Listen to my words as they come out wrong.

I bought this computer in 2012, so I’m a little unsure how I have files from 2010 on here – but they’re there. I know because I just ran across a voice memo from my ex-boyfriend and some other files from a boy I was infatuated with. All prior to 2012 – interesting, indeed.

People question God for a lot of reasons – I’m not there anymore. I’m quite sure He’s the real deal. But if I were going to, it’d be because of things like that. Not because He doesn’t listen, or follow through with things or doesn’t fully and completely envelope me in His grace when I need it – but because that guy has the craziest sense of humor. (I mean that in a good way, Big Guy.)

It seems that when I’m having the kind of days where I don’t think I can handle much more, He piles on things like that. It makes everything more difficult. It makes me rely on Him more. It also makes me so, so much prouder of the eventual outcome. Because it’s always good, and always reminds me of my strength – or rather, my strength in Him. And it’s hilarious, in a way. He’s all, “What, you think this is all about you? It’s not. I’ll show you with these crazy computer files that you need me and my love is all that matters.” He’s so clever. 

And at the end of the day, I have no idea what I’m doing, so why would I even want to be in charge of all this stuff? It’s all Yours. 

23.

I started a playlist on my 23rd birthday. I’ve continued adding songs since. I can’t figure out how to copy the dates I added them, but I can easily recall the emotions that go along with each one –  all the butterflies and tears and happy and sad that made up this past year. I’m recognizing that with each birthday I seem to have learned more in the past 12 months than the ones before. About myself and the people who surround me. About life and all the beauty it holds. About what I want and what I don’t. About what makes me wonderful and what I could probably work on. About how those imperfections and eccentricities make me the perfect fit for someone I haven’t met yet, and how those boys who weren’t right, weren’t right, but are still okay people.  How angry and upset takes way too much energy. Peace is much easier.

I really recognized the beauty in brokenness this year. That broken doesn’t have to mean sad always, and sometimes the in-between is the best place to learn – so it’s okay to be there for a little while.  Not that it was all bad – it wasn’t. There was so much good, even if a lot of the good had a few growing pains. They made it so much better. The good was so, so good. And full of life and laughter and moments I wish I could bottle up and save forever. The infinite moments, I’d say.

I learned a lot about friends this year. How unbelievably lucky I am to have some of the best. Who listen when I ramble (often), who are patient when I can’t seem to let go and who laugh with me, even those times that the laughs quickly turned to tears. Who held the phone while I hyperventilated. And asked if I was okay after. The ones who stuck around when I got quiet and lonely, and never once told me I was crazy – even if I probably was a few times. The kind of friends who let me get mad at them, because they were there, instead of the people who deserved it. The kind of friends who were patient. The kind of friends who answered my texts at 3 a.m. when I drank too much, but still couldn’t sleep. The ones who hopped on planes all over the U.S. so I could run a little bit – so the spaces in my heart could fill themselves.

And with each birthday I come to the same conclusion –

I’m just so lucky.

And with that – all of the emotions that made up the last 363 days.

Tim McGraw – Highway Don’t Care

The Damnwells – Dandelion
Taylor Swift – Long Live
The Rebecca West – Firefly
Kacey Musgraves – Merry Go ‘Round
Iron & Wine – Walking Far From Home
Justin Timberlake – Mirrors
Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop
The Damnwells – Jesus Could Be Right
The Damnwells – I Will Keep The Bad Things From You
The Damnwells – I Am a Leaver
Taylor Swift – Everything Has Changed
Taylor Swift – Holy Ground
Taylor Swift – 22
Taylor Swift – Treacherous
Taylor Swift – Dear John
Taylor Swift – Forever & Always
Taylor Swift – Fifteen
Sean McConnell – Lie Baby Lie
Sean McConnell – Tell the Truth
Sean McConnell – A Prayer You Can Borrow
Sean McConnell – I Didn’t Want to Love You Anyway
Justin Timberlake – Cry Me a River
Justin Timberlake – Señorita
Justin Timberlake – My Love – Main Version – Clean
Katy Perry – Not Like The Movies
David Ramirez – The Forgiven
David Ramirez – Find the Light
David Ramirez – Stick Around
John Mayer – On The Way Home
John Mayer – I Will Be Found (Lost At Sea)
John Mayer – Paper Doll
John Mayer – Waitin’ On The Day
John Mayer – Who You Love
Lorde – Royals
John Mayer – The Age of Worry
Gary Allan – Pieces
Gavin DeGraw – Best I Ever Had
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
Eli Young Band – Drunk Last Night
Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home
Sean McConnell – Looking For A Good Time
Cyndi Thomson – I Always Liked That Best
Cyndi Thomson – What I Really Meant To Say
Keith Urban – We Were Us
Sean McConnell – Midland
Lori McKenna – Fireflies
Jamie Lynn Spears – How Could I Want More
Brad Paisley – Then (Piano Mix)
Brad Paisley – She’s Everything
The Damnwells – Golden Days
David Nail – Whatever She’s Got
One Direction – Story of My Life
Lorde – Team
Dierks Bentley – I Hold On
Matt Hires – All That’s Left Is You
Chris Cagle – I Breathe In, I Breathe Out
Kenny Chesney – Anything But Mine
Taylor Swift – Last Kiss
Taylor Swift – Mean
Taylor Swift – Mine
Jessica Andrews – There’s More To Me Than You
Jessica Andrews – Who I Am
Miley Cyrus – Adore You
Alex Dezen – None of These Things
Taylor Swift – Sweeter Than Fiction – From “One Chance” Soundtrack
Katy Perry – By The Grace Of God
The Gaslight Anthem – Misery
Brad Paisley – Time Well Wasted
Dierks Bentley – Hurt Somebody
Dierks Bentley – Riser
Dierks Bentley – Bourbon In Kentucky
Radney Foster – Texas In 1880 (Bonus Track)
Turnpike Troubadours – Diamonds & Gasoline

Creature of Habit

Went through some old playlists in the past few weeks. Every one from the past three years includes:

  • I Can’t Get Over You – Julie Roberts
  • Walking Far From Home – Iron & Wine
  • Jacksonville Skyline – Whiskeytown
  • In My Time of Need – Ryan Adams
  • Warm Whispers – Missy Higgins
  • Beautiful Man – Lori McKenna
  • Golden Days – The Damnwells

Why mess with it if it’s working?

 

Reality.

I spent most of my day reading Mindy Kaling’s “is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” and in contrast, listening to some of the saddest playlists I’ve ever created. It took about two hours for me to realize I was laughing uncontrollably while listening to some of the songs that define some of the saddest times in my life so far. But I guess that’s the great (and sometimes awful) thing about time – it changes everything. I still love every one of those songs, but they don’t make me sad anymore.

Because I spent most of my day enthralled in someone’s else’s world, it made reality less fun when I finished. I think that’s how to know if a book was good – I was legitimately upset that it was over.

So I moved on to another dream world when I took the dog for a walk. I turned on more music and we went around the neighborhood for about an hour. Towards the end I saw a couple, then I heard the couple laughing, so I turned around. One of the guys was heading my way, while the other was holding him back. The one being held yelled, “I’m trying to say hi to your dog!” I guess the other one was holding him back, presumably, so he didn’t look silly.

My dog is a pretty good judge of character. She likes people, but has certain ones she wants nothing to do with. This guy, she wanted to play with immediately. We stood there for five minutes or so while he loved on Dolly and she did the same.

As we were walking away he said, “I’m not having a good night. Your dog just made it so much better.”

I guess reality isn’t so bad if it means getting to make someone smile. Sometimes I forget that’s part of it, though.