today is the greatest

everyone should have a blog post with a smashing pumpkin title. today may not really be the greatest. i sat at work for eleven hours yesterday, forced myself to talk to my best friends instead of hiding like i normally do when i’m down, i wrote a lot, and i slept for twelve and a half hours. that’s right, i went to work and still slept over half the day. i consider it a record. this morning i woke up after that coma with knots in my stomach again. i gagged a few times as i was getting ready, and then i looked at myself in the mirror.

i’ve been alive for 23.5 years, and for most of those years i’ve worked hard to make a positive impact on the world around me. i want to encourage people when i see they’re down. i want to share my mistakes to help others not have the pains i have. i’d drop everything to help a person in need. i’ve been  loyal to my best friends, some who have stuck around for 12 years or more–anna, casey, lindsey, kristin. i haven’t been a perfect friend, but i’ve been loyal. i listen, i care,  i make them laugh. i take their pains on me when they’re hurting. i may say and do dumb stuff occassionally like every imperfect person, but i’m humble enough to apologize and take they’re forgiveness as an opportunity to be better to them in the future.

i needed to look at myself in the mirror this morning and feel positive.

i’ve been down, because i’ve done everything i can to gain forgiveness from someone i care about and it just hasn’t happened yet. then something wild happened to me yesterday.  i wrote a blog post last week attempting to be funny, and it really hurt a couple of friends of mine who thought they were my target. i got defensive about it, but it’s been bothering me really badly. i hated the idea that something i had said in jest had hurt the core of someone. i may be sarcastic, but i have a really sensitive heart. hurting someone really hurts me. after a week, i talked things out with the friend i unintentionally hurt yesterday. i asked for her forgiveness and she gave it to me–and we both felt better.

and then i realized that it isn’t just a trite old sunday school saying. forgiveness isn’t just for the person who gives it. it’s also for the person who asks for it. searching my heart for honest repentance and having the courage to put my pride aside to give a humble apology, i’ve grown as a person. i may not ever receive true forgiveness from people i’ve asked in my past. things would be easier if i could, but it’s not always possible.

for me, accepting that idea is almost as hard as finding the means to apologize when i’m wrong. i hate hurting people. i hate being unable to resolve it. it tears up my life knowing i’ve affected someone negatively, especially when i didn’t mean to. but i must give up my impatience and give things time. after a week of not knowing how to approach the whole blog ordeal, it approached me, and i now feel free of something that was burdening me inside.

that freedom is inspiring. i know the Lord wants what’s best for me. i know what he wants me to do with my life, and i know i’ve been complacent this year and blamed it on my job and other circumstances mentioned in previous blog posts. i’m glad i’m not wallowing in self-pity today. i’ve been doing it for a year now over different people and different situations, and it’s a tired act.

there’s nothing to be sad about. yesterday cannot be relived, and taking anxiety medicine to avoid feeling what today has to offer is just stealing time. the Lord forgives me, i’ve asked for the forgiveness of people i’ve affected, and i am forgiving myself. there’s nothing else needed but to keep going in that direction.

if i make it to being old, i know i’ll look back on a full life. i just want it to be a life full of good, not bad. i’d like to see the world, but if i rarely make it out of albany, i’d be ok. i want to have watched my family grow and my parents smile. i want to make them proud by the life i live, the job i have, the wife i become, the mother i long to be. i want to know the Lord more each day and share Him with others by how i act, not confuse them like i have with my behavior lately. and i hope as old lady erin looks back at the choices i made this year, i might not remember how dark some spots were because so much good will have occurred to overshadow them. or maybe i’ll remember today and the last few days and feel satisfied that something so seemingly trivial changed my direction in the best of ways.

something bad may happen tomorrow to shake up my world. something good may happen tomorrow to resolve a hurt. i can’t predict how the Lord will shape my life, but i can rest knowing that if i listen and follow that He has a plan for me that is beyond the dreams i described in the paragraph above. so today might not be the greatest in some respects, but today can be great because for the first time in over twenty months i don’t feel so aimless as an individual anymore. and for that i can be joyful today.

“it’s only over when you quit, and you ain’t no quitter, honey.” (thanks, brian.)

catch a tiger by the toe

relationships. when i was a teenager, i was so eager to collect and devour all sorts of them. people are fascinating. their motives and how they change based on who/what they focus on. their decisions and the justifications that follow. the values under which a person creates the ideas that drive their life. fascinating.

years later, i still believe this of people, but the motives have become disappointingly predictable. i want to meet people who change my mind.

i wish i could meet more surprising people. people who aren’t afraid of intellect. who are honest and who are eager to make the most of time. i need people like that around me. i’ve made plenty of acquaintances this year and years prior who are content with a shallow life wasted blowing wherever the wind takes them.

i met a friend recently through casey. his name is scott, and he embodies the description i gave of people who truly surprise me. sincere, authentic, intellectual and unafraid. i enjoy his presence, but it also makes me sad.

i wish people like scott weren’t such a surprise. i’ve met so few people like that in my world, and when they enter they ignite something in everyone they know. the rest of the world is capable of ignition, but usually all they ignite is frustration for me.

until this year, i thought that everyone was truly surprising introspectively–so i wasted my time digging around in completely shallow people looking for surprises. and in time, that left me feeling more jaded and shallow and sad i spent time searching for some treasure that never existed.

people aren’t all intellectual. or analytical. most people just make choices because they seem right. or exciting. i always assumed all people were like me. not that i think of myself as the ultimate prototype, but i enjoy the way i muse over life and it’s minutes–however daunting it may sound to people who don’t understand me.

and i’ve wasted a lot of time this year on people who don’t understand me. that’s my fault, and it’s a mistake that won’t be revisited.

the older i get, the more ok i am with having several acquaintances and few friends that really know me. those few friends aren’t perfect, but they are worth everything to me and my processes. i don’t know if it’s normal to come to such a conclusion, but today those people who would like to truly know me have to prove themselves in time and value to me. and those people who aren’t willing or capable of proving it, i still enjoy–but i don’t hold stock in like i used to when i was younger.

this idea has gotten me through my frustration with people who don’t think like i do. because ultimately, i equally frustrate these people, because they don’t view the world as i do either. and i’m finally understanding that, however basic it is.