Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Seven months and counting...

As I've been getting older, I've been struggling with not looking my age. I feel like I have to try extra hard to prove myself because I look so young. I haven't had a lot of confidence in my gifts because I feel like people get this first impression of me looking so young & they discount me (or I discount myself before they get a chance to). But I woke up yesterday morning and it hit me, I'm turning 30 in seven months. Something about that number 30 woke me up and I thought, What the hell am I doing with my life? I'm turning 30! 30 years old is not the little girl I so often feel like I am inside. 30 is so... adult. Goodbye 20's, goodbye "young adult", hello menopausal years... I'm not kidding... there's a story that goes with this... Yesterday I was working at the bookstore (yes, I am almost 30 and have the same job I had in college six years ago, yes, the $7/hour job I have with my Masters degree, yes, that does depress me...) anyway, so I'm at the bookstore, still stunned by the fact that I'm turning the big 3-0 in seven months. On my break, I start looking for books about turning 30. I find a few... "The complete guide to pregnancy after 30" (like that's too old to have a baby?), "Mid-life crisis at 30", and my favorite: "Swim naked, defy gravity, and other essential things you must do before you turn 30" (Why because after 30 you'll never get a chance to do any of those things, because your life goes downhill from there, because your life is pretty much over??). Then I found it: "The new menopausal years: ages 30-90."

The truth is, I know it's still seven months away but I'm excited to turn 30 (and a little scared). My little wake-up scare yesterday morning has been good for me. It's made me see myself more as I truly am - a fully grown woman. It has been a good motivation for me to create the life I want to be living by the time I'm 30 & if not to have "arrived" by the time I'm 30, to certainly be heading more in that direction than I have been.

Today was supposedly the most depressing day of the year - the day where there's been enough distance away from Christmas that we're now receiving all of our holiday bills & still midwinter where the weather is dreary, cold, & sunless for days on end. I'm not sure I exactly understand why it's supposed to be the worst day of the year today but I'm not going to let anyone tell me what kind of day I'm supposed to have. I actually had a really good day today. I'm excited about what the next 7 months could bring for me. Come on 30, bring it on. I'm not scared of you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Can you hear me?

I have been so irritable these last few days. I don't know what's going on with me. I actually yelled at my mom & my brother today. For anyone who knows me, this should come as a huge surprise... The crazy thing is, I didn't feel all that surprised afterwards. I opened my mouth & words came screaming out & then I was done. I didn't really have much of a response, which feels really strange for me since it was something SO out of the ordinary. I am not a yeller; I'm barely a talker. Though I'm very emotional, I rarely express those emotions. So to just open my mouth & scream is bizarre. I think I yelled something like, "You're not listening!!" I can't remember exactly. My mom & brother were both talking at the same time while I was in the middle of sharing a story and so, no, they weren't listening.

My brother actually said a pretty profound thing after I yelled. He said that I yelled because I must not feel heard. He was so right on. And I realized how much I haven't felt heard all my life. There's a “funny” family story about me from when I was a baby. I am the youngest in my family – by quite a bit. My sister is 6 years older than me, followed my two brothers who are 10 & 12 years older than me. My cousin also came to live with us for 5 years while I was growing up. She is also six years older than me. So growing up, with 5 of us kids around, it was a busy, noisy house. And I was usually in the center of it all, taking everything in.
So, as the story goes, when it all got too much around the dinner table and everyone was talking all at once, and no one was paying any attention to me (the baby in the high chair), I'd belt out a good long yell. Everyone stopped their conversations & directed their attention to me. Shortly after, I was satisfied and everyone went back to their conversations.

I've struggled with being heard all my life. A big part of it is my personality... I am quiet & introverted. I need to be drawn out. I enjoy a good conversation & I have a few people in my life who I share my true self with. But I also know I can be hidden and private. People say I'm a hard person to read. That surprises me. I feel like I'm always giving myself away – that people can see right through me. But I guess after years of trying to control & stuff my emotions (for fear that I'm “too much” or that I won't be handled well), along with a fear of letting others know how they affect me, well, I guess that could result in becoming a hard person for others to read.

So I've become comfortable in the distance, in the silence. I don't require, request, demand enough to be heard. Instead, I remain mute. I tend to talk quiet & so am usually spoken over. I want more areas in my life where I am heard. I need to make the space & the time for that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

This year, I want to...

1. Drink more water
2. Get on a better sleep schedule
3. Listen to music more often during the day
4. Write every day
5. Exercise every/other day
6. Be a more committed/available/accessible friend to others
7. Face my fears of swimming (there's a mermaid inside of me just screaming to get out!)
8. Complete my counseling internship
9. Quit Barnes & Noble and work full time as a counselor
10. Live more from my desires than from my fears

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I'm driving along Highway 31. It's lunchtime & I'm hungry. I take the exit to my favorite restaurant & park, dreaming of what I will order inside. But something is holding me back & I can't get out of my car. A belt holds me to the seat. The doors are locked & won't let me out. I struggle a bit. Maybe someone will see me & come to my rescue. The smells beckon me. People sitting inside, laughing and talking and eating mock my struggle. All around me, people exit their cars with ease & stroll inside. What's their secret? Why is it so easy for them to get inside? I begin to worry, how long will I be trapped in this car? How will I get out? Won't someone open my door for me & unbuckle this belt holding me down? I'm locked in; I'm stuck; I'll be here forever & never get inside that restaurant. Hours go by & I do nothing but watch the people coming & going. Perhaps I fall asleep for awhile. Before I know it, night has fallen. The restaurant has emptied out. Where did the time go? I'm no longer hungry but sad and tired. Logic tells me, just reach over & unbuckle your seatbelt. Unlock the door & step out. But something stops me. Am I not hungry enough? Do I not genuinely want to eat? Do I not want to eat at this restaurant? But this is my favorite restaurant & my growling tummy tells me I'm hungry. And still, I sit in the parking lot, all day.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

I enter into 2006 hopeful about the coming year. I enter in with dreams and goals - for our counseling practice, for losing weight & exercising consistently, for getting on a better sleep schedule, for writing more, for completing an internship so I can pursue licensure, for permanantly moving on from Barnes & Noble & getting a counseling job, for growing in relationship with my husband, with family & friends, with God.

You are not safe, God, but You are Good. Help me to trust You for this coming year. Please protect & bless my loved ones with Your presence. I think of that scene in the Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe movie where the lion is walking down the beach, away from the party. And I'm little Lucy watching him leave & tears are streaming down my face because I feel abandoned & I don't understand why He can't stay, why He won't stay. I just want to be with Him. And I realize, those times I rebel against Him, those times I fight Him & turn my back on Him & doubt Him, it's because of all those times, I've had to watch Him (or others) walk away from me.

Most endings aren't safe - full of pain, sadness, regret, longing, loss, lack of closure. But in the midst of it all, He is good. I hold onto that. I want to understand more what that means this year.

May this be a year of creativity, growth & healing.