That desperate urgency to explain. That grim dread of questions. That awkwardness of trying to fill the space with more words. We’re not strangers to feeling like we must prove that we measure up.
And in some ways we’re more susceptible to this than the rest of the world. The homeschooler. The stay-at-home mom. The college student taking a different route. The young couple choosing accountability. The single who’s not focusing on a relationship. Because we’re different, we’re choosing a different path, so we think others inherently look on us with distrust or disappointment. We have this ever-constant pressure to explain ourselves.
I should know. I’m a graduated homeschooler, living at home, on an alternate route to my degree, and 100% single. I know they aren’t true, but in the back of my head I still hear the whispers, They think you’re a failure.
And I’m desperate to show them I’m not. If people ask me at all about my future, I’ll smile and launch into my speech about how my route is so much cheaper and faster, and how I’m not really interested in many of the things other people my age are, because I’m so busy with other work, and how I’m involved in this and that and succeeding in this and that and how planning to do this and that. Then they’ll smile and nod and go “Oh, that’s nice” and hopefully never ask me any questions ever again. I have my script, ready to rush through it at any time. But that desperate dread still sits in my stomach.
Because, really, it’s not their questions I’m afraid of. It’s not really their opinion. The fears and whispers assaulting me aren’t from outside. They’re my own. Continue reading
How do you measure growth? When you’re young it’s easy: inches and shoe sizes and buying longer pants yet again. But what about when you’re older? How do you measure the growth of the mind? How do you trace the trail of the soul? We can walk about with our eyes the same color, our clothes the same style, our days the same schedule; and yet our insides completely changed.
And we forget. Familiarity breeds — ignorance of it ever being any different. When we forget to look back, we think we’ve always lived in this same plane, in this same place. Which means we lose a little. We lose those hard-fought victories, we lose the jumping in exultation, we lose the heart-wrenching convictions, the spirit-overwhelming love.
Growth is good. By looking back we remember where we came from.
This last year has seemed so very short, and yet as if it’s been forever. Here I am, blogging for a year with about 150 followers. That’s amazing and wonderful and — terrifying. Continue reading
I read a quote the other day, from a title or an article, saying “You should spend every moment of your waking time as a single readying yourself to provide for your future home.”
And I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t actually read the article. And that’s not a direct quote. That’s simply the best I remember of it, though I do remember being shocked at how specific “every moment of your time” was. I did fully intend to read the article, willing to give the author credit for having an explanation, a caveat. But sadly, somehow its page was closed, and I couldn’t find where it came from or where it went. So I shall assume the best of the author, and believe that they intended to explain themselves, and place preparing for our future home in its proper order of importance.
Yet the fact remains, I know of teachers who might just accept that quote as it now stands.
I know of girls who believe that quote just as it now stands.
I know of people who live that quote just as it now stands.
I used to be one of them. Continue reading
Uncertainty. Fear. Confusion.
Those seem to be the words defining this generation. We are vividly, violently passionate about our beliefs — but uncertain about what those beliefs are. We claim ideas on which to live our lives, but don’t even check to see if those pieces fit together. We are indeed a generation divided — our hearts and our minds, our logic and our beliefs, our words and our actions, our truth and our love — our questions and the truth are seemly separated by so great an ocean that we haven’t even bothered to get our feet wet.
Just look at what passes for truth all about us. Continue reading
I’m not a writer.
Which seems a strange thing to say, since I am here, writing this; and you are there, reading my writing. It’s even stranger when you consider that I write for this blog twice a week, and have a dream of being a successful author in the future. But it’s true. I’m not a writer. It’s just not who I am. And it’s never who I will be.
Let me explain. Continue reading
I failed this week.
I was so proud of myself earlier. I had planned, I was organized, I was ready. I started my Facebook page, did all my platforming, wrote an average of 400 words every day, peer-edited with my friends, and — failed.
Because here I am, looking at my blog on Friday night, with nothing to publish. Nothing worth giving you. Not to say I don’t have plenty of articles and ideas lying around in my draft box — I do. And they’re all fine. But if this was in real life, they would be scattered all across my desk, scribbled and crossed out, fluttering despondently in the wind from my empty open window. As it is though in this digital age, they just sit composedly in their nice little list, looking up at me asking, “What is wrong?”
Nothing — and everything. Continue reading
Days they force you
Back under those covers,
Lazy mornings, they multiply.
Life is mundane sometimes. It’s slow, it’s dragging, it’s the same circle round and round again. The sun rises, and the sun sets, slowly spinning round again, and everything seems much the same. We work. We eat. We sleep. We get up the next morning and do it all over again. Life is reduced to dry facts on a page: breakfast, shoes, car, computer, water.
And facts, well, facts don’t do much of anything. Contrary to what we often think, they don’t command you, they don’t encourage you, they don’t comfort you. They only tell you what has happened in the past, and what is happening in the now. You are here, this is going on, this is all there is, and this is all there’ll ever be. Basic, textbook definitions.
So everything becomes a grey list of steady, unending, unrelenting march of facts. Dry monotones that dull your sense and close your eyes in slumber. Basic, textbook life.
But we were never meant to be a textbook. Continue reading
(As featured on the Rebelution)
I got a sword recently.
Ok, not a real one, but one of those heavy-duty training swords, because that’s the kind of nerdy present that I love. It’s amazing, and cool, and wonderful, and — terrifying. Continue reading
I have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. Or perhaps it’s more of a love-hate-appreciate relationship? Let me explain.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become one of those people who love to be organized (which was an immense surprise to all parties involved). I schedule my day’s activities, I sort my study materials into little folders, and even my closet is (semi) categorized by season and color. There is an immense satisfaction in checking off the boxes of my to-do list, and one by one seeing the white emptiness disappear.
But there’s a problem. I love the idea of fulfilling my to-do list, of keeping my area decluttered, of staying organized, of having these grand New Year’s resolutions that help me to better my life.
But I am an utter failure at doing so.
Because every year, about a week or so (if I’m lucky) after January 1st, after we’ve all caught up on sleep and swept up the streamers, there comes That Day. Continue reading
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.
You can recognize all these. Perhaps you barely even had to read them, they’re so familiar. They make us grin, they call forth memories, and they evoke emotions. Your heart is instantly swept away into another land, full of adventure, danger, and wonder. But very little of that is because of them. Just those sentences themselves aren’t much. There’s no elegant structure here. There’s no eloquent prose. In fact, they all consist almost entirely of single-syllable words! They’re not stories, they’re not chapters, and they’re barely even full sentences. Taken simply as words by themselves, they have little power.
No, we love them because they are beginnings. We love them because they herald what is coming next.
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (Luke 2:1)
And I think this is how we should love Christmas as well. Of course, most people do enjoy Christmas. Ask most people on the street, and — unless they are the living incarnation of Scrooge or the Grinch himself — they’ll smile and agree that it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year.
His soft little hands stretched open, reaching for the warmth of His mother. Red and wrinkled, His small body was wrapped snugly, safe from the bitter winter air. Continue reading