Inspiring Things

Give It Time

I have a problem with time.

About a month ago, it came to me just how little respect I have for “giving it time.”  I thought I was good.  I’ve been trying to get over my pseudo-romantic, but mostly self-discovering and ultimately dramatic situation in which I lost someone who was a pretty good friend.  After experiencing a good weekend and beginning of the week, I was feeling…better.  I made the mistake that I usually make, thinking that one good day or a few good days mean that I’m cured or healed or whatever.  On that particular day, a month ago, I realized just how not good I was.  I was reminded of the former friend and was made to feel completely left out and invisible and forgettable and replaceable and I wanted to crawl home and back into my bed.  Instead, I called a friend, completely broke down and after calming me down, she gave me some advice, some of which I had already decided on.  I started this post that day, and have only managed to revisit it now, which is interesting because I can illustrate a point.  You see, I embarked on a journey to avoid the school, to go on a tour of coffee shops, to do things for myself.  That lasted for about a week and a half.  The consistency of it, anyway.  I’m still doing bits and pieces of it, but I lost the thread of it, especially since I got caught up in something else during the course of it, but I digress.  What I have failed, for years, to recognize about being healed, feeling better, and all the rest is that you have to keep doing the work.  See, I make the emotionally fatal mistake of thinking that I’m okay and that I can let up on my efforts to make myself love myself.  Once more, I’ve been derailed, but I know that giving it time means to continue doing the work in that time.  I’ve also just realized that when you keep doing the work, you don’t have as much time to worry about how much time it’s taking.  Don’t get me wrong, I make time to obsess, but I think it would be less.

I’m considering getting a tattoo that simply reads “TIME.”  I still want my dancer, but I also need to be reminded of time.  I need to be forced to have respect for time, and not only for itself, but for God’s time.  My spirit is so impatient to be complete that it won’t give itself a chance to.

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The Breakthrough

I have discovered (subconsciously) over the last couple of years how “God” God is.  How He makes things come together so masterfully, even though you thought you would never make it through your storm.  It’s happened to me again.  The first time, I had developed a crush on a new friend and though it seemed like a lifetime, only about a month and a half passed before I realized that I was creating something where it didn’t exist.  The last day of it, I was finding it impossible to focus on my work, so focused (though trying not to be) on the object of my affections.  I felt such pressure within, such a frenzy in my spirit that I forced myself to leave the room.  I took a walk outside to the front of my school, sat on the low wall outside, listened to music, sang to myself, talked to myself…and I prayed.  I asked the Lord to take the feelings away from me.  I believe that I told Him that there was nothing for me in that situation.  Ever since, I have been struck by the speed with which I got over it after calling on my Lord.  That day was a bit awkward, but I think that as soon as the next day, I felt free.  I continued to do so for the next couple of months, which was a major blessing, since I couldn’t remember the last time I had been free of an infatuation with attention.  I say attention because while I like the guys I have crushes on, mostly I like the attention that they give me.  Nothing necessarily sexual, but attention that makes me feel special and like I am someone worth paying attention to.  I say all of this to say that at the time, I was not faithful to the will of God, but He showed up for me and I was aware of that.

Since then, I have become a Christian, and have also been involved in another infatuation with attention that I tried to turn into something that was actually romantic.  In my mind.  That thing, boy! The mind is a curious instrument.  So amazing what it comes up with when you allow it.  In this new situation, I again called on God, especially when it started changing.  When the attention that I wanted shifted, lessened, I began questioning everything about my relationship with my friend.  I went through ups and downs with it, I prayed on it.  I got mad at God because it had worked so well the first time, and He wouldn’t take this away from me.  What I came to realize is that I couldn’t relinquish this so easily.  I couldn’t categorically, and truthfully, tell Him that I didn’t want to have romantic feelings for my friend.  I was holding onto how the attention made me feel.  Don’t get me wrong: I have had to separate my affection for my friend from my other feelings, and while I do like him as a person, I can’t say I genuinely had romantic feelings for him.  As I’m writing this, I realize that I don’t know how to separate my need for attention from genuine attraction.  Hmmmm.  Anyway, to The Breakthrough.

I read the Bible every day, guided by Sarah Young.  She gets on my nerves.  For those who don’t know, she writes the Jesus Calling devotional, and every single day that the good Lord sends, she has the unmitigated gall to know exactly what is plaguing me that day.  Without fail, she strikes spiritual gold, whether with the message for the day, or embedded in the scripture, but usually both.  She is irritating.  But I love her, and the inspiration she gets from God (Jesus) to write in His voice exactly what I need to read.  Through my bible study, I have paid special attention to verses that talk about peace, joy, anything that sounds happy or talks about what will make me happy, what will make me good.  So, all along this journey, I have been picking up comforting nuggets.  Just last Monday, after having come down really hard on my friend a few days before and finding out (from another source) that it really got to him, I’m reading about friendship and realizing that I can hardly call myself that lately.  I have been so angry with others for not making me feel cared about and secure, but have forgiven my own withdrawal from others.  After reading verse 17 of Proverbs 17:

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity”

I was immediately struck by the concept of loving at all times.  I didn’t understand parts of the rest of the chapter, so I read a commentary by Matthew Henry, which illuminated more about the verse.  It talked about how friends love no matter what (are constant), that they aren’t fair weather, and that a friend who does these things will be there for you when the chips are down.  Before, when reading these things, I would see myself, my situation in them, and would use them as a way to find fault with others, while superficially acknowledging where I could improve.  However, after my run-in on Friday, and reading that scripture, I finally had to face the fact that regardless of the actions of others, I have no legs to stand on because I haven’t been holding up my end of friendship.  I don’t get to be so angry about not hearing from people when I’m not keeping in touch either.  It sounds small, but I launched a full on campaign against my guy friend in my mind, casting him as the villain in this situation and contemplating severing our friendship.  To that end, since I have had this revelation (fun with bible puns), I also realize that it shouldn’t be so difficult, so I probably won’t be holding on so hard anymore, but in those dark moments, I was trying to find the end and doing it through the wrong lens.  I was operating from my sense of abandonment and extreme aloneness and loneliness, which stems from my low sense of self-worth.  I have been depending on the attention of others to boost me up and when that wasn’t there, I was left to love myself, and I don’t have adequate tools for that job right now; I fell completely apart.  Realizing all of that, through the bible and through a conversation with another friend, made me feel so much lighter and freer than I have in months that it is insane!

My faith, though not yet unshakeable, is reinforced by this experience.  I am so grateful to the Lord for what He is doing in my life.  I still can’t believe how much my mindset has changed in so little time.  But that’s just God being God, I guess.  I hope that this is not that garbled mess I think it is and that my readers will get something meaningful from it.

The Golden Hour – 6:00 AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00 AM bedtime?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ha Ha Ha.”

My bedtime is…a figment of my imagination.  Not that I never sleep; in fact, I probably sleep more than I should.  It just varies so mualarm_clock_10ch, as does my wakeup time.  I’m learning that routine isn’t really a luxury that I have, as a SCAD student, and woman who’s trying to get her life together and thus trying to be involved in things.  The romance of getting up with the sun is, well, romantic, but only if I’ve had enough sleep the night before.  Otherwise, I’m more like “uhhhhhh, why am I alive right now? Uh, why do my eyes feel like they have a layer of sand in them? Uh, must my eyelids be so heavy? 30 more minutes. 3 times.”  I love sleep entirely too much, so if I want to naturally wake up at 6, I’d have to naturally go to bed by 9 or 10, so I can get the 8 hours of sleep that I would need to wake up without an alarm.  My mom always reminds me of the fact that I have loved sleeping since Day 1.  Apparently, I was born, I cried, they took my blood, weighed me, I ate, and proceeded to do the unthinkable: sleep for 8 hours!

I always find myself in awe of people who are naturally early risers, no matter how much sleep they’ve had the night before.  I’m even more in awe of people who do so without an alarm.  Just pop up at like 4:30 or 5:30 in the morning, ready to face the day.  I hope to be like that at some point.  Just so ready to embrace what the new day has to offer.

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-golden-hour/">The Golden Hour</a>

The Golden Hour – 6:00 AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00 AM bedtime?

My bedtime is…a figment of my imagination.  Not that I never sleep; in fact, I probably sleep more than I should.  It just varies so mualarm_clock_10ch, as does my wakeup time.  I’m learning that routine isn’t really a luxury that I have, as a SCAD student, and woman who’s trying to get her life together and thus trying to be involved in things.  The romance of getting up with the sun is, well, romantic, but only if I’ve had enough sleep the night before.  Otherwise, I’m more like “uhhhhhh, why am I alive right now? Uh, why do my eyes feel like they have a layer of sand in them? Uh, must my eyelids be so heavy? 30 more minutes. 3 times.”  I love sleep entirely too much, so if I want to naturally wake up at 6, I’d have to naturally go to bed by 9 or 10, so I can get the 8 hours of sleep that I would need to wake up without an alarm.  My mom always reminds me of the fact that I have loved sleeping since Day 1.  Apparently, I was born, I cried, they took my blood, weighed me, I ate, and proceeded to do the unthinkable: sleep for 8 hours!

I always find myself in awe of people who are naturally early risers, no matter how much sleep they’ve had the night before.  I’m even more in awe of people who do so without an alarm.  Just pop up at like 4:30 or 5:30 in the morning, ready to face the day.  I hope to be like that at some point.  Just so ready to embrace what the new day has to offer.

The Letter I Never Intend to Send

Since the end of last year, I have been struggling with feelings for a friend.  I told him how I felt, he told me he felt the same and I got a warm fuzzy, and then things got weird and have remained so ever since.  So, I’ve been devoting a great deal of time and energy to rehashing this situation and considering letting go of a friend and all of this dramatic stuff.  It was always going to be dramatic, given the fact that my self-esteem found a boost only to have it be dashed to the ground, but it just seemed excessive.  Anyway, cut to an interaction that I had with my “friend” the other day, in which I managed to bring up some of what has been bothering me about our friendship.  As always, though, I felt unsatisfied at the end of it because I didn’t manage to say everything I wanted to; couldn’t make myself understood.  I just felt…unresolved.  So, I cried to myself on my way to dance class, I enjoyed the class, but still couldn’t stop thinking about it, I cried to my mom after the class…  I bucked up after that, bought some necessities from Target (pronounced Tar-jzhay, french, haha, but I don’t know how to write out the phonetics).

Cut to last night, when I thought it might be beneficial to write him a letter.  Then, I talked myself out of giving him a letter because I couldn’t be sure that he would get it in a timely fashion, or read it, or have an adequate response, which I shouldn’t be looking for in the first place, but I digress.  So, I thought about the exercise of writing the letter and how I’ve heard it can be cathartic.  So, I did.  I wrote the letter.  I think it forced me to be fair, to really say what I’ve been thinking without infusing it with all of the hurt I’ve been feeling, which has a habit of manifesting itself in negative ways.  So, I have the letter in one of my many journals and it felt good to write it.

The moral of my story is that it’s not so much about what he does at this point, but about what I do and being in touch with my feelings.  I try to be fair, but sometimes I forget my part in all of this.  I go back and forth about how I’m at fault and how he’s at fault, but at the end of the day, I just need to move on and not expect my closure to come from him.

So, I wrote a letter that I never intend to send.  But maybe one day I will intend to send it.  One day I’ll be ready.

Threading, and its larger meaning to me

I got my eyebrows threaded last Sunday.

I said (repeatedly) that I would never get my eyebrows threaded; I’m more evolved than that. I don’t want to care about my face that much. But…it was only $9, my friend was getting hers done, so I thought, why not?

I found out “why not?” Really cool technique to it, I must admit. However, repeatedly having rows of eyebrow hair (translated: more than one hair at a time) ripped from your face is not exactly fun. Also, found out that just as I have a dominant side, you know the whole one foot bigger, more cooperative hair on one side thing, I also have a more sensitive side of my face! Poor Left Face… I definitely had to exhale more often than usual and it almost felt like my eye might explode. Granted, it only lasted a matter of seconds, but that left side was out of control.

In general, the pain from each thread seemed to concentrate itself in the last hair in the row to be pulled. Usually ending in a particularly sensitive brow area (read: any brow area). Honestly, just ouch.

And, because I deviated from the plan where I don’t openly worry about my face that much and just take a pair of tweezers to anything out of place, they ended up uneven. So, that’s cool.  In the grand scheme, it would probably get better and I won’t swear that I won’t get it done again, but the bottom line is that I did it for the wrong reasons, namely, thinking it would do something spectacular to my face. It didn’t.

My lesson: My face is my face. It’s the only one I get and even if I don’t think it’s going on the cover of somebody’s fashion magazine, I find it interesting, dare I say attractive? I think I do. And tweezers will get the job done.

wpid-imag1537_1.jpg

 

Note: They’ve grown on me a bit over the last week, but I still think that the memory of the left side will keep it from becoming a thing.

Networking: Valuable Concept, Needs a New Name

That word always makes me feel like I should instantly be wearing a suit and shaking hands. Ew. It doesn’t have to be like that, though. Networking is just a fancy word for getting to know people and allowing them to know you, in a professional sense. I have never been, and don’t ever expect to be, a particularly competitive person, but I have realized that who you know has a huge bearing on what you get to do in this life. For example, one of the requirements of my graduate program is an internship and, of course, I waited until the last minute to nail one down, banking on one from the organization I had been volunteering for. Cut to an email from the operations manager of the organization telling me that they weren’t originally offering one, but that one came open in marketing. All I had to do was send in some of my design work, and the usual cover letter/resume shebang.

That’s the way I like to make connections with people: by creating relationships that allow them to see your talents and figuring out ways to offer them. And, if it’s meant to happen, they’ll remember you! Talking to people can be a problem for me when I’m feeling insecure about my skills. It’s something I have to get over because the only way people are going to know what you can do is if you let them know and are able to back it up. Simple. The way to be confident in your skills is if you’re honing them regularly. Right now, I’m a bit insecure about my dancing, which I claim as one of my skills. However, I have not danced consistently in years. The solution to this problem is to get into someone’s studio. Simple. And I know we all do this, but don’t let time interfere. I always say that everyone does what they want to do, so if it’s something you really want to be doing, you’ll make time for it.

The bottom line: Do what you do, do it well, and tell people about it. Then listen to them. And that’s how networking is done, at least if you’re a human being.