Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Welcome Home

At the beginning of this year, when I moved away to college, I made a promise to myself that I would never refer to my school as "my home." I don't even know why, it just never felt right.  I had lived in the same house for 18 years, wore down my neighborhood streets with my bicycle as a kid, and spent my summer nights as a teenager exploring new secret locations throughout the valley with my friends. Moving to college was a super dramatic thing in my life for some reason... I was only moving two hours away, but it felt like I was embarking on some hugely courageous undertaking.  From my core group of friends from my senior year, I was the only one leaving, while everyone else was still living at home or still in high school. For these reasons, I sort of subconsciously viewed college as a temporary break from my living at home: I'd return for all four summers to be with my friends, visit many weekends, and on holidays. 
 This viewpoint held true for my entire first semester.  I deliberately would say "I'm going back to my dorm" rather than refer to it as my home, even though I'd be living there for a good nine months.
About a month ago on the Cru Women's retreat, we went on a short hike and then read through a devotional individually.  The focus was on self esteem and our self concept in relation to God.  I was moved and God provided me with enormous insight on how I can improve in these areas.  However, as I was sitting right here,

surrounded by God's beauty, I realized just how much I love this city.  I'd been told time and time again that "there is nothing to do in Tucson" "it's ugly" and I would "be so bored." However, I started to pray and just rejoice in all that God has given me in this past year through my new city. During my first semester, I felt alone most of the time, and like Tucson was just somewhere I'd be passing through. I never pictured myself going on a retreat with all girls and actually enjoying myself, but here I was.  I had connections.  I had people who loved me here, who made me happy here, and who helped me grow here.
I'm not sure when it was, which I think makes it all the more natural and wonderful, but sometime near the beginning of second semester, I started calling Tucson "my home."  A few times I did it without noticing, a few times I caught myself and thought about reverting back to my promise to myself.  But no.  I am so proud to call this my home.  Perhaps it was the Tucson shootings in early January that broke my heart and felt so personal, perhaps it is the fact that my schedule allows more flexibility this semester, perhaps its the fact that I finally allowed God to soften my heart and let new people in. 
Last week while at church with a friend (see, told ya) the pastor talked about how we can bless our city.  This was just another piece of the puzzle for me... everything lately has been coming together to show me that this is where I am supposed to be, for now, so I better make the most of it. I have so many opportunities here, so many new freedoms, so many mistakes to make, and so many people to teach me new things. I learn every day how many opportunities I have here to not only reach other people, but to reach myself. Although I love being home with my parents and friends, there's always a part of me that is excited to come back.  Because, for now, Tucson is my home, and home is where the heart is.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Well hey there, guys. I've wanted to start a blog for a while now, but it's been stressing me out. Not even joking. I have a few friends/people I've never met who have great blogs.  They're all relevant, inspiring, witty, and serve as great homework distractions.  I wish I was like that. I wish I thought in humorous jabs, or that I was able to see the deep side of everything currently consuming my whole life, or that I had some inpsiring or breathtaking life story that left all my admirers on the edge of their seats until my next post or that, let's be real, I had time to sit down everyday and put my day's events into a well-written post.  So lately, I've been trying so hard to think of what I'm going to do with "my blog." I mean come on, it has to somehow be different than everyone else's. Spolier: it won't be.  I'm not undertaking some grand road trip, or trying out a crazy hobby, or typing out the ups and downs to being a new mom, or teaching you anything that will be of much use to your existence. Glad we've got that all cleared up.

The thing is, I recently started thinking about how often things go wrong when we try hard.  Many things in life, sure, require intense dedication and persistance day after day.  For example, one of my passions in life is distance running, which y'all will end up hearing more about than you ever wanted. Sorry. So yeah, some things require you giving up every ounce of effort you have within you, and then some. But what about that other, all-too-important category of things that blow up in our face when we try too hard? Like songwriting, humor, flirting, or even a hairstyle ( am I right, girlfran?!). Some of these things are meant to just happen naturally.  You have them or you don't.  You learn them. You improve. But you can't practice doing them. You might have to give them a little nudge, and then watch them take off on their own.  That'll probably be how this lil guy ends up. Sorry if it gets to be boring or irrelevant. I'm just going to work on not trying too hard to make it perfect.

So, yeah... this is the super awk first blog post! What are you even supposed to say at the beginning?! I'm Paige. I'm almost done with my freshman year of college. I've had an average upbringing with some extraordinary episodes. I'm a follower of Christ. I run. I'm awkward.  I've learned a lot in 19 years. I've got a long way to go. And this is me telling you about it all <3

love, p.b.