17

•November 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

(Written a long time ago. It was saved as a draft)

Today, I was a horrid wench. Well, today I had to deal with the fact that I have been being a horrid wench. I say things to people who annoy me just to make them feel bad. I want to make sure they know I’m annoyed and inconvenienced by their presence. I want them to know that I think little of them. I want them to feel as if they deserve the way I am treating them. But it is not true. I don’t really want any of that. I am annoyed with myself, not them. Every time someone gets on my nerves, I just fill to the brim with bitterness and hatred and I hate myself for it. I hate that I can’t enjoy the silly little mistakes people make rather than exploit them. I can’t make myself not care when the little things pile up. I hate that I can’t stand to be around people. I pushed my own roommate to the point that she isn’t speaking to me right now. I had another girl ask me why I hate her so much. When I’m in a room talking to a crying girl, it is so lame to tell her that it’s not her, it’s me. What kind of lame excuse it that? I hate excuses. I hate things that even remotely sound like excuses. I hate a lot of things right now. I feel like I can’t see the good in anything, but the truth is I’m too discouraged to even look. It’s so hard to look at the good things and hope for the best, but I feel like it just opens me up for further disappointment. If I expect people to be a certain way, they will let me down. But if I continue to expect that everyone will piss me off, they will. It is proven. So you would think I wouldn’t be disappointed because I was expecting it. Wrong. So wrong. It’s so much worse, because then I feel even more justified in my annoyance with them. I look only at the fact that they are constantly annoying and never even give people a chance to do anything right. I want it not to hurt. I wish I could coldly treat people however I want, but it hurts me when I hurt people.

I named this blog entry 17 because that’s the number I need to focus on. That’s how long I have left at school until I get to go home for the summer. I only have to stand this for 17 more days. But I also only have 17 days to make it right. And I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t know how things are going to get better with people who I have been awful to since August. I just want it to be over, but I don’t want it to end like this. I just want people to forget the last year and let me come back in the fall with my issues sorted out. My issues like my depression. I hate admitting that I’m depressed. I feel like I’ve malfunctioned in some way or come up short. I feel like I am worth less because I am sick.

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Dreams

•March 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I have a frame on the wall at home which holds nothing more than the word “Dream”. When I think about who I am and the disposition with which I live my life, it initially seems a little off kilter. I don’t seem like the sort of person who would have a cute little thing like that up on a wall. I am for sure not the sort of person who has a script decal of “Live. Love. Laugh” above my bed. It just all seems too soft and whimsical for me. But the thing is that dreaming isn’t soft and cushy at all. It isn’t swirly and twirly and fluffy. Dreaming is terrifying. My own dreams for my life are some of the scariest things I’ve ever had to face.

I thought for a very long time that if I didn’t dream or if I held the lowest expectations possible, I would keep from being disappointed. But disappointment has flooding into my life regardless of my downer mindset. But still I convinced myself that  even expecting disappointment itself would save me from further disappointment. (Now that I’m writing it out, it seems ridiculous that this ever made sense to me.) I would expect others to hurt me and would sometimes even manipulate the people I cared about just because I thought I had to hurt them before they did the same to me. But the truth is- It is easier to BE failed than it is to fail.

It is easier to be disappointed with others people and circumstances than it is to risk disappointing yourself. I am so terrified of failing that I have refused to have dreams for my own life. I have tiptoed toward having them, thinking it would be nice if I could ever have the things I wanted, but I have always brought myself back to the reality that I was never meant for such things. I was never meant for stability or happiness or motherhood or marriage or relationship in general. It is easy for me to look at myself and see that I am hardwired to be abrasive and manipulative and I was conditioned to be distrustful and unstable and many other cheery and wonderful things. I was not meant for good things and it is something I am going to have to face.

Above all, I was not meant for normality. I never saw this as a good thing before. I took normality to mean stability, reliability and sanity. I have, for years, felt helpless against the flaws of my nature. I will hurt whoever comes near me and I will crush any good that is put before me. I ruin things. It is what I was made for and trained for. It may very well be my greatest aspiration to not cause a negative effect wherever I go.

The truth is I have learned in the past year or so that I am, in fact, meant for nothing resembling normality. I don’t know what any of that means, but that’s not the point, really. The point is that having aspirations for my own life is one of the most difficult things I can imagine.

It was not until I let myself dream of my own idea of normality that I realized any of this. I didn’t realize what dreaming was until I made myself do it. Not until I let myself hope did I see the mask of whimsy and fluff removed from one of the most beautifully terrifying concepts I have yet to face.  (It is up there with surrender, which is not something I am fond of.) Dreaming is terrifying. Dreaming is too real and too intimate for me to ever imagine being comfortable with. But even in the horror of impending dreams, I have always equated them with phobias like becoming a missionary when you fear ministering to others or to becoming a speaker when you are terrified of crowds. I always imagined I would be called to some horrifying position in the kingdom, like a female pastor. But alas, I am not… as far as I know.

What is even more terrifying to me is that I am called to be a mother. A stinking mother. And a wife. I hate men. I hate people. I could much more easily accept that I am going to have a very difficult and lonely life living out some rare calling to be a pastor or something. I never imagined when I went to a mountain to pray and think about the dreams I had for myself that I could have walked away with a more terrifying dream. I would probably have more confidence if I were called to Haiti  (ugh… Haiti).

The truth is, there is nothing scarier to me that being called to be an exceptional woman in a presumably normal lifestyle. I cannot be a good wife- I don’t trust men and I don’t trust husbands. And even more than that, I don’t trust fathers. How is someone with the baggage I’ve got supposed to make a family when I feel like most of the time I’m giving it all I’ve got just to not ruin everything around me. When everything in me tries to sabotage the good things in my life, how am I supposed to be a wife an mother? And with all of those questions floating through my head, how am I supposed to deal with the fact that it is actually something that I want? More than anything. I want to create a family more than I am willing to admit. It’s scary. It’s not cute and twirly at all.

I know this happens far too frequently, but I don’t want to write anymore, because I feel like I don’t make any sense. So… abrupt ending!

Dying down.

•March 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The effects of my dating experiment have worn off. It wasn’t really an experiment, but if it was, it would not be a successful one. Rex and I got in a little bit of an argument about my reasoning for whether or not we would see each other again. I told him what I needed to know if we were going to go out again and he got really defensive. Apparently by stating that I need to know where a guy is spiritually I was saying that he isn’t devout enough for me. That isn’t what I was saying at all. I honestly couldn’t tell at all if he was a Christian in the past few days. I didn’t mean to make him feel judged, but he did and we are not speaking. I’m not too torn up about it as I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go out with him again. He was an okay guy, but I really don’t think I need to be spending my time with a guy who could just as easily not be a christian as be a christian based on a few days of talking to him. I know this is all supposed to go back to casual dating, but I don’t see the point in continuing to date someone if you know they are not the type of person you would want to lead you. I need someone who makes me better by pointing me constantly to Christ. I don’t need to be going out with a guy who isn’t obviously a Christian.

But anyway, I offended him. And now I don’t have to worry about whether or not I will go out with him again. I knew there wouldn’t be a third date, but now a second date is out of the question. I don’t know if I am supposed to care, but I don’t. I only care that I offended him and he felt judged. That’s not how I meant to come across at all. I didn’t say he wasn’t a Christian. I didn’t say he wasn’t Christian enough. Regardless of how great of a Christian he is, I’m not sure I want to even be friends with someone who is on the defensive so quickly.

Enough about Red Lobster boy.

Another thing that has died down is my brain. I feel like all of the creative genius that I may have possessed at one point has drained from me completely. I did make a pretty good mock brochure for KBM training programs that was due today, but now I’m too drained of creativity to make anything good for my Product ID class. I have about 20 boring comps of letterheads, envelopes and business cards on my computer. I only need to turn 3 in, but none of them are phenomenal. How exciting can you really be when designing letterheads, envelopes and business cards for a midwestern cheese company? I don’t know if it’s because we are doing everything so slowly and step by step, but I feel like I’m turning in some really boring stuff this week. Everyone has already seen my logo. They know what to expect. There are only so many options with a letterhead. You can’t just go crazy because it would be too busy. So I have to go with boring. But where is the balance between boring and simple? Where is it?!?!? I need to know. How can I make stationary beautiful, functional and memorable? I’m supposed to be figuring that out, but I feel unexceptional when I look at what I am going to turn in tomorrow. I like my work, but will it stick out next to the work of others? Will I look at their genius and wish I could think of such unique ways to solve the problem of letterhead design. Agh.

Apart from feeling boring, I love my major this semester. I haven’t been too sure about it the last year or so, but I really like layout more than I thought I would. I especially like designing for companies that have an established style. It’s interesting to have to work within parameters set by a different designer. It’s fun to see how versatile I can be when I’m trying to design that way. Especially the KBM brochure. I like their design, but it’s not something I would have come up with. It was fun to take what KBM has already established as their sort of “look” and have to play off of it. I really like the end product. Functionally, it has just been hard to get the right info in the brochure. People don’t want to spent 10 minutes reading when they open a brochure. they want gist. Hopefully I put stuff in it that would be informative yet interesting enough to make a person want to check it out more in depth on the KBM website. It’s not like it will ever actually be used, but I would like to know that it could. I want my work to look professional even if my classmates and professors are the only people who will ever see it.

As I’m writing this I’m realizing how thankful I am that I like what I’ve chosen to do professionally. I have been really unsure recently. I haven’t wanted to be in college or in my major or in Upland. I haven’t wanted anything that is actually the reality of my life. I feel like I’ve been doing so many things because it is logical. I’ve continued college and graphic design not because I wanted to or because I felt called to be at Taylor, but because it was logical. It never made any sense for me to cease to be a student here. It is logical that I finish college where I started it. It is logical that I finish the last 3 semesters in my major, but that hasn’t been what I’ve wanted.

Honestly, I’ve resented it. I have been so mad at the fact that I can’t make myself feel like my life is good enough. I’ve been angry that a diagnosis and prescription didn’t fix me. I have hated myself for hating everything and everyone in front of me. I haven’t been able to make myself even want to want anything. I’ve wanted desire. I’ve wanted passion or decision, but it hasn’t been there. With that in mind, I see it as a huge blessing that I am enjoying things again. I am enjoying things that are challenging and that I am not perfect at.

You know when you’ve been sick for a while and you literally forget what it feels like to be healthy? This January I got sick for a while and I couldn’t stand in the shower. I had to sit down for about an hour every time I went DOWN the stairs. I had to sit when I cooked my soup. I remember trying to remember what it even felt like to live life without noticing that my body hurt or my nose was stuffy. Last semester I forgot what I felt like to enjoy. Anything. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to enjoy my friends. The best I could do is try to remove myself by reading or watching movies. At least then I felt less. But I never felt good. I am not saying this to talk about how terrible things were and how awful my life is.

I am saying that God is good to me. Just like slowly getting better from a bad cold, you don’t always notice when everything starts sounding normal again or when you can breathe with your mouth closed. I didn’t just wake up feeling better. I think I’ve spent the past month with a stuffy nose and a sore throat, but I never noticed that I could stand in the shower again. You get what I’m saying? Just like I forgot what it is like to feel healthy, I failed to notice that I felt better.

I have enjoyed multiple things this week. Insignificant things. That is a blessing that I cannot begin to wrap my mind around. It brings me to my knees. And right now I am enjoying God. I’ve missed it. I’ve missed him.

Uncharacteristic

•March 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I went on a date with a guy I met at dinner… tonight. I went out to Red Lobster with a friend and he was our host. He kept coming back to our table to talk to us and he even let us hold Lobsters. I ended up leaving my number thinking “what could it hurt?” He came to our table to talk to us at least 3 or 4 times during our meal and was cute and funny and even admitted to watching Vampire Diaries. Anyway, he texted me and we decided to go out after he was off work.

We went to go see a movie and he really is a nice guy. The issue is not in the details of our date, it is in my motivations. Why did I give my number to a guy I didn’t know? Why did I then go on a date with him? Why did I let him put his arm around me and hold my hand? I wasn’t feeling any desperate need for affirmation and I was not looking to find the man I would marry. I just wanted to spend some time with a cute guy I met. I wanted to casually date. I, a female christian in my twenties, believe in casual dating. I seems against nature. I feel like it is seen as sinful or unwise. I think it is unwise to look at things as intensely as we do. If you are dating someone, it is only every serious dating- a serious relationship that starts off at a depth that fosters messy breakups and broken hearts.

How can you know so definitely what you want? How can you know that you want to go from being friends to being intensely “together”? I think I know a lot of things that I don’t. Every relationship I’ve had has flopped because I realized a couple weeks in that I didn’t like the guy I was with. I didn’t want to be with him. I don’t want that to happen to me again. I don’t want to stake a friendship on whether or not I actually know what I want. Feelings change. I’m not prepared to go into something crazy intense. So why not just be single? Why date? Why not? I don’t think it’s wrong for two people who are attracted to each other to enjoy each others’ company. I don’t think I’m devaluing myself by dating casually. I think I’m figuring out what I want. I am not prepared to make an all or nothing decision.

Sometimes I think I am. Sometimes I think I would like to be with something, but when it comes down to it, becoming a couple is terrifying, especially since there seems to be not middle ground, especially here at Taylor. I don’t want to have to decided whether or not I want to marry someone when I am trying to figure out whether or not I want to date them. They are not the same. Dating is not marriage. Dating relationships end and it is not sinful. It is not wrong to not know what you want. I have prayed about casual dating and where my convictions are. I think it’s okay. In fact, I think it could be good. I’m not talking about just dating around without any concern for who is actually holding your hand or paying for your meal. I don’t encourage that. In fact, I don’t even think I encourage casual dating for others. Figure that our on your own. As for me, I believe in casual dating and I don’t think it’s wrong. That’s where I stand, even after trying it out. It was not fantastic. I will most likely not go out with him again, but I liked spending time with him and getting to know him so I can say without a doubt that I don’t want to pursue things further. When left to my own devices, I could easily convince myself that he is wonderful and beautiful and we would have gorgeous children. I could imagine him getting along with my grandparents and cooking with me. I could put him on a pedestal and build up this relationship in my mind, but now I don’t have to. I know. I know because I gave him my number and I went on a date with a stranger.

I am very tired and will probably vomit once I see my own writing in this post, so if you vomited at my bad writing or your disapproval, I’m sorry that your computer is now a mess. Also, that’s gross.

Impatient

•February 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I have always known I was bad at waiting, but some circumstances just make me feel like a flake. When something isn’t done within the timeframe I anticipate, I expect almost everything else to go wrong as well. I just don’t do well with waiting and I’m even worse about general uncertainty. I just like to know things. If I know what is going on, I will know how to deal with it. But if I have absolutely no idea what is going on, as is the case now, I feel scattered and out of control. I will stop complaining now. I just like to know things. Facts make me happy.

Spring

•February 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I never thought I liked spring before. I always remember it as gross and wet and muddy, but right now, I’m realizing that every year I realize the same thing- I like the spring. A lot. I always think I love winter until spring comes, and then it feels so good to be able to just walk out side without a coat on. I like having the option of doing something outside other than sledding or something that is defined by the presence of snow on the ground.

As soon as spring comes, I also realize how relaxing driving can be. I have been driving in the snow and ice for years, but my heart still drops every time I swerve a little bit or I don’t stop just when I want to. In the winter, I can hardly imagine how some people think it is relaxing to drive. Right now, I am just THINKING about driving with the windows open and I’m feeling a bit more relaxed.

I love the smell of spring. When everything is damp, but there aren’t a bunch of worms all over the sidewalk. I like wearing whatever shoes I want. And the option of not wearing a cardigan or sweatshirt. And soon I will start to consider the option of wearing shorts, which will make option of shaving no longer an option… so I may hold off on that for a while. I like being able to walk without my hands in my pockets. It’s a weird thing to think about, but I don’t wear gloves, so my arms are never free to swing in the winter. I think my favorite thing about spring right now is that everything is so new that I can’t help but smile. And I’m no smiler. I’m not one of those people who smiles while walking to class alone… Unless it is the beginning of spring. Every time I see a squirrel I want to hug it so much. I think I saw 2 squirrels in the last 3 months. That will not do. Yesterday I stopped on the sidewalk just so that I wouldn’t scare a squirrel up a tree. I wanted it to stay on the ground so I could just watch it. I stood there for a while. A while…

One last thing I realized I like about the spring is that people rediscover the novelty of eating outside. I love eating outside when the conditions are right. Plus, food that is made for eating outside always seems fresher to me somehow. It’s probably because my brain knows that vegetables are not supposed to be readily available in Indiana in January. Whatever the reason for it, I welcome these veggies. I welcome them with open arms.

I like spring. I will forget I ever had this revelation in about 3 months just like I do every year.

Cous Cous and Company

•May 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about creation. Not the method by which God created the earth, but how it is completely ridiculous to think that things just happened on their own. I’m not going to get into my theories on how long it took God to make the world, but I will say that whatever he did, it was great.

With that said, God made some pretty amazing people. I don’t understand God’s love, but I am beginning to. God has blessed me so much by showing His love through people in my life. I have always had trouble trusting the people around me, and I have always been bad at understanding love, which has proven to be an obstacle in my walk. While I like to think of my faith as a relationship, relationships are just one thing that I doubt.

I used to feel like I was a disposable friend. I would go back and forth between trying to prove myself and trying to disconnect completely. I have rarely seen relationships in which both members are working toward a common goal with the same level of commitment. I really could go on forever about how I don’t understand friendships and love, but I really just want to think about what I’ve been learning lately.

To bring it back to creation, I have been completely floored by some of the people who have come into my life recently. I have been blessed with friends who, while I know they are not perfect, project the things that I know to be true about my creator. It is uncomfortable for me to be in relationships in which I do not have to earn the affections of those around me. I do not have to prove myself worthy in order for them to care about me. It is still hard for me to trust most of the time. I wait until I make a mistake embarrassing enough or inconsiderate enough to justify someone walking away. I know it is wrong. And that is a change. I know that I am wrong in the way that I give and accept love. But as I said, I am learning.

This year has been the most challenging in my life. I have definitely had darker and worse times in my life, but never before have I gotten up after I’ve been knocked down again and again. Though is has certainly not been easy or fun, if has only been possible because of the people God has placed in my life. I see Him in their faces and in the way that they love me.

My faults have been met with grace; my tears, met with encouragement. I do not deserve it, but isn’t that kind of the point? I don’t have to earn the love of Christ. I could never come close. I deserve hell. Instead, I have been given love.