Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Prayer really does wonders.

I've read about prayer.  My freshman year I took psych 100 and they said there was a study scientists did on prayer, and people who were prayed for (especially the people who didn't even know they were getting prayed for) got better from illness or injury faster than those who were not.  Interesting, no?

When I was waiting to get on a flight, all I did was post about how I needed prayer, and I prayed myself.  Somehow, someway, God put me on a flight to JFK.  Not only did He get me back to the states, but I was kept safe by going to New York instead of Massachusetts because of the snowstorm here.  While waiting to get my name called on the standby list, the first thing that popped into my head was, "If I get on this flight, I'm getting baptized."  I've been putting it off for a while because I've never really thought it was that important.  Maybe since it was my first thought, God thinks it's important.  I got on the flight, so now I have to follow through.  Wait until Pastor Robert hears about that haha.

I stayed at my aunt and uncle's place in Long Island for a day, and I got to have the little kiddies to myself.  I wouldn't have gotten that chance if I had only seen them at Christmas.  I love those kids so much, and your heart melts when a two-year-old looks at you and says, "I love you."

Tonight I was stuck at South Station waiting for a train, and started playing guitar because I was bored and annoyed with all this travel.  This man sat down and listened, and a lot of passerbys stood and watched.  It put me in a good mood, and I was glad to give some cheer to other travelers.  Then, I had a visitor at the station that knew I was having a rough time getting home.  He knew I was there and stopped in to say hello, then bought me a beer and made my night.  Not only are my friends currently texting me to come back as soon as I can while I'm on my last and final form of transit back to Millbury, but he wanted to see me enough to keep me company in a train station.  This Christmas I'm just glad to have friends that I can depend on and make me feel like coming home isn't so bad leaving Europe.

love and blessings guys, and pray for my friend Drance who's still waiting in London Gatwick airport to get home!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'll be home for Christmas, (if only in my dreams...)

When I was in Paris my room consisted of dos primos de Espana, un Braziliane hombre, a Romanian girl from Edinborough, and an Australian field hockey player.  We decided to have "family dinner" and share salad, sandwhiches, cheese, and beer in the hostel kitchen.  Suddenly, the discussion turned to some of us not returning home for Christmas, and doing so voluntarily.

"Why would you EVER consider that?!" I willingly poked my nose in.  Spending Christmas away from your home and family is like having pancakes without maple syrup; bland and sad.  I was given answers such as my thinking reflected my being immature, I needed to understand that Christmas is just a day and it shouldn't matter when you spend time with your family, or presents don't mean you love someone, or that to need to see your family and not be able to stay away makes you a child... in more or less words.

I get it, I get that when you grow up you should be able to be away from home for a lengthly amount of time, and this shouldn't mean that you don't love your family if you can't physically make it home to see them or don't have the time.
BUT (and at first I thought this was an American mentality, or just my family's mentality) Christmas isn't a day that you give gifts and chill for no reason.  Christmas is a day you specifically set aside apart from all days to show your joy and appreciation for each other.  And it's not like you can't do that any day, but you do it this day because tradition brings you together as a family.  I was brought up to know that a holiday is above other days and work, or other worldly interferences should always come last on these days because family should be your number one priority.  I never questioned it, and I don't think I ever could.  

Today was supposed to be my return flight.  It was cancelled, and I have my dad's travel agent working on trying to make sure I can make it home before Christmas, and the sooner the better.  I don't have a problem with trying everything I possibly could to see my family.  The number one reason is because I have a HUGE family compared to some people, and for all of us to agree to set aside at least one day a year (or maybe Thanksgiving as well which I missed out on) is a miracle that shows our love for one another.
Forget presents, it doesn't matter what you get, it just matters that you love someone enough to show them you care and you were thinking of them enough to want to make them happy.  So you give them a gift, you see them smile, you tell them you love them, and God is there with you in this the whole time.  Your family loves you and wants you to grow, but they won't be there forever.  Memories are all we have at the end of the day, and holidays are number one in those memories.

My personal reasoning behind gift giving and family time is to celebrate God's love for us when He gave His only Son, by showing our love for each other.  It's an obligation to be home for this holiday not because I have to, but because it's an unquestionable and voluntary obligation to the most important people I will ever have in my life.  Friends are included with this too, since some of my longest and closest friends live right down the street.  

So on this day I ASK OF ALL YOU WHO READ THIS, to pray that God can get me home from England in time to celebrate Christmas with my family, even if you don't believe in anything, just send a positive thought.  Tis the season of love, joy, family, friends, generosity, and new beginnings.

"God Bless us, everyone." - Tiny Tim.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

a cat nap is for cats and people who have time to sleep.

I am appalled at how much crap I have obtained, and how much clothing I own.  How did I bring all of these clothes with me?  I certainly don't remember packing them, no siree, they snuck into my case and packed themselves.  Ugh, I wonder how much I'll be charged for my suitcase being ready to burst.

England doesn't know how to deal with snow.  I'm an idiot for not checking the weather and changing my flight ahead of time, but really I got off the bus on the highway and walked the rest of the way back to my apartment because traffic was so dead.  And now I have to pay almost 200 bucks to get a taxi to the airport because public transit refuses to keep running and if I miss my flight I could end up sitting in the airport for days.... AAAHHHHH

oh well.  Like I always say, "money is money".  It shouldn't mean anything if I have it and I'm able to go home and be with my family instead of sitting in a terminal eating Burger King for three days... but seriously, the people here freak out when they see one snowflake.  This is nothing.

I'm sooooo tired but my cab comes in about two hours and I'm still not totally packed.  Why do I do this every time I have to go somewhere important?  I wait until the last minute to get my act together and somehow I get to where I need to be.
Prayers and good thoughts for my journey guys, I'm gonna need it for an 8 hour flight!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"That was a helluva goodbye."

I'm so glad that I've gotten really proper goodbyes with my friends.  A quick hug and a "see ya" just doesn't cut it.  Chilling out and chatting for a bit, grabbing a pint, going for a walk downtown, grabbing a bite, sharing prayers and reassuring each other, those are what make a meaningful memory.  I'm going to miss Kent Uni, but I'm mostly going to miss my friends, because I've grown to love you all so very very much.

I'm in the library and I took out eight books... I only used quotes from two of them and now I'm bored and frustrated.  Come on UMass, let's hope your superior 26 stories will help me when I return to the states, 'cause these 4,000 words will not write themselves in time for January 26th.

I'm really surprised at how good I was with money this term.  I came out here with a fair amount, and am leaving with enough to survive on a college-kid budget if I can't come up with a job next term.  Thanks Mom for being poor on paper, because financial aid is paying my rent; now I just have to feed myself and not be stupid.
I mean literally, looked at my statement and was like, "How the hell did I manage that?" ... ask Chelsea, I think I'm really bad with my money but she claims that going shopping with me helps her keep a good head on her shoulders and not spend all her money, either.  Ha, I guess I'm not that bad... again thanks to my mom, but her life lessons seem to have become internalized and inherited at this point.

Someone needs to pray for me because I'm going to Brussels and Paris this week and I don't speak a word of French.  Let's just hope I make some friends at the hostel and I don't get lost haha.  Also, let's hope I'm still good with money on a six-day vacation.  AHHHH  I just want my dog and my big girl bed.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Behind that charming grin, all tin men have hearts of gold.

This is going to be the worst weekend of my life.

Today I was walking on the high street with my girlfriends from class.  We had just grabbed a couple drinks at the Thomas Becket, and Rosie wanted us to go back to her place to continue the fun.  I would've gone, but I was so exhausted and I needed to do stuff back at the house.  I probably should've just gone, because getting on the bus to go back to campus was heartwrenching.  That was my first official goodbye of the next few days.  Just thinking about all the people that I may or may not ever see again is killing me.

I should've tried harder to stay for the year, but I guess in reality I wouldn't have been able to graduate on time.  It all looked like it was going to go through, and I wasn't telling some of my friends I was planning on it because I didn't want to jinx it, and it still didn't happen.  Such a bittersweet thing to go home to my family for Christmas and leave all these friends behind.

Every time I invest in something, I usually end up with the waxed end of the qtip.  That's probably why I'm a bitch to people; I don't really want to get close to them, and if they keep trying and convince me it's a good idea to let my guard down, I'm dumb enough to trust them.  Then right when you start to get comfortable, you get fucked in the ass.

There's a saying that goes something like, "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."  I'm terrible at learning lessons.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

ignorance isn't always bliss; it can still be plain old ignorance.

Sometimes you have an illusion of something, and you kind of  know that it's an illusion, but even pretending to believe that illusion keeps you somewhat happy and able to hold onto your sanity.

When I was in third grade, I had two best friends, Heather and Hannah.  I'll use their real names because I have no idea what they're up to now, and it doesn't really matter.  Anyway, Heather sat on my left, and Hannah sat on my right, and when Mrs. Rasicott separated our seats because we were always talking, I had a temper tantrum in class.  She only moved me, and let them stay sitting together.  It was one of the most unfair moments of my third grade career, and Mrs. Rasicott was AWFUL.

I remember going over Hannah's house and we weren't allowed to watch Disney movies because they had magic in them.  Her parents were so religious, that they kept her home from school on Halloween.  But she had a dog and a really nice backyard, so I remember having fun.  And yet, I'd always get the feeling that she liked me but I wasn't anything necessary to her.  It felt like she had some underlying disproving opinion, and I was completely unaware as to why.

Heather had three dogs... or was it two dogs and one cat?  Either way, I loved going over her house because all I had was a stupid fish.  Her mom would let us drink Pepsi, stay up late and watch tv, and she had internet back when almost no one did because dial-up took up enough time to make dinner.  We didn't even understand what the internet was, but we were using it and that made us cool.  But when Heather and I hung out it was sort of like she wanted friends and she wanted me to like her, but I think she wanted everyone to like her, and it wouldn't have mattered to her if she was being best friends with me, or some other girl who loved Sabrina the Teenage Witch as much as we did.  But we did get along, just ...

              ... it's tough to say.  I would get massive amounts of friend jealousy.  Heather and Hannah would hang out without me, or their seats were moved together without mine, and I was so desperate to be in between them again that I felt like my world would end and we were never going to be friends again and they were my only hope to salvation from loneliness.
We all lost touch when I switched schools, and I still have memories of Hannah being at my 8th birthday and smiling when she gave me my present, or Heather and I doing our science project and copycatting an episode of Magic School Bus.  As far as I know, Hannah turned goth and rejected her parents' religion, and Heather had nearly gotten herself pregnant, but this was hearsay I got back in early high school.

Making long-lasting friendships with people is really tough.  If you looked at how many friends I had on facebook, it would appear that I have many friends.  In reality, I would say I have more friendly acquaintances than the average joe, a lot of which I know pretty personally (I'm told I have one of those faces that you feel alright telling things to... this can be alright, but I actually know things about people that I wish they hadn't told me).  I only have a small group of friends that I feel as though I will be friends with for life, and most of them are the best friends I had in high school.

Studying abroad made me realize that a couple friends I have here in England are actually better friends than some I had at UMass.  I feel like I've had this illusion that the harder I try to be close with people, that's what makes them my friend.  In reality, and they're mostly department people, a lot of people I've thought were my friends in the end give me that eerie "Heather and Hannah" feeling.  The all-to-familiar, "don't bother, they won't be broken up if they never see you again" sort of dread that creeps from behind.  These are people that you've written Christmas cards to, told secrets to, and even worked with, but the hard truth is that the harder you try for people to like you, the more they probably won't care.

So what did I do?  I stopped trying, really.  Friendships are like relationships, if someone wants to be with you they'd be trying as hard as you.  I've even heard that some think I don't like them because of my "keep to herself" attitude.  But with the amount of times I've been rejected, and I guess if they knew that, they'd understand.  There are very few people I don't like, and I was hurt when I came to know it was thought otherwise.  When life has been a little rough on you, you get a little rough around the edges.  Lots of people don't understand rough edges; they take it as a flaw or an insult and they move on.  But as I've said before:
            Essentially, we all just want to be loved.

And I hate giving up on almost anything, which is probably why I get extra rejected.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

secret foodie

I'm obsessed with food blogs.  In an unhealthy way.  In another life I would be morbidly obese, but I don't have the stamina.

Reality?  I don't really eat that much.  Coffee and something small in the morning, coffee and a sandwich or similar in the afternoon (if I even get that far... if I wake up too late lunch doesn't happen) and then a really great meal for dinner.

Most people, when they go to the grocery mart, will walk up and down some aisles and think to themselves, "What do I want for supper tonight?.... Welp, spaghetti is always a winner... but oh, that chicken breast is on sale this week... and I guess I haven't had tuna casserole in a while, I could do that Tuesday..."

I'm not most people.  I spend an obscene amount of time, days even, thinking about what culinary creation I can put together next.  Most of the time, it's something that will last me about 3 or 4 days because sadly, I have to cook for myself.  That's the reason why I bake cookies and breakfast breads for my roommates.  I find it so sad to not be able to enjoy food with other people.  Maybe that's one of the reasons why I love to cook so much.

There are 3 food blogs currently in my bookmarks, and I'm always looking for another worthy contender.  This consists of:
       1. A lovely amount of dessert recipes (probably my number one weakness)
       2. Fair amounts of updates (once a week or less is just not cutting it for my bookmark clicking
       3. An appreciation for seasonal foods and holidays (gotta love eight pumpkin recipes in a row when        
           all I can think about is pumpkin!)

When I came to England, I decided I was going to try vegetarianism.  Mainly to be healthy, but also because in the future my ideal would be to only eat free range and organic meat or whatever the granola crunchers call it.  (I guess I'm a bit of a granola cruncher myself).  I'll post another blog on how that's affected me, reasons behind it, blah blah...               
                                                                                        but when reading these beloved blogs sometimes I have to skip over a post because it's all about a slab of beef.  Sad, really.  I would sign up for a vegetarian food blog, but usually they have weird recipes that make me go "ick".  Like fried tofu.  Gross.  Quorn makes fake meat, and I'd rather go get some of that than a slab of rubbery soy byproduct.

Anyway, I'll share the three blogs that are currently in my bookmarks.  You'll know why.

Someday my future hypothetical husband will be fat and happy.  I could even have my own food blog and call it, "fatnhappy" and lie to him saying he's not fat, it's just a witty name for my blog about all the food I make for him and our fat happy children.  Maybe that's why I love cooking.  I love making other people happy.  That, and a lot of people can't cook so they're always ridiculously grateful when you cook for them.  It's really good for self esteem.