Wednesday, May 31, 2006

taking a step back

you know, upon further examination of my life, it has come to my attention that i am in need of a redirection. what this means, dear readership, is something that will not make sense to most of you. but to me (and to the one other person in my world who will 'get it'), it means that i'm going undercover. deep, deep undercover. and when i emerge, you won't recognize me anymore.

p.s. this has nothing to do with my blog. thank you and have a nice day.
the living dead

i'm officially completely and totally ill. i went to a patient first on monday morning and got some antibiotics, a new inhaler, and some cough syrup that makes me hallucinate. it's a good thing, too, because the congestion in my chest is so severe that i spent all of yesterday hardly breathing. when i got home from work, i got into bed (it was 5:05 p.m.) and didn't move until 5:45 this morning. i know i had at least 2 phone conversations sometime during the evening, although i couldn't tell you what was said to me or what nonsense i mumbled. i had very wacked out dreams about running into old friends from high school, one of whom was very blonde and white and had turned into a black man. then there was a whole plot about some man cheating on his wife (bette midler was in this one) and i was supposed to help catch him in the act. don't ask where this all came from.

i'm not going to work today because a) i can't breathe still, b) i'm doped out on the cough crack, and c) i feel wretched. so, i'm going to wend my way back to bed and lie there for the rest of the day, hoping that sleep and stillness will restore my tired self....

Friday, May 26, 2006

it's 5:45 a.m. and i'm wide awake. well, perhaps 'wide' isn't really the way to describe it. but yes, awake nevertheless....

in a little while, my mom (who stayed with me last night) will leave for philadelphia (although i will see her again on sunday) and not long after that, i will leave for the airport.

the weekend ahead will be busy - to be sure - but it is my prayer that in the midst of it, there will be much clarity, restfulness, and comfort. not to mention good food, laughter, and some amount of age-appropriate whimsy (which, if you know me, you know that i am ALL about):).

here's to something unexpected yet finally familiar....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

and as i drove myself back home
a little voice said "just be alone"
but sometimes i think
i see you in a crowd
it's not picture perfect
you're just meant for me somehow
and i'll miss you till i meet you
oh i'll miss you till i meet you
i miss you all the time....

if you had asked me a few months ago if i'd be in any way ready to stand on the edge of the unknown once again and allow my foot to cross that line into possibility, i would have thought you were nuts. after a particularly difficult fall, i'd given my own heart at least a year to find all the pieces of itself that seemed to be on the floor. but a strange thing happened. others came alongside me and picked pieces up with me. we gathered them all together and i spent some time and tears and anger and confusion lining up the jagged edges and matching sides. and somewhere just as spring began to arrive, i realized that i had, too.

so then i spent some months praying and thanking God for how far He'd brought me, never thinking for a moment that i would be doing anything but staying right here for several more moons. i'll just be alone for awhile, i thought, because it made sense to me to grow comfortable in my solitary - although filled with friends - life and just be me without anyone else. and not only did it make sense, but it was what i wanted at the time. i felt glad to be unentangled, able to focus on just God and my friends and my own tired heart.

and it was during that time that i decided to change my life once and for all. not because of anyone or in spite of anyone or with the hope of anyone. but because of ME and in spite of ME and with the hope of the ME i've always wanted to become. and in the months (just about 2) that i've been on this path, i've lost some weight (almost 30 pounds, actually), lost some more baggage, and gained so much more than i could imagine.

what began to characterize my life was such brazen hope, i had never seen the likes of this in my own heart. i found myself praying on the way to work: God, i believe with all that i am that what you have for me is BEAUTIFUL. and i'm excited to receive it and participate in it and bless You and others with it. but i also don't want it until You are ready. i see now that i never did really trust You. i see that i was willing to settle for less than what i needed. i see now that my lack of faith nearly cost me everything. thank You for saving me from myself once again....

finding myself in this place where i was at rest...at peace...and needing nothing but the air in my lungs and the hope in my heart altered my world in such a profound way, there really aren't words to fully explain it. but one thing i knew for certain: i was never going back. and no person, no fear, no circumstance was ever going to hold me captive again - nor derail me - from experiencing the life that God has planned for me.

and then, in a quiet sort of way, the possibility of a relationship presented itself in front of me. and yes, it's still very tenuous in some ways and very new and very 'we'll just wait and see what happens,' but it's about more than that for me. my heart is open to possibility...to something real and abiding and unexpected and lovely. and i'm not afraid of it. i'm just allowing my heart to be moved by the hand of God...which is all i've ever really wanted anyway. besides, whatever happens, i know who i am. nobody can take truth from you once it's made its home in your heart.

but in the mean time.....and this is to you....i already feel so at home with you. i love praying with you and hearing about your day and the way you make me laugh and the sound of your voice saying my name. thank you for your encouragement and friendship and for teasing me and being silly and for speaking truth when i'm anxious and for getting yourself to my door in two more days.....i'll miss you till then:).

i guess once your foot has crossed that line, there's no turning back (not that i would want to). at least if you're like me, a chance for love is worth a few risks, even despite past hurts and difficulties. so, i'm going to walk this path God has prepared and see where it leads....and wherever i wind up, i'll be okay - more than okay, really - because my heart is whole, my footing secure, my goals clearly in sight, and my future well in hand....

Monday, May 22, 2006

you rise and meet the day....

well before my alarm, i was lying in bed, fast asleep, when i felt a voice rise up inside me: get up. so i took a shower, prayed awhile about the upcoming week (and weekend), and have been sitting here for the last few minutes feeling rather calm. at peace. this is not something i have always been able to take for granted.

i had kind of an emotional weekend, actually. friday night, as i mentioned before, i hit kind of a "mood snag." okay, what was actually going on was that i felt depression trying to knock at the door of my heart. but thankfully, i was able to inform it of its place and did not let it in. and with the help of two very dear friends, i got my house in order this weekend - including throwing out papers that have sat untouched for over a year (it's amazing how much time i spent helping others organizing their lives while mine stayed slightly disheveled).

at some point in the midst of cleaning yesterday, i found some old pictures and as salimah and i looked through them, we both started crying. it hit me in that moment how much i've been through in the last 5 years...how much pain and sadness characterized my life for so long. it hurts me to look back and realize how awful i felt all of the time. and it's such a stark contrast to my life these days. what a miracle, really....

post-crying, i've got to say, i felt infinitely better. all the emotional build-up from earlier in the weekend was released, and i had such a fresh, clean feeling in my soul....which, i might add, is reflected beautifully in my now tidy, vacuumed apartment:).

so this morning, the sun is shining and i am realizing that i really am through the worst of this storm. sure, sometimes it rains on me for an hour, a day, but it's really not the same as before. it's really, really not. and now i'm ready to face the day, with all that it will bring. and i have some things....or someone, i should say....to look forward to later in the week:). but meanwhile, i will dress and eat breakfast and drive up the highway to my job and think about the possibilities of a day....of a life with more sun than clouds....

Sunday, May 21, 2006

just in case anyone was wondering

i absolutely LOVE my pure grapefruit sugar scrub from bath and body works. it smells heavenly, leaves my skin feeling well moisturized, and is assisting with a now-peeling sunburn from the crab feast just over a week ago. and who - tell me - wouldn't want to smell like citrus fruit all day??

i'm just sayin....

Saturday, May 20, 2006

make a joyful noise

here's the truth: because of the events that have transpired in my life over the last 6 or so years, an integral part of me went underground. for awhile, it was because i was distracted and stressed out. then, things got much worse and in the darkness of my circumstances, it was purely for survival. at times, this silent place inside myself would rise up and cry out but then quickly retreat out of fear. and it's amazing that, once you get used to a certain way of living, it seems only natural to just keep going. but thank GOD that He is not content with such a way of thinking. and so, for nearly the last year, He has sought to bring me back out into the light, so to speak. to dig around in the back of closets untouched in forever. to find the treasured things that need a bit of polishing but are ready to put on display.

in short, i am waking up inside.

this morning, while in the shower, i was praying for someone who has become very important in my life, and i began to realize that i was singing. now, for those of you who know me a bit, this may not seem strange to you. but what you may not know is that, for a LONG time, i haven't really sung during those moments of quiet and solitude that only being in the shower can bring. and that's where - in the past - worship would well up inside of me and spill out among the water droplets. but in recent years, i have been mostly dry, and the cleansing waters have taken nothing down the drain with them but soap and the grime of the day. today, though, there was joy pouring down. there was faith and hope and thanksgiving and release. and the song coming from my throat wasn't just a familiar melody. it was a familiar strain....the kind of noise that only comes from knowing where i've been...from what i've been delivered. it felt like truth. it was truth.

i'm not sure precisely what kind of noise i've been making for years, but i'm certain that much of it has been less than joyful. much of it has been tired and weary and sad and plowed under. if i've even made any noise at all. i've been remembering, though, the fact that i was created for noises that transcend the here and now....that connect this broken vessel with the One who is whole and can put (and is putting) me back together. it is He who put a song in my heart...and in my mouth.

and, my friends, it is clear to me that the time has come for singing once again.

Friday, May 19, 2006

with ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go....

today after work, i experienced a bit of a mood snag. okay, this is an understatement. i actually had a foot-twitchingly, face-flushingly anxious hour-long dinner at panera with a good friend who tried her best to encourage me, to little avail.

sometimes it is a sobering thought to look forward at your life and realize how many more steps it will take to reach a particular goal. it's in those times that, i find, it's imperative to turn around and look at how far you've come already. without a memory of where we've been, it's impossible to get a true vision for where we're going.

so tonight, after freaking out, i've turned around and picked my head up, and upon further examination, the road behind me actually looks far more rocky than the one ahead. and thank God for that.

Monday, May 15, 2006

exceedingly abundantly

here's something i'm learning: God's gifts really are extravagant. and when they show up in the form of another person, something about it seems all the more sweet.

i'm on the edge of something here. something bigger than me or my plans or thoughts or what i might have expected. and i couldn't be more excited. or grateful. or humbled. or...speechless.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

connection

i left baltimore around 7:30 this evening and drove to richmond through periods of rain and traffic. the whole way down, i was on complete autopilot as i cruised down i-95. at one point, my mom called to ask me where i was, and i had to confess: i didn't even know. i knew only how many minutes had passed since i had left home, and that, in fact, was only because i had the clock in front of me. the hour i had spent in the car had flown by in what seemed like a matter of minutes.

the reason for all of this, really, is that i was having a conversation with someone who gets me. this person is someone i've known for a short time, but feel like has been in my life for years. i can't really explain how that feels - to be understood like that. it is, in short, delightful. and it made a 3-hour drive seem short. so short that i actually drove slowly around my parents' neighborhood for 5 extra minutes just so that i didn't have to say good-bye quite yet....

so, to you, and you know who you are: i am so grateful to have you in my life. thank you for sharing yourself so truthfully with me. i cannot wait to see what's next.

:)

Friday, May 12, 2006

get crabby, hon

if you're not from maryland, you may not fully understand how much marylanders love their crabs. every year at my company, we have an annual 'kick off the summer' crab feast, and i have to say: i have officially crossed over.

let me give a brief history....

i've always loved crab meat. this would include anything from crab cakes to crab imperial, crab dip, you name it. but i'd never cracked open a crab and eaten the meat out of its every nook and cranny, overlooking all the icky 'stuff' inside and searching like a true pirate for my crab booty (okay, that sounded bad). but last year, salimah sat me down and taught me how to truly pick a crab and, i gotta tell ya, i was HOOKED. it's fun; it's festive; it's messy. hey, it's MARYLAND, people.

so, here i sit, sunburned, shirt speckled with old bay, spice rub under my fingernails, and the smell of crustacean all over me, and i gotta tell ya: i'm happy as a....well....crab.

that, and i just got a bonus check this afternoon that will greatly help me with some things i need.

in about an hour, i'll leave for virginia for the weekend and spend some time chillin with my folks. i feel content just now. relaxed. secure. interesting things brewing on the horizon. it's all good stuff.

i gotta tell ya: i never thought i'd feel like i was from here. but i guess if you live in a town long enough, it becomes a part of you....and, quite frankly, you become a part of it. i live in crabtown, people. this is my home. i smell like old bay and for now, that's quite fine with me:).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

ache

today i only stayed at work for an hour and a half because my head felt as though it were stuck in a vice. i actually felt nauseated by the discomfort, which is unusual for me. it's always been astonishing to me how physical pain can so profoundly change a landscape and hold a person captive....

and in my hopes for release from the tension, i can't help but be reminded of another ache in me. unfulfilled longings, the cries of one's heart, can feel like a kind of captivity that begs for some type of resolving plot twist -- the veritable denouement of life's ongoing saga. and in moments of desperation, it's easy to go seek out the most convenient or obvious (regardless of how temporary) solution, but to wait for the true outcome is really the only option. this lesson, i have found, is hard to learn.

so, i have been thinking a lot about these longings, the things i've always wanted, the type of situation in which my heart can finally say thank God, i'm home. i'm almost afraid to imagine it, because such comfort flies in the face of my previously anxious and frightened ways. but i'm a little stronger now (a lot, really), and regardless of how long it takes to get to that place and how much i need to learn in order to get there, i'm ready for whatever God has planned. sure, there are some mountains still to cross, but i finally feel equipped to cross them. and in the mean time, that ache inside points me toward the sweetness of what will be.

that ache, i've realized, is hope.

Monday, May 08, 2006

tonight i made the most delish turkey meatloaf ever. i sat at my desk at work and thought about it all day. when i got home, i realized that i was missing one crucial ingredient, so i wound up having to improvise and change a few things around a little. the result, i feel, was well worth the effort. very moist. held together well. great flavor. and the meat was stretched out by the addition of some other key players. with an ear of the fresh corn i bought yesterday at wegman's, i was good to go.

and, what's better, i'll have leftovers for the next couple of days. i love not having to think about lunch preparations!!

in other news, i've been having some very intense and interesting dreams lately. it's clear to me that my mind is trying to tell me that the winds have changed. all i can say in return is that it's about freaking time....

Sunday, May 07, 2006

just so you know

i'm in such a great mood this morning! and yes, i have my reasons....:)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

dear collective you who never reads this and probably never will,

sometimes i wonder who it is that you think i was all that time. no matter, really, because i know now who i am.

and furthermore, i like to listen to music...and sing along...whenever i feel like it. and i prefer an empty stomach over empty promises. and i need to be held sometimes - not just because i have a reason. and i like people who are taller than me. and if i want to cut my hair, that's not a reason to end things. and if i cry, it's because i'm sad - not because i'm feeling your pain for you. and if i say no, what i mean is no. and if i love you, i'll bend over backwards for you, but that doesn't give you a reason to test me. and for the record, i never asked for a favor. and also for the record, you never said you were sorry. and by the way, i miss you sometimes. and also, i'm doing my best to get over that for real and forever. and i know when you're lying, by the way. and i'm not the mean things you said i am.

and that one time when you said it would always be this way, you were wrong. and that time you prayed out loud for me while you held me close still means a lot. and for the record, i did like you for about a month, but i got over it very quickly. and honestly, you were never worth the trouble. and yes, you looked great that one time when you came over covered in paint splatters, but there wasn't enough paint to make you interesting. and i threw out that book on astronomy that you gave me, because your inscription made me cringe. and somewhere in a box is that necklace you sent me in 1996. and i wish i still had your poem.

and thanks for calling me pet names. and thanks for making me that valentine. and thanks for bringing me food and medicine when i was sick. and thanks for listening to me when i complained and cried and told you the truth. and thanks for walking away. and thanks for making me know how strong i really am.

with deep regret and yet without regret,

sarah

Friday, May 05, 2006

sleep of the dead

last night, i got less than three hours' sleep. let me just say: it made for an interesting day at the office! i was uber hyper until about noon-thirty (adrenaline overload) and was particularly funny, apparently, because coworkers kept telling me how my anecdotes seemed all the more 'kicked up' and i was even throwing in more (than usual) 10-cent words left and right. at one point i used the phrase 'the most salient point' while looking truly crazed during an editing meeting, and i got two serious sideways glances....hilarious.

i must say, for someone who's so sleep deprived, i feel pretty darn good. no matter, though. i'm about to go lie in between my cool sheets and listen to the barefoot contessa whip up some delights while snoozing away the rest of the afternoon.

delicious!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

off

it's a tuesday and i had a day off from work today to do absolutely nothing. and nothing is what i did.

okay, well that's not totally true. i slept in, showered, threw on some comfy clothes, made a turkey bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich in a whole wheat pita, ate some fat free potato chips and hummus, had some lovely fruit, watched dreamer, took a nap, read some of my book, and am now contemplating some delicious salmon i shall make for dindin.

i'm bummed the day's almost over. i was hoping again to tackle those pesky papers i want to organize. but they'll have to wait. sleeping and soaking in some peace and quiet were just what the doctor ordered.