Tuesday, December 10, 2013

the one where I become the world's youngest feminist.

Before we moved to the house where my parents currently lived, I lived on a street off of Turner, full of kids who were my age range. We'd go back and forth to each other's houses, riding bikes and making generally poor choices. One of my favorite friends was a boy my age named Johnny.

Johnny and I got along great. We had a lot in common, and they always had good snacks at his house. One of our favorite pastimes was playing with his extensive collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures. I was always really fascinated because I didn't own any, but loved them dearly. 

One afternoon we sat in his room playing, and there was the discussion of "who" we'd be. I was really gunning for Donatello, my secret turtle crush (hey, I like smart guys, what can I say?). Moments after picking up Donatello, Johnny took him from my hands and shoved April, clad in her tight yellow jumpsuit, in them instead.

"Wendy, you have to play only girls. You have to be April and I'll be everyone else."

Feeling the injustice of the man bringing me down, I did what any other woman would do. I told him I heard his Mom calling for him, snapped April's legs off, and hid her body.

When Johnny came back and saw me playing with Donatello, with no April in sight, he was confused. And after he discovered her multilated body under a pile of Hot Wheels, he was none the wiser, believing my story of some freak accident. 

I am woman. Hear me roar.

Monday, December 9, 2013

the one where i compete in the x games.

Like every other church, one of the more looked to events is the annual Spring Break ski trip. After weeks of fundraisers, we finally boarded the buses and vans (no blanket sharing and any co-ed seat partners securely in the front three rows) to drive for the hours it takes to get from Arkansas to the Land of Snow. Or anywhere interesting, really.

Because I had never been skiing I joined the other newbies in a half-day ski school where we learned to not completely kill ourselves. After a few short hours, we were left to our own devices. I stuck to the green runs, wedging, leaning, and turning just like I had been taught. After a successful first day, I felt fairly confident to take it up a notch the next morning.

A blue run.

We loaded up on the lifts, and once we reached the top of the mountain, we were off! 

And man, I was getting braver and faster. And faster. After wedging until my legs were almost crossed, I realized that this wasn't going to end well. 

WHERE DID ALL OF THESE PEOPLE COME FROM? The mountain had been empty the day before, and now here I was, doing my best Picabo Street impression at an alarming rate. I was going so fast I was too afraid to fall down as visions of compound fractures and multiple limb amputations raced through my mind. I had no choice but to ride this mother out.

After seeing the lifts on the horizon, I knew that the steepness of the mountain was going to level out, slowing down my momentum. Except that while the steepness declined, my speed stayed steady. Instead of little jumps and other skiers on the slopes, I was now rapidly entering a field of people, totally unaware of the terror that was approaching them.

And then I saw it. Scooter's Ski Shack. Bright green and lined with skis and poles. I couldn't avoid it, and closed my eyes because this wasn't going to end well.

After some kind strangers, eyes filled with tears from laughing so hard, uncovered me from the pile of skis buried me, I limped off like it AIN'T NO THANG.

And promptly spent the majority of the week playing cards in the cabin.

Monday, December 2, 2013

the one where I play Beyoncé loudly in the background.

My pilot light went out on Sunday. And after several failed attempts to relight it, I started to get upset. Actually, I started to get really upset because I knew I'd probably have to call someone, who probably would be male, to come save the day. Yet again.

And that's just the most defeating thing ever. That although I tried my hardest, I still failed. And because I failed, I now had to wait until some MAN could fix it for me. The more I thought about it, the more frustrated I got. Actually, I got so frustrated that I tried it again tonight.


When that little flame lit up, it was as if years of repression of the female race flooded through me. I was this close to tossing my bra into it when I realized that while I may want a man, I for sure as hell don't need one. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some celebrating to do.

the one where I lay out my new theme

Last January I felt this urging to have a New Years resolution. I've never done them in the past, but I had this overwhelming need to declare 2013 the year I was going to be kind.

I never really thought myself as unkind to begin with, but for 2013, my goal was to be kinder than I had ever been before. To be kind when it was hard. To be kind when I didn't want to. To be kind to myself. I had no idea that 2013 was going to be the year our lives got turned upside down. But I believe in God's providence.

He knew what He was doing.

So I've been praying for the past month or so for God to lay out what He wanted for me. And last week it hit me.

For 2014, my goal is to be always blooming. To take whatever is handed to me, and bloom. Flourish. Take what is less than desirable and help it grow into something beautiful. To help myself get rooted, and allow myself to transform. 

It means to embrace the life that I have and the people who fill it. To remain kind, yes, but to now also to become strong. 

2014 is another year of firsts for me, and while I'm nervous about what is ahead, I'm ready to bloom.