Growing Up and Avocados

I’ve always walked a fine line of being perfectly healthy and utterly unhealthy.

I never drink soda, energy drinks, or coffee. I don’t like donuts because they’re too sweet for me.

However, I do have impulses to eat any and all food in front of me without any self control to stop, especially when it comes to binge-worthy snacks like chips or cookies, though I rarely buy them on my own. I always got excited for random road trips where we stop at McDonalds for McFlurries or fries. I never liked vegetables as a kid. I liked the basic ones like corn and carrots, sometimes peas or green beans, but I would be repulsed at the sight of an avocado back in the day.

But, lately, something has changed.

My family always said it’d happen eventually, that I’d eventually start liking the vegetables. I’d always say no to them when we’re out at restaurants and laughed at them for thinking I’d change. Vegetables were disgusting, weren’t they?

But the last several times I’ve had fast food, I’ve felt sick to my stomach and just thinking about having it makes me sick. I bought snacks today, but just a couple bites made me put them back in the drawer and I’ve had no desire to bring them out like I usually do. I’ve said no thank you to ordering desserts at restaurants and haven’t had anything else to drink this week except water and half a strawberry lemonade.

Photo Credit: delish.com

Then, there’s the vegetables. Brussel sprouts have become one of my top favorite vegetables and I get excited for them when they’re at restaurants. Whenever I go home and my uncle asks me what I want for dinner, I get more excited about asparagus than anything else and lately I’ve had a strong craving for guacamole, something I used to cringe at the thought of.

I guess it’s weird. I didn’t imagine the day I’d like avocados – or any other vegetable for that matter – would ever come, but it did. It might just be my taste buds changing, but I guess it’s just a part of growing up.

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The C-word

“Easter-worshipers.” What does that even mean?  Yes, we were at church on Easter, but, no, that does not mean we are Easter-worshipers.  It means we are the scary C-word.

We did not go to a service to worship Easter, we were there to worship the day Jesus Christ did the unthinkable, unimaginable, impossible, and rose from the dead.

I did not sit in those pews to talk about the Easter bunny and think about the Easter egg hunt I would be helping out with later.  I sat in pews to talk about and worship my savior.

Those people whose lives were taken from them did not go to church that day planning to worship Easter.  They went there to hear about Jesus Christ and how he died on the cross for our sins.  They were there because they were the C-words or at least interested in learning about the C-word.

The C-word is not a bad word and I am tired of feeling like it is.  True C-words are the most loving people.  We are taught to love everyone and forgive everyone like God does.  Yet these past few years I have started to feel as though being a C-word is wrong and I am a horrible person.  And this past week, holy week, has made me scared about my future as a C-word with all the attacks on C-words.  The media can’t even say the C-word.

We are Christians and proud, so don’t be afraid to call us what we are: Christians.

The Other Night

I woke up under the stars the other night. There were so many and, though I couldn’t nearly see all of them, it reminded me of how pretty, plain beautiful our universe is.

I woke up on a slick rock in a canyon in Utah. I woke up a couple times that night, the rock was pretty slanted and not that comfortable, but I didn’t mind. Everything around me was too beautiful to mind being awake.

I woke up and my nose was cold. Aside from that, I was cozy in my sleeping bag, but the breezy fresh air made my face all cold. But, once again, I didn’t mind.

Photo Credit: farm3.staticflickr.com

I always forget how much I love camping. But then, when I go, I fall in love with it entirely. I love hiking for hours and watching the landscape change around you. I love having nothing to worry about other than making a good fire and finding water to filter. I love to not set foot into a building for days and I love waking up at night underneath the stars, being reminded of how pretty our universe is.

Of course camping can be stressful sometimes, like when the blisters on your feet are burning and you know you still have miles left to go or when you’re wearing all the layers you can possibly wear, but you’re still freezing in your sleeping bag. But, again, I don’t really mind those things all too much. The freeze-dried food, the soaked shoes, the farmer’s tan, it was all worth it once again. Because, the other night, I got to wake up underneath the stars in Utah and it was so beautiful.

Runs Like This

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

School was hard today; long homework assignments on top of essays on top of tests on top of projects and, to make my day more stressful, I spent hours anxious and worried about fears in my head. To top it off, I skipped lunch to try and end a relationship with a boy without hurting his feelings, but it made the situation worse.  By my last class period, my brain was throbbing wanting to explode and my anxiety was through the roof.

I wanted to lay in bed and cry, but I thought of a semicolon and put on my running clothes.

This is where my day started to change.

I asked an amazing girl if she wanted to run with me, I knew she had to run today anyway because she is training for a half marathon, so I thought we could run together.

She said yes and we set off for a five mile run.

After about two hundred feet, a sharp pain in my calf that I get often when I run started to scream inside my leg. My negative mind set began to kick in. I’m going to slow her down… This run is going to suck. You’re not going to be able to do this. You’re such a slow runner. This is why your coach isn’t proud of you. This is why you won’t make it to CIF. 

Luckily, I made an amazing decision: I took a deep breath, cast out the negative voices,  and just kept running.

My running parter and I talked about school and life and running. We talked until we both fell silent as we slipped under the spell of running: our movements connected directly to our breath, the pain became a faint feeling instead of an all-encompassing sensation, our foot steps made a clip-clop clip-clop rhythm. Our breathing was all our mind focused on and we became encompassed in the aura of running.

Breath in, step step, breath out, step step, breath in, step step, breath out, step step…

My breathing was like a conductor and my footsteps were the orchestra.

I usually run alone and it’s crazy how much running with other people can change your running experience. Even when we weren’t talking, I felt like my running partner was there for me. If I fell, she would catch me. If I needed to slow down, she would stay with me. If I wanted to run ten more miles, she would run with me and I hope she knows that I would do the exact same for her. If you are reading this right now, I hope you know how grateful I am to run with you.

When you’re in the zen of running, you go with the flow, you are supportive of your peers, and you are supportive of yourself. This is how I was today.

My legs felt strong, my mind felt clear. I was next to an amazing girl, surrounded by beautiful scenery. I was happy.

Once we got to our destination, we bought drinks, smiled, laughed, talked, and stretched out our aching muscles.

Running is an unpredictable sport. Somedays you’ll run a mile and your legs will feel like lead. You’ll be miserable, in pain, and want to stop. Other days, you’ll run ten miles and feel amazing, like you could keep going forever.

On bad running days, your brain will say “stop running,” your body will say “stop running,” but you need to find it in your heart to say “keep running.”

Runs like today are the reason my heart says “keep running.”

After bad workouts, bad races, and times where I want to quit, I will think back to the run I did today and think: “Runs like that are why I love running.”

can’t write

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

I’ve written so many drafts trying to talk about this, but no matter what I write nothing sounds right.  This is not something I can write in one sitting.  The words have to be perfect.

It seems like no matter how many times I write it, it still sounds horrible.  I can’t even write this post where I don’t say what the other post says.

I can’t bring up what is in the other post because just bringing it up is not right to me.  Everything about it has to be perfect.

It will probably be the last blog post I write because that is how long it will take to perfect.  The thing I want to say is probably one of the hardest things I have ever written.  I don’t know how to not sound naive when saying it.

I hope that I can actually put it into words and that it is enough for him.

A While

It’s been a while since we’ve all been birds,

since we’ve embraced our cold grey skies,

photo credit: ak9.picdn.net

flapped our wings,

chirped a song,

scattered across the horizon,

with no care but its infinite existence.

It’s been a while since we’ve been wildflowers,

since we’ve sprouted with the spring,

mismatched our colors,

photo credit: cdn.pixabay.com

and lived within that beauty of simply living.

It’s been a while since

we’ve shot our birds

and mowed down our flowers.

It’s been a while since we’ve figured that

there’s a different way to live,

with scary grey skies and plain flowers.

It’s been a while since we’ve forgotten our ways,

our happy freedom and

our beautiful purposelessness.

It’s only now that we realize that

there’s no going back.

Wanderlust

I want to study abroad.

I don’t mean in the literal sense of going with a program affiliated with my college. Not for a set period of time with a specific set of courses.

I want to get on a plane and leave. Travel to beautiful destinations around the world I decide to go to right before I get there. I want to study the ancient artwork in museums and the architecture of the untouched, historical buildings. I want to go to small concert venues and listen to local music, but also try all the food the country has to offer without being a picky eater.

I want to meet the people who live there and leave being friends with them or at least leave knowing a part of their story even if I never see them again.

There’s a feeling called sonder: a sudden realization that each passerby has a life as vivid as your own with their own experiences, quirks, and interests. I don’t want to know they have them; I want to live them.

I want to be a tourist in the streets someone has grown up in their whole life, but, soon, find myself a local even only for a couple nights. I want to go to a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant that I may never return to, but is someone’s favorite place to go every night. I’ll learn a few words in every language of the countries I visit, a language that might be someone’s only language that I now have a very small understanding of.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

When I went to Prague and Vienna over spring break, my favorite part was the free time in the cities. Though we were always in the tourist areas, I sometimes caught a glimpse of what life was like for the people who actually lived there every time I walked into an ice cream shop or passed someone on the streets heading to work.

This world is so big. There’s so many countries to explore and I don’t know if I’ll even get close to covering half of it, but it’s also so small. It’s a ten hour plane ride across the Atlantic and a simple text message to talk to someone across the globe. It’s both incredible and horrifying, but I can’t wait to explore it all.