Friends,

I know that is has been centuries since I have updated this blog page. Since I have pulled back the curtain and let you take a small peek into my life. To be honest, moving two thousand miles away from everything I have ever known has been such a big adjustments. Some days it feels like this adventure wants to swallow me whole and eat me for dinner. I look at all the changes–the new places I have yet to go, the people I haven’t met yet, and the list goes on–and it can be completely overwhelming some days. On the other hand, this has been a beautiful transformation. Some days I leave my house, and find myself still gaping in awe at the mountains and the hills in view just a few blocks from my home. Amazed that this is my life now, that I am able to finally live in a land where I’m not simply gaping at the never ending cornfields, and dilapidated buildings.

I’m hoping to revive this blog sometime soon. It has a long way to go. I have a long way to go. Some days are harder than others, but I promise I’ll keep fighting. Always always always.

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Money is a worldly worry–our relationship

I think I should make a point to tell you that my relationship with God is pretty hilarious to me. Sometimes I think he looks down at me and giggles that he made such a wild thing, and that this wild thing is His. I bet He giggles at the hilarity that is my life, the silly decisions I make on a regular basis, the bravery I try to have even when I’m deathly afraid. 

Last night was proof enough, again, of our relationship and the intricate way He just gets me, regardless of the range of intense emotions I am feeling at the moment. He always does, and sometimes my breath catches when I realize this fact. When I remember that even when I don’t feel Him, He is always there. 

It was before bed. And I had been thinking about how, after my interview and job offer, I never asked what I would be making an hour. Moving here has put a serious dent in our savings–as we expected. We knew that we would have to pay for the moving truck, and for the new plates, and the different insurances, and so on and so forth. It’s life in a new place, on our own again. It’s going to be expensive, and we had prepared for it. 

But as I sat in my living room last week, overwhelmed by the fact that the monthly bills were piling up, that life here is simply more expensive than it was when we had 40 hour work weeks at a place we were miserable at, and when we were hardly seeing each other. The price of a good life is faith. And He’s been showing this to me–constantly. 

So last night, I had been thinking that I didn’t know how much I was going to be making, that I accepted this job offer because I knew, somewhere deep down that this is where I was supposed to be working. What if the hours and the money just didn’t add up and I couldn’t make enough for us? 

But then He said to me “What if I didn’t let you ask what you would be making because I knew you would be trying to add it all up in your head, trying to decide if you could make it work. But remember, you asked me to put you right where I needed you, to give you the right job. And I did. I want you there.” Then it hit me. Again. Money is a worldly thing. He’s been teaching me this slowly, off and on the past few years. But right now is the biggest test of this belief. I’ve always said that I would rather be homeless than do what He has for me in life. And coming out here, so far away from home, has really tested my belief in this statement. What if the money ran out before we could get jobs and we were forced to join the throngs of homeless people lining the streets of Portland? No, our God would take care of us. If we trusted Him enough to tell us where to go, He would open up the doors for us to have the right jobs, at just the right time. Like I have said before, He doesn’t do something early, He doesn’t do it late, He does it right on time. And getting this job, this is no mistake. I know this deep down. And if this wasn’t a mistake, if this was His plan, He will work out the money. We just have to be wise. 

I think it’s funny that He knew all this. He knew my type A mind, who wants to plan out every step, and to calculate and understand. But I don’t have to. If I really have faith. If I really trust that He has it all planned out, I’ll let it go. Money is a worldly worry. I’ll say it again, He is the accountant. I will be wise. Money is a worldly worry. 

And as much as there are so many unknowns here. As much as I am discovering people and places and trying to find my way, I have never felt more peaceful. Never been more peaceful. 

Fear.

I’m too afraid to post this to Facebook. Afraid of the laughter and the comments when I post this. 

But one of my fears, of being someone who talks all the time as well as someone whose mind spins in circles going a million directions, is that people dismiss me for my talkative self, without seeing the bed of emotions lying beneath my surface. This world overwhelms me so many times. I feel each emotion with such grandeur, such starkness, that it’s hard to properly tell others, to make them realize how important everything is to me. How very important. 

How I see the beauty and the ugly intertwined, beauty in everything. Every, little, thing. And I think that there is such great sadness in that beauty. 

I just can’t get it all out there. That maybe those that see me don’t see me as the person I think I am. After all, perception is everything. 

Struggles in a new city

Here, time flies by. I take each day as I can, swallowing the occasional sadness that comes from a deep homesickness. I do not know where this comes from. I know the memories I am about to make are probably far greater than the fistful of laughter I remember from my home city. And yet parts of me ache for things I never had, which is weird. I guess this feeling hasn’t exactly been foreign to me. Yet, I still believe I am clinging on to the imagined scenarios of myself I wish I had experienced. The acceptance, and the welcoming, mostly. In being different, I somehow always seemed to find myself feeling left out. Left out of the conversations and the understandings. Like I had never managed to grow up past the age of ten, and I was foolish for expecting that other adults would see that, I, too, had become one as well, and deserved to be told how they felt about me. It’s not like I wanted in on the gossip, but just the understanding and the knowledge that comes with being part of one unit, of an entity greater than myself. 

I’m still struggling to find a job. And it’s okay for now. I keep knowing that whatever is supposed to happen, will. And it’s not the fear that my God won’t come through at just the right moment (I know that He doesn’t show up a moment too late or a second too early in our struggles), but I fear that I myself might not be doing enough for Him to work with. I know that I believe that He does not help those who help themselves, but I believe that we have to do something for him to be able to develop. I can’t sit on my ass and hope that He magically creates some beautiful future for me. I have to fight through the fear, push into faith, and struggle through each aspect of my faith. He knows this. 

It’s human nature for many of us to want to do what we can to right the world, to fight for the future WE believe we deserve, and to put into works what we want. But sometimes we just plain don’t know what we want. We couldn’t know what we want because these truths have not been revealed to us. So we sit and wait and press our palms together hoping that we will be able to find the treasure hidden for us on the end of the path that has been carved into the forest just for us. A path that has our names on it. You see, we each were given a path. We all have a future mapped out, a destiny, per say. And gifts–things we are so very good at–that we are supposed to use to change the world in some way. It may be simple. Maybe our gift is our compassion and our need to help those around us. Our path may be slow steps to being a light in someone else’s life. But we would not be able to see this path without the help of some divine spirit. 

So I believe that I must do my part to find my path, to push through the forest for the trees, and to fight, to always fight, for the use of the gifts I have been given. That’s my duty. And I worry, that right now I’m not doing enough. I’m trying to apply for jobs when I can, but as far as resumes go, I don’t exactly know what I’m doing. Having worked entry level positions my whole life, it’s different for me to not simply fill out an application online, but to formulate a complicated process of words and letters to explain just what I learned and did at my old jobs. I had put down what I felt were challenges to me at my old jobs–what I had learned and fought through–because I thought that it would give others a good sense of the type of person I am. Until my husband told me that while he completely understood the point of view I had been trying to display, to others it might look like I was complaining about the challenges I had faced. I’ve decided to keep those to myself until I interview. I guess that might stay off any confusion on their part. 

The other challenge I have faced is not knowing exactly why I am here. I know I was sent here so I could use my gifts. Meet people. Start reaching towards my dreams. 

A few weeks ago I was lying in bed, honestly overwhelmed and scared for the future, and for the things that we ahead. Often, He talks to me in the quiet times, in the pauses when my heart beats fear and confused. Suddenly, I heard Him say, “Remember when you felt weak and hopeless? I will use you to speak to thousands. Be bold in the faithfulness of my promises.” And I smiled, because He has shown me this in a vision. Because I have held tight to this promise, this small glimpse into my future, and have remained strong in the face of all adversaries. 

I’m so tired of being weak. Of finding myself drowning beneath humanity and the expectations I have of my future. I don’t know what to expect. Who or where I am supposed to be meeting others. And this is why I feel like maybe I’m not doing enough for Him. That I’m not getting out enough. Maybe I’m not pushing myself when I feel exhausted from the newness of a different way of life. 

I don’t really know how else to explain it. To express the tumult of thoughts that threaten to assault me daily. I sometimes lie in the quiet and hear my heart beating a symphony of fears and expressions of unknowns I haven’t accounted for. I over-analyze everything. Feel myself sometimes gasping for air in an empty room, like the expectations I have placed around my neck are too tight, and all I need, all I fucking need is one moment to breathe. Just a moment to breathe. 

I find myself in a torrent. The teetering of finding myself on the brink of change and staring into the light that is my future, clouded by a myriad of questions. Of unknowns. How do I navigate? 

 

Life Lately–Adventures in the PNW

I’ve sat down and tried to write this post a million times. I don’t know where to begin. 

If you are wondering why I changed the title of my blog page, it’s because a chapter of my life has ended, and a new chapter has begun. Life has brought a new wave of changes, and I’m looking at them through the window of the past and the future. How I got here is complicated, and where I am going is also. I don’t know what is ahead, but I wanted to share with you, my readership, where I have been and what I am planning. Just know, that nothing is for certain these days with me. Everything is about to change. Everything has changed. Life won’t ever be the same. 

Here’s what I mean. In the past few months I have taken the 2,000 mile journey from my home state of Illinois to the state of Oregon. I have picked up every scrap of the life I had in Illinois and carried on the back of my worries. I gathered up all of my courage and my memories and drove and drove and drove. It took me four days, and I battled two blizzards in the mountains. I pushed through every doubt and fear, and have found myself here, in the suburbs of Portland, on a new adventure. 

For years we have felt the pull to move, the tug of an unsatisfied life. I have fought with the depression that closed in on me when I was living in my hometown. There was nothing there for me. I won’t deny the experiences I had, or the life I lived as being a part of me– a necessary part. I met some amazing people, and learned a lot of valuable lessons. There was a lot of good things that happened to me there, and through it all I became a new person. Sometimes when I look back, I don’t remember how I got to where I am, but I know that I am not who I used to be, not the person who used to look in the mirror and wish that she could be more lovable, could be more understanding, and not so full of bitterness and sadness. 

There have been a lot of challenges. Mostly money. We saved up for so many years to finally find this life, to feel that we were able to move to a place we had never visited, so far away from home and everything we ever knew. That’s the funny thing about this, and the great thing too, I guess, is that we don’t know anyone here. We have no family. And that’s what makes this such an adventure. A new  beginning. A start from scratch. 

We quit our jobs for this. We picked up everything we have and decided to throw it at the wind in an effort to find a new life. We know the things we have been promised. The light that is there, and the beauty that comes when you trust, when you have faith in the unknown. 

So here we are–jobless, in a new city. 

My core fears are being challenged. My type A personality is worried about the fact that I have applied to a dozen jobs and heard nothing. I have always gotten quick responses. But I think that this is a test. Do I trust Him enough? I hope I am passing. You may not believe in a god, and that’s okay, but I do. I believe that He has my best interest at heart, and here, here is where He guided me, so I’ll push through all of the doubt and into the light. I can’t be in the dark anymore. I can’t fight to feel something greater than myself. And here, somehow, I already feel at home. 

I may know no one. But there are people here who look at me, curious. 

I may not know what lies ahead. I may be a little afraid, but fear does not mean I lack faith. 

So I push forward, bright with the possibilities my future holds, and open to a world of new beginnings. A fistful of chapters.

I am so excited to share with all of you the adventures that lie ahead, and the things I will find here. Are you ready for the journey? Because I am. 

The repeating dream

Here’s an interesting dream I’ve had off and on for a few years.

I somehow manage to find myself in a bad part of town. It’s dilapidated and broken down, signs on the buildings are sad, and there is a weight all around. There are no one on the streets but some dirty, aggressive men leaning around shouting assaults at either me or the people without faces who are walking around. I try to pick up my pace, to blend in like one of the faceless people. I walk down an alley way. It is narrow. On each side of this pathway there are doors. Each locked up with padlocks, or gates, or they look terrifying. Tonight, I noticed a few of the doors were pathetically decorated with pretty paper or decorations to try to make them look lively. Finally, I enter one the buildings.

As I begin walking around, from apartment to apartment or room to room, I notice that they are dark and dimly lit. They are often dirty. Very dirty. Once I enter the filth I am always floating, because there is so much stuff everywhere that walking is impossible.  I rarely see tenants, but if I do hose that live in these places never talk to me. (I know this is difficult to explain. I’m doing the best I can right now). The places contains a depression and brokenness I can feel and it is extremely heavy in the air. Tonight, I dreamt that there was a “specialist” going around to the apartments discussing to the tenants why they are so sad. (for some reason I can’t decide if I was the specialist or if it was someone else I was observing.) The specialist in my dream began asking the tenant why she was so sad, what happened that parts of her home were closed off from being used. She said that her sister had died there and she was unable to grieve. 

In a different part of this building, I entered someone else’s home. The woman on the chair in the living room was so desperately broken she couldn’t get out of her chair. There was a gruesome fact that I will spare you, but she looked sickly and sad. Just so damn sad. There was a dachshund quietly walking around. The carpet was so disgusting. 

I don’t remember much else of the dream, but there have been different versions in the past. One of them is the same dream, but I don’t remember talking to anyone else, and the homes are always hoarded. I don’t often see people in the dreams. Another version is the same thing, but in a hotel. A rundown hotel and I sometimes hear people in the shower or mulling about, so I hide.  The other involves a house. I never know what it completely looks like but the first part of the dream, it is clean. I think that there are children in other rooms playing, but somehow I find myself in someone’s clean closet, amidst their clothes. I push the clothes aside to find a hidden doorway. It’s big enough for me to crawl into. I do so, and there are levels and levels of undiscovered rooms. They are empty, but there are big windows on the top floors. Some reason, I am afraid that those on the outside will see me. When I go to the basement of this house, I find rooms of hoarded things. I can’t figure out why, but usually my great grandmother is standing at the door way to the basement with me in this part of the dream. When we cleared her house, she had hoarded generations of treasures. She grew up during the great depression and there were times in her life when she wasn’t sure when she was going to eat next. She stands at the top of the stairs with me, and below there are piles and piles of the things she hoarded, broken and covered in filth. I may have ventured down to this part of the dream before, but I am not entirely sure. I don’t remember anything happening after this. 

 

This could be someone you know

Has anyone ever told you
what it feels like 
to be two parts of one whole? 
To not be sure 
of which half you’ll wake up as
in the morning? 
to feel your heart
constantly wedged in your throat
for fear of saying
what’s on the mind 
of the sad half of you? 

There are some days
I never touch down to reality
some days I feel the clouds
of my ancestors
begging me to be brave
and stand strong
but it’s so hard 
when you’re weak 
from wanting 
to wear the paths 
of your prayers
like circles 
around your fingers
because then there’d be proof
that you’d been searching
for the map all along 
and people might stop thinking 
that maybe 
your just listening 
to the beating 
of your own 
misunderstandings. 

I’ve spent so much time 
becoming acquainted 
with the hole in my pillow 
my head leaves 
when I just want to be left alone.
I’m so afraid 
that if I share the riverbeds
beneath my eyes ,
reveal all the joy 
the darkness
has stolen from me 
that someone 
will start seeing false cracks
in my smile
the way the moon 
saw my tongue 
and tried to fill it with it 
with visions of the fields
so I could run
away with my depression
and build a home for us 
beneath the weeping willows. 

I find it’s better 
if I stay home 
beneath the covers
because then 
I don’t have to explain 
to broken faces
why I can’t find the beauty 
anymore. 

I can’t wake up 
another morning 
with lead in my bones. 

I guess this is my cry for help