Sudden Bursts of Optimism.
I consider myself a realist. Not optimistic, but not quite pessimistic. I like to face reality. I don’t wanna think about the positive because it could lead to disappointment, but I’m not completely a debbie downer. I just lay out my options and the outcomes, but sometimes, I get sudden bursts of optimism. I start thinking about the bright side. Like this week for instance, I have HSPA and SATs, but what I’m looking forward to is Spring. The warmth of spring, the school events in May when we’re basically free. And that’s what drives me. Looking forward to the sudden bursts of optimism.
Fuck. I am stuck in the past. And I don’t know how to move on. Every single thing serves as a reminder.
I’m so caught up with my own issues and necessities that I constantly forget the sacrifices that my mom has made for me. She loves me so much and she has sacrificed her own happiness and freedom to raise and take care of me. I always feel like she’s bugging me about everything, but she only asks about me all the time because she cares. My mom makes sure that I’m always provided for and she asks where I am because she wants to make sure that I’m safe and not in harm’s way. She loves me so much and I’m so mean to her. In the past few months especially, I’ve started to talk to my mom a lot more, care for her, ask her how she’s doing and all. It’s crazy because I’ll forget to do it sometimes, but she never does. I haven’t gone one day without my mom asking how I was or something of that extent. She’s always there for me even when I feel alone. It breaks my heart to know how much I’ve hurt her when all she’s ever done was love me. I’m so sorry, Mom.
I miss my best friend. I’m tired of being angry or sad. I’m tired of barely acknowledging each other. I’m tired of holding my feelings in. I’m just tired. I miss our random dates. I miss chilling with her. I miss our friendship. I’m willing to put myself out in the cold if we can get our friendship back. That’s all I want.
I believe in effort. A relationship or a friendship requires effort from both parts. I feel like I put in effort for my relationship with cosine, yet I receive nothing in return. Honestly, I don’t expect us to talk everyday or to hang out all the time, but I think I deserve something. Effort. I don’t want to be the one that’s constantly asking, you wanna do this or inviting myself over. I think that everything we’ve been through, this isn’t what we should come down to.
I have this problem where when I talk to someone new, I stop talking to a person that I usually talk to. I don’t know if she has that problem too, but it sucks. Honestly, I’m not jealous of her newly founded relationship with Nancy. I love Nancy, but I could give less fucks about their friendship. I just don’t appreciate the lack of effort on Cosine’s part towards our relationship. I know it’s my fault too because I know I could be doing way more, but I’m just tired of being pushed away and disregarded so often. The saddest part is that I don’t even know if she realizes it…
Something has been up with her recently, but she hasn’t talked to me. No, I don’t expect her to come to me about every problem she is facing, but I thought that our problems could be faced together. I’m tired of always asking her what’s wrong. Sometimes I want her to ask me what’s wrong or for her to come to me when she wants to talk. I’m usually the one that’s vulnerable. Vulnerability is important to me because I hate showing weakness, but I’m the one that’s constantly opening myself up for it.
During one of our infamous talks, Chi Linh was telling me about how she was okay with being just a stepping stone in my life. Someone that would be there for a little to help me grow as an individual, but wouldn’t be there in the long run. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just a stepping stone for cosine. It’s okay if I am, but I want to be sure of it so that I can help her to the best of my ability. For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling hurt and that’s okay, but I know I can do way more to mend our relationship and that’s what I should be working towards because I love her and care for her and I believe we can make it through this.
My love of reading.
It has returned. Over the past few months since junior year started I started reading less. I mean pleasure reading, not required reading. I read a lot for school: lit and history kills me. But I’ve stopped reading for the simple pleasure of reading. When I was in 7th grade, I hit a reading spree where I would read about 3 books a week and now I’m barely reading one book a month. That’s so sad. It’s not even to gain knowledge. I’ve missed reading so much. I’ve missed staying up late to finish a book. I’ve missed engulfing myself in a great plot line. I’ve missed falling in love with the characters. I’ve missed reading. But in the last two days, I’ve given myself up to a book. I’ve finally put my studies aside after studying my butt of these past few days and picked up a book. I’ve found my love of reading again.
I am so fucking tired of failing. My grades have dramatically dropped since first marking period and it sucks. I fucked up. And I’m tired of having to deal with that same fact every single day. I try hard to balance my life with social activities, my studies, and sleep. It doesn’t work. Honestly, if I want to bring my grades up I have to cut back socially. I’m stuck in this whirlpool and I don’t know how to pull myself out.
The Process of Religion vs. the Power
The Process of Religion
“We are not married to a method, we are married to the message of Jesus Christ.” – Pastor Carl Lentz, Hillsong Church NYC
Religion is a process, but it is more than that, it is a belief. The belief in Christ and spreading His word to those who believe, those who do not believe, and those who are unsure. The process of religion consists of certain rules or regulations that we must follow as Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, etc. While we are categorized under a certain branch of Christianity, those who are nondenominational do not hold themselves to certain doctrines, but they simply preach God’s word and believe in Christ. Those who are nondenominational believe in the power of God over the process in which we must follow as Catholics, Protestants, and Pentecostals.
A few weeks ago, I attended a Hillsong church service where the topic of process versus power came along. Hillsong is nondenominational which means that they do not submit themselves or restrain themselves to one particular branch of Christianity; they simply preach the word of God. As a Catholic, the idea of not having certain rules or regulations to follow baffled me. Since I was young enough to remember, I recall going to mass every Sunday, praying every night, and attending mass on Holy days of obligations. As I got older, I remember going to Reconciliation twice a year, fasting during Lent as my friends ate as they pleased, and I remember going to mass all the time.
All of these restrictions and rules apply to me as a Catholic especially. Baptists, Methodists, and any other branch of Christianity follows their own guidelines and doctrines because there are procedures that need to be abided by. Those who are nondenominational follow God’s teachings and refer to the Bible, but they do not have to follow any doctrines or preach a certain way at a given time. I wanted to teach the Confirmation 2 students about the process of religion over the power of religion, not to steer them off and make them question their religion, but to help them understand the bigger picture. As Catholics, we are engrossed in details and become detail-oriented with weekly masses, days of fasting, and Catholic celebrations that we often forget the big picture. The ‘big picture’ refers to the message of Jesus Christ. We worship and praise Him as our savior, but we forget to do that at times because we surround ourselves with the process of religion.
In the Bible, Mark 2:1-12, Jesus healed a paralyzed man who was propelled down from the ceiling because there were too many people blocking the entrance. Jesus said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven,” and he was able to walk again. The teachers that were present and witnessed the miracle were not focused on the miracle at hand, but rather, they questioned how Jesus had responded to the paralyzed man. Rather than being amazed by the miracle Jesus had just performed, the teachers were distracted by the details. The process of religion blinds us from the significant aspect of our religion, which is God’s works and what He has done for us. Similar to the teachers, we are distracted by the process of religion rather than acknowledging the miracles at hand.
Many people question why we must follow these religious doctrines according to the branch of Christianity that we follow and my answer to that is not because we have to, but because the doctrines is what defines us as Catholics. My youth minister, Chi An, said to me that our rules and regulations are standards that we set for all Catholic churches. She questioned if one church’s teachings were different from another church’s, what standard could we base it off of? We categorize ourselves as Christians because of what we believe in. We categorize ourselves as Catholics because of how we practice our religion.
At the Hillsong service, another saying that personally struck me was, “Make the religious people mutter, and the non-believers stutter.” Pastor Carl was not referring to us as Catholics, Protestants, and nondenominationals boasting about our religion, but simply spreading God’s word. The process of religion can distract us from seeing the message of Christ, but once we are able to recognize that, there is no stopping us.