Thursday, November 28, 2013

Be Thankful

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to take a moment to pause and reflect over my first semester of college. I have so many things that I could be thankful for but I would never be able to list them all. Coming to college, I was introduced to a number of different lifestyles. I love to hear of my fellow students' background stories and hear of where they come from. I believe that is very important to know where you friends are from so you can help them to where they are going.

A few things that come immediately to mind when I think of what I am thankful for are:

1. I am thankful for Abilene Christian University. This school has given me so many wonderful opportunities. It has given me scholarships that allowed me to come here. It has given me chances to meet wonderful new friends. I have been able to broaden my education and try out my different talents. College in general is a great thing, but ACU is probably the best school, (or at least for me!).

2. I am thankful for my family. Immediate and distant. I'm actually closer to some of my like second and third cousins than I am my first cousins. I basically have two other homes in Abilene because of them, which I am very thankful for. I can "cure" my homesickness with one text, "Can I come over and do laundry this afternoon?" Haha, and of course I am thankful for my parents and grandparents, and I guess my brother too.

3. I am thankful for my friends, new and old. One of my biggest fears of college was not being able to make friends in college, but fortunately I have made many new friends. I am thankful for my Fab Five because I know I can always call and talk to them for hours if I ever need too. I'm also thankful for my new friends that I am making. I am thankful that I am making new friendships that will last for years to come.

4. I am thankful for my professors. Each one of my professors are very special to me. They may not be my favorite teacher, or the easiest class, but they all have pushed me to do my best and succeed.

5. I am thankful for my mentors. Whether they are past teachers/directors or old friends, it's nice to know that I have other people who believe in me other than my parents. I know I can always call them with any questions and they will always have my back! They have pushed me to become who I am today.

6. Lastly, I am thankful for theatre. I recently attended ACU's production of Next to Normal and let me just say "WOW!" One of the most powerful shows I have ever seen. I am so thankful for the telling of stories. Theatre is just another way of education, but one a really personal level. I love being transported to another world and following the lives' of each of the characters. I am thankful for people who share the same love that I do for this form of art.

These are just a few things on a very long list that I am not fully aware of. I know I take many things for granted and I'm working on acknowledging my blessings.

So the thing that I am most thankful for is the saving grace of my Lord and Savior. I definitely do not deserve the forgiveness that He has blessed me with.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Purpose?

It seems like everywhere I turn, I am bombarded with the question "What is your purpose?" In one of my classes, we are discussing our calling or our God given "Divine Appointment." Why am I here, what is my purpose?

I've been watching Lost this semester, for the first time! It's really addicting and very confusing. I'm not even going to attempt to explain, you'll just have to watch it for yourself. But while binge watching, I've noticed a theme that has been weaving through out the series. Each character has been wrestling with their own reason for being on the island. "Why am I here, what is my purpose?" The characters struggle with the idea of the plane crashing as "their destiny," "they were supposed to crash there". "So-and-so was supposed to die", that was their purpose.

This semester, I personally was struggling with my major. Business Management? Not the most fun or excited major. And I wasn't completely confident in my choice. I think I chose it because my mom was pushing it and because "Plan A" did not work out for me. So I decided to take a "Discovery" class that tried to help me find my calling. Unfortunately I didn't get much out of it expect for a personality test that way very accurate. Like scary accurate. And a skills test that showed me I wanted to work with people but was not a people person. So basically it told me that I could either be a social worker, a business major, or broadcast journalist. I decided to stick with business and added theatre as a minor. But the whole class was focused around my calling and purpose.

And another example of purpose, my dad gave me a little book for graduation in June called The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It's a short, little 100 paged book that tries to help answer the question that most people struggle with, "What is my purpose in life?" And it goes on to answer this with 5 spiritual answers:

You were planned for God's pleasure. 
You were formed for a family.
You were created to become Christ-like.
You were shaped for serving God.
You were made for a mission.

These are probably the most accurate answers that anyone can get. If we can try and fulfill those five points, we probably would be satisfied with our lives. If we could stop being selfish and try to make our lives about ourselves and focus on the good we could do for others and for God, we wouldn't have to try and figure out why we were here. We would feel satisfied with ourselves because of the work we were doing for God. Let's all try and aim for that kind of life, shall we?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm so ashamed… My Secret Love

Growing up in a small town, we Fredericksburgians were some what deprived of things, such as a shopping mall, a movie theatre (one was open for a short amount of time, and rumors are that it's re-opening), a selection of restaurants, and pretty much any thing fun to do.

If we wanted to go school clothes shopping, we would have to drive at least an hour to go to San Antonio for some decent clothes. If we wanted to see a new movie, we would have to drive to Kerrville to go to their movie theatre. We only had 5 "fast food" restaurants; including McDonald's (which was okay), Sonic (the place to be after school), Churches Chicken (I don't recommend it), Dairy Queen (No one wanted their food), and Subway (actually we had 3 Subways, why? No one knows!)

So in our neighboring town, Kerrville, we were offered a lot more options and usually our go to fast food chain was Taco Bell. I liked Taco Bell, that was my favorite "mexican" fast food place. I always got two soft tacos and maybe an order of nachos. I know what you're thinking, "Those aren't nachos, those are chips with fake cheese sauce!" Friends, fake cheese sauce is way better to me than actual cheese!

Anyway, I was really excited to move to Abilene when I realized that I would have more than two "fast food" options! Being the poor, broke college student that I am, I don't go for healthy, I go for cheap! Obviously Taco Bell was the best option. Not only that, but they offer a student discount!! How cool is that? So My friends and I would always choose Taco Bell. And that's where my love for the cheap "mexican" food began to bloom. No matter what, I'm always down for Taco Bell. I know that it's definitely not the best thing for you, but how can I resist?

So that's my secret and shameful love. Whenever you ask me what I'm hungry, you'll know it's TACO BELL.

We even were Taco Bell Hot Sauce Packets for a Halloween party. And guess who won best group costume? That's right, Taco Bell did!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Mary Kay Challenge

I used to not be the one that obsessed over beauty products, or even gave a flip about make-up. But once high school came around, I figured, "Hey, I should try this make-up thing." And what do you know? I didn't look like I rolled out of bed two minutes ago. So I bought some Walmart make-up. But with make-up also came stupid acne. High school is horrible as it is. But add acne on top of that, it was pretty much the end of the world. 

As I journeyed through the walls of my school, I realized that I wasn't the only one who struggled with acne. Heck, mine was usually pretty subdued compared to some of the other students. So I stopped obsessing over it and kinda forgot about acne. I had this whole wonderful belief that as soon as I graduated, everything would be all "sunshine and daisies" and acne would be gone forever. I mean that's what happens in movies, right? Wrong! It actually got worse. Probably because of the stress of changing my whole entire life!

I finally called a dermatologist (actually my mom did, because I didn't want too) and set up an appointment because I was sick and tired of flare ups! But no sooner than I visited the doc, my cousin asked me to do a seven day challenge. Casee is an amazing Mary Kay Sales Director and she asked me to take her Clear Proof Seven Day Challenge. It's just seven days, so I figured "Why not? If it works, great. If not, that's what a dermatologist is for." So I accepted the challenge.

So the next day, I got up and wash my face with Clear Proof. I created a little ritual when I got up:

Wash my face with the cleansing gel and rinse. Then brush my teeth and let my skin dry some. Then used the toner. Let they dry while a I got dressed. Then put on the acne treatment gel and then the moisturizer.

Let me tell you that I was in love with this product by day 4! I could already see results and so could my close friends. I was telling them about how I was a little skeptical about this "one week challenge". How could something work that fast? But it definitely did! My face was less red and there were no more ugly red bumps.

Here's a "Before and After" just after seven days!

Before Seven Days of Clear Proof
After Seven Days of Clear Proof

With clearer skin, I feel a lot more confident. So thank's Casee! And thanks Mary Kay ;)

So if you wanna check out Casee's website and maybe sell this and other amazing products, I recommend that you go ahead and give it a try!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chick Flick Marathon

Sometimes you just gotta have a girls weekend. So break out the chips, chocolate, and drinks. Grab all the Seventeen, Vogue, Elle, and Glamour. Rounds up the troops, and snatch up your favorite chick flicks for the ultimate Girls Getaway. I know that I always loved our Fab Five sleepovers, which were usually at Chan's house. We would eat entire bags of chocolate, Puppy Chow, and Hot Cheetos in one night while reading and laughing over magazines while our favorite movie was playing in the background. We would plan to stay up all night, but somehow sleep got the best of us and we would always pass out around 3 or 4. Party Animals! I know!


Here is a list of some of my favorite chick flicks that we always we watch together or that I just love to watch while at home: (in no particular order)

1. Pitch Perfect. Probably my favorite movie ever! It's great to sing and laugh along to and is always a perfect back up for when you just can't decide what to watch. It's also great to wake up the girls because you can't resist singing along.

2. Bridesmaids. A movie that might just describe your group of friends perfectly, as it does ours. Although some characters are a bit exaggerated, we can easily relate to Annie, Lillian, and Helen's triangle of "Best Friends." It is definitely one that makes your abs hurt from laughing and you can pretty much quote the entire movie.

3. 13 Going on 30. A perfect movie that describes how you feel when you want to "grow up" but you can't let go of your past. It's also a very cute love story.

4. Princess Diaries. Because every girl secretly wishes their grandmother would come a tell them that they are a princess.

5. Steel Magnolias. For when you want a good tear jerker. Mother-daughter relationships and the strength of friendships. The Fab Five really wanted to do this for a One Act.

6. Devil Wears Prada. High Fashion. Horrible Bosses. New York City!

7. What a Girl Wants. Before Amanda went cray cray.

8. Sweet Home, Alabama. 

9. MEAN GIRLS. Because we live in that world.
     And my personal favorite…

10. Legally Blonde. I can pretty much quote it verbatim. A very girl-power movie about following your dreams, and never giving up! (even though Elle follows a guy, she discovers her passion for justice and that's what ultimately drives her to success. Not the jerk that she thought she was in love with.)

What did I miss? Let me know! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Everybody's Watching You

Have you ever wondered what other people thought of you? Do you ever feel as if someone was watching your every move? Or people are talking about you?

I know for a fact that people watch me. People judge me. And people talk about me. Whether it's good or bad or indifferent does not matter to me. Or at least it shouldn't. While in UIL Prose/Poetry, I was taught that as soon as I walked into the speaking room I was being judge. The judge was taking notes on each speaker and how professional they were when they weren't speaking. In theatre, I heard over and over again, "Somebody will always be watching you." Basic theatre lesson: Even if you are not the main focus on stage, remain in character because someone is watching you. Someone is waiting to see if you make a mistake or drop your character. Always remain in character. But that is true in everyday life. People are judging everyone, everywhere.

Everybody is watching you. Your friends, your colleagues, the little girls at church. People will look to you. You are someone's role model. So don't do anything stupid or something you'll regret later. Very cliché, I know. But as the lyric from If/Then says, "It's cliché, which means it's true."

Someone is reading this. Someone is judging this or forming their opinion about me. And I, or anyone else, cannot stop that. But I can control what is being judged. I can choose whether it is my positive outlook being judged or if it's my bad attitude. I control what I put out there for people to see, so why not make it positive?

A little food for thought.