Saturday, October 13, 2012

Because I have to say something...

I know I've talked about it before. I know I've talked about how I support Marriage Equality and how I'm still a Christian and all of that. I know you all know what I believe. I know a fair number of you agree... and a fair number disagree and question my faith, my beliefs, my acknowledgement of scripture. But I have to talk about it again because in just 23 days my fair state of Washington will vote to define marriage once again. And  as my community I owe it to you to be straight with you.

I grew up in the Church, but I've always known gay people. That might sound strange if you didn't grow up in the Church, but if you live in a relatively small town full of relatively Christian people, there is a relatively high chance you won't know anyone who is openly gay. But I did. I loved them anyways but was never really taught anything about homosexuality outside of Church.

In Church I learned that homosexuality was a sin. A big one. A dousy. Up there with murder and divorce and masterbastion. But we didn't talk about homosexuals. The people. The actual individuals who were gay. We only talked about the sin. Love the sinner hate the sin... and so I knew next to nothing about them. The gay people I knew weren't really gay to me. I didn't know them as gay people. I knew them as Gayle and Jake. Their homosexuality wasn't a thing we talked about. It wasn't a part of my relationship with them It wasn't a part of their identity for me. So I really didn't know about homosexuals.

For years through high school and early college I talked about this sin. I talked about how it was wrong. How homosexuality was a sign of the end times. How the devil was using it to sway people away from Jesus. How homosexuality led to orgies and pedophilia and HIV. How it was caused by molestation and absent fathers. I was ignorant. Blind and naive and ignorant.

Somewhere along the way in the midst of my degree in Theology, my world began to shift. I began to see sin differently as a whole. I began to understand that my relationship with God was not about me and my sins. It was no longer about getting to Heaven so that I could avoid Hell. It was no longer about defining how we sin and what sin is. It was about being with Jesus. All around. And in that shift, my desire to define homosexuality as a sin and define homosexuals as sinners ceased.

The point here is that I don't care if homosexuality is a sin. I don't care if homosexuals are sinners because here is a news flash... they would be sinners even if they weren't homosexuals. It's not about the sin my friends. It is not about the sin. It is not about the SIN. It is about the people. It is about Jesus. It is about sanctity and love and holiness. No matter the sin inside us, those things are not negated.

You see we do not deny marriage rights to oath breakers. To cheaters. To murderers. To liars. To whores. To children who disobey their parents.  We do not deny marriage to divorcees. We do not deny marriage to people who do not wish to consecrate their marriage. And all of these things stand in the way of the "sacred" definition of marriage. Yet we allow these people to marry. Legally. In the Church. Before the eyes of God. With our blessing.

The reason I must write these things is for you. All of you. Because it is not right for me to sit in community with you and not tell you these things. I must write these things because there are people I love so dearly who need to know that not only do I believe in their relationships, I commit my life to their relationships. Danny and Gareth, I will gladly stand up and witness your commitment to each other... I will gladly stand up and fight (aka vote) for your marriage. I will fight not only so you can marry, I will fight after you do because when I put my name on a marriage (even if it is not my own) I commit myself to doing everything in my power to making that marriage last.

I must write because their are people in a little country church who need to hear me say that when you speak the things you speak you hurt so many people. I will love you forever. I will worship with you forever. I will respect you forever. But hear me when I say, that it is not Godly to behave this way. It is not Godly to place your expectations of a relationship on people outside of your community. It is not Godly to turn away, to use harsh words, to segregate. It is not Godly to turn your back on those inside your congregation who disagree. I listen to you talk about your beliefs and I still trust your faith and your Godliness. I am asking you to listen to me talk about my faith.

and I believe in Marriage Equality.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Two Things.

Before I break into the 22 days since Daddy died, let me just say that I am totally freaking out right now and trying not to. See the Architect texts me every night... starting around 8 and going until pumpkin hour when he falls asleep. Every single night. Until this night. This very one right now where I am freaking out. I'm not freaking out because I think he might not like me anymore. I'm freaking out because I am scared that he is dead too. Yep. Sounds ridiculous. But I am terrified that he is dead. The same thing happened when it took Bryce two whole days to get back to me. Bryce is fine. He told me. But now, I am searching news sites making sure Architect is still alive too. I can't find anything. I'm trying to tell myself that God is not out to get me with the death. All of this is just life, just Him bringing home his people... these years culminating with my father are not His attempt to tell me that I am just the omen of death.

Now on to the things that will make me sound only slightly less ridiculous...

I still have a hard time sleeping through the night. My nightmares aren't the same anymore though. They used to be about people I love dying or scary monsters or the Apocolypse and Christ's return... but now they are about having enough food for the funeral, or not being able to take care of my family well enough, or once that Daddy was knocking and I couldn't get to him. They are riddled with stressful things. They are harder to shake off but less terrifying... more scary, less terrifying.

I am still upset that they wouldn't let me see him and hold his hand before they bagged up his body. I am so hurt about that. They said it would freak me out to much, that I wouldn't want to remember him that way... but I remember him bleeding from the head, the neck... I remember him so beat up and gross because of some trip and fall when he was too drunk to walk straight. I held his hand then... I wanted to hold his hand when he died. It was what I did. But they wouldn't let me and I didn't know how to push it. So I gave it up and just tried to hold his hand through the black plastic bag.

I worry that I'm not always super sad. In fact most of the time I'm just A-ok. But then I break down and cry wildly. Like at the wedding I was bartending last week when the father of the bride walked her down the aisle. Or driving in the car past the house I grew up in where I have the most memories of him. And... always always always the Beatles.

I am worried about Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas. and I can't remember the recipe for Hot Cross Buns which is the first pastry he taught me to make.

He may not have taken care of me but he sure did teach me to take care of everyone else. and I'm scared that I won't be able to without him here to tell me what to do next.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things Fall apart...

If I had a nickel for every post that started out with life and ended in death, I would be the richest girl in the world.... or I'd at least have enough money to buy myself a diet coke.

I will say all the right things everywhere else. I will be perfect everywhere else. I will keep it together for everyone else. But here, now, with you, I'm going to let it go.

My dad is dead.

I am so shaken and lost. I don't even know how to process this. I really thought he was going to live forever and continue to be my responsibility forever. I thought that this would be my life long burden. I was ready for that.

I knew that there was a relatively low chance of him living 5 years past his surgery. I knew that he really had to quit drinking in order to live a full life. I have been watching him shrink away to practically nothing for over a year. I knew all that... but I thought he would be like a twinkie... well preserved and while not healthy not something that would kill you either.

But then boom like a flash of light and a crack of the universe he was not. He ceased. He ended. He left. Again.

I have thought forever that my father wouldn't live to walk me down the aisle. The two times I've been close to marriage, I've had to rearrange my childhood wedding plans to fit him in because he was never a factor, never supposed to make it. Now it seems so wrong that he actually won't be there.

I hate planning this funeral. I hate it so much. I don't want anyone else to do it. I want to do it all. But I hate it.

I may have been overwhelmed by my father for many years. Angry at him for a few. But it was an honor to care for him, to fight for his life, and to give all I had to be here with him. I would do it again. And better.

I love you, Daddy. I miss you too much already.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Architect...

A few months ago, I posted about dating. I mentioned that I had been out twice with an architect that I liked but wasn't interested in. Well two more months have passed and we are still dating.

I planned every time I went out with him to break it off. I planned and talked and planned. But it never happened. Because every time we went out I had fun. I couldn't do it. He was so nice and funny and I just couldn't.

He wore me down. We are still seeing each other and I've given up. I like him. I like him a lot. It hasn't made Ananth go away in any measure, but I am moving on. I am terrified that this is too soon and that I'm just rebounding or looking for love or something, but I'm trying to trust myself and let it be okay.

I don't think he's my boyfriend, but we haven't talked labels. He is so okay with this slow progression that I am letting myself be okay with it too. I don't know what we are... so I just say we are "seeing each other".

So I'm dating the architect. And we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Slightly Irreverent

I have been attending a church in Maple Valley, WA for the entirety of my life. I haven't always been a regular attender, but regular enough. Let me preface everything I have to say here today with this: This group of people has been my solid consistent source of joy for 28 years. I love them so much that I don't know what to do with them most of the time.

I was chatting with a man from my church today. He is not new to the church, but I don't know him well, which is strange in our church of just over 100 people. We've talked before and I find him amusing and his wife is a riot. Today he told me he'd like to know me better... that I'm intelligent and funny... and slightly irreverent.

Those last two words pretty much sum up my relationship with my church in the last couple of years... or five. It all started when I went away to Bible College and came home with strange thoughts on God. It increased when I decided to pledge myself to the Catholic Church and still continue in community with this small evangelical protestant congregation. And then it got worse when I went out into the world with a Theology degree strapped to my back and had to begin to live this newly defined and vocalized ideal I had built for myself.

These days I walk into church and feel like a joke. No one really takes me seriously. I'm just that slightly irreverent girl who probably loves Jesus and will probably be in Heaven, but really is just wrong about most things. I have a big vocabulary and I've studied a lot but I don't really know what it is to just have a simple faith anymore. I don't have anything to offer them but a smile and yet another crazy story about how my family is falling to pieces so they can pray for me.

It makes me sad. I feel apart from most of them. Part of that is probably me, but I know I worry some of them and scare some of them and really full on terrify some of them. I don't know how to be a helpful part of Christian community anymore without denying what I believe.

I want to find that place where I can worship with those whom I love without being thought crazy. I want to worship with my Auntie. I want to worship with both of my churches at the same time. I want to worship with my gays. I want to not walk into the church where everyone knows me and feel like I will never again fit in.

I miss myself in that community. I know I don't belong there anymore, but I don't know how to leave them. They are my family and leaving seems so sad and lonely.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Read the Bible

Today I was reading one of my favorite blogs, and checking out their facebook page and this led to this facebook event. I hate reading things like this. I don't care that people want to support Chick-fil-A's decision not to support same sex marriage. I totally understand and support the church's stand on marriage. I don't agree with it, but I think that the separation of Church and State should protect the Church's right to not officiate a marriage they do not support. I also understand why they feel the way they do. What I don't get is telling people who do support same sex marriage that they are not Christians! Can my support of same sex marriage really deny me salvation, redemption, resurrection, etc? Or even if I was gay would I be denied salvation? That is just ridiculous.I was hurt not personally but for my church and for the people arguing with them. I am ashamed to put my name on either group. I am in the Church. I vote for same sex marriage. I am ashamed of those in both groups who give either a bad name. You should all feel terrible about your lack of dignity and respect. 

I had to go read my Bible to feel better. I don't believe this is what Christ wanted. I just want to know that there is hope. I want to believe that the Church can serve the world while abstaining from it. Why oh why are we so scared of what is not ourselves? Or even more why are we so scared of ourselves? 

I don't even know how to engage in this conversation. With so many voices and so much hate, how do I do anything? Well I hate that thought. Why must I believe that in order to do something, I must do it on a grand scale? I don't have to be the leader in order to contribute? They don't have to be my words? I just don't know. 

I sound like such a hippie. 

This was the most depressing part of my day.

PS. Post break up win: I went to a wedding today and when the thought occurred to me that I would never stand up with the man I love and pledge my life to him because he doesn't want me, I pushed it away. It only took like 3 seconds. I didn't collapse this time like I usually do.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

It's actually past Midnight, but it is not yet 1am, so I think it still works.

I found an awesome blog today... I mean awesome. So I stayed up late to read it.  Lillian came home tonight though and will be waking me early to spend time with her, so I can't go into detail, but I think people should read it.  I know that we won't all love it, but I think we should all view as educational at least. Clearly we all know that I, with my liberal sensibilities, love it. Anyways, just had to share...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A New life... again.

I have this awful cycle in my life where I must continually start over and build a new life. I am so very tired of it. But facts must be faced and I must again start over. I have a lovely home, and my lovely friends and family, but other than that I need to build life all over again.

I need a new job. I got laid off from my wonderful new job that I posted about a few posts back. Laid off again. ugh.

I need a new car. I sold my car when my company got me a new car, which I had to give back when I was laid off. ugh.

I need a new boyfriend. I know this one isn't as essentially true. But I would like a family some day and I have decided it is well past time to realize that I have to put the last one out of my mind.

So here's my mission. I am very studious once I have goals. Extremely fastidious. I will be again. Right now.

Today's goals:
1. Work out: I find it easier to get men to like me when I weigh less. Some of that has to do with my confidence level (most of it actually) and some of it has to do with facts of life.
2. Clean my room and do laundry: I'm having a party on Saturday and this just has to be done. The rest of the house is ready, now I have to get ready.
3. Apply for 15 jobs. Yes 15. I also have to recreate my tracking list of job applications. I did this last time and had a job very quickly.
4. Apply for unemployment. I couldn't do this earlier so I'm doing it today.

Tomorrow's goals:
1. Work out.
2. Apply for 15 jobs.
3. Shop for Saturday's party.

Saturday's goals:
1. Work out.
2. Apply for 5 jobs (I get a weekend relaxation break.)
3. Clean the house one last time before the party.

That's enough goals for this moment. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dating again...

So because my lovely wonderful ex boyfriend broke up with me a few months ago, I started dating again. Am I ready to date again? The answer remains a resounding NO. Do I continue to date again anyway? Well Yes. Yes I do.

Being the overly intelligent woman I am, I decided to start dating again only two weeks after he broke up with me. The first guy I went out with was out for 1 thing and 1 thing only. I've rarely been treated less like a lady. I let him know that he was not for me immediately.

The second guy I went out with is super nice but we decided to be just friends. We get along well but we don't have any kind of chemistry and I find him a little annoying. However, he can be really cool to hang out with. So we hang out sometimes.

The third guy I went out with, I have been out with twice now. He really likes me. He is so very nice. He's funny and he thinks I'm hilarious. He's an architect. I should be thrilled.

But I'm not. I'm not thrilled and I feel terrible about it. He is really really cool, but I can tell he likes me way more than I like him. Mostly because I don't have any kind of feeling for him. Mostly because when I am out with anyone, I am wishing that it was Ananth sitting across from me instead of whoever I happen to be out with. I just sit there and continually force my thoughts away from him. And then I pray that all of that would go away. Hurray for being such a freaking sucker.

Can I just tell you that dating is so much work. Half the time I'm wishing I wasn't on a date and the other half of the time I'm thinking about getting my "I need attention" meter filled for the day. And this is what makes me such a terrible person.

I hate having to break things off with someone I don't even know. More though I hate that I feel like I need to be with someone. Ugh.

Okay I'm going to a Sounders game now. First Soccer game. Huzpas!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Christian Heritage

This post could go in so many positive directions, but instead it will likely scream of doom and gloom. You see, I've found in the last month as I have wondered lonely and hopeless through the dark that I have a heritage passed down to me through generations... one I'm not entirely proud of.

Here are some things that bother me about the Christian Culture in which I was raised:

1. The expectation that I should and would marry young
2. The expectation that trials and tribulations later result in the Grace of God and much happiness.
3. The expectation that when we say "God works all things for the good of those who love Him", what we really mean is that even when bad things happen, later something nice will happen that will make those bad things make sense.
4. The fear of worshiping God or being mindfully in His presence when I have not spent conscious time confessing my sins and seeking forgiveness.
5. The horrible tension between the idea that it is my choice to love and follow Him, but that in all reality He is in control of everything. If we follow the implications of these two separate doctrine's to their ends, God ends up looking like a jerk in both circumstances.
6. The fact that I have to shut my mind off at a certain point in my theological study in order to not get really mad at Him.
7. The absolute desire for a simple unquestioning faith so that I can have a little peace from Him for a while.
8. The necessity of my heart and soul to seek Him whenever life goes to pot and to praise Him when things are joyously fantastic. And the tendency of complacency in between... and frustration with that complacency.

I have this overwhelming desire to teach God things. I do. As much as I've never wanted to be a teacher or a speaker, I must admit at some point that these are my natural gifts. The problem is that list up there. I can't say these things inside the church (at least the lay church) and not scare people... I mean I can say those things, but not their logical ends. Not the things that I really want to talk about like how religions develop... like how ours developed... like how that should affect our understanding of truth throughout the centuries... like how no matter how I dice it, God ends up being responsible for sin and pain and death. I wish I wasn't so limited. I feel that He gave me enough of a brain and conscience and love and heart and something that I can see that He is more than the box I originally made for much more, but not enough of all of those things to really understand the implications of Him living outside of my box. I don't want to want to punch Him in the face anymore. I would really like proof that He cares about me as an individual and not just as one of the bunch of us humans that He came to save and give life to in the first place. Signs and Miracles. How weak I am.

So how do I teach, when I'm not sure what to believe? How do I bind myself to a congregation when I am too afraid of myself to get close to them... because every time I let them all in I end up hurting people and they me and I know that's relationship... but I promise this is worse than normal.

Confession: Ananth is so very gone from my life. I miss him. And I want to understand why that relationship happened if not for love. I still hurt, but I accept that it is over. A lot of my frustration with God has to do with not letting me have that life... and with His unwillingness to provide me with a new future now that that one is gone.

Okay that's all. I have to go give a presentation now.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Getting Better and Getting Worse

I'm getting better. I'm not as heartsick. I'm still sad and I have no idea how to really make plans for a future, but I don't feel like dying anymore. I'm upset to be brokenhearted over something so very not my fault. I'm frustrated with myself for falling in love so easily and yet proud of myself at the same time. My next goal is to find a new future for myself. And to imagine the possibility of love again. And to not miss him so much.

My sister in law's mother, however, is getting worse. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few months ago and things are not yet the miraculous better that I prayed for. There is still so much hope and some time and now it is my prayer that no matter how this concludes or when, that it will conclude with peace and love.

Ah life... you were so good to me in 2011. Here's to making the best of the worst.

When life gives you lemons, give them back and demand apples.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I am not okay

On Monday I was dumped for the first time in my life by a man I was very much in love with. I thought I would spend the rest of my life with him. I was looking forward to having his children. I wanted to be his forever.

And now I am not okay. This hurts so much more than death. This is the worst part of life. I know that some day I will be better, but I have no idea when someday will be. I keep praying that it could please be today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Booty Camp

This morning I went to Booty Camp. A few weeks ago, I made the decision to spend more money than is really necessary on exercise that is set up in a way that will make me want to go. Southside Booty Camp was my answer. I'm spending enough to spend two days at Disneyland in order to work out outside in a park that overlooks the Space Needle and the Puget Sound with a bunch of other women.

Booty Camp is hard core, but really not that bad. I think the best thing that came out of it is that I realized that I at least have the potential to be hard core again too. I was exhausted when I got home. The 3 flights of switch back stairs in my apartment were the hardest part of the morning... WAY harder than getting up at 5:30am and WAY harder than the sprints and lunges and workout etc.

So now Monday - Thursday from 6:15 -7:15am, I will be working my tail feathers. Hopefully the tail feathers will blossom and grow (they are currently lacking), but the tummy pooch, thunder thighs, and arm jigglers will fall right off. I'm exhausted today and I'm sure I'll be more exhausted tomorrow, but hopefully by the end of this first session (one month long) I will be getting into a groove.

I was joking with a friend yesterday that I'm hoping not to lose any weight or size but just turn was currently is into the creepiest mass of muscle ever seen on a woman. I'm really hoping that doesn't actually happen.

Coincidentally, I've also learned that my body is getting old. It doesn't respond to stretching the way it always has. I found latent strength, but not latent flexibility. I was a little bummed about that.

So hopefully I'll feel better about this body of mine. I've decided that exercise is for how I feel and dieting is for how I look. I can't feel guilty about exercise or I won't do it. I can't feel motivated about dieting because that's just ridiculous... so I've just separated them into two categories and called it good.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coming back?

Am I justified in rejoining the blogging world after an absence of roughly 9 months? Even if I'm not justified, I'm going to do it.

I promise I wasn't gone for 9 months for the normal reasons that people are gone from things for 9 months. It just worked out that way. By this I mean that I don't have a child, nor am I pregnant.

Here's the updates for those of you don't know (but let's face the fact that you probably all do):
1. I am still with Ananth. I'll probably get in trouble if he ever finds out I put his real name on my blog.
2. I have a new job. And oh heaven how fantastic it is to make so much more money. Not that money is my sole source of motivation, but I do love not stressing about funds.Oh I also love this job.
3. My father and mother are both alive and well. Dad is skinny and can't really walk anymore, but Mom is still doing great and living her life as though cancer were just an accessory she puts on in the morning to make her more heroic and unique.
4.  I found out that I hate living alone. So I'm moving back in with Lillian in June. Cause we're just that baller.
5. I am not nearly as practiced at introspection as I once was.

I rode a ferry boat today. While this fact is true and lovely, I only wrote it because I can't think of anything else to say. Last night I decided I needed to start writing again. I haven't written any secret letters, real letters, journal entries, or notes to self in the same 9 months that I haven't written a blog. I took a big old fancy writing and introspection hiatus. I am so ridiculously out of practice that last night I wrote 1 paragraph.. and it was pretty much about how I didn't know what to write about but felt the need to put pencil to paper.

I gave up desserts for Lent. But all I really want to do tonight is take a walk with my boyfriend and go get some fro-yo. I guess I'll have to live with not doing that.  Maybe we can walk and get some Mexican instead.

Now that I don't work there anymore, I am amazed at just how much I hated my last job. There were things I sincerely loved. Like my employees and my students and their families and the majority of my coworkers. And that's a lot of good reasons to stay. But since they kicked me out, I feel like it's now okay to say that that job sucked out my soul. But it left me with the skills to do my new job which is so creepily happy and wonderful that I seriously keep asking my new coworkers to tell me things that are bad about the company just so I know that this magical world of fairyland creatures that give me everything I could possibly wish for and then even more is actually real. Getting this job after working at my last job is like living your whole life as a Muggle and then falling in love with and marrying Harry Potter.

And just now, I've distracted myself with lots of interesting news articles regarding things like the new Hunger Games movie trilogy and the Kony2012 scandal and the 2012 Troll Stroll... so now I'm going to go read other peoples more interesting words.

Here's hoping another installment will follow in the days to come.