Friday, March 30, 2012

An Ironic Realization

I write for a college blog called Uloop.  Not many people really know about it, I guess it’s just something I do on the side once a week.  I’ve written about food, yoga pants, Lent, The Artist, and a few other topics.  I’ve only been doing it for about 6 or 7 weeks now and my deadlines are always on Saturdays.  Well, today I wrote my article that is due tomorrow and I realized that it tied in exactly with how I have been feeling.  I also realized I managed to give myself some good advice while I was writing it.

It’s called Learning to Live in Two Worlds, and I know I’ve blogged about something nearly the same before.  But I really liked the article and wanted to share how it turned out.

It starts now. 


Some of you may live in the same state where you go to college.  I advise you to stop reading this article if that is the case.  This article is dedicated to the students who travel back and forth between two worlds, the world of home and the world of college.  I’m mostly talking to the students that live too far away to fly home on a 3-day weekend.  I happen to be one of them.

Most people say that homesickness is something that happens only at the beginning of the year, but I regret to tell you that for me it happens all the time, especially after I get back from a break.

It’s hard for me to balance my two worlds.  Often, one feels like a dream while the other feels like reality or visa versa.  The switch of going between the two has become, to a point, emotionally draining.  I think I’ve realized there is only one way to truly cope with this problem and that is to simply focus on the world I am currently living in.

I spend too much time missing one place while I am in the other.  There is no point missing home (more than a healthy amount) if you are not home and there is not point missing your friends and your life at school if you are at home.  This article may not apply to everyone depending on your family life, but mine tends to be fairly stable and that’s how I am drawing my conclusions.   

My school campus is beautiful, I love the people I live with in my dorm, and I live in a wonderful city.  Though I have lots of schoolwork, people whom I care about and have a lot of fun with also surround me.  On the other hand, my house is comfortable, my parents are welcoming, my siblings are extremely fun to be around and I have a great dog.  What more could I ask for? 

I simply need to focus on one at a time.  For those of you reading, keep in mind the saying, the grass is greener on the other side.  When you are in one place you always think that another will somehow be better, but that is hardly ever the case. 

I’m simply here to tell you to make the most of the place you are in because that alone is the best way to cope with missing your other world.


I was trying to give advise to other people, but I think I ended up giving better advice to myself.   

Thursday, March 29, 2012


The first few days back at school are always about re-finding a groove and getting used to new schedules.  Often I feel like I’m ripped from one world and placed in another, often attempting to sew myself once more into the quilt, trying to become comfortable.  I’m patches of a bunch of things now.  I’m some of Seattle, some Colorado, some little-girl, and some grownup.

I’m different than I used to be.  Anyone who goes to college is going to come out different on the other side and I’ve already had my fair share of change.  It all has to happen sometime.  Once I pushed to spread my wings and escape from the nest, and now I sometimes miss the safety of it.

On break I realized how little my world was in high school.  I picked my brother up from play practice one afternoon and went to say hello to some of the people I was in choir with my senior year of high school.  It was great to see them and I felt an overwhelming sense of a bubble.  Some people say we have an SPU bubble, which we totally do, but it was not nearly as protective as the one I had in high school. 

The brick walls and tiled hallways greeted me with, I’ll hold your hand all the way.

Now I’m in college and most of the time no one is around to hold my hand.  I’ve slowly figured it out on my own.  I’ve discovered that no matter where I go I’ll always miss someone, I’ve learned that I have a lot of questions, and I’ve learned that I’m always going to have to make money and there will be no end to expenses.  And I don’t think I’ve come close to fully learning that quite yet.    

(At the moment I feel like I’m writing a reflection paper of sorts that would be required in a class, which probably isn’t the most entertaining thing to read.  For that I am sorry.  I’m also sorry that I haven’t written in so long.  Many of you told me you’ve missed reading on a daily basis.  Honestly, I have missed writing and I guess time just got away from me.) 

While I am learning, I am growing.  Know what?  Growing hurts.  I feel like I’m a tree, stretching and producing new bark while shedding the old.  The growth of the tree branches is causing growing pains, much like it is hurting my heart to grow so much.  I’ve discovered the saying what you know can’t hurt you happens to be very true. 

There’s a lot of stuff in the world that hurts.  Life isn’t fair, it really isn’t. 

I’ve being doing my best to lean on God and trust him, but I need to do better.  I need to figure out where I should start because it just so happens I’m terrible at reading my Bible. 

I've discovered that, if I stitch God into the quilt I feel like I have become, I won’t ever fall apart.  And that’s the beauty of it.  He alone has the power to hold me together. 

Just pray that I’ll remember that.    

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Tables Turn

My brother Mark and I always mock fight by throwing punches and roughhousing.  There’s been a bit of a sibling rivalry there for as long as I can remember.  Growing up I could always take him, no problem, and for a while I was the bigger one and he would be the first to run away and give up.

I guess it’s fair to say that he grew a few inches and gained a few pounds during the time I was away.  He was already stocky to begin with and now he’s even stronger.  During winter break he and I “fought” a few times.  That was probably the last time I’d ever win.

After dinner tonight Mark purposely bummed me a bit roughly, and I knew he was trying to pick a fight.

“I don’t want to fight.  You’d beat me,” I said.

My Mom just started laughing.

Mark said, “Well that was boring.” 

I’ve decided I can pick my battles and that’s not one I’ll be able to win anymore.

Oh, how the tables turn.    

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Once Upon a Time I Feared the Wind

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately.  Basically, I took last week off entirely.  Every once in a while I need a break, especially when finals hit.  I was busy writing a paper, and studying for Biology and Psychology tests.  I was finished by Wednesday afternoon, and by that time all I wanted to do was lounge around and do absolutely nothing.

I can’t even remember what I did during those last few days.  I watched a couple movies, cleaned up my room a bit, and packed a carry on for spring break that consisted of 3 pairs of jeans, 10 t-shirts, a jacket and some toiletries.  I was rather impressed that I managed to take hardly anything home with me.  I guess I’ve learned to pack light since I have to travel back and fourth so much.

The Colorado weather was absolutely gorgeous the first days I was back and I was able to wear shorts, a tank top, and flip flops to my brother’s baseball game on Saturday.  Yesterday, a mere three days later, it was somewhere in the 30s temperature wise and I kept my younger brother on my lap for warmth.

Colorado is incredibly fickle, not to mention extremely brown compared to Seattle.  I’ve decided I love both places for different things, but it’s also really hard to be switching all the time.  The first few days home were rough, but now that I’ve settled in I’m quite happy to be here.

I’ve already been to a choir concert for my brother, a few high school baseball games, and answered a billion college questions to whoever happens to ask about it, which is pretty much everyone who hasn’t seen me since winter break.

But that is merely an update.  There is one thing I want to write about specifically.  It happens to be the wind.  You might thing I’m joking, but it has been more than blustery lately, especially at night. Just a couple nights ago it was incredibly windy and my sister was begging me to allow her to open the window because our room was “stuffy”.  I felt absolutely fine, and I insisted that she shouldn’t open the window.  Please, please don’t open it, it’s windy.  I caught myself then and wondered, did I ever get over it? 

When I was younger I was terrified of the wind.  I was dreadfully frightened of it until 5th or 6th grade.  When it was too windy at night I would walk across the hall to my parents room and crawl into bed with them until I felt safe enough to return to my own bed. 

I was convinced the house would blow over, or that a tornado would sweep everything away.  I have reason to believe this fear developed when I first saw The Wizard of Oz at a young age.  It instilled a fear in me that could not be merely removed.  When I was in 1st grade I told my teacher that a tornado was coming—I was frightened because of how windy it was outside.  She offered no sympathy.  She told me she was sure a tornado was not coming, and sent me trembling back to my desk.  Occasionally, tornados would turn my dreams at night into dreadful nightmares.  

There came a point when I tried once more to crawl in bed with my parents and they answered with a resounding No.  After that I took to hiding from the wind by burying myself in covers, clinging to my stuffed animals (of which there were several) and sleeping with my head under the pillow.

I’m not sure when my fear ended.  I don’t know if it ever did.  Maybe I just learned how to deal with it.  Occasionally I still wake up at night when it gets windy outside.  A huge boom of thunder won’t wake me, but a blustery windstorm somehow will.  I remember when I started to read books about weather.  I knew everything about the clouds, and precipitation, and I read a lot about tornados.  There were a few pages in my book specifically dedicated to them, and I must have read them dozens of times. 

The biggest fear is always the unknown, and once I learned about how tornados formed, where they occurred most often, and how much danger I was in, (practically none) I was able to relax.  It didn’t mean I was done being afraid, but it meant that I could move on instead of constantly being paralyzed.

It seems like kids are afraid of clowns, snakes, spiders, and the dark.  But, on the other hand, I was the only one I knew of to be afraid of the wind.  I know the wind makes some people uncomfortable, but not to the point when they can’t think of anything else. 

On the surface level I know I’ve gotten over it, but deep down it must be hidden.  I think I’m rather determined to keep it that way though.  Hiding from the wind at college would be rather embarrassing, so I don’t want to be doing that anytime soon.

I know I probably never will, but it’s interesting how that one event a couple nights ago caused me to remember a series of events I hadn’t thought of in years.

It makes me realize how far I’ve come.  I’m being totally serious.

From a tiny kid afraid of the wind, to a college kid willing to step into the world by writing her heart out every day. 

I’m done hiding under the covers.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Post-Book Depression

I finished two books yesterday.  No, I did not read two books yesterday.  I merely finished them, which left me feeling quite deflated.

For those of you that love reading, I’m sure you’ve felt the same.  The book wraps up, the characters are done moving forward, the story is complete and you’re left with… a closed book and nothing else to look forward to. 

I’ve taken to calling this post-book depression.  A lot of people cure this problem by simply starting up another book afterward, but they will always have the same results.  (Unless you’re relieved to finish a book.  In this case I’m just talking about the books that I really enjoy reading and find myself immersed in.) 

Yesterday I finished Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy, so my depression was tripled when that ended.  When I read a series of books the characters practically become real and I feel like I’m acquainted with them by the time I reach the end.  Whether or not they actually die in the book, they still “die” when the book finishes. 

I also finished Girl With A Pearl Earring, which I had to read for my UCOR class.  It was more suspenseful that I thought it would be and I was sorry that it ended.  I would definitely recommend it to people who like historical fiction and it’s one that deserves a second read.

As soon as I finished it I set it down and just lay on my bed, mulling everything over. 

I couldn’t believe it was done.

I could believe I had read all of The Hunger Games books and had no more to read. 

All I felt was… emptiness.  (Of course, I’m exaggerating a bit because I’m absolutely fine now.)

Still, no one likes to see a good book end.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Like I Do About You

Date nights are always something that I look forward to, and last night was no exception.  I tried on various outfits, pulled my hair up then took it down and pulled it up again.  I couldn’t make up my mind and I wanted to look nice even though I knew Will would think I looked great no matter what.

Girls face so many dilemmas.  Every step of getting ready for a date involves a choice.  Which outfit?  Which shoes?  How to I want to do my hair?  What music should I listen to while I curl my hair?  How do I want to do my makeup? What purse do I want to take?  Should I take a coat or a sweater? 

I can finally breathe when I’m ready and then all I have to do is wait.

Will came to get me from my room a few minutes early this time, which I didn’t mind at all.  A few minutes early is way better than a few late.  Late is never good, especially when you only live 30 seconds from each other. 

I love dates with Will because he never tells me where we are going—it’s always a secret and I don’t know until we walk through the door (or he asks me to help him find it, which has happened.) 

Last night we returned to his hometown, Bellevue.  It’s 25 minutes or so away from school and I have been there several times before.  It’s a wonderful city and I enjoy every time we visit it.

Last night he picked Wild Ginger, a restaurant with absolutely amazing Asian cuisine.  I haven’t eaten duck since last May when I graduated high school, and this duck was probably ten times better.  Dates are normally great for conversation, but once we had food in front of us we were dead silent until all of it was gone.  I can proudly say our plates were completely clean.  Will said, “That was about a hundred times, probably more than that, better than Gwinn.”

However, before we received our food, we talked plenty.  I asked him to tell me a story and he told me several about pranks he pulled when he was a kid, and when he was in high school.  One of the stories started, “Well, my friends and I kinda liked blowing things up.” 

Not surprising for a boy, not at all…. 

I tried telling a few of my own, but I guess I wasn’t nearly as troublesome.  I was more mischievous when I was a younger, but those were the stories I forget to tell.  (I’ve locked my brother in the dog kennel, in the basement storage room, and left him there.)  I was quite entertained listening to all of his though.

After the plates were cleared we shared a bowl of mango sorbet (so good!).  I was sorry to leave, since I knew I would have to face cafeteria food again the next day.

On the way back to the car we stopped to warm up by a giant outdoor fireplace.  The sky was clear and beautiful, reminding me of how clear it gets in Colorado.  Suddenly I wanted it to be summer more than anything but I suppose it will have to wait for now. 

It took us a few times to figure out which level Will had parked on in the parking garage, so that was fun since I’m not allowed to ride the elevator.  Normally I’m the one that remembers for him but I had determinedly marched in the wrong direction at the beginning of the night and once Will called me back to walk the other way I forgot to check what level we were on. 

We did find the car, eventually.  (After walking onto 2 wrong levels.) 

I couldn’t have asked for a better date night.  I’ve of course edited out a few of the mushy and romantic details, since I like keeping them to myself and smiling about them later.  I allowed myself to dance crazily in the car on the way back to school, causing Will to laugh a lot, and we sang a bunch of our favorite country songs.

I never found anything that makes me feel like I do about you…

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Literal Dreams

I set my alarm back and slept 15 more minutes.  I needed it, since I was up was later than usual last night.

When I woke up next I realized I was running late, and decided to skip taking a shower.  I wouldn’t have time.  So I applied deodorant and body spray quickly before I pulled on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt.  My bed remained unmade, and my dirty clothes from the night before littered my floor but I wasn’t going to have time to pick them up.

Sarah, McKenna, and Taylor were in my room watching as I tried to get ready quickly.  They were waiting so that we could go down to breakfast.  One of them eventually commented that they were going to leave because they wanted to have time to eat.

I said it was ok, but inside I was starting to panic because I realized how hungry I was and that I would probably have to go straight to class without eating.  How was I going to make it through three classes without eating?!

I was frantically trying to pack everything into my backpack and I stopped by my dresser once more to pick up some chap stick.  Then I noticed that the picture frame that I usually placed my lotion, pony holders, and bobby-pins on had been moved to the left side of my desk and was three times smaller.

Huh, that’s strange.  What’s up with that?

But I quickly shrugged it off and was out the door when my alarm started playing that terribly familiar piano rift.

Confused, I woke up and looked around.

I was in bed, and I wasn’t late.  I would have plenty of time to get ready.  Suddenly, I was wide-awake and ready to go.

I can’t stand it when my dreams are that real.

I still feel like I woke up and did my morning routine twice.

I'd say my experience was quite similar to this.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Organized Disorder

I’ve discovered my life is a constant organized disorder.

I love to know where things are, but I don’t like them aligned perfectly or placed nicely.  They need to be placed in an unorganized fashion.

My books all go on the bookshelf, but two books of the same height can’t go next to each other unless they are a part of the same series.  I like having my textbooks stacked on my desk, but the edges can’t align perfectly.  The pillows on my bed are set together at slight angles, instead of straight.   

The top drawer of my desk hold pens, sticky notes, envelopes, scissors, glue-sticks.  They all have their spot and I like putting them in their correct spot, but then they are just thrown in there.  I don’t have to align them in any certain way. 

I know where everything is, and in that way I am organized.  But I don’t put everything where it belongs in an organized way.

It’s almost a different version of OCD. 

I don’t understand myself.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Simple Solutions to Silly Problems

Recently, Dwight got moved to a different location in my room.  For those of you that don’t know, Dwight is my printer.  I wrote about him last in a post called Dwight, which was a story specifically about him.

I love Dwight.  More like I have a love/hate relationship with him, but I get along with him well enough on a daily basis.  I became inspired to move him to a different spot when I saw that one of my close friends put her printer on top of her cabinet instead of on her desk. 

Dwight just so happened to be sitting in front of my window and I figured I would be able to see much better if I moved him somewhere else.  I walked across the hallway to my room and unplugged the cords from the outlet and my computer, then pulled some boxes, empty coke bottles, and an extremely dead plant off the top of my cabinet to make room for Dwight.

Unfortunately, the plant died quite a few months ago.  It lived a healthy and wonderful life and before I knew it, it turned brown and withered away to nothing.  But I still kept the pot of dirt it was growing in.  Perhaps I’ll plant some flowers in it spring quarter.

Once the space above the cabinet was cleared, I lifted Dwight on top of it.  I didn’t realize how heavy he was until then.  I ended up putting him on the right side of the cabinet and then I realized plugging him in every time to print things off was going to be a slight inconvenience.  Then I shrugged and decided that I didn’t care, since I don’t use him often enough for it to really matter. 

I printed off something for good measure, just to make sure that it worked.  I have to stand on my bed and hold my laptop while I print things off—if anyone ever walks in while I happen to be printing a document, I’ll just have to deal with looking like an idiot.

Oh, the sacrifices I make.

After I was satisfied with the change, I sat down at my desk.

I thought I could see out the window before, but now I can really see out of the window. 

I can't believe I didn't think of this months ago.  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Procrastination at its Greatest

I hadn’t run in weeks, and I was stressed, so I ran.  It’s good for me to take stress and run it off instead of shoving it down inside of me and trying to digest it—stress is indigestible, like gum or aluminum foil.   

My favorite part of running alone is setting my own pace, which I think I’ve written about before.  I can stop and look at whatever I desire and take time to observe the world, instead of quickly running past it.  I’m honestly more of a run-walker instead of a runner.  If my mentally allowed me, I could continue to run for a decent amount of time, but I’m too curious about things and I end up slowing my pace to walk. 

I ended up running (and walking) to Gas Works, since I haven’t yet this year and I’ve wanted to for a while now.  Plus, the sun was out so there was nothing I wanted to do more than get outside and enjoy it while it lasted. 

It was also an excellent way to avoid studying for my psychology test.  There are twelve days left in the quarter and things are starting to pile up.  I wanted to get off campus and escape it, even if it was only for an hour.

I can’t remember exactly what I listened to, but I do remember that the air smelled wonderful, clean, and warm.  Spring is hiding right around the corner, and I found that I could breathe easier knowing that fact.  I ran down the hill from the dorm, down the street, across the Freemont Bridge, and toward Gas Works.

I ran off everything that had been worrying me for the past weeks and let it fall off behind me as I pushed my legs forward.  Running isn’t merely a distraction—it’s a way for me to release the tightness in my body and rejuvenate my mind.  It breaks me down physically, and builds me up emotionally.   

I ran through several shipyards, past yoga studios, hair salons, and offices, until I finally saw a large hill of green and knew I was close to my destination.  Once I was there I made my way to the top and I was surprised to find that I was nearly alone, except for a girl running on the other side of the park. 

Anyone who has been to Gas Works knows how breathtaking the view is.  It doesn’t matter if the sun is out or not, the view will still be spectacular.  (However, having the sun out doesn’t hurt, that’s for sure.)  I pulled out my phone and took several pictures.  I tried to take some that aren’t the typical view you see from Gas Works, and I think I succeeded with a few.

It was what I needed.  I needed to run, and I needed to capture the moment in a different way.

And now I'm sore, which happens to be a great feeling because it proves I worked out.