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the next eleven and a half months.

17 Jan

it’s apparently a trend to not mention having the-r-word on your blog this year, so whatever. i’m down. but, if you were holding a gun to my head and asked me what my plans were for this year, this is what I would say:

Read Fifty Books.
Run a Marathon
Run a half marathon
Graduate*
Go on dates
Plant things. Use cookbooks. Bake bread. Make jam.
Read T.S. Eliot, Annie Dillard, and Flannary O’Conner
Write a poem a week.
Know when long weekends are going to be. Plan things for them.
Make a financial plan. Avoid the term “budget” at all costs.
Leave the country after Alaska. Somewhere far.
cook some french recipes
Publish at least three essay.
Work on my French. Or Spanish. Or English. Your grammar needs improving.
Wear more skirts
End a roundout a trip all over the US with Hawaii.
Kiss lots of boys and write stories about them.
Be tidier. Put things away where they *go.*
Run more
Write a lot.
Produce some really bad writing.
Write books.
Get money.
Make an apple pie from scratch.
bake some cupcakes

Somethings are self-fulfilling. it’s good to plan for pre-determined success.* Some things are going to require a lot more flour than we have in the house currently. Some of them are going to require hard liquor. And a bigger savings account. Some are going to take me out of the country. Some may require breaking laws.**

*See, Mom? A confident statement about graduation.
** Totally kidding, mom.***
***Mostly

Another Term Begins

3 Jan

I unzip an empty bag and decide: what makes up my life? I make decisions that don’t seem like much, but ultimately play a role defining the next five months. The next five months is the final stretch. The next time a lot of relatives and loads of friends will see me, they will meet Emily Moore, the graduate. Right now I just feel like “Emily Moore, the girl with all of the home making accessories.” Awesome.

The other side of the packing coin is that when I arrive home to everything that was left behind, I feel a bit hopeless. If I’ve gone this long without you, do I really need you now? (I think the same way with some relationships, with some friendships, and always with my dressy top options and high heel selection) (I think the coincident of the heel in “high heel” being able to so easily be mistyped into “high hell” is more than just that, coincident.)

But you know, I’m going to be able to read some awesome books this year. I’m going to have great conversations with women who mean a lot to me, and I’m going to travel, and I’m going to make a lot of new recipes. There is a lot to be excited about, a lot of possibility in these empty suitcase bags.

This year I’ll be making some pretty large decisions. Life-foundation-laying sort of decisions. The whole not drinking in high school and not screwing around with classwork bit, those were just trial runs. (One more successful than the other). Now is the big stuff. Like painting my nails both bright and dark colors. And cooking with wine (which I still find relatively repulsive). And maybe this is the year that I start writing in cursive. Big decisions, folks. Adult decisions.

And regardless of whether I end up in Alaska or Uganda or Ireland or New Zealand (because why ________ not?) I unzip these old bags, to pack and pass judgement on my possessions and I begin to tear up a little. In this room are memories, of loving, of tears, of fighting and of reconciliation. There are young adults lying in the bed of my baby brother and sisters. There are two less pets (omitting all the fish) roaming the house, and one lonely cat. There are burnt carpet offerings, stains that should not be named, and these beds are all worn in with family cuddling. There are well read books gathering dust on the shelves. My bags are empty, but my heart is full. I’m leaving the south to return to the north for what I fear (and hope) is the last time.

When I was younger I thought that growing up was less of a process and more of an instant accomplishment. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and look older and have more responsibilities and I won’t feel the same. I’ll be brighter, newer, different. I still get disappointed that things aren’t really like that, and annoyed with having only one day to wake up to, a little dimmer and a slight bit older. I want to cut to the end, to the fifty years married, rocking chairs on the porch with a gaggle of family running around. This concerned my counselor and it sort of concerns me. All the things I want to accomplish takes years to get to, and I don’t want to just be waiting around. So I leave this worn in bed, and kiss my momma goodbye. I pack these suitcases with the all the decisiveness I can muster, and I leaving, on a jet plane. Yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow’s acomin’, and I don’t quite know when the tomorrow’s end. So, so long. Farewell. Be good to your mother and kiss the family pet when you leave. Those things are dropping like fish into our toilets, but maybe it’s just us.

The Art of Being Single

20 Dec

It has recently been brought to my attention how much gratitude I have for being raised in a period of evolving culture (i.e. human existance) where I have the opportunity to develop and construct a moral structure that is not dictated to me by media or society, but mostly from tradition and the longing of my soul.

Freedom like this has been abused by a lot of my friends, many of whom I haven’t talked to in awhile. Grow your culture, blow up and fly away. You’re magnetically attracted to those who share similar culture because there is the opportunity to discuss ann sorts of beliefs at a lower level. That’s why I chose Taylor, that’s why I chose my dorm, and that’s the basis of how I will choose my grad school. It’s inclusive nature at its best, because sometimes the soul needs some establishment to grow a little.

These are just some thoughts on singleness and the church, from the persepective of a senior college girl with married, engaged, and single friends, who still suffers the hang ups of desired romance. What a dramatic self description.

“…. Now concerning the unmarried, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that in view of the present distress it is well for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a girl marries she does not sin. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.”
(Sections from 1 Cor 7:7, 16-17, 25-40)

I don’t mind being single, but I mind the concept of being single as less-than-desirable. When meeting with my mentors lately, I’ve shared how I am scared poopless about being married. I can do the whole flirting bit, I can do sexy. But to be truly intimate is something that I’m still scared of in my relationship with the Lord — one who already knows everything I’m afraid to bring to light. The idea of moving in with my best friend, sharing a bed, caring for in body, mind and spirit, is completely. overwhelming.

In the parking lot at church, my professor and his wife warned me from being too eager to run away from marriage (because I’ve got an extensive list of things I want to accomplish). and I’m still a little baffled. It wasn’t too long ago that all I desired was to be married.

In response to the saying some of my friends (and I) would throw around about “a woman should be so immersed in her relationship with God that a man should have to go through Him to find her,” a former coworker suggested this thought:
“Sometimes it’s best for the beloved to remain apart from you (and you from the beloved) so that one or both of you can remain so immersed or become more immersed in God and His holiness.”

I’d be lying to say that the majority of my fear regarding marriage comes from worrying about being pulled away from God, but it plays a factor. Especially since I feel like I’m only now beginning to get to know Him. All said and done I know that being more pro-active in my singleness means that I have to really reevaulate the way some of my relationships look like, being aware of who I’m letting into my life.

“… And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband.”

This is the verse I have to dwell on when facing the future beyond graduation which is scary and comforting, to say the least.

School Time Confessional: The First Years.

15 Dec

When I first started taking any sort of class, I always figured out the bare minimum of what I had to do to pass. Usually this was because I was more interested in learning what I had to learn, and I didn’t quite trust that whatever was outlined was what I really wanted to learn. Being me, especially under the teaching hand of my parents (sorry mom and dad!) I grew to have a boldness to propose my own way of learning whatever the topic was.

If I had to learn about history, can I focus on the history of monks, or study “Horse Anatomy”, or what if I created a menu for a party in Latin instead of giving you the vocabulary for a party?

Great ideas. Didn’t always work.

The philosophy was, why pursue something so general when you can be incredibly specific? Why not become an expert in a niche than get a general over view of the topic? Maybe things will be like this when I graduate. Maybe they won’t. I’m tired of valuing myself based off of my academic performance.

The concept of specialization is the mantra I hear as I pursue becoming a self-sustained writer. Find what you’re good and go for it.

And now I don’t want to. Thanks, Liberal Arts Education, but I screwed myself over on this one, and I’m sorry I didn’t read all of the required reading, I really am. I’m sorry that I didn’t become well informed and develop relavent questions for the lecture. I’m sorry that in the pursuit of learning about everything I got pooped and don’t want to anymore.

Ever since I left my computer with Lucy in Tennessee, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. A lot. Reading things like “I married you” or “Gang Leader for a Day” or “The War of Art”. Taken, like a fish upstream to it’s home, into the desirable world of words that don’t involve studying or presenting, just dwelling.

I started this post just so that I didn’t have to study anymore. Funny thing is that I’ll post this, you’ll all read it, and I’ll still have to study.

Videos like this make me want to be a musician. Programs like this make me want to join the circus. Causes like this make me want to cut my hair. I’m on my way to seeing at least two of those through.

What Part of Party Don’t You Understand?

10 Dec

As I’m catching up on my blogs and whatever, and I started to cry while looking at books for gardening (and listening to this amazing cover song) (that’s unrelated.) because, guys I want to stop moving. I want to have a garden. I want to live somewhere long enough to plant a garden. A garden is the metaphorical and literal demonstration of me committing to a city/job/life by put some dumb roots down.

After moving all over the world, all over the country, staying no where longer than three. freaking. months. I’m done! This last year at Taylor is the longest I’ll of been in one location, with the same crazy roommate. Not that I don’t love and cherish all of the bazillion roommates (and housemates) I’ve had over the past three years. But really.

Now I’m facing the issue of locating “home”. I love driving back to North Carolina. I love the feeling of wonderlust that driving through TN gives me. And I love airports.

So, either of those? DC? Ireland? Seattle? Each of those locations either has a potential future career or masters program. I have the wonderful (and terrifying) potential of going anywhere in the world. I get so easily over whelmed thinking about things like this.

Today started 16 hours, two cars, three fast food resturants, two gas stations and five states ago; it feels good to be home.

Death is a Doorway.

14 Nov

After tossing pretty restlessly in bed last night, I picked up the latest novel I lifted from a friend’s shelf. It’s following the life of some seminary student who is going crazy or something (I’m not that far in) (I got pretty tired after I picked it up) and I thought back to my friend Clark* that I met during a chemistry class I took during the Fall of my Sophomore year of high school.

When I wasn’t trying to convince my other homeschool friend to skip class with me, I was in class talking to Clark about theology. I don’t remember specifically what we discussed, whether it was the paradox of Jesus Christ the Jew, and what sort of books I should be reading to help build up my understanding. But during that one semester class, that man took time to invest in this young girl on an adventure of discovering the greater parts of her faith. During a time period where positive male influences were rare and abusive guys were on the rise, Clark stands out in my mind.

He died two years later. I didn’t think of him much until I got to Taylor and started seeing the same books he recommended on our required reading list, and wanted to drop an email to see how he was doing and to let him know where I’d ended up. With some googling/searching facebook, all that came up were obits for Clark who had passed away in the night sometime in March 2008. I got in contact with his fiance and shared my regrets and she helped fill me in.

So, this book about the seminary student reminded me of Clark (who graduated from Duke’s Seminary) and I went back to look over the emails, relating far more to Clark’s theological approach than the young gregarious creature he was writing to. I felt conflicted lying in bed that night. I wanted to mourn him, but he was just a 2-email memory. I wanted to miss him, but the I was reminded that Death is just a doorway and that Clark and I can continue our conversation as soon as walk through.

For some time, with all the death I’ve encountered and how close it’s gotten to me in the past, I let the enemy make Death the boogie man. Thinking about death in relation to my delayed friendship with Clark scaled down that fear to just that. Death is just a door way that leads to a room greater than the one I’m occupying now.

Author’s notes:
*It’s his real name because no one in the world knows him anyway.
I give up on NaNoWriMo and am instead focusing on NaNoReadMo. Let’s see if we can read 30,000 pages in November, right?

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