Holiday Break

Hey-O, people! I decided I should write while I am in a better mood so it doesn’t always seem as if I come to this blog to write when I am upset. There are a few things on my mind: music discovery, friends, and upcoming events.

We shall start with music discovery. There is this moment when I find a band or song that really sticks out and the whole atmosphere of that moment is different than anything else. A sense of excitement rushes through my body and I immediately stop searching for anything else. I listen to the entire album and look for a way to own it. I’m at that stage now, I found a band and am trying to find where to get the album from. I’ll share the band on Tuesday, so you’ll just have to wait until then to find out what the excitement is about.

Next, friends! The people that are entering and exiting my life are all so amazing and I am 100% thankful that I met them. Many of which probably don’t know how much they influenced my life already. But, that’s life. I am enthusiastic about this upcoming life change, me moving and the next semester, I mean. True, I am not exactly ready to say bye to some people but I am really happy that I have met the people I have. I am looking forward to settling down with one church and plugging in with those people. Along with that, I can only hope that I will find the motivation to continue learning Estonian.

Lastly, events… December filled up so quickly that I didn’t even realise how busy I have made myself. The biggest event is moving, then comes visiting a friend in Tallinn, next is Christmas celebrations, after that is Salem’s camp that I will be working at, then New Year’s (which I am really excited about because if you know me even a little bit,  you know that that’s pretty much my favourite holiday), then packing up to take off to Russia where I will visit Shelby in St. Petersburg and continue on to Moscow and parts of Estonia with her. After Russia, it’s a little open to what could happen. Camp may be the next event but I need to check bus timetables and prices to see if Shelby and I can get to Tartu on time before the group leaves for the camp resort. There has been mention of going to Haapsalu as well. Busy, busy, busy. But that’s okay. Today is a relaxing day with nothing actually planned and nothing that I actually need to accomplish.

Simple Life

Bring it, Winter! I am ready for snow. Holiday markets. Camp. New Year’s Eve. Travels. And adventurous nights. It’s nearly midway through December and classes are officially finished. I had that realisation last night that I no longer have classes… strange thought. I have three exams left to go, two Estonian ones and one Russian one. Christmas related events are popping up all over the place and I have no idea how busy I want to be.

For any of you out there are preparing to study abroad, keep one thing in mind. Nothing works on a schedule in other parts of the world. Never make concrete plans to do things and don’t over commit to things you want to do. You will wear yourself out. No lie. One of the most beautiful life changes I have experienced here is not planning out my days and allowing things to simply happen. Meaning that when someone invites me somewhere that day, I usually say yes because that leads to adventures I would have never thought would happen. For example: last night I agreed to go to an Estonian home group for no real reason and ended up in a car, exploring the edges of Tartu at midnight. Fun!

Pace yourself. School is one thing but that’s not something that lasts forever. Let’s say some part of the world is hit by something nuclear related (go watch Threads if you want to truly understand the depths of this idea I am presenting…) and so all that’s left is what? People. And not many of those either so I advise you to dedicate your time to spending it with people you enjoy being around. Don’t allow school work to consume your life or anything that could be destroyed in a matter of minutes (I realise people can be destroyed but… whatever. Not the point). People, people, people! Focus on those relationships!

I have also noticed that if I really focus on how much school work I have to do or exams I need to study for, I end up stressed out and not prepared anyway. Whereas, if I allow myself to actually live, the studying and the homework gets done on it’s own. And I still get to enjoy myself.

There are a series of questions that come up a lot in class: “What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies? What do you usually do?” In the US, I could have quickly answered those questions. Fun: dance around in my room to music playing too loudly, stretch, goof off with Jasmine. Hobbies: crafts, discovering music. Usual day: school, studying, church stuff of some sort, music. But here, there is no “usual” day and I don’t have anything that I do regularly enough to call it a hobby or to define it as fun. Yes, it is really hard for people to understand me when I say that I don’t have hobbies and that there is nothing in particular I do for fun. But I still have fun, that’s what matters. My life is a bit chaotic in the sense that it doesn’t follow a timetable but also this is the least bit stressed out I have ever been. Sure, I still have bad days or weeks or there are certain events that put me on edge but overall, I’m not as uptight as I was.

I challenge you to fast from something, and not a traditional fast where you eliminate something for 24 hours or a week. Fast from something that consumes your time. Don’t eliminate it but focus on something else (LIKE PEOPLE!) and watch how the work gets done on it’s own anyway. Simple life, as Mart would put it.

Billy Joel and Ms. Jones

Let’s start with something negative because that’s what is expected from me. Exams are plaguing the world in both North America and Europe. Today marked the completion of the first exam. I have two more tomorrow and one on Friday. And next week, another three to go. But, even though I am truly unprepared for these exams, I don’t care. And it’s not that I don’t care about the classes, I don’t care about what marks I get because I trust that I will do well enough.

Now on to something a bit more uplifting: I have decided to move out of the dormitories! And [BIG, BIG] thanks to the Viinalass family, I have a new place to call home while I am in Estonia. I have to clear my stuff out of the apartment by January 8th, which is perfect since I am supposed to leave for Russia that day. I don’t remember if I have mentioned this before but… I’m going to Russia!

I was torn between staying in the dormitories and waiting out the new roommate situation but after a few months of thought and encouragement from others, I made my decision. The papers have been filled out to terminate the lease and the rest is history. Since the decision, the chorus of this song has been playing over and over in my head…

There is one person I want to talk about in this post. Lacy, a fellow American that I happened to collide with on Friday, is a beautiful person. And I am extremely thankful that our lives intersected for those four days because new doors have opened due to it. I just want to say thank you for being you. Honesty and openness are precious, but are often forgotten traits.

Life is about to change and no, I can’t say that I am ready for it, but I sure will try to keep my head up. Also, there is so much to learn from other people. Remember that.

Bleachers

I kind of forgot to post the band after I picked one on Tuesday so here it is. Bleachers is the product of Fun. band member, Jack Antonoff. This is his own project he started in 2013 and he released his first album, Strange Desire, in July 2014. Jack is from New York. That’s about all you need to know.

I’m tired of trying to describe the music genres so you can decide on your own what you want to call it. Also my top 3 favourite songs: Who I Want You To Love, Reckless Love, You’re Still a Mystery. And the top 3 songs on the charts: I Wanna Get Better, Rollercoaster, Take Me Away.

Happy Thursday.

Measurements

How much time can you actually waste in one week? And can time be wasted? This idea of time. Poo on the invisible measurement of time. There is no way to waste time, spend time, save time, or use time. Time is just there, or maybe it’s not. But we all accept that society works in rounds of time measurements. So we will say it exists for now.

What have I spent my time doing these few days? Absolutely nothing meaningful. And in that sense, I have wasted time. But if time keeps going no matter what, I didn’t waste time. I simple used it in ways that were not the most productive for what is expected in my daily obligations, such as school or church or social interaction in general. I admit, I have skipped classes again and not for any real reason other than I don’t want to go. And instead of class, what have I done, you may ask? Watched YouTube videos about mindless topics like video games I will never play, makeup tutorials that I will never try, vlogs of people doing regular things, and even product review videos. How exciting, right? Not. And other than mindlessly watching waste-of-time YouTube videos, I have slept, spent time with a couple of people, and watched a few movies.

If you know anything about me, you know that I don’t usually watch movies, let alone YouTube videos. And I have sat around doing basically nothing for the past five days. Yes, FIVE days. Exams are approaching soon and I couldn’t care less. Why am I studying what I am studying and what’s the point?

I was asked to think about what I would love to do and I talked about that in a previous post. If I could do only what I enjoy, I would never contribute to society. I would basically be a leech or mooch. So ponder, ponder, ponder about what I am doing and why. Why. That’s the important part of this life journey through the never-ending time measurement of life.

And now I look back at what I just wrote and it is nothing of what I thought I was going to write about, but whatever. I was also planning to post a band or a song or something but I am too indecisive on which to put up. So rather than posting one, why not post none? Just kidding.

Carnival Youth

Carnival Youth is a four-person band that formed in 2012 in Riga, Latvia. When I went on my last trip to Latvia, Mairis, the person I stayed with, showed me this lovely gem from his home country. Their music is a folk blend of experimental and alternative sounds. And, just for you, my english speaking audience, they sing in English (I wasn’t a huge a fan of that but whatever).

Happy Thursday!

Jaymes Young

Jaymes McFarland, or Jaymes Young, is a musician from Seatle that grew up with a heavy musical influence from his parents. He prides himself on honest songs for honest people and even has a place on his webpage where fellow fans can post stories related to his music or about life in general.

Thanks to Mart for showing me this lovely musician last night. Take a listen and enjoy your Tuesday.

üksi

Lately, I’ve been facing a lot of thoughts about what I am doing and how that will effect my future. I have no clue what I want to do nor what I am doing presently to move toward this non-exitent goal. I honestly should write more often, especially in moments when I’m not feeling so gloomy so it doesn’t seem like I’m completely pessimistic all of the time. Sorry, guys. 

So, in thinking about the future, I have pondered about whether or not I want to join Peace Corps, attend grad school, work, attend a YWAM school, etc. And when I write “etc.”, it means that I ran out of ideas alreadyIn all truthfulness, none of those options sound like something I would love to do. That’s one of the questions a friend has challenged me with, What would you love doing? I have no idea.

I’ve been missing a lot of school which is not the best idea but I don’t see the point in going. I’m not exactly struggling with the courses, I simply don’t enjoy them. And when there is no motivation to be there, it’s difficult to actually learn anything from them. I get more done at home when I don’t attend lectures. Anyway, enough about my awful habit of skipping.

Continuing on from the what would I love to do topic, I could say a few things I actually enjoy doing, or at least, I thought I did: traveling, discovering music, and having long and meaningful conversations with people. But with that said, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of traveling. I recently returned from a trip to Riga with a friend and as much fun as it is to see a new place, the place itself is not what I enjoy. I enjoy the time spent with the people I interacted with. This leaves me questioning the travel aspect of things that I enjoy. I am indifferent about where I am or where I am going, it’s who I am with or who I meet along the way. And this whole ordeal makes me question wanting to join Peace Corps or attending a YWAM school. There was also another missions organisation that travels to 11 countries in 11 months which sounded pretty rad but now it sounds exhausting and a bit pointless. At least Peace Corps stations you in one place for 2 years.

Now on to the topic of music. I do still enjoy discovering new bands and artists but it’s solely for my enjoyment and has nothing to do with other people. I find it difficult to even share the music I find due to the opinions of others or the lack of excitement from others. Besides that, I wouldn’t even know where to start to have a “job” in music discovery. I mean, I’m not one to go on and on about the musical elements of a song or band or album. I just like to listen to music. And sometimes dance to it.

This leaves us with conversations, which is becoming a common theme among my days. People are always going to be a disappointment to me which is why I should really, really, really get back on a daily schedule where God is there no matter what. And for whatever reason, even though I know that interacting with God daily would significantly change my life and thoughts, I’ve been fleeing from this idea. I have noticed that I have been turning to people to fill the “hole”, as many call it, within me. You know how some people are addicted to pain? Maybe it’s something like that. I know there is better for me but I choose not to work toward that because I would rather be miserable. And as pathetic as it sounds, being miserable is more comfortable and familiar than not. So… what to do, what to do.

I don’t want to be fixed. I will however listen to any suggestions people have to get out of this rut. And just because you give advice or a solution, does not mean that I will follow that. I need support and motivation to accomplish the impossible on my own, if that makes sense.

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

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!

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

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