Hope: I Am Enough

I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but I have problems.

Looking at Facebook, is sometimes seems like I’m the only one. But I don’t post every time I have a bad day, and I guess neither do you.

What I don’t post are days that I cry solely because my brain chemicals are imbalanced. I don’t Facebook that my husband and I already have recurring issues and arguments, something I don’t think people expect from newlyweds. You won’t find my internal battle on your home page, the “I feel fat fat FAT” versus the “I am beautiful no matter what!” All that and more, and you’ll never see a word of it (unless you read this blog, because yeah).

I have problems, and I am growing up. My birthday is coming up pretty soon, as well as the new year. Usually everyone’s gaze turns forward to anticipate the changes that the new year will bring. But right now, I’m looking inward.

Depression does this stupid thing where it robs me of energy plus any hope for the future. And I fall victim to this kind of thought pattern, letting it follow me into days when I would otherwise feel fine. I forget that I’m in my early twenties with most of my life ahead of me. I am a glowing starball of potential, but I forget, and I lose that hope.

So today I am most grateful for the desire to improve, albeit steadily. Although I still have problems and make mistakes it feels like every other minute, I hope I will not lose sight of my current infinite worth and my greater potential. Because remember, you do not decide your worth. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you and believe in you and you belong to them, so you are of infinite worth. At the same time, you can keep improving every day because everyone can learn to live and love better.

This is what hope is to me: Knowing I am good enough, and then trying to be better.

It’s hard, but I try when I can.

 

 

Querido

This is for my sweetheart.

It always amazes me that after the things I’ve gone through, I can still find a place in my black and smoking heart to keep him. I feel so mangled sometimes, like a crushed china plate, or a grimy, cobwebbed window, or a hopeless love song lost at sea. I’m drifting through life, barely breathing, hardly speaking, and my anchors to the world slip constantly through my cold fingers. And I’m alone, all alone, so alone and utterly lonely.

And he, he is warm laughter ringing through white noise. He is crinkly, blue trapezoid eyes and shy smiles and sunbeam eyelashes. He is fingers dancing over piano keys and knowing how to waltz and listening listening listening. He is calling me a sassbox; he is reminding me softly, “Good things are worth waiting for.” He is spastic dance-parties and homemade German pancakes and inviting me to join the friend group. And he, he is looking at the stars and thinking about me. He, he, is thinking about me.

If we don’t work out, if we’re never really together, if it just can’t be, then I will be grateful for that breathtaking boy who made me feel like I could be whole again. Because love isn’t just selfies and diamonds and babies and taxes, although those pieces have their place.

Love, I think, is changing people from the inside out, making them better. And I will always love my querido, if only for the way he taught me to love myself.

Turkeys; Understanding Zero to One

(writes “0-1” on the whiteboard)

I have this friend who’s told me on multiple different occasions that he wishes he could be a turkey. I feel like, of all the animals in the world, why would you choose a creepy and delicious one? You’re doomed to be scorned all your life and eventually served with mashed potatoes. Besides, don’t turkeys do that thing of looking up at the rain and drowning? How pathetic can you get? Well, the truth is, we can all be turkeys.

I’ve spent much of the last year convincing myself every day that my life is still worth living. Mostly this is because of a few traumatic events that occurred in my life last year. In March I was officially diagnosed with clinical depression and some PTSD. This has been good because I finally got medical attention for my emotional problems. I tell you this because I want to introduce myself to you as a failure. I never intended to make the mistakes I did; I never planned on getting my heart broken, losing my self-esteem, being afraid to answer the phone. I never wanted to be the girl crying in the bathroom stall. Can I not call myself a failure in this sense? I had a lot of great expectations for my senior year of high school. It’s hard to believe I spent most of my lunches in the science room, not talking to anyone, shutting out the world.

So now that I’ve established myself as a depressed failure and threatened you with turkeydom, I’ll get to the point. Lots of people, just like me, find themselves in unfortunate, unpleasant, and unexpected situations. Say they lose a loved one, they lose their job, they get an inhibiting disease, etc. They, just like me, might subscribe to the “life sucks and then you die” philosophy. You’d think that no one else has more right to think this than turkeys, right? One minute they’re the butt of the joke, and the next minute people are roasting and eating their butt. However, turkeys are more enlightened than some of us pessimistic people. They understand the concept of “zero to one.”

(points to the whiteboard)

Imagine that God is up in Heaven with all His creations, and He’s giving numbers to everyone to represent their place in the great scheme of things. Using the numbers from zero to infinity, He gives people more numbers if they have more potential for greatness. You watch as God gives Lady Gaga all the numbers between 2,000 and 3,000; that seems fair, you think. There’s no one else quite as interesting as Lady Gaga; her fashion choices are so hot they’re bacon. Then God turns to you and says,

“Well, my child, I’ve decided to give you all the numbers between zero and one.”

Your first thought is, “Why didn’t I think of a meat dress?!”

Really, though, can you imagine? Here you are, staring up at your creator, and even He seems to think you will amount to nothing. Ah, if only you were a turkey. You would realize that there is an infinite amount of numbers between zero and one. God is just being God; confusing you beyond belief while at the same time making His thoughts perfectly clear. He smiles wisely and says,

“My child, I have given you just what you need. Make of it what you will.”

Whether you like it or not, God is saying that you have infinite potential for greatness, although at first glance it may appear otherwise.  You can choose to be satisfied with infinite potential, or you can focus on the fact that you only got the numbers between zero and one. You can choose to be satisfied with your depression and anxiety issues, and allow yourself to be grateful for your opportunity to be alive, to make a difference in people’s lives, to experience love and pain deeply.

I am looking at a classroom full of failures. We have all been given the numbers between zero and one. Our lives won’t turn out the way we expect. We won’t achieve some of our dreams. Bad things will happen to us, some of them beyond our control. How do we measure our life when it hurts to admit we only got from zero to one? We have to forget the breadth of our existence and focus on the depth. Turkeys understand this.

Turkeys are debatably ugly creatures. They have these floppy red things all over their faces, called the snood, wattle, and caruncles. Male turkeys are bred too large to have natural fertilization without hurting the hens, so that part of turkey life is done artificially. They are produced on farms and kept in such close quarters that they can’t even stand up without touching another bird. What a sad life.

And yet, when it rains, turkeys look up.

Whatever the reason, and whether or not turkeys really do drown in the rain, when they feel the raindrops on their feathers, they forget the pathetic reality they exist in for a few precious seconds. They may even forget that their eyes don’t allow them to focus on what’s above them. For those seconds, with the water running down their back, with the steady rhythm of drops hitting the dirt, with the distant thunder rolling over the earth, turkeys partake of their own “zero to one;” their piece of eternity.

This is why we all can be turkeys. We have the ability to pause occasionally in life and look up. Despite our flaws, our faults, our mistakes, our regrets, we still can achieve greatness. We are all connected to that wondrous, flowing, bonding river of numbers, that eternal supply of remarkable human capability, no matter if we have a snood or anything.

I have experienced pain to a degree that I thought wasn’t humanly possible. I never thought I would end up like I am now. And yet, I need not be afraid to live my life. I know that I will fail again and again and again. I can be a turkey; I was given the numbers between zero and one. It’s up to me, and each of us, to decide that our lot of zero to one is equivalent to an infinite potential for good.

Trials

I pray for trials because I know they bring me closer to God. This habit of mine has become something of a family joke; my family says I should leave them out of these prayers because they have enough trials. I think it’s true and I try hard to get the point across to my Creator that I want the trials to affect me and me alone.

Anyway, a trial I’ve been facing for the past few months is dreaming every night. I’ve already discussed this but whatever. I dream about offending people I love, making huge mistakes and feeling guilty, being in scary TV shows I watch, missing classes in school, seeing my dead or missionary friends, etc. I hate dreaming I hate it hate it hate it. Haha, I used to love dreaming because my dreams used to be funny or interesting. Nowadays I face my deepest fears when my eyes are closed and my breath is steady.

My Heavenly Father must know I need these nightmares because in the morning I am deeply grateful for reality. I see the beauty in dust motes, ticking clocks, dappled sunlight, chirping birds, socks, poetry, rustling papers. I know He wants me to be happy. So today I am grateful for my nightmares, because without them I wouldn’t know how special my life is, in all its quiet, lonely, and uneventful glory.