September 14th to November 14th: A Partial Transcript, w/annotation

My journal is almost full, and it’s funny.  It’s funny because it started out with one vibe, and it’s ending in a completely different way.

This year – heck – this semester feels like that.

I feel extremely nostalgic right now; I’m reading back on some of the best days of the year that were spent with some of the most important people in my life, and I’m wondering where they went. The days, the time, and the people.

That first day spent outside the coffee shop in the perfect weather, laughing ourselves sick in the “cool air and sunshine.”


There are people like me in the world; there are people who will love and protect, who will do absolutely nothing for hours and get sick on joy, on laughter.  They will be real, and allow me to be real, too.  We are allowed to exist together.
(September 14, 2015)


That same evening, I was sitting across from them, talking literature, and I remember being given a pep-talk on three fronts, because I remember I was so scared to write but I wanted so badly to do NaNoWriMo, and they each told me not to be afraid, that I had no reason to be.

They demolished strongholds built on fear with a handful of words and hearts full of love.

I remember learning people – people themselves, their personalities, not just facts about them – over the weeks following that first day.  I remember learning who to trust and who to keep a guard up against, but I began learning how to protect myself while simultaneously loving the people I couldn’t give my entire heart to.

I remember feeling my heart opening to embrace more than the core, more than the people who had held me up through the spring semester, and I remember how good it felt to love so many at once.


I hung out with Tyler today, and Autumn.  It was good to be with people I am close to.

[ la t e r ]

I am real, and raw.  But I’m learning the boundaries, even with people I trust.
(September 16, 2015)


I remember reading my Bible every morning at The Spot, chapters at a time, because I was desperate for Jesus.

I still am.


Believe like you did before you began questioning.  Before the hurt, the doctrines, the legalism.  Believe with courage, with joy, with freedom.  Cling to Jesus.  Let go of the insecurities, the fear, the pain.  Cling to Jesus.  Let him keep your heart soft, your words kind.  Listen to him, seek him.  He’s knocking on the door of your heart, James.  Let him in.
(September 18, 2015)


The first meeting with my boss about NaNoWriMo.  Talking ideas, brain storming, encouraging, because she’s the one who told me that it would be a success even if I was the only one to hit word count.

Spending hours working on the rewrite of my novel, prepping for November.

Caffeine-fueled Tuesdays and Thursdays spent with Tyler and Vic, napping at The Spot and shopping at Goodwill, recruiting the others to join us in adventures across the parking lot, cool afternoons spent in the museum.

Struggling.  Being given an illusion of forgiveness for the mistakes of over a year ago.

Finding secret notes in the pages of my journal on prematurely winter days.  Hectic and short-staffed nights in the Writing Center.


They’re all so hurt and I want to heal them, but I’m broken, too.
(September 26, 2015)


“The only thing you have to look like is Jesus.” – Age


I want to love everybody without having to worry about filtering and protecting and how much trust i can give.  I want to love, and love fully and completely and honestly and vulnerably.
I want to live like Jesus; how do I do it?  How do I love without getting hurt?  Because people are mean; people will hurt you, intentionally or not, and it sucks.
(September 28, 2015)



  • I burned all of your things in May.  It didn’t feel as good as I thought it would.
  • The necklace got lost in the mail somewhere between Texas and Alabama.


I feel all sharp and fragmented today.
(October 1, 2015)


Seeking Jesus.  The last few months have been all about seeking Jesus, and some of them don’t see it.  Some of them have stepped back, have left, because of things I’ve done in the past, things I’ve apologized for.

I know how difficult it is to forgive.  Sometimes you just can’t.


I am a Christian, but I am drowning.
(October 11, 2015)


That first Thursday night meeting with Mads and Rae, sitting in Brew N’ Bake talking life over coffee and dessert.  Sitting on the floor of Hastings later that evening, crying between the children’s books and C. S. Lewis with Madison.


“God’s grace is sufficient to pull us from the depths of our mess. [ . . . ]  Jesus is for the broken and messed up. [ . . . ]  Our God is a God of grace and compassion.  The world changes when we join him in his love.”  – Ben Stuart


To-do lists that cover entire pages in my spiral, sometimes three or four tasks to a line.

Three amazing days in a row; jumping in rain puddles in the coffee shop parking lot, Panera bread and books with the bestest, finishing the rewrite, impromptu sleepovers that end with three people asleep {fully clothed} on one couch, laughing on the study room floor, sitting outside in the glen, soaking in the sunshine –

listening to someone complain over and over about being stuck, about wanting to get out, and watching them refuse to take control and work to get out.

Spending time with the cousin and meeting her friends from SFA.

Gaining confidence, singing in church.


“Never give up on people you love, but it isn’t your responsibility to carry them, either.  A relationship isn’t a rescue raft . . .”  – Beau Taplin // The Rescue Raft


Organizing my schedule for Spring.  Learning that Jasmyn is staying another semester.  Enrolling in two literature classes.  NaNoWriMo beginning.  Write-ins with tutors.  Sitting in Brew N’ Bake, letting my mom read my most personal pieces of poetry.


(November 10, 2015)


Making good on promises.


Maybe we’re mutually toxic.
(November 13, 2015)


The conference, for work.  Feeling so secure and confident in who I am and my abilities.  Talking professionally with adults who work in the same field, but who have doctorates in the area you’re just beginning to explore.  Laughing, dancing, making faces at coworkers just before their session, because they look so nervous they’ll cry.

Another impromptu sleepover of four; giggles late at night, and pancakes in the morning.

/// Today:

Lost.  Confused.  Hurting.

Lost, because I don’t know how to begin to clean up the messes that have spilled over my life the last week and a half.  Because I don’t know who to turn to.  Because I don’t know who’s safe, who’s being real.  Because I don’t know who’s telling me the entire story.

Lost, because I’m being accused of being fake, when I am the realest me I have been at any point in my life.

Confused, because people are not always truthful, and they sometimes withhold the thing they demand so forcefully for themselves.  Because I don’t know who I can trust.  Because people break their word and burn the bridges they worked so hard to build.  Because I don’t have all of the pieces of the story.

Confused, because there isn’t an answer, and there’s always an answer.

Hurting, because people give and receive love in different ways, and not everybody is going to give to you the way you want.  Because nightmares are the worst.  Because I don’t let go of those I love easily.  Because I feel like I give, but it isn’t seen as enough.  Because people change, and sometimes they change their mind about you.  Because finding out what someone truly thinks of you is a nauseating and heart breaking event.

Hurting, because God is telling me what I need to do, but I don’t like his answer.