Last Wednesday I went to my first audition. You heard me . . . AUDITION. Am I an aspiring actress? Nope. Have I ever done this before? Not really, unless you want to count the church auditorium before my freshman year when I auditioned with my then boyfriend. (We nailed it, by the way, and went on to wow multiple church audiences all around Orange County.) Am I currently funemployed with occasional open afternoons on my hands? You got it!

This is a reminder to you, but mostly to me, but also to you, that God answers prayers. I mean, not every single one of my prayers in life has been answered (and yes, I'm still stunned that my one painful and critical request two years ago was not fulfilled) but some of them have. Specifically, in the last two months alone, I can think of 8 prayers that were acknowledged and handled. This is a miracle when I truly sit and ponder it, and I wish that appreciation and thankfulness would stick with me 100% of the time, instead of wavering in and out while I focus on unanswered prayers.

This is a thank you letter to you. And you. And Me. And you. You make me laugh so hard my cheeks ache. You understand me. You write me letters. You are so thoughtful. You appreciate me. You listened to me when I babbled. You listen to me. You take me seriously. You don't let me take myself too seriously. You humble me, but in a way that makes me a better person. You have helped me overcome silly inhibitions. You remind me that I am pretty. You make me write. You are loyal. Your hugs are the best. You love me, even when I don't love myself. You go with me to church. You pray for me.

And there is a little man (do not call him a gnome, he is not a gnome, he is merely small) who sits on a stool next to a rock and three trees. There used to be four trees, but that man, that little man that some do not take seriously because to some stature means everything, that man felled the fourth tree in order to construct the stool he now uses. He used to sit on the rock but boy did that bruise his bum. And what this man does best is this man harrumphs. Do you know the word?

Ok, and so you were here, in my city, in my new home (although you never did end up seeing my home and yes I told you I was disappointed because I was but that doesn't mean I should have told you so loudly with that look in my eyes) and I saw you walking my streets. Did it feel large and overwhelming or large and magnetizing or was it just plain big? And on one hand it was amazing having you here, my brother with me in this new place, my brother hugging me and crushing my broken bones with the embrace I have missed. And yet.

When I was approaching my teenage years, my family got a dog. We all put our names into a hat to decide who would get the esteemed job of naming our baby black fluff ball (she was a Peki-Pom back before designer breeds became all the rage). My kid sister, abnormally obsessed with Victor Hugo's Les Miserables at such a young age, won the round and christened our new pet with the name Cosette. It wasn't long before we shortened it to Cozy, which was much more apropos for our four legged little buddy.

And she said what she often said,
Keep Passing The Open Windows,
which is a line from one of their favorite books.
But instead of quoting something back, something like
Sorrow Floats,
which would have been fitting and a standard response between them,
The Sister let the worry creep in and said
(or yelled, it was unclear if she was talking in a normal, exasperated voice, or a slightly louder, more forceful voice)
Sister, take off the heavy boots.
Take off your heavy boots and go to bed barefoot tonight.

When my roommate is out of town, I find myself in a weird state.
A state called Poverty of Words, and instead of being alarmed, I feel at home
I am used to conversing, saying words out loud, but sometimes I cannot grasp the words long enough to reproduce them.
Home is here, now, but yesterday it was somewhere else. Somewhere not here, not home.
I don't drink coffee, but I can still fall in love in a coffee shop,
even if it is just the hot chocolate making me feel that way.

In between the land of joy and the land of sadness is a bay of guilt. And if you are dancing on the shores of happiness, you may only notice those smiling faces dancing around you. But it takes only a glance across the water to see someone you know sitting or sleeping on the banks of sadness. Step into the water to get a closer look, take note of the others on the sand, some of them strangers and some of them loved ones, weeping. Or loved ones looking forlornly across the bay, estimating the distance between you and them.

And the girl looked at the boy and she confessed to him.
I should tell you.
I should tell you that I'm hard. I am not saying that I am hard on the inside, but I am hard everywhere else so I might as well be hard on the inside.
And the boy looked at the girl and laughed.
Who cares.
And the girl rolled over and said
I am sick of people getting mad at me.
I will not get mad at you.
That's what they always say.
Get over yourself.