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5 things you are wearing - black dress pants, black dress shoes, black dress socks, blue button down, boxers

5 things you can see - chair, comp screen, headphone cord, more chairs, newspapers

5 things you are doing right now - listening to music, typing, thinking about what I'm gonna do for dinner, tapping my foot, swaying to my music a little

5 things you ate in the last 24 hours - gum, turkey burger, tuna, wheat bread, salad

5 things you did so far today - watched Reno 911, bought the new Dashboard CD on itunes, went home for lunch, came back to work, went to Walmart

5 things you can hear right now - people clearing their throat, music in my headphones, typing, my teeth chattering, my joints popping

5 colors you can see - tan, brown, green, blue, black

5 thoughts in your head - I want to go out, I need to do laundry, what for dinner?, I'm about to move to China, I need to check my mail

10 people that rock your socks - Ash, Brittany, Adam, Megan, Jenn, Battle, Ryan, Josiah, Caleb, Nate

10 things you would like to do in your lifetime - serve a purpose, visit every continent, get a doctorate degree, reach people for Christ, learn multiple languages

10 things you want to do this year - move to China, build lasting relationships, find emotional and spiritual balance, be a good teacher, be a better learner, become transparent, figure out what to do next year, rebuild bridges, learn mandarin chinese, keep a journal of my time in China

10 cds you listen to - Shane & Shane "Psalms", Dashboard Confessional "Dusk and Summer", RENT Soundtrack, Watermark "Grateful People", Lauryn Hill "Miseducation of Lauryn Hill", Shaun Groves"Invitation to Eavesdrop", Rach Piano Concertos, Lee Singers "Sanctuary", Further Seems Forever "How to Start A Fire", Creed "Human Clay"

10 objects in your room you love - Bed, sheets, pillows, ibook, books, cds, dvds, clothes, crossword puzzles, lamp

7 things you love - coffee, music, friends, family, Jesus, conversation, art

7 things you hate - dishonesty, mayonnaise, yelling, video games, country music, poverty, disease

right now you are - sleepy and bored

7 facts about you - I have a size 15 shoe, I changed my major seven times in college, I'm a Lee University Alumnus, I'm moving to China to teach English in just a few weeks, I have two jobs, I have a weird obsession with geography, I live in Cleveland
4 x repondez

I'm on my lunch break from work. There's no one to talk to so I think I'll blog-vent for a bit...

Last night I went to Franklin, NC with Brittany, Megan, and Ashley to hear Second Edition. It was a great night. Unlikely as it may seem, I ran into Brooke and Becca in the middle of nowhere. Seeing everyone just made me realize how much I am going to miss all my friends from Cleveland. You guys have been my family for the past two years and the sad reality is that I'll probably never see some of you again. It makes me sad to leave...

That realization is also comforting though. In the short not-even-two-years that I've lived in Cleveland, I've built some amazing relationships. That makes me hopeful for this next chapter. New social situations always cause me such anxiety. Honestly, I'm more nervous about meeting new people than I am about living on the other side of the world. My time in Cleveland will serve as proof that even though things may be awkward and weird at first, eventually I will make great friends and come to love the people I'm working with...

I think last night was significant in that I grasped the value of relationships. A large portion of my time at Lee, especially within Lee SIngers, was spent investing in the lives of others. As chaplain, God gave me a special burden for the people in the choir...so I spent the last academic year talking with, praying for, and listening to a significant number of people. Within a few years, no one will remember who I was or what I did. Most of the choir will have never known me or heard about me. However, because I choose to believe that the most valuable and lasting treasures are stored up in heaven...I know that my time was best used when it was given to others...I should remember that for the future...

Why are people so loud in the library?!

Sometimes I become consumed with this quest to do something meaningful with my life. I crave purpose. My future plans are contingent upon how I define "meaningful." If I define it as worthy of accolades and approval, I think about writing books, making money, being well-known....if I define it as having significant and eternal effects, I want to build relationships and reflect the love of Christ...

Time to go back to work, but I'm not ready to clock in yet...

Right now I'm "in the waiting"...it's a strange place to be. It's like I know that I'm ABOUT to do something...but right now I'm just hanging out, waiting for it to happen. I feel like my life is on hold for a few more weeks...I hate living in routines and predictability. I'm ready to go...get this party started.lol That reminds me of a quote: "Are you on your way to ministering, or ministering on your way." .....ouch..I guess I should use this time more wisely...

Alright I really have to go back to work now...

less than two weeks left in Cleveland...I think I'm ready to go to China.

PTL it is Friday! I need a day off. I got someone to pick up my shift at the Bistro tonight. This will be my first free Friday night since the summer started. I'm thinking about hitting Chattanooga with some amigos. Any suggestions on a flick to see?

I'm starting to think about what I'll do after my contract is up in China. I know that's a year away and there's really no way for me to plan that far ahead. If I want to go to grad school, I need to start applying within the next few months. First I should figure out what to study.

I could be safe and predictable and go with just plain History, but right now Art History sounds very enticing. Part of me wants to get a degree in theatre too...I really miss doing shows.

Then again, I could just take my TESOL certification and experience and go be an English Teacher somewhere....take classes as I can. All I know is that I want to keep travelling and keep learning.

I think I'm gonna go to North Carolina this weekend to hear Second Edition with Megan and Brittany...

I miss playing the piano
3 x repondez

[ mood | pensive ]

Today has been one of those days of solitude and introspection. I thought college was supposed to be the time when everyone evaluated their position on various issues and came to terms with who they were as a person. While I did plenty of that in college, I find myself still in that valley of decision post-grad. I'm beginning to think that self discovery is a life long journey. I hope that when I am 90 I will still challenge my ideas and opinions...while remaining true to who I am.

Someone told me today that I live outside the norm. I'll choose to receive that as a compliment. I don't fit easily into molds. I'm really not anything typical...my interests are extremely varied...I think I'm in the process of reconciling all of that disconnected chaos into an identity.

I hesitate to even say this because it has been made trite by so many (including me...by being unknowingly condescending, using religion as a crutch to hide my own shortcomings and insecurities)...but I want to be like Christ. Not the judgmental, horrific, stern man with a beard that you'll find on the walls of most churches....but the compassionate, benevolent, revolutionary activist depicted in scripture. When I look at His life on earth and His words, I see someone living outside of religion...a person who made prideful people uncomfortable while offering mercy and compassion to thieves and harlots. Were he alive today, he would probably never darken the door of our churches, but instead be found in crackhouses, bars, and on street corners.

If I mean it when I say I want to be like Him...I have to stop judging others...see the person beyond the circumstance...


Why you wanna... []
As nerdy as my job can be, I really enjoy it! I've learning all about archives and collections which is surprisingly fun and good for the resume. Maybe somewhere down the road I'll end up working in a museum, using the things I've learned...

The 'hop across the pond' to China is quickly approaching. At times I'm so excited I don't know what to do with myself. I'm worried about the social anxiety that always comes with meeting hoards of new people. I'm just going to force myself to be myself from the start.

Bo and Jo leave today which means I am solo at the casa. I think I'm going to like living alone. Everyone please feel free to come by and visit.

I'm realizing how much I'm going to miss everyone once I leave.

Should I Tell Them? []
[ mood | grateful ]

It's overwhelming to realize that in spite of my imperfection, I am the recipient of unlimited and unmerited favor. Each day the scriptures that I have recited since I was a toddler become more and more real and relevant as God proves the truth of His word, making Himself evident in my life. Things like "God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." -wow, that has become such a vain repetition among those of us who are seasoned church-goers...but the reality of it leaves me broken and in awe...

Though I have lived only 21 short years, God has afforded me unbelievable opportunities and left me dumbfounded at his marvelous grace. Fully aware of all my shortcomings, my inconsistencies, my hypocrisy and my limitations...He chose me, and prepared a way for me, and gave me purpose.

I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do with all that...


I'm going to China!
(more details to come)

I'm so excited...I don't know what to do with myself...and there's no one around to hug.
1 x repondez

If I'm gonna bring it to you cowards, then it's got to be quick! []
In about 4 minutes, I have to leave to start a new job! Dr. Roebuck has asked me to work for him this summer as a research assistant. Very exciting opportunity! I really want to do a good job so that I can put this on my grad school vita someday.

Last night was my first night back at the Bald Headed Bistro. It was pretty busy, but not too difficult. At the moment I have three jobs. I'm probably going to give my notice to spiritsound.

The interview for China is tomorrow at noon. Eeeshk! Last night, Xiaoqung Yu, a professor from Lee, came into the Bistro. Since he's from China, I talked to him a little about the teaching job. He knew exactly where ZhongZhou was, and was familiar with Sias University. It only made me want to go more.

Il a commence' []
[ mood | liberated and hopeful ]

I officially have a college degree....I just keep staring at it..."Bachelor of Arts in History - Magna Cum Laude"...has a nice ring to it...

It is amazing how much this feels like a beginning rather than an ending. I am so excited about the future. Graduating college has inspired me to continue my education and make a difference in the world I live in. (so cliche' I know)

I mailed in my addendum paperwork for the teaching job in China. My second interview is this friday at 12:00 noon EST. The possibility of the future is exhillarating.

All semester I've been working to strip away others expectations. I found myself drowning in the perception of others. My own identity became a martyr at the hands of the people I love and admire. There was a period, after everyone else's expectations and assumptions were removed, where I felt absolutely hopeless and clueless. After clinging to others suggestions for so long, I felt I knew nothing of who I was and what I wanted...

But slowly I am beginning to build back my own identity, setting boudaries in my relationships with others. My calling and vocational decisions are the direct concern of only two entities...myself and my creator. I am ultimately responsible for my decisions. While wise counsel is a valuable thing, it is not worth the cost of my identity and autonomy.


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