Adventure in the Stories We Hear

Straight up, let me be a little honest with you.

I moved recently, to a great location in downtown Fort Wayne. My apartment is small, but I’m just me. It’s near more people than I could ever hope to be near. People I love. Nonetheless, depression is a crafty monster, and he creeps in just when you feel most safe. To say that I’ve been completely balanced lately would be a gross lie, and going into this post I think it’s important that you know that that’s where I am.

Recently, my friend and neighbor, Dirk, and I have have taken to going to The Green Frog Inn. We go because Dirk’s coworker is the new bartender. We went a couple of weeks ago on a Friday to find this beautiful kaleidoscope of people. Honestly none of it made any sense. Warned by our friend that the man sitting next to me was a very colorful character we stayed for a while. When we arrived there around 9:15 the colorful barfly, Phil, was already pretty drunk. But what I did get from Phil, outside of probably an hour of solid sexual harassment, was a series of incredible stories. I take them with a grain of margarita salt, but even if they’re all completely fabricated they were incredible. I offer you this one, which I’ll do my best to clean up without losing some of the integrity of Phil as a person. Picture Phil, balding, hunched over a beer, his voice Clint Eastwood gravely and slurred. His body worn from digging holes for a living. “You thought Jimmy Hoffa disappeared…”

“My niece Kristen was dating this black bastard, who got her real methed up. (it’s important that you understand he meant Methed up. Not messed up). And my mom had just died and we were all at the funeral. And that bastard pulls up in MY niece’s car and yells to her right there at my mom’s funeral ‘Bitch! Git in the car!’ And I started to walk over to him, and Kristen tried to stop me and said ‘Uncle Phil no. It’s fine.'”
And Phil put his hand on my shoulder and said “I got this.”
“No Uncle Phil, please.”
And again he touches my shoulder and says “I got this.”
“And I walked right up to the passenger side of MY NIECE’S CAR, and I grabbed him by the throat with one hand, with this hand right here” he said as he held his hand in front of my face.
“I pulled him outta that car and threw him on the hood. I got right up in his face and he just smiled. And I said ‘You’re gonna disappear. We’re never gonna see you again. You’re never going to contact her again.’ And he just smiled. And I stared him down and said ‘You’re gonna disappear. Or I’m gonna make you disappear.’ And he left that funeral. On foot. I took two weeks off of work to DT that girl. To clean her up. He methed her up, and I methed her down.”

How is that story anything less than incredible? Underneath that surly, pervy man is a man who only had stories about how carefully he watched over his family. And also about all of the holes he digs. “If you thought Jimmy Hoffa disappeared…”

The second story I heard this week is more of a series of events. I get a massage every once in a while from a woman named Jessica, who leaves me looking like I’m abused, covered in bruises. Some days she’s chatty, some days she’s not. She’s about 5’3″ and boxy, but manages to put out more force in her fingers than a stiletto at a muddy outdoor wedding. I couldn’t tell you what caused her to start talking about it, other than perhaps a need to say the things she said.

Jessica used to be an analytic chemist. She was married before she turned 26. I know that second part because when I said I was 26 she sighed “26. That was a good year. Married. Lucratively employed. Full of hope.” What’s more is she said THAT almost an hour into our conversation. Jessica stopped being an analytic chemist after she got divorced, but not right after. First she got engaged again. But then her fiancee and two family members died all within the span of two months. She got dismally depressed and quit her job. She took a factory job to make ends meet, and one day she got a call from an employment agency explaining that they would essentially pay for her to go back to school. Already holding a bachelor’s she knew exactly what she wanted to do. What she always wanted to do. In the 80s Jessica wanted to study massage therapy, but said that every time she mentioned everyone thought she wanted to be a prostitute. So she became a chemist, which is a hilarious jump. When she told the employment agency that’s what she wanted to do they said they’d allow it since all of her gen-eds would transfer, but they wouldn’t let someone who had never been to school do it. So last May she graduated and started her new career. Helping her raise her 7-year-old son.

It’s a little crushing, but over the course of however long I get to see Jessica, I hope that something beautiful comes of it for her. Not because of me, but because of whatever it is God has planned.

In my own withering state, I’m preparing this week for some much needed relief. Today through Wednesday I’m doing some serious marathon working at the store, but it will all be worth it because Thursday morning I board that train and head to Chicago. This is wonderful for many reasons. One, because I’m going to Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2, where I’ll get to geek out for three solid days. Meeting Peter Davison, Felicia Day, Amber Benson, and anyone else I’m fortunate enough to see. On top of getting go to some panels I’m pretty excited about.

More than that though, I’m really looking forward to the beauty of getting to be around so many people who know me in ways new people in my life have yet to understand, or have yet to be allowed to know. A Headset reunion is planned for Friday, which is beyond satisfying. It’s been since Patrick and Bekah’s wedding since we were all even together. I haven’t even met Deanna’s husband. So I’m thrilled.

I’ve been looking back at some college memories that really shaped my life, events, misfortunes, moments, words, people. What I haven’t yet been able to replicate in my life since probably sophomore year of college, with the exception of a brief few months in my last stay in Huntington, is this unmatchable group of friends. As a whole we were actually pretty terrible. We did stupid things to each other and a lot of us walked away from that year pretty hurt, but somewhere in my head all I can seem to focus on is, and this is how truly selfish I am, how funny I felt in those times. How complete as me I felt. How I felt like my soul was in place and hinged and full. Not entirely because of the people, because as I said, some of that was soul sucking too.

But some of the best times in my head took me to a place where I finally felt like I was a part of something important, even though it really wasn’t anything at all. It was just people living life together, which I suppose is pretty important.

Many of the people I’m seeing this weekend were a part of that, the good parts. The constant sisterhood. This surrounding of hilarious women, who simultaneously lived to pursue Christ. Something my life has really been lacking in. In a lot of ways. In the surrounding of hilarious women, but also women pursuing Christ. I guess because it’s growing cold here in my head, and I don’t want it to spread to my heart.

It wasn’t perfect, but some days it did feel a lot like this. Bliss.

3

chevy and john And once we did all stand around a piano and sing Weird Al’s Star Wars rendition of American Pie. Ray Charles was not there for that.piano punch

It wasn’t the same, but it wasn’t that different.

bus 2 because little shop posey bus represent sghetti stance this

stance 2

I think spring time makes me nostalgic in sort of sickening way.

I might need theatre in a way I didn’t realize before.

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Adventure in Camping and Movement

A few months ago my friend Melissa and I decided that we needed to spend some quality time together. Away from our lives. We found a weekend we were both free. And slowly. Very slowly began planning a camping trip. Eventually we decided we wanted to go to Holland, Michigan. We started inviting people and planning things.

We were getting close to the leaving point, and I began to have doubts. Fears. Lots of fears. I kept having these dreams in which I would break my neck while camping. In the lake, under a tree, in the bathroom, in a crash. I was nervous. And I was slowly and rather convincingly talking myself out of going. That I shouldn’t go.

On Friday, the day we were leaving, I received a text from my friend Joel expressing doubts in the trip, about two hours into his 12 hour drive from Maryland to Huntington. He asked me to pray. I did, and I should have spoken up, but for some reason I didn’t. Joel came out, and he left with the first car to go up in the afternoon.

I had been watching the weather all day and a massive storm was heading straight for Holland. It was just going to pound the west side of Michigan. But in a matter of minutes the path of the storm shifted and completely devastated Fort Wayne instead. It’s caused a good deal of trouble and tragedy in Fort Wayne, but it left our weekend safe.

It took me two hours to get through the city and down to Huntington. A drive that ordinarily takes 40 minutes. Traffic lights were out all over the city. Power was out everywhere. Trees were ripped from the ground by their roots. Houses were crushed. Vehicles crushed.

Outside a Montessori school near my parents’ house.

On Landin Road in New Haven, when trying to get home after the storm

More of the devastation after the storm. This is in New Haven.

The calm after the storm that tore through Allen County

Melissa and Margo’s basement was flooded by a backed up sewage pipe, so we waited for the plumber to finish up before we could leave. We left about two hours later than planned, and after a long drive finally made it to camp.

Strangers were meeting for the first time. Friendships were already forming. And after a long day in the sun at the beach and several sunburns we came back to camp on Saturday. Later in the night the conversations took a beautiful turn in their focus, and without much detail let me just tell you how ridiculous God is. He’s just such a goof. God needed Joel to be there to be there for someone else. I’m not expressly sure why I needed to be there, but I’m so glad I was. I’m so glad everyone was. It was a beautiful night, and some very powerful things came out of it. Some wonderful truth. Some very painful truth. And all of it so perfectly orchestrated. Even when we got home. We unloaded the cars and got on our ways just moments before another storm crashed through Huntington. I only regret one thing about the whole trip. That I didn’t trust God from the start. I even came home to see the electricity was restored to our house and that the city was working on my brother’s house, which had it’s cables pulled from the house.

On the way up to Holland, we couldn’t ignore our need to stop at Martin’s in Warsaw for muffins.

I went to bed about 2:30 a.m. on “Friday” night, and got up Saturday around 5:30 to see the sun just beginning to rise.

I spent my open morning with God and then in Rant by Chuck Palahniuk.

Chris “The Beard,” Stephen and Melissa joined me in the next couple of hours, and we had a 7 a.m. book club at the fire. Just the quiet, our books and our friends.

Brandon, our resident wrestler.

This is my favorite picture from the whole weekend. Joel. Exactly as I’d expect him.

My neon toes in the sand

Holland’s beautiful coast

Joel started digging a hole. A horrible sand castle was built. Stephen wanted a tunnel. Brandon began a second hole. This is the result. Before Joel accidentally crushed it.

His voice was raspy. His articulation was poor. But man could he strum. In downtown Holland

Even with sunscreen, this is what happened. My nails matching my shirt and flesh was not intentional.

This pic stitch is courtesy Kari. Please note that Joel and I are making the same face. Also it’s a good summary.

Soon Melissa will post pictures from the weekend, and I will, of course, share them with you. As well as, I’m sure, more thoughts on how beautifully God moves. I still feel like I could cry at any moment for how perfectly God works. My friends, please, don’t let me become someone who is so easily distracted by life’s pains, by the deserts of my days. I want to revel in the beautiful blessings I’m constantly lavished with. In my friends, in my family, in my life.

Adventure in Passion (not as salacious as you’d like or expect)

One quiet evening on a visit to Huntington I was sitting at the Rusty Dog with a friend of mine. We were discussing life’s pains and the things that drive us. I knew that she had started attending dance classes in Fort Wayne. She humbly told me that she knew she wasn’t very good, but she knew that if she wasn’t dancing somehow she just wouldn’t be able to survive. I had remarked how brave I thought she was. Going up there to this class every week where she simply did not know anyone. And all I could think was, “Good for you.”

Until, I got away from the conversation and all I could think was, “what the heck drives me that way?” I enjoy theatre. I enjoy comedy. I enjoy writing. I enjoy painting. But none of them so much that my life would explode if I did not have them. I used to think it was the case with theatre, but I’m really doing quite alright without it. So what is it? I’m not really passionate about anything. I’m not really driven by anything.

I don’t adore myself enough, or pine for the approval of my words enough, to pursue any sort of stand-up comedy. Sit-down comedy maybe, but only because I’m lazy and I have little feet. I write all day for work, perhaps not the most uplifting material or what I enjoy really, but it’s enough to satisfy any slight “need.”

I thought about taking some art classes. I even looked into it briefly, before I got horrified by prices or the insistence on having a child. If you want an inexpensive, but still quite acceptable class you take it with your child, which makes it less…inviting or really probably challenging. If you want a challenging class for adults you shell out more money than one’s bank account could possibly afford. An art class would be a seemingly appropriate way to meet new people with similar, slightly douchey interests, while simultaneously challenging myself and improving my meager skill.

As it is the benefits do not outweigh the cost.

I’ve looked into getting involved in helping with area children’s theatres, but their mission statements almost always infuriate me. Some of them so blatantly suggesting that they would prefer to only foster a love of theatre in those they think most worthy of it. They’re kids; let them play.

At the end of all of it, though, there’s nothing in me that requires something so beautifully as the way my friend needed dance. And when I’m honest about it, I’m disappointed in myself for caring so little about so very much. Passionless living. I disturb even my own heart with it. It takes me to a place that feels a lot like mediocrity in many areas. An unfocused emptiness. Or perhaps better a driveless focus. A regular Jane of no trades. Settling for average, or more often, less than average quality in many areas, none of which are excelled in. It’s a little, if not entirely, shattering every time I realize how truly passionless I am.

Adventure in the love vs. need of money

Huntington offered me a great big pile of peace financially speaking. My loans being my heaviest financial burden, which could be easily repaid. I tell you what, it’s not that easy away from Huntington. My rent is about three times the value of my monthly loan payments, which I have not made in months. Were I in Huntington making what I am making now I’d be living quite the cozy life. At present, however, I’m living paycheck to paycheck, and that’s barely doing the trick.

So my American brain says, “find more job. find more money,” which is, first of all, illogical. Hey brain, let’s think. Why not spend less money? Granted I’d be in about the same spot.

It always brings me back to this same spot though. Teaching English overseas. East Asia is more willing to pay people healthsome amounts of dollars, or yen really, to teach professionals, students or just about anyone how to speak English. Which, great news! I speak that! I studied that. I’m an Englishing machine, but then I come to a point of financial and spiritual responsibility. Do I jump on the nearly $50,000 I could be making and banking for some physical and financial comfort at the risk of abandoning everything I know and love? Do I sacrifice and take the hit to do what I know I can for no money a la the mission field?

My brain reasons the latter to be irresponsible. It says asking other people to foot my bills when I’m fully capable is shady, especially when my bills are stacking up, and totally invading my baking space. Is it more responsible to make the money and pay things off hastily? What is responsibility? What is it that really draws me to the idea of teaching overseas?

In part, I’m sure it’s fear. If I run then I can’t be held responsible for things back here. If I leave there’s no one to keep me accountable, but then logic sets in again. And that fear of responsibility is overcome by the fear of no responsibility. If I run from something I know is safe, if not easy, then I’m on my own.

Moving has been a challenge, and it’s a challenge because I’m not really gone. I’m an hour and a half away from anyone I’d need. I reason with myself that it might actually be easier to move away if it were impossible to come back. But it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s impossible to stay away because I had finally found a community. And now, blergh city. So do I take the leap and run? Or do I suck it up and stay?

Then raises the question, am I mentally and emotionally stable enough for either? Answer no.

Adventure in staying strong

971) Listen as hard as you can. You may only get the one chance.
972) When your heart is on the line, don’t just let things go.
973) When you find yourself at a loss for words, please, don’t try to come up with something to say.
974) If someone has shared something important with you, treat it as such.
975) Your burdens are not that burdensome to those who love you.
976) Please, don’t feel alone in your pain. Your pain is unique to you, but know you aren’t the only one hurting.
977) Put in the extra effort.
978) There is always hope.
979) When you feel lost in the world, don’t hide in your home.
980) You are not your job.

The days wear on, and I feel myself struggling on. A pair of friends in Indy. Torn between two worlds. I love my job. I love my apartment. I love Huntington. I miss my friends. And yet, I’m in Huntington right now, and I find myself feeling out-of-place in a place that just one month ago, two weeks ago even, I called “home.”

A painful but beautiful afternoon with a friend brought me out of dark place and into a different but still straining place. Every day is more beautiful and more difficult than the last. And yet there is pain out there different and more complicated than mine, that I must not neglect or ignore.

And here I am, struggling to find the words.

Adventure in Here We Go

In a few short weeks, with short funding, I will be leaving my Huntington family and moving to Indy. To a beautiful apartment. With a wonderful kitchen. Hardwood floors. I want to marry this apartment. I want to bake in it every day. I want to curl up in the dining room/office and read or paint. I want to lay in my bed in my own place and enjoy some quality me time.

I start a brand new job only a couple of weeks after that. An associate editor. How important do I sound? It’s the change I’ve been looking for.

It’s a scary place though. The whole idea. I’ve had some wonderful people in my life. Headset, Spyband, the theatre department, Brett and Will. God has offered me something though in the last few months I never thought I’d get to have. 5 of the finest friends anyone could ask for and an army of other beautiful friends who I can hardly believe I must leave.  It’s the hardest and probably most important thing I’ve ever had to do.  But here comes the kick. Get ready.

701) Never walk away from a good-bye.
702) Some of your favorite days will be marked by the most mundane activities and the most extraordinary people.  
703) It’s never too late to let people know how much you appreciate them.
704) Everyone deserves a chance.
705) When you know change is coming spend as much time with your friends as you can.
706) Please don’t fight the need to cry.
707) Even if you must go alone, travel to see your friends.
708) Stay until the very last-minute you can.
709) When it’s the last time, there is no bed time.
710) You’re not going to realize all the things you wanted to do until the end, when there isn’t time.
711) Phones are important.
712) Do not fear being by yourself.
713) Being by yourself does not mean that you are alone.
714) Do not discredit people simply because they are new to you.
715) When things are at an end do not focus on the end. Focus on the what you still have. Enjoy every moment
716) Keep stamps on hand
717) Have the hard conversations
718) Don’t lose sight of what you truly value.
719) A resignation is not letting someone down.
720) when you can stand next to large bodies of water and enjoy the expanse.
721) The joy of truly good friends is the opportunity to feel you do not have to perform or pretend.
722) Do your best to never make the people in your life feel like you are controlling them
723) Do not manipulate humans.
724) Your spare key, especially to your car, is best kept as your responsibility.
725) Turn signals are not to be trusted
726) Some times, strangers are the most generous and helpful people.
727) Some times they’re scary and dangerous.
728) Drive safely.
729) Be careful.
730) When you must say good-bye. Only say it once. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.
731) Some times the things people tell you in your dreams, dream though it may be, are important things for you to hear.
732) You won’t always get to be a part  of every little thing. This isn’t a bad thing.
733) The things in others that annoy you the most are often the things you dislike the most about yourself. Fix yourself first.
734) If you forgot bug spray, those bites are your own fault.
735) When it is hot your hair will not look the way you want. It probably won’t be pretty. It’s hot. People understand.
736) Soul mates are a silly idea. Doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It also doesn’t mean yours won’t be the finest friend you’ve ever had and not necessarily a boy.
737) When you can, wake up early.
738) Your burdens do not have to be shouldered alone.
739) Budget.
740) Road trips are often best soundtracked with the worst and most popular songs from your younger years.
741) Sofas can always seat more than 4.
742) Keep no one on your hook.
743) Lay outside with your friends and enjoy the sun. Or the rain.
744) Some times naps are essential.
745) Some times they are a bad use of time.
746) Keep Popsicles on hand in the summer
747) There is never too much ice cream
748) Newer isn’t always better.
749) The scariest steps are often the most important ones. 
750) Some of the most crowded and friend-filled places will feel the loneliest and saddest. Don’t lose heart.

Adventures in Accepting Circumstance

At the end of January I finished up teaching Hogwarts at Huntington and promptly began a new position at the Herald-Press. Selling ad space in a dying medium. I feel important. I was monstrously excited about the opportunity since I’m not qualified by any stretch of the imagination. As it turns out though, I’m not a salesperson. I’m simply not.

In the middle of February I received an e-mail about my resume which was provided to this particular person via a friend. The friend works for the company, and I thought, “ah what’s the harm in doing these trial assignments? If nothing else I’ll make a little extra cash on the side.” I loved it. I fell in love with the opportunity to have my fingers frantically flying across the keyboard and my brain doing something other than trying to figure out how to convince people to buy things they don’t need. Synonyms. New sentence structures. It was delightful.

I was offered an interview. One day after work I drove down to Indy to interview and have dinner with the interviewer and my friend. I was offered a job. As it turns out though there was nowhere within the office for me to be working.  So what was going to be two weeks is already 3 weeks. And I’ve no indication of starting any time soon.

I press on with a job I don’t understand and am not any good at.

In the meantime I find myself with two lovely roommates. One with a complete lack of understanding about dishes or cleanliness outside of personal hygiene. The other as unkempt in her housekeeping as I am, but clearly some sort of Joey Potter. My wardrobe has grown two-fold. And somehow I’ve become one of those people who loves to clean and cook and bake. I use my Saturdays to scrub. 

The 509 feels more welcoming than it ever has, and I find myself challenged to be better than I’ve been. I struggle to be more than I want to be, fighting the enemy of my salvation doing my best to refuse his pressurings and temptations. The people around me, with no real deliberate or obvious intention, are encouraging me to strive to be as Christ-like as I can. God’s constant grace is covering my entire life. I see him in all of my friends and find myself more hopeful every day.

Maybe the job isn’t the best, but I don’t know what God’s intentions are for me. And maybe this is it. A new job may come along in the future, but for now I’m surrounded by people who offer me love and grace and encouragement. I have more desire to pursue Christ every day. I have a great place to live. Wonderful roommates. And friends whenever I want them.

Who could complain?

Adventure in New Job

Success! Fate and prodding have afforded me a new job! I’ve landed myself a high-pressure workage at the Huntington Herald-Press. I’m an executive. BOOSH. When really all I do is persuade people to give me money to put stuff about their business in the paper. They call it “sales.” KEYS!

I’ve always sort of felt like sales wasn’t for me, but apparently they think it is.  I started today, but didn’t really do anything. So next week when my life really gets rolling we’ll see how I feel. Today, I felt like a receptionist who never does anything. Like a receptionist at a slaughter-house or something…only way less gruesome. Way less.

There are only about 10 of us in the whole building, so that will be an adjustment from the 40+ of us at the airport. An adjustment I will gladly make. It’s going to be a lot of me being self-motivated, but ya know what, I think I can do it. I believe in me. (See what I did there?)

It’s going to be a struggle. For a while. I need to get myself in a place though where it’s ok. I want to be someone who doesn’t just say she’s ok with failing, but is good at it and learns from it. Quickly. I want to be someone who can live her life without wigging out every couple of minutes. I think I’m improving, but I’ve got a way to go still.

It’s probably a good thing I like to drive because from what I understand I’m going to be spending a lot of my time in the car, which, well good. Not upset about it.

Now begins the real problem. Where’s a sister to live? It’s 45 minutes from my parents’ house to the press. And I certainly don’t live in Huntington. So I’m looking into places down here to live, but though they seem relatively decent the ones that I could conceivably afford would require two or more roommates. At present I have a dog. Know what? Most of the places I’ve looked at just don’t dig that. Even if she is freaking adorable. And all of the people I can see myself living with are boys…or freshman. Neither of these will work out well. Thus I need an alternative to this situation.

Life? Repairo.

A Journey in Dealing with Anger and Depression

Alright, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s to shoot straight and I learned that from a dear friend of mine, who once upon a time would be considered a mortal enemy. Krista Kowatch has taught me to shoot straight, always tell it like it is, why dance around it with your friends? So here, to an audience of? McCann? I dance not.

I’ve been at Huntington for nearly four years now. That’s a fine fair amount of time to spend in one place. I mean, it’s no 13 years at Blackhawk, but it’s a tough competitor. Maybe that’s the plainest showing of my fear of change. Stick it out because moving on is a scary business. Leave the country but the idea of doing it with a real place to come back to, with friends and family that love me. That’s scary.

In four years I’ve grown or at least changed more than I can explain. And I don’t really know who to blame for that. I’m okay with blaming in this case, because I’m not convinced my changing is such a bad thing. As scary as change is it is terribly important. Imagine I never changed my clothes again. That for the rest of my life I wear this pair of black leggings, same underthings, same tank top, and perfect wrap dress. Imagine  I never changed from dirty back to clean, because who needs hygiene? Imagine I never changed directions when driving. How would I ever get home or to the store? well, I wouldn’t. So change is necessary.

And in four years I’ve changed from hating myself to finding my worth in other people to falling away from those people to finding no worth in myself to hating myself to dare I say start to at least not hate myself if not even like myself to leaving the country to hating myself more than ever and returning home.

When I came home I was met with such a loving reception. Friends who push me to find myself and my worth in something greater than any of us. Friends who tackle me while I eat lunch with other friends. Friends who know that the instant I get back they can call me because of something that’s bothering them. Friends who love me more than I can understand or comprehend or believe to deserve.

And since I’ve been back I’ve not been well. The first week I was back at school, any moment I was alone I would sob. The instant I stepped into my room I would begin weeping. When I was with people I had to convince myself it was okay to be around people, to feel loved.

Slowly I’ve gotten past it, not entirely, but enough to function.

Recently I’ve learned that I’m not going to graduate this year, and because of a stupid rule the university has I’m not going to be able to walk until next spring either, and  I must walk which means my degree is void until next spring no matter when I finish it.

Needless to say this news did not excite me, in the slightest. In fact, I was downright furious. Fury has subsided into a state of pissed-offed-ness.  To the point that when I talk to friends about it I can at least laugh about it, or make jokes.

That doesn’t change another wrench my life has had thrown in the works. (as an aside any time I say “has had” I instantly want to finish listing the being verbs). I’ve gained a new state of melancholy at best. I never want to leave my bed.  And often I don’t. I sleep through my morning classes and go to my afternoon one’s if I can muster the will to get up. And it’s not awesome, nor is it something I’m terribly proud of.

I’ve had a bug to get out again. To leave. To start over maybe. To change scenery. I just need to move, forward and the school that was supposed to help me do that is holding me back. And it’s not helping me grow anymore. My dreams and my imagination and my strength have far outgrown it. And now I don’t know where I’m going to go next or how I’m going to get there until the school let’s me go.

Challenge and ADVENTURE!

Now, the theme here is adventure, so I’ll do my best to maintain some sort of adventurous tale with each new post. Deal? Deal!

Back to school in a more permanent semi-permanent sense.  I’ve been back at school for about a week now.  Most of my time has been spent in my room thinking about things and trying not to let my mind wander or focus too much on how undeserving I am of the people in my life.

I do not deny that coming back to school has been a monstrously challenging occasion. Spending two weeks with one person had its positives and negatives, but coming from that to a mess of people, or even just six of them has been rough.  I spent this week sitting. I did a lot of crying. I did  some throwing up.  Mostly I sat.

Tuesday was something I desperately needed.  I went to Pose’s flat and made a delicious vegetable and rice soup.  We got out the English muffins.  We made, I think three pots of tea, and in our variations on black dresses, Abi, Pose and I sat around a table laughing and reminiscing as we had our tea and muffins and soup and waited for Lindsay.  Lindsay joined us late, but was no worse for the wear as we simply enjoyed the company of good friends and a nice quiet evening tea.

One night I sat on my bed with Ashley for an hour or so laughing and being silly, an act we later took upstairs.

Thursday I spent with Lucy, almost exclusively. We took a road trip to Fort Wayne. Not a fabric store went untouched by us.  Declaring “ADVENTURE!!” as we entered each store in pursuit of purple corduroy.  After some work at finding Hancock Fabrics we found ourselves in the back storage room looking through about 30 different corduroys trying to decide if that purple looking one was actually purple or just pretending to be purple in the fluorescent lighting.  It was not. If you see her though compliment her on her lovely “purple” “blag”. We then made the next necessary trip to first my house to get my sewing machine, then to Wal-mart to get the remaining bits for the “blag”.

While at the Wal-mart in Fort Wayne we examined their fleece selection as Lucy is hoping to make a no sew fleece blanket.  She was dissatisfied with the selections so we went back to Huntington.

Jess and Brett came over and we had tea in the office (a.k.a. the space under my bed) and ordered ourselves a right fancy pizza. We also spent the evening watch “Big Train”, which was the perfect solution to my post-travel blues. I, to quote Mr. Shakespeare, “Laughed myself  into stitches.”  Jess and Brett were a bit concerned, as the show doesn’t actually make enough sense to possibly be that funny in real life.

Later that night Lucy and I learned something most devastating. The Huntington Wal-mart does not sell fabric anymore, to which I must ask, HOW WILL COLLEGE STUDENTS MAKE THEIR CLOTHES?! They won’t! I’m spent! It’s ridiculous!

Friday, was spent much like the rest of the time in my room. Only this time I spent the day sewing Lucy’s “blag.” (To those of you questioning “blag” that’s what Lucy accidentally called her “bag” so that’s what its name is).  So I spent the day sewing her bag and putting that all together.  I had to make a Wal-mart run to pick up new needles for my machine as Lucy’s blag tried to end me.

So I’m sewing at her bag right? And as I feed the fabric through the machine I hear it preparing to break off, but I tell myself I have to finish the seam.  And then, a chunk, a couple of clicks, and a ching and the fragment of needle and a pin fly at my throat.  Concerned but not daunted I get up to make sure I’m not dead. Really, the act of getting up was proof enough, but to satisfy my blood lust I made sure I wasn’t bleeding too.  I was not, but I did suffer a nasty scratch.

So we go back to Wal-mart get some needles and make our trip back to the campus.  We get Meagan and head to my room to watch P.S. I love you while I finish Lucy’s blag, now that I had needles again!  I finished the blag right there and she had it before the movie was done. I must say her blag is much nicer looking than my bag.  No one’s perfect.

Saturday happened.

Today, I spent a little bit of time looking at some of the pictures of Taylor students who went to Murlough as well.  I won’t lie, I’ve got a strong desire to be back there.  My heart was at peace just looking at the pictures.  My mind was racing about how to get back, but my heart was settled.  I won’t deny that I have a small case of the weepies again, thinking about it, but it’s not the same kind I’d been suffering, so things are shaping up.

I’d like to see so much of that beautiful country. I’d like to spend more time with my family there. I’d like to see the Giant’s Causeway. I’d like to sit and talk to Cynthia about her life, but mostly I’d like to see what sort of great things God is doing there and be a tool for him in any way I can be. Hopes and dreams. Prayers and thoughts. Some day? I certainly hope so.

I’ve been talking to Ben about post-graduation things, and I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I’d like to go to Murlough and work for Project Evangelism. I’d like to teach English in Japan. I’d like to work for Dr. Clark. I’d be okay with subbing, but some day I want to get back there. In a permanent semi-permanent sort of way.