I Don’t Want to Live in This World

I hate this world that I’ve created.

I hate that I moved across the country with big dreams, none of them being fulfilled.  They’ve been destroyed so much that I’ve let them go altogether.  I don’t even write anymore.  I probably don’t even exist anymore.

I hate that I moved to the south and have encountered far more entitled people than I ever did living in a resort town.  I hate that I feel that I can do nothing right.  I hate that I don’t have anyone to depend on, so I’ve learned to depend on myself.  I hate that my heart aches for a church like the one I left behind.  I  hate that I can’t find that here.  I hate that every promotion brings more misery, instead of confidence.  I hate that I complain so often.  I hate that I’m depressed.

I miss my home.  I miss my family.  I miss my friends.  I miss my mom.  If I had known that moving here would mean losing her, I never would have come.  I miss that she made me empowered.  I wish that I had appreciated it while she was around.

I don’t want to be alive in this world anymore.  I know it’s supposed to get better.  I know it always has gotten better.  But I don’t like the in between.  I don’t like that I’m in the in between again.  I don’t like that I’ve gotten so lost, that I’ve disappeared completely.

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.

Unwelcome

Have you ever entered a room and felt completely unwelcome there?  Like you didn’t belong at all?  Because I have a thousand times.  I feel that way at parties.  But I feel that way the most in the company of Christians.  I hadn’t felt that way in a long time, and I had almost forgotten the feeling, so I guess it was time to remind myself.  Why do I even try, sometimes?

It makes me feel like I’m not good enough.  Because I’m not part of the elite.  I have differing opinions.  And it makes me want to run away completely.

After my mom died, I stopped getting invited to things.  It felt like no one wanted me around.  I never knew if my original group of friends was doing anything.  But if I invite some of them to do anything, the ones who weren’t invited get upset.  And the odds of anyone showing up are slim, at best.  They ask me to have more great ideas, but only so they can take them as their own.  But I’m not playing the blame game here.
Because, if I get invited, there’s a 75% chance I won’t go.  Partly because I might be working.  Or maybe I’ll already have plans.  Or maybe I’m just not interested.  But whenever I am interested, I feel like I don’t belong anyway.  It just makes it all very draining.

I used to do a lot.  I used to plan things and attend things and have a lot of fun.  But then I moved the south.  And I’ve started making my life smaller and smaller, till almost no one fits in it anymore.  So maybe it’s my fault that I’m not good enough.

My 90s party was better anyway.

In the In Between

Somewhere in the in between is where we’re living
Something  between friends and what comes next
Somewhere between secret adventures and just secrets

Terrified of the potential pain here
Between missed opportunity and committing too soon
Between the disappointment that comes with no and the publicity that comes with yes

In the privacy of these walls revelations happen
Between these sheets, new truths are told
And we’ll stay here, in between deception

Honesty and intimacy are holding hands now
Somehow finding safety in this insecurity
As we’ll live here, somewhere in the in between

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.

In the Anyway

I forgive.  Some would say that I forgive too easily.  But I forgive as I have been forgiven.  I forgive as I would like to be forgiven. Maybe I follow the Golden Rule too closely.
In the midst of all of this mess though, in the midst of all of our mistakes, Christ loved us anyway.

In the Garden, Adam and Eve hid, because they knew they had disobeyed, and they knew God knew.  They had realized their nakedness.  And though punishment did follow, God never ceased to love them.  He loved them anyway.

Moses told God he couldn’t do it.  He needed help.  Aaron had to speak for him, because he believed he couldn’t.  He had a stutter.  In spite of his weakness, God loved him anyway.

Solomon asked God for wisdom.  With his wisdom, he did a lot of great things, but also made a lot of mistakes.  He established high places, and he worshiped other gods.  At the end of his life, he realized how meaningless it all was.  And God loved him anyway.

Israel was such a disobedient, easily manipulated nation.  God let them be taken captive, then restored.  They continued to break his heart.  Yet he loved them anyway.  So much that he sent his son, himself, to die.

Peter denied knowing the messiah.  And Christ loved him anyway.

Thomas had doubts.  Jesus loved him in them, anyway.

Anyway.

There has been an awkwardness, a hurt, in my recent life.  And I could choose to hold on to it, a grudge, that would only hurt my being.  Or I could let go.  I could forgive anyway.  I could love anyway.  As I have been loved anyway.

Hipster Mentality

People like to call me a hipster.  Correction; people who are not hipsters like to call me a hipster.  I am not a hipster.  Not that it matters.  My mind defines a hipster as someone who loves to hate.  Someone who loved something before it was cool, but probably doesn’t like it anymore.  Someone who might not be a true fan.  Someone who likes something simply because someone else probably doesn’t like it.  Someone who is judgmental without knowing why.  Someone who hates things done the easy way, the normal way, and likes to make people feel bad for not doing something the hard way, the hipster way.  Fixed gear bikes are one example.  I personally don’t really have an opinion on these bikes, except that I’m probably not a good enough bike rider to ride one.  But I know that bikes have gears for a reason; not just for speed, but in order to make a ride less challenging and more worth while.  If you like to ride a fixie, by all means, go for it.  But if you ride one just to make people who don’t feel bad about it, you’re probably a hipster.

There are a lot of memes about hipsters taking over the world and liking things ironically.  I used to have a friend who would call himself a hipster, because by calling himself one, he ceased to be one, thus he was one.  And I would get mad if people called me a hipster.  Not mad, annoyed.  But it doesn’t even really matter.

I hate a lot of things.  Or at least I dislike them.  I dislike them, so I won’t even give them a chance.  I don’t like worship culture or Christian authors.  I don’t like musicians who talk so much about the fact that they are a musician that you feel like they might have lost their identity.  Or that you feel like you’re not good enough as a person because you don’t quite understand their terminology.  It’s as if they want to look cool, so they make you feel stupid.  But I might do the same thing as a writer.  Forgive me for my alienation, I guess.  I wonder if this is how it feels when foreigners try to fit in in the States.
I don’t like to be put in a box or pinned down.  So I try to keep my horizons broad.  I love dinosaurs, but I don’t carry a lot of scientific knowledge about them.  I like indie films, but I haven’t actually seen enough of them to call myself an aficionado, because I’m not really a movie person.  I like music from the early 2000’s, like Death Cab and Postal Service and Dashboard, but I might not remember the lyrics or recognize the song in a different context.  I like driving stick shift and hate driving automatic, but I only retain some car knowledge.  I like apple products because of the simplicity and clean feel, but I can’t have tech conversation about specs.  I like drinking whiskey, but I don’t know enough about brands to actually know what is good.  I like drinking and having friends that drink, but feel unloved in a Christian context.
I love my God.  I love that he continues to love me, in the midst of all of my struggles and short comings.  But I don’t like to be compared to other Christians.  I’m not ashamed of my faith.  But I am ashamed to be thought of as a Christian first, and I’m ashamed of that fact as well.  Because my first thought, when I think of a Christian, is not that they have a relationship with a loving God.  It’s that they are going to judge you.  I don’t want to be associated with judgement, but I might be the most judgmental of all.
This is a struggle within me.  I want to accept everyone while hating everything.  I want to be accepted, but I’ll shoot down what I don’t like.  I’m not even sure why I hate the things I hate.  It must be this hipster mentality.  This craving to be different, set aside.  We all want to fit in, but not actually blend in.  We all want to be the pop of color.  And let me tell you, this life is a lonely one.

Every time I feel as though I have found my place, where I can be comfortable, it’s as if there is a shift.  It’s as if I don’t exist, but I really do.  I was told, not too long ago, that I’m a pioneer.  What they meant is that I don’t have many lasting friendships.  Not close ones.  Because I have big dreams and am pursuing them.  The people who are really excited about my existence get over it pretty quickly.  I can appear and disappear easily.  So maybe right now I feel as if I have disappeared.  Although I haven’t.  I am not stagnant.

Maybe I’m just a hipster.  Maybe that’s why I feel hated.  Maybe that’s why I hate myself.

24

I’ve always divided my life into themed years.  I think it’s because my birthday is so near the start of school, so I refer to time in semesters, rather than whatever year it actually happened in.  Age doesn’t matter at all, but it has always mattered to me.  It used to bother me when people I enjoyed were so much older than I was.  Even months people had over me seemed like monstrous gaps.  As I’ve gotten older, years and age seem so much smaller.  Someone can be several years older, or younger, and it’s as if we’re all the same.  Though age is but a number, it also gives me something to pin down.  23 was the year I learned to like myself.  It was a year of adventuring on my own.  It was a year of chasing my dreams.  It was unforgettable.

But 24.  The song says that nobody likes you when you’re 23.  I’m 24, so you can like me again.  This year the song is less known.  The song says that I’m not who I thought I was 24 hours ago.  24 I am finding myself.  I am learning who I am.  I am coming into a recognition of who I was created to be.  I’m not restricting myself anymore.  I’m doing what I love.  And I’m going to learn to do it as a healthy person.

I wanted people to like me.  I’m learning that they love me.  I am learning to be loved.  I am genuine.  I want to be surrounded by genuine artistry.  I want to be known.  Actually known.

I talk a lot about celebrating life, but I don’t always do it very well.  I focus on the negative things that have happened or that I have done.  I focus on the negative in the decisions I’ve made.  I’m not an optimist because I’m afraid to be one.  But you know what?  I don’t care anymore.  This life is mine.  I have done a lot with it.  And it is not over yet.  I’m still writing my story.

I am thankful, this year, for all of those that love me.  I am thankful that I am loved.  I don’t always feel loved, but that is my own flaw, not a flaw in those that love me.  I am surrounded by safety.  I am a blessed human.  I have people who love me in my brokenness.  I have people who love me in my mess.  I am taken care of.  I am not lost, but I am found.

Here’s to 24.

Anti Permanence

I’m in that state again.  You know, that state.  I poured out too much of myself.  And now I’m just done.  Hopefully just for a little while.

I decided to play through some old songs.  Songs I wrote when I was nineteen.  Songs from that time in my life.  And it made me think.  It’s always dangerous to think too deep, maybe.  I started to think about the people who used to be in my life.  All the people I’ve talked about forever with.  And it makes me think about how there is no forever.  Or there is an eternity.  So maybe I’ll see them again.  But not in this life.  Not now.

I took a nap.  I only take naps when my mind is in it’s current state.  That state.  And when I wake up I usually feel worse.  It makes me want to sleep forever.  And really, how much easier would it be to sleep forever?  It’s one of my dreams in life.  To sleep forever.
But I know that I’ll get up tomorrow and be fine.  I’m always fine.  And in my transient lifestyle, with my anti permanent friendships, relationships, and homes, always being fine will always be permanent.  In the ups and downs, I will always be okay.  I don’t even have anything deep to say right now.

This isn’t quality.  I’m not quality right now.  I joked earlier today about quantity versus quality.  Right now, I feel like neither.  Because my mind is in that state.  But.  But.  That state isn’t a permanent one.  My life has lacked permanence.  And right now, I choose to be thankful for it.  As I’ll get out of this too.

Life in the Slow Lane

I talk fast.  I think fast.  I drive fast.  I make decisions fast.  I move fast.  Everything is fast.  But I think it might be time to slow down.  Welcome to the South.  Where even the state troopers don’t drive the speed limit.  Where people have a drawl, even when they’re hyped up on caffeine.

I never quite learned to rest.  I wrote a while back about staying put.  About how it might be time for me to be present where I’m at.  But I think it’s more than that.  I wonder if I’ll settle here.  Although I may never settle. My heart is learning to beat for the land.  And this land ambles.  It does not run.  It does not race.  It does not scream at you to speed up.  If anything, it whispers to slow down.  It calls you to rest.  It asks you to wait and see what might be around the next bend,  because if you take it too fast, you might miss it, you might hit it, you might kill what could have been an opportunity.  Life in the slow lane means not jumping to conclusions.

I think my heart has been so miserable because it is always racing, and I won’t listen to the beat.  I followed it here, and then I forced it to keep me awake so that I could do far too much again.  I’m not going to do far too much anymore though.  I am going to breathe for a little while.  I’m going to take things in stride.  I’m not going to worry, I’m going to listen to the constant streams of consciousness that might be telling me that everything is okay, that good things do happen.  I think I’ll live here, in the slow lane, for a while.  And for anyone who tells me that it’s time to speed up, they can exit the vehicle.  Because this is my life, and I’m going to claim it.