July 25, 2010

A House in Disarray

Posted in Awesome God, Grown-Up Life, Story of My Life at 2:34 PM by TKWatson

When I graduated from ASU two years ago, I entered a period of my life where I was unsure of who I was, where I was going, and what my place in this world was.  I’ve already talked a little bit about this here.  In an effort to figure all this out, and I think, in a way trying to make a place for myself, I made a couple of really big changes in my life.  The biggest change I made was buying a house.

Some people thought I was too young to be buying a house, especially all on my own.  Some thought I hadn’t been in a financially stable job for long enough to take on this risk.  Luckily for me, the FHA loan people disagreed.  Trying to buy a house was a big struggle.  I had two offers fall through and the house I did end up in, almost fell through several times.  It is definitely in the top three most stressful things I’ve done during my lifetime.

In the end though, I was blessed beyond measure.  In January of last year, I finally closed on my house and moved in a week later.  My house is so much more than I ever dreamed of getting when I initially set out to buy a place.  Granted, it has flaws, and it certainly isn’t an expensive home even in it’s best condition; the neighborhood is good, but not great, and it needed some work when I moved in.

But I had big plans for this house.  I planned on being here a good while and slowly but surely making updates, fixing things… basically turning this house into my home.  I bought all new appliances prior to moving in because the ones that were here, really weren’t usable. My dad spent many hours fixing every last door in the house, since, for some strange reason, not a single one of them was hanging on the hinges correctly (What a weird problem, eh?).  In addition, some work was done to the backyard, drywall was fixed in the laundry closet, faulty faucets were replaced, etc. etc.  Then I started running out of money. (I was hoping that I’d find a money tree in the backyard when I moved in, but my parents claim those don’t really exist… who knew?) So, I took a break from my fix-er-up plans to let the funds start pooling again.  Then life happened, I started dating and eventually got engaged to a man that lives 3,500 miles away, and decided I wanted a big beautiful wedding, mix in a little bit of lazy on my part, add some procrastination, and what you have is the current disarray that is my house.  I did eventually managed to replace the flooring throughout the house (mostly out of necessity) and very recently replaced the A/C unit (out of DIRE necessity).

My house is still very livable, but if you look around, you can see all the half finished projects lying about.  My downstairs is half painted.  (And by half painted, I do NOT mean that some of the walls are painted and some are not; I mean that about three quarters of the downstairs walls are partially painted, and the rest are not painted at all.  (Including one wall where I slathered a medium size splotch of red paint, decided I didn’t like the color, and have yet to go pick out a new color and paint over it… There is also some paint on the ceiling where I originally planned on painting the ceiling and then changed my mind and now have a big mess of… What the hell happened here?!) I haven’t even begun painting in the upstairs.  The downstairs has no baseboards thanks to the painting fiasco.  I do not have a single picture or wall decoration actually hanging anywhere in my house; what I DO have, is a zillion pieces of wall art sitting on the floor near where they are intended to be hung.  The landscaping in my front yard is in desperate need of some help.  I have a lamp that I purchased shortly after I moved in that was to be hung above my kitchen table and has never actually been out of the box to date.  Plus, if you count all of the things that I had plans to do, but got scraped in light of changes in budgeting and my eventual move… like… replacing the bathroom cabinets, mirrors and hardware, refinishing the kitchen cabinets, replacing the “boob” lights  in the kitchen (Picture two of these, put side by side…), building a mantel and hearth for the fireplace in my living room… my house is pretty much a failed construction project.

Although it is a little bit sad for me that I likely won’t get the chance to do all the things I had planned for this house, since I won’t be living in it much longer and will probably be renting it out, my main concern is just putting it back into a “normal” condition before I move.  Ya know… things like… making sure each wall has only one color on it…

I think the point of my story here, is that the current state of my house, in many ways represents the current state of my life.  Everything is a little bit a mess, not quite as I had planned, and I’m just trying to figure out how to get it back into some state of normalcy.

I say all of this because I listened to a very thought provoking sermon today by a guest pastor at my church entitled “Who R U?”  (Listen here.)  The point of the message is basically just that God has a plan for all of our lives.  Sometimes we may not be 100% certain of what those plans are, but God is still in control.  While listening to this sermon, I had a sort of epiphany.  I realized that sometimes God takes us to a place where we are forced to let go of our own plans, so that we can fully embrace His plans.

I believe that this is exactly the place God has me in right now, and it is exactly where he needs me to be.  For so long I’ve been struggling to figure out who I am on my own terms, and God has been waiting for me to start trying to figure out how I am according to His terms.  I realized while thinking about this that every time during the last several years that I have taken my burdens and laid them at his feet, giving up on my own plans for my life, God has shown me that his plans are bigger and better than my own.

So, in light of this epiphany today, I give up the current disarray of my life to God.  My life currently looks like the downstairs paint job of my house… the “What the hell happened here?!” paint job.  But I know that God has it under control.  He’s just waiting until the timing is right, just like I’ve been waiting until the timing is right to put my house back together.  AND God is a MUCH more awesome designer that I, so I’m sure that when all is said and done, my life will be so much cooler than this house.

Although… I will say… that new A/C I just bought with two limbs and my first born child, does keep this house pretty amazingly dang cool…

July 17, 2010

If I Die Young

Posted in Awesome God, Emo Day, Grown-Up Life, Story of My Life at 4:34 PM by TKWatson

I heard this song for the first time recently.  My heart damn near broke in two.

We met in high school and dated for a short while in the summer and fall after graduation.  He broke my heart into a million little pieces when he left me.  For years, every now and then, he would somehow stumble back into my life, for just a brief moment and I would once again feel an inexplicable surge of emotion for this person that I barely knew.  Then my heart would break again when, every time, he disappeared just as soon as he had come along.  For years, even in his absence, I loved this boy; the fire that once was, I managed to quell to embers, but it never quite burned out.  Not even after I fell in love with someone else.  For years, I was sure that he would always be “the one that got away”; I was sure that I would spend the rest of life wondering where he was, how he was, and why he hadn’t loved me the way I loved him.

Then one day, out of the blue and after several years, he called me.  This was different then all those times he had momentarily popped back into my life.  He took me out.  He told me how sorry he was for all the wasted years.  He told me he loved me, and had for all this time.  He said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

I bought it.  Hook.  Line.  And Sinker.

The two months that followed were the strangest of my life.  Things were amazing in the beginning.  A fairytale come true, or so I thought.  But our relationship quickly deteriorated as I uncovered lies, secrets, and a person who didn’t meet the standards of the pedestal I had this man on for so long.

Somehow, I managed to walk away.

This story line seems so implausible to me that sometimes, it’s hard to believe it really happened.  But it did.  And I thank God everyday for it.  The day I walked away from him, the power that he had held over me for so many years, finally broke.  I no longer had to wonder “what if”. I no longer had to love him in my dreams.  Although my heart was once again shattered into a million little pieces, I knew that this time I would fully heal.

Two months later, G and I started dating.  For the first time in six years, I felt that I was able to give my heart to someone ahundred percent, without having a little piece of it left behind for this other man.  The irony in this is that the weekend of my first date with this person was the same weekend that G had asked me to fly to Colorado to attend his senior ring dance with him, before we started dating, and I said no.

In August of 2009, just four months after our roller-coaster two month reunion, the man I’d spent more than five years of my life loving, passed away.  He was 23 years old.  I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t devastated at the news of his passing.  Although I hadn’t spoken to him in months, no longer had any desire to be with him, and had already found the true love of my life, the death of someone so young, especially someone I had so recently loved, was not easy.  One final time, my heart broke over this man.

I always see God’s hand in the story of my life, and this piece of my story is no exception.  I know that God allowed this man back into my life so that I could have the opportunity to finally be rid of my desire for him.  So that G could have all of me, like he deserves.

I also know God allowed it so that his death wouldn’t destroy me.  His death was a tragedy that I was deeply affected by, but if I’d never had the opportunity to realize that I loved an image, rather than a real person, I’m not sure I would have survived his death with my sanity intact.

Today, almost a year after his death, I uncovered one more lie this man told me.  A lie that puts into question everything he had told me about loving me for so many years.  Though I am a little bit saddened by this, for the first time since meeting him when we were just eighteen, my heart didn’t break this time.  I guess it’s pretty much impossible for someone to break your heart when another man holds it safely in the palm of his hand.

I will always remember this person that I loved for so long, and I will always feel a twinge of pain at the loss that his family, and this world suffered through his death.  He was so young, and had so much life left to live.  Like the song says… “It’s the sharp knife, of a short life…”

Rest in Peace, Nicholas James Fenney. 1986-2009.