Sunday, August 30, 2015

College: Week 1

   I survived my first week of real school!

   Let me just start off and say it was weird. It's so strange to say things like "I'll meet you after class." and "I have to do my homework." Although if you've never been homeschooled you don't understand why this is so weird to me. But overall, I'm actually enjoying school so far. People keep saying "Just wait." But you know what? No. I'm sure I'll have hard days and stress out and I'll probably want to drop out at some point, but I refuse to get all negative and crabby about school. Honestly, I'm so blessed to be able to go to college. In psychology I read about a woman who went to Harvard back in the day and did all that was required to get a Ph.D but was denied it because she was a female. So the fact that I can even go to college and earn a degree is a blessing. I'm going to try to keep this mindset as I go through these next few years.

   Now, as for the actual classes. I'm not doing a lot; just psychology, English, and math. I'm only doing enough so I can be a full time student; I might take more classes next semester or next year, but we'll see. I love my psych teacher, she's really nice and makes class fun for everyone. My English teacher is super old school; we're not allowed to email him, we can't get ebooks of the texts, and all the homework we do has to be printed. He's an older fellow and he kinda seems like he hates this generation but I think it makes him kinda hilarious. And then there's my math teacher; he's cool actually. He went on a 15 minute side rant about how there's no such thing as a math person, and how anyone can do math. It was quite inspirational.

   So yeah. I'm really liking it. I like learning and growing, I like meeting new people, I love just getting out of the house, and I like having something to think about so I don't overthink all the other stuff I have going on in my life. It's a good distraction.

   On the first day, I wore a shirt that I have that says "Jesus" just to establish I am that girl, and I think I've already freaked one of my classmates out by being that Christian, ex-homeschooler from a big family, who claims she's "not religious, but just really loves Jesus." Which was sort of funny in a way. For English, my first paper is very blunt about my faith, and I'm a bit anxious to see how my professor will take it. I never had to deal with people hating on me for being a Christian before. I never thought about how scary it is to throw yourself out there and say your beliefs. On the first day, I felt weird because I had a feeling people were sizing me up; "Oh, she's immature, probably doesn't shut up about her religion, is stupid and will judge you if you're gay." And then I had to deal with the fact that even if they were thinking those things, would I rather be cool or a Christian? Because at this point, there's really no way for me to be both. Anyhow, I'm nervous and excited to see how God uses me at this very secular school. But overall, I like being in a non-Christian environment; which is something a lot of my church friends would disagree with. Yes, Christian schools help you learn more about your faith, but secular schools make you live it.

   Week 2 starts up tomorrow; English class is at 9:30. I'm excited because after school my best friend and I have a gym date, and I cannot wait to start lifting weights, although I'm not sure how much my knees are gonna cooperate. But that's the other thing I love about college; free gym. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I don't have to be at school until 2, so I like biking there on those days, and I think those are gonna become my designated work out days. So this fitness addict is excited about that. Maybe some day I'll even do a fitness posts; give you guys some of my favorite healthy snacks and work out tips and such. Let me know.

   So that's me. I really like school so far. I hope next week goes well.

   How are you? How's school going for you? Drop me a comment; I love hearing from you.

(Hey, those last two are me! And yes, I know I wear that shirt a lot. I like it, okay? Also, FREAKING STAR WARS! Am I right? Who's excited? 109 days! Not like I'm counting or anything...)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My First Convention!

   I WENT TO MY FIRST CONVENTION! As a graduation present, my best friend bought me a day pass to Wizard World Comic Con, and then later in the week my Mom plotted with my Internet friend, Lauren, and secretly bought me tickets for another day so I could hang with my Internet buddy who had come in from out of state. Basically, it was a ton of fun. And I have a lot of great pictures to show you. I sorta saw Brett Dalton from Agents Of SHIELD, as well as almost literally running into Jodie Sweetin of Full House, which was funny.

   Day one of the con was pretty small, and I didn't realize how crowded it would get until I went that weekend, in which it was crazy. But my favorite part was seeing all the cosplayers. I loved that in the world of conventions, anyone can be a hero. Anyone can feel special; even if it's just for a day or a weekend. There was one girl who was dressed as the younger Maleficent from the new movie. She couldn't have been older than 16, and every time I saw her, she was surrounded by people taking her picture. She just had this beautiful smile on her face and it made me so happy. She got to make people happy with her cosplay, and in turn, she was able to be happy as well. I just thought it was really cool.

(Young Maleficent, as mentioned above.)

   Also, I had made it my own personal mission to find the best Deadpool, judging by the look of the costume as well as how they portrayed the character, if at all. By the end of the day I had basically given up until I found one guy. I asked for a picture, and he said sure. But he also sounded just like Ryan Reynolds. After that I asked if we could take a selfie. He said of course. And after that he looked at me and said "We're in a relationship now." And walked off. So, he won for best Deadpool.

(And that pose. A+ Deadpool.)

   But really, the people who stole the show for me were the disabled people. I saw so many people in wheelchairs, but they didn't let their disabilities stop them from going to the con, and in a lot of cases, from cosplaying. I saw a guy with Down's Syndrome in a wheelchair who was dressed as a Mandolorian from Star Wars, who was being guarded by two other Mandos, which I thought was awesome. Then there was classic Bucky, also in a wheelchair. I even found someone who had a Spoon Theory shirt on! Turns out she has lupus and fibromyalgia. She was awesome. But my favorite cosplay of the day has to go to this girl who was dressed as a wizard from Harry Potter. She was in a wheelchair, but she set up her chair like a Hogwarts desk and had all her potions and a spell book on it. She wore a medical mask, but when I asked for a photo she took it off for me and revealed the biggest smile in the world. It melted my heart. 

(Look at her! She's a queen.)

   Basically, it was a ton of fun. I'll share random pictures with you as well. But that's all I have to say about the convention. I loved it. 

   But. Tomorrow. 
   It's my first day of college. I'm terrified, excited, nervous, and happy all at once. I got my new backpack and laptop this weekend and my Mom got me my school supplies before I went to Memphis for I'm set. I have my outfit all planned and everything. English class starts at 9:30, but I'm meeting my best friend before so she can show me where my classroom is  pray with me. Again, I have no idea how my body is gonna handle this much activity, I don't know how much homework I'll have and all that. I just don't know. So if I don't see you for a while, just pray for me. I apologize in advance if I stop commenting as much; I know I've already sorta started that. But I do want to keep reading what y'all post. If you don't follow me on Twitter, you should. (@geek4God66.) I'll probably tweet a lot about college or whatever; and don't be afraid to DM me. 

   But good luck to all you people starting college! I know I've had to say goodbye to a lot of friends which has been really hard on me honestly, so if you moved away...serious props to you. That's gotta be hard. Stay strong. 

   Are you starting college? What classes are you taking? Or are you still in high school and just looking at colleges? What are your plans for the school year? I would love to hear from you!


Monday, August 17, 2015

Goodbye Memphis

   Saturday I came back from my last missions trip with my youth group, and what a bittersweet experience it was. Right now I can think of at least 3 different post ideas that sprung from that trip. It was incredible. (*Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for the Paper Towns movie.*) All week, I was praying for a miracle. It was my last trip and I wanted it to go out with a bang. Especially since my spiritual life had been somewhat lacking as of late, I was craving to see God.

   This year, we went to Memphis for the third time. We had really wanted to go somewhere else, but God kept closing all the doors. It was obvious He wanted us there. The first 3 days we helped missionaries that my church supports, and then the last two days we went to a town called Frayser, where we went last year to mow lawns and pray with people. At the missionaries house, he assigned jobs randomly. He had us all pick numbers out of a bowl, and he placed us in jobs based on that. He said to trust God with the results. I got the job of cleaning up Warren Street, which was absolutely trashed with, well, trash. It was also covered in poison ivy. (I think I actually got poison ivy on my eye.) But that was actually the job I wanted. Because it was right outside the entrance to the government housing and right before the local convenience store. So a ton of people usually walked by; and they said that in African American culture, its really rude to not say hi to someone when they walked by. So we were encouraged to talk to people, and even to pray with them if we felt led. That was a super cool experience. We met one guy named Uncle Mike, who had five pitbulls, which we got to meet. He was fun and told us some crazy stories of guys coming in with AK47s and stuff.

   Working on Warren Street felt like a meaningless task at first. But once we finished, the local security and some people from a nearby organization came over and were blown away by our work. They said by picking up garbage, we impacted the community in a huge way. They were so thankful and it was just amazing how something so silly could be an answer to prayer.

   The last days down in Frayser were a bit frustrating. We were doing a system I didn't feel was efficient, and it angered me, plus we weren't getting to pray with many people. I was pretty tired as well, so I couldn't even help with mowing. Honestly, I did no real physical activity all week. But I did end up seeing a lot of the people I saw last year and I loved sitting and talking to them and getting to hear about their lives since last year. Although, hearing that one man we met before died six months ago was heartbreaking.

   But, all week I was still searching for my miracle. I didn't have my "Aha!" moment like I had wanted. I even told my friend, Daniel, this. He told me I didn't need to expect it, but that it would happen on its own. When Friday night rolled around, I still hadn't felt like my life was changed. In fact, I was really upset. Because not only had I learned nothing, but my anxiety started flaring up super bad, and at one point I had to run out of the restaurant we were eating at because my mind wouldn't stop overthinking. I had become convinced I wasn't wanted there. My brain kept telling me no one cared and that it wouldn't make any difference if I was on the trip or not. I ended up sitting on the curb of Beale street just crying and praying. I hadn't had an attack like that in over a year.

   So I basically felt like I had been going backwards. I thought I was actually getting worse since the trip started.

   But the last night changed everything. I think its funny how God always makes me wait until the last possible second to make His grand appearance. We were all sitting in the living room, and Dylan started playing his guitar for worship. I love worship because its acoustic and Dylan has great taste in music and always plays the best songs, plus everyone sings loud and is super into it. Its just beautiful. So that went by and was great. For the last night we didn't do a regular talk; instead, we all went around and said our favorite parts of the trip, then the graduates spoke. I don't know why, but this year was really hard for the graduates and the people they were leaving behind. We all went around and talked, but when it came to the last guy to speak, well, he broke everyone. He quoted the song, "The Summer Of '69" and said, "Those were the best days of my life." That was when I lost it. Everyone else kinda did too. Dylan played one more worship song, and I got to stand by my best friend and she cried on my shoulder. We were all in tears. That was when it hit me. I remembered the end of Paper Towns, when Q walks into prom and says how he thought Margo was his miracle, but it was then that he realized she wasn't, but his miracle was his friends. I had the same epiphany. I looked around the room at all the crying faces and people with their arms wrapped around each others shoulders and I thought, this is it. This is my miracle.

   I had been looking for something out of this world; something to make me cry, something to make me feel again. And it had been in front of me the whole time. I remembered that no matter how bad my anxiety lied to me, two of my friends still came to check up on me when I was crying on Beale street, I remembered how we got 8 girls to fit in the shower in our swimsuits after our time in the lake, how someone told me I was their mentor, and how a friend called me when they were feeling alone, and when Maddi and I spent an hour sitting outside talking; I saw the time Daniel said he loved my passion for photography, how in the car the boys kept playing "Never Gonna Give You Up,"  and when we played duck duck goose in the living room, or when I was having a hard time and asked God to take it away, He answered that prayer, and how when I was laying down during lunch, people asked me if I was okay. It was like my anxiety crumbled away. The love from my friends exposed all the lies I had been believing. And it went beyond that week; these people had always had my back. Some of them I had known since I was born.

   After the talk, a bunch of us went outside to star gaze. We got super nostalgic, since it was the last time on a missions trip for a lot of us. It was the last time us graduates would be with the group, and even with each other. All my friends are going away to various states, and I thought I would be okay with that but I'm not. I kept thinking of the one line from Teen Wolf where Stiles says "What if my best friend in high school isn't my best friend forever?" Nothing is scarier to me.

   Yet even in the midst of the pain and uncertainty, I was content knowing I at least had that moment. I've had years with them, and as much as I hate goodbyes, I was filled with pride. Out of the grads we have a guy who wants to go to seminary, a theology major, a speech pathologist, a dancer, two hard workers, and a future psychologist. (I'm the last one.) I know God has huge plans for this group and its going to hard to say goodbye, but sometimes that's what it takes.

   Seasons change and its super hard coping with change, but I am so grateful for the people who helped make me into who I am. Plus, I got home and read the care cards (encouraging notes we all right each other.) when I got home and yeah, it just reminded me even more that I am loved.

   And, well, all this "graduating" stuff also made me think of Gwen Stacy's graduation speech. So I'm gonna add that too. (Credits to the artist who was not me.)

   The take away from this post is this: "Things change, friends leave, and life doesn't stop for anybody." (Yes, I have literally quoted a crap load of books and movies and no I do not care.) Cherish every stupid moment, don't let your anxiety keep you from having fun, join in the conversation; I promise you, you are not as stupid as you think you are. Honest.

   Go out and enjoy your beautiful life.

(This was our jam for the week.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dayle's Rant

If you're seeing this, that means this posted on a schedule, and my sister and I are on our missions trip to Tennessee. I wanted someone to guest post since I've had nothing interesting to share, so what better person to do that than my sister?Dayle, as you know from previous posts, is a lot cooler than me, so I really hope you enjoy what she has to say. This is something she feels very passionately about and I suggest you read it all the way through.
Enjoy your week!

If I were to tell you right now something over the top and a horrible thing that Justin Bieber did or said, chances are, you'd believe me. I could have no proof, nothing but my own word, and most likely you would agree with me and add it to your mental list of "Why I Hate Justin Bieber". And I cannot express enough how much that breaks my heart. Even when I was very young, my level of empathy has always been very high. More than anything, for people who are shunned or hated on by the world. It hasn't done anything but grow stronger as I age. I have had days where I am overcome by so much pain from watching someone else go through something, that I can't do anything but cry in my bed for days on end. So it's not surprising that when the hate on Justin Bieber started, I was completely broken.
In this post, I will only lightly speak of the events of his downfall at the beginning of 2013. But I will get into that later. First I would like to start off at the beginning of his career. Because as much as no one talks or points it out, the boiling hate on him came long before he started doing anything off the rail. Although it definitely got so much more heated as the years went on, he never had it easy when it came to hate. Yes, from the moment he got popular, he received an insanely large fanbase, especially for being so young. But pretty much anyone but his fanbase hated him. "Why?" You may ask, considering back in 2010 he was hardly anything but a teenage heartthrob, why would he be given so much hate? For simply that. Even from then, liking Justin was a joke. That hasn't changed. If you liked Justin you were considered a little girl, which at the time, really wasn't a problem. I mean, at the time of his rising fame, I was only 10, I was young and he was cute, it was understandable. But as months and years went on, hating on Justin went from a joke to the norm. It started because he was a teen with swoopy hair (which later would be called 'the Justin Bieber haircut') whose voice was high pitched because of his age. There were boys, girls, adults, and everyone in between that would poke fun at his voice and complained because of his singing. It started as a joke but grew to a problem. I never stood for the hate that he received, but it has gotten so out of hand that I can't even begin to grasp how someone could think any of this is okay. The hate never died down. And I think that it all started to get to him and affect how he acted in 2013. So much stuff went down with him, and there are so many things that happened behind closed doors and things that he did that were inexcusable, and I will not defend what he has done during that time. But there were also many things made up. You see, because he was already hated by many, and so many things were going on with him, it was the new trend each week to point out something wrong that Justin did. It gave everyone that hated him so much power. Because claims were already being made that he did all these things, it would be perfectly believable if someone claimed he did or said something. I am not saying that everything was fake, many claims had proof and witnesses and reports. He also confessed to a lot of things. But not all. The one that comes to mind was the statement claiming that he called a girl a 'beached whale' and continued to laugh and poke fun at her. It was later claimed that the victim killed herself. When the article was written, it was shared and many added it to the list of why they hate Justin. But what wasn't shared and talked about, was the fact that 1) The article claiming that the victim killed herself was posted on a website called National Report. Which has a disclaimer saying: "National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in a semi-real or mostly fictitious ways."
And 2) There was an article that followed pointing out the flaws in the story. The two witnesses stories that claimed what he did and said contradicted each other and had holes. Not only that, but it was reported that besides his friends, the only person he talked to was a blonde girl named Jordyn Dore, who had nothing but good things to say about him. You can read that whole article here. We won't always know what is true or what isn't. Like I stated, his actions in 2013/2014 can not be excused or defended, but since then he has grown and matured. And yet the hate is still so very present. There are so many people, famous people, famous adults, who hate on Justin. Some before he acted out, some during, and some after. Do I believe that in 2013/2014 when he was given the most hate did he deserve to be told to grow up? Yes, on a certain level. By that, I mean I do think he needed to be told that he was acting out and needed to straighten out; he was definitely out of control and as someone who loves him, it was heartbreaking to watch. Heartbreaking and disappointing. But among the things that he was told, so many were over the top and uncalled for. To begin the list of people that called him out or said bad things to or about him are: Seth Rogen Kate Moss Orlando Bloom Joel McHale Nick Jonas Drake Bell Jon Bon Jovi Olivia Wilde Jared Padalecki Zack Braff Yes, he made mistakes. He was unbelievably stupid in many of his actions. But he is human. And I feel like because of the light he is in, hating on him is seen as 'okay'. Because "He's Justin Bieber" because "What about all the things he did?" because "Everyone else is doing it". People that I love, people that I look up to. That stand against bullying and everything about it, have said things to and about Justin that would be seen as bullying and being uncalled for, had it been to anyone but Justin. Although it's sad to see the above list and what they have said about him, what was the worst of all, was seeing what the cast of the CW drama Supernatural have said about him in the past. I absolutely love Supernatural. So when I saw what some of the cast members said about him. I was torn. Many of which have gone through tough times such as being bullied, fought depression, and had suicidal thoughts. You would think they would know the line between pointing out something bad that someone did in hopes of them learning from it and being a bully and just plain cruel. Although most of the drama between the cast and Justin has died down, it's still been mentioned that they are not a fan of him. So when I found some old tweets about Justin from some of the cast, I was beyond disappointed. The following are ones that I was able to find:

No matter his past mistakes, I do not understand how anyone would think this is okay, especially someone who has gone through the things I've mentioned. Why is it that because it's Justin being made fun of, there is no line that can be crossed? Never have I heard someone (let alone someone famous) stand up and call someone out about making fun of him; unless it was someone who liked him. You would think after death threats and thousands of people telling him to kill himself, someone would stand up and say "Woah woah, I don't like him either, but that's just too far". Because a great percentage of the Earth understands that no matter what, telling someone to kill themselves is horrible and it's something you should never joke about. And yet time and time again no one is to stand when it's Justin Bieber that is getting the jokes thrown at. Because most are too scared. Because there is a much bigger chance that they will also be made fun of than backed up. Because most would rather follow the crowd. Especially when it's people that they look up to sending the hate. They see someone they love saying something stupid about Justin, and even if they don't care for him, they go along with it rather than call them out on it. Because if you dare say that you like Justin or try to keep people from saying nasty things about him, you are automatically assumed to be a young idiot fan who has no clue of the mistakes he's made. I don't believe that what he did in the past is okay, but I don't believe he should be defined on what he did as a young 19/20yo. And I certainly won't stand for any of the horrible things that are said about him. He said and did stupid things and now it's time to move on.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Senior Pictures And Stuff

   Oh....hey guys.

   So, I have no idea what this blog is even supposed to be about but I feel like you deserve some sort of an update, even if I don't have any profound thoughts. Because to be honest, spiritually, I've been a little lost lately. Not to say that I haven't been seeking God, but He just seems quiet. I just haven't felt like myself lately. Although, I did have a great time taking senior pictures with my friend, Amanda; and honestly, taking the train out to her and just getting away to the peace and quiet really helped my heavy, dirty soul. (Sorry, twenty one pilots reference.) Anyhow, I did really learn a lot from there, and I was going to blog about that, but I wanted to do something less emotional because next week I'm going on a missions trip, so when I get back I'm sure I'll write up a crazy post for you. But Amanda showed me all the cute places in her town and we visited abandoned barns and corn fields and even found an abandoned bus, which was super cool.

   But speaking of missions trip, I'm going to Memphis for a week! Round 3 for me. I know God is going to blow my mind there because of all the craziness that's been going on. (Plus, I think He's being super quiet now so that it'll be twice as amazing when He talks on the trip. You know Him; He's got a flare for the dramatic.) But this trip almost didn't happen. The leaders didn't want to go to Memphis again, but all the other places got shut down; God just kept closing all the other doors for different locations. It was made very clear He wanted us here. That being said, I seriously can't wait to see what He has planned for us up there.

   Another thing: I start college on August 24th! I'm taking two Math classes, English, and Psychology. I'm nervous and excited. I still have a ton of stuff to get done before classes start. (Buy a laptop, get school supplies, find a new backpack, etc.) But it should be good. I can officially use their gym now, and so if my health ever gets its crap together, I might be able to get fit. (Finally.) I was just taken off prednisone, which is amazing, but it's taken a toll on me and I've really been feeling my lupus a lot worse than usual. But, back to college, you can expect to read all about my adventures as a new college kid. Now, you probably won't hear from me as frequently, and if I do post it may just be all pictures and a quote or something. It makes me sad. But we'll see how it goes. 

   I guess that's all. I've been trying to get back into commenting on more blogs and reading the stuff you guys put out, it's all been so wonderful. Be praying for me with college and the missions trip. And lastly, how may I pray for you? How are all of you lovely readers doing? Leave me a comment. I miss you guys.

   Also, enjoy the senior pictures of my model friends.

   As usual, what do you think of the pictures??