Crowd of Blank Faces

After unintentionally skipping classes today and spending a good portion of the day speaking with a good friend, I have decided to reevaluate who I surround myself with. Those that I regularly spend time with lately are not those that I actually enjoy being with and those that I call friends might as well be strangers. In this twisted scenario, I am lost in a crowd of blank faces. And as much fun as it is to say that I have friends all over, I do not actually enjoy living out Facebook. Having all these connections are a comfort but leave me feeling isolated and at a loss for words. So, I am publicly announcing a renovation of my life and how I engage with those around me. I am done with shallow conversations with those I call friends. I am ready for those that I say are friends to actually be friends and those that do not help me grow, to become acquaintances. It is going to be a tough journey to reassess the way I communicate with those around me but I ask that you all push me to keep to my word. Honesty is the best policy.

A song that I have played too many times today but I really like it.

Milky Chance

Milky Chance

So… It’s been a while. This part I am sorry for. Music has always been a passion for me and I haven’t given myself much time for research. But for you guys, here’s my most recent download: Milky Chance’s newest album “Sadnecessary”.

Milky Chance is a duo group of guys from Kassel, Germany. Clemens and Philipp met in 11th grade in a music class. And the rest is history. Their music has reggae and electronic influences with mellow vocals.  My top tracks are: Stunner, Flashed Junk Mind, and Fairytale. One of their biggest songs is Down By the River though. Enjoy your Tuesday!

I am here.

I would apologise about being silent for so long but I am not actually sorry for it. I could use the excuse that I don’t have internet at home, but that’s not entirely true either. I could say that school work takes a lot more time that I thought, but that’s a lie too. I could say that I am not home that often because of events and friends, which is kind of true but not something that would keep me from writing. I haven’t sat down long enough to gather my thoughts to tell the stories that have been happening.

I wanted to be able to write something positive about my new life here in Estonia, so I will try to do just that. So far, friends are awesome and having a social life is pretty rad. You know that triangle diagram you are taught when university starts? Social life, studies, and health? And where you can only have two of the three topics on the triangle? Well, I would say that social life has taken top priority and I teeter back and forth between studies and health here. Whereas, in the States, health and studies were my two topics. The lifestyle here is different; there is more focus on spending time with friends and family.

Step two! Traveling is something I have been forcing myself to do because I don’t want to fall into the same life routine I wan in before. My goal is to travel at least every other weekend to someplace that is not near the centre of Tartu. For the most part, I have done a decent job at it. I have yet to leave the country though but that may change soon due to an upcoming week of no classes. You can see some of the different towns I have visited in the photo albums I posted on Flickr.

Another wonderful thing here, at least most females would think this is a good thing, is that I have lost enough weight that my jeans do not fit anymore. My legs are more tone and I drink so much more water here. Healthier in some aspects, if I may say so myself. Like I said, I am trying to be positive about this.

I can confidently say that I have accomplished a lot here. I have yet to do laundry though because, here we go, I have never used a laundromat before. So yes, I have not done laundry since I was in the US. You may ask, what have you been doing? I have hand washed the small items and as for the larger items like jeans and such, those officially need to be washed. So… if anyone wants to give me tips on laundromat stuff, that would be highly appreciated. I also still need to buy a laundry basket. I thought Oreos were more important.

Excitement level

It has been nearly a week of being in Estonia and I still feel absolutely no excitement. This whole situation seems surreal and I feel absolutely unprepared for life. The little bird was officially pushed out of the nest but doesn’t know what to do now. That’s how I feel. I’m exhausted all of the time and even though I feel like I don’t know what to do, there is so much I should do. I have spent more time with friends than I have on my personal health. And it’s cool that I have met so many new people and that I’ve gotten to see so many old faces so far too, but knowing that there is an end date is strange… I don’t really know how to explain it.

It’s beautiful here, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the same. I don’t know if maybe I’ve been chasing the past or what. It is no joke to say short term missionary trips and moving to a place are completely different. I miss old friends and the atmosphere that accompanied that.

**I wrote this days ago but forgot to post it**

The Arrival

I have arrived in Estonia safe and sound. And although I do not at all feel rested enough, I am happy I am here. I’m not excited nor am I ready to face this year quite yet. Why, you may ask? Because (1) I am not settled in, (2) there are FAR too many unknowns, and (3) I still have to go to school.

I’m scared. That’s the best way to put it. Nothing about this trip is comfortable to me, and that’s probably a good thing for me even if I don’t want to admit it. GAH! That’s how I feel. You made it through the airports and plane rides so shouldn’t you feel more at ease? That’s what I thought too since that was one of the bigger fears of mine. But no, I don’t at all feel any more at ease.

To change the topic and make this a less depressing of a post, let’s talk about my first day in Estonia! For one thing, I don’t think I will have any problem with guys and dating if I am even interested in dealing with that. Within four hours of being here, I already had a guy approach and follow me. His name is Stranger Boy (that’s what Beth and I have agreed to call him anyway) and he bluntly checked me out while I was with her. Stopping to look over your shoulder is okay once but seven or eight times is EXTREMELY weird. And I guess I shouldn’t have made eye contact with him because he approached us and wanted to talk to us. And he talked and talked and talked and asked questions and talked some more until he got bored of us. That was after walking at least three blocks beside us. Strangest encounter ever. And not once did he ask for our names nor did he tell us his.

Other than that, Beth kept me walking and busy until late at night so that I wouldn’t fall asleep.

Photo Board

Jasmine and I started a photo challenge right after she left to go back to Thailand for the summer. In this challenge, we are to share, at most, 5 photos describing our day and 1 selfie (even though we both hate selfies) on Photostream through our iPhones. To continue this challenge, I will be taking photos daily throughout Estonia and wherever else I end up being. And instead of plastering Facebook with hundreds of photos that people will skip over, I will simply post a link to my Flickr board for those of you that would like to see my daily adventures. Not to mention, if I know that other people are interested in viewing the photos, it will encourage me to continue photographing my days, even when I really don’t feel like it.

So, without further ado, there is a new category for you to click on! Nested under News Updates and Estonia is the new location for the Photo Journal. Along with that, there is a link directly to the albums on my Flickr account on the left side of the screen. Click away, my friends! And please don’t be shy to write comments; I truly do enjoy reading them.

Planning my own funeral

I feel like I’m about to write my own obituary. It’s not that I think I’m about to die but metaphorically, it seems that way. It’s as if I am the only one that knows that I have a limited number of days left but everyone else around me has no knowledge of the fact. And they continue on with their busy lives saying that they want to spend time with me but don’t want to sacrifice any of their time to do so. I sound incredibly selfish, I know. 

It gets old, people. Saying one thing is different than actually making the arrangements and committing to that thing. Dear people of Oklahoma who claim I am your friend, this is a rant directed toward you. 

There’s also the other side of it, waiting until the last minute to plan anything. I have been here for the ENTIRE summer and you are just now saying you want to say bye? Whhhhhhhhy?! I can’t be in multiple places at one time; I only have so much time I can spend driving to other towns to say farewell. Plus, who honestly believes that I want to drive to YOUR town to see YOU? Sometimes it is nice to have visitors here too. 

The rant is done. Now to plan how in the world to fit all these house visits in, plus packing, plus daily stuff, plus paperwork, plus whatever else I need to finalise into my schedule for the next 3 days. 

Keith Kenniff

I haven’t forgotten, I haven’t had the time/motivation to write something. As for T&T Tunes, it seems to be abandoned at this point. Not because I don’t listen to music anymore but because I can’t decide what to share with you.

I have a handful of favourites at the moment, each for different moods. Just so that I can close the tabs on my computer, I’ll start with mellow me: Keith Kenneth, aka Helios aka Goldmund aka half of the band Mint Julep.

Yes, you’ve got that right, he’s three entities at one time. I’ll give you examples of each version of him beginning with Helios (the whole reason I started to listen to him).

And here’s a sample of Goldmund, a more classical style of music.

And lastly, Mint Julep (good luck finding much on them), an indie rock group of two. WARNING: VIDEO MAY CAUSE MOTION SICKNESS!

The Source of Abundant Joy

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

Rom. 8:37

Paul was speaking here on the things that might seem likely to separate a saint from the love of God. But the remarkable thing is that nothing can come between the love of God and a saint. The things Paul mentioned in this passage can and do disrupt the close fellowship of our soul with God and separate our natural life from Him. But non of them is able to come between the love of God and the soul of a saint on the spiritual level. The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, limitless miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that “in all these things we are more than conquerors”. We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against — tribulation, suffering, and persecution — are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him ” “in all these things”; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation”.

The undiminished radiance, which is the result of abundant joy, is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can change. And the experiences of life, whether they are everyday events or terrifying ones, are powerless to “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39).

Lord, I praise You for the joy of my life here — for the love of wife and child, for the students, for the favours of the Holy Spirit. What a wonder of joy and radiant blessing this place has been!

A blog comprised of adventures and thoughts from a university student from Oklahoma.

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