When twilight drops her curtain down and pins it with a star, remember that you have a friend though she may wander far.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

single suckers.

Life as a single woman sucks sometimes, but for me there has always been a deeper pressure to partner up. I grew up hearing God had someone in mind for me, and then watched as my friends got married quickly after high school and all through college. Now they're having children, lots of children. And here I am, single. Awesome, but single. Where is God's knight in shining armor that was promised to me if I stayed true to the path?

I haven't stayed true to the path, but while I was still doing my due diligence (with the best intentions), I was hurt far worse by Christian men than any of their nonreligious counterparts after.

So I'm sitting here, almost 28 years old, over a year out from my last meaningful relationship, and tonight I feel that pressure: the stomach ache, the anxiety, the sadness gnawing at me just behind my eyes, the hopelessness. I (embarrassingly) go to Google and search for "encouraging blogs for single women" thinking that if there's a Buzzfeed for cooking bacon in the oven three ways, there's a blog out there for a (too lazy to find an appropriate coping skill) woman like me who's just having a rough night.

Get this.

All but two of the results in the first three pages were targeted to the single Christian woman. I know there are single women out there who aren't Christian. I'm friends with dozens of them, and they're friends with dozens more! Are we the only ones who Google stupid shit like this at night? Are we the only ones? Those of us who were raised in the church, are we the only ones who are scared? Have we been fed some idea that others have not? Is this just another way that I've been a sucker, a victim of fundamentalism and black/white thinking?

I have never really been able to put my finger on what really upsets me about fundamental Christianity. I grew up as a deeply devout and involved member of the Southern Baptist church. It shaped me, cared for me, loved me. I am forever indebted to the people in that church, but something is not right.

I get the need to have purpose, to have something greater to live for. I understand and appreciate the strict moral compass that protects you from pain. I realize that it is scary to have your beliefs shaken, and that it's easier to hang on tight. I get it.

But the thing is that we don't always understand how putting God in a box can hurt us more. Our words have a lasting impact. The minute I understood that God was much more than what is in that box, my world changed. And I'll be honest...sometimes it has been ugly, but I'll be damned if someone else's idea of protecting me 20 years ago is going to hurt me tonight.

I am incredible. I'm smart. I'm fun and weird, and I live an exciting life. I am not hopeless or unworthy, and I'm not a sucker.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

a new name.

My heart is too full of my own pain and sorrow.
I have no room for yours.
All I have is an ear to listen.
No advice, no comfort, no words.

Where do I place the weight of the world
When my own sorrow grows too heavy?
Where can I hide from the pain that surrounds me?
My heart is too full and empty.

I can no longer pretend I'm on this adventure.
This new life is no vacation.
I'm starting over. Alone. You're not with me.
Our dreams left on the sand.

The thrills and the lights so bright, they surround me
And silence the breaks of my heart
But inside a sorrow still sings a sweet melody
Of lost love and a life I won't know.

At times it is more painful to explain the feelings
And to understand the source of the pain.
If only I could just feel their symptoms
And in defiance, give them a new name.

Slowly, surely my heart strengthens.
The pain wanes each passing day.
The water is calm again for now
But another wave is on the way

My tears are a part of the ocean now.
My heart is part of the sea.
They flow and break when I let them,
Mourning what will never be.

Friday, February 10, 2012

the sea will hold you.

Lie back, daughter, let your head be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you.
Spread your arms wide, lie out on the stream, and look up,
laugh at the gulls.
A dead man's float is face down.
You will dive and swim soon enough where this tidewater ebbs to the sea.
Daughter, believe that when you tire on the long thrash to the island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you and let go,
Remember when fear cramps your heart what I told you:
Lie gently and wide to the light-year stars,
Lie back and the sea will hold you.

Phillip Booth

Friday, January 27, 2012

one year.

I can't believe it's been one year since I left the woods. In honor of the 375 days I spent in the woods, here's a little blog I found that takes me back to the days when I sent out mass texts each day documenting the hilarious quotes my kids would say. Enjoy:


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

two thousand twelve

In 2012, I am deciding my highest priorities, saying no to other things, and saying yes to the best. 

I am:

Saying NO to unhealthy food choices, and saying YES to a healthy me.

Saying NO to a busy schedule, and saying YES to quality time.

Saying NO to easy, and saying YES to a challenge.

Saying NO to busy work, and saying YES to my responsibilities.

Saying NO to filler friends, and saying YES to relationships.

Saying NO to expectations, and saying YES to dreams.

Saying NO to extravagance, and saying YES to simplicity.

Saying NO to fast food, and saying YES to home-cooked meals.

Saying NO to guilt, and saying YES to a proactive and positive self-image.

Saying NO to skepticism, and saying YES to spiritual growth.

Saying NO to intolerance, and saying YES to acceptance and love.
Saying NO to violence and war, and saying YES to peace.

Saying NO to exclusion, and saying YES to inclusion.

Here's to a year of prioritizing the best for me and the life I want. 
I hope you'll join me on a few of these and make some of your own.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Ultimate Post

This weekend I will play in my first Ultimate tournament since leaving Texas nearly two years ago. I somehow got lucky enough to land in a spot that has regular weekly pick-up and hosts a yearly tournament in November after living in an Ultimate-deficient wilderness for a year.

As I gear up for the tourney, I can't help but think of how strong of an influence Ultimate has played in my life.

I first played the sport at First Baptist Church in Magnolia during my Junior Year thanks to Mr. Moats who started up UFL (Ultimate Frisbee League). For the next two years, that's what I would call the sport, not knowing how big of a deal it was elsewhere. That year my best friend, Lauren Sepulveda, won MVP, and I was pretty jealous. I fell in love with the sport during my Senior year when I realized I was actually pretty good at it. That year, I won MVP, and I'm pretty sure I still have my trophy.

After seeing a group of hippies playing Ultimate at Southwestern University, I turned in my application and didn't bother to look at any other schools, convinced that this had to be the only school in the world that played Ultimate. I could not even risk going to another school. I gleefully submerged myself into the weekly pick-up games on the Mall, barefoot and loving it.

One of my best friends at college, Emily Taylor, introduced me to her friend at UMHB, a nearby private school full of staunchly conservative Christians. The polar opposite to my liberal arts school hippie Ultimate with no cones or lines, I was introduced by Dustin Kunz to the world of competitive Ultimate.

I quickly became addicted to the rules of Ultimate and the idea of the "Spirit of the Game." Dustin told me about a group of guys who played in Austin who called themselves Riverside Ultimate. I somehow weaseled my way onto their listserve and eventually into some of their lives. Through Riverside, I met Iram J. Leon who is basically the Ultimate Rockstar of Texas...not even kidding. If I think I have a story to tell about how Ultimate has impacted my life, it's a children's book compared to his. Another dude named Big Bad Bygone Paul was the first to offer me a nickname, Tattoo, in honor of the Marx song, and in honor of my full acceptance into the Riverside family. He and J have followed my journey and will both probably read this blog. Many hugs to you guys.

During the summers in college, I worked at Camp Cho-Yeh, a Christian sport camp, where a group of us would get up around 6:30 in the morning to play Ultimate. I continued to fall in love with the sport and realized that people who play Ultimate are just....awesome. I couldn't get enough of it.

At some point in my Junior year of college, Ultimate became my life. I started an Ultimate team at my school with the help of Jason Reitz and began traveling to tournaments with my team. I spent a good portion of my time that year trying to convince all of my friends that they should love Ultimate as much as I did. It worked for some, but not for others. At one of our first tournaments, I met some kids from TCU, including their captain, Daniel Bess. Over the next year, I was able to play with several different teams and leagues, thanks to Daniel, and would eventually move to Dallas post-graduation because of his influence.

When I decided to accept a job and move to Dallas, I joined all the Dallas Ultimate listserves before I even looked for a place to live. I started Friendship Recruitment 2008 where I met some of the best people in Dallas and probably in the world.  I captained for a Winter League team, played both Coed and Women's Ultimate, suffered heat stroke, and traveled to Florida and Georgia, all in the name of Ultimate.

Then I got this crazy wild hair to move to North Carolina. I ended up in the woods, 3 hours from the nearest pick-up game, and lost most of my discs to the savage children I worked with in a matter of months. I traveled to Raleigh once to play a game in February and never went back.

It's been a long, lonely drought since then, and while so many other great things have happened, I am so happy to have Ultimate back in my life. It makes for a well-rounded Lydia.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Love Affair With Bread

My Breadman and I have been going steady for 5 months now, and I'm pretty sure Breadman just told me he loves me.

Using a bread machine isn't as easy as it looks. You've got to really take the time to get to know your machine, how it operates, what you need to adjust in the recipe to make it happy, what it needs to adjust to make you happy. It's truly  like a relationship. I've been switching out butter for oil, liquid for powder, beer for water, sugar for honey, syrup for molasses, and on and on and on.

This week, after 5 long months of adapting recipe after recipe from "Bread Machine Baking: Perfect Every Time," I finally hit the jackpot.

I wanted to share our love affair with you. It's an adaptation of "Millie's Basic Whole Wheat Bread" for the Breadman.

1 extra-large egg plus enough warm water to measure 1 cup liquid total
2 tbs butter (I used unsalted stick butter)
1/4 cup molasses (I used No HFCS Syrup, Log Cabin I think...)
2 tbs honey
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour (all-purpose, not bread)
1 1/2 tbs powdered skim milk (I used liquid 2% milk)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs gluten (I did not use this, but I did add 2 tbs wheat germ)
2 1/2 tsp yeast

Place all the ingredients (liquids and salt first, yeast last) in your bread machine pan. Program for Dough, and push Start. Check the dough after the first ten minutes of kneading, and add flour or water by the tablespoon if necessary. If you follow this recipe, you shouldn't need to add a thing. After the first dough cycle is completed (1 hour and 20 minutes), you'll want to run it again. Program for Dough, and push Start. I read that two cycles is good when you use whole wheat flour, and I agree. It allows the dough more time to rise, and gives you a higher, less dense loaf.

When the second cycle is complete, remove your dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Try to keep it in it's original ball form. Punch the dough out into a rectangle, trying to get all the air out of the dough. Then roll it like a jelly roll starting at one of the smaller sides. Make sure that wherever you end the roll is the bottom center of your loaf. Tuck the sides of your roll down, trying to make the ends meet on the bottom of your loaf. The top of your loaf should be smooth. There are lots of ways to form your loaves--this is just my favorite. Ok, ok...it's the only one I've tried. Search YouTube to see some other options.

Place your loaf into an oiled loaf pan. Cover it with a clean towel, and let it rise for an hour.
When you have about 10 minutes left, preheat your oven to 375*. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. After 35 minutes, remove the bread from the pan and thumb the bottom of your loaf. If it sounds hollow, you're done! If not, place the loaf directly on the rack and cook it for 5-10 more minutes.

Once it's cooked, let it cool for 15 minutes. This is important because your bread is still baking! After 15 minutes, slice away! If you're going to save it, put it in a plastic bag after it has completely cooled.

When I make this again, I'll take pictures like The Pioneer Woman, and post them in this recipe, so I'm legit.