Being scientifical and…stuff.

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I’m being urged to attend Paint Wars. And I really don’t want to go.

See, it’s a lovely concept: there’s water and pools full of watered-down paint, and everybody gets multicolored and goes down water slides and that sort of thing. Totally something I would have instigated at home. So why am I still in my room? I have several hypotheses.

#1. Last time I went (see, we did this with all the Freshmen last week) I had a great time when we were in our group of twelve or so people, united with a common goal. But the rest of the evening, when everyone split off with their friends, I was kind of miserable. I don’t yet have a close friend here, and life seems less manageable without someone steady to count on. (California is so far away sometimes…) I don’t want to end up standing on a hillside by myself again, cold and wet.

#2. My ankle still genuinely hurts a good bit of the time, and last time I tweaked it doing the simplest things in my brace. Needless to say, I’m not really interested in spending any amount of time on crutches again, and so maybe I’m overcautious. But an environment involving leaping, dashing, and slipping around on a wet surface is not a super safe place to be. I don’t want to end up standing on a hillside by myself again, cold and wet and trying to keep weight off an extra-sore ankle.

#3. The paint doesn’t stain enough. …Okay, so I’ve actually discarded this hypothesis. It just bugs me. I mean, the paint didn’t stain any of my clothes. What’s with that?!

#4. I don’t want to expend the energy necessary to attempt a social gathering. I think this is really what it comes down to, though the thoughts contained in points 1 & 2 do carry some weight. My room is safe, quiet, climate controlled, and doesn’t involve human interaction.

I love how I present this as all logical and scientifical and stuff, but in reality, the fact that I’m still in my room is entirely feelings-based. Don’t hear me discounting the validity of feelings here. Trust me, I base a heck of my life off of them, which is one of the more dangerous practices I engage in. It puts me in danger of ‘not feeling like’ going to church and ‘not feeling like’ talking to anyone at all and ‘not feeling like’ going to class and a million other really destructive things. Sometimes you’ve just gotta do something because you know you need to do it–like when I actually did eat something for dinner last night.

So…yeah. Tonight feelings win the day. Feelings and a stupid sprained ankle that reminds me that its not healed yet every time I wear my cowboy boots. (Yeah, the ones that Dad told me were a bad idea to wear while my ankle’s healing. I don’t learn things the easy way. Obviously.)

All that to say, I embrace being illogical and highly encourage you to engage in it at least every once in awhile (and always when it comes to the way the world views your living-out of your faith) but also challenge you to analyze (don’t over-analyze; trust me on this) the mixture of “logic” and “emotions” that you’re basing your decisions on. I feel like we as humans tend to swing to one extreme or the other when it comes to the feelings vs. emotions fight (I do) but living your life in any extreme is pretty messy (I have scars on my heart to prove it). I don’t have all the answers–obviously–but I serve a God who not only does, but loves me (loves you, too) even when I botch things up.

Have a fabulous rest of your day, and kudos to you for surviving a look into my winding thought-process. Life is fabulous. Go live it.
– Melissa
Divine Romance by Phil Wickham*

 

* I apologize for any grammatical errors contained in the onscreen lyrics of this video. I do not approve, but still lack the ability to fix stupid. I hope you’ll be able to appreciate the words regardless of things like “Beautys”.

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a day in the Life

Crazy day. For sure. And I really need to get out of the habit of writing posts exclusively when I’m excessively tired. Prepare for some verbal mayhem. Anywho…recap:

Woke up this morning. Always a good thing. I’m grateful to have been blessed with consistent breaths that continued on past midnight. Needless to say, this crazy goose (actually, I’m a person, because I don’t let past theater roles define me) didn’t want to wake up for modified chapel, but she wanted the double chapel credits and she knew that the cast lists for the fall shows were getting put up, so she clambered out of bed and got herself looking something approaching presentable. And ate a breakfast that wasn’t at all healthy. And went to chapel, where she sang some songs, raised her right hand in the air, pulled a beanie off her head, and ‘became a member of the HSU student body.’ (She and I are both pretty sure that that actually happened when she started classes on Monday. But whatever.)

Then class. Geology. My professor has worn a brightly-colored tie-dyed polo shirt for both times I’ve been in class. It makes me smile. And because I’d done my assigned reading (yeah for being a prepared student!) I was able to follow what he was talking about!

After leaving class, I was able to go out to lunch with a longtime friend who had the audacity to move from Bakersfield to Texas and then ended up attending another university in the same town as HSU. Pretty cool. So catching up was fun, and my sandwich was weird and I ate it with fork and knife and it was good to be with someone who really didn’t care that I wasn’t eating my sandwich in the traditional way.

My afternoon was filled with more classes–the boring things that y’all probably don’t want to hear about–but, once again, having done assigned reading made it easy to follow weird concepts. Almost like the professors know what they’re doing when they assign homework… But the nice break before classes was getting to dash to Van Ellis to check the cast lists. (Actually, I did the dash three times throughout the morning, but the list wasn’t up yet the first two times.) I didn’t get cast in the show, but getting to audition and attend callbacks was a fabulous experience and I regret nothing.

Then, power nap (my eyes kept shutting themselves and sleep was the only non-cosmetic-surgery remedy that I could think of) and homework and dinner later, I got to go listen to the first read-through of Midsummer Night’s Dream, which opens…September sometime? (Such a good HSU theater kid…if you live in the area, ask me later and I’ll get you the dates so you can come see it with me; it’s gonna be good.) That was fabulously fun, and I got to dance barefoot in a large room during the quick break they took. And then one of the other students and I got to run over to a meeting that we were late for and then…

…wait for it…

…it was raining when it came time to walk back to the dorm! So, since I was with a Musical Theater major, we of course sang the bits of ‘Singing In The Rain’ that we could–in our sleep-deprived state–remember as we splashed down the sidewalks. We don’t have thunderstorms in California. That makes me sad. The thunderstorm tonight made me happy.

I’m still kinda wet (from my shower, and not the rain) and I’m still kind of glowing. Sometimes I feel like there are so many sides to me that I can’t keep track of them all (not schizophrenia, I promise) and sometimes the side of Melissa that manifests itself in a day isn’t one I’m particularly fond of. Like the overwhelmed, introverted, quiet Melissa who’s been slipping unnoticed across campus lately (except for when she’s by herself, in which case she dances). But today…blame it on barometric pressure or absolute exhaustion, or just the giddiness that overtakes me whenever I’m in and around the theater, but today the Melissa on campus was the confident one, the one who actually volunteered information in class and didn’t care what people thought of her carrying her shoes while walking across campus and is currently sitting in the dorm hall because she’s too lazy to go downstairs and has spoken about herself in the third person an awful lot in the above paragraphs… Anyway, I’m fond of this Melissa and hope that maybe we can come to some sort of agreement where my eyes will stay open and I don’t have to risk pneumonia by scampering about in the rain but I can also be confident and sparklingly be myself.

So that was today. Take it or leave it.

I’ve overused parentheses again today. Which is odd, considering that I’m more known for way overusing ellipses, but oh well. Life goes on and things change and I really wish that a giant, friendly, fluffy pink panda would come lumbering down the hallway, nuzzle me, and then go make somebody else happy too.

Have a wonderful day, folks, and be yourselves. Without apology or compromise.
– Melissa
Psalm 119:32

Stayin’ Alive (And That Sorta Thing)

Life is an emotional roller coaster. At least, for me it is. I blame it on background, environment, and (mostly) the artist personality type. You know us artists: we’re the ones who ache to give wings to that vision inside of us, but we never quite can and that kills us, plus we so rely on our emotions to drive our craft that our emotions get the better of us and we think we’re being logical. And there’s a melancholy streak that I see in almost all of us. All that to say, it was a roller coaster day for me.

For one thing, it was the first day of classes!!! Yay! Woo hoo…! Yeah… Nope. Not feelin’ the thrill. But I did survive. Which is great. Tomorrow’s my really full day, but it’s still not the first day. I’ve conquered that monster!

In addition, I’ve finally gotten to begin to acquaint myself with the theatre crew over the past 24 hours. Which in some ways has been exhilarating. And in other ways has been tremendously discouraging/distressing. Being in but not of the world is going to be a huge huge deal for me this year. Also, translating solid convictions into real life application is definitely going to be a thing.

The biggest theatre occurrence was auditioning for my first HSU show this evening! (Oh, and there was me coming into the departmental meeting three minutes late, too. That was exciting.) I don’t have any burning sense that the director adored me, but I’m confident that I did my best, and that if I don’t get cast in this show, then that’s exactly where God wants me. After all, this semester is one of adjusting and acclimating.

So overall today was pretty…extreme. From curling up on my bed sobbing, to laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe (thanks, Sarah, for sitting in that plastic tub; I’m glad it was you who got stuck and not me) I have confirmed that I do not do halfway emotions. I live in the land of extremes, especially when I’m tired and stressed. (And yes, for those of you who know me well, I am still on an adrenaline rush from auditions two hours ago. My writing style should say it all. I promise I’ll sleep sooner than later.)

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I love the quote depicted on the above bench (located here on campus). I’m clinging to that quote. And I’m also really fond of that bench, because it’s in the shade near the pond.

Anyhow, I’m not going to proofread this, because it’s too late and I know myself well enough to be sure that it’s chock full of all kinds of inconsistencies and things that don’t make sense. You know the drill regarding complaints. This is the Queen bidding thee a good night!

– Melissa
Oceans by Hillsong

 

Oh. Yeah. And I’ve overused parentheses tonight. You’re welcome.

Having Very Little To Do With Mice

Sometimes I feel like being distinctly myself comes with a price tag of also being distinctly misunderstood.

Confused? (Me too.) Let me expound. See, it’s the first week of my freshman year of college. And I’ve been homeschooled all my life—well, except for that one semester in seventh grade, but that’s a totally different story and didn’t do much to prepare me for this crazy rush of 400 freshmen scurrying about on campus. In addition, I’ve never been quite sure how much of me is actually introverted, because it seems to vary greatly depending on the situation and the day and which direction the ladybug that lives in Normandy is crawling, (I hope there are ladybugs in Normandy…because if not, then that illustration was even more pointless than it, in fact, is) and this week I am very very introverted.

Not to mention that I am my own harshest critic. Which has nothing to do with what I’m trying to communicate, but I’m sleep deprived and emotional and DON’T JUDGE ME!

Throughout the past days of Freshman Orientation (here at HSU they call it “Stampede Week”) I have made myself be involved. I have attended every one of the events, no matter how overwhelming, and have had (I think…I mean, at least as far as I’m aware of…) a good attitude and talked with people even when I wished that they’d get turned into a mouse and get carried away by an owl just so that I could be left alone. Okay, so maybe I haven’t wished that, but I really like the idea now. I need a mousenator. Pronto.

bird carrying prey

Oh. Yeah. Topic. Right. So I’ve been involved. And it has been super rough on me emotionally. (Ask my best friend who’s gotten all my ‘SAVE ME FROM THIS CHAOS!’ texts.) And because of that, and sleep deprivation and homesickness, I am so exhausted tonight that I can’t even begin to cope. And so, partly in preparation for knowing that I must expend effort to get myself to a church tomorrow morning, I made the decision today to skip tonight’s activity. It’s off campus and I have no idea how late it will go, and there are going to be tons and tons of introvert-poison people that I don’t know. And I’m totally within my rights to not go. (I do actually have confidence in this. I’m not just trying to convince myself. Believe me or no.)

However… As soon as I told my upperclassman “wrangler”, she started pressuring me to go. I’m not criticizing her really; I get that HSU’s goal is to get us first-years involved in campus life. She was doing her job with my best interests at heart. Yet still, her words were my breaking point. Because it’s so hard to be somewhere foreign, somewhere not necessarily “safe”, and feel misunderstood. (Am I right, fellow introverts?) This time now—in the dark in my room in the silence—this is recharge. Over the past years I’ve read the articles, seen the cartoons, thought I understood what it meant to be an introvert in the world. But I think college is gonna totally redefine that ‘understanding.’ And hopefully I’ll get the privilege of redefining the way some other people view introverts too.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for the night. G’day, y’all.

– Melissa
Isaiah 12:2