Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Love with Tragedy

After 25 months of full time school followed by full time work with no breaks, I was able to finally take a vacation (the last one I took being 25 months ago...backpacking in Europe) and really get away for more than just a quick weekend. I went to Boston and New York City for ten glorious days. Being that it was my first time to both of those places, I was delightfully overwhelmed with new sights and experiences. The East Coast is an extraordinary place that feels immensely different from California. I loved the exposure to the big city, the ease of public transportation, and the way life scurried by in a whir of fast-paced events, where even going to the grocery store was a well-planned feat of time, resources, and well-supported walking shoes. Growing up in a small and relatively sleepy town rendered me ill prepared for the rush of city life...and surprisingly, living the last 6 plus years in Southern California has barely changed me. I'm still unsure if I'm adaptable to the city life, but it's at least enjoyable for short amounts of time.

Getting away from the normal daily grind was inexplicably helpful to my mind and soul. I felt relaxed in ways I haven't in many months (perhaps years, even) and truly carefree and cut loose to walk as slowly as I wanted and avert my eyes to places beyond the never-ending stretch of bland sidewalk beneath my feet. I wasn't constantly on edge or getting pissed at people who cut in front of me in lines, waiting for things didn't bother me and patience was abundant. I had nowhere to be but where I wanted...

and perhaps that spoiled me.

It's an undebatable fact that the worst thing about vacations is returning back to the same life you left behind. Waking up in the morning is a labored task, getting to work is an Olympic sport, and working an 8 hour day might as well be the Iron Man Triathlon. Life drags, feels heavy, and lacks momentum altogether. The hardest part of this for me was waking up this morning and feeling the weight of a life I don't want. Creating a bit of temporary distance from my life as it stands only bred more discontent within me and now serves to point out the many nuances of my current existence that I detest.

Level ten postpartum-vacation depression has set in.

I think the hardest part is that my life is in limbo, transition, everything is a waiting game for the remainder of the year. I don't want to mentally shut down but I am having a hard time keeping my batteries charged and disappearing into the abyss of my mind sounds all too comfortable and safe. All I want is a hearty meal of comfort food, a pair of sweats, and a movie night. I don't want to deal with anything and I especially don't want to face the bleak realities of my mundane life. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer...I am just struggling to overcome re-entering my own atmosphere.

New York, I miss you...what I wouldn't give to spend one more night tucked safely away in your buxom bosom of other-worldly excitement and your colorful kaleidescope-esque tapestry of culture and life.

Get me out of Orange County. Please.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


One hundred two. One hundred two days until my life begins again. One hundred two sunrises, one hundred two sunsets. One hundred two nights in a comfortable bed, sheltered from the insanity of the world, still safe and warm. One hundred two measures of time that bring me closer to a dream realized.

One hundred two days until I move out of the country.

One hundred two seems dwarfed next to my anticipated moments of fear, anxiety, excitement, stress, and passion. I am overwhelmed today at the thought of living another life...another existence in another culture, another set of challenges to face, and another million lessons to learn.

Maybe it's that today my current life isn't settled, isn't happy, isn't restful, or peaceful, or complete. Today I am reminded of my shortcomings...and the shortcomings of others that create the complexities of love and relationships with those we hold close. One of the most frightening things about moving out of the country might be that those relationships will be no longer easily accessible. They will no longer be on the other end of the phone, the other side of the front door, the passenger seat of my car, the other side of my bed. They won't be a short drive away...or even a long one. They will be worlds away.

The ever-present encompassing fear of loneliness presides. It rules this kingdom I live in, dictates in a cruel monarchy every breath and every thought. It's inescapable and overwhelmingly heavy. But I know that without fear, I wouldn't understand how complacent I become in my comfort. Fear is the very boundary of self; it reflects the parts of me that dare to venture outside the life in which I know I am safe. Fear reminds me what it is to live, to feel my pulse inside my chest racing in anticipation of experiencing things yet untouched. If fear can motivate me then here I stand, ready to face and conquer, knowing that I will come out the other side of this journey a more complete human being. If the antithesis of fear is love, then I want to have a better understanding of love itself by dissecting my fear. If I was put into existence merely to love, then I want to be the best at it that I can be...and I know thus far I haven't always been a competent a romantic sense as well as a platonic one. I am hoping that facing the rawness of the world and human existence will teach me to love completely and live without the fear that now enslaves me to myself like the confines of a straight jacket. Whoever I think I am in this moment will be challenged and redefined, broken and put back together only to be broken again.

Refine me. Rebuild me. Renew me. Reframe my view. Redefine my idea of love. Reclaim my independence in the reminder of my dependence. May I find myself in a sea of faces while realizing my place in the midst of creation. Wearing my fear like a rite of passage, may I break the shackles that bind me to complacency and show the world just what I'm made of...the sum of all my parts, ugly or otherwise.

Monday, September 7, 2009

One hundred years to live.

Over the past few months I have remained extremely tight lipped about some major potential changes in my life. I have a history of playing out the nasty habit of getting excited about something before it's really happening and telling everyone I know of my "plans," only to watch them fail miserably shortly's always humbling and a bit of an ego jab to have people ask me months after the fact, whatever happened to my premature and over-zealous pipe dreams?

This time I wanted to make fairly certain of my direction before I shared it with anyone other than my family and a couple close friends. I wasn't only trying to not look again like the girl who cried insane-over-planning-wolf, but I also didn't want to get ahead of myself, get too excited, or too attached to something that wasn't the right thing for me. I have decided that I am ready to let people know of my general up coming direction in life because I have thought a lot about it, prayed a lot about it, and feel fairly confident (today) that this is where I'm headed. I am also willing to admit the boundaries of my humanness and say that things could definitely change and they will most assuredly at least turn out differently than I anticipate. I am ready for the challenge of being flexible and letting God show me my next move while I am completely blind to anything further ahead of me than my own nose.

I want to preface the announcement by saying that my plans are completely unformed. I am keeping it that way on purpose as I want to go into this adventure as flexible and ready for anything as I possibly can. I will be flying by the seat of my pants until I feel led in one direction or another...and I'm excited to see what happens.

In December I will be embarking on a two week long missions trip to India with my church to partner with an organization called Harvest India. Our main duties will be getting involved with a large orphanage they run there. We will also be getting into the community a bit; we have yet to hear exactly what the trip entails. Since I have to raise support for the trip anyway, which includes a round trip airfare from the States to India, I have decided that I am going to attempt to stay overseas for an indefinite amount of time before utilizing that return flight. I have to be honest, "indefinite" could equal anything from a few weeks, to several months, to a year.

I find myself at an amazing time in life. Yes, I gripe here and there about the woes of being young and recently out of college...but in reality, I may never again have a time in my life where I am so unattached. I am barely 24 and a half years of age, relatively healthy, single, passionate, and ready to be challenged and uncomfortable for a time. God created me a person with an enormous amount of heart for overseas missions. I have felt called to this for much of my life and I finally see it becoming feasible. I am choosing not to partner with a specific program up front (i.e. YWAM) because I won't know where I am supposed to be until I am there. I am literally stepping out in a huge amount of faith and relying on God to be my vision, my guide, and my heart in all of this. I would like to travel around a bit, there is so much of the world I long to see...but I may possibly just settle in India, I won't know until it's happening. I am attempting to get in touch with a few connections overseas to see if I might have some specific opportunities to serve and volunteer, though I most likely won't commit to anything in advance. Anyone who knows me at all may know my deep heartache for women caught in forced prostitution and sex slavery. I have volunteered with a couple of organizations stateside that deal with slavery and I am currently seeking potential opportunities to work in the rehabilitation of women pulled out of slavery in India.

To be up front and transparent, I am terrified of this entire endeavor. I also feel that it is this fear that is driving me to want so badly to overcome and conquer. I know that the Lord will give me everything I need and that this experience will pan out to be life changing, formative, and completely unforgettable.

Should things proceed as stated, I will be breaking all major ties with my life here in Newport Beach come December. I will vacate my house, quit my job, store the belongings I won't be taking with me, and sell my car. Armed with merely a backpack full of some essentials, my passport, and traveler's insurance, I will plan to take on the world in some capacity.

I am SO ready and SO excited.

Should you feel so inclined, I would LOVE if anyone would be willing to partner with me in prayer throughout the next few months until my trip...and beyond.

I would appreciate prayer for these specifics:

-health (I tend to spend a lot of my life sick...I am hoping for a miracle that I will remain healthy for the time I am overseas)
-a humble attitude that encompasses flexibility, adaptability, and lots and lots of love for those I will meet along the way
-direction and guidance
-finances (this is probably THE single most daunting thing about this whole adventure...I tend to have a lot of anxiety about it)

I apologize that I don't get to talk to each and every one of you individually about my life changes; I know general public sharing of information can feel impersonal but please know that I love and appreciate everyone in my life and I hope to be able to connect with more of you individually in the near future.

To life, love, adventure...and making the most of my one hundred short years on this earth.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday Night

Current soundtrack: The Holly and the Ivy by George Winston, from the album December (one of my favorite pieces of music in existence)

up into the silence the green...(41)
by e.e. cummings

up into the silence the green
silence with a white earth in it

you will(kiss me)go

out into the morning the young
morning with a warm world in it

(kiss me)you will go

on into the sunlight the fine
sunlight with a firm day in it

you will go(kiss me

down into your memory and
a memory and memory

i)kiss me,(will go)

Though I won't claim to be any kind of versed poetry buff, I must say that my favorite poet (from my limited exposure) is e.e. cummings. I often read his work and wonder what was churning in that brilliant, most likely misunderstood mind of his. The way he throws structure and functionality to the wind is inspiring. He breaks all the rules and creates nothing more that what is true to himself. Though best known for his poetry, he was also an artist...
What strikes me most about e.e. cummings is how much I resonate with his creative spirit. His poetry seems confused, disjointed...yet I find it speaks so much of what is inside myself. I am often struggling with so much at my core that is confused and disjointed, so much feeling that I fear I might reach a moment in which I will explode.

I can't contain it yet I can't let it out either.

I understand why so many great artists were perceived as insane...if any other human being were to venture inside my mind and heart, they might perceive me no differently...not to coin myself a great artist in any way...but I can't escape my artist's heart, insanity and all. I am so complex that I can't even crack my own code, my own melancholic being, the angst of my existence. I was created an immensely creative and deep individual...and as much as I appreciate that about myself, at times I wish I were simpler and more straight-forward, that things didn't reach me at the depth they do, that I didn't have so much passion that it hurt. Can't I live a content existence as a simple person who sets their mind in the joys of the every day? Can't I stay put, plant roots, grow without always having to run and run and run...?

I can't. I am restless. Full of a thousand tears shed for the lust of wanting more. More for my life. More for me.

To do more.

To see more.
To help more.
To experience more.

To love more.
To touch more.


I wish I could share with the abyss of the internet the plans that are stirring inside my heart...the ways in which I am planning to become more. Based solely on principal and stubbornness, I have committed to myself to not talk to very many people about my "plans" until they are happening. I want to become who I am meant to become uninhibited by the perceived opinions of those around me. Don't get me wrong, I love the people who speak into my life...but this stems from a place in me that is deeper than almost anyone could reach. I have to do this one on my own. And I'm terrified to be yanked from my comfort zone and thrust into the uncontainable Unknown. It's big and it's new. And I'm blind to its ways...but I think I'm ready for the challenge of tackling it. I shudder to think...but my very soul tingles with anticipation, passion, and immense determination.

To the great Unknown: may you receive me with open arms and an air of adventure and may I return the favor with grace, poise, and dignity.