Restlessness: The Problem of Twentysomethings

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Have you ever felt lost? Anxious? Uneasy?

Yes, we all have at some point in our lives. Nonetheless, the troubles that follow a young adult are far beyond the normal stage of restlessness.

After college, twenty-something adults have two options: find a job or continue your studies. In either extreme, it is important to note that whatever you end up doing you will feel lost and insecure. Graduate students feel uneasy as they watch their friends step into the corporate world and young professionals focus on building a career. Nothing is well with either spectrum, but the need for a joyful life is still there.

As a new Midwesterner, it is far more easy to dread the day. Through the harsh winters, I face the cold reality of everyday: waking up early,  walking to work in the negatives, taking graduate courses, working another job, ministry at Church and so on. But… what happens when all of the things that occupy your time are not enough? What happens when you feel like you’re not enough?

The problem is that we spend our days making connections to the past in order to illuminate the problems of the present and anticipate the potential future. We worry about unimportant, unnecessary baggage. We are “connected” to others, but can hardly find the time to establish a real connection with a human being.

Our current constant search for validation is unubiquitous. Twenty-somethings trap themselves behind the number of likes, favorites and comments we receive while we relive our memories on the vagueness of a well-executed selfie.

This is not okay. This is not enough.

However, the intense desire for something more is still there. The longing for true companionship, meaningful friendships and that something more leaves us dissatisfied with our daily lives. The restlessness of our everyday life perdures and agitates even the happiest of twentysomethings. What can we do to change this?

There is no obvious solution.

Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on our past mistakes that we forget to live in the present. Instead of pursuing the path laid out for us, we are determined to focus on superficial needs. Then, when we realize that we are immensely dissatisfied we digress from our lives.

In the search for the next something shiny, the new best date or the new “best friend”, we forget to build strong connections with the people around us. We focus our eyes on the seen instead of turning our eyes to the unseen

Our restlessness is built on lies and superficial things. It will only fade away if we persuade ourselves to believe that there is a higher, better plan for us…if we forget about our past mistakes…if we forgive ourselves and others. As soon as we do these things, we can begin to grow into young, joyful adults with hopeful eyes instead of weary eyes.

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Love

Ugh! Valentine’s Day weekend is finally over.

However, I was not unhappy to celebrate this past week. I was radiant and happy to join my family and friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day (and let’s not forget about Galentine’s Day!)

Did you know that there are four different types of love in Ancient Greek?

  • ἔρως [eros]
  • φιλία [philia]
  • στοργή [storge]
  • ἀγάπη [agape]

Eros:

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This is the most celebrated love in the world for Valentine’s Day. It means “love, mostly of the sexual passion”. Plato believed this type of love to contemplate beauty and appreciate it as a whole. In many of his books, he aspired to explore eros as an ideal of beauty, in which the derivative would fall into the realm of forms.

Philia:

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Philia is an “affectionate friendship” of sorts. It was depicted as a dispassionate, virtuous type of love by Aristotle. Philia is an expression of affection between friends, family and, even, lovers. However, it is portrayed commonly in friendships.

Storge:

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This is all about familial love. It is fondness, affection and quite emotive. Although, it was rarely used by the Ancients. It is the type of love between a parent and his/her offspring.

Agape:

CS Lewis considered this the greatest of all. It is the love that God has for us; and the love that we should have for Him.  Agape is love, yes, but it is a type of love beyond friendship or romantic love. It is to wish well to, to long for, to esteem someone. It refers to embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying Him. With pursuing “agape love”, you will actively be pursuing what the Lord prefers, with His Power and Direction. It has to do with preference, preferring to follow Christ.

Another formidable translation of this love is: charity. Charity is held to be the ultimate symbiotic relationship between glorifying God, or love of God, and love of man: including loving one’s neighbor and one’s self. According to St. Thomas of Aquinas, this is the absolute requirement for happiness because this caritas, charity in Latin, or agape love will lead you to loving God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.

I apologize for the long rambling post about love, but I needed to write about it!

Last Valentine’s Day, I focused on agape. I focused on the love that God has for me and how I should hold him closer to my entire self. I made this little doodle-attempt at calligraphy. I want to focus on Him, breathe in His Word and love Him. No other love will complete me.

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*All definitions are based on my limited knowledge of Ancient Greek, a talk I presented on The Greatest Commandment, Plato (Symposium), Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics), and CS Lewis (The Four Loves).

 

Chicago Birthday

Hello again!

2015 began with a BANG! In 2014, I made plans to travel more. For my birthday, I wanted to have a weekend getaway. However, traveling usually requires a lot of money. It is insanely difficult to travel on a budget, but not impossible.

Then, I realized: “I moved to the Midwest.” I am literally in the center of so many different states; I can explore and visit so many beautiful places. Where should I go for an entire weekend? How about the Second City: Chicago!

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Although I had visited Chicago numerous times, I had never spent an exorbitant amount of time in the city. My birthday was the perfect opportunity to delve into the metropolitan Illinois area.

Back in December, I talked to my closest friends and planned to have the weekend of a lifetime. Fast-forward to January, five Christ-centered women headed over to the Windy City and formed the friendship of a lifetime.

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It felt entirely surreal. For years, I had been praying for good girlfriends. I had never had much luck in finding friends that I could trust, talk to and have a good old-fashioned time with. Through the years, I have met wonderful women with whom I have had the opportunity to befriend. Nevertheless, something usually went wrong.

Everyday we were able to discuss relevant topics, reference our favorite TV shows or films and basically joke around for an entire weekend. We could talk about significant difficult subjects, personal experiences in our lives and still have a lot of fun.

While we do have a lot in common (our love for Starbucks, Parks and Rec, music), we have the incredible blessing of having a Christ-centered friendship. Sometimes life surprises us in strange ways. When our hope is shaken, people come along and spark our lives. These friendships, strengthened by Jesus, will forever sear our hearts because we found the ones we would like alongside this path called life. And it is truly a joy to walk alongside these wonderful women.

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This was a life-changing weekend, in the best way. Not only did I have the opportunity to visit incredible, beautiful places such as the Sears Tower (Willis Tower), Hancock Tower, Millennium Park and admire beautiful expressionist pieces at  the Art Institute of Chicago, but I also had the chance to ponder about my life.

At a glance, it seemed like everything was taken away from me. Through life’s trials, I learned that I need to Let GO and Let GOD! As Mark Hart said

When God closes a door, don’t try to shove your foot in to stop it. Trust him. Let it close. His Plan is always better.”

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2015 is a year of change, love and friendship.

Chicago was my first stop, but it certainly will not be my last.

 

Welcome!

Hello,

Welcome to Lost in the Midwest!

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In 2014, I promised myself that in 2015 I would take risks, explore more and challenge myself. After I sought a creative, fun outlet, I decided to start blogging all over again with a lifestyle blog. Therefore, Lost in the Midwest was born.

Almost two years ago, a young college girl moved from the warm, humid island of Puerto Rico to the harsh, Frozen Tundra. To say the least, my life was turned upside down in an instant. Suddenly, the young college girl had to transition into a young woman. As I was thrown into a dark abyss, I rejoiced. Lost in the Midwest will explore the beautiful places I encounter and the new incredible experiences I will encounter.

It is through this blog that I have decided to share my thoughts, perspectives and opinions about a few of my favorite things: Fashion, Life, Travel and Christianity. Join me in this journey through Life!