Friday, October 30, 2009

Passing Through

In exactly 267 days, I will be a college graduate. Only after writing it does the number seem large to me.  

Time passes quickly though. Too quickly.  It feels like yesterday that I was graduating from high school and making the transition into college. That was hard for me. So much so that I delayed it for a year. 

Transition always seems to come at a time in my life  when I'm just settling in, getting comfortable.  

My freshman year of high school my parents were going through a divorce that was more painful for me than I knew how to express at the time. Just as I was finding my niche, I learned that I would be moving to Tampa, away from everyone and everything I knew and loved. 

I remember the day that we left, I used to know the date, but it escapes me now. Sometime in late July, weeks before my 15th birthday. I held up the flight by bolting to the bathroom right before takeoff. I told my Mom I couldn't hold it. "It" wasn't the "it" that she assumed though. "It" was the tears, the emotion, the pain. So I took a moment in that tiny airplane bathroom to cry, and try to get my bearings. 

 That flight not only transported me to my new home for the next seven years, but it changed me. In two hours I went from being confident, outgoing, and funny to insecure, shy and solemn. It wasn't until my senior year that I felt the person I knew returning. 

Too little, too late. The transition into college was upon me.  

The feelings I have now, are frighteningly similar to those I felt seven years ago.  

Just as I'm settling in, getting comfortable. I'm halfway through my second year at Ball State University. I'm just beginning to feel like I know the university. There is a camaraderie being built between my classmates and I. Possible friendships budding. That person I knew makes appearances in unexpected moments, and I get excited. Then I remember, just 267 days. 

Too little to late. The transition into adulthood is upon me. 

While it feels to soon, maybe it's right on time. Just before I settle. Get comfortable. Just before I relent to mediocrity. Just before I become complacent.

I know that the walk across the stage will transport me to another new home, and change me in ways I'm not aware of yet. 

My lingering hope, is that that the confident, outgoing, funny girl I knew doesn't get lost in the shuffle. That her timing will get better, and the next time she makes an appearance, she'll be able to stay a while. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Extreme Makeover

It's just past 11 a.m. I'm sitting in my room with the lights off and blinds still drawn, enjoying the slowness of the morning. I'm listening to Corrine Bailey Rae, whom I always turn to on rainy, chilly days like today. I didn't have classes today, as it is Fall Break for Ball State University.

I will be getting ready to head to Bunker Hill, IN in just a few hours, to be part of a social media team working with ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I'm incredibly excited and equally nervous. I'm sure that there will be times over the next few days that  I will feel totally out of my element. That's okay. Those are the moments that will force growth and allow me to discover  new passions, strengths and weaknesses.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity, thanks to Ball State. I'm constantly reminded by all of these amazing opportunities, top-notch faculty, and classmates who inspire me, that I made the right choice in finishing my undergraduate degree here.

With 9 months to graduation, I'm excited to see what other opportunities may crop up.

 (I probably won't get to see Ty. He's not really my type anyway, but one never knows!)

More to come on my experience with Extreme Makeover, as I will be on location all weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This Sucks. A Lot.

I remember now why I write inconsistently, as I have for as long as I can remember. I have several journals, all only half-filled, with months, even years of my life missing. Pages ripped out, in hopes of forgetting memories all too vivid.

And yet, this is all I know to turn to. I'm not a big talker. I'm an observer. A great listener. My creativity limited. Which, in essence, makes the writing more a need instead of a want. I need a release, and this is the only way I know to get it.

  What I hate about it, writing, is that it draws out the characteristics of mine that I've always tried to hide. The sensitivity, earnesty, perceptivity, all of which have always made me feel much older than my years and often misunderstood.

 So I try to find the happy things to write about. To bring some balance. Lighten the mood. But I just end up staring at a blank page. I'm not saying that  I'm not happy, because for the most part, I am. Those that know me know that I love to laugh and make people laugh. But those happy things are expressed easily, daily. It's the horrible, painful, uncomfortable  things, that I can't speak of that burden my soul for expression.

It's weird to write about writing. But it's the only thing on my mind. How hard it is. How freeing it is. How much I need it.  I'm unable to sleep, my body captive to my mind's restlessness.

The problem: I keep trying to make it pretty. I knew better when I titled the blog. It's ugly. And it sucks. But true, and necessary. And as long as I try to clean it up, I remain sleepless, anxious, robbing myself of the cathartic release.

So, no more of that. For freedom's sake. For sanity's sake. For truth's sake.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Paint Her Pretty

**I was reminded of this blog this week by a co-worker and have taken some time to look back and remember where I was in my head in and in my heart 2+ years ago and I found this unpublished draft written on 10/19/09 -- exactly 4 years ago -- and thought the coincidence alone made it worth publishing! More, what I know now that I wasn't sure of 4 years ago, is that brokenness is beautiful.**

My life, for the past several years, has been a constant striving.  A struggle to be more of this and less of that. A battle against feeling that I am both not enough and too much.

I vividly remember the moment I was told a few years ago by someone who, in the grand scheme of things proves insignificant, that I wasn't easy to love.  Or, that's what I heard, which is as real to me as the actual words that were spoken. 

It was in a Sears parking lot, I was standing against my car a foot away from a person I admired, respected and wanted to be just like. Her words were simple and quick, her face expressionless. And i remember the way that moment sucked the life out of me, the way I assumed at first that she was joking, until silence settled the truth, my hands covering the pain I couldn't hide on my face. It was quick, with lasting impact. And I drove the five minutes home, blinded by my tears.

The stinging power of those words (or the perception that overshadowed them) forced me, the truest me, to retreat. I began painting a picture of myself that I thought less complicated, more acceptable. 

 One day last week, I was made aware that I am seen; that this picture I've created of myself, though I was unaware, is transparent. 

While that moment was startling, it granted a freedom: To just be. 

What this means in this delicate season of my life, is that the "letting go" that I wrote of before, and struggled to define, is that simple. Just be, knowing that I am at times both, not enough and too much. 

I'm choosing to trust though, that the same beauty and honesty that I see in brokenness, will be seen in me. 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"You Fall Away From Your Past, But It's Following You"

It's 8:00 on a Friday night, I'm sitting at Barnes and Noble with books and assignments sprawled out around me, which has become my Friday ritual. Embarrassing, I know, but true.  I've started to dread the weekends, as they are stark reminders that my life is not full. So I stay busy, however I can.

It's been a little over a year since I moved back to Anderson from Tampa. My life has changed completely, yet is nothing like I expected.

I'm of a totally different mind these days, which I'm embracing, albeit unsettling. I've noticed this most through conversations with my closest friends. With each long distance call, there is less common ground, the silences longer and more uncomfortable.

 I've been too fearful to speak the truth of my now; fearful that they'll soon realize that I'm no longer the friend they knew.

 In moving home, I naively believed that I would come back to the life I left seven years ago. That my circle of friends would be the same, that everything I knew and loved would simply fall back into place. It's been bittersweet learning that nothing stays the same for long.

Over the years, I've become comfortable with change. It's the stillness that's hard. It's the stillness that I run from. The stillness demands answers, honesty, confrontation.

Such stillness  dealt with me, harshly, yesterday. Early in the day, I  looked over an old journal, that chronicled the events that led me back home; the slow crumbling of the life I knew. The day was full of unwelcomed memories, and an awareness that despite all my changing, the pain of those days lingers.

I realized yesterday, that my walking away didn't equal letting go, but I'm finally ready for that.

What that  entails, I'm not entirely sure. But I'm ready.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Beginning

I've been wanting to start this blog for over a month now. Over the past two weeks, I've written and re-written, edited and cut. Never has it been this hard for me to write. Over the past year, I've gotten used to everything I write being scrutinized. While I realize this betters me, it also apprehends me.

Regardless of my fear of critical eyes, I need this. Maybe that's exactly why I need this.

I'm at an interesting place in my life now, lots of dissonance within. I know that at times my truths will be contradictory. It will make those that I'm close to question me. It will make me question myself. While I can't apologize for that, I am aware.

I've always been envious of people that have the ability to express themselves artistically. Singers use their voice to set their soul free.  Dancers use their body to laugh and cry. Even actors often find bits and pieces of themselves in portraying someone else.

This is all that I have. Just the words on the page. But, when I say it's all--it's everything. This is where my soul is made free. This is what keeps me honest.

I am a person that likes things raw. Free of pretense. I prefer an ugly truth over a pretty lie. I have yet to tell my own ugly truth. This, is the beginning of that.

"Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit."- Edward R. Murrow