Upon your return, and thanks for returning, here is a combination of thoughts that have been with me for some time. We can classify them as three short, selfish stories. "The Signature," "There is One Direction, and "Take me home," the story of that 2-hour walk when I let go of that one direction my life has recently taken and return to the fundamentals.
Let me start with a dream I had a few nights ago. In this dream, I had created or written and submitted something to a panel, a room full of critics -- some of them artists and writers, I think -- and they were reviewing my work. Somewhere on the work, I had signed my name, my signature. At some moment after I stepped into the room, I realized that they all hated my work, but not because of the work. It was because my signature was so awful. As if my name was so boring and inartistic and unworthy of being put on a piece of art. I don't recall them saying anything specific. I only recall the profanities I said to them in return. It was clear they hated the signature that spelled out sloppily, "Lindsey Auten," I boiled over with rage rapidly and said, "What the f***? (loudly, too, then a long pause) What the f***?" I paused for another second, looked them over with disgust and said with such conviction, "You are all F***ING INSANE!" If you know me at all, I don't ever shout profanities to anyone, even when I'm full of rage. I have never felt so confident in a dream, aside from the ones where I run marathon races and that one lucid dream I had about dissolving windows and flying out of them. I have also never felt so confident upon waking up. When I think about the progression of this confidence, I liken it the following.
It's interesting that my subconscious reverted to using those words so loudly and boldly, but it reveals to me that the critics in the room were not other people I knew nor were they even other people that I didn't know. They were me.
There is One Direction
For six weeks I was unemployed and I loathed myself and I didn't know what to do with my time and all I could think to do was watch One Direction music and Youtube videos because their porcelain faces and candy pop music make me smile. Maybe you've been in a dark place such as this before. Surely, it was very dark. I still listen to them to remind me that I don't want to go back there. And you know I'm bluffing...because, seriously. All the people at Buzzfeed are in a similar boat. Now that I've dug myself an even deeper hole, all of this is evidence that I'm hyper-critical of my 25-year-old self and even deeper, of my 25-year-old self-loathing (i.e. a few attempted posts ago: "Like, is it okay to make a lunch out of ham, cheese, crackers, juice, and a Reese's peanut butter cup, because Lord knows there's no way I'm walking into the store and buying a Lunchable at 25 years old. Or, since I have a little free time right now, I'm going to sort my old, old CD collection that includes Backstreet Boys and Christina Aguilera, then listen to them and cry over the fact that I shouldn't be listening to them anymore and/or I shouldn't be listening to any One Direction anymore.")
Either way, when I listen to One Direction in the car, I first say aloud, "One Direction, you are all f***ing insane." Not in a rage, because it's a simple fact. Then I audibly tell myself, "You are f***ing insane. Embrace it. Get it, girl. Then listen to some jazz or Explosions in the Sky. By the way, the earth is not a cold dead place."
Take me home
Just a few days ago, post-signature dream breakdown, amidst pop culture obsessions (I'm talking about the Internet, okay), I dropped everything except my Bible and walked. I stopped at a place, "the stargazing deck," and stared at if for a while. I walked a few hundred feet more and planted myself on a hill, in nature, at camp, with myself. Just me and my critics. As the sun was setting, I sat, I stared. The book of Isaiah provided such clarity. So much that all the rest of this blog post can rest assured that it doesn't matter in the end. No matter how strange I am or how weird this post becomes to you (or me, really), I know I'll be able to run marathon dreams, tell self-criticism and even my written signature that they're insane and don't even matter, and kick teeny bopper music in the face (not literally and not directed at the teeny bopper musicians themselves - I still like them, sorry I'm not sorry.) We're tired of it all, but hey cronies! Don't you know?! In your weakest moments, your hopeless dreams, God is with you.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. - Isaiah 40:28-31
Cheers to being the child of God -- with a special signature -- that you were created to be.