most of this isn’t about nyc sry

hello! i feel like i haven’t written on this thing in so long, when in actuality, it’s only been like ten days. time is weird on the brain.

the west side is takin’ over the east village 

i will be the first one to say it—the second i graduated from high school, i ran [fast-walked i don’t run] away from that place and didn’t look back. i did that not because i didn’t have a wonderful high school experience—i did. i enjoyed the community that west side brought me so much and i can confidently say west lafayette was the best place to grow up.

there’s just something about being surrounded by the same people, everyday, for fifteen years that was exhausting to me. i mean, the people that i deemed my best friends in first grade because we had matching socks—we were sort of stuck to each other until graduation. it’s not like there were new kids coming in every year. at west side, there was 180 of us, from beginning to end. and i guess i just needed a break.

and now, three years after graduation—i feel very far from my time at west side. so when i found out that one of my childhood friends, neha, was going to be in new york, i was excited for a friendly face—absolutely, but i was also nervous. who was i in high school, again? we were best friends when we were six; we are not six anymore.

turns out, neha and i can be friends no matter the age. and it’s been so fun to rekindle our friendship in the city. on saturday, agustina, another family friend from home, visited new york. it was—once again—this weird thing where i just didn’t know how it was all going to go down. what do you talk about when you haven’t seen someone for years? lucky for us, you can talk about a lot, like ‘grey’s anatomy’ and sara bareilles and ‘grey’s anatomy’.

moral of the story; high school feels very long ago, i have become friends with high school friends again and it is fun, and ‘grey’s anatomy’ is a complicated beast. why i couldn’t just write that is beyond me.

i’m having a quarter life crisis but it’s good i think 

this weird thing has happened to me, and it’s totally messing with my vibe.

i like school now.

i’ve never been what the majority would call a ‘school person’. i’ve never been bad at school, it’s just my interest in the subject matter has always been overlooked by my interest in the cute math teacher or my interest in going home and taking a nap.

the reason i like school now is because i’m interested in what we’re talking about. what a revolutionary realization! i honestly get very excited to go to class. my professors are incredibly engaging and the other students in my class are so enthusiastic. back at home, the only time i feel excited for class is when there’s a class discussion [because i don’t really like the subject]. i like love talking and i soak up information better when i’m forced to engage.

a lot of people at home do not feel this way [i don’t think]. when we’re asked to participate, the only people that talk are the ones talking because they want participation points. besides that, it’s usually silence. at nyu, hands are always up and the comments are usually really honest and vulnerable and filled with so much insight. no one is doing it for the grade; they’re doing it because they care about being a part of the conversation. i like that.

also, my film professor is this crazy creature and i promise i will try to describe him further in another post. but for now, i’m going to write this little blurb to remind myself to try and record one of his rants because they happen in a blink and they are incredible and my words alone will not do them justice.

i went to justin bieber’s church does this get me a vip pass to heaven?

church and i have a complicated relationship. i grew up going to a catholic church where i was pretty involved in the community, but where i rarely felt a connection to the message. when i got to butler, i didn’t really know who i wanted to be, so i turned to a christian youth group freshman year in a moment of lost-ness. with that group, i was introduced to non-denominational services which are very different from a catholic mass.

sophomore year, a few of my friends and i were going to church every week. i liked the songs, i liked the feel. but again, i was struggling to connect with the message. subconsciously, every time i went into a church, i was looking for something to get mad at, something to disagree with. and i realized that for me, social issues are more important to me than a church service. i have trouble committing myself to an organization when i can’t look past its’ most basic beliefs, of which i usually do not agree with.

because of that—i haven’t gone to church much this past year. and i feel totally okay with it. i don’t feel like i need it to further my relationship with christ and i don’t feel guilty because of that fact. but on this easter sunday i was feeling a little church curious, so i went to hillsong united.

hillsong united is the mega-ist of mega churches. it was founded in australia and now it has services all over the world, including new york. i’d heard about hillsong before—mostly through singing their songs at camp tecumseh—but it wasn’t until this article that my interest was peaked. read the article, you’ll understand.

the service i went to was in midtown, so i had to take the subway. i planned it out so i would get there right on time, with a few minutes to spare if the trains were fast. i walked out of the station, spotted the theater where the service was, as well as the block and a half long line of people waiting to get inside. i’m not kidding. hundreds of people were in this line. and they were all young + insanely well dressed. i had to double check i was in the right place.

once i finally got inside, i found an empty seat on the balcony. the music was really loud. music concert loud. and the people were very interesting.

now i’ve been to churches where people worship with their hands in the air. and while it doesn’t really matter because i’m not the one doing it, it does make me slightly uncomfortable. i just look at worship as a very personal thing, and at points i feel like people are competing with others, as if to say, ‘look! look at me! i love god more—see how high my hands can go!’ at hillsong, everyone had their hands up, so much so that i almost felt pressured to do the same; like i would be judged if i didn’t join in. also, some people would yell out ‘woooo!’ and ‘yea!’ at random points in songs which was confusing to me. once again, it felt more directed towards the other churchgoers and not the dude we’re supposedly all here for. this is how i feel and i recognize that many people may not agree with me. different opinions are what make the world go round!

also, the message was problematic to me. it was projected from israel, where hillsong’s founder gave us all a tour of the city. in the beginning, i was fairly on board with the stuff being said. we all know the easter story, yadda yadda yadda. but then the guy kept pointing out important muslim sections of israel and saying things like, ‘if only they knew jesus like we do’. he was absolutely insinuating that muslims are not living honest or fulfilling lives because they’re not christian. and that ticked me off. from the moment he said it, i was shut out. i was done.

so once again, i went to a church and all i walked away with was frustration. should’ve known. but it’s where selena gomez goes! i had to give it a shot…right?

i will buy your plane ticket just come to new york

this past week, i was really people sick. since i’ve gotten here, i haven’t missed the physical campus of butler at all. my experience at butler—and what i will takeaway from my four years there—is all about the people. and this week i just really missed my butler fam.

i’m living this semester that is so fun and new and shiny, and sometimes i really wish i could share it with the people that know me best. the people who know i have no volume control and who let me dance in the streets and who call me bien and never abby. i miss being called bien.

to combat this people-sickness, i ventured to the brooklyn bridge on monday. it was a really pretty and sunny day and i really needed to walk. so that’s what i did. i started in manhatten and walked the mile to brooklyn and then some. and it was so refreshing and rejuvenating. to breathe in fresh air and feel the sun on my face. i could’ve walked another five bridges.

[on my walk, i listened to this song ‘lost boy’ by ruth b. i think it’s such a quaint song and i enjoy it a lot. i suggest you take a listen.]

see how long this post is? would you believe me if i said i cut out three sections before publishing it? because i did. i really tried. also, i noticed i talked a lot less about new york and more about me, which feels weird. i guess i’m getting comfortable here so a lot of my observations are becoming less external and more internal. who knows. thanks as always for reading! xx abby

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