I know I have a little box where I list what I'm listening to but I can't seem to get these songs out of my head. I can't stop humming them and I strongly suggest that you look into them.
"Sweet Darlin'" by She & Him
"Home" and "40 Day Dream" by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros
"Us" by Regina Spektor
"I'll Fly Away" covered by the Avett Brothers
"Your Arms Around Me" Jens Lekman
"I'll Follow the Sun" by the Beatles
"You & I" by Ingrid Michaelson
"The Way You Do The Things You Do" by The Temptations
"Girl Named Tennessee" by Needtobreathe
"Kingdom Come" by Coldplay
"Can't Be Without" by Derek Webb
I'm learning the lesson that every young adult learns. I'm understanding how to keep myself - the essence of who I am - regardless of where I am or what I'm doing. I can be the same person, I can be Lauren, not despite, but with, everything else. Being "me" doesn't come from what I'm doing. "Me" is a totally and completely different thing. I can be me when I'm looking up activities to teach to and play with the 2 year-old. I can be me when I'm starting a new job or when I''m trying to sew. What I'm trying to say is that I (and you) can still keep myself no matter what I do. The things I do do not define me. I'm observant, smart, sarcastic, friendly, reserved (sometimes), opinionated (to a fault), empathetic, loyal, and stubborn. I'm learning how to be confident, sure of myself, and assertive. I'm a good friend. I'm a bookworm. I love God. I love people. I just happen to be a nanny, a baker, a daughter, a sewer, and a 21 year-old. The traits that I have and what I believe are me. I can be a cynic, but ultimately I have faith that people can do good things. I want to believe that people can do the right thing. I've seen it before. I want to travel and see the world but I have a strong sense of home and where I can belong.
I'm beginning to realize that with what I have seen as captivity, new doors have opened. People have said to me that "when God closes one door, another one opens." Well, that is true, but what should be added as an amendment is "sometimes God waits a little while to open the other door." One of the things that I thought defined me was my status as a student. It was a constant. It was something I had always known and had always remained consistent. And then it wasn't consistent anymore. It was gone. I can be a student without a classroom. That's what libraries were invented for. Distributing knowledge. So I've learned about the genocide in Rwanda, sewing stuffed animals, planting seeds and growing things, and how to be a writer. I've cultivated an even stronger relationship with literature. I'm a constant pen-pal with multiple people because of my current situation. I'm growing in ways that I couldn't have imagined. My relationship with God is different. I recently made the decision to start to try new churches. I'm afraid of this. It's a new fear to conquer, but I believe that I will change my relationship even more as I seek a new community and possibly a new way to worship. I may have that opportunity to travel. I don't mind shaking my worldview and learning something new. Let's rock my conceptions and perceptions of the way life ought to be lived. This has taught me more than ever how to deal with change. I'm learning to embrace it. There's really no alternative.
It's true - I have a job. That's right ladies and gentlemen, I have a job. I am going to be baker and salesperson of the baked goods. This is marvelous! Lovely! Spendiferous! I am elated. This is what I have been waiting for, praying for, dreaming about. It will require a rather drastic change in my waking and sleeping hours, but really, this is amazing. I will bake. I am an employee. I am very happy indeed. I could drone on and on, but at the moment it is late and I must go to bed so I can drive home from Charlotte tomorrow. Oh happy day! Thanks be to God!
Hebrews 10:32-39 (NRSV)
Do not abandon your confidence
"But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
For yet 'in a very little while,
the one who is coming will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one will live by faith.
My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.'
But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved."
Being confident can be exhausting and exhilarating all at once. Sometimes we have to put a good face on not for others but for ourselves. The confidence of those around us can get us far- I know that the belief of others in me has pushed me through a lot of hard times. But it can only get us so far. Eventually we have to put a little more faith and trust in ourselves. It can be hard to do. Losing confidence is easy. Regaining it is far more difficult. Sometimes putting on a brave face will kind of psych ourselves out a bit- it will let us pretend we have it. And sometimes pretending to be assertive does the exact same thing that having true confidence does: it gets us just one step closer to where we need to be.
I've had a lot on my mind recently. My head keeps spinning with things to do and people to see. So much stuff that I don't even know where to start! That's unusual, because I generally keep this focused (well it seems that way to me) or I write with some sort of purpose. There's a lot that I don't know and things I still keep figuring out.
I have a hard time trying to answer questions for people when I'm not sure of the answer. Does that make sense? When someone asks you something and you know you should say something worth hearing. Not the answer to the capital of Kansas (Topeka), but a life question. A question where people look for wisdom or something profound. I don't have profound things to say! I don't know if I'm saying the right thing. I certainly hope that I am; that I am helping and not making things worse. I don't know. Is there another way to say it? Je ne sais pas. In French. When I have to say that (in French or English), I feel like I am letting people down. Like I'm not being a good friend or not supportive enough. I feel very self-centered right now. I am being self-centered. Moving on...
I watched "Sixteen Candles" tonight and felt very glad that I am not in high school any more. Not even in college. That's still weird to say. I got a phone interview on Friday and went in today to meet the manager/owner. I won't say the name of the place or anything about it because it's still up in the air and I'm trying to play it cool. I will let you know how it turns out.
The family is half way through The Three Weeks Of Birthdays. 21 days. 4 birthdays. None of them my own. It's a lot of present-buying and cake. Mom's is on the 30th of July, Hannah turned 19 August 3, Madison will be 13 (AUUGHHH) on August 18 and Dad's is on the 19th. I have successfully found presents for them all! It certainly gets harder as they get older. You start to run out of good ideas and I am a firm believer that most birthday and Christmas presents should be surprises. It takes a lot of the fun out of it if you know everything you're going to get.
My brain is too scattered and it is too late to write much more. I promise I'll write something more "profound" or at least more interesting the next time. I'll leave you with a little known fact.
Many Japanese golfers carry hole-in-one insurance, because it is traditional in Japan to share one’s good luck by sending gifts to all your friends when you get an ace. The price for what the Japanese term “an albatross” can often reach $10,000.
Great things are afoot! First and foremost- my medicine seems to be doing great. I'm down to two! I only take two medications a day!!!! Do you know how huge that is?? Probably not. So I shall tell you! Different meds do different things. One may be a mood stabilizer- which is what it sounds. It keeps your mood from fluctuating up and down and up and down. Another may treat depression. When you have bipolar disorder, it's very common to need to take multiple. I have depressive-irritable bipolar disorder, so I'm more apt to cycle between being depressed and being irritable and anxious rather than depressive and manic. So I have to take a mood-stabilizer and a anti-depressant to keep it all in check. Sometimes these medicines pile on top of one another to the extreme of having to take a half dozen or more all at once. So to be minimally medicated is always nice to know.
And things are going well. It's so hard to explain unless you know what this disorder truly is, but I do feel more inclined to be happy and smile more often. That alone is huge. Tomorrow I am planning on being assertive. (My confidence is about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. I have to strategize for these things.) I am going to call the bakery about the job I applied for. They promised to let me know either way by the end of last week. I am going to make sure they didn't lose my application. I want a job so very much. I will find one. I will I will I will. Confidence! Nerve! Boldness! Conviction! I will have these things (and a job) once again. Oooh, look at me go! I sound like a Fearless Leader Of... something! I shall conquer monumental things. But for now I'm going to be the Fearless Leader of Sleep.