Category Archives: reality

everytime you go away

I’m about to endeavor on a trip I never imagined (and frankly attempted to avoid in 2006): a cross-country road trip with my mother. It’s a long story – one I’ll save for a day when I’m not attempting a laundry list of events, including but not limited to:

– Bed Bath and Beyond
– Finishing cleaning my room
– Packing for a road trip with – need I remind you?
– Lunch with a friend
– Selling books back
– Bank trips

You know, the fun stuff in life, right?

I’m blaming twitter for this song now being (as apropos as it may) stuck in my head. Thanks DB.

paul young – every time you go away

all I care is that you reach for me

libby wants:

– debt to not exist
– friendships to be reinstated
– life to begin again around 2003
– to sleep w/o nightmares about homework not being completed
– a functioning car
– gas prices to drop
– a plan
– a summer job
– lots more laughter again
– to talk again

And you???

Last Time – Paper Route

one step forward, two steps back

Those of you who know me in Los Angeles know that one of the various hats I wear while in grad school is as a math tutor. Yes, I am a math tutor slash geek. So you may wonder a few things.

1) What was your undergrad degree in?
2) Have you always been really good at math?
3) Do you have any formal training in teaching? Or even training in math?

Thankfully, these answers are pretty easy for me.

1) Christian education, public relations and Spanish. Yes, I’ve got the humanities wrapped up in a little box. But that does not include a science there, eh? No.

2) Maybe. I mean, good? Sure. Excellent? Ha, I hope? There was that day that Lynette and I were called into the guidance counselor’s office our junior year to be told that Mr. Laska was wanting us both to take AP Calc instead of regular Calc? (I didn’t, it required two math courses, and I needed my elective for my 5th year of Spanish/3rd yr of French). I was a Geometry tutor for Mr. Laska while I took it in 10th grade, of course. That was my first official income aside from babysitting and the motivating factor for getting a bank account, actually. That good ol’ MAC card. So, yes, perhaps I am a bit of a math nerd.

A random sidenote: it was during tutoring Geometry in high school that I was told that I might actually be kinda cool if I would just get drunk with their friends. They literally said, “I bet we’d be your friend if you would get drunk with us. You’re not that weird after all.” AWESOME.

3) Um, deceiving as my degree may be, I have little formal training in public education, unless you count the worthless educational psychology class I had my senior year second semester. The class I loved. Yeah. As for training in math? Silence speaks, right?

So my job tutoring is that I hang out with a bunch of students (a lot of girls) and convince them that math isn’t the worst thing in the world. In fact, one of my students now is telling me “math is great.” Granted, I have somewhat forced her into saying this as a way to make her laugh back when finals occured first semester and she’d given up. I told her I didn’t care if she didn’t learn a single math fact, as long as by the end of the year she could tell me that math was “great”! Two weeks ago her mom said to me, “you know, she actually is starting to like math? How’d you do that?” And did I mention she’s also learning exponentially? Education shouldn’t be scary.

Where did this math love come from, you ask? Yeah, great question. I think it may have started from my favorite PBS show as a preschooler.  Square One anyone? I tell you, when I was 4 years old I learned this song and I have NEVER forgotten the lyrics.

Nine Nine Nine
Fantastic number 9
It’s perfectly consistent
It works out every time
Nine Nine Nine
That crazy number 9
Times any number you can find
it all comes back to Nine

2 x 9 is 18
8 and 1 is nine
3 x 9 is 27
7 and 2 is nine

I just noticed on one of the websites that Square One’s target audience was 8-12 year olds. Funny. I was 4 when I was addicted. So yeah, maybe I am a wee bit of a math nerd. But creating more math nerds in the world? Removing fear of math? Yeah, that works for me.

still have nothing to show

While all-nighters should not be the norm (and havent for a while, really), I love those really quite nights when you feel like you’ve accomplished something – finally. The quiet nights when I can listen to music, explore old blogs, and remind myself of why I am here doing homework on Acts at 3 A.M.

Somehow I plopped myself in front of the little diddy I wrote 8 months ago about me.

This time is never easy for me. I try to keep it all tightly wound – I ignore the truths of my heart, the pain gutted deep in my eyes. But for many, February is happy, lovey, cold, refreshing. For me? It is sad, dark, tainted. I have fond memories of specific events, for sure.

But, ultimately – it reminds me of my story. It reminds me of the dark parts of my story – I neglect the redemption for the week leading to it. I wish I had someone to share it with some days – I said it. Yup.

Oh well. I don’t. I’m here. On the couch, at 3 A.M. with a fan blowing to dry the carpet and the heat on for the first time in 3 years. It’s a mess. It’s a ironic mess – and yet, what really isn’t?

give it away – kate york

you know, it’s too much

I’m not one to admit defeat, quite – hmm – graciously, dare I say?

Competitive? Check.
Insecure? Double-check.
Optimistic? Wished for.
Realist? Obvious.
Loser? NEVER. (ok, maybe a bit)

I’ve had a lot of time to internally (and not always cognitively) process Fuller, life, my time with friends and family. And to be perfectly honest, while I certainly do not hate myself, I’m not quite happy. Maybe it’s because as a prototypical first-born child, I have to be right, best, and above the rest. I have always known how deeply dangerous my own expectations for others have been.  I ignore the pressure it in turn places on me. These expectations quickly play into my fear of depth in and loss of friendship, and loss of relationship with men. If I can be disappointed in you, you can’t hurt me – and thus, the wall of self-deprecating dirt has mounted, beauty certainly not comparable to the Sistine Chapel. 

When I left my church job in Indiana, I was told that one of my clear gifts was relational – I have watched that gift used in such positive and negative ways in my life since then that I dare not respond without an important dose of wisdom soon. Careful, but not too cautious. Safe, but not willing to push towards risk. 

And in the midst of this bizarre experience of self-actualization that I’m still actualizing as I even write, I feel like a different person. Scratch that. I feel like a better person.  I just have this general sense of something different lately. I feel more attuned to myself. More willing to fail. More willing to say no. Making a mistake sounds like breath of awkwardly beautiful fresh air. More willing to feel like someone could love me-really love me. I am a bit more quiet. I am more focused in my classes. I’m more secure in trusting in my future, despite the doubts as to how I could screw it up.

I guess that’s where a lot of this actualization stems. I’ve learned over time the ways in which I can mess things up, so the methodical dance of saving face has morphed into a march. To say I’ve stopped, righted the ship and have drawn a new course neglects the path itself; I have trusted the course ahead of  me, but am walking on a bit more dry cement in the last few weeks. 

Perhaps it was the good luck my friend on the plane wished me in Terminal 7 New Year’s Eve – maybe it was the large amounts of silence I endured during the Plague of ’08. Whatever brought this push forward, however, it has happened, and for whatever reasons , I’m thrilled to know that it’s joined me.

Yes, I wish certain relationships were different – I wish I hadn’t hurt friends as I deeply fear I have recently. (I’m sorry.) I wish I hadn’t hurt myself so much in the last year. (I’m sorry.)  But these wishes – I guess I’m not blaming myself for them anymore for the had nots, did nots, or could nots. I’ve recognized that past, well, it is, and I need to go forward.  I wish I could play a few 1000 mulligans from the last year or two, but let’s be honest, no matter how good or bad, I’ll always look back on the year behind with a keen eye on how things are no longer the same – I did when I was in 2nd grade, and the last 20 years  have been no different. 

What is all this rambling saying? Well, I think I’m saying that I’m a new sort of adventure this year – I’m looking forward to the ride, adventures, struggles, hurts, joys, celebrations. I look forward to the chance to apologize, to deepen friendships, to develop new friendships, and to figure out how to love myself again. I’m excited for where some of this processing may take me – and how I may choose to share it. And I’m excited to be okay with losing. But let’s be honest, how often is that going to happen! 😉 I kid, I kid.

too much – sam and ruby

caught in a shadow of myself

I have ignored/stiffled any existant creative juices in the past few months. There’s been a change in my life – arduous, painful, lonely, confusing, exciting, and did I mention lonely? I’d rather not go to into all the details in such a public forum, but I think it’s time I stop hiding from the outside world. It’s nothing major – just transitioning through this seminary/discernment/growing up thing. Regardless, I’ve hidden from music, even, in these last few weeks/months – minus the status update, tweet, or gchat status change – it’s partly why it’s hard to write blogs when you’re not listening to music.

But a welcomed re-entry includes sprucing up this place. I finally updated the what I’m listening to section, but thought I’d share with you what I actually wrote – they call it a “mix” – cool, eh?

A Thankful Mix – November 2008:
Come Love, See My Hands – Brooke Waggoner
And You Give – Matthew Barber
Grey Room – Damien Rice
A Clouded View – Ola Podrida
Chase You – Katie Herzig
The Way I Was Made – Griffin House
How Come – Ray LaMontagne
All I Need Is Everything – Over the Rhine
Stay Humble – Tyler James
The Water – Trent Dabbs
You Were Right – Hayward Williams
Funeral Dress – William Fitzsimmons
Latter Days – Over the Rhine 

Yes, I broke my rule – I put two songs from one artist. But come on – it’s Over the Freaking Rhine. 

oh death, where is thy sting?

death has always rung awkwardly in my mind. from an early age, I was acquainted with the unknown nature of life. I learned quickly that someone can come and go from your life rather rapidly. I was in 5th grade when the first major death in my life happened. Ironically, it was my first crush. I met him in a support group I’d started for children with siblings with cancer. (yeah, that’s another story for another time). I had known Mike for 2 years and his cancer crept back, he had a stroke and was dead within 3 weeks. I actually was able to go visit him at Children’s hospital with my mom, but the nurses wouldn’t let me visit him b/c they thought it would be too difficult to see. Four days later he was dead.

But I think after about 6 deaths in 7 more years, the sting was gone. I was unmoved by it.

And here I am, still somewhat cold to the notion of death. It makes me wonder why. Why? WHY? It’s not easy. it’s not fair, nor is it pleasant. How am i supposed to be pastoral when death doesn’t bring me to tears or rock me to my core. Even when my uncle died recently, I wasn’t rather emotionally affected. I mean, it was bad. I felt something for my aunt and cousins, but I had relatively no grieving to process. I felt like I needed to make it up to some extent. It makes me wonder if I’m a fake, cold-hearted individual. Hmmm…