I'm pretty proud of myself. I realized something new about myself without having to lay down on a black leather sofa and have someone with crossed knees, a notebook, and glasses leading me to the discovery! Resulting "aha" moment!

Sarcasm has been my way of life since.....well.....I can't actually remember a time it wasn't my main form of communication! I do know that I became wittier with my sarcasm in college, making that my main source of identity. I love making people laugh...I love laughing at myself...and my goal is to remove any possible awkwardness in my encounters with others. But I'm smart, too. And a lot of people don't know that. I love to learn, love to teach, and crave challenges in life. I don't want the answer to be given to me...I want to figure it out for myself. My favorite, favorite thing is working with numbers. Creating excel tables or budgets or figuring out how much it'll cost to drive from here to Mountain View, California with "x" amount of dollars at "y" miles per gallon. FUN! :)

But about 6 months ago, I was in my dad's Bible class, and we all had to prepare our thoughts ahead of time on a certain controversial topic. He went around the table, asking everyone to share their thoughts one-by-one. I was next to last to share. The closer he got to me, the more my hand began to shake and I began to get nervous. The person sitting to my left knew me fairly well, and was utterly confused when he saw my shaking hand. He asked me after class if I was cold, or if I was truly nervous. I admitted that I didn't care for public speaking very much, which seemed to surprise him. He assumed that since I was so outgoing and comfortable with people, that I would naturally have no problem talking in front of a dozen others. Wrong.

But it got me thinking. How can I love people so much, and be so afraid to talk to more than one person at a time? What am I afraid of? And...out of the blue...I got it last week. It just hit me. My "aha" moment! I am scared to death to have someone judge my serious intelligence. I can sit around with people all day laughing at my bad jokes, my job, my weight, my clothes, my car....anything. Anything but my intelligence. I can handle someone thinking I'm not funny, but I would be so offended if someone didn't think I was smart. So I don't show that side of me very often. I protect it, in a way. I don't know if that makes any sense to anyone else, but it finally makes sense to me. Public speaking involves sharing my serious side....and that's not something I'm able to laugh at myself about. And until I can...I guess my hand will continue to shake every time someone asks me for my opinion in front of a group of people.
I pretty much hate giving people gifts.

It's a process where I probably expect more from the recipient than they do of me (the gift-giver). I will spend hours and hours roaming a store, wracking my brain, and bringing myself to the point of tears in trying to find something that is both meaningful and useful to this particular individual. Poor Chris will follow me around helplessly, trying to suggest things, attempting to encourage me along the way...but nothing helps. This is an annual cycle at Christmas, and happens occasionally during the year for someone's birthday. I don't feel creative enough to create something on my own, and I usually don't have the cash to get what I really want. So I stress. (Oh yeah...and cards alone are pathetic (for CLOSE friends, mind you), gift cards are thoughtless, and you always have to come up with something equivalent to what they gave you for your birthday).

And all I hope for is 2 things. First, that they will PRETEND to love it, even if they don't. Didn't your momma teach you anything? Smile, and say thank you! Saying thank you twice will make me feel even better...but I'll settle for once. And second...for goodness sake, put it to use at least once in front of me! I don't want to come to your house and see the gift I stressed about so long in getting you, added to your dust collector set! Give me a break! My thoughts don't count for I don't want to hear that, either.
Unless I'm slower than most, (which is a definite possibility!) I didn't know what gamophobia was until I googled "fear of marriage" this morning. I would have thought gamophobia would be the fear of playing games. I expected fear of marriage to return something along the lines of maritaphobia, forevaphobia...something a little more obvious! :)

While I don't think I have gamophobia, I certainly have a large list of fears about marriage. The idea of marriage seemed much simpler when I was in college. Meet a guy, fall in love, commit to each other forever, start a family, and live happily ever after. A few arguments here and there, but nothing serious enough to make either partner want to leave! So to my surprise, from college till now, as all my single friends become married friends, and I learn more and more about the truth of marriage (as though someone had been hiding it from me all these years), it truly scares me about my own future marriage. Before, when my only concern was if we both had the same faith, and both wanted seemed pretty easy to find someone to marry. But now my head is filled with the reality of a marriage splitting over jealousy, unfaithfulness, money, lies, infertility, jobs, raising children, distance from God....the list in my head goes on and on and on. I'm even tearing up thinking about it all!

But before I give you the wrong idea....I do want, and plan, on getting married. And I do plan on it being my one and only marriage for the rest of my life. But seeing and hearing about people I love, disrespecting and breaking their vows to the person those chose to spend the rest of their life with...just breaks my heart, and lessens the amount of hope I have in the sanctity of my own marriage. What I want to hear from others is that they are struggling through hard times, but are making the effort to work through it. And that both partners come out on the other end without regret, continuing to work together to make the marriage work. I know it's possible. I just wonder why it's not more common.
I grew up thinking the people whose words were a big deal to others knew it. Like, you are somehow labeled as having words of gold that will either put someone in counseling in later years, or place someone on top of the world with your praises. There are a few "given" relationships where the power of a person's words are understood. A parent/child relationship, boss/employee, teacher/ get the picture. But it boggles my mind, even today, how a "normal" person's words can effect someone so much.

I don't care what everyone always says to me. If you disagree with me, it's not likely to scar the future of my thinking. And not everyone's praises stick with me. However, there are a few people I just "have" to have the approval of. And these people are not necessarily my parents (sorry mom and dad), or even my closest friends. Actually, they are people who probably don't even suspect I listen to them at all. But if they were to vocalize disapproval in something I had done, it would weigh heavily on my mind until I felt I had gained their approval back. And vice versa - their words of praise would mean more to me than is logical.

Which makes me wonder...why do I care more about what these people think than I do others? And even more troubling - does anyone feel this way about me?! I tend to be more careful with my words around the kids in my Bible class, or the boys I tutor - but surely no one else really cares what I think of them. Right??!! It's extremely difficult for me to imagine why any other adult would find my words to be more condemning, or more meaningful, than that of anyone else's. But I suppose it could happen. I do it to others.

Do you know the people you affect strongly with your words?
I had an awkward dream about my boss this week. He's a relatively new boss. We've been working together since January, resulting in the "still getting to know you" stage, where not all boundaries have been set. He often finds my "Out to Lunch" sign as an invitation to come into my office, even after knocking and getting no response. Which is why I feel I had this particular dream about him. In my dream, I was engaging in private matters, to which he felt no hesitation in interrupting and continuing to talk business with me. At one point in the dream, I was using the restroom, and he came and stood in the doorway and continued to talk to me while my pants were around my ankles. No awkwardness on his end. Just needed to talk business with me at that particular moment. Then again, I was taking a shower (not sure why I was doing this at work), and he continued to stand in the doorway once more, updating me on the plans for the week. Logically, it was just a dream. Sub-consciously, my boss has now seen me naked. I can assure you there was not much eye contact at work the following day!

But this got me thinking about dreams, in general. There have been multiple times I have had dreams about people that I haven't even spoken to in years. So why would I dream about them? And why do some dreams play with our emotions so bad? I woke up mad at Chris one day (I never told him why), because I dreamed we were having an engagement party, and when he was about to introduce me as his fiance, there were two of us. He was engaged to a friend of mine from OC, as well. And she seemed to know about me, and didn't mind...but I sure didn't know about her! And in my dream, the details of her life were the same. She had 2 kids (but no husband in my dream, obviously), looked the same, knew me from school...and this didn't seem to bother anyone else but me. So NATURALLY (sarcasm intended), I woke up feeling betrayed!

It kind of amuses me that other people may have dreams about me that I'll never know about. That people I haven't talked to in years wake up and wonder "Where did that come from?" I'm not one to take dreams seriously and don't feel as though there is a meaning for every dream I have. But I like the nice reminders in my sleep of people I have encountered in life. Not that I appreciate feeling awkward going to work the next day, as though my boss has violated my privacy in the night...but you get it. :)
I learned a valuable lesson from a 17-year old my second summer in Eindhoven. Mandy and I went out to dinner with two of our English students to a local Mexican restaurant. We sat down, ordered our meals and waited. And waited, and waited, and waited. 30 minutes later, I ask in a rather irritated voice "What is taking so long??". Mandy's student looked at me in surprise and said "What's the hurry?" Umm....well...there is no hurry, actually. I felt pretty stupid. That night, we ended up sitting for 3 hours at that table dinner, after having waited an hour and a half for our food.

Given, American culture is more fast-paced than European culture. We walk in, sit down and order, and if the food is not sitting in front of us in 10 minutes flat, we begin causing a scene. And inevitably, the server ends up paying for it. No food, no tip. One of my most memorable dates with Chris was one of my worst restaurant experiences ever. I was in tears from laughing so hard at the continuous list of unfortunate events. We walked away without ever planning on coming back...but one thing I know for sure - we tipped the server.

I was a waitress for a year and a half after moving to Fayetteville. I got two customer complaints during that time - one for my sarcasm being taken as seriousness (what? me?!), and one for being as rude to them as they were being to me. Overall, not bad. And I had a high percentage of accuracy in placing orders. But what I came to realize is that none of that really matters to customers. If you don't stop by the table every 5 minutes to check on them, you are a bad server. If you DO stop by the table and interrupt their conversation every 5 minutes, you are a bad server. If you attempt to clear the table of clutter, accidentally mistaking leftover untouched appetizers as trash, you are a bad server. If you leave said leftover untouched appetizers on table, you are a bad server. If the food comes out wrong, you are a bad server. If the food takes longer to come out, you are a bad server (yes...because you are responsible for cooking the food in between getting refills for 5 tables). The list goes on and on. And I got stiffed a few a times. Which has resulted in me going out to eat with others, and looking to see how much they tip, to make sure it is at least 15%...otherwise, I add it on to my own tip. If I came there to eat and drink...and I leave there, having had something to eat and drink...then my server did his/her job.

In case you don't agree, let me lay it out for you this way. By NOT tipping your server (for whatever reason), you are making that server pay for YOU to eat at their restaurant. A server is required to pay out 3% of his/her sales to the bartender, busboys, and expeditor. So if your bill is $75, your server has to give $2.25 to other people, regardless of whether you tipped him/her or not. While that may not seem like much to you...when they only get paid $2.50/hour, you have now completely taken away all but a quarter of their pay away (not counting taxes taken out). So before you walk away from the restaurant, disgruntled at the horrible service you just received...make sure you leave at LEAST a 3% tip. It's the least you can do for taking up a table!
I never knew how difficult it would be to make friends as an adult. I still hold onto and cherish my friendships most from when I was in college. I've been fortunate enough to make several friends since then, but none that have been able to experience life with me as those girls did when I was 18. My priority then was making friends (grades came in close 2nd!). They saw every part of my life...every high and every low...whether I wanted them to or not. It was the nature of our living quarters. But I never thought that leaving college would result in a string of friendships that left me feeling like something's missing.

It's so difficult now to find a good *girl*friend. Unfortunately, I can't just meet someone and think "Wow...they would be really fun to hang out with!". My mind fills with other questions (allow me to interject futuristic thoughts, as well). Do we live close to each other? Do our work schedules allow us to spend time together? Does your spouse get along with my spouse? Do I find your children well-disciplined and a good influence on my children? Are your priorities in life the same as mine, so that I can look forward to being encouraged and held accountable when I get off track?

Chances are...if the answer to any of those questions is NO....then the friendship will neither become deep, nor last very long. As much as I may love being with a particular person....if her family life is completely different to that of my own, we're not likely to become very close. So for now, I'll settle for good friends, and good times....and wait patiently for that friend that fits just right. If Chris and I could ever end up in the same city as my sister and her family, she might just be that person for me...whether she thinks so or not. :)
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I was driving to work this morning, (not in a hurry, cause I had overslept and already called to say I would be late) and one of my favorite songs came on the radio. I don't know about you, but there are times in my life where I like to claim songs. Days where I know that that artist wrote that song JUST for me. It describes my life perfectly, and I feel that if I could express myself to others in the way that these artists express themselves to get paid...I'd be pretty content with life.

But anyway...that's not what this blog is about (sidetracked!). So my song comes on, and I'm singing at the top of my lungs like I'm raising money for a charity. Gotta make sure I hit all the right notes and put enough expression in my face, that my fans believe in what I'm singing. Might get a little kink in my neck, as I attempt to keep the beat of the song with my body, and my hands fly up in the air at the appropriate time in the song. I'm feeling good. Sun is shining, I'm singing my heart out -it's just me and the world!

Then I come to a stoplight. Where I have a choice. I can either maintain my rockstar status when I pull up to the person beside me...knowing I'm invisible...or I can take intermission in the middle of my song and pretend they didn't see my mouth flailing open with no one else in the car, possibly catching me with my cell phone held up to amplify my voice as only a real microphone can.

Now I wish I could tell you I had the confidence level to pull of the first option. But I chose the latter. Rockstar to secretary in 1.2 seconds flat. Neighbor check. Anyone looking? Is it possible someone saw me through one of my dingy car windows? Nah. Wait. What? Don't give me that look. I'm just sitting here!

*Sigh* One day. One day I will pull off the rockstar moves from start to finish...lights or no lights. It's on my bucket list.
I've been known to cry a few (hundred) times a year over money. Mostly the lack thereof. Anytime I DO have excess money, I tend to spend it on meals out enjoying the company of other people, rather than replacing or purchasing something I actually need. Ask anyone who has seen me multiple times the past year. The same two pairs of rubber shoes that I bought a year ago. But I'm okay with that. Doesn't bother me that I don't have the extra money to buy new clothes, make-up, shoes, or newest hair color. Since getting my own place, I can honestly say I have not highlighted my hair, bought any new make-up, purchased a single piece of clothing, gone for a manicure/pedicure, or splurged on any new furniture/decorative items for my apartment. Last week I bought 4 new spices for my cabinet, and felt like my kitchen was pretty complete, despite the lack of curtains on the windows and no centerpiece on the table.

So why does it bother others so bad when I'm not up-to-date on my fashion sense? What does getting a fresh new haircut every 6-8 weeks have to do with my relationship with you? The day my back car window broke, while trying to roll it down for some fresh air was funny to me...mostly because I was with friends. I guarantee I wouldn't have laughed so hard if I was by myself driving to work when it happened! But now it's taped up to keep the cold out. I don't mind. I don't even know how it's broken and how much it would cost to get it fixed. I'd rather go out to eat after church with a group of people and enjoy their company than save up the extra money I have paying a mechanic.

The next time you see me with new clothes or new shoes, chances are I got a raise, or I'm just mad at a lot of people. :)
There comes a time in everyone's life where they say something they don't mean. And I get that. I surely have been there myself. But I often wonder why certain words will come out of a person's mouth, that you know were premeditated on. You hear the words, see the mouth moving, and yet the brain doesn't quite comprehend it all.

I find myself to have a relatively good memory....sometimes forgetting the small details, but usually able to recall general situations. However, there is a moment in time I don't believe my memory will ever let go of. The words that came out of that person's mouth, directed to me, will never be forgotten.

I had been dating this guy for 3 months. I was head over heels for him, and even though it was a slightly long-distance relationship, I thought things were moving along quite well. Had emails telling me how much I was missed and attempting to find the next available weekend we could see each other. Then one happened. He got a case of mouth vomit.

Peacefully asleep one night, I get a phone call after 1 o'clock in the morning. He couldn't sleep....too much on his mind. Had a final exam to study for, but he wasn't able to focus until he told me something. I sat up in bed, trying to wake up enough to prep myself for easing this burden on his shoulders. I wanted to listen, help him clear his head, so he could adequately prepare himself for the exam the next day. I mean...this is a man I was falling or night, I was ready to be there for him!

Then I heard it. 14 words that have never left my memory since. He said, ever so distraught, "I'm afraid I'll wake up one morning and not be attracted to you anymore." Huh? I'm sorry?

Mouth vomit. Easier to handle when you see it coming, harder to process when it comes up unexpectedly. Needless to say...the relationship ended quite quickly after that. And that phrase has both been the butt of many of my jokes, as well as the source of several of my insecurities since then. I've looked at Chris before and randomly asked "Are you afraid you'll wake up one morning and not be attracted to me anymore?" And, thankfully, I got a confused and partially offended look in return, with the comforting words "No, of course not. Why would you ask me something like that?"

So before you open your mouth, make sure you don't have a case of mouth vomit. People will never forget it if you do.
I wonder when the word "no" became such a difficult word to say. Looking at the English language, one would think the pronunciation of the "n" and the "o" in consecutive order would not be so difficult. And maybe it's not the pronunciation of the word that is so hard, but the way that particular word is interpreted by others, once the syllable leaves your mouth.

"No" didn't become part of my vocabulary until after I graduated college. I guess I thought the expression on my face, or hesitancy in answering a question would relay to someone my obvious desire to say "no", even when my mouth couldn't form the word. But people overlook what they want, when they want something from you. Some experts quote that 7% of communication is verbal. Which means I have either encountered a lot of stupid people, or some experts are wayyyyy off.

But now I'm afraid I live my life at the other extreme. I ended up suffering some pretty severe consequences for refusing to use the word "no" for 23 years. Now that word is at the top of my vocabulary list. It's the first word that comes to mind when someone walks into my office at work. It resides at the the tip of my tongue when I see certain people calling my phone. I hated being a doormat for 23 years, but now I hate feeling unwilling to sacrifice my talents, effort, and time for fear of becoming that doormat again. Where's the middle ground?
Alright. Let's set the record straight. Being a PK (aka preacher's kid) does not come with a specific and separate lists of tasks and expectations from God. Believe it or not, I was not born with my own set of commandments.
  • Thou shalt not miss church service under any circumstance.
  • Thou shall commit 20 hours every week to the church (in addition to church service).
  • Thou shall be present at every fellowship meal, ladies' event, devotional, and scheduled community service event.
  • Thou shall sit by thy father and mother during every worship service.
  • Thou shall be responsible for meeting every visitor that walketh through the door.
Yadda yadda yadda! My parents have not required me to do ANYTHING with the church since I moved out of their house 9 years ago. I do not attend Helen Street because I have to. I do it because I want to. I do not attend my dad's Bible classes because he makes me. I like them. Hard to believe for some, I find my father to be a wonderful minister and teacher, and with the freedom to choose any church I want to attend....I STILL choose to listen to my father preach on a weekly basis. I SIT by my mother and father in the front of the auditorium because I can't handle sitting behind disrespectful and loud children, distracting me from getting what I came there for. Knowledge. And wisdom. And whatever encouragement I can get.

It ruffles my feathers every time I hear someone say "Yeah, but she's the preacher's daughter." AND??? What does that even mean??? If you are feeling guilty about your lack of involvement in the church, trying to reason with yourself - make sure you understand that God does not expect less of you because your father isn't paid by the church.

PK. It's who I am. Not the reason for the things I do.
Odd name for a blog. Maybe. But hear my logic.

I've known a lot of people that don't like sushi. Not because they've tried it. But because the idea of consuming something raw just doesn't sit well with them. And I, myself, couldn't bring myself to stomach the idea of placing a log of subjective edibles in my mouth.

Until this past Thanksgiving. When I was peer-pressured into giving it a try. Didn't care for the first 4 types I put in my mouth. But the 5th one....awesome! So awesome....that I now crave it enough to buy it pre-made at a local grocery store. Which can be sketchy.

That brings me to this blog. In writing posts for my last blog, my facebook statuses, and in my conversations....I find they're scripted (for lack of a better word). I say what I feel I should, what will offend the least number of people, and will represent me (or the person/people I'm with) in the best light possible. My true thoughts don't always come to surface. I'm afraid people will judge the rawness of my thoughts and refuse to give me a chance.

But I'm ready to be sushi. I want to write my thoughts without going back through and deleting half my post for fear of judgment. I want to express my raw feelings about things, without making sure the wording is just right. And I realize that some people might not know what to think. They may not be ready to acknowledge how refreshing the rawness can be. But I'm ready to deal with that. Sushi is good.

So give it a try. Let me know what you think.