Conclusion.

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Conversations/circumstances that always seem to be on the verge of happening

Random musings that work as a monologue

Sophomore year of college

 

Note:

SO. That last post (below) is the end of my “Sophomore Year” vignette series… if you didn’t get it from the intro post (during the writing of which it was 2am and I was feeling really ambiguous) they are pretty much from exactly a year ago. They display a certain learning curve for me, and a whole lot of hotmess-ness. Annnnd when I began posting these, at first I wasn’t sure why I was doing it. I guess I just wanted to provide a catharsis for some people who might possibly read it, and get used to putting myself out there as a writer, y’know, growing in vulnerability and all that… But then as the week went on I began to see why I really wanted to post them.

By posting these old writings, I wanted to showcase my humanity. As a Christian blogger, I wanted to show something real. I start to get sick of blog posts from Christians that are practically how-tos on life. You know, the polished, I-immediately-run-to-God-every-time-I-struggle type blog posts. How to live like a Christian. How to marry like a Christian. How to read the Bible like a Christian.

Of course I’m just playing devil’s advocate in a sense because I read those posts myself… sometimes even write and post them. Many of them are extremely biblical and helpful in my walk with God. But where are the posts that show true “brokenness?” True neediness and struggle to find identity in the Lord? We can talk about how that process happened, but how often do we get a glimpse into the life and feelings of a believer who is going through that?

So I guess that’s ultimately why I wanted to post some of my writing from last year. Sophomore year of college… the struggle in the year I began walking with God for real. And what does that even mean? “Walking with God.” I think it means being more aware of Him, and how a belief in Jesus and what He did plays into your everyday life.

 

For me, it was like an awakening. Suddenly I saw the world through a different lens. It was a better, clearer one. But I had to work out some kinks, discrepancies between my old world view and this new one. I mean, who am I kidding… I’m still working through some of these things. I probably always will be. But the major things were the hardest. And I think it took a good year or so, but I’m to the point where my big questions are answered in a way that I can understand personally and I can move on from them and grow in my relationship with God. This has been especially life-giving. To believe, and keep believing.

What were those major questions? Well, some of them are reflected in my little series of writings.

 

Firstly, I went through a period of time where I began to doubt everything I ever thought was true about the world. It’s because I was taking classes that made me more aware of Postmodern thought, that’s why.

Existentialism. Epistemology. The Atom Bomb.

If you will, imagine this in a whiny voice. Ahem:

“What is reeeeal? What is gooood? Are we all hypnotized right now? Does God REAAALLLY love us or is he tricking us into THINKING he loves us? Is there a God? Why does it matter? I can’t do anything to change anything! Wahhhhh.”

I thought I was insane. I understood the absurdists.

 

Maybe even Jackson Pollock.

And I mean, I think those sort of thoughts worked themselves out of my system in time. But it happened, and I think I can say after (EVENTUALLY) running to God, asking Him to reveal truth to me and give me peace about not understanding the hugeness of the universe and all its complexities, my faith has been incredibly strengthened through the process of questioning.

 

My other issue was that I was struggling to leave my old way of thinking about relationships. Maybe you can read between the lines through the series of vignettes and see that I had very dependent feelings on men. I mean, really the few writings that concerned guys were very small reflections and expressions of a much larger issue going on, and that’s the fact that I’ve always idolized (that’s Christian-ese for fixed upon and possibly obsessed with) relationships. LITERALLY this was how I lived my life. One emotional attachment to the next. Sophomore year was a huge process of trying to free myself from that. Because I’d finally learned that a relationship with a dude wouldn’t satisfy the longing I had to be known and understood, and that meant I had to change my lifestyle of constant pursuit of a real and fulfilling relationship. But from age 12-19 I had struggled with infatuation and placing all my hope in guys who 1. didn’t deserve so much attention and affection from me (I picked some lousy chicos) and 2. only hurt me later. Therefore, God was teaching me to stop, and wait.

 

Exodus 14:14 — “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 

Jeremiah 29:11 — “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

 

It was hard to learn. But how loving of God to want to give me something better?? Along the long path that I am still walking of not wanting to put all of my everything into human men, I have read some great books and articles, watched fantastic sermons, and had discussions with some really strong, encouraging people. All of these have helped me to slowly uproot my deeply-engrained, routine pursuit of attention from men. Some of these include but are not limited to And the Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh, Marriage: A Revolution and a Revelation by Elisabeth Elliot, and Christ-Centered Relationships (a talk given by Francis and Lisa Chan). I think many of the ideas in the post “Convictions” are a reflection of these things put together. But mostly the Elisabeth Elliot article. If you want to keep your fluffy, pretty, Disney-movie ideas of love and marriage protected and intact, don’t read it. If you want them shattered on the floor, it’s a good read.

I also just have some pretty awesome friends, who have really been a huge part of the process towards a more Christ-centered life in general. I didn’t start out my sophomore year with many of these friends, however, and I think building these friendships were a huge part of “getting me off the ground,” per se, in my relationship with God. God uses people to do His work in the world. As my friend Katie Morario would say, “Write that down.”

So. There’s my little explanation-blurb. I hope that at least a few people read the whole series, and are encouraged. Encouraged that there is never a place of too much searching, never a place of instability that you cannot be rescued from. If you’re there, seek God. Even if you don’t believe, I dare you to just try praying and asking Him to show you Himself and His truth. It will blow you out of the water, or at least that’s what it did for me.

I am happy to say that I am still a seeker. Seek and ye shall find? It’s true in my life. I’m still someone who passionately explores every question to its logical end, but I am a very different person than the girl who wrote the vignettes in this series. I am rooted in the knowledge that there is a God, He loves me very much (as proven to me in very personal ways on many occasions in my life), He sent his Son to redeem the world, and He’s coming back for me. I can continue to flounder through life as someone who constantly asks “why,” and who in true hot-mess style talks passionately about those questions, makes art about them, writes plays about them, maybe never finds concrete answers, and yet STILL remains rooted in peace and emotional stability. Because the faith that God has grown in my heart is all I really ever need to overcome all the perplexities of life. The series has become a kind of personal celebration of that for me, and I hope someone else is impacted by the transformation as well.

Praise be to Him who works all things together for our good! He’s really cool, guys… I can’t understand why I get to be part of it.

Thanks for readin’!

J

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Verbal Processing

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Conversations/circumstances that always seem to be on the verge of happening

Random musings that work as a monologue

Sophomore year of college 

 

8) Verbal Processing

 

I’m so terribly aware that there is only the world as we understand it individually.

If we each see the world in different ways, then what is truth?

 

That sort of thought makes me contemplate the possibility that everything I know in this world could be a delusion… which it really is. Why are good things perceived as good? I bet there’s a scientific theory to explain that, but they are still basing their fundamental truths on something assumed, if you dig deep enough. And people act upon shared paradigms everyday, so that they are no longer an option of a way to look at things but rather the ONLY way to look at things. I just wonder how shockingly different things will be in heaven, when our paradigms are not tainted by sin, namely selfish ambition.

See, and even by stating that there will be a heaven I am operating under my personal perception of truth. Yet I still know in my inmost being and have seen enough in my own life and the lives of others to know that there is a God. If nothing else is for certain, nature itself cries out that there is an almighty Artist at work, and that He is GOOD. How else could flowers and sunshine be so beautiful? And then if there IS a God, and He aligns with scripture which aligns with history, then I am led to believe that the Bible is true and trustworthy. How wonderful, in a world where everyone has their own unique mental construct, to have an ultimate source of truth! Once a person can believe that there is truth found in this Book, so many other wonderful, solid things begin to take hold of that life.

One would learn that not only did the Lord leave us this guidebook in a strange and messy world, He left us with His Spirit as well, to act as an even closer counselor.

Awesome Poetry Opportunity!

I’m breaking away from this series for a short moment to say:

 

Hey YOU, writer/poet!!! Look at this fun opportunity for your work to be seen and read aloud! 🙂

http://ericwhitacre.com/fanzone/calling-all-writers

 

He’s a fan of all things ethereal and beautiful, so I’ll be excited to see the work that ends up being read, and how it corresponds to the music. This is just a general, spreading-the-word promotion. Good luck to all!

 

 

Convictions

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Conversations/circumstances that always seem to be on the verge of happening

Random musings that work as a monologue

Sophomore year of college 

 

4) Convictions

An address

 

Women – why are we all so willing to throw away our precious independence for the sacrifice and self-denial of marriage? Just admit it, if you’re the average 20-or-older woman, you desire to be married to (or act like it with) someone almost all of the time. Is this because we think that the love we will receive from a husband is worth it; that it will be enough reward for all the pain and trials we will endure for the sake of unity with another sinner? Because ladies, continual self-sacrifice is the price that must be paid for a godly and rewarding earthly relationship. But let me tell you: this intimate love that you crave is already available to you! What wonderful news! We don’t have to wait around forever for some other human being to come pick us up and make us whole. We can still have that when it comes, but as an add-on rather than an integral piece to the puzzle of a soul. How blessed we are as Christian women to often receive both kinds of these loves. But it blows me away that we have been under a delusion this entire time. I still believe in it every day. I believe that a man will someday be able to love me like I need to be loved, and everything will be peachy. Lies, lies, LIES! Marriage will be absolutely difficult! Right here and now, I’m living the good life! Elisabeth Elliot said, “What about [privacy,] unilateral decision-making, independence, time, space, name, geography, career, ambition?” So what about all of those things? They are absolutely mine for the time being, and I take them for granted each and every single day. I wish them away. I beg to sign my name on the dotted line so that I have no choice but to share them all with another imperfect selfish person, as if I wish to complicate my life as much as possible. Let us stop right this instant – stop wishing and waiting and whining. Someday I want to make sacrifices in order to be united with a deserving, God-fearing man, as the Lord intended. But since today I’m not married, I choose to spend my time learning to accept the wonderful agape love that has been sitting right in front of my face.

 

–> series intro

Okay Some of These Are Just Expression

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Conversations/circumstances that always seem to be on the verge of happening

Random musings that work as a monologue

Sophomore year of college

 

6) Okay Some of These Are Just Expression

 

It’s weeks like this

When I just want to hop on a train to Chicago

And stroll down Lakeshore Drive.

Over to the Aquarium, through its beautiful campus

And sit on the planetarium steps

All so I can stare out over Lake Michigan

And just

Breathe.

 

–> series intro

Victims of Falling Walls

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Conversations/circumstances that always seem to be on the verge of happening

Random musings that work as a monologue

Sophomore year of college 

 

 

3) Victims of Falling Walls

 

2am. Man and woman sit across a kitchen table from each other. 

Woman:

What do you think would happen if we all just stopped holding things in? We all just said how we felt and got it off our chests, whether it was a good or bad emotion, regardless of how people would react? Immediately that sounds like a good thing but I’m thinking about it right now and I think it would be a pretty bad thing. Like, if I just let my walls down completely to someone every time I felt really messed up inside, I would seem needy and the person listening would think I was needy. But that’s the thing… does that just make me a needy.. faker? I don’t tell someone I’m feeling down but I really do need to, so I’m still needy just without it showing.

Right?

Plus, I feel messed up inside a lot of the time. So if people could really see that, they would think that I was a sad person. Maybe I am a sad person. Not that this is all about what people think, but people thinking those things would definitely be a direct result of never holding anything in. Also, I think if we all were so open everyone would get annoyed with each other. Like, “STOP, for the love of God, stop talking about that guy! He dumped you, it’s done, so get over it!”

You know those people… who talk about a certain problem with a certain person until it drives you NUTS? It’s only because the emotion that they need to talk out is so strong and lasts forever. It’s also socially acceptable to talk constantly about boy problems and hurts. But if I went around talking to my casual girl friends about how my heart is heavy a lot but I’m not sure why and I think it’s because I live alone and don’t have any community and right now I’m not excelling at any of my passions and that makes me feel empty because I don’t understand how to feel complete in Christ and blahh blahh blahh woe is me… they would just be like, “Wow she’s focusing soo much on the negative!”

See, I’ve already said too much to you. You’re thinking the same thing. You’re also thinking about how there’s nothing you can do for me, so why am I telling you this? And, I guess I’m telling you this because… Well. I don’t know why I’m telling you this.

 

 

–> series intro

Speak Your Heart

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Conversations/circumstances that always seem to be on the verge of happening

Random musings that work as a monologue

Sophomore year of college 

 

2) Speak Your Heart

 

Her: So umm… what is this?

Him: What?

Her: What is this… what are we? We have been able to hang out a couple times since the summer and skype and text all the time but we’re just friends. We’re just friends, right? I mean I know we established that… but that was two months ago and things change. I just wanted to be sure.

Him: Well.

Her: Sorry, I probably shouldn’t have said anything. I don’t want to ruin our friendship. I just… Just pretend I didn’t say anything at all.

Him: Okay.

Her: (beat) But you know what I’m saying, right? A long distance friendship is hard to maintain but we’ve done it. I talk to you more than I do any of the girls from this summer. It’s just confusing.

Him: Why is that confusing?

Her: Because… you talk to me all the time but you don’t speak your mind. Your real mind. Or well, okay, you don’t speak your heart. All we ever do is talk about art and music. We have a lot in common but we never talk about real things. It’s almost like a fake friendship. (realizing she crossed the line a little bit) Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. I mean that if we spend so much time talking but we’re never going to date… and we aren’t getting anything but shallow enjoyment from each other then why do we talk?

Him: I mean, I like talking to you. I don’t think it’s just shallow enjoyment.

Her: It’s not shallow for me either.

Him: So… what are you saying? What is this to you?

Her: What?

Him: What are we?

 

–> series intro

REC Days

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Conversations/circumstances that always seem to be on the verge of happening

Random musings that work as a monologue

Sophomore year of college 

 

9) REC Days

 

She’d met him at the REC. Same shift, every week, always together. Equipment desk.

“So how’s the day goin’?” he’d ask.

“Oh ya know, just peachy.”  She’d reply.

They’d sit there and chat for five minutes before turning to their respective homework assignments. She couldn’t decide if he was fascinating and mysterious or the most boring person she’d ever met. She didn’t know if she hated how low and gravely his voice was, or if she loved it because of how closely it made her listen. So sometimes she’d strike up conversation again, always trying to decide.

She found that he liked to travel, and prompted him to tell of all the places he’d been. He listed them off for her: Boston, New York, New Orleans, Seattle… mostly for trips with the Architecture program. Did he sound bored to death when he talked about the trips because the equipment room was a boring environment or because he wanted to sound cool? She talked about her trip abroad to Spain in an impassioned voice – surely the passion would be contagious? “That’s awesome,” he said coolly, not unkindly. Geez, what would it take for this guy to be himself? She thinks as she returns to her homework.

The shift ends, and they both clock out.

“Have a good day,” she throws out over her shoulder.

He’s like a car stuck in neutral. “Yeah, you too.”

Not unkind, not uninterested. Genuine, passive. Ambiguous.

Fascinating.

 

–> See this post for series intro.

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Conversations/circumstances that always seem to be on the verge of happening

Random musings that work as a monologue

 

 

I have this document on my computer ^

That I probably won’t update anymore

Because it was me trying to experiment with playwriting (last year)

And now I have learned a lot more

 

I want to post a few

In no particular order

I end to overexplain

So I’ll let them speak for themselves

Even though none of them make total sense by themselves..

But you can take what you want

Be encouraged (or not)

That someone else thinks too much

Sometimes feels alone (or used to)

Has convictions

Goes off on tangents

(That she frames as monologues)

And constantly searches for truth

Even after it’s been handed to her.

 

(Honestly this collection could just be called “Sophomore Year of College”)

 

5) Rejection: a monologue

So you know how it is. You audition or try out for something, and you get called back. Good sign. You read some lines and leave, and then when you get home you wait, refreshing the web page with your email inbox about 50 times per minute. Then, and this is my favorite part… you get the email. It takes forever to load when you click on it. You feel strange, like you don’t know why you even care. It’s just a play. There will be plenty more plays down the road. But you do care, and you know it by the rush of adrenaline as you begin to read the names in the email. You know even more how much you care after the third time you scan the cast list, still not finding your name. Your heart drops into your stomach, and while you feel dumb about not getting a part, you feel even more stupid for letting it affect you. “This is just one show,” you tell yourself. “Surely I just wasn’t right for any of the parts. Someday they’ll see. I’m talented. I didn’t really want to be in this show anyways.” You tell yourself every excuse possible, but little lies and a maybe few truths creep into your mind, shooing away all notions of positivity. It’s like a little devil on your shoulder: “You haven’t been in a show all year. How many times do you have to audition before you actually get a role? No one will even give you a chance. You just suck. That was an audition for a studio show at a civic theatre. What makes you think you could be in big shows if you can’t even get cast in a studio show?? You should just give up.” And the little angel on the other shoulder is like, “Now wait a second, that’s the kind of attitude that will make you fail no matter what you are trying to do! Keep chuggin’ along! Someone will give you a chance!” They continue trying to sway you for, well, probably the rest of the night. You believe each of them in turn. But all the while you’re trying to stop it because, I mean, come on! You have more dignity than this. You got a callback. You can’t possibly suck THAT much. And rejection can’t bother you; you’re a theatre major. It’s part of the business. All you gotta do is be extra strong… and yet, sensitive enough to relate to any character in the world.

That can’t be too hard, right?

Just Thoughts

Another rambly post… I just felt like blogging. Really in the future I’m going to blog about some of the topics I’ve been holding in my mind. But for now, I’m just gonna be in the moment.

What a wonderful thing it is to not care too much about this world. Some people would call it irresponsible, I call it choosing what’s really important. For me “not caring” is when I’m late to class but I don’t stress, because being perpetually late doesn’t define me. It’s forgetting to really put on makeup for four days in a row. It’s going to a show by myself, sitting in the front, and doing quick-draws of the dancers solely by the light on the stage.

 

<— this is Degas by the way… not me (ha)

So I guess it’s less of “not caring,” and just caring about something else… more.

 

What does it mean to live in freedom?

But really, just stop, and actually ask yourself that question.

 

 

I mean, wow. This is how I see it. It’s walking this earth every day, aware that you are a speck on the earth and the earth is a speck in the galaxy and the galaxy is one of millions of galaxies, and in a hundred years, you’ll be dead and gone, no one who is living will have known you personally. That by itself is really enough to make you stop caring what people think and just being the person that you want to be while on this earth. But then, you can add on that the God who created you and all those galaxies LOVES YOU and is taking care of you? He wants you to know Him on this earth, and once your short time here is over, you get to go be with a beautiful God for eternity? It’s better than we really could hope for, us teeny tiny people. It makes you want to love Him, too.

 

Today, my great aunt Jenny Bridgewater passed away. She’s my great uncle’s mom, anyways, so maybe she’s a great-great aunt. Either way, she always seemed to be in fine health at family gatherings, so when I heard today that she was gone it really hit hard. One second, someone’s there and asking you about how college is going, encouraging you to keep up the good work, and the next they are just… gone. You didn’t get to tell them that you really appreciated them taking a genuine interest in your life, even though you were two generations below, or that you noticed how they tried to reach out to you. But regardless, you remember that person’s life for something positive. Her son is my great uncle, who started my high school’s show choir and created a strong, classy performing arts program alongside my great aunt Judy. This program along with voice lessons from aunt Judy influenced me more in my growth as a musician than anything else in my life. So Jenny Bridgewater, in a ripple effect, was really a huge contributor to my life, and it’s amazing to see how much your choices matter. From who you marry to whether or not you take interest in the lives of young people at family gatherings, who do you want to be in this world?

At least, that’s the question in my mind tonight. I think the Lord has already been laying that question on my heart these last few weeks, but death always brings eternity closer to the front of your mind.

 

So I’m excited to keep walking in faith.. caring less about what the world thinks and more about what God thinks. Because sure, I can try and be who I want to be in this world, and I could be a good person who helps a lot of people. But I think it’s more exciting to listen for God’s guidance and be who HE wants me to be. If we’re all just specks on specks in a beautiful, sublime universe, I really care more about pleasing the God who created all of it, rather than my fellow specks. And the really awesome part? He wants to use my life to impact more people and enjoy more blessing than I could conjure or imagine for myself. He wants to use you the same way, too. He has good plans for his children.

Just sitting in awe of that truth tonight.