Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When the storm comes rolling in...so to speak.

Sometimes a storm come unexpectedly, or so some people think but I think usually it is because we keep hoping that it won't rain, expecting that slight of a miracle to happen and when it doesn't happen, we deny that we were ever hoping for it. Most of the time, I can tell if there is a storm heading this way - though in the desert at my home, it seemed like it rained everywhere but there - because there is the usual wind gusts before the storm and the smell of water in the air. Some people who have lived without the meteorologist and all his fancy devices for predicting weather have been able to predict weather on their own. There are even those people whose joints swell up when there is rain on its way.
Today was one of those days when the storm hit for me but somehow I was prepared. I had been expecting it to come, but it came in differently than I expected it and so I was caught a bit off guard. Then again, I kind of provoked the storm with a slip of the tongue. I hadn't even been thinking about what I said, it just came out all wrong but somehow I managed to keep the tension low. There was still a lightning strike of pain but I was grounded enough so that it didn't hurt too much. I took too my drawing to keep me distracted from the thoughts that kept bubbling in of humiliation, of sounding completely unwise, of sadness. No, I wouldn't let those thoughts in - just as yesterday I had thoughts of anger and resentment and felt like I had been done an injustice. So I did what any other shopaholic did - I went shopping, but with a specific purpose/goal in mind. I went and I got some comedy DVDs, one luxury clothing item, a few needed items, and chocolate. There had been some showers before the storm in which I discovered leaks in my roof so to speak. When I got home, I just spent the day watching the comedy DVDs and boy did I laugh. I got one of my favorite movies (though I have a lot of favorite movies) and I ate chocolate knowing I would feel better without a thought about calories and such. Yes, yesterday, last night was a night of de-stressing and resting and healing. So today, after running around Johnson Field, I improved but at the cost of doing only one mile of running (before I ended up throwing up, unfortunately), I went to class and I doodled as if it was the most important thing. I ended up discovering a creative thought which I will flesh out later but mainly I couldn't let my mind free to think what it wanted. I needed to keep it busy. I channeled all the negative I was feeling into my hands into my pen and onto the paper. Sometimes that is how you breakthrough your barriers by just doing things repetitively until you have a realization - until you see the trees for the forest so to speak.
I still feel the pain from the lightening strike but it is much more subdued. Mainly because it didn't strike me hard but was grounded in more ways than one - by creativity, by my drive to find wisdom, by my pride and so forth - but also because I found God was understanding of how no matter how much I want to deny the pain, I also need to accept it. He spoke to me of how even when you can't understand why when you think God is punishing you, he is really disciplining you, preparing you for the long journey ahead - that the way things are are actually for the better. I hung out and had some good conversations with a few friends that I normally don't get to see much. I was really glad that they were with me and had approached me and that we had stuff to share. For instance, my friend Jonah, totally made me feel better about throwing up after running today. He made me feel cool because throwing up, in his mind, shows how hard I was pushing myself on the field this morning. That really cheered me up. I felt glad that I had friend like those few who I saw today. Hopefully, the rest of the day will be like that. Thank God, God had made it for those friends to be available for talking today because it really took a load off my mind.
Perhaps because I had always looked to God during those most difficult times in life or because I don't deny my emotions but accept them as part of being human and part of the process of maturing and finding wisdom it is that I was able to have an afternoon as I have so far had. I don't know but I definitely thank God for the blessing of my friends. Even amidst the chaos of my life currently, I am able to find peace with my turmoil. It's not easy, admitting that you can't rock climb well or have low endurance or struggle with school but admitting it, is the first step to overcoming these obstacles and triumphing over them. It makes sense, but you can't find the sense until you actually do it and keep going and not stop. Just as if you want to improve your running, you just need to keep running even when your chest is heaving and your heart is pounding. You just got to keep looking forward.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Here is a poem, I wrote in response to this preacher that came last week to our campus. I was upset because a friend told me that he spoke truth without love and but I felt he didn't speak truth because he had no love. I felt God calling out to me, unfortunately I didn't get my courage in time to speak out against him. I definitely felt though that the Holy spirit was working through me. I wanted to reach out to others. I wanted to do it in a way that was true and honest and the least confrontational and I felt a poem did that the best. So enjoy my poem and feel free to comment on it if you feel like it speaks to you as well.

Response to the Environment

Who are you
To Judge me
How can you
Know my heart
You speak of grace
Without having grace

Do you see these eyes of mine
That have seen
From A to Z
Can you know
What I have done
What I have been through

Don't say its nothing
Compared to your experiences
For there you go again
Judging me
When even your knowledge
Is but a drop in God's eyes
Compared to God's knowledge

Every person here
Is worth more than a universe
For our Creator
Created us
The pain of one person
Is equal to the pain
Of any other person
Because we cannot see
How deep it may hurt
How much damage
It causes us

Don't preach
If you can't listen
If you can't understand
That being a devil's advocate
Won't help
Make the world a better place
If you can't listen
To God talking to you
Right now
Because you are too busy
Shouting your words
They aren't His
The Spirit isn't in you

Paul says
“If I speak in human and angelic tongues
But do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or clashing cymbal
And if I have the gift of prophesy
And comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
If I have all faith so as to move mountains
But do not have love,
I am nothing
I give everything I own and
I hand my body over
So that I may boast
But don’t have love,
I gain nothing.”
Don't make anymore noises,
We have enough gongs and clashing cymbals

My love
Cannot be contained
Though I would much rather pass silently
The Spirit compels me to speak

I am tired of preachers preaching
Evangelists evangelizing
Ignorant of the people’s woes
With their own agendas
Without grace
Because there is no love

Do you not see the greater problem?
Are you blind?
Can you not see
What concerns us most now?

People walk
Without a care for the other
Masks on their face
Hiding their problems
Afraid to admit
Their own humanity

Here I am
A student with food, shelter, and education
Yet still I struggle to be happy
The doctors want to medicate me
Because I am not afraid
To feel sad and cry
Because I admit
I am scared of the future
I am not a model
I deal with my own kind of racism
And I did not have
Anyone to talk to

I struggle in school
I have to rely on my parents
And idly watch
As their savings go down
Because I am not a genius

Yes the world is cruel
But I made it through
Because I was told
I had worth
Not by family
But by He
Who sustains me

You can step on me
Call me what you want
But I still believe
That every person here
Is worth as much
As a universe
And every pain
Is as valid
As any other

Now I see
He is with me
Watching over me
And I am listening!

I forgive
And pray for them
For they know
Not what they are doing

I pray they
Learn to find
Eternal happiness
That cannot be bought
With world things
With money
Or at the expense of another

I hope they can
Break their chains
Past, present, and future
And find out
Who God created them to be
Their own trend or prodigy
To be without borders
To be human

I pray they
Let go of their fears
Face their humanity.
On Dating, Love, and Life Part II

So I got to thinking about relationships, and it came to mind that most of my friends that I know who are in a relationship got into their relationship not by some fluke or chance but because the guy pursued them until they finally decided to give the guy a chance. Those who did that have fallen deeply for the guy that at one time they didn't even consider a potential date. For a guy to persistently pursue a girl, I think, speaks a lot of the guy's character and how much he likes that person. I mean he doesn't just give up and decide to wait for another girl he likes to show up in his life. It seems he perceives that person as someone unique and truly loves that person. It also shows that he is willing to work at something and doesn't give up easily when all hope seems lost. He works at it and that speaks a lot to me as it probably does to her. I don't know about others but being pursued so much by someone who we may only see as a friend makes us feel like they really really are in love with us (whether or not the love is actual is not important - it is the feeling and the actions that are important at this stage in my mind); makes us feel like we are a princess and they are our knights.
The second thing I notice is that you don't have to be attracted to someone immediately. In fact, what truly attracts me to someone is when they are true to themselves and they are passionate about their interests. When these interests and their passion about them get your attention that is when the true attraction forms and no matter what you look like, you truly shine beautifully or handsomely. I also don't think it matters if you feel that you aren't helping that person grow because you truly don't know at least not until you invest time in that person or relationship. When you get to know the other person better, sometimes subconsciously you do help them. He may not notice at first or even mention it to you but it happens because thats what happens when you invest in others. You may not see the fruits of your seeds immediately but they are there. As both grow and grow closer to God as a result, the bond or the string of destiny becomes tight. That bond is what forms love.
That bond or connection is what I want. I want to find that other person who knows me sometimes more than I know myself. I want to find my other half so to speak, the yang to my yin. I don't believe there is only one other but also don't believe that just any person can be that because it has to be someone who is willing to invest in me as I invest in them and is willing to work hard. There are many fish in the sea but few harvesters. I seek not a fish but a harvester. I seek that person who is willing to stand out and seek his full potential.
I believe that God has a special person waiting for me. I also believe that he isn't just going to hand him over on a platter but that I also have to work to find him. I believe he gives us clues about to whom we are compatible with so to speak and it is up to us to seize the opportunity. For the guys, that means pursuing the person until the other decides to give you a chance or tells you to back off. If the person does give you a chance, then you don't stop there. In fact, you never stop working. You persevere despite all obstacles if you truly love someone. For us girls, it just means making the most of the time with that other person. It means trying to form a worthwhile friendship of truly caring for that person. It means getting to know the guy before you decide that you like him. It doesn't mean pursuing them as in flirting with them or making the first move. No, that has to be done by the guy - the first move that is. You have to let him know your feelings and let him respond. The first move is that response but he has to make a clear response. Once he does, then you can move in whatever way that you feel appropriate.
There has to be reciprocation in my mind for a relationship to be equal. Otherwise, then there is no communication and no balance - without either, there is room for a lot of chaos. The two opposites become unstable and may eventually lead to one with more power than the other. Relationships should always be equal - two trees growing together not one tree leaning on the other tree. The DNA strand is intertwined but not tangled...think about it.
I believe that true love is possible just as I believe in the good of people because I believe that through God all things are possible. If it were not because of God rescuing me, I wouldn't be able to be saying those things. Therefore, they are not my words but God speaking through me. For I thought I was impossible to be reached, I thought I wasn't an important person and that I was a failure, I was told I was weak and naive, but God taught me that I was strong and resilient and wise. When I thought I had become invisible and no one really cared for me, He came through for me. He noticed my pain and reached out without putting me down, without telling me to change,He just cared for me.
I believe in the good because I know it is only because of the world that we put on our masks and become selfish. That is what the world taught us, taught me. We don't do things because we are evil but because we are taught that if we show vulnerability we won't survive. We are taught to fight fire with fire instead of water. I don't believe that is how you should solve conflict. To resolve conflict with accusations is to jump into a fight without knowing the other's weakness. It is foolish. It is fighting yourself and it creates a pattern of tension and hurt.
Even if you tell me that I am naive, I tell you I am not because I can see through the masks, I was there, I nearly became numb like everyone else as well as mean. Perhaps that is why most people are sheep because they were tired of fighting and decided to let others live for them. They died inside not through their own fault for who chooses to die willingly. Rather we die because we cannot deal with our pain and we just want peace. We are so quick to point out others faults and reprimand them but deny that we have our own faults. We cannot show that we are human and we have also made mistakes. So we isolate others by doing so and by isolating we slowly suffocate them. Therefore I refuse to be the fool who is quick to jump into a fight that they know you can't win but rather be the wise old person who confronts the situation but doesn't join the situation. This is what God has taught me.

Now playing: Superchick - Pure, We Live, Stand in the Rain
via FoxyTunes
Sometimes I feel like I am OK being single. I was walking today and there were a few couples out but I didn't mind seeing them as I usually do. It was strange but it felt good. I thought to myself surely as soon as I can start living on my own then I will find that man, but more than that, I felt sure that God had someone for me. That I would for sure find that person that I have been waiting for most of my life. This I felt confident and that gave me peace from God. It wasn't the belief that through my own efforts I would find him because I was sure that no matter if I was doing well on my own and was successful, that he would come to me but that when I felt ready God would provide. Maybe I do just want that company but I think you have to work at it like any other relationship. You have to invest that time with that person,i.e. you have to invest in the other. I don't know who God has set aside for me. I just know that if God gives you an opportunity you shouldn't waste it. You should seize the chance to build a relationship. As the semester winds down to its big finale, I find myself talking to God more. He has been waking me up in the mornings early now...at 8 am to be exact and I find that amazing.I mean it isn't through my own will power but through God that I am able to do it. I really am glad about that. My next choice is what is my summer going to be like. I want to earn money on my own and do stuff but I need to learn to balance work and school as well as to focus even when I am stressed out. It's hard but I am sure I will learn. Well I am ready for bed so goodnight to all.

I also have discovered a trouble that I had been ignoring. I think the reason I am not doing as well as before in school is because I am not doing what I am most passionate about - architecture. It is true that I do like foreign languages and Asian studies and art but just as I couldn't abandon Japanese I cannot abandon architecture. It was when I thought it wasn't going get into the school of architecture that all the troubles began. It was then that I broke down that first week of the semester. I just haven't been true to myself but rather have ignored the pain I feel whenever I see anyone with an architecture project. So that made up my mind about what I was going to do summer. Rather than give up my AutoCad class to work at Target to earn more money, I am going to take the AutoCad class and give my worry of finances to God. Rather the more important thing is that I stay true to myself and have faith that God will provide. Once I am familiar with AutoCad I can work at an architecture firm and that will get me ahead more than working at Target and paying bills. You have to look ahead to the future rather than look at the present. Otherwise you won't be prepared when an obstacle comes your way because you didn't see it coming. All these things, I know because I have prayed to God for his guidance. I have given him all my concerns and he has answered them.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On being humble or living the ascetic life...

I feel tears forming along my eyes lower lid but I can't let myself cry. I want to cry because I want things that I can't have and don't really need but would make my life a little brighter, give me a sense of temporary relief from feeling broke. I recently lost my car yet again to a new car accident but I am still upset because I was being very careful that morning and yet still it happened. The insurance company claimed I was 100% at fault so that to me feels like they are calling me a liar when I am telling the truth and I just want them to believe me. Then during spring break, my parents found me a new car but it was a Toyota Corolla and not a Honda Civic. If you know me, you know I sold my soul to Honda. I know the Corolla is as good as the Civic, perhaps better because it gets better mileage but the style is so plain and there is much left to be desired at least like my car stereo that was sold off by the insurance company. I really am upset at the insurance company this time because they were such jerks and didn't repay us a fair amount for the car. I think there is some corporate greed going on there. My car stereo was worth 300 dollars and the car 8000 dollars...we only got back 6000 dollars. I want to switch insurance companies to All-state because they are at least kind enough to give me accident-forgiveness. Farm-state can kiss my butt once I am financially independent.
Living without my ipod has been difficult. I can no longer listen to it when I can't sleep but have to play the music from my comp. quite a bit loud. It's not the same as listening to music through your own personal ipod. I can't relax or shut off the world. I have to hear the music through the noise of the city. There was also just something about having your own ipod... nearly the same feeling as reading a really good book you enjoy. Furthermore it was my first and I had personalized it. I was happy and then it was stolen right under my nose in my own apartment. That was the last draw/straw for me and the impetus to leave this apartment.
Second, my camera got broke. A camera I had also gotten fond of. It wasn't fancy but a good quality digital camera. It took great average camera photos. I know I didn't take many photos with it recently but now I have been walking around wishing I could take photos of things that inspire me around campus. No such look anymore. I just have to remember them.
I recently found a place near enough campus and with a moderate rent rate where I can live. It was nice. It had wood floors and a good bathroom, a fair-sized kitchen and a living area. The heater was an old one though and the kitchen had a small stove and decent fridge. I will need to buy a microwave and baking will be in small amounts. No dining room sadly but that's alright. I will just have to find a way to fit a decent table in the kitchen and update the kitchen without doing anything permanent. It's definitely a downgrade from my current apartment but for a single student its not too bad. I will hopefully be able to get a cat to keep me company contrary to my mother's wishes but it will be nice to have that company. I still love spot but he wouldn't like to be closed up anyways and he is my home cat lol. I want a cat that will be willing to cuddle with me. I will also need a couch and a table with at least two chairs.The closet is smaller but still decent. I will just have to redo my closet, donate some clothes and store winter clothes in a separate place (perhaps home again).I will find a way to make the small apt home, add some style - I am thinking cottage or contemporary or eclectic.
Still despite having my Wii and TV/Monitor and cable/internet and everything else. It has been hard living without my luxuries. I will definitely need my new cat because it will get lonely and he/she can keep me company as well as serve as something to wake up to. He/she will be kept inside but taken out when I am outdoors only. I don't care about allergies. I will deal with that and I will keep the house clean on my own. I will also plant a container herb garden in my back porch and have some other potted plants. I am looking forward to having my own place at last where I can entertain some friends.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

When the fog clears up...

I ran
Even though I couldn't see where I was going
I only knew that I was moving forward
As the scenery around me changed
From the little I could see

Still I ran
Because I knew
I had nothing left to lose
I knew the sun would come out
And the fog would clear up

I ran
Knowing that at the end
I would feel better about myself
Be in better shape
And have accomplished
What I set out to do

I ran and ran
My feet got heavy
My breathing more difficult
The wind felt stronger
But still I couldn't stop
Even if I were to collapse
I had to keep moving forward

I wasn't alone
He was there
Confronting my fears
Helping me overcome them
Encouraging me on
Never giving up on me
And I was glad
That he was with me

So we ran
Knowing that I wasn't fit
We kept each other in check
We ran through the wind and cold
Breaking down our own walls
Overcoming our own obstacles
And then finishing
With a smile on our faces

So lately I feel like I have been in a fog all because of a paper. I couldn't finish it or even start it. I had a prompt to work off of but when doing research on the topic I came up blank, to make matters worse, some of the research was social psychology - not my forte and generally hard to read anyhow because of all the jargon with any of the medical fields. I wanted to work hard on it but I couldn't. I had other things on my mind like where I was going to be living in the summer and next school year as well as trying to fight off other temptations that kept trying to distract me. I really need to stop doing homework late at night because I can't think or function well at that time anyhow, only reading can be done so late because they don't require too much mental activity and you can do that in bed and help you fall asleep. Anyhow so I think one of my new resolutions is to get homework done early at least before 10pm and if it can't be done then, then I would rather wake up early and work on any hw not completed. I know that will be hard but then it will also help me get used to waking up early.

Speaking of getting up earlier, I have lately found more motivation to do so. I just started a running routine today thanks to my friend Clayton. It was voluntary but I had no idea what I was getting myself into - oh well, no one every said it would be easy to get fit - but atleast this way I am not alone and it feels great knowing someone believes you can do more than you thought you could. It would be great to be able to get up early and run without getting tired easily by the next school semester. I also have discovered that a timer on a TV can be very useful. I have managed to set my TV to turn on just after my second alarm goes off so that when I wake up, the talk and the noise of the TV as well as the morning news and Good Morning America will keep me conscious and somewhat motivated to get up early in the morning. I think this is really what I need rather than my alarm because this more movement than just a song or such. It really was nice waking up to the news this morning though I sadly couldn't manage to get breakfast beforehand still - an hour it took to get actual energy and motivation for getting out of bed -_-. The run was great but it did leave me feeling quite exhausted but hey my first run was a mile and a half which isn't bad for my first. Clayton says that I should just try running (even running in place if I have to rest) for 30 min non-stop. So that will be my goal for the fall semester. I like running with him =)!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

On Dating, Love, and life (I guess)...

So recently I have found myself attracted to someone but on a completely different "axis" than my previous crush. Though the "axis" I used to determine my attraction wasn't so much different from before but the approach and the feelings involved were different than last. First off, I didn't quite fully accept that I had liked him until at least a semester had passed and at the same time, I was made aware of the possibility that I could find someone I could get along. I for sometime had not wanted to accept that I liked someone or even believed I could find someone. Perhaps I was still stuck on my past crush who had so meticulously exemplified my ideal. However, now I see that the ideal was only a rough draft. This new person has much of the same characteristics except that he is much more of the introverted type though not necessarily shy - that is he is just not as outspoken. I myself wasn't even sure I liked him as more than a friend and sometimes I still am confused about what exactly I am doing, thinking, or feeling.

Yet I know the one main thing, I feel when I am around this new person is that I feel comfortable - something my ex had told me as well and now I begin to understand. This comfortableness is in the fact that I don't feel judged as to how smart or beautiful or anything for that matter but more it is like he accepts me as a human being with all my faults and still values his time with me. This is something I didn't feel with my previous crush for whenever I danced with him, I always felt like I was a lousy dancer and thought he wanted to dance with someone else. There was no valuing of our time dancing but it was just of politeness to ask to dance and even when we did hang out, he never quite talk to me. There was a cold wall/wind blowing in between us. I don't feel any of that with my new interest.

I am attracted to this new person but it feels much less an infatuation than the previous crushes I have had. That is to say this new interest doesn't even feel like a crush but more a respectful relationship. He is handsome and does have gorgeous blue/green eyes (I can't tell from my memory) but I also find that I don't always think of him as I did the others. This could mainly be from the fact that I am much more focused right now on my studies and learning and only have leisure time at night but I have to say this interest feels different. I did think I like someone else before him but once I got to know that previous person, I found I couldn't really relate to him and that I wasn't attracted to him as much. With this new person, however, I do feel attracted to him still so I guess that means the ideal is still there. I think right now I am most scared that I may be transposing my own image of him whenever I see him. Thus, so that I don't decieve myself any further I am taking it slow. I am starting off by just being close friends and see where that takes us - see if we do have something there.

Both me and him share many interests. These interests in fact help us relate to and understand each other. We are both interested in languages and Asian philosophy and I think that helps a lot. I only now realize how much Asian philosophy has affected the way of my life. Interestingly enough, both he and I have found a way to have Asian philosophy and Christianity co-exist. I think for me, though, I am much more devoutly religious than he but then I have only just begun to know him. I do know that he is a true Christian and not just an inactive follower. I don't believe he is Catholic but right now I will not worry about that. As long as he is Christian, I am happy. I also find that we both like to be adventurous people and are not afraid of taking risks - though in this he is much more braver than I and I feel I can learn a lot from him because of that.

So even though I am attracted to him and can imagine myself in a relationship with him, there is something different about this attraction. Perhaps, it is in the fact, that it was only after I had a certain dream that I decided to pursue this interest, not that I didn't like him before, there had always been that initial attraction based on looks and even more shared interests, but that I wasn't willing to sacrifice a good friendship in search of that something more. The dream also made me realize that I wanted a relationship but the relationship I wanted was more of a subdued relationship. I wanted a relationship where we could be comfortable just hanging around each other and talking and passing ideas along - I guess a more intellectual relationship rather than the romantic relationship, not that I don't want that romantic aspect but that that is not the most important thing I want presently in a relationship. I want more of the relationship that I see in my friend Glory's Indian parents - a calm and respectful relationship where the love is downplayed. I guess I am just tired of seeing all these relationships where one is emphatically in love with the other; maybe because I don't believe those relationships last or that relationships should be based on that.

So I really feel great because I recently went to the park with him just randomly. We had fun and played like little kids and got bruised a bit. He played along with me and that was cool. Afterwards I came home and remember feeling happy because even if that was the only other time spent with him, it would be enough. It wasn't the same atmosphere as I had wanted previously but it was enough that I could still be thankful. We had some good bonding times and there were moments were it seemed he was into me but I really couldn't tell. On the opposite side, I think he could probably tell that I did like him or atleast I wanted to tell him something. I had plenty of moments where I could have told him but I didn't because I felt it was too early. I felt like I wanted to get to know him better before then. I found we had a lot in common and I did end up falling for him more but I am still scared to jump into a cliff so to speak and I want to make sure I like him for who he is and not who I am making him out to be in my mind. I know he can definitely help me grow and overcome some of my own obstacles. It would be great if we could go running, cycling, and rock climbing together because he is better at that than I am, but I also think I can help him out in someways. Lately though it has been scary wondering whether it will work; maybe because I have been looking for someone like him or maybe because I don't like admitting that I have been lonely and wanting a bf. I just hope I am not being foolish but I think this is one of those necessary risks. I really don't know how he feels about me. I mean we don't really run into each other much on campus surprisingly. I definitely don't want to jump to conclusions to quick for both our sakes. I don't want to like someone just because I want to have a bf. I want to have a quality relationship and I think in order for that to happen, we need to get to know each other better in that way. I don't know how this will turn out but wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Human beings are amazing despite opening Pandora's box.

I know it sounds cliche but its true. We can endure so much hardship and still be able to smile honestly. Though I know it isn't true for most. There are a few of us that do break but I guess the point that matters is that it really just depends on us and how much strength and hope we have. I think when they created the myth about Pandora's box, there was more to it than meets the eye. I mean first of all, why would hope be locked up with all that other negative stuff. Sure, hope can sometimes be not so good but it can also be very powerful. I think even if we did know what lays ahead for us, hope would still be needed to get us through the most difficult parts as well as the days leading up to those times.

I know I personally have been through a lot and really I thank God for keeping me sane. It was his strength that gave me hope. He believed in me and that was all I needed. He also created me just as I am, the good and the bad. He gave me my Pandora's box knowing that I could overcome all the negative with just that hope and in this case, a hope that has not failed me yet.

I have been trampled on but not yet had my heart crushed. Perhaps because I am a very careful person, not that I have never fallen in love but that I have never fully given my heart away and I have always been very strong willed and minded - my parents can attest to this. They still don't fully understand nor appreciate me but they try their best. I think the spirit of the women before me lives strongly in me. These things were all given to me by God to give me strength and mentors through the desert, and never before have I been tested so much in my life as I have these past two years.

Truly, does the lord test me but still I persevere and praise the Lord. My heart and faith remain firm despite not having a reprieve in quite some time. Yet despite falling down sometimes, I find strength to continue on from an unknown source that I can only attribute to God. There are times when my body fails me but I know my spirit is strong; when my body does give out, it is then that God replenishes me. He finds ways to speak to me that I wouldn't never imagine and people doubt it. This is proof of how God can transform evil into good. Perhaps evil is short sighted and tries to win as quickly as possible but God with his foresight takes a defeat and uses it to deceive the enemy for the true victory - the difference between small wins and the ultimate goal (something I learned from chess).

Anyhow, I find it amazing that I am still sane, that even though I have yet to have my love returned, I still continue to love. I love those that don't love me but sometimes I am depleted. I wish my family would understand that I don't like fighting fire with fire. That I am more aware of the more important things than the petty things and that I know when to withdraw and when to fight - though the later only happens mostly around family. (I have been hurt by my family in more ways than one but I still love them as well.) The thing is that I see how we are weak and not perfect including myself. Thus, I cannot dislike people for their personalities because I know that there are deep reasons for their behavior. I know firsthand how cruel this world is but I continue to believe in people despite what everyone tells me. I believe that there are better ways of asserting oneself than fighting fire with fire. I believe in the power of love and hope to conquer all things bad in this world. Thus I will not fight back unless my sanctity is at stake and I will continue to love even when I am not loved back. I know someday I will find that person I can love and he will love me back and thus we can help each other grow. Until then, I will continue to smile honestly and believe in others even when I am weak.