Saturday, January 30, 2010

When it rains, it pours, guaranteed

This statement and I became very close friends at a very young age. Quickly, I learned what it meant for one blow after another to hit you over the head. The sensation of when it rains, it pours became something I referred to as "being hit from left field." I've had many experiences with this feeling.

The sensation can be emotionally crippling. It seems like the sky opens up over your head and nothing can stop the rain from falling. (Channeling Eeyore, anyone?)

But you know what keeps me sane, even when holding back tears starts to sear my eyes, and frustration burns in my chest?

The fact that I know God will put nothing on you that you cannot bear. These trials and tribulations are His way of building your strength and your character. God's been working on my strength for years. He has thrown things my way that I could not understand; things that left me feeling broken, worthless, ridiculously crazy.

But you know what? After these storms, I emerged on the other side, a much wiser and much stronger person. And I can feel that fortitude now. Because with every storm, my faith grows a little deeper, and my resolve grows a little more. You have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. I might not be running yet, but I am walking at a steady pace, when I used to be crawling slowly along.

God has granted me with the understanding that there's a reason for everything that happens. And I'm so blessed to have acquired that knowledge. Because that makes it harder to steep in a serious funk for very long, like I used to do so well. Even in my anger, frustration, sadness--whatever, I know that there's a different side of the storm, and that eventually I will emerge on that side. I know that time passes, I know that wounds heal, I know that clarity comes.

Erykah Badu says, the man who knows something knows that he knows nothing at all... I know that the only thing I know for certain is what I've already said. God will never put more on you than you can bear. If you believe in Him and seek Him out sincerely, He is there.

So, so what if I love someone who says they will "never" love me? It's not the first time. And you know what I've learned from that first experience? That life goes on, and that the pain does fade, even if it never completely leaves. And that you start to appreciate that person for what they taught you, even if you never connect with them the way you once did. Even if you don't want to appreciate them. Even if you want to hate them and punch them in the face and scream and kick and rant and rave like a child, you'll start to find that you cannot. And you will find that you will eventually love someone else, who will open your eyes further than the previous person did. The reason why it all hurts so much is because you are being stretched further than you thought you could be stretched. Your eyes are being opened when you thought you'd seen it all.

So, so what if my financial situation isn't what I wish it was? I still have a job, two jobs at that, when people are killing themselves (and others) because they can't find one job. I'm not collecting unemployment. I'm not on welfare. I can still afford to take little trips. To buy a scarf I don't need. To put gas in my car. To eat.

So, so what? When things aren't going your way, say, "so what?" Remember the things you do have, rather than focusing on what you don't have. And remember, even though things might not be what you want them to be now, at some point, I'm sure something was just as you wished it to be. Maybe even beyond your wildest expectations.

I am divinely blessed. Which makes it hard for me to remain upset about the things that are simply a part of the construction of my character God is taking me through.

Sometimes, we all need a reminder, like I did today. Hopefully this serves as a reminder for you also. You are blessed, because you are alive. So, embrace these gray skies. At some point, they will clear, and your sun will be so bright, you'll almost forget the clouds ever existed at all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

sometimes your heart knows what your head will not allow

The wind tossed the tall grasses delicately as the sun played rainbows off my eyelashes. I wandered alone, searching for that which I could not articulate, but that which I knew I'd recognize as soon as it came to my eyesight.

I stopped in a small field of flowers, mesmerized by the multitude of yellow lilies reaching out of the ground, begging me to caress them. I knelt down and plucked one off its stem. I felt the need to show it off. Its pure beauty was something to be spoken to others.

As I reached the crowd, I sheltered the lily in my palms. Animated, I approached the group and held out my hands, telling them about the tranquil field, and all the gorgeous lilies. Unexpectedly, I was received with snickers and dubious stares.

"Malorie, that's not a lily, it's a tulip! And it's not yellow, it's fuchsia!"

I glanced at the lily in my palm, secure that it was definitely a lily. And even if I did mistake tulip for lily, I thought, there's no way it's fuchsia when it's clearly yellow...

But the stares and laughter brought doubt in my mind as the crowd dispersed, still laughing about the fuchsia tulip I saw as a yellow lily. I held the flower softly in my hands, and pulled them close to my chest, as if their proximity to my body was keeping afloat faith in my own judgment.

As the day turned to dusk, I dropped the lily to the ground, walking away, telling myself it was, indeed, a fuchsia tulip, but never forgetting the feeling of holding the flower in my palms, marveling at God's gift. As I walked away, I knew I saw with my own two eyes, and held in my own two hands, the yellow lily, and that I would never believe it to be anything else, despite what I told myself. But, if the majority contradicted what I, and only I, had to say, didn't that make them right?


Many dawns and dusks later, I've seen that yellow lily again. More than once. And every time I've seen it, the overwhelming sensation of holding it softly in my palms, its petals tickling my skin, comes right back to me as if I'd just clutched it.

Ruined by my doubt, I've turned my face from the yellow lilies along the path of life, telling myself they are fuchsia tulips; swallowing the truth rising furiously in my throat.


In the silence of deception and denial, a glass has shattered, and truth has been released.

Finally, that which I've always known has been uttered.

They may have seen a fuchsia tulip, but I always knew I held a yellow lily in my hands.

Friday, January 22, 2010

When you're old, Fridays off mean housework instead of paid work

: I love having a work schedule that is the same as the Orange County Public School schedule. Because of this, I have the day off today.

: I'm not a person capable of traditional sleeping in... the latest I can sleep without being annoyed when I get up is 10 a.m. I was up at 9.

: I'm a very particular person, if you haven't figured it out by some of my other rantings. Apparently, none of my roommates felt the need to take out the garbage, which smelled like literal shit when I got home the night before. I spent the beginning of my morning taking out the garbage with a scowl on my face.

: My bathroom had no toilet paper. It also didn't fit my standards of clean. (I share a bathroom with a roommate.) I needed to send my car payment. And I needed to go to the bank. Time to run errands.

: The bank and toilet paper run went smoothly, but it took me over twenty minutes in the post office to send one letter and get five additional stamps. Why did they remove the machine where you could just stick your change in and get one stamp? Did that make life too easy?

: Once I paid for my stamps, I realized that the stamps had a picture of two wedding bands, united by ribbon. Go figure. (didn't I just write about this yesterday?) Although I'd like to burn the stamps in effigy, I'll just use them as quickly as possible. Don't they make stamps for single, I-don't-think-I'm-getting-married-and-I'm-not-sure-if-I-want-to-anytime-soon people?

: While stopping to get gas, one of the store associates was handing out samples. What could be better than pumping gas while eating half a hot dog wrapped in delicious bread like pigs in a blanket? This added the five points back to my day that those stupid stamps took with their stupid wedding bands wrapped in stupid, pretty ribbon. (as if the assault on my senses granted by the Valentine's Day decor, which made its appearance right after Christmas, wasn't enough.)

: Now I'm under the dryer, giving my hair a deep conditioning. (hopefully it's deep.) When I was younger, Fridays off meant trips to the mall, or hanging around the house, watching tv, any assorted meaningless tasks. Now, it just means working without being able to get paid for it. Wouldn't it be nice if we could get paid for scrubbing a toilet or taking out the trash?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

from there to here

...coming from an adolescence of constant writing; I mean sometimes writing in my various notebooks and journals twice or three times a day, as I've merged into the beginning of my adult life, I've found that now I encounter periods when my writing is on fire, and I also (more frequently) encounter periods when my writing is lackluster, at best.

It's not that I have nothing to say, because I usually always have something to say.

But, it's just that I'm in (yet another) period of shift. And in periods of shift, it can be difficult to write. I know, I know, one is supposed to write during these periods, to chronicle growth and all that good stuff.

But I guess I'm just leaving behind the days of endless rumination on things I can't fix, people I can't make act right, days I can't get back. I spent a number of days fixated on days I couldn't get back. This became my writing's signature; its ultimate catalyst.

These were productive writing days, despite what these days did to me on the inside. Sometimes I would sit outside, overwhelmed with emotion at the breeze in the trees, thinking about so many things at one time, it seemed positively definite that my head would explode from the weight of it all.

Sometimes, I'd sit in my room with my "box," the box of multiple poems and thoughts inspired by believed life failures. I'd replay the events that inspired the poems, and I'd be overwhelmed all over again.

Today, I felt like I should write something. So I went upstairs, grabbed my notebook, this laptop, and that big black book full of my best and worst poetry from my more prolific writing periods. I wrote a tiny blurb in the notebook, felt unsatisfied, and put it aside. I opened the big black book of poetry and flipped through the beginning through some very familiar poems...

...and almost as soon as I opened it, I realized I was tired. Actually, tired is not the right word. I felt displaced. A place where I was once at home--sitting with melancholy songs, reading my words and thinking about things far, far gone--no longer felt right. It brings to mind returning, as an adult, to a place you once frequented as a child. Nothing looks or feels the way it once did. I changed the song I was listening to, and closed the big black book. It now is back on my shelf, upstairs.

The idea of it all is something I apparently left behind with the girl who wrote all those poems. I've finally stepped through the threshold between the life I lamented and the life I'm living, without consciously trying (well, not recently), but confident that I would eventually get there.

I've spent years, years, focused on the things I thought would always be of the utmost importance to me... love, being loved by someone, being in love...

I guess as I've gotten older, I've just lost a lot of that steam. That focus could only power itself uphill for so long without losing significant ground. I'm still a romantic, but as I exist on this earth, I see that there are a lot of other things more pressing that I could be turning my attention toward rather than giving a second thought (and a third, and a fourth, and fifth) to any prevalent romantic frustrations.

I guess I'm just... older. (and wiser.)

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