hope is a verb, it takes a village, Uncategorized

the one in which I talk about 33

Have you ever looked back at a season of life and wondered what the hell happened?
Have you ever looked back and wondered how you got where you are and wondered what it is going to take to get out of the hole you feel like you might be in?
That’s what I feel right now.
I’ve been holding a lot of words back lately.
I’ve been holding things in that feel dark and scary and don’t feel like they are for the 80% of the world and they have barely been for the 20% that I tell all the things too.
But as I’m sitting here and attempting to find words to fit with what the last year of my life was and what I think the next year will hold an old switchfoot lyric passed across my brain:
“The shadow proves the sunshine”
Woof.
I’ve felt as if I have a lot of shadows right now, a lot of darkness and a lot of inability to find the light.
I’ve tried my hardest to hang on to hope, to hang on to joy and to find the way to keep going even when I have to do it with gritted teeth and a clenched fist.
In the last year of my life I learned a lot about myself. I learned I have absolutely no time or grace for those who give up and call it health, I learned that I can completely feel when I am not being myself, I learned that I am worse at saying no than I thought but still better than I used to be. I learned that I don’t always know what makes me happy but I when I find it I grab it and cherish it.
I learned that I can power through most anything.
This year I learned that I still remember what to do when I have a panic attack and that I can feel it coming on and take myself to a safe place.
This year I learned that I am much stronger than I think. This year I learned I can crush demons and giants and everything in between.
This year I learned I was warrior.
And I can weild an ax with the best of them.
This year I learned that I do and will stand my ground.
This year I learned that I am capable of making hard choices and decisions.
This year I learned that I am capable.
And that, my friends, is the sunshine.
This year I met the crossroads of where I could have gone and where I did go. I met the person I could have become and the person that sunk into herself and didn’t fight and I feel I chose to walk away from her.
When you chose to walk into the the shadows and dark and find who you are in those places. When you don’t shy away from them you learn who you are and you can begin to realize you are stronger than the darkness is dark.
I say this all to remind you of this:
Keep fucking going.
Don’t stop moving forward.
Rest isn’t passive- it’s active.
Choosing to find what you love and doing it isn’t selfish just as choosing to hunker down and stay isn’t not taking care of yourself.
Quitting isn’t self care.
But taking a breath to realize what your life is becoming and what you want to do to change it if there is something you want to change.
You are doing just fine.
You’ve got this.
Keep fucking going.

Uncategorized

we’ve waited long enough

Today while doing some writing in church the phrase “we’ve waited long enough” came into my brain.

And I got so mad.

I got mad as the words poured out of my brain and as I let pen meet paper.

We’ve waited long enough.

Have you ever been waiting for something? A package or a pizza or a phone call and then you just get angry (or in the case of the pizza-hangry). That you start to tap your feet and clench you fists either from hunger or impatience or other emotion.

The anger isn’t always actual anger but a build up of waiting, a build up of being told one thing but it’s another.

A build up of the resolve with no actual resolution.

It’s funny because in one way or another we’re all waiting.

Waiting for a phone call or a pregnancy test to turn a color or man or woman to come out of the woodwork.

Waiting.

But, we are also waiting for the moment to be who we are.

We are waiting for all the things to fall into place that we can finally be the thing we are meant to be.

And that waiting can make you angry too.

It can make you clench your fists and rage against what might not be tangible.

You could be waiting for permission to be someone you know yourself to be.

Waiting to just try.

But nothing is happening because you are terrified of doing something that isn’t just waiting.

Nothing is happening because putting the thing out into the world we cherish is harder than holding it in our hands.

A few weeks ago I went to an all day conference for work.

And it was maybe one of the most soul crushing days of my life.

(No, I’m not being dramatic).

But, as I sit here I realize that I was getting angry because I was waiting.

That day, specifically, I (well, I could “We” this one-you know who you are) was waiting on hope.

The topic for 8 hours was on ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) and there was just absolutely no hope.

It wasn’t the first time I’ve gone to trainings on the topic and it won’t be the last. But, what was supposed to be a day that gave me a little bit of refreshment and a new tool or two for my classroom brought me nothing but despair.

It was a reminder that things have happened in my life, and my tiny humans lives and their parents lives that effect them. That change how we operate and learn and live.

But there was nothing at all that I tangibly took away. Nothing I could implement or help or bring change too.

I was waiting for hope and I got none.

I’m still trying to find ways to be my own hope in that moment instead of just feeling beaten down.

My waiting in that has gone from anger to exhaustion and the inability to find an answer.

But, in all of this, in the words I wrote today, I realized that sometimes waiting is good and sometimes it just keeps us from being who we need to be.

I don’t know what you are waiting to do.

Take a vacation.

Quit your job.

Propose.

Write a book.

I don’t know if you are waiting because you don’t feel enough or you don’t feel ready or you

are just stuck in the waiting because you are unsure of how to start.

It might not be my place but I want to tell you that you have permission.

You have permission to leave the waiting.

To use the anger and the energy and the clenched fist to make something happen.

To choose to believe that you have the ability to do the damn thing.

You’ve waited long enough.

Honest, hope is a verb, ramblings, Uncategorized, washington whimsy

But we are here, together.

I’ve been staring at my blank screen for about an hour.

I’ve written three or four different beginnings and deleted them because I had no clue where they were going.

I’ve pulled out my journal and jotted phrases, I’ve pulled from conversations this week that have shaken me and provided me no answers but just the assurance that I’m still going and I’m still here. I’ve pulled from moments of wanting to punch people from their ability to challenge me to my feet.

I don’t think people read my blog for answers.

I think maybe they read it because I flood their newsfeed with links, others read it because they are kind humans, and other read it because hopefully to see if what I am saying is what they are saying too.

I’ve been taking a lot about (or a lot around) God these days.

God and I are currently in a season of life where our relationship doesn’t work the same as it used too. So, we (me) are trying to figure out what it looks like now. In reality I am choosing to believe it’s because it’s deeper than it ever has been.

When I write I try my best to relate to people where they are. I try to use broad terms and illustrations to remind as best I can that we are all human.

I try to make sure that people who read this, be it people who see me on a daily basis or people that have seen me in months or people that have never met me, know that on a basic level, I am always ok.

The ok may be shaken sometimes but it’s always there.

The season/process/chunk of life I’m in right now is definitely a “shaky ok” kind of season. Mainly in terms of my faith, and my relationship with God and my inability to receive beautiful soul-filling words that are currently being said to me.

All the things in my life that used to work aren’t working anymore.

And so, I write for you from the middle.

I write from the middle so that you know that the middle is ok.

That these stories and processes and lives we are a part of creating are good and beautiful even when they feel ugly and hopeless.

I share my stories and my beliefs or lack thereof to show you that we aren’t that different whether you believe in my God or another God or nothing at all.

I don’t know what the answer is for me right now. I chose not to go to church this morning hoping to find some semblance of a response and was met with silence.

But, I know that silence wasn’t actually silence. It was incredibly loud in actuality.

And I say that for this reason: what may feel like silence isn’t. What may feel like the universe or god or whomever isn’t responding isn’t that. There is something there. I swear.

I don’t think people read my blog for answers because I sure as hell don’t have them.

So, whatever you are going through, whatever seems insurmountable, whatever doesn’t seem right or true or hopeful.

Know that you are the thing that is hope.

You are the thing that can get over the mountain.

And maybe, all you need to know, is that we are here, together.

Uncategorized

Please, compare.

I will never be her. With her poise and command.

With the fear washed out of her eyes.

I will never be of her structure and frame.

With grace and fluidity in each step.

I will never have her beauty.

Eyes will never second look at me.

I will never be someone’s everything like she is.

I will never be someone’s “I will never be that”
This is a black hole.

One moment of comparison lends to 15 minutes, hours, years of self-doubt and second guessing.

Comparison has started to be a more prevalent fixture rather than passing shadow in my life.

It’s normally not in the frame of reference of looks for me, but other areas of life.

Writing about comparison though as a female feels cliche. When men write about it’s very much like those pictures of celebrities going grocery shopping without make up on in people.

“Celebrities: they are just like us”.

But, when a woman writes about it, it seems like it’s just lost in the white noise of life.

Comparing and categorizing is an issue that’s so prevalent in today’s society.

But I ask the question: how are we supposed to not compare?

We do it everyday.

That apple or this apple, coffee from Starbucks or coffee from Woods, reading labels and comparing prices and fits and pros and cons list.

It’s in our minds and how we view so many things in this world.

So why does it surprise us that is so easy to compare people?

I try to trick myself into thinking I don’t compare myself with other people that often. But even choosing to look up to someone can lead you to comparison.

Turning to comparison can look differently in everyone’s life. It can make some bitter and hateful. Unable to celebrate victories, incapable of seeing joy in their own life.

I will be the first to admit that those things have all appeared in my life.

What I’ve noticed lately is that I choose NOT to hang out with people when I’m feeling extra compar-y inside. I choose to stay away from places where I can see what I am without.

As in I’d not be around the people that cause my mind to go to a place that I don’t like.

Neither options are good; the comparison or the lack of people.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone time I’m with people I am creating a laundry list of what I am lacking-I’m saying that when I’m tired and worn out and burned out it becomes so easy to sink into using other people’s lives as one of those mirrors that show all my flaws.

I’m living in a season right now that has a little more anxiety then normal, more tiredness, feeling less successful. And this makes it so easy for comparison to fill in the holes and gaps in my life for why things don’t feel in place. (It makes it so easy for fear to creep in-but that’s another story).

What I should say right now is a fluffy Jesus statement about comparing and about how I should choose to see myself a certain way blah blah blah and things will come in time yadda yadda.

But, obviously I’m not going to say that.

What I am going to say is this:

I bet you can’t get through the day without comparing SOMETHING: be it an apple, a coffee, a label.

So, when your mind falls into the comparison trap of one human to another- don’t beat yourself up.

Instead, take a deep breath and shake it off. Everything around in this world wants to divide us by comparing ourselves or creating an us and them. Or fill the space of people who feel bad about doing it.

Give comparison space to happen, compare prices, restaurants (like, I’m sorry guys, I won’t ever pick Jalepenos) and the way a shirt fits, but when comparison starts to separate you from yourself; take a moment and see what good it brings. 

If the comparison brings nothing good, don’t fill your life that.

My comparing black holes don’t bring life or good. But, I can tell you, it’s still going to happen.

But, what I am going (try) to do is use comparison to point out my similarities with people. I am going to remember story and hope that I can filter out the comparison that doesn’t bring my soul life.

So please, compare, highlight similarities you have with people to bring you closer to their story. Find common ground to stand on to hear the ways in which you are different. How someone got from point A to point B. Hear the story of how even though you think their nose is perfect, they’ve always struggled with its shape. 

Compare your common ground first.

See what happens.

Uncategorized

Just throw the rock.

I’ve been thinking a lot about choices lately. How people make them, how I make them, why I make them. I’ve been creating charts in my brain of how one choice led to another and to another. How something I decided to do 8-9 years ago led me to today. How making one jump off of a cliff led to another and another until you were at the bottom of a chasm and wondered for a second how you got there, then took off in exploration.
I cut my hair today. Got about 4 inches or so cut off. Why? I felt like a change, I felt like I needed a breath of fresh air and the easiest way to do that is to cut my hair. The first time I ever did a drastic cut to my hair was in the beginning of 2008. My friend Jordan had cut my hair a few times and one Sunday afternoon I requested her to just chop it. Take 6-7 inches off. I had never had my hair that short. I had thought because of my size that long hair was the only way I could go. But I decided screw it, I can do what I want- and also I trusted her. 
So I went for it.

So now, every once in awhile I just decided to cut it all, because I made that choice one ago that I will do things that make me happy, and have a fresh short hair do is one of those things. But I do wonder, had I not had a friend who I trusted with my hair would I have made that choice and then kept making it?

It seems so silly, thinking of that choice and how that small thing impacts so many other moments.

I am not saying every choice we makes has a ripple effect. Because not every choice makes a big splash. Whether or not I buy a coffee in the morning doesn’t make a big ripple (unless of course my future husband was buying a coffee at the same time and he was supposed to accidentally spill coffee on me and that’s where our love story begins). I digress. But the big things the choices and decisions that make big splashes matter.

I don’t think we should be afraid of the big splash choices. I don’t think we should be afraid to jump. I think we should lean into the jump if the opportunity arises.

Five years ago I jumped. I had been working at my preschool for five years. And from the prior October on I had a nudging that I was supposed to quit. Move on. Jump.
To what? To where?
I had no clue.

But, five years ago today, I told my preschool director that it would be my last year. That I truly felt God telling me to jump. That I felt like something big was out there for me.

And the ripple effects of that choice led me to Bellingham.

Bellingham was another choice. It was another rock in the water and I am not sure where these ripples will take me. 

Making big splashes isn’t easy. It isn’t without loss or heartbreak. But making those choices is making a choice to grow, to change and to walk into something new.

It’s not about making big choices with abandon and no thought. It’s about choosing to know yourself. It’s about choosing to follow what’s inside you and finding your peace even when it’s scary. It’s not always easy, but it’s not always hard either. For me, five years ago I made a choice to find who I was free from preconceived ideas and job titles. And that has led me to choice upon choice that sometimes look crazy, but in reality are the best I could have made. 

And as a sidenote: if you need someone to tell you to jump. If you need encouragement to make a leap, to take a trip, to quit a job, to follow a dream-come find me. I’m here for you.

What ripples do you want to cause in yourself? 

Let’s throw the rock in and see.

Uncategorized

Found: trinkets & unicorns

I bought a new journal about a month ago or so. I didn’t need a new journal, I am nowhere close to finish my current journal. And it has lines.😳

It’s this beautiful tiny journal with a silly story on the front and the back. But as I held it, I knew that lines or not, with even its small amount of pages, it was a journal for me to tell a story in. I could feel it.

It’s still blank. I haven’t written a single word.

I carried it to California this past weekend in hopes that I might pause, that I might unearth a lesson long buried there.

Sunday was a weird day.
I went to church, and then went to the place I used to work to meet up with a lovely family I haven’t seen in a year and a half.

And a heaviness followed me.

When I set foot through the gate I walked through hundreds and hundreds of times the heaviness met me. And as I sat on the benches and looked around the courtyard, I couldn’t shake the feeling.

I got hugs from my Grandma Winnie and went out to lunch with Eric and Cathy and their boys and I had very few words it seems for this year that has put me under.

And I couldn’t verbalized it. For all the words I’ve written and conversations I’ve had and tears I’ve cried, my brain didn’t want to connect.
It was the walk through the neighborhood I used to call home that caused me to realize something, the walk home caused a song lyric to start playing through my brain.

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

Leaving Orange County four years ago was the hardest/best decision I have ever made.

That decision spawned another and another and another.

And now I’m in Bellingham.

I’m 31. I’ve essentially worked in the same “industry” for over ten years. I have a full (expired) passport. I have amazing friends here and there and everywhere in between. I have a beautiful unique faith that I build upon daily and I have a pretty good grasp on the person that is Meghan Marie Reeve.

I do my best to show up for my life daily, through joy and laughter and sorrow and tears.

And I still don’t necessarily know what I am looking for.

I’ve found a lot of things in my life so far, and I think I’m up for some more.

We get told to settle a lot. To give up. To stop hoping. To marrying that guy, to stay in the job.

We get told a lot to not jump. To squash the desire for more.

It’s ok to keep looking for more as long as you don’t give up life around you. It’s ok to not have found what your looking for as long as you continually live fully in the present.

Walking down the streets I walked down more times than I can count attempting to shake of the heaviness that was settling, I realized that I am ok with not having found what I am looking for.

16 years ago I found something and chose to follow Christ.

14 years ago I found something and chose to go to Vanguard.

9 years ago I found it and chose to stay.

4 years ago I found it and chose to leave.

And twice since then I’ve chosen to go.

And now here I am. Living my life as fully as I can.

I don’t know what I will find next. I’m growing accustom to the feeling of more.

Please please please, don’t be afraid, as you fully live your life, to let the feeling of more allow you to reach farther than you have, to do more then you thought you could. Be who you are, where you are and there I believe we will once again find something to add to our trove of lessons, victories, and memories. We will find and create stories to nestle in tiny journals and tell our kids.

As I got to the end of this compilation of sentences, a friend of mine popped in my brain.

My favorite Casey Marie.

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Casey is one of those humans from my small town that I couldn’t tell you how long I’ve known. It seems like she’s always been in my life.

Casey, this blog and these words are for you. You are a dynamic spitfire, who has come and gone. You’ve won over crowds with your ability to bring them to tears or have them in stitches. You’ve found so many trinkets and unicorns in your life. And you are on the cusp of another.

2017 is for you.

(It’s for you too. And even if you’ve found a long list of things in your life, even if you’re 90. You can still find more of what you are looking for.)

Uncategorized

Even (fake) introverts need people.

I currently am living too brain dead and exhausted to do much of anything these days. My compassion and patience and words for the day are pretty much done by 3 pm each week day. I just want to hide in a hole in my room and not come out.

I don’t want to be around a single person ever. 

I spent a majority of my Saturday, in my room, with the door shut. I didn’t attempt to make conversation with people. I said no to plans. I didn’t even check the mail.
And I didn’t feel better.

I woke up this morning before my alarm and my roommate was up, so we decided to go sit at a coffee shop before we went to church.

We didn’t talk about anything earth shaking. Just sat in each other’s space for longer then 15 minutes and doodle and occasionally spoke about random things. And it made everything feel lighter and brighter.

When I took the Meyers Briggs before I went on the world race 4 years ago I tested as an ENFJ. An extrovert.

I laughed. I prefaced every conversation about my Meyers Briggs with “I have literally never tested as an extrovert. Ever.”

I thought this was the most comical thing that I had ever heard. There is no way that I was an extrovert. I was your poster child for introverts.

But, I’ve come to learn that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t that I was introvert. It was that I taught myself not need/depend on/want people in my life. I had spoken myself into introversion. 

Somewhere along the line I had deemed myself a person who got their energy from being alone.

But, in reality, I had just decided that if I needed energy from being around people and none were around or wanted to be around me then I had the ability to get hurt.

I had gotten kind of sick of getting hurt.

Now, I don’t believe that you need a test to tell you who you are, but I do believe that words have power. And when this test told me, that I was an extrovert, I started to see ways that I was.

I love being around small groups of humans, I love coffee dates with friends, or running errands with someone. I like just being around people. My Saturday day of introversion usually includes wandering around downtown and seeing all the regular folks. I’m alone, but I’m not alone.

I do enjoy my alone time, I like cleaning in an empty house, or sitting at a coffee shop by myself to write. 

But I do better at the end of a long day, if I grab a beer with Elizabeth or meet Jonathan at Bob’s or Alyssa at woods. Friday’s feel better when we get drinks and food and toast to a week finished together. Sundays feel more full when Jeremiah, Patty and I go out for brunch or Joanna and I eat truffle fries and Patrick pops out on his break to steal some. 

The yellow house feels like it’s living up to it’s potential when even after a horrendously long day we cram 12 people into our front room for chimichangas and cards against humanity. 

And even though I joke that I want to stay at a hotel when I go to Orange County, I go there to go home–and that’s Tyler and Priscilla’s (and obviously with Krystle spending the night.)

If I truly believed I didn’t need people, I wouldn’t have made 3/4 of the decisions I’ve made in my life.

Something in me knew.

I think I spent a lot of my life, hiding from getting hurt, hiding from people.

Hiding from myself. 

I used being an introvert as an excuse to not be around people to not see myself.

If you are a person who is fact an introvert or a small group extrovert (this is my category) please remember, that you do in fact need people. 

We aren’t meant to do this alone. 

This is what I need to remember these days. 

I’m not meant to do this alone.

And I’m not.

Lesson one was you were meant to take up space.

And lesson two is this:

Trust me, you aren’t alone.  

Your people are out there.

And they need you as much as you need them.