Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Call Me Crazy

So I had this conversation with my oldest daughters the other day.  I was trying on a gingham tie-front shirt that I thought looked super cute... except that I have this disorder.  I really can’t think of a better word for it.  Basically it goes like this: I love clothes, but if a clothing item looks a little too... something... and I can’t/ don’t feel 100% like myself in it, I get weird.  For instance, I love a good Breton-stripe tee, but I have to be careful what I pair it with so that I don’t feel too much like Smee or another pirate and finish every sentence with, “Aaargh, matey!”.  

Anyway, as cute as I thought this shirt was, I felt a tiny bit too much like a country bumpkin in it, and I was scared of the effect that might have on me.  So I asked the girls, “Be honest.  Do I look like I’m headed to a hoedown right now?”  

“No,” said one, and, “Yes,” said the other at the exact same time.  

“You guys are no help,” I sighed as the shirt’s powers took over, and I did a little jig followed by a knee-slap.

“And you’re very strange,” the “yes” daughter replied.

I have to admit, I can’t argue with that.  I have a whole list of things you might/ probably would find weird.  For instance:

- I need my room to be completely dark when I’m sleeping.  To that end, I can’t have any clocks or little TV/ air conditioner/ charger lights that stay show.  Matt knows this about me, and I’m not kidding, I feel so loved when we walk into a hotel room and he immediately covers up the alarm clock by the bed.  I have tried a sleeping mask, and yeah, it helps but it also moves and makes my hair crazy and leaves wrinkles on my face.  

- I cry super easily.  I’ve mentioned this here before, but I can go from laughing to crying to laughing in the span of oh, thirty seconds or so, and it freaks some people out.

- I’m very DIY about a lot of things, like coloring my own hair (though I usually leave the cutting to the professionals!), plucking my own eyebrows, and not having a house cleaner.  It  would definitely be a good idea, but seeing all my friends who have them and clean before the cleaning lady comes...? No thank you!  This DIY attitude extends to home remedies and health practices, and includes a slight obsession with Apple Cider Vinegar. *heart eyes*

- I almost never wear mascara, but when I do, it virtually guarantees I will cry that day.  Similarly, I can go all week without spilling food on myself, but if I’m wearing a white t-shirt, I will definitely spill something and it will almost for sure be spaghetti sauce, curry, or salsa.

- I’m an avid tea-drinker, but strongly dislike green tea.  You might even say I hate it.

- I had an eating disorder when I was 14. 

- I’ve never been drunk. It’s not that I “don’t drink”; I just don’t drink to get drunk and almost never drink alcohol anyway.  Matt sometimes calls me “Two-beer Joy” because, he says, regular me is like most people who have had two beers.  I don’t know if this is a compliment or not...

Maybe you’re reading this and *fingers crossed* thinking, That’s not crazy at all! If so, *high five*!!  But every now and then my craziness really shines through.  If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile and recall The Bear Story, (for one) this is hardly news.  And the other day, my crazy had another moment of glory.  

I spent almost a month in California with the kids.  We had a fantastic time, but I was at least a little short on sleep for most of the trip.  When we got home, back to my own wonderful bed in my very dark room, I slept hard.  So hard, in fact, that when jet-lag caused me to stir, I had a moment of not knowing where I was — or even, for that matter, who I was, and almost more importantly, who that guy in my bed (aka my husband of 22 years) was.  

This part of the story is hearsay because as I mentioned, I was really not in my right mind, but apparently, I tapped my dear husband on the shoulder very lightly, and with my face right up in his and my eyes open and kind of glazed, said, “What. The heck.”

Now if you’ve read The Bear Story, you know I don’t normally talk so clearly in my sleep, so I would call this not sleep per se, but jetlag-induced delirium.  And it freaked my husband out.  He woke up to his wife’s face right in his with perhaps a bit of a wild look about it with her fingers tickling his shoulder, and (this part I do remember) he man-screamed.  

He says it was his battle cry. His version of the story = Braveheart.

I say it was a man-scream. My version of the story = Home Alone.

It jarred me enough to come to my senses.  “Why are you screaming in my face?” I asked, not just a little annoyed.

“Why are you tapping on my shoulder and acting like a psycho in the middle of the night??!”  

“I’m not, I was just lying here sleeping.”

“Nope,” he said, lying back on his pillow, “nope nope nope.  That was definitely not just sleeping.”  The story came out, and soon we were laughing hysterically and admitting we should probably text the neighbors (we share a bedroom wall after all!) that we were okay.  

Anyway, I’m sharing this today because you may have noticed that it’s been.... oh, like six months since my last blog post.  Without a doubt, I could point to my general busyness, and sometimes that’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth.   

But a lot of the time, the reason I don’t blog more is because I’m scared.  Which is ironic because in most areas of life, I claim to be confident.  I preach confidence to my kids, but can’t push past my fears to type words in my heart.  

It’s just that when I look at social media or other blogs, I don’t feel perfect enough, inspiring enough, put-together enough, etc. to post anything.  I read articles about how to make my blog better, and frankly, it just makes me freeze up.  I don’t want to and frankly can’t give life advice with any amount of seriousness or give you tutorials for how to make your house/ hair/ life look better in five easy steps.  Life is messy and complicated, and I’m even messier.  


During my writing break I started playing the keyboard with the chapel here.  This has been the most unexpected gift.  Just as I was thinking about writing this, I was listening to the songs we are doing this week, and one is an updated version of the old hymn “Just As I Am” which is wonderful in and of itself, but now it has an added chorus:

I come broken to be mended, I come wounded to be healed.

I come desperate to be rescued, I come empty to be filled,

I come guilty to be pardoned by the blood of Christ the Lamb

And I’m welcomed with open arms, Praise God just as I am.

(— Travis Cottrell, listen to it here)

It’s probably not the last time I’ll freeze up and stop writing out of fear, but these words pushed me to come back and publish this post.  

Here’s what I know: I will never be the girl with the perfect house and hair and makeup and life.  I’ll be the girl who sometimes yells at her not-always-angelic kids and occasionally terrifies her husband in the dead of night; who can’t use a curling iron particularly well but is just happy if there’s no food in her hair; who usually has a sort of messy, noisy house; and who often finds herself in unexpected awkward situations.  

But I do so love telling stories and honestly engaging with people.  Writing shapes my perspective and helps me see a little more clearly.  I’ve missed it.  And also, I will spend my life saying anything good you see in this craziness is not because of me but because of what Jesus has done for me.

So I’m back and writing here again because I’ve realized that maybe the world needs one blog with a girl just saying, “Hey, I’m a little crazy.  You are too?  Cool.  Sit down, let’s talk.””