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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

withdrawals

I am having all sorts of withdrawals these days. Cooking withdrawals, friend withdrawals, family withdrawals, and school withdrawals. Let’s talk about them in that order shall we?

Cooking withdrawals:

Life has been a whirlwind of travel, visitors, and general busyness and I have been left with few chances to cook for myself. From a car accident in Maine, a weekend on Long Island, and an emergency trip home to Washington, I have kept my fridge clear of anything fresh for fear of spoiled food. If you would believe it, I almost lost faith in my cooking skills one night and I threw away a whole casserole in favor of a pbj. Yep, it was a bad night. Not to worry though, I am making up for it this week with a potato and butternut squash quiche, crispy baked tofu and sweet potato fries, raw kale and brussel sprout salad, and a black bean and butternut squash pasta concoction that is on the stove as I write. The only thing that would make this week better would be if I had someone to share it with (which I sometimes do these days).

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Friend withdrawals:

Nothing new here. It is both a relief and a burden to know that there is no one place I could move to be close to everyone I love. I have friends across the globe (literally) and it is a joy to share their excitement about new life opportunities. Last week I had the great privilege of hosting one of my best friends in NYC. It felt so good to share life with someone who just knows me inside and out. There were so many shenanigans I can’t even begin to write about them all. One of the most memorable ones was probably eating a giant cookie that was still warm from the oven. Yum.

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Family withdrawals:

Family withdrawals have probably been the most painful ones lately. On January 26th my grandmother passed away. I was able to travel home for her death and it was without a doubt the most beautiful thing I have ever been a part of. Saying goodbye was also without a doubt one of the hardest things I have done in my short life. Grandma was really more like a third parent to me and she lived with our family since I was 7. Some of my fondest memories were times I spent with her. She taught me how to play the piano, showed me the glories of crappy television, and even took special care to bake me the worst tofu pumpkin pie on record. I choked down a whole piece to show her how much I loved her. One of the first things I did whenever I visited home was go to her room to wake her up with a hug, tell her I loved her and that I would see her in the morning. I don’t know what I am going to do when I go home this summer.

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School withdrawals:

To end on a somewhat brighter note, I will start by saying that I miss school terribly. I am anxious to take up my research again and I can’t wait to code some data. The good news about all of this is that I was accepted to Columbia’s Doctoral program for Sociology! Woohoo! I have to say that I am so excited about this. I get to pursue a dream I have had for a very long time, in a city I have fallen in love with, surrounded by people I love and adore. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is still a very long tunnel that will take me around 4 years to travel through but I am beyond excited, relieved, and most of all at peace. My acceptance to Columbia was the answer to more prayers than I know of. The journey ahead of me is so beautifully crafted I can hardly believe it is true.

While it may not seem completely relevant to the topics above, I will end with a short passage that provides a glimpse into how I have experienced God in this past month or so.

In the midst of what we are going through this summer I have to hold onto this, to return to the eternal questions without demanding an answer. The questions worth asking are not answerable. Could we be fascinated by a Maker who was completely explained and understood?The mystery is tremendous, and the fascination that keeps me returning to the questions affirms that they are worth asking, and that any God worth believing in is the God not only of the immensities of the galaxies I rejoice in at night when I walk the dogs, but also the GOd of love who cares about the sufferings of us human beings and is here, with us, for us, in our pain and in our joy.

Madeleine L’Engle, Two-Part Invention

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new year, new start

Friends, life has been real crazy as of late. I think it has been about a year since I have posted a blog or anything and I feel horrible about that. There are so many feelings I have felt in the past year or so and I cannot catch up on them all. Let it suffice to say that there were feelings, there were happenings, there were places, and there were people–some of it was hard, all of it was good. There, my summary of the past year.

So where am I now? I am fully settled in New York City. I love it here guys. I have a wonderful church, some friends, and a man… yep, a man. My newest digs in Harlem are treating me well, mostly because I can walk most places I need to go. I take great pride in my recent identity as a gratuitous walker (courtesy of my man). I have knit a ton of things, including toys for many of the new adorable children in my life. I am a “mostly” vegan these days. “Mostly” because it is still too hard to pass up the delicious baked goods that make their way to my plate every now and again. The veganism is made a little easier by the fact that aforementioned man is dairy-free and I generally enjoy the challenge of baking delicious treats that he can enjoy. More to come on that front under the tag “confessions of a reluctant homemaker.”

Perhaps the biggest change that has happened in this past year is that I have obtained a Masters degree (Woohoo!) and I am now awaiting responses from the seven PhD programs I applied to. Compared to last time, there is a lot less anxiety about it all (read: none at all). I feel entirely at peace which is weird. I think I have learned to be comfortable dwelling in ambiguous spaces.

In the interest of keeping this post simple, I will leave you with this amazing photo I recently found by Fan Ho titled, “Approaching Shadow.” It speaks to me in so many ways, mainly because it is beautiful. I have many other thoughts about life that I would love to blog about but I will save those for a little later.

Approaching Shadow

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Here is a synopsis of my weekend… eat, cook, eat, read, knit, eat, read, watch movie, cook, eat, watch tv show, eat–all from the same spot on the couch in my living room. I would feel guilty about doing so much lazing around if it weren’t for the fact that it was hurricaning outside and public transit was suspended (still is actually). Just in case there was any confusion, I survived my first hurricane. Now we are just waiting for the subways to get up and running.

Other than the hurricane, life here has been pretty uneventful, it is amazing how quickly you settle into a routine in a new place. Work is good, I like where I am for now but I am going to keep my eyes out for something that will give me more relevant experience. Both of my roommates came home last weekend and it is so good to have people around again. I am also getting more settled in my apartment. Here are some pictures to prove it!

The thing above my bed is my attempt at artsy using flashcards of influential authors (a gift my dad gave me when I was in middle school), I am pretty proud of it.

The last little bit of information that I would like to share about my life is that I miss home and everyone who is still there soooooo much. Every picture I see of someone or something gives my heart a little pinch of sadness and I have been extremely nostalgic for home lately. Some events that I have been absent from lately include:

an orca whale pod in Elliot Bay
the last family boating trip of the summer
my brother’s 21st birthday

Besides missing out on these awesome happenings, I have just missed seeing familiar places and faces everywhere. The good news is that someone at work called me AIDS the other day. That was a nice little taste of home. The following song is from the newest Little Brutes album. It is called “Where I Used to Be” and it conveys my nostalgic feelings very well. Enjoy and check out more of their music here.

Last things last… I am going to be starting a knitting blog. As if I wasn’t obsessed already. Also, school starts in a week and I am getting more nervous everyday. I hope I have what this is going to take… only time will tell at this point. Happy Sunday everyone!

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I have never been good at making friends. I am not one of those people that people are just drawn to and I do not let many people into my “inner circle.” Indeed, one of the expectations I had for this year was that I wouldn’t HAVE to befriend anyone new, as if it would be a drudgery.

As I enter into new phases of my life I have found myself in places where I do not have any “friends.” I attend church and various volunteer events by myself and for the first time in my life I am becoming comfortable with uncomfortable small talk.

I have been worried about doing these things by myself, but each new experience that I have jumped into has proved to be wonderful and rewarding. I am making new friends and I am learning that it isn’t as hard as I once thought, it is even exciting at times.

So, if you are one of those people that I call my friend, know that I am thankful for the comfort that I find in our friendship. There is nothing quite like melting into the presence of another person.

And if you are one of those new people in my life that is becoming a friend, here’s to the inevitable awkward moments that we will surely share. May we come to look on them fondly in time, perhaps with a chuckle or two…

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School has not yet started and still, I find myself studying for a little test called the GRE (mostly I am excited about this so I am not trying to get any pity points by mentioning it).

To continue my summer reading in the midst of this I picked up Girl Meets God the other day. It is a light read and I am mainly reading it because it encourages me in so many little ways. I have been able to relate to Winner’s musings on spirituality in so many parts of my life so far. Here is just a little glimpse of one chapter that stood out to me today.

“I pray You, noble Jesu, that as You have graciously granted me joyfully to imbibe the words of Your knowledge, so You will also in Your bounty grant me to come at length to Yourself, the Fount of all wisdom, and to dwell in Your presence for ever.”

That prayer is why I love Bede. Because he knew that knowledge and books were just a nice way to fill the time until he came to dwell with Jesus. It is a good prayer for a graduate student.

Okay, so I am not a graduate student quite yet, but I am working my way toward that life and this prayer comes as a welcome reminder to me in the midst of application stress. No matter how stressful the attainment of knowledge can be at times, I am obliged to remember that the knowledge that I gain here on earth is only pointing me in a small way toward the truth that is God. Someday I will gaze upon Perfect Truth and All Knowledge.

That will be a beautiful day…

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saturdays flyin’ solo

This is how I spent my Saturday night. I highly recommend it.

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