Thoughts from Collectively a long time

  • “True love” may wait, but I bet you $5 it doesn’t do so with excess patience. Lol. Maybe abstinence only campaigns should rethink their strategy, because true love legitimately does wait. But, in the greater context of God’s love, most people need an example of how to love in any context before they know what their expectations should be.
  • “Common” sense isn’t common, it’s just a ramblingly vague list of things you are liable to be casually judged for.
  • Time is precious. Insinuating someone is careless or insensitive with their time, or rather doesn’t value it is not only offensive, it can be straight up cruel. I’m talking broadly here, but seriously, given specific contexts, there is a lot to be said how people measure their time and what values they assign to it. I personally place an enormous emphasis on time, and I live accordingly, knowing how little I actually have. Many people see how I use my time and decide that they know how to better use it than I do. I never listen to those people, not just because they are wrong, but because they have no idea what kind of an insult it can be when one really values their time to say something that insinuates their time isn’t nearly as well spent as they have decided to spend it.
  • For a person like me who thinks continuously and has no control of that regardless of who chooses to routinely judge it, I have to work on having a lot of patience for people who try to micromanage me and give advice without listening or asking questions. It’s seriously ridiculous. I give bad advice often and increasingly less, and I know how much it hurts others; just look at their faces. It is important to me to be kind, and although I am an excellent copy cat when I choose to me, deciding to learn to listen is necessary if you want to have any sort of healthy relationship, especially when it isn’t asked.
  • Often, people look at my standards and don’t realize that they are designed off of 20 years of experience that is only now hitting the light of day. It is offensive when people don’t appreciate all the really shitty things that have happened over the course of 20 years worth of time to come to the point where I am entirely able to answer most questions people ask me on the spot, let alone once I write it out as an outline. Don’t judge if you have no idea what you are talking about. If you have a question, paralyze your inner critic, ask the stupid question without being ashamed, and then listen. It’s a three part process, and it’s meant to be repetitive. I really don’t understand except in the moments I fail at this. However, it is helpful and healing to so many people, not just me. It is necessary, and it is a gift.
  • Paying attention to things that happen casually all the time isn’t a curse, it’s a gift. The curse is the bad attitude than accompanies the necessary trial and error. If you can learn to celebrate the tiny victories and take pride in the things you did right, saving what you would like to know, work on, or discover for the next small victory, you can survive a lot. It doesn’t come naturally. Expect a lot of fallout. But some things have enough value to risk failing in every conceivable way. If it hurts, then at least you are breathing. Not everyone can say that, and some people are purposefully electing to make that no longer happen, you might currently be one of them. Victories don’t have to be huge, the point is that they are victories. Celebrate what you can and better luck next time. It will get better. Just keep moving.
  • There is a lot to be said on forgiveness. I will be honest, if you don’t maintain an attitude of trying to forgive and move forward, it will ruin everything you have ever done, said, or believed in order to succeed in any context. People have to tackle their nonsense and baggage, otherwise it owns them indefinitely. I believe that God helps most with this, and I’d be lying if I told you anything but Jesus was ever effective for me, apart from taking medications and counseling like they were some sort of cheap commodity, and honestly, I spent the better part of my childhood on that shit. Time is precious, and I would never ask anyone to waste that much time. The truth came in gradually allowing myself to process as I needed to, to be unashamed, to keep moving until I came to a point where I could legitimately be honest and not be afraid to talk about really shitty things. And after that, the ability to bless others by sharing it has been the greatest thing I’ve ever known. You have to keep moving. End of story.
  • There is no miracle cure. You can’t wave a wand, there is no “golden rule book in the sky”, to quote my childhood counselor. There is love. There is moving on. There is patience. And there is peace. But we come in to this world alone and disoriented, and we often leave that way. You have to search for the things you need basically alone, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, it’s not true. If you choose, you can have Jesus. But those are your choices.
  • The people that you meet will probably be around for a time, help you and love you, and then pass on into other directions or generally become less relevant to your interests or your journey. I promise, it is okay. I used to think it wouldn’t be, but if you have any sort of endurance, that was something you earned, most likely alone (unless you had Jesus). It is necessary to move forward, but no one ever said it would be easy. Trust that the same things you are struggling with now will be there in the future, and know that you will be better able to understand and address them in the future. It is enough. It is a fact. Keep going.
  • Family is the one group of people designed to not only not be a choice, but to try you in ways you can’t anticipate, don’t deserve, and will more than reciprocate in various alternate ways. Don’t let them own your life, but don’t cast them aside. You don’t get new ones. You don’t have to tackle all the nonsense at once, but you can be honest with yourself and work up to asking for the peace that you don’t currently have. No one is perfect. Not ever (except Jesus). But you can move forward, and to move forward, you have to forgive. It’s that simple. Best of luck, I mean it. Even if you fail, you can’t get rid of them, and life goes on.
  • Friends need to be friends. You can’t make them family unless that is something you have decided together. You can’t make them anything but friends, and that is the point: to accept and appreciate for no more and no less than the joy they add to your life. You need to pursue the things you love not just so you can enjoy it, but so you can find the people who enjoy you for things you share and love together.
  • College isn’t about school. College isn’t about your GPA. College is about endurance. Keep moving.
  • Don’t forget to laugh. Even if it’s five minutes, take the time to be grateful. In the psychological study I have cited below, the authors found that taking 5 minutes to be grateful may have just as significant effect as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is used to treat anxiety and learn positive thinking patterns to cope with stress. They suggest gratitude lists, taking time to think about what you are grateful for (“grateful contemplation”) and expressing gratitude to friends and family as means of combating anxiety that are no cost, immediate, and effective. From m own personal experience, I have seen these be personally more helpful than anything else, along with exercise, proper dietary habits, sleep, and a bunch of other habits that provide endurance and peace of mind.
    • Wood, Alex M., Jeffrey J. Froh, and Adam W.A. Geraghty. “Gratitude And Well-being: A
      Review And Theoretical Integration.” Clinical Psychology Review: 890-905. Print.
  • Even if you get to the end, the goal is to not know it’s coming. The whole self-fulfilling prophecy is a lot like a death sentence. Who would want to know when they will die and whether it will be awful? You have no control either way, it’s best to live assuming the worst (not paranoia, but gratitude), and hoping for the best. Would you put up with the shit you are if you would die in 6 months? In five months, will you even remember it? Will you remember it in 5 years? What about 5 days or hours? Best to move forward, keeping your perspective.
  • Don’t ever insinuate anyone didn’t work for what they have, even if they are in a position where it may be clearly otherwise. Best to wait, find out, and then understand any applicable biases you might have towards that person than to flip shit, judge them, and lose your mind because you are so caught up in anger about privilege that you forget to value them as a person. This is for all people, in any situation, especially the rough ones.
  • Live your life. Regret is the enemy, because regret is ungrateful and narrow minded, based on the current moment. Sleep on it over and over again, and you will probably be less ashamed of whatever you failed at. Wake up tomorrow, that’s the first step. Regret is god awful because she demands your attention no matter what you actually have to give, and then insinuates it will never be enough. Not even I would do that, and I love attention to pieces. But, regret is bad for your soul. It ages you. It doesn’t heal anything. Move forward.
  • Sometimes the best solution is sleeping for 20 minutes, calming down and closing your eyes for 2 minutes, crying for five minutes, dancing for 3 minutes to a terrible song you know will help you laugh, writing for 15 minutes, cooking something (often awful), going on a 30 minute run or a 10 minute walk, and then MOVING FORWARD. You think you don’t have time? Well, you have plenty of time to wallow, clearly. Move the hell on, but cut yourself a break and make it possible but expressing the crappy things and then releasing them into the air like shitty paper lanterns. Forget about them, in a few minutes they are gonna be an ugly glowing blur in the sky that you have already forgotten about.
  • Dance when you don’t feel like it. Trust me, it will work if you want it to enough.
  • When you feel like you have nothing left to give, give the thing that it hurts most to give. Time. Money. Words. Gifts/Talent. Joy. In anything you do, aspire to become fearless. If you think you have no money and give just a little and your world doesn’t fall apart, what then? If you think you have no talent and try much harder than you think you can, what next? If you think that your words are as meaningless as paper, can you give something greater until you understand what does matter to say? All of these things I wish for you, because they are fucking terrible, but they will make you a badass and give you endurance you didn’t believe was in you.
  • Hope is essential, and it is the easiest thing to lose (love).
  • At the end of the day, finals is over in less than 10 days no matter how dramatic we’d all like to diva. Just stop.

All the best as usual,



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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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