i’m an external processor.
so i’ve been told.
yes, i guess that i am.
right now, i don’t have anything to process.
i don’t think.
sometimes i just need to write just because. just to get it out. but i really don’t have anything too important to say tonight. and i don’t have time for fancy prose when the work day and hebrew class loom.
plus, i’m kind of all about just keeping it real these days. i’ve always been that way. but i think i’ve become more that way in recent days. as in, who really cares if we have fancy words to say? what if i just have regular words to say, even if no one at all reads them?
i just got home from my p.e. class. i am stinky. my hair is pulled back in a ponytail. i’m getting my haircut tomorrow. i think i’m going short. er. shorter. i’ve had long hair for…five?…years now. makes me nervous, but i think it’s time for a change. just going to go with it. also, i’ve reached that point in my life when i might have to sacrifice groceries for hair color. because PLEASE STOP GROWING GREY HAIR. SSS. THERE ARE JUST SO MANY OF YOU.
i deactivated my facebook account earlier this week. i was going to do it on monday because it was the beginning of the week, and the date ended in a zero. i have this thing about even numbers. i like even numbers and numbers that end in 5 or 0. 1, 3, 7, 9 just feel sort of incomplete to me. (i am now thinking of the spiritual significance of each of these numbers. my number thing is a very not-spiritual thing. it’s just a thing.) but i shut ‘er down before i went to bed on sunday night. i don’t even know the reason for it. kind of i do, now. but not really. if for no other reason, i did this in order to free up creative space for writing or painting or playing guitar or piano or reading something more inspiring than…well, let’s just say it’s time to read some books, folks.
also, it’s amazing how un-profound your thoughts seem to be when you don’t immediately broadcast them to your whole virtual world. rather, when you are your own audience, your words are less-fancy. in fact, my words to me are harsher than my words to my “friends”.
i don’t want to speak harshly to me anymore.
we have to start loving ourselves better, don’t we?
right now, kid president is giving me a pep talk.
i’ve been late to work a lot lately because, the truth is, i just don’t feel like getting out of bed. but not because i’m depressed…unless you count just being sad about getting out of bed as depressed (i mean this literally - i have been that kind of depressed, and that’s not the kind i’m talking about. if that’s you, i get that. and i’m sorry. stay in bed today if you need to. it’s okay. we’ll try again tomorrow. you’re not alone.)…it’s just so cold out there! also, i just like being in bed. it’s warm and safe in there.
so i get mad at the cold and that i have to get out of bed and be in it, as if the cold is specifically cold just to make me mad that i have to get out of bed.
i’m onto you, cold. i know your games. your tricks. i’ll show you, cold. tomorrow i’m going to get out of bed with
a smile less of a frown than i normally do. see? take that, cold.
i actually enjoy being happy. it’s just that some days i have to work at it a little bit harder. (i mean, really? isn’t that true of most of us, if we’re just being honest? maybe not most, but some.) so i’ve started doing this thing in the morning when i’m getting ready. since i’m a little bit cranky and don’t actually want to be, i’ll listen to podcasts or watch videos of naturally joyful or otherwise inspiring people. it’s one thing to be someone who has had to fight for joy, or fight to keep it or to get it back. but naturally joyful people? they make the rest of us glad to be alive, just to be breathing. like, i want whatever they’re having. only, in most of these cases, what they’re having is jesus and so i say, “i have you, too, jesus! but i’m mostly cranky these days. what can we do about this, jesus?”
i actually haven’t said that, but i will tomorrow. i mainly just trust that something they have will bounce off of them and stick onto me and will be food for my soul that maybe/perhaps/hopefully i might have the good fortune of feeding another sick soul like mine some of the soul food i’ve been fed.
this morning, i watched a video by bob goff. my mentor showed it to her class the other day. i could hear him laughing on the video through my office wall.
i need to hear more people laughing through my office wall.
(don’t we all?)
do you ever just laugh at everything you think you are and thought you ever were and realize you are utterly, completely and totally ridiculous and not at all anything you ever thought you were but everything you’ve always been?
and what you are actually is pretty awesome? and by “pretty awesome”, i mean “really awesome”?
i mean this in the way that psalm 139, for example, might literally come alive in your bones. as if you might explode with the knowledge that every single hair on your head has been counted, every breath you breathe is being breathed through you, that your quirks are not shamed but are delighted in and god’s thoughts about you are just…endless? and…good? that’s the kind of “i am awesome” i’m talking about.
i’m a secretary for one of the colleges at my university.
and i have decided two things, just today. one is, i really love people. i actually didn’t just decide that today. but it created more definition for me today. if my whole day could just be about people and i didn’t have to do things that are important to other people for the reason that people are the most important thing and everything else will get done eventually, then i would have the best job on the planet.
the second thing is, i am laughing at myself tonight, realizing that i am not as administrative as i pretend to be.
in fact, i’m probably not as anything as i pretend to be.
this week has been rigorous, overwhelming. i have been irritable because i’ve been hormonal. i don’t write everything down. i forget things all the time. i don’t know the right questions to ask all the time, and so i do the wrong thing if i remember to do the thing at all, and then i get upset when i look like an idiot.
but here’s the thing: i don’t care.
and by “i don’t care”, i mean this:
wait. hold the phone.
ha! i am so prideful!
did you hear what i just said? (did i hear what i just said?) “i don’t care.” oh, good grief.
i care. obviously i care. only people who care too much say “i don’t care”.
and so i think i’m going to stop being prideful and just care.
starting right now.
it’s not that i don’t care. it’s just i am plain prideful!
my friends are right. external processor. geez louise.
i think i’m going to stop pretending like i know how to run everything and do anything and just throw my hands in the air and wave them like i just don’t care and have a dance party. or something.
because it’s not that i don’t care. it’s that i actually don’t know. and “i don’t know” isn’t a bad thing. we can work with “i don’t know”. “i don’t care”, well. that just doesn’t sound very nice. i need to stop saying that. there are times i say “i don’t care” when what i mean is “WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO WORRY ABOUT THAT LITTLE TINY THING. THERE ARE HEARTS TO LOVE AND PEOPLE TO HUG, PEOPLE!”
it is very freeing and much easier to just laugh at myself than it is to try to control things i can’t control and to just say “oops” or “i’m sorry i did that wrong” or “i have no idea what i’m doing” or “please help me”. how am i going to learn anything if i think i know everything? i am surrounded by some awesome teachers, faculty and staff alike who a.) have lots of grace and no trouble at all distributing it and, b.) are more than willing to help me if they can.
GET OVER YOURSELF, i am going to start saying to myself. loudly.
and then i’m going to laugh.
because the other thing i’m learning how to do more of? is how not to take myself so seriously. even when i get whiny, i make fun of myself. again, i’ve always been this way, too. but i’m becoming this way all over again.
i mean, truth be told, i’d like to just not be whiny or cranky or prone to depression at all anymore. i’d also like to lose 10 pounds and not have acne anymore. and so, i make different choices. i look for opportunities to choose right thinking versus wrong thinking. to feed my soul and my body with good and healthy and life-giving nourishment instead of giving in to what has previously been a natural tendency.
i sent an email to my people who pray for me earlier this week. in it, i explained that karen told me it would take me a good two years to recover from the trauma of what i experienced…well, now, almost two years ago. i didn’t want to believe her, i prayed that it wouldn’t take that long. but like a seed that has been dormant in a winter soil, life is starting to poke out a little bit from the ground that i forgot was ever there.
so, all these things that i’m saying now that sound like they’re new things? i don’t think they are. i think i just forgot they were there. i’m starting to feel like myself all over again, only i want to be a better version of me.
awkward, funny, kind, relaxed, one day at a time kind of girl of the gypsy/home-body variety, depending on the day. who may or may not be a little bit cranky, even if she makes fun of herself.
seeds that grow again tend to be sturdier, more resilient.
and the cranky? it will go away. (to keep things right-sized…when i and every other woman in the world is hormonal? everything is super-sized. i know you know this by now. i am probably not as cranky as i think i am, but maybe this week i am.)
to be fair, my office is very busy. it is very small, and at any given point there might be as many as five students just hanging out in there. i only have two extra chairs, which means the other three people are just standing there. (okay, what is actually more likely and normal is that there might be 3 students in there at a time, which means one is standing.)
note to self: why don’t you start offering people your own chair? you sit there most of the day. get up. offer your seat. stand.
this afternoon, one of our professors came in to visit just as he normally does when i’m working late on the days he has a later class. and a sweet student, an awesome guy, came in with him. he didn’t sit down until he was invited to, and i realize that’s the probably the case with a lot of folks. i just assume everyone knows to make themselves at home, but some folks need an invitation to have a seat with you.
we can’t assume people know they are welcome, even if you and i know they always are. but the thing about a welcome is, once invited to the table one time, they are more inclined to sit down the next time.
i enjoy it when this prof comes in at the end of the day. he only stays a few minutes because “i won’t keep you, i know you have work to do”, to which i reply, “it is always a pleasure. you don’t keep me from anything. i enjoy our visits.” today, when we were visiting with this student, i commented that this time of day is always a good time for a visit. he reminded that it’s because it’s nice when people aren’t telling you or asking you or needing you to do something for them. it’s nice when people sit down just to visit.
and it’s true. we need to stop needing people so much, y’all. don’t you think? i mean, we need each other just because we do. because we can’t do life alone. we need each other because we are designed to need each other and do life together.
but then comes the time when we take for granted the people in our lives because of what they can do for us instead of who they are.
and this isn’t okay.
this is so simple. it’s so basic. i do it.
hey, listen. i am not preaching to anyone but myself here.
but my days get SO BUSY that, a.) even though i say i love people, i don’t always act like i do. it is my job to serve students and faculty. it is not up to them to determine whether or not it’s a good time for them to need me to do something for them. i do not have the option of not loving people.
we can’t afford not to love people, y’all. it’s the only thing we’re really told to do.
b.) i think i’m just going to start hugging people when they come in my door. why not? hugs heal. they make people feel better. they make me feel better. they might also make people uncomfortable. but i’d rather make people uncomfortable with a hug instead of my “what in the world do you want and can’t you see how busy and important i am?” face.
another thing i learned today? people don’t care how important you think you are.
they care about how important you think they are.
and by “important” i do not mean letters or titles.
and i do not mean pretending to be nice to the person who can do things for you or better than you or can somehow help advance or promote you.
I KNOW IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE THAT IN THE WORLD.
i also know you are not one of them.
and i don’t want to be one of them, either.
because, people? they matter. all of them. all of the people in all of the places in all of the land everywhere really matter.
but you know what kind of person i don’t really want to be but sometimes find myself being? (i can’t take credit for this, by the way. it’s a take-away from the bob goff message i listened to this morning.)
is the person who tries to make herself matter more by telling other people that she made that person feel like they mattered.
jesus didn’t tell other people how important he made someone else feel. and he didn’t tell people how important he was.
he just was, and they just were. and that was that.
and people knew that they mattered to him because they actually mattered to him.
i want to be that person.
i also want to be a person who gets her work done more efficiently and is a better time manager and remembers not to forget things and writes all the things down that are so important to god and everyone.
but for now i’ll settle for being someone who is known for all the hugs she gives.
even if it makes people sort of uncomfortable.
and what’s more real than an awkward moment?
then we get to laugh and be easy.
and that’s the best thing of all.
p.s. it’s thursday now. i fell asleep writing this last night. there are a whole lot of words in there and i’m not cranky today. i did just as i said i would, telling the cold “I OWN YOU”, and so i woke up happier (but still hormonal).
and do you know what the day did?
it got warmer.
as in, i didn’t wear my coat when i came back from lunch.
there is still stale snow on the ground in front of my apartment, but i don’t have to wear my coat.
as in, i woke up, anyway, and got out of my warm bed in spite of the cold and both the warm and i showed up for life today.
spring is coming.