I used to believe that growing up meant separating yourself from the emotions that used to haunt you. That for some reason, age was what allowed us to escape. The sad truth is that we could never fully let go, until we learn to face these emotions head on. I wanted to believe so badly that things get easier. That time heals the wounds we fight so hard to cover up. But these walls you build, they stay up there, and the only way to break them down is to confront the issues that hold them up.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything on here. To be honest, I tried to avoid it. I always worry that I am going to hurt somebody’s feelings with what I write, or offend someone unintentionally. But I miss writing, and right now I feel like that is all I want to do. I have changed so much in the past 6 months; to some it is noticeable, to others, not at all. I suppose it depends on how well you know me. It is very difficult for me to let love in. Giving it out, is not the problem. I used to be extremely cautious with the possibility of ever allowing myself to be too happy, because as history proves, it never lasted too long. I was doubtful. All. The. Time. I had a very hard time trusting people. However, I have progressed so much from that point, in the past four months alone. I was convinced that I had to change the way I loved in order to make anything work. I truly believed that my expectations were unrealistic and that I was the problem. Though it didn’t feel like it at the time, I was compromising way too much of myself for something that would never work anyway, due to a lack in communication. I gave up a lot of what I believed in to try to understand. That’s probably what bugs me the most - how much I changed and how it went unnoticed. Yet despite all of this, I am not angry, and even that irritates me because I think I deserve to be. Still, I’m not…though at times my heart feels heavy. I hate the idea of giving up and I don’t even want to, but when there’s nothing left to hang onto, what else are you supposed to do? I will never understand why so many people undervalue the power of communication. All it takes is a conversation and all could be well again. And yet, if you don’t even get that, realize what it says about how much you’re valued. Memories remain, but even those begin to fade eventually. Sometimes no matter how hard you love, or how much you care, even the effort becomes exhausting - especially when it is not appreciated or reciprocated. Thus ladies, (and gents - because even you are guilty of this), you cannot keep someone in your life who does not want to be there. And you will know if they do. Words can say so much, but actions speak volumes.
[Warning: This will be long so bare with me. I really don’t even expect anyone to read this, but if you make it to the end, thanks for reading.]
I stopped believing in God a few years ago; provoked in part by the things I’ve experienced over the years, and also slightly due to rebellion. I gave up completely on believing, and was so closed-minded to the idea that the concept of God could possibly hold any truth. Don’t get me wrong, I still had faith. It’s the one thing that’s kept me afloat all these years…believing that I would eventually overcome all adversity and come out stronger. I remained hopeful despite my non-existent association with a higher power. I didn’t believe in God, but I believed I was still a good person: executing the same values as those who did. I constantly practiced kindness, compassion and understanding despite everything negative I had been through. I had a good heart with good intentions, and I thought this was enough.
In November, I was introduced to a poet. Watching one of his performances actually brought me to tears. I can’t even begin to describe the sense of peace that washed over me in that moment. For some reason, this poet and that poem, were the trigger to open up my mind to the possibility of trying to find my way back to God. There was one part of the poem in particular that hit me: “This isn’t about God finding you amongst the sea of faces, this is about you finding God in the most chaotic of places…” There was just something about this poem and the conviction that it was delivered, that didn’t leave me feeling as though God was being projected onto me in a forceful manner. I don’t like being forced into believing things or doing things, on other people’s time. I always said that it would happen when it does, but I’d want it to come naturally or it wouldn’t be honest. And, I felt like in this moment, it finally did. I was vocal about my intentions to a few friends, who were naturally ecstatic, and very supportive. I felt really good about the prospect of coming to terms with God again.
Then suddenly, I started to have really vivid “nightmares”. I would wake up really upset, sometimes in tears, because they felt so real. Many of them consisted of bad situations that have happened in my past, insecurities and doubts I had about people. There were also spiritual symbols in every other dream: churches, numbers, colors…even names I could remember. I have never been able to recall any of my dreams in the past, which made all of this even more eerie. It slowly came to the point where I would stay up so late, just to avoid sleeping & dreaming. I was terrified of having to go through it. For two weeks I had about 10 dreams. My sisters even had dreams about me…all of ours different, but with very similar themes. I was so disoriented when I would be awake, that I didn’t even feel like myself anymore. I was genuinely scared and I couldn’t understand what was happening to me.
One cannot truly realize the gravity of what I was experiencing unless you actually speak to me or I can explain in grave detail the dreams I was having. Only those who were present while all of this was happening could even understand a fraction of what I felt at the time and how it affected me. The details of my dreams are all typed out on my blackberry, though I don’t plan on publicizing them yet.
Point is, my friends would tell me that they believed when someone tries to get closer to God, the Devil gets really angry and will try to make you stray. I was one of the most stubborn people you could ever possibly meet when it came to the idea of God. Even as I was talking about it, I didn’t feel like I was the same person anymore. I still feel crazy even writing about this, and re-living everything now.
I’ve always believed in signs and that the Universe would provide me them constantly, in the attempts to guide me through my life. At this point, I started to receive so many pertaining to my current situation. I felt as though everything made so much sense and each of these signs were pointing me in the same direction…to have faith, to trust, and to believe. However, in spite of all this, I began to withdraw from the idea once again after the worst of the dreams occurred. It was the one where the message was so clear that there was no misinterpreting it. I was being tested, or so everyone would tell me…but at this point I didn’t feel strong enough to endure whatever else would try to break me. I woke up that morning terrified, I cried for a few hours while I lay on my couch, trying to bring myself to sit in the church closest to my house. I hated being home alone through all of this. I just wanted it to stop. At some point during that day I even tried to download a bible app onto my phone. It didn’t work. Coincidentally my friend came over later that night and brought me a gift. It was a bible. I had never mentioned my prior attempt to download one earlier that day. Up until then, I had never even wanted one. Truth be told, had he given it to me 24 hours prior, I probably wouldn’t have taken it. The dreams stopped completely since then. As did my pursuit to find God. I was more of a believer, but hadn’t quite reached the point I was anticipating just yet. Still it was progress: My heart was open, my mind was open, and that was a big step for me.
I was at ease and I felt truly happy for the next few weeks. Then New Years Eve rolled around and everything went downhill. Things happened, emotions took complete control of my mind. I celebrated with friends & family and found temporary escape in the events of the night. But the next day, when faced once again with reality, I was a wreck. It’s safe to say the New Year started out so shitty for me. I spent the first two weeks confined to my room & my bed, unable to sleep, at most…four hours a night, if I was lucky. The only thing I ever remember doing really, was crying. Everyone has their bad days, I know this. But me? I haven’t broken down so hard for that long, in YEARS. Up until that period in my life, I felt completely robotic; immune to the pains I see people experience every day. It was so hard for me to talk to my closest friends and family without instantly breaking down. The only real comfort anyone could provide me was the constant reassurance that I was so much stronger than what was going on. However, I didn’t feel very strong at the time. In fact, I felt the weakest I’d ever been. Then, slowly things started to get better. I practiced acceptance, understanding and forgiveness. I was good. I felt strong again. I knew that my irritating ability to be compassionate would always be my downfall, but I remained that way regardless because I didn’t feel good about acting out otherwise. Life felt normal again. I felt normal again. But it only lasted a few weeks. Once again, I was in a compromising position where my emotions took over.
It’s been almost a month now since the second fall, and I am nowhere near as broken down as I was in the beginning of this year. Some days feel harder than most, while other days feel really easy. I feel as though I have found real strength in everything that has transpired. My mom always brings me books about God when she comes over on the weekends and she texts me when Joel Osteen is on TV speaking about life and God, as he does. Four days ago, I even “prayed” each night before I went to bed; giving thanks for my strength and asking that I don’t fall weak. I asked for signs pertaining to whether or not I was making a mistake in my recent choices. I felt so confident, but began to feel unsure again, even though I knew I was probably just making excuses. I bring this up because ironically, I would wake up every day not feeling very strong at all. Yesterday was probably the worst day. I wasn’t sad, but I wasn’t positive either. I began to question what the heck was going on. Because up until the moment I “prayed”, I had been SO strong…but every time after that, I felt weaker every day.
My friend told me once again, that I was being tested and that I just have to keep having faith. And I am, or at least I’m trying (so desperately) to “Let go and let God”, as she says. I hate putting my life in someone’s hands but my own. I hate feeling as though I have barely any control. But I’m trying right now because what have I got to lose, really? What could it possibly hurt to have a little more trust in a God that would never let me suffer through things, without them serving a significant purpose? Even if none of this were true, I would be in the exact same position should I deny myself this faith. At the end of it all, I would have everything to gain, and nothing more to lose…so here I am trying, in spite of the concept being so new to me.
I write all this, all the pain and sadness especially, because I feel as though it is so essential to my growth and my test of faith. I can walk away from all this now, as I’ve been so prone to doing in the past…or I can endure whatever else comes my way to break me down and just trust that I will overcome it. I am always told, especially recently, that it is surprising how understanding I can be, despite everything that has happened in the past: my struggles and being treated poorly by people I really cared about. How much I always gave, but rarely received. How positive I can be in even the most negative situations and still have faith, in spite of the fact that I went through a lot of shitty things in life. But I have grown a lot; especially in these past 3 months and I want nothing more than to keep pushing forward because having hope that things always get better, is the only thing that’s ever really proved reliable in my life.
This journey is still new to me. Some days I still feel my skepticism arise, and my doubts resurface. Every day that I feel weaker I let my emotions control me for a bit, but tell myself that this is just a test and I am much stronger than my weaknesses. Who knows where this road will lead me. Who knows what happens from here on out. Things always get worse before they get better. I think, in part, I am a living testament of that. Everyday that I am living and breathing is already a miracle & I am so thankful to have gotten as far as I have. Yes, I still feel broken, but I am definitely not defeated. Everyday it becomes evident, that when all else fails, all you’ve got to do is have a little faith.
Funny how easy it is to get lost in the moment, to push aside your purpose, & put your dreams on hold for the instant satisfaction brought about by just enjoying the here & now.
I always said I would never want to walk around and live a meaningless life. I always told myself that the sacrifices I’d have to make to achieve my dreams would be worth it once I reached my goals. And yet here I am, not quite in the same position I was a year ago, but still so far from where I wish to be, acting as though I have all the time in the world…and this disappoints me.
I sincerely believe in destiny…and when I think of New York & becoming a writer, for that moment, everything seems so right & my purpose becomes re-affirmed. I don’t want to continue giving half of my heart to the only thing I’ve ever been so sure of.
I don’t need the New Year to start over, nor do I need it to get serious. The beauty of every moment we are given, is we always have a chance to change the direction of our lives & make smarter choices. I’m sorry I lost sight of that.
A change is gonna come…
I spent a lot of days playing my guitar and keyboard, leaving very little time for my true passion: writing. Just recently, have I begun to spend more time on reading and writing - leaving me with a sense of rejuvenation every time I wake up. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my future; what I want, what I aspire to be, and what I need to do to achieve this dream. I acknowledge that I am not the greatest writer or even the best story-teller, but I’ve always had this belief that I may not be at that point yet…but I will get there someday…because I want it bad enough.
I have my days, and sometimes even my doubts. I allow my insecurities to take over and make me believe that I am not cut out for this and this was not meant for me. But despite those moments of weakness, the underlying truth is just that I’m scared to fail; to be told that I am not good enough. And although I may not be too certain of many things in my life, this I am sure of. It’ll happen one day. I will achieve these dreams. I will do whatever possible to make this my reality because nothing else makes sense or makes me feel more alive, than when I’m writing; when I’m actively pursuing what I love.
I am lucky, and I know this. Not many people can say they knew exactly what they wanted to be when they were kids. I knew. Perhaps subconsciously. But writing has been a huge part of my existence. The fact that I have an opportunity to really pursue what I love, and seemingly have the talent to take me one step further in that direction, is a huge privilege. I know all this. I have never felt so strongly about anything in my life and there is no way I will ever give up on this dream; no matter how long it takes or how difficult it seems. I desperatly want this, and I promise you I will stop at nothing to make it happen. MARK MY WORDS.
That being said, GOODNIGHT…time to get back to writing :)<3
The further I get from my adolescent years, and near my thirties…the further I get from everything I thought I wanted for myself. Though my passions remain the same, my goals begin to change. Writing will always be the only thing I see myself doing as a career & will always remain the one thing I’m sure of; the only thing that’s ever made sense or made me feel like myself. But as I progress through my late twenties I realize how often I need to change course & the steps I need to make this all happen. This just goes to show that nothing ever goes as planned & that it’s okay because things change, as do I. I am still 100% sure of what I want for my future, it’s just a matter of taking another route to get there. A re-evaluation is definitely in order. When things happen that set a dent in your plans, all you can do is come up with a new plan. Re-evaluating & re-prioritizing.
The future is all I see.
Last week I began to start reading again. I don’t remember why I stopped, or why it’s taken me so long to get back into it. But now that I’ve begun to once again develop the habit…I don’t think I’ll be slowing down anytime soon. I’m currently on my third novel within the past 7 days and aside from the pleasure I feel from getting lost in another writer’s imagination - with every turn of a page, more than anything - I become inspired to get lost in my own.
I’ve heard a lot of the same advice - that a writer must read, and read A LOT. I began reading novels when I was a kid, long before I even knew that writing was my passion. I’ve written a lot of unfinished drafts, of stories I wanted to tell, but could never quite properly deliver. They say “you are your own worst critic”, and this may be true…but I could never put something out there that I didn’t truly believe in.
Publishing a book has been a dream of mine for quite some time, but does it have to be on a global scale? NO. Does it need to go mainstream? NO. Does it matter if only one person reads it, even if they’re from my immediate family doing it out of obligation? NO. I just want to write & actually finish a book that I’d be proud of. I would do this all for free & that’s how I know that I owe it to myself to pursue this.
Being a writer, much less any kind of artist, is no walk in the park. There’s a reason the term “struggling artist” even exists. But would I give up on this dream & settle for a regular 9-5, stuck behind a desk, building someone’s else’s dream just because it seems more practical & more stable? NO WAY. My own dreams are way too big to forget & way too important to me, to even want to.
At the end of the day, I’d rather pursue something I love, than settle for something that’s just good enough. Thus, no matter how long it takes, whatever I need to do, no matter how many times I may fail…I will keep on trying & you better believe I’ll fight like hell to make it happen.