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Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Life is a string of piñatas. Sometimes there’s candy, sometimes there’s mice, and sometimes there’s cow dung.

This past semester was one of the hardest semesters of my life, both mentally (class load) and emotionally. Past issues that I thought were healed were only scabbed over, and all of it bled into my eyes, my anger, and my self-esteem. I was crying about something at least every other week. I took on two writing classes with two literature classes, all of which involved their own amounts of reading and writing, while tacking on two other classes and an assistant editor position on my school’s literary journal. I felt like I was half-assing not only my homework, but my relationships with my friends. I pulled three all-nighters in a row because I wanted to be there for them.

But the truth is I can’t be there for everyone. I can’t make it to every party, every concert, every bonfire because I really like sleep. I fall more than I catch myself, I don’t give myself enough “me” time, and when my time of the month comes, I’m going to be a bitch because being a woman can be a pain in the ass.

There will never be enough time in a day. I may spend the rest of my life trying to figure out how to better prioritize the things I want to do with the things I need to do and still not find a good balance.

But this is not a pity party. I want to remind you that if you feel like the semester is never going to end, if you hate your job, if you are sick of putting on a smile to people you don’t even like, hang in there.

You will probably meet a lot of fake people in your life. You may find the people who know exactly what to say to get you to do something, you may drown in the bills that pack like dirt in your mailbox, you may find yourself crying at night because your day was just plain crappy. Don’t be fooled thinking the person you pass by in the hallway, the cashier taking your order, or the person surrounded by friends at the coffee shop are all flying high. Cute clothes and a smile are only a show sometimes. There are a lot of good liars in this world.

But if there is a down, there’s an up. I passed my classes, I had a memorable Christmas break, and I worked out my financial problems just in time to take on another round of classes. I can’t go shopping for a while, but I can pay for groceries. Sometimes you just need to pick yourself up enough to get through one more day.

But that’s life. No one skirts their way around all their problems. You can dodge some, but you can’t dodge everything. So if you need to cry, find the Kleenex box and fill the trash can. If you need to vent, grab someone you trust and spew away. Make a pot of coffee and finish that stupid project, take a walk so you don’t destroy public property, and find something that makes you laugh so that, for just a moment, you can remember what it’s like to be stress-free.

It’s going to suck sometimes. You’re going to want to go home when you can’t, but hang tight. You’re going to want to give up, but hold on. “There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.” 

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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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This has been the busiest summer of my life. I wish the days had been longer, and that winter ended before April, but I have also been extra happy at times this summer.

I think it’s basically because of the people I am blessed to spend my days with.

If you can make me laugh, I basically already consider you a friend even if it would be our first time meeting. I love being with and around people that have a good sense of humor, and can make me laugh because laughter can brighten your mood, someone else’s mood, or even your whole day if it was being fed to the pigs. When you surround yourself with people that make you feel good or can make you smile just by being the dorks they are and saying the obnoxious, stupid, or wise things they say, you find less and less bad days.

Now don’t hear me wrong, there will always be bad moments, but then when you talk to or hang out with the right person, s/he can turn it around maybe without even knowing it. And soon, the things that seem to keep going wrong, or the problems that crush like and ever-rolling rock don’t seem as big of a deal, because you know who you can go to.

I’m a waitress, and some of my customers make me want to sharpen the steak knives, but then I get to go into the kitchen and work with some pretty amazing people who can make me forget almost instantly. I am also blessed to be so close with my family that I consider my cousins to be some of my best friends. If it weren’t for them, I would have gone to college in Tennessee.

All of them have their dramatic moments, but we’re only human. Doesn’t mean we all don’t also need space from each other every once and a while.

I guess what it all buckles down to is this: surround yourself with people that make you grin, make you laugh till your eyes sprinkle, make you look to the sky and think, “You know, life is pretty good.” Trust me, your good days will outnumber the bad. And wouldn’t it be nice to have a little break from stress? 

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I’m running out of money to buy coffee from Starbucks or Caribou, and I forgot to bring my coffee maker from home, so I have succumbed to the free coffee that came from church after the service.

As I sip from the flimsy white paper cup, I smile as I watch someone from the window of our college library smack a snowball onto the back of his friend, bursting into a firework. Homemade snowflakes decorate the inside of the window, and I’m tempted to take one down and fold it back up so I can see how they cut it out. I have never been creative with snowflake cutting. Mine become deformed shapes that are barely symmetrical.

Only four days of finals left till Christmas break, and I have been so ready to go home. But for small things, such as the gorgeous view from this window that overlooks the main square of my college covered in snow, I am going to miss it very much. Back home, I am not as close to a library as I am here, and there is a Barns and Noble just a 7 minute drive away, whereas back home the closest one is almost an hour away.

Though I am stressed about finals and want to see my parents, I am going to miss this place. I am studying abroad in Italy next semester, so I won’t even have anymore classes here till next fall.

Though Christmas time is coming, and I am sure you are all planning your Christmas dinners, finding cookie and pie recipes that your mother-in-law will approve of, finishing finals, buying last minute Christmas presents for people you feel obligated to buy for, or even starting to buy presents like me, take a little time to relax for a minute. Pimples have been popping up lately on my face, but it is kind of my own fault because I haven’t been using my time wisely.

You may be stressed now, but one day your kids will be moved out. If you are the kid, you will be moved out of your parents and having Christmas with your own family. Maybe you will move a couple hours away and might not make it home for Christmas next year. In the spring, I will be across the world and won’t be able to spend Easter with my family, so I’m going to use this time now to spend with them.

If you hustle and bustle everyday until Christmas, then be running and organizing all day on Christmas…before you know it, it will be over, and you might not even have enjoyed yourself much. You don’t need to buy expensive stuff all the time. It is okay to save some of your paycheck for next week’s bills.

Take this day, this week, this holiday to remember the things you are blessed with. This holiday is not about getting what you want, or leaving cookies for Santa. Thanksgiving may be over, but Christmas is a time of giving, and even in this time we need to thank God for everything He has given us, for the money and jobs that we can afford to give to others.

Have a good Sunday everyone 🙂

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I finally feel certain of where I want my writing to lead.

I’m sure you have all heard by now of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that happened this morning. First and foremost, i offer my condolences, my prayers, my heart, my hugs, my respects to the children that have found their place in heaven and for their families that were left down here. I smile as I imagine Jesus taking their hands and showing them His kingdom, but I bow my head for the families that have to mourn their children. No parent should have to go through something like that. For some, it may have been their first child and maybe even their only child.

I have thought a lot about the idea of suicides and school shootings for the past couple years, and have a feeling that I need to use my writing to reach the people that may take their own lives or do more shootings in the future. There will be bullying in the future, there will be rejection, there will be depression, but I want to be someone who can bring some peace to their frustrations or pent up issues and grudges that are sometimes the reasons that lead to these tragedies. I was an outcast throughout high school, though I have two very dear friends I owe my sanity to.

An old classmate of mine and I were talking about how there needs to be more life lessons taught in schools. Most of our speakers only talked about drinking and driving, which is very important too, but it’s not the only issue. We have people that try to get people to stop bullying, but very few people who talk about how to deal with bullying and whatever else. All through high school, I held grudges on people in my class, and I am still dealing with those grudges now. They fester and build when you don’t deal with them, when you don’t talk to someone about your frustrations  when you don’t know how to forgive someone you hate.

Though many hate the man that killed the children, I yearn to understand what led him to do such a thing. I assume there may have been family problems since he shot his mother, but to continue to kill children…it shocks me, as much as other school shootings have. For a couple kids, they aren’t getting any love at home, some get too much love, and then they don’t know how to handle rejection.  Rejection shapes us, teaches us. If this happens to our kids, we need to help them through it, not shield them from the evils of the world. If we do, then once they are out on their own, they won’t know what to do.

I want to help them through my writing. I want to bring them stories with people who may be in their position, with people who find that they are stronger than the struggles that they go through, people who choose to be better than the people that put them down. I want them to read my blog, my books, my poetry, my short stories, listen to my songs…anything that may begin to change their minds just enough to put the gun down for one more day, to loosen the rope from their necks. We need to lead them away from plans of death and destruction.

This is my mission. This is what I will strive for until my own death.

If you know of anyone that may need a friend to talk to, please have them email me. I would love to talk, I would love to guide in whatever way I can.

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This is what it looks like to be an English Major. This is from one class.

Finals next week. Praying for those who are stressed!

Have a good week everyone 🙂

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