It Means No Worries

I'm unsure, I don't exactly know, I'm not completely over, I'm still learning, and I'm kind of worried. But you know what?



I'm so excited to leave on December 19th. BUT that means I'm missing this:

Which comes out Christmas day.  I expect someone to write me and give me & give me ALL the details as soon as they see it. Because I love this story. Few other things have touched my heart as deeply as this book has. I'm currently on my 4th time re-reading this novel. Seriously, it's my very favorite book. I know it's unbelievably long, but that's also I reason I'm so in love with it. By the time you finish you feel as if you know intimately know the characters & feel completely in 19th century France. Whenever I finish Les Mis I end up aimlesly wandering around unsure of what to do with my life. But it's just an amazing story. Full of lessons about new beginnings, mercy, justice, change, love, misery, good-hearted people, down right evil ones, &, like it's title implies, misery. Time for some quotes!!  & I've just picked out some short ones (because trust me, Victor Hugo can be one long winded guy)

“Even the darkest night will end & the sun will rise.” 

“To love another person is to see the face of God.” 

“Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.” 

“To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.” 

“Those who do not weep, do not see.” 

"If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” 

Diamonds are to be found only in the darkness of the earth, and truth in the darkness of the mind. ”

"For there are many great deeds done in the small struggles of life.”

"It is time for us all to decide who we are."

Okay I'll stop. Even though I could easily go on for pages & pages... Every time I read it I something new stands out to me & teaches me a new principles. I'm constantly having new experiences in life so different things speak to me at different times of life. That's the beauty of reading classic literature! It teaches truths that apply at all stages of life & you can learn & re-learn them over & over. While there's lots of brain candy books out there (I don't think I need to specify!) that are super fun to read, they're not books that you can come back to time & time again. You read that type of literature for the plot, not the principles. Those books don't change your life like classic literature does.

Here are some of my favorite classic books that have really changed me:

--Les Miserables by Victory Huge (obviously.)
--The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (I give my spiel on that here)
--Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
--The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandra Dumas
--The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
--Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
--The Odyssey by Homer
--Ben Hur by Lew Wallace
--The Robe by Lloyd Douglass
--The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (contrary to the opinion of most AP Englishers)

Read those. Or put them on your list. They're books that will make everyone's lives better. I can say that because it's been true in my own. If you can't tell, I'm a reader. I'd rather have my nose in a book than doing most other things. I really love to read. Especially in my pre-college days when I actually had time to read a thousand page book! Because let's face it, high school was like a breezy summer day. College, on the other hand, is like the harshest Antartica winter. So... not as much time to read whatever I like.

Well, what I originally intended to tell you, is how anxious I am to see this movie. & now I'll just have to wait a few years to see it! Oh well, I guess that it will be waiting for me when I get home... At least I won't miss the Hobbit! 


Do You Remember That?

Memories... the times of our past we never really seem to forget. Isn't it interesting, looking back, we remember certain moments so clearly? & in the midst of those moments of life we never knew that one day we'd look back with such emotion on those times. Those days seemed normal, average, & ordinary. Just days lived with people at places we loved & enjoyed at the time, but didn't realize they'd become so deeply etched into our future hearts. & that's the beauty of it. If we knew those moments would one day bear so much weight  it would be impossible to enjoy the here & now.

The passing of time does interesting things. It tends to put a golden light upon the lovely times & somehow seems to dull the darker ones. But still, certain things bring out those forgotten emotions pretty strong. Memories come flooding back to you & your past experience really doesn't seem past at all. You wish you were there again at that beautiful place looking at those awe inspiring buildings and art. Or feeling the strong acceptance & happiness you've felt with friends & family. Or re-living those days filled with stressful excitement & anxiety but ended up so absolutely great. But then something somehow reminds you that things are different &  to enjoy the stage of life where you are. So that later on you can look back with the same fondness about the things you're currently experiencing. 

Like you, I've had some really wonderful memories about my times wandering through love, adventure, college, friendships, family relationships, religion, continents, & cultures. Most things I like to remember. Other memories cause a little too much longing. While others have a very special place in my heart. Memories are a way of holding onto things you never want to lose & I guess that's what life is all about, is it not? Experiencing life & allowing the memories to make us a better person for it. 


On Being Right

It's the day before election. I, like everyone else, have a view of the world. I definitely endorse a specific candidate & strongly oppose the other. I have my idea of how I would like America to run & am voting for the candidate that best fits that view. I'll be disappointed if that person loses because I think he'll steer the country in the right direction. But I try hard to respect both men running. They are both educated & successful.  But this isn't a political blog & I think there are PLENTY of people hashing all these issues over & over & over & over & over & over again. However, I suppose I should probably throw my opinion into the mess anyways. If you'll allow, here it goes...

I see so many hateful things spread, especially online. Remarks springing from extremely closed minds & prideful notions. Name calling & incredibly offensive things. People getting furious with their friends & carelessly insulting family members. People fight all over facebook & delete their friends over remarks made. Others get into full blown arguments because they are absolutely unwilling to see the other side. Christian ethics seem to slide right out the window.

Yes, I believe debate is good. It's an awesome thing to have a well thought-out stance. Intelligent arguments should be a key dynamic of the media. I think every American should have an opinion and be able to support it with good reasons. I enjoy participating in & listening to people's ideas presented in a mature light. There are lots of people that I know that are just that: open minded & respectful. & I really look up to those people, particularly at this time of year. They are examples to me of what a good citizen should be. Chances are, many of you reading this may fall into that category. But out of a more general reminder, especially to myself, I'm posting this because I've heard/seen too much yelling, fighting, & contention that is ridiculous. There's always a different side to the issue. Always. I heard a very true statement from a well known public speaker.

In a very eloquent way she says this. That sometimes when we find another person who disagrees with our opinions, it is human nature to first think they are ignorant & just don't know what they're talking about. If we find out they actually are quite well informed, our next inclination is to believe they must be inherently evil. I think this is most commonly seen in the beautiful and kind world of politics, (Sarcasm added) I don't know about you, but I've heard both candidates called both of those adjectives to the extreme. 

So as today is election eve, let's remember this: there are countless ways to view the world. Everyone's experiences shape their paradigm and what they feel. The economic situation you are born into. Where you grew up. What you're going through now. Personal struggles you face. The people you know and love. & countless other things since no one lives identical lives. I think diversity is the spice of life. Let me ask a question:

How do we even know we're right?

We can only say we are according to our own area of expertise & within the walls of our own lives. How can we accuse someone of being wrong when we don't live in their head? So maybe during the next few days we can all remember (myself MOST definitely included in this) that everybody sees things differently & thus the hate doesn't need to be spread. But it's just a thought...


Riddle Me This

"We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, & we find that life alters our plans. & yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It's just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn't have expected." -Ben Okri

Isn't that lovely? I feel it in my own life. Life does indeed have a way of changing our path & for a time it may seem like we've been pushed on a completely different road. Only to find later, from that clarifying & rare height, that we just needed to take another route to our dreams. I like how that quote puts life, as a riddle. We're constantly trying to figure it out, & the answers often come as things we never expect. The answer seems so difficult and confusing and obscure as we go. Sometimes we might even give up trying to figure it out. & we sometimes have to give it time to work itself out in our minds. But once we have enough experience to see the answer, it's perfectly clear. Just like a riddle.