Figuring Out What Makes Me Free

freedom

I don’t want to be boxed in anymore.

There is a box for who I am supposed to be. I am reminded on a regular basis by friends, pictures, and memories of who I was. Not just last year, but back in high school and when I was just a kid. It is constantly brought to my attention that I was happy, energetic, positive, upbeat, colorful… you get the picture. It’s not like I don’t want to be those things; right now I just can’t be. But I want to stop feeling bad about it. It’s not like I am some horrifying person. I still have good qualities and “the me I used to be” is still buried deep down, you just have to look a little harder.

There is a box for what I am supposed to believe. Religion. Faith. Those are tricky subjects that I am caught in-between. Right now I am not sure where I am. I have been attending a small group and doing a devotional regularly, but I have not jumped in with both feet. I am not against or for, I am just exploring. I like having something to believe in, but I do not like all of the ridiculous rules that comes with it. I am just trying to find a balance at my own pace. This isn’t something I want to rush, because I want it to be genuine.

There is a box for how I am supposed to behave. They say actions speak louder than words and as much as I agree with this, I also think that words hit home harder. I used to pride myself in being an honest, blunt person, but everyone seemed to have a love/hate relationship with that part of me. They were proud I was their friend and I could say things they couldn’t, but then they would shush me when it was too embarrassing. Lately, with my insecurities running on high, I haven’t been as outspoken and I miss that– apparently so do my friends, because they keep telling me to find that fire and spark I used to have, but my only condition… when I find that part of me again, no one can shame me for it.

I want to be free. Free to think. Free to feel. Free to express.

 

I wanted my blog to show outwardly my inward need to feel free.

  • The pictures at the top represent things that make me feel free… the beach, Converse, roadtrips, dreamcatchers, and VW beetles.
  • The categories are more specific to what my life is about right now.
  • The Bucket List page is about to be under-construction to actually list attainable goals that are currently on my heart.

This new look and feel has freedom to it and I love it!

❤ a girl

Even Though The Odds Are Against Us…

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We made it two months!

Some may think it is silly to be excited about something so small, but this is HUGE to me! We have gone up against distance [1,000 miles or 16 hours] and those who chose not to encourage us, but we didn’t let either of those things stop us and it has been absolutely wonderful!

You continue to make me beam and blush. You never fail to make me smile when I want to frown and laugh when I want to cry. You have no problem channeling your inner hopeless romantic to tell me sappy things or your inner goofball to come up with the cheesiest things! You are full of never ending surprises in every way and I cannot wait to continue finding out new things about you.

I thought for sure I would have scared you off by now, but you have shown you don’t scare easily! 🙂 I thought for sure when you found out my washing machine wasn’t broken after all, when I had my meltdown, because I got rice stuck in my phone’s charging port, or when I was a blubbering mess after making the assumption my best friend had replaced me, but I underestimated you. You managed to cheer me up (thanks for that run down of the Twilight Saga in a minute by the way!) after I told you I wanted to be sad. You didn’t shy away from a distraught me and I cannot express how much I appreciate you not giving up on me!

Hun, you really are one of a kind and I do not know how I got so lucky! I guess I should thank you for taking a leap, because I jumped too and fell… hard! I have found out that differences can be so much fun and that it is important to bounce back. You and me– we blow my mind –and I have realized that we may not always see eye to eye, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot see heart to heart.

The time and space we have before us is just an adventure that is going to make us stronger! You mean so much to me and I cannot wait to experience what the future has in store for us. 😀

❤ a girl

I Have The Power To Choose

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When people talk about having courage and exploring the unknown, I immediately think of traveling or beginning a new phase in life. Today, I read this phrase and had a completely different thought; I’m not traveling or starting a new phase, but I have decided to take a different path than the one originally set for me and it is going to be a scary road.

I have been wrestling with my faith and what it means to believe for awhile. I grew up Christian, non-denominational Baptist to be exact, and I worked really hard at being perfect at it. As I got older, I realized this was just a facade for me. I played the part so well and on the outside, I was the part to a T. I went to church, participated in Bible studies, and attended church camp. I volunteered, prayed, and was extremely active in my youth group. I didn’t do things that were deemed bad such as smoke, drink, party, or cuss. I was one of the good ones.

What I learned was that you can’t be a perfect Christian. But you can feel like you are doing something wrong. In the past six years or so, I have worked so hard at doing what I have been taught to do in order to have a strong relationship with God. Be in continuous prayer. Have a quiet time every morning. Talk to God like a father or a friend. Be patient. Listen for what God has to tell you. Read your Bible. Memorize verses. Surround yourself with good Christian friends. Be honest. (That is not all they tell you, but those are the ones that stand out to me at the moment.)

I did these things day in and day out. As much as I tried to enjoy it; make it something I wanted to do and not something I had to do, I failed. It always seemed like so much work and effort with no results. I still felt empty. I listened, but never heard anything. I prayed, but never got answers. I studied, but never learned. I surrounded myself, but felt judged. All of it didn’t seem worth it to me. I became bitter, because I would hear stories and see others who seemed to be living the life and having the relationship I was supposed to have. Although I understand they might be putting on a facade too, it didn’t change the negativity that surrounded me.

A few months back, I decided to take a break from striving so hard to be successful in my religion and creating this relationship that seems to be nonexistent. I stopped reading my Bible, praying, going to church regularly; I started to dabble in activities that were frowned upon. I didn’t like everything and being “bad” isn’t really me, because of my morals and personality, but I found that I was so much happier not worrying so much about being perfect. That who I was and who I wanted to be didn’t have to be dictated by my religion. I could still be a good person and not be a Christian.

I realized that I did not have a problem with everything I had been taught. I believe there is a greater power/being (aka God) and I believe that he created the world and everything in it, but from my experiences I do not believe that he is striving for a relationship with me. From the research that I have done, I am taking a leap and calling myself a Deist. I don’t necessarily think that a label for what I believe is needed, but it helps to classify myself somewhere.

Making the decision to step out of what I was taught and have always known and to swim against the grain of most of the people in my life is extremely frightening for me. I have not told my family about my change of heart, but to be able to post it here and recognize my current beliefs is a big step!

As hesitant as I am to move forward, I want to bring on the unknown and test my courage!

❤ a girl

Silent Too Long

trusting god 1“Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passion. If you don’t have questions, you’ll never find answers.”

Growing up in church, they teach you to trust God. They teach you that God has a plan for your life. They teach you that God does things on his own time. They teach you that God doesn’t always answer prayers how you want him to. They teach you that God sometimes says no or not yet. They teach you that God is not a genie. They teach you that being a Christian is hard.

I never seriously questioned my faith until this semester. It was sort of an all of a sudden explosion kind of thing. My doubt had been building for awhile, but I just kept bottling it up telling myself that I was a Christian and I believed in God and I couldn’t have those kind of thoughts. I told myself that those thoughts would go away if I surrounded myself with Christian people and found a church to attend. That didn’t work. It just got worse.

Thursday, February 12th, I had a breakdown. I have these every once in awhile, but this one was pretty bad. I had been at work for eight hours, because the girl who was supposed to relieve me never showed up. I was already exhausted, then add frustration on top of that, plus a mound of homework growing by what felt like the hour. After work, I called my mom, because I needed some encouragement. When she answered and told her about how exhausted I was with my job and my school work plus that I wasn’t enjoying my classes and didn’t think I wanted to stick with my major, she just told me that I would be ok, because I always was and then informed she was out to eat with my dad and brother, so she would call me back.

By this point I was already in tears, so I sat down and tried to catch my breath. Once I had composed myself, I went into the building and got out all of my homework and spread it out all over the table. I was determined to finish and it was a good way to take my mind off things. After a good half hour, my small group from the BSM (where I had purposely been avoiding) saw me sitting at the table and decided to join me, so I could be included in the discussion. Ugh! I was not in the mood to be around these happy-go-lucky people; I was in a bad mood and wanted to wallow in it. They kept asking me if I was ok and saying that I wasn’t my usual self. Well duh I am not my normal self. Let it go! Eventually they leave and I manage to get most of my homework done while taking breaks to go to the bathroom and compose myself.

My mom ends up texting me instead of calling me back. She asks how I am doing and I tell her I’m fine and not to worry about me. She says she loves me and feeds me some crap about how I need to focus on God and pray about how I am feeling and that he has a plan. Nothing I haven’t heard before. I just respond with one word or one sentence until she leaves me alone. I gather all of my stuff and get back to my room as quick as possible, because these cop-out answers from her have really irritated me.

Once I get in my room, I decide I need to retreat, be alone, and be sad. I grab my pound bag of sour gummy worms, a Dr Pepper, and a box of tissues and shove them in my bag. When I am upset and just want to stay upset, I find comfort in my car, so I get in and drive to a vacant parking lot. I have on my depressing playlist and sit in my car and think. And cry. I think and cry for a long time. I talk to myself a little and then I eventually end up yelling at God, but at this point I am done.

I understand that they say He is silent, so that you will lean on Him, but He has been silent in my life for too long. I don’t ask for stupid things, but sometimes I need answers and it does more harm than good not to answer me. But who I am kidding, He has never answered me. Back in high school I could claim whatever I wanted, but when it came down to it, I never felt Him. After I have this meltdown, still nothing. Apparently I am not that important to Him, because nothing happened. Once I came to this realization. I felt different. I was ready to change my outlook. If God didn’t want to help me or answer me, then fine.

 My frustration began to stem from me being me– the next to near perfect girl.  I understand that yes I have messed up and no I am not really perfect, but honestly I just don’t see the point of striving for perfection when you don’t get anything in return. The most irritating thing for me was that some of my friends and people I know have all this going for them: a relationship, a job, an education while they do pretty much whatever they want. I just got so fed up with doing the right thing and never being happy or having things work out for me.

I have decided to take a step back from my faith for a little while and just figure out who I want to be and what I want to believe. I’m tired of having all of these expectations placed on me attached to all these assumptions. I am just a girl who wants to live and mess up and do some more living.

❤ a girl