I’ve decided to come up with a weekly reading list to save the articles I come across each week, actually I come across a ton of articles each day and sometimes there’s just no time to read it all, so this is a list of articles I’ve found really interesting this week. Lemme know if any of these are interesting to you and if i should make this a set weekly thing.
Recently i visited springfield illinois where Abraham Lincoln lived (before he became president) and also where he is buried. I have to say, it was a really powerful experience, walking in the house that he lived in, imagining what he must be thinking. One thought ran across my mind as i was taking in everything, “what made him so different? What was it that made him act on the nagging feeling that slavery wasn’t right?” I’m sure you don’t just wake up one day and decide you want to change the world. I believe it is something gradual, shaky and quiet in the beginning but it becomes louder as time goes by. I’m sure many people felt that slavery was not right, but it was him, Abraham Lincoln that used his position to make such an impactful change. I just think it’s so amazing. It makes me want to know more about the man, what did he know, what shaped him, what motivated him, what gave him courage? so many questions. And yet, i feel this connection to him. I was reading this article, an open letter from introverts to the world, and below there was a list of famous people who were introverts and Abraham Lincoln was one of them. Somehow this was not surprising to me, I just had this feeling that he was one. And i think that’s one more amazing thing about him, he was an introvert, and he still did what he did! As an introvert myself, i know how tough it is to come out of your safe, quiet place and step up to do what you know to be right. I also think that he knew that he was an introvert and used it to his advantage, which is beautiful because it shows that he really had confidence in who he was. I know many times when I wished so hard that i was an extrovert, that i could socialize with people and not get tired, that i would be able to come up with conversation topics to no end. It was only later that i realized that i was quiet not because i was boring or couldn’t think of things to say, it was just that the conversations that i was engaged in was not what i was either
a. not interested in [I’m just being honest here]
b. inadequately informed on
I wish i could get into conversation easily with others about their ideas about the world, about change, what they wish they could do. Yes, the weather is a nice topic, but there will be an end to that eventually. I guess what i’m trying to say is, introverts can be leaders, they can talk, but they also are who they are and there should be more respect for that.
This winter, I was invited to go for a ski trip with my uni friends and her family. I had never skied before and never thought about trying it at all, but it sounded fun and i always loved to learn new things. Plus, the cost for the trip was really cheap, just 325USD for 4 days. Please note that we cut lots of corners to get such a price and even i don’t know how her parents managed to do so. But anyway, i digress.
We skied at ski cooper located in leadville, colorado. We had lots of snow, at least 4 inches of fresh snow each day which was a good and bad thing. The temperature was cold, -25 degrees C. I really don’t know how we survived the weather and managed to ski in it too, but my only advice was to layer up!
As a first time skier, i just observed what others were doing and listened carefully to the tips my friend gave. I’m proud to say that i picked it up at my second try. What i noticed was that the ski’s were a lot like ice skates, and i used the techniques from ice skating and applied it to skiing, apparently it worked because by the last day i got to do a black (the level of difficulty goes from green, to blue, to black). Also, the pizza shape (using your ski’s to make a front triangular shape) is the secret to slowing yourself down. This was personally tricky because i had this impression that it would help you stop immediately, which it didn’t. It used simple logic, if your ski’s are facing the bottom and straight then you’ll have the highest amount of gravitational pull, but if you’re skiing sideways and your ski’s aren’t vertical then you create friction and reduced the gravitational pull. After awhile i learnt how to put pressure on whichever side i wanted to turn towards, allowing myself to make left and right turns, effectively slowing myself down too and not wiping out (crashing). I have to say, I know some people like to go fast but i like to take it slow and easy, enjoying the scenery and mapping out my path down the hill. People don’t tell you this, but in order not to wipe out all the time, you’ve got to map out your path down the hill, consider all the bumps and natural curves of the hill and taking into account your skill level or ability to control your movement. I was a beginner so i knew i had to do lots of tight bends to slow myself down and make sure i don’t hurt myself. I knew i didn’t know how to control fast speeds (nor did i want to) so this was the strategy i took. I took some time to come down the hill but i did it in the way i was comfortable with. Also, some people were complaining that it was too powdery, but i liked it, and used it to my advantage to slow myself down. It’s probably not the best for snowboarders thought. Here’s my piece of advice, do what you’re comfortable with, don’t be pressured into doing something that you know is way out of your comfort zone, ex. going super fast when you’ve just started or doing a black on your first day. Also, remember, skiing is a sport, so accidents happen, it’s also you against the elements, it’s not an x-box game where you can reset everything or wipe out and not feel a thing. You will fall, you may hurt yourself, so remember that, but don’t let that bring fear to you because fear will act as a barrier to learning. Finally, unlike other sports, you can ski for hours and not notice at all, so remember to rest, hydrate and know your limits.
These are just a few pictures i managed to take. The final day was beautiful but super cold. There was some sun, but thankfully no wind and snow like we had the past two days. The first two days we saw lots of wind and snow which was one of the reasons i crashed so much because it got into my eyes and i didn’t have googles (dumb!). It also made visibility limited and you had to go slower so that you didn’t accidentally crash into someone. On that note, buy good googles if you’re planning to get into skiing or snowboarding, it’s worth it, there are the anti-fog googles that my friend had and i wish i had them because my googles fogged up as i went down a black! Talk about bad timing. There are also googles with lenses meant for certain conditions like snowy/sunny, etc or the all purpose ones which are more expensive. So whatever is in your budget, skill level, just make sure to do your research before you buy anything. Also, ski boots, i rented some, and oh my, they bit into my skin and on my bone, it was so painful, but so fun to ski at the same time that i just tried to ignore the pain. I must be crazy, but it was worth it.
I love skiing, it’s grown onto me. Wished i had my own boots though, i think that would help, and there’s so much more to learn, i used the powder to my advantage but i’ve got to learn how to ski on icy grounds. I’ve been watching the winter olympic clips and i think i’m on the brink of obsession. Whether or not i’ll get another change to ski again is uncertain, but i’ll definitely want to do so again.
I used to think that winter was the saddest season because the trees were bald, there were no flowers and the general mood was gloomy (even the snow and Christmas couldn’t change my mind about the season). It wasn’t till i saw the trees and flowers blooming that i realized that winter was such a necessary season. It was a season of rest and rejuvenation. The trees and flowers weren’t dead, if they were, they wouldn’t be able to bloom in spring. They looked dead, but underneath, nature was doing its work, regenerating what had been used for 9 months and preparing the tree for a new year. In a way, people need that too. After working for so long, we feel worn out, sapped of our energy. As an introvert, i find taking moments of rest extremely important. After socializing with people, i’ll retreat and take a break. But looking at the past semester, i think the three month break thing would be a great idea though i’ll only get one, which i’ll use well thank you very much. I think God has put these examples in nature to remind us humans to take a rest. These days, the world just requires us humans to be on our game every second, if you’re not, you loose out, miss an opportunity, etc. I think that’s crazy and a terrible idea, plus, there’s so many people so why don’t we just take turns? I think that we need to learn from nature, learn how to take a rest, most importantly, Jesus offers us rest, he offers to take our burdens and i would love to take up that offer.