What Last Year Taught Me (a reflection of 2012, 8 days into 2013)

That silence is really and most definitely not failure. 

That remaining your passionate self is not foolish–even when you feel like it REALLY is. 

That though we are selfish people, there will always be a cloth of humility at arm’s length. 

That family is anyone who gives you a sense of comfort, ease or home. 

That you can make life-long friends at any age. 

That you can grow a part and it be OK and actually good. 

That refining is better than redefining.

That if you are honest, it can be mean and hurt people. So chill. 

That you should always say the compliment on your mind. 

That crying will always be a good thing. 

That keeping tabs is childish. 

That there are enough terrible things in life we can’t control, so stop being terrible, if you can help it. (which you CAN)

That sharing a meal, is pretty close to sharing your heart. So share meals often.

That being single is a good thing, when we accept it as God’s thing for us, presently. 

That because there were a plethora of weddings that occurred around me, I’m the privileged witness to a profundity that takes me deeper and closer towards what love is.

That instagram is my favorite app of all time. (I mean, Holy Bible first, duh). 

That I actually love more people than I miss. 

That being shy is no excuse to hold back those vocal chords. 

That traveling, still, is never a bad idea. 

That it is hard, but it is wonderful. 

That God is faithful. Even when we are not, because God is faithful. 

When I look at my life, I see:

An overflow of laughter that makes my mouth sore, and teeth hurt.  

Endless cups of coffee stirred by even more eye-widening conversations; things of the heart, head and things that give a sense of home. 

Somehow, an unbounced check–despite my love for wine and grocery shopping.

An endless horizon that is usually a pristine blue, protected by cliffs and the sky. 

Walks to breakfast on saturday mornings and dwell-worthy dinners on weeknights that make me feel fancy. 

Friendships that spark encouragement, creativity and instill prayer and honesty. 

Contentment and joy that lingers and lasts far longer than I give it credit. 

A life that is worth not only looking at, but gazing; all in a trance guided by thankfulness–easily the things I see are the things I not only know, but recognize and know me just as well. 

 

This & That

With a map in my hand, I can hardly tell what is to be discovered. The red lines point me in multiple directions concerning where it may be best I lay my head and during which season, so I lay it everywhere. Like having many pillows yet never enough blankets my depiction of home is comparable and fluctuates like the uneven ratio of such needs and wants. The deep cold in the middle of the night is really cold when you don’t have enough blankets, ya know?

My brother, he cannot wait to see me. My mother worries how I can afford to see my brother. But Tennessee beckons because I’m pressuring it to. Wherever I am called, I found I will surely follow. Cuz here I am, You. And though I follow, I wonder of the things, from time to time that I have left.  But that’s kind of achy and uneven so I go to bed often with the prayer that things will be well. That they are well. That Tennessee has good Fall weather. And that I’ll one day have enough blankets.

I woke up today in the state of hardly knowing what is to be discovered. Again. What has discovered me may be a better indicator of what it must feel like to get a good night’s sleep in living your life to the fullest, form. Among the population of my friends, family and simply neighbors in my neighborhood, there is a reflection I’m not too mad about. A reflection that is simple blessings. Simplicity like a neighborhood that nests common and odd folk, who gladly retreat from their homes to roam their greenish grasses on sunny and even wretched, hot days. Their greenish grasses have got me  thinking lately about the idea of greener grasses and if I am to forge a field or try and be faithful to the stuff underneath my feet presently. Good things can come from both. And good things have come from much less. And they all seem happy. So I probably should follow.

Now That I Am Older

  • Excitement is 8 hrs of sleep.
  • Sadness is sly.
  • Goodness is difficult though richer and bravery, uncomfortable.
  • Dating is the opposite of whimsical.
  • Loss is a landmark.
  • Marriage though fancied, seems further away.
  • Love is abstract.
  • Relationships are complex. Friendships, definitely included.
  • Travel is the fresh breath of air.
  • Babies are a less foreign concept.
  • Mustaches are less creepy—nay, are attractive.
  • Protein is essential.
  • Trans-fats are strayed from.
  • Risk is risky.
  • A nice walk is a must.
  • Los Angeles is less scary.
  • New York is less dreamy.
  • Cooking is therapy and extravagant.
  • Education is missed.
  • Embarrassment is rare.
  • Loneliness is intentional.
  • Solitude is necessary.
  • A 30 yr. old isn’t old at all.
  • Dependence is anchored by few. Secrets are shared with fewer.
  • Money is both fuel and futile.
  • Savings accounts are a luxury.
  • Dreams are more doable and dreams are less dreamy.
  • Beer or a glass of wine does a body good. Every night.
  • Stretching is crucial.
  • Religion is less authoritative.
  • Spirituality is fundamental.
  • Expectations are both wide and deep.
  • There are never enough bullet points.

Thankful

I’m thankful for the rarity but reality of an 8 hour deep sleep. I’m thankful for rest that is adamant. I’m thankful for the sound of the planes in the middle of the day, afternoon and night and even when I’m in my backyard reading—and reading itself, for it uncovers longing, familiarity and adventure. I admit though, the sound of the planes competes with your voices/texts/tweets and for that I am also thankful for. I am thankful for refreshing new company, renewed old company and the blood and heart both have seem to interwoven in my spirit that creates a sigh of uninterrupted joy.

I’m thankful for childhood albums and before and after photos. My have we’ve grown a lot all the while not very much at all. And my have we’ve also perhaps grown apart. But I’m thankful for lingering hugs and elongated sentences when we do correspond. I’m thankful for letters written and received, conversations with coffee-colored steam or just a short walk by what now has been my frontyard’s subtle sea. I’m thankful for invitations to dinner parties, gatherings and wedding celebrations and long tables and lit lamps outdoors that spur community, creativity and the occasional cocktail or three.

I’m thankful for surviving not just trials and tragedy, but other people. I’m thankful for relationships. Close and distant, near or far, and one still to be discovered–how it still challenges the heart with the same mystery. I’m thankful for feeling and curiosity. I’m thankful for healing and for warm and prayerful hands who have led me away from a cold spirit (the kind that is deathly). I’m thankful for honesty that soothes and hurt that sharpens, how interchangeable they can be and how changeable I myself can be. I’m thankful for change. The kind  in my heart and even in my pockets.

I’m thankful for the overall steadiness of an acknowledged blessed life filled with family, friends, faith and even food. Yes food. I’m thankful for family who pays for expensive face cream, friends who make you blended smoothies and faith that endows me with grace-laced perspective. And I am thankful that the simplicities that uproot all intricacies are not faced by myself and only me. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit who goes on behalf of me when I fail, when I flee and when I’m fed up. Thankful to be led by unrelenting power, amidst undeniable life circumstances alongside thankful’s creator Himself, Jesus Christ.

To You It May Concern,

I’ve had the pleasure to know you, to hear your heart, to feel your lows and to celebrate your highs. And this came blatantly to tangible fruition recently as I entered the next chapter of my life in celebration with you beside me. Whether by presence, by words, by prayer or simply by that one conversation we had in that one enclosed space for what felt like at least the afternoon, you are my concern and I’m thankful for you.

Your friendship has been a goodness that I’m learning that gives me courage to unclench my fist around the things I thought I was protecting my whole life. Around the things I didn’t trust anyone with, until you showed me that heavy hands are not meant to be in bondage nor that freakin’ heavy.

You are wiser than me in ways I lack and I more than you in yours, and the wisdom that intertwines our dialogues have woven in me bridges of humility, challenge, and well, a lot of lofty and powerful metaphors concerning the intricacies of my insides all to reach the heart of my heart that have essentially healed me with freedom to. just. be.

And that has been the kind of heavy I’m learning to cling toward. The weight that does not drag but drives.

So thank you for the space you create with your affirming head nods, your discreet you know better than this look in your eyes, your insistent posture of honesty and anti-bullshit, your vulnerability that sharpens my own vulnerability and simply your friendship and love that pours into my life at the speed of what feels divinely guided and grandiose.

To you, this may concern.

 

/t

Things I want to be when I grow up (which was 4 years ago)

I’m a renaissance women to the extreme. A Trace of all trades if you will and professional at one thing it feels; Instagramming. So I figured since my mind feels flooded as of late–and since graduation in 2009, with endless routes that have been either presented to me to embark on or mustered up by my own accord, I should just write it out with hopes of some fresh revelation and humility turned clarity. And perhaps after reading them or having them read, a tone of truth will permeate through my words and into my prayers/thoughts/steps.

Please, no laughter.

Here is a list  & in no specific order. (note: being a writer is intertwined within all of these bad boys) (double note: also is the desire to marry rich so I can just write on the balcony he also built for me…)

  1. Barista somewhere cool where I make more than 10 bucks/hr.
  2. Production assistant or anything film related.
  3. Bartender or hostess meets dining connoisseur of the sorts.
  4. Nanny.
  5. Christian Ministries.
  6. Personal Assistant/Organizer.
  7. Rockstar–or Folkstar rather.
  8. Visual Designer of Pottery Barn aka Interior/Furniture Designing.
  9. Leadership/Academics related stuff.
  10. Entrepreneur that consists of all of these things…

Easily, this list can extend, but I shall choose to refrain because scriptwriter, children’s book publisher and magazine editor is practically a given, right?

There it is, and here I am, still. All for the taking world.

To Whom It May Concern,

Hire me. Because desiring me gets me nowhere.

 

XOXO,

trace

Knots in my head, on my head.

I feel impending like the lack from the knotted twine lugging up a love weightier than it’s counterpart. Like the sum of my misplaced heart and an abstract heart, I’m a whole disguised by a half by something holy and woefully indebted to Eternity’s gift of eternity. I can grasp the lesser Known more than what I call my own. And this protects the anxious I call my hunger, my posture, my heart. But the bright circle turns into a dark circle and a new day is born, torn from a “no” and a “not yet” and a times a “never”–but torn. And so my hunger, posture and heart are in a civil war because I forget my grasp is from my hand, and my palms are often human. Sometimes it is I who lack when I do not accept to know the Known and so the unknown takes hold of me. And now there knots are in my head, or on my head–but they are knots, tangled within each other forming treaties to obstruct my pace and my peace. Knots that loosen me to drop below and far from my counterpart, from my Love.

But the dark circle, of my eyes while more the sky, turns into a bright circle. With or without a head nod, there lies a circumference of comfort that corals any impending into arrival.

Remember knotted head, remember.

Blessed are my eyes, though weak and old and one of a kind–and terrible at flirting.

You know what a wretch is?

I’m a wretch. Carefully crafted in piles of forgiveness, restoration and renewal.

My hands are dry after embarking on this grapefruit and cramp often too. I write a lot these days, it does nobody good. But it is good (the act of not necessarily the content)! My nail polish chips as I tap out some hopefully decent words to produce some fruitful responses. Did I mention they are sparkly silver? A woman I am.

My eyes are my mother’s. Older, weaker and one of a kind. I’ve seen a lot with these and only hope to see more. But lately I’ve seen a skinny bearded man fall in love, best friends packing up their life away from mine and a lot of bills and thrills in the form of paper and dapper gentlemen. These stress and mess with me. Blessed are my eyes, though weak and old and one of a kind–and terrible at flirting.

My soul is whole though continual pokes and prodding from onlookers and outsiders and outlaws of Easybreezyville are adamant. Soul is stronger than life, so this bodes well considering a year filled with uneven ratios of mishaps and missing/wanting/needing/disliking people, things, circumstances. Soul is whole. Period. I guess. YES.     .

My mouth is chapped from the Santa Anas (oh and that damn grapefruit). It’s also a lifesaver in the line of defense when encountering my foes (doubt, hunger, mundane living and the flu…)–whether in writing, speaking, singing or tasting. My mouth is also really small which is for some reason disheartening and makes me feel odd. Like an outsider.

My love is still deep, pure and lovely. My love is for the Father, love for Jesus, love for bffs, love for family, love for a good cup of coffee, love for a brilliant sentence, love for a delicious lamb shank pie, love for a glass of wine, love for many things yet still not for one tall, dark and handsome one. (Perhaps my luck will change if I grow a beard and get skinny).

All in all, sometimes I wish I could fly and yet sometimes the sky is frightening. So it turns into a dream of floating rather than flying. Depending how brave I feel in that moment. A human I am.

I am many things. And am all these things but paired with prayer. Which makes me prayer itself. A prayer faced daily with the interchangeable definitions of what good and bad are to me. And carried thus victoriously by the words that turn me into a bravery that says yes again and again to what I easily forget: forgiveness, restoration and renewal upon my house. And for my eyes, soul, heart and love.

I am made new and well by the impeccably steadfast truth of what prayer does from the mouth of wretch, of a woman, of a human.

 

Some things that exist that shouldn’t.

  • Wobbly tables. We can regulate diabetes, remedy anaphylactic shock and help find people eternal and perfect spouses but we can’t find a way to keep my laptop from sliding around the table while I type?
  • Cover letters. If you think about it, the time you take to read a cover letter is wasted when you totally know you’ll want to hire me or not after personally meeting me for at least 1.5 minutes.
  • Embarrassment. I myself never declared to be a non-human so sorry for snort-laughing, never having had a boyfriend and burping like a dude.
  • Ticketmaster. I’m obviously not over being overcharged ever since that BSB concert (aka my whole life) but seriously, there has to be a better way to enjoy art and not feel like I’m attending an auction or being mugged willingly.
  • 5 dollar foot longs. You can’t really “save” the other half for dinner  (and who eats leftover subs)? Less is more and it’s about 6 inches too much more.
  • *Enter musical references pertaining to Creed, Nickelback, Tool. (poor guys–and by guys I mean my ears).
  • 24hr drive thrus. I’m mainly concerned of what goes on from 2:30am-5a.m and how nobody essentially is ordering 12 chicken soft tacos between those times because that’s just unimaginable…
  • Eat this and not that lists. My childhood love for donuts has not been the same and so my adulthood is very much so affected.
  • The fact it’s permissible for some people in America to not have health insurance. I know, I’m a broken record on this issue, but without health insurance, I shall remain broken.
  • 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner. If I wanted my hair to feel knotty and essentially more unconditioned, I’d use my bar of soap.
  • Irony. But only in the form of food like pairing a diet coke and nuggety chocolate bar. Just go all out or grab the nearest apple and be really sad.
  • 5 year high school and/or college reunions. The only thing this gives me enough time to accomplish is noticeable weight gain and the solidification of my single marital status.
  • AND ants. No follow-up necessary.

tbc.