Friday, October 26, 2007

Ego-centrism and Made-up words

Well this isn't really about made-up words, I just realized as I was typing "ego-centrism" that it might be a made-up word. Regardless, that is what this blog is about. And ego-centric, a second cousin of ego-centrism, is a great adjective to desribe ALL my blogs! Why do I write about my life? Am I totally self-righteous? Or is it just a good way to spend time when I'm near a computer and my mind is running a million miles a minute? Ah-- but if the latter is the case, why don't I just write in a private journal? Why publish online? Touche, self. I think I need to start fresh and type about something that might be a bit more interesting than me. And I, for one, think that opens a whole world of possibilities! Let me know if you have any great ideas...and by "you" I mean, the imaginary person I just created who actually reads my blog.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Wisdom OR I Should Be Studying

Feeling stupid is something I am not used to. That does not mean I don't do stupid things, because believe me I do-- all the time. Just last night for example, I made my friends show off our "model runway walks" at a wedding to total strangers and I have been unable to construct a coherant sentance for the past three days. I do and say dumb things in social situations almost constantly but while I likely felt stupid in these situations growing up, I have come into myself enough that I no longer worry about this. I don't feel stupid- just neurotic- and that is a whole different thing. In school, good grades (which I equated with knowledge) always came easily. This happened no matter the subject, my interest level or the institution. I craved learning new things and worked hard and I always felt rewarded by my pursuits. Now I read and read and read (except for when I write blogs of course) and feel all the information flying past me with a large whooshing sound. Names and dates and concepts and theologies and geographical areas jumble around my brain, never tying together and making my "I am smart" nerve center extremely defensive and angry. My pride huddles in a corner as it knows that God is trying to catch it and bust it up and wants to see His friend humility instead- but he's been on vacation for a long time and is probably really sunburnt. And instead of working harder, the more I get behind, the more I want to give up...I have brief moments of sheer panic where I think- what am I doing?? I need to give up RIGHT NOW-- and brief moments of complete and utter arrogance when I think that the only reason I'm not succeeding is because I am being attacked in some way. Forget the fact that maybe I have to work hard to get this stuff or that maybe I have a lot to learn or maybe I'm not so smart afterall or that I should definitely get off my computer and get back to reading. And read. And read. And read. Even if it doesnt seem to enter my brain, even if my vocabulary continues to run out my left ear and fall in piles behind me...I need to see study as worship and I need to remember why I'm doing this. Or at least be open to finding out why I'm doing this as I go. I need to rediscover what knowledge is. The closer I get to knowing God the less of myself I become- that is, the self I have created in my insecurities. The"self" that blocks out any shadows of the self that was created long ago and is much more real. I have to become less so He can become more- and that is what I want. But it hurts. Pride, huddled in that corner so stubborn and cold, wants nothing more than to run to avoid the pain. (But with all this reading, I don't have time for running anymore either)

Monday, September 10, 2007


26.2…that number will forever hold a special place in my heart. I completed my first marathon this morning at Presque Isle in Erie, PA in just under 4 hours and 30 minutes and I never knew it would feel like this. I feel strong that my legs could carry me so far, weak that I can barely walk, exhausted mentally and physically, energized by the accomplishment, emotional (well, when don’t I?), proud of finishing, humbled by all the support, and even a little depressed—a sort of post-marathon let down of, well—what now? I guess I could take on the challenge of one man I passed whose shirt said “50 in 50 by 50.” I asked him about it and he said that he and three of his friends are doing 50 half-marathons in 50 states by the time they are 50. They started when they turned 40 and do about 5 a year, meeting up in each state as they all live in different places. I was floored by the amount of experience so many runners had—some had done over 30 marathons! I went up to Erie yesterday with my friends Lea and Lisa and we had a great lazy day—picking up the race packet, watching an America’s Next Top Model marathon (well, you know it was a marathon—it fit in with the theme of the weekend), eating a carb-loading spaghetti dinner, and then this morning I was up at 5. I felt good and actually had managed to get about 5-6 hours of sleep even though my heart was racing and my thoughts were non-stop as I first lay in bed. I walked outside to meet my parents who were picking me up to take me to the starting line and saw that it was raining. I wasn’t disappointed but just focused—I barely talked to my parents at all as I blocked almost everything out. While prepping for the race, a girl asked me if I was running my first one—was it that obvious? I told her I was and she asked me what my pace was. When I told her it was about a ten minute mile she asked me if I wanted to run together. She was going to run with a friend but she had backed out. I was actually really hesitant to say yes because I had trained solo and wanted to do this solo, but I said yes. As we were about to start we decided we would start together but feel free to leave if we felt our paces were different. I found it was actually really nice to run with her. Our paces were almost exactly the same- I didn’t feel like I was going to fast or too slow and we naturally matched each other. I think we were both shocked as we crossed the first mile and found our time was 7 and a half minutes! We both had heard about adrenaline pushing you forward and thought we were going so slow…anyway, we brought it back down and then stayed together for about the first half or the marathon, talking now and then. Lisa and Lea were there to cheer me on at 6 miles and then again at the halfway point. Water breaks were manned by “pirates” and “Hawaiians” and there was music at every mile or so. I found I even had enough energy to sing along…especially when they played Living On a Prayer…gotta rock out to that song, I mean, come on! After the first half, I was still feeling good and found myself pulling ahead of Becky. I couldn’t stop thinking about a bathroom starting around mile 14 or so and didn’t stop until I reached one at mile 19—my first stop. It was quick though, and at that point I had run into Katie and Derek—who had surprised me to run a few miles alongside me. They were so supportive and told me they thought my pace was pretty good and they would stay until I met up with Lea at 19. As it turned out, all three stayed until the very end—making it the furthest Derek had ever run. Thank goodness they were there because they kept me going when I hit my “wall” at mile 22. I made the mistake of stopping for the water break (the rest of the race, I just grabbed the cup as I ran through) and I almost lost it. I bent over and gasped, “I don’t want to run anymore!” and boy, did I mean it. But they kept me motivated and I actually picked up the speed. The final two miles we passed some people and I even sprinted the last few feet to the finish line, tears running down my cheeks from emotion and perhaps, sheer exhaustion. That’s when the pain hit—all down my legs. Though I had never felt pain like that, I also never felt such a sense of accomplishment. It was one of the best moments of my life and I was so amazed to be able to share it with my friends and family and was suprised by how many people called me afterwards to ask me about it...completely humbling. I thank God for giving me the strength to finish the race. So…when is the next one?!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It has become important in my life (to my love of self really) that I am seen as someone who is not afraid...that people learn that despite my weak looking frame, I am actually tough, strong and brave. It is a strange thing really, because I am also a clearly emotional person and I have no problem with people seeing that side-- most of my emotions, whether depression, joy, anger or frustration, just to name a few- come out in tears and I don't mind if people see that. But I always want to be the first one to jump off the rocks into the water or crawl into the dark cave or try sky-diving or eat something weird or take a dare and I get upset when someone tells me I can't lift something heavy so I'll spend too much time and energy trying to prove to people that I can carry heavy loads instead of just serving quietly. It is clear to me that this desire to not be afraid comes from a childhood of anxiety. I was nervous around strangers and my tears when I was young would often come from one emotion alone-- fear. As I grew, and became more and more extroverted, I found joy in courage and didn't want fear to stop me anymore. As I tried more and more things, I learned that there was less and less to fear. My desire to be seen as tough comes from proving to myself that I was stronger than I thought and in taking on new challenges, finding that I can do more than I ever would have imagined. I didn't want others doubting me the way I had once doubted myself. I am over my fears in so many ways and I love new challenges. I am still suprised by the things I am capable of doing, but I don't like realizing that this has become a part of my created image-- the one I feel the world has to see. The funny thing is, I think I am still so afraid. In a completely different way. I am terrified of God. That sounds strange, and I don't mean it in the fire and brimstone way or in the healthy fear of God way. I mean that sometimes I am just terrified of what God will do in my life as I continue to follow Him. I am not afraid that he will send me to live in a hut in India or that he will have me work with the poor and disabled. I am afraid that he will make my life so completely different than I would ever have pictured it that I will run and not follow the life that I know will truly bless me and those around me. I am afraid that God will call me and I will not choose to hear or be too distracted to hear or maybe that I will hear and I will follow but it won't fit my image so I will rationalize and cop out. I am afraid I will be a disappointment. The funny thing about fear is that the only way to get over it is to do the one thing you don't want to do...face it.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Altered spongebob songs and streams of consciousness

The best time to update your all the time...

or at least when you are at work and hate being in an office and find yourself dreaming of apples with caramel dip instead of typing out an in-home service plan with SMART goals because that training took forever and you don't want to eat anything since you are headed to the dentist in an hour and don't want anything in your teeth, but of course you are SO hungry because, well, you are ALWAYS hungry, and you didn't eat breakfast either and now you are wondering if maybe you want cereal instead of apples and caramel and then you start remembering the awesome sundae you had the night before which makes you think of the conversation you had about water and how someday we are going to have a massive water shortage (which is another reason to be a vegetarian, water usage is ridiculous in the meat industry--look it up!) and you think, maybe i shouldnt have poured some of that water down the sink this morning and thinking of the sink makes you think of chex mix, because it's next to the sink, actually no its not, but its in the kitchen and thats just where your brain went...

and this all makes you think of run-on sentences and how we should talk in them alone and use no punctuation in our typing anymore as they didnt do it in ancient greek and well if it worked for them it should work for us

and now back to work...punctuation and all

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Where to go from here

Life is always recreating itself, shifting through phases, bringing out completely new experiences and digging up past struggles or challenges for us to try our hand at once again. I find myself tonight wondering if I am really changing at all or am I just caught up in what's around me, only appearing to change due to my changing environment. When I find myself facing former stuggles I thought I had gotten over, I often realize I'm not over them at all. Maybe I see them from a different angle, in a different light, or maybe I can draw from a new experience or regurgitate some advice I've picked up from others and claimed as my own wisdom, but what is different? Is the inside of me the same with only a different exterior? I know God is the only one who can transform my heart, and I believe he does, but maybe I secretly rage against that transformation, afraid to be too much or afriad to be plain. Maybe it's not so much the extraordinary that frightens me, but the mundane. Maybe I am afraid to allow myself to be confident with the ordinary. But isn't life both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time? I think that is how I am too. How we all are. And I don't want to be afraid of either.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thoughts on a Rainy Saturday OR Finding my Zen

It is becomming so rare for me to just do nothing. I sometimes think that I covet it. I am and always have been a very busy person...not intentionally filling my schedule with things to do just so I can be busy, but finding myself busy as a result of loving so many things and/or people and wanting to throw myself (albeit inexpertly) into them all. As I finish up a crazy week, I think, oh, I just want a day to do nothing. To just sit around and veg out. But then, that day comes. Of course, clearly, we can never actually do nothing, but with some effort we can become pretty close, especially if you are like me and have the tendancy to sing so often that you constantly have songs stuck in your head. If you learn to harness this talent, your brain, though constantly thinking, can be found running the same verse over and over and over again, becoming an almost involuntary condition. If you are good at lying in one place and allowing this song to take over your thoughts, I think there would end up not being much activity at all, besides necessary conditions such as breathing and pumping blood, etc. I don't exactly know what made me think along this line, (my guess is the boredom that ensued from all this doing nothing) but when it takes effort to do nothing, wouldn't it be better to use all that effort to do something instead? Doing nothing gets you nothing except the passing of time and maybe a deeper connection to a few lines of "Dancing Queen," (which will most likely now become stuck in my head just from the mere typing of the title of that song). But doing something could result in getting to eat a sandwich you just made, or enjoying a clean kitchen, or finding a new place to hike or losing 5 pounds and building muscle from taking up running or changing the life of a 13 year old...or eating a sandwich (mmm...I am hungry) Or at the very least, you may get that awful song out of your head.

In conclusion, I hate doing nothing. Thank God for a world full of somethings.