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.

Babbling

“Don’t bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook.”

My interpretation: Keep your guard up and reveal only what you should until you know it’s safe to share more.

AJ’s interpretation: Don’t act for now, until you understand the motives to your actions.

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks” 

My interpretation: It certainly has little to do with the actual words that are said, but most definitely the way the words have been said and to which extent those words have been sorted and processed with feedback. Curious minds pick apart the details and it is less about the over arching theme of the conversation, but more about the potency for each particular word or string of words.

AJ’s interpretation: Reaching a conclusion is not whats important, understanding the inception of the process that guided you there is.

“Art is anything you can get away with.”

My interpretation: A chaotic mind is far from illness; it possesses an artistic view of the world. One in which the world has yet to understand, like abstract art. But surely it will be beautiful and accepted, just as other forms of art have.

AJ’s (much better) interpretation: Art is anything that attracts pompous, condescending suitors, that of whom will not hesitate to tell you of their interpretation of the work in question.

See through rain

It’s falling rain on my windowpane

A momentary moment of bliss

A cleansed palate.

It’s clarity really.

The rhythmic drops

I can’t think at all anymore.

And I used to think a lot.

The thunder strikes the ground

With passion and such temper

It is an innocent impulse.

Its something I can’t control

But it feels so natural.

It’s a feeling that’s both cold and warm.

It’s unpredictable and indescribable

And I always want more. 

Candid

I think they are the most beautiful pictures. You’re not trying to be anything else, and I think that is beautiful. Being purely yourself and being photographed in your element. It is as true as it gets. Each emotion is so exposed and bare. It captures the joy of laughter and tears. Wide eyes and big smiles. It creates a picture of someone’s head held down and pain in their eyes. It brings forth the anger or contempt in the lines on a person’s face.  It has no mercy for posed or planned. It is spontaneous. A candid is not perfect. Neither are we. And we are both beautiful.