We had a swing set at the house where I grew up.  I guess it could be better described as a play complex b/c in addition to swings, it had a slide, some monkey bars, and swings.  That was high brow back then; nobody had the mini-amusement parks that kids get now-a-days.

But it was great and it was enough.

I loved those things and remember loving them.  I’d twist, turn, flip. I mean, I had to have had the abs of a body builder!  Days and weeks I spent on those things, having all the thrills I could stand…and never having to let go.

That’s the thing about monkey bars – they’re designed so that you can safely move to the next one without ever having to let go of the last.  And that’s great, I mean, every kid should learn the thrill of swinging and flipped within a structure safe enough to learn.

But at some point, if we’re ever going to live fully alive and free, we’ve got to start learning the trapeze.  They call them artists, which I always found amusing.  Shouldn’t they be called crazies? You willingly let go of a sure thing that will absolutely take you safely back to solid ground (or solid pedestal) in order to propel yourself through the air in hopes that someone else or something else will land in your hands at exactly the right moment.

is that not crazy?

is that not life? or at least, a life well-lived?

Maybe life can be lived on the monkey bars, but that’s not one I want to live.  I have seen some cool monkey bar performances, but I’ve never been captivated by one.  In the same way, I’ve seen risk-less lives that are well-lived and worthy of respect, but I’ve never stood up and cheered one.  So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it takes to succeed at the art of trapeze.

– you’ve got to learn to let go and focus on finding the next bar.  i.e. learn the art of recognizing seasons and grieving them

– you’ve got to learn wisdom. I can’t think of another place where quickly being able to understand how cause and effect are connected is more important.  In a nano-second, you have to analyze a million inputs – it takes time to study possibilities and capabilities.

– you’ve got to be disciplined.  Nobody who hasn’t trained on the ground can fly.  And trapeze artists certainly don’t swing all day.  They capture our hearts and attention at their best moments – but if we were to see their workouts, their practices, their bad days – would we be fascinated? But we all know that’s what makes them great.

– you’ve got to learn trust.  There’s either someone swinging you a bar or someone attached to the bar with hands extended looking to grab yours.  nobody can trapeze on their own, so you have to choose a partner well and trust them every single time.

– you’ve got to learn faith.  I sort of wonder what trapeze artists think mid-air.  Sure, there is a net, but I doubt they are thinking about the net, about whether or not it will be there if they fall.  I imagine they’d never be able to climb the ladder, let alone let go of the bar, and definitely not flip and fly if they hadn’t absolutely determined they are going to be safe no matter what.  The net gives them permission to simple play in the air – to see what their bodies can do in concert with another without fear. I think Jesus is that kind of net (but that’s an entirely different conversation).

If you get the basics down, is life not then as boundless as your imagination?  You can flip and twist and turn to your heart’s desire? You can try to go higher, just to see what it’s like? What acrobatics can you accomplish?  It’s fun. It’s play. It’s freedom.

I want to live a spectacular life.  I want people to be inspired by it; to witness it and feel the wonder of art intersecting reality before their eyes…I want to be great at the trapeze.  I want to fly

it’s been less than 24 hours since my beloved blackberry suffered some corrupt fatal file error and had to be sent off for a warranty exchange.  The folks at the phone store were great and gave me a loaner phone to use in the few days until the new one comes.  It’s not a blackberry.

as such, this represents the first time in probably 6 years that i haven’t had a blackberry within 10 feet of me.  i’m grateful i can still call and text those that are lucky enough to be in my SIM card (or perhaps that i’m lucky enough to have there) but no email, no internet, no note pad, none of the things i depend on it for.

email alone is a hurdle.  Three email addresses are routed to my phone, all of which represent completely different work streams.  Professional, personal, and school.  Negotiating between them almost requires a blackberry b/c more often than not it allows me to quickly mitigate issues or simply call the person who needs something.

so when i woke up this morning, with the little phone that’s just a phone in my bed (yes, i sleep w/ my phone. don’t judge me) I rolled over and instinctively grabbed it to check and deal with what the blackberry santa had brought while i slept, then of course, check twitter, check facebook, check some news I keep track of, oh, read that verse of the day…but nothing.  my simple little phone just had a text or two that were honestly not anything I even had to reply to.

for a second I thought “shouldn’t i feel disconnected?” before I realized I really didn’t.  I felt free.  And I’m not sure why, but I’m asking why b/c I like how this feels.

the 5%

May 14, 2010

I resigned on Tuesday.  My job was one of those soulless corporate gigs – investment banking to be exact.  I never once said growing up that I wanted to buy and sell banks for a living, but I fell into it after college – and the money was good – so onward I went.  Disingenous things have a funny way of wearing you down, as was the case with my work.  Little by little, I lost pieces of myself.  That is until Tuesday, when I finally mustered the courage to draw the line and walk away.

Life has shifted in an entirely new direction – away from what I’d planned it to be or thought it had to be – and it feels very good.

As most would, after the closest circle of family and friends were told, I posted the news on my Facebook.  I’m not sure I expected a response at all and if I did, I’m not sure what I expected people to say.  Within an hour, I was overwhelmed.  From people who I’ve loved & lost, to ones who simply sat next to me in class, to my closest advisors, to my random-see-at-parties friends; they spoke.  They offered words of encouragement, affirmation, support, enthusiasm.  They shared their stories of similar decisions, subseqent challenges, and enduring freedom.  They filled my heart and shaped my soul.

45 people commented, which I thought was staggering.  It is.  That’s forty-five people standing with me.  It wasn’t just the posts, it was the emails, tweets, texts, calls, BBMs…it seemed any way people could communicate they did.

When I considered the 45 comments on my facebook status, it occurred to me that meant 95% of my friend said nothing.  I know there are lots of people on facebook who don’t check or don’t comments – but that’s not what struck me.  The 5% taught me something

Asking connects us.  Asking for friends.  Asking for support.  Asking for advice.  Asking for a help.  I didn’t think I was asking for anything that day – but maybe I was.  And those people knew.  They knew the question beneath the statement was “will you still love me?” “Will you still love me if I am not smart, rich, powerful, funny, or talented?”  “If I change who you know me to be will you still love me?”  “If my decision leads to a big mess, will you stand by me?”  Maybe I needed the people in my life to step up and be there for me in a way I couldn’t be for myself.  I am not sure what I was asking that day, but I’m grateful for those that saw the more than “resigned…” and responded.

Asking connect us.

Perhaps you’ve asked before.  Perhaps you’ve found yourself at a place in life where you need to hear and feel love from the people in your world.  And maybe they said no.  Maybe they said your depression is just a phase and your loneliness will pass.  Maybe they offered empty words that were more polite than penetrating.

Keep asking.  My full heart and facebook experience taught me to keep asking.  Ask 20 people – 1 will hear you.  One will help you.  One will celebrate with you.  One will grab your hand and not let go until you realize your life has value and that you are here on purpose and for one.  You matter and maybe only 5% of the people can enter the moment where you doubt that the most – but 5% will.  So keep asking, keep talking, keep looking – you will find life, love, and freedom.

As far as the East…

April 24, 2010

“I thought if I could touch this place or feel it, the brokenness inside me might start healing. Out here it’s like I’m someone else.  I thought that maybe I could find myself…”

Shanghai was always the city on this 4 continent world-tour MBA that I’ve been looking forward to the most.  And now I’m packing up to leave.  It feels a little strange.

China holds an almost nuanced connection to my past.  Twice that I can remember, but maybe three times when I was little my grandfather travelled here.  I’m sure he went to Beijing too and maybe Hong Kong – but details aren’t too concerning when you’re a kid.  I just knew he went to China and came back with gifts.  I knew he went alone and I knew it was far away.

My grandfather was larger than life.  6 foot something – broad shoulders – and a hug that swalled you whole.  I was 3 months shy of my 13th birthday when he died; which is probably why I remember him being so big.  I was little.  Life was uncomplicated.  My world was small & controlled.  Predictable.

He was an explorer, a thinker, a hard worker.  He made money – lots of it.  He was Omaha stock – midwestern to the core.  After jumping in a shallow lake and breaking his leg, the insurance money paid for a year of college.  Becuase of that, he got a white collar job in insurance and later when on to run the company – Prudential to be exact. He never went back to school but made sure we would.  Of his six grandchildren, two hold PhDs, two have Bachelor’s and when I finish my MBA, it’ll even out the count with two holding master’s as well.

I’m the youngest of the cousins…and when I was born I think it changed him a little.  My mother always told him I was full of personality – life.  She told me he’d ask how that could be known when I was so little – but before I was even a  year old he said he saw it.  This kid is special.  This kid has “it” whatever “it” is…

true or  not, he was only man I ever remember making me feel special.  I’d follow him around the garden. We picked dollar weeds.  Life, he told me, was like dollar weeds.  You can’t just address a problem at the surface, but you have to follow it to the root – and pluck it out from there…and watch, he’d say – pulling out a line of those things that seemed to go on forever – there are always other things connected to the root.  But just keep digging and your garden will be healthy.

We talked a lot actually.  As the reality of his cancer and death began to take its toll on my mom life and parents marriage, I started to industriously take on the stress of myself.  Where would I go to school, what would I do, who would I marry?  I was young and burdened by a future decades away.  He saw it.  He saw my little personality and psyche being shaped.  He pulled me into his office once.  Cherrywood walls, a huge desk, and more books than a library – I loved that office – and he sat on his couch with me and said “I’m so sorry.”  Sorry for what? I wondered.  This guy had given me a great life.  A name.  Status.  Roots.  Identity.  He told me I was here on purpose and for one.  He lit up when I walked into a room.  He made everything feel safe.  His presence alone silenced almost all my fears.  But he was sorry.

“Options” he said…”I’ve given you too many options.  When I was young I had one option – did I want to eat or not to eat? So I got a job and I worked hard.  And I ate. Then I married your grandmother and had your mom and aunts.  And they had to eat.  So I knew my options.” He’d made peace with his choices but the evidence of the struggle was still there – who had he become?  who had he wanted to be?  what trade-offs did he make to get there?

China always represented that.  It represented him.  Life.  There’s a person you could be but a person you also must be.  You’ve been given much so live up to it.  And you have dreams and desires but they wait until you’ve done all the “right” things that by virtue of this last name you’ve been given you must do.

No wonder I’ve been slow to take on a new last name…or allow one choice to define so many others.  Rob Bell said “one yes means a thousand nos” so I’m careful with my yes.  Ironically, the weight of the tension between dreams and responsiblities has all but crushed me in the past few months leading up to this trip.

So here I am, in China with my MBA program at one of the world’s most prestigious schools – no doubt because of the sum of my choices and the options he gave me.  How could I not look for him here – feel him here – wonder what he’d say or think.  Am I still special?  Did I make you proud? Would you still love me if you knew me now?  Would the safe small world that fell into chaos and shattered overnight when you died have taken its toll on me the way it did if you had just lived longer? Did you tell me everything I needed to know?  Am I going to be OK?

I walked through this city the other day, looked and listening and wrestling with those questions.  he is here somehow; and I needed him.

I came here looking for something, answers, insight, I don’t now what exactly – and now I’m packing up to leave.  I’m not sure I can explain them now, but I have things I didn’t have when I came – I have answers I couldn’t have gotten without being here, feeling this place.  A broken part of my soul healed a little.  I shorted the distance between who I am and who I have in my heart to long to become…

So I’m grateful for China and grandfather.

resurrection

April 4, 2010

Easter has always been my favorite day of the year.

What’s not to love?  The combination of cute new dresses, candy, flowers, a great meal, and the coming of summer is perfect for any little girl! Especially me.  I was smitten from the beginning…

And while I’ve continued to celebrate it through college and my twenties sometimes only out of ritual, the day itself has always had a special pull with my heart.

They call me a “futurist” – which is to say I spend a lot of time thinking forward.  So of course, Easter, with heaps of hope is my kind of day.

Hope.  It’s always where I’ve left off on Easter. Thinking, believing that because God came, died, and rose to new life was a great source of hope.

But there’s a difference between believing and becoming.  John’s gospel says it perfectly…”to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”

I have believed for along time…that people can die and be raised to new life.  That people who submit to God’s wisdom and ways, who live in relationship with Him and allow that love to take root are changed.  Not just exhibit new behavioral patterns, I mean, they are changed.  They are alive in a new way.

They get resurrected.

I have always believed that, but between last easter and this one, I started exercising my right to become. I stopped hoping in the resurrection and started living the reality of it.

All my life I think God was trying to be clear about His intention to build my life, to become a person on the other side of the resurrection; but I had my own agenda. I spent too long being angry because I felt entitled.  I thought God was withholding his best from me because things just weren’t working out the way I wanted.

Turns out that His best is the cross, it’s dying to somethings that are killing me; then being raised.

Dying and being raised to new life.  God does it every day.

And He’s done it with me.

Happy Easter.

Last night something occurred to me about Holy Thursday.  Essentially, it marks the “last supper” and while I wasn’t there and am not Jewish, I’ve always had a bit of a difficult time relating to it.

Luke’s account has this line, “And [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'”

That’s usually where I get stuck in mass or church.  It just seems like an odd moment – and while I believe in its truth and the power of the communion ritual, I guess I’ve never really connected to it on all that personal of a level.  But last night it finally occurred to me:

before it was a sacrament, it was just supper.

it was a passover meal, so yeah, it was a special day – but it was basically the equivalent of our 4th of July barbeque.  One part ritual (hmmm, burgers) and another part celebration.  It was just friends coming together like friends do.

So when Jesus says do this in remembrance of me, maybe he’s talking about the people as much as he’s talking about the bread.

Friends in a room has an electric feel to it.  There’s life, laughter, connections being made or deepened.  Even if there’s gossip and petty stuff – it’s still us, relating to each other.  In any room, at an meal, there are people having a very human experience.  And of course, that’s exactly where the God of scriptures would want to be.

So as followers of Jesus who are propelled into that room two-thousand years later on days like Holy Thursday, maybe Jesus is saying here I am, take me!  Go and take a million experiences with His Spirit – with the divine; the instances where things are so so true and good you can’t help but know it was totally from God – and break them – try to understand their truth and power.  And eat.  Feed off of the way they make you a better version of yourself, more alive, more free.

And remember.

As often as you get together, eat together, hang out together, be together – remember me.  Remember how the way I loved you changed you and then you’ll be in a place where you can give it all away.  You can set the stage for Easter, for someone else to find that same kind of life.  And that stuff happens at a party – because before it was “holy” it was just a Thursday.  It was just a party.

little by little

April 1, 2010

A few months ago I found myself on the banks of the Jordan River.

I’d gone too long believing the best lie the devil tells – that God is withholding His best from me.  I lived under the assumption that my needs & desires didn’t matter enough for God to meet them and even if they did, I didn’t have the thing it took to become the person God was telling me I could become.

After all, I looked at my life and I knew the disconnect.  I saw the space between the reality of my life and one God put in my heart to long to live.

there are two sides to the Jordan and one the one is desert – on the other the promised land.  And I was on the wrong side.

It was time to cross.

The Jordan isn’t a big river.  It isn’t the Red Sea.  You can cross it yourself and I think that is the point – at least that was the point for me – God wasn’t going to part the sea, I had to make the choice.  I  had to get my feet wet in a declaration that it was finally time to move from the desert to the promised land.

Life wasn’t working out; the old saying “keep doing what you’ve always done and you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten” had proved true.  And I wanted something new.  I wanted to change the stakes of the game.

And I knew that meant obedience.

So I started actually doing what I knew was true.  I took a hiatus from dating.  I signed up for FPU.  I started doing an hour of cardio every day.  I threw out junk food and junk TV and junk friendship.  As Don Miller would say, I started writing a better story – one where I make it across, I end up in the promised land – in a place where there’s peace that passes understanding and where I live free and alive on the other side of a resurrection.  I started believing that maybe God would keep His word if I just humbled myself and stopped trying to make it all happen my way in my time.

and one thing hit me like a ton of bricks….

In describing that crossing, both Exodus 23:30 and Deuteronomy 7:22 describe how God will defeat the enemies little by little.

Little by little.

the space between the reality of my life and the one God put in my heart to long to live is bridged – little by little.

So I go to the gym one second after another 3,600 times in a row every day.  I save pennies.  I have one more salad than I do soda.  I go another day – sometimes another hour without exchanging skin for attention from some boy.

Little by little.

hours have become pounds and muscles.  Pennies have become dollars.  Meals have become energy. Days have becomes months.

Little by little.

I’m not sure I do have what it takes to fight the big battles.  But I know I can fight the little ones.  The one right now, in this moment.  Not all the time but most of the time.

And I’m learning. I’m changing.  I’m being changed.  I’m moving into a promised land.  I’m falling more in love with God and His grace and sovereignty.  I’m becoming a version of myself I long to become.

little by little.

the dust of the Tetons

March 20, 2010

Rob Bell has this thing – I guess you’d call it a “signature talk” – titled Covered in the Dust of your Rabbi.  In it, he describe the path to being a rabbi, which includes following said Rabbi so closely that you become covered in the dust his sandals kicked up.

What really stuck with me was the experiential nature of the lessons.  Sure, Rabbis talked but for the most part, disciples would glean wisdom and knowledge from just observation and participation.

I realized the other day that I’m covered in the dust of the Tetons.

About two weeks before I shipped off to London to start my MBA, I was visiting my friends parents in Jackson Hole, WY.  We went for a hike on a trail they had been wanting to try.  We knew it was going to be challenging from the library of books and guidemaps they have about the range.  I remember praying that morning – and really that whole week leading up to the weekend – that God would give me an insight, a peace, a word, or anything to hold on to about the forthcoming academic dive into grad school.

While I somehow managed to pull it together and get accepted into a Top 10 MBA program, I’ve NEVER felt smart.  Actually, I can only remember from pre-k onward feeling very very very stupid.  I struggled in school but for a variety of reasons, personality, pride, absent parents…I was able to slide by without anyone ever knowing.

So I was nervous about starting school, at a really good school. Terrified actually.  And off we went for our hike.

To be honest, I think I was expecting to have some grand chat with them.  They’re always the right mix of encouraging and challenging.  But, part of me just didn’t want to bring it up and part of me just didn’t feel like it was the time.

So up the mountain we hiked.

and then we got lost.

for six hours.

Now, at this point, I didn’t have the heart to explain to my Harvard-educated friend’s dad that we were probably lost for a purpose so he probably wasn’t going to find the right way any time soon.  I knew this day was answering some of my most difficult questions.

Don’t we all struggle, and I mean, viscerally, with whether or not we have what it takes?  I’m sure a lot of people with many initials behind their names could explain why this is, but I’m more interested in the reality than the theory.

I stare at huge mountains everyday that I’m desperate to climb – and there is almost always a voice saying “yeah, right, this is you we’re talking about.”  I’ve tried so many things – convincing myself other people or circumstances are the blame as to why I haven’t conquered; I’ve rationalized that maybe I really don’t want to go that high; I’ve taken a few steps and asked who I am kidding for even trying.  But the reality remains, these proverbial mountains are deeply seeded desires that I didn’t make up.  Assignments, callings – name them what you will – but they are there and they are not going away.

And I constantly feel the weight of the distance between me and the summit.

Had you told me that morning the endurance and physical strength it would have taken to hike, I would have told you I didn’t have it.  And I probably didn’t!  Because, as I learned that day, the conversations we have at the bottom of the mountain are important – but even more so are those that we have on the climb.

But that day, after wandering through the woods, my twice repaired leg twitching and being totally lost – I realized I have no idea what I’m capable of – UNTIL I try it. I realized I tell myself the most horrible things the second something gets hard and I might fail.

I was stuck on that mountain.  The only way I was getting off without becoming a moose snack was to keep going – to fight through conversation in my head about the inadequacy of my efforts.  And you know what I found  out?

I’m more than able.  Everything I believe about myself was untrue.

The introduction of that kind of cognitive dissonance has literally reshaped my experience at Duke.  It’s not just a school – its travel – its people – it’s time management…and since that day in Jackson, I have literally watched EVERYTHING in my life be stretched to the absolute  limit.  Mentally, emotionally, financially, professionally, relationally, personally, physically, – name it – and the past 9 months has taken it right to or over the edge.

And I go back to that day.  I sometimes look at the running shoes that are still brown because I wouldn’t let my friend’s mom wash when we got home.  I remember what I know or think about myself may be the most evil attack the devil has ever waged and the only way to learn the truth is to stay close to Jesus, to follow Him into the crazy situations and places He’s leading – and let experiences, not information, instruct me about who I am.

I’m covered in the dust of the Tetons.

casting

March 10, 2010

There’s a part of the bible that gets tossed around from Sunday School to senior citizens, “Cast your anxiety on Jesus because He cares for you.”

Maybe it’s spun as “cast your cares” or “cast your burdens” but it’s the same deal…and I’ve heard it ad nauseam.  It’s just one of those things church people like too say

Too bad I haven’t ever really known what it means or what it actually looks like to cast anything (except a fish net)…

My hesitation is that cast denotes an abdication of responsibility.  Where’s the line between my personal responsibility as someone made with infinite creative potential and my rights and privileges as an heir of God?  What do I have to do myself and what will He do for me?  Surely, you can’t just say “ok God, I have cancer, so I’m going to cast that on you and not worry about it.”  I’d probably just go to the doctor, you know?

But yesterday it came together.  Buz is the dad of the Turner family.  The Turners aren’t my family but they are pretty close.  In 5 years I’ve learned more about the way a family acts, reacts, and interacts that I could have ever imagined.  They’ve welcome me, challenged me, comforted me, corrected me, pissed me off, celebrated with me, and given me more than I will probably ever give back.  They are a family in the best sense of the word.  And Buz is the rock.  Quiet, smart, loaded with common sense and a work ethic that would blow your mind – he’s even. Always.  Nothing phases the guy.  I’ve seen the craziest things happen and every time he remains freakishly calm and says “let’s do this”.  Every time.

He’s the person I’m least anxious around.

The only way I can explain it is to say I feel safe riding in the car with him.  I know, I should feel safe riding in the car with most people – but I don’t.  When I got a car at 15, I never looked back (yes I drove w/o a license for a year).  Finally, I was independent: in charge of my destination and the way there.  Ever since, I have HATED riding with other people.  Where will they take me?  What if I need to stop? What if I want to go a different way? What if they leave without me?

I get anxious thinking about it.

Counting on other people to consider me, my needs, and do something about them isn’t exactly an instinct of mine. It’s not something I plan on; if anything, I actually plan on people NOT considering my needs and having to fight for them on my own…life leaves a residue like that, you know?

So when our neighbor and I went to meet Buz for dinner last night and he said he’d be there a few minutes before me – I got it.  Things would be handled.  He’d get a table and probably order me water – we’d sit down, order, talk…  I knew the drill.  He knows me well enough – I know him well enough.  Time builds relationship and relationship builds trust and trust builds predictability.

Exactly.

Scripture isn’t talking about some back-door plan for us to have all of our problems fixed by God if only we’d “cast” them on Jesus.  Too often I’m guilty of thinking and praying from this place of “if only this was set-right, I’d be at peace” when in reality, nothing can be further from what God’s trying to say here.  But maybe (hell, mostly) God isn’t trying to fix our problems at all.  He’s trying to fix us.  Casting requires us to direct our anxieties toward God and in doing, we engage in a conversation with God about really visceral things.  It strengthens a muscle.  We have quirks and we voice them.  We get to hear His response; His heart toward us; His character.  We get to know He has heard…

In that interplay I see Him differently; and I even start to see myself differently too.  And that changes everything…

Over time, the feeling that I have to fight for my own way in life, that no one will take me into consideration has waned.  It folds somehow into a God who calms me down not as much by His actions but by His character, by the value He continues to insist I have.  My anxiety has decreased not necessarily through circumstance; but through the confidence I have in that relationship with Him.

There are definitive times I’ve prayed about something bugging me and miraculously, supernaturally, it’s fixed.  Other times, I have a clear sense that I need to get myself together and do something about it.  It’s the same way with Buz.  Sometimes he just takes care of stuff for me if I ask him, and other times he laughs and says, “grow up.”

Oddly enough, if you read the verse in context (1Peter 5) it’s talking about the relationship between young people and old ones.  Like “hey, trust the elders, they’re wise – they love you, so trust that they’re good people because it’s not so stressful when you know someone’s there to hold you and lift you up.  someone good. someone who loves you.” (sarah revised version!) And then Peter says “cast your anxiety on Jesus” so I have to imagine there is an invisible LIKE YOU DO THE ELDERS right after…

You know, as much as I want everything hard in my life to just go away, God never billed Himself as a magician or a winning lottery ticket; He said He was our Father…a perfect one.  And I’m discovering how calming that fact really is…

Sexy Bitch

March 9, 2010

So I’m at the gym this morning, and “Sexy Bitch” shuffles on my iPod.  It’s one of those songs I listen to and think, “I probably shouldn’t like this song.”  But, it’s good and I do…

not to mention it takes my workout up a level or two

i get the song.  I mean, I doubt Akon and David whatever-his-last-name-is had any intention of creating a larger sociological conversation, but that’s what this song is.

Girls are funny – and one of the best explanations of my generation and younger is in Courtney Martin’s book, “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters.”  All told, it is a book about eating disorders but it speaks to a much larger thesis that our mothers (of the feminist movement), after fighting for women’s rights essentially said to the girls of our generation: you can do anything.

we translated it: I have to be everything

It’s a brilliant book – but the problem remains.  Or should I say the larger problem remains, we can’t be everything!

Yet we live with a deep defeating sense that we aren’t enough.

We must be pretty, smart, athletic, successful, a good mom, a great wife, personable, social, musical, well-read, funny, the best – at everything – all the time.

Who are we kidding?  Nobody but ourselves…

but we keep going, to be “nothing like a girl you’ve ever seen before”

even if it makes us a sexy bitch