Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lessons 2010 Taught Me

  • Everyone should live alone, no roommates, for at least a little while. You'll learn a lot about yourself.
  • Humans aren't meant to be alone.
  • Protect your heart. It's your most precious possession. Be careful about who you let in.
  • Life after college is more different than you ever could have imagined. Don't stress about it. Just roll with the punches
  • Forgive, and move on.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Living with regrets is no way to live. It pollutes your heart.
  • Be nice to people whenever you can, especially strangers. You may make someone's day without realizing it.
  • Knowing who you are is sometimes more important than knowing what to do with your life.
  • It's not the destination that matters so much. It's the path you take to get there.
  • It's okay to be an adult. Everyone has to grow up sometime.
  • Don't settle.
  • God has amazing plans for you. You just need to be patient. You'll discover them on His time, not yours.
  • The world is full of stupid people. This will never change.
  • People hurt you in ways you won't expect.
  • God will always send you a friend. You just have to keep your eyes open.
  • Being a loyal, trustworthy friend is important. Be a fierce friend. Defend your best friends. Keep their secrets. Treat friends like they're family.
  • It's okay to ask for help. Everyone needs it at some point.
  • There are some people in this world who are inherently manipulative and selfish. These people are poison, and will contaminate your soul if you let them.
  • Amidst all of the growing up and being an adult, don't forget to be silly. Laugh about stupid things with your friends.
  • Being a people person is not really as hard as it seems. You just have to be brave.
  • "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." --E.E. Cummings

Sunday, December 26, 2010

You have this horrible ability to make me feel so incredibly small, so insignificant, like a pebble in your shoe, a nuisance. And it's always been this way, for as long as I can remember. I can't convey to you just how much you hurt me when you do this. It's like a knife in the chest, (which, contrary to popular belief, hurts just as much as a knife in the back.) like a pain in my soul. This treatment is not acceptable. I'm a person, too. I deserve more respect than what you're showing me. But I won't ever be able to say this out loud. I'm afraid that this is just one of those silent burdens we bear, knowing that saying something would end up being just as awful as not saying anything.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo,
the angel of the Lord
came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord
shone round about them:
and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them,
"Fear not:
for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of
great joy,
which shall be to
all people.
For unto
is born this day in the City of David
a Savior,
which is
Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manger."
And suddenly
there was with the angel
a multitude of the heavenly host,
praising God,
and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth
good will toward men."

This part always surprises me, how in the midst of a cartoon I always perceive to be secular, is the REAL meaning of Christmas. I think that it's meant to surprise us, that the reason it's so sudden is to make us pay attention to it, to make us listen. And I did listen.

This year I didn't have some new eye-opening revelation about Christmas. And that's okay, I think. As long as I remember what it's for. It's about God coming and bringing his peace and love to us.

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some Truths of Life

  • People let you down. Even people who are supposed to be on your side.
  • But there will always be at least one person who's on your side, even if you don't realize it.
  • Sometimes figuring out who you are as a person is more important than figuring out a career.
  • It's the little things that really make life enjoyable: a stranger being nice to you, finding a dollar in a random pocket, a friend telling you that you look nice.
  • As much as things go wrong in life, they're bound to go your way once in a while.
  • Even though it's difficult sometimes, being optimistic is better than being pessimistic.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"For I know the plans I have for you..."

Do you ever feel like you're sleeping, and can't wake up?

Or like you're a much cooler person than the life you're living?

I feel like that every day. I feel like my life has halted to a stop, like I'm waiting for something to happen, for the good part to get here.

I just need to do something, anything to wake me up. I'm afraid that one day, years from now, I'll wake up and wonder where the hell my life went.

I have problems with comparing myself to other people. One person, in particular. I look at this person's life, and it's everything I'm supposed to want. (And in my stupid mind, have already.) Young, beautiful, married, kids, a career. I'm 24 years old, a year out of college with no career path, and I'm alone.

It's difficult for me to not compare myself with others, to tell myself that God has awesome plans for me that I can't even dream of. But I can't help wondering when my life is actually going to start.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where are you Christmas?

I've been trying to think of something poignant to say here about Advent or Christmas, like I manage to do most other years. But nothing's coming to me. There's just nothing.

The truth about it is, I just haven't really gotten into Christmas this year. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed putting up the tree with my roommate, I enjoyed looking at the pretty Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City, I've even enjoyed going to a couple of Christmas shows here in town.

But nothing's touched my heart yet.

And part of the reason is, I think, because my "ritual" this year is different. Every year for five years, I had Lessons and Carols at Concordia as part of my Christmas ritual. I had the music to teach me something new about Christ's birth, to remind me of the important things of Christmas. I would sing at Lessons and Carols and then something in my mind would go, "Okay, NOW it's Christmas."

This is the first year in five years that I haven't been to Lessons and Carols. In the scope of an entire human life span, five years isn't really that long. But relative to my short 24 years, it's a huge chunk of time, especially when those five years were spent at such an influential place for me.

Right now the song from The Grinch, "Where Are You Christmas?" comes to mind. A little cliche, I know. But these few lyrics seem particularly pertinent to my life right now:

My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

My life is completely different from the way it was one year ago. I'm an adult, living on my own, paying my own bills. It just never occurred to me that maybe I would need to find something new to put me "in the Christmas spirit." It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me this year. And it makes me sad.

I wish that at the end of this post, I could find some sort of redemption, some sort of optimism like the end of "Where Are You Christmas?" At the end of the song, the speaker somehow finds what they need to experience Christmas. But this year, for me, it just feels so...


I know that's not a word. I made it up. I'm allowed.

The point is, my heart isn't in it this year. And I don't know why, or how to change it.