Saturday, December 29, 2007

Faded Blue Jeans

A blog about denim was bound to happen, as I’ve been spending hours working with denim lately. I’ve been ripping seams out of my old jeans (on purpose) so I can salvage the material…in hopes of giving it new life in the form of a couple sewing projects I have in mind. I’d explain them, but few people really get them as it is. Needless to say, I find them exciting. I love the thought of completing a sewing project or two over break…and…I love denim. I’m the kind of girl who wears blue jeans with her pearls. In my little world, denim goes with just about everything…but then again, in my world pearls go with almost everything, too. Hmmm. I love pearls almost as much as denim. I love sweet corn, too, because it goes with almost everything. I believe corn to be the denim of the vegetable world, but that’s another story entirely. Anyway, I love denim. Mind you, I don’t love it an excessive way. I’m not all “Yes! A bedazzled denim blouse!” or “You know what I need? A denim jumper!” or “You know what would go great with this floor length denim skirt? Yes, a denim blouse with a jean jacket! Sweet!” I don’t consider denim to be a wardrobe in and of itself…just a necessary part of any wardrobe. It’s a staple, if you will. Hmmm….I’m getting off topic.

Anyway, working with my old…er…well-loved jeans got me thinking about well…faded blue jeans…and of course how that could possibly connect to my crazy life. At first, I was caught up in the blueness of denim (that’s how I like my denim – blue). I was thinking about faded blues. I thought about how I’m feeling a lot better lately. I’ve been pretty “blue” for the last month. Let’s just say it was a bad month at the end of a rough semester. I’ve felt like a wreck. I feel silly saying that I was “blue”, though, because it doesn’t properly describe how crappy I felt. I mean “blue” generally refers to depression or feeling down in the dumps or extreme sadness. I don’t think that was really where I was at. It was rough, don’t get me wrong, but depression is generally not my thing. I actually was just really anxious and withdrawn. I know, it’s an interesting combination. It’s just that I get/got so anxious about everything else that it started to bleed into my social life. I got anxious about whether or not people actually liked me, whether I was a bother, if I vented too much, if I was driving them up the wall…So, I’d start thinking I’d be better off keeping to myself. Yeah, that’s not really blue material. I think maybe it’s white? Like white with fear? I mean, fear and anxiety kind of walk hand in hand. The sad part is that white denim is rarely okay. Generally, it’s tacky and unnecessary. I suppose that could describe my anxiety and my bad month, but…not really…It was probably unnecessary for me to feel so anxious, but I don’t know that the bad time I was having was really unnecessary. I mean, good came out of it, and I think it was bound to happen at some point. As for tacky, that’s a stretch. The best I got is I occasionally use the nickname Taky. Whatever.

My next thought regarding fading blues was regarding the way my blue jeans faded. I mean, the fading wasn’t uniform at all. I knew it wouldn’t be on some level, but it still surprised me when I took off the pockets to find darker blue denim underneath. And to be honest, it was hard for me to imagine my jeans ever being as blue as the fabric I found under the seams. This got me thinking even more about the past month. Right now, overall, I feel a lot better than I have in quite a while. Am I on top of the world? No. But I’m having a lot more wicked sweet times during my days than I have been, and I feel a lot more content with who I am and the life that I’m living. I can’t say I’m rockin’ my life right now, but I’m definitely enjoying who I am more…and realizing more about who I really am. Believe it or not, I’m not that bad. I’m actually kinda sweet (in a “that’s wicked sweet!” sort of way, not necessarily in a “you’re such a sweetheart” sort of way. The latter may be true as well, but I think that is something that is more accurately judged by others, and I would feel conceited stating it.) I’m actually a lot stronger than I previously thought and a lot more mature. I’m not a big cry baby, like I often feel like. I actually do pretty well of taking care of what needs to be done, and I generally can stand on my own two feet. However, I will admit, that I generally don’t take care of myself as well as I take care of others…and the more anxious and upset I get, the worse it is…So, if you’re one of my amazing friends that have given me tough love in the last month and “made” me eat, drink, breathe, sleep, study, or any of the other necessities, thank you so much. That’s just what I needed. I needed someone to care about me when I didn’t really care about me – someone to remind me I was worth caring for. I believe you can’t accept love until you realize you are loveable, and one of the best ways to learn that you are loveable is by seeing that you are, in fact, loved…despite being an imperfect wreck. The best part is you all have been very good about showing me Christ’s love and pointing me back to Him. You’ve done an amazing job of reminding me that you love me because God loves me, and that God loves me more and better. Right, but back to the jeans thing…it’s not a uniform wicked sweet feeling that I’m experiencing. Overall, I’m doing way better and feeling pretty wicked sweet and generally pretty content.

However, just like my jeans, I am very aware of the fact that I have some parts that aren’t feeling that great…some parts of me are a darker shade of blue, like the denim beneath my pockets. Those are the parts I’m aware of. I’m aware of the fact that I feel uncertain about going to Okoboji for New Year’s. I’m uncertain about being at camp with a bunch of people I don’t know. I’m afraid I’ll make a bad impression or that I won’t fit in or that I’ll cling to the few people I do know just a little too much. It also freaks me out because believe it or not, I’m stronger and more mature than I once was, and I’ve been attempting to be honest and live that out while I’m home. Has this been easy? Absolutely not. It makes me feel out of place at times. It makes me feel ready to move on to something new. It makes me feel…like a jerk…sometimes…and to be totally honest, I feel a bit guilty about telling my parents I would be gone for New Year’s. Oh, yes. Today, we got to talk about the whole thing for the second time. My dad grilled me on the details of my trip and was disappointed with the number of blanks. However, I did stand firm. I told him I was going and he didn’t need to understand why. I told him all he needed to know was that I wanted to go and that I’d made arrangements and was going. I guess it’s settled, but with all the stuff going on between my parents and my sister, I kind of feel bad…I suppose that’s a pretty “me’ thing to do…to feel bad for doing what I want to do…but…it’s this new thing I’m trying…it involves me hashing out a new role in the family and trying to take care of myself and my needs a little better…and this trip directly relates because barring any major catastrophes while at camp, it will do a lot to help preserve my sanity and sense of self. So far, I’m doing okay at home, but I can’t say it’s been super easy. God and I have been discussing it often. Especially because I know that I probably have crazy dark blue parts, still…parts beneath the seams (Haha…you can only see them if I come a part at the seams!) Anyway, I’m pretty sure those parts still exist. I’m pretty sure I have some unresolved pain and unexposed craziness lurking somewhere in me. I know that there’s always a chance that something could cause that to be brought to the surface (though I generally pray that’s not the case). Yet, I pray that God would grant me strength and courage each day to live according to His will and His truths and to face those tough times with boldness knowing that God will never leave me nor forsake me. I pray that He would sustain me and gird me with a belt of truth so that when I have to face the next rough patch, when someone exposes what’s under the seams, I may not be consumed by it. I pray that God will help me to cling to Him, and should I be too tired and weary and battered, He will provide me with friends that will help me to get back on my feet.

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