Wednesday, November 27, 2013

because it's late

last night i was talking on the phone with someone when a question was asked.
it went something along the lines of, what are the things you want that you know you can't have?

how terrible is it that, as humans, we're somewhat required to think this way?
because we technically will never be able to have it all.

the relationship i'm in is an interesting one.
it consists of conversations and perspectives that challenge and teach me.
relationships scare me. and usually i find myself feeling backed into a corner.
fortunately, that corner always seems to have a window.
and out that window and into nothingness i choose to go each time.

but this time is different.
this time i find myself tempted by the window.
it's there and i can see that there are other things beyond the window,
and yet i cannot leave.

i am stuck--i am loved so i am so very stuck.

not in any stagnant way,
but in a secured way--my mind perplexed by the slightest thought of escaping.

because there would be regret.
because there isn't another being that could fill the place.
because i have learned to love and to be loved all over again,
and so why would i need to do so once more?
the window blows cold air in anyway and i am looking for warmth.

so i want to stay.
because this--he--is something i can have.
no, i can't have it all.
and hell, things are becoming more and more real
and he's speaking up and it isn't all music to my ears
but when have i ever enjoyed being told what to do or how to change?

i can't have it all but there are desires of mine that i am as adamant with as i am with smallish things that the poor guy must deem as a terrible case of stubbornness. 

so maybe i'm stubborn, and even a bit crass about that stubbornness.
i'll have to learn to adapt a bit better, but for now there are things i will pursue 
whole hearted and remain passionate about achieving them.

1. i want to always be impacted by the lives of those around me. i want to see through my own life and never find myself too comfortable. 

2. i want to be a mom. and i never used to want this. and i don't want this for a very long time. but recently i have gained more of an appreciation for child-like perspectives, and the love that comes from caring for someone incapable of caring for their own self.

3. i want to teach people how to write. how to express themselves. and i want to watch them grow in the beauty that is found between paper and pen contact, and the deep crevices of a book about one's own life.

4. i want to forever keep my heart in the act of be still & know

5. i want to travel. to take in the world--explore it, learn from it, grow from it. i want to collect people and allow the goodness of new relationships with people and places to fill my life.

6. i want to write. for forever. 

7. i want to marry my best friend. in spite of life and the obstacles it throws, i want a blessed marriage, overflowing with love and joy and humility and respect. 

i want these things and i want to remember, as i go into a new year, that these things are very possible.

happy almost thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

on beauty.

my roommate and i were in our beds the other night when
a car drove by blasting music. as it approached our building we
could also hear the playful screams of some girl driving along to the music,
sounding as though she was having the best time.

my roommate, such a sweet person {!}, quietly said something along the lines of
sometimes i wish i could be fun like that.

she laughed and then i laughed because often times i feel the exact same way.

in middle school i was the weird, ex-homeschooled kid that got the lead
role in the musical. getting that much attention as the new kid is basically a recipe for social disaster,
so i didn't make very many friends.
the following year {i was still as weird as ever} i was bullied relentlessly, to the point where my parents put me into a different school. 
i didn't even fit in at my new school but i was no longer the only freak, and i wasn't the only kid with personal issues, either. i was quiet and reserved, and i had some packed up resentment towards, what i felt was, the entire world. 
but i survived middle school -- like we all do --
and once high school rolled around i wasn't such a socially awkward person.

nonetheless {and not to bore you with my past social self} high school wasn't so bad.
i actually loved it.
but it was in high school that i realized just how different i was from everybody else.

the same group of girls that bullied me in middle school became the head cheerleaders in high school.
and the cool boys that liked them never liked me.
i can remember wearing petticoats and knee high socks to school while everyone else wore their tiny little jeans and juicy sweatshirts.

and before this post sounds way too high school,
let me just say that i have a point.

my point is that i realized early on that i'm not that girl screaming out the window of a car.
and, as my roommate might put it, sometimes i wish i was fun like that.

because chances are, i won't be screaming anything out of a car window,
though i have been known to sing songs to people while driving down the freeway.

the other day a friend of mine asked me so how are you going to keep your boyfriend interested if you don't dance for him?

i had to stop myself after this one.

wait what?

she then proceeded to tell me her theory that dancing shows that you know you're sexy and blah blah blah i hate using that word on this blog.

my only reply to my friend: well, then i guess i'm not sexy. 
and she gave me the oh, come on look.
the one where the person giving the look knows that what you've said is totally true.
because, i suppose in her version of things, what i said was totally true.

so then i spent the rest of my weekend referring back to memories of high school and whatnot 
where i didn't quite fit the mold, and i was awkward and okay with it...sort of...and when things felt so damn complicated but, in reality, really were simple.

nothing felt simple then.
and things still aren't simple.
but i realized something:

i grew up.

and it was in this epiphany that i found complete peace.
peace that my little fourteen year old self must have ignorantly attained from somewhere, somehow, 
because it got me through high school and to where i am now.

no, i am not, nor will i ever be, the girl screaming out of the car.
no, i will never be the girl in the middle of the dance floor bending over in ways i know my body just can't bend.
and, according to some, i suppose that means i will never be "sexy,"
which is truly an overrated term, thank you.

what i also told my friend: no, i'm not sexy i guess. i just read books.

i guess i was surprised that part of me wasn't hurt by the standard that was set.
i was shocked, really.
why didn't i care?

oh, but why should i care?

i'm at that weird in-between stage where you find yourself caring about some things
but mostly you begin to go unfazed. 
it's a great stage, actually.

quietly i have found that i like me.
and not in some narcissistic way, but in a self-respecting sense.

i don't have smooth, flirtatious words,
but i can quote some of the greatest writers.

i don't wear the shortest or the tightest clothes,
but i love the feeling of over sized sweaters and boyfriend jeans,
and things that just feel warm and welcoming.

i can't for the life of me tell you where this weekend's biggest party is,
but i can tell you a few wonderful places to travel and some quirky places to grab a
good cup of coffee or a substantial meal. 

i'm not the girl in the middle of the group with all of the latest news on so-and-so or such-and-such,
but i've acquired countless stories of people and places and beautiful things.

i will never put myself front and center to get your attention, but i'm sure as hell sitting in the back, taking in this whole life thing and completely enthralled by the lives of those i love.

i know for a fact that i will never be the skinniest
or the prettiest
of the fittest
or remotely charming and alluring.

but these are all just words that anyone can use for anything at all.
and, i don't want to be categorized by something generic.

i've always admired the fun girl,
but i know for a fact that she's not having fun all of the time,
nor is fun a great word to be summed up by.

so i'll continue to pick my tea over alcohol,
early mornings over late nights,
books over dancing,
and knee high socks over sky high heels.

and my hair will always be disheveled,
and my glasses a bit too big.
my hands will always find themselves to be stained with ink,
and i will forever hoard cereal and chocolate in my closet. 
my words will never be smooth, 
and i will never be able to tell you where to be on a saturday.

but i sure as hell love a good hardy laugh, people with substance, a quick wit, and some big dreams.

all of these things are beautiful aspects of people and the lives they lead.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

it's "cold" here today

meaning it's averaged about 68...probably.
it's amusing to watch so-cal natives embrace november.
did i mention i went to the beach just two days ago?
no, it wasn't like saying "i'm going to cannon beach!"
where the clothing of choice is a pair of hunters, something from the north face, and maybe something that has a hood...maybe.

no, it was a beach day. bikinis and all.

but today there has been some "rain" as someone told me.
uhm, rain?
you mean like it drizzled out before the sun ever shined?

so it was kind of perfect when a friend of mine
{she's an oregonian alright}
posted this on facebook.
i laughed out loud at each one.
i am no oregonian, but i have a love for the people and for the place.
my family and friend still say to me, i can't believe you lived there!

i can't either.
but i'm so glad i did because now
i can appreciate inside jokes like these.

my favorite is "because this is what oregon looks like 90% of the year"
because i've tried telling people just how gray it looks and no one gets it.

happy tuesday, whether it's raining or shining where you are!
i guarantee it isn't as rainy as oregon. ;)

Monday, November 18, 2013

a few things:

1. i was able to wear a scarf today. all. day. long. that doesn't happen often here in orange county, people!

2. boyfriend is my favorite person to listen to in the car. he'll pretty much sing anything that comes on. it's kind of amazing. and it's one of the reasons i liked him so much the first time i hung out with him.

3. one of my dearest friends got E N G A G E D ! congrats, nick and ally! i am so beyond excited for the two of them. they are such an example of what it looks like to have a relationship that strives after god, and their respect for each other is truly admirable.

4. my mother comes in just F I V E more days!


5. i will be with boyfriend this time next monday. i can't even type my excitement, i miss that guy so much.

anyways, happy monday, only because it's almost over.

image via.

I'm obsessed. Absolutely obsessed. Can he please sing to me every single day? And write songs as I go about with normal, everyday tasks?

I've had his station on repeat for the past three days.
My lanta, I just can't handle his voice--so wonderful!

Friday, November 15, 2013

what a difference a year can make (pt. 2)

At dinner tonight a friend of mine said that tomorrow is the sixteenth of November.
I looked across the table at her and uttered, The sixteenth? Already?
I may never forget this date.
Two years ago tomorrow {it was 2011} I was seventeen, standing in a cemetery across from a guy I loved. 
We were both crying because I had written him a letter telling him that I needed to find myself before I could love him anymore. I hadn't even known what the word meant at the time, anyways. 

But what was so much more was the gravity of my reasoning. 
He asked me why else: Why are you really doing this, Madison? Who's making you do this?

I have memorized the moment inside and out.
My feet grazed across uneven gravel as I stepped forwards and backwards--
my movements in-sync with the raising of our voices.
He threw my letter to the ground and told me that every wall of his was up.
He raised his arms and his voice grew deeper and harsh.

I remember falling to my knees. I squatted down and took the dirt in my hands.
I could feel nothing so I searched for some type of feeling--I wanted to trigger any nerve ending to see if I was still there. With every tear and yell and plea, I walked away to my car. It turned five o'clock as I drove away. It was on that drive home that I told God he'd better have a better plan for me.

So I drove away from an unhealthy phase in my life but it would take over one year until I finally found closure. I can remember saying to the young man, "I need to be alone right now. God is taking me away for a while to be alone and I don't know why." 

I remember knowing that there was something more--something bigger.
I was becoming more and more intoxicated on the notion that a life lived obediently was a life lived abundantly. 

God soon took me to Oregon where I had enough alone time. It was there that he allowed me to then move onto Romania and Moldova--two countries that changed me entirely. I was accepted to go on a serve trip at five o'clock on November 16th 2012. {you can read about that here}

Two days prior to my trip I opened an email draft and began to write to GFU'S campus pastor (she was also one of the leaders of the trip). I told her that I was having doubts. I told her that I really didn't consider myself a Christian because I didn't really act like one, and I felt that this immediately disqualified me from the trip. The message was soaked in doubt and fear and lies about myself. I knew that sending it was a mistake, and that going on the trip would give me the healing I was searching for. 

One week later I found myself in Chisinau, Moldova--it was my last day before heading back for Galati, Romania. I still didn't like the girl in the mirror. And my mind was still bombarded by ugly memories and heavy feelings--yet, I had fallen completely in love with the simplicity around me. But most of all, a young girl had captivated my heart and it was through her that my life was blooming again.

Two weeks later I sat on the floor of the chapel in Galati. It was my turn to tell a group of people my life's testimony. Tears stained my face as I spoke. I would finish a sentence and the translator would gaze at me before he spoke to the teenagers. I would gesture for him to go on, though my honesty weighed down heavily in the small room. The kids just stared at me. There I was--an American girl--wealthy in comparison to the rest of the world, and feeling as though I had no reason to be broken in such an impoverished atmosphere. But I was broken--hell, I felt so humbled facing the kids. There I was crying about something difficult in my life, and yet I will never be able to comprehend the pain and trials that the kids face daily. 

Suddenly my life was no longer something I wanted to be about me. Suddenly I found myself breathing again--slow breaths, but at a pace with perspective. My slate was washed clean because if God was there in the rundown streets of Galati carrying those children, then there was no doubt that he had already carried me and that it was time for me to stand up again and learn to carry others.

My story finished as I met this startling realization.

I recall this moment because it has everything to do with November 16th 2011 & 2012.
The same date of two entirely different years makes a world of difference.
It was in Galati that I found purpose for all of the pain I once felt,
it was in Galati that I forgave several people--including myself. 
I promised God that I would follow wherever he led because I learned the 
beauty of following the only thing that knows creation inside and out. 

Life was beautiful again. After a year and a half of heartache,
and after several years of other dark things, he had finally brought me full circle. 
I landed in America days after releasing my past, and life was easy and good.

I landed back home on a Saturday. I thought that life had thrown me enough curve balls for the time being, and yet three weeks later another would come my way. It was three Saturdays later at the Garlic Festival that I met someone who would become the period to a blessed year.

Tomorrow is November 16th 2013.
-I am nineteen years young.
-I have grown to love someone far more that
the person I once loved in high school. He teaches me how to love
unconditionally and how to respect other people.
-I have returned from Romania and Moldova. Both countries gave me a servant's heart
and a yearning for adventure and discomfort. I have faces and names smeared all over my heart
and I am daily overwhelmed by the evidence of God's unfailing love that I can now see more vividly than before my trip.
-I have learned the importance of forgiveness and I have learned that I, too, am forgiven.
-I have no need to hold on to the past anymore because the future, though uncertain, will come and go as these past two years have.
-I am no longer a missions major but an English major..eeeek!
-I live in Irvine. Holy hell, who would have thought?!
-I am desperately aware of the state of my heart which frightens me entirely! But that's what the world will do to you if you begin to see more of it.

Life is good, and God is good, and His abundant love has filled my days with lessons and gifts that I am unworthy of.
My mind cannot wrap around the transformation of my life these past two years.
I have watched life alter and take--but now it is becoming more rooted, and I realize I have been given so much.

Dear November 16, you will forever be the day that changed my entire course of life. 

With all of the sincerity and love,


*all Romania/Moldova posts can be viewed
here, here, here, here, here, here, here, AND here.

phew, my blog has seen a lot of these countries!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I am in the mood for familiar places and faces...and music playing in the background because Sunday is too quiet.

I am craving a hot Awake tea from Starbucks but today is just too warm for one--the sun would totally cheat the Christmas cup, anyways.

I am craving a date with Berkeley Boy.
I want to go somewhere nice and I want to walk back in the cold and I want to be kissed.

I am craving an acai bowl. So acai bowls at three it is!

I am craving another adventure. I want to go back to Europe as soon as I possibly can.

I am craving perspective. My writing professor views this infatuation of mine as absolutely strange. She'll ask me about it and make random statements that go something like, "I've never had a student..."

I am craving cold, gloomy weather. Not for weeks and months at a time, but for a few days.

My time is so empty today, I hardly know what to do with myself. But then again my body {and mother} keep telling me to take it slow. Rest. Watch a movie. Sleep.

Ummm...when have I been capable of this? I can only do lazy with others and not by myself.

the end.

one week. but really just over one hundred days.

I counted the other day--just to be certain.
I have a love of calendars. I love filling the dates,
I love crossing them out, I love watching them pass.

My mom has always kept a calendar in a kitchen drawer
and sometimes in January she would ask me to go through the old
calendar and fill significant dates into the new calendar.

My mom keeps track of appointments and birthdays and anniversaries so meticulously.
So I would flip through and soon find myself immersed in the days I could remember from
some twelve months ago...eight...five...

I don't have my own calendar, but I counted off of one anyways.
Monday--if my counting was correct--will mark one hundred and seven days
that Berkeley Boy has been in my life.

Seven of those days we've spent together.
And we've only spent four of them as a couple.
I think about this truth and I don't have very much to say.

But then I do.
I then have all the words I need--
I have all the words that I am much too fearful to voice--
I have words that I don't typically use, but think daily.

And then there are things that I am certain of.
Like when I say I feel like I couldn't have possibly met him in July.
Or when I respond with, "Well, yes it is possible to love someone in seven days."

Because it is fleetingly possible.
Possible. Yet fleetingly.
Should something have been different, the window's of opportunity would have closed and the blinds would have been drawn and that would have been that--no harm done or anything, and yet life would have been different.

For some reason--and, yes, I am a firm believer in coincidence and chance and fate; but, no, I have yet to categorize my relationship under any of these beliefs of mine--for some reason, he and I made the window. I don't know where or how or why, or that a window had even presented itself, but there it was and I stumbled through it, because going through windows seems to never be an easy task anyways, and I'm not very graceful to begin with.

But he's here. One hundred and...six?....days later.
He's here without really being here.

And I'm here, waiting.
Waiting on nothing, really. Because he's already arrived and
I wouldn't choose to wait for anyone else.
I wait to see him in some sense, yes,
but mostly I live knowing that he's living his own day as well.
I've learned that knowing that the person you love is happy and healthy and living amongst people and things that he or she loves must be enough for the now.
I can't change the miles. I can't ask him to stay.
But asking how his day was brings a quiet contentment to each of my own days.

They tend to pass slowly. At times the week will pick up speed and I will count the days until I see his face again.
Someone told me just the other day, "Well the time must be special, then. The time when you do see one another."
He said it so simply.
I remember feeling the chair as it supported my back. I rested into it and I smiled.
Yes, I nodded. It does, I agreed.

Those days are always too fast and I try not to cry when he goes. Because crying would grow to be unfair, I think.
It always begins in the morning.
I pace wherever I am.

My favorite part?
My favorite part is the moment before.
I always breathe the entire moment in.
I memorize it.
Anticipation is intoxicating and beautiful.

And then there he is.

The counting has ended for the day.
I know that by the end of his stay that a whole new countdown will begin,
but for several hours I get to stop the entire world.
My entire world.
I stop it entirely, and I get to study the person I love and learn about him and embrace him.

And I am learning so much.
About patience, and understanding, and trust, and joy, and selflessness.
Seven days has taught me so.

Seven days--or one hundred and seven--however the hell you want to count it.
It's been so impossibly unexpected and quick and simple.

But there's no other hand I like more,
there's no other person I'd give this time to,
there's no one else I want to share secrets with.

I have been so irrevocably inspired.
And God has poured a blessing--for how many more days, I don't quite know, but God's timing is perfect. And the window that I found had undrawn blinds and a welcoming room within.

I'll add the days to the calendar--I'll count them and keep them and life will be full even if he is absent from the room for now.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

it's been too long & i love her.

happy tuesday,
i'm swamped and sick,
but overjoyed that starbucks has

the world is jolly again for the next two months.
and i love the chill in the air,
and berkeley boy.
and i get to see friends soon,
and it's nearly thanksgiving {no one argue me on this!}

the list could go on.
life is my favorite this time of year.