Sunday, March 29, 2009

The List

Today I realized that I have a lot of things about myself that I hate. I believe that everyone has them, however. These are the things that make me doubt myself and keep me from being the person that I want to be; things that it is seriously time to let go of. Because of this I am making a list. It is really long and growing every minute. Some of the things on the list are small, but some of them run pretty deep and are things I have dealt with most of my life. I'm listing them all- big and small.

So here is the task that I have challenged myself with: 1. List everything about myself and in my life that I would like to be different. 2. Carry the list everywhere to remind me of the things I am working on during the day. 3. Pray about the list daily. 4. When I have dealt with and resolved each and every item I will burn the list and move on.

Everyone has skeletons in their closet. And everyone has things in their life they would like to be different. I think anyone could benefit from this. I challenge you to join me.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Praying For A Voice

This morning in church I had a flashback. It wasn't just a memory that gently floats into your head. It was real; like time travel. I will get back to the flashback in a minute. There are some important elements of this story that you must understand first. 
Ever since I have been old enough to speak, the one thing that has given me more joy than anything else has been music. When I open my mouth and begin to sing, any stress just falls to the floor and I suddenly get a sense of stability that I can't get from anything else in my life. Singing is not a talent that I have always had, however... back to my flashback.

The year was 2003. It was the Thanksgiving season and First Baptist Church's youth group was working on a Christmas musical. The music minister was starting to give out solos, and I wanted one more than anything. Imagine my dismay when I did not get one. The next day my mom informed me (just like any parent who loves their child who is not musically talented should) that I was not a good singer. First of all, for this I am extremely thankful. Had it not been for my mom, I could have ended up on American Idol, sounding terrible and arguing with the judges about the level of my talent. It was a harsh realization, and I was literally depressed for weeks.
I didn't know what to do. I had just been informed that the one thing in my life that I loved to do more than anything was no longer an option. So I prayed daily. "Dear Lord, I know I should be thankful for all the things that you have gifted me with, but if I could just ask for one more thing..."

I believe from the core of my being that, for whatever reason, God answered my prayer. Singing didn't come over night, and it took a ton of hard work, but over the course of the past few years a somewhat decent voice has emerged. I thank God for that. Even though I am the world's biggest screwup, I still know He is working things together for good.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

...and If You Have Trouble The Warranty Says, "Breathe In. Breathe Out. Move On."

According to Websters...

let– verb


to allow or permit

go– verb 


to move or proceed, esp. to or from something:

Therefore, in essence, to let go would be to allow or permit [someone] to proceed to [a goal].

During the course of my life I have always considered myself an expert at letting go. After all, I've moved about seven times. However, today I have found myself facing something that I'm having trouble letting go of. As life is changing so rapidly right now, I'm having trouble letting go of people that have meant so much to me for so long. I think my greatest fear has been fueled by the misconception that to let go and to lose are synonymous. To me, to lose means the same as to fail. I think I have just realized that I couldn't have been further from the truth. 

Growing up, when my family would move from one place to another, letting go was simple- necessary even. It's not hard to let go when there are no other options. Now, I am learning that I apparently know nothing about the art of letting go. I now realize how all the friends from my past would feel as I broke the news of my impending relocation and then left them behind. This feeling sucks.

I also realized that while I have been refusing to let go, I have only been inhibiting myself. People grow up, and as we do, we move on. Although this is nowhere near easy, it's necessary. "According to my watch the time is now, the past is dead and gone. Don't try to explain it, just bow your head. Breathe in. Breathe out. Move on." -Jimmy Buffett

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Process of Aggravation

...So from what I understand, the first post on a blog should go something like this: "Hi, I'm Kris. This is my new blog and I hope you read it." This one is not going to start that way...
I woke up this morning with a positive outlook. I was running late for my first class, as usual, which just happened to be Western Civ (a class I never mind being late for). Yes, life was good, and continued to be for the rest of the day. Around two o'clock this afternoon, however, everything went down hill.
In order for the rest of the story to be comprehended, I must first explain previous occurrences. To get the oil changed in my car costs $40. To change it myself costs $20. About a year ago I got my dad to show me how to change it myself and have been doing so since that time. It is actually a pretty easy task, and at least I know that if my aspirations to be a lawyer ever fall through, I could possibly apply for employment at the local Jiffy Lube. I have changed it at least six or seven times without any problems. The previous fact will be of importance later in the story.
Last night I got off of work about 9:30 p.m. I knew that I would not have time to pick up the supplies to change my oil today, so I chose to stop by Walmart and get the necessary items. I usually buy all of my auto parts at Autozone, but Walmart is the only retailer open past nine at night. After standing in line for the ONLY available checkout counter for around ten minutes, I was finally able to purchase the following items: a $6 dollar oil filter and a $13 dollar, five quart container of engine oil. Just the usual stuff.
After school today I came home, put on some old clothes, got all the tools I needed together and began my project. For anyone who doesn't know how to change engine oil, I will illustrate. First, you must drain the oil. You do this by removing the drain plug- a nut located at the bottom of the engine- and allowing all of the oil to drain out. The next step is to replace the oil filter. This is accomplished by using an oil filter wrench. It is important to make sure the old filter's seal is not still suctioned to where it is connected at the bottom of the engine. The final steps are pretty straightforward. Fasten the new filter and the drain plug, and then pour the amount of oil that your car requires in. This project should usually take no more than thirty minutes.
Around 2:30 I was finished and ready to move on to something more desirable, like a nap or sticking pins in my eyes. I turned the car on and suddenly heard a terrible slurping noise. This is the moment when the entire day went downhill. It seems that the seal on the filter malfunctioned and broke, consequently spitting oil all over the ground and the bottom of my car. What... a whirlwind. My first reaction was to jump in my Dad's truck and drive to Walmart and scream at someone in the automotive section. I instead chose to call first to make sure there wouldn't be any problems getting my money back for the defective part. After being put on hold by Rashaun for 6 minutes, I gave up hope and drove to town. After speaking with customer service, calling Rashaun a jackass, and finding no help from the manager in the automotive section, I resorted to calling the district manager...
...After explaining my situation, I came to a realization: Walmart does not care about their customers. I mean, Why should they? Even if I'm ticked off today because they ripped me off with a filter, I will still end up going back there eventually. And so will the rest of America. It's a really sad day when the company that screws us over continually is the same company we could not function without. After being informed that their was nothing he could do to help, other than refunding me the $6 I spent on the filter, I chose to keep my dignity. I politely thanked Walmart's district manager for absolutely no help (I literally said, "Thank you for not helping me"). I also seem to remember something along the lines of "suck it" coming out of my mouth, but I can never be sure of what I say in the heat of the moment. Either way, he didn't seem to mind much. Honestly though, this was to be expected. This is the same company who prints "How May I Help You" on their vests because their associates are too lazy to ask you themselves. On the bright side, I saved enough money changing my oil myself to cover the cost of the defective filter and wasted oil. ;)