Murphy 313

It’s a dusty, 12-foot-by-12-foot little room.  It’s got cockroaches in the summer and asbestos year round.  The tile is cold and grimy and so is the furniture.  Two windows that don’t open all the way and a door that likes to slam round it off.  It sounds disgusting because it is.  But it’s one of my favorite places in the world, and I’ll never see it again.

I grew so much in that nasty little dorm room.  I learned to be myself, to express my emotions, to love and to let myself be loved.  That room was filled with laughter and people at all times.  My roommate and I watched chick flicks and rearranged our furniture and attempted microwave cooking together in that room.  My other friends and I talked about faith and relationships and working out.  I hung out with people I barely knew in that room.  I did so many new, exciting things.

It also lived through some not-so-nice things, like the week he and I almost broke up.  Like the months my roommate realized she was in the wrong major and had no idea what to do with her life.  Like the times friends came in crying over boys and grades and life.

That room represents true friendship.  My first family-that-is-not-related.  It represents the struggle of learning to balance school with social life.  It represents learning to confront people.  It represents growth.

That room has seen many late nights.  Just one very memorable all-nighter (Truth or Dare is still a thing in college).  It’s seen many sleepovers with girls piled on the floor in sleeping bags and blankets.  Many deep discussions.  Many more very stupid discussions.  (Like what if toes were people?  Would they be little families?)

That room witnessed the first time someone asked me out.  It heard the many conversations about my misgivings and insecurities.  It saw my very first kiss.  It listened the first time he whispered, “I love you.”

Only two of us lived there, but numerous lives were squished into that room.  We supported each other, annoyed each other, and made each other laugh — really, really hard.  We created our own family for ourselves even though we came from many different backgrounds.  We were comfortable there in that room, surrounded by a place that was often just the opposite.  It was home.

That room is gone now, with its cozy nooks and rusty desks and slug-shaped paint splotch on the ceiling which I dubbed my pet, Fred.  Those cinderblocks, that knew many, many people intimately, are being replaced by safer drywall.  That floor, on which we spilled coffee and nail polish remover and remnants of our hearts, is now being re-tiled.  That bed, where I did homework and cried and held the boy I love, is being moved out in favor of a newer, streamlined model.

But I hold on to that room.  I became myself in that room.  Over the years, I’ll forget the details of how it looked and what all we did.  The colors will grow fuzzy and the windows murky.  I won’t recall what happened when someone asks, “Remember that time when…?”  But nothing will change the fact that I gave a part of myself to that room.  Nothing will change the fact that I added my life to those walls.

If those walls could talk, oh, the stories they would tell.

Murphy 313

In response to the Daily Post prompt “Places.”

I’ve Received the Liebster Award!

One of the many things I love about the blogging community is that we have a super cool way to commend each other, and that is through awards!  SherinaSpeaks nominated me for the Liebster Award, and I’m incredibly thrilled!

liebster

The Rules

  1. Link the person who nominated you to your blog post and let them know you answered their questions.
  2. Answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominator.
  3. Nominate 10(ish) other bloggers.
  4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

My Answers

  1. How are you doing today?  I’m fabulous!  It’s spring break and I’m free for a week, which means time to sleep and read and relax — and blog.
  2. Do you prefer to type, or write on pen and paper? Why?  It depends on why I’m writing.  For blogging and writing papers or fiction, I like to type.  It’s faster, and that way I can just get my thoughts out and edit later.  However, I prefer using pen and paper for taking notes in class because I like the way it feels and I learn the material better.
  3. What is your favorite quote?  Why?  If I had to choose a favorite quote, it would be the one underneath my blog title, and here’s why.
  4. Cats or dogs?  Cats all the way!
  5. What is the first thing you grab at a buffet?  I hate buffets.  I think they are yucky.  I stay far away from buffets.
  6. What is your favorite thing about blogging?  I love it when others see my posts and tell me how passionate they are about the same things!
  7. What are you an expert on?  I’m damn good at grammar.
  8. What made you smile today?  I caught a ride home from school with a friend, and I got to hold her pet hedgehog all the way home.
  9. What is your dream vacation?  Hawaii, where it’s warm and beachy and I can learn to surf.
  10. What is your ultimate goal in life?  This is a difficult one, because I think goals like this change all the time.  Right now, my goal is to be happy by being with those I love, and to find a career that I’m passionate about and that makes others’ lives richer.
  11. Can money buy happiness?  It can absolutely help, but happiness is definitely possible without it.

The Nominees

The Liebster Award is one that draws attention to budding bloggers, so I’ve nominated several newer bloggers I’ve discovered (in no particular order).

And finally…My Questions for the Nominees

  1. What is your favorite book?
  2. What is something not many people know about you?
  3. If you could change anything about yourself, would you?  What would it be?
  4. Coffee or tea?
  5. What are you afraid of?
  6. What is your dream job?
  7. What did you have for lunch?
  8. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  9. How long has it been since you checked social media?
  10. What time of day do you work best?
  11. Why do you blog?

Wanderlusting for Sloth City

Before you read the rest of this post, look to the right.  There’s a little blurb, underneath that super awesome picture of me. Read it now.  I’ll wait.

Did you read it?  Good.  See how there’s that little word “figuratively”?  Well, scratch that word out of the sentence now and put “literally” in its place.

Because I am going abroad.

I have been waiting for this moment for years.  I’ve always wanted to travel, and study abroad programs were a big part of my college-decision-making process.  Lucky for me, the college I chose has a great one.  I’m becoming a fairly decent Spanish speaker (my recent oral exam grade proves it! woo!), and I love warm, beachy climates, so after the spring semester ends, it’s off to Costa Rica!

beach

I’ll be in Spanish classes while I’m there, and I still have a lot of planning and studying to do.  But as far as I understand, we are allowed to explore the area as we like when class is not in session, and I cannot wait to discover the beauty of the language and the people — and especially the national parks.  Apparently, Costa Rica is the home of actual, real-live sloths.  Here at school, I’m affectionately (I think) known as “the sloth” by my friends, so I think it’s decidedly appropriate for me to meet some of them.

sloth

My blogging plan for Costa Rica is to post once a week while I’m there.  I’ll be taking copious amounts of photos, and I’m sure I’ll need to vent about all the ups and downs of living in a foreign country for the first time.  Also — and this is what I’m really excited about — I plan to write each week’s post both in English and Spanish.  This is as much for me to practice as it is for any Spanish speakers out there who may stumble upon my blog.  The two versions may not be the exact same, as I’m much more fluent in English, but I’m extremely excited to experiment.

Manual Antonio Beach, Costa Rica
Manual Antonio Beach, Costa Rica

I don’t leave for a month or two, but I’m so excited for this trip I just couldn’t contain my enthusiasm.  Also, I had intended to fulfill today’s Blogging 101 challenge of adding a new element to my blog by embedding pins rather than images in my post. Sadly, Pinterest only offers the code in Javascript rather than html, which is what WordPress uses.  At least I can say I tried.

The Story Behind the Name

Before you read any farther, look up a bit and read the quote I have underneath my blog title.  Have you read it?  Good.  Today’s Blogging 101 challenge is to tell you why that is what it is.

The quote is by Richard Bach, who is an American writer.  I have to admit I’ve never read any of his work.  But this quote has resonated with me since the day I discovered it.  I fully believe that every person on earth has a purpose in life.  I don’t think that we are on earth by accident, and even if we were, humans have the capacity to give themselves purpose.  I believe everyone is born into this world with a job to do.  Whether that job is for good or for evil depends on the person, I guess.  But everyone has a purpose; a job; a mission to complete.

Right now, I’m afraid I don’t know what my mission is yet.  I know I have a passion for books and words, but I have not yet figured out what I’m supposed to do with that.  I haven’t discovered my long-term, overarching mission, and that’s frustrating sometimes, especially because I have friends who know very certainly what they want to do with their lives and why they were put on the earth.  It makes me feel like I’m behind in life, like I might not catch up.

However, I also believe that day-to-day life is extremely important.  As humans, we need to plan and work toward our goals, but ultimately, NOW is all we have.  NOW, my mission is to learn, and be a friend, and figure myself out.  NOW, my mission is to fall in love, and experience new things, and have fun.  NOW, my mission is to live my life in a way that I won’t regret when I’m on my deathbed.

And if I don’t figure out my long-term mission till then, that’s okay.  Because life itself is a mission, and it doesn’t end until our final breath has left us.

Mission Statement

With a name like Mission:Incomplete, you’d think I would have a mission statement of sorts to go along with my blog.  But I began blogging in 2012, and have yet to really narrow my focus.  Now is the time to fix that!

Why am I blogging?

  • I love to write.  Blogging is a great way to keep up my skills when I’m tired of writing school papers and don’t have the time or patience for fiction.
  • I love to read.  You can’t blog without reading other blogs.  Through my WordPress reader, I’ve found blogs that deal with things I never thought I’d be interested in, and they’re easy to drink up in the space of fifteen minutes — great when life is busy.
  • I love to talk.  Blogging is a community, and blogging has opened me up to people who actually want to listen to my thoughts and ideas.  I also love discovering and reading about people who live very differently than I do, or are at a different stage of life.

What do I blog about?

Since I started, I’ve written about a huge variety of things.  Mission:Incomplete began as a sewing blog primarily, and morphed into a smorgasbord of my thoughts.  Reviewing books has been one of my absolute favorite things to do, and I plan to continue that.  The plan is to blog about books primarily, but I’ll also post about an upcoming trip this summer (which I’m very excited about!), and will most likely continue to post occasional sewing tutorials and mini-essays when I find myself pondering something.

Goals for the Upcoming Year

  1. Review at least three books from Waterbrook Multnomah
  2. Review at least three books I’ve already read or am reading for pleasure
  3. Post once a week for my upcoming trip

This post is the first task in WordPress’ Blogging 101!  I’ll be balancing these daily tasks with exams all week, and I’m excited to begin!