Tuor, Gondolin, and Our Life Mission

I am going to involve you all in my nerdiness today. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the writings of one of my favorite authors – J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve always found his mythology of Middle Earth particularly profound and inspired, full of life lessons. And this last week I was especially struck by a story that speaks to me of our purposes in life. It’s about a man named Tuor and his mission to the secret Elven city of Gondolin (from Tolkien’s lesser known works the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales).

Detail from Gondolin by digital-fantasy (via Deviantart)

Detail from Gondolin by digital-fantasy (via Deviantart)

Here’s some backstory:
Now, in the early days of Middle Earth (long before the Lord of the Rings takes place), the mighty elf-king Turgon was worrying about how to protect his people from the evil powers that sought to destroy the elves. So with the help of the sea god Ulmo, Turgon designed a secret city he named Gondolin. It was to be a sanctuary for elves hidden in the mountains, a place of protection, where no one would know its location except those who lived within it.

But the god Ulmo warned Turgon that the city’s secret would not last forever, and in the future Gondolin would be destroyed by enemies. Continue reading

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The Lord of the Swings

One of our backyard swings

One of our backyard swings

“It’s mine… my own… my precious.”
Bilbo Baggins

Growing up, my family couldn’t afford day camps or excursions to various attractions like zoos or amusement parks. So we kids got creative in amusing ourselves at home during the summer: science experiments, inventive games, make-shift forts, you name it. But one thing that each of us desperately wanted with all our little hearts, the one thing we could never make alone (without parental supervision): a swing. Continue reading

Delayed Lessons from the Terminal

Flying over Wyoming to Idaho Falls

Flying over Wyoming to Idaho Falls

Over this past weekend, I attempted flying back to school (my second time flying in my life; the first was flying home 2 weeks previous for Christmas).

Flying. Ugh. Big mistake.

The flight home for Christmas was nerve-wracking, but the flight back to school was absolute insanity.

The original plan was to fly from San Francisco to Denver to Idaho Falls. But due to some pretty darn severe winter storms that completely enshrouded the east coast, I experienced quite a few problems.

First of all, my connecting flight from Denver was cancelled three times. One time the automated rebooking system omitted my final destination altogether, and I had to go to a nearby airport twice to fix the mistake.

When I finally thought that I had everything figured out, my first flight got delayed and caused me to miss my connecting flight in Denver. The flight that I would have taken the next morning (9 hours later) also got cancelled. Which meant that I had to take the afternoon flight the next day – 17 hours later.

All of this resulted in three days of intense stress and an unexpected overnight stay at the Denver Airport.

Yay. Continue reading

How I Almost Didn’t Graduate High School

Happy 2014!!!
Time for party poppers and sparklers and resolutions.
I find that I am like most people – resolutions are not my thing. I write resolutions down anyway just so I can say that I did it, but I never look back at my list (at least not until Dec. 31 when I need to refer to the previous year’s list for ideas).

The first of this year, I did just that. I noticed the usual resolutions: stay fit, read more, get good grades, etc. I also noticed one resolution that has appeared on every single resolution list I have ever made (usually written in all caps and underlined for emphasis):
Stop Procrastinating.

Looking back over this last year, that particular resolution made me cringe because…

well… I didn’t exactly fix that particular bad habit.

Many people will tell you that they are the King/Queen of Procrastination. My experience may convince you otherwise, for in 2013, I procrastinated something for the longest I have ever procrastinated.

And it almost ruined my life. Continue reading