Friday, February 13, 2009

a post revisited.

i'm currently in a course called writing for the profession. the objective of this course is to prepare individuals for publication: being published is a goal of most everyone in the class; however, it is a required course as well. the first assignment of the semester was to create something the instructor calls a personal essay, and me, being the resourceful gal i am, decided to recycle an old blog post for said assignment.

below you'll find my personal essay, an old post that has been poked and prodded by english junkies in my class. it's much longer than the original and just in time for valentine's day... enjoy!

Z. Cavaricci + Me = Love
I had a good talk with my friend Bethany last night. We talked about hope deferred and dreams that are never realized. We wondered aloud about love lost and the process of moving on from any unfulfilled good intention.

When we talked of love we questioned how new love begins when old feelings still exist. Bethany, it seems, feels that one must be completely over their previous love interest before they can commit to someone new. I, on the other hand, am becoming more convinced that one must find a new interest in order to escape the feelings connected to a past love.

Such a conversation is typical for Bethany and me. We talk often of love and think we know it well. We dated each others’ brothers for a combined total of seven years, you see. And, while those years brought us closer as friends, our respective romantic relationships left us a bit jilted. Almost without warning our relationships ended and left us feeling as if we had not only lost a lover but a brother as well. The four of us, unconventional as it may seem, spent countless hours together: two siblings dating two siblings. Yet, after our respective breakups, even spending time with our own brothers felt wrong. My brother, after all, had broken my best friend’s heart. The same was true with Bethany and her brother.

The question my friend and I were left with concerns life post-breakup. Do one’s feelings simply evaporate after time, or is the whole process more strategic? It could be said that my feelings for Bethany’s brother haunted me. The only relief was an exorcism of sorts – an exorcism in the shape of someone new. And, though I could elaborate on such an analogy, it was another analogy that found its way into my conversation with Bethany last night:

In eighth grade I loved two things (I use the term “loved” loosely here – work with me): a boy named Andrew and Z. Cavaricci. Andrew was a wrestler with dark hair and eyes. He was my first kiss. I remember the awkward silence after our lip lock, a silence I filled by telling him how relieved I was to have taken my retainers out first.

Andrew thought I was paranoid because I was uncomfortable even holding his hand in public. To “ease my paranoia,” Andrew would choose movies unlikely to draw a crowd, and we would sit in the theater each Saturday night alone or very nearly alone watching horrible films like Anaconda or Donnie Brasco. In retrospect I realize that his motives were more selfish than I once realized, but the gesture seemed innocent and sweet to my eighth grade self. Andrew, like my Z. Cavaricci jeans, made me feel special, and that seemed to be all that really mattered.

My eighth grade year, every girl wanted a pair of Z. Cavaricci jeans. Though extremely overpriced, the original decals on the back pockets of each pair made a statement. Like a girl wearing her boyfriend’s letter jacket, Z. Cavaricci marked its territory by plastering its logo across girls’ backsides. On my particular pair, a large blue Z was stitched into the back left pocket, and on the back right pocket was Cavaricci in blue and gold stitching. Eventually, my mom had to regulate how often I washed and wore my favorite pair of jeans. The stitching, she said, was delicate, and besides, people might think less of her for sending me to school in the same pair of jeans every day. I didn’t care. Those jeans had my heart.

Now, while equating the love of a thing with the love of a human may seem a little silly, you should know that my feelings for the boy faded as soon as an upperclassman asked me to go to a drive-in movie with him. My feelings for Mr. Cavaricci, however, were a little more lasting. I remember my idealistic views about wearing my Z. Cavaricci jeans forever. In fact, I remember specifically promising my mom that I would wear them forever – I would have said anything in order to convince her to buy me the overpriced jeans in the first place.

Then, one day something better came along. Maybe it was Pepe or Lawman. Maybe Mossimo stole my heart. I don’t quite remember what brand name came next in the long line of fashion fervor, but the point is that something came next. It didn’t matter that I really loved my Z. Cavaricci jeans, it only mattered that something else caught my attention. A new fad came along, and what was an eighth grade girl to do but follow the crowd?

Essentially, my thoughts shared with Bethany were simple: someone, it seems, always comes along and makes you forget about the last guy, and eventually, I imagine, we’ll find someone we won’t really get tired of but instead want to spend all of our time with no matter what other options arise. Like a great pair of Gap jeans, we’ll get comfortable with them and they’ll never really go out of style.

I believe that in relationships and attire it’s inevitable that you will find yourself comparing the new with the old. What matters is that the new eventually makes you forget about the old. If, at the point when my jeans were no longer the right fit or the right style, I had decided to only wear sweats until another pair of jeans made me feel just as special, I probably would have found myself wearing sweats for quite some time. It may be silly, but I loved those jeans. With relationships the same holds true. One’s feelings don’t disappear overnight; they do, however, begin to dwindle when someone or something new comes along.

To end this analogy it seems only appropriate to remind you, dear reader, that it’s never okay for a pair of jeans (or a man for that matter) to advertise their logo across your backside. I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

as if january never existed.

i'm perpetually running out of minutes in a day and days in a week. looking at my blog it's as if january never existed -- in eleven months of blogging only january is without a single post.

as scarce as my blog in the month of january was my dialogue with God. it's almost as if with the new year came a distance between myself and my Father, and my prayer life suffered drastically. as with any relationship, if there is no communication there is essentially no relationship, and though i knew this to be true, i refused to make time for prayer.

understand that when i say prayer i mean a real dialogue with my Creator -- a back and forth, give and take kind of communication. january wasn't without the habitual prayers before meals or the routine prayer after my head hits my pillow.

the kind of prayer i was missing out on is the kind that requires listening, something i'm not sure i was willing to do. the beauty of it all is that when we pray with a right heart, God listens to us... and even more beautiful, He responds [psalm 5:1-3].

last night i listened to a message on prayer at and noted five things to consider when attempting to rekindle your prayer life:

1. when praying, your relationships matter. mark 11:24-25 warns that we must forgive others before coming to God in prayer so that He too will forgive us. 1 peter 3:7 teaches husbands to be considerate to their wives so that "nothing will hinder your prayers." both verses imply that our relationships have an impact on our prayer lives and the effectiveness of our prayers.

2. when praying, your motives matter [james 4:3].

3. when praying, remember that the way you live matters to God. james 5:16 states that "the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. and proverbs 15:29 reiterates this idea: "the Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayers of the righteous."

4. when praying, your faith matters [james 1:6-7].

5. and finally, God's Will matters. 1 john 5:14-15 promises that He hears us if we ask according to His Will.

i'm comforted by these guidelines for prayer, knowing that God promises to hear us when we pray, and my goal is to be more intentional about preparing my heart for prayer and then really setting aside time to communicate with Him. as for blogging more frequently, we'll see... i can only do so much, you know.