Tuesday, August 4, 2009

lets hope this isn't a foreshadow

http://www.foxsearchlight.com/postgrad/ :)

Click the Video tab on the right to see the trailer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Almost senior year!

Hello world! My little world of three followers…at least three who publicly admit they read my attempts at witty and charismatic writing!

I am back from a three week hiatus, a hiatus taken for no particular reason. Often, I’m just too tired by the time I get home to sit down and think of how to write about my life in a charming and possibly humorous fashion. And as happened quite a few times over the past three weeks, I question what I could possibly have to write about, how I could possibly write about that which I don’t have to write about, and why anyone would ever want to read any of it. And then I have those lesser numbered moments when the tiniest things make me happy, I realize that I like me, and even if it’s just for myself, I do have things to write about because it’s my perspective on the world. (And I do happen to think I have a different one sometimes…a different perspective, that is.) So I think that is why I keep trying to be persistent with this blog thing, because eventually it’ll work. I know I have some great observations, thoughts, ideas, etc…and at the very least, I, on occasion, have been known to make people laugh… and one day it’ll come together. I’m not even sure what that means, “it’ll come together.” Perhaps I’ll write something that someone will relate to and it’ll change their perspective on their life. Or maybe over the course of time this’ll turn into some kind of Elizabeth/…I just sat here for a good 30 second trying to think of name that would fit with Elizabeth like Julie/Julia does, but I believe I am defeated…into some kind of project that will become a book or a movie or something that reaches a lot of people. Or maybe, this will just make the three of you who actually consistently read this, smile for a moment one day. And that would be fine with me. I think writing like this also just helps me to define myself. Figure out who I am. Which brings me to my first “topic”, so to speak, of this entry…

I don’t have a title or a word for it, but I’ll start with this quote from Katherine Heigl that I read in the most recent edition of InStyle:

“Isn’t it better to be alone than to pretend you’re someone else? Be you. Find you. Be happy with that.”

Now, I am a quick cynic (and a quick sucker) when it comes to media inspiration and celebrity statements that are supposed to seem profound and virtuous. But I keep thinking about this. I’m not sure what I think about the first part. Well, I mean, obviously, I don’t actually think you should be someone you’re not just to not be lonely. But the, be happy with who you are. I feel like that’s everywhere. Dove commercials, BU t-shirts (get it? Be You?). We’re taught it growing up. And I feel like I see a lot of people who at least appear to be happy with who they are. And what I have not been able to get off my brain is not so much, am I happy with who I am, but who am I? (Although the former is a very pertinent question – especially as my face is breaking out, I spend my days writing about nanotechnology and institutional design, and I’ll be in my fourth wedding as a bridesmaid in just a few weeks, for a friend who is the second of my younger friends to get married.)

If who I am was to be displayed/described in a triangle, like the old food pyramid, my faith would be the sweets. Not as in, it’s the smallest least important part of my life, but in that it is at the top. (Ignore the levels of the pyramid…we’re doing a hierarchy here.) My faith is the most important thing to me and about me, and I believe I do have a genuine and unique faith that I want to be, I guess, the most endearing quality about me. But I have always been afraid that if I was too much of anything else, that my faith would no longer be the most important part of me, of my life. And as I’m figuring out more of who I am, and learning to be content with that and enjoy myself, I realize that I don’t think that will happen. I love baking. It’s a new found love and a budding one, mind you, but I love it. Love it. And if that was what I decided to do with my life and opened a cake shop and was just a disciple of Jesus, wife, mom, and baker the rest of my life, that would be ok. My faith would still be THE most important thing. (Even as I’m typing this though, I realize that I think part of the reason I feel the need for a powerful (for lack of a less abrasive word), influential, high-strung job is because in my mind, a job like that will allow me to feel productive with my life, feel like I’m helping people, and in feeling that way, keep my faith first. I fear enjoying something else so much that I might enjoy it more that God. But God wants us to enjoy life. I don’t think I really understand how much he wants us to enjoy it and how happy we can be. I very much have developed a spiritually cautious, I-might-just-have-to-drudge-my-way-through-life mindset. There we go. That’s something about me.

I also adore reading my bible and praying. I just love “spending time” with God and I am pretty secure in…well, my faith. I have recently not realized, but accepted, that I am not a very confident person. At all, actually. Sometimes I can be and sometimes I can come across as one, but I am riddled with insecurity. But I have faith. And the reason that that is such a great quality and is so valuable to me, is because that faith allows me to look at the scriptures as fact and see what God sees in me, maybe I don’t feel it but I believe it, and therefore I can attempt over and over again, to step out boldly into the world, or write another entry here, and think I have something to offer. I love God.

So what else about me? …as it comes:

I LOVE music. Certain songs, certain notes just make me so passionate and inspired and feel like I have the big picture on life – and that’s a good thing; the big picture as in God is for me, who can be against me?, I am a royal diadem to God, so put myself out there and try everything. I’m currently reading Julie & Julia (amongst a number of other books, but this is the one I’ve gotten the farthest in), and I love it. I think I love it because I like that I am continuously developing an interest in cooking, and this just makes me happy. I like nature. I like being outside. I like being active. I love the beach. I LOVE the ocean. I love to sing. I don’t actually think I’m that good, but I hope that I’m better than I think I am and that people will tell me that. (Whether they do or they don’t is besides the point.) I love to dance. I love ballet. I would like to try and be in a musical, Phantom of the Opera or something. I say I wish I hadn’t missed my chance…my prime, so to speak…to really nurture those potential talents, but I actually don’t think I’ve missed it. Really, in my mind, I could still do it if I decided to. That’s how I think.

I also round up or down depending on which one which is more appealing. For example: today is Wednesday night. Tomorrow, at this time next week, I will be going to Virginia Beach with friends for a campus ministry conference. So if I think like that, I kind of skip over the week in between and everything goes much faster. I’m developing a liking for oatmeal, which I’ve never had (the liking..I’ve never had the liking). I’m very laid back. I actually don’t have that many opinions on things, at least on things that can get people riled up. (I definitely have opinions on arguably less significant things like wedding cakes, music, interior decorations, movies.) It doesn’t take a lot to please me.

I realize I could keep going with all these things that I like and dislike and the things I’m learning about myself to help define me. But that’s not what you want to read. Or not necessarily that you don’t want to read, but it’s not pertinent to your life. So, what is?

The fact that we’re probably all less sure of ourselves than we think each other is. Don’t be intimidated by the girl in the shopping line next to you who seems to effortlessly be wearing a pair of calculatedly torn jeans, gladiator sandals, and a white V-neck t-shirt, with the appropriate number of accessories to look trendy, but as if they were just a collection of heirlooms, friendship bracelets, and 25-cent vending machine prizes she grabbed from a hand-painted dish on her dresser. I am guilty of doing just that and being sucked into the materialistic-driven insecurity that causes me to become enamored with what people think of me, how I look, and what I’m capable of.

I think that’s actually the bigger issue here: everything and everyone around us tells us that we need to figure out who we are. Be happy with who you are. Be proud of it. Be bold. But figure it out.

We don’t have to figure it out. I know enough of who I am and trust that God knows everything of who I am to be secure and content. I wouldn’t be so insecure or discontent if I didn’t have a thousand magazines and billboards and commercials telling me that I need to have a definition for myself. I really am just happy following the bible and become whoever God wants me to be at each point in my life. I think without purpose in God, then people really have to be secure in themselves and figure out who they are.

But God made us. So trusting him, I think, is being secure and confident in yourself. So, yeah, the direction God has you going in is the way you’re supposed to be going. You are who you’re supposed to be. If any of this at all made sense or was helpful, let me know. It was to me. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I was right. Internation Business Scholarship: Mastering Intellectual, Institutional, and Research Design Challenges had nothing for me. What a dud.
And there is a very eager looking tourist peering out through the viewing tank, if you will, whom I am convinced is pointing at me. Yes? Yes, I am a real life book-reader.

I'll try to write with more of a purpose from now on.

12:08pm, Main reading room of the Jefferson building of the Library of Congress

I have been waiting for International Business Scholarship for almost an hour and half now. It really makes me feel like the living definition of the word “nooser”. I made that up; loser and nerd combined. At least I can say it’s for work, which also makes sitting here a bitter/sweet thing because I have nothing to do but sit on Facebook, read Julie & Julia (my charming and hilarious new read!), and watch tourists stare at the reading room from a glass, cage-like enclosure, noses squished against the probably already greasy and hot breath-germ infested panels – and feel guilty that I’m not doing anything productive. Oh well. I guess a day or two like this for internship is ok? The more pressing reason as to why I’m beginning to get frustrated and grow frost on my arms (from the ice-box that is the reading room), is that I’m hungry! And hunger makes you do and think about all sorts of weird things.
This will probably be my most scattered and pointless blog to date – of all the four or five entries. I always think of things throughout the day to comment on and write about, but by the time I get home from work, I’m tired and don’t want to do it. I know, those of you with real jobs are probably scoffing at claimed misfortune, but indulge me – I’ll deal with this growing up, not having time for more and more, getting less and less sleep as I go.
#1. Today is my seven year spiritual birthday. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I like to call it my seven year anniversary [to God]. Seven years ago today, I was baptized, had my sins forgiven, and as Isaiah 54:10 and Ephesians 5:26 describe, married God. And now I’m going to heaven. Sounds much more whimsical and romantic than its daily implications, but when you think about it, it really is. Whatever we “go through” or “sacrifice” in our 70/80 years on earth is such a steal for the ETERNITY we get to spend in heaven. It doesn’t always seem or feel that way, but I think we have to work on our perspective more so we can see it that way.
(Ok, I am just about through waiting for this book! And I bet you it won’t have anything I need in it. I think the portly gentleman at the desk diagonal to me is looking for some kind of snarling animal behind him, mistaking my stomach rumblings for a growl.)
#2. What is it that makes people want to keep everyone else updated on every event, lose shoe lace, stubbed toe, or personal antidote from their life? I wonder this as I have become one of those people – I have a blog. – and am reading Julie & Julia which is about a woman who needs something to do in and with her life so starts a cooking blog. And I love reading it! (I also love cooking but that’s beside the point here.) And since the summer provides an over abundance of time to mindlessly read people’s status on Facebook, and Twitter has become the new rage, it is just amazing to me that people love…what is it that they love? Communication? Attention? (And not in a vain, conceited way. People just like to feel valued.) I don’t know what it is. As I am getting older, which I know I always say I feel funny saying but it is just a fact – am undoubtedly getting older every second – I can see that people really do want and need things to occupy themselves and feel involved. I guess up until college, you don’t really have to work to find those things. But as I am slowly merging into the real world (not the nostalgic word of academia and summers) I see more how people need purpose. You go to work and then what? In school the line between “work” and “life” is so blurred, that it’s easy to think you know what you’re all about and would do if you had more time – which in and of itself is a contradiction because although I often feel that same way, tis’ true we’ll probably never have more free time than in college (except when you retire – one of the stages of life I am most looking forward to!) – but then you leave work at work and come home and actually have time with no required reading or papers or word problems. (The book finally came! Yay, now I can affirm that it doesn’t have what I need and I wasted two hours and can finally go eat!) That free time is wonderful – just a curious thing, though.
I know I have more comments on life, etc., that for some reason you all want to read, but am going to get out of here as quickly as possible!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I love it here, I really do. I'm just having a day.


Today is Father’s Day, dad’s birthday, and the longest day of the year. I don’t have a whole lot of news to report, or any commentaries, but it’s an odd day because I feel like I should be outside till the last second of daylight, enjoying it, but I find myself wishing it were the fall and I was back in Boston. Even if that means it gets dark at 4:30 (which it does) it would mean I’m living with one of my best friends, am in a ministry with some of my closest friends, in a place I’m totally comfortable in, and would probably be looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving. I’m happy here in DC and I am so grateful to be here. I feel like I have to emphasize that so I don’t seem like I’m not grateful or am changing my mind on the blessing God has given me in my internship and being in DC. I don’t at all wish for August 26th when I’ll be leaving, but I realized today that this is my third “move” in the last three years to a place where I have to build relationships from scratch. (Boston, New Orleans, DC) And I’m tired of it. Not in a “I’m fed up and mad” kind of way, but in a “this is exhausting and I want a break for a while from it” kind of way. I would just like to be with what is most comfortable and the people that know and love me the most. It’s amazing how we can pray so earnestly for things and God can even give them to us, and then when they come, we aren’t quite…well, we just don’t say on cloud nine too long.
Sometimes rejection makes you desire and work that much harder, which can be good. But when you finally get what you want, it’s not always fireworks and flying. It’s worth it, but I guess the ultimate thing I realize is that’s why our stock and hope cannot be in anything other than God. HE NEVER FAILS OR DISAPPOINTS. It’s so funny just to see how God works – which we really don’t even see or comprehend a fraction of – how there is one, ultimate truth and God is doing everything to get us there. To be with him, to become like him. And we pray for things we want, he has his will, sometimes they coincide, we fight him, we cry, we laugh about it, we get humble, we change. I know what I just described is life, but you know those moments where for a few minutes you’re able to sit back and look at everything and just throw your hands up in the air and say, “I get it”? “I don’t know anything. God IS so loving and good. Now I understand why I have to trust him”? I think we have to suck those moments for everything they’re worth, to help our faith and perseverance until we get another one of those moments to keep our faith strong till the next time. And it’s everything that leads up to those moments that I think are often the plans of God that we do not understand – losing a job, not getting an internship, moving somewhere new, breaking up, being in a certain class for a semester, etc. God is just so much bigger and incomprehensible and inconceivable that we can grasp. And we can trust him because of it.
So I think that is something I would have to add in my book on rejection/dreaming: ultimately, our goal cannot be that job, attending that school, getting those grades, marrying that person, having that wedding. It has to be to follow God and become more like him, because that’s the agenda God is on. What we can and I guess should dream about, is how all that will happen.

I’ve been here two full weeks now, so this week, without a doubt, I am doing some fun DC things. Starting Friday. A bientot!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

and she's off!

I’m in DC!!

I’m starting my second week here, but really, my first week completely settled and not exhausted. I got in last Saturday and stayed with a family that I had been in touch with for a while (the Blockers) for a couple days, until the family I am now staying with for the whole summer (the Mennealys) got back into town. Between moving from house to house, figuring out the metro system of DC, starting my internship, getting up at 5:45am for work, etc., it was a slightly tiring week. But this weekend has given me good time to catch up on sleep, completely unpack, and get to spend some time with the Mennealys (Scott and Donnita and baby Logan) and the campus ministry here. Being settled, I now really feel full of anticipation and excitement about the rest of the summer.
I am really encouraged that I’ve gotten adjusted so quickly, not that I really thought I would have a hard time, but I’ve learned things can be completely different than what I expect. The fact that things have gone smoothly getting up here and the following pieces of encouragement from God have really made be ever more sure that God is taking care of me, HE has a plan, and maybe this time, I’m not fighting it and that’s why it will be great: (and in no particular order…)

a. I really like my internship! This first week felt like school…all studying…but I think it will get easier. I’m working at the Woodrow Wilson Center with…I might as well put their names because it makes it easier to talk about…Maria Ivanova, a professor from William and Mary College and Dan Fiorino, a professor at American University who worked at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for about 30 years. With Maria, I’m helping her with a chapter on her newest book on the UN Environmental Programme. The chapter is on international organizations and their structure and design, and whether or not that influences performance. Dan has two projects. The first is on nanotechnology (which I have had to learn all about) and its environmental impacts. The second is looking at why the US has historically been good at conservation but not sustainability, and how that can change. I will be doing mostly research throughout my time here, but also getting to meet with people at the EPA. And hopefully, the summer will be filled with exciting and “careerly” beneficial meetings and experiences.

b. Oh, my building is three blocks away from the White House! It is so cool. The Reagan Building (where the Wilson Center is located) is in such a great location! I can easily get to tons of museums and monuments, and if they’re not in walking distance, the nearest metro stop is literally 25 yards from the entrance of my building. I feel like all that in and of itself is just God knowing what would encourage me and giving it to me.

c. Staying with the Blockers was so much fun and the perfect way to transition up here. I already feel like they’ve become and are becoming a surrogate family for me here. Andy, who was an advisor for Clinton when he was president and former VP of the New York Stock Exchange, works very near to where I do and since I have to leave with Donnita in the morning, which puts me in the city TWO hours before I start working at 9am, I’ve been able to hang out with Andy in his office some mornings. That has been a lot of fun and very encouraging. I might even be able to go with him some mornings to fundraiser breakfasts and congressional meetings that he has! It’s amazing to me that God has used him in such incredible ways, as a disciple, and that now I get to spend a summer building a friendship that I am sure will help me spiritually and secularly.

d. Since I will always be getting into the city two hours before I have to start work, I have decided that I am going to make that time enjoyable and memorable, instead of miserable and comatose. I’ve been having coffee/breakfast at Cosi, a really cute, urban coffee shop, but I’m going to start exploring for new shops and cafes and am going to figure out which monuments are near where I work so I can have quiet times there. How cool is that?!
I think those are the little things that I’ve thought about this week as being what have made my summer here off to a great start.

e. Oh, and it summer. Helloooo! Everything is better and happier in summer.

So, as most of you know, and have been the providers of :) , I receive the “how do you feel about everyone getting married” question quite often now. I’m not sure if things are finally clicking, if I’ve just had plenty of conversations about this, or if God is just giving me a lot more security and contentment, but I feel like I’m finally starting to embrace singlehood. Or, embrace that God has HIS specific and unique plan for me and, it’s perfect. So I’m going to fully love it and let him work and love me. I feel like I’ve said for a while that I’m going to live my life the way I want and enjoy it, and if someone wants to join in then, great! But I, more often than not, haven’t actually felt that way. I know so many women waste these years just thinking about the boyfriend or husband they don’t have and want and basically just sit in their little shell waiting. I obviously don’t want to be that and I’m grateful that I am only 21. But I do feel like I have wasted certain times or instances doing that. For example, I don’t want to look back at this time in my life or specifically my time in DC and realize that I didn’t enjoy it or do the things I want to do because I’m wishing I had someone to do it with me. And I don’t feel like I am. I am so excited about being here! About my time here! – all the museums and monuments I’m going to go to and see, the people I’m going to meet. And of course I’m going to build relationships here in the campus ministry, but I’m going to do these things for myself. And I’m not saying that in a selfish way. I’m just so amazed and grateful how God has led me, taken care of me, and given me this opportunity. I feel like this is possibly the first thing in the past three years that is something I’ve wanted and prayed about and received. I’m aware that God doesn’t have to answer my prayers the way I want and that if he doesn’t , that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me to the stars and back and in unimaginable ways; so I think I’ve grown in my gratitude for what he does do and I can see, and that he doesn’t have to do but does. (Oh, and I get to spend the FOURTH OF JULY in DC!! How exciting is that?!)

I’m sure I have more that I meant to write about had I done this earlier this week. I am going to work harder at writing much more often. And hopefully soon I will have lots more stories and pictures to include!

I would be so happy if any of you can come/want to visit me! It would be fun…. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

in anticipation

Like I said, it would probably be a while till I wrote anything again. Sure enough, here I am, finally writing again over a month later. Much has changed since April 27th:
- I got through finals quite well, actually. It was the least stressful…dare I say relaxing…finals period I’ve ever had. And I did well!
- One of my closest friends got married in Philadelphia the weekend immediately after finals. It was a wonderful, beautiful, and perfectly-spring wedding!
- My best friend also got married, two weeks after the wedding in Philly. It was a wonderful, beautiful, super fun, and exhausting weekend. (And I say that with all love and joy! Really!) My duties were slightly more extensive as maid of honor, but everything went fabulously and I am grateful I got to be a part of everything.
- I had a ticket on hold to go to Cote d’Ivoire to work for HOPE worldwide for the summer and was working on getting all the appropriate shots and malaria pills, when I got an interview offer and then an internship offer at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.
- I am now leaving in two days to spend the summer in DC, interning at the WWC, doing work and research on US environmental policy.
I am so excited! I am so excited that I get to spend the summer in WASHINGTON, DC, that I’m working on US environmental policy and think that this internship will really be a great opportunity to learn and meet people, and just that God answered my prayer. (I had been praying that whatever I did this summer would be, a) with other disciples of Christ, b) great for my resume/career, and c) either paid or in Africa. It is so cool and encouraging to me that what became my final two options were all of those. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but it is the first time in a while that I feel like God answered my prayers the way I wanted and my life is moving in a direction that I can be encouraged and faithful about. I don’t think God has to do either of those (answer my prayers the way I want or let my life unfold in the way I plan), nor do I always expect it. So I think I’ve become more grateful for the times where I feel like he does do those things. It makes me happy.

There were a couple of other things I had thoughts on, but I have to pack (yay!), so they’ll have to wait.

A bientot!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When life gives you lemons, you've got lemons.

I have contemplated starting a blog for a while now, especially as I read the weekly, monthly, yearly (whatever they may be) entries of some of my rhetorically talented friends. And I have always told myself I would keep one when I finally travel and live abroad long term. Now, as that time seems that it might be approaching, and I was recently told I should write a book on…well, I’ll explain shortly…I think this could be just the right time to exercise my love of the written word and hobby, or obsession, with life.
So, my book. I’ll start by saying that the only title I’ve jokingly contemplated is, “When life gives you lemons, you’ve got lemons.” I recently applied to the White House internship program, and as you can probably guess from my lack of gusto, I did not get it. Disappointing, yes. Humorous? It’s headed that way. I received that unfortunate email this past Friday afternoon. That evening, at a lecture event held by my campus ministry, the guest speaker opened with following antidote (paraphrased):
College campuses are just exciting, and crazy. I spent the afternoon helping my daughter, Kelsey, move out of her dorm over at Northeastern. We were walking down the sidewalk pushing the blue cart with all her things pilled in, when a guy came running out of his apartment building screaming, “Guess who’s interning at the White House?!”
The rest of the story is insignificant here. And needleless to say, I just gawked. The irony that of the probably 40ish interns the White House accepts, one of them happened to live in the same city as me AND run out of his apartment screaming at the exact moment that this guest speaker walked by! I get God’s sense of humor, sometimes. I’m still learning to appreciate it though.
I say all this to provide the final position in the lineup that led to the suggestion that I write a book, which has led me to at least start writing publicly, consistently.
“What would I write a book on?” I asked my friend.
“Well…rejection,” she said.
“Thanks.” (I hope you can hear the sarcasm.)
It is true. I could write a book on a rejection. I’m actually pretty familiar with it. In my mind, my first real introduction to it began in my college search. My dear and ever so caring friend who suggest I write about my relationship with rejection says that I can start with the time I tried out for the badminton team my sophomore year in high school. It’s ok, you can go ahead and laugh. I am completely secure about my love of badminton and in saying that I am actually pretty good. Nonetheless, I did not make the team. (Why else would I be writing about it here?) I am convinced however that I did not make it because I am not Asian, and to my recollection, almost every player on that team was Asian. This is not a racial statement and I make that assertion with no spite or malice; it’s just an unfortunate happenstance that I was not born Asian. Regardless, this was relatively my introduction to rejection.
It’s been a pretty drama filled relationship, but I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. And perhaps writing about it will not only help me to laugh at it all a little more, but will soften the blow for others who find themselves a similar position.
I am not keeping this blog to write my sob stories on all the school, internships, jobs, etc . that I’ve applied to and haven’t gotten, or on the times I’ve put my heart out there and had it handed back to me, they’re just universal and convenient openers.
Of course, I decided to start this in the last week of the semester, right before finals. I will write what I can, but most likely I will say auf wiedersehen until after May 13th.
Auf wiedersehen.