Life as a former youth leader.

It’s been three days since my last Sunday as youth leader at Crossroads of Faith United Methodist Church.

I find myself spending all my free time staring at group photos of the youth, and watching this year’s mission trip video. 

I woke up this morning to a long wall post from one of my favorite girls, Shelby.

“I think for the first time since Sunday it’s really sinking in that a big part of my life is changing and it hurts,” she wrote.

It does hurt.

It sucks actually.

As many of you know, I had to resign because of my health issues.

My current diagnosis is intercostal neuralgia, and I’m always careful to say “current diagnosis” because I’ve had five diagnoses since I’ve been sick and I feel like it can change at any second.

In short, I wake up everyday feeling like I’m being stabbed in my right side with a butcher knife. And I walk around feeling like someone just broke all my ribs with a baseball bat. I’m also doped up on Hydrocodone all day, everyday.

And holding down that part-time job at the church and my full-time job as managing editor of Candy Industry magazine was just too much for me.

Being sick means I feel almost a morbid sense of peace about knowing I don’t have the weight of the youth leader job on my shoulders any longer.

I know that getting out of bed to get to church on Sunday morning felt like getting up after being hit by a car some weeks. And I know that the stress of running that group was chipping away at every drop of strength I had inside of me.

But I love those kids. So much.

And I feel as though I’m walking away from a part of my identity.

I kept telling the kids that, “I’m not dying.” That they could still call me, text me, Facebook me.

But I know that over time, the communication will fade. That the phone calls will get further and further between. And that I’ll be lucky if I even see one of them ever again.

I’m old enough to know that the end of things really is the end of things sometimes. And this is the end of my time as youth leader at Crossroads of Faith United Methodist Church.

A few months ago, when I first breathed into the air that I was even considering leaving, my spiritual mentor Lynn was trying to counsel me through the decision. And as she sat next to me on the couch, she looked into my eyes and said, “If you do leave, you can walk away knowing you did a fantastic job.”

I keep going back to that. Hoping with all my heart it’s true. That she wasn’t just saying it. That I did all I could while I was there.

But even that doesn’t make the change any easier.

And of course, Shelby put it best,

“I almost feel like it’s a book. Like I was on this one amazing chapter that was so good. Then, I turned the page, and it’s a new chapter and I’m scared because I HAVE to, in a way, start ‘reading’ or living this chapter and I don’t know what’s going to happen. All I know is the last three years of my life, having you a part of them — with your kindness and helpfulness and the way you were so understanding — was amazing. Everything that you did for us was something that a 100 thank-you’s couldn’t tell you how thankful I am.”

Right back at ya girl. Right. Back. At ya.


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monday. monday. (and also sunday night).

a couple lame things happened to me, so let’s share shall we?

first, last night i was backing out of my garage at 10:03 p.m. to go to wal-mart because even though i was supa tried, i had no deodorant and was thinking maybe the people i’d see at work wouldn’t be cool with that and also, that maybe there would be a crazy fire or accident or flood or something and i would have to cover it and my soulmate would be there in uniform and then he would want to ask me out when he saw me from afar, but then he’d change his mind when he got up close because i smelled like icky stuff mixed with gross things. and then BAM!

i hit the freaking passenger side mirror off my car by running into the garage wall.

what the frick?! i was going like three miles an hour. don’t car parts typically have a little more fight in them?

plus, come on, we all know im never going to pay to get that crap fixed.

alas, because i still needed deodorant, my roommate and i re-installed it with some packaging tape and off i went in my newly ghetto car.

then today, i went to work at my little bureau office where i was going to enjoy a day of solitude and BAM!.

my key got stuck in the door at work.

it’s a problem that doesn’t even sound like it should be a real problem.

apparently this happens though. keys just go into doors and never come out. they meet someone special or something among all those nuts and bolts and it’s over. you never get to lock your door again. it’s right there next to “bushes spontaneously combusting” on the master list of problems people have.

the three nice men who work nearby all looked at me like i was a bat-sh*t nuts when i asked for help and their eyes said “cute little girl, are you too weak to pull a key out of a door? ha. ha. ha. let me help.”

about five seconds after that each realized i was actually pretty awesome/sane, and that my key was, in fact, stuck in the lock and their eyes changed to say “woah. this key IS stuck in the lock.”

minutes before committing to unscrewing the lock, a miracle tube of de-icer appeared from one of the men and they were able to lube it up enough to pull it out. (that’s what she said).

and off i went.

the good news is, i totally got to wear a pretty new fuschia jacket today that my mom got me for my birthday (which is sunday). and, mad men is back in my life and as awesome as ever, AND a really cute guy sent me a message on facebook.

as a result, im going to go ahead and put the last 24 hours in the win category.

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Because in facebook-land, I’m perfect

did ya’ll know you can untag photos of yourself in Facebook?!!!

well ya can!

go ahead. look! you just click ‘untag’ under the picture. and bam. magic! you’re no longer associated with that ex, bad hair cut or unflattering activity.

in my case, i looked like someone had just hit me with a truck. a super big truck. with a plow in front. it was pic from a wedding last fall and one of the other bridesmaids tagged me in it. but i was only half-ready to be a bridesmaid at the time the picture was shot, which means i was only half-pretty.

turns out the half i was lacking was more important than i thought, because otherwise i wouldn’t have allowed cameras so close to me.

anywho, so this evil bridesmaid decided my hair looked pretty in the pic or some crap and decided to post it for hundreds of thousands of people to see on the interweb, and then she had the nerve to freaking link my freaking name to it.

what the crap?

I spent the last 7 months praying that people will just skip over my pictures tab when they peruse my profile. but now?


i am officially stress-free people.

stress. free.

i suppose those of you who read this post and the one below might assume that i have self-esteem issues now though.

have no fear. im just a normal, crazy, insecure girl. nothing to worry about here folks. everything is under control.

i am a little worried about what all this untagging business means for the world though. will all of us only present ‘perfect’ to internet land? only the pictures of us with fresh highlights, eyeliner and bibles for you facebook friends? anything with bad lighting, pimples or alcohol is out.


screw it. who cares?

i love being perfect on facebook.

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