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That Place

It’s hard for me to fall asleep at night.

Maybe it’s nicotine and coffee and working, but I just lay in bed thinking. Chewing my cuticles into oblivion. I’m just not ready to give up, and that’s the problem.

I’m not ready to give up on the day.

Why? What would I do differently?

It’s too easy to get lost in the monotony of this life. Going to work. Coming home. Chores, and family. Dinner with friends. Starting a new book. Then another new book, and then another.

In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life Jimmy Stewart’s character talks about in the middle of the night he wants to run through a field in his bare feet and look out at the stars and climb the nearest hill and well, live.

I want to do that too but I don’t know how. Sure, I’ve prayed and asked God. I’ve knocked on the Doors of Purpose. I’ve lived the wrong way too, and once you’ve done that, it’s a constant temptation not to live that way any more. Why?

Because each time it gets harder and harder to get to that place. Maybe just a little harder each time, but all those  ‘little’s add up right?

That place. What is it?

If you’ve been there, you know.

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10:30 pm

And if you are home by 10:30 p.m, what then does that mean?

Does it mean your life is boring and your friends are few? Does it mean you don’t know fun or what it is to be free and sadistic and contrary?

Often we find out what something means by what it does not mean.

Here are 5 life lessons I want to present on my blog, as we head into summer. Thank you fall, winter, and spring!

1. Yes. Yes, Tapatio does go on everything.

2. Belgian beers are good. Ales are good. Vodka cranberries are very good. Mix them together. They are not good.

3. You will love again. You were meant to, whether you like it or not. You’re not exempt from your godly calling to love.

4. Wisdom teeth and chronic back pain are NOT reasons enough to say this is a shitty life.

5.  Change is coming. It’s already started.

I was home by 10:30 last night.  So what? It’s not a bad life. Or, rather, if it is a bad life, that’s not the reason why.  If you’re home early that is not a bad testament.

If you walk around acting like you own the place, even if you don’t, you do. Why?

Sooner or later people start to believe that you do, simply because you believe you do.

Do you believe?

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Moving On

I feel as though everything I look at turns to salt these days. Maybe it’s only a matter of time before I become salt, too.

Pardon my Old Testament reference.

I’ve been turning over stones left and right to find nothing but worms and dirt beneath them. My attempts at publishing so far this year have been futile. My make-up artistry class, which I’ve essentially been planning my life around for the past couple months, has been canceled due to low enrollment. I’m on the re-schedule list.

Ok God, what gives?

I was studying the Word the other day and the thought occurred to me how often I ask God to make all dreams come true. For me, for the people I love. God, just make those dreams come true. Fulfill all. I thought about how I ask this and suddenly it became so stupid to me.

The idea of how God can make my dreams come true is not stupid to me. The how is irrelevant. Of course He can do it. That’s not the question.

But what is the point of asking God to make your dreams come true, when you have none?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

And the thought occurred to me, loud and clear, kind of like a gunshot in the distance.

I will begin to dream again. And you know what?

So will you.

We are not meant to pay for the transgressions of others.

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Eyes

I once had a guy at school tell me over text that he loved how beautiful and big my green eyes were.

I wanted to tell him my eyes were blue, not green. But I didn’t. My friend Rachel and I ended up laughing about it later and joking about what a dork he was, however with good intentions.

I’ve been wondering lately what we really see when we look into each others’ eyes. Do we see all the pain and mischief? The child-like wonder? Or just empty glass?

I worked yesterday morning and I was running out of my work to try to get across town for Easter brunch with my family. I sat next to my dad and my cousin Drew, across from my uncle, cousin Chris, and cousin Mikey with his fiancé. All the way across the table I met eyes with my cousin Theresa after we’d shared some private text messages moments before (yes at Easter brunch, I know) and I knew as she met my eyes she knew what I was feeling. I felt her empathy, she felt my distress. She was too far from me. I had another beer.

My make-up course starts on this upcoming Sunday. Everyone I’ve talked to thinks it’s weird because, who would really want to teach on a Sunday? Only a crazy and/or broke teacher, that’s who. I’m excited anyway. Maybe it’s just something to do, to kill time or keep myself busy. But I have found that even when we only give God an inch He will take an entire yard. In a good way, of course.

I think everyone struggles with feeling different from everyone else. I was put on this earth to love people. It doesn’t get any more or any less than that. It has no long-term or short-term.

God says to Moses through a burning bush: “I AM.”

It is not deeper than that. There is no justification for it. There’s no blog post on it. In the same way that He is, mightily, so I am just me. Just Annie.

Ready to look into your eyes.

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Dry Spells

You hear things like, “There’s no rest for the wicked” and you’re like oh, okay. No wonder I’m not getting any sleep.

There are some things in life I do not understand. It would only be too easy to blame my wickedness for every bad or every good thing that happens in my life. Maybe you too, look at situations that are happening. Maybe your boyfriend sucks and you don’t have the heart or the backbone or the liver to tell him. There’s a circumstance with your job that makes you feel like a failure. Or there are no prospects of your parents ever getting back together. You wander a shallow valley and wonder,

Am I meant to do anything else but this?

Hindsight. In hindsight we will know–I will know–what the dry spell was for. The planted fruits that would seem to come to nothing. We will wait and we will know, maybe not three months from now or six months from now.  But we will know.

Until that time, what matters now is pleasing Him. For He is someone, when we have no one.

The thing I struggle the most with is being forgotten. The fear, of receiving no credit where it is due. Of having wasted time. The fear of not measuring up, or worse, having measured for sure and still receiving nothing for it. Not even a good word. Losing, again, to that damn squeaky wheel that has become the bane of my existence time and time again, situation after situation. No elevated platform for Annie. Return to the shallow valley.

And what then? If worse comes to worse, and I am not remembered?

He is someone when I have no one. Elevated platform or not.

So let’s dance.

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It’s Quiet Here

It’s strange how in the midst of so much noise there can be so much quiet. Inward and outward noise. San Diego isn’t a quiet a place. We live in a crowded area, with constant traffic. There are cars, there are dogs. Not to mention it’s always 4:20 somewhere and that’s not a quiet thing. Inside, the TV is always on. The fan is fanning. The microwave is beeping. Music is playing. People argue, but people whisper. And then, there are the voices inside of you.

They quicken. They stop. They sputter and then they gain pace. They gasp, gain confidence, and then quit altogether. The voices inside of me lately have been in a frenzy. Like a shark who sniffs blood and then loses it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about work and school and what comes next. This has been a year of new things for me, and I’m pretty sure it will continue to be so. I still think about moving up to Folsom to be with my mom. I think about trying to squeeze into her cottage made for one. Me and her and all our cats. I think of her local theatre, how I could audition for this role or that one. Or maybe I could put make-up on the actors and actresses.

It’s this cluster that were all in. Where crazy is the new sexy and you’d give anything to press into someone just as crazy as you. Or to know that at least if they could be that crazy, even the possibility of it, would be a comfort.

I must choose to be quiet under trial in a world that is not, period.

I eat my top ramen on a Monday morning. The world is quiet here.

 
These are the soldiership years.

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Itchiness

I’m sitting here on my bed typing and talking to my kitty, Ruby. She’s meowing and purring and telling me how hard her life is. Sleeping all day, waking up, sitting in the windowsill watching the cars drive by. Waiting for me to get home, snacking.

It sounds like a tough life, doesn’t it?

I don’t know what it’s going to take to make me happy. I am frustrated and fickle and say I’ll do something when I won’t. I’m trying to hold onto the fact that God is the great I Am. But lately I see through a mirror, darkly. Imagine walking around with a fog inside of you that spreads out from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. And then for good measure you put on a pair of dirty sunglasses that have ketchup on them from In N’ Out and you just haven’t cleaned them because you know, life’s busy and you ain’t about that.

At my Bible study we’ve been talking about Jesus and the disciples. This week were supposed to read Matthew 26 which talks about Jesus being betrayed by Judas. I thought about Judas and how like, he was just so doubtful of Jesus and who He was. I wonder if things would have been different if he had just said to Jesus from the beginning:

“Hey, I don’t believe in what you’re doing. I don’t understand it. Why are you letting things get out of hand? Why not do this instead? I don’t get it. You know, I have my doubts about you and who you say you are.”

I think simply by admitting this, Jesus would have more than met Judas half way. Doubt wasn’t the problem. Disbelief wasn’t the problem. It was zero communication with God. I think that hurt Jesus the most. The fact that Judas, after all that adventuring together, just couldn’t say what he was feeling and thinking. I think that hurt Jesus more than Judas’ disbelief and doubt because let me be frank, and you guys can be earnest:

Us too. We’re all thinking the same thing. What the hell is God doing? Who is this Jesus? Who is this Messiah?

I want to know, man. I gotta know.

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Elephants

When I hear the term “life expectancy” I generally think, how long am I going to live?

My cousin Theresa and I spent the afternoon together. We stopped and looked at two houses for sale on our way home. I put my face to a glass window so I could see the 70’s shag carpet in what could be a bedroom. My bedroom, if I lived there. Someone had put a Marilyn Monroe picture in the living room. She looked right past me but I looked at her. I wondered what it would be like, to call my co-worker and invite him to play board games in the backyard of this house that belonged to no one. Would he bring a friend? Would anyone catch us? I wondered what it would be like to call up a man I don’t know to occupy the backyard of a place we know even less. I wondered what the rush would be like, in another instance, to wait until my neighbors go out for the evening, and then jump into their pool naked, just to go back over the fence running for my own yard. Home base.

We have a pool, but that isn’t the point.

The imaginary elephant we allow to roam the room is a question. What is important to me? I think some of us get an idea of what we want our future to look like–husband, babies, Netflix, breakfast at midnight. Sex. Drugs. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. The concept of having the life at all becomes more important than who it’s with. Does the who even matter? Or just the life? Just the house. All the possibilities that live in that backyard. The Mexican beer. The rotting orange tree. The broken gate–maybe somebody crashed their car into it, and that’s why it’s bent like that.

Sometimes people are objects in the life you want. They exist and we love them but they’re still objects. They play a part in the life we want. The life that we want more, than we ever wanted them.

Life expectancy is not how long I suppose I will live. It’s how I expect my life.