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I prefer to read fiction over nonfiction. This has seemed strange to me. As I get older, some of my friends drift away from fiction and dive into nonfiction, but my love of fiction is stronger than ever. Why wouldn’t I prefer to read a real story? A story of a life whom I could meet in person if that person was still alive?

I think I’m starting to figure out why.

Fiction sometimes feels more real to me. The dialogue, the specificities in colors and images of what the characters see or do…some of that is hard to remember for a nonfiction story. There are images writers create in nonfiction that you don’t usually find in fiction because it’s coming from a real memory. But other than that, it doesn’t matter to me that fiction is false because the ideas behind the story are probably mostly true, depending on the story. Some things or feelings that happen to the characters in fiction stories we can either relate to or at least understand.

But it goes deeper than that. I feel like when I read nonfiction, I am getting told the story from someone else, even if it is written in first person. I already have it in my head that this story is true, therefore I give my mind space from it. It’s still a good story, but that life was already lived, is already taken.

But fiction stories are basically up for grabs. In fiction, I can insert myself into the story and allow myself to be that character.  I am the legs running through the trees; I am holding on to the back of a dragon; I am the one crying as I hold my dead, fake sister.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I am quite a lucky kid when looking at the big picture, but I have my days like everyone else. Sometimes I want to be anywhere but here, but then I don’t have the gas to go anywhere. I may not make it to New York, but I can read about a character who lives in New York. For me, reading fiction is the cheapest vacation. Emotion moves us, changes us, and I have dug through more emotions in just a few fiction books I’ve read than all of the nonfiction ones put together. I crave emotion—whether it’s anger, fear, sadness, happiness, hope—because to feel anything is to feel alive. In the low, dull moments of my life I can be soaring. I don’t necessarily like being angry or feel like my heart is breaking, but I’ll take anything over nothing at all.

That’s why I love the writing world. Writing isn’t just a world filled with words, but it’s also a world filled with emotion. The way we can use words to stir up something inside people is fascinating to me.

In life, you can’t be everything (there’s not enough time). But through a story, you can be anything. 

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Everyone is a book on a shelf. 

But you’re not just a book. You’re a specific book on a specific shelf in a specific part of the library. 

I’m a waitress, and there are a few ladies who have worked at my restaurant for over twenty years. I have a tendency to get annoyed of the job by the end of the week. Sometimes I worry that I’m going to be stuck there for the rest of my life. But then I feel guilty for thinking that that would be a bad thing. At least I have a job. I have money to buy groceries every week and a new shirt every once and a while. But I tend to think of my job as something towards the bottom of the food chain. But when I take a step back, it’s not. A waitress is needed as much as anything else.

Notice how when the snow clings to trees, only a certain amount of snowflakes can catch the branches and hang on. The rest fall to the ground. Imagine those snowflakes as people. Only a certain number accomplish their dreams and stick to the branches on different levels. The rest fall to the bottom and get lost in the hills of snow. They find jobs as waitresses, janitors, bus drivers, cashiers. . .

Sometimes we tend to think of those bottom jobs as the lowly jobs. “Why would you want to do that for the rest of your life?” But just because I won’t be a lawyer, doctor, or scientist, doesn’t mean I can’t contribute something. Maybe I won’t end up being the writer I hope to be. Maybe the most I’ll accomplish is win a short story contest after losing twenty others. Besides, without that bottom snow, what would we use for snowball fights? For snowmen? What would we use to snowboard on? To snowmobile on?

Everyone is needed in this walk of life. You may not own the restaurant, but people are needed to serve the food. Without janitors, everything would dust and mold. Without bus drivers, those who don’t have a car wouldn’t be able to get around. 

I am in the middle of reading 1 Corinthians, and I came to chapter 12:12-31 that has a heading called “On Body, Many Parts.” I will quote a few of these lines so you can get the gist:

“Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body…But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty…so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other…”

So don’t misunderstand me. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to climb the ladder. Work your butt off to get somewhere if you can. Find your gifts, and use them. If you are doing what you can to put food on the table for yourself or your family, then you are doing great. We don’t all need to be waitresses, but we can’t all be doctors either. If you kick yourself every time you fail, you focus on the struggles instead of allowing on the strengths to encourage you. You are needed in whatever you do.

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You see pictures of some sort of group of black and white animals with a colored animal either by itself or in the middle of the group, sometimes doing something stupid. Underneath it says something cliche like “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” or “An original is worth more than a copy.”

You start thinking, “You know, they’re right. I am unique.”

Then commercials come on with overweight people who lost 100 pounds and show the chick with nice abs. You change the channel and you see Covergirl models with beautiful flowing hair and clear skin. You change again and they’re the newest fashion or showing you the newest Iphone 12, though they just made one eight months ago.
So basically they mean: yeah, you can be yourself. But if you buy all this crap you can be awesome. Be like everyone else, because we don’t really care about you; we just want your money, so we will tell you that you look beautiful in anything if it means you will buy it.

They take movies that could be made into one and split them up in to three. They write survival guides for the end of the world. What a joke. If it’s the end of the world, no one is surviving it, and even if you did, why would you want to? I’d rather be killed in seconds by my house crushing me than to survive and freeze to death in the next ice age.

They are taught to be good sellers. They use the right colors, put ads in the right places, make you think that you need something better or different than where you’re at. Sometimes you need it, sometimes you don’t.
But you know what? That doesn’t always make you happy either. If you sway your hips towards the hottest guy and he sees something for you because you talk the talk and wear the small black dress, good for you, I guess. You can watch the movies and YouTube videos that tell you how to get the guy or girl and how to make him fall for you. But what happens when you get married and you get tired of playing the part all the time? What happens when he or she finds out who you really are? Eventually, you’re going to get tired of being what they are looking for and strive to find yourself back. Well they didn’t want the real you, they wanted the you that you let them think was you.

Maybe you can keep up the act, but then it just makes you exhausted. You can’t just be happy because you are too busy keeping up with what they expect out of you. What’s the point in getting the “right guy,” or whatever it may be, if you can’t even just enjoy it? Isn’t it easier to just act and be the way you normally are?
I’ve gotten to the point when I roll my eyes at the pictures that say “Be Yourself,” because sometimes they are from the same people that throw the pictures of beautiful people at you. But if you can look past the clichés, reach into yourself and see that they have a point. Don’t follow the world, because the world is going to shit with people who are obsessed with money, good looks, and constantly being sarcastic with tiny shorts and plunging necklines. But screw them. I wear baseball caps when I’m having a bad hair day, sweatpants when I feel like being comfortable while I’m out and about, and eat the movie popcorn without thinking about how I’m going to have to go for a run on the treadmill when I get home.

Sure, working out to get a little skinnier will make you healthier, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a size one. If you want to splurge a little on a shirt that you’ve been wanting, go for it. They may lie to you by saying it’s cute, but if you like it then that’s what matters. By buying a shirt or a plate of food that you probably didn’t need, we are actually keeping companies in business so their employees don’t lose their jobs. Just don’t overdo it. Just because you like clothes, doesn’t mean you need new ones every week, especially the ones that degrade you by being see-through and itty-bity. You’re setting yourself up to be someone’s imaginative porn star. You deserve better than that.

If you don’t treat yourself or your body with any respect, don’t expect any respect from anyone else.

If you act like someone you’re not, you are going to end up with someone who isn’t right for you. The person who will make you happiest is the person who loves the person you really are.

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Frustration is a pain in the ass. Not necessarily the things that make us frustrated, but frustration in general. Not everyone is frustrated by the same things. Some people get frustrated by things that others don’t, which is why it is frustration that is frustrating. Wouldn’t you love a life that didn’t have any frustration? That you could accept everything that happens, maybe do some crying, but move on from there without going through the anger stage?

Frustration leads to anger, anger leads us to doing harmful things or saying hurtful things. At the high point, we would all love it if we could just give up and call it quits because that would be easier. Committing suicide would be easier. Maybe suicides were just tired of their problems and wanted them to end. Just think, you’d never have to work, never have to pay bills, never have to get stuck in rush hour traffic again…But we are all still needed here. You are still needed here, whether you know it or not.

The tests of life come at us at every age. Maybe the fan’s shit is hitting you like a baseball pitching machine. Maybe right now you’re good at dodging. But one of these days, you will get hit. Trust me. It won’t be pretty, but you have to know it’s coming. It all depends on how you handle the situation.

I am studying abroad in Italy for three months for the spring semester, and just when I think that after twenty documents and ten people I’ve talked to that I might actually be done. Now I find out that the times on my flight schedule don’t line up, travel insurance that I’ve already paid for hasn’t gone through, and my advisor never gave the “okay” for my classes to go through, though I had already met up and talked with her about them. It seems to be one thing after another, and I am getting so frustrated I wish I could just call off the trip. I am definitely never doing this again. The planning is too much of a headache.

Yes, it’ll be “worth it” once I’m over there, but I’m sure even in your moments of frustration, it is extremely hard to think about what you’re working towards when the present problems are kicking your ass with both feet.

But I’m not going to tell you to close your eyes and breathe. I’m not going to tell you to calm down, because the minute someone tells me to calm down, I want to punch them in the face.

What I will tell you is push aside whatever you are doing for at least a couple minutes, and go watch an episode of your favorite show. Stick in your ear buds and listen to some music. Go buy a sandwich or play a video game. Get away from whatever is frustrating you,  and get your head back on straight before you approach it again.

I know that I will not have the patience to be put on hold for another ten minutes with the airline, so I have decided to call them back tomorrow when I will be more willing to deal with it. Do whatever it is you need to do so you don’t feel like giving up. Frustration is a bitch, and it will take you up in flames if you don’t find ways to deal with your strengths and weaknesses. I am off to watch an episode of “Bones” with my sister so I can get my mind lost in a life that isn’t mine.

Just please don’t give up. Even on life. In the moment, you may not give a shit, but later on you will. Get some air and do what you need to do that doesn’t involve tying a noose. Or quitting your job. Or giving up on a marriage. God never puts you in a position that you can’t handle. Believe in yourself.

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I have wondered about this the past few “apocalypses.”

If you are, why are you afraid?

Are you afraid to die? Do you really think that life on Earth is going to be better than life in heaven? Is it because you want to sin some more before you go to heaven? Do you think you will even go to heaven? What makes you think so? Do you know not everyone will?

Do you even believe in heaven or hell? Do you think this is all there is? We live and die and then we are erased? Or do you believe in reincarnation? If so, you’ll have another life again anyway, although I don’t believe in reincarnation.

If you are afraid of going to hell, then maybe you should take a look at what you are doing with your life. One day, you will be forgotten, because everyone who knows you will eventually die too. A lot of people get upset by this fact, but I don’t see why. Why do you need to be remembered by mere humans? Famous people become used by others, because most humans are always thinking about themselves, not you. This is how you get fake friends, fake love, fake respect. People like your looks, your money, your mind…but honestly, they don’t really care about you. And these are the people you want to remember you? Because once you are gone, they move on to a new idol.

The One who knows your name, your faults, fears and pain, your likes and dislikes, the One who has always watched over you, remembers you, the only One who can throw you in hell or bring you to heaven…is the One that is ignored.

We all want to think of God as this guy who loves everything and everyone all the time, sunshine and daisy man. We almost think of Him as a pushover…Yes, God loves us, but there is a reason that the people who love and follow Him also have a healthy fear of Him. We understand what He can do to us, what one day He will have to do to some whom have overcome their hearts with self-love and sin….He will have to throw them into the fire. We are all sinful people, but it’s the ones who want to overcome sin, who choose God over sin, that God wants in His kingdom.

Are you overcome with self-love? Are you one of the people who joke saying, “I might as well live it up and party hard since I’m going to hell anyway.” I used to joke about hell, but it is not a place to joke about. We can imagine whatever we want, but it’ll never come close to the real thing. We know nothing of suffering. No one.

But then stuff like that makes people afraid of hell and Satan. I used to be one of those people too. But like I said, you are only going to hell if you don’t pass through Jesus. He’s the One who died for you, so He’s the One whom will get you in to heaven. Satan will do everything he can to scare you, to get you to sin because sinning is easy. But that’s all Satan can do–scare you. You make your own choice to sin. Why are you afraid of Satan, when God is throwing him along with Satan’s followers into the pit?

God is above everything. When Lucifer wanted God to use His power to control us, God said no. Do you even realize how amazing that is? The gift of free will? The ability to choose? God does not want to control His loved ones, He wants us to willingly choose Him before He brings us to His kingdom. This life is our test. He wants us to live and be happy here the best we can, but sin is not happiness. If it were, He would not throw it in the pit.

I am not trying to preach at you, and if that’s how it feels, I really am sorry. I just want to know why you are afraid to die, when you know you will be dying eventually anyway. This is not the world God wants for us anymore, because it was taken hold of by sin when we chose to disobey Him with the apple. The only rule He had, we broke. But He wants to give us a re-do. He doesn’t want to destroy us, but God is not tame. He does what He has to, because He will not tolerate sin in His kingdom, just like you may not want to tolerate screaming and whiny kids in your house.

But when we strip ourselves of the layers of greed and grudges, of lust and hate, of violence and acting like we are above one another…when we decide that living for Him is more fulfilling than living for ourselves…when we realize just how in the wrong we are, and we ask God to forgive us though we have no reason to deserve such a blessing…that is when we let God into our hearts. That is when He forgives us for our sin because He loves us. He doesn’t need us, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t want us.

I’m sure there’s arguments about this post, and if you would like to discuss anything, feel free to email me–you will find my email on the right side of the page under “Need to Chat Privately”…but I hope you will at least think about some of the things I’ve said. Are you afraid to die? Email me why.

In case some of you don’t know or just forgot….humanity will never know when the world will end. So you can stop buying the “End of the World Survival Guides” and stocking up on dozens of packs of water and food, because you are wasting your time, your money, and adding more pimples and worry lines than you need. When the world does end, none of us are getting out of it alive, so you might as well just settle down and go spend time with your family instead.

Death is not meant to be a frightening thing. It is simply the end of one thing to make room for a new beginning somewhere else. If you are afraid, maybe you should look inside yourself to see why you are afraid.

I, for one, will wait patiently on the Lord until He calls me home. I pray my family will come with me, but when I meet Jesus face to face, I will forget everything else, because nothing else will matter. In a way, I am excited to die. But I believe God keeps us on Earth until our time is up. To kill ourselves before He wants us gone is almost an insult. I pray if things are rough for you right now, that you take it day by day. Ask God for guidance, because He wants to guide you. He will never lead you in to something you can’t handle…but when we ignore His voice and drag ourselves into a pit of misery, we only have ourselves to blame. But to bring yourself out of that, you need to let Him lead you. Satan wants to take over your mind, but God does not enter our hearts until we allow Him in, because we have to choose to let Him in.

–Matthew 24:36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

–Luke 21:36 “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Peace and Blessings everyone.

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