Staying Third

Hey dear readers! I hope you are doing well!

Today I read this really amazing article entitled, “An Open Letter To Camp Counselors Trying to Re-enter The ‘Real World.'” It talked about how it is to come back to life after spending an entire summer at camp and how to handle it. I found it to be one of the most accurate and heartening things I’ve read in a while.

The main thing it touched on is something I’ve been struggling with since I’ve been back. Focusing on yourself. You spend the entire summer never once thinking of yourself, truly only caring about the needs of your campers and your co-counselors. Then, you get back to college, a place where you’re encouraged to make yourself your number-one priority. It’s so hard to come back to that.

I’ve been in a slump all day and I think I finally know why. For the last week I’ve done nothing but think about myself. I have fallen back into my old habits already and it’s only been a week. I’m extremely busy like I always am, so I’m focused on my schedule, what I need to get done, my social plans, and when I can sleep. Normally, staying busy makes me happy, but not now.

From my internship to my homework, I’m thinking about how I can be happier and more successful. I’m not putting others second, and God first, and not because I don’t want to. I get so caught up in my agenda that I just forget, and it’s starting to take it’s toll already.

At camp I was given more responsibility, more hardships, and more stressful situations than I will ever have here at school, but I was never unhappy. I was exhausted, sure, but never lost my sense of joy or wonder. It’s easy to find the good in everything when you’re making sure someone else is happy. When you’re just doing it for yourself, it’s easy to get caught up in the negatives.

It’s my goal to continue living like I’m at camp. Sure, I won’t have ten thirteen-year-olds running around me all the time asking eight-thousand questions, but I can keep the same mindset. Even though I’ll have to focus on myself more than I do there, that doesn’t mean I need to be the center of my life. God is first, others are second, and I am third.

Today’s quote comes from that article:

“We’re no less called when we’re away from camp.”

Love your neighbors as yourself and don’t forget to have a great day!

Allie

Advertisements

Daily Costumes

Hey dear readers! I hope that your day was a fabulous one!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to wear costumes. I go all out any chance I get, because why not? Why just wear a normal everyday outfit when you don’t have to? This week, I’ve already had multiple chances to wear costumes because my sorority is getting ready for recruitment and we like to dress up for our meetings.

This is a great thing for me, daily costumes. However, I forgot that not everyone on campus is involved in these themes. So, on Wednesday, I walked through the activities fair in pajamas that looked like the tenth Doctor’s suit (Doctor Who, for those who have yet to see the greatest show on the planet). And today, I had lunch in the dining hall in a neon tutu. No one else was in any kind of costume in either instance.

Initially, I was embarrassed. I mean, you can’t walk into a room of completely normal people wearing a tutu and be completely confident. However, I’ve discovered a phrase that helps me get over any discomfort: “No Shame November.” Where guys get to celebrate their beards in November, I’ve decided to change it up and use this pun as a way to justify my ridiculousness. “No Shame November” luckily is a year-round event. So, whenever I feel embarrassed I just yell “No Shame November!” and move on, like people will actually vindicate my actions based solely on my made-up phrase.

Now that I think about it, people probably think I’m even weirder for yelling that out, but oh well. I don’t care. It’s “No Shame November,” therefore I don’t have to care.

So, join me, everybody, for the sensation that’s sweeping the nation! Don’t let people question you for being awesome.

The quote of the day is from one of my favorite, awesome people, Kid President.

“Here is a surprise corn dog I bought you because you’re my friend.”

Also, here is another one from him that I quote all the time. It’s fabulous to use in any setting when someone messes with you.

“Not cool, Robert Frost!”

As an added bonus (in the theme of embarrassing pajama moments) here’s a picture of a kid whose mom mixed up pajama day and picture day. It’s priceless.

pajama kid

Love your neighbor as yourself and don’t forget to have a great day!

Allie

Happy Days

Hey dear readers! I hope you had a great day!

So, tomorrow is the first day of my junior year. Good grief. I cannot express how blessed I am to be at Belmont. This school means the world to me. It’s in an incredible city, it has really cool majors, but most importantly it has some of the best people in the world.

Today, I had the chance just to hang out with some of my best friends. We weren’t even doing anything exciting. We went to Walmart. But there’s just something about being so comfortable around each other that just makes me content.

My roommate and I sat on my bed and watched too many episodes of New Girl and just laughed. It was something so simple, but it just was a happy moment.

This year, I’m taking a daily challenge to write down the happiest moments of my day. At camp we would take turns saying our high of the day and it really put the day into perspective. There are stressful, crazy, miserable moments in the week, sure, but the happy moments always outnumber them. So, before I go to bed, I look back and write in a journal some of the highlights. They could be big things like getting an internship or actually unpacking everything. Or they could be the smaller gestures that still make a big impact, like texting a  friend or laughing about Schmidt’s lack of Lion Fish.

I can sometimes think too much into things, get anxious or stressed, and then feel terrible. There are too many things that are good in this world to let stupid nuisances get you down.

My quote of the day is quite possibly a repeat. It’s a quote that I have hanging on my wall because it brings me hope. It’s from the wonderful Samwise Gamgee. It’s long, but incredible.

“It’s like in the great stories, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something. There’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Love your neighbor as yourself and don’t forget to have a great day!

Allie

Showing Up

Hey dear readers!

It’s only been a few days and I’ve already noticed that something is different this year. Sure, I have a new apartment, there’s a huge new building on campus, and I have new roommates, but those are only slight changes. I have changed as a person and camp is to blame.

Ever since coming back from camp I have been more confident when it comes to talking to people that I don’t know. Now, I’ve never been very introverted, so this might not seem like a big accomplishment. But over the years I’ve realized a few things about myself. 1. I hate large groups of people. 2. Small talk is not my forte. 3. I will do anything in my power not to call a stranger (aka people who work at stores/restaurants).

I’ve always told myself that I don’t care what others think about me. And I thought that was true. However, I discovered that I don’t actually believe that until after I’ve gotten to know someone. My poor friends hear more about Doctor Who, Teddy Roosevelt, and breadsticks than they’ve ever wanted. However, I usually save that stuff until I know that I am secure in their friendship.

It’s taken a while, but I now know that my biggest fear is rejection. I want so badly to jump into conversations or introduce myself to someone, but what if they don’t react? What if I’m left standing there, ignored and forgotten? This fear holds me back.

During staff training for Camp T, we had a “women’s journey” in which we talked about courage. We had these incredible women as role models to teach us about different forms of bravery. At the end of the journey we had dinner together, and it was straight up magical. It looked as if Pinterest came to life and decorated a grouping of picnic tables. On each table there were quotes about bravery. We each chose one to write down to keep as a reminder of the day. I found one that became my motto for the summer.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

In order to be brave, we need to show up, be present, and be ourselves. We need to allow others to see us as we are, no matter what rejection might come. If you put yourself out there and someone belittles you for it, that person is not worth your time anyway.

I was so afraid that I wouldn’t make friends while at camp. I was petrified by the prospect of nights off because I was worried that no one would want to hang out with me. However, I kept in mind that the first step is showing up. So, I did, and it was awesome.

Now, I’m still not over my fear of rejection, but I feel more comfortable around new people. It’s something I’m going to keep working on. Luckily, there are two easy steps to being brave: showing up and letting yourself be seen.

The quote of the day comes from a wonderful movie, We Bought a Zoo.

“Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise something good will come of it.”

Love your neighbor as yourself and don’t forget to have a great day!

Allie

Where You Can Live Your Dreams

Hello dear readers! It’s been a while, and for that I’m sorry.

Well, I’ve officially moved back to Nashville. And now that it’s real that my summer is over, I’ve had time to reflect on this past summer. This has been one of the harder years to come back to school, only because this summer was perfect. Now, I’ve claimed to have had perfect summers before, but this truly was. I got to live out my dream of working at Camp Tecumseh.

I’ve wanted to be a counselor at Camp T ever since my brother started going there in the fourth grade. So I was about six years old. I met the counselors there and thought, “I want to do that.” I went as a camper there myself for seven years and then it was time to be a counselor.

“I’m so ready…” I thought, mistakenly. I didn’t get the job and I was crushed. There have only been a few times I have been that upset in my life. I thought that camp was the place for me, so I didn’t give up. I applied again… and got denied again.

This past school year I really thought about what I wanted to do during the summer and I thought “I need to be at Camp.” After being rejected more than once, I was almost surprised by how badly I wanted to apply again. I had done a lot of growing up since the first time I had applied, so I went for it. During Christmas break, I got the email that changed my life. I would be going back to camp for the first time in four years.

There is a quote in Bob Goff’s book “Love Does” that really hit me this summer. I would read that book it to my campers at night, and when I read this passage it stopped me in my tracks. He says,

“I once heard somebody say that God had closed an opportunity they had hoped for. But I’ve always wondered if, when we want to do something that we know is right and good, God places that desire deep in our hearts because He wants it for us and it honors Him. Maybe there are times when we think a door has been closed and, instead of misinterpreting the circumstances, God wants us to kick it down.”

I had never thought of that before, but I realized that was my journey with being a counselor. I could never have handled the job when I first applied and God knew that. He made me wait longer than I had wanted, but He never took away that “desire” to be at Camp. Eventually I was able to break down that door and it was everything I could have hoped for.

God is so good. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. All we need to have is faith that the plans He has for us are good.

Camp Tecumseh will always be my favorite place on earth. There is a line in a song we sing every week that says Camp Tecumseh is where “you can be who you want to be and where you can live your dreams.” This summer I lived that dream.

I’m so incredibly grateful for everyone this summer. There’s something about giving everything in order to make sure others are happy that brings more joy than anything else. Being a counselor was more than just a job, it changed my life.

Even though I already posted a quote, I figured I could add a quote of the day from camp.

“There was a silly moose who liked to drink a lot of juice.”

Love your neighbor as yourself and don’t forget to have a great day!

Allie

Life Lessons from the Doctor

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I love the show Doctor Who. I have often wondered why I am so infatuated with a show that is science fiction and alien-y, which is something I don’t normally enjoy. However, I was watching it today and realized why it is I care so much for the Doctor and his companions: the script. This show has some of the most profound thoughts and pieces of wonderful advice. So, I thought I would share some of the things I’ve learned from Doctor Who over the years.

1. It’s ok to be silly.

childish sometimes

2.

good and bad things

3. Everyone is important.

important

4. Shenanigans is a marvelous word.

shenanigans

5. It’s ok for things to change.

matt's final speech

6. Anything can be right up your alley.

my name all over it

7. It’s ok to be scared.

scared

8. This is my favorite Doctor Who quote. A friend of mine made me a copy of if and I hung it right where I could see it every night. There’s nothing more inspiring or heartening than to go to bed thinking you are capable of anything.

optimist

9. And of course, I learned that…

bowties are cool

Finals Week as told by The West Wing

It’s the end of the year. The semester’s been going well so far, but before you know it, finals are here.

are you kidding me?

You start to look over the notes you took over the semester and realize you remember nothing.

well this is bad

You try to focus, but end up watching videos of the most insane stuff on the internet. You didn’t know there were videos of singing turtles on Youtube, but now you do.

what is happening right now

After hours in the library, all you need in life is junk food.

pie

Not only is it the finals week, but also the last chance you get to spend with your friends before the summer. Everyone wants to hang out all the time. Don’t they have classes? You need to isolate yourself from the outside world.

walk away

When someone asks how you’re doing, you don’t even try to hide it.

toby ziegler hatred

You walk into your test fearing the worst.

wrongness

But then it’s over! You’ve done it! It wasn’t terrible! All of that hard work paid off.

Go and enjoy the summer!

cupcake