Tuesday, June 30, 2009

curiosity

So... I've been cleaning. Yesterday was "junk day," when I went through my drawers of random stuff. Today was "fan mail day."

When I was much younger (and much more immature, I assure you), colleges would contact me frequently, attempting to recruit me. I loved the attention. Then, my mom gave me this form, which I filled out and sent off. Soon, even more colleges sent me even more mail. Finally, I took the SAT. It asked me if I would like to be contacted by interested universities. I checked the "Yes" box.

Thus, mail started to flood my house. Letters, packages, postcards, and CD's crowded up my drawer space. Then I put some of it in a box. That helped.

During my Junior year, the mail was exceptionally abundant. I think my record was 7 pieces of mail in one day from different colleges, all to me. Of course, I didn't just get mail. I also received phone calls and emails. I think they peaked at 4 phone calls and 8 emails in one week.

All of colleges had the same story: they could offer me the best education and the one that was perfect for me. All of them wanted one thing: me. I called it all my fan mail. I had become a celebrity of sorts. It was fascinating.

Fast forward a couple of year. Today, June 30, 2009. I am now a graduate of highschool. I know where I'll be attending college. Truthfully, I knew all along where I'd be attending college. Just, I wanted to know what other universities were out there... and I was curious to see how much fan mail I would get.

Boy, did I find out.


And, boy, did I hurt the environment too.

Yes, they sent me all of that. I believe it took about four years to collect it all.

Even now, when I've applied to Rutgers, been accepted, and enrolled, I am still dealing with the effects of my curiosity.

Exhibit A: I've received three pieces of fan mail in the past 8 days alone.

Exhibit B: I got a phone call yesterday from a university asking me to apply there.

Exhibit C: My fan mail collection.


Stacked this way, it is 3 feet and 11.5 inches high


It weighs 144 pounds.

I was curious to see how much mail I would get and now I am utterly disgusted with the answer. I charge these colleges with a breach in common sense. Never did I, besides the first time, show any interest in receiving addition information. I got it all the same.

I do feel slightly bad for all the postage and paper wasted on me. At least I am recycling it all.

Yes, I am getting rid of it. All of it. Id satis erit! Goodbye, fan mail. Goodbye, science experiment.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

fruit salad is a wonderful thing

On Friday, my mom went to the store and bought fruit. She didn't just buy ordinary fruit, like apples and bananas. She bought grapes, strawberries, and blueberries. Mmmm.

On Saturday, we made fruit salad. It had apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries and clementines it. Mmmmmmmmm. Colorful, exciting, beautiful, it combined many textures and tastes. Delicious.

To top that off, it was healthy! Rarely do you get good tasting, good looking, good-for-you party snacks. It was blissful. :)

There were many types of food at the party and I didn't have room in my stomach for seconds of fruit salad. But hey, we made lots so I could have some tomorrow. Mmmmmmmmmm.

On Sunday morning, my mom put "my" fruit salad into a smoothie. Something inside of me died.

...

...

...

I'm okay now, but it was still sad. At least we have some berries left over so we can do it all over again! It won't be the same though. Life goes on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

friendship is pain

Really, it is.

I just finished reading "The Four Loves" by C.S. Lewis. It was a fantastic book. Lewis talked about so many things I knew in my head but couldn't explain. He also gave me a lot to think about.

In my view, Affection is needed, but certainly not the greatest of the human loves. I don't think I understand Eros love at all. However, I do know what it isn't now. It isn't Venus. My favorite human love is friendship.*

~~~~~

Of course, it has issues too. All the human loves do.

Issue 1: It's painful when you're separated from your friends. Eros probably has it worse, but missing my friends is painful. I’m not completely “me” without my friends. My friends bring out different parts of my personality and without them I’m a different person. The more time I spend with my friends the more we become united in spirit. When my friends go home, part of me goes home with them. I’m broken up. That hurts.

You know how it is, right?

Issue 2: It's painful to others when they're excluded. And it’s painful to me when I exclude others. I do this all the time unintentionally. Almost every post I post here is about something I’ve talked about with people in NCFCA. You New Jersey people might not understand the hype about Nationals or know half the people who comment on my blog. Lewis writes, “To say ‘These are my friends’ implies ‘those are not.’” I think my biggest fear about this blog is that you will read it and think I’m not talking to you, think that you aren’t one of the friends I am writing to/about. Does it have to be like that? Can’t everybody be my friends?

Sure, all of my acquaintances have their own wonderful friends too. They probably are not depending on me at all. But if I only hang out with people I know really well, how am I supposed to get to know others? Ha, maybe I don’t need anybody but who I have now. I’m tempted to believe that. My friendship is selfless to my friends, selfish to the rest of the world.

Stop it! You know you’re wrong! Meeting people is important. Being exclusive is not okay. I know plenty of people that cause me to ask myself, “Why didn’t I get to know this person before now? He/she is SO awesome!”

Issue 3: It pains me that the Bible has so little to say about it. There seem to be few instances of friendship illustrated in the Bible. I can think of David and Jonathan, but not much else. I wonder if friendship is somehow less Biblical than Affection or Eros. The Bible does seem to approve of friendship though. Many of the new testament authors call the people they write to “friends” or “my friends.” But, most of those people they call friends are people they are mentoring, not the friendship that CS Lewis writes about. I looked up “friend” on Bible Gateway and found 172 instances. “Friendship” gave me 8 results. “Love,” on the other hand, returned 697!

Though, maybe I’m not distressed at the lack of examples of friendship in the Bible. Maybe my pain is an extension off of the fact that I don’t know how I am supposed to love God. Affection is too self-absorbed. I’m not “falling in love” with God either. Am I God’s friend? Not exactly. I can’t claim to have any interests in common with God. Yeah, I am thinking I need to try and understand charity better.

~~~~~

If only I never had to leave my friends, didn’t exclude others, and knew how to love my friends and God better, friendship would be perfect…

Perfect.

Only God is perfect.

I expect something on earth to be as good as heaven. It’s not going to happen.

What am I trying to say? I don’t know where I am going with the post. Just basically, is friendship worth it?

After thinking about it for half an hour, this is my answer: it depends on why I have the friendship.

One of the advantages of friendship is that it makes me happy. If that’s the only reason I’m in it, then no, friendship is not worth it. I will miss my friends all the time and probably hurt other people’s feelings.

However, if I’m friends with people because I want to seek Truth and know God, and if I'm willing to love everybody, then...

Pain is worth it.

~~~~~

*I really liked C.S. Lewis's explanation of friendship. From Chapter IV, “Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the Companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, til that moment, each believe to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be like “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” … But as long as each of these percipient persons dies without finding a kindred soul, nothing (I suspect) will come of it… It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties or semi-articulate fumblings or what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision – it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in immense solitude… In this kind of love, as Emerson said, Do you love me? means Do you see the same truth? – Or at least Do you care about the same truth?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Love must be sincere

Here I am, wading through my emotions and feelings and memories. What is worth saying?

Nationals is over. I know many people I may never see again, or at least for quite a while.

I feel so muted right now. I wish I could write you all a touching goodbye letter so you know how much I care.

But I don't want to say goodbye. Do I have to?

I don't deserve love, but I am given love all the same. You let me into your lives and your hearts.

Quite simply, there isn't anything I can say just now. Only, God's will is beautiful and His mercy is overwhelming.

Blessed be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like that to that above.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
-John Fawcett
{and hope does not put us to shame}