Thursday, October 12, 2017

this essay ended up being everything in my heart

I think the end of the poem is the most beautiful though. What Wordsworth goes on to say is really quite thought provoking and pokes and prods at what my idea of the world really was. You see, he mentions, “truths...which we are toiling our whole lives to find” (115-116), and in my opinion, everyone is searching for something. We all need a little meaning to life or a reason to live and Wordsworth, throughout this whole poem, struggles with what his is. As he takes the reader with him through his journey of self discovery, or rather self loathing if we’re honest, he challenges himself and us to think about the way loss affects life. Does it make us stronger? Does it ruin everything? Are we able or unable to recover from it and depending on that answer, is life the same afterward? These are big life questions and Wordsworth is going out on a limb here asking them and forcing us to think about them.

The pinnacle of this poem comes when you realize what Wordsworth is actually saying and concluding about loss. The sense of sadness we experience from something lost isn’t from what or who we actually lost, but rather it’s from what we have have imagined or perceived the thing gone to be or have been to us, not necessarily what it actually is. This is the whole point! Wordsworth is trying to get us to see, or maybe he isn’t trying to get us to see it because he’s only wrestling through his own ideas here, but I think it’s safe to say that in the end, Wordsworth realizes that perception is reality. Your memories of what you lost are clouded by whatever your perception of that thing was and so whether or not it was good or bad, that is the taste you are left with.
It’s a hard thing to grapple with - loss. Loss of someone, loss of life, loss of a job, house, etc. Sometimes we lose big things or people who play big roles in our lives, and how are we supposed to cope with that? Or how are we supposed to just age and not let life jade us and make us cynical and bitter? Why are we always looking behind with rose colored glasses rather than looking forward that way? Well I think Wordsworth shows us, through his own struggles and strife that it’s okay to struggle and strive and challenge and be upset and angry. Those feelings are good and those emotions are healthy, as long as we keep moving. He didn’t stop and fester in his self-loathing or give up once he landed there. He pushed on, he kept writing, he kept struggling. In the end, it paid off for him - he saw the fountains, meadows, and hills again and he returned to his first love. His message of loss is all about perception being reality and when you lose something, don’t stop looking for it.

Friday, September 15, 2017

thoughts on loss

- from my english romanticism professor

"When you lose someone or something the loss isn't coming from things not being what they should be or who they should be, but rather the loss comes from our imaginations making them into something they aren't.

We never live in a moment; we're always defined by memories.

It's hard to feel joy when you have to ask yourself if you're happy."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

not absent, just silent.

End of Sophomore year. End of the rugby season. End of my job at the YMCA. End of life in and around Philly.

Beginning of summer 2017. Beginning of my job at Mt. Gilead. Beginning of two (+) months living in the Poconos. 

Away from my friends. Away from my family. Away from the business of life that I always seem to be getting caught up in. 

I just felt like I needed to take some time and reflect on life as it sits, and hopefully share what little perspective I have right now.
This was the busiest school year of my life. In the fall, I started at Temple. I loved my fall semester. My classes were great, my friends were great. My job proved to be stressful. Very stressful at times. I missed my friends who were away and I was very overwhelmed during my time of transition, but after a month or so into it, I found a rhythm and it was such a rewarding semester. I learned so much about the city and teaching and I just felt like my heart and mind were being opened up to so many things. Toward the end of the semester, I went through a fairly rough break up. It was really sudden and hard in a lot of ways, but I learned a lot about myself and in the end, I'm really thankful for the time I spent in that relationship and the experiences I had outside of it. 
Post-breakup, I went through a season of loneliness. I lost my major friend group at school and was really searching for a place to belong on campus that I could call my home. Over winter break, I spent a lot of time with my friend Gabbi who really helped me refocus and keep me grounded. 
During that time, I started clinging to Jesus in a way that was different than I ever had before. Throughout December and January, I learned that the Christian walk isn't something we can just take up one day and then all of a sudden lives are changed over night, but rather, the Christian walk is something we daily choose to walk. It's the path of righteousness that must be chosen day by day by day. I can't explain some of the things I felt and experienced at the beginning of this year (2017) but I couldn't help but beg God with the question of "Why?"

Well - hindsight is 20/20. Now I can see God had been drawing me closer and closer to himself because he knew that I couldn't sustain myself. I was thirsty for a water only he can supply. So I walked and I searched. 
Spring semester brought it's own form of healing back to the business I always seem to be burying myself in when all else fails. 

I found my home during the spring semester.

I wanted to join a sorority, but I was short about 500 dollars, 40 hours a week and extra blood to sell my soul, so I picked a different club. I've always been fairly athletic, so when I decided to give rugby a go, people were surprised but not shocked. I've never met a more inviting, exciting, and fun group of girls before. Day 1 I had a nickname and even though I had no idea what was going on, I still felt like a total part of the team. We laughed, ran, studied, had friday night get togethers - the whole 9 yards. Or meters as we would say. I found myself feeling more at home at school than in Bucks County and nestling in with my newfound family whenever possible. 
Rugby pushed me to work hard and sweat out my fears, failures, successes, trials, and whatever else I was facing. Tackling a big girl? Get low and dig deep. A big paper? Get low and dig deep. Broken nose? Get up and fight back. Life knocks you down? Get up and fight back. 
My team showed me that there is strength in femininity and beauty in boldness. Joining rugby was the defining point of my semester and I think the turning point in my college life. Definitely one of the best decisions I've made this far. But the semester ended and we all went home and life comes and people go and I miss my team and my little family from Willington and my petty pals. 

So now we've reflected. I've loved, lost, regrouped, loved again - people and things. But I still felt like I was missing something. That's when I decided to take to the woods. You see, I love the city. Love it. Want to live there, want to change it, want to run it. But the woods - that's where you find yourself. You're stripped bare of everything and everyone and the noise and the background and life is still and quiet and lonely and beautiful and full of adventure.

So here I am, for my summer in the woods. Partly my decision was selfish. I had spent all year running. From one thing to the next; always running. I needed to relax and regroup and refresh and sweat out all the toxins my pores have so willingly soaked in. But also, I needed to put other people before myself. I am selfish by nature, but I do love to serve. and I've learned a lot this year - about myself, about people, about God and who he is and why he loves me and how he loves me and what he desires for me and I need to give that to others. So I came here to share him with some girls who need him just as much as I do. 

Because this year, he was pretty silent. Sure, I can see his hand moving and working now, but in the moment, I couldn't. I cried of loneliness and dispair and confusion and needyness and lack of faith because I couldn't hear him. But he was there, and he was faithful. 

He was faithful. 

In my doubting and failure and mistrust of who he is, he was (and still is!) FAITHFUL. I couldn't see it because I had been blinded by my own selfish desires but God is good. and even when he is silent, he isn't absent. God is NOT an absent father. He is loving and kind and provides for us even when we can't see him leave for work in the morning. He was faithful, in his silence, to provide for me people in moments I so desperately needed them, people who were not silent, but lovingly (and sometimes not so lovingly) spoke truth into my life. My parents, friends, people I didn't know. People who I had let see me in my worst moments and know my ugliest self, were still loving me. THIS is just how faithful God is - to give us what we need, when we need is. God is a god who provides.

He beckons, he calls, and he draws us to himself with loving and open arms - always. 

This is what I learned this year, and I'm sure there's going to be more to learn this summer. 

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."

Thomas Merton

Friday, March 24, 2017

women's lit - 3/24/17

"i imagine the collection of relationships that I've had in my life as a big giant house that I've purchased. each person is a room in my house; they all have their own decorations and senses of humor and tastes and smells and stories and signs and symbols. everything in each room is a little different from the next. but as I walked through my house from one room to another, all of these things became part of me. I had to learn that you can't find yourself in other people. you can't fall ridiculously in love and have there only be two types of people in the world - them and everyone else. you've got to love yourself. you've got to find yourself within yourself."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

woman.

today is international womens' day.

i recently saw a post on facebook about how we shouldn't be celebrating our genders because we should be celebrating how jesus Christ defines us, not our gender.

i love jesus. he has done so much for me and my family. he died on the cross for my sins and redeemed and also set me free from the bondage of this world.
but i do not see how in any way celebrating my gender and celebrating other women and their accomplishments takes away from god's role in my life.

god made me a woman! why would i not want to celebrate the life that he gave to me and other women?
my gender is NOT the only thing that defines me. nor is my sexuality, socioeconomic status, level of education, race, etc. to subject myself to being completely defined by any one of these categories would be lessening myself as a human. YES, they all play a role in who i am and how I've been raised, but they are not the end all be all.

define yourself however you want to define yourself and don't let anyone tell you who you are or aren't.