Yet another week has passed by for me in this Empire State. And if we were to compare this 8-week internship to running a 400 meter sprint around a track, (which I actually had to do once Sophomore year in track, and it went something like the following:), this is that point where my legs turn to rubber, my chest fills with suffocating CO2, and my mind begins to question why I ever signed up for this. I hate running. Should my arms be tingling? Everyone’s passing me! I just want to lay down right here on this nice patch of grass…
Halfway through a task always proves to be the toughest point for me. Be it halfway through a school year, halfway through a homework assignment, halfway through a blog post, or halfway through an hour long workout, I’m ready to turn in. I finish things only by gritting my teeth and pushing on until that beautiful, glorious finish line is in sight. That’s when I flourish, with the end right in view, but I’ll save that comparison for my last week here. Because I’m at the week 4 mark now. Halfway.
I’ve definitely gotten into a smooth routine at Fox and with my bosses there. They’re still very patient when teaching me a new job or reminding me on something I learned before. I even have a potential future boyfriend in my bosses brother; she jokingly told me to “please date him”, so that’s a good sign I’d say. The entire week was full of meeting amazing people; a few highlights would be Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr. I had the privilege of escorting her upstairs to her radio interview with Kelly Wright, and I could tell she was such a gentle, gracious soul, and a fighter for truth, like her uncle was.
I never know quite what to expect when a guest walks in; entitled, semi-rude or down-to-earth, amiable? I really didn’t have to worry this last week with amazing people like Joe Concha, Senator Lieberman, Guy Benson, Stacey Nelkin, Congressman Louie Gohmert, (who gave me a space pen!), and Ari Zoldan, but the list could go on because there were even more. I don’t want these awesome meetings to stop feeling unique because they’ve been placed in a list. Each individual has a personal life story to tell, advice to give, and strong opinions on the Fox News topic at hand. I write down or remember the tidbits they give, and I know if we ever cross paths later in life, I’ll be able to attribute certain victories or accomplishments to the words of wisdom they gave me.
I have to also mention that I met a paid world traveler. Yes, you read that right. With the world of social media and blogging becoming “the way” for people to communicate, I suppose a job that links this with travel shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to have visited every country in the world. He’s been to all 193 sovereign nations registered by the United Nations as member states, not to mention 312 total countries and counting. Mama, you won’t be upset if I drop out of school to travel the world, right?
In regards to after-work fun, this was perhaps the most eventful week I’ve had in New York yet. Monday I was in the coffee shop, blogging mood, so I texted Sawyer, Yelp searched good cafés around, and stumbled upon the Housing Works Bookstore Café. On my way, I heard the tantalizing sound of hip hop music right across the street from the shop. Rounding the corner, the happiest sight greeted me. A crowd had formed around a group of street dancers showing off their stuff. I joined the mass, clapping and videotaping and soaking it in. Looking back on my short, 20-year life, I definitely would have dedicated myself to dance when I was young, if I was conscious of how much I’d desire it now. There’s something so fluid and graceful and pure about the movements of dance-be it contemporary ballet, breakdancing, or salsa, I have a deep appreciation for proficient dancers.
The big World Cup game was Tuesday, and of course I had to watch USA take on Belgium. Some intern friends and I headed to a bar and restaurant near Fox, joining crowds of guys in their work suits taking a long lunch break. Of course it was quite a disappointment when we lost, but thankfully we hadn’t put money on it. It’s fun to get swept up in the excitement of passing fads like the World Cup fever; but that’s all they are and everyone’s life will go back to normal.
My random day off is Thursday every week, so I packed Dr. Carson’s America the Beautiful in my trusty backpack and headed to Central Park for some reading/me time. Someone rightly told me that Central Park is underrated. There’s no end to what you can see and do there, and it’s just refreshing to see green in the gray city. After a light rain ended my reading sesh, I met up with those same intern friends from Fox. We grabbed dinner at a pizza joint, then transformed into cliche tourists as we took pictures and bought overpriced desserts at Cake Boss. It’s completely justified because going to Cake Boss is something you just have to do when you come to New York.
Independence Day was everything I’d hope for and imagine in a holiday celebrating our country. I used my God-given abilities to work and make a living for myself at a place that I love, I ate a humongous BBQ lunch provided by that job, I received a free makeover from precious makeup artists (irrelevant to 4th of July significance, but it was so fun!), and watched the most amazing Macy’s Fireworks Show from Brooklyn Bridge Park overlooking the East River. The air was magic as golds and blues and greens lit the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.
I’ll admit I have a growing bucket list of all I want to do in New York City…too much for this small trip, but I’m not stressing over that because it gives me the perfect reason to return one day. On Saturday, I crossed a couple of miscellaneous items off, including watching an improv comedy show and trying perhaps the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever tasted. There’s a funny, ironic twist to the whole thing, so bear with me as I go on a tangent about a certain social issue combined with politics and personal conviction.
As a Christian, I identify myself as loving of all people. That’s not always easy when my brother and I are arguing (love you, bro) or I’m watching President Obama on TV, but I do hope that people see something different in me. Well, there’s obviously a lot of debate and news coverage over homosexual rights and whether gay marriage should be legalized. My stance on the issue is this: we can’t redefine marriage, the oldest institution in the book, and as my opinions are based on the truths I read in God’s word, it’s more than just a political debate about societal structure based on the family dynamic, although that certainly holds all the weight in federal court. Beyond the government overstepping their bounds, I am not going to simply lie down and be “tolerant” of an act that God clearly does not agree with. Our culture has been spreading that standard for years in order to force people to be silent on what they disagree with for fear of being labeled a closed-minded, uncaring, behind-the-times “hater”. Let me state this clearly: I do not hate gay people. I just don’t agree with what they are doing because of personal conviction, and for that reason I don’t believe gay marriage is biblically founded and should therefore not be legalized. It’s a covenant between a man and a woman that’s supposed to last a lifetime.
Obviously this is a hot debate; just writing this I’m anticipating all the counter arguments someone could have. My point in writing all this was to hopefully show that this Conservative/Libertarian Christian does not hate homosexuals and want them to be unhappy, but she can be offended when left-wing extremists lump her in with their stereotype of intolerant right-wingers. It’s a fairly ignorant stereotype, too, when the motive of most republicans is to stabilize our society by improving home life and its structure. All that to say, Saturday night I headed to that improv comedy show with Sawyer, who I met through Hillsong church and is interning at DoSomething.org. I got to the tiny theater about 10 minutes after the show had started, and snuck into the packed place for a backless stool in the farthest, darkest corner. The casualness of the whole production turned me off right away, but I tuned in to what they were saying to try and make the most of the $10 I’d spent. I picked up on the theme of the night right away: bash the right side and Christians for ever speaking up against homosexuals. From slamming the author of Ender’s Game, which is apparently an anti-gay publication, to lumping all republicans together as hateful of their way of life, I was extremely uncomfortable with the way this improv show was going. They were painting everyone with the same brush, and that’s just not right in my mind. I wasn’t laughing with the crowd as the humor was aimed at making people like me look spiteful. I didn’t make a scene or leave in a huff, I quietly slipped out because I knew I didn’t have to sit there uncomfortably and endure it. The ticket booth was kind enough to refund me, they were very inquisitive as to why I left, and they listened to my explanation that the actors were great, I just didn’t feel right sitting through that.
Once Sawyer saw my text that I’d left, she came out too. I explained it to her, she agreed and didn’t mind leaving the theater then. I suppose the irony in the night comes in because of where we went next. Sawyer had heard about this amazing ice cream joint that she had to try before she left New York. I asked her what it was called…none other than The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. Well, here’s proof that I’m no hateful extremist, for we hopped on the L train and joined the nearly half a block line extending out of the little shop that was clearly doing fine financially! I had one of the most delicious ice cream cones of dulce de leche cream in vanilla ice cream with pretzels, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles on top and a lot of fun taking pictures by unicorn wall decals and stuffed animals.
Honestly, there’s too much hate in our society. Unfortunately we live in a sinful, fallen world because of human nature to disobey, so we’ll never be completely rid of that and have total peace. However, if we want to start making a dent at bettering this world I think a good place to start is by looking to Christ. What did he say, what did he do? Once we begin looking at his example, we’ll love others more like him. Instead of judging someone for the way they look, act, or live, we’ll see their intrinsic value and worth as God’s creation. Both sides of the aisle need to work on that.
That heavy monologue is thankfully over. It’s the final stretch of this blog, and I love ending it with this: church. A highlight of my week is Hillsong every Sunday. I’m refreshed every time, and the message was almost too applicable and perfect to believe. It was titled “Faith for the Middle”, and it literally addressed my struggle to want to give up and give in halfway through every task. Just as the disciples lost faith in the middle of the storm while Jesus was sleeping (Mark 4:35-41), we often lose faith in the middle of life’s storms because we fail to lean into Christ. The main points were to be intentional about “who’s in your boat” in regards to who your friends are, make sure Jesus is in your boat and is steering, stop striving and trying so hard but rest like Jesus did, and be still so you can hear what God’s trying to teach you. I’ll soon be past the halfway mark, and I want to finish strong. Maybe with this new mindset from the message I heard, there won’t be a sluggish, cumbersome middle. With a little rest and reliance on the Lord, maybe I’ll be strongest in the middle and finish with an even stronger kick.
the tall girl