wants. needs. likes. can’t live withouts.

this is one of those posts where i re-teach something super cool i learned in one of my classes.

i’ve heard and written plenty about love languages before. but i promise this isn’t more of the same. in other words, me begging for hugs and ranting about how much i hate words.

i’d never read the actual book until this semester when i had to. i figured i’d be really bored with it, since i’ve taken the test plenty of times myself and heard all about them twice at camp training. but the book actually clarifies some things i didn’t get before; my whole list is actually totally shuffled now. except Physical Touch is still undeniably my first. of course.

if you don’t know what a love language is, it’s the way that you best like people to love you. not that the others don’t mean anything to you; your primary one just makes you feel the most loved. i call it that warm fuzzy ahhhh this is the best day ever feeling. the book describes it like this: each of us has a “love tank” that needs to be kept filled, and it gets filled when someone loves you in your primary love language. you suffer the longer your love tank stays empty.

the book points out that each of these can also be your “hurt language.” in other words, the absence or the opposite of what makes you feel most loved can make you feel the most hurt.

and sometimes the best way to think which one you speak is to think about what you can’t live without. for instance, i love gifts, but if someone gave me things every single day and never ever touched me, i would shrivel up and die. hence my first language is touch.

so. this is what i’ve figured out that each language needs, or the one thing that sets them apart from the rest.

also, with every language, it’s the thought that counts. i’ll give a little example of that for each one.

Physical Touch–well, pretty obviously, these people feel most loved when someone makes some sort of physical contact with them. we don’t need you to tacklehug us every time you see us, or cuddle with us anytime you sit by us(unless you like that. we’ll of course take as much as you want to give us). any kind of meaningful touch works. if we can tell that you love us and you’re giving us what we need, a pat on the back or a high five will fill our love tanks just as much as a sixty second hug.

for instance, i have a friend whose language is Touch, and she hugs me every time she sees me. but that doesn’t make me feel as loved as when one of my best friends, who can’t stand to be touched, gives me a hug, because i know that she’s really trying to love me. it’s not what she likes best, but since she knows how much it means to me, she’s willing to do it anyways. and that makes it mean twice as much.

unloving things: refusal or rejection. my illiteration-ish way of saying,
1. if i really need to be touched and you aren’t helping me out. like if i’m sitting with you telling you about something really sad that’s happened, and you’re purposely standing five feet away from me? no. either get over here and put your hand on my shoulder or something, or don’t even bother listening to me.
2. if i haven’t seen you in a long time and i try to hug you, and you say “get off me”, or in some other way make me feel bad or stupid for my efforts.

Receiving Gifts–if you’ve ever given me a gift that you really thought about and tried to make special, and seen my reaction, it’s probably no surprise to you that this is so high on my list. once my brother and sister went to new york and came back with something for me from the NBC store, and when i fixed to open it, my mom warned them “back away, if she likes it she may scream or jump on you.”

since i’m already referring to Touch people as me though, i’ll call Gifts people chana’s.

chana’s aren’t greedy, selfish, material people who want to get lots of things all the time and complain when they don’t. they simply like tangible expressions of love. more so than any of the other four, the thought behind it is the most important thing. to them, anything you give them that shows them that you care about or were thinking about them fills their love tank. they don’t even have to be formally categorized as a “gift.” for instance, at camp, whenever one of us picks up a pack of croutons at the salad bar and end up not using it, we give it to emily because we know she loves them. it’s simple and free, but again, cost isn’t what defines it; it’s the thought. so, if emily’s love language was Gifts, this would mean even more to her than it already does.

homemade things or inside jokes are also a big deal. the time and thought put it into something you make is what they care about.

and this is what bumped this one up to number two on my list. i didn’t know until i read it in the book: sometimes the best present can be your presence.

this is different than for Quality Time people. for chana’s, when something special is going on(whether it’s a wedding, a birthday, a soccer game, what have you), you giving your time to be there makes them feel just as loved as if you gave them an actual gift. or if they’re having a hard time(from just an ordinary bad day, to someone dying), it’s ten times better if you take the time to go and be with them instead of just giving them a call.

for instance, on my birthday, texting, talking on the phone, or even skype won’t make me feel half as cared about as being WITH someone. and when you give me a gift, i like for you to be there when i get it. like if you mail it, or give it to someone else to give me, it means a teeny bit less.
i had thought that was because Time is my second. but i realized it’s not the time that makes me feel loved, it’s having them there. the tangible thing in this case would be yourself.

unloving things: forgetting a special day(whether this means not giving them anything on their birthday, or saying you’ll go to something like a soccer game or a band concert and then not showing up), or giving a thoughtless gift(basically a gift that shows you don’t know them at all. i.e, giving me a hershey bar[anyone who loves me knows i hate chocolate] or giving a chick fil a gift card to a vegetarian).

Quality Time–if you speak this language, you like for someone to give you undivided attention. “quality” time doesn’t mean a certain length of time. five minutes or even thirty seconds can mean a lot to a Quality Time person if it’s spent the right way.

from here on out i’ll refer to these people as tori’s.

when tori’s have bad days, they want someone to listen to them. again, it doesn’t have to be forever. to use another camp example, if tori(i mean the actual tori here) is really stressed out and i run into her on my way to an activity, if i take thirty seconds to stop and ask her how she’s doing, and really listen to her, that little bit of time i gave her can lift her spirits for a whole day.

“quality” doesn’t always mean just sitting and listening. doing things together counts too. my littlest brother needs this a lot. if i’m watching a movie with him, he does NOT want me to read a book while we watch. he wants all my attention focused on him and whatever we’re doing together.

basically, together and focused are the keys. whether you’re talking over coffee, getting together to watch something, or throwing a frisbee, it’s not quality if you’re clearly thinking about something else. what makes them feel loved is that you’ve specially taken that time just for them.

unloving things: forgetting time you were supposed to spend together, postponing dates, doing two things at once when you’re with them(like going to lunch then texting someone else the whole time), inviting someone else to join you at the last minute for something that was originally one-on-one time, or doing something with a group of people and not inviting them.

Words of Affirmation–this one, like Touch, is pretty self explanatory. whether in spoken or written form, these people need positive words specifically for them. and i’ll call them erin’s, because i’ve never met anyone who thrives on words more than she does.

this language is so foreign to me and does nothing for me, positively or negatively. but thankfully, i lived with erin for a whole summer, so i learned a good bit.

erin’s like to feel appreciated and encouraged. nice notes or verbal compliments are their favorite things. i’ve met some people who like written words better and others who need to hear it out loud.
really specific things are best for them. if you can give someone like this a list of things they’re great at or reasons why you love them, they’ll be happy for a week.
if erin[the literal one, not the general term i’m using] is having a bad day and looks like she’s about to cry, all you have to do is go up to her and tell her she’s doing a great job and that you know she’s doing her best, and she’ll be smiling for the whole day. and if she goes a couple days without hearing anything good about herself, or worse, if someone tells her something she’s done wrong, she’ll have a really sucky week.

unloving things: lack of words, negative words, or fake words. i think Words people are the best example of their love language being their hurt language, because there’s such a black and white opposite; they need to be affirmed, and hate to be discouraged.

Acts of Service–anything, big or small, that you do to help someone in a practical way.
i’ll call these people cindy’s.
doing some chore for them without being asked is like giving me a hug. asking them “can i do anything for you?” is as good as saying “i love you.”
conversely(double word score), if you do something that makes extra work for them, or you see that they have a lot to do and don’t offer to help, they feel super unloved.

so. seeing the super basic things, can you tell which one is yours? you can take the test here if you’re still curious. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/

mornings.

i’ve never been a morning person. you know how most kids get up early when they’re real young? i wasn’t like most kids, at least at an age that i was old enough to remember.

true the world was made for morning people, and they’re the ones who get 4.0 gpa’s and make six figure salaries someday, but night people have the most fun. think about it: mornings on youth retreats or at camp are never the times you remember the most. the highlight of a sleepover is not waking up the next morning. no big movie has ever premiered at 5 am. fun times come at 10 pm or later.

but, ever since my sophomore year when i came to ciu where you have almost no choice but to have morning classes, i’ve made it my goal to become one of those people who wakes up early without trying and gets things done before noon.

after many failed attempts, i’ve finally come to the conclusion that i was not created for mornings.

the only thing i’ve accomplished with my most recent attempt is that i’ve made myself no longer a night person.

i used to be able to run off 6 hours of sleep anytime; sophomore year i went to bed at 1 or 2 and got up at 7 just fine. i’d be tired right when i got up and all through my classes, but around chapel i’d wake up and be totally normal until at least midnight.

now, i go to bed around 9 or 9:30, get up at 5:30, and i’m exhausted all day. and even on the days i get to sleep in(meaning i get up at 7:30), i still can’t stay up hardly past 9. last friday night i went to bed at 8:00. i haven’t done that since the 2nd grade.
i’m consistently getting eight hours of sleep every night, plus i’m getting that hour of exercise all the napkin holders in the caf say you should get, and i have about half the energy that i did in the days when i only slept if i felt like it.

this makes no sense to me.

forgetting what is behind…

i love to remember things. even with not-so-nice things, i usually have some good lesson to remember from them.

but there are a few things that i ask God every day to let me forget.

whenever i share my testimony with someone, i’m reminded why he won’t do that for me.

you know that little story about the footprints on the beach, and the person asks God why the hardest times have only one set of footprints and that’s where God carried them? my beach doesn’t have any of mine. it’s all God. although at a couple points, there may be a trail of mine running to the ocean in hopes of a shark eating me…but then you’d see two long lines where God grabbed me and dragged me back.

when people hear my story, everyone has the same opinion at the end. worded or expressed in very different ways. my favorite reaction is the question of “how in the world are you still here?” because i wonder that myself. today during practice i thought of the best answer i could.

the more 5k’s i run, the more i’m finding that i can survive the next one. i can tell myself, “i’ve done this before. as much as it feels like it, this last mile isn’t actually gonna kill me.” i don’t like it anymore than the others. it isn’t any easier than the other times. but i do know that i’ll be okay when it finally ends. so i keep at it.

that’s exactly how my life is. if i were to forget where i’ve already been, i would give up. but the fact that i already got through so much crap gives me hope for any current and/or future crap. i still hate it and wish i didn’t have to be in it, but i’m not quitting.

more sleep, or more friends…

sophomore year, i never slept until everyone else on the hall was in bed. i still got up at 7 every morning.
i was never tired.

this year. i’ve for real in my whole life never this consistently gotten eight hours of sleep every night. but i go to bed at 9 or 930, even on the rare nights when i don’t have to get up at 530 the next morning.
i’ve never been this tired for this long. no matter how much i sleep, whether it’s six hours or ten, i’m exhausted from the minute i get up to around 9 when i can’t hold my head up for one more minute even if i try.

that doesn’t make sense.

when they say extroverts get their energy from people, i always figured that meant emotional energy. like i get really sad and stressed if i’m alone for long periods of time. okay, for half an hour or longer.

but. i’m alone most of the time, and i’m tired most of the time. then today, i was with people all day, and i haven’t been tired all day. sophomore year i was always with people and never tired. at camp i’m always with people and never tired.

i think my physical energy might come from people too. if that’s even possible.

just a thought.

back on the horse.

when i was little, i got attacked by my neighbor’s two huge dogs. most five year old girls would be scared of all dogs for a good long spell after that. but i somehow understood that just because a dog hurt me one time doesn’t mean that all dogs are scary.

when i was about nine, i got hit in the face with a football. but that didn’t make me never want to play again.

sophomore year, i broke my finger playing soccer. but i didn’t stop loving being a goalie.

my point: just because a certain thing has hurt me at one point in one situation, doesn’t usually mean that i generalize and develop a crippling fear of that thing.

so i don’t understand why i’m afraid of people.

two of them hurt me. they drove me to think horrible things about myself and do horrible things to myself because of those things i thought. to put it simply, they were evil, and i don’t use that word lightly.

then unlike my old, brave self, that could so easily get back on the horse after getting thrown off, i hid.

and i now don’t know how to come out.

just a thought…

a happy day on a sad anniversary.

three years ago today was the saddest day of my life.

you know how there are certain memories where you can replay a whole hour of your life like a movie in your head? this time in 2009 is one of them.

life changes fast. at 9:41 am, i was happy and motivated and determined to fix things, start doing work, eat again, find some friends, and make college work for me.

at 9:42, the phone rang. it was my mom.

whenever she has bad news, she always very cautiously asks “how ya doin’?” i guess she likes to know whether she’s making things worse, or knocking me off of cloud nine.
this time i burst into a happy ramble about my great weekend and all the studying i was about to get done.
still in her careful voice, she says “well i’m really glad for you…”
i ask her if she needs something.
she says, “well, i have to tell you something.”
i knew what she meant. i just asked when it happened. she told me it was the day before.

9:44 am. in a matter of 3 minutes, life as i knew it ended.

last night i went to bed thinking about how badly i didn’t want to run. when the person who would be the proudest of me is gone, nothing seems to matter.

my granddad thought the sun rose and set on my mundane life. he never let me quit anything, and he was always on my side. i get my fierce loyalty from him. if i were to get last in a race, i know he’d be convinced that something was wrong with the course, or someone else had cheated. he’d never admit that i’m not good or suggest that i didn’t try my best or didn’t want it enough. he’d find some reason to call me the best on the team; if nothing else he’d say i was the prettiest.

this morning as i got up at 4:30, i fought away the ache around the edge of the gaping, never-to-be-full-again crater in my heart with the idea that i would run every one of those five thousand meters for him. and i would smile the entire time, because he loved it when i smiled.

the last time i saw him was about a month before he died. it was a week before i left to start school. i knew he wouldn’t be around much longer. i was sitting with him one afternoon for over an hour just talking with him, and he asked me why i didn’t smile as much anymore. i lied and said i hadn’t realized that; i didn’t want to tell him how sad i was. he said he wanted me to stop looking upset all the time.

and then he told me something i’ll never forget.

“you need to always smile. because you’re my happy girl, and you make everybody happy when they look at you. so don’t you keep that sad face on. right?”
i’d never thought about that before. but i liked the idea of making other people happy. so ever since then, even when i have to fake it, i try to let everyone else see a smile on my face.

every time people at camp comment that their day gets better when they see me because i’m always happy, i feel like i’m making granddad proud.
and every time someone at school asks if i’m tired or something, i feel like i’m letting him down. i don’t make many people happy here.

today i ran my race imagining him cheering me on. i don’t know much of what he looked like when he was younger, so it made it funnier picturing 89 year old him running beside me. and i remembered something i wrote to myself during soccer season about the people who had graduated.

just because they’re gone doesn’t make the things they said while they were with you any less true.

i knew what all he used to tell me. and i knew that no matter how i did today, if he were here, he’d tell me i was perfect. any little victories would be like gold medals. and when i thought of that, i was suddenly free to enjoy running. every little mistake stopped mattering. 2 seconds slower than i expected on the second mile, who cares. second to last on the team, no big deal. i got 54 seconds faster than my last race, and that was all that counted.

plus, someone told me that it’s encouraging to watch me run because i’m smiling anytime they see me.

granddad, wherever you went, i hope you were able to hear them say that. i miss you, my biggest fan. i’m lost and weird without you here.

soccer vs. cross country.

obviously, soccer wins hands down no question. diving all over the ground knocking a ball away from me is so much more fun and less pointless than just plain running.
but running does win on a few small points.

1. too much of my team depends on me/none of my team depends on me.
soccer involves 5 people looking to me to keep them from losing. i’m the only person on the field who can do what i can do. sure, i have defenders in front of me, but it’s a much bigger deal for the ball to get past me than it is for anyone else. no one says after a score “that defender back there let that one in.” it’s ultimately the goalie’s fault.
no one needs me in cross country. i run my race, they run theirs. it doesn’t matter to anyone else whether i finish in 22 minutes or 30. i can’t let anyone down. i feel so much more free that way.

2. there is only one way to look at things/i choose whether i won or lost.
in soccer, if we lose, well, we lose. there’s nothing else to say.
cross country gives me all kinds of safety nets. if i don’t win my race(HA), i can at least get a better time than my last one. if i don’t get a better time, i can at least have maybe run one of my miles faster than my last. and then if none of my personal goals happened, then our team can either win or place higher than last time. really the only way to fail is to quit, so i’m in total control of my success. just finishing counts as winning to me.

3. eight hundred things to remember/one thing to do.
soccer makes me think too much. i have to focus on so many things at once and make so many decisions so fast.
you can’t forget what to do in a race; all you have to do is run. yeah, there’s all that stuff about pacing and form and junk, but you only really really concentrate on that in practice. i don’t think when i race; i just run. the only thing i really worry about is passing people, and staying with the people who pass me. which doesn’t require thinking; it’s just more running. thinking takes energy, and it takes all the energy i have to run 3 miles, so i don’t think.

but. despite the few things that running has going for it, i’m ready to throw myself in front of a soccer ball again. my hands are itching for my gloves.

train.

this is one of those posts where i ramble about my favorite something. so i’m not talking about those things on railroad tracks, or about what i have to do to get ready for our next meet in eight days; this is about my second favorite band.
one thing i love about my church is that instead of having the usual awkward greeting time where the pastor gives you a few minutes to go around and shake random people’s hands, my pastor at ignition gives us a fun question to answer with a few people around us. it usually ties in with the message somehow. this week he asked us if we had to be on a desert island for 25 years, and we could choose one band to listen to for that whole time, who would we choose?
at the time i said ingrid michaelson because i had a headache, and ingrid michaelson is tylenol in music form.
and while she would be a good choice, train would be a better life decision.
i discovered them my senior year on my pandora station dedicated to weezer. i remember at the time i was trying to find a band that leighanne hadn’t heard of. since i had never heard of them until Parachute popped up that day, i assumed they were super obscure, and i sent this to her wall:

and then she replied with this:

and that was when i realized that that hey soul sister song on all the commercials was by them…i was so clueless.
anyways. they are the perfect choice to listen to for 25 years straight. they’ve got catchy stuff, motivating stuff, i-know-exactly-how-you-feel-today stuff, slow stuff for falling asleep. almost every playlist on my ipod has at least one of their songs on it. so if i get tired of one song, i just switch to another of their sounds. (i.e, if Cab has been in my head for a week, i can put on Meet Virginia, Save the Day, etc etc for a while)
they have something for every day. so no matter what mood i was in or what style i felt like hearing, train would have the solution.

i know you don’t see me like a movie star, and it can’t help much that i don’t have no car
but you’re my favorite thing by far; that’s gotta count for something.
———-
i’m not in it to win it; i’m in it for you.
———-
will you remember me? cuz i won’t forget you.
———-
this ain’t goodbye, this is just where love goes when words aren’t warm enough to keep away the cold.
this ain’t goodbye, it’s not where our story ends, but i know you can’t be mine, not the way you’ve always been.
as long as we’ve got time, this ain’t goodbye.
———-
when i pull myself together again, i’m gonna give myself to you.
———-
i will run with all your changes and i’m always on your side
and there’s no word i’ve ever heard that’ll make me change my mind. 

the worst movie…the best memories.

disclaimer: i don’t still like the movie. i haven’t watched it in years until today. =p

while i was trying to get ahead on homework, i got the most random urge to watch twilight. i wondered why in the world that was. but i needed background noise anyways, so i put it on, and literally the second i started it(as in the very first second when the summit pictures logo comes up), i knew why.

yes, it’s one of the worst movies ever made. but it has some of my favorite memories attached to it.
in high school when we didn’t know any better, me and my best friends were ridiculously proud fans. one of us read the book over the summer, then it was like a domino effect and one after the other we all got each other into it and by august it was all we talked about. our whole lives were hanging on november 21st. we bought our tickets for the midnight show a month in advance. we watched every single trailer/commercial/interview that came out(and as soon as one of us found a new one, we’d call each other and watch it together over the phone). and yes, shameful confession, i did have a team edward shirt.
a year or two later, we laughed about it and asked each other what we were thinking. but at the time, we thought we were so cool.

so when i watch the movie now, i don’t really think about the fact that it’s some of the worst excuses for acting, that all the effects are cheesy and could have been done with my 10 year old brother’s camera. every other minute, i think of some fun moment with someone.

waiting in the theater for four hours, never bored for a minute of it. going in pairs to the bathroom and having everyone else sit across our seats so they wouldn’t get taken. being more excited for this dumb movie than i was the day i got my first camp letter, and not even making fun of ourselves for it.
sitting between shane and leighanne, frantically squeezing our hands or looking at each other when things happened(because we believed the scary usher who said that if we talked out loud we’d get kicked out).
sitting through allllll the credits, for some legit reason, but i forget what that was…(i do remember katie being slam exhausted and telling us about five times that she had to be up early the next day)
the ride home at 3 am, crammed into leighanne’s mom’s van, replaying the whole thing and screaming about all the things we’d wanted to tell each other during the movie.
waking up the next morning, and all of us calling each other and still talking about it.
going to see it again that sunday night, because melanie hadn’t been allowed to go on a school night.
two days before Christmas, when me and leighanne saw it twice in a row. (yes, we paid full price. twice.)
and every scene(which i somehow still remembered every word this time…), i could hear us all saying each line. and shane shushing us.

there are a few semi-embarrassing phases that i look back on, laugh at and want to forget about. but even though it probably should be, this one can’t fit on that list because of the people i shared it with.

i was a dork, but so were my friends. and we had the best times being dorks together.

my 48% N.

this is one of those “linda thinks out loud and posts it without caring whether anyone reads or cares about it” posts. (as usually, that disclaimer means that if you came looking for an inspirational thought about life, God, the universe and everything, you should go here, or here, or maybe here, or really anywhere else but here. but if you have a minute, you can read this too. =p )
so i’ve taken myers-briggs six times in my life. and i’m always an ESFP. (i ramble about that here)
i’m 52% S and 48% N, and as many times as i’ve taken the test, i always come out as an S but they’re always super close.
since they both describe me pretty equally, i never got the difference.
then this summer, we took a whole bunch of personality tests. we didn’t actually take the myers-briggs but we learned the specifics of each letter.
this is how deanna describes S vs N.
Sensing people are concrete. they see what’s right in front of them. they’re more focused on the here and now than the future.
iNtuiting people are abstract. they see possibilities. they think about the future.
i already knew all that. but both of those sound like me.
then deanna gave this example.
if you hand an S a rock, they’ll think “hmm, okay, a rock. cool?” they see what they take in with their senses.
if you hand an N a rock, they’ll see what the rock represents. they’ll think “oh dang. this could have been a piece of some great big mountain.” or “oh hey, i wonder how many kids have kicked this down the street?” etc etc. because they intuit things about things.
sidenote, i figured out why the test asks which you remember better, names or faces.
an S would remember a face. they see it…and that’s it.
an N would remember a name. because they make associations. so they’d see a face and remember what it meant.
anyways.
so i thought about that, and decided that i’m still an S, who likes to act like an N.
see, if i’m not trying or thinking about it, i just see concrete things at first. but i WANT to see the heart of things, and i like analyzing things and finding meaning in things. so i can be an N when i want to be.
but when someone says something that could be read into and taken personally and used to start a fight, i hear it for what they said and take it as that. without thinking.
or if i meet someone who used to be one way but is now another, i just see what they are now and don’t let what they used to be matter.
or if you ask for my opinion, i won’t think about what you want to hear or what you might mean aside from the exact words you said; i’ll answer exactly what i mean to exactly what it sounds like you asked.
because i’m an S. =]