girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Saturday, November 24, 2007

look & see

'you can get the monkey off your back,
but the circus never really leaves town'
-grace (eventually); anne lamotte
there's this scene in my favorite movie, pride & prejudice, that had always puzzled me.
the prideful elizabeth has just turned down mr. darcy's proposal...
she has just found out that he has been the cause of her eldest sister's heartbreak and he has told her that he loves her 'despite' her inferior place in society.
she does not take this well...
and does not understand how a man could claim to love her with all of these offenses made against her.
they are both wrong, but they have also both spoken the truth.
the next scene has elizabeth waking and pacing around the house in her robe.
she tries to pick up a book but cannot seem to stop smiling...we suppose from the feelings that have just been handed to her.
she finally winds up looking out at something...
the viewer can't tell what it is...perhaps a window?
as she stands there gazing, the sun goes down outside and the room grows dark.
darcy shows up to give her a letter of explanation, but she does not alter her stare.
finally, after he has left, she spins around and we realize she's been looking in a mirror.
i never understood why or how she could be looking at herself for that length of time.
it kind of irritated me.
this movie, my favorite movie, that i cannot seem to find a flaw in has this one scene that i don't seem to understand.
perhaps i should read the book to find out...especially now that i have a little bit of extra time on my hands.
when ryan and i visited my therapist together this last time, she told us that during this time apart we needed to do some real internal searching.
we aren't supposed to really be trying to fix things for each other, but more for ourselves.
we're not even really supposed to talk about each other or focus on each other...
we're supposed to deal with our own shit.
she said that it's kind of like looking in a mirror to see who we really are.
now, i think most people look in mirrors only when they're getting ready or are doing something in the bathroom.
i don't know many people that stare in mirrors for the sake of 'seeing themselves'.
if you haven't done it, i suggest you try it.
it's hard to get past all of our traditional thoughts that come to mind as we look at ourselves,
much less to begin to analyze our souls.
i watched pride and prejudice again this weekend while i've been on break for thanksgiving,
and that scene, that one scene that has never sat well with me, finally made total sense. 
right after being confronted with someone else telling her that they loved her...
right after having her family's dysfunction and place called into question...
right after her pride and own faults are uncovered...
she spends countless hours in front of a mirror staring at herself.
i wish that my 'mirror' looked like one surrounded by beautiful english landscapes and would be end just like my favorite movie does.
don't get me wrong...i think ms. elizabeth and mr. darcy had their fair share of angst,
but my mirrors look more like fun house mirrors in a circus.
i can barely get a clear view of myself before something changes and the meditation is lost. 
not to mention that my circus, especially during the holidays, is dancing around me...and bringing havoc.
i wish i could get a good look inside myself...
i wish that i could see past the circus around me...
i wish i knew what questions to ask of myself...
i wish that i could really accept the fact that all of this will not be solved in three months,
that my relationships will not be perfect,
and that i will not have all the answers. 
i wish. i wish. i wish.

Friday, November 23, 2007


my senior year of high school i decided to go on a 40+ day fast for lent.
i did a liquid fast...meaning i only accepted things that could be liquefied or was already in liquid form.
when my mother asked what i wanted on easter when i could finally eat, 
i told her chocolate cake. 
once i put those words into existence all i could think about was that damn cake.
i could taste it in my mouth as i sat drinking my chicken broth and juice.
finally easter did come...
and the cake no longer mattered.
perhaps i was tired from wanting it so bad,
or over the hype,
or maybe i had grown in some way...
either way, i didn't really want the cake after all.
however, i did end up eating a small piece eventually,
and got a tummy ache too.
ryan and i decided to go see my therapist before we fully embarked on this 'break' we're taking.
she told us that perhaps we should think of this time as a 'fast'...
from each other, from the relationship.
i think that she might be right...
that might be a better way of thinking about this.
like ryan said, 'break is two letters away from break-up',
and it doesn't seem like either of us wants that right now.
so...we're fasting.
just like when i felt the hunger pains of my fasting during lent,
i can feel my insides grumbling from the lack of ryan.
i don't know if many people really think and examine what their bodies do when they feel hungry,
but being a student and working at the same time does not always afford a perfect lunch/dinner hour...
and so there are times when i just get to sit there and be hungry.
i can feel the hunger starting in my stomach...
it starts with this pain that slowly increases...
and then it finally, finally, finally breaks...
and my stomach growls. 
i hate that moment before the growl.
it feels like a wave out in the ocean that is increasing speed and height as it travels...
and then eventually it crashes down...
yesterday was thanksgiving and like many others across the country,
i sat, waiting, unfed until the massive feast was ready.
the hunger pains immense,
but the wait well worth it.
that's where i'm at right now.
ryan and i won't speak for the next 2-3 weeks.
the silence and the absence is building...
and one day it will break.
that's why the 2-3 weeks...
i hope it takes about that long.
i know that seeing him again is like that chocolate cake...
i know right now i think i need it and have to have it...
but i'm hoping that whatever happened during that 40 day fast-
obedience, maturity, growth-
whatever it was, i'm hoping i gain the same things in this fast.
too bad it won't be 'fast' as well...
instead, it will be slow and painful,
and the struggle will not be easy.
today is a day that makes me hate growing up.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


ken read this at the end of our service on sunday after i led our group and told my story.
i think we all needed to hear it.

i'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, 
the taste of ashes, the poison i've swallowed. 
i remember it all—oh, how well i remember— 
the feeling of hitting the bottom. 
but there's one other thing i remember, 
and remembering, i keep a grip on hope:

God's loyal love couldn't have run out, 
his merciful love couldn't have dried up. 
they're created new every morning. 

how great your faithfulness! 
i'm sticking with God (i say it over and over). 
he's all i've got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, 
to the woman who diligently seeks. 
it's a good thing to quietly hope, 
quietly hope for help from God. 
it's a good thing when you're young 
to stick it out through the hard times.

when life is heavy and hard to take, 
go off by yourself. 
enter the silence. 
bow in prayer. 
don't ask questions: 
wait for hope to appear. 
don't run from trouble. 
take it full-face. 
the "worst" is never the worst.
-lamentations 3:19-29

Sunday, November 18, 2007

cleanse & mend

ryan and i have decided to go on a break...
not a break up, just a break.
(although, i did try to do that too...and then apologized...again)
the last few months have been hard on us,
and we both seem to need some space.
some space to walk away and to breathe again.
some space so that maybe we can stop hurting each other,
and maybe even save what we've got left.
we both love each other...
and so we're going to give it a try.
last weekend i had plans to go out with some girlfriends of mine.
as ryan walked me out to my car i began to get a bit choked up.
i confessed that i didn't really want to go with them and when he offered to let me stay there with him...i declined that too.
lately i've needed more of ryan then he can give- 
which isn't entirely his fault or my fault.
i'm going to school full time-actually taking more than a full course load.
i'm also working a full time job-which sometimes turns out to be more like 60 hours a week-with a boss that is less than easy to get along with most of the time.
i'm living with people that aren't my family for the first time-3 girls (and their boyfriends).
i've given myself over to weekly therapy which is digging up more than i can focus on a lot of the time...
and i've tried to stay engaged in two communities of people that i love very deeply.
then there's ryan and me...
and my very regimented time and expectations.
so that night i didn't want to go out with friends,
and i strangely wasn't demanding his time either.
i told him that i was sad...about everything...
and that i wanted to just go home and sleep.
he told me that maybe i'm depressed,
maybe i've been that way a long time and never noticed it,
and that i should just be with it and see what happens.
i told ken and some of wellspring this story and ken said that a lot of people begin to feel depressed when they begin therapy because of all the junk it brings up.
i talked to dr. galvin about it too...
she said that all of that might be true,
but i might also just be exhausted.
maybe it's all three i said.
she told me to go home and get some rest.
i've been taking a lot of showers the past couple of weeks.
mostly because when i get home, everything comes pouring out,
and so i jump in the shower...
and i cry.
i lay in the bottom of the bathtub for a long while...
that way i can get it all out and my roommates don't ask questions.
no one can hear me.
i can be alone.
today i woke up in my parents' house.
i left the city and school so that i could get away-
away from ryan who is only a few minutes away...
from all of our friends that keep asking what's wrong with ryan & i,
from my job that never ends,
and to sleep.
home is a whole other can of worms most of the time,
but for the moment it is the only haven i felt safe enough to go.
i jumped in the shower this morning...
going over the things i would say in church today:
i'm leading our worship gathering and this week is covering a part in acts that talks about peter's miraculous healing of two separate people.
thinking about it pisses me off.
i wonder why the hell God couldn't have done that kind of stuff for me...
why it couldn't be that easy.
why it has to be so damn hard...
and hurt like nothing i've ever felt before.
why i couldn't be healed...
so that that maybe i could stop crying,
and maybe i could stop taking as many showers.
pondering all this, i reach over to grab the shampoo that has been left in the shower (i don't like to bring a whole lot home...packing is annoying to me)
so i grabbed what i saw first,
aussie's shampoo called: 'cleanse & mend'.
i chuckled...and cried a little.
i'm scared to death to be alone in all this.
i hate that the one thing that could bring ryan & i closer is to be apart.
for some reason, that doesn't add up.
right now, depression or exhaustion, is the time when i need him the most...
and the time that i guess i'll have to go it alone,
and maybe even rely upon these people i claim to be in 'community' with.
i hate that God is having to work all this out in us,
i hate that we've tried harder at this than anything before,
and i hate that he and i are still little kids...
still fumbling around and dragging each other around.
i wish it were easy.
i wish it were painless.
i wish it were over already...
but it's not, and we've got a big journey ahead of us.
it will hopefully be filled with lots of questions, 
and maybe even a couple answers...
and maybe a little less wasted shampoo.