Love

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Swoon

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Makes me want to fall in love.

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Also, don’t forget: there is still time for you to enter the contest to win the gift basket from Burning Daylight!  Throw your name in the proverbial hat, people – the comments close tonight!

Closing in

Monday, December 14th, 2009

We are down to single digits: I am moving in 9 days.

And yes, I have Christmas parties 6 of the next 9 nights.  I might run out of outfits.

That said, posting may be light until after I get to Colorado.  I don’t want to miss out on a single moment of Nashville until I have to.  The thought of leaving these friends of mine – the ones I just tried to list by name and then had to stop because it would have been too long to read – keeps me awake at night.

I want to love on these people who have loved me for two years.  I want to write them each letters and tell them exactly why I appreciate them, exactly why I am going to miss them so much my heart might dissolve.  I want to sit face to face with them, and hear their voices.  I want to hug them while I can still touch them.  I want to take pictures with them, to capture this sliver of time that is flying by much too quickly.  I want to let them know that I believe in them, that I want good things for them – that, quite simply, I adore them.

Nashville, get ready for some lovin’.

Let’s talk about:

Monday, November 16th, 2009

The comments that you left in response to Thursday’s blog
I was blown away by a couple of things: 1) the TRUTH that was so evident in so much of what you were saying, and 2) the HONESTY about something that isn’t easily summed up in a cliché phrase.  I love that so many of you felt free to share a glimpse into your own stories and experiences with that curious thing called Love.

For the record, I am in agreement with many of you: I don’t believe in “The One”; rather, I think that I will wind up with “A One.”  If I believed in “The One,” I would have married JC Chasez when I was 15.

And on a personal note, I loved it when Casey said, “You ‘know’ when your introvertedness doesn’t mind sharing your space with that person.”  I’m pretty sure that in my case, that will be the flashing marquee sign telling me to go to Vegas RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Lord of the Rings
Last week, my roommate Julie told me that she had never read nor seen “Lord of the Rings.”  I think that I shrieked, “WHAT??!?” and then fell down dead.  But after the disbelief came action, and we watched “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers” this weekend.

Have you ever had the chance to watch something epic – something that has changed your own life, something that has become an essential piece of how you view the world – affect someone else for the first time?  It was so, so fun – and I think that Julie is hooked, even though she kept calling Strider “Striker.”

Micah’s 6th birthday

Yesterday, my nephew Micah turned 6.  I saw him last week, and when I asked him about his upcoming birthday, he said, “I can’t wait to turn 6!  When you are 6, you can do SUCH FUN THINGS – like a cartwheel and lose a tooth!”

And my cynical, disillusioned heart melted into a puddle.

Please tell me.

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

You know how some married people, when asked, “How did you know he/she was the right one?” answer, “I just knew”?

What does that MEAN?  What are they (you?) referring to?  And should single people be holding for it – whatever it is?

Or is it just a completely bogus statement, fabricated to placate the general relationship-befuddlement that seems to expand and swell the further we get from college?

I’m curious.

Loved

Friday, August 21st, 2009

I don’t always believe that Jesus loves me – even though the bible tells me so.

Oh, I know that Jesus loves me – in a “whole world in his hands” kind of way.  But do I believe that he loves ME?  That he sees ME?  That seems impossible.

It’s this thorn in my side, this snag in my otherwise fairly confident faith – which is interesting, since the love of God is what the gospel is centered on.  When I have a hard time trusting the central truth of the Christian faith, it has a ripple effect on the other things that I believe.

I find myself swinging like a pendulum between an inflated sense of self-importance and a groveling sense of shame.  Driven by a strong need for justice, I still buy into the lie that I can earn my worth, and that if I don’t secure my merit by my own accomplishment, then I’m done for.  I miss the whole grace thing, over and over again – and then just beat myself up for being a loser.

It’s hard to believe something that I can’t feel.

But lately, I’ve been coming back to that passage in Matthew 6 where Jesus talks about the birds of the air, and how they soar and glide and don’t worry about their lives because they are provided for – and that if God loves them, how much more does he love you and me?  For some reason, that has felt like a good line of reasoning – something that I could latch on to – and so a few weeks ago, I prayed that God would help me remember that.

Specifically, I prayed for a visual reminder of that truth.

And last week, I received a birthday package in the mail.

Greta’s note was short and sweet, simply saying that she knew that this was an enormously impractical gift, but that she saw it and just wanted to send it to me.  I unwrapped it, and found a doorknob.

It took me a second to put it together – because there’s no way she could have known.  Why on earth would she have sent me a doorknob – especially when I don’t even have a bedroom door?

But when the pieces fell into place, my heart almost burst.

Because the love of God will open the door and set me free.

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The Romaniuks

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

How can someone’s story be simultaneously so simple AND so romantic?

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This is Vadym and Sheryl Romaniuk.  Are they not darling?

I’ve been friends with Sheryl even longer than I’ve known my own sisters – we met when we were 18 months old in San Jose, CA, and when I was 6 and my family moved to Colorado, we started to write letters (yes, the kind that were signed “LYLAS”).  Our families vacationed together every summer, and when we both decided to attend the same college in Seattle, we were roommates for the first year.

Post-college, Sheryl made the gutsy decision to join the Peace Core, and was assigned to Ukraine.  Two years is a long time to dedicate oneself to anything, let alone to a country in which vodka is a vital tool in cat neutering.  But Sheryl dedicated herself to the Ukrainian language – which, I should add, uses the Cyrillic alphabet, so it’s even MORE impossible – became fluent, and in the process, fell in love with Vadym.

Long story short, and many twists and turns later, Vadym left his family, his home, his language, and moved to the United States.  In the same way that Sheryl had been so bold, Vadym left behind all that he knew – in order to be with the woman that he loved.

(Imagine me blogging in a low, dramatic voice, because I feel like this should be a plot synopsis on a movie preview.)

This weekend, I had the honor of standing next to Vadym and Sheryl in San Jose, CA, as they said their wedding vows.  Vadym speaks very little English, but spoke his English promises clearly and sincerely.  Sheryl looked like a goddess.

And I?  With all of the traditional Ukrainian toasting, I drank too much vodka and accidentally found myself in the middle of the dance floor during “Chattahoochee.”

But that is neither here nor there.

Vadym has decided that Sheryl is worth anything and everything that it takes to be with her.  And Sheryl has become a haven for Vadym – a safe place in the middle of the chaos that his life surely holds, far from all that he has ever known.

I am so grateful for this beautiful picture of what love and romance are in their most simple and true form.

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In response

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Hearken back to Monday’s post.  What was meant to be a shoulder shrug, a lark, a lighthearted jab at my pal Andy, actually sparked quite the response.  While I got a lot of “You go, girl!” comments from women, I have been much more impacted by what I have heard from the men – whether in comment, email, or response via their own blog post.  And while there is no way that I will be able to say everything that there is to say today (yeah, or ever), here is what has been rattling around in my brain this week.

If there is anything that I want to be, it is humble – humble, and teachable.  So THANK YOU to the brave dudes (especially Joey – the catalyst for many of these thoughts today) who had the guts – spine – balls – to challenge my thinking.

Which brings me to my first point: it was wrong of me to emasculate men – denying them of the very thing that makes them male (um… balls… sheesh, I can’t wait to see what keywords bring people to this post) – for not being able to communicate in the way that most women would like them to.  I am not a man-hater – I LOVE men! – and in no way desire to make eunuchs out of a bunch of surely well-meaning guys.  I’m sorry for sounding – snip, snip – harsh and judgmental.

Here’s the deal: in an ideal world, men would communicate clearly.  In an ideal world, women would communicate clearly.  In an ideal world, both sexes would have eyes to see and ears to hear the other person loud and clear.

That is obviously not the world that we live in – due to culture and socialization and upbringing and experiences.  So things get a little bit muddy, a little bit complicated, and sometimes, a little bit… hostile.  Men aren’t up front with their feelings.  Women send mixed signals – a “come hither” straight into a stiff arm.  One person doesn’t know who he is, the other doesn’t know what she wants – or vice versa.  Television only adds to the confusion, portraying men as bumbling idiots, and women as capable-yet-snarky ice queens (think “Everybody Loves Raymond,” or “Home Improvement”).

Who are we?  Who should we be?  Men and women alike are confuzzled.

I so wish that was a real word.

When it comes to love, we’ve all been hurt.  We’ve all been disappointed.  We’ve all got skeletons in the closet, and wounds that haven’t quite healed.  And for as much as we want them, it’s easy to make the opposite sex into the “enemy.”  I have my own stories – things that have happened that have made me a bit gun-shy when it comes to putting myself out there – and when I think of these disgraces, even years later, I still want to bury my head in the sand.

I think it’s safe to say that on a very fundamental level, women want to feel “worth it” to a guy – worth the risk, worth whatever it takes.  But hello – this is 2009.  A man can’t exactly prove his devotion by riding into battle with her hanky in his pocket.  So some of us feel like the least he could do is say, “Hey, you seem great.  I’d love to take you out sometime?”

Then again, the feminist movement sort of threw a wrench in that plan.  We women-folk sure asserted our independence, didn’t we?  Dang it.  We’ve stabbed ourselves in the back.  But that’s another post entirely…

Bottom line: I am backing off from the stance I took on Monday, however playfully I meant it when I first wrote it.  I don’t expect for a guy to take the reins, run the show, ask me out, sweep me off my feet, order me the lamb chop at some swanky restaurant while I sit mute and adoring.  Can you imagine?  Me?  Being conquered?  I do hope for a partnership, with honest and frank communication, equal parts respect and affection – and prior to a relationship, I think that means that both parties are going to need to communicate our interest in whatever way makes sense.

Sigh.  This just zapped every ounce of brain power I possess.

We all just want to matter to someone.

I wish it was easy.  And I hope that one day, it will be.

In the spirit of tomorrow’s holiday

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Here in America, we are taught that all men are created equal.

So no one should be “out of one’s league,” right?

We try to pretend that everyone deserves a fair shot – that there are no “leagues” – but when it comes to love, we employ our own silent caste system. We say that attraction is not the most important thing, but our relationships (and sometimes lack of relationships) tell a different story. We agree with John Lennon and sing, “All you need is love” – yeah, that… and a job, and a hot body, and chemistry, and a quick wit, and these days, a blood test.

I don’t know how anyone ever gets married.

Don’t get me wrong – these are not the rantings of a bitter and cynical woman. I WANT to fall in love – those of you who know me know that my heart is still soft. I hope that it happens for me someday. But I’m perplexed. I don’t understand how it ever happens – how the stars align, bringing the right people together at the right time. I don’t want to settle – but as Andy Merrick recently wrote:

“We’re acting like a contestant on Deal Or No Deal. We’re making this a game. We KNOW you’re interested in us. We have you. Maybe you’re the $500,000 case. But we’re greedy. We think there’s a $1,000,000 case out there. We don’t know for sure, but we’re hoping.”

Are we being ridiculous? Are we hoping for something that just does not exist? It’s like we’re designing our own paint-by-number mates, and unless everything fits just perfectly – the exact perfect color within the exact perfect lines – then we hold out for something (and someone) “better.”

Sheesh. I wish it was easy – easy like Sunday morning.

But never fear! Contrary to what many men assume about single women, I am not going to spend Valentine’s Day crying in my pajamas, eating peanut butter off of a spoon and cursing the boy who broke my heart in high school. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I get a little bit sad about being single, but it seems to me that I’m in good company. And this year, my holiday weekend is full of so many delightful things, it’s insane.

My favorite little wood sprite (and the closest thing I have to a soul-mate), Greta Girl, is flying in tonight.

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Seriously, could I HAVE a cuter friend?

A group of us are spending Valentine’s Day at the Bluebird Café to hear Josh and Meg play – Lovebirds at the Bluebird (awwww!).

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Aren’t they the best? I want them to adopt me. They kind of already have. I’m practically their love child.

We’re attending Charlie Hardin‘s CD release at the Rutledge on Monday night.

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Charlie is one of my favorite musical discoveries here in Nashville – amazing songs, and an astounding voice. If you live here, you should come to this show. His EP is called “Hollywood Be Thy Name” – how could it NOT be good?

Also, I plan on exercising my love languages several times this weekend.

wineandcheese

Because after all, all you need is love… and in my case, some beautiful friends and a glass of Syrah.

J is for Jumper cables

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Sometimes, my heart needs them.

Sometimes, my mind needs them.

Sometimes, my will needs them.

Sometimes, my faith needs them.

Thank goodness for my mom.


Who serves as the jumper cables to YOUR soul?

One year

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

It’s hard to believe – impossible to believe – but one year ago today I moved away from Seattle. I just went back and re-read the entry I wrote that day, and it remains one of the most honest things I have ever written; it hits at a deep place, even 365 days later… excuse me – 366. It was a Leap Year.

When I left, I didn’t have a real sense of how long I would be gone, but at my core, I hoped that it would be less than a year. You know: go find myself, get it over with already, and then quickly head home – preferably to get married and buy a house and have babies. The past year has exposed the extent to which I have desired the American Dream – I didn’t realize how much I wanted it until I willingly chose such a solo and unstable lifestyle. In my discomfort, I have longed for comfort. In my confusion, I have longed for clarity. In my chaos, I have longed for calm.

In my anonymity, I have longed to be known.

Moving is, if nothing else, very lonely.

But the past year has also taught me that life is not a checklist; it cannot be a checklist. I cannot look at my circumstances and think, “Once I get this-and-that,” or “When I achieve such-and-so,” I will be one step closer to success, wholeness, and legitimacy. I cannot expect that the American Dream is going to make me happy, because honestly, I am watching it fall flat for people all around me. A home does not equal stability. Money does not equal contentment. And most tragically, love does not necessarily equal forever.

I still hope for these things. In my most honest moments, I have a deep desire for a good and honorable man to share my life with – one whom I will love wholeheartedly and unequivocally. I want babies of my own. I want family vacations and birthday parties and a Bernese Mountain Dog and all of the wonderful goods damnably reserved for wedding registrations. I want a car with keyless entry and a house with a walk-in closet.

Maybe these things are in the cards for me. Maybe not.

But more than anything, I want to walk the road intended for me. And right now, that road continues here in Nashville. It’s all that I have, and it’s all that I am, and despite all feelings to the contrary, I am never alone.