to spring, change, life: a thing can only produce something beautiful if it dies first

So, maybe 2017 hasn’t been your year.

Maybe these past three months have been hard and dark and lonely, and cold. Maybe you’ve waited for spring, anticipated spring because it’s meant warmer, lighter, dare I say, happier days?

That’s the promise, right?

As the flowers bloom, so will your heart. As the rays of sun kiss your skin, you will feel alive again. You’ll want to smile more. Live more. Be yourself more.

Just remember to be patient.

Sometimes the prettiest things come from the darkest nights and coldest places, as we learn to let the old die and the new take life.

another, i don’t cope well with change post – sorry!

“The week of the 17th is training, the 24th classes begin!”

After the millionth time of saying the above or so it seems, I cannot believe today (the 17th) is here and almost over. Training week is no piece of cake and honestly, I knew this going in but kind of expected it to not be true?

Go figure.

I’m exhausted and worn out and ready to stay in bed for days. Actually, I’m ready for September to be here. I’m ready to skip these last few weeks of August. I’m ready to not have to work hard on maintaining conversation with people I don’t know well yet. I’m being vague, I know.

It’s because my life is changing and somehow, I thought I was better prepared for it but I’m not. In my natural Christi style, I am sad and scared but dealing with these emotions at a time I wish I weren’t.

Last January, I signed up to teach a class last-minute, but then ended up decided to not teach. However, the plan was to always teach this semester. Which for a while seemed so far away and now, teaching a class of my own in only a little over a week away. But you know, I don’t feel scared about the classroom. Sure my first couple classes will be rocky, but I am excited to meet my students. I’m excited to hear their stories. To see their young faces and fear and show them there’s nothing to fear. To tell them, out of fear we do such wonderful things. We can’t live a life where we don’t face our fears.

You see, you get knocked down and you just have to get back up!

Yet, here I am tears in my eyes, wishing my fear away. My wonderful older sister reminded me today of how Christ lives in me. And how, in my weakness He lives stronger. I mean, I feel like Jesus lives for the days when we feel like we are failing or are afraid. Honestly, these last few days have been shitty, but I have felt so much closer to Him. I visited a friend’s church on Sunday and I felt God’s presence in worship. Frankly, I’m not sure when was the last time I had actually felt like God’s presence was there, resting and I’m pretty sure I was one of the few that felt Him.

Anyways, all this to say, please keep me in your prayers this week. Pray, I can accept the change around me (aka a new living situation and new job) with a little less heartache.

a quarter of a century

Wow. Ok. In a few days, I will officially be able to say, “I’ve lived a quarter of a century!”

Weird, right? Honestly, when did the time fly. Not cool, time!

So, I feel like I’m not ready for my birthday to come. Granted in Greece, I’m already considered 25, but whatever.

The point is… I feel strange stepping into, through and out of this year. Holy moly, my oh my, I just don’t feel 25.

I’m not fond of this feeling. For as long as I have known myself, I’ve anticipated my birthday and happily wanted to be one more year older. Ugh not to mention a couple of weeks ago, I was rolling my eyes at someone for saying the same thing I am about to say for turning 30. Lol, do I suck or what? ;)

Well, I guess this week has felt a little emotional. I said goodbye to my family for good until, maybe, Christmas and a nice dose of hormones kicked in for the week and well, now you have my lovely self feeling slightly melancholy. Growing into an adult daily is hard. There is so much people don’t tell you when you’re younger, or they do and you just don’t listen, I suppose.

It doesn’t apply, so it doesn’t matter. But I guess, I just pictured myself in a different place than I am today. Which is an odd feeling to admit because I’ve been anticipating this moment for a while. School starts in two weeks, I’ll be taking two new classes and teaching three classrooms about communication. Change isn’t my forte but I’ve been very excited about this change.

But I guess, it does just all come down to that I’ve thought things would be slightly different. As a young girl, I dreamed of things I hate announcing to the world that I miss. Ugh world why do we put so much pressure on us 20-somethings and then 30-somethings etc etc and why can’t I just be happy with what I do have?

Looks like I’m having my quarter of a century crisis. Hopefully, this means I’ll be skipping right over mid-life crisis cause that’d be awesome.

let me tell you about change

My day began with hiccups and perhaps, I should have foreseen it would end in the same way. After a long afternoon of mopping and then eventually, sobbing – I have realized (perhaps) my only cure is the written word.

Of course, I see a pattern to my ways. My poor blog serves as my avenue of venting for each change in my life.

SO what may that change be today?

Last August, I began a masters program in communications. Let me tell you, I ended my first semester with flying stars and an A. (Granted I was only taking one class… so that may have played into how well I did or maybe I’m just naturally an A student. I guess I’ll find out this semester!)

You can understand how much of a high, an A can bring to ones life, right? Okay, really, I am just happy I did better than I ever thought I would and here’s to hopefully a great second semester!

Well, my problem (& joy) began at the end of last semester (in December). When I was given the opportunity to take two steps out. Two steps to what I’d like to do in the future. What do these steps include? An up from one class to two classes & to teaching a freshman class myself. Let me repeat: I will be an instructor, with a class of 20 students, teaching freshmen COMM.

HELLO PLEASE PICK UP THE PHONE PEOPLE CHRISTI HAS GONE WILD.

Me. You know, introverted Christi who hates speaking in front of people agreed to teach???

Yes, because that’s exactly how I see myself. Even though I am more than capable of doing the very thing I agreed to do.

So currently, I am trying to keep my heart from racing and I give myself pep talks like every two minutes. “You can do this Christi. Yes you can.”

Here’s the kicker… I can. I believe I can really do it. And that I will actually really enjoy it. But the problem is this: This whole first week of school and a new pattern of life begins tomorrow and I’m not ready. I’m not ready because just four days ago I said goodbye to my family and didn’t even realize it. Because four days ago, I returned to real adult life problems. Because even though, I choose the life I have, sometimes, it’s just hard and it makes me want to cry.

And change likes to come around and knock on my door when I’m not ready for it – even though I agree to it…??? Like, hello change you could be a little more convenient and give me more time to adjust to change.

Overall, I am afraid of failing this semester by not being able to manage all the commitments I have willingly taken upon myself. I want to do good, I want to succeed, I want to find joy in my daily life. I don’t want to be the best at it all, just be able to float above water.

good shepherd of my soul take my hand and lead me on

Wow.  Life gets busy, doesn’t it?  Since the end of May, I feel as if I’ve been on my toes with no realistic break.  My busyness has been so extreme that when I have a couple days to rest, I become a sloth.  I’d love to find a happy medium…. hopefully, I’ll begin to find a way to balance my life.

Yet, in the mist of the hectic life – loneliness still creeps around the corners.  I’m not sure why.  I have a full life at the moment.  I think (as of recent) I’ve gotten very used to being around people a lot, I’m a little apprehensive of being on my own.  Of discovering Christi once more.  I get that I need my time to myself.  However, as the winter sets in I worry for the days, of Christi sitting inside four walls.

It’s good though, I need to discover myself more.  I need time to rest.  To actually spend time with Jesus.  Who I talk to it seems often, but I don’t sit and spend time with.  Oh life you make my head spin.

But no, I love many aspects of my life at the moment.  One, I am very excited for December.  I get to go home!!  I am so happy.  It’ll be nearly two years since I’ve been in Greece and I can’t believe it’s coming.  Two, I have my own apartment.  Have I stressed that?!?  I have my own apartment!!! & when I moved in, I told myself:  I embrace the change, I embrace the lonely moments, I embrace the full and happy moments, I embrace the financial fear I often struggle with, I embrace the struggle and the joy and the pain and the loss and the discovery and the new life I expect to find in these next months.  I embrace it all and expect the world.  Yes, I expect to grow more and just continue to discover myself and the world around me.

I want all of it and I am so happy with where God has brought me.  With the home He has given me.  The roommates I get to live with.  He is so good to me.  He has always been so so good to my heart.  Oh my dear sensitive heart.

I spent this past weekend up north (ish), in Winona Lake for round two.  My grandpa passed away end of July and now it’s taking care of all he left behind.  It’s strange having him gone.  Partly because I don’t necessarily miss him.  It’s like he left a long time ago… so it’s not really that different.  However, I do wish I could spent one more evening with him here.  Holding his hand and listening to him hum or mumble or just move our hands up and down.  He was such a sweet man.  I know my view of him is skewed because I only remember him post-Alzheimer’s … but, he was sweet.  He always smiled when he’d see me and it always made my heart lighter.  He also generally seemed to sadden when he realized I would be leaving.  It was so hard though, because I never knew what to do with him… I guess, it’s those quiet moments I should have cherished.  I do miss seeing his gentle smile starting from the lips and lighting up in the eyes.

Driving home tonight… I left with a heavy heart.  I’m not sure when my next trip up will be.  Plus, I had to say goodbye to my dad.  He’s been here for about two weeks now.  It’s been such a blessing to see him again.  To spend a little more time with him.  Especially, seeing as I barely get to see my parents this much.  Oh how much I would love to have a normal relationship with all of my family members.  Maybe one day, God will bring us all near … in the same country … only two hours MAX away from one another.  Though maybe that day will come in heaven.

If you didn’t know, I titled this post after a lyric from a song, it’s called Shepherd by Bethel Music.  At first, I thought it said, “Good shepherd of my soul take my head and lead me home.”  It doesn’t make the best of sense with the world ‘head’ in it.  I really liked it as so too.  The idea of asking the good shepherd of my soul to take my head and lead me home felt so comforting.  However, when I read the ‘real’ lyrics, I decided they were just as good.  They are very motivational.  Yes, good shepherd of my soul please take my hand and lead me on.  :)

Ha!  Can you tell I haven’t really written for a while?  My thoughts are all over the place!

Ps.  I want to write on here once a week.  Please help me stay accountable?!?!!

it’s 2014 yo

I’m not one for New Years Resolutions – mostly, because I believe in daily resolutions.

I like believing that today I can change something I couldn’t yesterday, without waiting for the end of a year.  Maybe it reminds me that every day calls for me being strong.

Anyways, saying goodbye to 2013 is bittersweet.

Some of my closest friends would agree in saying, I have not gone a year without some major change or challenge.  Very true, I don’t disagree.  However, looking back… I would definitely say, 2013 was a year of deep change and challenge moving toward healing.

Lots of things happened in 2013:

  • First year of post-grad blues
  • I moved forward from feeling heart-broken
  • Obtained a leadership job
  • Proved to myself and others that I have a voice
  • Spread my roots to becoming self-dependant
  • I learned how to take steps of loving myself better

Okay I will confess, I think of 2013 in regards to 2012…however, 2013 was a result of 2012.

(Whatever, it all makes sense in my head, okay?)

The point is I am letting go of 2013 with a bittersweet heart.  It seems like each new year promises grandeur.  An endless list of possibilities.  When 2013 began, I didn’t feel like I had a place of my own.  I felt unsettled by the notion of the future and had no idea what my next steps would be or where I would go.

I am happy to say this is not true for 2014.  I have plans and goals and wishes for this year.  I am so excited for what is to come.

I am excited to see how I continue to grow in my current job.  I am not naive to expect an easy run but I am looking forward to what God does through me.  I also cannot wait to see what I learn from going back to studies.  In the last month, it’s become all too clear to me that I want to pursue further studies.  For a while now, I’ve been struggling with what I’d like to study.  What would fuel my heart, my passions and my life?  I’ve discovered a subject that I’ve often given a blind eye to because so much could follow.  Anyways.  I don’t know if 2014 is the year I begin further studies, but today, I know what I want to pursue and what I don’t.

And I guess, that’s all I can ask for.

Lastly, as this new year has started, I feel strong.  A sense I have not felt with the passing of other years.  Yes, other years, came when I wasn’t ready for them.  But today, I feel ready for 2014.  Today, I know who I am and to me, that’s all that really matters.

Today, I am very joyful.

sometimes i forget this is my blog and i can write what i want!

I have bangs again!!!

Ahh..

I’m still getting used to them.  I like having them but I don’t like the change, I’ve decided.  Part of me really misses having my “unique” (which isn’t too unique, really) hair of one side being way longer than the other.

(If you don’t know what I mean  –  please look to the pic on the right… You should be able to see how one side is longer than the other :p)

But the other part of me likes being able to hide behind my bangs.

No, this isn’t a way for me to hide myself… then again, part of me feels like it’ll make me more noticeable.   I tell ya, what odd cookies we women can be – then again, we all like attention, don’t we?

I’m not sure what caused me to want to shift things up with my hair.  Perhaps the change in weather … which means the change in life, pace.

I have small transitions going on right now and I’m not a fan.  My heart it a little unsteady and it’s making day-to-day life a little rough at times, but I’m working it out.  I guess, I’ve gotten a disappointed heart to deal with.

Also, in 56 days there is a possibility I will no longer be working at my job.  I thought this didn’t bug me but I discovered on Monday the opposite.  I don’t even know if I can say it’s a 50/50 chance.

Uhhhh the problem is that I’m only 23 but I feel so much older.

august is almost up!

For a while now, I’ve been a little apprehensive of August coming to an end.

It’s the inevitable mark of change ready to boot up and remind me how it likes to linger around me.

Change is not my cup of tea but I can be open to its presence.   Right?

Honestly, it’s wild how fast this summer has flown by.  I feel like I haven’t lived it – yet at the same time I know I have.  Does that make sense?

The heat waves have come along with those chillier nights.

Of course not shy of a crush and many new friendships.

Summer is such a sweet time I love and dislike at the same time.  It begs for me to slow down, whilst my mind says speed up.

It’s crazy thinking how different this summer has been from last summer.  Not just physically – with the culture and people around me but also emotionally.

In this moment I feel content.  Summer has been good.

Fall is coming (HA!  That makes me think of Game of Thrones…. where it’s Winter is Coming…. ;P) and just as the leaves are going to start turn other colors and drop to the ground, so will my life change.

And frankly, I’m a little too excited about my change in wardrobe once those cold days start appearing!

dyeing my dress

On Monday, I put thought into action.

I’ve generally seen myself as a non creative person.  I have a hard time chipping in ideas when placed on the spot and when I look around my room, I don’t see any artist outlet.  (Which maybe due to the fact that I haven’t had an empty room to fill on my own, yet.)

However, I’ve already always wanted to be a creative person.

I like using my hands and making something.

Perhaps, it’s the stigma of artists.

To some extent, I am an artist because I write and for the most part, writing is seen as artistic and creative.  Especially, since I’ve created stories out of a blank page of paper.

Artist tend to have a look.  In the 90s, I feel like you knew who an artist was by the way their presented themselves.  Now, in 2013, I feel like artists are linked to hipsters or the personal of a hipsters…. Meanwhile, those not fitting that quo seem less artistic.

All having to do with their outward appearance and now the essence of their being.

Personally, I think all people are creative.  In all different kind of ways.  They can be creative in almost every area of their lives.  It’s just a different kind.

What I am finding is most creativity is not acknowledged.  Or in my case, not put into action.  For a long time, I’ve kept from doing things because I didn’t myself artistic/creative, which obviously (in my head) meant, I cannot do something creative.

I cannot buy paint and paint a canvas – it’s foreign… it’s not me.

However, I’ve been changing that thought process lately.  I’m getting into my creative side and I’m expanding the way I work.

vscocam581

On Monday, I had a fun time dyeing a dress from white to purple!  Most of it was chill time, waiting for the dye to sink in, but it was still great.

When it was finished, all I wanted to do was show it off because I don’t do this often.  I wanted others to celebrate in my accomplishment, because in my mind, I stepped out of my normal habits.

And you know what?  It felt good!! :)