This is the beginning of something that has been going on for awhile now. (Contradictory? No. Just how my brain and heart work when it comes to digesting big life lessons.)
I’ve had this post brewing since mid-March, when I learned that the people I encounter teach me far more about myself than I could ever discover alone.
That may sound like common sense – and if it does, congratulations – but the revelation that a stranger can see into your core is something that inspires me and challenges me more than many things I have realized at this stage of life.
This ‘learning about yourself’ things never stops, so I’ll begin this series to recognize what I learn from encounters I have day-to-day, as I travel across the country, and as I examine relationships that have spanned weeks, years, and decades (how am I old enough to explore DECADES?!).
This is also a push to encourage my best friend, Parke, to return to blogging. We challenge each other to do a lot of things (some meant for publishing on the World Wide Web, some not), but we most recently challenged one another to return to blogging as a creative outlet.
So here goes.
YOU get more ME. WE get more HER. EVERYONE gets BETTER.
Gosh darn, I’m excited.
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“At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my math is wrong we are still going to be okay. And wonder is that feeling we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. I don’t think there is any better worship than wonder.”
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller
Everything happens for a reason.
And while those five words are a favorite phrase of mine to remind myself and others of, I often forget the truth of it. Throughout the past few months there have been some lows that weren’t part of my plan. And really, are the lows ever part of our plans? They’re not, but they’re inevitable, and let me tell you something – they make the highs of life so much sweeter. So here’s to reminding myself (and the three of you, readers), that our plans are laughable compared to what the Big Guy has in store and that each piece of the puzzle is necessary even if it’s misshapen.
everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water.
and everyone you love is made of stardust,
and I know sometimes you cannot even breathe deeply,
and the night sky is no home,
and you have cried yourself to sleep enough times that you are down to your last two percent, but
nothing is infinite,
not even loss.
you are made of the sea and the stars, and one day
you are going to find yourself again.
Song 1: The First Single You Ever Purchased
- “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus
Song 2: A Song From the First CD You Ever Purchased
- “Dreamlover” by Mariah Carey (Yep, in 1993, I was belting Mariah with all the talent of, well… a 7 year-old.)
Song 3: The First Song You Remember Your Parents Listening to That You Did Not Hate
- “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas
Song 4: Guilty Pleasure Song
- “Thinking Of You” by Ke$ha
- Honorable Mention: all other songs by Ke$ha
Song 5: Song You Dance To When No One is Around
- “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Ray Dalton
- HM: “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas
Song 6: The First Song You Slow Danced To With Someone
- “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo
Song 7: Song You Played Out Because You Loved It So Much When It Was New
- “Not Over You” by Gavin DeGraw
- HM:”Bless The Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts
Song 8: The Song You Want to Dance to at Your Wedding
- “I Do Not Love You” by Ron Pope
- HM: “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Ernie Halter
Song 9: Favorite Song by Your Favorite Artist
- “Unsaid” by The Fray
- HM: “Between The Lines” by Sara Bareilles
Song 10: Favorite Song
of All Time That I Can Think of Right Now
- “Stronger” by Kanye West
- HM: “Everything Else Disappears” by Sister Hazel
This post was inspired by ‘The 10 Perfect Songs’ on Thought Catalog.
I’m not a blogger, per se. I mostly just write for my own benefit, and I certainly don’t do it with any sort of consistency.
What I do do consistently, however, is read blogs. There’s a trend going around that has bloggers writing letters to their past selves, several of which I can identify with. From time to time, many of us think we’re going it alone, or that no one could understand how our own very specific set of circumstances might make us feel in any given moment – but we’re not! And that’s beautiful.
Here are some excerpts from one of my favorites that did a better job talking to past (and sometimes present) me than I could have:
- No matter where you are in life, don’t ever lose that hope that you’ve held on to every day of your life that tells you that you were put on this earth to do something radical; something profound. It’s rare in your generation that parents equipped their children with this much faith, so you aren’t allowed to throw it away.
- You have to learn to be more vulnerable…You have to be willing to bare it all for the sake of someone else – you have to get over your insecurities of feeling like you just aren’t enough.
- You need to dig deeper into your passions and talents. You get apathetic and decide that you have nothing to bring to the table, but what good does that mindset do anyone? That never changed the world. When you’re tired, do it anyway. When you’re being lazy, get over it. When you have nothing to give, try giving something else. You don’t get to just give up, you just don’t.
- You need to be less selfish… so you don’t get to go even one day without remembering how blessed you are.
- You are in the prime of your life right now. You could easily let your selfishness, apathy and insecurities crumble you… you have a lot to accomplish, you don’t have any time to waste.
- And never forget, you were born to be a blessing; today, tomorrow and with the rest of your life.
On Friday, I thought I wanted to mindlessly watch college basketball with the dog as my only company, but it turns out I needed a Ravens fan and a Packers fan (I know. I know.) to make my day with pizza, Sour Patch kids, and wine.
On Saturday, I thought I wanted to start Spring cleaning but it turns out I needed Bud Light, MarioKart 64, and Thai takeout.
So yes, there’s a big difference between a want and a need, but it’s not always as obvious as your parents may have led you to believe. As this weekend comes to a close (and my 21st consecutive day of work wraps up), I am grateful for good friends and a good perspective: sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.
Make this week a great one.
Have 5 minutes to spare? Watch this video.
Videos like this remind me that storytelling is the main reason I became a journalist. While I may not be a practicing ‘teller of tales’, this certainly revived that love.
Since watching, I’ve been scrolling through my mental scrapbook trying to nail down my own favorite, but I’ve been blessed with so many incredible things (big things, small things, exciting adventures, and seemingly insignificant moments) that it will take me some time.
What’s your favorite memory?