This past week has brought upon mild tribulation; but with a lot of positive thinking and activity, I have managed to bounce back and accept my life with all of its beautiful flaws… The following paragraphs will seem detached and disoriented, but they ultimately string together for a powerful message and lesson for myself that I thank God for.
I am incredibly pleased to announce that we started Praise & Worship Nights last Sunday, and we just had our second one tonight. It is basically an hour of singing contemporary Christian songs; sixty minutes of stress relief, of relaxation, of remembering our Christian roots and praising God for everything that He has given us. Back in Southern California, one of my favorite aspects of being a part of LifeTeen was the music, and it had been my vision to bring that to HNU. It makes me so happy that I made some sort of contribution to our campus life, even though only a few people have gone. But things are lookin’ up– we went from seven to fourteen people in a week’s time, so I am very optimistic that P&W will eventually become more widespread.
Another note-worthy accomplishment of mine is learning another new song on the ukulele! And even more perfect that it is currently my favorite song (“Lua” by Bright Eyes). Throughout this entire week, I found myself rushing to get back to my dorm just for the sheer pleasure of playing it, and it has been quite therapeutic for me. This is the first instrument that I have successfully learned how to play, so three cheers for me!
I have also put together a portfolio of all my contemporary poems (saving my basic elementary school ones private until I decide to publish some comedy) after my English professor inspired me. It turns out that she (Anne F. Walker) has published four poetry books! I am absolutely in awe of everything that she has accomplished and the amazing woman that she is. She inspires me to go after my dreams of having my work published someday, as impossible as it sounds. I’m thrilled at the prospect of my future in English, but it is all a matter of believing in myself that my writing has the potential to be something worth reading. I think I am going to hold off on posting most of my recent poems in my poetry page just so I can “save” some of my work solely for my portfolio. Even though 57 poems sound like a lot, I’m going to aim for a solid hundred; Professor Walker gladly offered to read them during office hours. I am so excited to improve and learn from a very distinguished poet!
You may have gotten the hint that Sundays are usually days that I enjoy quite well because of mass and P&W Night, but today was even more special because it was our day off from tennis practice. Instead of sleeping in (which was probably Plan A, if I didn’t brilliantly think of Plan B, which is…), my teammates and I took a brisk jog/walk to our local farmers market in Montclair village early in the morning. The whole set-up was so neat! Friendly merchants, selling locally-grown, organic produce and all sorts of concoctions. Free samples from booth to booth. Little children dancing to live music playing on the sidewalk. Not to mention that it was all enclosed by a surrounding fort of quaint, charming ma-and-pa boutiques. The whole experience was absolutely divine. After having our fill of cute ol’ Montclair, we headed back to school to eat.
I originally planned to do all the homework that I have been neglecting this whole weekend after I ate brunch. However, when I was walking back to my dorm, something came over me when I saw a group of people doing some kind of yardwork in our abandoned courtyard and I just had this burning desire to join them. It turns out that Latinos Unidos, a cultural club on campus, has been working on a project to clear all the rubble from the courtyard and make some kind of recreation, relaxation, and social area for students. Needless to say, I became an honorary member of Latinos Unidos today, and I couldn’t be any happier!
It felt so good to do something for my school. Yes, I know it sounds cheesy. Fake, even. But I hope that you can trust me when I say that I did it because I wanted to. Not for community service hours or so that somehow they will hire me to be an RA if they see me or that there was some cute guy working on the project. I honestly just really thought that shoveling mud and dried leaves was somehow going to be a lot of fun (not being sarcastic), and I wanted to be an impact on my community and give back because I have been blessed with so much.
And I think the most spectacular part of volunteering on a whim was that I felt like I could do whatever my heart yearned to do, which is the main focal point of this post. Once again, I have this newfound feeling of independence; I can do whatever the heck I want to do, on my own terms, without worrying about upsetting or disappointing anybody. Throughout this week, with all my little experiences that I’ve described, I’ve gotten in tune with my self once again and discovered that I am as free as I decide to be.
Solitude is not easy. In fact, that was my struggle a week ago– I feel like I am incapable of being anybody’s significant other. Just when I think I am finally ready to take the next step, something unfortunate occurs that leave me with the impression that I turn everything into mud. I feel destructive, and perhaps I am being unfair to myself because I take all the blame for all the failed potential relationships even if maybe it isn’t me… But anyway, my heart feels desolate and I know I cannot be in any romantic affairs for the time being, yet I want so badly to share a special connection with somebody and feel loved in return.
However, I have come to terms with the fact that I do not need anybody to feel alive. It is 100% okay to be on my own, and this week’s events have taught me that it is perfectly acceptable to do things of my own accord and be a little selfish. I admit that many of my posts deal with this recurring struggle, but those who know me understand how difficult it is for their favorite hopeless romantic to keep her chin up when push comes to shove. It is not easy for someone like me to see couples in love and wish that I, too, could have somebody special to write letters to or eat dinner with… which explains the redundant “it’s-okay-to-be-single” blog posts.
And in reality, it is okay. There is nothing wrong with me, nothing wrong with living in solitude (with my roommate), and the time will come when my heart is ready to accept the love that I finally deserve. For now, I will exert my efforts on my spiritual relationship and prioritize God as I should. And besides, it is my 20s…
“Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.”
– Kyoko Escamilla