isn't it funny how 1 word in the english language can have so many meanings? i read a funny article once on the perils of using spell check--it concluded that it was quite detrimental to spelling-mastery. good thing i don't want to be a master speller...so i guess i don't have to worry ; )
well my mulit-use word right now is exposure. yesterday--quite a day i might add--i had 3 separate epiphanies. yup, all in 24 hours. wow...God must have had a lot to tell me!
i am currently in the begining stages of my love for photography. the magic of a closing shutter--a moment in time captured on film. it is truly amazing.
i love playing with light, with focus, with contrast. and although i have absolutely no clue how to work my camera, my knowledge is coming--i promise. through the eye of the lens, i feel comfortable. it is like the world is new, opportunities abound on every surface, with every texture, at every moment. looking through the lens, the world changes for me. i am exposed to new things, new opportunities...i even see new light. okay, obviously my photos aren't world-renouned...not even close. but i love them. and the excitement of getting them developed..i can hardly handle it.
i picked up my exposed negatives yesterday at a great place of monster-sized daily items called Costco. although i was quite disappointed with how many turned out (i was trying to play with the fancy settings on my camera...didn't work to well), i got a good one of my little brother the alec-dude. one picture that captures the essence of youth, the energy and playtime and cheesy smiles and tooth fairies.
last night was the premiere of the fantana's. well, not the official fantanas--my roommates and i the fantanas (photos coming soon). we had been planning for quote awhile (okay, i'll admit it..months). our costumes came together quite nicely--despite the fridgid weather outside and me freezing my butt off. so strawberry and grape (i'll refer to us by our 'flavor' names) in the company of Peter Petunia, a MLB player, a gnarley 80s rocker, Hugh Hefner himself, Batman, and Quailman, all decided after a long night of walking around that we should go to the bars (exit Batman....). I, pineapple, and orange spent about oh, maybe 20 minutes in the smokey i'll-get-cancer-because-of-the-second-hand-smoke Bulldog when orange's friend called and asked if she could go to a party at her house. wanting to save my lungs, i agreed to go.
sidenote: high school was, well...high school. full of cliques, drama, and ill-attempts at self-discovery. i'll admit, rather reluctantly so, that i was part of the drama-filled jock-dates-cheerleader clique: aka the 'popular' kids. but i really tried to stay neutral. i was on the outside of the "in crowd" and had lots of friends that cliche told me i wasn't supposed to have. no doubt i was happy in my own little world of friends and homecoming queens and star athletes. i guess i never took the time to notice the so-called "outsiders"--the kids who didn't have a place to fit in, a clique to call "comfortable". and so they slipped through the cracks, trying hard to make friends, to make a name for themselves (because reputation seems to be all high school offers you) and to make it through another day of the teasing, taunting, and awkwardness of [not] fitting in.
so last night at this party, it was like a revelation. i'd always considered GU an extremely welcoming place where people were friendly, doors were held open, and most everyone found their 'place'. and i was right--kind of.
after high school graduation, i just assumed that the slip-through-the-social-crack kids just found their forte..their "comfortable" clique. that they didn't have to try any more, that their lives just automatically got easier because they were no longer restricted by school districts in college. this party that i went to (with the orange fantana) was a total eye-opener. i looked around the room and saw the faces of all the kids from high school that i never took the time to notice--or didn't care to notice in my own happy world. i saw the faces of the "band nerds", the "geeks", the "fat girls" (cliche, mind you)--all the slip-through-the-social-crack kids gathered, together, in one place. and for the first time, i realized that GU isn't the place i thought it was. sure, social interests and extracurricular's separate people. but i never realized just how separate they were. it was a life-changing social exposure; to realize that there will always be people that try their entire lives to find a place that is "comfortable". that there will always be those girls, those so-called "fat girls" who were teased in high school that forever bear the scars of rejection. there will always be "geeks" who were never granted the chance to fit in, never given a mentor for social exposure and who will try their entire lives to find one.
last night, this party, was complete exposure to an underground world of GU that i am so grateful i saw. this world, full of high school's mis-fits, has finally found the beginnings of a place where they fit in. among eachother, with all the scars caused by people similar to those i called my friends. and i feel like i am partially at fault. why didn't i reach out? why didn't i care more? why didn't i take the time to realize that people were hurting, crying, even dying, for somewhere "comfortable"??
but God planned that i went to that party. He wanted me to see it. He wanted me to realize that the division never really ends, that the separation will always be there. He wanted to tell me that i am not exempt from even just a little blame. He wanted to remind me to love everyone. and most of all, He wanted to inspire me to heal their wounds.
probably the hardest exposure experience for me thus far in my life. i've always had trouble with trust. maybe a result of my parents' rough separation, the unpredicatability of my childhood, or my hesitation for dependence. but God has blessed me with amazing friends--friends that i totally trust.
but i'm feeling like God wants me to step out on a limb. to take off my guard that is always always up. to just TRUST Him, His plans. i'm feeling like i have to expose my heart in a new way. with my best friends, with the people i know, with the people i am just getting to know, even with the people i don't know.
last night, it was almost like i heard God whisper, "Jlyn..take off your masks, take your guard off...i'm guarding your heart for you, you don't have to worry anymore".
thanks God, for sufficiently guarding my heart. for allowing me to trust you. for planning my life according to your will.