Thursday, December 5, 2013

Something hit me today. I'm afraid to be married.  For someone who has pined for little else in life, it seems completely paradoxical.  How could a woman who believes her greatest purpose in life is to demonstrate the love of God as a wife and mother, be afraid to get married?  Well, sometimes it just is what it is until it isn't.

I had a conversation recently with someone who knows me only professionally and from this conversation I began to think about why I haven't gotten married and why my honey and I have struggled so much in a very different light.  This person asked me, "What's the worst that could happen?"  I had to admit, the worst that would happen would be that it didn't work out and I'd have to move back home with my mom and hear the sighs and see the eye rolls of well meaning friends, "Oh, there goes Stacey again, jumped head first and now she's all wet."  The next worse thing I discovered later.  The next worst thing is the isolation that will come from my family if I marry in an unconventional way, as seems very likely.

I hate isolation.  I mean, like everybody there are times when I like to be to myself, but to be disconnected, to miss conversation, affection and intellectual exchange is like unplugging the phone.  Case in point, when I was in high school, I began playing the violin.  I was as close to a prodigy as you can be when you pick up an instrument for the first time at 15 years old.  My orchestra teacher recognized my gift and decided to put me in the back room during class.  He would give me two or three pieces of music to learn and then leave me in that room to teach the rest of the orchestra.  By the end of the class, I had the music down pat and needed only a bit of correction and encouragement.  This went on for what seemed like much longer than it probably was.  I felt like I was losing my mind.  I begged and begged to leave that room and join the rest of the class.  My teacher warned me that if I joined them I would fall behind.  That was enough to hold me for a while, but then I had enough.  Despite the knowledge that I was far more advanced than the rest of the class and I would drop down several levels, I just had to join the pack.  Thirty seven years later, I'm relearning how to the play the violin.  I still have the talent, but the "gift" well, it's not what it was.

TD Jakes spoke of elevation of a few, Peter, James and John being taken from the 12 to the mount to see Jesus transfigured.  They were already part of an elite group, but they were exclusive.  When they returned to the 9, there is no way that they didn't behave or think differently than the rest.  Today's daily bible reading was Daniel 1 and 2.  When Babylon conquered Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar had all the best young men brought to him to be trained as wise men.  Of this elite group, only Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael were taken to the king.  Daniel was elevated even out of this group, as he alone sat in the king's gate. Greatness requires a certain amount of isolation.  Most people never achieve greatness because they are too afraid to separate from the group.

I told my honey that I'm afraid to move to Nashville for fear it might night work out for me again.  I don't want to do the same thing over again.  But this time would be different, I would be married, but my marriage and probably many other callings will require me to lose some relationships, to forge paths that I can follow no one, but Christ himself.  This is petrifying to me and why I have remained single and emotionally dependent for so long.

Now that Mr. Mandela is gone, I see yet another picture of how being set apart is not just a by product of greatness, but a vital necessity.  Am I ready to be elevated and leave behind the crowd?  Am I courageous enough to overcome the fear of being Me and My Man against the world?  I don't know yet, but I don't have long to figure it out.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

This post will self destruct in 5, 4...

I've taken way bigger risks than posting videos of myself playing the violin...more specifically, playing the violin badly, for instance, flying to Europe alone, moving across country alone, driving hundreds of miles alone to meet, for the first time, a man I hoped to marry.  But, this risk seems just as daunting because of the person for whom I've posted these videos.  

I've always been able to perform - whether acting, singing or playing - better for complete strangers.  For people I know and love, I perform worse because the criticism is worse.  That's why I could blow like a beast as a guest worship leader at a church I had never attended, with the congregation seated only a few feet away, gathered around like children begging for candy.  But at my own church, standing on a stage, with hundreds of familiar eyes watching, I could barely pull off a 30 second solo of one of our most beloved songs.  I was comfortable singing at that lovely Anglican church because I knew I would never see any of those folks again, but folks at my church would have several times during the week to give me the side-eye about Sunday's screw up.

To be fair, I must admit, that has never happened.  Everyone always encouraged and applauded anything I threw out at them (except our worship leader, but that was her job, I guess and my family. I rest my case.). Nevertheless, perception is reality.

Regardless, a risk-taker, I am.  The greater the risk, the greater the reward and I have been rewarded well.  So, I gladly post these crazy videos and hope that any and all who see them will be kind.  If not, at least, putting myself on blast will push me to practice, practice, practice.  No sights set on Carnegie Hall, but I do intend to play better than I ever did before.  Enjoy!

To be viewed from top to bottom.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I am strongly considering taking a Thanksgiving vacation to Annapolis, MD.  I was supposed to be spending the holiday with my...Oh, God, I can't bring myself to say it.  The fifth and twenty fourth letters of the alphabet placed side by side make my stomach queasy.  So, I'll say my former beau.  I was supposed to be spending the holiday with my former beau.  In fact, it was discussing the logistics of our holiday that led to our ultimate - and I do mean ultimate - parting.  My eyes are swollen and burning.  My head and heart ache and I simply do not even want to be with my family, around the table, again, with everyone paired up except me.  In fact, I refuse to do it.  So, since I was going to be gone anyway, might as well just go alone.  

Fail up

These words came to mind when sharing with a friend some of the feelings I have about my recent break up.  I immediately did a google image search because I wanted to blog about this idea with a visual.  The visual I got was unexpected.  It was a photo of Tavis Smiley, my black brain crush, (Steven Mansfield is my white/Cherokee brain crush) on the cover of his book entitled "Fail Up".  Amazon search, followed by reading of chapters 1 and 6, followed by listening to Dr. King's Drum Major sermon, followed by decision.

I've decided that I must act the way that I think vs. the way that I see.  I see things in broad panoramic images, but I break ideas and concepts down to the bottom line very quickly.  When I teach and advise, I'm always telling my student or confidant to take apart ideas in chunks and build from the most basic all the way up, in essence, deconstruct-construct.  I thought I blogged about that concept once before, but am unable to find it.

Nevertheless, knowing that I tend to get bogged down, I must begin to take my own advice and take things a little at a time.  Primarily, I am allowing myself to focus on only two dreams at a time, plan only two days at a time and accomplish a minimum of two tasks laid out for myself on any given day.  For now, 2 is my magic number.  When I master this practice I can and certainly hope to be able to plan months in advance and juggle many things at once, all while moving forward, wiser and better than I was before.

I have learned that failure is absolutely necessary for success.  And I have even begun to believe that no matter how dedicated or driven one is, no matter how much time one has on this earth, we all will leave this earth as failures, having left something undone, undeveloped, incomplete.  Fatalistic?  Kind of, but not quite, because I believe that the predetermined end is ALWAYS good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.  That in and of itself is the core of failing up, I think. You must fail better than the last time, the goal being to maximize the journey, not simply to reach the destination.  For whatever point you reach, if it is higher than the point where you fell, you have succeeded.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Done and DONE

Opposites may attract, but it's hella hard for them to stick.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Life is like a box of never know what your gonna get.

Mama tells son to expect the unexpected because, in the end everything is sweet. My life is less like a box of chocolates and more like an endless bowl of pasta.  It seems everything overlaps and happens at the same time.  Or I think I'm eating one noodle from the edge of my plate that really is a different noodle twisted up in the middle of the pile.  My emotions are everywhere.  My thoughts are on one thing only.  My hopes are up. My future silhoutted behind a scrim woven with choices.  

Last year death claimed three cousins, an aunt, a best friend and my grandmother. My dad's house burned down and we didn't cook for Thanksgiving for the second year in a row. This year I experienced real betrayal for the first time and for the first time felt real judgment about myself and how I've chosen to live my life.  I was jobless and dependant (no longer jobless, but still dependant) not for the first time, but felt ashamed of that fact for the first time.  Oh, and this will be year three of Thanksgiving on the fly. Oddly, in the midst of all this Love has found me. I'm not sure I was totally ready for it. I've been working on becoming a healthy person for a long time so that when love came I would be ready.  But in the tangle of my experiences I've discovered just as much discouragement as excitement about being in love. 

Today I am in love and hopeful, learning to appreciate all the strands being laced together, pulling and tugging on one another, hiding in plain sight.  Life is like a bowl of pasta, take a stab at it and savor what you get.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Few truer words have been spoken.

So, I'm the one that did the breaking up and yet this is how I feel.  
Perfect love casts out fear.  Love seeks not its own.  If this is true, then couldn't we work it out?  If we really love each other, then won't love transform us to be able to be together forever and have the life we both want? 
I can't change him.  I can't make him want the things he doesn't want.  I can't stop wanting the things I want because they are the things that make up my destiny.  
Expectations I can change. 
Perspective I can change
False hopes I can change.
The desire to be a mother I cannot change.  
But I also cannot change the fact that I love him.
I cannot change the fact that he knew what I wanted and what I was all about and pursued me anyway. 
I cannot change the fact that he won me and made me feel loved, prized, wanted, admired.
Am I still to rigid and inflexible?  Can I marry someone with the hope that he will cease to fear being a father again?
Can I marry someone with the hope that he will cease to fear travelling to far flung locales?
Can I bind myself to someone knowing that he may never change, that I may never have what I desire and that he is content to let me live that way?
I've been crying off and on all day asking these questions over and over again, thinking I made a mistake.
I made a mistake.
Did I make a mistake?
I just gave up my first love.  
He doesn't want kids.
I do.
He doesn't want to travel the world.
I do.
Travel...not a big deal.
Kids...big deal.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I've spent most of the morning being mad at things outside of my control.  It'll be raining tomorrow when I need my hair to be nice.  My man is acting up.  I still haven't recieved an important phone call.  

Being so upset about these things, I don't have the desire or motivation to do the things within my control.  This is madness...absolute insanity and I need help to stop it.