Kind of an Update?

Hello friends!

I’m sorry for not uploading or anything recently. Life has been crazy at home and at school, but things have slowed down and hopefully I can be more consistent whether it’s filming with an actual camera or my phone! I hope you guys enjoy the new update!

Lots of love and Hugs,
Becky Espinoza

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Grad School

Almost a month ago I started grad school. To be completely honest with you, I was terrified. I wasn’t sure what to expect, let alone realize just how much of a time commitment I was making by going back to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning. Knowledge is power! But something was still bugging me.

I’m going to grad school to become a licensed marriage, family therapist and a licensed professional clinical counselor. I should be excited about this new career path, right? Yes and no. I was excited because I love back-to-school shopping, but I wasn’t for some unknown reason. It wasn’t until I had this pretty painful conversation with my psychotherapist that everything became clear.

I have had my fair share of friends that have passed away. Each one has  affected me to my core, and I’d be lying if I said otherwise. Each of my friends had made future plans, and while they are in a better place, I’m continuing on with my life. The plans we made will be unfinished plans. The different life events we planned on experiencing together will be ones that I will now experience without them. Realizing that sucks. Why do I get to keep on living? What makes me different?

Enter survivor’s guilt. Never in my life had I expected to lose three friends by the age of 23. This is the time when we are meant to be invincible, and yet their lives ended far too soon. Moving on is hard. We made to hang out, grow up, graduate, start families, and here I am (seemingly) alone.

With this newfound revelation of what has been going on inside my mind for the last several years, I’m trying to move on without guilt. I’m trying to keep the promises we made, because we promised to be more. We promised to make a difference. We promised to be there. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not easy now. I feel this knot welling up in my throat, and I just want to cry because I am still that young girl that lost some of her best friends.

If you have lost a friend to death or a circumstance out of your control, know that you’re not alone. I am here for you. I know the pain. We can get through this together. Take care, friends.

Lots of love and hugs,
Becky Espinoza

And Then I Woke Up…

I have been thinking a lot about how I haven’t written anything in so long recently. The thing is, I didn’t have anything to talk about, or so I thought. It has been a year since Ferguson happened. It seems much longer than a year, yet so recent at the same time. There has been plenty of deaths that have occurred as well, and it is terribly upsetting that those responsible for the deaths have been able to live their lives comfortably.

On almost every form of social media I have seen, I have seen #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter. While some say that #AllLivesMatter came about to silence the outcries of my fellow Americans. Whether or not that is true, I do know one thing: People Matter.

I recently heard about 19-year-old Zachary Hammond. I found out days later about his death, and I was shocked that I had not heard about it sooner. If everyone that had been behind #AllLivesMatter, why had I not heard about this young man’s death? Why did they think that this boy didn’t deserve an outcry? Was it because he was white? Was it because of marijuana?

No; it was because people decide who is worth being cared about. Who are we to decide whether this person’s death is more significant than another? It is those same people that decide that if we don’t look a certain way that we are worthless.

If there is one thing that this world needs to realize is that PEOPLE MATTER, no matter what they look like, regardless if they are black, white, a size 2, or a size 44.

I understand that people don’t have the same beliefs as I do, but the one thing that we should be able to agree on is that people have worth, and that they matter. I find it hard to believe that in the depths of someone’s heart they do not think that any given person has infinite worth.

But Becky, what if they’re like Hitler, or a terrorist or something? I am glad you brought that up. They still matter. Am I excusing them for their deeds? By no means. But life matters. As a Christian, I believe that God crafted each person individually, and He has given them infinite worth. While we can do wrong and dreadful things, that doesn’t change the fact that each person has value, indescribable worth, and matters.

The body of Christ (myself included) should be mourning every time a person is murdered or killed. We should reach out to the family/families affected. We should pray for the killers. The killers? Yes, because as horrible as their deed may be, they matter too.

I am not saying that any of that is easy. We have our own problems, our own demons to deal with, but we must realize that we need to live outside of ourselves. Failure to do so will only lead to our demise.

Stand with me in showing that truly #AllLivesMatter because #PeopleMatter. Mourn the losses. Pray for the killers. Stand by the families. Love others. Know that YOU have worth.

With so much love and tight hugs,
Becky Espinoza

Guy Advice

In my last post, I mentioned a guy named Jake. I go to church with him at Eastside, and I mainly see him on Wednesday nights when we have young adults called Ethos. I have been attending Eastside since September, and In the middle of March is when I’ve finally had the chance to have a conversation with him.

Prior to this actual conversation, the most we ever said to each other was probably, “Hey, what’s up?” To be quite honest, I didn’t really think we would ever really talk other than the occasional “hello,” but that definitely changed on Friday afternoon.

Every Friday, I attend the high school leader meeting, but no one informed me that this particular meeting was cancelled. So I show up, and they tell me that I didn’t have to be there. What did I decide to do? I stayed. I did not want to sit in traffic for a hour/hour and a half. I started to take care of some stuff for school, when I found myself procrastinating and saying hello to Charles and Jake.

Charles invited me to hang out with them and help out with some stuff, and I agreed because I really did not want to do any financial aid work. After helping out Charles with a fun reading task, he stepped away leaving Jake and me in the cubicle.

I began to read Lead Small (great book for small group leaders!) when Jake made a comment about my writing. I didn’t hear him though, and I’m sure he thought that I was a smidge rude, but that was the beginning of the conversation.

We began to talk about the guy issues in my life. Well, not so much issues, but the lack of insight that I have with the male gender. Jake began to share some of his experiences with girls, and I thoroughly appreciated it.

While he gave me super rad advice about giving a certain guy a chance, I began to think about how often I don’t really give guys romantic chances even though I trust people the moment I meet them.

I have been burned by guys a handful of times, and I guess I just don’t really see guys as “dates” until I’m sure that they see me that way too. There isn’t necessarily wrong with that, but I could also be missing out on a great guy too. Jake showed me that.

“[A guy] can do everything he can to ‘woo’ you, but you are a strong, level-headed girl.”

That has to be one of the nicest things someone that I never really talked to has said to me.

I took Jake’s advice about giving that guy a chance, only to learn that I wasn’t as important to him as either of us thought. But even in being blown off, I found encouragement in Jake’s words, and I hope that this will be the beginning of a fun friendship!

Lots of love & hugs,
Becky

Still I’m Missing…

On most Wednesday nights, I go to my church’s young adults group called Ethos. The group is really great, and I’m starting to make really good friends. We started this series called Uphill: The Battle for the Abundant Life.

As we are going through this series, Charles, the Ethos pastor, was talking about how he likes to look at very successful people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc. He commented on how you can see the fruits of their labor, and one can even say that their lives have reached completion in a sense.

I begin to look at my life, and I know that I am nowhere near complete. There are so many things that I want to do with my life and time. And I mean, where to begin? Counselor, teacher, barista, photographer, writer, awesome girlfriend (some day… Jake suggested that, and more on that on my next post), and so much more.

I have already completed my undergrad career; I got accepted to my dream grad school, and yet I feel like I’m missing something.

I like to take a look at the broken parts of my life from time to time. Rarely is it for a pity party (although, ice cream helps), but it’s to see how despite the crappiest moments in my life, I’m not done and I won’t give up.

In my last post I shared lyrics from The Workday Release’s new album titled City Lights. Let me share once more from the song Damages.

“Don’t count me with the damages just yet; I know that I have fire left.”

I have the fire to do more with my relationships and myself. That drive, that passion comes from my Creator. It is the One who hung the stars that has stirred up the fire that is in my bones. The fire that urges me to be more, to love more, to live outside of myself, and to make a difference in someone’s life.

Maybe you have a fire within you. Maybe you have a passion for something that is crazy. Whatever it may be, I encourage you to pursue that passion and fire. You were created with a purpose. Live out your dreams. Live out your purpose. Know that I am rooting for you! Keep doing you!

Lots of love & hugs,
Becky

Welcomed Changes

I am not one for liking change. Change puts me under a lot of stress, and when I stress, I’m not a great person to be around. I cause problems in my relationships; I procrastinate more (which frankly, I didn’t think was possible); and I just hate to be around myself.

But recently, there have been a series of recent changes that I am okay with, and I actually love the changes.

While I wish different aspects of my life were playing out the way I’d like, the changes happening in other parts of my life are exciting!

I applied to grad school around mid/late January. I heard back from the school for interviews early February. The interviews ended up taking place in the last week of February. That’s when changes started happening.

The Monday before my interviews, I decided that a way to calm my nerves was to go to a concert! I mean great music lifts weary spirits, and I knew that listening to The Workday Release would do just that.

As I drove to LA, I drove by the famous skyline. I began to remember the different times I would drive past it to go visit Paul. It’s so strange not having him around anymore. The change of him not being around is becoming bearable.

When I finally reached the venue, I got to see David play after about three/four years. It was great seeing how much he has grown musically! As his set went on, he played one of his new songs that bears the same title as the album, City Lights. It’s a fun song that talks about the city and trying to make it on your own. The chorus stuck with me.

“Take off, show me the stars
I’m ready to leave; I’m ready to leave the city
I’m flat broke, show me the road to the good life”

As much as I hate change, I didn’t realize that I am craving change. I’m ready to leave. I’m ready for the good life.

A few days later, I had my interviews for grad school. I GOT IN!!! I’m going to be starting a new chapter in my life academically.

A few days after my acceptance, I received a phone call for an interview to be a casual sub for a really great company in their children’s learning center. There might be a change in my professional life as well.

I am getting more responsibility with the high school ministry that I am a part of, and I couldn’t be happier!

I am making friends, and a friendship that I didn’t realize that I even wanted when I first met this individual is flourishing. I cannot wait to see where that leads either!

Change is in the air, and for once, I am thrilled for it.

Lots of love & hugs,
Becky

P.S.
If you get the chance, you should definitely get The Workday Release’s new album City Lights on iTunes, Amazon, and GooglePlay! You will not be disappointed!