I've been putting off this post for weeks, mostly because my non-confrontational side was getting the better of me. This summer has been one of so much change and growth for me, and my opinions on just about everything are shifting. After a lot of thought, I decided that I do want to share some stuff on here, mostly because I'm a big believer in being honest and I don't want to feel like I can't be honest on my blog, of all places!
So, here are a few things I've learned over the summer. This certainly isn't everything, but it's a lot of things I've come to find important. Some of them are certainly cliched...but hey, they're true!
* Life is not going to come to you while you sit there waiting for it. People can't read your mind...they're not going to know that you want to talk to them, or that you want to do things, or even that you care about them, unless you say something. Opportunities are not going to fall into your lap without you persuing them. You have to rise and meet things...they're not going to always just come to you. In fact, they usually won't, and if you remain passive all your life, life will just end up passing you by.
* Putting things in perspective is a great skill to have. For example, just because someone doesn't want to be with you 24/7 and has other people they enjoy spending time with does not mean that you don't matter to them. Just look at it from your own point of view...no matter how much you love someone, you do need time away from them, and just because you need time away does not mean you love them any less. And just the fact that you love other people too does not lessen the value of this person in your life - love doesn't work like that. It doesn't have a certain capacity beyond which it cannot be filled...in fact, the opposite is true. The more you love, the more you are capable of loving.
* Externals really don't matter as much as many people seem to think they do. There are so many amazing people in the world, and it's just not right to completely write someone off because they don't dress or behave quite how you think they should. This is actually something I've started feeling pretty strongly about...I've noticed that there are so many people who adopt a very judgmental and non-Christian attitude towards most people they meet. Jesus Himself said that whoever among us is without sin can cast the first stone, and we can never truly know what another person's thoughts or reasons for their actions are. And besides, it is really not up to us to judge if they're right or wrong. No one is going to be reached by judgment and condemnation...only by love. And besides, you miss out on knowing so many wonderful, unique people if all you can see are the things you think they're doing wrong!
* God is love and love is God. Love is truly a beautiful thing, it can be found everywhere if you keep your eyes open, and it is something we all need. There's no shame in needing other people...there is great strength and value in independence, but there is also great strength to be found in admitting that yes, you do need other people.
* Putting a name to problems can really help solve them.
* If you think you know exactly what's going to happen in your life, you are most likely wrong. Things never stop changing, and while plans are good to have, you just have to accept that they are probably going to change once or twice (or ten or twenty...) times along the way.
* If you have fears, you have to face them...you can't let them consume you. This is so much more easily said than done, but it's true. A life ruled by fear is a miserable thing. Even if facing your fears is absolutely terrifying, it does get easier and you will have more regrets about not trying than you ever would have if you just remained in your safety zone. It's painful, it takes time and worry and tears, but knowing that you are breaking out and gaining independence and control over your life is worth it.
* And finally...the world is not a horrible place. Just because people are different from you (maybe they dress differently, attend a different church, have a different means of education) does not mean they are terrible people. I really believe that it is so, so important to view everyone as an individual person and not just judge them and cram them into categories. God made the world and everyone in it, and He loves each and every one of them more than we could imagine. Loving our neighbor does not mean judging our neighbor...it means loving them.
So yeah, that's an idea of what my thoughts have been in the past few months. It's certainly not everything, and I also certainly don't think I have all the answers now, but at least some things are starting to be clearer.
So, here's a quick update on my life, which is finally feeling like less of a black fog as far as what's happening in the near future goes!
"Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" finished about two weeks ago. It was the most amazing performance experience I've ever had, and I miss it and everyone involved sooooo much! It was such a unique show...I recommend reading this blog post about it, since it's the best explanation of it I've ever read. I learned so much from being a part of Introspect, and I've also decided that I do want to stay involved in theater. The whole experience mirrored what it would be like to be a professional a bit more closely than any other show I've been in, and I just loved it. It's just such a powerful medium, the opportunities are endless, dance is my passion, and I need theater people in my life. :)
I'm starting college in about a month! College had been extremely up in the air for basically forever, but to make a very long story short, I was accepted and given a very, very good financial aid offer at the university in town! I'm sooooo happy about this...I'd pretty much given up hope that I'd be able to go anywhere in the fall semester, both because I'd applied so late and also because I really did not want to completely wipe out my savings account right in the first semester. Classes start September 6...I don't know what exactly I'm taking yet since I still need to take placement tests and register. So I'll go there this year and transfer somewhere else next fall...I haven't decided where. That's another reason I'm super happy about all the financial aid - I'll actually be able to visit schools I'm interested in!
You may have noticed, I sort of overhauled my blog. I was actually toying with the idea of starting a completely new one, but I decided against it for a variety of reasons...I still really like this name and couldn't think of a better one; I have a lot of followers; and even though I've changed incredibly much and now strongly disagree with a lot of stuff I posted in the past, I am still me and it just shows how I've grown.
So, there's a post. Finally! I'm amazed that this still gets visitors every day...now you have something new to read!