Hello friends, it’s been a minute.
Since CR I have danced a lot, studied a lot, laughed a lot, and connected with my familia a lot. CR has pushed me to make my life into one big adventure, and there’s no other 15 people I would rather adventure with.
This semester has been one whimsical blur, and we have all been finding that balance between dedicating ourselves to our majors/previous obligations and dedicating ourselves to each other. The CRecade is a busy, over-achieving bunch! It is always such a joy to run into each other while we sprint to classes, get some #caffeine in the library, or do that stressed-but-thriving smile when we see each other from across the bluu. Fort Worth may not be Cinque Terre, but the familia is just as determined, spontaneous, and fun-lovin’ as we were 6 months ago.
About an hour ago, Lauren and I were working on our Pecha Kuchas together (our presentations are tomorrow, and somehow I am procrastinating a presentation for CR by writing a blog post for CR??). We sat going through pictures from Rome together, and let me tell you, we were senti at the tabes. It has been close to impossible to get all 16 of us in one place because of our insane schedules, so seeing the times where we ate, walked (or heel-clicked in Team Charlie’s case), and snagged Zzz’s together every day and night was a blast from the past.
One thing that struck me as we were flipping through Dr. P’s pictures on the blog (high quality stuff, he has a great camera) was the power of expression. We have a Snapchat group called CRunk, and I was zooming in on faces that had stellar expressions and sending them into the group. What started as laughing at everyone else’s unfortunate facial expressions soon became me turning into the nostalgic mess that I usually become when I lack adequate amounts of sleep (I blame Abby and Kyle for my sleep deprivation—we got 3 hours of sleep on Friday so that we could watch the sunrise together…no regrets though).
Facial expressions are wonderful. My favorite expressions are the ones caught completely by surprise. So many of us have learned to guard how we truly feel, but when you experience the things that we did on CR, some unguarded joy, introspection, connection, and fascination pop up, and Dr. P was always there to catch it. On CR I learned the importance of truly expressing myself, and I also learned that preferred forms of expression are not the same for everyone.
Our ways of expressing ourselves are just as unique as we are. Expression can range from facial expressions, to the way we carry ourselves, to our passion revealing our emotions. Indigo sings with the voice of an angel (and literally brought me to tears in the Villa Aurora) and she can imitate anything and everything; Nishu whips up some fire beats and his laugh is almost as good as mine 😉; Lauren’s entire body radiates her joy, and she has the unique gift of making you feel valued and encouraged when you’re feeling down in the dumps (and her occasional “OH” is just plain amusing); Brooke can bounce between absolute goofiness and profound convo in a flash; Olivia pulls the funniest lines out of nowhere and makes you feel like the most appreciated and known person ever; Ryal can share his knowledge of the history of Florence (he actually enjoys reading nonfiction?!) and wiggle his eyebrows, which is just as cool as he is; Kyle’s eyes show his intense thoughtfulness, and he can go from deep theological talks to quoting Monty Python with me; Abby does a sick English accent and she can talk politics and cookies for dayz—that girl has opinions on everything and she can actually share them clearly!!; OC goes between saying the best quotes in the quote book to inspiring all of us with her writing—her animated stories draw the attention of the whole room; Jake says the darndest things, and they either make you crack up or question your whole life. Just seeing him makes me laugh and think about quoting vines while we gallivanted across Berlin; Emma has the most reassuring advice and we can talk about everything from poop to the sweet, sweet Gospel; Jacob can hype up Catholicism and lip sync High School Musical like no other; Audrey’s honesty and insightfulness are revealed through her soothing voice, and she is one of the funniest people I know (and she is our A1 scribe with the quote book); Marat has the most calming presence, and his ability to see everyone’s perspective is so neat. You could have a 3 hour convo with this dude and you would’ve thought it’s only been 15 minutes; and Taylor hands-down has the best facial expressions of anyone on planet earth and just the way she talks makes me happy.
We all express ourselves in different ways, and I am constantly shocked and thankful for everyone’s individuality and how much we have all come to own our quirks. We’re all going to see each other’s presentational expression in tomorrow night’s Pecha Kuchas (don’t be mad if I mispronounce it please), and I can’t wait to see everyone and hear their insights once again.
It’s been a wild ride, and it’s just going to get better and better.
Peace & Blessings,