Sunday, February 12, 2012

Can you hear me now?

I am a hypocrite.

Like a huge, blaring pin-the-red-letter-H-to-all-my-shirts kind of hypocrite.

I spend all my time, all my life, really, to get to a point where I am legally qualified by the state of Oklahoma to work at a job that helps people learn to be more effective communicators and stop hiding behind silence, passive aggression, and and feelings of embittered resentment.

Yet in my own personal life, I am the worst at communicating. Sure, I can tell my friends that I love them, what I think they should do if they're struggling with a problem, what they should say in a particular situation they're unsure about. I can communicate things that are happy, I can communicate for people who aren't me. I can do that, and I'm really, really good at it.

But I can't tell a friend when they've really hurt me. I can't voice when I'm feeling betrayed, or neglected, or irritated. I can't tell somebody when I have feelings for them, and I definitely am the WORST at telling someone that I don't have feelings for them any longer. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to bed literally kicking myself for not being honest and expressing what's on my hear.

 Maybe it's because I'm afraid of what will happen if I say what I think; that I will be met with anger, rejection, or lose the person I'm trying to communicate with. Maybe it has to do with the fact that  if I do somehow get up the courage to be honest, I normally get huffy, or overly-emotional, and completely butcher the crap out of what I needed to say. And so I let my fear become greater than any healing or satisfaction I might get from being honest. Or I let my emotions get the best of me and blow it big-time.

I always identify with Moses when he's talking to God in Exodus and basically says: "Lord, I'm terrible at speaking, and I always have been. I really, really suck at it." (I'm OVERLY paraphrasing Exodus 4:10, by the way)

But the cool part is what God says back to Moses (basically): "Who even gave you the mouth to speak with? I did. So go on and do what I tell you to do. I'm going to give you the words."

God never said "oh, you're bad with words? nevermind. that really sucks for you, man."
God took Moses, who probably sucked at communicating even more than I do, and gave him the words he needed to get through some very, very complicated social situations. All because Moses chose to obey him and trusted that God would give him the words.

I believe he can do the same for me.

So I'll keep praying for a faith like Moses. That God will give me the courage to be honest and unafraid, and the ability to express my thoughts in a spirit of love and humility.

So here's the first step. See all the above words? That's me communicating.

It probably would have been a little easier for Moses, too, if he was able to start out blogging first..

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Volvo. My issues with contentment.

It's been such a long time since I wrote a blog post. I distinctly remember starting this last year, and thoroughly enjoying writing every entry, but for whatever reason life became a little too complicated (that always seems to happen) and this just dropped off my priority list. If you were one of the potential 2-3 people who ever read it: my apologies. I can't promise I'll start writing frequently again, but I promise that this, right here, is a new blog post written by me.

I'd like to talk about contentment tonight. Contentment is the topic that my triad group (don't even ask what that means) in my old testament wisdom class chose as our semester long theme for our project, so I've been meditating a lot on it. Good thing too, because it's one of my greatest short-comings.

So... the topic is contentment. Let's start with my car.

I have been driving around a 1988 Volvo 240 for a couple years now. His name is Toby and he is my first and only car.  I love him, but let's be real: he's an old man and he's falling apart. Driving Toby means, I never know what's going to break off, get stuck, or literally disintegrate in my hand.  A couple days ago something broke majorly, and now he's got to be towed to Tulsa. This leaves me without a car. Albeit, a rickety, dirty, rusty old car, but without a functioning car, nonetheless, for an indefinite period of time.

 And being without that piece of junk has taught me a couple things about myself.

Toby is more than a car to me, he represents freedom. I can go where I want, do what I want when I absolutely want to, and never really rely on others for things. I'm a pretty independent person, and I need daily blocks of "introvert time" where I can just be apart from others. Not having a car makes all of these things a problem, and i instantly start panicking and feeling trapped. I have to get off campus, I need to be able to go do whatever dumb thing sounds like a good idea at the time.  All of this is stupid. All of this is not true.  I just instantly think that that is what my need is and panic because I can't have what i want. I realized that this restlessness I feel without Toby is similar to the lack of contentment I deal with in a lot of other areas in my life.

I struggle with the ability to be content with my current place in life. I think about what things were like in the past or what I can expect from the future. I think about what I could do to make things better. I can never be fully present because I am so caught up in trivial none-sensical things that will pass away so soon.

But I've been thinking lately about what my life would look like if I stripped it down. If I stopped putting my joy and hope in things that could fail and really plugged into what is constant, what will never pass away. The Lord speaks over and over in the Scriptures about fulfilling every need of his children, how he will provide sustenance and strength, and a love that will triumph over any human relationship. 

And so if I picture my life where I stop worrying about what I think I really need, and more on what I Know I really need, which is a deeper, more intimate relationship with my heavenly father, I recognize what is trivial and needs to fall away. I don't need to worry about having a million friends, a boyfriend, a better job, being well-thought of by my peers, or getting into grad school.  I need to find contentment in my Father, who will never fail me. I need to walk in his word, be reminded of his constant grace and mercy, and submit to his will.

He will supply my every need. I just need to stop deciding what my needs are. It's time to start stripping things away and getting to what matters.

I know I normally post goofy stuff. But this is what's on my mind tonight. I am capable of being serious, you know.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring Sing: or Your Guide on How to Look Like an Idiot for an Audience!'s been a long time since i last blogged.

but you can just cope with that..because i never promised i would do it often. just when i felt i had something worthy of documenting.
also because since January...the bulk of my life has been dominated by an event so insulated and christian- college specific that trying to explain it to 'outsiders' makes it sound like you are in a cult and putting on a polygamist Mormon musical or something....

Spring Sing.

well...for those of you who don't know.. Spring sing is a show put on by each social service club, involving a theme, costumes,  clean "choreography, and the blatant plagiarism of contemporary pop songs and copyrighted TV and cartoon characters.

if it sounds stupid..that's because it probably is. Needless to say OC is all over it.

To be honest it's really fun. and although it does call for being a strong singer and dancer (i am neither) it also calls for one other specific quality that I am very very skilled at....

Making yourself look like an idiot.

I happen to be really really good at that! I've had about 20 years of formal training in doing, saying, and making the facial expressions of an highly developed idiot. If you'd like to see my previous work..consult the glossy pages of my middle school yearbook.

You may have believed differently ...but compensating for your total lack singing and dancing skills by looking stupid is not an easy feat. only those who are deeply devoted to the craft can pull it off.
Take for example this clip of me (in the red shirt) at practice.

Tongue hanging out of the mouth? Constipated look on my face? Weird air punching and stomping in lieu of just jogging to my spot like everyone else? all carefully chosen moves.

So if you find yourself in doubt as to whether you can look cool during the show..try copying any of the above moves for maximum idiot effect.

it's all about mastering the craft, guys.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Textbooks of doom.

 Day 2 of classes and I found myself without a single text book purchase made and really, really, needing to start working on doing homework.  You know, there are a ton of really great places on the web where you can get text books for cheap. I could have gone to any such sites over break, ordered textbooks for a fraction of the normal cost, and been a champion.

Unfortunately I was too busy over break helping Grandma make chex mix, listening to that 'wavin' flag' song from the worldcup on youtube, and making multiple trips to the Bath and Body Works yearly clearance sale to do such a petty task. Obviously I had no time during those three weeks for such an odious labor.

So i found myself in the OC book store, that last and cursed resort. It's like stepping into a depressing orphanage but instead of taking a sickly baby home  you buy a ton of overpriced text books you don't want. . It is a low and mournful place that sells tacky coffee mugs with angels on them for visiting parents and will try to charge you three bucks for an eraser.

Anyways..after getting my stack of books (the most books I have needed yet for school, mind you) I took my load to the felt like the march of death.

My breathing quickened, my pulse raced as the overly-enthusiastic checkout girl happily scanned each book like I was buying plane tickets to disneyland or a puppy.

Before I knew it..the scanning was over and the books were being placed in a bag. In her chipper little voice she said

"Well great! that's gonna be 430 dollars. Will you be paying by card?"

I was speechless. I could buy a kidney for that price. Heck, I could SELL a kidney for that price and pay for those blasted text books. I seriously thought i was going to puke all over the register and over her very nice and very shiny name-badge. I have never felt so desperate. I had a stream of crazy panicked ideas: 'maybe I'll scream 'fire!!!' and grab the books and run! Maybe....I'll knock over this stack of ugly license plate covers to create a diversion...then grab the books and run! Or maybe....I'll shine her shiny name-badge in her eyes to blind her temporarily......then i'll grab the books and run!!'

I didn't do any of those things.. But I did shake like crazy. She could barely get the card out of my hand...she literally pried my fingers away.  In a far away vault, my bank account wept.

Children, you must bear witness to this atrocity. Unless we learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. Unless we rent from or purchase gently used on amazon, we will continue to venture into the OC bookstore and be stripped of our hard-earned cash and also our humanity.

Bear witness, and remember.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eyeglasses: A Calling Card For Your Face. blog banner. Why, you may ask?
This evening my dearest friend Emily pointed out that I was MISSPELLED the word 'sincerely' on the banner.

I. am. an. idot.


I got glasses today for the first time. (Pics of that and other things later.)

This was an interesting experience. I have always wanted glasses. I think that glasses really say a lot about an individual: How a person wants to present themselves, how intelligent they are, what their style aesthetic is, whether they are blind and have glass eyes or not.. . etc. Call me shallow, but I feel like glasses are a very good indicator of all of these things...they're like a calling card of sorts you happen to wear on your face.

Let me illustrate this principal a little for you, friends:

Example A: These glasses say "I'm trying to be cool and ironic. I like to think I'm really really with it. I work at American Apparel. I took these glasses from my dead Great Aunt Judy's House."

Example B: These glasses say "I'm a maximum security prisoner. I'm wondering how long it would take me to whittle these suckers down and make a shank."

Example C: These glasses say: "I'm the wealthiest cat lady in the United States. I have 60 cats in my high-rise apartment and I crumple hundred dollar bills all over their meow mix for dinner."

Example D: These glasses say " I'm John Lennon."

Well there you go, friends! Now you see what I'm talking about. I'm not sure what "statement" I'm trying to make with my glasses yet...but I'll let you know.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Grandma Shirley Christmas Special.

I have a very quirky blended family, I guess I could say. After my Dad passed away my Mom and I moved into  a new home with my Grandparents. This was during my 8th grade year I believe, and right around Christmas time. Initially, I was very reluctant to embrace how different my living circumstances were from others..but now I am so grateful and thankful for how bizarre and funny my family is. It's different..but I don't think I'd change anything about it.

For a little Christmas are some things that have happened since I have been home.

1) We have no real Christmas Tree. Prior to coming home, my Mother kept telling me she'd decorated a tree and that 'it was really great'...'it was really cute. very very cute."

And in my mother's cat lady style aesthetic is.

Here is what I came home to see: A florescent pink Christmas tree (sparkly, of course) covered in bells and giant plastic snowflake garland. The absolute cherry atop this masterpiece is the ceramic 'angelballerina' that crowns our blessed tree.

Not an angel. Not a ballerina. A ballerina with angel wings. Angelballerina.

There is a ceramic ballerina with wings on top of the Christmas tree. It's like a Yuletide version of 'The Black Swan.'

The entire tree is about 2 feet tall....but some masterpieces are petite. The Mona Lisa isn't very big, I hear.

 Example A: Ours is nowhere near as stately...but you get an idea.

2) My Grandma loves snow men. She loves Micky Mouse, too...but she REALLY loves snow men.  They have definitely come to serve as a more... prominent motif in our holiday decorating this year.

She came in while I was watching TV and told me (so excitedly) that she'd made a "Christmas Village" in the kitchen. In Grandma's definition..."Christmas Village" meant taking 32 (I counted) ceramic snowmen figurines and arranging them on the dinner table.

 My dinner table is a family reunion for 32 ceramic snowmen.

Grandma is so proud of her Christmas village. I am too.

Example B: Imagine this..but with no buildings or snow or trees and only snowmen figures. On a table. and you have Grandma Shirley's Christmas village.

Anyways, Those are yet another two cute and quirky things that happened here in the Sawyer/Buchanan house. I expect many more things will come over this break.

Wishing you a happy holiday filled with Angelballerinas and Christmas Villages,


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ooooohhhh Luxury

I am done focusing on finals. I am done talking about finals. Here are some things that are stupid:

During the holiday season, there is a drastic surge of crap-tastic and melodramatic tv commercials- namely jewelery and perfume commercials.

Why? Because nothing says 'i am so thankful that Christ came into human form on earth and was born under the most humble circumstances, so that we may be saved from our sin and transgressions' like buying an ugly necklace and a bottle 'a toilet water for your whiny wife.

I am just overwhelmed by all these commercials. I want to know if they actually work on people. When people see a 45 second clip of a female celebrity with a shawl on her head, spinning in a flower field or running down a staircase to jump on a motorcycle, are they actually thinking "this perfume will transport me to that flower field. That's gonna be me with the shawl on my head."?

I'll tell you what that perfume is gonna do for you. It's gonna make you 80 dollars shorter and smell like Dolly Parton's hairdresser. Ho Ho Ho.


 Britney Spears Perfume: Because you know your wife or girlfriend wants to smell like erratic behavior and the loss of parental custody. OHHHHHH LUXURY.

let's move on

Jewelery commercials. I have also never understood why crappy expensive jewelery is synonomous with REEEEALLLY loving your spouse. What, you get me a pendant that looks like a gold-dipped cornflake and I'm supposed to be glad about it?

                                               OOOOOOOHHHHHH LUXURY.

Here is the commercial that really set me off: i saw one the other day for Kay Jewlers. It involved this man coming up behind his wife who was rocking their baby. He said "Ohhhhhh whah whah whah our first Christmas as a family whah wah." Then he proceed to pull out a ring box and giver her this butt-ugly ring.
Babies. AIN'T . Cheap. If you JUST had a baby..the LAST thing you need to do is go out a drop all this cash on crappy depressing grandma jewelry. I hope you are prepared to let your baby wear that ring as a diaper. Or feed that ring to the baby as formula. Or use that ring as electricity, water, and heating in your home.

Too bad i have to live in the real world.

Merry Christmas.