2018

I used to be good at this.  At writing.  At collecting my thoughts and putting them somewhere.  And I feel like I don’t even have thoughts anymore.  I keep trying to be the person I used to be, but maybe it’s time to realize that I’m not.

I never became the person that I thought I would be.  But maybe I like the person that I am even better.  Even though I’m secluded.  Even though I never go to church because I haven’t found one that I belong at.  Even though I sometimes drink too much.  Even though I don’t write enough and I almost never touch my guitar.  I like cuddling my dog.  I like eating dinner with my boyfriend.  I like adventures, and most of my bad decisions aren’t bad at all.

I know that I’m probably always going to wish I had done life differently.  So maybe 2018 is going to be a year of acceptance.  Accepting that I am who I am because of the choices I made.  I am who I am because of who I love and who loves me.  I am who I am because I was created this way.

I’m going to try to take more time for myself this year.  I’m going to try to work on things when they’re still stirring.  I’m going to try going back to school and getting my masters in something that I actually care about, and maybe giving myself a new focus.

I’ll try not to disappear as much or for as long.

But I’m going to stop trying so hard.  I want to be more than content.  I want to be more than happy.

So here’s to 2018 I guess.

I hope my neighbors aren’t as loud this year.

Breath

It comes rushing in
Like a rushing wind
Like a deep inhale
Filling these lungs
That once gasped for breath

It’s a joy that overtakes
A love that overcomes
A grace that breaks free
A faith holding steadfastly
A mercy that bends rules without breaking them

This freedom rings
A sound resounding
Heard miles off
It cannot be hidden
But why would we want to hide it in the first place?

Hearts are healed
Sickness is destroyed
Promises fulfilled
Forgiveness freely given
The price has already been paid

A life laid down
So simply put
Perfection lived out
Stains removed
Poured into wounds unimaginable

We can focus on the pain
Or we can focus on the gift
Neither is more real
Neither can be returned
But we can be clothed in acceptance

So why not be thankful?
Why not find joy?
What have we got to lose?
It is finished
It has already been done

In the end, nothing else matters
But you never ceased to matter
Every step
Every breath
They’re all worth taking

Arms are open wide
Pulling you in
You can resist
Or let go
Because he’s not letting go of you

He breathes life
Into you
Patiently he’s waited
And patiently he’ll wait
For you to inhale

He’ll come rushing in
Like a rushing wind
With a deep inhale
Filling your lungs
That once gasped for breath

Be Kind to Each Other

I work at Starbucks.  No, I’m not an advocate for Starbucks and I don’t worship the siren, but I do think it’s the best company I’ve ever worked for.  They care about their employees and they care about their customers.  But they’re also a fairly liberal company, just like I’m a fairly liberal person.  And you know who likes to give Starbucks shit for no reason other than to have something to complain about or to have something be the enemy?  Overly conservative people.  And most people assume that all Christians are overly conservative.  I’m not.  I don’t.

Last year, people threw a fit saying Starbucks was trying to take Christ out of Christmas.  Because they did minimalist cups.  I never really understood how those correlated.  But, people have been blaming companies for taking Christ out of Christmas for as long as I remember.  And, as someone who works for the company, I’ve realized that Starbucks celebrates Christmas harder than most.  And I used to work in hospitality.

I had heard that people were coming into stores and giving a certain name to be written on their cup.  I wasn’t sure if it was real.  I didn’t care all that much.  I just feel the need to mention why Starbucks likes to have names on their cups.
First off, it makes the coffee experience more personal (their words, not mine).  It also helps to identify drinks, so if ten people order white mochas, you know which one is yours.  Trying to make it political or whatever is pointless.  It just causes problems.  And no one really cares if you want to put a fake name on your cup to be funny.  You’ll still know that it’s your drink.
Anyway, I had heard that people want Starbucks baristas to write “Trump” on their cups.  And they were going to complain if the barista didn’t call out the name.  Last week, I was on bar with another guy I work with, another Christian, and a woman came in and told her friends she was going to see if she could get a rise out of someone.  She said her name was Trump.  My shift, who took the order, came and told us, so we would be aware of the situation.  We weren’t supposed to make a big deal out of it.
So, I ended being the barista who got to make her drink.  And I made a decision.  Most of the people I work with don’t always call out the names on the cups, they just say the drink.  I decided to do that as well.  So, I called out her mocha as a mocha, and called out the next drink as a pumpkin spice latte, because that’s what they were.  Most of the other drinks we were making were for the drive thru.
When she came to pick up her drink, she loudly asked if it was hers.  Both of the baristas making drinks, myself and my coworker, were pretty busy with other drinks.  I told her if she ordered a grande mocha, it might be hers.  She turned to her friends and complained that we called out the drink, but not the name.  Then another of her friends came to ask me, while I was obviously trying to work, if it was her drink.  I politely told him that I wasn’t sure, but that it might be.  I was preoccupied.  Then he left, and when he came back, he asked for my name, then they all left the store.
See, this situation to me sounds like it would be a group of self-righteous teenagers acting up for no reason.  But no, these were adults, most likely in their forties.  I didn’t realize it was so hard to grow up.

It really bums me out that I’m grouped with these people.  Regardless of what you believe about Trump or Starbucks or Christianity, it matters to me that people are kind to each other.  Yes, Trump is our president.  No, he is not kind, so I find it hard to support him.  However, I do believe in praying for our leaders.  As a citizen of this country, Trump is my leader.  And this is a really hard time for people like me.  This is a hard time for feminist Christians.  It’s a time where it’s hard to voice and be okay with what you believe.  But causing division is not the way.
Be conservative, whatever.  But don’t try to make people angry purely because you can.  Purely because they believe more freely than you do.  Purely because they might have a more open mind.  Purely because you disagree.
I’m into loving and accepting people first.  Which means loving and accepting overly conservative people just as much as it means loving and accepting someone who might think I’m close minded simply because I’m a Christian.  All people are equal.  Be kind to each other.

When Getting Out of Bed is Hard

I never learned how to reach out.  So everything seems inappropriate and everything becomes uncomfortable and needing anything seems like an obsession.  I make mistakes.  I’ve made them a thousand times, and it’s different every time, but as I become older it’s almost as if things are more and more detrimental.  It’s so much easier to turn to the things that will eventually push you over the edge than it is to run to the one thing that might make this all okay again.

I’ve been analyzing again.  But this time I have something to analyze.  Grief has stages.  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.  I don’t know what stage I’m in.  I know that I don’t want to talk about it.  Not with most people.  Not most of the time.  If you get to be that person, or one of those people, then I’m sorry.  But for everyone else.  I’m sick of it.  I’m sick of people saying that what I do or what I say is okay.  It’s bullshit.  This is all bullshit.
I’m not even sorry.  I’m not even sorry that I push everyone away and then feel abandoned.  Because I’ve done it my whole freaking life.  It’s what I’m best at.

I don’t even care right now.  I don’t want to care.  I want to do whatever I want.  I want to be reckless.  I used to be reckless.  But there will always be something tethering me to the earth, keeping me from being fully free like that.

I’m not an alcoholic.  I don’t really have an addictive nature.  But I wish I was.  I wish there was a reason that getting out of bed didn’t seem worth it.  A reason that was more than a state of mind.

I’m really messed up.  But only right now.  I’m really not okay, even when I am okay.  And no, I don’t want to talk about it.

A Mess Worth Loving

I just saw the move Suicide Squad.  And this blog is not about that.  But it made me think.  There are so many psychological things going on in that movie.  I think that’s how I can tell good screen writing.  It’s  a mess.  There are so many levels in the simplicity of the story.
I just rewatched Avatar: The Last Airbender series.  That’s another show with so much psychology.  Everyone is a mess.  Everyone has a dynamic.  It isn’t just good over evil.  It’s more than that.

I love messes.  It’s probably because I’m a mess.  I’m a psychological mess.  I live in organized chaos.  And I can hate it, hate me, keep trying to change myself, or I can accept myself.  Just like I’ve accepted every mess of a person that has walked into my life.  And we can’t deny that we all have a little mess in us.

I have a talent for finding broken people, the messes.  It’s like I have a mess magnet in my heart.  And my heart loves them loves them loves them.  I don’t even want to fix them, I just want them to be accepted.  I crave acceptance and I try to hand it out like candy at a small town parade.  I would be lying if this acceptance has not hurt me in past, but it’s still all I know how to do.  I don’t want anyone to feel the hate that souls, my soul, are so capable of churning up.  Hate will never make the world a better place.  Who cares about disagreements?  Hate will never change anyone into who you want them to be.  Love might.  Acceptance might.  And if it doesn’t, it won’t matter, because love always wins.

It’s so funny to me that this is my philosophy on life, when I am so quick to turn it around on my own self, my own people, my background, my roots, where I came from.  I get so angry at Christians because in my eyes, I still expect them to judge me.  I still see the judgement toward those who have chosen a different lifestyle.  I still hear the judgement in their voices when political disagreements become apparent.  But aren’t we supposed to be Christlike?  Aren’t we supposed to be loving, just like the God that we say we follow, that we say created us to love?

I want to accept.  While I expect to be unaccepted.  In every walk.  When people get excited that I decide to show up somewhere my mind is blown.  I don’t expect it.  It almost makes me want to leave.  Because I’m a psychological mess that loves psychological messes.  As soon as I hear your brokenness, your struggle, your story, I’m likely to fall into your soul.  I’m likely to want you by my side, in my heart, near me, with me.
And I know it’s time that I take a step back.

Today I took a step in a different direction.  I forgot my notebook when I went to church, so I couldn’t write, which is my protection, I think.  Yes, it is my identity, but I’m vulnerable without it.
When the music started playing, it suddenly occurred to me to join my friends on the floor, rather than staying in my seat.  I haven’t been that person in years.  Because of my fear.  I’m constantly expecting to be watched.  Because I don’t dance.  I don’t jump around.  And when I lose myself, I’m more likely to be still than I am to be some spiritual craziness.  I’m more likely to be like Mary, lost at Christ’s feet, than I am to be like David, who danced before the Lord.  I always expect judgement in that.  But it is my reality.  Stop judging me for my reality.  Or maybe you’re not.  Or maybe I don’t care anymore.

Blogging Everyday in July|A Poem About Mass Attacks

I’m sure everyone is aware of the shooting that happened at Pulse, the club in Orlando.  It was a terrible thing to happen.  Any shooting is a terrible thing.  Any mass killing spree is a terrible thing.  And a lot of them seem to happen in the name of something, whether it’s a god someone believes in or something that a person believes that they stand for.  Battles like this are things that I try to stay out of.  My thoughts are controversial for some Christians.
I believe that if I follow the God that I say I do, then my first job is to love.  God loves and accepts his children.  Whether or not we live the way he originally created us to or not is besides the point.  So I choose to love and accept everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, preference, or religion.  I hope that everyone would act the same toward me, but that’s not always the case.  Not every person knows how to love.

The man responsible for that shooting, it is assumed, did it because he believes homosexuality is wrong.  However, it has since come out that he “struggled” with homosexuality himself.  I put struggled in quotes, because once accepted, sexual orientation is no longer a struggle.  One only struggles when one is resisting something they believe is wrong or sinful.  (In my opinion, of course).  So he hated something he saw in himself.

In saying all of this, after the shooting I felt compelled to write a poem about conviction.  I don’t usually explain my poetry, but there you go.

Conviction
Maybe it’s conviction
That causes so much pain
Believing so strongly that something is wrong
Then finding it within your own self
Must be terrifying
There is either hatred or acceptance
So many choose wrong

This whole world might be broken
Thought it was held together by perfect beliefs
Beliefs that keep getting challenged
It’s not so black and white anymore
Finding more truth in the grey areas than we’d care to admit

How could someone live their life that way?
Is it sin nature?
Or just sin?
Or could it honestly just be nature?
Something we found we hated in our genetic code
Refusing to evolve with it
Resisting until we feel we might just give in
Or give up
Take a gun to your head
Or harm someone else in this wrongful conviction

Finding Home

I can’t help but notice the difference
Even in the sameness of it all
It comes falling with a crashing sound
One that echoes through the trees
Singing peacefully to my ears
Letting me know that I can be home here

I need to be somewhere green, He said
Because your words are like water
They bring life

So my home can be anywhere
Because my life can go anywhere
And that will always be exciting

I’ll do my best not to push you all away
Please know I accept you
Don’t feel you need to be invited into my world

Invite yourself in
And I’ll try so hard to invite myself in
We are not alone in this

Try to look at me and see something magical
Because I want to look at you and see miracles
My life is changing before my very eyes
You can watch it too
If you were only looking

I don’t want to be captured
Because I feel that might expose me
Like I might have something to hide
Even though I don’t

This is who I am
And I am home here