Through Being Cool (Pt.2)

Lately I’ve been getting caught up in moments where I’m taken back to my high school days and early college years, taken back to things I said, things I did, people I hung around with, the way I dressed.

It totally blows my mind how all of those memories were actually my memories, my stories.

And to be honest, I was a different girl. And what blows my mind even more is when I look a myself now…

I’m like, totally whoa.

Who is this girl?

Or rather, who was that other girl, that other me?

Was that who I really am, or is this who I really am?

I recently overheard a conversation between a couple of people I know about their ongoing activities together. I think I just happened to look over and make eye contact, so one of them asked, “Why don’t you ever come out with us?”

And I said:

“Why don’t you ever invite me?”

To which one responded: “We’ll invite you next time.”
To which I responded, rather playfully: “Is it because I don’t drink?”

“Nooo, we don’t drink when we *name activity here*.”

Mhmmm, I though to myself. Sure you don’t. And suuuure that wasn’t your reason for not inviting me.

I know how it is sometimes.

Oh that girl? She doesn’t drink anymore. Don’t invite her, she’s no fun.

They may not say it, but I know some people think it.

I’m not that “cool,” rebellious chick that everyone admires.

And really, I probably wouldn’t have gone out with these people. Not because I don’t want to hang out with them, but because I think I would have felt kind of awkward.

Why, you may wonder?

Well over the last two years or so, probably around the time I really stopped drinking, I noticed I started to shy away from making acquaintances at school, at work, anywhere I normally would, really, and I think it’s because I felt and still feel like I can never really bond with people, like I can’t really relate to them all that much anymore because a lot of my tastes have changed in many ways.

So I just stay away. This may or may not be the best thing to do, but it’s just what I’ve started doing after awhile.

I’ll be real, here: My social life resulted in a few relationships being messed up, and many relationships were formed that should have never been formed. It’s because of those situations that I think I’m way better off not being as social as I was, at least not in those kind of environments Boy, I feel like just this paragraph can be a blog post on it’s own…

And naturally after two years of “social abstinence,” I’m pretty awkward.

*Refer to previous TBC post to read my definition of “social abstinence”.

“Come out with us this weekend!”

“Sweet, I’m in. What’re we doing??”

“Bar hopping!”

Well shoot…I’m out.

Womp womp womp.

But that is how it has to be, my friends. What am I going to do bar hopping? Spend money on expensive soda while trying to yell over loud bar music? No thanks. I need to be different from the world, I need to be set apart, trying my best to avoid the things that can bring me down.

That is what He calls us to do, not to blend in with the crowd.

 Look, I know what you may be thinking…

“You’re being way too judgmental and legalistic, Em. We’re all sinners. Nobody’s perfect. We are in the world, after all.”

  Yes, some of that may be true, but I strongly believe and have reason to believe there are things in this world people as followers of Christ really should not be doing…at all…not even a little bit.

Think about who it is we are supposed to be representing…

I read the other day that

“We(I) have spent enough time involved with worldly people, when we (I) took part in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties…”

And it’s so true. I spent a lot of my time doing those things Peter says they (we) wasted time doing and need to stop doing.

So I woke up from the daze and confusion of the life I was living. I’m fighting against my fleshly desires to do what is right in His eyes, to be set apart, to be a special people…

To suffer for what is good.

( “Wait, fightingsuffering? Why would a God of love want us to fight and suffer?” I’ll try to address this in another post… Part 3 maybe?)

And really, why would I go around saying I’m “Christian” when I act like everyone else? How can I be God’s special possession when I’m still flirting around in darkness?

Until Part 3,

Em

From the End of the Earth Will I Cry

Sometimes there are things I think I’ll never write about, and other times it feels right to write about them, so I think one of those times to write about one of those things is right now.

(Ha ha, hope that wasn’t confusing to read)

I know part of the reason why I don’t write or talk about these things is because it will make me entirely vulnerable.

And also entirely open to criticism because people could think a number of things, like:

“Why is she publicly writing about something so private?”

Some of it should stay private, and some of it should be shared, and it should be shared because it might help others, it might help you, and it will most likely help me.

I am all about making connections, and if any of these posts help make a connection, I’m all about that.

So here we go.

I recently came back from my honeymoon, and while it was great and beautiful, I battled with something inside me for what felt like the entire time of the trip.

Actually, I feel like I’ve been battling it for awhile. Something like 9 years, awhile.

Now, I get that this time in my life calls for such “normal” feelings. Feelings like nostalgia, sadness, homesickness, growing pains, etc, which basically means I’m having a little difficulty transitioning into an entirely different life. I mean, a couple months ago I was still living at home with my dad and brother, curled up next to my cat every night, and now I’m sharing an entire living space with one other person in an entirely new area (  and sans cat 😥   )

But these feelings go beyond that.

Way beyond that.

I can’t remember exactly when, but I recall maybe about a year ago or so I was feeling depressed a lot. I don’t mean just sadness, I mean I would be sitting at dinner with my husband, my then-boyfriend, totally spacing out, not eating, start crying for who knows what reason, and blurt out that if I had an off switch for life, I’d switch it off.

Yeah, it was that kind of sadness.

It felt like a dark pit. And the worst part was that NOTHING was going wrong in my life.

And after all the nights I’d cry myself to sleep, I finally stopped trying to fix myself and started praying, hard. Thank God I was relieved for awhile, a long while.

But those feelings came back a few weeks ago. I would feel this overwhelming sadness, and the tiniest thing would start this avalanche of emotions. In the happiest and most romantic moments, I’d end up crying.

And then I would get even more sad because I felt like I was ruining the trip for my husband. But I thank my God that He blessed me with an amazing, caring, selfless, patient, and generous being who doesn’t have a selfish bone in his body and tried to help me as best he could.

On one of the worst nights, we were sitting in a nice restaurant when I felt myself start going down…I started to space out and the people around me, the smiling, the laughter, all became a bunch of noise, noise I couldn’t handle, so I ended up walking out, leaving my husband and more than half my dinner at the table, tears spilling out uncontrollably.

It was awful.

As I sat in the car by myself, head against the steering wheel, I prayed for God to take the pain away, to take away all the heaviness  I had in my head and my heart.

After all, He said His grace is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in weakness…

In MY weaknesses. All of them. And little by little, every moment I remembered to lay it all at His feet, I instantly felt better.

And the same can be said now. It’s remembering not to take on the burden myself that is the hardest thing to do, because the last thing I feel like doing in times of hurt is praying.

But when I feel myself having a bad day, or a bad week, I sing:

“From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”

Blessed assurance.

I ran into a woman today who shared with me her experience with sleeplessness and depression, and it reassured me that this post was appropriate to write after all.

And on top of that, I have a heavy burden tonight for a particular family of young men who have been going through rough times at home. I hope this post finds you, and reassures you that you are loved and you are not alone.

Until next time,

Em

It’s Too Late to Apologize

Well, as I’m thinking about writing this post I’m almost sure a ton of emotions will instantly flood my mind and body. Even though I’m afraid of revisiting those times and emotions, I think it’s good to release some of those feelings and figure out ways to gain control of them, and better yet, to fix the problem.

So what sparked this blog post was something I read the other night:

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” And that passage lead me to read this:

“Healing includes the healing of relationships , which is why we are exhorted: ‘confess your sins to one another,’ meaning those we have wronged. That is, if you have wronged or offended others, confess to them.”

Hmmm…the healing of relationships…

Hmmm…confess your sins to one another…

After reading that, I naturally thought and asked the question to my husband, “ Is there anyone you have wronged?”

While he thought about it, I thought about the people I have wronged and the relationships I hurt. I hurt them so much, that I begged and begged for their forgiveness, and even after they forgave me, it took me years to forgive myself.

It’s not a pleasant feeling, thinking about the pain I caused. The heart-wrenching betrayal and hurt I caused by selfish decisions made. I’d like to blame it entirely on maturity, but I think my actions in the past resulted in the absence of God.

There is a parable in the Bible where Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother who had sinned against him, and Jesus responds with what basically means, there is no set amount of times, you keep forgiving.

Whaaattt?? You’re saying I have to KEEP FORGIVING?? UGHHHH.

What gets me the most about this parable is that we must forgive a person who has wronged us in order to be truly changed at heart: it is commanded.

Love one another.

A few months ago, I think I was reading the same passage about forgiveness (James 5) and I instantly thought about a person I never, ever thought I could forgive. And even though years had passed since the wrong-doing (yes, I wronged her, too), I would continue to say such vile things about this person.

And then I thought, hmm, should I really go and find this person and make things right? I had already tried it once before, and the relationship ended up turning sour again, but is that enough reason not to try again, this time more sincere?

And THEN, a good friend whom I would always talk trash to about this girl said she had been seeing the girl around town a lot lately.

Coincidence?? I think not…

And THEN my husband saw her at a local grocery store within the same week my friend saw her…

Coincidence?? I think not…

So I asked my bff, hey, should we like, make things straight with this girl?

And to my surprise, she actually considered it, too.

But then I forgot about it, and forgot about fixing things with the girl.

Until now.

Can I forgive her? Should I forgive her? Should I ask her to forgive me? The answers to those questions should be a resounding ‘yes,’ but holy guacamole, how do I even BEGIN to do that, especially since I don’t trust her anymore?

“Fervent prayer avails much…”

So pray I shall.

And if you’re reading this right now, can you think of someone you have wronged?

Be honest, of course you can 😉

So why not think about mending bridges, or at least saying your sorry? It doesn’t mean you have to rebuild that relationship, but at least you know you made your peace.

Until next time,

Em

p.s ( can you even p.s. yourself? and in a blog post to boot? lol)

In previous blogs I managed to be a little ambiguous about the mentioning of God, purely because I only have a few blogs up and I didn’t want readers to instantly turn their eyes away  at the mere mentioning of a deity.

But, it is what it is, and I’ll gladly go with it.

And, dear reader, I hope that you keep reading. Atheist, agnostic, or whatever you may be, I think we can all learn from each other.

Words Will Always Hurt Me

Do you ever have those moments when you say or do something, and you’re like…

Where the HECK did that come from? And WHY the HECK did I just do/say that?

Of course you do.

And bloody freakin’ yeah, I have those moments too.

All. Of. The. Time.

Alright, I’m just going to come out and say it:

I have a problem.

Or I think it’s a problem, at least.

When I was in middle school (shoot, maybe even younger) I would say I had developed a bit of a cursing problem. Darn, there’s that word again:

PROBLEM.

So much so that my friend and I made a bet to see if we could last a certain amount of time without cussing. I’m pretty sure that bet was made in middle school. And I’m pretty sure it didn’t last.

And once high school came along, FORGET IT. I was Bad-Word Betty.

And for the most part,

I didn’t care.

I would even cuss in front and even to my parents (Lord have mercy).

And when I became angry… it was like silver bullets from a machine gun into the heart of an unguarded werewolf (yay me for that cheesy analogy).

Around the time I turned 21 or so, I started to make some pretty big changes in my young adult life. All of it stemmed from new discoveries I made of something greater than anything on this earth, and a new relationship I formed with something greater than myself.

And I thought all my problems with cursing would go away.

But it didn’t. And it still hasn’t. STILL. Even with all the change in my heart, even with all the commitments I’ve made and the advice I’ve given and the character development and the righteous life I try to live…

I fall short.

And it makes me want to give up every single time. What the heck have I been accomplishing so far? People aren’t going to listen to what I have to say, they’re all going to think I’m such a joke.

It is as if there has been no change in me at all, and that is an awful, sinking feeling.

I recently read that the tongue is an untamable force, and words can make or break a person, potentially ruining them for life.

You would think after reading something like that that it would make me extra careful with my words, especially towards the people I love.

And yet there I find myself time and time again blurting some nasty thing out in a fit of anger…

And I hate myself for it.

But that is just it. Even despite all that, I am reminded that I, in and of myself, cannot control a single thing in my life. I can only trust that my efforts in becoming a better person and the aid I’m receiving in doing so will reap rich rewards.

I just have to keep pushing through and working to change all my annoying character flaws and have faith that my efforts are not in vain.

Heck, shouldn’t we all be doing that?

“And therefore, brethren, let us be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath…”

Bonus points if you can finish that sentence.

Until next time,

Emdigistar

Great Expectations (Expecting the, well, Expected)

You all know the phrase: Expect the unexpected. And I’m all for that for the most part; In fact, I’ve been trying to go about my daily biz with that phrase in the back of my mind, because we all simply cannot expect everything to go our way (cue Mick Jagger).

So correct me if I sound a bit of of place here.

Last night I had a conversation with one of my best friends, and of course we gushed over the details of my magical wedding night that took place nearly 2 weeks ago. It was PERFECT in all ways, every bit of how I wanted it to be.

However, there were of course minor details that I didn’t notice during the wedding that my friend had brought up ( well, duh, of course I didn’t notice, I was totally focused on that gorgeous guy I can now call my husband).

Let me preface before I continue:

My husband and I did our wedding a little unconventionally. We only had vegan and vegetarian food, we didn’t have the typical ceremony nor the typical first dances, nor the typical music, nor did we have alcohol. Yes that is right, no alcohol *gasp*.

But more than that, we specifically noted on our wedding website that we did not want anyone sneaking alcohol in the parking lot or anywhere else on site ( not only for us, but the venue requested it too).

If anyone were caught, they would charge us a pretty penny. And even more than that,

We simply did not want alcohol at our wedding.

Alright, now here is the juice: My friend told me she had seen people sneakily dumping out small bottles and/or flasks in the grass of the reception area toward the end of the night.

I’m pretty sure they weren’t dumping grape juice out of those things (I know, I know, not everyone is a cool juice-drinking girl like me).

So I was like, ummm…WHAT??

Okay, so maybe I am being a little too sensitive. BUT I really think it’s a little disrespectful to show up at someone’s wedding doing or bringing along the very thing the couple asked you not to.

I mean after all, we only specified not having alcohol. And we only specified not to bring it on the property.

But who cares, right? I’m just being too sensitive and self-righteous, right?

Now I know there were some people who drank prior to arrival, and quite frankly that is none of my business,

but to show up somewhere and completely disregard a request is, well, kind of rude.

So is it a little too unrealistic of me to expect people to respect my wishes? Is it? I mean, if someone made a request to me, I would do my best to honor it.

And maybe these people really didn’t think about it or really didn’t think it was a big deal (clearly), though the sneaky booze disposal kind of implied they knew they had to hide what they were doing.

This whole idea of me being someone different from who I was and not doing what I used to do has really put a barrier between me and other people, between my friends and even my family.

A wise woman once wrote:

While we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” we are to shun temptation, as far as possible.

And that’s all I’m really trying to do.

I mean, maybe I hold people at too high of a standard. Maybe I’m being too unrealistic and am being too much of a princess…

Maybe.

 

xxx,

Emdigistar

A Fire Inside

“So the other day was weird. Just before I finished the first blog post of ‘Through Being Cool,’ I had gone out to Disneyland with my fiancé…”

That’s how I started the draft of this blog post back in August. After reading it, I couldn’t exactly remember what I was going to write about. But I wish I could! The only thing that came to mind was the sometimes occurring, and often overwhelming, feeling I get when old me wants to come out to play hard, hence the “fire inside.”

Yes, it feels like a fire: a fire that naturally wants to destroy anything and everything in its path (but mainly it wants to destroy me).

That Disney day’s particular fire, I’m guessing, revolved around booze, as it often(but not only) does.

I suddenly got the OVERWHELMING urge to drink, and if some clever,sneaky fellow offered me one at that time I would have taken it in a heart beat.

All of my hard work of temperance would end, right then, right there. No self-control…

“WAIT, BUT WHY?! I’m confused. Why do you still get the urge to drink even now? Shouldn’t that repulse you?”

I don’t know. Maybe because there are two sides of me, two beasts that are constantly battling each other…

Good vs. bad.

The carnal dog and the spiritual dog.

Okay I feel I must interject, here:

I was not an alcoholic. I just liked to party.

And with the partying came bad, bad choices. And bad choices lead to ruined relationships and even more bad choices.

It was like I couldn’t control myself.

Whatever princess-like idea anyone had of me could just fly out the window as fast as projectile vomit.

I was definitely not a princess.

“But Marissa, why do you even fight it? Just embrace who you really are, man.”

No. That is not who I am.

I thank the Lord Almighty that I am a new creation. The old me has passed away, and all things have become new…

It’s hard not to feel so disgusted with myself when I think about the mistakes I made, especially when I get these weird urges ( I think I’ll call myself Flame Princess whenever these urges come;) )

I hate it when I feel this way. I hate that I feel like I don’t have a grasp of my temptations…

But that’s just it. When I feel this way I’m reminded that it ISN’T my own will power. It’s something much, much greater than that.

And I also want to say this:

It is MUCH, MUCH easier being “bad” and doing the “cool” thing . If you really want to challenge yourself, try being different from everyone else your age.

Until next time,

Em

 

Is It Really So Strange?

So as a recently engaged and recently turned 25 year old, I find it only natural to get all giddy when I see young engaged/married couples walking around, at Disneyland, at the dress shop, etc.

But then my mind starts to wander… and wonder…

How many of these engaged couples are waiting until marriage to…you know? Do they live together? If they are already intimate or already live together, is getting married as exciting for them as it is for me?

I’m sure it is.

But of course the cynical and jaded me already thinks she knows the answer to the intimacy question:

DUH. OF COURSE THEY ARE INTIMATE.

Why wouldn’t they be?! And who isn’t these days?!

And WHY do I care?

What makes me so cynical? It’s funny…years ago I totally would not have had these thoughts or concerns about other people. I didn’t care. Why do I care now?

Maybe it’s because I see relationships differently now. Maybe it’s because for so long I accepted and thrived off of polyamory and now I feel the complete opposite.

I feel the opposite because, well…

1. I found the person whom I love and will love to the ends of the earth…who I would never in my wildest dreams want to hurt or live without.

I never felt this way about anyone.

2. I actually learned a thing or two about the principles of marriage, from a source that isn’t Hollywood or whatever is on t.v. or bookshelves these days…

Okay, well it IS a book, but it’s been around for centuries 😉

It’s funny… my senior year of high school my English teacher had us pull pieces of paper out of a bucket that read different questions we had to answer.

Mine was: “What’s your biggest fear?”

I didn’t have to think twice about it: Infidelity.

WHOA,WHOA. HOLD THE PHONE. How can you care about infidelity at 17?

Well, because I wasn’t faithful. I never was. Yeah, even at that age and every year after, I strayed time and time again. Not proud of it.

I guess the chorus to “Back In Your Head” would most def not apply to me >.<

And I wish I could take back all the mistakes I made with people in the past.

But I can’t. All I can do now is move forward and make darn sure I do everything I can to be the best wife I can be to my husband. I want to give him all of me. No, I can’t take back or change anything I did, but I can be sure to do my best to be the best.

I once heard a speaker say: ” If you want to find the best person, you have to be the best person.”

That’s a goal worth striving for. And yeah, to me that means waiting until marriage to be intimate *GASP*, amongst other things of course.

And yes, even with my soon-to-be husband. I could only see good things coming out of this decision.

 

After all, is it really so, really so strange?