18 July 2010

in between.

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. it was never my intention to have a blog that is a chore to read. and I truly hope this post is not that way. it’s just that so much has happened. so much that I wish I could sit down with you over coffee and talk about. but this will have to suffice. so read as long as you are willing. hopefully the distance between us – whether it be 2800 miles or 20 – will seem a little less consequential.
I promise the next post will be short and sweet. knowing me, it will probably be some sort of list.

the past month of my life has seemed to be this surreal dream that I have moved far too quickly through. and yet, with everything that has happened – with all the waiting – so much of it seemed to pass painfully slow.

one month ago life was one seemingly unanswerable question mark. 31 days later, the next two years seem decided. it is as if I have stepped into a completely different life – one I had much less control in choosing than I ever thought I would. good thing I am learning how to let go of things. it has been a month of doubt and faith and waiting. so much waiting. and what I found out is that God is ironic in a beautiful sort of way.

exactly one month ago – seriously, I checked my calendar – I sent in an application to be the events and development coordinator at the trinity forum. without going into all the details, I knew that although the organization did not meet the exact criteria in regards to what I am passionate about, the job would be a perfect fit. and although I was somewhat lacking on the experience side I knew that, if given the chance, I could do the job well. I sent in my application on a friday and interviewed the following tuesday. then I waited. and I tried to be patient. and I prayed. a lot. I prayed that God would teach me to remain steadfast in joy. I prayed that he would grant me strength to trust in his timing and not my own. I prayed for peace in knowing that he is enough for me and that he is good. all the time. and then becca came to visit.

becca. my soul-mate and sister and best friend. my link to a community that loves me in a way that is honest and authentic and selfless. even though they are 3,000 miles away. I wish I could express to this community – I truly hope I have loved you well enough for you to know who you are – how important you are. you have protected me from fire – literally and figuratively. you have not abandoned me. you have kept my in your prayers and your hearts. without you I would not have survived so much of my life. without you, life would not be beautiful. words cannot express how you have saved me and built the foundation of who I am. but if you were here – in the middle of this starbucks across the country – you would see the tears I am shamelessly crying and hopefully you would know.

so there we were. becca was here. and I was waiting. and thinking to myself that moving back to portland seemed like the best idea ever. after one week of feeling loved and accepted and beginning to re-learn myself, she left and I decided that when my internship ended in october I was leaving. after all the fighting I had done with myself – not wanting to give up on this dream that had not turned out quite as I’d planned – I made peace with the fact that I just needed to be back where I belonged. plus, after almost two weeks since my interview without hearing a word, I was about 99% sure I would not be getting the job at the trinity forum. I told you God was ironic.

two days after becca left I got the job. in the middle of reveling in my decision to move back to Portland, God’s plan came through loud and clear. the perfect job was mine and I was in shock. in between ecstasy and despair. I called my family and two of my closest friends. and then I cried. I had been praying that God would open a door one way or another and that he would give me the strength to walk through whichever one it was. now the door was not only open, it was surrounded in flashing lights with a yellow-brick road leading toward it. I spent the next two days praying that this was the right step, even though I knew it was. I made peace – again – with the fact that I was right where God wanted me. I got the call on Friday. I accepted on Monday. my first day will be July 26th, five days before I turn 23. I am so excited to take this next step and after two days of training I know this job will change my life in more ways than one.

needless to say, this month has been one of transition into stability. suddenly, I have a real-life, job. and I am looking for an apartment. and I am paying bills. and I am an adult – kind of. but I still feel like I am in transition. and really, the past year has felt this way. I feel in between. in between college and career. in between passions and obligations. in between portland and dc. in between authentic community and a feeling of being so very alone. in between knowing myself and losing myself. I am in transition, always waiting for something to start or change. always waiting for the other shoe to drop. but won’t it always be this way? I guess so. until I get to heaven, of course.

it is weird to realize how much I have learned in just a few short weeks. I could make this post unbearably long and tell you every single detail. or I can just mention the most important one. I learned how to rest in God. I realized that so much of my life has been spent relying on the people God has placed in my life. he put them there to teach me how to trust in him through trusting in them. but somewhere along in the process I stalled. this community that I love more than my own life – sometimes it is my crutch. instead of relying on the only one who is deserving of my trust, I depend on others or on myself. but the past year has proven this assumption utterly flawed. I have not been able rely on others, and most of the time I have not been able to rely on myself. I have felt alone and bewildered and insignificant. I have felt so lonely as I longed for friends so far away. but now I realize that of course I am lonely. I will always be lonely until I leave this fallen world. I could have one million friends and the love of my life and I would still be lonely. my heart will only feel at home and at peace when I am with the one who created me. and once I gave myself permission to be lonely I felt the weight of it leave me. finally, after a year of searching, I have found myself. of course, I was in the last place I looked and in the only place I could be.

but I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever.
I will praise you forever for what you have done;
in your name I will hope,
for your name is good.
psalm 52:8-9

15 July 2010


let's not talk about how late this is. I promise the next one will be on time. maybe.

1. automatique - blackalicious and floetry (for when all the things I take for granted suddenly seem so precious)

2. the bagman's gambit - the decemberists (for when I wish my washington d.c. was more exciting than crowded, smelly metro rides)
*seriously. these are some of the best lyrics ever. seriously. and the cacophony of music towards the end? brilliant if you ask me.

3. waiting - shiny toy guns (for waiting. and waiting. and waiting.)

4. the cure for pain - jon foreman (for when I am steeped in melancholy)

5. her morning elegance - oren lavie (for when I am steeped in daydreams)
**lovely lovely music video.

6. tisbury lane - mae (for when I suddenly feel like I am back in high school)

7. the chain - ingrid michaleson (for when "row row row your boat" just doesn't cut it)

8. hello, I love you - the doors (for remembering jim morrison)

orange line to vienna.

I have just had dinner with a friend in town from Portland and I have been bemoaning the nature of DC citizens. this friend of mine - from the great city of urban parks and microbrews and the friendliest people you will ever meet - asks me why I am so adverse to the city I live in. I sigh and spout off a short list. no one smiles. they drive like maniacs and honk for no reason. they will run you over if you stop on the escalator. he asks me if I am turning into a local. a look of horror crosses my face. are you kidding me? their lack of common decency astounds me. the very last thing I would want to be known as is a DC local. harsh I know. and a vast generalization. it's funny how God proves you wrong sometimes.

after saying goodbye to my friend, I walk down to the metro. my head down. my headphones in. my smile gone. I look up at the schedule and see that my train is not coming for another 7 minutes. my exasperation continues as an inner monologue. what am I doing here? sweat begins to run down my spine. 95 degrees and so freaking humid. I didn't realize I moved into the middle of a swamp. the train finally arrives. I step into the car and the air-conditioning is on. for once. I have to squeeze in next to a girl in a white dress belted with a black belt I almost bought the other day. she makes no movement to create more room for me. across from her is another girl with large sunglasses loosely holding her hair out of her face. our eyes connect but she does not smile. typical I guess. next to her is a man in a wheelchair that seems much to big for him. his shriveled body is swallowed by it, but as he strains to hold onto the pole in front of him I notice the strength in his arms. his muscles surprise me until I realize they are his main form of transportation.

the train begins to move and the two girls rest their hands on the back of the man's wheelchair to steady themselves. well that's rude. the train jerks slightly and the muscles on his arms tighten as he grips the pole. oddly enough, so do the muscles on the arms of the girls. he slowly turns to the one with the sunglasses and smiles sheepishly. she does not look him but focuses on holding on to the chair. suddenly I realize what is going on. the old wheelchair does not have breaks. they are not holding onto it to steady themselves, but to keep it from moving. this must be their job. there is no way they're doing it just to be nice. and yet. my head turns up from the book I'm reading. I pause my ipod and tuck my headphones into my purse. the corners of my mouth threaten to smile.

the train lumbers on and in between each jolt and shudder, the girls quickly stretch their fingers and shake off their hands that are cramping from gripping his chair so tightly. the man holds onto the pole, his muslces twitching. the three of them are not touching. they do not know each other from a stranger on the street. they do not make eye contact and they do not talk. ignoring their good deed and the reception of it. they are connected in silence by pole and chair and general humanity.

we begin to pull into the ballston station. the girl in the white dress holds onto the pole and holds onto the chair and leans down so she is at eye level with the man. you said you were getting off at ballston, right? he nods. the doors open and the girls struggle to qucikly turn his laborious wheelchair and push it out the doors. there is no way that chair will get off the train in time. I dart in front of one of the doors. a skinny man in his sixties jumps up and pushes the chair from the side, dislodging it from behind one of the poles. the black belt I almost bought falls off the girl in the white dress and lands on the floor. the handful of younger, stronger men sitting down reading john grisham novels make no move to help.

suddenly the chair takes a leap off the car. I reach back and pick up the belt I almost bought. the girl in the white dress takes it from me and we smile triumphantly. somehow the girl with the sunglasses ends up behind the wheelchair instead of on the train. I am pretty sure this is not her stop. the doors begin to close. resigning herself to the next train, she braces herself behind the wheelchair and begins to push as people stream past her, annoyed that she is blocking part of the platform. her voice is the last thing I hear before the doors seal shut and the car lurches forward. now let's find that elevator. the girl in the white dress and I look at each other and smile.

the train arrives at my stop. I step off into the sweltering night air and dial the number of my Portland friend. okay, maybe becoming a DC local wouldn't be SO bad. this city is starting to grow on me.