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Do it. Reach out.

I have this thing. Maybe you do the same thing. Someone will be talking to me–a friend, typically–and I will go somewhere else. I’m still with my friend, but my mind has wandered. It’s pretty obvious, unfortunately. I didn’t realize I did it for a long time, until someone called me out on it. When I catch myself doing it, whoever is with me has the same reaction. They first look at me, expecting a reply to whatever they’ve said. Sad for them….that reply isn’t coming. Then they look where I’m looking, hoping that will shed light on the awkwardness only they feel. Typically, this is where the feeling that I’ve neglected speaking to someone, mid-conversation, resurfaces for the thousandth time. It’s then that I have a choice. To speak or not to speak.

I guess they don’t realize that I’ve already responded. And so have they. Of course, this all took place in my viciously thorough mind. Thus, ‘real-them’ hasn’t been a part of the conversation for the last 30 borderline-anti-social seconds. By the time they go, “[Equally Lost], where did you go? What are you thinking about?” or the classic, “WHAT?!”, our conversation has already ended. I have moved on to a different topic. Well, we both have, actually…just the friend that’s right in front of me wasn’t entirely included in my minds’ rabbit trails and discussions.

Now, this doesn’t happen in every conversation. If it did, I would probably feel more inclined to change how I am. Actually, I’ve found that it’s rooted in fear. Fear that what I say next will change our relationship–in a positive or negative way (as fresh or as firm as it may be). It is something that is latent with emotion. So I swiftly internalize it, allowing my mind a chance to presume what their reaction to what I would say will be. It’s about those topics which I find uncomfortable, or where I see my opinion may not be welcomed, respected or even right to say. This helps me avoid the possibility of all things awkward, interpersonally. Which–I mean–every person wants to avoid, right? I am fairly well-versed in moving on quickly from those topics where I know my opinion should not be included. But in the case of The Mind-Wander, I don’t know where my opinion stands in relation to this persons potential range of responses.

So, why have I brought this up? What’s making me describe, in uncomfortable detail, the thoughts that cycle through my head like clockwork, leaving my friends thoroughly confused and more often than not, annoyed with my silent brooding?

See, when this happens and they ask what I’m thinking about, my response is almost always a firm head shake in the negative. Sort of the way a child denies their having taken a candy from the jar—very similar, in fact. It’s my way of shutting down and it’s an unhealthy interpersonal communication habit that I don’t recommend for anyone to exercise. I am extremely stubborn in this regard, and no one can get me to speak my mind, no matter how persuasive or logical their argument may be. An unhealthy habit, see? BUT the other day,





Allow me to set the scene for you…

The previous day at work, I had been in a depressive (maybe, I use that word too loosely)–sad, it was a sad day, for me. I was in a “pity me” mood as we get into sometimes. [Sidenote: aren’t they the worst? it doesn’t make you feel better. it only makes you feel guilty for acting in such a manner; trying to derive comfort, companionship and life itself from another human. 11/10 would not recommend.]  So I was in this mood, none-the-less, and I could tell all of my coworkers were picking up on it. They asked, “are you okay?”, but we all know that from coworkers–that basically means nothing. Not to be cynical, honestly, but they are generally only interested in themselves, so their questions are to be dismissed as just casually nice, not legitimate or real in any way. If they were real, they would have a follow-up question or something, ANYTHING, to say after I tell them, “honestly, it’s not going well.” I guess people who have no hope in their own lives, other than hoping they don’t get stuck in the same depressive (sad?) mood you’re in, have nothing to say to those of us who are in them. Tangent over.

So I was getting annoyed on top of it all, that they have nothing to say. Nothing! I shouldn’t have been, but I was. I walked by a coworker (friend?) who asked what was up. She listened as I explained my current state and didn’t respond with “that sucks” or “sorry”. My interest was peaked. (You should know by now, that no matter what state I’m in, I am always eager to analyze people). I sat there in silence, because–sadness. I didn’t have anything to say, but she just looked at me. It wasn’t accusatory or laced with pity. It was gentle. Her eyes didn’t shoot at me with condescension or annoyance at my less-than-stellar state. They held me there. In silence, I was comfortable in her gaze. It surrounded me, not with questions or doubt, but with soft understanding. She waited patiently for me to elaborate on a reason why I may have been feeling down. She asked, “why?”, and me being my usual self, stood my child-like ground shaking my head side to side. I don’t know, it’s just how I feel today. At first, she said “okay”, with hope in her eyes that I might be willing to spill my thoughts if she was patient enough. That day, however, no one could have been patient enough. I continued to shake my head. She says, “[Equally Lost]”, sternly, knowing it’s not good for me to keep it locked inside.

While the end of this exchange ended with me walking away, not having given her access to my thoughts (mostly, because I didn’t fully understand them either), I couldn’t help but think about that conversation the rest of that day and the next. We worked together the next day and–in my much better mood–I told myself, you should really tell her how much you appreciated her kindness to you yesterday. 

I ran into her and as we talked, she could immediately tell I was holding something back. She looked at me with those eyes again, which made me absolutely melt and not be able to say what I had resolved to say. I shook my head again. This time, I knew what I wasn’t able to say. She asked what it was and I sort of walked back to continue my work. This happened several other times before I could see in her eyes, she was disappointed I wouldn’t share with her.

She wanted to hear my thoughts. She actually wanted to listen and help. I knew that any other coworker would have dismissed me long ago for my elusive behavior, but she wanted to know why. At this moment, I could see that she most wanted to know why I wasn’t comfortable talking to her about it. But it wasn’t her. I was just afraid to say it. It was laced with too much emotion and care and I’m not used to expressing that. Usually, I just use pen and paper or spill it to all of you (hello, by the way). I don’t say it to the person — how odd would that be?, asks the introvert. All introverts secretly hope that people can feel their emotions and thoughts through their nonverbal behavior (which, probably isn’t even expressed how they think they are coming across, so no one will ever understand them in that way). I could see that it disappointed her—that I wasn’t non-verbally communicating that which I had been rehearsing in my head over and over and over again. I finally resolved: YOU WILL TELL HER EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK.

So I walked straight up to her and said, “hey [coworker], okay, I’m just gunna say it. I just wanted to say thank you for being so kind yesterday. I really appreciated how nice you were to me and I thought you should know that I could see you really tried. It didn’t go unnoticed. So…thanks.”

*my little introvert heart pounded as I waited to see if she thought I was a weirdo for thinking about her, as much as I obviously had, in order to prep for that random outpouring*

Her eyes softened again. *my heart leapt* I could see she was in disbelief that that was what I had been keeping from her. That it was about her–and a good thing, at that. Being the overwhelmingly kind soul that she is, she couldn’t hold herself back from rushing over to hug me.

So why is it that I hold back from saying more things like that? After all, I think them all the time. What am I afraid of? I guess I’m not used to being vulnerable, but I am learning. I will continue to raise my hammer to the walls that hold me back from the full measure of human relationships.

Is there anything good you’re not telling someone out of fear?

Stop thinking pros and cons and just say it—FINALLY–say it. Show them how much you care. Be reckless with your kindness.

Feeling immensely relieved to have knocked down another brick from the wall,

-Equally Lost

when treated properly

I suppose it is the Christian way of life to cycle from our personal allowance of sin to feeling the bone-crushing weight of guilt that draws us to the feet of God. Skip the kneeling and pleasantries, I am flat on the floor in my own tears and humility. My willingness to pursue sin, actively and without cessation or hesitation, shocks and horrifies me. The flesh is like a parasite. Harmless-looking, slow to creep under your skin, quick to latch on, nearly impossible to be rid of unless properly treated. Through specific knowledge, swift and forceful action, we are able to be free from that which causes more pain and damage than we are led to believe by it’s first-impression.

Beyond this analogy, we are only able to continue the eradication of ticks that breach our idea of security in ourselves alone by being disciplined in faithfulness and diligence.

|Have Faith. Be Immediate. Take Risks. Be Effective.|

Don’t underestimate God’s ability to stop you from doing that which grips you so tightly you being to believe it’s the only option.

He is there. He is watching. He is stronger than that desire. He treats you better than that sin does.

—Think of all the times you can look back on and regret the sins you partook of. A lot, huh?

—Now, if applicable, think back on all the times you faithfully did the work of God. Are those memories placed in the “Regrets” category of your mind?

|| Now CHOOSE what you WILL DO going forward. Don’t fill up the “Regrets” category anymore. ||


A journal entry and a challenge,

-Equally Lost

Put the sword down, Equally Lost

I have entered into a battle I don’t belong in.

I should have seen the torture and turned the other way. Both sides aim to kill and though I can see the finale–that which ends in complete destruction–I have picked up my sword. I’ve thrown on my armor (limited as it may be) and begun to scream from the top of my lungs, forcing both sides to acknowledge my presence. Aim for me!

I guess it doesn’t matter why I joined, but I still ask: Why? As if it will help me get out of the fight. Why? As if the enemy isn’t drawing his sword upon me as I speak. Why? As if knowing how twisted I am will free me from that part of me which picked up the sword, laced my shoes, and said, “let’s go. trust me. these are the thoughts you should chase.”

It’s these very thoughts which has split me into two people. One is methodical, content, uncomfortable, but fulfilled, known and trusted. Like the pistol whose grip is familiar. The barrel may be old and warn, but you know it. You trust it. The second sparkles. It’s insatiable and scattered, blindly leaping into life. It’s a shotgun in the hands of a child. It has no right to be there. The child has no hopes to control it. It is the introduction to danger and incites fear in those around it. It’s a scene people find entertaining on screen, horrific in reality.

The two people leave me with the perplexing choice: which will be suppressed and which will dominate? The second desires to seduce my attention, time and energy so the first has no place within me. It wants all of me.

It wanted me to write this. It’s not done and I fear it never will be.

May the first have strength.

-Equally Lost

Have you joined a battle you don’t belong in? Do tell.

______’s Day

______’s Day.

A sucky day for a lot of people. Including myself. No apologies for how much of a downer this post is about to be. I woke up this morning happy that I’d forgotten what day it was. But then, of course it hit like a truck.

This day leaves me confused and anxious for how I’m supposed to act. I’m torn between the scars I try to ignore inside myself and the expectations of the people around me. They say, “tell [my stepdad], happy ______’s day”. I say (to myself of course, because who wants to hear about my problems), “tell [my real dad] to go back in time and fix my scars.”

But he can’t do that. I don’t even think I want him to do it, either. My mom did a great job despite the state he left my family in.

And so we adapted.

Mom: “Time to get two more jobs and eventually go bankrupt. Thanks.”

My Adopted Brothers: “We will hold on to the memories you left us with, dad. The one’s where you hurt us; physically, mentally, spiritually. Thanks.”

Me: “I will cling to my mom and eventually have serious problems trusting all guys, especially my future step dad. Thanks.”

Thanks for leaving us all so confused and hurt that while all of us have rather fortunate lives now, we all have that space in our mind dedicated to only you. It’s dark. It’s cold and uncomfortable. If I stay too long, I can’t handle the emotions that sucker-punch my heart. It slips into other thought spaces and doesn’t let me shake it. It reminds me of my lack of spiritual maturity, because I should be able to shake it. I should be able to forgive you and be okay with the fact that this, you, changed my life. But it wasn’t really “change”. It was what was supposed to happen. Your decisions—your terrible decisions— turned to vivid memories for my family and emptiness for me. It’s a space best left untouched, but it loves to creep it’s way around in my head.

-Wedding day: Who’s going to walk me down the aisle? Will I even invite you? Is it wrong to invite you with everyone there knowing what you’ve done? Is it equally wrong to not invite you? I can’t walk with [my step dad], so maybe my brothers? My mom? Who will be hurt?

–Everyone will be hurt no matter what choice I make. But it’s me who’s hurt the most that I even have to think about you on a day that has nothing to do with you. Thanks.

What’s so horrible is that I’m not alone. That should comfort me, right? And it does sometimes, when I get the chance to commiserate with someone. But, my God! Why do so many people have to feel pain today? Why can’t we be happy for our friends posting on social media about their faithful, nice, encouraging dads? Why can’t we consider ourselves lucky for being away from the one so many gingerly call, “father”? Why do we wince at that word, today and everyday? Why does some guy’s decisions have to dictate my thoughts about life and my feelings towards other guys?

Happy ______’s Day

I can’t wait for the day I can say that to you (wince excluded), and mean it. I’m not there yet. Give me time.

-Equally Lost

A Lingering Goodbye

Again, it’s been a while. A little over a month actually.

I guess it takes me a month to feel something so deeply that writing about it to strangers on the internet seems the only way to properly release it.

I’m a big fan of giving you the context of myself as I write a post (I don’t edit my posts, because I think it’s much more revealing of my thoughts if I don’t give myself a chance to tailor my thoughts to how you want me to present myself…or at least how I think you expect me to be… but how about I get back to the sentence I cut off midway and hope you remember what I was even talking about because I don’t at this point), so here I am. I am at a local coffee shop, at 7:05pm, after a day of walking/checking in on dogs and hanging out with a friend as we visited teachers from our high school.

Allow me to interject, as it’s just crossed my mind that you don’t know that I’ve graduated from university since my last post!!! WOW. It is done. It is finally done. Feel free to congratulate me in the comment section so that I feel better about myself. Right. Back to my story/spilling of my inmost feelings that I share with literally no one else…

I came to this shop on my way to a dog walking appointment, because 1. I was about to fall asleep just driving over here, so coffee must precede leading dogs and 2. I wanted to start reading a new (to me) book. You guys remember that super mellow-dramatic post about being sorry (which you can find here)? I’m honestly so much more dramatic in writing that in real life, I promise. The feelings are real and I’ll always stand by my writing, even if I feel weird reading about that sinking feeling that isn’t entirely with me anymore, or any of those other emotions I express through words, etc.. It was there at that moment, so it was real. Tangent over. My apologies.

So that post is about a friend that has since returned to her hometown in another state, forever. Well, she might not be in that state forever, but her returning to mine is incredibly unlikely. She left after she graduated from my university, so it’s been nearly three weeks. Before she left, I had given her a book to read which she wasn’t able to read by the time she graduated, because, you know, she was trying to finish college…sooo I don’t blame her. She had a great idea that she would take the book with her and when she finished it, she would send it back with a book for me to read and a letter. Now it’s not like we decided to only speak through letters now–since there is technology and we still stay in contact that way–but I think it’s a great idea (obviously I like writing and letters are my favorite). Which brings me to this week, when I got her package in the mail. I don’t know if I can stress enough how much I love receiving mail. I would put my address up here for you all to send me stuff from your states and countries if it didn’t mean jeopardizing my safety. But I can trust you guys, right? I mean, you’re the type of person who’s willing to read this mess ^^ so you must be patient and that is a fine quality to have. Maybe another post… this feels like a weird form of clickbait…so you’ll just have to keep reading in case I break down and reveal my address…

Sitting in the coffee shop cracking open the book for the first time–eating it up–I realized something really special. She sent me the book because she loves it and wanted to share that with me, yeah? She has read every word I’m reading and soaked it in as I am. She has agonized over the conflict the protagonist faced and has experienced the joy of his happy moments as I do now. I know it’s cheesy, but I really enjoy seeing those times where I am connected to my friends. And to find it in such an unlikely place as the invisible space between our eyes, past and present, and the pages in front of me today is fascinating. I sat in the over-sized chair, my visor blocking out the other addicts, remembering what it was like to say goodbye to her (potentially) forever.

I had shared a post-graduation dinner with her and her friends/family (whom I’d never met before). As the meal was over, everyone was ready to say goodbye to her and I was trying not to cry for her sake, because I knew how hard the last week had been for her. After all, she was the one leaving all of us, and that killed her. I also wanted her to know how sad I was, because I know how blank my expressions can be and how stiff I am despite the range of emotions that fills my lungs with an unusual amount of stress-air and leaves my stomach empty with confusion on how to handle those kinds of situations. I didn’t want to be super cheesy/emotional in front of those strangers, but I didn’t want her to think that moment wasn’t important to me, either. I just prayed she could understand what I felt when I awkwardly stared at her, probably looking like a sad puppy, hoping she would not dismiss me in the shuffle of leaving the restaurant and the sorting out of other plans. She quickly hugged all of her friends and, me being me, I stood towards the outskirts of the group, waiting for her to say the more important goodbyes to those friends she had known well before I came into the picture; those friends she worked with daily and those she had classes and such with, whereas I only saw her every couple of weeks. I figured if she ran out of time in the bustle of it all, she wouldn’t mind waving me off with a quick goodbye. I figured her other friends were far more important to her and so it wouldn’t be too difficult for her to forget I had even shown up and thus, I would be left to wave goodbye as I walked alone to my car. Instead, she cut through the crowd of people she had finished giving short hugs and light goodbyes to, went up to me like a sad puppy, looking at me with those deep blue eyes that said, I don’t know how to handle this situation either, and with no words she grabbed me and hugged me. After a normal amount of time for a hug, I began to pull away slightly with an *trying not to be awkward* alright (because I always try to respect peoples’ space, even though I would have never let go of her if I didn’t). And what made my heart pound as I nearly sobbed, reading a book in this coffee shop, is how she said, no, and pulled me into her tighter.

I don’t know how long we were there like that, surrounded by everyone who I thought she valued much more (I mean, they saw her everyday so that far outmatched our friendship, right?). But it was long enough for me to wish it would never end, to wish I could go back to that parking garage for just one more minute. Can I say this without sounding selfish or proud?…it made me feel like those other people weren’t there for her the way I was these last few years. Like they didn’t ask her about her complicated feelings or her family. Like they didn’t ask her questions and listen. Like they didn’t call her because they just wanted to hear her voice after being apart, even though it made her feel awkward, but also special and remembered. Like they didn’t value her the way I always did, but never thought I adequately communicated to her.

She isn’t one to talk about the way she feels about you, so I never really knew where I stood. I just knew that she kept talking to me and being there for me and that was enough to keep me pursuing her friendship. But on that last night with her, I finally knew where I stood. I stood right next to her. I felt like I finally understood how much she valued our long talks over coffee (in this very shop, in fact) where I didn’t have the answers, but I had her and she had me. That moment will probably haunt me, because a moment so pure and unanticipated and honest is indescribably beautiful. Not even the last 1485 words can describe it. With her words, accompanied by those deep blue eyes that locked onto mine after she let me go, I will end this post…because I don’t know how else to leave you tonight at 8:22pm…

Her: I can’t believe this.

Me: What?

Her: I can’t believe this is happening. *motioning towards me and the surroundings* This moment. 

-Equally Lost