Monthly Archives: December 2013

This Christmas

This Christmas was great. We had a bunch of peeps over for Christmas Eve and ate lots of junk food. My immediate family and I went to mass at 11:00, which was nice because we got home at midnight. The church wasn’t very full, but everyone was happy and we all sang loudly anyway. I actually really like Christmas hymns.

One of my dad’s friends and his family were over, and they had four little girls. They were actually fairly well behaved; meaning they left my brother and cousins and me alone for the most part. We played a lot of video games, most of which I was terrible at, but we had a good time anyway. I am laughably bad at Mario Cart Wii. My cousin Nick (Dinkens) and I had a Crash Team Racing Tournament, and we’re pretty evenly matched at that, so there were a lot of close races and a lot of screaming from the basement.

We opened presents from the extended family earlier on Christmas Eve and later on Christmas Day, but my brother and I usually open gifts from our parents after church. My favorite things were definitely from Mom and Dad. We got a new nest (giant bean bag chair) since I projectile vomited on the last one. I also got a new super warm, fuzzy hat, some whatchamacallits (candy bars) a lava lamp, a loom for making hats and my favorite, Raskolnikov (my new beta fish). I haven’t had a fish since high school, but I do like to keep them. My last fish was gold and he was named Napoleon. Raskolnikov is blue/purple with reddish fins. I’ve decided that little fish just need to have good names. I had thought about naming him Iago, but that dude was just too evil, and I’m not sure I’d want an Iago just hanging out in my bedroom. It’s bad karma… or something.

Anyway, my computer is currently broken, so I’m actually blogging from my phone. I’ve started making a fuzzy, blue hat and it’s slow going, so I’m going to get back to that. Happy Christmas everyone!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Find A Reason To Celebrate

I’ve read a lot of things: blog posts, Facebook posts and stories about Christmas, people’s plans, etc. Tonight my mom took my brother, and cousin and me out to get coffee and drive around to look at Christmas lights. We were listening to Christmas music on the radio and I mentioned that I generally find the secular Christmas songs annoying, but the religious songs I’m alright with. Some of them I’m just indifferent to, but others I really do enjoy. My brother suggested that it was the performance and not the subject matter that effected how much I liked certain songs. I thought about it, and I think he’s right.

Driving around to look at Christmas lights is a tradition for us. Oddly, there weren’t too many decorations this year. There were a few really decorative houses, but most houses were simple or not decorated at all. We had a good time anyway. “The Little Drummer Boy” came on the radio, and my brother said, “I can’t take this song seriously. It sounds like they’re saying ‘rub a bum bum.'” We had a good laugh about that.

A lot of posts I’ve been reading have been rather melancholy. It’s been affecting me a little, to be honest. Christmas should be a happy time. For Christians it is a celebration of the birth of our savior. For most people it is a time to celebrate life and generosity and to get together with family. I believe that Jesus is the savior of all, and I know he would want everyone to be happy at this time of year. I know it can be hard when everyone is dealing with stress and work and school, not to mention any other issues, but I just hope and pray that you would all try to find a reason to be happy this Christmas; to celebrate the Lord’s birth or just to celebrate life and joy and goodness.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Satisfaction

I haven’t been praying as much as I’ve wanted to lately. I wrote a while ago that I thought prayer was my way of being helpful and doing God’s work. The problem with that is that it isn’t always that satisfying. I want to do meaningful things. It’s been hard for me to figure out what is meaningful and what is doable. A big part of it is that I think too hard. I’m not saying prayer isn’t meaningful, it’s just that it feels like I need to be doing something more.

I’m always trying to figure out ways to “save the world.” Yesterday I went to the movies with a friend of mine. I met her through a program called Project TEAM; the project that I’ve been working on through Boston University. At first I was her peer mentor, which meant I would call her once a week and help her review the things she was learning in the weekly sessions. As a part of Project TEAM, each trainee gets to go on a field trip. Since Alycia lives super close to my house I offered to give her a ride home from her field trip. I don’t remember how we ended up talking about college, but somehow on the ride home I ended up offering to show her around Gordon. At some point we exchanged phone numbers, and when Project TEAM was over we started hanging out anyway.

Now Alycia is on the development panel with myself and a few other people, and she’s going to be a peer mentor herself. When I first met her, it didn’t really seem like she was thinking about college at all, but she’s started talking about it the past couple times we’ve hung out. I don’t know if this is just coincidence or if it had anything to do with what I did, but I’m just really proud of her, and I’m glad we’re friends.

Something I have trouble with is coming out of my shell and just being nice. I agonize over exactly what to say in so many situations and I often end up just saying nothing and avoiding the situation. I’m trying to get better at that, and I think I am getting better at it. Today I did something that I normally have trouble with. If a friend is having trouble with something, I usually don’t ask them to talk about it. I just try to make them comfortable enough so they can just tell me when/if they want to. I almost never explicitly ask if something is wrong (I know, kind of a problem). My friends usually do tell me when something is wrong, which I’m glad for, but as I said, I almost never simply come out and ask, partly because I’m worried it will annoy them.

The thing is, there have been so many times where I have held something in and never told anyone it was bothering me simply because no one asked if something was wrong. I’m not even good at hiding it either. I made a step in the right direction today, though. One of my friends posted on their blog that they were dealing with some difficult stuff, so I sent her a text just saying that I was available to talk if she wanted to. Just doing that one little nice thing felt good. I need to change and do more of that because I think that kind of thing brings me the satisfaction that I’m looking for. I think I’m just rather impatient because on one level, I want deep, loving relationships with people, but on another level I just want to “fix” everyone, which may mean not getting as close to a lot of people. I think to get the satisfaction out of life that I want I need to ignore the second level urge because it’s unrealistic and impersonal. It’s a very hard urge to ignore, though.

In church today, the deacon talked about how we, like John the Baptist should pave the way for Jesus’ coming (in terms of Christmas and in general). It made real concrete sense in my mind today; I need to be doing Jesus’ work while he’s not here in the flesh. I know that when I get past my own awkwardness that good things happen, so I need to work on being less of a perfectionist. I need to worry a lot less about embarrassing myself because in the long run, what is a little embarrassment going to cost me? Part of it is also that I’m worried that if I don’t say things perfectly that people will take what I’m trying to say the wrong way. Again, it would be easy enough to apologize or correct myself. It really doesn’t matter all that much.

I could do a whole heck of a lot more good if I just stop being a perfectionist. I guess I’m always a little afraid of doing nice things too, because I’m sort of a pessimist in that I always wonder what will come of it in the end. I guess the point isn’t the outcome, but the intention behind it. Instead of worrying about the outcome, I should just plant a seed and hope for the best. That’s really how life works anyway.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

P.S., I’m sure I’ll be writing again between now and then anyway, but I just wanted to say happy Christmas to all the peeps who read my blog. 🙂

Sammy

I love my brother. I mean I really adore him, to the point where it might be weird. First of all, he’s super cute. He cut his hair a few months ago, and personally I think he was cuter with hippy hair, but that’s just me. Still, he looks like a refined, dignified little nerd now, which kind of makes him more adorable. He just had his senior pictures done since he’s graduating from high school this year, and he looks like someone who is aspiring to be a doctor.

On top of the fact that he’s super cute, Sam is funny; granted, he’s weird as heck, but he is funny. When Sam laughs, it’s impossible to not laugh along with him. I’ll admit, his sense of humor is a little sadistic at times, but his laugh is contagious.

Sam gets excited about really nerdy things; i.e. new video games, leaked information about the new Star Wars movie, etc. He is also bothered by very strange things. I can’t think of anything specific at the moment, but think of Sheldon Cooper, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It’s basically a requirement for a little brother to be annoying, and Sam fulfills that requirement 150%. Unfortunately I fulfill that requirement 250%. We’re very good at annoying each other; I just happen to annoy him with excessive amounts of affection. Maybe this blog post was a little obnoxious, but I couldn’t help it.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

121

Today I reached my 121st follower. I seriously want to thank all of you for taking an interest in what I have to say (including my whining). It’s nice to know that some of you are interested in the same things and deal with the same issues. As I’ve said, my blog doesn’t really have a specific focus. Instead I aim to explore life, faith and love in a way that engages the largest audience possible. We are all family as far as I’m concerned, so I think it’s important to deal with issues and ideas that concern everyone. I want to thank you again for reading.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Good In Things

I’ve been trying to write this song for weeks and for some reason it wasn’t working. It will probably need a few changes in the future, but this is what I’ve come up with. At the moment I like it as it is.

Remember when we built castle walls
With colored bricks to the ceiling of our sky?
Our friends and brothers came and knocked them down
But we built something better from the wreckage somehow
And we made peace as we made a bigger mess
And that was how we learned to forgive and forget
I believe that we are all forgiven
And I believe that we are all redeemed

I will sing Hallelujah
‘Cause there is good in things
And I believe it
I can see that it’s true
And it’s beautiful

I’ve heard you say that we’ve seen better days
And you’re just waiting for the right time and place
You’re seeing shadows dance before your eyes
And what you’re looking for is passing you by
So let it go if you want something to hold
And you will have a treasure that can’t be bought or sold
It won’t go away like a taste in your mouth
It’ll go to your head and erase your fear and doubt

Chorus

Count to six and start again
And slow down time ’till you hear the refrain
Memory and hope will be a harmony
Yo might be surprised at the things you will see
‘Cause there is beauty in black and blue
Walk far enough and you’ll wear down your shoes
You’ll find good in the places you go
God made the world and he said it should be so

Chorus X2

The Last Goodbye

I should be doing homework right now, but my brain is kind of not cooperating with me at the moment.

Papa’s funeral was today. I’m having a really hard time with this now. He was sick for a long time; since I was a little kid really. The only things I really know about him are from what my dad and Aunt Betsy have told me. I think maybe it’s because I didn’t know him very well that I miss him so much.

I’ve been trying not to cry and crying a lot all day. I really don’t like to cry in front of people. I think part of it is that I want to strong and just squish the sadness out and part of it is that I don’t like to share my sadness. I don’t want others to have to be sad with me, so I try to hide it. Of course everyone else was sad at the church anyway, so at that point I just let it out.

I played an original song at the funeral. My grandmother asked me to play a song earlier this week, and my dad suggested “Passenger.” It’s essentially about being on a journey with the Lord. We don’t know where we’re going, but he does, and he’s a good driver. I played it during communion. The funny thing is that I didn’t feel sad while I was playing it. I was glad I was able to do it because it was kind of like my own little personal send-off for Papa.

A few nights ago I had a strange dream, and it freaked me out at first, but now I’m actually finding it comforting. In the dream Death (the person/character) caught up to me as a young, fairly handsome man and we had a conversation. I wrote about it as part of an assignment for my fiction writing class. I substituted a girl named Lily for myself, but other than that it’s basically the same. Here is the last scene from the dream.

“Before we go, I need to show you something,” said the young man. They walked up a flight of stairs and suddenly, they found themselves in a dingy hallway with rooms on either side. There was one door up ahead that was open. Lily heard what sounded like fighting and a girl screamed, but the young man seemed unphased. When they reached the doorway, they saw two young men attacking a young woman. After a moment the young man asked Lily, “Would you like me to spare her?”
“Yes, of course,” Lily said.
Suddenly the two young men were gone and the girl had no signs of just having been beaten on her face or arms.
“Thank you,” she said.
“Not to worry, dear,” said the young man. “Help is on the way.”
They left the girl and as they walked on, Lily looked at the man in the face for the first time.
“You’re Death, aren’t you?”
“Yes, dear.”
“And… you’re not terrible.”
“No, I’m glad you don’t think so.”
“And you’re taking me away…”
“Yes.”
“But… you’re bringing me to God, right?”
“Yes.”

I think this means that Papa’s okay. I just want it to. There is no doubt in my mind that heaven exists and that Papa is destined for it; it’s just hard to connect the dots between this life and the next. It seems weird to have someone close be gone. We were created from dust and we return to dust. I never really understood the significance of that until today.

The weather really didn’t help the mood of the whole thing. It was in the 40’s and rainy. After we left the cemetery we went back to the funeral home and had refreshments. I talked about a lot of stuff with my Godparents. We talked about some people who have had near death experiences and written about them afterwards. A lot of people have seen heaven. One guy who was a brain surgeon and didn’t believe in God was essentially brain dead for 10 days and was shown around heaven by his sister whom he never knew he had because he was adopted. There were other stories too. I really love stories like that. It just doesn’t seem right that Papa is gone. It always seemed like my grandparents were a single unit; Grammie-and-Papa. Now it seems like half of something is missing.

My Russian Literature professor says that love works in weird ways. She always talks about how in math 2 + 2 = 4, but in real life 2 + 2 = 5, and that’s how love works. It brings two people together, but it also creates something new; some extra little piece. I guess maybe that extra little piece is still there. I don’t think that if there is an afterlife that the extra little piece can be destroyed by death. Grammie still loves Papa and so does my dad and my aunt and my cousins and my brother, and so do I.

I’m probably rambling. I guess I’m just trying to find a way to make this easier. I’m going back to school tomorrow. I’m a little worried about how I’ll feel tomorrow, but I think sleep will do me good, and maybe it will be a good distraction. I think I just need to get back to a normal routine. I was in Maine Thursday and Friday and we went back up yesterday afternoon and stayed in a hotel. I didn’t get any sleep last night, so I’m hoping I’ll just crash and recharge tonight.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!