Search

Always Writing

What I learned Yeserday | What I write Today | What I hope for Tomorrow

Be Brave Today

I am SO excite!!! I am happy to say my first week at my job went very well. I was assigned 4 pieces to write, and although there’s a whole new process I had to learn for it, I figured it out (mostly) and am happy to say I am officially paid to write. I am a bit scared and nervous and really feel like I don’t know what I am doing, but I think that is all normal. Whatever, I’m being paid. I will have actual money at the end of the month and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

So, I’m not swimming in it yet, and will not see any movie deals soon, but there are really cool projects I will be a part of in the future and can’t wait to talk more about what we’re up to! I apologize for the lack of material here. It’s a whirlwind lately. I am of course having to make my “job” job a real priority, not complaining. But I am also trying to launch a few other personal projects.

Social Media and Content Marketing are a couple of skills I have learned this past year and I am starting to feel like I am honing them in to a point I can make it a profitable endeavor for myself. The dream job? No. But, I certainly enjoy doing it. Funny, it kind of hit me suddenly to really make a push for this as I was sluggishly filling out an 8-step process for an application to Target (and nothing against them, it’s corporate, I know), but I was boring myself to tears and realized that these sort of applications (a necessary evil) don’t allow any room for a person to share their story. And I don’t care who you are – you have a story to share and it makes you valuable and it’s worth listening to! (So, some of us aren’t as great at storytelling) but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share yours!

I hesitantly clicked the little red “x” on my application window as I thought, “No. I am more than an 8-step process, and I can prove it.” Probably a dumb move, since the job is offering benefits and paid leave, but I couldn’t stand the fact I would be sending my application (not even resume) into a corporate office with dozens of other e-applications only to be lost in a sea of faceless applicants.

I know pursuing the entrepreneurial life is hard, and often below minimum wage at best, but for now, I have to try. I will be brave for the rest of 2014 and face 2015 with new confidence that I will continue to be brave. I will figure it out, I know I can. Target isn’t going anywhere anyway, so that little application window and I could very well meet again, but for today, I clicked my way through the “Are you sure you want to leave this page?”

Find your skills, use them, practice them, find someone to teach you to use them better – even better – learn new skills, be willing to make mistakes and sit through online tutorials and read forum after forum about how to be better. If you’re as lucky as me – 20-something, no spouse, no kids, no major responsibilities (ok, the school loan), but nothing tying you down to one spot – be brave too and explore new opportunities.

This post is clearly that “…” moment, since I am somewhat running on adrenaline, can’t keep my thoughts completely together, and am trying to figure out what is going to come next in life. For now, be excited about your life, regardless of what stage it’s in. Maybe you’re not a writer, or someone trying to get their “big break.” Maybe you’re plate is full of crazy life stuff that seems overwhelming, maybe you’re reading this from a library chair in the back corner of the building because you’re homeless, maybe you are a critic who has found about 30 different grammar and spelling errors and are laughing at me. And I don’t need to know who you are, because I know if you’re eyes are reading this, you have a story to tell. Whether you write it down, video it, draw it, record it on an old-school tape recorder, or simply tell it to the person sitting next to you – be brave today and tell your story because you never know who’ll listen and who’ll need to hear it.

 

Phoenix Rising?

Well, after my pity-party, tears, prayers, a night of sob-story sharing – and a lot of hugs from my Main Man, I’m feeling that slow glimpses of hope are breaking through ashes. I know I have to move forward and with that thought in the back of my mind, my heart feels like it is gradually being re-fueled with courage making it easier to allow myself to cling to hope.

All that flowery sounding language to say, I am ready to get going again. I am excited for some new things to come. It may be nearly September, but a new year can start any day.

I am planning to take some bolder steps than I have before, and with those bolder moves, comes a stretching of my faith in the One who has me.

I am still a bit scared and nervous, and I really have little idea as to what my day-to-day is going to look like, or even what I am supposed to do or where to go, but accepting that and not letting the unknown paralyze me is a realization I am having to take hold of each morning. I think it will be a little easier as I go, but as I take baby steps for the moment, I feel those bigger and bolder steps coming up and I hope when the Spirit leads me to do so, I’ll be confident in Him who gives me strength.

It’s funny, lately, I’ve been reading a lot about anxiety, worry, doubt, and fear. And you know what word has come through clearer than words opposite to those feelings? Joy. And that gives me an overwhelming sense of peace when I just say the word and let it sink into my ears. and as I thought about that word, the first verse that came to mind was this:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

I love that. I love it so much. I think often we get hung up on the idea of needing “peace” in times of worry and anxiety. But, what about what comes before it? What does that three-letter word mean in the context of that verse?

Don’t worry I am not doing an exegetical study, but I encourage for those who believe and who are seeking to believe to look it up, study it. Share with me even what you know and find out! I am still chewing on it and loving it all the more.

For now, I remember a sermon I heard from John Piper and he asked, “What is the source of your joy?” and at the time, I wasn’t sure how to answer, aside from “Well, I know it should be God.” But I knew in my heart it wasn’t at the time. And there was a lot more to that sermon which resonated with me, and for this moment, I feel as though my answer is very much the same, “I know it should be God.” But is it where my heart has been?

Simply, no.

Not like it should be. I am not saying I am at the same place as I was a few years ago when I first was posed this question, but I find myself in a situation that has tested me. I am always learning, and while God doesn’t flunk me in his goodness, I know I am making a lot of D’s and a few F’s lately. I am glad God is the God of Joy and second chances – no matter the circumstance – He is patient with me and continually teaches me.

God’s character has been revealed to me in a variety of ways in the past several years that have been surprising and enlightening and it’s wonderful – especially in retrospect. I feel him revealing more of his character that I have not known before and I know in a few years I will say the same thing that it was surprising, enlightening, and wonderful. For now, I am in the midst of learning, so it’s hard to see clearly, but the glimpses of hope that are sprouting from the ashes are His way of giving me grace to see more clearly, for once I was blind, but now I am beginning to see.

Start Over – Again

Writing for me is like the process of a phoenix. It rises up and catches fire to everything I do – I write ablaze and in passionate fury taking my aspirations to the sky and letting them burst into bright embers of hope, excitement, and light – yet as soon as that phoenix takes flight and I feel as proud as ever of watching my writing sore to its heights – it slowly begins to waver, fall, and finally fade out into ashes.

Happy thoughts, right?

But wait, if it’s a phoenix, then you already know that those ashes don’t last long.

It’s a matter of when I will choose to resurrect that legendary bird.

I wish I could say that choice is about to be made, but to be honest, it’s too much to feel as though I can confidently commit my time and efforts to writing leisurely – at least for now.

At this time in life, I am facing a major move to Alabama, no job, no savings, no insurance – thankfully, I can say I am provided for, but that’s not at all my end game. I of course need my own source of income, and I guess I am feeling a bit down because I pretty much having to submit to the fact I will most likely have to pick up a job that I not only dislike, but a job I could be stuck with for some unknown amount of time.

I really don’t mean to sound as though I am having a pity party, I am just realizing that I may be entering a very challenging season of life and I am a little afraid of it.

I long to revive the phoenix heart of writing inside me, but right now, I fear if I do that it will quickly be snuffed out because of my circumstances that will hover over me for – well, a while.

I am very unsure how to proceed forward at the moment with my writing or any of my “gifts” that I apparently have. None of them seem to be monetarily profitable, so why pursue them further in a time and place that I can’t afford risk or chances anymore.

What if I get stuck with a job that I truly don’t want or like – and get truly stuck? I guess that’s not completely true, since anyone can walk away from a job. But I know myself, and once I commit to a task, I won’t simply walk away from it.

I am frustrated.

I feel as though I know what my talents are, I know where I am gifted, yet no doors are opening to allow me to exercise those traits. I will obediently follow after my Master who I know is guiding me to His glory, but at the moment, I am scratching my head, and whining in the back seat of the car, wondering where we are going and when will we get there.

Day 3 Relief Revisited

Well, if Monday and Tuesday were like eating carrots, today was eating a tasty saltine cracker. Can’t say I’m crazy about saltines, but they sure beat out carrots any day.

But let me back pedal a little.

Tuesday honestly ended well, but my attempt at falling asleep was stifled by my body going haywire, because I’m a girl and that happens often, and I was still racked with grief and quite a bit of worry despite all intentions of releasing those doubts to God. I could feel my body wanting to shut down, my eyes were heavy, my posture slumped, but every time I found myself on the verge of dreamland, something inside me jerked everything awake with a violent wave of nausea and a slew of terrible fears. I wouldn’t even be able to stay awake long enough to dwell on any specific thought, my body was so tired, it desperately tried to find its way back to slumber land, but as if something knew I was finding a hint of relief in rest, my head felt yanked back, my stomach would tighten up, and my mind raced with fear.

This was one of those moments it wasn’t just a mental or physical game being played. There was a spiritual battle taking place and the battle field was my body. It was awful to say the least. I felt like I was being continually punched and kicked as I tried to curl up into a tighter ball to protect myself from the blows caused by whatever demons hovered around me. I began to cry in my sleep and I found myself in a cold-shivering sweat. I felt at my absolute physical limits and had no idea how relief would reach me. I wish I could have crawled out of my body and leave the corpse that was being ravaged by some force that I could not control with any pain meds or nausea pills. I couldn’t take it.

I swung the covers off my body and curled up next to my mother and whispered, “I don’t think what’s going on with me is just physical, can you pray for me.” And without hesitation, my mother wrapped her arms around me, laid my head on a pillow in her lap and began to whisper her prayers to God on my behalf. I could feel my body fall in and out of sleep again – I could feel a heaviness on my body that made me want to just become unconscious. She ended, “In your name, Amen.” And I in desperation of Jesus began to mumble my own prayers that I am not sure how much was even comprehensible as I felt like I was in and out of consciousness. I finished my prayer, “In your name, Amen.” My mother rubbed my back and I just laid there with my head on the pillow and tears dribbled down my face, but I wasn’t sad, I began to feel for the first time in hours, relief. The heaviness began to lift from my shoulders, the nausea subsided, the anxious thoughts, fears, and doubts faded out of my mind, and I felt cool and calm at last.

I fell asleep and didn’t wake till morn.

I remember as I was slipping into that deep sleep, I had the image of Jesus standing behind me with his arms around me and all around us was darkness, but it could not touch us. I could see it reach for me, but it couldn’t grab me, I saw it slink further and further away from us and I remember smiling.

It was a wonderful thought to have as I drifted into relief and though I didn’t sleep for 8+ hours (only about 5), it was just enough, it was what I needed, and grace was sufficient. I had never been so grateful for answered prayers.

Until the following morning.

The initial break has mended. My boyfriend did call me and one of the first things he said, “I love you to death.” And it was all I could do not to burst into happy tears – I might as well have, I had been bursting into sad tears for two days already, but my body is tired of bursting anything, so I contained my joy, but I am sure my smile was frighteningly goofy to passer-byers.

Needless to say, the turmoil over my boyfriend’s absence and carrot-flavored days has ended.

My mind is still filled to the brim with thoughts – good and bad – because of my grandfather’s current physical condition (which I know I haven’t really mentioned), if you’re my facebook friend, you know what’s up.

But along with the break of communication with my boyfriend, I was dealing with the emotional strain of having my Papa awaiting treatment for his dying foot. We are now looking at an amputation procedure of his right leg right above the knee. Whoa. Wait, what?

My Papa? Without a leg? The man I watched fly hot-air balloons, fly airplanes? Walk outside everyday to take care of the garden, pick pecans, take me to the zoo, drive us to his favorite catfish restaurant, run errands for Grandma, make model airplanes – my Papa? It can’t be. It really, just can’t.

I can’t even say I am “worried.” It’s just what happens when the body gets old and there is really nothing at all I can do to stop the deterioration of his body. I am pretty darn sad though. And tonight I reside in my grandparents’ home and I recall all the memories of my Grandma and Papa going about their daily routines and my Papa being active and as strong as an ox – and to see him weaker and dependent on others for everything, it hurts.

I can’t imagine how my mother feels.

She’s strong. She doesn’t seem afraid, but she’s admitted worry. And yet, she had the energy to hold my pathetic mess of a body and pray over me last night and hold me in my distresses?

I have an amazing family, don’t be too jealous.

Tomorrow will be a sad day, a relieving day, a day that will change our lives because it’s changing Papa’s life – we won’t be losing a leg, but we will feel his loss. And yet, he will continue his jokes, his laughter, and his mind will wonder how to solve world problems with new inventions. My Papa is amazing with or without his right leg.

There are obviously many emotions I feel that I probably have not explained well enough, but a lot is happening. I will rack my brain tomorrow better for another analogy that will put into better perspective my tangled mind, but for now it’s late and I’m tired.

Relief has come to me in many ways, I want that relief for my Mother, my Grandma, and my Papa.

Taking a Break Day 2 – Carrot Flavored

Taking a break 2

Well, here I am halfway-ish through day 2 and I’ve only had one fall-apart moment first thing this morning. And to be fair, I had already showered, styled, and dressed for the day, but those demons in my head must have found a weak spot because they attacked it hard and sent me face down to the bed in a pile of tears. But I refused to let them keep me there! I quickly recovered and stood on my two feet, looked to the day ahead and said, “Today will be better.” Thus far, I like to think that’s been successful. Still feeling uncertain, my body is still sore as if I’d entered the “Rowing Champs of the World” competition, but my head is clearer, my eyes not-so blurry (though burn) and have been able to actually be productive (i.e. actually do my job)!

As far as updating about yesterday – well, let’s say it was the first day of the break and was definitely a struggle to muscle through. Kind of reminded me of when I sat at my pre-school’s lunch table with five baby carrots I HAD to finish before I could go play. Being three years old, I am not sure of how accurate my estimation is, but it was FOREVER until I could force down those nasty little orange veggies (and I maintain my opinion about carrots to this day). I remember my teacher See-Wing-See (Singapore descent) was very strict about us finishing our snack and that day it was crackers and carrots. The crackers were a snap, and if I had been wise and planned ahead (as most three year olds do?), I would have sandwiched between bites of carrot-cracker-carrot-cracker. But no. Instead, I was left sitting at the table long after my peers had frolicked off to the playroom with no concern that I had to sit, stare, wait, and pray that my carrots would magically disappear. I cried, I pleaded, I tried to even squirm out of my seat, but those carrots HAD to be chewed, swallowed, and absorbed. Like yesterday, like this whole “break” thing.

I remember taking the first bite of the first carrot and I began to cry as I chewed. I hated it. The bitter-sweet flavor that was tinged with a “dirt” flavor (were they washed properly?); the stringy and crunchy texture that was reduced to mush as I chewed and the flavor permeated. I gagged as I swallowed it and tears flowed. I wasn’t sure if I was more upset at the fact I was being forced to eat the carrot, or from the genuine fact it tasted disgusting! My stomach tightened up and my desire to vomit was nigh. And – that was just bite one. And each carrot was at least three or four bites (I had a small mouth, and was taking small bites). With each bite, this cycle repeated, it honestly never got better. I got to carrot number three and my teacher encouraged me, “You’re almost done!” But I’m not! I’m sure I thought.

As I’m on day two, not day three, my analogy doesn’t exactly line up to my current experience. But, I make a valid connection. Going through the first day was horribly-carrot flavored. I can’t say day two taste much better, but unlike my pre-school experience where carrot two was as bad as carrot one (if not worse), day two is feeling a bit better. It’s not as bitter. While I still find myself forcing down bites of another carrot-flavored day, I have encouragement from Jesus as I read this passage:

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34

It’s one I have heard over and over, but it never feels old because I am natural bonafide worrier. So, I feel like God beats me over the head with this passage to remind me every moment I start to cringe at the bitterness of my day that I have nothing to fear or worry. This moment in my life is momentary and it will be done.

Whether I chose to eat those carrots or not, time would pass, that moment would end (my teacher would HAVE to let me go sometime). I chose to eat the carrots because I knew I would find freedom faster that way, and it was gross, but necessary.

Whether I choose to pass the next few days on my bed face down in a pile of tears, or go about my day doing my work thing, gym thing, friend thing, and Jesus-time thing- this moment will pass (my boyfriend will call me and we will be just fine). I choose to do all the “things,” tell those demons to take a hike, and keep remembering what I often forget (see passage from Matthew above). I know I will find personal freedom faster this way, and it is gross – very gross – but necessary.

Taking a Break – The Detox

Taking a Break Day 1

 

I don’t write often enough, I know, and so days like today are some of the best opportunities to actually follow through as a writer and actually, you know, write.

What the heck is she on about? – You ask as you re-read that last sentence to see if you missed something.

Simply, everyone has things to express when their heart is broken and their feelings are wounded. As a hyper-sensitive personality, it doesn’t necessarily take much to make me cry, so when my boyfriend (aware of my HSP), said, “Can I say something that will hurt you?” My body froze. My eyes automatically swelled with tears on cue and I squeaked out, “I guess.”

“I think we need a break for about a week.”

I can’t tell you how quickly the color left my face since I wasn’t looking in a mirror, but it was definitely one of those times that someone may very well have said, “She looked like she had seen a ghost.” I think I audibly heard my heart shatter on the ground, but then realized it was just my blue Auburn cup I had accidentally knocked over in that moment and to my dismay it did shatter. As if it had been my actual heart, I burst into a flood of tears apologizing that I had broken “his” Auburn cup and I was so sorry and as I scrambled to pick up the pieces hoping the damage wasn’t too severe, he said, “Kara, it’s ok, it’s replaceable.” Well, he should have been more clear with his antecedent, since I felt as though he was saying it was inconsequential that my heart just broke, as well.

Thankfully, I’m not completely stupid and realized rather quickly he meant the “it” was the cup, which was true enough, but that was like my favorite cup and now I can’t show off my War Eagle Pride at the gym and work. I will replace it though.

I can’t exactly remember all said between tears and pleas, but I do remember he was as calm, cool, compassionate, and loving as ever before. I do not think he has ever been more reassuring, yet I, ever more scared.

“I still love you. I still want to be with you. I am still coming down for the wedding, and you’ll be in Alabama this fall.”

“But, a break?!”

“It’s alright, Kara. It’ll all be alright. It’s ok. I love you. Sweet dreams.”

Ok, the skype call was more like 3 hours, but this was the gist of it all.

I was a pathetic mess, pleading with him to just call me once a day right before bed, cried so hard my nose bled – that was fun too. Tears just kept coming, kind of like vomiting, you think you’re done. You have to be! Your eyes feel like they have not a single drop left to spill, but then a wave of pain crashes into your chest forcing out another flood to cascade down your face along with other bodily fluids from your other facial orifices – pleasant picture, I know.

I had to let him go to bed: he had school, I had work, though nothing about work appealed to me, though it normally energizes me. As I felt him slip away into dreamland, any pieces of my heart I had salvaged in my hands fell to the floor once more. I muted myself over the microphone so my sobs wouldn’t disturb his slumber. My body ravaged with grief struggled to get comfortable enough to rest which finally did happen around 5 am, though it would not allow for more than about 2.5 hours of sleep. Needless to say, I look forward to an early bedtime with a deep sleep (hopefully).

Some of you are already rolling your eyes, “Oh Kara, he’s not breaking up with you, chill out!”

Thank you for the sentiment, I am aware of the extremity I underwent with my emotions. Whether warranted or not, the fact remains my physical and emotional insides feel as though they were ground through a meat grinder – slowly.

It was so strange this morning, I woke up thinking the situation was a dream and forgetting what had transpired hours earlier, but it only took me about 5 minutes to remember – oh yeah, no morning call today, or tomorrow, or however long he decides. My body ached, I don’t think I’ve cried so hard that my body aches, I didn’t know that could happen. I pushed through the morning, though decided mascara would be wasted on my face today – and I would be proven right as I barely made it out the door and into my car before tears started to roll down my cheeks. I hope my sunglasses didn’t look totally conspicuous on an overcast day, but trust me, better than the ugly cry face- you know the face.

This all may sound overly self-indulgent, but more or less, it feels therapeutic. And through the morning, I’ve found moments of peace and comfort. The real message I’ve found is “Pray.” Finding alone time in a quiet place, be obedient and listen to God’s nudges – and the nudge is loud and clear – more like a shove – but it is to pray. So, that is exactly what I am going to go do today. Pray. I have more questions than answers at the moment, but I have promises of God and I will hold fast my faith in those promises despite how tired I feel, despite how weak I am, despite how circumstances tell me this is a bad thing. I will pray and let peace seep into my tired body and revive me.

I hope to share my thoughts once the day is up and we’ll see what God has revealed.

 

60 Little Tips That Can Change a Girl’s Life

60 Little Tips That Can Change a Girl’s Life.

Frozen “Let it Go” Male Cover

Caleb Hyles

I love his voice – why hasn’t someone discovered him!

A Prologue to Grief

9120_535060238386_6714540_n

 

I apologize for not being consistent with my posts. It’s a true shame and without a real excuse since it’s not for lack of thoughts and ideas. So, enough of lamenting the time lost and not writing, onto what you’re more interested in – Grief.

Recently, my pastor did a sermon on the topic of grief and I found it incredibly compelling. I don’t even know exactly why. I don’t necessarily have many griefs at this time. In fact, I am in a rather fruitful and happy place in life. But what I believe his sermon did was open up the box of memories in my heart, and I was allowed a time of reflection on griefs I’ve grieved and griefs that may not completely be spent. If you’re a woman, you’ll understand a bit better – everything connects to another – and memories are no exception. It’s hard to sometimes isolate the source of a thought or a feeling and it can be down right maddening when you can’t identify the source of a pain.

As Pastor R. preached, I sat thinking of all the grief periods in my life and the disappointments I’ve endured. Don’t get me wrong, Pastor R. never encouraged self-pity or wallowing in tears. But he made an argument for the necessity of grief in life and it relieved me in a lot of ways. He criticized that America is a society that teaches to stuff the negativity and the sadness in our lives. We shove it aside, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and we suck it up. “Of course, I do,” I silently thought to myself. But I realized this was probably not a good thing as I listened to his tone and intonation. For the first time I think in my life, I truly felt like not only was grieving a healing process, but a necessary one and a Biblical blessing. As I sat and listened, I found myself letting down a guard I have had for years, and to my surprise it was a guard I had even put up between me and God. I found myself apologizing to Him for not allowing Him to come into those times of grief and do his job as The Comforter. For too many years had I believed that Grief and I were one-on-one combatants that I would have to put up a tough fight and find myself exhausted emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I had never realized this was never a battle I was meant to either flee from or fight alone.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: