Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Tight and Uncomfortable Fitting Word

For those of you who don't know, I'm getting married in 111 days. Well, practically 110 days now. Which is insane. Seriously. I've been in/helped plan approximately 1 bazillion weddings. I have now been proposed to, bought my wedding dress, paid for my wedding dress, found a photographer, caterer, venue... You get the point. I am entrenched in all things wedding. And yet... I'm not sure it's quite sunk in yet. Probably just because of the weirdness of it. I'll be turning 29 a few weeks after the big day, and yet a (very) large part of me still feels like a little kid. I'm not entirely sure that I should be allowed to drive, let alone be responsible enough to have a family. But, alas and alack, we are very quickly and surely heading towards the big day.

Planning a wedding is fun. And by fun, I mean interesting. Or another word equally making-a-point and being slightly ambiguous at the same time. It is actually fun, don't get me wrong. There's the spending hours on wedding blogs and flipping through magazines and thinking of all the brilliant and unique ideas that you could do for your big day (ya know, the ones that you likely stole from someone else). Then there's the interesting parts. Like, really getting a taste for compromise for the first time.

Ah, compromise. Everyone's favorite word. I know it sure is mine. *Ahem* Compromise. I don't wear that word so well. It doesn't fit quite right. It's a bit tight and uncomfortable most of the times. Even with stupid things like, those adorable, brilliant and unique centerpiece ideas that you stole from someone else and your fiancee shot it down in 2.5 seconds flat. (How he could not think they were cute is beyond me...) Compromise.

The phrase "pick your battles" has been one that has come up a lot in conversation as of late. It's one that I'm sure I will continue to learn every day, and one that I will most likely continue to not enjoy. I don't do well with that tight and uncomfortable fitting word. I don't like to compromise. Probably because I've never really had to do it much and now I'm faced with planning a major event with someone else who doesn't always agree with me. Which, by the way, I simply do not understand. I mean, I'm always right. Always. (See my next blog about humility. Coming soon to a web browser near you.)

And yet, here I am. Picking my battles on silly, not-actually-important things that yet are still important somehow. I've been told that I care about everything. I'm pretty sure that statement is entirely accurate. Sure, the color napkins we pick it not actually important. And yet it still matters to me. So, here I am. Compromising. Just like a big girl who is responsible and mature. Whatever that crap is about.

I suppose that this is just one of those stupid life lessons that we all need to learn. Even if it is tight and uncomfortable.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Death of the Book

Today I did something that seems wrong. I bought a Nook. To someone who loves the feel of a book in her hands, it's like an adultery of sorts. An ereader. Is there nothing sacred anymore?? Perhaps I should be left out in the stocks for a day, or at least required to do 10 hours of community service.

Granted, I felt the same way when I switched from film to digital. The pixelization of our culture has just gone too far. And yet... there was a sense of giddiness as I hit the "Purchase Now" button on Ebay. Instant access to BOOKS! Yessssss.... Does it really get any better?? I like to think of it in the broader term of instant access to knowledge, but I think that might be stretching it just a bit too far. Though, I guess I can't really even call them books anymore. They're ebooks. Ya know, the infamous "e" that means you can't touch it, can't feel it, but its there in its pixeled glory. The McDonaldization of our society continues...

I have to admit that I was until recently a bit stupid about ereaders. Did you know that you can, wait for it... lend books. Well, at least with the Nook. Which, apparently, is superior to the Kindle on at least one level. Not only that, but you can borrow ebooks from the library. Seriously?? That's gold right there.

As I continue to feed my techie side with all of these fun toys (ya know, the ones destroying the good, old-fashioned-ness of life), I can't help but wonder what's next. It's almost like the Jetsons have come to life in the 21st century. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but seriously. I'm waiting for Google's recent April Fool's joke to come to reality, along with a host of other things. Who knows, maybe in 20 years we won't even need to talk to each others (which some of us might not mind so much on certain days), and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" will come to reality in a city near you.

I do love keeping up with the latest techie trends. For obvious reasons, like, new toys. But also because I'm always intrigued by what new way someone has discovered to pixelize yet another formerly material object, or ways that we can have even less daily interaction with society.

It's intriguing, if nothing else. And, even though I have my sense of guilt, I will anxiously await my package of goodness that is set to arrive sometime in the next week and a half...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back Home Again

Here I am. Back "home" in Guatemala City. This is my third trip back and, yet again, I feel as if I've returned to my heart. It's still difficult to describe the ghetto when you see it in person. It's not just the devastation of poverty, but also the sadness, oppression, spiritual destitution. I have not been to Guatemala in 10 months, and as I viewed the slums of La Limonada once again, there was the return of that familiar feeling. There is just so much need.

How do you even tackle something as big as La Limonada? With somewhere between 60,000 to 100,000 people living in such poverty, how do you handle that? Thankfully, Tita did not let the gravity of the situation daunt her 16 years ago when she began her work in the ghetto. I often wonder if my faith would have been as strong as hers, to know that me, as one person, can make a difference. Perhaps it is an insecurity on my part, or a lack of faith in my God, but it can be a conscious effort sometimes to remember that me, as one person, can make a difference.

I believe it was "God timing" that I am currently reading Richard Stearns' book, "A Hole in Our Gospel." The current president of World Vision, a Christian aid organization, Richard has been faced with this same feeling since he began his tenure. This morning, as I sat and read, feeling tired from a night of restless sleep due to my mind being unable to shut off from thinking about the ghetto, I read a familiar story that I desperately needed to be reminded of.

Richard spoke of the story of a man who was walking on a beach, seeing millions of starfish that had been washed up by the waves. Without their ocean environment, they would die. The man considered trying to help, but became discouraged by the gravity of the situation. "Even if I try to help, I can't help them all," he thought. Then, he saw a man walking down the beach. Bending over, then straightening up, bending over, then straightening up. As he drew closer, he saw that the man was picking up the starfish and throwing them back in the water. "What are you doing?" he called to the other man. "There's no way that you can help them all. It won't make a difference!"

As the man picked up another starfish and tossed it into the ocean, he replied," It made a difference to that one."