Monday, March 22, 2010

I'd Rather Be With You

Now that the first week post Spring Break has ended my life is resuming to normality. Last week was ridiculously busy and I had to be motivated even though all I really wanted to do was look through pictures of Jamaica and be home. I was able to go home last weekend for Saturday and Sunday so that was nice, but not nearly long enough.

The Jamaica trip was amazing. I decided to do this trip on a whim. It was something I had thought about since last year but didn't have any plan about going. The deadline for applying passed, but I kept thinking about it and asked my parents if I should see if I could still apply. I was so nervous about going on a trip where I knew virtually no one else. A few girls from my sorority went as well but I wasn't very close to them prior to the trip. Another girl I was on dance team with last year was a veteran on the trip. The two mission trips I had been on before had been with teams from my church and so my dad or best friends were right there with me.

I think this trip may have even been better because it caused me to step outside my comfort zone and get to know other people I may normally have never even met before. It's been a great resource over the past week -- I ended up doing a "Rebuilding the Wall" service project downtown with a group from the YMCA and went to church with a few people from the group as well. You can check out the blogs we wrote during the trip here:
you have to scroll down a little bit to find mine.

It's always different coming out of a mission trip. I like to think of it as free falling: The whole week you feel free and alive and like your life really has purpose. Then you have to come home, the equivalent of slamming to the ground. Real life is back, you have to put up with petty issues and attend meaningless classes. My mom has really helped me to remember that there are great ways to help in the community here. I don't just have to be in a foreign country to make a difference or help other people. That's a good perspective to have and something I'm working on.

I just miss Haiti, St. Vincent, and Jamaica. I like everything about the Caribbean (I mean, it's hard to dislike). Don't get me wrong, I hate the poverty. I hate that people are struggling to survive there everyday.
But I love their carefree attitudes.
I love that they have 70 different jobs and one of those probably includes trying to resell you a 50 cent bottle of water for $3.
I love the way they pray and are so passionate about their faith.
I love that they get dressed up like it's Easter Sunday every week for church.
I love the ingenuity of the children and their appreciation for the little that they have.
I love the unconditional love they shower you with. They don't know you or where you came from, but they love you anyways.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Taking the Spanx off life

My goal is to blog every day this week...and for each of them to be an entertaining good read!

So hopefully everyone knows what Spanx are. They are basically torture devices created to convince women that they look slimmer in whatever they are wearing (apparently they make undershirts for men now too). Think modern day corset. Maybe there are some people that find these effective and comfortable, but I am not one of those people.

It looks harmless, right? WRONG. Last week I had to dress up for a presentation and since I was spending so much time diligently working on my project I didn't have time to hit the HRC. I had bought one of these devices over break to wear with a dress that looked slightly more sleek with it on. Somehow I thought that wearing something that sucked all of the stuff that's supposed to be on the outside of my body into my visceral organs would be both attractive and comfortable.

I put the camisole-like thing on and was feeling pretty good. I put on the rest of my clothes and ventured into the formal living room of the Kappa Alpha Theta to finish up some homework. After a few minutes my breathing shortened. I felt like my ribs were being squeezed together by a vice. I started going in and out of consciousness...okay so I'm being a little dramatic. However, it was NOT working for me! I had to take that off and just deal with my body for the day. Inhaling never felt so good!

Sometimes if we try to hold things in or suck it up and pretend like a problem or worry isn't present it's a lot more uncomfortable than if we just let it out. You have to be real. Maybe a situation isn't what you expected or hoped, or perhaps you don't have the courage to say something that you've been holding in for a long time. Eventually your figurative ribs will start screaming, and chances are it will not be pretty. So be real, face up to the challenges life brings you and don't be afraid to take the Spanx off.