Category Archives: thoughts&ramblings&lessons

To see life

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“We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost.” – Ray Bradbury

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this may not much make sense to someone else. and I am hesitant to post it because I don’t want to implant the wrong idea in someone’s head…but I hope it can inspire the right inspiration for each person individually. It all makes sense to me- but hey it is my ramblings that mostly I just needed to get out, for myself- and writing is the best form for me to do just that. so here it is.

a friend recently said to me something along the lines of I was living- in the sense that I am alive, a living breathing person that has life- and that was something great in itself. and though I know they did not necessarily mean it in the sense I am going to yammer on about- it got me thinking.

I don’t feel like it is enough to just live. just be a living human. I think it is fine to have simple moments, for everything to not be some grand adventure/event, and it is ok to not do anything “grand” with your life in a sense…it doesn’t have to be grand in comparison to what others have done or are doing…but grand in your own life. full of gusto, and the zest of life that really makes you relish being alive…and feel alive. It is a fine line though…of not getting swept up in wanting your life to be one big grand event- all the time, at every moment- being able to top someone else or have a life at least just as good as theirs. but rather being able to find the grand in your own life while not settling in the comfortable, the known, the shallow for any extended amount of time….we get so set in where we are, what we are doing- we are told we have to decide on what we want to DO with our lives. like we have one big decision and then just buckle in for the rest of our lives- in the same seat, with the same view and the same route. I don’t think that is it at all- far from it actually. I think we are suppose to take decision by decision and not be scared to explore, adventure, be beautifully wrong and beautifully off track- because you never quite know where that will lead you…and hey just maybe it will lead you somewhere great.

I want to live. I want to see the world- not just for the sake of seeing it, but explore it and really see it- see the people, the culture, the ugly, the magnificent…I’m not saying this is what living “grandly” looks like. but for me it does. I don’t have a set career path I want to chase. and I don’t want to just settle into the routine life that the society here in America tells us to. for me it isn’t either “be a successful independent women set in my career” or “be a married house wife”- these things are not bad (and I am sick of blog posts, articles, buzzfeed..ect ragging on either of these options) they just aren’t the only options for me currently, but they may be for you- and that is fine! live YOUR life and don’t be afraid to explore if that is the life you want. just don’t get stuck in the routine, in the average. add spice to your life, adventure- find out what that looks like to you. just experience this world, the people in it and how your God wants you to interact with it all and be apart of it.

I am letting go. Letting go of this idea in my head of what my life is supposed to look like. Letting go of the idea that I need to get married young. Letting go of the idea that there is some perfect route to my life that I must find and remain on or be forever doomed. Letting go of being in the comfortable. I am letting go of comparing my life to others, but rather focusing on my own and what I hope for it to look like- currently. I am letting go of seeking the things in this world I feel like I should have but don’t and trying to attain those things- like a major that fits me down to the last detail, a boyfriend, an outgoing bubbly personality, a successful life….that I should have it all together…be a certain way.

yes I want to get married, but I want to experience life on my own- and have marriage come if it may- in its own time, own way.

I have never had a set career path in mind, a dream job, a perfect fit for my major, a passion buried deep within me I just need to unearth and hone into. and I am seeing that more and more as a blessing in my own life. because it will lead me to adventure. new experiences. surprising wondrous moments, and gruelingly hard moments as well. It will age me, mature me, and make me more of who I am. It will create me & mold me. I want to live life full-heartedly and lively- not for the sake of bragging rights, not to leave my print on this world, not to experience just for the sake of experience, not to do work for Christ just for the sake of doing so or get caught up in life itself- but to meet people and learn what it means to love them, to encounter new places and interact with what my God made, to learn what it means to be in solitude with my God, to experience so that I can grow and learn. Not quite sure what that means or looks like yet. I can picture the grand things…but I need to learn what it means for the smaller things as well so that I am not always saying – someday. but can embrace it in the here and now. maybe I am doing something wrong. maybe I should just be following my hearts desire. But right now I just want to figure out what it looks like to embrace life deeply and fully where I am at with the people and places that surround me. I want to separate more from this “world” in order to experience the actual world more…if that makes sense. I want to focus more on the important things and less on the not so important. and I want to be able to live…explore…adventure…and I want to let go of routine. comfortability. and the known and step more into the unknown. I want to live greatly but simply. And mostly I don’t want to lose hold of being within the uncomfortable, having a young spirit and adventurous soul… And the ability to just seek God and follow where he leads me. i don’t want I lose so many of he good things we encounter When we are younger.

I am not here to tell you how to live your life. what is the wrong way or the right way. Because doing so just gets you into the mess of what you think life is suppose to look like. that is between you and God. and I am here to be a friend in the midst of that when you need it.

I have got an adventurous, wandering soul to blame. but something in movies like the secret life of Walter Mitty really stir something within me. and not even necessarily the life of the main character, but rather the character that plays the photographer. a man that just seeks beauty, and lives life in a simple, but deep way. of not just simply living, but letting life not get dull and ‘on-track’. because crap will come- but out of that comes sometimes-marvelous things. there is no on-track. there is no overall route for our lives that we are all seeking to find. but there is life itself- and it’s happening. be spontaneous; be daring, do things new, exciting, scary- which is saying a lot from me who can love comfort of the known and normal. but I am sick of that and sick of trying to find my overall life goal/ plan and get cracking on that- of buckling down and becoming “successful”, of fearing that one wrong move/decision and I am screwed. I don’t want to just enjoy being a kid now- I want to do so for the rest of my life. yes, have responsibility and wise choices be apart of it all- but not to the point that it limits life itself. I want to live passionately and be inspired by people, places, moments.  I want a full life. not settle into what I think I am suppose to do, what is “right”, what others want from me, what someone my age is “suppose” to be doing. or the ideal picture of what my life is suppose to look like at every stage- and follow that protocol with every age box I hit “4 years college” welp already screwed that up- do I regret it- no. “meet my spouse while in college”- not looking to good- am I bummed, when I really think about it no. “get married after college”- sounds nice, and some times I freak out that ill be graduating at 23 and sill have not met the “love of my life” (I actually stress over this sometimes- that is ridiculous) but actually- I want time on my own, to experience life on its own, discover and become. “find my dream job”- I don’t think that there is one overall dream job that fits for me. “settle down- have kids”- someday maybe. what age that is at? who know, who cares- definitely nothing to stress about now ( yes I have stressed over needing to get married young, have time to be just husband and wife while also being able to have kids young- seriously.. this shouldn’t even be on my plate of concerns since there is no even prospect in my life of someone to even marry! silly me, yet I know many of us have/ are there)

I think it is less about “finding” yourself but creating yourself along the way. There is no real right or wrong way of doing that- but just know the way you live your life creates who you are.

I am going to…

care less about what I look like and more about how I am living.

care less about getting it right and more about living well.

care less about how well known and liked I am and more about how well I love those around me and give to them as fully as I am able.

care less about what I am getting and more about what I am giving.

embrace life

Gods word calls us beyond our comfort zones into all the world.

“No chapter in life has all the joys.” -John Piper

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coming into my own

a rambling on being an introvert in an extrovert world & acceptance of self

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I have always struggled with the concept of “me”

it use to be insecurity held me back, I wanted to be accepted, loved, liked, admired, sought out, desired, wanted, enjoyable, funny, popular, included…many words filled that place, I want to be ___(fill in the blank)___, anything other than me. Because “me” wasn’t good enough, “me” didn’t include the qualities it took to be liked, “me” wasn’t like what other people were, and “me” was not what I wanted to be..or worse what others wanted me to be.

Above all I wanted confidence. But I always thought in order to have the confidence I had to be something/someone else. something, anything other then who I was. Maybe bits and pieces of me could stay, but for the most part I needed to re-create myself and be what fit the “mold”. These weren’t the exact thoughts that ran through my mind, but it was how I lived. Always trying to attain a version of myself I thought was the right version, the version I could be confident in. a version I thought I would just eventually become, grow into and then everything would be perfect. Id feel confident, happy, liked, and accepted. Im sure I am not alone in this.

Then I moved out of those insecure, “must fit in with the right crowd”, high school days and into college days that is all about figuring out just who you are, being able to decipher and discover yourself and truly be whoever/whatever you want. but this wasn’t any better. Suddenly I didn’t have this ideal mold I needed to fit, but endless possibilities. But I still was left with no where to fit in, because if you don’t know who it is that you are or want to be how can you expect to find where it is you fit in. And in a world where confidence is everything, how can I be confident when I don’t even know who I am?

I blamed my lack of confidence on this, that I didn’t know who I was. And I blamed not knowing who I was on not being able to find myself in high school, because I was always just trying to be that person who fit in, was well liked and accepted by not only my peers but even my friends. so then came the vicious cycle of trying to figure out just who Taylor was. And I still couldn’t break the mindset that the “me” that I was wasn’t anything to settle into or be confident in. but if only I could find the ability to be confident then I would finally feel like I fit in.

This has been a constant struggle.

Recently I stumbled across a random article “23 signs you’re secretly an introvert”. and it all kind of clicked.

Recently I have been “coming into my own” as people call it. Realizing ‘hey this is who I am, and its about damn time I accept it. embrace it, and live life to the fullest as that person. quit striving to be something else and live life as the person I am.’ I realized I needed to stop letting others define for me what I should look like, who I should be, and what I needed to work on to change me and rather just embrace who I am and build off of that. I have always been more quite, less outgoing, slow to open up. I have always had a smaller group of very close friends, and I stick to those people. I always saw these as faults. I needed to be more outgoing, more social, more energetic in meeting new people…I needed to be a typical girl that just talked and talked and talked.

However, once I was able to embrace who I am and learn how to navigate through life as that person I was able to live so much more fully. I was able to embrace that yes I am awkward in meeting new people, I get anxious when in situations a bit out of my comfort zone.. and by knowing this I could prepare myself and enter into the situation knowing this is what it will look like, this is how I will feel, this is how I can best handle it to make others feel more comfortable as well as myself…and thats ok.

I have been learning all of this over the past few years. But reading this article kind of set things off within me. All us introvert are kind of screwed over. We live within an extrovert glorifying world. We are told we must be outgoing social butterflies that are confident and exuberant. If we are not then we are seen as cold, unwelcoming, unfriendly, unsocial, boring and dull, and almost lifeless. I don’t want to be seen as these things! I want to be warm, inviting, friendly, genuine…But as an introvert in a world that really caters towards being an extrovert, this is what we are seen as, and what we are is almost labeled as wrong and in need of being fixed. Introverted-ness is seen as a negative thing. People almost don’t even know how to embrace those who are introverted.

Extroverted qualities are promoted everywhere…in our classes, our churches, our jobs…everywhere. These qualities are catered to, and us introverts are left to either conform or get left behind. It’s as though the qualities of an introvert are frowned upon and not the norm, like there is something off about us. No wonder all my life I have felt uncomfortable within my own skin. Even those closest me have had a hard time embracing my introverted qualities. And not to say us as introverts don’t need to put effort in to be better in social situations or cater towards the extroverts in our lives to meet them half way, but we need to be met half way as well. we should not always be striving to be something we are not. We are simply introverts living in an extrovert world that don’t feel capable of even embracing who we are because it is seen as though being this way is the “wrong” way. And extroverts don’t even understand us, while we are continuously striving to understand them in hopes we can become them.

But we can’t. our make-up is different. the way we function is different. and that is OK! the more I realize this, the more I embrace who I am, the more I, and those around me are able to enjoy life. I am able to see my strengths/weaknesses, my needs and how I can fulfill them, how I interact with others and can love best…

I am coming into my own by embracing myself as an introvert. and seeing it as not only ok, but totally normal and down right wonderful. There are some pretty awesome qualities of introverts, things to be proud of, celebrated…nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed to be labeled as. I use to hate being labeled as such, or allowing others to see me in that way. I didn’t want anyone to see me as  an introvert, or get that impression from me. All my life I was told confidence was beauty, but to me confidence and being an extrovert were the same thing. and since I was not an extrovert, I needed to become one in order to be confident…and therefore something “beautiful”. I always admired anyone who was an extrovert and strived to mimic them in hopes one day I would naturally just be that way. In order to be comfortable in my own skin, I needed to become an extrovert. then I would finally be content, confident, and comfortable in who I was. But heck if that ever worked…

There was more to it though. I also felt ill equipped to even be a follower of Christ because if I was not an extrovert how could I love and love well when to me loving looked like being outgoing. I was letting Christ down. I was not being a good “Christian”. When really all Christ wanted me to do was see the beauty he placed within me and be that person. embrace that person and see that he created me the way I was, and love people in the way he designed me to do so. The whole time I thought I had let him down by not being what I thought I was suppose to be. I was truly hurting him by not embracing who he knit me together in my mother’s womb to be. And hurting him by not allowing his acceptance of me and love for me to fill me, so I could then in turn pour that out unto others whether I was an extrovert or an introvert.

I will never be the outgoing one, the conversationalist, the life of the party, the one with tons and tons of friends,  the one who loves to meet new people, the people person, the social butterfly…and that is a-ok. And allowing myself to live within this, and be ok with this is making life so much lighter. Allowing myself to come into my own and embracing my introvertedness is allowing me to enjoy life so much more fully. Without the pressure to be something I am not, without the pressure to fit into the mold this world tells me I need to be, and with the knowledge that it is God’s love I need. not the title of the outgoing one, the popular one, the well-known girl. It is not these “qualities” that will make me confident, or beautiful, or better at loving people. It is embracing who I am and inviting Jesus into that.

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living & learning

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will I ever learn the true lesson?

it is funny how we think we have it right, or that we are so close to getting it right…finally.

‘if only I could change this’ ‘If only I could get to this point’ ‘if only I could be here, there, elsewhere..’, these are phrases I have lived within, always just trying to get to that next point, make a small (or major) alteration to finally get it right.

If you know me at all you know this “young-adult” stage of my life has been nothing short of crazy, indecisive, unrooted, unsettled, and a major learning period. From beginning my college education, then back at home, then in Colorado, only to then find myself back at APU….I finally came to this realization that no place will ever be PERFECT and my holy grail of places. I will never be satisfied or find contentment in a place. Though it may be beautiful (which was what brought me to wander out to CO), or a place with beautiful people//beautiful community (which brought me back to APU), it will never be all I dreamed it up to be; hoped, expected or desired it to be. it will never quite fulfill everything, or really even come close. and I thought I had learned my lesson at that.

When I left for Colorado my heart was aching for grand scenery. for seasons. for adventure. for mountains, snow, fall leaves, a place that had a distinct fall, winter, spring and summer, a place to call the home of my heart. I needed to escape this So-cal, city life into one of nature. Only to get there and realize something was off, something was missing, lacking… I had arrived at this exact place I thought was all I wanted but had left my community behind. Not that I couldn’t find a new one, but I ached for the one I already had. So I came to the conclusion that the lesson was ‘nothing beats community’, nature may be beautiful but without ones you love to explore and enjoy it with, it means nothing.

So I traveled back to the Zu (the embarrassment of my indecisive decision making is another story for another time). I arrived here and though did not regret my decision per-say, I found things lacking again in my perfect little ideal. Come forth my conclusion that I will never be truly satisfied, and thats ok. Nothing on earth will ever satisfy me because I am not made to be satisfied by this world. Not even God himself can fully satisfy me here because I am a sinful fallen being that will never fully get it. I will always constantly wander away from Him and try to shove all these misshapen “things” into my God shaped heart. I will never be fully in Him while here. But I am getting off topic, kind of.

From this then I took the lesson to be just that, that I will never be fully satisfied, so to just be where I am. Be there, find the good, soak it in, and just live while seeking God in all that I do, no matter where I am. Because that is all I can do. Just seek God and seek to bring Him Glory in all that I do, no matter where I am. I mean thats a pretty good lesson. right? yet again I was missing the key point by an inch.

I got another reality check from the heavens above. This again was not the lesson (or the main one at least) but the lesson I had been constantly overlooking. The one that maybe if I had paused to listen to a bit earlier would have saved me a lot of confusion, striving to get it all right//figure it all out, and a lot of hurt.

God finally grabbed me and did not even give me the chance to reject the command to stop and listen. Because even though I had a lot of time in CO to stop and listen I still overlooked this lesson. Maybe I wasn’t ready for it, maybe I didn’t even know how to look for it…but I think I’ve finally got it right this time.

You see, now I am back at APU. I am back within that community I realized meant so much to me once I left it. A community that is rare and you don’t get to be apart of it just at any point in your life. yet I still feel empty, broken, burdened, raw-fully alone, and like I am a barren, cold, sharp, empty building like one of those modern architectural buildings now-a-days. When I long to be a worn in, cozy, warm, inviting, homey, humble, lived in, joyful, full home. I thought when I was in CO I had felt emptiness//loneliness to its core and I just had to get back to my community and Id be good, Id be full.

Wrong again.

I have that community, and I am not full, just another version of empty. The kind I felt in CO was true loneliness, this one is deep. Because in CO I truly knew no one. I was alone. Here I know many, I am surrounded by people I know and love, people who know me and love me. Because of that I am experiencing a deeper loneliness that cannot be cured by being in the presence of people.

Bring in the lesson- I cannot be satisfied, I cannot be fulfilled, I will not find peace or rest in these things I keep trying to find them in. I keep running around trying to attain that “one thing”, trying to decipher and define what is the hidden secret of finding fulfillment and satisfaction I can finally rest in. When God was standing right there all along, lovingly uttering for me to come to Him. I know this is no grand revelation. Its more so a lesson I continue to learn being brought to a whole new level of understanding.

While I was in CO, I was alone in the sense of not having a community that I could bare my soul in. But because of that I had time. Time to just be. To learn and come back to God. Time that I could do whatever I wanted and be the introvert I am and not have to make excuse for it. Being back here though and thrown back into having a community that I need to pour into, make time for, use energy in..I am lacking the side of life I had in CO. I find myself aching now for that. The time where I took to be still, to be quite, to be with my Creator, where I was mostly free of distraction. So again I am left fighting to just keep my head above the surface. Because none of these things can satisfy me, or be beautiful, or be fulfilling or what they are meant to be without God in them..without God in me first and foremost. I cannot find myself in these things. I need to find myself in Him.

I have had “the best of both worlds” almost in each place. The place in CO where I could focus on God and being with Him, but I had no community to grow in. and the place here where I have that community but I let it take my all so that I do not give any of it to seeking God and allowing him to grow me.

The conclusion? Yes, I will never find full satisfaction here on Earth, because it is a fallen, broken place and I am a fallen, broken person. But I can find Jesus, and he desperately and longingly desires to be with me and therefore made me to be satisfied by nothing other and none other then Him. And I am doing a real crap job at seeking Him lately and inviting Him into my life. So I am left feeling dry, raw and empty to the core. No amount of time with others, time on my own, time within a beautiful place, will ever fill that.

Maybe I am finally learning. But I am sure there are many more lessons to come. I will never fully get it, this I know.

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