Category Archives: Reflective Writing

Sometimes Wounds Heal

Sometimes wounds heal.  And you don’t realize it until one day you remember two songs that used to make you cry, but don’t anymore, because instead of being in the midst of grief over what you didn’t have, you are finally thankful for the gifts you have been given that fill the holes. Namely your husband, your son, and your son-on-the-way.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Reflective Writing

Sherlock: The Final Problem (HEAVY spoilers!)

It seems so silly to be journalling about a TV episode, especially one in a series that is so wildly popular (at least in my circle of friends).  But this episode in particular affected me very deeply.  That is to say, I’ve been depressed and/or crying most of the day.

There were two parts that got me the most.  The first one was where John is trying to shoot the chief in order to save the chief’s wife.  (Is that’s what he was?)   Out of all the tests, that was really the hardest one for me to watch.

The second part was where we learned that Eurus drowned Sherlock’s best friend.  He was only, like, 5.  Actually any scene with Eurus as a little girl was incredibly difficult to watch.  But the scene in particular with the little boy… I just wanted to go hug my little son (who was asleep, so I didn’t).

It was also hard to watch Eurus at the very end, when we caught just a glimpse of her utter, beyond-help brokennness.  Really sent home the point that severely mentally ill people are just that: severely mentally ill people.

All in all, watching that episode reminded me a lot of my last year or two of college where I read all those horrible books that were devastatingly tragic, dark, and hopeless.  I’m just glad I have the space to process Sherlock.  I didn’t have that luxury in college.

In hindsight, I probably should have just told my professors that I couldn’t handle it emotionally and couldn’t make those deadlines to finish the books, because it was just too much.  I wonder how my life would have been different if I had been able to do that.


This is not about the final episode, but I REALLY loved this quote from Sherlock in episode 2 of season 4.

“In saving my life she conferred a value on it. It is a currency I do not know how to spend.”

Just LOVE.  I can’t post it on Facebook because my MIL hasn’t seen season 4 yet.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Opinion, Reflective Writing

Comparison is the Thief of Joy: Motherhood

Comparison is the thief of joy, they say.  But when I only hear one side of things more often than other sides, I really do start to wonder if something might be wrong with me.

I have known so many women who say it was always their dream to be a mom.  Oftentimes they say this as an introduction to their story of infertility, or of singleness that seems permanent.  I’m glad I have friends who are willing to open their hearts to that level of transparency, and my heart hurts for them in their struggles.  But beyond that, I have a hard time processing this information.

I wish I could just ask these friends: What is that like?  To only ever dream of being a mom?  How is that the only thing you wished for in life?  Didn’t the idea ever scare you?  What is it like to long for and joyfully anticipate motherhood instead of facing it with fear and trepidation?

I’m expecting my 2nd boy.  A wanted, planned baby.  Our first was wanted and planned as well.  But I have nonetheless accepted motherhood the way you agree to do something because you know it will be good for you, even though you’re terrified of failure.  Motherhood isn’t something I have raced toward, with giddiness and expectancy.  It’s something I have reluctantly come to because I don’t know any other way to conquer a crippling fear of failure except to keep trying hard things.

And yet I still feel like I am missing the point.  It’s not working.  As I look forward to this new baby, I feel just as scared as I did the first time around.  Motherhood is not a path to Getting Ahead In Life.  The next baby will be different.

People tell me that it will be easier this time and I hope they are right, but I can’t know.  What if it’s just as hard?

The bottom line is, I need a different answer than just trying to gather up my strength and battle my fear of failure all over again.  This battle doesn’t end that way.  I just wish I knew the way to how it does end, because I am so tired of the hamster wheel.

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Filed under Essay, Nonfiction, Reflective Writing

On Instagram

In 20 years, is the next generation going to look back at the beginning of the 21st century and wish the pictures were without a filter, clearer in color and sharpness?  I like my memories clear-cut like diamonds.  Crystallized in memory.  So much that I can see the feelings glinting off.

Instagram filters reflect the tone of our day.  People have romanticized all of life–the past, the present, and the future–and their Instagrams show it.  We are living in the best time of our lives right now, they say.  And things are only going to get better from here.

What is this generation going to be thinking about themselves in their youth when they are old and gray?

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Filed under Nonfiction, Reflective Writing

NCIS: Ziva and Gibbs

It was fascinating and heartbreaking watching the confrontation between Gibbs and Ziva about how cold-hearted he had acted toward her.  And it is even more fascinating to see her new humility.  SOOOOO much more appealing than the prideful heart she had had.  She’s still got a ways to go, but man.  Makes this show and its repetitiveness so much more worth it. Character development is always what makes a story worth reading.

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Body-Consciousness

There are a lot of differences between me and my sister, but one of the significant ones is our different ways of thinking about our bodies.  I’ve always been WAY more into the mind than the body.

In my preteen and early teen years, I started reading lots of Christian fiction for teens.  In them I always found stories of girls who fought against the peer pressure to look the right way–wear the right clothes, put on their makeup the right way, style their hair the right way.  Usually it was the “popular” girls who were pressuring them to change their looks ended up being really broken individuals, or really snobby and no one you would really want to be friends with anyway.

I also read nonfiction books on accepting yourself just the way God made you.  I think the Christian teen girls’ magazine, Brio, may have had something to do with this.  I really did take the message to heart: I knew God had made me the way I was on purpose, and I didn’t have to worry about it.

My sister wasn’t a reader.  She was active and interested in being with people, instead of with the thoughts in her head.  She never saw any of the books I read.  She never heard anyone tell her she was okay just the way she is.  I guess what she heard instead was my mom’s bitter comments that men only liked women who were skinny and beautiful.  I guess that was the message my sister took to heart.

My sister hit puberty first, and then I followed, and our lives wildly diverged.  Continuing to read Christian literature, I next heard about modesty and how important it was.  Already inclined to a Pharisaical understanding of Christianity, I added “modesty” to my mental list of Do’s And Don’ts For Every Christian.

I watched in horror as my sister’s shirts got shorter, skirts got tighter, heels got taller, and makeup got wilder.  I preached my Dos and Donts to her, creating a great schism between us.  In the meantime, I adhered all the more to my T-shirts and slightly too-big jeans and steered clear of anything that smelled of body-consciousness, save the necessities: acne wash, deodorant, and showers– and even that I did minimally.

Later in our teen years, I figured out that preaching at my sister was doing no one any good.  The rift was already established, and my heart had become so emotionally battered from the process that I didn’t pursue any reconciliation.  Her emotional scars from it took a different form.

I remember learning that she had been anorexic for a time.  It was in conjunction with a complaint from her about how skinny I was.  I was horrified, not out of self-righteousness this time, but out of real distress that she’d gone to such lengths, and especially that it was in any way connected with comparing herself to me.  She had never said anything about it to me before–that she envied my slender build.  A build I hadn’t had anything to do with at all, and a body I was barely even conscious of.

My sister was guided away from anorexia by a mentor, thankfully.  But her obsession with her body still persists today, and comments that betray her habit of comparing herself to me still surface regularly.  In the end, her problems go much deeper than a simple disliking of what she sees when she looks in the mirror.  The body-comparison game is only a symptom of the state of her heart, which puts fitness and beauty up on a pedestal above God.  I tried to tell her this once, addressing the deeper issues of her heart in the gentlest and most loving way I could think of.  She missed my point entirely and made some comment about my pants size.

I can tell I’m just too close–in her mind, I’m always going to be the sister she feels “inferior” to.  I hate this, but there are some places of the heart no human hand can reach.  There are some parts of the soul that only God can change.  So I just pray.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Reflective Writing

Writing Prompt: drawer

Vent: I tried to reblog this and it deleted everything!!  Agh!!  New WordPress I despise thee!

Okay, enough of that. Writing prompt.

From https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-201-drawer/

I kept all my secrets there, on scraps of paper.  A letter to me, another one, not to me.  I kept it to keep the memory alive.  There were two of us at one point, no matter what transpired in the future.  Also there were handmade books, full of scratched out names and codes and silliness.  I threw those away, except the one with imitation autographs.  That was just too fun, more art than anything.  The letters I kept.  They might still be in a locked drawer, but not the one in the desk anymore.

The funny thing about holding-on is that it is not-letting-go.

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“There were two of us at one point.”  I don’t know why I wrote that.  Well, I do, but I don’t know why I wrote it like that.

She didn’t die.  But our relationship did.  I think we were “one” at one point–one family unit–and I think those two letters were in that one point.

And his relationship to us was already dead.

I don’t know why I used a relic of a dead relationship to hold on to one that was also destined to die.

Just pieces of my broken family.

And I wonder why I have abandonment issues.

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Someday we’ll be whole again.

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I have alive relationships still.

But sometimes the cloud of dead ones still hangs over me.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Nonfiction, Reflective Writing