Monday, May 31, 2010

measure your life in love

Well I certainly feel refreshed... (and yet, strangely exhausted...but that is probably due to heat plus oberon).

This past weekend I went on a little personal retreat to Mercy Court, which is on the same campus as the Sister's of Mercy Detroit administration offices. It was a silent retreat (I did speak a few words to some Sister's here and there, but nothing that would have taken away from the exeprience) and I really enjoyed spending time reading, walking the beautiful campus, praying, and sleeping. I tuned out technology- no computer, phone, tv, etc. There are three things I feel I really took away from the weekend.

1. "There will be an answer, let it be". See how well God knows my heart? He used music, my favorite thing in the world, to express His message. I was sitting outside in the shade, pondering my future when this phrase came to me. Whenever I would begin the spiral of fear/anxiety, that line would run through my mind, until I was smiling and at peace. As I walked the labryinth, that is the phrase I used to help concentrate.

2. I will be taken care of. No matter what happens, it's going to be okay. God will not let me fall to pieces. He won't let me down, and He will be with me on this journey and have people around me to hold me up.

3. Through reading "Conversation with God", I have come to realize that I really don't need to "find" myself, or "discover" my life's purpose. I just need to be happy with who I am. Whatever it is that is blocking me from happiness, well, then I need to change it, or eliminate it. I should live conscious of my thoughts, words, and actions and live in love instead of fear. (Measure your life in love!) I should be grateful for the gifts I have been given and use those gifts to create the best possible version of me.

I hope that you all have a blessed week, and please keep me in your prayers as I move forward in some potential job offer's.

To make this entry even cheesier than it already is, I will close with this:

Friday, May 28, 2010

American Idol Finale

You knew this was coming.

Although this was one of my least favorite seasons, I would still like to comment on the finale. Instead of babbling on and on, I'll just show you.

Below are my personal favorite parts of the finale.

Kris wasn't my favorite last season, but I love his album, much more than Adam Lambert's lame excuse for a debut album (sorry, Adam). I loved Kris on the finale!

Crystal was my favorite this season. I adored her performance with Alanis. She just seemed to be having so much fun! I can't wait for her album. I will definatley support Crystal.

Even though I didn't want Lee to win, his winning moment was just precious, and one of the most genuine we've seen. I am proud of him and happy for him, but I think I will easily get sick of him.

Above all of these, the absolute best part of the night was when all the past winners (minus Cook) and handful of contestants came on stage to perform a tribute to Simon. Almost all of my favorites were up there: Kelly, Jordin, Melinda, David A, Elliot, Jason, Matt, Allison. Only missing Mandisa. Kelly and Jordin sounded FANTASTIC. It made me realize how much I miss Jordin. Only a few more weeks until I see her again!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I could really use a wish right now...

Imogen Heap
Incredible. I was lucky to get two free tickets from my friend David, so Sam traveled to the east side of the state along with Lizz and John. I've been a fan of Imogen for a while, but have never seen her live. She was amazing. I have never been to a concert that was so focused on art and the fans. She played every instrument you could imagine, and had her microphone placed on her wrists so she could move around the stage and use the instruments. She also said that before the tour, she had fans in each city vote for what songs they wanted to hear- so every single show on tour is different, and the fans are getting their favorite songs. I was just blown away by that. If my absolute favorite artists did that, I would die. The coolest part of the show, though, was when she announced that she was going to do an improv piece. I wasn't sure what that meant until she said "so- what key do you want me to sing it in?" literally the entire song was chosen by the audience- key, instrument, and tempo. She danced around the stage putting it together, and it was as if we were sitting in her studio, watching her make an album. She then announced that they were going to mix that song THAT night and put it on itunes. The Detroit show audience could then buy it, and all proceeds would go toward Urban Farming in Detroit. She just kept throwing all these surprises at us, it was so amazing. I also REALLY enjoyed how artistic she is. She had recorded birds chirping in a park, put music too it, and bam, she had a song. She recorded a fire crackling, put music to it, and there is a masterpiece. I strongly encourage you to check out her music, especially if you are into artists such as Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michealson, Feist, The Postal Service, Tegan and Sara, Lights, etc.

Garden Party

We had our big fundraiser for Cristo Rey on Sunday. It was hot, but one of my favorite experiences of the year so far. We had our entire staff, a handful of students, and guests come together to support our school. A news anchor from channel 7, Archbishop, and several other important guests came. I loved standing back and watching my students interact with these adutls. Even though they have their moments of terror, the kids always find a way to make me proud. They can hold mature conversations and share their accomplishments as well as their struggles. I also had fun interacting with my co workers, some of whom have become my best friends. We raised money for the school, but we also shared our mission. I hope that each of the people there were as touched as I was when I first heard about Cristo Rey.

Jobs, The Future, Etc.

As most of you know, I have been applying for jobs like...well, like it's my job. I come into school every single day and search. It has been stressing me out, obviously. I had an interview today with an organization that fits my abilities/career goals pretty well. The interview went well, and I will know more in 2 weeks. Even if I don't get the job, I'm glad I got an interview. My self worth was starting to seriously suffer from lack of feedback from all these jobs I have been applying it was refreshing to get an interview, plus good to get practice. I'm trying so hard to just live in the moment and take everything in.

I literally only have ten full days of school left, a few 1/2 days of exams. That terrifies me. Not because of my future so much, but because this past year has been the happiest I can ever remember being. My job is extremly frustrating, and on more than occasion I have wanted to scream or cry or throw something, but it is also the most rewarding job I have ever had. I come home grateful, and, most of the time, look forward to a new day. I'm scared of losing that. I'm scared of losing these kids that I have worked so hard for. I'm scared of losing the kids that have inspired me and helped me to change and overcome my struggles. I'm scared to lose the support of my community and my co-workers. I'm scared I will never be this happy again. What if this is it?

I guess it doesn't have to "be it". I guess part of my happiness has come from within, that I have made the best of every situation...that I am growing and learning to allow myself to make mistakes and still be okay with it. So maybe, whatever happens in the future, it WILL be the "happiest" long as I allow it.

I think I'm done rambling now.

Go Crystal.

Friday, May 21, 2010

live for the moment now

I'm part ecstatic, part livid, and very much in pain.

A little background info? I've been a fan of the Spill Canvas since 2003. They have gone through a lot of changes since then, from band members to musical styles. I personally prefer their older matieral but I still aboslutley adore them. Nick Thomas is the front man and one of my inspirations. He is an absolutley amazing writer, and one heck of a vocalist. He is one of the reasons I write so much. I honestly depend on Spill Canvas to get me through a lot of my days. I am in love with them, and have gone to see them every time they've been in Detroit since 2003 (and a few Grand Rapids shows). I've met the band members a few times, and Nick once. Every concert is a good experience, and I walk away reminded of why I love them.

Tonight, I was reminded once again of why they are my favorite band...I was also reminded, though, how obnoxious some of their fans can be. I was trying to pin it down, and I honestly think it's because the majority of their fanbase are either people my age, or much younger. The people my age have all recently turned 21, so now they just go buckwild. The younger ones only know Spill Canvas for the newer stuff, and therefore think it's acceptable to act like a complete idiot. As much as I love the band, I miss the days of acoustic Nick only shows with just a handful of fans. I'm so proud of their success, but sheesh.

The Opening Acts

-New Politics. I odn't know quite how to describe them. Think screamo mixed with punk mixed with rap mixed with break dancing. That's what New Politics did. Their lead singer was literally jumping around the stage, doing flips and break dancing. I have never, ever seen someone with that much energy for a full set (although Kelly Clarkson comes close). I mean, he literally didn't stop. Whatever he's on, I want some.

-AM Taxi. They were a solid band. I would have been more into it if I had known their songs, but I could tell I liked them. Solid.

-Tyler Hilton. This, unfortuantley, is where things started to get messy. People were starting to get their drink on, and getting anxious for Spill Canvas. I was on the side of the stage where they had to move the barricade to get equipment on and off stage. So, when the security moved it to get Tyler's stuff on, this group of drunk girls LITERALLY attacked myself and the people standing around me, so that they could take our place when the barricade was back up. I didn't even see it coming, all of the sudden I went from 2nd row to about 5th. They were eventually pushed back out, and all was well. I actually ended up in an even better spot. Tyler's set was AMAZING. I've always liked him, this was my first time seeing him live. I really enjoyed it... I also enjoyed his guitarist. :) He was so good! I'm def a supporter.

Spill Canvas
So, when security moved the barricade to get rid of Tyler's equipment, those girls came back...with force. The girls near me WERE NOT having it, and pushed back. I wasn't even doing anything, just standing there, yet I kept getting squished. Eventually, the drunk girls ended up right next to me. Now, the funny thing, is that one of them is the SAME girl that looked me in the eyes two years ago at a Spill Canvas show and said "Imma puke"...and then put her head on my shoulder until security pulled her out. So, when I saw her again at this concert, I said "oh hell no". (excuse my language). She obviously had no idea who I was, but I gently touched her arm and said "Okay. Here's the thing. We're all at this concert for a reason- the music. So, I would really appreciate if you would stop pushing and just step back and enjoy. I know you're trying to have fun, but so are the rest of us. So please don't ruin it". Just then, the lights came down and my boys walked on stage.

Let me just say, that the majority of the show was freaking amazing. I'm going to start with the negatives and end positive.

-It was FREAKING HOT. A couple times, I considered leaving and heading to the balcony, but then I decided I had gotten pushed around too much to leave. I thought I was going to pass out a few times, and one girl down the row did pass out. The band was literally soaking wet.
-At the very end of the show, they played "All Over You", the only song that has ever gotten radio play...therefore, all the little teeny boppers knew it. For some STRANGE reason, they decided to mosh pit. Now, I've been to 10 Spill Canvas concerts in my life, and never has anyone started a mosh pit. It was mostly guys, but a few girls were involved as well. There were two girls next to me that were TEENY TINY and kept getting beat by these guys. So I eventually put my arms over them and said "I promise I'm not being a creep, I'm just trying to help you". So everytime we'd get a hurd of boys trying to push us, I was their little protective bubble. They thanked me later.
-The encore made me SO HAPPY at first because it was one of my top three favorite songs, and right before they came out to sing it, I was like "the one thing that would make this show better is All Hail The Heartbreaker". Then they came out and sang it, and I was ecstatic. Until...those same DUMB boys started moshing again, and this time a body literally GOT THROWN AT ME. This kid was bodysurfing, and his friends LAUNCHED him into the air. He fell right on me. It HURT. I knelt down to the ground covering my head because it had hurt so bad. He was on the ground laughing his ass off.
-I didn't get the setlist or to talk to them. I always try to get the setlist for their shows, and this time I failed...mainly because of my lack of energy. I also opted out of staying and talking to them by the vans because I was SO angry at the other fans. I mean seriously. This is why I'm not friends with Spill Canvas fans. I'm sad I missed out on talking to them, I wanted to thank Nick and Dan.

The positives:
-My moment with Joe. As I was walking in the venue, Joe (the drummer) was walking out to the van. There was a crowd of people, so it was tough for him to get out. I said "Hey Joe!" and he said "hey darling. Can I get through?" and then puts his arms around me and moves me slightly. "Thanks babe!". Swoon. We all know how I feel about drummers.
-The setlist (which I didn't get) was OUTSTANDING. They played all my favorite songs (except Dutch Courage).
-I heard Self Conclusion live for the first time. Nick does this one as a solo acoustic, and it is my FAVORITE song...but I never hear it live. It's always done on their tour at a few shows, but never Detroit/Grand Rapids. Tonight, he sang it. He was like "this is an older song...that has had a lot of meaning to me lately..." and when those first notes started, I stopped moving. I forgot all about the heat and the pushing and was just so into that moment. That song has played a HUGE role in repairing my broken heart and spirit. It has been a life changing song for me...and to hear it live for the first time, a time when I am going through so much stress, was amazing.
-I had many moments with Dan. I specifcially stood on Dan's (guitar/vocals) side of the stage when I first got there, because besides Nick, he's my favorite bandmember...mostly because homeboy can SANG. I am now half regretting standing there because of everything that went on...but also half loving it. Since I was CLEARLY the only one on that side of the stage who was sober, Dan and I shared quite a few moments. I think my favorite was at the very beginning in "Polygraph Right Now" at the line "angel what are you hiding from me" when he looked angry at me and then blew me a kiss. He also tried to throw me his pick, but drunk girl got in the way.
-I had three moments with Nick, and, ironically, they were during my three favorite songs. Perhaps I was the most into them, and that's why? I'm not sure. All I know is that the first two brought me to tears. One was during "The Tide" which is an extremly emotional song to begin with...and we locked eyes at one of the "live for the moment" lines...ironic again, because that's something I am needing a reminder of lately! The second time was during Self Conclusion. I was in tears already kind of, and he had been glancing my way, but then he stared RIGHT AT ME and sang "settle precious, I know what you're going through". SQUEEEEE.
The final moment with Nick was during All Hail The Hearbreaker. As I kneeled on the ground when the body was thrown at me, I looked up at the stage and saw Nick mouth "oh shit". It was during the instrumental part of the song, so then he continues looking at me all concerned and sings "So don't go worrying about me, it's not like I think about you maybe I do, but that shouldn't affect your life anymore..." I was in pain, so I was half singing back, half cringing. He nodded at me as if to say "are you okay", so I got back up and started singing along again.
-Screaming my lungs out "ALL HAIL THE HEARTBREAKER" at the very end of the show was the best way to end the night.

Overall, I had a good time. I would have rather not had those fans around, but nothing beats seeing Spill Canvas live. Just someone PLEASE remind me next time I see them to sit in a balcony. I want to see them open for Goo Goo Dolls at DTE, depending on ticket prices. We'll see...

My heart hurts. I'm going to take some tylenol and SLEEP IN tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This spring, The Spill Canvas has released two EP's to hold fans over before their full album, Formalities, is released in the fall. One of the many things I love about their band is consistency. It's always been album, ep, tour. In that order...for seven years. Here are some of my favorite lyrics from their latest EP's: Abormalities and Realities.

Collision’s unavoidable, so don’t tell me it’s all coincidence, cuz it makes sense to me

Can’t help it I’m racing around every bend, hoping that I’ll run into you again

When you look at me with your cinematic eyes, I wanna play that part, but I forget the lines

We never were, and we’ll never be strangers kissing in the pouring rain, chasing after your leaving train, but we know that’s not how our song goes

You know him better than I do…I know I’m not the one for you, I’m just another hand me down

10,000 midnights ago, I held myself back in the front row. You infect my memory, all consuming without mercy.

I stood behind the lens, took your portrait, now I’m forgotten

It was one year off and one year on, wanted to be the muse of every song

Lonely, desolate, uninhabited. In the reaches of no one, nowhere. Come hear your voice again, shifting sediments.

I said you bring out my terrible, it’s oh so wonderful..I can be the first class passion that you’re looking for..I’m your number one all time fan

I don’t remember anything I used to like about you and why I always let you in

For the record, I never wanted this. For the record, I wish we never met and opened up this mess

Everytime I put a little faith in my hopelessness, I recall why I’m such a wreck about you and how you never let me in

All you ever did was use me like a puppet, stringing me along just to let me lose

You are my gateway drug, you pull me down, you mess me up

Tomorrow I will do the handful of songs off their ep's in between their other albums :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

no really, i'm fine

I got sent home from school today, haha. I was feeling kinda icky all morning, but by the middle of lunch, I thought I was going to either pass out, or throw up, or both. I went to my supervisor and told her I wasn't feeling well, but I was going to stick it out, and she said "go home. There's a lot of bugs going around, go home." Well, okay! So I climbed into bed and after a five hour nap, I felt better. A few of the other teachers have had the same thing and also slept it off. Hoping it STAYS off!

Exciting news for my roomies- Nate has been accepted to med school, and Dave has a job offer. So proud of them. I like when good things happen to people I love. It's also Katie's birthday today, so their is all kinds of joy and gratitude running through our home :) For Katie's birthday we went to Good Girls Love Paris, a new place to add to my Discovering Detroit places! Honestly, it was probably the best food experience I've had in this city. It was outstanding. We all got different types of crepes for dinner (mine was chicken and broccoli) and split a desert one (it was called Melinda! Key Lime crepe...mmm). Seriously, one of the best places I've ever ate. If you like crepes :)

Onto Spill Canvas...their third album: No Really, I'm Fine.

If you need anything, just say the word, I mean anything. Rest assured, if you start to doze, then I’ll tuck you in, plant my lips where your necklaces close.

It’s those pills that you don’t need to take, medicating perfection, now that’s a mistake. I know that you’re spent, just let me sing you to sleep.

While you were sleeping, I figured out everything. I was constructed for you, and you were molded for me. You shine so bright its insane; you put the sun to shame.

I gotta feel you in my bones again… I’m all over you, I’m not over you.

This life is way too short to get caught up in all this stuff when I just want you to love me back…why can’t you just love me back.

Wish I could hold you up in my arms, keep you safe and sound from any harm.

This where I start to miss you more than I can bear, I hate this distance in-between us, I don’t think it’s fair.

There is a part in every day when I lie to myself and say that it’s okay…cuz if I don’t, I think I’ll go insane…but the truth is, I only have myself to blame.

Forget what I said , you’re only good in bed or on your knees

So fill your shoes with cement, and kiss the one you love with reckless abandonment

We’re destruction at it’s finest

I am unraveling unbearably empty, and if this ground gives way, I just hope that you’ll catch me

You came and saved me tonight, defending all my love, now I’m content with my breath, cuz I’m alive

If your ears just ache from listening, then I’ll supply the remedy in the melodies I sing

Take all excuses your fear produces, line em up in a row, we’re gonna execute them, then salute them, let our courage flow

Polishing my social skills with one more drink and two more pills

I gotta wrote those songs, make em scream

Like the battles with yourself that leave you’s all just a numbing charade, until the day you finally wake up, and you’r enot afraid

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we never feel the heat before we get burned…we try so hard not to die, sometimes we forget to appreciate life

I can’t take another breath without feeling the regret of my jealousy

I’ve seen those hush hush looks you give when you’re talking to him

Your heart is charcoal, smoking black..why don’t you just tie the mattress to your back

One thing is for sure, you are worth living for

Monday, May 17, 2010

One Fell Swoop

I only have four weeks left of school...and not one of those, besides this week, is a full five day week.


That is just so insane to me. I mean, I feel like I just started. These kids, this experience has been absolutley incredible. I came to the realization tonight that I absolutley cannot put my worries about the future ahead of my passion and love for this job. I need to take in every single moment and finish this year strong. I cannot even begin to tell you how much it is going to break my heart to leave these kids, but I can tell you that I won't let my own anxieties, fears, and stress get in the way of loving them right up until that final bell on June 18th.

I am going to try my absolute best to find the good in every day, even though they are crazy with thoughts of summer just around the corner. Today, for example, the good was when I had my first of a few scheduled sit downs with students. Since I have grown so close with many of them, I have decided to sit some of them down in small groups and let them know how much I appreciate them. I started with two girls today, and, with tears in their eyes, we shared memories of this year and gratitude toward one another. It was absolutley lovely. I am also planning on writing letters again, like I did last year before I graduated from WMU. So, if you have played a role in my year with MVC, get ready for a letter.

I continued my Spill Canvas listening party tonight with their second album, One Fell Swoop. It's my favorite! Here are just some of the best lyrics

You’re my crutch when it’s all too hard to bear…see without you here, I would not be anywhere

Ten bucks says you don’t have it in you to conquer fear and quit believing what they tell you to…you are careening shamelessly into oblivion, where you will live alone with your chemicals and gin

I’m utterly disgusted with the path you trek, as inebriated as you can get off your latest pay check, I am at a loss for words here, I hate to break this to you but being a coward is not a legitimate career

I want you staple gunned to my side all of the time….do I have to spell it out for you, or scream it in your face? Oh the chemistry between us could destroy this place.

You answer the door with your innocent face…would you like to leave this human race tonight?

Follow me into the sea, we’ll drown together and immortalize you and me. Leave behind this lonely town, we’re both better than this, it’s not worth being down.
Yes it’s true, you’ve brainwashed me and now I’m more confused, I still somehow hope I end up with you

Screw what my supposed friends think, it’s obvious they reek of jealousy

My shredded throat will try to sing for you

When the sun goes down and the shadows grow, just trust in us and forever know...please keep holding on to me

I’m racking my brain, tying to comprehend, how for some unknown reason our status will remain as friends

Tonight I make a secret oath…to keep chasing after you…and I am not going to stop, whether you like it or not

Yeah I know you listen to this all alone up in your room, I know you love how all this music is about you

I’m sick of you leading me on, I’m sick of you stringing me along.

Every poison kiss that you blew, I deflected with an icy cold stare that I learned from you

Well it’s more than a shame that we lost to this game, all my walking, talking, breathing, sleeping, nothing will ever be the same

For what it’s worth, I’ve always admired you. I always thought that we could make it through…now look what time can do…it took the masterpiece we built and broke it in two…I always believed in you. I always loved you.

Hypothetically if you were point a, and theoretically if I were point b, we would be we would be frantically melting into one massive point that could overcome anything

She said I don’t care, you don’t even know me, I said I know but I’d like to change that soon hopefully

We all flirt with the tiniest notion of self conclusion in one simplified motion…you see the trick is you’re never supposed to act on it, no matter how unbearable this misery gets

Settle precious, I know what you’re going through

I wanna tear apart your room to see if what you say is true…darling don’t you lie lie to me

I’m scared to death to find out what you think of me

I’m the king of this pity party with my jewel encrusted crown

According to you we don’t click that’s a blatant lie and you know it…angel what are you hiding from me

In one fell swoop it became clear to me…that I despise you entirely.

I’m on my knees, so are you, unfortunately for the wrong reasons

There’s nothing wrong with being lonely.

Tomorrow night is No Really, I'm Fine :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

sunsets and car crashes

I'm scared. Yes, I know I WILL find a job. Yes, I know everyone else is in the same boat. Yes, I know God has a plan for me.

I know all of these things, I really do...but I'm still scared. I don't like looking into the future and having it be completly empty. Some people find that exciting, a new adventure, I find it terrifying.

I'm negative because I'm sick of being rejected, I'm negative because I'm sick of complaining about it...but it is ALL that it is on my mind. So, my apologies if I am negative, cranky, etc. I'm just having a hard time stepping away from stressing.

Between that stress and an EXTREMLY rough week last week, I needed a distraction tonight. Since I am seeing my favorite band (The Spill Canvas) of all time on Friday, I'm going to celebrate/prepare by listening to an album a night before the concert. Tonight was their first album, Sunsets and Car Crashes. Here are my favorite lyrics from that album.

And in case you were wondering, you are like a sunset to me. You’re all kinds of beautiful as you end my day.

The beauty lies in how you will revive me soon.

How does it feel to know you’re everything I need?

Oh I adore the way you carry yourself, with the grace of a thousand angles overhead.

Just you and I in the sweet unknown, we can just call each other our home. If I had to choose a way to die, it’d be with you…in a goose bump infested embrace, with my over anxious hands cupping your face.

Your picture at my hands, I’m crying at the mercy of your photograph.

With you I’m truly in my element, my element with you.

I hope you never forget the tapping at your window, the harsh cold and the jealousy running through my bones.

I would like to thank you for showing me a part of myself that I had never seen.

My secret is fatally gorgeous: I’d die for you.

The ceremony was not proper, there was not enough people...and who picked the music, those melodies almost made me physically sick.

I am the bracelets you sport; I am everything that you have ever missed, and more.

This is redundant, but I think it bears repeating… I think I’ve found my other half.

Heaven’s not a place that you go when you die; it’s that moment in life when you actually feel alive, so live for the moment now.

Tonight ill sit and pick apart your pictures, and overanalyze your words...the truth is I’ve never fallen so hard.

So don’t go worrying about me, it’s not like I think about you maybe I do, but that shouldn’t affect your life anymore.

Could someone please show me the kind of affection you only see in the movies?

I know you never meant to do everything you put me through, that’s okay, I forgive you. Just know that when you see me cringe sometimes, I’m trying to rid the poison from my mind.

In a confident fashion, I will admit my deepest and darkest to her.

Which you like to go inside and forget the world and the rules by which we are to abide?

Brash and hopeful that my luck will not perish tonight…

Consider this song a testament of my devotion to your secreting scent, and to be completely honest, you’ren ot like all the rest

Thursday, May 13, 2010

these are my colors for you

On Saturday, I will be participating in VisionWalk.

VisionWalk is the national signature fundraising event of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Since its inception in the Spring of 2006, the program has raised over $10 million to fund sight-saving research. As promising treatments move into critical human studies, the need for research funding is greater than ever before.

I've been looking forward to this event for a while, not only because it's going to be the kick off into my spring walking routine, but because it gives me a chance to raise awareness for blindness, and to represent one of the greatest friends I have ever known, Jena. In addition to being one of the most compassionate, understanding, supportive people I have ever known, Jena also happens to be one of the most creative, descriptive, and smartest! Jena is happy to share her story with people, and I am inspired by her confidence and courage. She has written absolutely breathtaking beautiful pieces on how she "sees" things, how she visions things that we so easily take advantage of. She's told me how she sees color, and that she used to "paint pictures" of people through their voices on cassette tapes.

I decided to write a blog on how I see color, using other senses. It's a tough thing to process, because color is so often compared to other items. I will try my best, though.

Red is the color of passion. it's love, war, excitement, embarrassment, rage, or the beating of a heart. It's deep, intense. Red is fire. It's your face turning hot when you are embarrassed or angry, it's the color of the blood that flows through your body. It's the color of your heart. Red is courage, sacrifice, and often used for countries flags. Red means stop. Red is spicy, red is a sweet apple, red is strawberries, red is meat.

Blue is water, peace, serenity. Blue is the waves crashing in the ocean, blue is the sky. Blue is calming. It is strong, but also light and friendly. Blue can make you sleep, but also lower your spirits, because it can be too extreme calming. Blue is first prize, the prettiest eyes. Blue is unexpected, soft, the color of a baby boy's blanket. Blue is clean and fresh, a drink of cold water on a hot day. Blue is fresh.

Yellow is content, happiness. Yellow is the warm sun hitting your face. Yellow is the sweet and sour taste of lemonade. Yellow is springtime and flowers, like daisies and daffodils. Yellow is playfulness, innocence, light, and delicate. It is warm, comfortable. Yellow are school buses and taxi cabs. Yellow is bananas, lemons, corn, and squash.

Green is the earth. Green is freshly mowed grass, green are leaves. Green is mint. Green is cool to touch, clean and fresh, green is positive energy. Green makes me feel renewed and young, to me, green is the color of life. Green gives me hope in new beginnings. Green are turtles, alligators, and frogs. Green can be jealous and envious, green is money. Green is crisp lettuce, spinach, broccoli. Green is God's creation! Green calms my anxiety.

Pink is red's sweet little sister. It is the sweet color of new love. Love for a newborn baby and their pink cheeks, love for puppies, a soft kiss on the cheek. Pink is soft and tender, like a cotton ball. Pink is feminine, quiet, and universal love. Pink provides feelings of caring, tenderness, and acceptance. Pink is sticky Cotton candy and bubblegum. Pink is fresh and lively.

Orange is bright, lively, loud, vibrant, and hot. I don't wear orange because it stands out, and I don't like attention. Orange is tangy, big, and engaging. Orange is athletic. Orange is a bright, healthy fruit bursting with juice. Orange stimulates emotions and appetite. Orange are the leaves changing in the fall, the sun setting, pumpkins, the color of change. Orange is tasted in tangerines, peaches, apricots, and sweet potatoes. Orange is unique, and cheerful.

Purple is royalty, nobility. Purple is Easter and Mardi Gras. Purple is sophisticated and classy. Purple is the taste and smell of grape juice. Purple smells like lilacs. Purple is spirituality, mediation, it is special and sacred. Purple is imagination and creativity. Purple is magic and mystery.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WOF Wednesday

If you could go back in time and tell your teenage self one thing, what would you say?

I'm not sure that I am entirley qualified to answer this question. I still see myself as a kid, dependant on those older than me to guide me and comfort me. I'm only 22 years old, with no idea what the future holds for me as far as a career or a family. However, there are some things I have learned over the past few years that I wish I had known when I was a teenager....mainly, don't let other people influence you too much.

While it's important to have people around that can advise you, it's also essential to a)understand that you need to make decisions from your heart. If you make a mistake, then you make a mistake, and you can get right back up again and keep on trying. You can ask other people for advice, but don't let their words take complete control of your actions. b) don't let anyone have a negative influence on you. If you know what you believe in, you know your own values and morals, please do not let someone easily push them away, just because you're a little afraid to stand up for yourself. It will be so much better for you to disagree then to give in and do something that does not sit right with your heart. You may have to cut certain friendships off, and yes, it will suck, but it's also necessary in order for you to grow into the person you want to be.

Mostly, just know that God made you in His image, and you have a purpose in life. Love yourself completly.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Things I've Learned...Part 1.

So, about a week ago, I got this e-mail from our program coordinator.

Dear Volunteers, our May Corps Connections will feature EVERYONE - what fun!!! Please email me your response to the question below by Sunday, May 9. Please keep your response to 1-3 sentences. I am asking EVERYONE to respond:)

What is the one thing that you have learned from this experience
that you believe will shape and/or give direction to the rest of your life?

I love my program coordinator, but I literally laughed out loud reading this. 1-3 sentences? Was she crazy? I could write a BOOK on what I've learned this year that will shape the rest of my life. Heck, I don't even know if I know everything I've learned this year yet! After that email, I began brainstorming in order to form the perfect mini paragraph. I want to share the notes I took with you. Some are funny, some are wise, some are personal...all are real. This is just part 1, at the end of my service here in Detroit, I'll do a little more :)

-It's okay to be scared. God is right there with you, and He'll send you the people you need in order to help you in those scary times. Sometimes they shine through at the most unexpected times, but that's one of the most wonderful things about God. He surprises us :)

-People love to give me nicknames. In addition to the array of names I have been dubbed throughout high school and college, this year I have been called: Miss C, Miss Caroline, Miss Coroline, Miss Carolan, Miss O'Carolin, Auntie M, Mother, and, my personal favorite, Miss Curolun.

-I have to work on my patience, every single day. I have to constantly remind myself to breathe it all in, to calm down and to live each moment one step at a time. (Hey, Jordin!)

-You CAN impact someone's life just by smiling, showing a little extra love, listening to their story.

-Don't leave the door to the snack room unlocked. Teenagers get hungry.

-We may not be able to change the world, but there is a special feeling in just knowing you have influenced ONE person's life.

-Teenagers have so much to offer. Obnoxious as they may be, they're smart, they have big ideas. Reach out to a teenager, be a mentor. The more positive influences they have, the more likely they are to live out their dreams. Be someone's dream sponsor. We MUST NOT give up on our youth.

-At the end of the day, all we can do is thank God for the beauty we witnessed, and trust in Him. It may have been a tough day, but we got through it, and that's what matters.

-Cristo Rey kids love ranch dressing.

-Wake up every morning with a positive attitude. If you wake up with your cranky pants on, do something positive for yourself to turn that attitude around.

-Living simply is simply beautiful. If every person on this earth spent a year living simply, perhaps things would be different. This is something I am definatley going to be dedicated to doing in my "real life", whatever that turns out to be.

-People come in and out of our lives. Some people who we have felt personally connected to...maybe they were a student at the school we were volunteering for and had to leave. (maybe...) It hurts, and we don't always understand what's happening. That's okay. Know that they will carry a part of you in their heart forever. For that moment of time, you WERE a part of their life. Therefore, you always will be a part of their life, in spirit.

-Having a community of positive support will help you to keep on. Praying together, cooking together, experiencing life together, are all important aspects to staying strong in supporting each other. If you don't have that community, find it. I firmly believe that God led me to MVC for many reasons, but one of the most important being my roomates this year, as well as the Sister's of Mercy and my co-workers. That is my community, and I love each of them for the gifts they have given me.

-While it's important to be compassionate, it's also important to be careful. Remember that you are the most important person in your life, and if you are worrying too much about other people, you aren't taking care of yourself, and then you will stop helping others. Wearing your heart on your sleeve can get you hurt. Don't allow others to walk all over you.

-Love. Love equally, love hard. Love yourself, love those around you, love God. With love, you can do anything. Love will lead you to trust, forgive, believe, understand.

-Have confidence in yourself. Know your incredible worth, that God created you in his image and that you have a purpose. Take charge of your life. Stand up for yourself, but also know when your wrong, and have the ability to ask for forgiveness.

So, what am I going to email to Marie? I decided to combine a few. Hopefully, it makes sense.

The one thing I feel that will forever shape my life is something that was said by one of my students, and that is "never give up". Challenges will arise, and, most likely, you will fall a couple of times on your journey...but have confidence in yourself and get right back up. Don't give up on yourself, your neighbors, or God.

Does that make sense?

I hope so. I only have three more months of this experience...that is starting to scare me...but, I'm going to finish strong :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Melinda Doolittle "Beyond Me"

Melinda Doolittle is known as being the soulful, sweet singer from Season 6 of American Idol. Her genuine personality and incredible vocals captured America. Since American Idol, Melinda has continued to touch the hearts of millions through her voice and her humanitarian work. In addition to releasing a critically acclaimed album in 2009, Melinda has traveled to Africa with former first lady Mrs. Bush, raised money and awareness for Malaria No More, and teamed up with dozens of other organizations. As of May 4, Melinda can add "published author" to her long list of accomplishments.

Melinda's book, "Beyond Me", gives readers an inside look at her life. Idol fans will enjoy the behind the scenes info on the show, and those who watched Melinda during Season 6 will begin to understand the emotions she felt on that roller coaster ride. Melinda also opens her heart to share her stories of overcoming obstacles, specifically with self confidence, learning how to trust in God, and dealing with negativity. Melinda shares the importance of giving back, and what working with different organizations has meant to her. Throughout the entire book, Melinda shares wisdom that has been passed down from her mom. I was touched by their mother/daughter relationship, it was evident how important they have been to one another.

Melinda has always been known as someone who can inspire others, whether it is through her voice or her actions. In this book, she continues to find ways to motivate and reach out to others. I found myself nodding along when she talked about some of the issues in her life she has dealt with, and smiling when she shared how she overcame those issues. I can guarantee that anyone who reads this book will find encouragement, hope, and love splashed across each page. You will learn from Melinda's experiences, laugh at her witty humor, and feel for her when times were tough. The book was an absolute delight, and I feel personally grateful for being able to read it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Be Fearless.

"being told to grow up, and do something practical with your life is raw fearless." - rick devos

I stole that from a friend's facebook status yesterday, (hey heather!) who had heard this spoken at her friend's graduation ceremony. The words "be fearless" hit me hard. Lately I've been so weighted down my stress of my future and my kids. My trip to Nashville was definatley refreshing, but when I returned I went right back into panic mode as far as job applications go.

Be fearless. A concept that can be said so easily, yet is so challenging to put into action. To be fearless means to let go of pressures, anxieties, fears, and to go full force into every opportunity, to conquer every obstacle, and to do it with a smile. Really, we all have the ability to be fearless. It's just a matter of stepping up and doing it. Of course, let's not completely forget about our fears, because sometimes we need to be a little afraid. It makes it all the more worthwhile when we accomplish something. I think there is a definate difference between not caring and being fearless. To be fearless means to recognize our fears, and in that moment, say "okay, I'm scared, but I'm going to be fearless and get this thing finished".

I know I'm not one to talk, since I'm scared...of pretty much everything...but over the past couple years I have learned with ways to deal with my anxiety, and I share them with my students on a daily basis.

-Set small goals. It would be nice if we could say "Tomorrow, I'm going to change everything about my life" and then do it, but it doesn't happen that way. Figure out the small steps you need to take to make it a better tomorrow. Get that e-mail written, make that phone call. If there's something looming over your head, you might as well get it done, rather than having it interfere with your life. Procrastination is an easy way to put away fear, but it will keep coming back until you get it done. So, like Nike, just do it. As Melinda Doolittle says, "if you have to, do it afraid".

-Know that whatever is holding you back can't be there forever. A little roadblock in your journey CAN get knocked down, if you have the right attitude and determination.

-You are the most important person in your life, and essentially, all you can worry about is yourself...not what other people think.

-Don't be afraid to reach out for help. Asking for other people's help is one of my biggest challenges, but I have come to realize that if I am going to do something that terrifies me, I need back up. I don't want someone to do it for me, but I need someone there to cheer me on.

I realize that I'm making this sound like I'm a pro, and that I live my life fearless. Wrong. So, very wrong. Every day is a new challenge, and every day I have to conquer anxieities. I'm still learning, and still willingly take any advice I can get, but over the past two years I have grown tremendously in this area.

So, loves, let's all do one thing today that scares us. Let's be fearless, together.

And while you're out being fearless, remember to pick up a copy of Melinda Doolittle's book, Beyond Me. I'll be posting my review tomorrow. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I promise you, a real blog is coming. In the mean time...

How many total songs?
803 (I only recently started using Itunes)

Sort by song title - first and last
First: Absolutely Zero- Jason Mraz
Last: 99 Times- Kate Voegle

Sort by time - shortest and longest
Shortest: A Sentimental Man, Wicked (1:00.)
Longest: Change is Gonna Come, Gavin DeGraw (12:24)

Sort by Album - first and last
First: "Achtung Baby" by U2
Last: "Wicked Sountrack"

Sort by Artist - first and last
First: Adam Lambert
Last: U2

Sort by Album Artist - first and last
I'm not sure what this means - why is "album artist" different from "artist"?

Top five played songs:
Spill Canvas- Our Song
Anberlin- Time and Confusion
Crystal Bowersox- Hand In My Pocket
Gavin DeGraw- Chariot
Melinda Doolittle- Home

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 4.
Death: 0.
Love: 59
You: 153
Home: 9
Boy: 24
Girl: 4

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle
1. For Your Entertainment- Adam Lambert
2. Carry You There- Hanson
3. How Come You Don't Call Me- Melinda
4. Home- Michael Castro
5. Goodbye Waves and Driveways- The Rocket Summer.