When You Still Love People Who Did Terrible Things to You

IMG_1278Frequently as I can manage, I stand with my toes in the wet sand and stare out at the Pacific Ocean. The amount of revelations I have had while standing on some San Diego County beach is endless. I spend all my time inside my own head: thinking, wondering, processing.

I remember once as a kid, boogie boarding with my family. My boogie board flipped over and for too long, I couldn’t get on the other side. I was stuck underneath the board. When I finally was able to push the board out of my way (after being sure of my death), my mom and brother were a few feet away, laughing and playing. It was the first time I understood the ocean as a terrible force. I still loved it, but it terrified me.

Something being terrifying and horrible does not stop love. Continue reading

Allowing the Anxiety to Exist: A Post About Breakdowns and Connecting with Others

unnamed“We need one another. There’s no reason to judge. People are more fragile than you could possibly imagine.”

– Jamie Tworkowski If You Feel Too Much

Last night I got dinner with two young men that I hadn’t spent quality time with in over a year. The last time I had hung out with either of them individually, neither was allowed to legally drink. Now the three of us sat around a table drinking beer and eating sliders. (OK, I had cider, but the cashier called it a beer when he handed it to me. SO. Counts.)

Anxiety became a topic of conversation between us, and the words coming from one of them echoed what I had been processing lately. Anxious thoughts, flashbacks, triggering moments… they need to exist in what they are. Pushing down the anxiety and trying to control it will make it worse.  Continue reading

My Fresh Ink – Why It Matters

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Rocking a bathing suit and my brand new ink – “Redeemed”

“The tattoo was his journal, a story etched on his arm. And when Hunter sees it, he remembers those days when he was changed, and when love was rich and deep.”

The Significance of How You Tell Your Story / Al Andrews

Let’s go back to January 1st, 2011. It was a bad 20th birthday. After my dad cursed me out via email and my dinner plans fell through, I had decided to lock myself up for the rest of the day. Thankfully, a couple friends decided against that and took on making plans for me that night. I was in a lot of pain emotionally, but we had fun. I felt loved.

Afterwards, we went to one of their houses. I began to feel separated. The self-hating words came back so easily into my brain. Words I thought I had fought off over the years. You’re worthless, Jaymie. You’re ugly, and you’re gross, and no one love you. No one will ever love you.  Continue reading

Childlike Wonder (Reading)

IMG_1663Growing up, my family’s biggest shopping adventure was to the Salvation Army.

As a kid, I would head straight towards the back left of the store. Past the jewelry, past the clothes, past the toys. I had one aim: books. I now joke about how my mom would tell me that we could only afford one option for me: a new shirt or a couple books? And the answer was always books. One of the employees knew my love for The Babysitter Club and Sweet Valley Twins/High books, so she would put them aside. I started to make a written collection of all the books I had in those series so that I wouldn’t waste my mom’s 25-50 cents on duplicates. Continue reading

For the Sake of the World Around You, Christians, Please Grow in Love

image1At some point in my young adulthood life, my views on most social politics changed. This is anything but uncommon. You grow up believing in certain truths, but then your eyes adjust to the world around you.

I’ve mentioned this before, but my first “ah hah” moment took place in an APU classroom. I was incredibly conservative on all issues and got into an argument with a very liberal professor. He believed he was right in saying that Jesus would approve Obamacare. That if he were a politician, he would sit on the board and vote a big YES. Besides my own agenda against that, that argument didn’t sit right with me. He asked me why I disagreed and I told him, “Because Jesus wasn’t a politician. That wasn’t what he came here for.” And as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I felt them come back and slap me across the face. Because Jesus wasn’t a politician. That wasn’t what he came here for. Continue reading