Drive

Long drives on county roads
Tall grass tracing existence
Giving me something to dream on
Noah on the speakers
But it’s God that’s speaking to me
This is church
This is worship
Presence on my mind
Behind me
Before me
At the top of my lungs

I am more myself here
With no one else around
Me, Noah, and God
Truth rings out in this car
Constantly craving authenticity
Believing I am failing at being authentic
Find me here

I have tried to drown myself
In self medication
Living in denial
Waking up to too many empty mornings
I need another drive
I was found there

All That I Am

I might be fake.  I know I’m not fake.  But I might be.  Because I cover it all up.  As honest as I am on paper, very rarely will that honesty spill out of my being in real life.  Very rarely will I be okay with someone seeing me as I am.  Because I expect to be rejected.  Which is why it’s so very hard for me to reject.

I had a hard week.  Maybe one of the hardest, in a very different way.  In a way that I can’t process.  Because I’ve been on the other side, almost.  I can’t write about it, but I’ve talked about it.  I feel like I need to keep talking about it.  Because I’m not sure if I dreamt it.

I am not a burden.  But sometimes I believe I am.  Sometimes, when I have constant communication and suddenly no communication, I feel like a nuisance.  Sometimes, when I can’t process something,  I ask for help, and it gets blown out of proportion and that becomes everything.  Sometimes I feel that my problems are all that I am.  But that’s not all that I am.
I am fun.  I am small and, some might say, adorable.  I am an adventurer.  I love the people in my life.  I love when people see my potential.  Because I have potential.  I am human.  I am creative.

Thursday night, I was gathering my things to leave the house I was at.  And my three friends were on the couches.  And suddenly I broke down and sobbed.  I don’t sob.  Not in front of people, for sure.  It all spilled out of me, for a moment.  That kind of vulnerability is terrifying.  I want to be strong.  I want to be sane.  But I am far too aware of my insanity.

So yesterday I felt lost.  Yesterday I felt empty.  I still feel that way.  And I’ll be honest.  I thought about old coping mechanisms.  I thought about my options.  I could become numb.  I could close myself off.  I could disappear.  Instead, I went and bought a hamster.  My hamster is great.  Because I’m great.  I feel like a child.  But I am so content with my decision.  Maybe, someday I’ll let you meet my hamster.  Because I am not fake.  I am real.  I am a real human with real issues, and a real hamster.  (It’s less commitment than a dog).

Aloft

Don’t fall
As you have fallen
Heart aching
Stand your ground

Searching for the one
Finding many
Choosing to stop believing
Though you can’t quite let go

Floating through the air
Anti-gravity
Not needing anything to hold onto
Because arms are holding you

Everything is taken care of
Simply follow that voice
No need to worry
As you’ve made the best choice

Hearts heal
And yours isn’t broken
Mistakes are forgotten
You can feel it

Constantly afraid
Refusing to relax
It’s time to stay put
You were made to rest

Sabbath
For as long as you need it
You’ll know when it’s over
Be still

Find what you live for
It’s right in front of you
Unfolding like a rose
Thorns nonexistent

You’ll never have to fall
Arms held out to catch you
Holding you high
Aloft

Blogging Everyday in July|A Poem about Someone’s American Dream

I had a friend who really got crushed before I met him.  It seems I tend to meet people in the aftermath.  Maybe because I’m constantly living in the aftermath.
Anyway, he came to mind after he told me his story about losing his American dream that snuck up on him.  He was ready for it, and it suddenly got pulled out from under him, and he’s still reeling in pain, he just hasn’t been able to accept it yet.
But maybe that was a long time ago.  I just felt like today was the time to share this.

Brick house
Picket fence
American dream

Had it all
Crushed in your palm
Can’t find it anymore

In your searching
It won’t be found
Your heart is still drowning

Time to dive into deep waters
Find yourself
Though this all is terrifying

Pull out your heart
Resurrection
What was lost will find you

It is far too easy
To be swallowed by anger
Especially with reason

You can’t just go back
To the way things were
The future lays ahead

Pride destroyed
Soul exposed
Let time heal you

It’s not fair in the moment
But someday you’ll look back
And smile

With your brick house
Picket fence
More than just a dream

Blogging Everyday in July|On Being a Single Human

Hello.  I am a single human.  In that I mean that I am a human and I am single, but also that I am only one human, not multiple.  I got asked to blog about being single, and I think it’s because my group of friends is mostly from the “singles” group at my church.  That’s so weird to say, by the way.
On a side note, when I was in college, my friend Karina was part of a church in Pasadena, and the young, college aged group was called the “singles” group, and we thought it was so weird and hilarious, but not that I’m out of college, I realize I can’t be in a college group.  So it’s young adults, but my church has a young married people group too, so this one is the “singles” group.  Haha.  Laugh with me.
Anyway, my friends are mostly single, even though some of them might be starting relationships soon.  We love each other, and we’re content with where we’re at, I think.  I know I am.  And that might really be true for the first time in a long time.

For a long time I’ve joked about singleness.  I’ve laughed at myself, but on the inside wished I could change it.  Then, the last couple years or so I’ve had multiple guys in my life, but none of them were serious enough about me, even though my heart kept going farther than I wanted it to, so I kept getting crushed.  And occasionally I’d do the crushing.
One of my old flames texted me last week saying he missed me, even though it’s been so many months since we’re spoken.  I told him that he was just being lonely.  And I told him that I don’t want to be lonely, I want to be content being alone.  And I think that’s what I am.  Not just because there’s no one in my life right now that I really want to be with, but because I love my friends, my lifestyle, and figuring out my life the way it is.  I like that I’m becoming a healthier person.  I think I just needed to purge all of the pain out, and dating is one of those things.

I’ve heard a lot that as soon as you stop looking, you find someone.  I don’t want that to be true.  Because then, when you stop looking, you start looking.  All of the fun adventures that I would want to do on dates, I can do with a group of my friends here, and it’s a thousand times more enjoyable.
I want to be in love with life again before I fall in love with a person.

A lot of people believe in soul mates, or believe that they’re only half of an entity until they find their other half.  But I want to be whole and unbroken.  I want to be desired because I’m independent and following my dreams.  I want my heart to be full.  And I’m getting there.

So yes, I’m a single human.  That’s exactly who I’m supposed to be.  That’s exactly who I want to be.  And that is the end.

Blogging Everyday in July|Bad things, Good People, and Whatever’s In Between

There is a such a common question that is asked.  It’s asked to trip up those who have faith into doubting what they believe.  It’s asked genuinely, really wanting to understand if God really is as good as we say he is.  It’s asked out of curiosity.  It’s asked, just to see what kind of answer I can come up with.  But I’m okay with not having all of the answers.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I believe that God is perfect.  He created the world to be perfect.  But we failed, thus the world was corrupted.  However, God continues to love us anyway.  Because his love is perfect where we fall short.
Some people like to think that God orchestrates everything that happens in this world, but that’s not the case.  I mean, yes he could do that, but he gave us free will.  So, as humans, we have choices to make, choices to do evil, and choices to do good.  Hating someone because they’re a different gender or race?  That’s a choice.  Loving someone, even though they’re different, or might not love you back?  That’s also a choice.  And for those of us who had the misfortune to be born after the original sin in the garden, sometimes making the right choice doesn’t make sense.  Because we were born into sin.  So vision gets skewed sometimes.
But choice doesn’t answer the question as to why some people get cancer, or are born with a mental “defect” that makes life harder, or why people develop dysphoria, or even why I’m bipolar.  Am I not a good person?  I’m not answering that.  But it’s because this world is corrupt.  This world has sin in it.  And sin isn’t just an action anymore, it’s in the world.
God did not create the world originally to contain sickness and hurt and anger.  Those all came after sin.  And even if someone tries to live their whole life never sinning, they still live in sin.  Because sin is in the world.  It’s in the air we breathe.  It’s not something we can just escape.  We can’t fix a corrupt world overnight.  I’m not even sure if we can fix it at all.
And if we ask why God doesn’t step in and destroy all of the things that are not of him, I think it’s because he loves us still.  He loves us regardless of if we love him.  It’s not as easy as, “those who don’t accept Christ are going to hell.”  It’s complicated and unexplainable, God’s love.  His desire never was, is, or will be to destroy us.  Even when he told Moses on the mountain that he wanted to kill all the Israelites and start again, he didn’t destroy them, and he never ceased to love them.  Even when he sent the flood to make the world new, he broke his own heart and promised never to do it again.
But all of these answers aren’t really answers.  No answer I can ever give will ever be good enough.  And I’m okay with that.  I’m okay with the mystery of God’s goodness.  I’m okay with simply knowing that we don’t know what he’s doing, because we are inside of time, where he lives outside of it.  We don’t know what awful thing he’s going to use for some amazing goodness in our future.  And we also don’t know what awful thing he hated to allow, but did because of the corrupt nature of the world, and the rampant free will that he didn’t interfere with.

I’m bipolar.  And I accepted my crazy a long time ago.  I used to believe that God created me this way, and that somehow it was going to be used someday, and I spent so many hours angry at him for it.  But maybe he didn’t create me this way.  Maybe I just am this way because of the corruptness of this earth.  But that doesn’t mean it won’t be used someday.
I both do and do not try to hide my crazy.  I can get really excited and feel so much love for my friends and want to do so many fun things.  But that excitement will get used up.  I’ll hit the mountaintop and drop off a cliff.  I woke up yesterday knowing I shouldn’t see people.  But I chose to drive to Nashville for the first time with them instead.  If it had been smooth, with a plan, and a city tour guide like I had in Michael Glenn, or Jackson, or even Jamie with his San Francisco list, or Aaron with his Portland list, and maybe a whole day, then my landing at the bottom of my depression might have been smoother.  My city exploring might have been something worth doing.  But instead, instead the chaos inside my head matched the chaos outside.  Instead I didn’t know what I was doing.  Instead, it was as if I had never been to a city before and things like paying for parking had to be mansplained to me.  Instead, I saw no river or beauty, I saw the ugliness that comes with all downtowns.  It was loud and hot and too much.  Why I ever thought that kind of adventure on a bad day would have been a good idea is beyond me.  Because I can’t explain my broken soul to those around me.  I’m unhelpable.  I’m broken.  But I’ve accepted it.  It’s just embarrassing when I’m spilling out onto the floor and the only thing that can be done is to mop me up.
Life is chaos.  Life is chaos.  Life is chaos.  And I could go on screaming at God to take me from it, because I’m not going to do it on my own.  Or I could find a way to take this chaos and make it art.  Find the beauty in the ugly.  Be Tyra Banks for a moment.  That’s not something I know how to do at the bottom of the cliff, but I will find my moment at the top again, and I will be living amongst the beauty again.
And none of this is to say that I had zero fun in Nashville, because I did have fun.  I love my friends here, they care about me.  It wasn’t there fault that I can’t handle my own existence sometimes.  That will never be anyone else’s fault.  That’s not what I want to be taken from this.  I am flawed.  We are all flawed.  Welcome to honesty hour.

 

Blogging Everyday in July|What Music Does

A few people have asked me to write about a few different aspects of music.  Why it’s important.  How it affects people.  How it changes things.  What it means.  I’ve even been bugged because I haven’t written it yet.  So here are some thoughts.  Apologies now if they’re not all together.

Open your computer.  Go to spotify (assuming that you have it) and pick a playlist that you made a couple years ago.  (This works with iTunes too).  Set it on shuffle and close your eyes.  Do you remember why you made it?  What do you feel?  I have a playlist on my spotify account simply called “Sad.”  I made it my junior year of college, and I remember listening to it on repeat.  I used to spend a lot of my life simply that, simply sad.  Music had a way of speaking into that part of me.
I have playlists that I made because the guy I was hanging out with at the time showed me all these bands.  Those playlists made me feel closer to whoever they were for.
I have playlists from road trips I took with my favorite person, my bestie, my soul sister.  Playlists filled with songs we would belt like ballads, songs that we would fake sob to, and songs that just made us laugh.  I’m a lyric person, she’s a beat person, so when we find the perfect combination, the song is gold.

Often times, people will say something that will remind me of a song lyric and I’ll just quote it, or start singing the song.  It makes me laugh.  It reminds me of a different time.  It gives me something to share.

There are songs that I could almost say have saved my life.  I think God speaks to me through music sometimes.  And he quite possibly uses my music to speak to people sometimes.

Sometimes there are no words to say.  But then a song says it.  Songs say what you can’t say on your own.  They have the depth, tone, and emotion that words on their own don’t.
I know I’ve talked about it before, but the song Jesus, Jesus by Noah Gundersen is one that I keep coming back to.  There’s an honesty there that is hard to find.

Jesus, Jesus, there are those who say they love you, but they have treated me so god damn mean.  And I know you said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,” but sometimes I think they do, and I think about you.  If all the heathens burn in hell, do all their children burn as well?  What about the Muslims and the gays and the unwed mothers?  What about me and all my friends; are we all sinners, if we sin?  Does it even matter in the end if we’re unhappy?

That’s not something that you can just say to most people.  Put it in a song?  It says it all.  Songs have soul.  You want to see a glimpse of someone’s soul?  Hope that they’re a musician.  I firmly believe that anyone can find a song, even if they don’t get to play it or sing it more than once, ever.

Imagine a life without music.  Without birds that sing.  Without love songs and breakup songs and songs about Jesus.  A lot less would be said.  A lot more broken people would be unheard.  Music makes us whole again.  Go find your song.