Maybes and January 2012

Lately I’ve spent time looking through some of my old journals. Entries from last year at this time were filled with much optimism and hope, despite the uncertainty I was facing. Then, for a while, they teemed with hurt and realizations of the brokenness in and around me. Dashes of hope were sprinkled less liberally, but still there. Like this:

“Maybe God’s plan for me is much bigger than I let myself think…”

Months later, I’m still contemplating the same thought. If I could write my own life for the next five years or so, it probably wouldn’t include anything outlandish: A job that fulfills me and makes me feel like I’m making a difference in the world, an adorably eclectic apartment, a nice boy, a wedding, a house decked in handmade crafts, a baby. Perhaps some visits to friends around the globe, some articles published elsewhere (maybe even in print?), some good stories to tell of exciting adventures. But nothing too crazy.

Maybe some, or all, of those things will come to pass.

Then again, maybe bigger things will.

Maybe I’ll learn what true contentment about being single looks and feels like. Maybe I’ll move across the country or globe, crying as I leave family and friends, but rejoicing as I struggle and learn to find community somewhere other than where I’ve grown up. Maybe I’ll create an incredibly successful career, and learn how to give generously beyond what I thought I’d ever be capable. Maybe I’ll run a marathon, or at least a longer distance than the 5ks I’ve done so far. Maybe I’ll discover a sport I’m actually good at and join a team. Maybe I’ll write a book. Maybe I’ll start an organization that changes the world.

And maybe not.

Let me be clear: neither of these would be bad ways for my life to go. They’re just different, and one happens to be full of things I’ve never really imagined for myself.

Maybe God’s list of things I’m going to do in the next few years is drastically different than either of those, full of things I haven’t thought of yet. Maybe I’ve put him in a box when it comes to imagining what my future, right now seeming so uncertain, holds.

Because maybe his plans are much bigger than I can think.

Til next time…



Posts from the Past: Pie, and October 2006

My musings about pie, from my Xanga

Ah, 16-year-old me waxing philosophical about a piece of pie. It seems especially fitting, seeing as my lovely mother recently baked me that same kind of pie and I’ve been eating my way through it this past week. Only a piece a day, though it has been tempting to eat more. And though this time I have a whole pie, all to myself, courtesy of a Christmas present, it doesn’t change that the pie will soon be gone.

Though my appreciation for delicious pie has not changed in the 6 years since I wrote that post, a few other things have. Instead of wishing to slow time down, as I seem to have wanted to do back then, if anything I’d probably want to speed time up right now. This land of in-between I’m in, of living with my parents and not having a full-time job and being single but not really wanting to be and not knowing what I’ll be doing several months from now and often feeling like I’m standing still while my friends’ lives go speeding ahead…it seems like something to get through more than enjoy.

The reality is, life doesn’t start when I reach a certain checkpoint, be it moving out or getting a boyfriend or landing a job.

Life is, not will be.

I can choose to put my head down, power through this land of in-between and only begin to take notice again when I determine I have reached the mysterious land beyond this one, or I can slow down, look around, and learn to appreciate the goodness that persists here. Even amidst the uncertainty.

Good thoughts, former me.

Til next time…


p.s. I’ve use pie as an illustration in a previous post. Clearly, I like pie. As usual, feel free to share thoughts, questions, salutations, etc. in the comments.

The Comparison Game

“Life is never as good or as bad as it seems.” -Cameron Strang, founder of RELEVANT Magazine

I like this thought. Even when things are going exceptionally well, when everything is coming up roses and daisies and tulips, and you’re on cloud 9.7…there’s still something, even something tiny, that’s going to be a little off. Not quite as perfect as it could be. Which could be a little depressing–no matter how hard you try, things will never be perfect.

…but on the more uplifting side, even when things are going terribly, terribly wrong, when every piece of life seems to be falling apart, when work is stressful and relationships are broken and painful and you feel like you’re going nowhere…there’s still something, even something as small as finding a really good book or enjoying some nice weather…that goes right.

The problem comes when we play the comparison game. Which I am quite, quite good at. Because even if things are going right, there’s also someone who seems to have more pieces of their life together, or maybe just particular pieces that I am envious of. And if things are rough in my life, there’s seems to be even more people around who seem to have everything together, even though really, they don’t.

“If we only wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, and that is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.” ~Montesquieu 

Comparison is not the way to a happy, fulfilled life. Instead, I’m learning (and experiencing) that it is a fast track to a not-so-pleasant land of discontentment and frustration.

Because yes, it’s true that I do not have a full-time job. It’s true that I live with my parents. It’s true that I’m single. It’s true that I don’t have very much money to do many of the things I’d like to. And when I compare myself to people around me, be it family, friends, fellow church members, or the other customers at the coffee shop, I will see people with full-time jobs, apartments and houses, fiances and spouses, and money and opportunities that I do not have.

But where’s the point in that? I am being continually reminded that the life I live is mine, and mine only. It is not the life of the people around me. We have different paths, and that is okay. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. If we all did things exactly the same, the world would not be a very interesting place. And if we did a little less comparing, and a little more living, I think we’d all be a bit happier.

Til next time…


Embracing the Mess. Again.

Hypocrite: someone who says one thing and does another.

Or, if we want to get technical, defines it: a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

Aka, this kid.

My last post was about embracing the mess, learning to love the uncertainty of things, and being alright with the fact that no one REALLY knows what they’re doing when it comes to life.

Less than an hour after posting that, I did some recreational writing, the type that will never end up on here, but is simply for my own well-being.

And…I freaked out in ink.

About how I don’t know what I’m doing.

And I’m afraid I could mess things up.

In other words, exactly the things I said that it’s ok to be ok with.

(Did you hear that noise? It was me, hitting my forehead with my palm. Cause I’m RIDICULOUS.)

It be easy at this point to slough this off with a, “Well everybody does stuff like that.” Which they do. But that doesn’t make it any better. If I really believe the words I type, which I do, why on earth am I still freaking out about  not knowing what I’m doing?

Oh yea…cause I’m human. Drat.

Because as good as it sounds to embrace the mess and be ok with not knowing what we’re doing, it’s not easy. Writing words is much easier than living them out. I’m not excusing my freak out, or trying to pretend that I did it simply so I could write a blog post about how hard it really is to embrace the mess. Fact of the matter is, I am not perfect. I am very, very far from it. I write because I feel compelled to, and honestly, though it may be selfish, most of my posts are more for my own benefit than anyone else’s. My most recent one was no different, and my ignoring it within an hour of posting it shows that quite clearly, I do believe.

So I remind myself again: it’s ok that life doesn’t make sense. Embrace the mess. EMBRACE THE MESS, BRIANNA!

Til next time…


Embracing the Mess

Life is a mess.

Lately I’ve been realizing how little anyone REALLY knows what they’re doing in life. We all just kind of bumble around, doing our best, but never really knowing what’s going on. Sure, we like to think that we know what we’re doing, and even more so we like for other people to think we know what we’re doing.

But we have




What’s going on.

And beware of anyone who says they do.

But I’ve been learning to enjoy it. Typically I like things to be in some sort of order (despite what my parents will point out about the state of my room at home). I like to know what’s going on when, how I’m getting there, who I’m going with, etc and so forth. Life is rarely so cut and dried though, especially right now. As much as I’d like to know what’s going to happen in the future, and even be clued in as to what’s really going on right now, I do not and will not have that information.

There’s a terrifying beauty in it though. As Jack’s Mannequin sings, “We are just these people happy, tangled lives…We are just these people, such tragic little things.” If we let ourselves enjoy it, there’s enjoyment to be found in the mess. If no one knows what they’re doing, (and I fully maintain we don’t, some people are just better at acting like they know what’s going on) then why should we care if someone says, “You’re doing that wrong.”

Yup, we very well might be. But that’s part of being human. We mess up, fall on our faces, slam our fingers in doors…and move on. There is nothing neat about living, so we might as well learn to embrace it. Recognize that no one else really knows what’s going on either, laugh at the absurdity of it…and keep on truckin’.

Til next time…