June 30, 2007

1:49 PM: resonating

"But these places and these faces are getting old / so I'm going home... where your love has always been enough for me."
-Home, Chris Daughtry

"Can circumstances possibly change who I forever am in You?"
-Bring the Rain, MercyMe

"Lord, how am I supposed to apprehend anything / when I'm so big in my eyes?"
-Under the Impression, Charlie Dodrill

"It's okay to be sad."
-my friend Dayna

Music always makes me introspective. Some of it makes me sad, so I have to turn it off. Some of it makes me feel guilty, so I have to turn that off, too. Some of it makes me think long and hard, and it just depends what mood I'm in whether I turn that off or not. Last week, even Jesus-music was making me mad-bad-sad, but I'm doing better this week. Now I'm listening again, and it's interesting when lyrics I've sung a thousand times in the car start sounding different to me.

For instance, yesterday I was driving home from my brother's and listening to Lincoln Brewster. He has this song called "Love the Lord," and the lyrics are, simply, I will love you Lord / with all my heart / with all my soul / with all my mind / with all my strength. Over and over. And I was driving along and singing those words and suddenly I scrunched up my brow and thought, what am I singing? This isn't the truth. If I really, truly loved God with everything, if I gave him everything, then I wouldn't be depressed when I lose. I wouldn't be upset when I don't get my way. If I gave him everything, then I would just throw my arms up and say "OK then! Whatever you say, Lord!" I wouldn't hang on. I wouldn't look for ways to drag out my pain. I would want to let go of this thing that God obviously didn't intend for me. But I suck at that. I'm not any good at letting go. What does it take to truly give God all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? I've sung those words so many times in my life--hymns, campfire songs, worship music... and I always thought I really meant it. Now I'm not sure. I want to love him that way, but I'm not sure I really know how. Maybe I used to know and I forgot. But I'm not sure.

The last thing I quoted up there was something a friend told me. Since my struggle started, so many friends have had so many wise things to say. So many have listened and sympathized and tried to help. But it was this tiny little thing that made the biggest difference. I was in the middle of a sob session and Dayna was giving me the mother treatment--digging out tissues, holding me, and doing the hair stroke. But she didn't try to tell me it was going to be okay. She didn't say "there's someone perfect out there for you, Shannon!" She didn't say he wasn't good enough anyway. She simply said, "It's okay to be sad."

Wow. It sounds so simple now but it was revolutionary to me in that moment and in the days since she said it. I had been trying so hard to not allow myself to be sad. I was so afraid of the pain that I pushed everything out of my mind. Instead of letting myself be sad, I tried to ignore things and go back to my life and I ended up sliding into a pretty ugly funk. When I realized it was okay to be sad, I finally felt like I could talk to God again. This has been an interesting lesson for me, control-freak poster child.

In unrelated news, happy birthday Jill! Happy birthday, Anne! Happy birthday, Chris! It was apparently a good day to be born.

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June 27, 2007

9:53 AM: twenty-eight

It's a new year! I'm 28 and 1 day old now, and it's time to get happy. I think yesterday was a turning point in my attitude. I've been laying around in a funk for awhile, and I guess I just needed someone to pull me out of it and show me happy again. Well, my friends came through (I shouldn't be surprised--they always do!) and I'm feeling so much more like Shannon again today.

Recall the hug project. My friends decided to take it to the next level and turn my normal, boring cubicle into a huggy one. There were little hugging people (including some with Hugh Grant heads) strung up all over the place. They made a special Hug Board (see on the right) to keep track of my birthday hugs. I got 28 (that's how many I am!) at work and four more later.

Jen made the most amazing (and beautiful) cake ever. Everyone thought it was from a real bakery. Well, it was. The Jen Bakery is my favorite.

I got about nine voicemails from Hugh Grant, aka Mark. I feel very Britishly loved.

Then I had dinner and some game-playing with my best friends.

Mom and Dad sent the most perfect card. Laurie, Allan, and Dave all remembered. It was a good day. And today is happy, too. I'm staying out of the slump.

Thanks, everyone. I have the greatest friends (and family). I know how fortunate I am. I love you all.

Click for pictures:
birthday 07

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June 25, 2007

10:07 PM: it's only the world

Last night I did nothing, and it felt pretty good. Tonight I did nothing, and it felt pretty lousy. Darn it. I thought maybe this park-it-on-the-couch-with-potato-chips thing was going to be the answer, but I guess not.

I'm not having a sad night... I'm having an irritated one. I'm irritated with myself for being in a funk and not getting myself out of it. I'm irritated that I can't just buck up and deal with the crap in my life instead of being sorry for myself and ignoring the problem. Truth is I'm tired of feeling crappy. What is the answer?

I guess it's time to start being honest with myself and stop pretending like he (and she) never existed. I guess this isn't a healthy way to deal with it, because I'm starting to hate myself a little more every day. I'm a mess and it's time to pull it together.

Tomorrow's my birthday, so I guess it's a good day to decide to have a new start. Right? This was a rough birthday-to-birthday year for me. It saw not one, not two, but three breakups. Two with Rob, one with Mr. Never-Existed... it's been exhausting. Maybe when Mom told me this would be my year, she meant my birthday-to-birthday year. Year 28. Maybe my good stuff starts tomorrow.



June 23, 2007

12:07 AM: friends


I love them.

What a happy night!

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June 21, 2007

10:06 PM: chains on my soul

What a week I've had. I've been sad, but I've been strong. Stronger this time. Every day is a little better than the one before. My friends have been keeping me busy, and I know I'm so fortunate to have people around me who care that much. To my own surprise, I'm getting pretty close to over him. Not over the dream, and definitely not over her, but I guess I'm gaining break-up skills. It would be nice to never have to use these skills again.

One foreign thing I've been struggling with this time, though, is a teensy bit of anger at my God. This is not an area I'm familiar with, because I've always been a take-it-as-it-comes kind of Christian. I've been through bad times before and I've shaken it off and gone on my merry Jesus way. This time, something is different. There's a stirring anger within me that's screaming, "Why again, Lord? WHY?" I know God has a plan and I know it's better than any crap I could come up with. I just want to know why he wants to drag me through the valley over and over.

Anyway, as a result of this struggle, I've been feeling kind of far away. I feel like I can't (don't want to?) get close to God. For example, my Bible is in the backseat of my car from the trip to PA. I talk to him a little but I think I'm avoiding talking about the stuff that hurts. "Thanks for the food, Lord." "Help me get through this day." "Get her out of my head, please!" And so on. Where's the deep, dark stuff? Where's the stuff that really hurts and then heals? I've been holding back, because I'm not ready. I don't know why, really.

Tonight I was driving home from Lisa's and this song came on. Again. When it came on, I thought to myself, "that is so weird! This song has been on every time I've been in the car for days." And only then did I realize that might have been on purpose. I'm driving down the road and singing along with the words--out of habit--and then I thought, hey, do I mean what I'm singing? ... Yes. Yes, I think I do. And then I cried for the first time since Sunday. He always shows himself to me.

The song is here:
It's "Love Song for a Savior" by Jars of Clay. It's an old song, so that's why it seemed pretty weird to me that it was on so often--not that 1049 The River doesn't ever play the same songs over and over (and over). I've heard the song a million times since the 90s, but not until tonight did I hear myself singing the words "I want to fall in love with you" to my God. Who needs a man?

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June 17, 2007

6:21 PM: thoughts on father's day

Dear future Mr. Right-for-Me: Can you measure up to my dad?

Let me preface this by saying I know it's not exceptionally healthy. But the last day and a half--since the official end--I've been thinking occasionally about Mr. Right. I don't mean I'm out searching and I don't mean I want to try to heal my Andy-wounds with another guy. I'm not trying to market myself just yet, and I'm not signing up for dating sites. All I'm saying is that my view on the man market has changed all of a sudden. Yesterday I stopped at a gas station on my way home to PA and when I smiled up at the cashier--just friendly-like, of course--the in-a-relationship scales fell from my eyes and I remembered what it was like to immediately categorize every man who crosses my path: potential... not my type... available... wedding-ringed... . I don't do it on purpose. I guess it just comes with my single-woman-approaching-thirty nature.

And again, I'm not saying I'm out searching. But I have been thinking about this supposed Mr. Right. Mostly because when people attempt to comfort me about the breakup, they usually go for the big guns about how God has someone better for me and how amazing it will be when I find him. So it's not my fault. People keep reminding me about this man who is apparently out there somewhere just killing time until he gets to make me the happiest girl in the world. Hope he's ready. Seems like that can be a tall order sometimes.

What does he look like in my mind? I'm not sure yet, but I hope he's a whole lot like my dad.

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June 15, 2007

6:40 PM:

Having had 24 hours to think on things, I decided I probably shouldn't have posted quite what I did yesterday. I do have the lousy habit of saying things out of hurt and anger and not counting to ten, and I probably did that last night. I should have just left it at sad and clicked the button, but I guess I wanted to share my pain. Even so, it shouldn't have been at Andy's expense, and I apologize for that.

I'm dealing with anger and disappointment and hurt and sadness and all sorts of other bad feelings, and sometimes I just want to stay mad because it's so much easier than being sad. Sometimes I work hard at being angry, because really, it's a pretty good Band-Aid. Of course I'm intelligent enough to know that it's not a good long-term fix; I've been through enough hurts in the last few years to have learned quite a few things about dealing with the pain. I'm still not any good at it, but at least I'm educated on what the "right" things are to do--and I know anger isn't really the healthy way, but it helps get you through some of the hurty stuff until you're strong enough to deal with things. That is assuming you ever actually deal with them... (I do!).

Just for the record, Andy is a good guy. He's not a different person from the one I wrote about all those months ago when I was gushing about how great he was. Okay, he stopped doing things like bringing flowers and breakfast and cough drops, but he's still the same good-hearted guy, and he still opens doors for me. He's a guy with a history that I'm not allowed to know. He's a good guy with a wall that I can't climb. I want to, but there's just no way in. I want to get in, but he just can't let me, and I don't know that I can keep trying, because it's exhausting and I feel like I'm going at it alone. I need a map, or a boost, or something that will make me feel like we're in it together, but it just isn't there. This guy--the guy who can't let me in--I love him, and I wish I could take away the hurts from his past. But that isn't my job. It's God's job, and it's Andy's job to hand those things over, and as much as I want to fix everything and make it go away, I wasn't made for that. I was made to be supportive, but I don't know how long I can do that at the expense of my own emotional needs.

I know God's plan is good, and I'm looking forward to the happy part. He has always proven to me that he has something better in mind, and whatever it is, I'm ready for it.

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June 14, 2007

5:43 PM:

The beach is out, and I think I might be done with the boy, too.

Hug quota shall be doubled in the coming days.

I'm going to get over the disappointing boy, but can someone teach me to get over Allie?


I'm very sad tonight.

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June 10, 2007

9:12 PM: blissy bliss

This is kind of like the day after Christmas. It was exciting, and I waited all that time for it, and now it's over. And the over part, well, it's sweet and it's sad. I've been busy and stressed and I'm glad for the break. But the planning and anticipation were fun. Of course, now I can look at pictures, and I didn't have that before...

It was a beautiful wedding. The weather was absolutely perfect, there were no snags in the plans, and everyone seemed to have had a great time. Lisa could've (perhaps should've) been in Bride magazine.

Andy was amazing and won extra points and many props from me. He wasn't thrilled about going and sitting alone, but he was great. He even showed up at the wedding when we had decided he could just come to the reception. Seeing him there was a sweet surprise, especially since I know it wasn't easy or comfortable for him. That made it a big sacrifice. He danced with me lots and was a great sport the whole night.

So... my best friend is married off, and I haven't decided yet how I feel about this. I guess I have a week to decide while she's off beaching it in the Caribbean. When they get into the "normal" groove, we'll see how I feel about my best friend having a husband.



June 03, 2007

9:17 PM:

This is fun to watch. And it keeps getting better.



About Me

    Name: Shannon
    Age: 29
    Occupation: Editor
    Identity: Child of God
    Location: Ohio
    Yahoo: shann_79


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