Mantras: Grace and Hours

November 19, 2014

There are a few mantras I've been holding on to dear life this past year... and I wanted to write them down and remember them and maybe share them, in case they help someone else. 

In sharing with my sister about the many, many trials I've been through this year -- my lord, This Year -- she said something that has stuck with me so fervently I wish I could paint it in gold foil and plaster it on my wall (if someone wants to take that idea, please do, I don't have a creative bone in my body). 

The more grace you receive, 
the more gracious a person you will become.

This Year has been about Grace, for me. About reaching that moment in the dark, buried under my covers -- or occasionally quite truly on my knees -- where I realize how helplessly I need Grace. You think you know Grace from Bible Study songs and Pinterest quotes until it really is quite literally the last straw and you encounter it in a way that you never imagined, with a passion and a desperation. You realize how utterly dependent you are on this Grace. 

This Year has been all about Grace for me in the sense that I have had to hold my hands up to everyone I know -- God, my sisters, my friends, my professors, my employers -- and ask for Grace. Acknowledge my broke spirit and my inability to get through it. And just acknowledge. Not even ask. Not even be able to point to what I need or what they can do to help. Just to point out "I can't. Help?"

And while it's been such a trying process, I have been so, so fueled by this idea that in accepting grace, I am becoming a more gracious person. The trials are hard, but I squirm with excitement that day by day I am being made into the type of woman who will be GRACIOUS. Who will be there to support others with GRACE. Who will have wrinkled hands to hold younger ones in trouble, and an open heart to hear out her friends and help them with what she has. I get so excited. So that's mantra one. 

Mantra two came to me this past weekend. And while it was said in the spirit of much alcohol and excitement and dancing and happy happy happy, it hit me on a level I didn't expect. The person who said it, obviously, has no idea what an impact it made and wasn't trying to be profound. But it hit me and I held onto it and I stored it deeply next to my other mantras to think about later. 

What if an hour isn't enough?

Ahhhhhh. I think it was just the change of tone, or perspective from "we only have an hour left!" that struck me. It's such a different spirit, even if it's the same words. 

It made me want to take this and apply it to my whole life. How often do I find myself with little chunks of time, thinking 'this won't be enough! I can't do anything with this little bit!' But my goodness... what if I approached everything with so much passion and so much excitement and exuberance that it became "WHAT IF THIS DAY/HOUR/OPPORTUNITY ISN'T ENOUGH?!" What if this moment isn't enough to soak up all the greatness and fullness of the experience I'm currently in because there's just so, so much to be grateful for and take and store. It holds for me infinite excitement. More excitement than a tribal print scarf, even -- and that's a whole lot of joy for me. 

Anyways. Those are my mantras, of late. 

What are your mantras to get through life lately?


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8 Questions to Ask Your Uber Driver

November 3, 2014

It was 1:25 a.m., and Grown Up Cindy Loo Whoo was ready to go home. She felt the warm buzz of happiness and couch-dancing accomplishment, that would soon teeter on white girl wasted if she stayed out. So, like a good Cindy Loo would do, she called herself an Uber. 
Now, if you give Grown Up Cindy Loo Whoo an Uber, she'll probably want to ask him the following:

1. Does everyone you meet bring a snack pack with them?

She will say this with a mouth full of street pizza and breadsticks, and when he says 'no, you're the first,' she'll loudly claim 'THAT'S DUMB. I NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT A SNACK PACK (#truth).' After she swallows half a breadstick at once, she'll probably want to ask:


2. How many girls who you pick up want to make out with you?


And she'll probably not wait for an answer before launching straight into the nitty-gritty:

3. Are you a Republican?


4. What do you really do?


5. Do they train you to talk to drunk people?


At this point, the Uber driver will have hit a red light, and he'll have to tap on the breaks. Cindy Loo's snack pack will go flying, BUT, thanks to the Halloween Gods, her ranch cup will land perfectly upright on the center console. Grown Up Cindy Loo Whoo will proclaim this is a sign. When pressed for detail about what sign she'll say she doesn't know but she's just very excited that Uber drivers keep their cars so clean so that the five-second rule still applies. Then she'll go on to the next set of questions:


6. My alley recently experienced our first instance of graffiti. Right there, on that garage! Look! Should I be concerned? It's hot pink. 


The Uber driver will confirm that yes, she should probably be concerned. Grown Up Cindy Loo will follow up with:


Grown Up Cindy Loo asks deep questions of life and Uber.

7. Do you think graffiti is a gateway crime? 


At this point, they will have safely arrived at her door. Cindy Loo Whoo will decide that now is an excellent time to confront something she hasn't wanted to in the past 12 hours: a pesky hangnail that is held on by her shellac. It hurts. It snags her tinsel. And it's time to do something about it. 
As soon as the Uber driver turns on the overhead light so she can collect her belongings, Grown Up Cindy Loo Whoo will shove her finger under his eyeballs and ask the eighth, and final question of the night, 

8. WHAT DO I DO ABOUT MY HANGNAIL? 

"OH MY GOOD LORD THAT LOOKS PAINFUL."
"I'M GOING TO RIP IT OFF."
"PLEASE DON'T RIP THAT OFF IN MY CAR. OH NO..."
"I'M GOING FOR IT BRIAN."
"OWW! WHY! NO!"

And then my friends, with one bleeding finger, Cindy Loo will gather her tinsel, dramatically rip a piece off and tell the Uber driver "this souvenir is for you" and exit the car. 
If you give Cindy Loo Whoo an Uber driver, these are the eight questions she will ask him. 
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