Transparency Is Ugly, Beautiful, And Necessary

These are two separate journal entries–written without intent to ever be read again by me or anyone else–but I find something really captivating about transparency.  Letting private thoughts and struggles be seen is freeing, and I think we as a society need a hell of a lot more transparency.  With social media, we spend a lot of time finessing the perfect image we want to portray, but we do a disservice to ourselves and others when we do this.  My thoughts are not pretty all the time.  There is insecurity, pain, and vice in them.  These are unedited words, written candidly and without cautious thought.

I keep catching feelings for people who I would never and should never be interested in because I’m feeling so small and so insecure. In the moments when I  see my value and worth, in the moments I remember that I am the beloved daughter of my Heavenly Father, I know that these guys are not what I want. Do I want to date a guy who put’s his hand on my friend’s ass? Am I seriously going to feel self-conscious because he hasn’t tried to put his hand on my ass? Haha—what even is that? I want to get my feet back under me and stop looking at myself and the world around me through this lens of insecurity and unworthiness. I should have every confidence that I am worthy and I am valuable. I should love my neighbor as myself—for me this really convicts me about the way I view myself, rather than my neighbor. I extend so much grace and mercy and compassion to my neighbor, and deny it to myself. I’ve sinned against myself and it’s not okay anymore. I mess up, and I disappoint myself. But I am redeemed. My God calls me by name, and He calls me lovely. I am lovely, I am loved, and I will not live like I am anything less.  [6/27/15]

I feel like I’ve hit a snag, and the fabric is running and dwindling away and I’m nearly entirely unraveled. I feel like wearing black and scowling and putting up this big wall to keep everyone out. I want to isolate myself, yet I feel like this is a protective instinct—wanting to close myself off. I don’t want to get hurt. I’m so weary of being insecure, feeling unworthy, and feeling two inches tall. I am so tired of measuring myself through everyone else’s eyes. But I can’t even see with mine. I’m not lonely. I don’t need anyone, and the people I have I want to push away. I want to be alone. I want to be left the hell alone. I feel angry. I want to rant and rage, and then I want to keep my mouth shut, a blank stare on my face, because I don’t want anyone to know me on any personal sort of level. I want to be robotic, cold, detached—closed off. I want these things now. Because it’s what I know and it’s the only way I know how to feel safe anymore.
I’m fucked up, and I blame myself for it. [7/30/2015]

I got drunk for the first, last, and only time in my life Sunday night. It’s strange to me that it has already been three days (today is Wednesday), it feels like yesterday that I tossed and turned all night at Stephanie’s before finally driving home. I don’t feel really guilty or ashamed. Getting drunk was not something I planned on, but I think if I am really honest with myself, I didn’t avoid it either. I could taste the alcohol and I could feel it, but I still kept drinking. It felt good, and I liked it. Even now I kind of would like to get drunk again. My mind, the wiser part of me is insisting that I never ever allow myself to drink like that again though. I remember feeling relaxed, happy, and aware—yet at the same time there was a certain level of freedom I felt that I don’t trust. In this case, I was with my friends and people I generally trust. But I can easily see how with different people and in a different circumstance, I might have really made some bad choices.
And here is the cringe-worthy aftermath: Christian and I are friends, good friends, not friends with benefits, but we have gotten close before. In a cuddly way. But for a guy and girl, cuddling isn’t probably the wisest thing. I feel like in allowing this to happen though, I lead Christian on in a way that was not indicative of the way I feel about him. I like being his friend, and there is a part of me that really felt fulfilled by his attention (which I perceived in a platonic way but honestly suspected at times was potentially diverging from mere friendship). However, I know that even if I were attracted to him and even if I were to have feelings beyond friendship for him, a relationship with him would be a mistake. We have different values, and he has a past that would be a significant threat to our relationship, especially when I consider the baggage I would bring. Our baggage is incompatible. I have a need for a great deal of validation and tend to get really insecure easily. With his carefree attitude and tendency to go out and drink a lot with friends, not to mention his experience (including a divorce), I know it would be a recipe for disaster were we to try to have a relationship. We’d have fun a lot of the time, as long as we didn’t actually take anything to seriously. Over time, it would be impossible to only ever have fun though and the serious things would demand attention. It would be at that point that he would get really tired of having to deal with my high-maintenance emotions, and I would get really tired of feeling like he was being dismissive and inconsiderate of how I feel. Now, all of this is pretty irrelevant though since I don’t have feelings beyond friendship for him. I’m not attracted to him. He’s fun, he’s funny, and he has a pretty good heart, but that’s all there is.
I feel like there is a piece of me missing that I keep trying to fill with the attentions of guys. I know God should fill this void, I know He can and that He is willing. For some reason though, knowing this, feeling this and praying for Him to fill the void has not made me better or okay. I still feel the roaring hunger in my chest. I feel left out in the cold. I feel undesirable. I feel unworthy and alone.
I have these moment of confidence and clarity wherein I know who I am—who God designed me to be and what He wants for me. But these are glimpses of beauty I can’t maintain. Why didn’t Caleb like me back? I liked him so much, and prayed about it. I sought God first in liking Him, and yet a good guy like him didn’t seem to glance twice at me. What was I missing? Maybe Caleb knew better—maybe the Holy Spirit instilled a peace in him that kept him from noticing me or being concerned by relationships. Maybe I was meant to like Caleb for what it would teach me, even if nothing ever came of it. And maybe that was it. Maybe that was the purpose of that season of my life, even if it hurt. [aug 19, 2015]

I went to dinner. And then we went to a movie. It was Christian—we felt like friends, or at least I felt very much like friends. I like him, but I don’t feel like leaving the friend zone. I don’t think liking someone is enough—you have to want to let someone that close, and I don’t.
How numb have I become—my mom came to my door last night, sobbing, and I was not confused or surprised. I felt a slightly-bored anticipation for what was about to come—had he raped her again? Were the fighting? Did he find out something new? Was another lie about to crash into me in a chaotic mess of betrayal?
She was having a meltdown—unexpectedly in the middle of the night with seemingly nothing more to have brought it on other than her own torrid thoughts. This is why I am numb. You can only feel so much for too long before you just can’t do it anymore. I feel like I was standing for a time on a raft just off the shore of an island, tethered only by a rope from the raft to a tree. I feel like I slowly but steadily tore at this rope and a while back—I’m not even sure when—it gave way and I’ve been disconnected ever since, slowly drifting further and further away.
It’s not even like I feel this terrible, broody, darkness and having someone to relate to or open up to would help. No, I don’t even want to be comforted or understood by Stephanie. I want to be left alone. I feel such an anger, and I don’t want anyone near it, to see it, or to touch it. It’s mine, and I want it to myself—as strange a feeling as that is to have. I want to be alone. Leave me. The fuck. Alone. [aug 28, 2015]

These are raw words–I’m a work in progress and I know it.  There is no story here and there is as of yet no resolution.  These are feelings and moments charged by strong emotions and confusion, so if you’re reading this try not to judge me too harshly.  The goal here is transparency–I’m not asking for advice or assistance, please.  This was just to share so other people going through things they think they have to hide know they aren’t alone.

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“The Beheaded Goddess: Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers” by Selma Nemer

These words are therapeutic for me. They make me feel understood and like in being understood and understanding myself I might become healthy someday.

“You are lovable if you please. A daughter who internalizes this message has to please and submit at any cost, for otherwise she is unlovable. To be unlovable is not to exist. She will allow herself to be abused — in fact, attract it — for this will be closest to the love she received. There is no return, no homeland, so she searches frantically, going from male to male for acceptance.”

“There is inner work for the daughter of a narcissistic father. To form her own separate sense of self, she must value her own feminine aggression, which consists of passion, movement, creativity, freed by releasing and speaking anger and grief.”

“The healing is to learn not to betray herself, to nurture her own femininity. It is within this secure internality she finds a home that withstands the external shatterings. She learns to say “no” to the father, to…

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Life Is Worth Living | Hope Wins

I have thought about suicide before, not in the way that I considered committing it myself, but rather in the way that every person has at one time or another thought about it.  I’ve tried to imagine the kind of state of mind, the kind of pain or grief, that could lead somebody to the conclusion that to not live, to not be anymore, would be an improvement.

I have struggled with depression, but I never wanted to sever myself from the possibilities of a future that would be better than my past and present.  I guess that is what leads to someone deciding it would be better to not live anymore.  The loss of hope. Hopelessness.  The belief that there is nothing left for them, no good, no sun to break through the darkness that has overwhelmed them.  I’ve danced along the border of hopelessness, but never truly stepped across and experienced it myself.  But I have had my closest brush yet with hopelessness and with suicided, not because of myself, but through my relationship with someone who has lost all hope.  She is a close friend of mine.  We became friends because she was an outcast in my high school, and I honestly felt bad for her.  She was alone, and people talked badly about her, and she disappeared for the first week of a new semester because she was in jail.  People said things about her that were awful, and some of those things were true and some were not.  Either way, she was an outcast.  She was someone they liked to talk about, perhaps talking about her faults made them feel better about themselves.  In whatever case, it drew me to her.

To be quite honest, I’ve always been compelled to befriend the people whom no one else wanted to even acknowledge.  It is something that I inherited from my mother.  I am not sure whether to call it an attribute or a flaw, but either way, it is the way I am and it led to this friendship that I now have.  I had no idea at the time that it would be a friendship that outgrew the two classes we had together, much less her moving two hours away before we graduated.  But four years later, we are still friends.  Even best friends.

I used to think that this girl was indomitable.  She was bold, brash, hot-headed, and sassy.  No matter what she’d endured, and she’d endured more than anybody ever, ever should have to endure, she persevered.  To me, she was confusing and shocking, yet I also could not help but admire how strong she was.  Because I was a girl who was so insecure and guarded, so terrified of being myself.  I hid who I was, afraid someone would tease me or point out my flaws.  Yet here she was, knowing that people said the things they did and knew the things they knew, and she was able to look them in the eyes with no apology.  She inspired me with her enduring strength to push through all the obstacles that got in her way.  She made me feel so small, because though I too had had some hard times, I ultimately still had much more going for me than she did, yet when I looked at how much she was accomplishing for herself, her independence and pluck, I was inspired to push myself harder.

But no one is unbreakable.  No one is without a limit.  We are human, and we are all more fragile than we are willing to admit to others or ourselves.

My friend, who I will call H, tried to kill herself twice this week.  Over a boy.

H, the great and independent H, was finally taken down by some unworthy boy who she thought was so amazing and so noble, yet was so vapid and fickle.  I never much cared for him, and I should have said so, but I wanted to be a supportive friend.  He’d given me no real reason to say how much I thought he sucked.  So I went along with it and made nice, and now I wish I’d just gone ahead and been by opinionated, bull-headed self, and told her that he was a complete ass-hat.  Pardon my language.

Eh, but before I get too far, I want to also give a nod to my philosophy regarding humanity–we are all flawed, and I will not, in fact cannot by my own moral and ethical code truly judge that he is so unworthy.  In one way or another, we all are unworthy, and while this was not R’s shining moment, I hope he won’t blame himself in too harsh away for the way H has reacted to their break up.  H and R both have to take responsibility for their own actions and reactions in this world.  That said, I want R to stay away from H, and H to realize that R never treated her right, and that the things he said and did are not a reflection of her worth or value.

Truth be told, R did not break H, but he was kind of a final straw for her, I guess.  Love does that.  It cracks you open and exposes all of your most fragile and vulnerable pieces, and that is why I am happily willing to remain committed to my own single life (at least until I fall into the same trap to which every love-struck idiot does indeed succumb, God forbid it).  In an ironic and terrible kind of way, this was actually good.  If she survives her own self-destruction, this was have forced her to work through some issues that have laid dormant.  R was like a safety net that kept her from having to deal with her issues, with the pain she was harboring.  Now, she has been thrown into deep, dark waters full of memories and a whole lot of regret, shame, and pain.  But she’ll be better eventually, and stronger for it.  The greatest thing we humans have is love, it is the thing that redeems us, but it is also the thing that can cripple us.

When H and I first became friends, I was able to witness to her in a very real way, and while she has believed in God since, she has not really had a relationship with Him.  Her relationship with R kind of side-lined me.  Partially because she seemed to have lost interest in talking about God, and I watched her take a few steps back from Him.  I guess she didn’t need Him anymore, or at least she thought she didn’t.  She had R, and she mistakenly depended on him instead of God.  Her hunger for God dissipated when she had R around.  Even though this break up has her spiraling into a very dark place, it also has her grasping for some remnant of hope.  It has taken some real work to get her caring about anything, to get her wanting to do anything other than let go, but she has started reaching out for Him in such a major way.  She has been texting me passages in the Bible that are impacting her for a couple days now.  The last one she texted me was Psalm 119.

God is using her pain, her broken and hopeless state, to give her more love and more hope and more joy than she has believes is real.  That is what He promises to do.  He promises to make beauty from our ashes, and to bring good from the bad.  If she holds on, if she keeps fighting then she’ll realize that.

You know, I’m not going to pretend that I am any kind of saint.  I am not.  I really want to be that amazing, loyal, unstoppably compassionate friend. Even though I love her and care about her, and even though I am determined to be there for her through all of this, there have been moments where I have rolled my eyes and felt angry at her for not just seeing it.  I’ve felt moments of irritation that I get these dark and suicidal texts when I am at work or late at night when all I want to do is sleep.  I’m not perfect, and I’m tempted to let myself get mired in guilt and shame, but honestly, this life has no time for that.  I am human.  I am going to have moments of selfishness, and I’m going to screw up.  That is why I need my Savior, and being there for someone over an issue so serious is terrifying and terribly stressful.  But being a good friend, and loving someone is not always easy or fun.  But it is worthwhile and it is important.  Being a true friend, means choosing them over you.  But you know what? it is also important that I not mistake myself for her savior.  She has a Savior, and it sure as heck is not me.  I am part of the body of Christ, but I am not alone, and maybe my shortcoming, my inability to love her and be there for her as much as I should be is God’s way of reminding me of this: He is greater than he who is in the world.  He has overcome.  He saves.  I am honored to be the body of Christ, His hands and His feet, but I am not necessary.  And that’s okay.  That’s really freeing.  Because even if I fail, God will never fail.

This journey is not easy.  In fact, it is a frustrating roller coaster, because one minute I think she is seeing the light, but then the next, she is saying her goodbyes and telling me to take care of her cat for her.  But I’ll read those texts and ride that coaster as long as I have to as long as she is still texting me–because that means she is alive, and there is still hope.

*Note: From experience I’ve become very aware of how important it is to act and take seriously the words you hear coming from a depressed friend.  Take every warning sign seriously, and if you have reason to believe they are going to hurt themselves, then call 911.  If I hadn’t, my friend would have been dead last night.  It is better to be safe than sorry, and your friend will thank you!

*unedited

Lie To Me | Blissful Ignorance

I think lying is an inescapable truth. Our minds lie to us, knowing better than we do that many of the truths of life are too much for us to handle at certain times. We lie to ourselves about things we don’t want to face, or perhaps aren’t strong enough to. We lie to others when we want to spare them pain, or prevent something from happening that is undesirable to us. I guess what it comes down to is not whether we do or do not lie. The real question is whether or not lying is wrong, or more accurately, how wrong is it to lie?
I doubt there is a person who’d deny that there are certain scenarios that when considered would clearly be bettered by withholding or altering the truth. There are certain revelations I’ve known that only wounded me, yet ultimately changed nothing. In those cases, I believe I’d have been better off being lied to, left in a blissful state of ignorance. Ignorance is bliss. It’s a phrase I’ve known all my life, and for much of it, I was confident in saying that I thought the phrase rubbish, but that was a more naive and youthfully innocent time in my life. Back then, the things I could imagine I was ignorant of were not terribly frightening or distressing. I’ve experienced pain and betrayal, and I’ve known deep sadness since those days though. And the things I can now fathom have an almost paralyzing affect on me to consider, so were I to choose, I cannot say I would insist that everyone always be so tragically honest in every case. Where I can be spared, I must say: please do spare me the truth if it is not a matter of life and death, God or devil.
And there is where my mind halts and my face falls. Because I am a follower of God.
God says, “do not lie,” so despite my own sentiments, I must change my song and say, “spare me not,” because though it will dispose me to many pains and horrors, I choose truth no matter how painful, and I disavow ignorance as bliss. I choose God over my own weakness and fears. And I hold faith that He will not leave me to bear the brutality of the honest truth on my own. He will be my strength.

My Prayer Tonight

I don’t want to think too deeply about anything right now—but I do want to express the way I am feeling in this weak moment.

Are there some people who for absolutely no reason just have bad lives? Are there some of us just meant to be disappointed and tired—weary?

If there are then I feel like I might be one of them. Not that my life is among the worst, in fact there are definitely some arguments for my life being a bit rosier than others. But for a moment I’m going to just ignore comparisons to other lives—better or worse.

I feel like every time something good might happen, it doesn’t. I feel like most every hope ends without realization, and even though certainly good things do happen, it feels like more often than not my stories end in defeat, disappointment, or pain. I feel so tired and I just want a break from it. I want to have a day where I don’t feel afraid of what might go wrong before the sun even sets, or tomorrow, or the day after that—does everybody feel like there life is set to detonate, only they don’t know when? Every piece of my life aches—not a part of it is without pain or strife. Is there no rest?

God, I am so, so tired, and I feel like I am not matched for what You are asking. I don’t feel strong enough for all this stress and heartache, and I am scared. I know You hear me, and I believe and trust that You do care. Help me to have faith, and God, be my strength because I am lacking, and I can’t do this.

On my heart tonight is the song Worn by Tenth Avenue North.  “I know that You can bring me rest, so I cry out with all that I have left–let me see redemption win, let me know the struggle ends, that You can mend a heart that’s frail and torn.  I want to know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life, and all that’s dead inside can be reborn, because I am worn…”

Journal Entry | Is it finally the end?

Yesterday (August 16, 2014) was an eventful day, I guess. Even though it may not have been as critical or dramatic in intensity as previous family fallouts, it seems to be the closest they’ve come to separating. Technically, they’re separated now, though this was not declared until he was already out of town so in a strange way nothing feels different and the separation has not yet been proven true. It wouldn’t be the first time that he made claims to not come home only to return as if everything was normal. This is the first time it happened at the beginning of a trip for which he had to fly, and that could be a variable in accounting for his continued absence.

As of last night he was predictably back tracking. His argument—Josh being a quitter, mom being a disloyal deceiver who goes behind his back with the kids, coddles the kids, and betrays him by not accepting his parental word as law—seemed all but forgotten. Instead, he began to form his excuses explanation. Apparently, he is under an insufferable amount of stress due to unfortunate results at work that are beyond his control, and the possibility of his boss (also his older brother) not being secured another year as GM, which would (because of the politics of his profession) invariably include his dismissal as well. As they are family, if one goes down, they both go down. In which case, stress is understandable. I sympathize and in fact share in the stress, as I am affected by this situation as well as his daughter. However, forgive me if I am callous in my estimation of the situation, but I believe it to be a responsibility and obligation on the part of the provider and the head of the family to bear this burden without acting against his family. Truly, I would compassionately and sympathetically overlook certain behaviors, but to so significantly harass your wife and children is beyond reproach-worthy, it’s despicable.

I find myself more willing to trust God’s provision and sovereignty that ever before, yet there is still a part of me that wishes they’d reconcile even if only for a week or so more, or perhaps a month. I believe this to be due to my vain inability to surrender control. In certainty I can declare that control is only an illusion entertained by people to comfort them, but it is futile. Ultimately, no matter how much I believe otherwise, I do not—cannot—possess control over the events of my life. And truly, even if I could, the events that follow from my own methods of control would not be superior to the control of God. So I find myself in this position: my hands finally stretching towards God, and my fisted hands are perhaps relaxing—on the cusp of letting go. I believe the last step is a leap of faith.

Timidity & Politically Correct Writing Is Pointless

I haven’t posted in a pretty significant amount of time and that cannot be solely blamed on any one thing.  It is work, it’s family, it’s friends, it’s photography, it’s summer.  To be entirely honest as well, it was never my intention to be a regular poster or blogger.  I am not a blogger.  I am a person who loves to write and finds writing to be a healthy and invigorating experience.  That being said, I began to feel a little apathetic about writing because it began to feel like something I was putting in a box.  I was doing it even when I didn’t really and genuinely “feel it” and that kind of dulled the beauty and effectiveness for me.

I feel like there is an almost inescapable tendency to censor yourself even ever so slightly when you write something knowing that someone is going to read it, and I hate that.  I really do, because I feel that one if not the most valuable part of the writing process is the expression of self.  But the more and more you write with an acute awareness that someone, somewhere, at some point is going to read what you are writing, the more I think you risk censorship.  

I think there is a time and place for censorship.  I don’t think the time or place is when writing about philosophy, religion, theology, or even the more controversial topics that are relevant in todays societies.  I think we’re sacrificing too much at the altar of public opinion and scrutiny.

It became such a habit to quiet my writing voice and almost apologize for the things I feel and believe, that I decided to keep whatever I wrote to myself for a while until I learned to just write again.  I feel that I’ve sufficiently uninhibited myself, and in the process I’ve learned a little something about the timidity that we oft fall into when writing about sensitive or controversial topics.

I think one of the greatest ways to combat this timidity is to deepen your study and research about your topic.  Sometimes if the voice of your target reader is too prominent in your awareness as you write, you almost feel as though they’re peering over your shoulder and you play in your head the criticisms they’ll have.  Which is good–it’s good to be aware of the challenged that might be posed against your argument, for this can help you to hone your argument and sharpen your defense.  So perhaps timidity is a symptom that should make a writer aware that perhaps they need to do a little more research and preparation before posting.

If the finished piece is a timid work though, then there is a problem.  Timidity should only ever be a warning flag that more research, study, or thought is required to bolster an argument or position.  If you read your finished piece and it is only a faded depiction of how you really feel or what your thoughts really are, then it is just a cowardly piece of work that truly was not worth the time of the reader or the writer. 

Do not misunderstand me, please.  By condemning politically correct writing, I am not encouraging or accommodating hateful rants merely because they are sincere and impassioned.

Truly, it should be important to the writer to be respectful, rational, and reasonable, but they should at the same time be sincere and communicate themselves without timid-tongue-biting.  Say it with compassion and respect, but by George, say it!  We need to learn to speak and listen with rationality, compassion, and respect.  Surely we’ve evolved enough as a people to manage this!

So many writer’s skirt around sensitive issues, but they do themselves a disservice.

I would never ask a person to hide their beliefs, so I should not hide my own either.  It would be committing an act of hypocrisy against myself.  I wish to write with a respectful sincerity–if my personal beliefs offend even though I made every effort to communicate them with respect and compassion, I will not recant my words.

Surely, the personal beliefs of others have at times offended me by their very nature as I am not a moral relativist.  But I will engage in a civil and respectful discourse rather than attack their human right and freedom to express their sincerely held belief.

We all hold controversial beliefs and we all, I’m sure, hold beliefs that some people somewhere in the world find offensive–but that is one of the greatest points of interest to our existence–the journey and adventure we’ve all embarked upon to explore our beliefs and convictions.  I believe this to be a focal point of life–the pursuit of meaning and deeper understanding be they religious or secular in nature.  Life would be boring if we watered every one down and gag ordered every person on matters of religion and theology.

Perhaps more action should be taken in learning to engage in civil, respectful discussion, rather than trying to silence a certain point of view.

Transcendent Mindset | Control-Freak Turned Free-Spirit

I never write my title before my post, because to be completely real, I rarely actually know what I am going to write.  I mean, usually if I’m feeling or thinking about something strongly, then it is going to come out in my writing.  Often though, whatever plans I had end up getting sidelines by something else, something new, and probably–something better.

Three sentences.

Before I typed my first sentence, I was going to write about how I’ve not written in a long time and how sucky that has been.  By the third sentence, I’d found an entirely new and unexpected topic.

Life.  Life is a lot like writing for me.  I sit down to write with all these ideas and all these feelings, but once my pen hits the paper, or my fingers hit the keys–anything could happen.

I am such a control freak.  I obsess over every facet of my plans, but not only is the effort completely futile and vain of me, but it is also not conducive with what is best for me.  I can’t possibly know my future, and if I base all of my decisions and plans for my future, based on my feelings in the present, how am I supposed to actually make good decisions for myself?

So I’m going to keep my plans general.  Be happy.  Be healthy.  Be responsible.  And be faithful and trusting that I love a faithful and trusting God.

I am not exactly sure where I am going in life right now.  I am a twenty year old who, throughout my teen years, thought I had my life figured out.  I was dedicated to proving my worth as a person through my mind, my looks, and my successes.  I was so desperate to see myself as worthy.

I’ve somehow realized though, that true wealth, happiness, and worth don’t come from any of the pretty things of this world.

I don’t know exactly what I am going to be doing in a few months, let alone a couple years.  But every step of the way, I am going to aim to be kind, be loyal, be honest, model integrity and strong character, and do my best at every opportunity that may came upon the horizon.  That is the best I can do given what I know of my future, and I am accepting that.

We live in a society that is so hyper-aware of what wealth, possessions, titles, and accolades we can  amass.  None of these things equate to treasure in the Kingdom of God.  None of these things equate to a happy and health soul.  While I very much respect and admire successful people, I care much more for the soul within them than I do for what they’ve managed to earn and accomplish professionally.

My obsession with order, control, and making plans is not something that I can just shake off so easily, but I think my mind and heart are marching in the right direction–a direction much more concerned with a life that is healthy and good than a life filled with pretty, albeit empty treasures.

I don’t think that people in my life are going to understand this new perspective and philosophy, in fact, some family members may think that I am just not fulfilling my potential or that I am a disappointment.  That sucks, I don’t want to be perceived that way.  I’m used to being the golden-one.  But oh well.  I’d rather know that I am being the best I can be, even if no one else sees the best of me in the same way.

“We are, we are, we’re caught in the in between
Of who we already are and who we are yet to be
And we’re looking for love but finding we’re still in need
It’s only what we have lost will we be allowed to keep…”

– All The Pretty Things by Tenth Avenue North

Understated | Jonathan Swift

“May you live every day of your life.”
― Jonathan Swift

Black & Whites | Summer, Kayaking, & Kitten

Black and white is classic, but vibrant hues of blue have been my obsession this year.