Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Goodbye, 2009

This holiday season has been one of firsts. Brandon and I spent our first Christmas together (Candy canes!!!), it's my first Christmas in a real job without a weeks-long Christmas break, the first Christmas I can remember that didn't immediately involve my dear Texas friends within a few days on either end, and this week I'll get my first honest to goodness, midnight New Year's Eve kiss. I've been dating for 8 years. How I managed to evade that kiss completely escapes me, but I'm thrilled I did! What a fun first to share with my mine, the sexiest of men.

In lieu of a long winded blog, I've decided to pen a poem to seal up my 2009 and ring in the new decade.

For My Dear Ones

2000 opened with high school for me
The four years that grounded the person I'd be
Fresh out of awkward and clumsy eighth grade
I figured with long hair and boobs, I've got it made!

Junior high grudges
became high school crushes
My friends became hot
(Though I knew them when they were, decidedly, not.)

Faryn, Kris, and Emmie invited me out
Then Tara came around and she taught us how
to dance and be silly and not try so hard
Without her, we never would have come so far

Coach A showed up and he taught us to think
Sports filled our days with locker room stink
We laughed and rode go carts until they crapped out
Life was a breeze, no reason to pout

In 2001, the towers came down
We cried and we tried to find peace in our little town
We called it a "bubble" but it was still home
McKinney made sure we were never alone

Dan and Andy became fast friends
then they became ours with a bond that won't end
Those years were our world and it's strange that they've passed
but we left them with friendships that will always last

College came round and we all stuck together
Now we're "grown up" and it's hard to tell whether
we'll end up in the same place or scattered around
No matter, we'll always know where the others can be found.

For now,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


What a monster. I need more words.

Monday, November 23, 2009


What I'm thankful for today:

Spending a joy filled evening with Brandon and his parents last night and falling in love with them all over again.

Driving through a neighborhood already decking itself out in lights.

New pillows on my bed that finally make it look just right.

Running out of room on my bookshelf.

Catching up on the shows I missed while away for work.

Mom's homemade bread.

A clean bedroom filled with lamplight and Adele.

Looking forward to spending tomorrow afternoon with Riley.

Enrolling for classes at MTSU next semester just because I can.

Helping Julie to feel ever so slightly less stressed by editing her papers.

Knowing that a week from now I'll be working full time for a salary.

Seeing mom after several days away from home.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Hey, Steve and Ronnie!

Does anyone else read this thing?

Who says I can't be free

Listening to John Mayer's latest. I'll join the millions and sing his praises. No matter how much of an ass he sometimes is, I will always love his music. It takes me back to a lounge chair by the pool at our hotel in Florida ten Christmases ago with my CD player blasting out "Room For Squares" through the headphones and thinking this boy could steal my heart with his silky, smoky, strange voice. And, besides, I like him feisty.

What a place in life. There is nothing quite like the peace of mind that comes from the knowledge that one is exactly where one is meant to be. This is not where I started, mind you. My struggle during the months between graduation and employment have been largely dictated by anxiety and, frankly, fear. Anxiety over a plethora and apparent lack of options, at once. Don't ask me, I still haven't figured out how I managed that. Fear that my entire future happiness and the person that I will become depended on the steps or missteps, for that matter, that I would make during these seemingly critical and defining weeks. I was afraid not of making the wrong choices, necessarily, but of becoming the wrong person. The person who has stories of travels and adventure and exploration to share with her children one day would surely need to move to Italy for some undefined period of time and wander greater Europe until some sort of existential breakthrough could occur. The woman who could one day look back on a young love nurtured, tenderly cared and intensely fought for, and grown to maturity should surely stay put now for the sake of the man she will certainly always love. The strong and fiercely independent lady warrior who finds happiness and joy in solitude as much as in companionship because of the confidence and pride that follow a life done "my way" would, I thought, demand that I abandon home in a quest to "make it" somewhere strange and new with ambitions of graduate school and professional success. I spent months approaching my decision making by thrusting myself decades into the unknown future and tracing where I thought my invisible backwards footprints might have begun. Much to my dismay, this does not work. Friends and family have patiently humored my many ambitions and sat smiling as I began yet another conversation with, "So I have a plan..." until none of us knew when to take me seriously anymore. I think my parents arrived there shortly after my sophomore year stress found me renouncing school and making plans to join the Peace Corps.

I don't see the world as a place too big to tackle. I believe wholeheartedly that every corner of it can be explored in a lifetime. At least, the corners that the life is interested in checking out. I see possibilities as endless. Everywhere. All the time. Pile on a crippling sense of urgency and you have one very discombobulated lady. Once in a while I stop and reevaluate. I've found that my backwards tracing method of living is ill effective, at best. So I'm going to shut up. I'm going to raise these babies, save my money, pray for SHALOM, and exist fully in the present for a while. That means traveling when I can, tending to my love, intentionally developing each part of my being, recognizing that I am not just a person to become but that there are things to accomplish and a life to live presently, and letting myself fall away from the center and into the tapestry. So, for now, all is as it should be.

In other news...

The past month of travel, whilst it has certainly kept me moving (and I love to move), has left me feeling rather like roadkill. I've missed a month of church, had a grand total of I think 3 nights in my own bed, and have completely lost all sense of time. I know it's passing. It must be. But if it weren't for the fact that I know I have to drive to Atlanta tonight after rehearsal, I'd have not the slightest idea that today is Thursday. This is my last trip for a while. (See previous paragraph) This is certain. Perhaps another day trip to the Noog with B, but I'm going to lay low for a while. Three weeks, at least. :)

I must launder and pack now. Again. Love to all.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New York

I came to NYC last Friday to visit ReAnna, so I apologize for my absence. Brandon decided to come up at the last minute, as well, so we spent the weekend together up here and I must say I love him in New York. We saw Oleanna with Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles and it thrilled my little heart to see that production. The semester that I worked on and performed in that show at Lee was one of the most challenging and rewarding of my college career. To see it on Broadway was a real treat. To share it with B was a treasure. We also saw the new musical, Memphis, and it filled us up with soul. We revisited the little Italian restaurant, Grano Trattoria, that my family and I discovered nearly 5 years ago on a trip up here and we rode the carousel in Central Park like a couple of kids.

It's been so nice to spend time with ReAnna after nearly two years apart. We've both grown and changed in the last two years, but we picked up right where we left off. My inner circle of girlfriends are so special to me because I have that kind of relationship with each of them. They're scattered across the globe, quite literally, but I know that I'm connected to them in a deep way that transcends geography. Thank God for them.

I have more to write. Much more. But I also have to get to the Opera, and that won't wait. I've only been to the opera once, and it was a very small one in Lucca, Italy. I know virtually nothing about the opera, but I'm thrilled to be going. THRILLED!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Thoughts

The perfect job. A real sense of discipline and growth. Spontaneous trip to Manhattan. Creative inspiration. Good health. Supportive family. Promising graduate school lead. Exciting new opportunities for family members. New hair. Full heart. Perspective shaping books to read. Little blessings. Things to forward to. Babies to love on. Holidays coming soon.

For these and for so much more I am thankful.

What peace.

"Do beautiful things for God."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just People

Most days at Youth Specialties, the conference that MediaShout has me working that has been a regular of ours for several years, consist of flying frisbees and beach balls, free sno cones and popcorn, grown people riding around on tricycles or unicycles, loud music, raining nerf balls, and busy exhibit hall hours. Today was not that day. We had 2 hours of good business first thing this afternoon followed by six hours of virtually nothing at all. At least in Los Angeles, the exhibitors put on flag football games in the aisles and beach volleyball across the hall. Today, though? Let's just say I consumed more free candy than I should have, checked Facebook and my email compulsively, read every single article on CNN.com, and tried my level best improve my solitaire skills (Even then, after over an hour I'm looking at 3 for 17). The last 3 hours were torture for all four of us in booth watching the minutes creep by. When the closing bell finally rang, we wasted no time closing down and heading over to Rock Bottom Brewery for the third time in the past two days.

After dinner, we left the brewery and headed back across Fountain Square to walk the three blocks back to our hotel when we saw costumes and heard music. The city was holding a free "Monster Mash" dance party on the square for any and everyone who wanted to be there. I looked around and saw the homeless veteran whom I'd seen sitting outside the convention center earlier in the day dancing in the center of a circle made of young, old, black, white, costumed, painted, and happy people. After he had circled once or twice, hands raised, booty shaking, with a smile on his face, a young black kid high fived him and began break dancing and doing flips to Lady Gaga pounding through the sound system. A little spiderman who couldn't have been more than 4 or 5, after watching intently, entered the circle, got on his hands and knees, and started spinning sloppy circles with legs kicking every which way. My new buddy Barry pointed out the Moses, complete with stone tablets and wooden rod, across the square. I saw a reincarnated and slightly overweight Michael Jackson. I laughed. I danced.

And then the deejay played the Electric Slide.

I wish you all could have seen the dozens and dozens of people, some there with the youth conference, some who had panhandled for lunch, some teenage moms with babies, some with gray hair, some who could barely walk, and still others who could not have been more "white," join together in near perfect rhythm and do the electric slide as if Ric Silver himself taught us how. In those moments, despite our countless differences, despite generation and language gaps, despite the many economic and social universes represented, we were all there together. We danced. We laughed. We felt like friends. We shared life with each other for a few beautiful moments under the stars in downtown Cincinatti. I've never had a Halloween like it. Come to think of it, I don't know that I've ever had a single night like that.

Lady Gaga and freaky costumes aside, that's what the church should be. Those people represented so many different ways of life but we all enjoyed one another because the music gave us something outside of ourselves to move to. We got to take part in something bigger than our own persons, as trivial as it might seem, and laugh together as if nothing in the world separated us. Tonight we weren't black or white or poor or rich or druggies or prudes or bullies or nerds or failures or leaders or skinny or fat or strangers... we were just people. Happy, dancing people.

My Halloween rocked.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


So here's some news. I have been offered a job! A really good one. It's a nanny job with incredible hours, great pay, wonderful people, and sweet tiny ones. Two women who live down the street from one another each have a newborn and decided to go in together on a "nanny share," which basically means that both of them get full time private nanny care that would have been incredibly expensive individually. Enter Daryn. Riley and Molly are 9 and 5 weeks respectively. Watching such teeny ones means that I'll have time during the day to do homework which means that I can either go back for that second undergrad or start a grad program in the spring and take night classes. I will make enough to pay off my student loan and credit card bill within a couple of months. The families live in Mt. Juliet, 15 minutes from my house and well behind the rush hour crunch heading downtown. How's that sound? :)

I am not where I thought I would be. The road in front of me has taken an unexpected detour, but after this time working as a nanny and saving virtually all of my income, I will place myself squarely in the middle of possibility. And this time, I'll have the money to afford it. I have an incredible opportunity to buckle down, make some great money, complete some serious school work, and end this period of time with a hefty savings.

I have marked the past two months with much of my own efforts, ideas, and good intentions. I thought I had a great plan. The Lord provides. The Lord provides. The Lord provides. This next phase of life looks different from what my plan looked like, but it is better. His plan is better. He foiled mine over and over again. All of them. In spite of my best efforts. That's probably best :)

I have more. I have spent the day exploring a new city. I have much more, but dinner calls.

More later. Love

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Return

I love to write. Why I haven't been able to find the motivation or creativity to write for the past several weeks had escaped me until very recently. The frustration of knowing the fulfillment and satisfaction that comes with writing but finding myself unable to get to that place of freely flowing thought maddens me sometimes. Brandon pointed out to me yesterday that my last blog was written immediately before a particularly traumatic weekend. He's right. This thing, the details of which I will leave out of cyber space for the sake of his privacy and mine, sucked the life and joy out of me for a good long time. I'm done with it now. It's time to do what I can.

That last sentence may seem vague to all but the few who have had the good fortune to bear witness to the existential pinball game which has been my life for the past 6 or so weeks. Suffice it to say the time in between graduation and employment has been volatile. Feeling paralyzed by the far reaching tentacles of the aforementioned trauma, I allowed myself to wallow in limbo for far too long. Unable to commit, with good reason, to any particularly long term obligations but unable to find a suitable distraction in the mean time, I've been a bit of a mess. There have been many Law and Order marathons in my recent past. Too many. To any who may have been affected by my absentmindedness and emotional withdrawal, I apologize. I'm over it. :)

Being over it means I must write. I have started several blogs over the past weeks couldn't justify posting what I thought was entirely self serving. Well, for Heaven's sake, this is MY blog. Forgive me, but I think the whole concept of a blog is self serving. Once you've bought into the idea of blogging, you're going to have to deal with the fact that your writing is actively promoting yourself. Whether or not people want to read it is entirely up to them. So, here I am again.

I am in flux. In between. In transition. However, I am not paralyzed and I can make some very worthwhile decisions right where I find myself today. One of the things I find to be true about the people in my inner circle is that none of us are ever in one place for a very long time. In our own ways, we're all nomads and we're almost always in some kind of transition. ReAnna, my dear friend with whom I shared my best days at Lee, has written several posts in her own blog about transition. ReAnna shares my love for geographic nomadism (I just made that up, I think), although her ventures have been more grandiose than my own of late. This is a girl who spent a semester in Cambridge studying literature (and tea), moved to Paris for a year for the heck of it, and now lives in Manhattan attending Pratt and surrounding herself with books and Argentinian wine. This is a girl I love and admire (and envy, but that's not the point at all). This is a girl who just left me a Facebook comment to the effect of, "Maybe you should save all your money and go backpacking through Asia with me next summer." This girl is a sister of mine. Her transitions involve currency exchange and passports and happen regularly so she certainly knows what she's talking about. Here is what she says about being in this bizarre and uncomfortable place: I’m in transit. And there’s nothing I can do but wait to see what’s next. And drink velvety smooth wine from Argentina. And be happy in knowing that I am where I’m supposed to be, even though I’m not in the situation that I thought I would be in. Lovely girl, you speak to my soul. Thanks for these words.

So, in spite of the madness that I realize I did not fully divulge here but has been very real to me lately, I am determined to BE right where I am supposed to be. Here. Now.

And I promise I'll write.

Monday, August 31, 2009


I want to live in a city with a lighthouse near the ocean. I want to wake up to seagulls and sailboats. Seattle woke something up inside of me that has been lurching towards the water ever since I watched the sun set over the Puget Sound. The air was just... air. What a concept, right? It was so breathable. Brandon and I drank water straight from the river and it tasted more pure than any bottle I've ever put to my lips. All it takes is an hour's drive to forget about everything but nature. The mountains are silent. There is a kind of stillness up there that feels holy. The water sparkles with a beauty that is infinite. Standing on the pier and night with the skyline on one side of me and the sunset on the other... that was peace. Every part of me felt right with the world in those moments. The city lights didn't keep the stars from twinkling or the moon from dancing on the water. I've never seen anything quite like it. It was perfect.

That's all I've got for now.

Till next time,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No more blog neglect

Sorry it's been nearly a week since my last post! The past few days have been a whirlwind. It took 2 days for Alex and I to drive home, and I spent the entire weekend away from technology. This week so far has been full of reconnecting with friends, sending off resumes, scheduling interviews, and laundry. Oh, the laundry. I have three massive piles of clothes blocking the path from my door to my bed and the suitcase is still calling to be unpacked. I'll get it all finished just in time to repack for Seattle next week, I'm sure.


Brandon and I are headed to the mountains next week for sailing, unimog off-roading, wine, music, and time with an old friend of Brandon's from his touring days, Charlie. A couple of friends have asked recently how we afford to travel. The secret? Know where to find the best deals and be FLEXIBLE. The key is to have an open mind. So you want to take a trip to San Diego? Look for deals every day. Check airline websites (They're all broke and giving incredible discounts on flights. Beware taxes, though. Figure an extra $50 per person in addition to the flight cost for taxes and fees), online booking sites (For vacation packages, I've found that bookit.com has some of the best deals around for flight+hotel. Plus, they don't charge nickel and dime fees), and check your rewards options (You may be collecting points you don't even know about with credit cards, bank reward programs, etc. that you can redeem for a free hotel stay or other discounts). Flexibility means being willing to change your plans. Maybe you discover you can go to San Diego for half the price a week later than you'd planned. Or if your dates are concrete, you might find a better deal somewhere else. Are you willing to put San Diego on the back burner for a week in Chicago that will cost half the price? Popular destinations are going to be on sale for a long time with things the way they are now, so you'll hit the places you want eventually if you're willing to move them around as you find the best deals. B and I go where the deals are. We go to places where we can stay with friends and save on hotel costs, and we only go when the flights are on sale. I put a little money away each time I get paid and only go on a trip when I can pay for it without putting it on credit. I learned that the hard way. There are few trips worth months of paying off that credit card. Some might be, but those are rare. Save your money. It's all about being smart and knowing what you want. If you want to travel badly enough, you'll figure out what you can cut out and save up to make it happen. Be scrappy. Be happy.

Tonight, I'm headed to church to attend youth for the first time in 6 years. Stephanie and I have been talking about it for several months, and I'm going tonight to check it out as a leader now rather than a student. I'm thrilled. This church has become home for me in so many ways, and I'm so ready to invest more time and energy in the people who have become my extended family. I'm excited about the kids. I'm excited to learn from them and love on them. :)

Out for now. Headed to the pool to swim my self back into shape.

Till next time,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

J'ai Fini!

Hello, cyber world. I am writing you now as a college grad :). Well, mostly. I'll get my diploma in the mail because my classes in Austin went a week longer than the MTSU classes so I missed the ceremony, but I'm done! Stick a fork in me. Right now the most overwhelming sentiment is just, "I don't have to write a speech tonight. Or a paper. Or read. Or study French." And that's pretty nice.

I wish I had more to write, but after an afternoon in the car and an early morning tomorrow, I'm out. I'll have something better tomorrow or Saturday.

I'm done!!!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Morning Mercies

Good morning, all!

Cursed alarm brought me to life this morning. I wish I had the gift of waking with the sunrise (although my mother would swear it's a curse), but I'm certain the whole process would be far less agonizing if it could just... happen. My hotel (the 6th place I've come home to in 10 days... whew!) has a full kitchen so I stocked up for my last three days yesterday and am enjoying breakfast and worship music ce matin. Delightful.

Also studying for the French quiz that I will most certainly suffer through this morning. Fortunately the reality that these are my LAST days has not quite sunk in and my head is still, proverbially, in the game.

Life is good. Life is truly very good. Before you think "the lady doth protest too much" let me just remind you that I have a hotel room to myself, a family to come home to this Friday, the love of my life waiting on me, food in my belly, Jesus on my mind, and my favorite old sweatshirt on my me. Heavenly.

Gammy shared the most precious thoughts with me yesterday. "You are not fragmented. Your situation is very fragmented, but your base is strong and firm, your faith is solid, you are taken care of, and the "Daryn" in you is still whole." :) I'm a gypsy this week and last; in and out of hotel rooms, friend's houses, some parts of my life have fallen gloriously to pieces, there is still one more bed waiting for me before I make it home, and much of my worldly possessions are in the trunk of my car. Fragmented, indeed. But I am happy, healthy, and whole. Thank you, Gammy, for the reminder.

Off to throw myself together and hit ACC Riverside.

Over and out!


Monday, August 10, 2009

And So It Begins

Hello, all. (All may be generous. For day one, perhaps I should stick with something more like "both of you.") I have a blog now. As you can see.

This is, in a lot of ways, a new beginning for me. I'm in my last week of college classes, have recently done a massive remodeling of my "emotional home" (Including but not limited to the reevaluation of some relationships, shedding of some baggage, untangling of my heart and mind, rearranging of some priorities, deletion of Facebook *gasp!*, and some serious Jesus lovin time), am looking genuine adulthood dead in the eyeballs, and feel sincerely, utterly, and wholeheartedly at peace about it all. The beginning of the year held it's fair share of panicked moments- my total (happy) lack of a "real" plan is testament to that fact- but here I am, graduating in a week and as perfectly content as I can be.

Disclaimer: I promise that the entire contents of this blog will not consist of ramblings about myself, but it's the first one and I'm operating under the assumption that not every single one (both) of you know precisely who I am. Bear with me. Tomorrow, I promise to write about food or someplace exotic.

Speaking of plans, here's what I've pulled together. It's constantly in flux: Work for 6 months to a year as a nanny, live (rent free!!!) with the gracious parents who keep welcoming me back home, save as much as I possibly can, travel with B with any spare cash and time, find someone who will cast me in a show then throw myself back on stage, kiss the face of the man I love as often as humanly possible, cook every recipe I can get my hands on, spend time with the people who keep me sane (or try), and enjoy the oh-so-abundant life Jesus has spoiled me with. I recognize it's neither the ambitious, post-collegiate career plan nor the studious grad school option but it's exactly right for me, for now.

Then there's the blog. I'll write it all. This is what I love to do. I've distanced myself from my first love, the blank screen, and I have every intention of spoiling him with attention and keystrokes for your reading pleasure in the coming weeks and months. Facebook had become a far too accessible means of cyber networking and, frankly, I want to keep you people at bay. Kidding. Mostly. A blog will allow me to think and communicate with you in more than 150 character bursts, and I'm rather fond of dialogue that exceeds said character limit.

I could go on but that would be downright snooty. That's enough of "me" for tonight.

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.