Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scared of Me

Fear has been ever so present in my life over the past semester. I hate it. I get scared. Scared of judgement. Scared of failing. Scared of making a fool out of myself. Scared of sounding dumb. Scared of me.

I've been scared this past semester of different things. I was scared during Millie that I would forget part of the dances or would trip while doing cross over moves. I was scared before my end of the year theatre reviews. I was worried I wouldn't get my monologues done, and I was scared the professors would rip me apart. I was scared for my voice recital because I've never sang in front of any one. I was scared that I wouldn't be prepared to fly to Birmingham and start rehearsing. I was a scaredy-cat.

There were 2 things last week during my last week at HPU this year that enlightened me. The incidents occurred on the same day...a few days after realizing how fearful I am. I can't remember one of the things that happened, but I really remember one of them. I visited one of my theatre professors offices one afternoon just to talk. I met with Ed Simpson, our department chair, who I like to think of as a wise grandfather figure who always has a moral to his story. In our conversation I asked him what kind of material he had been working on since he was a playwright. He said he's always working on something and was in the process of getting another play published. I then asked him how he got into writing, how he writes and why he writes. He started writing while working at a small university...he was able to get thoughts out, get his students to read and act it out so he could see what worked and didn't work. He told me he had no idea what he was getting himself into and really worked at it because he didn't want to look like a fool.
He didn't want to submit an awful play that publishers would read and laugh at the amateur writing. But, he said he got to a point where he didn't care. Once he let go of fear and didn't care of what people thought... he was able to fully commit and create original material that was developed. He didn't care about looking dumb, he didn't care what others thought, he didn't care if he failed...he committed and persevered.

I've come to the conclusion that I really need to stop caring about judgement. It doesn't matter if I may fail. Who cares if I look dumb? Who are you to judge if I'm just doing things and being me? So what if my voice isn't perfect? What are you gunna say if I trip while dancing? Should I care what you think if I miss a line in my monologue? Why should I even care about your criticism and judgement? I shouldn't.

This week working for Student Life and having to jump into a group of people I've never met has been tough. I've had to make big acting choices that people didn't expect. I had to jump up and sing a song on the spot. I've had to really open up quickly and let people know me. I've been a little out of my comfort zone. But it's been comforting. Because I know it doesn't matter what they think and I know they won't judge me harshly. As long as my motives are right and I'm being myself...I think that's all that matters. I have no reason to be afraid. My God strengthens me, comforts me, and loves me. He has called me by name and I am His. Not someone elses to to be judged. Not someone elses to be afraid.

So stop being scared...because for me, fear is being crushed.

Psalm 34:4 - "I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears."

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Benefit

Trust: deserved, earned, a benefit.

Trust is a big deal to me. It has been something that has been a big part of my life ever since I was a kid and my parents were divorced. Trust is when you put your full faith in someone, you rely on them, its a responsibility, and a truth. When my parents got divorced I had to instill trust in my dad that he wouldn't walk out on me like my mom did. I had to put my full faith in the situation and believe that he would raise me in a healthy manner. I also had to trust my mom somehow. When she would say that I would see her on the weekend and whatnot, I trusted her that it would happen. When it didn't...I lost hope.

Trust comes from the heart, I believe. When you trust someone, you don't have to worry. And when you have a little bit of a lack of trust in someone, you give them the benefit of the doubt.

The benefit of the doubt...

It's a hard thing to actually give and believe. When you give someone the benefit of the's because they didn't live up to expectations, and you are letting them have a potential excuse for their lacking. But...what if there is no excuse? What if there is no real reasoning? What if constantly you give someone the benefit of the doubt, yet they continually come up short. Do you not trust them any more? Do you let them make up false excuses? What's the next step.

I think it's losing trust and hope. I believe there comes a point when you simply can't trust someone any more. There has to be a time when you say enough is enough. When I said trust comes from the heart, I meant it. When someone goes against your hurts inside right? It's hard to believe, it's hard to accept, and you don't like the feeling. And now that you have that lack of's easier to worry...constantly worry about things...whether it's a person, situation, a material object, a job...whatever. You worry. But then I think there comes a point when you have to not worry.

Losing trust makes you worry. Worrying makes you stressed. Stress is unhealthy in large doses. So, don't stress...which means you have to stop worrying...which means you have to stop losing trust...which means you have to stop trusting to begin with.

I may sound bitter...and I might be bitter. I may sound harsh or thick skinned...and maybe I am. But trust is earned, trust is something that can be deserved...but trust is a benefit too.

I'm not dumb. really. Don't give me reasons to not trust you, friends.

I'll trust you, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and I'll worry for awhile when I can trust you...but there comes a time when enough is enough, and trust is long gone.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Growing Up

So it's official; there are exactly 2 weeks left at High Point University for me this year. My sophomore year is coming to a close and I am now halfway done with college. It's time to really start growing up. But what is growing up anyway? I think I've began to figure it out, but of course how would I even know if I'm not even there yet.

But here's what I believe growing up is:

- Realizing you're in college for education. You're there to prepare yourself for your future career, not for every little formal and social event.
- Taking responsibility for your actions and learning to be a mature adult
- Swallowing your pride and realizing the world doesn't revolve around you
- Maybe moving a little off campus to become more independent
- Managing your time and prioritizing
- Having a job, managing your money, and not asking mommy and daddy for money all the time
- Being able to take care of yourself and your belongings without being told to
- And a whole lot more.

Growing up is hard. It's been one of those things I think about a lot. I walk around campus and I see people and I hear stories...and I'm sickened sometimes. Some people are incredibly immature and just "don't get it", if you know what I mean. I know I'm more mature than they are...but it also lets me know that I still have a ways to go.

I'm at a point where I know I need to really make some decisions. I need to really focus on my major and my future. I have to fully commit to acting, dancing, and singing for the next two years so that I can learn as much as I can. I need to start being more responsible with money and save it for emergencies. I need to start letting go of people in my life who only hold me back. I have to really prioritize and make time for everything. There's a lot that I need to do. I'm unprepared for now.

I know that there is no way I could fend for myself or make it own my own if I weren't in school right now. Not even that. If i went to a bigger state school I probably wouldn't be doing that great. It's sad, and I need to step up. But, I know it doesn't happen over's a learning and growing process and it will eventually happen over time.

So here's to growing up.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Okay. So it's been awhile (once again) since I have written. I've explained that I really only write when something hits me or if I'm inspired by something. Well today I was inspired by 2 different things and I wanna rant about them.

First off, I hate my Foundations of Theatre class with a passion. Let's not talk about it. But today in class we reflected on Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and talked about "The American Dream" in relation to the play and characters. We tried to establish what the American Dream was in the 40's and then what the American Dream was now. I tend to sit back and listen during discussions and then give my input. But the class decided that during the 40's the american dream was simply to be married, have a couple of kids, the mom was a house wife, the husband provided for the family, the family had a nice house, and there was financial stability. Then the class debated what the american dream was today. A lot of people said it was the same and some people said that marriage wasn't necessary because you can still have kids, yet it helped. Women now have the ability to work and provide. People should be financially stable and should be able to buy whatever they want.
The teacher asked where everyone got this from, and people said the media, celebrities, and it's just "how things are". Sitting back and thinking...I got mad. I was pissed off that people couldn't think for themselves and decide what was the american dream on their own.

Well here's the "american dream" to me: to be happy.
If the American Dream is what my classmates said it was, then my family and I have failed 100%. Who can decide that just because my parents are divorced, I have failed? Who can judge my family for not spending frivolously because we don't have that kind of money? Who can say that because I live in a small home, that I missed the mark? Who are you to decide what my american dream is?
You can have everything in the world and everything can be picture perfect, but what happens when all of that fades away?
If you set that standard of an "american dream" for everyone and miss one step, did you fail at your own standard?
If I am satisfied and happy with where I am at, then that is my "american dream".
Get outta here. God is the only one who can judge and God is the only one who can set the standards, and He is a God of mercy and grace.


The other thing that really got me today came from #Twitter. I've become a little too obsessed and I like when people tweet intelligent things. Heres one that I read today:

"If youre thinking of giving up on something... you already have. #sotrue"

I read this, sat, thought about it, wrestled with it...and I agree with it. When you persevere and push towards something and reach the end goal, you feel phenomenal. However, during the perseverance and drive, if you begin to think about giving up... you have made your road longer, harder, and bumpier... and more than likely, you will actually give up.
I do believe that you can push past the thought of giving up...but once that thought is there, it's all you want to do... it's the easy way out... it looks glorious. I think that once you've started thinking abut giving up you've lost hope, you start to think "what's the point?", and you begin t slow down.

I don't know, I still need to really let it sit with me some more. But I agree with it... a lot. Whether it is in regard to school, friendships, relationships, jobs, or whatever else. Once that idea of giving up is present, you take one step forward and two steps back. And like i said, I do believe one can push past the idea of giving up.... but then the next step is, "Is it going to be worth it to push past? If I've already thought about giving up, why do I want to keep going on? If I feel this way now, how will I feel in a few days from now?" Just think about it.

Little things that I hear or see don't necessarily slip by me... sometimes they send me for a whirl and get the gears turning. Praise God for that.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Alright, so a lot of people tell me I'm a good writer, I should blog more or whatever. While I do enjoy the comments, criticisms, and accolades, I really only right for myself and to get thoughts/feelings out. Like I've told people before, something has to hit me to make me write. And within the past few days, a lot of things have hit me...different things coming from different directions and at different times. So, I'm gunna write.

While all I really want to do is go on a rant...I'm not going to, because I don't like to write about negative thing. So, instead of a rant, I'm going to try and ramble about different things in an attempt to find a place where I am content with what I have written, and have had a "lightbulb" moment.

I'm at this point right now where I am being selfish; I want to know. I want to know. I WANT to know. I want to KNOW. I want to know what to do right now, and I want to know what's going to happen different aspects of my life. For me, it's kind of a weird feeling...because I am an in the moment kind of person rather than future oriented. I like to live as if I have no idea what's going on a day from now, what I have scheduled next month, and where I will be in a few years. It's useless to plan and to "see" yourself somewhere in the future because that's where YOU see yourself. ...God can strip that away in a hot minute because He has His plan. And ultimately, that's what is going to happen. I really think that way...but right now I'm selfish.

I want to know what to do in current situations. I want to know when to let someone go. I want to know when to stop helping someone and looking out for them, when they don't even care to help themselves. I want to know why I'm in situations I am in. I want to know why I was left to build up and lead HPU's first improv troupe. I want to know why I am a theatre major. I want to know if I will actually make it in acting. I want to know what to do when people shove my faults in my face. I want to know what to do when rage and anger take over me. I want to know what to do when I'm full of pride and joy. I want to know what people think about me. I want to know why people think the way they do about me. I want to know why I stand my ground and don't shape myself around peoples views of me. I want to know why some people don't have a backbone. I want...

I'm selfish right now. I think at this particular point in time I've gotten to a point where I'm tired of investing so much into so many people and things. I have broken myself up and given myself to a lot of things, when really I want to take it all back and just do me. I want to quit theatre when I feel like I'm going nowhere. I want to drop improv when things aren't falling into place. I want to quit school because its hard and it's stressful. I want to sever my ties with those who bring me negativity. I want to crash my truck when I realize it needs more work done to it. I want to quit my jobs when I realize the pay isn't right. I want....

Damn I'm selfish.

Really when I look at every thing I want or want to do, it leads to nothing. Really, it does...because once we get what we want, we are never satisfied...we keep wanting more. We are selfish human beings who can never get enough. Desires lead to death. Think about it.

This list is not for me, or whoever reads this...its just for anyone and everyone to just think about:

Why do we want a material item when we know we will only want 1 more or the newer version later?
Why do you hook up with a girl, when you know it will make you want to or lead you to hook up with just 1 more?
Why do we enjoy love, because you know we only want to be loved just a little more?
Why do we like attention, you know you just want more of it.
Why do people work're never going to get to a point where you're satisfied with your looks.

I don't know...a lot of these questions are legitimate, and some aren't...but they just make me think in general. I just know that we are selfish people with selfish desires, and selfish desires lead to negative outcomes. I get it, but I don't. I just know that I want to find a balance between selflessness and selfishness.

I don't know mannn, but I'm thinkin. Everyone should think.

"I've got some issues that nobody can see. And all of these emotions are pouring out of me. I bring 'em to the light for you, it's only right. This is the soundtrack to my life, the soundtrack to my life." -Kid Cudi

Friday, December 31, 2010

It's Been a Long One

The picture you see was taken by one of my Kappa Sigma brothers. His name is Shengkai Su and he is from China. It has nothing to do with this post but I thought I would share it. It's cool that a college student from China can experience New years in NYC... As an American I haven't even done that.

It's New Years and I needed to write again. Something happened...something clicked in my mind as a spun around the room at 12:01am to see what everyone was doing/saying. Something really hit me. I think as I get older I'm just becoming a train wreck or an old woman. Because I almost cried. I learned what New Years was about.

I spent the evening with my family, my families work friends, and just other family friends. We had a party at my Uncle Curtis' house in his outdoor bar that he built that he likes to call "The Huckleberry Hut". I kinda like it. The Browning family has a meaning. The last name Browning has a lot behind it and I kind of know why tonight too. My dad has 4 brothers, 2 of which were there tonight making a total of 3/5 of the Browning brothers. All of them have their own character and differences but they all have something in common. Love. They love people to death and will bend over backwards to serve anyone and to put a smile on their face. I've always been told, "You're daddy is a good man." And I think that applies to all of the brothers. Their name even has weight at Duke University where the 3 brothers work. Everyone there has heard the name Browning a time or two. Speaking of Duke, to my surprise one of their work friends unexpectedly showed up at the party. I have known this man since I was a kid and it was the first time I had seen him and his family in a long time. His dad died yesterday. He was an emotional wreck to say the least. But he was damn happy to be there and to see the Browning family and the other people there. I had never seen my dad, my uncles, and this man so happy together in a time of emotional distress. I learned what true friendship is like. When I went to shake this guys hand, he hugged me. Then I saw his wife and her mouth dropped open. She couldn't believe how much I had grown up and how "beautiful" I was. How do you react to that?

Now that I gave some kind of background information mixed with current information...Lets get on to 2011.

Right before 12:00am hit everyone had a drink, whether it was soda, beer, liquor, water, or the god-awful champagne I had. Everyone stood with their individual family and namely their loved one. I of course was alone...for the 20th year of my life. The ball dropped in Times Square and the Acorn dropped in Raleigh, NC. Everyone shouted Happy New Year! and drank a sip of their drink and kissed their loved ones. I zoned out for a second and began to examine the room. Everyone was smiling, laughing, hugging each other, kissing each other, wishing each other a Happy New Year. Even those who didn't know each other that well. It sounds typical, but it was a beautiful moment in my eyes. I learned what New Years was all about.

New Years isn't the modern holiday where you get plastered and make an ass of yourself. It's a celebration of life. It's a moment you share with those around you where you know that you made it just another year. You did it, you survived. Despite your ups and downs, you are still standing right there in that moment, the very first second of the beginning of a New Year. It's a celebration. At the same time it's a time of letting go. You are letting go and moving on from everything that happened in the previous year. It's a wrap up. It's the bow on the package, the rubber band around the envelope full of files.

For me it was definitely a time of putting the rubber band around an envelope full of files. The incredibly high highs that I have experienced this year were trumped by the lows that I have had, if I'm being honest. This has been one of the hardest, craziest, most emotional years of my life. I'm going to reflect a little:
  • I was able to perform in my first college production
  • I became a founding father of the Rho-Eta chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity
  • Finished out my freshman year of college
  • Lost a scholarship
  • Was able to serve along side Orange Team with Student Life for the entire summer
  • Traveled to & through 11 states during the summer
  • Missed my annual family vacation
  • Became a Resident Assistant to 48 awesome freshman guys
  • Auditioned, was called back, and missed getting the lead role in Our Town
  • Auditioned, was called back, and missed getting cast in the world premier of Love/Sick
  • Auditioned, was called back, and missed getting cast in True West
  • Auditioned, was called back, read 5 times for the lead, and missed getting the part in the short HPU film Connected
  • Became incredibly overwhelmed by being in classes, theatre, an RA, and in a fraternity
  • Didn't get the GPA I needed to get my scholarship back
  • Lost one of my residents, John Evans Lacey
It's been a tough one as you can see. I'm not throwing myself a pity party by any means. But I have dealt with some stuff, and it has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. I would rather not reflect on the year 2010 and in the words of Cee-Lo Green... "Forget You".
All I can say is that I have experienced every emotion possible and have learned a lot about life and especially myself. But what I really ask myself is, "God, what in the world are you preparing me for? What is next for me, really?" I have tried to figure it out, and obviously I can't do that so I guess I will have to wait it out.

So, I think I really just rambled a lot...but I got to write it out. So here's to a New Year...I'm thankful for the one I just got to experience but I really hope God reveals what He has been preparing me for this year. I need it. So, how was your year? Think you know what you're being prepared for?
I saw Natasha Bedingfield perform this song on New Year's Rockin Eve with Dick Clark tonight. I think it's a great song to end with. Here's a video with the song and lyrics:

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Angel

This is John Evans Lacey. I met John in late August when he moved into Blessing Hall room 503-1 at High Point University. He was a charming guy with a great smile and has a lot of character. As his Resident Assistant, I was excited to meet him. I was lucky to have a resident like John for the school year.

John Lacey died on December 21, 2010 from a seizure. He died, he's dead, he is gone, he is not here, he is with the Lord.

I keep having to remind myself of this as the days go on. Finding out this information was like a piece of news that felt like a joke, like Ashton Kutcher and MTV camera's were going to pop out to tell me I've been Punk'd. It didn't fully hit me until today when I was at his memorial service. I've never been to a memorial for someone that is around my age, or better yet younger than me.

At John's service his dad, stepdad, and sister all shared things about John and memories they had with him. While his sister shared the comedic and very true characteristics of John, his dad shared the deeper characteristics. He described him as a prism that expanded and presented different colors of light. Those colors: yellow, blue, and red. He gave an explanation for why John can be described in those 3 colors and each reason was remarkable and true. His last thoughts though were that now, John can't give off those colors any more....but tomorrow on Christmas day he will be represented with the color white... snow. He will be our Christmas Angel.

The memorial service really touched me and was hard to sit through. I haven't cried that much since I left my team of Student Life staff this past summer.

I've said this before and I will say it again: As an RA, my residents are like my little brothers, and I lost one. Residents really mean that much to me and I didn't realize it until this point. I would say that I am one of the only RA's on campus to know all of his residents names, what individual room they live in, and for the most part where they are from. I do take pride in that, I won't lie. And I've always felt like since all 48 of my residents are younger than me, that I have to look out for them. Be there as a mentor in some way. And I don't know why but I feel like I failed with John even though death is out of human hands. I don't know why I feel that way and I know I didn't fail, it's just how I feel. I know a lot about my residents for the most part, some more than others. When it came to John, I knew him. I knew him decently. However, it hurts because I know I didn't get to know him well enough and never got the chance to truly invest into him. Or at least, that's what I think. I miss the kid so much already. The family is down one- to 47.

It's hard. I don't know what to think or feel honestly. When we get back to High Point I know it will be harder. We have to get used to him not being on the hall, and then a memorial service for him. I don't know whether to be an "RA" and be there for residents, or go with my emotions and let the moment guide me. I think I have an answer to it now after today.

At the service John Lacey's sister expressed how John lived in the moment and for the moment. He soaked up life and everything going on around him. That's what I need to do. Live like John. Live in the moment always. Soak up and enjoy everything going on around me. Smile. Love on everyone I come in contact with. Shine a light in this dark world. Offer a glimmer of hope during hopelessness. Be like John.

I don't know what I was trying to accomplish with this. I just needed to speak, or express myself or whatever. So, I will leave you with a little something: Take time to invest in everyone you know. Find out as much as you can about them and pour into their life. Live in the moment. Smile and be happy and enjoy everything. Be a light in this dark world and trust in the Lord. God is sovereign. He know's what is going on always where as we don't always have answers.

Rest in Peace: John Evans Lacey

August 18, 1991 - December 21, 2010

A Christmas Angel