stories about nothing and everything

another group from CIU just got back from costa rica on monday and they’re making me miss it even more.

and that missing-ness has resulted in all of these moments swirling around in my head, so i’m getting them all out by listing them all here for you.
these aren’t even necessarily things i miss; just random memories.

1. the beach and the mountains. i know i say that probably every day, but i’m still not over the fact that a place in the world exists where you can see both at once.
see, here’s a view of the beach from the mountains:
Imageand here you can see the mountains from the beach.
but you have to see it in person. no picture can do either view justice(and we took a LOT of them).

2. rice for breakfast.
if you know me, you know that i absolutely hate rice. but morning was the only time i didn’t have to force myself to eat it here. i’m not sure if the kind we ate then actually tasted different than what we had for every other meal, or if i was just so hungry after sleeping a whole night on an empty stomach(because by dinner time i couldn’t put one bite in my mouth without gagging).

3. smoothies made with totally real fruit, picked just miles away from the shop.
and if you order a coconut smoothie, they’ll give you that plus a whole coconut with a straw in it.

4. ziplining in the jungle.
this was both the most terrifying and most fun thing i’ve ever done. it wasn’t that bad as long as i didn’t look down(we were 1000 feet up at some points), and didn’t hold the cable too tight(which would slow me down too much and make me have to pull myself to the end by hand)…but everyone had fun making fun of my screaming anyways. when i got to the first platform i swung right up to the guy working it, wrapped my arms around him and wouldn’t let go until he unhooked my harness and set my feet down for me. then for the rest of the way all the workers called me “hugging girl.”

5. the only time in my life i’ve ever been truly homesick.
i came down with tonsilitis and a double ear infection two days before we were leaving. i felt so terrible by late afternoon that i had to stay by myself at the hotel while everyone else went to youth group, and i laid there missing the kids because it was my last time to see them, missing my friends because once we went back to school we wouldn’t get to hang out as much, but mostly just wanting to be home because when i’m sick i don’t want to be anywhere else.

6. the worst flight of my life
have you ever been on a plane when you have an ear infection? neither had i until our trip home. it’s awful. my ears already hate planes, but especially flying from charlotte to columbia because the plane is constantly changing elevation(since it’s only a half hour trip).

stories about nothing and everything

100 bits of joy.

1. seeing scott around campus; i forget sometimes that we go to the same school and i can see him whenever i want now.
2. yellow highlighters.
3. fall.
4. running without ankle pain.
5. finding money in winter clothes when i take them out of the attic.
6. chick fil a lemonade. and waffle fries…and mocha cookies and cream milkshakes…and of course chicken…ok all things chick fil a. but mostly lemonade.
7. cancelled classes.
8. cancelled 6 am cross country practice.
9. watching baseball.
10. the smell of new books.
11. the smell of old books.
12. books in general.
13. when my car’s trunk closes on the first try; normally it takes at least nine.
14. when my car gets me all the way home without making any scary noises.
15. getting up on sunday morning knowing i can drive myself to church, not worrying about having to beg around for a ride anymore.
16. craving chick fil a, and remembering that i can actually take myself there instead of finding people with cars who want to go out.
17. my cat.
18. fierce strawberry gatorade.
19. hoodies.
20. sweatpants.
21. krispy kreme donuts.
22. ingrid michaelson.
23. my flash drive that looks like a duck.
24. candy crush.
25. 3 hours marathons of the big bang theory.
26. thunderstorms.
27. getting letters from my campers.
28. running into campers at walmart.
29. cross country road trips.
30. any time spent with the cross country team at all.
31. people who let me be myself.
32. singing in the car with scott.
33. new episodes of how i met your mother.
34. the perfect song shuffling onto my ipod.
35. hugs.
36. my mom.
37. waking up and realizing i still have an hour before i need to get up.
38. sleeping a whole night without dreaming.
39. chicken soup.
40. homemade bread.
41. nutella.
42. ice cream.
43. nutella mixed in ice cream.
44. finding the number 56 in random places.
45. surprise texts from camp friends.
46. carowinds.
47. when people come through my line in the caf just because i’m the one serving.
48. i love lucy reruns.
49. babies.
50. sleeping in.
51. raw cookie dough.
52. neverending pasta at olive garden.
53. olive garden breadsticks.
54. hugs.
55. little gifts for no reason; it’s my very close second love language, after physical touch. obviously.
56. back rubs.
57. finding change on the ground.
58. putting all my change in my adoption jar at the end of the month.
59. cookout milkshakes.
60. sparkly pens.
61. post-its.
62. pictures of cute animals.
63. buzzfeed lists that describe my life.
64. jennifer lawrence.
65. oreos with peanut butter.
66. watching the parent trap after waiting all week for it to come on tv.
67. cutting on the tv and surprisingly finding that the parent trap is on.
68. peanut m&ms.
69. shopping for something and finding it comes in purple.
70. finding a jennifer lawrence interview that i haven’t watched yet.
71. thanksgiving dinner.
72. watching home videos, and the whole family migrates one by one into the living room to watch them together.
73. looking at old pictures.
74. finishing a blog post that’s sat in my drafts for weeks.
75. new twitter followers.
76. waking up with motivation.
77. naps in my eno.
78. when people buy me things with angry birds on them, just because they saw it and thought of me.
79. making lists.
80. sitting down to write a blog and finishing the whole post in one sitting, no saving it and coming back to it weeks later.
81. hugs.
82. the chick fil a cow; all other things in costumes freak me out, but not that.
83. christmas shopping.
84. jeremy kingsley speaking in chapel.
85. getting a PR.
86. running a good race and hugging all my sweaty teammates at the end.
87. cool-down runs after hard workouts.
88. pasta night in the caf.
89. the video of the ducks getting blown away by the wind.
90. peeling an orange in one piece.
91. eating nutella straight from the jar.
92. when my small group kids teach me things.
93. getting 15 likes on a status i didn’t realize was funny.
95. when people say they like what i write.
96. sunday pie in the caf, in the middle of the week.
97. ice cream.
98. when someone brings me ice cream in the dishpit and gives me a hug.
99. laughing til i feel like i’ve done P90X abs three times.
100. bedtime. =)

just a thought.

such a sad synecdoche.

when i took hermeneutics, this became one of my favorite words. it makes me sad that i don’t get to use it in conversation much.

a synecdoche is a form of figurative language when you refer to a part of something as if it was the whole thing.
like when you say “my car broke down,” and mean the engine fell out. it’s the engine, not the whole car, that’s broken.

or when i say “i love soccer.” or worse, when someone says about me, “she’s really good at soccer.”

i don’t love soccer. i LOVE playing goalie, and i’m okay at it. that in and of itself is my hands down favorite “sport.” but other than that, i hate soccer and i suck at it.

i had a conversation about that with someone the other day(they couldn’t wrap their minds around the concept of “no i don’t play soccer, i’m just the goalie”), and then i started thinking.

sometimes we pick and choose which parts of our lives to trust God with and which to try to take care of on our own. which disciplines we need to practice and which aren’t important for us.

so you’re going to church every sunday? that’s good. are you spending any time with God the other six days of the week? that’s a bigger issue.

it’s like we’re bragging about how well our windshield wipers work while the transmission’s been dead for a month.

just a thought.

SOCB's · stories about nothing and everything · stories about school

if you put a scared-of-the-dark-insomniac in a single room…their whole hall will smell like burnt plastic.

if you put linda in a single room, she will be unable to sleep in the dark.

if linda is unable to sleep in the dark, she will sleep with the lights on.

if linda sleeps with the lights on, she will be unable to fall fully asleep.

if linda is unable to ever fall totally asleep, she will google “how to fall asleep.”

if linda googles “how to fall asleep,” she will find that she needs a dark room.

if linda needs a dark room, she will try to make her room as dark as possible without cutting off the lights.

if linda tries to make her room as dark as possible without cutting off the lights, she will wrap her movable-flower-petal lamp up as tight as she can with a white t-shirt.

if linda wraps her lamp in a t-shirt, the heat from the lightbulb will all get trapped inside.

if the heat from the lightbulb gets trapped inside, the plastic flower petal shell around it will melt.

if the plastic flower petal shell melts, it will make the whole hall smell like burnt plastic.

and so, that is why if you put linda in a single room, her whole hall will smell like burnt plastic.

to put it simply: i am scared of the dark. i mean legitimately, cripplingly terrified. if the lights are off and i’m alone, i start to have a panic attack.
but i also have insomnia, so good sleep is a rare but necessary thing for me. apparently it’s really really bad for my sleep patterns if i sleep with lights on. like, even having a digital clock in sight can mess me up. i never knew that had anything to do with my waking up constantly throughout the night, since i’ve always thought i was one of those people who light doesn’t bother, but after reading about it, it explains a lot.
so last night i decided to make the best of both worlds: i’d make my lamp dimmer by covering it up. that way i still wouldn’t be in the dark, but the light also couldn’t get to me and wake me up.
what i hadn’t considered was the fact that lights get hot when you leave them on all night, and that heat needs to go somewhere. when it doesn’t have anywhere to go, it’ll just bounce around and burn whatever is around it.

well i wake up this morning to this awful burning smell. i automatically assumed that something was wrong with my heater, so i cut that off.

it wasn’t until i was unwrapping my shirt from the lamp that i found the problem.

so not only is my cute lamp ruined(well, two of the five petals; the switch lets you have either two, three or five on at a time), but my cross country shirt has burnt plastic fused into its fabric.

thankfully i’m sleep-deprived enough to find all of this hilarious. =]

just a thought.

hide, hurt, or help.

this is one of my favorite postsecret cards that i’ve ever read.

every single person in the world has been hurt. most of them are probably still hurting.

the reason we can’t always tell is because everyone reacts to it differently.
of every possible way i could think of, i found that each falls into one of three boxes.

some people hide.
these are the ones who never want to get hurt again, and the only way to do that is to never ever let anyone in again.
…with walls around our weakness, and smiles that hide our pain.
we hide because we are afraid. we have been wounded, and wounded deeply…to hide means to remain safe, to hurt less.stasi eldredge

others hurt.
i don’t mean just sitting and wallowing in the hurt that they feel. i mean inflicting some kind of hurt on other people, or possibly themselves. seeing something else hurt, even if it isn’t in the same way that they’ve been hurt, temporarily makes their own hurt okay to them.
kids who’ve been beaten push other kids on the playground.
middle school girls who’ve had nothing but terrible things said to them at home will say terrible things to other girls.
dancers who are told every day by their teachers that they’re fat will start telling themselves they’re fat and trying to fix it by starving themselves.
teenagers who constantly hear that they deserve to be punished will start cutting themselves.
it’s not always that purposeful though. some people don’t even realize what they’re doing or that it’s hurting anyone. people who grew up never seeing compassion in their families seem insensitive to everyone else’s feelings because they were never taught to care. kids who only hear negative talk at home never say anything nice to other kids because they don’t know how to notice anything in people besides faults. i’m sarcastic and blunt when i talk about serious things because i was indirectly taught to never show when things bother me.*
whether it’s purposeful or just out of an invisible habit, it doesn’t fix things in the end.
you spend your time trying to even the score, and you’ve got it in your head that you deserve a lot more.

but some help.
they take their hurt and use it to push them to help other hurting people. they pass on the hope they’ve found and the grace they’ve been shown. they call back into the dark tunnel they’ve escaped from to save the people who are still stuck in it.
this is where i say i’ve had enough, and no one should ever feel the way that i feel now.

in most cases, no one stays in one category forever.
there’s a lot of ways you might do a combination of all three throughout your life. a few of endless possible examples:
1. hide-get sick of hiding and start protecting yourself by hurting people instead-realize how much it hurts to see people hurt like you-start helping people instead.
2. hurt as many people as you can-realize this isn’t fixing anything and start hiding so you don’t have to deal with it all-get sick of hiding but know that hurting isn’t the answer-start helping.
3. try to help everyone-fail at it because you’re still hurting too much to know how to help-hide because you don’t know what else to do-with time after you’ve been helped, become able to actually help other people.

the list could go on, but i don’t feel like thinking of more, and you probably get the gist and don’t feel like reading more. if you think of some of your own, tell me!

in order to get out of either negative stage(hiding or hurting), and into the positive stage(helping), something needs to happen first. lucky for me and my semi-obnoxious alliteration, it also happens to start with an H:

you have to heal.

you can’t come out of hiding if you have no idea what to do out in the open.
you can’t stop hurting people if you don’t know what else to do with your hurt.
and even in scenario 3, where the first thing the hurt person does is try to help people, no good will come of anything until you’ve started to get your own wound stitched up.
i know you’ll help us when you’re feeling better, and we realize that it might not be for a long, long time…

so, if you’ve made it this far, or if you’ve scrolled to the bottom because you don’t have time to read all my thoughts, here’s a more easily processable,** thoughts-for-the-road version of everything i just said.

everyone’s been hurt.
everyone deals with it differently.
everyone needs grace.
everyone can heal.
everyone can help.

i’m ready to suffer and i’m ready to hope.

*serious things meaning cancer, anorexia, etc. for the longest time, i wasn’t even aware that i did that, much less that there was anything wrong with it; it’s just the coping mechanism i’ve used all my life. something in my head believes that if i act like it’s not as bad as it is, eventually it won’t feel that way to me anymore. thankfully someone loved me enough a few years ago to explain to me that it wasn’t a good thing and i needed to stop; i haven’t yet broken the habit, but i do notice when i do it and jump to apologize and explain myself at a mile a minute as soon as i realize.
**WHOA that’s a real word! who knew?

just a thought.

not better; just different.

today is oscar sunday.

instead of spending my afternoon arguing my predictions with strangers online, i took a nap while watching camp rock, then visited my old-but-still-loved youth group.

and instead of watching the awards, i read a whole book for school two weeks before it’s due, and now i’m about to watch last week’s premier of worst cooks in america.

the first two months of every year of my life since tenth grade have revolved around awards season. i blew off going to the movies with my friends so i could watch the golden globes. freshman, sophomore and junior year, i skipped class to watch the nominations announcements.

i don’t think i was wrong before, or that now i’m right. i’m just surprised at how what was important to me changed without me even realizing it. i used to love movies and tv; now i love writing and missions and sports. i don’t hate movies now, i don’t look back on all the hours i used to spend predicting the oscar winners and wish i could take them back, and i’m not bothered that i’d rather run five miles than read roger ebert’s opinion on the best picture nominees from the past ten years.

the only weird thing is that none of this is weird to me.

i think i’m getting better at changing. if you’d told me at 17 that someday i’d be 21 and not care about my formerly precious oscar night, i would have flipped out and told you that if that was true, then i was going to hate my life in four years.
but no. i was happy then, and i’m happy now. it’s just that different things make me happy today.

this is one of those posts where i’m not sure how to end it…so i’ll let you laugh at this poor little bulldog instead.

just a thought.

what are we hiding from?

like Eve after she tasted the forbidden fruit, we women hide. we hide behind our makeup. we hide behind our humor. we hide with angry silences and punishing withdrawals. we hide our truest selves and offer only what we believe is wanted, what is safe. we act in self-protective ways and refuse to offer what we truly see, believe and know. we will not risk rejection or looking like a fool. we have spoken in the past and been met with blank stares and mocking guffaws. we will not do it again. we hide because we are afraid. we have been wounded, and wounded deeply. people have sinned against us and we have sinned as well. to hide means to remain safe, to hurt less. at least that is what we think. and so by hiding, we take matters into our own hands. we don’t return to our God with our broken and desperate hearts. and it has never occurred to us that in all our hiding, something precious is also lost–something the world needs from us so very, very much.stasi eldredge, captivating, page 56(hey look jenna!). with my emphasis added.

just a thought.

ideas born out of insomnia.

i’m working on making my stuff easier to follow. whether you have only two minutes to read this or you just tend to lose track of my rambles, you can look at the bold print, the big letters, or the blue sections for the meat. the rest is important too, but not absolutely necessary for understanding the gist. tell me what you think! is it still too much? is there a better way for me to make my thoughts more readable for less-ADD-than-me people?

every now and then, i go crazy and can’t sleep.

it’s called paradoxical insomnia.

the doctor would charge me a lot to officially tell me this, but during my bouts of not sleeping, i’ve done enough studying to figure it out on my own.

even as a kid i couldn’t sleep. i’m pretty sure this is why i’m so short and so weird; my body didn’t have enough time to grow, and my brain was in such a hurry to grow itself up in the little time i spent asleep that it crossed some of its wires wrong.

but seriously though. my sleep patterns make sense now. a weird sense, but sense nonetheless.

for a few straight days out of every month or so, i either
A-sleep for only 2 or 3 hours. it’s not that i suddenly need very little sleep; it’s that i either can’t fall asleep until 5 then have to get up at 7, or i fall asleep at a decent hour then wake up too soon and can’t go back to sleep. and despite being physically and emotionally miserable the rest of the day, i suddenly feel productive around “bedtime” and can’t let myself go to sleep for fear of wasting time, so the cycle continues.
2-keep a weird sleep routine while still being fully rested and functioning normally during the day, like going to bed at 4 in the afternoon when i get out of class, then getting up at 1 or 2 in the morning.
C-don’t sleep at all. sometimes this is because i have a nightmare one night, and for the next couple days am so terrified to sleep that i don’t even try to, but usually it’s because i just don’t feel like i need it.
when i’m at home, my mom will come downstairs and find me eating cereal in front of the tv.
she’ll say “why are you up so early?”
and i’ll say “because i’m still awake.”
this always freaks her out, so that night when it gets to be around 9, she’ll start suggesting i go to bed, and i’ll say i’m not tired.
next morning, the same thing happens.
mom: “did you ever sleep?”
me: “i took a nap at 3 am.”
mom: “and when did you wake up?”
me: “4.”

the most common symptom of any of these cases is feeling a desperate need to do something. the idea of sleeping puts me in a panic. “NO. there’s no time, i HAVE to finish this entire online course first and THEN i’ll go to sleep.” the other side of my brain says “dummy, it’s september…can’t that project that’s due at the end of the semester wait 8 hours while i rest?” but usually i listen to the side telling me that if i go to sleep i’ll miss something.

but you know the good thing in all this?
when i can’t sleep, i take all my racing thoughts and make things like this happen.
or there’s one idea, so big it hurts to hold inside me, and this comes of it.
some of my best work was written, or at least thought of, at 4 am when i’ve been awake for 28 hours.

right now though, i’m not feeling especially blessed by this deal…i haven’t written anything great tonight, and i have to be up in 2 hours and 37 minutes. so i’m gonna go curl up on my floor and let Friends season 4 play me to sleep for what little time i have.

oh wait. i am tired aren’t i? i just wrote this an hour ago. totally forgot. so there is an “at least” to remind myself of when i wake up tired in the morning. =p

just a thought.

Never hearing>never seeing.

If you had to lose one of your senses, which would it be?

Good question…but too hard for concrete, extroverted people like me. I live outside my head. If even one of my senses was out, I’d go literally insane from not feeling like anything was real.

But, for an assignment tomorrow, I had to come up with an answer. So I thought about it.

Touch has to stay. I’ve rambled in countless posts about love languages(mainly here), and touch is my off-the-charts number one.

Taste, I need. I know you’re supposed to eat when you’re hungry…but I just eat when I see something good and want it. So if I couldn’t taste anything I’d starve to death pretty quick.

If I’m keeping taste, I have to be able to smell. Have you ever tried to eat a potato, or anything more bland than a ghost pepper, when you’ve had a bad cold? Then you know exactly what I mean.

So I’m left with either sight or hearing.
Translation: a silent world or a dark world.
And when I thought of it like that, it was easy.

I like to hear, but I need to see.

My eyes are how I learn. I can’t focus if I have nothing to look at. Even today, if someone’s reading something out loud to me, I have to be sitting next to them reading along, or else I’ll forget every word within minutes. No matter how slowly and clearly my soccer coach explains something, I’ll never really get it until I step out of the goal and watch him do it. And even my favorite teacher, who I honestly could listen to all day, can only keep my attention for so long without writing on the board or pulling up a Powerpoint.

Besides being a visual learner, I just like to see things. Some people love to be told stories, but I love to see pictures. Or better yet, go places. When we were in Costa Rica, I never got tired of looking around. Even if I saw the same mountain every day for ten days, it wouldn’t get old. A little tip for peacefully living with me: if you ever get tired of hearing me talk, point out something cool to look at, and I’ll be quiet for the next ten minutes or longer.

There are plenty of things I’d miss if I ever went deaf, and obviously I hope I never do…but in this hypothetical forced choice situation, it’s easily the better one to go for me. I’d lose so much more without my eyes than I would without my ears.

It’s ok if I can’t hear you laughing as long as I can see you smiling.

I don’t need to hear your words, but I could never go on living if I couldn’t read them.

As sad as it would be to never hear music again, I always pay more attention to the words than the sound anyways; I can read the lyrics and appreciate it almost as much.

Most of my pet peeves have to do with sounds. Snoring. Over-enunciating the letter T. Loud breathing. Doors slamming. The Twilight Zone theme. Microphones squealing. Writing on chalkboards. Etc, etc…it’s easier to close my eyes to something I don’t want to see than it is to drown out something I don’t want to hear.

I’d so much rather see someone and not know what they’re saying, then hear someone and not see where they are.

I can sleep through someone cutting on a light, but you will wake me up if you come in making noise.

Most obvious loss: writing. That would be like cutting off my oxygen. I need to write like other people need to sleep.

And the biggest thing I realized about myself as I thought about all this:

I hear with my ears, but I listen with my eyes.

When I replay conversations in my head, I don’t always remember everything that was said, but I remember what the person looked like as they talked. I don’t pay as much attention to the tone in their voice as I do to the feeling in their eyes.

There are so many more things that I need sight for and would never want to live without:
Playing sports.
Watching baseball.
Fireworks on the 4th of July.
The looks on my campers’ faces when they try something new, when our whole cabin is tired and laughing at everything, when I give them all hugs at bedtime, when they make an important decision on Thursday night…
and so many things that I tend to see that no one else notices.

Bottom line: if I go deaf, at least I can write about it or run to cheer myself up. If I go blind, I’m hiring someone to hold my hand and narrate life for me 24/7.

The fun thing about this question is that no one will give the same answer for the same reason. So your turn. Would you rather lose your sight, or your hearing? Why? What would be the hardest thing that you would lose with either? What would you not mind missing that you would lose with either?

stories about nothing and everything

to the left…

most of my stories about nothing are really about a lot of different things. this one is really about absolutely nothing, or more like one absolutely meaningless thing. =]

i write with my right hand.
i always step on my right foot first when i walk.
i throw things with my right hand.
i bowl with my right hand.
i hear best out of my right ear.
i dive best to the right.
i’m right-brained.

i eat with my left hand.
i roll a soccer ball with my left hand.
i kick a ball with my left foot[read: look less disabled kicking with my left foot than with my right].
i surf left-footed.
i see better out of my left eye.
i’m a left turner. [read: when i used to dance, i did all of my turns best to the left]
i balance best on my left foot.
i pick things up with my left hand.

i’m just a starburst of contradictions. but i like it that way. =]