Mental

Something lives inside her
Eating her alive
In her heart
In her mind
In her soul
Bringing her low
Beneath the soil
Burying her in regret
Telling her she has done everything wrong
When she has done nothing wrong
But living
And loving
And giving herself away

Body, Mind, and Soul

We are told to love ourselves.  We are told to stay healthy and eat right.  We are told to exercise.  We are told to go to church and to find a good community.  Because all of these things are important.

But I think we get too focused and forget the main point.  Love yourself.

I set a New Year resolution to go running and do yoga four times a week.  And I’ve done great.  My mileage is up, and I am stronger.  I look better.  I feel better.  But I’ve also been opening at work almost everyday and not sleeping the best.  So some afternoons I’m just tired.  And the last two or three weeks I’ve felt almost under the weather, but not quite, so I’ve napped, and then not felt good enough to go out on a run.  My boyfriend tells me it’s fine, and that it’s good to give myself a rest, but instead I beat myself up over it.  It depresses me that I’m so tired, and I’m so tired because I’m depressed.  I keep feeling like if I miss a day of exercise, I will be fat.  I’m terrified to lose my routine again.  It’s like I forget why I’m doing it in the first place.

I want to be healthy.  And it’s so easy to just focus on one realm of health.  It’s so easy to focus on clean eating and an exercise routine, but then forget to nourish your mind and your soul.  It’s easy to get caught up in a mantra of a having a healthy mind, but neglect your spirit and body.  It’s easy to beat yourself up if you miss church, so you focus only on that, but forget that your body is a temple and your mind a control center.

I am one, whole person.  I have a mind, a body, and a soul.  (Some would say I am a soul, but that’s beside the point.)  I’m not going to get fat if I occasionally skip a run because I’m exhausted.  My happiness is just as important as my appearance.  And no one hates me, especially not God, if I want to stay home and sleep in on the occasional Sunday morning.  Church is for community, not salvation, anyway.

Love yourself.  Body.  Mind.  Soul.

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

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.

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).

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.

Please Let Go

Words so cryptic, as if she’s done this before
And she has
Done this a thousand times
Every time terrified
That it will be the last

Rehearsing in her mind
Every moment up to the ending
Although no one else has the script
So it never goes quite right

Her heart addicted
To what comes across as manipulation
Trying so hard to push and pull away
Reeling them in anyway

Don’t tell her to hold on
As you hold on
Hands cut on the brokenness
Please let go