Thursday, July 31, 2008

Random Thoughts from an Insomniac

I get a "Word of the Day" email every day. Today's word made me laugh. It's sesquipedalian (ses-kwuh-puh-dayl-yuhn). It means "given to or characterized by the use of long words; long and ponderous, having many syllables; a long word." Fitting.

Mom told me today to be careful... she felt like she needed to let me know that she's been praying for me. She also said that often times, the wrong person comes into your life just before the right one does - so just be careful.

Went to a Spokane Indians game today. In the parking lot, I pulled in next to these two young guys and the passenger got out of their car first since it was kind of a tight squeeze between our cars, then he shut his door and opened mine for me. Um... weird. I'm all for chivalry, but that was just an odd thing to do.

A friend made a very bizarre and somewhat disturbing request of me today - after a very open and transparent conversation. I told him I'd pray about it, but I think I already know the answer is no.

My Kryptonite contacted me this week after another long bout of silence. I want to be free of him. I want to move on. I want to forget I ever met him and the mistakes I could have made (and those I did make). But yet, I don't. I miss him more than I've ever missed anyone.

My brother in law talks to me more than my own brothers and dad combined. I love my b-i-l, but that realization today kinda hurt my feelings. Thankful for Josh though... he's trying to explain fantasy football to me. I signed up this year on a whim and have no idea how it works. :)

I'm hosting girls night tomorrow. My house is a mess and I haven't slept much all week. Not sure when I'll be able to either. Have to get up early tomorrow, work all day, stop by a wine tasting, see a friend in town, then be home in time for Girls Night - which will likely last late into the evening. Saturday I have a birthday party and another friend in town.

I am confused about the status of my "friendship." I've not felt I needed a definition until now. Preparing myself for distance.

I just want sleep... peaceful, restful sleep... If I fall asleep now, I'll get 5 hours of sleep.

Oh yeah, I forgot I have to pick up a coworker from the airport tomorrow at 8:00 AM.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Social Anxiety

Confident. Strong. Fearless Free-spirited. Self-assured. Outgoing. Friendly. Approachable. Social butterfly.

These are words that are often used to describe me. It's not just friends or people I've known a long time that see me this way. It's also complete strangers and people I hardly know.

I was recently invited to attend a 30th birthday party for a gal I met through a mutual friend a little over a year ago. Over the course of the past year, we've discovered that we have a couple other mutual friends and I've had the opportunity to meet quite a few people in her circle. A few of these people are a lot of fun and have welcomed me with open arms. After debating whether or not to attend this "Black & White" party, I finally decided to go, threw on the only black dress I own and pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant right on time.
Before my hand even reached the key in the ignition, I was overcome with
anxiety. All these thoughts flooded my mind. I'm too fat. I'm probably overdressed. This dress is too low cut. What if I don't have anyone to talk to? I'm not interesting enough. No one will like me. I'm an outsider. I don't belong at this party. I know L & S, but they will probably be too busy with their other friends to talk. My hair isn't cooperating. I should just leave.

I quietly scolded myself for these ridiculous thoughts and reasoned that this fear was totally irrational. These were wonderful people that I've always had a great time with and the few that I know well love me for who I am, not what I look like. And as for the rest of them, who cares what they think? I meet people every day and some like me and some don't and I usually don't let it affect me either way.

I sat in my car for probably 15 minutes arguing with myself. I even started the car a few times and put it in reverse, only to put it in park again and chide myself for this ridiculous behavior. But I couldn't bring myself to open the door. As I was dealing with this internal struggle, I watched as other party guests arrived and walked inside. Some were dressed very casual, only affirming my fear that I
would be overdressed. But then there were others who were dressed much nicer than I, making me feel like I was underdressed or not classy enough. I finally refused to continue the battle with my fear and decided that if I left, regardless of the many excuses I could get away with, I would always know that my fear won. That simply wasn't an option. I opened the door and walked in. Immediately, I was greeted with warm smiles, hugs and tons of compliments. I was introduced to people I hadn't met and ran into a few I had. A few even walked up and introduced themselves to me and spent much of the evening by my side.

People don't believe me when I tell them I suffer from social anxiety or that I'm really a shy person. I can't tell you how many times this sort of thing has happened to me though. And it's not only when I'm attending an event with people I don't know well. Heck, a few years back I went through the same thing in a parking lot outside of a coffee shop where a musician friend of mine was playing a small show. I knew at least half the people there, but still, the fear set in and I had to fight it all night.

Like I said, it's a completely irrational and unfounded fear. I know that in my head, but in those moments, it overwhelms me and I just want to run. Even the times that I stand up to it and force myself to walk in and talk to people, someone will always comment on my confidence. If they only knew...

I guess it just goes to show that what we see in someone isn't necessarily truth. Our perception of others is often inaccurate. Don't judge a book by its cover. You never know what someone is dealing with on the inside. We all deal with fear, feelings of inadequacy and question our self-worth. We all want to be loved, desired and accepted.

So, to all of my friends - thank you for your acceptance. It probably shouldn't matter to me so much and you may not even think I care, but obviously it does matter and I do care - probably too much.

I can already feel the next battle beginning. I've got to go buy a swimsuit and talk myself into a camping/boating/floating trip in a couple weeks and I'm already feeling nervous. Not to mention tonight - a BBQ at a fellow Couch Surfer's house for all the local CS members and I won't know a soul. I'm looking forward to it... but with butterflies in my stomach.

Monday, July 28, 2008


What is it about a person that draws others to them? Where does the magnetization come from? I've been told, both that I am approachable and that I am intimidating. So, which is it? Is it really something about a person, or is it something deeper – something spiritual?

Last night as I was standing alone on a foot bridge over the Spokane River, watching the orchestra play on the floating dock and waiting for the fireworks show to start, a man approached me. He and a friend had been standing a few feet away and I could tell by the corner of my eye that he was watching me. Finally, he walked up to me and asked if I knew what time the show was supposed to start. I answered him; he introduced himself and started up a conversation. He told me my eyes looked very sad and asked if I had a rough day. I was not in a good place emotionally and frankly, I didn't want to be bothered. My body language was unmistakably indicative of that fact. My answers were polite, but short, one or two word answers as I kept my eyes on the orchestra up the river. Finally, he asked if I'd like to go do something sometime. I simply said no.

At that point, I expected him to walk away, but he kept talking. Turns out he is a Christian and after a long life of doing his own thing, messing up his life and losing the things that mattered most, he finally decided to turn his life around. He was going to church, preparing for a missions trip to Africa and happened to know someone at my church. That was shocking since I've never met anyone who has ever even heard of the small church that I've been attending. Still, I did not want to talk to this man. I was so deep inside myself, drowning in my own emotions and self pity. I remember thinking that this is not the way that I am supposed to be. I'm supposed to be a light in this dark world, a beacon of hope, an encouragement. Yet, I couldn't muster even a simple smile.

He asked again if I'd like to go out sometime, again I responded with a simple no, thank you. Then he tried persistently, to give me his number, saying that you never know when you'll find yourself in need of a friend, but I would not take it. I bluntly told him I'd never use it and I wouldn't change my mind. I told him not to take it personally and I was polite, but wanted to get the point across. He kept trying. Finally, the fireworks show ended and I shook his hand, told him it was nice to meet him and walked home.

What are the chances, of the thousands of people watching fireworks in the park that night that I would meet someone who is a Christian, who actually knows people I know and the church I attend and who shares some of what is in my heart as far as a love for people and heart for missions and worship? His story, his life... even the annoying persistence… he'll never know that he at least planted a seed of encouragement that I so desperately needed that night.

Isn't it interesting how God can use a complete stranger? I'm ashamed of my own inability to even fake a smile or offer a kind word back to this gentleman. Am I really that dried up, that drained and empty? Yet, he wasn't discouraged. Wherever you are, Shawn, thank you for reaching out.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fighting... Losing

It's been a rough year. One filled with countless lessons in humility, close calls, unfaithfulness to my Lord, discontentment, depression, anxiety, restlessness, hopelessness and financial distress. In fact, just a few short weeks ago, I found myself wishing the Lord would just take me home. Why does he always have to save me in those close calls? Why couldn't I have fallen off that cliff or been hit by that car that ran a red light and came within an inch of mine? I feel like everything I touch crumbles, I fail at everything I try and I hurt those I love the most. I'm a hypocrite and fraud. I've been angry at myself more than anything else and have felt unworthy of any good thing. I've felt so indescribably low, in utter despair, completely alone and lacking the will to go on.

Yet, I do go on. I told a friend the other day that I'm fighting the fight, and losing. But that truly is a step above where I've been. At least I'm fighting. I was starting to think I didn't have any fight left in me.

I never thought I'd make it to 30. Always thought I would die young. I know that sounds morbid, but it's the truth. I've had a lot of close calls in my short life, and they seem to have multiplied significantly over the last few years, thus encouraging that thought process. However, I am still here. And I have to believe that there is a reason. I tell people all the time that every morning that they wake up, every breath the Lord grants them, it's because they still have a purpose on this earth. I have to believe that for myself. I just wish I knew what that purpose is. The Bible says that where there is lack of vision, the people perish. That rings true for me. When I feel like I am not serving a purpose and I don't have a vision or goals for my life, I feel lost and empty and that sets me on a downward spiral.

I should never allow myself to get to the point I've been in recent weeks - the point where I've lost all hope. I have allowed myself to become empty, trying unsuccessfully to fill the void in my life with things that just leave me feeling more unsatisfied at the end of the day. Why is it so easy to encourage other people, instill hope and believe the promises that God has given them? Yet, I doubt God in my own life - even though He has proven Himself time and time again. It makes no sense.

Well, I could keep writing, but I have to get some work done. I am hoping to get some time this weekend to decompress a little. My goal for to day is to simply remember to be thankful - to redirect my focus to all that I have been blessed with and have a heart of gratitude.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Meat & Potatoes

Conversations lately have left me feeling validated, satisfied and encouraged. No surface bullshit, but real stuff. Substantial. Meat and potatoes... Not all pleasant, mind you... but all REAL.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not Okay

Back from Juneau. Did NOT run into the ex. Purposely avoided the one party I knew he'd attend - more because I wanted to spare the rest of the attendees and the guest of honor unnecessary awkwardness, than because of my own feelings. Weird, but I kind of wish I would have run into him. I think because I'm curious how I would have reacted. I still hold on to this hope that some day we'll talk again and genuinely be happy for the good things in each other's lives.

It was good to see the family. My newest nephew is so adorable! And the rest of my nephews and my niece are all growing so big. They are beautiful kids. I miss my family a ton, but there was, of course, family drama and it exhausted me. All the job offers and pressure to move back were flattering, but exhausting as well.

A few conversations have left me very contemplative and introspective. I will save those for when I've had a chance to make some sense of them in my own mind and heart.

Something is wrong with me... deep down. I'm not sure exactly what. it is, but I'm not okay and I can't seem to hide it. Even with a smile on my lips, my eyes never lie and those who actually have taken the time to look at me today have noticed. Nothing has helped today - not coffee with a man who adores me, not lunch with my 3 favorite women, not even a good hard run on the treadmill...

Maybe it's time to do a little reading / meditating and then go to sleep.

Friday, July 4, 2008

It's Independence Day!

May we celebrate not just our country's freedom, but also our personal freedoms as well.
Be Free! Live! Soar!