeserving people. I get wreckless and do things I know I shouldn't do because I'm so hurt that I'm numb.  I push away the people that love me.  And this time, I pushed away any of the faith I still had in tact after my first semester of college.   

I thought that my college experience would bring me closer to God since I entered into the experience with a good relationship with Him, a confidence in who I was, and the stubborness to not turn into one of "those" girl.  Those girls who step onto campus and throw every moral they grew up with out of the window.  Instead, what I got was a fall and winter full of struggle followed by a whole awful lot of self-defeat as I stopped working on my relationship with God (acutally, I stopped really working on all of my relationships) and focused instead on making sure that I felt alive by doing whatever crazy thing crossed my path.

I didn't want to end up this way, I didn't expect to. I am. I am thirty credits into my college career, I have no idea what I want to do with my life, and I have no solid faith in the one thing that has been a truth in my life for years and years. Luckily, my friends are kind and smart and here for me even when I disappear for weeks without a single text or skype call.

"Faith is funny that way.  Sometimes we don't even know why or how we have it. It's  just there, it's there to get us through things and to reassure us that anything is possible." --Vinz

"Maybe you are just turning into the person you were meant to be all along" -- Ali

Sometimes (a lot more often that not, actually), getting out of bed it too overwhelming for me in the morning and sometimes being nice and "okay" is an impossible task.  Right now I can't seem to focus on anything but myself, my own struggles, and the fact that I am nothing like the person I was seven months ago.  Of course, the core of who I am is still here; I still don't know how to think before I speak or get to class on time and I still love sitting down with a good book on a rainy weekday, but everything else feels different.  I am seeing the world so differently and I'm not so sure I like these new lenses or not.

So no, I don't want you to tell me it will be alright.  I don't want to listen to you preach or read about how awesome your God is, at least not right now.  It makes my heart sick and my thoughts negative to hear it.  I don't want to be reprimanded for doing "bad" things, or told that I'm different than who I was...I already know that I could get hurt, and lose control, and that I'm a little off-center.  I don't need your condolences or words of wisdom because no, you have no clue how I'm feeling or what is going on in my head. 

What I want is to ride this section of my life out.  I want to work on being feeling happy again, even if it starts by having fun late at night with my friends and I want to work on that without the knowledge that I'm disappointing anybody or scaring anybody or disgusting anybody.  I want more happy and okay days than I have sad, hard, and lonely days.  I know this will end, my heart will heal and my life will find some normalacy but right now I just want to do whatever it takes to feel even a shadow of happiness and belonging. 

So maybe Young, Wild, and Free is the perfect title for this little chapter in my life, maybe this chapter is what I need to become the fantastic person I'm sure to become.

Monday, March 19, 2012

you are who you are, and you can't change that.

If I've learned anything in the past eighteen years and 11-ish months it's that trying to get your opinion accepted by someone else who doesn't share your views is nearly impossible.  Pushing opinions on others causes fights, lost friendships, hurt feelings, and cross words.  Heck, unwanted opinion pushing is what starts wars.

People get really upset when they are told that something they hold true is wrong or is not what another person believes in.  People get so upset, in fact, that it can turn into a full-blown arguement and it doesn't matter if the difference of opinion is over something small (wrestling or basketball) or something large (starting a war, abortion, marijuana's health benefits or lack thereof). 

Throw a philisophical or religious topic up in the air and people go nuts.  It doesn't matter if they have never studied a single thing about the topic, everyone will jump in with opinions and beliefs that they hold true.  Sure, the debate may take place under the pretense of a friendly conversation or a group study-question...but when it comes down to it, it is a God-honest arguement and noone wants to back down.

Think about it; when someone's statement threatens what you hold as truth, don't you automatically bristle at the idea that you could have been believing in something that was wrong for X amount of years?  And when somebody pushes that "lie" of an idea onto you isn't it your first reaction to correct them and make sure that they are aware they are in fact wrong?

But, who are we to say what is right or wrong?  We are least when it comes to deciding things like that.  And because we are nobody, we have taken to underhanded comments and passive-agressive behaviors so that our opinions get through in a more politically and socially correct manner...but either way, a person will believe what a person believes and what others say will very rarely change that.

In fact, I have recently come to a conclusion that people don't change.  I mean sure, a persons favorite band, food, color, hairstyle, the way he/she dresses, and all other superficial things can change in the blink of an eye.  But the moral compass built into a person doesn't change.  The beliefs that a person has held onto for as long as he/she can remember won't change.  The personality that a person was born with won't change.

This gets tricky because on the outside people do seem to be able to change, but I honestly believe that a persons core is unshakeable.  I will always be more of an introvert, a little too hard on myself, self-consious, forever working to feel loved, an avid reader, too quick to speak, a little snatchy and more confident in my opinions than I should be.  I have been this way for as long as I can remember, and through every stage of life and every so-called change in my personality, I am still the same person when it comes down to it. It doesn't matter if I have God in my life or if I go out and get drunk every weekend.  It doesn't matter if I start failing classes or graduate at the top of my class in three years.  It won't matter if I suddenly become a nudist because all of these things are exterior of my core being.  In the end, when I am stripped down to nothing and it is just me looking into a mirror, I will still see the same person I was when I was twelve, eight, and three. 

People who continually hurt others aren't going to be able to stop doing that.  People who are outrageously caring can't stop being caring.  They can thow a layer over who they really are, try to blend in and be more moderate in thier actions, but when you strip away any sort of wall and tear away their strength, it's going to be the orginal person, the same one they were for an entire lifetime.

And maybe that is offensive to you because it goes against your core beleif.  My friend preached the bible at me when I tried to explain this to her, telling me that I was wrong because Jesus says that we are wiped clean and get to start over when we accept Him into our hearts (which I've done).  But to me, this is just a prime example of a person's beliefs getting threatened and a full-out bristle.  We eventually just agreed to disagree, because a diffrerence of opinion that involves religion rarely ends any other way.

Friday, February 3, 2012

liar liar pants on fire

The application process for anything school/work related is tedious and full of generic questions that are meant to help the employer get to know the applicant.  Unfortunately for all involved, questions like "what is your biggest strength/weakness" or "how would you react to a customer if...."  don't serve to get to know a real person but instead a practiced and rehearsed version of him/her. 

Lately, the idea that we rarely get to actually know a person has kept popping up in my head and it's not just because of the applications I've had to fill out lately or the interview questions I've had to answer.

Think about it.  How many people actually know you.   How many people know why you get sad when you hear a certain song, the reasons behind the walls you put up, or the real reason you don't like to be in big crowds?  My guess is not very many;  it's become a part of our culture (at least in my experience) to keep the beauty of our exterior lives unblemished by anything that is less than sunshine-y.  God forbid we let our real feelings out in the open and cause conflict.

My econ professor said that he doesn't believe in the idea of "Minnesota nice", because Minnesotans are actually the most passive-aggressive people he's ever met (he's not from this state).  I tend to believe him, because I see it in my own life and in myself.  It's not okay to be anything less than a good christian, a happy kid, a college student (students get a free ticket to mess up because it's the "best time of our lives"), or a hard-working adult so we all makes sure that the exterior matches some sort of image and whatever we stuff inside is kept fairly secret. 

So,  who are you really?  What do you care about and what do you hate?  If you could wear anything and not worry about being judged, what would it be?  Are you really filled with God's grace and love, or do you just go to church because that's how you grew up? Is coffee pleasing to your palette or do you drink it because it's the hip thing to do?

And beyond who you are, who are you willing to share your real-self with? I  double dog-dare you to tell the truth next time someone asks you what your biggest weakness is.  Maybe I'll try "Well, I have a problem biting my tongue and tend to speak before I think.  It's a weakness because it can occasionally offend people who are important to my future." I probably won't be hired but at least I'd be honest with myself and my almost-boss.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I knew with utter certainty as soon as I walked away from him that I was never going to be able to go back.  I shouldn't have been so surprised by the realization that my life with him could be completely eradicated in less than an hour.  After all, the world is too fragile to believe that anything is permanent.  But the idea still hit me hard, as if I had fallen flat on my back from two stories up. No, that would be less painful.  Anything would be less painful than the realization that I had managed to irrevocably damage my relationship with the single most important person in my life.  The idea was is still impossible to accept.

His eyes burned me that day.  Hurt and anger and confusion glossed over those pure blue eyes and splashed, nearly silent, onto the granite counter top we talked across.  All of our most serious conversations happened across that counter top.  His eyes were his most flawless feature yet also his most vulnerable.  Those blue eyes always acted as a window. A person could see straight into his soul if they stared hard enough.  Of course, I was always too afraid to take more than a glance inside; any longer and I risked him seeing something in me I was too afraid to share.

I wished, for just that day, that crying came as naturally to me as it did to him. Or at least that feeling anything besides numbness came naturally.  I must have looked like a monster, sitting across from him with a straight face and two dry eyes.  I must have looked completely heartless. I wished, for just that day, I wouldn't have been too afraid to let him in. Fear will take the courage out of even the bravest intentions. So, I walked away from him and the safety he had provided.  I left, fueled by fear, and found myself lost with nobody to call me home.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

You Are Worth More Than a Million Canaries

"Babies are born knowing their self-worth; as life moves on, the comments, expectations, and attitudes of other people can wear down this natural sense of self-worth.  Self-worth is what enables us to believe that we are capable of doing our best with our talents, of contributing well in society, and that we deserve to lead a fulfilling life.  Building it up again is therefore natural, essential, and healthy."- Wikihow.

Self-worth is something that I've been struggling with for as long as I can remember (but especially lately) and something that has been on my mind lately.  Wikihow, of course, has a step-by-step to building self-worth after it has been demolished by mean people and harsh situations and devilish thoughts. (There is a step-by-step for anything that can be imagined).  Anything in bold is quoted directly from Wiki.

1. Understand the power of your attitude toward yourself and views about yourself.
 You are your biggest critic and, really, the only person's opinion that really matters.  If you think that you don't deserve to be loved, treated right, or be respected than that is how people will end up treating you. You have to believe that you are worth it for other people to.  The saying "you have to love yourself before anybody else can" is the honest-to-goodness truth.  Don't let negative thoughts creep into your head when you look in a mirror.  You are beautiful.

2. Learn to overcome a fear of self-love.
  Don't be afraid to believe that you are talented or beautiful or hot-stuff.  Healthy self-love is about being your own best friend.  That means you need to tell yourself things you would tell your best friend and treat yourself that way.  Not that I'm saying you should being self-centered and egotistic...but you are a child of God, and you should acknowledge the awesomeness of it.

3. Trust your own feelings.
If you are going to have self-worth, you need to trust your own opinions and gut feelings over anyone else's.  If you feel that something is right or wrong, even when everyone else disagrees, you need to go with your gut feeling.  You have a moral compass for a reason, and it's not to get lost.  Be your own boss. Self-worth plummets when we let others make decisions for us.

4. Stop making your self-worth conditional on other people.
When you become consumed with being what other people want, you also hand over your self-worth.  Don't be the scared puppy that everyone kicks around. That's not cool.

I struggle most with this part of self-worth.  It's not so much that I want to conform to the world, but that I don't feel worth anything if I don't have somebody's "love." If I don't feel loved in a worldly way or if somebody gives up on me, I feel like I'm not worth the effort.  I know that I can be hard to handle and hard to understand sometimes, so it's hard for me to move past the idea that I'm not worth the effort of a relationship.  Step four is hard for me.

 5. Tell yourself that you matter, err day.
...nuff said.

6. Prove your value.
Don't waste your time doing things you feel pressured into, don't weigh yourself by your job or income, and don't let opportunity stand outside in the pouring rain.    The more productive your life becomes, the better you will feel about yourself. This is especially true if you use part of your time/skills to help others. I promise.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

H is for Hufflepuff

In the world of Hogwarts, there are four houses: Gryffindor (for the brave), Slytherin (for the ambitious), Ravenclaw (for smart people), and Hufflepuff.  I have yet to figure out what the Hufflepuff house's function is and why J.K. Rowling felt the need to add a house from which nothing special comes out of.  I feel like she might have just thought four houses was more asthetic than three.  There is even a video poking fun at Hufflepuff's lack of any special affinity:

But of course, while it's all fun and games to make fun of people who seem to have no special skills or natural ability to be better than most,  we don't have a right to laugh at them (except when they are extra ridiculous or trying to be funny.)  Everybody struggles with fitting in and figuring out who they are at some point in life, some poeple are just more obvious than others.  (:

This Alphabe-Thursday post is brought to you by Jenny Matlock!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On my mind...

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocricy, envy, and slander of every kind.    1 peter 2:1

Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. 1 peter 4:8

Life is full of hardships and mean people and ludicrous situations that  change relationships.  As human beings, we are each only one person out of billions.  When I think about this fact I'm amazed at the fact that every single person on this planet sees the world in a different light, has their own pasts, their own hurts, their own views, their own destinies.  It is so easy to forget that I'm not the only person hurting on this planet, that there are people who are hurting so much more than I am.

When we are angry or envious or jealous towards somebody, it is incredibly easy to forget that person has feelings and a life and a point of view too.  We desensitize the object of our ill-feelings because it is so much easier to hate on somebody if we aren't concerned with how we are hurting him/her.  It is so much easier to be angry if we are only concerned with ourselves.

But the 1 Peter tells us to cleanse ourselves of any bad feelings (anger, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, judgmental thoughts, slander, jealousy, insensitivity, etc...)  and then love every single person we meet, and even those we don't, like it is a life or death situation.  Everybody deserves a first, second, fifth, twentieth, and thirty-second chance.  Everybody deserves to feel liked and loved and important.  So who are we to take any of that away from them?  Who are we to pass judgement on a person who leads a life separate from ours, who has real feelings and real thoughts and real ideas?

I keep forgetting the simple fact that I have no right to be angry at a person's actions/words because I have no idea where they come from or why they believe what they do.  I don't know anything beyond my own world.  There are billions of other little worlds all around me, bumping into and clashing with my own, and each has a right to be here.