Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beginning Lent Sick; Just Call Me Catherine Morland.

Photo: Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland in ITV's version of Northanger Abbey (which I will talk about.)

I hope everyone has had a good start to Lent. As I wrote yesterday, I spent most of the day yesterday sleeping. I just couldn't stay awake. I was only up for about 6 hours yesterday night/early this morning before I slept another 8 hours. I also took another hour and a half nap today. I've never ever been this fatigued before. I've also been experiencing other things (like random chest pains) that I've never had before. It's kind of scary but I usually tell myself it's probably anxiety related since it's been getting worse lately. I don't know what's going on with me, but I am very happy that I have a doctor's appointment next week. I am worried about one thing -- that the benign lymph node I have has grown or gotten worse and that it's messing up my thyroid.

When I was in the emergency room last month, the doctor said she felt it was a bit big and that I should get it checked out. I wasn't supposed to get it checked again until May-June but I am going to ask my doctor to check just to make sure it's nothing. For all I know, not knowing whether it's my thyroid or if it's still part of the mourning process which I am still going through.

Believe it or not, I am still coping with my father's death. I'm just starting to come out of this really horrible depression that hit me for a couple of weeks. I no longer wanted to do anything, I lost interest in a lot of things I loved, and I would cry way too easily. I've always been pretty sensitive but the amount of crying I was doing was getting ridiculous. My mom went through the same, but a few weeks before I did. 7 months after dad's death, we're still dealing with it and I know we will continue to deal with it for a while longer. That's what I'm hoping is the cause for my anxiety because I don't have any other explanation at the moment. Of course my anxiety could be a number of things that might subconsciously scare me. Recently I've been feeling like I'm finally growing up (in a way)... and that might be freaking me out, even though I don't think it is.

I will be the first to acknowledge that I have grown up very protected from the world (a bit sheltered, if you will). If there were any problems within the family, I didn't find out about them until it was way over. If there were any financial problems, I never knew about them. My parents never cursed in front of me, nor did they argue in front of me. I didn't really know about problems in the outside world until I went out and experienced them (or heard about them) myself. Perhaps that's why friends say I am an "eternal optimist", because I still believe that everything will eventually work out for the best.

Recently someone close to me commented about how "innocent" I still was, despite being nearly 25 years old. I didn't notice how that seems to be the general consensus amongst those closest to me until I became very aware of why they thought this. See, I've been going to the movies a lot lately (which I love doing when I have the time and resources). During some sex scenes (or scenes where the couple is getting intimate but they don't actually show anything), I turn away from the screen and occupy myself with my cell phone or something until it's over. I've had this habit since I was a child and it's continued as an adult. My guy friends have a field day when I do this. I get teased mercilessly, which is why I think they secret enjoy going to the movies with me. lol. In fact, if there's kissing in a scene, they will put their hands over my eyes... which I will slap away if it's not a big deal. The best explanation I can offer to this is that, despite the fact that I know it's acting, I feel intrusive on a couple's intimate moment... and if that intimate moment is graphic, adulterous, and/or lustful I just refuse to watch it because it offends me. Apparently, by doing this, I am showing how innocent I am. I mean, there are other obvious reasons why they call me what they do (a little petunia) but I don't know. I didn't think this was a bad thing.

I mean, I can see how a little innocence at my age can be a bad thing. If any of you have read Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey and/or know about the heroine in the book, Catherine Morland, than you pretty much know what my problem is. (And, side note, this is the reason why I've been so into this novel lately... Henry Tilney being the other reason. ;D) Unfortunately, as I've said in previous posts, that innocence (or naiveté) has made me a very easy target for people. I've become more aware of it lately. As I've written before, I get why people say I'm too nice. I don't speak up sometimes because I hate drama... or I go along with something to avoid conflict. I've been trying to be more assertive lately... and it's hard. It's a lot harder than I thought it was. I'm always very worried that I will hurt someone's feelings if I say I don't want to do something, unless I know it's something stupid and something that would not be worth repeating to a priest in the confessional. Fr. Brian has told me to be more assertive and it's actually going to be my penance during Lent. (See how I tied that in? ;D) I am going to speak up more and not worry about the other person's reaction as much, especially if I feel good about speaking up. It's quite possibly the hardest thing I'm going to have to do because it goes against my people-pleaser nature and my "I probably deserved that" mentality.

In short, just call me Catherine Morland. I am about to reach the end of my real life version of the novel (sans my own Henry Tilney, le sigh; I will have to be patient with that one), which means I have to continue to grow. My new saying is coming from a Ben Kweller song called "Walk on Me" -- "If I was in your shoes, I wouldn't walk all over you, so please don't walk all over me." I might just have to quote that to people from now on because it's still saying it in a nice way but you get the message across more bluntly. This is going to be one interesting Lent.

Alright, I have to go work on my homework for the week since I've lost a couple of days -- I'm a little behind the second week into the semester. *palmface* I have many quizzes and discussion threads... and assignments... and essays... to work on. I will continue to try to post at least one little thing every day during Lent (like I did yesterday).

Oh, btw, a friend is letting me borrow a first edition copy of St. Therese of Lisieux's autobiography so that will be my first book during Lent. Yay! :D

Okay, enough stalling now. I am going to dive into the wonderful worlds of Art Appreciation, Creative Writing, Humanities and History (which will both focus on the beginning of civilizations). :D

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


Anna said...

Well, I for one admire you for turning away from those parts in movies! I myself can't stand nude scenes, and I don't watch movies with them....or I'll fast forward if there's one that I didn't know about.

I totally get where you are coming from about speaking out, being afraid to speak your mind, etc. I think it's best to just be silent sometimes. People will definitely get the idea that you are not "their" type, and will generally start to leave you alone. Most of my classmates like to party, and they learned very early on that I don't. I didn't have to say anything. They just noticed that I was the only one in studio who doesn't cuss and didn't chip in a drunk or sex story.

Just hang in there with your resolution, things will get better!

And you'll be in my prayers!

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thank you! It's nice to meet someone who is on the same boat as I am regarding the movie scenes.

And, agreed. I often don't speak up because there is no reason for me to add anything to a conversation I know nothing about.

Thank you for your prayers; you'll be in mine as well. :D

Kathryn said...

Don't worry about being innocent, people tell me the same thing. I consider it a good thing! I would want the same for my children as well! :) And about the thyroid, I don't know if you ever saw that whole fiasco I had with my thyroid stuff. I am on meds for the rest of my life and the take blood every couple of months but other than that it's not bad! There are a lot of symptoms though so if you want to know if you have it you could always good it, and then see a Dr. of course!

Claire Christina said...

Dear Emmy, there's a big difference between innocence and naivete! Naivete (in extreme cases) can put you in dangerous situations because you don't know enough about the world around you to protect yourself when need be. Innocence is not blind to what goes on in the world, but chooses to leave it outside, refuses to let it encroach upon one's relationships with people and with life.

Example: I did some crazy things in high school, and though I was still mostly a good girl in the grand scheme of things, I still had some very "modern liberated woman" attitudes, and had been in the thick of a few spectacular sins. I was positively unshockable.

Then I went to college in Steubenville. Our Lord cleaned me up big time, and by my sophomore year, though I retained my unshockability and the memory of those experiences, I had let go of so many attitudes and perspectives so fruitfully that people thought I was home schooled.

That is not a dig against homeschoolers; rather, it is a compliment to God's great work, to turn a dramatic sinner into someone with no less personality but with great meekness and, well, innocence!

So don't let people drag you down. Society as a whole likes to spoil innocence. Simply show them over the months that you won't be spoiled, and they will eventually come to respect your choice to embrace innocence. It truly is a beautiful thing.

*hugs* Love you! :)

Emmy Cecilia said...

Kathryn - Thank you for letting me know which scenes to turn away from while watching The Proposal. ;) Mom thought it was funny when I would say "Oh, Kathryn said to not watch this..." and then physically turn my body away from the screen. And, I do remember the whole thyroid thing. That's what actually gives me hope - knowing you've gone through it yourself and that you're much better now. :D

Claire - Ah, I see what you mean. I guess I'm more innocent and just occasionally naive (because I still think I am with certain things). Love you too!