So, as an epileptic, I got very used to people’s shock and awe reactions to just about every story I told. Either that, or like many disabled individuals, the sympathy and pity became more addicting than coke or meth. Any of those reactions; shock, sympathy or pity, exuded a power that felt like control, but really wasn’t. Regardless, I learned that I would never not have that from someone.
Which is why, when Christ finally took over, I just resorted to making everything a joke. You’d be surprised how not in control you feel when experiencing someone’s laughter that you initiated. Let’s face it, y’all. Most of you have some seriously random laughs. When I think the joke was over three minutes ago, and you’re still laughing… I’m quite aware that humor is not something I control.
I’m learning though, that when explaining to someone that I truly only have half a brain, ending the story with, “It’s amazing though, I’m a medically certified airhead; so I can be an idiot and it’s not my fault” … That snaps ’em all out of their pity-of-the-obviously-helpless-cutie mindset. Oh Hallelujah.
I’m used to those reactions. Lets face it, when quipped one liners like, “half a brain”, “three brain surgeries”, “2200 milligrams of meds in an 85lb body” occur, uncontrolled reactions are inevitable. So, I lace the truth with a joke, and people loosen up. Mercifully.
24 years of intense over-reactions never ever, ever prepared me for the reactions of young women when I tell them I left my boyfriend all the way up in Alaska. Apparently, the 18 year old sitting next to me who left her guy in Louisiana doesn’t count. I’m not sure how I’m different, but I’ve been told by many that I’m either crazy, strong, or incredibly stupid.
Oh, okay. (My vote would be the crazy and stupid.. Most days) This reaction is so comical, it begs for control. Trying to explain to young women that my relationship with this man takes just as much work as emotion because we have a lot more to work through as two adults stuck in our ways, was a bad idea. Reaction? “Ohhhhh!!!! So romantic!!!”
Wait. It is? Huh? How? I mean, yeah. It gets pretty precious most days, but seriously. They get butterflies because their guy can kiss them without parental consent… I get butterflies when a part of my past collides with this man’s personality and neither one of us explodes. Or when he steps up to lead in a way that neither one of us enjoy, but we both know it’s what God is asking for. Romantic? Yep. I am among women. Dang it.
So after I stopped having my own pity party, life started making sense. I’m here, at 24, with my heart stuck somewhere along the Yukon. I’m being asked to pour my heart into women who are at a level of innocence that they’ll never see as precious until its a thing of the past. I ended up asking questions of my own heart so I can be an example to these women. It’s overwhelmingly precious.
In talking about my boyfriend with one girl here, (ohhh dorm life. You talk about guys. You become seen as a storyteller when you actually know one… Tis even better if he’s your boyfriend and exists!!) she kept calling my boyfriend and I “old romantics.” I tried very hard not to start giggling as I thought through conversations that were more heart wrenching than romantic. Following God as a long distant couple hurts. It’s amazing, but it hurts. Katie caught me off guard when she followed her comment with, “But what a way to need God every minute of every day. Is that what God wants? For relationships to make us holy?”
Wow. Yeah, sweetheart. That’s exactly what He wants. That’s exactly why I’m here.