Sunday, May 30, 2010

I desire community. I need it. I need it I need it.

I get to go to camp in two weeks. And I am so utterly excited. You know why? Because I feel that is my place to belong. It's a place I fit in. Where people know me. And I can be real. Because realness takes a ridiculously long time for me. And sometimes realness requires that people ask the right questions. And the right questions require actually knowing a person.

Today I went to church, per usual. I saw community, but did not feel I was a part. It's too soon. Not for me to let go and allow it (ok, maybe a little bit), but for relationships to develop.

This community is amazing. They passed their babies around during the service. They commemorated a member's mother's death a year ago by singing and praying for her soul. They cheered and celebrated with the announcement of a first-time expecting mother. So beautiful.

They simply don't know me, and I don't know them. Honestly, today was a hard day. But something of massive size keeps me from opening up about it. At least this early. I was asked a few times how I am. And I lied. I said good.

Until a man I've only had small talk with approached me to ask me how my first week without Curt is going.

He asked the right question because he knew that part of me.

And because of this, I was able to open up a bit. Of course, I didn't fall into his arms weeping. But was honest about how difficult the first week is and why. He understood, but he didn't get awkward. He maintained his joy. I knew his joyful spirit before I knew his name. I don't think he knows how much that small question and that ounce of joy meant to me. Maybe I'll tell him someday. : )

Sigh, community. At the speed you require to develop, I will still wait for you.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bring those Burdens

I'm reading through a few booklets on Orthodoxy (cute, I know). And today I tackled Practical Prayer, an interview with Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. Besides being a really wise man, he mentioned something that I thought was really cool.

The interviewer asked about the hectic lifestyle of many Westerners and how it interferes with a prayerful life. I thought he'd respond with a challenge to get rid of all distractions and make our lives more simple! But he took a different approach.

"Very often people say, 'I would like to pray undistractedly, and yet concerns press upon me.' Why push the concerns out? Very often they are God's concerns, more than ours.

"Before we try to be with God in serenity and peace and stillness, we should turn to Him and say, 'Lord here are a few things that worry and torment me.' Someone's illness, someone's enmity of mind, even small things like the worry of a child preparing for an exam - there is nothing too small for God. Present the whole thing to God in detail, saying everything that you've got to say. And then make an act of faith, and say to God, 'I have put it in Your hands, I will now leave it in Your hands for a short while.'

"You can add, if you are honest, 'I don't think that I'll be able to leave it for long, because I don't trust You enough. I will take it back because I feel in my worry this problem is more central, perhaps, than You do.' (You will discover later that this is not true, but still we must often start that way.) And then once you have given it to God, say, 'Now Lord, let us be together for a short while.'

"You would do precisely the same thing, would you not, with a wife or a friend. You would come loaded with worry, and you couldn't simply enjoy the company, the happiness of being together. You would first say, 'Oh, I've had such a heavy day,' and tell your wife or your mother or your friend of the worry of the day. Having unburdened yourself you could then sit back and say, 'Ah, how lovely it is to be together.'"

I sometimes fall into a rut of saying what I think should be said to God instead of my reality. My concerns stay concerns because I think they're too small. Goodness, why would I bother the God of the universe with the subtleties of life? I remember His massiveness, but neglect His desire to sweat the details. I don't think this allows us to dwell on the things that don't matter, but to give the small things to God, take care of them in any way we can, and get over them.

So unburden yourself. And do it to God. Then you can enjoy Him.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Guy

I want to tell you about the person I am proud of most. His name is Curtis Gaynor and we've been close for 10 whole years. He still blows me away with what an amazing man he's become. I get to see many sides of him and am honored to be dating him.

We've been long distance, but now there's a new twist on things. Today, we said goodbye for the 143rd time (or so it seems). But this time, he's off to Japan to serve as an ensign officer in the Navy. In part, I cope by bragging about him. It gives me back the perspective of why he has to be gone. I have a selfish side that wants him with me always. But I wouldn't have our lives be any other way. I'm too proud of his adventures.

He's been in ROTC at the University of Michigan for the past 4 years. It has really matured him beyond his high school days. He's had the opportunity to serve in various leadership roles, ending as the XO (executive officer, 2nd in command) for his battalion. I rarely got to see him in action, but he tells me his leadership philosophies and they are fantastic.

At the beginning of May, he was commissioned by president Obama himself, handed off the baton to his minors, and got his first salute.

Oh and he received a sword for outstanding leadership. No big deal. : P

Curt's a great dancer. He took a ballroom class at school and loved it, so he invested himself in learning swing. This past week, we went out dancing twice and got complimented a ton. I tell people it's all him; I just follow a great lead. We went out to Diamondback Saloon in Belleville, MI, and the lead singer of their house band approached us to tell us how cute we were dancing. Ha.

I am also proud of his chivalry. Oh it is not dead. I have proof. When I'm with him, I never have to open a door, not because I am unable, but because I'm a beautiful woman and should be treated with the utmost care. I'm also not allowed to forget how beautiful I am. I couldn't, with someone telling me every 5 minutes.

Curtis is the biggest goofball. For how mature he is, he never takes himself too seriously.

Senior prom.
He wouldn't stop blowing on my neck until I agreed to mess up a formal picture with him.

Yup, that would be an entire cupcake going into his mouth ...

He connects well with people. He just does. Any kind of person. In a group, Curt will talk to the person he knows the least until he knows all about them. He pursues people like it's his job, and truly finds joy in it.

Like me, Curt's a dreamer. We fit together well because we're both ambitious - but I dream the dreams and he thinks of the practicalities of how to make them a reality.

And most important, Curt loves God. In 7th grade, he was the one who showed me who God really is and inspired me to pursue relationship with Him. Curt's life has been one of pursuing God and pursuing true Church. His faith is unlike any other that I've seen.

All these words are nothing compared to experiencing him. So I hope someday you'll get to meet Curt. He's memorable by his character and his charisma; and you'll be glad to know him.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Shout House

I was in Minneapolis last week and hit up the Shout House, a dueling piano bar downtown.

It was amazing. They have two very rustic grand pianos set up for their oh-so-talented pianists to perform on. You make a request, they play your song.

They performed The Devil Went Down to Georgia, and I think I stopped breathing. I was absolutely STUNNED by the way they performed it. Their hands were fluttering. By the end of it, my jaw was dropped, my hands were on my head, and I was helplessly stunned. Just in time for the soloist to look straight at me. Ha, well at least he knows how well he did. Awesome, amazing; but don't take my word for it, check out the link.

Monday, May 10, 2010

t minus ...

In two hours and thirty three minutes, I will take a physics final. But I no longer care to overkill my studying. See, a couple years ago, I would've killed myself to know every potential problem, every concept, every detail. But the desire to nit pick beyond a weeked of studying has faded, and I find myself searching for zen in a biology library instead of drilling more last-minute information into my head. Wow, I have changed. Good change? Not sure yet. I'll let you know how that final goes.

I have the desire to work my butt off. But not for this. Not for things I learn only to pass the exams. But then again, there are requirements, however useful or useless, that compose the path to your dreams. I guess we all just have to work through the things we care little about in order to pursue the things we do.

Thank you to every physicist out there. I love your impact on the world and appreciate the way your mind works.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Genocide is a harsh word.

This is super interesting. Read it, especially if you're a vegetarian. : )

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I really appreciate people with higher education. Ph.D.'s. Career academics. But I don't want it for myself. I want to graduate, yes. But the sooner, the better.

I'm pretty tired of having to focus on things I don't care about, thus not being able to focus on the things I want to invest in. I want life experience. And it would be great to read a book of my own choosing for once.

I don't want to go to grad school. I don't. At first, I thought this was selfish. Knowledge is power; am I really equipping myself well enough to change the world? To fulfill my passions?

Ask me this now and I'll say yes. I follow my heart now. I accept what it says. God puts things there, right?

I think part of me still hopes that someday I'll want grad school. : )

I'm surrounded every day with ridiculously smart people. People with research projects and fellowships. Post docs and professors. With immense knowledge on how the world works far beyond anything I could understand (and that's okay). People with academic ambitions. I'm finally realizing and accepting that my ambitions are just different.

I like being in control of how I learn. I just learn. I just do. I think. And ponder. And sift. And filter. School has become hindering. Because it takes away my time to self-educate and tries to fit me into a different mold. I don't want to read that book or do that problem or make that calculation because I'm pretty sure none of it will help me learn anything. Except for an exam that won't help me actually learn anything either.

In light of this, I really appreciate these secrets from post-secret:


Monday, May 3, 2010

My Uniqueness

I’m finding that I think differently than a lot of people. At least the people I’m around. I’m a Zoology major. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. But in many of these spheres, my opinions differ from the majority.

I don’t oppose primate research in all circumstances. And I think many animal rights activists are rigid in their beliefs and are emotional.

I think cruelty to animals hurts us, too. Maybe our species more than theirs. I’m probably slightly speciesist.

Vegetarianism: as of yet, I support it more for the health benefits than for the ethical concerns. I don’t think it achieves the goal of more humane treatment of the animals we consume.

I’m an evolutionist. And I also know that God is Creator. I do not believe these two ideas are fundamentally different.

If you try to comfort me with a cliche, it’s no comfort at all. Even if it’s Truth.

I believe that wives are to submit to husbands and husbands are to love their wives. I also believe that we misunderstand what this means, and that misunderstanding in and of itself is what pisses us off.

I think God created male and female roles perfectly. But we try to create equality by being each other. It doesn’t work very well.

I agree that knowledge is power, but I also believe that it can imprison us. I don’t want to go to grad school. I want to be a mom. And I want to stay home with my kids. Grey’s Anatomy made me cry this week because Sloan had a baby. LoL.

: )