Friday, January 22, 2010

Definitely, Maybe

The past few weeks have brought some random occurrences into my life. The good news is I don't mean that negatively. My passion for writing which had lacked since Christmas has reignited. God is beginning to open a few doors. Now, I must wait. Wait for something to change. In the words of Dr. House, "It's one of the great tragedies of life. Something always changes." In my case, I'm looking forward to change. I'm at a place where I can simply sit back and enjoy the ride. I have a nondescript semester as far as my classes are concerned. I have the next few months to truly think about where I'm headed. It's a luxury that most people don't have when they go straight to college from high school. Matters of the heart are currently at my fingertips and heavy on my mind. I have resigned myself to be indifferent until there is at least a tiny bit of certainty. I learned from Charlotte Lucas that one must not be too indifferent to achieve Scarlett O'hara's goal "to catch a husband." Although somedays it seems like that is the game we are playing, I want to play the game of life and love. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose..."sometimes you turn your back to the wind." (You should always throw in lyrical references when possible.) I'm trying hard not to let my bad experiences define me, but to allow all my experiences to shape me. God, I know you are in control. Change my heart or change the situation. Direct me and point me to your ways. I really get lost without you.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jane Austen Ruined My Life

I have been devouring a novel titled "Jane Austen Ruined My Life" for the past few days. It is not a difficult read, but it speaks increasingly to my heart. The main character, Emma, finds herself in London in search of the missing letters of Jane Austen. She ends up running into her long lost best friend, whom she lost contact with after marrying Edward, the jerk she caught cheating with her teaching assistant on their kitchen table.
The idea of being born to be Cinderella is not far from the minds of most little girls. When you get older you discover life is not a fairy tale and guys are not princes. Given we are not princesses either, life is far from a Disney movie. At times I find myself incredibly critical toward the thought of falling in love. Other days I am completely immersed in the search for my happy ending. A character in the book replies to Emma's desire for happy endings like this, "Is that what you look for in relationships? An ending?" I've never heard it put better. I have never been engaged or married and I cannot comprehend the emptiness that must come from a divorce. I have, however, been cheated on and lied to. It was not a pleasant experience. In the last few months I have discovered that unexpected betrayals of a more complicated kind are harder to deal with. At least cheating is easy to understand. They went to someone else in place of you. Having friends just walk away for a secret list of long-coming complaints is harder to comprehend.
I find myself drawn to someone right now, but completely insecure about allowing those feelings to show, even if only to myself. Vulnerability is a captivating state. Once there, it is hard to recover. This book also follows Emma's personal desire to write. Edward discouraged it during their marriage as a useless activity. As Emma finds new strength and hope, she finds her pen and her voice once more. I am reminded of the joy and release that comes from allowing your own thoughts to flow through your fingers and be collected and embodied in a physical state. The more I learn about myself, the more I have to say and the more I desire to write it down. Keeping the worry, fear, pain, joy, and expectation inside is emotionally lethal. Writing is my anti-drug as the commercials would say.
Luckily, I have many years to go before I give up on a happy ending or should I say a "happy forever."

Friday, January 15, 2010

In My Opinion

I have known for some time that I am physically capable of speaking what is on my mind. A more recent development is the action of actually doing it. I am currently discussing, unashamedly, my differing opinion on my facebook wall for all to see. Not only that, but the conversation is between me and a guy from church that my dad worked with in Rangers. AND it is concerning one of my dad's all time favorite people, Rush Limbaugh. Rush made a comment to a caller on his radio show about Americans already helping Haiti involuntarily through income tax. Is this really the time to argue over taxes? Do I think the government is quickly reaching an unsafe level of power and say in our lives? Sure. Am I going to use this disaster as a platform to demonstrate that? Heck no. Don't even get me started on Pat Robertson. If ever there was a deterrent to the Christian religion it is this man. I believe the Bible is 100% true. The Bible clearly records God destroying cities for their disobedience. The flood, a natural disaster, purged the Earth of evil doers. One could also point out that these events occurred in the Old Testament before Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice to give us forgiveness. I don't think it is our place to judge which people should be swiped from the face of the Earth or suffer for their misdeeds. I can nearly guarantee America is number 1 in many crimes and addictions. Robertson also made a similar comment after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Wouldn't Las Vegas go before the coast of Louisiana?
I have lived through three horrific events which I can clearly recall. I was in seventh grade, Ms. Knox's science class, when the first plane hit the WTC. I can still see the teacher walking in the door and whispering the news to Ms. Knox. Most of all, I remember her saying they had been instructed not to tell students, but we "[needed] to know." I remember the devastating pictures streaming from New Orleans and in even recent months video of mobile homes still occupied by Katrina's victims. This week I am watching terrifying events unfold across an ocean. Haiti is not the other side of the world, but it's not my backyard. Still, there are children, wounded and orphaned, sleeping on the streets. People are becoming frustrated in their frantic search for survival necessities. What sticks out most to me at this moment are the thousands of volunteers rushing to the aid of strangers. Although we are constantly bickering economically with China, US soldiers and relief workers are working side by side among Chinese teams.
For Christians, this is an opportunity to show the LOVE of God, not the anger. He is slow to anger and quick to forgive and comfort. I don't feel comfortable saying ANYthing about who should be/was an object of God's wrath. I have sinned multiple times today, but I'm still sitting here on my bed, in my home, in a free country. God is not in this business for revenge. "Vengeance is the Lord's." The dictionary adds an important phrase to the definition of revenge. It makes a point to include the presence of a "vindictive spirit" and also adds "to gain satisfaction." I personally believe, and I am NO Biblical scholar, that the End of Days will be God's vengeance. An article on, a Christian based research tool, notes this:

The fifth seal judgment of Revelation 6:9-11 describes the souls of those martyred during the Tribulation “because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained.” They will correctly interpret what they see going on around them during the Tribulation, calling on people to repent and believe the Gospel. The Antichrist and his followers will not tolerate this and will kill them. These are people who must have been alive before the Rapture, but who were not believers until afterward. Therefore, there will be opportunity to come to Christ after the Rapture.

I have to believe that these events I've seen are results of the imperfect world we live in. We all suffer when there is a world crisis. Every person on this planet makes up humanity. When there is a great loss of life it is a fatal wound to that humanity. It brings humility because the outsiders are just as susceptible as the victims. If America became the helpless and Haiti the strong would we not prefer there help in time of need over their judgement? Treat your neighbor as yourself. It's the first thing you learn no matter your background. In school we are rebuked for calling names or hitting. Why should a six year old listen to a teacher telling them to stop? Because they wouldn't enjoy the tables being turned. I have a problem with those that think they have reached the highest heights. None of us are perfect. None of us are protected from temptation no matter the sin. We are not immune to societal pressure just because my friends and I believe in Jesus and long to be like him.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
In the past few months I have become keenly aware of my need for God, but also how quickly people are to judge. My failures resulted in the loss of relationships I thought were strong. Others have put themselves above me. I want God to change me. I want Him to be constantly at work in my life. If I am busy correcting others' mistakes I will undoubtedly miss the plank in my own eye.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And So It Begins

Unfortunately, the new semester starts tomorrow morning at 9am. I have a different schedule this semester which does not permit such long weekends. As crappy as the beginning of the semester is seeming, the pros and cons are pretty even for me right now.
1) ASU's website says to be prepared for hazardous conditions all over campus, recommending "yak-trax" for shoes, and yet does not cancel or delay classes at all.
2) I have to replace my tires on my car. I love run-flats and they make me feel much better when I'm driving from state to state, but they cost an outrageous amount. The mini has to be left at home this week.
3) My classes, although my choice, are random and apply very little to my now intended major other than electives.
4) My advisor actually admitted he read my email, but was confused by it and did NOTHING to resolve the situation.
5) They begin showing my apartment the first of February which means no sneaking in the cat.

1) I got a new zero X-posure coat for Christmas. The weather in Dirty Mo has been too warm to wear it with the fleece layer. Wind chills below zero promise better days for the coat.
2) My brother has a pathfinder that he doesn't drive often. Therefore I get to master the snow in four wheel drive and take all of my clothes in one trip.
3) I picked my classes so if I don't like them it is my fault and no one elses.
4) After a five minute conversation my "advisor" caved and sent me my pin so I could register.
5) I AM GOING TO NASHVILLE IN JUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thus, I am able to begin this freezing Spring semester with a somewhat positive attitude. More time at my own place means I will eat better and exercise more. AND in less than 5 months I am done with ASU FOREVER.

Friday, January 8, 2010

College: The Best 7 Years of My Life

Ironically, when I bought that mug at the Great Escape in Nashville I was unaware of how relevant it would become to my life. The past week has been a whirlwind of changing mental and emotional tides. Fortunately, they have been positive thus far. When we ask God for a sign, as we often do because we don't trust ourselves to listen for only His voice, we have no idea what we are looking for. It is a definite case of "I'll know it when I see it." Monday night I set out for Nashville to be part of Textravaganza. But the Mini, as fabulous as it is, could not take snow and uphill motion combined. I turned around and headed home. The next night I arranged a nanny night. I enjoy stealing Reagan from her mother because I am second in Reagan's eyes only to her mommy. Thus, when you eliminate the mother, nanny becomes #1! Later that night I was sitting on the floor playing with Reagan when Tonja nonchalantly commented, "you should work in pediatric occupational therapy. That's what they do, get them to crawl thru tunnels and other fun games." At the time I was attempting to entice Reggae to crawl through a mesh hamper that the bottom had been cut out of and eventually I succeeded. (Because I am Nanny, obviously.) At the time I thought, "it wouldn't hurt to look up some info, but whatever." On our way home my mom voiced her agreement with the suggestion. Right then I realized that on our way to their house just a few hours earlier I had made the comment, "I think I would like Tonja's job if you didn't have to deal with mean old people." Sure enough, my OT aunt, changed my life. That may be slightly dramatic, but my thinking did change. Over the next few days I looked at photos, videos, read articles, and anything else that related to pediatric occupational therapy. I loved what I saw. In my education classes at App I've always been drawn to the courses on Special Education. Pediatric OT is bringing the most basic dreams of parents and children to fruition. I will spend my days playing games with children as small as infants to adolescents. Games that will enhance their everyday life. There is no room for complacency in therapy. The goal is change.
So as my coffee cup says, college will in fact be the best 7ish years of my life...until I go to work.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Contrary to what the title may suggest, I will not be critiquing the above mentioned film. However, I did just go see it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd rank it second to Two Weeks Notice (which is a pretty big deal).
This may just be a strange habit of mine, but I tend to analyze my own life and perspective while watching the movie. Most of the time I don't know I'm doing it until I walk out of the theater and realize I feel different than when I went in. I'm sure the movie makers would chalk that up to their films, but I don't see many truly life changing movies these days. Tonight when I entered I had no specific struggle or plan. I wasn't concocting a scheme of world domination. I just went to see a movie with a friend. When I got home I somehow ended up reading my first couple blogs. I started this right when I started college and there is a significant change between now and the "early years." The amazing part is that I am not negatively affected by said changes. I am actually encouraged.
There are, of course, the obvious points. I am a parent shorter than I ever expected to be at twenty. I am a year behind in school and enrolled at the one university I renounced for four years in high school. On any other day these considerations would weigh me down. Instead, I feel a sense of accomplishment in keeping my sanity. I don't like where I'm going to school, but I'm on my way somewhere else. And "else" keeps getting better everyday. Perhaps I am still on a friend high from Kindall and Nashville. Whatever the reason, I like it and I want it to stay this way. After all it is only the second day of the year. It would be such a shame to become negative so soon.