Saturday, July 23, 2011

One thing at a time...

I am not quite sure if anyone even reads this mundane description of my twenty-first year, or if I am blogging just to hopefully spur myself onto actually living life. Either way, I suppose the latter is more than enough reason to write. If it takes me actually writing down, or in this case typing, goals for me to accomplish and recording my path to meeting those goals, then what does it matter? The purpose of goals is to meet them right? So therefore the means to this particular end does not really matter. ...Now that I have completely justified to myself that this blog is not a waste of time, I'll actually get to the purpose of this entry.

I have completed two goals! Well, one is still in the process, but I can officially mark off number two: "Swim in a lake, something much larger than Cricket and Levi's Uncle Larry's pond."  Due to the decision to forego The Sound of Music, Miss Caitlyn Gallip and I decided to work on my list after I got off work at 710. We drove to her aunt's dock at Lake of Egypt and went swimming! Although it isn't Lake Michigan or even Kentucky Lake, it was much, much larger than Uncle Larry's pond. I am not sure exactly what I was expecting when I swam in a lake, but it was awkwardly warm with cool currents every now and then. The fact that I couldn't see anywhere around me was intimidating in itself, but I have to say that the most intense part was the realization that I, in fact, do not know how to swim. So note to all of my blog readers, provided that you do actually exist, just because you can "swim" in a 5 foot pool, does not mean that you can SWIM in a lake. Start to sink a little in a pool? Put your foot down. Start to sink in a pond? Kick like mad and flail your arms, praying that you can just keep your head above water. Praise Jesus for Caitlyn who was very supportive through the entire freak-out moment when I thought I was going to sink. Apparently your body will simply float if you stop the spasms and lay on your back. Good to know. Anyway! That is accomplished goal number one. Here are a few pictures: (*Please disregard the awful pale and rather voluptuous appendages known as my legs. Never said I was a model!)
 This is my attempt at "swimming" as Caitlyn conveniently stood on the dock. Staying still enough for a picture was impossible. I am just happy my face didn't have a look of terror. 
The second time I jumped into the lake. Caitlyn jumped in with me on the first time, after several counts to three. I am assuming most people hold their noses and I am not just some lame-o. (At least that is what I am hoping...)

Ok! Lake goal completed! I am still working on the rest. I am preparing myself for the man-movie extravaganza. Rocky and Rambo are on standby. I am just building anticipation at this point :)

Until next time, smile often,
-stephanie lynn

Thursday, July 7, 2011

If only, if only...

Originally this blog was going to be used as a description of the items I accomplished from my countdown. Sadly though, I am tanking. Trying to find time for any of these items is impossible. I am hoping though that once school starts, I can make time for, well, myself. This summer is beyond busy. I didn't realize how much work two summer classes would be on top of working at camp full time and at 710 on Saturdays. Say hello to the girl who bit off more than she can chew. I feel like I am a continual step behind in my classes. Even though I turn in my assignments on time, I am under constant pressure. The reason is all my fault. This I know. Because in my free time all I want to do is anything besides school.

I had such high ambitions for "seizing the day." I look at some of my friends with such jealousy. They experience life the moment they are living in it. I, on the other hand, am constantly filling my moments with stuff without regard to the days, weeks, and now month that has passed by me. Not that I think of camp as "stuff" or devalue my education; I just wish I would spend more time enjoying the sun, heck even the rain.

Last week's church camp theme was fear. I've realized this week upon staring at the mound of homework awaiting me that there has to be a reason why I never take a break. Is it because the work and school work needs to be done so I can graduate? Yes, but that's not truly it. Homework, school, work, they can all serve a shield. It gives me an excuse to put life on the back burner. I never have to worry about not fitting in. I never have to be concerned with how I look. I never have to fret over if the people I'm hanging out with like me, or if they are just obligated to spend time with me. I can just say "Oh, I have homework..." check into my sweatpants and hit the books. And for some reason, it never occurred to me that in doing so, I'm checking out on life.

I miss it. I miss laughing. I miss singing. I miss running through the puddles barefoot at camp after it rains and they are warm from the sun. I miss experiencing all of the small things life has to offer. I miss the big things too. Due to unfortunate circumstances, it looks like Ireland may not happen. Instead of buying a ticket and heading out myself, of organizing a mission trip to Kenya to see Tim and Elizabeth (the charity I'm donating to: Checklist #3), instead of going, I'm staying. I'm saving my money. I'm going to be responsible.

What is it about living life that makes us think it's irresponsible? What it is about storing up all our grain even though we aren't promised to ever be here to use it. Instead of taking that grain and making one heck of a loaf of bread now, slathering on some apple butter, and chowing down, we grab a salad from McDonald's and dream about how awesome that bread is going to taste...someday.

This blog isn't supposed to be a lament. I just wish living in the moment was easier. I wish I wasn't so afraid to embrace life. To live, and love, fearlessly. But instead I'm just a wolf crying, "If only, if only..."

“If only, if only, the woodpecker sighs, The bark on the tree was as soft as the skies. The wolf waits below, hungry and lonely, and cries to the moon, if only, if only.”