Sunday, October 15, 2017

untitled october

I'm scared. I can provide a list of things that scare me that range from understandable to "that's not going to happen why are you even getting yourself worked up over that what."

1. My Facebook page deleting thus wiping all of my friends list, photos, and messages. 

2. My phone messing up therefore deleting all of my photos and text messages 

3. Losing someone else that I love. 

4. Buying a drink at the gas station and drinking some before paying and only realizing at the cash register that I don't have enough cash for it. 

5. Getting fired and having to go through the tedious task of applying to jobs, interviews, training, and getting to the point where I can do everything with my eyes closed. 

6. My alarm being set for PM instead of AM or not having a loud enough song or not being set for the day I need it although I use the same alarm most of the time and double or triple check it. 

7. Never actually being able to go on any of these trips I have planned in my head. 

8. Not actually having the energy to write something good again. 

9. Being buried by hospital bills due to a disease I didn't ask for and couldn't prevent. 

So, after sitting for one too many seconds waiting for something to come to me for number ten I decided to stop. I'm sure there's more, it's just that (believe it or not) there's some stuff I really don't want to put on this blog and share on Facebook. 

It's wild to me that I started this thing at sixteen. I just recently turned twenty. Does anyone remember The Seventeen Year Old Missionary? I sort of miss that. TSYOM, writing all the time, yadda yadda. Now look at me, twenty and praying that I get paid enough to afford Christmas and birthdays hahah. 

Life, man. Maybe one day I'll be able to hop in a car and drive away, new things to worry about and new worst days lived. But for now I love you and goodnight. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

maybe the reason is hope

I believe that everything happens for a reason.

One week I was working at a camp and I got to have some serious one-on-one time with a person who was struggling with depression/self-harm. Years prior, I was her. I got to pour into her as a human being who actually understood, I got to share my testimony and maybe give her some hope. It struck me that evening. There's a reason for what I went through in that regard. Even if it was just to give that person hope, or to give them an ear they were comfortable talking to, I'd go through it again.

There will be beauty from my pain.

That mindset got put to the test as I hit the highway home from this camp. I arrived on scene of a car accident. I think a lot about those feelsy news stories where a group of people work together to make the end results of an accident turn out okay. We all tried. We can only try. It was a fatality and I was there to see it. What kind of good could come out of this?

Maybe the good is the testimony that I know there's a reason it happened. And I can hate that I had to be there for it. I can hate that it happened how it did. I can hate every aspect of that day and that circumstance and the healing that I so desperately needed afterward. But I've come to term with the knowledge that either one day I might see some positive that had sprouted from me being there on that highway, or that I might never see why I had to be there. Maybe I won't know until I meet Jesus. And I have to be okay with that.

There's a reason I have Cowdens Syndrome.
There's a reason. Maybe the reason for the negative is the ability to spread the positive. Maybe the reason for all of this is the ability to spread a much needed thing in this world. HOPE.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I Was Listening to Sad Music After Midnight and This Is What I Came up With

Where even am I.

Toward the end of March your girl went and got herself a job. I work at a movie theater and I'm pretty sure it will be the best job I'll ever have. It's also neat to see how a place I've been going to for years actually works. I love it, I really do.

Every now and again I find myself fully realizing- I'm not going to be a summer missionary. It's weird for me. Like, really weird. I haven't had a summer to myself since I finished 10th grade. Now here I am. Three years out of high school and able to breathe. Sorta. Summer missions, much like everything else, was an extremely nuanced thing. For example- the book Looking For Alaska. Have you read it? They play this game called Best Day/Worst Day. While I'm fortunate enough to not have a set Best Day (life is good), I do have a Worst Day. To make it concise, it was tied to the job. But I'm working on seeing the good in the bad. Everything leads you somewhere. I could have missed out on something really great if I didn't experience what I did. It doesn't erase what happened, but it makes the "why" go away. Then there's days in summer missions where I got to see really beautiful things. It was mixed. It was really great at times and really bad sometimes as well. Would I suggest it to someone? Yeah. I would. This is God's plan, I'm just living in it (insert shrug emoji here).

I leave for Canada in eight days! My feelings about this are quite weird. It feels vaguely unreal? Like, I got my passport, it's paid off, I'm ready for it. Maybe it's how time has passed. I don't think winter really seemed like that long, daunting, never-ending cloud hanging over my head. Maybe it's just that things have changed. It used to be school school school, finals, short dance break, CANADA, summer missions, short mournful dance break, school school school. Now I'm feeling more workworkworkworkwork, friends, I actually bought groceries woah, oh yeah Canada! Don't get me wrong, though. Whitedog is still my favorite place in the world and I'm beyond ready to be back.

Soon, Wabaseemoong. Soon.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Worst Day Encapsulated


This poem has been added to my endless library of things that tell my stories better than I do. 


The Madness Vase/The Nutritionist - Andrea Gibson

"The trauma said, 'Don't write this poem. 
Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones."
--
"There is no bruise like the bruise 
loneliness kicks into your spine
so let me tell you I know there are days
it looks like the whole world is dancing in the streets
while you break down like the doors of their looted buildings.
You are not alone
in wondering who will be convicted of the crime
of insisting you keep loading your grief
into the chamber of your shame.

You are not weak
just because your heart feels so heavy."
--
"What I know about living 
is the pain is never just ours.
Every time I hurt I know the wound is an echo,
so I keep listening for the moment the grief becomes a window,
when I can see what I couldn't see before
through the glass of my most battered dream
I watched a dandelion lose its mind in the wind
and when it did, it scattered a thousand seeds.

So the next time I tell you how easily I come out of my skin
don't try to put me back in. 
Just say, "Here we are" together at the window
aching for it to all get better
but knowing there is a chance
our hearts may have only just skinned their knees,
knowing there is a chance the worst day might still be coming

---


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dead Dreams & Friends

Here it is, guys. One of the best descriptions of our friendship. 

First of all, this is Maggie and yours truly. 

Maggie is such a memorable nerd that I can recall the exact day that we meant. Well, I might be able to recall it since it was my seventeenth birthday, AKA Our First Day Of College

I had started this blog the month before we met, for the partial purpose of chronicling my missions adventures, and by the 18th of August 2014, I had finished my first round of summer missions. Little did I know for the next two rounds I would be working with Maggie. 

Week 1.1

Middle Summer (Week 5?)

Debrief (end of week 10)

Oh, August 2015. How absolutely gross you were. Explanation throw-back blog post in this link to save time.

 Alright, friends. You see, Maggie and I have become The More Iconic Duo (sorry, internet humor) since working together for what was an extraordinarily long summer in 2015. Long hours and frustrating circumstance has made us better friends. Hey, gotta look for the good.
The two of us decided to jump in and be summer missionaries once more this year, and boy- what an adventure. 
The system that is a mission team can be quite interesting. On most teams there's the comic-relief, the one that the little kids crush on, the bossy, the "been there, done that," and boy- can I go on. But let me say this- Maggie is the comic relief. She can make any hard situation lighter. Instead of making this bit longer and heart-felt, I'll just tell you that every mission team needs a Maggie. 

We've seen each other through a lot. We've been right next to each other through the worst times. And- through these times, I've seen something about Maggie. She can translate her humor into her writing- and she does it SO WELL. Yet, in one moment, she can write the most real and heartfelt piece. 

Through our friendship, we've picked up some of each others likes and dislikes. I mean, she let me dye her hair and she made me into a bigger Beatles fan. We've sat next to each other on van rides all the way to Canada  

and all the way to a beautiful Florida beach. (Love you, Mexico Beach, FL) 


We've seen two of our favorite bands together. (Mountain Goats and Violent Femmes!!!)


Now, I've been known to bug people about making a blog- and if there is anyone worthy to bug regarding attaining one of these things, it's Maggie. As I've explained- she has something to say. For her to attain a platform like this would make for some indescribable reading. AND GUESS WHAT.

Finally I was annoying enough, and she caved. Maggie made a blog! You can find her HERE at Dead Dream Society.

At TRM you've gotten one side of the tale of the summer epic, but you can find another perspective on her blog. Check out her new post,

YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

You Were Cool

There's so much to say.

It's 1:35am right now and I've been thinking about writing since midnight, so I've finally given in. Plenty of thoughts have dug through my mind. Digging deeper, thinking about others complexly, tragedy, dialogue, etc etc etc. 

The Mountain Goats concert. 

Maggie is cool, we happen to send each other memes on a regular basis and watch shows about horror stories that are solidly American. One of our favorite bands happen to be a group named... The Mountain Goats. For months we knew that they were coming to 
and Maggie was oh-so-cool and bought me a ticket to this wondrous event. And so we went. 

The two of us had a few songs that we really extremely definitely hoped they would play.


Guys, I can't even begin to tell you how perfect this show was. One of my favorite things about TMG's music is the complexity to the lyrics and the fantastic guitar. Some songs hit hard, some are pure beauty, and some are just plain fun.

Please enjoy this pixelated POV shot. 

I can pin-point the day that Maggie and I began our mutual obsession. As procedure (as I am a license-less person with epilepsy) she was driving and I was playing music in the passenger seat. I played No Children, and the two of us perfectly belted this song.

Now, as they made their way through the set we heard some of our absolute favorites. 

"The loneliest people in the whole wide world are the ones you're never going to see again." 
"Squint your eyes and hope real hard... maybe sprout wings."
"Insert all of the lyrics to lakeside view apartment suite here"

And after preforming a whole lot of music- seventeen songs- The Mountain Goats called it a night with Game Shows Touch Our Lives- "People say friends don't destroy one another, what do they know about friends?" 
And friends, thus began one of the greatest gifts I've been given. The opportunity to see a five-song encore. 

Maggie and I made it a point to enjoy ourselves. Dancing, singing, soaking everything in. We got the chance to hear the words "I am going to make it through this year if it kills me" live. 
The last song played? The same one that started us on the track that got us to where we were in that very moment. 

"And I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away and I never come back to this town again." 

We left with matching t-shirts in our hands and a gift. 
We got to hear music with so much weight and beauty live. We got to do that. 
Thank you, John. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The $110 I'll Be Able to Keep Forever

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON WEDNESDAY"

And on Star Wars Day 2016 I got my first tattoo.

Solid. 

This was VERY spur-of-the-moment. I went in with one of my friends, and she received this tattoo, 


minus the arrow.

One thing that I was a bit nervous about was the fact that it was such a random decision. Yet, I felt at ease when I remembered my maple leaf idea had been one that I was thinking about for well over a year. 

Lets cut to it, Christian and tattooed!

Do you not like tattoos? That's PERFECTLY fine. Believe me. I don't like long hair, but you can go on and have that. I once was stuck listening to someone talk about how Christians don't have tattoos and how your body is a temple, which I quickly replied with my typical "I've never seen a temple without art," and they proceeded to inform me that tattoos aren't art, which reaffirmed my decision to write a paper on the definition of art. Art is the expression of human creativity- whether you like it or not. That concludes my salty but necessary bit. 

I am at ease with my tattoos. I love them, they represent many of the things that I adore. 
Yet, when it comes to my maple leaf, it's more than just a nod to Canada. 
For me, this trip was a solid miracle.
I got the chance to serve people far from home, and also I got the opportunity to be informed about the endless problems that first nations people have and do face. And I think this fact has shaped how I view the world now. It's honestly too long and intricate to explain. But Canada has changed me, and it's a result of a three year long period of praying. "God, I'll go anywhere, please send me." Here I am five trips north later. 

My maple leaf tattoo represents plenty. Faith, love, missions, Whitedog, Shoal Lake, and all of my friends that I've been able to meet. This is one tattoo that could have been copious tattoos.

 And I cherish it as a physical representation of so many things that make me me. 

Now for tattoo two. 


"And I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after the people that interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved. desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
-Jack Kerouac

I got this one with my brother, whose first tattoo is my beautiful niece's name.

This one, man. My tattoo ideas go like this typically:
Get idea of thing I want to tattoo to be for (example, Canada, Whitedog, etc)
Think of design
Decide- does anyone I know have it? Is it "mine"? What makes it different? 
Get tattoo. 

To explain this in a timely manner, I'll share my Instagram caption on a picture of this tattoo. 


I decided on this for many reasons. First of all, I wanted a Kerouac tattoo. For a long time I thought of many variations of a tattoo in honor of one of the founders of the beats. Then, there was the phrase. Mad to live. I get how Kerouac meant it, but one could give it many meanings. Mad? Does it mean enthusiastic? Insane? Then we get to the entire quote, which lists that the only people for him are the mad ones. For a long time I've admired many people who I would personally list as a "mad one." So this tattoo not only reminds me of Kerouac, but van Gogh, Chris McCandless, Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, as well as many others. Finally we can come to who wrote it out for me, my mother. Enthusiastic to live: A reminder, a declaration; it means more than I can explain in words. So this is my second tattoo. I've been in love with it since well before I got it.


What's next? 

On my left arm, I'll most likely be getting "Under the sun" in my dad's handwriting. It may be written in Portuguese, and I checked the translation with a lovely friend of mine who fluently speaks it. This will represent many things, as is the theme with my tattoos. 
My favorite book in the bible, Ecclesiastes, which carried me through some times. Under the sun is one of the most repeated phrases throughout this book. In Portuguese, it would stand for my ancestors on dad's side- which would take care of my want to get a "Portuguese tattoo." My father will be writing it, as my mom did with mad to live. This represents so much, and I'm excited to get it. 

So here it is, the post I've been wanting to write for a long time.