Thursday, May 18, 2017

Oh! Hi, 1000th Blog Post!

Hello and welcome to my 1,000th blog post.

"Whaaaat?" That was my reaction when I posted the last blog post and saw that it was the last one in the triple digits. I can't believe I've written a thousand posts in the span of 9 years and (almost) 5 months. Crazy! Honestly, I can't believe I've kept this blog this long. I thought I would keep it for a couple of months or no more than maybe 2 years, tops but, here I am... still writing.

Those who've been reading this blog since the beginning (or, at least, within the first year of its inception), have gone through so much growth with me. When I started this blog, I was involved with someone whom I still in keep in touch with on occasion but is no longer one of the most important people in my life. I haven't really talked about my personal life since and have vowed not to until there's a wedding looming.

You've read about my struggles as an undergraduate, as a graduate student, and now in my academic limbo state. You've read about what I suffered when I was at the CINO college (now university) -- how much the professors made me cry for having an orthodox and "traditional" view of Catholicism. You've read my indecision about what to study; where to study.

You've been with me through my father's final cancer diagnosis... through the last months of his life... through his reversion to the faith (his 24th birthday present to me) two months before his death... through his death and burial... and through that first year in which I was emotionally numb...

You've been with me through illnesses and financial difficulties... through my lowest points... through my car accident... through my bouts of spiritual dryness (which I am currently undergoing again)... the craziness that was most of my 20s (I started this blog when I was 22!) into my early 30s (I turn 32 at the end of this month)...

You've also seen me at my best. You've read the joy it was to graduate from college after years of putting it off to help take care of my father (or myself)... the first time I was published in a Catholic publication... when I started my freelance writing career... when my first (and second) novel was published... when I was accepted to all three of my top graduate program choices...

We're going on 9 and a half years of this adventure together. Some of you have been reading since the beginning. Some of you have joined later on. Some of you are still new to this blog. It doesn't matter when you started following, you're still a part of this journey with me.

I still don't understand why anyone would want to read what I have to write. I'm no one extraordinary. I'm actually quite boring. I'm just your average gal who decided, on Christmas Day 2007, to write about her life and her journey through learning about Catholicism. I'm still learning. I'm actually going through sort of re-reversion period right now. I promise to explain this, and thoroughly, at some point in the future because it's a long story.

I want to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your prayers and support throughout the years/months/weeks/days. I've come to close to shutting down this blog but, somehow, someone always seems to message me and encourage me to keep going so I do.

I have a lot of really, really, really exciting things coming up in my life in the near future. I will give y'all clues: London. Writing. Career. Discernment. Vocation/Relationship. Reversion. Travel. Possibly another degree. Rediscovery. Faith. I will write about these things at some point; most likely as I'm about to embark on them or when I'm deep enough into it that I can talk about it.

Stick around because I'm apparently not done writing yet. I'm sorry. lol. Oh, the writer in me. ;)

That's it for now. I have a lot of things to do today but I wanted to take a little break to write this post.  My 1,000th post. Nope, it hasn't sunk in yet. lol.

Oh! Before I go, I was wondering if I could bother y'all for some prayers. As I've shared before, I've had pancytopenia (low red and white blood cells as well as low platelets) on-and-off for years and tomorrow I'll have 18 (!) vials of blood drawn for the most thorough blood work they've ever done on me. They're testing everything -- vitamins, minerals, complete CBC, bone marrow, clotting, lupus, and seemingly any and all tests to rule things out a blood disorder or the presence of antibodies in my system. Thankfully, I won't have to fast but it's still a lot of blood. I've been feeling a little more weak/fatigued than usual lately so I'm a little worried about all the vials that will be taken. I would greatly appreciate any prayers you can spare. I just don't pass out or have any complications from the blood draw. I also hope for good news with the results because I'm tired of always feeling tired because of the anemia. Thank you in advance!

Alright, I gotta go do errands and try to find some good carne asada because I need to really prepare for tomorrow. All the iron-rich foods! lol. ;)

I hope y'all are having a lovely week thus far!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What St. Brigid of Kildare Reminded Me

What led to more than a week without a blog post? My old laptop finally biting the dust... the new laptop's graphics being so grainy and pixelated that I had to return it and get a new one (different brand and model) the next day... downloading the smallest amount of things necessary to get the new (new) laptop working... and then spending the next two days in bed. That's just scratching the surface but you get it. It's been a crazy week. lol.

Somewhere during that week I read and finished Three Irish Saints: A Guide to Finding Your Spiritual Style by Dr. Kevin Vost. (side note: I will always only link Goodreads for books; I won't try to sell you anything.) This won't be a typical book review because, honestly, I don't like reviewing books. I don't even do it on Goodreads unless I feel like I need to warn friends or I love it so much it needs to be recommended beyond the 5-star rating I give it. I will, however, share what I got out of it in case you're wondering what the end results may be.

Despite being a Hibernophile (definition: someone fond of Irish culture, history, language, and all things related to Ireland), I didn't know too much about any of the 3 saints that were featured in the book. I was aware of St. Kevin of Glendalough only because one of my oldest friends (who isn't even Catholic) went to visit Glendalough when she was still a student at St. Andrew's University and took a trip to the pilgrimage site. If it weren't for her pictures (which I think are still on Facebook... I should check; it's been nearly a decade), I wouldn't have heard much about him. I knew the very superficial basics on St. Patrick and St. Brigid of Kildare but, really, not enough. This book changed all of that.

Despite the fact that St. Brigid was my patron saint for the year about 2 years ago, I still was in the dark about her history. It wasn't until I read this book that she was a kindred spirit. As I read her life's story, I realized how much I had in common with her when I was a child... and it made me realize that I wanted to make some major changes in my life.

In a nutshell, she was very giving... to the point where even the Sisters in the order she founded would hide things from her so she wouldn't give them away and leave them all destitute. St. Brigid didn't care about that; she wanted to give the little she could in order to help others. Her heart ached when she saw someone in need and did what she could to make sure they go it. She even felt pity for a dog and gave choice bacon to him despite it being destined for the royal household she worked for. A couple of times I was reminded of how I used to do something similar when I was a child. No, I didn't give bacon to a dog in or out of a royal household. 

When I was a little girl, I remember how much my heart broke whenever we went to Mexico and I used to see little kids begging for money or trying to sell little things just to make enough money to help their families. One day, when I was about 8 or so, I saw two kids a few years younger than me, sitting on the sidewalk, dirty and underclothed. My dad had just purchased a bag of peanuts for me and when I saw them, I didn't hesitate to give it to them. The reason why this particular incident stands out for me was because I was promptly ridiculed by a close family member for it. They laughed quite derisively in my face, making me feel ashamed and embarrassed about what I had done. 

Imagine that you're an extremely sensitive child and that someone you love mocks you and then gets mad for something you wanted to do to help others. It's going to leave an impression (a negative one) on you. That happened almost 24 years ago and I still remember it... including the hurt feelings. From that time until my early 20s, this family member would get angry at me whenever I tried to help others in need, whether it be monetarily or otherwise. I would have to do things either behind their back or just simply walk by and have my heart break in the process, just to maintain the peace with this family member.

This family member is no longer physically in my life anymore so when I can help out, I do so without second thought. My mother has always encouraged it (she was another person who would be on the receiving end of this family member's anger when it came to being charitable) so I don't have to worry about doing anything when she's with me. Whether I help others often or not is between God and me... but I realized that I'm not doing as much as I would like to.

I'm ashamed to admit that I've grown more selfish in recent years, especially since Mom and I hit economic hardships since my father's passing and my health issues that have prevented me from working away from home. I'm a lot more careful with money because we've known what it has been like to go without food for a couple of days. It's a fear that's set in, especially after all the malnutrition has caused me the health issues I'm still trying to recover from. All the health issues I'm enduring now? All came from the lack of proper nutrition and poor diet I had as recent as 3 years ago. And cue my friends getting mad at me for not letting them know I was eating for days in 5... 4... 3...

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati has been on my mind and in my heart a lot in recent weeks. I mean, we all know he's my saint crush and all but he's been my constant heavenly buddy lately. I was even inspired to do a novena at the beginning of this month, which my mom joined me in. When I started looking back at his life, especially now that I'm looking into becoming a lay Dominican, one of the biggest things that has stuck out was how he used his wealth to help others. When he was a child, he even gave the shoes off of his feet to give to a little boy who didn't have any... and did it in a way that no one saw because he didn't want to get in trouble. There's another kindred spirit! 

I had been thinking about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (which Bl. Pier Giorgio was a part of) ever since I saw them listed on a local parish's website. The parish is linked to the Dominicans and is where the lay Dominicans meet up once a month which makes sense. I've felt a bit overwhelmed with too many options for my future (only one of which appeals to me but brings no income to pay back my student loans). 

Through Bl. Pier Giorgio and now St. Brigid, perhaps the Holy Spirit is trying to nudge me to make the commitment to help out with the SVdP while I find a job and while I continue to recover my health. It won't bring in any money but it would be a better use of my time than trying to figure out what to do in between writer's blocks. Helping those in need is something that's been close to my heart since childhood and I do have an awful lot of time on my hands these days. The ideas are coming into my mind, y'all...

Anyway, that's what I got out of the book and what St. Brigid has inspired me to do. The book has been on my reading list for years but I didn't get it from the library (it was on hold for a while) until recently. I sure am glad I was able to read it and now it's going to go on my list to purchase later on. I'm currently reading Saints Who Battled Satan: Seventeen Holy Warriors Who Can Teach You How to Fight the Good Fight and Vanquish Your Ancient Enemy by Dr. Paul Thigpen which is interesting thus far. Let's hope that brings good things as well.

I think that's it for now. Since I once again have a working laptop and I'm currently on the mend from what hit this weekend, I hope to blog for often. :D

I hope you've all been having a lovely start of the week!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Monday, May 8, 2017

Poof! They're Gone... and I Feel Free

For the last couple of days, I had been slowly going through a number of bookmarks I've accumulated over the last couple of months. While I'm in school, I tend to bookmark all the articles from news sites and blogs that are delivered to my (email) inbox so that I can read them over the weekend or whenever I have free time. Sometimes I bookmark too many things that I want to read. Sometimes I really enjoy an article and want to save it for future reference so I keep them saved in a separate folder. I also bookmark things that I know I will later need, for school or work. I had things since about 2008-2009 marked... and, last night, they all disappeared. Just like that, poof! They're gone.

I didn't panic, at first. It had happened before and after a reinstall, things were back to normal. Not this time. I reinstalled and uninstalled Google Chrome a couple of times. I signed in (which I don't normally like doing; I try not to have too many things connected to my Google account), hoping that it would sync. I looked up solutions and tried everything I could find. I tried to restore from an earlier date (which brought its own problems... which many people have had with Windows 10). I looked up my saved data online (I use online backup storage). Nada. It was all gone. Cue the panic.

"What am I going to do?!" I asked myself in frustration. "I had links saved for the novel... for work... for the blog..." From 9:30 p.m. until nearly 1 a.m. last night and again from 4:45 a.m. through 10 a.m. this morning, I tried to come up with a solution. The only difference between last night and this morning was that I saw the disappearance of the bookmarks as a blessing... and perhaps a sign from St. Joseph.

"Why did you mention St. Joseph?" you may be wondering. Simple, this happened on the last day of my 30-day novena to St. Joseph in which the main petition was for clarity on my vocations (career and otherwise) and health. I had a ton of bookmarks for all three areas of my life; bookmarks that I was hoping to get to this week as I'm researching some things. Suddenly, I had no references to my ideas. I also didn't have the stress of having to go through months/years of saved links. I feel liberated and physically light. No, I have to start from zero...  just like I'm doing with my career in general.

It may be that my malfunctioning laptop (which I bought at the start of the program and started going haywire during finals week right before I dropped it), the disappearance of bookmarks (making me start from zero), having to leave the degree unfinished, and the focus on my health (with my first hematology appointment) all within the same week is pure coincidence. Either way, coincidence or not, it made one thing clear: I really am starting from zero in many areas of my life.

As I discussed in the previous blog post, I have no concrete (long term) plans right now. I have an idea of what I'm going to do in the near future -- working on a memoir, on my own third novel, and nurse myself back to health -- but I'm basically starting over with everything else. I left one degree. I picked up my chosen career post graduation (from my first BA) as I've felt called to do. I'm starting to discern becoming a lay Dominican (or Oblate of St. Benedict). Hello, clean slate. No bookmarks on things I had hoped would help me. No financial stability that an in-demand career path would've given me. No going back to any of the previous ideas I had (via saved articles). 

As I tried to add bookmarks to my reinstalled browser, I realized just how many links I had saved up but, ultimately, didn't use. I realized that while it meant that I would have to start a lot of my research over, the fact that I have to do it over again seems more like a fun adventure. Furthermore, losing the bookmarks (after the initial period of panic) made me realize how much it didn't matter to me. During last year's St. Andrew Christmas novena, I asked for the gift of being detached from worldly things that would not benefit my soul and this loss made me realize that I'm seeing the fruits of that novena, months after I made the petition.

Cue the moment of realization that this is just the latest in a string of instances in which I no longer care about certain things I once valued as important. Social media? I don't use it as much. Thinking about what people think of what I blog about? Not high on my list of worries. Fearing about what people would think about yet another (MA being the other) degree I abandoned, though due to circumstances beyond my control? Doesn't register. 

I feel free. I feel free from the pressures of things I once considered important but have come to see that they truly weren't. I feel free to pursue God's will for me without worries (though I've been facing some problems in my personal life due to it). I feel free to focus on what's important and let everything else disappear into the background. It's been a blessing.

I'm not going to lie, I'm glad I'm done with the St. Joseph novena because everything that can go wrong, went wrong during those last 30 days. At the same time, it was also a blessing. Through every hiccup, I've felt getting closer to where God wants me. I had a really, really hard week last week (to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if I was under back-to-back spiritual attacks) but now I can sit here, look back, and see that it was worth it. It sure didn't feel that way last week but, in retrospect, it was.

That's where I'm at right now. Well, mostly. I have other things for another post. ;) 

Oh! And if you're wondering which are the websites I ended up bookmarking again (that I use almost every day):
- Hotmail
- Gmail
- This blog
- Los Angeles Public Library (for eMedia)
- Kindle Manager (for eBooks borrowed from the library)
- Spoken Bride (no comment)

As I said, this laptop (my only laptop/PC) has been malfunctioning for the past week so we'll see how often I can blog until I get a new one. I'm actually trying to use it until it kicks the virtual bucket because I'm trying to make my savings last for as long as possible while I look for a job (that pays). Yes, I'm constantly saving/backing up my files online so that I don't lose anything important. Mama didn't raise no fool. ;)

And that's it for now. I got very little sleep last night 3 hours or so and an hour and a half-long nap this afternoon didn't help much so I may just go take another nap or do something to help keep me from falling asleep until it's time for bed. Maybe I'll have a dance party. Wait, can you have a dance party to Bud Powell, George Gershwin, and Charlie Parker...? (side note: totally grooving to Bud Powell's version of "A Night in Tunisia" as I type this.)

I hope y'all are having a lovely start of the week!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I Have Zero Plans For My Life

I think some (okay, almost all) of the people in my life are utterly perplexed over my decision to not make any plans regarding my future. I have zero plans for my life. I have no clarity about what God wants me to do but not even that is making any big impact on me.

"So, wait, you don't have any plans?"

Beyond finishing the memoir and working on my third novel (two separate works), no. Before anyone panics, this isn't a cry for help nor anything of the sort. I'm not disappearing. I'm not depressed or having any thoughts that would condemn to automatic eternity in h-e-double hockey sticks. On the contrary; I can't remember the last time I felt this happy, this at peace, or this excited about the future. I've simply decided to let God have full control of my future. Complete control. I'm not planning anything long term. I know... it's weird for me not to have plans in place. It's a new territory for me.

Sure, I plan on looking for a job so I can pay back my student loans, but I don't have a specific field I'm looking at. I'm letting God take the reins in regards to what field I'll be working in. Yes, I do have plans to hang out with friends in the next week. Obviously, I have some writing to do. Besides that, no concrete plans. I don't even have birthday plans (which I love to plan for) and my birthday is coming up at the end of this month. Any plans I have are short term and no longer than 2 weeks in advance. These plans can also be changed as needed.

As I said in the last blog post, something happened between the 54-day Rosary novena I did last year and this past Lent that made me change in a profound way. I no longer care for this that I used to; things that made me shallow, vain, prideful, etc. As Easter approached, I knew that I wanted to surrender everything to God. If I had a religious vocation, this would've been easier for me to do -- to renounce the things that the world was offering me that were no longer bringing me joy or bringing me closer to God. Alas, I have no religious vocation. Recently, I even opened up myself to the possibility of becoming a consecrated laywoman but my desire for a family is too great.

I've known for years that this -- being a wife and mama -- is to be my future vocation. Again, since the Rosary novena, that desire has grown exponentially and my vocation in that area is the only thing that is perfectly clear to me. God is in control there as well, though I've had to ask St. Joseph and the Immaculate Heart of Mary for help to keep my heart safe from vultures in the past couple of months. No plans there either. Even if there are plans, y'all know I probably wouldn't talk/blog about them until like the day after my wedding, ninja-style. lol.

My former spiritual director advised me to wait until I was done with school to discern becoming a lay Dominican. The Oblates of the Order of St. Benedict have also appealed to me recently so I'll be looking into both of those. That reminds me... I should probably look into finding a solid spiritual director soon. Since I have no plans to return to academia in any capacity anytime soon, and since I have zero plans overall, it's a good time to start this discernment. A certain L.A. seminarian needs to get on my case about that. Ahem. lol.

I'm really enjoying my little domestic routine I fall into every time I'm not in school. I love pulling up Spotify on my laptop or iPod touch and singing and dancing along to the music as I clean the house. I actually love cleaning -- vacuuming, dusting, putting things in the proper place, washing dishes by hand, etc. Even there are only two of us living in this apartment, I still regularly clean the house and keep it organized. I do the grocery shopping. I'm the one who keeps track of all financial things. I take care of the car and I fix things that need to be fixed around the house (I'm very much my father's daughter). I even took apart the vacuum a couple of days ago to fix it. I split cooking duties with Mom but baking is my thing. It's my jam (no pun intended) -- I love the domestic life.

As you can see, I'm basically going with the flow. I'm open to anything God puts in my path. It's been working well for me except I can get bored at times (lol, oh, Emmy...). During these moments of boredom, I just grab a book and read, clean the house, or I try to catch up with friends. It's become clear that I need to take this time to get myself a little healthier so I'm simply playing it by ear. Where things will go, we shall see. Kind of exciting, huh? lol.

There's something intensely beautiful and liberating yet somewhat frightening about leaving everything up to God. It's frightening because you have no idea what He has in store for you. I have no idea what is coming up. I don't know if I'm going to endure more hardships or -- if there are some coming up -- if they'll be worse than what I've dealt with up until now. I don't know if I'm going to get a sudden break and things will start working out for me. I don't know when I'll get a job or pay off my student loans. I don't know when my dream of being a wife and mama will finally happen. I don't know anything except that I love God and I trust Him with my life. That is why I'm doing what I'm doing; that's the beautiful and liberating part.

That's my answer to people freaking out about the changes I've made lately. I'm happy and at peace. Have I said that enough for people will start believing me when I say it? lol. There's no need for any alarm. I'm in a good place across the board. Saying goodbye to certain social media accounts was good to do because now I don't sit around and just scroll through everything now that I have way too much free time. I have to use my creativity -- and remembering what needs to be done -- to fill my life. It's quite lovely.

I think that's it for now. Hopefully, this will be the last of these kinds of posts. I don't want to keep repeating myself but, apparently, I need to keep reassuring people I'm okay. I'm good. If I wasn't so camera shy, I'd post a picture of me giving you a thumbs up so... virtual thumbs up. Insert dorky grin here, too. lol.

Okay, I'm going to go get a snack and read. Maybe. I don't even know what I'm going to do for the rest of my day. ;)

I hope you are all doing well!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Not a "Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200" Situation

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm officially done with my SLP program. No, this doesn't mean I'm graduating. It's complicated but not a "do not pass go; do not collect $200" situation. I'll try my best to explain. Cue "Done" by The Band Perry playing in the background.

Long story short: the program requires that I earn a B- or greater in my courses before I can move on. I will be stuck with a C+ (after failing my final exam last night; I needed an 80% to pass the class) for one course (B in the other) and thus I'm done. I can repeat the course for the third time like some of my other classmates will be doing but I've chosen not to for two big reasons. (side note: there is a lot of griping and speculation amongst those in the program about the changes that have been and will be implemented this summer. Let's just say that there are apparently many courses being repeated 2-3 times before a student can move on and/or graduate and this wasn't an issue when I began the program three years ago.)

First, I don't want to add to my student debt. I'm about $40-45k in debt for one completed Bachelor's, another nearly completed Bachelor's, and one year of a Master's degree. I'm almost done paying off the loans from my first BA (yay!) but I still need to pay off the rest and it's going to be a little hard because I haven't been able to work. As you guys know, I've been sick for a while and I've spent a lot of time at home, in bed or just sitting as much as I can, and I haven't been able to physically do much which rules out a lot of potential jobs. I've been wanting to work for a long time now because I hate debt. My parents taught me not to use credit cards or get myself something that I can't pay off right away but my education was always sort of the exception. The longer I go without a job, the more money I'll owe (especially with the interest rates from the graduate loans; holy cow!). Mom and I are in a good place, financially, right now but we don't know how much longer she'll be able to work because she's physically slowing down and we literally cannot afford for me to keep going in school without a job. I can't do both; I've tried and it's affected my health so it's not an option.

Second, and most importantly, I haven't felt called to continue down this SLP path for several weeks/months. In fact, I broke down and cried all afternoon, evening, and about 11:30 p.m. on Friday because I hated that I felt stuck doing this (due to responsibilities). Yes, I actually cried (on and off) for about 8 hours. It was bad but it was also good because it made me realize that I was doing something that I don't feel God is calling me to do because I was trying to please others and trying to take matters into my own hands.

It was during that emotionally taxing time that I had this beautiful yet painful revelation that I was crying because I knew I wasn't doing what I feel God is calling me to do. I do trust Him to lead me down the path He wants me to take, but I was still letting others (including the most important person in my life) influence what I was doing and then making an excuse that God would still provide because I was sacrificing a lot for the good of another. That was the whole reason why I kept going down this path; because I wanted others to benefit from what I was doing even though I knew, deep down, that this wasn't what I was meant to be doing and even though I was utterly miserable doing it. If you know me, you know this isn't new for me... and that it's something I feel God has been wanting me to address for a long time.

Over the last couple of days, I've been gaining a little more of the clarity that I've been praying for. I've realized that I need to, first and foremost, take a little break (perhaps the first half of the month of May) to take care of myself and my health. It's something that I've been working on (and have been seeing good results in recent days) but I feel like I need a little bit of time to fully immerse myself in prayer, fasting (in ways others than food), and recollection while I physically take care of myself. This also means more Mass (daily, if I can), more time in silence, and less outside noise. Also, more sleep (you should see the bags under my eyes right now), a healthier diet (I've been slipping in this area lately), and giving my mind a break from all the memorization craziness from the past 8 months.

Following this little break of maybe a week or two, I plan on writing full-time until I can find a job that I can do at home or one that allows me to be seated for the majority of it... at least while I continue to get healthier and recover from the health issues I've had lately. I do have a ghostwriting assignment (a memoir) that's been in the works for months that I can now fully devote myself and my time to. It's not too mentally taxing but it's enough of a challenge that will keep my mind occupied, which I like. I was wondering why St. Francis de Sales kept popping up in my life lately (especially since Lent) and I think this might be why. We'll see. ;)

I don't feel disappointed in this new development. It's weird but I felt elated when I saw the 52% exam grade last night. I felt relief... joy... a lot of excitement... and peace. I think I actually said "oh, good. Now I can do Your will, God" out loud. lol. I now have the excuse (because, yes, in my weird little head I needed an excuse to get people off my back) to pursue whatever God is calling me to do. I'm so excited! I've been praying the 30-day (day 23 today) St. Joseph novena and I did another novena for St. Catherine of Siena's feast day for this particular intention and I guess I received my answer. I know people will be disappointed in me. I know some will think I'm lazy or that I'm a quitter. Frankly, my dears, I don't give a darn.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'm just so excited that I can finally focus on finding out what God wants me to do, to actually do it, and not have that obstacle anymore. I don't have any more excuses not to and it's incredibly liberating and a little daunting because I have no idea what's in store. I used to have a major problem with (and get anxiety attacks from) not knowing what's ahead. I used to (and, okay, still do -- on a smaller scale) love to plan things out exactly how I wanted them to go. Thankfully, now I plan but I also recognize that plans don't always go the way you want them to and that's okay. I'm getting better at going with the flow which is something I used to do very well when I was younger but became a control issue when anxiety hit in my mid teens. God's plans are better than my own. Also, is it weird that this is somehow feels like it's connected to the 54-day Rosary novena I did last year?

I have no idea how I'm going to pay off my student loans. I've been keeping my eye out on jobs that I can do from home -- i.e. freelance writing, managing a brand's social media accounts, etc. -- for weeks now but nothing yet. I have no doubt that God will help provide at some point. I'm not going to stress out (even though at least one person in my life is freaking out over this). If God provides food and shelter for animals, surely He will help me find a way to pay for my loans and for the basic necessities of life. I'm not above doing menial jobs if that's what He wants to do. I would be perfectly happy cleaning a church or doing something that is seen as lowly if I knew it was what He wanted me to do. Sure, I will continue pursuing my longtime dream of being a writer but if another path becomes clear for me, I'll pursue that instead. You and me, God... let's do this!

Alright, I think that's long enough. lol. I don't know when I'll be able to blog again. I've been experiencing problems with my laptop this past week (I almost wasn't able to do my exam last night because of these problems) and I don't know when it'll finally bite the dust. I'm trying very hard not to read into the symbolism of this situation; I bought the laptop specifically to start the SLP program three years ago and now it started to break down completely as I'm finishing my last semester in this program. I've had problems with this laptop since day one. I even had to return the laptop 3 times because they were all faulty. I see what you did there, coincidences... ;)

I hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D