To always go the extra mile. Go that second mile where it is not just your duty anymore.
FM, you must apply this in every aspect of your life— work, education, relationships, family, everything.
It seems more than the two weeks it has actually been. With the amount of heart spilling, information giving, and food eating, it feels like so much more.
The weekend student retreat took place in the stunning Doi Mae Salong, the tea country of Thailand and home of one of the Akha tribes.
This view hugged us as we shared our story necklaces, self-made adornments designed to purposefully keep our stories flowing. We shared life events that made us who we are today and other things we are currently working through. It was here where struggles streamed, and sometimes poured, down our cheeks with vibrating lips in assistance. It was here where we were at our most naked, stripped form and it was here that we began to understand each other. It was here we began to hold each other and cradle each other. Our delicate hearts and powerful words found a brave space to rest in. We came up the mountain as strangers and down the mountain as something so much more.
The drive home was open and liberating in the family songthaew. I was listening to my “Heartfuls” playlist on Spotify filled with Noah Gundersen, Roo Panes, Matt Corby, Jose Gonzalez, Hozier, James Vincent McMorrow, The Tallest Man On Earth, and Whitaker—everything I needed at that very moment. The next day school would start but I needed to decompress.
I have felt exhausted, overwhelmed, curious, frustrated, amazed, bitten, deeply saddened, overjoyed, sore, full, sweaty, and openly loved. This past week has been a fountain, no, a giant and raging waterfall, of information. It consisted of basic ideas surrounding photography, videography, story, and Jesus. Words like aperture, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, frames, screenwriting, pan, tilt, rule of thirds, and depth of field landed on my wide, blank notebook and traveled through my shaky, uncomfortable hands. We have media sessions, You sessions, God sessions, mentoring, and self-development. There is a holistic learning process carefully and purposefully embedded in all that we do so it is not just a media school but a vehicle to where we get to know our true selves, our themes, our passions, our eager souls, our Jesus, and , our competitive spirits in the arts of yoga and ultimate frisbee, necessary vices in such a time as this. By the time our days ended at around 8:30, our tired spirits crawled up three stories only to discuss deep soul matters on bunk-bedded mattresses. It honestly felt as if my brain was filing the capacity of my skull, ready to crack but at some strange moment, it was relieved, even just a little. There will be more, so much more, and I know I had to make room. I am eager to make room.
Bird’s eye views of skylines and city lights turn to vast expanses of greens and blues.
Uniformed suburban neighborhoods solely ranging in shades of brown turn to multicolored, shape-shifting, scattered homes.
Organized, congested, car-dominant freeways turn to chaotic, unevenly paved, motorbike-filled streets.
I am already falling in love with Thailand. It is a quiet love, surrounded by aromas of after-rain, powerful flavor, and hospitality. I keep quiet. Taking it all in. Silencing every bit of woo that wants to jump out, scream, and attack and still triumphs at times. I want to listen to the sounds, smell the smells, feel the country’s warmth. I want to be quiet.
The sounds have been my favorite. In my room alone, I hear accents from South Africa, France, Myanmar, and India. The rest of the students and staff in my program are from places like Australia, the Philippines, Jamaica, Indonesia, Malaysia, Georgia, South Korea, Thailand and China. I am surrounded by people who have lived all around the world, come from different backgrounds, see the world from different lenses and yet somehow, we are all here, under the same roof, together, seeking a faith that clearly, doesn’t break, but transcends through cultural norms and boundaries.
Coming in at an immensely close second is the food. Oh the food. I could write my first ever love letter to this food. I am so glad it is socially acceptable to eat Thai food (obviously) every day here. I had guava again, Thai mango, Chicken pad thai, green and yellow curry, pineapple fried rice, iced Thai tea, OH THE LIST GOES ON. And it will continue to go on for the rest of my stay here and I am completely ok with that.
I already feel at home in this unfamiliar place. I am so thankful I am here.
Surround yourself with people who nourish your soul.Unknown (via psych-facts)