On waiting

My grad sch0ol applications are finally completed and sent in!  After months of painstakingly choosing schools, asking professors for recommendation letters, filling out the applications, and writing statements of purpose and other various essays, my grad school apps are finished!  It was such a relief to send the last one in and be done with that process… until the next morning when the waiting began.

Since I had been so focused on my studies and my applications, I hadn’t really given much thought to where I am going when I graduate or what I wanted to do.  Some thought, but not too much.  So with my mind now free from last semester’s insane schedule and my applications, I now have plenty of time to ponder and try to plan for life post-graduation.  However… it is really a waiting game.  I have to wait to hear back from grad schools.  I have to wait to apply for jobs.  I have to wait to try to find an apartment.  All this waiting; I think I might go crazy.  I do not like to wait.  I like to know so that I can plan.  Instead, I find myself waiting and having to trust God that He will actually take care of me like He promised He would.  He tells me not  to worry.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, not about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the over, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  There do not be anxious, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:25-34

God will take care of me.  He will provide for me because He loves me.  And He will show me what to do and where to go when it is time to know and prepare.  Today, I just need to focus on Him and live life.  Today has its own troubles to deal with – no need to focus on hypothetical future problems.   So I will continue to wait and know that God’s plan for my life will be all that He has promised.

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On becoming alive

As I sat in one of my favorite coffee shops yesterday, I realized that I felt apathetic about life.  I desperately wanted to feel, even if that meant feeling sad or angry.  While I was journaling about this lack of emotion that I felt, my friend walked into Grounds, came over, and invited me to her table with two of her other friends.  I joined, and we all started talking.  We connected about random, sometimes ridiculous things.  And all of a sudden, I realized that I was feeling again.  I was feeling alive again.  Why?  Because I was connecting.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking, pondering, and considering what I want to do when I graduate.  I am single and free to go anywhere and do anything.  I want to pursue my dreams and passions, which I believe that God has laid upon my heart.  I’ve dreamed about many different things.  Moving to Seattle.  Moving to England.  Moving to Boston.  Moving to Spain.  The last place I want to move is back home with my parents.  And until quite recently, the second to last place I wanted to be is Bowling Green, Ohio.  I moved to Bowling Green for school in August 2006.  And it has been a great place for me to grow and really become myself.  However, I have never dreamed about staying in BG.  I didn’t even want to come here for school.  But as I have been really delving into my soul to realize my dreams, I have come to realize what I want to do with my life.

I want to connect with people.  Through writing.  Through social justice organizations.  Through teaching.  Through being friends.  Through investing in each other’s lives.  That is what I want to do.  Connecting with people makes me come alive.  It makes me feel.  Yes, I have been hurt, and I will be hurt by people.  But being hurt is no longer enough of a reason for me to run away from people.  I would rather feel and connect with them than run away and withdraw.  So that is what I am going to do… now to just figure out how… and that might mean that I stay in Bowling Green and continue to connect with people.  Who knows?

Honesty Survey from Facebook

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth?  My toothbrush

2.Where was your profile picture taken? Jake & Emily Miley’s wedding

3.Can you play Guitar Hero? Of course 🙂

4.Name someone who made you laugh today? Lo.  “I like ’em big; I like ’em chunky.”  Ummmmyeah.  🙂

5.How late did you stay up last night and why? 2:30ish to watch The Proposal

6.If you could move somewhere else, would you? Yes, definitely yes.

7 Ever been kissed under fireworks? No.

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you? Ummm… I think Andrew Bruner…

9. Do you believe exes can be friends? Yes, my closest friend is technically my ex.  But to be honest, it doesn’t always work, nor it is always a good idea.

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? 23  flavors of deliciousness

11. When was the last time you cried really hard? Sometime in the past month…?

12. Who took your profile picture? Christy Boggs.

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of? Group pic of Rich, Katelyn, Cary, and Matt.

14. Was yesterday better than today? Ummm… I don’t know?  Both had their ups and downs…

15. Can you live a day without TV? Yes.

16. Are you upset about anything ? Upset? No…. worried?  Bothered?  Yea…

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? Definitely, but they are hard work.

18. Are you a bad influence? Depends… but I would say mostly good.

19. Night out or night in? I need definitions of ‘night out’ and ‘night in’ to really answer that question…

20. What items could you not go without during the day? Cell phone, clothes, water, pen & paper, coffee…

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? My grandmother.

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say? “I love you too.”

23. How do you feel about your life right now? It is a rollercoaster.  Up and down.  Here and there.  But it is good.  🙂

24. Do you hate anyone?  No.

25. If we were to look in your face book inbox, what would we find? Many messages.  What else would you find in an inbox?

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass? Of course 🙂

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before? Yes.

28. What song is stuck in your head? Strangely enough, I don’t have a song stuck in my head at the moment.

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be? Honestly?  One of my close friends.

30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50? Absolutely not.

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow? Write a Spanish presentation.

33. Do you smile a lot? I don’t know… sometimes?

Washington, D.C.

I am going to Washington, D.C.

Let me repeat that.  I am going to Washington, D.C.

Why the big deal?  I am going to How It Ends lobby days for Invisible Children.  I am going to be a political activist.

UmmmWOW.  At least for me.  My good friends John and Andrew (and I, of course) decided to go to How It Ends on Sunday night.  So we signed up.  Now we are going.  It is huge for all of us.  For the first time, we are putting our ideas into action.  We are doing something about what we say we care about and are passionate about.  It is scary.  I have never made a habit of acting on my dreams and passions.  I have never really pursued anything to the point of action.

What am I doing today to pursue my dreams and passions?  What steps am I taking?  These questions have really challenged me recently.  I have really actually begun to realize how scary it can be to pursue dreams.  What if I fail?  What if I can’t do what I want to do?  What I try to do?  What if I am supposed to pursue something else?  What if this?  What if that?  What if anything else?  What if???

As scary as pursuing my dreams and passions can be, it is worth facing my fears and doubts.  Why?  Because when I don’t, I feel very apathetic and worthless.  Because when I do, I am fully alive and passionate.  I am no longer just sitting around waiting for life to come find me.  Waiting for graduation when I will face the “real world”.  I am no longer passive.  I am no longer complacent.  I am alive.  I am putting my thoughts and dreams into action.  I am showing that I care.  I can change the world.  Because as my favourite quote states, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Ghandi).  If everyone waits for someone else to start, nothing will ever change.

So that is my challenge to you.  What are you doing now to pursue your dreams and passions?

Elusion

My thoughts are eluding me this afternoon.  I’m not quite sure how that is possible, but it is.  Somehow, they are escaping my mind without me having the chance to ponder them.  This is highly unfortunate, because all that I can remember from my thoughts is that I had some that I deemed worthy of further consideration.

I’m feeling rather restless today; I’m not sure why.  I’ve been challenged recently to reconsider my perspectives on life.  So I am.  I’ve been thinking a lot.  Wondering about different situations.  Attempting to not overanalyze or read into anyhing.  There is a difference between noticing something and wondering about it and overanalyzing something.  Instead of coming to any solid, concrete conclusions or realizations about my life, I have been contemplating and asking many, many questions.  And it seems as if the more questions I ask, the more questions I encounter.  Without very many answers.  Some situations in my life are very up in the air.  I can do whatever I want to do.  But what is that?  The thought of change appeals to me, but when it comes to actually changing. . . I’m more hesitant.  I like security and comfort.  The unknown, while intriguing, kinda freaks me out.  Most likely because I am a control freak.  I like to know exactly what is going on, what to expect, etc.  But that doesn’t involve having to trust.  Letting go of control and trusting God is perhaps the scariest thing I will ever have to face.  I know He will take care of me though.  He has a particular plan for me.  For my life.  I will make an impact.  Touch the lives of many people.  Show them love.  But how?  The answers seem to elude me. . . or is it the right questions that are eluding me?

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

I’m a little bit crazy.  Don’t worry, just a tad bit.  Not too much 😉  Why am I crazy?  Well, aside from the many, varied, and somewhat obvious reasons, I am crazy today because I agreed to get up and meet friends for breakfast at 7 am on a day that I didn’t have to be awake until 10 am.  Anyway, one of my friends mentioned something about life or happiness – I don’t quite remember; I was still half asleep.  And my tired brain automatically connected whatever my friend said with the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  And suddenly, I had a thought that I promptly announced I would blog about in a few hours, a declaration met with laughter from my friends.

My thought was this.  Why isn’t the phrase “life, liberty, and happiness”?  Why is happiness a pursuit and not an inherent quality?  And even if it isn’t an inherent quality, why is it something to pursue and not a natural state?  Why are people always so dissatisfied with life that they have to pursue happiness instead of enjoying the life they are blessed with?  I understand that life sometimes brings unforeseen circumstances that can be difficult, painful, and sad.  In those circumstances, pursuing happiness would be admirable.  However, life is not always full of negative situations.  I can be a fairly negative person at times, so maybe this is more a reflection and thought for myself, but I feel as if people should refocus their perspectives on life.  Be happy.  Enjoy the myriad of blessings in life, from sunshine to music to friends to whatever makes you happy . . . pursue your passions and desires . . . the sky is the limit.

What am I looking for?

Pride looks to receive. Fear looks to what can be lost. Love looks to give.

A friend shared this insight with me this summer.  I turned the thought over in my mind, exploring the many implications it had for my life at the time.  Now, six months or so later, the changes in my life have brought an entirely new perspective to the statement.

I am really struggling to deal with my life right now for a smattering of reasons.  Without delving into that complexity, suffice it to say that I am almost paralyzed by fear because I do not trust.  While six months ago, I was struck by the insight on pride, I am currently exploring the multiplicity of ways that fear plays into my life.  I am so afraid.  Terrified to lose.  To lose my relationship with a friend who came into my life unexpectedly and quite possibly understands me better than I understand myself.  To lose my freedom and independence and become constrained and repressed.  To lose the very desires and opportunites that I so desperately long for at times.  To lose the semblance of control that I attempt to maintain in my life.  I am so overwhelmed by these fears that I am slowly becoming paralyzed – incapable of dealing with life.  I am overwhelmed.  I over-analyze each and every situation.  I worry about life so ridiculously far in the future.  Ironically, as I make plans for five and six years from now, I do not know where I will be in nine months.  I could be where I am now.  I could be in Staffordshire, England.  I simply don’t know yet.  While that freaks me out just a little, it is not nearly causing me as much concern as looking at graduate schools.  Or thinking about what career I might want to pursue.  Or if I will ever be in a relationship.  Will I ever see myself for who I really am?  What am I doing with my life?  Am I pursuing God?  Am I listening to Him?   What will the legacy of my life be?  Will I have touched people?  Shown them that I care?  Loved them?  What will the trace of my existence be?

A thousand thoughts fly through my mind at any given moment.  Some vanish; some bear further introspection.  While pondering such musings, I should remember to focus my perspective.  If I am looking to love, what am I willing to give?  Am I willing to be vulnerable?  To give of myself?  To pour myself into my relationships?  To be the best friend that I can be?  To be there for people?  To sacrifice?  Am I willing to love?  After all, isn’t it better to have love and lost, than to not have loved at all?