Tag Archives: Life

I Don’t Understand

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Right now in life there are so many facts, so much data, and so many events happening simultaneously that it’s impossible for any one person to know everything. It’s even impossible in my opinion for someone to know everything that they would like to know. Maybe that’s just me though. As a teacher, I am always thirsting for knowledge. I love learning, which makes me able to learn and teach new things to others. But I digress…

Really what I’m trying to say is that even though I don’t plan on ever having all of the answers, right now I feel as though I have none. For example, I turn on Facebook or flip through a news station (which I admittedly don’t do very often), and all I see is negative. We had an entire professional development day yesterday at work about being positive, wording everything you say to your students in a positive manner, and being kind as well as compassionate for others. I spent almost 7 hours yesterday being drilled with positive this and positive that. I have to admit that it was refreshing, but the problem was that when I got home, everything around me was trying to throw negative in my face. I felt like I had hit a brick wall. Honestly, I still kind of do even 24 hours later. Maybe I just don’t understand.

Additionally, God threw into my life yesterday another twist on the rollercoaster. My friend died yesterday morning from his battle with cancer. While we weren’t super close, I will always consider him a friend. We may not have spoken often lately, but I know that I will miss seeing his old pictures of mountain climbing expeditions and other things that he experienced in his very active life. So here I go again, from this positive team-building day filled with activities to a negative brick left in my road to trip over. What makes this even worse at this particular moment is that my family has been struggling to even watch TV shows where people are suffering from cancer since my grandma is currently battling many types. To hear that someone I knew died from the disease is almost paralyzing. I could not get my head wrapped around the reality of that death, that pain, or that worry I was feeling. I guess I just don’t understand.

Then to flip through the news and see all of the negative that happens in this world… it just floors me. I believe probably close to 99% of all news stories are negative ones. And I cannot stand it anymore! People hurting each other, people being hurt by forces of nature, people being hurt because they can’t afford or cannot get healthy for one reason or another. It’s always something bad. Maybe the media needs to take a page from yesterday’s lessons that I went through and try to make everything positive. I’m not sure that’s really possible in our world right now. Even the people who have seemed trustworthy or good in the past often turn around to be a negative part of our lives. Yet, I feel like there has to be some sort of solution to all of this negative. And try as I might, I don’t think it will be possible for me to make myself 100% positive all the time with all of this dark cloud nonsense surrounding me every day.

I read a blog post recently about someone who was in a very positive place in her life. She was able to go on a trip that would change her life for the better. Even then, she mentions in her one post that the devil tried to input his negativity into her trip, into this once-in-a-lifetime experience. It made me feel good to know that I wasn’t the only one experiencing some struggles with the negative things in this world. Yet even more, I wished for just that one day, that one trip, that the writer could have experienced a completely positive environment. I feel like we all deserve that one chance, that one moment, to feel totally at ease in our lives.

Unfortunately, I am being reminded constantly that the idea of total good and happiness is not a reality in anyone’s life. I feel right now that I could attempt to (or even succeed at) being the most positive person on the planet with the most faithful and beautiful ways, but I would still be affected by that thundercloud of doubt, of anger, of negativity.

So it’s true then: I just don’t understand. If anyone has tackled the beast that is positive vs. negative in the world and has found ANY inkling of an answer, please feel free to share it. I know more than one person who would love a clue as to how to begin understanding all of this ‘ick’.

 

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Not My Intentions…

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I definitely had not planned to write this up tonight, but I guess things happen that you never really realize until it’s too late to safe guard yourself against them.

Here’s the thing (and I’m sorry if I’ve talked about this before and am repeating myself); my family has this record with alcohol that is so less-than-stellar. Not my parents or siblings or anything like that, but my grandparents especially. Fifty percent of them were serious alcoholics at one point in their lives. There was the abusive grandfather, the one my parents kept us away from, and the one who was almost “disowned” because they were just plain nasty all the time as they drank. 

This is a fact that I’ve grown up with, one that I cannot say that I enjoy. There is such a huge stereotype on alcohol and drinking for me now. I was raised to be very cautious about alcohol, that it changes people for the worst. My parents set the good example by not drinking at all, ever. 

Since I try to be a good Christian girl (I know, the religion doesn’t have a lot to do with alcohol, but hear me out), I have set some very firm beliefs for myself that I intend to stick through and follow. One of them is that I will never drink alcohol in my life. Not even a glass. Not one. 

So many of you are probably rolling your eyes right now and saying that I am naive for not even trying something that is not harmful unless you let it be harmful, but it’s my belief and I’ll stick with it regardless of judgement. 

So why is this a big deal tonight? Well… I went to a friend’s house today to hang out. There was alcohol. Not a lot, just enough for people to realize that I was the only one of-age in the entire house who was not drinking anything. So I got questioned. I kept refusing, and then people got really quiet and acted just a tad weird for a while. 

Don’t get me wrong, no one was straight out nasty to me about my decision to not drink; everyone there was pretty mature. But the questions were there nonetheless. And my thing is, why? Why must I always defend this belief that I have. No one, not even half my family, understands why I have set this goal for myself. No one realizes how much pain I felt because of the aftermath of alcoholism. No one.

So here I sit, wondering what other beliefs I have set for myself that others would judge if I tried to discuss them out loud (or if they were just as apparent as me not having a martini glass in my hand…)

  1. I do not drink. Never have, never will.
  2. I am not completely an angel, but I never want to have sex before marriage. I’ve come too close to giving it all away to someone who was fake before, and I am glad that I stopped myself from that amount of hurt.
  3. It is better to remain quiet than to remain judged. (This is more of a motto that I lead rather than a goal/belief.)
  4. I will never have any more piercings. (I have one set of ear piercings and one side of my cartilage pierced now.)
  5. It is better to have loved (with your heart entirely on your sleeve) than to never have loved at all, so I do all the loving I can (even if I accidentally come off as too emotional).

Well.. I had been thinking of others, but I got distracted and am completely exhausted. Maybe I’ll come back and fill more out soon. For now, let me know what you think! Do my friends and family have a right to judge? Does anyone? How would you react? Thanks all!

~Me

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 7

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Apparently I’m meant to be on a writing roll today. This is my third (?) post, and I have not tired of t yet! It’s keeping my mind off of things, namely science, work, and death. Lovely…

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  • What don’t you like about yourself and your life?

At this point in my life, I’m pretty content. I don’t like things that have happened, but I’m mature enough to realize that I can do nothing about those situations now. The only thing I can do is control how I react to them or let them affect me now. 

  • What would you like to change?

Sadness in this world. It’s too sad and people are too mean. But I know I have no control over this…

  • What do you believe are your greatest strengths?

I am a great listener, and sometimes an even better teacher. I feel like I’m also good at being a friend, but I know that sometimes others will disagree with me about that idea. 

  • Are you open to a life change at this time? How hard would a change be for you right now?

I am sort of open to a life change at this time, but I just recently went through some huge life changes. I think another huge change would be hard right now because I am still settling into the idea of these other new changes. It would be great if I could accustom myself to one thing before another popped up. 

  • If you are considering a life change, how soon would you want to start working on that change?

I most definitely will not be the one to instigate the new life change. At least not yet!

  • What are the top two life goals that you would like to pursue?

I want to teach (yay, I’ve made a lot of progress with this lately!). I also want to find love (I have found this in my family, but not so much in others who I have not grown up around).

  • What could be your potential roadblocks?

Other people. For sure.

My own fears are probably the biggest issues. 

  • What are the biggest concerns to you that could threaten your plan?

I love challenges, but mental ones. I hate physical challenge or emotional challenge. These things can rip me to pieces in an instant. So my biggest concern? Not so much with teaching, but with the other goal… my biggest concern is being hurt. Hurt so badly that there is no way for me to heal. 

  • Who do you know who can inspire you?

My parents and others I know who have found the type of love that I would like to one day have. They’ve already taught me a lot about relationships. 

  • What will be the financial cost of attaining your goals?

No financial cost. If anything, I will earn more money by teaching. 

  • Will you need to seek help? What would the best possible way of getting help be?

Yes, I always will need help. There is no great goal in life that can be achieved alone. I think I’ve already made this clear, but I will look at relationships around me, talk to my parents and family for advice… as for teaching, I will continue to expand my knowledge base and watch my coworkers in their teaching environments. I have a lot of growing to do in that area, but the major part of the goal is accomplished!

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 6

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I’m having a hard time staying distracted right now, so I am going to try to complete some more of these questions. Then some homework or another good book sounds good, but whatever I do, I need to stop thinking! Thanks for understanding (whoever may be reading this that understands). Even invisible support is appreciated. 

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  • Describe how you have stepped out on faith.

I used to think Faith was a silly thing; we all went to church for Sunday School to memorize this book and these passages that I never thought I would relate to or use in my entire life. It was like someone wrote this novel, just like any other novel, only longer and more confusing. I guess as a child, I didn’t really believe in the Bible. I believed in God and prayed more often than I have done at other points in my life, but I sort of stepped out simply because I never stepped in.

As a teenager, my life changed a lot. At some point I started praying for so many negative things to get better that I felt selfish and just stopped praying on a regular basis. I still believed in God but I questioned what was happening in my life and why it had to happen, especially to my family. At that confusing point in my life, I took a step back from my faith because I didn’t understand anything going on at the time and was entirely confused about every part of life. 

  • How do you look at your life?

I’ve come to realize that life is a learning experience and if I don’t treat it as such, I will spend my entire life questioning things that have happened in the past for no good reason. It’s important to understand why things happened in life, but it’s more important to be able to understand that they did happen and to keep on living until the reason brings itself to light. 

At this point I also feel like my life is all about helping others. Sometimes I feel selfish when I think about myself and my own problems, but for the most part I am giving to others. The only people who I don’t give to as much as I really should is my family; they are all much better at giving than I am, though I am trying to get better around them. I guess by the time I am done spending all day giving, my give has run out and I need to rely on my family more than ever. 

  • Do you pray?

Constantly. Though I have to say my story has changed in reference to this subject. As a kid, I would say the same prayer every night right before bed. My parents taught me the prayer and it stuck with me. Even when I was a teenager, I would still say this same prayer with just a few extra thoughts or wishes added to the end. Sometimes I still do this…

Now though, I find that by the time my head hits the pillow, I’m zonked. There’s no energy left in me or thoughts to be able to put together into a full sentence, let alone a prayer. Sometimes my prayer is as simple as “Goodnight God, watch over everyone for me.” Other times it is longer and more specific to what is going on in life.

Lately, as I am trying to regain my independence and find my strength again, I have found myself praying at completely random times. At work, in between my classes. At night or in the morning during my travel to or from work. The only real consistency that my praying has is 1) when I have the chance to go to Church and pray with the rest of the congregation or 2) when something bad has happened to someone who needs as much prayer as they can get. 

  • Do  you have a spiritual relationship with God?

I guess that really depends on what you consider a spiritual relationship with God. I’ve already established that I pray and look to him for explanations of things that humans cannot explain, look to him for help in which decisions to make, etc. So if that’s what you mean, then yes. 

And since we are on this topic of “depends what you mean”, I think my biggest issue with Christianity and religions in general is that it is more complicated to be religious than to be a teacher! A teacher of a very difficult subject! I am never going to remember the definitions of all of these terms and meanings, especially when most of them mean at least two different things for at least two different religions. Just saying… I’m smart, but not that smart.

  • Describe how your faith has been easily wavered or increased over time. Give details.

Life makes it waver just as easily and fast as life makes it increase. Give details you say? Well any time one bad thing happens or one extremely good thing happens, my faith has been known to change. I am getting more sturdy and confident in my faith as I grow older, but since I am still young I still have a lot of that wavering and increasing. Luckily, over the past few years, I have felt the love of a person who truly loved me, I have done good for others, and I have grown within myself; all of these things have led me to see that God does do greater things than anything I had imagined before. Which is why my faith has increased so much recently. A few years ago, this would not have been my blog. This would have been the one that I rolled my eyes at and skipped over; not because I never took God seriously, but because people who spoke about their religion and beliefs were outsiders in my world. They were the people who could get you in trouble or into an argument without you even realizing it. (Sorry to those people now. I know I never did anything necessarily “bad” to you, but I also didn’t consider you anywhere near the person who I would become friends with because I judged too soon. I’m sorry.)

  • Do you call on God only when there is a crisis, or do you have an ongoing relationship with God?

Both. I am more likely to call on him during crisis, but I am also very aware of the fact that he is always around. It’s sort of like some of my friends; I know they are there but I don’t talk to them every day. I know that I should not be comparing God to friends, but he is a friend in his own way. 

  • When you’re in the middle of a crisis are you able to surrender to God?

At some point, that’s the only choice I have. But I am so headstrong that I always think I can handle things on my own or find the help I need in others who are here, those who can hug me or talk directly to me and give me a sign or a message that is not as much left up to interpretation as God has been known to give. 

  • Have you faced a health crisis, and if so, how were you able to work through it?

I had mono when I was a teenager. I guess I wasn’t in too much of a crisis, but it was a pretty big deal to me since I was too stubborn to want to miss school or work. I was able to work through it because of the Internet, because of friends, because of family, and because I was still young. Since that was one of those confusing and hectic times in my life, I am sure I relied on God a lot too. I just don’t remember exactly who I relied on during that time (since, what do you know, I was always very tired and forgetful!)

  • What gifts do you believe God has given you?

He has given me so many things. I think I just need to make a list…

  1. My family
  2. My animals (and my love for them)
  3. My maturity 
  4. My stubbornness (no, not always a good gift, but one just the same)
  5. My strength
  6. My personality (I’m not sure I could stand myself if I was someone else…)
  7. My talent and my love for that talent (teaching)
  8. My love of reading
  9. My business-like approach to my personal life as far as finances, decisions, etc. 
  10. The experiences that I have had in life (and more importantly, the lessons I have learned from them)
  • How do you plan to have your gifts work to help your family and friends?

They already are. I am now able to help my family financially. I am able to rescue animals because I have the maturity and finances to be able to support them. God also gave me my unconditional love. I have been influenced in such a positive way by my family and friends; I have “used” that gift to make me the person I am today. I have used my personality to connect with others and touch lives (even in the smallest ways). I could go on and on… Most importantly, I have learned to teach and I am so dedicated to it that I have already been told that I have changed students’ lives. That is the biggest blessing of all, to hear a child say you made their life better. 

  • What would you like to bring closure to?

It seems to me that this book has asked this question more than once… And again, I would like to say that I need closure with my past relationships (family, ex, and friends). Though the more I live, the more closure I receive. 

  • What are you most grateful for?

See all of the talents above? Thank you. 🙂 

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 4

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I haven’t had the chance to write in quite a while now, or so it seems. But tonight I am able to thank God for Christmas Break. I know, it is something that everyone takes for granted (or maybe does not get to enjoy at all), but this is a big thing to me right now. I recently started suffering from headaches at work and have been extra stressed when trying to stay caught up and rest my head. 

Now things should be slowing down for a while, at least for the night. Which means I was able to successfully read the next chapter in my book. As always, the questions from the chapter (and their answers) are below. 

Enjoy!

~Me


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  • What are you holding on to that you believe needs to be healed?

My past relationships. My past experiences. For the most part, it feels like I have healed from them and moved on, but there are moments in my day or in my life that remind me of the past and things that I wish I didn’t still feel so affected by when just thinking about them. I think my failed relationship is a huge thing. I know, deep down, that I didn’t fail. Yes, maybe I could have done a few things differently, but for the most part, the relationship failed because I would not change myself for someone else. I know this, and yet it is hard to move on from this fact and into my new life while still knowing that my love is still there; it’s just clouded by hurt now. That, for sure, is the biggest thing that bugs me to this day. 

  • What issues in your past are of particular concern to you? Are you comfortable sharing your past experiences with others?

I think you just need to see above… Yes, for the most part I am comfortable sharing my experiences. The funny thing is, it’s easier for me to share these experiences with people I know less rather than those that I know well. It seems that those close to me are always more judgmental simply because they care more for me and want to help me decide (or do) what is best for me. Sometimes this is appreciated; other times it just seems like an opinion that works to fog my own opinions. 

  • Do you use drugs or alcohol? How does this impact the relationships that you have with others?

I do not. I don’t use drugs or alcohol, and I have perfectly good reasons for both (not that I should need a good reason). This fact has ruined multiple friendships for me, though I do not regret that fact much. Here’s the thing: my grandparents (most of them) were alcoholics at some point in their lives. Some of them sobered up and got clean, but others did not. I’ve seen the way that alcoholics can treat others. No, before you ask, I don’t think that it’s entirely the alcohol that makes a person bad, however; I do not think it helps to bring out the best in people. For this reason, I choose not to drink or be around people who drink. Some people understand and others just think I’m a stuck-up idiot who is too naive to take any part of the “fun” in this world. So, relationships have ended on this issue, and it seems silly to me from this perspective that I considered them relationships (friendships really) to begin with. Especially when they could fall apart so easily…

  • How comfortable are you with your body?

I have my days. I used to be a skinny stick and now I am just not. I’ve matured and grown and rounded out to say the least. Most days I am comfortable with this and can find at least three things about my own body that I truly would not change for the world. But when you’re surrounded by people and a society that thinks that you are obese (though in my eyes, the BMI calculator is a load of crap), it can be hard. I will often take someone shopping with me not just because it is more fun that way, but also so that I can get a second opinion on the clothes that I choose to buy for myself. And I do it so subconsciously, that I’m not sure I even realize how much of an issue my body image can, at times, be for myself. 

  • What pattern would you need to incorporate in your life to improve your health?

This is hard. I don’t really exercise. I mean, I do plenty of walking and standing/moving at work every day, but I never have the time to do things that are truly exercise related. I just run out of time! During the summers, I am better at trying to stay active, but during the school year I have to work so hard and rest so much to keep my mental health at its peak that I do not have time to run two miles (not that I can do so anyway…)

  • Describe your closest friends. Are you just like them or do you want to be like them?

I consider two people my closest friends. One lives across the country right now and is barely like me at all (case and point: I never would have moved across the country for a job!), and the other is my sister. Even her and I are similar but so different. She’s the caring, nurse-y, mom-type and I am the serious, official, worrisome teacher type. We do have a lot in common, but the thing is we have so much difference in us that we are definitely our own unique person. Some traits in both of my friends I would like to pick up, but I’m not jealous or envious of them for having stronger traits than I do. I see that my sister helps others at home (with chores) a lot more often than I do, but I also realize that I spend all day helping kids to become better in the classroom. I think we are similar but in different circumstances. And for the record, I am proud of both of the women that we have become. 

  • How vulnerable are you to pressure from your peers?

I used to be extremely vulnerable to peer pressure. Now? Not so much. If people have nasty opinions about me and I find out about it, yes, I get upset. But that doesn’t mean that I bow down to them and do whatever they say. I used to do that, but it’s not me anymore. I have become more confident in myself as an individual over the past five years or so, and I am not afraid to stand up for something when I believe it to be the right thing. 

  • How much do you rely on your friends’ opinions?

This I do a lot. I value so many different things in this world: nature and technology, arts and the sciences, family and friends… it’s not always easy for me to make decisions that require me to choose between two very amazing things. And yet it seems like most of these decisions are simple, every day things, like what to eat for dinner. I do take other people’s opinions into account when making larger decisions as well, but I am less likely to allow them to influence me when I am trying to figure out some big part of my life. 

Come Hell or High Water

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The past few weeks have been rough. The past few days may have been better. But now, as I sit here in my room contemplating my life and having just a few more minutes in the night to relax, I wonder if things are really better or if people just know how to mask their hurt and confusion.

I wrote that Dear John letter and successfully have made no attempts to contact my ex. It makes me proud to know that I am so strong. Yet tonight, for whatever reason, I sit here wishing things were different. Honestly, it may not even be him I want; it’s more that I just need a friend to talk to, one who I can trust with anything. Lately, I’ve been too scared of opening up to anyone about my feelings.

Life has been busy lately. It’s been absolutely insane. I’ve worked over 13 hours in a single day recently, and woke back up the next day just to do it all again. Sometimes I wish I had never returned to school; knowledge is something I thrive off of, but sometimes the stress and time consuming process seems less worth it than I had originally thought it would be. Studying for my Praxis exam may or may not be the death of me….

I guess it’s really not that bad, my life. I have plenty of things to continue to focus on. Tomorrow I am attending Church for the first time in the past few months. It will be good to do some singing in public and get a (hopefully) meaningful message to help me through the coming days. I feel bad for not going to the service each week, but I just cannot risk my mental, emotional, and physical health by waking up extra early on my only day off from work every single week. I, thankfully, know that God understands.

I’ll be reading the Scriptures tomorrow. I emailed my Pastor and asked him for help in setting me up with the readings. I know my grandma will enjoy it, and I plan to surprise her completely by doing the whole thing! Yet, even though I’m a teacher, I’m nervous about the entire thing. I even pulled out my Bible to practice reading the Scriptures to make sure that I am less likely to stumble over any words tomorrow. Not that anyone would care if I messed up a little… no one but me anyway. 

I’ve been keeping my Bible on my library shelf since I do not have any room right now on the nightstand beside my bed. This is actually the first time that I’ve pulled it out in a while. I took a few extra minutes before I turned the lights out to read a few extra verses and see what I could find. I’m going to try to be more in tune with my Spirituality. It’s so important for so many reasons.

I need to write another post about my kids at school. We had a very interesting conversation on Friday about the “Winter Break” and the use of the term Christmas versus Winter. I also did an amazing lesson on Privilege and helping others, that I know some of the other teachers in the world would be amazed by watching. I’m tired for the night though, so stay tuned!

~Me

The Return of the Faith

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So it happens like this…

Life changes, you get a job, and all h*** breaks loose. But don’t worry, because that’s not the half of it! So many things have changed since I’ve last written and many of those things have tested me numerous times throughout the past 3 months. How I’m ever going to survive this year is beyond me. How things are going to work out is the last thing on my mind. Mainly, I just need to know how to get through the next day, hour, minute… 

The thing is, I am trying to do too much at once. I know it, other people know it; but I’m stubborn. After I heard back from the adoption agency, I picked up Jasper the next day. It’s nothing like trying to train a pup and make him part of your family when you are starting a brand new job that requires up to 15 hours of your day, 5 days a week.

So how do I do it? Who knows??? I honestly could not explain to you why my students say they love me so much or why my dog still greets me so happily every day when I return home. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what my coworkers think or how abandoned my sister must feel since I barely ever get to talk to her anymore, let alone doing anything else! 

And who’s idea was it for me to go back to college the same year that I started my first full-time job? Dog, job, college… possibly the stupidest combination that I’ve ever allowed my life to have all at once. It’s just too much. 

But I’m not writing this post to rant or make people feel sorry for me. In fact, it’s the opposite. I’m realizing, through all of this, that I need to focus more on myself in my downtime. Regardless of if that downtime is 5 hours or 5 seconds, I need to learn to step back, take a deep breath, and then keep plodding along. 

We ran a book drive at school a few weeks ago. Each of the teachers had the opportunity to make a wish list of books that they would love to have from the drive. I randomly picked one because I don’t have any kids (and most of the books were for elementary-aged students). Funny thing is, all of these books ended up being inspirational. I was pretty excited about reading them, but figured that I would never receive any. Not many people randomly buy teachers inspirational books for no apparent reason.

But someone did. Someone bought me one of those inspirational books. They made my day actually because they simply signed their name as “A Friend”. I have no idea who this person is and I probably will never know. So why does this make me so happy? Because someone did something nice for me for no reason. I mean, maybe I influenced them in some way or they are a friend of mine. The thing is though, I don’t know that any of these things are true. It could be that one of my students wanted to give me a gift, or my boss secretly buys a book for each new teacher. While I will never know the true circumstances, the thing that hit me the most was the anonymity. You don’t have to be famous to do something nice for someone. You don’t have to be thanked to do something good. Whoever this amazing person is, they did it because they cared. That’s all. A simple, pure reason for gifting someone a book. 

As it is, I have not had a lot of time to open this book and actually read it. But I’ve been so excited, that I quit working early yesterday in order to begin reading it. Funny thing is, after I read the Foreword, I realized that the book is aimed at an audience for which I do not belong. Particularly, women of color. I mean, I have color in my skin, I’m not albino. But the authors made it very clear by Chapter 1 that they had written this book to empower black women. 

My first thought was “great, why did I not read the foreword before putting this on my wish list?” My second thought was similar: “What am I going to do with this book? It is an amazing gift but I won’t get anything out of it!” Boy was I wrong…

I persevered and decided to read at least the first chapter. By the time I did, I realized more about myself than I think I ever have before (at least in such a short time). The book is all about finding yourself and not settling for less than you are happy with. It’s very interesting, with true stories of women who have struggled through life, with questions to make you use your critical thinking skills, and with those random comments about empowering women of color (which still make me feel awkward, even after I’ve read the first 3 chapters!) 

I actually feel sort of sad that the authors of this book did not pick a more general audience. The power these words could have on ANY woman must be extremely great. Yet many of us will never learn this because the target audience does not include our circumstances. 

In any case, I decided to start posting again because of this book. It actually occurred to me for a few reasons.

1. I want to make record of the answers to the questions that are asked within the book. I was going to keep a journal but am not sure I have enough time to honestly sit and write out all of the words without them being completely illegible. 

2. I realized that I am not taking enough time for myself and the things I love to do. I love to read, I love to write. So why have I stopped? A new puppy might be a good reason, but my job and my schooling are not good enough reasons to throw my passions away! 

I’m sure there are more reasons, but this is all I can think of right now. I’m hoping that tomorrow night I still have time (between constructing a circuit and feeding the dog his supper) to be able to post the answers to the first question in the book. 

Stay tuned….

Oh, and by the way, I am trying out this new technology! Please feel free to leave me feedback below! I would absolutely love to hear from you. 

 

Monday’s Message: Perseverance (Again)

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Yesterday I talked some about perseverance and giving up on things in life. Today I would like to elaborate some more on that topic. This time, I am going to talk about it from a different perspective.

One of my favorite quotes by Winston Churchill reads:

If you are going through hell, keep going.

Somehow, he knew what he was talking about. The only way to make it through tough times is to keep going. Never giving up is one of life’s greatest challenges, but it is necessary in order to survive and continue to improve oneself. Many people believe that God gives us only as much as we can handle, and if this is true, we must keep going or be completely defeated by a test that is placed in our way.

I pulled up a list of quotes on perseverance, and I also found this one by Maya Angelou that I absolutely love! I’ve been sitting here thinking about it and rereading it just to make sure I understand the full meaning behind it. She says:

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

So… you might lose, you might not succeed, but you cannot let that ruin any of your plans or stop you from seeking the goals and accomplishments that you have set forth before yourself.

These two quotes show exactly what I was talking about yesterday: whether or not it is okay to give up. It seems as though both of these amazing people are telling us that we should not give up at all. We must keep pushing regardless of circumstances or difficulties that we may encounter. On the other hand, F. Scott Fitzgerald worded it just a little bit differently.

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.

This quote reminds me of the situation that I discussed yesterday. I gave up on playing field hockey that year, but in the end I think it was a single defeat rather than a final defeat. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t stand up for myself completely to the point that I made sure the coach never bullied another kid again. And maybe I should have… But what I did do was stand up and say that I was not okay with the situation, and it was more important for me to give up a sport that I loved in order to save my conscience and my emotional being. Maybe I was defeated when I was unable to play, but more than likely, I did win the final victory by saving my extra-emotional self heartache, worry, and disappointment. Maybe after all, I did do the right thing.

Right now there is a situation going on in my life that is ongoing, but more “in my face” right now than usual. It deals with perseverance and whether or not I am strong enough to make the right decisions for me. Unfortunately, these decisions are made all that harder by the fact that they will affect people that I love regardless of what I choose to do. As much as the people discussed above helped me to better understand the situation that I went through years ago, I’m not sure their quotes are helping me much now. In keeping with the same beliefs and ideas, I don’t feel quite as lost in life at this moment. Yet, even with the advice, I don’t believe that I will be strong enough to follow through. Maybe, at the end of the day, that’s the main problem.

It might not be about whether I give up on myself or whether I persevere. Maybe, at the end of the day, it’s all about how I feel about myself. Before I can first give to others, maybe I need to be a little selfish and find a good center for myself, a place where nothing can phase me and even the hardships can be surpassed. Sometimes I think I’ve found this peace, and then something throws my life back into the tumult that I am currently feeling.

Well, I was going to try to finish up this post in some amazing, earth-defying way, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. For one, my computer just crashed and I thought that I had lost everything that I had already written for today. Secondly, I’m not sure there is an answer right now. Maybe I need to keep searching, keep taking advice, and keep trying to focus on myself before others when it comes to situations like this. Not to be selfish, but to find myself in order to better help others. In the end, I guess all I can really do is keep praying about it.

Have some advice for me? Let me know!

 

Sunday’s Sermon: The Power of Perseverance

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I just want everyone to know that after yesterday’s post, I forgot to mention that I need more Grab Bag ideas for this coming week. Make sure you post your ideas for my Saturday post by Saturday morning, and begin your comment with Grab Bag:

Anyway, on to better things…

It will be a year ago in October when I first laid eyes on my workplace. It’s a school. An amazing school. Not because the buildings look brand new and class sizes are small, but because of the attitudes of everyone that I see there. The students, the coworkers, the parents… even those who I don’t know.

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than someone showing me the slightest bit of attention during my day. Whether it be a smile, a hello, or more, people can change my attitude in the blink of an eye. The people I’ve met at my job are exactly like that. They won’t walk past you without some acknowledgement. It’s an amazing thing. Since the school instills these characteristics in the children, the adults are left to set good examples. So we do. And since everyone is working together on this common showing of humanity, we have created a movement within our community that changes everyone’s lives. Now if only the whole world would start acting this way…

But the positive nature of the people who I surround myself with is not even the reason that I mention my job. Instead, it is the fact that we introduce in our students a set of rules and terms to live by to make them act the way that they do. One of the biggest words that we use in our system is perseverance.

I’m not sure what perseverance means to each of you, but to me it simply means never giving up. This, probably the most common definition, is a hard thing to accomplish. To never give up on one thing in life would almost be a miracle. Your opinion of what perseverance means and when someone gives up, also makes the term interpretive to the point that some will say they “gave up” while others who experience the same situation may say they simply “stopped caring” or “moved on to better things.” These sayings are common in our society. But why?

It cannot be a good thing to give up right? Those words linked together to create the saying “give up” have such a negative ring. It is my opinion that people saying give up more often to encourage someone not to do so, rather than to say “I give up!” Those who make that statement often don’t even mean it. During a minute of frustration, I might decide to give up, but I never actually mean that I am completely done trying.

There are many times when I have felt like giving up. Sometimes the situations are job-related, school-related, or even in reference to relationships. Some of these situations are ones in which I know I have given up. When I was in eighth grade my field hockey couch verbally abused me to try to get me to run faster, when it was physically impossible for me. I quit; I didn’t play that season, but I have not regretted it since. After days of being talked down to, I decided I had had enough. No regrets, no more problems. At least when it comes to that situation.

Other situations are different though. Is deciding to change jobs giving up? Or is it simply moving on to bigger and better things? What about school? Does turning in a paper that you feel is less than perfect somewhat count as giving up? Or does it just mean you did your best? I want to know! Leave comments below so that I can learn more about other people’s opinions. Maybe I’ll write more about my experiences of giving up vs. not giving up next time! For now, let me know your opinions and then spend some time analyzing your life and situations in which you may or may not have given up. When you feel like giving up in the future, remember those times, and remember that you can do anything you set your mind to, regardless of what other people say. It may not happen as easily as you want it to, it may not happen when you want it to, but if you try your hardest and stay honest with yourself, giving up will become a thing of your past.

I myself am going to try to stay positive and see if I can too stick with every decision that I make and action that I complete. Hopefully one day I will stop even considering the ability to give up as an option in my life.

Wacky Wednesday— Introduction and First List

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The final post category will be announced next Tuesday (since I skipped yesterday’s post). In the meantime, welcome to the first Wacky Wednesday post! During this daily blog post, I will be taking some advice from other bloggers and discussing random topics. Here’s how it will work…

I will research topics, ideas, or themes for bloggers to use. There are hundreds of sites out there that have ideas for new bloggers. When I find a list that I like, I will post it to my own blog. Each Wednesday thereafter (until the list is complete) I will choose one of the topics on the list to write about. This should be interesting… especially since I am giving myself a very big rule. Once I choose a list, I must write about EVERY topic on that list before moving on to a new list. (Ah!) Anyway, enough of this babble. Here goes…

First List:

1. That thing that happened in high school that pretty much changed your life forever
2. The worst movie you ever did see, and why
3. Your favourite recipe, even if you’re the worst cook in the world. Sometimes there’s an art to making the best vegemite toast you could ever eat
4. The day you left home
5. That one time you told a huge lie and kinda got away with it {or perhaps you didn’t and that would make an even better blog post! Cringe}
6. The hardest thing you’ve ever been through
7. 9 things you just can’t handle {gross things like ugly toes etc etc}
8. Your day in photos {take a photo every hour from wake to sleep}
9. Your most excruciatingly embarrassing moment. We’ve all got one.
10. A letter to your 16 year old self. What advice would you give?
11. Your celebrity dinner party. Who would you invite?
12. A how-to post on something you know nothing about
13. Your first love/kiss, and don’t skip the awkward details
14. The day you started blogging. What were you thinking?
15. The most difficult decision you’ve ever made. Write from the heart.
16. 7 things you learned from being a kid
17. A letter to your mum/grandma/child
18. An anti-bucket list: the things you hope to never do before you die
19. The last thing that made you cry
20. Your earliest childhood memory
21. That thing that really gets your goat {Is it the way people drive? That sniffing noise your partner makes?}
22. The worst Christmas/Birthday you ever had {make it funny!}
23. What your Facebook status might be in 2018
24. What you’re addicted to, and why
25. Write your obituary
26. Write a how-to post on something you actually know a lot about, as obscure as it might be
27. Write a FAQ {frequently asked questions} post. This could be questions you get asked about your blog, or questions you get asked by your kids over and over again. Think outside the box.
28. That time that you met a complete stranger
29. Fashion: Your top 5 favourite bags/dresses/looks/hair-dos/shoes right now
30. What you’ve learned about life so far
31. Brain dump. What’s on your mind right now
32. Something you lost
33. Bad habits. Share yours and why you won’t give it up. Ever.
34. Who people think you are, compared to who you really are
35. If you only had one day to live, how you’d spend it
36. A thank you note to a ‘thing’, like coffee, or trashy TV
37. A guide to the town you live in
38. What you want to be when you grow up {yes, there’s still time}
39. Something you found
40. The menu for your last meal ever
41. A response to a popular blog post written by someone else – an opinion piece where you put your cranky pants on
42. Write a review: on anything… a new food, a book you just read, an App
43. Find your most popular blog post and then write a second series of it, or an update on it
44. Do a DIY. A step-by-step guide on how to make something
45. Set a goal, and a plan on how to get there
46. Create a post asking for advice on something that’s troubling you. People love to offer wisdom
47. Share the favourite room in your home, and why you love it
48. Top 5: Share a post with the top 5 blogs you just can’t get enough of
49. Share a secret you’ve never told anyone. Until now
50. Write a list post on things for people to blog about. Pretty much like this one just here.

Thank you to Fat Mum Slim for the list (visit their blog post here: http://fatmumslim.com.au/sweet-ideas-50-things-to-blog-about/)