Sunday, September 19, 2010

And the Winner Is

The day started out with my first APU chapel. As soon as I entered the stadium and the music started to play I was reminded of my love for student community. Being in a room surrounded by students and staff alike was beautiful and fulfilling. To put a the proverbial cherry on top, the speaker was Shauna Neiquist. She spoke about challenge, growth, death, and redemption. If you have yet to read her work-- I urge you to do so. Through it I was inspired; I felt she was writing exactly what I was feeling.
After that uplifting experience I headed off to work. We (Amanda, Rebekah, and I) decided that we wanted to be crafty with our advertising. Earlier that week Amanda and I scoured the dumpsters for cardboard and headed to Michael's to buy 21 beautiful colors of paint. Needless to say, I was overjoyed to be given the task of painting. As I had already painted a number of pieces of cardboard, I decided it was time to dress them up-- so that took up the next hour.
Now it was time for the free, semi-exclusive (but not really), lunch with Shauna. Yes please. As I sat in the room of females and listened to so many of them pour out their heart and thanks for her words I was also reminded. My mind went back to the time that I read her first book, Cold Tangerines. Stephanie Slotsema brought it with her to Uganda and recommended that I read it. Since we were often without electricity and little to do after 7 pm, I gladly took her up on that offer. And I wasn't the only one; Stephanie (from Germany) also read it. I still find it difficult to express what that book meant to me and to the others in the house. Being in Uganda was not an easy task and Shauna's words lifted us up, encouraged us, and gave us a renewed strength. I, of course, tried to verbalize this at Friday's lunch but alsas, my fear of public speaking kicked in and I fear that I didn't at all portray the immense gratitude I felt at that moment.
After the lunch I finished the poster stuff and went out for coffee with Tiffany (a 2nd year and an intern in my office). It was a time of honesty and learning. I love times like this.
When I finally landed home in the late afternoon I...think I took a nap. Or painted. Or wrote notes, but I really can't remember.
After supper I headed to a housewarming party for Tiff and her 5 roommates. Though I had mild associations with Tiff's friends, I really didn't know anyone else. The next two hours were not easy for me but, surprisingly, not too difficult either. I found that if I put forth an effort and was semi-intrusive (because let's face it, that's the only way to break into a group of friends), I could engage in legitimately good conversation. For example, I learned that a 1 yr pass to Disneyland is only $16 a month, if someone says you have to swing dance you shouldn't lie and say you don't know how because they'll teach you anyway, and Michael Buble tickets are quite costly. After all that and more, I decided I needed to go to bed.

Today I slept in as long as I wanted, which was beautiful. Then I went to the post office, picked someone off the street and drove them to a hospital, and went to the gym. The rest of the day I read. Of course the location and subject matter differed, but nonetheless, I solidly read for the next 6 hours.

I suppose the question is this: which day did I glean more from? The one that took up a bazillion lines, or the one that took up 5? If you haven't guessed yet, it's the former. As much as I love reading about buggers and piggies, I really desire and thrive on contact of the human type. If you've been hoping to find a 'moral of the story' this would be it. Even though being with people is hard, emotionally draining, and sometimes undesirable...I still pick it. I think it's worth the hastle, late nights, and hard conversations...truly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Along the Way

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking. That's not to say I don't normally think...but I think my synapses have been firing extra hard because of the amount of alone time I've been having.
So I ponder stuff...
I wonder if I'll ever see the wonderful people I met in Uganda again. I hope so...I miss them a lot. I find it strange that I have such a strong connection to them and my heart aches to see them again-- soon.
I wonder if I'll find friends here who know me like the ones I left this past May. Friends who I feel so comfortable around. Friends who have been so encouraging to me even while I'm far away.
I wonder if the reading for my classes will ever end.'s intense. Oh well, that's grad school.
I wonder how many people in the world are shallow. My heart has been broken over and over again by stories of harsh words and a critical tongue. Can't men think women are beautiful just being them (and vice versa)? I have my doubts.
I wonder if I'll ever get sick of coffee. Oh dear. I hope not.
I wonder if I'll ever be brave enough to write with pure and unabashed honesty.
I wonder if the words I speak to others are heard, or if when they seem like they aren't listening they really aren't...listening.
I wonder how much more I can write before I become too embarrassed to share my thoughts with my 'blog audience'.
Mmk. I think I've hit that point.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

White Nike Socks

Today I read about...
Marathons. I don't know how many of you know, but I'm not allowed to "real" run...ever again. When my second doctor told me this after my second knee surgery I was disbelieving. "Yeah right" I though, "I recovered fine from my first and this one will be the same way". Well it wasn't. I have never gained my muscle back and have trouble with everyday things like...walking. Just yesterday I was hobbling down the stairs when my knee buckled and I fell (don't worry mom, it happens all the time:). I have always known that I have a disadvantage and my body is quite literally falling out of its sockets.
Unfortunately for me, I love to be active and, even more, I love to push myself. I have, admittedly, run since that horrid man told me I couldn't. But my actions have had brutal consequences that I have had to face. For example, and I think this brings it full circle, my whole life I have loved to competitively run. When I was in 8th grade and had just purchased my first pair of spikes and crisp white Nike socks I came home and decided that I wanted to go to the state track meet. So I put away one pair of those white socks and vowed to keep them until I made it. Let's just say those socks definitely got worn a few times.
I also remember going through a period of being truly confused and, for the first time in my life, a little bit mad at God [note: I really don't ever get angry...this was a big deal]. I have never understood why I am 23, love to physically exert myself, and have such a strong limit. I'm still a little angry about it but...
Today I also read about...
Challenges. While doing the meet and greet with my boss, Shino, we stopped at the campus pastor's office. While we were all talking I was, of course, looking over her book collection. I noticed she had 'Bittersweet' by Shauna Niequist (who also wrote 'Cold Tangerines'). Of course I had to ask her about it and in return for my curiosity I was handed my very own hardcover copy; easily made my day. As I read the prologue I was immediately convicted by the words. Or maybe I was just immediately drawn in by her expansive vocabulary and natural ability to tell stories. Either way, I loved that she pointed out the difficulty that so often seems to overshadow the joy of Christianity; "the central image of the Christian faith is death and rebirth."
I have always said that I appreciate the process of disequilibrium and hardship-- learning is fun! But when I really begin to think of the implications that go along with what I so desperately yearn for, I'm not sure I am all about that whole 'going through hardship' stuff. So I'm lamenting. I'm not happy that I am not allowed to do the things I was born to love. But I do think the fact that not being able to do them forces me to question and grow.
By the way, I'm not giving up on that whole running thing.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Variable-Interval Blog Posting

For the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about my blog or, rather, lack thereof. The constant desire to amend this has haunted me but obviously I'm not afraid of ghosts (harhar).
Today another roommate is moving in and honestly, I have failed to think of something else I would rather do while the crazy is happening outside my bedroom door. So I've turned to blogging the unknown.
I suppose I could start with what I have been doing the last couple of weeks. I arrived safely in CA after a beautiful, terrifying, and strangely relaxing drive. The first couple of days were spent meeting and greeting the friends of a fellow Northwestern->Azusa friend. These adventures involved a lot of firsts including, but not limited to, pools in the apartment complexes, beer pong, In-N-Out, and tours of the now less confusing campus of APU.
The next Sunday I met my office. Technically, I work in the office of the Associate Dean (Shino) but for the Women's Resource Center (still Shino). Sharing our office is All-Student Leadership. The people that make up the office are: Shino, Jeannette (admin), Tiff (2nd year grad for ASL), Kristen (undergrad for ASL), Rebecca (2nd year for WRC), me (1st year grad for WRC), and Amanda (undergrad for WRC). If I were to be completely honest, I'd tell you I have issues with working in groups. But this blog is not the place to talk about my (many) personality issue(s). So instead I'll just say this will be a year of challenge, growth, and a LOT of fun; I already know I have been blessed with an amazing office full of people that I have already grown to cherish.
This year I will be a part of the initiation and/or programming of many large and (compared to NW) extravagant events. I think it will be a lot of work...but I am truly excited for it.
I did meet my cohort(graduate class) last Tuesday. There are about 45 of us. Honestly, I didn't make too much of an effort to get to know them yet-- I'm not a big fan of random mingling. However, I think once class starts connections will be made.
Between a couple of the above sentences I went to Pasadena to meet up with a couple of NW people. The time was really great...even though we really didn't talk much about Northwestern. I think the comfort of a common base was a large part of said greatness.
Well. I think that's a sufficient life update. Hopefully in the future I will be more proactive with my blog...but no promises.