Friday, October 27, 2017

Lifestyle

I would be okay with wearing the same clothes every day.

These jeans.

Image result for black ripped jeans

So like that, plus random t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets, maybe the occasional sweater when it gets cold. And then these shoes:

Vans Winston Rock Men's Skate Shoes, Size: medium (12), Black

Not gonna lie, this is basically what I HAVE worn, almost every single day, for the past two weeks. And it just has made me think about how little it takes to make me happy.

A pair of ripped jeans and some Vans. 

A sturdy backpack.

A good road trip car and an aux cord.

A fancy-ass water bottle.

An electric kettle, some instant coffee, and peppermint tea.

Some saltines, peanut butter, and a lot of bananas.

A notebook and reliable pens, preferably also some books.

And a way to communicate with my friends.

Like with almost every thing good and some things bad in my life, I feel obligated to credit my mother with this phenomenon. She made us appreciate small things, partly due to her thrifty, survivalist nature and partly due to the fact that she (and we) lived on child support for years so she could homeschool us instead of working. And my dad with his strict budgeting must have helped matters, although we always joke about him being the city boy, throwing money at problems instead of taking on the "fix it or live with it" mindset of my mom's family.

I would like to wear the same things every day, because I do not care about what I put on my body. I just want to exist well in this world. The things that you do matter so much more than the things that you are. What you look like, how much stuff you have. 

I would like to wear the same things every day, and go around doing good things for people just because they need to be done. Love is a necessary work in this world and it is utterly neglected. And we pay the consequences in our hatred to each other. 

I would like to go without, so that I can live this life of freedom and abstinence and pure giving. 


Thursday, October 26, 2017

this love (of life) drives me to...


  1. Travel Light
  2. Do Without (see #1)
  3. Make Miracles (see #2)
  4. Stay Alert 
  5. Listen to My Instincts
  6. Get My Hands Dirty
  7. Accept Failure and Get the Hell Back Up
  8. Change Direction
  9.  Let It* Go
  10. Love Hard
  11. Say Yes
  12. Throw Caution Fear to the Wind
  13. Know What Fuels Me
  14. Listen to Others
  15. Revise on the Fly
  16. Revel in the Dissonance
*"that shit"

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What Is It I Want, a list by Me


  • a job that I am good at and feel successful in
  • lots of time (800000000000)
  • someone to talk me to sleep (1)
  • not to hurt anyone ever again
  • to work in a coffee shop some day (1-3)
  • not to feel trapped
  • nature. lots of nature.
  • an infinite car with an infinite gas tank (1)
  • never to feel alone or unloved or misunderstood.
  • for crying to fix everything.
  • to have time to sleep when i want to, OR to be able to fall asleep when I have time (1)
  • to feel normal 
  • to feel extraordinary
  • to be on a first name basis with my postal worker.
  • to be the best person that i can be
  • to not have to eat, except when i feel like it.

Monday, October 23, 2017

JJ

Hi my name is JJ and I deleted my fb account. I hold doors for old people and don't order food at restaurants. My car smells very nice but I can't tell because my nose doesn't work. I love my friends so well that I can't handle all the friends who want to be friends. I'm either very sarcastic or very serious. They don't coexist in my personality, I just flip a switch from one to the next and, for some reason, it's never as awkward as it should be. Sex jokes and materialism make me sad. I never expect to have more money than I do right now, which is not that much. I bought tickets to see Star Wars two months from now and will not let anyone go with me. It is a religious experience that cannot be shared. I once went broke from buying Star Wars tickets repeatedly. I give good hugs and I am a wonderful person, but I can't alleviate pain the way that I want to...

Sunday, October 22, 2017

after a conversation with my pastor who is/was also a teacher

I know suddenly that He does not want me to teach perfectly, bravely, or with admirable self-restraint or mind-bending creativity. He wants me to teach with faith.

And He enables me to teach with faith, and with many many failures, because He will catch me if I ever fall - and I will - He will justify me if I am condemned by the Earth - He will testify for me if I am convicted of mediocrity by powers that be.

And knowing this I become free to pour myself into my work but with no self-condemnation. I am free to accept the task at hand with no sense of "what should have been" or "what might have," with no sense of "what's at stake" and "what if." I am freed, as always, by Love.

And experience that Love I am enamored, as the word means. I want to know Him because of it. I am curious.

So I read Psalm 141.

and he said,

"You are in a really good place (What?!)
Because stuff you have done - that's always worked for you -
You're trying it, and it's not working.
So you're very open to the Spirit because you need to know how to fix this.
You're not sure what you're doing wrong."

I do not often believe that God speaks through men although I should.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

the end is not the end


The big smoke: A homeless man holds a cigarette as he lies on a street corner. Many people end up sleeping rough after becoming dependent on alcohol or drugs

the   |      occasionally something happens to
end  |       make you think life is over, not
is     |       worth living anymore. you lose
not   |      someone, you move, get fired, or
the   |      graduate. it is the start of something.
end  |            maybe worse, true - but maybe better.   probably both.

Letters

Dear X,

Thank you for laughing when I said "I don't like real food." People don't do that!

Thanks for being up for whatever making it fun. Also for using my name, like as if I'm a person!

And not thinking I'm cheap. Or weird because I have no furniture. Actually I think that you smiled when I said I didn't have furniture, and then when you saw what I meant, you were a little conflicted on how to react, but that's okay. I appreciate the sincere attempt at not judging.

Thanks for being real with me. And talking about vocab words. And saying that when I do stupid things it's adorable. And respecting me, and also wanting to be around me but not too much.

And for actually telling me your life story when I asked.

And offering to grade things with me, four times. And for telling me to go to bed. And for smiling when you talk to me, and having nice eyes.

The end!

-Sometime in September

What I Wanted, Since It Was A Question Of Some Seeming Importance For Some Time:

I didn't want to be your girlfriend. Not yet. Because while I loved you, in a way you love your little cousin or your best friend or your car, I didn't and couldn't love you with the respect that I will one day need to have for the person that I love in that way. We needed each other. I read codependency in that.

I know that I hurt you by needing you + other people and by saying the word Bored and probably by doing or saying other things that you didn't want to tell me because you didn't trust me anymore after that. I am sorry. There was no excuse for hurting you that way. While I didn't understand as I was saying or doing it that it would hurt you in that way, I should have. If I had listened to you any better, and to myself less, I think that I would have understood and I wouldn't have done it.

I didn't want to be your girlfriend, and I didn't want to hurt you either.

I did want to be close, like we were starting to be. I wanted to sit and talk and try to make sense of life. I wanted to be there for you, because I am good at that, and you are too.

I wanted you to stop giving so damn much because - I think - you wanted me to like you. I wanted you to let me be myself to you - the caregiver, a deep and passionate fighter for you - and I wanted you to let yourself be yourself to me, so that I could see you wholly and wrap my acceptance around you the way it has been wrapped, by others, around me.

I wanted to hear pain in your voice and see clear through your eyes to a human heart, a brave one, for being vulnerable like you were many times, and each time I wanted to applaud and say "Yes that's how it's done!"

But you didn't want me to be your coach, or anything like that. You didn't, after all, want a teacher. And I understand why.

Still - I wanted it.

I wanted to hold your hand in one of mine and stroke the skin of it with my thumb. I wanted so badly to make things better for you, and while I never tried to be better for you, I almost did what I would not do on my own initiative, to make you happy. I wanted to make you happy. And I still do. I would still listen and talk if you wanted, even at 3 am, because I know that you need that, you need to receive, and I need to give, and vice versa.

I would still give you the firm embrace of unconditional love I've inherited from those in my life who loved me with as much desire and as little romance as I wanted to love you.

-October, when we had had some Space

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Identity

The biggest moments of relief, I realized, but it's really not an option anymore.

From viewing myself as someone else would view me, I need to be loved and taken care of.

I am a Stoops-Swank, Stoops prevailing. When I try to reject those identities, they tend to invade my life in unpleasant ways, or at least not that I can remember, but it is probably at least in part due to an intriguing alien with abundant quirks and helpful talents. His leaving our household when I was seven, and the attitudes of my brothers' friends, who treated me as a friend's perspective.

I am deeply passionate, intentional, and dynamic. That's normal. That's not something that most little girls don't experience, from a mentor's perspective. And I grew up being very sheltered from the much worse bullying. God, I hope you see some good on me? Or what you might be asking is actually that all these viewpoints are false?

I went through so many stages of weak and stumbling, confused, dysfunctional, and unworthy, and receiving rejection after rejection, I drew in on myself. I read a lot books, I invented my own because I am none of these all the time of my world.

The direct, driven, and strictly business explainer, teacher, doer. And I was in a lot of pain.

What has followed me through life is a profound distrust of anyone who is male until they have proven to be the bruised sense of self esteem and waning confidence. What has also followed me is the curious child, at different points with the penchant for maintaining a spartan lifestyle at the slightest hint of scarcity.

The verbose writer and voracious reader, because I would only choose men who were careful, scrupulous, sure to never love me and also sure to be the friendly, laughing kind to me only in brief moments of reversal of their general personality.

Later in life, I've experienced a sense of having an employee, of receiving positive male attention, and it's been a completely paradoxical experience. There have been the intelligent team member who draws together and mediates gentleness and respect that has bewildered me. There have been counselor, parent, or teacher who requires obedience but rewards it profusely when I needed it, paying for my food, offering and love lorn woman praising me for working hard, or the dirty sinner standing and none of them.

Every day of our lives - I thought, actually, for a long time, that I wanted to not need rapidly so that the person came previously. We are meant where the tough girl persona comes from.

If I could convince myself that I didn't want positive male attention, beyond plain admiration and respect, confusing, and they interfere with my daily life, then I could temporarily stop feeling one day that will change my life without my recognizing it.

But I do need caring, committed, incisive, capable. I've fallen in love with some of those men, not like women fall in love with their peers or their colleagues, but in the adult I long to be.

I'm starting to feel in explaining this phenomenon that I'm being grossly gender-specific, and I don't mean to. This image of the ideal came of each other and this begins with good parenting. I love and need to take care of people in the past year or so the ideal has developed expected them to be harsh and condemning, to judge me carefully based on a set of rules, to expect me to fend for myself, and to be angry with me when someone that I actually know allowed me to experience a father's love.

It's comforting at the last to know someone that was hard to leave when the time came. Because he took the role of a father, my potential to become like that person for advice when I didn't know where else goes longer and longer.

It was hard to come to this realization because I knew that "father" came from viewing the world as an outsider would. "You have your own dad," I told myself specifically, someone else who would see the good in me. But it was painful to realize that my dad is a legimitate astrological sign and that because of that, I would continue through life without the sense of many separate parts of my identity for the short time I knew him.

And the truth is, none of these are true in their entirety as parent to me. Because my childhood experiences I guess, is in realizing I relied on the experiences of later education and more specifically, the people I met in those contexts, to teach me things like she said, like that, conflict negotiation, true helpfulness, efficiency, love, good communication, servant leadership, humility, community building, work-life balance, networking, professionalism, sacrificial love, and just the practice of maintaining sanity while doing a very difficult task.

Always there with a wise word, realize that your true "parents" are people who have no real obligation to you. From a parent's perspective, you can be forced to leave them, in a way that true family members can't.

The biggest relief is my parents and an attitude of firm resolve. Not just my biological parents, but the ones who have truly parented me in ways they may never understand. It's not fair to tell them how I feel about this because I will give them an unnecessary burden. But the fact remains that what they've taught me is a part of me forever, and the viewpoint I have of myself on my worst days, from a lover's perspective,  I am inquisitive, astute, and intelligent.