You've Got a Friend in Me

30 June 2009

Its one of those days in which I need to find the positives again. I came up with the theme of "friendship" for this post.

I've realized today that I've had a lot of good conversations in the past four or so days. Starting with a friend's party on friday, I got to catch up with a few really good, old friends. I've already mentioned those vaguely on here so I won't delve into those.

On Saturday, a guy at my work who I've known for a few years stayed after he signed out of work to talk with me. He could have left (it was already past 9:30pm) but he stayed with me because I had to work and then didn't leave until I had signed out and taken my apron off. I really appreciated that and I don't know if he really read into it, but I hold high hopes for a future friendship between us. We're semi-friends now but we don't hang out unless theres a party. It was a nice night and I truly appreciated having someone to talk to for the last hour of the show.

I got to talk with a girl from my church on Sunday about her experience at church camp last week. I fell in love with CYF I at Bethany Beach and I wish I could go back. I want to go to YAC there because I'm old enough now but I can't ever seem to go. :(

Today I had talks with two friends. Well, honestly one was more of a messaging but stuff got worked out that NEEDED to be kinked out and hopefully the rest of summer will be a lot better in that area. Plus in the evening a friend of mine was 'hungry' according to his facebook status. We met up at Chik-Fil-A and got some snacks. He's part of my normal group so we never really get one-on-one time and it was really nice. I wish he would have talked a bit more but it was still nice to just talk to him about our lives. I value time like that with my friends and I wish we could have more of it together. Its difficult though as a girl with a boyfriend to have individual time with other guy friends. People always think you're on a date or its awkward because you're used to being with a group. I need to work on a couple of individual friendships throughout the remainder of summer and there's still a gigantic list of people that I need to see before I got back to school!

I know this wasn't very long, but I'm just glad to say that I had some wonderful times with friends this past weekend. :)

Relay, Relationships, Blues

27 June 2009

Ok.... I know its been weeks since I've last posted. Honestly its because I haven't done too much (in my mind) that has been worth writing about. Ok. That's a lie too. Actually I just haven't felt the mood to write and I have a fair amount of stuff that I'd like to talk about. That IS the truth.

Relay

To begin, Relay was a success! We raised over $1,400 and I'm INCREDIBLY proud of that accomplishment. The team did a wonderful job and so many people we supportive. The actual event was one weekend ago. Noah, Kelsey, AJ, and I set up our campsite (I swear that the girls were far better than the boys at this) and it was on my former high school's track. Zach, a guy who was a year behind me in our marching band, happened to be in the campsite beside mine. His mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer and this was his first year doing Relay. (When he left at 2am he hugged me goodbye and said "I'm sorry to hear about your mom.... I guess I'll be seeing you at a lot more of these events in the future".) We weren't close in high school although he had dated one of my friends. Now there's three.... I mean, I pray that Zach's mom is able to survive this, but now there is me, Ben, and Zach (and of course my sister). Even though I didn't talk to these guys very often in high school I feel like they can relate to a part of me that others can't.

When the Survivor Lap began, they called off all the names. It went on for over ten minutes. Its incredible to think about how many lives cancer touches. Something about Zach's comment made me think too. This was not my first relay nor will it be my last. It WAS my first though to walk around the track and see the name of someone I loved on a luminaria. Many thanks goes out to all the people who donated on behalf of my mom. I appreciate those thoughts more than anyone could know.

The night was successful and fun overall and I even got more sleep than I normally do. It was the biggest relay at JW so far and I hope each year more people come out to show that they care.






*The above photos were taken by Greg Brown. He has some really wonderful shots! Check him out:




Bluesfest

I'm really proud of Noah and my friend Brandon because they performed live with a blues band this past weekend. It provided experience for Noah and I wonder if it didn't provide a purpose for Brandon. He really enjoyed the band and practicing saxophone. I hope he can apply that spirit throughout his life.



VBS

I worked with Darlene as co-teacher of the middle school class this past week. It was a lot of fun but I still need to solidify the boundary between teacher and friend. I would have loved to teach high school but I'm friends with so many of them that I don't think I could come off as an authority figure in there. We raised a lot of money for CCAP and the Salvation Army. Plus many people volunteered as teachers, aids, crafts, snacks, etc. I love when people come together for a purpose!


The Mall

I had a great time with my boyfriend at the mall the other day. I don't really plan on many details but I had a lot of fun and its the happiest I've been in a LONG time.



Aaron's Party


A friend of mine hosted a party on Friday night and it was absolutely wonderful to meet up with old friends. Three in particular: Aaron, Matt, and Eliza. Aaron is someone that I didn't know that well in high school. He was the same grade as my boyfriend so we didn't have any classes together beyond some science. How do you get to know acquaintances better? Parties. When you have parties you go beyond your normal, every-day friendships because you wanted a bigger turnout. Kelsey & I host parties two or three times a summer and Aaron hosts too. All it took was one party and now the group grows bigger each time. We meet eachother's friends at parties and they get invited to the next and so on. Thats something that I find beautiful about humanity, or ability to socialize and expand our support network enthralls me. Its a shame when you lose a friend but at least there are so many more opportunities to find another. Matt I've known since elementary school. We would be at birthday parties together when we were younger then we kept a slow line of communication in middle school. High School and College are where its at yet again. Its amazing how genuine and what a good listener he can be. He's someone that you find yourself just opening up to because you can tell that he sincerely cares about your feelings and opinions. I hadn't seen him since winter break yet he has me talking about my mom and my situation with dad in less than a minute. Something about him just invites you in. Eliza, lastly, is a girl that I first knew through girlscouts. We were in elementary school when we first met and at the time she could be overwhelming. I was a surprisingly shy little girl and Eliza was very outgoing. Today we mesh really well together. She's a constant friend through any distance and knows the right things to say. She seems to understand without even hearing whats going on in your life.

One of my FAVORITE things about these people is how, well, touchy they are. I'm a person who appreciates an affectionate hug or hand holding and I don't think those things should be limited to just a boyfriend or girlfriend. I don't mean in a romantic way, but I would hold my girlfriend's hand if I'm sad and I would hope that any guy friend of mine would do that to comfort me in the same way. So few guys feel like its acceptable though and that saddens me. Thats one thing where middle school won out. I had HUGS every day! I miss that physical comfort with such a supporting emotional side. Being with my long-missed friends last night made me realize that I need to make a better effort with my more commonly seen friend to have that same connection. Sometimes I feel like the only person I can talk to is Noah and that shouldn't be the case. I have several friends that live close by who I SHOULD by all means be closer with by now. I also have two friends who seem to have almost vanished out of my life this summer although they are the dearest to me. Funny how that works.....

I'm looking forward to finding the right relationships in life and also towards the purpose(s) that I can give my life. I hope to continue to be an active member of the community and I want to be as understanding a friend to others as some have been to me.

My Feet are Sore - but What Does It Matter?

14 June 2009

So my legs are tired and my feet are sore from standing up for so long tonight. Really though, I am just incredibly grateful to have a job finally. I wish I could get more hours in, but I'm glad that at least one place was hiring in my hometown. I'm incredibly tired so this will undoubtedly be a short entry, but I just wanted to say how lucky I feel.

Plus, Relay for Life is not even a week away. I've been planning this for months and while its been fun, I'm glad it will be over. Its been a bit stressing especially with planning the talent show, cici's, and the campsite situation. My church did rather well and I'm proud of that! The only things left are to set up the campsites on Friday and to figure out what bank I can take money to on bank day.

Well, I did give fair warning that this would be short. I'm so tired - I definitely need some sleep before all the Physics homework tomorrow..... At least I can be productive. ;)

Buenas noches.

The Better Person

13 June 2009

Remember when you were a little kid and someone wronged you in some way? Your parents would say "be the better person" and would expect you to do the 'right thing'. I wish that was easier for me. I'm the better person a lot of the time (really, not trying to be big-headed but I feel like I cave in a lot for other people) but its something thats really difficult to do. Sometimes the line blurs and I end up not standing up for myself when I should. Its always been a difficulty for me. I can stand up for others before myself and I will avoid saying something or doing something if it seems remotely 'rude' to me. *

Even though I tend to be better than a good number I'm not the best. I think my boyfriend may be though. I swear whenever I get angry or upset at someone he tells me to take the high road. I don't like it at first - I never do - yet he keeps at me and I know in my heart that he's right. That is why I love to talk to him before I make decisions, he helps me keep track of myself. I hold so many grudges and I can be spiteful (especially of late) but I feel guilty sometimes feeling that way. Talking to him allows me to get those feelings out and feel better about myself while still treating the people in the situation with the respect they deserve.

He is a light in my life. I wonder if people's souls/auras/spirits/whatevers could glow in varying degress based on their purity of heart where his would be. How bright would it shine? It would eclipse mine I'm sure. I am so blessed to have such a blanced partner. God knew exactly who I needed to complete me. Yes, complete - I do not necessarily believe everyone who says that you need to be okay with yourself FIRST. I think another person can help you reach that point also by teaching you to be better than you were before.

Either way, I know that he's been a gift that I will never reject. I hope he continues to guide me to the right decisions and actions forevermore.



*For example, tonight at work I signed out but ended up working concessions for another half an hour past that. I was just going to leave but my boyfriend and another friend pressured me to say something about it to our boss. It took them a fair bit of encouragement to get me to say something and I still felt bad. I shouldn't right? I did work the extra time but I feel like I'm beign too forward for some reason.

Different Life Paths

12 June 2009

Its interesting to think about how different our lives would be depending on just a few decisions or circumstances.....

I was looking at pictures of an old friend today and I think about how when we went to separate high schools our lives went in opposite directions. I'm sad sometimes that I didn't get to spend more time with some people but... you never know what's around the corner. Sometimes I wonder if things DO happen for a reason. I'm not one to think so typically but there have been a few circumstances in my life that I wonder - just maybe.

To think if you said "yes" or "no" at a certain point in time and how your life would alternate. I wonder how much of our lives we create for ourselves and how much we are affected by others. I think others have a HUGE impact but at the same time I think we have a persona to ourselves that may be a gift or a curse on its own.

I think back to an activity that my counselors did at summer camp one year. Every camper had to stand in a big circle and three women were in the middle. They took turns reading out certain statements and if the statement applied to you then you took one step forward. After a moment they would ask you to step back into the circle. Such a simple exercise but so mind numbingly revealing. Questions started off relatively simple or with expected answers to get people comfortable with the activity but there difficulty level/honesty level became much higher quickly. To start off it would be something simple such as "Step forward if you have ever felt lonely." It's sad, but who hasn't? We all feel alone sometimes. By the end, however, we were all so trusting with one another that we were able to admit to questions that are 'shameful' or 'hurting'. It varied from "Ever been offered a cigarette?" to "Have you ever felt ashamed about something you allowed to happen but didn't want?" or "Have you been pressured into sex?" Many had never happened to me. I know that I'm a person who makes the right decision in most cases but I also know that these things were not all up to me. How lucky have I been in my life in comparison to others?

Sometimes I feel like I don't know the half of what other people are going through.... then I realize - I don't know the tenth. I think I know my friends' lives pretty well and the general population for my "group type". White, upper-middle class, college educated. I mean everyone has personal stories about things that have gone wrong but none of my friends have dealt with drugs too heavily, or pressure for sex (that's almost a joke), or going through a situation that makes them feel ashamed to be alive. I certainly hope not.... I honestly don't know the WORST situation my friends have been in and that's awful. Still, the kids from camp have lives that are so challenging that I'm not sure whether I could stand up to the torrent.

I guess this was more a reflection on what's really important. I think that our own decisions and actions do indeed make a difference but I also think that we need to cut some people slack for the way the behave. At the same time, people who have everything handed to them need to take some responsibility upon their shoulders to be better people. I know a few people that could most certainly follow that a good bit better. I'm one of them. It's too bad I can't just come out and talk to people about this, especially those that treat others as objects or below them, but I don't know how it would be brought up even. Plus I don't think they're the type to listen. How in the world can you make that difference?

I Love You

11 June 2009

Ever had a bad day? Have you ever thought that the phrase "bad day" isn't quite sufficient? Okay - isn't even CLOSE? Why is it so black and white. Good day, bad day. Maybe once in a while an 'eh' day when you really didn't do anything. That's just the way we are though. When someone asks how we are we say "fine". When asked about how our day has been we say "good" or "ok". It's hard for us to open up about what's going on and people don't expect us to. What would happen if a person asked you how you are and you actually RESPONDED? "Thanks for asking! Actually, this morning I woke up late and was on my way to meet my workout date in a rush and got out the driveway only to realize I forgot my yoga mat. Then as I was speeding out on the road I observed a turtle right smack in the middle of my driving lane. Of course I can't just leave him there so I have to pull my vehicle off to the side while darting my eyes both ways and lunging into traffic just to save a little creature that will probably wander back into the road on a different day. Then I get stopped at every red light...." They'd be startled to say the least. Its sad that when people ask it is out of common courtesy rather than an actual investment in your life.

Today was a 'bad day' - certainly qualifies for that title. All work and no play make a bad day for certain. I won't go into detail on here because frankly I'm not sure if anyone would care anyways plus I don't have need to cause even more strife in my relationships. Although I've noticed that even when something starts small it seems to escalate into something monumental. It's as if each "bad" thing digs deeping into the abyss that is my soul and all the dark corners grow larger. I tend to think back on harder times in my past and I feel abandonment course through me. Today was tough..... I feel lost, alone, and as if I am the only person in the world sometimes.

That's not fair to anyone. Not even to people that treat me unjustly. More so though for those that truly care about me. I can think of a handful that it would scare in their own souls most likely.

The nice thing is that on a rare occasion (very rare occasion) something will happen that just strikes you. Tonight one of my long-time girlfriends sent me a link to a video that just hit home. She may actually be number one on my "most genuine" list. She is always herself and seems to understand you on a deeper level. The real gift is that she seems to have that connection with everyone. She reminds me of another friend I have named Matt. They seem to just cut right to the chase of things and know exactly the right things to say and what is truly bothering you. Its strange. In fact, she still asks me how I feel about my mom. She's just that type of person - but its not bringing up bad memories with her. It's a release.

Anyways, she seemed to know that I was having a rough time today without me saying anything of the sort to her and she posted this on my wall on facebook. I hope it means something to you the way it did to me. If not, well, there willl be SOMETHING and SOMEONE that comes to fill a gap in your heart when things feel their worst. I promise.



http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=108600358828&h=NkLQe&u=1aSLv&ref=mf

Accomplished

07 June 2009

Tonight at my church was the Talent Show that I've been working on (Noah alongside me every step of the way). I'll be honest; I'm extremely glad that its over and done with because it was a LOT of work and stress and pushing. I had to really push to get this done and to get people to sign up and get involved. After all that work I wasn't expecting a very big turnout either.....

To Begin:

Noah and I arrived at church at 3:30pm to start setting up for the Talent Show which was scheduled to begin at 6:30pm. That's a long time. On the bright side most of the tables were already set up. We ended up adding four more, putting on tablecloths, setting up all the tables, sweeping the stage, sweeping the ground floor, moving a piano from one end of the church to the complete opposite (all the while we were worried about tearing up the Narthex carpet), setting up a soundsystem, getting acts in order, and what we would say as announcements between the lineups. ... ... not to mention that Noah and I also had our own acts to prepare for.

At 5, other Band members started arriving and we practiced but I wasn't very focused. I really was thinking about things that had to be done still such as moving the mic stands and getting different people's music set up.

At around 5:30 I was done with practice (although it was supposed to go until 6). I was too anxious about everything else though and we played a billion songs this morning as well for Graduate Sunday.

Noah, Bill, and I got the mic set up for my act. Previously you could not hear my Melody Sax when I played in the higher registers (E off the staff and such which come up relatively often in "Too Much Heaven on Their Minds"). I was glad to have the sound issue settled.

There was a bit of a lull for other people surely but I was constantly checking systems, talbes, food prep, etc. and I wasn't too worried about waiting for people. Groups started arriving at 6:15 - much earlier than normal for a church event. We often have the problem of people arriving right on the minute. At 6:35 or so Noah made the welcoming remarks (that boy was born a host let me tell you) and then Billy said the prayer. The night also was a 'bring a dessert to share' event so that people could have some food and feel festive. *I do believe the brightly colored tablecloths and flowers helped* Everything I tasted was delicious. Then at nearly 6:50 we decided to begin the talent portion of the evening.

Noah and I had set up the line up according to the different types of acts. We didn't want all the musical ones together or the 'physical' ones either. There were nine acts total and I wanted to be first so that I could get that done with. I honestly HATE spotlight or one on one events because I can't stand attention. I get nervous. Honestly though, I didn't feel too bad. I play for these people every Sunday. It was a bit awkward because I was up on stage all by myself and Noah was my accompanist so I felt like the center of attention (which I was). I played the melody of a Jesus Christ Superstar on my sax and Noah did a wonderful job on the piano part! Several of the youth complimented me on my playing and song choice later on in the evening. I was just glad to have this event finally happening and couldn't feel too nervous about playing. :)

Heather, a high schooler, read poems that she had written herself. The first one she had written in seventh grade and the last two were this year for a Creative Writing class. She has a gift with words. I would not be surprised to find that she has written a fantasy novel one day in the future. She also had a visual piece. That's a bit hard to describe if you don't remember them from high shcool English class. It's when the words in the poem look like what they are. (por ejemplo, she had the word spinning and it was written in a circle - see below this paragraph for details - start at top and read to the right). Her last one I believe she called a 'dribble'. 55 words long and it needs to be a complete story type of thing. The last two lines have a twist: Hers was about meat and then it ended up that the girl was eating her friend! It was hilarious because she finished the poem and sort of watched our faces. It hit everyone at the same time!

s
g p
n i
i n
n

So that this blog entry won't be HUGE. I'll summarize most of the others.

Sam and Sydney sang a Hannah Montanna song.

AJ & Crew did a Dr. Phil skit which AJ had some funny asides in - 'can you really taste the rainbow in a skittle?..... are their rainbows? ..... I bet there are unicorns....' Hilarious!

.....................

tired

......................

I need to call it quits for tonight - way too tired.

Waiting

03 June 2009

Sometimes I feel like I'm just waiting for things to fall into place. Well, more like I've chosen to do that. For so long I worked at having things done my way and things ended up... partially okay. Now I am tired of doing that work but it seems that if I don't, my life won't even come close to the standards I hold. Maybe that's the trick of it. You have to really work hard for the life you want. That seems a bit backwards though doesn't it? You shouldn't have to work forever towards an unattainable goal. What makes you truly happy should be easy and simple.

Why isn't it that way? Is it just me? maybe.... but for some reason I don't think it's quite that simple for anyone or maybe they just haven't reached that crossroad in life yet.

Family is difficult. Friends are difficult. Activities are difficult. Beliefs are difficult. In fact, the only thing that ISN'T difficult so far for me has been love. I've talked about that so many times though that I don't need to repeat it just now.

I'm not exactly complaining (but yes I'm sure it sounds that way). Actually I am just trying to figure life itself out.

How come I have to study so hard to memorize any school subject but I could probably list all 150 original pokemon by heart? Without effort???

Why is it that someone who calls me a best friend flakes on me? Does she actually have a commitment or is there something else going on? Someone mentioned pregnancy to me.... I'm worried now. I don't want to be afraid for something that's not there though.

If staying in shape is good for us, why is it so uncomfortable to exercise? You're sore afterwards. Wouldn't it be better if it was easy to go about. How come healthy foods don't usually taste as good?

These are just examples... a lot of questions have been occuring to me lately and most I don't want to put on here, but it makes me think a lot more now about my decisions. For the first time I haven't actually made an effort and it seems that without my effort things never happen the way they're supposed to. Maybe I really am the organized self-knower. That was a result of my goal list site. It's surprising how the things you've done can define you. I hope to do many more but I'm wondering how to go about it. I value friendship but I could be content being with only Noah for the rest of my life if it came down to it. I want to do a road trip. Most of my friends are guys. that's awkard to parents. if we all go then we have to take multiple cars. If less go I get someone I love and someone I dislike or else all people that are... apathetic. No win-win. I've always got Noah, but I want it to be a fun trip not a date.

A girlfriend texted me today asking if I wanted to go on a roadtrip with her and one of our friends (although I haven't seen the second since high school). I'm considering it. It's not like me honeslty but my friend and her boyfriend just broke up. She could probably use some girl time - God knows I could. They understand. They aren't as comfortable as guys, but they understand. Hmm....

I'm ready for school. apartments, girlfriends, Sarah, photoshoots, classes, clubs, dancing, reading, everyting about JMU. I miss it all and I feel like a shell of myself being at home. Everything is at school now and nothing draws me back home. One of my girls from home will be there next year also. I can't wait. we'll have so much fun! We're already discussing some ideas which is good. No more sitting around or having to go to sides of campuses. she'll be off campus too and we'll have breakfast. ;) I'm looking forward to Sunday Brunches next semester. we'll see if I can actually wake Noah up that early or if he will on his own.

Life isn't bad, its just that summer is not what I was hoping. I'm just tired of the work. Even with work, life cannot be perfect. How much work to make it how good? what's the right balance? I don't know... I intend to figure it out but it might take me a little while. I need to find myself and my goals and wants out of life and people and then move from there and tell others. If I'm not sure myself what's exactly wrong it is rather unfair of me to expect others to understand (especially without telling them about it). I need to make some decisions and let some people know. I'm worried about her. I'm worried about him. I'm worried about us.

Hmm... Noah's right. I'll worry myself to death one of these days. Well, hopefully I can have a good life up until then. It'll just take a little work.
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