Monday, March 7, 2011

There's a baby laughing at the end

I heard once that vulnerability is beautiful. If that's the case, then look out. This is about to be the prettiest blog post you've ever seen.

Saturday morning, I attended a friend's housewarming party. There were tons of people crammed in the living room, and the tables were overflowing with food. Someone brought out Catch Phrase, which is (in my opinion) the devil's favorite game. I mean, come on. Whose disgusting idea was it to put words in a beeping piece of plastic then make a room full of people pass it in a circle like it's about to explode while everyone else in the room shouts words and phrases like a Tourette's support group? That thing is a frickin' anxiety attack with batteries.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Partially to avoid the incessant beeping, I headed to the back patio. A tiny cluster of my friends huddled together under blankets while two or three strummed guitars. Esther and Anne's patio has a really great view of part of the city, and there's not much in the world that's better than singing along to Ke$ha played on the ukelele. There was nowhere else I wanted to be at that moment, and I remember thinking that sometimes, life is so beautiful that it's almost unfair. (Actually, I said that out loud, and promptly got mocked for sounding desperately like a Hallmark card.)

I overstayed my welcome at the housewarming party, and by the time I got home, Tiffany was ready to make dinner. There's this little restaurant near my old church that serves my favorite meal in all of Korea, and I've been begging Tiffany to figure out how to make it so I don't have to fly all the way back to Korea when I'm craving it in the States. We ran to the mart for ingredients and wine, and returned to her apartment to experiment. We had a lovely dinner (not quite the same as Cafe Comeon, but still delicious), followed by singing along to youtube videos because we were too lazy to walk to a noraebang. A few glasses of wine later, I headed back upstairs to my apartment, where I should have gone directly to bed.

I've been debating back and forth whether I should actually write this part of the story. For some reason, I feel like if I skip over it, I'll lose faith in my own blog. I started this blog to record who I am while I'm in Korea, and yet I still want to hide behind the facade of "silly storyteller" instead of showing any significant emotion. On top of that, I process the world around me by writing about it, and I know that it'll take me a lot longer to move past this if I ignore how much it hurts. I suppose I could write the post then never actually post it... but I'd really only be doing that because I'm afraid of people knowing I kind of suck. Alright, here it goes.

Without going into, well, any detail, I ended a friendship on Saturday night. In all fairness, I had been clinging to it for all the wrong reasons, and I'm certain my life will be healthier without it. In the vaguest terms I can muster, I finally acknowledged that a specific relationship was not what I had taken it to be, and I was crushed. He doesn't read my blog, so I could probably whine and complain about how much I think he wronged me, but that wouldn't really do any good. Making someone else appear small only ever accomplishes diminishing people's opinion of you.

I guess the reason I want to write about it, then, is because I'm heartbroken. I've never entrusted one person with so many of my hopes before, and being rejected hurts. If you've known me for longer than ten minutes, you likely know that I don't date (and if you don't know me, then this post is probably really awkward for you). I have no idea why I refuse to trust anyone but myself, but I tend to push away anyone who seems even remotely interested in dating me. This guy was different, though, and I fell ridiculously fast. It turns out I need to be a little more careful that someone's ready to catch me before I jump.

I feel like since it wasn't actually a relationship that I don't deserve to hurt. How can you miss something you never actually had? But there's a strange part of me that appreciates the pain. Hurting means that I cared deeply for him, no matter what labels our relationship had. The fact that my heart is broken means that it loved well in the first place, and I can't find it in me to regret that. Perhaps my trust and hope were severely misplaced; but at least I tried. I cared more about someone else than I did about myself, and I think that's pretty good.

The one good thing about not dating is that you never have to go through a break-up. I know this isn't the same thing, but isn't a break-up really just when a relationship that mattered suddenly ends? Unless you count when I was fourteen, I've never gone through a break-up before, and it's honestly quite strange. I feel overwhelmingly disappointed and a little empty, like I set down a part of me and forgot to pick it back up. I can't help but wonder what I could have done differently to change it, but I guess you simply can't make someone love you by sheer willpower.

The crappiest part is that it's making me unbearably homesick. I cried today at CostCo, just because I was in a CostCo. I had to walk away from a bag frozen hamburgers because they reminded me of my Cincinnati friends and all the barbecues I'll be missing once it gets warm. I miss the people I'm used to hugging when life gets hard, and honestly, I miss how much more life made sense before I moved to Korea. I'm hurt and confused and hurt some more, and I don't know what to do to make it go away.

Wow, so um, that was pretty heavy. Here's a video of a baby laughing to lighten the mood:


  1. you never have liked catch phrase, it's true


  2. Nik- I love you! I wish I could be there to give you a big sisterly hug. Hang in there sweetie and thank you for being vulnerable. I know its hard.

    PS. We will make sure to have lots of cookouts when you come home because we can have cookouts in the fall as well.

  3. Focus on the awesomeness of living in a country with a restaurant called Cafe Come On.

  4. Hey Nikki, my name is Rachel and I'm from Cincinnati too. I found your blog after reading your article about community in Relevant (very good, I might add). I thoroughly enjoy reading your writing, period. I also relate to much of it...I am a single woman in ministry who does not really date...I lived for a season abroad, alone, independent... I feel like you're a kindred spirit :-)

    That said, I wanted to take a moment to encourage you. As I read this entry, my heart ached because I remember feeling that way not too long ago. It's painful to be love someone who doesn't love you care more than even you are willing to acknowlege. I remember going through a season of hearing the Lord say, "be vulnerable" and "guard your heart" all at the same time...I was SO incredibly angry with God...because I couldn't figure out how to do both at the same time...and in the process, my heart was broken. I was the very man that God brought into my life to be vulnerable with! It is something so difficult to put into words, especially in that moment. However, God has brought me through to the other side...

    In fact, I figured out, "guard your heart" does not mean means don't let anyone change your God-given identity...

    Here's what I discovered about myself in the process of healing, after being hurt and left with my heart in my hands... I had tried to be what I thought someone else wanted me to be... I had tried to change me in order to get him to love me... to guard my heart is to live vulnerably, on display for all to see (sort of how you are doing right here on this blog)...but not to let anyone change you...His masterpiece, His Beloved.

    I know that may sound preachy. I don't mean it to be so...OR It may make very little sense. However, I felt prompted to share.

    I will be praying for you as the hurt subsides (which it does, eventually, I promise)...when it does, you will be holding hope again...

    Stay strong...and keep living life out loud...