~ F I R E ~

Duck #49

Oh, fellow readers. It’s been so long since I’ve written. It’s most unfortunate because of how much I love writing…sometimes I have to be reminded of that. It’s hard to write for fun sometimes, ya know? I’ve been so busy writing papers upon papers for school. I’m graduating in 19 days, so there is so much that I need to finish. For example, the capstone I should be working on right now. But tonight I’m going to write for myself and then maybe write a little for my professor, but I’m putting myself first. *Insert the “desk worker” emoji that I named Tanya over a year ago.*

Tonight’s theme: I’m not sure, yet. We’ll see what happens as I write. I had a them and typed about 200 words and then decided I didn’t want to talk about that topic anymore. So here we are.

Life is weird, y’all. I think that when I was a little girl, I assumed that by the time I was 21 I would know all the things. Well, here I am at 21 and I don’t know as much as I once thought I would. Let me give you an example:
Earlier today, I decided to go for a run because that’s what adults do to take care of themselves. After my run I resolved to cook dinner because that’s also what adults do to take care of themselves. They exercise and they cook, I’m sure it’s in a handbook on adulthood somewhere. Well…as I was preparing my meal, as any mature 21 year old should be able to due, a piece of food fell under the burner and it started to smoke. I turned down the heat of the burner and turned on the fan above the stove. Naturally, that didn’t work because the piece of food caught on fire and a flame began to grow. In a state of panic, I started to yell “Fire! Fire! There’s a fire! I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do! I ACTUALLY don’t know what to do!”

I just stood there. Literally. My mind went blank and I watched the flame blaze. I’m sure I looked pretty stupid just gazing at the fiery stove as if it were an art exhibit at a museum. Fortunately, 2 of my roommates were in the living room and they came to my rescue. Actually, one of my roommates turned off the burner and the other took a picture of me in all my frantic glory. We all laughed after everything calmed down and the burning smell dissipated. *Oh, I know what direction this post is going to go in now!* As the kitchen began to clear I kept saying, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” I did this for two reasons: 1) Because I’m an ENFP & I can’t help but to apologize for things extensively. 2) I felt like I should’ve known what to do. I’m 21, I’m a senior in college, I know my way around the kitchen well enough. It’s not ridiculous to assume that I would know how to handle that situation. But I didn’t know…I needed help.
I wish that I could say that this post is really just a lesson on what to do if you catch your stove on fire, but it’s not. As I continue to type, I realize it’s deeper than that. It’s deeper because tonight’s little event has made me realize that there are a lot of things that I don’t know and that scares me. It scares me because I want to know them. I want to know them because I want to prove that I’m okay and capable. I want to prove that I’m good at x and therefore can do y.
They say that comparison kills, expectations crush, and I say that they’re right. But I also say that there’s nothing wrong with ignorance if you’re willing to learn. I don’t use ignorance in a negative way, but rather in the form of it’s true definition: a lack of knowledge or information. There are several things that I am ignorant of. Even as a 21 year old senior in college, there is so much I don’t know. There’s also so much that I think that I know, but actually don’t. I learned that this past week.

I’m really good at overthinking and overanalyzing just about everything. I do this because I allow my ignorance to guide me. With that comes a false sense of reality–I’m really good at creating monstrous situations in my head, when they’re actually small teddy bears that might have a ripped seam. But instead of being patient and trying to learn the information I lack, I make up what I think to be true and then act rashly on that. And that’s exhausting. So incredibly exhausting. And quite frankly, I don’t have time to be exhausted so often, ya know?

Altering ignorance doesn’t happen over night.
Altering ignorance requires patience.
Altering ignorance is a sign of maturity.

Y’all, I don’t know a lot of things. But I do know that I can’t keep acting out of ignorance. I’m about to be done with school forever and I’m scared and I really don’t know all the details of what’s going to happen after I walk across the stage. So, I’m talking to myself when I say this, but feel free to listen in:
It’s okay to not have all of the answers. It’s okay to take time to learn them.
It’s okay to be scared, but you can’t let that fear control you.
It’s okay to want to be competent, but that competence does not make up you’re identity as a worthy human.
God is not angry with you for being ignorant.
He wants you to seek Him first and glean His wisdom.
He begs you to look toward Him when you’re scared.
He yearns for you to be defined by His perfect attributes.

So, I don’t know, but Lord, I want to learn.

[Jesus, will You teach me?]
❤ Amen

Nashville: A Teaser-Trailer

Belmont University
Belmont University

Duck #43
This past weekend I went to Nashville, Tennessee, for the first time. (The picture up top is the only one I took of any scenery, and it’s not even that good of a shot. Haha. Belmont is a beautiful campus and I wish I had done a better job of capturing that.) My traveling companions were 2 guys that have easily become some of my best friends at App. I didn’t realize it before I left, but this trip was exactly what I needed–I think we all needed it.

As the close of a semester approaches, everyone can feel the weight of “the end.” Professors seem to pile on the homework, The group projects seem endless, and it feels like there’s not enough paper in the world to write everything you have to. But somehow, we manage. We make it, we pass, we move on…we hope.
When I was asked if I wanted to go on this trip, my immediate reaction was “YES!” without a hint of hesitation. How often, if ever, would I get the chance to go to Nashville with two of my favorite people? So, I hopped on that train and road it all the way to the 615. (615 is the apparent zip code for Nashville, according to google). The road trip was great. My friends and I laughed, talked, jammed so hard to music, laughed some more, and just enjoyed each other’s company.

Now, here’s where it gets tricky. I’m going to do my best to explain what I felt…

As we approached the city, everything changed. Sure, getting away from Boone was nice, but there was a noticeable difference in the air. It seemed to seep in the car and replace the air we had brought from the mountains with something a bit more thick, something a bit more tangible. It was refreshing. I’ve always been drawn to the city and fully plan to move to one in the near future. Every time I go (to a city, that is), I get the same feeling that affirms how much I want to be there.

The atmosphere is dense. It’s raw. It’s exciting. It’s alive. It’s creative. It’s talented. It’s real.
I’m drawn to that. My idealist, optimistic, and passionate mind has a hay day in an environment like the city. I’m drawn the streets that are endlessly filled with cars and the corners that are occupied by clusters of buildings. I’m drawn to the quick paced vibe of natives trying to get from point A to point B, and the leisurely meander of those just taking in what their city has to offer. I’m drawn to the moments of quiet that you’re forced to find because adventure seems to drip from the trees. I’m drawn to the settlement of being on the move. I’m drawn to the fact that I have to wake up, that I have to step out of my comfort zone, that I’m propelled to elicit confidence that’s always been there, but needed inspiration to fully be present…
…confidence that’s always been there, but needed inspiration to fully be present. Nashville brought that out in me, for sure, but so did the people I met in Nashville.

Quality. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think about the people I spent time with. I’d heard stories about some of the people that I met, so of course I had some idea of what I was getting into–but my idea was much smaller and duller than I anticipated. My newfound friends are genuine. They’re excited about life, they’re welcoming, they’re talented, they’re passionate, they’re driven, they’re relatable, they’re mature, they’re wise, they’re…quality. The people that I met get life. They get that it’s exciting and that it’s beautiful, so they go at it head on. They attack it, armed with the talents God’s given them, but also understanding of the fact that when life gets hard Christ is the foundation they stand on. Being around them forced me to take on that mentality, it was impossible not to be infected by their contagious degree of understanding–it’s beautiful.

I love that I was infected. Being infected has recharged my excitement about life. It’s encouraged me to look forward to what is to come. It’s inspired me to continue to pursue what I want to do and glorify my Savior along the way. That’s another thing about the people that I met, the evidence of there love for Jesus didn’t have to be talked about (although it was), because you could see it, you could feel it. I was able to witness and be a part of beautiful conversations about hardships, friendships, life, the Lord, His goodness, and the way He blesses his children. It was awesome. This past weekend was one large moment of life that I am so thankful that I got to be a part of.

And if I’m being honest, it’s really hard to be back. It’s really hard for that moment to have ended.

While I was in Nashville, I slept on a couch for two nights. Last night, I slept on the couch of my living room trying to recreate a small experience of the weekend. Was that foolish? Was that silly? Was that immature? Was it cute? I don’t know, maybe. But what I do know is that leaving a place where my heart felt full, and free, and at home was really hard–and I was only there for 2 days. I felt similar feelings when I left Chicago 2 years ago and Richmond last year.

And those feelings are hard to organize. I believe the Lord has me in Boone because that’s where He wants me to be right now, but I don’t necessarily want to be here right now. I had a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago about how ready I am for “the next thing.” I’m ready to go to a new place, figure it out, meet new people, develop relationships, look at life differently, and take what I’ve learned and continue to learn. Going to Nashville felt like a teaser-trailer for this desire of mine. How many more trailers will I get to watch before I can finally see my movie premiere in theaters? I don’t know, but I’m excited to find out. As sad as I am to no longer be in Nashville, how cool of a perspective I now have to apply here in Boone.

What’s my point? What’s my perspective? This: Life is meant to be lived. It’s meant to be experienced. It’s meant to be shared and loved and enjoyed with people and by people from all walks of life. How pleasant and beautiful it is for brothers to dwell together in unity, right? I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re anything like me, don’t be discouraged. Have faith in God’s timing. Be inspired in the ways that He makes you wait. Soak up the moments that cause your heart to feel full, and free, and at home. Process the times that are hard and disheartening, but don’t fail to forget the enormity of Christ.

So, Nashville, thanks a million for the great weekend. Thanks for the lessons, the laughs, and the inspiration. Until next time…

[Jesus, thank You for the beauty of friendship new and old. Thank you for blessing me with the people I have in my life. May I love where I’m at the way that you do, but also look forward to the joys that You have waiting for me.]
❤ Amen

It’s Kind of Like Kickball

Duck #35

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and oddly enough I’m sort of excited about that. No, I’m not ready for school to start, per se, but I am ready for my friends to return to Boone. And with my friends will come routine.

Ah, yes. routine. Right now, it seems that’s something that’s lacking in my life. Just when I think I’ve got the hang of whatever it is that I’ve found myself to be doing consistently, life decides to throw a curve ball and knock me off my feet. Sometimes I can get right back up, other times it takes me a bit to stable myself, like the wind was knocked out of me.

If you played sports at any point in your schooling career, or life, you know what it’s like to have the wind knocked out of you. You know, when you’re playing kickball and the best kicker on the other team nails you straight in the gut. While you may have just saved the game and gotten the best player out, you’re left on the ground dazed, confused, maybe teary eyed, and breathless. But back then, that seemed to be the worst of our problems–getting hurt in kickball. These days, how I wish that being clobbered by a medium sized rubber ball was at the top of my list of concerns. At least you could see the ball coming. You knew how the story would end, but at least you were prepared for it.

So what do you do when you’re grown up and life comes at you so fast and so unexpectedly that when its kickball hits you, you’re completely unaware?
Truth be told, I don’t really know.
I think that’s why I want routine back in my life, at least I know what to expect. There’s probably some fault in that, but it’s honest. When I’m busy it is way easer to distract myself from what’s going on beyond turning in an assignment on time, remembering my notes in a song for my a capella group, or even making sure that I bring a dessert to the next club meeting. I’ll get into the groove of the game of life and so when I get nailed with the kickball (oversleeping, singing flat at a concert, getting the date wrong for a meeting, etc.), it doesn’t seem as bad. It still hurts, but it doesn’t take me off guard as much and the recovery time is often quicker. Simpler.

I say all of this because people lately have been asking me, “How’s life going?” or “How are you doing?” and for the sake of being honest my answer has been, “It’s going.” And it is. Like my good pal Ben Rector says, “Here’s the truth, life sucks sometimes…but life keeps moving on.” And he’s right. It does indeed keep moving, but for some reason I feel like I’m not moving with it. Fortunately, I serve a God who’s bigger than my inability to move forward. So, I join in with Ben again, “If You can hear me, I could use You right about now. If You can hear me, could You send some peace?”

To anyone that can empathize and/or sympathize with any of the aforementioned typing: No worries, you’re not alone 🙂

[Lord, restore the joy of your salvation to me and anyone who needs to be reminded of how GREAT You are. Oh, that you would rend the heavens. That you might come down & the mountains might tremble at your presence.]

“Everyone thinks you make mistakes when you’re young. But I don’t think we make any fewer when we’re grown up” -Jodi Picoult

Yesterday, a sweet friend of mine said:”Hi! You look beautiful. How’re you doing?….Stressed?” I smiled brightly and replied, “Helloo! Thank you! And yeah, a little. But who isn’t? I’m making it through.” My friend then said, “You should blog.” So here I am. Duck #15. This one’s for you, friend, but also for me… On […]