Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Essay On Doctor Who

For my English class, we had to take out a subscription to the New Yorker magazine (we got a discounted student price), and we've been using it for most of our assignments. When we write a big essay, it's derived from a particular article. For our third essay, however, we could pick any article in any issue we'd received, so I was aimlessly flipping through a random issue when I found...

A New Yorker article on Doctor Who.

So yes, I get to write an English paper on Doctor Who. SCORE!

I came up with topics and planned out exactly what I was going to say on each one: the beginning of Doctor Who, the different Doctors, notable companions, fan disagreements, modern 'Who' versus classic 'Who,' the upcoming anniversary... but then reached my word limit while still discussing the regeneration cycle.

Dangit.

So now it's just a paper on how Doctor Who has lasted so long, namely the Doctor's ability to regenerate. But I got so excited and enjoyed writing about it so much that I'm thinking about writing the rest of the papers anyway, just a blog post on each topic with my own opinion. Because that's one thing that is annoying about writing a paper: I can't cite myself as an ultimate authority.

I just think it's cool that I get to write about Doctor Who for school. I wrote almost the whole thing in one afternoon and used examples from fifteen different episodes and different Doctor Who blogs and just had a ball.

I also added English as my minor, so I guess it's good that I'm still enjoying it.

--Dexter

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Introducing . . .

We all remember Prince Charming and Mr. Hot Stuff, right? There have been other players in my lives of course (Mr. Stalker and the wonderful Captain), but none I have actively stalked before. And by "actively" I mean "I run into them a lot."

But it turns out my stalking days are not over.

I'd like you to meet... Ultimate Hipster.

There's this awesome little place here in Hattiesburg called T-Bones. It sounds like a steak place, but it's not. It's actually a tea/coffee/music store. T-Bones as in tea. It's super awesome and I go there whenever I get the chance. If I go alone I get lots of homework done, and if I go with friends we get lots of fun stuff done, so it's a win win in either case. It's one of the few places I know how to get to in Hattiesburg.

But anyway, I was there yesterday reading I, Claudius, and this guy comes in... and he's the ultimate hipster. Blue off brand converse, jeans, plaid shirt, fedora that's not really a fedora, hipster glasses, and... a 'stache. Not just any 'stache. I'm talking a hipster 'stache. Perfectly sculpted. It is truly a work of art.

Naturally, this amazing person could not go undocumented, so I immediately began stealthily tracking him with my phone until I finally got a good shot and snapchatted it to everyone exclaiming over his ultimate hipsterness. Lame friends that I have, only a few people even bothered replying (jk, I love you all). It was a very exciting experience and made me happy inside.

But the story isn't over.

My cousin surprised me with a visit today (I mean, I may have told her to, but still), and we always go to T-Bones when she visits. So we were happily sipping our fall-themed drinks when who should walk in but Ultimate Hipster! And he's wearing the exact same clothes. Does he just have an unlimited number of the same clothing articles? Does he wash them every night? Does he just wear them for days on end? Is he just a hologram with a hankering for coffee? So many questions.

So I immediately snapchatted him to all my friends again and got even less of a response (thanks a lot, guys), but my cousin did have a laughing fit that almost blew my cover.

I'm hoping to become a regular at T-Bones, which means I might see more of Ultimate Hipster and discover all his secrets. Have no fear, I will keep you posted.

--Dexter

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Side of the Story

Sorry I dropped off the planet again. Been busy adjusting to college and I didn't really want to write anything for fear that I'd drown in a self-pitying post about college life. Don't get me wrong, it's pretty great over here. I mean, I've met lots of cool people, been to some cool places, danced some cool dances, gotten some cool grades... but it's still hard being in a completely new place with completely new people.

Anyway, this post isn't really about all that.

Been here barely half a semester and I'm having boy problems. Don't ask me why. I don't know how I get into these things. Because normally I don't get into these things. Ugh.

Basically we were friends and then he wanted more but I was like no and so he was like oh and then we weren't friends but then we were friends again but lately he's been kind of pushing my boundaries a little too much if you know what I'm saying. He's a great guy and really nice and all this stuff, but I don't think he's mature enough to just be friends with me, or maybe he doesn't realize how much his flirting bothers me (even though I've told him). At this point, I'm not going to terminate our friendship, but I'm going to try to put some distance between us without hurting his feelings. But if it comes to that, I'll have to. I am resolute to end this thing before it goes any further because I can't handle the stress and it can't be good for him either.

Anyway, I was thinking about points of view today. Y'know the song You're Beautiful by James Blunt? A guy sees a beautiful girl on the subway and falls in love but discovers that she's "with another man, but I won't lose no sleep on that 'cause I've got a plan." The song implies that he and this woman end up together, but it all proves to be a fantasy at the end when he says, "but it's time to face the truth. I will never be with you." The song is sad and heartwrenching and any respectable girl wonders why this girl wouldn't pick him over whatever dude she's already with.

It's always that way in movies or books when the main character is in unrequited love. We can't understand why his love interest doesn't see all the fantastic qualities our hero possesses, we can't see what's so great about his rival that he gets chosen instead of the hero. So we along with our hero believing that eventually she'll come around and realize who's the real hero in this story, so we don't think twice about urging our hero on in his (hopefully) mild pursuit of the lady.

But from the girl's point of view, it makes perfect sense. You see the beauty of your boyfriend or husband or whatever. Sure, there are plenty of good qualities in your guyfriend, but... there's no point in even comparing the two. All you want is to make him stop and understand. The more he pursues you, the less you want to be around him at all and eventually the friendship is broken. You're upset because of what he's put you through and the stress put on your relationship, and he's upset because his heart is broken. Because even if you haven't been leading him on, he's somehow convinced himself that there's hope.

It takes respect and maturity to be friends after interest is shown by only one of the parties involved. You have to respect the other person's relationship and be mature enough to take it without resorting to drama and self-pity, and it takes an awful lot of work to not be awkward from then on.

I may not have suffered blatant rejection, but I've been in unrequited crushland (ummm Prince Charming, anyone?). It sucks. Drama is the easiest (and most enjoyable) thing to resort to, but it sure ain't practical and it sure ain't gonna get you anything. You just kind of have to get over it, pick yourself up, and move on. If somehow that person is your perfect soul mate, you'll end up together in the end and you're just going to screw things up if you cause excess stress right now.

See, what the hero forgets sometimes is that in every story where his love is unrequited, he ends up being in love with the wrong girl. Once he gets over her, his eyes are opened to that beauty who has patiently gone through life waiting for that moment, and then he understands true love.

They're weird things, the different sides of a story. Everything changes depending on how you look at it. 

--Dexter

Saturday, August 17, 2013

College!

Guys. I'm at college. This is my second day at college. I'm sprawled on my very own twin extra long bed in my very own poster decorated dorm room (dang Tumnus poster keeps falling down though) with my very own roommate.
Freaky.
I'm going to University of Southern Mississippi to major in dance. Ta da! I figure since I have a bunch of awesome stuff stuck to my wall and stuffed animals piled on my bed I'm a successful college student. Plus I've already rearranged my My Little Pony mystery figurine collection twice.
Not gonna lie, the whole experience thus far has been a bit tough. I don't do well with new people and new situations and new experiences, so the whole make-new-friends, learn-new-things, figure-out-how-to-get-into-your-room, find-the-right-building thing isn't going so well. But if I give myself enough of a pep talk I'm usually okay. I just wish classes would start so I'd know what all I'm dealing with and I wouldn't have to stress about impossible teachers and difficult walks and sitting all alone in the cafeteria for meals (yikes).
But other than all that, things are going well. My room is awesome (private bath -- yes), my roommate's pretty cool, and I walked around a lot today getting my bearings. Tomorrow GEWW starts: Golden Eagle Welcome Week! Yaaaay! I know it goes against basic college code, but I don't think I'm going to anything that's not required. Sorry.
I'm already homesick for The Captain, and I'm sure more things will follow. But I will say this: the internet and service here are way better than they were at my house.
--Dexter

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Widow's Offering

Well hello there, guys! Sure has been a while, huh? Sorry, I've been a bit busy. Had quite an adventure getting home from Ireland, then I got the chicken pox, then I was out of town again, I had some personal drama, and all throughout that I've been trying to get ready for college. But I'm back with something I read today that I've just got to say.
 
Remember when I talked about Who I Am? I wrote a kind of poem all about it, about how I am God's and this body is his creation, and that I have no right to do anything to it. That was about two months ago, and for a long time that was one of the only things keeping me from hurting myself. The knowledge that I am God's burned in my head whenever I was tempted, and I was doing okay. It was still rough, but I felt like I was getting better.
 
I fell off the wagon. What kills me is that sometimes there isn't even anything terrible in my life. I just can't stand living with myself. I look in that mirror and loathe what I see. I have a friend who goes through similar troubles, and when she was going through a really bad time, I remember her saying, "Why does it matter? I'm not hurting anyone." At the time I couldn't understand how she could believe that.
 
But what really scares me is when I find myself thinking just like her. We both treat each other that way: we can't understand how the other can believe such terrible things about herself, but nothing can sway us from our beliefs about ourselves.
 
For the past month or so I've not been doing great. Sometimes it seemed like I was just going downhill at a slow, steady, painful creep. The Captain made me promise a long time ago to call him when I felt like that, and sometimes I do. I just don't tell him how I really feel. Sometimes I don't call at all. Sometimes when he asks, I say I'm fine. Usually he can tell when I'm lying. But the other day I told him the little scabs on my wrist was just a scratch and he believed me, and it's been eating away inside me.
 
I'm sorry. I don't want to lie to him and I don't want to lie to other people.
 
Today I read Luke 21:1-4. "As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 'I tell you the truth,' he said, 'this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'"
 
That's what I want to do. I am a poor and broken girl, but I want God to have everything! I begged him today to take it all! Don't ever trust me with myself; my body or my soul. I start out with God in mind and then I get so distracted by what I think of myself that I end up taking everything back and hoarding it inside and pelting it with hate and sadness. But I don't want to! I'm tired of being selfish and of lying and of apologizing to God and to those around me who care about me.
 
Maybe a part of me still hopes that God will take me away from this place, because I am just so tired and weary of struggling through it all. But I also hope and yearn to be better. It's hard, but I admit that a part of me wants to just be left alone in my misery. It wants to stay sick. But I want to be better.
 
I don't ever want to forget that I belong to God.
 
--Dexter

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Testimony

I'm now in my third week in Ireland. The first week we were in Monaghan with the Clarkes, then we met up with the rest of our team to do Holiday Bible Club in Ballygawley, and now we're doing the same thing in Kilmore.
 
After club we've been spending time with the teenagers, playing games and trying to break the ice. Every night one of us ballet girls shared our testimony, and it was finally my turn tonight...
 
All week the people in the Kilmore church have been encouraging us to really wear our hearts on our sleeves and be really open with the teenagers to encourage them to do the same and put them at ease with us. So when I found out I'd have to share my testimony, I wasn't sure what all I wanted to say. Normally, I do a very edited version that vaguely alludes to the possibility of something wrong in my life, but don't actually say it. Never have I shared my complete testimony with a group of people.
 
Plus, Katie, Libby, and Brianna were all there too. I hadn't talked to any of them about my depression. Would this be a good way to let them know? Or would it be cruel?
 
I kind of fought with myself all week about it and tried to figure it out and ended up stressing myself out. Last night, I was up late Skyping The Captain, explaining it all to him and asking advice. He encouraged me to say everything.
 
But so much of my testimony is so fresh, such an open wound. Normally when people share testimonies like that, it's after years and years have passed and they're all better now. I'm not all better. Years have not passed. Weeks have passed since the last really dramatic thing happened in my life, and it certainly hasn't been even a week since I thought about doing something to myself.
 
But The Captain kept saying that this opportunity was perfect and I couldn't pass it up. That I would probably help at least one person in that room. I said I'd try. I honestly didn't know if I'd be able to do it.
 
But I did.
 
I started out with the basics, and then when I got up to age 15 the unedited version came out, because that's when I first tried to hurt myself. That was when the room got deathly silent, and half the people looked up from their crisps and didn't take their eyes off me, while the other half suddenly found the floor very interesting.
 
I got through it all without crying, though I did almost tear up when at one point. My voice did get pretty shaky and by the end my face was really warm. But I got through it. The end was a little awkward, and I was just like, "Well... my voice is tired now..." and then after Katie reminded them that they could talk to us or ask us questions whenever, I was like, "Well... I'm going to go get some water now... so talk amongst yourselves." Then ran and got water and then hid in the bathroom for a while and cried a bit.
 
When I emerged to the kitchen, Kenny and Colin were both there and I walked in before realizing it. Kenny's pretty cool; I had talked to him a lot during the evening and confided that I was really nervous about having to speak to the teens. He'd started out watching me in a kind of encouraging manner, but as soon as I hit the 15 mark his gaze shot to the floor. I don't think he'd anticipated that when I'd told him how nervous I was.
 
Colin came up to me first and told me I was a very good speaker, which surprised me but encouraged me a little bit. Then Kenny moseyed over and said I did a good job. He didn't really say anything else, but I can't tell you how much I appreciated it.
 
And then Katie showed up and I kind of avoided eye contact for as long as possible, but we finally exchanged looks and then smiles and then she asked to give me a hug and I said yes and so we shared a hug. She, Brianna, and Libby were among those staring at the floor during my testimony, because none of them had expected that bombshell.
 
After all of that I felt kind of scared to face any of the teens... I felt like they were all staring at me every time I saw them again. But then it also felt like they were all a bit friendlier with me. They were all genuinely disappointed when Elise made me leave early due to my still-present headache and previous upset stomach (although it was mostly just upset because I was nervous).
 
I really hope I did help someone, that it wasn't all for nothing, me bearing my soul like that.
 
I don't know what all has changed between me, Katie, Libby, and Brianna. Katie's the only one that acknowledged it in any way, and it's probably just my imagination that Libby and Brianna were a little weird about it. It's likely that they didn't think much of it, because we aren't super best friends and so they might not think they'd had any business knowing. Katie, on the other hand... I don't know if it will ever come up in conversation again. I'm still nervous about that.
 
But I'm glad I did it. I do feel better, now that it's out. Now that I've said it once, maybe next time will be easier.
 
Our trip is almost over! I'm sad, but also happy... because I really really miss The Captain.
 
--Dexter

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sacrifice

I've recently discovered one of the (various) roots of my depression.
 
I have days where I give my all to my surroundings. I'm either already in a good mood or I'm determined to be in a good mood or sometimes even it's just necessary due to the situation. I put everything into that good mood and I make every effort to smile and talk and to be as genuine as I can be. The result is pretty good for that day: every smile and every word has at least an ounce of genuineness and it feels wonderful.
 
But at the end of the day, I feel sick. A glimpse of myself in a mirror makes me shudder and it's hard to cope with the person I am. I'm just so emotionally tired and empty I can hardly bear it. It generally takes me at least a few days to fully recover, and the first few days are really rough.
 
So I began to think that I'd figured out how to maintain a healthy antidepressant. I'd just have to be careful how I managed my time. Always make sure I get a few minutes to myself. Stop being self-conscious about being rude and just find an hour or so where I can sit and read or write or just think. It's not such a hard thing to accomplish.
 
But aren't we called to give everything? To sacrifice our very selves for others and for God?
 
This proved quite a dilemma. For the longest time I couldn't figure out what to do about this. Should I keep on trying to find those quiet hours and avoid people... or continue pouring myself out to the people around me?
 
I'm still not totally sure about this problem, but I've got a bit of a compromise. I can't really do one or the other. I can't become a hermit to preserve my own sanity, but I can't pour myself out day after day and then go home and cry because of how awful I feel. I think I should give when given the opportunity and rely on God for the strength to do so. God knows me inside out. He knows how I operate and he knows my limits. Yes, he stretches them, but he'll never break something that can't be mended.
 
Yes, I'm exhausted. Yes, I'm worn out. Yes, I feel like total crap. Yes, I kind of hate myself. But I am God's, and God will fill me up and use me for his ultimate glory and plan.
 
As always, you can follow www.weareinireland.blogspot.com for team updates as we continue our journey through Ireland!
 
--Dexter

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lord Vizelhoffen

We're in Ireland! SUCCESS! We are big girls now. Because we officially traveled to a different country by ourselves.
 
We've already met up with the Clarkes, our old friends from last year. Andrew, Richard, Ruth, and Laura. They're all good craic ("fun"). We've played Uno and Nerts and watched the ballet and a movie and other stuff and talked and chatted and eaten and generally just chilled around for our first day here.
 
And we also made a new friend. This is Lord Vizelhoffen. Look at that fancy cape. Spots and fur and everything.
 
Katie discovered him in our room and christened him Lord Vizelhoffen. He is now our friend.
 
UPDATE: We have discovered that Lord Vizelhoffen is a germophobe.
 
UPDATE: Lord Vizelhoffen has taken flight!
 
As always, you can check the official Ireland blog over at www.weareinireland.blogspot.com!
 
--Dexter

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ireland!

Yeah, btws, I leave for Ireland SATURDAY.

Don't know why I never mentioned that. But yeah.

I've been put in charge of keeping an updated blog for the team, so check it out! http://weareinireland.blogspot.com/

The rest of the team doesn't leave until next week, but me and Katie are heading off to the land of rain and green hills early so we can visit friends in Monaghan. I should probably start packing.

But I want to have a Supernatural marathon. Decisions, decisions.

--Dexter

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Prayer

I have prayed a lot in the past week or so, because of some things going on in my life. No, not just one crazy messed up thing, but several. I can't really go into details.
 
But basically I was praying almost every waking moment, and I was still fairly stressed out so all of my sleeping moments were filled with anxiety and dreams as well. Some of the best moments of the week have been the times I could get so caught up in whatever was currently going on that I forgot about all the mess.
 
The power of prayer is crazy. When I spend a good amount of time in God's word and pour out my heart to him, confessing everything and asking for mercy I don't deserve, I am soothed by a subtle peace. It's not overwhelming, because an overwhelming peace is an oxymoron. But it's there, and what makes it so obvious is the memory of how scared I was beforehand.
 
So while I'm in prayer and right after prayer, I am calm and at peace. The problem isn't solved, but I can easily trust that God already has it figured out. My logic and reason return, and all is well. It usually only takes an hour or so for all of that to get swept away by a wave of pure terror. Irrationality and fear take over, and I find myself sitting in the corner rocking back and forth, almost paralyzed and practically unable to function.
 
So I didn't stop praying. Sometimes, especially when I was alone, I would close my eyes and pray very coherently to God. Other times, it would be silent and internal, nothing more than an unworded, "Please, God, please." It got worse and worse as the week wore on, so I prayed more and more.
 
Until finally, today, my prayers were answered. The relief was truly overwhelming. I wanted to jump and shout and hug everyone I could reach! But... didn't. The context for them wasn't really appropriate for that. So no one knows that my life changed today due to the power of prayer. My life literally had split in two different directions, to be decided by this one thing I couldn't stop praying about. "Your will be done, Lord, always. But please oh please grant us mercy. Give me a second chance."
 
Oh how merciful he is. How loving. How faithful. How perfect.
 
People always tell you stories about the power of prayer, but it's one of those things you either flatout don't believe, or you don't realize you don't believe. I am the latter. "Sure, the power of prayer." And then I experienced it firsthand and was, "WOW. PRAYER. GOD. SPEECHLESS. AWE. WOW. THANK YOU."
 
I've always wondered how people can just go on praying for minutes and hours and days. Prayer always seemed simple to me. Thank him, confess to him, ask him, praise him, amen. Now, that's a perfectly okay prayer (once you, y'know, elaborate and personalize it, obviously). But some people pray. I couldn't imagine praying for a solid two hours, much less two days. How do people do it?
 
But I'm starting to understand. My favorite dance teacher once said, "Prayer is like the plie of ballet. It's the first thing you learn, but the last thing you master."
 
I don't even know how to explain what I've learned here. All I can say is that prayer is truly powerful. And the more you understand who you're talking to, the deeper and more meaningful your prayer can become. And the more you pray and study the Bible, the more you understand who you're talking to.
 
It's funny, because right after I had this epiphany about prayer, I stumbled across Nehemiah 1:4-11 (via my Celtic Daily Prayer book!). It's one of the best examples of prayer I've ever read, but it's hidden away in one of the Books I don't really come across all that often.
 
Nehemiah 1:4-7;11 "When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said:
"O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees, and laws you gave your servant Moses. 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man."
 
--Dexter

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Who Am I?

Today, my Celtic Daily Prayer book quoted a monk. "In every conflict with another say, 'Who am I?' and judge no one." So I had to sit down and think long and hard about who I am. This is what I realized.
 
I am God's
I am his creation
I was made to glorify him
I was made to love him
I was made to know him
I am a light
I was made to shine
I was made to help
I am a lighthouse for God
I was made to guide
I am God's creation
That is who I am
 
I don't always believe that. In fact, I've never quite believed that. But it's true. It's fact. It's inescapable. I can deny it all I want. But I am his.
 
And if I am his, that puts a whole new outlook on what I do to myself. If I am God's, then I should be more careful about what I do, what I eat, how I act, etcetera. This body is God's. To hurt it is to hurt the property of God. To feed it garbage is to feed God's property garbage. I should not mistreat this body or myself because it is God's.
 
Sometimes I believe I'm a mistake, so I don't count. It doesn't matter what I do to myself, because it's just a mistake. But I'm not. Right now I can see that. Hopefully I will always be able to see it. No matter the mistakes I make or the places I go in life. Through pain, through heartbreak.
 
I am God's.
 
--Dexter

Thursday, May 16, 2013

MINE.

A lot has happened in the past few weeks, and there are about five different posts I need to write. I need to tell you about my last ballet performance at Briarwood, I need to tell you about my waterfall story, I need to tell you about my graduation, and I need to tell you about my pony obsession. But all these things will have to wait, because yesterday something happened that must be vocalized.
 
So I was at Claire's with The Captain to pick up a few things as a present for my friend, and he has this mild obsession with buying me things (working on it), so I approved a thick pair of leggings (which look very snuggly and warm; perfect for Ireland!). I bought my stuff and moved over to examine the interesting earrings while The Captain made his purchase. I found a weird pair and was about to turn and show them to him, when I saw the saleslady bagging the leggings, peeking up at The Captain, smiling, and saying, "These are a penny." "Oh... thanks!" I turned back to the earrings, pretending I hadn't noticed.
 
But I noticed.
 
It was like this ocean suddenly exploded into a tsunami and was all, "EXCUSE ME WHAT ARE YOU DOING OVER THERE?"
 
And then the calmer side, which is more like a little puddle of rainwater, was all, "Dude, chillax. I bet she just thinks he's a sweet person for hanging out with his girlfriend, because she can't have missed that you're his girlfriend."
 
The tsunami considered this for a minute. "Maybe. BUT I DON'T CARE."
 
"Dude."
 
"MINE."
 
"Dude."
 
This entire conversation was entirely internal and took only about five seconds. The Captain didn't notice a thing.
 
Later, he said, "These only cost a penny." and explained what had happened. I kind of smirked and said, "Was she flirting with you?" "I think so. I don't know why she thought I was hugging you, though. Obviously you're my girlfriend."
 
"Well maybe she was just being nice because she thought you were sweet." I used my puddle's argument.
 
"Maybe."
 
And actually we were just now talking and the leggings came up and I was all, "The leggings that only cost a penny," and he was all, "You didn't see it happen, but I really think she was hitting on me," and I was all "*amused fake laughter no I didn't see a thing*".
 
BECAUSE HE'S MINE.
 
Ahem. Sorry.
 
It's not like I'm worried someone's going to steal him away from me. I trust him too much for that, even if I don't understand why he wouldn't pick someone else over me. It's just that... I don't like people touching my stuff. It bothers me just a little bit. I am, after all, jealous by nature.
 
But it's okay. Like I said, I trust The Captain. And hey, maybe that little puddle in my head is right, and that lady was just being nice.
 
OR MAYBE NOT.
 
--Dexter

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Life Isn't Fair.

Remember how I said that Katie and HK also went and auditioned at Southern Mississippi for the dance department?
 
Well, neither of them got in. Katie's still going, so we're still rooming together, but... she can't be a dance major.
 
That was a rough day when I found out about that. It was last Thursday, actually. I was incredibly stressed out because I know how important dance is to Katie. She dropped everything to pursue dancing, and I was sure she'd just feel like all her dreams had been crushed. It's like every time she has tried to do something with her dancing, life just smacks her down and shouts, "You can't dance!"
 
Maybe she's not a perfect dancer. But she's still amazing at modern and she's amazing at choreography. I mean, seriously. Her choreography is amazing.
 
But the hardest part about all of it was that I knew I wouldn't be able to do a single thing to make her feel better. How am I supposed to comfort her or tell her it'll be okay when I did get into the dance program? Not only did I get in, but they moved me up a level in ballet classes based on how I did in the audition! If I were to say, "Katie, it's going to be okay," she would respond, "Of course it's going to be okay for you. You're perfect." She might not say it out loud, but I guarantee she'd be thinking of it.
 
She and HK apparently had a sleepover that night while I was freaking out and telling The Captain all about the problem. The next day, HK confided in me and said that Katie was pretty upset and that she'd actually said, "I just wish I could be Dexter. She has it so easy." Which confirmed my insecurity. And also confirmed that Katie has never quite caught on to my problems, which isn't really a bad thing.
 
I think I was more depressed that day than she was. She showed up to ballet and was fine. And that was after I'd had a mental breakdown, hid in the studio kitchen, and played with pointy objects. But yeah.
 
Anyway, fastforward to yesterday. Katie choreographed a dance for her Senior Banquet Talent Show thingamajig, and the first couple of times I watched it my only response was, "Aw, that's so cool. She aces choreography yet again." But then later she told me that it was kind of her testimony about how she had wanted to dance so bad but now everyone was telling her she couldn't.
 
And then I started listening to the words of her song and I almost started crying right there as I watched it. Because it was so beautiful and so sad. I don't want Katie to be me because no one should have that thrust upon them, but sometimes I wish so bad that I could give her my dancing. I always wanted some kind of confirmation of my dancing ability, and now that I keep getting it this year, I just wish I could get rid of it. Because it's not fair.
 
I hate it.
 
Both HK and The Captain told me (separately), that I put my own feelings aside and let myself go for other people, because when my friends are in trouble, I hurt just as much as they do. And both of them said it wasn't even a bad thing, but that it's not my responsibility to make sure other people are okay. But how am I supposed to be okay if they aren't?
 
I pray for them every day, but sometimes I don't think I trust God to take care of them. It's kind of weird, but... I just feel like if I don't keep an eye on them or think about them or pray for them or worry about them enough, something will happen to them. But God's got them, doesn't he? He's holding them tightly in his hands and he's not going to let them go just because I stop freaking out.
 
I tell myself all of that, but I don't think I'll ever be able to relax. I just want them to be okay.
 
I just spilled coffee all over Starbucks.
 
This day is going fabulously.
 
--Dexter.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Seasons

I've had a very rough week, and I've done things I'm not proud of and gone places I shouldn't have. But I'm doing better. God brought me back and I think today especially he's been trying to teach me a few things.
 
So I have this Celtic Daily Prayer book. There's a lot of different prayers in it, but my favorite part is that they have little readings for each day, enough to last for two years. It'll have an excerpt from something or just a basic lesson, and then three Bible passages to add some context, and then maybe notes on some Celtic saint or martyr who can relate. It's very cool, and some days the passage hits the mark exactly.
 
Yesterday was the first really okay day I've had all week, and the reading was about people who suffer. It talked about how some people suffer and are instantly delivered when they ask God for help, and then others ask and ask and pray and pray but the pain never goes away. Of the two kinds of people, which has more faith? Which is closer to God?
 
Both. There is nothing wrong with the second person just because God hasn't removed the pain from his/her life. It is not because of a lack of faith on his/her part. One of the Bible passages for that day was Daniel 3:14-18. Nebuchadnezzar is trying to make Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego bow down to his gods instead of their god. But they replied (verse 16-18), "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
 
But even if he does not. That one phrase struck me hard. Because it's true. Sometimes, God doesn't make everything A-Okay. He obviously hasn't turned the world into sunshine and rainbows and butterflies and unicorns. Sometimes even those with rock-hard faith suffer. Oftentimes, in fact.
 
I don't think faith is believing God will save you and let you live happily ever after and never be in pain again. Faith is more trusting God and understanding that whatever happens, happens because of his will. Maybe you'll never feel better, maybe you'll never escape the pain, but...God still has a purpose for you. And that's something very hard for me to accept some days.
 
Today's reading had to do with seasons. "Our Lord is a seasonal God; He comes, He departs. His faithfulness never changes, but His seasons do! There are seasons when the tree is green, there are seasons when it is dry, and seasons when, for the life of us, the thing looks dead. Now, does this mean you are serving some capricious God who comes and goes by whim? Or, could it be, that it is only through seasons that true growth may come? ...The Christian and the Lord's body both need rain and sunshine, cold and hot, wind and doldrums."
 
"Seasonal" is a very apt description of my life. My ups and downs are drastic and unexpected and frequent. When I'm up, I am up. And when I'm down...well.

I've always thought that the more suffering I go through, the more broken and downtrodden I will become. I felt like I knew myself well enough to be able to say that when I break, I don't mend very well. I'm left with open wounds that never heal into a scar. But maybe all that is just an excuse. Maybe I am fragile, but I can't stay like this. If I want to actually get better, then I need to try.
 
Depression is a weird state of mind. It scares me, because I know how determined I get to believe the worst and to assume the worst and I know how awful I feel on a "bad day". And even when I feel better, I still believe half the things that overpowered me when I felt bad. It's just that I'm "okay" with it all. I don't mind it so much. It's easier to live with. The pressure inside is a little more relaxed.
 
And what really kills me is that when I feel so awful again, I won't think to come back and look at these things that so inspire me now. I won't believe any of it anymore. And that's what scares me so much.
 
--Dexter

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I'm Going To Be A Dancer!


Remember my Last College Dance Audition? Well, I have orientation this weekend so I emailed the dance department and asked when I'd be able to know about my acceptance. Because if I didn't get accepted, I would have to switch my major before orientation. I expected them to email back and say they'd let me know right after the last audition date (which was last Saturday).
 
But no.
 
They emailed me back with my early acceptance letter. They liked me so much that they were going to accept me regardless of who all auditioned April 6th. Which means I'm a good dancer. Which means I'm going to dance in college.
 
YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
I'm excited.
 
...SO EXCITED.
 
PLUS my best friend Katie is for sure going to USM as well (even if she for some reason she doesn't get into the dance department) so I have a roommate! AND HK auditioned as well, so the trio might be unbroken! I cannot tell you how happy this makes me!
 
I feel like my life is finally starting to calm down and work itself out. I have The Captain, I have a college future, I have a dance future, I get to stay with my best friend. It all makes me very worried that something terrible is going to happen. For now I'm just going to assume that that bad stuff is just all the pain my knees are currently in, so I won't have to worry about anything else falling into my life.
 
loljk can't wait to see what else gets thrown at me.
 
--Dexter

Friday, March 29, 2013

Running Low On Emotions.

So apparently The Captain somehow found this blog and read it. I wrote a lot about Prince Charming. The Captain hasn't gotten so much attention.
 
Awkward.
 
I'm going to try to make sure this newfound knowledge doesn't keep me from being entirely honest on here, because this whole time I've been operating under the assumption that no one I know is reading it, unless it's a specific post that I share with people. I didn't expect anyone to actually read other posts.
 
Overachievers.

So I have this interesting problem with overreacting, but it's kind of nice because it always hits when I'm unable to do anything about it. By the time I can take action, I've realized how stupid I've been and I no longer want to start a riot. Sleeping on your problems is a beautiful thing, let me tell you.

All that happened is that last night someone told me something and I kind of freaked out about it because I have self-esteem and confidence and trust issues all with a healthy dose of insecurity. And by the time that had happened, I was already super tired after a long day and a little emotional because it's just that time if you know what I mean, so all this added together equals a very stressed out Dexter.

But I couldn't really do anything about it last night, and I had an inkling that I was overreacting anyway, so I resolved to just go to sleep and if I was still upset in the morning, I'd track down the culprit and get an explanation out of him. But I was fine this morning. I could even admit that he was kind of right about what he said.

Here's the thing: I get emotionally tired very easily, but sometimes I don't realize it. I'll spend a lot of time with friends or doing stuff or dealing with ballerinas, and I get to a point where I just can't take it anymore and I'm no fun to be around. Sometimes I'll be so caught up in it all that I won't realize my emotions are run dry and I'll think that if I just keep going it'll come back eventually. It's like I expect my friends to fill me back up. Admittedly, sometimes that happens, buuuut... that's not really how it works.

But then again, if I'm left alone for too long when my emotion tank is on empty, I sometimes get filled with the wrong sorts of emotions, if you know what I mean. I don't always trust myself when I'm alone, especially when I'm tired and stressed and emotional. Bad things come out of those days.

But I also have a phobia of being clingy. Because I know that's what I am, deep down inside. I'm a clingy and jealous and suspicious girl, and I don't want to use my emotions and "bad days" as excuses to make other people hang out with me. You know what I mean. "If I'm alone, I might doooo something!!" Yeah, yeah, whatever.

Pathetic.

I think I got a little sidetracked there.

This feels awkward. I feel like there's someone listening in on our conversation. *peers around for The Captain*

What was I saying?

Oh well.

The POINT is, that I'm running low on emotional energy and I need a break. And that God knows this, so He's giving me a break, but in an... encouraging way. It's hard to explain without getting into specifics and the last time I tried to do that I wrote a complete mess at 3:00 am that will never be published. Ever.

--Dexter

Friday, March 22, 2013

My Life Is Weird.

There was a circular rainbow in the sky today.
 
No, really. It was like a bubble surrounding the sun. Y'know those bubbles good old Glinda has? It was like that. Sun bubble. BUBBLE OF RAINBOWS. This picture doesn't do it justice.
 
I'd never heard or seen anything like it before, and, in a strange way, it kind of sums up my life right now: weird, and like nothing I've experienced before. But still beautiful and amazing and obviously a sign that God's hanging around orchestrating this grand performance we call Life.
 
So a lot's happened since my last post about all the weird things in my life, and I haven't written a new post because I could never figure out what to say. And I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to say, but I've got to get it out there.
 
I got myself a boyfriend. There, it's out there.
 
Which boy, you may ask? There were four mysterious men, weren't there? Turns out, there's only one for me *sappy cheesy blushing girlfriend moment*. And that one turned out to be The Captain.
 
I know, I was obsessed about Prince Charming. I seriously stalked Mr. Hot Stuff for a while. But...at the same time, neither of them were ever really attainable, and I knew that. Even if they were both to fall madly in love with me, it wouldn't work out. We're too different. A nice smile and a good sense of humour isn't enough to base a relationship on (I'm looking at the Prince, here).
 
Slightly more detailed backstory on The Captain: his past I mentioned earlier? It's that he used to date one of my best friends only a few months ago. They were only together a few months, but... it's still weird. I was really stressed out about the whole situation (I didn't eat, I lost weight, it was pretty bad), and I'm pretty sure I was considered the Briarwood Slut/Homewrecker for a week or so at Briarwood, but it all worked out and hopefully no one thinks I'm just an awful person, because it is a long and complicated story.
 
The best part is that HK, the best friend in question, is one of the most excited people about this relationship. She is incredibly gungho when it comes to me and The Captain (I think she's secretly been wanting us to get together since right before she broke up with him). Like I said, the situation is unique and complex and not as bad as it sounds. It took a long time for me to be comfortable with it, and tonight's one of the first times when I've been basically at peace with the whole thing.
 
Not only was I worried about The Captain's surprising ease at getting over HK and moving onto me so quickly, but I was also worried about being the girl after HK. She's basically perfect. I don't see how any guy who once had her would be willing to settle for me. The Captain and I had a conversation kind of about that tonight (though I didn't go outright in saying that he lost a perfect girl and then got me as replacement), and... I feel better. I won't go into details (I'm such a tease, I know), but the situation keeps getting better.
 
And that's what's up in my life. I'm still kind of stressed out about school and dance and college and what the rest of Briarwood thinks of me, but... I'm also okay. When I'm with The Captain, I'm okay. And I'm confident that God's got His hand on me and The Captain and that He's in control of this situation. That's all I want right now.
 
Does this make sense? Probably not. But I just wanted to say it anyway.
 
--Dexter
 
PS. Another plus of the situation: Mr. Stalker hasn't texted me since I updated my relationship status on Facebook. Score!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Remember When I Asked If Things Could Get Any Weirder?

The answer is yes, yes they can.

Admittedly, some things have calmed down. Those striped yellow pants? Basically out the door. The artistic director of the Briarwood Ballet decided that the material just wouldn't work, so he's going to find something other than drapery fabric (I basically looked like a hot air balloon).

That medical emergency? Cleared up. My friend is fine, thank the Lord. I swear that girl is superhuman.

The boy problems? Weeell... this is where things get weird.

Before this year, I had no drama, no boys, and no interest in them. It was a bit boring, but I almost miss it now. Because now, it's like a freaking sadistic dating sim. Prince Charming, Mr. Hot Stuff, Mr. Stalker, and The Captain-With-A-Past. I'm trying to come up with a better name for him, but so far that's the only one that fits. The situation with him is a little complicated, and if I go into details, things would just get a little too obvious (because my codenames are so cryptic).

Prince Charming's basically out of the way at the moment. The chances of running into him are very small, and I kind of like it that way. Mr. Hot Stuff I'm pretty sure knows that some random ballerina at Briarwood is stalking him, and that's probably why I haven't seen him around Briarwood all week (he's been taking a lot of lunch breaks). Mr. Stalker is just...well, awkward. We've exchanged something like two words, and all the sudden, several months after we first meet, he starts texting me so much. And it's the most awkward conversation ever. I don't understand why he keeps going. And then we have The Captain(-With-A-Past). Like I said, this is a strange situation and I'm not sure how I feel about it. He's a lot of fun and we have a lot in common (unlike every other player in this dating sim), but...complex situations.

And then there's the bizarrity of ballet. We've had so many rehearsals for Narnia lately, I have choreography swimming around my head. I'm in basically every single dance of one scene, and I have little "jigs" spread all throughout the dances and my own main solo and my dance with Lucy and then also the battle and I do random things at the coronation and I'm pretty sure I won't remember a single thing I learned today because I'm so sleep deprived. I've gotten very little sleep in the past week, mostly due to muh boy problemz.

My ankles also hurt. And my toes. And my knees. And my head. And my stomach. I couldn't stop trembling during my one-hour break of my eight-hour rehearsal today. I'm hoping that'll just go away.

Well, whatever. Life's just getting a little exciting, that's all. Jump in, make mistakes, get messy? Sure, why not. God's got it covered. He's probably sitting up there grinning to Himself, thinking, "Enjoying yourself, Dexter? I did this all for you. Trust me on this." I trust You, God. I can't wait to see how this ends.

--Dexter