Category Archives: Musing

Baby Pyromaniacs

I love Christmas Eve services, especially when everyone hold lit candles and sings. There is something peaceful and sweet about watching the single light become a whole room full of glowing faces. 

However, nothing turns me into a wreck faster than watching parents give their 2-year-old a candle. Why?! In what universe is that a good idea? They aren’t feeling anything special and you are ruining the moment for everyone within view…we are all terrified the child is going to set their chair on fire!


Being an Alumni

There is something strange and luxurious about returning to campus as an alumni. Being a senior was great, top dog and all. However, being a graduate means you are out of the rat race altogether and able to stroll around with a decided air of superiority. Veni, vidi, vici. You are  the conqueror and it is hard to avoid the feeling of ownership that comes with admiring your former domain. While all the current students run around with their head down because it is hell week and they have 3 essays, 4 finals, and an end of the year protect due, you can sit, admire, and in general luxuriate in a sense of irresponsibility. 

Maybe that is only for the first visit back. I don’t know; this was my first visit since I graduated a year and a half ago. I really did enjoy myself, though. The campus has been improved and the library is even more open and comfortable. It was great to see professors and staff members. When you graduate from a school as tiny as mine, returning makes you feel a bit like a celebrity. On the other hand, it also makes you feel somewhat forgettable when people give you blank faced smiles or walk right past you. 

Doesn’t matter, it is good to be an alumni. 


Transitioning from “Who” to “What”

 Throughout my teen years and well into college, I was obsessed with discovering ‘who I was.’ I didn’t think of it in those terms and if you had told me I was on some journey of self-discovery I would have laughed, but that is exactly what it was. I loved quizzes and personality tests. It didn’t matter if the test was encompassing like the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator, or something silly such as ‘Which Disney Princess Are You?’ What mattered was that I was learning more about me. I needed to know why I was an extrovert or what it meant to be a verbal processor or how my red hair made me like Ariel (I was never flattered by that comparison.) Every detail mattered. My love language, my spiritual gifts, my DISC results, and especially my identity as ENFP all worked together to create a profile of who I was and why I viewed the world the way I did. I needed to know so that I could understand myself. Even this need, I read, somehow tied back into my personality. It all circled around and I desperately wanted to understand that circle.

Now that I’ve been “adulting”* for a while, I find my need has shifted as I have matured. I no longer ask ‘who am I’ but rather ‘what am I.’ One of my wonderful friends, Tori, expresses it this way:

“In those earlier years we dwell on who we are in a self centered way, finding labels and applying them like “introvert” or “shy” or “driven.” But as we get older we realize that that isn’t so important, and the focus shifts more outward. We now ask ourselves “how am I going to use my personality? If I am driven what am I fighting for? If I am introverted, how will I use my time by myself?” We no longer ask who we are but what we are going to do with who we are.”

“…what we are going to do with who we are.” I love that line. I don’t have all the answers I once sought, but it doesn’t matter as much anymore. The angst is over! My “self” has been tested and and the testing has brought maturity. Maturity, in turn, has provided a sense of confidence. Confidence gives me the kick I need to get into more situations where I will be tested. This is a different circle than the one I originally sought to understand, but it is much more satisfying.

As Tori says, “as we get older…the focus shifts more outward.” This outward shift means I prioritize things differently. I see my work as a challenge and a joy that will develop me further. I see those around me differently because I don’t just want to analyze them to contrast them with me, but to further develop them. I’m free from wondering how I will act and able to focus on acting for others. My generation gives adulting such a bad rap, but I have to say, it is one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done.

A voice in the back of my head chimes in: “Well, you know, ENFPs tend to view people as untapped sources of potential so when you say all that you are really just living up to your type…” And you know what? Maybe I am. However, where once I would have been consumed by that why, I can now shrug and say, “so what am I going to do about that? Whose potential can I tap?”

 

 
*aka, graduated and working an adult job

Check out Tori’s blog at – https://isayitbetterinwriting.wordpress.com/


Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton

Lately I have been reading Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton. It is not a very long book (155 pages) but it is taking me a long time to read. Chesterton is an incredibly deep thinker. Every other sentence is a profound observation that forces me to stop and ponder. It is a lovely feeling; I am forced to think on an entirely different level. Chesterton writes about theology and philosophy and other seemingly dry topics but he does so with such pleasure and imagination that it is hard not to get swept up in it. I understand C.S. Lewis so much better as I read Chesterton. Lewis’s works feel like the natural outcropping of Chesterton’s ideas. 

In fact, I would say that feeling goes beyond Lewis. I understand stories and imagination at a different level reading Chesterton. 

I just finished page 120 and while a part of me longs to finish the book up and read the other 35 pages this morning, another part of me simply wants to savor what I’ve just read. I am definitely going to need to re-read this one.  Probably with a highlighter. 


Late Night Rant about 200 Pound Beauty

I almost forgot to blog tonight! Ahhh! I have a feeling one of these days my streak will be broken by sheer forgetfulness, but tonight will not be that night! 

I just finished watching 200 Pound Beauty, a Korean movie from 2006 about an overweight singer who goes through an extreme makeover and gets full body plastic sugery. The movie follows her transition from a woman who sang from the heart to one who cares only about superficial beauty…until she starts to realize what a horrible person she now is. Blah blah blah.

The movie could have been really good. The k drama Birth of a Beauty follows a similar plot line and is amazing. However, all 200 Pound Beauty does is send a confusing message about inward/outward beauty that it then seems to totally disregard. For a comedy, it wasn’t funny. As a romantic plot, the ending disappoints. The main character cries easily every 5 minutes. The main love interest is kind of a perv. There is very little unique or original in the story, and it often goes from cheesy to downright awful. 

If the description piqued your interest, take the time and watch Birth of a Beauty. As a movie, 200 Pound Beauty is not worth it.


Destiny of the Republic

Today I finished reading Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard.  In it, Millard weaves together the brief presidency of James A. Garfield, the egotistic insanity of Garfield’s killer, and the ineptitude of the doctors who surrounded him. Alexander Graham Bell played a role in this drama, as did the ideas Joseph Lister, whose warnings about germs were unfortunately ignored.
I knew very little about President Garfield going in to this book and was pleasantly surprised by how readable and informative it turned out to be. I have a greater understanding of him as a president and era he lived in. Highly recommended. 

However, what stood out to me most from this read wasn’t Garfield’s assassination, but the political machinations that surrounded him during his presidency. The political world he lived in was remarkably like our own. I think it is easy to assume that mud-slinging and politicking are a recent phenomenon, maybe something introduced after WW2. However, humanity hasn’t changed that much over the past few hundred years. Political parties were divided and divisive. Ambitions reigned and many men fought tooth and nail for the prestige of becoming president. Corruption was rampant and positions were appointed based on political connections and favors rather than merit.  

It has often been noted that President Obama entered the White House with very little experience. However, Chester A. Arthur, who followed President Garfield, arguably wins that competition. Prior to becoming Vice President (and then President) of the United States, his only public position was Collector of the New York Customs House, a job he was later fired from! 

I really appreciate reading Destiny of the Republic. It reminded me that as dreary and depressing as this political season has been, America has weathered worse. As a country, we’ve dealt with corruption, assassinations, and Civil War. We’ve had great and lousy presidents. No matter how bad a single election might look, it isn’t the end of the story. It is only another chapter. 


Sleep in any language

I’m super tired right now but wanted to get a post out so I decided to look up the word sleep in different languages. I found this nifty website that lists words in different languages. Cool, huh? Anyway, here are a few fun ones: 

Albanian – gjumë

Dutch – slaap

Portuguese – dorme

Welsh – cysgu

Belorusian, Macedonian, and Ukrainian all use the word – сон
Serbian is сан.

Malayalam (a language spoken in India) has a fun, scroll-y style – ഉറക്കം

Nepali also looks cool – निद्रामा

Uzbek is uyqu and Turkish is uyku

Zulu – ubuthongo