Thursday, May 31, 2012


And so the transition begins.

I started packing up Apartment 6 last week, putting it off because I knew what this move would mean.  I knew the kind of dust and fear and regret it would drudge up.  Somehow I had packed so much in that tiny space.

I was right.

We packed everything up and drove it to the house I grew up in.  Driving a silver van just like the one I wrecked seven years ago.  And I came back to clean...

It felt awfully like cleaning up after a crime scene.  Like I had trespassed onto some hallowed ground, a corpse that no longer looked like the living thing it once had been.

So I quit.  I had some pretty grand delusions of getting all of my deposit back.  Of cleaning until that place sparkled.

But my feet kept getting dirty.  And every time I wiped down the counters, dust would reappear.

Suddenly, I was done.  I didn't want any more of this dirt on me.  This was, after all, part of the reason I was moving.  To up and leave this small space and everything it represented.

Last night was not supposed to be hard.  But it was.  In ways I hadn't even anticipated.  As I wiped the dust off the walls where the clock used to hang, threw away the trash, took down the curtains... the bittersweet pain of leaving somewhere, having no where new to go was smothering.

It is, perhaps, a little like a quarantine.  My belongings, my things, did not get moved from one place to the a new place.  They got packed up.  Organized.  Sorted.  Stuff was thrown away.  Stuff was wrapped up.  Stuff was labeled.  And it was taken to a neutral place.  A place which meant no harm, no hurt.  Just a saving place.  A holding place.  As if my things need about three weeks to breathe... let air out the past year before they get taken into a new space.

A brand new space -- meant for families and lives well lived.

In the process, I wore myself out.  Emotionally I think I was fighting a battle, spiritually I was winning it too... if only because of how long ago I learned that it was not my battle to fight.  I woke up this morning in an old friends house... afraid to move.  Because as soon as you move, life begins again.  Rapid.

I have no ill feelings toward the tiny space on Woodland Avenue.  It served it's purpose of giving me my independence and a place to sleep at night.  There was more privacy there than I needed.  The ability of those four walls to keep secrets was unmatched.

Even now I look back at this writing space, at the first blog I wrote on August 1st 2011  It is such a brutal indicator of what the year would hold.  I can barely read it without cringing... without wondering how I didn't see it all coming.

So I am going to detox.  I am going to throw lots of shit away.  And this next season is going to be, not only a new one, but a good one.  A season following brokenness, it is going to be a season of rebuilding.

But I'm still brushing off the dust from apartment 6.

Monday, May 21, 2012


I just took the pictures down from the walls.

I don't dust.  Ever.  So where the pictures were, there are now a faint, gray outlines.  Single nails.

And with that... I began the ending.

I remember moving into this apartment and hanging those pictures on the wall and getting Eli to help hang the curtains.  Rachel and Thad showing up during a thunderstorm, to sit on thrift store chairs, and drill holes into the walls.

I remember thinking that the season here, by myself, in this tiny studio apartment would be a great one.

And it was great.  As great as a story could ever be.  With drama and romance and conflict and success and fear and excitement and defeat.  It, perhaps, was not good.  But it was great.

It shouldn't be hard to pack up such a small space.  But I've crammed it full -- full of secrets and dust and proof of paid bills and good intentions.  There is a rocking chair filling up my entire kitchen space right now.  The first physical manifestation of this baby boy who will be here soon.  My first indicator, the first sign I needed more space.  There isn't enough room here for the life about to happen.

I told a lot of lies here.  Believed none, but ignored many.  I played a game.  And curled up next to faint, lingering hope.  I woke up in the mornings beside too many mistakes and laid down beside too many more.  More often than not, this door was opened, letting light from the hallway cast a small square on the floor.  I would hide behind there, peek my head around, "this is where I live, this is my spot, welcome to my whole.... space."

I celebrated a lot of life and growth here too.  I don't look at this tiny space with as much resentment as I do a milestone.  A very transition piece in my story.

I'm ready for more now though.  More than just a bedroom.  I'm ready for a kitchen table.  For a couch.  For closets and a bathroom counter.  To introduce the world, only bit by bit, to my son and my space.  To determine, with discretion, how far one comes.

I knew all this would come unravelling as soon as I moved the first thing out of its place.  It's time to go.  Just like always.  Except there's a sweet little whisper in my heart... and I can't help but think that maybe I'll make the next space a "home".  A home with a baby.  That maybe with a little effort, I could find or better yet, build a place I want to stay.


My sister had a scare this weekend.  One misstep on a house boat and her leg is bruised and for far too many hours, her son was quiet in her belly.  Her son.  My nephew.  

I took a walk last night.  To the grocery store to buy blackberries.  As I was walking, I was willing my own son to start moving around again because now I was nervous.  Now I was anxious, wishing this little boy would kick me.  Hard.  Just so I knew he was there.  And as I walked, I prayed for my nephew.

A little boy named Elijah who will have, undoubtedly, the most beautiful green eyes any of us have ever seen.  I'm hoping that a small Rector comes into the world with a good mix of both my sister and his daddy.  I hope that he comes a few days before my Judah does, because I want to hold him in the hospital on one of the first days of his life.  

I walked to Kroger, praying for that little guy.  The little boy who I also prayed for five months ago on the floor of a friend's house.  Back then I prayed he just existed.  I wanted Elijah to be real.  I wanted my sister to have him.  I wanted my brother to have him.  I asked God for him.  Without knowing God had heard me far in advance and he already existed.  This time, walking down Columbia Avenue, I just prayed for those tiny legs.  And those tiny arms.  Much the same way I pray for Judah's heart.  

And I prayed for my sister.  Because regardless of how hard the last few months have been for us, only each other can even fathom the stress and fear and excitement happening in our lives right now.  Only I... in this moment... could even fathom the sort of fear you feel, when you trip through the damn door.

Elijah is moving again.  And I breathe a deep sigh of relief.  Good job, little man.  


I went to the library today.  Almost like one goes to the gym, even though they are tired.  

When I am out of words, I go find more.  

When you are empty, it is time to fill up.  

Something good this way comes... and people are starting to see the hope come back into my eyes.

And when it's time, I want to have the words to be able to tell the story.  

Starting next week, I can no longer call my blog "from Apartment 6".  So not only is it time for new space, new love, new words... it's time to find a new name.  For a new season.  For a new chapter.

Help me come up with something?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Future Orientation

I am laying in bed, hand on my belly.  Judah is kicking me, over and over again.  And it's not that I want him to stop.  But I can't really get anything else done. His movement distracts me far too easily, and I'm more than content to just lay here and anticipate his next move.  I'm also exhausted.  Which may be why I don't want to move.

I am just worn out.

Practicum started today.

I was hired for a new job on Friday.

I got a call back for a second interview at a job I'd given up on.

I found a new apartment.  And I'm currently looking at the one I live in now, intimidated by the mess and hating this space.

Hating this space so much.


I spent the day in court for practicum.  I definitely picked the right profession; there was nothing about the client interaction, which made me regret the decision I made three years ago.  But I am tired now.  And my mind is spinning.  

Between this morning in court and an impromptu discussion in Starbucks last week, I am left considering the term "future oriented".  I explained this term to a co-worker the other day, specifically because of the issue, which arises when an individual is not oriented in such a way.  This manifests as impulsivity, lack of regard for consequences, repeat offenses, recidivism.  As a bystander, case manager, parent, volunteer, friend, we do not understand how someone could not understand the connection between their actions and the consequences of said actions.  How do you not know that "A" leads to "B" and equals up to "C"?  

Sometimes, something is lost.  The connection cannot be seen, perceived, or found.  In the time that lapses, in the transference of information.  Next year seems so far away, there's no way today could impact it.  Right?  

A child becomes future oriented early on.  Their parents usually have some concept of the orientation, and lead by example.  Early on, the consequences of actions and behaviors are acknowledged and obvious.  You don't turn in your homework, you get a "0".  You don't study for a test, you fail.  You don't save your money, you don't get the car.  You don't show up to work, you lose the job.  You break curfew, you are grounded.  You eat too much candy, you get sick.  Connections.  Consequences.  

That's real life right there.

And half of us never get it.

But the only way to learn is to experience.  To open your eyes and ears and listen.  If you're lucky, there are people around to help.  To help you connect the dots.  To help pull you out of the mess of consequences you've found yourself in.  If you're smart, you listen to those people.  You take their hand.  


This does not make me better than anyone, but for the most part I am incredibly future oriented.  Almost to a fault.  I tend to worry about things so far in the future, repercussions that may never even occur, that I fail to focus on today.  

Even as I stare at my apartment, I know I could fold all this damn laundry and ease up some of my stress.  But I'm so worried about how I'm going to pay rent this summer and which job I should choose and how I'm going to get all 360 hours of my practicum in, I just stare at the laundry... 

There are times when we voluntarily forget about consequences.  We get caught up in the moment, thinking only about now.  About gratification.  About getting what we want when we want it.  Numbing the pain.  Or distracting ourselves from our current circumstances.  

And then we wake up.  The money's gone, maybe.  Or maybe he is.  You've wasted a lot of time and a lot of energy on things, on people, on stuff that doesn't really matter.  Stuff you really don't care about.

It is, however, this same frame of mind, which can push you through the hardest of times.  Knowing that if you save the money now, you can pay for the apartment in August.  If you survive the crazy schedule now, you will graduate in December.  If you just say no now....


I am tired.  And right now I cannot see past today.

Which is why I'm not making any decisions today.

I will try and clean my apartment and wipe away the tears that are, of course, forming behind my eye lids.  Wishing he loved me.  And wishing I was still small enough to fit in his lap.  And wishing I didn't look so pregnant that I couldn't walk through the store without being stared at.  

I can't change those things today.  

So I'll just clean.  And keep my hand on my belly, waiting for my son to kick my hand.  Because you don't get much more future oriented than this... to be a mother, loving a child she's never held.  Only felt.  Doing all she can to take care of him and prepare a good life for him, without ever having seen his face.