Alyssa Sellers


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Knowing I Don’t Have to Know

Joy Ride New OrleansThere I was, ugly crying on the cypress wood floor in my uncle’s home in New Orleans. It was the summer of 2002 and, after watching a seemingly innocuous movie, I was an emotional wreck.

Not just because in “Life as a House” an adorable young Anakin Skywalker stood in the pouring rain and fervently cried out for Alyssa, the witty and wise girl-next-door, who happened to share my name as well as some of my pretty fabulous character traits. (Yes, yes, I know. Hayden Christensen was acting in the role of an entirely different character named Sam, but to me he was still the promising young padawan – you know, before he goes all dark side of the force – only NOW with bonus blue hair. Swoon.) No, I was sobbing because Anakin/Sam and the other characters in the film were ultimately searching for redemption, love, and an understanding one’s self, all the things I had journeyed to New Orleans to find.

And because I was failing miserably in my search.

My movie postmortem didn’t start with me lying in a puddle of tears on the floor. It started with me sitting upright on the step at the top of a staircase, looking out through a giant window at a warm summer sunset, and holding a pen and yellow paper tablet in my hands prepared to write a veritable masterpiece of emotion inspired by the movie I had just experienced.

As you may have surmised, that didn’t happen. Continue reading

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Desert Jesus and the Cranky Girl

DesertI had forgotten how much chronic pain makes me cranky.

Almost 10 years ago I broke my upper right arm completely in half and had to get a titanium rod and screws placed into the brokenness. I was cranky for months. I thought it was the pain medicine.  I realize now, it was more the miserableness I constantly felt.

I realize now, because I did something awful to my right shoulder and I’ve been in constant pain for 3 weeks. It hurts to type this. It hurts to wash my hair. It hurts to lie on the couch watching Netflix. It hurts. It’s annoying. It makes me cranky.

And then I opened up my bathroom cabinet and something springs out and falls to the floor. “You think I’m picking you up!? Nope, you’re gonna stay there and take this time to think about what you’ve done.”

I’m cranky.

Continue reading


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Just Call Me Ms.McFeely – Speedy Delivery*

First US Post OfficeIt’s not in my nature to wake up at 5 AM.

It’s also not in my nature to willingly take on something that I’m not absolutely positive that I’ll be fairly exceptional.

This might sound a tad braggy, but really it’s more about my fear of failure and rejection.  And maybe it is about my pride. I’m sure it is.

It’s all wrapped up together really: fear of failure and pride.

Because what am I afraid of? That people will judge me and not think I’m awesome? Because mostly I’m not talking about life or death stuff, I’m talking about everyday life stuff and more specifically my post -ministry employment choices.

I started work with the United States Postal Service on Saturday. Continue reading


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Hazy Shade Of Winter

Apartment View~ Portland, OR~ January 2012

(Because life isn’t all sunshine and roses, I am posting something I wrote a few days after the New Year. In a couple of days, I will post the post script to this story.)

When I was in Louisiana over Christmas I walked to my parents’ church as the sun was setting at 6 PM. It was beautiful. Six PM! How novel! The sun sets at 4:40PM in Portland in December. It’s pretty brutal. Needless to say, it’s winter and my hibernation has begun. I find myself not wanting to walk the five or so blocks in the dark to see my friends up the street. I blame the darkness, but part of it is the uncertainty. I don’t have any answers to any of the questions people ask me and it overwhelms me.

When is your lease up on your apartment? January 31.

Do you know where you are going to move to? Nope.

What are you looking for? I don’t know.

How much do you want to spend? I don’t know.

Who is going to support you as you do full time ministry? I don’t know.

What are you going to say to people to encourage them to support you? I don’t know.

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know!

And what I really want to say is that if you can’t honestly reply with something that is actually helpful and constructive then DON’T ASK!

I don’t want to hear it. I don’t need your added disapproval heaped upon my personal feelings of failure and worthlessness. Trust that I do a pretty marvelous job of judging me. That position has been filled.

So I avoid situations with multiple people. Because what is worse than being asked all those questions; being asked all those questions in front of multiple people.

I feel old today. Old and tired and worn out. Like a toy on the shelf at Goodwill. Goodwill’s better than the alley, right?