Archive for September 2008
i feel like lately, pressure has been building up on me. like for some reason i’m expected to just do certain things and when i don’t, or if i don’t do them well, i’m being a diappointment. it’s not really anything i can put my finger on, it’s just… pressure. expectations are high – for myself and from myself. sometimes i feel like i’m going to explode.
and then there’s the voice in your head that says, “just quit now, you can’t go anymore. you can’t do it.” and however you interpret that to be heard in your head whether it be a challenge or a criticism of your performance, it seems to be true. and either way, you’ve screwed yourself over. if you take it to be a challenge, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin and suffering from burnout. and if you take it to be a critique of yourself, you get down on yourself and it makes you not want to try anymore. so where’s the medium?
honestly, i don’t know. i suffer from both tones of voice. and like my description, i usually get burnt out or want to quit trying.
pressure is an interesting concept. what causes it?
lack of boundaries – i can’t say no. it’s a huge flaw of mine. i just want to help everyone all the time oblivious to the fact that i haven’t taken my own needs into consideration. and yes, i know there’s a book by cloud and townsend about this, and i have it (borrowed from a friend a looooong time ago, sorry buddy) but i still haven’t read it. i was in a meeting on sunday where i kept volunteering to do things and facetiously would say “no!” after i volunteered to do them as we were talking about setting and keeping boundaries.
lack of communication – a lot of times, people have no idea they’re putting pressure on someone else. how could they? they don’t know all you’re doing through, how’re they supposed to know that pressure’s building for you? i think it helps to let the other person know where you’re coming from and hopefully, this leads you to the third point:
lack of understanding – some people do communicate what all they’re going through and the other person still puts pressure on them. this is where understanding comes in. it’s not enough to just listen to all the pressure and expectations someone is being put under, but there needs to be an understanding along with it that lets the other person know that you are trying to see what they’re going through and that you empathize with them. i think that definitely helps to relieve some pressure. and i think for introverts like myself, the communication aspect can be hard so i don’t even get to make it to the understanding stage. i just kinda keep it all bottled up inside until the pressure gets to be too much. man, that’s unhealthy.
wouldn’t the world be a great place is people tried to understand each other better?
something that i’ve been thinking about for a while is how we view worship. as stated previously, in case you may not know what i’m talking about when i say “worship”: worship is a response to a stimulus or stimuli. in the Christian sense, worship is a response to God. i guess by my definition, being angry at God would also be considered worship because it is also a response to God. maybe that’s true, or maybe i’m just being completely blasphemous. i’m going to say it would be characterized as worship.
but anyways, a huge part of what worship is in today’s culture is music. it seems like “worship” music bookends everything we do as common as prayer is. you know, how we “open” and “close” our meetings and fellowship times and services with prayer. the same thing seems to be applied to music. someone “opens” with a song and ends with a sending song. it’s almost second nature. to me at least. are we doing something church-related? oh, well, we better find someone to open with some songs and have some songs after we’re done to close us off with.
it’s almost like the whole please excute my dear aunt sally thing in math – you know, parentheses first, then exponents, then multiplication, then division, addition and subtraction last. here the parentheses would be prayer and the exponents would be music. it seems to take second priority in the order of “worship”.
so my thought has been, “what would happen if a church or body of Christian believers had no one with musical ability?” would that mean that they couldn’t worship? ok, so maybe not that extreme. does that mean that their worship is incomplete? or say someone does have musical ability but maybe they’re not that good, is their worship any “less” in quality than other people with more skill in music? or if somehow they got around this issue, what do they “replace” music with?
i hope you see where i’m going with this. it’s as though music is just built-in to the skeleton and outline of the church where anything other than music would be foreign to the order of worship, almost or sometimes directly as a replacement of music. well, we can’t have music, so we’ll do this instead. instead of thinking, man, worship is not only music, we should explore different media and forms of worship!
i hope that we don’t pigeon-hole ourselves into being confined to music. although music is beautiful and creative and can communicate much, it should be our only means of worship. i mean, put yourself in the position of a non-Christian, how weird would it be if people invited you to a meeting or assembly and they asked you to sing songs you’ve never heard of? and not only that, but they’re asking you to sing about something you don’t know much about. why would you want to sing about someone dying on a cross or singing about how you want to give your life to a god you know nothing about or this thing called “grace”? what’s that about?
now, i don’t have an alternative to this. i guess all i’m trying to bring up is that i think our view of what worship is is very narrow and culturally insensitive at times. and i hope we can keep an open mind as well as stretch our minds to the whole unexamined and unexplored world of worship that is all around us.
do you ever think about how quickly our emotions change? or not even that, but even how quickly our circumstances change? for example, all of last week i was pretty stressed over leading worship for emerge plus doing the schoolwork i was behind on. then last weekend, i had the time of my life. the stress just went away and i was enjoying the moment. this week is back to the grind, preparing to lead worship for a bunch of things in the next week, performing for a wedding in 2 weeks, trying to get caught up in my schoolwork, etc.
all i can think right now is how much i would like to go back to last weekend and enjoy my time there again. and not be in this stressful grind again. and i’m like, dag, just a week ago i was enjoying life and living free and now i’m a little stressed and pretty busy. it’d be kinda nice to spread it out, but i guess at the same time the really bad or stressful times make you really enjoy and appreciate the really good times.
i also realized that i’m really good at procrastinating. i always knew i procrastinated, but i didn’t think i was this bad. but i always seem to get everything done that i absolutely need to get done without staying up all night. some people call me a nerd because of this. maybe i am? maybe i’m just a lazy nerd. i mean, i’m not trying to brag about myself or anything. i just can’t get myself to do work. but when it’s go time, i finish it pretty quick. maybe i just need the pressure. i never thought of myself to be this kind of person. darn… i’m a nerd. and not a good one, i’m a lazy one.
so when people ask me what my favorite food is, they usually laugh when i tell them my answer. for a lot of people it’s steak or pizza or something like that. mine? i love sandwiches. i could eat them everyday. just about any kind of sandwich – pb&j, grilled cheese, paninis, subs, cuban, tortas, vietnamese sandwiches. oh my gosh, so good!
there used to be this place that made the best sandwiches i’ve ever had in my life it seems like. too bad they went out of business. the place was owned by one of my friends. i guess i could just ask her to make me a sandwich every once in a while. there’s something about eating a sandwich made by someone else that just makes it feel better. it could be the same ingredients, same order, but just something about someone else making it makes it more delicious and enjoyable.
do you eat your sandwiches in a particular way? i do. i tend to eat my sandwiches outside in in a swirl-like fashion. i eat them counter-clockwise until i’m just left with the middle. the bad part is, sometimes the insides spew out because there’s no buffer to keep them in.
so what’s your favorite food? and do you eat it in a certain way?
i can never answer this question. it’s one of those intangible quandaries i just can’t wrap my mind around. it’s like an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a croissant. ok, i don’t really know what that means, but still, the fact remains that i really can never answer that question. it’s interesting because from what i understand, women ask that question all the time. will i be in trouble when i can’t answer it? what exactly am i thinking? what’s going on in my brain that i can’t spit the answer to this question out?
it’s almost as if right when someone says this, it’s like pushing the “erase all” button in my mind. i could’ve been working on the most complex math equation and as soon as someone asks, “what are you thinking about?” snap, all gone. years and years of research and solving, all gone down the tube. i could’ve been thinking about something really important that i’d love to share with you, but when you ask that question, all i can think about now is, “what was i just thinking about?”
i can tell when something is on my mind when i don’t sing in the car. you see, i love to sing. i think one of the reasons my voice has improved so much is because i’m always singing in the car trying to perfect john mayer songs. but every once in a while, halfway to my destination, i’ll realize that i hear music. and not only do i now hear the music, but i realize i haven’t been singing along. and that’s when my thoughts start to swirl:
“what was i just thinking about?”
“was it that important that i wasn’t singing?”
“crap, how do i recover what i was thinking about?”
“crap, now i’m singing and can’t think anymore!”
“i love this song!!”
and that’s pretty much the routine. or also, i can tell when i’m really mad or frustrated when i don’t sing in the car either. normally i know what i’m frustrated or mad about, but i’m really surprised sometimes because i don’t realize how mad or frustrated i am until i realize i’m not singing. like i’ll catch myself not singing and be like, “dag, am i that mad that i can’t even sing right now? i guess i’m madder than i thought.”
now this doesn’t work with other people in the car. normally i don’t sing with other people in the car. so if you’re in the car and i’m not singing, don’t worry, i’m not mad at you. or am i? just kidding. or am i?
so after classes today i went shopping to get some groceries for the week. the place was mad packed! i only stopped in to grab a couple things. and you know how they tell you not to go shopping when you’re hungry? well, i didn’t do that. i was starving, so what should’ve just been an in and out thing, turned into a full sweep of the store. seriously, you would’ve thought it was the end of the world and people were stocking up on survival food or something. i thought maybe i just missed something in the news. did they say something about the world ending today? i must’ve missed it. or i thought maybe b/c gas was running out, people were getting ready to hibernate in their homes. stock up on food and never come out of their house again until gas comes back.
but it got me thinking, what would i do if i knew the world was going to end today? well, here’s a couple options:
start eating like crazy – the world is ending, why not enjoy food without fear of what the scale will say tomorrow? me and a friend have a list of places we wanted to try. i think i’d hit those up with him. and i’d definitely make a stop at la fonda. if you haven’t been there (to any of the locations in atlanta), you must. it’s my favorite restaurant in atlanta. delicious cuban food. seriously, end of the world, i’m partying at la fonda.
visit family – i’d jet home to see my parents in charlotte. they keep up pretty well with current events (thanks for korean newspapers) so i’m sure they’d know if the world was ending before i did. me and my parents didn’t really have the best relationship growing up, so i think we’d talk about that and enjoy our time together followed by a nice group hug before the world ended. i’d make sure my sister joined us too.
hang out with friends – i could just stay right where i was and call a bunch of my friends over and we’d just hang out and talk, eat some ice cream and play some monopoly. ok, maybe not monopoly. i don’t want to ruin any friendships before the world ends. but being with friends would definitely be a pretty fun and chill way of spending the end of the world.
make new friends – why not right? i mean, the world is freaking ending, i’m sure some people are lonely or don’t have a place to go. maybe spend the time to get to know my neighbors and let them know that we’re having a monopoly party upstairs at my place and if they could bring the ice cream, that’d be awesome. no ice cream = no new friends. i’m just kidding of course. but some sort of snack would be appreciated, especially of the dessert variety.
buy the biggest, most expensive thing i can buy – that’s not really saying much cause it’s not like i have a lot of money or anything. it’s kind of like when you were a kid and you had that mad dash at chuck e. cheese when you’ve earned a bunch of tickets and want to get whatever the biggest thing is that you can afford with your 15 tickets or whatever. but in this case, i’d have 15 bucks instead of 15 tickets. which is actually probably similar in value. i dunno, i’d probably buy butterfly rub-on tattoos or something (which is what me and some friends almost did one time at one of those ticket-earning places).
break as many laws as possible – within reason of course, not that any part of this is reasonable in the first place. i mean, i know i can’t be the only one who would be thinking about doing this either. i mean, who wouldn’t go looting if you knew there were no consequences. i guess this makes my last point pretty useless. why spend my last $15 when i could just steal something worth… i dunno, $30. see, i already doubled my money. i’d probably start a fight or something while i was at it. haven’t you ever wondered what it’d feel like to punch someone in the face? i have.
text people like mad! – this one just came to me. i don’t have a text plan (so please don’t text me, you’re costing me 35 cents or whatever to receive it). if it was the end of the world, i would go text crazy!! “how r u?” and “u want 2 grab dinner @ la fonda?” man, i would t9 so crazy that my thumbs would seriously sand my phone down to a nub.
what would you do if you knew the world was ending today?