walking around campus…

lately, i’ve been so wrapped up in my own little studying world that i have forgotten about the vibrant world that exists outside the school doors. i have all but one of my classes in the same building, same floor, pretty much same room (one is in the neighboring room) and my other class is in the neighboring building where i walk the 100 yards or so from door to door and am back inside. needless to say, not much traffic between those two buildings.

for one of my classes, i was instructed to write a paper about two places on campus: my favorite and my least favorite, compare and contrast using environmental psych criteria such as aesthetic and emotions (as in, what emotions do they evoke in me?). SO my least fave is where i’m currently sitting, at a table next to a windowless wall on the third floor of the library. my most favorite is outside at one of the tables in the campus mall area – obviously, only utilizable for a select few days/weeks. i have to visit each place at least twice. this is visit number 2 to library and i really am not coming back for a third dose. too hard to stay awake and to stay focused – i find myself SO easily distracted in here. anyone that comes through distracts me, the noise i make distracts, librarians putting books away, etc. you get the idea.

outside, where i will be heading shortly after i publish this post, is where all the activity is and i COMPLETELY forgot about it! seeing people walk around, listening to bits and pieces of conversation, watching how people do or don’t interact with their environment, all of those things. it’s the perfect amount of constant stimulation to allow me to work really, really well. individual things don’t distract me for the most part, i get lots of 5 or 6 second breaks that recharge me to focus again, and the SUN. oh the sun is amazing!!!

the thing that’s even more interesting than sitting out there, though, is the walking around out on the main part of campus that’s required for me to get there, or to the library. the students i see… the things they’re doing, it’s just amazingly fascinating, and sometimes hysterical. some of my personal faves:

  • amazing legs girl – i debated beating her up and taking them
  • the guy who was walking hanging on to the crotch of his pants
  • the boarder’s board getting hung up on an unlevel sidewalk and his elaborate attempt to remain unharmed
  • the guy singing along to his iPod
  • the girl wearing shorts, camo tights, and a nice-ish white shirt and sleeveless doily-sweater thing (don’t judge me because i don’t know what they’re called)
  • the lacrosse kids with their lacrosse sticks/nets/things
  • the freshmen with their lanyard of keys hanging around their necks
  • the runners

those are the kinds of things that i feel like i’m missing out on by being stuck in the same building from 9-1:30 every day. there’s no time to go outside and enjoy until classes are out. that is, IF it’s nice enough out to ENJOY it. i always seem to be surprised when i actually venture out onto campus, away from my little world, and see all the people and what they’re wearing and what they’re doing and how good or ridiculous they look. i know i’m not always suzie fashionista, but hanging out there definitely makes me want to pay MUCH more attention to how i look and how i carry myself because EVERYONE forms judgments based on how people look. it’s a means of classifying people and organizing all that information in our minds. i definitely want to be in the group perceived well and not in the group perceived to be ridiculous.

i’m too old to be ridiculous, i think. gotta start acting and dressing like a big kid, and yes, that means closet overhaul. or at least closet modification. i got some big kid clothes two years ago as a $250 (i think) shopping spree with my mom. i got some really good stuff and some kind of kiddy stuff, too, because at that time, i wasn’t sure what qualified as ‘grown-up’ and what didn’t. i’m definitely more aware of the things that count right now and so i want to start making those changes. i want to start dressing like a mid-twenty-something who’s looking to begin a career, or at least be taken seriously by schools that i want to attend.

appearances are SO important. physical appearance, VERBAL appearance, and yes, social networking appearance. lately, i’ve been cutting a lot of facebook ties. especially those who i never talked to and those who i wasn’t all that interested in befriending in the first place. i’ve had a few people try to add me back and only one has been successful in getting through and that’s only because of our history together. i don’t want to advertise my life to a bunch of people i don’t really know. basically, the only people who can get to this blog are the people who 1) know the web address or 2) are my friends on facebook. i even try to be pretty careful about what i post on facebook. i try to be careful about what i write about here. of course, at the end of the day, this is my blog, my world, my words and if they are offensive to someone, they certainly don’t have to come back though i’m sorry if i did offend them.

the reality is that it’s so easy to be found on the internet. it’s so easy for potential employers to look up your name on the internet and see what come associated. do i want ridiculous facebook pictures or status updates to be the thing found? no, not at all. in fact, i barely have ANY party pictures up. i’ve taken care to preserve the image i want to have out there to people who wish to participate in my life. there are a lot of people from church who are my friends, i have a few unbeliever friends that i don’t want to send astray because of how i live my life. i don’t want people to associate being christian with being hypocritical because of me.

this post definitely got deeper than i originally intended, but i think it’s so crucial to remember all these things when i go to post something on the internet. my husband has been part of a few interviews lately and one of the things they do is look at facebook – that’s before they even meet the person. what kind of impression is facebook going to give? whether i let all my info out there, or hardly any at all. what are people going to find when they search me? what associations are they going to find that will be to my detriment? i’m hoping not many. i’m hoping that when i’m searched, i hardly show up. i hope that they see that i’m one who pays attention to these things, who has taken care to take care of my image. that may be a rude awakening to some people come real world time and their college (or work) life is aired through facebook and an employer decides before even meeting that they are untrustworthy. i don’t want to be that person. i want to be the one that an employer WANTS to have because of how i manage my internet information.

what have you realized lately?

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who knew…

who knew…

  • that 2 1/2 years would end up being nothing and 1 night would end up being everything?
  • that starting to run again would be so easy?
  • that keeping up with cleaning would be so hard?
  • that love makes everything look and taste better?
  • that the difference between a generation could be so small?
  • that intentional living could be SO rewarding?
  • that it’s not physical distance that strains and breaks relationships?
  • that eating in moderation would be so difficult?
  • that putting those you love above your own wants and needs and desires could be so easy?
  • that changing your life could be as simple as adding a little time to relax everyday?
  • that going green could be so complicated sometimes?
  • that attitude and action are very often discrepant?
  • that my husband can sometimes read my mind?
  • that running itself could be so much more rewarding than all the other benefits that come with it combined?
  • that a little support goes a LONG way?
  • that learning itself can be JUST as rewarding as the grades that come along with it?

what do you know?

random thoughts (catch up on life edition)…

  • i really like the new layout. i decided that the old layout was getting boring to me and many people had commented on how they feel like they’re reading my diary or something because of that layout. also, i feel that this one has a slightly more grown up feel to it.
  • i’m doing SUPER well in school – for those not fb friends, i SET the curve for one of my tests, and have gotten A’s on ALL my tests so far (i think… there’s one that i haven’t seen the score for yet).
  • i’ve been getting up EVERY weekday morning at 6 to do yoga. i sleep in on the weekends (til like… 7, yeah, lame i know) and then run. it’s awesome.
  • i can’t seem to sleep past 7 am anymore. sometimes i make it to 8, but only if it’s been a late night and i’m super exhausted.
  • we’re playing some awesome pieces in my adult concert band and i actually ENJOY practicing. though, i do tend to get really tense in my hands when i practice. not sure what’s up with that, but whatev. i’m just enjoying that.
  • i’m starting to fit back into (and look good in) my clothes. if you recall, a while ago i was whining about being huge and whatever – yeah, it was just period bloat (tmi? whatev) and now THAT’S gone so things are looking good and i’m FEELING good
  • i have an old friend that wants to be current friends again. at least in her words. her actions, however, do not support those words. i’m not getting my hopes up or holding my breath that anything is going to happen, though i certainly wouldn’t mind being friends again. i guess i’m just disappointed that it was so easy for her to walk away and forget about us. her teary message saying that she realizes she screwed up failed to move me, though. i guess i’m just not sure where i stand on this. maybe i’m debating getting back up on the fence. advice? (lurker advice welcome too)
  • i’ve been thinking about this for a while and for the life of me, i CANNOT figure out one would spell “the usje” as in “the usual”. does that make sense? that’s about as close as i can get, but if i were to type that out in a chat window or whatever, i don’t know that anyone would have any idea what i’m trying to spell. how would YOU spell it? (come on lurkers, pipe in on this one, too. please. then i’ll leave you alone again for a while)
  • i’m really enjoying the content of the other blogs i read. sometimes i wish i had more to read (though i was recommended one not too long ago and i have YET to check it out. perhaps i should find that comment. or you could just remind me again, mrs. carnes)
  • i love my hair today. it pretty much looks awesome.
  • james and i are hosting a life group (in home bible study) through church and the first meeting is tomorrow. i’m really excited about it. i hope everyone shows up.
  • i have this weird hip thing going on in my left hip. like i tweaked it or something, but i only feel it when i do certain moves. like this morning in the practice room when i readjusted in my chair and then almost fell out of it because the pain really really surprised me. maybe i should get that checked out if it doesn’t disappear soon. it’s been going on for a while, a couple weeks i think.
  • i LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the new no baby pills. i had a little tiny period that lasted 3 days as opposed to 6 weeks of leaking with the other pill (tmi again? whatev. you’ll live). AMAZING!!!
  • class starts in 2 minutes, so i better post this and go.
  • definition (for those who just don’t know) – lurker: someone who reads a blog but doesn’t comment. so come on peeps, help me out a little. 🙂

being intentional…

intentionality.

this is a concept i’ve wrestled against and worked with over the past SEVERAL years. i once had a friend, and i don’t know if we still are friends or not, but i once had a friend who was the single clumsiest person i know. constantly doing ridiculous things, spilling things, knocking stuff over – you know the type. i began to really observe this person, watch what they did, listen to the things that came out of their mouth every time they did something clumsy. i came to the conclusion that it was simply a lack of awareness of their surroundings. i am not a clumsy person, i never REALLY have been, so i personally have a hard time believing that someone is inherently clumsy. i would have to posit the possibility that it’s simply them being unaware of what is around them. they are so focused on where their feet are going that they forget they have the rest of their body to look out for. or they are so focused thinking about something (or thinking about nothing) that they don’t look around.

how often do we do that? how often are we running simply on autopilot, unaware of what is going on around us? how many times do you get in your car to go somewhere and end up at work? or at school? or miss your turn?

i have spent a great deal of energy making it a habit to be more aware of my surroundings. i’m certainly not jason bourne aware, but i see what goes on. i notice how many people are around me, mostly what they’re doing, the stuff they have, stuff that’s left out laying around. i notice, for the most part, when people come and go and things like that. i really make an effort to notice where my stuff is, where it’s sitting, what it is, can it spill, etc. i’ve realized that by doing that, i’m a much more careful (though i’m not sure that’s the right word) person. i’m more aware. i engage in my surroundings, not just in my immediate task. i don’t knock things over and i don’t (generally) run into stuff.

i’ve really been noticing this awareness, or at least becoming aware of it once again, in the practice room. i practice in the mornings when i first get to school. i’m the principle flutist in the concert band so i make sure that i know my part. lately, there has been a piano player who is also “practicing”, and by that i mean they play a series of notes (mostly incorrectly) and over the course of time they’re there, THEY DON’T GET ANY BETTER!! this person practices a scale and it sounds just as bad when i get there as it does when i leave. the ONLY thing that i can think of is that they are expecting their fingers to do all the work. they aren’t engaging their brain to think of the notes, the pattern of the keys, nothing. they aren’t slowing down enough to LEARN the notes. they are simply trying to play it at tempo, even though they’re playing incorrectly at tempo.

this has been SO fascinating to me.

i’m very glad that this person has been down there for the past few days to remind me to be intentional in my own practicing. i know how easy it is to go on autopilot and then how easy it is to screw up, time after time after time. i’ve made sure to SLOW DOWN and really get to know the notes, the fingerings, alternate ways of playing things. i also am learning that the point at which i am unable to engage myself any longer, it’s time to stop. when my brain stops focusing on what i’m doing, it’s time to move on. i can’t learn anything with my brain turned off. it’s really hard for me in the practice room because i get bored down there really easily. especially with new music because i don’t know it. i’m unfamiliar with it and that makes it REALLY hard for me to practice. it’s hard for me to play a series of notes that have no meaning to me. i get bored, i get frustrated, and then i start to have that perception of that piece. i start to panic when we have to play a piece or when a certain difficult part shows up because i haven’t taken the time to break it down and look at it, i don’t know how it fits in. that’s no way to play.

lately, i’ve definitely revamped my enthusiasm for being intentional. i want to continue to be intentional about what i’m doing, aware of my surroundings, and getting the most out of things that i can. the most out of my education, out of my friendships, out of life. i don’t want to live life on autopilot, surprised at where i end up, wondering how i got there. i want to enjoy life as it passes.

it’s this enthusiasm that gets me up at 6 am every day to do yoga, that will get me out of bed to run in the mornings, that make doing school work less painful that it could be, that will make me the best wife that i can be. it’s going to be work, for sure, but i think that it will be worth it. i think that being able to look outside and see things and fully engage in my activities will really increase what i get out of it. i think that will make life that much more enjoyable and that much easier to live.

are you intentional or are you living life on autopilot?

taking a well deserved break…

usually, i would just be getting out of class right now. usually i would have a list and stack of stuff that i need to do before tonight or tomorrow. usually i would have a pile of stuff to read. usually i would be a little stressed out trying to study. usually i would be annoyed at the lack of seating at this university for people who aren’t in class and would like to eat lunch.

not today, though.

maybe it’s because my first class was cancelled. maybe it’s because i got to be in band today. maybe it’s because i rocked the face off a test i took on the brain today. maybe it’s because i can recite the parts of the brain from memory and see a little picture of the brain in MY brain. maybe it’s because i really, really knew my stuff. maybe it’s because i had a conference with my professor today about the psych experiment i’ll be conducting next semester and i’m WAY ahead of where she expects students to be at this point. the other students i’ve talked to are also way behind where i am too. some of them don’t even know what they’re doing yet. i’m almost ready to formulate a hypothesis. i also have a stack of stuff for the other research paper i have to write on jealousy. maybe it’s because i’m very caught up with school in general.

maybe it’s because i’ve been hanging out with keri noble lately. maybe i’ve rediscovered my love of superchick. maybe i’ve just remembered about barlowgirl. maybe i’ve rediscovered the power of positive music. the power of GOOD music. the power of talent. maybe i’m wanting to reconnect with my inner musician.

maybe it’s because i’m feeling the exercise i’ve been doing lately. maybe it’s the yoga in the morning. the running every other day. the times getting faster.

maybe it doesn’t matter.

whatever the reason, i’m feeling good today. i’m feeling relaxed. i’m feeling wonderful. i’m feeling… i’m just feeling. and whatever it is i’m feeling, it’s putting a smile on my face. as i reflect over the past few days and weeks, i see how all the hard work i’ve been doing is really, really paying off. i’m seeing the rewards of my hard work. i’m feeling the rewards. i’m seeing that it was, and is, worth it – even on those really stressful days. sometimes, you just have to plod through the mud and the muck to get to the greatness on the other side. i’m glad that i’ve been doing school this way, though. i’m glad that i’ve been pushing and working and shoving and plowing through everything. i’m glad that i can relax a bit this weekend because of it. i can really, really ENJOY the wedding i have this weekend. i don’t have to think about brains or forgiveness or jealousy or spatial reasoning or the DSM. i can just enjoy.

the ONLY thing that would make this even better is if i could go outside, enjoy the warm weather, go for a walk and listen to my music – though i’m usually a purist when it comes to that kind of stuff. i don’t like to have music playing when i’m walking near traffic and stuff. i don’t have an ipod and the zune is at home and my music isn’t even on it. i can just picture myself sitting outside listening to music, enjoying the sunshine, just relaxing and allowing myself to not think about anything.

perhaps, today, i will go home and spend the next few hours at home relaxing. maybe i’ll play some video games. maybe i’ll take a nap. maybe i’ll do something else. i don’t know. maybe i’ll go for a run. i just want to enjoy this day and sitting on my laptop at school is not the way i want to do it.

how are things falling into place for you?

though it’s probably just stress…

oh man… i haven’t been here for a while. school is keeping me VERY, VERY busy. i certainly don’t mind having the time to keep up on all of it and the MOTIVATION to keep up on all the stuff i have to do.

lately, though, i find myself tired. i think i’m getting enough sleep, too. i mean, i’m in bed by 9 or 10 EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. because i can’t keep my eyes open anymore. it’s possible that it’s just the amount of stuff i do everyday, or should i say, the amount of HOMEWORK i’m doing every day. i’ve been looking into a couple internships that will cut into the current homework time, but i think that’s good. i think it’s good to do other things, to be other places, to help out. i’m not entirely sure how it’s going to work out when i think about it because we only have one car. it’s been working so far because i’ve only ever been at school. if i get these two internships, though, one starts a 5 and the other will likely end at 5. i know our car can’t be in two places at once so i really have no idea on this one. i guess i’m just going to have to jump and trust God to take care of all of those details.

the other thing that’s been driving me crazy is this sudden sense of being totally dissatisfied with my body and how it looks. i don’t know where this comes from, either. a week ago, i was delicious. this week? not so much and i’m not entirely sure what’s changed. maybe i’m just crazy, maybe i’m just seeing things, maybe it’s just my body adjusting to all the exercise. maybe all the sitting i do during the day in class and while doing my homework is doing more harm than i think it is. then again, i’m not entirely sure what my choice is. it’s not really realistic to stand and do it, you know? it has to be done.

then again, maybe i’m just making this all up because i’m a little stressed and feeling crunched for time in school.

inaccurate perceptions of reality…

this may come as a shock to most of you, but i tend to be a fairly private person. i don’t like to prematurely share my thoughts, feelings, behaviors, tendencies or intended courses of action. i know that blogging is all about sharing our thoughts, feelings and attitudes, but i often find myself neglecting to write a post because the things rolling around in my brain aren’t quite ready to be shared and i’m not one to (usually) write up a filler post. sometimes i do, but not usually. at least i try to keep it that way.

anyway.

over the past week or so i’ve been unusually silent in the blogging domain. i’m reading but not commenting much, thinking but not writing much. i’ve been trying to figure out why i’m not so keen on sharing things recently and why i can’t seem to make myself sit down and write something out, try to process it. i have figured it out, though, and i’m finally ready to share it. the reason i’m being so quiet?

stress.

i didn’t figure it out until last night/this morning-ish. i’m having a really hard time separating the REALLY big picture from the small steps it takes to get there. i can see all the finished products of this semester, what i want them to look like, how i want them to be presented, how my grades will look and my knowledge increased come december. this comes at a great cost simply because i’m now becoming so overwhelmed by all the work i have to do. the ability to see one day at a time has fallen far from the surface and it’s so much work to pull it back up. i’m seeing and feeling how busy and stressful the next 6 days of my life are going to be: test, assignment due that’s not quite done, final meeting of life group and vikings game tonight; flutie sectional and friend coming to my place tomorrow; 5k and a housewarming party on saturday as well as james being gone for a bachelor party so he’s not going to be at the 5k; church and a band picnic on sunday (though there was also the possibility of going to see my grandpa in the hospital); another test and behavior mod project prospect on monday; ANOTHER test on tuesday. then, on top of all of this, i’m trying to research for two research papers and train for my next 5k on oct. 9. i’m planning on adding to my running routine come monday which will mean me being up at 6 am every day – i’m adding yoga to the routine on the days i’m not running. i’m meeting with someone next week to talk about a psychology-related volunteering opportunity, looking into a 10-hour/week internship at my church and i STILL need to start filling out seminary applications.

it may or may not look like a lot to you (if not, you’re CRAZY!) and i’m having a hard time seeing the little steps that will accomplish all of these things. i’m having a hard time seeing this one day at a time for starters and then to see these all as singular events that will not take up the ENTIRE day. my test will be over quickly and i’m sure i’ll do fine. finishing up my assignment will take me no more than 10 or 15 minutes most likely and i can do that after my test. then it’s just regular class until the usual 130 when i’ll be able to read the final chapters for my tests next week and begin studying for them. my life group isn’t until 7 and the football game doesn’t start until 730. i know that things are MUCH less stressful when i break them down into little pieces, little chunks of time, manageable sizes.

i know, this seems like one of those posts where you all look at me and say ‘duh!’. yes, i’m looking at myself and saying the same thing. however, i can assure you that when i began writing this post (instead of doing some last minute studying), i DIDN’T see it like that. all i could see where the events of every single day – and these are just the OUT OF THE ORDINARY events. these don’t take into account the runs i do 4 days a week, the 3 classes per day i’m in, the normal amount of reading and socializing and other things i do every day. when i take a step back and look at my life, it’s hard to believe that i keep functioning day after day. i don’t remember when my life wasn’t insanely busy and i had something to occupy every second of my day. well, i guess there was this summer, but life taken as a whole? i think i was still pretty busy setting up and maintaining house and home. i know that is different than school, though. i certainly don’t MIND having things to do in the least, but i do wish that i was better able to see the little picture too. i wish i was able to easily see the steps that take me to where i need to be.

another thing that absolutely does NOT help the situation is that when i get stressed, my dreams get WEIRD. and i have bizarre dreams to begin with, just ask james. i don’t know if it’s just because i have a VERY active imagination or what, but when i get stressed, my dreams turn into what could more accurately be termed nightmares. for example, last year when i had a dream that my mom died. incidentally (and creepily) it was on the 2 year anniversary of my cousin’s death. then, of course, last night, i had a dream that james was trying to divorce me but wouldn’t tell me why, wouldn’t talk to me, look at me, nothing. i woke up almost hyperventilating as my dream self was sobbing and screaming ‘i don’t know! i don’t know!’ at the guy who wanted to know why my husband was leaving me. you know, pretty awesome dreams like those that you KNOW are going to affect the rest of your day, the way you look at your life and your family (or your husband). you wonder what is reality because the dreams seemed so real. you question and you wonder, trying to decipher the reality from the fantasy.

i’m not sure that my ramblings today are making sense and i sincerely apologize. i know that i don’t like reading posts that are poorly written random rambliness. i know for one thing that no studying was going to occur if i didn’t get all of this OUT of my system first and that i would sit and think and ruminate and analyze over this dream and these thoughts.

i know that if i take a step back and look, i know that i will be fine. i will be more than fine. i will excel in my classes and do terrific work and be the kind of student that professors are proud of, the kind of student that professors want. i know that i will become the person i want to be.

unfortunately, my anxieties don’t end here. i’m still worried about seminary and this path i’m on that doesn’t give me the time to develop jobs and internships in my field in such a way that distinguishes me from other people. i have one more year to get involved, do psychology things, develop a grad school resume, become a student they want. how can i know for sure that this time things will work? how do i know that life isn’t going to fall apart again on me after i graduate?

these, of course, are questions i don’t have time or energy to answer. at this point, i have 20 minutes to finish up some last minute studying which i’m going to go do. if i’m honest, i do know that everything will work out the way it should but that doesn’t stop the anxieties about the future. i guess the only thing i can do is take one step at a time, finish one task at a time and see where this series of steps takes me. i have to trust. in God. in myself. in my husband. and you know what? i think for now, that’s an answer i can live with.