want a man who loves Jesus more than me. I want a man who plays w/my
hair. I want a man who will be honest w/me at all times. I want a man
who will treat me like a princess b/c I will treat him like he's my
prince. I want a man who will love me forever and tell me that every
single day. I want a man who is confident. I want a man who is not
shallow or selfish, who is deeply interested in helping others. I want a
man who is my friend. I want a man who will rub my tummy until I fall
asleep. I want a man who can laugh w/me, and laugh at me to make me
laugh. I want a man w/strong arms, arms that can provide security for me
when I need it. I want a man who will go to concerts w/me or will sit
w/me listening to live music. I want a man w/a sense of humor. I want a
man w/integrity and ambition. I want a man who is disciplined. I want a
man who can do things w/me w/o any particular reason, like sitting in a
church all day long w/o anyone else or driving for hours and then
turning around and going back. I want a man who can admit when he is
wrong. I want a man who can dance. I want a man who occasionally asks
for directions. I want a man who wants babies w/me. I want a man who
loves the beach. I want a man who will play fight w/me. I want a man who
isn't afraid to cry. I want a man who wants to walk down the same road
of life w/me as he holds my hand. I want a man I can trust. I want a man
I can talk to. I want a man who will watch my flavorite movies w/me
over and over again. I want a man who will not get bored w/me easily. I
want a man who doesn't find me annoying. I want a man who will sing to
me my favorite songs all the time, even if he isn't the best singer. I
want a man who is patient and kind. I want a man who is humble. I want a
man who is running hard after the Lord. I want a man who would
sacrifice everything for me, even though I wouldn't let him. I want a
man who can appreciate the simple things in life. I want a man who
thinks I am beautiful. I want a man w/a heart of gold. I want a man who
will eat Twizzlers and malt balls w/me until we're sick. I want a man
who knows what he wants out of life, and almost or pretty much how to
get it. I want a man who will cuddle w/me for hours. I want a man who
will grab my hand spontaneously b/c he is a spontaneous man. I want a
man who wouldn't go nuts if i redecorated our house once every other
year if it didn't cost too much. I want a man who can accept change. I
want a man who fears God, and loves Him at the same time. I want a man
who can say "I love you" in front of others. I want a man who is
affectionate. I want a man who loves me for me. I want a man who isn't
afraid of an intelligent woman. I want a man w/passion. I want a man who
can look into my eyes for a really long time. I want a man that my
family loves. I want a man who I can grow old w/. I want a man who will
whisper in my ear a whole bunch. I want a man who admires beauty and
things for what they are, and for what they aren't. I want a man who can
tickle me better than my daddy can. I want a man that I can be proud
of. I want a man who will communicate well w/me. I want a man who wants
the best for me.|
Most of all, I want a man who wants a woman like me, and the man that God has picked out for just me.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
When the heart gets attached to a person, namely through falling in love, it wants them even for reasons unbeknownst to itself. It craves the attention from that person. It jumps when you get a phone call out of the blue or beats faster upon that person's impending arrival when you're meeting up. It does these things naturally, even when the bond with that person is broken and even when you know it is best for you to simply walk away and wish them well.
Obviously, life isn't that simple. Especially in a place as small as Austin.
Quite frankly, my heart hurts right now. I know I'll be fine (probably even right after I cathartically publish this post), but over the course of the past few months of my life, I allowed myself the decision to change my mind about a few things. One thing in particular was sex, and although on this blog I have proclaimed I was waiting until marriage to do the deed, I gave myself the liberty to change my mind. I entered into an entanglement with a person I fell in love with and I was left brokenhearted, my biggest fear.
Funny thing about having "biggest" fears is that they always actualize. You put a lot of thought and energy into those things and as a result, they eventuate. It's not a complex concept. It simply happens. I thought I had left my fear in Seattle a few months back, but it crept back into my life and so I welcomed it and offered it a drink.
Life has some pretty amazing twists and turns, doesn't it? You're often left with the thought, "Did that REALLY just happen?" Well, at least, I am. And that's ok. I'd rather my life be interesting than just alright. There is beauty in the good and the "bad." I believe "bad" is really just an opportunity to grow. These things make us all the more wise, do they not? Wisdom, after all, rarely comes from having a life of safety and making all of the right decisions, pleasing all of the right people. It comes from our successes sometimes, but mostly our failures.
So, I made a mistake. I cannot regret it for what it has taught me. All I can do is honor myself for where I am and move on.
I wrote this yesterday. Yes, this is me bearing my soul, but that's the way that I am. I cannot deny myself my nature on this. I just need to process it so there's room for something - someone - much, much better.
Sitting at the window of a coffee shop on 1st, facing toward the street and where the sunlight is coming in. I sip my tea, hot on a warm day, and listen to the ambient tunes blasting above me. I recall the last time we were together intimately - nostalgic, sad, and relieved at once. It is your wedding day. I take another sip of my tea and embrace its bittersweetness.
So many memories flood my brain. So many emotions flood my heart. I won't write them here, but I will honor them and send them on their journey.
Along with you and the piece of my heart I gave to you with my body.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
I attended my first ever rally demonstration yesterday. I was getting really excited earlier when I realized it was my first, and it also happened to be a feminist rally against sexual violence, particularly against victim-blaming, called SlutWalk.
SlutWalk came to be when a police officer made a statement that a woman who had been sexually assaulted could have prevented her situation if she “hadn’t dressed like a slut” in the first place. This sparked a lot of anger in some people’s hearts, as it should for all of us but we will get there in a minute, and thus came about SlutWalk.
I was there at the Capitol Building steps in sunny Austin, TX, alongside one of my favorite people on the planet, my best friend Gina. We were thinking about all of the people we knew in common who we wished could have joined us – former college peers, one of our professors, and several of our friends outside of the small, liberal arts college we attended – and I believe that we carried those absent people with us on our march.
Before taking off, there were several speakers from different walks of life, including a very loud gentleman that made me think of my good friend Rob, and some of them really spoke to me in light of my experience with sexual violence. They shared facts, statistics, and personal experiences, most of which were incredibly heartbreaking like the fact that 2 women are sexually assaulted/raped every day in Texas (maybe she even said Austin more specifically) and the sexual assault victims in Austin have ranged from 6 months old (SIX MONTHS.) to 80 years old. Also, it was stated that about 95% of sexual violence victims have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I seriously do not doubt that.
When Dr. Kyle spoke about how victims often feel embarrassed, ashamed, and depressed after an attack, that’s the part that made my heart rip in half. I stood there in a crowd of amazingly strong, wonderful men and women, and felt that most of us there had experienced the things she spoke about and had the same reactions afterward. Dr. Kyle and the other speakers encouraged victims to speak about their experiences and I felt ready.
When I was 17, I was sexually assaulted by a former friend. He wasn’t someone I knew very well or spent a lot of time with, but he was close enough for me to feel comfortable inviting him to my hotel room where I was staying alone.
“Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes, no means no!” was the first chant of the rally yesterday. I couldn’t join in the chant. I couldn’t even speak. My eyes welled up with tears, I covered my mouth, and I began to cry as I recalled that it was what I was wearing that changed the mood of that night.
I had bought a dress that I adored at the mall earlier that day. I was pretty well known for wearing low cut halter dresses, and this was by far the most revealing garment I’d ever purchased. He wanted to see it on me, so I changed in the bathroom and then came out to reveal my new favorite dress. His face, his composure, the air in the room changed dramatically when I came out. Knowing this, I decided to change back into my pajamas where I was more comfortable and then, hang out with my friend without him looking at me in such a manner that was foreign to our seemingly platonic relationship.
“When women’s bodies are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” was the first chant I recall truly participating in, trying to muster up some strength for my teenage self.
He wanted to make out with me, so I figured, why not? I don’t go any further than that. Plus, he had a curfew he wasn’t supposed to break. I turned on the tv to hopefully distract him a little bit, but he was forceful and I felt his hand going down my pants.
“I really don’t want to do this,” I said to him, pleading for him to stop.
“It won’t hurt. You’ll like it!” he replied, as he began to thrust his hand into me. I've never heard anyone more wrong in my entire life, and it was unfolding right before my eyes, inside my very own body.
His face – I remember it so vividly I could paint it – was so cold and unfamiliar. I literally felt like I was with a total stranger. I felt alone and violated. I tried to say no a few more times but it was as if he couldn’t hear me. I felt so numb and out of place that I didn’t know what to do. I was just barely 17. The most I’d done was get topless for some guy. Was this the way it was supposed to happen? It didn’t feel right.
Finally, it was as if he snapped back into reality and realized what he was doing. He stopped abruptly and went to the bathroom to wash his hands. While he was away, I hugged my knees on the hotel bed and just cried. He ran back into the room in a panic, saying, “Oh, God! I’m sorry! I don’t… I… I’m sorry! I have to go!” and ran out.
Shocked and confused by what had transpired, I froze for as long as I can remember. When I finally collected myself, I phoned my closest guy friend and tearfully told him what went down. His response: I shouldn’t have been alone with the guy like that. What did I expect?
“My little black dress does not mean yes!” read a sign at the rally. The rally was an attempt to end slut-shaming and victim-blaming. I wouldn’t identify my 17-year-old self as a slut, but a victim, yes, and in no way were his actions against me my fault.
I called my best girl friend after the first phone call, feeling more alone than ever. She offered me sympathy and her voice was what enabled me to sleep a little that night.
It has taken me over 8 years to speak about this incident, and part of me believes some of that is the shame that I felt when I was told I was to blame. The dress I wore did turn him on. I will agree to that, but I can confidently say that I am in no way to blame for his actions that violated my body after I said no.
When the rally was approaching the capitol steps, our chant was waning, but at some moment, I felt empowered enough to take the lead on the last chant. With all of my breath and vocal strength, I yelled, “Whatever we wear, wherever we go-“ and was followed by, “Yes means yes, no means no!”
I’ve never felt more powerful in my entire life.
I have forgiven my assailant. I honestly hope that was the only time he had ever done that, realizing it was a huge mistake. Everyone makes bad choices and I am a firm believer that each person is worthy of forgiveness. I wish him the best on his journey.
As for mine, I will continue to educate others about victim-blaming and how to fight back when he/she may be in a similar situation. I will share my story as often as I need to, and I will listen to anyone who needs to talk.
Silence is not the answer. Share your story – when you are ready.
Thank you for reading.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
1) I desperately want to write music again. I've been DYING [Repeat: DIE. ING.] to sing again for a long time. I think about it every day. So, I decided I will write again and try to play all of my songs on a sweet little ukulele. I'm currently searching for one as I type this. (Etsy rox.)
2) Speaking of writing music, I'm gonna write happy little love songs. And when I sing them, I'm gonna wear a cute, brightly colored dress. That's just how it's gonna be. Why? Because I'm a happy person. And that's what happy people do. Ok, not all happy people wear cute dresses and sing silly love songs while playing a ukulele, but it seems appropriate. At least, for me it does.
3) I'm going to wear ridiculously awesome dresses. I'm kind of going to give myself a makeover, essentially. I make my own dresses, so I have the capacity to re-create what I do. Not that I don't have awesome dresses now, I just think I've been playing it safe lately. I need to throw myself into myself, right? So, why not throw out all of the safety regulations with that?! That's totally me! And I love me! YAY!
4) I'm gonna learn Spanish. End of story. (And I'm gonna be really awesome at speaking it, too.)
5) I'm going to get that super sweet car wrap I've been dreaming about for a while. It's going to happen in the next year. No one can stop me.
6) Photography is another huge passion of mine. I'm gonna do more of that. I'll have more shows. And I will not care (or try not to if I do) if things don't sell - because honestly, I don't do it for the money. I do it for the love of art and self-expression. I should express myself more.
All of these things - these numbers above - are mere attempts of me just being me. I get ideas and I want to explore them. I haven't done this as much lately because I've really thrown myself into work - as I should, of course, since it's a rad ass business that is picking up - but I've made the decision to do what I really want to do as well. I don't care if I can't find a minute of sleep. If I live my life the way I think I should live it, I'll die one day the happiest lady ever. With happy love songs on her ukulele. And bright colors everywhere. I want to delve into my life because, let's face it, it's my life! My life is great and I love it so, so much, so why wouldn't I want to get deeper into it? What do I have to lose? I have no one but me to contend with, at least, for now, so I'm gonna make me happy, and hopefully, that will make others happy. I've concentrated so hard on the outward expression - which, don't get me wrong, is a beautiful, beautiful way to live life - but I've been wondering what the missing link is, and I think it's me. I need to foster my relationship within myself. That sounds so selfish, but I truly, deeply believe that if I do, then it will probably have some sort of effect on the happiness of others. After all, laughter is contagious, right?
I wanna laugh - all. the. live. long. day.
GET EXCITED!!!! THE WORLD IS BEAUTIFUL!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The past few months have been a whirlwind of passion, stress, excitement, heartbreak, and just plain growing up. As I approach the 25th year of my being alive and amazed by this world I am so graciously allowed to inhabit, I find myself becoming more and more who I've known myself to be in the depths of the heart region. It's a wonderful feeling, one that is very difficult to full describe. I feel more at peace than I've ever felt, and I believe a lot of that is because I'm discovering what it may mean to actually have faith and simply know how to relax. I'm a Connell - relaxation doesn't come easily to us - but I find rest in the beautiful parts of my day that make me stop and think, It's great to be alive.
I got baptized in May, so that was pretty cool. You can see the profile here. You can see the video here. It was a beautiful milestone in my life. I couldn't help but cry the whole service because I honestly felt like my life was changing by this experience. I'd gone through a period where I didn't want anyone to know I loved the Lord because it seemed cliche and uncool and, actually, kind of stupid. Our culture has such a weird way of handling Christianity. It seems that you're either looked down upon as stupid and simple minded (Imagine that.) or you have to fit into some sort of box where you buy all the Jesus shirts just to make sure people don't have to question you to your face. (I'm paraphrasing a long conversation in my head here.) I've always felt different, though, and I wasn't sure how to handle it. I wasn't even sure how I felt, to be perfectly honest, because since Nathan's death and my departure and disassociation with Campus Outreach, I was a bit deterred from the whole idea. Since finding my community with Vox Veniae, I've discovered a people that resonates well with my ideals and my heart, and I realized that it was really my faith that lead me to them. I've never met a more loving, warm, encouraging group of people in my life, and they not only support me, but they share themselves with their neighbors as well as our community. I realized that I had known Christ my entire life, but only when I found this community, I started actually following Him and doing what He says. All of that to say, my baptism wasn't a testament that I had "found Jesus for the first time." It was a testament that I had found Jesus for the last time - you know, the Jesus that doesn't judge or hate or point fingers, but the one that really, truly, earnestly loves every single person without question or fail. The perfect example of Love is what I want to be apart of forever ever (forever ever).
So, there's that. I got over my expired relationships - all of them - this summer on my roadtrip. Two solid weeks of driving and crying, seeing family, listening to old music that brought up incredibly poignant memories that shattered me all over the highways of my past, and seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes I have missed passing through over the 3.5 years I've lived in Austin. I made peace with my old private school by visiting the campus and seeing the faculty. Some amazing things happened at that school that have shaped me to be me, the me I love so much today, and those are the moments I am choosing to carry with me. High school is horrible for pretty much everyone, so why did I harbor these feelings that were so long ago? So, I got over it. I got over a lot of things. I saw the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I let my tears cleanse my soul to get ready for this next, huge part of my life.
That brings me here to today. I survived Austin Fashion Week, and learned my boundaries/limitations. In my business, I am stressed out a lot of the time - more eustress, not so much distress - and some of that is due to time management but the fact that I have some great people in my life who want me to do creative things for them. How awesome is that?! I've been doing a purging of stuff from my apartment because, really, why do I need a lot of that stuff?! Get rid of it! It feels great, and no, I am no where near done. I'm learning to say the word "No" more, and it's a great word to say for yourself. If you haven't discovered it yet, you should try it. I've paid off some credit cards lately (THANK GOD.) and I'm trying to save up for some business endeavors. All in all, things feel really great, and I'm getting ready for the East Austin Studio Tour again. This year, it's going to be really personal for me, especially in light of the business I've been building for over a year now and also in light of the recent events regarding suicides of our youth across the nation. I'm really excited about my installation, which I am involving a few of my friends in, and I feel great about it.
Things are going well, and I guess I just had to stop fighting becoming an adult and just... do it. It's harder than I thought it would be, especially since I decided that, okay, I will keep up with my damn taxes. [Insert eye roll here.] Even still, I haven't lost that spirit inside me that demands fun and adventure. I'm just learning how to add it in with everything else that requires me to become a strong, independent, successful, healthy woman because that is exactly what I am on my way to be, and I'm learning so much good, great stuff on this journey.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The truth is that they brought these delicious treats to me after the guy I was dating and I broke up. I'm not sure if one can actually "break up" with another without being officially boyfriend and girlfriend, but to save time from that headache, we'll just ignore that part. Honestly, I kind of saw it coming given a few obvious signs that, of course, I refused to acknowledge as things that would walk straight out of the book He's Just Not That Into You. What can I say? I come by it honestly.
I believe in giving those I care about the benefit of the doubt, especially if I have a romantic interest in a person. Although I have trust issues, I kept trusting in the hope I had that this would be different. It felt different, at least in the beginning. I've never felt so comfortable with someone I was dating. I trusted that he would actually try again after our "almost break up" in December. Maybe I'm just truly naive. Or maybe I was just truly hopeful for this relationship. Whatever. It's over, right?
It may be over, but it still hurts quite a bit. Rejection is really hard to deal with, but I've learned so much throughout the past 3.5 months and I am continuing to as my journey leads me in another direction. I'm choosing to not allow fear to invade my heart, but rather search my heart to find the love placed within it that can create something really beautiful.
Monday, January 18, 2010
I'm in a very soul-searching stage of life at the moment as I am now in my mid-20's and consequently an "adult." After my birthday and coming back from a trip with my parents, I decided to make a lot of changes that involve who I am at the core - a musician, artist, designer, among other things - and who I want to be (which also particularly involves my physical health). All of my recent goings on have inspired me to further question everything I encounter, and lately, I've been wondering just how everything (including people) in my life plays out, or if all of it ever will.
Many people see me as a passionate person, and I would have to agree. My friend Jennifer came to visit and she said even my shower curtain screams passion! I just thought it was an ordinary shower curtain. Who knew?! But as I've been reading this book, I've been thinking about the narrative that is my story and wondering what I'm going to really do with that passion that I am so known for. When it comes to "life story," there are certain things we include, certain highlights we hit, and then it comes to the here and now, which is obviously unwritten. But what Gina and I are questioning is what our here and now will say. What kind of story are we living and breathing? Is it great? Is it boring? Is it mediocre? Is it worthy of being "read"?
We write our own stories. We make choices every day to do the right thing or do something different or give ourselves a break. Essentially, we are the authors and if something needs to be done, we should write it in there. I think Miller maybe talks about God as Author, but I haven't gotten to that part yet. Regardless, as I read this story, I'm wondering about my own and where I'm going from this point forward. Even with all of my changes, I'm pondering what other adjustments that need to be made. How can I spice it up a little bit? How can I make my story a great story?