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Most important part of me? I am a Christian. I love God. Next? I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder... yes, I love shiny things and squirrels. I love to make people laugh. Humor is kind of my thing. (A benefit of ADHD) I had two major surgeries on my right hip on January 6th, 2010, a gallbladder surgery and surgery to fix a herniated bellybutton that May, another hip surgery on my left hip September 1st, and two more surgeries on my right hip December 1st. Were you counting? That's 7 surgeries in 2010! I have been blessed with a selfless family, and a great network of friends to support me. God has grown me through the whole experience. I want to be totally and utterly immersed in God. God is my all. His love is the reason I am alive today, and my reason for living everyday! I'm now a music major at a community college and using my voice for God's glory. You should check God out if you haven't already... I don't know how to put this, but He's kind of a big deal. (Yeah I stole it from Anchorman.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

In Fight or In Flight

    Back in the day I wrote this song during my severe struggle with depression. I was too afraid to ever show anyone this song, because I thought it sucked. Now I read it, and I just want others to catch a glimpse of what living (if you can call it that) with depression is actually like. 
   I don't care if the song sucks or not. I just want to be heard. I'm in a better place now, though depression is always looming nearby. And though depression may always loom nearby, I have a God that sticks closer to me than anything has or ever will. Maybe someday I'll work up the courage to actually perform this. 

In Fight or In Flight 
Verse 1:
Failing, fighting, drowning, crawling,
Scraping, scrapping, grasping, falling
I'm just a bird with a broken wing,
a metaphor for depressing things,
to convey the hopeless nature of 
my knockdown drag-out life.

Prechorus:
I need something, anything.

Chorus:
I know am the problem, and that's what kills me.
I am also the solution, and that's what scares me.
Do I try and risk failing, fly by just flailing.
Or stay down here and let the darkness around me
 become the darkness inside me.

Verse 2:
Always thirsty, always drinking
Always swimming, still I'm sinking
Try to satisfy with worthless things
To work so hard to be happy
It never works or lasts
A lather, rinse, and repeat life.


Prechorus:
I need something, anything.

Chorus:
I know am the problem, and that's what kills me.
I am also the solution, and that's what scares me.
Do I try and risk failing, fly by just flailing.
Or stay down here and let the darkness around me
become the darkness inside me.

Bridge:
Imprisonment is where I live
It’s comfortable here in this pit
Freedom is terrifying
I’ve grow afraid of flying
I’d rather sink than swim 
than live in a world that doesn’t need me


   If you struggle with depression, you are not alone. Talk to someone you trust. Cling to God. Without God I'd be dead, and I trust in Him that He can overcome any earthly thing for anyone. 
Remember, Not all who wander are lost. 
Much love,
Erin

Friday, May 8, 2015

Vegan Heathen

   I hate all of those stuck up pretentious know-it-alls who shove their life in your face. Oh hey by the way I'm going vegan.

   I've been reading this book called Skinny Bitch and a few other books about healthy eating and soaking in all of the information about GMO's, pesticides, processed foods, and the unethical treatment of factory farm animals, and it's kind of shocked me. I don't want to put crap into my body. My body is a temple, and I don't want to fill it up with crap.

   I realized that being a performer means honing my skill. Taking care of your instrument is vital to "optimal performance." My body and my voice is my instrument, and that means I must take care of it as any other musician would care for his/her instrument. God gave me this body on loan. I am not my own. God commands me to take care and honor Him with my body.

   My dream career is to go into Broadway. Broadway performers are not only phenomenal singers, but active actors, and seasoned dancers as well. If I want to do what I love, then my body demands discipline. I cannot get to where I want to be by eating crap like processed foods, dairy, cheese, eggs, and meat. But damn do I love all those foods. Cheese and bacon are my favorite foods.

   People have been telling me "Man I could never go vegan because I love meat too much." I'm not going vegan because I hate meat!!! "Do you think astronauts go into space because they hate oxygen?? No!!" -Jeff Winger, Community. I LOVE FOOD. ALL FOOD. CHEESE. MEAT. POTATOES. CHEETOS. SODA. FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD!!!!

   Food has become an idol in my life. I live to eat. I lack discipline, and I realize that the only way I will accomplish my lifestyle change is through the power of God. Daniel did the same thing in the Old Testament. He drank only water and ate only vegetables and became stronger than the men who ate what they wanted.

  I have to emphasize to you, this is not a diet. A diet implies temporary changes to fix a long-term problem. I am changing my lifestyle permanently because I care about myself. I am doing this because I deserve to be healthy. Now, please understand, I am currently TRANSITIONING into the vegan lifestyle. That means it's going to take some time. I am not just going to jump in cold turkey... or as we vegans say "Cold tofurkey." Haha just kidding. I made that up.
 
   Anyway. I am saying that I am going to backslide. I am going to have set backs. I mean, just this morning I ATE A SLICE OF FRENCH SILK PIE FOR BREAKFAST. True story, and no shame. It was amazing. (But now I do feel kind of icky in the physical sense. I feel kind of sick and gross in all honesty.)

   I am making small changes over periods of time so that this is easier for me and it will last longer than just a fad diet. Hopefully permanently. My family has a history of medical problems that I could avoid by eating healthy. I am overweight, and I want to get myself to a healthy weight, but this is not the reason for my decision to eat vegan.
 
   I am having a shift in my self-perception that is changing my life. I am starting to see my worth. I am starting to see that I matter. If I want to make a difference here on this earth, I need to start within myself. I need to believe that God created me for a reason and act as such instead of believing the lie that I am not needed here on this earth, that nothing I do will matter, and that all I do is destroy. I am a child of God, and He does not make defects, junk, or mistakes!
 
   I learned in counseling at CCU last semester that Thoughts breed Feelings; Feelings breed Decisions, Decisions breed Actions, and Actions breed Feelings and so on. It's a vicious cycle. What you think determines what you do, and what you do determines how you think! If I think I am worthless, I will act that way. If I think I can never change, I will never even try to change. So this is the first step in a long journey for me.
 
  1 Corinthians 6:20 is my theme verse for today which says:
     
   " Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you    have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

       Society has brainwashed us into becoming a bunch of shallow douchebags and frightened clones. (Myself included.) Now what do I mean by that eloquent and sophisticated statement? Society has brainwashed us into using observations of a physical body to make value judgments about a soul and consequently frightened us into conformity to their standards.  I submit to you that we are not merely a body with a soul, but we are a soul inhabiting a body made in the image of God, and I challenge you to challenge the standards society has built and break them down. I challenge you to let your freak flag fly… it means BE YOU, flaws and all. Be vulnerable. Dr. Brene Brown says “Vulnerability breeds connection.”
According to an article on Body image on Brown.edu, “Intolerance of body diversity has a lot to do with the meaning of size and shape in our culture. Being thin and/or muscular has become associated with being “hard-working, successful, popular, beautiful, strong, and self-disciplined.” Being “fat” is associated with being “lazy, ignorant, hated, ugly, weak, and lacking in will-power.” As a result, “fat” isn’t a description like tall or redhead – it’s an indication of moral character: fat is bad. Size prejudice is absorbed at a very young age; children as young as five have ascribed negative characteristics to silhouettes of fatter children. In part, this is because size prejudice is also widely reinforced; media, friends, family, and even well-respected health professionals can echo the message that fatness is inherently wrong and dangerous, thereby exacerbating the pressure to control our bodies.”
            Once upon a time, I looked like this.
 A boy called me fat in front of my entire youth group and no one said a word. No one stood up for me. No one apologized. That silence still rings in my ears to this day. That’s when I knew something had to change. I was trapped in a body I didn’t want. So I stopped eating, and puked up whatever I didn’t eat. I lost 50 lbs over the summer between middle school and high school and the next year I gained it all back and then some and endured more ridicule from my peers. I became judgmental toward others in order to protect myself from others judging me. My physical appearance became my identity, because other people seemed to think I was nothing more than my outward appearance so it must have been true, right?
Tina Fey, in her book titled “Bossypants" comments on the burden of perfection the media has placed upon women and men. She says, “I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then…BeyoncĂ© brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”
    We must look a certain way to be accepted by society. Which, according to the Bible, is completely untrue. 1 Samuel 16:7 says,   "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” If we are to follow Christ to become more like God, then we must do the same. Luke 18:9-14 says, He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:  “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” This is apparent evidence that God does not only refuse to define us by our outward appearance, but also does not define us by our works, good or bad, but at the motives behind our actions and at the state of our heart. We can all do good things for the wrong reasons as well as bad things with good intentions. Everyone knows the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10, God accepted and called upon Zacchaeus not because of what he looked like OR what he did, which he happened to be a tax collector, which was a pretty dishonest job, but because Zacchaeus sought Jesus. That’s why Jesus picked Zacchaeus out of the entire crowd of people surrounding him. Zacchaeus was earnestly desiring to know Christ, and Christ blessed him for it. Jesus did not dismiss Zacchaeus because of the terrible sins he had committed, but Jesus loved Zach in spite of his sins. So who are we to dismiss others by what they do or look like if God doesn’t? That mentality puts ourselves on a pedestal higher than God and reflects our arrogant attitude. No one is greater than God that they may judge another for who they are inside or out. James 2 says Mercy triumphs over judgment.” This passage speaks against favoring the rich and dismissing the poor simply because of their appearances. Christ came to this earth to free us from the enslaving standards and laws by which we needed to measure up. Because he lived a perfect life, and took our imperfections and crucified them with him on the cross, we are now free to be imperfect and boast in our weaknesses because in our weakness, Christ is strong. Christ is glorified in our weaknesses! This does not give us the excuse to sin, but the freedom to come before God and others unashamed, unafraid, and no longer defined by our flaws and sins, and we can declare we are righteous because of Christ! He did not choose a bunch of morally and spiritually strong superstars to carry out his will in the bible, he chose a couple of tattletales, a murderer, whiney prophets, drunkards, swol meatheads easily persuaded by hotties like Delilah, and even shady tax collectors and prostitutes. He did not do this to show the power of humanity, but the weakness of humanity and the power of God in our weaknesses! 
            When will we stop making value judgments based on appearances? I say let your freak flag fly. I’m done hiding who I am because society tells me who I am is not enough. I’m done worrying about what people say about my appearance. If people call me a freak for it, then I’m going to let my freak flag fly and resist shaming myself for who I am any longer. I challenge you to start letting your freak flag fly and giving others the freedom to let them fly their freak flag as well. I’ll start the ball rolling. My name is Erin Darling, and I curse like a sailor;  I’ve survived depression and a suicide attempt; I obviously love food; I have hip dysplasia and have had 7 surgeries to correct that birth defect; I’ve spent over $200 on Legend of Zelda merchandise; I obviously love Star Trek. And most of Jesus still loves a freak like me, and I love Him back. 

Now here is a song called Freak Flag, from the stage musical Shrek! It pretty much sums up perfectly (and melodically) what I've been trying to say.  

           


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Poetry from the heart

Haunting, haunting, haunting...
Failure boos me
And death woos me
the more I fail
the more I die inside
the more I die inside,
the louder the ghosts cry
boo, boo, rubbish, filth, slime
The Queen of Refuse am I
I lie in a puddle of melted dreams and hope
The stars mock me at a distance
Laughing from afar
Bringing despair
Shining on my scars
No hope, no hope
Cackles the gaping pit above me
Only despair, only despair
Sneers the darkness around me
Why try, why try
Chant the dancing demons at my feet
Regret and remorse join the demon's dance
The dance of the dead creeps into my bones
The hungry darkness around me consumes my heart
No more no more
I, victim, cry
I can take no more of life
Take me demons, darkness, despair
for I deserve what I cannot bear
I deserve to suffer
in the flames of darkness
that wrap around my soul
choking my spirit
dancing and licking at my heart
Why climb?
Why rise?
Why try?
I
can
not
go
on.

Welcome to my life.

   For I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. You were once dead in your sins, but have been made alive in Christ.
   I don't feel alive. I feel quite dead right now. I feel quite dead most of the time nowadays. The height, length, and depth of my sin is overwhelming me. "Just focus on Christ and it will get better." Oh Gee. I didn't think of that. Thanks. Sometimes I cannot see Jesus through all the sin, stains, muck, and mire that covers my eyes. I need Jesus to wipe it away and give me sight again.
   I truly believe Christ died for me and has wiped me clean of my sins and gave me His righteousness. It's just hard to remember that all the time when you feel so guilty and sinful. How do I get to the place of my security in Christ? I don't really know at this point. More medication? Counseling? Maybe. I just want Jesus to fix me. I just want to be fixed. It's really a thorn in my side preventing me from doing anything because I don't feel capable enough.
   A song we sang in chapel today said "Take my intellect and use every power as you choose." I started crying at this lyric because I don't think I have any intellect. How in the world do I change that mindset? I've believed those lies for so long that I have substituted them for truth.
   Anyway, good times. It's been rough. I mean, I haven't been struggling with this big time, because it's been the norm for me. It's just that sometimes I see these lies exposed in the light and I find a glimpse of hope and it scares me.
   Like what if I'm really smart? What if I'm just lazy and complacent? To me, that is worse than being dumb. I would rather be dumb than be lazy. What if I am so much more capable than I think? That means I have more power than I think. What if God created me for righteousness and I am capable of it? That means that I have no excuse to pursue righteousness.
   Jesus is righteousness, so pursuing righteousness means pursuing Jesus. I've been reading the bible and praying. I desperately want more of Jesus in my life. I need more truth. I need to see not the height, length, and depth of my sin, but the height, length, and depth of God's love.
   Ugh. It's the same old story.
   I need love. I need assurance. Blessed assurance. I need that. God please show me in big ways you love me, and I am forgiven. Please show me I am clean. Please show me I am loved beyond all reason. I need your love. I need you. Please be apparent in my life so I can see you instead of my failure that so easily paralyzes and entangles me. I want to serve. I'm so scared. Help. Sozo me.

More poetry

Attention attention!
Demand comprehension!
This "deficit'
makes me say things inappropriate
Outside the box
like catching a fox
are my thoughts
cascade untaught
unfiltered
bewildered
are my listeners
both hitting and missing her
intended target
too far yet
right on the money
stick with music honey
don't let your emotion
gallop forth like the ocean
waves that so swiftly carry you away
to the sea beyond day
into night
where the wild things are
dangling in infinity
just sit and look pretty
while the wild things destroy your soul
eat a hole
keep up appearances
don't let them see your fear and says
the wild things "You'll never get better."
the woman you are is not close to the woman you want to be yet you're
stuck between a rock and a hard place
between giving up and pressing on chase
the dream and fail or never try at all
do I stumble and fall
or stand tall
in one spot
on this white pedestal
never moving
never failing
always fearing
always bailing
on risks and chances and opportunities
you freeze
unfreed
your need
to bleed
drowns the seed
no good deed
goes unpunished
the battle never won it's
ongoing
betrothing
being captive of no thing
snapped bow-string
no music
time's up you dumb hick

Monday, October 6, 2014

Try to Keep on Keepin On

   "Show me my silver lining. (I try to keep on keepin on.)" It rings in my ears like the cries of the ghosts from my past. This haunts me in a different way. It's the cry of my heart. I don't feel I belong at CCU anymore. I don't know my purpose. "I'm tired of looking for answers." I grow weary of wandering aimlessly in attempt to find my path in life. Maybe I don't have a path. Maybe God's will is for me to wander aimlessly like the Israelites for a while. I need him in the midst of this desert though. I keep looking back at the tracks I've made in the sand, only to see them swept away by the wild wind. I see all I do here being swept away as if it never happened. Everything I do becomes undone. "Show me my silver lining."
 
 "These shackles I've made in an attempt to be free." I fashion my own makeshift freedom that ends up enslaving me more than I was before. These scars on my arms brought me no freedom. My wayward life did not fulfill me. I need freedom in Christ alone. I have to depend on Him as my only source of freedom.


...to be continued...

   My Silver Lining- First Aid Kit

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

For Karisa, Love Erin

 

Transformation Tuesday... Something I've learned over the past 3 years is that just because you lose the weight, doesn't mean you lose the insecurities that went with it. My insecurities related to my body, are not something I can "lose" like a certain number of lbs. Insecurities come from the heart. My insecure heart keeps telling me to lose more weight, because I'm still not happy. I may have reached my weight-loss goal, but the act of reaching that goal did not satisfy. Deep down, we do not love our friends according to their outward appearance, so why do we think that we have to look a certain way in order to love ourselves? The only way I've become truly happy is accepting that I am loved no matter what. True and lasting change starts with the heart. No amount of "behavior modification" could ever solve a heart issue. For example, I tried everything to lose weight. I starved myself, binged and purged, ran many miles with a severe birth defect, but at the end of the day, it all came from the wrong motivation. I only did this because I believed that my sense of worth came from my outer appearance. I believed the lie that who I was as a person, was measured and summed up by the number of lbs on the scale. I tried to lose weight for everyone but myself. I didn't care about being healthy or taking care of the body with which God has blessed me. I just wanted to belong and be accepted by a shallow version of society. The diets I tried, the anorexia, the bulimia, the dangerous exercise, were just another way I punished myself, and nothing more than an expression of hatred toward myself. I'm not saying I no longer struggle with these insecurities. I most definitely do, but the way I handle them now has changed. Eating to numb the pain of depression and low self-worth is one form of self-loathing. Dieting and exercising to lose weight is ultimately to feel good about yourself and get rid of your low self-worth, which is still just a different way of numbing the pain and another form of self-loathing. I dieted because I hated what I looked like, and I associated what I looked like with my identity as a human being. It's only a quick fix though. It's instant and temporary gratification that causes delayed and enduring pain. Like I said, I may have reached my goal, but the act of reaching my goal has not made me love myself more, because love does not depend on outward appearance. My goal now is to merely be transformed by the renewing of my mind... to know God and His unending, unconditional love for me. I want an identity not in myself, my looks, my actions, my thoughts, or words. I want my identity to come from God, because God loves me. God is Love. Love changes the heart. And the heart is what really matters.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Television was (not just) my babysitter

I stared at his dreamy, chiseled, porcelain face in awe. His face was a work of art. His cheekbones could cut diamonds. His piercing eyes could shoot an arrow straight into my heart, and his chin oh boy that chin. In the grand scheme of life, in the glowing tapestry of what I want to be when I grow up, I want to be Conan O'Brien. I want his ginger hair. I want his charming personality. I want his laugh, his humor, and his comedic timing, but most of all, I just want his freaking show. I want to be on television. I want to be the one from which everyone gets news about the president, because let's be honest, no one has the attention span to sit down and watch the news. It's not even funny! Or god forbid read a freaking newspaper. Especially if there aren't any pictures. Forget about it. I want to be a baby sitter's saving grace when the kids won't calm down and she just needs some quiet time while they watch the boob-toob. I want to host Saturday Night Live and have my face streamed across every lap-top in every college student's dorm room in between watching videos of cats and naked Miley Cyrus abusing construction equipment. I want my friends to say "I knew that girl. I made fun of her in high school. I guess I shouldn't have been a huge douche bag because now she's famous, and there is no chance I would be able to ask her for money or even hope to hang out with her. If only I would have seen her for the vibrant, effervescent, and hilarious young woman she really is instead of only seeing her as a 220 lb loser in high school." But I'll be honest, they will never be able to say that because most of them  cannot use words with more than 2 syllables, let alone pronounce the word "effervescent" correctly. It's okay high school friends, I forgive you. To me television is not just a form of entertainment. Television is art. Acting, set design, script writing, production, directing, costumes, makeup, is artistry. And heck, even getting donuts, fetching sparkling water, picking out the brown M&M's of each bowl, and doing other ridiculous things for stuck-up stars and their high-maintenance eating habits (is something I would totally do for someone like Emma Stone although she does not seem like that kind of a person) is artistry. What am I getting at here? Well, crap, I forgot... hold on... I need to read the beginning of this post to see for myself. Oh yeah. Television shows like Sherlock, Community, SNL, The Walking Dead, New Girl, Conan O'Brien, and The Carol Burnett show (I have a thing for redheads) are what inspired me to audition for musicals and pursue theater and even (very) recently decide to minor in theater at Colorado Christian University. I first became interested in these television shows not because they were entertaining or a way to pass the time, but because I could relate to each character. I could see myself in each character, and I didn't feel so abnormal anymore. Jess from New Girl showed me that it's okay to sometimes sing sentences or break into song during a conversation. Sherlock taught me that it's okay to be sociopathic sometimes, as long as you have a Watson around to bring you back to earth and deflate your giant sun sized head around which everything revolves. Once I saw that my differences were often the same differences that made a television character so funny or cool or relatable, I did not feel as much like a weird, selfish, egotistical doofus anymore. Television has inspired me to be that character for another Erin Darling out there in the world who is insecure about who she really is. I want to be the actor that, through their performance, can communicate that just because you are different, quirky, weird, or not accepted by society, YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND IT'S OKAY TO BE YOU. I want to continue to pursue theater and acting after I graduate. I want to show everyone that there are people just like you who struggle day to day externally with others and internally as well through the characters I portray. I want everyone to know that I am one of those people. I am egotistical, spontaneous, annoying, naive, analytical, hyper, weird, and lazy. Television has shown me that I am I am the sidekick, the hero, the villain, the damsel, the old fart, the clueless inspector, the robot, the snot-nosed kid, the cocky dirt-bag, the attractive leading lady, the plaid shirt wearing assistant, the crazy asian, the monkey named Annie's Boobs, the smart old neighbor, and the surprisingly wise janitor. I am me, and I'm not perfect, but I am not alone.