School-Induced Hiatus and a Thanksgiving Update

That’s a promise . . .

Anyhow, I’ve been on unintentional school-induced hiatus since, well, September, and I’ve been itching to write a blog post. The problem? I have no time. Thanksgiving “Break” just started, and I have 3 papers to work on before I head in to work at 4pm . . .

Yet here I am – itching to give a bit of an update for anyone who might still read this!

How ARE you? I feel out of touch. How is your writing/blogging/reading? Are you doing anything fun during Thanksgiving?

Since the last time I wrote a blog post, I took on 16 credit hours of school and another job (at a Korean BBQ – more on that later). I also moved (temporarily) to Grand Rapids and obtained two awesome roommates. And I feel really, really old (this is all related, trust me).

Since it’s the eve of Thanksgiving, I’m not here to rant about any of that – or about anything that’s been happening in this crazy world since September.

Instead, I’m updating you guys on my general life, and writing about a few things I’m grateful for.

SO – school happened. I feel like I’m on a strange island populated by twentysomethings – or like an alien that crash-landed on campus (seriously, the looks I get when I say I’m 27, technically a freshman, and I have eleven siblings . . . hehehe)

I'm like Mister Do Min Joon, but not as pretty
I’m like Mister Do Min Joon, but not as pretty

Which leads into Thanksgiving:

  • I am incredibly grateful for the aforementioned roommates (both of whom are gems of humanity, and 25-year-old grad students, so around my age)
  • I am grateful for my Korean professor – she makes coming to class worth it every morning, even when I’m exhausted – and she encourages me to keep on swimming. Also, for my philosophy professor, who single-handedly made me rethink my whole scholastic pursuit by suggesting we think of them as spiritual disciplines – and for giving me an excuse to finally get around to reading Gandhi’s autobiography.
  • I am thankful that I have a car, a job, a roof over my head, shoes, and a bed to sleep in.
  • I am thankful that I have a job, and people who value me there.
  • I am thankful for every person in GR/Calvin that made a point of reaching out to me, remembered my name and made a point of saying hi, and for everyone that has been kind in any way to me – you will probably never know how much a friendly smile or a kind word can mean at the right time. Thank you.
  • I am grateful to have a novel under contract, even if it keeps getting delayed
  • I am thankful for the freedom of speech, the freedom to read whatever I want, and write whatever I want, and speak the truth – and the freedom to protest if any of those things are challenged
  • I am grateful for the wordsmiths that boost me up – whether they are singers, or poets, or writers, or just darn good speakers that lift your spirits or keep you going
  • I am thankful for the writers, readers, and bloggers that I have enjoyed reading or chatting with – you are beautiful people
  • I am thankful for my family – especially my parents, siblings, and grandparents – your love and support keeps me sane (ish)
  • I am thankful for the God of truth and justice, and for the Savior who makes all things unlovely to be lovely, and has compassion and love for the broken and unlovable

And now, since I am (for once) being completely serious and reflective – have some words to think on as we hurtle toward 2017:

  • “It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself to deal with difficult times; while fortune is bestowing favors on it then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs.” Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
  • “Each of us, no matter how good, is fallen, and each of us, no matter how evil, is as beloved as the prodigal son . . . The line between good and evil doesn’t run between people, but down the center of every heart . . . St. Paul said we should do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than ourselves. This is the exact opposite of what we naturally want; we want others to count us better than them. . . loving ourselves is what causes all the trouble . . . We should love others the way we instinctively love ourselves.” Frederica Mathewes-Green, The Illumined Heart
  • “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For you if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” (Matthew 5: 43-46b)
  • “So long as a man does not of his own free will put himself last among his fellow creatures, there is no salvation for him.” Gandhi, The Story of my Experiments with Truth
  • “Perhaps someone may say, But surely, Socrates, after you have left us you can spend the rest of your life in quietly minding your own business. This is the hardest thing of all to make some of you understand. If I say that this would be disobedience to God, and that is why I cannot ‘mind my own business,’ you will not believe that I am serious. If on the other hand I tell you that to let no day pass without discussing goodness and all the other subjects about which you hear me talking and examining both myself and others is really the very best thing that a man can do, and that life without this sort of examination is not worth living, you will be even less inclined to believe me.” Plato, Socrates’ Defense
  • ‘How is a man to judge what to do in such times?’
    As he has ever judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear, nor are they one thing among Elves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.”
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
  • “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
    C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

We all have a lot to be grateful for, and we can’t let ourselves forget it. Happy reading and writing, and have a safe and lovely Thanksgiving <3