If only I wasn’t so tired

25 09 2007

The wedding was lovely, my solo went really well because I was distracted enough by a faulty mike stand not to be nervous, the new condo is a mess because Becca and I are both working full time and were gone over the weekend, and I have not been getting enough sleep.

But more importantly, Mike proposed on Friday night. I’m too tired to be giddy on my blog right now, but I’m very, very happy. He had a blanket and a bottle of wine down on a small dock down at the dam when I came into Goshen late Friday night. The poor man had to deal with me pushing back the time of my arrival about an hour and a half over the course of the evening. He said exactly the right thing, and it would sound corny if I repeated it, but it was perfect. And it took my breath away.

Then we headed back to his place to get ready for the Brick house “gender confusion” party. I wore a pair of black pants and one of his shirts and ties, and then dolled him all up. Seriously, he cleans up pretty nice. After I finished his hair and makeup and he was still in the chair I fished out his ring (I knew he was proposing that weekend…it’s a long story) and got down on one knee. I got some hand flutters and giggles from him. The rest of the weekend was a whirl wind of seeing people.

It would be a lie to say that I’m not still fearful, but that’s were faith comes in. The faith that I’m not destined to live the same mistakes/miseries over and over again. Faith that love and commitment are not out of my grasp.

The best moment of the weekend was talking with a newly married couple I’m friends with. She advised me to find a time to be alone after the ceremony and before the reception. I was struck by the though of those first few moments of marriage. What an amazing thing!


Living in the inbetween

6 09 2007

Music: Bubbly by Colbie Caillat (It’s been running and running through my head for days)

My very good friend and former roommate Abby recently posted about being intentional on her blog.  I admire that, and I’ve thought alot about it too, have times when I feel like my blog is a bit useless, but intentionality in this matter is not for me.  I’ve come to realize that it’s ok for my blog to be mediocre.  It helps my family and friends keep up with me and it gives me a venue to tell my story.  I do have a personal journal, but there’s something about sharing myself with others that creates a motivation that my private journal can’t generate.  But I’m very excited to see what direction Abby’s blog goes.

I have been a ball of nerves lately.  I’ve been anxious and distracted and worked up.  I’m a terribly impatient person when it comes to life changes.  And some big ones are coming up.  We just found out today that we should finally be able to move next weekend.  I unfortunately will be in Oregon, but the girls have been gracious enough to agree to move without me.  Bless them.  So at least I know now when it’s going to happen.  That’s a start to me calming down.  Now comes all the work of getting ready.  I have been working some in the past few weeks, but there’s much much more to do.  I can’t wait to be in the new condo!  My own room!  A deck!

If only moving was the only thing looming in my future.  I haven’t written for a while.   I’ve been avoiding myself in this medium.  The me that comes out in this blog tends to talk about Mike, about my journey through a broken engagement and on to new hope.  It’s all so good.  Mike’s home and it’s been a blessing to be able to put my arms around him and look in his eyes and remember the ways I love his actual presence in my life.  Things are serious.  Things are happy and exciting and joyful.  In equal measure there are times when things are terrifying and painful and uncertain.  I keep thinking there’s going to be a breaking point, a time when the pairing of pain and pleasure break apart and I can move forward with joy and leave behind the anxiety.  So the question that’s been rattling around is “should I be going so far down this path if it terrifies me this much?”  And I know the answer is yes.  I feel it even more strongly after talking with my pastor and hearing him encourage me to trust that answer.  The “problem” is vulnerability.  My grief bulks.  But it is a necessary risk to take to be happy, being vulnerable.

I’m sure I sound like a broken record.  I’m sure I’ve said all those things already somewhere in this blog.  But the problem is that it doesn’t just go away.  I guess I just have to trust that life has something better for me than repeated rejection.

And little by little it gets better and worse.  Stronger grief paired with stronger faith.  How easily pain mingles with pleasure.

I’ve been holding on so tightly to this part of my story.  My pain, my betrayal.  Because I’m young and it makes me feel more important.  More valid.  But slowly I’ve been turning it into just another part of the storyline.  My past, not my present.  So hopefully you won’t be hearing much more about it.  For my sake if not yours.

Feeling Caotic

18 05 2007

I want Mike to come home.  I want to be able to talk to him about something important to me.  I want stop feeling so anxious.  I want to stop feeling antsy.  I’m scared for how it’s going to be this summer.  It’s not a matter of not knowing if I’ll be able to manage the distance.  I know I can.  No, the question isn’t if, it’s how.  What ways am I going to cope?  How will I learn to be ok that I’m not always ok?  How will I stop the fears from taking over when the reminder of why this is all worth the risk is not present.  Mike’s great, but we don’t connect as well over e-mails, and several days with no contact takes its toll on my psyche.   hum.

And as a sidenote, I’ve been thinking about the fact that I write about my relationships alot on my blog and why that makes me uncomfortable.  Am I scared of what that says about me as a person?  What does that say about me as a person?  More over, does anyone really care.  I was reading the new blog of a college classmate and in his first entry he mentions “blahgs” and I wondered… would he see mine that way?

Crossing paths

6 05 2007

Mike and I meet in Chemistry lab. The first day he turned to me and asked if I wanted to be his partner. I couldn’t figure out how he knew my name. I figured it was due to the fact that I was a senior and in a small school like Goshen most people are at least aware of everyone else. We just happened to be standing next to each other, otherwise it would have never happened that way. I don’t think a choice of where to stand has ever affected me so much. I will always be awed by how our getting to know each other was due to freakish chance. But I guess alot of people come into our lives that way. Just not usually with me. I tend to know people through predetermined connections.

What this post is really about though is the fact that Mike and I had a number of chances to meet before this point, but we never did and I think our relationship is largely due to that fact. I wouldn’t have seen his value if I had met him any earlier.

When we were very young, ages 4-8 (me) and 2-6 (him) we went to the same fourth of July fireworks display in the same park in Syracuse. Now this park isn’t very big. A pavilion, one play set, some lawn and a very small beach. Most likely we would have been playing on the play set together. What if we had met then? What if our parents had met and become friends. It wouldn’t have been unlikely with the way my dad likes to meet new people, and there would have been plenty of connections. There was the Mennonite connections, and I think by that point my parents might have been renting our old house to Mike’s aunt, although that may have come a few years later. Regardless, if I had gotten to know him at all at that stage I’m sure I would have remembered him a little. I have a great memory for faces. I’ve been able to recognize a few old elementary classmates around town that I haven’t seen since we were 8 or 9. So I probably would have noticed him around campus when he first started at Goshen. I might have even introduced myself and asked him if he remembered me. But he would have been a freshman and I would have been dating Jesse and I just wouldn’t have seen him that way.

Or nine years later. When I was a senior in high school, I almost moved back to Goshen with my parents and I would have gone to Mike’s high school. In a school of several hundred I would have at least known who he was. But he would have been a freshman and I would have been a senior and he would have been way too young for me. And he would have always been little Mikey to me. We probably would have been in a play or musical together. That would have been fun, but he would never really grow up in my eyes.

Mike is friends with Abby’s little brother, and Abby recently came across some picture from our sophomore year of Mike hanging out at her house. What if I had been over that day? Jess was. I could very well have been too. Again with the young thing. He was only a senior in High School.

Around that time we were attending the same church. Not a large church mind you, give or take 100 people on any given Sunday so it’s kind of surprising that we never meet there. After we started dating, Mike remembered that he had noticed me there once when I went up to make an announcement. I had recently shorn my hair off and must have been wearing ambiguous clothes because at first he wasn’t quite sure of my sex. Once he determined that I was a girl, he figured I was a lesbian (My home church is openly welcoming of homosexuals so that’s not a huge leap to make, although a bit stereotypical) Talk about your first impressions.

Life is a tricky thing. Change one strand and everything could be different. Yes, Heroes got me thinking, but this has been on my mind for a while. Thank God for Chemistry.

Interview II

29 04 2007

These questions come from Nicole whose blog first inspired me to start this project.  I’ve been getting some great questions!

1.  Has being a nanny affected/changed your views on motherhood, and if so how?
It has a lot, but instead of making me want to be a mother more or less, it has opened my eyes to the complexities of motherhood.  I’ve seen how hard it is to be a parent.  Loss of sleep, loss of autonomy.  The guilt of not being with your baby at every possible moment, because that’s what a good mom does.  Frustration over not being able to lose the baby weight.  The expense.  The maturity it takes to stay sane and keep up your marriage and other relationships while caring for this little being who is totally dependent on you.

But I’ve also seen how the girls reach for their mothers above all others.  How they will be calmer in their mother’s arms than they are with me.  I’ve experience great joy caring for these two wee ones, but nothing compared to what I can see their mothers experience.  I look forward to having that some day.

I think being a nanny had deepened my already strong desire to have children, but it has also strengthened my desire to wait until I am much more mature and have a well-established marriage.

2.  If you could only use one spice for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Curry.  I love oregano, but it would have to be curry.  I love Thai and Indian food too much to give it up.

oh wait… does salt count?

3.  What is the one political/moral issue that you try to stay away from (because you think it’s silly, it makes you uncomfortable, etc.)?

Abortion.  Because I have a view that not many people appreciate.  I think abortion is completely wrong.  I think that it is psychologically unhealthy for the mother and that we do not have the insight to know the point when life begins.  At the same time, I am not pro-life in the political use of the term.  I don’t think abortion should be illegal and I am bothered by how many resources are used to try and make it so.  Why not use those resources instead to alleviate the “need” for abortions?  Isn’t there an old proverb about the man who kept pulling drowning people out of a river until he went up river and stopped the man who was throwing them in?  Sort of like that.  There are social issues that lead to the prevalence of abortion that need to be solved before even thinking about making abortion illegal is really going to help anything.  We know from history that making abortion illegal does more harm than good.
Ok, it’s not completely true that I stay away from it.  I actually said basically the same thing in a recent post, but in my “real life” often I won’t get into it.

Oh, and legalizing marijuana.  I’m not saying it should be legal, but please… cigarettes, alcohol, even some prescription drugs… I feel that it’s hypocritical of our government and doesn’t make any logical sense to make it illegal when there are much worse things that are “acceptable”.

4. What is your favorite quote/passage from a book you’ve read?

I adore quotes.  I have to choose one!  Humm… well, I don’t want to be clique, but I Corinthians 13 is the most meaningful piece of writing I’ve ever read.  If I had a creed this would be it.  I wish I could love in the way this passage describes.

Taken from the NRSV:

13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast(a), but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly(b), but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

(a) Other ancient authorities read body to be burned  (b) Gk in a riddle

and because I can’t help myself, here’s a quote from “Memoirs of a Geisha” (the book) that has been very meaningful to me in the last year.

“Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it.  It’s a window that will simply open of its own accord.  The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver.  But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.”

5. If past lives exist, what are you convinced that you were (and in what time period)?

Definitely a cat.  And hopefully in ancient Egypt.  They worshipped/pampered cats.

Thanks for the questions 🙂

More interviews to come, but I’m in Niagara Falls with Mike right now, and trying to store up as much of him as I can before he goes abroad in a few days.

The one that got away

2 04 2007

My first serious relationship lasted a year and a few months, coincidentally about the same amount of time I was with my ex-fiance. He was almost 3 years younger than me. I seem to have a thing for younger men. We meet during my senior year and started dating soon after I graduated. Then next year while I was out of school he and his family became my life. If I wasn’t at work I was at his house. We worked well together in so many ways, but we were so young. And totally unprepared for the temptations both physical and emotional. I moved to college and suddenly my horizons broadened. There were other men more my age. I fell for someone else. I broke his heart. I tried to remain friends with him, but understandably, he eventually had to break ties. We reconnected last summer for an afternoon of honesty and forgiveness. We had both changed so much in those 4 years. We no longer fit so well, but I’ve often wondered who I would be if I had stayed with him. He has grown into a handsome, mature young man, but hasn’t had a serious relationship since me. I found out tonight that he’s dating. I’m very happy for him. Sometimes I miss his sweetness and the way he loved me so fully. Best of luck my dear.

To the person who found me by searching “how to heal from a broken engagement”

13 03 2007

You’re long gone, but your search got me thinking. What would I tell someone if they asked me that question? I know I’m young, and I’m sure every person’s experience is different, but here’s a bit of my experience and what I’ve learned.

An engagement is a plan. It’s a plan that ties your life integrally with another’s. When my engagement was ended so was my chosen path. It was cut off sharp at about 9 months down the road. I had no plans after May that made any sense without Jesse. I am someone who thrives on looking down the road. I’m constantly mapping out the next 50 steps. The way many people use family or home as security in life, I use plans. I had never felt as secure as I did when I was engaged. I belonged. And suddenly that was gone. The plans, the belonging, the security. I felt like the rug of my life had been pulled out from under me and I was left lying flat on my back staring up at a blank ceiling. Alone. I started to piece together a future again but it was difficult. I had changed my major since the relationship had turned serious, and honestly, it was partly because I was going to get married. I didn’t need an occupation as involved as interpreting if I had a family. I had started to make plans to move to the city with my girlfriends before I got engaged, but they had moved on with the planning without me (naturally), and I no longer fit. I had the feeling that nothing in my life made sense anymore.

A large part of that feeling was because I valued myself based on how Jesse valued me. I remember writing that it felt like only the fringes of my heart were left because I’d filled up the bulk of it with my love for him, leaving only a fringe for where I loved my family and friends. The part where I loved myself was tied up with the part that loved him, and I wasn’t allowed to love him anymore. I had to relearn to value myself as an individual.

Letting go of the now defunct future was probably one of the hardest parts. First of all there was the wedding. I had it all planned. I was going to be in China and then have a more then full course load plus try to hold down 3 part time jobs, so I planned the wedding the summer before as much as I could. I have a dress. My bride’s maids have dresses. I had asked a friend to do the cake and we had found some beautiful cake stands. I had asked another friend to do the photos. I had ask someone to do the music. And the flowers. We had talked about vows and pre-marital councling and hymns. Then there was the life. We had a boy’s and girl’s name picked out. I was already thinking about possible apartment locations. We had combined our monetary resources (don’t do this, it’s a very bad idea) I was going to be a part of his family (he has a really cool family) I was going to be a wife. Something that I’ve come to grips with in the past couple years is that despite how much society might look down on my for it, the most important things in the world to me are finding a partner and creating a family. My dreams were coming true.

And then they weren’t.

In no specific order because it’s late and my mind is scattered, here are some things that helped me through:

  • I drew on the support of my friends. and drew and drew. We are closer for it.
  • I spent time alone, but I made sure that I didn’t alienate myself.
  • I allowed myself to grieve.
  • I allowed myself to be angry.
  • I worked really hard at not being bitter.
  • I did things that made me feel good about myself. Dancing was a key element.
  • I went to counciling. I wish I had started regular sessions sooner.
  • I asked him to go to a counciling session with me.
  • I forced myself to deal with what I was feeling
  • I monitored my methods of escape so that nothing got out of hand.
  • I made a new plan for my life.
  • I made strong commitments to myself about maintaining my self worth and independence.
  • I learned to value experiences I had and people I had gotten to know while with him despite the pain that is now attached.
  • I got rid of e-mails, letters and pictures. I’m an obsessive reminiscer, so this was an important step for me. I only kept my diaries.
  • I wrote poetry.
  • I opened myself up to another relationship when the time felt right.
  • I forgave him and tried to see things from his perspective.
  • I looked for ways in which I was responsible.
  • I didn’t allow myself to take all the responsibility.
  • I celebrated in way I had grown and matured because of the experience.
  • I didn’t set a time limit for when I should be over it.

    That last one is still really important because (is it obvious?) I’m not completely over it. I’ve come a long way, and in alot of ways time is the only thing left that can get me to a place of feeling more at peace. There are still random strangers that make my heart jump a little. Dark curly hair. Certain body types. The way a certain guy walks. Sometimes you just have to let time heal.And to the person who found me by searching for “if you had to rename of mice an” I’d rename it “should have finished the last chapter before going to class so that the ending wasn’t completely ruined”

A kick to the heart

20 02 2007

The last couple weeks I’ve been obsessing. About the future, about money, about my relationship with Mike and where it’s going when. I’m so tired of my brain running overtime. I have alot of time to think with my job because alot of the things I do with the babies don’t require me to be as mentally engaged. If I’m feeding them a bottle, or helping Liz bounce herself to sleep, or taking them on a walk, I have nothing occupying my mind, so I think. I think about all the possibilities that my life holds, and sometimes that’s a really joyful thing, but sometimes that’s just intimidating and overwhelming and scary. Yesterday some of the old pain from my broken engagement that had kind of settled into the recesses of my consciousness was kicked up. I spent the evening feeling bitter, but felt better today. But it did have the affect of making me think a fair amount today about where I could be right now (for the umpteenth time) if things had gone differently. It’s quite scary how close I came to making a huge mistake. It also got me to take a step back and wonder why I’m in such a hurry when it comes to Mike. Why do I feel like I have to know now where we’re going to be in a year, in two years. Why do I want so badly to have decided. Sometimes I just get so exhausted by all the questioning and guarding my heart that I just want to let go and say “this is it, this is who I chose”. Why am I afraid so much?

So how do I find a good place. One where I’m still open to the relationship not working out, but also not petrified of making the wrong decision. How do I let it be ok that we could be apart for the next 2 1/2 years? How do I let it be ok that maybe we’ll be just a little risky and “rush things” Whatever that is.

When do you know you love someone enough and they love you enough to make the challenge of marriage doable? When do you know enough about a person to know that you won’t be unhappy with them? Do you ever know? Probably not. A little while ago my mom gave me an article from the NY times, “the things all couples should talk about before they get married”. Mike and I looked at it together. We had already talked about most of them. Then we talked about the rest. What does that say? We’re both flexible people. We’re both looking to settle down in the next few years. We’re really good at finding the common ground, being open, and making a compromise that’s cool with both of us. We both value a relationship/family above career, location, and personal goals. Not that the other things are un-important, but if it really came down to a choice, our priorities lie with the relationship. But I thought all those things about Jesse. Maybe not as strongly with the compromising thing, or the flexibility, and I have my eyes alot more open now, but still. If I could be that blind then, then I could still be blind to things. I have an amazing ability to convince myself of things to get what I want. I can self-deceive to an amazing degree. So where does that leave me? With the strong conviction that Mike and I can make each other very happy, but with the petrifying knowledge that my strong convictions can be hugely misguided. Sigh.

For Your Pruning

28 09 2004

music: Sausy Sailor by the Wailin’ Jennys~ very cool group, a new favorite www.thewailinjennys.com

When Love speaks to you, believe in him,

though his voice may shatter your dreams,

as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you, so shall he crucify you.

Even as he is for your growth, so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and

caresses the tender branches that quiver in the sun,

so shall he descend to your roots

and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

~Kahlil Gibran

It’s been a wonderful day 🙂 nothing in particular, well….. I guess the fact that Jesse and I have been dating for 3 months ( I can’t believe that’s all it’s been!) has contributed to my mood, but it’s also because I feel more in control of my emotions and life in general. I taught Jesse to merengue tonight 🙂 fun times. C.S. Lewis is one of the best writers I’ve ever encountered, but I don’t agree with his thoughts on male headship (see Mere Christianity ch. christian marriage) eh, no one’s perfect 😉

Hehe, today is a good day! :-D

27 09 2004

music: Without You by the Dixie Chicks

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it’s what you are expected to give — which is everything.”

“We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end.”

“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” ~ James Baldwin

“Where there is love there is life.” ~Gandhi

“You don’t love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her.”