Sunday, August 31, 2008

got me right where they want me; ready for anything

life... funny.

i'm at the OC, trying to get used to it. it's really love/hate right now, but i'm optimistic that it will perhaps be better soon. went to church today, and that was really good. it's great to see everybody. i'd forgotten how awesome worship is in the college class, and it makes me want to worship in everything i do, like i'm supposed to. still working on that one.

in other news, i decided today that if i were to get in a car accident, i want it to kill me. i mean, they're so traumatic anyway, so i'd like my first one to be my only one. 

so there's that.

anyway. back to this. i also got an iphone, which is strange because i had signed up for an itouch. i really don't know what came over me, it was a super last minute thing. i'd like to use this platform to vent about a Christian institution basically condoning materialism, but i'll leave that up to you to decide. all you people who even read this blog. 

so science at 9 in the morning. that's the first class of my junior year. i've got my bike tires aired up, my books are bought, i'm ready to go. i'm actually pretty excited about riding around and doing stuff. i rode around tonite, campus was quiet because it was after curfew. it was really nice. God has blessed me so much more than i deserve; i certainly hope this period of ungratefulness goes away as quickly as it came on. our Savior is a great one indeed. sometimes i have to tell myself to look God in all the little things that happen, and it is those times i see Him most. 

i'm uncertain, but hopeful. wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

love is a tired symphony you hum when you're awake

so if you've had any kind of interaction with me in the last month, you'll most likely remember me bellyaching about not wanting to go back to school. that's the most common refrain these days, mostly because the most common question i get is either so when are you going back? or why aren't you back yet? hasn't school started already?

to the latter, i answer no, it starts the first.

of september? labor day?


you mean you don't get labor day off?

then i explain to the very confused church member or friend from high school, etc. the system OC has (that i still do not even remotely understand). i explain that OC doesn't let us off for one-day holidays like labor day and presidents day and things like that, and that that fact somehow contributes to the fact that our spring classes are over in the middle of april, and the fact that we go back about a week before everybody else in january also contributes to this. i act like it makes sense to me, when in all actuality, i have NO idea how OC can start in late august or september, end at normal time in december, begin the second week of january, and end weeks before my friends in state schools get out of school. i mean, we still get a fall break and a full spring break and everything, yet we're always out of school so early in april, leaving me a month to hang out at home and do nothing before school starts, much like i've been doing for the last month since camp's been over. 

but hey, i won't fight it i suppose.

anyway. school. anyone who has lived at home for a summer after having spent any time in college not living at home knows what i mean when i say i'm absolutely climbing up the walls at home. it's not that i don't like my parents or enjoy their company, but after a certain point, that's exactly THAT. it's nothing they did, it's nothing i did, i've just been living with them for 4 months, and it's driving me insane. it's nothing personal. and since i'm the last child of 3, they understand this restlessness too, but not enough to not make me feel guilty about it. so there's that.

usually when people talk to me about school, they'll say well, why has (insert name of OC student they know or are related to) already moved back in? 

to which my response is:

oh, i just don't want to move back in yet. i'm not in a big hurry.

which they take as a statement that means that i don't like OC enough to go back early. which is true in some ways, false in others.

the truth is, i like who i am at camp and around my camp friends more than i like who i am at OC. there's an authenticity that comes out when you spend 8 hours in the sun all day with children that you just can't replicate elsewhere. i realize that sounds like a cop-out, and maybe it is. i'm not saying that only people at OC are fake; you're going to find fake people everywhere. i'm not even going so far as to say that it's 'fakeness' that turns me off at OC. it's not even that bad. there's just something genuine i've found in the end of the camp day when we all come in for staff meeting, and we're all saying with our actions:

i'm hot, i'm sweaty, i had a kid with a mental condition freak out today and rub himself all over with poison ivy, i'm exhausted, i'm not in the best mood, etc. this is me; take me or leave me.

and we take each other. we understand it. all this isn't my way of saying 'my camp friends are cooler and better than my OC friends', but it's just different. i was talking to my mom the other day, and i was trying to explain to her that i act differently around OC than i do at camp, and that it's not because i'm consciously trying to be a different person or anything, i just can't do certain things at OC that i do at camp because they're not socially acceptable around my peers like they are around a bunch of 7-year olds. it's not that i don't want that kind of connection with my OC friends; i strive for that connection with everybody i meet. the opportunity though, that's what is missing from my relationship with OC.

i meant for this blog to be about how i was finally excited about going back to school. so here's that.

i got coffee with catherine the other day and i was explaining the 'being sick of being at home' business, and she was like well, you should just go back sometime this week. like...before friday. 

so i thought about that. and that sounded like a good idea. i'd just take a load of stuff down there earlier in the week (which would totally be a ploy for seeing all my friends) and come back to tulsa, then come back friday to move the rest of my stuff in and stay.

sooooooooo yesterday me and my mom got a load of stuff together and went to OC. we checked me in to my apartment and hung out there for a little bit, then i went around and saw people in their apartments. me and taylor stopped in jonathan's apartment, went to baileykayleekayla&abigail's apartment, went to molly&christy's apartment, went to carlameaganlaura&sarah's apartment, saw susan and lindley, saw kim and seth, it was a lot of fun. i learned a lot of things from yesterday:

1) apartment life is going to be really fun. more fun, i hope, than dorm life. 

2) no one lives in phase v except for seniors. meaning, i'll be hanging out in phase iv a lot. 

3) i'm in love with my friends from OC, too. 

now that i've been there, seeing how things are different this year, i think i like it. i remember what is keeping me at OC, and that is relationships. if it wasn't for these relationships i have with people, i would have transferred long ago. me and carla and meagan and molly had a talk about rush, and how excited we were for it, and how much fun club is going to be this year. i'm getting so excited!!! it's going to be a fun year, and i'm glad i didn't give up on it.

OC, i'm giving you another chance. this doesn't make up for all the ways you've done me wrong, but i'm giving myself an attitude adjustment. 

don't blow it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

time is so short, and i'm sure there must be something wrong

i woke up this morning to the sobering realization that summer is basically over. i've been living in denial of this fact for a while now, about 3 weeks since camp got over. i went to lunch today with my mom, and there we began discussing when we would start packing to get me back to school. about a week ago, we had this same talk, but it seemed so much farther away then than it does now. we also had this talk right about when camp was over. this was the conversation from about a month ago, after camp.

so, when are you wanting to go back, my mother inquires. 

wait, go back where? 

back to school. when do you want to move back into OC? 

it's not time for THAT again, is it?! already?!

where did this summer go? whose idea was it to be this short? what a strange summer it was, too. i begin to think about camp, and what a sub-par camp counselor i was this summer, as compared to last summer. i realize it's unfair to compare two different times in your life to each other, but be real. i didn't start being a 'good' camp counselor (which i define as somebody who is completely willing to give up their comfort, insecurities, inhibitions, problems, to help their campers have the best time possible and to keep them safe) until maybe the last week of camp. i was in such a rut for the first part of the summer, i just couldn't climb out of it. what was the deal with that? why was i so distracted? why was i so preoccupied with other things? why was i so worried about how my actions would affect others' opinions of me? why couldn't i just be free of all those things so i could fully minister to my kids? why was i getting so frustrated with how things were being run? how disappointing it all was. how disappointed i was in myself all summer. 

to understand my reasons for comparing this summer to last summer, you must first understand how camp truly changed my life.

working at camp loughridge last summer was an absolute fluke. after my plans (hopes, dreams) fell through with something else i was to do last summer, i remembered my friend who had worked at loughridge in summers past. i thought about it, and thinking it undesirable, kept it in the back of my mind for a few more weeks while i met with people on campus, desperately scrambling to find a youth internship or something, anything i could do. all the internships were filled up, though, since it was the beginning of april, and everybody knows how fast they go. but it's not like i even wanted an internship anyway. i wanted to do what i'd been planning on doing for years, but that didn't happen. so here i am, about two weeks left in my freshman year, with absolutely NO plans whatsoever with my summer. i couldn't work in the restaurant i used to work at through high school, they closed. all i knew was that i would live at home (love that), and my parents would make me find a job. then, remembering loughridge, i had sam make some phone calls, and i filled out an application. i had an awkward 45 minute phone interview (since it was finals week and i couldn't go home to do it), and was basically guaranteed the job. cool. i don't even know if i want to spend my summer with kids. i don't even know if i trust myself with that much power over children. at this point, i'm still heartbroken and upset about my first plans falling through, but i'm slightly relieved that i don't have to go job hunting once i get home, most likely landing a job at panera or target or something lame like that. or babysitting all summer. 

i've never really been an outdoorsy girl. our family (save my brother) has never really been all about family vacations hiking or climbing mountains or camping or anything, at least since i've been born. i'd never really been friends with people who liked to camp on the weekends or anything like that. so the thought of being outside, all day long, in the oklahoma summer, wasn't the most appealing to me. also, at this point in my life, i was really searching for who God was, and who He was to me. i wasn't doing so hot with my friends at school, because i really didn't know who i was. and the 'me' i'd been all year was really not a very fun person to choose to spend all your time with. not only did my friends come to this realization, but i did too. i really didn't like myself, i didn't like the person i chose to be when i started all over at OC. but who else could i be? who was i? who am i? now, i have to do it all over again, meet a bunch of new people, and work in the hot sun with them. i was sure i would be the crankiest person on staff, consistently complaining about the heat, sweating buckets, looking ugly. 

God, is this where You want me to be? really? i mean, this really isn't my thing. 

it's strange to think i ever thought these things. after the first week of camp, i showered my Lord with thanks, gratitude, and apologies. camp rocked my world. i've never been so spiritually refreshed as i was during my first summer at loughridge. i was a different person. i am a different person. camp happened to me, and i will never be the same. now, i LOVE to be outside. i LOVE getting opportunities to love people, to serve people, to minister to children and to my peers, to encourage encourage encourage, to let go of all my inhibitions and pour out the love that Jesus has put inside me, and to trust that He will fill me up the next day with more. 

it hurts me to know that i couldn't do that this year, not as much. i held back, because i thought i needed to keep some of that love for me, as a reserve for the love i've given away in the last year that has not been given back; will never be given back. i felt i had to protect myself; that if i loved too much, there wouldn't be any left for me, because that's the pattern as of late. that i couldn't risk giving it all up. 

what a faulty line of thinking. 

the risk is in not loving enough. the risk is in keeping some back for a rainy day. yes, perhaps i'd been burned before, when i gave up too much love, but i didn't differentiate the difference between that and really loving the children. see, you can perhaps over-love your friends (which i often do), over-love in your romantic endeavors, over-love causes, and you can get hurt by making yourself vulnerable. what i had forgotten is that you cannot over-love children. kids can't take advantage of your love; turn it back around on you and leave you with nothing. they can't say that's nice that you love me, but i refuse to reciprocate, leaving you on your knees. my point is, my faith crisis is, i didn't trust enough to completely give all of myself. i didn't trust that God will come back tomorrow, filling me to overflowing with the Love that i must pour out before the day's end. i didn't trust in the innocence of the children i worked with, always paranoid that they would take my love and run away with it, coming back for more only once they'd wasted it all, like a prodigal son.

why was i so selfish with my love? why was i so hesitant to trust a bunch of 8-year olds with it? why couldn't i let go of past experiences and give my love away freely, without expecting any in return?

i have learned much this summer, and there is still much to learn about myself and my capacity to love. as shane claiborne puts it in the irresistible revolution, Jesus has 'ruined my life' this summer, causing me to think long and hard about mistakes i have made and learn to not make them again. he has put people in my life to show me how i should love. people who aren't afraid to say hey, i like what you're doing, but let me show you a better way through their actions and words. people who have been the repository of Christ's love, and who i want to model myself after. this summer wasn't a waste. it happened. it was not the best, in fact, it may have been the worst. but i can't wait for Him to build me back up, this time with knowledge and resources to better serve, to better minister, to better love those around me. 

this darkness that has taken up residence over my mind and my heart is a pain i am ready to be rid of. but i can feel that the sun will be up soon, and it will be just a memory. 

'i have no doubt, one day the sun will come out' 

since i still tell you my everyday

this is the beginnings of my first real blog since high school. so get excited!

my real reason for making this is so i can post comments on other people's blogs, but i'm sure i'll do some myself. but, my life is currently not exciting enough to write about. but check back periodically, and perhaps you'll find something worthwhile.