a new “about me”

i really don’t feel like my “about me” works anymore. which, what does it say about me that i need a new description every-so-often?

 

i will not engage. I WILL JUMP OFF THIS TRAIN.

 

::ahem:: however (comma) the fact remains that i think my about page needs a re-do,

and i don’t want to do it.

 

who is that girl? exactly.

who is that girl? exactly. also webcam has tools i didn’t know about. just…wait for it.

i asked a few writers if any of them wanted to do it for me. one said, “I’m not smart enough to write your “about me” #incongruent” which, false, she’s brilliant, but i appreciated the hat tip for what i assume was vocabulary. plus #ilovecasualhashtags so, theryago.

 

another suggested, “maybe it should just read – I want to be cohesive” #hrm….. ::sigh::

 

and so, like most muse-y moments, I vacillate.

 

how many words, how many photos, how many details? How do you summarize what is difficult to describe? what is true and what do i want people to know. and…how good of a photo do i choose because….if i look to good then people will be disappointed if they see me IRL.

cause sometimes, i look like this (it's okay, the kid distracts with his cuteness. no really. cover him with your hand - see? totes different.)

cause sometimes, i look like this (it’s okay, the kid distracts with his cuteness. no really. cover him with your hand – see? totes different.)

so….

 

 

anyone have any suggestions? or anyone want to contribute? maybe i’ll just make a compilation.

Ritz the Ditz

For… a while now, I’ve known that my “online persona” was a pretty silly, basic version of me.

 

And part of that is very honest: I am at times (at most times) quite silly. And in some areas, I can be quite basic.

i chose this picture because a) i drank that there whiskey water and it proved me to be silly and b) that there ice ball is a simple, basic thing, but I was so amused I needed to photograph it. Cause it’s an ice cube…except it’s a ball!

 

And part of that is purposeful. Because there are some things that I feel very passionately toward, about which I’ve chosen to educate myself, and over which I’d love to have a conversation. But a blog is not a conversation, it is not a situation in which I can look into your eyes, or hold your hand, or pray over you as we encounter difficult topics together.

the black hole of “things not meant to be posted about but conversed over”

 

And part of that has been me hiding.

 

 

In high school, people called me…well a lot of things, but one of them was “ritz the ditz.” Because it rhymed. And because my high gpa did nothing to combat my flitty presence. At least, not to those who only knew me from a distance.

 

And the thing about people thinking you’re dumb is: they don’t expect much from you. They laugh with you. They laugh at you, but you don’t have to mind your p’s and q’s because when you get things backward (or say some jackwaggon thing) they just say, “Oh, that’s just Ritz.” And laugh it off.

 

But I’m not stupid. Or uneducated. Or flippant as my twitterfeed would have you believe.

 

I’ve been blessed with much education, including three separate bachelor’s degrees (which I earned with honors) from an amazing university.  I remember most of what I’ve learned for the past 24 years (for the first three, I make little account) and I think about it all, integrating it into the new things I encounter.

 

I care about almost every single issue I’ve ever run across. And people friends, when it comes to thoughts and ideas, I spend a lot of time running around.

 

I’m sinful as the day is long, but I’m not stupid or vapid or uncaring:

 

Yet, I am scared. Scared of the burden of being a banner-waver for things even so fundamental as truth.

 

please excuse the poor quality, I hadn’t time to edit (nor, probably, would it have made much difference. i don’t have the spiritual gift of photo editing)

I’m currently dating a man who,  among his many other  amiable qualities (kind eyes, sweet smile, great arms…), is a man of integrity.

 

So much so that I trust him. I trust that in every situation where we do not agree, even if he is wrong, it will not be for lack of care or thought.

 

It is largely as a result of knowing him that I realized what was going on. You know when you’re around someone whose general goodness either a) wears off on you or b) shows you how much goodness you’re lacking? Yeah. It’s kind of like spending time with Jesus, except that with Jesus, I see first that I have no goodness aside from Him, and every goodness in Him. (Aside: one of the great blessings of community is that you get to see so many sides of Jesus from people who represent so many parts of him.)

 

So between the man above and the King above (see what I did there? incredibly cheesy segue!) I’ve been seeing that I have relied on flippancy in not just an attempt at sharing fun and levity, but as a way to avoid the responsibility of one to whom much has been given.

 

And I am sorry. Because there is a song on my heart, the one my soul sings. And it is not eloquent. And it is not pretty. And it is not good. But it sings of the goodness of Him who Saves, and if I only ever get to share one thing, I want that to be it:

 

That in every thing and in every thought: Jesus is Lord of all things who created all things and rules all things, who lived a perfect life and died a sinner’s death to take the place of all his loved ones, and was resurrected, CONQUERING sin and death so that through faith in His power, faith that comes through the grace of His Spirit, all His beloved could be with him now, in a world He works to redeem and restore, and in eternity, in the new heavens and the new earth, which He will bring when He comes back.

(Holy run-on sentence, Batman!)

 

 

And if I share that, also, I think I may also speak of shoes and class and kissing and dancing and hard things and all things –

 

but only when I first speak of Truth, in Love,

 

and not relying on the hope that you’ll expect little of me.

someone tell my brain to acknowledge my body. or don’t.

SOMETIMES RICHARD WATCHES WHAT I DO.

okay. I’m in class and my classmate says he sees me surfing the interweb instead of paying attention. of which i am not proud. but prouder than if I fell asleep. Which is PRETTY MUCH my only other option. So that header was for him. Here’s the real blog.

It’s getting pretty warm here in the ATX. Which, if you know me (and, if you don’t, hello! welcome!) you know means I am half happy camper half OHMYGOSHWHYAMIINSIDERIGHTNOW. Does anyone have a pool at their apartment that’s open already. Mama needs to swim.

Speaking of, I went out for Facu’s graduation party (Facu is short for Facundo which means something, probably, but I don’t know what other than it’s my friend’s name) which was at Sculpture falls, somewhere we had to hike 2 miles to get to. In other words, heaven. I took exactly zero pictures because I left my phone in the car. Good thing, because out of the 7 of us who went, only 1 didn’t TOTALLY EAT IT AND GET SOAKED on their way across the water. And I was NOT that person. (But did I hold on for dear life to his arm on my way back? yes. yes i did.)

This weekend was chock full of body image issue questions the answers to which I’m not even close to having. I could wax and wane and philosophize OR i could just tell you about it. Hmmmm. If you’d prefer the former, you should stop reading.

fair warning: this is like a first-round set of thoughts.

Issue number one was i had to put on a bathing suit and find a cover up that fit…even though last summer I was 15 pounds heavier and 6 sizes bigger than I am now. I ended up wearing a 2-piece (because to be honest, wearing a one piece, for me, is still borrowing someone else’s conviction and because my cute one-piece from last year now falls off when it gets wet. lit-ra-ly. anyone want it?) and feeling very comfortable, especially because I was with the Banner Year boys, who habitually take care of me but keep me out of the category of “girls I wan to someday cavort with” so I knew I was safe and NOT objectified.

But then on Sunday, I got to get my bridesmaid’s dress for The Dancer’s upcoming wedding (2 MONTHS!). Last wedding I was in, I got a size 12 dress from david’s bridal. So i figured this time maybe an 8 or 10. They measured me at a 4 (dont worry, mom, their sizes are OFF, and i ended up in a “6” by their standards).  But these numbers don’t really mean anything to me about what I look like. They’re just numbers.

unrelated, i got bangs. acutally, i got a mullet. and i LOVE it.

But with the sort of redistribution of exercise and eating better, I don’t think my brain has caught up with my body. Have you ever looked at a photo and been like “I didn’t realize my hair had gotten so long,” or “wow, THAT’s what that dress looks like?”  Well, when I look in the mirror,  I am mostly comfortable with my body (holla-lu-yer). That’s the best summation I can come up with. And I thought that was a healthy, helpful place to leave it. I’m getting healthier and loving the strength I’m gaining from working out and I’m just all the things people usually report after they work out (other than weight loss. Still exactly 155 lbs) like happier and i sleep better and yada yada awesome. So not thinking much about the actual shape or appearance of my body beyond putting on clothes and feeling comfortable.

Because for.ev.er (okay, no, for a few years now) my greatest goal for my body is to be healthy and comfortable when i put on my clothes. To get dresses and not worry about hiding or disguising any problem areas.

i default to looking crazy in photos with lauren, where she always looks cute-as-a-button. i value consistency. ;)

But then, getting the dress, I got a shock. Another bridesmaid, a beautiful and thin girl who I would have SWORN WITH ALL AUTHORITY was smaller than me, had to get the next size up. I can’t look at her and think she’s anything but thin (help me, Father, I even looked at her facebook to make sure) and FOR SURE I thought I was the biggest one in the wedding (sidenote: WHY IS THIS EVEN A THOUGHT THAT OCCURS?!).

So anyway, what I’m saying is: I don’t think I know what I look like. And I don’t even know if that’s something that needs to be fixed.

Because a) I am still dying from suffering from under the attack of  dealing with a serious case of the “who-am-i-as-a-writer”s, and because b) it’s a sweet story and because c) i think these pictures will make at least one person laugh, i shall post the following.

When my house was broken into a month ago, those dang meanies stole my guitar (the one that the Dancer gave me that was perfect and i loved so much), my necklaces (three hugely sentimental ones that I kept hanging in my room cause I wore one of them EVERY day), purses (didn’t care), a digital camera (uhm, same megapixels as my phone, so, whatev) , and, of all things, my PRESCRIPTION glasses and sunglasses. And I had JUST gotten three new pairs the day before! So all I was left with, specs wise, was my Lennon glasses. You can see them on display here.

Anyway, I love my Lennon glasses when i’m working out (they are light and don’t slide down my nose) or when I’m in the mood to be funky. But most of the time I’m not trying to make a statement with my eyewear, I just want to SEE (which is about to really make you laugh when you see my “not making a statement” glasses). So having these statement glasses on when I wasn’t intentionally making a statement just felt 31 flavors of wrong.

N.E.WAY.

Belle’s parents, they love me. Part of me suspects it’s because it’s a little like loving Michelle, and I’m easier to access ;) But really, they are so caring and considerate and just plain good to me. And through their generosity, I was able to replace a purse, some hand towels (OH YEAH THOSE JERKS STOLE MY HANDTOWELS!) aaaaaand my glasses!

ANDPLUSALSOTOO, informationally,  ZENNIOPTICAL.COM is having a sale until the 14th – buy two, get one free. So I replaced all my glasses. For $75 total with shipping for four RX glasses and two RX sunnies. Boomtown, people.

So today, as the cherubim were singing, my glasses were delivered, and I put on one pair I have been itching to try.

I shall henceforth call them my ugly betty glasses. (I have a pair in pink that i call my Sally Jesse Rafael glasses.) I told the Social Worker (also my new roommate, as The Dancer moved on to greener, less-likely-to-be-robbed, more-approved-by-her-fiance pastures ;) that I feel so at home in these things.

TAA-DAA (i typed that in wall*e voice

because they are so big. like my face (it's not bad, i'm just saying. i have a big face)

and ridiculous. like my face. (this face is specifically for my belle, for her elephant sound. and for anyone who thinks i look like a "who", because i agree.)

I don’t think they’re too much. Do you? Surely not. They can be subtle. Look:

barely even noticeable, right? ;)

Okay, so maybe I had a little fun figuring out how to best showcase these beauts (cause when you get glasses after waiting for a few weeks and are relieved to have fashion options, it is sometimes reflected via your webcamphotolog.

OH LOOK! An orb! Is it going to eat me?

I set my mini to the side and took a photo on severe delay, to try and capture what i really look like in them when I am not posing. I look concerned, right? Nope. I'm actually just mouth-breathing. Allergies and Austin go together like Peas and carrots. especially cause NO ONE LIKES PEAS!

you think these are a joke? bet i won't wear these to choir. BET! (i may not, actually. would these distract you if they were up front?)

i think they blend in a little,

nicely highlight the angles of my... highlights.

okay. that’s enough for now. Next i should tell you about the geeetar. But I may not. We’ll have to see. ::maniacal laugh::

Scratch -n- Win

I’ve been sittin on this for a while because I just got done telling you how I didn’t care that much if people said I’m pretty, and because there is NO way that I can say this without at least SOMEone thinking, “Oh, is there something going on?” Well, no, pplfriends, like we’ve established based on all my previous full disclosure, I will tell you when something is going on. This is just some cuteness I wanted to share. Cause who doesn’t like cuteness? No one. (No one who likes me anyway. Ya see what I did there? :)

SO, the other day, I was putting on makeup before leaving for dinner with a friend, a hard headed goose who likes to complain about things. ;) So I said,

“Can i put on make up or are you going to yell at me?”

“Do you think you need make up?”

“No, I just want it.”

“Well I honestly think you’re prettier without makeup.”

(i totally miss the fact that he calls me pretty, even though we’ve known each other longer than some of my friend’s kids have been alive, and he’s never called me pretty. In fact he’s called me fat. So pretty’s pretty much the other end of the spectrum.)

“Can we compromise on mascara?” (why are we even having this fight? I’m so dumb, I should’ve just said, ‘sorry, i need a sec to finish getting ready.’)

“I mean, why?”

“WHY DO YOU HATE MAKEUP?!”

“I don’t hate make up. I just think girls who wear too much make up are like scratch-n-wins, sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t.” (and let me tell you, what I hear is “you wear too much make up and I’m comparing you to something cheap and chancey.”)

“Whatever, I’m putting on mascara because I like it and you can just wait, okay?”

At which point I finally realize he said I was prettier without makeup, which at least is CLOSE to a compliment, so I poke my head out of the bathroom and say,

“Thanks, I mean.”

But later we’re talking and he mentions the scratch-n-win thing again and I’m like “WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN, WEIRDO?!” Except I say that in my head. Out loud I say, “Uhm, I really am not sure I understand what you mean.”

“Well, you look pretty without make up.”

“So i don’t look pretty with make up?” (yeah, i’m this dense.)

“NO! I didn’t say that. I said you’re pretty without it. I told you, girls with too much make up (i ALMOST butt in to ask why he thinks I wear “too much” make up but I let him continue. Probably cause there is food in my mouth) are like scratch-n-wins. You win some you lose some. But you’re definitely a win.”

“…”

“…”

“So…are you saying that girls who look pretty with make up, you never know if they’ll look pretty without, but i look pretty either way, but you just prefer without make up?”

“Yes.”

“jeesh. okay. NOT what I got out of this conversation the first time. Thx, dude.”

“yeah.”

And that, that cuteness, typifies my life.

Go and be cute. And sin no more. Or whatev. ;)

Not the Fat Girl

::one of those “looking back and seeing how god has changed me” posts, written may – june 2011::

 

 

I can’t find it right now, but if I haven’t written it, i KNOW i have thought this before. I’ve thought:

“I’ll always be the fat girl on the inside.”

and what’s truly ironic is that I’m close to if not at the heaviest I’ve been in my adult life (alright, not Christmas 2009. That was a tough time. yuck). But you know what, even if I’m a big girl on the outside,

I AM NOT THE FAT GIRL ON THE INSIDE ANYMORE.

y’all. what the darn?

God is just so good.  I can look at my life and see how I’m seeing myself more the way he sees me. It’s not every moment of every day, but it’s more and more moments.  Times that I look in the mirror and i’m just happy with who I am. Or times tha I’m just happy with who I am, so i don’t feel necessary to look in the mirror.

I’m not the fat girl on the inside.

so okay with myself that I'm okay looking like the cover of "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas"

 

Is there any identifier you thought you’d always have, that God has released you from?

The Blessing of Unrequited (shadows)

As you may have expected, people have been asking me how I’m doing since that little “in love with someone who wants someone else.” fiasco. (which you can see more about here, here, and here.)

And honestly: I’m OKAY.

See? Cute outfit. I must be okay. ;)

I mean, i’m probably better than okay. I don’t feel any differently about him, but I am trying every day to be faithful with whatever is in front of me. And you know what’s NOT in front of me? That man.

But what is still in front of me is my God and His goodness. And one of my favorite things about God is that since His glory is the point of everything, I can count on everything to teach me something about His glory. Circular references can be the bomb sometimes.

And I am so grateful that my feelings are what they are.

I am grateful that I have no control over this strong, abiding, i-know-will-go-away-when-God-sees-fit, beyond-all-sense love.

Not because it shows me how I should love God,

but because it shows me how God loves me.

And that man not loving me* shows me a lot about how I love God.

I hope this can make sense.

I didn’t choose to want this man. In fact, I fought it like CRAZY. Until I just knew. KNEW  that I couldn’t fight it anymore. There wasn’t anything I could do to change it. And like he told me again and again, the man didn’t change in any way to make me want him. He didn’t measure up (not that he had some failing to cover) or win my affection with his goodness. He didn’t suddenly warrant my love in some way that changed for those feelings to resurge SO STRONGLY. It just happened and I knew it wouldn’t un-happen.

But he didn’t want me.

It reminds me of the love of God. Except he CAN and DOES choose to love us. To love ME in a way that isn’t EVER going to un-happen. He loves me not because I measured up or won his attention with my worthiness. He loves me no matter what I do.

And so often, I just don’t want him. I choose other things (and here the analogy breaks down because I choose far less worthy things. Q didn’t choose anything less worthy, just different).

See I love the way I feel about that man, and even the way he feels about me, because it points me again and again to the greatest love story, told on Calvary with an empty cross and an empty grave. It reminds me that the strongest love I’ll ever understand (which no, i don’t think i’ve experienced yet) on this earth

Will still only be a vain shadow of the love God has for me.

It points me back to how grateful I am for this unmerited gift. This thing I could never earn. This thing beyond words and understanding.

The blessing of an unrequited love all wrapped up in the love I could never hope to match. The love of the Father and King and Lover of my soul.

How have past loves taught you about His great love?

*not romantically, anyway. He’s still a kind, sweet creature. Just one exercising his privilege to prefer another. I can malign no one this choice. Please no, “he’s so {anything}.” comments about him not wanting me. ;)

hares and hairs

I always do new, fun things when I hang out with La Familia.

I don’t think I ever tried to decorate a cupcake before this easter. Not too bad for a first attempt. (I made a stencil for the bunny out of paper. Turns out, paper stencils only work once on frosting. :)

 

or cutting hair. I do hair almost EVERY time I’m over there.

before side

after side...you can tell i still needed to blend in the top on the other side

and FREAKING OUT when the younger/bigger brother looks, in a photo, JUST EXACTLY LIKE Q

eeby jeebers, pplfriends. I hollered "OHMYGOSH Jacob DO NOT LOOK AT ME." (oh and I had NOT cut the right front at this point. This was supposed to be a photo of his gnarly sideburn)

and the cutting the itty borther’s hair the next morning.

plz essckuse the look. I don't know what compelled me to pair those tops. ew.

or dying seester’s hair!!

told ya, i spend a LOT of time on hair here.

 

of course, she helped me with mine, too! (thx, seester!)

People Change

a “just a thought” post.

looking in the mirror just now, i felt comfortable. I wondered if maybe i’d lost weight, maybe the tan or the outfit or maybe….. maybe I’m just different.

 

I think i’ve done an okay job on this blog of chronicling the ups and downs of surviving disordered eating and skewed body image. Tell me if i haven’t. But for the last year or so, I’ve just been MOSTLY happy with myself.  Even my “not that chubby” series culminated with: I’m happy with myself.

 

There are some of us who believe people do not change. I used to think that. There are some that think you have to CHOOSE to change. I used to think that too.

 

So I’d love to say that either I’ve always been this way, somewhere, deep down. But that would be a lie. And I’d love to say that I just chose once and kept choosing to love truth more than my perception of it. But, that’s not really how love works, is it?

 

I find more and more that instead of a bright light, a moment of revelation (although, as Paul and his donkey would affirm, those happen), love often happens as a whisper that says, “Hi, I am here, would you like to see me?” And most often, I say no. I would not like to see love. I’d like to see traffic or heartache or hunger but not love. Sure COGNITIVELY i’d choose love. But when I “snap” at someone or fall into despair, my actions are choosing to see circumstances, not love.

 

Love, though, is of all things, first patient. (oh and I am, of all things, often first IMpatient.) And love keeps whispering. And somehow, as I say “yes” more and more, as love convinces me, wears down my defenses with comfort and joy and kindness and always rejoicing, i find the film falling from my eyes.

 

Until FINALLY, love doesn’t have to whisper from across the room. Love knocks on the door of my heart and I am over-the-moon. I smile brightly, “LOVE! I’m so glad you’re here.” And love comes in.

 

and with love in my heart, i look back at all the times I’ve stomped on him, and I become ashamed. I want to turn away, I don’t want him to see me so close, to know just…ALL of me. And with this knowledge, this perfect knowledge of my past and my future, with power to do anything with me, what does love do?

 

Love….loves. There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear. And When he does, I, now fearless, run back.

 

So…I think people do change.

 

Love changes them.

i found love in the middle of a textile while making a gift. how kind of love to remind me, he's everywhere.

Strawberry Kisses

before I knew i was a gluten-sickie (meaning i eat gluten and get sick, but haven’t been diagnosed as intolerant. ppl get snippy over these things), i didn’t much like food.

i mean i liked it

and i ate too much,

but i got sick all the time and readily considered that if i could take a pill or something instead of eating, even if that meant i never got to eat again, i’d do it!

life is better, knowing what food to avoid so that I can enjoy what i do have.

like strawberries. i can eat strawberries and i ENJOY them.  especially when they’re really ripe. on the verge of going bad (but not there yet) still firm, super sweet,

and if you add a glass of the right ::ahem:: grape juice – mercy, i’m over the moon for these little fruits!

I consider (lots of things when i drink grape juice;)  that a good kiss ought often (like, in romantic settings) to be like a good strawberry. had at the proper time,  a point at which not having it would be a waste, and having had it before would be to have a lesser thing.

it ought, perhaps, to have the same firmness. like something you can bite into, consume, a kiss ought not be merely lips touching (after all, can not a kiss on the cheek or neck or hand be just as rapturous, though different?) but an experience to be breathed in, to be tasted.

i bought my first "lip stain" yesterday.

anyway my point is i like strawberries and i like kisses and i like my kisses like i like my strawberries:

sweet.