Monday, August 11, 2008

Paths Part 9

The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.
People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall
Proverbs 10:8-9

I have a theory that the best way to make a comeback from my confidence-busting neurosis in the last post (now updated) is to jump right back in with both feet. What better way than to pick up the diary from which I based the last 8 parts, and get back to the Paths Series? If you're just now joining us, this particular series of is a nostalgic little look at the path that God lead me down through my painfully awkward teen years. If you want to catch up (and have a very lot of time on your hands) you can either click here to read the posts one by one or you can click here to read it all in succession to this point. Otherwise... let's get moving. If I don't, I'll chicken out for sure.
Senior yearbook photo.
Sad, sad bangs.

Last we left off, I had been telling you about Logan.* My diary has this really disorderly feel to it at this point. I barely mentioned the break up, and instead wrote about memorable times with my friends, getting grounded, and my lifelong kryptonite... boys. Lots more moaning about my bangs... you know, important stuff. It was very end of the 80's- and my graduating class of 1990 was ready to take on the world- in spandex. Reading the pages is interesting but, because I wrote so sporadically, and because I was clearly neurotic, they're a bit chaotic-y. Here's a fun entry:

Saturday, November 11, 1989 10:17 pm
Today I started training as a waitress at EJ's. I really like it. I don't even want to hostess anymore. Today also marked an amazing moment in history. The Berlin is being destroyed as I write! Just think! The next generation will be reading about this in textbooks!
The next entry, Just bullet points:
  • November 30, 1989
  • College Application, IN
  • Taxes change tomorrow to aid San Francisco
  • We won $45 dollars in the lottery!
  • I have a date with DS tomorrow
  • Logan rode in my car. strange.
  • Pen's out of ink, guess I'm done here.
Doodles of boy names for a while, then this one sentence entry in March of 1990
Yesterday, I looked in the mirror at work and saw an adult... i'm scared....
About this time I started to start figuring out what to do about college. Sadly, I didn't have a lot of direction. I applied halfheartedly for a few campuses, but didn't really feel that strong desire to move one way or another. I floundered around with little ambition for the future, only lofty dreams of making it big in show biz but never really knew which way to turn. As per the theme of my teen years, I tried over and over to just map my own route instead of taking it to any kind of prayer.

According to my journal, early that year, I had noticed a boy sitting across a classroom that I found so distracting, I actually had a teacher keep me after class to try to talk some sense into me- "If you spend as much time on your school work, as you do trying to get Shawn* to notice you," he warned "you could really be something special." I'm sad to say, I passed him off as old and me as misunderstood and went on my merry way. Entire pages of my diary are just Shawn's name, with no stories or anecdotes, just hearts and scribbles.

My next journal entry is very symbolic of the exact spot I was on the path:

(click to enlarge)
I have changed so much this past year. I tried to

That's it.
The rest of the page is completely blank. I had gotten so far off the path that God designed for me I couldn't even see which way to go.

In the spirit of maintaining honesty and transparency with some semblance of dignity, I am going to fast forward a bit through period of time, painting only the rough details of the picture. The truth is that I wasn't writing anymore because I had become a ridiculous human being. Prior to this period, the worst thing on earth that I could imagine happening would be for some boy to find out my true feelings. Now, I completely lost my mind- I became forward and bold. I pursued Shawn with absolutely no shame at all. It wasn't pretty. A better phrase would be, um.. oh! Oh I know! Total And Complete Train Wreck.

The affections were not returned. I can't imagine what was not attractive about a quirky teenage girl with lame bangs and who awkwardly insists on proposing marriage (okay, I'm not sure I actually proposed... but you just never know) but somehow he was able to resist all my "charms" all the way up to spring break. I remember giving him my phone number on the last day of school before the holiday break with some sort of cool and subtle note asking him to call me, and then I waited...

What happens next? Why even tell this part of the tale? I'm so glad to announce that my story is about to take a dramatic turn, get a little better, then a little worse, and then PHENOMENALLY BETTER and I couldn't get to that part without at least mentioning this part. How on earth will the miracle of what God has done be understood for how amazing it was if you don't have a clear picture of how pathetic my heart had become?

The perspective from my current spot in the path is such a cool place to be- because I can now see what God was doing here- even though it completely alluded me in the moment. I can't even a little bit wait to tell you the next part of the story-
I'm so so so excited about the timing of where we are now, and where we are headed. If everything works the way I think, we will have the ending of the Paths series this Sunday. I hope ya'll will stick with me :)

* as with all the posts in this series, names have been changed to protect the innocent my self respect.


truth said...

I have enjoyed reading your path series. Isn't it the most amazing thing to be on the other side looking back? Hard to believe that you were once really on that path, isn't it?

Thanks for being so transparent and sharing.

Gretchen said...

Good for you, HG. Wouldn't you love to write a letter to that young girl right now? Telling her it's going to be okay. Better than okay. That God really IS faithful? ;)

Wow. He is.

Becky said...

Your story is a great example of Jeremiah 29:11.

I love that even through all the angsty groping around for purpose and direction as a youth...and the botched efforts made under your own strength...the Light got through, and the Lord not only gave you hope but a wonderful future. PTL!

Jenster said...

You're going to make us wait for the next part??

I love this series. LOVE IT!

Genny said...

Love how you jumped back in. Good for you! And I loved that journal entry. I wish I would've kept a journal...

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Oh, you are so sweet to be so transparent. I'm glad you've got some "phenomenal" coming up!

Sing4joy said...

ARGH! I may ban you from series writing for now and forevermore!!

Jenn said...

Hoping that before I go to bed I will be caught up with the path series.

I love Gretchen's comment so I am going to agree with her.