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Monday, November 29, 2004

Excerpt from an Entry

-=[ EDIT: November 30th, 10:24 a.m. ]=-

This is part of a blog entry i just published for Llaura, at a different site. i thought and felt that i should share it. You're welcome to comment, but i should warn you beforehand that you're not going to change my mind about any of this, unless you know something significant that i don't know.

It didn't take long for you to get plugged into Clovis Christian. i think many of the friends you only knew of by name, you now know better than i do. It seems like you should have been hanging out with everyone since you were all born.

i kept telling people they would never miss me when i left for VU. i had a few people tell me that they would, but i smiled and shook my head. i'm pretty sure i actually believed myself, for the most part. So why does it surprise me that i'm right?

i know that since i've left, no one has contacted me before i contacted them. It would have been so easy to disappear, Llaura. i could have said my goodbyes, deleted my Blogger account completely, switched to Gmail, and never had any contact from anyone again, until i returned.

No one would have said anything.

You, on the other hand, are important. People miss you when you miss a single church service. The thought of you surfaces in people's minds even in the midst of their mental busy-ness. They call you every other day wanting to go here or there. Guys, girls, family, friends, strangers, other people's families, other people's friends, everybody wants to be with you. i guess that makes sense. No, i know that makes sense. Even when you were spending so much time with me that it was hurting your friends, the fact that it hurt them (and you) shows how friendly you can be, and how people see you.

i'm not that type of person. i don't attract people at all. i have to work hard to build and maintain and further relationships. When i don't call someone, they don't call me, either. What's weird is that i don't really see you making many calls just to chat. i guess it's because you don't have to; you just check your voice messages, return them, and you've made contact.

Maybe i'm used to having things come naturally to me. i was certainly had this subconscious expectation for hip-hop (but i was disappointed). i shouldn't have expected people to feel the same way about me as they do about you.

Yes!! i've been trying to figure it out ever since that first twinge of pain when you told me you'd spent a significant amount of time with the Clovis Christian gang. i have been trying to identify and endure this emotion i have whenever you tell me stories of them and of you, and i think God is finally giving me an answer to my questions...

All this time, i've been missing my friends. That's natural. i left for college, and right when things were getting interesting, right when people were joining the CC community, right when that community began expanding to welcome both new people (whom i was just barely getting to know) and old people (who had been in hiding until i left). Also, you got to stay home an extra amount of time. Maybe i envied you for that. i'm not really sure what envy is; i used to think it was the acceptable version of jealousy, but God says love doesn't envy, so now i have to re-think that. Anyway, i felt bad for not being there with old friends, not being there with new friends, and not being involved in the new and exciting stuff that was going on while i went through my first semester of college.

But the emotion puzzled me, and today, for the first time, i am not questioning what it is, but whether it's valid or not. i may have asked that question before, but it was never my main focus. Forget the fact that i'm feeling it. Is it valid? Is it the right feeling to have? And what is it a response to?

It's disappointment- partially, at least. i expected people to relate to me as strongly as they do to you, perhaps stronger. i've known some of them longer. i have more in common with them. i hang out with them. But then, you came to surf camp, we spent a lot of time together, and then you started to really get close to everyone. That was cool; i really thought it was cool, the way everyone wanted to be friends with you.

Then i left, and people would have forgotten about me, had i made no effort to remind them. But you? If you had done what i did, they would have gone on strike. No school, no work, no peace of mind until we know where Llaura is and why she hasn't called us in the last 24 hours! Some of them even did go on strike, when our relationship was forming and progressing.

And i, in my stupidity, in my naivety, in my all-too-common pattern of ridiculously high expectations, thought that things would be the other way around.

That's why i hurt every time you tell me you've been with them. Part of me sees that you're better friends with them than i ever was, or ever will be. It makes sense that that hurts me. It also make sense that it would make me happy. i am always curious about what you do with everyone, so it makes sense that i'd want to know in the first place. i want to hear about people at home because i love them. i want to hear about you with them because i know you enjoy their company and friendship.

i'm thanking God right now, because even though my Foundations class was cancelled this morning due to Travis' sickness (i could have slept in!!!), i spent that time well. i went to my favorite morning spot: the bench and the fountain, right outside the Newport Mesa Christian Church building (chapel). On the way, i talked to God. When i got there, i talked to God. When the wind became too strong and too cold for me to bear, even with my two layers, i went back to the empty classroom and talked to God some more.

i don't know yet, but i hope this understanding will help alleviate my feelings. This was another thing bothering me this past week. i had come home for over a week, and yet i felt like i barely had any time with anyone. You came back the day before Thanksgiving, and everyone was scrambling to take a number so they could hang out with you. Not only that, but the time that each of us (respectively) spent with them, we never spent with each other! It was either Isaiah, or Llaura. >=(

A while back, i posted about how much i missed everyone. This has been the follow-up to that post. Thanks for reading, everybody.

Oh, and a sidenote for Ug: I don't include you in this "they" and "we" stuff. =) Thanks again for the week. Ask Aunt Grace how she likes her breakfast-in-bed prepared.

-- EDIT --

I was expecting this reply, because I had the same thought myself. "Get over it, foof-head." But I tried that already. If I could get over it, I would, but relationships are more important to me than that.

I believe every emotion has a cause, but that doesn't mean every emotion is valid. I think there is some validity to my feelings, but I don't think they're completely valid.

You ask how you could be envious of what I had at the Retreat... but that's exactly why I'm envious. It's because it's so great. I thought I had that close bond you speak of. I thought I was as tight with my friends as I now know Llaura is; but now that I see it, I see that I didn't have what I thought I had.

Maybe it's true that when I returned, it was as if I had never been gone. But I think it was as if I had never been gone even while I was gone. I don't feel as bad about that anymore... I don't hold anything against anyone for it. All I have now is a regret/sadness that I can't be as good a friend as Llaura is.

I don't know who I've touched or influenced at Clovis Christian. No one has ever told me I've impacted them or made any difference. I think that if I did make any difference, it was only because God used me for a small part of His plan, and anyone else could have done the same or better. You talk about signs, and I don't discredit your perceptions, but I do ask for some kind of evidence. LoL Everyone knows how skeptical I can be. When asked by the quiz (in a post below) whether I was a skeptical person or not, my answer was, "I might be... you'd have to show me some strong proof to convince me that I'm skeptical." I'm not asking people to come tell me I'm important to them; in fact, I'm not asking anyone to do anything.

I had hoped that understanding the situation would bring a peace of mind and heart, and it's beginning to do so. I don't have any negative feelings towards anyone (except myself, and that's normal), and I don't think this issue is going to bother me anymore. I guess I can learn from it, though. I've been learning alot in the past few months. I feel like I'm taking some accelerated, condensed courses, as if God wanted me to get my major in Life a few years early. Whether or not I'm as close to anyone as I'd like to be, I need to be better than I've been.

The leadership group refers to you frequently, and people ask your parents (and Grace and I) about you in church often as well. Adults are polite that way. I don't know anything about the leadership group referring to me, but I suspect the references have to do with quotes and funny stories. And that's cool; life wouldn't be the same without quotes and funny stories. That's a cool impact to have on people, too. I hope they always remember those...

Thanks for the reply. It's helped me to see things better.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Theology

Yeah, so i declared my religion major today. i'm all set for next semester, and my advisor tells me my grades and my progress are impressive. i don't know if she's right, but she gave me some great advice.

i told her i couldn't really see myself majoring in anything except religion, and she said, "Well, if that's the case, honey, then fill out this form, and on this line here, put RELIGION." (She's African-American.) That's only a summary of what she said, of course... She 'told it like it is,' and her words and tone were simultaneously casual and intense, simple and profound, and it sounded really awesome. Wish i could describe the experience better. She seemed very wise about college life and the way education works today.

Now that i'm thinking about it, it's almost like all of the little pieces of advice i've been collecting, all of the times God sort of prodded me this way and that, were summarized in my appointment with her. i was thinking, "i told you so, Isaiah. i told you to just move as you best knew how, and expect God to direct you. But did you have faith? Noooo... okay, well, you had some, but now you have more because of the answers God has been showing you."

i think sometimes the questions we can ask in five seconds actually take years to answer completely.

Anyway, God still rules (no, seriously... He does.), and i'm a religion major. i don't know what that's going to lead to after college, but that's cool. i'm here to learn, right? But i'm not just here to learn facts, i'm here to learn how to learn, and i'm here to experience the answers to my biggest questions, not receive them in an instant.

Trust in God with your whole heart; don't depend on your own knowledge or wisdom. In everything you do, at school or at home or with friends or at church or in your car, acknowledge God, and He'll lead you into abundant life, both before death and after.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Quiz

similarminds.com - Personality Test

Answering these questions accurately requires honest reflection on how you really think, feel, and act and maybe taking the test on more than one occasion. Some of the questions on this test measure personality traits differently than you might guess so trying to answer the test in a way you think would be ideal is just going to screw up your results, so just focus on being honest if you want the most accurate results.

PLEASE NOTE: SELECTING THE MIDDLE ANSWER MEANS A STATEMENT IS AROUND 50% ACCURATE

1) I am willing to talk about myself.

Most of the time. Sometimes I believe people won't understand, or that their reaction will cause problems, so I refuse to explain myself, but most of the time I even enjoy explaining who I am and why.

2) I am relaxed most of the time.

Relaxed? Bodily, or metaphysically??? I can get pretty tense while watching a movie, or playing a video game... it's usually when I'm concentrating very hard that I tense up. Llaura says I'm always tense, but I don't think that kind of tense is the opposite of the kind of relaxed that the quiz is talking about.

3) I maintain my spaces in an orderly way.

I usually leave messes the way they are no longer than a few days. Anything longer, and I have some really good reasons... like being out of town or something.

4) I get upset easily.

Easily? Does this mean, "It takes very little to make me upset," or does it mean "It takes a lot to upset me, but my idea of a lot is nothing to some people" ? Isn't it true that one thing might anger one person to the point of violence, while causing nothing more than a shrug in someone else? And what might make the second person erupt could bring no reaction at all from the first person?

All in all, I think I get upset more often than the average person, only because I don't put up with as much. When there's a problem, I see it as something that needs to be resolved and completely and quickly as possible. Injustice is especially inflammatory, in terms of my temper. I get this surge of energy that could supposedly be used to solve the problem, but I don't always use it that way. Sometimes that's because I can't solve the problem (which just makes me angrier), and sometimes it's because I let anger dictate my actions, or the way I act.

5) I am more active than attractive.

LoL I am more ANYTHING than attractive. Easy question, though I don't really understand its purpose...

6) I enjoy managing others.

??? What? No idea. If this is referring to the amount of energy and effort that is required to keep certain types of people (usually friends) under control, then my answer is a resounding no.

7) I am not easily bothered by things.

... I guess they thought this question was important enough to ask twice. Refer to number four.

8) I do most of the talking.

... where?! At church? Hanging out with friends? Online? During a job interview? During a debate? Oh, I could easily talk for hours during debates over important issues, especially if someone needs to be convinced of something, but I sometimes remain eerily silent with other people around.

9) I am calm in tense situations.

Tense situations being what? Certain situations are tense for some people, and not for others... I guess it's asking if I'm calm in situations that I view as tense. Well, I'm not sure how you can be calm and tense at the same time, unless by 'calm' they mean actions and behavior, and 'tense' refers to emotion and mental status.

I can be calm in tense situations... sometimes not. Sometimes I choose not to be. =) Sometimes I am at my calmest when other people are most upset.

10) I am skeptical.

. . . I might be. I would need solid evidence before you convinced me that I was skeptical.

11) I get stressed out easily.

No... I think. I 'stress out' infrequently, but maybe that's because life is easier for me than it is for others.

12) I leave a mess in my room.

I answered this one already, too... what the heck is up with this quiz?

13) I can make it on my own.

What the heck? Nobody can do this. Stupid question. And what exactly is the "it" referring to?

14) I would never get a tattoo.

How can you know this, unless your beliefs are rock-solid and unchanging for eternity? Though right now, I would not consider it, unless something important depended on it.

15) I don't value organized religion.

That's correct, I don't value organized religion... but my definition of religion is different than yours, and so is "organized." Hard question to answer without having a long discussion.

16) I believe anything can be accomplished in the long run.

If I believed anything could be accomplished in the long run, I would have to believe that it's possible to make something impossible to achieve. If it's possible to make something impossible, then it's not possible to do anything anymore (since something is one of the anythings), and so you can't answer this question (as it is) without being paradoxical.

How sad.

17) I daydream about people to maintain a sense of closeness.

Whoa. Loaded. I don't think so. Never thought about that before. I enjoy remembering times with friends, and sometimes I daydream, but I do that because I enjoy it, not necessarily to "maintain a sense of closeness." I don't want to lie to myself.

18) I don't talk a lot.

Answered this one, too. I'll talk a lot when I want to, and be closemouthed when I want to. I prefer silence in many situations, and I cannot keep silent in others...

19) I am a very organized person.

Well, I like to keep my possessions organized, but as for the aspects of ME being organized... maybe they are, to some degree, but they're also changing, so... *shrug*

20) I do things at the last minute.

This one can wait until I answer all the other questions.

21) I get chores done right away.

Nope. Not even close, unless I'm doing the chores because I want to, and not because I need to.

22) I am open about myself to others.

Answered this already. Stupid quiz...

23) I am superstitious.

I would say "Nope!" but then the spirit of superstition might hear me, and do weird stuff to my stuff. *shivers*

24) I am a private person.

Most of the time. This is kinda the same as two other questions in this quiz, but... I think alot of people would describe me as a private person, in some ways.

25) I panic easily.

CRAP! For a second there, I thought that was my answer! @%!!!

... just kidding. No, I hardly ever panic. Sometimes, when faced with very difficult decisions between multiple options, I feel like I'm panicking inwardly (because I can't choose, and yet I have to), but not often.

26) I keep my thoughts to myself.

In conversations I find interesting, I will either remain silent and listen carefully, or voice my beliefs firmly. This is another duplicate question, though, so it deserves no more of an answer than I've already given it.

27) I am unplanned.

I was prepared for this question. ;) No, I'm not unplanned. Llaura can sometimes get frustrated with how many "What will we do if..." questions I ask her while making plans.

28) I am emotionally numb.

Who cares.

jk, guys. Sometimes I am, sometimes I'm not, but I would say that I'm less emotional than even the average guy.

29) I fit in most places.

LoL Gotta work on that flexibility... no, I don't think this one is accurate about me.

30) I was considered a very hyperactive child (compared to other children).

Ah, no. I may have been averagely energetic for awhile, but my parents disciplined that out of me, and now I'm having to re-learn it on my own. If you've ever seen my hyper, be assured that I'm trying to mold it into a useful tool, rather than let it take over me every time I'm drunk on humor.

(...oh, yeah, and I forgot to say, I'm a really successful procrastinator.)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Anawanna

I don't feel like blogging. Maybe you could tell. I usually just let my mind leak onto the keyboard (sometimes it overflows), and I could do that very well right now, but I don't want to. I don't know why. Alot has happened since my last substantial post, but I don't want to talk about it. I want to want to share it, though, so this is my feeble attempt to do so.

Stress is when you feel you're not capable of doing something, but you know you have to do it if you want to avoid consequences. Stress is when you have 15 issues to deal with that aren't exactly urgent but are definitely important. Stress is when you realize you'd rather have one big problem than so many smaller ones.

(The following are not dictionary definitions, nor am I telling you my logical beliefs... these are merely splinters of my thoughts and feelings. Maybe I'm doing better with this blogging thing than I thought...)

Obligation is when you are supposed to do something, but don't want to. Responsibility is when you've accepted your obligations. Disappointment is when you let yourself down, or wake yourself up in the middle of your dream by thinking, "This is only a dream." True apathy is when you don't care that you don't care. Sometimes, false desire is when you want to want something, but can't. Insincerity is shown when you lie to yourself; it can lead to, or be worse than, dishonesty.

I had another thought, but it's gone now...

I'm going to dinner at a place called PF Chang's tonight, with my family from Irvine (Dad's cousin's family). After that, we're going to see Polar Express. = I am looking forward to Tom Hanks' performance (somewhat). Llaura tells me that dinner's going to be amazing.

(If it were just me going alone to PF Chang's tonight (for some reason), or any restaurant, I would rather change plans and eat Top Ramen with Llaura.)

I saw a girl stick her entire fist in her mouth last night. Another girl closed her mouth and sang a silly song. It sounded like a tiny person was inside her neck.

My professor for Literary Perspectives complimented my poetry paper and my comments during the discussion of a drama yesterday. She said I should consider being an english major. She talked about Vanguard's english department for about 20 minutes, while everyone else behind me was waiting to talk to her about class stuff. She even invited me to the meeting that's going on right now, where I was supposed to get info on the major. I think she was serious. I really don't want to major in english, even though I really enjoy analyzing and discussing literature, but I want to do what God wants, which sometimes means doing what I don't want to do.

Two classes have been canceled, one on the 23rd and one on the 24th. I still have science, hip-hop, weight-lifting, and Foundations of Christian Life to deal with... I really don't want to miss those discussions. One will be on the worship of God, and the other on communion with Him. =( Someone is going to have to take good notes for me.

I'm out of splinters. As Mandy Shepherd might say, go eat a can-opener.

1,000 Words

1,000 Words

Yes... I know. ANOTHER one. There's a good reason for it, though. You send me pictures, I post them. Check it out. (btw, the pics in the first post are courtesy of the illustrious Jenihe, whose xanga you can check out by clicking here)

Sunday, November 07, 2004

One More Time

Okay, I'm going to try my blog over. This time it will work. Hopefully. Click here.

Friday, November 05, 2004

YES LIFE'S AWESOME!!!

We played Capture the Flag on campus yesterday night. Ahh, to sneak again... it was awesome.

We played congas, bongos, a barrel-drum, Irish whistles, flute, guitars, and tambourine on Wednesday night, for an hour and a half of worship... it was awesome.

I had one class canceled today, which means I only had one class, which means I was a complete slacker all day (watched two movies and played Fable for 4+ hours)... it was awesome.

Llaura's picking me up in a few minutes, and we're both spending a weekend at the Disneyland Hotel (with the illustrious Uncle Greg and his family, as well as my little bro Reuben)... it's going to be awesome.

That's right. You'd better get tired of that word. Awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

(F)E-Mail

hey Luv

post on your blog that i'm feelin' the prayers and seeing blessings in action. i really felt Loved today. my spirit was at peace and the blessings were coming. more tonight. don't wanna give it all away now!!!!

:-*

~ Laura

Monday, November 01, 2004

Life

I like it. Not everything is positive, but there's lots of cool stuff going on. As the Newsboys say, "Somethin' tells me it's alright... you know it's gonna be alright."

Hope you all had an awesome Octoberween. I spent mine standing alone with Llaura, on a beach in Santa Barbara, watching dolphins ride the waves near shore as the sun set.

...

No, I'm serious. Her apartment (she's going to Brooks Institute of Photography now) is in Goleta (Santa Barbara), and we literally walked to the beach and watched the sunset, with dolphins actually riding the waves and birds diving into the water and it was SO AWESOME.

=) Every Halloween should be like this.