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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stream of Consciousness

I probably shouldn't trust the part of my brain that says, "Yes, Kate, you should start writing a blog at 11 p.m." But, for whatever reason, nighttime is usually when I want to write.

Vacation journalism fell through. That is okay. I was all excited about it until I actually started to attempt to write every day, at which point I felt like I had little to say that was interesting. When Marie's computer died, I saw it as a sign that we should not require ourselves to produce more written content for deadlines. Grad school does that enough.

Oh, grad school. It's almost 2013, the year I will graduate. I don't know how to make sense of time — the way it can go too quickly and too slowly simultaneously. I can't believe I'm just four months from being done. I can't believe that 75 percent of grad school is already behind me. When I'm in the middle of it, though, the days and weeks drag on.

via

The weather has been mild enough that this Christmas break has felt like something other than Christmas break. It's just some sort of bizarre pause in time, and I have briefly escaped my grad school reality into an alternate reality of late mornings and days spent in yoga pants. I like being home because I can get hugs whenever I want. I need a lot of comforting these days.

The future seems so up in the air. I traveled to and from Georgia with my family earlier this week, and at one point on the interstate, it was so foggy that we couldn't even see the closest car in front of us. That is how I feel about life now. I don't know what the semester ahead will be like. Even as I'll be wrapping up my time in Columbia, I'll be taking on a new job and beginning my research. It doesn't feel like I've been there long enough to be preparing to leave already, but I'm ready. I'm ready to settle somewhere that isn't so far from home. My heart feels stretched among too many places.

I expect that my memories from Columbia will fade away more than my memories from high school and Asbury. When my mom talks of her time at Mizzou, she talks primarily of the cold weather. She remembers trekking across campus and having to stop halfway to warm up inside a heated building. I think I will remember the friends who welcomed me when I was new in town and the church that I became a part of and the way it felt to have to stand on my own two feet for the first time in my life.

It occurred to me recently that it's funny how much emphasis is put on the changes that take place in adolescence. As soon as you turn 12, there are youth groups specifically for you and books to help you navigate this time of change. (And books for your parents about how to communicate with you once you start, like, totally rolling your eyes at them and slamming doors and saying "whatever" all the time.)

I'm just over here at 23 thinking, Why do adolescents get all the guidance? When you're 12, you're still a kid, and you still live with your parents. Making your bed and doing your math homework are still basically your biggest responsibilities. When you're 23, you have no idea what the heck you're doing. People treat you like a grown-up, but you still feel like a kid.

Twelve-year-olds may have to deal with hormones, but 23-year-olds have to deal with:

  • Grad school and all that entails (at least in my case)
  • Finding a job, networking, self-promotion
  • Figuring out when to move out, where to move, whom to live with
  • Figuring out meal-planning and cooking
  • Learning to budget
  • Maintaining long-distance friendships (>90% of my friendships are long-distance. Sigh.)
  • Having good time management
  • Being bombarded with engagement announcements on Facebook
  • Dating (which is just "a big LOL," as Marie would say)
  • Wrapping your head around the fact that things won't go back to the way they once were
  • Realizing that this aging thing is just going to keep happening

Basically 23-year-olds have to be beginner grown-ups.

I'm jealous of my married friends — not in a sad, when-is-it-going-to-be-my-turn sense, but just in the sense that I want to know who will be doing life with me. My close married friends are all in times of transition, too. New jobs, new locations, new responsibilities. But they know that they'll have somebody there accompanying them through all of it, carrying half the burden and sharing all of the memories. 

This is a total Jesus Juke moment because you could say, "But, Kate, you know Who capital W will be with you!" Yes, well, it would be nice to know who lowercase w will be there, too.

My parents bought my brother a plane ticket so that he can ride to Missouri with me before the semester starts and then fly back to Kentucky. I couldn't bear the thought of making that drive alone. I've made the trip by myself for Thanksgiving and spring break, but I've never done it by myself at the start of a new semester, when the return home seems so far in the future. I usually feel sick to my stomach for days before the goodbyes that precede a new semester. My first few days in Columbia this school year and last were indisputably the saddest days of my life. 

I know that once I get there, it will be fine. I know that I have to go back. I know that four months will go quickly. I know that I am so close to being done. I know that I want to finish this degree. I know that I have friends there whom I love and miss and think about often. I know that I have gotten a nice, long break and still have more time at home before I have to leave.

Still, though, I want to stay here. I want to curl up and pretend that I don't have to be a grown-up, that none of my friends have married and moved away, that no one's getting older, that goodbyes are the furthest thing from my mind. Or I want to go back to Asbury and live in the dorms. It's crazy now to think that there was a four-year period of time when so many people I love, who are now spread out all over the country and the world, were all together in the same place. That sounds like an absolute dream. I think I am homesick for heaven. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vacation Journalism

My blogging partner's computer died, so I'm taking the day off, too.


Addendum: or the week? We will see. This should come as a surprise to no one. I have never been good at keeping up with this blog.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Taylor Swift is taking one for the team.

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.

Whenever people criticize Taylor Swift for the number of men boys guys she has dated in recent years — and her penchant for using these relationships as lyric fodder — I am like, y'all, we should be thanking her.

If T-Swift weren't willing to put her heart on the line publicly time and again, we might not have such pop hits as "Today Was a Fairytale," "Forever and Always," and — duh — "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."


When I see pics of Taylor out with a new beau, I recognize that she is risking heartbreak — not to mention criticism — just to be able to provide us, her loyal fans, with our next favorite pop song. Talk about sacrifice.

Taylor Swift is not just some naive ingénue, people. She is a songstress dedicated to her craft. 


Speaking of dedication, when was the last time your diary got read on the radio, huh? That's basically what happens to Taylor Swift every time one of her songs plays — which is, like, thousands of times a day. 

So next time you find yourself bebopping around the house to one of T-Swift's hits, remember that she took one for the team and be grateful.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Royal Baby

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.



Potential Names for Will and Kate's Baby:

5. Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking (Pippy for short)
4. Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi
3. Suri Apple Blue Shiloh Beckham
2. Shia LaBaby (courtesy of my brother)
1. Neville Longbottom 

What would you name it?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Movies

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.

What are my favorite Christmas movies, you ask? 


5. Harry Potter series

Christmastime at Hogwarts sounds even more magical than Hogwarts during the rest of the year, if that is possible. I want to go to the Christmas feast in the Great Hall and open presents with the Weasleys. Is that too much to ask?

4. Gilmore Girls Christmas episodes

So maybe including a television show is cheating, but Stars Hollow looks like the perfect place to spend Christmas, and I always get the urge to watch this show when it gets cold outside. (The day Gilmore Girls is made available on Netflix Instant is the day that I cease to be productive for the rest of time...)

3. A Muppet Christmas Carol

Our family used to own this movie on VHS, but we lent it to some family friends when I was a kid and never got it back. I am still bitter. I don't remember enough about the movie to say why I loved it, but I know I did.

2. Serendipity

This is not only one of my favorite Christmas movies but also one of my favorite anytime movies. New York City sounds like a wonderful place to spend Christmas, what with the decked out department stores and outdoor skating rinks. Plus, Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack are perfect together.

1. The Family Man

It has come to my attention recently that a lot of people have never seen this movie. If this is true of you, get your hands on a copy at once. My mom bought a copy from the $5 bin at Walmart because I wanted to rent it every single Christmas. It just makes me want to snuggle up in a blanket with hot chocolate and my family and celebrate togetherness. That sounds so cheesy, but it's so true.

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Haiku Friday

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.

I give you the past week in haiku form:

Teleportation
should be invented by now
It's 2012

I missed the wedding
of my dear friend Dottie J.
What a lovely bride!

Classes are over,
and I have this urge to say,
Take that, professors!

Ninety-three point five —
the lowest A you can get,
a.k.a. success

Eight hours alone
passing cornfields en route home
Someone call me please

List'ning to podcasts
made by Focus on the Fam
Am I a grown-up?


T-Swift on repeat
She's finally 23
Now I feel less old

I'd like to pretend
that Asbury didn't end
Can't we all go back?

I trusted MapQuest,
but I'm lost on a horse farm
It led me astray

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vacation Journalism

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.

Today's topic: Dream Jobs

Preface: This does not include the job that I'm actually studying to do (because, frankly, I'm supes tired of talking about that). Reality aside, here are my other top ten dream jobs. 

10. YA Author 

Oh, to see my name on the spine of a pink book in the young adult section of the library! I would write about unlikely heroines and teenage drama, and I would say "like" and "you know" and "I mean" a lot. YA authors have that liberty. (I would also use fragments. Like all the time.) 


9. Wedding Planner

I cannot think of a more Pinterestastic job than planning weddings. This job would combine my love of fancy events, planning, meeting people, and holding clipboards.

8. Makeover-er

Think Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. When my friends and I were in college, we wanted to start a makeover service through which we could aid the awkward freshmen with their fashion and beauty choices. So many girls with triangle hair, so many boys with cargo jeans, so little time.

7. Photographer

Being a photographer seems glamorous and artsy, and you get to use Photoshop, which is practically one of my love languages.

6. Web Designer

I took a web design class during my second semester of grad school, and it made me rethink all of my life choices. By which I mean, I wished I could've gone back in time and majored in web design. I just want to know all of the code.

5. Professional Runner

Did you know there are people who get paid to run? IT'S LIKE THEIR JOB. I am way too slow to make a living by running, but we're talking dream jobs here. I would wear cute running clothes and have rockin' legs. In this hypothetical world, I might even get a running-inspired tattoo like the one pictured. (Just kidding. That would never happen.)

4. Mindy Kaling

Another dream job of mine is just to be Mindy Kaling. That woman is a total rockstar. She's hilariously funny, she writes and stars in her own show, and her skin always look luminous.

3. Blogger

I'd have to blog way more frequently to be a professional blogger. Oh, and I'd have to get sponsors and hipster glasses. And maybe become a Mormon.

2. Pop Star

Hand me a hairbrush and crank up the Kelly Clarkson, and you will quickly realize that I seriously missed my calling as a pop star. (The Kelly Clarkson needs to be turned up really loud for this to work.) I hope I'd be the KC or T-Swift variety of pop star, not the Britney/X-tina variety.

1. SAHM

Let's be real: Being a stay-at-home mom is my one and only true dream job. I want to hold babies and wipe spaghetti off their faces and, when they get older, make school lunches for them and drive them to track practice. I promise not to wear mom jeans, though. You can hold me to it.


What's your dream job?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In a most delightful way...


Having somehow survived this past semester, I am home again at last. A few minutes ago, while standing in the kitchen, I started singing "A Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins. (Don't ask me why. I am always singing something.) In true Kate fashion, I was singing it in a British accent. Perhaps in truer Kate fashion, I was singing the verses out of order and just repeating the same few lines over and over again.

And then my mom and brother, the only ones home with me right now, started singing along — also in British accents and also out of order. And I thought to myself, I have the best family ever.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Grad School Games

Next week is my last week of classes. Like ever. I have spent the last 18 years of my life going to class, and it is all about to end.

What's weird is that I haven't even really been thinking about this. It kind of hit me anew this week. I haven't gotten to slow down in anticipation of the finish line. I've been in high gear, and now I feel as though I'm neck and neck with anything and everything that could prevent me from getting my final research proposal approved and turned in for next semester.

My schooling has been pretty rigorous overall, so I guess it's fitting for my final week of classes to be a complete doozy. All of my mental and emotional energy at this point is being devoted to preparing for the committee meeting for my project proposal. I will dress up. I will bring baked goods for the faculty members. I will explain my research plans. And I will pray that I find favor with them or that they have mercy upon me or, you know, maybe just that I don't break down and cry in the conference room.

That meeting is Monday, and the final proposal is due Thursday, which gives me approximately two and a half days to make any necessary revisions. Though I wish I could devote those days solely to making revisions, I will have to split them among final projects — and the accompanying writing, meeting, data collection, and presentation prep — for three other classes.

Talk about going out with a bang.


I've got Haymitch's advice from the Hunger Games repeating in my head: Stay alive.

If I can just stay alive for the next seven days...
If I can just stay alive...

I finished typing all of this and then heard the little beep that tells me when a new email is in my inbox. This one was from my committee chair. "I think this meeting will go very well," she wrote. "See you Monday!"

I remember when getting a committee was what I was worried about. And I remember when finding a place to do the professional portion of my project was what I was worried about. I remember when picking a research topic was what I was worried about. I remember when writing my lit review was what I was worried about. And all of that has worked out so much better than I hoped it would. I need to stop worrying so much. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Grad School in GIF

1. Grad school year two is basically a mixture of sophomore slump and senioritis. Not a pretty combination. The newness has worn off. I'm realizing how much work is still ahead. I'm feeling burned out. And I just want to be done.

Tell me about it, Eeyore.

3. I just wrote 3 instead of 2. That is evidence of how tired I am.

Yeah, kinda like that. 

3. You know how I recently mentioned my newfound love of iced coffee? Well, I don't have a coffee maker at home, but I have perfected making iced coffee with instant coffee, and now I make it every day.

After I make iced coffee. 

4. All of this semester's classes have been major letdowns. I feel like I am working my tail off and learning nothing. The only thing I really care about is finishing my master's project proposal, but I have been devoting absolutely ridiculous amounts of time to other classes. Okay, primarily one other class. It is like the Dementor of classes, sucking out all of my joy and will to live.

I want to be like, EXPECTO PATRONUM, CLASSES.  

5. I just reread that last point and was struck by my own bitter tone. Despite my frustration and fed-up-ness with my classes this semester, I realize that I have it pretty good. I go to my dream grad school. I have people encouraging me left and right. I know that so many people have my back. Twice in the last week I have just sobbed in friends' arms. I point this out because it means I have friends in whose arms to sob. I don't want to forget to be grateful for that.

I am like: 

And my friends are like: 


6. Whenever I express excitement about finishing school, someone reminds me that I'll never have as much freedom as I do now. I'm not sure I believe this. I never have the sense of finishing work at the end of the day. I work from the time I wake up until the time that I go to sleep. I do not come home and turn my attention to other things. I come home and continue. Grad school is relentless.

This is your brain on grad school. 

7. The only way I've learned to take breaks without feeling guilty is to put social events on my calendar. I am completely incapable of relaxing alone when I have this much to do.

I could learn a thing or two from Honey Boo Boo. 

8. All of this is unhealthy, and I realize it. I feel like I don't have much of a say in the matter. I signed up for these classes. Drop/add is over. My only option is to keep going. Some nights I do go to bed before I have finished my tasks for the day. That is my only way of saying no these days.

Preach, Leslie.

9. Every once in a while the triviality of it all hits me. You know, Ecclesiastes-style.
"'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Teacher. 'Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.'"
If I didn't know better, I would think the first chapter of Ecclesiastes was written by a grad student.
"I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." 
GRAD SCHOOL IS JUST A HAMSTER WHEEL.
(Hamster needs a haircut.) 

10.  Every once in a while, my love for the subject matter hits me, too, though. Everyone was freaking out about the Starbucks red holiday cups a couple of days ago, and I literally got shivers thinking about the way Starbucks presents itself as a brand so consistently and deliberately. I want to help brands be that way. And yesterday I was visiting an organization's website, and I got excited thinking about how much thought had gone into making it pretty and practical. These things remind me that I'm happy to be studying strategic communication even on days when I feel like I want to quit studying altogether.

People when they realize the holiday Starbucks cups are out.
Alternately: Me when I think about communications. 

11. I'm getting excited about the prospect of moving back to Kentucky after I graduate. It's hard to do life without family. I'm increasingly aware that other people have families here and I do not. In college I learned that America is considered the most individualistic country in the world. No other culture values "standing on your own two feet" as much as our culture does. In most countries, it would be unheard of for a 20-something girl to peace out of her community and move away on her own. On the one hand, I'm grateful that I live in a country in which that is possible. On the other hand, I think America values individualism too much. Living far from family, to put it bluntly, is stupid and the worst.

Even Thor needs his people. 

12. I still love being a T.A. It is the only part of grad school in which I feel like I know what I'm doing. It makes me feel like I have a purpose here beyond just my own coursework.

How I feel after a successful grading session. 


14. Speaking of grading, I don't know when it happened, but I have entirely stopped caring about my grades. As in STOPPED CARING. (I'm pretty sure that no one who knows me in real life is going to believe this.) It's not that they're bad and I've given up; it's that there's so much work that once something is turned in, I'm over it. Actually I'm usually over it before it's turned in. 

I give approximately zero bothers. 

13. I got an ocular migraine the other day, and it was so weird because I had blind spots. BLIND SPOTS, YOU GUYS. I COULDN'T SEE ALL THE WAY. I had to go to urgent care and everything because I didn't know what was going on. I bring this up now because I am having trouble reading this page, and that's what happened right before the blind spots came last time. I can look at the screen, but I can't focus on the screen. It is super weird.

Me when it happened. 

14. ON THAT NOTE I should probably stop blogging. I hope to post pictures soon from Katelyn's wedding and other goings-on. I am also trying to get my friends to do a round-table video blog, so that may be on its way if I can effectively peer pressure them into doing it.

15. I can't find a GIF for peer pressure that doesn't involve weed, so no GIF for you.

No soup for you either. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Can I quit grad school?

This is so accurate. 


I miss blogging, and I have a lot to blog about.
I want to quit grad school.

I'm not going to quit grad school.
But I want to quit grad school.

Debating going to bed without finishing my homework.
Because it is 11:41 p.m. and I've literally cried five times today.

But then I'll have to get up early to finish it.
This is my life these days.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eight Mini-Blogs

One:
I first heard of Audrey Assad like two and half weeks ago, and her music has basically been keeping me sane ever since. Some mornings I literally listen to "Sparrow" on repeat from the time I leave my apartment to the time I get to campus.

If you don't have Spotify, that playlist won't work, so you can hear her on YouTube.

Two:
I went to Kansas City last weekend with Melissa, Hayley, and Bekah, and it was such a wonderful little brain break for me.


Bekah and I met some men while we were there. By which I mean, Bekah took a picture with a statue, and I took a picture with a headless Gap mannequin. I have a stronger than reasonable appreciation for the Gap menswear mannequins. They just dress like they could hold down jobs, okay?

Three:
As evidenced by the aforementioned photo of Mr. Mannequin and me (look closely), I have recently/rapidly developed an overwhelming love for iced coffee. This may or may not be the result of an overwhelming workload. I've always hated coffee, but now all of a sudden I can't get enough of it. If it is icy and creamy and sweetened, OBVS.


GET IN MY LIFE,  ICED COFFEE. 

Autumn is an inopportune time to realize that you love an iced drink.

Four:
My parents came to visit me a few weeks ago, and it was just the best. My dad and I got to go to the Mizzou vs. Georgia game, and now just looking at the pictures makes me miss them so much it hurts. I can't wait to see them next month. 

AREN'T THEY THE CUTEST!?
Five:
Speaking of cute people whom I love and miss, I GET TO SEE THESE GIRLS THIS WEEKEND. Pardon me while my heart explodes.


See how I was all puffy-eyed in that last pic? That was our last school day at Asbury. My heart was being ripped into a billion pieces. Saturday — for the first time since graduation — we will all be back together, and we will be celebrating sweet Katelyn's wedding. I cannot wait.

I cannot wait. I cannot wait. I cannot wait.

I think being at Mizzou has given me an even stronger appreciation for the time I spent at Asbury. I love Mizzou, but sometimes when I talk to undergrads, I get almost overwhelmed with sadness about the fact that they're all missing out on the small college experience that I had. Getting to go to Asbury was — and will always be, I'm sure — one of the biggest blessings I've ever been given. These girls are such a huge part of that blessing.

Six: 
Speaking of going to Katelyn's wedding, I am going in an AIRPLANE. I have not been on an airplane since 1999. NINETEEN NINETY-NINE, Y'ALL. That was like the olden days. 


Seven: 
The girlies and I went to an advanced showing of Pitch Perfect a couple of weeks ago, and it was hilar. I can't wait to see it again now that it is in theaters for reals. It was basically everything that Glee should have been. And now I have a crush on the main guy, which should come as a surprise to no one.


Eight:
I have used various forms of the word "overwhelmed" far too many times for a single blog post. Sometimes I feel the need to go back and carefully edit my blog posts and make myself sound more articulate and less like a 15-year-old girl. But sometimes I am like, "WHATEVS. I SPEND SO MUCH TIME EDITING STUFF THAT GETS GRADED THAT I AM NOT GOING TO SCRUTINIZE WHAT ISN'T GETTING GRADED." And, yes, I do think in all caps. That, too, should come as a surprise to no one.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pulling a Moses

One of my favorite classes in college was Understanding Old Testament. The class was a gen. ed. requirement, so I registered for it out of compliance rather than interest.

I took it second semester freshman year, and I have two primary memories from the class. One is of holing myself up in a Kresge "study room" — which, now that I think about it, was basically just a cinderblock closet — to write a paper on Job. I stayed in there for 12 hours straight, only leaving for bathroom breaks and to get a takeout box from the caf. (I wish I could go back in time and tell freshman Kate to chill out.)

The other memory is of studying for the final exam. My precious iBook pooped out the Saturday before finals, so my mom drove to Asbury to lend me her iBook. I remember that she had almost no music in her iTunes library, but she did have The Prince of Egypt soundtrack, so I played it on repeat all week as I studied.


Somewhere in the middle of listening (and re-listening) to that soundtrack and reading (and rereading) my Old Testament notes, I realized that I was just like the Israelites. That's why I loved that class, really: because it made me realize that I was just like the Israelites.

This was in some ways, of course, a disheartening realization. (The Israelites, after all, did a lot of stupid stuff. And then they would shape up briefly. And then they would do stupid stuff again.) But it was simultaneously an encouraging realization. Because I saw how faithful God was to the rebellious, wayward, ungrateful Israelites and, by extension, to me.

I've been feeling a lot like the Israelites lately. Actually, I've been feeling a lot like one Israelite, good ol' Moses, the Prince of Egypt himself.

It seems presumptuous to say I feel like Moses. I'm not like leading people out of captivity or anything. But I have a tendency to act the way that Moses did when God showed up in that burning bush.

If you haven't read the story lately, let me summarize* it for you:

Basically Moses is chilling with some flocks in the wilderness, and he sees this burning bush, so he goes over to it and realizes that God is talking to him out of it. And God is like, "My people are suffering in Egypt. I've chosen you, Moses, to go talk to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of there."
  
Then God promises to go with Moses. And then God tells Moses how he'll do all these wonders. And then God turns Moses' staff into a snake
And Moses — who at this point should be like, "Whatever you say, Lord" — is like, "But I am not eloquent."  
!!! 
That's what he says to the God who just talked to him out of a burning bush. He asks God to send somebody else
And God, following up with the best comeback of all time, is like, "WHO MAKES MOUTHS TO BEGIN WITH, MOSES?" And then he sends Moses anyway (with his brother's help and despite repeated protest).
*Don't smite me for this paraphrase, readers.



This was not exactly one of Moses' finer moments, but this is the moment in which I most resemble him. "But I am not eloquent," I say to God, over and over again, switching out "eloquence" for a hundred other traits or abilities in a hundred other situations. Denying my own "eloquence," etc., might sound humble, but it's really the opposite. It shows that I think my success is dependent on my own abilities.

Right now I see this in the worry I've felt about the master's project I'll be working on next semester. As indicated by my last post, prepping for this project has had me way too stressed out. It feels like such a huge undertaking, one on which so much is resting. I look at it, and I look back at God and say, "But I am not capable. SEND SOMEBODY ELSE."

Even as God has started to bring project plans into place, I have found new things to think I must complete in my own power. The semester is reaching the point when everything hits at once. (You know how it is: projects in every class, presentations on the horizon, and a dozen meetings scheduled for this week alone). My to-do list feels like a physical weight upon on my chest. I look at it, and I look back at God and say again, "But I am not capable. SEND SOMEBODY ELSE."

And God's response is, of course, "WHO MAKES MOUTHS TO BEGIN WITH, MOSES?" Which, when applied to my situation, sounds like, "Who got you into Mizzou to begin with, Kate?"

Who let you find out about Mizzou's program in the first place? Who made sure you had time off work to go visit? Who got you accepted? Who got you an assistantship? Who provided you with community when you got there, Kate? You didn't think it was you, did you?

Did you?

If you asked me, I would say that I didn't. I would say that God led me to Mizzou, got me in, provided for me once I arrived. I would say that he'd proved his faithfulness a thousand times in the past year since I began. But when I freak out like I do and worry about my own incompetence, I show just how much I think my success has been and will continue to be dependent on my own abilities. 

If I really thought I'd gotten where I was due to God's sovereignty, then I wouldn't question my ability to do what's ahead of me. Because it wouldn't be about my ability.

I wish that being able to acknowledge this tendency/problem/pride of mine would make it go away. I wish I could wake up tomorrow and take a look at my to-do list and say, "Wow, that is long. Good thing it's all in God's hands and not mine." I expect, however, that I will wake up tomorrow and feel the same way that I felt today — overwhelmed and tired. I expect that I will look at my to-do list and decide to caffeinate myself and attempt to check a few items off it and eventually just call my mom and cry.

I am realizing that even overcoming this is something that I cannot do in my own power.
I cannot through my own abilities make myself stop relying on my own abilities. 
That is up to the mercy of a God who's been showing mercy since the days of the Israelites.
That is the thought that I will cling to tomorrow. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

#gradstudentprobz

This is how I feel whenever I think about my professional project, which I must complete next semester to finish my master's degree:


Right now I'm trying to find or create a position (and obtain that position) and pick committee members (and get them to pick me back). GRAD SCHOOL IS HARD.

Monday, September 3, 2012

September at Last

I'm so ready for autumn this year. I'm ready for sweaters and scarves and boots and tights.


I'm ready for football and hot chocolate and season premieres and colorful leaves.


Oh, and I'm ready to see some men in flannel. And more flannel. And more flannel.


Maybe some men in cardigans, too.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Things That Break


You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.
– e.e. cummings
A few weeks ago I began writing a blog post to detail the recent developments and setbacks regarding my legs. This summer I started seeing a new physical therapist — my ninth in eight years. I needed to write about it, both to update my friends and to make sense of it myself. I've sat down to work on that post nearly a dozen times since then, but I end each typing session without hitting publish. I just save draft and close my computer because none of what I write about it makes any sense.

I pasted the draft into a Word document earlier this week in hopes that I'd be able to compose better in another program. It was nine pages. Single-spaced.

And then last night I remembered those lines from an e.e. cummings poem. I think he said in 30 words what I hadn't managed to say in nine pages: I am tired of things that break.

My legs had been doing so much better. I had started running again. But I was hitting snags — new minor injuries — along the way. So I started PT again. It brought back too many memories and emotions from the hours and weeks and months and years that I'd spent in and out of physical therapy and doctors' offices before. And it made me realize that I'm not as far along as I thought I was. I am so prone to injury. I have typical flexibility and strength problems, but they're coupled with tricky biomechanical issues, some of which I must have been born with and some of which I assume resulted  from the years that I spent moving incorrectly to compensate for pain.

It's so disheartening to be in pain again. My brain may know that it's different pain, that it has already been diagnosed, that it can't possibly last as long as my old problems. But my heart doesn't. I'm so scared and discouraged and frustrated.

I still remember a conversation I had with my friends early in college. We were talking about our fears. And I said, "I'm scared my legs won't get better — or that they'll get better and then I'll get hurt again." 

Bingo.
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. . . . Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 
– 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18
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