Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"...You're defintitely competitive"

Today I went to have the director of student affairs in my department fill out a form for my Japan study abroad application. I explained why I was there and gave him the form. He then opened up my records on his computer, opened his eyes really wide, and said, "Wow." People usually have those kinds of reactions to really good or really bad things, so I thought there was problem. But no. He completely forgot about my form, asked me what I wanted to do with my degree, handed me a huge packet of info, and then went on for minutes about how I should seriously consider applying for major scholarships/fellowships (think Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, etc.). "With your GPA and your honors experiences, you're definitely competitive."

Of course I was suprised and flattered. In my cold and business-like political sci department, kind words aren't give out often (enough), especially by administrators. So I appreciated his encouragement. But what does that mean, competitive? Why is being competitive such an asset? In America especially, we understand early on in our lives that we are valued by how well we compete, and what results we can procure for ourselves through competition. Competition defines our lives. Now I understand that competition is necessary to keep people on their toes, make them push their limits, and to produce innovation, growth, and "progress" blah blah blah. My problem is, this emphasis on competing makes our lives too much about other people: what they're doing that I'm not, how to beat them, how to stomp them out, what I can do to keep my place above and ahead of them. But where's the enjoyment in that? Where's the life in that?

These are the thoughts that came to me as I walked my "competitive" self home in the rain after (finally) getting my form signed.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

About Yoga: I promise you're not being indoctrinated

Yesterday was Wednesday, which is a yoga day for me. At the end of your practice, it's customary for everyone to sit with their legs crossed over each other and put their hands together at their "heart center" (middle of the chest). Then the instructor will say something like, "That which is in me recognizes that which is in you", and lead everyone in bowing and saying the salutation "Namaste" (which is basically what that phrase means). Except the guy next to me yesterday, instead of saying "Namaste", said "Amen". Which had me thinking, Hmm, what's that about?

My new best friend!
I can understand that Christians may be wary of practicing yoga because it originated in the Indian subcontinent and is infused with Hindu and Buddhist thought, language, and tradition. And as anyone familiar with certain American Christians can attest, they can be fiercely defiant against being indoctrinated or having their beliefs challenged. Yes, yoga can be used to practice those "other" faiths. But the way I see it, yoga can be incorporated into the practice of any faith. Why? Because it's about self-love, being aware of your body and your surroundings, not judging yourself, focusing your mind, being calm, finding your depth, and releasing yourself from attachment (especially to outcome and negative thoughts). All of which, more are less, are expressed in the doctrine of many religions, Christianity included.

Personally I see my yoga practice as a way to get closer to God. Never in my life have I appreciated myself and my body more. You learn so much about your body, what it can do, how strong you really are, the power your mind has. And isn't all that what the Lord wants us to understand about ourselves as individuals? Maybe that guy wasn't trying to ward off indoctrination. Maybe, like me, he recognizes that yoga brings him closer to God, and he just just preferred to express that directly by saying "Amen". Either way, I just wanted to make clear that yoga is such a blessing. And God will not judge you if you say "Namaste". He hears, understands, and appreciates Sanskrit words too.

Red Week isn't all bad.

Haha, look what I found in the restroom!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why, Deitrick, Why?!

You're a pastor and a gospel superstar, but you did the exact same thing that a worldly chick named Kim who doesn't know God  is doing (and being congratulated for). How is anyone supposed to take you seriously now?

And now you want to tell all of us about it and call people out, thinking you're being "transparent." No, you're being selfish and foolish because you're hurt and feel singled out. I'm gonna pray for you, because I think you're going to regret this in time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My feet hurt...

Wow. You never realize how much you walk in a day until you have to wear uncomfortable shoes and are forced to slow down. I'm not even trying to be metaphorical, that's literally what I did today. Haha.

I applied for a job for which I was sure that I was unqualified, and what do you know! I got an interview. Now of course you have to dress appropriately for these things, so I put on dress pants. But because I'm so short I had to wear heels so I wouldn't walk on my pants. I wore those pretty shoes all day, all around campus. Now I'm sitting here ready to chop my feet off and sell them away, haha! Today I looked really good, but I was so uncomfortable. And just as I suspected/hoped, when I got to the interview today, the man never even looked at my feet! All that pain and suffering for nothing.

I know that celebrities and the like say stuff like "beauty is pain". But it's not. From the view of onlookers: I'm walking around with these short, hard steps, frequently looking at the ground to keep from falling, with my face in a perpetual expression of concern and/or misery because I'm uncomfortablenow how in the world is any of that beautiful? And from my own view: If my own beauty is for myself to discern and enjoy, and I'm in too much pain to enjoy it, what sense is there in that? There is none.

Don't get me wrong, I love heels and how they look on my feet. Wearing them isn't always painful, it can even be fun. I just think that we as women put up with too much just so that we can earn the designations of "pretty" and "acceptable".

Eh well, at least I did well in the interview. I'm not getting any high hopes, but we'll see what happens!

I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I make plans and promises.

At the beginning of every year I come up with some idea/motto/inspirational saying attached to some goal that's supposed to guide me through the rest of the year and help me become a better person.

Last year it had something to do with learning something new about myself everyday (inspired by JYP Entertainment CEO Park Jin Young). The year before that was doing things that I think I can't do (inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt). And the year before that was probably something empty and overly optimistic and cheesy, because I was a senior in high school and you can only have so much vision when you're 18 years old. I guess the same can be said of when you're 20, but I'd like to think that I've gotten a little wiser and a little clearer on who I am and what I want for my life. This year I couldn't come up with anything witty, but I did find two Bible verses that suit where I am right now:

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them (Mark 6:11)

Everyone has heard of brushing the "dirt of your shoulders", right? Bet you didn't know Jesus spoke of this idea first, huh? Whenever you've made up your mind to do something, do it. And if someone treats you wrong in the process, forget them. Because how you answer your calling is between you and God. That's what this verse means to me.

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23)

This is my favorite Bible verse, because it reminds me that everything I see, everything I feel, everything I want but don't believe I can have, everything I do and how I do it.... it all starts in my mind. Sometimes I get anxious about changes or challenges and I talk myself out of trying. But I've realized that I can make almost anything happen just by thinking a little differently. This might be obvious to some, but I'm just now starting to get it.

So I realized that this semester is a wonderful opportunity for me, since this is pretty much the first time in my life that I don't have anything going on outside of classes. (I know, crazy right? Think of how hyperactive and overbooked we make our kids these days!). I have time to start finding myself, so to speak. To find what I enjoy and do those things, and then to try some new adventures as well. Like reading the Bible everyday, doing yoga every other day (new thing!), trying out for acappella (didn't make it in, but still, new thing!), applying for a position I think I'm underqualified for (no word yet, but still, new thing!) making a point to actually call my friends on the phone, actually having fun...

Basically deriving fulfillment from being in the moment, instead of from my ability to accomplish tasks. People often think changing your life involves making some grand gesture or revolutionary action. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it only takes small changes, a renewed mind, discipline, and an openness to what's new. January's almost over, and as I strive to keep the promises I made to myself on the 1st, I hope you are able to do so as well.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Thoughts, New Blog!

I just turned 20, started practicing yoga, and decided to be more open to trying new things and not taking everything so seriously. So I thought it would be fitting to start fresh with a new blog.

Why Deela?
 My name is Danielle, and no one calls me "Deela".  So why Deela? When I was in elementary school we went on a field trip to Jeeper's (an indoor amusement park for kids), and since this was elementary school we all had name tags. And I'll never forget, there was this one insufferable jerk of a boy who decided to follow me all around the place, harassing me. For some reason he kept calling me "Deela". He was older than me, so I assumed he could read. He had eyes that worked, so I assumed he wasn't blind. And how he got "Deela" from "Danielle", I don't know. But that name-that-wasn't-my-name stayed in my mind. I guess for internet persona purposes, Deela is a less common, cooler, and more memorable name than Danielle. So Deela it is.

Why Sees?
I'm not much of a talker. Sometimes people tell me that I seem really outgoing and confident, but honestly I fake it. I'm really shy, so I have to push myself. I'd much rather prefer to watch and listen. They say you always need to beware of the quiet ones, and in a way that's true because we notice everything! Or at least I feel like I do. Sometimes I notice things that others don't, and sometimes I think about things in a different away. So I'm going to try my best to be open and share my observations and thoughts (what I "See") with you. They might not blow you away at first or at all, but hopefully they'll become more interesting as I start my travels this year and approach the big 2-1.

So yeah, this is DeelaSees. I've also started a YouTube channel of the same name, but I haven't decided what to put on it yet. Videos of me singing/talking about songwriting? Travel vlogs? Randomness? Who knows.

Anyway I'm glad to be here, starting something new.