Tag Archives: The Future

No Normal

I’m starting work (meaning working on my book) late today for two reasons. I had to take care of some other stuff, which is now done, and because my dad is traveling for work this week, which my schedule is more adjustable, anyway. I wasn’t intending to write a blog post, but in the course of doing my things that needed to get done, I came across this quote:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Last night I came to the conclusion that while there is stability sometimes, there is no “normal.” In the past year, I’ve had to adjust to a “new normal” several times. This concept really solidified in my mind after Vermont’s funeral. At the time I had a desperate, but hopeful thought that eventually things would go “back to normal.” Then it hit me that they wouldn’t. Our family would have to adjust to a new normal. On a happier note, my brother is finishing his Bachelor’s degree this year, and will be commuting to school to get his Master’s (because he’s actually a genius). Finally all of our friends will be at home, generally at the same time. It will almost be like when we were kids. It will almost be like going back to what was normal for so many years.

Except it won’t. I still don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I’ve been trying to get in touch with a Secular Institute, which is a kind of religious organization that, in this particular case, helps people with disabilities, like myself, consecrate themselves entirely to God. I can’t entirely truthfully say that I don’t care about the consequences. I’m going to pursue this no matter the cost, but I don’t know how my friends will react. I want them to know that I’m still a total nerd and weirdo who will continue to play fantasy games with them. The only difference is that I’m officially making an unbreakable commitment to God. That will be a new normal for everyone to get used to, including myself.

I brought up the quote at the beginning of this post because I decided to do my “spiritual stuff” before work instead of after work today. Part of that “spiritual stuff” is just making sure I read something from Scripture. I had an idea of what I was going to read, but when I went to the website I usually use to read the Bible, this was the “verse of the day,” and for some reason, it sunk in deep, and it seemed like I just needed to leave it at that and think about it.

I do pray a lot. It’s often just conversational. The first part, “Rejoice always,” however, is difficult for me. It’s not about an emotional kind of joy. It’s about knowing, and being satisfied with the fact that Jesus saved us. That is always worth celebrating, even if whatever “new normal” we’re in is complicated, or weird, or even painful. The Gospel reading for this weekend was about when Jesus says to his apostles, “I no longer call you slaves, I call you friends.” Our priest explained that he said this to prepare them for what was about to happen. Before we are saved, we are slaves to sin. Jesus bought our freedom at a price.

At first, As I got to know Jesus, whenever I thought about that steep price, my response was always, “I’m sorry.” He’s had to teach me that I’m worth that to him, and because I’m worth that to him, I am objectively worth it. With his help, my response has changed to, “Thank you.” The fact of the matter is, my God intimidates me. The idea that anyone would go that far for me is insane, but the idea that the God of the Universe would go that far is both baffling and kind of scary.

I have to remind myself that God’s power is in his love. Jesus says in the Gospel that he is gentle and humble of heart. Saint Paul says that love is tender and kind. Sometimes the “new normal” sucks, but God is faithful. He is only ever good. If there is nothing else to be thankful for, remember that you’re still breathing; remember that you’re heart is till beating; remember that you’re alive; remember that the God of the universe wants to know you. That is something to be thankful for.

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Wicked Cool!

In a recent post I said that I have decided to officially dedicate myself to Jesus. I’m happy to say that that’s still the plan. I’ve been learning a lot lately. Apparently, there are several different ways in which I can do this. It’s a little intimidating because there are apparently a bazillion different orders of nuns and Sisters who all do different stuff and follow different philosophies and what have you. I also learned, as of last night, that there’s a thing called a “consecrated lay person.” Basically, as far as I can tell, there are three different categories of religious life, and my first step is to figure out where I fit best. At the moment, I like things about all of them.

The first is that of cloistered nuns. These are generally ladies who live together away from secular society and dedicate their lives almost entirely to prayer. They live extremely simply, which allows them to not be distracted by outside influences.

The second is another group of Sisters who generally live together, but are much more a part of society, doing work to help people, etc.

The third group are “consecrated lay people,” which are people (dudes and ladies) who have chosen to forgo marriage and family life in order to serve Jesus as best they can. Like nuns or Sisters, they take official vows in the church, but don’t necessarily live together and tend to have “regular” jobs.

I like the idea of removing myself from the distractions of the world and focusing entirely on God, but I desperately want to help people in any way I can. I don’t think I’m very good at praying. The fact of the matter is, I probably need to “practice” more. I’m also realizing that I want to serve God, and I want to be free. I want structure, and I want to be able to randomly change and randomly do things. I know serving God doesn’t mean I’m not free. I just don’t presently know what the solution is or what the best fit is for me. Maybe, once again, I’ll end up doing something I never saw coming.  I am leaning towards one particular thing, but I’m not going to say what it is yet here. I have to see if it’s right first.

Last night I watched an awesome video by Father Mike Schmitz. At least for me, that guy is a rock star. It was actually the first time I’d ever even heard of him, but I ended up watching several hours worth of his stuff.. actually I listened whilst playing Minecraft. He’s funny and brilliant. But anyway… the point he was talking about was that love is physical, and love is a gift. When you love someone, you want to give them all of you. This can mean a lot of different things, in different relationships. He asked the question: what does that mean when we’re talking about a relationship with God? Obviously an infinite, omnipotent God doesn’t have a body–at least not now.

Two thousand years ago, he did. Jesus came to Earth as a finite person. He was both fully God and fully human, and he had every single person ever in mind. That’s why he gave us the Eucharist. In the Eucharist Jesus is giving us all of him. When we literally eat the body of Christ, we become one with him. It’s literally Jesus. I “believed” this, but I didn’t understand what it meant until I started thinking about being a religious person. He literally gives his entire self to me. I want to give my entire self to him. I have to.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Seven Truths I had To Learn The Hard Way

  1. God’s time is different than our time, and 2,000 years may seem like a long time to us, but it just might not be in the grand scheme of things.
  2. God loves each of us unconditionally, but he also loves all of humanity unconditionally, and we’re part of a bigger plan.
  3. Bad stuff happens, but it’s going to be worth it.
  4. God keeps his promises.
  5. What God thinks of me is far more important than what judgmental people think of me, and I have no reason to be afraid of anyone.
  6. Most people (including myself) don’t take the fact that we are the body of Christ seriously enough.
  7. Prayer works

Random Life Update

The past few weeks have been interesting. I recently met two pen pals (email buddies), both by the name of Jonathan. They’re rather different in terms of personality, but they’re both very nice. I also started working on my novel again yesterday. I’ve been lazy over the summer, and I don’t entirely regret it, but it’s time to get back to work. I have excellent plans for my story, and it’ll be good to get that moving. It’s just been hard with friends and family taking up so much of my time. Everyone is starting to go back to school and work, though, which means I’ll be able to as well. It’s been good, though. I like my humans. Lastly, I’ve made the decision to learn how to play violin. I’ve had songwriter’s block, and I think learning a new instrument will help with that.

I tried learning a few years ago, but I didn’t have the time to practice at that point. Now I should have plenty of time. I’m excited because it will be hard. I’m excited to take on a challenge. I’m going to buy the instrument soon, and I’m going to ask for a month of lessons for Christmas. I like trying to teach myself things, but I do think I’ll need some instruction in this case. My family is going to kill me. I’m going to be so annoying for a while. While it’s nice out I might practice outside and annoy the neighbors instead. I think a good place to start will be to pick some songs that have simple melodies and try learning those on my own, then when I start lessons I can get more into real technique.

I’ll be starting CCD again soon. I hope I get my little cousin’s class. I’ll call on him all the time. It’ll be great. I’ll also be starting my writer’s workshop this month. They meet once a month in Newton, which is about an hour away for me. It’ll be a lot of fun, though. Speaking of which, I accidentally made a friend the other day. We happened to have gone to the same high school, happened to have graduated the same year, and happen to both be writing fantasy/science fiction stories. Funny how that stuff works.

I spent this past weekend job hunting. I didn’t really get anywhere, so I’m going to put that on hold. Working on a novel is just a horrifyingly huge task, but I need stick with it. It took two years to complete my album. I feel like that was a different kind of project, though. At least I’m not investing huge amounts of money into writing a story. The album wasn’t exactly a huge success. Surprisingly, I don’t care. Over time I’ve realized that I’m not really cut out for the music business. When I was a kid I wanted to be a rock star. I guess my dream has changed. My dream now is just to make love in the world. It’s a much less concrete goal, to be sure, but it’s also an adventure. I’m excited for the coming year. Beyond that, I have no idea what the future will bring. Normally that would scare me, but at the moment, it’s exciting.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Confusion Is Not License To Judge

I want to be completely honest, and I don’t want to be offensive. If this post offends anyone in any way because of something I said or didn’t think of, I apologize in advance.

Sexuality and gender issues confuse me. I am asexual, and while I identify as a woman, I kind of think that gender is pointless as a defining factor in one’s personality. I am Christian, and I believe that God created people with male and female biology out of necessity. However, I think that thinking too much about on’es gender does more harm than good. For example, if gender was less of a defining factor, there would be less, or perhaps even no need for feminism. If gender didn’t matter then women would have the same power, the same respect, and the same income as men from the beginning of time. Men and women are good at different things for different reasons, but we are all equal on a fundamental level.

However, what I find confusing is when a person who was born male identifies as a woman, or when a person who was born female identifies as a man. I just don’t understand why or how it happens. I am just being honest. I’ve only ever known one trans person, and he was only an acquaintance, so I never got into this kind of stuff with him. It gets even more confusing when it comes to matters of sexuality. Sexuality confuses me to begin with, and I’m straight… I think (I like men without wanting to…). There are probably some asexual transgender peeps, but what about the rest of the world? What does it mean when a person with male biology who identifies as a woman likes men? What does it mean if that person likes women? What do you call that?

Again, I don’t mean to be offensive, but what you have to understand is that I like labels. Labels help me understand the world. I just like to be able to call things, well, things. Furthermore, all of this would matter less to me if I weren’t Christian. I want to understand this stuff in the context of the bigger picture; in terms of faith, and how it relates to God’s plan. To be completely honest, my immediate instinct is to say that God created people male and female–men and women for a reason, but I know that isn’t really fair. Something my friend suggested to me is that perhaps God created some people transgender, agender, etc, as some kind of test: to themselves and to the rest of society. The other thing is, it took me a long time to be able to differentiate gender from biology, which in hindsight, is really kind of stupid, so I apologize for that.

I don’t understand this stuff. Some people condemn the things they don’t understand, and that isn’t kind or fair. I believe that everyone has some kind of role to play in God’s plan, and God loves all of us. More than anything, I want misunderstood people to be accepted, whether that is people of different sexualities or genders, or disabled people, or people of different cultures.  Revelation 7:9 says: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” The Kingdom of Heaven is diverse because God intended it that way, and because he wants all people to be reconciled to him and to each other. God loves every single person on this planet, and if people have told you otherwise, they are wrong.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Hope For The Waiting

I am a huge fan of epic stories. Most people are. I think this is in large part because they are a lot more interesting than our own mundane lives. Last night my dad and I finished watching the Lord of the Rings series for the umpteenth time. I don’t think either of us will ever get tired of those movies. The thing is, after you’ve seen them so many times, you begin to see different things that you’ve missed before, or you begin to view the characters differently. You begin to look at the movies as a whole from an artistic standpoint in some ways. They just never get old.

It’s the same with any good story, but what exactly is it that makes a story good; what makes a story timeless? I am a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, the Inheritance Cycle, the Hunger Games, and other stand-alone novels and movies. In some ways, all of these stories are very different, but what they all have in common is the triumph of good over evil. I think it is precisely this that makes a story great. Of course they are well written, and employ elements of suspense, high stakes, etc, but ultimately, what the human heart wants is for everything to work out. The human heart wants love and justice and some kind of redemption. Furthermore, we like things to be black and white. We like heroes and villains because we know who is right and whose side we should be on.

Real life doesn’t always give us that, and our stories aren’t usually that epic. Perhaps we are side characters in someone else’s epic story, or perhaps we’re really just not that exciting. Everything isn’t as cut and dry as we would like it, and we find that between shadow and light is a lot of gray area. Truth becomes a loaded word and white lies become useful. Stories are confused, exaggerated and changed to fit the situation, and the future is uncertain. The truth is that even though real life is less exciting than epic stories most of the time, it’s a lot more complicated. We have some guidelines for right and wrong; good and evil, but even so, we often have to trust that what we’re doing is right based on our best guess and a hope.

I think stories give us that hope: especially true stories. We have to remember that there are plenty of real-life stories about good triumphing over evil. There are plenty of real-life stories about human redemption. It happens in small, unlikely places, in weird, unexpected ways. We believe in these stories because they make real life a little more interesting and a little more bearable.

This is Easter weekend, and whether you believe in it or not, I think the resurrection of Christ is an excellent finish to a really good story. The Old Testament is filled with trials and adventures and triumphs and failures. It’s filled with danger and suspense, and in some cases, peace and redemption seem impossible. Even the Exodus alone is an excellent story, as evidenced by the fact that it has been portrayed countless times and different ways in movies.

Even if it is taken simply as a story, I think the implications of Christ’s triumph over death is enough to bring people a little joy and hope. It is the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Of course some might argue that, from a literary perspective (if we are only taking it as a story), it’s a little bit cheap to have him rise from the dead, but Gandalf did the exact same thing in Lord of the Rings, and I don’t know of too many people who would argue with that. Lord of the Rings clearly falls into the category of fantasy, and taken only as a story, the Bible does, too. I suppose that’s why it is rather hard to digest: it is a fantastic story of epic proportions that is taken as true.

If the Gospels are taken as the last several chapters of an epic story, it seems like a rather anticlimactic conclusion. A baby is born in a barn. He grows up in a good, but poor family. As he grows up, he begins to realize who he is and his importance. Eventually he starts teaching and his message is one of peace, acceptance and love. He is condemned and killed for it. He comes back from the dead to give hope to his followers and to show the world who he really is. He goes up into Heaven and sends his Spirit as a moral and spiritual guide for humanity. He leaves his people with the promise that he will make the world right.

This is the end of one story. However, it is the beginning of another, and each of us is writing our own version. Ultimately, the story will end like this: Jesus will come back and bring his Kingdom with him. The world will be made right and evil will finally be eradicated. That is why the resurrection is such a good ending. It might be seemingly anticlimactic, but it makes a difference in our real-life stories, and it gives us hope for the waiting.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Where I Never Thought I’d Be

Today I got an email about graduation, and if you had told me nearly four years ago that it would make me feel nostalgic, I would have laughed in your face. The fact of the matter is, I guess I am going to miss Gordon a little. Maybe it’s because I don’t really know what the next step is; maybe it’s because this really is the end of school for me (though definitely not the end of learning); maybe I’m going to really miss some of the friends I’ve made (mostly professors); maybe I’m just getting older and I’m starting to realize that I’m really not a kid anymore.

Earlier today I was thinking about marriage. It occurred to me that I literally had no idea what the point of bridesmaids was, so I had to ask my mom–apparently their purpose is to stand there and look pretty. I’m a girl. I can’t help it. I sometimes think about getting married, despite the fact that I don’t, and never have had a boyfriend. I was just fantasizing on the way to class about who I would pick to be my maid of honor. My immediate inclination was to pick my best friend, but then I thought of my cousins, and it might be a little weird not to pick one of them. Again, I have no idea why I was thinking about this.

Last night I had a dream that I was in the English Army, and we were invading France, except for some reason we had to traverse mountains instead of the English Channel to get there. They were also not normal mountains, but Minecraft mountains, which I find really odd because I was not playing Minecraft last night. In fact, I haven’t played Minecraft very recently. Anyway, I got separated from the group I was with and captured. Then I got sent to a correctional facility for the mentally unstable, even though I’m quite ordinary, thank you very much! I spent quite a while trying to escape, and I was finally helped by the son of one of the people who ran the place. Then my mom and aunt and little cousin came and got me. It seems like I’ve spent a lot of time in dreams lately as the damsel in distress. I’m not sure why that is, and I’m not sure I like it. I have no interest in being someone’s damsel in distress in real life. Actually, I’ve spent an obnoxious amount of time fantasizing about being the hero of this story. Realistically, I guess I’ll probably end up being a little bit of both.

At the end of every semester at school, up until probably last semester, I found myself saying “maybe next semester,” meaning maybe someone will ask me out, or maybe I’ll become friends with someone and eventually ask them out. I guess I gave up on finding someone at school. The email I got turned out not to be very relevant to me. One of the things the sender was asking for was pictures from all four years we (the seniors) have been there. I literally don’t have any Gordon College pictures. The second thing was ideas about a class gift: something the seniors would put together to donate to the school. I guess I don’t really care what we donate. The third thing was that they were looking for 12 volunteers to speak at either the baccalaureate ceremony or senior breakfast. I guess I don’t have a whole lot I’d want to say.

I actually had an awesome experience at Gordon. I learned a lot, I read a lot, and I changed a lot. My classes were great, and like I said, I made some really good friends. Gordon just wasn’t home for me. Gordon was school, and to some degree, Gordon was church. I didn’t share a dorm with someone, so there wasn’t a strange girl who, over the years, became my sister. There wasn’t a guy who lived in my building and was in a bunch of my classes who became my brother, or my boyfriend. There wasn’t a club that I got super involved in. Instead, I went to the music studio on Wednesday nights for two years and recorded an album, and Ken became my brother. Instead I hung out with my extended family on the weekends and went up to Maine a whole lot.

Some might say I missed out, but I don’t regret any of it. This is the end of my schooling. After this semester I will never again be a full time student. I might go back to Gordon periodically, though. I do like taking classes, and apparently it’s super cheep for alumni to audit classes there. I think that would actually be a really cool thing to do. It’ll be super laid back, I can take one class at a time, and I won’t be obligated to take classes in any particular program.

I’m a normal 21 year old. I’m nervous about making music work, I’m nervous about finding a job if it doesn’t, and I’m nervous about finding a boyfriend/husband. I’m nervous, but I also know somehow that everything will be just fine. It will be. I will not fail, the world will not end, and everything will be okay.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

What Is This Romance Of Which You Speak?

I’m completely switching gears from my last post. Because of very recent circumstances (as in earlier today), I need to rant about something completely different.

In case you didn’t know, I’m a quirky, shy 21 year old girl who uses a power wheelchair.

Before I start this rant, let’s get one thing straight; I don’t have self esteem issues. In fact, when I look in the mirror, I think I’m pretty cute; maybe not “pretty” exactly, but cute. I aint shootin’ for pretty. Pretty is too much work. I’m not lonely either. In fact, sometimes all I want is to lurk in my room and quietly play video games or read, or lurk in the basement and play guitar (I don’t do that quietly). In fact, what I want to rant about isn’t really a problem. It’s just weird.

I am not, nor have I ever been attracted to anyone (with the exception of one person who I’m not going to talk about for the sake of privacy, though he probably knows who he is). That was back when I was in high school, and it was nothing more than a crush.

The fact of the matter is, I have no idea what romance is, nor do I have any idea how to be romantic. I was talking to my mom yesterday because we were outside the grocery store waiting for my aunt, and they were selling flowers. My mom loves when my dad brings home flowers, but I feel like I would be thoroughly annoyed if someone brought me flowers on Valentine’s Day or what have you. It irks me that one would pull living things out of the ground just because they’re pretty. You just destroyed a plant. Way to go.

I also have never understood the difference between just hanging out and being on a date. For example, if you go out for dinner with someone, when is it a date, and when is it just going out for food? Furthermore, what is so special about a fancy candlelight dinner? Why isn’t pizza just as good? I like pizza… a lot.

Furthermore, I hate mushy talk. Pet names are okay, but being overly affectionate is just annoying to me. I’m not saying don’t do it at all. I’m just saying stuff like the “I love you,” “I love you more,” crap is stupid.

And I find stuff annoying. I wouldn’t want someone to just randomly give me gifts if it’s not Christmas or my birthday. I hate having stuff just lying around. The exception to this would be if he got me useful stuff or stuff that I needed. I would appreciate that.

Lastly–and I find this point a bit awkward–I find sex appalling. I don’t even want to think about it because the whole concept disgusts me. I know I’m not the only person like this, but I get the sense that it’s not common. The only reason I even mention it is because it means my soul mate has to be someone who thinks the same way, and I feel like finding that sort of person will be difficult.

The thing is, I don’t want to be single for the rest of my life. I eventually do want to be married. I just think about it sometimes because a lot of people I know, including some of my friends are either in, or have been in serious relationships. Some of my older friends are even married or engaged. I’ve never even been on a date. To my knowledge, no one has ever even been interested in going on a date with me. I think I’m a pretty cool person. I’m nice, I’m spiritual, I play video games and play guitar, I’m ambitious, I’m educated, I’m interested in interesting things, I’m creative, I’m kinda-sorta funny in a not-funny way, I’m adorably awkward, I like people, and I like animals.

I am shy, and I can tend to be a bit anti-social sometimes, but plenty of people are like that. I’ve just sort of been waiting to be in the right place at the right time, but I’m wondering just how long I’ll have to wait. I’ve briefly considered online dating, but the whole concept kind of weirds me out. Plus I feel like you’re supposed to be friends with someone first. I’ve also considered the possibility that God is getting me ready for a specific person, or getting him ready for me, or both. I’ve also considered the possibility that I don’t have time to be in a relationship; at least not a serious one right now. I’m finishing up my last actually serious semester at school, and I have a music career to work on. I guess I have to figure out what and how much have to sacrifice for a relationship, and how badly I want/need it.

I guess right now it doesn’t really bug me too much. I’m more worried that I’m weird. I guess I am. I guess I don’t really care. Maybe it’s one of those “I’ll know it when I see it kind of things.” I’ve run into a lot of happy accidents in my life already. Music just sort of happened. My involvement with Boston University just sort of happened. I decided to teach religious education at my church sort of out of the blue. I almost accidentally ended up at Gordon College. The thing is, these things happened partly because I was asked or I got the idea, and I said “Yes. I’ll do it.” I think that’s what makes life happen. We can’t know the future, but we can say “yes,” and make or let things happen.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

The List

Things I want to do:

Get married
Get payed for playing music
Travel (everywhere if possible)
Be philanthropic
Change the world (on a small scale would suffice)
Own at least one pet (this will be happening soon)
Pay rent
Buy groceries
Start over at something
Start something new
Go skydiving
Sit at the top of a mountain
Burn the ships
Get utterly and completely lost and then find my way back
Be an aunt
Read lots of books (working on this one)
Live a century
Be happy (in progress)

It isn’t exactly a bucket list, but in some ways it is.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Broken And Laughing About It

I’ve been reading a lot of posts about people figuring life/themselves out. Some of them I find a bit cliche, and some of them make me a bit jealous. I think I know myself pretty well, but I wish I knew more.

Unlike a lot of people my age, I know EXACTLY what I want to do when I grow up, and like a lot of people’s my future is precarious. Music isn’t exactly the easiest industry to go into, and my disability complicates things. I have epilepsy, which is controlled by meds on top of MD. I’m also very near sighted. Besides that, common sense often eludes me and I don’t know too much about how the world actually works.

Sometimes I just have to take a step away from myself and laugh. I’m so broken. I’m also special. When I was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy as a baby, the doctors told my parents that it was because they both had the same defective gene and they had better odds of getting struck by lightning than meeting each other.

After they did some tests it was determined that I had 3-5 years to live. My mom prayed incessantly for weeks until someone from the hospital called and said they messed up the test results and they had actually reported someone else’s results. They said that I would be pretty normal other than not being able to walk. They’ve been trying for years to figure out exactly what I have, but I’ve stumped the best doctors and the most advanced genetic testing. I actually find it funny. I think I’m God’s little anomaly.

I guess I shouldn’t worry too much about the future because my Father has taken darn good care of me so far. I’ve never felt bad about being a busted piece of work. When I was in elementary school the other kids thought I was awesome because I got to ride a trike around in the building. I can give people rides on the back of my wheelchair, which is a good deal faster than walking, and I get awesome seats at concerts. Most importantly, I can skip lines at Canobie Lake Park.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!