Monday, May 24, 2004


Warning: this is my last post for a while. I'm about to embark on a journey to Kiwi-a-gogo land for three months. I most likely will not update this until I am back in Missouri. Tomorrow I drive to my grandparents house, then Wednesday is the first day of ASP training. Here goes...

As I have mentioned, I'm terrified. People keep telling me that it'll be OK. People say that I'll be fine, I'll be able to do the work, I'll even be good at it. I'm still nervous, though. It's walking into the complete unknown, and that, as you can guess, is a little scary. I have to walk away from home in Ohio again until Thanksgiving. That means no more of the Ohio buddies for SIX MONTHS. I'll have very little contact with anyone from home or school for three months. I'm excited to serve, to meet great people, to work hard, to learn and grow, but I'm also scared to death that I'll fail. I'm going to work at the hardest job I've ever faced, far away from everything and almost everyone I know.

I feel like I won't be prepared, no matter what I do. There are some reassurances: Scripture, tons of prayer support, promises of contact and letters, and having Rachel and Bonnie going to training too. So, I throw more stuff into my duffel bag, say yet another prayer for strength and faith, and try yet again not to panic or throw up. So, if you're reading this, say a little prayer for me and the work I'll be doing this summer. I wish you all the best summer, love to all of you, and I hope to talk to you soon, or at the very least as soon as I get back. Happy and merry!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

T minus 6 Days

Just when you thought I'd settled for a little bit, I'm back to countdowns. This time, it's the countdown to ASP, a crazy, exciting, terrifying summer experience. I only have six more days in Ohio before it begins.

To catch you up on what has been happening here, I will give a brief summary. I've caught up with most of my friends, either seen them or arranged to see them. I visited two lovely doctors, talked with my parents some, and went to church. Nothing too exciting, but it has been awesome to see my friends here again.

Tomorrow I have to give a speech, and it really scares me. I don't like public speaking anyway, and it is in front of my entire church for 45 minutes. I know that they are all friendly faces, but they gave me a lot of money for the trip and I don't want to let them down. I prepared a Powerpoint presentation and an album... I don't know what more I can do, really. I just hope and pray that it goes well.

Also, in one week I will go to ASP training. I'm scared and excited all at the same time. I feel like I'm getting ready to go skydiving. I'm terrified right now, looking up there and thinking about how I could fall and hurt myself, but I also know that it will be exhilerating. Above all, I know that once I get up in the air and am falling, I'll pull the rip chord, handle the situation, and love the ride. Until then, though, I've got to keep thinking about the fall and how scary it is. At this point, that overshadows the enjoyment.

So, a wonderful week is ahead. I get to see my friends and family, wrap up all the loose ends, and pray like mad, because ASP IS COMING!

Friday, May 14, 2004

Home again, home again, Jiggety Jog

I am home. My car is unloaded. The trip was long and rainy. I'm tired. There are a warm bed and a Harry Potter book calling my name. Mmm...break. Goodnight!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

And they lived happily ever after... or at least all summer long...

The end has finally come. I've finished my last final, I'm packing up my stuff, and tomorrow morning I'll start the drive back home. As I sit here at the desk, I know that I am the last person people see as they leave this dorm. Some will be back in the building next year, some will be on campus next year, but some are transferring or going away for good. "There are few things sadder in this life than watching someone walk away after they've left you, watching the distance between your bodies expand until there's nothing...but empty space and silence." That's a line from Someone Like You. The character is speaking about her ex-boyfriend, but I really think it applies to anyone that you care about leaving. I know that I'll all of them again, but right now it feels like everyone is leaving, and three months sounds like a really long time. So, for everyone who I will be leaving in the next 24 hours, know that I will miss you and I'm already excited for the next time I see you.

On the plus side, I'm starting to taste that freedom that comes with wrapping up the loose ends in a part of your life and leaving them for a while. All of my finals are finished, so I know that I won't have to worry about school stuff again until August. While there are some things that I wish I'd done better on, there's nothing I can do at this point except wait for the final grades to be published. I've packed up a lot of my stuff and put it into storage for the summer, and in 2 hours the rest will all be packed up, too. Then I'll give my room back to the university for 3 months and spend a last night hanging out with the girls. Tomorrow I'll walk away from this place for 3 months and leave the stresses of being a student here.

Tomorrow I'll get to spend 10 hours with one of my best friends: me. I'll get to drive with no one telling me where to go or when to stop. I'll be able to sing along to my music and sort through the jumble in my head. Then, after the drive, I'll be able to hug my parents for the first time in 4 months. I'll be able to see my friends from home that I've only heard the voices of for the last 18 weeks. I'll get to giggle with Amy, take walks with Dusty, trade stories with Alex, have tete-a-tete's with Rachel, and scope boys with Rikki. So, perhaps, as the Wombat tells me (when he brings me flowers, yay!), that makes up for the fact that I won't be playing spy games and frisbee with Zach, hearing crazy stories from Stef, goofing off with Kristen, trying to keep track of Sarah's boys, being spoiled by the Wombat, and chilling with Ryan, Matt, Tommy, Rachee, Chris, and the other FARCers. ASP will make up for the lack of Wesley.

Either way, today is my last day as a sophomore and tomorrow I'm off like a waterbuffalo stampede.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Finals, Finals, Finals

I am timing myself, I can only spend 10 minutes writing this before I have to start studying for my Historical Geology final tomorrow. So here goes.

I have a love-hate relationship with finals week. I hate that I have to memorize all of the information we have covered in all of my classes over the last fifteen weeks, then regurgitate that information in two hours. I hate that I have to say goodbye to all of my friends here and not see them again for three months. I hate that I have to try to pack up all of my belongings without boxes and either fit them into a rented storage space or cram them all into Jack, my car. However, I love that my schedule finally eases up. I love that we are all more considerate of one another and extremely caring about our friends because we realize our time left with them is limited. I love that you get tired and goofy and play insane spy games through campus in the dark. I love the "last time this year" meals out, pizza nights, study sessions, and late-night talks. I love the philosophy that you can hang out with friends and watch movies all day long, then try to cram all night so that you can pass the tests that are supposed to be the reason we're all here in the first place. Finals week is the epitome of the college experience: the friends, the studying, being cramped and broke, laughing, and loving all the people around you.

One finals week story that must be shared: Last night Sarah, Zach, and the Wombat decided to take me to visit their new favorite place: rooftops. We climbed up onto a couple of roofs, climbed over buildings, and played spies across campus. We hid in bushes, behind trees, and in shadows. We ran from hiding place to hiding place, rolling in the grass. Then we went to Hitt for some snacks and stuck around and talked. It was definitely one of the best nights of the year, just because it was so fun, laid back, and goofy. And you weren't sure I was GOOFY enough?! I'm insulted. But it was great. I should have been studying, however, because I am completely unprepared for my test tomorrow. Good thing the Wombat will help me study tonight! And that is how finals week should be: fun and stressful, simultaneously full of laughter and studying. We're going to have to continue that tradition!

Now, shout outs to my wonderful Missouri friends:

Stef, it's been awesome to bee your neighbor all year. You are loud and hilarious, and I'll never forget watching you charm every person you see and smile your way into the hearts of everyone you meet. You're amazing, hun, and don't you ever forget it. I can't wait to see you again next fall.

Sarah, you're wonderful. No one else could convince me to go running for the first time in a year, to help them study a language that I don't speak, and persuade me tease and flirt with every boy in the building. Hooray for being jackals! I'm so glad you moved to FARCland. Next fall is going to be wonderful!

KJ, what can I say? You're crazy, but in the best possible way. Pride and Prejudice week was a blast and I know there will be more wonderful times next fall. Je t'aime, m'amie!

Wombat (who does have a name, even though I never use it), I'm so glad you decided to come hang out with Stef and let me meet you. You've been an great friend and study buddy. You actually made Valentine's Day fun. Thank you for all you've been and let me be. You'd better be ready for me to invade your apartment and bug you in the fall!

Zach, you're such a bum for not coming back next fall! However, I will forgive you for that. You're a great guy, you made sitting in the car driving down I-70 for 8.5 hours enjoyable, which is quite a feat. You'd better be prepared to come visit and play frisbee next fall!

Ryan, Matt, Rachee, Tommy, Chris (Wang), Will, Adam, Caleb, Mel, and Sara, you guys have stood by me and been great friends for as long as I've known you. Thanks for everything! Next year will be great.

I have to give a shout-out for Susanne and Clark as well, since they are graduating. I can't believe you won't be here with me next year. I can't really imagine it being college without you, but I also know there's no way to keep you here, you're both too smart to fail. Just know that I will miss you immensely, you two could always make me smile and laugh when no one else could. I am so glad I got the chance to know you.

Well, I'm out of time, so I must run. Hope finals are treating everyone well and that we all survive this week! Now, back to the history of the earth. Dang.

Songs for the day: "Remember Me This Way" from the Casper Soundtrack, "Graduation (Friends Forever)" by Vitamin C, "In This Diary" by the Ataris, The theme song from "Friends", and "What You Own" from RENT

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Running from Myself

Do you ever just want to run away from yourself? Just slip out of your body and disappear? I've had the feeling over the last few days that I just wanted to sprint away from who I am. I mean, there's nothing really wrong with who I am, I like who and where I am. But I felt the need to sprint, to push myself beyond my physical limits and let myself burst out.

To let this out, I went running. Not cross-country style slow jogging for miles, but full-out sprinting for a few hundred yards, then walking for a bit. I feel restless, like I'm going to burst, and I have no idea why. It's like James Thurber says, "All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running to, and from, and why." I wish I knew what was going on inside me. I just feel emotionally raw, and there seems to be no escape from people, but also a lack of care. I mean, there are people who care, but I don't seem to want to be consoled by them, so I don't tell them what's going on, or I pretend to be fine. I guess I don't want to burden them with my problems. Then there's the fact that there's really nowhere to go here and get away from people. I'm used to being in Ada, where I can always go wander away somewhere and be alone, but here the only place I can be alone is in my practice room, and that seems prison-like and barren.

I found out today that the scheduling conflict cannot be worked out, and therefore I will not be Head DA next semester. On top of that, because I was supposed to be HDA, there may not be a DA position for me in FARC, which would be really depressing. I would then be a junior, living in the dorms, with no good reason to still be here. Most people move on from the dorms after their freshman or sophomore years, unless they have work in the dorms to give them a reason to stay.

I'm horribly stressed, with tons of studying to do for finals, packing to go home, parting with my friends here, getting prepared for ASP and my Peru presentation at home, and finishing up Wesley stuff before I go away for the summer. I am worried about some family stuff, which is difficult to explain, and terrified of ASP staff as much as I am excited, but I'm not sure how to explain any of it. How can there be so many words in the English language and so few that fit what I want to say?

Ignore this, please. I'm sure I'll be over it in a few days. Just say a little prayer for me, because I'm struggling.

Songs for the day: "Somebody Lives There" and "One Tin Soldier" (I don't know who those are by), "Reflection" by Christina Aguilera, "Iris" and "Black Balloon" by the Goo Goo Dolls, and "Innocent" by Our Lady Peace

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Trapped in a Jar, and the Lid has no Holes

People always tell me that I shouldn't bottle my thoughts up inside. That I should let it out, release the tension. What they don't understand is that it makes me feel bad. I don't want to bring people I care about down by dumping my sadness and burdens on them. Especially right now, when nearly everyone I know seems to be burdened down with their own stresses and hard times. I'm incredibly stressed, I've gotten some bad news, and I have a bad feeling about something, but I just can't bring myself to tell people what's wrong. I mean, everyone I know is busy with lots of their own stress and difficulty right now. I can't bear the idea of making everyone else's situations worse. I would rather keep it to myself. Besides, what is talking about it going to do, except make other people upset?

I feel like my heart is a firefly in a jar, but the lid has no holes. I just keep holding all the stress and emotion inside, I keep giving signs of cheerfulness with by lighting up and flying around my little jar... I don't let anyone see the sadness, just my little light and my flying antics. However, I am suffocating and slowly dying inside, because I refuse to punch holes in the lid. I won't let the stress and strain out for fear of infecting the air around me, I just hold it all in my jar. And I know that eventually I'll be fine, that really, there's enough air in the jar to get by until the situations work themselves out and the jar shatters, setting me free. I just hope that the tension releases before I run out of air.

Songs of the moment: "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers, "A Strange Way to Save the World" by 4Him, "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton, and "Bad Day" by Fuel

Here's to smashing the jar.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The End is Near

This title has nothing to do with my recent study of Revelation for class, rather, it refers to the fact that the semester is nearly finished. I had my last class of the semester today, so I am just a few breaths away from being halfway done with college. I'm not sure how I feel about that. In a way, I feel accomplished, like I'm really growing and learning new things. But at the same time, it's scary, knowing that in two short years I have to face the "real world". I don't think I want to do that. In fact, if I could prograstinate entering the real world indefinitely, you'd better believe I'd do it. I'm starting to look at seminaries, and that's intimidating, too. I have to make yet another important decision that will affect my future, and that always makes me nervous. So, I have achieved it, reached the halfway point of college, but I'm also on my way down the other side of the hump toward the real world.

So, I had the good news recently of being told that I was selected as Head DA in my favorite dorm for next year. The problem with this is that I'm supposed to be back at Mizzou by August 8, but I'm supposed to be working at ASP until August 13. Somehow I have to find a way to be in two places at once, or compromise somehow. I don't want to lose either job, or let either organization down, because I care deeply about both of them, but I also can't be in two places at once. On top of that, I can't seem to get an answer from either side as to whether compromise is possible. I've only been able to talk to answering machines at ASP, and I haven't gotten any word from the higher-ups at ResLife yet, either. What I really want to do is leave ASP on Aug. 10 and be 2 days late to the HDA stuff, but I don't know whether that is possible. I suppose if it comes down to it, I'll give up the HDA and stick with the ASP, but I'm afraid that if I give up HDA, I'll lose my DA spot altogether, since the DAs have been selected. Perhaps they'd bump Ben up to HDA, then give me his DA spot. I don't know. I just really want to know how it's going to work out so I don't have to worry about it anymore. I hate the insecurity.

I do have good news, though. One of my finals was made optional, so I'm not taking it. That means I only have 3 finals left to take, and I know for sure that I have an A in one of my classes. Unfortunately, the three finals I have left are in my hardest classes, and the finals will have a huge impact on my final grade. Ugh. Who invented finals, anyway? Whose brilliant idea was it to try to make you remember everything you'd learned in 4 months on one test? Whoever thought it up was a cruel and terrible person. Sadist!

In other news, it is gorgeous out today. It's one of those cloudless, 80-degree days that only happen in the spring. One of those days where the sun just kisses your cheeks, without inducing a tsunami of sweat. Very nice. Why is it that these days only ever happen on Wednesdays, when I don't have any time to enjoy them? I want to go make grass angels, fling the frisbee across the quad, and spin in circles until I fall down, then watch the clouds float dizzily past. *sigh* I really think I was born to be a seven-year-old. Which would mean that I'm already 12 years past my prime. And that it's all downhill from then. How incredibly sad is that? Yikes.

I have to try to find storage tomorrow with Jen, which is NOT going to be fun. I'm scared to death that we won't be able to find storage and that I'll have to call my parents and beg them to come and get me here, which would be terrible. So, we'll all pray that storage smiles on me tomorrow.

Just to clarify this entry, I'm actually not in a bad mood. I'm just a bit stressed. But hey, there are wonderful things, too: the gorgemous weather, the puzzle I'm doing, getting to see my family and friends from home in 9 days, the cancelled final, Wesley Stuff, and my friends here at Mizzou. So, it'll be OK. I just have to keep telling myself that. It'll be OK. It'll be OK. It'll be OK. *Deep breath* Ahh...

Now, back to work. Later, dudes...

Songs for the day: "Paved Paradise" by Joni Mitchell, "College Kids" by Reliant K, "Remember Me This Way" from the Casper Soundtrack, "Freefalling" by Tom Petty, and "She Said" by Collective Soul

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Dark Thoughts

I spent the vast majority of yesterday evening, at least 3 hours, just sitting around and talking with a friend of mine. At one point in the evening we got to talking about more serious matters, deep things. I ended up revealing some things, particularly dark things and worries that I don't usually let people see. After about half an hour of this dark and depressing conversation, I was ready to let the sad subject be dropped, and I said as much to my friend. He chuckled a little and said something along the lines of, "Yeah, I knew it wouldn't last long." When I questioned him, he explained, "I knew the cover would come back up eventually." Thinking on this, I'll admit that it's true. I do have a darker side, internal thoughts and ponderings that make me sad or hurt or angry that I hide inside all the time. I don't like for people to see me being sad or angry because it makes me feel weak and vulnerable. There even things that are buried much deeper than those I showed my friend last night. Does it make me less genuine that I never show these things? Do I give people the wrong impression of me by not showing the darker side? I wonder. But either way, my defense mechanism is to hide them behind humor and cheerfulness, so that is what I do. Is that wrong?

Anyway, I'm in the midst of a crazy day, which I will update you on later, but for the moment these thoughts and questions need to be sent into the abyss. So there you have it, abyss.