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Posts Tagged ‘alone’

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.]]

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For most of my life, I’ve followed my dad in thinking that “if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.” If I want the dishes done, I might as well do them, or they won’t get done. I might as well mow the lawn, or it won’t get mowed. But then bitterness seems to creep in. I have roommates, I have family members. Why am I always the one doing the dang dishes? Maybe because I never ask someone else to do them. Why ask for help when you don’t need it?

I have a weakness in being a perfectionist with hands-on work, like cleaning the house. But my counselor told me something that has stuck with me: Maybe I shouldn’t strive for perfectionism, but instead strive for excellence. Excellence has room for failure. Perfectionism doesn’t.

In everything I do, I have trained my mind to think that I am on my own. Sometimes I get advice from friends, but when finances are looking dicey, when exhaustion takes over, when my worries and fears about the future keep creeping into my mind like spiders, I feel like throwing in the towel. Fine, maybe I should just find an expensive restaurant and live as a waitress instead. Maybe I should just work at a factory job since I like working with my hands. Sometimes the work may suck, but it would pay the bills. I’m not a very good college student anyway. Why pray about something that only I have control over?

Sometimes when I pray, I really feel like I’m talking to God. I can have a conversation with him without needing to hear words out loud. But other times, I feel like I’m talking to the wall. There are so many voices in my head that I can’t tell which one might be the devil, which one might be God, and which one is just me overanalyzing and overthinking everything.

I want to marry a man on fire for God because I need someone who will put God first in our relationship and keep me on track in my walk with God. But it needs to go both ways. I need to also help him keep on track in his walk with God.

I look at how many times I go on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instant messaging. . .

And then I compare it to how many times I pray and read Scripture. Most of my praying is done through my teachers praying at the beginning of class. The amount I actually stop to pray is quite small. The amount of time I spend in my Bible is even smaller. Sometimes I feel quite ashamed to call myself a Christian. If I want to be with God, then I need to actually BE with God. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me if you seek me with all your heart.” Am I actually seeking Him with my heart? If you want to find God, you will find Him.

God is in church, he’s in the Bible, he is on the opposite end of my prayers. He’s right there, but instead I’ve been going on Facebook to see how much deeper of a hole our government is digging us into and catch up on the latest Miley Cyrus pish posh. Or I go through pages of Life Hacks on Pinterest that tell me how to get gum off my clothes and look for different homemade Halloween costume ideas. I watch movie trailers, music videos, and the latest episode of Once Upon a Time. . . I haven’t gone to the Bible much to actually sit and read. I mostly skim and find single verses that I attempt to memorize. But that’s not how the Bible is supposed to be used.

When I stress over something, my friend Emily asks, “Did you pray about it?” But what could God do? This is my stress, my fight, my struggle.

But actually, no, it’s not. The whole point of the cross was basically Jesus telling us, “You can’t do this alone, so I want to help you. You may have sinned, but I want to give you a second chance. I want to free you from this burden, because I would rather go through this torture than to see you burn in the Lake of Fire.”

Just because I’m a Christian, doesn’t mean my life is any easier than anyone else’s. But it does mean that I am reminded that I’m living for something, for someone. Even if I would work as a janitor for the rest of my life, my purpose is just as important as the principal of the school. A purpose is not just in the job we do, but in how we live our lives, the words we speak to people, the actions we take. I was reading the blog of a friend who was saying how God has been using other people to talk to her instead of God talking to her specifically. God has been giving the answers to her questions to other people to give to her personally. I really want to be a mouthpiece for God, but to do that I need to actually pray and be with God.

I am still working on the transition from thinking I can live alone, to admitting that I need God. It is much more stressful trying to deal with thoughts, people, and problems alone than when you give them to God. Even if I’m frustrated with God, confused, sad, terrified…God wants to know it all. It doesn’t matter that He already knows what I’m going to say, it matters that I am voicing my mind. I don’t even thank God enough for everything He has done for me. God wants to hear my praises as much as my stresses. The reminder of the good that has even come from dark times is an awesome lift for the soul. Two years ago, I read my Bible more, I prayed more, I was happier. But it’s not a decision you make only once. Choosing to follow God is a decision that you have to continue making every time you wake up in the morning. I need God as much today as I did yesterday. And I’ll need him just as much tomorrow.

My need will never stop, but God can handle it. Why would I want to carry the weight of the world on my sore shoulders, when Jesus already the weight of my sin for me? I’m not alone, I’ve never been alone, and I’m tired of allowing myself to think that I have to handle everything on my own. I don’t, and you don’t either. 

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I caught myself sitting on the sidelines today.

I was on Facebook looking through quotes on a page called “Truth Seekers.” Most of them were inspiring and I just wanted to keep reading. I pinned a bunch of them on my Pinterest and found myself looking through Pinterest at other inspiring quotes. They talked about truth and nature, about God and not letting others turn you into something you’re not. Some were about the government, and a few showed pictures of that one single person standing in front of a line of military trucks. Others talked about being the change we want to see in the world. I found myself nodding and smiling as if I agreed…

Yet here I sit on the computer, agreeing that something should be done.

And I repeat: Yet here I sit on the computer, going through Pinterest and Facebook.

I feel gifted that I can see life differently from others. I’ve learned to pay attention to the simple things. I feel a pull to help the suffering, yet at the moment I don’t have the motivation.

This annoys me to no end. It annoys me that I could be smarter than what I am, I would just rather be reading a fiction book than studying for my history test which involves real things that happened that I should know about. I find myself at times staring at the clock at work, waiting to leave when I forget that at least I have a job that pays for the bills and gas and could be using this time to brighten someone’s day or get to know someone new.

We forget. We aren’t motivated.

I think those are two of the biggest things we tend to struggle with. It’s not always that we don’t see the problems out there, though that tends to be a factor sometimes. But we would simply rather sit at home and let someone else do it.

But then nothing changes, because we all expect that someone else will do it.

We are lazy. We are complainers.

We would rather hear a lie that sounds like the truth, rather than hear the truth that hurts. We say we would rather know the truth, but there sure as hell is more lies being accepted and heard rather than the truth. Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth, but it comes out eventually anyways, and then twice as many people become hurt.

We are greedy. We are beginning to love things more than people.

I looked at a stack of ones from when I waitressed the other day, and part of me wanted to rip them in half. Why do we fight over paper? Why do we think it will get us anywhere? Money evaporates into things we want instead of to people in need of help. Why are the people in the working class with little money giving more to organizations than people in the upper classes? Why do you need a mansion for one person? Do you feel better swimming in your indoor pool when the money you used on that new car could have gone to an orphanage where a kid is looking for a place to call home? They say unless we give when we have little, we are less likely to give when we have a lot. Money changed people, don’t let it change you. Do you really need a new shirt today? Maybe save it for college. Things get worn out, break. We use our money for things that bring short-term happiness. Stop looking for short-term and search for long-term. We are here to love people, not things, so use your money for people, not yourself.

If you don’t want to make change happen by yourself, then find someone to go with you. If not, then stop complaining. Nothing will change unless we make it change. Things tend to stay the same because people are too worried of their stupid reputations or being thought of as different. We would rather keep certain people in our lives rather than do what’s right or what needs to be done.

But I think we tend to forget this as well: Small things make big changes. Yes, we need people ding drastic things. But even if it’s not drastic, just do something. Volunteer at a pet shelter, study the government problems and educate others who aren’t informed on the struggles, volunteer at a women’s shelter, at an orphanage, donate money, give someone on the street a sandwich. They are small, but when we don’t know where to start, it is best to start somewhere doing something other than sitting on the couch. Just because the couch is comfy doesn’t mean it’s where we should be.

I refuse to be that person anymore. I may not know what I’m going to do yet, but I’ll figure it out. You can join me, or you can turn your back like everyone else. But just know that things only get worse when they go unsolved, unchanged, ignored.

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You know what sucks? When everyone is against you about something until you succeed…

For example: My grandma’s house and property has been in the family for 12 generations. On this property we have an old barn, the kind with two levels. My dad decides we should fix up the barn and host family gatherings in it since my grandma’s house is getting too small for a family of 65 people with more babies on the way.

Some of my dad’s brothers and sisters thought it would be a waste of money, a waste of time, and probably wouldn’t be worth everything that would be put into it in the end. Even after their complaining, my dad convinced my grandma that we should do it anyway.

After months of buying paint for the outside of the barn, putting in hardwood for the second level, putting new concrete in the bottom level, building a deck to lead up to the second level, putting in a couple fans, putting in new windows, making a bar counter out of a couple old wagon wheels we painted up….we now have a beautiful barn that we have family gatherings in. But now it has also been a success for weddings, ceremonies, receptions, high school reunions, and also a place that other families have wanted to have a family reunion.

After everything that went into the barn, we will soon be making a profit off of it. Now my dad’s siblings boast about the barn, telling everyone how nice it is, all the work that went into it…when some of those people barely ever helped at all.

Some ideas are too big for people to wrap their heads around. No one likes taking risks anymore, especially with money. Yes, a lot of money had to go into the barn to get it to where we wanted it to go. But now months down the line, everyone is in love with it. And all because a couple of people were confident enough to fix up the barn and do what no one else wanted to.

There will be times when people will have faith in your ideas and will follow through with you every step of the way. But there will also be times where you won’t be backed up by  anyone. Sometimes you have to carry out your ideas alone, or at least with very little help. But this does not mean that you shouldn’t do it. The things we want to accomplish in life won’t come with a grain of salt. You will have to risk your money, your time…But won’t it be worth it in the end?

Our barn is beautiful, and no one thought it would turn out as nice as it is. We found some connections with people we knew to get some items cheaper. We got just enough helpers to finish the job, though they were longer hours than what would have been if more people showed up to help. The beginning will be rough, parts of the middle may be rougher, but carry out your ideas, because you may not be fully aware of the awesomeness the final project brings until you start.

Sometimes, some of our ideas aren’t the best and probably shouldn’t be carried out. But I guess that is where you begin to learn what will be worth it and what won’t. Take some risks. Nothing worth having or getting will ever be simple.

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People underestimate themselves. I am a B student, but I think that might just be because I am the world’s greatest procrastinator… But what if I took the time before hand to correct some simple things that I knew could be better? If I really challenged myself to be an A student and put time and effort into my homework as I do my short stories and books…what might I be?

This past week I wasn’t feeling at all myself. Part of it might have been because of my dogs that died, but I think it went deeper than that. Not even music was doing anything for me…and music has always turned things around for me. Now that school is almost over, I have enough papers and projects due this coming week that would give high schoolers a second thought about going to college. A couple of them are due Monday, but I decided to take today for myself. A friend and I went shopping for a cake and some small presents for a friend’s birthday tomorrow, and when we got back, we chopped off one of the school’s flowers to give to the friend, and I came back and did some Karaoke by myself using Youtube. Then I watched Sherlock Holmes, followed by a romantic comedy called No Reservations. Awesome movies. These couple of things have switched my whole day around. Having the afternoon to myself while my roommates were out doing whatever, was relaxing. I get to sleep in tomorrow, and for the first time in many days, I don’t mind that I have a lot to do tomorrow, because I got to have today.

We push and push ourselves into such pressure all the time, that sometimes we just start feeling like crap, though we don’t always know what from. I don’t know what you’re going through, what you’re worried about, or what may be going wrong in your life right now, but sometimes you just need to stop. Stop trying to run with a pack that has stronger legs, and gives yourselves a rest. Stop trying to impress everyone, and spend some time in your pajamas. Stop with extra-credit stuff for a minute, and take a nap. We all face times that we have to stay on top of our toes and things to stay awake for, but you can’t survive being like that all the time. The moment life gives you a break, don’t pass it up. Remember what it feels like to relax; remember what it feels like to not have to worry about something. Take a hot bath and play some calming piano music. Don’t lose yourself in the hustle, or you will forget who you are and become an uptight mess.

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