Out of the Present

I find myself often dreaming about the future.  Keeping it in the front of my mind.  Daydreaming; focusing all my attention.  Because the present isn’t something that I like to live in.  

I find myself often remembering the past.  I tell stories about the good times, how good it used to be.  Because it used to be so damn good.  And I took it so for granted.  

My heart carries all of the bad times.  My heart carries all of the hard times.  My heart dwells in its own pain, even when I try not to.  

You’re Not From Around Here

I don’t like making blanket statements.  So I don’t want to say all white men feel like they can say whatever they want.  Or even that older, white men feel like they can say whatever they want.  Or even that older, southern, white men feel like they can say whatever they want.  Because I’m not sure if it’s across the board true.  But whether it is true or it isn’t, it annoys me.

I’m not sure if it’s my personality.  Or the fact that I’m from California.  Or a combination of both.  But I don’t like talking to strangers very much, especially when I have no reason to.  So whenever I’m approached, I’m not very good at reacting.  I’m not even sure what the appropriate reaction is sometimes.  My thoughts immediately go to: “why is this person talking to me?”  And I don’t even really care what they’re saying.

The other day I was picking up from a restaurant for a delivery (I starting working a second job doing food deliveries for a new company because my boyfriend works for them and it’s fun).  I picked up from the same restaurant three times in a row, and the same man was sitting at the bar all three times.  The first time he asked me about delivering, and asked if he could order a grilled chicken salad… from the restaurant he was sitting in…  And I know he was messing with me, but I’m a joke killer, because it’s more fun for me to act as if I’m taking something literally.  I told him I didn’t take orders and that he’d have to go to the website.  Every time I went in to pick up he continued to pester me.  I told him it would be pointless for me to deliver to him because he is already in the restaurant, to which he said that I didn’t have a good sense of humor.  I told him I had a great sense of humor, but that I was from California and I tried to leave it at that.  Then he said he could tell I wasn’t from around here.  I really just didn’t think he was funny.

And I’m sure that there are men just like him where I’m from, but maybe I haven’t encountered enough of them.  Or maybe they know to quit when the receiver obviously doesn’t like their banter.  I wish I could wear a sign around my neck that says, “Don’t talk to me” whenever I’m not in the mood.

This seems to happen more and more though.  They seem to assume that because you exist in their vicinity, that you are fair game.  I’m not fair game.  I don’t understand the point of making jokes about my job or anything else about me just because you don’t know how to start a real conversation.  Especially if you’re not even there alone.  In this latest instance, his wife (I’m assuming) was sitting right next to him.

Just because a female exists, doesn’t mean you have a right to her.  Her thoughts belong to her, her conversation belongs to her, unless she wants to share it.  And that goes both ways.  It’s the same for men, it just doesn’t seem worth mentioning.

I wish I was more terrifying.

Honestly, what am I supposed to do?  Fake a laugh?  Hahahahahaha.  Shut up.

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.

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).

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.

Blogging Everyday in July|Last Day

It’s the last day of the month.  I made it.  This is it.

Today, I wrote a poem for someone wonderful that I haven’t known that long.  Marsha asked me to write a poem for her when I said I was gonna write one for her husband.  I’ve been wanting to write it for a while, but I’ve been so drained.  But today, it finally happened.

Mama Duck
Mama duck
With all her ducks in a row
Always having someone to care for
Because she was made to care

She knows her quiet place
She knows that there, she can find rest
Her empty nest is never an empty nest
Her heart is always full

Healed
Redeemed
As someone who brings healing
As someone who carries freedom

Mother, daughter, sister, friend
Both known and unknown
Safe in the mystery
Comfort in the open places

Holy
Loved
She reflects the Father
As she dwells in his gaze

No need to search for something more
More is already given
Overflowing
Find peace beneath her wings
Home.