Saturday, May 18, 2013

an honest post

I’ve come to grips.
I’m not the hot one.
I’m not the skinny one.
I’m not the cool one.
In fact,
I’m the one who looks like a caterpillar.
The one who has a flat butt.
The weird one.
The one who talks to much.

That one.
But then the realization comes that it doesn’t matter.
It doesnt freaking matter.

I kind of like my face. And I’m really proud of the way I can make my neck disappear just by making my double chin stick out.
I like my weirdness.
I don’t want to be one of those reallyeffingannoying “weird power” people who like, go out of their way to make sure that they are completely and totally, one hundred percent, different than culture. No.
Rather, I want to embrace my weirdness. I’ve accepted it. I have multiple quirks.
  I’m high strung, and panic easily and often. I am an admitted people pleaser. I’m kind of completely bizarre. Screw it, I’m crazy.
I don’t care.

I’ve been a mess lately. My life has become so busy and chaotic that I can feel myself turning into a clone.  I have no time, no energy, no care to put any time into my appearance, my stress, my anything. And then along comes the idea that I’m not good enough. That my face is too big. That I’m too weird. That I’m too whatfreakingever wrong for whatever stereotype someone is trying to shove me into.

And then it snapped. Or clicked. Whatever.
The more time I spend waste on trying to make every other person happy, the less time I am happy.
It could probably be formulated into an equation. Like the ratio of my time spent trying to please people over my time spent enjoying myself differentiates by a value of x. Or Something. I hate math. So not going to try to make that previous statement make any sense.

I spent a while the past few months agonizing on why I’m nearly a senior and have yet to have one solid relationship, nay, one person interested in me who wasn’t the slime of the earth (a little harsh/extreme/whatever), and started freaking myself out. The following is an actual list of flaws that I’ve come up with as to why I am utterly and completely single:
1.       Chipmunk cheeks
2.       Denture-esque teeth
3.       Wrong height
4.       Stomach not flat
5.       Brown eyes
6.       Hair.
7.       Personality
a.       Stress
b.      Over analysis of everything (case in point)
c.       Neat-freak
d.      Mira-ness
8.       Height
9.       Inability to sit still for more than twenty minutes
10.   I am Mira Cleveland
Looking back on that list, I realize how critical I am of myself. This is why I am stressed out.
I am my own worst critic.
I am the one who has put me in these boxes.
After overanalyzing this for several hours, I’ve decided to screw it.
I’m just going to be myself, moderating the intensity of my personality when needed, and just see what happens. If I can just give up my often incorrect assumptions about what others think about me and just… stay in my own head for once, I feel as though my stress level and obsessiveness about others’ perceptions will begin decreasing.

so, screw this. Im going to be Mira, whether the world is ready for it or not.

Friday, April 5, 2013

let me be fat.

Let me be fat, I begged the world. This is my anthem, my battle hymn, my cry.
The world ignored me, saying, you need to be skinnier. You should be fit, not fat.
I pleaded my case, I used to be anorexic, I used to not eat.
The world just stared on.
Your boobs are too big, and your butt is too small. You have chicken legs, but your stomach is too flabby. You have chipmunk cheeks and your neck isn’t thin.
You should be fit not fat.
But you see, world, I cried, fit is the cause of my problems!  The continual push to have a fit body drives me to do the unthinkable.  To get rid of my flab, I not only work out, but I stop eating. Here me? I beg you.
Dare I say this? We need to stop pushing fit.
Stop it, stop it.
We should be natural, not skinny. We should be healthy, not fit.
I will never have perfect abs.
I will never have a small face. Can you not hear me world?
This push, this drive for perfection is the cause of all of our imperfections.
Can we give up this madness? This race that will never be won?
This photoshopped beauty and rock hard abs and marathons only create turmoil within our hearts.
Run because you love it, not because you love how it makes you look.
Do something for yourself rather than society, can I stress this enough?
Do you hear me, world?
Sixty minute workouts and six hundred calories a day never made me happy. No. I only looked at my body with disdain and wondered if my hard work would ever pay off.
Never happy, never good enough, I gave up.

Giving up was the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

So, I tell you, world, I say this with everything in my being. I. Will. Be. Fat.
I don’t care what you think about my arms, stomach or boobs.
I really don’t.

Just, for the sake of us all, let me be fat.

Friday, March 8, 2013


“Let he who is blameless cast the first stone”
The words echoed in my head, the speaker of them unseen.
 I was angry and looking for someone to blame and judge for my anger. As the known “mother” of all of my friends, I had plenty of people to be angry at them. With people I’d known for years, the number of offenses that others had committed against them was a growing list. I’m a terrible “forgive and forgetter” and tonight was no different.
 As I was going through a list of people who I could start mentally “smack talking” the above phrase ran through my head. “Let he who is blameless cast the first stone”.

Mira, you are a judge with an evil mind. Get over yourself.  I argued back and forth in my head for a few minutes. But, they did this to my friend. He said this about me. She did this to her. They lied about them. I have to keep them from getting hurt. The human side of my mind kept pushing me. It’s not going to hurt anyone if you don’t say what you’re thinking about that person. Go ahead. It’s like venting, except to yourself.
Again, “Let he who is blameless cast the first stone” popped into my head. This time, it was shouting. Mira! You can’t be like this. How many times have you hurt another person? How many times have you purposefully done something out of spite? You are no different than the people you are judging. Get over yourself.

Get over myself?
But that would mean admitting that I’m not the perfect “church kid” that I’ve made myself out to be. That would mean admitting that I’m just as terrible as the next person. That would mean taking responsibility for personality defects and issues that I’d been carrying.

That would mean admitting that I’m broken.
I am, by the way, In case you were wondering. I’m a hot mess.
I haven’t had a panic attack in almost a year, which is so amazing (thank you, Lord) but other social anxieties and poorly managed issues have sprouted up, which I then just stuff.
I stuff and stuff.
Finally, I break.
But, I want to blame someone for my brokenness.
Let he who is blameless cast the first stone.
I’m not blameless. I. Am not blameless. Realizing this is about as enjoyable as taking medicine or dry heaving.
I’m not different than the people I’m judging. And, just like me, they have a story to tell.

Have I ever heard their stories?
I close my ears and start writing a mental list of their offenses. I am a judge with an evil mind.

Oh Jesus.

Let he who is blameless cast the first stone.

I will never be able to cast a stone. I won’t ever be able to even look at a stone to cast. I should be the one getting stones thrown at me.

My grace is sufficient for you. There is no need for stones to be cast. At or by you. My grace has covered that. Get over yourself, Mira.
His Grace. Enough for me. Enough for those that I wish to hurtle stones at. Enough.

I pause. Broken yet covered.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Guide

Occasionally, I realize that I'm difficult to get along with sometimes all of the time. 

Mostly when my sister tells me who thought I was weird this time. I'm difficult to get to know, which then comes across as "weirdness" "annoyingness" or just plain "eew, it's her again". All of which have been said of me. It's cool. I'm closer on my way to being a giant squid. 
At the same time, I feel as though a "user guide" would be a helpful addition to understanding how the brain of the rare Mirasaurosrex actually works. It's fairly simple, once you get into it.

Part One!

Personality Defects:

I'm high strung. Basically, that sums up everything about me. If you see me playing with my hair, biting my nails, chewing on anything, or pacing, I'm in Mira Mode. Do not talk to me. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. The introvert in me gets overwhelmed by being around too many people, and my brain goes into overdrive. I get stressed out (especially in large social settings, parties, dinners in restaurants, large groups, or  anything related to public speaking) and need to unwind.
AND I don't unwind by talking about how I feel.  
Just leave me alone and let me go home, let me go home and start over (to quote the great Cat Stevens). I love people. But at the same time, I love just being with one other person. Also, I have a plethora of random phobias that attribute to stress (chair lifts, thunder storms, public speaking....). But, moving on...

This shouldn't be a personality defect! I love this part of me. However, it can be viewed in a negative light, so "defect" section it is.

'Introverts are people who find other people tiring'. How wonderfully true.
I really don't like being around people that much. I don't like having my schedule or routine changed. Once I've perfected a routine to prime efficiency, any "edits" to that routine aren't appreciated. Ever. Currently, I'm reading a paper called "Caring for Your Introvert" which makes me feel like I'm a puppy or something. 
However, he just used the most wonderful Sartre quote: "Hell is other people at breakfast." How wonderfully true. "After a period with lots of social interaction, quiet solitude is not just pleasant, but crucial. Solitude is a performance-enhancing exercise, in a category, I think, with sleep." to quote Sophia Dembling (a woman after my own heart. I wish we were friends.) Also, I too hide in the bathroom to avoid interaction. I, Mira I Cleveland, am completely and totally an introvert. If I'm acting weird; I've been "overstimulated" and need Mira time. Don't talk to me. Let me regroup. Then, I'll most likely enjoy talking to you. I also hate confrontations and will do everything in my power to avoid them. However, if you ever really need/want to stress me out, use this phrase: “I would like to discuss some things with you. When are you free to meet?” Death. Death to Mira. I will spend more time agonizing over that meeting than the actual meeting will take.

Overbearingness and other wonders of the Mira World
I tend to be intense. Waiters hate me because I always know exactly what I want, how I want it, and their way or suggestions is/are wrong. I’m severely Type-A and this affects everything I do. I’m a Type-A introvert. How bizarre, no?
Anyway, I tend to be demanding. And overbearing. And critical.
 You know when the parents are the bad guys in movies because they are wanting their children to only live out their (the parents’) dreams? I am the parents. Not the rebellious child. To be honest about my feelings:

You need to be successful. I don’t care if that’s as a painter or as an architect. Do what you’re good at and be at the top of what you do. Don’t settle for less than perfect. Find your niche and then beat everybody at it. Win. Don’t lose. Win.

Call me what you like, but that’s how I feel. If you don’t go to college, you sure as (bear with me church folks, I need to express my feelings) hell better be damn good at whatever you’re attempting. (End of explicit rant) Do what you like, but you’d better do it well.

Part Two!
Caring for your Mira

Oddly enough, I’m pretty low maintenance. Given a small amount of food, a portable water source, something to keep my hands busy, and clothing, boom. I’m set.
  Here are a few steps for your success:
  • I like organized situations. If you invite me to hang out with a (eep) large group of people and then have nothing planned, I will be upset. As in angry. My time is valuable, and unless you've gathered ten of my closest friends, I don’t enjoy small talk.
  • As I’ve previously stated, I’m overbearing. If you dare to bring me out in public, prepare yourself for this. If I’m making comments about the setting we’re in, I’m having fun.
  • Don’t try to socialize with me in a new situation. In fact don’t change my situation. I don’t like new routines or feeling trapped in a setting. Recently the requirements for something that I’d been participating in changed, and I felt trapped, so I quit. Now, there is a ton of backstory to that story, but what set it off was the change in requirements. If you trap a Mira, the Mira will go crazy.
  •  Don’t call me. If you need to contact me immediately, text me. Email me. Call my mother. Just don’t call me.
  •  I need access to water at all times. When I get overwhelmed in a social setting or stressed at any other time, I need water. It’s how I respond to stress. I’ll go for a few days where I don’t drink anything, and then I’ll also have a point where I become so stressed that I drink 60oz of water in a matter of minutes. If I have a water bottle, I’m fine. But if I'm stressed out and don’t have access to a water bottle: problem. 
  • If you need to talk to me for more than a few minutes, give me something to do with my hands. Coloring works, those cool 3D mind puzzles work, anything to keep that part of my brain busy, really, works. I’m still listening to you, but I need to keep something distracting me. It’s trippy.
  •  FINAL AND MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF ALL: If I am acting stressed out, please, for the sake of both of us, leave me alone. I appreciate the concern, but really, I need to be by myself. I suggest googling “The Habits of Introverts” or “How to care for your introvert” to further explain these things for yourself. It’s really cool.

And now, finally, you understand how to care for a Mira. I’m honestly a happy person, despite traits that would suggest otherwise. I enjoy my current social circle, and my routine is pretty solid. Use this guide almost religiously and I’ll probably want to marry you or be your very best friend forever.

You’ve been warned!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

L❤ve and Squid

Enough already. The couples. The chocolate. The sappy movies. The... cuteness.
 Valentines day makes me want to give the world a giant dose of Midol and have it get on with life.

Fact: Midol contains caffeine. It could wake the world up from its pseudo-love induced stupor.
Fact: Midol contains Acetaminophen. It could numb all of the hurting "awmygawhdimfatanduglyandnobodywilevuhrrloveme" high school hearts.

I'm not saying that it's a safe suggestion. Just a positive possibility.

Every year, as long as my cynical heart can remember, Valentine's Day has been one of those days where I wish I could be a giant squid.

Side note: I wish that I were always a giant squid. Lurking in the depths of the ocean, not unlike the Loch Ness monster, all whilst evading human contact? Call me homeschooled, but that sounds lovely. 

I've always been mostly successful in what  I do (exceptions: Guys, Math, and Anything involving Heights [skiing, skydiving, bungee jumping...]), but apparently, I'm "intense, abrasive, too much of a director, have a chipmunk face,  and, insane" (all things that have been said to me. by guys.) which kind of ruins any chance of anything. Ever. So I became the cynic.

(There are underlying trust issues which will be discussed at a later time, which also add into the cynicism.)

My sister, whom has an uncountable number of guys groveling at her feet for her attention, says that I am the cloud of doom looming behind any happy couple. For example, when any of my friends start dating, I provide the high school relationship statistics. Normally when she brings this up, I just smile, continue with whatever I'm doing, and ask about what guy she's leading on this week.

Side note: She will vehemently deny the fact that she's leading any of them on. She's just "friendly" to all of them.

Back to my cloud of doom... Being that I've never been in her position, I've always had the tendency to look at the negative aspects of relationships. "Well, that's cute that he said that, but how many other girls did he say that to at school today?". However, I have serious doubts about the stability and actuality of any relationship for those between the ages of 10 to 20 (or even 23). From observation, I can assure anyone: If you are in those ages listed, YOU ARE AN IDIOT. YOU ARE STUPID AND IRRATIONAL, DRIVEN SOLELY BY YOUR EMOTIONS AND OFTENTIMES IGNORING LOGIC.

Also, I don't do well with PDA. Or PDVA: Public Displays of Verbal Affection. I'm fine with a hug or whatever, but when everybody starts getting all, "You are the wind beneath my wings" or "You look so beautiful without any makeup on, while you're in your sweats. Honey, don't listen to the haterz who tell you otherwise." Didn't you just puke in your mouth a little? If you really do love each other, why do you have to keep reaffirming it? I'm fine with an 'I love you' in public (actually, eh. Kind of okay with...) but after five paragraphs, it becomes trite. And scripted. And I don't believe any of it.

People will say things to you just to keep you happy. People will act in a certain way just to make you believe what they are saying. There is a difference between a genuine relationship and a scripted relationship.

The few couples I can actually stand to be around have similar traits, all pointing them towards a genuine relationship. From what I can observe, the traits are:

  1. Friendship. They didn't meet each other and immediately start dating. Rather, they took the time to invest in getting to know the other person as a person. Last time I checked, you usually don't objectify your friends.
  2. Genuine communication. No fluff. No "You are my shining star"(eeeeewww), "You're so hot", or
    "Nobody compares to you." Essentially, they've removed all One Direction references from their communication patterns and/or habits.
  3. Time Apart. They aren't with each other every minute. They are with other people both separately and together. They still have times for their friends and don't cancel plans with one person, just because their bf/gf wants to go to dinner. Their priorities are balancing the relationship and balancing their other friendships. Basically, I'm a jealous person. Pay attention to me without actually interacting with me. It's tricky, but doable. Ask any of my friends.

Authenticity shines above all else. I'm not cynical about relationships in which it's obvious that authenticity and openness are key. However, overdoing the authenticity brings the circle of relational bleh to the beginning.

But, I believe the key to not killing my little cynical heart on Valentines Day is pretty simple:

  1. Buy me chocolate
  2. Don't talk to me
  3. Let me watch Netflix
  4. Don't talk about calories or my chipmunk face.
And that, Charlie Brown, is what Valentines Day is all about.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My life could be a P!nk Song....

It's been one of those weeks (actually, to be completely honest, months) where all I really want to do is run walk around yelling "I quit!" at the top of my lungs. I'm not joking. I almost did this weekend, but being that I was at work, I felt it somewhat inappropriate.

Continuing forward, you know that awful P!nk song that 70% of the chorus gets censored out on the radio? That song is my life. Minus the getting drunk and taking somebody home part. I honestly don't think that I would ever be capable of that. Anyway, white knuckles, sweaty palms, clenched jaws, $h!++y days? Yes. Yes and yes. Concerned looks from people that you don't really know? Oh yes. And I'm over it.  And then I read this verse in a dating book, of all books:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)

 I tend to be an extreme worrier. The wet blanket. The statistical risk analyst. It doesn't make for low blood pressure. I can loose weight by loosing my appetite because of stress. But this verse, this verse that I've grown up reading, over and over and over, stuck with me. "Do not be anxious about anything."

Anything. Anything is a pretty broad word. And it doesn't just cover big things. Do not be anxious about anything. Seriously, if I'm worrying about it, I shouldn't be. My worries have been covered by the cross. Now, I don't intend to make this a super churchy post, because I really hate trying to be the super deep person, but my worries, our worries have been bled and died for. Jesus died so that I don't have to worry anymore. So that I can literally give up, reach the end of my rope, tie another knot, and keep on hanging. His death means that I can give him my worries through prayer and petition (I hate that word. I picture picketing.) and he'll take care of it. He already took care of it.  2nd Corinthians 5 reiterates:
 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Take every anxious thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. We've not been given a spirit of timidity, so why would we grasp onto timid, anxious thoughts?

My thoughts:

  1. I do give up. I really do. The fact that my life could be and probably is a P!nk song makes everything bleak and grey.
  2. I give it up to Jesus. Why should I weigh myself down with all of this crap? 

i quit.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

On Gay Marriage.

*disclaimer: This post is likely to offend those who are against all pro homosexuality/gay marriage subjects. However, I've chosen to post an edited version of a paper I wrote earlier this year as I feel that an individual Christian perspective is always useful on a controversial topic. Read on, or don't. Just don't flip out.*

Gay Marriage is  the source of a moral crisis for me.
The questions bounce around in my head like ping pong balls at a competitive match:

  •  Am I for or against gay marriage? [pro]
  •  Am I for or against homosexuality? [pro when the person in question is not a believer]
  •  Is it at all right to impose my beliefs on someone who does not share them? [no. Imposition never leads to conversion.]

 For that matter, if I impose something of my religion on someone else, will that not open the door for other religions to do the same to me?

These are the questions I've been mulling around my head for the past week.

If you know me really well, or even just somewhat, you will immediately understand that
I am incredibly stubborn. Once I have formed an opinion (even sometimes an incorrect one…) I
am dead set on it. Rarely anyone can change my mind on anything. I need a numbered, detailed
explanation typed out in front of me before I can even begin to accept another opinion. That
being said, researching gay marriage was difficult for me. No one has taken the time to compile
a list of the pros and cons of legalizing gay marriage. Why this has not been done yet surprises
me. I would assume that there would be more people out there like me who want the facts about
something rather than all of the political turmoil.
Thank you, Jesus, finally, finally, a site devoted to exploring gay marriage and sexism.
This interests me. “Making gay marriage illegal could be compared to that of forbidding a white
woman to marry a black man, or vice versa” (paraphrased). While this site is completely biased
for the legalization of gay marriage, the resources are wonderful. Honestly, I feel that equality is
necessary. I do not want the government to forbid me to do something that I feel is right and
good for me simply because someone else feels that it is outside the norm. While Christianity,
my belief system, states that homosexuality is wrong, that applies to me personally. I cannot
impose my beliefs on the nation, or even another human being. For another person, it is up to
them to decide what the right direction for them is, and all I can do is support them and leave it
up to God to decide what is right or wrong in the matter. As for the nation, I believe we need to
let the majority speak. Hypothetically, just because gay marriage could be legalized, it does not
mean that every person in the nation has to marry another person of the same gender. It simply
opens up the door for those who feel it is right to do as they choose. Christians so often dictate
what the nation does or does not, simply because they feel that “it is their way or the highway”
(alluding to hell for all who do not exactly comply with their individual opinions). I feel this is
wrong. We, as Christians, are playing the part of God when we judge others based on their race,
gender, sexual preference or social status. If we could get over our preconceived notions about
people, we could actually be Jesus to the world, instead of playing judge.

The first legitimate article I came upon was a reprint of an eighth grader’s essay in The
Capital City Weekly (one of Juneau, Alaska’s newspapers). The girl posed the observation,
“If it's legal for gay people to date, why can't they just get married? It's their choice. The law
and society shouldn't get in their way. It's their choice to live the way they want to live. The
First Amendment to the United States Constitution even says that we have freedom of belief.
The amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof." It's very important that we realize that we all have different
beliefs and shouldn't be judged for that.”
I completely agree with that statement. Even as Christians, my beliefs will differ from another’s,
and so on. If an eighth grader can observe that fact, why can’t the rest of us?

The second article was from The Baptist Press, a site marketing itself with the slogan
“news with a Biblical perspective”. This article seems to be written by a man solely focused on the
fact that “legalizing lesbian marriage would cause him to lose his masculinity” (My paraphrase).
While in this article he makes a valid point, [Help me understand his valid point] he is so
focused on his personal Christianity, that he cannot open his mind to the possibility that others’
opinions could differ from his. So far, I’m 50/50 with the essay’s [essays] I’ve read. I loved
the eighth graders,[eighth grader’s] but really did not care for the Baptist Pastor’s. (As a side
note, it took Googling, “gay marriage essays” to find anything on the topic.) Hopefully, I’ll
discover some more articles such as these. It’s amazing to find how little information there is on
the “black and white” information of gay marriage. Although I am lacking in newspaper articles,
I’ve been pondering the matter for a while, and I think a conclusion has been reached.

Overall, this process has shown me how truly stubborn I am about my opinions, and how
much I truly loathe people who refuse to be around, support, or even witness to people who
choose to go a different route. Gay, gay, gay. It’s all everyone is talking about. Are we really so
shallow as to continually focus on homosexuality rather than the poor or needy? I feel like we
need to give this up. Let people who want to marry, marry. Make a constitutional amendment
stating that marriage is a union between two people, be they male, female, gay, lesbian or
bisexual. Instead of us making someone else’s mind up, why can’t we take responsibility for our
own actions, instead of another person’s? That we could get over what Larry, Sheila and Jo are
doing and focus on our own issues and stay out of everyone else’s business.

 I propose: Legalize all human marriage, excluding polygamy and pedophilia, and let people be people. If what they are doing comes up as a moral issue, let them deal with it. We, as Christians, can speak the truth
in love, but we should not impose our “love” onto every other human being.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Irrational Fear. Part One.

I have an irrational fear of really being asked "how I am". Today, I was asked  how I was doing "health wise, mind wise, and soul wise" and I nearly died. Ever since I was a small child, my father has asked me that question, point blank, and years of guarding myself have built up into this irrational fear. I dread conversations with people who I know are going to ask me that question, simply because I know how I will react (which is poorly).

The first time that I realized I had a hatred of being asked "how are you" was earlier this summer, after a seemingly endless day. I know I looked exhausted and indefinitely had my "crazy shark eyes" that I get when I am both tired and stressed out. And then one person came up to me and asked "how I was".

"How was I?" you ask. Well, I wanted to punch them in the face, and I'm not generally violent whatsoever. It was at that point where I wasn't exactly okay, in fact,  I hated everyone and everything, but that wasn't something that I could honestly communicate with another human being. So, I plastered on a fake smile (flashing $5,000 of my parents money in the process... I have nice teeth) and tried to formulate words in my brain that were somewhat positive. I think I said, "Oh I'm fantastic! It's been a long day, but I'm having a great time." or something to that extent.

 Fantastic fact about Mira, friends: If I ever use the words, "I'm fantastic", I usually am the opposite, and want to be left alone to crochet and watch Netflix. 

Anyway, this continued on into a genuine fear. I literally am terrified of being asked how I am. Not because I'm always in a bad way or anything, but simply because there are few people I can give a genuine answer to that question, and I feel as though the rest can see that I'm lying.

My biggest fear is that someone would think that I'm a faker. That I'm not who I claim to be. One time, word came my way via gossip that "Mira isn't a cynic. It's just a facade. She's actually a girly-girl." When I informed one of my close friends of this new revelation, she spit her drink out she was laughing so hard. Case in point, this very untrue comment caused me to evaluate myself. Questions such as, "Am I actually what I claim to be? Are personality traits that I say I have actually true to my character?"

So, then, when someone asks me how I really am, I'm faced with a moral crisis. I don't want to be that "whiny bitch" who nobody likes because she always complains, and yet, I don't want to be that super annoying chipper girl, who is, really, annoying. There are very few people with whom I can share how I truly am, and sometimes even then I can't.

My irrational fear of that one question isn't completely irrational. The irrational part is the fact that I'm actually afraid of being asked that question.  Rather than be afraid of the question, I should be working on genuine conversation.

-How can I give a more genuine answer to the "how are you doing" question without providing an overdose of information?

-How am I, really? If I can't honestly answer this question myself, how am I supposed to tell someone else?

Anyway, I'll be writing on some other irrational fears of mine tomorrow. Adios.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

the tongue

As I've continued through my study of James with Faith the past few weeks, the central focus point that has caught my attention was actually Nate's service topic this weekend on the Tongue.
 My tongue and I have some issues. It's gotten me into trouble multiple times, and, paired up with my wonderful inherited German temperament, can be catastrophic.

I remember I'd been working on maintenance a grand total of about 48 hours, so I was literally, the team's newbie.  Everything was difficult and confusing and I took my own sweet time on going about my duties. I would accidentally use a sink rag on the toilet, realize my mistake, and have to re-clean the toilet, and toss the sink rag. Or even worse, I used the wrong chemical on the door windows, cleaned all of the windows in the Atrium, and then realize my mistake. NABC is horrible to wash off of glass. Horrible. 
I was still pretty new at the whole "cleaning lady" gig, and I was in the Atrium mop closet attempting to dump out my mop water into the drain. However, I didn't realize that the mop bucket came in two parts... Irritation one. Secondly, because I didn't know of the bucket's design, dumping the bucket was insanely difficult to carry out. Irritation two. 
So, I'm really stubborn. The girl I was cleaning the bathrooms with was just over in the next bathroom. I could have easily walked into the room and asked for help. But, I was the newbie. And I was sick of asking questions. I hate asking questions pertaining on the "how to" of something. Case in point, I didn't ask for any help.

I'm not especially technology, puzzle, or mechanics inclined, so changing tires, "brain teasers", and computers are the bane of my existence. This mop bucket was a simplified gadget. Rather than bother in learning about it, I gave up all hope, picked it up, and tried to dump the bucket. 

Yeah, no.

I don't know if you've mopped a public bathroom before, but mop water is nasty. Especially when it's dumped on your new shoes, the floor of the closet, and kind of on the carpet. Of your new job. 

I was standing in three inches of water in a 4'x6' closet.
 I was thoroughly upset, and in the process yelled a really inappropriate word really loudly, for all of the people sitting in the atrium to hear. 

I work in a church, just to reiterate.

So I wondered, if the words of my mouth are an outpouring of my heart, what does this say of my heart?
When the first words out of my mouth when I overreact are inappropriate, is it just a reflection of over assimilation into culture, or are there some deeper issues?

One thing I've discovered since this happened last year is that I overreact with everything. Teeny details derail me, and, until they are fixed, my focus is distracted, and irritated. When irritated, I react in the way I've experienced with other people: lashing out irrationally and harsh words. 
So, I've realized that my reactions don't have to be based on what I've encountered previously. It's safe to underreact to the little things. Or not even react at all. 

I've spilled the mop twice since then, and each time laughed it off rather than spewing expletives in the church's main area. Still, my tongue is nowhere near being "tamed", as Nate described this morning. However, it is inexcusable. 
My tongue is my greatest struggle, as it is for most of my family and extended family, so I don't expect the problem to go away overnight. But, if intentionally I work on it, I believe that it will.

It's easy to say one thing here, but actually doing it is another story. I'm hopeful that I can actually carry this "project" out until completion. We'll see.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Why Music?

My current circle of friends includes a group of people who are highly passionate and dedicated towards their development in music.  I, being more more concrete and much, much, less abstract have a difficult time understanding the purpose of pouring so much time into an activity, that as far as successful careers go, is lacking in probable opportunities.

Musicians are by far some of the most enjoyable, albeit annoying people that I associate with. Just as I am driven to "perfect" myself in my career direction, so are they in grasping that "sound" that they've been seeking, or mastering that unobtainable guitar line.

 I don't understand them.

I, to say the least, am the logical, probably "half-emptier", proverbial wet blanket, and will be the first to admit to the fact.  Musicians perplex me, aside from their innate inability to keep a tidy area, in the fact that they are striving towards a career that holds the possibilities of:

  1. Working in a church/Leading Worship→ This is a great career. I have nothing against this career; however, the advancement opportunities are few.
  2. Music Teacher. → Yes. There is always a need for the teaching of music. However, it is mainly independent work that involves interacting with children. Mainly a personal preference.
  3. Cover/Tribute Band/Wedding Band→.....
Or, if you somehow win the musical lottery, the careers of

     3. The Beatles
     4. Ray Charles
     5. Nickelback 

are available for grabs.
Just kidding. I could have a more successful time writing music than Nickelback.

Anyway, something drives musicians. Something other than a corporate position/health care/ financial stability. A passion embedded so deeply within them that it is unidentifiable by someone who isn't inherently musical.

I play the piano as a filler, to be blunt. A college application bonus. Also, it's fairly soothing when I have time to practice. And, it's organized.

 But, my sister doesn't practice her guitar and bass for hours a day because of a college application. Or even a musical career. She has yet to clearly state the reasons that she spends so much time with those instruments. 

To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me if the same unknown passion that draws me to the corporate world draws musicians to their guitar. Or bass, drums, trombone, or whatever.  Could it be that true musicians aren't in it for the job opportunities or stage presence? Is it truly a love of the trade that keeps them returning for blistered fingers and exhausted arms?

Tell me. I honestly cannot comprehend this.

Why are you dedicated to music?

I'm serious. I want answers. You can comment here (good luck, the notification system is atrocious) or tweet me @mclvlnd.

I need answers.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

single as a pringle

I'm finding my emotions rising up again. Oh, yeah, remember the 35 day Relationship Challenge? That's done. I have no idea how that went, honestly, because now my emotions are riding a roller coaster of wishie-washie that I haven't experienced for years.

All of my friends have "somebody to love", and I am the protagonist of that song of the same name. Sing it, Freddy.  Also, it's Christmastime, so I'm literally being bombarded with love, rom-coms and everything else that goes with that territory.  So, I'm sitting here, with my computer, chowing down on the potato chips that will inevitably be my demise, watching a wedding show. A wedding show.


I'm trying to convince myself that being single as a pringle and permanently friend-zoned by everyone is great, and good for me. I mean, I honestly know that deep down, it is good for me. But I hate it.
See, growing up in the church, I've heard every variation to the benefits of focusing on Jesus and loving being  wanted only by God. But it's the only part that trips me up. Correction: trips almost every single Christian girl up. We've been told that if we pray and pray and ask God to help us to focus only on Him that we'll stop searching and needing a guy. Yes, that works. And, yes, we've all tried it. But what about the part of me, and you, and everyone, that needs to be needed by a person?

See, inside every person is the need to feel wanted, and even when we're focusing in on God, we still are human. And there's always someone skinnier, cuter, or with a better personality that is the apple of everyone's eye. So, I think where we go wrong in the Church is when in discussing relationships, we only focus on the spiritual aspect of it and not the human. Because even if you're not wanting a relationship, you can still be completely jealous of the person who is in the relationship.

Jealousy and competition run through my veins. Even though I'm not athletic or in sports, winning is everything. Relationships, in my screwy human mind, are a competition against myself.  And this is how I know that being single is beneficial [side note]. Anyway, if nobody likes me, or is pursuing me, I'm losing. And that's when the OCD and anorexia really start coming out. I have to perfect myself in order to gain the admiration of another. translated: I'm stupid.

To compensate for my lack of relationship, I eat chips. I watch The Office (working on the fourth time through the series) and sob while watching the Jim and Pam drama unfold.  I revert back to the introvert. And then I start crushing on everyone. I need to be needed. And then the cycle begins again.

It's pretty simple:
Mira starts liking someone→ They like skinnier, funnier, less abrasive personality girl who is inevitably extremely creative and a "better Christian"→ I get competitive. Loose weight. Fix my makeup. Change up my devos. →Revert to the introvert and return to Netflix.→Mira starts liking someone.

This makes me sound like some sort of jealous cow.
 But, in a way, I need this. To detail the faulty system in order to break the cycle. See, the problem in the current cycle is the fact that I'm competing against something I can never win with, and ignoring reason. If I can change my part of the third step, and not focus on the second aspect of the steps, I can partially resolve the issue.

See, instead of liking someone (1), figuring out where they stand (2), getting competitive (3), and revert back to my introvert stage (4); I can eliminate the second aspect, and reinvent the third.

See below:

Mira starts liking someone→ She realizes that her happiness does not depend on the societal standards→ Mira focuses on God→ Mira stops liking the person→ Netflix and Jim and Pam return, but in moderation. →Mira focuses on personal development.

Focus on God and development rather than guys. It sounds so simple, but actually implementing the changes in the process will be a different story.

Reinvent the process. Change the pattern.

The end.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The 35 Day Relationship Challenge

I like debriefing [//okay, fine, I thrive off of debriefing. there’s something about getting my thoughts on a page that helps a situation//]. And I like Spotify [//for the record, simon and garfunkel radio, with “the boxer” on repeat//]. This is a combination of both of those. And mild lactose intolerance, too. [//okay, fine, moderate to severe allergic reactions to milk. i need to give milk up. its just so good//] But, that’s unrelated to the matter at hand [//we all know that my posts are random and often nonsensical. get over it.//] .

Anyway [//i adore the word anyway. it seems like the beginning of an adventure. it’s exciting.//].
Much like the milk that is making me nauseous right now , guys seem to be something of an allergy to me [//actually, how i deal with guys creates the allergy. i don’t really know how to deal with them.//].  I think that I’ve been going to hard for too long and that I’ve worn myself out [// for the record: that’s what she said. anybody close to me knew that that statement was coming. my apologies for any offenses.//] . You know the routine: I’m giving guys up. No, now, I like this guy. But we’ll just be friends. I won’t get bitter, you’ll see.  In fact, anyone remotely close to me has witnessed this pattern [//as nicole would be quick to point out—all of the time//].  But, I’ve discovered something recently with a newly close friend of mine:
Give the guys up. Focus on God [// literally. give the guys up. they’re almost worthless as sixteen, seventeen  and eighteen year olds. they’re walking zits. and just as useful//].
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I developed a crush on a guy who I barely knew, became good friends with his sister [//love her. she’s literally Jesus to everyone.//], and discovered that he has a major crush on said friend. I had seen that coming [//totally called it. she didn’t see it coming.//].
I should have known. I barely knew the guy. It just happened. And now I’m kicking myself in the butt.
This has a purpose, mind you [//everything i write has a purpose. every post on this blog is posted for a reason//].

I challenged my friend, and I, for thirty-five days, give up the guys. Stop focusing on our pointless crushes, start focusing in on friendship and Jesus. Correct our relationships before we try to start a new one. I dared her, yes; I dared her, to literally get over the guys. We’re sixteen years old. We don’t even need to think about needing a guy. Please. It’s not like we’re going to marry any of them anyway.  So, with this challenge, I created some rules, and
then, also, most importantly, focus on Jesus. Mend anything in our walk with him that we’ve been pushing aside because of a stupid boy.
We’ve got about 30 days left. Honestly, I’m not counting. I’m doing this for the emotional aspect. See, I thrive off of challenges.  This challenge is especially beneficial because of the implications.
We’ve been dared to give guys up. I don’t know about you, but that involves deprogramming our human nature for a month, and it’s tricky. We’re girls, we crave attention. So, when we refocus our attention to Jesus, it starts redirecting our thought process.  I’m really excited to see how this works.

Here’s a brief overview of the challenge… I’d love it if you’d join us!

The 35 Day Relationship Challenge
The purpose of this challenge is to redirect our focus from human desires to that of a relationship satisfied only by Jesus Christ.  Through this process, we hope to get over our broken relationships by giving them to Jesus. The rules are simple:

1.       Focus on Jesus. → No guys. No girls. No whatever.
2.       Work on getting closer to Him→ Whatever that involves for you. Be it devos, prayer, meditation, etc. Just spend time with Him.
3.       No new relationships
4.       No new crushes
5.       Put your current crushes on hold→ This is especially hard. No spending time dwelling on someone who is holding your fancy, just be friends.
6.       No pursuing anyone
It doesn’t have to be 35 days. It can really be any amount of time, at the minimum,  a month. Some people do this for a year.  It’s really up to you and Jesus.

And that’s that.

I’m really excited to see how this works out.