December 13, 2010

My thoughts on paper (screen. Whatever.)...

I don't even really know where to start right now... so many things are swirling around in my head. And probably most of what I'm gonna say here isn't anything I haven't said out loud in the last hour, but knowing me... who knows? I think by writing things down... taking it out of my head and putting it there where I can look at it and go "Oh, okay... so that's what that looks like, then." (Oddly enough, I didn't even realize I did that until I wrote that just now.)

This brings me to the topic du jour... introspection. Generally something I avoid like the plague. Whatever's going on in there, I don't wanna know about it. Keep the voices quiet and I'll do my thing and they can do theirs. This only works for so long, though, because voices multiply... try it for yourself. Enter a quiet space, like say an office where people are working, and if you start talking to one person, someone will chime in with their opinion and before you know it nobody's getting any work done because of all the chatter. (This is especially true where I work.)

But I may as well say it and get it out of the way... in many areas of my life I have stagnated. I don't know for how long now I've been sitting here waiting for something to change, and it doesn't. And I rave and rant and rail about how I want something - anything - to be different than it is now, but I never do anything because I haven't got the foggiest idea what to do or what I want to accomplish.

Profesionally speaking, I'm 28 years old and I still don't even know what I want to be when (if) I grow up. Here's what I know by process of elimination - teaching isn't it. Neither is fast food or residential care. I could go either way on funeral transport or living history interpreting... both of those things were still fun when I stopped doing them, but I don't know if they always would have been because I didn't do it long enough for it not to be fun, if that makes any sense. I'm still just "all grown up and still waiting to be a rockstar"... just like the button on my backpack says. (Seriously, in all my daydreams and many of my night dreams, I'm a rockstar... perhaps lame, but true.) (Side note: I just remembered the only time I've ever in my life had any sort of "ah-ha" moment... somehow we wound up at an Acappella concert - the band Acappella, not just people singing without music - and they were doing one of their talky bits between songs and the guy who was talking described them as "musicianaries" (musician + missionary in case anyone didn't get that). I was probably 15 at the time. I remember turning to Audra, who has been around for most of the dramatic moments in my life and saying, "That's what I want to do.")  (See, this thinking in parenthetical discursions thing really works for me!)

Spiritually... I've barely advanced from where I was almost 14 years ago when I was baptized. That's a horrible and painful thing to admit (even worse to note that most of that tiny bit of advancement has happened within the last two years). I know I'm not where I should be, and I have absolutely no idea how to get there, which is heartbreakingly sad considering I've been attending church quite literally my entire life with the exception of about two months in 2008. Intellectually I have a lot of knowledge... you don't sit through 28 years of Bible classes and sermons without picking up something. Emotionally, however, it has never clicked... I have a pretty long history of being emotionally retarded, so this doesn't surprise me. I can't cope with my own emotions (in fact, I like to ignore them or bottle them up) and I hate everyone else's. Someone recently told me (like about an hour ago) that I needed to "experience God". That's totally correct, and I've had a few close calls... the mission trip to Toluca was one of them. And this is where the spiritual crosses over into the emotional.

My biggest struggle, the issue that pervades every other aspect of my life, is loneliness, isolation, disconnect... whatever face it's wearing today, I'm talking about the overwhelming sense of being by myself. Even in a room packed with so many people that I can't breathe. I want desperately to not be alone... yet I'm far too scared to let anyone very close because every time I've tried I've gotten hurt. Badly. Part of my growth in the last two years has been letting a select few people get way closer than I've ever let anyone get... still not too close, but progress, I guess. In the last two years I have met four - count 'em, four! - people not related to me who I did not know prior to two years ago who have managed to scale my defenses and peek over. The first three are women, which seemed safe enough even though it was odd at the time because I didn't (and don't) actually like women in general. The fourth one is a man... a surprise latecomer who just hopped over the walls ("Walls? What walls?") and made himself at home. Come to find out, that's just how he operates. (Nobody read too much into that, okay? It's not that sort of a relationship.)

Getting back to my original point (introspection, if you'd forgotten while I was babbling) it is something I have historically avoided because it depresses me to no end. And when you are like me, someone who tends toward depression anyway and even more so during the nine months of Oregon winter, anything that is just going to depress you more is a good thing to avoid. The drawback, though, is that I have not introspected (I don't know if it was a verb before but it is now!) in YEARS and I no longer have the foggiest idea who I am because I haven't bothered to check in. So I am one of two things... I'm either the most authentic person you'll ever meet because I'm deliberately not affecting any change of any kind on myself, or I'm the most fake person you'll ever meet because even I don't know who I really am. It could even be both, because recent events have shown that I'm totally at home with that sort of dichotomy.

So I'll start with what I know: I don't like where I'm at. I don't know where I am, exactly, but I hate it here. I want to get out. I don't know what I'm in, what it is I want out of exactly, or where I would go if I got out, but I want OUT.

What I know from the last few hours, though, is that if I want to get out of the mire I'm currently mired in, there are some things I'm gonna have to let go of... things I've been holding onto tightly because they give me reasons and excuses for how I got this way. But I've also realized that if I don't let go, I'm gonna end up like my dad. (Not trying to be harsh, Dad, if you're reading this, but we both know it's true.) And I'm going to have to be introspective and it's probably going to depress me. A lot. But (there's a big but in every crowd, and it's usually mine!) I currently find myself in the previously unknown situation of having closeish friends. Closeish Christian friends, even. Aside from the one who just jumps walls, I'm going to have to let the walls down and let them in so when I fall (and I'm going to fall... hard) they can catch me. And I have to trust that they will catch me and not let me repeat 2002 (the year of somnambulent suicide attempts). There are a lot of things hindering me, and I have a lot of work to do, and I don't want to do any of it. So why blog about it, then? Well, here's why:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..."  (Hebrews 12:1)

You, o blogosphere, are my cloud of witnesses... and it's very likely that some of those people I was talking about who scale walls are going to read this. And then you'll know I need a lot of help... more than I'll ever be able to express out loud in words... spoken word is not my thing. (Though I did probably one of the better jobs of it I've ever done a couple of hours ago, and it was still pitiful.) So witness this, people... I am hereby attempting to throw off everything that hinders (my past, certain people) and the sin that so easily entangles (4 of you know exactly what I'm talking about) and run the race marked out for me... as soon as I can figure out where the heck the racetrack is.

Song(s) o' the Day: This one started playing on my randomly shuffled iPod at an oddly significant moment earlier... "What I've Done" by Linkin Park. See it here (and I promise never ever to put up a Linkin Park song again... this is the only one I like). Follow that up with a chaser of "Broken Pieces" by Apocalyptica (yes, we've had this one before, but you can see it again here if you like). And for the grand finale, my parting shot to my ex-husband before I completely put him out of my mind except on Sundays when I have to take the Chamaco to him... "Anything But Love" by Apocalyptica... 99% of this song applies directly to my marriage, which was fabulous in its dysfunctionality and was truly based on anything but love. Never before have I heard a song that so completely said what I was thinking and feeling, and I'm kind of scared to ever have it happen again.

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