Sunday, December 19, 2010

Roommate Bonding

Guess what my roommate and I did this weekend to celebrate the end of the semester? Yep. Good times. I love my life. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Smiles :)

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at work and began smiling for no reason. First I wondered what triggered the smile. Then I questioned, When did smiling become such a foreign concept to me? I've been thinking about that ever since.

You see, people often used to comment on the fact that I always had a smile on my face. Most of the time I didn't even realize I was smiling; it was second-nature to me. When I realized recently that smiling had become a rarity for me, it made me kind of sad. To me smiles symbolize hope, happiness, and healing. The fact I wasn't smiling was an outward representation of the frustrations and hopelessness I had experienced this year.

Fortunately, that sporadic smile was the first of many. Suddenly, smiling feels effortless again. This is partly because I survived one of the most horrid semesters of my life (yay!). But mostly it's because of three amazing women who came into my life at the exact moment I needed them. They brought me laughter when all I wanted to do was cry. They offered me unconditional love and acceptance when I didn't even know how to love myself. These ladies exude positivity. Being around them, I can't help but smile and be happy. Their friendship brought the sunshine back into my life.  For that, I'll be forever grateful.

The smiling Rebecca is back! And I must say, it feels pretty darn good. :)

In everyone's life, at some point, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
     ~Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Broken: Me. Friendships.

This has been an odd year for me. Everything in my life seems out of whack right now: school, work, church, my financial situation, my relationships. I’m not motivated in school, I can’t focus, and I don’t enjoy life like I once did. I just haven’t been myself. I keep telling my friends that I’m broken. Never has that felt truer than in recent days.

You see, I broke two friendships in the past week. One of them was with someone whom I love very much but just haven’t felt any sort of connection with lately. This might be due to my “broken” state of being, or it might be that the friendship has simply run its course. At any rate, it became clear that I needed to end our friendship, so I did it. While I’m heartbroken that I hurt her in that way, I’m convinced it was the right thing for me. Unfortunately, we still have to see each other at church events, and it’s just plain awkward.

Enter person number two. Remember how I said that everything in my life has felt out of whack this year? Well, there was actually one thing (i.e., a cool guy) that *did* feel good and right. Unfortunately, my relationship with this guy ended a few weeks ago, and now I’m back to feeling completely out of sorts. I would have done anything for him and stood by him through everything, so I was surprised that he wasn’t going to let me anymore. Things ended amicably but I’ve had a difficult time even being around him. Anyway, when I saw him last Wednesday night I felt like things were finally going to be OK. It was the first time in weeks that my chest didn’t tighten at the sight of him, and I could actually breathe. I felt at peace.

That peace ended quickly. The next day I got offended over something silly and sent him a heated e-mail. He could easily have written me off but instead took the time to patiently explain where he was coming from. I felt about two inches tall when I read his e-mail and quickly sent an apology. In my response, I explained to him why I reacted the way I did and thanked him for his patience with me. His short reply stated he would need some time to “digest” what I said before responding. That was several days ago. I’m not sure what I said that he needed to process first, but my intuition tells me it’s not good. I have a feeling that what I thought was a heartfelt apology only added to the hurt I already caused him. I’m at a loss for what to do. Things just aren’t going right for me this year.

"Anger is just a cowardly extension of sadness. It's a lot easier to be angry at someone than it is to tell them you're hurt." ~Tom Gates

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret." ~Ambrose Bierce

Monday, October 25, 2010

Down With Love

I have a million different thoughts jumbled up inside me, but I can't seem to get any of them out. Once I do, I'm sure I'll have some brilliant beyond brilliant blogs to share with you (sorry it's been so long). Until then, here's a quote that pretty much sums up what I've been feeling these past few weeks.

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love." ~Neil Gaiman

Friday, April 9, 2010

Watch your step

Blonde Roommate has a cat that she absolutely adores. Cat likes to lie in front of my bedroom door so I trip over him when leaving for work in the wee hours of the morning. He is also quite smelly and likes to overeat. Because Cat overeats, it’s not uncommon for him to spew the contents of his stomach in random places all over the apartment. And it’s definitely not unusual for my bare feet to happen upon said throw up first thing in the morning while pouring myself a bowl of shredded wheat. It’s not something you want to feel between your toes, I’ll tell you that much. Needless to say, I’m not Cat’s biggest fan. So… does it make me a bad person that I laughed when I saw a large pile of steaming vomit just inside Blonde Roommate’s immaculate bedroom?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Finish Line

This morning I had the opportunity to volunteer at a half marathon with a group of coworkers. My assignment was to hand out water and Gatorade at mile marker 6. The last runner to pass our station was a man in red shorts. He looked tired and downtrodden but seemed determined to continue on. As he accepted the Gatorade I offered, he made the comment that we could pack up and leave because he was the last one. I informed him there were still a few more people (we had just been told that), and a shimmer of hope flashed across his face. A moment later I looked up and realized there was a white truck following closely behind, packing up the orange cones. It upset me that they would be so obvious about the fact he was the final runner. How disheartening that would feel! What harm would it have caused for them to wait a few extra minutes before cleaning up the course? We cheered him on his way, packed up our gear, and left to meet up with the rest of our crew.

At the finish line, we handed out mugs and congratulated the racers on their feat. On three separate occasions, I was told I could leave. I was torn because I had to be at church at 11 am, but I wanted to see the man in red shorts cross the finish line. I decided to wait. I had cheered for him at the "You're almost half way!" point and wanted to be there when he finished. Two hours passed, and I continued to wait. Three of my coworkers decided to stay as well. We watched as the race coordinators began to pack up the banners, barricades, and other equipment. Very few people remained. We worried that maybe our friend wasn't able to finish the race after all. Still, we waited. We didn't want him to cross the finish line alone. At last we received word that he was approaching the final stretch. I anxiously watched in the distance until I saw him coming around the bend. My coworkers and I immediately started cheering, and the announcer called out his name over the loud speaker. We screamed for joy as he crossed the finish line and congratulated him on finishing the race. I was so happy that he made it.

This experience caused me to reflect on our Heavenly Father's plan for us. He sent us to this earth to receive our mortal bodies so we could become more like Him. The race wouldn't be easy, but He promised to give us what we would need in order to make it to the finish line. Just as the racers had arrows showing them the way to go, we have scriptures, church leaders, personal revelation, etc. to keep us on the right path. He even sent His son, Jesus Christ, to show us the way. We aren't alone in our journey either. The Holy Ghost provides comfort at times we feel like we can't make it to that next mile marker, let alone the finish line. We also have family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers who encourage us to continue onward.

Sometimes I feel like that man in red shorts. The race truck is following closely behind, constantly reminding me of how slow I'm going. It's often tempting to just stop running. It's at those moments of quiet desperation that I feel God's love manifested to me in different ways: a bear hug from my nephew, a long conversation with a new friend, a compliment from a stranger, my favorite song played on the radio, a feeling of peace in my soul.

At the close of church today we sang the hymn, I Know That My Redeemer Lives (Hymn #136). As I sang the lines, "He lives to comfort me when faint" and "He lives and loves me to the end," I could picture our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ anxiously waiting for me at the finish line, hoping I would make it safely back to them. Even if I am the last runner and everyone else has given up on me, I know they will be there. Their love is the only constant thing in our lives. If nothing else, we can lean on them.