I always carry sweet
memories in my heart
like petals in my
pockets. They sweeten
old things and remind
me that when old
flowers die, new ones
bloom to replace them.
Do not fear, you’ll
find good things
"At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my math is wrong we are still going to be okay. And wonder is that feeling we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. I don’t think there is any better worship than wonder."
— Donald Miller
"I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
— Maya Angelou
All that is not to say that i am always sad.
I have learned to find joy in the silver linings.
Best friends for brothers.
My mom’s delightful laugh when playfully prodded.
The perfect chubby niece.
My brothers marriage is such a one that fills me full with joy and puts a huge smile across my face.
British youtubers are hilarious.
Pulling my camera out for the first time in nearly a year.
Quiet time on the train ride into downtown.
A stunning skyline, an array of trees and their leaves, and fresh air on my walk from the station.
Learning my way around Atlanta.
The winter wind that messes up hair and nips at my fingers and nose.
Hot soup for lunch.
Fully operating earphones.
Fleece lined leggings.
The smell of sawdust as I pass the construction site.
Christmas decorations at Olympic park.
The crunch of leaves on pathways.
Chunky knit scarves.
Overlooking downtown atlanta from the break room at work.
Friends taking the time to show they care.
Yeah, I’ve still got so much to be thankful for.
This has been a long time coming…
I initially did not intend to write about this, but there is just so much to say and I am worried that if I put pen to paper, the ache in my wrists will prevent me from spilling it all in one go.
[ Carpal Tunnel sucks. ]
Two things have triggered my need to write.
The first, that I am made painfully aware of my lack of people to talk to.
The second, that my plans for visiting a childhood friend at his wedding slowly crumbled.
I threw my plans for attending my friend’s wedding out the window after I brought them up to my mother. I’m sure she has my best interests at heart, but when all she can say in reply is “why spend money on a silly trip like that when you could spend time with us, your only family?” it puts a slight damper on things. I have grown so weary of battling her with words. She cannot seem to comprehend the art of listening. I have opted for the easier route - staying home rather than fighting for that trip. Money is tight, yes, but cutting back on extra dabbling is no problem. I wonder if that is cowardly of me? The few people that I have spoken to say I have lost my spine, that I am letting her walk all over me.
Every week is filled with six days of work, with the remaining day to sort out any issues that arise at home during the week. I have attended college and young adult groups in an effort to branch out and find a community, but it is exhausting. It is difficult to find someone within a group to connect with. Even I think it sounds awful… but I honestly find it mindnumbingly irritable when the main topic of conversation throughout the night is about “stress-eating your weight” over a final. They’re awesome people, and are great for a mindless social gathering. Yet I don’t want that. I would much rather find a handful of friends to connect with and know deeply, than mingle about tens of people over idle chatter. Everything about this family situation drains the energy and desire for a life outside of this home straight out of me.
2013 has been an interesting year. I would like to be able to say, “I never would have thought things would turn out like this!” but there is a part of me that is not at all surprised… The year began similar to how the previous ended - working at the Consulate. January was mostly calm, aside from the typical titter tatter of family drama. As the month rolled to a close, however, I was hit upside the head with an unexpected.
My dad’s “job” wasn’t going well, and he had already eaten up every available penny to spend, with loans to pay off on the side. It was all a calm ordeal, him turning to me, asking for financial assistance for a few months while he got his business on track. Yeah, ok, I can understand that. I didn’t like it, but chalked it up with an “oh, well” and the naivety that he would follow through with his word. I feel like a fool, really. When has he ever?
Fast forward to August. The financial strain is getting heavy. As I was only a part-timer at the Consulate, the hours on the wage were not enough to sustain a family of 5. I loved working in that environment though… All the おばちゃん treated me like their own daughter, the workload was actually enjoyable, and the commute was just long enough to have a decent amount of time alone on the trains. Having to leave, because I needed to find a “real” job, a job with a salary, was frustrating. I gave the situation another “oh, well”.
Now it is December, I work at an IT company as a business analyst. My dad still does not have his life together. I am so angry, so disappointed, so guilty of believing in empty promises. It has gotten so bad that I feel like throwing up whenever he is near. I cannot look him in the eye. There are no more words for him left inside of me. Too many years have passed since he decided to “take the high road and live for himself”. Time after time he has promised things for the better; not once has he brought them to fruition. Over and over again he has left me with my expectations laid bare; not once has he apologized for not pulling through. I feel cheated. I realized this wasn’t even about the money. He claims to be my father, demands the respect and authority, yet has not contributed anything permanent to my life in the past 8 years other than heartache.
I needed something to change. So I thought and prayed and thought some more, coming to two conclusions.
One, give him an ultimatum. Find a job that brings in a paycheck within the next (3) months or I move out and you better do “something” then.
Two, kick him out of the house. He doesn’t come home on weekends anyway, presumably at some girlfriend’s house. I pay for everything, why should I have to pay for his share as well?
Option one means leaving my mother and two brothers under his care, for the sake of me finding my “freedom”. However, maybe I am the only one in this family to feel so strongly against him. My mother seems aloof, not really addressing the elephant in the room. My 16 year old brother grasps the issue, but not well enough to understand my struggle. As for my 13 year old brother, he will act according to my mother. That is another worry I carry… He has become so attached to her and her mood swings, her manipulative words that he has chosen the route of becoming her best friend, the safe haven free of her directing anything cruel towards him.
Option two seems only slightly more promising. It will leave me in the position of providing for my family for an indefinite amount of time, but I would prefer that to dealing with him. However, this option causes me to relive a memory from 7 years ago, when he said he was leaving, for the second time. After his grand spiel, I left the room and took my feelings out on my dolls, voicing my sadness in the form of angry retaliation towards him. He called me out into the hallway. No sooner had I walked out of my room, when I felt pain across my face. He had slapped me so hard my glasses broke in two. He yelled at me for disrespecting him under his roof. The little girl in me is afraid that when I voice my desire for him to leave, he will react similar to that night, all those years ago.
I hate that I am in this mindset of trying to think realistically, yet calculating moves and the costs of actions. Is it necessary? I don’t know. I don’t know.
I am trying to be brave, to hold fast for the better that will surely come. My relationship with God is in shambles, and trusting that He has something greater is unnerving.
I wish for all the typical things a girl my age wishes for.
Baking for a community I love.
Getting to know someone special.
Falling in love.
and if I am lucky enough, raising a family of my own.
I do not know where to look, what step to take, who to trust, what to do.
"You are never here
and I am not ever there,
will that ever change?"
"Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…it is the price of love."
— みかんハート - c&k
— みかんハート- C&K