Adventure in Restructuring

Here’s the thing about human interaction. It has both positive and negative impacts. I can spend time with really any sort of person, even the sort that drives me bonkers from their incessant talking.

(And I know you know, I’m saying it for my own sake, to remind me. Sorry, things are getting selfish.)

The thing is that some times you can spend time with people you absolutely love, and they sort of destroy your soul because they take credit for your work. And you’re forgiving. Or because they really love to destroy their own lives and you don’t even bother to do anything to stop them. Not because you don’t care, but because they don’t care and being in their life has made you indifferent to everything. Because it’s easy to just let whatever happens happen. Because you lose your will to say “no.” Or you forget to focus on Christ and maintain a Kingdom mindset. You forget to love people well.

But there are people in the world that you spend time with that challenge you. That push you. Without even meaning to. They’re just having conversations with you and living life with you, and you just naturally pursue being a better version of yourself. You find yourself signing up with several organizations to volunteer. You find yourself actively working to maintain focus and constantly alter your perspective. You find yourself being less selfish. You find yourself loving life more. You find yourself loving people better. You find yourself working on the things you love and working hard at them. You find yourself working hard on things you don’t care about. You find that everyone is important, and you want them all to know how important they are.

People are so important. Voices are so important.

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Adventure in Misery or Sadness Takes a Holiday

Disclaimer: Some day I may have the strength or presence of mind to fully explain the back story for this, but for now embrace a big dose of vague. You’re welcome, I know how specificity irks you so.

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Lately, things have been strange. Downright odd.

This particular week is, generally speaking, a very hard week for me. This week every year. Among other very painful things, the father of a dear old friend of mine died this week when we were but freshmen in high school. This week is riddled with similar painful reminders.

In previous years I’ve let the pain of the week just wash over me. I’ve allowed myself to wallow and suffer and drown. To barely keep my head above water. To take in whatever I needed to stay alive, if I must, but otherwise sink. And sink hard.

A recent conversation, or series of conversations, has left me admitting one very powerful thing about myself to myself. I love misery. It’s disgusting how comfortable I find it. I thrive in misery. I also love to be the martyr. Try not to be surprised. I bet you are. I put misery on like a baggy sweatshirt and yoga pants in front of the TV for an entire week. I curl up inside it like I’m Luke Skywalker, and it is my toasty, dead tauntaun. Like…no, enough similes. that’s a hard thing to shake though. It’s hard letting go of something that’s been such an enormous part of my identity for so long. If I’m terribly honest with you, I’ve let it be my identity for a very long time. And that’s messed up. That’s gross. That’s disgusting. It genuinely disgusts me.

What troubles me is now I find myself in a healthy place, and still I try to find that misery. Peace is weirdly uncomfortable for me. Still. It shouldn’t be. It should be my comfort in these trying times. It, by nature, is comfort, and I can’t seem content in that. It makes me so uneasy. While it is true that there is no need for hope or grace, if we aren’t broken and torn and hopeless, that doesn’t mean we should ignore hope and grace when it’s there. And it’s there. It’s here. It’s everywhere.

Instead of dwelling in my own self-produced disasters, I should be reveling in grace. I should be overcome with joy from the moment I wake up, because I’m being constantly repaired and constantly renewed. When I go to sleep, when I am asleep, I am renewed. We are renewed.

Any claim I hold on misery, is my head and heart screaming, “no thanks, Jesus. I got this one. I can save me.” Joke’s on me. I cannot.

“You can’t just sit there and put everyone’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.” Stephen Chbosky Perks of Being a Wallflower

These songs have been pouring through my head and heart the last month or so.

Adventure in AbFab

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Gosh, I wish that show was still on.

That’s not the point.

The point is the time has come for me to confess another travesty about my life to you. I love clothes. Moreover, I love ugly clothes. Hard. I love the neglected pieces buried away in thrift stores. In college the costume department was cleaning out storage, and they started filling bags of clothes for me. “This is ugly. Put it in the bag for Hayley.” It was bliss. And after reading this post from Jaime Blosser-Byrd, the time has finally come for me to be brutally honest about clothes with you.

In college a friend made me read (and subsequently purchase) the books from the creators of What Not To Wear. No. Not Stacy and Clinton *spit spit*. Trinny and Sussanah. I used to watch them on BBC America, and that alone changed my life. But having the books on hand is even better. Here’s the thing, I have a funny body. I do. Well, we all do. That’s right. You too. Embrace that. It’s good. The bad is that all women’s clothes are made exactly the same way. If you weigh 100 pounds or 500, clothes are built the same. A woman’s blouse, primarily, will be sized like a men’s t-shirt. S, M, L, etc. Which is stupid. I love that men’s dress shirts are sized with all sorts of numbers I don’t fully understand. I love that men’s pants do the same thing! I’m not a blanket size 10 in jeans. My stems are weird length, and my hips are small, but my stomach is a turd. I have big boobs and a small waist. I have no butt. My shoulders are big and my neck is short.

But let’s be real, team. I know how to dress. It took me a while to admit that, and then to also do it. I’ve known for a while; I simply struggled to find the right clothes. Now, though, I’d rather wear the same things every week, than look pregnant or deranged. (Some times I still look deranged). Yes, I treat clothes as costumes usually, but so far I’m not mad about it.

I can’t express this enough, if you’re struggling to find the right things for your body, please check out What Not to Wear. Here! You can get it for a dollar. Learn your body type. Learn your body shapes to know how to cover it. Know what to show and what to hide. Now, it is an incredibly British book, so if you invest in the subsequent books standards for things like weddings are a little different than in the States, but I assure you it’s still worth the investment.

Don’t worry though! If you’re a man and rubbish at clothes, I have good news for you too. Well, I have good news if you happen to look pretty much exactly like this guy. I have a pinterest board that might appeal to you.

Let’s just take a moment and revisit some of my favorite looks from the past year. Sorry for all that straight up bragging.

Love me some bright colorsphoto (1)

Tight skirt, baggy sweater. I love youphoto (2) This blazer was a solid thrift.photo (3)

These shoes were worth the $2.00, even if they have no give and I can barely walk in them. Also, this sweatshirt is from Sevenly.com #love

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Wool skirt is a winter must. I can emphasize it enough

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This outfit made me feel like I was in an all-female production of Peter Pan, but I think that’s why I love it so much.photo (9)

Toothbrush: essential.photo

This blazer, I was considering altering, but let’s be honest…photo (4)

Why would I?!
photo (10)This is the ’90s girl answer to “dress up.” Biggest bow possible.

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Adventure in Really, 2014? Really?!

http://screen.yahoo.com/weekend-joke-off-000000916.html

Let’s be terribly honest. Let’s get grossly honest. Just for a minute. Last year was a grim year. It was bleak. I was bleak. I was trapped and lost and broken and unfulfilled and unwilling to let that change. 2013 was not my year. It was not my year.

2014 is the year of the Hayley. It’s on all of the message boards. Reddit won’t shut up about it. Buzzfeed has been doing lists upon lists with gifs and photos of me and clips from my favorite shows. All of that, and it’s only February.

It started almost immediately with the year change. I cut my hair off again and that night I did some stand up to open for Brett and Erica, maybe you remember. It was a good time. I did terribly, but it was a good time. Then a series of dates happened. Because maybe you’ll also remember I’m trying to say “yes” to more things. Or at least not be so quick to refuse everything. So when someone asks, now I say “yes.” I don’t think about the consequences. I need to start considering consequences.

So far what I’ve learned is a sociological shift. Isn’t it supposed to be that women are hasty to become emotionally involved and monogamous and men are stand-offish about such things? Isn’t that a thing? If it isn’t a thing, then rest assured the natural order is maintained. If that IS supposed to be a thing, then know that the whole world has gone topsy-turvy. The length of time it takes for a man to profess his love to me is dwindling. Quickly. Dwindling isn’t even the right word. That implies a slow burn. This is a flash.A week. Three days. Three hours. That’s the way things are going.

A month ago if I went out with Erica, I didn’t exist. Moreover, I was glad not to. Now, I can’t go out without make up and my hair askew and a simple t-shirt and jeans without someone telling me they love me.

A new year can change the whole world. Maybe it’s Saturn. Maybe it’s this shiny new haircut with the purple streaks. Maybe it’s my completely lack of concern. Whatever it is, it’s weird. It’s a weird year.

Please know that I’m not trying to be boastful. I’m trying to get you to understand how strange it all is. How I’ve worked so painfully to be content in solitude, and now I find myself without a moment to myself. I’m not complaining. (I am a little).

It’s an ever increasing count. It’s strangers trying to kidnap me increasing. It’s phonecalls on dates increasing. It’s someone PLEASE SAVE ME increasing. It’s only one of them did I feel compelled to seek out simultaneously as he sought me. It’s hopeful without being trite. It’s contentment without being idiotic. It’s a mess mostly. It’s a need to spend time with someone who might be interested in me for me and my thoughts and heart and words and not my interests.

Sweet Lord, there’s much prayer happening.

 

Entirely unrelated, it’s a gratefulness for the grandparents I still have and a longing for the ones I’ve lost.

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