About Me

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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.)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Life is Strange

In this video game I recently played called Life is Strange, there's a scene in which a friend of the main character (who's friend has been devastated left and right by bullies) is standing on the ledge of a tall building about to jump. The main character normally uses these special powers she inexplicably acquired to rewind time and fix situations, but at this moment she is powerless. She has no other choice than to talk this friend down from the ledge. Now I (as the main character) had to talk her down by way of choosing from multiple things to say and if I said so many wrong things, she would jump. As someone who's attempted suicide twice, this scene unfolding in front of me is more than just a scene. It's my life. It's me on that ledge. At that moment I'm seeing myself on that ledge saying things like "I'm worthless. No one cares if I'm gone. I do more damage than good on this earth. I have no future. No hope. No life." As this girl is saying everything I've ever said to myself, I realize that there is so much more at stake here. I now have to talk this video game character, no me, off this ledge. To me this was so much more about winning and losing would mean losing much more than a life. My heart raced and stopped at the same time. My face turned to stone as I tried not to cry in front of friends who were helping me win the game. I started making decisions on what to say to the broken soul. Every single word that was chosen was every single word I would have wanted to hear from one of my friends when I was about to attempt to kill myself. I said everything I needed to hear from someone else. I had to become that friend, that hero, to save my own life. I had to become my own hero for I knew no one else would save me. It was so strange and nerve wracking and anxiety gripping.  So the end of this story is that I talk her down and save her, but it's not the point of my story. The point is, well, I actually don't know. I didn't think this far ahead. I guess the point is sometimes life is strange and beautiful and tragic and magic. Sometimes you get a strange second chance at life. Sometimes you don't have heroes in your life at the right time or in the right place to save you, so you fail. Hard.  And it's okay to fail. As long as you get back up and save yourself. It doesn't have to be right away. It's okay to stay down for a while and get back up in just enough time for you to be the hero you need for yourself. Sometimes the things you need to hear can only come from you. You may not be the hero you deserve, but you can most certainly be the hero you need. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Garbage

Just now my heart told me "I am garbage." Then my brain pondered it more and my heart said, "No you're not garbage. Being garbage implies that you at one point were useful, and then lost your usefulness and got thrown out. Therefore you cannot be garbage, because you have never been useful." This is what I hear every day in various regurgitated forms. Fuck.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another song

I was really struggling emotionally this week while being a counselor at junior high summer camp, so I took some me time and this song is a result of that. "It's a work in progress. I guess I just feel too much."

Progress not Perfection:

I wish I really was all you thought of me
I wish I really was all I pretend to be
But all you know, and all you see
Sometimes fools even me.

Though I'm alone
I'll build my home
On top of my solid heart of stone

I will run
I will get up
When I'm knocked down
I don't know why or how,
but something deep inside of me
is calling me
to greater things
I may not fly
but I'll still try
until I die
or reach the sky
I will continue to rise
Though I'm empty
With a false identity
I'll continue to fight to be set free



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Late night lament

Grasping at sand
Coming up empty
Chasing the wind
Into thin air
Gasping for life
Nothing but sighing
Climbing and climbing
Finding more stairs
Swim to find safety
Drown in the sea
Struggle for breath
Choke on the waves
Tread toward surface
Sink in depression
Seek sanctuary
Find nothing that saves
Two roads diverge
Dead ends abound
Grace has but withered
Death all around
Born into darkness
Live unto fear
Scream into silence
No one to hear
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
Complacent dreams
Starting to rust
Move forward go!
Westward ho!
Allons-y!
Live and let be!
Always placate
Live to sedate
Others may thrive
I'm just alive

-Just a poem about how I feel right now. I feel kind of powerless to my addictions. I have hope in Christ though. On Him I can be sure. Just got to keep living and learning as I go. Someday this will be an epic thread woven into my life's tapestry. Though it be but one thread, it WILL matter. From the ashes I WILL rise up.
Grace abounds,
Erin





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.