Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Waiting Place.

This is my life right now, as best explained by Dr. Seuss.

"You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting."

As I was reading Oh the Places You'll Go, I realized that that's all I've been doing lately: waiting for the next big thing, or for something exciting to happen to me. I'm stuck in the waiting place. But...

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

I'm hoping to soon find those bright places and maybe even see some boom bands. Sounds exciting.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Well said.

A Facebook friend posted this link the other day, and I knew I had to share it too. It perfectly embodies my thoughts from my previous trips to Africa. I think it's time for us all to wake up, myself included.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wave a flag. It's June 30th.

Last night I had a great 30th of June celebration. What's that, you might ask? It's kinda like the 4th of July, just not on July 4th. So clever, right? Well, it was wonderful. We started off by beating the heat with a water balloon tossing competition, during which I got completely soaked. Enough food to feed an army was then made (what better way to celebrate 'murica than with lots of food?). We listened to Jonny Cash and other American classics. We danced with sparklers and then illegally put on our own little fireworks show in the backyard. Ironically, a firetruck with it's sirens drove down our street at that exact time, and we were convinced it was for us and we'd been caught. It wasn't, and so we continued lighting boxes from China with names like Golden Fountain and Rain Dance. We ended the night with the best apple cobbler you'll ever taste, topped with vanilla ice cream. I'm feeling rather patriotic after a night like last night. Let's make every day the 4th of July.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

If you read this whole thing, give yourself a pat on the back.

I'm almost 19 years old, yet it was only yesterday that I FINALLY passed my driver's test to become a licensed driver in the state of California. It has not been an easy road to get here. Most normal Americans get their license the second they turn 16, but unfortunately, I'm not normal. Here's the long process of why it took me until June 3rd, 2013 to do what should have happened October 2nd, 2010.

a) I lived in Germany until I was 17. In Germany you can't get a license until you are 18, and even when you are 18, most people don't do it because it costs thousands of dollars (hence why Germans are such fantastic drivers). I would sometimes practice driving my parent's car in German parking lots though, but all that taught me was how to go about 15 mph in circles. Super helpful.

b) When I moved back to the States I was about 4 months shy of turning 18. When you're under 18, you have to spend about $300 on driving lessons before you're allowed to even get a permit (not sure if that's just a CA thing or if it's everywhere). So I decided it was smarter just to save the money and wait until I turned 18.

c) Was finally 18, and came home for thanksgiving break and passed the permit test with flying colors. I started driving everywhere, and only almost killed my family three times. Ok, maybe four.

d) I Kept putting off getting my actual license because once I got I a license and not just a permit, I would not longer be insured for free. And who wants to pay for insurance?!? Not me. First I was going to get my license over Christmas break, then Spring break, but finally just decided summer would be fine.

e) Scheduled an appointment for 2 weeks after I got home from college, and was positive I would pass. I didn't even question it. Like who doesn't pass their driving test??

f) Um me. That's who.

g) It was stupid, and the lady wasn't even slightly nice to me about failing. Apparently I turned a little bit into a bike lane when I was making a right turn. Everyone does it, so I didn't even know that was illegal. Well. Now I do.

h) All of the DMV's near us were fully booked for driving appointments for the next century. I was so frustrated and their website wasn't working to schedule anything. Finally my mom was able to call someone at the DMV and get me an appointment for the next week.

i) I failed. Again. I don't even want to go into the reason, because it's kinda hard to explain, and it was such a silly mistake that I never would have made in real life. I guess the nerves of the test made me lose focus. Actually, I'd like to blame it on the 400 pound man giving me the test. With the seat pushed all the way back and leaned all the way back he could still barely get his seatbelt on and could barely shut the door. It was awkward. I just pretended like I didn't notice, but I obviously did. He was struggling big time. So that is why I failed. Fat man distracted me.

j) Made YET ANOTHER appointment. Since we only have one car, and my mom already had plans to be gone with it for a few days during which I had to take my test, we arranged to borrow my sister's car that day. It was such an ordeal too, because my dad had to bike out to my sister's house and get the car the night before and then my sister and her husband had to share their other car for work that day. The pressure was on for me to pass this time because everyone had to go out of their way for me to be able to take this test. I knew I just had to pass this time though. Third time's a charm, right??

k) Apparently whoever came up with that stupid saying was on crack, because no, the third time is never a charm. I failed before even getting out of the parking lot. That takes skill. It wasn't my fault, and technically not considered a fail, but I consider any time having to go to the DMV and leave without a license a fail. What happened was that before every test, they check your car to make sure basic things like blinkers and brakes are working. Well, guess who's brake lights weren't working. Yep, mine. BOTH OF THEM. Who has 2 brake lights out at once?? So I wasn't even allowed to take the test. My sister felt so bad since it was her car, but it was fine. I mean, if it all wasn't so frustrating, it'd almost be funny.

l) Another appointment was scheduled and I was the opposite of confident about it. All I'd known so far was FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, so why would this time be any different? He did the car inspection, and guess what? One of my brake lights was out. I had a mini heart attack when he told me that. Thankfully, you can still take your test if one is out, just not if both are. The guy giving me the test was SO friendly though, and basically just talked to me the whole time about my life, which settled my nerves a lot. About 2 minutes into the test, he asked me to pull over. I was positive I had just made some unforgivable error, and I was yet again a failure. He just wanted me to show him that I could back up straight along a curve. I backed that car up like nobody's business. We continued with the rest of the test and...

m) I PASSED. I couldn't believe it. He said the only thing I really did wrong was that I was going too slow a lot of the time. Oops. I guess I was being overly careful.

So there ya have it. Moral(s) of the story:
1. The DMV sucks. Avoid it at all costs.
2. Be persistent when you face failure and disappointment. You can't fail forever.

Unless you're trying to get a date with Ryan Gosling. Then yes, you will probably fail forever. Give up now.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ein Jahr.

A year has passed since the most bittersweet day of my life. A day where I, along with 59 of my closest friends, no...more like family, put on that famous cap and gown and bid farewell to BFA and said hello to 60 different adventures stretched across the world. I often have thought back to that day with tears in my eyes, missing all those who turned their tassel along with me.  

When I stood on that stage a year ago, I never could have even begun to guess what the next 365 days would hold for me. I couldn't imagine the people I'd come to love, the new places that would soon feel like home, the wisdom I'd learn from living independently, and the ways God would show himself to me time and time again. It's exciting to think about how much a year can hold. I hope with all my heart that the other 59 of you have similarly experienced how greatly God provides, no matter where in the world this last year has taken you.  

It is hard though to acknowledge that now it has been over a year since the BFA part of my life ended, but as C.S. Lewis said, "there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." What we left behind on June 2nd 2012 was pretty great, but I know that what is ahead has the amazing ability to be far better than anything I'd ever expect.  

Here's to Jahr Zwei nach BFA. May it exceed your current expectations that you have for it. Jahr ein definitely did. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Good Summer Read.

Summer is a great time for reading. During the school year, everything I read is for a class or for other educational purposes. So I get to the end of the school year and I've convinced myself I hate reading. It only takes one book though to remind myself that I do in fact love curling up on the couch or out in the sunshine with a great book.
I started off the summer reading The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner. It was predictable, repetitive and quite frankly, boring. But I finished it, because I hate leaving a book unfinished. I always give a book the benefit of the doubt that it will somehow redeem itself in the last chapter.
The second book I chose to read, and just finished today, was Still LoLo, a true story written by a girl who lost her hand and one eye when she walked into a plane's spinning propeller. It's a story of redemption and God's grace written from not only her perspective, but her families' as well. It's a quick read (I think I finished in only 3 days), but I'd give it an A+.
Now I need a new book to get me through these next few weeks before work starts. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This one's for you girl.

There's a girl named Katja. 
I miss her lots and lots-ja!
She goes to Mary-Hardin Baylor.
So far away from me and Taylor. :(
This makes me so sad
Because I miss her so bad.
We've been around the world together,
In Italy we bought bracelets of leather.
At her home we always drank tea.
In mugs made by her and me.
I'm writing this poem to tell her I miss her.
I think she should transfer.
But, fo realz, she should come visit me.
That would make me go WHOOPEE.

Here's a few pictures of her and I.
Looking at them makes me want to cry.