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it's hard to figure out where to go from here. write a nice little denouement? continue the discussion? post something completely different? i don't know for sure. but i will start out by saying thank you. thank you for commenting, emailing, phoning, discussing, or even just reading [creepy lurkers!]. thank you for sharing your own vulnerabilities, your pasts, your presents. thank you for encouraging me as brothers and sisters. and perhaps most importantly: thank you for recognizing the intimate ruthlessness of my disclosure, for accepting the rawness of my post and comments, for being willing to help me fumble through this tired old maze.

a dear friend sent me an email in lieu of public comment, and this particular email was [is] so poignant and honest and encouraging that i want to print it out and roll around naked on it.
seriously, it's that good.
i think a major reason why my friend's words are so affecting is actually because they contained no answers. no formulaic "if you do x, then y will follow". no empty promises [i.e. "guys WILL like you if...", "there IS someone out there..."]. no exhortations to simply exude confidence and send off some sort of "i feel sexy" vibe. as my friend pointed out, i've heard it all before, and frankly, it's not helpful. i mean, seriously. analyzing one's dating life -- such as it is[n't] -- using this sort of thinking is faulty at best; damaging at worst. it implies that it's only the people who have their shit together that end up in marriage. and surely we can all recognize that's not true. for some people, it just sort of happened. i suppose to be more precise, it just sort of happened at a culturally "normal" age. right time, right place, right person. good for them! i certainly don't begrudge anyone that experience. love is in the air, the stars align just so, all is right with the world. but i don't think these people talk about how they found love the day they became content with being single, or when they just prayed and gave it to God, or any of the other formulas [ultimatums?] we fabricate in our attempts to work our desires into God's Schedule For Our Lives. do we really believe these ideas? trite cliches become a source of faith for mid-twenty-somethings and beyond in full stride singledom? someone hits the quarter century mark and suddenly geometric proofs come into play? if, then, because, therefore?
i'm not buying it.
i am not a problem anxiously waiting to be fixed or solved; reread my last entry and you will see many self-directed and rhetorical ponderings, but only one direct question. i am complex and unique and, yes, beautiful: like you, dear reader, i desire to be accepted for who i am while at the same time growing and maturing as a person, a woman, a Christ follower. it is not one or the other. that's the trick: how do i remain true to who i am and yet move forward and change into who i am to be? how do i find my way without losing myself in the process? i don't have the answers. you don't have the answers. all i ask, and all i can ask of you -- indeed, all we can ask of each other -- is to speak the truth in love.
i may be speaking only for myself here, but impassive cooing and unsolicited suggestions for change, while soothing and well-intentioned, are generally less than helpful. now, specific requests for advice or observations or feedback are one thing, and best suited to friends you trust wholeheartedly and whom you are not liable to take a swing at... but generally speaking, encouraging someone in who they are [style, beauty, character, etc.] as opposed to how they should change, seems a far more validating and life-giving way to go. but... maybe that's just me. i can get a little feisty when people start telling me what to do.
in case you're wondering, it's not lost on me that this entry feels a little schizophrenic: i have issues i'm working through! i want comments! i don't want feedback! encourage me! don't tell me what to do! eh! blah! i'm processing a lot right now, so hey: please just hang with me here. all i know for sure is that a hell of a lot of beliefs of mine have been shaken up during the past week. i'm still trying to get my bearings straight... and i probably will be for some time.

i don't like being wrong. but maybe this time... i'll be okay with that.


Posted on Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 10:25PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments Off