Hello New Year…

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what to declare as my “new life change” for 2012. I could vow to exercise more, or eat better, or dress nicer or work less… but this year’s resolution is going to be a little more profound… I think.

Dear 2012, I have decided that you will not be another year of feeling lost. You will not be a year where I feel like I am dreamless, and undecided. I had a friend say that the turn of the clock changes nothing, but I refuse to allow another opportunity of change to be missed. I will stop letting my heart fall for all the wrong things. I will pray for those that I care about, that good things would happen to them, even if it means things changing for me. I will make good choices that leave my heart more whole instead of broken. I will rejoice instead of feel jealous, I will laugh instead of feeling sorry for myself, and I will seek out relationships when I feel alone instead of belly aching about. To use one of my co-workers ideas… I will continue to be cute and fun and dance ridiculously just to make others laugh and join with me. I will give and receive good hugs. :)

To: 2011, You brought a lot of excitement and change for my friends and myself. You brought new people and old friends back into my life to challenge me, love me and make me laugh. You gave me great adventure, a life of southern living, and showed me how to be humble. I’m not a huge fan of you in some ways, but I know that when I look back in 5 years, I will see things that happened that made me better. I have some fond memories and some sweet moments of laughter and appreciation that I will cherish dearly. You allowed me to Live a Better Story. I will always remember the nights of dreaming big dreams with Ashley, and the nights of crying over broken hearts with Tracey. I will cherish the day that Randi sent me a picture of an engagement ring, and the sound of Brittany’s voice when she exclaimed, “He proposed!”

I’m not too keen on remembering how it felt to hear my Aunt had cancer, or that my Grandma had died suddenly. I dislike the feeling I get when I remember the last day I saw the family farm, or when my Grandpa asked me who I was. I’m also not a huge fan of wondering how my bills are going to be paid, or when I’ll finally get a full-time job. BUT I know that each struggle enriches my story. They help me to be deeper, go deeper and love deeper. 

So I say goodbye 2011, you weren’t as bad as I think you were, and HELLO 2012! I have a wall calendar that reads, “I’m going to make it through this year if it kills me.” Indeed, I am going to make it through this year and I am going to be happy, supportive and joy filled for all the awesome things happening for the people around me.

I wish you peace.

Have you ever been “un-friended” on Facebook? Who was that person? How did you feel about it? and most of all… why the heck does it matter?

Ok, context. My last year or so was plagued… no wait, that’s too strong of a word… nope, gonna used plagued. Ok, my last year was plagued by a “friend” of mine that took an incredible amount of time pursuing a relationship with me, saying all the things he thought I would like to hear, and then vanishing for months at a time. As I look back at my “year in review” I realize that a lot of time was wasted on this. Not 100% sure how it all happened or why my stupid girl brain allowed our friendship to grow, but that’s a whole other chapter in my story that I am not ready to document quite yet.

When you look at the relationships in your life I’m guessing you can see how some of them are one-sided or mutually giving relationships. As I take inventory of this one, the only thing I really got out of it was some nice videos of fireworks on the 4th of July when mine got cancelled, and a silly iPhone. I’m not sure he really got anything out of it, and I’m not saying that the point of friendship is to “get things out of them” but just flow with me here. I kinda feel like I went through hell and all I got was this t-shirt except in this case the t-shirt is watching my “friend” number drop on Facebook. 

Last night I was jumping around on Facebook and writing nice things on people’s walls and I thought, “hmmm… I should say something nice to him!”… his name didn’t pop up on my list. Needless to say, I’m angry, I’m hurt, I’m offended, I’m confused, I’m pissed. But if I take a step back, gain perspective, I realize that I have been all of those things then entire time I have kept this friend in my life. How dumb is that? For realz. 

To those that I consider my friends that put me through ridiculous emotional roller coasters, that end with me feeling stupid and played I shall now quote an Eagles song. 

I wish you peace when times are hard 
The light to guide you through the dark 
And when storms are high and your, your dreams are low 

I wish you the strength to let love grow on, 
I wish you the strength to let love flow, 

I wish you Peace.

And for me? I wish me freedom and the strength to never say hello again.

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!