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Closed Doors

I could make a list of things that have caused me pain that have not had some kind of lesson, experience, or something healthier for me later on after the pain subsided. At the moment, I cannot think of one death, one heartbreak that didn’t serve a purpose.
God does not waste pain. The devil thrives off of it, but God allows it to be able to show us something better, to teach us something we wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Tonight I was thinking about how thankful I am for my boyfriend. A year ago, I had a crush on a different guy who had been a friend for a while. But when life started to hammer and I needed a friend, he disappeared. It took me a long time to admit how much that hurt me. But my boyfriend has seen what a bad day looks like for me, and he has not left my side. God knows what we need better than we do, and when we fight against that by running after things that we were never intended to pursue, we will be hurt because it’s like trying to climb over an electric fence.
Do not bang against doors God shuts, because there are other doors down the hall if you keep walking that are already open. However, sometimes there are things we are meant to pursue and God doesn’t wants us to keep fighting for it and not give up. You will be able to see the difference if you take a step back and look at what you are fighting for. Is it healthy? Can it serve a greater good? Or is it something you want selfishly and has the potential of being bad for you?

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Students spill out of buildings, their steps accidentally in line like soldiers. The move in groups, but don’t also the ducks flying in V’s? Doesn’t also the school of fish, the family of deer, and the wild horses? Society becomes dangerous when the power gets to their heads. That group of boys laugh at the girl wearing the Bogo headphones. But they would never have said anything had they each been alone walking past her.

Don’t tease the waitress when you yourself haul out dead turkeys for a living.
Take off your hat before your ego swells it tight.
Take off your bandana before a real gang shows you what a gang looks like.

It takes only one man to corrupt an army, even if you aren’t aware that you’re holding the baton. You are not brave when you have backup. You are not cool when you’re the reason that girl is filling a trash can with Kleenex and waiting for a wet pillow to dry.

Her parents are now planning a funeral.

Do you feel cool now?

Have you ever noticed how fake we are with each other most of the time?

I’m a waitress, and a lot of days I have to stand in front of my guests and lie to them. When I’m asked, “How are you?” I have to respond with “I’m good,” whether I actually am good or not. Sometimes the people asking are asking out of kindness and not curiosity, but for the people who might have actually been interested, I can’t respond with, “I’m in my menstrual cycle so my lady parts are in a type of civil war right now” or “I’ve been depressed because I’ve been missing my grandma a lot lately.” Once when I was being honest with a table of customers by telling them I was tired after having been there all day, my manager overheard me and told me I wasn’t supposed to say that.

Maybe some will claim that we are giving “too much information,” but sometimes I don’t have a filter, and if you’re going to ask me how I am, I will give you a short look into my private life because I don’t have anything to hide. Maybe some will claim that we aren’t honest because we aren’t given the time to really dig into our stories, so we just don’t say anything. But most of the time I’d rather hear someone say, “You know, I’m really not doing good, but I’d rather not go into it.” That is more honest than saying, “I’m okay.” Because at least by admitting you aren’t doing well, I can pray for you. Or on days I’m not doing well, I can be thankful that my struggles aren’t as bad as yours might have been that day I talked to you.

The way I see it is if you don’t want to hear the truth, don’t ask. Don’t ask me how I am if you don’t want to hear about how I had to borrow money from my mother because I couldn’t pay October’s rent. But at the same time, the culture I live in doesn’t want to hear a sob story. So I pretend everything is fine.

I pretend it doesn’t bother me that some of the people I thought I called friends don’t really seem to care whether I’m in their life or not.

Sometimes we talk to others about others behind their backs instead of talking to them directly. And then pretend to their faces that we weren’t just talking shit. But then who is all talking about us behind our backs?

I used to pretend it didn’t bother me that a guy I used to like didn’t care to spend time with me anymore. Now I’m dating someone who wishes he could see me more than he gets to.

We pretend we know what others are talking about even if we don’t.

We pretend to like certain people even if we don’t.

We pretend to like our jobs even if we don’t.

We pretend to know everything when most of the time we hardly know anything.

Where does it end? What would the world look like if everyone was honest? Would people be more or less offended than they are now? Would we be able to heal faster if we didn’t have anything to hide?

I don’t know about you, but I’m awfully tired of pretending. I can’t be a ray of sunshine every day. I hate lying about the little things. There is so much I feel like I need to learn before I can truly contribute to some of the bigger conversations out there. And I hate that I allow people dictate my emotions and my life sometimes. I’m not a confrontational person, but I’m a very emotional person, and I feel like I’m not allowed to show that side because it makes people feel uncomfortable.

But maybe we need to feel uncomfortable to be reminded about what kind of world we live in. It makes me sad that we have more fake conversations with each other than real ones.

Whether we like it or not, every single person on this planet is a mess in some way or another. So why do we hide? Why does it take us so long to be honest with each other?

[[Please Note: I’m aware a lot of us have close friends to go to to discuss the messy and painful things with, but sometimes we are even fake to those people. And I don’t think it undermines the fact that we are not acknowledging the amount of pain in the lives around us. If we could be open about our struggles, would that change things like bullying? The ignorance of others makes things worse for those who were already in pain.]]

Great Love

It doesn’t bother me that I’m going to die someday. But I’m already tearful at the thought of having to be at the funerals of people I love before I come to my own. But great loss can only come from great love. And great love is worth every tear.

Sometimes I’m afraid to love because to love someone means to give in to a vulnerability that gives them the option of hurting me, whether that means leaving me or dying. But as terrifying as vulnerability is, we can’t be fully happy or even fully ourselves without it. Walls come down one way or another, we just get the option of taking them down ourselves or having them crash around us in ashes.

Be wise with whom you open yourself to, but make sure there is at least someone in your life you can be vulnerable with. It will eventually lead to loss, but you will have great loss anyway if you never give yourself the chance to experience great love. A life without love is empty.

Taco Bell, Man

Everyone hurts. Everyone needs someone to talk to in that time of hurt. But it can be hard to find anyone who wants to take the time to listen. We keep it to ourselves because we don’t want to burden them; we don’t want to sound depressing since we know there are people in the world doing worse than us; we want to think positive because others keep telling us things will get better. But that doesn’t mean they will get better tomorrow. Or the next day. So what are we supposed to do with our hurt in the meantime?

They may not be the people you’d expect them to be, but there are people you will meet who will be real with you. If you are brave and start opening small pieces of yourself to them, you will be able to find people who will handle the news like you’re hoping they will. It may not be the first or even the fifth, but there will be someone who will not try to give you advice and just hug you for a long time if that’s what you need. There will be someone who will build a fort you can crawl into with a plate of pizza and a movie to shut out the world for just a few hours. There will be someone who will take you fishing to calm your nerves. There will be someone who will be wiser than you who may not have the answers, but will know what to say to make you feel better, whether that’s to make you laugh, make you hopeful, make you thankful. 

The people that look like they have it together probably don’t. The ones whose lives look the best probably aren’t. I’m not saying no one is happy, but not everyone who looks happy is happy. Don’t say “I’m sorry for being a burden” because if the someone you are spilling your guts to is a true friend, you will never be a burden. Your hurts should be your friend’s hurts too because no one should hurt alone. 

If you’ve already found someone who is that person for you, then maybe think back to the last time someone was open and honest with you. Are you the type of person people can be themselves with? What do you really know about your friends? What if you are someone they feel they have to be fake around? Pay a little more attention to your friends if you haven’t been. Really ask them how they are doing instead of letting it be a filler for “hello.” People usually think you don’t care, so they will give you a BS answer. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to say. Sometimes people just need someone they can rant to, someone they can cry with, someone who will make them feel less alone.

Allow people to be honest with you. Give them openings so they feel they can be honest with you. You have no idea how big of an impact that small step can be in someone’s life. 

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I’m sorry I haven’t been on here recently! School is taking me down at the moment, but I have so much to tell you all! It’ll be coming in pieces, but it’ll be coming!

I should have been telling myself this all along, but sometimes you need to hear something just the right way for it to click in your mind. I feel like I’ve been complaining about my classes a lot lately since I have three academic papers, two presentations, a few more tests, and my three senior projects due soon. Yes it’s difficult to prioritize; yes it sucks that I have to miss out on things because my test is more important; yes it’s hard trying to say no to hanging out with people that I don’t see very often. But I’m not being forced to take this major.

I don’t need to be in college (though these days it’s better to get a degree in something, or you’re less likely to get hired), I don’t need to have my major be English, and I didn’t have to go to Northwestern. But I am, and I did. I’m an English Writing because as much as I have yet to learn, I love to write. I love being able to say things without having to use my voice. I love to bring characters to life, and I love being around stories. And I’m here because I love their writing program, and my writing teachers are wise and talented in the area I want to be talented in someday. There is so much to read, so much you can know, that I needed a push in directions on where to start. I owned a guitar for two years before my high school offered a beginning guitar class for the first time and I was able to play guitar. I’m someone who needs teachers.

And after all the hair pulling, the nail biting, the complaining, the late nights, the emotional breakdowns of life, and the struggle to find my place . . . here I am, a semester away from graduating. I didn’t plan on staying an extra semester, but I am. I didn’t plan on postponing my internship, but I did. I’m where I’m at because I made those choices, ME. I’m paying these teachers to teach me what I chose to learn, so why do I get irritated at them when I become overwhelmed in assignments? Because I can be a frustrated student, and it’s easier to pin blame on anyone but myself. It’s easy to make yourself into the victim–trust me, I’ve done it more than I care to admit. But you don’t have to listen to voices that may doubt you. You don’t have to think negatively about situations–even if negativity may be the first things to pop into your head you can counteract it with a positive thought. It’s extremely helpful when you have at least one or two people behind your decisions, but even I know it can be hard to listen to the positive speakers when there still feels like a lot of negativity. But sorry sweetheart, there will be negativity around for your entire life. There will always be people who doubt, who don’t believe, who are lazy and crabby and just downright mean. But you have the strength to make it if you give the time and the energy.

I am postponing assignments even as I write this, but I’m finally coming to a place where I intend to stick my nose in books until my eyes dry out. I’m going to stay up as late as I can without falling asleep in class and put as much time into my work as I can. It’s going to suck, and I’m going to be exhausted, but it’s what I chose to do, so it’s what I’m going to work for. Whatever you may be avoiding or angry at or depressed with, or fighting: just remember that you have every bit a part in your life as the people you surround yourself with. Sometimes others may lead us to places we didn’t want to be, but we also chose to have those people in our lives. Choose wisely 🙂