Category Archives: College

Realizations

My name is Jenn and I am 21 years old.

I live in an apartment complex that advertises “Senior Discount” as a perk of living here.

I think they should advertise the fact that there are cockroaches that swarm the back lot every night and if they were larger we could say they were “guard animals.”

I used to stay up late and loved to go “out” and live a “glamorous” lifestyle.

Now my favorite part of the day is coming home to see my cat and taking my pants off.

I used to be really exciting, outgoing, and fun.

These days I’m pretty boring, and like to keep things low key.

Not long ago I thought I was moving to New York City to focus on myself and become a famous actress.

These days I find myself making the 30 minute drive almost daily to my hometown. I can’t seem to get away from it. Additionally, while I’m learning much about myself, I pray for a lifetime of humble service to others.

I used to have a lot of friends, and then I had no friends, and now I fall somewhere in between with a few great people I can almost always rely on.

I used to love big cities, nightlife,and crowds of people.

These days they overwhelm me and I enjoy weekend trips in the country.

I used to think I wouldn’t even get married until I was 30+ and would probably just marry a man for money.

Today is my 2.5 year dating anniversary with the love of my life and I can’t wait until we decide to make a life-long commitment to eachother.

I used to wake up hours early to shower, shave, exfoliate, apply full make up, and style my hair.

Sometimes I don’t remember when I last showered or washed my hair and consider it a “good day” when I don’t have to wear makeup!

I used to be in a really unhealthy dating relationship(s).

The boy I’m in love with does his best to love me like Jesus– with grace, forgiveness, and even gifts from the heart when I feel undeserving.

I used to love meat.

Now I’m a vegetarian.

I used to want to travel somewhere glamorous and romantic like France.

This past March I went to the Kingdom of Swaziland to serve HIV/AIDS orphans…. but I fell in love there too.

I used to think God was far off and distant.

Yesterday I saw myself dancing with Jesus in my mind’s eye.

I used to feel pretty alone even though I was surrounded by people and had lots of “friends.”

This summer I have been brought to tears by the community that surrounds me and the people who have invested in me.

I can’t wait for more realizations : )

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In between.

The title of this post pretty much sums up everything in my life right now, but I guess for length-of-post’s-sake I could elaborate a little.

I have been in my new apartment for about a week now and it’s finally starting to register. I’m in between being lonely and enjoying the solitude. The state of my apartment is in between since about 3/4 of it is finished being put away and decorated. However I have no living room furniture so I spend any free time laying on my floor looking out my balcony window.

My schedule and routine is all kinds of messed up and in between. If I would have moved before this quarter started this part could have just been classified “change,” but since I moved the 2nd week into the quarter, some things like classes stayed the same, but my commute has been slightly altered. I have to do everything about a half hour earlier and I’m in the in between of getting that schedule down. Same goes for my studying, but it’s in much worse of a state and for right now, I’d rather not talk about that.

I don’t have internet yet so anything (cough: homework, taxes, bills) that requires me some WiFi is also in an in between state. Bad news. I’m in between taking old routes relative to my old apartment and exploring the digs of my new one. I’m in between relationships with everyone. I have tons of things initiated and tons of catching up to do but no follow through… yet. Heavy emphasis on the large pile of thank-you’s that need written and sent out for all of my support money to Swaziland.

I’m in between social worlds. Part of me is still in Africa-mode: declaring rules to visitors in my apartment like “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” in an effort to save… what? My water supply and those in Africa who don’t have water…? Because that makes logical sense. I’m in between want and guilt when buying things that I “need” in my apartment but technically don’t need. Like a collander. Or a pizza cutter. I need it to drain my pasta, I need one to cut my pizza, but do I really NEED it? No. But….?

And I have certainly no idea how to handle social events yet. Last night I want to a concert with David and Marissa and was really confused about the whole “process” of it. Wearing a cute outfit, buying a new accessory, wearing MAKEUP AGAIN whhaaaat!, and just all the social drama in general. I felt a little bit like an imposter. Because let’s be honest, nothing about my appearance had an effect on my enjoyment of the concert. Rude attitudes about who’s standing in who’s spot are really just trivial and spread hate. Why can’t we just all hold hands and sing kumbiyah until the artist comes out anyways? We should give hugs instead of shoves! I guess I’m just having a hard time being entirely here and in the moment. For example, everyone around me last night seemed so focused on the concert, the beer, the drama, what’s going on in Columbus, OH.

All I could think about was how Veli, Cemphilo, Sanele, Simonga, Pundihle, and Mxolisi would have loved something like that. How badly I want to bring Pilo to America to hang out and show him around! I’m torn between trying to fit in here but not get lost in it all. Trying to maintain home and my experiences is difficult.

Most pressingly on the “In Between Scale” that is currently my life… is my relationship with God. SO in between. Mentally I’m craving time alone with Him and reading my Bible. Mentally I’m crying out for “more” in my life. Mentally I’m searching for His Kingdom here. I’m still mostly in my “Africa mentality.” In actuality….. I’m doing NOTHING to further any of this. I keep thinking I’m still on this kick, post-Africa, where I was getting up early and spending time in His Word before starting my day. But I’m not. I’m deceiving myself. I really haven’t opened my Bible once in the past week. I haven’t gotten up early. When selecting my reading material to take to campus for free time, numerous times this week I have picked up His Word and “thought better of it”– exchanging it for a  I know I’m behind in. I’ve literally said out loud, “Sorry, God, I promise I’ll get back to the Bible once I’m caught up on school….” Isn’t that how it always goes? The funny thing is, I’m the promise-breaker there. That’s always the beginning of my put-God-on-hold-until-I-forget-about-Him phase. I desperately don’t want to go there but it seems inevitable right now.

I know this phase of “in-between” is only temporary, and I’m assuming its cause is the move last week and trying to get aclimated to my new surroundings. You know that love-hate relationship with this phase? Agghhh. I hate it because everything is busy, mindless, and up in the air– and all I want to do is slow down, re-fuel, and focus. I don’t even have time to feel my human emotions. And yet, (sigh), you know coming out the other end of it all means change. For me, change is good. I enjoy it. It usually satisfies, entertains, or challenges me. I’m really looking forward to coming out of this particular phase because there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s growth at the other end. A lot more understanding, a lot more clarity, a lot more peace.

Until then I have to sit tight and keep up.