Ambiguous Clockwork

We’re good at forgetting, but we’re better at remembering.

I’ve heard people say time changes us, but I can’t say I agree. I don’t really think it’s time that changes us – I think it’s us who change the time.

We sometimes say we want things to never change. It comes mostly during the nights we stay up until 4 AM in the common areas of our living spaces talking about life – what’s happening now, what’s happening where we’re going, but especially, what’s happened where we’ve been. Because more than what can happen in the future, it’s our past that holds on tight.

The end of the year is wrapping up quickly. It’s the end of my second year, and I have one more left to go. It’s difficult to believe that May 2016 will conclude my college journey.

Although I’m over halfway done, I’m convinced that things are far from being over. I’ve been blessed with a season this spring that has been a time of build-up rather than breakdown, and when this season concludes, by God’s grace, I’ll be standing on top of a mountain that I’ve climbed for so long – and I’ll be completely in love with the view.

It’s been a fight to get here, I think. College is a time to figure out who you are, sure, but I think it’s also a time to figure out who you’re not.

There’s a choice we all have to make: to sit back in the chair we’ve always sat in, or take a chance and climb the ladder.

I look back at last summer and last fall, and I’m certain that I am no longer who I was. Sure, there are pieces that have tagged along with me. But I see life a lot differently now. I know new people, and think new thoughts, and create new words and phrases. I am hopeful that we all can say that – that we’ve changed, hopefully for the better, in one way or another.

We have a tendency to let our past drag us down, I think. We base our future off of who we’ve been, convinced that there are certain patterns that will always take place.

But have you ever considered the concept that our past, present, and future are all connected? Your present circumstances – your reactions, your words – have a direct relationship to where you have been and what you know to be true based upon the past. And your future circumstances – your perception of what is to come – is based solely on what you know to be true in the present, which is based on what you know from your past. There’s essentially minimal, if any, differentiation. And at any second, our perception of any one of them can shape our perception of all of them.

We’re working with ambiguous clockwork.

Define that, Sophie. Okay. Ambiguous is an adjective that means “open to multiple meanings,” and clockwork, well, it’s inner workings of a clock.

It takes one thought, or the lack of one thought, to change everything. There are multiple interpretations of what our present moment contains, what our insides feel, and whether or not our perception even exists at all. Because one second, we’re in the present, and the next second, it becomes the past.

Which brings us back to time.

We’re good at forgetting, but we’re better at remembering.

Have you ever noticed that we forget, we make the same mistake or discover the same joy all over again? That rediscovery is something that can change everything.

I’m not saying that we should be better at forgetting. In fact, it’s often important to remember. But I’ve noticed that our future choices are too often dependent upon what we have seen in the past. We leave blank spaces in our expectations only for new experiences – but even then, we’re prone to infer.

We’re all filling in the blanks for summer, even though it’s a new year, with new people, new places to find. We’ve had new experiences. Yet, we remember. We’re expecting some things to remain the same. The heat. Maybe the beach. Working, family, a break from school.

But I’m hopeful and convinced mine is different. That this summer will be entirely different than any other year. My plan is to live like a little kid – with a sense of wonder, joy, and minimal expectation for the things that are yet to come. To not let my inner clockwork get messy by thinking there’s only one way to tick, but instead keeping in mind that I can remain open to different interpretations of the same circumstance.

I want my time to be shaped by me, rather than me be shaped by time. As the school year is ending, my journey is just beginning.

Follow me @hopesophie17 to keep up with me this summer! Questions or comments? Post below or sen me an email at

Spreading the Christmas Spirit

My roommate, Kristin, and I love decorating our room. The decorations make it homey and they make it extra fun and festive around a holiday. And what holiday is more fun to decorate for than Christmas?


The limit does not exist for the amount of fun that can be had when decorating for Christmas and appreciating the final product.

The weekend after Nykerk (November 7th) I went to Meijer with Kristin and a few more friends from our floor to get items on our shopping lists. We made our way to the back of the store and temptation number one appeared: Christmas movies on sale. We bought three. (The Polar Express, Santa Clause 3, and Deck the Halls if you were wondering)
We were already feeling the jingle of Christmas spirit within us as we thought about impending Christmas movie nights and we made our way to the back of the store where we were faced with the real temptation: the Christmas Section. Trees with lights of all different colors and sizes stood on platforms before us. Aisles of lights and ornaments, mini trees and ribbons–we gave into temptation; it was time to decorate room 37 for Christmas.

Our haul: beautifully obnoxious wrapping paper for our door, a bright blue mini tree, snowflake ornaments, a star ornament, and candy cane lights.

Our justification: we have to decorate now because there would only be two weeks after Thanksgiving to appreciate the decorations before the end of the semester and that would not be nearly enough time.

That night after dinner, the fun began. I decorated the tree with the ornaments and some orange sequin ribbon (because if it’s a Hope-themed tree it’s appropriate for all seasons, right?) while Kristin went to work wrapping the door.

The following weekend Kristin came back from her home with ribbon to put a bow on our door and a garland for around our door frame. I made paper snowflakes in my free time like it was my job. (I felt like Buddy the Elf) Gradually the decorating came to a close and our room stood complete in all its Christmas spirit glory.

Now as the semester comes to a close we still don’t feel ready to give up our room’s Christmas spirit. Its joy and holiday cheer are getting me through this last stretch of studying and exams. Unfortunately taking down decorations is something that is mandatory before leaving for the end of the semester. With heavy hearts we will be un-decorating our room Tuesday during the 4:30-6:30 consideration hours. For the next five days we will be soaking in the shimmering wrapped door, Hope-y Christmas tree, and the abundant snowflakes so their spirit will live on in our hearts as we head home next week at the end of our first semester of college.

Hopefully some pictures of our decorations and Christmas themed links can add some Christmas spirit into your day!

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Enjoy and I hope you have a lovely day!
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