currently obsessed

I don’t know how to jump back into writing, so I’m just going to start with little snapshots of things I’m obsessed with lately.  It’s like a happy medium between writing and…not.

Currently obsessed with these new friends; currently-obsessed-friends

Currently obsessed with hanging around the farm; currently-obsessed-porch

with red nails, springtime and baby chicks; currently-obsessed-chick

Currently obsessed with this piece of art;

currently-obsessed-garden-girl (visit the whole gallery here)

and dancing; currently-obsessed-dancing (This was at my brother’s going away party.  Kid’s now in Chicago for school.  Its back to myself being the only one of my family still making a home out of Arizona.)

and inspiring artists who wail on the harmonica currently-obsessed-harmonica (brb trying)

(…and crying, because its so frustrating to be terrible at something you love.)

Currently obsessed with this song; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOIF5R78NnA     “…mercy me, oh god, oh ecstasy, oh yeah, right there…”

Currently obsessed with this food; yeast

and, always, green smoothies in recycled jars; currently-obsessed-smoothie

Currently unemployed, getting ready for SXSW next month, half-way through the Mindy Project, twenty-three years old and playing house the best I know how.  Happy New Year, friends.  Hope you’re rocking the universe.

 

Let’s talk about shame, baby.

I’ve been thinking a lot about shame.  More specifically, I’ve been thinking about why certain people feel shame about things that other people don’t think twice about.

Shame and guilt are different psychological phenomena, by the way.  They can arise at the same time, but they’re not the same.  Guilt is more of an awareness of having done wrong, while shame is more of an externally driven awareness of how we look to others, as well as how we seem to ourselves.  Like, I want to impress my vegan friends, so I feel shame when I eat free cookies at work.  I also feel guilt because I know all the facts about milk and egg factories and it is completely atrocious.

What I want to talk about today is why we feel shame and guilt.  I want this, actually, to be more of an open thread than anything.  Why do some of us feel shame about eating, but not sexual escapades?  And vice versa.  Why are some of us convicted about our spending habits but not drug and alcohol abuse?  (Cigarettes and coffee count as drugs, mmkay?)  It’s an interesting topic, for sure, and I’m just wrestling with the annoying ways my convictions fall short of who I actually want to be,  Like, yeah its all good and dandy I feel convicted about wasting time online, but why don’t I feel convicted about being an asshole sometimes?  I’ve always heard you can tell a person’s beliefs from their lifestyle, but I believe so many things.  And apparently what I believe in most in indulgence.  I’m frustrated at myself for holding convictions, up until I’m presented with an opportunity not to.

Some shame is founded and some (most) is not.  So what do you, reader, feel shame about, and why?  And also do you feel like your shame is founded, or is it irrational?  Please comment! Let’s dialogue this beezy.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

I still want to howl.

The first time I read Warsan Shire’s poem, “For Women who are Difficult to Love”, my stomach churned with recognition.

Yes, I thought.  That’s exactly what this is like.

Last night I told my brother, “I’m scared I’m gonna fuck this up.”

See, I’ve been seeing the previously mentioned Nice Boy pretty consistently ever since our first date a week or so ago.   I like him.  I’m pretty sure he likes me.  And I’m scared I’m gonna fuck this up.

I told my brother that I could feel myself trying to be less while I was around this Nice Boy.  Matt asked what I meant, and I tried to explain. 

“I don’t know, I’m just trying to be less…offensive.  I’m less vulgar.”

He nodded and I think he really knew what I meant.  He knows because he’s the same as me.  He feels like the bad one, too.  He knows what it’s like to feel dirty in a room of nice people.  He’s “too intense”, too.    He knows I wasn’t talking about bad words. 

He reminded me that we’re on equal playing fields, we Jesus freaks.  “We’re all died-for.  Grace alone.”

Yeah.  I know.   And yet…

I still feel myself trying to be less than what I am around him.  Look how soft I am.  Look how pretty.

Melancholy is an inoperable tumor, and even when dormant it’s still in the back of my head.  I can still taste it on the back of my tongue.  I’m constantly shifty-eyed, swallowing, knowing it could seep out at any moment.  I don’t trust emotional health, like a cancer patient doesn’t trust remission.  I remember hitting my walls in anger at seventeen, and I remember screaming with my car windows rolled up this summer. I’m still reeling from this past year, and I’m still mourning innocence.  I’m still infuriated that people are raped, that friends die, that I’ve done reprehensible things, that there are children not being adopted, that animals are tortured, that people are mean.

I still want to howl.

I’m trying to be less angry, less sad, less opinionated, less cynical, less doubtful, less restless.

But I am angry.  I’m sad, I’m opinionated, I’m cynical and I’m doubtful.  I’m so restless.  I believe in offensive things.  I’m tired of saying things like, “I’m not ugly”, and “I’m not stupid.”

Fuck it.

I’m beautiful.  I’m intelligent.

And I still want to howl.

Why I’m not going to Burning Man

When I started mentally drafting this post, it sounded a lot like a defense.  “Lady’s and gentleman of the jury, let me explain.”  It read like a persuasive rather than informative and (hopefully) encouraging speech.  Gross.  Why do I feel like I’ve got to defend myself?

Then I got annoyed at myself and decided I wouldn’t write it at all.  Eph you, fake audience, you don’t get an explanation.

Then I got annoyed again and realized this was an actual thing that needed to be addressed.  Mostly I want to address the fake audience we’ve all got, and the image we try and project.  I know you do it too.  I’m not that unique.

So here it is; why I turned down a free ticket to Burning Man this year.

It all started when I was homeless after camp and a friend of a friend let me move in.  Mollie lives in Phoenix (so I do too) and does theater-y stuff.  She’s friends with e’erybody, and while I peaced out for California to go on a #postcampportland road-trip with Camp friends, Mollie’s friend offered her a free ticket to Burning Man.  Mollie’s a real adult with a real job and things, so she declined, but gave this friend of hers my phone number and convinced him that not only am I totally un-psycho-y, but that he should give that free ticket to me.

So there I was, somewhere in Napa Valley with a belly full of wine, and I recieved a text offering me the ticket and the ride and a bunch of new friends.

To BURNING MAN.

Naturally I said yes.  My method is to agree to All The Things first, and then think them over.  We all stumbled to bed and the next morning, my camp friend and I headed back down the 5 toward Los Angeles. We debriefed our weird week of driving and camping and discussed the foreseeable future.

The more we talked about Burning Man, the more anxiety I felt about it.  For those of you unfamiliar, Burning Man is a week-long festival sort of thing in Nevada.  Lots of nakedness, lots of drugs, lots of “art”.  Then they burn a giant man.  Its supposed to be this spiritual thing and its really popular.  It used to be free but now tickets range from a couple hundred to (I fuck with you not) six-hundred dollars.

Its many people’s dream to attend, but for some reason (the price?!?!) I’ve never actually cared to go.  I’ve never had this burning (har har har) desire to experience it, and especially after my physically and mentally exhausting two months at Summer Camp, followed by being a bridesmaid for my old roommate, and then this weird West Coast Roadtrip, I’m just tired.  I’m homesick.  I want to buy a bike, get a job, start writing for my newspaper again, frequent my coffee shops, run around with my real friends, and not live out of a backpack for a while.  Plus I’ve already played around in Slab City and at the Rainbow Gathering, both of which aren’t total sell-outs yet.  (Want some ice for that wicked burn, Coachella?)

The problem is, this was free.  And what a way to cap off the summer!  And how envious, on a scale of envious to super envious, would this make everyone?! And how consistent with my wanderlusting, constantly curious, random and hyperactive lifestlye!

I tried to find the source my my decision-making anxiety and this is what I found; going to Burning Man upholds the image I project to my fake audience…but I didn’t actually want to go to Burning Man.

*gasp*

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely am fairly adventurous.  I like spontanaiety and I like new places and people.  I genuinely like Kerouac.

But here I go defending myself.

The painful truth is that I want you all to think I’m this carefree Dharma Bum, endlessly adventuring and having a ball everywhere I go.  I want you to think I’m beautiful and fun-loving and never tired.  “Eyes incapable of anything but wonder…” just running around the world digging everything.

Its this totally one-dimensional idea I’m safe hiding behind.  If they think I’m a gypsy, they won’t question me.

Gross.

Because friends, people are all kinds of dimensions.  You are not a description, you’re a human being.  Sometimes you may like to hop in a van with strangers (see west coast roadtrip to the Rainbow Gathering, circa 2011) and sometimes you want to watch New Girl re-runs all day.

I don’t know why I pressure myself to be so easilly defined.  People mentally categorize everything because it makes processing them easier.  If I were to describe myself to you, I’d hand you some adjectives and you could file them away.  When I cross your mind you could quickly pull out my binder and see “vegan” and “writer”, along with a paragraph or two on “chronic depression” or “logical theism.”  There might be a whole page dedicated to “wanderlust”.

But those are just neat little adjectives and they’re one-dimensional, the way that we are not.  There’s more than two sides to a story, and there’s more to a person than the About Me description would have you believe.

I don’t want to categorize people like that.  I am consistently surprised by people wrecking my simplified judgments of them, and I’m learning not to put anyone in boxes anymore.  I want to extend that same curiosity and authenticity to myself.

All this to say, I’m not going to Burning Man.  I’m going back to Arizona.   Here’s to busting out of the box.  Here’s to not being impressive.

jess1 <tired selfie on the train.

(Last week I bussed from Phoenix to LA, caught a cab to Union Square, and was quite pleased with myself on the train toward my dad’s house.  Two days later three friends and I drove to Portland, camping in Big Sur and spots like it along the way.  Sometimes life is really good.)

 

Starting

letter^found a camper’s letter to another camper this afternoon.  Totes adorbs.

You know what I’m good at?  Walking into a pre-established environment, being a newbie, and learning the ropes.  I don’t like too much responsibility.  I like jobs like restaurant gigs because my presence isn’t the most crucial thing.  Being a manager would terrify me.  I like helping out at the garden downtown, but truly being in charge of those chickens and plants would drive my anxiety up the wall.  This tendency even creeps up in dating; as soon as someone starts counting on me, peace out.  If I could be a hermit and have no one depend on me, I’d be content.

But not really.

And there comes a time when you’ve gotta get over your commitaphobe, can’t-fence-me-in mentality.  You’ve got to actually do things that matter, take on responsibility, and start doing those things you secretly have wanted to do for years.

Enter, this summer camp.  Stage left.

Here, I’m the garden coordinator.  I’m in charge of mapping out the greenhouse (which Drew, the program director, and I did this afternoon), working within the budget for supplies and plants, and coming up with lesson plans that will not only entertain kids, but hopefully instil in them a sense of responsibility for the earth.  There’s no compost bin here; I’ve got to start that, and Drew and I are building it tomorrow.

Not going to lie, starting something is super overwhelming for me.  I choke at the idea of failure and disappointing anyone.  I’m sort’ve terrified that there aren’t pre-packaged lesson plans and an already working greenhouse for me to mesh into.

The good news is, I’m sick of being transient and undependable.  I want to be part of something that matters.  I want other people to care about animal husbandry and sustainable food systems, so why hang out on the sidelines hoping someone pulls me out there with them?  I want to teach people things that matter, so I’ve got to go learn those things.

Here’s to learning new things (like how to build a compost bin, cool down the summer greenhouse, and writing up seven weeks of lesson plans) and bringing what you’ve learned to everyone else.

Check out the start of our compost; egg shell, two coffee filters with grinds, two banana peels, a mushroom that fell on the floor, and grapefruit peels.

compost2

To come;

pretty things aren’t always good things.  (see; poison oak)

pretty-poison

How to build a compost bin from a trash bin.

compost-bin

And what to do with a greenhouse in California summers.

greenhouse2

Bemused gratitude

Remember when I was like, “oh WWOOF, you’re so fly, I’m gonna do you forever!”?

Remember when I crisis-ed in California for a week last month?  Ok, well, whilst in Cali, I joined WWOOF USA and planned* on taking the Amtrak all over this country, working on farms and learning what everyone’s growing all over the place.  (Because seriously, how incredible would that be?!?!?!)  I browsed some farms online, got pretty stoked, and came across a listing for a garden coordinator at a summer camp in Southern California.  I clicked, and the job description went something like this;

“Jess Moran Jess Moran Jess Moran JESS MORAN…”

Flash forward to right now, as I take a break from creating lesson plans and packing up all the clothes I’ll need for two months of garden-coordinating.  Tomorrow Dad will drive me and my trusty blue backpack to Camp, and I’ll get to work.

I feel like my life is characterized by being completely unqualified and unworthy of Awesomes, and getting to experience them anyway.  Like, yeah I know some things about gardening, and sure I can take care of animals, and ok, I’ve worked with kids for like ever, but really?  Really?  I get a greenhouse, a bunch of animals, and am in charge of teaching kids how to grow things for seven weeks?!?!?  What is this?  Plus, all my experience in the aforementioned fields came very similarly as this one; I was totally unprepared and undeserving of the opportunity.

For instance, running adventure camps in Australia.  Boom, that looks great on a resume.  But remember how I got that position?  How I randomly met a guy who worked for an adventure camp company, and they needed volunteers and I just happened to be around?  I got to spend two weeks camping, hiking, being a leader to all these high school kids, by coincidence.  What is this?

And now I get to cite that on my resume.  Who would’ve thought?

I’m kind’ve walking around in bemused gratitude, out here in So Cal.  Tomorrow dad’s driving me down to camp, where I get a brand new greenhouse to work with as well as pigs, chickens, bunnies, goats, and an alpaca.  (pinch me.)  I’m spending a week getting things mapped out and situated (where to plant what, etc.) before the other staff leaders roll in.   Then its orientation, and our first campers are dropped off on the seventeenth.

My role is to teach them how to grow things and care for animals, and why both endeavors are important,

Basically, I accidentally landed my dream job.

I don’t know, I’m just pretty stoked about all of this.  I couldn’t have created a better opportunity to learn and grow if I’d tried.

This is going to be a fun little stint, so stay tuned for tons of garden tips, camp counselor laments and rejoices, and tons of #nofilter pictures of the place.  Also I’m determined to teach the pigs tricks, like dogs.  I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Farm hat

*oh we don’t actually plan things around here.

wild with hope

I just got home, and en route I was thinking about my fancy new iPhone and the things I’ve been posting.  Social media in general, really.   From these pictures, from my statuses and what I’m tagged in, you’d assume I just walk around having the time of my life.  Being out of work the last two weeks looks awesome.  There’s been Tempe Town Lake girl-talks, water-fall jumping, margaritas (Morangaritas!!!!!) and general goofing off with my family.

lake-girl-talk We jumped off that suckaDad and Auntie Lisa

And that’s all true, but what’s also true are the things I don’t post, and the things you don’t post, either.

For instance, the hanging out with my family?  What you don’t see is that my auntie quit her job last year because the stress and anxiety of it was wrecking her life.  She was able to spend time with us this weekend because she doesn’t have a job right now.  That party I held two weeks ago, where all my old middle school buddies came over and drank wine and cracked each other up?  And we posted this picture?

cheetahs-b-day

Man, we got together like that because the hero of our teenhood was murdered last September and we needed comforting on her birthday.  And the silly hashtag “14hoursofChris”?  All those goofy pictures you like of my brother?

"This is the bus we take to church, Jess."

Yeah, those fourteen hours were the day-pass out of rehab he earned.  The boy is in rehab.

I post such pretty pictures of the urban garden I work at, and you like them, but what you don’t see is that I need that farm a hell of a lot more than it needs me.  You don’t see that the farm is restorative for me, a sanctuary for me.  The more scrapes from weeding I come home with, the more at peace my anxious heart feels.  You read my dad’s blog and like his business advice, but you don’t see him walking up to the aforementioned farm and his tears welling up when he saw me by the pool, playing lifeguard.

playing lifeguard

Those misty eyes are because he knows the wreckage behind the pictures, and he felt it too; that the farm is a safe, hopeful place.

And Spaghetti-Swing Tuesdays?  Friends, there have been nights we don’t even leave my house, we’re too engrossed in tearful confessions of our souls.

There is a brokenness in this world I can’t come to terms with.  There is a brokenness in myself I can’t come to terms with.  I mean, I’m unemployed right now because of it.  I got testy with someone this weekend actually about the nature of his joking and kind’ve told him to cut it out.  He obliged, but also asked how the view form my high-horse was.  I laughed.  “Oh, they don’t even let me near that horse these days.”

I just wanted, ehem, to be square with you.  I know you’re aware of how cool you make your life out to look on Facebook and Instagram and all of that, and that behind those pretty things you post you’re a mess as well.  And you’re probably lying awake at night, too, feeling like a phony.  I bet you’ve had your fair-share of rage at the weight of this messy world and your messy heart.  I bet you’ve shaken your fist at the stars too.

…And I bet you’ve been as astounded as I am at the common grace you experience.  Betcha receive unexpected encouragement sometimes or fall into charmed friendships you don’t deserve, and you’re floored by all this goodness.  I’ll bet you take those gems and cling to them, and you take pictures of them and post them and look at them later and reflect on how lovely your life really is.

You take those fourteen hour day-passes and run wild with them.

…I guess I’m not ashamed of posting such happy pictures, in that case.  And I’m glad you post your happy pictures too.

we'z real cool

“In  that place where morning gathers you can look sometimes forever till you see

That time may never know, time may never know

How the lord takes by its corners this whole world and shakes us forward and shakes us free

To run wild with the hope run wild with the hope.

The hope that this thirst will not last long…”

-Rich Mullins

Aint it a blessing

to do what you wanna do?

hey guys.  Hai.  Guise.  Guess what?  I’m a big-shot published-for-pay writer now.  Officially.

Dig this.

^That got me money.

100_1849(~This is my lovely dog in my lovely backyard (weedsarebeautiful).  This is how my days begin; coffee and journals and loving my dog.)

On a serious note, this marks an incredibly significant moment for me.  All I really want to do with my life is write things down, and it would sure be nice to make a living doing so.  This is the first article I’ve ever been paid for, and it feels more like walls have been blown to pieces than a door opened.  I’m actually trying to figure out a better metaphor, but until I do, hang on to that one.

What do you really want to do with your life?  Your wild and precious life?  How are you going to get there?

For me, this all started because I was a waitress as a soul-destroying restaurant in Scottsdale and happened to serve pancakes to a bunch of editors.  I leaned over their shoulders at the newspaper they were discussing and blurted out, “oh hey.  I write things.  Want me to write things for you?”

Or something along those lines.

They humored me, and gave me a couple topics.  I wrote them, they edited them, then published them.  I messed up BAD on one article, misquoting a source and mis-typing the phone number to his business, and learned that failure isn’t actually the worst thing ever.  When I came back from Oz they had me tell people about it, and Congressman David Schweikert wrote me a letter saying he was all about my Aussie articles.

letter

Then CST decided they would pay me, and here we are.

So what now?  What  now is I will walk on air to the soul-enriching restaurant I now work at, I will serve people vegetables and grin from ear to ear, and when I come home I will write more things and then go swing dancing.

Oh life.  You’re so wild.

Do you want advice?  On how to do the same thing?  What I’ve learned so far (and I have so much to learn its embarrassing) is that you can over-think yourself into a coma.  Writer’s block is really just laziness.  I’ve also learned that because this is the most important thing to me, I’ll procrastinate and despair and freak the hell out every time I need to write something.

And I quote (from an email to my dad, aka Sanity in a Skype-Session)

“Hey, I’ve got a deadline
and I’m going crazy
so grab your cell phone
AND FUCKING CALL ME”

Its hilarious in hindsight, but in the moment I was 100% positive I would never be able to finish the article (which was like a hundred words…come ON Jess).  People, don’t over-think it.  Just write it.  Tell those editors you’re serving pancakes to that you like writing things down.  Go to Australia, just for kicks.  Sign a lease.  Just do things and more things will happen.

Boom.

On another note, we’re throwing a birthday bash for Cheetah on the 28th, and if you’re one of the ones who’ve googled her name and found this blog, send me a message about coming to the party and celebrate her with us.

Let’s talk about depression.

Let’s just do it.

Now, the first thing we have to get out of the way re; depression is that its not all black and white, and depression isn’t something that only friendless losers catch like a cold.  You can’t pick the depressed out of a crowd of people because we look and act much the same way as everyone else.  We’re just more bummed out.

Hey guys, I’m Jess, and I have chronic depression.   I want to say I struggle with it, but what the hell does “struggling” with something even mean?  Who came up with this metaphor?  Ok yeah, I don’t want to be all depressed all the time, but if by struggling you mean I’m living my life as damage control and plugging my ears (“la la la la la”) to all those “triggers”, then no, I’m not fucking struggling with depression anymore.

I’m owning it.

I want to tell you that I’m depressed because A.) my bestie was butchered last fall or B.) because it was winter or C.) because I’m not making enough money/have pimples/my iTunes is really sad, but the truth is I’ve been depressed since I was like thirteen.  And I have lived as damage control, trying not to see, hear, or speak any depression trigger.

At this point though, I’m tired of acting like my chemical imbalance is something I need to hide from you guys.  What’s worse than being depressed?  Getting even more depressed because you’ve isolated yourself, which you did so as to keep from showing them the initial depression.  Because how dare you, Christian, (Christian white American female in the 21st century, no less) be bummed out?

There’s a weird kind’ve pride in being sad, too, which also makes it harder to get help.  If you’re not depressed, that’s fine.  We still like you, even if we don’t necessarily trust you.  We wish we were like you, although we hold suspicions that you must be completely vapid not to see how sad this life actually is.

Anyway, I wanted to let you, dear Depressed, know a few strategies for coping with being what a friend of mine once called a “morose bastard.”

  1. Own it.  Just accept it.  You’re bummed out, and you need to stop feeling so guilty about it.  Most of the chronically depressed people I know have no good reason for being that way.  They just are.  And you know what?  You just are the way you are.  Chew on that.  Maybe this is weird advice, ‘cuz like, who wants to “own” their personality disorder, but dude, its going to be there anyway so you might as well treat it like family.
  2. Admit it.  Yes, even to the ones who aren’t bummed.  I know that’s difficult because you have this sinking fear that you’re going to evoke eyebrow furrows and a non-comprehending, “like, seriously? What have you got to be sad about?”  But you’ve gotta just do it.  If you’re me you’ll play it off really cool, with a smile and maybe a dance move.  “I’m chronically bummed out! Haha! Watch me twerk it!”  This is really hard, I know, and you’ll want to be sarcastic about it.  But stop.  The church, while traditionally being the absolute worst to admit being bummed, is getting better.  “Depression” isn’t as dirty of a word as it used to be around here.  It used to be all “Jesus Jesus Jesus”, but they’re getting better at being like “Jesus Wellbutrin Jesus” these days.  When cornered, I used to admit my depression with an attitude of defiance and self-defense.  Like, “Yeah, I’m bummed out.  COME AT ME BRO.”  But I’ve learned to be more gracious with people, because Lord knows I need the same grace exhibited for me.  I know you’re still going to run into those assholes who can’t understand how you can possibly grasp an iota of what redemption means and still struggle to get out of bed some mornings, but trust me on this; there are gems in the church, and they love people like you.  They do! They love honesty.
  3. Then.  Go talk to a professional.  I’m serious here.  Go get shrinked.  I think everyone needs to be in counseling, because (shocker) we were all raised by imperfect people and we were dropped into an imperfect world, and not only that but we were given imperfect bodies and imperfect desires.  So go talk to someone who’s spent way too much money on a couple degrees in psychology and wants to make it their entire life’s work to hear people’s stories.  Go tell your story.  Tell the gritty parts, too.  My brother’s mentor told him that most people go to counseling and delve into 85% of the pain and anger or their lives, but keep the 15% locked up inside.  Fuck that.  Tell the 15%.
  4. Start doing things.  Do things like go swing dancing.  Or film your own Harlem Shake video.  Walk your dog for hours along the canal behind your house.  Pray.  Agree last minute to go on a road trip to Austin next week.  Skype your Aussie friends.  Read.  Call your dad. Go watch the stupid bachelorette finale with friends.  DON’T LISTEN TO JOE PURDY*.

 

I don’t know, man, because I’m in it too.  But these things help.  You can’t live doing damage control all the time.  You can’t edit your soul.

cant-edit-your-soul

And on that note, I’m back.  Hai guyz

*Purdy’s my absolute favorite, and I’m chronically depressed, so I give him a hard time.  Its all with the utmost affection.  And tears.

December (etc.) has been real weird.

Can we redo the New Year?  We can do that, can’t we?  Who’s got the rule book?

You may have noticed I blanked on the whole, End of the Year Review and Look Ahead.  December got weird, and January stayed that way.

Let’s pretend we didn’t buzz through this symbolic and uplifting, hopeful little refresher.  Let’s say we’re still on the cusp of all this sparkling newness, and we’re not blowing it with cheap wine, a cute boy, and the best friends we’ve ever had.  Let’s throw the last five weeks or so in a bowl, do our best quizzical observation of it, and chalk December (and then some) up to a bemusing “weird month”.

img952064

Time of your life…in my kitchen.Shattered wine glass, the bottom half wedged between the bookshelf and the wall?

(^But really, how did half a wine glass get itself wedged in between there?!?)

And now let’s move forward.

We’re twenty-two now, and while there’s a bit of grace and a whole handful of “grains of salt” regarding binge drinking and all manner of foolish endeavors when you’re twenty-one, let’s not stay here.  We’ve got bigger things to do now that we’re Real Adults.  Also, I’ve got an associate’s degree now and am peacing out of furthering my formal education for now, and the only way to do this without looking like a complete slacker-dropout-asshole is to be doing a Really Awesome in the stead.

So.  For the Really Awesome.

Tell me, as a blog reader (and actually only if you’re not my immediate family, you stalkers) what you like reading.  What do you google, and why are you interested in what people in the blogosphere have to say?  Do you want to hear how I save money (toobadIdon’t!) or do you want ridiculous anecdotes to make you laugh?  Do you want to know what I’m learning (and re-learning and reconstructing and puzzling over) about God and people?  Do you want me to go travel, or live in community here in the lovely Aye-Zee?  Do you want me more involved with that awesome little farm downtown?

I just want to get a feel for what you want, and maybe it will help me figure out what I want.

Because I want truth, meaning, beauty and aesthetics.  I want weird anecdotes and moving ideals, dynamic concepts about God and a consistent lifestyle.  I want to punch Apathy and Boredom in their collective uteri and flip the bird to every time-waster I anesthetize myself with.  I want to be comfortable in my skin and my values and be able to get behind my life, verses the recent shrug and admittance that, you know, December’s been real weird.

Boredom is, as mused by Henry Nouwen, “a sentiment of disconnectedness.  While we are busy with many things, we wonder if what we do makes any real difference.  Life presents itself as a random and unconnected series of activities and events over which we have little or no control.

To be bored, therefore, does not mean that we have nothing to do, but that we question the value of the things we are so busy doing.”

Ooh I love that.  I think, when I look back on the misplaced convictions and the mayhem of the last weird month-and-then-some, I’ll remember I was incredibly, hopelessly bored when it all started.  Not because I wasn’t busy, but because I felt disconnected and helpless, which lead to apathy and quiet desperation that got loud.  Very loud.

And now?  I want some quiet, please, and I want some connection.  I want the green tea lifestyle over the vodka/red bull one.  And while I think my lipstick stains on my cigarettes are sort’ve beautiful, I’m sick of wearing lipstick and I’m sick of smoking cigarettes.

Here’s to a new year.  Here’s to a new age.  Here’s to you, and here’s to me, figuring it out and enjoying the mystery of whole Being Human.

Cheers, darling.