Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Sense Of An Ending

Today is my last day in Irvine and it succeeds and fails at feeling like a last day.
I've slowly been packing and cleaning and making vague attempts at studying, but today lacks
the sense of closure that last year's move had.

The entire campus has summer in the air.
Everyone is exhausted from two semesters, and ready for the break.
So much time has passed,
and yet life has come down to blinking.

Time used to lag on and I felt so young for such a long time,
but it's as though I blinked last May and now here I am, hours from a
brand new May.

Saturday will mark an entire year since I've seen and hugged my dearest friends
in Oregon, and now we are no longer first year college students but half way-through with

My mind is perplexed by the entire thought of this.

Today is entirely ambiguous.
There is hardly any sense of a beginning,
just mere glimpses of the sense of an ending.

I pursued Concordia with hastiness and expectation,
but I have decided to go into the near and far futures with
little expectation and at a pace that I feel most comfortable in.

I don't know whether I'm sad today,
or whether it's the heat that's got me feeling unlike myself.
But I've been walking around all day with a familiar little knot in my stomach
that makes me acknowledge that an end is near.

My entire being knows that this is where it comes to another season of goodbye's.
Today I told my roommate that the most valuable lesson my last relationship taught me
was the importance of saying goodbye.

My life has accumulated more goodbye's these past three years than I like.
But the art of learning how to value and how to hold onto those we say goodbye to
is a lesson that I am learning to embrace.

So today is my last day as a sophomore in college (let's hope those credits transfer!),
it's my last day living in Irvine, California,
it's my last night sleeping in this dorm that has housed more lessons on adulthood than I had ever imagined,
and it's my last day (for now) with absolute beautiful individuals whose lives have blessed mine in ways I do not deserve.

I'm sad to see another year go,
but I have gotten so much wisdom and writing material out of these months.

George Fox showed me the direction I should pursue,
Concordia proved to me that I have potential in my talent and in that pursuit,
and now I am in search of what this talent means.

I went all the way north, to the good ol' PNW,
to come all the way south to the OC,
just to learn that where I was before college wasn't as bad as I had deemed it to be.

God is absolutely hilarious in all of this,
but He's got to know what He's doing more than I do ;)

the end.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Proverbs 31

At George fox University I once heard a
sermon on the Proverbs 31 woman.

Around that time I was surrounded by guys
who either claimed to have found their "P31 girl"
or were praying to one day find a "P31 girl."
Basically, they wanted a girlfriend who was wife material,
which isn't as weird as it sounds.
I mean, a lot of them were after good, honest, God-fearing women
and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I found that saying silly until I understood who that woman is.
And since then it has been one of my main goals in life to lead a life of character such as hers.
I'm nowhere near perfect, but the woman in Proverbs isn't either.
And, honestly, when I have found myself in situations that may greatly
reflect my character, I keep the thought of her near by.

Here is a link to break down who she is and what she means.

Take a look, it's actually rather interesting that the Bible addresses a woman
with such care and description. It shows just how valued women are in the eyes of God,
and that meeting his approval requires nothing but love for Him.

“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." 

                                                       Proverbs 31:29-30

And the rest of the passage can be read here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"What do you want to be?"

I've been asked this very question over and over.
I've probably had this blog post up before, as well.

However, sophomore year will be over in just five more days
and I am finally understanding what my response to the 
aforementioned questions implies. 

A professor took the time to sit with me on my birthday just
two weeks or so ago. And recently another professor has repeatedly sat and listened to
me before and after class. 

I can ramble on and on about anything -- as you guys know ;)

But since college is half way complete, I'm finding that these
rambles help me discover and verbalize and connect ideas that
I wasn't quite sure about before.

So I was asked about writing and, along those lines, asked
what it is I need to do, which essentially has the same answer.

Maybe I'm not even a writer, I said.
But do you need to do it? 
Yes. I need it.

And then she quoted someone about writing and I can't for the life of me
remember what that quote was or who said it, but it had to do with being a writer --
how a writer wasn't someone who merely chose to do so, but they needed to do so.

You get the point.

I had always doubted my age, experience, flaws, creativity, etc.
But my professors have this faith in me that is just uncanny.

Every writer thinks they're someone but only a few make it, I said.
But what if you're one of those few individuals? she asked.
And, well, that just pushed me to an endless goal...sort of like the individuals mentioned below:

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
- Willa Cather

A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
- Sidney Sheldon

People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.
- Harlan Ellison

You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money’s in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.
- Larry Niven

The End.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

because it's late and i should be sleeping, and instead i am thinking.

i have a not-so-secret-anymore secret.
i wasn't proud of it at first -- i'll admit.

here's the thing:
i went in to college with two ideas in my head.
the first was that i was going to prove that i could
move far away, quickly stumble upon some sort of success, and survive.
survive what? i don't know, life?

my second reason was that i would find some sort of crazy experience.
the kind with horrifyingly humorous scenarios that exemplify my youth.
i had thick skin that needed shedding and i felt that worldly things would
become the tree that i could scratch my back on and shed.

this is all old news.
and so on and so forth.



today my mom asked me a beautiful question.
i don't know how much intent was behind it,
and perhaps she might not even recall ever asking me the question.


but, the words came out of her mouth.
in between breaths, and due to my incessant need to verbalize
how i feel about my life and how i see it, and how baffling and amazing the
little pieces are -- the good and the bad alike.

i don't know if it's because of the season,
because i have words within me now -- words that make me want to take pen to paper and write --
or because it became an argument between jesse and i just last week.

or, perhaps, it's because i'm home.
because spring here the past three, four years has a distinct taste of nostalgia.
because today i told my mom that i'm not fifteen, i'm twenty --
and, boy, i'd be lying if i didn't admit that five years is one hell of a long time.
but that i feel fifteen and seventeen, and i am trying so very hard to not be angry at the
scenarios that have led me down this winding path.

so, back to the question.
she asked me if i felt that her and my dad contributed to why my college experience hasn't met my expectations. had i felt rushed? rushed out. rushed out for better things? rushed out of fear? rushed because in the moment i was seventeen and life felt like it had met its capacity?

"i'm not about to point fingers."
"what's done is done."
"i have been blessed."

"but" {but} "i would go back. i would go back and tell that girl, me, that everything would be okay. that i could be somebody. that i could achieve something. that i could go places."

i have a secret.
a not-so-secret secret.

i won't be living in orange county come this fall.
i don't know for certain where i'll be living, but i have an idea.
and the plan is to stay there for two years.
i'm one for planning, and i'm also one for not sticking to the plan,
but this plan has got to stick because maybe, maybe, i'm getting it right.

i kind of hope that i'm wrong and right.
because, here's the thing i would tell my fifteen and seventeen year old selves.

i would tell them that it all works out.
in the most unexpected, emotional, scattered, beautiful way,
it all works.

i would tell them that nothing was going to go according to plan.
that college isn't one big party, and life isn't something to be afraid of.

i would tell them to keep their eyes open.
to look for the bad in people that don't treat them well, and to run.
to know that people can't be fixed.

i would tell them to take their ap exams because they were capable of grades that
they'd never seen before.

i would tell them that, by the age of twenty, it'd be apparent that they'd probably be a writer.
that they would fall in love with films. films filled with pain and goodness and the human pursuit of a full life. that they would know in their bones that those moments -- those moments written on paper and caught by a strand of film would be the lens that they would potentially need to capture what they would witness in life.

i would tell them that anger is a lost cause.

i would tell them to move to oregon and then to orange county.

i would tell them to fall in love with the man who was the opposite of what they thought they would love in college. to shut up and learn from him a thing or two about life.

i would tell them that they would contemplate more than what their parents at times found bearable.
but that they should keep talking and writing it out.

i would tell them that, by twenty, their biggest regret would be their biggest success.

and i can't point fingers for this. it's solely me.

until very recently, when i would say that i will have attended three universities in three years
my skin would crawl with shame.
the words were hollow and they met the air only to create such distaste in my mouth.

i would look at the lives around me -- knowing that perfection is nonexistent -- and still feel like i hadn't met the criteria...some how and in some way.
i wanted a challenge, a failing grade, a good drink, a captured moment that i could show for.

and for what?
for everyone else.

sort of like two years ago.
sort of like three years ago.

always about other people in all the wrong ways,
and all about me in all of the selfish ways,



to be selfish at twenty has got to be the biggest privilege.
not many are given such a gift -- i realize.

it's selfishness in all the ways it should be:
finding whatever it takes to feel at peace.

for me, it's about peace and purpose.

and so i'm being selfish -- call it what you'd like.
and i'm moving.
and i'm not going to allow my skin to crawl with shame.
and the spring time that brings nostalgia will warm my heart rather than keeping it cold.
and my mom's question, well, i felt rushed out. but in all of the right ways that comes with a loving parent.

two years later, and i'm still getting it all right and all wrong in all of the right ways.
and that's one hell of a success.

i don't know anything about life other than you have to roll with the beautiful, inexplicable alterations and progressions that come with it.

the end.

p.s. writing at twelve a.m. requires some company.

Monday, April 7, 2014

goodbye, nineteen.

and hello, twenty.
well, almost...

yellow balloons are my favorite on days like tomorrow.
here's to not being young enough to know everything,
and to the beautiful unknown that suddenly begins again with a new year.

next year there will be a proper toast ;)
but for now, nineteen has taught me a multitude of lessons and brought me a multitude of blessings.
and that's worth more than any toast can attest to.

the end.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

And I'm back.

Blogging this semester has been blah -- and I'm sorry.
I wasn't really around for March, specifically; but that's okay.

Anyway, I'm back.
And this week signifies the beginnings of summer.
My assignments are dwindling and my stress level diminishing,
the light is at the end of the tunnel, all is well in its imperfections,
and my love will be here next weekend.

ALSO, that whole #100happydays thing that people have been doing...
...I started it too. And I'm loving it. I'm only on day three but I really
admire the whole concept of encouraging others to find something -- even one
little thing -- about their day that makes them happy.
I genuinely think that this could do my perspective some good,
and I hope to stick with it.

You can begin your 100 days here.

Anyhoo, the second part of my goal with this 100happydays thing
is to post here, on my blog, each day along with the picture.
The past three days have been crazy {hence why the dwindle has started}
but I'm ready to write again.

I can feel the words in my bones and they're good, and true, and so exciting.

So, here are my first three pictures {in no particular order}:

 This little is who I spend my mornings with. He's teaching me about love and patience and what it means to want to be a better person.
 He's currently learning about the concept of a book. And I might be loving his love of books more than he actually loves the books.
The sky the other morning was ridiculous. Sometimes the OC is so beautiful that I wonder how I never appreciated it until I moved here.

happy almost friday.



Today my mama bought me B.J. Novak's book, One More Thing, and I'm just dying to read it!