Untitled

I have nothing of note to write about from today, and no energy to write about something else (today was the first day of classes). So, here is a poem I wrote in Tenth? Grade.

For a moment,

Reality is damned.

Even time must cease.

Everything is eternal, the

Zenith of forever

Encased in a moment.

And here are some…

RECOMMENDATIONS

Song: Jezebel by Iron and Wine

Album: Woman King by Iron and Wine

Book: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation” Psalm 18:46 ESV

 

Advertisements

Easing Back In

It’s the start of a new school year, and that means it’s time to pick the blog back up for another round. School is a much better time of year for me to get certain things done, like blogging. The structure of my schedule, and the routine that follows is conducive to my blog habits in a way the summer just isn’t.

That being said, the school year is also a time for bad habits, of thoughts and actions, to pop back into life as well. With the start of classes and clubs, it can be overwhelming and discouraging, and it is never easy (even if necessary) to change. So, with that in mind, I hope parts of this post will be helpful. (And maybe if I type them out, I’ll remember these things myself)

#1– You are not Superman. You’re mind and body are not made of steel, ready to take on everything and everyone. Please, do not take on everything. There will be clubs you just don’t have time for, or classes that are too hard to take all at once. The fact is that you have to give things up, and there is not time/energy/ability to do everything that you will want to do. Pick one or two things that matter a lot, and let go of what you must.

#2– Your life does not start and end here. The grades you earn are not the scale of your worth. The leadership positions you earn are not the scale of your worth. The friends you have, the things you do, the classes you take, the mistakes you make, the success or failure you have- none of these are the scale of your worth. You worth is defined by who you are as a human being. You are valuable and wonderful because you are, not because of anything else.

#3– There are things that matter that you cannot measure. At the end of last year, I didn’t keep most of the papers from my classes. Notes, tests, assignments, handouts, all sorts of things went into the trash. These things mattered a lot to my GPA and such, but they didn’t matter nearly as much at the piece of gold confetti from the concert I went to, or the wristband from the one football game I attended. The things I learned in class are important, and worth placing value on, but so are the times I spent with friends, and the life I lived outside the classroom. Don’t get sucked into obsessing over grades and homework and school to the detriment of everything else that matters.

Heading into a new semester and a new adventure, I hope that you all keep a balance, and a healthy perspective. There is nothing wrong with wetting your toes before diving all in, and there is everything right with making sure you will be able to keep your head above the water.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20 ESV

A Lament for Indigo

I took this picture of my dog at Christmas Break. We were packing the car to head to my Grandparents, and though we hadn’t left yet, she was already waiting for us to come home.IMG Indigo at the Door

You did that a lot, Indigo, wait for us. I know you didn’t like to be alone- wanted to be around your family. We teased you for it, and sometimes scolded you for it, but mostly we loved you for it. We loved you for being part of the family, and that family is different without you.

My earliest memory of you is when you were just a puppy. You had waited until we were out of the house for just a few minutes, then you climbed up on the table and ate all of the chocolate chip cookies we had just pulled out of the oven. I was equal parts worried about the chocolate you just ingested, and angry you ate all the cookies, and left none for me. From that moment on, you were always the same- a little worrying, a little annoying, entirely lovable. You were just a dog, and so much more.

It seems strange to me that you are gone now. You were a horrible listener for the most part (and I still can’t believe you ate off the fork that was in my hand that one time), but you followed my instructions at the very end. You helped me through high school, and you didn’t wait for me to come home from college before it was time. I told you that you weren’t allowed to die before I left for college because I had this absurd idea it would hurt less with all that distance, but I can tell you I was wrong.

It doesn’t seem right that I’ll be home in a few days, and you won’t. I don’t know how to comprehend a house with out my dog. There isn’t enough imagination in the world to figure out what a homecoming looks like without you greeting me so excitedly until you figure out I have no intention of giving you a treat.

At some point this summer Daddy will make popcorn and you won’t do your popcorn dance. One day I will be home for Christmas and I won’t have to fight you for the space closest to the fire. There will be no more laughs, no more snuggles, no more pictures on my phone to show to people- “look at my dog!”

You were the cutest puppy, the best dog, and a part of all my favorite memories. There wasn’t a better pet in the world for us. It isn’t the same for any of us now, and we will hold on to all our thoughts, all our pictures, and all our memories because we miss you.

Good Girl ❤

“And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25 ESV

 

 

My Brain is Empty

I’ve really got nothing tonight. I’ve been sitting here for almost an hour, and there isn’t single thing that comes to mind to write about. The best I got is a little something about class today.

Today in one of my classes, we talked briefly about what we want our obituaries to say, or how we would want to be remembered after we are gone. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences in all our answers. It was also just a little strange, to sit in class and talk about death as the semester closes and we come to the end of our time together as a class.

I honestly have nothing else to say. It’s been a rather Monday sort of Monday. Not particularly special in any way except for how tired it makes you. Hopefully tomorrow (or rather, today) will be a very Tuesday sort of Tuesday- that is, just a little bit better than Monday in every way. 🙂

RECOMMENDATIONS 

Song: Rising Sun by Prince of Spain

Song: Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

Album: Daylight by Ron Pope

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV

 

10 Pointless Sentences (or, What Happens When Caroline Stays Up too Late)(or, Why I Should Blog Earlier in the Day)

  1. The Quick-zone hasn’t had hot fudge sundae Pop-tarts all week, and that is both good and disappointing.
  2. I really thought I had a quiz today in one of my classes, so I studied for it last night. Turns out it’s in almost two weeks.
  3. I finally made it to the gym as I had planned on doing all semester.
  4. I couldn’t go to the gym for the last half of February and the first half of March because of an enormous blister on my heal.
  5. I have 10 days left of class in my freshman year of college, and I would swear I graduated high school yesterday.
  6. It’s April and it was 40° F today. (What even is Pittsburgh Weather? It’s supposed to be 74° F on Sunday)
  7. Seven is one of my favorite numbers.
  8. Eight is not one of my favorite numbers.
  9. Unicorns are amazing.
  10. I really need to go to bed.

Good Night.

RECOMMENDATIONS

YouTube Channel: RealLifeLore (A channel that makes informational videos about interesting topics, my favorite is How Far Away Can You Get From Everybody Else? )

Song: Piano Man by Billy Joel

Book: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

Painter: Pierre Auguste Renoir (He’s my Favorite)

“He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” Psalm 121: 3-4 ESV

I’m Finally Back

Well, it’s been 21 days since my last blog post. Clearly, this is not going quite as well as I had hoped, but I am still confident that I will someday get the hang of this blogging thing.

I missed those 21 days for a variety of reasons, not all of which I will get into, but I will say that a big part of the reasons was my migraines. I have chronic migraine, and it can be really hard to handle all the different things I am supposed to do, so I have to prioritize. As you can guess, this blog does not rate as highly as school, or school related activities.

Having a chronic illness changes a lot of things in your life, big and little. Since I’m in rather a good mood tonight, I don’t want to dwell on all the big things that are different because of my condition, so I’ll give a few example of small things.

I mostly can’t wear my hair up. I absolutely cannot wear a ponytail, and I miss ponytails like nobody’s business. I can get away with a bun if I don’t put it in a ponytail first, and I can do things with french braids, or scarves/headbands to get it out of my face. Still, those options (except a completely plain french braid) only work for a few hours before the tension caused by pulling my hair back adds too much to the migraine, and it has to come down. It can be inconvenient, and it is kind of disappointing too, that I can’t do whatever I want with my hair, but that even in this aspect of my life I have to be thinking of my health.

Another place where my migraines cause problems is in music. I am phono-sensitive, which means sensitive to noise. It doesn’t mean that all sound has become unbearable, but that certain sound can cause me pain. For me, it has nothing to so with the loudness or quietness, but with what I can only describe as the “sharpness” of the sound. Unfortunately, many of the songs and bands that I used to listen to all the time have a lot of “sharp” sounds in them, typically from the drums. I have stopped listening to these bands almost entirely. I miss the freedom to listen to all the music I wanted to.

I’m not writing this all down to make people feel bad for me, or to complain. I’ve always liked wearing my hair down more than up, and my absolute favorite genre of music is folk/alternative that contains very little drums, mostly acoustic sounds. Rather, I’m sharing this to try and help people see a little of what it is like to have a chronic illness. It can be hard sometimes to really understand something that invades every aspect of life if you have no reference or explanation. Hopefully, this was interesting, helpful, and informative. I want to share these things so that people can understand and have compassion for people, even if they can’t relate personally.

RECOMMENDATIONS

I’m adding a few recommendations to the end of each of my blog posts, so that even if I can’t think of anything to write, I can still post something.

Song- Apple Pie by Flannel Graph (beautiful song inspired by the prodigal son parable)

Book- Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (one of my favorite books from the children’s section)

Article- More Than Mere Equality: Identity Politics, White Privilege, and Gospel Peace from The Gospel Coalition ( An excellent explanation of White Privilege, Systematic Racism, and Christian response to both) (The article is long, yes, but absolutely worth it, I cannot say that enough) (Here is the link to the even longer version if you would like- From 9marks)

“The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation” Psalm 18:46 ESV

 

A Good End Scene

So it has come to the end of my stay at my brother’s college for spring break. Tomorrow I leave with him, me for Pittsburgh and he for home ( his spring break is next week). For the last night here my brother, his girlfriend, a girl who is catching a ride with us, and I all watched Netflix together.

We started with Anastasia. The movie was fine, the songs are really good, but my main problem is the plot. Ninety-nine percent of the conflicts in the story happen for “reasons!”. What? I got very lost, but the Russian bat was a big plus. I would recommend that you all watch the movie,mock the appropriate parts of the movie, and enjoy yourselves.

The real star of the night was the Disney Animated Shorts. Those are always fantastic.This particular grouping started with “The Story of John Henry”. If you don’t know the story of John Henry- GO! go to Google! Learn! All of you, however, should watch the animated short. I can’t say enough good things about it, which is what I say for most of these. The John Henry short though, it blows me away every time I watch it. The story is so powerful, and the short does it such justice.

Next was the short “Lorenzo” and oh my goodness! It was good, yes, but it also definitely contained Satan in cat form. Recommended, but only for those who are appreciative of some dark storytelling.

Also included was “Paper Man”, “The Ballad of Nessie”, and “Feast”, along with some others we skipped, or ran out of time for, or that just didn’t stick out to me. Those three, however, were great. I feel like it won’t be news to tell you that nobody plays with your heartstrings quite the way Disney does. Each one is full of highs, and lows, and dips, and turns, and everything everything in between.

If you can’t tell, I’m quite a fan of Disney shorts. They capture so much an tell such beautiful stories in such a tiny amount of time. Watching some of them with friends and family made for a perfect ending to my Spring Break trip. I am very glad I got the chance to spend my time here, and I really am not ready for classes to start up again. But I have always found anything is easier with a full heart, and such good stories shared with such good people is a good way to work on that.

“Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?” Ecclesiastes 4:11 ESV

Lies and a bus ride

Well, It’s been over a week, and I am just getting back to blogging. There’s no real excuse to offer, except Friday when I was travelling, so we will just have to leave it in the past. How does that sound?

Now, there was very little that actually happened over the ~8 days I missed. I did go to a Panic! At the Disco concert on Tuesday, and that was amazing! I went with two of the girls I live with, and we all had a blast. The first two acts were Saint Motel and Misterwives, respectively, and then Panic! came on. Every single group did a wonderful job, and a special shout out to the lighting design for Misterwives, which was very well done.

Aside from that the week was particularly normal, until Friday. On Friday it became spring break. Finally a week off of classes, a chance to escape college for a bit! I decided to use my spring break to visit my brother at his college, rather than go home. He goes to school at a little liberal arts college in southern Michigan, so I took a bus up to Toledo, Ohio, and he picked me up from there.

Now, I LOVE travelling, but I HATE travelling alone. I am used to travelling with my parents, or my youth group, or my friends. In all of these cases I am not the one responsible for the trip going well. I don’t have to worry about connections, or luggage, or anything but enjoying the trip. In fact, I have avoided exploring Pittsburgh, among other things, for just this reason. When I travel alone I am responsible for everything, and there is nothing anxiety likes better than the possibility of failure.

I was a nervous wreck the entire day on Friday. At first, I had to wake up early to finish packing, and once I was done I spent the rest of the time I had sitting on my bed running through everything I had packed in my mind to reassure myself I had not forgotten anything. Then it was off to the City bus that would take me to the Greyhound station. I spent that whole trip obsessively checking my phone to remember the stop I had to get off at. Then I obsessively checked google maps every two seconds as I walked from the stop to the station, then I obsessively checked my ticket to make sure I had the right bus, then I had to *gasp* talk to someone to get my bag checked, then I… are you sensing the theme here?

I didn’t calm down until I got on the actual Greyhound, because after that there was nothing left to do until I got off the bus in Toledo. Even then, I was a little anxious about the fact that someone sat next to me on the bus- what if I annoy them, what if they annoy me, what if they want to talk to me? It seems silly, even to me as I write about it, but it was quite the struggle the whole trip.

The most interesting part was when another passenger boarded the bus, sat next to me (the other person had already gotten off), and proceeded to ask me about what to do, and how the Greyhound system worked. I’m not so unused to this- I guess I have a trustworthy face?, and I have spent long enough being anxious that I know how to mask it well. Still, it was striking to be on the receiving end of someone else’s anxiety. It made me feel a little less alone, knowing someone else had no idea what they were doing, and it made me feel like maybe my anxiety wasn’t causing me so many problems after all.

I mean, yes I felt nauseous and terrified the entire way to the bus station, and a fair amount of the bus ride, but I still did it, didn’t I? I made it to the station, I made it onto the bus, and I made it to Toledo.

Anxiety can make a trip on the city bus feel like a life-or-death situation, but in the end it’s just bus ride, and I can do it. No matter how I feel about it, I won’t die, and anxiety can’t convince me otherwise. I am strong, and capable, and I know that even if I mess up, there is nothing wrong with that. Anxiety can lie to me, try an convince me to run away, but I can’t, and won’t, let it. Anyway- I’ve got places to go.

Just Some Things to Look At

I’ve been sitting here trying to come up with something interesting to write about, but all I’m thinking about is other people’s things that I really like. So, what follows is a list of recommendations you are free to do with what you will (remember I am just a person on the internet…)

Songs:

  • Brass Bed by Josh Gracin, because I have had it stuck in my head for a while . It has a really nice rhythm and instrumentals, good lyrics, and I like it.
  • Hallelujah by Joshua Hyslop, because it is beautiful in every way.
  • Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance, because honestly- why not? There is rarely at bad time to listen to this song.

Movies:

  • Song of the Sea because it is gorgeous animation, heartrending story telling, and all together amazing.
  • Man on Fire because it is one of my favorites, and the story and soundtrack are wonderful. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth watching even with an R rating.
  • Dumbo because it’s a classic, and I just wrote about it for an assignment in French.

Article:

  • This article I found on The Gospel Coalition, originally posted on Fathom: Intent, Impact, and Empathy in Race Relations . This is a very well written article that talks about certain miscommunication and barriers that rise up between White people and minorities, especially African American people.

Poetry:

  • The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats because I will always recommend a Yeats poem, and this one happens to be the one I thought of tonight.

Other Blogs:

  • My brother just started a blog where he post both his and (eventually) other peoples works, especially poetry. Take a look at his stuff at In Pinna Preceque .

That’s all for tonight, sorry I couldn’t think of anything more interesting to write about. I hope you will check out some of the things above, and I hope you find something you enjoy.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6 (ESV)

A Bit Heavy Tonight

Here we are again, late at night, and I have no idea what to write about. I feel like I always end up here, and it’s only been a week.

…Really I’m just avoiding the things actually on my mind, but that’s not the point of this blog, so I guess I’ll just have to get over it. The thing is, everything on my mind is a little dark, so you will just have to bear with me.

Today in one of my classes, we had a “check-in”, and all of us were given a chance to just share where we were in our life, what was going on, and how we were feeling. And we were all feeling some stuff. College is not easy on its own, with deadlines and obligations and requirements and expectations, and the rest of life is not going to wait to load more things on. Everyone had a number of things happening, and as nice as it was to get somethings out in the open, it is still hard to hear about the things in life that aren’t going well. I see it on the news everyday- the latest tragedy or catastrophe that just happened, or the one that is right around the bend coming for us all, but you can always turn of the TV and avoid those websites. I can’t ignore the way that the people I know are suffering, and to be confronted with the reality that everyone has struggles to face can bring up a lot of different emotions to the front of the mind.

It can be good to hear some things, things that I relate to and can understand. To hear that you are not the only one with a problem is encouraging, that there is someone else who knows what it is like, who is working through it just like you are. It can also be good to empathize with others, to take a moment to remember that you are not the center of the universe, to connect with the community. There is value in confronting the reality of pain and darkness, and in facing it as a group. After the activity, and we all were aware of everyone’s burdens, we spent some more time just being together in silence and supporting each other.  It was nice, and helpful, and good.

It can also be bad to listen to long to the sorrow. If one tends to melancholia and sadness anyway, leaning into the suffering can cause you to lose sight of the things beyond the pain of the moment. There is an overwhelming nature to negativity. If we hadn’t done small activities afterwards, the value of sharing would have been lost as many of us would not have been able to leave the words when and where they were said, and would have continued carting them around. I know I would have, and I kind of am carting them anyway.

So, what do I do now? I have learned over time that some things are better to do at times like this than others. One of the things I tend to do in times like this is listen to music. I prefer music in the mood I am feeling. It helps me express the emotions healthily, understand the universality of such emotions, and give cathartic release. Tonight’s choice was the music of Fall Out Boy. I’ve also learned the place of social media in this, as you should to. I have unfriended/ unfollowed people on Facebook who posted way too much negativity or upsetting things. I also check Instagram a lot. For some that might not work, but I follow very few people I actually know, and I do follow a ton of dogs, and a number of artist. My feed is filled with cute dogs and works of art, which works for me. Figure out what works for you.

Sometimes life just gets heavy. There is a lot of things in this world that are hard, and sad, and wearying. This is reality, and it will never work to run away from it or deny it. Say the things that need to be said, and acknowledge the darkness. Just remember that the darkness is not the be all or end all, and that the sadness and pain is not ultimate. There is good, and there is joy, and there is hope.

… Thanks for sticking through that, lots of love sent out tonight ❤

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13 (ESV)