Wednesday, January 20, 2016

To be Social

Can I be honest with you?  Oh, what the hey, I'm always open and honest with you.  (My naysayers will refute that, but we all have them.)  This past Sunday in Sunday School we had a lesson that I just cannot seem to shake.  There are so many of those aren't there?  I actually think many of my posts say, or at least start off saying, the same thing.  You see, we were talking about envy.  We were talking about those things that we see others have that just makes us second guess ourselves.  Now, the teacher he was expecting the normal answers like, "I wish I had $$ like so and so."  "I wish my house was as big as..."  You get the idea.  But before anyone else could chime in I spoke up.  I didn't even preface my answer.  No, I threw it out there in all of its ugliness.  I gave it the spotlight, I bared its simplicity and it complexity.  That thing that I wish I had that everyone else has?  That thing that I get jealous about?

Relationships.  Yep.  That's it.  I struggle here and it breaks me to see how easy it is for others.  I have walls.  BIG walls.  I don't like to let people in.  I don't like to share more than I think others have the right to know.  I don't want a sole to have any idea of what I have going on in many areas of my life. However, there are things that I love to talk about.  My Littles for one.  I'm so proud of them.  I also love to talk about my work, my schooling (oh yeah, I'm working on my Master's), my hobbies, my house.  Those, those are the things I like to talk about.  I am not at all into pop-culture, mainstream anything, or the newest gizmo.  I do like to talk about the news, politics, and current events.  Now, you may be thinking why is this an issue?

Well, apparently when I talk about these things, most especially with the people in my life, they think I am talking down or above them.  But it isn't the case.  Not one lick.  These are just the things that I know about, the things that are personal to me and me alone and that makes them things that I am an authority on.  I don't  want to sit and talk about other people - unless it's the "fine folks" that are running for the presidency!  Snort!  I shouldn't have to.  There is no reason what-so-ever.  Sure I talk to you about my Littles, what they are learning, how they are doing, what they have accomplished.  Yet, I fail to make lasting connections. 

I know that the most important thing with relationships is communication and that he most important part of communication is listening, and I do that.  In fact, I've been told I listen too much.  By that I mean that instead of engaging in the conversation I just listen to it.  Well, there isn't much I can contribute, they are things I know nothing about.  Thus I bust out the listening skills. 

Ok, I understand that there is more to relationships than communication and that there are just those times when personalities clash and there isn't much I can do about that.  Trust me, I've tried numerous times to change who I am to make other people happy and it has only hurt me and them in the end.  So there it is.  I want you to know that I am socially awkward.  I do not get the nuances, the way it is supposed to work, the ins and outs, the - well, process.

But I do try.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Words That Define

Over the course of the years I have been both brutally honest and transparent as well as cloaked in self preservation.  Tonight, well, I have something to share that I've held in since elementary school.  Something that has ate away at the fabric of my being so deeply that at times I wonder if it isn't the truth of who I am simultaneously fighting the person I chose to be.  I will not name the person as I know their words were never meant for my eyes; only my  mother's.  I cannot say how I stumbled across the words, so fervently scrawled across the perfectly lined paper, but I did.  I think I even subconsciously heard that I should never be allowed to see the words.  Yet, I was a child.  Once fraught with curiosity that I chose to seek the words that held an omen that I have fought my entire life never to become.

You see, the person who penned these was not truly in anger with my being, but more so with the choices of the person who borne me.  Yet, to this day, some 25+ years after I read them so beautifully, yet angrily forced upon the steno paper, they haunt me.  These words which I have earnestly sought never to define me.  The words which to think about now make me wonder if they haven't truly come to fruition and in my naivety chose not to accept their truth.  Please understand that the person who penned these is someone I have always strove to please.  A person who I love, even to this day.  A person who I see in my mind's eye as one of the most beautiful women I know.

To this day, I struggle with how to talk to her, wondering deeply if my life is in any way, shape or form worthy of her judgment.  If I have succeeded enough in life to be at least an ounce of worthy. Do not misunderstand, I value her to this day, while still wishing I was good enough to not be insignificant in her eyes.  This person, whom is blood family, knows so much of my ancestry,  yet so little of who the real me is.  Sure, I am fallible.  I am weak.  I am broken.  I am a sinner. But in all of this, I am also a woman who knows that without God there is no basis for my being.

Those words?  Oh, I know you are eagerly awaiting their condemning voice, their purposeful meaning, and their foreshadowing.  You want them as badly as I wish to forgive them.  You see, they hurt.  They burn.  They diminish me to  this day when I give them the power to do so.  She said, quite profoundly that, "[Mandy] would wind up barefoot and pregnant with no hope of a future. That she [me] would wind up a nobody."  Oh, my dear readers, this may seem so trivial to you, but I use these words to question my worth.  Have I done enough?  Have I become enough?  Will I ever be someone?  Have I created another generation of women who wish they had a purpose? 

While I sit here, taking a much needed break from my studies for my MBA, I wonder if I am good enough to succeed.  If I fail to obtain the grades I need, will that mean I am not smart enough or good enough to be someone.  I truly want to tell you all I want in life is to be the woman God designed me to be, yet at the same time I feel that I am too lacking in every way to be even a person He sees.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Next Blank Page

What do you do when you want to write, but you know the words are all going to be the vomit your brain has produced all day?  I want to get the words out.  I want to get these things out of my head.  I want to be free from them. And yet, even now as I am typing I do not recall each one. I know that they have weighed on me today and that because of it I am completely and utterly drained today.  I have no energy.  I am void of feeling - I am numb. 

We had an amazing lesson today in Sunday School (Small Group if you will) and a terrific message during the service.  Man, I seriously love our church.  I seldom wonder if I tell anyone enough on how much I need them.  How much I need the peace and comfort of the people I call my church family.  The Sunday School lesson was on New Year's Resolutions and the Message was on Stewardship (Embracing Responsibility).  And since then I have been in a funk.

You see, I don't make New Year's Resolutions.  Why?  I fail at them.  I do not like the word "diet", I love to run, but am so frustrated in how much stamina I have lost since taking the last 6 months off to heal this bum knee.  So much so that it makes me cry to think of what I used to be capable of.  But I think the truth of it is so much bigger than all of that.  I think it has to do with what I am meant to be and do.  I know in the last couple of posts I've let on with some things that I am struggling with.

For instance if my responsibility is to be exactly where I am, then I must not see where it is that I am.  Truth of it is, God has blessed me abundantly; I will never, ever deny that fact.  I have searched repeatedly for the journal entry where I asked the Lord for my future someone and all of the things that I asked for.  Oh, he is so faithful.  Yes, he will do it in his timing, but when it is his will, it will happen!  You see, the thing of it is, he doesn't always make sure you are really ready for what it is that you are asking for.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth, not in the least; but what I am doing is questioning the strength that he thinks I have.  This is where I am.  This is what has me so completely bereft. I am happy, I am thankful, I am so blessed and yet I have this struggle.  I have this complete understanding that no matter what there is never going to be a completeness, a wholeness with my life as it is.  There will never again be a "perfect picture."

And despite this fact I know that I have to move on, go forward.  I have to Embrace my Responsibility and also face this next year with all of its challenges with the eager expectation that the Lord is already there and he has already fought and conquered the battles that I have yet to come upon.  You see, I know all that I should.  I KNOW.  Yet, I know not.  (Know this is not a Yoda thing!)  You see, each year, as I quite certain you all saw on multiple FB posts, the new year brings with it 365 (366 this year because of the Leap Year) blank pages to write an amazing story.  And I do not know what to even place on page one.

Well, here is to the next blank page, and the one after that and the things that I have to accept God's grace and power to conquer and learn as the days add up.