three years

three years

10005860_10152720402347977_105868955_oIt’s my anniversary with WordPress. With SempiternalHeart, and that clean slate I desperately craved when I transitioned from homeschooling to community college.

Three years ago, I was getting ready for graduation. I’d lost my best friends to heart ache and was about to enter what I would later call The Dark Times.  I wasn’t eating enough and I was throwing up too much, mostly from nerves because I hate change and life never seemed to stop, but sometimes because of my nonexistent sense of self-worth and the confidence that so often abandoned me.  I was a mass of angry tears and red cheeks, of gnawed fingertips and gawky limbs.

Sometimes I miss it, the fellowship and close-knit groups that I’d managed to infiltrate.

Sometimes I want to go back, to tell myself what comes next, that it’s going to get better, that Life After wasn’t going to shake me the way I anticipated.

I feel like this should be a celebration, but the alert about what today is only made me reminisce in an unhealthy way, traveling back bit by bit into how the last three years transpired, into everything that happened.

I knew I shouldn’t have had that third cup of coffee.

Summer is creeping up, and I’m awaiting it anxiously.  My face-to-face mini mester fell through, so my sole obligation will be an online geology course and (hopefully) a job.  I haven’t figured out if I’ll be committing a couple of days a week to the UHWC or if I plan on teaching piano, or if there will be some other option, but I’m looking forward to a break.



Last weekend was one for the books, and I can’t find the words to describe how perfect it was so here it is, in pictures.

The Curly Haired Wonder and I began the weekend early with Big City Shenanigans at Hermann Park, MFAH, and a mutual first-bar experience.




Yes, that is my tipsy face.

Saturday was the Bayou City Book Fest (and coffee shop adventures) with the infamous Lindsey Renee of Ever Ink Press.





IMG_2284Everything smells like dirt today — even though I’m surrounded by pavement, it reminds me of home.  The urge to take off my shoes and sit on a blanket in the grass with a book is unbearable.

First things first: I made an 86 on a stats exam.  Years ago, I would have been crushed seeing anything lower than a 94 on anything.

However this is an increase from the 40 I made on exam 1, so we’ll definitely take that.

Second: my little cousin (who’s almost a foot taller than me) asked me to teach him how to dance for prom over the weekend, and I’m dying from how adorable that is.

To Revisionist History

To Revisionist History

81b49f44c847bc0471c1c675e44781f1I was there too, I thought as I scrolled through Instagram, eyes landing on an image I remember seeing when there was life and laughter, breath and blood involved.

Before it was still.  Before it was a moment, frozen.  Before I was cut out and the frame was narrowed.

And I find it curious that we, as humans, are so torn between wanting to remember and wanting to forget.  Remember the moments that felt good — the drunk on joy and raucous laughter, the nighttime adventures and intimate coffee dates.

But forget the mascara-streaked cheeks and fury in your heart, the snide words whispered behind backs; no, don’t forget that, but forget the person who caused it.  Cut them out, snub them, pretend everything is cotton-candy and sunshine.

Because this is who we are now: Revisionists.  Pretenders.  We wear false fronts, facades, every moment that we filter out what we want to forget from what we remember, like it’s as easy to delete the places two people’s paths crossed as it is to delete the Instagram photos.

Jesus Concepts — rambling thoughts

Jesus Concepts — rambling thoughts

I’ve been wearing a black long sleeve shirt that says “I AM A CHRISTIAN” in bold white letters all weekend — it was a reference to a song that Newsong sang at the Winter Jam concert a couple of Friday nights ago.

It took hours for me to not cross my arms over my chest, blocking the letters.

I feel as though I’ve been given a very watered down version of Christianity, and there’s a Jesus-concept that I’ve been struggling with since I began The Bible Project reading plan but only figured out how to put into words a couple of mornings ago when reading Deuteronomy 12.

Summary: Deuteronomy is a call to covenant faithfulness — Moses’ final speech in which he recaps their journey from Egypt and gives some final instruction (or at least that’s what it is as far as I’ve read).

So, 12:2-3 reads like “destroy completely all the places…where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods.  Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones…”

Thinking contextually, this was a uber rough time period, right?  Conquer-or-die, and this was addressed to the Israelites, God’s chosen people.  They were called to a higher standard of living in hopes that they would a) live up to their end of the covenant with God and b) live as an example to the other nations.

My struggle isn’t with the violence.

My struggle is with the fact that Christians today attempt to justify tolerance of other religions in the name of love and peace, but does tolerance and acceptance of those other beliefs compromise our own?  Light cannot exist with darkness, and we’re called to profess not only truth but THE Truth.

It’s the second day after spring break,

It’s the second day after spring break,

and I made a mistake.

Actually, it’s probably a good thing I checked my grades when I did, because at least now I still have a couple of options.

I’m passing my major specific courses with flying colors — they’re fun and easy.  I’m even doing well in statistics, surprisingly.  Teaching myself the material and exploiting my math-savvy coworkers for tutoring is working really well.

But geology is slaying me.

I’d like to blame my professor.  I let my guard down when I thought he was kind and fun — but it turns out he kind of has a mean streak.  He calls people out for not knowing answers to things he hasn’t taught us, and he doesn’t explain processes very well.

And the grade is determined exclusively by exams.

This is not great news for someone who struggles with exams in STEM courses.  Ask my boyfriend; he tutored me through algebra, and he will tell you that I knew my stuff when we were in my room working through homework problems.

But I nearly failed every single exam in that class, because as soon as I sat down with the pencil and scantron, I forgot everything I knew when I walked into the room.

And all those exercises, the breathing, the meditation, the tips and tricks to battling test anxiety?

Yeah, that’s all bullshit.  It really doesn’t work, and I’ve tried them all, many times.

So now I’m legitimately failing a course for the first time in my entire life, and it’s slamming into my chest like a canon ball, because I have ridiculously high expectations of myself, and failure is never an option.

Except today it is.  I have two options: do the best I can and hope my good grades absorb the bad one, or withdraw.

One is futile.

The other is admitting defeat.

What’s a girl to do?

Snippets (spring break is over)

Snippets (spring break is over)

last week //

I’ve been approached twice now while reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan — once by a mechanic while I was waiting to have my car inspected, and again by a young woman on campus who smiled and told me she prayed that God would speak truth into my life through this book.

The sad in my chest is gone; how could it stay when the sky is so blue and the sun is so warm?  I do believe that spring is here, and I’m 100% convinced that it is magic.

I’m in Palacios right now.  We’re writing before Lindsey has to go to work, and I’m trying to decide what I’m going to do while she’s there.  There’s the coffee shop, or the YA section in the library, or the park, or the bay, or the loft at the house.  And I’ll probably end up bouncing from place to place, not getting anything done, because this weather has me dancing and restless.

We’re setting up our Camp NaNo accounts.  Yeah.  I’m doing that again, but customizing the goal to 20,000 words for the month, since we’ll be finishing that up right around finals.

IMG_1779I keep getting caught up in life, distracted from finishing my blog posts.  Which is frustrating because I lose my train of thought before it’s written out all nice and neat in well0structured sentences, but I figure it’s more important to live life.  So now I’m on pause, sitting on the couch next to my mutt while my parents watch one of their binge-shows, thinking about La-La Land Wednesday night with Giselle.  And how beautifully heartbreaking that show was.

I just got home earlier from Palacios.  I’ve spent the last two and a half days skating through the pages of a YA trilogy, padding barefoot through the construction zone that is the Big White House, and riding shotgun to just about every store in that little heaven by the sea.

It was a good two and a half days, spent chatting about our stories and heartaches and fears and joys.

So now — or, rather, tomorrow — all that’s left of the holiday is church, a baby shower, and (hopefully) some time with the guy group.  (hopefully) I’ll get to finish a novel I’ve been working on reading for the last week, and (hopefully) there will be a last round of coffee at BNB on Monday morning before I drive back to Houston to finish out this helluva semester.

Because I Don’t Speak Eloquently

Because I Don’t Speak Eloquently

One of my coworkers asked a couple of us today, as she nears her 20th birthday, what the biggest lessons we’ve learned in our twenties have been.

That’s a toughie, because I’m still a new-twenty, and my soul is rooted in at 19.  I’m still learning how to stand on independent legs, and I’m still stumbling into the arms of people who love me more often than I’d like to admit.

It’s a toughie, because the years before my twenties were not kind ones.  I made mistakes; I hurt other people, and other people hurt me.  I lived in fear and resentment of and for the times I was rejected, the times I failed to live up to the standards that other people put before me.  I was healing from manipulations and emotional abuse, from heartbreak and pain.

It was a fragile existence.  It still is a fragile existence, some days.

I’ve only been a twenty for a year and a month now.  What could I have learned in such a short time?

I’ve learned that promises aren’t contracts, and I’ve learned that that might not be a bad thing.  There are some promises that shouldn’t have been made and that shouldn’t hold fast.

Not all friendships last, and that might not be bad, either.  Because some people take more than you have or are willing to give.  You will learn fast who will be there at noon (and again at 3 AM) when you need to release some of the pent up pressure behind your eyes and in your heart, when memories are so stifling that you forget where you are.

And sometimes you will be wrong about a person.  It’s a bittersweet realization when someone you did not expect to stays by your side, and the person you thought would never stray is long gone.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask for help.  With everything from homework assignments, to filing your taxes, to what brands are better to get at the grocery store, and that most of the people around you will have had to ask the same questions at some point or another.  And if they haven’t, it’s only a matter of time.

It’s completely acceptable and not at all desperate or pathetic to get excited about free anything.  Food, t-shirts, hugs, candy, pens, those funky wrist bands — it’s all fair game.  Even if you don’t need it.

Twenty and beyond is a strange sphere of life — you’re still in an awkward in-between and there’s growth (emotional, mental, spiritual, physical) that keeps life turbulent long after you feel it should have settled.  There’s still so much you don’t understand, and so much you want to understand, and so much that you’re forced to try to understand that you really don’t care about at all.

Twenty and beyond is exhausting; there isn’t enough time and you feel like you’re always running, but it’s exhilarating.  It keeps your blood pumping and your muscles loose.  Sometimes you’ll feel short of breath, but you learn to breathe deeply and enjoy every moment of the chaos.

Twenty and beyond can be awkward and gawky and uncomfortable, sure, but the awkward and uncomfortable makes for some good laughs later (I’ve never had as many opportunities to laugh at myself as I have this last year) and laughter is so good for the soul, so even that is it’s own kind of beautiful.

Mostly it’s beautiful.  I know what I said earlier was discouraging — I was speaking out of sadness because today was dismal — and it was all true but it was not the entire truth.

The entire truth is going to be unique to you, so I can’t tell you what your twenty is going to be like.  But I know you; you’re a bright sun ray sort of girl.  And whatever happens, you’re going to be fine.