Tag Archives: friends

Five Years?!

July 11, 2011.

I can’t remember what I was doing that day – but according to WordPress, I posted an ‘about me’ on this page. AKA I started “ceaseless serendipity” (first known as ‘Girl Meets World’), five whole years ago!

Wow… what was I doing five years ago? So much has happened. Five years ago, I was in high school. I was having a… rough patch. High school wasn’t easy, and to be honest, I was mostly doing things on my own. I still consider myself to be fairly independent, but now I have the most amazing friends, and I’m graduating from college in a few months. 2016 must have seemed so far away. Who would’ve thought I would be here now, right?

As an education major, I feel like I am obligated to do a then vs. now Venn Diagram. So here it is: What my life was like five years ago (the then) and today (the now).

venn-diagram

#comicsans

Two and a half years ago (a half-way marker), I was enjoying college and life in general: I was just beginning a summer internship at an orphanage in China, enjoying life, and about to begin my sophomore year in college – my personal favorite year, in my opinion. Now, I am thankful to be able to still enjoy the same college with many of the same friends I made freshman year. A lot has changed, but some things remain the same!

In my Venn Diagram, I forgot to include epilepsy (my seizures) – but I’ll leave that for another time. However, I’ll try to get a post in before the end of the month – November is epilepsy awareness month! woot woot! Another honorable mention: I’m teaching, for real! No, I don’t have my own classroom, but I am in schools, teaching kindergarteners. Now THAT is awesome! Also I’m still incredibly awkward.

Not everything that happens in life is awesome and worth having a party or blog post about. I get that – things like that have happened to me. For me, I process things by journaling: seeing them on paper (or a computer screen) makes craziness in life not that crazy, because they’re sitting on paper and not circling in my head. There are many of ways to process things that work much better for others, but that’s what’s good for me. I wonder about the readers of this blog – YOU! I know I don’t have a lot of readers, but I know a lot happens in your life. It’s not just me that is awkward and indecisive …right? In the grand scheme of things, five years isn’t that long. But it’s not all about me here – I’m sure a good amount of things happened in five years for you, too! I would love to hear about them in the comment section 🙂 Anyways: if the going is tough for you right now, know that sometimes you just have to wait it out… for a long time. Like, a REALLY long time – it might be more than five years. Read: good times are a’comin. 🙂

 

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Goodbye Ireland!

Originally written on 16 May, 2016, as I was leaving Ireland:

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Just a few of the amazing places I’ve been…

What’s the word for “goodbye”, “I’ll be back”, “I’m already missing here”, “thanks for all the memories”, and “I fell in love with this place”? I’m having trouble finding one!
Ireland has been an amazing place to spend four months, and I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to come, study, and travel from Dublin. The people – even strangers – have been so loving and generous. I’ve made wonderful, amazing friends who I love and will miss terribly. The natural beauty is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Ireland’s history is amazing and I feel so fortunate to have witnessed the 1916 centennial, visited museums, and participated in the census.
At times, time passed very slowly. I didn’t always liked my professors and missed people back home. But looking back, the time has passed so fast. I can’t believe it’s time to go, and wish I could stay longer. There are so many places I would love to see, and things I would love to do still, especially around Ireland.
Getting to Dublin was much more difficult than some other people coming here, or other places abroad. My friend Macy (not her real name) who came with me from Gordon applied with me, and it was a tough process. We had to petition to come to Ireland, since Gordon didn’t already have a programme set up – so we had to make sure credits would transfer, confirm UCD was safe, etc. etc. – all to say that process wasn’t easy. But I don’t regret that process; it was all worth it.
I have so many mixed emotions as I go; I’m not sure exactly what I feel. I’ve felt this way before: leaving China after 6 weeks (I think it was 6!), Gordon, sleep-away camp… but those were usually for shorter periods of time or about the same, and I always knew I would be back. In Ireland, my stay was comparatively much longer, and farther away, and I’m not sure the next time I will be back in this beautiful country.
Despite the uncertainties, I do know for certain: My heart will always have a place here. Thanks for everything.

wicklow

The grass is actually greener here.

P.S. If you are ever studying in or travelling to Ireland (especially Dublin) on holiday or travel and need some tips, I would love to be of help! Send me a message or comment below! 🙂

curl up and…

I should be finding an article related to a current issue related to New England geography. Not that finding that kind of an article isn’t fun… but since I’ve tried for several hours and haven’t found something yet, I’m taking a break. What can I update on? Hm…

  • I’ve started watching the TV show The Office (the American version). I had watched episodes before, never actually following the show, but I’d forgotten what a jerk the boss, Michael is! The only thing that keeps me watching is Jim and Pam’s relationship. That’s enough for me 🙂 I’m in season two… I haven’t decided yet how much of it I’m going to watch, because there are nine seasons!
  • My classes don’t have a ton of work, but enough to keep me busy when I need to be (e.g. now). I’m only taking 14 credits (the usual is 16) – I was planning on taking 18, but a class fell through and it ended up working out with 14 credits, plus a PE class. So, I’ve found a lot of free time on my hands. To fill it, I’ve been joining some clubs, working my job, and keeping myself busy with different odds and ends – but I’ve also been investing myself a lot more in relationships and my friendships. I’ve come to the realization that the ‘love language’ I receive love in is quality time. When I haven’t spent time with someone in a while, I feel distant from that person. Spending time with them brings closeness, for me, in that relationship. Like, my ideal date would be doing something – anything, really – with a date. With food to follow. E.g. a hike, then a picnic. Volunteering somewhere, then Panera. Cooking food, then eating it. (However, the language I show my love in is often gifts!) So using my time to connect with others is enjoyable and relationship-building. yay!
  • I’ve joined my school’s gospel choir. Not because I need to fill my time up with something, but because I was looking for a more fulfilling choir experience than what I was getting with another choir I was a part of last semester. Gospel Choir is all that and more. We sing amazing songs, have an wonderful director – but more than that, our rehearsals are truly a worship experience. Jesus at the center. I love it so much. It’s hard to describe, but it’s absolutely wonderful. Taking an hour and a half out of my Monday and Thursday nights might seem like a sacrifice, but it’s nothing in comparison to what I’ve gotten out of it.
  • My roommate is the best. Seriously, the best. That is the most unexpected blessing that I’ve gotten since this school year started. That being said, my floor is great too. I’m pretty sure we’re perfect for each other: we share similar living styles, food choices, taste in TV shows… we even have the same riding boots! (not the same size, though… that would’ve cinched it once and for all!) She really proved her worth to me when I was going through a bit of a rough patch last Sunday night, and stayed up with me, making sure I was okay. (I’m just fine now, in case you were wondering!) I am so thankful for her, and all the other amazing people in my life. They’re the best.
  • I’m training for a 5K (five kilometers, or 3.1 miles) that I’ll be running in mid-October. I haven’t run an actual race, much less 3.1 miles, so this is a big deal for me! I’ve been doing a little bit more each time… thank goodness for the Internet to come up with 5K training plans. Instead of listening to music (I lost my phone with all my music on it for a few weeks), I pray on my runs. That’s been really good.
  • Fall is here. It may not be autumn just yet where you are, but it’s arrived in New England. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler, and it’s wonderful. At Gordon, fall is my favorite season of the year. It’s so beautiful! Back home in Virginia, spring has always been my favorite – I love seeing the flowers bloom and grow. Around here, spring is more of a warming up that eventually ends up at summer. Even when I leave after finals (in mid-May), people are still wearing long pants. It’s ridiculous. I rest my case: a New England fall is majestic, even more so when compared to the spring.
  • Totally random, but… my new favorite song is Stars by Switchfoot. I go through phases of favorite songs. I’ll just take you through recent memory: I Need Your Love by Calvin Harris, Love Never Felt So Good by Michael Jackson, Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle – as you can tell, they can be just about any genre – but they’ll be on repeat for at least a week. I’ll phase them out eventually – still enjoying the song, of course! – but new song obsessions have to come and go. That’s just the way it works, you know?

What can I say? Life is good. God is good. I’m blessed. I’d just like to find my article now. Then I can curl up, maybe watch The Office and drink tea (make that watch Harry Potter, come to think of it) – but definitely go to sleep.

China 6: Great Times, Great Views, Great Wall

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Sunday we went to the Great Wall. In short, it was awesome. In long, we began our expedition at 8AM, in a van that has no comfortable position for the average human, and remained there for two hours until we arrived at the wall. Road trip! We talked a bit about our previous road trip experiences, but of course had to create one of our own. We played a song game, where we think of a word and everyone goes in a circle to think of a song that has that word in it. For example: night. “Goodnight, my someone” (Music Man), “Tonight’s gonna be a good night” (I got a feeling), “Just the way you look tonight…” (Frank Sinatra) “Can you feel the love tonight?” (Lion King)… you get the idea. You keep on going until someone runs out of ideas. Or, the way we ended up playing it, everyone runs out of ideas and is tired of sing-alongs. After we finished that, we quieted down for a pre-hike nap/rest time, so when we arrived, we could take on Subway to the best of our ability. You can’t do the Great Wall of China running on empty! It was a really early lunch, but that proved to be a good idea, because we would’ve been starved had we waited till after our hike. Of course we had to ride up to the wall in luxury – this is generally done by ski lift, which we opted for. It was a great ride, and an even greater view! I rode with Chloe (my traveling partner, accountable for my death and other such liabilities) on the lift, but we were able to see almost everyone. It was fun to give a little wave to our friends behind and in front of us!

photo (9)

So here’s where your quads get worked…

Well, we had to get to the wall eventually. Once we began our walk, let’s just say it was closer to real China than before. Laborious walking, that is. Maybe it’s the steps that aren’t even, maybe it’s the fact that it’s so hilly, maybe it’s just the fact that it’s the Great Wall. Whatever it was, it was leg day. For a reason beyond my understanding, Greta and Thomas decided to race up certain parts of the wall, and then Thomas went lone-ranger on us and ran up to who knows where. We found him eventually, but it was… well, yeah, that’s what it was. We walked for maybe an hour or two, but made about a mile’s progress. Spoiler alert: it’s good exercise. So when we looked back at all our efforts, they amounted to a tiny bit. Still a great view, though. After we got the second watchtower, there was a closed off section of the wall that kept going. Naturally, we went through. We made it to the next watch tower in about 15 minutes – that’s the time it should take someone to walk from watchtower to watchtower. Once we’d gotten to the next stop, we stopped and enjoyed the view for a while. However, Sam and I decided it would be even better to go and enjoy an even bigger view of the valley below, surrounding a farther-down section of the wall. It was a short, easy, but rather destructed part of the wall – the road not taken, in other words. It was incredible. The view was amazing. I didn’t take any pictures at that view – I think some things are meant to be enjoyed. But I did take several before and after that time. Naturally, after that we trekked back. This time, it was almost just as difficult on the way down because my legs were shaking so much. We got to the end though, and then we got a toboggan ride down! I wanted to go faster but Chloe, who was in front of me, went fast, but not fast enough… All in all, it was a fun expedition and I had a blast.
After the Great Wall, we went to a restaurant that specialized in Peking duck. It took about two hours to get there, so I arranged myself in the least uncomfortable position to try and take a nap. We then arrived to an Chinese acrobatic show, which had a lot of acts (half of which weren’t really Chinese). My favorite act, though, was with two ribbon-rope things down the middle of the stage and dancers flying through the air on it. I’m sure it took a crazy amount of practice and strength, to make it that beautiful. Other acts, like the clown or motorcycles in the cage: they might’ve been exciting for some, but I wasn’t the biggest fan. But that flying… that will take your breath away.

All in all: we had a great time. We saw great views. After all, we climbed the Great Wall.

“This is a really great wall.” -Richard Nixon, upon visiting the Great Wall

China 5: Wait, already?

We just closed in on our fourth week. Fourth. There are only two weeks left, and those can’t be legitimate, since Sam, Emma, and Thomas (and Greta too, I think) are leaving throughout those two weeks. My time has been so incredible; I can’t believe we’re getting closer to the end.

An update on the haircut: after I took a shower, everything went flat. Shoot. The guy who did my hair volumized it, blew it up, and made it awesome. I don’t own a hairdryer or many fancy hair accessories, so I borrowed a straightener and made it look as good as I could. Darn. Well, when I get home, I’ll have to get some nice volumizing shampoo and cross my fingers it works.

The Backyard School has been going alright, but it sucks a lot of my energy. Sometimes I just go day-by-day, planning it out as I go, but I try to make a plan (unit, if you will) for the week and go by that. For example, last week we did body parts/recognition and sensory. This week, we’re going numbers. I’m trying to keep it relatively broad 🙂

Anyways, it’s going to be a sad day when people start leaving, but until then… I’m trying to make the most of my time!

College is a School

Well, duh, you might be thinking. It’s quite obvious: you have majors, you get degrees, etc. etc.
But recently I’ve been looking on the Class of 2018 page for my school, and everyone there seems so excited… for a relationship. Wait. Hold up. Who said anything about you getting a relationship in your college years? At my school, there is a tossed-around phrase, “ring by spring”. People mostly joke about it, but in reality, there are a lot of Gordon couples that have gotten married after graduation. If I do happen to meet my husband (or any ‘special someone’) at Gordon, so be it – but I’m not waiting for him to turn up any minute now.

You’re paying thousands of dollars a year for an education, not a future spouse. Spend your time (and thoughts) wisely.

“Single doesn’t always mean available and taken doesn’t always mean in love.” -Unknown

 

Strangers Have No Danger!

Last night, I went to Staples to get school supplies with my mom. We took almost two hours. In high school (middle school too I think), they don’t give you a list before the school year starts, so you have to go after school starts – and they expect you to have it all by the next day. So you have to go that night, and you can’t go without buying stuff or else you’ll be unprepared. So I went last night… just like everyone else. The line, I kid you not, went to the back of the store. And not just to the back – it wound around different mini-aisles and curved around to the side. It was long. I had to get supplies for my brother and myself, so I had his sheets of paper – running around everywhere – and I had my one organized list. I’m that kind of person 🙂  About halfway through our shopping, my mom and I figured it would be a good idea to begin waiting in line. So my mom stepped in, and it’s a good thing she did, for two reasons. First, and most obvious, once I had finished scavenging for supplies, we had moved up a teensy bit in the line. Second, we were standing next to strangers.

If we had known them, we would’ve been jabbering on like the two Chinese women way out in front of us. (I speak Chinese and knew what they were talking about.) But we didn’t. For the first 15 minutes of our wait, we were pretty quiet. We were standing next to an Indian mom who didn’t mind her kid running off to play in the swivel chairs and a high school boy who’d come by himself. Then the guy dropped his binders… we were getting tired. We helped pick them up for him, and he did it twice more during our one-hour wait, and by the third time it was getting funny and we laughed. We talked a bit, and by the end, we were cheering together. “Oh look, we can see the end!” “We made it!” Sounds cheesy, but it was, in a slightly twisted way, fun.

Okay, I take my first statement back. There are some dangerous strangers. But why are parents always telling their kids: “Watch out – stranger danger!” or “Don’t talk to strangers!” I guess the latter is good for the very young, but I think more and more often, we are discouraging the small talk that makes my day. I remember once I was at a carnival/fair event. There was once of those rides where you get in swings and it spins around. I was maybe 10 years old. There was some girls my age near to me who were all friends, and a girl about six with them. As we were waiting for the ride to begin, I said hi to the younger girl, but the older one warned, “Don’t talk to strangers!” Honey, I’m 10. There are so many opportunities that we have to make friends, but if we’re so afraid of them, we’ll never be able to have a good laugh. Life is so much more enjoyable when you’re open for some small talk. Of course you should be cautious of the things you get into, but you should never judge strangers as dangerous! Judge them instead as a decent person, and once you get to know them, you can make your final judgment.

(I wrote this about 3 days after school started – around three weeks ago, and I found this laying around as a draft for some odd reason. So no, school has not just started for me!)

“There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t met.” -William Butler Yeats