Tag Archives: God

Before I was an antsy 9-year-old in a basement rectory, I was my mother's daughter.

My mother used to dedicate an hour a week to teaching antsy 9-year-olds in the basement of a church rectory.

Trying to convince them that this was the most important year in their spiritual life. Most of them were counting down the minutes, waiting to make a trip to the store for a chocolate frosted donut. Some were trying not to doze off. Few sat in rapture of the message.

Each year, she forced disinterested kids to do homework. Preparing them to receive First Holy Communion in the spring. Few were excited, but mostly at the prospect of eating something in church. It was a mystery to them, holding their interest for a short span of time.

I know because I used to be one of those kids. Long before I had my mother as a CCD teacher every Sunday at eight-thirty in the morning, she made my sister and I choose something to do for Lent.

We didn’t give up anything. Kids in her classes would offer to give up potato chips or Root Beer.

“Is that your favorite soda?” she’d ask.

“No,” the child would say. “I like Coke.”

And she’d sigh, frustrated that they were missing the whole point.

“I want you to do something for Lent,” she’d tell us. “Don’t give up something. Do an act of service.”

She’s big on people who do things. Her love language is acts of service. Buy her a bouquet of flowers and she’ll smile and nod, thankful, but if you offer to make her dinner she’ll love you forever.

I actually almost forgot about Lent entirely until I saw the blackened ash staining foreheads as I wandered my local Barnes & Noble on Wednesday afternoon. On the way home, I realized I needed to do something. Not sure what, but something.

I throw myself in ten different directions, it seems, but do any of them really stick? Lent’s about being less selfish and experiencing personal growth while helping others. What, I wondered, could I do to help others?

Sometimes, people need a reminder that they are loved. Unconditionally. That’s why, every day of Lent I’m going to spread a little anonymous love. I don’t want to say too much more because it’s anonymous.

What are you going to give? How will you grow?

My not-so-symbiotic relationship with the plunger.

Last night, I stared at my toilet for several minutes, trying to transform it into a sign from God.

my sister & another not-so-friendly toilet

I kept flashing back to Elizabeth Gilbert, sure that if she had a divine moment on her bathroom floor, I could have one of my own.

It ended with me laughing out loud at my own absurdity. Who does that?!

In just two months, I have become best friends with the plunger. But it’s not a symbiotic relationship by any means.

If I were a psychologist, I would say the moment I sat backwards on the seat to jam the cheap rubber stopper into the bowl was my biggest mistake. Should’ve remained standing—affirmative and in control of the situation.

Yesterday was my final draw. I am not a quitter, but sometimes you have to admit defeat.

Our toilet stopped working because we live in an inexpensive townhouse tailored to college students. Not because my roommate and I abused the integrity of the plumbing system.

And that’s when I realized that despite all your best efforts, sometimes you are not the reason for your own failure.

My roommate left for spring break yesterday, leaving me stranded. She has finesse when it comes to fixing our toilet. Something to do with the angle of plunging and the amount of pressure applied. Me? I just stand there and grow angry and contemplate kicking the porcelain bowl. But then I remember how painful that would be. I did it once and never want to do it again.

Last night I even complained out loud that I’d cleaned the whole interior, bleaching it until it shone. And yet it didn’t want to work for me. I’m trying not to take it personally.

I take a lot of things personally. I overanalyze and read into e-mails and phone calls and text messages. I probably would’ve been a lot happier pre-technology, but what can you do? I don’t own a time machine.

So this is my setup for a new precedent. Starting with yesterday’s epic failure. No more taking silly little failures personally. No more putting myself down because I can’t figure out some obscure reference or remember some miniscule detail.

The human body is an imperfect form. The human mind is a jumbled mess. Together, they make up a complex person that breathes and lives and makes decisions. And my decision, for now, is to stop sweating the small stuff.

On the up side, plunging a toilet is a cathartic experience. And quite possibly a quality arm muscle toner. Don’t lift weights, kids. Plunge a toilet.

Okay, PSA over. If anyone suggests adding it to one of those weight loss websites that counts calories burned for specific activities, I might die of laughter.

"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known."

day 30 – a letter to your reflection in the mirror

Look at yourself in the mirror. You look almost the same as you did three months ago, don’t you? You cannot always see the progress that results from ninety days’ time, but it’s real.

via weheartit.com

I am a result of a collection of the wonderful human beings who take a few seconds out of their day to acknowledge my presence. To admit that I exist. I’m a part of their life. I don’t think any of them realize how wonderful that it.

I have a best friend who calls me every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:30 in the morning. Sometimes, I reach for the phone and it starts ringing.

I have a sister who keeps me looking (somewhat) fashionable. Parents who believe in the power of a liberal arts education but wouldn’t stop me from doing whatever my heart desires after college.

I have dreams that reminded me to roll out of bed on last Tuesday at 7 in the morning when I didn’t have class at all that day. And strangers who offer advice and insight in 140-character segments.

I have an ex-boyfriend who taught me how to fall in love and heal back together.

I have a friend in the middle of the Bronx who has offered writing and sheer strength to heal my wounds of depression and self-hatred.

I have a musical idol whose heart-on-her-sleeve attitude reminds me to do the same. To write these words now.

I have a God who keeps me from careening into oncoming traffic. A gymnastics coach who taught me how love can change the world.

I have been bullied by girls who remind me why I love being different.

I have a best friend who keeps me in her life despite all the strings tugging her into the Real World. A roommate who decided to love me before she even met me. A friend in Canada who taught me that age doesn’t matter when it comes to friends and that wisdom is invaluable.

I have friends from my childhood who taught me how to be a flexible parent someday and how to take giant risks.

I have a friend in Ohio who taught me how to take initiative if I want to see the world change and reminded me of the power of verbal affirmation.

I have friends in North Carolina who love my sister the best way they know how.

I have a friend whose indecisiveness about me has taught me how to be firm in my own feelings and actions.

I have a track team who taught me to believe in magic, persistence, and the power of the underdog.

I have a best friend who deserves to live in California, far away from the destructive people in her life.

I have three beautiful and talented cousins who taught me to believe in miracles, and a stranger who showed me the power of a mother’s love. A friend in Wisconsin who changes the world each week in less than 15 minutes.

I have a best friend who’s been a big part of my life from 300 miles away and who is always there for me without question.

And I have me. I am the only Kaleigh Erin Somers you will ever meet. I’m almost sure of that.

What do you have? Who are your people? What are their lessons?

Hope is not the sock that went missing in the dryer. And having a house doesn't mean having a home.

If you Google the word “homeless,” you’ll receive more than 35 million images of people wrapped up in blankets, alone or with family, huddled together for warmth. Some hold signs of promise scribbled on slabs of cardboard boxes. Others use newspaper for insulation. And others? They want to believe they are not among those 35 million images. They are not a number on an Internet search engine.

And they would be right. They are so much more than a number.

homeless, superman, cardboard sign, save the world

via weheartit.com

There are hundreds of small moments in the past in which I had given up on God. In which I had wished, so very deeply, for Him to save me or someone I love.

This is not one of those moments.

This is one of those moments in which I pray that He will continue to send me down this path. That He will help me turn my life around. A year ago, I thought I had lost hope. The other day, I realized how wrong that was. I have not lost hope. It is not the sock in an invisible shoot in the back of my dryer, banished from me for all intents and purposes. Hope was misplaced, buried under some big words like depression and anxiety.

And now, as I enter a new phase in my life in which strangers in other parts of the country become friends, I am so thankful. I’ve been saved by the existence of the Internet.

There are thousands of fallen angels in this world, and my greatest fear is not being able to save them all. Yesterday, I spoke on the phone with two people who are trying to build a foundation for real change to combat homelessness. The founders of KNO Clothing wanted to give consumers an incentive to do the right thing. And it’s sad, really, that we even need an incentive. I am at a point in my life where that incentive grows smaller and smaller every day, replaced instead by the feeling I get when someone sends me a message, an e-mail, a tweet, telling me that my words changed them somehow.

If words have power, I will be a happy girl. Because words are my friends, and I can line them up and rearrange them and mold them until they give you power. Until they do what they need to do. Edit, re-write, re-edit. Until the world looks like a brighter shade of yesterday. Until the crayons have not only colored inside the lines, but outside of them too. Until all options for change are exhausted and the only thing left to do is wait.

I believe that we, the ones who have trouble coloring inside the lines, are the ones who can help these souls. These souls wandering around like nomads, looking for a place to seek refuge. And they’re not just one of the 35 million images on my computer screen. Homelessness is more than the state of losing a roof over one’s head. It’s a mindset for some people. There are so many more homeless in this world than just those identified in the statistics run by government organizations. There are those who have lost a piece of themselves, who have forgotten why they roll out of bed in the morning and shimmy into a pair of slacks and a blazer. They are the ones who eat Honey Nut Cheerios because they think it’s the right thing to do. Because their doctor said their cholesterol was too high.

I will be immeasurably happy if I can light a spark inside of them. If I can remind them how to see. Remind them where their home is. Where they live. A house is not a home. Having a house does not mean you’re not homeless. It only means you’re a little less homeless.

And all of these people have lives worth living. Ideas worth spreading. Passions worth sharing.

All of these people have the ability to make our world better. They’re just looking for a chance. And we can be that for them.