April 26, 2012

On Concerts

I attended a Christian hip hop concert with my beau this past weekend. I have to admit, I was quite a bit apprehensive to go. I've only been to two concerts in my lifetime (5 if you count the Spring concerts they had for us in Undergrad).

There's just something about concerts that makes me nervous including a surplus of people standing/sitting in one central location. In any case, although I really didn't want to go, I decided to suck it up and attend. I figured if my beau sat through Cinderella and the Nutcracker ballets, I could put aside my feelings and do something that he enjoys.

So, we drove to a little church 2 towns over and sat right up front... Just as beau likes. I felt really nervous and out of place, even though I was at a church and I practically grew up in church. But those feelings soon faded away. They began with praise and worship singing some awesome worship songs, and then a few opening bands performed. Beau was super energetic which made me nervous once again because I felt like he was drawing attention to us (I have a really bad case of social anxiety).

Finally, the headlining artist, Richie Righteous, came on and he had such an indescribable presence. His (and the previous performances) were nothing as I expected. It was a different form of music than I'm used to listening to, but overall, it glorified Christ. I guess the only word I could use to describe Richie Righteous, his music and his ministry is anointed.
I ended up having a great time. I was dragged up to the front (yes, even closer to the stage) and found myself dancing with all the people up there, but more importantly, I found myself praising God. It was good times overall.

April 21, 2012

Roommates (revisited)

I have had my share of roommates. No, really, I have.

The very first one dated back to the Summer of 2004. I attended a pre-college program at the University of Maryland -- College Park and they just chose a roommate for me. She was BIG and scary looking, although she turned out to be kind of nice. There were some underlying issues that I had with her, but overall, I was able to handle them.

Freshman year of college, I had the nice roommate. She was my first friend in college and we got along exceptionally well. The only problem I had with her was the uncleanliness. I come from a house that was cleaned from top to bottom (by myself) every. single. weekend. and to live in a messy little 16'x12' room for the duration of the school term was almost unbearable. I tried to throw hints at her by cleaning my side of the room every once in a while, but it didn't matter much. Although, when she got the cleaning bug, she got it good and her side would be spic and span in no time.

My roomie freshman year decided to transfer schools and so I was received another roomie sophomore year. She was nice too. We had a few science classes the year before, she was pretty quiet and stayed to herself, and we had many friends in common. We had some good times overall. However, she did have a boyfriend who visited quite often. Once again, it is awkward sharing a tiny space with another individual. Luckily, I had friends who lived in dorms close by and allowed me to spend the weekend there to avoid the awkwardness.

Junior year, I had a third roommate. I was hoping to get a single this year, but my housing lottery number failed to grant me that option. This roommate was one year my junior, and I would classify her as an okay roommate. We bonded over Arthur (yes, we were indeed college students), Private Practice and Greys Anatomy, but I hardly knew her and that caused a strain in our little dorm environment. Nevertheless, we got through the academic year and all was well.

Senior year, I finally got that single I was banking for since sophomore year. It was lovely. I didn't have to deal with anyone else. I was as loud as I wanted to be, kept the lights on all night for my late-night study sessions, and I didn't have to feel a sense or awkwardness or share a small living space with someone I hardly knew. This was the same case my first year of graduate school I luckily got a 2 bedroom apartment and no roommate. I did not have to deal with the stress of sharing a niche with some one else.

Fast-forward to my second semester of graduate school. I am still living in graduate housing, but this time, I'm in a house. It's a pretty big house, and my housemate and I have our own rooms, so the only space we do share is the kitchen, bathroom and maybe the outside deck when it gets warmer. I've identified many of my dislikes regarding this housemate early in the semester, but many of them still remain. She doesn't know me. I get that. Other than my major, my schedule, and my engagement, she knows very little else about me. That is because we usually lock ourselves in our rooms and only speak concerning the internet/cable bill/mail/leaking roofs or when we happen to cross paths in the kitchen. I get all of that. What I fail to understand is why she still locks her room door when going to the the bathroom, magically pulls out a supply of toilet/ paper towel when the roll is low to avoid using the last bit of it, or takes all of her things to the recycling bin leaving my one or two containers behind, or even why this always happens whenever I enter the house.


I feel as though I'm going off on a rant and that was not the purpose of this post. I only wanted to discuss the pattern I have observed while living with roommates/housemates. There is always a level of discomfort when living with other people, but I have always managed to make it work and get through it. I understand the dismay of living with unfamiliar people,  but why make it more daunting and unpleasant? We don't have to become best friends, but it would be nice to at least feel comfortable in my living space.

What are your thoughts/advice on dealing with roommate awkwardness?

April 18, 2012

This Is Going to be a Toughie

A phone call from my adviser informing me that I passed my comprehensive exam.
 Graduation tickets mailed to loved ones.
Alumni cards.
Being handed my cap and gown at the Commencement Fair.
Job Career Hunting.
Starting to realize that I will be saying good-bye to some amazingly loving people very soon. 

It's all happening at such lightening speed! 

I don't know which emotion to feel: pride? fear? happiness? sadness?

I guess I feel all of those emotions. 

This one is going to be harder than I thought it would be.

April 9, 2012

Bloggy Birthday (2 Years)

It slipped my mind on the exact date, but it was just 2 years ago that I started Beyond My Smile with this post. At the time, I just wanted an outlet in which to share my thoughts. Never did I think it would play such a role in my life and become one of my favorite hobbies. I have learned so much about myself and have grown as a person from just using this blog as a means of expressing my thoughts and documenting a few things in life. I even began using it as an educational/outreach platform for women facing/curious about breast cancer (something near and dear to my heart).

Thank you to the faithful readers who stuck around. I am also grateful for those who stop by almost randomly. I hope you found some guide to what you were looking for. Also, for the few friendships I have made through blogging, I am truly appreciative of your concerns, words of advice and well wishes. 

I had no clue where this blog would take me when I began, but it has taken me quite far. I share some extremely random posts sometimes. But other times, I share my heart.... my struggles. My hope is that someone finds strength through those posts. I also hope to continue documenting snippets of my life. Looking back on my previous posts, I can already see how much I have grown and evolved in just 2 years' time. As I make another transition in life, I look forward to seeing what the next year brings, what trials will be faced, and what lessons will be learned.

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