On the Wednesday before I returned to school for the Spring semester (which began last Monday), I had the opportunity to step away from social media for most of the day -- most days for an entire week -- thanks to a group of talented and lovely young adults. I won't go into specifics about this group because it's one of those things that I want to keep to myself (for the most part) but let's just say that some of them inspired me in ways I had never been challenged before.
One person in particular really made me think about positive changes I've been wanting to make but haven't made much an effort to do. She's younger than I am but she's a positive ray of sunshine who is always smiling and laughing even when things are stacked up against her. We are very different in many ways -- mainly: she's an uber-extrovert and I'm a social introvert with an emphasis on the introvert part -- but she reminded me of how important it was to be positive and optimistic when faced with obstacles that seem impossible.
I'm optimistic... up to a point. I noticed that there were people who really brought me down when I was trying to stay positive in difficult situations so I made some changes there. As much as I hate to admit it, people's opinions and feelings do affect me more than I admit. Surrounding myself with positive people (like this group of people) really did wonders for me in the week that I spent most of my day with them. While I don't think I'll be able to see them for an entire week straight like I did this month, I know I'll always have those memories and a certain social media platform to keep up with what's going on with them since we're all currently in different countries.
Last night, the young adult group I belong to here in L.A. got together for a movie night and, again, I was inspired. We all got together in the living room of the priests who are our spiritual directors for the group and we watched A Man for All Seasons. The film -- brilliantly cast -- told the story of how St. Thomas More stood up for his Catholic beliefs when King Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church in order to marry Anne Boylen. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it. After the film, we all discussed how we're seeing something similar these days; how some pro-life politicians say they're pro-life but will 'respect' Roe vs Wade since it is law. That led to a discussion on how difficult it is to live life authentically as a Catholic with the way our society is going. It was truly refreshing to hear the thoughts of other young (orthodox) Catholics in L.A. because I rarely experience it out here. Though I was unsure about attending the meeting -- it ran late by my "old lady" standards -- I was glad I went.
The time I spent with the first group and last night's group -- as well as the conversation on the car ride home with a lovely friend who drove me home; I don't like driving by myself at night, especially not in my neighborhood -- made me reflect on how grateful I was to have these people (and others who are not a part of either of these groups) in my life. To be continually inspired to be the best version of yourself, to remember that God is first and earthly things are not worth the emphasis we sometimes put on them... I'm truly blessed to have been reminded of these things.
Now I can say that I am ready to start my semester properly. My mind was too busy soaking up and processing everything I'd experienced the last week that I couldn't concentrate on much else. I feel refreshed, ready to work hard, and grateful for everything good in my life. Yes, my car was vandalized yesterday (I spent about 2.5 hours just trying to get a police report filed). Yes, nothing is perfect. Still, there are so many blessings in my life that I can't dwell on the bad. :)
I have a challenge for all you lovely readers this week: take a look at who inspires you to live a life that will lead you to Heaven; who makes you want to do good in this world; who makes you want to be the best version of yourselves. If you haven't thanked them -- either verbally or doing whatever your/their love language is -- do so. Thank God for the blessing of their friendships and pray for them and their loved ones. I think we sometimes get caught up in our own drama that we forget to pause and be grateful for those who bring light during our darkest moments.
And that -- everything I just wrote -- which is why I haven't blogged or been on social media as much lately. I've been wanting to write for days but I've been so busy with the lovely people in my life, with trying to do what I could do during the first week of the semester, or dealing with other things that I simply didn't have the time. It looks like life is going to quiet down again for me -- at least for a couple of weeks -- so I hope to blog more often. I might blog more and tweet less. We'll see. ;)
I hope y'all have had a great weekend and that you have a wonderful start of the week. Beat those Monday blues. ;)
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D