Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two posts in one month... what has happened to me!?

So I have been wasting an inordinate amount of time tonight on worthless youtube videos and looking at dresses that wouldn't cover an ant... Does no one believe in making a wedding dress that covers anymore!? I believe I have a severe sleep deficiency lately, and I am hoping if I write all my thoughts down I will be able to fall asleep.
If you have ever been engaged, or will ever be engaged soon, this post is for you. I believe once you have a ring on your finger it chemically alters your brain. Maybe Nate bought me a band with lead in it and it is affecting my brain. I'm not sure, but I have not been right ever since haha. This is my public confession and apology for Nate, who puts up with my craziness. Tonight, I literally burst into tears telling him how I am sad to leave my family and move out in a few months. I also had a tantrum a couple days ago, during which I basically asked him to bring me cake, and when he told me he was bringing me a brownie, I demanded cake or nothing at all. And because He is probably so afraid of me at this point, he brought me the cake. Poor man. (I blew those stories a little out of proportion, but if you talk to Nate he will most likely say they aren't far off). Anyone who knows me knows I don't do well with huge sudden changes, and in trying to have this perfect wedding day I think I am stressing a little too much. Seriously. A wedding is one day, and I realize during this process that in the grand scheme of things the only thing that will really matter is that we will be married. Sealed for all time and eternity together. That realization was the first thing that brought me calm all day. I am so excited for that day. Now that I have worked through this dilemma, I believe I will go to bed. I am getting married. I will be living with a boy. We are going to be so happy. Who would have thought?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Insist On Yourself; Never Imitate

It is November. There are a myriad of things going on, making me believe I should probably write more than once a month. So for the update... I AM ENGAGED! I know... I didn't think it would ever happen either haha. But finally, I tricked him into it and Nate and I are getting married April 23rd. Best. Day. EVER. It is crazy how life works out sometimes.

Lately I have been reading books from a list of 100 classic literary works, a list I have been reading since I was 14. I set no deadline to finish them, I just saw the list one day and decided to do it. So I was reading some of Emerson's essays to finish another reading on the list and I fell in love with his essay Self-Reliance. The man is brilliant. So I wanted to share two of my favorite paragraphs in the essay that really hit me. (And then in classic Erica blogging form, I will explain how I feel it personally applies to my life.)

Emerson says:

"Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dare not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts: in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied and it satisfies nature in all moments alike. There is not time to it. But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time...

Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is an unique. If anybody will tell me whom the great man imitates in the original crisis when he performs a great act, I will tell him who else than himself can teach him. Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned thee and thou canst not hope too much or dare too much."

I think the nice thing about falling in love with Nate is that I never tried to make it happen, it just did. In dating Nate, every moment along the way has felt perfect in its existence. Our four years of friendship. When we both said I love you. Now our engagement. I feel like these things were all perfectly placed in my life. In general I think we all worry so much about what we are meant to become or where our lives will take us. We worry what others will think, or we try so hard to be a certain way, that we forget to just be ourselves. To be the fabulous beings God intended us to be, and to be satisfied in being such. When we just let life happen, without trying to force it along or make it something it was never meant to be, we see this beautiful masterpiece coming together we never could have created on our own. Emerson asked the question, "Where is the master that could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton?" and I feel blessed that I know the answer. The Master. When we stick close to God we are instructed by Him to become the person he would have us be. He teaches us to hone in on the talents He gave us and then teaches us how to use them to further His work and to better those around us. When we let go of trying to be something or someone else, and "do that which is assigned thee", we are not held back by fear or perceived limitations. We dare to dream. To branch out and fulfill our destiny.

This year has been a journey of trying to figure out how I find myself, or my life's calling. The real purpose for my life. And although I have yet to figure out what it is, I finally found out how to discover it. I think there are all sorts of people, places or things that lead you to where you belong, but for me, I feel like I understand them best when I stay close to what I believe. God provides me with those specific things I need to help me find my life's passions and purposes. And in those moments, I feel at peace. I don't feel the need to be a rose, I feel content just being a seed for now.