December 17, 2015

it's crunch time

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i don't know about you, but for me it's that time of the semester. that time when you're so ready to be done, but you only have a few more classes left to finish up. the time when you don't want to be in school anymore, but also need to work the hardest. the time when all the previous procrastinating you've done is like the water pushing on a broken dam. if you don't do anything it's gonna come crashing down, and all you really want to do is just close your eyes and let it surround you as you dream it away. but because you're a good student and you have dreams that require skills you don't completely have yet, you start completing those tasks. you know you can't fix the dam, the damage has been done there, but you can start taking some of the pressure off. so you move on, head first, checking those things off the checklist and counting down the days to the magical date where the time is yours again, if only for a little while. (M.12.14.15)

for myself, crunch time is the best and the worst. i do better under pressure, which is probably why i am a procrastinator in the first place. when i have a limited amount of time, especially if that time doesn't seem like it will be enough, i meet all my goals in record time, and everything seems so much better. in the long run, i'm not so sure this is the best way, as every once in a while it backfires and you're really stuck, but it's what i have found works best for me.

today i am sitting in my school's library. i got out of my JavaScript class early (thank the Lord i don't have to go in on tuesday at all. i hated that class with a vengeance) and am waiting until 12pm when my english class meets. i turned in my paper, will turn in my assignment, take my vocab final, and then i'm free for the day, and, in turn, done with both JavaScript 1 and english. this is such a happy feeling, and i'm so ready for it. then it's just monday a final quiz and presentation for my web design class and a math final. that will be the end of my first semester of my major. while i did mostly enjoy it, there have been parts i disliked, which, actually, was mostly all relating to the people. i'm hoping as i go more graphics based and less technical based that will help with having classmates who i can actually relate with, but we'll see. my grades have been good, so i can deal with the classmates if that's the majority of the issues i've had (also that i didn't understand JavaScript completely, but that's whatever, i suppose).

in the end, what matters most is that i do have people in my life who will cheer me on, who will encourage me, support me, point me back to Jesus, and love me. these people don't have to be my classmates, and that's okay. i have that community, i have that home, and that's one of the most important things for getting through this life.

wishing the best of luck to you all as you finish finals, exams, classes, or whatever happens to be consuming the majority of your time currently. love to you! 
xo, rn

November 27, 2015

thankful

give thanks
there are so many things to be thankful for this year, so i won't spend a whole post writing out all of the things i'm thankful for, and instead i'll write about two things that have had a large impact on my life this year.

first, and foremost (and however tacky, cliché, or cheesy it is...), is God. He has been so faithful. He picks me up countless times every day, tells me that when the world brings me down, He is there. He loves and cherishes me even when i cannot do that for myself. His grace is sufficient, and His power is evident. His redemption is all around me, every day, and His love never fails. He is a good good father.

second is my family. more specifically my church family. as i have mentioned before, i have switched churches. this, combined with the above, has played such a pivotal role in my life. i can, and will, honestly say that through my church, God has turned my life completely around, and i could not be more thankful for this change. the community of my church has helped me in so many ways, and i've already made so many dear friends since going there. it's so easy to see how everything leading up to this has been a God thing. He let me make my own decisions, and when they didn't work out, He said "now this is what i have for you, come and see how good it is", so in desperation, i did, and it is clear to me that this is so much better than everything i could have made for myself.

this morning i went to my church's thanksgiving service, and i was blown away by it. the worship was so, so good, i love to praise Jesus, and then two close friends, who are Syrians, shared their God story. i cried, i couldn't help it. i didn't know everything they'd been through and the challenges they had faced. after the service i was able to talk with friends. maybe a few passing words, a greeting of 'happy thanksgiving!', meeting new people for the first time, and also talking with people who i want to get to know better. God is using all of this, these stories, this worship, this church, this community, in so many huge ways, and i'm so glad i get to be a part of that unfolding. 

today, my heart is so full. i am so thankful for where i am right now. He is good, all the time, and His plan is so exciting for me to see. i only wish that you all had as glorious of a day as i did. happy thanksgiving to all!
xo, rn

November 16, 2015

because that's what you know.

calatrava.
this was not the  editing style i had in  mind when
 i took  this photograph, no  not at all.  but when
edited it, i decided to be real, and let it reflect my 
actual  feelings, to  strip away that  fake mask of 
completely   unattainable  perfection,  because  i 
know  i   will  never  be   perfect,  and   that's  ok.

it's those moments when you start to feel so alone when that depression starts to show it's ugly face. it comes almost unsuspectingly, and then after a little while of that coming on, it whispers lies to you, and you believe them because that's what you know. you sink deeper and deeper, and all of a sudden you realize that you've gone down that road again, that thing you said you were done with, it sounds like a good idea, those feelings you promised yourself you weren't going to feel again? they're back. those thoughts you said would never cross your mind? they're racing around your brain, and they're enticing to you. it's almost tangible, you can see it right in front of your eyes. you want to hold back, you want to break free, "i was done!", you remind yourself. and then you realize you already said it like it was in the past, and you know you're already all the way there. you do nothing but feel numb, because you've failed yourself yet again. 

while this is all going on, the devil is whispering to you, 'oh yes, i know you were fine yesterday, everything was good... but that was yesterday, and now you feel lonely, like no one cares for you... because they really don't. you aren't worth a thought or a word. no text or message to say they care, because they don't. you're a bother to everyone you meet, and that's how it should be, because you are worthless. so come on, you know this will make you feel better.' 

and you go, because that's what you know. because you don't have enough strength to say no, because the idea has been planted and grown. all in just a few moments, you're so far down that road that going back seems impossible, because you know the alternative will work for you, because you've done it so many times before. it's that bad habit that you've tried so hard to break because you hate it. but you know, deep down, that you really actually love it, and it makes you feel, it gives you some control in a life that is so weighted down by things you can't control, like what others must think about your life, and the feelings that are happening but you can't suppress.

and the next morning you wake, it hits you like a ton of bricks. it was a bad idea, and you realize now, and you hurt, and you're ashamed. you pick your clothing with great care. people ask, you look away, say it's nothing, it's not a big deal, or you make up some other excuse, almost trying to convince yourself, too. the topic is brought up and immediately you tense up, your mind shuts off, and you reach for whatever your brain locks on first. you can feel eyes on you, but you don't dare look up. they might see, they might know. you feel so ashamed and ruined, but those things can't be changed anymore. the past is the past, you just need to keep moving forward, but it's so hard, and life is so unfair...
xo, rn

November 14, 2015

11.13.15

#prayforparis
my heart is broken. all day yesterday and today as news came rolling in, my heart just sunk lower and lower. i have no words for the destruction that people take out on other humans. how can your mind be so twisted to make this seem okay? what happened in Paris yesterday was not okay, but the outpouring of love shows clearly how good God is. it is a disaster, it is heartbreaking, it is devastating, but through it, God is showing Himself. i have seen so many posts from all over the world, people standing up, showing that we are with them, that we see it, that we hurt too, that we are praying, and that our God is big, and mighty, and loving. this what we need to show to those who are hurting.

originally this post was going to be about what happened in Paris, but a friend of mine on facebook posted about how these acts of destruction are happening all over, and honestly, to the same extent or worse. what is happening all over the world is disastrous and scary. #prayforparis is huge, but why aren't all of those other countries getting that? things like this are happening constantly over in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and so many other countries, and they happened yesterday as well. but why aren't we hearing uproar about those? have we become so used to isis and the horrible things that they are bringing about that we can turn our heads away from their suffering? why is it that as soon as something devastating happens in a popular area like Paris, we all take a huge stand? these things are real and are happening daily, and they need our prayer just as much.

while i don't think that Paris should be pushed aside (never, no. Paris is very dear to me.), and i do believe this solidarity is a good thing, we need to be a voice for those other countries too. we should pray for Paris, but also pray for the middle east. pray for Japan, pray for Somalia, pray for Baghdad. pray for those who have to get up every morning scared for their lives, everyone. not just the ones the media picks up on. the world needs a light through this darkness, and Jesus is the light. we need to get up and constantly go before God to #prayfortheworld. please don't turn away from the reality that is happening all over the world. i hope your eyes are opened and you can see just how much the whole world is in need of your prayers.
xo, rn

November 9, 2015

jumbled thoughts.

simple pleasures
simple pleasures
i want to write, badly, but right now in this moment the words won't come. i believe this has to do with me feeling pretty okay lately. more than okay, really. the other day when i was driving to work i felt something weird, and after finally reaching work, i had determined that that feeling was actually joy. i hadn't felt joy in so long that i had completely forgotten what it felt like. man, it was a good feeling. it's one of those feelings that you're scared to hold onto because you know it's too good to be true, and there must be something bad coming. unfortunately that's exactly what i was thinking the whole time i felt this indescribably good feeling, and it damaged it. you can't really appreciate something if you're stressed over what is sure to come afterwards.
 
but overall lately it's been good. God is real, and He is good. so, so good. thinking about my future now is so much different than it was then. it was so dismal, scary, and worrying then. now i feel so excited, so ready, pumped, even. it feels so weird to say this, because i'm still not used to feeling this way. this all isn't to say that my hard times are over, i'm sure you realize that. they will never be over, and they most definitely aren't close to it now. i still have many bad habits that i feel i have no control over. breaking those habits is hard, i'm just going to say it like it is.

in other news, with the changing of myself, this space needed a facelift, so i spent some time working on that (and using some of my new coding skillzzzzz, still learning, but it's all so exciting and blogger also sucks for trying to customize and i am ready to host my own site but hahahaha. yeah. no.), and here is the finished product. i guess it actually works pretty well for me. especially since i finally have used my own handwriting for the header, that makes it feel like home the most.

enjoy your day, lovely. 
xo, rn

September 22, 2015

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there must be some good in this world.
xo, rn

September 3, 2015

eighteen

september 3rd 2015
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If I was going to be really honest with you right now, I would tell you that things haven't been any easier. Hardly ever will a day past where I won't break down over something and just sob. At least once a week I'll have a ranting session in my car. I pray out loud in my car almost every day, and crying out to God happens at least twice daily. I feel so much anger all the time, and I know it's not healthy. I know I will fall into my old habits, and I've already started. I'm constantly asking Him to take it away, I ask Him why I'm feeling this when I've never really had problems with it before. I wonder why I can't just dive into my Bible and pray it away. Obviously there are still lessons I need to learn, but I'm finding that they are so, so difficult.

But, even so, God has been doing great things. He's been showing me so much about Himself. His unending and all sufficient love, His mercy, compassion, redemption (oh, yes, His redemption), and so many other things. But most of all, He has been showing me His unfailing grace. This is something I cannot live without every second of every day. I mess up all the time. I get mad at so many things I probably shouldn't be. I hate so many things, especially about myself. About how I am right now, about how I do things and how I compare myself to others. I'm constantly comparing. But  something I have been learning is that He is good, even when nothing else seems to be. All the time. All the time. All the time.

In other news, today is my 18th birthday. It's weird, I guess. In one way it seems like I've only actually lived half of those years because time seems to be going so quickly. But then in other ways it seems like I've lived twice that. Life isn't easy, it isn't meant to be. That's why we have Jesus, that's why Jesus came to save us, that's the whole story of the Bible. We need Jesus, without Him we will never be able to make it, we will never be able to solve our problems. We won't ever feel complete or completely happy. Life will never be worth anything without Him.

He is good, please don't forget that. I know what it's like to have a foggy day, or a foggy week, or even a foggy year. I'm living that right now, too. But really, go to Jesus. Go to Him and He can help you. He's not going to change everything right away, but He will help you. And I hold fast to that promise.

xo, rn
ps- this post with images of me is actually a tradition of mine. See previous years:
2014 2013 2012 2011

August 27, 2015

777

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(first, i'm sorry all the photographs i ever post are of myself, i just haven't been doing much personal photography besides self portraits)


"about how i'm not worth what i make myself out to be."

(read more about this challenge over here. and thank you, Elisabeth, for tagging me!)
(also, i know i did it completely wrong because i shared one line, of one book, but at least it was the seventh page and seventh line...? 
i'm counting the other 7 as my favorite number so it's still three 7's. also i'm not sorry i did it wrong, because that's how i roll anyway)
(just one more thing- i don't write novels, and this isn't part of one. i write small passages for myself. it's a good kind of therapy.)
xo, rn

July 24, 2015

take a deep breath, you'll rise above

self.self.
take a deep breath, you'll rise above the waters, for He won't leave you, He won't forsake you.
xo, rn

June 17, 2015

tacenda

summer days.
summer days. summer days.
tacenda, things better left unsaid; matters to be passed over in silence.

i was scrolling through my twitter feed the other day and saw this. it reverberated with me, as this is honestly the way i have lived most of my life. i don't have much time to deal with a problem? oh, i'll push it off, forget about it for now, pass over it with no more than a thought. things happen, things will happen, there's absolutely nothing i can do to change that, so i don't try.

lately, i will be honest, i've been covering up 'taking care of myself' with things more like 'do what will make life easier, doesn't matter what it means or does to you, just do it so that you can keep going'.

usually this means ignoring my own feelings and thoughts on the matter, usually it means grabbing a granola bar instead of sitting down for a meal, usually it means booking myself for the whole day, every day.

i know this isn't healthy, but it also doesn't end. it's like i'm on a roller coaster, and it's stuck just moving, moving, moving. it doesn't slow down, it doesn't end, it just moves. and during that time, you have to push things off, you can't work on them. your problems are small, inconvenient when you speak of them, and insignificant in this time of trouble. they almost seem invisible, but hazy at best. you need to focus on the present, and that is what's moving.

and your dreams. they don't just seem far away, but they seem impossible, unachievable, and as if they dont matter. because, let's be real, when you're on a roller coaster that won't stop moving, there's only one thing you're thinking about, just several different forms: "how do i stop this?", "how do i get off?" "is getting off an option?", and "if i have to live like this forever, what will i do?" it can either put your priorities in line, or completely make you question your existence.

and so, while i've been on this 'roller coaster' of sorts, i've been putting off everything else. i focus on getting through the day, and making others happy while doing it.

but at the same time i'm not focusing on my health and well being, or how this is changing myself. i don't focus on stuff that's happening to me, and how living with this is really making my whole situation worse because of the fact that i'm not doing anything about things that are important. i see this stuff happening, but i don't do anything about it.
i put off so much, and putting off taking care of yourself is very not good.

you could say i had a bit of a breakthrough today. it wasn't in a good way at all, and it made me feel hopeless and worthless, but it ended up being ok, because now i realize. 

in no way am i off this coaster, but i realize i need to get off, and i cannot push it off until after my trip, or after summer, or after life slows down (because it won't). i keep telling myself to hold on until then, but i'm scared that will take me too far, and coming back is never easy.

i know that my 'i'm okay's' and my 'i'll be okay's' are complete grasps at hope in a big dark space, they're more for my sanity then actual truth, but i want to turn them into real pieces of hope, something i can hold onto and really, truly mean when i say it to someones face instead of looking down at whatever i happen to be working on.

no more tacenda, more honesty with myself. no more only pleasing others to get by, more standing up for myself. less moving moving moving, more taking care of myself.

so, all in all, i could really use some prayers and encouraging words, i guess. so if you want to hit me up, my email is right up in the sidebar. i love you all so much! 
xo, rn

June 2, 2015

midnight musings.

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it’s 11:48 pm, i’m sitting outside, on my trampoline wrapped up in a quilt under the full moon, with that, one streetlight far in the distance, and my computer screen being the only light. 
i was listening to music (mostly ‘some hearts’ by Carrie Underwood, because that brings back such a happy time for me), but my phone recently died (it’s been doing that a lot lately, especially when it has plenty of battery left). i should probably get it fixed.

 you may be wondering why i’m doing this. my hands are ice, and i have to get up extra early tomorrow for work. i should probably go in now, but theres something so peaceful about being here and now. im so content, and almost, kind of happy.

my hands are ice because i just finished typing up a very long, pretty detailed piece of my life. it’s honestly one of the hardest things i’ve done, as silly as it sounds, but it’s true. and i will say, typing it all out has been therapeutic for me.

this moment, right here and now, just doing something i dont normally do, but have always wanted to do. to write outside at midnight under the moon and stars, this is what i love. i love being spontaneous, i love going on adventures, i love to experience new things, things like this.
this moment is almost perfect, and i’m so glad i did it. i know tomorrow morning when i have to get up, i’ll probably regret this, but for now, right now, i’m in my element, and it feels so good. 
xo, rn
ps- so i gave this space a facelift the other day while staying up until 4 am. #whoops 

May 15, 2015

learning myself || part iv

life. life.life.life. life. life. life.life. life. life.life. life.
i've been wanting to type up a post for a few weeks. it's like that feeling that you have inside you, there's something you want to tell, a story, a poem, a vague sense of something you want to spill out onto paper, but no matter how hard you try, you can't tell that story. the poem doesn't come out, the words don't spill onto the page. i keep trying because writing is a sort of therapy to me. when i'm hurting, it feels like healing.

i have figured that the reason it isn't working is because i'm not entirely unhappy. in fact, i haven't felt this happy consistently for a long while. i'm starting to let go of things, of feelings, of being scared all the time, being scared of being unhappy, of getting into those moods in which i turn into something else. but the problem with that, is that it brings on the fear of it all blowing up in my face and coming back, only ten times worse than before. it's like i can never fully walk away from being scared of myself.

i know right here is where the conclusion of this post goes. the conclusion should be about how i've been working on this, and it's getting better, and i'm improving. but that's not the story i have today. i have been working on it, i try not to be afraid of myself, i've been trying for quite awhile. but the truth is, it hasn't improved at all. i still don't know the why's and the how's, i just know that it's part of my everyday life, and that's how it's meant to be. i'm not giving up, i will keep fighting, but i just haven't gotten there yet, and it hurts to try so hard all for nothing, to put so much of yourself into something only to see nothing come out of it.

but i know that this isn't the end of my story yet, i haven't given up, and i'm not going to. i've fought this long and hard, and i'll keep fighting because i know that i deserve that of myself.
xo, rn

May 6, 2015

early summer days

Early Summer Days from Rachel Nicole on Vimeo.

so i know it's been a long time since i've shared any of my films, and the reason for that is lame. (like really lame.)
I had taken a whole bunch of clips last year (mostly during the summer), and was going to make multiple videos with them, but then I got a mac, and everything was different, and there were so many clips and i found it all very overwhelming. so i let them sit and didn't allow myself to take much of anything else until i finished those (a very stupid idea, i tell you).
well, over the past weekend i shot some stuff, and i decided to tackle this thing called iMovie and learn how to use it. and i did, and it wasn't hard, and now i've begun working on all those clips from last summer (actually, i'm almost done) and will be sharing them soon.
xo, rn

May 4, 2015

little blue dress

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man wow. this post was just sitting in my drafts, so, so very old. but i thought i might as well share it right now as not. i hope your weather no longer looks anything like this, as ours definitely (and very happily by myself) does not. i'm loving the weather we've been having lately (high 60's low 70's, so perfect!), and i would wish it to never change. but i know it will, and it's ok. (such deep stuff, i know)
xo, rn