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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Balancing Pride

College has taught me so many things so quickly that it’s ridiculous. Most recently, I have realized two things: 1) that I am a swirling mess of emotions, and 2) that I need to get over myself. It’s really easy to say what we think or what we feel, or what we want to happen. But how often do we take the time to truly understand what we are actually feeling?

I’m still struggling with this blogging thing in a couple of ways. For one, I have not posted anything in far too long. I plan on changing this. One of the main reasons for starting this was to have a place to vent what’s on my mind in a semi-organized way—to have a medium for “putting myself out there.” Also, there is this delicate balance between what one can and cannot (or should and shouldn’t) actually post online. But then again, if I just decided to journal, I’m pretty sure I would have no motivation to actually do it.

Now, on the first topic, sometimes I feel like such a mess. I let my emotions run so out of balance that I’m not really sure how to even begin to articulate them, or even know for sure if I’m “ok” or not. Then add to that the sleep deprivation that comes with college. Not a pretty formula. I am learning to find balance in that area. I think I’m learning to find balance in just about everything right now. It’s really easy to just say: “emotions are stupid” and try to move on. But there’s no moving on without first confronting what you feel, head on. Things don’t just go away. Oh, how I wish life was Dora the Explorer and problems were Swiper. But life doesn’t work like that. One of the beauties of life is that we don’t have an easy button. We have to find ways every day to realize how beautiful what we feel is. Our emotions, as we understand them, are one of the many things that make us human. We should rejoice in our pain because we can recognize it and move through it. Imagine a life where everyone was great all the time—we wouldn’t grow. It would be taking rain away from a tree. We would die without the things that we feel are sucking the life from us.

On the second note, I’ve found that it’s way too easy for me to develop a warped sense of pride. It’s an odd paradox. I think that I’ve been trying so hard to be humble that I’ve forgotten the reasons why and I’ve been attempting to wear it on my chest like a button. I’ve tried so hard to push myself to a higher standard that I’ve subconscious developed a sense of feeling that I’m “better” than other people. I know that sounds terrible, but think about it: we try to be something better than what is around us, and something better than what is expected of us. So, if we become a better person, is it wrong to say that we are “better” than those who aren’t trying to push themselves? Is it so wrong to compare ourselves to others when we have such a nature for competition? We are taught that we are all equal, and we are, in a sense. No one of us is any less valuable than another in terms of the value of our lives. But how can you compliment someone without that compliment being based on comparing that person to other people? In saying someone is a great man or woman, really we are implying that others are not, or at least that the average person at least not as good of a person. But culturally we have been taught that it’s wrong to think you’re “better” than anyone else, even though we are also taught to make ourselves into better people. It’s a thin line, and I expected to have some conclusion to share on this by the end of writing this. But I’m pretty sure that this is a question I’ll never have an answer to. Pretty sure that English needs some more concise words to explain some of these topics so we have a better point of reference to think about them.

Either way, I am learning every day how important it is to be involved with the lives of other people. To feed and be fed, to correct and be corrected, to love and be loved back. I’m especially struggling with the being loved back part—not that is’ not expressed, but that I can’t always receive it. I know that I have been blessed more than I know what to do with, and I’ve arrived at the conclusion that feeling alone does not mean that there is no one there for you; instead, it is usually you (or me in this case) failing to realize who is there and in what ways. Feeling alone is the ultimate way to slap your friends in the face and stab them in the back. Pride in the only thing that stands in the way of receiving the love people naturally try to give.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

50 things that make me happy

So, I saw someone do something like this on Facebook, and thought it would be a good idea.

1. Washing my hands

2. Long showers

3. Good friends

4. Saginaw valley state university

5. Songs that seem really random but actually have a deeper meaning

6. Music in general

7. Poetry

8. Dance (esp. West coast swing, ticking, and breaking)

9. When two people are thinking the exact same thing

10. Making people smile

11. The city of Woodhaven, MI

12. Facebook

13. Conversations about Christianity

14. Church

15. My church family

16. Pictures

17. Videos

18. Contact lenses

19. Winter

20. Being positive

21. Expensive headphones

22. Being able to feel sound

23. Words

24. Black Paper-mate pens

25. Watching west coast swing videos on Youtube

26. Learning west coast swing moves from Youtube

27. Watching music videos on Youtube

28. Youtube in general

29. The internet in general

30. When my hair has waves in it

31. Girls with red hair

32. My cd collection

33. Dvds

34. When Arby’s had wraps

35. The word divergent

36. Clothes fresh out of the dryer

37. The word bizarre

38. Bible study

39. Green dove soap

40. Traditional Indian music

41. Pachebel’s canon in d

42. Talking to people in person

43. Watching people as they walk by

44. Good movies

45. Prayer

46. Sharing music

47. Laptop computers

48. iPods

49. Laughing

50. Good pictures

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Far Away Performance

If you haven't seen it already, check out this video of me rapping with the band from my Bible study group up at SVSU. It's an adaptation of Lecrae's "Far Away."

It's a little hard to hear the words, but the lyrics are in the description to help to follow along. Let me know what you think!

Fight With Tools--"There's a War Going on For Your Mind"

I love this piece of spoken word from the intro to the Flobots cd "Fight With Tools." Thought it was worth sharing.

There's A War Going On For Your Mind

Media mavens mount surgical strikes from trapper keeper collages and online magazine racks
Cover girl cutouts throw up pop-up ads
Infecting victims with silicone shrapnel
Worldwide passenger pigeons deploy paratroopers
Now it's raining pornography
Lovers take shelter
Post-production debutantes pursue you in Nascar chariots
They construct ransom letters from Biblical passages and bleed mascara into the holy water

There's a war going on for your mind

Industry insiders slang test tube babies to corporate crack heads
They flash logos and blast ghettos
Their embroidered neckties say "Stop Snitchin"
Conscious rappers and whistle blowers get stitches made of acupuncture needles and marionette

There is a war going on for your mind

Professional wrestlers and vice presidents want you to believe them
The desert sky is their blue screen
They superimpose explosions
They shout at you
"Pay no attention to the men behind the barbed curtain
Nor the craters beneath the draped flags
Those hoods are there for your protection
And meteors these days are the size of corpses"

There's a war going on for your mind


Often when people talk about pride, it’s from the standpoint of having too much and needing to be humble. If I may, I’d like to talk about it from another angle—healthy pride.

It is so important in this life to try to figure out who we are as people. A big part of this is developing a sense of being proud of ourselves and the things we hold dear to us. Very often, I look back at who I was, even just a few short years ago. I wasn’t proud of the person I was, but over time I made sure that I developed into someone that I could be proud of—someone that I hope others can honestly say they are proud to know. When I was a younger teenager, I had to do a lot of catching up and growing. I spent a lot of time being fed up and losing hope. I felt awkward. At times, I just didn’t care about much anything. But all the while I knew that there was some form of greatness within me that I just needed to tap in to (and I’m sure this sounds quite typical and/or cliché, but there’s more to it. Maybe we’ll come back to this later…).

I am the type of person that believes in putting my all into whatever it is I get myself into. If I’m not in it, then I have a hard time being motivated to do it at all. A few months ago, a good friend got me involved with dancing—west coast swing. And I love it. I can barely put into words what it feels like for me to dance. I can feel myself getting better at it and growing continually. Every time is a new experience. And there’s so much support in the dance community; it is truly a beautiful thing. I am so proud of myself as a dancer, the club at SVSU that I am a part of (Music n Motion, w00t w00t!), the people who have taught me, and the dance itself.

Also, I am learning to take pride in my writing. Four years ago, I wasn’t even writing poetry. And when I tried, I was terrible at it. I have come so far, and I know that I am still beginning. Just a day or so ago, I wrote a poem that I honestly believe to be the best one I have written yet. I can feel the power in it, and I know that I love it beyond just being its author.

Having healthy pride is so important, and I’m sure this is a topic I will revisit with more specific emphases.

Still, there are things that I am working on, as far as taking pride in myself and who I am. But, I am working on fixing the things that can be fixed, and accepting those that I cannot.

Shame is an ugly thing.

Monday, June 14, 2010


One thing that bugs me more than anything is complacency. There's this idea that floats around that makes us think we don't need to rise up. This constantly conflicts with our ingrained desire to achieve. The contradiction forces us to fight against our nature and decide who we want to be. The result: a ton of people who don't make any effort to change the world on any scale, or even become something on a personal scale. People settle for making it by instead of realizing that they deserve the best, and it's sad.

I'm sure this is a topic I will often revisit, especially in the context of race.

The way I was raised, I was never used to going out of my way to achieve. I was blessed to be book-smart, so achievement in school wasn't a problem. I was circumstantially permitted to do very well in martial arts at a young age. But, I didn't realize for a long time how important it was to push myself past my natural ability or how things already were.

Some people say that they believe they can accomplish anything. I do not, but I love proving myself wrong.

It's sad how often people fall into a broken mindset. Our souls become crippled through life experiences and negativity. Then often when we do achieve, not everyone, if anyone, is supportive.

I saw this quote as part of a piece of art once:
"The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly"

I don't mind appearing small, because I have become someone that I can be proud of.


Today I decided that I need to do something worthwhile with myself over the summer. I suppose this is the start.

My purpose for starting this blog is twofold. Firstly, it is a personal thing. It will help me get my thoughts out in some type of semi-organized manner while keeping up the flow of writing something so that I don't get rusty. Kind of a release type of thing, like an open book journal. But what good is an open book without a reader? Hopefully, someone, somewhere will read this so that my outlet doesn't fall upon deaf ears. This is also for you, the reader. Hopefully you can find something that is interesting and/or helpful. Most of what I talk about (or blog about, I suppose) will be about my values, things I have observed, things that bug me, God and religion, music, movies, or whatever else I feel needs to be shared, which many times will probably be a ton of random stuff. The goal is to broaden my perspective and hopefully, in turn, help to broaden the perspective of anyone who might be reading.

I wish to uphold my motto of changing the world one person at a time, beginning with myself.

Welcome to Life Through This Window.