“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?” – Donald Miller
“Where there is real love, there’s real pain. I’d be more worried if you didn’t have any grievances.”
“He appreciated you. But he couldn’t feed your soul for the rest of your life. Can’t you just appreciate that he was great for you for that period of time?”
“Just say it: I’m angry and no one will like me. God: No, I will not say that. But don’t you think we ached for you to find a love you could share your whole life with? I used your teachers to encourage you creatively when the church could not… I worked with whatever I got my hands on. Can you see that?”
“I remembered something Father Michael said to me a the monastery. ‘The human soul is meant to expand. Things that once captured your heart may no longer be able to contain it.”
“It often felt like God had merely let me into a foyer where I could hear others playing my note in another room, with no way to get to the music. And that’s really what I wanted to do. I wanted to play my note. I wanted to do the thing that made me feel alive.”
“There’s a very simple reason why quality relationships are scarce: we live in a fallen world, and it sucks.”
“I thought I was over him! So why did my heart still rip? Why did I still feel this sorrow? I got this strange sensation that God was with me. And he was angry. He was very angry–not at me and not at Jack. God was angry at the pain I was going through. I wondered if that was why God hated sin, because of the destruction it caused. For a moment I felt awe for a God who loved me enough to hate the things that hurt me without hating me for causing them.”
Now I’m looking for some more inspiring reads, what’s your favorite?
“The fact that you’re struggling doesn’t make you a burden. It doesn’t make you unloveable or undesirable or undeserving of care. It doesn’t make you too much or too sensitive or too needy. It makes you human. Everyone struggles. Everyone has a difficult time coping, and at times, we all fall apart. During these times, we aren’t always easy to be around — and that’s okay. No one is easy to be around one hundred percent of the time. Yes, you may sometimes be unpleasant or difficult. And yes, you may sometimes do or say things that make the people around you feel helpless or sad. But those things aren’t all of who you are and they certainly don’t discount your worth as a human being. The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved. You can be difficult and still be cared for. You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness.” – Daniell Koepke
Oh, Munich. You’ve been swell, really. I wish I could gather my life up back home and bring all of it (and them) here to this magical city … but for now, we will soon part. But I’ve scattered so many pieces of my heart around this city, you’ll always have some of my love.
And sweet Kansas, see you in May.
It’s sometimes funny the things I stumble across at just the right moment, that I find myself nodding along to while reading and saying, “YES. THIS. SO MUCH THIS.”
This is one of those moments::
“I believe one of the reasons people don’t leave the comforts of home is this insidious belief that you must change everything in order to make it valuable.
Simply not true. You can set out to live in a country you’ve always dreamed of. You can learn things and test yourself and have a hell of a good time. You can drink cava in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, hop on a train and get off on an unplanned stop, dance drunk, dance sober, kiss strangers. And you can hold onto what makes you love your city at home. You can prefer waking to an alarm and riding your bike to work, eating vegan food, and having co-workers. Being surrounded by friends and having a backyard. And you can go back.
You can go back!”
But to know the pain of losing someone to distance is to remember it forever. There is something about it which feels so deeply unfair, so callous, so uncaring in the face of all that you have together. You want to look at the sky and know that the other person sees what you see, call out to them that you still remember what it was like when you were able to hold hands. You want so badly to cover a thousand miles in a single step and you cry at the permanent indifference of the map. When love fails to bridge these enormous gaps, it serves to remind us of how precious the moments we have with the ones we love are today.
–When Long-Distance Love Fails By Chelsea Fagan
Right now my mama is flying across the big Atlantic to see me. All.by.herself! That’s a big deal for her! I’m so proud — and so thankful she’s making the journey to visit. Now I know what she and my dad mean when they get “nervous” about me traveling. My heart is in my throat, my nerves are chattering as I think and pray that everything’s going well on the trip. I hope people are nice to her. I hope she doesn’t get lost. I hope she is having a good time.
At long last I get what my parents are feeling.
And I have to admit, they are troopers. With the amount of times I’ve called home sobbing about something, I’m surprised they haven’t finally said “ENOUGH.”
Instead they do what I feel they’ve allowed me to do since I was a wee babe.
They encourage me, trust me, simply let me be me.
In my life I’ve flown abroad eight times (with who knows how many connections and layovers). Seven of those times have been alone. I’ve taken more overnight trains, buses, subways, and boat rides than I can count. Not all by myself. But most with friends I’ve made along the way. I’ve only ever felt legitimately scared on two occasions. Thank goodness.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m an “explorer” of the world, rather, I can’t seem to keep my feet in one place for an extended period of time. I attribute it to the fact I haven’t yet found “my place,” found my “aha, this is what and where I am meant to be for my life.” (That’s a bit exaggerated, but hopefully it makes even a tiny bit of sense… I keep getting side-tracked thinking about my mom…)
I would say it’s because even though I’m terrified of being vulnerable, I am always drawn to be exactly that; Heart on my sleeve, take it or leave it, here I am, vulnerable.
Especially when it comes to love.
First I must confess that I am a letter writer. I love finding the perfect card and filling up all of its flaps with words. Letters to professors who’ve inspired, friends who’ve listened, doctor’s who have helped, an ex after our breakup–I have this need to express how they have affected my life, and show my gratitude and perspective.
A few weeks ago, on one of the hardest of nights post-breakup, I began thinking about what I would tell him if I were completely honest. I told my friend JP about it and he asked what I would say. As I typed it all out, I began realizing things I hadn’t consciously considered. It was eye-opening, therapeutic in a way.
JP said I had to tell him what I said.
I said maybe.
In the hub-bub of life and distance I wasn’t in much of a position to tell him this all in person. And over the telephone is just not my style. So, in very 21st Century fashion, I private messaged him on Facebook and, after carefully crafting what tone and words to use, I hit send.
Then I threw up.
It was like handing him my heart and letting him have it on loan until he made a decision.
This is what I knew: I shouldn’t expect a response. If it went viral on Buzzfeed with OMG and LOL badges, my friend Gabby said she’d still be my friend. But most importantly, I knew I had done all I could. It was out of my hands.
I received a kind reply. As kind as a rejection reply can be.
But I didn’t throw up.
I was at peace. I was relieved.
I did all that I could do.
I said everything I wanted, needed him to know.
And most surprisingly, I’m here to tell the tale.
I survived and I have absolutely no regrets.
That’s how I hope to live my life, after all — don’t we all?
With no regrets.
So no matter where I am in the world, what adventure I’m seeking, or the people I’m meeting, my parents have let me live it all though knowing I am a sensitive soul with a heart I wear right out there for the world to see—or write about on this blog…
…Then they comfort me when my heart gets soggy and they celebrate with me when it soars. But they let me live my life how I want to.
If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.