Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fear As We Know It

Clad in a large t-shirt
Hair swooped out of face
Toothpaste on toothbrush
Rug under bare feet
Hip bones pressed against sink
Leaning in towards the mirror
One light bulb
Illuminates the girl in reflection
Pretty of eye and ear

Shadows shift
The reflected eyes peer fearfully
Into the world behind the breathing

Only Shadows
Both girls breathe deeply
reflected girl

One staring into the face of the other
The other staring into shadows
never parted
always together

Picture found here
and there's also a story called A Parable of a Lightbulb if you want to go check it out.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Bookworm vs. Athleticism


When people say "sports," my response is without a doubt, "No thank you."
I considered myself to be the epitome of un-athleticism. I took a basketball gym class this past semester. I told my friends that "I humiliate myself by the minute." I thought it was funny. When these friends asked me why I didn't take bowling or something for the less athletic, I responded, "If I'm going to take a gym class, I want to take a gym class! No faking for me." Going to that class once a week truly tested my resolve and my pride.

I may have a body, but I'm not naturally good at athletics. No, sir. I'm more of the type that will sit by the sideline reading a book while fans are on all sides of my cheering their little hearts out.

This summer has changed all of that.

I'm living with my cousins. Did I mention that they are all quite athletic and sports minded? Yep, that was a huge adjustment.

I surprised myself.

I'm jogging three times a week with my boy cousin. I can do some men push-ups. I've played soccer and basketball. I didn't die. I may not be amazing, but apparently I've got a bit of a competitive spirit. Twice a week, most of the family goes to play basketball at a small Christian high school. Nicole and I play even though she's barely hit middle school and I'm in the exit lane from college. We get drenched in sweat. I'm talking that I sweated through 2 shirts. Yeah, I'm still grossed out about that.

For a long time, sports and I were not friends. Perhaps it had something to do with my dislike of sweating. Perhaps, it had to do something with my pride and desire to do everything that I tough perfectly. I don't know.

However, I think sports and I may have come to a truce. Sports help me to get past myself. Suddenly, I need to think about the team. If I worry about myself too much, we all lose! I lose because I didn't try and my team loses the use of one player. Sports are supposed to be fun. right? Well, I'm going with that idea.

Challenge of the Day: get over yourself and try something new and be a good sport even if you're not very good at said thing (it's a stretching experience!).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Singing a Melody

A sock landed near my face. As the stench wafted towards me, I groaned and rolled over.

“Isaac, don’t throw your dirty socks at me.”

“But, Mommy, I want to play.”

Laying on my back, I turned my head to see my five-year-old son staring at me with big pleading eyes. He was the spitting image of his father, the man that I had loved who had left me five years ago leaving me with a newborn child. Shutting my eyes, I tried to block out the flood of painful memories.

“Mommy, can we play?”

“Yes, dear. Go grab your cars.”

As Isaac scurried out of the room bumping into furniture, I sat up. Working nights tended to be difficult on a person; however, it was the only way that I could spend time with my precious boy. Thankfully, caring for the elderly usually wasn’t that difficult. Every once in a while, Room 234 gave me a couple of issues but that was rare and far between.

Isaac toted his bag full of hot wheel cars into the small living room. Our apartment consisted of one bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and a small living space. For a single mom, it wasn’t bad. It helped that my brother had been friends with the owners of the building. Running my hand through my hair, I felt the greasy residue of not having showered for a couple of days on my hand.

“Hmmm. Mommy needs a shower, Isaac.”

“Noooooooooo. I wanna play cars!”

“Okay, let’s play.” Playing cars allowed us both to escape into a world where there were no tired mommies and no bad little boys. Together, we just got to enjoy life through colored pieces of metal.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Silly Fear, Get Out of my Life!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves 'who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. "
~ Marianne Williamson

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
~ Elbert Hubbard

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
~ Dale Carnegie

"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will."
~ W. Clement Stone

Most of my summer so far has been me experiencing new challenges in every area of my life. Suddenly, I'm realizing that somehow I need to balance growth in every area of my life. How do I manage all of this? I don't know. Mostly, I'm just afraid. I'm afraid of failure. I'm afraid of disappointing those I love. I'm afraid of wasting peoples' time. I don't sing in the shower anymore. I brood. I don't dance much anymore because I'm afraid people will see. I stare into the sky. How glad am I that God is not legalistic and that I don't have to follow a bajillion rules to please Him. I'd fail or never start following the rules because I'd be afraid of messing up. Silly me, allowing fear to sap the strength from the bones and the smile from my face. Apparently, I need to get busy and not dwell on this fear. :)

May you live in freedom today and kick the spirit of fear out of your life.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Funny Stories from Life

Did you know there is an Ultimate Goat Fansite? Now, you do.

I've never been around goats before except at petting zoos, but apparently, I live at a type of petting zoo these days. I went down to where the goats were with my cousins and this one goat, Dunston, decided that my bracelet must be food. Thankfully, he only tried lipping it.


This past week, I went into work at the university. I stopped to talk to a ph.d student. Halfway through the conversation, he asked me what I usually do for lunch and then followed up his question with an offer for lunch.
My inner reaction: "Wait, what? Me? You do know that I'm in undergrad, right?"
My outer reaction: "That would be cool. I can't today, though. I'm going to talk with Dr. So-and-So. Maybe another time!"
I got back to my desk and sat in shock for a good 2 minutes. Shrugged and went back to work.


Have you ever confused body lotion and regular lotion? I have. Generally, I end up covered in body lotion only to realize that it's not rubbing in as I would expect. Looking like a poor beach bum who bathed in sunscreen, I frantically try to come up with some solution to this spectacular new layer of lotion on top of my skin. Tip to other confused individuals: A towel.


Sitting in the stands for my girl cousin's softball game, my boy cousin (who happens to be 5 years younger than me) says, "I wonder how many people here think that we're dating." I laugh off his statement.
On our return drive home, my girl cousin turns to me and chirps, "Guess what! My friend though you were my brother's girlfriend."
What could I do but laugh?


Walking into the bathroom while talking on the phone with my dear friend (who happens to have a cooking blog - check it out!), a spider slightly shorter than my pinky finger lounged on the floor of the shower. After informing my friend about the spider and unsuccessfully trying to kill it, my friend suggests that she yell at it. So while she yelled through the phone at the spider (distracting it), I killed it with my green flat shoe. Now, that's teamwork even when separated by a couple of states.


Hopefully, these little tidbits have left you with a small smile on your face. Have a lovely weekend and I hope adventures find you in your biggest moments of ennui!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Saxifrage School: College Re-defined


Maybe a month ago, I posted about the idea of The Saxifrage School. A couple of you seemed interested in finding out some more information about this college. Luckily for all of us, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette decided to check into this idea themselves. If any of you are interested in what they found out, click HERE to go to the article.


In other news, life goes well for me as I get to work alongside a professor seeking to polish up a textbook for publication and I have the opportunity to work on a manuscript with my uncle for a novel. Honestly, I'm not sure how this summer shall all turn out, but so far it's been pretty fun. Hopefully, after summer is over, I'll be able to get to my regular postings!