Monday, August 30, 2004

Broken Cup

So, I know that I resolved to move on and stop moping, but I can't help it. I've changed, and I'm struggling to fit my new shape into it's old place here at school. Nothing seems right, nothing seems as alive or vibrant or important or joyful as it was over the summer. I know that the beginning of ASP was tough, so I have hope for this, but it's a much slower process than I anticipated. I mean, I've been back for two and a half weeks, but I still don't feel comfortable here yet. I'll be fine for hours on end, and everything will feel OK, but I always come back to this feeling of discontentment, sadness, and loneliness at the end of the day. I mean, I know that God is beside me, but sometimes it's hard to hold onto that, when I really want to just hold onto someone and cry for hours. Does that make any sense? Probably not. But, there it is. Someone on the ASP listserve sent out this poem today, and it summed up everything very well:

"I go back to the city
To a world that doesn't know the peacefulness of clouds hugging the ridges on a cold summer morning, To a world that can't hear the cascading waterfalls and eagles' cries, To a world that can never hope to imitate the beauty of moist green forests and snowy peaks in vast array.
I go back to the city,
Knowing that I must go, And that it's my place to be there, yet wondering. How can a bring a piece of this world back to this land?"
-Judy Urschel

I want to move on. I really do. So, I keep on smiling and moving and studying, and doing, and don't let on that I'm unhappy. I keep on grinning and laughing, and they'll never know, right? If I never stop and think, it won't hurt anymore. If they never find out, I won't have to explain it, and they won't see me weak and hurting. I don't let on, and they don't ask, so everything comes out OK.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Do you ever get caught totally off-guard and slip up? Something happens really fast and you don't see it coming, so you do something stupid unintentionally? Yeah, I did that. In my Geography class on Friday, this guy who sits next to me asked me what I was doing this weekend. Figuring it was just a conversation starter, I said I didn't have plans. Then, to my surprise, he asked me if I wanted to do something this weekend, and if he could have my number. At this point, I was in shock, I didn't know what to say. After a slight stuttering, I gave him the number because I was so taken aback that I didn't know what to do. I mean, WHAT?! This is a goth guy, totally wrong for me. We have nothing in common AT ALL. It was bizarre. So, now I have this guy who keeps calling and showing up because I was too surprised to respond. Ooops!

Then the other mistakes: Wombat totally left his car lights on and killed his battery, then it took us a rather amusing 5 minutes to figure out the whole thing... fun.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Bureaucracy and Dreams

Don't try to switch classes once the semester is started. Really. This is for your own good. I have to say, there are few things that cause me more annoyance than the bureaucracy at the educational institution that I attend. Dropping classes is easy. You just get on this little computer program and type a few numbers and it's done. But adding is another story altogether. I tried to replace Finance with Sociology. This involved getting permission to get permission to get an override. Two offices in Middlebush and an enless line in Brady later, however, I have a much better 2 p.m. class, and the guaranteed workout of climbing to the third floor of Middlebush every MWF to wrap up my marathon of five classes. Eh, it's all good, I finally get to study feminism.

In other news, I got to take a nice, long nap today, with the result that I had some pretty crazy dreams. First, I dreamed that I was making out with a certain FARCing sax player, which would never happen, but was enjoyable in my dream. Then I dreamed that my Ohio friends were here at Mizzou and we were rocking the house (dang I miss those guys!). Then I dreamed that my roommate was an anime character (not far from the truth) with her rat. And throughout it all, one of my friends was sitting quietly in the background, just watching it all go by, which is characteristic of that person, but still a little creepy. The really strange thing is that I got more sleep last night than I got on the average night this summer, then I took a three-hour nap, and I didn't even want to get up when the three hours was up. How much sleep do I really want to get? This is getting crazy.

OK, so the "academic" update: Classes have now started. First thing in the morning I have Elementary Ancient Greek, which is really cool, but goes very fast, so it can be difficult to keep up. Next, on MWF, I have Geology: Age of the Dinosaurs, which is incredibly cool. I have a professor that practically bounces in his excitement about the course material, and who shows video clips and media images all the time because he's that neat. After that, I have History of Europe in the Nineteenth Century (Writing Intensive). That class is a little on the boring side, but the professor looks like Hitler, speaks with a Jersey accent, and smiles to much to be either Hitler OR from New Jersey. Then I get a break for lunch before going to Political Geography, which is actually pretty cool, and Sociology: The Female Experience. Doesn't that class sound like a B-Sci-Fi movie to you? Anyway, the title makes me think that, but the class is pretty neat. I dumped the incredibly easy Intro to Finance for non-majors in favor of this more interesting sociology class. I only have Greek at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I make up for it with work, homework, Wesley stuff, and sleep.

Well, I am off on the eternal quest for someone to eat dinner with. *Here is where I would say goodbye in Greek if I knew how and could find letters, but neither is possible at this time, so you'll just have to put up with "Later, dudes."

Friday, August 20, 2004

Caught in the Rain

Why do people dislike rain so much? In my opinion, rain is actually a soothing, beautiful thing. Rain blurs everything, making everything around you seem softer and fresher. No one has problems with mist. Rain is just really heavy mist...that falls instead of hanging in the air. If it didn't rain, how would things get cleaned up in towns that don't have street sweepers?

Besides, rain means puddle jumping. Rain means wearing galoshes and a shiny, yellow slicker. Rain is an excuse to be six again because, after all, who's going to be able to tell whether you just got caught running in from your car or you went out and jumped in the puddles for five minutes?

What if we all let go, just once, and played in the rain. Imagine, seventy-year-old people dancing in the rain with their walkers. How great would that be? No one would talk about a generation gap, because six-year-olds, teenagers, adults, and the elderly would all have something in common. It might be a problem for world peace, as those who live in the desert might get jealous... but I'm sure we'd figure something out.

Anyway, to sum up this entry: HOORAY FOR RAIN! Now, I'm going to go curl up and read, then fall asleep to the sound of falling rain.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


I have this bizarre feeling of disconnection and unreality. Nothing feels quite real. It is as though I am standing outside my life and gazing in at watching a sequel to a movie that I used to star in. The plot is familiar, or at least predictable, but I don't seem to really feel like a part of the story.

I feel restless, as though I should be doing something more, or something different, but don't know where to start. Yet, at the same time, I feel lazy. I find myself fighting to keep from dazing out and just standing in the middle of a parking lot for hours, just dazed into my own little world, thinking. My mind is somewhere else. I feel like I'm only 50% present, like the rest of my brain is on vacation. Nothing I'm doing seems to demand my entire attention, not like at ASP.

Beyond that, I'm out of place everywhere I go. I mean, I'm a junior in a dorm full of freshmen, which is strange to start out with. Plus, it's a fine arts dorm, and I'm not a fine arts person, so I don't really fit in with the theater, art, band, and music ed. students here. Even Wesley is a little weird, since I'm president and all, and the only female peer minister. I feel like a star-shaped peg, and Lord knows there are no star-shaped holes!

I just want someone to hold me and tell me that it'll be OK, that I'm not a freak, and that I won't be alone and awkward forever. Until then, I'll just go cuddle with Howard and sleep. Everything will be better in the morning. I hope.

(P.S. This is way too much emotional drivel packed together. I promise, my next entry will be at least slightly amusing!)

Monday, August 16, 2004

Missing in Action

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you stopped trying? If, perhaps, you stopped putting effort into your activities and relationships? Would people notice or care? Perhaps it's this transition thing, but I seem to lack the energy and enthusiasm to go out and meet people. I don't seem to want to make new friends, or even go out and try to form relationships with the people in my hall. I mean, I know just about everyone in the dorm. There are a few new freshman, most of whom have little to nothing in common with me. There are the old band people, who I just feel left out from in general. And there are the dorm returners, who all have their groups of friends from before. Then there's me. I don't really fit into any of those categories, and I feel as though I am surrounded by acquaintances, and a few friends who are too busy to hang out with, anyway. I know that I'm being mopey. I know that I could go party with them or attempt to build relationships, but I don't feel like it just yet.

So, I am resolved that starting tomorrow, I will be super-social and try to form relationships. I'll introduce myself to people, try to start conversations, build relationships, and generally put myself out there.

But I'm going to give myself the night off, first. (Procrastination, what?)

Walk Down This Mountain

The summer is ended, and I'm back at school. I just finished the most amazing summer of my life. I can't even describe it. I worked harder than I ever have in my life. I grew and was stretched more than I could even have imagined. And now I'm looking back on it, missing it almost more than I can bear.

ASP Staff... how can I describe it? I was a counselor/social worker/contractor/spiritual leader/hardware distributor/professional driver/financier. Each day I woke up at 6:45, led high schoolers in devotions, maybe went to the hardware store, visited construction sites answering questions and giving advice and encouragement, drove at least 2 hours, made business phone calls, filled out paperwork, led a worship service, and discussed construction with my fellow staffers, before going to bed between midnight and two a.m. The four of us made sure that 70 people were fed and taken care of, oversaw construction on up to 10 sites at a time, provided construction supplies for up to 12 work crews, led 4 worship services per work, and managed a $40,000 budget. Each day I was surrounded by 70 people who were there solely to serve God and His people. I met 13 of the most amazing families EVER, and got to serve them by repairing their homes and giving them new hope. I can't describe the pain of having to turn down 60 families seeking aid, the joy and hope in the faces of the families we served, the energy and growth of the new volunteers each week, the exhaustion by the end of each week, the excitement of new volunteers and improvements, and the amazement of seeing God work in the people around me and myself. I can't explain it, I can't show it to you, I can merely express that I was overwhelmed.

And now it's over.

36 hours after ASP ended, I was back at school reporting for work. It was incredibly strange to know that my awesome summer was over and that I'm back exactly where I was before I left. The location is the same, things here are almost as though we never left, but I am different. I tried to go shopping yesterday because I needed new shoes and school supplies, but I can't bear to spend money. I mean, the money I spent on my textbooks alone was enough to feed one of those families for a month. How can I buy new shoes when they can't afford to pay their bills for the month? It hurts to be in such a different place. It hurts that no one here understands, and that I can't even begin to explain my feelings to anyone.

I want to make friends with the new people in the dorm, to get back into the swing of things, but I don't seem to have the motivation. I'm sad, lonely, and emotionally disconnected from my present surroundings. I don't seem to have the motivation to have social interaction or to do anything, really, besides do the necessary things to get ready for classes to start. It's as though I don't really know what to do with myself. I was invited to a party tonight, but I just didn't feel up to it. Instead, I'm sitting here alone, being lonely and sad, wishing I were back in Virginia. I know I should talk to someone about this, or move on. I know that feeling guilty and pulling away from people doesn't solve anything, but I can't seem to do anything else. I just don't feel up to it. I feel like hiding, crying, running away. I'm coming down, back to the life I left behind. It's a good life, but I suddenly feel like something is missing. I guess I'm just coming down from the spiritual high of ASP and struggling with a little withdrawal. *sigh* It hurts.

"It's a better place standing high upon this mountain
I've seen your face full of the light that only His light can show
A blistered hand is what you've given
You've been given all you'll ever need to know.

So walk down this mountain with your heart held high
And follow in the footsteps of your maker
With this love that's gone before you
And these people at your side.
If you offer up your broken cup,
You will taste the meaning of this life.
Hey Hey

It's a common ground and I see you're all still standing
Just look around and you find the very face of God
He's walking down into the distance
He's walking down to where the messes are.

so walk down this mountain with your heart held high
Follow in the footsteps of your maker
With this love that's gone before you
And these people at your side
If you offer up your broken cup
You will taste the meaning of this life.

Standing in a place of peace,
This is how the world should be, how the world should be.

So walk down this mountain with your heart held high
Follow in the footsteps of your maker
With this love that's gone before you
And these people at your side
Offer up your broken cup,
And you will taste the meaning of this life.
Hey hey." -Bebo Norman

I praise God every day for the opportunity I had in ASP. And I keep walking.