Pomp and Circumstance

May 20, 2011

So, I graduated college last Saturday and it hasn’t really settled in. I have been a member of the Harding empire for the past 17 years and it seems weird, almost traitor-like, to think about calling another school home. However, in two months I will be. As I look back on my years at the university specifically, I think about the people. The people I met in college made my experience a lot better than my high school experience with Harding was. The picture above is just one group out of the several groups of friends I made at HU in my four years. The people above, the science crew, have been with me the most as we have taken classes together, talked together, cried together, laughed together, got angry together, and spent WAY too many late nights and days in the science building (sci as I affectionately call it…). I couldn’t write down in one post how much every person, not only pictured here but many others, that i’ve met at HU has meant to me. I have so many wonderful memories and those memories are the only things that make me what to hang on to this place. My life is changing so fast and I can’t count the number of times in the past month I asked for time to just slow down and wait for me to catch my breath. On the other hand, I think of all the times in the past 3 and 1/2 years that I just wished for one day to be over or for time to fly between one moment to the next. Oh, how I wish now (as I was told MANY times) that I had enjoyed every moment more. It is always true what they say that you never know what you have until it’s gone. I feel like I always remember that lesson too late at times in my life. All I can say is I have been blessed by the people I met in college and I MISS them, dearly. I hate the times I was distant, moody, and petty. I hate the times where I was too focused on the next test or project or guy and less on those friends that meant the most to me. It is also fitting that I am reminded of this lesson on my grandmother’s birthday. She died 2 and 1/2 years ago and I still miss her as if it were yesterday. I learned that lesson about not giving enough time to those who mean the most to you in a hard way when she died. She was my best friend and I will see her again someday.

On that note, I just wanted to speak a small bit about the news I’ve been hearing. According to some guy on family radio, I will be seeing my grandmother again tomorrow because that is when the world is ending. Apparently, he has calculated when the rapture is going to take place. I believe what Revelation says and that it will happen someday but the bible also says that “No man knows the day nor the hour when the Lord will come”. So, I’m not sure why this guy thinks that he is the exception. If the world ends tomorrow, I am okay with that because I will be in Heaven with my Lord. But if it doesn’t, I won’t be disappointed and I am kinda excited about the next stage of my life. I guess we will see but my trust is in God either way.

Well, I am sorry I haven’t participated in the post-a-week as I had originally planned, but my last semester was more challenging and time consuming than I thought it was going to be. But all in all, it was a great year and an great four years and I look forward to the future whatever may.

Peace and blessings

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100 Years

February 13, 2011

I am not doing very good at this post a week thing, but once my senior seminar is over I plan to worry less and enjoy life more. It has been a hectic, but wonderful first 5 weeks of school. For one, I can’t believe that it has been 5 weeks already. I am excited about the next chapter of life, but I am nervous about the future also. I guess that’s why today’s topic has struck me so post worthy. “What would i say to myself if i could go ten years into the past?” Well, I am going to answer that and take it a step further by writing to myself 10 years into the future as well.

So here we go:

Dear 11 year old me,
I know you are all excited about graduating 6th grade in a couple of months. It is a great
experience,but enjoy elementary while you can. Unfortunately, you will never have recess
again after this year.The people you thought were your friends will start to act weird
and mean because they think they are "cooler" that way. But don't do that.
Look around at the friends you have and cherish the ones who have always been there
because 10 years from now, they actually will still be there. So treat them better.
Don't take yourself too seriously and enjoy every experience you can.
Except don't try out for the Jr. High cheer leading team. You are better than that and
you are just going to get discouraged and make you feel bad about yourself.
Try focusing on your grades and schoolwork. 7th grade is going to be a little challenging,
so, work hard. You are going to medical school someday! You should probably start earlier
than I did caring about your grades. Oh, and don't quit piano.
You are just going to end up doing it off and on for the next 1o years
and retaking lessons at my age. So, I'm sure there are a lot of things I could tell you,
but somethings you need to experience so that you can become me.
However, the last advice I'll give you, young one, is
don't waste your time and energy on the jerks you will meet in the next 10 years.
I haven't found a special someone yet, but I hate the energy I spent caring about
some of the jokers you are about to meet. Believe me, love will come just be patient.
Well, I have to go. Enjoy life and every moment. Love God and love people.
Love,

21 year old me

Now, to the future:

Dear 31 year old me,
You have to understand how weird I feel writing to myself in the future. I have lots of questions and I would really love if you could write to yourself 10 years ago and let me know what is in store for the next 10 years. But I guess you are a doctor now and I hope that you are married, but if not that’s okay. And if you are married, do i have any children yet? I would assume that you would tell me some of the same things that I told my 11 year old self. About enjoying life and cherishing my real friends. There’s probably some more jokers in my future that I’ve wasted time on, but hopefully my broken road is leading us somewhere. I hope that I have kept in touch with my friends from college. I don’t know how much they mean to you, but they mean a lot to me right now. And I hope that the friends I made in medical school are good people. I hope that I am fluent in Spanish and I have been back to Africa at least once. (If not living there right now…) I hope that wherever I am, I am helping people through medicine and touching lives. I know that God is still a major part of my life and I hope that my parents are somewhere near. I guess my biggest hope is that you are a better person than I am today, but still down to earth,  fun loving, and hopeful. I hope that life has not beaten you to the point where I am none of those things 10 years from now. I believe that the best is yet to come for both us.
Please respond. Love God and love people. Stay true to us.
Sincerely,
21 year old me

 

Well, my final semester in undergrad has finally begun and I am left feeling excited, nervous, sad, and happy at the same time. I never felt this way about high school graduation. Maybe because I knew the friends I had from high school would be my friends in college and those I wasn’t friends with I would never care about. For the most part, this was true. However, college has been a different experience. Although challenging and frustrating at times, I have had the best experiences while I was in college. I have made a lot of true friends and I have grown a lot as a person. This has not been made clear than when I hang out with my college friends. We all get along so well that it is “clique” ish at times. But we have laughed together, cried together, complained together, and encouraged each other. I guess my nervousness comes from the thought that I will not find this same type of group ever again in life. This is completely discouraging about the future and makes me want to let time stand still and not move on. But I have to move on.

Even though I have made stronger friendships in college than I did in high school, I must still keep somewhat of the same attitude i had about leaving college. I am going to bigger and better things. The friends I’ve made in college will not disappear. I will get invitations to all of their weddings and they will be invited to mine. My closest and dearest friends will, hopefully, come visit me and I will visit them. And my friends who will still be around good ol’ S-town will see my face every once and a while because my parents are here. So, I should look at graduation as not the end but a beautiful beginning.

On a slight side note: The first two days of school have been fun. I am interested to see how the semester goes. I am really glad to see everyone and I am going to enjoy EVERY minute of my last semester.

Have a good rest of the week everyone!

Auld Lang Syne

January 1, 2011

Well, It is hard to believe that another year has passed and we have stepped into a brand new year. Like so many people, I have made resolutions on past new years that have for better or worse fallen by the wayside sometime during the hustle and bustle of the year. SO…this year i decided to try something different. I only have one resolution for the whole year. I am going to make a resolution to live my life. Now, i know what you are thinking: LaBi, that’s not a real resolution. Are not new year’s resolutions more specific like moving, losing weight, going on a trip, or finding that special someone? Well, my dear friends, my resolution can be ALL of that and more. My resolution is tied to only one thing: That God allows me to make it to December 31, 2011. If this happens, I will have kept my resolution.

The more I think about 2011, the more I see my life is going to change without me having to do very much except keep living. I am moving for medical school somewhere (as of now my only option is Memphis). I think every year since i hit puberty one of my resolutions was to lose weight. However, last year i said i would be healthy. Although I was not always perfect at this task, it was less pressure to live healthy and lose weight gradually than try to lose 50 pounds in one month with some dramatic lifestyle change. I feel that in order to live my life, I have to be healthy and losing weight will slowly come with that. I don’t know God’s plans, but I have been going on more trips this past year than i have in a long time. So far, I am planning to go St. Louis next week, West Coast sometime this summer, and my parents (not-so-secretly) have planned a graduation cruise for me out of the country! (I am really excited about that one!!) And like I said before, I do not know what God has planned.

Speaking of not knowing God’s plans, I have no idea about finding a “special” someone. I had a long heart-to-heart with one of my best friends last night/year about this subject. In our life circle, everyone we know our age and younger is getting seriously invovled with someone or married (evident by the fact I am writing this entry before and after my friend’s wedding at 5). So, to reach this point and not even have options is a little discouraging at times. However, the rest of the country believes the average marriage age is 26 and not 20 as it is in the “Harding Bubble”. Now, I have nothing against marriage. It is ordained by God, many of my friends and family are doing it, and I hope to do it someday. Nevertheless, I have never been a fan of anything being thrown in my face including something as sacred and wonderful as marriage. Yet I continually have moments where i wonder if it will ever happen for me. I don’t believe that 2011 will be the year i find my soul-mate, but I DO believe that if i live my life as myself someday I will find someone who wants to live life with me.

So, TO NEW YEAR’S:

“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”

William Arthur Ward

Happy New Year!! Whatever your goals for 2011, I challenge you to live life to the fullest.

Black Or White

December 29, 2010

Due to getting a month off from school for Christmas break, I have been watching more movies the past couple of days. I just watched an incredible independent film about race, family, and life. The movie is called “Shades of Ray” and it stars Zachary Levi from NBC’s “CHUCK.” Now, I will admit that I only rented this movie because: 1. It was practically free (I  rented from Amazon.com after earning $5 credit to Amazon’s Video-On-Demand) 2. I LOVE Zachary Levi (He is a talented actor who is adorable! haha) Regardless of my motives, I am glad I watched this movie. With a “some language” disclaimer (the Pakistani father loved to curse), I would recommend this movie to everyone. I cannot believe that this film was only shown in festivals and not brought to the mainstream. Oh Well, maybe I should just tell you what I loved so much about this movie.

Not giving too much away, the film explores the dynamics of race in the identity of a mixed race individual. The races in question were Caucasian and Pakistani, which is a new combination for me. However, I loved the writer’s use of this new interracial relationship that is not as often explored as some others are. Throughout the movie, the protagonist, Zachary Levi’s character, is searching to find a mate and really himself. His character wants to please everyone, especially his overbearing yet well-intentioned Pakistani father. His father ironically disapproves of his son taking a wife that is not Pakistani. There are many family relationships explored through this film. So many times, we do things to please others, but really all we need to do is follow our hearts. I will not give away the ending, but I thought that the writer did a wonderful job of taking us through the journey of Ray Rehman (Zach Levi) to find himself and true happiness. I walked away from the movie believing that no matter who we are we cannot reject any part of our heritage or ourselves. The best thing is to embrace all of us including the things we might want to forget.

Although I am not a half-white, half-Pakistani American, I found myself relating to Ray. As an African American, I am a mix of many different backgrounds. Of the ethnicities I know of, I am part Native American, Irish, and African (of course). I have felt lost and confused at times like Ray. Wondering, “Should I be looking for a mate who is my “kind”?” On the other hand, should I completely reject that part of my heritage that is painful and even shameful to think about? I do not have any answers, but this movie has given me a lot to think about. My dad has shared with me a great deal of black history. We have talked about the triumphs, victories, and defeats that fill the past centuries of colored people. Although I still don’t like to think about it, I know a lot about the enslavement and injustices on my ancestors. Thanks to GOD that African Americans have come a very long way in this country. And I now live the dream that Dr. King said in his speech that hot August day that: “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.” This still does not mean that everything is perfect racially. Moreover, I still struggle with the thought that maybe a white man cannot find me truly attractive or maybe an interracial relationship would not work because we are too different. “Shades of Ray” dug deep into those thoughts and feelings. In the end, I believe the message is not one way or the other, but truly seeing yourself and others for who they are completely. I heard some
one say once that we are NOT supposed to be colorblind, but accepting of a person as a whole. This includes their ethnicity.

Well, that’s my thoughts. Nevertheless, don’t take my word on it, formulate your own opinions. Have a blessed night!

Hello world!

December 27, 2010

I am still trying to figure all of this out. I will talk more about the book “A Virtuous Woman” later in the week, but it was the inspiration for my new title: “A Work In Progress”.

Uncharted

December 27, 2010

I am not the best at keeping up with journals and blogs. I usually start really well, but the motivation to write ends as mysteriously and quickly as it began. But as before, i only write when the inspiration hits me and time allows me. As i look forward to 2011, i see a lot of new things in my future. I feel that if i were ever going to start a “grown-up” blog, it should be now.
I struggled with what to name this blog and it might still change at any point in time. But for now, i chose lines from the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken”. I feel that it somewhat sums up my life at this point. I am a unique, complex individual, but i hope you will get to know me through my blog. Upon receiving an acceptance to medical school late last week, i feel like my future is going to be an interesting and fun ride. So the “road less traveled by” is meant to be my life and hopefully it will make a difference to me and the world.

Let’s start this new year right.