Honest, hope is a verb

Five years of wind and writing on Sundays

I just reread the first piece I posted on this website five years ago.

I can’t help but chuckle at the person who wrote those words. Now not in a bad way, because everything leads us to where we are.

But, even though that girl had more hope, that girl had dreams that hadn’t been left on mountains to be forgotten about, that girl still felt like she had so much more to give, I chuckle because I am so far from her.

And that’s not a bad thing.

And I want to tell you where I am right now to remind you of something very important: it’s ok.

Because the truth is, I feel a little dead inside right now. It’s almost as if I needed New Year’s Eve to actually be two weeks of me being able to take deep cleansing breaths and wash away all the things that piled on from the last few years.

That isn’t life though. That’s not how the world works. So the year went from 18 to 19 and I was just there with a champagne glass and wondering how I was going to brush myself off and keep going.

I got a picture today while I was walking. It was of a parched desert with hard packed dirt. Then the rains came. They came and they came and the water sat on top of the dirt and couldn’t sink in. It found nooks and crannies and valleys but the water had no way of infiltrating the surface. It had no where to go but to flood the life that was already growing.

Hard packed dirt that gets flooded quickly can handle the amount of water that comes. It doesn’t have enough time to saturate or sink in or make mud.

Now, I have some of the most amazing friends who give me love and support and joy and encouragement. I have parents who support me even from two states away.

But, I realized today I’ve been a hard packed desert for awhile.

So all the people in my life who have yet to give up on me I want to say for that I am sorry. I am sorry for an inability to receive goodness and joy and hope. I am sorry to you my friends and to myself.

But the dirt and the soil is hard packed and susceptible to flooding and to killing what is good.

And that’s a little bit how I feel these days.

It’s funny because I think of that girl from 5 years ago and the joy and hope that were running off of her.

And she had seen things and had heartache and hurt. She had felt lost and lost who God was, she had been there and back again.

But then, she got older.

And she questioned more and found new words and lost hope and refound it.

And now, she’s here. She’s me.

She’s a little dead inside, she’s forgotten how to laugh a little, how to smile.

And that’s ok.

It’s ok because it’s a part of moving and growing and living.

It’s not shameful or wrong.

It doesn’t mean I can’t love or give out life or hold space for someone or laugh or smile.

It doesn’t mean I’m not me.

And it doesn’t mean I need rescuing or that I am sending up signal flares.

My word for this year is release.

And among some other things I am choosing to release out of myself words so that you know you aren’t alone.

I am choosing to release words out of who I am in hopes that you will release that it’s ok to not be ok.

I am choosing to release words out of who I am so that you know that you can be not ok and still keep living and showing up in spite of it.

You can still be you.

I am that girl from 5 years ago. Parts of her built who I am today.

I haven’t failed her, I haven’t let go of her.

I’ve just learned a little more. I’ve gotten some rough edges.

I’m a little dead inside.

And that’s ok.

Honest

The chair between us

I wasn’t sure what to write today.

Mother’s Day is weird for me.

Because technically, I am not a mother, but I’ve spent a better part of my life with tiny humans.

And I woke up weird, out of a dream where a spiritual mentor was about to give me a talking to and woke up into a day where I wasn’t sure if I should go to church or not.

I sent texts to some fierce mama friends in my life who I’ve learned from and gleaned from, I went to church where I sat unsure what to do with my hands and then I sat in the sunshine with no words hitting my brain.

When I go to church 99% of the time I sit by my roommate Patty on one side of me. It’s comforting, it’s home, it feels weird when I don’t.

And then on the other side there is usually a chair between me and the person next to me.

I’ve realized that this is how I live my life. I have a chair between myself and the next human. Maybe it’s because I mostly have no personal space 40+ hours of the week, maybe it’s because I have walls around me.

Who knows.

But, I’ve been very aware lately of that chair and moreso aware when it gets taken away.

Through this season of life I’ve been walking in and the incredible unknown of what the hell is behind door #2 I’ve really counted on my space. I feel when I don’t get it, I feel when I get too much of it.

I’m not sure where the balance is.

I am figuring it out though.

I am learning what it looks like to give myself space to form thoughts and emotions and to find holes in my own thoughts.

And there, right there is how this becomes a blog about mom’s.

To the mom’s in my life, to the fierce, beautiful, lovely, warriors of mothers that I know:

When you are able, when you are capable of this-give yourself a chair. When the kids are at school or asleep or playing outside, give yourself space.

You need it, you deserve it and it’s there.

Taking space doesn’t make you less than or not enough. It gives you the ability to have more and be more.

To the mom’s in my life. To the fierce, beautiful, lovely, warriors of mothers that I know.

You got this.

I choose champagne, To dream, washington whimsy

at some point, ice has to melt.

I am sitting here for one last silent Sunday of the year at my favorite bar. I sit here as many Sundays as I can, at the table in the corner by the window (and the outlet) and drink 1 or 2 or 3 grapefruit mimosas and I write.

Sometimes other people join me in silence, but most of the time I just sit by myself attempting to verbalize thoughts in my head. This has become one of my most favorite times of the week. Without the people around me knowing it; this bar has become a part of my church. It’s become a safe place for me to choke back tears and form thoughts and have weighty realizations.

So, tonight, I’m sitting here and thinking about all that 2017 was. It was a lot. I’ve been trying to separate the good and the bad. The ugly and the uglier. The places of heartbreak and the places where my heart hasn’t even gotten the chance to break.

Many things stand out here and there, so many people and places and events.

June is a big one. In June I turned 32, I had about 32 people that I adore here in Bellingham over to my house for tacos and laughter and love. In June I ended my time with the two year olds and turned 3. In June I felt betrayal and hurt that I can’t match to any other time in my life.

In June I went to my other home for camp and was reminded that I can take joy in what I do.

If I am being honest- a lot of other things feel like an immense blur.

I want so badly to say that this year was good. I want so desperately to say that this year redeemed the year before it. But it didn’t

I want to say that I found ways this year to be who I am. I want to say that I’ve learned to apologize less and to not second guess.

I want to say that my heartaches less and that I am 100% happy in my own skin. That needing a space for one has gotten easier.

I want to say that I’ve been brave.

I want to say all of those things.

But, I’m just not sure I can.

It’s funny. I spend 40 hours a week telling tiny humans that they need to use their words. I hold their hands and look them in the eyes and take deep breaths with them. I say, “I understand that you are feeling frustrated. I understand that your body feels upset. But what I need you to do is take some deep breaths and tell me with your words whats wrong.”

I felt a lot of things this year. I felt lonely, I felt pain and anguish for myself and on behalf of those around me. I felt joy. I felt love that I can’t really articulate. I felt every single damn day for the 18 tiny humans who are on my class list.

But, ask me to articulate what I was feeling on behalf of my own self and I was never quite sure.

I don’t think I was the only one with that problem this year.

A lot of things happened this year. Things in our control or out of it. Things that impacted us or our neighbor. There was anger and hate and laugher from disbelief. It spilled into everything. Every aspect of our lives were impacted whether we wanted them to be or not.

I don’t have the words to describe all the things.

But, I think what I can say, is that in spite of all the things, in spite of the loneliness and the betrayal and the hurt I didn’t give up. In spite of my inability to use my words, I didn’t stop trying.

In spite of all the things, there was still joy.

And there it is my friends.

In spite of all the things- there is still joy.

There are still moments of joy.

I tried, so incredibly hard, in the midst of all things to find joy.

I think we all did. If we really searched through our memories, we tried this year to balance all the things with joy.

I was and still am numb to this year. I’m numb to the things that made me feel less like the person I know I am. I am numb to the things that added to my character.

But, at some point, ice has to melt. At some point an asleep leg has to wake up.

So, to 2017 I say this,

Thank you for the people in my life.

Thank you for my roommate.

Thank you for my work wife.

For my bosses and my coworkers and all those I would never know without the Y.

Thank you for my church, for the people who are scattered in the rows around me, who are family.

Thank you for my forever best friend.

Thank you for my OCfamily and that little blue house in Irvine.

Thank you for my family whom I grow to appreciate with every passing year.

Thank you for opportunities to speak and space to give love and be love.

And to 2018 I saw this:

Let’s thaw out the numbness and find places each day to wake our words up a little more.

Dear 2018,

Please, I beg of you.

Use your words.

With love,

Meghan

Honest, I choose champagne

2016.2017.2018. Let’s just be who we are.

I am sitting in my favorite bar, as it becomes increasingly more crowded than normal on a Sunday early evening. Most are in pairs, or groups. I’m the sole solitary human, sitting at my favorite table tucked in the corner. My back is against the window and I am directly next to an outlet and the exposed brick.

I am pretty comfortable sitting by myself in most places. I am fine shopping by myself, I’ve traveled across an ocean and been alone in the Istanbul airport more than any other airport in the world.

I almost always get slight amounts of anxiety right before going somewhere by myself or to an event with a large amount of people. But here, and a smattering of coffee shops, public transport and airplanes- I am always good.

This year, I believe, has been about being as home as I possible can be in my own skin, in my own identity. It’s been about being where my feet are.

I don’t always do well at this.

But, I am trying.

And now, it’s the end of the year. Now, for me personally, 2017 has been eons better than 2016. But, as my work wife has pointed out, 2017 hasn’t been all confetti, champagne and sunshine.

In reality, I said the F word more times this year than last. I lost more faith in people than I ever have. I have had more anxiety and more moments of being alone.

I haven’t been as constantly exhausted but I for sure have hit more walls of “all done friends”. My schedule has been more busy than I think it has been in a long time.

And that isn’t going change when the clock strikes midnight and turns the year to 2018. Last year, I remember sitting, shortly after midnight, in my sparkly gold dress, barefooted, on the porch of my friend’s house, watching the snow fall with a glass of champagne that slowly became mixed with the tears falling down my cheeks. All I wanted was for the world around me to feel different.

I tried to believe it did- but it didn’t.

So I became busy in 2017. I did a lot of things. I rarely had a week go by that didn’t involve at least 3/5ths of the weekdays being filled with something, be it working at my church, hanging out with someone or having an event or organized group situation.

I think part of my reasoning for becoming busy was that busy equaled full. That my life could be classified as full because it was busy.

I could say that my life was full because my laundry had piled up to overflowing in my closet and didn’t even care that there were dishes in the sink.

Busy meant not being able to stop to hear what I needed to hear.

Back in August, a part time job popped up at a different church. It would have been 10-20 extra hours a week being a children’s director of a local churches smaller downtown campus.

It would mean a lot of things: extra income, no free time, getting paid to do something I know I love (and am good at), having no social life and not getting to go to the church I adore.

But, I had done that exact same thing before so I knew I was capable of that schedule.

I had a random day off in August, the day after the ad had been discovered. I had coffee with a good friend, lunch with my roommate and obviously talked to both about it. I headed for home to work on my cover letter and resume.

Because of applying for this job, I ended up having a very honest conversation with one of the pastors at my church. Through the conversation we had, I realized that I was running from being known. She, of course, called me on all these things, as she should.

I didn’t end up interviewing for the job. In all reality, though I want a job like that, but working 60 hours a week and moving from the two places where I feel like myself in Bellingham was not the best idea.

In reality, most of this year I’ve been running. I’ve been running from stopping, from thinking and from pushing in.

I have in certain places and situations. There are friends in my life with whom I can never run from my problems around. But I have reached that place here in Bellingham where I am known and that’s terrifying.

So, why have I said all of this?

It’s simple actually.

I want to encourage you not to make resolutions.

(What?)

I just want to encourage you to step more into who you are everyday. No matter what.

I spent this year trying to busy everything so far away, in the name of my resolutions that I forgot parts of who I was. When those parts were awakened they felt like hope, when in reality they should have just felt like me.

December 31rst and January 1 are no different from today and tomorrow.

There is symbolism in the changing of the year. It is a new book in your life. But it’s not a separate book. It’s a continuation.

So, as the holidays kick in full force and as my kitchen get covered in flour and coconut sugar. As we celebrate the year, the now and the yet to come, I want to remind you that the changing of a calendar doesn’t change who you are.

I want to encourage you to hope for more, but not put the more on a new year.

Don’t run from who you’ve become in all the things. Grab who all the things have made you.

Right now. Today.

Here, in this bar, where I am the only solitary human, I am being where my feet are more than I have in a long time.

Right now. Today

Honest, To dream

in 2017 i met the wind again

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After the clock stuck twelve last night I slipped out of the warm house that was filled with a group of humans I’ve grown to like a lot. I slipped out barefooted in my sparkly gold dress with a glass of champagne and I sat on the edge of the porch with my feet up listening to the ruckus around me on the university street I live on and I watched the snow fall silently to the ground.

And I wept.
That’s the only way I can describe what occurred. Weeping.

I wept for things lost and moments gone. I wept for joy that was taken. I wept for my aching heart.

I also wept for the beauty. Beauty of marriages and babies and friendships formed. I wept for the love I feel and the love I’ve been given.

And then two of the most important women in my life this year, Patty & Joanna, popped out to hug me. And we had a moment reminiscing on where we’ve been, what we’ve done and how we got here.

Then we went inside to finish celebrating and laughing and starting 2017 off with a bang.

And then, today, the wind came.

It met us after church. It was howling and sweeping around not yet melted snow. And it kept coming.

As I’ve sat in my front room attempting to rest and gear up for another week, the wind has knocked on my door on multiple occasions, it’s rustling the barren trees and moving around the bits of trash left over from a night of people reveling.

The wind met me, a little over 3 years ago, on a dirt road in Swaziland. Out of absolute stillness the wind came. In that moment it came to knock down walls in my life. The wind met me again in Spain. It was destructive, and calming and aggressive. It uprooted and plowed through me.

Today, the wind met me in 2017 to uncover.

I had a dream two nights ago, which is rare for me, and as I talked it through with a friend I realized it was full of significance for myself. In part of the dream we were restoring this beautiful estate. We were moving mounds of dirt that had piled up over these beautiful porches and patios and gathering areas. And then we gathered and celebrated in the beauty we had uncovered.

I’ve always known that the wind comes to uncover what was already there. What’s been there.

You just have to choose to clean up the mess that it moved.

Who knows what 2017 holds. I may or may not find that guy, I may have more unsuccessful days at work, the two year olds might do me in, I might feel lonely or sad.

But the wind came today.

The wind came and it moved all the crap and dirt and pain that 2016 left in its wake. It moved all of it to show the beauty that 2016 left. The beauty and the loveliness that has always been there.

I’m going to let the wind keep uncovering the beauty and truth in my life in 2017. I am going to create more, I’m going to hone my baking skills, I am going to write.
I am going to sing.

The wind brought me hope today, that I forgot I was capable of having.

Honest, Uncategorized, washington whimsy

Starting from scratch

I met a magical whimsy unicorn in October of 2012.

Her name is Betsy Garmon. And she is absolutely wonderful. She’s one of those woman who makes the gritty look lovely. She turns the things that seem torn and broken in your life into art and hope and dreams.

last day of the world race in december 2013

I have learned and continue to learn so much from her. One of the life lessons I learned from her that keeps flashing in neon lights above my head these days is to hold space for myself.

I’ve been told on more then one occasion over the last few months to have grace for myself, to not be so hard on myself, to take care of myself. 

If we want to discuss broken records in my life this is one of them. 

Here’s what it is: I know how to do it. I do. I know how to live well.

I’m not sure though; if I know how to live intentionally. 

A favorite quote of mine is by Mary Anne Radmacher. I saw the words for the first time summer after my junior year in college in a tourist shop in time square on a magnet. My choir was in New York to sing at Carnegie hall and it was my first technical week being the president of the choir. And I was terrified.


I remember reading those words and thinking how lovely they sounded before even knowing what lovely was. I truly believe I wanted to do those things but didn’t have the means to do them.

Now, I believe I have the means, but not the ability.

My whole self is tired these days. I could potentially state that this is the most tired I have ever consistently been in my life.
I’ve been trying to figure out why my receiver has been unable to receive lately. Well,more so than normal. It’s been a struggle. Nothing sticks. And I want them too, more than I can describe. I’ve searched for a reason my walls go up and I haven’t been able to find it.

But what I keep coming back to is eventually if I can’t find a way to hold space for myself how will I continue to do it for others?

We live in a weird world friends. A world that says to look out for yourself, but also tells us to cram as much as possible into our lives and to earn money so we can retire and do nothing. We live in a world that has for the most part lost the art of the kitchen table and breaking bread together.

And if we aren’t going to slow down to eat our food how are we going to slow down to sit in space with ourself? And we aren’t going to do that, then how are we going to live fully alive?
I know that I am not living fully alive these days. I can feel it in my bones. I’ve been a little terrified of the silence and of sitting with God and even sitting with some of my friends.

I don’t like feeling like I don’t have it all together for everyone.

And if I am being real and true, I don’t know if I know how to make these a daily practice. 

I feel as if I am starting from scratch on the taking care of myself. 

And that’s why I’ve wanted to say all these things I’ve said in the last few blogs I’ve written. The depression, the ugly, the hurt, the tired. 

I’m coming to the realization that it’s ok to feel like I’ve already “done this”. Because I haven’t. It feels the same but it’s not.
I don’t have answers, I barely have words. 

But I’m choosing to say the ones I have.

I’m choosing to do things that feel hard.

I’m choosing to sit in silence even when it drives me nuts.

I’m choosing my space.

Honest, washington whimsy

a loss of lovely.

I had a breakdown today.Lies were piling on from left and right and all I could see was a barren, dry, dusty road.

I felt like all of a sudden I’d been tipped over and shaken up.

My friend Glenalyn chose today to text me about a book about my soul.

I ended up talking to her via text for an hour or two. It, of course, made me ever so thankful for this tribe I have found myself grafted into. It made me know that even when I feel the most alone, I am not that thing.

But in that conversation I realized that there are two things that I’ve lost the ability to do.

Somewhere, I believe in the last 8 months, I forgot how to tend to my soul.

As I’ve come back to the hustle and bustle of working, of doing a job that has substance as opposed to one that was monotonous, as I’ve come back into community and church and having a social life I’ve lost my ability to soul care.

I can tell someone else how to do so, I know what used to work for me. But now, everything falls flat. It’s like charging a phone that always has to be plugged in. It needs to be connected to the source at all times. 

So, tonight when I told Glenalyn that I was going to doing something lovely before I went to bed I sat on my couch and opened my hands up and had no freaking idea what to do.

I (feel as if) I’ve lost the loveliness in my life. I feel like it’s been trampled in and kicked while it was down. 

And in a brutally honest moment I’ve realized tonight that I don’t know how to sit with Jesus especially where it just feels like nothing wants to settle down.

I’ve been posting a lot of words that feel like that don’t have solutions, words that feel like fruit basket upset.

Words that don’t feel like peace.

And I know in my knower, in the depths of me, that I am ok. I know I am peace, I am lovely. I know the answer is tucked deep within me.

And I know Jesus is here. Right now. On this couch with me, even when it seems I can’t look him in the eye. Or when I want to stand tall and carry my own burdens.

That’s the best part of it–he knows me.

And I know I won’t run.

I’m not lost, I’m not on the wrong path.

Even when I don’t feel it, I am that thing.

And so are you, when you feel like you are grasping at straws, grasping for breath, grasping for wisps of peace, you are still who you are. Who you were created to be.

You are lovely, even when it seems you can’t find it.