Sunday, June 20, 2010

amor amor

Kari & I

Jill & I

Kari & I walking back inside

More of the models walking back inside after our last walk

I just love how I'm glowing in this lol

All the models from the Winestyles fashion show

Closer-up; my boss Jen is the super-cool looking one with her sunglasses on ;)

I ♥ you DeeDee. I hope you had an awesome father's day!

So that was the fashion show I was so excited for in my last entry. It was so much fun, and I met some really sweet girls. Kimberly and Chris were so awesome filming it, both of their first time filming for television and I have no doubt it'll blow us away. My hair was pretty wild huh? It was 3 inches taller when it was first done! I could NOT get the hairspray out in the shower too. Anyway thought I'd share with you. On to what's on my ♥&mind:

That time of year thou mayst in me behold 
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, 
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. 
In me thou seest the twilight of such day 
As after sunset fadeth in the west, 
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. 
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire 
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, 
As the death-bed whereon it must expire 
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by. 
   This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
   To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Sonnet #73- W.Shakespeare 

I've had this blog for a little while now and I love writing it. I've promised not to write about my past relationship drama- I won't allow it to consume my life or energy. If you wrote me with advice or just sympathy thank you, I was really impressed that strangers would reach out to me. The internet is such a blessing in that way; some argue it polarizes people and now we have no genuine interaction, but I disagree. You wrote me some things I really needed to take to heart and I am very, very grateful. 

I've been reading a lot lately, and while re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia I've felt some sort of pang or prick in my conscious that is vague and nameless. It's always when Aslan is involved. I've been questioning where I am with my beliefs. I say I believe in God and Christ but I spend no time praying or learning more about them. It seems like weeks go by so swiftly without pause for this kind of thinking. My religious background is with the Church if Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon). I had a very rebellious adolescence, though with no boundaries to rebel against. I left for a private LDS school in Virginia when I was 17 and came home last November. I hadn't considered myself Mormon since last February, and since I have had doubts in my choice and reassurances as well. I am happier than I have ever been in my life, though I've only ever had the extremes: very devout or wild, and finding I do have a complete grasp on self-governance is wonderful. So is this 'prick' I mentioned some residue of a guilt drilled into me in my devout days? Or is it my very soul resonating with truth?

What I do know is that we are more than flesh. I had a friend say 'immortals in mortal bodies' and how it's hell, and sometimes it is. Yet we are each so powerful:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it's in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence liberates others."

-Nelson Mandela

Whatever 'God' is to you- be it general goodness as Plato's forms or a very specific deity as the Christian God is, we are of goodness and we are divine. I don't know how to pledge myself to a religion when what I believe is somehow so defined and yet undefined. 

This is one of my dearest beliefs; love is Godly. I don't mean love for your fellow man (though that is) I mean being in love. That feeling of completeness with that person, the unspeakable feeling of true belonging is incredible. Love, real love, calms your fears. It makes no sense but you can do more knowing you belong, your mind free from that sort of worry and more is accomplished.

But with all things we err, and we have to choose what we let in our lives. Compromises are essential but sometimes you can't, like when it comes to your personal freedom or happiness. Love isn't jealous. As Martin Luther said 'sin boldly' I say 'love boldly' and accept that there will be need for forgiveness and there will be mistakes. I'm writing this all to myself I hope you know, this isn't hypocritical ramblings. Sometimes I have to hear myself say (or read what I write) to solidify a resolution or accept a truth. You've written me with kind words and sage advice, as well as destain and accusations. The former is much greater but to the latter I can't defend writing a blog. It's an interactive diary and it was a very hard thing for me to decide to do and I've been so scared to share myself. I'm learning a lot as I do this and as I hear from you. I believe this is a good thing and that we can learn from and uplift one another, from our computer chairs or sitting in a coffee shop. I'm on my couch with my laptop and sharing what's in my heart and mind with you wherever you are. How is this not miraculous, intimate, and very human? 

I wish you love.



Monday, June 7, 2010

my semester abroad

Some photos from Zhongguo

China's side of the world

Stone Lion at Sun-Yat-Sen Park

The yingwen laoshi (English teachers) from Southern Virginia University

The guards of our apartment complex, neighborhood and local middle school

Racing home from karaoke 

Impromptu dance party in the stairwell!

The downtown of the city I lived in, Zhongshan

This is my favorite mannequin I saw, but they were all strange & amazing

An ad for Converse shoes- they're huge in China

My chinese flash cards on my iPod. The least necessary word

Chinese translations to English are always beautiful and off a bit

Chinese checkers are for real! Unlike sesame chicken and fortune cookies

If you found numchucks you would battle too ;)


Weekend trip to Guiyang. We got on any random bus and ended up out here,

and it was beautiful

My entire stay in China I never saw any churches. To stumble across this little one in the middle of nowhere was beyond cool. It was under construction but the priest happened to be on site and unlocked it for us and showed us around,

He was so cool!

The horror! (and eventual yumminess). 

I just love this photo. I was in China for the elections and had to fill out an absentee ballot. Every foreigner I met LOVED Obama. I had so many interesting discussions that opened my eyes a lot to different cultures

It's the same in every language

They don't call it the People's Republic for nothin'

Have you had your daily dose of dictator?

Mao's memorial in Beijing. The pavilion went as far as I could see and there were thousands streaming in to see him

I love her style! what a cutie ♥

The forbidden city

The temple of heaven,

a stark contrast of old a new

Our group hiked up to the "unrestored" great wall. Which crumbled beneath our feet and is still the most dangerous/ incredible thing I have ever done, in Ugg boots or otherwise

This reminds me of the labyrinth, one of my favorite movies

Our guide was impossibly old and could leap around like a goat. in slippers. 

Our crew from the youth hostel. Australian, German, American and Finnish. 

Delicious food after our 5 hour trek! 

I didn't post any photos of my students, I would need a whole entry for sure! China was incredible, I couldn't be happier I went and learned all I did. I fell in love with travel, hostels and meeting all sorts of people. Hopefully I'll go again soon, and maybe to Japan as well. I desperately want to see Japan! Then Egypt, France, Scotland, Switzerland . . . 

As for my relationship fiasco, I've been so thankful for everyone's kind words. I've had so much good advice to just stick by my choice and I'm really grateful! It's so hard to leave someone you've loved so much no matter what they do to you. I guess it's one of life's paradoxes. It makes it that much harder when they will do anything, no matter how destructive, to stay in your life and keep your attention. My advice if you face a similar situation is to understand what they are capable of and accept it as collateral damage. Freedom and happiness is worth whatever price! I'm so lucky I have such good friends, and I've been going out more which has helped me so much. I'm going to be more social :). Kimberly I don't know what I would do without you ♥!!! In short, I am well and keeping busy, and I am so so thankful for everyone's advice. 
So where have you been? What's your favorite place? I'd love recommendations, and travel stories are always the best! Hope you're well. Love,