Obvious

That’s a wrap on the second day of classes! Since my first class and only class of the day wasn’t until 11:00, I started the morning off right with a run at¬†the gym followed by a wholesome breakfast of egg and avocado. My 11:00, sociology, was filled with a diverse collection¬†of people spanning across all ages and majors. Mix that with a slightly eccentric professor to make what will probably be the most interesting class of the semester for me.

Only having one class meant having a lot of time to spend by myself. Aside from doing homework and the mundane day-to-day tasks that have to get done, I had a lot of time to just think. For me, thinking can bring me two directions. In one direction, my thoughts are uplifting, positive, and ultimately create a bright, glowing outlook on my life and my circumstances at the moment. But it’s when I let my thoughts head in the other direction that things begin to look bleak; I find myself plagued with more negative, pessimistic thoughts. While it’s never the place I like to find myself,¬†that is the place I let my thoughts drift¬†to today. Life as a college student is hard, especially when it comes to finding the delicate¬†balance among schoolwork,¬†your social life, and personal health (physical, mental, and emotional). I have yet to find contentment in my standings among those things, and this is something that I, along with probably every college student out there, still wrestle with. This struggling, paired alongside my fragility¬†and doubtful thoughts that seemed especially evident and prevalent today, made today a roller coaster filled with¬†highs and lows.

One of the bright sides, I suppose, of having a lot of time to myself is that I get to jam out¬†to my favorite music. So of course, I put¬†my Jesus playlist on shuffle and let Spotify take the wheel. The first song that came on¬†was “It Is Well” by Bethel Music. Sometimes I like to think that Jesus speaks¬†to me through beautiful, holy music, and I can almost say without a doubt that He did that here in my humble room. The words to “It Is Well” reminded me of the obvious fact that Jesus has ultimate control of¬†my¬†immediate circumstance, my¬†messy¬†past, and my¬†ambiguous¬†future. He is greater than anything and everything we will ever have to face, and that is a comforting and reassuring fact.

———————————–

so let go my soul and trust in Him

the waves and wind still know His name/

it is well with my soul/

through it all, my eyes are on You


//Obvious

Metamorphosis

Happy Wednesday! As I’m sitting in bed procrastinating on watching¬†an hour-long documentary¬†about the Magnificent Medici (Age of Exploration friends where you at?!), I instead am finding myself¬†thinking about the past summer and¬†more importantly looking forward to the school year ahead.

This past summer has been one for the books. While it wasn’t jam-packed¬†with crazy activities or world travel or anything quite so ambitious, it was one where I can say for certain that I underwent substantial change. For ten weeks, I had the privilege of being a camp counsellor at Milton Collins Day Camp for some of the most precious first graders I’ve ever come across. Though I knew none of them before, we all grew very close. In a way, they kind of became my kids (several of my campers have even mistakenly called me “Mom” on many different occasions). So, as kids go, while our time together at camp was definitely relaxed and fun, there were times when my patience was tested beyond what I thought was possible. There is nothing that’ll do it quite like kids openly defying your instructions or splashing you in the face relentlessly at the pool even when you’ve asked them time and time again to stop. Being a camp counsellor was hard at times, yes, but ultimately, I learned the importance of patience and compassion. I learned that there can never be an over-abundance of these two things, and I believe that if the world had a little more of each of them, we’d be in a much happier, agreeable place. My time at Milton Collins also taught me that I¬†don’t¬†need to stress over every single minute detail of my life. The small things I decided to waste my time stressing over ended up being either unimportant or insignificant in the long run. Once I learned to let go of my doubts and uncertainty, I found that though things may have been out of my control to a certain extent, they ended working out beautifully, and at times, even better than I could have hoped.

Now to the present: today was my first day of sophomore classes. Starting at 8a.m., I had an exciting schedule of Genetics, Organic Chemistry, and Honors Age of Exploration. Spending class time today going over syllabi and getting to know my fellow classmates enabled me to ease my brain into school mode. While making the routine round of introductions in AOE, I was asked what my dreams and aspirations were for the semester ahead. In that moment, I came to the realization that any experiences had and lessons learned as a counsellor this past summer all were to prepare me for my time to come as a college student. This semester, I aspire to become the best version of myself that I have ever been. I hope to exude patience and compassion toward others, even when I feel stretched or tested. I strive to not sweat the petty things, but rather devote my time and attention to people and things that are actually important and take top priority in my life. In the end, I hope to undergo a metamorphosis. A change. There is still so much to learn and to explore, and I cannot wait to jump in and see what sophomore year has in store for me. Yes, there will be trying times, and I will come across challenges both big and small. But once the trials have been overcome, and once sophomore year has come to an end, I cannot wait to look back like I have on this summer and see the metamorphosis I have undergone.


//Learning

“Yes.”

Hello, reader. Looooong time no see. Today I want to tell a short story about a girl who learned to say yes.

That girl is me. Fun fact: exactly one year ago today, I said yes to the challenge of starting up¬†a blog and also made a promise to myself that I would publish at least one post per week. Well, we can all see how that turned out. I’m done with my freshman year of college and I don’t even have five blog posts to show for it.

But now here we are: I am finally publishing a blog post! This is the story of a girl, me, who learned to say yes. Don’t be concerned: I am not talking about willfully choosing to participate¬†in dangerous, sketchy, harmful activities (please give a big no to those), but rather saying yes to the things that help mold you into the person you are striving¬†to become.

If you ask anyone, chances are they’ll tell you that during your time¬†in college, you will discover yourself and who you are truly meant to be. And I agree with them. I know that for me, freshman year of college was the most transformative, challenging, yet rewarding year of my life. But what exactly perpetuated my “transformation”? How were these changes initiated and encouraged? I believe it was through a single word:

Yes.

Say yes. That is quite possibly the most important concept¬†I took away from my past year in college. Once I learned to embrace it, saying yes proved to be the best, most effective way to challenge myself and push myself out of my comfort zone. Accepting challenges and welcoming new possibilities opened up doors that I never knew existed. They introduced me to experiences that shaped me into something that I’d like to think¬†is greater than what I was before.

So my plea to you – whether you are like I was, the timid, scared¬†high school graduate about to embark on your college journey, or you are yearning to make the most of this beautiful life we’ve been given – is to SAY YES.¬†¬†Say yes to the experiences that make you feel like nothing could ever be better, to the experiences that make life 100% worth living. Say yes to opportunities. Say yes to bold¬†opportunities that enable you to depart from that comfort zone you’re so acclimated to, to opportunities that lead you to grow and flourish in unprecedented ways. And say yes to people.¬†Say yes to people who stand by you and behind you, to people who want to see you thrive, to people that love you for you.

I’ll caution you that saying yes is not easy. Doing so is a venture into the unknown, but I promise that the results you cultivate are so unbelievably rewarding.

Take it from the girl that learned to say yes: some well-deserved introspection on the flipside of it all reveals the extraordinary, transformative power of a simple three-lettered word.


//Open

Shoes

After concluding a fun hiking trip with some of my best friends, I slip off my muddy shoes and realize the obvious but strangely mind-blowing fact that these shoes have been places.

Once upon a time, my shoes¬†were¬†manufactured with an intent and a purpose. When it gets down to it,¬†I¬†place my shoes on my¬†feet¬†to do what they’re ultimately¬†intended¬†to do: protect. They¬†defend¬†my¬†vulnerable extremities¬†from the unfriendly¬†earth, from the mud and the rocks and the dirt. They absorb¬†the impact¬†created when I¬†walk down gravel pathways¬†or across paved streets.

In fulfilling this purpose, my shoes become not only a means of protection, but also an agency of narrative. Take my Nike running shoes for example. Once gleaming white with vibrant colors, they are now scuffed, tattered, and mud-stained. These marks represent a multitude of both careless stumbles and intentional steps derived from past experiences and excursions. They are a medium through which my stories may be told.

I’m not saying that these marks are necessarily attractive. In fact, they are almost the exact opposite. (I sneakily¬†cropped my Nikes¬†out of my most recent Instagram post¬†if that tells you¬†anything.) But if I have learned anything in the past few¬†days, it is that life, and shoes for that matter, can and will¬†get¬†ugly. You get scuffed up. You stumble and fall and have no other option except to pick yourself up and persist and push through the grime and the rough patches.

But the scratches and imperfections you obtain are tangible evidence that you have experienced something. They tell of an imperfect yet beautiful story, and that means substantially more than you think.


In response to the prompt Write Here, Write Now from The Daily Post.