Break the Static 2012

I’m sitting here in tears. Why am I crying so much? I’ve never cried so much before over an event that happened in the past. And these tears came so suddenly, so out of nowhere. I don’t know what just happened. I’m still processing it really.

There are only a few things in my life that I would say have really changed my life and my course of direction. VERY few. And these instances stick with me for a while. They will stay in my memory and strong emotions will come from those incidents, almost as if I relive those moments again.

Well, this just happened to me.

I was reminiscing over the Forward Conferences that I’ve been to in the past. They were a huge thing for me and my sisters in the summertime of my high school years. That was the conference I looked forward to every year. But why? What made it so exciting and fun?

I reminisced over one particular Forward conference I attended, and that was the summer of my sophomore year, Forward conference 2012. I didn’t realize just how much that one conference stuck out to me until now. I was re-watching all of the forward conferences, and for some reason Forward Conference 2012 was the first result on google. So I clicked that one.

As I watched the recap, instantly longing to go back and relive that moment came back to me. I watched as amazing over amazing people showed up in the people back to back. I mean people who were leading the world of Christian music and evangelism.

I remember Chris Tomlin, my all-time favorite Christian artist came out. His performance was absolutely moving. The next day was Third Day, another favorite. And then the next day was Jeremy Camp (who had the most beautiful eyes that you could see from even far away), yet another favorite! Micah Massey, Adam Ranney, Israel Houghton! These were artists that I grew up with (besides Micah and Adam, but they were worship leaders at my home church, so basically yea).

And as I watched them kind of summarize their artists, I felt some tears come into my eyes. I remember how I felt broken after each of their performances, and I just felt so vulnerable and open. It was raw emotion. And every time, I was never afraid to cry out to God and have my hands held high.

I miss those times.

And then they got to the speakers, and oh my God, I remember all of them. Every single one changed me.

Gianna Jessen, I absolutely love this lady. She has one of the best personalities you will ever find on this planet. So uplifting, so genuine, so delightful, so carefree. She did not care at all about any ill words toward her or any thoughts about her. She was just her. Her laugh is so contagious and beautiful. Anytime she smiled, the whole auditorium smiled along with her.

I remember how she told the auditorium about how she is an abortion survivor. She was suppose to die before birth using a burning saline solution. But instead, she lived and her mother gave birth to her. Due to this, she does live with a few “gifts” as she likes to call them (which made me tear up at the time at how much this woman has had to go through because of her mother’s decision. She lives with cerebral palsy, which was somewhat clear with all the small mannerisms she had while she spoke. But it only added to her charm and her genuineness. She also talked about how she was put into the foster care system, and how initially the government didn’t believe she would amount to much. People doubted her time after time, but she kept proving them wrong time after time.

She easily became my favorite speaker of the conference.

Reggie Dabbs… Reggie Dabbs my God.. He is an amazing person. He absolutely loves every student, and he never fails to tell us time after time that we are loved by God and my him. He tells us so many amazing stories about his life and kids he has encountered, and once I hear about these amazing stories, I realize that my situation is probably very miniscule, which means that I know that God can do it and can take care of it. He told us about his own story, and about how he questioned why his parents didn’t want him (he was adopted). He talked about how he didn’t feel like he had a purpose, but then he came to God, and God called him to be a minister. And he has been doing it every since.

He comes to this conference every year, and every year I feel changed by what he has to say. I just feel love and hope and grace and passion come from him. It truly is amazing. Especially when he plays the saxophone, wow. The whole arena kind of looks at him in awe, it’s just amazing.

Steven Furtick is such a powerful speaker. He tells you how it is (He also has great looks 😉 ). He is such a young pastor, yes he’s talking to over thousands of people. It really is cool what he does. I love the part where he said, “The audition is cancelled, you got the part”. It really is powerful.

Matthew Barnett is amazing. My first thought while at the conference was, “Okay, I don’t know why they brought him here. He’ll probably be like any other southern pastor, and just tell that we’re all going to heaven. This will be so weak.” Boyyyy, was I so wrong. He basically told me about my life and everything that I was missing (I mean he wasn’t really talking to me but that’s just how powerful his message was). I learned so much from that sermon.

Jentezen Franklin, who was the pastor hosting the event, gave a powerful sermon.

Lincoln Brewster also performed.

The theme was Break the Static. It was so amazing, and I really do long to go back and attend a conference again. I feel like I would definitely appreciate it even more than I did ever before. Mainly because I really feel like I need it this time around.

 

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Capture Me

I don’t know what has been going on with me for the past 2-3 weeks but… I feel like I am backtracking with my social skills. I am so awkward and shy, not that this differs from how I have always been…

I know that I am a sky and reserved person. I have come to terms with that fact about myself. I used to think it was due to my low self esteem, but I have learned that it truly is who I am. I remember my mom always telling me that I used to be a really quiet baby. I never cried for attention or talked much. I always kept to myself.

Through my time in college, I have learned that not many people share this characteristic. In fact, it is super rare for people to be like this. Most people are social and know how to interact with people regularly. People are somewhat  talkative. It’s in our nature. We’re social animals.

But I may just be super slow to all of this.

Take, for instance, yesterday. I took part in this photoshoot for people of color at my school. I had learned about it 5 minutes before, and I happened to be in the same building, so I thought, “Sure, I’ll stop by.”

I’ve done photo campaigns before, and they were really chill, really relaxed. And it usually took about 10 minutes or so.

But this was the first time that I had actually done a photo shoot with people in the black community. I didn’t expect there to be a difference. Heck, I didn’t even realize the difference until today. But there was one, a very big one.

I came in, and I immediately felt judged for whatever reason. Everyone would see who came in, look them up and down, and continue with their activity. I found that a bit odd, but whatever.

So I had not really thought about a pose to do, but I thought it would just be super casual. I do some smiling shots and laughing shots and be done. Nope. First, I asked for the opinion of the photographer if the color looked okay (we were able to choose are background color, and I had chosen yellow. I went with yellow because I’m always a happy, smiley person). I didn’t want it to look like I was doing 5th grade school pictures or something. She looked at me and then looked at the color, and she said, “Uhh yea, it’s whatever you want.” Then another person came and asked if something was wrong, and she told them, “She wants to make sure the color matched with her outfit.”

Uhh what?

That’s not what I said.

I just wanted to make sure that the color looked okay, not necessarily if it went with my outfit…

Oh well. After she said that, I felt a bit self-conscious. Well great, now they think I’m self-absorbed.

So we are doing the shoot, and I am smiling casually, laughing casually, and I thought it was going well. But every time she snapped a photo, she would say, “Okay, think of something happy and cheerful.” And while I’m trying to think of something, she would snap the photo. She was going so fast, and I just wasn’t ready.

To be honest, I wasn’t ready to begin with. I was pushed to go next because the other girl was helping her friend out with something. So that left no time for me to even think.

Anyways, I am trying to, and while I am thinking about it, she’s snapping pictures. She’d look at them and say, “Okay, do you want me to put you into poses?” I was just thinking, “What?” I thought this was super casual.

So I am trying to stay happy and stay cheerful. I’m laughing into the camera, looking away, looking at her, talking with people off the camera… And then she says, “Okay, can someone make her laugh or something?” And now all eyes are on me, and I’m just standing there awkwardly.

I didn’t know what to say or how to react. I didn’t know what she wanted, and now I felt embarrassed. Now I just wanted to leave.

So people are coming and talking to me and trying to make me laugh, but I am just smiling and laughing, same as I was before, because that is just who I am naturally.  But apparently it just wasn’t good enough or something. She would look at me and say, “Uhm… just… do whatever you want to do. Be yourself.”

Well, isn’t that what I was doing?

Then, she proceeded to tell me certain poses to do. She told me to act like I was yawning or stretching, and I thought that felt super weird. She told me to take off my jean jacket, which I thought looked better on, especially since now I had pit stains from all the nervousness.

When I came in to do the photo shoot, I thought that the photo was to capture the real me. All of me. Awkward, laughing, shy, smiling me. That’s why I chose yellow. I wanted to portray that.

But I don’t think she was getting it. I don’t think she got it.

So time passed by, and she said, “How about we switch backgrounds, and switch photographers?” And she said this loud enough for everyone to hear, so I felt really bad after that, but I knew I had done nothing wrong.

So I switch to someone else, who was super chill. She was actually a good friend of mine, and I knew she was good with cameras. She made me feel at ease again. I felt like I could be myself with her, and it was nice. She let me do whatever – just smile, talk with people, laugh around… the same things as what I had been doing with the prior photographer. She said I was super photogenic and that she loved the pictures she took.

I was glad we had switched photographers. She caught that. She caught me.

It’s funny though, because when the first photographer was photographing another girl, the other girl was only doing one pose, and it was fine. She was saying, “nice, great!”, but all she did was stand still and look off into the distance. Why did she want more from me?

I felt so much better afterwards. Even though it was a rocky start, it ended well.

Closed Eyes and A Semi-Cleared Head

You know, I just spent an entire day crafting a 1500-word blogpost on the most talked-about topic today, knowing fully well that hardly anyone would end up reading the entire thing because it’s longer than the last 7 essays I have had to write combined, and knowing that people have such divided views and mixed emotions on the whole situation.

But I feel infinitely and dumbfoundingly relieved.

This is why I made a blog, so that I could be able to share these kinds of things without any feeling of judgment, any feeling of wasting someone’s time, any feeling of insecurity and discomfort.

I needed an outlet. My brain is somewhat hyperactive. It’s always busy, always thinking about something. There’s always something on my mind. I can’t remember the last time I was actually able to sit down and clear my mind.

Yes, my blogs hardly make any sense most of the time, but that’s insight into my brain. That’s how my mind works. I write how I think, and there’s something really nice about having that one place where you are not limited by professionalism and social etiquette.

I should have made a blog a long time ago.

Why did Harry’s death in Spiderman 3 hurt so much?

Harry’s death in Spiderman has actually shaken me up a little more than I wanted it to. First off, they (Harry and Peter/Spiderman) were best friends. Secondly, they got into a huge fight before he died and he still came back and helped him defeat the sand man and that black, gooey figure. And thirdly… he was so cute ;(

It’s always the cute ones who have to go.

I believe it was just thinking about how much heartbreak and confusion he experienced throughout the 3 Spiderman movies that made me really sad when he died:

  1. He felt like he needed to gain acceptance and praise from his father
  2. He lived to please his father, and it was so sad every time that his father would insult him or tell him that he was less than who he really was
  3. He saw that his girlfriend (Mary Jane), the only girl who he really loved throughout the movies,  was in love with Peter the entire time. Even though he was actually a pretty nice guy, she just was not into him. How heartbreaking!
  4. He thought that Spiderman killed his father, and he lived to get revenge. He even became the Goblin by following in his father’s footsteps.
  5. It’s sad because all he ever did was want revenge on his father’s killer, which is understandable. I mean, Peter Parker was the same by killing the thief who killed (or so he thought) his uncle.
  6. He was so emotional throughout all the movies. I feel like he wanted to be strong and brave because that’s what his father wanted from him, but he had such a heart… He always had tears in his eyes.
  7. He finally saw some success in his life when he took over his father’s company and was CEO for a hot second (at the beginning of the 2nd movie), and then it turns out that the guy who he signed a contract with wanted too much power.
  8. When he found out that his best friend was Spiderman, it was like the world stopped for him. His worst enemy turned out to the closest person to him. How crazy, and honestly that’s really sad :/ (Imagine that your best friend was actually the one who killed your mother. I can barely even fathom that)
  9. He went through an accident where he lost his memory, and everything was new to him. He was happiest during that time because he forgot everything about Spiderman and his father dying.
  10. MJ (Mary Jane) came back to him during this time, and it was like their love had rekindled. They even kissed, and then she said that it was a mistake. Ugh, how tragic!
  11. When he and Peter got into that huge fight in the 3rd movie, he got half of his face burned, and now half of his face is disfigured. Now, coming from a person who has 2 scars on their knees and am super self-conscious about them, I could only imagine how he felt his image was changed. This scar was on his face, and it wasn’t some small scar. It took up half of his face. Oh, that beautiful face…
  12. Even after the fight, he came back to help his best friend (well, after a little help from his butler who told him that his dad had actually died by his own hands). Then they had this epic battle with the sand guy and the black, gooey thing.
  13. He sacrificed his life for Peter (I was in tears). He stood in front of blades that were going to kill him. What a friend! My face was in shock.
  14. In his last moments, MJ was standing next to him, but it must’ve hurt to have someone who you love kneeling right next to you in your dying moments, but knowing that she is completely in love with the person who you just sacrificed your life for. What a crazy love triangle!

Anyways, those are my 2 (more like 14) cents on the life of Harry, Peter Parker’s best friend.

It has been quite a while

My, my, my, there has been so much that has happened during these past 2 weeks. Where do I even begin??

I probably won’t put it all in one blog post because that may create the world’s longest blogpost.

  1. Finals weeks (ughh)
  2. Packing and storage (another ughhh, but also a yaayy)
  3. My birthday (woot!)
  4. My travels back home (what an adventure!)
  5. My adventures while back home (mainly just Hulu)
  6. Grades (yet another ughhh, and some yays, but mostly ughh))
  7. My travel to the city with friends from both college and home (when 2 worlds collide)
  8. Swimming that one time this summer
  9. Getting my brand new laptop (Ahhh!)
  10. The summer program that I am now attending (another Ahhh!)

So I have a lot of ideas to write about, and I can’t wait to get started, it’s just figuring out if I even have enough time to write about them all >.<

I guess I’ll start with the most current. Stay tuned…

 

Where Did you Come From?

This is going to be a very random post because… well stay tuned.

This morning, I woke up late for work. It was a special project that I was suppose to do this morning. I ended up showing up about 30 minutes late, and it turns out that they were done by the time I got there. I felt a little bad, but at the same time I didn’t. I promise you that I set an alarm to wake up, but it never went off… Or did it?

Afterwards I decided to just go to the gym and work out. I felt my earphones in my pocket, but they felt much thicker than usual. I didn’t pay any mind to them while I was working. Once I got to the gym, I took them out of my pocket and I couldn’t believe what I saw.

I had two pairs of earphones in my hand!

What the heck? Where’d the second pair come from? I froze and thought back to my day yesterday. I couldn’t think back to a time where I could have picked up a 2nd pair of earphones. I had earphones in my ear for most of yesterday, but I never had two.

They were so tangled that I didn’t even use them as I worked out. Even after my workout when I went for brunch, I was thinking about how I could have possibly picked up another pair of earphones. I messaged my friend asking him if he still had his, and he said yes.

Even now I am still confused and have no idea who to ask or how to ask around. My campus is huge, and these earphones could literally be anyone’s.

I figured out which one was mine by looking at both of them closely, so that was nice. There were some small differences that I noticed to be uniquely mine.

Oh well, I guess I have 2 pairs of earphones. Time to disinfect and claim them as my own?

No no no, I really do need to find their owner. They probably miss them alot.

Late Night Studies

*My friend was playing music while I was writing this, so I am sorry if some of this post will not make sense.*

Me again, and I am not getting as much work done as I had intended. Right now, I’m sitting in the hall lounge with a friend trying to complete an anthropology essay we have due Thursday. It’s 2am. And we are coming from a February break (4 days). Oh fun.

We’re entering our fourth week of classes, and I am already feeling a little overwhelmed by college. It’s not that the information I am learning is particularly hard or difficult to grasp. It’s more like I am having  a hard time finding that balance between work, extracurriculars, and school. I want to focus more time to my academics, but I feel like I cannot without sacrificing something else. And it is true: some things need to be sacrificed. But what?

That is the hardest thing for me to decide this semester. I am now involved in many activities that I love doing, but finding the balance and time for all of them is the challenge. I wish I knew how to prioritize better.

Another thing is prioritizing homework assignments. I have a hard time knowing which assignment to complete first when I have so much to do. And this happens often because… in college, you will always have work to do. When I have too much work to do, I end up getting caught up in figuring out which assignment to do first, and I am too busy scheduling that it does not leave me much time to actually do the work. If you look at my planner right now, it is super organized with deadlines and assignments, but you will not see too many check marks beside them.

Having so many assignments to complete also divides my attention into a billion different ways. As a result, I give partial effort to all my assignments rather than giving it the amount of time it needs. I am too paranoid to finish another assignment that I quickly span to the other assignment without finishing the one I was working on. I also tend to waste time by going out for walks, constantly searching for a new study site even though my original location was fine, talking with friends, and, more times than not, cleaning. I cannot tell you just how organized and crisp my room looks when I am super stressed out. I remember hearing from an inspirational speaker that people tend to do the second most important thing when they are procrastinating, and I can honestly attest to this.

Maybe this blog post is another evidence of my procrastination. I wanted to say that it is “jogging my thoughts for this anthro essay”, but I think it has dragged on enough for me to say that it was just for pure procrastination. Okay, back to work.