June 21, 2013

reflections (and not the mulan kind)

I've been feeling very inspired lately to reflect on the past couple of years and the inevitable growth that has taken place. I've been packing, preparing for the big move (...across campus), and have discovered some old journals. As I've cracked them open, my heart has broken over the words scribbled across the pages. There's a lot of sadness in there, a lot of confusion, but a glimmer of hope. I wish that I could go back to 2006 and give recent Vista HS grad Jess some wisdom and a sneak peek into her future. If I could go and do so, this is what I would say:
Oh Jess. First of all, please stop cutting the necks out of your shirts. I know that you saw a picture of Mary Kate and Ashley wearing shirts like that, but please cease and desist immediately. You should probably also stop pulling your hair back and bumping it up to create that pouf you love so much. You'll have a good laugh at yourself in the coming years.

Don't forget your flat iron when you go to Paris otherwise you will wear a pony tail EVERY DAY. 
Don't be embarrassed that you're staying in Oceanside and going to Mira Costa. You are making a smart financial decision that will put you in a much better place in the years to come. You are a smart cookie, never doubt that. You will meet some great people at Mira Costa. You will meet a boy. He will value you. He will listen to you. You will fall... hard. He will get back together with his ex-girlfriend. You will befriend her and  you will be in their wedding. It will make for a great story and you will be okay with how everything unfolds. 

You will end up moving to Idaho. I know that it's random and I know that it doesn't make sense, just trust me on this one. You will fall in love with that state and you will make some incredible friendships there. You will blossom. Your humor will attract people but make sure you are careful of using it to edify people. You will end up studying Criminal Justice and you will be really successful in your studies. I know that you wanted to end up in Broadcast Journalism, but this path is much better. 

Happy 23rd Birthday to you!
Don't fear what comes after college, because let me tell you babygirl, it is wonderful. You will move to a foreign country, explore new places, pay off some loans, and make some of the truest friendships you've ever known. In that country you will finally make peace with your body. You will learn to enjoy exercising and you will start fueling your body with whole foods. Through that process, you will learn so much about yourself. You will still have slip ups, but you will not spend time or energy crying over yourself like you have. 

These are the Ferguson's and they will become some of your best pals.
When you say goodbye to South Korea, you'll end up back in Idaho and you will start to work for the institution that shaped you so much. You will get a big girl job and be surrounded by people who love you, respect you, and genuinely enjoy you. Your life will not look anything like the speech you gave in Senior Exhibition at Vista High School in 2006, but it will be so much better. Trust me. 
2013 Jess

June 11, 2013

adjusting to rest

I will admit that things have been a teensy bit hard lately. A lot of things have been changing and I think I'm adjusting to being an adult. I know that might sound weird, but although I'm 25, the past several years of adulthood have contained exciting adventures. Life is now settling into the routine, and I love routine, but it's still an adjustment. I went from college, to Korea, back to Idaho, and will be starting a dream job in August. That's so exciting, but there's something in the pit of my stomach that is afraid of that. I think I'm afraid of it because it's an adult job, it's a big responsibility, and now it's my life for the next however many years. 

A lot of things over the past couple years have been very "go, go, go," but right now I'm experiencing a period of rest, routine, and normalcy. Isn't it weird how that can sometimes be infinitely more daunting than an adventure that takes you thousands of miles from anything familiar and comfortable? 

A dear, dear friend of mine sat with me as I cried the other day (I cry, it's basically my spiritual gift) because things just felt so weird, I felt distant from God, and like there was this routine so foreign to anything I knew. He related it to the time in the church calendar that we're experiencing and I never even thought of it that way. We're currently in ordinary times. We've had the anticipation of advent, the sorrow of the crucifixion, and the joy and hope of the resurrection. He said, "Have you thought that maybe this is just an ordinary time in your life? There's nothing bad with the ordinary, you just need to enjoy this time of resting in God."

Leave it to smart friends to say exactly what you need to hear. 

There have been a lot of adventures over the past couple years and a lot of anticipation. I think that these next couple years hold a lot of ordinary (but also anything but ordinary) times for me. I know what the next couple years look like which should feel refreshing after having life change so drastically every year over the past five years. 

So just as my friend suggested, I will seek rest in the Lord over this period of ordinary in my life. I will embrace the routine, invest deeply into the community surrounding me, and cultivate experiences and relationships that can only be had/created in this exact environment at this exact time. 

June 1, 2013

a little getaway

I have been itchin' to get out of Idaho lately. Don't get me wrong, I love living here, but I have been missing my family and my home state. I haven't seen my older sister since Christmas or my older brother since late January. My sister's bridal shower was this past weekend and I decided to make a little getaway of it instead of flying out just for the weekend. 

The first evening I was there, my brother, future brother in law, and I went to a Rivercats game. I love baseball and I love sporting events in general, so I was super excited to go! The Rivercats are a minor league team that are affiliated with the A's. There's really nothing than summer nights spent at a baseball game if you ask me. 

One of my favorite things about California is how diverse the state it. You have the rustic beauty of northern California and the coastal perfection of southern California. My sister had some stuff to pick up for her wedding in Apple Hill so we spent the day exploring, playing bocce ball, and consuming some really delicious strawberry beet juice. 

I had the pleasure of catching up with a friend who's spending his summer in Sacramento. His older brother is a dear friend of mine and I've gotten to know Michael more over the past couple months. We grabbed coffee and explored the Oak Park farmer's market. I picked up some kale and made yummy kale chips that afternoon. It was super easy. I just used sea salt and olive oil. Hello delicious, healthy, and easy snack!

My brother, sister, and future brother went out to dinner at one of these yummy places where they cook the food right in front of you. I love these places except I'm always nervous when they try and toss the food in your mouth. I'm horrible uncoordinated and usually end up getting smacked in the forehead with it. Well, this chef homeboy decided to toss a piece of cooked egg in my mouth and instead of making it in my mouth, it went right down my shirt. The woman sitting a couple people down from me looked at my brother (who was sitting right next to me) and said, "Go in and get it!" He looked back at her and said "That's pretty awkward because she's my sister." The woman was so embarrassed. It was a pretty great moment except I had a red burn mark on my chest from where the egg hit it. Thanks a lot dude.

My sister's shower went absolutely wonderfully and I was so pleased with how it all turned out. She has the greatest friends who were such a big help with planning and executing the event! The shower was at my aunts house and I was able to spend some quality time with my grandma. My sassy Grandma Gemma is 90 and is dead set on me getting married. She told me that if I don't get married soon, I won't get a good present from her since she'll be dead. The next day, out of nowhere she says, "Don't you want nice pillows? You better get married then!" I told her I'm not opposed to getting married, but I don't know anyone I want to marry. It then became a very sweet moment as I asked her how she knew my grandfather was the one. She told me what a great man he was (he passed away when I was 9) and how he was the best father. Then said, "Jessie, I'm not trying to be rude or sexy, but what size underwear do you have? Lizbeth bought me the wrong size." No thanks Grandma, I don't want your hand-me-down panties. Way to turn our sweet moment super weird. 

I'm actually getting to go back to Sacramento in two weeks and I'm beyond excited because I get to see my Marmee this time! I haven't seen that sweet lady since late January and I'm missing her! We're going to spend a week with my grandma while my aunt and her family (who she lives with) go on vacation. Brace yourself for more sassy Grandma Gemma stories. 

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