A Difference of Opinion: Part 2

This is probably the first time I’ve posted two days in a row, which is frankly pathetic, but I hope it happens more often.

As I said in my last post, I am under a good deal of emotional stress right now.  If you haven’t read my last post, Difference of Opinion: Part 1, I encourage you to go do that, then come back.  Anyway, I want to talk to you all about coping strategies.

Since my text conversation with Herb, I have prayed on more frequent intervals.  I think this is obvious for most Christians.  No matter what’s happening, the first thing you do is pray.  You get the job you wanted; you pray in gratitude.  You find your life to be in danger; you pray for protection.  In any circumstance where we are afraid, lonely, or hurting, we PRAY.  It’s what we do.  Prayer and its health benefits are similar to meditation and the benefits associated with it, so if you aren’t a praying person, this might help.  Drink coffee and meditatively watch the sun rise.

Really, I think this episode in my life is serving to strengthen my faith, because I suddenly have the urge to read Scripture, especially Psalms and the Gospels, but eventually all of it.  People of other faiths, I am not trying t exclude you, but this is what’s helping me.

Thirdly, I have created a “Getting Over Herb” playlist, compiling songs that promote confidence and make me feel better about the world. Titles such as “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John, “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel, and the classic “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas, are buoying me up out of Emotion Ocean, and helping me breathe.

Talking it out is also a good one.  Tell a close friend or family member what you’re going through.  If you don’t have any friends or close family, get a counselor.  Heck, if you can’t do that, write down everything that’s bothering you and burn it.  Rant. Swear if you need to.  Don’t bottle it up.  Which brings me to my main point.

Do not hide from uncomfortable feelings.  Let them flow.  Be uncomfortable for a while.  Our capacity to feel love, sorrow, happiness, heartbreak, and pain is one of the things that makes us human.  Use coping strategies to work through difficult times, but do not forget your pain.  This is how people grow, and become better and wiser.

Play some music. Pray. Cry. Have a beer. Read Scripture. Sleep. Spend time with friends. Watch your favorite movie. Repeat as many times as necessary.  This isn’t the end; it is the end of a chapter, and the beginning of a brand new one.

 

Au revoir again,

Collectorofsoulsandlibertarian

A Difference of Opinion: Part 1

Yesterday, I suffered from a bit of a blow.  An occasional correspondent and long-term crush of mine informed me that he was an atheist.  Not on his own; I asked for it.  It was something that I had wanted to know for a while, but hadn’t had the right moment or flt ready to discuss such a huge topic.  But yesterday I did, and now I am face to face with reality.

Almost exactly two years ago, I began to fall in love with a certain guy.  For simplicity’s sake, let’s call him Herb.  Herb is about 3 years older than me.  On the surface, there wasn’t a lot to recommend him to me.  He was awkward, grumpy, somewhat rude, and extremely arrogant.  Not to mention he was a high school senior in my 8th/9th grade year.

However, we’d been attending the same school for a year and a half now, and I’d always sorta thought he was cute.  And now Herb an I were in the same classroom (it’s worth mentioning that my school is tiny).  We began seeing more of each other.  I fought my feelings at first, but after a month or two gave in.  I told my friends, and they heartily shipped us, and told me Herb was a great match for me.  They teased me, I scribbled his name in my notebook, I daydreamed, and fell head over heels.  Typical high school crush, right?

Part of the reason I fell so hard and fast was a suspicion that my feelings might be reciprocated.  Herb and I frequently made eye contact (which created whole platoons of butterflies in my stomach) and he would say things when he was near  me (i.e. “I don’t mind sitting by her”) and I unintentionally did the same thing, and there were so many tiny little things that happened that would seem meaningless to many, but that meant the world to me.  I came to realize that he was a kind-hearted, intelligent, confident soul, and that we were in fact, from a temperament and personality standpoint, quite compatible. His smile, his laugh, his personality, his mannerisms; I loved it all.

I won’t go into further depth on this history, because  that isn’t the point of this post and these remembrances now hold a lot of sorrow for me.  Essentially, I fell in love, he graduated and left, I spent a summer missing him and realizing how poignant my affection had become.  Shortly after another school year commenced, I emailed Herb and explained to him honestly the way I felt, and my conviction that dating in high school was something I had decided against.  A day or two later, he emailed back,  agreeing that to enter into some sort of relationship right now was unwise, but not really saying what he felt towards me.  I have remained in love with him since.

I should have inquired into his beliefs sooner.  I knew that we would inevitably disagree on some important theological element, given that we met at a Protestant school.  I even thought about the fact that he could be an atheist, or agnostic.  But I knew his parents went to church, so I didn’t worry about it much.

“Herb”, if you’re reading this, I am so sorry.  I’m not angry with you, and I’m not judging you.  It isn’t your fault; I blame myself entirely.  You must choose your own path in life, and no one else has the right to dictate what you should believe or how you need to live your life.

I love you.  But with such different views of the world and different ideals, it is impossible for anything to come of it.  Though, if we’re being honest, you never actually said that you liked me the way I like you.

Heartbrokenly Yours,

Collectorofsoulsandindependent

 

P.S. To my other readers, I am sorry that all of my stuff is so emotional and messy.  This blog is my outlet.  I swear though, I will try to get some sane posts in here somewhere.

Theoretical Heartbreak

Do you ever just want a pair of arms to cry into?  Strong arms, or rather, a strong person who will comfort you and tell you everything will be okay.

My ships are sailing. Translation: Two of my closest friends have recently started dating the guys I’ve shipped them with for years.  I am really overjoyed, because they are really good matches.  But I am also saddened, because things must change.  It makes sense to go to your significant other for advice, to tell stories, and share secrets.  That will take precedence over sharing with your good friend, as it should I suppose.

What if all of my friends get married to amazing people, perfect matches for them, and I am left alone?  I guess I don’t have a problem being single until all of my friends have significant others. and are walking on air.

I wonder if my friends actually consider me an important person in their lives.  I wonder if any has been or will ever be in love with me, and won’t be put off by my excessive emotions, quirky habits, and all of my imperfections.

I could be a nun.  But I still need friends.  I have learned the lesson that I need other people, not just God.  Of course, I need God above all, but I have had to swallow my pride and accept that I cannot live without other human beings.

I love my youth group.  I truly, deeply love them.  I was imagining a what-if scenario where I had to be parted from them permanently, and I confess that I cried in the shower.  My heart would break.

I feel stupid for being so emotional.  Is any sensible person as emotional as I am? Am I a ninny? Will anyone understand what I’m feeling and not judge me for it?  Again, I feel ashamed of my insecurity.

Whew.  This is my most open post so far.  No hateful comments, please.  I just needed to write.  Thank you for your patience.

CollectorofsoulsandindependentIMG_20151210_064634_hdr

Time for Some Self-Reflection

     Well, as of Monday, it is Great Lent for me and all of my Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters.  I have stopped playing mobile games and watching humorous YouTube videos (though speaking of which, you should check out Studio C).  I am also effectively made a vegan, and rice, Oreos, and pasta are a great blessing.

      I have been thinking for some weeks that what I really needed was Great Lent.  I have repeated patterns of laziness, binge-watching Downton Abbey or Star Trek: TNG, being rude to my neighbors, and in general becoming an a-hole.  I need a change.

     And this time of fasting and repentance, to be ultimately followed by Easter, or Pascha, gives me the opportunity to slow down for awhile and really examine myself and what I’m doing.  It’s also an excellent chance for Spring cleaning and planting spinach, but that’s secondary.

     When I start taking my life for granted, I become careless and despondent.  I play Village Life and forget that my life is temporary.  I get wrapped up in domestic affairs and the rights and wrongs of my six siblings behavior, and I forget to analyze mine.

     So I intend to spend Great Lent working on self-improvement, primarily spiritually, but also mentally, emotionally, socially, and physically.  I will began learning new guitar chords.  I will write more.  I will get outside and listen to the birds, feel the wind on my face, and get some exercise.  I will spend time in silence, simply enjoying the aura of my life, and listening to every sound, feeling every bit of material touches my skin, and really appreciating both the fullness and emptiness of life.

     I may try to blog more before Pascha, but no promises.  Thanks for subscribing!

                                                                                            Peace Out,

                                                                                                          Collectorofsoulsandindependent

Sex? Meh.

I am now fifteen years old.  Which is kind of an awesome age.  It’s the first age that I truly feel secure with who I am and what my purpose in life is.

Thirteen and fourteen were generally sucky for me.  That was partly my fault, no doubt, and there was constant angst and anxiety.  And my circumstances supported instability.  My parents literally went to court and divorced the day after my thirteenth birthday.  Then I was in the path for an unending stream of events, including custody battles, a new school, mom struggling to find a good job, new friends, new crushes, new feelings, and in general, confusion.

Now, I hope you can see that this was an extremely volatile period in my life.  I was learning more about the world and about myself, and please be patient with me, I will get to my point.

Sex. I suppose nearly every teenager of that age is fascinated by that once-forbidden subject, which is now so glorified in the media, and so hushed up at home.  And now boys were so much more interesting; the knowledge that they are so fundamentally different from yourself was enough to have you pondering for days.

Of course I went a little boy-crazy in middle school.  And since I go to a tiny school where all ages are kind of lumped in together, of course in the Spring of 2015 I fell in love with an attractive, older, insecure, manipulative guy, right?  Ugh.  Let’s not go into that.

Anyway, now that my life and priorities have somewhat leveled out, I can honestly say that the idea of sex isn’t really appealing to me.  I am not asexual, and I do experience attraction, but I don’t particularly care if nothing happens beyond that.  Sex is weird.

If I marry, than of course I’ll have sex. I’m sure it will be delightful, if other people’s descriptions carry truth.  But I don’t look forward to it; I am not so perpetually fascinated by the secrets of the bedroom as I once was.  And I think that’s okay.

Au revoir,

Collectorofsoulsandindependent

 

 

 

 

Body Image

I recently have been struggling with my body image.  It’s odd, because I know fully well that it is what’s on the inside that counts, and that the only people who judged me by my appearance were the ones whose esteem I didn’t value.

Understand, I have never been by any means overweight.  I’ve always been relatively thin.  My fear was not so much that I was fat, as that I would become overweight.

I began analyzing my body in the mirror, looking at my thighs, my belly, my arms, etc.  I found flaws everywhere.  And I started paying attention to what I ate, and thinking about calories.  I guess I should mention that I get a lot of comments on my body from my family.  Let me give you some examples.

younger brother: You have an enormous butt…. You’re so fat…. her gigantic butt is in my way….

dad: If you start getting close to 130 pounds you should probably slim down…. You should probably be a little underweight, for health reasons…

mom: you’re too skinny… if anything she needs to gain weight… you are extremely skinny….  she’s like *this* big around… I was never that small… I never wore a size 4!

basically every female relative: YOU’RE SKINNY.

I officially don’t believe any of those.  On the 5th of this month, the day after I had been stunned and rather hurt by my mom’s accusations of “restrictive eating”, and staring in the mirror wondering if I really had lost that much weight, and if I was too skinny, I looked in the mirror again, and realized that I like how I look.

I know that I am a healthy weight.  I think I look good.  I will not give license to people’s negative comments on my appearance.  I do not want to lose weight.  I do not want to gain weight.  I will not eat past satisfaction, nor will I let myself go hungry.  Furthermore, I will wear makeup because I want to, not because I “have” to.  I will wash my face, but realize acne is a force of nature, not to be controlled.  I will wear clothes that I am comfortable in.  I will not spend hours on my hair unless I make the time and I want to.  How I look is hardly the most important thing about me.  And in my private opinion, which you all have the right to disagree with,

                                                               I am friggin’ sexy.