SPOILER-ALERT: While I do not intend on discussing specifics about The Dark Knight, please be aware that this post is in direct reference to the movie.
My husband loves super heroes. He appreciates the genre, and our movie collection and book shelves reflect that. His favorite character is Superman, and he likes to wear Superman T-shirts to prove it. It was my opinion that Superman was, in fact, the best of the super heroes. He has so many cool super-powers! To me, the more cool super-powers, the more of a super hero.
But now I take it all back. Because now, I see that the opposite is true. Spiderman, Superman, The Hulk, X-Men, etc all received their power from something external like an insect bite, or being an alien. They don't choose to have their power. Yes, they have to choose to use it wisely, and that's what differentiates them from the bad guys in their stories.
Batman is altogether different. He doesn't have any super-powers at all. He wasn't born with a supernatural gift, and it wasn't instilled on him through some fluke of nature. He went out and made himself a hero. He believed in this thing called "greater good" and this is his power. I used to think of him as somebody who is merely avenging his parent's death by running around with fancy technology. What a joke, I'd say.
He is clearly something more. He is a true hero. Because I was not on a strange planet, nor was I born with a mutant gene. I am just an average person who also believes in good. And according to Batman's story, that's all it takes to rid this world of evil (and a little martial arts training and expensive gadgets), and that's something I can root for.
I still like Superman, et al, but they are mere comics to me. Batman is somebody I can believe in, because Batman is somebody I can be. No I don't mean I'm going to run around Gotham City with a cape (we see how well that works out for those who tried in the opening scene). I mean, I am going to choose to live with compassion and integrity. I am not going to let what I'm born with or not born with stop me from being great. I am going to sacrifice what people think of me for the sake of helping others. I am going to believe in something greater than myself. I am not going to let evil reign in this world.
I don't mean to continue on about Andrew being gone, because that would make me sound a bit more pathetic than I am... but I'd like to explore a thought I had at work today.
I had mentioned to a coworker something about missing Andrew and how I really wanted to hear from him. My coworker seemed to be in a man-mood (fix the problem without realizing I just wanted a conversation)... so she offered a slew of suggestions and solutions.
She said I needed to learn how to be by myself and enjoy ME time. She said I should not worry about him. She said I need to keep busy and find stuff to do. And she totally missed the point (also kind of a man thing, no offense).
I can be by myself, just fine, actually. I do it all the time... and by choice too. Which is exactly the point. I don't want my ME time dictacted to me. Then it's not ME time, it's "oh you have nothing better to do so distract yourself with a bubble bath." NOT the same thing as purposefully saying "I am going to set aside time today/this week to just be by myself and do things I enjoy."
I understand using time wisely. I used to always get Saturday mornings to myself - no choice in the matter. And I would use those to the fullest extent in terms of things I enjoy - slept in, watched Sat morning Disney shows that Andrew would cringe at, then would catch up on soapy TV online that, again, Andrew wouldnt dare dream of watching. And it was nice enough. But it's not the same as choosing to have that time. Those days I choose to be alone are more meaningful to me than any Saturday I got to myself.
So it's not that I need to be around people - it's that I don't like being forced to be alone. And it's not that I'm worried about Andrew - I have full trust and faith in God, him and the leader of the trip. I just like being able to hear from him.
And trust me, I've kept busy. I still went to work. I had my night classes with extensive homework. I had a sleepover with some girls. I still went to church. I went to see Batman at midnight. I basically did all the things I would do anyway. I certainly don't need to use Andrew going to Thailand as an excuse to be busy. But busy doesn't mean I don't want to hear from my husband. Busy doesn't mean I'm necessarily distracted.
It's actually the opposite when I'm busy. Because I live a busy life normally, and I normally live my busy life with Andrew, we are in an established routine that keeps everything going. So when the busy continues without half of my family to fill in the gap, my routine gets altered. It upsets the natural order.
So I don't need to appreciate ME time. I don't need to stop worrying. I don't need to find meaningful things to do. I just want my routine back. I just want a little communication. And really, I just want understanding. Is that really too much to ask?
I want to be honest and vulnerable... and in order to do I must decide, however harshly, that I cannot care how people react. I cannot stop to ponder what people might think of me or any judgments thereof. Because I'm about to admit that I am weak and that is hard - really hard - for me to do.
I miss Andrew. tons. He's only been gone... about 15 hours... and 15 hours is certainly not long. Not even close to the longest we've ever been apart... the record is about 100 hours greater than that. But, this time will definitely break the record - and then some. All in all, between when I left Andrew at the airport this morning and when I see him at the airport again, it will be over 250 hours. When you say it in hours, it really doesn't seem like that much. But basically it's close to 2 weeks.
and I never wanted to be the wife that needed her husband. I was born independent, and prided myself on that all my life. I always said I didn't need anybody to take care of me; I am perfectly able to take care of myself. And while that last statement very well may be true - I definitely need people, specifically Andrew.
When you live your daily life in a routine with another person for over 3 years, it's really hard to carry out that routine on your own. Yes, I can put transmission fluid in my car, and clean out the litter box. I can balance a check book and wake myself up in the morning. But the thing is - those are Andrew's jobs and I am used to him doing them.
Not to mention the daily communication that goes on. We communicate so frequently with each other that it is not uncommon for us to text or facebook chat with each other several times a day when we're apart. We send each other emails and call each other when we have questions or reminders. We try to spend lunch and dinner together most days, if possible and usually spend our evenings together. I can tell you with confidence that I don't "need" this communication; I've certainly gotten along fine without it during the school year. But knowing that I won't have any of it for the next 10 days... yeah that's hard to handle.
And I have this notion that it is not okay to admit that. That I shouldn't miss him or need him so much. And that it is unnatural for us to communicate that much, or spend that much time together. We certainly have lots of friends and we have lives that don't really revolve around each other. As a matter of fact, I am incredibly busy the next two weeks with work, school, social engagements, etc. My schedule is not changing because Andrew is gone. But, he's usually with me for some of it. Or I can at least text him during something to say hello. And most importantly, at the end of busy crazy days where we don't see or talk to each other, we at least get to sleep in the same bed and know that the other one is safe.
So here I am, admitting my weakness. I need Andrew. I don't just need the ring on my finger or the framed marriage contract. I don't need the tons of pictures I've taken or the gifts he's gotten me. I need him here - right here next to me. or even in the next room, or at the store picking something up. I just need to know he's around and he's safe and I'm safe and taken care of. And most importantly, I need him to come home.
My last update, while perhaps necessary, was a bit mundane. Just a typical update. And my readers deserve better than that. Moreover, my new kitty deserves more blog time than a small paragraph. So now, in list fashion (the best there is), here are lessons I have learned from my kitty:
1. Be flexible. We wanted a dog. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted a dog. That's all I talked about all my life. Everybody knew that about me. I poured my heart into every dog I came across and got excited when I saw pups on TV commercials. I even read several dog books to prepare for the day I would FINALLY get my dog. So when we did finally move into an apartment that allows pets, imagine my surprise when the pet we take home is a kitty. You'll see it's a great decision.
2. Relax. I have had four days off work (including weekends) with the kitty and those have been lessons in cat life. I remember learning that lions sleep 20 hours a day, and now I see how kittens and lions are related. My kitty will wake up only to reposition herself and fall back asleep. How inspiring. Hours and hours go by, and she is still napping. I am going to try that on my next day off.
3. Explore. She is, without a doubt, a curious kitten. She will explore every corner of this place, including inside every closet, box and bag we have. Which is quite a lot, considering there are still several boxes throughout the apartment. She is not satisfied with all that she has found; she must find out more. She must keep exploring, keep searching, keep trying to figure things out around here.
4. We need each other. They say cats are lone creatures; they don't need humans. I beg to differ. The first thing my kitty does when we get home and let her out is run to our feet and "meow" until we pick her up and give her a kiss. If we ever stay out too long, when we return, she cuddles with us for hours. She will follow us around wherever we go. And I can't say just how much I need her. She lights up my life.
5. Be Creative. My kitty can find a toy out of anything. She can also find a bed out of anything. She doesn't care what something's original purpose is - she will create a new purpose. I insist on not spending money on fancy toys and beds when she's perfectly willing to make a piece of paper a toy and a plastic bag a bed.
6. Play Hard. I mention that she loves to sleep and cuddle, but she also loves to play. a lot. even when we don't. But that's ok with her, because she can play by herself. She will run and jump and chase and scratch and pounce all to her heart's content. We don't have to worry about overfeeding her because she burns off hundreds of calories every day, even with all that sleeping.
7. Use your strengths. Our kitten can be sooo dumb. She runs into herself in the mirror and chases her own tail. She likes to run so fast in front of your feet you can't help but step on her. She gets herself in between the couch and the couch cover constantly. But, she can also devise a way to climb up cabinets to get to the kitchen counter by doing it at the corner. She can navigate through the obstacle course of our moving boxes in a nanosecond. She can jump up and down from most places in our house. She's found her intelligence and uses it.
8. Be cute. Let's face it - she gets away with a lot more than she should. But we can't help but love her because she is absolutely adorable. She has the most beautiful combination of black and white, with subtle stripes that make me think she's part-tiger. She has gorgeous white whiskers and the cutest boot paws. And her eyes are engaging. Even when she does something silly, she's hilariously lovable.
9. Be responsible. I really thought a kitten would be much less work than a puppy, and in many ways that's very much true. However, they still are a considerable amount of work and require responsibility that I'm quickly learning. I can no longer leave my dishes out when I'm done eating, or leave things laying around the house. I need to check on her food, water, litter box, etc. I need to check her physically for mites, sores, signs of trouble, etc.
10. Love food. She loves food - all food. She doesn't care if it's mine and not hers. She doesn't care if it's good for her or not. She doesn't even care that she's full on cat food. She will try every attempt to eat whatever food is available to her. I can't say that I blame her.
I can't really say I was hiding, because I really wasn't. But I didn't think I was ready to be in the public.
I started this particular blog as a way to get myself writing knowing that nobody was reading. It is completely opposite of what I really wanted - which is exactly why I wanted it. It's good for me to not get what I want... which is to have an audience who affirms me. Because I need to realize that there should only really be an audience of one. Or I suppose two.
But now I've been found. And I can't feel violated, because I wasn't hiding. I just didn't tell anybody.
It's actually good that I've been found, because in my writing this "secret" blog, I have discovered that it became a place I would run and hide. I could be vulnerable here. I could say things and not worry about being grammatically correct or politically correct. And in being that place, I came to depend on it.
I know I've really only posted a few on this new post, but the idea of it was like a security blanket. We shouldn't need security blankets.
So damned if I do, damned if I don't... welcome to my blog. I really can't thank you enough for reading :)
So I have now had 2 weeks of summer, and it's been quite a whirlwind so far. First, my last week of school was crazy hectic, with field trips every morning, classes in the afternoon, conferences after school and classes at night - all while Andrew was gone at beach camp without me. I literally could make a whole blog about my experiences of that week good and bad (good: field trips, succeeding on my own. bad: crazy stressful, students knowing they should be out, not being at camp)... but I will move on...
The weekend after school got out, we got to hang out with our friend Jacob, whom I love. Then, he left and I went to a "School's Out" party at a coworkers house and came home with the cutest kitten ever. It has been awesome getting to know her, and I have taken 100 pictures of her already.
But we didn't get to spend too much time with her, because we spent 6 days in St. Louis. A great time with family and relaxing mornings. My niece is getting so big and I took a good couple dozen pics of her as well. Life goes on in St. Louis even without us.
I also took a part-time job this summer. I am working for the youth minister as his secretary. I am mostly working on getting the Thailand group ready to go, which makes me feel a lot better about not getting to go myself. They leave in 9 days, so I have my work cut out for me. After they leave, I will work on other summer things like the MS mission trip, Sunday School, Six Flags trips, etc. I actually really like it so far.
I finished the class I mentioned earlier and start a new one this week. It is an incredibly busy summer, but in a good kind of way. I only have about 5 weeks left and I'm hoping to have more breaks like I got this weekend... but we'll see how that happens...
The way people refer to weddings they attend say a lot about their perspective on weddings. When people refer to weddings from their point of view, it reveals that they think of themselves as center. I don't necessarily mean that when you refer to your cousin's wedding by saying "My cousin's wedding" you are being selfish. However, when you refer to that wedding as "My fifth wedding this summer," it tells me that you are more concerned with people knowing how many weddings you go to than the fact that you have a cousin who has made a commitment to love.
The way they describe the wedding also reveals their perspective. Follow along in the conversation below: "How was the wedding?" "I did not like the color scheme." or "The food was delicious." or "I had to wait a really long time in between the ceremony and reception." or "That was the best cake I ever had." Did you notice the word "I" a lot in those statements? Look instead at the following responses: "How was the wedding?" "The bride was beautiful." or "You could tell how much they loved each other." or "The father-of-the-bride cried; it was moving." or "Everybody was dancing at the reception." In the latter conversation, you can tell that there were actually other people at the wedding other than the person talking. That person also refers to the bride and groom!
Pictures tell the perspective. I admit, at the last wedding I went to, I took two pictures of the bride and one of the groom. The rest were of the other guests I was visiting with. It's a shame to show pictures of weddings attended and there is not a single one of either bride or groom. I understand the thought process "I don't want to intrude; they're awfully busy." or even, "why waste the picture when you know lighting is bad?" However, the cake doesn't go anywhere for the first half of the reception - was there a picture of that? or other decorations? Can people tell there was a wedding other than the fact that some people in the picture have matching dresses or tuxes? Does it look any different from a prom except the fact that we're too old to go to one?
I must say these thoughts come out too much of what I've seen from my peers and even myself. I have been known to count off my weddings to people. I also have tossed in a few wedding pics into a general "Summer" album as if it were just something else I did one season. I have been known to describe weddings in terms of what I got out of it. I have judged them based on my needs. That doesn't make it right. It does not mean I do not get bothered when I see people refer to one of their good friends' weddings as "My second one this summer" instead of "My friend's wedding". Currently in my facebook photo queue, I literally have both of those headings back to back and I can tell you which person has a healthier perspective on friendship, weddings, and life.