Thursday, January 31, 2008

But I think everything is gonna be alright...

Looking for inspiration? Design For Mankind

I've learned over the past eight months that it is uncomfortable to stretch yourself. Not in a pilates/yoga type of way, but in a this is not what I thought my life would be like sort of way. I've become a manager of coffee and people and of myself. I've become a more active full time member of a family again and long distance confidante to several.

Often, I think I'm in control (I like to be in control) and I think God finds this highly amusing because whenever I think I'm grounded and I can handle what is coming, then a mess falls in my lap or I fall into my own.

It is easier to deny or be scared of the difficult things in our lives, but I believe that it is our responsibility to embrace them and create the most of our situations.

It's easy to be despondent about a lot of things in my life, but I'm trying to see the forest and not just the trees (I just learned about this whole metaphor...) . And I hope that these experiences now are going to guide me into my future with a clearer head and a more thankful heart.

"Learn and grow all you can; serve and befriend all you can; enrich and inspire all you can." - William A. Ward

... Yes, I hope everything is gonna be alright.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

last night i had a dream about you...

I'm listening to a little Daft Punk (really, like two songs) and I looked at the album release date and thought that's not that old and then I realized that 2001 was 7 years ago. How about that?

Tab Energy Drink has been discontinued. I am so bummed.

I'm try to get sexy, slender legs from a book. Hmm.

I walked the ARJ, Jr Bridge for the first time with Kt the other day. It was breathtaking. And is sort of like having vertigo. I'll do it again.

I have a fetish with buying mascara. I hardly ever wear it.

There is so much happening and going on that its completely overwhelming, so I won't waste your time with it.

I found some more books I want to read: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. And The History of Love: A Novel.

I'm really appreciative of my boyfriend. I love him a lot.

I was inspired today: Moon Monkey.

And I'm sleeping in tomorrow. And making granola. ooo. You should eat Fage Total Greek Yogurt - it's strained and delicious. I like to drizzle with honey or throw in granola and blackberries.

... In this dream I'm dancing right beside you. And it looked like everyone was having fun. The kind of feeling I've waited so long.

Friday, January 25, 2008

i'm not going to state obvious observations

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon.
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.

It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

— Jane Kenyon

The weight of the world and the hurt and the dirt can make you disturbed, but I heard, when I wrap my arms around you, every mistake we made crumbles.

Yesterday I baked a cake. It turned out ok.

Today I was really concerned about a friend. I was really appreciative of my boyfriend and his respect for our relationship. I ate some really amazing granola. I had a terrible Jiffy Lube experience. I had a wonderful experience with my own mechanic. I decided I was boycotting Jiffy Lube. I took my brother gummi worms after his surgery. I ate mexican food with my dad. I drank a beer that was bigger than my head. I answered a whole category of pop music questions correct on Jeopardy. And one about the movie Stardust. I got really excited about Valentine's day. I had really random and good conversation with Matt.

Today was an abundance of life. Does that make sense?

I'm going to read my book now. (The Geography of Bliss) It's funny, so far. I really like it. I highly recommend the first two chapters.

And what makes it better for me is that in Switzerland the author stays with his friend Susan who is a writer from New York. Immediately upon her description, I know it is Susan Gilman - author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress! And it most certainly was! I love it when my little reading world comes full circle...

"The American way is: If you've got it, flaunt it. The Swiss way is: If you've got it, hide it. One Swiss person told me, 'You don't dress or act like you're rich. Of course, you might have a four thousand dollar espresso machine in your apartment.'"

I'm not gonna lie saying everyone's gonna be alright and fine until we die. But what else can you do, but hope and pray and save and we'll get by.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

making the most of a lie called a daydream

Today was better.

It was my day off and I feel like I was quite productive. I crossed lots of things off of my list - work things, personal things, goal oriented things. It was good. Quality work. Quality time. Quality conversation.

I heard some inconvenient news, but I guess you can't tell how sweet things are unless you taste some of the bitter. I received an email reminding me of that today.

Tomorrow I'm baking a french-style flourless chocolate cake. Sounds bad for you, huh? Because it is.

Are we happy because of pleasurable experiences or because we achieved said experiences?

"And I can't think of anything less happy than a spreadsheet." - Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss

Monday, January 21, 2008

three and a half minutes felt like a lifetime

Dan spoke about hope last night. It was beautiful to think about the word and what it really is and really means.

And I remembered what a great community there is in Columbia and at The Shack. They're words and actions are so uplifting.

a conversation -
matt: it won't always be like this.
me: i hope not.
matt: rejoice in hope!

The opposite of hope is despair.

de·spair [di-spair] –noun
1.loss of hope; hopelessness.
2.someone or something that causes hopelessness: He is the despair of his mother.
–verb (used without object) lose, give up, or be without hope (often fol. by of): to despair of humanity.
–verb (used with object)
4.Obsolete. to give up hope of.

Sometimes I feel "despair" over circumstances, but what I often forget is that this is only the beginning of the rest of a beautiful plan and a beautiful life.

How do you really lose all hope? And then when your hope is gone - what happens? I don't understand. I've had the misfortune of having someone I've known for quite some time recently kill himself. And of having another family friend who lost his wife, baby daughter and unborn child. All because of despair. Two families torn apart in two days time.

I don't understand. I don't understand why people kill themselves. How do you get there?

There is nothing I can say to even begin forming the ideas and thoughts and questions and disbelief I'm currently experiencing. And I guess the only way to combat all of it is hope.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

i never thought i could love anyone...

The star said, "I have given my heart to another."
"You should have let me take it back then, for my sisters and me. We could have been young again, well into the next age of the world. Your boy will break it, or waste it, or lose it. They all do."
"Nonetheless," said the star,"he has my heart."

Read Stardust by Neil Gaiman. It's a fairly different experience from the movie. Simpler, perhaps. And it still made me smile. Also, listen to Ingrid Michaelson (specifically Die Alone and Breakable and Corner of Your Heart).

Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts? Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts. So it's fairly simple to cut right through the mess. And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

my dear, we're slow dancing in a burning room

It's not a silly little moment. It's not the storm before the calm.

My IRA grew by 69 cents.

Did you know its better for you to eat two Egg McMuffins than it is for you to eat a bagel and cream cheese? And glazed doughnuts are better for you than cake doughnuts. And if you're going to eat a cheeseburger, then you're better off picking up a quarter pounder than eating a whopper. And no longer can spring rolls be my appetizer of choice. Not to mention ordering a grande 2% capp and two chocolate biscotti still beats a grande white chocolate mocha at Starbucks. Wowza. [For more interesting and horrifying food facts, check out Eat This Not That from Women's Health.]

Can't seem to hold you like I want to, so I can feel you in my arms.

Business is so slow. I'm throwing myself into lots of little projects. Keeping my mind busy. My new running shoes are keeping my body busy - slow and steady wins the race, right?

Also, today I ate a pudding pack with the date November 27, 2007 on it. If I die soon or experience unexpected memory loss, then that might be why.

I got a text message this afternoon that said "I have the most beautiful latte in the whole world in front of me." I'm glad someone knows and loves me well enough to share that with me.

I'm going to Columbia on Friday (for the weekend).

I don't usually listen to this much John Mayer.

Don't you think we oughta know by now? Don't you think we should have learned somehow?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

confused with all the lines in between

The past two days have been really excellent. Really. Charleston and it's people have treated me spectacularly. And I look at my life and realize what it is and what an impact I'm having and what an impact those around me are reciprocating and I'm simply amazed. And the more time I invest around me, the happier I am.

And then sometimes I get scared and lonely and overwhelmed. And I feel empty - I feel empty when I look around and don't feel at home. I feel empty when my friends aren't upstairs or across the street or sitting on my couch. I feel empty when I remember my boyfriend lives hours away and his stupid schedule won't allow him to answer his phone.

And I don't know how to make it all balance. I can't figure it out. I want to move forward with my life, but I'm stuck in the past and I don't know what I'm doing or where I'm going or how to stay happy with my circumstances.

And now I'm just sitting here crying because I just watched the last two episodes of Gilmore Girls from the very last season and it made me think of all these things. And it just makes me so confused.

I should know better than to watch these things alone.

And the really weird thing is that I'm upset over the fact that I just had two really good days. I'm such a girl. A very confusing girl.

"It's like it's not even real to me. It's like my life isn't even real to me unless you're there, and you're in it, and I'm sharing it with you."

Therefore I ask you only one thing: do not be so worried about yourself. Free yourself from all your plans and aims. They occupy you far too much. Surrender yourself to the sun, the rain, and the wind, as do the flowers and the birds. Surrender yourself to God. Wish for nothing but one thing: that his will be done, that his kingdom come, and that his nature be revealed. Then all will be well. - Eberhard Arnold

Thursday, January 10, 2008

i'm only good at being young

Yesterday was excellent time spent in Columbia with excellent people. I love that city and it's inhabitants.

And I have been quite productive so far today.

I'm trying to change little things in my life. Things to move me forward or make me happier or to better the lives of those around me.

I think its weird how feelings and circumstances recycle themselves in our lives. I also think its weird how when these things happen, we're always surprised - as if this thing or feeling we are experiencing is brand new. It's usually not new. We usually haven't allowed ourselves to learn anything from the past.

Remember Two Things:

"Selective distortion is the tendency to twist information into personal meanings and interpret information in a way that will fit our preconceptions."

And... Your worth does not change along with circumstance.

I have a lot of books to read and I would like to read The Geography of Bliss, please and thank you. Sometimes I wonder if there will ever be enough time for all the things I would like to do.

Listening to: Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog.

I'm not even listening to John Mayer, but these lyrics are appropriate.

Once in awhile, when it's good, it'll feel like it should and they're all still around and you're still safe and sound and you don't miss a thing 'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark.

Monday, January 07, 2008

as the days keep turning into night

Well, many a night I found myself with no friends standing near. All of my days. I cried aloud. I shook my hands. What am I doing here? All of these days.

I spend a lot of time being frustrated with where and who I am and trying to figure out where I would like to be or what I would like to be or who I would like to be with.

I probably shouldn't do that.

"... God uses the ordinary more often than the extraordinary to transform us into reflections of Jesus. Yes, he takes us to the mountaintop; he shows us great miracles and wonders, but he doesn’t leaves us there because he knows the strength of our faith grows in the day-to-day, mundane work required in the fields and among the flocks we tend.

The things we truly believe emerge in the day-to-day of our lives. It’s the conflicts over who makes the coffee, who cleans up the mess, who gets to go home early, or who gets the biggest piece of pie that test whether it is Christ who lives in us, or if we’re still saying, ‘It is I who live.’

Are you feeling stuck in your circumstances? When the Jewish people were held captive in Babylon, God didn’t send immediate relief; rather, he told them to get on with their lives, living with the faith that he had their best interest in mind. “Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:5-7, NIV)"
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.

Now I see clearly, it’s you I’m looking for all of my days. So I’ll smile, I know I’ll feel this loneliness no more.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

they tell me to breathe easy for a while

I was reading a crappy celebrity magazine - they're all having children. It's a whole magazine about celebrities and their children. No lie. Must be the popular Hollywood thing to do. Unfortunately, some of those people shouldn't be allowed to procreate.

And more of my friends have gotten engaged!! This is also no lie. And some of them are actually people I care about getting married. Facebook is flooded with engagement announcements and congratulations and best wishes. I'm happy for them.

It's also overwhelming.

David came to visit tonight and we had brief, but much need conversation about life, happiness, the places we dwell, where we'd like to dwell and spirituality. Really all I came up with is hopes for my future, but no real plans in the works. How about that?

I'm sorry I can't be more specific.

But in other news, Kt is home. Yay! And I saw this mug (which someone should buy me) at Starbucks where Spring has happened. And speaking of things happening at coffee shops, Valentine's Day threw up in mine. Stupid.

Mat Kearney. Sara Bareilles. A Fine Frenzy. Tristan Prettyman. Plumb.

I'm trying to let you hear me as I am.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

raise a glass and we'll have a cheer

The past four days were very tiring yet too good at the same time. I'm obviously old because I'm used to going to bed much earlier than I did. But I'm glad I took the time off. Moreso, I'm glad I could take the time off. Thank goodness for dependable employees.

I'm (so) glad I got to see my friends. Words cannot express that. And I'm glad I was able to ring in another year with Matt. Maybe I say it too often - or maybe I don't say it enough - but I love him very much. Sometimes it's hard for me to understand.

Last year, I had plans and I knew what was coming to me in a general sense. This year, well, I have no clue. Seriously. I'm doing what I'm doing until I'm not anymore. And it will be frustrating and interesting, but I'll make it through and hopefully, I will be better for it. I mean, 2007 definitely showed me some things I wanted out of life and some that I don't.

And I don't have any resolutions - I have hopes. desires. dreams. needs. wishes and such things. Plus, someone evidently thinks I'm most likely to live happily ever after and that sounds like a good plan to me.

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself." -Neil Gaiman

Cause this life is a beautiful one and though I've seen it coming undone I know most definitely that its gonna be you and its gonna be me.

But first thing is first and always the hardest...

"Every year I begin a list of the resolutions I have made for the new year which usually consist of working out more, eating healthier, investing in relationships....etc.. However, although these goals are all wonderful they center completely around bettering ME. My list this year is this alone: "He must become greater; I must become less."-John 3:30"

(bluebirds and chai blog excerpt)