Let’s talk about my memory for a moment here. If you read my last post, you can probably guess that it’s on my mind. As a disclaimer, if you know me well and you’ve never heard me talk about this, it’s because it’s very hard to explain, and it can easily make me sound crazy.
My first childhood memory is that of me walking through the hospital with my grandma as my mom gave birth to my brother. I only remember a glimpse of it, kind of like a picture that nobody took. It’s a picture of me holding my grandma’s right hand as we passed a unique vending machine. The vending machine was memorable because it contained bouquets of flowers, which I thought was pretty awesome.
My memory has always been a little weird (but what is weird, really). Imagine if you have a “stalker” take pictures of you when you’re not looking, so you never are aware of when they take place until after the fact—but imagine him standing only 10-15 feet away. I see those pictures. I see pictures of myself, but from odd angles that are distant from myself. That first memory in the hospital was my first example of it.
When I was in the fourth grade (or thereabouts), I was at my grandparents’ house (my other set of grandparents this time). I remember walking from the living room, through the dining room, to the kitchen. I was wearing a pink shirt, blue jeans that flared, and no shoes, just old white socks. I remember saying, “Coming Grandma.” Click. There’s the picture. For some reason, I was taking big strides and swinging my arms as I walked. My left arm was leading the way and my mouth was still open from speaking when the ‘picture’ snapped.
Another illustration of my odd memory can be found when I’m listening to the radio and in a car. Let’s say I’m listening to any given song at a particular spot on the road. If that song ever comes on the radio again at the same exact spot on the road, regardless of how much time has passed since the first and second time, it is very likely that I will remember it. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened; I’ve lost count. It has to be at the same exact point on the road, not “near” it. And don’t ask me what song I heard at X spot on the road. It won’t work unless the song is playing at the spot.
What’s odd is that I often forget major things. People have to remind me of events that happened or conversations that occurred (granted, it takes little to trigger most of these memories). You’d think my memory would go across the board, but it’s the most detailed and seemingly unimportant memories that I recall.
Anyway, that’s just a glimpse into the weirdness that is this memory. You’re awesome if you read this. <3 I promise I’m not crazy.
I decided to open my mouth to talk in my Lifespan Human Development class. I shared my earliest child memory of when I was two and a half and my brother was being born. My professor corrects me and tells me that I was probably three. It’s funny, my brother is two and a half years younger than me, so how does that work? Yes, tell me what I can’t remember. I understand the norm is three. It’s possible to remember at a younger age though. Thank you, professor. I will remember to share a personal experience in next week’s class as well.
All this time I thought I was void of emotion. My mom taught me to harness my feelings. She taught me never to make a decision using my feelings. She told me to be sensitive to times when I am going through something hard, to be careful of any decisions I may have to make. She taught me well.
Now, I suppress nearly every emotion aside from happiness and joy. I’m not one to get angry often; I’m not one to get sad often; I’m not one even to like someone in a romantic way very often. But, when these emotions have potential to surface, I deny them the opportunity. Over time, I just grew to believe that I’m not a very emotional person.
It wasn’t until I was going to bed last night that I realized how wrong I was. The truth is, I have all of the emotions, I just don’t take responsibility for them. I built walls that told me that suppressing my feelings would keep the hurt away. It didn’t.
But, today, I have better news. I approached it all wrong. You see, my mom was right—but never did she tell me to abandon my feelings.
I’m sure I’ve written about my lack of emotions on Tumblr before, and I probably even wrote that I would try to remedy the situation. The truth is, I couldn’t until I realized how those “walls” got there. But be patient with me. It’s been a while since I’ve acknowledged certain feelings, and I might struggle to identify them.
So meet Katie. She’s a twenty year old who is becoming her own individual. She found confidence. She has Jesus. She knows what she wants to do with her life. She is preparing to take on the world. But she has feelings. And she is ready to be accountable to them.
I’m in love.
I’m so completely, head over heels, in love.
I’m not one to jump, but with Him, I can’t help it.
My moves blend with my partner’s.
I’m in love.
We connect in a unique way.
Knowing that He is there gives me confidence.
I can conquer the world.
I’m in love.
I feel uncomfortable when I don’t feel connected to Him.
My world depends on having Him close.
It’s a perfect love, I can’t deny—
I’m in love.
He was persistent in His pursuit of me.
I know He will never leave me.
For He loves me and I love Him.
I’m in love.
He understands me better than I understand myself.
I am everything to Him.
He is my everything.
I am in love.
Know Him yet?
He made you and I.
He loves you, too.
I am in love.
Hey, He even died for you.
Don’t worry, He rose again.
He saved the whole world.
I am in love.
He healed the sick.
He proclaimed liberty to captives.
He bound up the broken hearted.
I am in love.
He changed physical properties.
He proclaimed good news to the poor.
He set prisoners free.
I am in love.
Are you in love yet?
I have a newfound confidence.
It’s one I must be careful to control.
But I know it’s not pride,
For it would swallow me whole.
I’m secure in who I am.
I’m secure because I am Your lamb.
I’ve been given an unspeakable joy,
And I think I might like it.
I’ve let myself be molded by You
In every way You’ve seen fit.
I’ve been given restoration.
I am restored because You are my Salvation.
The pleasures of this world,
To be sure, I will not chase.
The desires of my heart,
Redeemed by Your unfailing grace.
I will never turn back,
For there is nothing that I lack.
Once lost, but now found,
You took my shame.
You carried the cross,
I can never be the same.
Take me to that secret place,
Where I might seek Your face
You raised me up.
Now I walk with my head held high.
I’m confident in who I am,
For I am Yours, and You are mine.
Looking back at my life, I can readily see that at each phase of my development I had someone who I could call a “best friend.”
When I was just a toddler, my best friend’s name was Alex Anderson. He and I met at church, but we went to summer school together, too. He was my first best friend.
When I was in first grade, my best friend’s name was Jasmine. Her favorite color was purple, but she moved at the end of the school year. Everyone was sad for me because they knew how hard it was for me to see her go.
I had a group of very close knit friends (or maybe I had four “best friends”), but I didn’t have a single best friend again until 6th grade. Her name was Shawnee. I remember her dad died of cancer and she was out of school for a week. I didn’t know what to do; all I could do was be there for her. I only knew her for about half a year, because I moved to Florida in the middle of the school year. We each sent each other a letter, but quickly lost communication, as many friendships fall with distance.
In 7th grade, my best friend’s name was Susan. In fact, to this day, she remains my best friend.
To be honest, I’ve never had a friend for so long. I moved around so much as a kid, and in my young age, I was too immature to maintain friendships across a distance. Actually, the truth is, I’ve never had to maintain a relationship with a “best friend” across any distance—not yet anyway. You see, I had “best friends” growing up, but I never really had a best friend until the 7th grade—and even then, I didn’t really know what I had until years later.
You see, my best friend redefines what it means to have a best friend. She’s unlike any best friend I’ve ever had. She’s always there for me. She always trusts me, and even if she doesn’t fully understand something I’m doing, she supports me. She always has my back and I will always have hers.
In less than two months, I’m moving 1,181 miles away, but my friendship with her is so strong, that I’m not worried about losing any of that. Even in the very unlikely event that she and I went a couple weeks without talking, our closeness would be the exact same. We’d catch up and continue as if it had just been a day.
Of course I’m going to miss her very much. I’m going to have to get a webcam just so that she and I can Skype. But I’m drifting from my point. The bottom line is, I’m so blessed to have been given the gift of a true best friend. Consider yourself also incredibly blessed if you have been given this gift. Do not take it for granted. Recognize what you have and it won’t leave your life.
I don’t know what it is about this scene on Friends, but I laughed harder at the end of it than any other episode. It’s Joey’s final words in this video that had me going for so long.
For the last three years of my life, I have wanted to become a doctor. It’s been my plan. It’s defined my future. About three years ago, God called me into the medical field. Based on the type of person I am, and given some council I received from some people who know me better than most, I was encouraged to pursue that calling by becoming a doctor. It was the goal.
Over the years though, I lost sight of why I wanted to do it without even realizing it. I used the "God called me to this" card as my crutch when things were not going as I expected. Somewhere in that time, I lost sight of wanting to do it for God (though still using that facade) and decided that I wanted to do it for me. (This isn’t to say that I didn’t really believe I was just doing it for God. Quite actually, I thought through much of the time that that was my sole motivation).
Now, I’m at a crossroads where I am undoubtedly following God’s will, but I am taking a HUGE step away from what I expected it would look like. This step is so big in fact, that if I still want to be a doctor, I will come back with certainty knowing it is God’s will because only He could open the doors to make that happen.
To be honest, taking this turn is a sacrifice, in part, because I know it means truly letting go of the plans I have or want to have, and really giving them to God—even if His plans are relatively the same as my own. In other words, it’s the act of me swallowing my pride and ego and desire to become a doctor and laying it on the line, saying I give it to You, God.
With my active openness to follow Him, He can then mold me into the person He wants me to become. I know I will be used in the medical field. That won’t change. But during this time, I hope to receive some clarity on the matter. As God develops me, I hope to receive that specific direction as to how I will be used. If God wants me to be a doctor, great. I will pursue it with more drive, wholeheartedness, and confidence than ever. But, if He wants me to do something different, like become a Pharmacy Technician or a Healthcare Administrator, I will pursue that with the same amount of vigor.
Three years ago, I was at a different intersection where I started to pursue a career because God called me into the medical field. I went into it with timidity, not knowing what to expect. Looking back, I can see that certain people were placed in my life to encourage me and strengthen me during those times.
Today, I have been incredibly blessed to reach this intersection in my life. I can choose to really follow God, like I committed to three years ago, or I can follow “my plans.” I’m making that turn, but I know the race is far from over.
If you don’t understand, understand this one thing. I’m not giving up. In fact, I’m doing the opposite. I’m doing what my heart has always truly wanted to do. I’m simply following the will of God—wherever that may take me. I am confident and empowered when I know that I am in His will. And I am incredibly blessed to have this opportunity.
Let’s talk about the truth behind my musical preferences. In this excerpt, I’ll stick to the secular music world and will give a brief opinion on some of my more preferential musical tastes—which somehow, people still don’t seem to really know.
Let it first be said that, if I say I like an artist, it does not automatically mean I listen to all of their songs, have all of their lyrics memorized, and know the names of each band member by heart. Instead, it means I am quite fond of their sound, I know a few songs, and I probably have a Pandora channel for them. Got it? Great. Let’s begin.
I quite like OneRepublic. My favorite song to date by them is Feel Again and I will probably play that song at my wedding because it is beautiful and it makes me feel happy. OneRepublic is a happy sounding band in my opinion. I’m sure you can find songs to argue this, but my holistic opinion of them stands. While I occasionally like some songs (like Paradise) by Coldplay, over time, my affinity for them has drifted and those feelings have become invested in the musical accompaniment of OneRepublic. Somewhere along the lines, while I don’t discredit their musical ability, Coldplay became associated with sorrow and depression and worries. But, OneRepublic stepped in, released Feel Again, and made the sun rise once more.
Next up we have the beautiful voice of Adam Levine (lead singer in Maroon 5). (This was a secret until rather recently and obviously it won’t be anymore, but I think Adam Levine is an incredibly attractive man. He isn’t at Chris Hemsworth’s status, but he isn’t far below, either, in my book). I’m slightly bias because I think he is so attractive, and I don’t listen to much of his music outside of the radio, but he, too, has such a happy sounding voice. It’s unique and I like it. I can’t say I have a particularly favorite song, but I can easily listen to him sing for a very long time and be completely satisfied.
Let’s mix it up a bit. AC/DC. This is where I refer to my initial statements in defining what I characterize to be fond of an artist. Don’t test me on who is who or whatever else you can think of. I very much like their sound and I think they are exceptionally talented. I happily will listen to them for long stretches of time, but it doesn’t mean I sit in my room, read about them, and listen to songs by them and them alone. I don’t have a favorite song by them, either.
And now for Eminem. I think he is one of the most talented rappers out there. His lyrics are phenomenal with how witty and clever they are. I also like the sound of his voice. My favorite song by him right now is still Till I Collapse. However, rarely will I listen to him. I’m happy if his songs come on the radio, but I do not have a Pandora station for him. If I am in an Eminem mood, I usually put on a playlist with clean edits of his songs. He’s talented, but it doesn’t mean I can listen to him for stretches of time cursing, as he often does. It’s just not something I prefer. He is my favorite secular rapper, though.
Beyond that, what comes to mind are just individual songs. I love the song Without You by David Guetta ft. Usher. I also quite like the song Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia. And I also like the song It’s Time by Imagine Dragons. These are some of my favorites, but I like many pop culture songs, really.
So there you have it. It’s a brief synopsis, because there are so many more, but if you read it all, I hope you learned something new. As always, thank you! You are a wonderful people. <3