Thinking out loud while "changing my thinking"

in Him


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Chatter box

 

So we are all sitting here, waiting for our flight which I now believe will be departing late…boy, I hope I make my connecting flight….and this older lady starts up a conversation with me based on seeing the cinnabon I was eating. oh how ironic to hear her ask about it telling me it looks delicious…but even after I confirmed that it was just okay… She proceeds to tell me how she cant do it even though it looks good because she has lost so much weight…two sizes to be exact. I congratulated her, and then she proceeded to tell me about her wardrobe…and then her life story. The whole time as I tried to listen with intention, I kept wondering, is she talking this much because she is truly just so friendly and open as a person? Is it part of her southern hospitality? Is she just lonely? Within a  few minutes I saw a pic of her 16-year-old daughter…found out she is 58…learned of some of the new items she got on this trip to be with her sister…heard how her parents courted (the thing they did back then as she exclaimed), then got married…learned of some alcoholic relative…how her second husband died when their daughter was 3…etc. Eventually I had to.go.to.the bathroom because I knew it wud be cleaner here than anywhere else…so I stepped away once there was a break due.to.flight announcements…. A part of me ks curious to know what drives people like this, where they don’t follow the norm pattern of pretending to.be interested in the other person to balance the conversation….is it just loneliness? could it be they are just conceited and feel so important? Or what?…

 


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Is this what we enjoy eating?

So after 3 days of eating tofurky, bok Choy, Swiss chard, spinach, bananas, apples, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, and oddly bitter red radishes … As I am heading back home, at the Knoxville airport, i decided to get what I have been craving for days…some sort of bread with a little bit of sweetness..so what sign was I excited to.see…the good ol Cinnabon. Despite being disappointed the last 2 or 3 times I attempted to purchase it at other places…last year…I told myself ah, its gonna be good.. Scrape off the icing as usual and uve got.ur sweet bread… But as I am sitting here, having scooped out the icing…I now find myself disgusted by the gooey nature…basically it looks like brown snot right now…and yes, my dad used to make cinnamon tea…probably still does, so I completely understand how slimy it gets…but then I started asking myself, “is this what Americans enjoy?”…it made me think of all the casseroles, pot pies, etc…that are so staple in traditional dinners…and I typically enjoy them…or maybe I enjoyed the newness of them? Either way, I think I am just ready to stick to food that actually looks fresh and delicious and closer to its natural state.


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The trail runner

After a couple of hours of walking Porters Creek trail… when you start to see a pattern with narrowing rocky paths, trees, and the sound of rushing water… you kind of zone out into the routine of the trek….even when I was bumping into pairs of people who were curious as to how much longer they had to go… or others as they reached their limit and were heading back down the trail.. the one person that truly caught my attention was the trail runner… as I headed back down I saw this young girl gracefully jogging up the path as I stepped aside for her… and was completely impressed. As she passed by I took this picture of her… and knew there was a great chance that if she kept up her speed, we would be crossing paths again…

Well we did, and this time I asked to take her picture.

From this point on, we journeyed back down just talking sincerely and openly. I told her how she was the talk of the crowds because multiple people had asked me if I had seen her etc.. Bottom line.. I admired her.. a 26 year old, lawyer, definitely physically fit considering she was training for a 30 mile trail run, and clueless as to what to do next with her life 🙂 …yet she was so full of life… energetic… you name it… there was not a dull part of our convo as we exchanged a little bit of history and some of our present standing…and she brought up how there is a great divide in people from age 23 on… between those who know exactly what they want to do… make money, etc… while we… her and I for example were just not sure.

I learn a lot about this trail runner, shared laughs and truly thought to myself, we would actually be friends had we met under different circumstances.

She definitely made me think about where I want to be physically and was a refreshing reminder of how it was okay to not be sure of what was to come next… at the end of the day, I just want to enjoy whatever I end up doing… I just want to live my life to the fullest

 


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The Decision

Sad to say but today is my last day in TN…I would specify a city but I am still torn between saying I am in Sevierville vs Pigeon Forge…

Unlike my plan from last night to sleep in…I was up at ~6:40 am this morning as usual… and began my morning on the balcony once again…taking in the beautiful view of what I have now determined to be Mt LeConte. Fresh air, crisp…slightly nippy winds… and sunrise! Absolutely beautiful. Have thoroughly enjoyed being here…it’s going by way too fast!

But this morning, I was debating on how to spend my day… should I use this day to rest as I initially planned to…read…write… watch movies… just flat out rest? Or should I venture back to Porters Creek Trail…which I randomly stumbled upon yesterday. Hmmm

As you can imagine, I decided to go… birkenstock sandals and all. I left home a little after 9 am and was excited and hopeful that the path would be pretty barren because yesterday it was really crowded with families and couples… if I was going to pull this off… I needed some serious solitude time to motivate myself.

I started off very positively… I even drew myself a map of how to get there since I had no map and was tired of getting lost LOL

I have a few videos of the positive energy I had pulling into the national park…the fascination with how beautiful nature is etc…

By the time I parked and proceeded to use my carry-on luggage to bring refreshments… I realised that if I was going to hike these 4 miles (round trip)…. WHAT LIES BY THE WAY!!! (more like 7.5 to 8 miles round trip…I was going to have to travel light… so I placed my OFF spray in on pocket..  keys in another… an apple in another… cell phone…and took a full bottle of Smart water with me… thank God!

I had only seen about 3 cars and was thrilled because this meant there were very few people present. But as I began ~ 10 am… I started getting scared of the unknown… not only was I by myself on this trail… I also had no clue if I would just happen to run into a bear… or who knows, even a snake… definitely one of my spontaneous moments where I did not think things through… the incline was steady and I made a few pit stops to take pictures of water rushing down stream… and as I continued I saw 2 couples… one with a baby. The women marched ahead… not bothering to even make eye contact with me… so the men behind them passed by as well.

At this point all I was hearing were birds… and leaves… and water… and I started praying because I was just plain old scared… I had no clue what was up ahead… I knew that this trail was considered moderate and was happy that it was also supposed to be short… (that’s when I thought it was 4 miles)… but what would I do if I saw a bear? Would I take a pic or freak out and run? I had no clue…

Eventually I saw this elderly couple ahead of me… and felt some sense of comfort in knowing they were there… we exchanged some words…and I found myself at a bridge of some sort…the wife, wished me luck on my endeavors as I passed them and kept on… then I got to a fork… at this point one sign said 2.7 miles Porters Creek Trail… while the other was deviating to some other trail… I thought to myself… hmm… is this accurate? 2.7 miles? If round trip was meant to be 4 miles… why would this show 2.7?

As I kept on, I noticed I was no longer walking on a wide gravel road (basically small rock chunks laid out to maintain the path)…it had gotten a little narrower… and I was now at an incline. I paced myself, determined to keep going…FAST FOWARDING

I soon passed what I determined to be the last couple I would see returning… and oddly enough this gave me some hope…I got to a small waterfall opening and thought to myself maybe there is some major waterfall at the end of all this… but I also noticed the path was getting narrower… and very rocky… so at several intervals, I started asking myself whether it was worth continuing up the incline.. which was also getting steeper.. or if I should just turn back around… my birks were rubbing so hard against the inside of my feet that I just knew friction blisters were going to form..but was grateful I chose them instead of my water shoes because these rocky paths were no joke…

My fear seemed to be growing as the path go narrower and narrower.. with endless trees and bushes to my left and right…one side where u could basically tumble down into rocks and water….so I kept talking to God on the way to reassure myself that He would protect me and guide me… that I was not alone…

The funny thing is… I triumphed on this journey…it had nothing to do with me completing the trail… because believe it or not… after a little over 2 hours.. and seeing that the path was getting even MORE narrow and really steep… and my feet were definitely not happy… I made the decision to turn back around.. I kept wondering if I was missing out on my reward… like some glorious view of raging waters falling a 100 feet down.. or something… my curiousity made me want to discover what was left to be seen… but then I asked myself is it worth it? What if there was nothing else? What if all that was left was more trees and my pride because I felt “accomplished”…like I succeeded at something… like I had another moment of “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (when I hiked a part of the French Pyrenees years ago)…

Well I decided to turn around… but what I hit me as I stumbled back down the path…. More insects flying into my eyes… rocks slipping from under my feet… and almost destroying my ankle like 2 or 3 times… was that I was no longer afraid… I had gone through this intense journey… praying to God in fear of what was out there… but now I had no fear… no fear of the path behind nor ahead… and now when I talked to Him… I was just grateful at how far he brought me.. the strength he provided… and was intimately sharing feelings and desires with Him… I went through this journey.. and came out stronger… and more willing to trust Him in everyway possible with my life…

Ironically as I headed back down.. I began to run into multiple couples, families, etc… that were on the path… and I also realised I had accomplished way more than I thought. Even though I am out of shape… had the wrong shoes on.. etc… majority of these people were turning around way sooner than I did… and I was surprised… I was surprised that I had actually done more than others…

I got back to my car 3 hours and 39 minutes later… by this point, I was so proud, relieved, and glad I made the decision to venture through the trail.


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Personality Type from Blogthings.com

INTP

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical – and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

In love, you are an easy person to fall for. But you’re not an easy person to stay in love with.
Although you are quite flexible, you often come off as aloof or argumentative.

At work, you are both a logical and creative thinker. You are great at solving problems.
You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

How you see yourself: Creative, fair, and tough-minded

When other people don’t get you, they see you as: arrogant, cold, and robotic


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Invasion of Pigeon Forge

 

So the whole point of this trip was to get away from everything… to isolate… to enjoy panoramic views that are not just flatlands and marsh (ask me where I live lol)… well the first day I was here, trying to kill time as I waited for my cabin to be ready for occupation… I noticed that this was a fairly large city… at least compared to the college town I am from. But what made it large to me was the amount of people and just overall traffic in general. But yesterday, not only was the journey to the supermarket a task because I ended up turning on the wrong street and on sugar hollow rd (pretty scary road I must say..or maybe it was the road I had to take prior to sugar hollow…hmm)… but the actually supermarket was absolutely packed! But what made it more intriguing and absolutely frustrating is that people in there behaved like they were from new york city. No body cared… they basically ran you over with there buggies and continued there discussion of whether they were buying enough or what they would need or ____ (fill in the blanks)… hoards of families stampeded through the store, and I was like wow, talk about a bad time to come out here… by the time I finally made it to the check out line, I asked the cashier if there was some sort of event going on tonight because people had tons and tons of food in their carts… and she proceeded to explain to me that every single weekend of the summer, its exactly like this… and then told me that september would be even worst… thats when it becomes bumper to bumper traffic… At that point, though I had it in my mind that I wish I had booked for another period of time… I was all the more thankful for my cabin… to think a part of me debated on getting a hotel room and just venturing out because it would save me some money… PHEW… I am truly grateful…

 


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Even expected rejection hurts

 

Today I set out for the only activity I planned to do on this weekend getaway, zip-lining. Though I am scared of heights, I have always chosen to overcome my fears for the sake of having amazing outdoor experiences. Years ago, I hiked the pyrenees, despite being completely out of shape aka too out of breath to even make it past the starting point, and telling the group I went with to leave me behind… (pic to come later)…not to talk of skydiving which was such a thrill. I knew I was nervous about dangling on some chords across mountainous terrain but I was willing to give it a shot…

A month ago, when i initially made reservations, I knew I was a little bit over the weight limit but was convinced I could make myself lose the few pounds prior to the trip. Unfortunately, that was not the case… all my emotional and physical stresses, tagged with lack of self-control… actually caused me to gain a few more pounds.

Bottom line, I decided to try anyway. By the time I got there, a large group of what may have been just one family was being geared up to head out on their tour… while an elderly couple were waiting outside and a woman with her daughters were seated inside.

From the moment I walked in, I felt discomfort … every insecurity possible was playing with my mind.. the fact that people in there generally looked in shape.. i thought of everything the employees there were thinking as they saw this chunky, out of shape girl walk in.. thoughts like… “she has got to be kidding”…”she’s fat”…”is she really here to zip-line or just to inquire”… etc.. what made it worse is when this man with a santa claus belly had just gotten off the scale, asked one of the girls behind the counter (there were about 3 of them and a guy, all adding to my discomfort)… what his weight was…. the girl proceeded to be discrete by showing him what she wrote down and I caught a glimpse.. he was 226 lbs… I was like OMG…As big as he looked, he was only 226 lbs… I was around there at one point.. wow… talk about feeling kinda discouraged.

I proceeded to fill out the forms that basically say the company is not liable for my death nor injury… so I will never be able to sue them… ya da ya da ya da…and of course they had the weight restrictions as the first reason that would give them the right to deny your participation. But I carried on reading through the disclaimers and safety policies, and once I was done… I looked over at the counter hoping there would be less people loitering around…but it looked like there were even more… ah well…

so I walked over and waited for eye contact with one of the girls, and basically told her I thought I was over the weight limit so was wondering how that would work out… In reality, I KNEW I was over the weight limit… she kindly said to me, I should just get on the scale and lets see.. and I was actually 4 lbs heavier than what I wrote down.. so she wrote the correct weight and told me she would wait to discuss the situation with her manager because as expected, weight plays a huge role in travelling speed aka.. safety issue.

Eventually, I heard my last name and there he was again, the tall lanky guy I had seen earlier standing by the counter.. he asked if he could speak to me outside for a minute and I knew…went through the motions of hearing him tell me how he could not let me participate and asked, so… do I get a credit to use later? or?… and he gave me a whole explanation of how they had to turn other people away from my spot but that he was willing to give me 50% back. I was like okay.

Then the return to the over crowded counter as the girl took me across the room to another register to issue my refund. The hardest part, was gathering my belongings and having to walk out of the lobby, back to my car… knowing that people were looking at me….feeling like a failure… like it was the most obvious walk of shame…

Everything in me wanted to turn to my quick fix for consolation, validation,… anything that would make it feel less …I dont even know what word to use. But I made a choice to just share and resolve with Him…it was hard because I felt like I was trying to reach for peace that was not attainable in that moment… like I was trying to convince myself everything was okay…but nothing was really changing…

However, as I headed back…thoughts flying through my head as I thanked Him for what seems to be a full refund, and just strength to move forward without instant gratification… I came to another cross road where a choice needed to be made… I could either continue on my current path and just find something to drown my sorrows ( food, people, etc) … or make the decision to change my lifestyle, being mindful of what I eat…not giving into every little craving, etc… once again, I had found myself at a point where I was just tired of not being able to do all the things I enjoy doing (outdoor excursions)… Even though in reality I am loved and accepted, and need to really internalize that… moreso, I knew it was time to truly live out what I believe…(more on that later!)