Friday, December 31, 2010

Elvis lives.

I got a package from Ben Schnell the other day. No note. Just this...


"TRUE FANS FOR ELVIS FAN CLUB"

This is an awkward picture, I know, but I was trying to highlight the awesomeness that is this dress/shirt.


This is Ellie and Sheldon--my step niece and nephew?
Ellie told me she wasn't ashamed to be seen with me.

I have now been privy to two random costume gifts. I love what this says about my friends and I love what it says about how well they know me.

Thanks Beno-face. You're the bomb dot com.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

preferred?

I have pink eye. I'm not sure how or why it happened, but it did. I mean it is--happening. Alex Heaton says that it's the prettiest pink eye she's ever seen. She told me stories about her pink eye and how her eye was bubbly and scratchy. Gross. My eye does not bubble nor does it scratch. So that's nice.

I let out a big frustrated growl/groan today when I was getting ready. It's hard to feel attractive when you have pink eye. Pink eye means a pink-ish eye, which means one of your eyes looks weird. Pink eye means no contacts, which means glasses from eighth grade are being rocked. Pink eye means no eye makeup, which means bare eyeballs and a face that I'm not used to looking at.

I don't like that.

I don't like that I don't think people will think I'm as attractive if I'm just wearing my face. And maybe the issue is more that I don't feel as attractive if I'm not wearing makeup--and if I don't see myself as attractive then other people won't view me that way either (isn't that how it works?). We wear makeup to look better than what we really look like? Does anyone else see how this is strange?

I've had a couple friends, and me too, go for periods of time without makeup. Just to kind of--I don't know--take a stand against the ridiculousness of it all. Those are interesting experiences. Interesting because you get vibes when your face is naked like that, especially from guys, if I'm being honest. You just get treated a little differently. A girl told me once that she felt like the guy who was interested in her preferred her wearing makeup.

And that, my friends, sucks.

It sucks to feel like the natural you isn't the preferred you. When being goofy and finally letting loose is received with odd, maybe even annoyed, looks. When talking about computer software and the level you're on in World of Warcraft somehow makes you less worthy of people's time (guilty). And when not knowing enough about politics, social justice, tofu, sports, books, history, celebrities, God, or The Beatles means that you somehow are less...something.
Because, really, that's who you are--and that should be ok.


.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

this is good, too.



They took a three hour drive to come see me yesterday--knowing that they'd have to leave early this morning to catch Chelsea's flight. It was a spontaneous move. They are spontaneous girls. We soaked up our girl time like sponges (the bacteria-free ones). Dinner at Sweet Basil Pizza. LONG talk at Coffee Perk. 3 in a bed.

We woke up this morning to get coffee before they left. I thought about driving back to Spokane with them. Decided it was impractical. Talked about it with the girls. Decided it was spontaneous. No shower. 2 minute pack. Goodbye to my groggy and confused dad. --and we were on the road. We are spontaneous girls.

rest. stop.

When I said my goodbyes at Southern I felt like my heart was breaking. Those feelings and thoughts are for another blog in itself. But for tonight, just know that I realized that I have friends that feed my soul in Washington too. And I needed to remember that. God knew I needed to remember that.

I gotta go. Em is getting impatient. It's hot tub time!


This is my laptop. in the road. as a car is quickly approaching.


Friday, December 17, 2010

stressed = blessed

  • I need sleep = I haven't gone to bed before 2am all week--friend time is just too precious (Amanda and I stayed up until 5:30 am this morning!)
  • I hate packing = I have possessions to pack/my parents are SO helpful
  • There are too many job possibilities--what do I pursue? = I have job possibilities
  • Goodbyes suck = I've invested in this place and in these friendships--deeply.
  • If I choose to live in the NW I'll only have half my heart/If I choose to live in TN I'll only have half my heart = I have two homes
  • I graduated and now the world is wide open = I graduated and now the world is wide open

Friday, December 10, 2010

in the brain

Sometimes when I think about getting married I can't actually picture it happening. Not because I'm all pessimistic and boohooing that no one is ever going to love me, but because it seems so far removed. It's similar to how I feel about Heaven, unfortunately.

Today was my last day of work. No more working for the president. It's been an honor. Seriously.

I realized that I can't decide if I love or hate this cat that I live with. Mostly she frustrates the heck out of me. Like today, I was standing by the couch and she just JUMPED up, SWIPED my arm, and then bolted back under the Christmas tree. Who does that!? Why is she so evil?? But then it occurred to me that I've got a nice little place in my heart carved out for her. Weird.

My room is a mess. I haven't had the time or energy to clean it. But also, I haven't cleaned it because I've been telling myself that I'm going to be packing soon--so why don't I just wait till then? The problem is that I'm not actually leaving for another week. This is also why I haven't had any vegetables for two weeks--I didn't want to buy food if I was just going to leave. Bad. Idea.

When I was a kid my brother and I played cops and indians. It didn't occur to us that it should be different.

This will never be my home again. I don't want to go, I really don't. People keep telling me to stop saying that I'm leaving--but I've got to. I have to vocalize it and turn it over in my head so my heart doesn't rip in half when I get on that plane. I didn't know that friendships like this existed two and half years ago--and now I don't know how I will live without them.

Sometime between 7 and 9pm on Wednesday, December 15 I become part of the real world--as opposed to this fake world I've been living in. Fake, yea right. That's the last word I'd use to describe my life here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

and that's all she wrote

Got an email tonight. I'm not going to India.

I haven't verbalized it to anyone yet... even though I have friends here, sitting in the same room. I want to hold it close for a little bit longer--take time to look closely at the disappointment, turn it over in my mind--then put it on the shelf. For good.

I am having a "chat" with the hiring manager for World Vision tomorrow. It looks promising.

The phrase "Let go and let God" has come to mind several times during this process. I've never said it out loud because it sounds too contrived--too cliche. But you should know that from now on, that's exactly what I'm planning to do.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Aaaand.... BREAK!

Things to look forward to for Thanksgiving break 2010:

  • SLEEP.
  • ROAD TRIP to Florida!
  • Spending Thanksgiving with Nick and his family (I love meeting my friend's families!)
  • GOOD FOOD.
  • Seeing "central" Florida (apparently me going to Kulaqua doesn't quite count as experiencing Florida. Whatever.)
  • Going to Orlando for the weekend to meet/hang out with Melissa's family (I love meeting my friend's families!)
  • Having game night Saturday night with old friends like Eric and Leslie Woodard, Ryan and Monica Yeo and other Florida homies.
  • Maybe going to Busch Gardens?
  • Maybe watching 127 hours? (I'm a little scared to watch this movie... my tummy and heart don't do good with sawed off appendages)
  • Having time to regroup before the whirlwind two weeks that lead to graduation (more on my thoughts about that later)
  • A whole day set aside to think about how lucky we are for what we have.

But first things first... NAP.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Brad, this has more than two paragraphs


[This post has nothing to do with this picture. But sometime
I should tell you about this adventure... and how much I
love my friends here.]



I woke up this morning with the taste of toothpaste still lingering. That's never a good sign. It means that the time between when you brushed your teeth and went to bed and then woke up again wasn't long enough for morning breath to do its damage.

I was up till 4am working on a draft for a 15-20 page paper. It was midnight... and I had 2 pages. Guys, I have senioritus. Full on with procrastination cough and a fever of varying I-don't-want-to-care-anymore degrees. But I must care, because I'm inherently too good of a student to not. So I'm caught in this weird stressful phase of not wanting to care and caring at the same time.

I graduate in four weeks and two days. There are lots of things to do between now and then. Just little things, ya know, like figuring out my FUTURE.

Today was the day I was supposed to hear about India. I've been mentally ticking the days away, excited to actually have a date when I would know the direction my life might be taking. But, I should have known. They told me this morning that Jim isn't coming into the office until Wednesday, and I still may not have an answer by then because there's more to discuss with Asian Aid, Australia. I know there are lots of details that need to be worked out with these kinds of things, so I understand. I think I'm just disappointed and starting to be pretty pessimistic about the outcome. They're probably not going to send me. This was too good to be true. These are the kinds of thoughts that have been running through my head. And you know what? If they don't... it wasn't meant to be. But, oh man, it really seems like it's meant to be.

I just feel like I need this. I need to get out of here. I need something to break me, because I'm so whole (complacent) right now that I'm just barely being stretched. I need a change of scenery, a drastic one. At least that's what I think I need. God tends to have different thoughts on that from time to time. So it's still a waiting game. Wednesday? Next week? Who knows...

BUT He's gonna work it out. He always does. Don't worry, I didn't forget.



Monday, November 8, 2010

fight apathy.

We played our championship football game tonight. Last year we won. This year, we lost. I almost teared up on the sidelines when that dang girl ran the second touchdown in. Isn't that ridiculous? I'm competitive, I guess. But I didn't know I was that competitive.

It's taken me a good two hours to wind down from being upset about the game. And my chest still feels a little unrest. When Amanda drove me home from the game and when we got home I kept saying, "Man I'm upset. How do I make this go away?"

I got an email from my brother tonight telling me that my step-grandpa died. We weren't super close. He married my grandma when I was in high school and I didn't see them much. But still, one of my family members died today and this is only the second time I've thought about it.

There are bigger things happening tonight, Tara. The average age of a girl entering prostitution is 12-years-old. 12. years. old. While I've been typing this one of those 12-year-olds probably had her first customer. And I'm upset about a football game. Look at the big picture, Tara. Stop being so ridiculous.

Hey, the tightness in my chest has lifted. Crap. The tightness in my chest has lifted.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros

Elisa introduced me to this song/video. I love it. However, it takes about 5 minutes to search for it whenever we want to watch it. Now I'll have it forever.


Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

it was one of those moments...

It started out as a joke but then turned into a wonderful reality. Jessi sang me a lullaby when I was going to bed last night. She played the soundtrack in the background and sang along to it. THEN to top it all off her dog chimed in with little howls. It was the sweetest, funniest, most heart-warming thing I've experienced in a long time.

Note for the world: Jessi Turner is one of the most quality people I know.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

india...

I keep seeing things about it. Hearing about it. And reading about it. Sometimes I wonder if that's on purpose. Sometimes I wonder if I'm going to end up in India.

Monday, October 25, 2010

oh future...

Yesterday two people told me that I hadn't written a blog in awhile. This is true. I think it's because the only things I would write about are things that stir deep in my soul. Things that I would share with you, friends, but not things I'd like to announce to the general public.

But here's what I will say... I graduate in 7 weeks and one day. 50 days. Less than two months. And the question of "what's next?" has been quite the lurker. It's only started really stressing me out recently though. Mostly because it's the end of October and I thought I would have it figured out by now.

There are a couple options in the works. And when I say "in the works" I mean in my brain... which is different than actually being in the works (this is a problem, I know).

First option is a non-profit organization that is located right here in Collegedale. They do work in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They have three orphanages, one that works with blind and deaf orphans. They also work with trafficked victims coming across the boarder from Nepal to India. I've watched some of their videos about the work that they do. I can actually feel my heart swelling when I watch their stuff... and when I see those kids. (Please GOD let me go somewhere where I can love children!) I've been talking with this organization about being their writer. And about the possibility of me actually going OVER there and getting content from the field. Um. Dream job. I'll be finding out more about that on Thursday... I hope. But if I did start working for this organization after I get back...do I want to actually LIVE in Tennessee? This is not something I ever thought I would do. Tennessee is soooo NOT where I'm from.

World Vision is also an option. The department that I worked in this summer is adding head count in 2011. Convenient that that's about the time I graduate isn't it? And here's the thing about World Vision... not only is it a wonderful organization that is changing millions of lives... but it is near my NIECE and the rest of my family.

I also could continue to pursue a student missionary position somewhere. Orphanage in India? In South America? In Bangladesh? What about going on the book tour with Emily in February? What about working at Wawona in the summer? Or MiVoden? Or... somewhere else?

So many options that aren't really options! And here's the thing... I just want to do something that I'm passionate about. And I'm aching to serve. And I just want to go. I want to go somewhere where I can do nothing but love and serve. Where my job is to impact people's lives in a positive way. Cause I am a selfish wretch... and I'm tired of being that way. But God is asking me for patience, and I should probably give it to him. He has got a pretty good track record with taking care of my life.

Well look at that, I found something to write about.



Thursday, October 7, 2010

florida.

I'm going to Florida tomorrow. It's the first time I've been. You southerners think that's crazy. You westerners... not so much. I'm going to Kalaqua and helping out with a youth conference... and I'm going with a group of people I don't know. New place, new event, new people = a big ball of newness. This is why I chose to go. Oh man, seeking growth has to be so intentional.

I was recently introduced to Mumford and Sons. I got this text from a friend tonight... it's the lyrics to one of their songs:

in these bodies we will live
in these bodies we will die
where you invest your love
you invest your life

I like that. I like it a lot.

Monday, October 4, 2010

alive.

I decided tonight that one of the reasons I love melancholy music is because it makes me feel. I haven't felt anything deep in my gut for a long time. Some people would call this a blessing. Tonight, I'm not so sure.


Friday, September 24, 2010

stink

Nick and I saved a stray puppy from the brush and wilderness on Wednesday. She has two siblings that are still out there that didn't want to be caught. It breaks my heart thinking about them out in the wilderness, maybe slowly dying? Yeesh. That's a horrid thought. Sorry. Anyway, we brought poor little Stink (we can't name her something cute, we couldn't get attached! PLUS-- she did stink, real bad.) to our home and gave her a nice Dove shampoo bath. Over the days she's slowly stepped out of her shell and right into our hearts. Amanda says she has abandonment issues... Amanda has soft-heart issues. And that formula equals a hard decision. Today is the deadline for decision. Keep her or find a home?

People keep calling or writing us saying they want her. But none of them end up actually taking her. Story of her life, I guess. And I hate that. As I'm typing this I can hear her howling and whining from upstairs. She doesn't like being alone. Man, this stinks.




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

horizontal

She tucked a strand of gray hair behind her ear as she dipped her brush in the paint. Her hand trembled as she put brush to canvas. She’d gotten used to the trembling, embraced it, even. She liked to think that her body was so excited to still be alive that it couldn’t contain itself on the inside any longer.

She loved to create. Beauty from the heart was the only way she measured her paintings. In her 91 years she’d honed this skill… the skill to see beauty, the skill to place things exactly where they deserved. Names didn’t matter, class didn’t either, it was just… a matter of perspective.

She finished the painting and took a step back. She smiled, her wrinkles taking their familiar places after years of laughing. At first glance this painting was… not breath taking. It didn’t look like the edges were finished and if you didn’t look hard enough the colors didn’t seem to mix. But oh, the depth.

Other friends, knowing her love for art, had bought famous paintings for her. Some were originals, some were copies... but all were highly sought after pieces, by the world’s standards. She picked up the painting and slowly walked over to the wall. With trembling hands she lifted it up and placed it among the others. She made sure that the painting wasn’t above and wasn’t below the one next to it. It was equal. It was just as good. “You deserve to be here,” she told the painting, patting it for reassurance.

Then, with a twinkle in her eye, she turned and slowly walked away.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

burst

She stuck her head out the window and jetted her arms towards the sky. The air pushed at her, but she could take it. Sometimes the heart is just too full to be confined in a car.






Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2am... and we skype

"goodnight?"

"I want you to know that this whole 2am thing is your fault, because I tried to stop you at the globe when you were looking at India."

"Tara, it's almost time for MY bed time now."

E: "Hey, you were on Facebook when you were talking to me!?"
T: "You're on Facebook now when you're talking to me!?"








I'll sleep when I'm dead. But in the mean time...

also...

nick comes back on friday.

video

i miss my niece




Monday, September 6, 2010

We are intricate.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

the search

I used to talk to Satan. They were long, pleading ramblings. I was super young, maybe 5 or 6... I distinctly remember sitting in my room and BEGGING Satan to just stop. Stop filling our world with darkness and despair. I told him that God would take him back. If he would just let down his pride... God would forgive him. My dad had told me that God loved everyone, and that meant him too. He had experienced Heaven... didn't he want to go back? Wasn't he sad to have left all his good angel buddies?

How could he not see what he was doing? He was ruining it. He was ruining the beauty and the joy. People were dying because of him. He was making people cry. Didn't he feel bad? And so I tried to reason with him. I was sure that I could change Satan's mind... if he would just hear me out.

One day I told my mom what I had been doing. Her eyes got really big and she immediately told me to stop talking to Satan.

Yeesh, thanks mom.
-------------

I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with God lately. The way it works for other people doesn't seem to work for me, I've decided. God and I don't jive with a 6am wake up call, a read through the bible, and a journal entry. We're not connecting through long silent prayers... cause I can't talk in my brain and not get distracted. It's just not gonna happen. I'm sure God isn't stoked when I'm talking with Him and He suddenly gets cut off because I'm trying to remember if I put my laundry in the dryer.

-------------

I have had a lot of conversations with great friends about the complexity of God... and just how BIG He is. And if God is so big... there have got to be more ways to do this.

Real. Authentic. Genuine. Raw. Natural.

These are words that I want to define my search. Actually now that I look at them... these are words that I want to define me.

Monday, August 30, 2010

scratch that



Girls catch up time.

Monday night: 11:05pm

straight trippin'

Friday night: 3:30am

Saturday night: 5:30am

Sunday night: 2:30am

These are the times that I went to bed this weekend. Connecting with friends often punches Maslow's hierarchy in the face. My physiological needs aren't gettin in the way of these moments. Sucka.

Monday night: 9:30pm

Homework doesn't get the same curtesy, apparently.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

macamacamac




My new Mac came in the mail yesterday. I'm currently typing on it right now, actually. It feels weird having it. I've never been one of those people who has the top of the line thing. My phone is a hand-me down, my ipod is from 2005, and the cd player in my car wouldn't even play burned cds. So I'm sitting here and the keys are all clicky and the screen is all shiny and it's kind of fun... but at the same time I feel kind of self-conscious about owning something so nice. It's like I want to say to people that don't know me very well, "I'm not rich enough to own this!"

Nick walked me through the options and assured me that this was a good long term investment. And it is. So that's good.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I might be blogging a lot more because... now typing is really fun. It's like when Chelsea got her new purple phone and fiddled with the picture features for weeks. Or when Nick got his bike and rode to our house all the time. Or when Ben got his sewing machine. Or when Jessi got that slack line thing she needed so she could set it up herself (... right??). Or when Chris found out how cheap the snacks were at Little Debbie's...

It's like that. Mostly.

There's some stuff about this thing that I still don't get though. It's currently making a "bloop" (?) noise... like it's trying to get my attention. But I don't know where my attention should be.... Ben Schnell comes tomorrow though. He'll help me figure it out.

Ben Schnell comes tomorrow!




Saturday, August 14, 2010

you get what you give

When I was getting ready to leave World Vision, I thought for the first time ever, "I can't bare to say goodbye to these people. I shouldn't have invested so much."
I shouldn't have invested so much.
Yup. I thought it.
I've said "goodbye" a lot lately. I'm at that stage of life where I go through lots of stages, and people are at each stage... seeping into my heart. So my heart is full, but when the goodbyes happen... the fullness caves. And the imprint is still there... but the fullness is gone. Ya know?
And it's even harder when you know it's coming. Because you know that it's good. But knowing isn't going to make it stay. So you say your goodbyes, and you praise God that it happened and you knew it was happening.

I had an amazing summer. An amazing internship. I made incredible friendships, worked for something I believed in, and felt mildly out of my comfort zone the whole way through.

And you know what? I put everything I had into that place. And that, my friends, is why it was so good.
Linds and Bryan. My sanity keepers.
The IBU. Quirks and all.. this was the place to be this summer.

Some of my homies. We came from ALL different backgrounds... but we're passionate about social justice, and the rest was history.



My home for the summer. It's a beautiful thing when you're accepted into a family. Absolutely beautiful.




Friday, August 6, 2010

and then it was done... just like that.

I'm about to turn off my computer and leave this place. For the last time.

I hate goodbyes. Hate them.

My heart feels funny... achy, even.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

you guys care. tell me why.

Hey friends, I need your thoughtful thoughts.

I have a meeting with one of the senior vice presidents of World Vision tomorrow. I set up an "informational interview" with her after she came and talked to us interns about how God has put her where she is, her thoughts on leadership, etc. And guys, I was INSPIRED by her (more to come on those thoughts later).

But one of the things she said towards the end of the meeting was that she wants to set up a focus group with us because she wants to hear from our generation. She says that our generation, more than any other, cares about the poor. We're not willing to just sit on the sidelines and watch change happen, we want to be in the middle of it. She said that we're like the people in the 60s, but without the violence. haha.

So she wants to hear from us. She wants to know what draws us in. Why do we care? What experiences have we had that lead us to be passionate about social justice, to be passionate about serving the poor?

So, fellow passionate friends. What was it? Why do you care? Was it a movie, a pastor, a story? What melted your heart and lit the fire? What can service organizations do to get young people more involved?

My meeting is tomorrow at 10:30. And I would LOVE it if some of you would take a couple minutes to tell me your thoughts. 'Cause I know you have them... that's why you're my friends :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

em wilk and tara b

We're doing it again. From Spokane to Tennesee. Tennesee to Spokane. And now back again.

Some things on the agenda already (and this is prelimanery planning, mind you.):

1. Grand Canyon
2. Fruits. Veggies. Nuts.
3. Couch surfing





Dear Collegedale,
We'll be seeing you on the 19th.
Booya!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh, how He loves us.

Just... watch it.

I've been feeling lots of things lately. I've got this picture in my head, or maybe I actually saw it in a movie, of this person who is just being dive-bombed by birds. The birds just keep coming, from all angles. When she turns to try to take care of one, another one comes and pulls at her hair, so she turns around again, never really able to deal with any of these death birds properly.

I've been going for weeks now. And been barely able to brush the surface of lots of thoughts and feelings I've had lately. My feelers feel exhausted from feeling. I love it here. I love my job, my team, the interns, living with the Blasers. I went to camp this last weekend. I love the smell of that place, the people, the LIFE that oozes from there. I miss being creative, silly, and just SERVING kids. I set my end date for my internship yesterday. August 13, and it's done. Next chapter. Back to Tennessee where I have amazing roommates, great classes, great friends, and a super promising semester. But it'll be different. And so many people I love have left. And after that? Next chapter. Then add the present day stuff of figuring out relationships, yourself, and your life path and goals... and you've got quite the collage of feelings.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

shift

I exercised along the Puget Sound yesterday in West Seattle, on this wonderful strip of asphalt that runs right along the water. Running is always easier when you can see things to be thankful for, don't you think? Yesterday, I was motivated by the mountains that stood with an overwhelming presence just across The Sound. They were beautiful. Every once in awhile a boat would glide into the picture, going right into that place where the sun's rays were cutting through the clouds onto the water (does that 'cloud-break' ever remind you of heaven?).


Everyone was out on this, perfect-temperature-just-cloudy-enough-to-make-the-sky-pretty, evening...so people watching was at its absolute peak.


There was the 60 year-old man who had that speed-walk DOWN. I mean, he was MOVING those arms at an alarming rate!


The young couple with the poor dis-engaged boyfriend. As I approached I heard the girl say, "I just don't understand why she thinks she needs to be friends with all her exes. What have they ever done for her besides bring her drama?" (preach it sister)


Then there's the woman in her 40s who looks like life has hit her pretty hard. Her eyes are focused but pained as she passes by. Maybe it's family stuff, or marriage stuff, or job stuff. But there's something deep in her soul that's making her run that hard.


There's guy who is training for a marathon who lapped me. Twice.


Then the ultra in-shape couple with equally typical "I am an amazing athlete" t-shirts on.
The back of hers said: "The best just got better"
The back of his: "It's you verses you"


And then there's me... wondering if people wonder what my story is.


What is my story, anyway?

Well yesterday my story was a melancholy one. It consisted of low self-esteem, worry, and regret. Those days hit sometimes... the overwhelming, when will I get my !@#$% together, days. It's those days when you totally forget that you are a child of God. And that you are LOVED. Loved in the exact package that you come in, even with all the baggage you've got crammed in there.


But back to West Seattle...I'd reached the point where it was time for me to turn around and get back to the car. So I made an about-face and just immediately stopped and stared. The mountains had been beautiful, motivational even. And then I turn around and I realize that this scene will guide me all the way back...(keep in mind the picture is not doing the view of this beautiful city justice...)






ahhhhhhhhh. New perspective.

Thank God.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I've sat here for a long time trying to figure out what I want to write about. Usually I like blogging, and I'll have something that I'd like to mention or say. But tonight, I can't think of anything to write because if I wrote anything... I'd have to share something from the depths. And I just don't think I can do that on here. Shoot, I can't even do that with most friends these days.

Do you ever get that way? Where you just have these thoughts in your head that turn over and over... but you don't ever get them out? I guess maybe you introverts do. It doesn't happen often to me. You see, I'm an extrovert. And on top of that, I love relationships. I love cultivating them and investing in the ones that matter to me. And as a part of that... you have to share. You have to share in order to be shared with. Then when there's mutual sharing, mutual depth, and mutual love... you get this beautiful friendship. Anyway, so that's what I do. So it's weird not for me to share thoughts and ideas.

I will say this though. This is a really interesting summer for me in the growth department. I'm having to face some really real ignorance issues. Humility issues. Pride issues. Issues issues. I'm not good at living for God. I keep messing up. And that sucks.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

this that and the other

You know when you have a full cup of soup and you're trying to walk to the table and you're just staring at your soup, making sure that it doesn't slop over? It's like you know that if you look away, your hand is instantly not going to know how steady to be. I can be walking at just the same speed, but if I'm not watching it... the soup spills.

Are we focusing on the right things?

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My friend recommended a book to me. It's called "Marry Him. The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough." Doesn't that title sound awful? 'Well hello ginormous wrecking ball. Go ahead, smash down my castle and all my nice little dreams about love and romance.' What if I'm like her someday? Forty and single doesn't sound super awesome to me. She says there's a difference between settling and compromise. I've only read a couple chapters, so I have yet to understand what she's talking about. On the upside, the book looks at finding a mate from a completely secular standpoint, which makes me feel a little better. I'm gonna leave room for God in my love story... and hopefully I'll never have to say, "I guess this is good enough." Also, I'm only 23. I am YOUNG.

I've been dance-jogging a couple more times lately. I just can't get to that place where I am TOTALLY letting go. Whenever I get to the road that has houses right next to it I turn my spastic dancing into a light head bob. Lame.

I Skyped with Wawona friends tonight. The ache in my heart for camp is intensifying... ugh. sucky. I'm doing the right thing. I know it. But being a grown-up is rough.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

act for yourself

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself." -Katherine Mansfield

Something amazing happened to me yesterday. I didn't care.

It started out as a normal jog down the country road, but then this song came on... and I started to move. It started small, with some head bobbing and some quick extra fun steps here and there, then something came over me and I just thought, "Let it GO Tara." And so I did. I dance jogged all the way up and down that street. I was liberated. And it felt amazing.

One of my goals this summer is to not let fear dictate my life. If it's new, I want to try it. If it's out of my comfort zone, I'll just make my zone bigger. Life will be lived this summer. You can count on it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

officially published

I know it's been a long time since I posted... and it's probably time for an update. But, it's almost one in the morning and I've got to drive 2 1/2 hours to get to work tomorrow morning. This weekend I went to a Human Trafficking conference (which was awesome) and then drove 2 hours to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and my ADORABLE niece. And when I say adorable, I mean the absolute definition of adorable. Everything that adorable is... that's my niece. She actually IS adorable. Get it?

Anyway, what I did want to say on here (for those of you who don't know yet) is that I actually have had some work I've done published on World Vision's homepage! I get the privilege of rewriting and editing feature stories for their web page and their enewsleeter, and my first two stories got put up on Thursday.

If you would like to read them just go to worldvision.org and there's this little round flash player on the right. Click on the second and third notches and those are my stories. You'll notice that it says "Edited by Tara Becker". That's because we get stories from a database that field workers for World Vision upload their stories on to. Often times english is the writer's second language so it's not in the right order, or the sentence structure is off, etc. So my job is to put the story in a comprehensible order and add some flair and paragraphs here and there. The story is my notes that I get to go off of.

I love it though. I love what I'm doing and I love the people I'm doing it with.

This is going to be a growing summer, I can already feel it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

it's business... but it's absolutely my pleasure.

Today in Goodwill I heard a little girl ask her mom what "justice" meant. After a couple of failed attempts at trying to explain it the mom said, "You know Superman and Wonderwoman? They fight for justice."

I am working in a building FULL of Supermen and Wonderwomen.

And I love it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

newness

I got the itinerary for our first days of orientation at World Vision (Side note: one of the things on the agenda is "Speed-dating Icebreaker"...). This, and reading the discussion board of our intern facebook group, made things hit home.

I'm doing an internship at World Vision this summer. There are 50 interns... all looking for a chance to learn and grow. Newness will be the theme of the summer... and I'm just now realizing it.

I do this.




Emily and I were 30 minutes away from Collegedale, TN when I realized that I had actually transferred from Walla Walla to Southern. Before that moment they had all just been steps. It's time for change so... fill out an application, figure out financial stuff, find somewhere to live, convince Emily to road trip to Southern with me... and then I was there all of a sudden. I was taking classes, meeting TONS of new people, feeling alone in a crowd, and getting my world rocked in a wonderful way. I remember becoming very somber in that last half hour... teary eyed and everything, leaving Emily with the impossible task of trying to make me see the bright sides.

{in the parking lot before the goodbye. we're trying to be happy...but if you look close you'll see that i'm definitely not}


I'm so excited about World Vision, I really am. It's just interesting that I don't realize I'm doing new things until those new things are right in front of me, waving their big flashy "newness" arms. Getting that internship was motivated by theories and steps... It's time for change so...I need an internship, I want to do social justice stuff, I need to turn in a resume, I need to interview, I need to decide, I need a car, I need a place to stay... and so I checked all the requirements off not realizing that I'd actually be DOING this internship. I'm not going to camp this summer, for the first time in five years. Five. Years. Sheesh that's hard to swallow.

But it feels wonderful. It feels wonderful to do new things, to grow and be stretched. It feels wonderful to have a dream and a passion and be going for it. God has done some amazing things in my life by pushing me to do new things. I'm just glad that it takes me a little longer to realize that I'm actually doing this stuff...


{but this is what newness has brought me... and i'm more than okay with that}


Monday, May 17, 2010

on giving


You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.
And is there aught you would withhold?
All you have shall some day be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.

-Kahlil Gibran

Friday, May 14, 2010

a little update

I've been home for almost a week now. It's weird being back here, sometimes... if I think too hard about it, or actually when I'm not thinking about it at all. I'm SO comfortable here...but then out of place at the same time. Odd, I know. But, really, it's been awesome. I LOVE these people. Connecting is a wonderful thing. Did you know?

Here are some documented adventures for your viewing pleasure...


our biker gang. don't mess with us. especially kati.

any takers? c'mon ladies...




Bridge jumping...into water. don't be confused.






World Vision starts in a little more than a week. Am I prepared for this? I have no idea...but I'm doin it. I'm doin it with my whole heart. I need to prove some things to myself. Some things about work ethic and strength of will and...those kinds of things.

Oh man, I just got flutteries in my stomach. Adventure time!

Monday, May 10, 2010

zooming


Maps are deceiving.

Kansas isn't pink and you can't see a huge black line when you cross into another state. The ability to cover Texas with your thumb doesn't tell you how big it is. There are people in there. There are roads and fields and mountains. There is garbage, in all sense of the word, when you zoom in. But maps don't tell you that. They look clean and tidy with their over-simplified rainbow colors.

It's an amazing thing to drive across country. You see the state signs, the weird billboards and the wide open fields. You get to meet the people that inhabit that green, tan, or orange state...and then you start to feel how big your country is, and how small you are.

I've been thinking a lot about how to broaden my world and have a better understanding of my place in it. I think zooming in is part of it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

future class!

Sometimes Emily and I chat on gmail. Sometimes we say really ridiculous things. Sometimes I just want to copy and paste them so I can remember them always.


me:
what are you doing right now?

Emily: i'm in history class. "taking notes"

me: ah
what is he talking about anyway?
history is over
it's done
let's move on

Emily: hahah

me: we can't be living in the past all the time
they should have future class
tell me what's going to happen in the FUTURE
that would be more helpful

Emily: haha
that would be awesome!

me: Daniel and Revelations class isn't gonna cut it

Emily: future class! hah
i'll talk to my teacher about that after class.

me: yes please do
i'd prefer my institution to offer THOSE classes
what could we call it besides future class?

Emily: umm...
the next revolution
???
to epic of a title?
it might be a let down to people.
hah

me: yea too epic

Emily: hah
ok

me: we wouldn't want people's expectations ot be too high
you know
life is boring sometimes

Emily: yeah wee don't want the future to look bright
ha

me: no definitely not

Emily: hehe
i'm paranoid that she's going to know i'm typing
hah

me: what i do is just stare at the teacher for a little bit and look really interested...then every once in awhile i'll furrow my brow like i'm really trying to digest what she's saying...
and then you're set for a good 5 minutes of not listening

Emily: hahahahhahahha
ok i'll try it.
just furrpwed
furrowed

me: good....

Emily: ok.
i'm set.
haha


Thursday, April 29, 2010

breathe


I find myself grumpy lately. I'm exhausted and stressed and tired of plodding through responsibilities. I don't feel free. I think that's what's bothering me. Lack of freedom is making me waste away.

Yesterday was our last day of school. It was a push, a big push up until the bitter end. But even though that phase is over (thankfully), I'm in a new phase of stressful things. Pack. Move. Clean. Buy a plane ticket. Or am I driving? Or am I caravaning? When am I leaving? These things I do not know.

But there are always going to be other things aren't there? What am I waiting for to LIVE? I can't remember the last time I went on an adventure. A real adventure. The kind that gets your heart rate up.

I'm ready for the life drought to be over. Let it rain!

Monday, April 26, 2010

and then it was 2am again.

When I stay up too late (like tonight) my tummy starts to hurt and my eyes start to burn. Right at this moment I can feel my body start to shut down, it's giving me the "please, for heavens sake, let me go to bed" signals.

But I will not cave.

Spanish test comes at 10am tomorrow morning. Necesito estudiar mucho mas anoche. Que lastima yo se.

(did I even say that right?)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

my gut


I woke up this morning knowing that this was going to be a stressful day. I hate that. I hate knowing it. If it comes up quickly...fine, I'll take you on stress. But don't just sit on the edge of my bed and greet me in the morning. You'll make me grumpy.

Need to know for this blog to make sense:

I applied for three internships for the summer. These internships were for...

-Shared Hope International (an anti-trafficking non-profit organization in Washington DC. Unpaid)

- National Coalition (an anti-trafficking non-profit organization in Cincinnati, OH. Paid.)

-World Vision ( in the communication's department working with PR stuff. Unpaid)

Lots of things happened in between application submission and now...but I won't take you through the roller coaster of events. I've already gotten off the ride and am going down to look at my picture on that screen near the exit... I've got my hands in the air and a really unflattering look on my face (why is it impossible for people to look good at the very second they're going by that dang camera?). What I'm saying is, what's done is done. I cemented my plans for the summer today.

Last week Shared Hope offered me an internship with them. YES! This is exciting! But then World Vision was still really interested in me...and I'd been asked if I wanted to interview for a different position at World Vision. One that does feature writing for the web page. Writing stories about real things, with real people.

And that's what today came down to. Shared Hope asked for an answer by 5pm...and so I bumped up my interview with World Vision from Friday to today at 1pm. Meaning that, if World Vision offered me the internship I would have to make a decision in 3 hours.

Before I went into the interview I was pretty set on Shared Hope. I thought that the internship with World Vision would have to be pretty tempting to get me to sway.

Well, the interview was awesome. Ok. Swayed. And at the end of the interview she offered me the position. I told her I'd let her know tomorrow. And then...the countdown began. A big decision was going to have to be made ASAP. Stress mounted. My eyes got a little watery at one point. Some deep breaths were required. Friends and family emptied their pockets with cents. And some talking with Jesus was necessary.

What's best? Where is God leading me? Do I choose to do something that is so centered in something that I'm passionate about? Or do I go with an internship that would teach me tangible skills, with a world renowned organization that's doing things I believe in, and family and friends all around?

"What does your gut tell you Tara?" people said.

I sent in an email declining the Shared Hope internship at 4:58 today.

I'm going to World Vision.

Monday, April 19, 2010

uncensored...sorry.


This is my niece, Addi Rae. It's hard for me to express how much I want to see her.



My eye has been twitching forever. It's the right one. Just the right. All last week it was twitching. They say it's lack of sleep. It's my eye lid saying, "Um. EXCUSE ME. heyheyheyhey. I'd like some more quality time with your cornea.heyheyheyheyhey."

I haven't gone to bed before 1am in over a week. School is crazy, you know? It's just constant. It's constant juggling. I could fill my entire day with school stuff. But I won't. I refuse.

We are mean to our bodies, us college students. We're always shortchanging them...which actually translates into shortchanging ourselves. We're shortchanging ourselves. Well, duh. Let's all take a minute to apply a life lesson ..................................................................................................

I've been listening to "Brick" By Ben Folds. It's about a girl getting an abortion, I think. It's from the perspective of the boyfriend. There's this one part in there that just...sucks. It's after it's all gone down and they're driving home and it says...

Driving back to her apartment
For the moment we're alone

Yeah she's alone

I'm alone
Now I know it

Alone. I've felt that before. Well, not that. I haven't felt that. But man...to be with a crowd of people and still feel alone? It's awful. It's the worst kind of loneliness, I think. Why don't you get me!? you're screaming in your head. But nobody notices... thus feeding the loneliness.

We're built for that you know. for companionship. relationships. investing. We're built for investing, dear friends. If we don't invest, we don't live.

I have a week and two days left of school. 2009-2010...you're almost finished. You'll get rolled up in the memory bag, and will from now on be referred to with sayings like..."Remember when?" and "Man, I miss..."

I got offered an anti-trafficking internship in Washington DC. I haven't said that yet on here. Mostly because I'm not positive what's going to happen. It's unpaid, and I need somewhere to stay. For free. See. There lies the complication. It's weird asking people to open up their homes when you don't have anything monetary to offer...it's even weirder asking people who know people...and it's even weirder getting names from people and then writing them COLD TURKEY (I think this is actually a reference to quitting smoking or something...but I wrote it and I'm keeping it) asking them if they know anyone who would be willing to open up their homes. I'm just depending SOLELY on generosity. I'm depending on good Samaritans who, amongst all the junk they already have going on in their lives, have to think about a potential stranger inhabiting their space for three months.

But I am excited. I'm not using exclamation marks because I'm not really in that mood. My face is very...normal right now. No expressions. Just...my face.

My friends are hurting. This year has been fairly low key for me. Not much drama, not much emotional turmoil. But my friends...man they're hurting. and I hate it. Even the ones who don't talk about it...I see it. and I hear it. and I hate it.

I was walking to my car today and thought about emily's blog about the mass slaughter of people that spilled over right outside the hospital in Chad where she was an SM( I may not be remembering this right...check her blog if you want the details). She saw people who were murdered. murdered. I remember her writing something like "I always thought that there was good in everyone. But now I don't know." I thought that today. I thought about how we manage to all hurt each other, but we're all good. We all WANT to be good. Is everyone good? Do serial killers have good in them? [CONFESSION: so when I initially wrote this I wrote "cereal killers" and I didn't catch it until after I posted it. Maybe it's always been that way in my mind... maybe I've been picturing Captain Crunch and Tony the Tiger throwing it down all along.] Do they long to be loved and cherished? Maybe they did once...but that opportunity passed and now they just want to squelch all the good.

Well now I've run off and talked about serial killers [again "cereal"] at one in the morning when all my roommates are asleep. And now I'm scared. There it goes...my overactive imagination. Running wild and free through all the corners of my brain. There's this bump that makes up my forehead that sticks out a little further than...the other part of my forehead... and someone once said it was my imagination station. It's where all my imagination is stored. I think that's a good explanation for it. It's better than calling it a beluga whale bump.

Well I think that's it for the night. I wanted to write...and I did. It's ridiculously choppy and basically breaks ALL the rules of writing (sorry Amanda). But it's uncensored...and sometimes that's what I want from people. I wonder what it will be like reading this in the morning. There's not really a theme to this so here... I'll draw one for you so you can feel satisfied.

Let's love better. Will you help me love better? I'm bad at it.

20 replays of "Brick" later and 1:45am. and my eye still twitches.