7 Months!

It has been a wonderful 7 months without dating; there have been many ups and downs but all in all I’m glad I have been doing this. With my time off dating I’ve come to realize how much the thought and distraction of boys kind of just clouded my judgment and altered my motives. Now that I’m not trying to impress anyone I can decide if I really want to do something. Here’s what I’ve learned on my journey solo so far:

  • I really like watching baseball! I never understood the sport EVER! But I went to a baseball game a couple weeks ago because I organized for the baseball team to wear blue ribbon pins and blue bracelets for child abuse awareness month to spread awareness about child abuse and the One Hope United organization. And I surprisingly had a lot of fun! I usually fall asleep watching baseball on TV with my dad but I had a lot of fun so I went to another one yesterday, again so fun. And I’m going again today! One of my friends asked me if I have a crush on one of the players because usually girls go to the games to support their boyfriends but I really don’t, I just like going. It’s nice to go to a sporting event and not be scouting out cute guys, I was actually able to pay attention to the game instead of the guys playing. I still don’t understand it all but I learn more each time I go. Woohoo for baseball!

306 This is my cousin at one of his northwestern games, he plays in the major leagues now! Woohoo baseball!

  • I know my type. I’ve said this before, but since I’m not dating I’ve had time to think about what I want in a guy and now I know so that I don’t waste anyone’s time in the future.
  • I don’t need a boyfriend. I think now a boyfriend would be…okay I don’t really care either way but before I started this it was always on my mind. A lot of people would tell me I could date any guy I wanted and so if I was single or didn’t have a potential guy I felt that something was wrong with me, that there was a negative rumor (my school is a small private college), or that maybe I just was odd or not pretty. I not only feel like I don’t need a guy but I am a lot more comfortable being alone now whereas before being alone made me so anxious and self conscious but then I realized no one cares that I’m alone and I was just being ridiculous. I’m so much happier now because I’m comfortable with myself.
  • I no longer find my worth in men. It used to be I wasn’t pretty, smart, funny, or fun unless I got validation from a guy and that was an everyday ordeal for me. Now I wake up in the morning realizing how beautiful I really am and I’ve been hanging out a lot more with friends and just having fun being myself with them. I don’t understand why I spent so much time trying to be someone I thought a guy I liked would want. I realize that dating is supposed to be about two people who are similar and want to get to know each other better, no one should be trying to conform to what the other wants. I am pretty, I am smart, and I’m the goofiest person I know. I think I’m pretty great and I know and accept my flaws so I should be with a guy who loves and accepts all of me too. My new philosophy is to be with a guy who loves me as much as I love me lol that’s almost impossible now which I think is the point. I think we’re just supposed to be ourselves and then love will find us.
  • I am so loved! This year has been so uplifting for me because I didn’t know where I fit in, in my groups of friends but it turns out people appreciate and look up to me and trust me. I had THE BEST 21st birthday last month, most people don’t remember their 21st but mine was one I’ll never forget! I should actually put pictures up, I will later but it was awesome and now that the school year is coming to an end I’ve just been hanging out with and really appreciating the people in my life. Whether it’s late night talks with friends about their love lives, picking out dresses for the upcoming busy weekend of baccalaureate, senior boat, and graduation (I get to go because I’m in choir and we sing for baccalaureate and graduation and one of my friends invited me to senior boat! super excited!), listening to engagement stories, going to baseball games, advice giving and advice taking, I’m enjoying spending time with the people in my life instead of worrying about keeping a boy in my life. I’ve learned to appreciate the people I have and not to hold onto the people leaving because the people who stick around are the people who are worth my time.
  • I am wiser. I just yesterday was able to give advice to one of my friends who is also not dating for a year, she started the day after me. She is having concerns about a guy who isn’t Christian but who wants to date her. I’ll go no further than that, but I was able to give her sound advice because of my own experiences with “bad boys” who are sweet and charming. Sometimes you have to follow your brain and not your hormones no matter how sweet he may be to you now, if your morals and lifestyles are different it’s just not going to work out. But I told her to still be friendly and see what happens because God may be working in him through her, he is going to church now so who knows what will happen.
  • I am more spiritually mature. I didn’t really care about my relationship with God, I didn’t even know there was such a thing but now I actually have a relationship with Him and it’s wonderful. I was recently told by a friend that she enjoys being around me because my love for God is contagious. I’ve been told this a couple of times this semester actually. I’m glad other people can see it because that must mean it’s radiating and people should be able to tell you’re a follower by the fruit that you produce, I finally know what that looks like because that’s me now 🙂 so uplifting.
  • I have been able to spend more time with other believers. I so love being around other Christians, I had a bad habit of being into non-christian guys so my relationships were distracting and I’ve been able to see that there are plenty of Christian guys who are my type.

indyc

  • I’m a pretty awesome person! Since I was always looking for validation from guys I always ended up feeling insignificant and not good enough (not talented enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not athletic enough) to be with the guy I was with or interested in. But since I’ve been consciously by myself for a while I realize just how amazing I really am. And I’m not trying to sound prideful I just think that everyone should feel that way, not that they’re better or worse than others but that they’re just different and they have something unique to offer the world. Now I can date with confidence. My confidence in myself is so completely different.

All in all I guess I’ve just gotten to know myself a lot better and I really like me lol. I’ve gotten to spend more quality time with friends too and figuring out which friends were real friends that I could see myself hanging out with for years to come was very rewarding; I love my friends! A year off of dating was much needed for my mind, spirit, and social life!

541221_10152186635770457_426015310_n    292830_10151440373178056_933542454_n 312046_10150437793223033_1178899970_n 389726_10151063891751124_110146141_n 479981_10151411352040716_1303757643_n 554279_10152186634060457_1122713633_n 537602_10152382959680457_1644004569_n

Here are some pictures of my 21st, to sum it up there was shopping, a loooot of food, shopping some more and drinking in moderation, of course

IMG366 IMG368 IMG370 IMG371 20130406235348_47 IMG372 IMG373 IMG375 IMG377 IMG378-1  003 004 005 006 007 008

Advertisements

Idols: My Criticism on the American Teacher

I recently received this book, “Counterfeit Gods” by Timothy Keller, from my mentor because it’s relevant to what’s going on in my life right now. I already like the book a lot, it has made me think a lot about my life. Here’s what I took away from chapter one:

The most painful times in our lives are times in which our Isaacs, our idols, are being threatened or removed (19).

I’m 4 months in and now I’m realizing boys aren’t my idols at all, love is; when I was a little girl I was picked on a lot from 1st to 4th grade, so I figured if no one liked me, it was my fault. It was because of me that I was being picked on. I remember thinking that no one loved me and even though my parents would sneak notes into my lunches that said, “mommy and daddy love you,” I still never felt loved. I knew my parents loved me, but kids spend about 40 hours a week at school, not including after school programs. And nowadays both parents work, our society is one where the majority of the average child’s social life is at school.

School was torture, until I got fed up with being picked on and fed up with telling the teacher, because I think we all know they don’t do anything.

So I bit him. I bit my bully and I’d tell my daughter to do the same.

He ran off and told the teacher and she told me next time he bothers me to tell her instead. I agreed but I had no intention of going to the teacher ever again. So she can do what? Say ‘stop it’ as she had so many times before? No, I don’t think so. My parents and grandparents always sided with me, I was constantly getting picked on by kids in carpool who were in the 4th and 6th grade and by kids in my own class. I was sick of it and if the teachers wouldn’t do anything, I would take care of it myself.

I believe that experience is what made me initially choose elementary education as my major, I know that a lot of teachers don’t really see what’s going on in their classrooms;

I did observation hours/student teaching at a daycare in New York and there was this little girl who was constantly picked on by everyone. She would try and join in with one group and they’d push her and tell her to go away, she’d go to another group and they’d do the same, and on and on. At reading time kids would whisper mean things to her and in trying to defend herself, she’d yell at them and she would be the one who got in trouble.While all of this was happening she’d look at me with this really sad look as if I were her last hope. There were three other teachers in this class, why was I the only one who saw what was really going on? The teachers were all so quick to yell and punish but no one took the time to actually understand situations. This made me angry.

When I was finally done with observation hours it was on to student teaching and I was able to get my hands dirty with the preschoolers. If I saw them being rude I would say things like, “no that was mean, lets play with her instead.”

In one conversation I asked a little boy, “why are you being rude to her?” and he said, “cause she’s littler and she wants this toy.” I said, “well so? You’re smaller than me, is it fair that I be mean to you too?”He replied, “no, I wouldn’t like that.” “So then lets share with her,” I said.

By my last day there was no boy punching a girl in the face, (that happened on my first day and the little girl got yelled at for crying before the teachers even knew what really happened!) and there was no one being picked on. Everyone played together and it was fun. I really hope it’s still like that.

My point is we don’t realize what affect these kinds of things have on kids, through these experiences idols are created that follow children into adulthood and they don’t go away until the child is old enough to identify and actively eliminate them. It’s our job, as adults, to nip bullying in the bud when we see it happening. Level with the kids, don’t jump to conclusions and start yelling. They’re not doing things because they’re bad kids, they’re doing things because it makes sense to them. Show them why it doesn’t make sense and why it’s wrong.

I wasn’t confident in myself until high school when my basketball coach told me, “if you shoot you have a 50% chance of making it, if you don’t you have a 0% chance.” I was a forward with no confidence. I was useless. But when he said that to me, I got the courage to shoot (I still wasn’t a very good basketball player though haha,) through basketball my self esteem went up and I tried volleyball too, then competitive cheerleading. And I wasn’t afraid to be amazing at track or at writing, I no longer felt like I needed to apologize for being great at something:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson

Even though I am way more confident now, that little, insecure girl creeps back in every once in a while and I am reminded of my past and it can torture me and make feel just as insecure as I did then if I do not remind myself that my life is not about me, it is about serving others in the name of God. It is about using my talents to serve. When my friend sent me a text about my blog the other day I realized that I am serving just by writing and not being afraid of what others will think of what I write.

Being bullied made me tough, but it also made me lonely and lowered my self-image. It made me feel unloved and it made me make an idol out of something that is supposed to be a beautiful gift.

Something is safe for us to maintain in our lives only if it has really stopped being an idol.

That can happen only when we are truly willing to live without it, when we truly say from the heart:

‘Because I have God, I can live without you.’ (20).