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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Another year older, and maybe even a little wiser, though I have ended the year with more questions than answers. I turned 24 on Christmas Day this year, and I am still shocked at everwhere I have been and everything I have done in those 24 years. It will never cease to amaze me what can all be squeezed into just one year—memories and new understandings fitting in day-to-day life like packing peanuts. Last December I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in English. I moved back home in the beginning of March, went to the San Juan Islands in April, became single in May, went to Dallas, Texas in August for a Mary Kay Convention for the second time, took a road trip to Alabama where I saw friends I made in Italy that I hadn’t seen in two years, and flew to Wyoming for the first time in October to visit my best friend. I even wrote a new song on my guitar about a friend comforting another friend in pain. Recently, my favorite thing has been receiving a VHS player for my birthday. I have three boxes of VHS tapes in my bedroom closet that I was finally able to take down from its dusty shelf. So I spent a lot of the weekend watching old Christmas movies like Annie and Anabelle’s Wish, as well as rediscovering how many Disney movies I have on VHS. If they were unbreakable, I would have been tossing them all in the air to let them fall around me like some would do with money.

I ran my first 5k this year and made a lot of new friends that have become a big part of my life. I have felt the pain of missing loved friends more deeply this year than I have in a long time and discovered that a broken heart truly feels like your insides are cracking in every nook and cranny. I cried a lot more this year than I have in previous years. But that didn’t make it a bad year. I drank too much coffee, spent endless hours listening to music, and slept in too late too often. But I made it through another year with my loan payments up to date and no broken bones or sickness. I’d say I’m doing just fine.

This year has taught me that every single one of us could be better communicators. Especially when it comes to listening. In the midst of wanting to jump in and give our opinion in a conversation, we forget that listening is a significant part of communication. Why should anyone listen to us if we don’t take the time to listen to them? Are we really so prideful that we think what we have to say is more important than what they have to say? You don’t have to agree with the person, but that doesn’t mean you won’t learn or rediscover something. My goal for next year is to also have more conversations that are important. That sounds a little arrogant, but it’s not meant to be. I simply mean that we have too many conversations that are surface-level because that’s what’s comfortable. But there is so much to discuss and discover when we take the extra step to talk about deeper things than the weather. Getting to those topics can be tricky sometimes, so it takes some practice.

I could also use a little more practice when it comes to bravery. For the past two years, I’ve wanted to take my guitar to the nursing home sometime in the week before Christmas and sing Christmas songs to the elderly who may not get many guests if any at all, and maybe even stick around to listen to stories of those willing to talk with me. But I have been afraid to go alone because I have stage freight. I am insecure about my guitar playing abilities since I make mistakes while playing in front of people even though I don’t make mistakes when I’m by myself. But I also have a soft voice, and I don’t know how many would even be able to hear me. I also don’t talk to many people I don’t know. It’s always been hard for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger, even when I want to.

I’m filled to the brim of my glass with love today that I don’t know how to give it out any faster. I’ve been telling a lot of my friends and family the past couple days how much I treasure them, and I find myself in tears most of the time while writing to them. I think that’s partially because of the fact that my monthly gift arrived this morning. But the other half is truly because I feel blessed beyond words. I don’t know what this year would have looked like without them. There are so many hugs yet to give, so many experiences yet to occur, so many people to meet and stories to hear that part of me feels like I’m wasting time sitting here writing this. However, I’m only human, and there are days my glass is tipped over, kind of like how I’d like to flip over the tables of customers that test my patience. But thankfully those days are limited. Emotions for me tend to be overwhelming because they hit me like a train, and sometimes there’s not much I can do to hold them back. I found myself crying quite a bit at work this year, no matter what I told myself to calm down. But I will take those days if it means I can love people more deeply as well.

Only God knows what will become of me by next December. But I’m excited to see where I’m led.

 

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I’ve always had people ask me who my favorite singer is, what my favorite song is. But I don’t pay attention to the singer. They don’t necessarily matter to me. I look at what they sing about, what story or message they are giving. I am not interested in someone singing about getting high up in the club and getting all the girls. I like the songs that sing about holding on, thanking God, and being grateful through the hard times. I like the songs that sing about real love, taking chances, taking time to live life and dancing because you can. I like songs that sing about the brave men and women fighting for our protection, knowing they could die any day and sacrificing time away from their family.

To sum it up, I love songs that sing about the things I value. I value God, family, friends, music, love, happiness, living off the land, animals, not letting money change me into something prideful and greedy. I am here to love people, to give them strength when others tear them down, to remind people of their own priorities and values.

What is it that you value? Are they material things that can be replaced? Are they similar to your priorities?

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I am a people pleaser. It wasn’t until today that I realized that it is not exactly a good thing.

I try and put others’ happiness before my own. If they are having fun, then I’m more likely to have fun knowing that they are enjoying themselves.

Since I leave for Italy a week from tomorrow, I’ve been realizing just how many friends I have and how hard it is to give everyone a time slot in my schedule.

People like me get walked on a lot. My sister said if people want to see me, then they will fit their schedules to mine, not mine to theirs. I think I have always fit my schedule to everyone else’s.

The bad thing about that, is that somehow everyone’s free time is at the same time. The trouble with that, is that I am a part of a lot of groups of people, and not all the people in those groups would have fun together because they enjoy different stuff and wouldn’t really connect like I do.

Now I am forced to put some people before others, and I hate doing that because I don’t like people feeling like they are less important to me than the other people I am seeing.

It is good to think of others, don’t get me wrong, but I think some of us spend so much time trying to make others happy, that we forget to make ourselves happy.

Any kind of relationship is a two-way thing. I am someone who has gotten into the habit of basically letting the other person stand there while I walk all the way across the line to their side, instead of having them meet me half way. If people want to see you, be with you, spend time with you, then make them do some of the work too. If you are one of the lazier people, then get up off your ass and prove to the other person that you care.

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My chocolate lab
howls at early risers, claws
grinding against bark.
I whistle from my tent
stepping alone
into a circle of tall pines,
brush thick, black.
Rain had become more
than rain. I swim through fog
heavy as steam, whistle again.
Silence deeper than a grave
buckles my knees.
The heart’s enemy
tugs tender stitching
till nearby twigs crack,
the familiar swish of a tail.

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