Tag Archives: problems

A dear friend, dearly confused.

A friend of mine is getting married to a man that has not treated her well in the past. I’m fairly certain that she’s marrying him because he has money. I’m sure she has decided to get married because her younger sister got married a year ago, and she feels like she is going to be forever alone. Countless times, I told her that she would find someone wonderful. I tell her that she was young, beautiful, and a sweetheart. I want to see her happy, but she wants to be wanted by a man.

It breaks my heart, really. She has grown up in a patriarchal culture, where a woman’s worth is determined by when she gets married, to whom, and how many children she has and is able to raise well. I know that culture, and I am always telling these girls that they are valuable not because of who they marry, but because they are human.

I saw her Facebook status today, and it’s a quote that translates to something like this:
“Happiness to a girl is to become a beautiful bride, a beloved wife, and a happy mother.”

My heart dropped. No, no, no, no. Happiness to a girl is being the best she can be. Happiness to a girl is becoming a woman who is intelligent, confident, and strong. This girl is in her twenties, and she believes her life will become better by being a bride, a wife, a mother. I’m not saying those things are not wonderful,  I’m sure being a princess on your wedding day is fun, being in a loving relationship is wonderful, and being a mother is a one-of-a-kind experience. I’m sure it’s great, but that’s not the point. 

I believe that happiness for humans in general is not found in relationships. Happiness is a personal endeavor, it’s about being comfortable in your skin and with your life. Happiness is about learning, loving, just being. 

It saddens me to think that my friend believes that her worth and her happiness is defined by her marital status. It saddens me to see a young life’s journey determined by culture. It just makes me so darn sad to see her make this choice, not because she really wants to be with him “forever,” but because she believes that this is what her whole life culminates to. 

My dear friend, is so dearly confused. 

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The only thing I want:

I want to love life. And I mean really love life. The kind of love where I want to skip in the morning when I’m barely awake, stay up as late as I can laughing, enjoy every single day just because it exists. The kind of love where I want to shower the world in hugs and kisses.
I just want to really love life. I want to be happy and joyful and hopeful. I want to believe that my best is good enough. I want to make others believe that they are more than good enough. I want to be the kind of person I sometimes mistakenly think I am. I want to be certain that the trivial things don’t matter. I want to approach challenges with a curious, unafraid, confident mind.

I want my heart to be open, my life to be full.

I want to love life, and I want it to love me back, too.


Society is wrong – You ARE beautiful.

It is truly sad that we live in a society where women are constantly told that they are not enough: they’re not pretty enough, skinny enough, young enough, smart enough, strong enough, good enough…
They’re told by the media and society in general – that they are not enough because they don’t look like the young women Hollywood has created through crazy, unnatural means.

Beauty is not: crazy liquid diets that do not provide enough nutrients to the body, insane work out routines created by personal trainers that require hours at the gym and lots of money, getting rid of all of your imperfections through surgeries and loads of make up…
Beauty is not defined by Hollywood’s standards.
Beauty is natural – beauty is loving the body you were born in, being proud of the knowledge you have acquired throughout the years and the work you have accomplished, being confident.
Beauty is God-given, and it lacks nothing.

There’s nothing wrong with dieting, working out, using make up. But these are things that are supposed to enhance either our health or our best qualities. They are not meant to consume our lives and help us look like the girls we see in magazines.

Sometimes I like to stand back and “people watch” on a busy street – there is so much you can tell about a person’s self image from the way they hold their head, address awkward situations with strangers, and the way they smile.

I live in a college town, so most people are in their early to mid twenties, and even these young women do not seem to love their bodies and minds. During my “people watching” sessions, I notice how many, many young women keep their heads down while they walk, staring at the pavement. They avoid eye contact not because they are in a hurry (I assume they are not, since they are walking fairly slowly), but because they lack confidence. They don’t smile. They are very apologetic when their umbrella slightly touches a man’s coat. When they trip over something and quickly catch their balance, they look around to see if anyone had seen them stumble a bit. I met a girl today, actually, who asked me what I was studying. I told her, and she replied “oh, I would like to study that but I’m too dumb for that…” I proceeded to try to convince her that that was not true. I’ve seen this girl before, she was rather quiet, and probably not society’s definition of “beautiful”. I continued to speak to her and she later opened up and was full of laughter, clever remarks, and insightful ideas.

There’s just something about society’s notion of beauty that irritates me so much.
I’m young, I’m healthy and thin, a little over average height, and pursuing my dreams.
And occasionally, I catch myself thinking  “I wish I was pretty…”
I worked as a model for a short period of time, basically hired for looks.
I ponder: If I’M insecure, what about others? What about those girls who have never been told they are pretty? What about those girls who have been through accidents that have left them changed? Can we ever truly feel like we’re GOOD enough in today’s world?

And why do men get to set these standards? Why does a woman feel inferior to a system that is dominated by the other gender and its standards?

If women cannot get the attention they require and deserve from the men in their lives, we as women must give other women the attention. There’s just something about being told you’re beautiful. (For example, I was at a store with my boyfriend and I saw this girl who I thought was so very pretty and I knew she probably didn’t even know it, so I told her. She felt slightly uncomfortable (and so did my boyfriend), I could tell, but her face lit up and she smiled.) Beauty is not measured in years, kilograms, or the number of compliments received by men. Beauty is everywhere. We have to love the bodies we’re in, and teach other women to love themselves, too. People only demand the respect they deserve when they know their self worth, which makes self-love a priority.

Just for information: I have nothing, absolutely nothing, against men. There are men in this world who are more loving than any woman I have ever met in my life. I have been blessed with a wonderful young man in my life, and our relationship would never have worked out had I not learned to love myself first. Happiness truly does come from within, and the relationships we build are where we share our happiness with those we choose to love.

Society is wrong – You are beautiful. 
“Be kind to yourself – you only have one body, one life, and only the moment to live it” – Olivia Coyne


Being Thankful for the Good, the Bad, and Everything in Between.

I am thankful.

My life thus far has not been perfect, but it has been beautiful.

I have been hurt by those dearest to me, I have been lied to by those whom I trusted with my life, I have been betrayed by those who swore to be there for me even if the world came crashing down.
I have been hurt.

I lost my hero to cancer, I lost a cousin to bad choices,
I lost a piece of my heart when they left this earth.
I have lost.

I believed that my best was not good enough, I have felt like an absolute failure, I have failed, I broke a heart, I made choices I later regretted.
I have cried.

But through the hurt, the loss, the tears I was given strength, wisdom, and a second chance (sometimes a third, a fourth, and so on…)
I learned that the fabric of trust is something that can be stitched together- and sometimes, the stitching  holds it together better than before it was torn.
But stitching it up – that’s work, patience, forgiveness, and humility.
I learned to value and love people when they are present, because people’s presence is more temporary than we want to believe.
I have learned to believe in myself, because God believes in me. He made me the way I am for a purpose, and my constant self-criticism was actually dishonoring Him.
I learned to be honest with myself and others – I learned to acknowledge my flaws, and battle them with prayer, support, and a positive attitude.

I am thankful – that God teaches me valuable life lessons through difficult situations.
He opens my eyes to the world as it is, rather than to the world I perceive it to be in my sheltered, every day life.
I am thankful, because I have been blessed beyond measure – with everything I could possibly need and so much more.
I have been blessed with a beautiful family and friends, who support me always – financially, spiritually, and mentally, whether I need the support or not.
I am grateful to a God who gives me wisdom when I ask for it and even when I don’t, who guides me in times of struggle, who offers me comfort in times of despair, who loves me – always.

By no means am I suggesting that I am always this grateful. I sometimes scream into my pillow out of frustration. I go on long runs when I am confused. I yell when I am angry. I say hurtful things to those who love me so very much when I am disappointed.
But all of this wears out my body and my soul – it makes me lose sleep, my appetite, and my enthusiasm to live every day as if it were a gift from Heaven.
At the end of all of my reactions to my struggles, I am exhausted and helpless.
And through all of this, God keeps saying “I’m here, I’m always here, I promise you I’m taking care of it.”
I believe Him, but I want solutions now.
But the solutions I seek, I soon find out, don’t involve my problems.
They involve my attitude about my problems.

I am not beautiful inside and out. But I want to be.
I want to be the kind of person who can face life and all of its chaos with love, courage, and wisdom.
I want to be grateful every single second of every single day – for the good, the bad, and everything in between
Because I am blessed beyond measure – I am the daughter of the King.