Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What I Do

Okay, so I've been terrible at this "Blog every day in May" thing, but I AM writing finals, so I really only blog when I am trying to procrastinate.... like now. The idea of it is great though, giving a topic for each day that others will also be writing about, so I'm trying to at least keep up a little.

This is actually yesterday's post, because I think yesterday's topic was fabulous, and I don't want to skip.  The question was "If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question 'What do you do'?"

I would have to say what I DO is as follows:

I take long walks. Lots of them. It's my favorite thing about living in New York. I find new neighborhoods, I rediscover old ones.

On that note, I explore. I hop the bus to other cities whenever I get a chance. I seek out a different Starbucks in which to do my writing each day during heavy school-work times so that I can people watch on a different street.

I love. A lot. I love a lot of people. I love a lot of things. I have been loved by the God of the universe, how could I possible not be overflowing with love for everyone else and everything? I cannot get enough of sharing love, even if my way of doing it might be different from others.

I write. Writing is quite possibly one of my favorite activities. While everyone else is stressing during finals, I'm ENJOYING the heck out of it! Seriously. I LOVE that my finals are all papers.  I have about fifty pages to get done, and I'm only slightly more than halfway through it, and I don't dread a word of it. I love to blog, I love to journal. Seriously. I love writing letters and sending cards. I'm not a "words of affirmation" person, but I do love writing people notes - even if I can never think of things to say in them since I'm not sappy in that way.

I daydream.  This is actually a problem.  I have planned out a million great romances, and envisioned a life with my perfect job, etc. so much that I have to pray those false ideas don't become idols.

So yeah, THATS what I do.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sweet Words of Wisdom

Someday in the very near future (tomorrow, maybe?) I'll write a second post of the day to discuss the feelings surrounding my internship ending.  In the meantime, I have lots of papers to write and need to focus on that, so everything depends upon how much progress I make in the next day on on class writing.

In the meantime, here's my post of the day from the Story of My Life challenge 

There are so many great quotes - like, the whole Bible pretty much, among other things, so I narrowed it down to a few: 

So this is basically my favorite Bible verse, because it pretty much sums up the rest of the Bible. Every time I read it I feel like I am reading a sweet fairy tale about a great hero to a little kid, except it's not a fairy tale, it's a real story about a real hero. Amazing. (I also just realized "Jesus" is not capitalized in the graphic - but you get the point. 

I am absolutely overwhelmed when I think about the way our love for Christ should translate into our love for others. This quote used to hang in my classroom when I was a teacher. We have a tendency to express our dislike of the world in a way that comes across as hateful, but it is love that wins in the end. It's the LOVE of Christ at saves us, and only he has that ability. I'm also really interested in race relations, which I think is still a huge problem despite the fact that most of white America refuses to admit that, and so anything MLK ever said pretty much makes me want to stand up and clap. If I had to make a list of historic figures I would pay to go back in time to meet, he'd be on of the top dudes on that list. 

This quote from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a favorite for so many reasons.  I try to live my life so that each day contains something special. God has given us a wonderful world to enjoy, and we should take advantage. Life is BEAUTIFUL, and even when I'm struggling and feeling down, I try to recognize those moments as part of the agony of life, and something I can use to grow from. I've watched people go through depressions in which they medicated themselves to a point where they could no longer FEEL. That sounds like the worst thing ever! We were created to FEEL, good and bad. I praise God for that, and I hope he will always give me opportunities to feel. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Things that Make me Uncomfortable

I skipped yesterday's "Blog every day in May" challenge, and rather than making it up, Im just skipping it. The topic was "Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at," and I do that all the time anyway. my topic probably would have involved working with adolescents, or race relations, both of which would probably be interesting, but couldn't be discussed in one post. So forget about it. I'm already sitting on too many posts that need to happen - and I'm writing finals to boot.

So today's challenge is to write about things that make me uncomfortable. I have just a few of these, because I tend to be a pretty relaxed person - but there are definitely things that have come to surface over the last few years, most of which involving relationships , which I never would have said before.

1. Small talk - while I may APPEAR to be really good at this - it's WORK. Lots of work. I can definitely engage people in a conversation when I first meet them, or when I run into them on the train, or whatever, but I prefer not to. I've actually written about that here to an extent. I typically just duck away, not because of anything YOU'VE done, but because I fear I will have nothing to say to you that's worth saying and I'll end up making a fool of myself. Same thing with meeting new folks. If we don't already have something to discuss, I'm totally uncomfortable.

2. Being unexpectedly asked to sing in front of small groups of people - call me up on stage in a packed out bar or concert venue, and I've never felt better, ask me to sing in a small group at a cafe or at your house or something, and I"m all "What is this, Meet me in St. Louis?" That is AWKWARD folks. (that said, if breaking out into song at house parties were totally normal, I'd be all up in that. I wish we could live more like this sometimes - but since it's not normal, it just makes me uncomfortable).  My family used to randomly have me sing for them at Christmas parties and stuff, and just like when I was a little kid and they used to ask me to do cute stuff, it makes me feel really weird. If you want to hear me sing, follow me around for a few minutes, I'm very much a Cinderalla in that way. I just break out into song in normal situations - but once it's become the center of attention, I'm done.

3. Dating - the whole concept of dating creeps me out, but I'm working on it. The older I get, the longer I go without actually dating, the more difficult it is for me to fathom the concept of ever being okay with this by today's standards, and the more terrified I get that I may never get married. It all started by no one ever asking me out, so as a teenager and college student when I should have been developing those boy-girl interaction skills, I totally missed out. When I got older, I got asked out a few times, but never by anyone I felt comfortable going out with for whatever reason - which I think goes back to the fact that I don't already know them well (or that I know them well enough to know that I don't want to marry them and therefore don't want to date them). But the whole idea of going out on a date with someone who I have not already been friends with and am comfortable with already TOTALLY FREAKS ME OUT to like, a paralyzing point.  The only way I'd ever be comfortable with this is by the recommendation of a friend who knows me well and knows the person well - and for whatever reasons my friends never try to set me up with people, so I don't get that chance. I've been on three dates ever : once for my junior prom (which was a set-up because I didn't want to be the only solo person in my limo so a friend set me up witha  friend for the night), and the other two were with guys I was ALREADY friends with, but both times we realized quickly that's all we wanted to be. So yeah, the idea of dating just totally makes me uncomfortable.

on that note....

4. Guys who are excessively sweet- Don't get me wrong, I like to be treated like a lady, but the normal ooey gooey sweet romantic stuff that gets girls to be all "awwww" makes me feel all "ewwww."  Write a song for me, I'm probably going to laugh through it, say sweet little romantic things and I'm gonna be like "huh?"  I don't like jerks, obviously, but I do like someone who doesn't take things too seriously, and knows ho to joke around and cut up with me, and is more of a friend than a lovey-dovey type. Whenever I hear cheezy romantic stories and all the girls are like "awwwww" I'm alwasy like "blech, I'd probably break up with you at that point." I'm so serious. I think part of it comes from the fact that I have a brother who loves by sarcasm rather than sweetness, and that's how I learned to love. My idea of a romantic evening involves watching football together or going to a concert together, or cooking dinner together. I definitely receive love by togetherness and acts of service. Wanna be "sweet," wash my dishes for me, do not write me poems.

So yeah, I'm sure there are more of those, but these are the ones that really stand out. I'm awkward, I get it, but aren't we all?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My life in 250 words (ish)

I was born in Uptown New Orleans, about a mile from the Superdome (and am convinced this somehow means my blood is actually black and gold) and blocks from the neighborhood in which I hope to someday settle down. I lived in suburbia for most of my life and always felt a little left out. After 18 years of trying to be someone I wasn’t, I moved to Baton Rouge for college, where I spent 4.5 years watching football, laughing with the greatest friends, wearing lots of purple, and reconnecting with Jesus. My college adventures led me to mission opportunities in New York City and New England. I realized I’d never quite felt right in suburbia because my heart breathes city – and that made me love God even more, as I recognized the uniqueness of the ways he’s wired each one of us to fit into his plan. How amazing is that??  So four years ago, I packed up and moved to New York where he’s been breaking me down and building me back up ever since. Currently I’m a grad student in social work at NYU, with a passion for helping teenagers and kids with disciplinary problems.  I’d love to end up back home in New Orleans before I have kids of my own someday – because I couldn’t be more grateful for being brought up in such a unique part of the country and want to pay it forward. That said, my kids will live in the CITY. Laissez les bons temps rouler. 

*** I wrote this post as a part of challenge (linked below), to blog every day in May.  I caught it a day late, so this is actually yesterday's post - but I'll catch up with a second post soon :) ****