Monday, January 30, 2006
...what really matters in life?
I mean we can look at it two different ways...
1.) What really seems to matter right now? In the present. The near future.
2.) What is something that matters now and it will really seem to matter 20 years down the road?
First instance...with number one...
It might really seem important and really seem to matter right now whether you'll have a boyfriend/girlfriend in about two weeks. Why's that? Because it will be Valentine's day. At this time, we might think it will be the end of the world if we don't have a "sweetie" on Febuary the 14th, but twenty years down the road, will it really matter if you didn't have a box of candies with a mushy little card attached to it or not on Feb. 14, 2006?
But I don't say this to say things in the present won't really matter down the road. That is not it at all...
I think if we only let the things that were going to have an impact on us some 20 years down the road matter in our daily lives, we would have pretty uneventful lives on a daily basis.
We've got to get excited and worried and care about some of the less "impactful" things still.
1) what is "mattering" to you right now, but it might not be such a "matter" on down the road?
2) what is mattering to you right now that will "matter" some 20 years down the road also?
I sent this to my friends...
Describe me in ONE WORD...just one word! Send it to me only, then
send this message to your friends and see how many strange things people say about you! This could be fun! Just hit reply and send me my one word back.
And I got these, in this order...
So there. For those who read this blog and don't know me personally, that's apparently me. And if you don't know what some of those words mean, don't fret, I didn't either. I had to look them up! But I didn't argue them once I saw what they meant! ;)
So try it. Do people really see you the way you see yourself? Or do they see something you don't see, or can't?
I do recommend you email it out before you put it on your blog for responses. I think you can get more personal responses and unbiased or influenced over email first. THEN if you want, put it on your blog!
For some reason this chapter did not do it for me like most of the other chapters. I mean it only got three places with notes in the margins, meaning it really only had three pointers that I really liked enough to mark. And two of the points really kind of go together. So here are my pointers from chapter three…
Everybody wants to be somebody fancy. Even if they’re shy. I have one friend who is so shy she wets her pants if you look at her. She doesn’t really wet her pants, but she practically does.
That last part really is not what I want to point out, but I couldn’t help but put that part in here too because it literally made me laugh out loud when I read the first time I read this book. Classic! That’s just funny!
The real point I liked was how he mentioned that “everybody wants to be somebody fancy.” I think that is so true. We all want to have something special or “fancy” about us. I mean we can get to the point were we realize we are unique and that there is no one like us, but that is different from being “fancy.” I would even go as far as to say we all want to be known. If we get that “fancy”-factor, we could be known.
I want to be known. It has always kind of been a secret of mine, but I’d love to be one of those people that people say, “I went to school with Kim Smith.” You know…like I’m known. Known by others. My name is known. I’d be “fancy” then.
I mean, I do it. I was just telling people the other day that I went to the school that Max Lucado went too. That’s cool you know. He is known. He’s for sure “fancy.”
I don’t want to be famous. I think it is different to be known and be famous. Famous is more glitz and glamour and money and cameras. You need bodyguards, you lose privacy, everybody wants to know everything about you. All eyes are always on you.
Nah, that’s not for me. I just want to be known. I think I can be known by many and not end up famous.
But “fancy” does not have to be known either. “Fancy” is really left up to each his own. What one might want to be “fancy”—to be known, might not be what is “fancy” to another.
…but I agree… “everybody wants to be somebody fancy.”…even if it is just deep down and not something they think about much.
This one kind of goes with it…
Everybody wants to be fancy and new. Nobody wants to be themselves. I mean, maybe people want to be themselves, but they want to be different, with different clothes or shorter hair or less fat. It’s a fact. If there was a guy who just liked being himself and didn’t want to be anybody else, that guy would be the most different guy in the world and everybody would want to be him.
I think that third sentence is very true.
I mean I love who I am. I am perfectly content being me. I have a healthy level of self-esteem. I’m satisfied with my state of being. I am happy being myself. Or as he would put it, I want to be myself. But I also want to be different…
I think what he means by different is how the second part of that sentence goes into changing some characteristics or small features about one’s self. I could go for that…
I hate my hair. If the only way I could change my hair was to be a different person totally, I probably wouldn’t do it, in that I want to be myself, but if I could just be different AS myself—that being change my hair—I’d do it!
There are other things I’d change about myself, like to make me different, but overall, I want to be me. I’m happy with me as a being.
I suppose in a sense it seems to come down to internal appreciation and external appreciation. I have much appreciation for my internal being, but if I could, I would work on some of the external aspects for better appreciation. But as Mr. Miller says, we all pretty much would…
I couldn’t give myself to Christianity because it was a religion for the intellectually naïve.
This point is truly taken out of context when I just throw it on here like this and leave it to stand alone, but that’s the point I liked—just that line.
…there’s no doubt that that thought has crossed my mind on several occasions…
…but then I’m quickly reminded that ideas and values truly do come down to one’s perception, priorities, and needs…
[Note: All the above text in smaller italic print has been quoted directly from Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz”]
Friday, January 27, 2006
I know I make every effort to be as honest as I can, especially nowadays. Over the past few years I have really grown to treasure honesty in both a matter of giving and receiving. But still, I understand that we will all still lie from time to time…
I suppose the matter has to be broken down into what purpose is the lie serving.
We’ve all heard the thought about how sometimes it is just best to tell a little lie in order to not hurt someone. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, so if we just lie to them, especially when we are pretty sure they will never find out the truth of the situation anyways, then the lie is the best route to take.
Even on that one, I don’t know if I totally agree with it. I’ve had several accounts I can recall where I did not choose the lie in those types of situations, because I believed someone needed to be honest with that individual, even if it was going to hurt at first.
However, there have also been times when I’ve just taken the lie as my way out…
So, is a lie ever acceptable?
I don’t know the answer to that question (but I never shy down from debating a good and tough question…HA!)
So there it is…sitting on my bed: “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey. It was a much anticipated and gratefully accepted Christmas gift I got this year. I had it on my “wish-list” ever since I say Oprah’s episode with Mr. Frey back on October 26, 2005. I hadn’t heard anything about the book until that day I watched the episode. And yes, the book had been on her book club for apparently quite some time before that episode, but I’m a college graduate student—I don’t even read my couse textbooks, much less Oprah’s book club books, so there I was falling in love with this book through her interview with the author. I bet I had added it to my Amazon Wish-list before I even took the television remote to turn off the tv.
So I got it! It was for sure a daunting book to me, being some 400 pages and pretty small font, but I still planned to tackle it. I was even going to get by the fact that through skipping through it I noticed that every-other word was the “F-word,” which I am not a big fan of at all.
I had already found myself recommending the book to friends, before I had even read it myself…HA! I was just so excited to read it, but since I found myself already dedicated to another book at the time, I told myself “Frey would be next.”
I had great aspirations for this book before I even read it. Not only would it probably end up being the longest book I was able to read completely…HA…I had already planned to use it as a recommended reading tool for my future therapeutic counseling.
Then the word broke to me last night that not only had I apparently been clueless to what was going on in the media recently, but that the Oprah episode I had recorded from that day was on none other than James Frey (yes, if I know it is a week of “new” episodes on Oprah, I normally just record all week, sometimes not even sure what the show is on…HA!). It being that my night last night was already all booked with blogging assignments, I refused to read up on the internet about the James Frey controversy going on in the media, as well as making myself refuse to watch that day’s Oprah episode immediately.
So this brings me to tonight. As only a matter of minutes ago did I finish watching the Live Oprah episode (though it was Live at that time, of course, not for me since I’d recorded it from the day before) where she personally confronted James Frey on the controversy over his book.
Let me fill those in who were as clueless to this matter as I was before it was brought to my attention last night…
James Frey’s book, “A Million Little Pieces” is published as a memoir about his life story from being addicted to alcohol and crack and having to go through incredibly hellish situations in rehabilitation facilities and other circumstances to apparently overcome his addictions. The book apparently describes extreme situations in which James some how beats the odds. One particularly noted part of the book explains how his teeth were so badly damaged by the drugs that he had to get two root canals. As he tells the story, he had those two root canals performed with no numbing or pain medications; simply endured the excruciating pain.
With stories of brut determination like that, how can one reading NOT admire this individual for his triumph? So followers of Oprah’s book club; readers everywhere were calling Frey’s memoir their means for motivation to beat their addictions. His book sold millions of copies. He was inspiring people around the world!
Then The Smoking Gun (TSG) took their shot at the book…
Apparently others had tried to make some noise about the book, but from what I get from Oprah’s show, it was The Smoking Gun that really broke through with a big hit to Mr. Frey…
After some research, TSG brought up allegations that Frey’s book was not as authentic as he led his readers, as well as Oprah to believe. Apparently, James had fabricated parts of his apparent “memoir.” Just how much is true and how much is made up? That is the big question, and Oprah wanted answers, as she felt embarrassed by her original interview with James as he had apparently lied to her directly, on more than one account…
So then there was Oprah’s live show on Thursday. Wow. It was intense, and it was GOOD! Even down to the point of Mr. Frey’s publicist’s cell phone going off during the live on-air showing…HA!
The therapist in me truly enjoyed watching Frey’s behaviors and facial expressions as he was undoubtedly questioned about his degree of honesty in accordance with what he had shared with his readers in his book, as well as with Oprah during his original interview with her on her show.
The more I watched of the show, with his book sitting right beside me (as I wanted it right there; for it to be looking at it’s maker in the face too as we both shared in what he had to say), the more respect I lost for him. My trust for this individual was slipping away minute by minute of the show.
How could he lie about this all?! How could he lie to millions and millions of readers? How could he lie to OPRAH!?! HA!
It was overwhelming for sure at first. I wanted answers and I wanted them now! I was slowing seeing Mr. Frey’s book slip down on my “books to read” list.
But as quickly as I would have turned off my cell phone, had I been on a live show with Oprah, did the answers begin to come to me….
What if he was being paid to lie? I could see a big corporate publishing house (such as Doubleday that he had got his contract to publish with through) paying him to lie about the authenticity of his book to promote sales.
What if he had told them up-front that it was not all 100% truth, but they swayed him to agree to promote it as a memoir because it would sell better then.
As it had been put, whether it was on the Oprah show, or the article on TSG, wherever it was that I heard it, Frey’s book probably would not have been picked up by any publisher, especially a big name one like it was, had it been listed as a fictional novel, because there are TONS of writers that can write well-written “unbelievable” stories of overcoming an addiction or such. The part that sold this book, not only monetarily, but sold it to it’s readers was the “fact” that this guy really went through all of this and lived to tell about it!
So, was Frey paid to lie and promote the book as 100% truth? Was he paid AGAIN to admit to lying once this all came out and to take the blame himself, rather than letting out the “fact” that the publishers were the ones that told him to lie in the first place? I mean a corporation can EASILY lay out some cash to save their reputation. We can’t let America know about what goes on behind closed doors between authors and publishers, right?
Or, was this book exactly as Frey HAD remembered it at the time of writing it, though he admits to some of its fabrications today. Yes, this is possible and that is because of defense mechanisms, which Frey himself mentions in his live interview with Oprah.
There is no doubt that this gentleman apparently struggled with quite an addiction (I DO believe that much), so knowing that, I can accept the idea that he could have had some serious defense mechanisms that could have altered his recollection as well as perceptions of some of the events. And it is even possible that that could have been the case when he actually wrote and first published the book, and since that time has dropped the guard on some of those mechanisms, therefore allowing the truth to come out, not only to us, but for him as well.
So could that be the case?
Or did James simply just lie to everyone: his publicist, his original readers, his millions of additional readers—thanks to Oprah, as well as Oprah herself. Was he fully aware of his lack of truth the whole time and he kept it up as a money-thirsty author wanting to sell another copy of the book?
I don’t know…
I’m not sure what is the truth in this situation, nor am I sure that any of will ever really know.
What I DO know though is how one notation of a lack of honesty can plummet an individual’s level of trust with people. Now we don’t know WHAT we can trust anymore from James Frey. Now it is easy, as you saw from this blog entry itself, to doubt everything and leave it all up to the unknown.
At once it was fully trusted, only slightly later in time to lose it’s credibility.
We are all capable of that, not just James Frey. This is why it is important to truly weigh the purpose and consequence behind each potential lie….is it worth it…
[Note: This blog is in no way to say I think writing a story about one’s life has to be word for word 100% of what truly happened. Even Oprah made that point. However, she pointed out, that if you are going to publish it as a “memoir” that apparently means it is exactly as it happened, no fabrication. Should one chose to “jazz-up” some parts of the story, Oprah suggested publishing it as “based on a true story.” In THAT case, it apparently means the story is not 100% as it occurred, but it follows a similar storyline. Having said that, I believe Mr. Frey could have saved himself the label of “a liar” by promoting his book as a novel based on a true story. I DO believe that the extremity of the events he apparently endures in the book probably is VERY motivational to other addicts, and for that, I have NO problem with making the events more dramatic as they really were, because that can motivate the addict reader even more, but IF you are going to do that, do not promote it as completely true.]
Thursday, January 26, 2006
From August till today I found myself working several days a week with the homeless population on the Southside of downtown Fort Worth. This experience has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever experienced. Now THAT is a lot of “experience” as you could probably tell! ;)
I helped individuals in many ways, as they too helped me by showing me where the light was in many “dark” places.
So, as the time for my departure approached, many of the individuals I had had the opportunity to work rather closely with began to see the end more and more in focus.
One of my most treasured experiences during this internship came from a women’s discussion group I co-lead with my fellow intern. This group averaged about 8-10 women around the ages of 48-58. There’s no doubt these ladies grew to treasure out Thursday meeting times, as they often would express that to us. So, with that being the case, today’s final meeting together brought a time for embracing at the end.
Now let me give you more of the setting…
My fellow intern and co-leader is a big-time hugger. That’s great. No problems. Now I am not a hug initiator, but I have no problem with them.
So as the ladies began to come up to us to give us hugs, I gladly accepted.
So as my final hug came around, it was a lady who has definitely been my favorite client to work with and to have in the discussion group during the whole semester.
She gave me a hug and I remember as she walked off, we heard her sniffle. I thought that was cool…
So as then my fellow intern and I began gathering up our things from the living room area that we meet in. Everyone else had left the room, but then “my favorite client” kept coming in and sort of walking around and then would leave, and then come back again.
As I have always been one that is big on observing people’s behaviors, I was carefully noting her behavior, though in a manner to not be obvious.
Finally, after having left and returning to the room 3 or 4 times, “my favorite client” approached me. She said, “I have one more thing,” as she walked up to me.
“Girl, someone’s got to teach you how to hug!”
HA! Well, I laughed on the inside, not out loud of course, though my fellow intern was laughing out loud…HA!
Before I could do anything, I found myself giving a TRUE hug.
It’s funny because just earlier during the group that I had lead this week, we discussed thoughts from a book that I had just completed reading and one of the thoughts was on how people can tell when you are talking to them whether you really mean what you’re saying and really care about it or not.
I think that was what “my favorite client” had picked up on during our original hug at the end of the group meeting. She was fully aware of my lack of hug when I hugged her back.
It’s funny but I’ve never been told that before: “someone’s got to teach you how to hug,” but I’ve never been a good hugger.
Please don’t get me wrong. I love hugs! I have no problem with them. It’s just that, as I mentioned earlier, I am not a very good hug initiator. Sometimes I really wish I was, but I just really am not always comfortable in initiating them, even when I really do want to give someone a hug.
I’ve been thinking lately about hugs in general and there are so many kinds and types of them. Many of the times, we’ll fall into the “I’m supposed to give a hug” times. You know, like when the family is leaving and won’t see each other for a long time, or when someone sees someone that they haven’t seen for a while, or when you’re thanking someone for something. Granted these instances mentioned can be times for truly genuine hugs, but just because a hug goes on during those times does not mean it is a whole-hearted embrace.
Something else I’ve thought about in reference to hugs is the power of the human touch. Some of my favorite hugs are those when someone NEEDS one. Though those can be some of the HARDEST hugs to initiate, they are always some of the most memorable ones. I truly believe the energy that is exchanged between two people when they touch, whether it be a hug or a pat on the back, can be so powerful!
Whatever the case, hugs are a good thing in my opinion.
One of my good friends is one of my favorite people to hug because she hugs all the time. HA! Because of this, I now many of the times initiate the hugs....HA! I can not recall a time I’ve spent with Misty where either our time hanging out started with a hug or it ended with a hug. And I love it!
Misty’s hugs are remembered because they are so frequent, but also because they are REAL hugs. Some hugs just stand out. Some hugs will always standout in my mind, whether that is because they were REAL hugs or more of a shock-type of a hug.
Shock-type hug (n): a embrace that takes place and the recipient of the hug tends to be shocked that it occurred, or shocked of the real meaning that was put behind the hug from the hug initiator.
A few hugs that I will always remember:
--Ellison—she had come up to me and gave me the BIGGEST bear-hug following our final performance of Sing Song our Junior year. Little did I know when she approached me that it was a hug meant to be a hold-down so I could be attacked by all her fellow GATA officers as they poured the remains of the confetti from our Snow Day act down my pants. Thanks, Ellison! ;)
--Laura S.—she saw me for the first time for Homecoming weekend her senior year as she was coming up the stairs for chapel on Friday. I’ll never forget the joy she had as she came up the stairs and saw some of her returning alumni friends for the first time in a long time. She gave me a big hug and I’ll never forget that one because she is not a hugger and that might be one of the only hugs I can remember from her.
--Becca O.—it was her senior year Sing Song and I hadn’t seen her yet and I had snuck into the gyms where the groups were to be warming up. I was chatting with some fellow GATA sisters at one end of the hall and all of a sudden out of the darkness of the hall she comes running up and totally just attacks me with a bear hug. Honestly, I was a little scared at first because I couldn’t tell who she was because the hallway was dark, and though I’m still not a hundred percent sure it was her to this day….HA! I’m pretty sure it was and I give her credit for that hug, because it was a fun and memorable hug.
--Julie G.—I’ve never known Julie to be a hugger, so when I got out of my car in the darkness of the early morning hours for the GATA Homecoming Breakfast this year and she came up to me and gave me a hug, I was a little shocked. I had no problem with it, but it just kind of caught me off guard. I think it really made me think that whether or not we were very close when we were in club together we can call ourselves friends now.
--Ellison—yeah, so…she made the list twice, but if you look at that first one, it is definitely a “different” kind of a hug…HA! This one was for real! And though I know Ellison can be a hugger, I think she is a lot like me in the fact that she normally doesn’t have a problem with hugs, but she just doesn’t seem to initiate them. Because of this, I’ll never forget the time when I met her at her hotel here in the metroplex because she had come in town to go to a wedding and when she opened the door to her room and saw me she gave me this huge hug. Though I know I’ve hugged Ellison before that one just stands out to me. It was definitely a REAL hug and it really was great to see her again!
Let me tell the story of how this two-part blog come into being…
Late Monday night I was lying in bed and I don’t remember what I was thinking about, but it hit me that I really wanted to write a blog about people using the term “trash” as an adjective. I’ve wanted to write this type of a blog on several occasions, but the route I wanted to take with the blog was a hard one to get myself to write.
I whipped out the notepad I keep in my nightstand and in the dark scribbled down some thoughts to remind myself in the morning about this blog idea. Believe it or not, I do this MANY nights. I used to get up every time the ideas would hit me, but now I’ve simply gotten too lazy to get out of bed each time, so I put a notepad in my nightstand by my bed…try it…you might get a lot of use out of it like me! ;)
So all day Tuesday I found myself debating within myself whether or not THIS was the time I would follow through and write this blog. By the time I got home that night to write it, I had pretty much decided I wasn’t going to. So that was going to be that….no blog…
Later in the night I had the privilege to get to talk to one of my best friends on the phone. Like always we were just chatting away, having a good time, talking about our days. It was then that she had mentioned something she had seen on her drive home that evening and she referenced it as “trashy.” That’s when it hit me…I had to write this blog, but NOT before I let my passion out about the subject with my friend.
I can only recall a couple other times I can remember getting as fired up about this passion in the past, but I have. It is one that has been with me for several years now. Sometimes I’ll just blow the comments off by others, sometimes I’ll make a comment back, and on certain occasions I will debate my opinion full force—Tuesday night was one of those nights. And yes, with a best friend.
As I got off the phone, I was pretty fired up about my belief on this topic. I was in no way mad or upset with my friend, but we obviously had different opinions on the matter.
So there I was. Full of passion. Yearning to get at my keyboard and take out the passion in a blog, but I refused to let myself. I knew I needed to think it out in order to get the best results that I wanted from my purpose of sharing my thoughts on the matter….
So I took a shower to think it out…
When I got out, I was determined to keep back my opinion and get your thoughts first. I wanted honesty. I wasn’t sure exactly how to put the entry in order to get the most honest and unbiased answers, yet still in a way to actually GET people to respond.
Though the responses I was really wanting, and I’m still pretty sure they DO exist did not necessarily show up, I can’t help but say I was amazed by the responses I DID get.
And actually, after I got the responses I got, I’ve totally revamped what was going to be said in this “second part.”
Though it was not my initial plans, I think the first half of this blog actually served as what I was wanting to do with this second half, and that was to get people to reconsider the use of “trash” in reference to human beings. Though I thought it was a nice point, I think the line of, “if we are going to use the term we need to know what it means” served more of a purpose than I had hoped. I think when we really think about what we are saying and what it truly means, we are all capable of reevaluating our thoughts, and I think that was exactly what some people did then they read that last blog.
I want to end this blog with a calm, shortened version of my passion on this matter:
I’ve never liked the term “trash” being used as an adjective. And as my friend has asked me on the phone, I can confidently say I can not ever remember using the term in such a manner [I do credit this to my passion on this matter].
As Holly pointed out in comment on the previous blog, my view on this matter has always been how is it that we can liken someone to something as low as trash. Trash, in reference to what is picked up by the garbage-man, is denoted by our society as one of the lowest capacities on this earth. Garbage is the last on our lists of things that matter. Trash is worthless. Trash is what’s thrown out. “A. Lo” made a great point on the previous blog about how trash is “easily disposed of.”
I just can not allow myself to call another human being “trash” when actual trash is as low as our society has made it.
I can’t tell anyone what to do or not to do, but I can say this…
There is that old saying that says “what is someone's trash might be someone else's treasure.”
Join me in making what someone else might reference as “trash” or “trashy” a treasure to us. As different or strange someone else’s ways or someone else as a person might be, they have something about them that is worth treasuring!
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Help me to better see what is being described...
No, not what's leftover once you finish your supper. No, not the wrapper off your snickers bar. Nor the empty can from your diet Dr. Pepper.
No, the "trash" that is referenced in "That's so trashy!" or "They are so trashy." or "They are such white trash" or even "Their trailer trash." Though those last two are more detailed, I'm assuming there is more to them than just being someone who is "white" or someone who is living in a "trailer," but I could be wrong.
I'm assuming we've now straightened out the differences between what's kept in your kitchen under the sink (or in the pantry) and the "trash" I'm needing help describing here.
Even if you've never used the term before in that manner, you've most likely heard it used in this sort of a context. However, while I could sit here right now and name some of you reading this that I know that I have heard it come out of your mouth, I'm not going to put ya on the spot like that (I always hated when teachers would do that to me)...HA! So instead please just voluteer by leaving a comment and help me out.
I need a picture of what makes someone, or i suppose even an action or a behavior, "trashy." I mean if we are going to be able to use the term as an adjective to describe a person or an action, isn't it important to be able to define what makes it up?
So help me out...tell me what catches your eye out there on the street or on television that makes you immediately think:"trash."
Let me get it started...
Someone recently tried to help me with this question that I've brought before y'all today and they said "Someone who doesn't care about how they are living."
Is that it? Is that what distinguishes someone as "trash" from someone who isn't "trash" in your mind? Is there more to it? Is that definition lacking something? Is that not the proper distinguishing quality?
Is it where someone shops? Is it where someone lives? Is it what someone wears (or what they don't wear)?
Come on....if we are going to use the term we need to know what it means...help me out...
Monday, January 23, 2006
Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that is bad, but I just didn't know I could change emotions and states of being so quickly until tonight!
Let me explain...
So I wasn't aware that I had a guy situation to deal with until I got a phone call when I got home today from a friend of mine. And while I'm not going to explain the guy situation right now, I will say I wanted to some opinions on the matter from some friends, because I sure don't know anything about guys...HA!
So I ended up talking to SEVERAL friends online tonight...many of whom just happened to IM me and my situation came up...
I found that I was cracking up talking about it with some friends, while at the same time I would switch over to IM a different friend only to find myself getting depressed and frustrated thinking about it. Interestin' huh? HA!
It was so weird though how it would come over me. I'm not kidding...there were SEVERAL times tonight I was laughing so loudly I kept getting looks from my family. And then I would get into another conversation about it and find myself feeling so ugly and hating the thought of guys...HA!
Basically what I tied it down to tonight is that I hate talking about my hair and clothes. I mean I pretty much hate talking about dating period, but i hate having to think about dressing up and doing something about my hair.
Even if I don't like the thought of dates all that much, I don't mind talking about it, but when we had gotten to the part of talking about clothes and hair I lost it emotionally...not crying, but I just couldn't do it. For once i had to ask someone to change the subject when I was chatting online. I honestly don't think I've ever had to do that, though I get it from folks a lot...HA!
And while I hated having to say it, I just didn't want to talk about it.
Anyways, luckily someone else had IMed me then and I ended up laughing again with them, so quickly my emotions were changing again.
So I still don't know what to do about this guy situation. Honestly, I'd like to ignore it and imagine none of it is going on, but I'm sure the person that instigated it will see to it that that doesn't happen...HA! Why do some of my friends have to be so adament about hooking me up with people...HA!
So, I want to end with some of the funny and some just plain interesting tidbits from several of my different IM conversations tonight...
Me: making decisions about what to do about going out with some dude my friend is trying to set me up with.
Friend #1: well is he smart? he's gotta be smart, you'll be bored
[I thought that was so funny that that was the FIRST thing out of her when I brought up that I was having a guy situation...HA! I don't know what that means that she would say that, and so quickly, but I find it funny!]
Me: i'm being told i'm in the prime age for sex right now. that is what the other person i'm IMing with is telling me. HA HA!
Friend #2: Wow... i thought a woman was at her sexual prime at the age of 35 and a boy at 18
Friend #2: i'm sorry...but you will NEVER find a friend as cool as me ;)
Friend #1: if it's your first time, it could be the smallest ever, and you would think it's huge...unless you use toys....lets not go there
[I wont' go into details about that one...HA HA! And no, we didn't go 'there' and no, I don't use toys, incase you were wondering...HA!]
Me (to Friend #1): yeah...lately i've thought....i need to just be more of a whore
Friend #1: i want you to be happy
Me: but i am happy...most of the time
Friend #1: good, that's all that matters
Friend #1: one last piece of advice...don't go looking for him.... he'll find you when you least expect it
Me: and THAT is what i live my life as each day
Friend #1: he won't show up with a ribbon tied around his neck, but he will become routinely involved in your everyday life, more than likely
Me: guys are too easily judgemental on looks i think
Friend #3: as a guy, i know looks can be important to a lot of people, but i wouldn't say it's something 'all' guys share
Friend #3: so what do you think you're going to do?
Me: honestly...i don't know...HA...I'm just enjoying making this blog! Although i don't feel like it is my typical "blog quality"...so i don't know if i'm going to like it once i get done, but part of me doesn't care...HA!
Friend #3: you know you're a serious blogger when you care about the 'quality' ;)
Friend #4: any other big life decisions you need to make?
Friend #4: Okay, well here's my advice: no perms, ever. No boys who wear polka dots. Daily showers.
Me: HA HA...YES...I'm good to go now! ;)
Friend #4: As you can tell, I'm still searching for a successful life formula...not quite there yet, lol
Friend #4: if you're ever feeling bad about your dating life, I'll tell you some of my stories...you'll feel better fast.
These conversations were all very interesting and some quite hilarous, but this last piece was probably my favorite laugh of the night...
Friend #4: You never know, he could turn out to have really big private parts, lol!
[HA! THat was in reference to how I made a joke earlier in the conversation about private parts...HA! But since this is my blog I get to put whatever parts of the conversation I went in here...HA!]
I love my friends! There's nothing more fun than a night of chatting it up with old buddies! Matter of fact, most of these people are peole I haven't talked to in a while, and the most recently time I've seen any of them was back around Homecoming I think for Friend #2...the others longer. HA! Good friends though who are there for me to bounce ideas off and get advice from! Thanks!
I love the first line of this chapter…
Some people skip through life; some people are dragged through it.
While’s it’s funny, it is also really true when you think about it. I’m sure we can all think of people we know who tend to be skipping, as well as those who seem to be getting dragged.
I’ll be honest. I’d have to say I’m doing a lot of skipping. I don’t say it to brag, but more in a sense of gratitude. I’ve been blessed to live the life I have so far and I very thankful that life hasn’t been able to get a hold of my belt-loops and pull me down to be dragged.
I’m fully aware that one can hit the ground at anytime and find them self being pulled. But I’m also aware of the idea that just because we think someone is skipping through life, that is not always the case.
I was thinking this weekend how sometimes our life is like a frozen dinner you might get at the grocery store. Yes, that’s right. I was stuck at home a lot this weekend eating things like frozen dinners while I did some paperwork. But let me explain my thoughts…
You know how you are browsing down the frozen food section and you see that frozen dinner that just looks so good on the box? So you buy it and get yourself all excited to make it for dinner only to find out after those 5 minutes in the microwave that it is nothing like what you expected from the wonderful-looking picture on the front of the box. Not only does it look NOTHING like what was on the box, but it also does not taste a thing like what you expected.
Sometimes I think people can pull off the frozen dinner look in life. On the outside we can look all put together. We can appear to be skipping. We can look GREAT and rather appealing, but the truth is on the inside. Inside we might be nothing like what is on the cover.
Just a thought I had this weekend while I ate some Mexican frozen dinner dish…
I think this was one of the passages my friend Walker mentioned from this book when she first introduced it to me…you’ll have to let me know if I am correct, Walker. And people think I don’t listen… ;)
I believe that the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man’s mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God.
I agree with the idea behind that thought. Whether in reference to the devil or not, I believe that habit can become wasted time. Habit and routine can become so mindless. Honestly, I’ve given routine a lot of thought in reference to my future, and I’m pretty sure I’m a person that needs a profession that is not so predictable. I need a variety; things to be changed up often. I get bored with the same ole, same ole, after a while.
Miller is right. For a Christian, I can so see that being the case. The way we humans can become so mindless when we fall into our typical habit and routine roles, we are not focusing intently on things. And as easy as it is to get up each day and run through out routine actions at our job, it is just as easy to do the same when going to church.
If you don’t love somebody, it gets annoying when they tell you what to do or what to feel. When you love them you get pleasure from their pleasure, and it makes it easy to serve.
Yep. Enough said.
“I have always agreed with the idea that we have a sin nature. I don’t think it looks exactly like the fundamentalists say it does, ‘cause I know so many people who do great things, but I do buy the idea we are flawed, that there is something in us that is broken. I think it is easier to do bad things than good things.”
I don’t know what I think about this one. I’ve often internally discussed the whole idea about whether mankind is innately good or innately bad. Do I really think we are all born bad and we have to be taught to be good? It’s such a gloomy thought that maybe it troubles me to want to believe it. I like to think we are born good. I like to think good is in our nature at the core, though we screw up from time to time. Is this how it is? I don’t know…
I definitely don’t think I agree with the idea that “it is easier to do bad things than good things.” I think that is totally dependent on the act. I would argue that when we are born, doing a good act and doing a bad act are equally easy. I would say then as society shows us right from wrong, we would consciously see doing a wrong act, or bad thing—in Mr. Miller’s terms, as harder, but who knows.
I think Mr. Miller put this whole idea into a great illustration only a few lines away where he gave this example…
“I wondered, you know, if I ever had a couple of kids and I trained one of them, taught him right from wrong, and the other I didn’t train at all, I wonder which would be the better kid.”
“The kid you teach right from wrong, of course,” I told him.
“Of course, but that really should tell us something about the human condition. We have to be taught to be good. It doesn’t come completely natural. In my mind, that’s a flaw in the human condition.”
“Here’s one,” I said, agreeing with him. “Why do we need cops?”
“We would have without cops,” Tony said matter of factly. “Just look at the countries with corrupt police. It’s anarchy.”
“Anarchy,” I repeated.
“Anarchy!” Tony confirmed in sort of a laugh.
“Sometimes I think, you know, if there were not cops, I would be fine, and I probably would. I was taught right from wrong when I was a kid. But the truth is, I drive completely different when there is a cop behind me than when there isn’t.”
And what Tony and I were talking about is true. It is hard for us to admit we have a sin nature because we live in this system of checks and balances.
Nice, huh? He does argue a couple tough points.
As for the first point. I like it. The thought of raising one child with the concept of right and wrong and another without the concepts of the two. But then I wonder if that is just my experimental side coming out.
Honestly, I like to think we as humans notice the bad that people do more quickly than we pick up on the good. It’s easy to note the bad kids in class. It’s easier to remember how many times Johnny got detention versus how many times he helped Sally pronounce the big words in her weekly reader.
Good acts tend to be noted (sometimes) and forgotten quicker than do bad acts. Because of this, I could see how one child might be viewed as bad quicker than one being noted as good.
As for the second point…I just love it! Is it not the truth?! Don’t we ALL drive differently when we see that police car in our rearview mirror? Even if you are one who never goes above the speed limit, you most likely decrease your speed from being at the limit to lower when you see that cop.
Why is this? Well, when I think about it, I like to think that instance is kind of one of those exceptions to the rule things. Maybe that doesn’t mean we are naturally bad, and so we are having to refrain from our typically “bad” selves when we see the cop arise in the picture, but maybe it is just that we find ourselves with driving to be caught-up in the pace of the American life. Everything is fast paced nowadays here and we can’t let a speed limit keep us from getting in everything we need to get in that day.
I mean when I think about it. When I see a cop in any other setting, I harder ever have to readjust my behavior because I fear being caught being “bad.” I don’t feel like I typically am inclined to be bad, so I don’t find myself having to check myself to be in balance in other situations when cops are present.
Maybe this is because I was taught right from wrong. I don’t know.
I suppose I honestly just don’t know where I stand on the thought of whether we are born bad and have to be taught good, or whether we are born good and are taught by society bad.
I sat there above the city wondering if I was like the parrot in Lewis’s poem, swinging in my cage, reciting Homer, all the while having no idea what I was saying.
I know this isn’t meant to be funny. But my first impression of it is to laugh, but after I get that out, I too can see the depth of it.
I laugh because I think how I have had times where I have sounded so brilliant and so confident and yet beneath the talk I haven’t much more of a clue what I’m talking about than those listening to me do. HA!
But really, how often do we think we know what we’re talking about, only to find out we haven’t a clue?
It’s really kind of scary actually. It’s scary when you find it out after-the-fact. Like you’ve gone along for sometime thinking you know something, only to find out later that you hadn’t the slightest clue.
Sometimes we think we know people and we might talk praises of them, only to find out they aren’t how we thought. Or, unfortunately, we talk bad about someone only to find out they aren’t that way at all.
I suppose the only medicine for this is to prepare ourselves as much as we came. If we want to recite Homer, we need to make sure we have the right Homer and that we know what we are talking about before we go about proud-fully reciting anything.
[Note: All the above text in smaller italic print has been quoted directly from Donald Miller’s "Blue Like Jazz"]
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
It really is.
Good news is of course always welcome, but when it comes to bad news, it is even more welcome than the uncertainty of the unknown.
When you just do not know it is so hard.
The unknown is frustrating, because when you do not know, you really don’t know how to feel. And that can only tend to bring about a sense of being scared, worried, or just plain frustrated.
I know several people right now that are looking graduation in the face and they can not look at it with a sense of excitement for themselves because of the uncertainty of the unknown. What’s next? It will be here before I know it and I have no clue what my next step is.
Of course, if they knew they had a job lined up with so-and-so business awaiting them upon receiving their graduation there would be no sense of uncertainty. Even if they where given the bad news that upon graduation they were going to have to go back and take another course or two to get some special certification for some job position they have longed for for so long, even THAT bad news would be more appealing than simply not knowing what awaits them and what is next.
It is that unknown that is just so scary. I have never had anyone I was real close to go through an extensive surgery, but I bet that is a good example of this. I bet those hours while the surgery is taking place are the toughest on the family as they wait in the waiting room. You are stuck in the unknown. You do not know what is going on, so there is that uncertainty. You do not even know how you should be feeling. What emotions are there? You don’t know because you are in the unknown. At least when the surgeon reappears to deliver the news, whether good or bad, you are at least brought into “the know” and allowing you to know what emotions to express—joy or sorrow.
I went through this start of the uncertainty of the unknown to like the extreme for me during the summer of 2000. I had just graduated high school and refused to make a decision about college. I had NO interest in going ALL the way to Texas and to leave all my friends to go to ACU where my parents wanted me. I wanted to go to the state school in Missouri. It was a hard time for me. I was uncertain on what to do, which left my future in the unknown. Even once I finally “gave in” to the going to ACU decision, only a couple weeks before I was to be there, I still had the uncertainty of the unknown of not knowing anyone and not knowing what it would be like going to school there. Once again….it was still hard…
Luck for me I had a best friend in St. Louis that helped me through that summer. There’s no doubt in my mind that I would not have been able to get through that summer as “sane” as I did had I not had her there for me. She of course was encouraging me to go to the Missouri state school, as that would have been closer to home, so I would have gotten home more to see her, but she still “acted” happy for me when I breathed that sigh of relief after having made it through the “decision” to go to ACU.
As most of us all know, I made it through the uncertainty of what life and college would be like at ACU. And as many have heard me say before, going to ACU has definitely been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
So with that uncertainty in the past, what brings this blog up today?
[WARNING: this is where this blog gets long and you might have no interest in reading it, but I’m still putting it here because it is heavy on my heart right now and has been for several days, for sure]
I’m frustrated with the uncertainty of the unknown again, and it relates to the best friend that helped me through the first time of the unknown….
I’ll admit, as expected, over my 4 years away from St. Louis while I went to ACU the closeness of our friendship feel off. We still kept in touch, but the contacts got less and less, mainly during the last two years. I take my share of responsibility for that. No doubt. I realize I could have picked up the phone as easily as she could have, but I just didn’t, that often.
But while we might not have talked as often, I still held that friend very close to my heart! She was definitely one of the closest friends I’ve ever had; even to this day.
So where is the uncertainty, you ask? Well this summer she called me randomly to get my mailing address to send me an invitation to her wedding. There was no way I was going to miss that wedding; and I didn’t!
I went to her wedding on August 6th. It was GREAT to see her, especially as she was so happy! Unfortunately, that is the last time I’ve talked to her. But this time I am not taking responsibility for this lack of communication.
Since August I want to list out my attempts to connect with this friend:
--I know I called her AT LEAST once in August (got her voicemail, left a message)
--I know I called once in Sept. (got her voicemail, left a message)
--I know I called twice in October, because it was her birthday (got her voicemail, left a messages)
--I called around Thanksgiving (got her voicemail, left a message)
--It hit me hard one night and I got up late outta bed and typed her a long 3 page letter and mailed it to her. I included a self-addressed stamped envelope asking her to PLEASE either write me back or at least just send the envelope back empty so I would know she got the letter and read it. (still haven’t seen that envelope again)
--The night I got into St. Louis for Christmas I left my house after having only been there for 30 minutes and went up to her place of employment (no sign of her)
--The next day I went to her place of employment (no sign of her)
--The next day was Christmas eve and then Christmas, so I didn’t attempt to contact her.
--On Christmas I even saw her brother-in-law at church and asked him if she still worked at that place and he said yes
--On Monday (the day after Christmas) I went to her place of employment (no sign of her), then found her new apartment and knocked on the door (no answer). And while I’m not positive, since I don’t know for sure what she drives now, I THINK her car might have been parked out in the parking lot, but I do not know that for sure. But then she could be gone with her husband too of course.
--I drove around and went back to her apartment in about an hour. Still no answer at the door. I went out to my car and called her (no answer—left a voicemail).
--I went back to her place of employment (no sign of her)
--Later that night I went back to her place of employment one final time—no luck. So on my drive home I called her from the *67 (or is it *69…I always get those two confused), whatever, I called her “private”…still no answer.
So last week I guess it was, I decided I can’t just quit. I will become annoying before I will just give up!
So I started calling her daily, normally twice a day and leaving voicemails every time. And yes, my voicemails have begun to get sarcastic, though not mean. You know, stuff like, “oh, it’s your voicemail again. Your voicemail and I are getting to be really close now…” but I would still close the voicemail with something nice like, “well, I was just trying again to get you, but I guess I missed ya again. Maybe I’ll get you tomorrow.”
So believe it or not, on Tuesday I guess it was, for some ODD reason, she called me at 8:25 in the morning. The phone woke me up, and since I assumed it was work, I didn’t jump out of bed to get it. I waited and when no voicemail came, I REALLY thought it was work. So as I drug myself out of bed a few minutes later and saw it had been her I about died!
Now, I suppose most people who had been trying to get ahold of someone as much as I had would have immediately called her back. Don’t worry, the thought did cross my mind, but then I thought, “ you know what…I’m suppose to be going to work…I’m not going to be later to work because of her and I’m not going to be at her beaconing call after all that I’ve gone through to get in touch with her, ESPECIALLY if she isn’t willing to leave a voicemail.” So I got myself ready and went to work with the intentions of calling her on my lunch break.
Well, at 10 AM I got a “PRIVATE” call and though I do not know for sure, I have pretty good reasons to think it was her, as I answered it and I was hung-up on immediately. Interesting. So when I called her at lunchtime and didn’t get her, that was when I began the twice a day calling last week and called for Tuesday, Wed. and Thursday—all no luck.
So this is where I stand today.
I hate the unknown. I really just want to know what happened. Is she mad at me? Did I do something? Is she afraid I’m mad at her because of the guy she married? Was she mad I wouldn’t go stand in the group of girls when she tossed the bouquet at the wedding? Is she still upset that I “left her” when I came to Texas? I just don’t know….
It’s so hard not knowing. Even knowing she hates my guts is better than not knowing, to me. I wrote this in the letter to her:
I’ve enclosed a self-addressed stamp envelope that you can respond back in. I can’t tell you how much a response back to me would mean to me. Even if the whole thing is to tell me that you can’t stand the thought of having to talk to me anymore after what I’ve done to you in our friendship, at least then I’ll have an answer to my question; the unknown just hurts too much. Once again, I just ask for your complete honesty, no matter how harsh you may feel it is to say to me.
So here are my thoughts…
I know by now, if you’re even still reading at this point, you are probably thinking I’m a sick stalker. That’s okay, at least I’m not stalking you! HA! No really though…
I can’t just let this go. With the value that I place on friendships, the not-knowing in this friendship eats at me constantly.
So I discussed my next moves with a friend at work and she gave me another GREAT idea, so I want to share them here and see what you think….
I want to mail a letter to her daily. I could probably continue the phone calls too I suppose. HA! But the letters I feel is a lot less confrontational and she is DEFINTELY not a big fan of confrontation, which makes it harder for me, because I don’t really have much of a problem with it. HA!
I also thought about mailing a copy of the letter I originally sent her to her parents address (addressed to her though of course), but that’s incase she isn’t getting the letters at her apartment (I have possible thoughts that her husband might be involved with her not getting to communicate with me, though this is all suspicion). I know her parents well, and I’m pretty sure they don’t have anything against me (as they did send me a Christmas card this year, though probably in response to mine…HA!), so if I send it there, maybe she would be more likely to get it, IF she isn’t getting them at her house.
And finally, this was the idea from my co-worker, and this one brings one of those wicked little grins across my face when I think about it. I thought it was so funny when my co-worker suggested it, but she said I should send her the letter certified mail. HA! That would mean she would have to sign for it. But then I have the thought that she might not sign for it, but still, it might be worth it. HA!
Am I a stalker? Do you think I’m insane for pursuing this as I am? Do you think the daily letters or the daily calls might work? Do you think they might annoy her into communicating with me? HA!
I will probably do the calls and letters anyways, no matter what anyone says, just because I am that passionate about this, but I still love to hear what you think….HA!
It would be so much easier if she would just tell me she doesn't want to talk to me ever again. Just hearing the words would be a certainty...
Monday, January 16, 2006
Even before the first chapter begins, Miller was able to grab my thoughts in his Author Notes. It is there where he eludes to his thoughts on Jazz music, which helps to set the stage for the title of his book.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
Wow. So true. It really is true that you can watch someone else lavish in the depths of appreciation for something and it can make you fall in love yourself! While I do not believe the person showing you their love has to be someone you know personally for this to work, as it was not for Miller, I do think the power is stronger when it is someone you have a connection with already.
Think about it. I’m sure we all have examples of this happening in our lives. I know I have. And while this is probably a poor example, one that just came to my mind because of its recent occurrence is how I have recently fallen in love with a couple songs because I saw how a friend of mine who was going through a hard time fell in love with them because of the lyrics and meaning they brought for her. One being a song I had never heard before because it has not been released on radio yet, but I just got the cd for Christmas—Starts with Goodbye by Carrie Underwood, and one that I’ve heard several times in the past, but had forgotten about and never really taken the time to listen to the words and appreciate the meaning—Look Away by Chicago.
It was then in the first chapter that I came across a point by Miller that I had never had cross my mind before, but I found it very interesting to think about.
Today I wonder why it is God refers to Himself as “Father” at all. This, to me, in light of the earthly representation of the role, seems a marketing mistake. Why would God want to call Himself Father when so many fathers abandon their children?
VERY interesting to me. Miller has quite a point. I think about it and I think, “Yes, so if God is all powerful and perfect in every way, why WOULD he choose an ‘earthly’ title for Himself?” When you tie a title like “Father” to Him, that seems to liken him to other “fathers,” such as the earthly fathers, which Miller is sure to point out how many fathers have fallen victim to sins such as abandonment and other sins.
But then I think, is this a way to bring God down to a human level of comprehension. A way to try to make man capable of understanding him. A way to sort of help to give an idea of the type of relationship God wants with man. But if that is the case, then for those who have experienced forms of abandonment or abuse or other tragedies from their earthly fathers, that is not showing a type of relationship I think God has in mind.
I don’t know…I just really liked that point and it made me think. If you have more to say on the topic, do share. I’m just pointing out some interesting parts, whether I know what I think on them or not.
I realized, late that night, that other people had feelings and fears and that my interactions with them actually meant something, that I could make them happy or sad in the way that I associated with them. Not only could I make them happy or sad, but I was responsible for the way I interacted with them. I suddenly felt responsible. I was supposed to make them happy. I was not supposed to make them sad. Like I said, it sounds simple, but when you really get it for the first time, it hits hard.
You have to relate to Miller there. Honestly, I can remember a specific time when that hit me for the first time, because it has probably been a few years back, but we are constantly being reminded of this.
I guarantee there are people in your life that you probably do not even realize that your actions are having such an influence on them. We are being watched and looked at constantly. What we say or do does have the power of making someone else happy or sad.
We are all capable of looking out for our self and living life so it is focused on us and behaving in manners that are pleasing to ourselves, but it takes a humble person to behave in a manner that is pleasing to our self and those with which we interact. We sometimes do need to be reminded that we can take responsibility for how we interact with others and realize that our actions can make or break someone’s day.
This was a different sort of guilt from anything I had previously experienced. It was a heavy guilt, not the sort of guilt that I could do anything about. It was a haunting feeling, the sort of sensation you get when you wonder whether you are two people, the other of which does things you can’t explain, bad and terrible things.
That’s hard. Guilt can be hard, but not just any guilt, that different sort of guilt that is heavy. This thought can go back to the above discussed point, where we can feel so guilty when we realize what hurt we have caused someone else because of our interactions.
Can you relate to that feeling of feeling like how you behaved was in a manner that you did not even think you were capable of? As if you do have another person that is a part of you. Sometimes we say things that at the time seem like the best thing to say, or seem fine to say, but it is later when we reevaluate it that we can be hit with the guilt. The feeling of who was I when I said that? Who was I when I did that?
I sometimes wonder if people who are sitting in punishment, whether it be in time-out, detention, or behind bars, if they ever wonder, who was I when got myself into this situation?
This somewhat ties to these thoughts, but it was recently that I heard on television someone make the comment that we are all capable of being murderers. Yes, murderers; those for which many believe to be the worst “type” of people out there.
We all are pretty much physically capable of murder. That would make us all potential murderers. We each have the potential to kill. Daily you are interacting with potential murderers. So it’s scary to think maybe we have another person within us that might act on that potential. Maybe that is what happened for some who find themselves asking, who was I?
[Note: All the above text in smaller italic print has been quoted directly from Donald Miller’s "Blue Like Jazz"]
Saturday, January 14, 2006
I once took a "test" that notes your top five strength areas in your life. One of my top five was appreciation/gratitude/thanks. I think you'll know what I thought of that result when I tell you I think that "test" was one of the most accurate tests I've ever taken!
So I was thinking a few minutes ago, and I truly think that that "strength" of mine leads to my seeing the positive in life.
The more I thought about it, I feel that those who take the time to be appreciative and thankful are more likely to be positive people.
Some of my favorite words to use are blessed, honored, thankful, etc. If you think about it and think of how someone has blessed your life, or how you are honored to have known someone, or how you are so thankful to have something, you are focusing on the positive in life!
Try it! I truly believe if you set a goal for yourself to more routinely focus on how honored, blessed, or grateful you are in your life, you'll become more positive. Before you know it, it will become habit and you'll find yourself in a more positive mindset when viewing everyday life situations!
And while internal appreciation is important, externally expressing your thanks is important too! Don't be afraid to tell someone thanks or that you feel blessed to have known them!
I challenge us all to go be more grateful, appreciative and aware of our blessings!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Now be sure to note that that does not say, “I do not have the time to read,” because though I have been guilty of making that comment in the past, I have reevaluated the idea and reminded myself that that is not the case. I say this a lot in the same light as my response to those who say, “You sure have a lot of spare time on your hands to be writing blogs as often as you do and as LONG as you do.” That is not it, my friends. It comes down to the simple idea that we all have the same amount of time in our days, the only difference is how we choose to spend that time. That’s right, I choose to spend hours a week blogging because it is something I love. We all can make time for whatever we want to do, just whether we do it or not is another question. So, when I found myself asking for and receiving MANY books for gifts this Christmas, I made myself set aside time read.
Though I started several of the books I got for Christmas (I have a BAD habit of starting books and not finishing them), I find myself dedicating my reading schedule right now to one book in particular. This book is one I’ve had recommended to me by several of you who are reading right now. I find myself on the 15th chapter of Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller right now.
As I read the first chapter of this book during the long hours of the trip back to Dallas from St. Louis for Christmas, I immediately thought to myself, “This guy makes some really good points that I would love to discuss in some blogs.” It did not take very many more pages for me to come to the decision that this was going to be my next Monday blog series!
Blue Like Jazz may never make it to Oprah’s book club, but Miller’s creative thoughts and points will be shared with the world though my own version of a book club—the Blue Like Monday Mornings blog series.
Over the next 20 weeks, since there are 20 chapters in the book, I plan to discuss one chapter a week. As I do with just about every book I read, I have noted points in the book that stood out to me with small pencil checkmarks in the margin. Each chapter has some marks, because Miller is just that good! Some thoughts I already have marked to discuss include:
Why would God want to call Himself Father when so many fathers abandon their children?
Some people skip through life; some people are dragged through it.
I couldn’t give myself to Christianity because it was a religion for the intellectually naïve.
I like to think I do things for the right reasons, but I don’t, I do things because I do or don’t love doing them.
I started thinking about how odd it was to be human, how we are stuck inside this skin, forced to be attracted to the opposite sex, forced to eat food and use the rest room and then stuck to the earth by gravity.
That is just a couple points quoted directly from the text by Donald Miller that will be mentioned and discussed at later points during this blog series.
So this is why I made a post not to long ago asking about who has read and who owns a copy of Blue Like Jazz. I’m curious who will be my reading audience for this series.
For those who have already read this book, I encourage you to reread it along with this series. I plan to reread each chapter the night I write the blog entries because I know how, like a movie, you pick up on new things the second time through. Not only that, but if you haven’t read the book in a while, you might have forgot what points Miller was making in each chapter, so rereading it can really help to jog the mind for better comments and thoughts on his writings during this blog series.
For those who have never read this book, I will tell you this: I really have a hard time describing what this book is about to people when they ask me. HA! It really is hard to describe it. It is non-fiction, so if you’re a non-fiction fan, this is right up your alley! If you are anything like I used to be growing up, and when you hear the word “non-fiction” you think of boring books about documentary style topics like penguins, planets, and plants (for some reason those were ALWAYS the kinds of books I thought about when I was told I had to read a non-fiction book in elementary school…I have NO idea why it was always things that started with the letter “p”…HA!), then look at it this way, give it a try, non-fiction books can be a GREAT way to get yourself thinking about life, since last time I checked life is pretty non-fiction! ;)
Beyond that, I will try to sum the book up like this: It is a book focusing on interesting situations that have happened in Miller’s life that have been beautifully related to bigger and better ideas about life. It is a book focused around Christian topics, but it is not a book to sell Christianity on you (that’s what’s really cool about it)! I truly think the best way to describe it comes from the description written on the front cover of it and it says, “Nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality.” That’s pretty much what it is, as it has twenty chapters that talk about situations involving everything from grace to belief to church to money to love. Each chapter is on a different subject like that and basically Miller draws you into the topic with his fun and humorous stories describing a time in his life and then lets you back out by the end of the chapter by tying that story into his interpretation of that topic in relation to Christian spirituality. It’s really pretty neat how he does it!
Here is what I would love to have happen: I would love to see those of you who are interested in this blog series to run out this week and get you a copy of this book. It is a small, paperback book that will most likely run you from $10-15. Not bad at all. Matter of fact, I bet you can get it really cheap used on amazon, half.com, or ebay even cheaper! All you have to do is read the first chapter before next Monday (the 15th). Then after that, all I ask is for you to read one chapter a week (however, once you get into it, I can see you having trouble limiting yourself to just one chapter a week).
One of my favorite things about this book is that it is so very easy to read and a quick read! The chapters are only about 12 or so pages long and the print is rather large, so a chapter takes you maybe 10 or 15 minutes to read (even if you find yourself rereading a paragraph here and there because they are so interesting and you want to mark things in the margins, like me)! Since this is the case, you really don’t even need to set aside time to read it because you can do as I do and that is get in bed at night to go to bed and just stay up another 10 or 15 minutes to read the chapter (only ONE night out of the week, since you only have to read one chapter a week) and then go to bed. Honestly, 10 or 15 minutes later of a bedtime will hurt NO ONE!
So, next Monday it will begin! The Monday Paint a Picture series has wound up for now, as I still am considering continuing it in the future with some of my own picks for people to honor (AKA some of my close friends who are not readers of my blog), but for now it is time for a new series!
So, become a “reader” with me and let’s discuss some nonreligious thoughts on spirituality together as we venture through Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz! Best wishes over the next few days as you will hopefully be reading the first chapter entitled “Beginnings: God on a Dirt Road Walking Toward Me” before I start next Monday with the first entry of the Blue Like Monday Mornings series!
Monday, January 09, 2006
Becky Degge. I met Becky my sophomore year at ACU when we both pledged the same social club—GATA. As I look back on my time spent as a sister of Becky’s through our social club I sit in awe as I think to myself, “Wow, if only I could have known during that pledging season what kind of a member Becky was going to be for GATA!”
There is no doubt that Becky is one of the most proud and spirited GATA members I have ever seen! She is/was always fondly sporting her red and white! If there was going to be any sort of a GATA event that day, whether it was a rush or a social or an intramural game or whatever, you could always count on Becky to wear some GATA apparel to support her women’s club!
Not only was she very spirited in her pride for her social club, but Becky made sure to be at every GATA event as possible! Now that is one dedicated member! She was the kind of member that I could always count on when considering attendance possibilities as I worked as the club secretary. I knew I could count on Becky to be at events and for that I was very grateful!
In intramurals, if she was not playing on the team, like concerning every other GATA event, you could expect her to be in attendance cheering on her fellow sisters from the sideline! There is no doubt that Becky’s support in intramurals went further on the playing field then she will ever know! I can say from experience that having fan support when you’re playing intramurals is quite possibly one of the most motivating situations, so thank you Becky for that!
As a person who is normally pretty observant of people in situations, one thing I was always impressed with about Becky as I would watch her at GATA events, rushes in particular, was her ability to strike up conversation with just about anyone. She is not a shy individual and because of that, you could always count on Becky to talk with all the potential pledges. Becky is a social individual who makes the most of each opportunity she has to stand up for what she believes!
Not only is Becky a dedicated individual to her social club, but more importantly, to the relationships she has in her life. Though Becky and I are not the closest of friends, I have had the pleasure to hanging out with her on several occasions and though those times spent together as well as the stories I have had the pleasure of hearing from her friends, Becky is an individual who holds her friendships in high regard! Becky is there for her friends they need her and she is going to help them if she can.
I’m honored to call Becky a fellow GATA sister for life! She has definitely made her mark on our social club and she has her place in the GATA history book. I’ve enjoyed the times I’ve gotten to joke, laugh, and have fun with Becky! There’s no doubt in my mind that she loves to laugh and have a good time! She was always willing to dress up and/or act goofy with some of us other GATAs!
Becky is a fun girl always willing to talk to you and have a good time! But you don’t have to take my word for it…
Becky is someone whom I am highly proud to call my “friend”. There are so many things I love about her that I’ll probably leave some of them out on accident. One thing that makes Becky such a wonderful person is her sheer interest in people. She’s always “present” when I talk to her. Good friends are there when you need them – for advice, for comfort, for a good laugh. That’s how Becky is. She’s there when her friends ask her for advice. She’s comforting to talk to when the day has not been so comfortable. She’s got a great sense of humor, always up for a good laugh. For those who don’t know Becky personally, they are truly missing out on someone great. Becky is amazing!
I am privileged to have Becky as one of my friends. Becky is a loyal friend who I know I can always count on. She knows how to have a good time even if not much is going on, and I really enjoy spending time with her.
Becky is a great friend because she will sacrifice all that she can for her friends. She is always willing to stop taking a nap and go to the mall, lunch, dinner, a movie. She has priorities in her friends. I am so blessed to know her, and thankful for the time that we were able to hang out... even though it was less than I would have liked. :D
One of my favorite memories is the time we “dressed up” to go hang out at Hardin Simons. Becky came up with a few crazy wigs and feather boas for us to use and we put our bathing suit tops on over our clothes. I must admit, we got a few strange looks that night, but we sure did have a lot of fun!
I have many fantastic memories of my time with Becky. For instance, anytime she, my roommate back then, and I, would get together in our apartment we would laugh hysterically, sing songs without caring how we sounded, play Mad Libs, take quizzes from magazines, take funny pictures, randomly practice sing song moves, and do just all kinds of fun stuff like that all night. She would seriously have me CRACKING UP! Also, on a more serious note, there were a few times when I was having a bad day and we’d both decide to hop in my car and just start driving somewhere. We’d chat and, when we’d come back, things always seemed so much better. That’s Becky – great to talk to! Great friend!
I have so many memories of Becky. I think that one of the best would be when we were in Hot Topic looking for Halloween costumes...and I saw the hottest man alive (and he knows SHOWBREAD *dies*) anyways, a few weeks or so later we were getting church bulletins from churches for one of my class projects (see I told you she was giving)... and he was in the last church that we went to... She was more excited about it than I was haha :) The whole way back from the church we planned our wedding. What a great friend.
Another great memory I have with Becky is dancing on the furniture in my old apartment. It’s great to have a friend that you can just cut lose with like that and not have to worry about what you look like doing it!
Thursday, January 05, 2006
"A person who doesn't feel other people's pain."
It this helps you to understand better what I'm asking for, not only tell me what you think that kind of a person is like, like describing them to me, but give me an example of a person not feeling someone else's pain. Like how might they behave.
Also, is it referencing sympathy? Empathy? Neither? Either? [these are some thoughts to consider answering also in your response]
Please respond under the impression that what it means to you, does not have to be what it means to someone else. Think about it....respond without reading other's responses first. I don't want any "I agree with _____'s comment. That's what it means." ;) Write what you think it means and if your comment is identical to someone else's more power to the two of y'all. ;)
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
I bet you can probably relate...
They call it the "Quarter-life Crisis." It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are many things about yourself that you didn't know and may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now.
You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones. What you don't recognize is that they are realizing that too, and aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere but that they are as confused as you.
You look at your job...and it is not even close to what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are looking for a job and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and that scares you.
Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and are constantly adding things to your list of what is acceptable and what isn't.
One minute, you are insecure and then the next, secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life. You feel alone and scared and confused.
Suddenly, change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward.
You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you. Or you lay in bed and wonder why you can't meetanyone decent enough that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love someone but love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you know that you aren't a bad person. One-night-stands and random hook ups start to look cheap. Getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic.
You go through the same emotions and questions over and over, and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You worry about loans, money, the future and making a life for yourself... and while winning the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!
What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out.
Monday, January 02, 2006
I think we really seemed to hit it off once we began the pledging process for GATA. I did not have a car during my four years at ACU, so Holly always volunteered to take me to pledging activities. We were pretty much always together during pledging. Whether it was someone to sit by in our classes so we wouldn’t be the only one sitting alone in the class wearing BRIGHT red lipstick or whether it was so we would not get lost trying to find GATA member’s houses for our visits with them.
Even after we finally got into GATA, our friendship only continued to grow. We always found ourselves hanging out together. We would eat in the school cafeteria together. We would do group projects for classes together. We would come up with great Halloween costumes together to wear to the GATA costume parties. We would play GATA intramurals together. We would ride together to GATA functions. We did just about everything together during my last 3 years at ACU!
The thing that sticks out the most to me about my times spent with Holly is our ability to come up with witty and clever ideas on just about anything. HA! It was these skills that lead to some of our most fun times! If you ask just about anyone from GATA what stands out about Holly and I it would be our pranks!
We pretty much started pranking within GATA the years we were there! We developed the GATA Pranksters, which caused quite the havoc, if I might say so myself, during our years at ACU! I think the thing that made our pranks different from most was the originality and the ability to make pranking fun, normally for all involved, rather than making people aggravated.
I can’t even begin to mention all the pranks we pulled off in this entry, but I will mention some of our best ones (that I can remember…HA! There were a LOT): The hog’s head that we purchased and brought to the GATA Superbowl Party, the “break-in” and videoing of one of our GATA officer’s house, the ebaum’s soundboard prank phone calls, the post-it noting of cars, the “GATA TV” video, the times we randomly hung out in sleeping bags in our friends front yards and videotaped it, the “break-in” in a friend’s car, and of course, the end-of-our-undergrad-career prank—the formal letters we wrote to our friends who had been skipping out on chapel and we made them think they were from ACU administrators and that they were not going to get to graduate because they were skipping chapel! Good times!
There was no doubt that Holly and I kept ourselves entertained during our undergraduate days! If it was not pranking, it was joking around! I guess it is because we spend so much time together that we know each other so well that we are able to play-off one another so well! We are gullible people’s worst enemy! HA! I love how Holly or I can start saying something (that is TOTALLY made up) and then the other of the two of us IMMEDIATELY can play along and we can fool people so easily! Whether we are convincing someone that we were NOT involved with a prank or if we are telling them a story about someone who eats breast-milk bread! We play off each other so well! And the only reasons why it works so well is because we can do it and seem so serious about what we are talking about (and not laugh) and the fact that we can totally pick up on when the other of the two of us starts to “tell a story.” It’s like we just KNOW our part! HA! No rehearsal needed…we just play it off so well! HA!
Some of my favorite times spent together was when we would go grocery shopping together in Abilene. We probably each did about 95% of our grocery shopping with one another during our 3 years at ACU together! These times were always classic! If we weren’t loading our cart with Depend diapers to push around the store so people would look at us, we were yelling to one another down the aisle, “AREN’T WE OUT OF POPPYCOCK?!?!” HA!
Then of course there was the time when we bought the hog head at the grocery store and it was the only thing we had in our cart, and low and behold, we ran into one of our professors and he was like, “What are y’all shopping for today?” and then he looked in our cart to see nothing but a hog’s head! HA! We just cracked up! HA!
But one of our FAVORITE things to do at the grocery store always came at the end of the trip. We would end our adventure at the cash register! This goes back to our being able to “tell a story” with such seriousness to see how people will react or what they will say! What we would do was we would be at the register and we would be checking out and the cashier would be ringing up our stuff and we would be standing right there and we would start talking to one another telling some TOTALLY made-up story to see how they would react. One typical one was where one of us would say to the other,
“Hey, didn’t your dad get out of prison today?”
“It’s about time. It was murder wasn’t it?”
“Well that was the charge, but he didn’t really do it. It’ll be so good to see him again!”
That was one we used a lot, but it doesn’t even compare to my FAVORITE one! This one truly takes pros to be able to be pulled off in total seriousness,
“Man, I can’t believe your roommate had diarrhea in the bathtub again and is making YOU clean it up!”
“I know. The first time was gross enough! She’s lucky I clean it up!”
HA! That one ALWAYS got looks, usually from the people in line behind us too! HA! And the best was when we would go to the store with some of our other friends and we would do this, especially the diarrhea one! The other friends normally couldn’t keep their composure and they would have to turn away because they would start laughing!
There’s no doubt that Holly is an entertaining friend, but that is not all that I enjoy from my friendship with Holly. She is a smart gal and we have had our fair share of intellectual conversations, especially about psychological topics. We can be quite the analyzers!
Even more than that, Holly is one of those people who is always there for her friends. She makes every effort to make sure everyone is happy. I have been blessed because of my friendship with Holly. She’s a good person, but you don’t have to take my word for it…
I am very glad that Holly is my friend. She is always coming up with something random and fun. Holly enjoys life and knows how to bring a smile and a laugh to those around her. She also has a serious side too though and is a very good listener.
Holly has always been a great friend, and an awesome cousin. She is the reason that I am in college today; she talked me into it one afternoon during my senior year of high school. I remember that she said she had thought about it while she was in the shower that morning. As far as I'm concerned, if someone is thinking about you while they are in the shower...well that’s a real good friend right there!
Holly always looks out for everyone else. She tries to make sure that everyone else is satisfied and happy. At times, her sense of humor can come out and everyone in the room will be laughing. Holly values her friends and the friendships she has with them.
Holly is a very close friend of mine and let me tell you why. She has a pure heart; she is the most caring person you will ever meet. She makes me laugh and talking to her for hours seems like minutes because we have so much fun together and it goes by so fast. Holly is a leader and she stands up for what she believes in. If I could sum it all up, I would say, this girl is hilarious
I will always remember creative roommate notes from Holly. Whether it was a letter to let me know about the electric bill that just came in or just because she felt like writing something, Holly’s letters addressed to “Ms. Jones-Briscoe-Phillipousis” always cracked me up.
One of my favorite memories of Holly is the funniest memory I have of her. One time she put on an old prom dress and some tennis shoes. Our tennis team then all got in the car and drove around town doing silly things. For instance, we went through a Taco Bell drive through asking for a taco with no meat or vegetables. We went to the gas station right next to the college and asked them if they knew where the college was, meanwhile, holly had a WC sticker on the back of her car. Holly was/is our entertainment...she is so funny and we love her so much.
It's hard to categorize Holly Herr, as I call her all the time by first and last name, because she is so many things to me. I have always admired Holly Herr not just cause she is so dang smart but because of spirit. I love the ball of energy she gets when she is excited and I love the conversations we have all the time. They maybe about something really dumb but we make it interesting. We always find time to talk to each other and she always makes sure that I am ok.
Holly is someone I know I can count on to cheer me up. When I’m having a bad day I know I can talk to her and she will have some funny story or something that will make me laugh and forget at least for a moment that I was having a bad day.
There have been many times that Holly and I have shared some great times. I think the best and most random times are when we got together for the original GATA pranksters nights of fun. Holly always drove, and she and Kim would normally pick me up from my house so I rode in the back with whatever happened to be in the car at the time. Mainly I had to battle the many Diet DP cans for a seat in the back. Probably the most memorable of our prankster times was when Ellison was chasing us and Holly, Kim and I were riding in Slagle’s car and Slagle decided to turn into this dark "alley" that ended up being a really freaky dead end. Holly, Kim, and I hit the floor out of fear, but Slagle came through and got us out of there. Looking back, it's one of our funniest moments. But besides funny times some of my other favorite times were our balcony talks here in Dallas at her apartment.
Since I've known her my whole life I have thousands of memories...but I think the best one is when we buried the ham we were supposed to eat for lunch in our grandmother’s backyard. I was too young to remember a lot of the details, but I do remember we were served this ham at lunch, and since neither of us are major ham fans, we took matters into our own hands. (And I am pretty sure we dug the hole with a spoon, haha)
Holly Herr has been there for me ever since our Weatherford days and is still there for me when I need her. The biggest thing that I really really really had a hard time telling her was about me being gay. I thought for sure I was going to loose her as a friend. She has been so great to me and never once told me that it was not ok with her. I have so many memories with her and hard to just boil down to one so I will just say Holly Herr, I love you and thank you for always being a great friend to me. Thank you for believing in me and helping me with life so far. I know that you will be there for me when I need you and thank you for still being there when I don't have anything to talk about. I love you so very much, thank you for your friendship and we have plenty more memories to make so be prepared for those....
Holly is a master at making prank calls with online soundboards. I will always remember the 1st prank call I got from Holly. I was horrified and went straight over to tell her what some “strange man” had just said to me on the phone. I felt sure that she would be just as shocked as I was. Boy was I wrong!
Holly and I pledged GATA the fall of 2001 but I really didn’t get to know Holly until that next fall. That was when she became roommates with Whitney who was my best friend, so I was at her apartment almost every day. We started having game nights and taking turns at whose apartment we had them at. When I was packing a few weeks ago I found a song that we wrote for one of those game nights to invite people to come. I know it wasn’t just Holly and me that wrote that song but I do remember her putting a lot of input into it. We then called I think everyone in the GATA phone directory and sang it to them. I miss the time that I spent at Holly and Whitney’s apartment and I miss our game nights.