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Day 7 – Brokenhearted

Today, I am broken-hearted. This is a lesson I never wanted to learn, but I am here, so I will trudge through it. 

Have you ever had something, unexpectedly, reignite a passion within you? I have, and I am now looking at it going away. I am looking at something that reminded me how much I love to be creative and write getting ready to move on without me. I never really thought I would be in this place. As much as I keep reminding myself that all things are temporary, I lost focus on this one. 

When I moved back to Minneapolis in August, I moved into my childhood bedroom with all my things in a storage unit and began a job at the church I grew up in. All of these things were supposed to be temporary. Considering I just moved everything out of my storage unit and into my parent’s basement, we can guess which one is now more permanent. This whole journey has been a little more intense than I originally anticipated. There have been a few more tears, and a few more roller coaster turns than I originally planned.

But maybe that’s the part of the story that keeps me hanging on. It’s the pain of the story that makes a reader turn the page. Maybe it’s the conflict, resolution, romance, sorcery… wait not sorcery… but all the other things, maybe those are the reasons we fall in love with a story. Maybe it’s the faith of the readers that the characters will find resolution and accomplish their far fetched dreams that keeps a story flying off the shelves. 

Right now, I am in pain. My heart is broken. I fully invested in something that was never guaranteed long term. Some of my broken-heartedness is my fault, but not all of it. I have dug myself a hole of lies where I feel at home in misery. I hate doing this. I am a smart chick, I know when I’m being ridiculous. I also hate what I am about to do. I am going to mention the bright side of things. I hate doing this most of all because it comes back to bite me in the bum sometimes. Alright, here goes. 

I was recently reading an article by Chuck Klosterman about Tim Tebow. All football aside, Klosterman articulated ‘faith’ in a way that I had never thought about before.

The only time “faith” seems negative is when it’s prefaced by the word “blind.” But blind faith is the only kind of faith there is. In order for someone’s faith to be meaningful, it has to be blind. Anyone can believe a hard fact that everyone already accepts. That’s easy. If you can see something, you don’t need faith. Faith in the seeable is meaningless. But meaningful faith is dangerous. It simplifies things that aren’t simple. “

The hard fact that I know? I know that the sun will come out tomorrow, that there is something else out there for me in this world. I know, without a doubt, that there is a sweet job, great friends, and love still to be written into my story. I have faith, blind or not that I am still in the writing process with a pen to the page. I will face more heartbreak. I will face more trials, and disappointments, in fact, I see one coming down the line in the near future, but that doesn’t matter now. What matters is that I know my heart will heal, it has before. I know that I will learn to forgive, I have before. 

More important than all of that, I know I am talented, adored, hilarious, confident, smart, creative, worthwhile, fun, capable and worthy to be loved and love someone in return and on top of all of that wonderfulness that I already am, I am growing, creating, becoming better and becoming more than what people try to make me. I refuse to give up, give in, or compromise my integrity because of some lie I am believing. 

I think Donald Miller said it best, “It’s not what people do that scares me, it’s what they hide. It’s the secrets that keep us from bonding and building mistrust.”

I refuse to hide or have something to hide, so today I will boldly say that I am brokenhearted and no amount of sweet assurances or positive compliments will change that there is someone “better” than me and I think it’s a shame.

Day 6 – Poor

I started working about 30 hours a week when I was 16 at TCF Bank. Being able to attend college early and working as a bank teller allowed me to live a pretty sweet lifestyle early on in my life. I always had the jeans I wanted to wear, gas in my car, and the ability to buy or do whatever I wanted. In all honesty, I’ve been able to live like that for the last 10 years of my financial independence. Yeh, there have been a few times when I had to hold back or save for something, but the feeling of being utterly unable to do what I want to do because of financial restraints is a new one to me in this adult life. (Please take none of this post the wrong way, I am in no way shape or form whining about money or bragging about the money I used to have. There is a point to this, follow with me please) 

As a family, we have had the 7 years of famine, 7 years of feast pattern most of my life. I remember plenty of times I was told no, or we just can’t. Of course those are overshadowed in my adolescent mind by all the times I got what I wanted… or a car or something… haha. My parents worked hard and have instilled that same mentality in me. When you work hard, there is often a reward or a paycheck. 

I am literally sitting here staring at my first 2 paychecks from my new part-time jobs… Caribou Coffee = $40.73, Target = $74.50. They are resting softly on top of the sheet of notebook paper that reads out my monthly bills. Needless to say, these checks cover the notebook paper better than they will help cover my debts. But, as much as I should be panicking, freaking out, asking my family for money, pulling my hair out, donating blood, etc… I am in perfect peace. 

Maybe it’s because it was just Thanksgiving or maybe its because God is good at reminding me of the parts of my life where I am rich. I am one lucky girl, let me tell you! This weekend, my amazing friend Ashley was able to open a store in Fargo, ND. She is living one of her dreams and she’s allowed me to be a part of it. Several of my best friends have recently gotten engaged. Do you know how cool it is to see these couples stare at each other with so much love? Seriously! Awesome! Yay! I am fortunate enough to not only work at Caribou Coffee but I’m also a temporary part of an awesome creative staff at a church. They challenge me to think, create, grow, and not give up. You know what else is a huge blessing? Since moving back to Minneapolis, I’ve been able to re-connect with a few old friends, so even though I’m being a stick in the mud about meeting new people, I still have some awesome people to hang out with. Woot!

So, to end this whole page on a cliche note… ahem… Although I am broke in terms of money, cash, moola, coinage… I am beyond rich. (let us all roll our eyes now… ok… got it out of your system?… good) There are going to be days when I stare at my bank account and get nervous and on those days I will NOT be thinking about how blessed I am… I won’t, it’s not in human nature, but here I am acknowledging that at the end of the day, no matter what USBank tells me I’m worth, the people in my life make me a millionaire. (ok, I’m sorry, that’s a terrible sentence… seriously, you have permission to roll your eyes again… ) Let’s not forget the actual point of this lesson. I’m a sad, broke hipster, but as I sit here in my flannel shirt, black plastic glasses, skinny jeans and moccasins while typing on a MacBook Pro I am anything but poor. None of us are. We were all able to get up this morning, use most of our appendages and are able to know someone in this world loves us. You know what? I think that’s pretty awesome. yeh!

Day 4 – Choose Joy

So, I took a few days off my 30 day challenge, but for good reason. I now work at Target and Caribou Coffee. I’ve been a tiny bit busy. 

As I’ve been busy being a cashier and making coffee drinks, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my current and last seasons of life. 6 months ago I quit my job, moved into my parents house, and flew across the country to hang out with middle school and high school students. For most of that first few weeks, I didn’t have time to think about the immensity of my decision. It hit me like a ton of bricks the last day of our training for YouthWorks!. I QUIT MY JOB! moved into my PARENTS HOUSE and have no idea what I a going to do for work starting August 1st. What the hell have I done!?!?

I’m not going to lie, I have had some terrible days where I feel like I am a huge failure and I should probably jump off a bridge. Nothing screams success like being in your mid twenties, unemployed and living in the bedroom you grew up in. I’ve already talked about how I have been learning humility in this process but I don’t think the whole process is just about being humbled. I think that it needs to take one more step; I need to choose joy.

I hate the saying “choose joy” more than most things, but it’s choosing to accept the current situation and either fight your way out of it or find the good in it. So, in an effort to choose joy, I am going to list a few crappy situations that I have annoyingly chosen joy within. I’m doing this mostly for me, but you can laugh along with me, or make fun of me… both work.

– I am working at Caribou Coffee making literally HALF of what my hourly wage was at the radio station.
* At least I have some kind of job, and I get to be incredibly sarcastic to people the whole day.

– I live with my parents.  * It’s free, they feed me, allow me to have boys in my room, and never ask where I’ve been all night.

– I owe my parents money, a few credit card companies money and the balance in my bank account is the lowest it’s been since I was 19     * yeh, this is just depressing, I’m not gonna even try to be happy about it.

– I am single. About 2 years ago, I honestly thought I would be married to the man of my dreams by now… I am not (note the above statement about living with my parents)     * I have some awesome friends who laugh with me, challenge me, fight with me, and will watch a movie with me on a Friday night. For now, I am happy.

Am I happy about the above things in my life each and every day? no. There are still days I just wish I could click my heels and go back to a few moments in my life that I felt were perfect, but honestly, where’s the fun in that? After every mountain summit is a valley and I’m just excited to climb another mountain one step at a time. 

Day 3 – Humility

When I first started thinking about this challenge I thought up about 100 “fun” things to do that would write me a better story, but after really thinking about it, I realized that I’m going to have to go through some junk too.

Today is a day of junk, a day of lesson learning. Today I am learning Humility

Let me give you the run down of my last 2 days. 

* I now work at Target. I make almost minimum wage. I had an 18 year old boy ask me what high school I went to. After learning how old I am he proceeded to ask me what I have done to screw up my life so much that I am now a cashier. Sweet.

* I was in the running for an AMAZING job. I was perfect for it. Today, I got a rejection letter. I honestly thought I was the one who was going to be hired. nope.

* Sometimes when I’m being a big goof I will say things like, “Duh, I’m awesome” or “Of Course, have you seen me? I’m Gorgeous!” Those are not actually things I believe or have been supported in these last few days. I do not feel awesome, nor gorgeous. 

So, the heart of this lesson… humility, knowing that I am not the best, not the most popular, not the most desired, and not the most awesome. I am a work in progress, the best parts of me are still being refined and changed and until then, I need to not claim my confidence on who or what I am, but in who God is changing me to be. 

I’m going to be awesome, I have a list of 3 things I want in life, and right now I have none of them… not even close. I am effectively humbled and hoping that I’ve learned this lesson so I can get on to the more fun ones.