Posts Tagged ‘life’

What I Learned from My Manicure

August 23, 2012 2 comments


I got a manicure today and as soon as I got home, I ruined some of it (as you can see by the thumb). The nail polish wasn’t mine so I can’t fix it. But what I can do is learn three things from my manicure:

1. People aren’t perfect. The lady cutting my cuticles left a glaring one hanging that I cut myself when I got home. But I can’t expect her to be perfect and see every detail, just as I can’t expect myself to be perfect and catch every detail.

2. Life is messy. My nails aren’t quite what I would like them to be. Just like life. You think you’ve got things all figured out and suddenly life puts a huge dent in your flawless manicure. Life won’t turn out how you expect it to.

3. All things will pass. My manicure won’t last forever and crappy things don’t last forever. In a week, I will not care about the smudge on my thumb because it will not be there. Most troubles will come and go; what will remain are the lessons we’ve learned.

A bonus: most things are fine. Most of my nails look great. Those are the ones I can show off. Most things in life tend to be fine. It’s just the glaring, obvious problems that tend to get our attention. But when you consider everything that’s going on in your life, most things are going well (especially if you have the ability to read this).

Can you name one thing going well in your life in spite of feeling like things are going wrong?

Categories: Thoughts Tags: , , , ,

Blogging: I Love It and Hate It + Assorted Rambling

January 4, 2012 6 comments

Building traffic and revving up my SEO marketing sounds nice in theory, but I don’t have time for it. While I love writing, I am daunted by a blog’s need for content. It is always hungry, never satiated, always wanting more.

I don’t blog every day because, frankly, I have nothing of value to add each day. I don’t want this blog to become “I had a good day today because my family was here!” or “I had a horrible day today. Worst day EVAR!!!” I want this blog to be somewhat smart and interesting. I want to tackle topics that are important to me that other people don’t talk about. (Well, I could talk about poop but moms of newborns have that covered.) Okay, maybe I’ll tackle politics this year.

I have several blogs, each focused on a different topic: Pop! Goes the Music focuses on pop music but I’ll probably only post to that when I feel like it rather than trying to establish a regular posting schedule. I’ve been upfront on depression introspection that the site is rarely updated and mainly offered as a resource. I also have a professional blog about the dynamics of the American English language.

Posting to This Journey Is My Own is still fun. I don’t do it often, much of my posts are scheduled (thanks to prompts), and I blog when I want to rather than feeling like I need to (as with my professional blog). I also like that my readership is moderate despite that wacky 992 e-mail subscriber number. Read more…

Just another manic-depressive Monday

August 9, 2010 1 comment

Perhaps. Not really. But I couldn’t think of anything else to title this blog post that’s a mélange of things swirling around in my head.

I may stop attending the women’s Bible study at my church. You’d think that with a Bible study, I’d attend to—what else?—learn about the Bible. However, every time I’ve walked into the Bible study, I’ve left feeling depressed, hopeless, and sometimes on the verge of despair. No one says anything rude to me or hurts my feelings. Perhaps it’s a spiritual battle that wages once I set foot in those doors but more often than not, I’ve walked in like sunshine and left as a gloomy raincloud. I know people can’t read minds but usually people are so busy with their own concerns, no one really knows it. To be fair, I also don’t stick around to give anyone the ability to detect it.

But for some reason, I’ve come to expect more from the Bible study. Not just learning about God’s word but also being able to connect what we read to who we are and what we’ve experienced. Most of the women in my Bible study do that but for some reason, I feel as though I have a muzzle on my mouth and can’t quite speak as though my experiences are inferior and my pain isn’t valid.

If I’m quite honest, the things that have shaped my experiences in life—apart from God—are my depression and bipolar disorder, two rather disturbing topics. I know not how to speak of much else and the way I look at life is framed primarily by those two lenses. The additional topic of not being able to conceive a child as soon as I hoped eats away at me like freshly laundered clothing surrounded by moths. Very few people know how deeply my pain runs on something that I’ve prayed for a year now.

But with reluctance, I’ve come to accept that even with nearly 5 years of marriage under my belt, God doesn’t want me to have kids at this juncture. However, he seems to be blessing my efforts in obtaining a part-time job, which I’ve seen as a mixed blessing. I submitted applications to four different employers for part-time positions and within 2 weeks, heard back from all of them—one outright rejection; one implied rejection; and two callbacks for scheduled interviews. In less than a month since I applied for a part-time job, I will have already gone through two rounds of interviews for two positions. (Determinations should be made this week.)

While God has been very gracious to me on the job front, I’m broken and dismayed at how he’s kept the door to childbearing solidly shut. I would have happily forgone a part-time job to stay at home and rear a child. The ease with which I’ve been able to interview for two different positions (I’ll likely have my pick when all is said and done) is something that can only come from God in an economy where unemployment is in the double-digits. But I must also acknowledge that the inability to have conceived a child as easily or quickly also comes from God. Based on the Old Testament, Bible readers know God opens wombs and closes them as well. (I’d start sobbing at my computer right now but I’m at a freelance job, fighting back the lump in the throat that precedes tears in my cubicle.) I suppose all I can do right now is redouble my efforts on revising my novel, focusing on making connections in the publishing world, and investing in the necessary tools and resources to help me reach my professional writing goals (the PT job is a step toward that). 

I’m amazed at how quickly God answered something I barely prayed for when He’s also chosen to not answer something I’ve been praying (and cried over) for much longer. Ah, only those who are list-ordering freaks and concerned with “first come, first served” fret over such trivialities. God hasn’t wiped my older prayer off the table; He’s just chosen to tackle the request at the very bottom of the list.

I still grieve, though. Every month. I know I’m not alone but I sure do feel like it once a month. An emotional pain so acute and so intense that it seems almost no one could possibly understand how you feel. I doubt I could survive the emotional turmoil of a miscarriage if the grief of not being able to conceive a child is so bad.

I’ve given up for now. The constant worrying and waiting and wondering each month has been too much of an emotional pendulum for me. And given my history with mental illness, it’s unlikely I’ll ever be cleared to adopt.

I’ve always fantasized of being part of a regular group of gals a la “Sex and the City.” Have a core group of women you trust, can share your life and problems with, and know that they’ll be there for you if you need them. But I’ve merely fantasized about it. Damn you, Hellywood, for making such unrealistic scenarios so attractive!

I’m friendly but I suppose I’m not a real friend-maker. I don’t watch reality TV or any of the popular TV shows that people bond over. At work, I engage people in conversation but keep most of my life and personal details to myself. There’s not much interesting about me beyond the fact that I’ve written a novel, maintain several blogs, like to surf the Internet, enjoy watching baseball, listen to music, and read. I cook but I don’t particularly enjoy it (although I will salivate over delicacies others have made or the stuff on Food Network… mmm…); I don’t garden and never will; and I don’t engage in any hobbies (except for taking pictures of state license plates, the weirdo that I am); and I’m not well traveled (never been west of the Mississippi, ya’ll!).

Yes, I’m a broken record because I’ve said this all before. (“There is nothing new under the sun,” ring a bell?) I love discussing theological topics, baseball scores and news, recommendations of new music, Harry Potter and other good books, and—perhaps—I may go back to engaging in political discussions. I don’t like to discuss celebrity news much (I don’t care what Lindsay Lohan wore to jail) and don’t care about fashion anymore (if the shirt fits, I’ll wear it!)—two examples of topics I view a bit shallow.

See? A mish-mash, rant-ramble on life and relationships. I don’t think I had a point to this post. May be another one of those posts that I take down because it’s gotten too teenage whiny emo and is fit, rather, for Livejournal.

Also unrelated: I am so good at interviews, I toy with the idea of sharing the secret to successful interviews on a community-scale (see FREE classes). What qualifies me to do this? The fact that I am almost always offered a position with any company I interview with. From an interviewee standpoint, I think that’s pretty darn good. Just something I toy with though.

Separation of church and state except regarding Proposition 8

August 7, 2010 12 comments

Continuing to write about my opinion on recent political events, I turn my attention on international matters to a more domestic affair: the overturning of Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. I have long held the view that:

  • Religious institutions have no right to impose their views into secular institutions while claiming separation of church and state, and
  • A majority group should not determine the lives of a minority group if it has no direct effect on the majority’s daily lives

I do know that it’s an uphill battle to keep the ruling overturned and that supporters of Prop 8 will do their damndest to “protect the institution of marriage” for as long as they possibly can.

Quite frankly, however, Prop 8, federal amendments banning same-sex marriage, and the prevention of even civil unions is bigotry, pure and simple. Members of the LGBT community are seen as inferior to heterosexuals and therefore, are made to suffer by not even granting them the simple right to legally marry.

The Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Prop 8 and other same-sex marriage bans across the country (or conversely, the denial of allowing gays to legally marry) is in direct contradiction to this clause. Some might argue that this clause applies only to black people and is framed by the historicity of the post-Civil War era. However, this is the only explicit mention of equality granted for ALL citizens (born or naturalized) in the United States.

Judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage aren’t necessarily playing favorites despite rumblings that Judge Vaughn Walker, who recently overturned Prop 8, is gay; it’s a matter of striking down any law that cuts a citizen off from a privilege of the United States—the privilege of being able to legally marry in a court of law—and forbidding the deprivation of the liberty to marry and receive all the benefits that come with marriage, in accordance with the second sentence of the Equal Protection Clause. Any judge who upholds bans on same-sex marriage is not acting in accordance with this clause and is, in fact, betraying his or her own bias in the ruling. No one is guaranteed the right to marry in the United States but all citizens are guaranteed the ability to enjoy the same privileges as one another. Denying that legal ability to any group is inequality, and under the U.S. Constitution as amended, an injustice.

So when I hear of organizations like the National Organization for Marriage that fight so desperately to maintain marriage between one woman and one man in a secular country (despite talk that it was founded on Christian principles—whatever—the U.S is not a theocracy), my blood begins to boil. If the sole purpose of organizations like this was to prevent religious institutions from having to perform gay marriages in an effort to maintain separation of church and state, then fine. But if the point is to lay some kind of hold on marriage in the secular realm as well then it’s promoting inequality—something I refuse to stand for as an American citizen and as a Christian.

The Magic Eye of Christianity

October 17, 2009 2 comments

It’s pointless.

I’m worthless.

I’m useless.

Those are the things running through my head lately.

What’s pointless? Life.

Who’s worthless and useless? I am.

I’m very aware of my humanity and frailty. I’m aware that my beating heart could stop. At any time.

I’m conscious that my last breath could be. Any moment.

I am enduring a mild depression. Without medication. And it’s scary.

I have given up on suicide. I’ve failed at my multiple attempts. I obviously won’t succeed anytime soon.

I’m enduring a crisis of faith. I still believe in God but wonder about Christianity. Read more…

Don’t fear the reaper

September 8, 2009 2 comments

Am I fearful? Fear is a focus on phantoms of the theoretical future. But the future is God’s, not mine; mine is only the present moment. I am fearful because I’m thinking I have to live the rest of my life. But I don’t. I only have to live the next five minutes. To me belongs obedience; to Him belongs outcomes.

Am I depressed? The concept of doing “the next thing” is just the ticket. Granted, I am far too weak to go on with life—but I can do a load of laundry. And after that I can make the kids breakfast. And after that I can pick up the phone and call a deacon for help on balancing that checkbook. One foot in front of the other: Do “the next thing.”The next thing by Andrée Seu

grim reaperI have been pondering death a lot lately. Each night, I give my husband multiple kisses and hugs “good night” in the event I may not see him alive in the morning. I have a huge fear of waking up next to my husband’s cold, lifeless body. Creepy thought isn’t it?

Then I think to how I should react: keep it together and call the police, scream and cry forever, and the most unlikely—shock from the sight and terrifying realization that I’m now widowed causes me to fall over and have a heart attack, joining him in eternity.

My life has always been ruled by fear in one way or another: mostly in social situations. Now, I’m afraid of losing those I love.

I’m afraid of not seeing my mom (who lives all the way in New York) again. I’m afraid that the next time the phone rings, it’ll be a call telling me my 99-year-old beloved grandmother has passed on from old age (she’s in perfectly good health otherwise). My father’s death came out of the blue; who’s next? No one is guaranteed tomorrow.

Then my husband’s grandfather’s suicide was a shock that I still haven’t gotten over. Sure, I’ve accepted the fact that he’s gone but the way he went… it’s still unbelievable.

Am I afraid of dying so much? A little. I’m a bit afraid of what it will be like to go but I don’t worry for others after me. They’ll be fine. Whenever that is.

But if I lose my husband, I’ll be lost. I’m dependent on him for nearly everything. I don’t want to live my life without him. And God can take him away if He wants but I don’t want Him to. I went from my mother’s house to being a wife. I have no idea what it’s like to be “independent.” I’m afraid that I’ll sadly fail to survive without my husband and my mom around. I think of how life could suck. I think of how life used to suck. And it doesn’t feel that way. Life really is good right now.

Thinking about losing my husband to death makes me appreciate every kiss and hug I get from him. I don’t want any regrets in death—his or mine. But I need to stop my fear of losing him and begin enjoying living with him again.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , , , , , ,

This Journey Is My Own

June 29, 2009 Leave a comment

So the name of this blog is “This Journey Is My Own” based off of a song by Sara Groves of the same name. Its accompanying sub is “Attempting to live and breathe for an audience of one.” I’m amused by the tagline since this a public blog. In the end, however, what I do and chronicle on here is ultimately for God so no holds barred anymore.

I have another blog, Depression Introspection, currently hosted at Typepad but am working on moving it to WordPress. You can find what I’ve got so far here:

Depression Introspection was begun as a blog to focus solely on various aspects of mental illness: depression, bipolar disorder, suicide, schizophrenia, psychotropic medications, among other topics. Now I feel like I’ve outgrown the site. Continuing to post there would put me in a psychological box. Depression Introspection was created specifically for address mental health issues and I don’t want that to be the sole focus of my blogging.

I’m also at a point where I need a place to rant and vent about life in a teenage-like style. I avoided that for the most part on the blog, which was also informally titled deepintro. I intend to rant and rave as much as I like here.

I started out under the pseudonym of Marissa. Now I’m posting under my nickname Kass because I’m tired of trying to hide who I am. It gets tiresome. It gets old. I used to blog about my job. For the sake of employment, that’s probably the one topic that will remain off this blog.

I selected “This Journey Is My Own” as the name of my blog because I think the song expresses so much of what I struggle with. Groves sings poignantly of the issues of people-pleasing, one of the greatest sins in my life. You can read the lyrics to the song here and listen to the song here.

I hope to blog on a variety of topics including mental health. We’ll see what happens.

%d bloggers like this: