Food for those who don't like food.

Monday, February 05, 2007

That Was the Worst Christmas Ever! - Part II

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

-Robert McCloskey

I distinctly remember baking and rushing my last batch of christmas cookies, god knows they tasted awful.

Somewhere someone told me that with anything you create, your emotions can determine the outcome; this was the case. Somehow I managed to make them wrong (normally taking ten minutes they took 30 just to set up). Internally I was thinking of just going out on a good note, but in reality I was just trying to stretch my time and stay there---just squeezing in that last ounce of the atmosphere I was about to leave behind. I just wanted to stay.

The ride to the airport was quiet, on my front at least, but everyone else seemed to have something to say. They had their questions, stifled with an unabashedly akward silence. All the while I was just trying to hold back from crying, something I had done quite the fair share of in the few days I had between the announcement I wasn't ready to attend out reach and the flight date home. We said our goodbyes, and like most good Christian people we hugged. Out of All of the hugs in my life, those hugs lasted just a little bit longer than usual; as if to say: ‘I’m sorry’, ‘Don’t give up’, and a thousand other forms of what is the one-two punch of guilt and regret.

I remember when they first told me that I was not going to go. I looked like a patient about to be forced into a psych ward---minus the straight-jacket. Flailing aimlessly, angrily screeching; something in me was dying...and then I crashed. I couldn’t handle them telling me that, and I was digressing into my most basic animal instincts. I was fighting it both inside and out, feeling as if an unbearable poison was forcing its way through my veins, paralyzing all rational thought. Over the next few days I mellowed, or more so I was tranquilized by irrational fear.

I was going home a failure, a then incomplete mess. Standing in front of me was the daunting fact that everything, and I mean everything I had planned for in the next months was going by the wayside. I was returning to Ohio---but I wasn’t supposed to be back yet. I was seeing my family---who weren’t expecting me until March. I was turning twenty and thrust into “Happy Holidays” mode, but I honestly wasn’t happy. I was pushed back into my life, my reality, questioning everything that had happened in the previous months. I was home. The sad part though is really just how hard people tried to make me happy. It was like trying to warm over a slab of marble. Something in me had felt like it died, and I was regressing into the stages of grief; or maybe it was a good grief I just don’t know.

"This is what I'm thinking, this is my point."

When I got home, when I decided I wanted to be a little better than I was last year, I took off like a rocket. This past year had a definite direction to it. Despite being severely depressed for a majority of it I was a force of movement. A week into it I had a job, that same week I had two, and then I just took off. I wanted something and I wanted control over it. There were times this past year where I was ridiculously angry. I tried not once but twice to retry a discipleship training school. People would say they were proud of me, but I knew that it wasn’t my time yet. The first time was in October, I had hoped and prayed for a school, finally finding one that just screamed me. It was in Montreal, and I was enchanted by the idea of attending a working internship of a school. It was my first big rejection in a while, but they where honest---they felt they couldn't help me. So I talked to Mark, which took forever. Only to hear from Hilary in a Newsletter the school I wanted to attend was canceled. I almost applied to another school, they actually called me three times, but I didn't go. Looking at my situation left me a little troubled differencing reality and determination, holding on to an archaic tendency to move in that fixed direction. Something about the fixation to leave a town combined with the impatience of being stuck in a town really throws you.

It’s weird looking back at mistakes made, because initially I would have just dwelled on not being able to correct them---but now? Now I have this innate want to hold onto my mistakes, to actually…learn from them. I know now that I want to learn, I desire to learn. That’s probably the healthiest habit I’ve ever picked up in my life. So as the one year mark came around I was feeling just a little bit of a failure. I was finishing up a semester, and slightly worried of failing. I was at one job for the longest period I’ve ever been in my life, and slightly worried of being fired. Was anything really wrong? No! Nothing big, I just didn’t want to be at this point at this time. I wanted things to work out slightly differently. I was quite literrally worried because I really had nothing to worry about, go figure.

So I procrastinated a little...then a little more...then a lot until today really.

So what has happened since---November?

I went on vacation, a real honest to god vacation with beaches, gelato and everything! It wasn't quite wonderful, but it was something. Especially our last meal---easily the most gourmet meal I ever had (and I picked it). I learned a bit about Gullah. I've watched fifty Korean movies (eight Japaneses, two chinese and one soap opera too). I survived the three month mark at my job, and now the six month mark. This is a landmark of commitment. I stayed far. I catered the deserts for my work Christmas party. I went to North Carolina, and realized Durham has a street that looks like Commercial Drive. I saw my family again, they're all a little older---yet exactly the same. Christmas came, Christmas went, and then I turned twenty-one. Heck I went out and bought a SINGLE beer. It was bitey, with hints of coffee and the color of Guinness. I passed with a B, and signed up for two more classes. I realized I liked photos, and even started a page for them. I watched an entire movie in a theater without talking, and with smuggled cheesecake. I made Sugar cookies from scratch; gingersnaps too. I also chased seagulls.

So here I am. A little over one year later, a little bit older, and not so much the wiser but all the more eager to try a little more. What have I learned...well. God is slow. Painfully slow. In perfect conjuction, I'm obnoxiously impatient.

So he continues to push my patience just a little bit more. Maybe I'll see some of you in September?


grey squirrel said...

Sometimes you surprise me.

kathryn said...


i don't even have anything to say.
go do something, okay?

something that's not a nonfat mocha.