Friday, March 2, 2018

March 2018 Mood Board

Hello friends.I am writing this post to share a few photos I have taken over the last few days, each of which sort of make me feel bright and happy inside. part of the reason has to do with the color scheme (sort of) going on here, but also the subject matter in each individual photo (plus a selfie in a cute bathroom mmmk).I figured, first and foremost, that maybe I should try to be slightly less annoying on Instagram and share more photos on here.......instead.I like each of these shots a lot. that is all. enjoyyyyyy🍋🍋🍋

Sunday, February 11, 2018

“Twin Peaks: The Return”: A Review of the Return of David Lynch

Hello, so I wrote this thing for my Cultural Criticism and the Arts class. It's a review of my all-time favorite television series "Twin Peaks." It should be your all-time favorite television series, as well. Mostly because David Lynch. And literally the entire cast. Ok, so read if that sounds at all interesting to you. xoxo

“Twin Peaks: The Return” is far more than a television show; it is purely the mind of a man with endless, baffling ideas for a world of perfectly insane happenings. Its ending is horrifically unsatisfying, though completely expected of David Lynch, and the story of Laura Palmer -- the epitome of the existence of the show -- can not feel any more intentionally rejected than in the last few moments of the film. Of course, being what it is, having any sort of expectations to begin with will only cause viewers to feel further ignored in their innate need to understand the unknown, which is surely the exact thing Lynch wanted to happen while creating “Twin Peaks: The Return.” This return to Lynch’s odd universe was completely unnecessary, but that is simply the thing that makes it completely necessary to be a part of once again.

Lynch’s work is painstakingly mind-boggling and artfully attractive to the eye. His decision to bring back “Twin Peaks” in the form of an 18-hour-long feature containing 18 separate screenings and calling it “Twin Peaks: The Return” has only proved his unfailing ability to deliver said complicated, dream-like art. “The Return” plays an important role in the story of Laura Palmer and her murder in the town of Twin Peaks, but that still doesn’t mean that the new film -- as Lynch himself insists on calling the 18 hours of screen time -- gives its viewers the closure that they want and need.

Figuring out the mystery of Laura Palmer herself, as well as the way she came to be murdered, within the original television show has always been the one thing that fans and audiences everywhere have strived after, but as is David Lynch’s mind, it is just a plain impossibility. It is a feat that should not be sought after, no matter how tempting, due to the sole understanding that just because something has been created and is an idea played out on a screen does not mean that it has answers to all the questions in the world. Even if critics have an unending supply of questions for Lynch and his world of Twin Peaks, that still does not mean that he himself has all the answers. But that is what makes Lynch who he is; that’s what makes his art so obsessively excellent.

Spoiler alert: David Lynch gives his audience the exact same thing they were given at the end of “Twin Peaks” -- more unanswered questions. Even more so, questions that are incomprehensible in themselves. “The Return” goes back and forth from the obligatory-to-Twin-Peaks, so-called “Black Lodge” to the real world, in which Dougie Jones, aka Secret Agent Dale Cooper, has been living for 26 years as someone he is not. Though, he is completely unaware of this, in part due to the fact that half of his soul is the living reincarnation of Bob, aka Bad Cooper. The “how” of how Cooper’s life was split into two people and two worlds does not exist; all viewers know is that Cooper is stuck inside of the Black Lodge and must leave in order to finally end what Bob first started with Laura Palmer over 25 years ago. But like this, most of the “how”s are unanswered; there are moments when literal aliens enter the human-world only for viewers to ask themselves, why? What is the connection between it all?

Aside from this, Lynch has brought in the grotesque-factor to “Twin Peaks: The Return.” In several scenes within the film, Lynch offers the cringe-worthy content seen in horror films -- those types of films which present icky concepts, such as eels being forced down the throats of patients in the film “A Cure for Wellness” (2016). “The Return” differs from the original series in this way, being offered more generously the title of horror film with its inexcusably gross bits and pieces, such as the now-infamous “moth-frog” scene. Not only so, but Part 8 single-handedly delivers one of the most terrifying storylines. The episode offers the line “got a light?” and one woodsman’s ability to gruesomely murder any person in his path, while covered in scorched engine oil, of course, and it fully illuminates the concept of being unable to escape the clutches of evil itself by any means -- as Laura once was -- through an uneasy, stomach-turning timeline and darkened world; the entire episode is in black and white, which only further enhances the low-key invasiveness of the episode. A lack of color somehow makes everything feel more dreary. This episode, specifically, feels long, and it happens slowly; while sitting on the edge of their seats, viewers will most likely find exhaustion in the searing, eye-peeling segments, which feel as though the universe is forever stuck in slow-motion and is heading straight toward a black hole. But one cannot be surprised that this was the path Lynch decided to take, even if it did nearly nothing to further the show’s storyline (at least not on the surface).

Of course, bringing back the most important characters from the town of “Twin Peaks” was only foreseeable for this return, and even the return of Lynch himself allowed for viewers to feel this sense of relief that even after all the time that has passed, (almost) every person has stayed the same. The story continues with Cooper, as is only fair, but introduces Janey-E, Good Cooper’s wife, and their son; all of the other characters live the same old, odd lives they did back in the year of ‘89. The only deeply upsetting character return is that of Audrey Horne. Once the beautifully-charmed girl with ambition and passion, the time between both “Twin Peaks” obviously did Audrey wrong in some way. Her story resumes with her being seemingly confused, baffled by her husband (whom viewers have never met before) and mortified by her own inability to leave her house to find her troubled son, Richard. It is not clear as to how accurate her story is, considering the fact that in her traumatized state, her mental-awareness and stability seems fleeting, at best. While watching her scenes, one can only attempt to put two-and-two together and assume that her sanity -- or lack thereof -- seems to be in relation to some horrific event of her past. The beloved Audrey Horne, whom viewers once believed could take on the world, is a painful reminder that happy endings often do not exist, but consequences for the dark, pain-ridden world do.

With the original “Twin Peaks” under his belt, as well as others (“Blue Velvet,” “Lost Highway”), Lynch has gained some sort of right to do whatever the heck he wants to at this point -- after all, it is 2018. The entirety of “Twin Peaks: The Return” is filled with imperfect, incomplete thoughts and offers absolutely no closure to its viewers, per usual. Even still, the creation of the film was never supposed to be an answer to all of the questions floating through space anyways. And if that isn’t David Lynch, what is?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

New Semester........New Me!!!!!!

cheesy headline -- i know!!!

it's moments like these -- getting back to the apartment after a full day of work at my six-hour class, from 9 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. -- that i realize who i am and how grateful i am to be where i am in life. another cheesy statement, i know!

today was such a long day, but filled, nonetheless.

last night i prayed for hours, asking God to give me the fulfillment i've been seeking for the last year. i was so afraid coming into this spring semester, because the last -- and subsequently, my first at Columbia -- had been so intrinsically terrible. not many of you probably know or realized that, because i tried to not make it super obvious and be a baby about everything.....but it was bad. there, i said it.

i was constantly feeling lonely and inadequate when it came to pretty much everything -- school, friends, my relationship with Christ, etc. -- and it caused me to become afraid of life and my future, and i lost my ability and passion to love others around me, as Christ has commanded me to.

this semester i vowed to change that; i vowed to have an entirely different attitude coming into the new year and semester at Columbia. and it's only been three days since i've been back in classes and hopping around this beautiful, upbeat town, but i know that things are different.

the prayers i prayed last night, and coming into this week, in general, included knowing who i am in Christ. knowing what my purpose is in Him even here at school and on my own. something that is different about this semester, already, is that i have a better idea of what it looks like to show real love to every single person i come in contact with. that means roommates, classmates, people at Target or Starbucks (which i've only been to once this entire week, by the way), people at work or on the street. everyone means.......everyone.

i know God has given me an attitude of love; a "Christ-like" attitude, just for the sake of context. an attitude that is more interested in showing kindness and mercy and projects excitement and joy, rather than sadness, bitterness, disinterest in the lives of others. the kind of attitude i constantly found myself leaning toward last year.

i'm sorry to say that my heart had been in the wrong place for the longest time; i could blame that on my circumstances, but we all know that with Christ at our center, circumstances are but a mere obstacle to overcome. so allowing my heart to remain sorrowful and pained by my past decisions and mistakes was my own fault. that's something i know now to be true. it doesn't have to be that way forever -- God is a protector, healer, granter of peace. there's a reason He tells us that He wants to carry our burdens.

i always doubt God. i somehow always eventually fall back into this dark place of not knowing who i really am in Him; what my place is here on earth. i connected with a girl from class just today who proclaimed her passion and love for Jesus; she shared her beliefs in God and miracles, and the joy was so evident. it's individuals such as herself who remind me of the beauty in knowing Him. the beauty in living a life that reflects Him inwardly and outwardly among others.

and as of today, three days into the semester, all of my prayers for this season have been answered to some point:

feel less lonely.
have more love for others.
find a friend with the same passions for Christ.
find another job (in the process!! but it is happening).
love myself more/feel more comfortable with who i am.
keep praying.

.........oh, and not really a prayer, mostly a personal goal, but to make my own coffee so that i can save more money to take the train home on the weekends for church, if need be. i still need my support group there. i love you guys.

this journal didn't exactly go the way that i thought it would, initially, and is kind of all over the place, but it's certainly something that has been on my heart. something that is true about who i am today. one of the many reasons i am celebrating life on this Wednesday, Jan. 24.

God is good. all of the time.

still reminding myself that His plan always works out for my good. always.


Monday, January 1, 2018


A new year means
new mistakes

A new year means
new achievements,

A new year means trying to forget why 2017
was so terrible
It means understanding
that the past
really is in the past

A new year means trying my best
to be smart,
think about what I'm doing,
rather than hastily make decisions

A new year means
hoping that silly feelings
and hopeless dreams
get crushed --
go away

A new year means
something new
everything is new
whether I want to believe it or not

A new year means
praying bigger prayers

It means
trusting God has answers
to those prayers

A new year means
God has something new
awaiting my arrival

He isn't keeping it from me
He isn't hiding all of the good

He isn't waiting for perfection
He isn't giving me one
chance, one
to be

He knows it is hard
He knows I'm
a sinner
I'll always be

A new year means
I don't need to live by that

A new year means
I'm no longer
defined by sin

I'm no longer
defined by 2017
and its mistakes

A new year means
new opportunities
to worship God
to serve God
to spend time listening

A new year means
something fresh --
a start,
something I can look forward to,
strive toward
in Christ

They say not to look back
you're not going there

A new year means
actually believing that

A new year means
trusting that I can be
something more than
the person I've made up
inside of my head --

A hopeless

A new year means
I am none of those

I new year means
I am important
to God

I am His child
His beloved
I belong to Him
in 2018

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I Can Do This: My Official Refusal To Settle

hello world.

i’ve been thinking so much about what it means to be a writer for me; what it means to be a creative. an artist with my words. an artist, transforming my thoughts into beautifully crafted stories.

i have begun to feel limited by this opportune moment in my existence. i’ve thought long and hard about becoming a part of the Columbia Chronicle. i’ve thought about what that might mean for my personhood; for the individual and aspiring writer that is inside of me.

i’ve thought about what i might feel upon joining the team of reporters at the Chronicle. it feels almost impossible to regain a sense of excitement to be in that environment of nonstop, fast-paced, moving news. the cycle is never-ending, the reporting is a daily feat one must accomplish in order to be "successful."

i’ve thought about this; i’ve reimagined myself living this life. this story. being one who has the ability to go and produce a single story in a day, if not more. but when i think about it, i can’t shake the fear that perhaps this is not for me. perhaps i was made to create more fluid stories, offering more time up for each piece of art that i insist on creating.

i feel as though being in the newspaper business is too fast-paced; i work on a more relaxed schedule, in order that i might put more passion and thought into what i am writing.

art often takes time.

reporting on hard news means giving that up; it means giving up the opportunity to create a story full of honesty, creativity and personality.

i’ve thought about that and its connection to a position at the Chronicle — i am at a loss. i feel that if i join the team, i will be hindered. i will feel overwhelmed and flustered by the need to pitch stories that might not be genuine; stories that aren’t fully in my best interest or that might not be filled with heart in the strongest way. true passion.

i don’t want to give mediocre work to this newspaper; i don’t want to simply give and keep giving so that i can say that i’ve had an experience. because if it is an experience of nonstop anxiety, frustrations and forced — or somewhat unenthusiastic  thoughts or emotions, then it will have been a waste.

i want to do what i love.

i chose this career path and this school to have the opportunity to do the one thing that i truly enjoy and appreciate as a part of my life and my personal journey.

if writing begins to feel as a chore, rather than a privilege, then i am going backward in life. i am erasing what i have wholeheartedly begun — what i have begun to live out for my future. i simply cannot have that.

the future that i envision for myself is something softer; it’s a life filled with kind words, thoughtful compositions and essays filled with the words of people who have lived. people who have stories to share about their art and their passions. i see my future as spending time breathing in the words i have heard from friends and individuals around me who believe they have meaning in this lifetime. i want to live as though everything is beautiful. words are beautiful. words are not just typed out on a page in order to meet a deadline — they are much more important than that.

i think that dwelling on this idea that maybe it’s too difficult to find a job living this idealistic life is what scares me; i fear that maybe this fantasy that i dream about in my head almost every single day doesn’t exist. maybe it’s something that only comes to those of us who are lucky. those of us who are particularly special in some way. i fear that i don’t have that and that because i don’t, i will end up doing something that i don’t completely love.

i did once want that more than anything else. i thought of it as a dream job — something so far off that i needed to work toward it if it were the last thing that i did. now i am here. now the job is at my fingertips. i might make the team. that’s how close i am.

if i was able to work this far — make these decisions, find these opportunities — then i do believe that i have the potential to do so much more with my life. not settle. not take something just because i’m afraid that if i pass up one opportunity that there won’t be a million more to come.

i can do this. i can work for so much more. i can pass up this opportunity if i feel in my heart that there is something more for me.

i will do so. because i have already come so far.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes, forgiveness

Literally nothing that I do matters anymore; every bad thing, poor decision, sin that I commit does not matter.

Every day God clears the slate. Every day He gives me a new start. A new beginning. A fresh page. A new life to live out -- to live out for Him.

It’s really difficult for me to remember that. That is a truth that will never stop being true, and yet, here I am, tonight, spending time in the word, praying the gospel, only to realize its truth. Only to realize, again -- as if it’s not the best thing to happen to me -- that I am free. I am free from those burdens. Those mistakes are no longer on His mind, nor should they be on mine.

They are on mine, though. They are constantly weighing me down. Every night that my head hits the pillow, they threaten me with their consistent nagging; their heaviness presses down on my heart, and I can feel the sorrow of regret and hopelessness.

On those nights, those thoughts of mistakes made remind me that I’m not good enough. It’s true, of course. I never will be. The only issue with that is the fact that His plan of redemption -- His gift of salvation -- is nowhere in sight. Injury without a cure. Wrong without a right. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes.

It weighs a person down. To the point of exhaustion in every way.

Hello, death. My soul feels tender, so weakened by your touch. My choices have been far less than perfect, in fact, I wish every night that I attempt sleep once more that none of it were real. I wish in my heart that I could be better. Be smarter. Think harder before I make decisions. Be stronger; have any sort of ability to say “no” when I’m unsure if what I’m about to agree to is going to lead me closer to Christ.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking a lot. Think a lot about things. Contemplate the good and the bad that might come from the decision you’re about to make. Use your God-given wisdom to choose who needs to be in your life and who doesn’t. It’s not something that you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

Yes, death, you offer me pain daily, as I wallow back into my sadness and reach deeper into my body and mind for scarring memories that promise my demise. I have not yet been able to understand why it’s so easy to do so -- why it’s such a simple task to reminisce what’s most unfathomable. It’s too simple.

And I love it.

I love the pain. I feel trapped inside of it most days. Trapped in the sort of way that allows me to forget my surroundings and circumstances ever mattered. I look to the pain to escape from my emotions.

Those emotions, though, feel very limited these days. Most of the time, I’m gloomy, shaken, confused. Not much happy or excitement, particularly when I’m on my own.

I feel a stronger need to crawl back inside myself and cling to the single emotion I’m most fond of and used to. Sadness knows me very well, too. There’s something comforting about the familiarity. It reeks of regrettable actions, hurtful words and failed attempt to please another body. It’s crippling, but for so long, I haven’t really known any other way.

I’m sure I’ll go to sleep tonight thinking about it once more; feeling distant and unable to let go. Let go of the past.

It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Heartbreak is real.

We do it to God every day that we are alive and breathing.

I’ve felt it.

I hope I’ll never have to feel it again. I can’t wish that upon Him, either. I need to try harder.

I feel His spirit inside of me. I feel the comfort of His word -- of His love. I feel loved. In a new way. I have already been forgiven. I am forgiven today. Every day. Every part of the year of 2017 -- with everything that I’ve done wrong -- has been wiped clean. All of it.

There is nothing that I can do that will make Him love me less. He could never stop loving me. He thinks nothing, anymore, of the wrongs I’ve committed against Him. That is forgiveness.

That’s why I can sleep tonight free of burdens. Free of those burdens that taunt me, chase me, devour me. God is stronger. His power is unfathomable. He is here with me, walking alongside me.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

God really Did That

This very last chapter in 2 Corinthians is titled "Final Warnings." This is not a coincidence; this is no "timing" thing. This is God.

Final Warnings, He declares to me -- to my soul and my being tonight. This is the answer. This is what you need to listen to -- what you need to hear. My voice is real, He says; it was real then, and it is real now. This is my voice speaking. These are my words. This is all that you need to know tonight. This is my final warning to you about this matter.

"He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you" (2 Corinthians 13:3).

I am not alone tonight. I was not alone last night. God has not left me to deal with this on my own -- He has not neglected me. He has not grown weary of comforting me and carrying my burdens. He is powerful  -- Christ lives by the power of God, and so do I. Tonight I live with Him by the power of God (verse 4).

But per usual, I'd forgotten that truth (are any of us actually surprised?).

And on cue, Jackie Hill-Perry tweeted something on this Wednesday night that I really needed to hear:

"We won't be here forever."

This life is not all that we have. If I feel sad or let down by something in this lifetime, if I miss someone, feel guilty about anything, if I tell myself that my worth does not compare to others', I can still have hope. I have hope, even in despair, because there is an eternity.

What is the point in worrying about things of this world if this life is not all that there is?

My purpose does not lie in people, relationships, my studies, a career, who I know or who I don't know -- my purpose is in Him. And that is where my comfort lies. I am in Him. I am weak, but He gives me strength. He has given me strength where I am weakest; He has given me strength where I feel most lost, alone, unworthy.

I am glad tonight that I am weak, because only then am I truly able to be strengthened by Him -- only then can I see, in all His glory, the strength He has for me. I am thankful for my weaknesses, because I now see clearly His power and His magnitude.

There is where I'll find restoration. 1 Corinthians 13:9 says, "Your restoration is what we pray for." I prayed, pleaded, asked with all sincerity -- God, grant me comfort.

Tonight I have been restored; tonight I have been renewed. I am a new creation. I feel His comfort -- it is real.

And it was in His word. I knew last night that it could be found there. Tonight His word was opened -- tonight I read His words. I read about His redeeming qualities, His restoration in power, His unfailing love for me. I will not worry about the things I cannot change; the things I know He did for a reason.

And that is why I am writing this to you tonight.

G0d is not able to comfort us and restore our knowledge of Him if we continually neglect Him and His word. He is not able to offer us peace through His power if we refuse to even glance His way. It's not a one-way thing. God will always be there to love us, but we'll not always seek His face.

But we need to. We need to be reminded tonight -- and every night -- that His word is alive. He does speak, some days louder than others, but He speaks. And He always has something to say. We need to trust in His ability to speak to us and reveal Himself in all His beauty; we cannot limit Him. Because He will always offer us the best. Always.

Listen to His voice tonight.

Wait on Him.

Find comfort and peace and restoration in Him.