Be careful what you wish for. That’s all I have to say. Oh, and God sure has a sense of humor (OR SOMETHING) because, well, keep reading.

If you missed my post that was basically about surviving pain and how to become a better person through it, please go read it. I stand behind every single word I said, and this post is kind of going to piggy-back off of it. So, stop. Go read it here.

All I know is that I’m extremely grateful that I sat down and thought through those concepts in order to write that post. It is for that very reason that I’m not fearful that I will be depressed at this point. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Last weekend, I had the hardest conversation I have ever had in my life. Afterwards, I texted my best friend and told her that at least I know that the hardest day of my life ever is over with and I can probably conquer anything now (which, in and of itself, is sort of something to be happy about, right?). It’s hard. It’s hard because it means days to come spilling over with tears. Uncontrollably. And when I least expect it. And really, the most difficult part about it is that for me, tears like these, the sad kind, they make me feel vulnerable, unprotected, and ashamed. But thank God that I wrote a blog post specifically about times like these and I have a plan of attack.

{Yeah, I know, weird way to put it. Moving on.}

This time a year ago holds bitter memories. I remember storming down a road and noticing that the asphalt seemed so frozen. And now I look back, and I know that my insides were pretty frozen too, and I could have changed that. Reflecting on the past makes you analyze the present in a different way (or at least we hope so) and now, because of this thing that has happened, I’m afraid that January, 2014 will look similar to January, 2013. And I’m absolutely committed that it won’t. But I have already had to catch myself a few times as I feel the shame turn to vulnerable sadness, sadness turn to reflexive anger, and anger turn to incomprehensible bitterness.

My whole “concept”, let’s call it, of feeling deeply in both directions is hard. And I knew it was hard when I wrote about it. Let’s face it, putting on a smiling face for a short-term fix is much easier than letting go and having to explain to people why your eyes are red. Common sense tells us to save it for “later” and cover it up (let me tell you, I put on a lot of makeup this morning). Honestly, if we had a scale, and one side was sad and the other side was happy, right now, the sad side is on the floor. My burden ain’t light. So because of that, maybe we could say that I’m experimenting or something, but I’m looking a heck of a lot harder this week for happiness than I was last week. Even if the “happiness” shows up in the fact that I have some freaking awesome sisters and I pretty special best friend who will hug me and just let me cry. By just thinking about it, tears of joy are springing out of these poor wet eyes. I’m looking for happiness in the sermon I listened to this morning (this post was written on Sunday) and the amazing heart I know belongs to the man who delivered it. I’m looking for happiness in the amazing contrast of today’s scenery. Or even, I’m looking for happiness in the simple pleasures of buying a box of chocolate and eating it all, or taking a picture of Miller’s One-Stop to show my friends in California (apparently, that counts as a simple pleasure), or the fact that my great uncle is such a caring guy and lends his helping hands to my family continually, or planning a day out with my sister and our best friends (who also happen to be sisters, which is a simple pleasure in and of itself). I got some major crap hanging over my head pretty much 24/7 for who knows how long, but if I keep my eyes open, I’ll be able to see that God doesn’t stop there. And yeah, wow.

I’ve always joked that I could very easily become like the character in the movie “The Proposal”. {First of all, I’m awful at remembering movie character names and I could Google it, but I’m lazy right now. Second of all, Sandra Bullock is my hero.} I’m a hard-working female who can very easily come off as a bitch and likes to put on a smiling face for the camera and hide her crap so well she can’t even see it. That’s the tendency that comes with my personality and after last year (okay, so we’ve already gone over that like three hundred times now), I’ve realized that something’s got to change. So how do I stay away from the bitter bitch in me? {Confession, saying the word, “bitch” is my guilty pleasure and I will not give it up.} {Also that happened to alliterate so it is poetic whatever you may think.} Start again. So how do I stay away from the bitter bitch in me? I let myself be sad.

And golly, is it hard. At this point, about half of the things in my day trigger tears. We all know memories, they have this way of creeping into everything you got going. A song here, a burrito there, a name of a random person, the scrolling through my phone contacts. And of course, the looming and unforgiving question of, “What if?” just doesn’t help things. And at that moment when I’m at work and I must not let a tear slide out (well, okay, in that situation, I think it’s safe to say, “Dude, get over it, and scan that bookmark without falling over.”). Start again. At that moment when all I freaking want is to feel normal but I’m in my bed for an hour before I can sleep bawling my eyes out, I must let myself cry, and hurt, and of course, be vulnerable. Because if I do, months from now, I’m pretty positive I’ll be thanking myself for it when I look around and find that I am not bitter about life and depressed and wondering why the heck I haven’t gotten over myself. Moral of the story: I need to let myself be sad. Because sad is completely okay.

Really, in this major sad ending happening in my life (an ending that is only beginning to sink in), there is a forced beginning hiding somewhere. Whether I like it or not, my have has turned to had and my is has turned to was and those amazingly wonderful memories have come to an end. So the day the thing happened, I bought myself a journal, completely on a whim. But I LOVE what it says on the front. It says, “Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” {Yes, it is a quote from George Bernard Shaw, which my mom lovingly informed me that I shouldn’t be quoting him, but I like the quote okay? And it’s relevant to my life right now. So chill, gosh. :)} I hate it when people my age tell me they have to find themselves. NEWS FLASH: your hand is your hand and your eyeball is your eyeball and your soul is your soul and all three are definitely in your possession (don’t get all theological on me, you know what I mean). However, the idea of creating yourself is more dependent on what you’re actually going to physically do. What skills will you build? What relationships will you strengthen? Where will you travel? How will you make yourself go deeper (in both directions)?

So in this journal, I want to basically write everything. Blog post outlines, sermon notes, random thoughts, songs (which I can assure you, will be coming in abundance), anything creative that I feel like putting on a page. It’s a pretty big journal, so I really think it will last me at least until September. THEN, I want to be able to look back and be able to watch my life unfold. Maybe a blog series will come out of this {called something like, “The Pages of my Journal”, I don’t know, comment below if you have any ideas}. But in this journal, I will document four goals that I want to hold to coming out of the hardest time of my life.


one. No depression. I will not let myself go there. Psalms, those are amazing (especially starting at around 122). Prayer. A long talk with a dear one. Those are the places I will go instead of depression. I can be sad, and I can cry until I’ve got nothing left to cry (although, I haven’t hit the bottom yet), but I will not get stuck in a rut.

two. If I’m angry, I want to fill a journal, not an ear. I have this awesome, big, spacious journal that I’ll probably be carrying around with me everywhere I go. So no complaining. Except to my God and my journal. They can handle it. P.S. You will sometimes get an earful, and you know who you are.

three. I want my faith in God to grow through this. It’s not an automatic process, it’ll take work. But already in the past few months (of coming to terms with the fact that this was ending), I have felt God’s love like never before, and it is completely unexplainable. And now I just want to go deeper, because I know God and I can.

four. I kind of already covered this, but I want to cry equally as much as I laugh. When I’m sad, I want that to trigger me to be sad, and then search for the things that will bring me joy. Just to clarify, I don’t want to find happy things to escape from the sad things>> I’ll stay sad as long as I am sad. But if I stay sad and only sad, I know I’ll get into a rut, and the happy will never be able to penetrate. I want to stay soft, and to continually look for good things to balance out the pain.

So there you have it. A very long blog post that probably sounds conflictingly frivolous and lugubrious. {Just learned that word two seconds ago, it means, “Mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially in an affected, exaggerated, or unrelieved manner.” Yeah, that actually works perfectly.} And I am. I’m in this swing of being extra excited about life, and extra not excited about life. But that’s what I’m going for, right? Yeah, I guess.

Well, here’s to the beginnings. And the ends. The ones that suck, and the ones that don’t. Here’s to the journal whose first few pages already have tear stains. Here’s to the wonderful things that have happened, are happening, and will happen. And here’s to the super painful things. Here’s hoping that I can be the person God has called me to be and that I want to be. Here’s to the memories that are past, and here’s to the memories that will be built.

Because guys, we’re still in January!

Make sure you check out my Social Media and follow me on all of it to stay updated!




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