WHAT TWENTY-FIVE TOLD ME

  • You are definitely going towards than away.
  • Loss is a landmark.
  • Change is entirely different than transition.
  • Confidence needs to be protected and preserved.
  • Married couples do not have the type of friendships you do.
  • Four dollar lattes will never be an affordable luxury. But drink up.
  • The best of friends can still be the best, even with distance, relationship status alterations and new vocations. Only if you want it.
  • Travel is breaths of air. You need it.
  • Protein is essential in your diet.
  • Risk is risky.
  • Los Angeles is less scary, New York is less dreamy.
  • Vulnerability drives people away, but more importantly, it can drive others in, closer.
  • You don’t have to be close to your parents to love your parent(s).
  • Cooking is a free therapy.
  • Education will always be missed, learning becomes richer though more difficult.
  • Embarrassment is rare, lightheartedness will keep you well.
  • Everyone’s grass is greener
  • “You’re young,” said the married women, the salaried person and the home owner.
  • Loneliness is a necessary evil, solitude is just necessary.
  • Time flies, yes but it fills and furthers your story.
  • Money is both fuel and futile. Frick.
  • Excitement is sleeping for at least 6 and a half hours.
  • It’s incredibly too easy to take money out of your savings account.
  • Dreams are less dreamy, dreams are more doable.
  • A glass of any type of spirit or wine does a body good. Every night.
  • Stretching is crucial–also, drink more water.
  • You’ve been a good kid, so it’s ok to continue and be a good adult.
  • Drugs, don’t do them, still.
  • Handsome, witty and kind is not an impossible combination, still.
  • Kindness and humility will be hard, but not as hard as judgment and expectations towards and from others.
  • Dependence is anchored by few. Secrets are shared with fewer.
  • Religion is less authoritative, spirituality is swayable, but above all, Jesus is foundational.
  • There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. 

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.

Look at the what the light did

I like the way the light hits through the window when it’s 3 pm. It’s anxious I can tell to reach my face, but I hide under stacks of to-dos that have nothing to do with being responsible, but rather, responsive. I keep x-ing boxes of inquiries because I don’t think I am called to coordinate unorganized people or walk your dog, but  I am called to organize the coordination of prayer, talent and the timing that is my person. It’s hard to tell what timing is when I hide under stacks, but I guess 3 o clock is a good indicator that there isn’t much time left so maybe I should stop eye-flirting with my fellow coffee shop dweller and start flirting with the submission of resumes and creation of cover letters.

But then again, maybe not, because time, when measured well is abundant.

If I could live off my declaration of independence from ever having a 9 to 5 I would be a happy woman. Maybe happy isn’t the right word, but I’d for sure be the woman I think I’m meant (hate that word) to be. I would also just be happier if all the Bloody Marys I consumed were free. But my vices advise me to drink and be merry and to get to know the people around me and to invest wholly and honestly. So I have, will and am learning how to continue that specific calling and also afford a crown for my tooth*.

Yet still there is a tension in my bones of late.  Thankfully it is quickly remedied with the fact Jesus is faithful and that my thankfulness is thankfully not as fickle as I am. Because as I live, and breath and sip this espresso, I’m completely at a lost for words why I get to sit here and shout my dreams while landing safely in a home built upon peace, hope and immense love. I also have come to grips (while we’re getting personal) with that fact this has become my one and only diary, so please lock it back up after you eavesdrop this solo coffee date I’m having.

I hope a lot of things, but I’m hopeful about much more. And today as I catch the light retracting from it’s attempts to reach me, I all of a sudden am vying for it’s attention hoping for a tomorrow filled with more grace and patience. And though it feels like the light is well out of my reach, I know Faithfulness will bring me an opportunity to hid or show my face. So I’m challenged to be honest with the expressions I display–even if it communicates I want to hide. Because things are so good. And goodness should be displayed and expressed. Like how the light shines through the window this time of day. And this reminder is for solely me, though meant for us both.

*Previous post shall explain my dental reference.

I forgot Jesus was my Comforter because my mouth freakin’ hurt.

I like, I need, I want, I choose. Four different prefaces we often jumble to equate one value, and when in honest perspective, each make us very different kinds people.

I like coffee. I need friendship. I want unlimted data for my phone. I choose to follow and trust Christ. What a scale of varying desires and what a responsiblity I have to embody as I serve as the gauge of these very things that can make or break my day. Or in this case, my back molar.

This call to responsibility is ever so present since perspective itself has come to mind as of late due to a recent root canal that has bestowed me with it’s annoying and painful presence. Some of you might feel bad for me while others might think I’m greatly blessed (and couldn’t care less because you know worse pain) BUT the point is, there is a lesson somewhere between the cursing of the sky and the crying of the face that I want to surely make note of.

Already I can tell you, when my perspective if off, I’m WAY off. And I forget about Jesus as my comforter because my mouth freaking hurts. 

Like most of us who know when we are about to sneeze was my inconsolable desire to have a really good cry during this dental drama. I’m regretfully regretting my baby cries by way of this blog, but here it is and here I am, so bear hug me man.

As I sat in my living room waiting for my third dentist appointment (in 36 hours) to finally get my root canal, hands cupping the left side of my mouth and hair tied in a greasy high bun, the initial subtle dampness below my eyes trickled and turned into the inevitable and long awaited flood. Relief and clarity sprang up and holy perspective revisited my understanding. It is SO easy to get into a posture of self-pity when you’re in pain and feel weak. In addition, it’s even easier when you don’t have insurance or your mommy, lover or bff  around to take care of you. All of a sudden, a bummer of a circumstance is propelled into a lens of ultimate pity turned anger turned river of tears. Enter the visual I painted so humbly for you.

Suffering is hard, but this all challenged me to become more acquainted with suffering well–because when we do, we are bound to forego all that other stuff that involve things like forgetting Jesus. When we suffer well, our focus is on our Comforter more than our discomfort. When we suffer poorly, essential tools turn into a bad thing. In my case, independence was branded by loneliness. Absurd questions came into play such as “how come I have to do this all myself?” when really, it was simply a poor question asked by a poor spirit.  The challenge lies in the awareness and action to make certain that ( in my case) independence would  lead to a final dependence on God and not resentment in my solitude–in my aloneness but fulfillment in his peace, his presence.

And though this is a pretty sad scenario, and I do think we are allowed to be sad, the ultimate sadness is actually forgetting the ultimate Comforter when we find ourselves with such a poor stature which is the inevitable poor spirit. This kind of spirit is forgetful, it’s jealous and it’s really angry. It’s stuck. That how you know when you don’t suffer well I think. And in no way does this spirit welcome the kind of healing that it necessary for relief and clarity to enter.

I’d like for this pain to go away. I need this pain to go away. I want  pain to go away. I choose to let God take care of this pain. When I rely on the first three, I’m the kind of person who kicks and screams and forgets and gets stuck. When I’m the last, I’m the kind of person who knows comfort and suffering is a hand in hand kind of thing.

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

24 things I despise knowing at 24 on the cusp of 25.

  1. It’s super hard to get out of a traffic ticket when the policeman is on the passenger side and your turtleneck is a turtleneck.
  2. E-Harmony ended up being SO not for me, which furthers my whole notion that love don’t cost a thing.
  3. When doing your taxes, make sure you a. have a friend who is an accountant and b. can receive picture messages, and Turbo Tax will be a c. cinch.
  4. A lot of your friends, if they were once believers, will not be currently. Try and choose/embody anything over judgment but live the gospel clearly and confidently.
  5.  You need fiber and protein in your diet people. And potato chips will go to your hips. And take up residency insistently.
  6. Coffee after 3pm makes not-so-young-Tracy super wired.
  7. It’s possible to not have loved at all the first quarter century part of your life.
  8. When I make money and when I don’t, anything free is my eternal flame, and I, a moth.
  9. It’s been three years since I stayed up all night, ate fro yo twice in one day and freaked out because there was a cap and gown on my head/body.
  10. My parents are starting to learn from me. GULP.
  11. All my other friends have a great advantage in stealing my desired baby names because they are likely on their second child.
  12. Dating a 20 year old is now REALLY out of the question.
  13. Every time I’ll say when I was younger, it could mean, “When I was twenty-one…”
  14. I’m one step closer to being the age that it’s weird to talk about Bieber and iCarly, even in a mocking way.
  15. It’s too late to consider a career as a ballerina, dancer, ice skater.
  16. That the list I concocted that I declared I’d accomplish before 25 will have to be altered to “Things I Must Accomplish Before I’m 30” so my expectations might just be met.
  17. I’m practically 30 now.
  18. I’m closer to the goal and self expected minimization of activity on Facebook.
  19. My Point Loma student ID has now lost its value for discounts at the cinema.
  20. Being a dreamer who also can pay rent is a better idea more than ever.
  21. Another year means a growing bridesmaid dress collection.
  22. Life changes don’t mean us going to different colleges, but means us getting married, moving out of state, changing churches and perhaps depending on phone calls that somehow must suffice every Columbus Day…
  23. This life fact: you’ll never know where life itself going. But it’s forward, if you keep these things: positivity, prayer and patience.
  24. That I’m on the cusp of twenty-five.