help! broken doorknob!

on saturday my doorknob broke (again). you always used to fix it, when my doorknob broke. who will fix my doorknob now? this fucking broken doorknob is taking up all the space i have left in my thoughts. i do not want to ask anyone else to fix it, because i want it to be you. i want it to be your tools and your hands and your fixing. i want to say thank you, to you. and i want you to be the one that says you’re welcome, while knowing that you’ll have to fix it again in about six months. I want it to be you that helps me empty the lawn mower and i want it to be you that i call when my car is making a weird noise. Today i am sad that i no longer get to hear your voice. Today i am sad. I have been sad since saturday, actually. Since 9:24 am – when my doorknob fell out of the doors socket – and slammed onto the wooden floor. I’m not sure how long i’ll wait to ask someone else to fix it. No – i will fix it myself. Yes – I will fix it myself. I will get my own tools. I will use my own hands, and then i will say thank you, to myself, knowing that i’ll have to fix it again in about six months. If i do not fix it myself it will never be fixed, because of all the things that i had to let go of and give to someone else that you no longer do – the fixing of my broken doorknob will not be replaced by anyone but me.

Now

i cut my hair in hopes of finding myself

i cut my hair so that i could play maggie rogers song alaska and fully feel the lyrics “CUT MY HAIR SO I COULD ROCK BACK AND FORTH – WITHOUT THINKING OF YOU. LEARNED TO TALK AND SAY WHATEVER I WANTED TO. AND I WALKED OFF YOU, AND I WALKED OFF AN OLD ME”

cut my hair hoping that maybe new lengths would bring new depths

but all i found was me, still,

with shorter hair.

and i decided that was ok –

its a beautiful thing coming face to face with yourself.

I whisper to my reflection “you are cute and that is not even the beginning of what makes you, you. you are beautiful and your body is good and that is not even where your value and worth starts.”

I go to big special events without wearing any make up, now.

I go to get ice cream with friends while wearing jeans that do not hide my tummy, now.

I go to the grocery store without wearing a bra, now.

I go to dinner in a dress without a sweater so my arms have space to breathe, now.

I wear swimming suits without shaving my legs, now.

I do all of these things and i count them as monumental acts of honor because i am embracing the body i once fought so hard to obliterate.

I feel like me, now.

I told Heart that she is allowed to be herself.

I told Head that she is allowed to evaluate.

I told Heart to make friends with Head and i told Head to make friends with Heart. I wrote them each a letter that said, only,

“you need one another. embrace.”

the unraveling

i have spent many nights unraveling myself from myself,

unraveling my heart and my brain from each other.

unraveling me from you, you from me.

unraveling body from spirit,

spirit from mind.

unraveling sickness from me.

these days are filled with so much tension and healing and for the first time i’ve stepped back and my my ears ring with

“this is beautiful, elizabeth, this is beautiful. –

you are learning how to be you. you are learning how to listen. to hear. to lean in and lean up.

this unraveling is painful –

and it

is beautiful.”

in this self proclaimed ‘Unraveling’ – i am learning how to be honest.

honest with others, and myself.

can i lean into being uncomfortable in the name of authenticity?

can i lean into accepting the cracks in my armor?

honor their purpose and let them be there – brave.

ive never felt this comfortable being uncomfortable before.

it feels good – and more than that – i know it is —

good.

(in honor of embracing being uncomfortable – im stepping into the uncomf-y with these pictures, because when i look at them i see – me. which i haven’t felt in a long time.

i have been afraid of my smile since the 6th grade – forcing my lips shut and smiling so – in order to stop my teeth from showing. i used to look in the mirror and look at pictures of me – and feel complete anger at myself for looking the way i did. like i was failing for being me. like i was not worthy of seeing myself or others seeing me. i was afraid of coming face to face with my own face.

i felt so worthless and made myself so small in hopes of finding some glimmer of likeness – and now i know it had Nothing to do with pictures. nothing to do with the mirror.

in these pictures that my best friend took of me I am not forcing perfection – i am not hiding me in order to fit how i once perceived people expected me to look. i am not forcing smallness onto my bones.

i am not trying to be someone that i think i should be – rather – i am jus leaning into the me that i Know is enough – here and now.

how beautiful this is, truly.

heart

i am not sure of

who all i am quite yet,

but i am quiet sure that i am

loved deeply and heard loudly.

i am quite sure that i am figuring it

out and leaning into mercy.

my heart sometimes beats too fast

over the fact that there are still

unknowns and deep fears,

but i just whisper

“dear heart, you are here and that is enough. we will figure it out or maybe we wont, whatever the case, there is still gold deep within you.

there is still gold deep within you.”

 

men that love –

men that love have calloused fingers from long hours of trying to memorize your heart.

men that love like seeing your face when they buy you flowers,

and they are easy to talk to,

and they are not afraid of hearing you speak.

men that love anticipate your voice, and they hold onto your words.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle

a journey to honor

About two years ago around this time I was invited to join the honors society at the community college I was attending. I accepted and joined – and then a few weeks later I was invited to the induction ceremony.

I did not tell anyone about the ceremony. I purposely missed the RSVP date, and avoided going to the event. I remember the night the ceremony was taking place – it was raining and I got off of work and drove straight home. The entire drive home my heart was beating the same thing over and over

“you know you should have gone.”

I did not go because I was overwhelmed with fear. Fear that I did not belong – that I was unworthy of such an accolade – that if I went I would be figured out. They would realize that they were wrong – that I was not the right person to be there. I am sad that I thought so little of myself. That I thought I was not allowed to take up space until I hit the unimagined unattainable goals and lists I had for myself in my head.

I should have gone – because I knew I was running away from going. I was running away from being afraid.

Tonight – I did not run away from being afraid. I ran straight into the arms of fear and anxiety.

I was inducted into the National Honors Society of Psychology at the college I have transferred to – I went to the ceremony.

I walked in late from work and a friend thought to save me a seat next to her. I sat in the anxiety the entire time I was there – and I felt brave doing it. I felt honored to be me.

I did not feel that way two years ago, and I still do not feel that way everyday. Leading up to going to this ceremony I was trying to find a way out of it. I talked to multiple people about going – hoping that each one would have some elaborate plan on how I could get out of it – but I know that was fear strangling my brain. It does that a lot – and I have to consistently untangle these string of thoughts and beliefs that hold no value to my being.

It is a constant battle between punching fear in the face, slyly walking past it even though I would like to wave, and holding its hand.

A constant battle that I want to be willing to fight.

for my papa –

Over a month ago my Papa – the man who stepped in to be a dad to me so many times – went to heaven. I wrote this for my gram and I read it at his celebration of life service. I wanted to put it here.

Im not going to say “forgive me if i cry” im going to say “bare with me when i cry”

February 9 2019 was a hard hard hard day. A part of our family is gone. Our family will not be the same without our honey, our dad, our papa, our brother, our uncle, our cousin, our son, our friend – but in our weakness we are made strong because we have each other and jesus. Jesus is weeping with us – he is in our pain – but he is also rejoicing that my pops is finally with him for forever.

On facebook someone said

“Isn’t it a wonderful assurance to know that he is not only in our memories but in our futures”

i am in awe of how many situations we face in life that are walking dichotomies: my heart is grieving for a piece of itself that has been lost, yet my soul is leaping for all of papa that has been found in heaven. I am reassured that all of his memories are even better in heaven – and he gets to remember all of us with his smile on his face.

i am sad, and i am hurting. but if i was not either of these things – it would mean that i have not loved. I am honored that i was granted the privilege of loving my papa, and am proud to have been loved by him, because he loved so good. He loved so so so good. He was such a gentle man. God used my papa to protect so many hearts.

He loved his family so much, and he would talk and talk and talk about us. the way he talked about his family was in a different way then he talked about other things; he always seemed so well pleased with us.

I will remember my papa as a man that mowed and had me mow the grass every week in the summer.

– as a man that taught me how to drive a boat and fish, but stayed away from teaching me how to drive a car.

– as a man that could make your whole day with his smile.

– as a man that wore long socks and always listened to his honeys stories over and over without questioning.

– as a man that listened to me talk and talk and talk and always said the right thing even if it was nothing at all.

I will remember my papa as a man that brought me out of myself, and continually reminded me who i am.

– as a man that loved his wife, and let her tell him all of her good deals after shopping.

I will remember my papa as a preacher man that played games on his ipad for fun.

I will remember my papa as a man that told story after story with enthusiasm – like he’s never said the story before (which we all know, was not the case).

– as a man that stood tall in the face of adversities, and did not let his weakness define him.

– as a man that used his bible as a sword, a man that looked straight into his Father God’s face, and said “I am about Your business. Lead me.”

I will remember my papa in the stories that i have been told about him – how he moved his family of 4 children across the country in a van – all because God told him and my gram to do so.

I will remember my papa as a man that saw good in all the people he met. A man who looked for common ground in all he encountered.  

I will remember my papa as a brave, kind, gentle, mighty man.

I will remember my papa forever.

I keep asking “how do you just keep going? how do you just keep going?” and the best i have heard to this question is “you just do.” and we have, 5 days later and we have just kept going. 5 weeks will pass, 5 months, 5 years, will have passed, and then we will look back in 50 years and realize that all of these moments have passed too – and we have just kept going.

I am sad that all the days to come will be spent without him here with us – and i am thankful for all the days that have passed that he was here with us.

Pain is here – and pain will come again, i promise. But we were not promised a life free of pain – that my papa knew well. But we were promised a life full of peace, joy, and love – which my papa also knew very well. 50 years from now i hope that we are still telling stories of my papas great, or rather Good, legacy. I will tell my children about his smile, and his luscious hair. I will tell them about his heart, and i will teach them about the jesus he taught me about.

I will tell them that he was a mighty man of god that loved his family and friends and stood with them through it all.  

I am hopeful for the future  – because i know he is waiting for us, and i know that until we see each other again he will be championing us on from heaven.

I love you papa.

We will never be able to fill your shoes or make the same footprints quite the same way you did – but we will live our lives walking right behind them, knowing you are proud of us.