Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Change is Inevitable

For the past 18 years, since I was 4, today (or at least around this week or so) has been a momentous occasion. Summer was over, and school was finally here. The first day of school, pictures and all, was something I always looked forward too. I loved back to school shopping and seeing my friends every day and learning. I really do love learning. But also, it was just what I was supposed to do. Every September I'd go back to school. I really can't remember not going to school. Every event in my life has been dictated by the school calendar. And now, I find myself on the first day of school, with no classes to attend, no pictures to take, no new outfit to put on. No supplies to buy, no friends to see, just a part time job to go to just like I have all summer and year long. Today is not a momentous occasion, nor do I have a title to put on it. For 18 years, my routine has not wavered. In September I begin school, and in May/June I start summer vacation and the cycle repeats itself. Now I'm not really sure what to do. The cycle has just abruptly ended. Not to say, of course, that I wasn't expecting the end, but it still just came and tomorrow life will continue on and there will be no more record of the first day of school. This is a strange year for me. Because I always thought this day would never come.

I've always wanted to be a teacher and so I thought that after I graduate undergrad, I would immediately move on to grad school and today would be my first day of grad school. And then after I completed that, then I would move on to actually being a teacher, and for the rest of my life I would always have a first day of school. But now I find myself in a limbo, in which most people find themselves at one point, but most don't dwell in. It is hard for me to accept that school is over for now, that I'm taking a break. I have this urge to go sign up for community college classes simply to take something. To be challenged, to read a book I wouldn't have bothered with otherwise, to research, to write an essay, to learn something new. But then I think about taking classes at a CC and I realize it's pointless. There is nothing for me to work towards at a CC; there is no reason or lofty goal ahead of me.

 Maybe that's what scares me the most. Yes, I sort of have a plan of what I'm going to do in the future, but it is still unclear to me. The fact that I have no set goal, no timeline, not a set plan, scares me. It has always been the plan to graduate, 8th grade, high school, college, but now that I've done all of that graduating, I feel like I need something else to graduate from. So I've finding myself stuck in wanting to be a student again. To go back and do it all over again, but I also know that I need this break. My sanity thanks me every day for this break. And though it may be heartbreaking today to watch my friends return to school and see all of the first day of school pictures on facebook, I know that I am where I'm supposed to be. Change is inevitable, it all depends on how you proceed through it. So here's to a momentous day of it's own. A new chapter in my life. My first "first-day-of-real-life" instead of school. Maybe I should dress up and take pictures too. ;)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Inspiration take 2

A friend asked tonight as a facebook status, "Where do you get your inspiration?" For some reason this caught my attention. My first thought surprised me. And I feel as though it just might surprise everyone. It's 2:45 in the morning and really I should be asleep, but I'm a college student. Lately I haven't been able to sleep. If I fell asleep now, it would be the earliest I've slept in weeks. School's starting next week and I need to figure out how to sleep. But this question just might help that. I haven't written anything creative in days, weeks, even months. At least not that I wasn't forced to (that's what I get for taking a creative writing class). I used to write poetry all the time. Paper was the only one I had to talk to when life was changing. Silence caused me to write. I haven't had a lot of silence lately, and I believe I've actually become afraid of silence. Why is silence so frightening you ask? Because in silence, you think. In silence, you dream. In silence, you hear everything you've been avoiding all day, all week, all month, all year. In silence, sometimes more comes out than you originally planned.

But that is why Silence is my inspiration. In silence, there is nothing. There is no motivation, no inspiration, no exasperation, no frustration. In silence there isn't even peace. In silence, there is only one thing. There is room to create whatever you want. Whatever you need. If you've seen Harry Potter or read the books, there's that one room, that changes to whatever the person needs. Well, that's what silence is for me. Inspiration is a difficult thing. I can't say that it comes from one place, or even one person. Inspiration comes in hearing nothing, saying nothing, thinking nothing, and only letting my heart flow out onto paper, fresh clean paper.

Many would think that silence is no inspiration at all. Music is, art is, friends, family, nature all are inspiration. But in that you are directed in one way. You see certain things that make up your mind for you. And maybe that is what inspiration is, but maybe it's not. Maybe inspiration is what comes to you through God, on the spur of the moment. Maybe it is what makes light shine in darkness.

Whatever inspiration is, I know that silence is mine. Silence can be peaceful when you need peace. It can be hope when you need something to hold on to. Scary when you need to be closer to God. Enlightening when you don't know what to see. Calm when chaos ensues your life. Lonely when you feel crowded. Comforting when you feel completely alone. A breath of fresh air when none can be found. Good news when you're scared of what's going on around you. Anxiety for excitement yet to come. Anticipation for another day. Awkwardness before a date. Unspoken love among family. The answer to a prayer. And of course...Inspiration for whatever needs to flow from your heart.

Silence is inspiration. At least, it is mine. So, my friend, there is your answer. What inspires you?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Response to Peace (7/2/08)

Tonight was such a JOY for me!

There came a time, last July, when I had this urge to give God's peace to my friend in the form of a necklace. I gave it to her on a night she was torn apart, a night which left her in complete tears and pain, no peace, no joy.

Tonight I witnessed this same friend, wearing the same necklace, gain the greatest joy in the world. She has found love and happiness and is engaged to the man of her dreams. A man who sat quietly in the background waiting for the right moment. And God's peace was with her as she journeyed towards him. Today he proposed with the most beautiful ring and she was able to say "I love you" to him. She is loved and is able to love again.

God's peace can do great things!

I love you both and congratulations on your engagement! =D

Monday, November 24, 2008


So in class today, we had a guest, a poet by the name of Florence Weinberger. When we had some extra time at the end of class, she asked some of us what our writing process was. Let me preface this with the fact that I had asked her to read one of her poems "Prayer" but I could not explain to her why it struck me. I sounded like a jumbled idiot asking for directions at a gas station...or at least that's what I felt like.

When, however, she asked what our writing process was, I was one of the students who decided to jump out and answer (why? you may ask...I'm still wondering that myself). I started with the fact that I began writing because I questioned too many things, I was depressed and I didn't know what else to do. Sentences didn't fit what I was feeling and never seemed to come out right, so I put my expression in poetry and images instead. They began to be my arguments with God as to why I was alive, what was my purpose, what was I doing here. They became my prayers in a form. She told me I was quite articulate, and that she would have never been able to tell someone why she had started writing poetry.

I realized why I so much enjoyed her poem "Prayer." The first lines of this poem say "Of course I prayed. Partly out of habit" which caught my attention right away. That was the way I prayed, if I began to sit down and just pray in my head or in my words, it was habitual, the prayers I had learned in Sunday school so many times. Even now, when I pray before meals, it is always the same prayer, exchanging some words for others, always ending the same...the same way my grandpa prays. But it is indeed still habit. I get caught up in the fact that I don't know if that is true prayer. We are told to have real conversations with God, that He is our Father, but then when it comes time to pray, everyone seems to have to be formal about it. I have since realized, that poetry is my prayer. It is my way to be truthful and honest in my prayers. To tell God what's really going on inside of me and to cry out in dire need of Him. Granted, not ALL of my poetry are prayers, but I will venture to say that all of my true prayers are poetry.

Everyone tells you that you can't be angry with God, you can't argue with Him. They tell you that you have to be polite and indifferent when talking to others. You mustn't start a disagreement, argument, disruption of any sort but simply stay diplomatic in all matters. Poetry has given me an avenue to change that, to be outspoken, to be truthful, honest, and frank about who I am, where I'm at and the life I haven't figured out how to live yet. It gives me a way to argue with God, trying to find answers in the predicaments of life. I feel sometimes as if I struggle with issues more than others because no one vocalizes them, so I hide them in my poetry. I feel as though I am not allowed to question anything because I cannot cause any disruptions.

So I guess in essence, my poetry, is my disruption of society, although it is not much of a disruption at all. Or at least that's what I feel like. I feel as if this is my story. We all have stories, whether in music, in film, in art, in novels, in short stories, in expressions, in acting, in plays, in speeches, in every other genre of expression possible...mine is in poetry. I may not be a good poet, I may not write about anything interesting which no one else will ever want to read, but this is my story and my expression. It is my argument with God, my prayers for loved ones, my wonders and amazements at the world around me, my hurts and pains that no one else feels, my distractions, my contemplations, my hopes, fears and dreams, my expression of love as well as my expression of doubt, my disruptions against society, my enlightenments of reading, my mundane every day life, my dreams of excitement elsewhere, my nightmares lurking hidden in my poetry is my life, my everything.

Because this contemplation was inspired by Florence Weinberger and her encouragement today, as well as her poem "Prayer," here is that poem for you to read and contemplate yourself.


Of course I prayed.
Partly out of habit; I prayed as a child without learning how,

without knowing what haunting necessity possessed me then.
So when it seemed certain

my husband, my partner of my entire adult life was going to die,
I prayed the hardest prayer: Thy will be done.

I was giving up arguments, bargaining, recriminations. The carnal
fragrance of hope.

Except for an almost inaudible request for mercy, I would go on living
with Thy will. Except for an almost unquenchable quest for meaning

I would go on laying down one word after another with trembling,
shaking, dwelling with moving lips on the relentless decay

and the way we love the children of our children; what it means
to leave an absence behind. What it is: to leave.

But would I be able to skirt the divinity and order and moral protest of poetry?
And how else to obliterate the glibness of death by cancer?

I began pounding these Kabbalistic questions on Afro-Cuban drums and found
I could reach pure anger by banging beyond concept.

Drumming with other women and men I became a lunatic drumming
my frenzy in chorus on bare nerve briefly giving up my quest for meaning.

Hearing how grief and heartbeat augmented each other
I began to regain my personal sense of desire.

I kept walking rapidly early in the morning, chanting
conviction under my breath

talking about him to everybody I came across
not caring that they seemed uncomfortable

that I let him die in the house in the bed on the side where I will never sleep

dosing him with almost invisible tabs of morphine
forced past his lips and under his tongue

to melt like hot snow the more swiftly to enter his blood stream
fully understanding intervals and ultimate objective

and why it is I can now bring myself to remember
as many details as I can bear

and I can keep walking and chanting and drumming thy will
and I can call it prayer and I can keep praying and praying

that someday my will comes closer to yours, O Lord.

--Florence Weinberger in Carnal Fragrance
Red Hen Press, 2004.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Venting is not usually a good idea on the internet, and I will try to make this as indestructible as possible, but I can't make any promises.
So I'm really frustrated with so much that's going on and I just don't know how to keep going on. I mean I will and I know I will get through this season in my life, but I just don't know how the next few days or weeks are going to go.
Let me clarify before people get scared, I'm just really stressed out right now.
I have 11 papers due before december 12th, which is only actually 13 days of school for me. And people don't understand that I just shut down when I think about it all. I just need time to figure out what is going on in my life and what parts of it are important. I'm extremely terrible at time management and in the process of trying to cut the less important stuff out of my life, I tend to cut the VERY important people out. I hate that! I don't mean to in any manner, and then it makes things more stressful because they get sad and I don't like to make people sad. I really don't mean to hurt them in any sort of way and I hate myself for doing so. But then is it actually a good idea to give up school instead? I mean some of the papers and such I can skip or write really fast, but that's too much to read and write in the 24 hours a day I have left. That's only about 500 hours left that I have to write these papers and such. How do I fit papers, reading, end of the semester projects, presentations, and well as God, boyfriend, friends, family, roommates, and well life into 500 hours???

And then there are other things that are on my mind and bothering me. I don't know how to bring it up to the people that are bothering me. And I just don't know how to approach the entire situation. How am I supposed to handle this whole situation. How do I figure this out on my own? I don't even know the process of action to take and I don't know who I can talk to about all of this without hurting these people by talking behind their backs? But at the same time, that is the issue I hold with them, that they talk behind my back...most often when I'm just sitting in the other room, so I hear everything they say. It's so hard, and it hurts and is painful. I wonder if they just smile to my face to confuse me or just to be nice to the friends who introduced us originally. I wonder why they can't just talk to me about what bothers them about me.

I know I should just go to God with all of this, and I have, but I still don't have a practical application as to how approach them.

Then there's my whole financial situation which is less than satisfactory. And that just adds twice as much stress on top of everything.

AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me just say this. If you read this, please pray for me, wisdom, strength, and well everything...thanks.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Here's a follow-up to the last post...a poem (considering I was in poetry class when writing that blog). It's a villanelle (a traditional style of poetry, you still have no idea...don't worry about it).

What if I cannot find I could be great?
My life seems not to hold a guarantee.
What do I then suffer as my end fate?

I do not have the dreams that you create,
nor meander straight to my destiny.
What if I cannot find I could be great?

I sit and struggle with my own debate,
in the park near the long, unending sea.
What do I then suffer as my end fate?

I cannot find a hope, so I await
a light to illuminate my fate's key.
What if I cannot find I could be great?

Where is the life I planned when I was eight?
It is cluttered within all this debris.
What do I then suffer as my end fate?

I'm arranging my life as a clean slate.
Although, I find that you might just agree.
What if I cannot find I could be great?
What do I then suffer as my end fate?

Success or Failure

So I got really upset in chapel this morning, well not REALLY upset, but a small bit perturbed. I must say though, it tainted my entire view of the rest of the chapel, and it was something that was said in the announcements. Woody, one of our campus pastors whom I greatly admire, mentioned about how great the Alum of Azusa Pacific University are, about how they are teaching in inner city schools, working in South Africa or doing something great with their lives. (This is not a direct quotation...) And that statement perturbed me. Here's what came of it and why it perturbed me::

What if we don't do something spectacular after graduation? What if our life path is not to do something that will always be remembered, always be talked about? I just want to teach, just teach, high school, make a difference I guess. But what if I don't end up as one of those teachers they make movies about, write books about, talk about for years to come? What if I don't want to teach the difficult students, the inner cities, the outside cultures, around the world? What if I just want to teach normal Southern California students, stay here my whole life? What if I can't make a difference in what I'm doing? What if I have no other choice? What if it's too difficult to make a difference, so I just give up? Is it a requirement of this school to be an amazing person after graduation? Do you have to be one of those alum who return to tell their life story of how they saved three young third world children from starvation and death? Do you have to be a superhero? I feel like there is so much pressure in this school to be something great! Not that they are pushing you to be your best, but instead that you are expected to be a famous remembered amazing person after graduation. And if you're not, you're a failure. And that is something they don't prepare you for. They don't prepare you for failure because if you fail, you are no longer allowed to call yourself an Alum of Azusa Pacific University because they don't want failure on their reputation as a school. You just have to be great. There is no other way around it.

What if I don't want to be great? What do I do then? Drop out?