Amy Jane Helmericks

Amy Jane Helmericks


7 comments posted · 1 followers · following 0

507 weeks ago @ - Post · 0 replies · +1 points

I think suggestions and examples can be useful starting places or idea pools, but some of us are genuinely unique and have to burn our own trails.

I say this with mixed emotions because I sometimes tie my value to being "rare" and sometimes just feel lonely. I derive comfort from finding patterns that I line up with, but I also feel relief to not *quite* fit because I'm so deathly afraid of being *pegged* and therefore predictable.

Do you remember this line from The Hobbit: "You could tell what a Baggins would say on any topic without the trouble of asking him." ?

I think that is what I am the most afraid of. Not that I will be predictable (because I really do want to be consistent), but that anyone might guess they know me when they don't.

507 weeks ago @ - Post · 1 reply · +1 points

I've always imagined that it was straight-up discrimination (i.e. white=better) and had nothing to do with the color of the person who held it.

And I've always felt like I have no right to say so, even when I don't hold the view.

The trouble I've noticed recently is a tendency to arrange people in a hierarchy. Mine (confession time) has more to do with verbal/word ability and (I'm working on it! I really am!) BMI. As in, a fat articulate person comes in about the same level as a thin, inarticulate somebody.

I'm sure these reflect my own insecurities, but the fact is, I judge people. Just not on color. And I'm convinced (though don't expect to be justified) that everyone does.

521 weeks ago @ Becky Castle Miller - What Does Depression L... · 0 replies · +1 points

In the last two days I've told five or six people that I guess to be wrestling this. Safe people, though a couple might be irrelevant. It's like I'm trying to "normalize" it in my own mind: re-framing my thinking that has excluded this option (mostly unconsciously).

The main thing that lets me accept the idea now, rather than dismiss it, is that I read a description/check list of a couple depressions back in August, and nearly completely dismissed it. The few things that lightly applied were easy to explain away.

This time I was shaken by how applicable things seemed, and wondered how serious this could be. I started thinking in terms of What-if-this-were-real, and looking at recent behavior changes in this different framework. It was not an unreasonable story. And that combined with the applicable signs made me willing to "own" it, for an experimental phase, at least.

I really like what Lindsey said on her blog- making a distinction between situational and chemical depression. It gives me the hope/enlightenment that, yeah this really isn't about me, and I haven't been dangerously clueless for eons.

The sad thing is slowly connecting the dots that Joule (my dog, for you folks who don't know me) is probably gone because of this depression-I-didn't-know-existed. I don't have the (emotional) energy to take care of her. I thought it was physical and some other changes, but they're rooted deeper.

But having (and losing) on such a large scale is part of what opened my eyes to this is serious now.

As in, Lord-willing, the stress-season will be over in two months, but I didn't feel any possibility to stick it out with Joule for those two months. I had reached my limit. And putting it in this context was very enlightening.

541 weeks ago @ Stuff Christians Like ... - The North vs. the South. · 2 replies · +3 points

Okay, I now wish you had a searchable function on the comments of individual posts, because I want to see if any other Alaskans have posted.

In my area, between the University, Military, "adventurers," and refugees ("Alaska's the farthest you can run and still be in the U.S."), we have a continually refreshed crop (and spectrum!) of newbies. And as a community I think we're pretty hospitable as a result.

I know several people who ask new arrivals if they have "found a church yet" and (bless 'em) they're even good at offering a church that "fits" rather than a one-size-fits-all. I love this b/c it shows a level of awareness beyond the home church.

Being "confined" and in the dark (deeperandlongerthanyouthankyouverymuch) has the opposite effect for locals-- those not hermitting are chatting it up where ever we go. Combine that w/ all the newbies (freaking out about the light or the dark, depending what season they arrived in) and you have all sorts of personal conversations in the public library.

I live right in the center ("Interior Alaska"), making me more northern than the residents of Anchorage (our state's largest city) and so I believe the differences you describe have near-nothing to do with Latitude and more to do with personal intensity and speed of life in your area.

Small example: you want know why everybody's out of character on Sunday afternoon? They're not; They're simply showing the more-intense side of their character you get to see less-often.

And just as we use self as the measure of all things, we feel most at-home with those who live at an intensity similar to our own. This, I think, is why we notice differences most when we move: we've acclimated.

547 weeks ago @ How-To Hospitality - Impromptu Ladies' Night · 0 replies · +1 points

That's the impression I got, yeah.

She mentioned it as an embarrassment and didn't go into detail (it was in a speech-- about somebody else) but I was very impressed.

547 weeks ago @ How-To Hospitality - Impromptu Ladies' Night · 2 replies · +1 points

I've been told (by someone who knows better than me...) that throwing a whole salmon sans soap into a dishwasher ends surprisingly well.

But I imagine someone who buys her salmon wouldn't be willing to experiment about it.

553 weeks ago @ Ron Edmondson - How an Introvert Handl... · 1 reply · +1 points

It doesn't surprise me at all that you notice so many pastors are introverts. a) "It takes one to know one' (You know what you're looking at) and b) I'm convinced one needs a rich internal life (along w/ contentment/willingness, even eagerness to be alone) to *be* a pastor. It's like being a writer (which I have more experience with).

Me in a crowded room?

If I can't avoid it, and I have the energy I (mentally) play host/ess-- be the initiator/connector. But it usually disintegrates into latching on to an individual like you said-- maybe I'm just interviewing "hosts". I have my mother's voice in my head (and no electronic gizmos) so I can't hide in plain sight.

One nice thing is that I currently attend a church where introverts are the majority: 2/3 to 3/4 of us, I estimate. We have regular "relationship-building" time every week between sermon & Sunday school, and a monthly potluck where we all sit down together for a few hours.

Starting a non-purposed conversation is usually hard, and picking a place to sit at potluck, but once settled it's delightful for an introvert: meaningful conversation with the 1-3 people in earshot, rather than 16 how-are yous in 15-minutes.

Granted, this set up is best for pro-active extroverts (I know some who appear to be systematically working through the whole congregation) but it has allowed me to build real relationships with people where I didn't expect it.