Six Months Later

Six Months Later

Still angry. Heart is still broken. Still fat. Still lonely. Still wishing for the ability to change the last decade of my life. There are little glimmers of sunlight, but most of the time I’m just distracting myself into ignoring the darkness that crashes around.

And yes, I have made an effort to change all this. I’m just not worth saving, at the moment.

Here you go

Here you go

“Maybe I’m just angry and bitter, and can’t be fucked to move in a better direction. Yes, I just said “fucked.” Cover up your horror, and tell me that God’s left me because I’m lazy and the thought of going to church makes me tear up as I write this. By all means, connect my health with the state of my relationship with Christ. Or, just continue in your world where being employed or pregnant means you can’t answer the phone, and the only conversations worth having with me are the ones where I don’t share that I cry most days. Yea, I chose to live in Australia, and that means I don’t get to be lonely or lost. I apparently forfeited the right to beg for one little corner of my life to go unchanged when I made the decision to immigrate. I’m 26, childless, nearly friendless, and I lost almost all belief in the God I thought I knew. Apparently, this lack of offspring means I have more than enough time to cater to people who give exactly two shits and three giggles about me, and that I can’t possibly have a full life without being a mother. I won’t arrive, or have a valid word to say, until then, right? I do work 50 hours a week, though that doesn’t really count, does it? Maybe I look at who I was at 18 and know that she’d be ashamed of me. And maybe I just eat to keep myself from screaming sometimes. Or, maybe, I’m too busy making sure no one sees how “less than” I really am to find the time for the treadmill.”

The above was written approximately five months ago. Much as I hate to admit this, it pretty much sums up how I’m still feeling. I don’t go to church; facing the loss of my old life seems to happen most during worship, and my husband is super awkward and makes the whole experience really uncomfortable, so I just stay home. Community has always been really important, vital even, to my life, but I suppose I need to give up that, too. I don’t believe in substitutionary atonement/penal substitution (Wiki it) anymore, and that’s pretty much killed my relationship with God. Woo. I really want to still believe, but I’m just not strong enough right now. I fill the hole with furniture, food, and anger toward my family and husband. I’d love to go back and know the love of God, again, but He seems to have given me all that I ask for and then walked away. “Here you go. Stop your bitching. You blew your chance, and I can’t handle your bullshit excuses, so call me when you’re not a mess” or something to that effect. The only time I’m genuinely happy these days is when I let myself rest in memories of days that will never be repeated, when I had friends who loved and supported me, a church family that wrapped itself around my tears, and a fiance who would never let me talk to him the way my husband does. I don’t tweet, or update my Facebook status very often, because I have nothing of value to share. The JEL girl died, the 20 year old with wanderlust is no more, and the hope I used to so honestly trust is a shadow. No one cares. I put on my happy voice for my weekly calls to my mother and sister, and that’s good enough. My (family member) shredded me into little pieces, and no one seems to understand that they just won’t go back together. I tried, honest I did. No matter. By the time Harli is home from work in an hour, every trace of my tears will be gone, because he can’t do anything to stop them. Lovely.

Buenos Dias, me llamo “Panda”

Buenos Dias, me llamo “Panda”

There exists a moment, at least twice a week in fact, in which my darling husband asks me how to say something in Spanish. What he’s after varies from, “how do you say ‘my second cousin smells like cheese,'” to ‘what is the name of this episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ in English?” and I can almost never answer his question. The other day, I translated “Caballo sin nombre” to “House without numbers,” instead of “Horse with no name.” Senora Cermak would be ashamed.

Here I sit at my pretty desk, “working”, and bored out of my gourd. If I were Australian, that sentence would probably have something to do with religion, seeing as “gourd” is how many pronounce “God.” The same people pronounce “gosh” as “goursh,” and don’t find it funny when I tell them they sound like Goofy. On days like today, I occupy my nine hour work day by listening to Stephen Fry read Harry Potter books, and picking out furniture for our impending move in September. No more Shoebox. Hellooooooo duplex! At least that’s the hope. Much as I love being in such close quarters with Harli, I’m a wee bit over this chapter of our life.

By the end of the week, I’ll have sent off the supporting evidence for the latest visa decision. The wait time is supposedly three to eight months, but I’m praying to hear back before then. If the answer is “yes,” then I’ll be a Permanent Resident of Oz. If not, then I have to either apply for a Work Visa, or return to my horrendous credit rating in America, sans my husband. I really miss life where groceries aren’t akin to highway robbery, and Christmas is cold, but my life is now in Australia. I drive on the left side of the road, refer to bell peppers as “capsicum,” think of $300,000 houses as “cheap,” and enjoy more public holidays than you can shake a stick at. For real: Good Friday, Easter Monday, Australia Day, the Queen’s birthday, “Gold Coast Show” day (remind me to tell you about the Show in September), National Labor Day, Queensland Labor Day, Brisbane Show Day, and Boxing Day (December 26th), are all public holidays I get to enjoy. Oh, and if any of those days happens to fall on a Saturday or Sunday, they’re gazetted to the closest weekday. Australia loves a long weekend. As we speak, I’m trying to convince Harli to get his boss to give him Easter Saturday off so we can go visit his sisters in NSW. Nothing screams “He is Risen!” like spending the holiday with atheists, right?

We’re heading to Iowa in August for our annual, oh so exciting, visit with my family. We were going to be there in late April, but decided against it for a myriad of reasons, most of which were financial. By going in August, we’ll be able to easily afford the trip, I’ll have enough annual leave to accomodate the time off, and Harli will have the blessing of spending his birthday at the Iowa State Fair. The man wants to spend at least one birthday in his life enjoying various foods on sticks, apparently.

Plus Size Barbie, Here

Plus Size Barbie, Here

Afternoon, all. 🙂 Hope you’re peachy, and January brought all the good things you were after. Let me tell you, February is going to be ah-mazing! Why? Because it has no choice, that’s why. Ha! I have some pretty high expectations for this oh-so-short month. There are 26 more days until March 1st, and I’m very excited to live every one of the like the gift it is.

Ask me why I’m so excited. Go on. Answer: no clue. I’m just chipper, and so thrilled to walk in faith and love the people the Lord puts in my path. Need to be loved? Waddle on over to my corner of the globe. This is what my former roommate, and intellectual comrade, Ashley calls my “Plus Size Barbie” mentality. Brilliant, brilliant.

Practically speaking, there are plenty of things to accomplish this month, and you know how I love my lists, so here you go.

– Five cardio workouts, including one core-specific session, each week.

– Continue Bible reading plan, days 33-59

– Cook all of our meals at home, save our anniversary dinner on the 20th

–  Finish reading The Borribles. Read Everything Must Change, and Mennonite In A Little Black Dress

– Pay off 1/2 of our largest credit card balance

– Take up my bookstore buddy’s invite to her church on Sunday morning

– Make a Hungry Caterpillar-themed blanket for my nephew, Adam. That boy’s momma loves her some HC, and threw what must have been the most extravagant HC party for Adam’s first birthday. Maybe the blanket is more for her than him? Boy can’t have too many blankets, I reckon. Forts have to be made from something!

I also just started a 30 day weight loss-related devotional,  but finishing it isn’t a goal so much as a pleasure. The last few weeks have seen a pretty big transformation in my view of food, and its purpose. Ever heard a big girl say she’s “in bondage to food?” Now you have. Peanut butter, chocolate, pizza, and soft drinks are like mean, but delicious, puppeteers whose primary joy is sucking mine away. Being healthier, and better able to serve my mission, is what I’m after. I don’t actually know what my mission is, but God is pretty cool with timing so I’m not concerned; I just know that being lethargic and bitter isn’t doing much to move me in His direction. Changing my eating habits and activity level are worship for me, right now.

Now, my lovelies, what are *you* doing in February? Hmmm?

Accomplish me, please!

Accomplish me, please!

In the hope of regaining some accountability in my life, I’m going to have another go at posting a set of goals for each week. Rather than try to be an ordinary panda, and offer an update each Monday, I’ll be posting on Wednesdays. I’m a wild, wild woman.

Here’s the week’s “must do” list:

– Five cardio workouts, including one core-specific session. Thanks to my current work arrangement, which allows me to work from home two or three days each week, fitting in some exercise is much easier than it used to be. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up the habit once I’m back in an office five days a week. In order to meet my year’s weight loss goal, I need to lose 769g (1.69 lbs) each week.

– Continue Bible reading plan, days 16-23

– Cook all of our meals at home

– Continue reading The Borribles on my twice-weekly train to, and from, the Brisbane office

– Continue reading The Hobbit with Harli

– Pay off 1/6 of our largest credit card balance

– Take up my bookstore buddy’s invite to her church on Sunday morning

We’re only 16 days into the new year, but there’s already been a slight change to one of my 2013 resolutions. My fantastic husband has made the decision to start down a new career path, and will start his first year of training as a counselor in June. We’re in the process of figuring out the best arrangement for this new endeavour, both financially and practically, but the change will definitely impact our previous goals for debt repayment. We’re now aiming to have all of the credit cards paid off, as well as my smallest student loan, and 12% of my second smallest loan, paid off by the end of the year. I’m already a little panicky about slowing our “plan” down so drastically, but I know that this is the right decision for our family, even if it means I might not have kids until I’m 30.

Until next we meet- xx

Goals for 2013 (aka: “I’ll do better this year”)

Goals for 2013 (aka: “I’ll do better this year”)

I know, I know; I’m three days late, and about four dollars short, posting my little list. Shoot me later, love me now.

2012 was a year of laziness across the board. Finances, health, career progression- everything just sort of lulled for 12 months. I’m not really in the mood to repeat that this year, so I’m giving this “goal-setting-task-achieving-progress-making-forward-moving” thing another go. It is my solemn prayer that my resolve can be strengthened, and my efforts blessed.

While I usually speak for Harli and I, this list is mine alone. He’s much more disciplined than me, and therefore doesn’t need to make actual resolutions. Don’t worry, he knows just how special he is.

On with it!

Finances:

– Pay off all of Harli’s credit card debt, my smallest student loan, and at least half of my second smallest student loan. If we stick to the budget, we should have this nailed.

– Visit my family for two weeks in either June or August, and pay for every aspect of the trip without going into debt.

– Move into a bigger place when our lease ends in June. If we have the credit cards paid off by then, there’s no reason we won’t be able to afford to move.

– Save up for a new sofa

Personal Growth:

– Be Jesus-y. Listen to people. Help in practical ways. Hit my knees in prayer. Give away what I can’t lose.

– Complete the “Bible in one year” plan from Bible Gateway.

– Find a church and settle into it. Community is important, people.

– Volunteer time to causes that ignite that holy passion within me. This will more than likely be faith-based, but I’m not convinced that the Lord won’t put me in a large group of non-believers and say something to the tune of, “be my hands and feet, go!”

– Reign in my tongue. This is the first step to not finding my worth in the opinions and adoration of others. Being a people pleaser with odd boundaries is becoming a bit of a burden, kids.

– Complete six sewing projects

– Learn to drive on the left side of the road

– Read 25 books. If successful, next year I’ll break it down with specific titles.

Health:

– Lose 40kg (roughly 88lbs) Yes, this is a huge number, and yes I *do* have that much weight, plus much more, to lose.

– Add cardio exercise to at least five of my days each week. By the end of the year, I’d like to be able to run a mile without stopping. If I’m honest, I’ll admit that I usually count my daily walks between work and whatever public transport I’m catching that day (bus if I’m in the Gold Coast office; train if I’m working out of Brisbane for the week) as “exercise.” It’s not, and won’t be counted as such any longer. 😉

Marriage:

– Spend a weekend “away” for our Australian wedding anniversary in February.

– Start, and finish, three books together: one fiction, one practical, and one spiritual.

Work:

– Continue in my current position for the entire year. I love my job, the industry I’m a part of, and the company I work for.

– Cross-train in other areas of the company, in the interest of career progression and the challenge it presents.

I won’t bother with firm statements of “this year being different,” because I frankly have no clue what the year has in store. But, I know that God is good, and that it isn’t up to me to number my days. Whatever I do, or accomplish, is for His ultimate glory. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. xx