a reality check brought to you by the universe

It was about 3pm.

I had been up since 6:30am, miraculously I beat my alarm awake.

I had a final exam at 8am [I spilled coffee EVERYwhere at my seat upon walking in but walked out confident that I had ACED that little bugger of an exam] and had my next one at 1pm [I tripped up the stairs with the rest of my coffee to that one] and felt utterly miserable taking it [both of these had been writing intensive exams, I wrote a total of 4 essays so my hand was DEAD].

So when I was out, done, fed up, and waiting exhausted at the stoplight on my way home [my coffee thermos was now officially empty, no more accidents for me, hopefully] I almost didn’t register as the girl next to me started talking in my direction.

“Lovely weather, isn’t it?”

“Yes, honestly it is.” I wasn’t sure she was talking to me but I answered her nonetheless, taking a moment to look around at the pear and cherry blossoms making their way across the intersection caught in mini-wind gusts.

“You heading home?”

“Yes,” I said. “I’m exhausted and I haven’t eaten since 7am. I had two brutal exams today.” I was still angry that they had us take these on a Saturday.

“Oh man,” she said. “I’m a senior and I just got done with stuff too– I can’t believe I’m graduating next week.”

I told her she was lucky, that relaxing must be nice, and that I wish I were graduating so that I didn’t have to take anymore exams.

“What’s your major?”

“Media arts and design and German. What about you?”

“Oh, that’s cool! I’m a math major. Minor in English, though. I’m Katie, by the way.”

I told her it was a good convo of logic and art and was about to politely end the conversation, eyeing the light about to change, when she sprang this question on me:

“What are your aspirations in life?”

I paused, partially because I was trying to make sure I heard her right. But what the heck.

“To be happy,” I said after a few seconds. “And to make some sort of a difference, if I can.”

“That’s a pretty good aspiration,” she said.

At this moment the pedestrian man lit up, telling us to walk. We split at the middle of the intersection.

“Well, have a nice life,” she said, turning to walk the other way.

“Thanks, you too– and best of luck with graduation!”

I thought about how I would probably never see her again.

I thought about how I had answered her sudden question, and what that meant for me in terms of how I was going to proceed, that moment forward.

I thought about how cool it was, that the universe had granted me that moment, a brief, subtle reality check that forced me to think about all the ways I was hitting the walls between me and my own happiness.

My eyes followed her posture, her confident strides as she diminished down the sidewalk. Smiling, I followed suit back to my apartment.

xx

her hands

She likes to drink her coffee black

And talk about all of her cats

Who come to visit around back in the mornings

Her glassy blue eyes flit from her food to my face

“Did you get enough to eat?”

I look at my plate, which overflows with a bounty of bacon, eggs, and toast

All chaperoned by butter, milk, coffee, and orange juice.

“Yes ma’am,” I reply.

I don’t drink orange juice, I can’t stand the pulp

But I gulp–

As I oblige because her hands

Her skilled, swift, withered, wonderful hands

Have woken up to hard work in the kitchen all the 21 years I’ve been alive

She mentions the birds, her eyes dancing– the latest wren, cardinal, blue jay, and swan

that passes by the double window overlooking the winding creek

She tells me about her modeling days and how she felt so wobbly within herself as she stunned on the catwalk

She tells me about her plants and how they’ve grown beyond their pots and how she wishes

How she wishes she could just step outside to bend and tend her roses

The ambition evaporated to a flicker of resignation as her eyes return to her hands

Her skilled, swift, withered, wonderful, beautiful hands

Hands that hold the mug of that freshly brewed bitter blackness

An arms length away from the plastic pop-open pill box

to remind her

6 for the morning and 2 and 1/2 for the evening.

xx

whoa there, april //

copy of lifeasoflatelyapril1

I completely missed March. Between the academic truckload that got dumped on me in March, my birthday, and all of Holy Week followed by the big culmination of celebration that was Easter, I was drained. And I was missing. Apologies.

BUT WE BACK NOW. 😛

Shall we?

read/reading // AHHHH tbh I haven’t had the time recently to pick up a book for pleasure! But I do have to read this one for class:

Image result for hiroshima book

writing // this post. Finally. I feel like I’ve been gone for eternity.

learning // to embrace disappointment, to make time for myself and myself alone, to choose my diligence.

doing / working on // 

-final projects

-turning 21 [BOY that is a STORY for another TIME I tell you]

-binge watching “Jane the Virgin” [technically, I finished the available episodes on Netflix today, but that’s only because my roommate got ahead of me and I couldn’t resist when she was watching it alone so I’m just gonna go back and fill myself in on the gaps later LOL]

-working. I get to take off one job for finals week– outside of that, 3 shifts left…. whoooooo

-translating things from languages to languages! [I’m perfecting a translation portfolio for a class and BOI that’s a lot of German….!

-conducting academic fraternity meetings pls help I have no idea what I’m doing ahhhg

-PETTING GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPERS!!! Okay so there was this fundraiser for a fraternity and I took Josh cuz he used to have a Golden Retriever and it was the MOST PRECIOUS THING EVAR because this one girl dog got all cozy with him and it was just so dakfjdakshfdkahfdksajfldjf; I couldn’t even:

-SWIMMING! Yes, miraculous isn’t it? So Josh, Trevor and I have developed a weekly ritual of working out by swimming at the rec center at least twice a week. It’s honestly super refreshing, and I’m starting to notice differences in my physical performance.

eating // mac and cheese, cookies, yogurt, pasta, so much cereal, the occasional Chipotle. My diet has officially descended into madness *deep frown*

drinking // not enough water WATER and dirty chai lattes. Bad combo oooooff

listening // to a lot of the usual —

-Fall Out Boy [basically everything off of Mania]
-Noah Gundersen
-Andy Grammer
-Lorde
-PANIC! AT THE DISCO [Their newest single Saturday Night [Say Amen]”
-John Mayer

laughing // ahhhhhhh not gonna lie I haven’t done that much laughing thus far but I think it’s due to the stress and buckling down for finals….

thinking // about the most random things… like how I want to take yoga classes when I’m an employed adult, how I need to pack a lot more of my stuff up, the course load for next year, what I’m going to do with my summer,

trying // to stay positive. I’ve been feeling under the weather recently, I got “we regret to inform you” emails from Fulbright AND from the internship I applied for. Sigh. Ah, well– just shows that He’s got something bigger planned for me this summer, even if it’s just cruising around my home town, lugging elementary schoolers around and working at my PA job.

hoping // that I can pull everything together before the coming week.

loving // the retreat I went on with my campus ministry this past weekend, the weather that existed for like, two days [it was 78 degrees! And then the saddest part– it snowed this morning/afternoon ): ]

praying // for patience, understanding, focus, the motivation to sit my ass down and actually study for some of these exams, for healing, for presence in these moments.

Once this week ends, hell week starts, and it’ll go up in flames and then poof– the smoke will clear and I’ll be home.

And then I’ll cross that bridge.

xx

dayscape // a retreat to luray

I woke up at 9:30am to no alarm, three missed calls, an abundance of texts, a voicemail from one of my campus ministry friends, and a sore throat.

We had a campus ministry day retreat planned for the Saturday of the weekend. We would leave 8am from campus, go to a friend’s farm in Luray, hang there and do various activities, and be back home before evening.

Funny, how I’d put an administrative message in our group message “hey everyone, please arrive at 8am so we can try to leave on time” and I’m the one who completely slept in. My alarm hadn’t gone off; I was awake by my brain’s own will. My brain was freaking out, though and I was awake for sure when I started to throw my stuff together and get ready to leave.

This is probably the shambliest I’ve been all semester.

I asked Josh if he’d take me to Luray and he very graciously agreed because he’s a saint. So off we went, the windows down and classical music blasting as we sped drove responsibly down the highway.

We passed through Skyline Drive–stunning–and wound around some mountains until we finally reached the farm.

It was THE CUTEST thing. So gorgeous.

We pulled up to everyone else waiting there on the porch it was slightly intimidating.

I thanked Josh, kissed him goodbye, and then proceeded to join everyone inside the house. There, we started a bible study looking at the passage where this rich guy rolls in his riches while he’s alive while Lazarus agonizes alone on the streets, covered in boils and sores.

The rich guy dies and the tables turn– Lazarus finds a home in heaven and the rich dude ends up in hell, facing the torment that could be likened to Lazarus’ time spent on earth. The rich dude sees Lazarus in the Lord’s lap of luxury and calls out “hey wait! Can someone please warn my brothers who are still alive? Tell them to trust in the Lord and all that stuff, maybe send them a sign or something so they can believe and escape the fate I got here?” And Moses is all like “oh, well, they’ve got the prophets and the scriptures, if they have faith in them and adhere to them, they should be good. But you’re now reaping what you’ve sewn…oh, and if your brothers aren’t already paying attention to the scriptures and the prophets, no kind of sign I could send would get them to believe.”

And so.

This stimulated a whole discussion about trust, why and who we trust [or not], a discussion about faith… It’s great because we literally just talked about our experiences and scripture for like, an hour straight, in the cutest farm house EVER, in the most PERFECT weather possible… with incredible people all circled in a room.

It was like I hadn’t missed anything.

We went on to do a trust walk– blindfolds happened and we were led around the yard of the farmhouse, trusting in the person leading us and reflecting on it afterwards.

This was followed by a hearty lunch and A Game For Good Christians, which is LEGIT a church-goer [or spiritual] version of Cards Against Humanity and it’s HYSTERICAL. Our priest can actually play with us without feeling guilty, because all of the white cards have a reference to scripture on them LOL

We then had a really small version of the Eucharist, called an agape [I believe?] that was mostly collective prayer based, followed by some pictures and then we all headed back.

It was such a nice relaxing way to spend the day, especially after that morning frenzy.

I was so glad I went, so glad I was able to just revel in God’s goodness– from the people there to our lovely surroundings.

It can’t get better than that.

xx