Saturday, January 9, 2010

Giving Thanks to God for Finding Myself

I'm terribly sorry I haven't written anything lately. I have started many blogs, but I haven't finished them for one reason or another. To be quite honest, I just haven't felt like writing much (apart from my novel). In the past couple of weeks, I haven't wanted to do anything. At all. Let me explain why this is.

As many of you know, I did not pass my Intermediate Algebra course by only a few points (I said three, I think). I had signed up for the next math class before I knew I hadn't passed... and they haven't dropped me from the class. I hope this means that either a) someone up there likes me and is helping me stay in the class, b) a computer glitch is allowing me to go onto College Algebra with the D (high D, but D nonetheless) I received, or c) they haven't figured it out and are waiting until the beginning of the semester to drop me. I hope it's either a or b because I want to get math over with. Anyway, while I was studying my brains out (I think my record was something like 14 hours in a single day) I thought to myself that maybe I wasn't meant to finish college. I overworked myself and I did not pass the class I worked the hardest in.

I also did my best in my Philosophy of Monotheistic Religions course but I got a C in it. I actually take that C with pride because I knew that I did not compromise my beliefs in order to get that A. I had a semester long battle with that professor (who I believe is an atheist or, at the very least, agnostic), and apparently I wasn't the only one. A fellow classmate, and friend, wrote a great paper on Christianity and she got a C on it. Whatever. I'd rather fail than deny my beliefs.

I did pass my Interpersonal Communications and Career Planning courses with A's, so the semester wasn't a total bummer. Many people have told me not to sweat the fact that I didn't pass math... especially since this was my first semester back since my father's death. I went back to school one month after he passed away. I knew that staying at home, mostly alone, would only hurt me. Still, failing hit me hard.

After the semester was over and I had nothing to do, I sort of freaked out. I have a tendency of overthinking things which is why, I suspect, my anxiety hasn't left me completely. The holidays were particularly hard on me. Every time I thought about how it was my first Christmas without my father... my first New Year that I didn't hug me and wish him a great New Year... I burst into tears. I'm still tearing up, just thinking of this... writing it all out.

I started to question a lot of things. Do I want to burden myself with the loans I would have to take to pay for school next year? Am I even supposed to finish college? Every time I've tried to go forward, something had kept me back. I thought about how maybe the previous times were because I was always planning on going abroad, and the Lord wanted to keep me in L.A. because my father didn't have enough time left with us. I am still unsure. I love school (I genuinely enjoy attending classes and studying) but in the last couple of weeks I just wanted to quit.

I've watched my mother slip deeper and deeper into her own depression, which emotionally drains me as well. All she does is sleep and work. She doesn't eat much and has lost a lot of weight. (I myself still haven't recovered the 10 pounds I've lost since dad passed away.) I feel completely helpless. It's like I stopped taking care of one parent, just to do it all over again with the only one I have left.

I've thought about how I've given up doing a lot of things I've wanted to do. As I get closer to turning 25 years-old (which will happen at the end of May), I wonder if I'll get to do what I've always wanted while I still have the chance to be somewhat selfish. Is this part of the quarter life crisis everyone is talking about? Friends, and priests, have told me to start living for myself... something I have not done very well.

In the midst of all of this, I clung unto an old friend and I was not quite sure why. I often call him my best friend... because that's what he's been. Through the good and bad, I've always relied on him to be my emotional support. My ONLY emotional support. I have friends... but none at this level. Most of my friends have been become acquaintances due to life's demands. It's very selfish and wrong of me to think and say this... but I felt very sad that at a time when I really needed my friends, I felt utterly alone. I still feel that way sometimes... but it's gotten easier these past couple of weeks.

Anyway, what I didn't realize is that the reason I held onto this friend like he was a life preserver was because he reminded me of the last time I was truly happy... which was at the end of 2006, a few months before my father was diagnosed with cancer the last time. During this time, I was very much in love with said friend. It was truly the most idealistic time of my life. I was returning to the Church (though still slipping) and I was really happy. Months later, my father was diagnosed with cancer and my friend (who ultimately became the inspiration for the male protagonist in the novel I'm writing) and I parted ways, everything went down hill. Those couple of months during the Fall and Winter of 2006 into 2007 were some of my best memories... which is why he came back into my life when I needed a reminder of that.

I believe God gave me a great gift on one of the most beautiful days of the year -- Christmas. On that day I realized two major things that have changed me in a good way. First, I realized what I was doing and thus I was able to let him (and subsequently everything that happened with my dad) go. Deep down I knew that though I love him (in a strictly platonic sense), I don't need him in the way I'd been thinking. Thanks to him I realized that I was content to be single and not have that added responsibility at the moment (especially since I take my relationships seriously AND my being on an emotional rollercoaster following my loss wouldn't have mixed). I also acknowledged that I needed to be more assertive, but that's another story. lol.

The second gift I received from God was acceptance. I accepted that I didn't pass my class, but I know there's a reason for that. I'd remembered that, just like my friend, just because you don't see/talk to your friend in a while, it doesn't mean that the love and respect isn't there anymore. Sometimes you have to be alone, and maybe the reason why I didn't have the emotional support I wanted was because I have to learn how to grieve and rely on myself for once. I also accepted the fact that I have changed, whether I want to or not, and that that's okay. In fact, I can honestly say that I am very grateful for everything I've gone through because it's made me the woman I am today.

With the New Year, I made a resolution to start the new chapter in my life. First, huge internal makeover (hence the lack of posts lately). I've taken time to find myself once again... find the person that was tucked away, for safe keeping, when I was a mess. I feel like I've done a lot of that lately.

Taking the advice of a new parish priest, Fr. Brian, I've allowed myself to start doing things I once loved. Writing, of course. I temporarily gave that up at the end of the year but I'm back with that. I wrote nearly 10,000 words in the past two days. I've embraced the literature geek in me and have started reading books I love again -- mostly Catholic literature and classics like Pride and Prejudice (and the like). I'm started watching movies again, lifting the hold on my Netflix account. As you can see, I've redesigned (with help, of course) the layout on this blog. It may be a tad girly, but this is who I am.

I am the girl that loves Jane Austen and the Victorian era. I am the girl that would be happy in a room filled with flowers. I love getting dressed up. I love the idea of having high tea with friends. I love the color pink. I do still love soccer but I'm letting myself be more girly than I have before.

I've made a resolution not to be so scared of what others may think of me. I owe part of that resolution to someone who's become somewhat of an unlikely role model for me. Though this person is very different from me, she's fearless and she's herself without letting the opinions of others affect her. Though I've been been able to ignore the negative comments, I've still been a people pleaser. I have the "if you don't like my blog background/layout, I'm sorry but this is who I am" mentality. Love me or hate me... I can't change the way I am.

I will probably be more outspoken on things such as being pro-life/anti-abortion and on being a hardcore believer in abstinence before marriage, though I know I will probably alienate some friends. Deep down I know that those who are my true friends, who disagree with my beliefs, will put it aside and still love me for me. I've had two great guy friends both tell me that, though their beliefs differ from mine, they still read my blog and they still respect what I have to say. (Austin and Matthew, thank you!)

So... new layout is due to a New Year, a new me, and a greater appreciation for God and His mercy on me. Thank you, God, for allowing me to find myself once again. :) May St. Cecilia (this blog's patron saint for the year 2010), help guide me down the path God wants me to take.

If you've made it this far, God Bless you for it! lol. I promise my other blogs won't be this long. I just wanted to get everything written. :D

That's it for now. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!


Delaney said...

My thoughts while reading this blog post: "Dear God, Thank you for Emmy."

:) I love you, big sister. I'm always praying for you. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Awww. You're gonna make me cry. lol. Thank you! I love you too, little sister. We shall have awesome tea soon! :D

Delaney said...

Haha, I don't want you to cry. :P Yes, we shall!

Emmy Cecilia said...

Good, happy tears never hurt anyone. Though blame the chick flicks I've been watching for my emotional state. lol.

P.S. The nicest place I've found was that place I told you about. Everything else is further away, more expensive, or just plain crummy. Hmm... we need to come up with an alternative.

Anna said...

Hi, I'm a random stranger and fellow faithful Catholic....I stumbled upon your blog from another blog. :)

It's funny that you wrote this post out today, because you stated some of my own feelings about my life as it is now. I also have just gone through an epiphany of sorts, and I need to make a fresh start as well. You just gave me some encouragement! God bless!

- Anna

Delaney said...

We could just go to a place that serves tea (how is the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf? I saw a gazillion of those shops last time I was in the Valley) and pretend we're at a pretty tea cottage. ;) We could bring our own elbow-length gloves, high heels and floppy sun hats.

Not that I have elbow length gloves. :P

Emmy Cecilia said...

Anna - Hello and welcome. :D I'm glad I could help you in some way. May God bless you on your fresh start, :)

Delaney - Or we could always go to Borders and totally geek out there. I'm sure they sell tea as well, if they have a cafe there.

Delaney said...

That would actually be really amazing. Books + tea = awesome sister time. :D

Emmy Cecilia said...

Now we just have to figure out a which day and what time and then... sister bonding over Jane Austen books (don't deny it, you know that's where we'll head to first, lol) and tea. :D

Sr. Ann Marie said...

Emmy, it sounds to me like you have already taken some giant steps! I think one thing I've learned in living is that sometimes you have to take care of you before you can take care of someone else and it seems like you are well into the process of doing that--letting go of some of the pain connected with your dad's death (not of him but of the pain). And I think in letting go, we somehow find new insights into who we are. That, I've learned, takes a lifetime. But the joy is that we keep getting these insights into the wonder of who we are! Enjoy the gift your are!

Kathryn said...

Hey, love your new layout! Cute!!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

It's time for the guy to show up here...

I'm blessed to have met you and gotten to know you through out the last year, and look forward to more fun times through out the year.

One of the great things about being you, is that there's nothing to apologize for. Be you, I will always be here to support you.

May 2010 bring peace, happiness and everything else.

I hope that it's a glitch and you get into the class. I'll be happy to vouch for you ;)

Pax Vobis Emmy, you rock and continue to do so :)


K. Suzanne said...

Emmy, I love your new design! Also, I took the Austen quiz twice and got Marianne Dashwood and Lizzie Bennett. I suspect my true personality is somewhere in between. Condolences on the first holiday season without your dad... but you seem to be handling it as well as anyone really can. God bless!