Tag Archives: thinking

Helpless.

“How dare you.

There was a tragedy placed before me and those were the three words that rang through my mind. They were at the very forefront, refusing to be ignored.

“How dare you.”

I filled in the silence that followed:

“How dare you be so selfish. How dare you be so wrapped up in your own damn mind that, even as this story is being shared with you, you can’t push away your pain. How dare you be holding back tears because of your ‘pain’ when there are so many people in this world who are going through SO MUCH WORSE things than you. You are being selfish. You need to get outside yourself. You need to be there for the people around you. You are so consumed with the fact that no one has reached out to you that you’ve stopped reaching out to others. You’ve isolated yourself. You can barely handle other people’s pain because you can’t handle your own. How dare you. You are supposed to be able to carry other people burdens. Why can’t you put yours aside for a moment? Why can’t you get out of your own head? You should be taking care of people- loving people. Isn’t that what you do? You haven’t been doing that lately. You don’t even care about the people around you. You’re being selfish, only caring about yourself. How dare you. This is not how you are supposed to act. You need to snap out of this. It’s ridiculous. You need to get up. You need to do something. All you want is for someone to see you and, yet, you keep to yourself. You want people to ask how you are and then lie when they do. How dare you. How dare you get so wrapped up in your own problems like this. You are supposed to be better than this. What you are dealing with is nothing- NOTHING- compared to other peoples pain. How dare you. How dare you. How dare you.

I had no words to fight back and other peoples pain layered itself on my own and tears came to my eyes and weight came to my arms and my hands shook and my breath fought against me and I tried to think of ways I could help and my mind swirled and I wondered if there was anything that could be done and sadness hit me again and again and again until I fell. Helpless.

-Melissa

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Denial.

Denial is a really funny thing. I’m pretty convinced that it’s a good thing.

Could you imagine a world without denial? What if you could never push the bad things from your mind?

I just started writing something but it sounded ridiculous. So I’m not going to go there. But the thing is, I’m right. Because what if you didn’t have the ability to ignore the bad things? What if you could never focus on the good because your mind was so consumed with bad things? Honestly, we’d all be curled up in separate corners waiting for the world to end.

So denial is a good thing.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I realize we need to think about the bad things too. I realize that nothing good would ever happen if we didn’t. That’s an interesting thought. But if we could never think about world hunger (a horrible thing), no one would ever do anything about it. And if we never gave thought to earthquakes and other disasters, no one would ever think to go offer aid.

But the thing about being in denial, and knowing that you’re in denial, is that you’re always just kind of… waiting… for something to knock you out of it. Because you know that someone could breathe wrong and it could remind you of something and then, suddenly, you’d be devastated. Just walking the line between totally fine and really not okay.

It is interesting though- when I’m in denial and refusing to think about this, that, or the other, my body takes it out on me. My shoulders and neck tense up. Headaches abound. My stomach gets upset so much more easily. But when I’m not in denial, I feel pretty miserable most of the time. I can’t concentrate. It’s hard to interact with other humans.

So… to be in denial or to not be? That is the question. There are pros and cons to both.

And what if you stay in denial? What if you refuse to get out of it? What if you never deal with what’s bothering you? Will anything bad ever happen?

Or, when you least expect it, will just…

Explode?

-Melissa

Fog.

When I was in early high school, I was still riding the bus because I couldn’t drive yet. I remember some mornings, I would walk outside to wait for the bus driver and the air would be thick with fog. The kind of fog that covers everything. We would ride to school and I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t even see the school until we were pulling into the parking lot. And it seemed like it was popping up out of nowhere.

I think fog is pretty fascinating. I don’t know why. It’s always just seemed to contain some sort of mystery to me. You see, I think there are two sides of fog.

The first is comforting. It wraps itself around you; keeps you to itself. It’s inclusive. It welcomes you in and forms to fit you. It envelopes you with it’s presence and you’re safe.

The second is terrifying. It blinds you to everything around you. It steels your senses from you and forces you to go in blind. It isolates you. It offers no warning for the danger that could be lurking just out of your sight.

I kind of had a family emergency this week. That’s a lot more like the second side of fog than the first. It settles upon you without warning and catches you off guard and, senseless, you fumble through the blinding mist trying to find something familiar. When this happens, if you and your friend and family are Christian, people tell you to pray. And you should, they’re right. But sometimes, I just can’t. It’s hard for me to focus on anything because my mind is either spinning or it’s numb. And, especially at the start of it, I could barely talk about it. My words were slow and I left long pauses in between them because my thoughts weren’t… there. I can’t think. So it’s hard for me to pray, even though I really need to.

And you know what? I really think that’s okay.

Because I think God’s presence can be like the first side of fog. I think He surrounds us on every side and becomes as close as our breath. I think He wraps us in Himself and becomes a think blanket of comfort. In the midst of confusion and chaos, He’s there, holding our heads up or sitting next to us as we stare blankly into space, not being able to think. And, truthfully, in those moments, I think it’s enough to invite Him into that numbness with you. To simply utter, “Could You just sit with me for a while?” and rest in His presence. I think He has more than enough grace for that.

I also believe that, in distress, it’s the responsibility of others to pray for you. I pray for others a lot and so I hope when I can’t pray, they’re stepping up to pray for me. I just think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

“What can I do with my obsession with the things I cannot see? Is there a madness in my being? Is it the wind that moves the trees? Sometimes You’re further than the moon, sometimes You’re closer than my skin. And You surround me like a winter fog; You’ve come and burned me with a kiss. And my heart burns for You. And my heart burns… for You.” // David Crowder

-Melissa

Bitter.

I’m in the middle of writing a five page paper that I really don’t want to  write. And not just because I don’t want to write it and homework is stupid and all of that. I don’t want to write it because it’s been causing tears to swell in my eyes for the past two hours.

Maybe that sounds ridiculous. It probably is. But I’m having to write about an experience I’ve had for the past semester. It’s not that it’s bad. Not really.

It just makes me sad. I’m so disappointed. And I’m frustrated. I’m just so frustrated. Because this paper wants me to write about what I’ve learned and I’m sitting here typing up all of the things I’ve learned that aren’t important to me. That aren’t hard. That don’t make a bit of difference. That I could have learned on my own without this experience.

And maybe it’s good for me. Maybe it’s good to have my patience tested like this. Maybe it’s good to do work that is so boring I feel like my brain will fall out. Maybe it’s good. It will strengthen my endurance. It will give me more experience to know where other people are coming from. It will open my eyes to all the behind the scenes work that no one ever sees.

But maybe… maybe it will make me bitter. Maybe it will make me hate where I am and cause me to hate what I’m learning. Maybe it will keep me from learning things that would be of so much more value to me. Things that I would find relevant to life and to the work I hope to accomplish someday. And that’s what really scares me.

So what have I learned from this experience? Nothing I couldn’t have learned, and would have learned elsewhere. What did I gain? A longing for what I don’t have, yet a forced self-imposed, forced acceptance for what I do. What are the positives of my experience? I’m made to exercise patience I don’t have.  The negatives? This isn’t what I want. And I’m so bored. And I’m missing out consistently on all of the opportunities my peers are given.

Also, clearly I can answer his questions in a paragraph. I have no idea why he’s requiring a five page length.

-Melissa

Space.

I have no motivation. To do anything. I sat down and worked all day yesterday and, you know what? I don’t think I got anything done. I also… I don’t know if I have anything to do. I have a ton of reading to do but I just can’t get myself to do it. I started reading one of my main text books and then realized my teacher would teach all of this…Why would I read it when I know I won’t retain it?

No worries, I’ll try again in a few minutes.

After this past week, I think I’m just bothered by busyness. I feel a bit thrown off just because my schedule was really weird this week. But also because I still feel like I’m not used to my schedule this semester, which is also weird. Maybe it’s just because this semester is so different from all of my past ones.

Last weekend was great. I literally just did homework for two days. And I remember thinking that being by myself for so long gave me the.. space I needed. I felt really good about it. But now I think maybe I just felt good because I got so much accomplished.

I’ve been by myself all of this weekend too but it feels different. As I said, I barely got anything done yesterday, mainly because I don’t understand an assignment I really want to get done. I’m going to meet my teacher about it so I don’t go insane so hopefully that will help. I just… I really want time where I don’t feel like I have to be doing something.

It’s not that I never hang out with my friends or anything. But, when we do hang out, they’re… very active people. Even when we’re together, we’re trying to get things accomplished- usually games. Like, how many games can we play before the night’s over? Which is great! It’s really fun. But… I miss just being with people. With no priorities. With space to just be. And I’m really okay with my new friend group- I actually like them a lot. I just… I guess I just miss familiarity a little bit.

I guess this is what I signed up for so I shouldn’t complain. I just wish there weren’t always deadlines looming somewhere over my head. If it was like that I probably would get really lazy really fast so maybe it’s better that they’re there. And I guess I don’t have to do my reading- no one else seems to. But then I would feel guilty. Plus, it’s hard enough for me to know what’s going on in class.

This is such a bad post. It literally says nothing and it portrays that I’m in a bad mood, which I’m not at all. I’m just putting off homework. So I’m sorry about that. But also, thanks for reading all the way to this point. That was very good of you.

Hope you have a good day. Ignore your deadlines for a while. Someone has to.

-Melissa

Missing you.

I couldn’t find the vanilla.

I knew exactly where it should be. I’d been down the baking isle three times. I wondered from it, up and down every isle now because clearly it had to be here somewhere.

A song came on the radio. The familiarity struck me even before I realized what it was. It was late enough that most people were in their homes instead of grocery shopping so the store felt peaceful. I sang the song softly as I wondered around. What had I been looking for?

Did you still listen to this band? Hmm. I never would have heard of them if not for you. I found myself looking for a drink you once got here that I’d never been able to find since.

Where would I be….How different would my life be…. If you were still in it?

I squeezed my eyes shut for just a moment and tried to picture calling you right then if nothing between us had ever gone wrong. Because I wanted so badly- I want so badly- to talk to you. And not to rehash anything or figure out what happened. Just to talk. Just to hear your perspective. Just to hear you. Just because I miss you.

Yes, even still.

But I couldn’t picture what my life would be like now if our friendship would have lasted. I can’t imagine it. It’s taken so many unexpected turns since I knew you. I don’t know if they would have been effected by your presence in my life somehow or not. I just don’t know.

But I do know it sure would have been nice to call you today and here your voice… I so much hate that…. it seems like a foreign concept now. I’ve… I’ve lost pieces of you as time has gone on. I so much wish I had never had to. But I… the person you knew no longer exists and the only memories I have of you… well, they’re actually hers.

The way you cared about me wasn’t fair, you know. The way you saw me wasn’t fair. It didn’t make sense. You shouldn’t have been so good to me. You shouldn’t have been so in tune with me.

Because now I miss you quite terribly.

And then the song ended. Something much friendlier came softly through the speakers above me, like the other song had never played. And no one noticed the change. No one felt like something so, so, so good had been cut way too short. No one felt an emptiness in it’s absence.

Except me, of course.

Now….where was the vanilla?

Missing you.

-Melissa

Too.

I sat quietly, trying to read one of the thousands of pages I’d been assigned. Unfortunately, my mind wasn’t anywhere near the book I held in front of me.

I replayed the moments in my mind. Not the good moments, though I had many of those to choose from. Just the awkward ones. Just ones where the silence lasted a touch too long. Just the ones that didn’t go perfectly, that made me question every single thing either of you had ever said to me. And my mind worries over every single second.

Because what if one of those seconds made you realize I’m not as great as you’ve somehow made me out to be? What if one of those moments caused you to wonder why you had bothered to come? What if you realized how uninteresting I was and got bored? What if you suddenly became aware of the fact that I am a horrible conversationalist? What if you came to terms with understanding that you had an idealized version of me in your head?

And I know none of those things are true.

Maybe it’s because I can’t read either of you very well. Or I think I can’t. Or maybe it’s because I… well, I honestly think you’re really cool so I can’t imagine you actually wanting to be my friends.

I do realize that this is not fair to you. I know that. I know that you, if I said these things to you, would argue relentlessly. I know. I am aware. I know you’ve proved me wrong countless times by now. And yet I question everything. I wish I could just turn that off.

Wouldn’t that be great? Do you have any idea with how much more comfortable I would be around you? Do you know that I rarely, if ever, fully let my guard down around you because I am so focused on how I’m being perceived? No, you don’t. Because I can’t tell you. Because that would legitimately hurt you, and for good reason. Because I should not be like this. I consider you close friends and yet… I’m afraid it’s too good to be true.

I’m so sorry for that.

-Melissa