Why I march.

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Now let me start off by saying this: this topic is controversial.  It may or may not offend somebody.
But I don’t care.  I don’t care because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and this is mine.  I share my beliefs and opinions in a respectful manner.  I don’t bash or tear apart anybody else who thinks differently than me.  So I ask you do the same.
I’ve felt hesitant to share my views on touchy subjects like these, especially with all the hated and controversy going on this time in history.  But I don’t want to feel that way anymore.  So if you don’t like what I have to say, simply click out.  It’s that easy.

I don’t share a lot of my own personal beliefs, but with the annual March for Life approaching in two days, I had a strong desire to talk about it and share my thoughts.  I think it’s important, especially as it concerns human life.

I’ve attended the March for Life almost every year since I was a child.  It’s a powerful experience to walk down streets that have been shut down because so many people are marching, and hear talks given over loudspeakers to thousands.  To march for hours despite the cold, bad weather, and frozen feet.  To unite with people from all over-young and old, local and international-to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.  To raise voices together, to chant together, to sing together, to shout together.

It’s an incredible feeling to be part of something much bigger than yourself, fighting together for a common cause.  I feel so proud knowing I’m part of it.

In Poland this summer I visited the concentration camp of Auschwitz.  As I walked along the roads, and read the descriptions of the numerous tortures and killings that went in the camp, everyone was silent.  The feel of the place was eerie and dark.
And that’s when it hit me:
this is going on today.  And it’s happening right under our noses.
Thousands of people are getting killed every day.  It’s mass murder.  It doesn’t matter if it’s freely permitted by somebody, it’s still mass murder.
This is what happened with the Jews.  With the Aztecs.  And now today, in the 21st century.
Only now, it’s hushed.  It’s taboo.  It’s controversial.
But should it be, when human rights are concerned?

So that’s why I march.  To stand up for innocent people.  To raise awareness, and to spread the word.  I know that even if abortion doesn’t end in my lifetime, I did something to  contribute to the end of it, even if it was small.
If you’ve never attended the March for Life in D.C. before, and live a reasonable distance from it, I would highly recommend attending.  It’s a powerful experience.
And I look forward to marching over and over again, as long as it is necessary.

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2016.

 

Wow, this year passed like a whirlwind.
I’m not one for overly cheesy yearly recaps, but 2016 deserves a review.

2016 was one of the best, if not best, years for me since my childhood years.  There were some bumps in the road, and rough lows, but that’s a guarantee.  No picture perfect, polished year exists.
2016 was a year of growth for me.  I did things I never thought I would, like getting the chance to attend World Youth Day and travel Europe, and get my license.
I’m glad for all the yes’s God answered me, and all the no’s.  I’m glad for the ups and downs; I’m thankful for it all.
Life isn’t easy.  Life is a difficult, emotional, turbulent, beautiful ride.  I’m glad God created me for it.  And I believe everyone should feel that way, too.

I don’t have “new year’s resolutions”; I see them more as yearly goals.  My goals this year are to be selfish, and be content.

Selfish not in a self-centered way, but in a self-loving way.  I no longer want to give of myself to people who abuse that, or don’t reciprocate.  My guard against those kind of people will be higher than ever, because I am tired of being knocked down when I’ve only ever had good intentions.
I don’t want to be a marionette, altering myself to be what or who I think others would want me to be.

I have a good feeling about this year.  I have a feeling God is going to shake the whole world.
So here’s to 2017.  I’m ready for you.

 

 

positivity: optimist vs. pessimist

One thing I’ve come to realize about myself is that I’m not naturally a positive person.  I’m not the kind of person that walks into a room and brings everyone down with my negativity, or a constant whiner and complainer.  But I’ve always viewed the world in a glass half-empty type of way.  I’m a big realist, and tend to focus on the bad, and often only the bad.
But recently this has shifted.  I’ve come to “learn” positivity.  It’s not something that I naturally turn to, but it’s something I’ve taught myself to do and it’s become more natural over time.  While I may focus on negativity, and be sucked into a downward spiral, I  can now pull myself out of it easier.  I can deal with tough situations with a newfound hope and positivity.  I can find the silver lining.
I’ve also come to realize how much I dislike unnecessary negative people.  I always have, but recently it’s been something I’ve found I especially dislike.  I don’t have time for those who constantly complain and bring others down with their pessimism, especially about trivial things that don’t affect the grand scheme of life.   I’m happy with my progress and where I am now.  Because how I see it is this: you can find a 100 bad things about the world, but you can also fine 100 good.

New adventures…

Hi, all.
I have some news…I will be attending World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.  If you don’t know what WYD is, it is a huge event for Catholics that happens every three years at different locations across the world.  This year, there will be about 2 million people attending.  (Yah-2 million!)  The group I am going with is also traveling throughout Europe as well as attending WYD.  So I will be gone for a month, starting July 22nd, and will be back August 22nd.
My friend marked our route on google maps:

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We’ll be traveling in Germany and Italy.  (And I’ll get to see Venice!!  It’s been my dream since forever to go.  I wrote a poem on it for NaPo because I love it so much, haha.)

I’m so thankful for this opportunity, and for God allowing it to happen. (I prayed a ton-prayer is really powerful people!)  I didn’t think I would be going.  I wasn’t originally planning on going, then signed up late and was put on the waiting list.  I found out two days ago, which is less than two weeks before the group leaves.
I’m excited, but also inwardly terrified.  My group will be doing a ton of walking, and we’ll mainly be sleeping in pilgrim houses, or whatever is available.  It’s nothing fancy at all.  Also the thought of a ten hour flight to get to Poland is also slightly terrifying.
I’d appreciate prayers, and I’d love to pray for you guys!  If you have any prayer requests for me, feel free to leave them down below that I can pray for you on the pilgrimage.
I won’t be able to get internet access at all, so I won’t be posting anything on my blog while I’m gone.  I’m going to miss interacting with you guys, and reading all your posts!
This won’t be my last post, though.  Before I leave, I really want to catch up on my tags.
I know I have been nominated for tags I have never gotten to, so PLEASE PLEASE tell me if you have nominated me for something!  Honestly I am just forgetful, and I want to know if there is something you tagged me in that I didn’t do.  I’ll try to get to it!

~B

 

Friendship.

One of my biggest wants has always been to have people to connect to in life.  However, this isn’t always the easiest when you are quiet, and not the best at forming relationships with people.
I like to surround myself with a fairly small amount of friends.  I’m careful.  I know the kind of people I want to spend my time with, and the kind I want to avoid.  To me that kind of thing is important, because the people you surround yourself by can have a big impact on you.  So why wouldn’t I want them to be the best?
Friendship is important.  It’s important to have people to connect to, people to laugh with, and people who understand you.
One of my flaws though, is expecting too much out of people.  I crave deepness in everything; especially in people.  I used to get discouraged when I would put a lot into a friendship, and the other person wouldn’t reciprocate.  It wasn’t that they weren’t interested in me, it was just that they weren’t interested in the level of friendship I hoped for.
It took a while for me to realize that I’m just that kind of person, and not everyone is like me.  I tend to put a lot into friendships, and really care about the other person and want to know them on a deep level.
I learned to accept that that’s not how most relationships work.  It doesn’t make it shallow or non-existent, like I used to think, (although they are plenty of those out there) it’s just that I have high expectations.  I have a couple of those kinds of close friendships, but the majority of them aren’t, and that’s ok.
I also used to wish all the time that I had more friends.  I would compare myself to those who had a lot of friends, and those who always seemed to be surrounded by a group of people.  But the lesson I have learnt is quantity over quality.  It’s so much better to just have a few true friends, then a ton of shallow friendships.
I’m learning to accept how I am, too.  I am slow to open up to people, and I crave meaningfulness in people and life.  I’m not perfect; I have my faults.  But I’m learning.  I have made some great friends this year, and hope I can make more in the years to come.

I want to be honest

First off, I apologize for not posting in a such long time.  I’m back now, though! 🙂

I’ve recently realized that there is something I need to work on, and that is:
honesty.
I consider myself a fairly honest person.  The part of honesty that I’m not very good at, though, is saying what I want to say.
I tend to always nod my head and agree with what someone is telling me, even if I disagree.  I’ll laugh at jokes that I don’t find funny.
And I don’t consider myself a people pleaser.  I tend to be very stubborn, and not listen to what others have to say.  (Something I’m trying to work on!)  But I often find myself so in tune with other’s thoughts and feelings, that I hate the thought of not responding to it in a positive way.  I hate the thought of hurting someone’s else’s feelings by not laughing at their jokes or agreeing with them on a certain topic, or not responding enthusiastically to what they have to say.
But I want to be honest.  I want to say what I want to say.  If I disagree with someone and feel the need to say something about it, I want to be able to respectfully disagree and state what I think.  I want to respond and interact with people in a natural way, not in a way that I feel they want me to be.
I really admire honest people, even those who can be bluntly honest.  (Which I guess isn’t always a great thing all the time, though.)
And I don’t know what it is, because like I said, I’m not a people pleaser.  Maybe I would rather just agree and not create conflict with people, to be better liked.  Maybe I don’t want to be shot down for what I have to say, or rejected for it.  Whatever it is, I want to work on it.

So can you relate?  Do you have trouble being honest with people?

Staying in the present

So I am the kind of person to be stuck in the past and obsess over the future.  I try not to, but it just happens.  It’s been getting better, but still, my anxiety has started shifting a lot to the future recently.
I’ve been thinking about stuff like college, moving out, driving, etc.  I mean, it’s not even the thought of “I don’t know what to do with my future” that gives me anxiety.  I know I want to go to college, and know what I want to do, but the thought of the future just…scares me.  I don’t really know where I want to go to college at all.  People will ask me the question, “So, where do you want to go??”  And I don’t know.  But honestly I don’t see that as a problem, because I still have time to figure it out.
And recently I started driving, and so far it’s been going pretty good.  When I first started, I had some MAJOR anxiety.  The thought of being on the road and possibly getting in a crash or getting lost really freaked me out.  But I’m becoming more comfortable with it, so that’s good.
But the thought of growing up and having to do stuff for myself just scares me.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to do stuff for myself, and I like being independent.  But it just makes me anxious in a way I can’t explain.  I guess what is most scary about the future is it being so unpredictable.  And I like predictable.
It’s frustrating because I take baby steps for most things in life because of my anxiety.  Sometimes I feel like I’m a step behind everyone else.  Things that aren’t that big of a deal for most people are the kind of things that keep me up at night, and cause me to majorly stress.  And the things that make most people anxious give me the same effect six times more.
And I know the prospect of future is a common fear for most people, but still.
I worry about next year.  I worry about next week.  I worry about 10 years from now.  My mind won’t shut off.
So I’ve been trying to figure out how to balance myself somewhere in the middle.  Not be stuck in the past, and not to obsess over the future, but live in the now.  Take each day a day at a time, and let the future unfold.
That will definitely be something that will take a while for me to master though.  So for now, I’m just trying to deal with everything as best as I can, day by day.

If you can relate somewhat, what are some ways that keep you grounded in the present?  I would love to hear.

Let’s talk frands

So I was thinking about this the other day, and wanted to make a post on it.
Is it weird to not have one main group of friends?  Because I don’t.
I used to have a really hard time making friends and talking to people, but because my anxiety has majorly improved, it’s a lot easier for me now.  I’ve managed to force myself out of my house and do more stuff this year instead of staying in my bedroom, and I’ve made new friendships.

But one thing that I’ve noticed is that I don’t really have one core group of friends.  I hang out with lots of different groups, and my friends are kinda scattered and from all over the place.  A lot of my friends don’t know each other.
Most of the times at parties I’ll just go around and talk to whoever.  I’ll never really be in a group of people.  Sometimes I’ll just end up standing alone, with not a lot of people to talk to.
I’ll see people with their one core group of friends that they are always hanging out with, like these certain 4 or 5 people.  Sometimes one of them is missing, or sometimes someone new is added to the group, but for the most part it’s always this group doing pretty much everything together.  At my tutorial.  At parties.  At events.  At dances.  For the most part they’re always together, and if some event happens and it goes on social media, it’s always them together.  Like sometimes I wonder, do they have any other friends? XD
Sometimes I wish I had that.  But other times I think it’s better to have different groups of friends, and not just one.  A lot of times I’ll see these people be exclusive, and not open to adding more people to their group.  Personally I don’t see the point to being exclusive.  If you and I have stuff in common and click together, and I like you, sure, I’ll be your friend.  I’m open to meeting new people.
So yeah, it used to kind of bother me but then I realized that it’s okay to not have a real group of friends.  It’s okay to not always have someone to talk to at all times during parties.
I guess your happiness shouldn’t rely on the number of friends you have, or the number of people you hang out.
You can be just fine with a handful of good friends.  I mean, I’d personally prefer that over having tons of friendly acquaintances that I call “friends.”
I also feel like I’d probably also start to become exclusive if I was part of a tight-knit group. XD I guess not having that makes me more open and welcoming, and not exclusive.
So what do you guys think?  Do you agree, disagree?

 

 

 

{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

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.