I can't be what you need me to be

Hey, it's Madeline...
are you still there?

I was thinking about a few things tonight. I guess I just needed to say a few words.


God, why does it have to be so painful to speak after you've been reborn?

I'm like a toddler, babbling on and on about who knows what.


Writing anything but what I really want to say, what I need to say.

Is anyone even listening? Is that even the point?

I'm alive. I believe I have a voice. I have opinions. I have my truths.
And after taking a bit of a breather after renouncing my previous Mormon faith, I'm ready to speak again. I'm ready to write again.

It's January, 2018. It's fresh.
Are you still there?

I guess I'm going to keep writing whether you are there or not. Because I know one person is here... and that's me.

So here I go:

Let's just start with the blunt basics.

I can't be what you need me to be. I'm sorry that I'm not sorry. I really am. I tried. Desperately, I did. I can't be a rule follower, risk-averse, safe, scared, and sorry. I have shed that skin and can't fit back in it.

You raised me to be obedient, to listen. To choose for myself your way. So I did.

But wait, what is your way? Do you even know? 

It changes with every generation. I can't keep up with you. You've become so complex. So many additions to fill or satisfy loopholes. So many amendments.

So many cold shoulders to my earnest questions. That sad look on your face, telling me you've once had these questions too but chose to silence yourself.

Don't tell me you expect me to pattern my life after something that you yourself claim you don't fully understand and never can.

I will follow what I understand. I will not try to bend my mind and heart around something just to fit in with you. I will not be a sheep with an unknown shepherd any longer.

You say I am foolish. You say I am blind. You say I am a quitter. That I did not endure.
You say that I am not worthy of the elite. You say that I have abandoned the ultimate. You say that I could have had everything that mattered in this world, after I'm dead of course, if I would have just kept my head down and pushed my shoulder into the wheel a little harder.

What are we even pushing for? Who said we had to shove a heavy cart somewhere? Why are you climbing this mountain? What's even at the top? Oh. Everything I've ever wanted? Of course it is! Why would they promise you anything less than that?

From what I can see is there are lots of mountains around here. Why this one? There are infinite number of valleys, plains, forests, and seas too.

I'll leave you to the mountain. Let me know how that goes.

Ugh. I promise I'm not trying to be ugly.

But let me go.

Let me be free of your clutch. Your nails are digging into my skin. And you are hurting me. Your solemn face is twisting your soul into ugly knots trying to scare me into submission. Your pity makes me want to vomit.

And I'm just not there anymore.

You tell me that I've died. That I've chosen death.

And, you know... you're right. I have died.
And I've also been given new life.

That's what happens when you die. You are reborn into something new.

And for the first time in my life I am no longer afraid. I no longer have greed for "everything I ever wanted."

If you feel like you need to, go ahead and keep grinding in emotional misery and sweat, aching in agony, yelling at everyone around you to not slack off. Because by golly, if you are pushing, everyone else better be pushing too.

I can't grind at your wheel. I can't climb and push your possessions up this mountain. I can't be what you need me to be.

I am not what you said I was then. I am not what you say I am now. 

I don't need to climb your mountain any longer. The vista might be at the top.

But the vista is also in me.

Dear God!

I'm taking my first few gasps of new air with tears running down my cheeks. I can breathe.

I am free.

Hey, it's Madeline...
are you still there?


  1. Replies
    1. I know I love other's transparency. Being the transparent is painful though! Thank you for your encouragement!

  2. I'm here! This stage of life (age thirty, give or take) is so fascinating for me. I feel like I am growing and discovering new things about myself and my sense of purpose as I evaluate where I've been and sort through patterns I'm noticing in my life. It is heart wrenching in moments, yet so hopeful and exciting as I realize all the possibilities and joys that are ahead of me. It is kind of like simplifying a complex math problem, it's so satisfying to PEMDAS, FOIL, etc equations and see clutter disappear and observe what you're really working with. (Does that even make sense?) Anyway...it takes a lot of vulnerability to open your process to others and it definitely is good for us to pull out new meanings to concepts to apply to our life's philosophy. There is so much good in the world and to witness it through other people's eyes is always a special kind of inspiring. Also to see God enlighten and inspire others always helps me connect in new ways to heaven. Soooo, thank you for sharing. Love you, Madeline.
    (I'm writing this with little bodies crawling over me, haha. Hopefully you can piece together what I'm trying to say! Haha.)

    1. I absolutely get what you are saying, Mary. Thank you so much! Life, communication, learning, it's just one big algebra problem. When we discover "oh! This is like this! And that is like THIS!!" then life begins to make a whole lot more sense and feels sooo much more satisfying. I'm so glad to read that you found my thoughts to be inspiring- even when they were aching words. It reminds me that being honest and transparent is truly worth the risk. Much love back to you, Mary!! Your kindness reaches farther than we both know.


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