me. YU + everyone else.
My name is Gina and these are my yulogies. I'm a journalism student with a minor in sociology. I would rather spend hours under the stars than anything else. I think that people are the most beautiful when laughing. I dance awkwardly and sing loudly. Music tends to my soul. Food and cooking define the limitlessness of my world.

And what is this here?

My thoughts. My wishes. My frustrations. My random blurbs. My lofty aspirations. My hopes that never seem to falter despite everything & all else that is me.
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true strength

My family’s story began in a very dark place. And it remained there for most of my childhood. If you look at us, you would never guess the nights that defined a part of the grand and complex picture that frames us now.

Through all of that, my mother, (that woman who battles illnesses and unimaginable heartache in every stage of her life) found strength in making people laugh and giving her love to everyone.

But in those cold moments, she stored her strength by hiding her pain and masking it and working harder and loving harder. And so, she passed this on to her daughters.

Though we didn’t always know the specifics or the cause, we could always see through her masks and into her pain as far as we could remember. It isn’t the healthiest way to cope, but it is one that became ingrained within us.

As we are growing and finding who we are by being faced with how we act within difficult situations, we see that we cannot continue this way. Our family cannot.

You see, what we are learning…is that strength is not how much pain you can bear on your own or how skillfully you can hide each soul-twisting difficulty, true strength is knowing yourself. Knowing when to say that you have reached your limit for the day, for the moment, for the second, and that you need a helping hand and shoulder to cry on.

True strength is disarming yourself of mistrust and thrusting your vulnerability in the arms of those who love you, giving them the chance to prove your doubts wrong.

True strength, my friends, is fully understanding that you cannot do this alone. And that’s okay. Because we are not hermit creatures that are meant to thrive on isolated islands.  

We find strength in each other. Every situation that shapes us, every conversation that reveals us. This kind of strength is far less attractive and far less easy to digest. But man, that is what makes it so true and so much more rich. 
My family’s story is still being written, and it will not get easier. But I know now more than ever that we have no control over where things land, but everything does happen for a reason.

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By a serendipitous poem, I claimed for myself this summer invincible.

And a week in, invincible it has been.

I can’t wait for what else this summer will bring.

Also, With or Without You by U2, great solo midnight drive song. Experienced it, approved. 

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Just wait.

effortlessly from heel to toe.

a breath, a sigh.

each barreling wave.

every leaf flutters and quakes.

the pavement, it sparkles.

it shines.

numb.

but then,

just wait.

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To relieve even a little of the universe’s pain.

The ache and misunderstanding. The imbalance and lack of grace. 

To give. Despite being so unsure of a return.
To thirst for another, that they know they are cared for. 

Loved. Adored. Admired. Remembered. Understood. 

To bear in. The danger that comes with knowing the pain. 
Faced and fueled.

 Afraid. Humbled. But ready.

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After going going going. You have this clear night sky and a fluorescent bulb. A song of piano and cello harmonies. A blinking cursor. A tattered novel textbook journal. The cars whispering rapidly by like ghosts. A blinking blue light. The skin kissing breeze seeping through the mismatched windowsill. A scent of baby wildflowers. A nervous hum from the ceiling fan.

Sometimes,
a song can creep into the fissures of your soul
and cause the hidden melancholy to ache,
to make you feel everything all at once.

Your soul thrusts and seizes,
but it’s good for you.

To be human every now and then.
To be aware of your human condition.
Lean in.  

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Stars

There are those moments when you return from a walk under the night sky.

You kneel down in the haven of a dark room and rest your forehead onto the floor. and the rest of your existence bears down into it.

And the world spins. It spins, and it spins. 
And usually, this would be scary. It would make you worry and reach for something stable. But right now. Right now, it feels good. To not be in complete control and have a reason for it.

All the swirls and brightly colored twirls. They’re just stars and star trails, looking for somewhere to stop. To stop not because they gave up, not because they felt like they needed to, not because they couldn’t go any longer. No, they just know when to stop. And shine.  

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Dust

There’s something otherworldly about the way a ray of sunshine can illuminate a constellation of dust.

Humans. Man, we think we know it all. 
We have it all figured out, an opinion or solution for everything.
Everyday another invention, another wind forward of our grandfather clock’s tired hands.

We schedule moments of silence into the day, a moment to listen for a heartbeat. Reminding ourselves that maybe we don’t merely just exist, we are alive.

The rhythm of each string of beats can vary from a grand symphony of twinkling notes to a single repetition of that one reverberating note on a plain oak piano. But it plays on. It beats on…

There’s something so overwhelmingly terrifying yet completely exciting about the way we will never be in control of what will happen in the next moments, today, tomorrow, one thousand tomorrows.

Today, I sit here with my Comm Law book and ponder the architecture of this perfectly constructed universe of ours. 

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Monday Musings

I haven’t posted in this blog for … well, I don’t even know how long. But! I am back… for these next few minutes anyway.

Life. 
The best way I can describe it as of this moment, a technicolor whirlwind.

If you know me, you know that I cannot say “no” to anything and that I see every single opportunity as a DIVINE gift for me to receive and cherish. [Volunteer UGA Director of External Affairs; Ampersand Food Editor & Staff Writer; McGill Fellow; ArtsATL Intern; and of course, a staff Yoforian] Thus my current predicament of forgetting to eat meals, having the WEIRDEST dreams and having to schedule people into my life..

Sometimes,
I just want to run away. I want to quit everything. Live like a nomad…a well-fed nomad. Hiking the hills and trekking the valleys of the curves of Mother Earth.
And maybe I will do that one day. As of now, it’s grind time.

I honestly cannot believe that college is flying by so quickly. 
College = a place unlike any other, a time unlike any other, full of exponential opportunities, a hodge podge of every flavor of person you could think of, a season of life that offers up a chance to be selfish, self-seeking, self-realizing.

I look at my friends and classmates that are shuffling their days and piecing their lives together preparing to enter the REAL WORLD, and I can’t even describe how I feel.. Hopeful? Sad? Inspired? Scared? Encouraged? Terrified? 

I saw a post on SoulPancake today [a collaboration between Rainn Wilson and Oprah. Love them btw.] that said:

LIFE IS SHORT there is no time to leave IMPORTANT WORDS unsaid. 

Simple enough right? 
But staring at my screen, I felt an odd numbness, like the kind you feel after a staring contest with your TV. 

If we were all to live believing and understanding just how short life is and just how fast time flies, would it look different?

I know mine would.

What is it about us that holds us back from doing the things and saying the things that our souls are screaming for us to do?

 

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Tectonic Tension

Let me honest here in this tiny square foot of cyberspace of mine.

We read novels, watch movies, absorb sweet poems
that assure us that if we just live by love, if we work hard at what we love, if we work hard for the people we love…
that life has a way of saying “Hey, you’ve done alright.”
and rewards the work and binds the friendships.

What happens then…if in reality, so much of the opposite happens?
If the work is swept under the carpet?
If the friends suddenly find you dispensable?
or if they give in to the whispers of the world that seems to want to crack the foundations of anything that may hint to permanence?

I ask you, my dear cyber spirits, what in the world do you do?
You keep working hard and loving just as hard…
but the cycle continues..

Anything I feel to be certain, is never the case.

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The Giving Tree [Exhalation]

Even trees forget
how to root themselves
into the cold earth.

An anchor for sweet hydration
in a desert
void of certainty.

They were planted
to defy gravity.

Granted divine permission
to tell every earthly sensibility
otherwise.

Enslaved by sticky winds
and deceitful suns,
these creatures find
the will
to bear fruit evermore. 

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this goes out to all the calling hearts
on a rainy Georgia summer day. 

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The static waves across the screen 
Define this notion 
Back and forth and in between 

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We Are Young.

For the past weeks, I have had this song on constant replay. Constant. Replay.

"Tonight, we are young.
So, let’s set the world on fire.
We can burn brighter
than the sun.”

I know that this song may be about a variety of things, but when you hear this song, thers is just so much determination, passion, excitement.
I look around at the tired faces of my friends and classmates, losing focus of what they were originally fighting for in life by keeping their eyes strained on a single point, searching for a specific and perfect purpose to give their life meaning.

But sometimes, maybe it takes a little chaos, a little falling apart to find something different. something unexpected. something new to live for.

So this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow morning,
remember that we are still young.

We can burn brighter than the sun.

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Flash, Flicker.

New Year’s is the perfect excuse for a fresh start, a clean slate, and many new beginnings. Now excuse sounds a little harsh, but why else does everyone wait until January 1st to make promises and resolutions?

I thought I knew what I would resolve to do. What I wanted to do better, stop doing, start doing, etcetera. Yet, this year I’m faced with a question that begs “why the hell are you waiting till now?’ or “how long will this last?”
This might just be my midnight-sitting-on-the-floor-typing-by-lamplight thinking, but don’t resolutions have a way about making you feel somewhat terrible about how you’ve been living?…only to put yourself through it all again?

Why can’t these grand gestures and fancy resolutions be a daily thing? I mean yeah, the novelty of it all goes out the window, because the once-a-year slate-cleaning-feeling isn’t present. But why can’t everyday be just as special? [Corny, I know.]

I guess I’m feeling a little hollow at the moment. 
Everything moves so quickly.
Nobody appreciates the details. the effort. the care. the love.
It’s all about the BIG, BAM, FLASH, instant gratifications.

Like the smoke that quickly whips arounds and vanishes into thin air after blowing a candle out, we too are temporary.

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many more whispers

Many more whispers for many more people. 
Outgoing I am, but human I am also.
Somethings are too tough to say. Somethings won’t be heard. Some people wouldn’t care. So I whisper. to you:

people of happiness, regret, and resentment.

a. You’re back in my life again and I couldn’t be more thankful. You’re one of those people that just get me. You understand me and help me find peace. I understand now why people tried so hard to keep us apart. They were jealous of our bond. But now we know, and now they know.

b. You can’t be my friend one moment and stranger the next. Some people can settle with that, but I know I’m worth more. You can’t use the world turning you cold as an excuse for being cold to me. You say I’m warm then why do you show such resentment toward me for it? I take the one nobody else wants, and I take the blame for not trying. If only you could open you’re eyes and stop for a moment.

c. For some reason, you’re always there for me when I need you. To say you’re one of my best friends would be an injustice. More accurately, you’re a gift God gave to me. We talk through food. We don’t mind each other’s venting and temporary lapses of coldness. We’re aminals.

d. Where did you go, old friend? Did the world take you away? Are you breathing under the pressure of life and regret? Where is that old familiar red chat ballon?

e. I would’ve never guessed that you would still be my friend. One of my best friends. We’re so different. We want such different things. Yet, somehow we can talk and laugh for hours while gorging ourselves on bread. You help me to see the brightside. Thank you for responding to all of my late night texts of sadness.

f. I see you a lot. On the way to class. Going to a friend’s house. You look at me with such disgust. Like how could you have ever been best friends with a girl like me? Well, I’m not ashamed to admit that I still miss you. Pathetic but honest. I know they won. I’m okay with that. It just hurts every time.  

g. You need to stop crying. Not in the shower. Not at night in your bed. Stop crying. I know you’ve gone through a lot. You miss her. You miss him. You’re confused, but you know that the light will shine again, ever so brightly as it always does. This is just another season. You’ll get to the next, even more warm, even stronger. You’ll never be lukewarm, you’ll never settle for what everyone wants you to be. You’ll be wonderful.