Julie

 

Her name is Julie, or that’s what she tells people anyway.  Julie is her American name.  Her real name is Yinjuan.  That’s her Chinese name.  I asked her if I could share her story because I thought it was incredible.  She told me she didn’t think it was interesting but to feel free to write about her.

“There is no such thing as genius; it is nothing by labor and diligence.”

The above quote is what fuels her drive.  That small sentence.  That.  It’s funny how powerful words can be.  How the smallest sentences can mean more than words resting on sentences sitting on paragraphs squeezing through the margins of your page.  The smallest sentences are sometimes the most powerful.  And the smallest words hold the most meaning.  It’s kind of like how you can tell someone over and over again that they’re beautiful.  But if just once you call them ugly- that’s all they’ll remember.  Words are eternally powerful.

English is Julie’s second language, her first being Chinese.  She has been struggling with learning English and communicating for the past 10 years.  She came from China leaving everything and everyone she ever knew back in high school.  She didn’t know America would be the way it is.  Apparently they didn’t really tell her how it would really be like.  She stepped into this country, not knowing a word of the language.

I’m a communications tutor and I was helping her with her personal speech.  She had everything written out and wanted to see if her structure and format was correct.  If her tone, rate and voice sounded good to me.  But as I listened to her give her speech, I could feel my eyes filling.  I was so happy but my eyes were filled because this girl had such a drive to succeed, even when circumstances seemed unlikely.

We take it for granted every single day but the ability to communicate is one of the most important things we can do as a human being.  And when that ability is taken away from us the results are debilitating.  Imagine being tossed into a completely new place without even being able to communicate the simplest of thoughts or desires.  That’s what Julie has to struggle with, but she knows that hard work pays off.

After our session was over, I asked Julie if she wanted to fill out a raffle for my club, InterVarsity Christian fellowship.  She then told me that she was Christian, in fact she converted a year ago, in America.  Someone took her to church and she became a Christian.  Someone did that for her in her life.  Someone was willing enough to do that.

She filled out the raffle and checked off every box requesting information for everything.  She told me she was busy with work but would try.

Julie understood how valuable her life was.  She realized how valuable it was and for this reason she wanted to keep fighting.  Please realize how incredibly valuable you are.  How precious and important you.  If not to anyone on this earth- to God.  And when God loves you, the opinion and faltering opinions of others are irrelevant.

I believe Julie will succeed in her quest to really know English.  I believe it because she believe it too.

 

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me

 

Dream Jobs

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Only nine percent of people have their dream jobs.  NINE percent, how crazy of a number is that?  I grew up in a Malayalee household, this means my parents are from Kerala, India.  I grew up being told to look for a job with stability.  Available options included becoming a doctor, nurse or engineer.  Anything else was simply inadequate.  I bit the bullet and told my parents I wanted to be a business major, they were not happy but they accepted my decision and even pay for my college.  I am incredibly grateful in this regard because I know so many people who are forced to study something they do not like.

With this being said, I’ve recently changed my major to Corporate Communications, a field I find myself incredibly excited to learn more and more about.  At the same time, I am constantly met by opposition.  The funny part is that this doesn’t even really come from my parents, but my friends who have chosen to take the traditional path for my culture.

One of my closest friends is studying Pharmacy in a six year program, something that is incredibly grueling and difficult to pursue.  She is currently in her sixth year and pushing forward.  Because of her major she knows that she doesn’t get that much free time during the week.  She knows that she doesn’t even have much time to spend with friends because she needs to study.  But the prospect of such amazing job security and stable income is enough to fuel her through the remaining four to five years of college that she has left.

Because she is a close friend of mine, we talk together about things like our majors.  And because she is a good friends, she tries to be honest with me.  The way she sees it, of course I should try to get a job I will like but I should find some sort of middle ground.  Meaning a job that I can see myself doing, maybe not loving, but a job that can give me a steady and secure source of income.  Student loans are no joke and four years is a long time to waste.

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The fact of the matter is that I know that money does’t in fact guarantee my happiness.  Just as the little info graphic above shows.  Right now I’d rather take the risk and try to get a job in a major that is incredibly competitive than give up on my dreams for the secure road.  If I was meant for the secure road I would have gone to medical school a long time ago and pushed myself to get through.  But I know that wouldn’t make me happy, in fact I believe it would make me feel miserable.

The thing is that God created me just as I am for a reason.  I am Nina.  I like certain things and dislike others.  The entire world of incredibly diverse and different people who are not all meant to doctors and engineers.  In fact some of them really are made to do that, and I am happy that they are passionate about helping people and building things.  But this mold is not a one size fits all kind of thing.

I might change the way I feel about this by the time I graduate but right now I refuse to major in something I do not love.  I want to take classes in which I take notes because I want to, not just because we have a final coming up.  I want to learn about things that will actually impact who I am as a person and who I want to be.  Majoring in Corporate Communications will do that for me.

Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

I literally just took this picture in the middle of the tutoring center at my college.  I tried to act like a ninja when I was taking it- did it work?  I find it so crazy that 30 days have already gone by, I feel like I started this challenge yesterday and now I’m done.  I think it feels a little bitter sweet to be typing up my last post.  On one hand I’m happy that I don’t have to blog everyday, but on the other hand, I don’t have to blog everyday!  And I feel like being forced to blog helped me in a million different ways.  Now unto 5 good things that happened to me since I started this 30 day challenge.

1.  InterVarsity used one of my blog posts.

I wrote about InterVarsity and strangely enough, InterVarsity found my blog and not only asked to use it, but have me write for them this summer.  I’ve only written one other post for them so far but I find this such an incredibly humbling experience.  And I’m so grateful to be used by God in this capacity.  I never considered myself a writer, but I did believe I had something interesting to say.  And the amazing thing about God is that he calls you just to be called, he’ll qualify you and do the rest.

2. I turned nineteen

I know that sounds stupid, but not a lot of people can say they lived to be nineteen years old.  So many people die young or tragically and I was blessed to live yet another year of my life.  I’m thankful for that.

3.  I had the most productive summer of my life

I’m not even halfway through but regardless of whether of not I pass this seemingly impossible math class, I’ve learned and done so much this summer.  Most times during the summer I bum around each day and do nothing but right now I can’t remember a time I’ve worked harder really.  And the the thing is I don’t even do that much, which speaks to my work ethic.  Or lack there of.  But I’m learning that it’s okay to take breaks sometimes.  As well as the fact that one cannot be working all day long.  I think its ingrained in our brains that something is wrong if we’re not always working.  That we’re procrastinating and wasting our precious lives away!  But most people procrastinate.  Maybe we should stop spending so much time complaining about doing nothing and just work hard whenever we do work.

4. I stopped caring a little more.

Again this sounds so counter intuitive, but not caring about the small stuff really changed my outlook on life.  I stopped letting myself engage in petty drama that’s around me.  I stopped caring about whether or not I was coming off a certain way.  And in turn I started caring about just being a good person and relying less on these superficial things like the name of the brands that I wear.  Learning to let go and not care is revealing and ultimately releasing.

5.  I’m going on a mission trip to Guyana.

I think normally I would have been too afraid of being unqualified to go.  But I’m going because I feel like God has called me to do this!  I plan on blogging about experiences when I get the chance, so check back if you want to hear from me.