Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cold Feet

My feet are cold.

As much as I really want to be one of those people who wear flip flops all the time, I'm just not sure my feet can handle it. I haven't worn them since my unemployed-sitting-by-the-pool- days this summer. My poor feet are clearly unhappy with me - freezing and hurting. (The blended coffee didn't help the situation.)

I think I am going to be an old woman who won't be able to wear any shoes except ones that are extra squishy and podiatrist-recommended. I'll only have three colors to choose from - black, white, or tan, which is good, since the neutral colors will match all my outfits.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Plastic Cards and Plastic Shoes

In an effort to escape campus and snap out of my mid-afternoon groggy state after a 2 hour nap, I went to the mall.

Shopping doesn't have the same appeal as it used to. For some, it's relaxing and enjoyable. More me, it's overwhelming and exhausting. On the rare occasion I fork over my gray plastic card, and almost immediately think about my credit card bill... and my friends all over the world who can't afford a white chocolate mocha or a new sweater. Sweet tension.

As I was browsing, I came across a display of Jelly Sandals - the ones that were in style when I was 13. I remember receiving two pairs as a birthday present in middle school. One was clear and sparklie - the other was bright pink. Both reeked unpleasantly of stinky plastic. I don't remember ever loving them, yet they were "fashionable" so I wore them a lot and my feet perpetually stunk.

I was tempted to purchase a pair today.

Just kidding. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Contrary to what you may expect coming from a girl who has been single for 6 1/2 years, Valentine's Day is still one of my favorite holidays. To celebrate, I wore pink high heels and spent hours cutting out hundreds of polka-dotted and striped hearts, making 23 homemade valentine's from scratch, "remember the Father's love" for students and colleagues.

It's never really been a mushy-gushy day for me. Gaudy stuffed animals, cheap chocolates wrapped in red cellophane, and balloons shaped like lips make me gag a little. I actually don't even like store-bought Valentine's - probably because I've never purchased a Valentine's card in my life; I've handmade them for my classmates ever since grade school! When I was 16, a boy strategically placed a cheesy poem and rose in my locker. I could do without the flowery language and sparklie red pen that he wrote with. Flowers, on the other hand, will always make me melt.

My dad used to leave a pot of pink pansies on the breakfast table for Chrislyn and I before we left for school. I always knew I would wake up on February 14th and be loved on by my dad; he will always "be mine."

Something thrills me about silly little holidays and I secretly wish they excited those around me, too. Not enough people wore pink or red. There should have been more love and less PDA. I observed a touchy-touchy couple waiting for their expensive, brewed-to-perfection espresso drinks at Starbucks. I sipped my usual nonfat white mocha, trying not to be too disgusted. It was bad...

I had hoped Valentine's Day would be a great day to observe my Sabbath, yet I did a terrible job of keeping it sacred. I'm taking a much-needed break every Thursday to make up for Wednesday night small group and staff meeting, Sunday evening Cambodia Team meetings, and weekend duties. I did an okay job of avoiding the office, yet I still managed to do a few work-related things on top of four hours of laundry. To make up for it, I hunted down a tasty concoction of frozen yogurt topped with Reese's. After visiting 4 ice cream parlors, all of which had already closed for the night, I ended up in the ice cream aisle at Safeway.

Last week was a blur and I'm still piecing it together. Tough conversations and discipline that was not received well, late nights, not enough encouraging coffee dates, lots of awkward miscommunication. Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe I'm being tested. My job is hard. Life, rather, is hard. Hardcore life as I know it.

February 15th marked the one year anniversary of my departure for El Alto. I remember sitting in the airport, listening to some wealthy women talk about their vacation in Cabo, proudly showing off their pedicured, tan feet. I journaled about the tension I was already facing. My hair wouldn't see a blow dryer for 4 months, my face would be devoid of any makeup, smooth legs would soon resemble a forest, and my feet would be covered in a perma-film of dust.

Even though Valentine's Day has been overly commercialized, it's still about love. Since I left last February 15th, I've learned to love more deeply, love more fully, and love more obviously. I vow to do a better job of showing you that I love you.

Only 359 days until next V-Day, and a lifetime to practice the L-word.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

All I want to do

All I want to do right now is put on my sweats, a zip-up-hoodie, and some tennis shoes go for a run.
And then I would come back and eat a giant milkshake.
And sit on my carpet and blare some music. Something loud… and with lots of heart and soul.
And then I would paint. A masterpiece.

Oh, the joys of confrontation.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Stomping Grounds

Had I not already looked at the weather forecast for the next several days, I could easily be convinced Spring has arrived. I'm sitting by a terribly dirty, neglected window. A faint "Merry Chris....." is scrawled on the pane, meaning it hasn't been washed in several months. Thankfully, the glass scum doesn't deter sunbeams; one is dancing across my eyelashes as I squint, basking in the sunlight and my sister's presence.

Chrislyn says my eyes look crazy today, like two orange targets outlined with green. I gave her a look and she convinced me it was a good kind of crazy.

I love it when people ask if we're related. They usually say "oh, that Chrislyn - she is so amazing." which I respond "I know; I think she's pretty incredible."

This is a confusing place. Some call me Chrislyn, some welcome me "home" while others wonder what brought me here for the weekend. The longer I stay away from these old stomping grounds, the less of an ache resides every time I walk away and say goodbye-until-next-time.

If home is where the heart is, then I'm pretty sure my home is elsewhere.