Use Your Words… Or Don’t

I don’t really care what you believe about anything, words have power.

I was just listening to a Lore podcast about Romani curses.  The Romani people would hold trials when something was stolen or some other crime had been committed.  In these trials they would will their community to confess to the crime, and if no one confessed, they would curse the perpetrator to an agonizing death as a group.  Then the trial would be over and things would go back to normal.  But Romani curses aren’t real because of any kind of black magic.  They’re not real in a physical sense at all.  Rather, they’re real because thinking makes it so.  It’s the power of the mind.  A Romani person could curse you by telling you your life will be hard and your death will be painful.  And it would probably come true, not because the Romani were prophetic, but because you’d probably spend the rest of your life worrying about the curse, thus your life would probably be hard.  And your death would probably be painful because you had spent your whole life worrying about your death.  Your mind gave these words power.  Thinking made it so.

I work with someone who doesn’t believe in encouragement, and only believes in belittlement.  No one could ever measure up or be good at their job.  So it’s best to make sure they know that you believe that.  Call them stupid and slow.  Because that’s sure to make them work better and faster.  “Don’t applaud a fish for swimming.”
I had to take a class on leadership for my degree.  We learned about so many leadership styles.  But as an exhorter, I believe the best way to lead is to come alongside and grow with someone.  Lead by being a part, rather than sitting above.  Encourage and help, instead of getting upset because a mistake was made.  Build up, rather than diminish.
I’ve felt very discouraged lately.  Because although those under my leadership believe that I’m doing a good job; although I know that I am doing a good job, my equals still don’t see me as equal.  It makes me want to move on.  It makes me want to give up.  It makes me want to quit.  It can always be better.  And I’ve believed for a long time now that if you don’t like something, change it.

Have you ever heard a lot about someone before you’ve ever met them?  So you go into the relationship with preconceived notions of what everyone has already told you?  I went to college with a girl that I had heard about for most of the summer before.  So I met her believing several negative things about her.  I knew her to be annoying before we ever spoke.  I believed she was something that she isn’t because of the words others had spoken.  But that girl became one of my best friends.  Words have power.  Until they don’t.

We should talk about each other less.  We should build each other up more.  We should be more careful.  We shouldn’t believe that we have to be careful.
I spend so much time afraid that I’ve messed up, that I’ve ruined everything, that I forget how to love myself.  I forget how to love others.  I forget how to be happy.  I don’t want to forget anymore.

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Do You Know What Breve is?

Sometimes I really wish I had made different decisions in my life.  I wish I had gone to a different school and made different career choices.  I wish I had been more rebellious, instead of stuck in a Christian bubble that made me think God was telling me to be a youth pastor, thus altering the whole course of my life.  Because I could have been anything.  I could have gone to school to get a real career.  I was smart enough.  I was almost a 4.0 student in high school and college.  But instead I went to Bible college.  And my degree is almost worthless, as far as living my dreams or having a fulfilling career go.  I realized real quick that I’m not meant to be in ministry, and that I would actually be miserable there.  I had heard wrong.  I wish I had gone somewhere to get my degree in English or creative writing or something, so I could have maybe been a teacher, so maybe I would have an impact on someone else’s life.  Or maybe that I would have gone immediately to school to study counseling or psychology, because those have also always been interesting to me.

And I know that if I had made different choices in my life, not only my life would have been affected.  I never would have met Michelle, and she never would have moved to Mammoth.  I never would have moved to Alabama and met the best boyfriend ever.  My friend Sarah probably would have never met her boyfriend.  There’s a lot of things.  So maybe I’m selfish, wishing things were different.

Today, a woman told me that I didn’t know what breve was (half and half).  She explained to me that it wasn’t milk, it was cream (even though it’s half whole milk, and half heavy cream, so technically it’s both).  She told me she wanted more breve in her drink, that was made out of breve.  You can’t add extra water to a full glass of water.  You can’t fill a cup above capacity.  I can’t add more humanity to my humanity.  It does not make more, it just fills up.  So she tried to imply that I was stupid.

I am an intelligent human.  I might be more intelligent than most of the people that I’m surrounded by.  But I didn’t do anything with that intelligence.  Instead, I work at Starbucks, with a wasted college degree, somewhere much too far from home.

I could have been anything.  Instead, every stranger automatically assumes I’m beneath them.

I miss home.  I miss my people, my church, my community, my family.  I wish things had been different.

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.

Road Trip With Me: Making Adventures

The other night I slept in my car at a rest area alone, for the first time ever in my life.  I’m not going to say I wasn’t scared or lonely, but it was an adventure.
An hour or so earlier, I was driving through Utah,  and I saw a sign that said “Dinosaur footprints at Johnson Ranch, next right.”  So I got off the interstate and followed the signs.  However, I had just hit the time change, so the place was closed by the time I got there.  I bought myself ice cream at a gas station and drove until my eyes couldn’t see well anymore.  After dusk, it’s often hard for me to see, so I don’t feel super safe driving in unfamiliar places all the time.  Never really realized it was an issue until now, but I digress.

The next day I set out for Denver.  I had reservations at a dinosaur themed hotel for two nights, and one of my oldest friends lives in Denver with his girlfriend, so I knew it was gonna be a good stop.  On my way I saw a sign that said “Dinosaur Museum.”  So I decided to try this spontaneous adventure thing again.
It was open.  It was tiny.  I paid $9.  But it was so worth it.  I don’t know why, but dinosaurs give me such a simple joy.  It did delay my getting to Denver and dinner until 6:30/7pm, but who cares.
I met up with Cristian and his girlfriend and we had dinner.  It was more than good to see a familiar face.  I went back to my hotel and slept.  I wanted to relax and sleep in for once.
I got up late and set out for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  I saw dinosaurs and went to a history of chocolate exhibit.
I drove to downtown to wait for Cristian to get off work.  Two strangers told me I was beautiful.  I decided Denver was kind.  Cristian and I got dinner and struggled to find my car.  I took him home and we said goodbye.

Today I really slept in.  I drove into Kansas.  After 5 or so hours of driving (with stops) I started to feel weird.  I took myself to a movie, which wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be.  I was feeling very uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to drive further, so I got a cheap motel room and I currently feel very stupid and alone.

I am further from home than I have ever been alone.  Saying goodbye to Cristian meant saying goodbye to the last person that I’ll see in a long time that knows me.  I wasn’t afraid for this adventure at all.  But now I am.  Because now there really is no turning back.  Now, if I made the wrong decision, I won’t know where to go or what to do.  I can’t just call my dad if my car breaks down.  I can’t expect my brother to come rescue me from a snow storm, or for Michelle to be able to watch a movie and just be with me.  I have to make it on my own now.  And even though I know for sure that I can do it, I am suddenly terrified.  What was I thinking?  Why did I do this?
Oh right, I was called.  I followed God.  I followed my heart.  I’m crossing things off my bucket list.  I’m making life an adventure.  I just wish I didn’t feel so alone and stupid.

Quick to Forgive

I don’t hold grudges often.  That’s not to say that I’m not capable of holding them, because I definitely have before; I just tend to forgive quickly.

I have been hurt a lot.  I’ve been wronged.  But I’ve also done a lot of wrongs.  I’ve hurt a lot of people.  Because we’re all humans.  When I screw up, I want to be taken back.  I want there to be forgiveness and for the past to not be held against me.  So I hope that I do the same.

I’ve been seeing someone.  Since November, I’ve spent a lot of time with someone who means a lot to me.  We’ve tried to not make it what it was because I’m planning on moving and there are so many other issues involved that I’m not going to talk about.  For a while he was pushing me for something that I couldn’t give him.  At some point I must have changed my mind, but now he denies ever pushing for that.
So he had a girl visit from out of a town for a few days.  I’ve known that she was coming from pretty much the day that he and I met.  At one point he told me that she didn’t matter to him, but that was apparently just a drunken lie, because he slept with her.
I can’t quite say that he cheated on me, because although we set boundaries, we never really defined our boundaries.  And you know what?  I’ll forgive him.  I’ll take him back.
If I was on the outside I would say a million times how stupid that is.  But there’s more to it.  I care more about the time we still have until I leave than I do about the pain that I am currently going through.  I still want this person in my life, in whatever capacity.
I will forgive quickly, because there is too little time to hang on to anger.

We, as humans, do so many stupid things to each other.  We’re all a bunch of sinners. really.  Yet God always takes us back.  He forgives us so quickly.  He doesn’t hold grudges when we make mistakes.  He just loves us.  And he chooses us every time.

 

So I’m just gonna leave this here.  Because I am far too honest of a person.