I realize that being a nurse and being an artist are two different monsters. They both have a completely different make.

As a nurse, I run around all day, most of my conversations with patients or co-workers are related to care or medicine, with jokes and gossip typically taking place in the medication room or conference room.

As an artist, I wake up, drink my coffee, and sit around my apartment with my guitar, waiting for some kind of inspiration to hit me. I think about all the feelings I’ve ever had, none of them which are very wracked or strong at 9 in the morning. I write little poems sometimes on the back of receipts if lightning strikes from time to time. I check emails, send emails, and try to faithfully update my twitter and facebook. I try to book gigs.

I realize that the two have vastly differing paces. Either way, I need some human interaction after doing a lot of soul searching.

Getting ready for tonight’s show! Woo!

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It’s hard to grab anything concrete.

My life is split into such evenly divided sections that I have a hard time remembering which part is the real me. I mean, I’m real in whatever situation I’m in, but if I had to define my life, the concreteness is elusive.

The other day, my band played a show in a pretty popular spot. Normally I would’ve been extremely excited, and I was, but for some reason it didn’t quite hit me like our first show at a major venue. As I played the songs with the band, I found myself a little surprised that playing music can very surely turn into work, like any other profession. I felt a little exasperated as my band-mate goaded me on to speak to the crowd, and I had to muster up energy and vigor I didn’t feel like mustering to get the somewhat inebriated crowd excited. I mean, it’s all fun, but it is kind of like work.

Several times, I found myself zoning out when I was on my third hour at Potbelly’s, a sandwich shop I play in for far too little pay. Occasionally, my mind would resurface as I had human interaction in the form of people coming up to me to thank me for making their little lunch break pleasant. I would smile, replying, “That’s why I do it.”

Today, I worked at the hospital. It felt kind of nice, to have a little routine, and to do something so completely selflessly as to serve the needs and oversee the care of 5 different, sick, vulnerable human beings.

“We’re like.. angels, guys,” I wondered out loud to my co-workers. They kind of ignored me as they continued on their work.

I didn’t care. I just kind of sat in fascination.

Now, most days aren’t like the kind of day I had today. But regardless, I decided I would only care about my patients and not get annoyed by them or just feel lazy and think about my own needs. I would serve them like as if they were my loved ones. I would care for them in a way that no one else had before.

This one guy, an extremely non-compliant, diagnosed bi-polar schizophrenic who was hospitalized for cellulitis, had an Incision & Debridement procedure. The surgeon told him not to bear weight on the foot, but he didn’t listen, and yesterday, he took off the dressing and essentially lost a pint of blood. Freaked, the nurses made him stay in bed, called the podiatrist (foot doc), and even this morning, one of my co-workers who witnessed what happened the other day was yelling at him to stay put.

He was a handful. Cursing, walking around, looked a little unkempt, defiance in his eyes. I decided that raising my voice would probably aggravate him, so I resorted to just listening or responding calmly. I picked my battles carefully, and got him all the juice, crackers, and fruit that he wanted, even though he was a diabetic with MRSA in his wound. Through the soft-spokenness, I was able to convince him to let the IV nurse put an IV in him to get his antibiotics and to leave the port in. I convinced him to stay in his room and not go outside.

Several times he still tried to get up and sneak out but I’d catch him and keep iterating what would happen. In my heart I was a little annoyed, but only because I wanted him to realize how much I was doing this because I cared. This homeless man hospitalized before me probably lived a very difficult life without anyone caring for him. I think the feeling was unfamiliar to him.

I finally thought to get him a wheelchair to get around in if he needed to.

And at the end of the day, he had a different light in his eyes when we talked. He thanked me (after a whole day of cursing at me and telling me I’m a Chinese racist) and I entrusted his care onto the nightshift.

My heart feels glad. I think joyful moments in life are best enjoyed in small portions. The joy of playing a song from my heart, and moving others with it. The joy of honestly working hard to help someone to recover from their sickness in the hospital and having them realize it and appreciate you.

Those little joys are short and pass fairly quickly. I guess I like to write about them to savor it like a little nightcap before bedtime.

Oh my God. My first year of nursing has almost come to a close!

This year has been a year of skills. Developing skills. Foley-inserting, blood-transfusing, IV-starting skills! I am happy to report that I have survived a year of nursing, have even enjoyed most of the ride, and feel a sense of pride as my charge nurse, fellow workers, and even many doctors trust me with their patients. I’m no longer “the new kid, please protect her” kind of nurse, but am actually a competent, skilled human being! Huzzah! If you are severely, debilitatingly drunk one evening, come to me and I will be more than eager to start an IV and give you some normal saline so you don’t have a hangover.

Nursing has been great. But a little too overbearing in my life. I started out working 3 shifts a week, and it has progressively become 4-5 shifts per week, leaving me dead, lifeless, lacking sleep and energy. I actually had a nightmare recently that this GI doctor became upset with me because I didn’t do a proper bowel preparation for a colonoscopy. I woke up in cold sweats. Needless to say, I’ve been tucked away in the hospital a lot these days.

But no longer. Starting August, I’ll be focusing primarily on making and playing music. Nursing will be in the background as music takes some precedence in my life.

My music skills have greatly increased as well. I went from being the very shy, scared, nervous, fidgety open-mic regular to a some-what full-fledged rocker chic. I joined a pop rock band about 3-4 months ago, and we’ve been having a lot of performances lately. The frontman is actually an EXTREMELY talent musician and hilarious to boot. I feel like joining forces with him in this band has been like my own musical internship, where I’m learning the lingo, how to talk to people who drink lots of beer, and getting over yourself when you play in front of other people. It’s been an invaluable, priceless experience thus far. I would not be who I am today without him or this band.

So starting in August, I will be poor. People keep telling me (mostly older people, like my nursing peers) that I can work full time and do music as a hobby. But I know, deep in my heart, that if I don’t do something properly and with all of my heart, I’ll live the biggest regret of my life. 

I get antsy. Sometimes I sit and think about what I need to do to get my music out there, to write good, catchy songs that people would be willing to buy. Ideas of websites, how to get one, pressing t-shirts, and booking gigs come flooding my mind constantly. It’s like owning your own business– it’s my baby, and I can’t shut my mind off of it like I punch out my hours in nursing. I’m not sure where I end and music begins. It’s all very personal and yet business-like for me. A complex little relationship, this is.

I don’t need a lot in life. I’m a materialistic person, but honestly, I need meaning more than anything. I feel very strongly, that if I’m meant for this, things will work out as it should. If I’m hungry, somehow God will help me to find food. If I’m lonely, I think God will provide me with friendship. If I don’t have a steady source of income, I think God will provide.

I think it takes more faith, doing what you want. Because you don’t have anyone to fall back on and blame for your unhappiness or failures. Choosing to do something for yourself is very dangerous, but very exciting at the same time. I feel relaxed about it overall. Maybe I’m in over my head.

I explained to my friend Yesl today that I like to push the limits on myself lots of times. It makes me feel alive. Even pain– it gives me that small reminder that my flesh is living, that I’m experiencing something that is real.

Anyway, so please be nice to me. And I will keep you updated on whatever is going on! Thanks, faithful readers.

Lessons from 2008:

-I’m altogether more capable of jealousy, hateful thoughts, and bitterness than I imagined
-Though I outwardly complain, I secretly enjoy being in hyper stressed out mode
-Catching up with people makes me so much happier than secluding myself to do other individualistic activities
-Men are untrustworthy pigs. Just kidding! Getting your heart broked from one can make you sad and bitter or stronger and faster.
-My self esteem and positive moods are directly correlated to how much exercise I get.
-The word ‘No’ is a powerful thing. I must learn to wield it. No to eating late, no to being lazy, no to skipping showers.
-Failure is all perspective.
-The more world I get exposed to, the more I lose the definitiveness of my sense of self.
-I’m so much more focused on life and aspirations when I’m not dating some untrustworthy pig of a man. Just kidding again! ^_^
-Men are really, really wonderful– especially kind, generous, inspiring, caring, and encouraging ones. I’m keeping a mental checklist of what a wonderful man is supposed to be like, so I can snatch him as he rides in from the horizon. Bwahaha.

Goals for 2009:

-Get fit.
-Love first, understand first, instead of trying to force others to understand me and love me as I want. This especially applies to family.
-Play goot music. Everywhere. Anywhere I can.
-Find real friends. Friends who pick up when I call, friends who listen when I’m bursting, friends who I’m not ashamed to cry in front of or be really shallow with.
-Become technologically literate.
-Save $10,000 and buy a house.
-Be a nurse that others can depend on, rely on, trust.
-Read books. Good, healthy, spiritual books. Read the bible.
-Mooovvvee somewhere. NYC, London, Cali. Anywhere that’ll take me! Please!
-Start learning Ko-Re-An.
-Meet the man of my dreams but not realize it until about 5 years later and then be swept up and have a big, extravagent wedding with all the real friends I’ve made in 2009.

Wow, those are some goals, huh? I better a’git!

So while I was at work, I began contemplating a little bit.

In some ways, I feel that I’ve ultimately chosen the wrong hospital to work at, since we don’t have ANY fresh, young blood residents making rotations. They all go to Fairfax, GW, or Georgetown. Confound it all! Why must I swim against the tide??

Anyway, so there is a particular doctor who frequently makes his rounds on our unit. He looks to be in his late 40s, is happily married, and is starting to have some silver in his otherwise full head of dark hair. He’s a handsome, Richard Gere-esque looking, though somewhat vertically challenged Indian MD. He also tends to be the favorite of all the RNs because he used to buy the unit food all the time (before the economy became so terrible), and he always makes the time to have REAL conversations or joke around or help new nurses such as myself.

I was busily making a copy of some discharge documentation when I saw this doctor writing in another patient’s chart.

“Dr. McSteamy*, why are you so calm all the time?” I asked in a somewhat jokingly perplexed and yet genuinely curious way.

“Oh, it’s because I meditate.” He said so plainly, like playing jeopardy. He turned his rolley chair round to face me seriously.

“Meditate?”

“Yes, it’s very relaxing and I feel like I’m searching within myself. I have a sense of peace.” McSteamy smiles.

End of Real Conversation 1.

So I had another talk with him recently. This time I was looking for my patients’ charts to put in my nursing documentation while he had a pile next to him in order to write out his plans of care. I spied a few next to him and asked him if I could borrow them while I pulled up a chair.

“Are you a Christian or a Buddhist?” McSteamy has this way of asking personal questions like choosing ketchup or mustard. It kind of disarmed me so I didn’t feel scared to offend him in my reply.

“I’m a Christian.”

“Oh, and how was your Christmas?” He asked, and I get the reason for the question.

“It was pretty nice, I was working but my family waited for me to open presents, so it was okay.”

“I’m not a Christian but I still celebrate Christmas. I just like the spirit behind it– the giving, people want to do good and help each other.”

“I see.” I kind of don’t know what to say.

“Were you born into a Christian family?”

“I was raised as a Christian. My family is all Christian.”

“Do you believe it for yourself, that the Christian faith is the truth?”

“At first I was just raised to believe, but I became very convicted when I was in high school.”

“See, I think that’s great. I’m not religious– I don’t embrace one faith and go to Mass or Temple or services. But I am spiritual. Do you understand what I mean? I’m always looking for some deeper truth, some transcendent experience. Most people go along with what they’ve been told. Not many taste the water that they can describe from being taught. I want to experience that enlightenment that Jesus or Buddha might have felt– because then nothing else will matter in life, right?”

End of Real Conversation 2

In my mind, I do really look up to this doctor. I admire his spiritedness to seek the truth, and how he has eyes that see beyond what is currently present. That even though he’s married and 40 and spends all his days in the hospital from waking to 10pm, late hours when we’re able to have these real conversations, he still has this fervent hope and aspiration to reach a sense of transcendence. I think I’m looking for the same thing, but I don’t even know where to begin. Maybe it has to do with my heart first– my heart is wanting to prove myself as a nurse, as a musician, as a woman. I want to impress others, I want to be excellent, admired, I want to be SOMEBODY. My desires aren’t of the things that are far beyond our eyes, minds, comprehensions– I’m living in the present and my desires are in the present.

I want that gaze to be upwards, outwards.

And in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, Why are people like McSteamy already married? Why can’t I find somebody who is profound and young and single and committed and a really hot and successful doctor?

And a thought crept up that maybe it’s the women that they marry who help them to become the men they are. Maybe that special woman was able to see beyond a young man’s insecurities, fears, unpredictabilities of the future and choose to invest and love and care and nurture until he became the deeply sensitive, kind, and generous man that others can have real conversations with.

Is that what happened? If that’s the case, can I be that kind of woman? Can I see a seed rooted in foundational soil and pour my love to create something beautiful in my life, in his, in our childrens, in people we encounter?

*Original name replaced to protect the individual’s privacy.

I came back from attending a college retreat yesterday, and I feel like my confusion, while unresolved, doesn’t seem to bother me/matter anymore. All this confusion of who I want to be, what I would like to accomplish, and my life goals has become clearer. Actually, more like I’m not so restless about it anymore, I don’t worry so much. Yesterday, for the first time, my mind was at such peace that I could finish cleaning my room in a few hours. I haven’t organized my room in a few months, and I blame this on the reasoning that when my mind and life are cluttered with confusion, I feel unmotivated to pick up my clothes off the floor or put things in their proper place. When I have mental clarity, cleaning is a no-brainer.

Let me expound further. It was a small miracle that I was even able to attend this retreat, lovingly named “Servants.” I found out the night before the retreat that I could get my work day off. When I raced home to try to register, I found out that registration to this retreat was closed. I made a few emails and went to sleep, hoping to God that I would be able to make it. For some reason, it felt like my sanity was banking on being able to attend this retreat, pray, and have an authentic experience from this God that I have been missing in my life.

Things set into motion, and I was merrily on my way, driving alone to the retreat center to help out with the praise team. To sum in a nutshell, I really felt God speaking to me during the worship times, and what I mean by speaking is that thoughts outside of my normal brain spectrum entered my head to explain WHY I’ve been feeling like God has been so silent to me, WHY I am in such a state of confusion in the first place and WHAT I should be doing to correct my current situation. A friend I really respect told me today that music has a way of slipping past your defenses– and I felt God slipped past my critical attitude towards Him to touch my heart once again.

I cried during the retreat– and I haven’t cried over something God revealed to me in a long time.

Anyway, so now that I’m back home, I’m in awe at how wonderful it feels to be at peace. My room is really clean and I can tolerate being in it, my mind feels like it took a Loratadine pill (Claritin), and I have this sudden passion to read the Bible and to know Truth and to fight lies and to help my small, struggling church and love everybody and pray for younger women with issues or insecurities. I feel healthy, I feel whole.

Why is it that I became so unhealthy in the first place? I think the answer is because I traded my center, my Truth, for something else. I felt like society or other people are leading more exciting lives, that there might be more worth in something other than the church or God, like following your dreams or your passions or becoming successful in the world. And then I began to intellectualize things– like, maybe God doesn’t really exist, or maybe we can bend some ideas, or maybe I should just live the way I want to and I don’t really need some God to be controlling my every action. Maybe I actually know best for myself.

I think that became the truth that I exchanged for my original Truth. And now that I can see clearly, I wonder why it is that I chose to trade it in the first place. Why others trade it. I think it’s something like the forbidden fruit– the wrong object doesn’t look so wrong. It’s appetizing, it’s appealing, it’s bountiful, and for some reason God permits it to exist. What tips us over the edge is a small, logical voice in our minds that rationalizes that it’s quite okay, and that we can decide for ourselves whether this fruit is really dangerous or not.

Sometimes I feel like people have a desire to be unhealthy. People want to do what’s bad for them. Smoking kills, but so many people do it. I have to admit, when I found out that Barack Obama used to smoke, his coolness factor instantaneously went up +10 points. Why do we desire what’s bad for us? I think that kind of logic is more detrimentally strange than something like believing God could love us and send His Son to save us.

Anyway, so now I feel like I’m healthy again. Or at least recovering, and my desire to be healthy is restored. I desire to know God’s Word, to live out God’s calling to glorify Him with my life. Why would I trade such a treasure for otherwise things that are so temporary and unsatisfying and just wrong? Are you with me?

The speaker at the retreat mentioned that when you are passionate about God, you can trust your other passions. He also said that your passion or dream in life should relieve some suffering in the world. The question now is, if I want to continue pursuing music and nursing, how can I do it in such a way that it relieves a bit of suffering in the world, that it can be glorifying to God? I don’t have the answer, but I have peace.

Lately I’ve been feeling a disconnect.

stars

I don’t know why, but whenever I think about the stars or whatever else there is out there in the universe, I feel a strange sense of peace. My thoughts are constantly running on me all the time, every day, and to just get out of my skin for a little while and to think about how vast the universe actually is and how small I actually am in comparison, comforts me a little. It helps me understand how my life is the merest, minute portion in the realm of existence, and I can breathe.

I’m not sure what it is I want in this life right now. I want to say love, people to deeply and geuinely connect with, but I already have those things and I’m always looking up for a little more. I feel a little like I’m bobbing around in space, enjoying the beauty so far, but wanting to reach a planet, meet with somebody who is on a similar search as myself.

You know what I think it is? A sense of importance. I have everything I could ever possibly have wanted, and yet I want more– I think I want to prove somehow that I’m an important human being, that I can make a difference as one person, like President Obama already has, or other great and life-altering people who’ve walked the earth.

And yet, when I die, I want to die in peace and satisfaction. I want to die without any regrets, having loved fully and given myself over for others. I want to know that I feel like it’s okay to go someday, that my longing for some kind of transcendence will find a resolve when I am united with God. How wonderful to be so young and so eager to use my hands and feet to do something, but how equally exquisite to thank God at the end of life and submit to my life’s stage exit with great hope.

I’ve got stardust in my eyes. I’m looking upward, and I see who I really am, and yet I will make the most out of the life I’ve been given. God, guide me in your direction, even as I feel I am free floating.

Mr. Sanger Ave. (name has been changed) is an 81 year old who came in for symptomatic anemia and was diagnosed with leukemia while in the hospital. I had him weeks ago and had to push Dextrose-50 (basically pure sugar) into his veins about 4 times because his blood glucose kept dropping and also had to transfuse a unit of blood. For the past three days, he’s been alert and chipper when I greet him in the mornings and he’s the most sarcastic person I’ve ever known. The man is actually very sharp and cracks cranky old-man jokes all the time, but when I’d come to see what he needed in the evenings, he’d be sitting there, the telephone next to him and some phone numbers, eyes watery and saying, “I don’t know why my son won’t call me back. I honestly can’t stand to be this way, I’d rather be dead.” And my heart would just move and melt, so even though I’ve got other patients to help, I’d go next to him at his bedside and hold his hand and tell him it’ll be okay.

Anyway, so here’s a conversation that would ensue:

Kiss My Wrist: “Mr. Sanger Ave! You’re all wet! You should have called me for the urinal!”
*Proceeds to get a Clinical Tech and diapers/wipes to clean him up*
Mr. Sanger Ave: “What’s the point? Nobody comes when I call for it anyway.”
*At this point, I’m washing him*
Kiss My Wrist: “Oh– you’re mad at me. You’re mad because I didn’t come fast enough. You’ve got a grudge against me!”
Mr. Sanger Ave: “It doesn’t even matter. Oh, I need the urinal now.”
*Kiss My Wrist gets the urinal and helps him to position himself*
Kiss My Wrist: “Mr. Sanger Ave., you don’t trust me! You don’t trust me anymore!”
Mr. Sanger Ave: “I don’t trust you? My balls are in your hands, of course I trust you!”
*Kiss My Wrist and Clinical Tech can’t stop laughing for 5 minutes*

In the “Staff Centering Room”:
Charge Nurse: “Aimee was throwing her toy cellphone, so I talk to her sharp! Sometimes it’s good to be gentle with kids, but not all the time. Sometimes you have to be firm. I made her explain to me what she did wrong.”
Black Clinical Tech 1: “I’d have spanked her. That child would feel that her action was wrong!”
Charge Nurse: “But we were in the car, I couldn’t spank her.”
Black Clinical Tech 1: “Oh, I can spank from in the car. I don’t even need to stop!”
Black Clinical Tech 2: “Mm-mm, you don’t even need to stop!”
Black Clinical Tech 1: “You just–”
*Makes motions of her hand thrusting back and slapping somebody.
Black Clinical Tech 2: “I would just throw the phone out the window and say, ‘Well, I guess we don’t have to worry about that anymore!'”

And another elderly woman patient of mine had a husband who would come by to visit her, feed her, and spend all day with her. He was such a proper gentleman and would always leave the room to give me space to help his wife with whatever we needed to do. One time I walked in and found them just sitting there, holding hands, without words and just looking at each other. It was the most adorable and inspiring and encouraging thing that I’ve seen in a while, and I feel that love can live.

In such a controlled environment as the hospital, there are a lot of surprising events and people.

Life is so full these days. Not complete, but I finally feel like I’m not just living in my own faraway dream world, but it’s coming present now. As much as I love education and learning, I’m also really thankful to God that I’m developing real-life experiences and skills and meeting so many great and wonderful and caring and inspiring people.

Nursing

Nursing is tough. At the end of the day, I can in complete satisfaction wipe off the vomit/pee from my shoes with antiseptic wipes and wash my dry, hang-nail invaded hands for a final time as I swipe my card to punch out. I chirp goodbye to the night shift as things settle down and I anticipate getting into my beautiful, leather-seated Lancer Evolution 9 series car that I’m taking care of for my brother, listening to Thom Yorke or John Mayer or whoever I enjoy blasting through the stereo. The stars greet me and the silence and calm is so different from the stress and anxiety and constant running around I encounter as a Registered Nurse.

Sometimes I have the best conversations with my patients. I typically have 4-6 patients a day, sometimes getting new admissions or discharges and transfers. In a previous wordpress post, I stated that I’d love to have a fantastic conversation with a Romanian Jew, and although I’m not sure he was a Jew, I sure had a great argument about politics with my Romanian patient. Another patient, a 70-something year old man, sat me down and talked to me for about 15 minutes, telling me goodbye and that I’ve been great and that when he was fighting in war, he never got to say goodbye to one of his dear friends and now he makes sure he says it even though my shift hadn’t ended yet. He made me smile and laugh. Another patient drew me into the room, and praised me for about 20 minutes on the astuteness of my nursing skills and that I went beyond what normal nurses did to take care of her.

It’s moments like those when I feel thankful to be a nurse. I need to hear that kind of stuff, or have those conversations– it fills me, gives me a reason to keep going and trying, that this is all for them. A lot of times I get yelled at by doctors who are busy and important and consider me very stupid for asking questions or not exactly sure of the answer to their questions, which hardens my resolve to study some more and become a better nurse.

Another thing, I’ve met a mother/older-sister-figure at my unit. Since day 1, she’s been looking out for me, always trying to give me advice about nursing, about husbands and raising children and about how lucky I am to still have my parents in this world. I’m really, sincerely touched by her heart. Out of her care, she gave me my very first PainEDU.org Manual book about managing patients’ pain.

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My heart melts with thankfulness!

MUSIC

Busy trying to get everything all finished up! Busy practicing with my studio band, writing more songs, going to Secret Songwriting Club meetings, jamming with different friends, hearing new songs, buying other albums and cd’s, communicating with artists, web designers, and studio engineer/producers, planning, planning, planning, and dreaming a lot. It’s been a whole lot of fun. Busy, overwhelming, but it’s been so great/interesting composing my sound! Hope to get some good gigs after all this is finished. It’s kind of a whirlwind that leaves me extremely exhausted and longing for my bed every night. I love my bed.

And even though it’s been kind of tough seeing friends, I think I’m realizing the full extent of my introverted personality– I see that I don’t get as bored being by myself as I thought I did because I’m constantly honing my sound. I don’t mind working in my room, composing, sending emails, thinking, praying, and doing all that stuff on my own. I read an article about Thom Yorke, and he says that sometimes ideas just come to him when he makes a little space and clears his head for that kind of stuff. I have tried to make it so I can regularly have that kind of creative time to myself as well.

Here’s a few new songs I wrote that I can’t get out of my own head. I really like these songs, and they’ve preoccupied a lot of my heart and mind as I created them. I hope you can relate to them and enjoy them as well.

Across The Universe
Outline Of A Cloud

Across The Universe

Will I touch
A Lover’s star
Will I sail across
The universe

Will I breathe
Your name someday
Will you feel my heart
Through skin barrier

I never knew love
When I thought that I knew love
When I felt that I was in love with you

Can you hear
My cry for you
Or is it just some echo
Just some foolish call

‘Cause I can’t see
The day of bliss
No more wedding kiss
Am I hopeless

Wake me up
I am having a nightmare
Mourning the death
Of the one I used to know

Outline Of A Cloud

Outline of a cloud
Show me a ring
With that silver lining

No more payroll
Only support
Take me
Where the people need
A voice

I don’t want easy
I just want the truth
I want more
Separate shepherd from the wolves
And I’ll find
Fulfillment
In you

Pinching pennies
Penthouse, pension
A six figurette

When I am gone
Under a scope
I will
Know that everything’s
My choice

GOD

Been going to two different bible studies– my EM’s bible study, and this thing called Crossroads, specifically aimed to help new graduates adjust to real life. My faith in God is intact, but I think it’s facing some severe difficulties. I attend these bible studies and ask questions in order to discover more truth and more of God. It’s been a little difficult on me to do this on my own, and I’m very grateful for the well-equipped and genuinely concerned nature of my new friends/church-goers. I think their care keeps me seeking, and their prayers really uplift my soul a little.

That’s what I’ve been up to these days. But don’t get me wrong about my whole introverted nature thing– I really do miss you, my friends. If you’re thinking “No, probably not me” it probably is you. Take care of yourselves, and let’s keep living full.

The word just doesn’t do anything to me. I don’t have any sudden delusions where the world becomes rosy-colored and I’m light and racing at the same time. Neither does it stir any kind of emotional reaction from me, recently. I can’t pinpoint any real person or thing to connect this word to, although I know that I obviously love my family and friends very much.

I’m reading this book that I feel is very applicable to where I’m at in life: The Reason For God: Belief in the Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller. One passage made me suddenly choke up a little bit alone in my room, a part describing this guy named Jeffrey who had both parents with cancer, his mother succumbing to it. He took up the practice of Chinese healing arts because of the ailments he faced in his youth, when a friend began to talk to him about Jesus. He would go to church and like the sermons okay until the speaker would share about Jesus, in which he’d tune out. Then one day, during his times of meditation, he couldn’t stop picturing Jesus on the cross. He began to pray to the Christian God, and then realized that “his dominant life narrative had been the escape and total avoidance of suffering… When he understood that Jesus had surrendered his physical health and life to save the world– and him– it moved him deeply. He saw a way to get the courage to face the inevitable suffering of the future, and to know there would be a path through it. He embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

There was another part describing the story of a very insecure girl who developed eating disorders because of her low self-esteem, and someone was able to help her draw the connection that God loves her, that she is precious to him and he loves her endlessly.

It’s moments like these where I suddenly find it hard to breathe and I think in my brain I WANT that. The thing is, I HAVE it. Everyone HAS that kind of love. But why can’t I seem to understand it? Why can’t I live it like it’s true? Why can’t everyone?

Another book, called The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis lays out a trip that people in Hell make to Heaven. The people from hell are half solid, whereas everything in Heaven is solid that it even hurts the travelers to walk on the grass. The people from hell have various conversations with those from Heaven, and they end up rejecting Heaven because they hold their own different baggage or bitterness when there is absolutely none at all in Heaven, only pure joy and happiness.

I admit, I’m more interested in reading the books that others write rather than the Bible itself. I think it’s mostly because I feel like I need another perspective– my own betrays me. I have this voice in my head every time I read a passage, every time I listen to a sermon, a sneaky voice that criticizes and cuts down on everyone and every thing. It’s like ingrained in my skull, takes over my own voice. I need a perspective from someone else, from God perhaps. Just not the one I have now. The one I have now is just so negative and bitter.

On another note, I rediscovered love. I was visiting Guitar Center yesterday, and I was kind of bored because I wasn’t working that day and found this beautiful Seagull guitar, small, with no electrical system. I sat down and I couldn’t stop playing it for about an hour. All self-consciousness of being in a public store and all insecurity of if I’m any good at music disappeared as I fell in love with the sound of that guitar, at the expression of music. I fell in love again, because music has come to this point in which it feels more like a burden, where I have to start performing places and getting better and becoming popular. I’ve replaced my original love for music with something not as rich, not as pure, angst and worry. Funny how a cheap, small $299 guitar can do that to me.

When I sit in my room to write songs, the best ones that come out are about foolish hopes. About foolishly hoping maybe one day I might be married to the one I’m meant for, hopes of doing great things in the world. That voice in my head has taken over in every aspect of my life, not just my Christian faith. It’s like it talks down on me and gives me no reason to hope or trust or to expect. I need to rid myself of this voice.

Anyone else feel me? Why does faith become more difficult when I’m learning so much more in the world around me? When will love strike a chord?