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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Being a Christian in the Real World

 I created this blog with the intention not to discuss religion too much. It's often a topic that I only bring up amongst friends. I feel like regardless of how one was raised, a person's spiritual walk is their own. I also feel like people get extremely agitated when talking about the prospect of an after-life for no reason. There's no 100% proof that the IS or ISN'T an after-life. Therefore, it truly baffles me when people get their panties in a bunch about the religious notions of others. I was not created to save the world, it's not my buisness what a stranger thinks is going to happen to him after he dies. As far as my loved-ones goes, shoving my beliefs down someone's throat isn't hardly as effective as minding my own business and living my life the right way. By doing a good job at life others will follow.

I was raised in the church. I accepted Jesus into my heart as a child, got baptised a little later. I did all the things a good Christian was supposed to do. However, the older I got the less connected I felt to God. My best friend was a lesbian. My mother was never married. I believed in Dinosaurs and eventually I bought the theory of evolution. Negative events kept occurring in my world and all I could think was, “If there's a god why do bad things always happen in my life? Why don't I feel him? Why won't he speak to me?” You know, normal questions.

It doesn't help that we live in a world that says one has to be an atheist or a religious fanatic. A proponent of science or a believer of miracles. A person who has fun or someone who stays at home and prays. Secular music or gospel. This extreme or that extreme. Either or. It's overwhelming and totally wrong.

I've always been in between the extremes. I don't think science and religion have to be mutually exclusive. Science has saved my life on countless occasions. I like to believe that God created science to help the world. I believe in intelligent design and evolution. I don't buy into the concept that homosexuals are automatically going to hell any more than I think divorcees are. As a Christian not only do I believe in God's wrath but I also subscribe to the belief that he sent Jesus to die for my sins.

Once I started going back to church and reading the bible I realized that I was not made to be perfect or pretend to be. Maybe I was just made to follow my moral compass, mess up along the way, realize I need God, love him and love everyone. This is what being a Christian in the real world (a non-Christian world) means to me: worshiping God, facing my own sins but not beating myself up over them (I'm forgiven), and relinquishing judgement to harvest love.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Most Recent Published Piece

About 6 months ago one of my poems was accepted to be published by Breath and Shadow which is an online literary journal that caters to people with disabilities. Their next few issues were full but I was finally in this month's issues. Here it is and I'm pretty excited because they have about 1,200 readers. That means at least 1,000 more people are going to know my name.

Anyway, I wanted to give some background into this piece I wrote. It's dark. I wrote it a little over a year ago after losing two friends, within two months of each other, under the age of thirty. Needless to say I was depressed and for some reason I write my best work when I'm depressed. I don't like talking about my feeling thus writing them down is my coping mechanism. Looking at this poem now I don't even feel the same way about love but at the time it summed me up perfectly.

My feelings towards the concept of romantic love is ever changing. I guess I've always subconsciously believed in it because I'm a hopeless romantic. I might talk a lot of crap about being “mushy gushy” but at the end of the day I want to believe that somewhere out there the love between two people really can conquer all. There was a period of time I didn't outwardly believe in love. The divorce rate is approximately 50% here and couples in my immediate family never made it. And at 13 I just thought I was much too sensible to put myself through any of that. Then I grew up a little and I thought to myself “well I do believe in love but I'm never going to fall in love with someone who can't love me back.” Fast forward a little a bit and I realized there's absolutely no sense or logic with who the heart wants. You're extremely lucky if you're heart and brain combined falls in love with someone who loves you back. Honestly, I admire the people that never let themselves experience unrequited love. Finally, everyone once in a blue moon (mostly during hospitalizations) I think to myself “Do I really want someone to fall in love with me? I'm a grenade.”

I used the word “grenade” because I just recently read “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. It's an amazing book and I suggest everyone go read it. SPOILER ALERT (not really): the female protagonist has a severe case of cancer. She's dying. And she really doesn't want to hurt anyone else when she dies. She calls herself a “grenade” because at any second she will die and everyone who loves her will be hurt. Growing up with a terminal illness I know how easy it is to feel that way. Eventually though, you mature and you realize you may or may not die before your family and friends. The crazy thing about life is we are all dying. I've always had a number in my head but I try my best not to to think of it. Perfectly healthy people die every day in accidents. I love myself enough now not to consider myself a grenade. People who love me and the person who will fall in love with me know what they are getting into with me and I can't stop them. These people still love me regardless.

So now when you read my poem you know. I just didn't want people to freak out. I've actually been really happy lately. Happiness is a change I wanted to make with in myself so I'm doing it. But I'm an artist, I have my days. Remember the greatest artists in history were a little crazy.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Poem for National Poetry Month 2014

Better Than a Zebra

They say a zebra can't change their stripes
Forever stuck they will be inside the confines of black and white
You make the same mistakes over and over again
Like they're repleting your livelihood
When in actuality they deplete
And before you know it all that's good has become a dump yard
Left-overs and raggedy scraps rest peacefully
Covering tarnished silver and dented gold
Even further under the muck lies more treasures
You don't see it
But I do
And I'm willing to pick through the unmentionables
If we can use your dirty hands
To put the them in the trash compactor
In order for you to realize your pricelessness
Only when your worth is a neon sign stamped in your vision
Will you become who you want to be
Then everyone that has imprisoned you in chain links of disbelief
Will be amazed when you show them you're not a zebra
But a chameleon

Friday, April 4, 2014

Naked men and sloppy boobies

I don't have it in me to wax philosophical about life today. Can't do it. What I can do is talk about last night. For those of you that don't know, last night I went to the casino to see the famous erotic dance group, the Chippendales. Now I love myself a real-life-Adonis as much as the next hetero-sexual 21 year old female. I expected to see all types of women because it was a free, first-come-first-served event. My expectations were proven.

I've never been to the average strip club with girls on poles but I'm pretty sure the men (and women) that frequent those don't act like bitches in heat. Hundreds of ladies, 21-70 years of age, lined-up outside the doors of the event room. Some of them were scantily clad and some could have put some better clothes on. Once we were all in there and the men appeared it was pure insanity. Don't get me wrong, I was screaming with the best of them. The men were putting on a great show and they were hot, of course I wanted to show support. However, that is the only similarity me and the other women shared. I was not drunk. I was not hoping the dancers would throw their perspiration soaked clothes at me. And I wasn't begging them to put their hands on me. I thought it was cute when they kissed me but realistically I wasn't expecting to spend the night with any of them. I wasn't %100 intoxicated by the pheromones they were emitting.

Maybe it's because I spent years on stage in high school but it's hard for me to over-look the fact that an act is just an act. I liked the show A LOT. It takes some massive balls (pun intended) to recreate sex acts on stage. It was fun momentarily fantasizing, but some of these women were seriously trying to take things backstage. Which is fine, but everyone knows half the male strippers out there are gay (I love my gay guys, don't take this the wrong way), the other half probably have significant others, and for the ones that don't have anyone I wouldn't want to add myself to their mile long list of conquests. Also, it was all an ACT, albeit a very scrumptious act, but an act nonetheless.

I've just never understood why females act bonkers over strippers. They are externally more beautiful than the average person but beneath the sculpted abs and symmetrical faces they are simply people. Females who lose their minds to men who perform just make all other females look ridiculous. I'm not saying don't go to strip shows. I want you to go and enjoy yourself with your girls but please control yourself.