Friday, January 30, 2015

thoughts to take us to the weekend

When I was in high school, my friend Sarah and I would do this thing: we really, really, really enjoyed a good back crack, but younger backs I guess without all the stress of adulthood and whatever didn't crack as willingly as they do now. The thing was, to sit really uncomfortably all through chapel so as to up the chances of a seriously satisfying right up the spine pop pop pop-crack. Sit up straight and arch your back over the hard pew. DIY chiropracy! (is that a thing?)  One day Sarah said derisively"why do we do this to ourselves? Is sitting uncomfortably for 42 minutes really worth the off chance of the satisfying back crack?" Then we both laughed and said "yep"! When that satisfying crack did happen...I mean....hello! WORTH IT. #nowihavearthritisprobably #andbadposture

There are so many things in life that are good and I look forward to. And so many that have already happened!  But you know when you get to much of a good thing? The good things don't seem as, well, good. They seem blah. It's never enough. You start to feel morose and whiny. But when there is hard work, or a long wait, the payoff is so much more delicious. And so much more appreciated! This week was a long work week; but it certainly made my drive home and subsequent house snuggling very satisfying. I'm really working on enjoying the days and making sure I am putting the handwork so that the peak moments are just that much more dazzling. (I know, slouching during chapel is NOT considered "hard work", but you get the gist--don't  start pulling threads at that parallel!) So I want to remember that sometimes the struggle is actually what makes life good. Take solace in that and keep trying. This verse, this a good one to meditate on:

Disappointment and joy are weird sisters who are nothing alike but wouldn't make sense without each other. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Writing Prompt Black Hole

Well, now that I've made all these pronouncements of "writing more", (I say that in quotes because I'm aware of how grating it is to make pronouncements) I'm panicked thinking there is too much to say and not enough all at once. Everything sounds lame and overwrought. I keep having the same struggles over, and over, and over, and over. Readers want a protagonist who wins sometimes! I know, I know. I do win sometimes. BUT how does one make their own internal chatter sound fresh and interesting to others?! Or breathe life into a story you've been plotting for years, but changes all the time?

So, because I don't have the mental fortitude to write about something important today, I went to Pinterest and searched for "writing prompts".  YIKES. I guess I'm rusty, out of practice, and on the same level as like, middle schoolers in the creativity department. Every prompt seemed to be the lead up to another Hunger Games or post apocalyptic situation. Why can't teens enjoy books written and taking place in their own day and age?! I mean, post apocalyptic done right is fine. The Giver? One of my all time favorite books. But why does every one have to be like, sexy tracker jackers and wearing leather and kicking everyone's butt? I'm all for a good action sequence...but seriously.

I'll probably end up using the middle school writing prompts, even though I'm mocking them. You gotta start somewhere. And I'm all for encourage middleschoolers/lame adults in the creative writing department.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Worth in the Wait

Well, if that didn't sound like an episode title of Bones!

These days it seems as though all the waiting is going to kill me.  Waiting for the next step, waiting, waiting, waiting...

The later half of 2014 was spent taking a mental vacation. Giving myself a break, you know the drill. I wrote about it a lot.

But now? It seems that life has a way of evening itself out after a great swell. And the adrenaline in me just screams "I WANT THINGS TO KEEP CHANGING AND I WANT IT TO BE DONE NOW!!!" But it's life. There's work to be done, mundane house chores, lesson plans, cars breaking down, money to be made and spent paying bills, healthy food to be cooked, 6 am alarms...yawn.

Looking at Instagram it seems everyone has these glamorous jobs that allow for jetting off to Europe or somewhere tropical every quarter. Flexibility in schedules, talking to other adults (instead of preschoolers all day), having fun lunches out. Does this drive anyone else into a rage filled madness? No? Just me? Maybe I should follow different people. Or just delete the dang thing, just like Facebook.

Because seriously, I'm so happy to have what I have in life. I'm not wishing it away.

But I want this waiting time to accomplish something besides driving me insane. (It's already done that!!! I mean, I'm pretty much Grey Gardens-ing myself over here!!!!!)  So, my goal is to find- and- or-force some worth in this wait.

One way is, I'm going to try to write everyday OR as much as I can. I's time to stop wishing to "be a writer" and just start writing. HELLO, MCFLY! Have you ever met an aspiring golfer who never golfed but just hoped to one day win at a golf parade? (Could NOT think of any golf titles off the top...) I would love to post some random fiction on here, as well as just continue to post on the regular for my own benefit. I have so much I can/want to write about, most of which is boring and hackneyed but if you never start you will never finish! (See? I'm already showing off my amazing display of cliched truisms, of which I have many! Aren't you excited to read posts that are akin to the sayings on Dove Chocolates but like, 500 words instead?! YOU LOVE IT!)

Signing off, for now.  I hope your Monday is filled with reading as many Downton Abbey recaps as mine was!

PS. Sarah Bunting is THE WORST! Poor Tom.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

"And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?
I did. 
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on earth."
-Raymond Carver, A New Path to the Waterfall 

        We saw the movie "Birdman" this weekend. I love stories, and this one was an intriguing jazz drum freak out that I couldn't stop watching. Except for parts where I covered my eyes from nerves, ironically shaping my hands into wings and peering through the "feathers".  Great performances--dark humor, and it was so good to just see something fresh. Also, the play within the movie was performed at the St. James theater in New York which is where we saw Bullets Over Broadway this summer! So it was really cool to see behind the scenes at the theater where we sat in the audience. 

     So, I guess to boil down the plot of the movie is you have an aging actor who is trying to revamp his image/career by making the transition from film (he had starred in action hero movies in his younger years as "Birdman". Which just makes you giggle as Michael Keaton (the lead) was Batman back in the day. I mean, they probably did that on purpose but still, I'm easily amused) to the stage. It's pretty much the move that all actors go to when needing an image change. It's classic. Which is a whole other theme, respect vs popularity: respect being the actors who earn their living giving 'authentic' performances on the stage to more snobby crowds vs popularity; rom com/action hero actors who earn big but don't have the respect of the more discerning of the performing arts cognoscenti.  I mean, my personal opinion is there is room for blockbusters AND art pieces and everything in between. I mean, I'm not always in the mood for spoiled adults past their prime talking out their existential crisis' (I do that enough in my own head). Sometimes I want Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks to freaking meet/cute and entertain me with banter, darn it!  And sometimes I don't, sometimes I want something else. Anywho, I'm digressing. 

 The lead, his name is Riggan. And he has adapted Raymond Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" into a play. It's pretty much his last ditch effort to attempt a shot at relevancy.  In the play, the tight cast of about four pontificate often about love and so on. At the end of the play, he walks in on his wife of many years having an affair. He says, when finding out she no longer loves him: "I don't exist". Another line he says is "why do I have to beg you to love me?" At the very beginning of the movie, the audience is introduced to the above quote. Throughout the movie, Riggan talks a lot of wanting to be loved, appreciated, known, and so on--but also about the frustration of knowing people appreciate him only as Birdman. Type-casty angst as I call it. (It's a thing, it's why all british actors quit after 2 minutes of playing a character it seems and it will be the death of me, I'm looking at YOU Sybil and Matthew! I still wish David Tennant was The Doctor. Sigh, us Americans.)  Back to what his character in the play says when finding out he doesn't have love:

"I don't exist". 

"Why do I have to beg you to love me?" 

Those lines (probably because we see the same act several times throughout the movie) really resonated with me.  I feel they so accurately represent what we as humans think when we feel we don't have the type of "love" we think we deserve. I know you can read the above quote several different ways. It could be read as a simple "all you need is love", a person stating that they really only wanted one simple thing from life. I read it, in regards to the movie as "I need to be BELOVED here on earth, and that's really my only endgame. I'm willing to throw away real love to be "beloved" at all costs". 

And Riggan, he really did have love. The love of his ex-wife, the love of his daughter, which he basically didn't value until it was almost too late--and he could truly see how he had in many ways totally missed out. 

We humans get so mixed up with what love really is.  I see it every day, in myself, in others, online, at work... All self value and motivation placed on if others approve, if they are jealous, if they are inspired by us, and so on. I mean, Instagram is basically one big WHY DO I HAVE TO BEG YOU TO LOVE ME?! We have all felt the slow seemingly fade from existence when we are not validated or appreciated by others in the way we feel we should be. I mean it really is actually hilarious the extent of how much we think we need to be valued by everyone around us. I'm not saying this in a self deprecating way, but in an honest way. Myself included. We all want to be smart, funny, charming, amazing, sought after, talented, the "it" person. In whatever circle we are in. I mean sometimes I find myself ridiculously jealous of the "it" Christian Blogger getting another book deal. Like, why do people care about what she has to say?

What do you talk about when you talk about love? 

This is what I want to say about love:

I think, it's such a relief for believers that we don't have to keep searching and begging people to love us. Hello! We are loved by the most perfect love that is so much bigger and ridiculous than winning awards, being "remembered" in history, accolades.  I don't know why, but watching the movie just brought to my attention my own struggle with wanting to be "beloved" and how in many ways I have been ignoring my true value to the One whose value I should care about the most. 

Now I'm not sure how to end this post...

To sum up:

Loved the movie.

Can't wait to see it again. 

Convicted to remember my value in Christ. 

Glad I'm not actress. (false, I'm not glad about that! ;) ) 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Still Fighting It

I don't know about you, but I'm still kind of fighting 2015. I think 2014 was such a red letter year that I'm afraid 2015 won't live up to expectation. After you get a taste of winning you just WANT TO WIN ALWAYS and anything less is like torture, hah. It's like after you go from My happy holiday den of coziness and laziness was way too short. Having to face reality after all the jolly-ness is really harshing my vibe! Also new years seem so arbitrary to me. I always count August or September as the beginning of my year mentally being a teacher and all--January just means back to the grind and parent-teacher conferences (and hopefully a well timed snow day thrown in, hehe). I have to keep reminding myself the year is technically "new". Also I feel that I'm constantly evaluating and goal setting anyways so I don't need to do a whole big thing of starry eyed determination and pep talks. I'm already doing that 24/7, 365. The pep talks I give myself internally are just, all over the place. I kind of wish I had one transcribed right now for your entertainment. Or horrification.

Is it so dumb that I want to be a professional writer but I can't manage to update this blog, ever? (yes)

Is this the most winter doldrum-y post you've ever met? (yes)

OK FINE! I guess I'll say some resolutions even though I'm acting too cool for school, if you're going to twist my arm and everything!

 I guess last year my main focus was to be BRAVE. And through God's grace and the help of many others I was able to face my biggest fears! My main goal this year is to be STRONG. I want to be strong spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I want to be strong to face the unknown and deal with it head-on. I want to be strong each month emotionally when faced with "what if". And I want to be physically strong, because I want to live long and prosper, son!

That's my big new year, new you pep talk.

It's 2015 now, self. DEAL WITH IT!