Saturday, January 31, 2009

An Odd Day

I have been very introspective today, and for once, I liked what I was assessing. Like...I was pleased who I am and how I look...for the most part...that's unusual for me. I found that's been happening more and more...enjoying myself...and learning more and more about myself at a crazy rate, lately. I've been discovering more and more about what my passions and interests and strengths and weaknesses. It's weird to me to realize things about myself, and it seems as soon as I might think they could have some truth to them, I start trying to dismiss them as fiction that I made up to make myself feel better. Today, I glanced in the mirror periodically today, and I liked what I saw. I looked cute and yet extremely casual with my boy shorts and oversized tie dye t-shirt. Some days, I do look in the mirror and think that I'm pretty. Today was the first day that I really realized that it wasn't the outfit or the hair really...I mean, they were good and I'd like to think I sometimes wear cute clothes or cute hairstyles, but today I wondered if maybe the reason I thought I was beautiful or attractive or pretty or whatever it was that made me stop and look at myself in the mirror...maybe it was more me than it was the outfit or accessories (especially since I'd put like zero effort into my look this morning)....maybe, just maybe, it's me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Life's in the Bass Line

So, I made a lot of observations on my drive back to Brookings. It was good, productive, and not entirely pleasant. I realized that I was anxious and upset...more so than I thought I was. I mean, God and I were chatting, and then I realized I wasn't consciously thinking about anything. But something was clearly on my mind and upsetting me because I discovered myself absent mindedly gnawing my fingernails off. I really wish I didn't do that anymore....but...I do. I tried to brush it aside and regain more conscious, purposeful thought...but was wholly unsuccessful...instead, I found myself feeling especially antsy and flipping through the songs on my ipod. I apparently suddenly became extremely choosy. I only wanted to listen to songs with a hard, driving bass line. I tend to gravitate to those songs. They're what I choose to nap to, stretch to, relax to, etc. Yup, when it's time for me to chill, I like to listen to songs with an almost...pulsating beat. Today, I paid attention to the way I respond to those songs. Partially because I was trying to do a kind of biofeedback...observe my body so I can calm down better. I noticed myself connecting with the bass line, feeling anxious during intros and then relaxing when the bass came in. The most awesome part I realized today was that it was the rhythm and pulsing of the bass that I really enjoyed. The rise and fall of the lines affected me, but not in as beneficial of a way. For instance, the motion of the bass line somehow triggered the release of tears from me 3 times, leading to a total of 6 tears (yes, I counted).

I really relate my love of bass lines to my love of heartbeats. I use them both as external pacemakers of sorts. I like the methodic forward motion that they provide. I mused for a while about whether God would be a bassist...'cause I remember my jazz band director talking about the rhythm section being the heartbeat of the jazz band. I was thinking today about the bass being the heartbeat. Because it pulses and drives the band forward but can go unnoticed by the casual observer. The effects are seen, but not everyone can pick out just what the bass line is. On the other hand, most people can find the drumbeat, which makes me think of it as's pretty obvious whether or not its present and the broad characteristics of it. And just like in the human body -- breathing implies a pulse, drums hint at the bass line. I feel God like a bass line in my life sometimes. He gives me consistent forward motion, drives me to move forward, despite whatever craziness is going on around or in know? Like no matter what crazy melodies and harmonies and dissonance and whatnot is going on, the bass keeps moving everything forward. Yup. So, I realized that sometimes I use the bass line in my music as an artificial pacemaker...helping me feel grounded in the methodic, pulsating rhythm...stability with a forward drive...and if the music itself isn't enough to center me (i.e. keep me from crying or freaking out)...sometimes, I crank it so I can actually feel the bass in my chest. Let the bass line be my heart beat as if forcing me to keep going (wow...that's emo, huh?). But true in a lot of ways.

So, yup. I was thinking about all this...the comfort I find in heartbeats and bass lines...I'm going to confess to this. Sometimes when I can't sleep and music just isn't doing it (like the words or something are distracting me somehow)...I imagine a heartbeat or try to lay so I can hear the blood rushing in my ears (the seashell effect if you will) or feel my connect myself to the rhythm of life...and remind myself that we are going forward...somehow it makes me feel less alone, too...I suppose partially cause I feel connected to God...and because everyone has a heartbeat...and sometimes I think on that...I know,'s what's on my mind...yup. I don't just love bass lines because I love being the bass chick. I actually just connect to an organic, comfortable way. The end.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Trying to Be (Live) Free

I'm in a very weird, very conflicted place right now. I don't even know quite how to describe it. Let me supply you with an example, though. I woke up, listened some tunes, got some stuff done, ate breakfast, went to the gym. Post-gym, I weighed myself, thought about healthy food choices and set out for Hy-Vee. While there I felt compelled to look for an appetite suppressant but was disappointed to not find what I was looking for and briefly considered buying laxatives and then decided against it 'cause that would destroy my GI tract. I then came home and showered and am now figuring out some supper. I don't feel like eating at all. Like a part of me doesn't want to undo the gym by eating food. I decided that was dumb and got online to rock for a while to convince myself of the need to eat. I succeeded and then decided to try to promote healthiness in my life by using the meal planner. I discovered I'm real great at planning a daily menu that I believe to be on the heavy end of sufficient and discovering its only like 1000 calories. Now, clearly, I wouldn't be this big if that's how I ate, but I was forced to see that my image of healthy is on the other extreme of unhealthy. As much as the thought of even a salad kind of made me gag, I decided to make some supper, after putting on a kind of cute outfit to promote me feeling okay. I then thought about how I should call my friend tonight instead of waiting to message him in a few days and lead with "I thought about calling you the other day". Then, I opened the fridge and I sneered as my eyes started to well up. I was then horrified...had I really started to crying just looking at what I had planned on eating for supper lying next to the yummy health food I'd bought just hours before? As much as I'd like to say, no...I did. *sigh*

I just am frustrated and torn and feel so upset by it all. It seems that I have a good thought, one that would be healthy and helpful and whatnot...but then immediately after that, the urge to sabotage my own plan/thought/care. It was so frustrating and so irritating because the temptation was so strong. I mean, I was physically repulsed by the thought of eating most of the time but at the same time know the consequences of giving into, I sneer and force myself to do all things I don't want to do while a part of me is scrambling to find ways to counteract it and put me back where I was.

I refuse to let those lies and those temptations run my life, though. They will not keep me from doing the things I want to do...and I suppose they make me more resolved to "get better" and live in the freedom of Christ. That's what I've been thinking about a lot lately: freedom. I have a friend fighting for freedom in a really intense way that I don't even know if I fully understand. I was really praying about it New Year's Eve and lifting her up, and God gave me assurance I hadn't really known before. He will set her free. He will protect her and will carry her out of that and set her free to live in and know His love. He will. He can and He will. At the same time, I was convicted as well about the ways I do not live free...the lies that I am still a slave to, not because I haven't been released but because I have not really stood up and walked out of that and into the freedom I have...or something like that...I can't seem to think of the right image. Point is, I was really convicted of the lies that feed into and surround my anorexia. It plagues me from time to time and there are so many lies mingled into all that. I know I neglect addressing it often, especially when the battles being fought for my girls are so more dramatic...I neglect to think of myself. But I was not shocked to feel called to address that. I want that. I want to drag it out by its roots and know God's truth for me. I want to be rid of those lies. I was thinking about that the other day...wanting holistic health for myself, just like I do everyone else. I was thinking about maybe trying counseling again (though my schedule is soon to be crazy) or really seeking God's guidance in how to seek Him each day and renew my faith and trust and strength in Him everyday...and taking care of myself physically...eating well, working out...essentially, it'd be the Takara Feel Good Plan Take 2. I don't know. Today, though. I mean, I guess that's why that was my greatest temptation today. Like I said, though, I don't want to let today scare me away from continuing to pursue health and pursue God. I was glad that it was a conflict and that I didn't descend into despair as quickly as other times. I'm thankful that I have an urge to not give in...and that I made a few bold moves (by the grace of God) to tell a few friends what was up and to even make a phone call when I felt compelled to do so (though I admittedly prayed for the voicemail the whole time). I'm going to bed feeling teary eyed...kinda scared, kinda sick, kinda hopeful, kinda uncertain, kinda lonely, kinda excited, and extremely tired. Pray for me, please.

Let it Rain, Let it Pour

Today was the a perfect example of why I dislike coming "home". And honestly, it hit me hard. I wasn't in a place to really cope and bounce back quickly, I guess. Every time I start to write this blog, my eyes just well up, and then I feel lame and like I should just shut the heck up, get over myself, and try to sleep it off. And maybe I won't type this all tonight and just see where I'm at in the morning. But while I feel that a lot of the frustration of today was stupid in and of itself, it brings up so much crap that I can't ignore it, especially as a blog topic.

So, it's now days later...and I'm returning to this because it did throw me for a loop. We went shopping as a family, a fairly common occurrence. I was dad and I had discussed getting some stuff for school and hitting up the post-Christmas sales. I had some things I was hoping to at least look for. But I will say it started off weird. My mom didn't want to go and wouldn't really say it. She just came along, silent and glum and if we were forcing her or torturing her by bringing her with, though she wouldn't admit to it or like just stay home like she wanted. *Sigh* That made it weird for my sisters and I because we were enjoying browsing and talking and stuff, but Mom was distant and unapproachable. So, we didn't want to seem too excited for fear of like rubbing it in her face or something. Like we didn't know how to show her things without like making things worse or whatever. Then seemingly suddenly, my dad blew up at all of us. He said that we all made him feel like he was dragging us through the store when he was there for us and now we acted like we didn't. He said we were being ungrateful and cynical and stuff. I had no idea what the Hell he was talking about. In hind sight, it may have been much more of a Mom issue than I'd realized at the time, but that wasn't conveyed. Mom was just distant and silent, Dad yelled at us and stormed away and angrily finished his shopping as if trying to punish us with every movement. If it hadn't been my father, I would have laughed at him for angrily biting a piece of Canadian bacon. But instead, I was praying that I wouldn't cry and be bold enough to not entirely lose my voice. I mean, it's remarkable. When Dad gets like that, I feel myself instantly want to shut down, throw up every wall I have, and just try to survive try to protect myself...I wanted to hide or run or leave 'cause I just...I didn't know...was asking a question going to result in some personal attack? Was I supposed to try to keep up with his ridiculous storming down the aisle? Or was I supposed to hang back with my mom and sisters? He wanted to know that we appreciated the trip and were enjoying ourselves, but was laughing going to demonstrate that or make everything worse? (I assumed the latter) I was so pissed 'cause I didn't what the Hell to do. I couldn't escape, but I couldn't make it better, and I didn't know how to avoid becoming a target. We get in the car and he makes some speech about gas and how we'd better have somewhere we want to go next. My sisters all opt for the "where ever". I knew that was going to result in trouble threw out a, "I had hoped to go to Old Navy." That was satisfactory and we went there and then to the mall. But my sisters and I had to like walk on eggshells...we needed to productively look but not too long...we needed to be aware of our glaring father standing near the door and try not to say anything while he road raged from store to store. I cried briefly in Old Navy while I texted with my sister about how much we hated when he did it's some of our clearest childhood memories of our we wish he knew how much it hurt it drove us to fear conflict -- upsetting friends, boyfriends, etc. It's played a role in making us who we are and has driven at least the oldest two of us to maladaptive behaviors and counseling.

I had a hard time recovering from that day. Partially cause I tried to wall myself off from everything and everyone so it wouldn't hurt so much and so I wouldn't cry. Partially because I don't even know how to describe how I felt. I was hurt, but that word is so insufficient. I felt like a pawn -- unimportant, negligible, invisible in some ways but exposed in others. I felt like a punching bag -- everyone gets to throw a shot when they have a bad day...cause that's what I deserve or something...or cause I'm there...or because I put myself in the positions for that...regardless it's where I end's how it goes...It made want to never try...It made me think about every relationship I have and have had. Am I ever good enough? Can I be a friend? Or am I really selfish? Do I make people angry? Is that why I get yelled at and marginalized and hurt? I was really nervous about New Year's as a result. I didn't know if I could not be lame and questioning everyone's motives...I didn't know if I could not cry. I almost didn't go. I mean, on top of all that were my friends from high school. Some of them I still love dearly and seems like I don't exist to them...even when I'm sitting across the table...All that matters is that now they're happy...who cares what's going on in my life...who cares how they got there...I was a, I'm a forgettable one. One in particular acts like they know me sooo well...I'm never "myself"...I'm always "compromising" "living a lie"...I should be living like them. Fuck 'em. If you know me so well, you would know how much it hurts me to feel invisible and replaceable...I mean, if I show up to a lunch with "everyone" it's an extra like the cheese on the wrapper on a hamburger. You appreciate it, but you didn't necessarily order it or think of it before you saw it. Neat how I can be an extra, so...forgettable...*sigh* It's hard because I didn't feel like I was in the depths of despair like I have in the past when I'm home like that or when these things happen. Instead, I felt my defense mechanisms kick in...and the lies that have been whispering in my ear for a month and a half found their was weird, though, because it was so different.

I wanted to isolate myself and protect myself. But I love my friends so much that instead I took chances. Maybe not everyday or maybe not with everyone or maybe not grand ones...but they were definitely bold moves in my book, with my track record. It was weird because instead of becoming despondent and depressed. I was down but fighting? Or something. Like a part of me was keenly aware of all kinds of shit. And a part of me was resolved that shit had no place in my life...

It was hard because it made me realize that I'm not ready to be home for any length of time. It's too hard...I don't live out of the freedom I have in Christ when I'm home. I'm a slave to so much, or at least I am mighty tempted to be. I want to be an older version of who I was...senior me...with more experience. I wish I looked that way, I wish I had those friends still, I wish that I could enjoy those same things...but I can't. I can't live that life anymore. That's not who I am anymore. By the same token, I feel trapped by past transgressions, mistakes that happened on that corner, in that parking lot. I could give you a tour of pain I experienced in that town...that's where I ____...where I realized _____...where he _____...And those things haunt me in away. Those are special lies that want me to think I haven't changed...I haven't learned anything...I don't know any better and that's all I'll ever be...nothing more.

It's hard...'cause I don't know what to say about it all. I mean it was almost surreal to feel those lies come for me, to feel defense mechanisms and old wounds triggered, but to feel more like I was riding them out. Clinging to hope of love and forgiveness and grace and truth...Trusting that in Christ I would keep standing no matter how hard the rain fell, no matter what tried to wash me away. I felt two-faced. One part of me was in so much pain and doing terribly, but there was another part filled with hope and love and awesomeness...maybe that's what joy is...being awesome even though part of you is still awful...Happy with an undercurrent of sad was what I kept telling people...but...maybe...maybe it was more than that? I don't know.