just a thought.

hide, hurt, or help.

this is one of my favorite postsecret cards that i’ve ever read.

every single person in the world has been hurt. most of them are probably still hurting.

the reason we can’t always tell is because everyone reacts to it differently.
of every possible way i could think of, i found that each falls into one of three boxes.

some people hide.
these are the ones who never want to get hurt again, and the only way to do that is to never ever let anyone in again.
…with walls around our weakness, and smiles that hide our pain.
 
we hide because we are afraid. we have been wounded, and wounded deeply…to hide means to remain safe, to hurt less.stasi eldredge

others hurt.
i don’t mean just sitting and wallowing in the hurt that they feel. i mean inflicting some kind of hurt on other people, or possibly themselves. seeing something else hurt, even if it isn’t in the same way that they’ve been hurt, temporarily makes their own hurt okay to them.
kids who’ve been beaten push other kids on the playground.
middle school girls who’ve had nothing but terrible things said to them at home will say terrible things to other girls.
dancers who are told every day by their teachers that they’re fat will start telling themselves they’re fat and trying to fix it by starving themselves.
teenagers who constantly hear that they deserve to be punished will start cutting themselves.
it’s not always that purposeful though. some people don’t even realize what they’re doing or that it’s hurting anyone. people who grew up never seeing compassion in their families seem insensitive to everyone else’s feelings because they were never taught to care. kids who only hear negative talk at home never say anything nice to other kids because they don’t know how to notice anything in people besides faults. i’m sarcastic and blunt when i talk about serious things because i was indirectly taught to never show when things bother me.*
whether it’s purposeful or just out of an invisible habit, it doesn’t fix things in the end.
you spend your time trying to even the score, and you’ve got it in your head that you deserve a lot more.

but some help.
they take their hurt and use it to push them to help other hurting people. they pass on the hope they’ve found and the grace they’ve been shown. they call back into the dark tunnel they’ve escaped from to save the people who are still stuck in it.
this is where i say i’ve had enough, and no one should ever feel the way that i feel now.

in most cases, no one stays in one category forever.
there’s a lot of ways you might do a combination of all three throughout your life. a few of endless possible examples:
1. hide-get sick of hiding and start protecting yourself by hurting people instead-realize how much it hurts to see people hurt like you-start helping people instead.
2. hurt as many people as you can-realize this isn’t fixing anything and start hiding so you don’t have to deal with it all-get sick of hiding but know that hurting isn’t the answer-start helping.
3. try to help everyone-fail at it because you’re still hurting too much to know how to help-hide because you don’t know what else to do-with time after you’ve been helped, become able to actually help other people.

the list could go on, but i don’t feel like thinking of more, and you probably get the gist and don’t feel like reading more. if you think of some of your own, tell me!

in order to get out of either negative stage(hiding or hurting), and into the positive stage(helping), something needs to happen first. lucky for me and my semi-obnoxious alliteration, it also happens to start with an H:

you have to heal.

you can’t come out of hiding if you have no idea what to do out in the open.
you can’t stop hurting people if you don’t know what else to do with your hurt.
and even in scenario 3, where the first thing the hurt person does is try to help people, no good will come of anything until you’ve started to get your own wound stitched up.
i know you’ll help us when you’re feeling better, and we realize that it might not be for a long, long time…

so, if you’ve made it this far, or if you’ve scrolled to the bottom because you don’t have time to read all my thoughts, here’s a more easily processable,** thoughts-for-the-road version of everything i just said.

everyone’s been hurt.
everyone deals with it differently.
everyone needs grace.
everyone can heal.
everyone can help.

i’m ready to suffer and i’m ready to hope.

*serious things meaning cancer, anorexia, etc. for the longest time, i wasn’t even aware that i did that, much less that there was anything wrong with it; it’s just the coping mechanism i’ve used all my life. something in my head believes that if i act like it’s not as bad as it is, eventually it won’t feel that way to me anymore. thankfully someone loved me enough a few years ago to explain to me that it wasn’t a good thing and i needed to stop; i haven’t yet broken the habit, but i do notice when i do it and jump to apologize and explain myself at a mile a minute as soon as i realize.
**WHOA that’s a real word! who knew?

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the truest test of friendship.

there are a million and one ways that people say you can know who your best friend is.

the person who’s willing to do the most for you.
the person who knows you the best.
the person who lets you be yourself the most.
the person you can trust the most.

all those are good and well. but my question is, how long do each of those go on describing the same person?
which brings us to what i’ve landed on as the ultimate friendship test: time.

not to say that the person who’s been your friend the longest is automatically defined as your best friend.
but someone who fits those above criteria may not always fit them.
they might one day be jumping to listen to your problems at 2 am, then a year later not care anymore.
they might one day know all your stories, then slowly pay less and less attention, and a year or two later not even know what your major is.
they might love you for who you are at one point, but as you grow and change, decide they only want the you they first met, not the person you’ve become.
and they may at one point respect every personal thing you’ve ever told them, then six months later start sharing those things with other people “for your own good.”

my best friend has passed every one of those tests, month after month, year after year.

we were talking tonight about how scary it is that we’re so grown up now. yesterday(practically) we were all worried about never having boyfriends and never making it into college, today she’s engaged and we’re both about to graduate.
i thought about who we both were when we met, who we’ve been over the years, and who we are today.
growing up doesn’t always mean growing apart.
leighanne was all of the above things when i was this…

…and still is now that we’re this.

(LA did you ever realize how often we take pictures at night in cars?)

and she’d tell you the same about me.

over the past six years, so much has changed about both of us. and our friendship isn’t the same either(we can’t see each other every weekend and facebook chat for two hours every night), but we don’t mind; it’s only gotten better with time.

and the most important things, while they’ll change in how they look, will never change in their simplest, deepest down roots.

i will always be able to be whoever i am, and she’ll love me just the same.
i’ll always be able to trust her, not just to take my secrets to the grave, but to help me deal with them so she won’t have to.
we kind of suck at keeping in touch day to day…but she still knows me best.

and i’ll always do the same for her.

we never have all the answers for each other. but we sit in the mess together until we figure out how to get it cleaned up, and that’s more help than anyone else would ever be able to give us.

anytime i wonder whether we’ll someday outgrow each other, God steps in and shows me one more reason why he won’t let that happen. we are best friend soulmates, made to be partners in crime til the day we die…or until we get so old we forget each other. =]

just a thought.

not better; just different.

today is oscar sunday.

instead of spending my afternoon arguing my predictions with strangers online, i took a nap while watching camp rock, then visited my old-but-still-loved youth group.

and instead of watching the awards, i read a whole book for school two weeks before it’s due, and now i’m about to watch last week’s premier of worst cooks in america.

the first two months of every year of my life since tenth grade have revolved around awards season. i blew off going to the movies with my friends so i could watch the golden globes. freshman, sophomore and junior year, i skipped class to watch the nominations announcements.

i don’t think i was wrong before, or that now i’m right. i’m just surprised at how what was important to me changed without me even realizing it. i used to love movies and tv; now i love writing and missions and sports. i don’t hate movies now, i don’t look back on all the hours i used to spend predicting the oscar winners and wish i could take them back, and i’m not bothered that i’d rather run five miles than read roger ebert’s opinion on the best picture nominees from the past ten years.

the only weird thing is that none of this is weird to me.

i think i’m getting better at changing. if you’d told me at 17 that someday i’d be 21 and not care about my formerly precious oscar night, i would have flipped out and told you that if that was true, then i was going to hate my life in four years.
but no. i was happy then, and i’m happy now. it’s just that different things make me happy today.

this is one of those posts where i’m not sure how to end it…so i’ll let you laugh at this poor little bulldog instead.

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an addiction any doctor would be proud of.

i am addicted to water the way some people are to cigarettes.
i carry my nalgene like a security blanket.
i drink two or three of those a day(which is over half a gallon), and the more stressed out i am, the more i drink.
i get really anxious when i don’t have any within reach.
i don’t like talking to people without a glass of it on the table, or if we’re someplace walking, i want a bottle of it in my hand.
i don’t even need to always be drinking it, i just have to have it available.
i doubt if this will get me on an episode of My Strange Addiction…but i still don’t think this is normal.
not bad though; my vice is healthier than any other possible one. =]

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

just a thought.

what are we hiding from?

like Eve after she tasted the forbidden fruit, we women hide. we hide behind our makeup. we hide behind our humor. we hide with angry silences and punishing withdrawals. we hide our truest selves and offer only what we believe is wanted, what is safe. we act in self-protective ways and refuse to offer what we truly see, believe and know. we will not risk rejection or looking like a fool. we have spoken in the past and been met with blank stares and mocking guffaws. we will not do it again. we hide because we are afraid. we have been wounded, and wounded deeply. people have sinned against us and we have sinned as well. to hide means to remain safe, to hurt less. at least that is what we think. and so by hiding, we take matters into our own hands. we don’t return to our God with our broken and desperate hearts. and it has never occurred to us that in all our hiding, something precious is also lost–something the world needs from us so very, very much.stasi eldredge, captivating, page 56(hey look jenna!). with my emphasis added.

just a thought.

ideas born out of insomnia.

i’m working on making my stuff easier to follow. whether you have only two minutes to read this or you just tend to lose track of my rambles, you can look at the bold print, the big letters, or the blue sections for the meat. the rest is important too, but not absolutely necessary for understanding the gist. tell me what you think! is it still too much? is there a better way for me to make my thoughts more readable for less-ADD-than-me people?

every now and then, i go crazy and can’t sleep.

it’s called paradoxical insomnia.

the doctor would charge me a lot to officially tell me this, but during my bouts of not sleeping, i’ve done enough studying to figure it out on my own.

even as a kid i couldn’t sleep. i’m pretty sure this is why i’m so short and so weird; my body didn’t have enough time to grow, and my brain was in such a hurry to grow itself up in the little time i spent asleep that it crossed some of its wires wrong.

but seriously though. my sleep patterns make sense now. a weird sense, but sense nonetheless.

for a few straight days out of every month or so, i either
A-sleep for only 2 or 3 hours. it’s not that i suddenly need very little sleep; it’s that i either can’t fall asleep until 5 then have to get up at 7, or i fall asleep at a decent hour then wake up too soon and can’t go back to sleep. and despite being physically and emotionally miserable the rest of the day, i suddenly feel productive around “bedtime” and can’t let myself go to sleep for fear of wasting time, so the cycle continues.
2-keep a weird sleep routine while still being fully rested and functioning normally during the day, like going to bed at 4 in the afternoon when i get out of class, then getting up at 1 or 2 in the morning.
or
C-don’t sleep at all. sometimes this is because i have a nightmare one night, and for the next couple days am so terrified to sleep that i don’t even try to, but usually it’s because i just don’t feel like i need it.
when i’m at home, my mom will come downstairs and find me eating cereal in front of the tv.
she’ll say “why are you up so early?”
and i’ll say “because i’m still awake.”
this always freaks her out, so that night when it gets to be around 9, she’ll start suggesting i go to bed, and i’ll say i’m not tired.
next morning, the same thing happens.
mom: “did you ever sleep?”
me: “i took a nap at 3 am.”
mom: “and when did you wake up?”
me: “4.”

the most common symptom of any of these cases is feeling a desperate need to do something. the idea of sleeping puts me in a panic. “NO. there’s no time, i HAVE to finish this entire online course first and THEN i’ll go to sleep.” the other side of my brain says “dummy, it’s september…can’t that project that’s due at the end of the semester wait 8 hours while i rest?” but usually i listen to the side telling me that if i go to sleep i’ll miss something.

but you know the good thing in all this?
when i can’t sleep, i take all my racing thoughts and make things like this happen.
or there’s one idea, so big it hurts to hold inside me, and this comes of it.
some of my best work was written, or at least thought of, at 4 am when i’ve been awake for 28 hours.

right now though, i’m not feeling especially blessed by this deal…i haven’t written anything great tonight, and i have to be up in 2 hours and 37 minutes. so i’m gonna go curl up on my floor and let Friends season 4 play me to sleep for what little time i have.

oh wait. i am tired aren’t i? i just wrote this an hour ago. totally forgot. so there is an “at least” to remind myself of when i wake up tired in the morning. =p

just a thought.

Never hearing>never seeing.

If you had to lose one of your senses, which would it be?

Good question…but too hard for concrete, extroverted people like me. I live outside my head. If even one of my senses was out, I’d go literally insane from not feeling like anything was real.

But, for an assignment tomorrow, I had to come up with an answer. So I thought about it.

Touch has to stay. I’ve rambled in countless posts about love languages(mainly here), and touch is my off-the-charts number one.

Taste, I need. I know you’re supposed to eat when you’re hungry…but I just eat when I see something good and want it. So if I couldn’t taste anything I’d starve to death pretty quick.

If I’m keeping taste, I have to be able to smell. Have you ever tried to eat a potato, or anything more bland than a ghost pepper, when you’ve had a bad cold? Then you know exactly what I mean.

So I’m left with either sight or hearing.
Translation: a silent world or a dark world.
And when I thought of it like that, it was easy.

I like to hear, but I need to see.

My eyes are how I learn. I can’t focus if I have nothing to look at. Even today, if someone’s reading something out loud to me, I have to be sitting next to them reading along, or else I’ll forget every word within minutes. No matter how slowly and clearly my soccer coach explains something, I’ll never really get it until I step out of the goal and watch him do it. And even my favorite teacher, who I honestly could listen to all day, can only keep my attention for so long without writing on the board or pulling up a Powerpoint.

Besides being a visual learner, I just like to see things. Some people love to be told stories, but I love to see pictures. Or better yet, go places. When we were in Costa Rica, I never got tired of looking around. Even if I saw the same mountain every day for ten days, it wouldn’t get old. A little tip for peacefully living with me: if you ever get tired of hearing me talk, point out something cool to look at, and I’ll be quiet for the next ten minutes or longer.

There are plenty of things I’d miss if I ever went deaf, and obviously I hope I never do…but in this hypothetical forced choice situation, it’s easily the better one to go for me. I’d lose so much more without my eyes than I would without my ears.

It’s ok if I can’t hear you laughing as long as I can see you smiling.

I don’t need to hear your words, but I could never go on living if I couldn’t read them.

As sad as it would be to never hear music again, I always pay more attention to the words than the sound anyways; I can read the lyrics and appreciate it almost as much.

Most of my pet peeves have to do with sounds. Snoring. Over-enunciating the letter T. Loud breathing. Doors slamming. The Twilight Zone theme. Microphones squealing. Writing on chalkboards. Etc, etc…it’s easier to close my eyes to something I don’t want to see than it is to drown out something I don’t want to hear.

I’d so much rather see someone and not know what they’re saying, then hear someone and not see where they are.

I can sleep through someone cutting on a light, but you will wake me up if you come in making noise.

Most obvious loss: writing. That would be like cutting off my oxygen. I need to write like other people need to sleep.

And the biggest thing I realized about myself as I thought about all this:

I hear with my ears, but I listen with my eyes.

When I replay conversations in my head, I don’t always remember everything that was said, but I remember what the person looked like as they talked. I don’t pay as much attention to the tone in their voice as I do to the feeling in their eyes.

There are so many more things that I need sight for and would never want to live without:
Sunrises.
Playing sports.
Watching baseball.
Fireworks on the 4th of July.
The looks on my campers’ faces when they try something new, when our whole cabin is tired and laughing at everything, when I give them all hugs at bedtime, when they make an important decision on Thursday night…
and so many things that I tend to see that no one else notices.

Bottom line: if I go deaf, at least I can write about it or run to cheer myself up. If I go blind, I’m hiring someone to hold my hand and narrate life for me 24/7.

The fun thing about this question is that no one will give the same answer for the same reason. So your turn. Would you rather lose your sight, or your hearing? Why? What would be the hardest thing that you would lose with either? What would you not mind missing that you would lose with either?

rambles on ciu sports

happy kinds of pain.

battle wounds that make me happy:

-finding a bruise exactly between my ankle and the center of the top of my foot because i’ve been doing my punts perfectly.

-finding bruises on my shoulder, side and hip because i’ve been diving right.

-breaking my finger because i smacked the ball out of the goal with one hand.

-getting a concussion because i headed the ball away with my face.

battle wounds that make me mad:

-breaking my thumb by smashing it into the ground while crawling after a ball that proceeds to roll right past me.

-pulling my shoulder by reaching too far for a ball that chips over my head.

-getting a concussion from someone stepping on my head as they make a shot.

but, bright side up either way? i get all of them by having fun, and they all make great stories. =)

stories about nothing and everything

to the left…

most of my stories about nothing are really about a lot of different things. this one is really about absolutely nothing, or more like one absolutely meaningless thing. =]

i write with my right hand.
i always step on my right foot first when i walk.
i throw things with my right hand.
i bowl with my right hand.
i hear best out of my right ear.
i dive best to the right.
i’m right-brained.

but…
i eat with my left hand.
i roll a soccer ball with my left hand.
i kick a ball with my left foot[read: look less disabled kicking with my left foot than with my right].
i surf left-footed.
i see better out of my left eye.
i’m a left turner. [read: when i used to dance, i did all of my turns best to the left]
i balance best on my left foot.
i pick things up with my left hand.

i’m just a starburst of contradictions. but i like it that way. =]

stories about life and God

it’s working!

so, i haven’t gotten much sleep the past two nights…but before you say i told you so, it’s not because the floor hurts too much. i’m just scared of the dark and slept on top bunks my entire life, so sleeping down where i can see so much of the room really sucks. just like at camp when i first move into the cabin leader room, i’ll get used to it and be fine in a few days.

well i was telling myself that thursday morning right after i woke up exhausted…then over the next few hours, the tiny cold i’d felt coming on the day before grew into one of those awful colds where your head is so stuffed up it feels like it weighs ten hundred pounds, and all you want to do is lay down. on a pillow.

all that to say, satan is really trying to get me to throw a pity party and give up.

not happening. instead, the slight misery is making me thankful.

for half a second last night i thought “okay, this is stupid. i’m sick, i should get in my bed just for tonight and then tomorrow i’ll start again. i’m not doing this to hurt myself, right?”

but then i thought, homeless people get sick too, and they don’t have the option of taking a night off from staying under a bridge.*

so i laid there and prayed myself to sleep asking God to especially be with anyone out there who’s not only sleeping on the ground in the cold but also sick. and i woke up this morning still sick, still sore and still tired, yet so happy and full.

2 nights down, 38 to go. it’s flying by already, isn’t it? =]

*i did finally end up putting a balled up blanket under my head like an almost-pillow…but i figured, that isn’t cheating because if i lived on the street and needed my sinuses to unclog themselves, i’d lay on a hill or find extra newspapers to put under my head or something.