that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.

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wild at heart

To say the person I learn the most about, all the time, is myself…that would be an understatement. When I was in elementary school, I learned that to get straight As wasn’t enough, they had to be A+s; I learned that I was quite bossy. I also learned that I had a mouth that had to be curbed and that I always thought I was right and that sharing a bedroom wasn’t something I was excited about. I also learned that I was very intelligent and to be intelligent, meant listening to my parents and being kind to my siblings and not talking behind girls’ backs. I learned that I feared sleeping facing the door, I love stewed plums, that I wanted to be a teacher, and that I like to be left alone to my ventures. Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself.

In middle school I learned that I assumed nice girls finished first, not last. I learned that I like to have people around me, all the time, and I learned that I loved weekend hockey tournaments, not for the sport but for the cute boys that I was befriending at school. I learned I coveted the attention my best friend got. I learned that I need to work hard to make friends and even harder to maintain the existing ones. I learned that I wasn’t “feeling God” and I was okay with that. I learned that a little white lie could either help me out or get me in real big trouble. I learned that I love swimming in creeks, extra-buttery microwaveable popcorn, watching chick flicks, talking on the phone, and imitating girls [that I never would be like or wanted to, but I pretended]. I learned I enjoyed making my parents angry-ish. I learned that I was very insecure and in in turn, I learned that I know how to pretend I am confident [and do a good job of it].

Hitting high school, I learned that not only was I intimidated by people but that, if I wanted to, I could be intimidating. I learned that I was a hypocrite in many senses, especially as a Christian…so I stopped lying and stopped saying I was one. I believed in God, but I didn’t desire Him. I learned that I masked my fear of my imperfections by acting as though I had everything together. I learned that in a stressful situation, I maintain my cool. I learned that I am very organized and that I can hold down two jobs, grade 12, and grad council, and still have time for my vast social life. I learned that I have to study hard to attain the grades I want and that my priorities started with friends and ended with me… I learned that I don’t like thinking about my life much, it made me think about me. I learned that my mechanism for making friends was by being kind to everyone, and not letting too many people into my heart. I learned that I was a liar when it came to justifications for why I didn’t do things (date, drink, skip school): instead of being honest, I would come up with these very liberal reasons — trying to be original in a world where everyone was doing the same thing. I learned that I can play a mean first base in fastball and that my best friend and I made a good team. I learned my parents tried to humour me the best they could. I learned that I cannot stand un-real people, yet I was pretty un-real myself. I learned I like latt├ęs with no sugar in them, my steak medium rare, my parents not to question me, my younger siblings to look up to me, my older siblings to be proud of me, and I reallllly like driving. I learned that I don’t flourish when I am stabilized, yet that I need stability in order to be me. I learned that no matter which way you spin it, I had nothing to complain about. Friends, family, money, activities, success, acceptance… those were the keys to the world…and as long as those were aligned, then confident-poised-intelligent I was too. I also learned that I cannot lie to save a life. I learned I was capable of doing anything if it meant fitting in… or more importantly, being the one everyone liked.

Now, coming up on the eve of the end of my fourth year at college, I’ve learned that I wear every emotion on my face. I’ve learned I no longer run from God, but as of Nov. 4, 2004, I attempt to run to Him. I learn I don’t argue with people if I know they are “always right”. I’ve learned that I struggle relentlessly with being good enough. I’ve learned that I am still slow to trust, quick to doubt, childish in my dreams, and old in my ways. I’ve learned that I am no longer bossy, I still struggle with intelligence, that I can get very stressed, and that I strive to be real. I’ve learned how to better take care of myself but I’ve also learned how to ask for help. I’ve learned that I can’t be a hero all the time, but I will never give up trying. I’ve learned that my head is noisy, loving is a choice, my heart is quiet, and relationships take work. I’ve learned that letting go is the best thing and hanging on can be scary. I’ve learned I am spunky, good at holding a conversation, and intensely serious when given the opportunity…or alone. I’ve learned that my future keeps me up at night because if I won’t get into education, I won’t know what I am supposed to do with my life. I’ve learned that I have to invest in my girl friends because guy friends don’t necessarily work. I’ve learned blond hair suits me better than anything, and that I like to be alone in the mornings. That I am very clean, easily distracted, impossible to not make smile, and irrational when someone I care about gets hurt. I’ve learned that I always hide behind my sense of humour, cringing every time I use it as a mask because it isn’t real. I’ve also learned I can’t talk about being a better person without trying to actually be.

I hope in the future I learn that I am a God-lover, a good wife and mother, content [as a person can be] on earth, and humble. I hope I can learn that I am valid in my feelings, not easily persuaded, and slow to anger. I am learning that I am pretty decent just the way I am… and that there’s always room for improvement, not an entire personality exchange. But I am working on those.

Yesterday I learned that I am wild at heart. Not in the book sense [I never read it] but in a way that I am mesmerized by this world, the people, the diversity, the suffering, the intelligence, the technology, the places… and though I don’t know if this is me yet, I hope that one day I can influence it in a positive, unalterable way. My heart still feels so young and immature and uneducated on what I am supposed to be focused on. I hope one day to learn that my zeal is harnessed and being used in a way that the wild streak is not selfish nor rooted in past or the dreams that haven’t come true yet… but rather wild and insane with love for Christ. I hope I learn that about myself tomorrow.

All in all, I see definite improvements.