Window Washing

Needless to say, I don’t like crying. I never have. The feeling of utter vulnerability is completely unappealing to me. And yet when a powerful moment comes along that brings me to tears, sometimes I hit repeat and hold onto it. Perhaps I hold on sometimes because these moments are few and far between for me.

The truth is that I’m much better at NOT crying. I’ve learned to cry when I’m alone. I’ve learned how to keep my emotions in check and only show the stiff upper lip. There is no instance I can point to that caused this to be the way I handle emotion. There is no tragic instance that dried up all future tears or told me that crying is weakness. It’s just how I feel.

So then, why is The Giving Tree my favorite children’s book? Why do I watch episodes of The Office (Niagra: Part 2, Goodbye Michael and Garage Sale) that I know will make me cry? Why did I create an entire playlist on Spotify called “Sometimes I Cry?” Why on Earth did I listen to “It’s Quiet Uptown” from Hamilton the Musical on repeat at least 12 times in a row, bringing on hard core, inevitable tears while writing this very blog post?  (Fair warning, if you choose to go listen to “It’s Quiet Uptown” do so at your own tearful risk. It is hauntingly beautiful!!) I listened to that track more than any other track on the album and yet it was the only one that made me cry. Crying…the thing I hate doing. Why would these things that bring tears become my favorites? It doesn’t make any sense at all.

My friend, Chelsea, always used to tell me, “Crying is not a weakness, Lizzie. Crying washes the windows of our souls. And sometimes we just need those windows washed.”

Window Washing quote from friend Chelsea blog post

Perhaps that’s why these things that make me cry become my favorites. Perhaps the powerful act of allowing my proverbial “windows” to be washed is far more meaningful and memorable than so many other moments that fly by without being marked. Because I can tell you the times I’ve cried. I can tell you about the times I’ve fallen apart. I can tell you about the time at church when I ran for a place away from everyone to cry and found a friend who sat by me and didn’t say a word. Or the time in my basement apartment in New York, when I felt so alone and let myself cry and was reminded that God was there with me, even when no one else physically was.

Chelsea always encouraged me to wash my windows, but I would always respond, “No Chelsea, crying is so stupid. I’ll cry when I’m home…alone. Where no one can see. It’s better that way.”

Plus, I hate washing my soul windows because when I cry I tend look more like James Van Der Beek crying…

Dawson Leery crying gif blog post

When I wish I could look more like Johnny Depp and his gentle, tear-streaked cry face…

Johnny Depp crying face gif blog post

Or maybe Jensen Ackles’ beautiful, beautiful cry face…

Jensen Ackles Supernatural cry face gif blog post

But at the end of the day, I want to write things that evoke powerful emotion. (Ugly cry face or not!) I want to connect with you, reader! I want you to be able to look through my windows, not wonder what’s inside this darkened building. I can’t help but feel that until I allow those windows to get cleaned more often, then whatever emotional blog posts I can give will tinged with an air of falsehood. And that is NOT what I want. So I listen again to “It’s Quiet Uptown” and I wash those windows clean. Cleaner than they’ve ever been, maybe. Cleaner than they’ll ever be again…I hope not. I’ve never been good at deep cleaning! But I am a fast learner!

My Inside Out Islands

Last night I watched Pixar’s Inside Out for the first time.
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I know…shock, gasp, what? A self-proclaimed Disney lover such as myself? Here’s the thing, I always knew I’d love it. I just also knew I’d cry. It’s Pixar for pete’s sake. If you didn’t cry in Toy Story 3, Wall-E, Up or Inside Out then you basically have no soul. I mean, the trailer for The Good Dinosaur.. have you watched it? That thing is definitely going to require tissues. At this point they should just hand out boxes with your ticket purchase.
I don’t enjoy crying, so I didn’t see it in the theaters. There’s no logic behind it. Just my 5 emotions doing their thing.
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Anyways I’ve made a list of my personality islands. Things that are inherently me. Trust me, there are plenty other personalities in there. But these are the big ones. And they are each pretty self explanatory. No need for lengthy descriptions. Just a few well placed emojis! Here we go…

-Faith Island
😆😂😭💒🎄🎶🌍🌌😇🙌

-Family Island
🏠👪👫👴👵💏👦👶💚🐕🍝🎂🐱🌈

-Nerd Island
🌠👽💀👿👻💞💥💫💨🚀📺💘🌟⭐✨

-Adventure Island
🗼🗽🏰🗿🗻🚈🚢✈⛵👣👙🎇⛺🌊🌴

-Creativity Island
💭✏📖📚👡👒👗🎹🎶🎤🎧📷🎥

-Girl’s Night Island
👭👭👭💅💪💋🍷🍹🍫🍨👢🎀🎉

-Boy Island
💏💑😍😍😍💐💒👰💏💏😍😍😨

-Playtime Island
🙊🙉🙈👮💂👯🎡🎢🎠🎪🎨🎮🎲🏈🐎🏀🎳

-Gilligan’s Island
Ok this one’s not really one of them. 😉

What are your personality islands? (Joy wants to know!)

I Pitch My Tent in the Valley

I had a revelation about dating. It’s not ground breaking information or anything. Just a thought about me. The person I know the most and spend the most time with. And maybe you’ve felt or feel like this and that is why we share. To find connection. To say, “Hey, you’re there right now? Me too.”
So…I don’t like dating. It’s no secret. And I recently went on a date with a really nice guy. He was socially well adjusted and he liked nerdy things and he loved Jesus. He was quite possibly a unicorn. But I wasn’t having any of it. I didn’t wanna go. And when he asked me out for a second date (something I’ve never been on with anyone) I dragged my feet about it. And turned into a whiner. I whined about it. “Do I have to go?” I asked my friends and family. The same friends and family who have heard me complain time and again that I don’t get asked out by decent guys and have heard me complain that I’ve never even been on a second date with anyone…ever.
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What was wrong with me? What have I been saying??? “Unicorn!” “Where are all the unicorns?” “If only I could find a unicorn then maybe my relationship stuff would be over.” But here was a unicorn sitting in front of me and I couldn’t be bothered.
It wasn’t adding up.

There’s an element that I have not shared with you beautiful nerds. I’ve kept it close. It was too private to share. But…here goes everything.
I accidentally fell in love somewhere in the 8 years I was living in New York. And yes…accidentally falling in love is as stupid as it sounds. And it doesn’t produce the happy outcome that you readers and viewers and family and friends so graciously hope for my life.

I’m only giving the highlights because of anonymity and because if he ever reads this (highly unlikely), he knows all he needs to about it and doesn’t need to know any more than what I’ve chosen to share. And because there is way more to it than this, but this is the important stuff.

The bullet points are as follows:
-He’s a boy
-I’m a girl
-We were friends
-Then we were roommates
-I moved out
-I missed him
-I started to feel more
-But knew it was not a possibility
-So I tried to get over it
-And failed miserably
-I told him I was in love with him
-But nothing happened
-Then I moved to Florida (not because of!! Important note.)

Now as I mentioned, this unicorn guy came along after the bullet points. And the bullet points, of course, have a lot to do with a lack of enthusiasm about the unicorn.

Here’s what it boils down to. I’m 32 now. I’m not getting any younger. But hey!! I am getting way…way better!!
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I’m about to be an aunt. And almost all my friends and family are married. It’s natural. It’s what happens. But maybe that’s not what “happens” to me.

See…dating comes with a price tag. The price is that there are a set of expectations in a dating situation that for a hurricane like me, are unavoidable and undesirable. Expectations like…do I like him? Would I kiss him? Do I want to have sex one day with him? Would I marry him? (I’m drastically over simplifying but you get it.) All the while society and well-meaning church folks ask the dreaded questions…”When will you be getting married?” “Should I set you up on a blind date since you’re still single?” “Don’t you want to be happy?”

So instead of turning to a unicorn who I know there is potential with, I turn to and fixate on the bullet points. Cause there is no future there. There is no expectation of more. And that is ok with me right now.

But “NO!” you say. You’re shaking your head that it isn’t better. I know what you mean and I know why you shake, but I currently disagree… because I’m not looking for ‘The One’ I’m looking for a friend. Friendship is what you hope to end up with at the end of a long married day. A friend. Who gets you and loves you and sure…wants to have some sexy time with ya. But who is ultimately…your FRIEND.

If the only expectation on a date was getting a friend out of it, maybe then it wouldn’t fill me with the crippling fear that it does now. I don’t let fear get in the way for me usually. But with this dating stuff, for some reason, I listen. I don’t want to worry about whether or not some guy is gonna hold my hand or try to kiss me and will I be too polite to tell him I’m not really feeling anything but friendship for him. And why has it become such a crime or an emotional wrecking ball to have that conversation.

I want amazing. I want exciting and I want it with some one who knows me the way the bullet points knew me. But who also loves me back.
And it’s a Catch 22 that won’t happen if I avoid dating. I know that, mom! (She’s pretty smart!) This blog has no answer. It has no solution.

But then again, this blog has never been about having it figured out. Or about teaching how life works. It’s always been about the journey and the figuring and the valley moments. Cause that’s where I find my tent pitched 89% of the time. I’ll let someone else write about the mountain top.
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5 Fandom Friday

fandom.5.friday

Today’s 5 Fandom Friday topic is 5 Songs That Have Changed Your Life. This is a hard one, only because 5 seems like such a small number. I’m a singer/ songwriter and music is such an integral part of my life. It’s difficult to narrow all the music I love and listen to down to 5 important songs. But The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick get what they want. So here goes…

#1 – American Honey by Lady Antebellum

Country music is my one true love! And this song holds a very special place in my heart. I went through a very rough time a couple years back. I sort of lost myself and was doing things that weren’t representative of me. People tried to talk to me and tell me, but I couldn’t hear them. Until my friend Jared sat down and told me that I was like American Honey. And that I needed to get back to the person he knew me to be.

He really saw me in a moment when I couldn’t see myself. And this song really anchored me back to the person I truly am. Someone who isn’t jaded or influenced by the world. It’s not a song that is particularly inspirational or life changing by any means, but it has become a favorite and will always hold a very special place in my heart!!

#2 – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

Country music may be my one true love, but Christian music is the cry of my heart. Christ is at the center of everything I do. And I don’t take a lot of time on my blog to express that. But it is so true. Some music expresses that longing for a Savior so beautifully and this is one of those songs. It’s a relatively new song, but it is one that makes me lift my hands and brings me to my knees. “Where feet may fail and fear surround me. Your sovereign hand will be my guide.” That’s such a powerful statement that I try to remind myself of each and everyday.

#3 – Sunday, Bloody Sunday by U2

U2 has long been one of my favorite bands. The Edge is my imaginary boyfriend!! Music is a powerful medium to tell stories and elicit emotions at the same time. It has the power to challenge and convict and still be really, really catchy. This song was written about the “Bloody Sunday” conflict that happened in Northern Ireland on Jan. 30 1972. What a powerful use of music. U2 is a very political music group and they take the opportunity to be involved with projects and topics that they feel passionately about. I imagine this conflict was keenly felt as they are a group of talented Irishmen. I love when a song is about more than just music.

#4 – Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty

People always fight me on this one. Look, I love me some Tom Petty. But it’s the John Mayer cover of Free Fallin’ that really gets me. It’s my go-to karaoke song these days. And it’s a song that just feels like home to me. It’s perfect for road trips. It’s perfect for weddings. It’s perfect to listen to on a crowded subway. It’s basically the perfect song! And I stand behind my love of the John Mayer version. It’s a little more soulful, a little more hipster. If I was stranded on a desert island, it’s one of the songs I’d have on my playlist because I can listen to it on repeat and never get bored!!

#5 – Secret Garden by Bruce Springsteen

I’m not one to cry very much. But when I need to let the tears go, I put this song on.The lyrics of this song feel like they were written about me. And I love when a song hits you between the eyes like that. I first heard it years ago around the time when Jerry McGuire came out (makes sense since it’s the theme song to that movie!) And I think I bawled for a good 2 hours. I can’t really listen to it on repeat because it does have such gravity in it’s lyrics, but it’s gorgeous. And Bruce is The Boss of course. So you really can’t go wrong with one of his songs on your list!!

What songs have hit you between the eyes? Lately or in the past. Let me know!!