{Reflections on reading}

I just finished the Book Thief by Markus Zusak (I know I know, everyone has read that book by now, but I bought it last year and got into a huge reading slump for the longest time, so I only finished it now) and wow…

I was just trying to process all of my emotions after finishing it.  It’s one of those books that after reading, you feel like your heart has been ripped out and stomped on the ground over and over…
but you would totally recommend the book! XD
Haha, that’s how I feel about most books I’ve read. ^  And I don’t know what it is, how we can connect to nonexistent people so deeply, so far as to feel their pain and joy, and to laugh and cry along with them.  And to feel like we’ve visited nonexistent places, and wish we could go back to them.

Well, honestly, I’ve never actually cried at a book before.  I’ve teared up before (like I did for this one) but that’s about it.  It kind of makes me feel heartless, because no matter how sad the book might get, or how sad I’ll get, I just can’t cry at it…I don’t know what it is.

But it’s weird how you feel as if a part of you is gone after reading a really good book.  I’ve actually physically missed the characters a couple of months after finishing a book series.

So can you relate?  Have you read The Book Thief, or what’s the last book you’ve read that made you feel this way?

So before I leave, here is one of my favorite quotes from The Book Thief…

 

~B

Blogger Recognition Award

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So I was nominated for a blogging award, yay! 🙂

Here are the rules:

1. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. Write a post to show your award. Attach the logo to your post.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

4. Give a piece of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select 10 other blogs to give the award to.

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1.  I was nominated by Leah from https://melodiespensandtea.wordpress.com/ and Grace from https://pensandcastlesonacloud.wordpress.com/
Thanks guys!  You both have amazing blogs and I love to read them! 🙂

2.  Yup, am doing that…and did that ^ XD

3.  Welp, one day I was frustrated with life (how it goes most of the time…) and decided I wanted to have a place to rant and share my thoughts with.  I’ve had a couple of blogs in the past, but have never had a wordpress one, so I decided to start on here!  So yeah, that’s how it started.  Basically it seemed like a really fun idea to me, and I wanted to share the thoughts I never share and discover other bloggers like me! 🙂

4.  Ha, I’m a new blogger myself so I can’t really give a piece of advice.  But I guess I would say write about what you what to write about!  It’s your blog, after all.

5.  Well, since I’m new to this blog and don’t know a whole lot of other bloggers yet, and most of the ones I know have already been tagged, I’m not gonna tag anyone.  But if you’re a new blogger, or just a blogger who wants to do this but hasn’t been nominated, you can do it and say I nominated you! 🙂

~B

 

 

Human soul

I don’t really know a lot about writing poetry, but here goes!

 

Sometimes the stars bleed
and out in anguish cries the sky.
And when I look up to the punctured light,
too heavy
does the night weigh on my soul.
Then too does this heart become too heavy to carry,
so I hand it to you.
Sometimes the pain is so beautiful,
it demands to be seen.
An audience of two
an empty theater.
As my heart is broken open,
to view eternity.
Sometimes the days drag on, seeping into the nights
tugging us along when we desire it least.
A train too fast
arriving at the station an hour early.
Sometimes the earth trembles,
and everything in it is turned upside down,
and nothing is what it seems.
But sometimes you take me for what I am
not who I seem.
You take me for all eternity.
And in you I find home.
So
we’ll paint the skies together, you and I.

“Hidden” inner strength

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So I’ve heard quotes like, “You have so much more hidden strength inside of you than you realize.”  And, “Your strength will come out when you need it most.”
And I always used to like these kinds of quotes, but then one day I realized…I don’t really agree with them.
How I see it: you can start out with little to none inner strength, but through difficult situations, you can gain it.  Strength is something that is created.  
I kind of think of it like training for a race.  You can start out being a completely un athletic person, but if you really want to, through the hard work and struggle of physical training, you’ll start to become a strong runner over time.  You’ll gain muscle and a strong body through the countless exercises.  There will be the ups and downs, and low points, but the important thing is that you must want to continue and not quit.
So I think the same goes for non physical strength.  You can start out having no confidence, no strength-whatever it may be-but through hard situations it can be created.  I don’t think it’s some kind magic superpower you didn’t realize you had.
Just my thoughts.

We need to stop

We need to stop.
I am so tired of hearing, “Oh, I’m so OCD” when someone likes to be neat and orderly. (Which is not even the full definition of OCD, google it.)
Or when someone calls themselves or someone else bipolar because they have mood swings.  Or when someone labels themselves as having insomnia just because they have trouble getting to sleep at night.
The one that ticks me off the most is, “Oh, I almost got a panic attack!”  When someone simply gets freaked out.
No, you did not “almost have a panic attack”.  Do you know how serious they are?  It’s not okay to throw the term around like it’s nothing, when they affect so many people in a such a big way.
Another one that bugs me is when people throw around the words “phobia” and “fear” like they are the same thing.  No, they are not.
Anxiety and fear = not the same thing.
Just because you are afraid of spiders does not mean you have a phobia of them.
This is what a phobia is:

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational.

Mental disorder = a serious problem that takes over your life and makes it hard to function like a normal human.  That’s what anxiety and phobias are.  That’s what OCD is.  That’s what an eating disorder is.
So just because you struggle with something a little bit, or maybe slightly more than a little bit, does not mean you have a mental problem.

Some people may think that it’s “overly sensitive” to get upset over things like this.
Um, is it being overly sensitive if I get upset over someone saying, “Oh, I so have cancer?”  When they don’t?  No.  It’s wrong and disturbing.  Just like doing the same for mental problems.
Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t make it invalid.
I know how hard it is to get on the internet and drag your fingers over to the search bar to google “OCD” or “eating disorder” or “depression.”  But I believe in you.  You can do it.
…..Yeah, no it’s not.  It’s super easy to learn more about mental problems.  Read an article online, there’s tons of them.  Pick up a book.  Or ask someone who has a problem, who can better explain it to you.
It’s just so wrong that people rush over to help someone who has a cold or stomachache, but push those away who have DEPRESSION and invalidate it.
You would never go up to someone who has cancer and ask, “Really?  Do you actually have cancer?  Because I feel like you might be making it up.”  Or go up to someone who has diabetes and say, “You know, I think you’re doing this just for attention.”
Or someone who has a cold and say, “Just get over it.  You can control it.”
I just wish we didn’t have the stigmas that come with mental problems.  Just because you have one doesn’t make you crazy.  I mean, I’ve had three mental problems in my life, and I’m not crazy.
So educate yourself on mental problems like you would the same for physical ones.  And just be mindful of those who have to live with and struggle with them.

 

The girl and the road

Here’s another poem!  I wrote this one a while ago.  It’s basically about how as children we live innocently and happily, but as we get older we experience life and see it for how it really is.  Hope you enjoy!

 

She lives in comfort, she lives in care.
The little girl lives happy and carefree.
All around her, the world is at war.
But she wouldn’t know.
Not in her home.  Not in the village she lives in, nestled in the valley.
There could be no wrong in her world.
She lives in a bliss. She was at peace.
Life was an adventure to her, one she wanted to explore with bright eyes and a wide smile.
She had to travel to the mountain on the other side of her village.
It was time, she was told.
So she tucked her dreams into her pocket,
Fastened hope into her heart.
There could be no wrong out in the world beyond the valley, she told herself.
So she went down the road called life.
The little girl grew up.
Finally, her eyes were opened.
Before, she had been shielded by the valley. Now she saw the world for what it was. It was not the world she had imagined from her home.
It was broken.
All around her, the world was at war.
Death, darkness, and fire.
She heard cries and wails along the road.
The branches along the path fastened onto her clothes, and she struggled to set herself free.
She slipped, she fell.
Her clean white dress was streaked with dirt.
Her hope was slipping out of her reach, little by little.
She didn’t know how to pull it back in.
One day she fell and couldn’t get back up.
She cried out for help, but nobody could save her.
Once, she had only cried tears of joy. Now they were only tears of sadness.
What universe would do something like this?
Something like this, to a little girl?
Something flooded in, black and heavy.
Chocking her, causing her to gasp out for breath.
Despair.
She had a handful of hope left, and she knew she could fight.
But did she? Did she want to fight anymore?
Would she ever see peace?
Would she ever see happiness?
Was she destined for a life like this?
She decided in that moment.
So she closed her eyes, squeezed onto hope, and fought. She was a fighter.
She crawled, slowly but surely down the path of life.
Sometimes she was tempted to let go and let herself fall.
But she didn’t.
Slowly but surely she stood.
Shaky and unsure at first, but she was standing.
She continued down the road of life.
She slipped at times, and stumbled.
But she always got back up.
She gripped onto the hope she had carried from the beginning.
She found that it was enough to carry her through.
The girl, now a warrior, ran.
Up the mountain she went, climbing up the rocks and cliffs.
She stood at the top, and laughed for joy.
Her first laugh since the journey.
She had crossed the finish line.
Now she could see the valley from the mountain.
And now she understood. The world was broken, and so was she.
But the happiness had not vanished. The joy had not slipped out.
The laughter and smiles and peace were not gone.
The world was broken, but she knew that was fine.
It was fine because it could be fixed. It could be healed.
Just like the little girl.

 

 

 

 

 

Opening up

Sometimes I wonder…am I too private and closed off?
I’m the kind of person who loves genuine people and deep conversations, but at the same time I don’t like sharing personal aspects of my life. I know, I’m just a mess of contradictions.
Even just telling a friend I’m having a bad day is hard for me. Doing stuff like that makes me feel uncomfortable, and also paranoid. What if the people I share the messy stuff of my life with one day just end up leaving? Especially if they leave on bad terms?
Sometimes I wonder if I am just trying to protect myself by not letting people in, or if this is who I am. I mean, it is a trait of INFJs’ to be “extremely private”.
I mean, I’ve never been an over sharer. I’ve always been a reserved person who doesn’t openly share my thoughts like some other people. But at the same time, sometimes I wonder if is normal to be so…private. And afraid.
I used to have big trust issues because of something that happened to me in the past, and it caused me to be really paranoid and shut off from others. But I’ve gotten a lot better from that since, and I thought I was pretty much completely over it. But now I’m not so sure.
I struggle between wanting to show interest in people and interest in developing a friendship-because I really am-but being too afraid to let them in and open up about myself and my life.
I have some really great friends, but I still find it hard to tell them stuff like what I did that day, or open up to them about something I’m struggling with, no matter how small it may be. I’m just afraid that letting people in will end up not being a good choice, and that something bad will happen because of it.
I feel like I can just end up coming across as not interested, which is not my intent.
I try to tell myself that people will come and go in my life, and that’s normal. But I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to accept it. Not everyone will leave my life on bad, terrible terms.
I also just feel like I keep too much to myself, and don’t know how to vocalize what’s going on in my head.
So can you guys relate? Do you have trouble opening up?

Late night musings

This is a poem I wrote over the summer about my inability to fall asleep sometimes because I have too many thoughts going on in my head.  Hope you enjoy!

 

One o’clock and she can’t sleep,
wrapped in late night musings.
Her head starts to nod but up her body jolts,
unable to touch her pillow.
She fixes her eyes out the pane next to her bed,
intruding upon the night.
The world of nighttime is slumbering, it is still.
Black like ink overflows over the land, choking the colors of day.
Her body pleads for rest, but her mind is far from it.
Brimming with life and worlds a thousand galaxies afar,
lit with the fire of thoughts and wonders newly unearthed,
it refuses a trifle like sleep.
Her mind is filled with a kind of wanderlust, it has since the beginning of time.
It craves all places ancient, latest, and unknown.
Places adored by all, and places not touched by the hand of man.
The workings of her mind are the only light in the lonely night besides the moon and stars;
it is the shield against night’s perils.
Her mind wanders onto remembrances of the past,
hazes of faces, places,
shrieks and laughter.
Colors of the sun, blood, skies and screams.
Her reflections then stumble onto the present.
She had collapsed in her bed earlier that night and had strayed into the early hours of morning, hoping to chase her thoughts away.
But the creatures of thought had caught up to her soon enough, and she was unable to will them away.
So she embraced her people instead.
So for now, this dreamer is content to gaze on the night.
Wonder-filled, happy,
and lost.

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-party anxiety

Right now, my stomach is all knotted up and earlier I felt like I could possibly throw up.  Yay anxiety.
I’m having a small birthday party at an ice rink Saturday, and the anxiety is starting to build up.  I have social anxiety, but luckily it’s started to get a lot better this year and the end of last.  This is the most anxiety I’ve had in a while, which is a good thing.
But still, I feel this dread building inside me…
My anxiety will come in different shapes and forms, but one of the worst types is the “dread anxiety” I will get.  It’s not panicky, it’s not severe I-feel-like-I-could-die anxiety, but just this dread of anticipation where I know the situation is going to be unpredictable.
I get the most anxiety at parties, especially ones that have no solid schedule and people just do whatever.
There’s just so many possibilities in my mind of something going wrong.  What if I have no one to talk to, and I’m just standing alone and everyone thinks I’m a friendless loser?  What if none of the people I know show up, or what if they show up late?
I especially get anxiety at parties that I’m throwing.  So many birthday parties and other parties I’ve thrown in the past have seem to go wrong (or at least to me) because people aren’t really talking and nobody knows what to do.  Then I’ll go to my friends’ parties, and everyone is laughing and seems to be having a good time and mixing well together.
Part of me wishes I could have my birthday party at my house, but I would get too much anxiety to do that.  I don’t know why, it’s hard to explain…but I just would.  I guess because of my past party failures.  So I would prefer to go someplace like an ice rink.
And I’m not complaining about my anxiety.  I’ve come so far with it, so I have no reason to complain.  I guess writing about it helps me in a way.  I never talk about my anxiety to people.  It’s always been super personal and private to me.  To me, it’s a big deal that I’m even writing this.  So I guess this is a good thing.
But anyway, I’m trying to remind myself right now that what I’m feeling is uncomfortable, not dangerous.  It won’t be the end of the world if something goes wrong at the party, or it doesn’t turn out exactly the way I want it to.  That’s life.  And I just gotta deal with it.

“Why are you so quiet?”

I can’t tell you how much the phrase “Why are you so quiet?” used to tick me off.
That, along with exclamations of “You’re so quiet!”  And the introductions of, “This is my friend Bernie, and she’s really shy.”
Luckily, this doesn’t really happen to me anymore.  Maybe it’s because I’m a lot more confident now, or because I’ve finally made peace with myself.  Maybe people recognize that in me, so they just leave me alone.
I don’t know.  Whatever it is, I don’t get those phrases anymore.  But I used to get them ALL THE TIME.
It made me feel like there was something wrong with me.  I mean, what’s wrong with being quiet?  What’s wrong with not being talkative and talking a mile a minute?  What’s wrong with just being me?
It also made me realize something about the American society that needs to change.
Outgoing, loud people are valued over quiet people.  Being shy is somehow not ok, and if you are you need to “get out of your shell”.
There’s an article on the Matt Walsh blog that perfectly put into words what I was thinking.  http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/09/11/im-an-introvert-and-i-dont-need-to-come-out-of-my-shell/

It used to bother to no end that people would constantly point out my shyness, and make it seem like a negative.  It also made me feel really self-conscious when teachers would always joke in class about how soft spoken I was.  I was in a very small, tight-knit middle school.  Everyone in my grade knew me as the shy girl who was uncomfortable talking in class.  I remember one time that one of my teachers announced to the class, right before we had to give speeches (which I hated doing) that if someone was a quiet speaker, they had no confidence.
So I felt like there was something wrong with me.  I used to have all this inner hate for myself.  I wished I could be someone different.  I wished I could be outgoing, because I figured then people would like and accept me.
And most of all, I thought my shy, quiet self would never be confident.  See, American society deems that to be confident you must be outgoing, assertive, and in charge.  And it took me a really long time to realize that this just isn’t true.
Everyone’s confidence looks different.  And it’s wrong for society to say that the only way to be happy and confident in life is to be outgoing and extraverted.
When I got older, I started to gain confidence.  And now I can say I’m confident in a quiet way.  I’m never going to be the loud, assertive leader type.  And that’s ok.  I don’t need to be.
I’ve realized now that the type of people like me are just as valuable as the talkative extraverts who always seemed to be comfortable in social situations.
I mean, look at us.  Abraham Lincoln.  Eleanor Roosevelt.  Albert Einstein.  Emma Watson.  Audrey Hepburn.  Mother Teresa, who was also an INFJ like myself.
I’m sure some of these people must have been told at one point or the other in their lifetime that they were “too quiet” or needed to “break out of their shells”.  Maybe they felt the need to change who they were.
But if they had changed who they were, and tried to avoid the gifts and talents that being a quiet or introverted person naturally brings, they wouldn’t have impacted the world in the way they have.
So if you’re quiet or shy, don’t feel like you need to change.  That you’re not good enough.
If anyone ever tells you those things, brush it off.  You’re perfect the way you are.  God made you who you are for a reason.  He doesn’t want you to be that other person.  You have so much to offer to the world because of who you are.
I’ve finally gained confidence.  I’m in high school now, and have made some really great friendships this year.  I no longer have the negative, toxic people that used to be in my life.  The ones who I tried so hard to fit in with and belong.
So don’t doubt yourself.  If you’re a fellow quiet/shy/introverted person, embrace that.  The world doesn’t need only loud extraverts.  It also needs people like you and me.
So embrace yourself, because I think we’re pretty amazing.