Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Real Deal

At 1AM in the morning, in the dorm room of my friend, in the Spring of 2002, I changed my undergraduate major. I realized, after nearly 3 years of classes, that I did not, in fact, wish to teach children how to read and write. So with all of the thought and consideration that one can muster at 1 in the morning, I hopped online and changed my major from Elementary Education to, of all things, Interior Design. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Looking back on it, I realize that this particular degree was about as useful as if I had never attended college at all. we've firmly established recently, I don't always make the best decisions.

During the course of my Interior Design studies I took a class called "Fibers and Finishes." Stop laughing...I'm serious. Part of the course was to use a microscope to identify the various types of fibers, natural and man made. (Interesting Note: This skill actually came in handy a few years later when I was selling yellow pages, and working tirelessly to sell an ad to a carpet cleaner. He literally purchased a half page ad from me simply because I could intelligently speak of the differences between the fibers of a wool rug and one made of nylon. True Story.) Anyway, the most interesting part of this class was the timed test we had to take. We each had our own microscope and a sampling of fabric swatches. We had 10 minutes to use a pair of tweezers to pluck a single fiber from each swatch, place it under the microscope and identify it's origin. Rayon...nylon...wool...cotton. Then we attached the swatch to a piece of paper and wrote our answer underneath.

Do you want to know how to identify a wool fiber from a nylon fiber? WELL OF COURSE YOU DO!!!! I'm sure you have spent your whole life walking around thinking, " long am I going to live on this earth before someone clears up this mind boggling question that nags daily at my soul?!?!" Well, good news, my friend. That day has come! A nylon fiber is perfectly smooth and round, because before it was a fiber, it was a liquid. The fibers are formed by being squeezed through a machine with tiny round holes. Therefore, under a microscope they look smooth and shiny and perfect. A wool fiber, however, looks disgusting. When you magnify a single wool fiber, you will see an abundance of tiny scales, each one wrapping itself around the next. It is not uniform. It is not smooth. It is not pretty. In fact, it looks rough, like the mangled bark of an aged tree.

What is the point?

I almost deleted my blog this week.

A lot of people use blogging to keep their families updated on the happenings of their kids, or as a general day in the life journal. My blog isn't really for that. It's my way of processing all of the things that are in my head. It's a release. It's me, being 100% transparent, behind the safety of my computer screen. And up to this point, that safety hasn't really ever been compromised. I know a lot of the people that read my blog make judgements about me. It's hard not to! But those of you that comment regularly, though I've never met some of you (and STILL owe others of you an introductory walk!) have been a real encouragement to me through this journey. If I never meet you on earth, I plan to know you in Heaven.

But this week someone, who chose to remain anonymous, left me a comment (which was not published) that basically boiled down to their judgement that I needed therapy. It was delivered in such a way that the tone didn't seem to be of a particularly helpful or encouraging nature...more of a "Good Lord You Are F****D Up!" judgement. It stung. And the result was the realization that there are mean people out there who will read some stranger's (at least I think we're strangers...) deepest heartache and feel it appropriate to point fingers, make judgements, and then share them without care or concern for others' feelings. And THEN, I realized that it's not just the mean people that do this....everyone does it. Whether they share their judgements with me or not...they are making them all the same. And suddenly, my little corner of the internet didn't feel so safe. So for about a day and a half, I decided to throw it away.

But the thought of deleting my blog made me cranky. And sad. And angry. So I didn't do it.

And here's why.

I already know I need therapy. Good lord, anyone who's ever read this thing knows I need therapy! Thank you, Captain Obvious! But I also know that my circumstances and the results of my bad decisions have absolutely no impact on the fact that God has a distinct purpose for me, and that He will use all of this....this time of rebuilding....this place of shame....this spirit of introspection....this season of confusion....for the good. Because He's just that kind of GOOD...and He's just that kind of GOD.

I have felt lately, more than ever, that I am under a microscope. Even though I'm the only one on this planet that is living my life, everyone seems to have an opinion about how I'm doing it. And granted, I've made it awfully easy for them to feel licensed to do so. I mean, honestly, I have made some REALLY BAD DECISIONS. And then I went and blogged about them.

What I've discovered during this period of intense scrutiny, is something that just doesn't look pretty. Me under a microscope looks an awful lot like a wool fiber. I'm not smooth or polished. I am rough around the edges, a scale to scale mess of imperfection. I look like something that needs to be stripped down to its core, because the appearance of what IS....just looks like it's come undone. It looks broken. It looks torn. It looks like it is in need of time and the tender hand of the seamstress have their work cut out for them.

But it's the very roughness, the very brokenness, of the wool fiber that sets it apart from it's man made nylon friend. Nylon isn't natural, which is why its fibers appear smooth and polished when held under intense magnification. Wool fibers, God made fibers, are easily identifiable...

because of their brokenness.

They are rough.
They are raw.
They are REAL.

Kind of like me.


Lora said...

ahhh, i love this. i love your writing, your real-ness, your authenticity (yeah, that's the better word)

i will collect on that walk when we all stop melting from the heat

and i would have been unbearably sad had you

Anonymous said...

AND.......wool is the most durable and with time and effort cleans better than any synthetic, appearing new after years of wear and abuse. Wool is beautiful.

Erotas Trofi said...

So, we don't know each other well, but GIRL, I know how you feel. I, too write about my life in a very open and raw way, and have been VERY harshly scrutinized and judged. I always love how it comes from "Anonymous"...what complete pathetic people. I have also been faced with that feeling of wanting to delete my blog, but it is my way of expressing myself and getting all of the crazy little thoughts out of my head- and really, allowing others to see that they're not the only ones who have a rough time...especially when it comes to "love". I would encourage you to keep your head up, and keep on writing. You are talented and allow yourself to be vulnerable- which is obviously an enjoyable reading experience for MANY! Good luck, and I look forward to reading more of your blogs! -Christina

HappyascanB said...

I say you are beautiful in your imperfections. We are all full of flaws and rough patches; goodness knows I am. I'm sorry someone said such hurtful things to you; you always do a beautiful job of writing and while I have no idea who you are in real life, I am sure you are handling your heartaches and pains with grace and dignity, just as you write about them. Hang in there and keep that beautiful faith!

Jenny Davis said...

I love you for you... for your bad decisions and your good ones (example: your perfectly beautiful little boy!) I love you because you have the courage to be raw and open on a public forum. I love you because you don't let others tell you what to think or how to feel about yourself. I love you because you're you. You are an amazing woman and truly wonderful friend and I wouldn't trade the time we have spent together for anything. I hope you do keep blogging... at least this kind of therapy is free!!! :)

--Brad and Rachel-- said...

Wow, that takes Jesus' analogy of us as sheep to a new level. Glad you didn't delete your blog.

Sandra said...

Wow Sara that was Awesome!! Never let the words of anyone make you second guess your real true worth...I am still learning that at my age! I am so proud of you and love you bunches! mom

:) said...

To the person who thinks you need therapy... honey, everybody needs therapy. ESPECIALLY someone who leaves hateful anonymous comments on people's webpages. That is the truth.

Your writing is incredible and it is apparent that you are incredible too. I love reading your blog like I love watching my favorite tv shows, even reading my favorite authors. I am very glad you chose not to delete such a beautiful thing. We all love you!

GraceGetsGreater said...

And you all have successfully made my cry. In the very best way.

Thanks. :)