Tag Archives: life

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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Believing in the Sun

I’m not going to lie: the last few days were not easy. I’m not writing about those things, though. I was journaling a lot last night and today, and I thought I would share an excerpt from what I’ve written. Journaling helps me to get my cluttered thoughts in down. Somehow my problems are less crazy than I realized, my thoughts more organized after I’ve written them out. So here it goes:

So, moving forward? … It’s putting my hopes, dreams – my literal dreams, too, if I can change that too – into something else. How about the sun? As long as I have been alive, it has come up every morning across the horizon. Now, it has come up at different times, but it’s always come around before 12. So for now, I’m starting from scratch and putting my hopes in things that I can see, like the sun.

This isn’t to say that I don’t believe in God anymore, or that I’ve lost faith in Him too, but that I’m going to be re-discovering, re-needing, and re-loving Him for a while.

I said I believe in the Sun. But today is an overcast, gray-skyed rainy day. I can’t see a single trace of the sun. So does it not exist? Well, it only takes a minute for me to imagine what the sky would look like were the sun not to exist, and then I reconsider that gray sky. I don’t believe in the sun because I see it – I believe in the sun because by it, I see everything else. So even on the cloudiest, grayest, rainiest of days, I can still know its existence by the things around me. Then you can’t blame the sun’s lack of existence on the rain or your bad vision. More than that, your belief of the sun exists more than based sight alone. The warmth of the sun on your face is a wonderful feeling, but it only proves the sun’s existence on a sunny day. To truly know the sun exists is not just to feel the warmth of it on a sunny day, but to acknowledge its presence on rainy days too. Even more than that, it is trusting beyond the evidence of the moment – so that even in the dark, black, cold moments of night, you are certain that the sun will rise again.

P.S. The sun idea wasn’t all me. Credit is due to to the Beatles song, “Here Comes the Sun”, which I was listening to at the time of writing.

P.P.S. As it turns out, there is a C.S. Lewis quote that is very similar to what I wrote and sums it up well: “I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

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Margaret’s Grand Adventure

“Margaret’s Grand Adventure” – maybe that can be the title of my autobiography, the one that I’m not currently writing! What makes it grand, or an adventure? Well, let me give you some stories from recent memory to showcase it, and then give you some ‘bucket list’ ideas to make this fabulous adventure even more grand.

1. Margaret’s grand academic adventure: I have an exam tomorrow for my philosophy class (it’s a required course, or else I wouldn’t consider it!), which I am quite nervous for, but I’m hoping – and studying – for the best. I also had a writing assignment due and an exam to take for my math class within the last week, and an upcoming midterm exam. So academically speaking, I’m definitely keeping busy. I am also

2. Margaret’s grand baby-holding adventure: Ever since I left ND, I missed babies. Being around babies for several hours ever day was something that I loved, but that had to end. I looked for something that I could do to keep this going, because as an early childhood education major, it’s not impossible! I applied for and was offered a MOPS babysitter job: for several hours on specified Thursdays, you watch young kids (infant to preschool age) for their mothers, who meet for a mothers’ support group. You get paid, too! That’s only a cherry on the top to the fact that I am in the youngest age group, and I get to hold those babies – and they are just precious. I still miss the China ones, but these little guys are definitely worth my time.

3. Margaret’s grand social life adventure: Oh, Margaret. To sum it all up in two words: awkward and complicated. Some things I don’t think I’ll ever understand…

4. Margaret’s grand China adventure: Oh, I already went to China this summer, sure. But… did you know that I’m going back in December? Didn’t think so. December 18, after my last final exam, I’m headed for the motherland. The tickets have been booked! Not for kicks and giggles – not even babies – but for family. My brother is doing his senior year of high school abroad in Beijing, and instead of going home for Thanksgiving, my family and I are all going to China for Christmas. That should be interesting to write about! 🙂 I’ll have to keep you posted. But, on a more recent note, I learned so much in China that I had to continue it here in America. For instance, ASL (American Sign Language). I learned a good deal from Chloe, but I didn’t want to lose what I had learned and I definitely wanted to keep learning. So the natural thing to do would be, of course, to join the ASL club at my school! We get together for dinner on Mondays. It’s fun.

Margaret’s Grand Bucket List

On another note, did I ever mention I had a bucket list of sorts? Well, in China I made a ‘dreams list’, consisting of dreams I have for my future. Here’s a few of them:

  • Get and stay married
  • Go skydiving
  • Travel to England
  • Become a teacher in a US public school within one year of graduation (from university)
  • Run a half-marathon (13.1 miles)
  • Get my drivers’ license
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Keep in touch with Summer Staff after we leave (Summer Staff from this summer)
  • Meet up with at least one China friend outside of China
  • Name an incoming child to NDFH

I suppose one of these dreams have already come true – I have been keeping in pretty good touch with Chloe. In fact, we had a Skype call the other day! I’m also running a 5K race on Sunday. At present, 2.5 miles is still my comfort zone. …baby steps!

To end it on a completely different note, here is a beautiful picture of a tree on the campus of my university – in fact, right outside of my dorm! I love how it has all the colors of fall: brilliant red, orange, a bit of yellow, and still green too! A New England autumn is one of the most beautiful things I know.

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So, what’s been going on in Margaret’s life? Well, glad you asked.

I’m still going strong with The Office. (Jim and Pam all the way!)

I don’t have a ‘home church’ yet – I’m still ‘church-hopping’: going from church to church on Sundays, seeing which one I like best. It’s hard to chose because there are things that I like and things that I don’t like about each church, and sometimes the things I don’t like outweigh the things I do. I’ll end up at a good one, though!

I need to do laundry, a lot more often. I could probably be doing laundry now, matter of fact. I have some really dirty clothes that I need to wash! But why would I want to do laundry when I have the option of blogging at watching The Office? Priorities… sometimes they need a little straightening. But sometimes, they’re alright.

One big (well, one big and one mini) change I’ve made is my conversion to the Paleo diet (at least, for the next month). Basically the Paleo diet cuts out everything that had to get processed to get to you. This includes all rye, wheat and barley: gluten-y bread, pasta, cereal, and so on – which also cuts out a good deal of carbs. So no grains or processed foods. But! What I appreciate is that you eat whenever you’re hungry (as in, you’re not counting calories or other things), and you can eat whatever meat you want (so long as it isn’t dripping in syrup). You eat when you’re hungry, until you’re full. A simple, but good rule to live by. This link explains it a lot more in-depth.

I made a previous post about my seizures. And, as it turns out, I had one the other day. Sometimes it takes hard times to find out how much people care about you. My roommate and RA, for example. My roommate is seriously the best. She stayed up with me, called the GoPo (Gordon Police, some of whom are trained EMTs) when she felt the time was right, and took care of me in all the ways that she could. My RA, too. She wiped the blood off my face, bought me orange juice, copied her math notes for me, wrote my Bible verses. I love the people in my life, and I couldn’t be more thankful for them. For the headache I had the next day, people were totally understanding and a lot of people asked if they could do anything for me. Did I mention I love my friends? Not only that, but the day following my seizure, I took my Chinese language placement exam. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do on it, because my head hurt and I was tired and ready to not take an exam. But I did anyways… and passed! All the levels. Thank you Jesus!

My classes are doing well in general. Friday, I didn’t have a lot of work to do, but by the end of Friday, I have more than enough to work my tail off. My one class on Tuesday was cancelled. Instead of meeting in person, we had a whole-class group discussion online, where we posted our projects and commented on each one. Trying to find that article was stressful, and making sure it posted and followed up right even more so, but it ended up okay. Things usually have this way of ending up okay.

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New England autumn is one of the best things ever!

53. Roommate relationships

54. Dinner dates

55. My RA

56. Pillow talk

I typed this up and meant to publish it about a week ago. For some reason that didn’t happen… maybe I was waiting for a creative title to strike me. Well, better late than never!

To You: It’s Probably Not That

Dear You,

Today, I’d like to write to you about something that’s very close to my heart: epilepsy. A good online definition I have found for it is as follows:

Epilepsy (or seizures): a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

EpilepsyAwarenessAs someone who has been diagnosed with a type of epilepsy for several years now, I can tell you that seizures are not easy to live with, and they affect much more than those moments of abnormal electrical activity. They affect so much more than those moments, in fact, that it is impossible to joke for a moment without having some offense taken. Let me explain.

Recently, I have heard people like you toss around phrases like, “You looked like you were having a seizure”, or “I was over here, literally having a seizure” – in a joking way, which I can understand: we all joke around. But those people do not understand or relate to me in a way that is vital to who I am and what seizures are: When you joke like that, it’s offensive. The fact that you’re not actually having a seizure, and yet you’re joking about having one, is not just insensitive, but offensive as well. You see, you have the luxury of joking. You don’t have to deal with the reality of the term. So whenever you do make jokes, it stays with people like me. I remember when you say those things. It’s not that I hold a grudge against you, it’s just very hard for me to shake the fact that one of my friends didn’t have the sensitivity to understand a chronic condition – specifically, my chronic condition. It’s like using the r-word with people with disabilities, except you can’t conduct campaigns to eliminate the word ‘seizure’, because that’s exactly what you have. You see what I’m getting at?

So, I’d like to offer an alternative. Whenever you want to joke with your friends (including me!), treat epilepsy as you would any other chronic condition: don’t joke about it. If you did, I probably wouldn’t want to start talking about it then and there. But if you have questions, I would be more than happy to answer them. Comment here (I’ve put a contact form in below), email me (my email is in the ‘about’ section), Facebook message me (if you’re my Facebook friend)… whatever. But if you’re looking to understand more about epilepsy in general, please visit this link. (Go to the ‘Learn’ tab, find anything you’d want to know there!) Or, watch this video – it’s longer than the first aid one below, but it gives a quick run-down of what epilepsy is, the kinds of epilepsy there are, and additional first aid. Also: in learning about epilepsy, I have found that they are a lot more common than people think. I love my roommates, but they had no idea what to do when I was having a seizure – and that ended up costing me several hundred dollars in a trip to the ER. Therefore, try to be prepared in case you should ever encounter someone having a seizure. You really never know. Because you won’t, please don’t joke like you do.

Thank you for your time. I really do appreciate it.

With gratitude,

Margaret

Be Awesome!

Let me say for starters that I love Kid President. Just in case you’ve never heard of him, this is a link to his channel (his videos are on the ‘Kid President’ playlist). I’ve seen several Kid President videos, but this one, “Kid President’s Letter to a Person On Their First Day Here” really stuck out to me as I watched it today:

It’s hard being a person sometimes, and corn dogs are awesome. Nail on the head! Despite the hard stuff, there will always be plenty of reasons to dance. To quote, “You should give people high fives just for getting out of bed.” and if high-fives aren’t your thing, “treat everyone like it’s their birthday. Even when they don’t deserve it.” And one of the wisest words of all, “one of the biggest mess-ups is not forgiving other people’s mess-ups.” If it was me, I’d vote this president into office!

We need more love and awesomeness in the world today, and I believe you and I can help out with that one. Start out by loving other people and believing you’re awesome. Oh, and dance a little, if you can too, that’s always good.

I’m glad you’re here today. Spread that around a little, if you would. Give a random high-five or two, or maybe an unexpected hug.

You’re awake, you’re awesome, live like it.

Long Term Learner

Hi. It’s Margaret again/finally/at long last/surprisingly. I’m here to start up my WordPress blog again. I’ve noticed that for some reason or another, WordPress has been gaining popularity. I did like WordPress, but I wasn’t sure how to navigate it completely, and I really wanted to be able to customize the appearance and make it visually appealing. When it didn’t completely suite my taste, it began easier for me to drift off. Needless to say, I’m starting up again. 

A lot has changed since my last post on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I still think Bonhoeffer is great, but a lot has changed about me. For instance, I went to college. It’s been a little more than a year since my last post, and I can say that I am definitely not the same person. I’ve seen, heard and done a lot of new things – but most of all, I’ve learned. I’ve learned about new things, new people, new cultures, new perspectives. I’ve learned that nice people won’t always like what you have to say, that people have gone through challenges and struggles (and can still not be over them), that boys cause unnecessary emotional stress so it’s best to be your own friendly and independent person, journaling will let you look back (and maybe laugh some), and that stress relievers are important. I’ve also learned that I will be learning for the rest of my life. I just gave a small snippet; a quick taste of what I’ve learned so far this year. And those weren’t even the academic things! As an early childhood education and history major, I have learned so much about history and young children this past year – I continually fall in love with both subjects all the time. And I’ve only finished my freshman year. 

Not only will I be here in college for three more years, but I will be learning for the rest of my life. I hope to document some of that on this blog: this includes the experiences I encounter, the things I pick up, things I want others to understand as well, and anything else that I think up, I suppose.

Let the learning continue.

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” -Louisa May Alcott