These are some things that make me feel alive:
- Learning new things- I just really love learning. When I am learning something new, I get this really excited feeling that reminds me that the world is full of opportunity. When I learn something new, I immediately start thinking about how this new information could possibly alter the world as I know it. I want to know what this new knowledge means. I really love school. I love sitting in the classroom and taking notes on something that I know little of but someone else knows a lot of. I will probably be in school forever because there is so much more I still want to learn!
- Babies- I had the opportunity to live with a family for a year and a half as their nanny. Some of the moments where I have felt most alive in my life were spent sitting in a rocking chair at two in the morning with a baby curled up in my lap. I have no explanation of the joy this provided me, I just know it is special. I would frequently take one of the babies from their bed and bring them into my room if I didn’t want to sleep by myself. I just love those little boys.
- Compost- This past summer, my friend Lisa who lives at Youthfront LaCygne, taught me about compost! I have very little working knowledge on the subject, but Lisa is super smart and knows a ton about it. Throughout the summer I really took a liking to our compost bins, which is kind of weird I guess. But seriously, compost is SO COOL! I think the reason I love it is that you can take something that is no longer useful or alive, and make it new again. We would use the ends of vegetables, dead leaves, and even old shredded prayer sheets to produce rich, nutrient-filled soil that now can be put back into the ground to produce more food. I am also a recycling fanatic for the same reason. It makes me really excited to think about reusing things and making them useful again, rather than adding to an already growing landfill.
- Food- Food is really important to me. I love cooking it and I love eating it. I am currently trying to find ways to express my love for food in a healthier way (that is a nice way to say diet). But seriously, I love cooking delicious food and knowing what is going into the food I am putting into my body. I don’t have a ton of practice at cooking, but it is fun to learn. Another reason that I love food is because it is a tool for hospitality. My mom has a HUGE gift for hospitality, and I have seen that my whole life. She has a way of making people feel loved and comfortable. I aspire to have a home someday where I can make people feel that same thing.
These are just a few things that make me feel alive, but I could go on and on. What is interesting is that any one of these has the potential to be very unhealthy and produce darkness instead of light. For example, food can be a very damaging thing. If I were to eat Doritos all day every day (which I wouldn’t mind), my body would feel sick and I would be harming myself. If I am so obsessed with learning new things and being right that I act as if I am better and smarter than everyone else, and I do not take care of my relationships, I am not being life giving. Nothing about waking up to crying at 2 AM, and getting less sleep than my body needs, makes me feel alive all on its own. All of these things have the potential to be life giving, but they are not life giving on their own. They are life giving because Jesus Christ is in them. I think that one of the reasons it feels so good to feel alive, is that we then have the opportunity to give life to others. However, if I am not allowing Jesus’ love and life to flow into me, I do not have any life to give to anyone else. I believe that when we let Jesus’ love fill us up, we can and will find life in everything.
“…Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
― Howard Thurman
Megan is a nursing student at Research College of Nursing in Kansas City (which is where I was born, fun fact.) I really enjoy hearing about what Megan is learning. A few months ago I learned about her passion for compost. Getting to see her face light up while explaining the joy she found in getting to creatively use her resources to make the world a better place was so fun to be apart of. I know Megan through Youthfront Camp South, where we worked together one summer. Megan is so special to me and has made me feel so special. Megan actually loves me the way I love to be loved– she goes out of her way to be my friend. Several times she has taken the trek to Warrensburg to spend time with me. Other than being a great friend, Megan also goes out of her way to be a great citizen; she cares about being local and organic. She even inspired me to go no-poo (her interest in learning made a pretty convincing speech). She makes people excited about what she is excited about. Now that’s passion. Anyways, another thing I really like about Megan is her love for Mexican food. We always go get Mexican together and 9/10 times she’ll order a chile relleno. I hate that we both are students in different towns with different schedules and can’t always eat Mexican, but I love getting to be with Megan. She makes my life feel so alive.