Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Being an Introvert

^ Here is me jumping for joy on campus. And yeah, I'm an introvert.

I've been an introvert my entire life. Even in my younger years when I was more outgoing, I loved to sit in my room and read or draw or play with my toys, all by myself. And now as I get older, I cherish the alone time that I have. Even if it's just an hour, I basque in that time of quietness and solitude. Growing up, I always felt a little strange about this. I've never liked confrontation and I totally despise small talk. I'd rather sit and read a book at lunch than be forced to sit in a large group and chat. Most of the time, my comments would go unnoticed anyways. When I was a teenager, I felt weird and out of place. I was surrounded by people who were loud and so comfortable in their own skin, when I just wanted to run home and spend time with my family or hang out in my room. Being in college has made that feeling even more prevalent. It seems like everyone loves going downtown or to frat parties. Or they love the football games and tailgates. But, I've never liked any of that stuff. My week is so busy and full, that by Friday night, all I want to do is sleep and spend time alone. I've also always been drawn to other introverts. We have an understanding about each other. I love the people that I can hang out with without necessarily having to talk the entire time. Sometimes it's just nice to sit with someone, while you are both doing your own thing. For a long time, people made me feel like that was so wrong. People would make comments about how I need to go out more or have more fun... but in my head, what I was doing was fun. Going out was stressful and too much for me to handle.

Emily, my roommate (this is her blog), told me about this TED Talk about introverts that she watched in one of her classes. Immediately, I googled it and watched the entire thing. Never have I heard something so true about myself.

We live in a world of extroverts. A world where being an extrovert is right and being an introvert is wrong. But, being an introvert does not make me lesser of a person or less capabale. It does not make me unusual and it does not make me wrong. Why is the social norm to go out and party? Why is it better to be loud than quiet? Why is my personality looked down upon, just because maybe sometimes I'd rather watch a movie on a Saturday night? And working alone on things is sometimes better than working in groups, and that's okay (or maybe that's just because I'm so controlling...sorry!). I've learned to accept my introversion and know that I am me and that I am not changing. No matter what anyone says they think I should be doing, having a cozy night at home or a spending time with a smaller group of friends will always sound better.

Now, just because I'm an introvert doesn't mean I can't be outgoing and enjoy socializing. My family laughs because here I am, an introvert, yet I was captain of my drill team and live in a sorority house with 4 girls in one room. I am introvert in the sense that I need to be alone sometimes, not in the way that I can't have a conversation or hold a leadership role - I have proven that stereotype wrong my entire life. Occasionally, I do like going downtown and getting dressed up. And yeah, sometimes football games can be fun. I don't like getting put into this box of introversion that means you're shy and a little strange, because that box just doesn't exist. 

This video is just so right. Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, watch it! The world needs all personalities, introvert or extrovert. The combination of us is what our world thrives on. 

Here is the video: The Power of Introverts

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Weekend Full of Family

Right now, I'm sitting in my PR writing class writing this post (oops). Because instead of talking about grammar and writing tips, I want to talk about my weekend. And hey, I'm writing, so that's all that matters, right?

I finally got to go home for a couple of days this weekend and I was thrilled. I'm pretty sure everyone knows I'm a homebody, so home was perfect in every way. On Thursday night I got home and went straight to get some tex mex and have girl time with my mom, sister, and grandma. The next morning I told myself I was going to sleep in. But of course, I roll over to look at the clock, feeling refreshed like it's maybe 11:00 or noon, and it was 8:25 am. Sleeping in in college, even just till 8:25, is still great - I'll take what I can get. On Friday, I hung out with my grandma (it was her birthday!) and went to a fun family dinner. Afterwards, my sister, dad, and I hit up the Coppell carnival. We got our faces painted and felt all nostalgic about when we went to the carnival as kids. It was so fun getting to be silly again with my family. On Saturday, I made muffins and napped and played with my pups. Later, my dad spoiled my mom, sister, and I with a steak dinner and III Forks. I've never felt so fancy! I could get used to meals like that...

I ended up not coming back till Monday morning. With family time like that, it was hard to leave. Funny story actually... I got up at 5:00 in the morning on Monday to make it back to Austin for my 9:30 class. I made it back and while I'm walking to class, I grabbed a breakfast bar. I'm allergic to sunflower seeds and other random nuts, and just my luck, there were sunflower seeds in the breakfast bar. I sat in stats for only 10 minutes before I had to leave. I prayed the entire walk back to the house that I wouldn't pass out in the middle of campus (that would be the most embarrassing moment of my life) because I kept seeing stars. My mouth and hands were so itchy and my stomach hurt like no other. But, I made it back to my bed, took a benadryl, and slept for a couple of hours. But seriously - just my luck, right? I had to come back for stats (because it is way too difficult to miss) and I ended up missing it anyways... thanks sunflower seeds!

A couple of pictures from the weekend and past few days:

^ I'm so obsessed with my dogs, it's unreal. 

^ Hookin' em after my favorite tex mex at home (ignore my sister)

^ Leaving at 5:00 am for Austin has it's perks, like watching the sunrise and getting donuts (ignore the bird poop on the window)

^ Darah and I are awkward twins! Stripes on stripes on stripes.

^ Love my Clara... and Shake Shack.
^ OKAY, SAMMY. He is a model. Like, where do I find an agent for him? Serious inquiry.

Now I'm looking forward to a weekend full of football, naps, and good food. Oh, and lot's studying. Can't forget that.

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Birthday Reunion

Today, I got to surprise my best friend as an early birthday present for her! I got up early, drove to a&m, and nearly cried when I saw her. It's so hard being away from the people who know you best, so being with her, even if just for a couple hours, is such an absolute blessing. We got some lunch, went to Hobby Lobby (and I bought something of course... it's a dangerous place), and then got our nails done. It was a great, great day.

While we were at lunch, we got to talking about the difference between freshman and sophomore year. And trust me, there is a huge difference. This time last year I was so homesick - physically homesick. But now just a year later, I'm okay. Yeah, I miss home but it's not always in the back of my mind like it used to be. I'm not dying to get in my car and hit I-35 until I make it home. It's a wonderful thing what a year of growth and maturity can do. We also talked about how much more comfortable we feel with our sororities. To say I was overwhelmed with balancing school and greek life would be an understatement. There were times when I wondered if it was even for me. But a year and lots of memories later, I am obsessed with my sisters and my chapter. It's an awesome feeling realizing how comfortable you have become with something. Whether it's greek life or another organization, I've found that giving something time is what can help you to realize it's all worth it. I will never feel instantly at home with something. I need time to adjust. That's exactly what I have done this past year and I am so, so grateful I picked UT as my school and KD as my home.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Authentic Faith

I've always struggled with the idea of being an "authentic" Christian. I didn't grow up as a sunday school kid, nor do I know all of the stories in the Bible, but I've always had a faith in me that knows there is a greater love out there. As I got older, I immersed myself in youth ministry, went on mission trips, and decided to get baptized. That was a time in my life when life was at it's brightest. But as I got older, I started to see beneath the veil that had me so intrigued. I realized that many Christians aren't authentic. I know that's probably not the best thing to say, but that's what it felt like.

Have y'all noticed that a lot of Christian's use Christian buzz words? Like "being intentional", "guard your heart", "pursue", or "He put in on my heart". I feel like everyone say's those words, without really understanding what it means. Or have y'all noticed that like, everybody does YoungLife? YoungLife is an awesome organization that does so much good, but sometimes I worry that people do it for the wrong reasons. Not for Christian reasons, but solely because everybody else does it and it looks cool. I've always felt like Christians were in some sort of a club. But even as a Christian myself, I never felt like I fit into that club. You have to be a certain kind of person, wear certain kinds of clothes, or work at a certain kind of summer camp. None of it felt real to me... it all felt like a show. That feeling sucks because all I want to do is have faith, but I question it because of other people.

Being in college, I've been around all sorts of people. People who are playing into that Christian show, people who aren't, and people who are simply Christians, living out their faithful life. I'm not innocent either; I find myself saying things I think people would want to hear as Christians. I say things that are maybe untrue about myself just so I can fit into that group. But, I've also been around people who don't play into that game. Like my roommates - Emily, Clara, and Taylor. I can see their genuine love for the Lord in every act they do. They are careful with their words, patient with life, and strong in prayer and journaling. Living with these three true Christians has shown me that there is much more to faith than being in a missional community or knowing books in the Bible. All of those things are great, but faith. Faith is so much more important than that.

I'm not exactly sure what being an authentic Christian looks like, but I'm working on it. I'm learning, I'm growing, I'm changing, and through all of that, I pray that God will show me. I don't just want to be the girl that went on mission trips, or goes to church on Sundays. I want to be so much more than that - I want to be real.