Thursday, January 21, 2010


This past week has been quite the whirlwind.

Over the three day weekend, I went on a short girls trip to New York City with Molly Rodg, Selbs, Linds, Janearoonie, and Midi. It was great – we saw the sites, we navigated the metro, we walked the streets (until our feet fell off), we ate good food, and we enjoyed each other’s company. That was really what the trip was about – enjoying each other’s company. Some of the best moments were had when we were just taking it easy in the apartment.

However, one the most striking things we did while in NYC was visit the World Trade Center Museum. Quotes from survivors describing the pain from 9/11 lined the panels. Short videos explained the importance of the twin towers to NYC and how they functioned as a community in and of themselves. Missing person posters lined one entire wall, and I began to individually look at all of their faces. One particular individual jumped out at me. She was smiling and laughing at the camera, as happy go lucky as she could be. For all I know, the picture could have been taken just a week before the attack.

The next day, shopping around Soho, the two Mollys and I walked into a cute hat shop. We began talking to the owner of the store, who proceeded to tell us her story. Linda, an English woman who had also lived in Venezuela, Holland, and New Jersey, had spent many years working Wall Street. One day, unhappy and dissatisfied, she quit and started bartending to support herself while she worked on her business plan for The Hat Shop. Now she was living her dream. She told us to pursue our dreams – if you want to be a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper you can be. People will notice and respect you for what you do. Figure out what you’re passionate about and pursue it. You can take tests that will tell you where your skills lie and what you’re good at, but they won’t tell you what you’re passionate about.

We returned home Monday afternoon from our journey, that night, I found out my roommate and beloved friend Molly would be withdrawing from Belmont and moving out shortly. While I completely support her in her endeavors, and understand her reasons for moving forward, life at Belmont will not be the same this semester. I will miss her a lot.

On Tuesday, school started back up again. It was difficult to try and get back into the groove while telling people Molly was leaving. When I came back to the room, I found out an acquaintance from high school had passed away in a car accident the night before. While I wasn’t the best of friends with Raegan, I did know her, and she was a great girl.

That afternoon I called my mom just to talk and tell her what was going on. I started crying, and it felt good to just get it out. I can’t remember the last time I cried—it might’ve been years ago.

What I’ve taken from this past week is this: cherish every moment. People come and go. Life is quite the rollercoaster. I have hope that God knows what He’s doing, although a lot of the time I really don’t understand. Last semester was interesting, and I thought a lot about life, friends, and God. It’s weird. Right now I find myself at a standstill where I want to grow in my faith, but am reluctant to jump in with two feet, not knowing where to start. I find myself wondering what I should do with my life on earth – wondering what I am passionate about and how whatever that passion may be could serve a greater purpose. It’s a lot to think about.

New Yorkers, although I now have a greater grasp on what happened that day, I will probably never be able to completely comprehend the pain. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Linda, thank you for the inspiration and living the dream.

Molly, this is just the beginning. Thank you for being the best bunkmate I could’ve imagined and making last semester what it was. Thank you for introducing me to everyone I now love to spend time with at Belmont. I owe you a lot. See you soon.

Raegan, I vividly remember our chemistry class. I loved joking around with you, Alejandra, and Andrea. While the class may have been boring, our table certainly made it hilarious. You were a light, and will be missed here on earth.

love to all,


Thursday, January 14, 2010

one person, one hour

People always ask the question "if you could sit down and have dinner with six people, who would you choose?" Well, I think that's a loaded question. It gives you too many choices, and just because you are going to have dinner with those people doesn't mean you'll have great conversation. Since one of my favorite things is visiting local coffee shops (I sorely missed the all of the options available to me in Nashville while I was home over break), here's my revised version of the question:

If you could sit down, share a cup of coffee with, and talk to one living person in the world for an hour, who would you choose?

Me? I would choose the one and only Sufjan Stevens (pronunciation: soof-yawn stevens). To me, he is one of the most intriguing men in the world today. Also, in my opinion, he is the greatest songwriter of our age. He transcends "genre." He can write a folky heart-wrenching singer-songwriter style song, like "Casimir Pulaski Day", or he can write a symphonic-extravaganza like "Chicago". If you listen carefully, you can hear his faith jump out in his music, but it doesn't shout out at you like CCM artists of our day. Last fall, he went on a short tour in the US (unfortunately, he didn't stop in Nashville, and I couldn't make the drive somewhere else). Pretty much every date sold out within the first couple of minutes they went on sale, and that was with a 2-ticket limit per person. He also played relatively small venues, which showcases the fact that he values the artist-audience relationship. Not to mention that there is no typical Sufjan "fan." I've met so many different types of people that value his music. He also keeps good company himself - one of my other favorite artists, St. Vincent, played guitar on tour for him. He collaborated with yet another great individual by the name of Rosie Thomas on the album These Friends of Mine.

I have 186 Sufjan songs in my library. Usually it's quality, not quantity - but with Sufjan, you get both. I never grow tired of listening to him. And I would never grow tired of listening to him speak if I had the chance to sit down and talk to him. He's not a sore sight to look at, either.

Who would you choose?