April 28, 2013


Five Iron Frenzy 2: Electric Boogaloo
Five Iron Frenzy 2: Electric Boogaloo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It would be easy to be bitter about this. And I have been bitter. I have been cynical and angry and built up walls. I have stopped myself before I even started. About two weeks ago, at the monthly womens' ministry meeting, I stood up and read part of Five Iron Frenzy's song "Kamikaze".

i am so slow to commit 
i have wasted years on fences  
is is really true the shoes don't fit?  
is it only my defenses?  
what if i don't measure up,  
don't listen well, don't smile enough?

I've never entirely understood what made me a target, even as far back as preschool. One of my earliest fuzzy memories is of being slapped by a girl at her birthday party, back when you were obligated to invite everyone in your class. I'm not sure what I did to anger her, though I suspect that it was insisting on being included in an activity from which the majority had decided to exclude me. 
One of my best friends, who lives in another country and was a bully herself back in the day, acknowledges that friendship can be incredibly awkward. The fact that we can discuss that and most anything else is one of the reasons she IS one of my closest friends. 
Perfectionism is my enemy in all areas, including friendship. In some cases, I think female friendship is just as, if not more, idealized as romantic relationships. We expect it to come easy, with a prepackaged group of friends who are all equally close to one another and who will always stay in touch. We expect to experience the defining moments of our lives with them. We expect them to defend us and know us perfectly and give us epiphanies. 
But most of the time, I don't think it's like that. Sure there are exceptions, but they're exactly that: exceptions. When we expect perfection, we give up too easily. We get angry. We stop taking chances. We get cynical and wall ourselves off from the rest of the world. But when we do that, we're wasting our time. To go through life like a zombie, dead and hollow, is pointless.  
We're all scared. Scared to open up and be rejected. And we will be rejected. We will be betrayed. We will be abandoned and dismissed and ignored. I guarantee it. Even animals will eventually die and leave you heartbroken. Which is why we are slow to commit to anything, especially when there are setbacks. It's easier and safer to hang back, constantly weighing our options, not rushing into anything. There is a place and a time for all of these things. But eventually they just become excuses. 
There is also a place and a time for distractions, for jokes and movies and games. But they can become too distracting, they can keep our relationships surface and safe, giving us the illusion of real relationships. 
We are also afraid of not measuring up, of not being what people want us to be, what they expect us to be. It is exhausting to constantly try to figure out what people want and become that. I constantly question whether people genuinely want to be around me or if they are just being nice. I assume that I am little more than an annoyance. The past and the present both wound me. The awkwardness makes my skin crawl and makes me want to run home and hide under the covers sometimes. I often question why I bothered to come to a social event or plan one. 
English: Zombie walk in Pittsburgh
English: Zombie walk in Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But I think it's worth it. Because I don't want to be a zombie (except at zombie walk). I've tried that and it was draining. I want to keep taking risks. Even if I'm disappointed, even if I'm hurt. Even if I cry and feel like taking scissors to my arms. Because some days I laugh about scandalous ankles, some days I have friends over for dinner, some days I get surprise birthday presents. And because the very act of loving one another, makes us better, makes us alive. 
I'm going in, like a kamikaze. 3,2,1 I'm going in.
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April 21, 2013


English: Marriage Portrait of a Husband and Wi...
English: Marriage Portrait of a Husband and Wife of the Lossy de Wariné Family, oil on panel painting by Gerard Donck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I bragged on my husband in church this past Sunday. I was a bit surprised by the reaction, which is not as positive as I might have hoped. As some of you know, I married my college sweetheart a year and five months ago. I feel like it is strange to say this in our culture, but there is honestly nothing I dislike about being married. My husband is truly amazing. If that makes you nauseous, feel free to move on to another blog or perhaps FML.
He is a hard worker who continued to work at a job he disliked in order to provide for us. He insists on carrying the heavier groceries up to our second floor apartment. He is willing to accept disagreement with his decisions, re-evaluate them, and make sure I am at peace with them before we proceed.
His insights often surprise me, such as last night when we were sharing our testimony with some of the church elders. One of them asked my husband to explain the gospel to him as if he was a lost person. When my husband did so, the elder jokingly said, "I'm lost, that sounds crazy!" My husband responded immediately, "It is! It's crazy true!" and I filled with pride.
My husband is up for whatever crazy adventure I concoct. He is patient and selfless and never demanding when it comes to physical affection.

However, as I continue to read more feminist writings, I find an incredibly saddening view of marriage. A few nights ago, a friend I greatly respect linked me to I Want A Wife, an essay by Judy Brady (then Judy Syfers). I found several things about the piece troubling, first of all the assumption that when a couple divorces, the child will, of course, go with the wife. Also, that a man would go looking for another wife so soon, as if she is an appliance to be replaced. The author mentions that she, too, would like a wife.

I warn you that this is my personal perspective and no one else's. Anyway. I thought for a moment. Would I like a wife.


The truth is, I don't particularly like women. I make exceptions, of course, but they are not the species with which I feel most comfortable and relaxed, so frankly, having to live with one 24/7 does not sound appealing. I can barely live with myself. However, Syfers supplies some pretty specific reasons on why she would want a wife. One of those reasons is that she would like to go back to school. Would I like to go back to school? Not really. I mean, if I get the opportunity to do so, that's awesome. I have given some thought to what I might major in if I should go back to school, and even checked out some places nearby that offer what I want, but it's just not really feasible right now. There are other things in my life that are more important and it's not really essential to my happiness or anything. That said, I've been pretty burned out on formal education for a while now and that may have something to do with that. Still, I don't feel like it's not an option for me. I know that if I really wanted and insisted on it that T and I would find a way to make it happen. In fact, when I was in school, he was one of my biggest encouragers, surpassed only by my own Mom. When I didn't want to go to class or do my homework, he was the one who told me I needed to do so, who reminded me of my goals. I have never felt stifled by him at all.
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I Like Adoption

April 17, 2013

Into Thy Calm: My Almost Atheism (the confession of an orthodox r...

Into Thy Calm: My Almost Atheism (the confession of an orthodox r...: "He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. [...] Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has p...

April 01, 2013

A Pruned Life

I have been thinking a lot about priorities lately and how to simplify my life. I need to take better care of my cat. That ties nicely into decluttering my apartment, since having lots of random crap laying around isn't very good for him. There is too much that he could get into. I've been doing better with home maintenance. Most days I at least get the dishes done. However, I want my home to be cozy and welcoming to others. I want it to be a ministry. I remember how at home I felt at the home of my youth pastor and his wife when I was younger and I want to be able to provide that to others now.

English: Pruned Holly A closer view of the pru...
English: Pruned Holly A closer view of the pruned tree 1128589 in Vernon Park, Stockport. The burrs produced will make it interesting wood for turning when it reaches the end of its life. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was blessed that a friend made time in her busy schedule to have breakfast with me on Friday. We talked of people who get dogs when they can't take care of the one they already have, about terrible small towns, about her brother going to seminary. We ate pancakes and laughed about our husbands' silliness. I complimented her impeccable fashion sense. Career goals (or lack thereof) were discussed.  She's excited to be graduating in December. I told her about traveling to California when I was seven. We laughed about the games we used to play with our Barbie dolls. Most meaningful to me, was when I told her that we were going to start trying to conceive next month and she responded with a huge smile and genuine excitement. It was refreshing. No competition, no jealousy, no possessiveness. Just love. From unexpected places.

T and I ran another 5k Saturday morning. My Mom came to cheer us on and we also ran into our friend Kmo, who was taking pictures for the event. Despite some technical difficulties with my ipod at the beginning of the race, it went really well overall. The miles definitely went by faster than usual and I'm thoroughly enjoying my new shoes. (My Mom got them for me for my birthday, and this is the first race I've run in them!) They are a smidge more minimalist than my old shoes and I can definitely feel the ground and how my feet are hitting it much better, allowing me to make adjustments to my stride as needed. I think we set a new PR, but it's hard to tell since we STILL haven't received our results yet. I will let you know when we do!

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The Weight of Love

Sorry, people. I didn't go on a diet when my now-husband proposed to me. I was living alone at the time, fostering a cat, getting very little sleep, had no social life, and subsisting mostly on Mountain Dew. I didn't need to lose weight because I was pretty slender in the first place and I certainly wasn't gaining. I'm sure you're jealous, but you really shouldn't be. I was nowhere near healthy. I was eating little to no vegetables. We also ate terribly during the honeymoon. To be perfectly honest, it was kind of fun, since a lot of what we ate was things we had eaten during our dorm room days. It was a nice callback to our dating days and kind of a reminder of how hard we had worked to get where we were.
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