You and the shadows

I’m afraid of the dark. In the dark my fears multiply, creating impossible situations in my brain. As a child, I used to sleep on my parent’s floor when the fear began to consume me. I was sure a landslide would strike and kill me in my sleep, or maybe an unidentified volcano. Strange lights became alien invasions and every sound was an intruder waiting to break into my room.

This fear often seeps into my dreams, making the shadows come alive. Last night felt real. And for the first time, I dreamt about you.

Who you are doesn’t matter; you are simply the latest in a long line of boys I’ve momentarily latched onto because I need the idea that maybe there’s hope out there. You showed up, like the most casual thing, and quite unlike me, I approached you.

It was a dream so time is a strange concept, but it was like suddenly we were friends and you were stopping by. The whole dream seemed to take place in my grandma’s house and driveway. I remember noticing movement in the field across the road and feeling the hair raise on my spine. Being my dream, on some level I knew what I had created.

We were talking and I asked if you had ever noticed anything strange across the road. You look, and notice the benches were gone. In real life, there are no benches, but in my dream it was like they’d also been there. Just as suddenly, they reappeared attached to a monster and came hurling at us. The sky began to rage and darkness consumed everything.

I found you lying a few feet from me, and instantly cradled your neck, muttering some cheesy movie dialogue about how important you were to me. And then we kissed, and it was a moment I’ve always dreamed about.

But then in the next scene you were there, trying to teach someone about love. I heard you saying such wonderful things about the person you loved, and I was sure it was me. Eyes gleaming, I touched your shoulder and expected another grand romantic moment. Instead, you told me you had to go find someone else. I wasn’t the person you loved.

I woke up feeling all of these emotions at once. Fear over the monsters I think live in the shadows. Joy over my kiss with you. Loss when once again I wasn’t the one someone wanted.

It’s silly, isn’t it? One moment in a dream knocked me back down to thinking that I will never be enough for anyone. I think about you and my immediately thoughts are all the reasons you wouldn’t want me. Then I tell myself it’s all nonsense, but I don’t really believe me.

I don’t want to be afraid anymore, but I don’t know how.

Lost magic

I wish I had the words to describe the feeling of magic in the soul. The kind of feeling that transports you to where everything is good and safe. Where for a few moments, everything is okay. 

I feel this when I hear birds singing during an early summer morning or when I see a plane traveling far away. I am safe when I go on walks and experience all the beauty of this world. I feel at peace and all the pieces fall into place. 

Today I had my window down for the first time this spring, on what felt like the warmest day of the year. There’s something so interesting about the heat of spring and the smell that happens as the seasons begin to shift. Even though the calendar says spring, winter is still melting away, leaving a smell that is fresh and full of hope. 

Magic occurs on days like this, where you know it will get cold again but today you will enjoy it. When you put your hand out the window and let the fast breeze remind you of all the beauty yet to come. 

The perfect song plays, and for three minutes you forget all of your troubles and you just feel. Maybe you feel joy because the song reminds you of everything you have. Maybe you feel heartbreak because the song reminds you of what you lost. It doesn’t matter if the song is happy or sad; all that matters is it makes you feel. 

Feeling is good for the soul and something we overlook in the fast paced world. We don’t process emotions because we don’t have time. We just keep going. We don’t pause to experience what’s happening because there’s somewhere we need to be. 

I remember being a child the best when I let myself in these moments. Almost all of my sacred moments come from childhood. I love early mornings and airplanes because they remind me of going somewhere fun. The almost warm days remind me of school and fighting to not where a jacket. 

These feelings transcend age and you remember what you felt and you allow yourself to feel again. 

This is magic in our world that we have moments like this. I hope you find some magic today. 

Hello, I miss you quite terribly

Hey.

Are you up?

I’m sorry to bother you, it’s just that I can’t stop thinking about you. Not you, necessarily, but the idea of you implanted in my brain. I unfollowed you on social media but we still always see, don’t we? I see your updates and stare at pictures of the person I knew. Or at least wanted to know.

The further away, the more I notice. The more I realize. The more I’m sure of.

The way I see it, there are two alternatives. Either you really did like me and something happened that changed everything or you were just playing me all along. If it’s the latter, you wouldn’t be the first, but you were certainly the best.

If it’s the former, I’m left to wonder why.

When I see you or places that remind me of you, memories flash through interrupting my regular thought process. Sometimes it’s just the feeling of humiliation when I realized it had happened again, another guy who didn’t actually want me.

Sometimes they are intimate moments that make me blush.

Sometimes they are butterflies from every message received when it seemed like you felt it too.

Most painfully, sometimes they are the small moments of near perfection that haunt me. The brief moments when I felt safe and warm with you. When it felt like after years of being by myself, I had someone else to add to the equation.

I know you lied to me. I know it was convenient for you. I know something changed. I just wish I knew what it was. I’m left feeling like a fool, you see, because this mess isn’t something new to me.

In a way I’ve always been a secret with guys. Never have I had the one who wants to take me to public places or share photos on social media. No, I always have the guys who come over late and maybe we talk but they aren’t really there for me. I don’t know why I fell so easily into this role or let it continue relationship after relationship. All I know is that I did and I let you do it too.

I can’t fault you too much for keeping me in the dark. I made it easy for you. I didn’t demand you treat me better. To be brutally honest, I was so desperate to make you stay I did whatever it took.

Despite all of this, I still miss you quite terribly, but don’t flatter yourself. I miss the hope I felt during that first week, the joy in realizing this is what it felt to find something good after searching for so long. I miss the longing fulfilled that you represented.

And now, late at night, with no one else on my mind, I’m forced to question everything and miss you more and debate sending a message as if now is the time you will change your mind and see. I know it won’t. I know you don’t want me. But you’re all my brain has to want.

In its loneliness, it doesn’t care how you’ve hurt us. It thinks maybe just one more hang out will heal us. That it couldn’t do any harm, but my heart knows better.

Most people would argue it’s the heart who eggs the brain on, but with me I think it’s the opposite. You see, my brain is always searching for the logical solution. You are the last person I liked and I’m lonely. To my brain, this is the obvious solution. Just go back, keep it casual.

But my heart knows this path all too well. It’s been bent and broken by years of convincing it this was a good thing. It sees you for who you are and knows that despite our strong, we cannot survive another attack right now. We need to keep building ourselves and finding our worth from God and not you.

Past me might text you. Play it cool. Try to get you to come over so for a few hours I could forget how empty some of the spaces in my life are. Kind of like our last night. It was never more than a connection of two people searching for a connection they’ll never have together, but needing a distraction from the world.

I think that’s what we called it. A distraction.

I don’t want to be someone’s distraction anymore. I want to be someone’s reason for paying attention. But I know I’ll never be yours.

“Make it easy, say I never mattered.” I know you don’t miss me like I miss you. I bet you don’t even think of me until you have to. But I don’t want your thoughts anyway. What good do they do me?

No, I want to stop missing you. I want to fill that wound that never quite heals and learn that no one can harm me. I want to have faith I’ll feel the hope again, only then it will be real and I won’t have to doubt.

I’m tired of the fake scenarios in my brain where you come back or I have a chance to say everything I need to say. I’m tired of giving you any space at all.

It’s not going to be easy, but someday I know I won’t miss you at all.

If at first you don’t succeed

I planned to write as soon as I got home. I was so jazzed up after the team leader meeting for my church’s kids ministry. I was inspired to actually act instead of wait.

And then I got on Instagram.

Writing seemed less and less appealing. I was excited to read my Bible and now I’m like can’t I just go to bed. I probably will, if I’m being honest. I’ll justify my choice by saying I won’t focus on the words anyway. Or maybe I can use the excuse I had some Jesus learning tonight and I’m all set. These are all just excuses to make me feel better when I know I’m making the wrong choice.

Tonight I set a personal goal with the team to write daily and to write a book in 2017. This means relatively nothing to most people. I’m not sure if I something so important to offer the world that my book will go anywhere, but I have to try.

I’m afraid of my dreams. Afraid of the failure I may face.

There’s so much work to do, so much fighting left. Every day I’m reminded why my voice is important. Not because of how well I string words together or my sphere of influence, but because my voice is important. Every voice is important.

I must remain dedicated and keep fighting and trying every day. Even when I’m tired. Even when I feel I have nothing to add. I cannot give up.

I can and I will.

Small victories

I’m a big picture person. I want to get to the epic finale but I don’t want to put in the day to day work. I see my goals, but the thought of working every day exhausts me. Because of this, I simply don’t. 

I don’t listen to my logical side

I don’t try to get better

I don’t try to reason with myself

Etc

Weight loss is a major part of this. I am by no means fat and I’m actually becoming more friendly toward my physical appearance (most days). The problem isn’t my size; it’s how I treat my body. 

I know I want to be healthy. I know I want to listen to my body and eat better and workout more. But I don’t. 

I can picture a healthier me, a girl who isn’t riddled with guilt every time she eats a bowl of cereal and then another and then another. I believe I can someday eat when I’m hungry and enjoy delicious food occasionally when I’m not. I have hope I can turn down cake in the break room. But I’m not there yet. 

My eating is mainly an emotional thing. When I’m good and emotionally stable, it’s much easier for me to make the right choice. Current Chelsea making sure I take care of myself. When the depression creeps in, it becomes a crutch. 

I can’t change anything in my life. I can’t make my debt go away or magically make more money appear. But by God and I can get lo mein, General Tso’s and an eggroll followed by a Blizzard and for 20 minutes believe everything is ok. 

Food is my constant and my comfort. I know a ham hoagie with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and Italian dressing will be yummy in my tummy. I know that spicy chicken meal and Frosty from Wendy’s will hit the spot. Taco Bell is the best bae I know. 

This also makes shame and hatred my old friend. 

You want to hear something painfully honest and a little pathetic? I get sad when I’m almost done with my food. If I can, I add more because finishing means returning to my life away from the comfort. It doesn’t matter if my stomach hurts and my brain is telling me know, my poor, sad heart is begging for just a little bit more to dull the pain. 

I eat and then I mentally tear myself apart. Not because of what I’m eating, but because I know why I’m doing it. 

I will never stop loving the greasy and fattening, but I need to learn it can’t save me. 

Today was a small victory and something rare for me. I’m alone in Buffalo for Thanksgiving and already feeling low. To cheer myself up, I planned all day to get a ham hoagie after work. I looked forward to to. I could taste the mayo saturated lettuce.

When I got to my second job, I had a snack and some candy and by some candy I mean too much candy. I’ve been in tights for 12+ hours and my stomach is feeling it. I still planned to go along with my plan because this week has been garbage and I’m sad and it will give me a momentary relief. Plus, I had a few extra dollars before pay day and the law of my life States I must spend it or lose it before I receive new money. 

Maybe it was because I was so tired or maybe it was because I knew I’d regret it as soon as I finished. On some level, I think I realized it wouldn’t fix me. 

I know saying no today doesn’t mean I’m all better. I’m sure some people might think this victory is silly. That’s fine. It’s not about you. 

For me, it was a moment of looking past how I was feeling in this exact moment and realizing it wasn’t going to solve anything. It wouldn’t even make me feel better. Comfort food is one thing, but eating to be comforted when you’re hungry is something else altogether. 

Food will always be an issue for me. I will always crave it above all else, even God for comfort. It will rule me at times and make me hate myself. But small victories like tonight remind me food won’t beat me. 

I just want you to know

Sometimes I get depressed. I go through seasons where I’m unstoppable and then I hit valleys where I’m apathetic and filled with hopelessness. Because my family is no stranger to mental illness, this terrifies me.

I manage to wake up every day and go about my business, but the passion I have for life lives so far down I can barely access it. The things I love seem pointless. Today was a particularly bad day, coupled with a loss in our family.

I left work early, numb to everything. I came home, put on my pajamas and got into bed. I didn’t want to eat, but I did. I didn’t want to watch TV, but I did. I didn’t want to sleep, but I did. This is what happens. It’s like I lose my appetite for everything.

Eventually I reemerge just as bright as ever, but until then I deal with the constant feelings of inadequacy. Like I’ll never be a good writer or good at makeup or get my eating under control. I know what I need to do to get better but I can’t, like there’s a block or something.

Tonight I watched Brooklyn, practiced doing my makeup and listened to some music and felt more like myself. Sometimes it’s little things like this that remind me life is still beautiful.

Plus it’s snowing and I have a new coat. I love new seasons and the opportunities presented. I have hope for the good things that will happen in my life. I know God is in control.

I can get through this. I can and I will.

Fragility

Today life irreparably changed.

I knew my parents were going home today for a memorial service. We talked about the family Christmas party and what I planned to give my grandmother. We made plans.

One accident, one slip, one moment changed everything.

Life is so incredibly fragile, just waiting to be broken. We tiptoe around to stay safe, but it will stick crack.

All our plans, ideas, dreams are disrupted and somehow life continues. In a time when you don’t understand how the world will change, the earth keeps spinning and we keep going.

Life doesn’t stop for anyone I guess.

Custom racist banners 

Tonight I saw a house with a giant lighted Trump/Pence display. And then I saw a house with a custom printed banner to congratulate Trump. This one was attached straight to the home in question.

My question is simply who takes the time to create and order something like that? 

I don’t have much else to say beyond that. It takes all kinds, maybe. 

How I handle conflict

I don’t.

 

 

 

 

When you share your political position on Facebook, you’re opening yourself up to conflict. This is never my purpose. I don’t shy away from opinions different from mine, but I don’t care to get in a never ending comment reply argument where neither party will concede. Too many notifications.

I did this yesterday. I wrote my thoughts on the election, why I chose to vote for love and why white people need to shush up about what they cannot understand. I hoped my refusal to fight online would spur the trolls to stay away, but I was wrong.

Here’s the thing – I didn’t vote based on parties or policies. I don’t care about the things you’ve done. I looked at how the candidates treated people and how I thought they would lead. To me, this is most important. The greatest commandment given is to love God with all our mind, body and soul. The second and equally important is to love others as yourself. In my mind, I wasn’t loving other people like Jesus by choosing a candidate who used hateful words and threats toward people different than him.

My argument was Jesus. I wasn’t looking for a political spin or justification or for a white guy to tell me I was overreacting. Fortunately, I got it all.

My mom told me I was sliding down the liberal slope. At least she complimented my writing so like my path to the left, I’ll let it slide (ba dum tssss). A few replied in support, including one of our pastor’s wives, so that felt nice. But there were the people who wanted to engage more.

I won’t detail all of them, only one guy. He is the straight, white Trump supporter from a small town. He will tell you he didn’t want Trump, that he was backed into a corner, but it’s hogwash. I’m not saying Trump was his first choice, but when you spend your time defending him all over Facebook, you need to check yourself.

My thoughts weren’t overwhelming original, especially my point about now is the time for Trump supporters to see their role is to show they aren’t racist instead of telling the world who now accuses them they aren’t. I’ve known a lot of people who aren’t racists and then a lot of racists who will assure you they aren’t racist.

Part of the idea was white people need to stop telling everyone to not worry and move on. Sharing articles with facts doesn’t stop the fear in the heart of millions in America now facing at least four years with a guy who spent his entire campaign tearing them down. I know I’m very privileged, but as a woman, I was targeted.

Even worse, most of America shrugged that off. He’s a guy, it doesn’t mean anything. Dear country, that really hurts. Some of the most important women in my life have been sexually assaulted and it breaks my heart knowing a man like Trump is now our leader.

Anyway.

This guy will seek out anyone and try to justify himself. I wish I had the energy to go to every Trump supporter, especially the women, and comment lengthy replies on their statuses, but I simply unfollow them like an adult. Kidding (in most cases).

The day the world fell apart, when half of America grieved for Hillary Clinton’s loss, I shared an article about what it meant for America and explained why I cried and cried all day. This guy chimed with some asinine comment I don’t remember because it didn’t matter. The next day, even though I didn’t reply, he added another comment. Cool, troll.

He chimed in today not understanding why people were afraid. I wanted to scream at him in my comment that he would never understand because he didn’t want to. Still I ignored, but one of my Facebook friends decided to call out all the horrible things Trump has said against women, Muslims, Mexicans, the LGBTQ community and more.

Obviously, white guy commented back, addressing each group with a separate comment (real annoying for my notifications). He ended saying he could see why they were upset, but it was an overreaction and excused Trump’s statements as poor word choices.

I shared my feelings because now isn’t the time to remain silent when the country is divided. I’m not trying to fuel the conflict or further the divide. The only thing that will bring us back is love and I don’t think it will happen under Trump. But I will spend every second being true to my beliefs.

I didn’t share for mansplanation about equality.

But that is what I got. Hopefully he keeps commenting when I post my feelings so I can continue to ignore him and watch him continue to comment as if it matters. You aren’t commenting for conversation; you’re seeking conflict and to be right and to justify your choice.

If I say in a post, white people you need to shush up, your solution shouldn’t be the slide into the comments section with your flags waving.

What I did learn is people will see their side. Trump voters say we’re overreacting and cry babies and we need to move on not worry. Clinton supporters are fighting harder than ever and in disbelief no one sees what we see. Everyone else has checked out which might be more upsetting. Now is not the time to bow out.

People looking for a quick return to normalcy on social media are expecting unity to occur post haste in our country. Something cracked November 8. We cracked as a nation. Trump is the duct tape who will attempt to hold us together. The world will see this sloppy job and wonder why we couldn’t do it right the first time. The tape will fray and more and more we’ll see it can’t hold us together.

It will snap.

Do I think a president is the solution we need? No. We the people need to come together now and fight for equality. And keep fighting keep fighting keep fighting keep fighting and never give up. Having a leader with similar values helps, but you can’t put your hope on one person.

Unless that person is Jesus, obviously. I know He’s with us, but we need to make America great again by showing each other why we’re great.

I feel like this hit a lot of different areas, but that’s ok. Sometimes we need to ramble to find the truth.

I want to meet the Chopped editors

You know they edit the interviews so viewers say things like ‘no one ever cooks the puff pastry’ or ‘he’s going to forget that ingredient’ and ‘why do the judges ALWAYS tell them to get everything on the plate like they don’t know/aren’t stressed enough.’

Or maybe they add an ingredient and discuss what it will add and you think to yourself ‘it’s going to be too sweet, that’s not a basket ingredient it’s a bad idea.’

You know this is how you watched Chopped. Even if you’re alone, you say it to Ted like he’s your friend too.

If I was on the show, I would make five plates. I want Ted to enjoy.

I’m done now.