Sunday, November 29, 2009

talk about secrets

i've literally only shared all of these thoughts at one time in my entire life, and that was this summer on the road trip with chris. i'm actually a little nervous about sharing it now. this will be sloppy and have typos, and to be honest i'm shaking just trying to type this now. we'll see what this turns into, but i know that once i start writing i won't be able to pic up my fingers until i explain it to the end.




as some of you may know, i grew up in a religious family and in my early teen years i was extremely dedicated to my faith. when i was fifteen my beliefs were solidified when i went to venezuela and would have sworn up and down that i'd be a missionary as soon as i finished school.

i remember going to sunday school and how they'd sugarcoat the idea of hell, but the pastors would always make a very clear distinction between heaven and hell and the types of people that went to either. now, many modern christians have delved from the original intent on who-goes-where, but by biblical standards, if you believe in jesus christ and have accepted him as your god's son and your personal savior and have asked forgiveness and truly want him to come into your heart, then you're a christian and will go to heaven. if you're anything but that, you're not a christian and you're going to hell. the pastors knew that what they were doing was using a scare tactic to encourage you to live the right lifestyle and fit into that christian definition. they knew it, but they used the tactic often in many of the churches i attended. and the older you got, the less sugarcoated and more fire and brimstone it became.

there are obviously more technicalities, for example, there are other verses that speak of forgiveness and that you're not asking for forgiveness unless you truly intend to never commit the act again, and so on. but even as a small child, i remember lying awake and praying that prayer of asking jesus into my heart over and over again. i was terrified that i would mess up one day, or not ask for forgiveness before i died, or that i would doubt god and therefore not fit into that exact definition of a christian.

when i was in my early teens, i would be furious with people who claimed to be christians, but followed secular lifestyles. anyone who called themselves a christian should not be cursing, drinking, doing drugs, gossiping, stealing, lying, having sex, etc. etc. etc. and because of that i was very judgmental and very picky about who i let into my life. in fact, that is one part of my old beliefs that still hold very true today. i still have major problems with these types of christians, and it's still something that is in the back of my mind with many of my current friends.

nowadays my beliefs have changed wildly. my views on god, religion, spirituality and everything of that sort is very different. i'll try my best to sum it up, while still explaining myself fully, but i give you no guarantees.

if you were to ask me if i believe there's a god, i would answer yes. one event that will always come to my mind is something that happened in venezuela, that i will never be able to shake from my mind. they had a guest speaker come in, a man who used to be a major drug dealer, but at the peak of his own personal darkness, gave his life to jesus christ. then he became to slain in the spirit. for those of you that don't know, it's something that certain sects of christianity still practice, but the media (typically in a comedic fashion) have made somewhat known. typically this means a pastor or religious leader will prayer over you, sometimes lay his hands on you, and you fall to the floor. well, that is exactly what happened that night. as he was speaking spanish, i literally didn't understand a word he was saying, but when he finished his prayer and lay his hand on the my face, i fell to the floor. my whole body felt disconnected from the earth. my limbs tingled, i could have sworn the whole earth turned silent so that i could experience pure joy in the physical sense. i could not move; i could not budge; i could not stand up. this is not the only strong spiritual encounter i've experienced, but it's definitely the most finite one. but i could never in a million years convince myself that there was no god. i believe with my entire heart, soul, body and mind that there is a god. whether there is science behind it or not, i know what i have experienced and what i have felt, and no one could ever convince me it was anything other than a personal connection with god. no one.

but do i necessarily believe in the "christian" god, or the "islamic" god or the "jewish" god? no. and one of the most basic answers i can give you for that is because the god that i believe to be true would never, ever be so judgmental as the gods that these religions believe in. this is another way in which modern christians can annoy me to death. for example, if you are a christian, then you believe in the bible. and if you believe in the bible, then you believe that every muslim is going to hell, bottom line. and i absolutely refuse to believe that the god of the entire universe would be so black and white, and so absolutely nonsensical as to judge people based on cultural decisions. the christian argument to this is a bible verse which explains that every person will either have heard the word of god from a messenger from god (i.e. another human being) and if they haven't, then god will judge their hearts. well, with modern technology, most people have heard the word of the christian god at some point in their lives. so then, millions of christians believe that the ultimate god would look at a person who grew up in an entirely islamic region, where every person around her is a follower of islam and all of her influences are islamic, but because she is informed about christianity, when she dies she's going to hell? well, if you're a christian (and you believe in the bible) then that's exactly what you believe.

then there's the issue of jesus christ. and to be honest, i don't know exactly how i feel about this and it's something i am constantly asking myself and trying to figure out. on one hand, my logical and educated side tells me to look at bible stories and take lessons from them and learn from them metaphorically, as many scholars believe should be done. but the side of me that has spent most of her life in church wants to believe the fairytale.

one thing that has lasted all of these years is the fear of death. it's the same fear that i've had since i was a child, saying prayers when i couldn't fall asleep because i was afraid. and this isn't fear of pain or even fear of death itself, it's the fear of hell. and even as an intelligent woman today, i still fear hell. even now when i'm quite confident in many of my spiritual views, that is one fear left over from childhood that i cannot shake. sometimes it will happen monthly, sometimes weekly, sometimes in the middle of the day, sometimes in a movie theater, sometimes when i'm alone, sometimes when i'm with others, but mostly at night when i'm trying to fall asleep. i will get the most intense and surreal pain in my chest, and fear literally overtakes my entire body. my chest will burn and it will be so heavy i feel as if my lungs will collapse into themselves. and even as this is happening, i tell myself how silly i'm being and i tell myself to grow up. but when it happens, i can't get rid of the image of hell and i'll just lie down and be scared out of my mind of dying and going to hell. and i'll simply lie there. i lie there, my body full of pain and i can't stop the tears from flowing because i just want it to be over. it always ends eventually, but it never ends soon enough. it's so utterly specific is what kills me. even now as i'm writing this i feel silly and ashamed and embarrassed, because of how real this fear is. and the next day i can't help but feel bitterness towards some of the churches i've grown up in who put these narrow minded views into young children and teach them such a vulnerable fear at this young age.




if the god that i believe exists, one who looks at the soul and moral value and the virtues a human has, then he won't care if i got a few details wrong. if there is a god, and he knows me inside and out, then he knows that i'm seeking answers straight from the source, and i refuse to blindly believe any book that a human being pasted together. god wouldn't care what "religion" you followed, he would care if you loved the people around you, if you cared for them, if you worked towards a better world, if you encouraged peace, if you were considerate and kind to others. god would not want religious wars. god would not want people to judge others. god would not want laws to keep people into little cookie cutter shapes because someone took a few bible verses literally. god would not want hatred. god would not want segregation. god would not want what we have today.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things I Love Thursday



everything about newspaper! they way the feel and smell, especially.

going to san francisco this winter break! i can't wait.

only three more weeks of school.

only three more days of transfer applications.

i love life, it's swell.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

i'll never know why i find the silliest things so hilarious



TURKEY PICK-UP LINES

1. Is that a meat thermometer or are you glad to see me?

2. Heaven must be missing a peacock because you’re here with me.

3. You make my waddle wobble.

4. I’m the tom. You’re the bomb.

5. Got any plans for Thanksgiving dinner?

6. Are those breasts real?

7. Red, white or cranberry?

8. I could lose my head over a gal like you.

9. We’re both ugly but it’s last call. What d’ya say?

10. Wanna get stuffed?

Monday, November 16, 2009

notes in a book.



i almost ran into k at a play i saw at monte vista this weekend. brittany and brian were there with me, but i couldn't keep my heart from racing and my mind from wandering around in rapid circles. it's amazing how one person could have effected your life so negatively that years later you'd be this worried over running into them. i couldn't help but go through scenarios in my head, and an large portion of them ended with me in tears. just the possibility of running into her almost gave me a panic attack. that is ridiculous. sometimes, i wish that as human beings we could detach our emotions from people completely once they've betrayed us. she's the only person in my entire life that has abandoned and deceived me beyond chance of repair.

this weekend has all blurred together. it was the best weekend i've had in a terribly long time, but now i have to get back to work. only two more weeks before transfer applications are in and only four more weeks of the semester left.

don't let the first paragraph fool you, i've still been quite well lately. i've still be waking up with thoughts of possibilities on my mind and dreaming more often than ever. the fresh faces are keeping my spirits up, and the old faces are keeping my feet on the ground.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things I Love Thursday



not having to think of a blog title for these TiLT posts

changing my mindset, choosing happiness, choosing independence from negative emotions

listening to high people try to conversate with you (MATT!)

listening to drunk people think they're making sense when they're not (GRAYSON!)

waking up to sunshine warming your face

laughing until your cheeks hurt

seeing different (and wonderful!) sides to people

taking a nap with three dogs and a cat on the bed with you

counseling appointments in which your counselor says your chances of getting into ____ are very good (!!!)

good coats that keep you safe from deathly cold wind

girl talk and other amazing mix artists

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fort Hood

For those of you that don't know, last Thursday there was a shooting at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and 42 wounded. This was done by a man that was working as a psychiatrist, but had been wanting to get out of the military from some time, says his family. However, he found out he was going to be deployed. No one knows exactly why he did it or what the circumstances were the led to this. The instant they said his name - Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan - I knew this would get ugly. In this country, you cannot have anyone of Middle Eastern (Palestinian in his case) descent do something of this nature and not have everyone look directly to his culture and his faith to blame for it.

There was an investigation and rumors were flying when there was some recovered e-mails in correspondence with some terrorist organizations. The FBI concluded that everything that they found was in coordinance with his research that the military knew he was conducting. Of course, few like to mention that in there reports, and unfortunately many are still under the assumptions that this was some sort of terrorist attack.

So, to hear Barack Obama's speech that he gave at Fort Hood today was not only disappointing, but angering. The excerpt that I'm referring to is below:

"It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know - no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice - in this world, and the next."

I could not believe my ears. Barack Obama has stood out for how understanding he is to different faiths and different cultures; he has done his research before making assumptions and he has consistently stayed fair when speaking and dealing with other nations. So, what exactly led him to say these words, I have no idea.

First of all, Obama is the president of the United States. He is not a pastor leading a funeral for these soldiers who have died, he is not their parents, he is not simply a concerned citizen. He is THE PRESIDENT. He has no place to make such extreme remarks about the largest growing religion in the world, especially ones that are so biased and uncalled for. Not only is it inappropriate, because he is such a huge political figure, but as a human being in general, he has no right to speak on behalf of an entire religion not to mention GOD, for goodness' sake. If an Islam political figure with as much power as Obama spoke of the actions some Christians have made, and then went as far as to say that their afterlife will "be met with justice," is absurd. Obama should recognize the degree of power and weight behind his words, and not be so judgemental when looking upon other religions. I can't help but feel that the only reason he would use such harsh words, is because it's what the audience wanted to hear. They wanted to be angry. They wanted a reason for all of this. They wanted someone to blame. And we all know that there's no easier finger to point in this country, than a finger pointing at the Middle East or anyone associated with it.

And all of this is not to mention that NO evidence has proven that this was religiously driven on Hasan's part. All that these few sentences have done is to drive the United States anti-Muslim ideals even further, when the majority of Americans don't even know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite.



The rest of the speech was beautiful, understanding, respectful and encouraging. It was eloquent as always, and everyone regards it as yet another Obama worthy speech. But this, this just makes me furious.

Monday, November 9, 2009

it's official



happiness is inevitable the moment you stop worrying about things that you can't change, and start appreciating what you can change.

good things this weekend: buca di beppo's with all of chris' family, extra cuddling time, having a day off of work (finally!), spending time with brittany, night light pictures, denny's milkshakes, shopping with dad, finally finding a faux leather jacket, sisco and i turning bussing a table into the most sarcastic event possible, soccer games and all of the ridiculous side comments, coworker conversations, spending way too long in becca's car, getting lots of sleep, so many good things. so many reasons to be happy this weekend.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Things I Love Thursday



sunshine waking you up

fuzzy socks

counting my blessings

avocados

political debates

good morning texts

cuddling for warmth

knitted tights

mashed sweet potatoes

full body hugs

jogging in cold weather

receiving unexpected compliments

giving unexpected compliments

possibly going out of country with jordan this summer
(my excitement for even the possibility = !!!!!!!!!!)

conversations with strangers

24 hour anything

catching up with old friends

high fives

good suggestions

giving helpful directions

childhood memories

transfer applications finally being open

being confident in my future

planning days of adventures

adventures with no plans whatsoever

picturesque sunsets

ninja

loooove

lovelovelovelove




i'm so in love with life lately.
i don't know what's gotten into me, but it's superb.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

i'm sick of blog titles.



i feel like this last week was so utterly necessary for me. while the actual decisions i made may have been small, what they represent are so much bigger. and now there's this renewed sense of hope and happiness and reason to wake up with a smile than there was just seven days ago.

of course, as there always is, people try to make the situation more dramatic than it is. but to me this was just a simple decision that had to be made. and now that's it's made and over with, i'm keeping my head up and waiting for the next steps to reveal themselves.




by the way - have i mentioned how unbelievably thankful i am? this is what i'm most set on remembering this week. i have the most amazing and loyal friends, plus all of these new and interesting people that are becoming a part of my everyday life. school and work are going smoothly, although making me awfully busy, and i know that school is going to end just perfectly, it's just a matter of getting it all done. and i don't know if i express this enough, but i have the most wonderful, handsome, intelligent, sweet, generous, understanding, sexy, kind, and loving boyfriend; sometimes i don't understand how i got so lucky. it's a shame having to witness so many of my friends in relationships that seem to give them more headaches than happiness, but at the same time it helps to remind me daily how blessed i am to have chris. being in love after almost three years (!!!) is so beautiful.

Twelve Types of Guys

"1. MR. FOREIGN GUY

Advantages
a. He comes from a faraway exotic country
b. Fun and exciting or a unique way of seeing the world
c. mysterious je ne sais quoi that allures you
d. Has your back, will fight and protect you
e. his accent

Disadvantages
a. Usually drinks and smokes too much
b. Won’t be around for that long
c. Foreign men are very demanding, it’s in their nature; they are best left to deal with foreign women.
d. his accent


2. MR. SOCIAL BUM

Advantages
a. He’s always the life of the party
b. You’ll laugh a lot and learn how to go with the flow and let things slide
c. He will always make you laugh
d. He’s spontaneous and you’ll never get bored

Disadvantages
a. He loves to be the center of attention
b. He has to be at every single party
c. When you meet, he tells you of his goals in life and the steps he’s taking to achieve them. But several months pass, and he’s still on the exact same step as when you met him
d. You stay in the relationship longer and then find out he’s actually Mr. My Name Is Dick, I Am Unemployed and I Live with My Parents.

3. MR. METRO

Advantages
a. Can get you and your friends on the guest list at all the parties and all the hookups
b. He’s spontaneous and lives for the moment
c. He dresses nice all the time with perfect hair
d. He knows how to look good in pictures

Disadvantages
a. You don’t know if he`s gay, straight or bi
b. Seems flighty when you speak of a solid commitment, they’re not interested in you, except for what you provide for them.
c. He’s unable to compliment you because he’s too busy asking how he looks
d. Women first discovered their reflection in Roman times by looking in the still water of a pond, thus we lay our claim to the mirror. Mirrors are for women

4. MR. BOSS

Advantages
a. He looks like he came out of a GQ magazine
b. He has a lifetime of experience to share which will likely keep you on your toes
c. He is assertive in public, and gives off an aura of power and control
d. He’ll show you how to see life in a different way

Disadvantages
a. He has a huge ego and he’s condescending.
b. He’s used to bossing people around, and you’re not an exception
d. He comes home at 3:00 am and says he was out with his company
e. He probably has a crazy ex-wife, and two kids of whom he’s trying to get custody - but she won’t let them go, not because she loves them, but because they’re her controlling force to make his life miserable for not wanting her.

5. MR. FIX IT

Advantages
a. Everything breaks, and he’s there to fix it
b. He comes in every shape, size and educational background
c. He always has to stay busy. They are inherently hard workers.
d. He is responsible, organized, and loyal.

Disadvantages
a. His favorite pastime is correcting you
b. Their favorite saying is, “Well, that’s not how I would do it.”
c. You try living with someone who always thinks he’s right! And the real sick part is 99 times out of 100, he is.
d. When or if he runs out of things to fix in his own life, he tends to poke around in the lives of others to pull out his “tool kit”

6. MR. WOMANIZER/CASANOVA

Advantages
a. He will take you out in the beginning and charm you like no other
b. Constantly brings you flowers and chocolate and lighting candles during dinner
c. Compliments you all the time
d. He is a pro at wining and dining.

Disadvantages
a. Once he attaches himself, flattery and humor can be used to manipulate
b. When you try to tell others what you’re experiencing later on, they often don’t believe “such a great guy” could do such a bad thing
c. Once you catch on to his charming fa├žade, it can be maddening to see him charm the pants off of others.
d. These men are a lot like fast food; they are convenient and tasty at first but you can’t have a steady diet of them.

7. MR. TOO NICE

Advantages
a. He holds open the door for you, pulls out your chair, and treats you like a queen
b. He always asks you out with reasonable notice and picks you up at your door
c. He will do anything for you, literally.
d. He’s extremely attentive, catering to your every need and desire

Disadvantages
a. He’s too predictable and has no opinion, everything you say he has to agree with.
b. He’s too passive
c. He won’t stay a nice guy forever; if he gets hurt by a man-eater, he’ll resort to becoming #10

8. MR. INTELLECTUAL

Advantages
a. He instigates conversations that are intellectually stimulating and listens to what you have to say in response
b. He makes you laugh with his clever sense of humor
c. These men have money or prestige or power, or all three, which makes them look very good from the outside

Disadvantages
a. He tends to use mind games as tools of control that go completely unnoticed by others, who are too busy admiring his new car
b. Usually intellectual men are judgmental and see if you can match up to them
c. When he takes a woman out, he makes her feel like she’s in debate class rather than on a date

9. MR. ROMANTIC

Advantages
a. When you meet, everything about him makes you swoon
b. He’s just the kind of man you’d love to flaunt, making all your girlfriends, and even the girls you don’t know, jealous. And you get treated like a princess
c. He’s everything you could hope for in a man

Disadvantages
a. They will come on strong but lose momentum in the long haul as the reality of a relationship sets in
b. You always feel like you’re competing for his attention with everyone else.
c. He’s always on the lookout for a better catch.
d. As soon as things become rocky, he jets.

10. MR. BAD BOY

Advantages
a. Will tell you the truth - that you`re not the only one
b. Goes where the wind takes him, and the wind usually takes him on some kind of awesome adventure
c. The bad boy spirit adds an element of youthfulness to the relationship and you’ll love to try taming him - although you knows you’ll never actually succeed.
d. Every woman wants a bit of a rebel (within reason, of course)

Disadvantages
a. He doesn`t acknowledge you in public, especially if there’s women around
b. Generally he is a punk (won`t stand up for anything)
c. They contradict themselves in the same sentence, and characteristically have an indirect and inappropriate way of expressing hostility that’s hidden under the guises of innocence
d. He will habitually send mixed messages in order to string you along.

11. MR. BEST FRIEND

Advantages
a. He`s your best friend, you tell each other everything; you get along very, very well
b. He’ll give you advice when you and your man are having problems and fights
c. He’s genuinely glad to see you and interested in hearing about your day.
d. Sweet and caring with a good sense of humor

Disadvantages
a. You don’t want to ruin such a great friendship so you don’t even attempt anything
b. If you end up finding out that he likes you, things become awkward for you both.

12. MR. RIGHT

Advantages
a. He’s handsome and intelligent.
b. He is intellectual, brilliant, and capable of taking you there mentally and emotionally
c. He will love you even when you are not lovable
d. He says all the right things at all the right times.
e. He acknowledges his faults and strives to be a better man
f. He understands a relationship is built on a 200% quota - 100% him and 100% you
g. He’s the kind of man who appreciates you, even for the little things.
h. He is a true best friend and everything you ever wanted in a man
i. He’ll buy you flowers and sentimental cards, just because.
j. He can dress - knows the difference between formal, semi-formal, professional, business casual, casual
h. He loves his mother

Disadvantages
a. Only found in old school Disney movies"