Introducing Wanea: “It’s Kind of a Funny Story: China”

Here is a guest post from one of my great blogger friends Wanea! In her post she speaks on procrastination and how in some ways it still works out and in others not so much. I’m sure we’ve all had our own entanglements with procrastination. Please go give her lots of love, likes, and follows at Unbecoming!

“It’s Kind of a Funny Story: China”

High school was a complicated time, but there are a few moments I can look back at and laugh.

It was senior year in AP Government, and my best friend and I were just trying to keep our heads above water. As ‘grade-obsessed’ students battling a bad case of senioritis, we were feeling extreme burnout from the school year and were ready to do nothing but graduate .  About a month or two before graduation, our teacher informed us about a mock MODEL UN hosted by a local university. The mock trial was opened for high school students around the area and would discuss certain national interests like any debate. He told us that it would be a part of our grade to participate and divided us into groups of two, each with our own country to represent.  My best friend and I were given China. ‘Ok’, we thought, ‘great. Another thing to procrastinate’.  We shelved the assignment in the back of our minds and went back to our regularly scheduled programming.

A month later and I’m waking up to a phone call at 5 in the morning. Recognizing that its my friend, I answer it.  “Girl”, she says in the gravest, most stressed-out tone I’ve ever heard,  “It’s today.  The country thingy is today. WHAT ARE THE TOPICS.”  My stomach drops. I grabbed the paper our teacher handed to us with the list of topics to debate. There’s something general about “security”…”human trafficking”…”vaccinations”….and at the bottom of the list, a very specific, nerve-racking topic: “China’s Internment Camps”. I go back to answer the phone: “You’re not gonna like it”.

The rest of the morning was fast and very much a blur.  We spent the next three hours on the phone, simultaneously getting ready while copying and pasting anything we could find about China’s camps into a google doc, which is actually not a lot. Later on the campus, we meet up with each other and try not to burst into tears.  There are over a hundred kids there, all from different schools, all representing different countries and ready to eat China alive. A nearby mediator tells us that each delegation will be required to have opening remarks and as the only country specifically being discussed, our’s better be good. “Alright so what would China say about internment camps”, I ask my friend. “Probably deny their existence”, she remarks.  Ok, we decide, that works. With her as the speaker, and me as the writer, I type away as my friend offers some pointers and the announcer gives the welcome speech.  When it’s time to debate (less than 15 minutes later), we’ve got a solid 3 paragraph opening equipped with facts, an emotional appeal and a pretty powerful hook if I do say so myself.  My best friend takes the speech, composes herself, and delivers it with all the grace of a bonafide ambassador.  The other delegates, mediators, and high school teachers hang onto our words, borderline impressed.  For a split second, I think we just might win this thing.

Unfortunately, in an almost unanimous vote, China lost.  Not surprising, considering the real China is without a doubt holding people in internment camps. But what did shock us was hearing the mediators call our name for “Best Delegation” out of all countries present. 

While the whole experience was extremely stressful and nerve-racking, I’m glad that when I look back at it now, all I can do is laugh and remind my best friend of that wild ride.

Still, I’m never doing anything like that again. 

Soul Work

I’m sure most of you can relate to this. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in life I forget about me. I forget to slow down and think about myself and who I am.

School can get really intense and it’s important to really take a breather to just think, reflect, and relax. I like to think of myself as love. I have to always think about what my love boundaries are. Sometimes I forget I am love and what brings me back is 1 Corinthians 13 where it talks about what love means.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

In those verses I replace the word love with my name. I got this from a student who graduated from my university. This idea of me being the embodiment of love helps me treat others and myself with love. We can end up being angry and irritated because we have so much going on and it’s hard to be patient and kind and forgiving when we are wound up. I choose to be love because many forget that option. They don’t show love to themselves or to others. Please take care of yourself. Your mind and body will love it.

Dear 15 Year Old Me

Dear Kyara,

You are going to make and lose a lot of friends in your lifetime. Sometimes you grow out of people or they will grow out of you and that is okay! That just means your people are still out there somewhere. Don’t let those middle school girls give you a hard time. Don’t worry about them. You will be surprised with who you will actually end up being close friends with in the long run. Because of this take time to really enjoy yourself. Sometimes you are going to be alone. Check in with those that you end up drifting away from. Just because you aren’t close anymore doesn’t have to mean that you no longer care about them.

You love to read, keep up with that. Reading gives you so much knowledge and something nice to think about or look forward to as you go about your day. You will find others that love to read too. I know you don’t feel like you have any hobbies right now other than reading but you will find some! You will really enjoy them.

I’m going to be honest with you. It will get better but it will also get worse. You have to keep looking at the bright side of things and know that you will get through anything. You are stronger than you think. So many wonderful things are on the way and that makes everything worth it. Your nephew was just born. Doesn’t he look so weird but so cute! Well he gets cuter but he is also a bundle of energy so enjoy how peaceful he is now.

Hey! Relax. You’re going to be fine. I promise. Try to let yourself be a kid. You will be an adult sooner than you think. Enjoy kid things. Be a kid.

With love,

Kyara

No Man is a Paradise Island (Soul Work)

I have been called an extroverted introvert or I have been looked at sideways when I announce that I am an introvert. People associate being an introvert with being shy and I along with lots of other introverts aren’t shy. I love talking and being around others but I have a cap on how much socializing I can do before needing time alone. While being in this pandemic I have had to spend a lot more time by myself just like almost everyone else right now. While I have missed being around people I have been really enjoying being with just me and that has made it a little harder to remember to make time for others as well.

Here is my friend Wanea’s take on her experience of being an introvert during the pandemic. The title is “No Man is A Paradise Island”. Please check out and follow her blog Unbecoming as she posts really interesting and intriguing topics and ideas!

Unbecoming

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

I’ve been thinking a lot about isolation. As an introvert, I’d say I’m generally great at being alone. There’s almost no place I’d rather be than in my bed with a facial mask, journaling, binging, or blogging in an empty room that smells like cherry blossoms. But more than that, being alone lets me block out the world, focus on myself, and fill the space with my many, many thoughts.

I wasn’t doing great when the quarantine started, but I can’t say part of me wasn’t relieved. I spent almost every free day with a face mask, journaling, candling, and being alone. I didn’t charge my phone, partly from the stress from the news and partly because socializing no longer felt like a requirement. I held a few text conversations with my friends – “Hey, how you been?” “Oh, you know, good…”-but the…

View original post 333 more words

A memory

I was in elementary school, maybe the second or third grade. My dad picked me up, it was either early or late because I remember leaving through the front of the building instead of the car line. When I got in the car there were puppies squirming around on the ground! I remember we went to the doctor’s office for some reason but we also got water for the puppies. One puppy was ours his name was Titan the other puppy’s name was Chica and she belonged to my dad’s friend. We kept both of them in our garage and we would let them in the house to play but they would always pee on the floor. 

I slightly remember the naming process. I believe my brother wanted to name Titan “the Flash” Im not sure how they ended up settling on Titan, I kind of feel like it might have been influenced by a show.I wanted to name Chica Eve or Evie or something similar because of a tv show. In the end her actual owner named her Chica. We ended up keeping Chica. I can’t exactly remember what happened but I know there had been some sort of issue between my parents and Chica’s owner and he just left her with us.

We let Titan go a long time ago because he was too rambunctious. Chica had been put down this past year due to cancer. I miss them both dearly. Chica and my other dog Colby would always fight for my attention. If Chica saw me petting Colby she would nudge me with her nose and try to put her body in front of Colby. Chica always wanted to be around us or see us. She was mostly an outside dog but we spoiled her after her brother Titan was gone so she then spent a lot of time inside. She had a bed in the laundry room so that she could spend the night inside with us. My dad would always get upset for me doing this but I would let her sit with me in the kitchen while I was cooking. Whenever she was outside while we were in the living room she would watch us through the window. I can’t find a picture of Titan but here’s Chica.

Fear

What is one of your biggest fears?

My manager asked me this question and I couldn’t really come up with anything. He said he was afraid of spiders and I agreed with him but I did not realize the magnitude of my fear of spiders in that moment. I don’t like bugs of any kind but I will kill basically anything other than beetles and spiders. I might kill a daddy long leg but only if it’s smaller than a penny. Growing up I always had my brothers kill spiders for me so going to college meant that I had to kill my own spiders (or find someone else to). In the freshman dorm I did not find many spiders and if I did they were really tiny and I have no problem killing them. But the spiders in the upperclassmen dorm!!!??? HUGE!!! Me and my roommate have stood the Covid required 6 feet away from spiders, cried and screamed and tried to kill it with a spray bottle of bleach and our Swiffer. One time my RA even heard us scream ‘spider’ and when she came by for room check told us that she was glad that we did not ask her to come kill it.

But let me tell you about what happened this morning! I decided to take a virtual meeting in my car today. The weather this morning was nice and breezy so I cracked my windows instead of turning on the AC. Well…. that was a big mistake that I will never be doing again. As I am nearing the end of my meeting I see something in the corner of my eye. By now you should know where I’m going with this. I see a large brown spider inside my car near the seat belt! I am trying not to visibly freak out because I’m in a meeting but on the inside I am screaming. I leave the meeting and it’s just me and the spider. We are just staring at each other. I decide that something has to happen so I call some friends to come kill it for me. But while I am waiting it started moving towards me!! Naturally I jump out the car. I try to keep an eye on the spider and by an eye I mean I was watching to see if it would exit via the window. It did not. By the time my friend arrived we could not find the spider. I have triple checked my car and still have yet to see it. So best case scenario the spider has evacuated the car. Worst case scenario my car belongs to the spider now.

Words Mean Things

My high school English teacher would tell us that words mean things. And of course you would agree and say yes they do but often we say things and don’t really think about the actual meaning behind it. Today a friend shared this quote with me and it just reminded me that words do mean things and we should think about the things that we say and what their impact is.

”Words do not exist in isolation; they exist against a back ground of experience and of thought; and the meaning of any word is conditioned by the background of the person who speaks it”. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew. Volume One)

My College Review

I’m going to be pretty upfront with you. I’m beginning to realize that maybe I just don’t like school. I enjoy learning but school is so much more than that. Even though I do love it I also hate it. I think most of my yearning for it is FOMO (fear of missing out) but if I did not have FOMO I don’ t think school is something I really enjoy. Another reason I yearn for it is because I do not know what else I would do. I used to say that I wanted to be a mailman but since then I have realized that I do not enjoy driving long term. I thought about taking a gap year before beginning college but I don’t think I would have had the funds, drive, or support to travel and explore that year.

All my life I was told that college is supposed to be the best time of your life. So far I have been in college in a pandemic longer than I have been in college without the pandemic. Sure parts of it is great but I am sure I can enjoy myself more than this.

My freshman year was pretty awesome. I met so many people, went on many trips, and did many activities. School was pretty stressful and busy but being able to sit down for lunch with a bunch of people and just laughing and having a good time made it worth it. The first semester for sophomore year was a bit different. Everyone got cars and became more independent. We weren’t allowed to sit in the cafeteria or the library together so there goes our hang out spots on campus. There have still been a few trips and activities but it has become so much harder to meet people and feel connected to others.

Things are beginning to look up for me. I am hoping my junior year will be better. It looks like classes will finally be in person which is definitely something I miss. I knew when I was homeschooled that online school is not for me but this year has definitely reiterated that fact.

I hate zoom!!! I am tired of it. I never want to attend Zoom University ever again! I wish to speak freely in discussions in class but the unmuting and muting and not being able to hear when multiple people are talking is terrible. I miss physically being with my classmates. If I had to rate my experience so far I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started