Too Damn Comfortable

People used to ask me what I wanted to do with my life after I finished college.  And for a long time that answer was the same, even though it seemed impossible.  Because what I dreamed of doing, what I dream of doing, is something that could never be more than a dream.  I was always told I wouldn’t be able to make money, because apparently your dreams have to fit into a career.  And those that did believe with me, that did dream with me, none of them knew how to help me, because they had their own dreams to follow.
Ever since I fell in love with poetry and started doing spoken word, I’ve wanted to travel and do that.  My entire life I’ve imagined myself speaking and telling stories and somehow encouraging people who felt as lost as me to keep going.  But trying to explain this has gotten too hard and unconventional, so I’ve allowed myself to settle.

When I packed up my car and moved across the country with no job, few friends, and no place to live, I really thought I was taking a step toward making my dreams come true.  I thought that I would be writing more.  I thought that I would be performing more, possibly.  I thought there would be people that believe in me and knew how to help me.  Because I’ve never known how to make my dreams come true on my own.

Instead, I sort of allowed myself to almost give up.  I settled into a good enough for right now job.  I let my minimalist ways slip a little bit and probably have more than I need.  I have a dog and a boyfriend and furniture and I’m locked into a lease.  I can’t fit all my possessions in my car, and I can’t just pack up and go anywhere, even if I wanted to.  I decided to go back to school next fall and get my masters in counseling, because maybe I’ll be able to change lives using poetry through counseling.  Because this makes sense.  Because this is comfortable.

I bought a camera about a year ago.  I bought it so that I could start filming spoken word videos for youtube, because that seemed like a logical first step.  I had someone that was willing to help me with shoots, but they aren’t as willing as I thought.  So I can do them on my own, but I guess I’m afraid.  I’m afraid of the judgement of the quality, because I know my editing won’t be as good.  And I know that the sound quality won’t be perfect because I don’t own a separate mic, and I know of at least one important person who will judge me for that.  I’m afraid of embarrassing myself.  I don’t really like to draw attention, I’d rather have it be given.  Thus, I haven’t really tried to chase my dreams.  I haven’t tried to book any gigs.  I haven’t shown anyone anything .  And I’ve almost quit altogether.

Last Wednesday I went and saw a spoken word artist that I used to listen to in college.  He tours and does spoken word for a living, and he happened to be coming to Florence.  He doesn’t make a lot and he doesn’t have a lot, but he’s doing what he was made to do.  He’s doing what I wish I could do.  And I told him that.  And he told me to go for it.  He told me do it anyway.  Because I actually have the resources to record an ep.  I actually can do some videos.  I actually could start doing gigs.  And I’m wondering if I’m just too damn comfortable.

“Save Me”

“Save me”
Crying out
“Save me”
Clawing at the edges
“Save me”
Can’t pull yourself up

“I can’t do this on my own
Not anymore”
You yell this in his face
As he gently beckons
Just let go

Afraid of heights
Pulling yourself to the top of the pit
Will not look back at what you’re climbing from
Begging
“Save me”
Just let go

Beneath you
Right beneath you
Are arms poised and ready
Waiting for you to just let go
So they can catch you

“Save me”
Crying out
As you pull away from salvation
Not realizing you are saved
If you’d just let go

No longer waiting
No longer striving in fear
“Save me”
Words that are only memories to your lips
Just let go
You are safe

How to Love

The other day a friend texted me about two guy friends of hers.  One of them responds quickly and gets all her jokes.  He laughs at her pictures and responds with another one.  The other one responds vaguely, and it’s usually a little more difficult to get ahold of him.  She said she felt really bothered by this.  She said she felt like chocolate, and that yeah, some people don’t like chocolate, but chocolate doesn’t really feel great when it’s unliked, even though most people like it.
I told her that I wasn’t so sure that that’s what it was.  See, everyone has a different love language and a different way of communicating.  But everyone loves the way they want to be loved.  And everyone communicates the way they want to be communicated with.  And so if someone doesn’t respond right away, they probably don’t expect you to.  If they don’t send you funny pictures or have hilarious responses to your jokes, it could be that they think you’re funny, they just don’t communicate that way.  But friendships do take communication.
I feel a lot like chocolate covered bacon, I told her.  If we’re sticking with the dessert references.  I feel like I’m something that people shouldn’t like.  Like I’m something that some people think sounds so awesome until they try me.  Or the opposite, that I sound horrible, but once people give me a chance, they’re hooked.  But even more so, there are parts of me that are so sweet, that people love, and parts of me that are savory that people crave.  However, when mixed, they’re not always what you want.
I feel unappreciated.  I feel like a joke.  I feel like an acquired taste that no one wants to take the time to acquire.  But I hide away so much at the start that I have to put some of the blame on myself.

I had a discussion with people.  I’m being vague on purpose.  We talked about having people in your home when you come home from work.  Especially when your house is the size of three vans.  How 2 extra people can feel like 10.  But the other participants of this discussion dwelled on the noise issue.  People should be quiet after 10pm.  I have social anxiety.  And I’m so much better than I was a year ago.  But for me, dealing with people has very little to do with the noise factor.  It has to do with the presence of unwanted people in my house.  So telling me you’ll keep it down doesn’t make me feel better.

On Wednesday night I came home at 11pm after a stressful day at work to a group of people hanging out in my living room.  Yes, some of them live here, but not all.  And it was too much.  I can’t feel comfortable in my own home.  They said they were being quiet and that they were making brownies, but they also always fail to remember that I don’t have a door.  I went outside to grab my phone charger and had a full fledged panic attack.  Why is it okay for me to come home to that?

And maybe I do need to learn to live in community.  But I’m the kind of person who needs to wade into the water, not be thrown into the waves of the ocean, drowning.  I feel like I’m drowning.  I forgot my life-vest.

Maybe it’s time I move out.  Maybe it’s time I move on.  Because my broken heart can’t keep beating.  My bruised lungs can’t keep breathing. And no one can hear my screaming.  No one can hear the words I pen.  No one reads anything that comes out of me.  Because I don’t even matter.  I’m just trying to live.  I’m just here.  But I want to be more than that.  I want to be loved.  I want to be cherished.  I want to be invited.  I want to be sought out.  I want to be asked.  I want to be chased.  And I want to matter.

Or I could just run away.

Or I could just disappear.

Snowy Sleeplessness

It seems I have forgotten how to sleep.  And it would be so easy to blame in on the snow, because the white blanket outside makes it seem like there’s light out forever.  Maybe I need darkness.  But really, when I shut it all out, there is darkness.  So why am I still awake?

My life is pretty great right now.  Even with all the bad in it, I am content.  Because there is so much good in it as well, so much to be thankful for.
Yet I still feel that prickle in the back of my mind.  And maybe it will always be there.  It’s not something I’m going to act on, because I am so much stronger than this, but it’s still there, as if it’s waiting for me.
My heart aches for it, even with all the harm it could cause.  So let’s talk.
Sometimes I wish I could slice myself open and disappear.  Maybe because that would be so much easier.  I wouldn’t have to worry about making it then, because I would have already made it.  I would have already arrived.
I thought my life would be so much more than this.  I thought I would have my book written, or some spoken word recorded, or maybe I would be living in England pursuing my Masters.  I hoped so much for simplicity and success.  But in all honesty, maybe I’m not ready for that.
I’m here because, after all my striving, I am finally learning vulnerability.  I try so hard to push everyone away when they get too close.  I can’t ever let anyone know what’s going on inside.  I am so out of touch with my feelings, that whenever I feel anything at all, I bolt so that I don’t get hurt.  I hate getting hurt.

I feel like I have been lied to.  I feel like I am being constantly misunderstood.  I feel like I’m being taught all these things that I have already learned and developed my opinions on.  And then I am being talked down to like I know nothing at all.
Intruders come into my life and touch all my things.  And I’m paying them to be there.  And being lied to about the price.
I am being asked to simplify my faith, and then given examples that make it more complicated with extra details.
I am given lessons in theology like it’s not something I went over my freshman year of college.
I’m saying I’m better than any of this or smarter than any of this, I just want to be heard.  I just want to be understood.  I just want to be asked what I really think, and then not told that I am wrong, because I’m not wrong.  How can any of us even be right if none of the answers we can know for certain?
How did I end up here?

There is someone I could so easily go back to.  Someone who doesn’t need to talk or ask questions or know me.  Someone who just wants me to be there.  But they are so bad for me.  And there could be someone new.  But I’d never let that happen, because having real feelings could cause real hurt, and I’ve never been good enough for a Christian guy before.
Because even with all my knowledge, with my studies and my writing and my music, there’s just something wrong.  I spend too much time putting someone else’s supposed projections onto my identity, that I never stop to ask or believe what anyone else thinks.  Because every time I get my hopes up, they get let down before they can be crushed.

This isn’t who I am though.  This isn’t where my identity lives, I just let it rest here for a while.  I want so much to be someone different, someone better, the best possible version of myself.  But instead I’m stuck here, being forced into some box and expected to play the part of someone I’m not.  I was never even given a script.

So come find me here, because I’m waiting.

How to get the inside out

Today, I realized that I have been confronted with something that’s been there for years, but it’s something that I don’t really know how to overcome.  There are things inside of me that I want to say, but I literally don’t know how to express them outside of myself.  I could say, and have said, that it’s because it makes me feel awkward, but I know that it is more than that.  I don’t know if I’m afraid, or if I can’t be vulnerable, but how can I even move past this if I can’t say it outloud.

I crave deep conversations where I can really say what is on my heart, because I have some heavy things on my heart.  But when these opportunities arise, I literally can say nothing.  I can talk half-heartedly about the current events in my life, but when someone asks me how I’m really doing, I can’t give an honest answer.  And it’s not even because things aren’t good, because things are so good.  I’m in a good place.  I have a good job.  I’m learning so many new things.  I have great roommates and a great living situation.
But I’m also so tired.  Some days I work from 9am to 11pm, between my two jobs and school.  I get almost no time to myself, and when I get the opportunity to be alone, I spend time with those I miss seeing because I’m always working.  So I’m drained and exhausted and it messes with my head.
But I’m okay.

See, I want to be able to express what weighs on my heart.  But I don’t even really know what it is that is on my heart.  I feel like it needs to be pried out of me, but who would even do that?  Who even has the time?  Do I even have the time?

Maybe I just need a day off.  Or several days off.

Church People

So I’ve been working a lot lately, and haven’t found the time or energy to write as much as I wish I did.  In fact, I just walked home from work, got ready for bed, and am now writing this.  

I had a little bit of a hectic day at work; I cut my finger open on the paper slicer minutes after I clocked in, and then I got asked to stay late.  I got yelled at by a band member over the phone (I work at a resort) and I got left alone during a rush for 45 minutes.  But I actually really like my job.  As I walked home I thought about how I was bummed that I missed church tonight and how I could have taken a longer break, if I followed my coworker’s example.  My coworkers do a lot of things that I never would have thought we were allowed to do.  But then I realized that I should be a better example, and should work as hard as I can, even if my efforts are not noticed.  I realized that I might have opportunities to show who God is, even if I don’t realize it.  I just need to live like Him.  

Anyway.  I went to a church in Crowley today all by myself.  I know a few people there, but I’m not quite comfortable, and I need to learn to comfortable by myself.  As I walked in a lady went to shake my hand and then just held my arm until she could remember who I was related to.  It was really uncomfortable for me.  And some other strange lady touched my back in a touchy-feely way.  Church people like to touch.  The pastor I grew up with always says “hug someone new today!” during greeting time.  The thing is,  I hate touching people that I don’t know.  I told one of my friends that showed up later, jokingly, that I sometimes wonder why I’m still a Christian when all the people in church make me feel uncomfortable.  I don’t want to hug a stranger.  

After church I was blessed to be taken to lunch by a friend of mine.  We talked about where we are in life and caught up on things that had happened in the last year.  I talked about how I’m finding my balance in church again, after being educated theologically for four years.  I find myself becoming skeptical of some people’s actions in the Spirit, but I also know that God can be teaching me things that will get me out of my Bible College bubble, because I do not want to become close-minded.  We talked about people getting “words” from “God” that don’t come true, and are probably bad advice.  The person giving them probably has the right intentions, but is more saying what they think the listener wants to hear, rather than actually hearing what God has to say.  Sometimes when someone hears from God once, they think every word is from Him, which isn’t necessarily reality.  But it is not my place to correct the churches here, at least not yet.  

Over the last month I have realized that church gives me anxiety.  Almost to the point that I don’t want to go at all, but I know that that’s where my friends are.  It happens the most during worship.  Sometimes it happens when I’m playing worship music by myself at my house.  Why?  How is God going to move if I have anxiety and shut down anytime I’m in His presence?  I know God can do anything, but I need an answer.  Or maybe I need help.

 

And.  rant.  over.