You turn on the shower, this is no unordinary movement. You open your mouth to say something but don’t even know where to begin. Nothing comes out.
You get in and just let the water run, you’ve done this more than three hundred million times in your life. You’re scared and you know you feel it, but you give it a go anyways. You pour out your heart.
You realize after a while, you’ve gotten used to the heat. You turn the nozzle up. You realize nothing gets through. Nothing is understood. Nothing is more clarified than it was before this new version of the same repetitive argument.
The new temperature isn’t satisfactory, the nozzle goes up another time. You start to feel it again. Different boyfriend, years and years later, same sick wonder. What if none of this changes?
Maybe the temperature gauge is broken, so you crank that bad boy up. It’s almost becoming too late now-it’s feeling like there’s no point in fighting. Fighting for what? You stand back silent, knowing deadliness of the heart.
It’s so different, but so similar at the same time. You know the water is hot enough, but you keep turning it up anyways. The lukewarm water isn’t good enough, it’s not okay to just be mediocre ‘okay.’ You get sick of having to turn the temperature up, so you blast it. The second that scorching water hits your skin you jump back against the cold wall of the shower-out of the direct line of fire of the piercing bullets coming from above. In that fight or flight moment, you choose flight-the fight isn’t worth your heart anymore. Then it all changes, you dabble your fingers in the fight, and try to tell yourself it isn’t as bad as you thought. So you tell your body to armor up, it’s time for battle. You step back into the fire, and let the attack rain down. At first it’s miserable. Your body doesn’t want to stand it, and begs you to give it relief from the misery. Your mind tells you a little more strength and perseverance is all you need, you can take more than you think. All of the sudden you find your mind wandering elsewhere, only then realizing you aren’t thinking about the pain any longer. You put your hand into the bullets and realize you’re numb. Now you think maybe the torture has gone on long enough, and you shut the operation down. Reaching for your towel, all you see is red. You look down and notice it’s everywhere. Your entirety is covered with red. Every single visible ounce of you is blotched and burning bright back up at you. The under-lying bruises are the only things you can see shining clearly through the red haze. Quizzical.
You step out and everything is vivid in your mind. You wonder what just happened?
It’s simple really.
The only pain you can control.
Something I do a lot is make lists. I like to write things down in ink, making them permanent in my mind. Last year I started this thing that I think I’ll continue doing for years to come. You see I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, I think you should continuously be improving yourself and your life for the better. Instead, I make goals and dreams for myself for the next year of my life. So right before my twentieth birthday, I started thinking and praying about what I wanted out of the next year of my life. I wrote all of these things down in my Notes app on my phone. This way I could look at it, and cross them off once I have accomplished them to my own satisfaction. I had a list of about fifteen things for my year twenty. As I’m about to turn twenty one, I’ve been thinking about what I have and haven’t accomplished throughout year twenty. The majority of my list has been checked off, and I’d say I’m pretty satisfied with the blessings of this year. One thing I think has been potently alive in my life throughout this last year that I nowhere near anticipated was this: change.
The entire last year of my life has been in a constant spiral, a never ending circle of change. The majority of the things that have changed are things I never thought would happen-but well, here we are.
-I fell in love. Going along with this trend, this is the number one thing I absolutely never expected. I met a guy-a God fearing, genuine man. He absolutely, completely, and has forever changed my life.
-I moved twice, and will be moving again in just a few short weeks. This is crazy to me. It’s crazy, and stressful, and I so deeply look forward to this being the last big move I make for quite some time to come. I am so very much the person to follow her heart wherever it takes me. Sometimes though, that can be interpreted as unwise to some people. Sometimes I think the same, but I know I’ll never be fully satisfied unless I follow my heart and where I feel called to be.
-I served the Lord both in the states, and internationally. I was really against my international mission trip at first. Mainly just because I was terrified-but the Lord called, and I followed. Not for one moment during or since have I ever regretted putting myself where He asked me to go.
All of these things have been crazy, but they’ve each been amazing in their own special ways. In all reality though, my heart has been craving something different for a while now. I’m hoping and praying whole heartedly that this year, my change slows to a steady limited pace. It’s just exhausting you know? Having to pack up your life, unpack it all, try to nest your new location of ‘home’ into your life…just to do it all again maybe three months later in the most. I understand to a certain extent that this is what college is like. But it’s just different for me. I have never been the kind of woman that fits in with this college life regularly. The point where my life is, is that I’m ready for my heart to settle down a bit. I’d like to be in one place, with my one person, and keep myself there and steady.
Hopefully, this will be something to happen throughout my twenty one. I’m getting closer, so I guess we’ll see.
Is it true that all writers are depressed? All musicians? All artists? All photographers? You know, all of the people in a very creative outlet…I mean it makes sense. The places in my life that have been the most difficult on my heart and emotions have led to some pretty kick butt blogs. Even the snippets of thought that run continuously through my mind sound better after a struggle. Not really sure what that’s about.
I think I made a smart decision last night, leading into just a few moments ago.
Naturally, the largest of my life choices revolve around writing and words. For a while, I’ve known that I’ve loved writing. That I’ve found a passion in it that I can’t obtain in a lot of areas. Last year, my writing was at a huge peak. I started this blog, and wrote my way through all of the pains I was buried under. My words had power, as they were derived from very dark places other people don’t know how to paraphrase. Last year I was still a very, very damaged and scarred young woman. I had a lot to write about, even when I didn’t know I did.
Sometime throughout the transition into this year, all of that seemed to have ceased within me. I became happy. My boyfriend and I got really serious in our relationship, and continue to do so. I made an ambition decision to move in with my brother and sister, and their adorable baby girl. I transferred schools back to a place that once was the very root of the damaged heart I just talked about. I threw myself into numerous job interviews, accepting my first job at a hospital. I have grown more in my faith and as a woman.
For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have that hard hurt to mask my true heart anymore. That’s actually way more terrifying than it sounds. Such a long time had passed that the hurt had defined me. During that rough period of my life, I was no longer the woman that got up just to see the sun shine. I was the woman that only liked the dark, because the darkness was what had become of my heart. But now, I’m slowly finding my way back to that sunny girl. I’m continuously reminded that I don’t have to be insecure, and that I have every right to be confident in so many aspects. I’m remembering that there’s a time and place in my life for the darkness, and the end of that era is over. It’s almost like I have to remind myself often that the light is here, inside of me, and it’s there for a reason; and to not let the darkness consume me. Not today, not for the next hour, and not for the next few minutes.
I don’t really know what exactly it is that continues to try pulling my heart back towards the lost years emotion. It could be a number of things, and it could be the huge factor of one small aspect. I’m not a psychologist, I’m not a doctor of sorts, I’m just a girl. I’m just me and you would think that after almost twenty one years of me, I’d know me well. I know me well enough to know that something is off, somewhere deep inside.
But, it doesn’t have to be. I don’t have to let one ounce of sadness control me. I don’t have to take things that I’m allowed to be less than enthused about, and let them ruin days. I can choose to be Happy Hannah. I can choose to be optimistic, smiley, bubbly. I don’t have to think that I am less anyone else based on things they choose to share online. I don’t have to talk myself into thinking that I’m not doing enough. I have the ability to be exactly who I am, and endlessly work to transform myself into being exactly who God calls me to be.
Everyday, I may not have faith in my abilities. But I have in God’s.
Today, my faith shines through brighter.
The truth is,
I think I’m depressed a little.
I have no reason to be, and I don’t truly know how to tell. But sure enough, here I am.
I thought this stuff was supposed to go away post-teenage?
Thanks a lot winter.
[I have no one better to blame].
I remember when I was little my mom was sad. I never knew the underlying reasons really, because little kids ‘aren’t supposed to worry about adult type things.’ At a certain point, I was old enough to go through the really hard stuff with my family. From then on I felt it, no longer just be a bystander on the outside of the pain. As an adult I know when my mom is sad. If I’m being honest, it would always make me really anxious to see. Partly because I’m really protective and I don’t like when things are hurting the ones I love. The other part is the selfish and jarred edge part that I don’t proclaim proudly. The other part is continuously angry when I see this sadness in her. It’s just a sadness I thought I never understood. I looked at her life, the parts of her life I was familiar with at least, and saw no reason to be sad. I saw five children, a husband, a job in a field she loves, and plenty of reasons to be happy. I saw the things my oblivious mind has been trained to see over the years-I saw her depravities. Now as an adult, I realize that I’m sad. I’m sad a lot, and I don’t know if I’ll ever understand that.
The same as I did with my own mom, I look at my life and give myself no reason to feel sad. I know that I am well privileged, and that I should almost feel ashamed for the pity party that happens in my mind sometimes. [Sometimes is so much more than I ever want to happen..] I have a great God that watches over me-where I could be faithless and bitter. I have a loving and genuine family-I could continuously suffer from loneliness without them. I have the most amazing boyfriend-SO many life events could have led me away from him instead of God bringing us together. I am a ridiculously broke college student-BECAUSE I’m gaining an education that you’re not supposed to be able to price. I have a car, it runs, and I’m not ever without the ability to get where I need to go-I could be walking, stranded, or unable to afford a car at all. I am about to start an amazing new job-where I truly have no idea how I was blessed enough to be the chosen one..
I look at my life and I know I should be happy, I know I shouldn’t be able to even complain about the most tedious things in my life. However sometimes, I’m just not the happiest Hannah I could be. That sentence in itself literally makes my heart ache. It’s just something I don’t understand.
If there are so many beautiful amazing things in my life, what am I so sad for? Is it because I think the future is immense, with too many options and paths for me to choose from? Am I sad because I live in the frozen tundra, where I get angry when I walk from class to class not feeling the limbs on my body? Is it because I don’t feel absolutely stunning like the rest of the world seems to be? Is it because I don’t have a strong enough faith and relationship with my God? Or maybe it’s because I am waiting for the rest of my forever to finally start…I have given many speculations to myself for the questions in my mind.
Most days, I am great. I’m happy and I know how continuously blessed I am and always have been. I relate these kinds of days with the color yellow. It just makes you think of happiness and positive thoughts. Honestly I don’t think I even really like the color yellow. Maybe because it reminds me of all the happiness I think I lack deep down. Maybe just because it doesn’t go well with my golden streaked hair. I don’t know, you decide-but what goes wrong when the color yellow is involved, right? These kinds of days make me think back to my mornings of getting ready before school. I remember looking out the dining room window to the east. I’d watch the sun come up across the table, streaking the floor vibrantly without fear of the darkness. Those mornings I just knew it was going to be great, like I was unstoppable.
Then there are the dark days. I don’t even know what words to use to describe them. Kind of like in Harry Potter, when the dementors are able to suck every ounce of light and soul from people? #nerd. These kinds of days make me contemplate everything. They make me have doubt in my abilities as a student, a girlfriend, a daughter and sister. The darkness seeps in and reminds me of the pitch black I’ve seen. You would think that after you go through it all, heal, and move forward, that would be it. That’s not what the darkness says though. It tells you that you’ll always be haunted by the scars that you have. No. Matter. What.
Some people can’t understand that because they haven’t seen the darkness I have. But then again, my darkness could be light compared to other people’s pitch black. Don’t think I don’t think about that. I do, I’m very aware of this theory.
It’s like insanity though. Trying something over and over again the same exact way, and still forever expecting the results to be different. Some dark days feel like that. I wake up and I can just feel the chip on my shoulder. I know that my day is destined to be rough. I can tell in my demeanor that I’m going to end up unintentionally taking out this sadness on the people around me. If I don’t take steps to prevent the hurt from taking over, it will dominate my heart.
So how am I supposed to make sense of this? This angel vs devil consciousness splitting my heart. How do I take hold of the angel and see to it that her light outshines anything else? Does the girl that refuses to take any medicine ever resort to taking happy pills? Talking herself into happiness through straightening out her chemical imbalance that way? Does she constantly surround herself with the people that offset her sadness well? With her boyfriend that might not even realize how sad she really is sometimes? I mean it could work, because he just doesn’t accept it. He pushes her, reminding her that she is more-she was God destined to be more-and we will get through this. Because #teamhaven that’s why. Or does she simply just take the time each and every difficult dark moment to pray her way out of the warped shadows?
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what she would do. But I can tell you that on these dark days, I don’t like being her. That I don’t like thinking I allow these hard days and moments and thoughts to take me over. But it happens, I understand that. I read it all the time on those regurgitated Pinterest block quotes. ‘Sometimes it’s the people that smile the most that are the saddest.’ I crinkle my nose at quotes like that but yet I can’t help but feel there’s some kind of truth behind them. I don’t know. I know I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and I’ll probably be twelve thousand times better than I was today. The odds of that are forever in my favor.
But today, and tonight, I’m just not up to being her. God help me.
Throughout these past few wild and beautiful weeks, I have learned some important things. These weeks have been absolutely insane-like trying to run straight forward after your nephew wrecks the world of your boyfriend and you on the tilt a whirl ride at Navy Pier insane. Each day has been busy, a whole new set of little bitty hiccups along for the ride in this episode of Hannah’s Life. Gratefully so, quiet time and long car rides have given me time to digest all that has happened and changed so drastically. A penny for my thoughts they say…
>> What even is beautiful?
Serving as a missionary in Romania changed a lot of things within my life and my heart. One of the most significant changes is found in my overall self image. Just as any other young woman, I used to spend way too much time obsessing over the way I looked. I was guilty as charged in wasting a lot of money on my outward appearance. I was absolutely obsessed with shopping for new clothes, accessories and especially shoes. I changed my hair color a tremendous amount of times from the spring of eighth grade on. I got my nails done up all fancy all the time. There came to a point where I felt my confidence depend on whether or not I was ‘put together’ for the day. People would always always always reiterate to me that I was so beautiful and so natural. When in all reality, I couldn’t feel further from that truth.
From July 2k15 on, I had a REALLY hard time with what beautiful was ‘supposed’ to be. I talked to an enormous amount of women about their own experiences with this area of femininity. Everyone has repeatedly encouraged me to continue on with outward adornment-so long as I don’t feel it is Needed in order for me to feel beautiful. It just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me though. I looked at my boyfriend, and I think he’s beautiful. Actually, I think he is just the most studliest handsome schmexy fox that I’ve ever laid eyes on, but you know, semantics. 😉 He doesn’t wear makeup, dye his hair, obsess about the clothes he wears [unless it’s camo/blaze orange]…and I still find him absolutely breath taking everytime I look his way. I look at him a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Whenever he isn’t looking at me, I stare at the features of his adorable face. The curvatures in his hand movements. The way he raises his eyebrows when he smiles, just like I do. I see all of these things, and I think they’re beautiful. So why would I think I need all of these ridiculous worldly things in order for me to be beautiful too?
Exactly, I don’t. So I stopped. For a long time, I stopped wearing any makeup all together. I stopped dying my hair at all. I stopped shopping for anything except groceries and boyfriend trinkets. And I’m so content with that, but I wasn’t at first. I was shocked at how much I compared myself to others, everything about others. I’d complain to my boyfriend about indecision on makeup and hair dye, and what it all means. Being his supportive self, he’d try his best to hone in on the wondrous mind of a confused woman. Nowadays, I am slowly finding the balance of both worlds. I put on makeup when I specially get ready, but that doesn’t happen everyday. I still, and forever hope to, find comfort in my own natural beauty just as God made me. I haven’t and won’t dye my hair, but it’s still nice to know I can make that decision based on my own discernment.
>>The heart wants what it wants.
My mother calls me her tattooed gypsy daughter. I am infamous within my family and friends group for moving around a lot. I do move around more than the average bear; but I almost never share the intimate details with anyone why I put myself exactly where I do. The truth of the matter, is that I follow my heart and what I feel called to do. Back in the good ‘ol days, I was a little more irrational in my life choices. I would make snap decisions, or peripheral plans as my Persuasion Comm Professor would say [I really like Comm Studies, nerdy]. At that point, I never argued back when people were beyond shocked with the ‘new scandal of Hannah’s life changing event.’ Coming up to recent however, I am not nearly as impulsive as I once was. From the outside, my decisions probably do seem irrational and sudden. But that’s mainly because I keep about 98% of the world on the outside of my own private world-for very good reason.
What the 98% don’t know, is that I put a lot of thought into the decisions of my life. I take my time, actually way too much time, overanalyzing options. I make list after list, and think of every possible scenario that could play out. I pray beyond belief, knowing that ultimately God’s plan will pull heavy rank over any of my own. And then finally, I either act or I don’t. This time, I acted. I followed my heart, jumped off that cliff, and leapt in faith knowing full well God would catch me. This tattooed gypsy is at it again, figuring out the next adventure life has to throw at me, one day at a time.
>>The past passed away, rest in pieces.
When faced with thoughts of the past, you WILL get just as sick to your stomach as you did while you lived through it. The good part? You had a choice then, you acted on that choice then, and you have a choice now. Now, you can choose not to care about the ‘talk’ that people will absolutely do behind your back. You can choose joy, happiness and humility in the name of the Lord. You get to choose to be thankful for all of the amazing and life changing blessings that have been bestowed upon you. You get to continue doing what you’ve been doing; living your life for Jesus alone, and doing the best you can for yourself. You don’t have to answer to anyone but God, Himself. And if anyone tries to make you feel otherwise, tell them to have a convo with the one who loved you enough to put you exactly where you are. Long ago, you left the past and joined in a new realm of meaning for your life. So snap off the rearview mirror and drive on beautiful. That past is someone else’s mistake to learn now.