Thursday, March 18, 2010

experience ecstatic change.

I should be getting started on my 500 page paper for Schneibel.
okay i lie.
its just an 8-10 page paper.
but in my world, that equals 500.
I have decided I am going to tell you the journey that I had, which started last thursday and ended Tuesday night.
now, i am done capitalizing what needs to be capitalized because it slows me down.
i boarded a big bus with about fifty other people on thursday march whatever that date was, (my sister is on my phone talking to some boy so i dont even know what the date is right now let alone last thursday, i just realized that i rely too much on my phone, wow what an epiphany within two seconds of that thought) ANYWAYS.
i boarded that bus with one thing on my mind, "i dont want to go i dont want to go"
yes ladies and gentleman while you got to enjoy the beach, or family, or boyfriends, i was boarding a bus to killmeland.
which is what i thought of at first. choir tour, is what it really was.
i was even mad at one of my friends for getting sick and being able to get out of it.
i hope wilner or olander are not reading this because it might hurt their feelings.
i just didn't want to go at all. i was very pessimistic about it, which isn't like me at all.
i wanted to stay home and actually have a break.
but i sucked it up and sat down in the very backseat next to the toilet (which further noted was a very BAD idea, never take the back seat next to the toilet) and i just sat there awaiting the awful trip ahead of me.
the first concert i was okay with, i wasn't into it 100percent, but i can't help but always get into the music im singing. im just a passionate person all the way around.
then i might Cathy Wright.
and her husband Johnny.
and they took whitney and i to their house. now. let me paint a picture for you of this magnificent house.
you walk through the door and there is a tiny living room that for some odd reason just made me think of the rainforest. it was beautiful. and then behind the living room was a table and to the right of the table was a small kitchen. whitney and i stayed upstairs which was like a loft. you could actually stand next to the rail and see the small dinning room if you looked down. cathy actually designed the house herself. and it was absolutely gorgeous.
they also had a bird house out in the back, and since they lived out in the middle of nowhere in little red riding hoods house, they had some of the most beautiful birds eating out of that feeder the next morning. i wanted to stay so badly.
cathy also made vegetarian food for whitney, and i ate it too. it was so good, and she packed us both vegetarian lunches for the next day.
i also learned she is a speech pathologist, and she absolutely adores her job. whats really ironic is that "dumb" freshman test thingy we all had to take in FRS individual class, the one that tells you what your interests are and what future careers you might be interested in?. well, my top pick was speech pathologist.
its someone who works with kids and speech, or the mentally ill or disabled, which is what cathy does. it was so awesome to hear about her job.
the next day we were loading the bus and of course, whitney and i had forgotten our robes back at the house, which was a good twenty minute drive. and little ole Johnny just took off to get them for us.
cathy said he liked being the hero.
and then cathy was hitting on dustin smith asking him if he'd be interested in an older woman.
because they are more experienced.
she was a hoot.
lesson i learned from night one: enjoy your life. find a career that you absolutely adore and just go for it. no matter how hard it takes to finally get there. always be strong.
cathy is my symbol of staying young and crazy even when im older.

I started off the next day with a much brighter attitude, and was already very glad that I didn't catch the awful cold ashley did and not be able to go.
i was ready to start my day.
and that day i enjoyed every time we performed.
that night i met Beth Fountain. and i fell in love.
Beth travels all over with the business she is involved with. shes the person to go to when you need... well basically anything.
she was even the mom at an indian wedding for the bride and the groom, because their parents didn't agree with their marriage. she was of a higher class then he was, but they met at school in the US, where the india girl stayed with Beth.
their parents came around eventually and they had another wedding.
Beth collects the hotel shampoo conditioner and lotion bottles, which i found was really awesome. to have shampoos from all over the world.
whitney and i talked to her for hours after getting to her house.
and i told her how i had been struggling with school, and how i was scared i would lose my scholarships and have no other choice but to go to UT, and she really calmed me down a lot. She was so relaxed and positive, and even gave me her phone number and told me to call her anytime i needed words of encouragement, or even if i just wanted to tell her how good im doing.
lesson i learned that night: you dont have to always be so stressed out about life. take a step back and enjoy it. travel the world and indulge yourself into other cultures, work hard, but dont let it consume you to where you go crazy. just breathe.
I would have to say, Beth left quite the mark on me.
the next day went even better for me. i was definitely glad i had come, and i was no longer in a depressing mood.
God was teaching me things, and I was having fun learning.
the next night was the italian family. Grossi.
and no, they were a lot different from the first two nights.
they were socially awkward, and kinda threw us in a room without talking at all.
but i learned something that night as well: you dont always have to be perfect, there are all kinds of people out there, and even the ones who don't know how to communicate still want to help out in some way, maybe they just dont know how, but they are at least willing to try. so always, no matter what the cost of understanding is, try to make a difference.
even if you are bad at it, someone is noticing.
i was very appreciative of a bed and a warm place to stay that night.
the next night i learned what it felt like to walk into a mansion.
a real one.
yes the biltmore is a mansion, but its different. the biltmore is show cased...
im talking about an actual house that someone lives in that is...
well their bathtub is bigger than my house, if that tells you anything at all.
the people were so nice.
and the people we stayed with, forgive me because i can't quite remember their names. one was a dean of the local college, and one was a religion professor or something of Duke.
both very intelligent people.
but both very very different as well. the man is originally from washington DC, and they moved because of her job, and they are now closer to her family.
that was the night whit and i stayed with kevin, nate, and matthew. and we watched the funniest movie ever with a very young jack nicholson, i can't remember the name of the movie but i laughed my head off, and afterwards kevin played the guitar and we sang songs while matthew recorded them.
it was a heap of fun.
but as i was going downstairs to get in bed, i noticed that the lady was sitting as far left to the couch she possibly could, and the man was sitting as far right.
and for some odd reason.
it made me think of me and matt, and how i dont think i could ever sit that far away from him.
i also noted that it was very late.
but they let me know they were night people.
the guy had a voltswagon from france... and it was blue, and her name was celeste. it was his "baby"
but although they seemed uptight, they were actually really relaxed people themselves. but i think it was because they were so prompt and organized.
so what i learned that night was that you can have order in your life and still enjoy it.
maybe they sat so far away because if they sat close they'd be tempted to go wild, and they didn't want to go wild with us children upstairs.
who am i to know?
never judge.
because you never know what the underlying cause to anything is.
organization is not a bad thing.
it isn't what causes stress.
stress is all in your mind, and how you let it control you.

the next day was the beach.
and even though it was one day at the beach, it was enough to simply put the cherry on my frosty.
the wind was blowing just right, with small ringlets of my hair lightly licking my forehead, oh my how great it was. the sun warming my face, i almost forgot how much i enjoy that.
being able to hear the ocean, and dig my toes in the sand. i just laid there. i didn't need to run around, or kick a ball. i just wanted to lay there and soak it all in.
listen to the waves crash
listen to the wind whistle against the ocean.
and have the wind blow the sand in my hair and onto my face.
having the sun warm my entire body, but the wind takes the perspiration off my forehead.
it was simply wonderful.
i was in such a good mood that entire rest of the day. i was a sunflower.
just full of light and yellow blossom.
then i heard the words,
"Kayla Swafford, Caitlin Whaley, Whitney Hunt, and Sarah Bohlman will be staying at such n such's condo which is located on the beach"
im sorry what was that?
all four of us were jumping with glee, while we got stared down by the seniors. ..thats really not funny though, i could understand being a senior and a stupid freshman getting the best house over me... id be ticked.
its not like it was my decision.
they put me with the kickbutthardcore righteously awesome house.
so what can i do?
... i'll tell you what i did do... i ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
the lady's name was Eileen, and she was a retired nurse and physician. she took care of her ninety year old mother.
it was like vacation.
green walls, and tye dye blue bathroom walls.
and yes me, sarah, and whitne (kayla didn't feel good). went out on the beach at about ten oclock.
it felt amazing.
and we were the only ones out there.
it was beautiful. even though you couldn't see the potential of the stars for some of the building lights,
it was still a sight to see.
then we were able to see the sunrise at 7:25, and it was gorgeous.
Eileen was so nice too. she packed us a ton of stuff, and on our way out she gave us each a card.
we opened it when we got back to the church.
twenty bucks each.
between four people.
thats eighty bucks....
that lady dished out eighty bucks.
i could barely believe it...
what i learned that night: sometimes when you least expect it, you can be radically knocked off your feet.
enjoy life no matter what. never let fear control you.
if you want to take all your clothes off and run down to the ocean.
do it.
you only live once.

The last night, which was the grand finale.
we stayed with once again, i can't remember their names. i believe they both started with S.
but what i do know is that i walked into the bedroom and the first thing i saw i yelled,
i run over to the miniature statue and pick it up, it has to be the coolest kokopelli i have ever laid eyes on.
the man walks in, while the woman is saying, "this brings back memories" and i ask him if he knows what Kokopelli is the god of, he replies no.
while i am telling him the lady is rummaging through a closet, and she brings out a painting.
its actually called a navajo sandpainting.
it symbolizes healing.
i am gawking at it when i hear, "you can have it"
of course, i know this can't be serious.
they can't really be giving me this amazing sandpainting that they could give to anyone in the world.
so i ask them to make sure im not hearing things.
and no, they really said it. they really wanted to give me the sandpainting.
we then went up the stairs where they made us brownies with icecream on top, and we talked in the living room.
i told ..i think his name was steve... all about maryville college, and the bonner program. his wife actually is what he called a professional volunteer, which i thought was radical.
they are also big on missions, and they travel with their own choir.
they leave tomorrow for England, which they are going by boat, which will take seven days, which is where they will learn the music.
i was so amazed, and jealous of course.
it was so interesting talking to them
and what i learned is that i really do need to get out there in the world and experience different cultures.
i need to feel naked.
that feeling when you walk into a room with a bunch of people dressed to impress and you just got off from work...
i need to walk into a culture shock that will radically change my life.
i need to strive for it.

all in all, i learned something every night.
so i would have to say that the choir tour was a success.
not to mention, i learned that my choir director isn't just a strict person who waves a magic wand and people sing.
shes a person too.
and she is actually pretty cool.
i am so glad i went.
i enjoyed singing, and for once i didn't miss highschool choir.
i think i have accepted where i am.
and im ready to move forward now.
im having life experiences left and right.
i can't wait to see what the next four years have in store for me.


on the beach.


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