aware

aware

 

when you knew me you knew me as well as anyone did

 

i barely knew myself then

i was a stranger to myself when

i wasn’t aware of what i was going through

 

this year i met myself

this year i saw inside

and i want to tell you

 

i’m so far from what we thought

so much harsher and so much brighter

so much heavier and so much lighter

 

a year? you ask

what can change in a year

i knew you then so i know you now

 

a year ago I might’ve agreed, but now I know

a lot can happen in a year

a lot can grow and a lot can change and a lot of things have gone up in flames

 

this year i became aware of myself

this year i became new

i am aware of what i’m going through

 

 

 

 

Another poem I wrote on an airplane, August 22

My Eyes

 

I see you

 

Do you see me

My eyes find you and move away seamlessly

And then back

And then away, and then back, and away

Away

 

I wonder if you notice

I wonder if your eyes are doing the same thing

 

Away, and then back

 

Do you see me

Do you want me to think you’re not staring

What if you’re not staring?

Do you hope I don’t notice you

What if there’s nothing to notice?

I’m staring and it’s rude and I know

I should say something

 

But saying is scary

Doing is scary

Staying is scary

What if you turn out to be different than I think

Saying and doing are scary

And looking is easy

 

I hope my eyes keep meeting yours and looking away

For a long time

 

I know you feel the electricity in the air

It’s not just me

Why don’t you say something then

Why don’t you do something then

Why don’t you reach out and touch me

Then –

Electrocute us both

Why do you stay in a place only my eyes can reach

 

I hope my eyes keep meeting yours for a long time

I hope one day they learn to stay

A poem I wrote on an airplane, August 22

My Brain

 

I am confident

In myself

In who I am

But I wonder

Is it real

Or manufactured in a lab inside my brain

How does it look to people outside the inside

 

I’m confident

I’m happy

Happy?

Yes, happy

I smile a lot

I talk too fast

Sometimes

I slur my words

They come too quick

I don’t have time to edit them

Sometimes

I laugh too loud

(Sometimes I laugh too much too)

Sometimes

I laugh instead of listening

Sometimes I laugh instead of slitting my heart open on the kitchen table

For you to clean up later

After

When I’m lying in the bed with my eyes closed and you think I’m asleep

Mom always said when I couldn’t sleep I should at least try to rest

Sometimes

I wonder

Am I too much?

Am I too loud too out there too different too just like every single other person too sure of myself do I smile too much do I check my hair in the mirror too much do I check my phone too much do I try to be unique to get attention or do I do it without even having to try does my laugh sound normal to you does it sound sincere

Too much too much too much

 

But then I remember I am not enough

How could I ever have thought I was too much

I wonder if I can even reach the edge of “enough” with the tip of my middle finger when I am standing on the tips of my toes

Am I too anxious to be seen too anxious to be understood and loved and touched and known too anxious to stay in one place for long enough too anxious period am I too numb to be seen am I too numb to care am I too tired too overwhelmed too sick to stand am I too blurry for you to see me or too blurry for me to see you am I even here

Not enough not enough not enough

 

I know I’m not the first one or the only one to feel this

But that doesn’t fix anything

It only brings me back to the question

Do the questions only matter because I’m not the only one to feel this way?

Is “different” a word I’ve labeled myself to make myself feel better in a world of same

Is it only how we see ourselves

But never how others see us?

 

A Life Update and a New Goal

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a “life update” blog, but here goes. Honestly, not sure if I’ve ever written a purely “life update” blog. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

In June, I spent a few weeks in Portugal and Spain. Highlights? Driving down the Portuguese coast from Lisbon to Lagos. It was one of the most beautiful drives, with plenty of stops along the way for me to frolic a little too dangerously close to the edges of cliffs (at least, my travel companions thought I was getting too close). Another highlight was the FOOD in Spain. So. Much. Good. Food. Portuguese food wasn’t great, but they did have good pastries (pastel de nata 4 lyfe!) and 2! Euro! Bottles! Of! Wine!

Since I’ve been home, things have been busy, but more or less happy. There are always painful days with the good days. I’ve come to realize how much my life is high highs and low lows (where my Enneagram type 7’s at). This means even when I’m at my happiest and healthiest, a really terrible day can hit out of nowhere. But, like I said, overall, things are good right now, and I am good right now.

I’ve been spending time with family, I’ve been involved at The Living Room, I’ve prepared for some upcoming transitions in my life. Things have felt fast-paced, but I’m trying to slow down and not pack my schedule quite as full so I can leave room for spontaneity.

Clearly I haven’t been blogging lately. But I have been writing some. I am working on two different books but I’m not sure if either of them is something I want to pursue. One of them I started back in early 2017, and I’ve been wanting to finish it for a long time but just have not put in much writing time in 2018.

When people ask me if I’m writing, I’m embarrassed. Because I’m not writing enough. I see myself as a writer. I have seen myself as a writer for a long time. But writers write. Writing is the one thing that I’ve consistently wanted to do. So why don’t I act like it?

I have made a goal to write fiction for at least an hour every day of August. It’s not a big goal, but I know it will be a challenge. I work full time, and I’ll be doing a tiny bit of traveling for a wedding at the end of the month. But there will ALWAYS be stuff. If I wait until my life is slow and empty to start writing, I’ll never start. Ideally this 1 hour goal will stretch to writing 1,000 – 2,000 words a day in September. I’m not even sure exactly how many words I write in an hour, so I guess I’ll try to figure that out this month. I do know that once I get in the zone and just go for it, without stopping to edit anything, I can pound out a lot in a short time.

I also want to read at least one chapter of a book a day in August. I’m tricking myself with this one, because I don’t think there’s ever been a time in my life that I’ve picked up a book and read only one chapter. It’s just the act of picking up a book and starting to read, rather than opening my MacBook and watching Netflix. Some recent reads I’ve enjoyed are Little Fires Everywhere and Beautiful Ruins. I’m currently reading Stephen King’s The Shining, which is interesting, but not all that scary yet, and I’m over halfway through. Hopefully the scare factor turns up a few notches in the last 300 pages.

What else is going on?

I’ve become consumed by the Enneagram. I love it. I’m obsessed with it. It has revealed so much to me about why I make the decisions I do. It reveals who you are at your worst, but also who you are at your best. I’ll probably write a blog post about it soon, because it’s been life-changing for me and has made me much more self aware.

Okay, that’s it for now! Feel free to message me and ask if I’m writing this month. You can be my accountability partners! Deal? Deal.

Okay byeeeeeeee.

Carrie Sue

rivers in the wasteland

rivers in the wasteland

It’s been a long and hard few months.

This whole winter felt like I was paddling against the current, and also didn’t know which river I wanted to be paddling down, or if I even wanted to fight the current or just let it take me.

So that’s what I did. I let the current take me. This way, then that way. Further from who I know I am. Further from the kind of person I want to be.

Meanwhile, Jesus was rowing beside me in a little canoe, offering me a hand up.

But I decided I’d rather let the current take me.

I have my life laid out in milestones. When I get to this place, I won’t have more problems. Then I get to that place, and I realize no person or relationship or job or level of responsibility will ever make everything okay or bring me to some level of completion. Stretching myself to my breaking point isn’t somehow going to turn me into a better or stronger person. Taking care of myself is going to turn me into a stronger and healthier person. Giving myself the same level of care I give the people around me, is going to turn me into a whole person.

I woke up on Monday morning in my friend Ruth’s bed, with this overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t do it anymore. The first thought I had, even before I opened my eyes, was, “I can’t let the current take me anymore because if I don’t stop now I’m going to drown.” So I got out of bed, took a shower with boy shampoo (thanks, Paul), and did the dishes from the night before. And I talked to Jesus and told Him I’m sorry and I’m going to try harder. But rather than telling Him I’m going to be better, like I have been telling Him for awhile, I told Him “Jesus, I can’t do better. I need you to come in and purify me again.” I said, “Jesus, I’m ready to get back into the canoe with You.”

And He said to me, “Carrie, you don’t have to climb back in; let me pull you into the boat. I want you here. I’m already doing a work in you. Just because you can’t see or understand what I’m doing, doesn’t mean I’m not working.”

This scripture from Isaiah popped into my head as I was doing the dishes. And then I came to work and opened Pinterest (as you do) and it was literally the first thing at the top of the page:

“I am about to do something new. See? I have already begun. Do you not see it? I will make a pathway in the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

That’s me. I’ve been that wasteland for too long. God’s created a river, a pathway out, and I honestly think what He wants to do for me is simply show me how to find Joy in Him again.

The thing is, I haven’t been. I’ve been trying to find joy in other things for the past few months, and that’s what’s bugging me, in the back of my mind. Carrie, you were just doing this last weekend, and you think you can just leave that behind and make Jesus your focus again? Pretty sure it’s going to take a little longer than that.

I’ve always been my own worst critic. Disappointment in myself is the hardest to overcome. I’m upset with myself. Not because I did anything “that bad,” but because I know Jesus. I’ve known Him for years. I know He is the only way. Yet, I still choose to walk away. Some days I still choose to ignore Him. That’s why I’m disappointed in myself. I’m disappointed not because I did anything “that bad” but because I’ve been putting other things over Him. Satan would love to catch me up in that. In the shame. He would love to catch me up in guilt. He would love to convince me I’ve used up Jesus’s grace. He’d love to convince me I’ve used up all my chances. Satan would love if I believed him.

You know what? No. (#nottodaySatan) I’m done believing the lie that shame always takes a long time to overcome. I believe my God is active. I believe He runs on His own timeline. And when I turn to Him and tell Him I’m ready to let Him do a new thing in me, I believe He will do it.

He’s always done it before, and I believe He’ll do it again.

If you’re in the wasteland today, keep believing for Him to bring you through it. Keep asking for Him to bring you through it. And please don’t believe the lie that you are the only one struggling. If you are struggling and think you’re worse than anyone around you, reach out to someone you trust. Reach out to me if you need to, even if we don’t know each other well. You’re not the only one with “real struggles,” although sometimes when you’re surrounded by “church people” and “church talk” it can feel that way. But guess what? We all struggle. Every single one of us.

That’s why we need Jesus.

xoxo,

Carrie