Category Archives: transition

tonight’s gonna be a good night

Since I moved to LA 3 years ago this Monday – (WHOA!) – I’ve taken quite a few cross country trips. I love to travel, by plane or by car. My ideal weekend involves 8 hours in a car, minimum. I have no problem driving as long as I possibly can, sometimes to the demise of my friends’ patience. College friends should have memories of my taking the long way home from Ocean City b/c I hated the PA turnpike so much (what a miserable road).

Despite the love for driving, to get home requires more flying than driving, which has of course increased my frequent flier miles exponentially. Flights from LA to Boston, Pittsburgh, Erie, St. Paul, Phoenix and Indianapolis are all in my repertoire. I love meeting a new airport, to the chagrin of bank account.

But I’m in an awkward position with my frequent flier miles. For one, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll live on the West Coast. Some days I think I could do this for the rest of my life. Other days I can’t imagine another year. It depends so much on professional decisions I have yet to determine (let’s NOT get into that, m’kay?).

The problem? I’m a bit more than 1,000 miles away from hitting a free flight with one airline, and one roundtrip ticket away from the same with another. But in order to get home for the holidays, I won’t have enough of those miles – I grew up in one of those towns that getting a free ticket into is the biggest joke ever. When your home airport has 6 gates, you know you’re selections for travel are minimal at best.

So friends, should I just sit on the miles? Buy the 2000 to get me over the limit and have a $10 flight to visit friends? Hold the miles and take advantage of the benefits of traveling with those miles accrued (free checked luggage, early boarding, etc). Or just keep adding up miles and whenever (if ever) I move, be able to travel back to LA cheaply?

You be the judge. (Funny, I think I just made my decision. But tell me please your thoughts!)

good little girls deserve their own place in the same world

I have love/hate relationship with decisions. I love to make them, but I hate negatively affecting others in my decisions. It’s why I hate picking a restaurant to go to for meals, movies to go to, etc. I’ll suffer for your happiness – some sadistic mantra I toot. It’s really ridiculous.

I guess this whole decision process as of late is what blows my mind – I made a decision for me, and yet I feel guilt, not necessarily for me – but for the others I fear I’ve hurt. Maybe better, I fear that others think I led them on. Ironically, I feel led on. As it turns out, I find myself worrying a lot in the last few days that my stubbornness could negatively affect my decision – I hate going back on my word. When I finally make a decision – it’s not going to change, regardless of how I feel about my decision after the fact. Not a good plan, probably, but it’s currently my modus operandi.

So here I sit, frozen in the fear that I just singlehandedly destroyed my future, yet trusting that God is at work in future, and ultimately, unsure of how I’m supposed to think or feel about the last week of my life. I know that God can and will redeem whatever stupid thing I may have done. And to be honest, I just want out of all ecclesial drama I currently have been presented. I sarcastically respond some days the ease with which I could find a job in my other degree and move on with my life without these vocational and ecclesiological questions of call. It sounds so much easier to just walk away and give up – to not obey – to ignore – to hide – to run. And yet, I know that is not an option. And what a dificult option it would still be.

So instead I’m sitting late at night, not wanting to work on papers and to start January all over again. I am tired – exhausted, really – and ready to just demand a lot of things from God at the moment. Hell, not just ready – I am demanding. I wonder when/if/how I’ll hear those next answers. I just want God to make a decision and inform me – how self-righteous, no?

honest man – cabin

when no one seems to change

I’ve learned that it’s never a good sign when I exhibit any one of the following habits:

1) ignore the bank account simply because I don’t have the time to stop and check on it and then frantically worry at random moments

2) ignore faculty on campus because I’m embarrased with a grade, a paper, or any other thing I could simply do stupidly (which obviously runs the full gamut)

3) stop listening to music because it stresses you out that there are so many different things you could listen to/forget you even have a music list

4) carry books around for days/weeks on end with the very intention to read, but don’t even realize they’re all in there

5) lose random things like a) cell phone, b) laptop adapter, c) keys, d) brain and e) tweezers

6) ignore google reader and your favorite blogs for more than 1 day

7) ignore the idea of writing for more than 1 day

8) not worry about returning phone calls because you don’t even have the time to listen to the voicemails

9) sleep on the couch every night for two weeks because every time you sit down when you return from work and are exhausted but overwhelmed by work, you fall asleep

10) forget to grocery shop for 2 weeks because – well, at least the refectory food serves quickly

11) neglect to answer the important e-mails for a while because its easier to ignore than it is to deal with messes

12) prefer to let hair go curly to straight simply because it takes less time in the A.M. (slash I don’t care)

My friends… welcome to my life. But don’t worry, I took care of parts of 11, 10, 9, 6, 3 and 1 in the last 10 minutes of writing this update! ūüôā

afterglow – 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 РI 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! ūüėČ I kid, I kid.

too much – sam and ruby

I think I’ll be okay

When Karen Bergquist mentoned how hard 2008 had been for her and Linford last night at the Troubadour, it not only humanized them more, but reassured me that I wasn’t alone. I recall the end of 2007 and the thoughts that while it had been a full year ending with tension, it was, in fact a good. I had high hopes for the year to come, and have been repeatedly disappointed. Certainly I cannot deny the myriad of good that has filled the year: the laughter, the friendships, the challenges, the academic successes, the professional security I’m truly beginning to sense.¬†

But this year has not been easy. It started hard and has only maintained in such a manner that I am not ready to welcome 2009.  I have been afraid finals were leapfrog me forward towards further pain, hurt, sadness, remorse, loss for the next calendar change. I fear there would be only more fears of academia and what it means. More days of wondering where love was for me, while my friends one by one paired off. Questioning when the stress of leading peers would force an imminent personal collapse.

I woke up from a 2 hour nap last Friday morning assuming that I would be ripped to shreds. Embarrassed. Disappointed. Overstressed. It would be another day of lamenting what could be, not what is.¬†And the reality? I couldn’t have been more wrong.¬†I was humbled and blessed repeatedly. E-mails, conversations, meetings. Each of them affirmed me and my gifts – even when I was giddy goofy tired, unable to complete sentences by mid-day, I knew, deep down that good was coming into my life again.

I had a sense of a dynamic shift my world and community in the last 4-7 months, and all ounces of intuition in my fingers, heart and mind have not been disappointed. Wrestling with the next, even when the next is no where in true sight, I can see God at work and am truly humbled and awed.  

Regardless of good days or bad days ahead, I’m hoping that I can even more intentionally cling to the hope that these latter days, however much of a toll they’ve taken, are reminders that life ebbs and flows. I have to hope for this.

Latter Days – Over the Rhine

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 РDamien Rice
A Clouded View¬†–¬†Ola Podrida
Chase You¬†–¬†Katie Herzig
The Way I Was Made¬†–¬†Griffin House
How Come РRay LaMontagne
All I Need Is Everything РOver the Rhine
Stay Humble¬†–¬†Tyler James
The Water¬†–¬†Trent Dabbs
You Were Right РHayward Williams
Funeral Dress РWilliam Fitzsimmons
Latter Days РOver the Rhine 

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

soon everything will be magic

I’m in one of those funky places again in my head. I suppose there could be any number of reasons. It seems like I’m gripping about nonsense, but devaluing where I’m at does no one any good.

This overwhelming sense that there’s just no one present with me in life nearly incapacitates me at the most random of moments. Every day when I get home from being around people (read: work, class, tutoring, work, class, tutoring, meeting, work, meeting, meeting), I find there to be no one. I eventually end up at a neighbor’s door, just to see a human. I have no topics of conversation, no visibly erred emotions. But arrive I do. We talk school/work (read: the drama of working with your peers). I come home, get online, and hope that there’s again, someone to talk to me.

Quite honestly (and obviously) I can talk to a wall and not “feel” alone. To days ago I spoke maybe 45 words in total – 25 in the laundry-room with different neighbors. I said hi to my roommate and her boyfriend and exited back to my room rather expeditiously. No phone calls. No text messages. A few instant messages – from work, of course.

I have friends in the area: friends who have their own problems, transitions, hurts, joys. But I can’t even bring myself to asking to be back in their lives. I fear that I’m too busy on the outside (and inside) to be asked what’s going on, what I want to do, etc. I guess I’m really being a bit irrational – but I feel so damn alone its not even funny right now. I feel sad or guilty for wanting attention or wanting these dear people in my life to forget their woes. And its not to say that i want them to forget, I just am feeling bratty enough to ask for attention for mine.

So this time has been a not-so-subtle reminder that care and love for others cannot happen without a little dash of self-care. I guess the dilemma with this is wondering how that comes together. I guess I just want magic to form… soon….please.

signal laura jansen