50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind {21-30}

So it’s been a while… yes, this I realize, but I moved into the new place last weekend, and I haven’t had internet/cable set up yet. It’s kind of been annoying, but its been good in other ways. I’ve caught up on One Tree Hill… I’ve been reading the Hunger Games, and I haven’t really been home to notice… except on nights when I know that Big Brother is on, and I’m not glued to the TV to find out who’s getting kicked off next. But anyways… I’ll have cable soon, the place has been really good so far, and I’ve enjoyed life here so much lately. God is so good 🙂

Now, on to the questions:

21.Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

I don’t like to worry, nor would I want to be a genius, so for this one, I’m going to go with a joyful simpleton. I find joy in the small and simple things, so I think that label would do me well. Worrying gets nothing accomplished, and being a genius wouldn’t be easy for so many different reasons. I think I’d be able to appreciate things more if I was more joyful.

22. Why are you, you?

Gettin’ deep there, huh? Why am I me? God made me who I am to be who He wants me to be. I like the things that I like because I like them. I do the things that I do, and I hang out with the people that I love, and I go the places that I go because of who I am. So many things in my life have made me who I am, and that’s why I’m me!

23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

I certainly hope so. I think sometimes this comes to bite me in the butt, because people aren’t always the same friend back to me that I am to them. That became very real to me when I was in Bluefield recently. Those that I call my best friends, I absolutely love to death and would do anything for, but sometimes, anything is way too much, especially when it isn’t always reciprocated. I certainly hope that people who consider me a friend really value the way that I treat them and consider them in everything.

24. Which is worse… when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

That’s a tough one! Both aren’t easy at all, but friendships fall away for different reasons. I think it would be worse if a good friend moved away. At least if you lose touch with a friend who lives right near you, you can always do what it takes to reconnect with them. If someone moves away, it’s not always that easy. I guess this is where you can insert the typical “thank god for facebook” diatribe.

25. What are you most grateful for?

I think as we all “grow up”, we become increasingly aware of how blessed we truly are. I think my answer for this one right now is my parents. They’ve put up with me for the past 25 years, have seen me through the ups and downs along the way, and they still love me no matter what. I am eternally grateful that God gave them to me, and I don’t know where I’d be without them. Granted, sometimes it drives me insane that my mother and I are kind of the same person, but I live to hear my dad laugh until he cries, and even though it drives me crazy, it always makes me smile when my mom STILL asks the question: “Who sings this song?”. I’ll miss both of them dearly one day, but for now, I am most grateful for who they are, and for the person that they’ve raised me to be. In the same breath, I think I absolutely have to say that I am incredibly grateful for my church, and my church family. Since October, I have been falling in love with Hope Church. The people, the mission, the heart of it all. It’s been so wonderful to be a part of a family who’s hands and feet and lives and heart really are beating for Jesus. It’s something that I’ve wanted for a long time, and now that I’ve found it, I just can’t get enough.

26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

I’d be devastated if either happened… If you’ve ever met me at all, I love making memories… and reminiscing about old ones. I take way too many pictures, and want to have them around me all the time so that I always remember where I was, what I was feeling, and who I was with. My old memories have made me who I am, and if I lost the ability to make new memories, I don’t think I’d really be living.

27. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?

 

I think it is possible to know the truth without challenging it first. I know that my parents are my biological parents, and I’ve never questioned that. I know that my name is Jennifer, and while I’m not always crazy about my name, I know for a fact that it is true. Of course, there are things in life that we believe are true, yet we might not ever know for a fact, beyond the shadow of a doubt that in fact they are true. That’s how life is. I’m sure I could bust out some theological biblical reasoning for this school of thought, but I won’t. I think it’s a healthy thing to challenge the truth. I think it’s a beautiful things to seek, and wonder, and ask questions, especially about the things that are worth challenging.

28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?

My greatest fear has not come true yet, but one day, it will… it’s inevitable… it will happen. I think about it sometimes, especially when things in life happen that prompt me to think about it, but I know that in time, when the day comes that my greatest fear will come true, I will be okay. My faith has already been preparing my heart for that day, and while I’m certainly not looking forward to it, I know that I am better equipped to handle such fears when they arise.

29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?

In the moment, when something happens and you’re incredibly extremely upset, it seems like the biggest thing ever in your life. And while that may be true, life indeed does go on. 5 years ago, I would have been 20 years old. Normally, if it had been any other age in my life, I probably would have said “yeah, I don’t really remember anything that happened that made me ‘extremely upset’, and therefore, no, it doesn’t really matter now”, but age 20 was a year of sadness for me. My 10 year old cousin Blake was diagnosed with Leukemia in September, and passed away that March. That summer, my cousin Heather fell asleep at the wheel and died in a car accident. 2 months later, one of my swimmers was killed in a car accident, and my Great Uncle passed away one week later. In September of the same year (1 year after Blake’s diagnosis), my Big Sister from swimming died in her sleep from a heart condition. Within a 9 month time span, I lost 5 people in my life who were very special. That year was hard. Very very hard. I had a really hard time dealing with death, and loss, and grieving, and I had to learn how to do it very quickly. It didn’t happen overnight, it took a really long time to make sense of it all, and to finally be okay with all that had happened. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still upset sometimes. I’d give anything to pick up the phone and call my cousin Heather when I’m visiting in Bluefield. Blake would be a Senior in High School this next year, and I know he would have been on Homecoming/Prom court. Jess would probably be married with a family and kids on the way, and I know that family dinners at her house would have been so much fun. I miss these people all the time. My heart hurts for them, and I know that I’ll see them all again someday. I know I rambled on a lot, but to get back to the question, that time that I was upset 5 years ago, it’s not as hard as it was then, but it does still matter now. It has helped me grow, and it has made me who I am. It has helped me to be able to help others when they are grieving from loss of loved ones. It has helped me understand that my faith is incredibly important, and that Heaven is forreal, and it’s given me hope to know that I will see these people that I love again someday.

30. What is your happiest childhood memory?

Good gracious… killing me with the throwback questions. I used to LOVE going to Bluefield (I know… even back then I was in love with that town!) to visit my Granny and PawPaw. It used to be the highlight of our trip when my dad would pull out the tractor and he’d ride us around their mountain. I used to love heading to the Lebanese Food Festival with my entire family, because literally, that whole weekend was a family reunion. We used to vacation in Emerald Isle, North Carolina for YEARS and it would be so awesome when my whole family (aunts, grandma, us) would go for the whole week to the beach. I think those things made me the happiest. When it was us as a family, doing family things. I can’t wait to do those things with my kids and my husband… someday.

Hopefully the next installment won’t be after such a long hiatus. I still have some unpacking to do, but maybe next time I’ll post some pics up of the new place… maybe 🙂


50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind – {11-20}

Last night was a GORGEOUS night in Richmond! Gosh, after all of this crazy heat, it was so nice to be able to sit outside at a restaurant and not sweat to death! And spending time with some fun people was also incredibly enjoyable!

Today I’m leaving work at 3:30 to go clean out my car, pack my bag, and get on the road to Bluefield! I’m excited to road trip with 3 guys, (1 who I know way too well, and the other 2 I hardly know at all) so that will be fun! And then, when we finally get to Bluefield, it will be awesome to hang out with some friends from college who are all in town for these concerts on Saturday. I’m so ready!

Here’s today’s installment of the free your mind questions! Enjoy! 🙂

11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?

This has happened to me before. At a lunch, after a funeral… so I was already pretty emotional, but these people were talking about an organization that I am a part of (and that they used to be a part of) in a really bad light, and I stood up for it… and for myself. I don’t see how other people would be able to just let something like that fly. If someone else were in the same situation, and it was me that the people were talking about, I hope they’d stand up and say something in my defense too. Back to my story… I said what I needed to say to set those people straight about what they were talking so negatively about, asked the waiter for my check and I left. Needless to say, I haven’t seen any of those 4 people since… and I’m perfectly fine with that! 🙂

12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Only one piece? Geez! I think I really like the advice “love like crazy”, because it can be adapted to so many things in life. It can be in reference to people… love them when they deserve it, and love them through the times where they don’t. Love your life. Love God’s people and His creation. Love isn’t everything, but it sure is a lot of things.

13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?

I would… because I’m hoping they’d do the same for me 🙂

 14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

Insanity is everywhere, and so is creativity… so yes, I’ve seen both everywhere. I can’t think of any specific examples, but its there. Maybe within myself? Maybe within yourself? 🙂

15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

I think I’ll answer this one with a quote and leave it at that. My heart is understanding this in a whole new light lately, and it’s been refreshing and rewarding to remember.

16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?

The things that make me happy that don’t make everyone else happy is an easy thing to justify. I’m not everyone, and everyone is not me… therefore, the same things don’t always make us all happy. I’m happy when I catch a glimpse of the mountains for the first time on a road trip back to Bluefield. I’m happy with the very first sip of a Bill’s Barbeque Limeade of the summer. I’m happy sitting at a baseball game on a summer evening with a big beer in my hand and good friends around me. I’m happy when I have my sunglasses on my head. It’s the little things that make me happy, that aren’t the same thing that makes others happy… and that’s PERFECTLY fine with me!

17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?

I wanna go skydiving. I know that is SO cliche, but I’ve always always ALWAYS wanted to do it. Right now, I’m holding myself back. I don’t want to go alone, so that’s one thing, but I also really don’t have the money right now to go jump out of a plane and pray my parachute opens! But someday…

18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

Haha… did you read question #15? If you didn’t, you should. I’m holding on to something still, but not as tightly as I always have. It’s a learning process, and it’s not something that you can let go of overnight. But I’m learning…

19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point, that I’d be willing to move. I love Richmond, and I love the people here, but living somewhere else would be fun too. I’ve always wanted to live in North Carolina. Hawaii would be incredible, and to take a stretch, I’d say I’d move to Fiji. I love Slovakia, I’d love to live in Budapest, and Paris would be pretty awesome too.

20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

Yeah, I’m totally guilty of this. It doesn’t make the elevator faster at all, I just really like to push buttons! 🙂

50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind {1-10}

So, I wanna write more. I want to learn more about myself through this crazy thing called life. And I love questions…

These posts are pretty common in the blogosphere. I found them most recently on a blog that I read about a young single girl like me, and I appreciated how raw and real she got with her answers. I can’t guarantee that my answers to these questions will blow you away like hers did for me, but I think it’ll be neat to explore some things in my head through an outlet like this.

So here we go… 1 – 10.

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

If I didn’t know how old I was, I think I’d want to be 21 or 22, and I think a lot of that has to do with where I was in life at that point. I was in college, in a town that  I loved, living 5 or 10 minutes away from all of my best friends, and just living life without hardly a care in the world. I grew up a lot in that time period. I lost some family members and a dear friend (4 of them actually) within 9 months of each other, and while I wouldn’t care to re-live those times, I certainly realized a lot during that season. It made me realize how important it is to say “I Love You”, and how real friendships and relationships can make you who you are.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

Never trying is worse. I’d rather try everything and fail, instead of doing nothing and never knowing. How do you learn if you don’t try. How do you grow and do things differently if you don’t fail?

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

It’s so true. I think that’s just human nature. I don’t necessarily think it’s that we’re not doing the things that we like to do, but we always say “someday”. That’s always my excuse. Someday, I’ll go skydiving. Someday, I’ll save the money and go to Fiji. In the mean time, I’ll do the things that I don’t necessarily like, because I feel obligated, and in the same breath, I’ll keep on liking the things that I’m not doing, because I’ll still use the “someday” excuse and pray to God that they come to reality in time 🙂 Make sense? Haha, probably not…

 4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

Have you ever met me? If you have, you know I talk a lot. If you haven’t, please know that I talk a lot. When it’s all said and done, I will have absolutely said more than I’ve done, and I’ll be left wishing I had done more doing instead of talking so much. Again, I think a lot of this goes back to the last question. My response to a lot of the adventures I want to take, and the memories that I want to make, is “someday”… which is an incredibly crappy cop-out, and I realize this. It’s not true all the time… I do end up doing a lot of the things I say I’m going to… just not everything.

 5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

Just one thing? I wish people were more accepting. This world is genuinely so closed-minded, and unwilling to listen, or to change their school of thoughts regarding anything and everything. To me, it’s like that common phrase “we’ve never done it that way before.” Take a risk. Listen to people and their reasoning behind things, and maybe once you hear them out, you’ll accept them more for who they are. At least they’re being real, and living their life. Haha, maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about at all… it’s just how I feel.

 6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

Oh man, if happiness were the national currency, I would be incredibly rich. The kind of work that would make me rich, would be building relationships with people. Making memories, and taking way too many pictures, and listening, and confiding and all of that good stuff that happens when you connect with another human being makes me so incredibly happy. I wish I had more interaction with people in the job that I’m in now. Sometimes, I come to work and I don’t even realize that I work at a college. I guess I want more interaction with the students that are actually here, and not the ones that attended here 34 years ago. So I think those things would make me rich… investing my time, and my energy and my love into other people. Those who I already know and those who I’ve yet to meet. That would make me the happiest, and the richest.

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

If you’re talking about work, then yes, I’m doing something that I believe in. I believe in Higher Education, and the benefits and rewards that come not only from a quality education, but all of the lessons that you learn about life from living in a community with people your own age, and making mistakes, and having fun, and being all that you can be and doing all that you can do when you’re young. I believe in helping others, and right now, I’m semi-doing that with the office that I work in. I’m helping to fund raise so that others can get a quality education, and so that they can learn all of those lessons that I had the opportunity to do so when I was in school. I believe in going to church, and I’ve finally found somewhere that helps me be a better person, and gives me wonderful opportunities to grow, and learn, and serve, and live in communion with other believers who strive and long for the same things that I do.

8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

40 years? Only 15 to go, then to hit the average if this was really the case. This probably sounds so cliche, but I am a firm believer that we should live everyday like it’s our last. I’m not always doing that like I should, but I’m trying harder. I would love more. I would say yes to any and all adventures, and opportunities to make memories, and take too many pictures. I wouldn’t let money (or the lack there of) rule my decisions, or my life. I would keep breathing through it all, and not freak out when things aren’t going my way, or how they’re supposed to. I would be more reasonable with things, and I would take risks, and do things NOW instead of putting them off for “someday”.

8. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

I think I’ve tried to control the course of my life too much in the past. But, it’s not mine to control. My life is in the hands of my God, and I can safely say that I’ve been surrendering to that here a lot more lately. I’ve been relying on Him, and seeking out His will for my life in every aspect a whole lot more than I ever used to. It means so much more to me now. His guidance is so much better than my direction would ever be without Him. Even though it takes a lot, and I don’t always know where I’m going to end up, or what He’s going to speak into my life, it’s a blessing to know that someone else has it taken care of.

10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

I’d probably say I’m more worried about doing the right things. Its not that I do bad things intentionally, but it’s more that I’m wondering if I’m going about things in the right way… or if I’m handling situations in the way that I should. I don’t have to always be right… I’m not one of those people that will fight to the death until I prove I’m right, but I like to know or have that satisfaction that I am doing things that are acceptable to those who I’m accountable to. Does that even make sense?

So there it is folks, the first installment of the 50 questions. I can’t wait until round 2.

This weekend, I’m going to Bluefield for more concerts. I’m taking a road trip with one of my best friends, we’re picking up 2 of his best friends along the way, and we’re trecking out west so that I can go to another series of concerts with some of my favorite people. It’ll be a fun car ride I’m sure… it’ll be even more fun when I’m in Bluefield with my friends. I need to get out of Richmond this weekend. It will be so great to not have to worry about anything back at home. The packing will get done, the cleaning will get done, everything will get done and I’m not going to worry about it.

I can’t wait.

a moment.

you can’t see the street sign from the main thoroughfare of the neighborhood, because tree branches have grown to cover it. i can’t even tell you how many phone calls i’ve received saying “i have no idea where your street is”.

i might miss that.

a tri-level house with red shutters, some over grown grass, and a whole lot of character is where i have called home for the past 2 years.

it’s been a lot of things to me.

it’s been a place of growth. a place of learning. a place of frustration and a place that i’ve loved. but it’s about that time, and i’m ready.

really really ready.

i had a moment last night in this house that i’ve called home. i went grocery shopping and came home to an empty house. i put the groceries away, turned the oven on to preheat and i just took a look around. it’s starting to look so empty. so different from the first time we saw it.

i’ll never forget that day. we walked in, and we felt it. this was where we were going to live. granted, we were only renting, but it became ours. we made it ours.

and now, 2 years later. we’re leaving. we’re moving out. and we’re all different.

3 girls. changed. because of a house?

we’re not the people we used to be, in many different senses. our lives have taken us to 3 very different places.

and as i pack my things that have adorned walls, and shelves, and floors, and windows, i think back to all the times we shared. all of the laughter. and tears. and good times.

all because of a house?

this place will always mean something to me. it will always be the first place that i lived when i moved out of my parents house. it will always be a place that no matter what, i will look back and remember fondly.

i won’t care about the issues we had. i won’t care about the not talking to each other, and the stressful times. in time, those things won’t matter.

what will matter, is that i will miss having a hardwood floor in my bedroom, even though i complained about it often.

i will miss having the “misc. room”, and a place to dump all of the random crap that didn’t have a home elsewhere.

i will miss having a big backyard, with a porch, and a weird picnic table that had many different umbrellas in it during it’s tenure.

i will miss watching Big Brother and Jersey Shore and Real Housewives of New Jersey with my roommates.

i will miss showering with an open window.

i will miss the “pow wows” in the hallway of our bedrooms, and yelling through the walls on saturday mornings when we were trying to figure out where to go eat breakfast.

i will miss hearing an alarm go off at 7:52am when everyone is already awake.

there are a lot of things that i will miss when i leave the chum for good. and there are a lot of things that i won’t miss at all. but through it all, it was a great house. and it was a great 2 years.

thank god i know where it is without having to read the street sign…

because that means, i can drive by and reminisce anytime i want.

so thankful for a moment.