40 days of meaning

Happy Lent!!
….well not really but ya’ feel me.
Every year deciding what to give up and what I will do further my relationship with Christ is a serious struggle. I always end up giving something superficial up and calling it good, but this year I’m trying something new. Now I am still giving up something, bye bye bread for the next 40 (+4) days, but I am also doing what I call 40 days of meaning. For the next 40 days I will take a picture of something I deem meaningful. It could be a bible verse or a cup of coffee, anything that made me smile or thankful. My extra challenge with this little photo hunt I’m on is to make sure not everything is fun and happy because often the things that make the most meaningful impacts are negative. Bummer right? But for every negative yet meaningful moment there is a positive impact. And Lent is a perfect example of this. What happened to our man Jesus was a little (ok a whole lot) more than just a bummer, yet see the positive impact? Besides the pastel colors and Easter eggs, even besides the Resurrection (I am NOT down playing the Resurrection, the man rose for the dead——how on earth do you downplay that???), the impact Jesus’ suffering and passion made on humanity for the rest of eternity is pretty dang fabulous. I mean a perfect man saw His life inferior to ours, and because of this His life will forever be superior. So this year I will unite my suffering with Christ and put meaning behind my lack of bread and many photographs. This lent I search for meaning in Christ and meaning in the little things in life.
Sending you Love and Hugs
Molly

ps:: check our Instagram for some of my meaningful moments!

Period 2

It’s a freezing cold Monday and though I am trying to break myself of an extreme coffee addiction I pour a cup and grab a breakfast bar and jump in the car REALLY wishing it was a snow day. Across campus I trudge reminding myself how fortunate I am and to count my blessing, not disregard them as punishments.
Good Morning Ms. Lopez!
I say as I drop my dance bag off knowing I won’t see my house until at least 7:30 that night. Up 2 more flights of stairs to Adv world lit where I sit torn between modernism and post modernism. The man who teaches the class has a DR in law and in education, so he argues the points back and forth with himself opening it up to the peanut gallery with 15 minuets left. There are a whole lot of questions and very few answers.
BEEP
On to Period 2 back down those flights of steps and to Spanish. From the moment I walk in that door until the moment I walk out no English will be spoken. Oedipus Rex is left at the door right next to a pile of “OMG!s” and “did you see her tweet?! I mean my gosh!”. Silence besides our little esponal teacher explaining and unknown concept in another language. And that is when the knot comes. The one that pulls tights against my chest and overcomes my whole body. I tense up and start scribble lists down.
The list grows and grows and all that happens is I get more and more overwhelmed and all I can think about is that bag packed in the corner. The one that is keeping me away from home but yet brings me so much relaxation. All day I struggle to go and teach dance or go home and study and do homework. Finally when my list has exceeded the length of my paper I text my mom having her make the decision for me. Honestly what would I do without her? I knew what her answer would be, I knew what I should do but I just couldn’t make the call myself. So home at 5:30 and doing homework until 11. And in 6.5 hours I’m waking up to do it again.
But tomorrow I plan to leave the trudging at home. I will leave the idea of doubt in bed. The knot that consumes me on the daily will be tied in a bow and left in place of my uniform. Tomorrow I will ace the morality test. I will understand the subjunctive. Geometry will not pull my hair out. Tomorrow I will find the good in my education and be proud of the stress. I will acknowledged the grounds I am receiving the gift of schooling on and I will pray for women around that world that someday they may trudge and doubt and sit at a desk doing hours of work on top of the hours of school. Because I am fortunate to experience it now I pray they will complain one day too.

I should be studying…or doing proofs…or finalizing that design…

Type eeeeerrrrrrraaaaaassssssseeeeee, type, back it up, type, redo.
It’s never quite right. My words feel scattered and unorganized, my mind flipping back to that test I thought I was ready for but am now feeling the pressing need to cram. The quiz I have practiced for yet am scared to walk into the classroom for. The idea and concept that each day I go from information pod to information pod leaving with a tad but more knowledge just to be smothered by the completely unrelated topic I am learning about in the next room. I get homework that reminds me of the idea or scares me of the thought that I may have just learned nothing and/or it was just squish squashed by the thoughts and concepts put in my head by the next teacher. Reminders such as breath make the weight of the idea that I am behind or wasting some teachers (and mine for that matter) time a little lighter. I just get his over whelming feeling that from each classroom i leave ideas incomplete, questions unanswered, and concepts to be forgotten so that I may try and push 40 minuets of information into my brain over and over again. Is there any possible way I am actually making progress or am I just fooling myself here. Is it normal I don’t remember if I took notes in Adv World Lit or had another debate…now what did we debate about…did I forget to take notes on something…is that post it for this class or that one…..

Pour the coffee sista

Sometimes I drop off the face of the earth…sorry ‘bout that. But this time I didn’t, I had to make a list about my to do list. You know the final draft of the to do list, the one thats put in order of priorities and sometimes even categorized to the different sections of my life? Ya, that to do list. Unfortunately that to do list even looks messy. It starts off all in a line, in order, but as I go I remember things I have to do and just throw them down, then the crossing off comes in and there are lines everywhere notes on what still needs to be done and why. The point of me telling you this is that I’m not meaning to leave you high and dry but this falls between make tomorrow’s lunch and pinterest. For real though I wish I had more time for you.

There really aren’t enough hours in a day. Yesterday for example. 6 am my alarm screams pulling me from that fabulous thing called sleep. The there’s that whole school thing–7 hrs later I sit on the side of a road cheering on our Cross Country team. From there to dance (I’m tellin’ you all there is no better feeling than when a kid you teach catches on to a movement/ dance and gets excited about it with you. Ahg I could do that all night!) And all too soon, it’s over. I get home for the first time in 13 hours around 7:30 eat dinner and disappear to do homework, look up and to see that PM is now AM, I cut my losses and get some sleep. 5:30—time to do it again! Pour the tea or coffee or honestly any caffeinated beverage and let’s do this thang.

No, I don’t have much downtime but I appreciate that sweet time when I’ve got it! I have learned to appreciate caffeine in its truest form–black coffee, and messy buns are simply protocol. Lists are a necessity otherwise something will be left out. Even with them not everything gets done. I’ve learned how to say no to extra jobs (I mean kinda…) and pencils are great for erasing. Somedays I most definitely feel like play doh being pulled and stretched and rolled so thin that I get that hole smack dab in the middle but I roll back up and come out whole.

My mom’s friend told me to “Seek to be whole, not perfect.”. Well, I’m a whole lot of a little bit of everything, perfect not being one of them but it’s all a learning experience. No one can learn how to live my days for me, no one can say how I learn best but me. So I will learn to live my days using all but 6 hours for sleep (that’s my goal somedays it more or less but sleep rolls over doesn’t it? Oh it doesn’t? Opps..). They say it takes 20 days to create a habit, but life isn’t a habit– no 2 days are alike. So we adjust and deal.

Just remember– you’re too legit to quit.

Love, hugs, and many cups of coffee
Molly

Your constant.

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3 things make me think. Hannah Brencher’s words, long showers, and late nights. Combine those 3 and a some Broadway show tunes you get a whole lot of words. Words are my sweet spot. I may not be the most athletic. I may not be able to achieve a 4.0 or go for a long run but I can write. So on nights like tonight where I am thinking things unfit for a 15 year old. When I am talking to myself about what defines me. I write. That is a part of me that wasn’t a part of me until a few months ago. A lot has happened to me in the last few months. I went from being the girl people guessed as younger than she is to older. I went from being the girl who thought for sure she had found her corner of the world to the girl who has no clue. 9 months ago I thought I had it figured out. I thought I would tackle high school without a hitch. I thought I was stronger than I truly was. But now I sit here and write realizing that all of this is wrong. Maybe I have digressed but really I think I have just matured. I think I have realized that getting through something without a hitch doesn’t happen. I see that I have no clue what I want to do with my life and I don’t need to. I see that the world is my canvas. I see that I need to starting creating a piece of art that we all create. A life. Our lives. We all paint this picture of ourselves through out our lives and don’t even realize we are doing it. Everyday when we get out of bed we have the potential to make that day something. To make that day pink in a world of grey, screw black and white– nobody has time for that. When we are gone do we want people to day “So and so was a good person, they will be truly missed,” or do we want them to say “The world just got darker because they aren’t here. The world lost a little bit of color, a bit of spunk in a dull day.” We want people to see something else in us. Hannah’s words today were “I live in the space of the world that makes me crave the “girl on fire” moments.”  We look for the moments where we can dump a whole bucket of glitter down in one place instead of leaving a little trail of it wherever we go. Sure dumping it all will give us temporary recognition for our deed, but leaving a trail will give us long lasting recognition. It is the kind of thing people notice only after you have come and gone from that moment. It sticks with them a little longer. I want to stick around a little longer. So once again a Hannah B reference– I am to be your no frills girl. Not saying I don’t want to enjoy pretty things but I want to be the girl that just shows up. I don’t appear with a big flashing sign that says “Hey you! Over here! I want to make a difference in your day!” I want to just show up. Be there. So that someday you may look back on that moment and think not about how grand it was but about how small it was. How raw it was. How it was (now a John Green reference) a small infinity. It was a moment that will live on forever– not because it had a major lead up but because it just happened. Like that local coffee shop you had no plans to stop in but then you did. And you went back everyday that week, but when you stopped going you didn’t forget about it because it was quaint and cute and small and something fun and different. It was’t a big chain with fancy cups; it was small with cardboard cups and one man behind the counter. I won’t remember the Starbucks down the street but I will remember that little place walking distance from where we stayed in Colorado. So let’s be that place. The place that is there and will always be there but doesn’t need a flashing sign to show people it is there. It just stays constant. Let’s be a constant in a world that changes faster than we can adapt. 

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

I just keep hitting that button. That curved arrow. Again and again. The same song playing, running through my earphones, charging into my brain. It’s not even a fun, up beat, cheerful song. It’s slow. It tells a story I have never experienced. Yet this song speaks to me, I could listen all day. “Spinning you ’round and ’round in circles” . I don’t listen to country on my free time. But here I am. Right now even, I’m listening. And why? Why can’t I get enough of this song? This song that has nothing pertaining to my life right now? Why must I just lay here and listen? Normally I could think for awhile and come up with some answer that a normal 15 year old wouldn’t. But I don’t want to. I don’t want to tear apart a song and decipher why I like it so much. I do that all too often. I think too much. I speak too much. I need to just listen, sit back and listen. Watch for a little while. Hold all judgments back, keep opinions to myself. Just let life be life. Let myself be a teenage girl who doesn’t know all the answers, because even though that scares the hibbie-gebies out of me, I can’t expect myself to always know why. To always know what to say. I can only expect myself to accept myself. But that can be just as hard as knowing all the answers.

I could sit here and try to explain that last sentence, tell you that for me the path to accepting is knowing the answers. Tell you that for me to accept myself I need to reach this impossible standard of perfection. But that’s not entirely true. Sure knowing the answers and the facts help but I am still sometimes going to be oblivious to the world around me. Acceptance of anything happens one step at a time, not all at once. So this is especially tricky when it comes to ourselves, because we change in a daily basis. Sometimes it feels  we take 2 steps forward 3 steps back. Again and again. So what. So what we aren’t perfect. So what we can’t master the strange and difficult task of acceptance. We are trying, people get places by trying. So, we’re gettin’ places. I don’t know where, or when but we are gettin’ there, and once we are there a new task will meet us at the door. Flying 90 m/h straight in the gut. And you know what? We will keep going. Why? We are just like this song. We:

Repeat

Repeat

Repeat.

Almost there.

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You know it’s bad when Summer by Calvin Harris comes on and tears well up in your eyes and all you can think about is that warm sunshine on your face in the middle of July with a sweet tea in hand , getting to go out and conquer your day the way you decide. Tears, real tears roll down my checks all for what? A few tests? Literally 7 hours. I am crying over 7 more hours, and yet they kept coming. 1,2,3, “Stand up and walk away, at this point that is all you can do” I whispered to myself. I needed a serious pep talk. I needed someone to look me in the eyes and say “Hey girly, you are worth more than those numbers on the top of your paper. Your life is more than that. There is more to you than memorizing a few thousand fill in the blanks and vocab words. There is something else behind that brain of yours. Sometimes you just have to work with what ya got, and let me tell you, you have a lot. You have a soul and a heart. You have a personality. You are no robot. No one can expect to just feed you facts and hear them come out perfectly. Why? Because you are no machine. You can’t expect that out of yourself. Be super proud of yourself because you are something better than a non-stop machine. You are a non-stop living, breathing human. A human who has thoughts outside of Interrogated Concepts of Science. A human who laughs more than she studies. A human who loves more than hates. But sweetheart, you are human. You can’t expect perfection out of yourself. Allow a little room for error. Don’t expect yourself to win every time, to get an A+ every time, to love as though that persona has never hurt you. Doing that will only disappoint yourself and the most important thing right now is to be proud of yourself. To walk into that school tomorrow like you have this in the bag. Believe in yourself because never has anyone walked into a test saying ‘I’m gonna fail this thing’ and come out with an A.  You made it through freshman year. Props to you hot stuff. Now there is only 7 hours. That’s all. You’ve been in a car longer than that. Soon that sunshine will be here. Soon you will be wearing over-sized sunglasses, sundresses, and sipping on sweet tea. Soon you will be pool side,  smiling as you feel that sunburn settling in thinking ‘This won’t hurt as bad as that Spanish final, plus this has a positive outcome– a TAN’. Soon my dear. It is all in arms length. You are in the final stretch, 9th inning, 90th minute. That finish line is just 7 paces away. ”

So this one is to all of you crying at the thought of summer. This is your pep talk. Pass it on. Pep talk your bestie into finishing this one out strong.

Hugs, love, and much much support- Molly

Just a few words.

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Homework strewn about, laptop screaming some overly cheesy love songs, and my heart full of motivation. I sit at my desk, comfortable in the chaos. Feeling like a magician with all the tricks I had up my sleeve. Fun stationery and sharpies. Words and secrets. I was ignoring my world in hopes of making someone else’s a little better, a little sweeter.

My black sharpie hit the paper and motivation poured out as water pours out of Niagara falls. Fast and hard, almost too much to take. The words fit together, held hands, weird and awkward, yet perfect and inspirational. They fit. The words I needed someone to tell me were staring me in the face. They said ” You don’t need someone to tell you these, you need to tell them to others. Don’t let other people dictate your life. Don’t need their approval. Approve for others. Help others. Your call is for others.” These words were raw. They were bare. My heart sat on the cardstalk in front of me, and there was no going back. I decorated the envelope and dropped the letter in my purse. Those words were sent on mission impossible. They were on their way to change the world of teenage girls and for the better. To make them think more of themselves because they are worth it. They are so worth it.

Desensing down the steps the next morning I had my heart hitting my side. Bump, bump bump. The words someone would read today no one had ever heard from me before. It felt as though a ticking time bomb was sitting an waiting to go KABOOM and tell the world how I really felt. Soon I could make someone’s day, or crush my little spirit. Since when did innocent feelings feel like poison?

All day I looked for the perfect opportunity to drop my bomb. Tick, Tick, Tick. Is there ever a right time to just let a little piece of you go? Just set it down and walk away? Probably never see it again? No, not really. But the moment I came to terms with the fact I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Other girls had to sympathize with me. In all reality all it is just words. Just 26 letters combined to mean something to me. They may mean nothing to anyone else. I think that is what was so scary. I was worried my feelings weren’t valid. I was the only one. Little did I know that in a world of 7 billion people that is quite impossible. So I dropped it off. In that big stall. On the toilet paper dispenser. Then I walked out as nothing had just happened.

Two hours later, sitting in the car, twitter open. I see my words. There they are. They found their way back to me. A tweet consisted of an exact sentence from my letter. Someone agreed with me. I made a difference. The emojis by that sentence resembled two hands facing out agreeing with whatever I had said. Me saying my feelings were valid, they validated someone else’s. My words. My thoughts. My heart. My difference. Scrolling down further I find a picture of my note. 9 favorites. 4 retweets. A couple replies. This worked. Somehow I made someone feel as though they were worth it. I gave someone the courage to say “Hey. I am more than the rumors. I am more than society’s image of me. I am a work of art, a piece being enhanced everyday. An unfinished product. I am loved by someone who doesn’t even know me just because I am me.” The feeling I had was like no other. I made a difference. Do you know what that feels like?

 

To see girls except the words of a stranger was great. They have no idea it was me. It could have been the “weird” girl sitting in the corner etching some pretty amazing sketches in the corner of her paper. It could have been little Miss popular with the perfect hair and dainty hand writing. Or it could have been that girl everyone passes in the hallway. Letting her mind her own business lost in a million thoughts. I bonded with strangers. Now I look around and act as though every girl has read one of my letters. Agreed with it. Kept it. Shared it. I have a secret little bond with people now. One they don’t even know about. All thanks to that little piece of cardstalk covered in words.

 

HOW.

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How??

This is a question we ask ourselves on a regular basis. How do I make that work into my schedule? How do I answer that? How do I live my life in the eyes of others?

OK so that last one may not pop in your head all the time but shouldn’t it? Or maybe not? I am always torn between not caring what others think of me and yet caring a little too much. I see the faults in both of these. Not caring about what others think could lead to me being rude and becoming self centered but yet caring too much could leave me relying on other people’s approval. I don’t need other’s approval on how I live my life but I still need these people to keep me grounded. How on earth do I keep it all balanced? And how do I balance out what everyone around me is saying? How do I stay meek but not become a wall flower?

This question has sat on my mind for a good week. It has left an imprint in my mind. There is an indention from this question. How do I be meek but stay strong in all I believe in? Meekness has such a negative connotation and why? I have no clue. It is something we all should strive to be, I mean right? But what comes to my mind when someone is called meek is that they are walked all over and don’t take a stand for anything they believe in. They stand on the outside. But soon I came to the realization that being meek is none of these things, actually it is quite the opposite. Being meek is standing for what you believe in the LITTLE ways. That is where the little comes in. It comes by actions, not personality. Meekness is not physically or mentally being small, but it is living and bring joy to people’s everyday life in the small ways, the ways no one notices. That is why the Bible tells us to be meek. Not to be walked over, not to be told what to do. But to live in a way that our actions may not be huge but where they make a difference. A way where are actions are not seen by those around us, they are almost invisible. One of my all time favorite quotes is by Mother Theresa ” We can do no great things, only small things in great love.”

Can I just leave it at that?

Love, hugs, and many smiles- Molly.

Out Loud

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I talk to myself. When I am alone and the house is quite I do it loudly. I talk with an extreme confidence, I don’t hold back any of my crazy and/or wild thoughts. I just let them go from my busy brain to my non stop mouth filling the empty silence. I speak with a confidence I only have when no one is listening. When no one is judging. When there are others around and the house isn’t so silent, I mouth these words. I don’t stop them because, why would I? Once they are out out in the open ( even if it is only my open, in my little world) , there is no taking them back. Saying it makes it so much more real. Almost tangible. I feel like I could reach out and grab those words. Hold them. Cradle them by my chest and care for them as if they were my child. Sometimes we think so profound things but yet never share them with the world because we never get the courage to actually say them. We worry about being judged. Being told whatever thought we just had was already thought by someone greater than us, more important. That we aren’t as original as we may want to be. But here’s the thing. You thought that thought. No one put it in your head. You did. Props to you my dear. So say it. Say it to yourself. Feel those words pour out of your mouth just like water pours out of a waterfall. Feel those beautiful words free themselves from the jail cells inside your brain. Let them go. Let that combination of 26 letters come from your mouth. Look yourself right in the mirror and say it. Because you will feel good. Confident. You will feel as though you rule the world. 

Saying it out loud makes it so real. Once you say it it has been said. You used the oxygen that the trees so graciously made you to say whatever it was. It makes you stick to it. It makes you believe it a little bit more. Say it out loud and it becomes more than just a thought. We all think. We think all the time. We think some pretty amazing things. Why not say them? Maybe once you say them to yourself you could gather the courage to say it out loud to someone else. What if that thought really is perfectly original? What if your below the surface thinking triggers someone else to think a little harder, a little deeper? You could start a beautiful chain reaction. Let’s do it. 

Love and hugs- Molly