Sunday, August 31, 2014


I really wish I understood why I keep having seizures at church. Seizures that are supposedly stress-induced at the least stressful place in my life. Is there something standing between me and God? Is there something in my heart that I don't realize? The people at City Grace could not be more welcoming or loving even though I'm two for two in interrupting services with a seizure. I'm so happy to be there, to be around them, I don't feel stressed when I'm there. I want to attribute it to the heat, because it is hot in that theater, but I have this nagging question that maybe there's something more, something my eyes haven't been opened to yet. I hope it happens soon, but I also remember what Pastor Ben prayed over me this morning.  He prayed for me to have peace no matter what, even if the seizures continue, and that I will be filled with the knowledge that not only does God love me and God has a great and real plan for my life, but also that the City Grace family has welcomed me with open arms and they will love me no matter what happens. I get so caught up in embarrassment, feeling bad that I've interrupted things, that I lose sight of the fact that they want to take care of me and they just want me to be well. But still, I can't help but wonder why this keeps happening there, and almost entirely only there, and if there's something that God is trying to get across to me that I'm just not seeing yet. In His time, in His way, it will be, I know that much. He is with me, now and forever.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

An Interview with Jon Jorgenson

Okay, y'all, this seriously may be my favorite post ever on my blog in the past five and a half years. Today, I got to sit down with Jon Jorgenson of The Anima Series and pick his brain with some questions that I was curious to hear his thoughts and opinions on.  This is absurdly long, but it's a transcript of our half-hour long conversation, and you really should read all of it. I say that only because it is SO good and full of so much wisdom and truth that I really think it would be good for people to read.  And now I'm gonna shut up and just give it to you.


Okay, so my first question.


In “A Godless Generation” you tell the Church that we need to stop only talking about what’s wrong with teenagers, and instead walk with them and invite them to see what is so much better with Christ. What are some ways the Church can put that into action?

That’s a good, that’s a really good question. Um, I think first is unpacking that idea of what is it, what do I mean by as far as focusing on all the bad things versus showing them all the good things. As a teenager, as anyone, if I tell you, don’t think of an elephant in a purple suit, what are you thinking about? An elephant in a purple suit. So when we walk around telling these teenagers, like, “don’t drink, don’t do drugs, don’t have sex, don’t do this, don’t do that, that’s a sin, that’s a sin,” immediately those are the things they start thinking about doing, whereas if they went to a church that was talking not about the things that the Bible says don’t do, but all the things the Bible encourages us to do - love one another, serve your neighbor, things like that - things that we teach in, like, um, Sunday school, and then, for some reason, they get lost when we grow up and people start exercising their independent will more, they’re, like, lost. So I think, like, not only in their youth groups if they’ve heard this, but if kids were to consistently hear it from the senior pastors, and also from their parents, and from their friends, as well. It’s, it’s having a focus on, ‘cause I think a lot of children, and a lot of teenagers have this idea of religion as and Christianity as, “Well, that’s just a rulebook that tells me what I can’t do,” when really, it’s a guidebook for all the things that we can do, and I think that really focusing the messages we create and the opportunities that we create for them with service projects or whatever that is, not of something like “I have to go to church,” but “I get to go to church.” You have to go do this service project in the community, you have to go on this mission trip versus I get to do that, you know? And that comes from focusing on the things Jesus frees us to rather than just on the things that he saves us from. 

So when I was growing up, I lost my dad to cancer - 

I’m so sorry.

- so it became very difficult for me to understand God as the ultimate Father because I never had an earthly one. What would you say to young people who have never experienced a father’s love on earth to help them understand the picture of God as a father?

I think, it’s a hard question for me to answer because I don’t know what that’s like to not have a dad. I would imagine that it’s something we can sort of reverse engineer, if that makes sense. So for me, I look at, I look at my earthly father, and the way that he has loved me, and the way that he has made so many sacrifices for not only me, but my sister, my mom, and our entire family. I look at all the things he’s done, look at all the things my earthly father’s done, and I think, “Wow.” You know, the Bible makes it kind of clear that my Heavenly Father is like that times a billion, so when I hear about a father, if I have no idea what a father is except for what I see God being, I would just have to do the same thing. I would have to look at all the things God has done for me and for my brothers and sisters here on earth. And when I look at that, I think, “Wow, that’s what a perfect father looks like. I don’t know what that looks like here on earth, but I know what the Bible tells me that looks like, so it’s kind of going in the opposite direction, I guess. I know what my earthly father did as a reflection of God, whereas someone who doesn’t really have that example would have to go right to the source and say, “Well, what has God done? Oh, that’s what it means to be, like, the perfect father.”

So recently an article spread around the internet from a woman who waited until she got married to have sex - 

I heard about this. I heard about this. 

- and then, because she was taught that was the only way to do it, and then she came to regret that decision because she felt ashamed and said if she could do it again, she wouldn’t wait. What do you think, if anything, needs to change in the Church in the discussion of sexuality and sexual experiences?

I think that’s the right question to ask, too, because from my understanding from reading the article and whatnot, um, it seemed like the girl that was writing it was blaming the wrong thing. I’m not sure who or what she was blaming, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t, it’s not necessarily that waiting was a bad thing. She, like, blamed the waiting, but what she should’ve been blaming or what I think is mostly at fault is exactly that, the picture that the Church painted for her of what sex is meant to be. And for me, as well, growing up, it was painted as, like, this dirty thing that you can’t do, you know, like I talked about a couple minutes ago. It was only, whenever sex was talked about in a Christian environment, it was only talked about in a negative light as, like, a bad thing that you shouldn’t be doing.  And for me, it was like this cardinal sin, like, if you did that before you were married, that was it, you’re done. And so I think sex, just like love, even though it’s part of it, just like love, just like money, just like, um, anything is, it’s a good thing that God has created, it is good, but when it’s mistreated, or when it’s twisted, that’s when it becomes bad. We do the same thing with money. We do the same thing with our talents and our gifts and our abilities. They are good things that God has given us, but when we twist them, they become bad. And we, with, for some reason, we’ve chosen sex, I think the Church a lot of times has chosen sex as this, as the one topic we only focus on what happens when it gets twisted. We never first paint the picture of what it was originally created to be. We just go straight to oh, it’s, it’s terrible, you know? So I think if we, if we told the whole story, ‘cause right now we’re only telling this much (holds fingers to simulate a small amount) of a narrative that’s this long (spreads hands out), you know, and so I think the thing that needs to change in the Church is we need to lose that, the Church needs to lose that shame, you know, and reclaim this idea of sex as this is something that God created and that the secular world has stolen and abused. We need to reclaim it as this is something good that God created for us to explore just like, you know, anything we have. Um, if we can paint that picture first, then I think people will, it’s not about, it’s not about “I’m not gonna do this till I’m married,” it’s “I’d rather wait to do this until I get married,” if that makes sense.

So I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle.” It’s something a lot of people say, and often they attribute it to Christianity and something Biblical, even though it’s not. Where do you think that idea comes from, and what would you say to the people who believe it to be true?

Um, I think it’s, uh, that’s a saying I’ve thought about a lot, and you’re right. There’s nowhere in the Bible that it’s written, you know, but there’s a lot of things. Also, the idea of being the hands and feet of Jesus, nowhere is that written in the Bible, either. There’s so many of these phrases that we sort of pick out, and they sound really nice, so they kind of stick. And with that one specifically, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle,” I used to just abhor that statement, and I used to get so mad at anyone who would use it ‘cause, ‘cause I would think to myself, “Well, if God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle, like, why does, why do we need Him then? Like, what’s the point?” And I still think that, but I’ve also, I’ve come to understand the heart behind it and what the statement is really trying to convey, and that’s that God will never give you anything you can’t handle because He’s with you in the things you can’t handle. Like, that’s what we need to sort of, that’s what I’ve grown to understand is, like, added on to the end of the sentence that we’re just not saying ‘cause it doesn’t fit in a tweet, you know, as well. You know what I mean? It’s, yes, yes, God gives, like, God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle, no, but things that we can’t handle happen all the time, ALL the time, every day for me. But the beauty of it is, is like, God is with us during those things, and that’s what I think people are trying to convey, and I hope that’s what people understand they’re saying when they use that phrase. Not like, God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle ever, because then, the first time you get something where you’re like, “I don’t know if I can handle this,” immediately, you doubt that God is real or that God is good, and immediately you can say, “Well, then God’s not real,” but if you understand it as, God might not give you, it might not be like God gave me this disease, but it is this disease came, and I’m not sure if I can handle it alone, I’m not sure if I can handle it. God is with me to help me handle it. So.

Well, you pretty much just answered my next question, so…

Oh good! Hallelujah.

But I’ll read it anyway.


Um, in “The Wall,” you say that God does His best work in seemingly hopeless situations. Can you expand on that as to what, maybe, like, what would you would say to people who are facing a hopeless situation? 

It’s interesting that you bring this up ‘cause I, I learn more and more about this topic all the time, and currently, I’m learning a lot about it by reading through the book of Jeremiah. Anyone who’s read it, it’s not the most uplifting book in the Bible, like, Jeremiah is given a difficult task. Basically, for people who don’t know, the Israelites are very much in rebellion against God at the time Jeremiah is spoken to by the Lord, and pretty much every message that God gives Jeremiah  is like, “I will come, and I’m going to bring fire, and I’m going to banish them to these places,” and it’s all very wrathful and all very angry and today, I got to Chapter 29, and Jeremiah 29:11, you know, that’s like the most hopeful verse in the entire Bible. “I know the plans I have for you, plans not to harm you, plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future,” and that is in the middle of all of this hopelessness, you know? And for me, that spoke to me as God does His best work in hopeless situations because sometimes, God will allow those situations, those hopeless situations, those situations we can’t handle to come into our lives so that everything is taken away from us.  At the time that that, in Chapter 29, that is a letter that Jeremiah has written, and it’s God’s Word to these exiles, so that, that little phrase, that, like, uplifting Jeremiah 29:11, is written in the midst of one of the most hopeless and terrible situations the Israelites ever faced. They finally found their kingdom, then their kingdom has been taken away, their homes, they’ve been separated from their loved ones, they’ve been separated from their friends, and they’re, they have nothing. And you’ve heard, here’s another phrase that isn’t in the Bible: “When one has nothing, God becomes everything.” And that’s true, I think. Sometimes, what happens is these situations come into our lives where we really have nothing, and we feel hopeless, but I think sometimes God allows that to happen so that, in a way, we’re forced to turn to Him because we have nothing else to do, and also, I think God loves when every other option has run out because when He does come in, and He does blow things out of the water, there’s no other explanation we can give, you know? When the Israelites are brought back from Babylon, they couldn’t have done it by their own power, they couldn’t have done it by their own might, they have no other excuse than to say that has to have been God, which means God is undeniably real. It’s God’s way of sort of, by using hopeless situations and bringing us out of them, it’s God’s way of, part of it is it’s God’s way of evidencing - I don’t know if evidencing is a word - you know, evidencing Himself in a way, that He is real.

I actually remember in the Ask Anima video, or maybe it wasn’t Ask Anima but it was a video, that God responds to the prayers of the destitute, and you said it’s only when we have nothing that we begin to understand how much God is truly  everything. 


This is what I get for transcribing your videos.

I love it! I love it!

Okay, a friend of mine currently in seminary mentioned that she and her fellow students have agreed that disciplined, regular reading of the Bible can be very difficult, even for them. What advice would you give to people wanting to get into a pattern of reading the Bible on a regular basis but are struggling with that discipline?

Yeah, um, my, uh, I guess part of my advice, this is such terrible advice, but, um, do it. Like, it is a hard thing, but, like, it’s the same if you want to, like any discipline, not even just a spiritual discipline, any discipline! If you want to become a better writer, the only way to do that is to literally write every day, and the thing is, any writer will also tell you is that the worst thing you can do is write every day and then go back and look at those writings and pick apart how bad it is. We do the same thing with our Bible reading, don’t we? We finish reading for the day, and we look at it, and we judge the experience we just had. We judge the experience, like, “I got so much out of that!” or “Man, I didn’t get anything out of that.” And if I didn’t get anything out of that, then I obviously suck at reading the Bible, I should never study it again, I’m going to put it away. Don’t judge the experience, ‘cause it’s not about that. I would say, just like you would make a commitment to yourself to start running every day, or to start eating healthy, or to write every day, whatever it is, make a commitment to yourself that, “I’m going to read.” My pastor from home says fifteen minutes a day, fifteen minutes. I read one chapter a day of the Bible. That is it. You know, sometimes when I’m writing a message or something, I’ll read a little more, but my quiet time pretty much consists of one chapter a day. Sometimes I finish that chapter, and I’m like “Lord, I have no idea what that was about.” But you know what? Next time I read that chapter, maybe I will. And sometimes it’s not about me understanding it, sometimes it’s just about obediently listening to the Lord. Sometimes that’s what it’s about. So I think that, the hard part is that there is no magic button that you press and it’s like all of a sudden, you’re disciplined. It’s like eating vegetables. I used to hate vegetables. I used to hate greens. When I started eating them, though, I made myself eat them, now I crave them. I crave them, like, sometimes, I’m at a salad bar right now! Like, I crave greens now. It’s the same with the Scriptures. I used to just like, ugh, gosh I have to sit down and study the Bible. Now I crave it, after slowly forcing myself to do it for a while. And there’s nothing wrong with forcing yourself to do it, you know, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re not like, you’re not a heathen if you don’t want to read your Bible. There’s a lot of people who don’t want to read their Bible, you know? But, um, but by forcing yourself to do it for a while, you’ll wake up one day and that’s what you’ll crave, like, your day won’t feel complete without it. So just do it. 

Um, what would you say to people who have been burned by Christians or the Church, whether it be bullying, or ostracized, or other mental or emotional trauma? Things like that can turn people away from Christianity or faith as a whole.

Um, first of all, I would say that I’m sorry.  I’m truly, truly sorry.  That’s one of, um, that’s one of the things that’s really heaviest on my heart, and one of, one of the big reasons why I do what I do. You know, ‘cause I want to give people a different picture of Christianity and, most of all, a different picture of Jesus and God than a lot of churches in America do. Like I said before in videos, there are some churches that are doing it right, and you know, good on them, keep it up, but first, I would say I’m sorry because that’s something too many people have to deal with. Second of all, I would say never, ever equate your negative experience with the church as a negative experience with Jesus because sometimes the Church is the furthest place from Jesus, so never equate your negative experience with the Church with a negative experience with Jesus or God.

That’s really good advice and sort of the same realization that I came to.  Okay, when I first saw the “Who You Are: A Message to All Women” back when it was first going viral, I was rather surprised to see that the message was coming from a guy. What made you want to write a speech to women first? 

Yeah, um, well, to answer the question, I didn’t write it first, as a matter of fact. I wrote the Who You Are: Men and Who You Are: Women at the same time, I think three years before the videos came out. Um, I wrote them originally for a summer camp, the summer camp I wrote my book Authentic Love about, I wrote the Who You Are poems for that camp back in the summer of 2010 and it was to, um, to introduce the topic of purity and abstinence. And to go back to kind of what we were talking about earlier with that, is growing up, I’d always been told, like, “No sex before marriage, no sex before marriage.” All the topics surrounding purity and sexual purity were, “How far is too far? What is okay to do? What isn’t okay to do?” And I just remember sitting there, I was a counselor now, not a camper anymore, and I was thinking, “You know, all of my friends, we went to these talks. For most of us, they didn’t really help, or not as much as they could have.” And I got to thinking, this idea kind of sparked, okay, purity, we in the Church have looked at purity, and we’ve made it a purely physical thing. Purity starts from the heart. The number one verse that comes up if you look up “purity bible verse” is Psalm 51:10 which is, “Create in me a pure heart, oh God.” David doesn’t say, “Create in me pure actions so I don’t sleep with Bathsheba again.” He says, “Create in me a pure heart, oh God.” So I thought to myself, I’m like, “Purity is a much more, the idea of purity, it’s much more of a heart thing first than it is about our physical actions, and if we can have a pure heart, and we act from that, I’m pretty sure our actions will be pure, as well.” And that got me thinking about identity. Like, if we have an accurate picture of who we are in God’s eyes, that cleanses us, that cleanses our heart, our heart will be pure so our actions will be pure. Oh my gosh! And so I was like, “Hm, what if I just, like, wrote down who these students are in God’s eyes? What does God say who they are?” So I just started writing. I wrote both the pieces in fifteen minutes and never, it was one of the first, like, spoken word things I ever wrote in my life. I didn’t know I could do that. I just, like, started writing, and it came out, and I’ve never changed the words since. Like, there was no second draft. And so I said them, said them that summer at the camp, and they had a really profound effect on a lot of people, and the next summer, I came back, and they asked me to say them again, so I did. People would ask me, people would email me throughout the year saying, “Can you send me the words? I want to give it to my friend,” or “I keep it on my fridge,” and this and that, and about, a little over a year ago now, we decided to make the video. We decided to make it because I was pretty sure it was going to be my last summer as a camp counselor, and I wanted these campers to be able to take it home. And so we just made the video, and we were going to make the second one, and that was going to be it. There was no such thing as The Anima Series. That was it. And then, all of a sudden, the video started going kind of crazy, and we were like, “We should make more.” and I was like “okay, but like, we should call it something, and Danny was like, “Anima!” “What does that mean?” “It’s the Latin word for spirit.” I’m like, “Yeah, but call it The Anima Series, ‘cause anima’s going to be too much like anime.” And so, we did that. And so, to answer your question in a very roundabout way, I didn’t write that first. And a lot of people kept bringing up, an issue when the video came out, everyone’s comments were all about gender identity, and gender, and like why is a guy saying this, and why can’t a girl say this. And I was like, a girl can say it! I said it because I wrote it. And I think those people who are like, the people who have a positive reaction to the fact that a guy would say this, and also the people who have a negative reaction to the fact that a guy would say this are kind of looking at it in the wrong light, because these aren’t really my words. This isn’t who I think, like, this isn’t something that I dreamed up as, like, this is who all women are. This is, like, what I felt God spoke into my heart of who He sees all women as. So it doesn’t matter if I speak it, or if you speak it, or a dog barks it, or, you know, a donkey says it Old Testament style. It’s a message who God sees us, who we are in God’s eyes, not in my eyes, not in anyone else’s eyes, and through my God lense, and the Spirit sort of shows me that I see them that way. And what’s also interesting is that people call it sexist a lot of the time, and I’m like, I could see where you would come to that, like, the one for guys starts out “you are strong,” the one for girls starts out “you are beautiful.” Yes, absolutely. That’s meant to attack the main stereotypes that men and women deal with, but if you look at the climax of both of those videos, the language is almost exactly the same, when we talk about being a daughter or a son of God. Like, that is what it’s really about, that’s the climax, that’s the main point, that’s who we really are, and the language there is exactly the same. So it doesn’t matter if I say it. You can say it. Anyone want to make another video of it? Go! That’s what it’s there for.

I mean, now, they can just look at the anniversary video and see -

See all the different people. See you on it.

- see a whole bunch of girls saying it. 


Um, can you expand a bit more about what went into the poem “What Are You Afraid Of?” Fear is something everyone experiences at some point. So what pieces of the Bible really helped you overcome the fear that you were facing, or was there any advice that you were given?

Yeah, that was, um, that poem was sort of sparked from a conversation I was having with a friend. It was late at night, we were sitting at my house, we were watching TV, it was not like we had our Bibles open and we were talking, we were, like, watching football. And I don’t know if you have any friends like this, but it was, like, a totally chill night, we were only talking about sports and food, and all of a sudden, he turns to me and he goes, “Jon, what do you think the opposite of fear is?” And I was like, “Not tonight, man! Like, I love talking about deep stuff. I love the Bible. I love God. I love it, but like, I don’t want a theological discussion right now. Don’t bring this on me. Sometimes I just want to have a Big Mac and watch sports.” And so I was like, “I don’t know, maybe this, maybe that,” but I couldn’t get that question out of my head. And I was like, what is the opposite of fear? And so that question sparked that. I started writing down a list of all these different things that could be the opposite of fear, love, trust, peace, all of these things, and then I looked at that list, and I was like, man, God really is, like, Scripture really says that God either is one of these things or He provides one of these, every single one of them. And also that command “do not be afraid” which is just over and over and over again, like, no wonder that we don’t have to be afraid because God is literally the opposite of it! And so, that question was sparked in my head of what room does fear have? Why would we be afraid?

I have one more question.


What would you say or what advice would you give to people who feel like they have stories from their lives to share with the world, but they’re just not sure how to make it happen? You have a pretty popular YouTube channel, you’ve written and self-published a book, so any tips you could share would be great.

Yeah, um, anyone who has, first of all, I think anyone who has a story they want to share, they’re already ten steps ahead of everyone else, because a lot of people start with, “I have a point that I want to make,” or “I have a product that I want to push,” or whatever it is, but really, what it all really starts with is a story. People are drawn to stories. We’re drawn to stories. That’s why people go and see theater. That’s why movies and TV shows and all that is so popular. It’s why the teachings of Jesus were so popular, ‘cause he taught mainly through stories, through parables. So the fact that someone starts with, “I have a story I want to tell” is amazing. So, and the fact that you already know what that story is is, like, half the battle. So if you know what that story is, awesome. Then, next step, is to ask yourself the question “what am I good at?” meaning “what avenue should I use to tell that story?” because I could use, I could’ve started a restaurant to do what The Anima Series does, trying to encourage, you know, encourage people, uh, encourage ordinary people to do extraordinary things. I could’ve started a restaurant to make food that was new and interesting, and I could create environments where people could have community and all these things. So like, I could’ve started a restaurant, or like, I could’ve started, like, a fashion line for Anima, or whatever it is, and I could use clothes to spread the message and to tell that story, but the thing is, I don’t know how to start a restaurant and I have no fashion sense, as you can see, so that would have been silly. What I am good at, I can write, and I can speak, and surprisingly enough, I’m not good at editing videos, I’m not good at filming videos. Luckily enough, God provided me with a team of people who are good at that, and their strengths are more in that category. When I tried doing the editing and all that by myself years ago, when I tried starting this website called Creators for the Creator, it totally failed because I was doing things to tell my story that didn't fit my skill set at all. So you have to look at, what am I good at? If you are a good writer, then start a blog, tell your story that way, write a book, tell your story that way. If you’re a good speaker, then start a podcast, tell your story that way. If you’re good at interviewing people and getting information out of people, start a podcast, for sure.  If you have just a very, like, bright personality and are someone who’s really comfortable in front of a camera, start a YouTube channel, tell your story that way. Whatever it is, what you have to, it doesn’t matter how good your story is, if you are not authentic to and honest about yourself as far as what you’re good at, if  you don’t lean into your skill set to tell that story, the story’s not going to come across to people.  And, and like I said, it doesn’t have to be a blog, it doesn’t have to be a YouTube channel, it doesn’t have to be whatever it is, every business that has been started has started with a story. Every successful business is started because of a story, you know?  If you had a story about how you had heart problems, and you started running, and you started getting physically fit, and that helped heal you, and through that, you feel that God really helped heal you or whatever it is, and you want to inspire people to do the same and begin to, like, really take care of their bodies in that way? Then start, like, an Instagram account where you post pictures of, like, running and fitness and health and all of those things. Like, whatever that is, there’s a million ways to do it. It’s about knowing what your story is, knowing what inspires you, what message you want to get out there, and then saying “what am I good at, what’s the best way that I can get this out there?” 

Okay, well, thank you for your time.

Thank you! I love this. This is good, and like, your questions are awesome. 


See? Didn't I tell you it was good? I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to sit down with Jon today.  Now, check out the links throughout the interview, and then go tell Jon (you can also email him at if you don't have Twitter) hi. I know I sound like a broken record in my support of him and his team at The Anima Series, but I really do believe that strongly in what they're doing.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

This is what happened today.

Well, I forced myself to get out of the apartment today.

Despite the fact that all I really wanted to do was stay curled up alternating between watching Criminal Minds and working on Anima videos, Holly and the roommate invited me to dinner, so I went.

We went to McGee's Pub, the inspiration for the bar/pub in How I Met Your Mother, because Holly loves the show. It wasn't as exciting as I expected it to be, but then again I've only seen a handful of episodes.

But yeah, the rest of the day has been Criminal Minds and Anima videos. Pretty much polar opposites in terms of content. Ha!

I hope my body is just storing up energy for next week because this week I feel like I've been hit by a bus.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

There is nothing that I can really say.

Today was a terrible migraine day, so I spent most of the day in bed.

I did manage to mark 12 more videos off the to do list, though.

Granted, most of them were already transcribed in my inspiration tag here, so there wasn't nearly as much work involved on them, but hey, complete is complete!

Also, got news that within the next few days, my loan money will be in my account, so yay for that.

And now I'm going to bed because staring at the computer this long has made my eyes hurt really bad.

As a parting gift, this is the song I've currently got on repeat: "Too Close" by Alex Clare.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Heat Wave. And some exciting news!

I'm sorry but nobody told me that when I moved nearly 600 miles northward, I'd still be getting 90 degree days and constantly look like I'd just taken a bath in a grease pit any time I left my apartment.  I can get all that in North Carolina! Like literally, it got hotter here than it did in Swansboro.  THAT IS SO NOT COOL.

God bless Frigidaire air conditioning units.  Amen.

I did a lot of walking today.  I had to go back to the same building that I was at yesterday for orientation to meet with my adviser.  I registered for classes today!  And I love my adviser.  He's very friendly and personable and sounds eerily like Professor Jeremiah Lasky from Saved by the Bell.  Granted, I did have the subway for part of the trip, but even the subway part involved lots of stairs and transferring lines.

And then tonight I went to an event with the church.  Two girls got baptized so they had a dinner and a little service.  I love this church.  SO much.  But that was also a 7.5 block walk one direction.  And the distance between avenues is HUGE compared to the distance between streets.  I could barely make it up the stairs by the time I got back to my apartment.  I seriously hope that my body will get used to the physicality of city life here soon because this is really rough on me.

But I also got some exciting news today.  Remember Jon Jorgenson and the Anima Series?  I've posted several of their videos and written responses to them here on my blog.  Well, Jon has asked me on behalf of the whole team over at Anima to do some behind the scenes work for them.  My job is to transcribe the videos and input the transcription into Youtube so that they will have subtitles.  And then once I get through the English subtitles, I'll start on Spanish, but thankfully several of those are done because they have bilingual fans.  And who knows, maybe then I'll go on to French!  But I don't want to get ahead of myself with classes coming up.  Hopefully I will be able to get through the English subtitles for all of the videos before my first class next Wednesday morning.  I got four done today, and I think there's 61 videos.  I plan on taking it easy tomorrow though because my body is still pretty aching from the fall, so hopefully I can knock about 10 out.

Honestly, though, I'm just so excited and honored that he asked me to help.  They really have no idea how much their work has helped me, and so to not only get to give back to them by doing these transcriptions for them, but also to get to maybe help others who will come across these videos and be in need of the subtitles and really just pay it forward?  I grin big time just thinking about it.

For now though, I am going to bed because I am absolutely beat from this physically hard day.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Orientation Day

Today was so good!

First, I got to go sit down and talk to Pastor Ben, the pastor of the church I went to on Sunday.  I got to ask him some questions about the church and then shared my story with him and talked about ways that I can get involved and minister to people through the church.  I'm really excited.

And then I headed straight to my orientation at NYU and learned a lot about my program and listened to the faculty speak a little bit.  We learned about several of the classes that are being offered and also heard from career services.  There were also two students there from the International Relations Association who told us about getting involved in that.  I met a girl who is from Wilmington and went to NC State!

I really like the program director, who is also my adviser.  I look forward to getting to talk to him some more tomorrow at my advisement appointment.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

No bueno.

I was really nervous tonight that I had pancreatitis again.  I had all the same symptoms as last time.

Plus, I had several of the same symptoms that the doc after the seizure had told me to watch out for.  So I called the hospital and talked to a doc and he told me I should come in and get checked out.

Praise the Lord that it's just some awful stomach bug, because in a city this large there's always going to be crap like that going around.  But the ER docs said it was really good that I came in because I was severely dehydrated and they had to pump me full of fluids.

So that plus sleeping a lot plus being in the bathroom a lot sums up my Monday.

Dear body, with everything that is coming up in the next week, it would be really fantastic if you would CALM THE HECK DOWN.  K thanks.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Good news and bad news.

Good news: I'm pretty sure I found my new church.  And it didn't take long for me to feel that way.

Bad news:  That was because I had a seizure in the middle of service. Oh, how I wish I were kidding.

And then the day just sort of went downhill from there as I came down with what must be a nasty stomach bug (this is written a couple days later) and went to bed at about 5:00 and didn't move unless it was to go to the bathroom.  Holly was unusually nice and did all my laundry with hers and even folded it all and put it all back in my room.

And yeah.  That was Sunday.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

"If you would just pray harder..."

File that statement right there pretty high on the list of things I hate to hear Christians saying, especially when it's to non-believers or people who are really struggling in their faith.  People, as good as their intentions may be, can do so much damage when they tell people that they are doing something wrong in their faith, in the way they are trying to talk to God.  I know that whenever I heard that, especially before I became a Christian, all it did was make me hate myself more because I felt like I can't even get THAT right.  It's only been recently that I've come to understand that I really believe there is no one right way to pray, so long as the heart of the person praying is in a sincere, humble place.

How does one pray harder, anyway?  Clayton and I were discussing this last weekend and we both agreed that putting a scale to prayer just seems weird.  God knows our hearts inside and out, He knows what we need and desire before we ever utter a word.  And He's going to execute His will for our good and His glory whether we're whispering as we sit at our desks or screaming through tears on our knees.  He knows our intent and whether or not we are sincere, no matter the tone of our voices.  God isn't one to be fooled.

If we think that doing something differently, "praying harder," will get God to answer our prayer in the way we think we need it to happen, doesn't that just make God some magic cosmic Santa (as Clayton so eloquently put it haha) instead of the King of our lives and the whole universe?  Prayer isn't about connecting with God so He can give us what we want, like some drive-thru cashier, it's about grounding us in God so that we can be at peace when He reveals His plans.

One thing I've been working on learning is that prayer isn't just about talking to God, either.  It's also about being still and quiet and letting God speak to us.  Psalm 25:14 says that God WILL confide in us, but how can that happen if we don't ever take the time to listen?  Prayer is meant to change our hearts to be more closely aligned with the Lord's.  If we think that praying "harder" will change the outcome of a situation that God already sees, that's saying we think that prayer will change God's heart to align with ours.  Aren't we making ourselves our own Gods, then?

These are just my thoughts and opinions on the matter, anyway.

Are there any other phrases like this one that you really hate hearing?

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Friday, August 22, 2014


One of my favorite things about New York City is the never ending supply of awesome restaurants.

One of my favorite things about where I live is the numerous awesome restaurants that are literally on my block.

I've mentioned the 24-hour deli that's just a few buildings down.  McDonalds isn't even open 24 hours in Swansboro.

We've fallen in love with a pizza place that is even closer than the deli.  So much better than the chain pizza places that is all you can get in NC.

But my favorite of all is the restaurant that is on the corner of our block.  Spiegel.  I went there for breakfast and lunch today partially because I was too lazy to cook, partially for the awesome staff, and mostly because their food is incredible.  I had a baked croissant stuffed with scrambled eggs for breakfast and a juicy juicy classic burger for lunch, and they were worth every penny.  Plus their triple chocolate cookies fresh out of the oven? TO DIE FOR.

I don't know if any of my readers ever visit NYC since no one ever comments here, but I just had to put this out here.  If you're ever in the city, I know the East Village isn't exactly a tourist spot, but go ahead and come down here and eat at Spiegel on 1st Avenue.  You won't regret it!  And like I said, on top of the incredible food, the staff is some of the best I've ever seen.

And let me know if you do, and we'll eat together. :)

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

For Singles Day 8/22/14

Since I just moved to an area that is substantially more populated (ha! that's an understatement) than the area where I used to live, I thought I would take a chance and make a post about myself for Kelly of Kelly's Korner and her "Singles Day".  My family would think I'm insane for doing this, but I figure, eight couples have gotten married from it, and what do I have to lose?

So hi.  I'm Mallory, but you can call me Mal (hence the website address).  I'm 22, and I just recently moved to New York City.

I'm here in NYC because I start work on my Master's degree in International Relations at NYU very soon.  I just graduated from a small Christian university in central North Carolina this past May, so the change is a big shock, but I absolutely love New York City already.  Eventually I want to work in embassies for the State Department or at the UN.

The number one priority in my life is my faith.  I'm a Christian and am looking for a guy who is a believer, as well.  I've been through a lot of extreme and extraordinary things in my life, and I love to share my testimony with people, but I know what it's like to be "preached at" so I try my best not to cross lines.  I love people, plain and simple.  I've often been told my best gift is my ability to encourage people and support them, and I love doing just that.  I never feel more fulfilled than when I get the chance to help people (and I'm not just saying that, I really mean it!).

I'm passionate about music.  I love to sing, so with any spare time that I have, you'll almost always find me with music playing.  I've also learned to play several instruments, but it's been several years.  I'd love to pick them up again, though!  I also love to write, as evidenced by this blog that I've written on for 5.5 years and daily for 4.5 years of that time.

Being from North Carolina, I'm also passionate about college sports, specifically the ACC.  Go NC State!  I love watching college football and basketball, and I also like the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL.  Yes, gentlemen, there are girls out there who actually love watching sports. ;)

I love food, but because of some nerve damage, I'm just now learning how to cook things.  I'll try anything at least once.  I'm a creature of habit, but I'm working on venturing away from my regular foods at restaurants and such.

I'm very Type A and a stickler for details, but when I'm around my friends and people I love, it's easier for me to relax.  I'm weird and sarcastic and will likely say something awkward the first time I meet you, but I own it and am not afraid to apologize when I think I've messed up.

I come from a family of all girls, as I have two older sisters and my dad passed away when I was young, so I can be rather headstrong sometimes, but most importantly, I love people and talking to them.  Fostering relationships with people is far more important to me than a difference of opinions.

I'm an extrovert all the way and look to find fun in any situation!

If you're interested, you can email me at or leave a comment.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A letter to myself five years ago.

Right now, you're sitting in a hospital bed at Duke with a tube coming out of the back of your skull.  The past week and a half has been a whirlwind of unexpected brain surgeries, a brush with death, blown IVs and all the other fun things that go with being stuck in a hospital, and sheer panic.  You were supposed to move to Campbell five days ago, something you'd been waiting for since you got your acceptance letter because it meant a way out of Swansboro, but that plan got upended when you nearly didn't make it out of that first surgery.  You're going to go, just not in the time you think it will or want it to happen.

See, by the time 2009 is over, you're going to face four more brain surgeries and three more issues that very easily could kill you.  The good news is that they don't.  The bad news is that you're going to be taken on a ride that no one wants to be on.  And it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.  You'll get to go to Campbell for a few weeks, but you'll have to leave just when life starts to feel like it's getting back to normal.  It will feel very much like hell on earth, and you're going to be instantly infuriated by anyone who tries to get you not to refer to this period as such.  It's okay to be angry.  Just try not to take it out entirely on the people around you.  Your mom would do anything, absolutely anything, to take your pain away, and it's not the doctors' fault you keep needing surgery.  And the nurses, the hospital chaplains, they all mean well, they really do.

That God everyone keeps talking to you about?  Hear them out.  I know that you know He's real.  And I know you hate Him.  I get it, you have to have someone to blame for this disaster, for taking away your education, the one thing you think you're good at and good for.  I wish you knew what you're really worth, because it would do so much for the ways that your heart will break over the next few months.  The good news is that you eventually do give yourself to the Lord, you see Him for the ways He carries you through this period.  It'll take time, but I promise that when it happens, it's going to be the best feeling in the world and you'll have an at least slightly better understanding of what you're facing now.

When you finally get out of the hospital in November (there are breaks, but not long ones, this saga won't end for another three months), you're going to be so mentally and emotionally broken from the trauma that you're going to be pretty disgusted by the idea of turning around and going to a Christian university.  You're beyond ecstatic to finally get to go to Campbell and stay there, but you won't forget that you'll be surrounded by talk of God.  That gets better, too.  It's not as suffocating as you expect it to be.

You can't fully understand it now, but going to this Christian university will be the best thing that can happen to you.  Your first college friends will be the niece of a woman your Mom works with (it's not as awkward as it sounds) and her roommates, who bring you to a Bible study.  You pretty much fake your way through it, but you will appreciate these girls simply for being kind to you.  The first year of your college life will mostly be spent recovering from the brain surgeries and then the foot surgeries (oh yeah, those are coming next year, but you ask for them because your feet are in so much pain), so you don't get the full college "experience" at first, but you don't care because you love just being a student there.  You will meet professors who love you, pray for you, make you laugh, make you scream, and everything in between.

But even better than the academics is the friends you will make.  You know how Matt has always told you that it wasn't your fault you got bullied so much, that you weren't the problem?  (Speaking of Matt, you'll not be so in love with him soon enough.  It'll hit you like a ton of bricks one day that all he really is meant to be is your best friend and big brother.  Just wait.)  And you know how no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn't make yourself believe that anyone else would ever love you even close to the way he does?  Well guess what - Matt was right.  You are going to have more love in your life than you know what to do with before too long.  You will find girls who build you up and support you through all the drama.  One girl in particular will become your best friend for life, and the best part is that, in profile, she's exactly the girl who used to make your life miserable. These girls will help you find your voice.  They will be everything you wish girlfriends could be.  They will listen to you talk about crushes, talk to you about family drama, help you get ready for a dance, and they'll trust you enough to come to you for advice for their own lives.  These girls will teach you how to love yourself the way you couldn't before.

And part of me feels like this is even cooler, you will find a group of guy friends in your senior year that you will affectionately call your brothers.  You have to weed through a lot of dramatic boys and some bullying ones, too, to get to them, but when you find them, they will make it more than worth it.  The way that these brothers love you will go a long way in healing the scars from the boys who abused you before.  They will defend you, tease you, teach you, learn from you, appease your major penchant for pictures, give you the biggest hugs, and never let you forget that they love you.  Your insecurity will make you want to question them and their sincerity, but please don't.  They are not the boys from your past.  When you question them anyway, they won't get mad, they won't run.  They somehow instinctively understand you and will make you laugh by saying they don't know why you want to hang out with them.  Bask in your friends' love.  They are only a glimpse of the greater Love.

Speaking of that greater Love, remember how I told you you'll take a hold of it one day?  Yeah.  It'll happen.  In a pretty strange way, no less.  You're going to meet a band at Campbell, visiting thanks to Campbell staff, that turns everything you think you know on its head in the best possible way.  (Just another reason to be thankful you were led to Campbell.)  Your first conversation with them, you're going to be surprised at how different they seem.  It's not that they're Christians, it's that they don't flaunt it, they don't ever preach at you.  You'll see a light in them, and it won't make sense at first, all you'll know is that you want to get to know them better.  And you will, both through the power of social media and your determination to go all over the state to see them in person again.  You'll see them a lot.  They will make it feel safe for you to ask about God and Jesus and Christianity, all the questions you brushed aside after your health trauma and the mistreatment you were dealt by Christians.  They will become such an important part of your life in such a short amount of time that your mom is going to send you on a plane to go visit them.  You'll think it's just for their celebration, but it turns out to be the biggest week of your life, because one night on that trip, you will surrender yourself to God and get baptized in a church of hundreds of strangers and two of your best friends.  It will be a crazy story to tell, but you'll never do it without a huge smile on your face.  Part of you will wish it had happened sooner, but you'll mostly just appreciate that it happened at all.

Another cool gift that comes from meeting those four kids in that band is that they will teach you not to be ashamed of your story.  They will be the first people to show you what good talking about your story can do, and they will only be the spark that lights the flame of your passion for telling people about the miracles God has done in you and for you.  One day, you'll get on a plane to Texas to meet a church of people who were affected by your story and wanted to meet you.  (Never let it be said the internet can't do awesome things.)  Over the next several months, you're not going to want to talk to anyone about the details of the trauma you face, but soon enough, you will hear what people learn from you and from it.  It's going to baffle you tremendously, you'll say over and over again just how unqualified you are to teach people anything about life or God, but every time it happens, you will thank God for using you and grow more determined to tell anyone who listen about what He is capable of.  Take hold of that passion and run with it.

You can't see it now, but where you are right now is not the end of your life.  You're going to be taken out of these ashes and made to see yourself and your life for all the beauty within.  And five years from now, you'll be sitting in your New York City apartment, having graduated Campbell with high honors, about to start chasing your dreams as you begin grad school at NYU.  That seems impossible to you right now, but it's true.

As cheesy as it is, life really does get better.  I'm thankful for your innate stubbornness, which will only be made stronger over the next few months, because you'll make it through.  Your life will never be without medical problems, but they'll be much less complicated.  You'll make it through with one heck of a story to tell and a fire for loving people that you just haven't been capable of up until now.  You have so much to offer the world and the people you will meet, and soon enough, you will see just how much the world and your future have to offer you.

You'll be more than fine.  You're going to be great.  I promise.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

You've Got Mail

We don't have a lot to do here because we can't afford to do much until my loan refund comes in.  So between that and all the health stuff, needless to say, I've been a tad on the lazy/bored side lately.  I can't wait to get in the swing of things with school and have places to go and things to do.  But that time will come soon enough and I'm sure I'll be going crazy before too long.  Ha!  The conundrum of life, we always want what we don't have.

With all this time on my hands, I've been on a bit of a snail mail kick the past couple days.  I've been wanting to be better about sending people letters and things just because, and I mentioned this to a friend, so she sent me a pack of cards and envelopes and some stamps.  Harry Potter stamps, no less.  So I wrote out 4 cards last night and got them out today, and wrote 4 more cards tonight and will hopefully get them in the mail tomorrow.  I have to ask how sending mail works here, if we can just stick things in our box for the mailman to pick up.  I'm not entirely sure because there are no flags on the boxes like on normal mailboxes at houses.  And I'm not sure I want to walk all the way back to the post office tomorrow.

This is so much fun!  I've thoroughly enjoyed writing out each card, and deciding exactly what I want to say to each person in such a small space.  I've imagined their reactions when they open them, and that makes me smile.  I definitely want to continue this tradition.  Hopefully I won't lose it, at least not entirely, once school picks up.

Well I better get to bed.  The super is coming early tomorrow morning to put in some extra cabinets.  I sure don't know where he's going to fit them!

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Monday, August 18, 2014


As in, all that stuff I wrote about yesterday possibly being wrong turned out to be nothing.  I spent all day at the hospital today because the really really sharp pain in my shunt area came back last night, and they managed to get some old scans sent up from Duke late this afternoon, and it turns out my shunt and ventricles have been like this for years, so it's just how the shunt is set up in my brain.  Nothing to be concerned about.  Praise Jesus.  I can continue on with getting ready for all the grad school stuff without worrying.

Glad that's over with.  This has not been a fun couple of days.  Now if only I can find a way to get my head pain back down to a manageable level since the doctors at the hospital wouldn't do anything to help.

For now, though, I'm going back to sleep.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Growing in Trust

Well, it was a good thing I blogged before I left the apartment last night.  Things...uh...didn't exactly turn out quite like I planned.  It started out great, we went to a bar and hung out, and I was dancing and felt great.  Then I got overheated.  And I sat down and started getting a sharp pain in my head pretty much right on my shunt. Then I got really nauseous and felt a seizure coming on.  Luckily I managed to get on the ground before it happened, but you can imagine just how well that whole scene worked out in a bar crowded with people.

The EMT people that showed up were very nice and all.  I decided to go to the ER to figure out why my shunt was in so much pain, because the only other times I'd been in even close to that much pain, I'd hit my head and last night I didn't hit anything.  The hospital was when things got even more complicated.

It appears as though the tip of my shunt has moved, and because of that, one ventricle is not draining.  They called it obstructive hydrocephalus.  However, they couldn't or wouldn't do anything last night because they want to get my neurosurgery file from Duke and some of the images I got done at the hospitals near Campbell so they can be sure by looking at what my shunt and ventricles looked like when doctors said my shunt was normal and everything was working properly.  So both the doctor and I are calling Duke and Central Harnett in the morning to see how quickly they can get that information up here and I am calling to make an appointment with the doctor that was in charge last night at the end of the week in her office.  Hopefully everything will be up here by then and we can make a plan as to what to do next.

Now, I'll be honest.  Before the "we need to get old scans and then see what to do" plan was given, my mind went to some dark places upon learning that my shunt seems to have moved.  I immediately remembered the 2009 brain surgeries and the hell-on-earth feeling of those few months, and panicked a bit at the comparison of how that was the week before I was supposed to start Campbell, and this is pretty much the week before I'm supposed to start NYU.  I thought about how Mom has just started the workdays for her new job, and knew she can't afford to take time off already for me to have another surgery, especially not when she'd have to get a plane ticket to come be with me, and how even if I told her not to come she would anyway because that's what she does.

But part of me thought - 'If surgery is what needs to be done to fix this, fix it.'  I don't want to put it off and then be on the brink of another life or death situation.  I'm not exactly thrilled with this plan because this means I have to wait several days before knowing what's going to happen next, if yet another surgery is knocking on my door.  Waiting sucks.  But it's also the best way for me to grow in my trust in God.

Pastor Chris said God must really trust me, because He's given me a hard mission.  I don't know why God trusts me, because I certainly don't feel qualified.

But I know why I trust Him and that's what matters.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Week One: In Pictures

Since nothing happened today except we got our cable and wifi set up and I'm about to go out with Holly for our first real Saturday night in the city, and I was laying in bed while uploading my posts from this past week and hadn't uploaded the pictures to go with them to my computer yet, here's week one of my new life in pictures.  They're mostly self-explanatory.

train station

I have arrived!

shot up Broadway

just because it's the corner of Fifth Avenue...unintentionally an apparently really awesome French restaurant

started from the bottom, now I'm here

our intersection

this plus a fridge is our "kitchen"

I'd give anything to see Idina Menzel perform

I loved this chandelier at the theater

our view at the lounge where we had drinks

me, Frank, Chad. I love them!

the view from our rooftop. not bad, huh? ;)

And now I am off to get ready for another new experience. Week one, complete!

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Real Life

Today was the first day that felt like real life and not a vacation.

I had a bad migraine until about 3 pm.

I took a shower, and then Holly and I went to Spiegel next door to try their food.

We went to the grocery store (or supermarket as they call it here) a few blocks away.

For a little splurge, we tried a new gelato place next to Katz's, since it's close.

There, Holly spilled gelato all over herself (I'm supposed to be the clumsy one) so we came back and had our first experience with a big city laundromat.  Not too bad.  And I'm a fan of how quickly the dryers dried our clothes.

Then we came back and relaxed and watched Pirates of the Caribbean (the original, only the original!) and its DVD extras all night.

I like this life.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Family lasts.

I think that the exhaustion of the past week must have really caught up to me because aside from an alarm to wake up and take my morning medicine, I slept solidly for twelve straight hours and did not get out of bed until past 3 this afternoon.  And now it’s only 11:30 and I’m ready to go back to bed.

All we’ve done today is watch movies.  I think we needed a day of rest, the both of us.  The only downside is that I’ve had to watch all movies that Holly wanted, because she doesn't like any of mine.  Whatever.  Only about 36 more hours without cable and wifi.

The highlight of today was when I went back up to the roof and got some shots of the skyline in the daytime.  While I was up there, I ended up having a chat with Austin for about 10 minutes before he had to go to a meeting.  I also called Ricky, who ended up getting in a car with Reafe and Scooter during it because they were going to some photo shoot for the team, so I also got to talk to them.  Missing their season is one of the few hard things about being up here.  Thankfully I have a copy of their schedule and can watch their games online.  Reafe mentioned he didn’t know what they were gonna do without me at all their games this fall, but reassured me that they’d never replace me as their number one. :)

I miss my brothers so much, and it makes me nervous when I think about how long it could take me to find a safe group like I had (have) with them.  But I know that I felt the same way when I was beginning at Campbell, and as Ricky has told me multiple times, he fully believes that there are people that God brought me here to meet.  I will find my new family here.  

But I also get to hold on to the ones back at Campbell who love me so well and changed me for the better.  I moved, but I’m still their sister.  The family love we fostered last year hasn’t changed a bit.  All the glory goes to God for that one.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I can get used to this.

Well, turns out Mom didn’t sleep at all.  That’s not unusual.  Holly said she didn’t finish watching stuff on the DVD until like 2:00, and then she had to be up at 5:00 to get ready for her train, so she just stayed up.  I woke up long enough to give her a couple hugs sometime before 6:00 when she left and then went back to bed.

I woke up to Holly fussing at me at 10:30 because another girl was due to come look at the room at 11:00, so today started off with a fight.  Blah.  She wanted me to get ready because what if she showed up early and yada yada yada….and then the girl didn’t show up until 11:35.  A completely unnecessary fight that could have been avoided if she would just treat me like an adult and her equal.  But that’s obviously going to take time, if it happens at all.

But hey, we got a roommate!  She seems really nice and we even met her parents who were here, too.  The hilarious part is that the mom is pretty much the black version of my mom and the dad is from Bertie County, NC, like half an hour from where my grandmother grew up.  I think it’s meant to be, haha.

Then we watched Troy and then I took a nap.  I think the craziness of this week has caught up to me because I am absolutely beat today.  But our plans for tonight were 100% worth getting up for.

Tonight was the first time this city felt normal and not scary.  Two of the regulars from the restaurant where Holy used to work, as in the one she just left last week, are up here on business, so they took us out tonight.  They are the sweetest married couple, Chad and Frank.  They took us to this super nice hotel for a drink before dinner, and I got this beautiful panoramic shot of the view.  Then they took us to a Peruvian restaurant for dinner and I got to try all sorts of cool new stuff, like cow heart which is actually delicious and sauce made from bread, and insisted on buying us a couple more drinks, one was made from a Peruvian liqueur and I wasn’t crazy about it but didn’t hate it.

The important part is that I felt like I belonged here tonight.  We joked and laughed for hours, and we even have “inside jokes” now that we’re leaving each other Facebook comments about.  Frank and I really hit it off and had each other laughing the whole night; Holly said that she thinks that’s the most she’s ever seen Frank talk, apparently he’s usually really quiet.  They even had their driver take us all the way back to our apartment so we didn’t have to deal with the subway (I didn’t even mention how badly my legs were hurting from all the walking we did earlier from the subway to the hotel lounge to the restaurant).

When we got back it was like 10:30 and Holly and I sat at the bar/restaurant next door and talked to the very sweet and very attractive bartender.  We’re definitely going to be there quite a bit.  It’s a great little place.

Like I said, this is the first day that I felt like I really lived here and wasn’t just on vacation, and it was only solidified by what happened at the end of the night.  I came back to the apartment first after we left the place next door because Holly was smoking, and when she came in she told me that a girl she met on the stairs told her there was rooftop access and then took her up there and the view was so incredible that she had to come back down and get me.  The five flights of stairs were so worth it because the view is INSANE.  I have to go back up there tomorrow and get a panoramic shot of the view in the daytime.  It’s insane.  We can see EVERYTHING.  Including a perfect shot of the Empire State Building to our right.

I think it really hit both of us when we were up there tonight:  This is really real.  We live in New York City.  We live here.  This is our dream, and it’s in front of us right now.




(Yeah, hashtags are part of the jokes from tonight.  :D)

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Broadway baby!

Mom splurged and took Holly to a show when they were up here for the apartment search a few weeks ago, so she did the same for me now.  We went to see Motown the Musical and it was SO MUCH FUN.  I’m lucky because I inherited my mom’s awesome taste in music, so I knew a good deal of the songs featured.

It was at a small theater just off Times Square, which worked because we ended up having to go to the TKTS booth in Times Square to get discount tickets.  It was awesome because we got aisle seats towards the front of the mezzanine and they were $4 cheaper than the promotion that the theater was running that they were sold out of.  So after we walked from the subway to theater, then to the TKTS booth, I was ready for dinner.  We went to this cafe that Mom and Holly went to and had this awesome chicken parmesan panini quesadilla looking thing, and it was big enough that we split that and a piece of marble cheesecake and were full.

I tell ya, having a piece of cheesecake in a cafe just off Times Square?  You can’t beat it.  And it was like twice the size of and at least $2 cheaper than the cheesecake at Katz’s.  Go figure.

Then we went back to the theater.  Luckily, a worker let me in to sit down during the time before they opened the doors, because there is no way that I could have stood there for half an hour before they opened up for seating.  He was very nice and let Mom come in with me.

Then, showtime!  The one downside to Broadway theaters is the lack of leg room, but thankfully Mom gave me the aisle seat so I could sort of stick my legs out in the aisle and avoid getting some serious cramps because facing straight on, I couldn’t even get my feet to touch the ground the seat in front of me was that close.

I LOVED THIS SHOW.  Love love loved it.  It was like traveling back in time it was so authentic.  The singers were unbelievably talented and the dancers were as good as you expect Broadway dancers to be.  The kicker, though, was that the kid who played young Michael Jackson (and also young Stevie Wonder and young Berry Gordy) sounded EXACTLY LIKE HIM.  It was uncanny.  And he was the best dancer in the entire show.  I can’t imagine that the kid who shares the role with him was any better.  I hope that Nathaniel Cullors has a long and vibrant Broadway career.

We got back after 11:00 and then hung out and watched extras on the Sound of Music DVD and then I crashed long before Mom and Holly did.

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