Friday, December 7, 2012

What is my purpose?

Everyone has a purpose in life.  We just may not have the same purpose as those around us.  To some the driving force in their life is money.  Money.  Money.  Money.  It's all about money.  Others live their life to serve those around them.  And others have yet to discover their purpose in life.  They just kind of drift through life. Not really living, just existing.  I think simply existing is one of the saddest things ever.   At the same time, I believe that we have many purposes in life.

 Part of my purpose is to experience this world.  I want to tell my grandchildren about the crazy adventures I had when I was young.  I think that if you don't try new things, you can't say that you don't like something.  I think that we learn from our grandparents even if we don't want to.  If you just sit down and listen to their stories, you learn a lot from their past experiences.

Going along with that I would love to travel and to experience other cultures.  I think that goes hand-in-hand with loving history.  I find it very funny that I feel strongly about setting down roots in rural America, and yet at the same time I want to travel.  I guess there is a difference between having a home to return to, and moving houses every couple of years.

Another purpose of mine is to help people.  I think that's why I love working at Dairy Queen so much, if I can make one person's day better by smiling at them or being nice, then I will.  I also love to give the little kids their ice cream, just to see the joy radiating from their faces.  Sometimes I really don't like my job, but then I remember that I am possibly changing someone's day, and that makes it better.  I think this wanting to help people is one of the reasons why I want to be a teacher. 
When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher so much, and then my dream changed for a while.  But now I'm back to wanting to be a teacher.  I want to teach history and geography to either high schoolers or college students.

 I also want to do something with writing, what that will be though, I'm not sure.  I would absolutely love to write papers on historical content.  History has always been a passion of mine, and  I think that is because of my Dad.  He is really into history as well, and it's fun to have that common bond between us.  When we went to Mesa Verde in Colorado, we both were enthralled with the history of the place.
I love it when people ask me questions about history and I am able to explain things to them.  I just
love that feeling of helping to expand minds.  I also think that we can learn a lotfrom history    There's a quote I love that says, " Those who do not remember the past, are condemned to repeat it."  It is so true, if people would think about the past, and the consequences that happened, I think that there would be a lot less mistakes made because nothing new has happened that hasn't happened before.  I love how I can read history and learn from other's mistakes.  I mean I now know that if you try and repress the French, they will probably cut your head off. Just kidding, but in all seriousness, history is a great teacher.  And I love to learn.  Part of my purpose in life isn't just to teach, it is to learn.

From the time I was little, I have loved to learn.  My mom used to read to me all the time.  Ever since  I was small, books have been a big part of my life.  I don't think there has ever been a time where I  haven't had a ton of books in my room.  Right now, I need more bookshelves.  My mom has said, that if she had never read to me when I was little, she wouldn't have to buy me so many books.  Jokingly said, of course.  But I think that there is some truth to her statement.  If you don't read to children when they are small, they won't like to read when they get older.  I also think that I have loved to   learn because my Dad would always talk about history, and make me sit and listen to the older   generation talk about what the world was like when they were younger.  I'm pretty sure that it was also kind of an inborn thing that I love to learn.  I hope that I never lose my drive to learn.  I think that people who think that they know everything are so wrong.  You can never know everything that you need to know, and that you will never learn all that there is to learn.
 We have lots of purposes in life, and that our purpose in life can change as we change and grow.  As  of right now, my main purpose in life is to learn and to become a teacher.  And after I get my degree my purpose will probably change a little bit and I will have a new purpose to live for.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Where am I?

It's hard to define where I am, because that question can have so many answers.  It can apply to where I am living, where I am studying, where I am in my life...So many answers can make sense when you ask yourself, "Where am I?"  I also think that where you are from affects where you are.  There's a quote I love that says, "Remember where you've come from, where you are, and where you are going."  I think that this quote is so true.  If you forget where you are from, you can lose your sense of who you are.  If you forget where you are, you can lose your drive and become complacent.  And if you don't think about where you are going, it's hard to go anywhere.
Your past is a big past of who you are, and also where you are.  It doesn't completely define you, but your past is a big part of who you are.  Think about someone who is adopted.  They usually want to know about their biological parents and where they came from.  I think this is just a natural reaction to being to that you are adopted.  After being told that after years of thinking that you were one thing, you must rethink who you are and rediscover yourself all over again.  I think this is one of the saddest things.  I base a lot of who I am on my past and my heritage.  It helps me to know where I am.  I am living in the middle of nowhere.  And I can't imagine living anywhere else.  Because it's where my father's family has always lived.  The land we are living on, has had a Blase living on it for all but 30 years since it was purchased from the railroad in the late 1880's.  We were there before there was a town there.  This helps me know that when I decide to go home, my past will be waiting there for me.

Where you are currently is also a huge part of defining yourself.  I am in so many places right now.  I live in the country, but we are within the limits of Hordville.

 I go to school in Aurora and my mom's parents live here.  My heart is drawn towards Colorado and the mountains.  My mind is drawn to the past and to history. See what I mean about it being hard to define where you are?  You can be in so many places.  Where I am right now is also so important.  Right now I'm in high school.

And I, along with most of the senior class, am waiting on May.  But not very patiently.  So at the same time that I am thinking in the present, I am also thinking about the future.   The future is fraught with unknowns and unanswered questions.  These questions branch out like the limbs of a tree.
And these questions will help us define where we are and where we want to be.  Right now, where I am is a hard question to answer.  Because in all honesty my mind is a thousand places.  My mind is on homework and scholarships.  I am in Colorado in my heart, and also in Ohio at the same time, but in reality I'm sitting in the middle of nowhere and the center of everywhere.
Nebraska is one of the most central states, we are landlocked.  No way around it.  This being in the middle of nowhere has really helped me to learn where I am.  It has taught me how to entertain myself.  And books have been my biggest joy living in the middle of nowhere.  I think that is why I want to be a teacher so much.  

I am always astounded at the diversity of careers we have to choose from.  I could be a doctor, if I could stand to think of people in pain, which I can't.  I could be a lawyer.  I could be a teacher, which I want to be.  I mean the options are endless.  I think that where I am now, can also help me to define who I want to be in the future.  The stack of books represents what I want to do in my future.  I want to be a teacher, specifically teaching history and geography. Right now, I have accepted that not everyone likes history.  And I am fine with that. Not everyone finds joy in the same things. No one can know the future. And  just when you think that you know what will happen life throws a wrench in the plan and completely changes what's happening.

Right now, I'm sitting in the middle of an important intersection.  An intersection between being an irresponsible teenager and a responsible college student.  It's in times like these that I look back at where I'm from.
I'm from a tiny, sleepy little village of Hordville, Nebraska.  Population 142. It sits on Highway 66 and is about three miles from Polk.  It's so tiny that you can blink and miss the town. And I'm from Nebraska.  The very middle state.  A state that can't seem to remember where it is at.  And I'm from the country.  Where I was raised to have a wild side that has a touch of rebellion.  I am at a point in my life where all of my past is affecting my decisions for my future.  My gravel road roots are playing heavily on my decision as to what to do with my life.  I am in a land of the free because of the brave. 

There are some who go their entire lives without knowing who they are or where they are in life. Me, I'm glad I'm where I am.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Who am I?

I am from Germany, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, and Scotland.
I am from traditional Luthern and Methodist.
I am from Sunday dinners with the family follows by a nap.
I am from dirt roads and city streets.
I am from corn fields and feed lots.
I and from semi trucks and John Deere tractors.
I am from "high fashion" and torn jeans with an old t-shirt and boots.
I am from helping your neighbors and fighting with nature to survive.
I am from riding motorcycles and 4-wheelers with my Dad.
I am from scuffed up knees and "It's a long way from your heart."
I am from calloused hands and loving hearts.

When you're trying to get to know someone, you always ask what they do for fun, or what their favorite color is.  But that isn't all of who they are.  They have a story that runs deeper than the questions you are asking, and its hard sometimes to truely know someone, unless you have lived their life. Some things in their past are hard to put into words and the things that shaped them, may be unknown even to them.  We all react differently to certain things, and our reactions to situations are what make us unique.  They are as unique as our fingerprints.

It's a difficult question to answer, "Who am I?".  It's an odd feeling trying to explain to someone all you hopes and dreams, what makes you tick, and how events in your past have shaped you. I think that one of the hardest parts about talking about yourself, is feeling like the people you are talking to will judge you.  I could go on for quite a while telling you things about me.  My favorite color is blue.  I love cats.  I would love to live in Colorado.  I wear a size 8 shoe.  But from those facts do you feel like you know me? No, of course not.  Those are just random facts, they won't help you understand how I think, my quirky sense of humor, or my hopes and dreams for the future.

I am from the country.  I have been born and raised on a farm just outside of Hordville, NE, population 142 people.  I think that living in a small community is a big part of my history.  In Hordville, you may not know the person you're talking to, but chances are that they know your parents or grandparents.  I've grown accustomed to having people come up to me and say, " Are you Brian and Shawna's daughter?" To which i respond, " Yes I am. How do you know them?"  When I was younger, I found it weird that everybody knew eachother.  But know I think its pretty cool.  I mean if you go to bigger cities, they might not even know their next door neighbor.  To me it is a special thing to know that your neighbors want to see you do well in life and will try and help you if they can. 

I think that seeing my community work together has made me want to help people.  I also know that i want to help open others eyes to the huge world that is out there.  That's why I want to be a teacher.  But I'm not just thinking about my past.  I love my heritage and hearing stories about past generations.  My family came to the United States from Germany, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, and Scotland.  I know that a lot of families decend from these countries, but I am proud of my heriatage.  One really important thing to me is carrying on family traditions.  My family has a tradition that every Christmas Eve we go to church and watch the children do a program.  From the time we enter the parochial school in kindergarten to the time we are eight graders, we all have to participate in the program.  Everyone on my Dad's side of the family have been in this program.  My Dad, his siblings, my great grandparents, my grandparents, all have participated.  Our church is 128 years old, and we were one of the founding families, needless to say, this is a very big tradition in my family.  After the program is over the elders always hand out bron paper sacks that have peanuts, and apple or an orange, chocolate stars, and then sometimes they will have more "modern" treats, like Reese Peanut Butter Cups in them.  It's always a treat and the night doesn't seem quite complete until they hand you a paper bag. 

It is amazing how sometimes on the road of life, we will find things that so accurately describe us.  My song is by country music artist, Tim McGraw.  "My Little Girl" really captures the essence of a father-daughter bond and I feel that this song really describes my relationship with my father.  Growing up he wasn't around much.  My Dad has been work all his life to support his family and so when I was little I'd be in bed by the time he got home, and he'd be gone when I woke up in the morning.  But over the years, since we started riding motorcycle together, our bond has grown.  And now every time I hear this song I think of my Dad, because it totatlly describes us.  I am his little girl. 

It's hard to be able to really get to know someone in a short amount of time, unless you ask the right questions.  Each person is an individual and so to get to know them can be tricky business, but in the end it can be such a joy to have, at least a small understanding of someone.