Lost in Translation

I'm finishing this blog from yesterday. But you may notice that there are no words above this sentence.

Well, that's because I didn't write any.

In all my deciding glory that I needed to get back into writing regularly, daily, and with intent, I sat down at this computer, punched in the website and then just stared.

And stared.

And no words came, not even a witty title, hell, not even a boring, plain, just-explain-what-it-is title.

I was hoping that the great empty void known as my mind could be blamed on my lack of focus and grown up interaction through out the day.

I was wrong.

And then do you know what happened?

Instead of writing profound and interesting thoughts, hidden deep inside the abyss of absense, I got sucked into this movie called The Runaways.

And know, I don't know what happened, because that was the most depressing, sad and weird movie I have ever seen.

Ok, not the most. I don't know if you've ever seen a little movie called Mosquito Creek, starring Harrison Ford.

That one forever will take the cake with me.

But this one makes the top ten.

It's just sad.

So then I really had no thoughts, I renewed my decision to never do drugs, or become an 80's rock band starlet, and gave up for the night.

I'm trying again this morning.

There are words on the page, so that's an improvement. They might not be good words, but at least there is something.

So here's a bit of honesty instead of good words. I'm lost.

I can't find myself. I don't know where I left that important piece of soul that is my personality and/or mind. It's completely gone. And there is too much around me, that is not mine to talk about, but at the same time won't let me find it.

Day to day functions I'm fine. My kids are still loved and well taken care of and I can say the same for my husband. But the rest?

Is for the birds.

Conversations aren't two sided, on my part they are a reaction.

Forget initiative and insight.

I am sorely lacking.

Please, remind me that this is what it's like to be a mom and reassure me that I'll find it all again once I've gotten at least six hours of sleep in a row.

This isn't the first time I lost myself.

In fact, life kind of seems to be a journey of me losing and then finding those important pieces of experience that make me who I am today, whole me or half me.

Here's a metaphor for you. When I first got my driver's license at 16 in Omaha, I would get lost. And not like just a little lost, like really, really, really, really lost. For hours lost.

This was before I had a cell phone.

Oh and I wasn't brave enough to ask for directions.....

And the whole deal, driving around for hours in the ghetto, or on the opposite side of town, or ending up in Iowa when I wanted to be in Bellevue, or in the darkest, scariest streets when I had wanted to be in the middle of downtown, or at my friend Ashley's house when I was trying to get to the zoo, or when I was three hours late for a babysitting job, yes three hours, because I didn't understand Omaha South of 132nd and L. I still kind of don't.... But anyways, the whole thing was entirely my fault.

My dad had gone to lengths to make sure Robbie and I would understand the city, the street signs, our directions, all of it. He drove us around for hours growing up, explaining things, the block numbers, East, West, North, South, the division of Omaha, how to find your bearings.

He did his best.

It was all just kind of lost on me, until I could put it into practice.

And that I did.

As I like to remind people, I am an intelligent person.

But.... Also maybe the biggest airhead you know.

Eventually though, all that driving around paid off. I know Omaha like the back of my hand (Whatever that means) and I can get anywhere, any time. I get the street sings and block numbers and how to read addresses and find houses without ever using mapquest or google. I have nearly an impeccable sense of directions and once I've been some place one time, I will never need directions again.

Unless I'm not driving.

But even then I do ok.

And it paid off too when I went overseas. I knew how to study the roads and landmarks and find my way around. I knew how to read maps, and subway signs and remember the way home, or feel like we were going in a good direction.

I am good at finding places.

Ok, the metaphor is finished. That's how I feel about life. I get lost for hours at a time, but in the end the roads start to become familiar again and I slowly find my bearings, find myself again.

So, on this road called life, I have my Lost Landmarks. Those dark places where I didn't know and recognize myself or maybe even want to know myself. Junior High. The first two years of college. After my dad died. And now this.

Maybe it happens every time after I have a child. I have to readjust, discover the new mom that I am. Or maybe it happens when great tragedy seems to surround me, like it does in these moments today.

Whatever the reason, or whenever it happens, I don't really care at this point. I just want to be familiar again. I want to be able to find North.

I want to be able to find Home.

Ok. Bleh. Enough complaining.

I told you I'm an airhead.

When I was in France, my trip-mates and I went to Church in Germany. We tried to go to church in France, but it was in French.

We didn't get a whole lot out of it.

But in Germany, is this great school called Black Forest Academy and it is an International boarding school for kids who's parents are missionaries in Europe.

So Church was in English, given by Americans. And it was this fantastic community. It really felt like we were at home when we were there.

Even though, while I was in the middle of reading Les Miserables, the pastor gave away the ending in church. But that's a different story and I try not to harbor too much bitterness.....

Anyways, in order to get there, we drove this ancient, Volkswagon van that probably had like thirty years on it. I mean. It was old. And it was this eight passenger piece of stick shift glory that only Brad and I knew how to drive.

Every time we piled in the thing it was an adventure.

The first time I drove it, my mission was to pick up my friends from the grocery store. I made the mistake of parking the blessed thing while I waited for them without realizing I didn't know how to back it up.

So then, I sat there for the next thirty minutes thinking of every possibility in the world of how to put this ginormous beast into reverse and failed.

Eventually, the car in front of me backed out, so I pulled forward and picked up the instructions from Brad later that day.

Ok, but anyways, one Sunday, we all woke up tired. We couldn't decide if we wanted to go to church or not, the van had no gas and none of us wanted to use our own money, since the trip money was being held hostage by a Pre-Modern crotchety old man.


Anyways, we piddled around and finally decided to just go. One of us would put a little bit of gas into the V-Dub and we would make Phil reimburse us for the cost.

We got dressed and were running late, but decided it was worth it.

We all got in the VW Monster, Brad was driving and we prayed our way to the nearest gas station.

That was in French.

We all got out of the car and tried every single one of our debit cards but nothing worked. The station was actually closed, since it was Sunday. I think the French in general take a three day weekend every week. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and then most afternoons off and every holiday you can think of.

Well, and think about it. Think about how big of a deal we make Independence Day and we only have one independence day. They have like five.

Anyways, finally, after a while of standing there, consulting our French to English dictionaries a car pulled up. And I was voted, per our usual routine, to go talk to the seemingly nice couple and figure out how to use our cards in the gas pumps.

So in broken French, half Spanish and crude English I fumbled my way through an explanation of what needed to happen and how we were stuck.

Through hand gestures, pretty French and no English, they explained back that gas pumps in Europe don't take International cards.

That made sense.

And so, in gratitude and impending insanity, I turned back to them, pressed my palms firmly against one another in prayer position and bowed deeply.

Like I was in China.

And I was serious.

That's how awesome I am.

It's like being overseas, my brain needed to melt every single piece of knowledge of every single culture in the world together in one awful, hideous, and completely offensive universal language trying to communicate with people who knew as much about Chinese culture as I did and probably all from Jackie Chan movies, like I did.

Oh, it was bad.

They didn't know what to do. And I wasn't mocking them, I was serious. My poor teammates didn't know what to do. And so the nice couple left, probably ready to tell everyone in the world the stereotypes about crazy Americans are true.

Definitely true.

Thanks to me. 

Oh my.


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