May 7, 2013
Today was such a great day! I got up and went to school with Mimi. I was still so jet lagged by the end of the day that I took a power nap during her art class… I’ve never been one who could easily nap, but I passed out in front of people I didn’t even know. That never happens! It was so weird seeing what it’s like in a high school again… kids from all around the world still act like monkeys, even though there are some differences. Mimi’s school reminded me of boarding school from TV, like Mia’s school in Princess Diaries. There are a lot of free spirited people and a lot of talented young people at BFA. I love it! It’s so different from my high school. Mimi said it perfectly, “At BFA, instead of conforming to a set norm, people here conform to being weird.” I wish I would have had the opportunity to go to somewhere like this, or just somewhere different than small town, South Carolina, USA. The kids have a LOT of freedom but it’s freedom within boundaries. I really like that. I think American students should be allowed more freedom! I know it’s different in bigger cities and in different parts of the country, like where Blake went to school in Florida but still… our American students are so sheltered! I had some great conversations with people about differences between German schools and American schools. German students start feeling the pressure really early! They start transitioning to career plans as early as 6th grade… #wut. It’s also been interesting to watch the Asian students study at BFA. There’s still a lot of pressure, but since they’re at boarding school, a lot of them put it on themselves. Because of the more strenuous academics, the students are more mature. Yet, lots of them don’t know what they want to do post-grad. It’s really common for students to take gap years after BFA. I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with that either! I know there are aspects that are good from both and disadvantages to both as well. I can’t imagine not seeing my parents except for a few times a year. It’s not good; it’s not bad. It’s just different. Basically, as Mimi so grandly put it, “Today was a day in the normal life of Mimi Brady!” We went on a bike ride around the countryside. The weather was perfect! We took in some beautiful views and had some pretty awesome conversation too! We talked about the Lord, where she stands, how BFA (a Christian school) still has difficulty helping students truly grasp Christianity. It’s so very true that Christ has to reveal himself to each person. He stands at the door and knocks and knocks. We only have to open the door to let him in. I love my little cousin so much! She is growing up and I am so proud of her evolving worldview and the way she looks at things so openly. I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Aristotle today during our conversation, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” It’s so important to be able to question and expand your mind. Christianity is not stagnant. I’ve found that in discussing my faith with others who don’t believe, it often only confirms MORE of what I believe. God has a great way of doing that. Also… today was a GREAT eating day! I got to have real German coffee and pastries and some superrrr yummy German version of gelato. Breakfast was quiche and lunch was a yummy sandwich, pretzels, and grapes. I didn’t feel bad about any of the ice cream or pastries because we went on a walk during one of Mimi’s school periods and I practiced soccer with her soccer team too. Also, we went on that bike ride. I was so happy after we rode bikes because I felt like I tied a nice little bow around my eating for the day, like everything was even. I did really good until late tonight, when they had guacamole and tortilla chips for a “senior snack” thing they do with the senior girls in their dorm every now and then. The guacamole wasn’t even that good, but I kept eating it because it was THERE and I started thinking that I had ruined my “good day.” After that I had 6 chocolate candies! Granted, they were Russian chocolates so they were super nice but still. I don’t know why I do this to myself! It’s frustrating. I have to let go of the whole perfection thing and take everything in stride. If I can just stop myself from thinking about making everything perfect, black and white and good and bad, and just allow myself to enjoy everything MINDFULLY, then I’ll be fine. Just because I eat ONE “bad” thing doesn’t mean I have to eat five more! Mindfulness doesn’t mean portion control, it doesn’t mean ANYTHING but allowing myself to appreciate whatever it is I’m eating and paying attention to what my body actually wants. If I just keep writing about it, hopefully I will get it in my head eventually. Maybe I need to chant it to myself! Lord, please help me to grasp this concept!!