Life

Monday Thoughts

“If you love something, set it free.

If it comes back it’s yours.

If not, it was never meant to be.”

I always thought this quote was dumb to be completely honest. If you love something why would you ever let it go? Well I guess that’s the beauty of getting older. Finding yourself in these weird adult situations. Although it’s a lot easier to picture the kinds of scenarios that were the inspiration for this quote playing out in my own life now, it still doesn’t resolve the dilemma for me. Is a well-known saying enough to convince me to let go? I mean this isn’t the Titanic, and unlike Rose I am dealing with a living, breathing human here. I need to know, was this something that was proven like the law of universal gravitation? Is it somehow related to the science that makes boomerangs work? Or, is it just another one of those sayings that help push people to make difficult and/or very necessary decisions…

If it is true, why am I the one thinking these thoughts? How did I draw the short straw? What about my current happiness? How long does it take for “the return”? Will you even know that there will be a return, or do you feel empty every single day until it happens?

On the other hand, what if it’s not true, and they never come back? What if I never find this again? What if it’s all a huge mistake? Will the lightening of the weight on their shoulders due to freedom from all of this anxiety provide me with enough joy to mask my pain? Do we really want to see someone happy if it’s not with us, or do we just tell ourselves that to feel better… to put up a front that is less for other people, but mostly to convince ourselves that we’re strong enough to handle it? Am I really crazy enough to (possibly) forfeit this?

I’m sure it’s easy to determine what to do from the outside looking in… whether to let go or to hold on for as long as you have strength. But, I’m not on the outside, am I? And, although I could rid myself of this constant emptiness in the pit of my stomach, I’m certain that missing all of their subtleties would bring it right back… like how they squeeze my first two fingers when I reach for a hand, or how they always attempt to hold back their smile a couple of seconds before it happens (if you blink you could miss it completely)…

There’s just no guarantee here, and in life you don’t get a re-do. This is like jumping off of a cliff without checking whether there’s water or rocks below. So, what would you do?  Comply or create your own rules? Release control or hold on for dear life?

– Loni

25.

A quarter century. If I had the choice, I wouldn’t change anything about my life to this point. I’ve grown a lot from all of the ups, downs, and mess-ups (mostly from these), but I see room for improvements. Slight adjustments. Not a changing of the overall essence of what/who I am, but moving forward as a smarter, stronger, more mature and more confident me. 

25 things to reflect on during this year and going forward.

  1. Stop “sleeping on myself”
  2. Speak up more
  3. Stop overthinking – especially to the point of inaction
  4.  Stop tolerating situations I shouldn’t
  5. Smile more
  6. Stop comparing myself to others
  7. Say “no” more
  8. Read my Bible daily
  9. Write daily
  10. Pray in good times too 
  11. Take time to rest
  12. Be more spontaneous
  13. Drink more water
  14. Turn off my GPS more
  15. Be direct 
  16. Embrace my emotions
  17. Call/see my family more
  18. Seek wise counsel 
  19. Forgive
  20. Do what makes me happy
  21. Worry less
  22. Be healthier
  23. Don’t be afraid to love
  24. Find the beauty in everything and everyone
  25. “Guard your heart”

– Loni

Law & Order 

You would think since I had a sister only “2 years 2 days and 2 hours” older than me, we’d be super inseparable. Not necessarily true. Growing up we weren’t actually that close. During my early life she was always the girl who was responsible for my missing front tooth in every school picture until 3rd grade due to a fateful game of Ring Around the Rosie, or the girl who caused me to split my head open on the kitchen counter in an effort to avoid the microwave door she swung at my face. Looking back now I think these were all secret plots to get rid of me.

We just didn’t get along. Not that it was really a problem… All siblings go through their ups, downs, and moments of “torture” from the bigger/older sibling. We were just two very different girls. She was a bubbly extrovert who always had a smile ready for anyone passing by. She always had more friends than me and had a date to all the school dances – both our school and those she didn’t attend. The only thing we had in common was playing on the same Varsity Tennis team my freshman and sophomore year of high school (the years we overlapped in school).

(Taking a slight detour here, but we could have been a dream team in all honesty. The Smith Girls. A dynamic duo. Imagine the things they would say! “Who all the girls wanted to be friends with and all the guys wanted to date.” Sorry girl, I kinda ruined that considering I only got attractive 30 minutes ago. Ha. Ok… back to the post.)

Despite all of this, she became a rock for me when our Mom died. How did that happen? I’m not really sure, considering she wanted to return me to the hospital years earlier. I’ve never said this publicly in an attempt to be as nice to those who tried to help me as possible, but I just appreciate (unlike most people) that she never tried to forcefully fill the void in my life. She never tried to be “a mom”. She just kept the law and order.

Imagine all the things your mom does or has done for you and your family. Now, take it all away. Crazy to think about right? It’s like a black hole appears in the middle of your household. Thank goodness that while I was mid-downward spiral into the nothingness, my Sister was calming the chaos for herself, for me, for our Brother, for our Dad… for all of us really. She was always doing the dishes or laundry, kindly suggesting (yelling at) us kids to pick up after ourselves, and reminding us of all the family events and birthdays. Her goal was simply to restore the closest feeling of “normal” as possible.

Everyone always talks about how much my Mom is seen in me. From her looks to her mannerisms, it’s all there. But, they don’t give enough credit to what she left behind with my Sister. She got my Mom’s law (it only makes sense that she’s a lawyer now). It’s like she wrote everything down on her little kid heart; detailing the instructions on how to keep things running. To be the same big sister she always was (I also appreciate that we never got “fake close” because “that’s what should happen”… News flash, that’s not how it works people!), to constantly be thinking of our dad and his happiness when the rest of us may not have been, to maybe worry a little too much, and to keep things in order. So, she did.

Why is this even on my mind? 

It’s random, I’ll admit. But, I was thinking that sometimes I forget you’re only in your mid-twenties… I actually think sometimes you forget it too. I find myself holding you to this super adult standard, which isn’t fair. Even though you may have been a person who grew up fast and spent years holding things together for others, doesn’t mean that you should have everything in your life figured out. There’s still time to grow towards all of your goals. You’ll get there. Don’t give up on them.

I also think we get caught up in measuring ourselves by our degrees and salaries that we forget to look at the other parts… The parts that matter. The impact we’ve had on the world around us. The example we’ve set for others. The care we have shown. I’m pretty sure you have me beat on all of that.

…Well, now you do. For a minute there I was questioning if I’d make it to college without some permanent reminder of your dominance.

– Loni

Pangea

I haven’t had the time or clear headspace to write for awhile… and now here I am up at 1:45AM. Dark room. Macbook on 30%. I feel the magic about to happen (Update – I overslept 9am service at church).

All the way through college (if you choose to attend), we’re all on the same supercontinent. There may be some natural disasters that shake our individual countries to the core, but life goes on about the same as before. You and your classmates wake up every day, go to school, study, pass your classes and ultimately the only thing left to do is graduate. If you stay on course, that’s your outcome. That’s life on Pangea. And, while we live out life surrounded by all this structure and certainty, the dream of how life will go is developing within it. Everyone is chasing something. Their picket fence and 2.53 person household. Their happiness…

Then world starts to shift and break apart.

Instantly, you have a handful of paths to take when there only used to be one flat land to walk across. One step into the direction you thought was straight ahead could leave the husband and children in the complete opposite direction. The next direction could be fame or overnight success. The third might leave you knee deep in water where there once was dry land. So, which path is right?

Call it a quarter-life crisis if you’d like or blame it on the deliriousness from my lack of sleep, but as I sit in this dark room I feel my world shifting. In fact, it is so quiet, I can almost hear the tectonic plates of my lithosphere making their tiny adjustments. All of my constants aren’t feeling very constant and my “for sures” are more like maybes. And, the personal life events of this past week and a half created a mixture of hurt, worry and confusion; the kind that buries itself so deep inside you and leaves you unsure if you should just vomit or cry…

But would you even feel like this if you weren’t focused on a perfect path? 

True. Currently, there is nothing wrong going on in my life. I have been grasping tightly onto all the little pieces in hopes of maintaining an environment that I think will make me happy down the road.

So, why not less of the path and more of the destination?

It would be a million times easier to move if I wasn’t trying to hold a continent together… And it can be so hard to accept when familiar people and situations float away to form something completely new and far away.

But, you shouldn’t have to force aspects of your life into future existence. What (and who) will be, will be. Worry less. Grow your gifts. Pursue your purpose. 

Thats my new focus. It’s time to confidently proceed forward (praying to God for solid, dry land with every step). The path won’t be pretty, perfect, or straight, but it will be right. Who knows what potential awaits in that distant place… what kind of peace and happiness that comes with reaching my destination.


The Word I received later this morning stuck out to me in particular, so I’m sticking it here at the end. My story has already been written, and every gift I need to fulfill my purpose I already possess. It’s amazing how you hear what you need to exactly when you need to hear it.

…And maybe my 2AM pep talks are meant to be heard by more than just me.