Thursday, August 14, 2014


Today I awakened with an itchy throat. I wanted to reach down and scratch it with my overgrown fingernails. Didn't bode well for the day. "If I lay heeeere, if I just lay here..."

Last night I downloaded Allison Vesterfelt's freshly released e-book, Writing To Find Yourself, because of course I need yet another thing to tell me how to do something before I bother trying. Perfectionist. You know this. Anyway, the e-book is an adorable little thing--only one hundred pages. I wanted to read it all in one go, but it was late and I was tired so I stopped on page fifty-five. This is unimportant and I am stalling. It's part of the exercise.

Anyway, the only thing that made me forget about wanting to remove my throat was my excitement about getting to finish Allison's book. The first half was eerily relevant and encouraging, giving me things to work on instead of providing a security blanket for my excuses and bad habits. I was stoked to finish it thinking, "Holy coconuts, I think I'm going to write something after this!" And then I noticed something, yet another thing to hide behind: after this. As in, after I finish reading about how to do this thing as perfectly as possible even though the entirety of what I've read so far is about NOT striving for perfection and instead allowing room for error/growth/allowing yourself to be where you are in order to discover what needs adjustment. So, instead of finishing the book, I stopped (with brute force) on page eighty and decided to tackle what I found to be the hardest challenge yet addressed: "write now, edit later." UM, WHAT. That is completely foreign language as someone who only ever edits as she goes. I don't even know what a draft is. Actually wait, it's that thing where I spend ten years "waiting" to say stuff and then when it finally comes out it's like the ends of the bread that no one ate that you pull from the back of the fridge half-frozen, blue, and disturbingly fuzzy (if you do eat those, comment below--in their fresh state, obviously), and then no one ever wants to see the insides of that fridge again... But I digress.

Write now, edit later. I had to sit and make that mean something to me. Even writing this, I've been careful and even cheated and deleted/added a couple of things. Just for that, I, when I've finished this, have to post it as-is. I don't get to edit later because I cheated. Self-inflicted punishment. That line I wanted to add back up at the top in between "...bother trying" and "Perfectionist"? Nope. You'll never know what it was. You may be wondering whether or not I am being serious--I am. It is ri-di-cu-lous that I have to (choose to) treat myself this way. But until I get more comfortable with being uncomfortable, that's how it's going to be. Don't worry, you don't have to understand. Although, something tells me that a lot of you do.

After I finish Allison's wonderful, Godsend of an e-book, I'm going to tell everyone to download it, and then I'm going to read it again and take notes. What a truly invaluable work that applies to so much more than just writing. Like, I'm considering using the whole of chapter six to patch some cigarette burns in my tapestry, so to speak. There is so much more to say about it--I mean heck, if this mini-book moved me to post on my crusty, dusty, crypt of a "blog," imagine what it'll do for less abnormal people?!

Well done, Allison. Thank you for turning a day that began with an itchy throat into a day of first steps toward betterment. Maybe it won't be a year before I post here again.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Note to self.

-You cannot heal if you think too highly of yourself.

-You cannot be of use to others if you think too highly of yourself.

-You have got to stop drinking coffee when you're already worked up.

-Stop being a bottle.

-But strain your contents wisely and in such a way that prevents the opportunity for  your own incrimination to be used as a diversion.

-Slow down.

-But don't be idle.

-When you have to pee, pee.

-Same goes for the other thing.

-Play/write/study every day. Every. Day. DAILY.

-James 2:14-17

-Get up with the sun sometimes. Remember Who awakened both of you.

-Stop getting distracted by petty feces.

-Don't be ashamed to rest.

-You don't have to defend your need for rest to anyone.

-You don't have to defend your path to anyone.

-Just stop defending yourself. (Wait...)

-Seek only the Father's approval.

-No, but seriously.

-Read more. And more, and more, and more.

-Keep the scissors away from your danged head.

-Work on your cotton-picking handwriting. You should be ashamed.

-Stop being so perfectionistic.

-But don't use that as an excuse for not doing your best.

-And, for Pete's sake, go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Oh, look, it's time for my annual blog post.

Making an introduction would be both inappropriate and useless, so I'll just leave you feeling as though you picked up a book and opened it right down the middle. After all, the beginning is still there if you care enough to go back and have a look.

Right now, I'm in the valley. At least I think I am. There's always an inner dialogue in which I question the breadth of my tribulations, wondering whether or not they truly warrant the inner turmoil, feelings of nausea, and constipation (of all sorts). Surely, there must be someone whose valley is darker than mine... I've finally come to the conclusion that this is a no-no way of thinking. Your story is your own, and if this is the darkest your valley has ever been because you spilled your bowl of cereal this morning, then it's the darkest it's ever been. That's not to say that perspective is tossed out of the window... Something worse than spilling cereal will indefinitely occur, and when it does, you'll wish that it would've just been a cereal spill. Realizations of what is truly important may even come from incidents in the lives of others. However, to live in a constant state of thinking which says, "Susy's situation is worse than mine, so my sadness over the cereal is no longer valid," is a never-ending spiral of worthlessness. In so many words, you only know what you know*. It's like thinking NyQuil is the worst thing you will ever put into your mouth until you taste Robitussin. Humans will always, by nature, be infatuated with comparison even when by it they are consumed. To deny yourself agony and pain in the name of "something-much-worse-this-way-comes" may very well be to deny yourself a lesson. You are where you are for a reason, and there is always something to be gained.

It's a funny thing to be asked how you're doing whilst in the valley. The answer I'd like to give is, "Well, I feel like someone has shat heavily upon my head, but at least it's not diarrhea, eh? Eh?? HA!" Actually, sometimes it is diarrhea. There are days when I scream and cry and try to figure out how many variations of "f*ck" I can come up with in an hour because no one wants to be covered in poo and are you kidding me wah wah stomp feet slam door......but then there are times when I sit still with a Friend, snap on the latex gloves, and see if the defecator perchance swallowed any diamonds. I've found a lot of diamonds. And when I'm tired of looking, my Friend finds more. Sure, they need to be sterilized and polished, and rarely is that process a fun one, but the result is always worth it. A ring turns into a bracelet turns into a necklace turns into a crown. *insert something relating to the solid Rock on which I stand ha ha ha, punny*

I was making a salad for breakfast (because when you wake up at 11:30am, you eat spinach and call it breakfast as punishment) and when I went to grab dried cranberries, they were nearly gone. How in the... What the... No one in this house even likes cranberries as much as I do and the bag was full not three days ago and did someone spill them and shucking fit. After I calmed down, which took longer than I'll admit, I thanked the Lord for the few dried cranberries that He made sure were left in the bag. Yeah, I only had, like, six of 'em. But six were better than none because what would've combated the pungency of the goat cheese?! (Has anyone else noticed that after you put goat cheese in your mouth, but before you chew it, it tastes as though you've just walked into a high school basketball game and accidentally inhaled through your mouth right when there was a rebound? No? Okay.)

Alls I'm sayin' is, look for the diamonds in the rough. You won't be able to do it alone, so find the One most qualified to assist you before you drown in a heap of shite excrement.

Peace, love, and goat cheese, playuhzzz.


P.S. There were more than six cranberries. There were, like, eleven. But still.

(*To be clear, I do not at all mean this in an ignorance-is-bliss sort of way, or that one should put a cap on their "knowledge.")

Friday, March 8, 2013

(when religion hurts more than it heals)

Now that school has begun again, the wells of writing have run dry. Granted, there are more things happening that spark various thoughts which could easily be expounded upon, it's just that my mind is lazy. I'm lazy.

I saw something this evening, though, that stabbed me in the heart a little bit. So, here we go... (You should sit down. Or pee now rather than later.)

A friend of mine (who may or may not see this! *nervous*) posted a quote from Bill Maher (it wasn't cited and I'm too lazy to look it up) in which he essentially states that the inner peace found by associating with a given religion comes at a big price if that religion has been known to cause a lot of pain and suffering for a large number of people. He says that to be a part of any religion that engages in harmful activity is to say that you're okay with those behaviors, and that you are in fact an enabler of them. My friend followed this quote with their own thoughts on the matter saying that since moving to southern California, they have been irked by the number of people who adhere to religions that have blatantly been "oppressive, violent, and bigoted" in the past, while being seemingly indifferent about the damage, and that more violence has come of religion than peace.

This, of course, is not the first time I've seen feelings such as these expressed. However, every time I see them, it makes me angry, and I always tend to brush the whole thing under the rug in an act of avoidance behavior...until now. This time, I started thinking about why I get so angry and defensive. I'm not angry with the people who express these observations. I'm not defensive because I want them to know that I am different. I get angry because I really want them to know Jesus. I want them to know that He knows about the pain and suffering that human beings have undergone in the name of faith. I want them to know deeply how much He cares and longs to wrap His arms around them and show them that those things aren't what He's about. I want them to know that He is nothing like the dreadful things that have been done in His name.

But here's where I get really uncomfortable. Sometimes the urge to communicate Jesus and who He is gets tangled with the human urge to be correct. You wrack your brain for all the right verses to post in obnoxious succession on this person's status, inundating them with the very thing that makes them angry (not to say that one should withhold the gospel to keep people "happy," but there are as many ways to share it as there are souls on this earth). The counter reaction to this, however, can be the blurting out of "Jesus is nothing like His followers, I promise!" or to say nothing at all. While I strongly believe that we should absolutely point people to Jesus, the bigotry and oppression that happens in His name isn't going to magically become invisible and I reckon people will wonder why the actions of "Christ's people" don't often seem to line up with Him or His teachings. Wouldn't you?

I'm sure part of this problem comes from misrepresentation. We will always hear about the groups of "Christians" who congregate near places that are frequented by specific groups of people, holding ironically blasphemous signs and not showing the least bit of care for fellow human beings. We will always hear about the pastor who repeatedly abused children or one who was involved in a lengthy affair, all while still being "active in the ministry." Whenever these stories come out, we are very quick to either ignore it ("Yeah, you know the devil's at work...") or to flail about saying "the rest of us aren't like that!" when I think we may need to spend more time proving it. I think we often gravely underestimate the power of living Jesus, instead hoping that our Bible-mouths will do the trick all on their own.

I didn't set out with a real goal here (and there is MUCH more that could be said), but the conclusion I've come to at this moment is this: religion can and will cause pain, but Christ isn't the source of that pain, and He can also heal it if you let Him.

Just a (long) thought. Please share yours. <3


P.S. I will try not to always be so dismal. Perhaps next time I'll write about how disgusting the bathrooms are in the music building...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I'm a reasonably positive person. Or, I used to be. Not quite sure anymore. I mean, happiness isn't really a staple item in my emotional inventory. But the other day I had a thought...

I don't remember what I was doing, or thinking for that matter, but whatever it was sparked a devastating realization: I think I'm a pessimist.

I've come to a point where even if good things are happening, I don't believe they'll last for long. I am constantly, actively, waiting for the next heavy blow. It's as if I've come to a point where I won't even allow myself to become happy for fear of something dreadful coming right behind it and causing my world to come tumbling down all over again. I began to think about whether or not this has always been the underlying case and, if it hasn't been, why it is now.

The conclusion to which I came can best be described as the feeling you get when you wash NyQuil down with potent coffee. (Long story. Just don't ever do it.) The juxtaposition felt within your gut is nauseating. So keep that in mind when I say that in some ways my hope has diminished greatly, and in other ways it hasn't. This comes mainly from the fact that I'm speaking of two different types of hope.

I've stopped believing that good things are going to happen in the near future because 1) they've been bad for so long, and 2) why believe that when I don't know it to be true anyway? But then I notice the words "good" and "bad." What I see as being good currently may not be in the big picture, and what I see as being bad could be good in the big picture. It is for this reason that my constant Hope remains. I have hope in the fact that Christ loves me to the nth degree, doesn't enjoy my pain, wants and knows what is best for me, and will lovingly carry me through whatever comes between now and Heaven. The thing is, most people would gather that life isn't much fun when you're slumming around in the emotional middle ground, but to be honest, I find joy more often than not. There are always hundreds upon thousands of things to be thankful for no matter how dismal things get. You may just have to work a little harder to find them.

In fact, sometimes I wonder whether or not there's even anything technically wrong with what I've decided to temporarily call "being levelheaded." I mean, obviously, imagining that you're going to die in a car crash just because you had a wonderful day is an issue. But what about simply waiting to see what happens without being incredibly hopeful so as to not have your spirits crushed when things don't go as planned? I imagine some would say that my current method of dealing is a one of self-preservation and I would have to agree with them. We are conditioned to avoid actions and situations that have led to pain in the past. So, at this point, why would I be inclined to be hopeful when few positive things have come of it before?

Yesterday, my pastor spoke of Abraham and his history of events as they pertained to the cultivating of his faith. Something that struck me throughout was how long it took for Abraham to trust. How long it took for his faith to outweigh his feelings.* It wasn't the fact that I thought he should've gotten a grip sooner than later. It was the fact that the dude was old. And that I'm a baby. It took literal years for his story to unfold (as is the case with everyone, but I hope you get what I mean). I don't mean that to be an excuse to learn lessons more slowly because I've "got all the time in the world." We have been given the stories of those who have gone before us partially, I'm sure, to aid us in wrapping our thick skulls around various concepts perhaps more quickly than they did. What I'm saying is that maybe all this time, all these wearisome chapters, have been cultivating my faith and I've been blind to it. Duh.

That's not to say that I'm going to be all smiles now. The fact remains that the future is still unknown, and I will probably continue in my method of self-preservation until something happens to change the need for it. However, maybe the pain will be that much more bearable knowing that He sees all and is never idle, always holding our fragile hearts in His all-encompassing hands.

Now the battle will be to find the tight little space between thinking that I'm going to win the lottery next month without even buying a ticket (overly positive) and thinking that I'm going get hit by a monster truck while crossing the street on my way back from an LA Phil performance (overly negative). Me and my sick little mind...

Prayers, yeah? S'il vous plaƮt et merci.

*I emphasize "outweigh" here because I think it's exactly that and not the elimination of human feelings.

Peace & pancakes.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Titles are ominous.

Well, well, well.

It's been awhile.

I suppose a small explanation of my absence is in order, but the truth is, I don't have one.

Anything I could come up with to say would either be unnecessary, excusatory, or both. What I will do is offer an explanation as to what has brought me back here.

In short, I began following a girl on Twitter who leads a wonderful project which, after poring over for hours with tears in my eyes and warmth in my heart, caused me to once again have the desire to speak up just a lil' bit. ;)

I've always been a strong believer in talking about the hard things, which is ironic seeing as how I rarely ever do it. The whole "I'll-do-it-if-you-will" mentality is nothing more than a hindrance if no one has the courage to stick their nose out there. So, here's my nose. Again.

If you're new here, I would suggest that you read the very first post written here. Because it was written in 2011 (apparently a rough time?), you may find it a bit rough around the edges. I like to think that I'm more gentle these days, but perhaps I'm not. :) In fact, I thought long and hard about erasing everything on here in some absurd attempt to......I don't know, polish my image?! I decided that not only would that be an issue of integrity, but it's also the very antithesis of what I'm trying to do here. Going back and reading those posts has allowed me to see change in myself, and/or lack thereof. To be honest, I still agree with most of the things I wrote back then. Not sure what that says about me, but we'll just have to explore that together, won't we. :)

Looking forward to sharing with and (especially) hearing from you.


P.S. Fair warning, I use "which" a lot. I really am trying to stop.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sometimes I'm tempted to think that my life is a big joke. A big taunt, or a massive middle finger. I go back and forth between realizing that I'm surrounded by brilliantly kind people and circumstances that are completely derived from grace, and then wondering endlessly if my life is ever, for any longer than a day at a time, going to consist of good, happy, positive things. Whining, essentially. But not the typical sort that goes, "Wahh wahh, why is this happening to me?! I don't deserve this, and I sure as hell didn't ask to be born!" It is slightly more complicated than that. It's more of a, "Is this forever? I mean, I'm trying to take what I can away from all of this, but I'm tired of it. What do I have to grasp for this to go away? Is it going to get easier, or must I prepare for a life of cryptic misery and pondering things that may not be mine to dwell on?" kind of thing. I suppose the closest thing to compare that version to would be "worry." Honestly, I would simply just like to flip a few pages ahead. Skim a little bit. That's one of the pains about life; you can't skim.

What I'm realizing, though, is that we're not meant to. Every day serves some purpose, as does everything that happens, even (and sometimes especially) the things that we don't like, or even hate. We're not meant to understand every little thing right as it's happening. I can't express how much I want to say, "Okay, God, that was bloody miserable, but I made it through. So, if you please, would you tell me what about that situation benefitted anyone? 'Cause I'd really like to know. Now. Please."

Life just sucks sometimes. And it can suck for looooong-ass periods of time, too. But, there's something in it. Last Sunday, we were outlining the book of Genesis and we touched briefly on the story of Joseph and how his brothers hated him and so on. I got to thinking about how long Joseph had to wait until God fulfilled the promise that He made clear to Joseph in a dream of his. I don't think I'd have been able to make it without throwing little hissy fits all over the place. And Job, even. His story is a difficult one to wrap our heads around, and quite frankly, I think that many Christians just pretend to understand the gravity of it. I mean, obviously there are people who are much closer to empathizing with him than others, but.....yeah.

Something that pisses me off is when people try to deny or ignore the power of an "unfortunate" situation, or series of situations by trying to stay as frothily lofty as possible. I liken it to stuffing your mouth full of that fake whipped cream non-frosting frosting. While I in no way believe that one should wallow in the feces of life, I do feel very strongly that putting off feelings of anger/doubt/frustration/etc. as soon as they come and donning an attitude of "nothing can get me down" may have a counter-productive effect. In fact, I know it can. Happily licking that frosting off of your fingers only lasts so long before your tummy begins to rumble....

I have no real goal for this post. In fact, I'm not even sure what brought it on, but no matter. I've finally written something that I haven't yet considered deleting.

Welcome to my mind.