Transformation

transformation

I’ve had a few changes in my life recently.  Nothing dramatic, but it has served to change my perspective somewhat.  Among my latest updates have been newly pierced ears, a shorter haircut, a new smartphone (all of my previous phones were flip phones), and a new residence.  So far, I’m handling the changes pretty well.  To me, these small adjustments represent an outward sign of an inward commitment to change the way I do life.  Sometimes I am so determined and focused on a certain activity that I limit myself by spending the majority of my time and energy towards that particular facet of my life.

Perhaps college has caused this change of thinking.  In high school, I hardly ever had extensive homework.  After all, there were rarely enough textbooks for the entire class, so realistically, take-home readings couldn’t be assigned.  The hardest part of high school was just making it through the long school day.  Because school didn’t take up much of my evening and weekend time, I felt free to do all sorts of other things:  acting, dancing, volunteering, babysitting, traveling, etc.

And then I went to college.  The class time didn’t feel as long, but there were certainly more homework, more independent studying, and more responsibilities.   Now suddenly, I had more free time than ever.  I could choose to spend that time reading, writing, and studying OR I could choose to use my time in other ways, like hanging out with friends, surfing the internet, or going out to parties.  All of the latter activities I frankly felt to be wasted time, given that I was a full-time student with scholarships on the line and my own reputation as a good student at stake.  Therefore, I committed my whole existence to doing everything right academically.  Do the assigned readings; turn homework in on time; meet the professors during office hours; write a paper; revise a paper; study the material discussed in class; ask good questions during lecture; answer instructors’ questions during class; etc.  But that life can get dull after a while.  It will make you crazy.

In the past couple of years, it seems I lost sight of what was truly important.   Now with newfound determination and clarity, I am endeavoring to change that.  I am hoping the change of scenery and pace in the coming season will help to elucidate my forthcoming decisions.

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The Fatal Error

Forgive me…  I have made a fatal error in the blogging world:  I have neglected to post anything in several weeks.  Most dedicated blog authors submit posts daily, even multiple times a day.  At the very least, they post on a somewhat consistent basis.  I have failed and I hope my few readers will not hold this shortcoming against me.

Hopefully, as the summer season begins, I will be able to think more clearly and write more often.  In school, my #1 complaint was always about writing.  I hated it.  Oh, I was good at it, don’t get me wrong.  But it just took so much time and energy for me to muster up anything that I felt like was worthwhile.  I just didn’t see the point in it all.  My energy seemed better directed towards the fields of math and science.  At least there I could usually figure out the definite answer or the correct process.  Writing is a whole different ballpark.

When I came to college, I soon realized that writing was not as bad as what I had made it out it be.  Journaling became a new hobby for me.  The lost art of writing cursive in a pretty, bound leather notebook appealed to me because I was in control of what I wrote, how I said it, and who I aimed my writing towards.  Maybe that is why writing is favored by so many; it gives us control – the ability to create our own worlds, speak our own thoughts, and safely test our abilities without the risk of being wrong.  Some prose is just so powerful, it makes even the most untalented and disinterested of us want to pick up a pen and start writing after we read it.

To end us, a quote that speaks to the true power of written language:

pen


And just for fun….

penquestion

Life is Always Interesting

Life is always interesting, especially for those of us who make sure to keep it that way.  Apparently I have one of those faces that people are instantly attracted to… Maybe it’s the innocence in my heart or my welcoming countenance or even the eagerness in my eyes – but whatever it is, quite often I find myself making friends and finding admirers in the unlikeliest of places.  In fact, last weekend was filled with such experiences.  (If you’d like to know more of the specifics, you can fill out a contact form here. I’ll do my best to answer any of your questions.)

A little personal insight into my life:  Not long ago, I was involved in a serious relationship that everyone (including me) thought was leading to marriage.  As it turns out, our two souls were not being knit together in quite the way I had imagined, and the relationship, as we had known it, ended.    The thought of losing a friend distressed me more than knowing I had lost a lover.  Of course, there was a healing process involved.  Most people will experience these feelings of love and loss, and it’s not an unfortunate happening at all.  We can actually learn a lot from these events.  However, I have come to find that having hope and a close friend and the prospect of new love certainly helps us view the situation in a more positive light.

Budding relationships certainly give us hope in many cases.  As it turns out, it doesn’t take much for me to feel like I’m falling in love with someone.  If you combine genuine compliments with good conversation and laughing and then throw in some elegant dancing, chances are I will fall pretty hard for you.  Of course, it’s not altogether unreasonable for me to feel twitterpated by these actions since my primary love languages are words of affirmation and quality time.  Still, feeling everything so deeply can lead to hurt feelings when reality isn’t quite as you imagined it.

A friend recently remind me of the old adage, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”  I find this statement to be true in romance and many other regards as well.  If we can accept that some things are just the way they are, then why does it hurt so much to want something or someone that you cannot have – that society deems unacceptable?

Scripture says, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young; instead, be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).  Of course, we could just as easily substitute the word “young” with other labels… Do not let anyone look down on you because you are old, male, female, black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor…  Why must such labels hold us back?  Why are there barriers?  Why can’t we love whom we wish without fear of rejection?  I can’t solve all the world’s problems but I can make a difference one life at a time.   We’re all different – all unique individuals with special gifts.  Imagine how that line of thinking would change our daily interactions: viewing every life as a precious thing and cherishing the moments we have with all kinds of people.  I’m going to try to live like that.

Sitting in a Coffee Shop

You know what’s interesting?  Everyone in a coffee shop manages to stay in their own little world.  I don’t know how they do it.  I so badly want to find out what these other people are doing.  Is this man in front of me a novelist coming up with a fresh twist in his plot line?  Is this girl beside me a college student working on a paper that’s due tomorrow?  Is this couple nearby discussing a project at work?  Are they meeting for a casual post-work date?  Are they in an interview right now?  Who is this person sitting behind me, whom I have barely visually acknowledged but who fills my senses with his presence and the sound of crunching chips?  Is that woman in the corner who is deeply entranced in her book a former drama or music teacher, or maybe even a retired actress?

And then our eyes meet briefly… for an instant the walls between us come down.  And then just as quickly those walls rise up again…

Alas, I am not cut out for the coffee shop mentality.  I have too many questions – too much curiosity to sit quietly as these lives pass me by.  And yet it becomes so easy to drown out the rest of the world, here in this coffee shop, and pour out my most intimate thoughts and feelings.  Perhaps this phenomenon can henceforth be referred to as the Coffee Shop Effect.

Now I am reminded of a song:  Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg.  Take a listen if you’ve never heard this song.

All Things Happen for a Reason

And another Throwback Thursday post.


This I believe.  All things happen for a reason.  The bad and the good are all part of God’s plan.  While I’d like to believe this is solely a Christian concept, I know that many religions have this philosophy.  I have never experienced as much pain and heartache as some in this world.  Nonetheless, I still have bad days.  And on these bad days, I lean on my faith and my God.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (ICB) says, “God certainly does everything at just the right time.”  There are moments when I wish I knew why.  “Why?” always seems to be the hardest question to answer.  Many times I try to console myself with the answer I already know.  “How, when, and what” are all attempts to fill the void that was once in my heart.  It is human nature to want to know all the answers.  However, there comes a point when faith – being certain of what we cannot see – is necessary.  My whole life I have been taught that negative experiences will make me stronger in the end.  I have treasured this in my heart.  This is a truth I can stand by and hope for.

As I have matured I have discovered many gifts that God gave me.  One of these gifts is the gift of belief.  Many would see this as a pitfall, but I do not.  Because I believe, I trust what I have been taught.  I know that God is always taking care of me, no matter what happens.  This is why I will always believe that all things happen for a reason.

Positive Effects of Stress

This is a Throwback Thursday post of sorts.  The following essay was written back in 2011, during the days of high school.  I found it somewhat inspiring as I was reading through my old papers.  Perhaps you too will be inspired to view the stress in your life differently…


Stress is often described with a negative connotation. We complain that our stress is causing insomnia, worry, and gray hair, but we don’t stop to think about the benefits of stress. Throughout my life, stress has had innumerable positive effects. Thanks to stress I have become more efficient, felt more accomplished, and learned to appreciate life for all it’s worth.

If stress is defined as being unbearably busy and worn out, then I have definitely experienced stress. When one is given a lot of work with little time to do it, stress is inevitably created. “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it.” While this saying is ironic, it also tells a shocking truth: Stressed, busy people are more efficient with their time. Stress has taught me the important skill of time management. This great benefit of stress is essential to my success in the future.

Contrary to what others believe, stress makes me feel good. Stress gives me confidence. Some may find it strange, but many others feel the way I do. When I am busy I feel I am accomplishing worthwhile tasks. I also know that to feel stress from these tasks, I must care about what I am doing. IF I invest my time, energy, and worry into something to the point that it causes stress, then I know it is important to me. Stress reminds me that I am helping others and carrying out my responsibilities. This is why stress makes me confident.

Probably the most important effect that stress has had on my life is learning to appreciate everything. Stress can sometimes fog our minds with worries. However, if we just look past all the concerns we can find treasure in stress. Just as water tastes delicious after you’ve taken a long run, so does relaxing after experiencing stress. It seems that we appreciate things more when we haven’t had the luxury of having them. When we stop to smell the roses, stress becomes less overwhelming. Watching the sun set in the midst of stress can also be calming. Stress has helped me learn to love the things I would easily overlook.

Like medicine, stress may have some unwanted side effects, but it will help you in the long run. Stress has given me some key qualities to being successful. Thanks to stress I have become more efficient, felt more accomplished and learned to appreciate life for all it’s worth. As Doctor Hans Sel said, “Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” I choose to let stress affect me positively. Maybe one day everyone will allow stress to be beneficial to them too.