Sometimes you wanna go

As illustrated in a few posts dotted here and there, I’ve been a bit up and down over the last few months. Sure, I came home from the Christmas hols all full of pluck and vim and other sailor-esque, nineteenth century words and was ready to DO THINGS and WIN AT LIFE and BE BEEETTTEEERRRRR. And in a lot of ways, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve been busier but also more organised than ever before, I’ve been exercising in a more frequent semi-regular way, and I’ve been getting stuff done. I’m still loving my job, I rediscovered my passion for my religion: everything’s coming up Carlynne.

But not wholly (don’t worry, this isn’t going to be about how my life is really awesome but there’s this one thing where it’s not and isn’t that just the worst).

There’s a lot been going on for the last month or so, some of it concerning friends, some boys, some concerning situations at work that give me the irates, some concerning being told by lovely people that innocuous things that I do that don’t really define me or even matter are annoying and that leaving me in an emotional black hole because what do I do if someone doesn’t like every part of me etc etc.

It’s all very dramas and probably would make for very boring reading, so to summarise,

busy+stressed = not sleeping = exhausted+emotional.

A lot of sitting and watching Dr Who today helped, but what also assisted was having dinner and wine last night with pals at the boys house, dinner and wine with my housemates and my friend Jess tonight and talking to my mate Oz on the phone for his birthday. I love Oz; he is one of my favourites of the species. As are the housies, the pals and Jessie.

I realised last night as I contemplated the mental health day I was taking on the morrow, that I was feeling a little lonely. This is partially laughable, as I have friends in ridiculous and wanton plenty, thank God.

But it’s also just something that happens, I think, when you’re full up and perhaps not used to being so, and you’re surrounded a lot of the time by lovely people, who, though lovely, are still relatively new to your stuff and you somehow fall a little out of sync with normalcy and spend a lot of time in your own mind, going over the things that people have said are wrong with you over the last little while and remembering all you’ve got to do when you wake up.

So, what’s necessary here is a reminder that there is life abundant outside of my mind, and  it’s gorgeous and erratic and brave and some of it is in the voice of my dear friend who turned 32 yesterday, and some is in dinners with beloveds and some is in the lightning that lit the sky and tore it apart tonight.

And I am thankful for these things.

When I turned 30, I had a couple of parties (because that’s my jam) and as indicated in a couple of the posts I’ve self indulgently linked to above, both were populated with insanely wonderful people. I meant to write some of this then, but as I got busy (read distracted) I let my little tribute fall by the wayside. So because tonight I was reminded that my friends are to me like oxygen, here is a little something something that should have been written around four months ago.

I know the greatest people that walk the earth. I have not verified this fact by any mathematical or anthropological study, but feel certain of its truth. This is mainly because for such magnificent people (for instance Caz, fierce and passionate and courageous or Paul, who is funny and loyal) to be placed in such quantities at points around the globe would surely be a statistical impossibility. The people I know (like Adam, who is HILARIOUS and brave and outstandingly loving and supportive of his wife and children) are so much around me, and so much good, that I worry sometimes for their safety. It cannot last, someone being so surrounded by such goodness, surely. The world has taught me that.

Surely such riotously excellent individuals as Kate, and Josh, and the NSP, and Erin and Joe and Jess, all gentle and wise and love to me, SHOULD be spread out. I have too much, I am greedy and spoilt for choice.

I went tonight to celebrate with friends, and they came to me and they talked and laughed and stayed with me and they lifted me and warmed my heart because somehow, for some reason, they love me too, and I hold the unmitigated honour of being associated with them.

So I don’t know the reasons or the statistics, really, or the magic of why I’m loved so, but I will try to retain the sense to revel in it whenever I can.


Ps I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I couldn’t possibly mention all the people I love, it’s too much (just FYI my big brother, little brother, their wives, partners and children are all just IDIOTICALLY, UNNECESSARILY COOL and my mum should win awards). I will rest assured in the fact that as I have no internal monologue, if I love you dearly I will at some point have told you so.

Pps. Just to reiterate, Adam “Beat” Ganglen, yo. Fo sheazy. Top shelf.

To the Church, from a cynic, on the occasion of her confirmation.

Dear “the Church”,

I was born into you, raised by the faces of grown ups that smiled at me, collections of casseroles after church and of course obligation. You introduced me to The Lord and to your people, well meaning individuals who dressed neatly and said things like “Jesus came into my heart” and “I have a calling to go to Africa”. I learnt to raise my hands in worship and to try earnestly to remember how bad I was when instructed to think of the cross.

I went to many of your incarnations over time, and at some point along the way, I began to wonder what was actually going on.

Questioning the things your people said to me on a Sunday led to my feeling misrepresented and disconnected from and by you. Now this is nothing new, but led incrementally to distaste for you altogether. I am sorry, church, but I met too many people who didn’t understand what it was they were enthusiastically espousing and who blithely assumed that their truth was the only truth.

Added to this was your not insignificant betrayal of many people I know and love, including some in my own family.

I felt your denominations were irrelevant.

I wanted to be a part of the kingdom, not a man made institution that often seemed entirely removed from the world it allegedly wanted to help.

I kept attending a variety of your faces but always looking for what was wrong and the little that was right, my ear tuned for the mistakes that would be inevitably made and my cynicism about the whole palaver at the ready, should I need it.

I began working at Brunswick around 15 months ago now. I had concerns at first, though the job and my subsequent involvement in the regular meetings of your group here came at a time when I was ready to find a solution to my sparring with you.

I have to say, your little group here in Brunswick are lovely. They have been so outrageously welcoming and full of encouragement it quite literally shocks me. I often shake my head at my good fortune, and marvel at the lack of all that I despised about you before.

So Brunswick has taught me that while a congregation can be different from my experience and challenging in its views, it can also be heartfelt, authentic and gracious. I started thinking about membership a little while ago, mainly as a response to your people here.

That was shortly before I fell in love with you.

I went to a conference a few weeks back. I was scared of it, to be honest, on account of all the Christians that would be in attendance. We both know that I am not their type of people and they are not mine.

On arriving however, I found around 70 young people whose guileless friendship inspired and floored me and around whom I felt I was my most authentic self, cynicism and all.

During the week away I learnt a lot about you, and how you are, in your Uniting form, committed to the most basic and beautiful and important and life giving things imaginable.

I also realised with a shock, while watching Ken Sumner lead communion, that though I’ve never been someone who is ashamed of her faith, though I’ve not been afraid to talk about it, I have been so concerned about removing myself from all that I dislike about Christianity that I had at some point forgotten nearly all there is to love.

I had grown so competent at pointing out all that is wrong with you, that I had smeared my cynicism over all that was right, obscuring the possibilities you’ve been holding politely for years as I railed against your obsolescence.

I am sorry to say, I had let myself grow embarrassed of not just you but all connected with you.

As I watched Ken tenderly speak of this gorgeous tradition and remembrance, I realized for the first time, that I can actually embrace what I believe, and not become something that I hate.

I can celebrate with friends who believe and friends who don’t, because to celebrate my faith is to celebrate something both unique and beautiful and only found here, in me, and something that is a part of the ancient, the holy, the transcendent and the joyful. I don’t need or want to separate them any more.

So church, I am writing to apologise I suppose. I wanted to explain that though I have insulted you, and though I thought I had good reason, I want to give us another try, if you’ll have me, for in you I now see the face of my father.

I know you’re human, and fallible and sometimes dirty and broken and wrong, but you have the capacity for great beauty, and courage and wisdom and the ability to walk around in the mess of our lives, finding the lovely parts and making them shine and I’ve always been the type to believe the best about things anyway.

Lastly, I don’t think that church membership is the only, or the best way of doing life. But I have been placed in a fortunate position inside your monster, and believe that those that can unite to try in a corporate sense to fight for justice and mercy and love, to join the monster in its challenge against the empire, should do so. For me that means no longer pointing the finger at you in accusation, looking at myself as a part of this magnificent story and making sure that the change starts here.

With love,