Cheers to Capri

Cheers to Easter and getting a small break off of school. I am not going to Capri anytime soon, but springtime is still peeping through this bipolar Texas weather. Thanks to my nana and her wonderful taste in scents, Cheers to Capri limoncello candle is the brightest way to hop into spring. Hop Hop Hop. While I am stuck here at school for the three day break I plan on sitting in my room with the pretty yellow candle lit and buckling down to finish those three papers that are all due the day we get back from break. Lucky me. And though I have been feeling defeated by this treacherous turmoil they call college, this little candle brings light to my life, yes… physically and metaphorically. Since Nana has given me this gift I have had a little pep in my step. Today I told myself that I was not going to awkwardly avoid someone that I kind of know. I was going to smile at them and say hi. For the most part it went pretty well and I was in a good mood for the entire day (rare occasion). Yes, there were a few awkward moments when people may have not recognized me right away or that I hadn’t talked to in a while, but in the long run I think people appreciated my outgoingness and I could tell it put a smile on some of their faces. And that was the goal. Smiling is contagious. The little yellow Cheers to Capri brings sunshine to my life just with a sweet scent and I hope to share that light with people just by shining a quick smile. Another highlight of the day was showing Caitlin the sweet little New Testament booklet that some people at TCU had handed out the prior week. I snuck into her room and asked if I could have it. She easily gave it away without a second thought. But then she asked if I actually read The Bible. I said yes I do, every night and most mornings. She told me she had trouble comprehending what she reads from The Bible, well technically she said articulating, but I knew what she meant. I told her that I knew someone who sat down with me to examine just one scripture, line by line, word by word, just to break it down and understand its full meaning. I had never thought I would have time to dig into the meaning. I usually take the short cut and just assume what it says is essentially the meaning and think no more than it. But, I have found it important to actually discover our own interpretation of The Bible. Tonight, Caitlin and I decided that every night before we go to bed we will get together and read a piece from that little New Testament booklet. We plan to discuss it with each other and understand it from our own perspectives. I am grateful to have a friend who shares the same faith and the same curiosity as I do. I will keep you updated on what we have discovered together. Here is a little sneak peek about what we looked at tonight. The topic was stress and this is a recommended verse.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

-Psam 27:5

  Caitlin and I decided that it means God will find a way to keep us from the stress that finds its way to us. He will set us high on a rock where we can look out at life freely and see the greater picture of living and understand that the things that stress us out are minor compared to the greater gift of life.   Share with us your interpretations of the Psalm 27:5. Any suggestions for tomorrows Bible reading? Let us know.   Here was my verse of the day for this mornings reading. Enjoy!

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

-1 Thessalonians 5:18

40 Things Every College Girl Needs To Be Reminded Once In A While

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

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1. The number of weekends you have in college to go out and let loose is not infinite, go out at least once a weekend.

2. So you’ve gained a few pounds? You’re becoming a woman you’re not supposed to look 18 forever.

3. College wouldn’t be college if you got 8 hours of sleep every night. Embrace being tired it means you’re doing something right.

4. Pizza is one of God’s great creations, you’re hurting God’s feelings when you act too good for it.

5. Don’t let one creepy guy form your opinion on an entire fraternity.

6. Do not minimize what a privilege college is. Many people who are capable to be where you are can’t get there for a variety of reasons. Respect your opportunities.

7. Don’t settle for attention from icky guys

8. Don’t settle period.

9. Don’t give up if…

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Discombobulated, but don’t judge me.

“Oh, I can’t have that. I am GLUTEN-FREE.”

God forbid I say the word. Hey its not like I am vegetarian, or even worse, vegan. But all jokes aside, abstaining from certain food seems almost unavoidable, especially on a college campus. And if you are hoping that I can lay down the law and give you the play by play on how to eat at the dinning hall, you are sorely mistaken. I’m comparing gluten-free to a bigger picture. Hopefully, you will be able take a deeper meaning away from it.

 

Dating bio 1: I like long walks on the beach. I prefer red roses. I can make you smile and cook you dinner. I give good back massages and I will play with your dog. I can’t stand being alone.

 

Dating bio 2: I love to explore and travel to adventurous places. I am a hippie at heart, but can enjoy reading a book indoors by a fire. I can cook you vegan food and decorate your house. I can’t stand the color black.

 

Dating bio 3: I love vanilla perfume and clean bathrooms. Don’t put pillows on my couch. I’ll take you to baseball games and let you meet my friends. Sometimes when I watch sports I need my space.

 

Dating bio 4: I am an artist and I crave inspiration. Don’t kill my vibe. I am a gourmet chef… sometimes mac n cheese is also gourmet. I prefer cats before dogs. I’ll let you choose the dinner and movie.

 

Which person would you choose? Take your time. Think about your date or person or whatever now while reading this. We will come back to this so don’t worry.

 

On an average day you stress over the little things.

Shoot next time I’ll study harder because (insert name) got a better grade. Unacceptable.

Oh my god, my hair is ratchet. I wish it was naturally straight. You’re so lucky your hair is simple.

Why can’t I have her closet? Like seriously…

She is so popular. Everyone loves her. Why can’t that be me?

 

Don’t compare your beginnings with someone else’s middle.

 

Now let’s take a peak at the polar opposite. Yes we think with lust and greed, but we also think with distaste and cruelty.

Dear lord, what is she wearing? Silver and gold… really? C’mon.

When I count to five that annoying girl better stop stalking.

If he didn’t wear wranglers with sneakers he’d maybe have potential.

She would drive a range rover.

 

Okay face it. We say it. Maybe not aloud, but most definitely in our head. Let’s be so proud of ourselves… after all we all know “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” We don’t have to keep our mouths shut. However, we have to keep our minds open.

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Think back to your date/person or whatever. You’ve never even met them and I bet you had at least one doubt or one tweak you’d make for this person. Did you avoid the opposite gender? What did your date look like? Could you marry someone like that?

Trick questions. I never specified the genders. I never gave one detail about their appearance. And I surely didn’t give you a reason to spend your life with this person. You hardly even know them.

Pause… you don’t know any of them. How can you judge them?

Exactly. So when we compare ourselves to someone else or even when we compare people to others, we are constantly judging.

“you know me, but you don’t know my story.”

Laugh all you want about this sassy statement. But it is the truth.

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Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

So next time that skinny chick says she can’t eat bread, don’t be quick to judge. She may be gluten intolerant or maybe she is counting her calories. Who cares? Don’t waste your time on details that are irrelevant. Let people live their lives in peace.

 

“When I look at a person, I see a person – not a rank, not a class, not a title.”

Criss Jami

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Just side note. You can use your skills to an advantage. Comparison isn’t always evil.

 

Comparison with myself brings improvement; comparison with others brings discontent. –Betty Jamie Chung

 

Study harder because you deserve a grade you are proud of.

Fix up your hair so you can feel confident.

Create new outfits so you can be comfortable in your own skin.

Be the best you can be. You can’t please everyone, so first please yourself.

There I said it, I laid down the law. Be nice. It is so easy. Be careful, but be carefree. Live freely and peacefully and hope others will do the same. You may not be able to avoid unhealthy food in the dinning hall, but you can avoid passing judgment. 

Luck of the Irish

in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day coming up.

 

Luck. Do you believe in luck? Four leaf clovers? Horseshoes? The number 7? Do you make a wish at 11:11? Kiss the ceiling and close your eyes… I don’t know. Sometimes I get the vibe that luck doesn’t follow you around if you are a believer of it. I haven’t made a wish at 11:11 in over 5 years.  I was convinced that I ever forgot to wish at 11:11 something bad would happen. So I stopped completely. Superstitious, right? I hate that word. I don’t believe in it. And now I am debating if I believe in luck. Have I had lucky guesses? Absolutely, but they are probably educated guesses to be perfectly honest. Have I experienced “luck?” Possibly. I used to be such a believer of luck, but the more I look into each of these experiences I find that these situations were just meant to be. Maybe they are miracles. I don’t know. Is it worth finding out? Should I be a believer of dumb luck? Or is it something deeper?

Feeling like breaking free..

(this title has nothing to do with the fact that I watched High School Musical recently)

Being landlocked is kinda making me go crazy. I feel like running wild. I miss being barefoot, like a blissful child. I miss sand in between my toes, like digging into a memory. I miss sunny skies, like letting warmth taking over my heart. I miss mountains (or hills), like a fresh view of the future.

California state of mind.

 

ImageNothing better than a San Diego sunset. 

 

 

If the Shoe Fits, Why Not?

(disclaimer: this was written on tuesday, 2-18-14)

I have learned during the past weeks I’ve spent here that adjusting doesn’t always mean conforming. Yeah, TCU girls on their way to class are a big fashion faux pas. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. You run into that new boy you like, sorry, but you look like a mess. This is the part I refused to adjust to at TCU. Yes, I conform to the Greek life culture; I do not conform to oversize tee shirts that make me look 30 pounds heavier than I am. I will admit as I write this that I am wearing a long sleeve (non-figure flattering) Endless Summer shirt paired with black lulus and blue converse. Not at my peak, but I did wear a sassy business dress for a good majority of the day. And now it’s cold, so forgive me for dressing accordingly to the weather for just a second. Sorry students in my Lab class, but I am not trying to please you right now.

But all this is beside the point. As I am adjusting to the new college culture, I have learned to conform from identity to identity. Yet I am still able to maintain a stable identity of my own. Am I not making sense? Here let me make this clearer by using an example.

Conforming in the sense of adjusting.

I show up to my chapter meeting and my seating is not in its usual order, I am not squeezed next to my talking buddy who I used to sit next to for every meeting. Am I going to make the best of it instead? You betcha. Lucky for me I get to form a bond with the new ‘sisters’ I get to sit next to. Adjusting to change, conforming to sorority sisterhood expectations.

Well speaking about sisters, Caitlin (yes, I consider her a sister) and I decided to play into the role of Texas Californians. Does that make sense? We embraced our California mentality and explored the artsiest of neighborhoods we could find in Fort Worth.  It was totally worth it. Adjusting the California mindset to what Texas has to offer.Image

Naturally, during our spontaneous adventure we thought the only rational way to end this day would be to go to Billy Bob’s to see Scotty McCreery in concert. Now I am not gonna lie here… I am not country music’s biggest fan, however, when in Texas…, right? I kick on my cowboy boots and head to the rodeo, pretending to be the real cowgirl that I am. Conformity? Yeah, probably. Fun? AbsolutelyImage

It sure seems like Caitlin and I had a crazy cool weekend. Even on Monday it continued on. Caitlin was super stoked that her Eno hammock came in. I committed to helping her set it up and try it out. Given it was a pretty boyish color (puke green and brown) us to girls added a little pizazz to it. We hung that bad boy up on a tree and climbed in, both crossing our fingers. If this sucker falls down, that is for sure a broken tailbone. Am I usually adventurous like this? No, not necessarily as much as I’d like to think. So yeah I pushed myself to meet Caitlin’s expectations of hammock chiller.

Overall, I’d say this whole experience has been successful. It may be altering your perspective or altering your actions, but being able to stay true to yourself and opening up new and different doors for yourself really isn’t that bad.

I could ramble on and on, but assuming some of y’all have as short of an attention span as I do… I’ll spare you the time and wrap it all up. What I am trying to get at here is that you can ALWAYS change yourself into who you want to be.

With Messy Hair and Eager Eyes

You know that one song that you hear, it comes on every once in a while, and it’s the one that makes you feel invincible. It takes you away from drowning yourself in other thoughts. Let’s replace that song with living exactly how we envision our lives would be when hearing that melody and inspirational lyrics.

1. Free yourself from expectations. Go find a new friend who has nothing in common with you and talk until you’ve become best friends.

2. Go out for a walk by yourself. Not a run. A walk. Take your time. Don’t rush to be back with friends or get back to studying. Seriously, take your time.

3. Don’t brush your hair. Even if you care, pretend you don’t. This one may be a risky one, but maybe avoid public places unless you are going to the beach.

4. Fall asleep to peaceful sounds. Maybe it is the crashing of waves on your favorite beach. Maybe its rain. Just do it.

5. Eat the second bowl of ice cream. (AJ would agree with this one.) Count the calories? Absolutely not. Be happy, not crazy.

The point I am trying to get across is simple. Color outside the lines. Conformity is comfortable, but being yourself should be the easiest thing to do. 

Home Sweet Home

Today was the first time I called my room in my TCU dormitory home. I don’t exactly remember the sentence it was used in, but I do remember stopping and thinking wow it feels nice to be back into a place I can call home. TCU has been such a lovely place to me in the past few weeks and I have always felt that this atmosphere was exceedingly inviting and lovely in a close-knit family (or just my sorority family, love you big) type of way. I always thought of TCU as my home during my freshman year. I thought it would be the same sophomore year. But as I returned to school uninterested in what I would title it, I realized that adjusting back into a routine and undecorated room was unfulfilling. I was lacking in some aspect and I couldn’t quite pinpoint what exactly that missing puzzle piece was.Image

I was extremely close to God at that time as I was searching for some comfort and stability in which I found in Him. I am grateful that I had a permanent reminder of his presence infused into my own skin. I seek out to Him in fear, hope, praise, and gratitude. He responds slowly by offering up a token that has been incomplete in prior weeks. First, He granted me with the gift of gratefulness. I am utterly pleased with the classes I am in and the stimulating and challenges professors I have the opportunity to learn from. Thank you, baby Jesus. You rock.

Next, I was granted with the blessing of faithful friends. It bothers me to say that I wasn’t initially content with the way things were going with my friends for the first week and half of school. I love them and I just did not feel that the love was reciprocated. Well, I was not surprisingly wrong. I was quick to judge and wrongly assume that the way we express fondness and affection can be drastically different. Unexpectedly, this was the hardest blow for me to overcome. I was jealous of the tight bond I once was a part of and upon my return I felt left out, like I didn’t belong. That only caused me to retreat. Luckily, I was finding that backtracking and neglecting the problem were not going to make things better. From there on out we decided to allow each other to openly express our feelings in an all-understanding way. I appreciate that communication and I now find myself in a comfortable and harmonious relationship with the friends I can confidently call family.

So far my finalizing gift is the ability to overcome extreme worry.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

-Psalm 55:22 NIV

Exactly what I needed to hear and I feel responsible for sharing it with others, aka you readers. Do not worry for He is always present and always guiding your path. Recently while just starting to read Eat Pray Love, I discovered a quote I found interesting and maybe a little abstract.

But why must everything always have a practical application? I’d been such a diligent soldier for years—working, producing, never missing a deadline, taking care of my loved ones, my gums and my credit record, voting, etc. Is this lifetime supposed to be only about duty? In this dark period of loss, did I need any justification for learning Italian other than that it was the only thing I could imagine bringing me any pleasure right now?

This popped out at me. I am not quite sure why yet, but I feel like there is more to it than what’s on the print and paper. Sometimes when you are feeling lost it is necessary to be your own devil’s advocate. Find yourself, ground yourself, and assure yourself. Life is made for you; you are not made to conform to societal pressures. You are capable of finding what makes you happy, what makes your mind climb higher than its limits, to let your words flow freely. Life is what you make of it. So incredibly cliché it almost makes me cringe. I can’t portray that in a more straightforward way. We mustn’t worry so much about what others think or what we are and are not capable of. We are capable of anything and stressing about it can only hold us back. My challenge for the week (maybe year, maybe lifetime) is to let go of the worry and let God guide me to my given path. Easier said than done, but always worth a try.

To tie things together I examine what I am blessed with here at TCU and what I look forward to receive throughout my time here. I smiled at myself when I heard the word “home” slip out of my lips today. I am content. I am finally home.