Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mean Girls and "Girl World"

When I first watched the movie Mean Girls, I'll admit I laughed out loud. While it may (at first) seem like an exaggerated version of "girl world", I've come to find that not only is it tame compared to the stuff a majority of us women go through (even as adults) but it's actually dead on underneath the humor. Trust me on this, I've lived through MUCH worse thanks to the cattiness and constant "power struggle" within the so-called girl world.

It wasn't until I found myself some really amazing girlfriends (a majority devout Christians of various denominations and Catholics) that I realized that it was possible to never set foot into the scary "girl world" that is alive and well in most parts of the world. So called Queen Bees are truly scary. Heck, I'll be 25 on Sunday and they still scare me. lol. While I can certainly defend myself, I often choose to simply turn the other cheek. It's much easier and more Christian than plotting my revenge against. Plus, I avoid drama like the plague; I absolutely loathe it. Things had been good for me for the past couple of years until someone pulled me (whether she meant to or not) back into the girl world I try so hard to avoid. If you haven't guessed it, a guy is (of course) at the center of this "fight."

I normally don't talk about my romantic relationships because I feel like it's just between the person I'm dating (or interested in) and myself. I'm still not saying much but I feel like this needs to be said because I haven't really seen this discussed in young women's blogs (at least not the Catholic ones.)

Why is it that when two young women are interested in the same guy, there is sudden competition? Not only that, some get downright vindictive if they feel you're threatening to take men's attention from her. Why? I don't get it. It's definitely worse when two girls are after the same guy. Usually they try to "one-up" each other, making themselves seem like the perfect girl to the guy and trashing the other in the process. It's absolutely sickening... and I refuse to ever take part in that sort of thing. If you think Christian women are saved, you are wrong my friends. Some so-called Christian women do things more... how can I say this?... sneakily? Is that even a word? Well, anyway, I've seen these women use theology and Christianity to get ahead in the "competition." Really? Seriously? How low can we go, ladies? Using God to get a guy to like you? Lord help us all! Not only that, the more we get into these "fights" and "competitions" the happier you're making the evil one. Is that what you really want?

Of course I don't think I have to remind y'all that not only is this type of thing just insane but it's actually extremely sinful. I can think of at least one big mortal sin that you commit while doing this. We definitely get tempted to do a lot of really stupid things just to "win" the guy. And, unfortunately, not many stop to think about what they're doing until it's way too late and the drama has erupted into a full on war. I am woman enough to admit that I've often been tempted to also "step up my game" when I've seen a girl trying to win over my crush by force (oh the tactics I can list...) but I've managed to do well thus far.

Like I said in my Friendship and Jealousy post, I firmly believe that what is meant to happen will happen. Lately, I've allowed my "competition" to do as she pleases -- doing things I'd never do to get a guy to like me -- because I know that if it's meant to be it will be. I am not going to stress myself over this. If the guy falls for the tricks he's being played, not my fault. I'm not going to say anything because that's her deal with him. Just like I don't like people butting into my affairs (trying to have a say in the outcome of it just because they can't resist), I am not going to mess with the other girl's deal. To me, it's not worth it. I'm going to be myself and if the guy doesn't realize who I am and what I can bring to the relationship, it's not my fault. I refuse to throw myself at him. I refuse to change myself for him. I refuse to enter "girl world" drama for anything, especially a guy. I'm just going to leave it up to God and, if necessary, ask St. Raymond Nonnatus (patron against gossip) or St. Margaret of Cortona for their intercession because I can only handle so much. If you feel yourself getting tempted by these or any temptations, feel free to ask St. Michael the Archangel, St. Benedict of Nursia, or St. Catherine of Siena for their intercessions -- I have great faith in them, especially since they are some of the patrons against temptations. :)

Alright, my dears, I will now focus on school. I've been wasting too much time online and I think all these happenings are a sign that I should get offline more often and focus on my finals. I think I'm getting to complacent -- I know I can finish all the work quickly so I procrastinate. I will try to update soon but don't be surprised if I don't until after Sunday. It is, after all, a big weekend for me. :D

I hope everyone is well and that all you lovely young ladies are having it easier than I have/am at the moment. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quick Thought: Friendship and Jealousy

It's interesting to see just how much jealousy can damage friendships. It seems like no one has been immune to it this past week too. While it definitely hit me (though not directly because God's blessed me enough with a bit of common sense; I'm a bit too Elinor Dashwood in that sense), it seems that it hit others worse. It got me thinking: is being overcome with the emotion actually worth it? For me the answer is NO! I'm the kind of person that is able to stay levelheaded during these type of situations. God's blessed me with the ability to look at the picture clearly and without making rash decisions. I came to the conclusion that if something is meant to be it will be... and that includes friendships. If friendships are destined to end it's because it'll be best for both parties involved in the end. I've learned that very well and thank God for it. If friendships are destined to stay friendships, then they will. If friendships are meant to develop into something more, they will once both people are ready for that kind of relationship and commitment. What's so wrong with leaving it all up to God in the meantime? And why allow yourselves to get all worked up if things don't go the way you want them to? I've wanted many things (i.e. going to school abroad) but they haven't happened for many reasons and I've accepted it. Why not apply the same mentality when it comes to friendships and relationships? It would make things much easier and life a little better.

As for the jealousy one can feel because certain friends have things you don't, well... that's for another post. :)

While I am sad that a couple of my friendships are in the process of ending (as well as others being in the process of strengthening), I am eternally grateful to God for what I've been able to get from them. I feel no ill will towards them and I'm terribly sorry I couldn't offer them anything more. I will admit that for a minute or two I felt sick about the thought of it (and nearly cried) but, like I said, I remembered that I've given myself to God so whatever His will is for me I wholeheartedly accept.

And so that we don't end this on a negative note here's a song that came to my mind while this was going on. (It's a little silly but we all need it at times like this. :D)

Remember: Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. :D

'Til next time, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's Official: I'm Getting Published

Now, before everyone gets too excited, I must remind y'all that I'm still under the May 28th deadline to finish my novel -- which is actually on the brink of finally being completed. :D Having said that, y'all know I am not talking about my novel. Do you guys and gals remember me alluding to some big news that I wanted to share but couldn't until I got the official word? Well, today I got the message from Patrick Madrid that an article I'd written for Envoy Magazine will be indeed be published in the next issue. :D I wrote this article back in late January-early February and I don't know how I managed to contain my excitement all these months. I know my own posse (haha!) is surprised by the news because, really, only two people (one of them being my good friend Kathryn) outside my immediate family knew I'd written this article. lol.

I won't say what I wrote about, you'll have to wait until the issue is published to read it for yourselves. I will say that it was something very personal and near and dear to my heart... and it took me much longer to write than anything else I've written (except for the novel). It's a little nerve wrecking since I haven't had anything really published on this level before. My former college's literary magazine doesn't really count since I mainly helped on the artwork and that book of poems that I wrote (and was technically published) when I was 12 years old was a little thing. This is big for me and I am blessed and honored to have gotten this chance. :D

This is all I can say... for now. This is a huge deal for me because I got to write something that I both loved and for a Catholic publication, which is really what I've wanted to do. Though I just returned to the faith less than 4 years ago, I've been "training" to be a writer since I was a little bambina and being able to combine it with my other passion (my faith) is just amazing. :D

One thing, though, don't expect to see the name Emmy Cecilia on it since I am using my actual name. Emmy is a nickname I was given (and the name a majority of my friends and professors call me) and Cecilia is my confirmation name. I will let you guys what name to look for when the issue comes out (although, if you're on my Facebook list you already know what name to look for.)

Well, it's still early and I have many errands to run so I will try to publish the back posts (two Music Mondays, two movie reviews, two book reviews, etc) later on today or early tomorrow morning. :D

I hope you all have a great day and are having a wonderful week thus far. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Life is But a Dream?

For those of you who have read this blog long enough... you guys know I have some pretty awesome dreams sometimes. Though the frequency of saint dreams has lessen drastically over the past year, I still have them. (I will incorporate a Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati dream I had lately into my novel as well.) Lately, it's been my dad that's been popping up -- usually giving me "messages" and "warnings." Usually, I dream that he's protecting us (mom and I, occasionally other family members) from various disasters. I believe I will keep having dreams about my dad for a really long time because I still think about him often. It's only natural. Lately, though, I've been having dreams that have me thinking twice about decisions I am making (or are about to make.)

Only a few close friends know that, a few months ago, I had a dream in which my father warned me about a good friend that I had started developing feelings for. He said that this friend was not a bad guy, but that he would not make me happy. Furthermore, I was going to find out something about this friend that I would not like. Later that same day, I did find out something about my friend that totally turned me off. This happened 6-8 months ago. Well, recently I had almost the same dream in which my father gave me the same warning -- about the same guy because the pesky feelings might've returned. Dad said "He's not good for you but..." and he shrugged with that "it's your decision" look on your face. Since I try not to be superstitious about it, I didn't really think about it too much. It could be my subconscious telling me that the feelings (which, btw, I am not even sure about) are not really there. I told my mom the dream and she shrugged it off... until she had a dream of her own.

At this point I should say that my mom very rarely has dreams about my dad. I'm the one whose dreams he pops into regularly. My father appeared in a recent dream and told my mom "I warned Emmy about this but she just didn't listen." What was happening, exactly? I had been badly drugged, abandoned in a room, by a mutual friend of the friend my dad had warned me about in my own dreams. My mom had never met this mutual friend though she'd heard about them when I had mentioned them. My mom told me about the dream and described the friend... and it sure enough sounded exactly like a real life mutual friend. When we got home (we had this conversation in between screenings of Babies and Letters to Juliet -- btw, reviews coming soon), I showed my mom a picture of the friend... and it was exactly who my mom had dreamt. Again, mom had never met this person (one of the few good friends she hasn't personally met.) That got us thinking: what is going on?

I don't like being superstitious. If I do anything superstitious, from old habits I'm trying to get rid of, I confess it. I don't like putting a lot of stock into dreams, but when coincidences like this happen... I have to wonder what's going on. Of course, I'm not saying this is a direct dream from God or from Heaven and that the message is being shown through my dad because I know he's looking after me, whether he's still stuck in purgatory or is in Heaven at this point... but what if it is? What if God is trying to make me aware of things through my dreams? Or is it just my subconscious trying to look at things more clearly? I don't know. People have been known to have dreams that have come true and God has given people messages through dreams (many saints have received them that way). At this point, I don't know what's going on. Since I have no spiritual adviser at the moment (haven't had one since Fr. Leo passed away last November and he was the one I talked to about these things), I don't know what to think. All I know is that there are some strange coincidences between the dreams and real life.

What do you guys think? I'm curious to know what everyone else thinks about this because I, myself, don't even know where to begin or what to think. I won't go into more detail about my dreams because a) I want to keep my friends' identities private and b) if it turns out I do have real, genuine feelings for my guy friend he's not finding out this way... or ever if I choose to keep it to myself. lol.

Anyway, it's late and I have to get some sleep in me since this will be a long week and I will need all the rest I can get. :)

'Til next time, thanks for reading and God Bless!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Which of the Ten Commandments Are You?

Yes, it's time once again for one of those quiz things via blogthings. As I often say with these, they are just for fun and not to be taken so seriously... especially if you've seen the kinds of quizzes they are known for.

So, which of the Ten Commandments does blogthings think you are? I'm "Thou Shalt Not Kill" (which I guessed before I even took the quiz. :D)

You Are "Thou Shalt Not Kill"

You are a very peaceful person, and you try to avoid hurting a fly if possible.

You believe every life is sacred, and you wish there was no killing in the world.

You have a kind heart and a passion for social justice. You wish things were more fair.

It breaks your heart to know about hunger, poverty, disease, and violence. You are working towards change!

Please let me know what you got. I'll update with a proper post as soon as I get over feeling ill. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Music Monday: Chris Young - The Man I Want to Be

I am stuck in bed (sick; slept about 14 hours today) so I won't write a long post. Instead, I am keeping up my Music Monday tradition (which I haven't done in a while). Anyway, this song is called The Man I Want to Be by Chris Young. I saw it on CMT one morning, including an interview with Chris, and I fell in love with the lyrics. We often don't hear a man singing to God, and this is just what Chris has done. If more men thought this way, we young ladies would be very lucky. I am warning you: this is a country video/song. So, I like country music. Sue me. lol. Anyway, I'd encourage you to at least 'sit through' it at least once to just listen to the lyrics.

Alright, I am going to try and take it easy until I end up falling asleep again. :D I hope y'all have a better Monday than I did. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wait, Is This Even Me? / Better Catholic?

Tonight I realized something very important about myself -- I had slowly been changing myself to fit the various molds that I was being put into. While listening to June Christy and Duke Ellington (some songs were blipped), it suddenly dawned on me that I missed the way I was before I started changing... a change which I didn't even realize I'd done. Before I go further, I should explain a few things.

Those of you who have known me long enough, or have read this blog almost from its inception, know that (until as recent as a year ago) I'd always been known as a hopeless romantic (though not necessarily in the "love and affection" sense) and a sucker for happy endings. Some of it is still obvious (my love of Jane Austen is a giveaway, lol), but it's not the same as it once was. I used to live and breathe songs by Ella Fitzgerald, June Christy, Renee Olstead, Billie Holiday, etc. Chick flicks were often my choice when going to the movies (though screwball comedies and comedies in general have always won over any/all other genres). Classic movies such as the Four Daughters film series, musicals such as An American in Paris and Good News, and screwball comedies like The Philadelphia Story and Vivacious Lady were my preferred viewing choices. Something about things that bring warm fuzzies have always been what I've liked the most. Being courted the old fashioned way, acting with modesty and decorum -- these are some of the things I would be happy with (minus the courting thing as I've never properly been courted; I'm in absolutely no rush to go there, especially because there is still so much I want to accomplish first). I was happy with this part of myself. I was unashamedly this way as well. Unfortunately, I unconsciously locked this part of myself up somewhere down the road.

While working on the novel, I've had to revisit some pleasant (as well as unpleasant) memories of previous years (early 2005 through early 2008). Without spoiling much, I will say that I've been listening a lot to the music I use to then and it has brought back so many memories attached to the songs. Most of them are of how I use to be happy with the things I've previously mentioned. As I mentioned a few months ago, I'm the type of girl that loves having flowers in every room. The idea of wearing skirts and heels a la the 1930s and 40s is incredibly appealing to me. Wearing a mantilla/chapel veil on Sunday, which wearing said skirts/dresses and heels seems like the proper, respectful thing to do while attending Mass. Being domestic (to the level it was prior to daddy's death) is something I actually look forward to. Maybe it was (and still is) all very idealistic, but I was happy with how I was.

The changes in me were subtle. I toned down the more "romantic" ideals and stuck with the more sensible (and serious) notions of what was expected of me. I took charge of my family (though, as Fr. Brian has pointed out, I've never really been a child since I've taken care of my parents since I was very young) and I tried to be as strong, both emotionally and mentally, as I could. I haven't allowed myself to cry as much as I've sometimes wanted (I'm very sensitive and even the thought of someone suffering makes me tear up) out of fear of being called oversensitive and overly emotional. Apparently a lot of people think that's a detestable quality. I've had an extremely "take care of business" mentality for over a year now. Though I've always been more practical than not, it's gotten to the point where I am not even having fun anymore. I study hard but I don't take the time to do many things I enjoy. I made the joke to a friend that I've become an anti-social nerd. I don't go out anymore; not that I did much in the first place. I have, in a sense, made myself into what has been expected of me -- a young sensible, responsible lady who's expected to focus on her schoolwork and on stifling her more romantic and emotional thoughts and ways. I'm expected to do everything for my mother because I'm now her only living relative and she heavily relies on me. I am expected to fit into everyone's ideal of what they want me to be -- some friends want to me be extremely serious and even become a religious sister, some want to be be a little spunky spitfire and always up for entertaining them, others want me shut up about my moral and thoughts (basically be "less Catholic"), a few even think I'm not Catholic enough. I can't win. I've been trying to please everyone, and not been happy in my attempts to not let anyone down, that I've lost the part of myself that I've always loved.

When I'm in my more idealistic/"romantic" frame of mind, I tend to be happier. I used to be able to do more of what I wanted and, somewhat ironically, be more in touch with the spiritual side of me. When I'm that way, I don't really care what others think of me (in the sense of whether or not I was being a good enough daughter/friend/Catholic) because I'm happy and I know that I'm doing exactly what God wants me to do/be -- not what others think I should do to get closer to Him. Where is that part of me now? I miss it and think I should quit trying to keep it hidden and bogged down.

One more thing... have you noticed the lack of the blog posts and the rigid formality in some of them? I have started to no longer enjoy what I write. When I started this blog, I did it to give everyone an unabashed look into what life was for a young Catholic lady -- good, bad, and everything in between. I knew I was going to make mistakes and would have to own up to those mistakes when I blogged, but that was the point. I am not a saint, though I certainly aspire to be one. I'm not done in my education of all things Catholicism; I'm still just scratching the surface. This blog was never intended to have all the break news of what's happening in our world; there are plenty of blogs and news websites on that. Instead, I wanted it to be a more personalized blog in which I would say how certainly things happening both in the Catholic and secularized world affect me and those around myself. I wanted it to be more personal (have I stressed that enough?) and I thought it would be neat to see how my progress was going. It seems that I have deviated from that just a little.

After a little soul searching, I've decided to return to how things were -- just a little older and (hopefully) a little wiser. Though I'm certainly not going to revert to all my old ways (I've changed and grown for the better in some aspects), I do want to return to how I was prior to all the stress and pressure to act and say what is/was expected of me. This blog (which has slowly been coming back in this direction; exhibit a) the blog layout) will also return to its initial purpose: just an ordinary young woman trying to navigate her way through this world with her ideas, morals, and faith intact. All the previous blogs I'd been writing but not published were too formal so they won't be getting posted (well, not all of them). I am returning to the basics. If I lose a few readers, I won't take it personally. I never kept this blog because I wanted such a huge reader base. I'm still surprised so many people are even remotely interested in what I write.

As for my old ways, I would like to ask friends who read this blog to please respect my decision. Please don't try to make me feel guilty for wanting to do my own thing once again. I love you all but I need to do this for myself. So, please, no more "you should become a religious sister; you're better suited for it since you don't mind the solitude"... no more "quit being so idealistic"... no more pressure to be "a better Catholic" or to "shut up" when topics such as pro-life and abstinence come up. I believe what I do and I think I deserve the same respect I show those who don't agree with my points of view. I'd like to do things on my own pace. I will continue to learn about the more "traditional" Catholicism I feel is the better suit for my ideals and philosophy. I'm sorry that the Novus Ordo does not appeal to me but I will participate in what doesn't make me literally cringe because I'm still there for God regardless. (side note: I still refuse to clap and do certain things in these Masses). I am still learning, though, so if some of you "trad Catholics" have the patience to teach me, I totally welcome my education of it -- I still have so much to learn on things pre-Vatican II.

Phew. That was a load off my mind. Again, if you would rather not read my blog after what I've written, I understand and will not be hurt. If I stay true to who I am and what I want to write, there will be more entries written as I will not be pressured to come up with some amazing entry that defends our faith. I will, of course, still do this because I am so impassioned about certain things -- but it will all be based on my knowledge and feelings about the topics. As I wrote the day I began this blog (Dec. 25, 2007): "There are no guarantees that I won't make a mistake or two along the way, but I will learn and I am willing to share my experiences with whomever wants to read about them." I will return to the plans I had as a 22 year-old and be happy. :)

If you're still with me at this point, God Bless you! I tend to write quite a bit, don't I? lol. Thank you for reading everything; honestly, I greatly appreciate it. :)

I hope everyone has a blessed weekend and St. Joseph the Worker Feast Day. Happy feast day to all those named Joseph or those who chose St. Joseph as their confirmation saint. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!