Friday, December 3, 2010

I did so well in the month of November, keeping on top of my feelings and doings. But I've struggled since to write much, because I'm terribly afraid of jinxing myself. I know that's silly. I know whether I write or not has no influence on what happens around me, but still I fear. If I divulge too much, I'll have to un-divulge it when it's over. And I hate un-divulging. It just seems so...sad.
But I guess I'll say something brief. I've found a very, very special man with whom I'm currently sharing my life. We're not a couple, we're as yet close friends, but it seems to be heading in the direction of something more meaningful. (Not that there's a lot more meaningful than friendship.) I'm being very careful this time...though I think I am every time. But with him, I'm so much more interested in a sort of future. He's wonderfully sweet and kind, creative and so witty. He's tall and handsome, has some beautifully unique features, like 2/3rds of an index finger. He's so far very different from the boys I usually date and I suppose that's a good sign.
But I'm being careful. My heart is as sensitive as it is tough, and I cannot make the usual mistakes with this man. So instead of thinking so very much all the time, I'm just being me. Just living life, taking it all in stride, hoping for the best, and living one day with him at a time. Here's to hope!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I. am. so. boy-crazy. How is it that I've never been in love?! Sometimes I feel like God's protected my heart from all the silliness it seeks after...for one, by keeping me from falling in love, and for two, by keeping boys disinterested in me. That is, at least, what I tell myself. It's God's fault they don't love me. :) I guess boys aren't completely disinterested. That's half the problem. They're really interested! And then...they're just not. I don't get it, ya know? I mean, I'm the same Emily day one to the end. So why do they like me...and then just not like me?
What a life-long mystery. Moments like this, when I'm content and cheerful, and happy to wait for so-called Mr. Right, I can laugh about it. It's a silly little complication in my life, and I'm pretty sure it will all be resolved one day when I meet some sweet, wonderful, honest man who finds my quirky charm endearing.
When I struggle with this thing...this pattern I have with men (or they have with me?), I sit back and think to myself, "Self, could you (I) be happy never getting married?" And I do think I could. Especially now that Baby Chas has entered my world.
I want to get married. I want to have someone significant with whom to share my life, but it's not the thing of my life. It's just a thing. One of many things I'd like to do in a lifetime. But part of me would also like to be "Crazy Aunt Em" who lives all over the world and brings you cool souvenirs, and she's always smiling because she loves her life. And when you ask her (me) why she never got married, she just looks at you shocked and says, "Well! I still have plenty of time, young man!" (Or young woman, if I have a niece someday.)
But I am boy-crazy. I love those boys, all of'em. Perhaps one day I'll really love one of those boys and he'll love me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

One...two...three Old Chubs make a girl honest. 1) I miss the way you kiss, the way you tell me I'm sexy, the way you hold me while we sleep. 2) I wish you would mean to me what I want you to mean to me. 3) I think you're just my friend, until I see you again, then I realise all I want is for you to want me.
I want love. I need love. I need that man to need me the way I know, without a doubt, I need him. But time keeps passing and still he doesn't say, and I know deep down that he doesn't feel that way. This way. The way I feel right now - ready, honest, bound. I am bound. By him, by all hims who have ever been something to me.
Say you need me. Please, dear man, dearest of all dear men, need me now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Last night was a big revelation to me on why I don't date much. My skin is paper-thin. I went on a date with a guy I'd been in communication with for a few weeks and we were both so excited about getting together, when it actually happened, it wasn't, of course, the violins and fireworks I'd imagined. I do this every time. I work myself into a frenzy, telling myself over and over, "Calm down, take it in stride, do not get your hopes up." But it doesn't matter. My hopes are always sky-high, even if I tell myself I have no expectations.
I want love. I desperately want love, and while I try on these very different, all uniquely special men, I can't help but hope every single time that this may be the man who loves me. At the end of all these experiences, I tell myself, "You just need to do it more...grow thicker skin." But I can't help but wonder who I would be with thicker skin. Is it better to harden yourself, prepare for the worst, not let anyone in until they've proven something significant, or is it better to fall in love with everyone and be wounded with every experience?
I can't decide. I know there must be a middle-ground. And I know that I'm not completely to the one extreme, as most of these incurred wounds are barely skin deep. They heal pretty quickly, usually. But they are painful, still, and I feel like I could probably do without them.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, would it be better for me to change my heart, to harden that skin, load on the experience, and try to get hurt less, or to change my behaviors, date less often, be more choosey, keep my heart to myself.
Again, there's got to be a happy medium. I've got to find it, too, before I get hurt worse than I yet have.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Amazing what time and life can do to a wound. I have no doubts that they can almost completely heal. But I still say only "almost" because I so much believe some wounds can never completely heal.
My wide open gushing wound from the death of my father is a wound that will never, in another 60-70 or 80 years, will never entirely heal. If I live to be 84, I am positive that wound, however minute and scarred, will still gently throb on the 60th anniversary of my dad's death.
But here I am, almost three years later, and the intensity of that particular wound has bayed to a slow ache. If this wound were a gash, it would be much like a week after stitches. The threads are falling out, no longer needed to keep the wound closed, but a sharp blow on just the wrong spot could undo every stitch in the flash of a second.
I miss my dad like crazy. I miss every little thing about him. But I'm finally beginning to accept his absence, and perhaps becoming able to carry on with life joyfully and with purpose.
Seems strange, though, as time passes, new hurts come to life from this wound. On my way out of town this afternoon, I thought about my mom, and I saw her pain in a different light. Rather suddenly my heart broke for her. Her wound is completely different than mine, and for the last three years, I haven't been able to empathize with that pain. I still can't really, as I've not yet been in love, but I guess as my own healing process begins to really show some effect, I'm able to see outside myself much more clearly. And I see her in pain - an incredible pain I'm not sure I would be able to bear. I'm not entirely sure she's able to bear it, but I assume God will see that she does.
I pray with my whole heart that I'll be able to empathize with her now. That I will ache for her pain, instead of being annoyed by it. That I will see ways I can take care of her, and do my part to patch the wound.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I just finished reading a friend's blog about life's small (and grande) pleasures. Her list was full of sweet-nothings, things you or I might never think special, but in her words I could feel the warmth of her soul as she described a few of her favorite things.
I thought about my own list, my list of tiny happies, and though I struggle day to day to find meaning in this menial life, I know in my heart my list is so long it's nearly endless. I both love and hate my life. When that exact thought first popped into my head, for a flash of a half-second, I thought, "How can that be?! Why am I so crazy?" But it's not crazy at all. It's really quite simple: I'm human. Every moment of my existence is a battle between two sides of myself. I have the most beautiful, insightful, pleasurable side who is a child of God, who is secure in her heavenly future, and loves this earth with every ounce of gusto because it is a precious gift from my Lord.
But simultaneously, I am a fleshly being. I am one who hates and loathes and despises everything that is not Heaven. I long with all my heart to be there, to be Home as I so often reference it, and because my heart already belongs there, a place of utmost beauty and endless joy, this side of me hates this world and its robbing of my true life.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rhetorical questions.

I got an apartment today. I'm moving into a really nice little condo with one of my very best friends, and it's the deal of a lifetime. Why, then, am I so sad? I'm sitting here in my room (at my mom's house), realising these are my last moments last nights...last days. I love this house. This house is the first place in so many years where I found home. So much has happened in the last eight years, some of it within the walls of this very house, and my heart breaks to leave it.
I remember a similar feeling when my parents sold our house in Dallas, the house where I grew up, more or less. This dull aching inside, accompanied by a knotted stomach, signifying the end of a very meaningful history. For the Dallas house, it was 12 years living with the three people in the world I love the absolute most. We were a small family, complete with various cats and a dog, sometimes a gerbil or two, and every minute spent in that sweet little home added something priceless to the woman I am today. I remember that house perfectly. I remember ever corner, every tree, every unsuccessful attempt to grow grass, every game of detective, every birthday party, and every slammed door from that red-brick house on Applegate. It felt, and sometimes still feels like a part of my family.
I know that's cheesy. I know it's silly to love a building that much, to make it that meaningful to myself and be so sad when it's gone. But it's kind of like the neat little package that bundles up all my most pleasant memories, and what do I do with them when it disappears? One by one, they start to disappear, too, little pieces of me, memories of things and people and a beautiful life just begin to face away with time.
This house is much the same as that little red one on Applegate, but its contents are so much more full and real, because I've been an adult all these eight years. Ramshorn is a perfect home. I can see the famous Long's Peak from my kitchen window. I keep my window open year round, because the air's so fresh, I hate to miss a second of it. Elk and dear and coyotes and bears traipse through our "yard" like we're in the middle of the zoo, and no matter what time of year, how hot or cold, this house always stays the perfect temperature. The part I love most about the house itself is its location. Besides all those things previously mentioned, it's also perfectly situated on the edge of Estes, so that in the middle of the night, you can't hear a blessed thing, and not much more during daylight hours. I've grown to love the stillness out here.
The memories here, of course, besides being more mature, are different in other ways, too. This house was my dad's. He touched every surface in this house, every plane; he died here. My dad's life ended right here, on the middle level bathroom floor. But in some ways, my dad's life also began in this house. He was a new man when he and my mom moved here in 2002. He was the same Mr. Ed, loving and kind, gentle and humble, but he was different, too. He liked his jobs, he got my mom all to himself, he made incredible friends, and every single day he got to wake up to mountains and that sweet fresh air I love so.
Every moment I spent with my dad (and mom) in this house was perfect and priceless. The walls, if they could, would speak of the love that passed here, and would whisper stories of that happy little family from Dallas, Texas who planted here, grew here, and ultimately left here.
That is why my heart breaks.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday. He would be 55 this year. How slowly and yet how fast has time passed me by since December 6, 2007. Two and a half years sounds so short, sounds like just yesterday, but it feels so long, so very very long to live without seeing my dad.
But what a man. What an extraordinarily kind, humble, gentle-spirited man, my dad. When I think about my life and what I want out of it, I'm tempted to say, "I just want to do something to make my dad proud." But my dad was, interestingly enough, proud of me. He loved me a lot, beyond all reason. I don't mean to be self-deprecating when I say "oddly enough." It's not that I've led a terrible life, of which I'm ashamed, but I've certainly done enough in my young 27 years to cause him disappointment. And sometimes he was disappointed, saddened by the silly, self-destructive choices I have such a tendency to make, but he understood. He knew just exactly what it was like to be human, to have two choices before you, and to choose the very obvious mistake. He knew that I had done just that, and that I would continue to do so, 'til the day I die. He even knew that I would sometimes disappoint him, make him sad, make him mad, choose poorly. And he would always let me. And he would always, always tell me he loved me. Not just tell me, but convince me, too, with those honest, tender eyes.
What a beautiful man, my dad. Happy birthday, Dad. Can't wait to see you again.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Strange night. Will I be glad in the morning that I slept alone? I guess. I don't feel anything. Strange night. I'm always different than who I thought I would be. I don't like me, but I think I really wouldn't have liked the one I thought I'd be. Maybe we'd both be okay and tragic in our own ways. Strange night.
I'm consistently surprised by life. By its variety. I can't believe I'm allowed to be this one. All those years of believing in a life so different than this present one. I still believe in a certain love. I still believe in him. I believe desperately in his grace and love...his kindness and mercy toward me. That I can live this life, a life I never thought I would live, and yet be his still.
Strange night.
I don't feel, and yet I feel all in one. Feeling is a beautiful thing, and in these moments when I get to feel it without sadness or pain or regret, I can't help but believe in that certain love. Because my mind, even now, even with this, goes to love. And his, undying, for me. A love I cannot doubt because I've seen it in the face of my own flesh-and-blood father.
Strange night.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why I Like Windows

I have a bit of a "thing" for windows. I made a window picture frame once, painted it maroon and hung it on my office wall when I lived in Salt Lake City. Anytime I see a framed-out box, I see a window. I always keep my bedroom window open, and perhaps I love the story of Peter Pan so adoringly much because he enters through the window, much as I wish I could.

Windows to me symbolize fresh air. Not just fresh air in the literal sense, though I do love and always long for fresh air. Fresh air to me is the ability to take in the wide world around and outside myself. The ability to stop everything, look outward, look forward, and just breathe, forgetting every other nonessential task but that life-giving one of taking breaths in, and letting them out.

Windows are like small reminders of freedom. Every little thing I desire is out there waiting for me, and all I have to do is look out the window. They are openings to new worlds, new adventures.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I've been thinking about my dad a lot lately. Thinking about him has generally tapered off a bit in the last six months or so, but for some reason, the last couple of weeks have been particularly saturated. I both love and hate to look at pictures of him. I'm not sure what to think anymore when I see his face. Part of him has become so fictional--as if he never really existed but as a lovely figment of my imagination. Of course I know that's not true, but this is a battle raging between head and heart. The head knows the truth: he was around for 24 years (of my life), and now he's not. But the heart knows its own awkward reality: if he had been here, he should still be here. So I'm in a topsy-turvy whirlwind of this strange inability to understand...even though I do understand in most senses.
I'm very good at pushing things out of my mind when I need to. Like when something is too painful to think about, I think of something else. But that gift-curse is less forward than it used to be, and now I'm having a hard time blocking out the hard times. I miss my dad in so many ways different than before...different than two years ago. But in some ways still the same. The one that gets me most is the truth that this is permanent. Two years and almost five months later and he's still gone...and in another two years, and another ten, and twenty more after that, my dad will still be gone. Another one of those dualistic certainties - I know, but I don't know.
There's no real way to fix this, though I think that's for what I keep hoping. No amount of therapy or drugs will make me okay with my dad's never coming back. Maybe time will help me adjust, accept, move on, but nothing in the world will ever be able to take away the pain. I will always hurt for the loss of my dad, and I will never be the same person I was December 5th of 2007, the day before he left. Death does not work that way on your heart when it takes someone you love so deeply. It doesn't allow you to become whole stop missing that forget how different life is without him.
I don't mean to say I'll never be okay. I'll be okay, and to most degrees, I'm already okay. Really, what I need to find now is the courage to accept that the hole will always exist. The place where my dad used to reside in my heart will always be painful and tender. And that that's acceptable. Too, that if, for the rest of my life, I have these aches and doubts and moments of stand-still, I'm okay.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One of the most exhausting things I've experienced in life is to be pulled in two very different directions. I think, too, as Christians, this is an almost never-ending battle...never-ending, until the End. (An End to which I look forward with most anticipation.) My flesh, versus my spirit--a battle God promises us, but even with the guarantee is made no less difficult.

I already battle a never-resting mind. Even in my sleep I dream long, detailed, decision-rampant dreams; I get no breaks from my over-active mind. I don't say this as a complaint, necessarily. More just a statement of fact to paint a picture of the way I'm pulled every which way, every day.

I love shoes. I love clothes. I love fashion and looking good and dressing up. So I spend time maybe once or twice a month looking at my favorite websites at inexpensive clothes; I stick all the things I 'can't live without' in my shopping cart, and when I'm finished looking through every page at all the things I love (tops, shoes, bags, and necklaces), I go back through my shopping cart and pick a few things to actually buy. So I guess that's not a horrible practice. I don't spend hundreds of dollars a month on cute clothes...but I would like to. I would like to have a room-sized closet, wall-to-wall filled with beautiful things (very well organized). I would love to have a shoe wall-- a wall with ceiling-high shelves and row after row of glamorous heels.

But while I'm sitting here dreaming of said closet, I can't help but frown upon myself and these silly moments of flesh-relapse. While I sift through pages and pages of aesthetically pleasing attire, I feel a gnawing somewhere deep in my heart that tells me, "But this isn't what you were made for." (Can you believe my conscience ends sentences in prepositions?) My spirit is committed to something else. I don't want to say "greater," because that's not fair, and awfully judgmental, to people who don't have the future desires I have. So it's not "something greater," it's just something very different, on a personal level, that my spirit and I know, and have known, I've been committed to for a very long time.

This commitment has something to do with life being ever-short-- a brief and tiny flash of time spent here, and what I do with that little time. I'm still not sure what I believe as for purpose. Does God birth us for something specific, or do we assign our own? Either way, I'm to the same conclusion that my life is not about fancy clothes and shoes and shiny necklaces, but is far more about helping to give meaning to the lives of others. Not that a person can't do both, but I don't believe I can, because the shoes and the people are two very great loves for me-- loves that/who are at a constant battle for my affection. And because of this battle, because I can't seem to make room for both, I must prioritize. And people always, always come before things.
People are beautiful, and tender, and broken, and often unloved, and so they need my love, my care, concern, and attention. I could wear cute shoes and attend to hurting people. I could. But I can't. I want to love people who ache for love, and they don't need me to look any certain way. They just need me. My kindness or generosity won't be extended by a pretty blouse, but it could, in some circumstances, be limited. And if I'm truly going to devote my life to practically loving unloved people, how can I carry on in life with even the tiniest limitation on that love?

Anyway, as usual toward the end of my ramblings I'm getting muddled. But I write these things for me, anyway, and I think I've said to myself what I need to say.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So we all know I have issues. Commitment issues, lazy issues, procrastination daddy issues. But I've always had boy issues most of all (duh, right?). So I'm in this situation and I don't know what to do with myself. Well, ok, I know what to do. Walk away of course. Not care, of course. Forget about him, of course. But I'm no good at those things! Really, really no good.

So this boy. He drives me crazy when I'm with him. I mean, literally, all I think about is, "Oh m'word, is this guy for real?" He's so...self-absorbed. Not really in a cocky way; I don't think he thinks incredibly highly of himself...but he's ignorant of other's feelings. But we have so much fun anyway. I should qualify that, I suppose, because we don't seem to connect at all until we're drinking beer. It doesn't even have to be multiple beers, just enough that we're both relaxed. He seems to care more for people after a good beer. Or something? Oh who knows.

So he's incredibly, incredibly attractive. I'm talking, model-in-a-magazine attractive. He has, in fact, modeled for a magazine, but he's totally embarrassed by it, and never wants to do it again. He's rugged, tall, built, has a smile that could stop traffic (at least female traffic at a mall or something), and beautifully intense eyes. He's not a jerk in the usual sense...he's actually very nice. Very, very friendly and outgoing. Knows no stranger, all that. Oh, perhaps I should mention the dimples. Really, added up together, it's just not fair. To anyone. No one should be so pretty and not gated into Hollywood or something. I don't want to see someone that good looking out on the street in my neighborhood. It's not right.

So anyway. I hang out with the guy once every couple months or so, and I have yet to understand our interactions. He calls me beautiful and sexy, and to put it bluntly, he wants to sleep with me. So I guess he finds me attractive..?? But I know, really, really know, I would never, ever date him. Oh never, never. It makes me shutter a little bit to imagine such things. But I still want to be around him. I still want him to want me. He's by no means chasing me...he doesn't call often (I never call him), and he never makes advanced plans. Like, "Well, you wanna hang out next week, too?" Ha. No. So maybe it's the mystery (together with the dimples, of course), that I can't resist. I keep spending time and energy on this fellow. Granted, I limit our time to beer time, 'cause it's practically painful hanging out with him drinkless.

So what do I do? I know, I know: forget him. Move on. Et cetera, Et cetera, whatever. If it were that easy, we wouldn't have a romance movie genre at all. Oy. Somebody tell me something really wise. Something really smart that snaps me out of this entanglement. Bah!

Things I already know:
-He doesn't really care about me.
-You can never trust a pretty boy.
-Don't have sex with him. (This is not a problem. And a bit of a funny story.)
-Forget about him.
-Move on.
-Don't answer his calls.
-Don't answer his texts.
-Talk to him about how you feel. (That's never going to happen. Ever.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I love him so endlessly, this Baby Chas. He is all perfection and all joy, and he is a glorious picture of God's grace; he is truly a gift. He doesn't seem real, and I can hardly believe he's here, with us...for us...for the rest of what time our God gives us all.

I still ache for my dad. There's no "but." There's no, "but having Chas makes my dad's absence more bearable," because it doesn't. He is a new piece of my heart; he'll never be replaced, but in turn, cannot replace. My dad should be here for this. He should be here to hold him, wide-eyed and tearful, looking into that sweet new face and promising Chas, and the rest of us, a beautiful, peaceful, perfect future.

I want so badly for the one life to make the pain of the lost one less. I want so badly for Chas's birth to be so profound and so life-altering, that losing my dad is a shadow of a stabbing memory. But it's not. Perhaps I'm let down by that.

I still thank God relentlessly. For both one and the other, in the same breath, and without pause. I thank God for the 24 years with one, and the 24 hours with the other. I thank God for a beating, feeling heart, that I may feel so acutely the pain of the loss of the one, because without this intense pain, I don't believe I would be able to feel this intense joy, however separate. I thank God that he made me so capable of love.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Suddenly, I have passion. Suddenly, I feel like I've woken up. I feel like I've been sleeping for so long. For years. Forever. I want to be drastic. I want to do something severe; something that will forever change me. I want to sell everything I own, pay off my debt, and move somewhere. A place where I might help someone. I don't want to want anymore. I want to be emptied of *things and refilled with passion and love and tenderness. I want a fire that never slows, that burns red and blue. Flames that stretch and lick and glow. I want the fire to consume me at this very hour, and only with time grow and widen and burn all the more.

I've always known I'm different. I've always known I'm made, designed, fashioned for something hard and wearying and unjust. I've always known I was intended for this wild fire, this wild love, and a wild ability to, like fire, expand and move and grow and change directions at the slightest breeze. I am a wild creature. And I feel as though I have finally been set free.

It doesn't matter where I begin. What I sell first, or how I sell it. Just that I do begin. That I, being set free, release this wild desperation to do something more. It's time.