Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's fun to stay at the...

I don't like to sweat. I go to the gym because it's a necessary evil, especially if I want to eat scrumptious foods and drink lattes on occasion. I love walking. I enjoy taking a leisurely stroll or walking place to place with headphones in and good music playing. But sweating? No thanks. There's a reason that the line is, "It's fun to STAY at the YMCA." I'd rather be clean and not smelly. It's part of the reason that summer is not my favorite. Props to you if you love working out or playing sports. But for the record, it's a discipline for me, not something that I enjoy. I really wish it were. Then maybe I'd be able to wear my sister's new cute clothes that are a size almost nothing because the girl simply LOVES to work out. I so don't get it.

So if you're wondering what insecurity this is targeting, it's the "everyone is going to think I'm a fat kid if I'm not athletic." But here, in this season of my life, I'm trying to embrace who I am. Not so that I can cop out and say, "Well, I'm just lazy, and that's who I am and that's not going to change." My hope is that I will be able to say that yes, this is the way that God has made me - as someone who prefers to listen to music, look at art, and snuggle up with a book. My hope is that in being honest with myself (and you), I will also be able to challenge myself to say this is my tendency, but that I have the ability to work within that tendency to do things that stretch me and make me a more complete person. For it is in doing the things that might not be my favorite (working out) that I find the freedom to do more things that are (eating, exploring, traveling, living a healthier life).

Monday, February 27, 2012

I have a migraine.

You might be asking yourself why in the world this should count for my 40 days of risk/giving up pride journey for Lent. I think it counts, and this is why. I have a fear of people thinking I'm a hypochondriac. I never want to admit when I don't feel well, because I'm afraid people will think I'm complaining, making things up for attention, or that I'm that person who's always sick. I don't want to be obnoxious or a burden. I don't want to be someone who people can't depend on. So not only does this count, but it's actually a fairly big risk for me. You might think I'm whining or complaining. I might actually be whining or complaining. But here's hoping that you don't think less of me for it. And if you do, maybe I'll learn to be okay with that.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I watch too much television.

Television is one of the primary ways that I check out from the world when it is stressful, too painful, or emotionally exhausting. The movies I like tend to also be painful and emotionally exhausting, so I don't even generally watch movies when I'm in this mental state. Today, for example, I am coming home from a weekend in Chattanooga full of classes talking about trauma. Fascinating and mentally stimulating, but heavy and exhausting. So tonight, all I really want to do is wear pajamas, eat a large amount of Chinese food, and watch television with my dog. Sometimes it's self-care, and sometimes it's an unhealthy way to disconnect and remain self-protective. Which one is it tonight? I'm not sure. But it works. So for now, I'm okay with it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I am here.

I've been thinking all day about what to blog. I've typed three different confessions in the last five minutes, then deleted all of them. And I'm aware that I already hate what I've agreed to do. Being vulnerable isn't easy. But I'm also aware that God has challenged me in this for a reason. Maybe this entry doesn't count. But I think it says something that I'm already regretting my committment, that two days of vulnerability has taxed me and left me feeling emotionally raw. So for today, this is all I have. Because this is vulnerable enough. And sometimes it's okay to just say, this is where I am. Here's my red dot. I am here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gold stars.

Today's confession is brought to you by an experience in class today.

I feel a war between fear, shame, and giddy pride when a teacher praises my work. I flash back to a time when being teacher's pet was both the only way I knew how to get attention and when it cost me the opportunity to have friendships. I fear being wrong, and I feel embarrassed when I'm right. I almost always feel regret after I speak up or raise my hand, regardless of the outcome. I try to drink in the praise but end up choking on the fear of it.

I'm thankful for friends in my life now who love me, embrace me and my nerdiness, and don't mind when I'm that obnoxious person in class. You beautiful souls are teaching me to know who I am and who I am not. Your love gives me courage and coaxes me out of shame.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent and Mariah Carey.

It's Lent season again, and God has given me another crazy challenge. Maybe one day I'll stop asking him to really change me through this process. But the struggle always changes me and humbles me and (I hope) makes me a little more like him (or at least makes me a little more broken that I'm not like him).

I don't really like being vulnerable. It feels uncomfortable and risky and out of control. I have felt very convicted recently as I challenge some of my clients in this area, and I'm aware that I'm missing a log in my own eye while I'm helping them to see the speck in theirs. So last night, as I, a true procrastinator, was asking God what to give up this Lent, he gave me an idea so far out of my comfort zone that it has to be from him.

The desire not to be fully known comes from insecurity. And insecurity is ultimately related to pride - at least for me. I am scared for people to see my shortcomings, because I want them to think I'm better than I am. That's pride.

So for Lent, I'm giving up pride. Doing this completely would be impossible, of course. But for forty days, I will post one thing each day that I'd rather people not know about me. It might be a way that I'm not very cool. It might be something vulnerable about how I'm feeling. But it will be real, and it will be risky. (Is anyone else feeling sick to their stomach right now?)

40 days of risk begins now. So let's start with something easy, just to get this ball rolling.

My favorite song to sing in the shower to warm up my voice on days that I have to sing is "Long Ago" by Mariah Carey. It's not a great song, and I don't know why it's the one that always pops in my head. I wish I were cooler, but I'm not.

As a side note, apparently the music you listen to at age 14 has the most emotional influence over you throughout your life. That's according to Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds, so take it for what you will. Super reliable source.