Who does it really help?

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We were all born with brains.

I think that’s the real anomaly of a spiritually based life. As a Christian I believe in God and that He created us and all of the world and yet I cannot deny the fact that I have brain. That I can think for myself, react for myself, and question God, His glory, intentions, and existence as much as I so please. It’s odd to think that something He provided us all with and encourages us to strengthen could be the ultimate source of our race’s distrust and lack of faith in Him. That it is the intelligence that He blessed us with that promotes all these conflicting spiritual values.

But it is.

And the more I realize this the more confused I become. If I were an all powerful omniscient being who wanted to be loved and respected by my people, I would give them no other choice. It would never cross their minds to question my love for them and never in a trillion years would they doubt my existence. But then I suppose there is a type of shallowness associated with a forced love. A sort of emptiness that’s always with you, constantly whispering in your ear, don’t be fooled… it’s not real… I would imagine there’s a guilt that haunts you too. The kind that haunted Merope Gaunt while pregnant with Tom Riddle’s loveless child. And where’s the satisfaction in that?

I suppose I understand that.

I brought this up to a religious friend of mine once. “How blessed we are then,” she replied. “How blessed we are to be able to praise Him given the fact that we have such a huge chance of failure!” a part of me found this to be ridiculously optimistic and comical. “Hahahaha that’s why I love you,” I replied, but nevertheless there was a significant amount that spoke to me. A great part of me admired that response. So what? it said. The point is to love Him not find fault in everything. What does it really matter? And who does it really help? In that way she was right to completely disregard my reasoning. Who does it really help?

On a different occasion I asked another friend why it was necessary to do stupid, potentially harmful things just for “fun”. What was the real point? Who are we helping? “Faithe, what is the real point in anything? Exactly. There is no point. Just be happy.” Well, that was simple, I thought. Forget about always trying to “help your fellow man”. Just relax and be happy. What a ridiculously difficult thing to do when you’re as uptight and analytical as I am. When you question everything.

However, I think they were both right. God may have given us all brains, but that doesn’t mean they need disrupt our whole lives. I don’t need to question everything, even if everything is questionable. I have free will. The ability to do or think anything I please. Another thing God blessed us all with. I think that’s the real point. That I should focus on that and let my heart relax. Which is why we were given brains and encouraged to use them. So that our love could be clearer. So we could believe in the impossible and give ourselves away to it. So that I could relax and find solace in the fact that I cannot and will never be able to understand everything. So why should I be conflicted by it?

Who does it help anyway?

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I like the idea.

burdened-heart1I like the idea of friends and that sounds ridiculous. Of course you like the idea of friends, Faithe. Everyone likes the idea of friends. Duh… Yada yada… Find something else to write about. But I think it’s an important thing to mention. I mean, this blog is meant to sort out my thoughts. To help me figure out who I am and to do that I need to know and acknowledge what I like and dislike. And I like the idea of friends. Ridiculous sounding or not.

I can say that I’ve always liked the idea. When I was younger I used to try and form “best friend triangles” to attempt to mimic the Harry Potter trio. I wanted so badly to be Hermione and have my own Harry and Ron. I was obsessed with the thought, quickly befriending two boys. My Harry had circular glasses and My Ron was cute, freckly, and red-headed. I loved My Ron the most, secretly, of course. Honestly, until now I had never realized how close to my fantasy I had once been, but that’s why they’re fantasies, they’re not meant to last. Mine didn’t. It ended fast and abruptly. My Ron moved away leaving me devastated and basically friendless. I had invested so much time in being friends with My Ron, doing everything with him and third-wheel Harry, that I had found the idea of having other friends almost revolting and, however important Harry was in his own story, he was of little consequence in mine. He was unlike Harry in every way, except for looks, and was mean on top of it. So I had to let go of that story and try to find my own.

After that, friend-finding became difficult. No one held up to my fantasy standards. No one tried so hard to make me smile as My Ron once had or succeeded so easily. My Ron became my idolized relationship as the trio was before him. I don’t think I ever truly let go of that.

I switched schools and I learned that I wasn’t completely crazy. I still held impossible ideals, but I knew that my dislike of people had stemmed from the environment I had been trapped in: a weirdo friendly, predominantly white and preppy charter school. Public school was a better fit for me. I met people who disliked the same people (the real root of friendship ;-)) They were kinder, more accepting of me and my eccentricities, and didn’t bring up race into every conversation. I loved that school and I made many acquaintances, but very few really decent friends.

I’ve always had this list. A subconscious list. Of everything I would finally be able to do with my “best friend”; the one person I would hold in the highest regard. Who didn’t just tolerate me, but loved me like I did them. It’s a rather silly list filled up with tiny, menial things and actions like “making waffles”, “talking on my bed and having light-meaningless conversation”, “secret handshakes”, “sleepovers”, and “serious talk”. Most of them just involve me finally being comfortable with a person without being judged at the same time. Being loved, but not pitied. Being understood. Sometimes it seems like a lot to ask for, as if I’m still holding those same impossible ideals, but I don’t think that’s true. It’s a modest request. Something everyone should probably have, even if my views of it have been crafted solely by television shows.

I’ve tried many times to sculpt people into what I needed from them in an attempt to create a “best friend” from scratch. I push my list on them, trying to get through it without that feeling of discomfort I get when I know people are judging me, which is why we never get to “serious talk”. The discomfort never goes away. Apparently “best” friendships have to just happen. Accidentally. With no coercion from me and this is the first time that it has ever happened like that.

The friend that I have now is not my “best” friend. The word is jinxed. But she is my better one. We have an unforced friendship built upon a dislike of each other that magically transformed. We flew through my list with ease, accidentally. Not because I asked, but because it happened. But most importantly, I can talk about my life without wounding her. Making her pity me and seeing it in her eyes. That’s usually the deal breaker. Why I recycle so many friends. Why I’m writing this in the first place. I refuse to be pitied and I’m afraid it won’t last. It would be great if it did. If I could finally have someone that I could tell anything to. Share secrets. Share burden. Apart from a family who can’t possibly understand. It would be nice.

I like the idea…

An Unsatisfactory Conclusion

I am a college student who has always wanted to be a college student. I’ve been waiting for “the best years of my life” for years so I could immerse myself in knowledge, find out who I am without restrictions on what I’m able to find, who I’m able to meet, where I’m able to go and when I’m able to get there,  be a part of something meaningful that I love so that in turn I could be loved, accepted, but most of all… happy. I’ve been waiting to be happy for years. For what seems like a lifetime and I suppose, for me, it has been.

Now I’m here.

I am at a place that feels like home, that I am learning at just the extent that I’ve always wanted to learn, and yet I feel as if something is lacking. I feel hindered, barred by something I just can’t seem to figure out. I should be perfectly happy. I tell myself to be perfectly happy. “Put yourself out there!” my self-conscience roots. “Be who you’ve always wanted to be because now you finally can!” , but I can’t.

It has occurred to me that I’ve never actually known who I’ve wanted to be. Ever. I’ve only ever wanted to be happy. And I suppose that is the real problem with me. I shouldn’t be “searching” for happiness. I should be able to find it in silly things. Subtle things. The trifles of everyday life. I should see it in the smiles people give, the conversations I have with the ones I love, the embraces, and the laughter, but I don’t. It’s not that I don’t feel it. In the moment, I can always feel how close I am to it. I could stay in those moments forever, but the moments always fade. Then I come to realize how fleeting those moments are and I can never fill myself up with the happiness it brings me like I want to. It comes. It goes. And I’m constantly expecting it. I’m forever anticipating Happiness’s arrival and then again his retreat. It’s frustrating.

Weeks and weeks will pass without me feeling that happiness that I always search for. Or maybe it comes and goes so quickly I don’t notice it. When it’s not the happiness that fills me, warm and reassuring, it’s a mellow emptiness. Indifference? Loneliness? Boredom? I can never tell. But that’s the feeling I mostly have. I feel it now as I’m writing and I wonder why I can’t just be content or if I’m searching for something that doesn’t exist. A full feeling no one has. Maybe the problem is merely that the feeling is mundane and I just need to live with it. Completely logical. Which makes the fact that I’ve been searching for it my whole life, trying to wade through the mundane, completely silly. Time wasting.

And that’s the conclusion I always avoid…

Death… Almost

He grabbed me by the arm, yanking me to my feet and angrily pulling me toward the door. Swinging the door open he shoves me onto the threshold. “See that?” his muffled voice rings heatedly in my ear. He’s mad at me. Not unusual. I imagine he wants to tear me apart, I can hear the pained restraint in his voice. “You see…” but I never did hear what he wanted me to see. I took off running. I ran. I sprinted, socks on my feet, across the concrete, through the wet grass, and over bushes until I stopped in front of the community gate: the only obstacle stopping me from being recaptured by the family I loved and loathed with two hearts, both confused and coexisting. I pondered for a moment about the implications of jumping that gate. I thought about what it meant for me to run away; if it was “right”, but it was fleeting, I didn’t wait long enough for the thought to change my mind. I quickly hurled myself over it, fast and easy, as if I had done it a million times — in my mind I had– and I took off running. Again. My socks blackening against the asphalt, the hole on my left sole expanding with every step. I ran off my cares, I ran off my worries, I ran off my remaining guilt, but when I began to tire and my legs began to slow, it all came back. All the feelings, the regret. So I ran again, straight across the street, into a cul-de-sac. Loud barking, a lit garage, two men… A dog had run at me, warning me back, seeming to say, “come closer and I’ll take your arm”. I smiled, go ahead, take it. I have little use for it now. I had no interest in living or any interest in what that dog could or would do to me. I was disinterested in every way and that was the worst thing for me. “Boy! Come back! Back, boy!” the dog obeyed, but I had already run back where I had come, taken a right, and run further and further down the road shoeless and suicidal. What a terrible mix. Eventually, I stopped running and started walking up and down the lonely road. I was alone, the road was alone, we were a pair and we stuck together. I walked out into the middle of my new friend and sat down, waiting for something, anything, to happen. I laid my head back against the blackness and looked up at the midnight sky. What a beautiful night it was. God really had out done himself. It would be a wonderful night to die. Comfortable in a t-shirt and pajama bottoms with a beautiful sky to stare up at, I waited for a car. A truck, a smart car, big, small, it wouldn’t matter. I waited for the inevitable. I waited for what I needed. And there I was left to thinking.

My family was crazy. That was obvious, but I was crazy too. I was lying in the middle of the road, wishing someone would come run me over. That made me crazy. I couldn’t deny myself the logic. All I wanted was peace. Peace of mind, peace of body, peace of heart. I wanted my soul to stop crying. I wanted a life free of fear. But that was something death could not give me. This was technically suicide. Suicide leads to Hell and Hell was all torture and fire all the time. Any good Christian girl knows that. So what was it that I needed? My friend had told me it was “fulfillment”. Maybe not religion, but something like it. Reasonable, I supposed. Who really knew anyway? So I prayed. Hard and long. About everything. Thanking God for my friends and the night sky, for my life, and the love that I hadn’t yet abandoned. Asking him to take me back and help in my pursuit of happiness. I got up and walked away, off the road, and back toward my bed, lighthearted and empty of regret. A few minutes passed and a car zipped by, running over the spot my head had lain.

Thank God for second-guessing.