Wednesday, June 24, 2009

my 4:00 tears

(my letter to Oprah- please build us our dream house!- does it sound too desperate? 12:27 am- i should really be in bed)

Dear Oprah and Nate,

my 4:00 tears. i felt them creeping in. the slow burning sensation of water filling my eyes, combated with my stubborn determination to not let these tears manifest into reality. With my un-napped 2 year old bouncing on my head, and my newborn tucked away asleep, I indulged in my 'mommy veg-out' hour session of Oprah. Yes, when i happen to look at the clock and it is anywhere between the hours of 4 and 5, i make my way over to the couch and pay a visit to my old friend Oprah. Today's show was Nate 'the decorator' giving a family their dream house makeover. While watching the house be transformed i felt it, the tears... they were coming. Some might attribute such a breakdown to the postpartum emotions, lack of sleep, or my body strung out on too much caffeine, but i knew it was none of these. It was that moment in life when you see the dreams you once clung to with such passion and fervor, now cloudy and somewhat hard to remember. Those dreams- the ones you stayed up all night dreaming with your husband to be- Those dreams that gave you a purpose in life- Those dreams that touched you so deeply that they made you scream, 'this is what i was created to do!" Yes- those dreams... the ones that brought on these tears. it was those dreams that now, may actually never be realized. My 4:00 tears.

I (a stay at home mom) married Sam (a middle school pastor). I met him when i was 9 and married him him when i was 25. From 9 to 25 a lot happened, but it is enough to know that I married my best friend, twin soul, and man who is a better human then i will ever be. We started dating in December and got married the following October 2005. Those months were a whirlwind of planning our wedding, but mostly planning our lives. Here is how our dreams went: get married, have some children, and live our lives- full, big, intentional, and brilliant... to care deeply about the hearts of people, share the love of God that is given to each human being, long to see lives healed from brokenness and pain, we imagined being present with people along their journey, and dreamed to see people come alive. We've both invested our time into an education that would allow all these dreams to become realized. These dreams would be manifested through our home. A place for our children, but also community. Our dream house would be a place for our neighbors and those in need to find a home. Our home would be a place to open our doors to those without a place to call their own. Through an in-home counseling center, our home wouldn't just be an institution, but a space for restoration and healing.

It is likely that my tears came from the reality that this dream has faded with time, young children, a home where we rent the upstairs with our aged landlord living below. Our sons sleep in our little walk-in closet, we can't fit in our kitchen, our children can't play and run in the house because we don't want to wake our elderly landlord, we were given a piano that can't be played because it would be too loud, and there is little space for our friends, family, or community to even sit and enjoy a meal together. We are thankful for our lives and know that we have so much more than so many. Our space is small, but i love to make it feel like a home. We have always wanted people to walk into our home and, just by looking around, feel like they know us. Pictures of our families cover the walls (children, grandparents, and great- grandparents) along with personal artwork that holds our history, objects on shelves that each tell a story, and pieces of 'us' that hang in the hallway. I love to create spaces for people to feel comfortable and at peace. We don't dream of granite counter tops or luxurious upgrades, we dream of a place where someone can walk in our door and experience a home that is true, earthy, and inspires their own meaningful existence... a place where they can be real... a place that touches their own longing for a home, not just in walls, but the home inside of them. Homes bring healing and this is our dream. Our at home counseling center is a dream that lives deep within us.

We are normal people. No huge tragedy to speak of, struggles with addictions, or death. We are just your normal young family that dreams of living extraordinary lives. I am sure there are other families that need their dream home more than us, more deserving, and have suffered much more. But these are our dreams and our dreams require a dream house. A house that is unique. One with a separate entrance for private counseling, a large family room for group counseling, a kitchen that can hold larger crowds and can prepare bigger meals, an area outside that incorporates nature, a good size eating area inside, a living room that feels separate from the family room (allowing for multiple group counseling sessions to exist at the same time), and our children's rooms upstairs allowing a space for them to feel at home even when others are in their home.

This is our story and our dreams. watching Oprah today was a painful, yet beautiful reminder of who i am and long to be, even when those dreams seem a million miles away. My tears today opened me to the dreams that live so deeply inside of me, so deep that sometimes they feel lost. My 4:00 tears moved me to write this and writing this helped me not let go.

Anjuli (please build me my dream house!) Paschall

-I am sure there are so many grammar mistakes, but i am just too tired to re-read this painfully long, desperate plea, shot in the dark, letter to Oprah that will never be read by her. To all my blog friends out there- if you read this- bless you and good night :)


ann.e said...

I would have had no idea you struggled with your living space! any of your little decorating posts led me to think you DId live in a dream house! anyway, a very well-written, convincing letter - I hope you send it, it's sure to grab her attention :) [especially if you include photos of your BEAUtiful boys]

-anne cater

Katherine Kamin said...

Anjuli! I don't know if I've ever commented on your blog, but I love reading it and seeing your photos, along with the rest of the art you infuse into your daily life. I read this letter of yours and couldn't help but see myself in it. I remember wanting those things so badly before we moved to Illinois. All I can say is, I hope you get it. And I hope you get it in California. We moved across the country to find it, but so far, despite trying as hard we know how, home has stayed at home while we live in a house.

Krissa said...

Great letter...I'm not even going to bother writing one now because I wouldn't be able to compete. I think you'll get it for sure! And even if I'm not a client...can I come for some counseling sessions or play dates. I'd be happy with either one! Good luck!

mal.i.oucious said...

I'm so glad I wandered to your blog this morning. I think I was missing you and your family, and I realized I hadn't done much interneting for awhile. I love your letter, and I'll tell oprah that your house goes to the top of the list. I can picture you in your dream home just as you described it and it makes me so happy I was crying too. I actually love your place now, not because it is everything you visualize someday but because it is totally you. You are so great at making a home wherever you go. I can't wait to watch you on home makeover!!

The Ryska Family said...

I love your blog, I feel so glad to have you as a friend. Don't give up on this dream!

j and w maertz said...

i love your letter.

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