Wednesday, December 30, 2009

paint me perfect

because we humans love our analogies, and because it's difficult to understand our relationship with God, the bible is full of helpful analogous descriptions of how we are regarded and how we, in turn, should regard God. our God is our shepherd, our rock, our foundation, our shelter, our strong tower, our provider, our groom. i could go on and on. interestingly, the parent-child (usually father-child) relationship is probably the most popular. i say this is interesting because, looking at the state of many parent-child relationships around us, i don't know that we, as a species, really have that one down. all of the others can be more easily understood. a provider, for instance, is, by definition, one who provides. a father, on the other hand and as sad as it is, is not necessarily one who fathers.

i have recently come to fancy a different analogy. God is my artist. if we think about it, the artist chooses everything about his or her creation (not the same can be said for parents and children). the colors, the shapes, the mediums - it's all intentional and meant to work together to accomplish something - the expression of the artist, the glorification of the artist, the connection between the artist and the spectator. i like this. i like to think of myself as a piece of art, crafted for a purpose - an expression of my creator, something to bring glory to my creator, something that can help others connect with my creator, who they might come to know as their creator.

i like this, too, because it helps me celebrate myself. parents are often trying to shape their children - curb things that may prove problematic and encourage things that will be helpful. artists are different. if there is something in art that appears to some to be errant, it is not. the artist put it there and it will serve a purpose at some point. i fear that some christians of a more legalistic persuasion miss out on this. if dancing brings joy to my soul, i can be confident that i was created that way - it's a gift, not a blemish. it is not something shameful, it is something put in me for my own good, at least, if not for something greater (in my case, it's probably just for me).

let me push the analogy to include the human condition and human error. i acknowledge that everything in me is not good. i do have a capacity for evil. perhaps that capacity is an imperfection in my canvass that the great artist manages to work into the piece. it is said that God does not waste pain and i believe that. i can think about some of the most painful things that have happened in my short life and not wish them away. they are so much a part of me that i can't imagine myself without them - without the things they taught le. how's that for efficiency? no waste. God is so green.

in light of all of this, let me say that as pieces of art, we have certain responsibilities.
  • we cannot mute ourselves, or each other. imagine, if you painted two pictures and they came to life and decided that they were ashamed of and needed to hide the very pieces of themselves that you loved best - the parts that made them special (adam and eve?). i realize it's a weird hypothetical situation, but it would be rather heartbreaking.
  • we cannot mar ourselves or others. same situation - if one of the paintings set itself on fire while the other attacked it with a knife. even a little weirder and definitely more heartbreaking.
  • we must embrace ourselves and each other so much that we nearly explode. i don't really know what that would look like for our live-painting analogy, but you get where i'm going with this.

in short, you are beautiful people, and i'm not so bad either, so we should act like it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


i don't even know what to write. it's all embarrassing. i missed the unc english graduate program application deadline. it was today and my application was 90% complete the minute the red text appeared that said "application deadline past" in the exact place where the "submit" button once was. obviously, i should have seen it coming - the deadline now, technically, being yesterday.

i was recently advised against applying to the MTS program at duke because it's competitive and i have no plan.

the only other graduate school option i have considered is a program in london. how can i possibly afford to go to graduate school in london? i don't know either.

basically, i'm tired of my wonderful, better-than-average-but-still-entry-level job, but i don't know what else to do.

now, i completely understand that i may write next week about how i want to grow old and retire at this job, but for the time being, i'm frustrated with it. i know that i'm really very blessed to have a job that i enjoy in such a precarious economic climate (two, even!), but does that mean that i need to be satisfied as i head into a second year of working two jobs, neither of which do i believe are really developing me as a person, or allowing me to use my gifts and talents in a truly fulfilling way? i feel likd a brat just typing this. it certainly IS so much to ask for these things in a job, especially now.

so, i will be quiet, go to work(s) and finish my application for the program in london, just in case they feel like awarding me some sort of fantastic scholarship - one that will make it only a slight impossibility, as opposed to a laughability (made up).

i actually feel somewhat better now that i've officially missed the deadline. at least there's nothing i can do about it - feeling bad doesn't help anything. today at work, when i was working on my application and thinking about how i wasn't even really that interested in getting an MA in english, i started to get truly stressed out. the 1/4 life crisis feeling was growing in my throat, as it often does these days, while i watched the clock crawl from 4:50 to 5:00. it took so long. when it was over, i went home and piled my entire wardrobe on my bed. item by item, i put everything back, neatly, with the exception of he things that didn't make he cut. a small mound of clothing in the hallway outside my door slowly grew into a sizable pile. the process did not complete my application, but it was therapeutic. a clean closet helps to achieve a clean brain. when i was done, it was time to go to courtney's (my lovely sister-in-law) birthday party. next thing i knew, it was 11pm. i worked on my essay until 12:13, at which time, i discovered the application expiration. i guess i see now where my priorities are - clean closets and birthday parties, not graduate school.

i am disappointed not because it was the option that i loved, but because it was an option. sometimes potential options are all that get me through a bad day of checking indexes and 12% tips. as they dwindle, my patience dwindles, my tolerance dwindles, my grace dwindles. i don't like it. i feel myself becoming a person who is slightly less happy. i don't know how to help it.

like i said, who knows how i will feel 5 days or even 5 minutes from now, hopefully better and full of optimism. i pray now that i can be less consumed by my desire to have my desires met and maybe be more consumed by a desire to see the desires of others met. who knows, maybe it will become a two birds with one stone situation.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

behind and restless


when i started this blog in january, i had a dream of posting an average of 4 blogs every month. as you can see, i'm about 8 blogs behind and the year is nearly over. i'm going to try to play catch-up. we'll see if i make it. i'll try not to cheat and split single blogs into several posts. i'll try.


i think it has something to do with the fact that my 1-year anniversary at this job is today. thanks for remembering, by the way.

this was my goal - to have a grown-up job for one year. now i've done it. i'm officially respectable.

the problem with reaching my goal is that now i am no longer satisfied at this desk. admittedly, my satisfaction over the past year was a precarious thing, but now it is ever more fragile. broken, even. i was at this point once before - in the early spring, i believe. then, it was because i had nothing to do here. then, my antidote was to plan a move to central america. i know it would likely not happened, but the thought freed my mind. freedom of the mind, i believe, is far more important than freedom of any other kind.

this time, i'm not planning a move to central america. i'm applying to grad school. i take the GRE next wednesday. i'm applying to duke divinity for the masters of theological studies program; unc chapel hill for the masters of english program; and hopefully an english program or two back in england. in fact, if anyone knows anything about any english programs in england, that would be helpful. i have no idea where to begin picking one, or even three.

i'm taking the GRE and applying to these programs not necessarily because it's what i believe i need to do next, but because these acts give me a sort of vital forward momentum. if i fail and don't get into anything, or decide i just don't have enough money, then at least i tried. in that case, i would most likely embark on a job-search. after all, i am respectable now.

i would love to work in a PR/editorial position at a non-profit organization or interesting publication. those sorts of jobs aren't exactly flooding craigslist, but who knows.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


i live in my own house now. i love it. it's a lot of work. it's like i'm now in a relationship with a very demanding man, except that instead of love and kisses in return, i get a roof over my head and my own bathtub. we're very happy.

i've painted many rooms. some are silly. i've learned many things in the process: paint always dries darker; you will usually run out of paint.

i still work too much.

i've been trying to craigslist a washer, dryer, sectional, and dining room set for weeks. one success: today, i bought a sectional. it's leather. it's beige. it's so very comfortable. it may be too big for the room for which it is intended. i think i will love it. if i don't, back to craigslist it goes.

i still enjoy both of my jobs.

i miss the commune: the bamboo, my roommate, my parents, my neices, my gym, my carrboro.

i knew i would. it's to be expected. i have no regret.

i dyed my hair 'navajo bronze.' i'm still not sure if i'm too pale to pull it off. i might look scary.

i still love jesus.

i'm trying not to eat/drink dairy. venti soy cafe misto, please. i'm not very good at it, otherwise. i work at an italian restaurant, which could as easily be called a dairy restaurant. cheese is delicious.

i discovered lip stain; like lipstick, but better.

my sister is back from costa rica. i love it. i love her. we wait tables together. look out, dining world of chapel hill.

my roommate brother bought a 42'' LCD television for our living room. i'm not really a TV gal, but it's pretty awesome.

i might have bone spurs in my left foot. it hurts.

i realized that i've been to 10 weddings in the last 18 months. i was in three of them. always a bridesmaid :)

last weekend, i was in NY for a karaoke/dancing-filled family reunion. this weekend, i will be in TN for homecoming. if there is karaoke/dancing, i wont be mad.

i adjusted the thermostat on my hot-water heater. it made me feel like an independent woman. woop woop.

i need a new laptop. i need a new camera. i also need the things listed above (craigslist). i find comfort in the fact that it is human to always feel "need." humans can be dumb.

i have a little bamboo plant from the blankenschade wedding. it is thriving at my new house. i feel that my own well-being here is somehow tied to the fate of that plant. weird. at least it's doing well.

i bought awesome new boots, but can't really wear them because of my bad foot.

i played music on the street a few weeks ago. there are many stories. ask if you're intrigued.

olive garden commercials are dumb (circumstantial addition).

i want to have a party. when the couch is here and the dining room set is here, it will happen. the washer and dryer aren't really necessary.

come and visit, please.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

water please. no ice.

i haven't really done this yet, i don't think--use my blog to shamelessly promote something that i think deserves promotion. here we go:

1 in 6 people in our world don't have access to clean drinking water.

1 in 6. think of 6 people you love and imagine one of them having to drink out of the nearest puddle for their whole life, which, incidentally, would be quite short.

go to this site and see what you can do to help -- charity: water is doing absolutely amazing things to solve this problem. amazing. so amazing you will want to take part and they've made it embarrassingly easy. go to the site, watch the video. be inspired. that's one of life's beauties, right? finding things that inspire.

you're welcome and pass it on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

but seriously

a theology professor once explained learning about God this way - sometimes we can draw a box of definition around God using only what we know God is not. finding what God is can sometimes be more of a challenge.

i know that God is not a God who has intended for me to live my whole life by emotion, chance and my own interpretation of events that may or may not be natural. i say this because i have seen christians live this way. i have seen some people very close to me live in agony and fear because the only way they know by which to make good decisions is to wait for a consuming conviction-to wait and see what God reveals to them through fleeting sentiments, billboards, or the good old fashioned 'open and point' scripture-reading. don't misunderstand me. i have heard several stories of God speaking through these very things, but as a general rule, i don't think that my relationship with my Creator should hinge on feelings and divinations.

i believe, rather, that i have been divinely equipped for this life, in a way that allows me to walk in humble gratitude and confidence in a life that is guided by principles of righteousness and love, when it is, in fact, guided by principles of righteousness and love. i do not always need to wait for a feeling to tell me 'yes' or to tell me 'no.' i do not need to live in guilt and uncertainty. guilt is not of God. once again, do not misunderstand me. it is important, it is vital to be ever-sensitive to the leading and the presence of the Holy Spirit. one would be a fool to disregard such a priceless gift. once again, i think i am just trying to find truth by naming non-truth. if i get caught up in over-spiritualizing every thing in my life (for instance - i saw a purple finch sitting on a lilac bush and so clearly, God wants me to move back to nh. no, that's silly), i believe that i will dilute what it is that i love most about God - the beauty and grace right in the midst of human depravity.

my real question in all of this is the role of God in my life. i think i that i understand, or at least know how to pursue further, how the existence and character of God changes the way i live my life. what i don't understand is where to draw the lines between attributions: for what am i responsible? for what are you responsible? for what is God responsible? for what is no one responsible? i'm not sure.

i started thinking about this a couple of years ago in the context of babies. my friend was getting married and having a hard time deciding what kind of contraception to use, or whether she should use it at all. i had heard before that the bible calls children a blessing, and so who are we to try and dictate when or how God chooses to bless us. this made sense to me at the time. then again, it didn't matter too much to me - marriage and babies being so far away.

then, my friend and i had a conversation with our pastor and his wife, who had decided to have no more children. they told us not to over-spiritualize the situation. they said that when a woman mis-carries, it's not necessarily because God took the baby away, but because God designed our bodies to work a certain way. this made me think about conception. i know that the bible says that i was knit together in my mothers womb, and that's a beautiful thought, but i wonder if we've interpreted it in a slightly over-literal sense. for instance, every day there are babies born in africa to impoverished women with AIDS and they do not survive through their miserable first year of life. is that the will of God, or is that just a consequence of humans refusing to care for one another?

since that time, i have struggled with this whole idea of attribution. i still don't really understand, but i guess if i understood everything, i wouldn't need a God. i have resolved to the philosophy that i should do all that i can do because that is all that i can do. whatever is out of my control may or may not be orchestrated by God, but i do know that whatever happens, God will help me to find the good and encourage it to grow.

dollah dollah billz

i'm in a weird place.

not physically. i'm just in my room, but my place in life is weird. i'm still buying a house, but this process is so long and just keeps getting longer. by the end of it, i believe i will have spent the same length of time as an entire semester (allow me to revert to student-timing), just trying to buy a house. it's mentally frustrating, trying to prepare for a big transition that refuses to come.

it's not at all that i want to leave the commune. i really do love it here. i know that i will miss spending time with the people who live here with me because i know that i wont possibly see them as much. i already see them remarkably less than one would think, considering our proximity to one another. but, like i've said before, i believe it's a good step for everyone.

i recently purchased a set of furniture for my new home, should i ever actually live there. one piece is a chaise, which i plan to put in my room, and faint on from time to time, just for fun. last sunday, i went to my house with alisha and steven and laid on the floor of each empty room, imagining furniture and colors. it was great fun, though, i think, technically trespassing.

last night after work, i ran to thy gym, and the spent two hours in classes (body pump and yoga). i hadn't been in a couple of weeks, so it was a nice way to spend the evening. after i got home, i watched as episode of 'intervention' with my parents (love it) and then refused to start a movie with them at 10:00 because i couldn't stay up that late. i went to my room, changed into pjs and checked my voicemail. i had one from the cool kids at carmine's, and they were all going to bailey's to celebrate our dear noah's last night.

some people might think - it's already past 10:00, i have to be at work at 9:00, i really should go to sleep instead of driving 10 minutes away to hang out at a bar. some people also don't have a severe distaste for missing things. i got dressed and went, and didn't return until around 2:30. it was a whole lot of fun and i don't regret it, but when my alarm went off at 8:00 this morning, i did not feel well. i was tired from having not slept enough or well, i was hungry from not having eaten a real meal since 1:00 yesterday afternoon, i was so very sore from my gym craziness, and i was dehydrated from no water and some buffalo wings.

so, i've taken a sick day. that is why i am able to blog right now. i don't have much time these days. i worked about 70 hours last week - between the 9-5 and the restaurant gig. i can't complain too much. i have two jobs that i enjoy. it does make me tired, though. by this past sunday, i kind of felt like i was committing a slow sort of suicide. this week, i was scheduled for one less shift at the restaurant, and i found someone to cover another one - so that's a step in the right direction.

alisha (my roommate) is in ethiopia doing something very awesome, but it is still sad that she is gone for a whole two weeks more.

while writing this blog, i thought about writing, again, that i want to go to the divinity school at duke. and then i thought to myself: 'self, why don't you actually take a step in that direction, instead of just talking about it.' and so i did. i sent an email to the admissions dept, asking to set up an appointment. the only issue i take with the div school plan is that it very well may cost a lot of dollah dollah billz that i don't have. hopefully an admissions counselor will reveal all sorts of lovely opportunities that will make this be not so, but i guess we'll see.

i realize that this is a collection of random thoughts, but if i keep writing nothing at all, i will, well, keep writing nothing at all.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

fun little musical things?

so, i had this great idea a little while back. i was thinking about how much i miss playing music with my friends who now live so very far away from me. i thought to myself, 'if only there was a way to eliminate all the space and groove with them once again.' the best think i could come up with was to record myself playing some fun covers (or segments, anyway) and post it on facebook-maybe start a fun little trend of music people making fun little videos of themselves, so we can pretend we're not separated by states and states. i even used some fun effects - contrast, reverb, you know, what the professionals do.

i thought it would be a fun thing, but i had it up for a whole day and the only person who said anything was my loyal(ish) little brother (steven - word). i set it up as a music trivia so that people would have something to say besides 'hey katie, tune your guitar,' which, by the way, i know i should have done, but my tuner is on the fritz, so what are you gonna do?

now, i'm going to try again, but this time, i've tweaked the video so that all of the audio matches the video (imagine that) and i'm putting it here on my blog instead - it seems a safer place, where rejection is okay because 'maybe no one saw it . . .' i can't handle the facebook rejection for another day. my fragile ego can't handle it : )

i have this linked to my facebook page, so it will show up as a note, but let's pretend no one reads those - it might not require that much pretending. actually, if you're reading this as a note on facebook, i don't know if the video will show up, so click here: but if you don't click, just don't tell me.

thank you friends. now it's your turn.

Monday, July 13, 2009

in case you were curious

if i wait to blog until i feel like i have something earth-shattering to talk about, then i may never blog again. so here they are - a series of small updates.

i'm still buying a house and i'm still pretty excited about it. i drift off to sleep thinking about accent walls and coffee tables. though i'm still sad about the dissolution of the commune, i think it's going to be good for me. right now, i'm still qualifying for financing and whatnot, but as soon as the house is mine, i'll post some pictures somewhere, and ask all of you creative people to send me stuff with which to decorate my house :)

though there are several reasons for this move to happen, i cannot deny that there is much i will miss. living in carrboro, though a bit strange (i've recently heard it called a 'fantasy land'), has its perks - i can walk to my gym, my natural foods store and my local farmer's market. i can also walk to downtown chapel hill, which has more bars and coffee shops than i could ever frequent, even if i went out every night, twice. i will also miss my family and my delightful roommate. alright alright, let me move on before i change my mind . . .

because this house business is pretty expensive, i've been working a lot. i work 9-5 monday through friday, and then at Carmine's (restaurant) some nights and weekends. depending on how long my Carmine's shift-count is up for, it could get tiring, but right now, it's fun and somewhat lucrative, so that's good. i enjoy the people i work with there, so even if it's slow, it's fun, and that makes it worth being there.

the family tension has eased. i've continued to learn that people aren't as resilient as i would like them to be (including myself). i always look for some dramatic event - a conversation or something - to change everything, to fix everything. people rarely work that way. though it often takes seconds to inflict pain on someone, it may take years for that wound to heal. this is annoying, especially for a fixer like me, but it's just how we operate. i can be grateful that there is still plenty of love to go around, and good intentions. without these things, the wounds might never heal.

i've been thinking more about grad-school. in theory, i'm going to apply to the english MA program at UNC and the divinity school (program tbd) at Duke. assuming that i can get into both of these programs (which is kind of a leap), i'm not sure which one i would choose, or maybe try to design a hybrid? i'm not sure. i think that if i had to choose one, i would go to the divinity school - it just seems more relevant to my life. however, i do have a love for classic literature, and i think that it makes me a better person to learn more about people through what they have written, just as it makes me a better person to learn more about people and God through what we've written about God over the years. i guess this will all be irrelevant if i don't start taking some real steps toward applications and decision-making.

i am going to tx for the first time in a couple of weeks for my dear friends maggie and isaac's wedding. i'm excited to be a part of such a wonderful event and to travel to a place i've never been before to see so many people that i love. i'm smiling just thinking about it.

alright, just writing this blog has given me a couple ideas for some other blogs, so maybe this dry spell will end for a bit and i will have some profound, or even just interesting things for you to read. at the very least, give you a good reason to believe that you're not the only crazy one - i always like that :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

stickin' it to the man

the following correspondence took place between me and an unnamed credit card company (it rhymes with shmitti-shmard).

Subject: late payment fee
Date/Time: 06/29/09 02:05:14 PM

You wrote:

Hello, I am writing to request that the late payment fee that was recently posted to my account be refunded. The payment was only 1 day late, and paying late, according to my record, is not nearly a habit. In fact, I often pay early and much more than the minimum payment. If you value my business, please refund the late payment fee.

Thank You, Kaitlyn DeConto

Subject: Re: late payment fee
Date/Time: 06/29/09 02:41:26 PM

Customer Service Wrote:

Our records indicate that a payment of $20.00 was due in our office by 06/15/2009. Because that payment was received on 6/16/2009, a late fee was charged to your account. For more information, please review your Card Agreement.

After a thorough review, we have determined that your account is not eligible for the credit of the late fee.

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Thank you for using our website.

Subject: Re: late payment fee
Date/Time: 06/29/09 11:04:59 PM

You wrote:

Hello, I am very disappointed by this and will be closing this account.

Thank you.

Subject : Re: late payment fee
Date/Time : 06/29/09 11:24:07 PM

Customer Service Wrote:

As a goodwill gesture, we have credited your account $39.00 for the late fee assessed. This credit should appear on your account within two business days. We must receive your payments by the due date in order to avoid late fees in the future.

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boo ya.

Friday, June 12, 2009

but life goes on

i feel like most blog entries that i read (including some of mine, not that i go back and read them *cough*) begin with something to the effect of "wow, i haven't written in a while." so, i'm not going to do that, i'll just get on with it.

the last few weeks have been . . . tumultuous, to say the least. i've been avoiding writing because the things that have been occupying my thoughts most have been the sort of things one cannot really blog about - things that will incriminate one and/or the ones that one loves.

as some politicians might say (and i know because i was once a poli-sci major) - feelings were hurt and are being hurt, bad conversations have happened, good ones have not happened, love is not winning. the whole thing breaks my heart into so many pieces that sometimes i think that i will forever see the cracks, even if they get put back together again. i know that's emotional and not rational, but that has been my life as of late. it's hard to sort through powerful, overwhelming emotions in order to find truth. not just logic, but truth and wisdom. i can't say that i've done that, and i can't even say where i've failed - it's too close around me to be seen clearly.

if you're not wholly frustrated by my purposeful ambiguity, then read on.

though very painful, i have been trying to find good in all of this. it is my family that has fallen prey to, well, my family i guess. i'll proudly admit that i've found nearly all of my purpose and identity over the past year in my family. i moved here for us, i worked, worshiped, played with us. it was great and lovely and i think, in so many ways, exactly what i needed. i don't know what i would have done without such an amazing network of people - all caring for one another, all living and sharing life together. it really was a blessed season.

to be honest, i probably never would have let it go, ever. i would have stayed at the commune (where i live now with most of my family) forever, making my (if ever) husband move here with me and my children grow amongst the bamboo jungle in our yard. and that would have been great. but, community living is hard, very hard, and it takes a compassion and selflessness that is beyond most people. i was so proud of my family and, in a way, i thought it might be invincible. this is where i have found growth in the heartache: it is time to move on. i cannot allow my own well-being to be so inextricably caught up in the behavior and relationships of others, even if they are my family. i need to be able to have more grace for these people that i love - i cannot have this grace if my heart bleeds with every intimation of conflict. my heart has bled too much. i do not claim to be innocent, but, as i said before, it is all still too close to understand. i am waiting for retrospect to provide clarity, be it vindication or guilt.

i am not giving up on anything, just trying to be healthy. i still think my family is cooler than your family (hah) and that we will all be happy with each other once again. let us pray that that day will be sooner rather than later.

i am trying to buy a house. it is a lovely house: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, energy efficient. it is in durham, nc. 2.5 miles from my job. 13 miles from the commune. i think it is an opportunity for me to start a different kind of life.

college was formula. the commune was baby food. now it's time for some tofu stirfry.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

will you submit to me? circle yes or no.

i am suffering from an identity crisis.

it's been just over one year since i graduated from college. it took some time for me to feel comfortable as a non-student. it took some time for me to know how to talk about my life without school. it helped that graduation hadn't been so long ago. i could still say 'i just graduated in may.' i can't say that anymore - we're already in another may.

fortunately, i've almost completely coped with being a non-student. now i have to find an identity as a regular person, an adult with no student role on which to blame things. my new roles have to be taken more seriously. i'm a woman. what does that mean? i'm a follower of Christ. what does that mean? i'm a part of a body of people who follow Christ. what does that mean? i am a close friend and family member. what does that mean?

i think that when i was younger, all of these roles just were. i didn't do anything to get them - they happened to me, and so i reacted. now, i feel a responsibility for figuring out what each of these things mean, and how i can best fill them all at once.

the role that i have been struggling with the most lately has been my role as a woman, more particularly, my role as a now single, maybe one day married, Christ-following woman.

i know that i write about gender stuff a lot (maybe not, but it seems like it), but it's because, like i said, in this season of my life, i'm really working to figure out who i am and what that means. being a woman is a giant part of that because there has been SO much information thrown at me throughout my life about what a christian woman should look like. so much information that i have often felt like i am drowning in it, like it is an upset sea and i am an infant.

much of this information has been untrue and not at all in the heart of God (which is what i am trying to pursue). in fact, i have a book on my shelf at home right now entitled '10 Lies the Church Tells Women.' to be honest, i haven't read that book, but i like that it's there - it reminds me that it's okay to be discriminatory when it comes to this angry sea of information.

i have been so blessed and encouraged by christianity over the last year - continually learning more about the love and compassion that, if sought in earnest, Christ brings. i am always meeting people in this area - progressive, liberal people who have little interest in the heart of God, but who i feel i can connect with. it is exciting to me that the ideas of christianity can be so accessible to anyone seeking peace and justice.

now, what does this have to do with my identity crisis? i will tell you.

Ephesians 5
24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

as i was saying before, almost everything that is important to me, as a christian, often makes perfect sense to those uninterested in my faith. however, when i get to the part about a woman in a christian marriage (submission - ahhh), everything kind of falls apart. i picture in my head a conversation between myself and one of these progressive, liberal women. i barely get the words 'wives, submit . . .' out of my mouth and she punches me right in the face. i do not want to get punched. i do not want to stop having these wonderful, unifying conversations. what do i do?

actually, this isn't just about not getting punched. this is also about reconciling within me what sometimes feels like a nagging discrepancy. i believe that i was created by a loving God. i believe that i was created as a beautiful, feminine human. i believe that, as this beautiful, feminine human, i am just as valuable to my Creator as any other human and have just as much to offer. why, then would this Creator tell me to submit to another human? surely i was not created somehow inferior, in need of someone else to make me more complete, make my life more full and worthy. it is difficult not to interpret this piece of scripture as a kind of blow to women. i'm sorry if that's upsetting, but it's true. if, in a workplace, my supervisor told me to submit to another employee, would it not be right to assume that that supervisor thought that other employee somehow more able than myself?

all of this was bothering me in an undeniable and increasing way. last weekend, in fact, the sermon at church included this passage that includes the 's word.' i cried tears of frustration through most of the sermon - not something i have ever done before. i just couldn't figure out how to reconcile my own understanding of God with this idea of wives submitting to their husbands.

(note: it still bothers me that some christian men seem to accept this whole idea without question. fight with us to clear up this whole thing, to make sense of it. please don't just take it for granted.)

a lot has happened in my mind since last sunday. many conversations have taken place, much reflection and prayer has gone on, and i think that i'm finally at peace, or at least approaching peace. the following are things that have help me approach peace.

  • Ephesians 5 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her - if i was in a relationship with someone, anyone, romantic or otherwise, and i 100% trusted that they had my best interest at heart and that they loved me as much as Christ loves the church, why wouldn't i trust them to make a decision that affected both of us?
  • the idea of 'servant leadership' (every milliganite's ears just perked) is a very christian idea, and one that is a bit foreign to those many of those not committed to that faith. this concept of leading someone by serving them - leading them into selflessness and love by showing it to them - is not exactly a Wall Street key to success. therefore, when we speak of 'submission,' minds automatically think of being stepped on, not of being raised up. this submission that i speak of, and that i think the Bible speaks of, is a (somewhat-in our better moments) natural response to overwhelming love. if a husband's 'leadership' is one of sacrifice and love (Christ), then the wife's submission is similar, is it not? one might call this relationship one of mutual submission.
  • it is a problem of language. if this person who may or may not be punching me in the face (see earlier paragraph) saw a marriage dedicated to these principals of love and submission, i don't think they would find it misogynistic at all. i think they would find it beautiful. it's only when this relationship is described that there are problems - there is no way to say submission without tempting your audience to pull out their copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • i am only instructed to practice this 'submission' to my husband (should i ever have one). therefore, this is NOT a statement on the way women and men should interact, only husbands and wives.
  • men and women are different. they are equal, but different. sometimes i think that we get caught up fighting for women to be equal to men, that we find ourselves fighting for women to be the same as men. i don't want to be the same as a man. i want to be a woman. so, i should accept that because we are different, there are important things that i can offer a husband (should i ever have one) that are less important that he offer me, things that he will value more than i will. i haven't really figured out what all of these things are, mostly due to lack of experience. i have observed, however, that maybe men need more to feel respected, trusted and reliable, whereas women need more to feel valued, appreciated and loved. so maybe this submission/love type of relationship helps cater to the needs of both sexes. who knows. i could be way off - like i said, a lack of experience.
well, i think that's about it. my identity crisis is not over, but i am making progress. hopefully these things will help me avoid drowning in an angry sea and/or being punched in the face.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

how did i get here?

it's funny how tricky life can be.

in some moments, i feel completely in on top of my life - everything i do, everything that happens is voluntary and constructive.

in other moments, in moments that pass more slowly and prove more consuming, i feel a victim. i feel as though the world just happens to me without any regard for what i want from it - and i can't remember a time when i didn't feel this way.

i fear that i have slipped into the second moments as of late. i'm not sure why. i think much of it has to do with things coming to an end - the past couple of years has been filled with things coming to an end, and i think i've been worn down. i'm tired of things ending before i'm completely ready. sure, i've learned that i am never really 'ready' to let go of good things, and if i kept them that long, i wouldn't remember them so fondly. but still, there is a part of me - the mourning part - that has done it's share recently, and is trying to quit, though that just seems to intensify this mourning sensation.

oscar begat (the band i've been playing with for the past 2 or 3 years) is no more - sort of. as it has existed, it is no more. the name may appear again, but will most likely never represent what it has. i thought i was ready to let this go. i will certainly miss playing shows like that (how else will i get people to look at me?), but i think the reason that my 'mourning bone' is quaking under the pressure is that not everyone involved in this dissolution seems to be mourning as much as i, or even at all.

i know i've written before about my codependence, and here it is again - i'm sad because not everyone cares about something as much as i want them to. that's all. are my feelings hurt? yes. am i taking it personally? yes. can i appreciate that all of this may be a tad ridiculous? yes. does that change the way i feel? no.

i'm not even sure why i'm writing about this. oh yeah, i write to be rid of things : )

i want to be done with it without confrontation, so i'll write about it here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

why i'd sometimes rather not be called a Christian

i love the Bible. i think it's full of divinely-inspired ideas to help us live our best lives. however, when i see how some people interpret the Bible, it both devastates and terrifies me.
(if you would like to know what, exactly, this blog is in direct response to, please read this article: Rebranding Hate in the Age of Obama. apparently, the coming-to-office of a intelligent, articulate, popular African American has brought about a surge of Bible-fueled racism. really?)
in the Bible (NASV), the word 'love' is used 320 times.
the word 'hate' is used 90 times.
in the New Testament (where Jesus' life is), the word 'love' is used 189 times.
in the New Testament (where Jesus' life is), the word 'hate' is used 12 times.
(courtesy of
i'm not here to discount the Old Testament - certainly there is much to be gleaned from Israel's colorful history and the ongoing efforts of people to commune with God (something we've yet to perfect). be that as it may, i cannot deny that the New Testament has a certain special relevance, a voice into my life that speaks words a bit different than many of those from the Old Testament. Jesus himself said (in Matt. 5):
43"You have heard that it was said,
and hate your enemy.'
44"But I say to you,
love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you.
though these are only two verses out of an abundance of text, this idea of putting ones own grievances aside in order to show love to those for whom hate naturally rises, saturates the teachings of Jesus (the man for whom this faith is named, by the way). i could copy and paste a hundred or more verses into this blog, in which we are compelled to show love to everyone (especially those we consider enemies), but i will not.
the point of all of this is to express my bewilderment at the ability of people (fellow Christians) to take this book and build hate on it: racism, sexism, homophobia, general judgement on the 'thous' who are not 'holy'. how do they do it? how do they live lives devoted to God that embody the opposite of the thing that permeates the heart of God (love, in case you weren't paying attention)?
more importantly, how do i do it? what things in my life, what ideas, opinions, lifestyle choices, judgements, etc., do i continually uphold in the unfounded belief that they are godly? scary, right? i don't believe that these members of KKK offshoots believe that they are in direct opposition to the will of God, though I believe they are. could the same be said about me?
these are the times that i begin to think that the Roman Catholic Church of the middle ages had it right - only learned, holy, clergy-people should be able to read the Bible and then tell the rest of us what it means. sure, some have argued that the corruption of the church in that era surpasses that of any other time or place - church+simony+the plague+docetism+state=general licentiousness, to describe the tip of the iceberg - but i think there is something to be said for a bit of discrimination when it comes to Biblical exegesis.
i suppose the biggest problem is that, for every single person who opens the Bible (or visits, there is a different set of lenses through which the text is seen. no wonder there are thousands of (sometimes feuding) denominations. i guess the only thing we can do is recognize our own prejudices, and pray for clear vision. example: if i knew that i had a tendency toward homophobia, i would say to myself 'self, try not to read your own homophobia into the Bible'. and then i would say to God, 'God, please help me see/hear your words clearly, apart from my own biases.' if every Christian (including myself) practiced this sort of honest pursuit of truth, abandoning tradition and convention, if necessary, i think that there would be less times that i would rather not be called a Christian.

Monday, April 20, 2009

beautiful baptist babies

the blog title may or may not make sense when you've read this, but i am a sucker for alliteration.

i have had a few blog ideas floating around in my head for a while, but haven't sat down and written them. ideally, they would have come at three very different times, each fully developed, written and posted before the next arrived, but here we are. they are very different, too: one is reflective/spiritual, one is more creative/subject to your own interpretation, and the other is a bit political/ecclesiastical. i'm just going to write them all here, now. that's right, it's a three-for-the-price-of-one sort of deal, except there is no actual currency involved, just thoughts and reading . . .


i do not have children. but i do, from time to time, take responsibility for my two young nieces. they are dears and i love them very much. there are, however, times when they are in my care that i am grateful that i do not have children.

one of these times was just this past week. i was babysitting, and, like the fun aunt that i am, letting them watch a new movie that nana had given them for easter. we were watching it in the 'back house' (not their house, though only a yard away - not yard as in the measurement, yard as in a grassy knoll). anyway, one of the girls (who will remain nameless, to protect her sparkling reputation) was being particularly whiny, even though, as I saw it, she should have been enjoying herself thoroughly.

from time to time, when she would express herself in an inappropriate manner, i would threaten to cut her movie-viewing short and bring her back to her house. these threats bounced right off of her grumpy little aura and it soon came time for me to prove that i was serious.

i threw her over my shoulder and carried her home.

she was displeased.

in her defence, she had been sick, it was getting late, and she is only 4 years-old (her anonymity is slipping).

i did feel bad, but i needed her to know what acceptable behavior was and was not. in fact, i tried to reason with her - telling her that if she was obedient, calmed down, brushed her teeth and put on her pjs, then i would take her back to finish the movie. these offers, like the earlier threats, went unheard. i could hardly hear them myself, above the crying.

in the end, i sat on her bedroom floor, watching her stand with her fists clenched toward the floor and her open mouth toward the ceiling, as if she were about to take-off.

eventually (after about 45 minutes), she stopped crying , apologized and was as cute as ever, but i couldn't shake her tantrum.

i love her. she knows i love her and she loves me. the terrible woe that had befallen her was of her own doing, but she built a sort of wall between us for those 45 minutes. she did not want my help or comfort, even resented it. there really was nothing i could do until she decided to warm up.

i was effected by this because, as i watched her in her out-of-control state, i couldn't help but see myself.

i know that many people don't get christianity, or why anyone would commit themselves to such a thing, but i think, in it's most timeless, simplest form, christianity is just a relationship with the Creator. that's all. kind of like being a sister is always just a relationship with a sister - something you can't really be rid of, but the nature of which, you can control.

what does this have to do with caelia (anonymous no more)? well, i can't help but think that what i experienced was a bit like what God experiences. i just wanted to give her good things, and then comfort her, help her make the best of the situation she had tainted, but she wouldn't let me do any of it.


i wanted to tell her how pretty she looked. and she did look pretty. her hair fell perfectly and it's dark hue framed her fair face and light eyes with stunning precision. her make-up was bright, but she wore it well. her green dress fit close around her body, and her dainty shoes lengthened her graceful stance.

she was beautiful. maybe more beautiful than i had ever seen her.

but i couldn't say so.

i was too hurt. i still am too hurt. i smiled and nodded, wishing that such trivial gestures could carry with them all that i meant to say. all that i wanted her to know.

to tell her she was beautiful would be to pretend that these compliments were the most important things i had for her. they were not. they probably never will be because my mouth would never form those words - forever frozen, bound by chains of inner conflict.

and so, i will see her again. she will be beautiful. maybe even more beautiful, but i will not say it. it will not be able to say it. it seems a crime to let such loveliness go unpraised, especially in one for whom i have such love. it seems a crime indeed. but many more crimes have been committed before this one, and it is these crimes that close my mouth full of honesty into a sweet smile.


evangelical christianity.

let us, just for a moment, compare christian denominations to ice cream flavors. i love vanilla ice cream. i think it's great. it's tasty, it's trusty and i know what i'm getting. but, i would never pretend that vanilla ice cream is the only flavor of ice cream worth trying. if i were to decide that it's vanilla or nothing for me, then i would be viewed as ignorant and borderline masochistic. why would i ever deprive myself of the joy of other ice cream flavors? they have so much to offer - endless horizon-broadening potential. sherbets, for instance, promise a tangy, fruity bite - something that vanilla, in all it's deliciousness, couldn't hope to achieve. why would i forever deprive my pallet of such an experience?

i wouldn't. i shouldn't. i wont.

to be honest, and forgive me for being a bit dramatic, i have felt oppressed by evangelical christianity as of late. despite all of the wonderful things that it has to offer, sometimes i find it short-sighted and bound by conservation conventions that have questionable roots in scripture and seem to be in direct contention with the heart of God. beyond that, maybe it is just sort of oppression i would feel if i were to only ever eat vanilla ice cream - like i'm missing out on other great parts of the catholic (universal) church because i've found something that i like.

i have thought very seriously on and off over the past few years of joining the episcopal church. especially after my time spent in the anglican church (in england), i think it would be a good fit for me right now - it's physical reverence and routine devotion might be just what i need to recover from years of very emotional and, at times, narcissistic worship.

i'm still not sure. i really do like the church i attend now, and it has a relatively faint few of the things from which i seek refuge. who knows, maybe i wont ever leave, i will just keep talking about it. i suppose it's different if you admit that there is more out there and choose not to partake - better than pretending you've found all you need.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


on saturday, i bought a small bottle of perfume that smells of lilacs.

i wear it.

i love it.

it makes me feel that, though the rest of my body is enjoying the beauty of spring in north carolina, my nose believes itself to be in new hampshire, where the lilac is the state flower, and its gentle, yet invigorating scent fills the air in the bright northeastern spring.

the scent makes me feel happy and new. there is something special about spring in a place where there is a real winter from which to recover. when those lilac bushes finally bloom, proving themselves unbroken by the months of frost, it refreshes the spirit. what can i not overcome, in the face of this delicate purple flower, one that is just as delightful as it was before the snows came? which of us can boast such resilliance?

i am told that there are lilacs in carrboro.

i must find them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

it's been 17 days

oh my. it's been 17 days and i haven't posted anything.

you know what i blame? my job. i've been actually working all day, every day over the past few weeks. isn't that nuts? i know, i'm about to ask for a raise if i'm going to actually be doing things.

i jest, i jest. it's been nice, actually. i feel like a real professional, with real responsibilities who doesn't online shop more than the average real responsible professional.

there is a lull right now, and so, though i'm not particularly motivated to write, i will, just so i don't forget how.

there have been a few developments in my life:
i have health insurance for the first time, well, ever. so i've had an eye exam, a physical, and there's a dentist appointment on the books. i'm actually getting glasses for reading and computer stuff, apparently i'm far-sighted. who knew? i picked out these really hip banana republic glasses, but after being told their cost, i opted from some lovely little glasses out of the (not-labeled-this-way-but-i-assume) bargain drawer. they're nice, black and simple. i resisted the temptation to make gains in my life-long quest to appear intellectual and artistic by choosing simple frames. i think it's good for me.

i started going to classes at the gym - yoga first and now i've been to one 'body pump' class. i plan to go to more, but it's been 3 days since my first one, and i am just now able to walk up and down stairs without gripping the railing for my life. i'm hoping it will get easier as i get more ripped. i also went to a 'body jam' class because i like to dance. it was kind of fun, but full of middle-aged women who have been doing that same routine for months. i wasn't crazy about the choreography either. maybe i'll try a different instructor . . .

this happened a while ago, but i think it was pretty great and i never blogged about it: my lovely friend johannah and i, while she was here visiting, were the 'featured performers' at jack sprat's (a fun local bar) weekly open mic, which happened to fall on st. patrick's day. it was great fun. the guy running the thing (alex, i believe), plugged us between each act that preceded us, which was fun, we played a whole mini-set and even got paid a bit. it was johannah's first paying gig, and my first gig in nc that didn't involve any of my family members. it went well - everyone was already having a good time, so it was a good crowd to play for. johannah played some of her lovely original music (which can be found here:, and i played a few covers: carey, by joni mitchell (for the second time at that venue, but i'm sure no one noticed), what if i stumble, by dc talk (which spurred the following conversation with a jovial young man up front -

young man: was that jars of clay?
me: no, dc talk, but you were close.
young man: i knew i heard it at church. what, are you trying to make me feel bad?
me: (laughing) that is not our intent. we're just here to have a good time.)

jo and i assisted each other with back-up vocals where we could, and overall, it was a great experience. playing with friends is always a lot of fun. just like playing with family, but different. i closed out the set with closing time, by semisonic, which was particularly fun because all of the responsibly-enjoying-their-alcohol folks sang along.

speaking of gigs, oscar begat had a show last week. i was not really that pumped about it. i don't know why. it was in durham on a thursday and it was a shortish set, so i didn't' really invite many people. sometimes those shows, those ones that i'm not that excited about, end up being some of the greatest. this was like that - there was a lot of energy and we just had a whole lot of fun. it made me sad in light of the impending dissolution of oscar begat, but i guess it's better to go out on a high note.

speaking of gigs, again, i went to a show at the pinhook in durham last friday: the last show of tooth, a wonderful durham-based metal band including my friend noah, the drummer, who is an animal once you get him behind a kit, and sometimes when you don't : )

i stood on a chair against the right wall of the venue so that i could see and so that i would not be moshed. i kind of felt like a mom, watching the mosh-pit. i was glad that everyone was having fun, but also very concerned for their safety. it was a great show, lots of energy and adoring fans.

an ending little story: i just joined i sent an email to some people asking them to join too, so i can see what they're reading/have read/recommend. i started the email with 'i'm bored at work . . .'. i, without thinking, sent the email to my boss at her work email. that's all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

i grow a bit anxious

i haven't posted recently. as time passes between posts, i grow increasingly anxious. why? umm. well, it's either because i'm afraid i'll lose readers (hah), or i'm afraid i've run out of things to say (hah hah).

but, in all seriousness, i think it's the latter.

i don't, this minute, have anything profound to say. in fact, it's arguable that i ever have anything profound to say. in any case, i'd like to thank everyone for all of the feedback i received concerning my last post. if you're a blogger and wonder if anyone reads your blog, write about gender issues and you'll find out pretty quick.

the response was generally positive, with some concerns here and there about my denial of gender differences (we'll stay away from 'roles') - i think i've come to an understanding with all those concerned, i think. (women and men are different, but equal.) if anyone would like to enlighten/challenge me further, please do, or i will, in fact, kick you in the shin :)

someone mentioned the rising generation of males' lack of respect for women - they called it heartbreaking. i would have to agree. though i think that the rising generation of people have a general lack of respect for most things - the elderly, the middle-aged, me, each other. they do respect what tv tells them to respect, which i wish included regular people, rather than only the rich, famous, powerful, beautiful and plastic. is this a development? i don't know. i suppose that as generations pass, civil propriety is less and less of a concern and the instant gratification promised by technology captures focus.

also, it seems that as these young men continue to disrespect women, the young women expect less, require less. which came first? i couldn't say, but none of it is good. if the men were to begin respecting more, perhaps the women would expect more, but it would work the other way too, presumably.

it's funny how scantily clad women singing and dancing in ways that some (I) might find inappropriate think of themselves as being empowering to women.

i read about this band (they will remain nameless, though i'm sure a quick google search would steal their anonymity). there are 4 or 5 of them - all women, and they play shows without shirts. in the article, they were quoted as saying that they do this to empower young women to be confident and comfortable with their bodies.

am i the only one who finds this to be ridiculous? they are beautiful, thin musicians, and they think that by taking off their clothes, they are going to make young women feel better about themselves? they get more attention for their lack of clothing than for their music, and this is supposed to be empowering women?

isn't that kind of what we've been working against for decades? (i'll stop with the rhetorical questions now.) no one was arguing that women are attractive without their shirts. people were arguing what women could offer with their shirts on. this (maybe) talented group of women would inspire me if they left their clothes on and made good music - innovative, truthful music. that would make me feel empowered as a women - to know that i could make it in the music industry based on hard work and talent and without sacrificing any clothing.

hmm. i promise that when i started this post, i wasn't going to write about anything except some inconsequential bits of information about my life - i spent a lovely week with my friend johannah, we played a fun little show, i'm selling my car, i'm looking for another car to buy, yaddah yaddah yaddah. and here i am, at the end of another tirade.

my apologies for your thoughts :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

katie vs. the south

i grow weary of gender-role conversations.

i really do.

mostly because i hate feeling like a jerk, which is what always happens. i think it's because i'm misunderstood. i do not seek to batter kind men. that's not it at all. i'm not here to kick any man in the shin who even thinks about opening a door for me, or not allowing me to do manual labor.

thank you, kind men, for your kind deeds. it is not your actions against which i argue.

for some of you (and some of you women too) - it is your motivations, your thinking, your mindset.

i am 100% for acting kind, loving and courteous towards members of the opposite sex. that's very nice. i am not, however, willing to accept that these gestures are necessary or expected because you are a man and i am a woman. i do not want that door held for me (though i promise not to kick anyone in the shin) if it is because you are a man and i am a woman, i want it held for me because we are two human beings and you are showing kindness and consideration.

if i hold a door for a man out of this same kindness and consideration, i do not want to be looked at as if i am some sort of terrorist seeking the demise of the american family. i am not. i am simply seeking equality and understanding, love, humility, selflessness, and everything else that can be developed through remembering to serve others.

i think that my perspective is a bit unique because i have been rather independent for a very long time - no boyfriends carrying things or fixing my sink. now that i am in the south, men often offer to do things like walk me to my car, even when it's not very far and the journey is through a populated parking lot. i feel awkward when this happens, and i act awkwardly, and then the man rolls his eyes because he knows i am one of 'those girls' (the terrorist kind). this saddens me. i don't mean to be awkward and ungrateful. men, think of if every time we ate together, i offered to cut your food. that would seem awkward and unnecessary, right? sort of like i was treating you like a child? well, that's what these little gestures feel like to me.

(further more, if i were to offer to walk another female to her car, i would get the same terrorist look, as well as the awkward and unnecessary look. why? i think that i would be able to provide as much safety as many a man. if you're getting attacked, having another person around, be they man or woman, would be rather helpful, would it not?)

i'm working on being more accepting of these things, but it would be easier for me to do so, if i felt confident in the thoughts behind them.

let me reiterate that i am not calling for the cessation of all chivalric behavior, or any chivalric behavior. all i wish to challenge, is the thought behind it. i don't mind if a man offers to carry something heavy for me. he's probably stronger than me, so that makes sense. i'm not saying i wont offer to cook something for a man, if there's a good chance i'll be better at it. i would also offer to cook something for a woman, if there's a good chance i'll be better at it. this shouldn't be offensive, just like it shouldn't be offensive for a stronger man to offer to carry something for a not-so-strong man. we are all people with different abilities, largely disconnected to our genders. let us offer them up accordingly and offer little things out of love and not out of duty.

please, don't consider yourself kicked in the shin.

share your thoughts.

much love.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

knowing is half the battle?

they say this - that knowing is half the battle. presumably, if one is aware of a problem, they are half way to solving it. i'm not too sure about this.

i've been thinking about this lately because, in this fun new world of adulthood, i've been becoming aware of many things about myself. knowing doesn't seem to bring me any closer to a solution. maybe it's different for everyone. i've always been pretty self-aware, which is good, but that doesn't mean i'm good at self-improvement. one would think that since i am aware of my troubles, i would be able to fix them more readily. this is not the case. i could list several things that i know hinder me from the life i want, but i don't really feel much closer to change.

most recently, all of this applies to my undeniable codependent tendencies. i think i've decided that this demon must be conquered over and over again. i've conquered it before, in certain relationships, but that does not mean it is out of me, or even make it any easier to win the battle in other relationships.

i'm a middle child. i've been called a 'fixer' more times than i can count, and even a 'meddler' more times than i care to remember. it's all out of love, but that doesn't make it healthy, or even selfless. i guess it comes down to trust, dependence. i'm finding more and more that most of my problems stem from pride and binding self-sufficiency. i don't trust people to make wise decisions on their own. i don't believe that God can care for people as well as i can. it hurts me. i hurt me by believing these things and doing these things.

solution? i'm not sure yet. i know that my care for other people is a gift, a strength, but will only reach its full potential if it is surrendered to the Gifter. i suppose it's like anything else - any good thing can be a harmful thing if left in the wrong hands. clearly, mine are the wrong hands.