Sunday, May 13, 2012

Maybe when you have nothing, you have everything.

This morning I went to a memorial service for my teacher and friend, Jack Gilbert.  I find myself sitting here contemplating it and I'm changed.  

Why do I want to do the things I want to do? What motivates me?

Am I selfish for wanting to write a book?  Am I selfish for wanting to choreograph?  Or is this what I was created for?

I live in one of the richest places in the world... Well, it's not really rich, it just appears that way.  I bet most people here are in huge debt.  And those who have money don't have what really makes one rich...  Joy, contentment, satisfaction, Christ.

I was starting to get sucked into this world.  I wanted to write a successful book so that I could buy the house that I actually wanted and I could buy a car that doesn't have duct tape holding it together, literally.

Why?  Why would I want that?  Would that make me more valuable?  Would that give my life more worth?

I remember sitting on Jack's couch and being as comfortable as I ever was.  It was old.  It was used.  It was perfect.

Jack died single, living in a small apartment with old furniture.  He had one fleece vest, one sport coat, and one old car.  And yet, I would choose to be him over any rich person on the planet.  Because he did things that changed the world.  Literally.  Without getting any credit for it.  And he had a heart that I yearn to have.

Jack wasn't a great friend but he once said three sentences that changed the way I viewed myself, my talent, and the world around me.

I have a feeling that many people have been changed by Jack.  He changed us by being patient and humble and kind.  I hope these are words that are used when I die.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why don't I have a boyfriend?

Why am I single?

I don't know.

Everyone has their theories.

I'm intimidating. I'm too good for this guy or that guy. I'm too busy. I'm too picky.


Everyone loves to put their two cents in. My dad used to make me feel bad about it all the time and then tell me not take it so seriously.

Old guys and married guys love to tell me how confusing it is because I'm so great.

That doesn't help.

To be totally honest, always being single is hard on the soul. You doubt your worth. When people say things like "Why is that guy 30 and single? There must be something wrong with him", you secretly think that about yourself. Maybe you could have a boyfriend if your nose was smaller or your voice wasn't so high pitched...

But on most days I do know my value. So, I've decided I need How to Get a Boyfriend lessons. I mean there are dancing lessons and singing lessons. You can learn how to draw and how to balance a budget. Why aren't there classes on how to get a boyfriend?

But here's the real problem. If those classes really existed, would I go?

I have always wanted a boyfriend. I always thought it was the perfect time, but if I had found the perfect guy at 20 and gotten married at 23 (like I dreamed), would I have toured with a rock band? Would I have lived in Germany? Would I have been in the Lybian desert watching a total eclipse of the sun on my 30th birthday? Would I have been the Ambassador of Disneyland? And would I be seriously contemplating pursuing a career as a choreographer right now if I had children to raise?

Don't get me wrong. If I met a great guy who wants to be adventurous with me, I would love that. I'm just saying that the big guy upstairs seems to know something I don't know. Maybe the best of my life is yet to come and it can only happen if I'm single. Maybe my guy just isn't ready yet. Maybe I still have things to learn in order to be a great partner to him.  Maybe I will always be single...

All I know is that, God has gotten me this far. And it's been pretty amazingly fantastic. So, I will continue to hold onto the fact that I am perfectly and wonderfully made (even with my German nose), that God knows the plans he has for me and I will continue to wait, impatiently at times, and see what comes around the bend...

TSLOLH: Episdoe 2

The Secret Life of Liz Hetzel:  Episode 2

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Get lost. It will keep you sane.

I like getting lost the first time I go on a  hike somewhere new.  I mean, I do have GPS after all - just in case I really get lost.

So today, after following a riverbed off the path and down the mountains I found myself at a dead end in the cool shadows of the valley.  I had three options:
1) turn around
2) pull out the GPS
3) climb the tree in front of me and then climb the cliff above that.

At the very top of the cliff was grass sparkling in the sun.  The sun was teasing me.  It knew I couldn't resist.  So, I grabbed the tree and began to climb.  Trees are easy to climb.  Stay near the trunk and it's just like climbing an uneven ladder.  Well, that is until the it starts to sway.  That's when I transferred to the cliff.

I started climbing again.  It was a little shaky.  There were times when a rock would suddenly give out from underneath my foot or my handhold would crack under the pressure, but I knew from climbing experience that as long as one connection to the mountain was secure, everything else is fine.

After a short wrestle with that cliff, I made it to the top. And what did I find?  Heaven.

Lush green fields.

Meadows blowing in the wind.
I came around a bend and found myself in a storybook.
No one walked this way.  There was no path.  There were no other people.  Just me and God's beautiful artwork.

I walked for a while and then was stopped by Man.  A chain link fence.  I knew that I was heading in the right directions to end up back where I needed to be, but this chain link fence was not going to let me get there.   Because the woods on the other side of this chain link fence were so dense, I decide to continue along the fence until there was an opening at some point where people had already made a path.

I finally came along a very small tunnel under the fence.  I laid down and slithered my way under.  It wasn't until I was about 3/4 the way through that I thought, "I'm very small, who else could possibly fit through here."  Just a moment later, when I was through, I noticed that the path was not made for walking but crawling.. or rather, walking on all fours.  And there were no footprints just coyote tracks.  I needed to get out of there fast.  If a hungry coyote came walking down his path, I was for sure getting rabies.  I very quickly slithered back under the fence.

Once back on the other side I sighed with relief and continued to follow the fence.  Not too far down the hill I was stopped again.  This time, by a fence that was perfectly perpendicular to the first fence.  Time to get my fence jumping shoes on.

A tree stood in my way.  It was just close enough to the fence to be in the way and just far enough away that it didn't help.  So after climbing this horribly wobbly fence, while arm wrestling the tree, I swung my legs over.   Everyone knows that if you climb a fence once you are at the top you are home free because you just swing your legs over and drop down to the ground.  However, this ground had very high grass and I had no idea what lied underneath.  So I very gently lowered myself down to the ground to find very unstable and slippery terrain.

I could now see the path I wanted about 100 yards down this very steep hill.  Because of the looseness of the earth and the very steep slant of the hill,  I semi-skied down, using my arms as ski poles when gravity pulled at both of my feet at the same time.

I was never so happy to hit stable ground.  I walked about 50 yards before I realized, my car key had fallen out of my pocket at some point....  crap.  After talking with Best Friend Jen for a moment, I decided to head back and look for it.  One key, lost in the midst of this whole adventure.

I headed back up the slippery terrain.  For every step I took, I slid back a half a step.  I was on nature's treadmill, except I needed to make progress on this treadmill.  

After quite a hike, I got back to my wobbly fence, I stopped and looked around.  No key.  I was already thoroughly exhausted and I knew that if I climbed this fence I would have to do it at least once more.  I got up my strength and got over that fence.  I stopped at the tree I arm wrestled.  He didn't have my key either.

I headed back to the coyote path.  My discouragement quickly faded when I saw a glimmer of something silver in the dirt.  Sure enough, while slithering under, my key had fallen out of my pocket.  I swear to God, finding this key was a miracle from God.

The key is the silver sliver next to the cement block.
I still had quite a walk ahead of me to get back to my car, but not before climbing my wobbly fence one more time - but of course by this time we were friends.  So, I had to stop at the top and take a pictures of us.  Of course the arm wrestling tree jumped in the background...

I ended the hike throughly exhausted.  I probably hiked three times as far as I had originally planned.  I, for sure, had no intention of climbing a tree, a cliff and a fence, and by the end my legs were literally shaking.  But like most things in my life I wouldn't change it for the world.

I got to be an adventurer. I got to be in a little piece of heaven. I got to be a character in my own storybook.

First rate single life, indeed.