Thanks for all the lols, 2012

Holy cow, y’all. What a year. I mean really. Just a stupendous amount happened.

I started the year off in a beautiful new house, full of happiness and relief to be leaving the shittiest shithole that was ever shat in. Turns out I’ll be leaving the beautiful new house again much sooner than anticipated, but I’ll get into that later because it PERTAINS TO THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Next, I met the best person in the entire world, only I didn’t understand it right then and we wasted a bit of time “getting to know each other” and “being friends.” Pff, whatever. We’re totally shacking up together starting in February, so that’s what “taking things slow” gets you.

After/during all that, I adopted a cat, changed jobs, started actually dating previously stated love, had to give my cat away, was told our house was being sold, decided to move in with the fella, ate a lot of great food, met some great people, had some great parties, read some great books, saw a lot of movies [see “getting to know each other” and “being friends”], had some good naps.

After enjoying this year so much, I am enthusiastically looking forward to the next one, which I expect to be filled with much more of the same, only less of the “being friendly” and more of the “being in love.”

My friends had babies, got married, got engaged, got pregnant, got books published, broke up, lost family, lost friends, learned about themselves.

A million happy, sad, important little events occurred that make the time we spend here on Earth worth it. We re-elected our President! We landed a robot on Mars! We published books and learned more about our planet and inspired hundreds of thousands of people to do good things for each other simply because they should.

I love being human. I love my fellow humans. I wish all my planet-mates a safe, healthy, happy new year full of the very best ups and downs that life has to offer.

And hopefully a few more naps. One can never have too many, you know.

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Lent, y’all.

I wrote this two years ago, and while I no longer even consider myself religious [sorry, Mom.], that’s not the point of the essay. Happy Lent, y’all. Go learn something about yourselves.

The following text is taken from the February 2009 entry, “Not Your Typical Jesus Post.

I wished someone a “Happy Lent” the other day, and didn’t stop to think until later that they may feel I was telling them to revel in deprivation.

But see, to me Lent isn’t about doing without – it’s about taking on an experiment that you normally wouldn’t put much energy into. I am all about self-discovery. And my mother is always very adamant about the specifics. She is careful to call it her “Lenten Discipline”, and never, “What she’s giving up”. The same way that how, in highschool, when a friend asked “Is Molly there?” when calling me, she would answer, “Yes,” and then wait for them to ask to speak to me. Thanks, Mom.

Now, It’s pretty obvious that I am not a traditional Christian. I’m not even a traditional Episcopalian, although they are the denomination with whom I identify best. Because I don’t necessarily believe that Jesus was the son of whatever God is up there [Sorry, Mom, still mulling that one over…]. I do, however, think he was a pretty rad guy, who preached about love and acceptance and genuinely cared for the welfare of the people he touched. How can you argue with something like that?

But, regardless of what you believe, Lent is a good time to try taking on a task. When you think about it, it’s more realistic than most New Years resolutions. You can see the end of it if you really can’t stand what you’ve committed to. And then you learn about yourself. In fact, if you’re successful with your Lenten Discipline, try commiting yourself to something new each month! Learn French. Master baking. Master French Baking. Take your dog [or hamster!] for obedience classes, and then enter them in an agility show. Your possibilities are endless, because it’s not about doing without, it’s about what you can do, and being grateful for the time that you are given.

So, this year, for my Lenten Discipline, I am resolving to be neater. Both in my appearance and apartment. I will do all of my dishes as they are dirtied. I will iron clothes that are wrinkled. I will think more carefully about the food I eat. I will sweep my kitchen floor before the popcorn that was dropped on it gets ground into a fine dust. I’ll stick to Lent as best as I can, and I won’t think too hard about the science of Easter apart from celebrating new life and enjoying my family.

I do like zombies, though.

A Democrat Walks Into a Gun Range…

I started writing this post a little differently than I’ve done in the past. I started by googling murder.

In the five years [and counting] that I have lived in Baltimore, 1058 people have been murdered. That number will climb, probably this week. Probably today.

Of these deaths, the overwhelming majority were gun related.

Knowing these facts, and having been raised in a liberal, democratic family who support gun control and abhor physical violence, I am naturally terrified of guns. Terrified. Until last Sunday, I had never seen a full gun in person beyond the handle of one poking out of police holsters.

I refuse to live my life in fear, though. There are things beyond my control – Guns exist. People use them, often for terrible, horrible things. I don’t have to be happy about either of those points, but I will never ever say I haven’t tried to walk in all peoples shoes.

And so, I wanted to know exactly what I can expect from a gun. The noise, the smell, the feeling of what the person holding it must have. And no self-respecting planner for the Zombie Apocalypse should ever pass up the opportunity for new skills.

So, I asked my friend, Matthew, an officer and a gentleman, to help me face my fear. He responded enthusiastically, and we set a date.

In the few days leading up to the Event, I was extremely nervous. I freaked out to everyone I could, including my dear friend, Rachel, who happens to be Matthew’s older sister.

me: what if i shoot your brother
will you ever forgive me?
Rachel: After I stop laughing
Yes
I will forgive you
only, please shoot him just a little if you can
or near
how about near?
me: i can do near

What? It’s perfectly valid terror, okay?

***

“Do you think they’ll know I’m a democrat?” I ask Matthew, half-joking. We’re pulling into the parking lot of the range.

“Aaand that’s why we took my car.” he says, all chipper and matter-of-fact. I think of the OBAMA 08 magnet on my perky, import sedan, with its fuel efficiency and general liberal projections. I’m pretty sure nothing would have happened to it, but I still think it’s a sweet gesture.

We can hear the gun shots from the parking lot; a rolling stream of pops coming from a completely unassuming building at the top of a hill.

There are picnic tables outside and Matthew sets his bag-o-guns down to fish out ear and eye protection.

“Wait here,” he says, jamming orange ear-plugs into his ears.

I stand there, making furtive glances at the duffel bag that I know contains three guns and a whole mess of bullets. How can we just be walking around with this stuff? I mean, objectively I know why – because he is a police officer and therefor licensed for this sort of thing – but HOLY CRAP THREE GUNS AND A MESS OF BULLETS.

I keep my cool.

He comes back, and says the range is a little full and we’ll just wait here until a few more people clear out. I nod; it seems like the thing to do. He makes me try on the ear muffs, and decides I don’t need to wear extra eye protection since I’ve already got on my glasses. Okay, I tell him. It seems like the thing to say.

Inside my head I’ve got a steady mantra going of holy crap holy crap holy crap. I’m mostly not paralysed with fear. I mean, I can make my legs work, and Matthew is extremely reassuring.

“You’ll be great,” he says. I try not to laugh hysterically at his woefully misplaced confidence in my abilities. There are a lot of things I’m trying not to do. Vomit. Run away. Trip. Drop the deadly weapon I’m about to hold. Vomit.

We enter the range proper through a curtain of plastic flaps, and now I can really smell the gunpowder. My friend Casey warned me that it was a really great smell, and he wasn’t wrong. It’s, and I’m sorry to perpetuate any kind of stereotypes, but it’s kind of a sexy smell. Dark, sharp. Combined with the constant noise and people all around, carrying extremely dangerous things, I am giddy with fear and excitement.

Holy crap holy crap holy crap.

At this point, I can’t really hear anything Matthew is saying to me. I watch with close interest as he unpacks two semi-automatic pistols from a plastic carrying case. The clips are loose and empty and he sets everything out in a row. Next, he takes out a few boxes of bullets and arranges them just so, before opening one of the boxes and spends a few minutes telling me what’s happening.

All dialogue from now on is fuzzy, but I’ll try to recall as accurately as possible.

“We’re going to shoot the baby-Glock first,” he says, casually jamming bullets into the clip. I nod, pretty sure he didn’t tell me we’re shooting baby ducks. Matthew’s not a hunter.

All around us, the popping is never-ending. We’re close to the end of the pistol stations, and to our right, there’s a row of people stretched out on the rifle range.

Matthew is talking about safety, when I feel something small land on the top of my head and fall down in front of me. I look down at the ground, which is littered with brass, and then up at Matthew, and he laughs.

“Yeah, those are just bullet casings. No big deal.” It’s all so absurd. This is my Sunday, standing here, getting peppered with bullet casings. For many people, this is routine.

We grin at each other and get back to business. The baby-Glock [Glock 27] uses the same S&W .40 bullets as his service pistol, the Glock 40, but has a shorter handle, and I think, a slightly shorter muzzle. He puts the clip in, checks the chamber, and then shows me how to hold it so that I won’t break my thumb, which I appreciate. He tells me how to stand, to lean forward a little to prepare for the kick. I nod. He tells me not to even put my finger on the trigger unless I’m intending to pull it right then. I nod. He shows me how to line up the sights. I nod.

And I’m suddenly there in front of the target, holding a loaded gun. Everything kind of quiets to a hush, and I can feel my heart pounding in my mouth.

Holy crap holy crap holy crap.

I take a deep breath, and as I let it out, I squeeze the trigger.

BANG.

My hand jerks, and I feel the kick all the way down into my feet. It’s loud, it’s startling, but I haven’t hit anyone! In fact, I haven’t even hit the target.

“Good!” Matthew says, “Now, try again, a little higher.”

I nod, and fire again. In the dirt. A few more times, and I manage to hit the board. Guns are heavy, and my hands are shaking more each shot. I let Matthew take over for a little bit while I think about things.

Shooting is fun, y’all. I am not even going to lie. It’s a visceral rush each time you pull the trigger. But, really, it is terrifying. It’s an extreme responsibility, and one that I wish people didn’t take so lightly.

That doesn’t stop me from trying some more. We move on to Matthew’s service weapon, the Glock 40. It’s larger, heavier, and when I fire it, I like it more immediately. The kick isn’t as extreme, and I manage to hit, not the bulls eye, but the same general area of the target a few times in a row. It’s not inside the widest circle, but, dammit, it’s on the paper.

We take turns for a while and then Matthew decides it’s time to bring out the .38 Special. “The gun of Sherlock Holmes,” Matthew tells me. It’s a five-chambered revolver that’s smaller than either of the Glocks.

Matthew loads it and tells me something surprising. I don’t know if it’s true with all revolvers, but with this one, you don’t have to cock it each time you pull the trigger. All my gunslinging preconceptions out the window! He hands it over and tells me to have at it.

The grip is awkward and small. I’m not sure what to do with my left hand since there’s really no room to wrap it fully around my right. I settle for a lady-like cupping and pull the trigger.

I do not like it, Sam I Am. The kick is much harder, and there is no cushion for the shock. I only fire it twice, before handing it back to Matthew to finish off the chambers.

We load the Glock 40 again and I shoot a whole clip on my own. Matthew, being the good teacher he is, coaches me through each shot. “A little to the left. A little lower. Look! That was the bulls-eye! Okay, that was the dirt, but look at that nice cluster on top.”

A cease-fire is called. Everyone has to unload and stand back while the range officers sweep away some of the shells and replace the targets. People are allowed to go and collect brass or take their target. A couple of range officers fix a target board that has been knocked sideways.

I don’t know exactly how long we’ve been there, but I’d estimate about forty-five minutes, maybe an hour. I am wiped out. Guns are heavy, and combined with the shock of each firing, my arms are tired and a little noodley.

The cease-fire ends and we pack up and make a donation to the range on the way out. It’s been quite an experience.

I’m still terrified, I still support gun control, strongly. I’ve never witnessed one of these Baltimore murders, and I hope to God I never will, nor be a victim.

But now I’ve asked the questions for myself and taken the time to do my research. I hope others are able to do so. Don’t ever say you haven’t tried to walk in everyone’s shoes.

And Something About a Monkey.

When I was growing up I was told, along with pretty much everyone I knew, that I could do anything I wanted to do if I just put my mind to it.

And I believed it. It sounds great, right? Really inspirational! I was ready to take on the world at the age of twelve!

But what happens with you just can’t put your mind to it? What is a kid supposed to do when they can’t follow a lesson because the window is so much more interesting. There’s birds out there! They’re flying and catching bugs! Hey look, that kid has a piece of paper sticking out of their bag, maybe I should tell them. I wish I wore different shoes today, these totally don’t match my shirt. Oh crap the teacher just asked me to start reading but I don’t know where we are, I already finished the book while we were sitting here. I can tell you how it ends! They throw a party while the Pigman is out of town, and he is disappointed in them and kicks the bucket. And something about a monkey. There, can I just take the quiz now? Oh good they’re leaving me alone, I can write a note to…

Sound familiar?

So, I have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominately innattentive. I was quiet and kept my head down at school, and so it wasn’t diagnosed until I was twenty-two and had a panic attack when I tried to sign up for a college class. Apparently, I developed some extreme school anxiety while I was an adolescent. Whoops!

I would like to do a great many things with my life. For instance: I used to want to become a midwife. It sounds good when you tell someone that’s what you want to do. They’re always politely surprised and interested in the process.

I don’t think I could ever do it, though. Not with the current educational system. If I could apprentice with a midwife, instead of having to go through nursing school and all of those lectures that would DRIVE ME COMPLETELY INSANE, I would do so in a heartbeat.

But the world doesn’t work that way, anymore, and so it will have to wait until my mind can be put to it.

It’s going to be a while.

I want instant gratification, I want to know something NOW. If I try something, and I’m not immediately a prodigy at it, I lose interest. And you don’t have to tell me that’s completely impractical, because I already know. I can’t help myself.

Have you ever not been able to help yourself? And I’m not talking about that extra cookie you can’t resist because you are STARVING YOURSELF [that’s for another post]. And I’m not talking about a tick, or a compulsion like touching doorknobs or tapping a stair three times before you step on it.

I’m talking about sitting down with your book for school and having to read the same paragraph six times because you have no idea what it just said because you got up to check your alarm at least three times because you can’t actually remember if you set it.

ADHD has become a joke in todays world, and not without reason. I will be the first to admit that having a conversation with me can be amusing. I will babble at you for a good twenty minutes and not have actually said anything important. I may jump up and perform some menial task whilst relaying word-for-word a conversation I had with someone you don’t know, just because I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the task needed to be done.

But I know that I did it, and it won’t help me if you tell me not to.

People with ADHD aren’t without metacognition. We know we don’t always explain ourselves well [it makes so much sense in my head!] and if you asked us why we just did something that doesn’t make sense to you, I’m sure we could provide a detailed list of our reasoning, possibly starting with a craving for a tomato sandwich we had two days ago and ending with a conversation we just had about fleas.

But we’re smart. We’re sometimes smarter than our teachers, which is the MOST frustrating thing in the world, for all parties involved.

We just can’t help ourselves. And if I could fix one thing in the world – one monumental and important thing – I would make sure teachers everywhere don’t punish us for losing attention.

Because I don’t judge you for wanting that cookie. So don’t judge me for needing to get up and sharpen my pencil six times. It wasn’t perfectly pointy, and I can’t concentrate, anyway.

Five Years in Baltimore.

People look at me funny when I say that Baltimore is my favorite city in the world – even above Paris. It’s true, though. I may have been raised in Delaware, but I am growing up in Baltimore. I am experiencing things here that I never could anywhere else. I am living on my own, making my own money, making my own way here. I am knowing wonderful, beautiful people who could never exist in another city in the world because that is what Baltimore does.

It gets inside you and makes you who you are. If I had to define myself without Baltimore, I don’t know if I would like who I would be.

Everyone needs to know a city that does that to them.

And here I have lived for five years. They have been, by far, the best five years of my entire life. and I know I am still young, and I have not been everywhere in the world, but I know that before I lived in this city I was sad until something made me happy, but here I am happy first and longest.

I look out my window and feel a surge of pleasure to see the rooftops and light posts and signs of Waverly and Charles Village in the distance.

Baltimore has its faults, for certain. High drug use, high STD infection, high gang-related deaths. But that in itself does not define the people inside. We are people. We are nurses and artists and doctors and writers and actors and lovers and haters and people with dreams. We are Baltimoreans. And anyone who looks at me funny for that can’t know what it is to be in love with a city.

I love you, Baltimore.

It’s really not that hard. No. Really.

[In case UBALT is researching me, I did rework part of this post as my application essay. I hope you don’t mind – I thought it was relevant. Please accept me!]

Oh for the love of mustard and onions.

Okay, listen. I am not a fancy scientist with a fancy degree in fanciness. I’m a girl who grew up in a household that had subscriptions to Discover magazine and whose parents and sister are giant nerds. Armed with that background and the ability to read, I think that’s about all the qualifications I need to say:

CLIMATE CHANGE IS FRIKKIN’ REAL, GUYS.

Lorrie Goldstein? You’re a freaking idiot. That may be disrespectful of me, I mean you are my elder and all that, but YOU ARE A FREAKING IDIOT.

I don’t even know how I came across that article, such is the violence of my rage about it, because it’s certainly not the only one of its kind.

Anyway, Let’s take a look at the evidence, shall we? Go on, I’ll wait.

Done? Annoyed that I chose Al Gore? TOUGH NOOGIES.

I know that things of this scale move slowly, so the evidence is difficult to see when you glance out the window. And to some, the recent ridiculous snow that kept me housebound for ten freaking days may seem like everything is okay.

But guys. C’mon. When has the Mid-Atlantic seaboard EVER had that much snow in a single week? That alone should tell you that things ain’t quite right.

And, look, I’m not above conceding that perhaps this is part of Earth’s natural cycle. I mean, we all know that the dinosaurs lived in a world that looked much different way back when, and judging by how many of their bones Montana and France has kicked up, I’d hazard a guess that it was pretty planet-wide. [We also know that flipping rocks from space came around and screwed things up, so perhaps that argument is also moot.]

HOWEVER. We do not need to help it along.

I’m not so arrogant as to assume that Humans are the be-all, end-all of evolution in the universe. I am sure that there are races of beings out there in the black pointing and laughing at our naked, fleshy bodies. They’re probably watching us play with our dinky computers and ride in our cute, clunky cars like so many lumbering cows.

But we are here right now. And since we are dominant enough of this planet that we will build shit pretty much anywhere we like, we have a responsibility to its upkeep. You don’t take a dump in the middle of your living room and then set it on fire, guys.

And if you do, well. You might want to stop that, cos it’s a fire hazard and also kind of gross. Unless you live in a yurt and that’s fuel for something. In that case, alright, carry-on, but I think that cow dung is more efficient.

ANYWAY. I suppose my point in this all is: Whether or not you believe in Global Warming [which you totally should because IT IS FREAKING HAPPENING, but I digress], pollution is real and is a real problem.

I mean, what will you be hurting by changing some things, except the profits of power companies? They need to change, too, and nothing is going to encourage them to do so if we keep plugging in stuff. So suck up the extra few bucks and buy those energy efficient light-bulbs. Carry your groceries home in a cloth sack. Recycle your damn newspapers. Support local farms. Do all that crunchy hippy junk, because the littlest bit really is helpful.

Because, if you’re not going to listen to the fancy scientists with their fancy degrees, then perhaps you should start listening to people like me.

Further reading:

This interactive article from the Washington Post is v. illuminating, and covers a lot of ground regarding the Chesapeake and how we are screwing it up. You should read it.

This comic is a lovely commentary on how a lot of us are feeling about the whole thing. It’s two pages, so make sure you click the arrow at the bottom.

And my whole post is basically just reiterating what Phil Plait [one of my favorite people ever, y’all] said here, BUT HE IS RIGHT SO READ THAT OKAY. HIYAH.

*pant* *pant* I hate when I have to get all Miss Piggy on stuff.

ETA: September 2011 – HOW ARE PEOPLE NOT TAKING THIS MORE SERIOUSLY!? GET OFF YOUR ASSES, PEOPLE, MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

And never brought to mind…

Insert obligatory year-end reflection post:

So, 2009 kind of rocked. And it kind of blew. Which is, really, what I like to see in a year. I don’t like all ups, because that means there will be too many downs later. I like a good mix.

A recap:

Lester went through his first bout of congestive heart failure, and gave me a few grey hairs in the process. Emergencies never occur at two o’clock in the afternoon on a Saturday, y’all. It’s always four in the morning when you stayed up too late to watch random crappy videos on the internet the night before.

Anyway, then he got better, or at least we figured out how to keep him sailing on in his little furry body.

My pal Penny came to town from Seattle to see our intrepid Commander in Chief step into office, and we had a fantastic week kicking around. I ate a million pounds of Pocky.

Then I went and visited my sister and brother-in-law in Portland. I had the most marvelous time kicking around in one of the nicest cities on the planet. Like, really nice. Like, if Baltimore and Los Angeles got into a fight, Portland would be around to make sure we didn’t kill each other and maybe make us cookies afterward. It was delightful.

Watchmen disappointed me, but it’s cool. I forgive you, Watchmen. You were a good movie and all, but I’ll take the book any day.

I met a dude, and we dated for a bit, and then we weren’t dating anymore, and it’s all gravy. It was basically the most casual thing in the world, and we’re both so laid back that it was pretty much just one day we were hanging out and then another we were seeing other people. Easy peasy.

H1N1 hit, and my work life got CRAZY. I worked some overtime, and made cookies [that’s how I cope] and I tried to keep my nurses sane. We got through it, obvs.

Then I had a birthday! It was lots and lots of fun, and my Dad and I spent that weekend driving all over Maryland for blacksmithing adventures. A delightful time was had by all.

My cousin got married! I had a quarter-life crisis! The world continued to spin unaided!

AND THEN SILAS WAS BORN. He is the cutest little blob of human that was EVER CREATED. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH I CANNOT STAND IT. I get to babysit for him on Saturday, y’all, and I cannot WAIT.

I had some strange dreams and went on Vacation. Garrett County is GORGEOUS, y’all, and I recommend it for a relaxing time away from reality. I WAS ON A BOAT.

Lester had an episode, but he’s fine now, too. I guess I’ll be on the lookout for those every six months or so. Crazy dog.

I did a guest post on Zaftig Chicks! My site traffic increased by maybe two people! Wooo!

And then Ina died, and it still kind of sneaks up on me every once in a while. I’ll listen to a song that we used to love, or someone will say something that reminds me of her so much that I sort of space out and lose it for a minute. There’s nothing in the world that can prepare you for something like that.

So, autumn kind of blew through in a haze of grief and sourness. I really tried not to be down, but when patients at work are insane and you’re working long hours and the sun is steadily creeping away, it’s tough.

And then Jesse and I helped that lady on the street, and things kind of… lifted. Maybe it was the rush of endorphins, or the knowledge that I did something right, or learning that there are other people in this messed up, glorious city that will stop what they are doing and pick you up off the sidewalk.

Whatever it was, I felt right again. I’m back in my own skin.

Then it snowed. A LOT. I hate snow. Then it melted, and then snowed this morning again, and I have a PARTY TONIGHT, dammit, and I refuse to kow-tow to the weather. IMMA PUT ON A FANCY DRESS AND LIVE IT UP.

So there.

Christmas was wonderful – I got to see my sister again and I missed her so much you have no idea. I got fabulous new toys [ipod touch omg omg omg] and drank some nog, and things are okay.

Tonight is going to be fantastic, and that’s just all there is to it.

I love you, Baltimore. The world is great, too, but Baltimore has my heart forever.

<3

Thoughts on Twenty-something Singledom.

My cousin, Henry, is getting married this weekend. If his sister, Holly, marries her boyfriend after him, then we’ll be going in birth order of the cousins. First my sister, then Henry, then Holly, and that leaves me before my younger cousins, Andrew [fifteen] and William [ten]. At least I have a few years.

Anyway, this wedding has got me thinking, mostly about being the free agent in a mass of couples. It’s not as much of an enviable position as you would think, despite that they are all gracious in sharing their lives with me, and willing to include me in their day-to-day.

I don’t have a vast and sprawling group of friends, but it isn’t small, and it is certainly varied. And despite the different lives everyone is walking, I still manage to be The Single Friend [or Cousin…]. For everyone. No, really. Even if my friends are not romantically attached to each other, they are still paired off into their own functional units, whether it be with their roommates or neighbors or bff’s.

Because I am now coming to be Of An Age where it’s the natural way of my peers to pair off and settle down. Now is the time of weddings and babies and christenings. People I went to high-school with have families of their own.

So, I’m often at odds with myself. I savor my independence [such that it is owning a dog] and take great pleasure in answering only to myself. More and more often lately I’ve been wanting to strike off on my own [again] and find myself a little cabin in the woods that I can set up a forge next to and make metal things and write stories and have chickens running around in the yard. And maybe a goat. I’m flexible on the goat part.

But, I want babies. And an adult to cook for, and someone to be part of my functional unit, and romance and stupid, giddy love. So, where is my piece of the puzzle?

And yet.

And yet, here I am. Thinking. There was an e-mail going around a couple of years ago that talked about the quarter life crisis. Among other things, it highlights the battle of ennui and enthusiasm that we all feel when we’re in our twenties. Snapping between wild confidence and crippling anxiety and the constant conflicting questions. What Next? What am I doing with myself? Who cares what I do? What will people think of what I do? I don’t want to do anything with myself. I want to change the world. What the hell is wrong with me?

It’s exhausting, and it’s precisely the reason that I spend as much time as I do in my own head. Why I read constantly, or write this blog.

We don’t want to inflict ourselves on the world, but at the same time, we’re aching for it.

Or maybe it’s just me.

<3

Thinkin’ bout religion.

So, as much as I avoid thinking too hard about organized religion, it is often in my thoughts for various reasons. and today I decided to gorge myself on the archives of a webcomic called “pictures for sad children“, and came across this particular comic.

It pretty much sums up my most basic thoughts about religion. I don’t mean God. I couldn’t begin to explain my views on God or any higher powers, but one fact I always come around to when I am mulling it over, is that I don’t want to scream my views on the street corner. I don’t want to discuss it with my coworkers, or explain it to strangers on the street. I know I am doing just that with this post, but somehow it feels differently. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to hear what I have to say, so perhaps that’s the biggest difference.

So, what it comes down to for me is love. I love you. If there is God, they probably love you. Even if you hate me, I probably love you anyway. It’s something that I sometimes actively struggle to do, because there is a lot of hate and apathy in the world. But I believe that it is important to get down in there and love someone really hard.

So I do, every chance that I get. <3

Happy Father’s Day, y’all. I hope that everyone’s fathers are lovable, and if they aren’t, I hope that you have someone else to love instead.

Not your typical Jesus post.

I wished someone a “Happy Lent” the other day, and didn’t stop to think until later that they may feel I was telling them to revel in deprivation.

But see, to me Lent isn’t about doing without – it’s about taking on an experiment that you normally wouldn’t put much energy into. I am all about self-discovery. And my mother is always very adamant about the specifics. She is careful to call it her “Lenten Discipline”, and never, “What she’s giving up”. The same way that how, in highschool, when a friend asked “Is Molly there?” when calling me, she would answer, “Yes,” and then wait for them to ask to speak to me. Thanks, Mom.

Now, It’s pretty obvious that I am not a traditional Christian. I’m not even a traditional Episcopalian, although they are the denomination with whom I identify best. Because I don’t necessarily believe that Jesus was the son of whatever God is up there [Sorry, Mom, still mulling that one over…]. I do, however, think he was a pretty rad guy, who preached about love and acceptance and genuinely cared for the welfare of the people he touched. How can you argue with something like that?

But, regardless of what you believe, Lent is a good time to try taking on a task. When you think about it, it’s more realistic than most New Years resolutions. You can see the end of it if you really can’t stand what you’ve committed to. And then you learn about yourself. In fact, if you’re successful with your Lenten Discipline, try commiting yourself to something new each month! Learn French. Master baking. Master French Baking. Take your dog [or hamster!] for obedience classes, and then enter them in an agility show. Your possibilities are endless, because it’s not about doing without, it’s about what you can do, and being grateful for the time that you are given.

So, this year, for my Lenten Discipline, I am resolving to be neater. Both in my appearance and apartment. I will do all of my dishes as they are dirtied. I will iron clothes that are wrinkled. I will think more carefully about the food I eat. I will sweep my kitchen floor before the popcorn that was dropped on it gets ground into a fine dust. I’ll stick to Lent as best as I can, and I won’t think too hard about the science of Easter apart from celebrating new life and enjoying my family.

I do like zombies, though.