Tag Archives: friends

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends! My sister and cousin stole my phone. Little did they know they would make it on here ūüėČ

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Homeschooled…Not Shy

Twice today, someone stared at me and said something along the lines of, “You aren’t very shy, are you?”

And twice today, I opened my mouth to deny it but ended up saying, “No, I’m not.”¬†

The questioners didn’t probe further but if they had, I would have answered,¬†

“I’m not shy. You see, I was homeschooled.”¬†

Although homeschooling has become more mainstream, a definite stereotype exists about homeschoolers. And as far as I know, “not shy” is not one of them. (Unless you count socially awkward as not shy?) But really, I owe a great deal of my “non-shyness” to the fact that I was homeschooled. Here are 3 ways homeschooling made me a confident adult:

  1. No peer pressure. From a young age, I learned to like myself for who I was. There was no one to tell me different. Oh, sure, sometimes I felt quirky when around other kids my age. But I also made friends who shared the same interests and values as me, most of them homeschooled too. I think a huge reason I’m “not shy” is that I’m simply confident in who I am, and that is in great part thanks to the early lesson I had in being me. You don’t like me? Your loss! I like me
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  2. Friends of all ages. When you don’t spend X number of hours a day with kids the same age as you, you don’t get the false idea that friends must be the same age as you. Old(er) people are your friends. Younger people are your friends. Your siblings are your friends. Your neighbors are your friends. Incidentally, this is one reason I think the “socialization” question is silly. You don’t stop being around people when you are homeschooled. You just get more opportunities to be around different types of people.
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  3. Learning to deal with people early on. When you’re homeschooled, everyone has an opinion about your parents’ manner of raising you. Some people are more vocal about it than others. And those people can be¬†very vocal. As far as I know, people don’t feel the need to ask public school kids if they have friends or if they use books. Yet I bet almost any homeschooler has gotten some variety of both those questions…and countless more. So you know what homeschooling taught me? How to deal with rude, well-intended questions. It gives you thick skin. And if you gain that early on, it becomes part of your personality and very little in life can intimidate you. Certainly not strangers.¬†

I realize this wasn’t everyone’s homeschooling experience. It looks different for every person. But for me, these three reasons represent some of the countless ways I’m grateful for the sacrifices my parents made to educate me at home. I can be “not shy.” I can be me.¬†


Unpacking the Summer

At the end of my adventures in Idaho last summer, I wrote a blog post where I talked about finding a new side of myself. I, bookworm and indoor aficionado,  learned to sleep under the stars, hike for fun, and white water raft. Part of the appeal of going to Colorado this past summer was the idea of further developing this new side of myself. 

And in a way, it was. I camped. I hiked. I white water rafted. (It is a lot more fun without the raft of paranoid middle school girls.) 

Image may contain: sky, mountain, cloud, tree, outdoor and nature

Yet looking back, I would not say this was a summer of discovery. Rather, it became something more precious: a summer of remembering. 

Image may contain: 13 people, including Heather Sherrill, Shelby Hoovler, Alexavier Xue, Abby Welch, Haylee O'Hearn, Kathleen Mattina, Caroline Adams and Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Law school is stressful. It is a melting pot of emotions and nuances and feeling like a failure. I emerged war-torn and exhausted. Going to Colorado felt like a terrible idea. As the weeks leading up to my departure became days, I kept wondering if Young Life would really would miss me too much if I just…didn’t go? After all, they’d told me there were two legal interns. Maybe they didn’t need me?

Image may contain: Amy Buchmeyer, smiling, plant, sky, tree, cloud and outdoor

I knew better than to bail last minute, though, so I got on my plane, read 4 books, and started a truly amazing internship. What made it amazing? 

  • I had work that mattered and that I loved.¬†
  • I worked with incredible people who made me feel loved.¬†
  • I lived with 8, wonderful, sometimes crazy women who loved me and took the time to let me know it.¬†
  • I participated in an internship program that provided mentors, speakers, and a small group that all poured into me and left me feeling…you got it, loved.¬†
  • Finally, I got hour after luxurious hour to read and think and be alone, to truly love myself.¬†

Image may contain: 13 people, including Liz Knepper, Andi Seaton, Kathleen Mattina, Haylee O'Hearn, Shelby Hoovler, Alexavier Xue, Caroline Adams, Heather Sherrill, Amy Buchmeyer and 3 others, people smiling, people standing, mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

The theme you should notice is that I was spoiled this summer. I was spoiled because people treated me like someone remarkable, someone smarter and funnier and more pulled together than I ever felt. They made sure to invite me to all their activities and never took offense when I declined to instead stay home and read. I always felt included but never pressured. And considering how many times I turned them down to read, that is saying something. 

Yet while I felt beloved for my reading and bug-killing abilities, I also felt the love did not stem from my personal attributes. I was surrounded by God-loving people whose love for each other stemmed from that love for God. Certain personalities might mix better and certain skills be more praise worthy, but at the end of the day, those things mattered less than the fact that each intern represented someone loved by God and thus worthy of love.

Image may contain: Kathleen Mattina and Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, outdoor and nature

I was spoiled this summer because I felt unconditionally loved. I was spoiled because I got to do work that interested and excited me. I was spoiled because I got to live in the incredibly beautiful mountains with no humidity. 

I called this a summer of remembering. Why? Because it was a summer of remembering that my worth is not in what I do, or where I live, or what grades I get. It was a summer of remembering who I am when not stressed, not busy, and not networking. A summer of just being…me. Was it hard sometimes? Oh, you bet. But for all that, it was a summer beyond my expectations.¬†

The thing I want to take away, the thing I need to take away, is that this path wasn’t the most natural, the most prestigious, or even the most sensible. But in the end, it was the most fulfilling. God knew what He was doing even when (especially when) I doubted the most.¬†

Image may contain: 15 people, including Haylee O'Hearn, Heather Sherrill, Shelby Hoovler, Alexavier Xue, Caroline Adams, Amy Buchmeyer, John Sivils and Abby Welch, people smiling, people standing, mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

 

(And because I couldn’t find the right place for it in this post, extra grateful shout-out to my awesome fellow legal intern, John, who now knows a lot more about Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, public sector labor law unions, and agency deference than he ever could have wanted, but who always let me interrupt him and patiently listened while I rambled away. Thank you.)


Crazy Rich Asians

“We should see Crazy Rich Asians!” said my friend. “It is just like your K Dramas!”¬†

I don’t know about just like, but I did really enjoy Crazy Rich Asians. It had much more depth than I expected. I loved the beautiful costumes, both serious and light-hearted plot, and amazing Asian cast. An immediate favorite!¬†

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Stage 2: Family and Friends

After a summer spent meeting new people and being on my best behavior, it is fun road tripping with my siblings. There is no fooling them and no point trying. At the same time, I don’t need to wonder if I should or could take a leader role since – by virtue of being the oldest – I am the de facto leader. It makes things simpler; it makes things fun.

We are having a blast so far seeing family and the occasional old friend!

(Aunt Joan, Anna has the picture of us on her phone so I will post it later!)


Old Friends, All the Acne, and Scary Amounts of Enthusiasm

‘That looks like Joel,’ I think as I stand in the church lobby and observe the other attendees. ‘But he lives in Virginia.’¬†

Joel Grewe is the director of Generation Joshua and a mentor of my high school and college years. 

For a moment I marveled at the resemblance before realizing that Generation Joshua’s iGovern West camp started this week. It could be him.¬†

“Joel?” I ask.¬†

Considering the odd surroundings, he takes my presence in stride for a few moments before the oddity strikes him. He motions to where the other iGovern counselors are gathered, ready for lunch. I’m ecstatic. These are my old friends. I practically run across the sanctuary to say hi.¬†

Then I remember what I’m wearing. I chose sleep over makeup this morning; my jeans have a huge hole and my top is a castoff from my sister – a bedazzled Star Wars t-shirt I only wore because I haven’t done laundry. To match my odd shirt, I paired my choker necklace and I have a decided goth-wannabe feel. Or I would if I bothered with makeup. I wish I had; I’m so broken out today.¬†

I feel very self-conscious. But also excited.¬†Everyone is confused to see me. It is so good to see them, even briefly. These are my people. They invite me to the camp gala on Tuesday night. I don’t have a ride but I will find one. I’m more excited about the gala than I was to go to the Supreme Court last weekend.¬†

My ecstatic mood lasts through brunch with the other Young Life interns. I’m bubbly and bouncy in a way they haven’t seen before. I’ve mellowed a lot…but there is nothing like Generation Joshua to bring out all my enthusiasm!¬†


Friends With Books

I am visiting friends in D.C. for the rest of the weekend. I walked into their apartment…and it is like my to-read list come to life. Shelves and shelves of good books! I am never leaving.