A Weekend to Breathe

Sometimes you just have an absolutely incredible weekend that makes you happy to be a young 20-something with no agenda or responsibilities other than your own.

Under that same token however, I’ve been thinking a lot about being reliable. At one point in my life I thought my dependability was one of my greatest attributes, but in the last few years I’ve noticed that I no longer think that. Maybe it’s because I felt like others didn’t treat me the same or because I thought I was “busy” with school and relationships, but regardless I don’t want to be that person.  As I was reading this post, I noticed how true it is–the more reliable and dependable you are, the more you attract the same valuable, consistent, reliable friendships. As we get older, our priorities become clearer, and it’s a lot easier to pick out the ones who will stick around. Sure, we all mess up and have moments of selfishness, but the good friends are worth forgiving.

All this to say that I am incredibly blessed with a group of reliable friends that I appreciate to the end of the Earth. The “weeding out” process isn’t fun, but it leaves you feeling more “full” than ever before.

Friday:: Evette, Meagan, and I spent the evening at the Arts District Spring Break Block Party. We had an adventure of a ride there, where I experienced my first (and probably last) Dallas DART ride. We had beer and sliders from the food trucks, laughed to tears when E sat in gum, and finished the night at the Nasher watching Fantastic Mr. Fox on a blanket under the stars. Perfect start to spring!

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Saturday:: Meagan and I decided to steer clear of the chaos of Greenville on St. Patty’s weekend and took 30W to Fort Worth. We started with brunch at Brewed (chicken and waffles, of course!), did a little antique shopping, had fun trying on clothes and jewelry at Beehive, then spent the rest of the night watching UFC at the Pourhouse. We laughed and laughed all day long. When we get together, random things just happen (and sometimes we end up using an emergency exit to escape a bar). To us it was a day in heaven.

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Sunday:: Spent the morning watching YouTube videos and laughing with Ellen and Scott, went to a late lunch at The Porch, and spent the last 8 hours of the day watching 24 with Ellen in bed. Perfect end to the weekend!

Sunshine and warm weather is good for the soul!

Legacy

My friend Meagan and I have spent a good amount of time discussing spiritual legacies and the impact that they leave behind. Essentially it’s the greatest gift you could ever give your children and children’s children, etc. 

While thinking about all the hardships we’ve both gone through in our lives, I realized that this is all part of the legacy. The people that have had the greatest impact on my life all have significant stories to tell of defeat and triumph, of life and death. I can pray over my children and their children, but I’ve also been gifted this life to use as a tool. These stories will hold great value of teaching if share what I’ve learned. 

My family and my sister-in-law’s family both love telling stories. Not because we love to talk about ourselves, but we genuinely love connecting with people. We can talk for hours to anyone. There’s a difference in the stories though. For example, my brother is known for talking with purpose. Maybe it’s his football coach mentality, but every tale of his has a bigger picture meaning. And I think this is where the catch is.

-What are you taking away from your life stories?

-and what message will you leave behind when you tell them? 

I’ve realized one reason that his players love his stories is because they are usually about things that have happened specifically to him. They get a real life picture of him as a person, not as a coach, but as a human being with flaws that’s been kicked around time and time again, but is still standing and clinging to his faith. 

To me this is huge way to leave a legacy to my future kiddos. If I only tell them the stories of what I accomplished, what will they ever learn about defeat and faith in despair? 

 

If I should have a daughter..

“If I should have a daughter…instead of “Mom,” she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”

She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.

And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t you keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.”

But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boots nearby, ’cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it.

I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “there’ll be days like this” my momma said, when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ’cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.

You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.

And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting, I am pretty damn naive, but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.

“Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier, but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.”

Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong, but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.

Your voice is small, but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.” -Sarah Kay, “If I should have a daughter”

The Need for Community

“When we don’t feel well connected to community we begin to beat ourselves up and to think that there must be something wrong with us or we would have more friends. The vicious cycle begins when we so dislike ourselves that we think others don’t care for us either. The more we retreat into isolation the more our insecurities are affirmed until we have walled ourselves into self-made prison cells of isolation…There are times where we feel like we can accomplish whatever we want and others where we feel hopeless to do almost anything. If we are counting on any of these for stability our lives will always fluctuate above and below the line of wellbeing…If we can begin to believe how much God loves us, we will see our lives and the people in them through new eyes. This will raise our perceived limits on how much others can love us and how good life can be. This is the place to start in the journey back to wellbeing.”- Andy Johnson

25 by 25

{Preface: I’m technology challenged, and after playing around with Jux for a bit, I decided that it didn’t really suit my needs for documenting my life. Awesome idea and look, but it’s more useful for strictly posting images. We’ll see how wordpress works…}
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In January, I started thinking about resolutions for the new year and realized how different this year would be from all the rest. For the first time in 20 years, I wouldn’t be tied down to school and its obligations. (And after some other life changes in February, I realized that I wouldn’t be tied to anybody either.)
I can finally focus on the things I really want to do and have the financial means to make some of them happen. It’s almost an overwhelming feeling to have such a freedom, but I started to get inspired after reading this article about a hospice nurse who noticed a pattern among her patients including:
Top 5 regrets of the dying
  • I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  • I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  • I wish that I had let myself be happier.

That article coupled with the fact that my last rotation of my pharmacy school is at an organ transplant pharmacy in a cancer center has altered my perspective on life a bit. I’ve only been here 3 weeks, but I’ve heard some incredible stories. Not one of my patients has talked to me about their 401k plan or the size of their house. Instead we talk about courage, adventures, and love. These people have had an expiration date on their lives. They get it, and they have so much to teach the rest of us.

One thing I’ve learned from them is that there is always time to fit in the things (and people)  you really want to make time for. They say that when you’re given 6 months or a year left to live you suddenly have more time to do all the things you always wanted. Why? Because it’s all of a sudden necessary to make these things happen. But these people are sick at this point, really sick. They physically can’t do some of the things that were on their “list.” So, their suggestion is to make the time when you’re young and healthy. Make it a necessity then.

I decided that a list of resolutions for the new year didn’t seem like quite enough, so I made a list of 25 things to do by the time I turn 25. Some of these are small, but I wanted the focus of the list to be about experiences. When I think about the things in life that have changed or inspired me, it has never been things. It’s always been experiences. Experiences and the memories that come with them are what I get to keep forever.

1) Improve my Spanish and use it more often
//started tutorials in january and talked to several ER patients using it 
2) Spend time in Europe
3) Start learning another language
4) Finish Doctorate
//Graduating May 10th, 2013! 
5) Run a half-marathon
6) Become an organ donor
7) Create better eating habits
8) Move into a place I love
9) Go on an adventure
//Costa Rica with Ellen in April 
10) Document my life better
11) Throw a party
12) Learn to quilt
13) Love myself better
14) Focus on my prayer life
15) Start budgeting
16) Start gardening &/or get my chicken coop
17) Donate something big
18) Actively seek out new skills to learn
//Calligraphy Class in March 
//Wood working with my brother in April

19) Take a road trip with my best friends
20) Pay off at least 1/3 of my student loans
21) Start the blogging project I’ve been thinking about for the past year
22) Visit both coasts
23) Send my parents on a trip
24) 25 letters to 25 people
25) Get involved in a community

I plan on keeping this list updated as I go!