Friday, August 29, 2014

When You Stop Knocking

Sometimes you just stop knocking.

Maybe they're doors to opportunities you thought would be yours. Maybe they're doors to people that you thought would be your friends.

And so you knocked, hoping to be let in.

Maybe the door cracked open the first time you knocked... and so you came back later and you knocked again. Surely it would crack open again... perhaps even further. And eventually... eventually, the door would be open and you could walk through and enjoy what was on the other side.

But the door didn't crack open this time. It stayed shut.

And so you went away, and you came back. and you tried again.

And you tried again.
And you tried again.

You tried a lot. Often.

And then, you just stopped trying. You stopped knocking. You stopped even approaching the door.

Because eventually you realized that doors that don't ever open just aren't worth the time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

An Honest Letter

To You Who Shall Remain Nameless...

I have a thing I need to say... and I should say it to you. But I don't want to fight or get the run around... and so I cowardly say it here, where I don't think you read. 

I'm mad at you.

I'm mad at you... but probably, hurt. We're supposed to be friends. You can't just disappear for days, weeks, months from the people you say that you care about. And yet, you do. You disappear... and you're unreachable. You ignore everything I say to you like it doesn't matter. Every confiding, every question into how you are.

And then suddenly you jump back, and you're here again and you seem like you want my friendship. I know that you're busy. I know this because you tell me every time you jump back, and though it may not seem like it, I can understand that.  But I also understand that we make time for the things and the people that are important to us. So how can I make any conclusion other than that I'm not?

I used to think it was me when you would disappear. I used to think I had done something... said something that bothered you, did something that made you mad... somehow made myself someone that you didn't think was worth your friendship and your caring.  And I would beat myself up... blame myself, criticize myself.

Eventually, I realized it wasn't me. I hadn't done anything wrong. I hadn't said anything wrong. This was just how you were... popping in and out of my life like your absence didn't matter. The thing you've never understood is that it did. And it does.

I'm mad at you, and I'm hurt that you've disappeared again. But the thing is... I don't want to not be friends. But I want to be friends in a way that's respectful to us both. When you are here, I enjoy us. I enjoy talking to you, and knowing what you think, and knowing you're interested in what I think. But, I never know when that's going to disappear. Can you understand why being friends on slippery ground is tough?

You won't read this and we won't fight about it. You won't give me excuses that don't really mean anything. And I won't tell you that it's okay.

But maybe I feel a little better, just for having said it outloud.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Not the Same Hobbit I Once Was

"I am not the same Hobbit I once was."

As I look at myself in the mirror, the eyes that look back at me are not the same. I've changed. And some of those changes have come slowly...  some of them are even new.  So new that I'm not quite used to them yet. They still fit like a brand new pair of sneakers that haven't been broken.

Some of the changes, you don't even believe yet.

Some are so wonderful that I still can't believe they're mine. I still can't quite believe that they're a part of me. Some of them are bittersweet. They're not bad, but living them means leaving a part of myself behind. And there is a bittersweet tinge to that, leaving bits of yourself behind you. You want both.  You want to go down new roads, but you want to keep you in one piece.

Some are changes that I resent...  because I know they came about through pain and manipulation and betrayal. Pain that still lingers... that leaves marks from burning fingertips through my heart. There are moments that I want those changes back.

and yet...

It all works together.

I am not the same Hobbit that I once was... but the Hobbit I am now has seen beauty and love, joy and struggle, pain and tears. And perhaps the Hobbit I am now is a Hobbit pretty worth being.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

At My Gate

You've been at the gate to my wall for a long time.  And I've kept you there...

Talking over the wall, talking through it, talking over it.

For a long time.

I've thought about opening the gate...  letting you come in. But, it's safe with you out there and me in here. It's safe.  You can't do anything when you're out there...  a little graffiti on the wall, maybe, but that's it. I can clean that up.

But... in here?  Oh, in here, you could do a lot of damage. You could break things that are precious to me, break them into a million pieces that I could never put back together again. You could break me.

Not that you necessarily would.  Maybe you wouldn't.  But... I don't know what might happen... maybe you would.

I've been thinking about that gate a lot, thinking about opening it, thinking about letting you in.

If I do...  just please don't break anything.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Man Among Men

To the Girls Out There--

I'm celebrating my 18th wedding anniversary today.

He is my high school sweetheart, a love story that's gone on since (if you believe my mother) our first day of 6th grade when I came home exclaiming over the cute boy in my math class. The official story starts a few years later, but this part makes for an adorable prequel.

I've been thinking what to tell you. 18 years is a long time...

I always feel like I cheated Luck a little bit. Like I ended up with a man that I don't quite deserve. He isn't like most men - I've learned that as a grown-up, though sometimes I forget it. He's been mature since he was 16, which I make up for by being perpetually childish.

I guess that what I want to tell you is this:


That is the quality I am most humbled by that I get to experience, that I least deserve - but yet that I think you must look for. It is the thing that sets him apart from most men, the thing that raises him above the rest, and the decision that means everything. I never test whether I am most important in my husband's life -- because I don't need to.

Wait for the one that can love you selflessly. The good ones are worth waiting for -- or for snatching up early before anyone else figures out what's sitting in front of them... in the 6th grade, if necessary.

P.S. to my daughters: I'm kidding. 6th grade is a terrible time to look for a husband.  As is 7th, 8th, 9th...  actually, let's just hold off on this till you're about 40.  Love, Mom

Thursday, August 7, 2014

All of a Sudden, Things are Different

And, all of a sudden, things are different.

All of a sudden, what you knew has changed. Who you understood yourself to be... has changed. 

You can't do what you did anymore. You can't say what you said... because things are different. You changed them.

and it's strange because they're different.

But, you know that it's right.. at least for now... because it feels so comfortable. And maybe you're not quite sure where you are supposed to be right now, what you are supposed to be doing.  Maybe it's not clear to you yet. 

But, you know it's not what you left. 

You'll find your way. People like us, we always do. And when your way opens up, you'll find who you are again. You'll find what you're meant to do, who you're meant to be.

I've a feeling that you might already know.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Courage to Tell Your Story

I once read that the original definition of Courage is to tell the true story of who you are with your whole heart.

I liked that.

We spend so much time covering up who we are. We think that people won't like the real us, or they'll judge  us for the truth that lies within. They will mark us as unworthy if they knew who we really were.

For we know we really are... and we know that sometimes we aren't pretty. Sometimes what happens to us isn't pretty, and we don't want people to know.  Sometimes what we do isn't pretty, and we definitely don't want people to know.

But I have found that, even though it's scary, I have made my deepest connections when I have let the unpretty parts be seen. I have found that when I've admitted to the darkest parts of me, it is then that I've heard a whispered and grateful "Oh, me too... I thought I was the only one."

And I have found that, though perhaps it's backwards, shining a light on the dark corners has illuminated the parts of me that I do want to shine.

So, Courage, my friends...  Have courage.

Monday, August 4, 2014

I've Been Thinking

I've been thinking a lot about friendship lately. I've been thinking about what is reasonable to expect from a friendship, and what is not. 

I've been thinking where I fall on those things.. where I'm a good friend, where I'm not.  Where I have been and where I haven't.

I've been thinking about honesty, and what that means. I've been thinking about how honesty isn't just "not lying" and how misleading inferences and omission of the truth is just as dishonest as outrightly speaking lies.

I've been thinking about respect and the importance of showing up... and how it really isn't that hard.

I've been thinking about grace and forgiveness. I've been thinking about patience.

I've been thinking about the pulling-in that happens when someone speaks unkindly to you.

I've been thinking about all these things...  and perhaps sometime, I'll be ready to write more about them.  

But today, I'm just thinking about them.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

When Your Road Isn't the Same

Sometimes the road you're meant to walk down isn't the road that everyone else is taking.

You meander off on your own... down a path that you know that you're meant to take. But, when you look around, you realize that everyone else seems to be walking a different one.

And it's not that you doubt that yours is the right one for you to be on...  but at the same time... you kind of do. Maybe the other road is better simply because it's more often walked. Surely there is a reason for its popularity that you have somehow missed.

And so you doubt.  You doubt your road. You doubt your destination. You doubt yourself.

But popular doesn't necessarily equate to better. More-travelled doesn't necessarily equate to right. Company doesn't necessarily equate to truth.

So if you honestly feel that the road you're walking is the right road to take, remember that it's okay to go your own way. It's okay if no one walks yours with you. It's okay if no understands why you need to follow that path.

Sometimes you go the way no one else is going to become someone that no one else is meant to be.

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