Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Whatever Is Lovely

The mind is a very powerful thing. It can take a situation and manipulate it into just about anything. Some call it lieing. Some call it insanity. Some call it imagination. Some call it art. I choose all of the above.

Everyone is a little bit crazy. You know that when you are home alone by yourself you start to talk to yourself. Or when you are in the car you start to sing maybe one or two lines of a song that have been playing through your head all day for no reason and then drop it. Or you look in the mirror and pretend you are someone else. Or walk out the door convincing yourself you really are someone else. No? Yeah that's what I thought.

When I was a kid I had a pack of imaginary friends, and I of course was the leader of them all. I usually tended to imagine that they all lacked something that I magically had, making myself feel superior to them in some way. Maybe one of them wasn't as pretty as I thought I was, or couldn't make people laugh like I thought I could. So I took these misfits under my wing and taught them all about as a six year old.

As a sixteen year old, the tables had swiftly turned. Life became really hard really fast, and all of the sudden this imagination of mine swirled out of control, painting pictures of failure, loss, and disappointment. I would wake up with a start at night with the lingering thought of "you just aren't good enough." The sad thing is I started to believe it, just like I believed with all my heart that my imaginary friends were as real as they come.

Life is always a transitioning phase whether you want to believe it or not. Things are ALWAYS changing, you just may not see it. I am very aware of the transition stage I am in right now... I need to step back into my own life I've started to build. I took a hiatus for a second, but it's time to be this grown up I want to be. Being in a vulnerable spot like that always makes you a little crazy. I'm an artist who desperately throws her heart into every aspect of life I possibly can, and I sometimes forget that the whole world can see. I don't live inside some sheltered place anymore, and that can be a daunting thing. I have bills to pay and expectations to meet, and I desperately don't want to fail.

My mom is a very wise woman. When I was a kid (and sometimes even now) I had some extremely realistic night terrors. I would run into her room and crawl up in bed with her, letting my tears soak her pillow. In her groggy state she would rub my eye brows and tell me "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy, think about such things." - Philippians 4:8 and with a kiss would send me back to my room. As I lay there I would think of the most beautiful things I possibly could, and would fall asleep to the thoughts of flower filled meadows and rainbows and chocolate and pretty shoes... all things little girls think are beautiful.

As I get ready to go to bed tonight, I am going to hush these insecurities by thinking of all of the lovely things in my life. Parents who love me enough to usher me into this awkward time between teenager and adult with grace and as much ease as they can muster. Two beautiful siblings that hold my heart in their precious little hands. Finally being able to be close to the family I hold so dear to my heart. Being able to pursue my dream as a career and also have a steady job that allows me to shoot for the stars. Friends that even though are mostly far away, have my best interest at heart. And most importantly a loving God, who has been so merciful to give all of these things to me.

Tomorrow I finally get to go back to work! It's going to be tiring I'm sure, but I'm praying it goes well. We will see soon enough!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Love You. You Love Me.

There are a lot of things I don't understand. I don't understand why I had to learn algebra in high school under the pretense I would use it in my adult life. I don't understand why almost everything that tastes good, makes you fat. I don't understand why it's so easy to make your house dirty, yet so hard to make it clean. I most certainly don't understand why money is the object of most people's affection. I don't understand why selfishness is an acceptable trait in people. But the one thing that I really don't understand is love.

Love is a four letter word. It means so many different things that sometimes it doesn't mean anything at all. It's easy to say I love ice cream or I love that movie or when someone is talking about a friend they can say "oh I just love them" but when it's time to actually fill that word with power again, you go blank. You develop a catch in your throat. Your stomach begins to gurgle and you hope you don't throw up. Your palms start to sweat. You're eyes turn into slits and you begin formulating your escape route. And if by some act of God you can manage to get the "I" out of your now closed throat, you find some other phrase to follow it other than "Love you". Maybe you manage something like, "I need to go to the bathroom" or "I think you look beautiful tonight". And the even braver who can choke out that four letter word follow it with "this song" or "that dress". Anything to avoid telling someone you love them, and actually meaning it.

The reason I am suddenly on the subject of love is not my fault. I claim the childish excuse of "the media drove me to it". We are but two days away from the Hallmark holiday of Valentines day, and I've become cynical. To make myself feel better I have conned my baby brother into being my Valentine after he told me no the first three times. I finally wore him down with the bribe of a tootsie pop, but by then I just felt silly. So I started to wonder... why is love so tricky?

Dating is like this really awkward dance. The tempo is always changing and you don't always know what to do with yourself and your partner isn't always moving in the same direction as you. I know what love feels like, but I've always been afraid to actually say it. It's a rare moment that I am at a loss for words, but when that feeling creeps up on me and renders me an idiot for a moment, I crack under the pressure. I try and show it with my actions without actually having to say it, hoping that they will figure it out on their own. Well, that obviously hasn't worked, but at least I am learning.

I am surrounded by this four letter word every day. I think what makes it so complex is that it is a noun and a verb. It's a feeling and an action. It is a lifestyle. My grandparents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. My aunt is getting married next month to the love of her life. My parents have been together for ages and love each other more today than they did yesterday. And all of these people love me. And I love them. I have a best friend that tells me everyday he loves me, saying things like "You carry a lot of my love in you" to help me get through the hard times. I call him for no reason and sing the barney I love you song on his voicemail. Love is reserved for the ones that deserve it. It's the search for those candidates that make it the hardest. I have loved people that didn't deserve it, and treated it like it was nothing. Love is certainly not nothing, and it's sad that some people believe that it is. Loving another person is the bravest thing that any one person could ever do.

So I guess what I am getting at is that if you are blessed enough to know what love feels like, don't be afraid of it. Talk about it as much as you possibly can. Scream it if you have to. This is one four letter word that you don't have to spell out in front of the kids. Certainly don't cheapen it by only celebrating it one bogus holiday a year. Be secure enough in yourself to sing about it, even if it's off key. I love you. You love me. We're a happy family. With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you. Won't you say you love me to. See. It's that simple.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I don't like lines. Any of them. I don't like to color inside them, wait in them, read between them, memorize them, or get hit on with them. Well I wouldn't mind the getting hit on with them one as much but you get my point. I feel like recently that's all there has been. Lines. Lines that I need to memorize for my next show. Lines I have to wait in to get seen at the doctors office. The lines I have to hear people give me that they think will make me feel better but in truth it only makes you look silly for not telling the truth, and the lines that I have to read between to understand what all of it means.

The last couple weeks have been rough. It's not so much that things were bad, even though some people might say they were, it was more that I was annoyed and discouraged. It's no secret that I have some issues with my health that creep up from time to time without my permission and usually at the worst time. It's like when your stomach growls really loud at a funeral. That's how I feel about my health sometimes. It growls at the worst possible moment and people stop to stare.

I was having a really rough time getting over a case of strep throat, so I frequented the doctor's office pretty regularly over the past three weeks. Doctor speak is always hard but when everyone is trying to be the hero and fix the unfixable, lines start to get crossed. It was a very hard thing for me to fight with them for the care I thought I needed seeing as they have the degree and I don't, but I'm the one that lives in this body, not them.

After many hours spread throughout the last several weeks of just battle after battle and hearing line after line I was discussing my care with one of the many nurses I had seen over the course of time. I was ready for her to hand me yet another line when she took my hand and said "You know what young lady, I admire you for fighting for yourself. I don't know many people who would to that." I kinda looked around the room for a second and realized that this complete stranger who had absolutely no obligation to encourage me had not fed me a line. My tear ducts of steel were momentarily breached, and I sent a little thank you up to God for the unexpected kindness.

As always, I have bounced back to normal, or whatever my normal is and things are just as they were. I take that back. They aren't the same, because with every situation you change, so things are what they should be for now. During this time, I have learned that you shouldn't really focus on your limitations, the lines you can't cross but rather at what God has given me that's in between. To see just how lucky I am, and just how much life I've been given the chance to live. Sure limitations are hard, especially when they taunt you, but in fact those lines make up the person that you are. It gives you shape and character and that special something that makes you the only you there will ever be. So I guess lines aren't all that bad after all.