Lessons of 2017

God heals impossible wounds. Being human doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Having anxiety or depression doesn’t make you less human. Writing helps. Your worries will be meaningless in a year. People make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean God is bad. Never compare yourself to anyone. You’ll arrive where you’re meant to be without trying. Trying to become better is very hard, but worth it. Sometimes you realize you’re not as good as you thought and that’s ok. Facebook is a waste of time. Books are magical. If you put God first everything else falls into place. Reading the Bible makes you better. Jesus is not out there just to find you a boyfriend, He’s there to save your soul. Being smart does not make you a better person. Forgiveness is not easy. People say many things and not everything is true. Deeds speak louder than words. If you believe everything the world tells you, you’ll lose yourself. Hating clubs does not make you weird. Being an introvert is ok. No one will completely understand you and that is fine. Don’t be proud, there’s always place for improvement. Hospitals make you lose hope. Being lost is a blessing. Different people are awesome. Drifting apart from someone might be the best thing for both of you. Don’t be friends with someone out of pity. Struggle makes you better. Art is not made with expensive tools, but with hard work and feeling. Never take things too seriously. Your clothes don’t determine who you are. Grow in your own time without explaining anything to anyone. People’s opinions on your life are not relevant. Religion is not God. If people only show you the best parts of them they are not true people. It doesn’t matter what others see, it matters what you experience and feel. If you want change make your entire life scream Jesus and not just the Sundays. If you have a different view on the world don’t let anyone take that. People will try to take your life, your happiness, your things, but they will never be able to take away what you believe in. Jealousy can turn you in a completely different person. Is ok if you want to keep some things to yourself. Anxiety is very powerful and it can destroy parts of you. Faith is even more powerful. People will say a lot of things and do a lot of things in the name of God and so little of them are actually true. I want to be a good Christian not because people told me that’s what’s right but because it honors God’s name. University should never be your life. Life can be so beautiful.

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Christmas

The Christmas story is one where the hero wins (spoiler). Maybe you don’t know it, maybe it’s so familiar to you that you know by heart every verse from that old Bible. But even if you believe the story or not, heard it or not, celebrate it or not I wish to tell you how was Christmas for me when I was a kid and hopefully make you remember too how it was for you when Christmas actually felt like Christmas and not just another day. I remember even now the joy everyone had for life back then. People were smiling so much, they were genuinely happy and that feeling surrounded everything. I remember how much it was snowing and how one year it just stopped, I remember how much my grandpa loved Christmas and how one year when he was the most excited about it, he died just before December started and I remember how much I loved it too until he died, after that it was never the same.

A few of the best memories I have were the walks I was talking with my parent to the nearest fast food, buying a big warm sandwich that and eating it in the cold on the way back home. The lights were more beautiful on those nights and the laughter made our rosy cheeks hurt.

Another good memory I am very fond of is the Christmas decorating tradition. My grandpa would wake up on the 24th at 5 a. m. to prepare it and I was so excited I could barely sleep. We would start early and work on it for hours to the sound of old carols until it would just look like a unicorn threw up on it. But I didn’t care because I loved sparkle too much as a kid. My grandma would bake amazing cakes and the entire house started smelling of warm dough.

I remember how excited I was about the first snow. Now this usually happened in November but I swear that every time the first snow fell I was sick so I was stuck in the house, contempt with just looking through the window. On the rare occasions I was fine, I would play in the snow from early in the morning until noon when my mom was waiting for me in the house with warm food and tea.

The Christmas Eve we would spend it together exchanging gifts and that was the best thing in the world. On Christmas day we would go caroling and exchange more gifts. It was never cold, I remember only family, joy and warmth.

I never knew the Christmas story either or better said I never acknowledged it. I knew it was about Jesus but that’s it. I don’t think I understood what it meant or what He did. For me Christmas was love, joy and family until my grandpa died. After that is was emptier and last year it didn’t feel like Christmas at all. Only now a few things changed. I realized how much it really is about love and joy. How the King of heaven left the sky, left the throne, left His Father, left beauty and peace to be born in this cold world, endure it and eventually die so me and you can see that beautiful place He left. How much love is in that act? How much He did for people that He knew would not acknowledge Him, for people that hit Him, that spit Him, that ignore Him, that ridicule Him. That is Jesus and that is what Christmas is about, infinite love. I know not all people believe in what I wrote here, but please believe that this holiday is about love and even if you don’t know Him and you feel alone and left out I am telling you that there is someone out there loving you more than heaven even if you don’t love Him.

Now it feels a bit more like Christmas.

Moments

I always had a longing for such a faraway time that maybe exists only in my heart, but the dreams always come. Sometimes they leave and sometimes… sometimes they stay for days in which I ache. These longings always seem impossible because they drag me in 20 different directions and if I finally decide on one, I loose the others and then myself. They are not simple, they are burning lights at the inside of my heart, they are rainstorms drowning my desperate breaths and they are earthquakes making me loose balance. No one said it will be easy and when you dream differently than everyone, easy doesn’t even exist for you. You are a prisoner to yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of people say this, I know I did but I never quite understood it until recently. You can’t escape from your own mind because if you did people would see the way you think, the way you feel and they’d look at you the way they look at a criminal, like you took something from the world they care so much about but for you is the only reason you’ve been imprisoned in the first place. We understand the feeling of fright because we both felt it when people dismissed our way of thinking and saw it in the eyes of every ordinary person who got a glimpse of our minds. I mean who can blame them, we know it’s a scary place, we live in it everyday. Doubt creeps in there and sadness overshadows every valley and crevasse of that world, but there is something which once in a while lights the dark corners with beautiful colors, almost like you’d look through a stained glass in a church. Those lights are the longings I was talking about. These create an endless pathway on which we step with uncertainty, but we always take that step. Our feet and voices might shake but we speak steadily through art, poetry, photography, music. There are endless ways in which we express our dreams and try to make the world see who we truly are. It’s our quiet way of inviting you, the mortals to step inside our houses, sit at our tables and feel the smell of exotic tea, sea foam and wildflowers. Our rib cages hold untamed hearts, we run in endless fields with the sun as our friend and moon as our lover. Every so often we fall, but it’s ok because if God intended us to only rise He would’ve given us wings and made us angels. We cry once in a blue moon when the quiet deeply sets into our souls due to a deep understanding that no one will ever completely know how we feel or simply because we feel time creeping on us, making us one step closer to never fulfilling those longings. I see my grandma sometimes stepping heavily with the burden of time and although this planet is so familiar to her, the ground under feet seems foreign. She traveled, she loved, she worked and you can actually see it in the wrinkles of her face and hands, but there is also something hidden there, something she keeps to herself. There is the acceptance of loss. The loss of those longings that she couldn’t reach, mixed with the hope of a better future for me. This is what I want to avoid. Acceptance that I lost parts of me that will never come back because when the game is over there’s not going to be a restart. Or if it will nothing is going to be the same ever again as the vast joy of moments is counted under the sun and then tangled in the wisps of the wind. I wish everyone could understand we only get one chance at life either by being a dreamer, a worker, wealthy, poor, we just have to make the best of the life we were given. Joy can be found crammed in a small cottage or dancing on the floors of a big mansion, people only need to address it. From what I’ve learned simplicity brings the biggest joy, overthinking only makes your mind crowded and unhappy with everything that doesn’t reach the perfection it has in your thoughts and I am sure this is not my problem alone, many sit in the dark and leave their minds to wonder in every direction. On one of these nights my mind raced far, on lands people have yet to discover and so my heart followed only to guide me to a place which inspired me to create this. But, because I was so distracted with the sights one of the dreams I enclosed in a small box escaped and is now somewhere in the south of France getting married or something, but more probably drinking wine. Being that now it’s free, roaming the world, I am free to follow it and do whatever I want in the meantime. So here is me chasing that wild dream of mine and forgetting about perfection, or other unimportant aspects of my boring life and hoping when I catch it we will both be ready to take on the world together (but drink some coffee first because the road to success is tiring).

Maybe

Maybe today was hard. Maybe you don’t even know what to feel anymore because you were disappointed beyond words. People will tell you your dreams are silly and your thoughts childish because maybe they scare them. Your mind is a big enough place to grow worlds, flowers and thorns, but theirs can only plant seeds that never grow. They’ve probably been hurt more than you can see behind the scraped skin, so be kind. They can’t do it and I understand that, because there was a time when I couldn’t either, but right now I can more than they do. God gave me that power, to be able when others aren’t. So maybe you were scared again by the world, by people, by someone you love and it’s ok to feel hurt. God will heal that for you. He will plant flowers in your cracks and take care of them. But for the people that hurt you is a different story. They might not know a God that forgives and waters their flowers. They might only feel the thorns around their heaving lungs and aching brains that leave bleeding wounds behind. If they never saw that kindness, you should try and show them what it’s like for you. You be the one who plants the flowers in their cracks. They don’t know. They didn’t feel. Forgive them. It’s very difficult on their side of the river and you can’t know unless you cross the water. I did and believe me sometimes I wish I didn’t because I feel like drowning most of the time.

An afternoon

There are days that break you. Your mind screams so loud that if it could be heard the ends of the universe would hear it, yet all that gets out is a quiet whimper drowned in salt and water. The once patched heart starts to bleed again while new cracks form on the over stretched surface. Wounds never heal quickly and especially those in your chest. They bleed for days, months, sometimes years.

There are days when grateful is too much, when anger bites from every corner and you just want to scream from the pain caused by those sharp teeth. Every word from every person that maybe wanted you heal seems like a poisoned arrow thrown at you with spite. You don’t even know why you are angry, but those shit poetic advice just nag at your brain until you want to shove someone in a toilet.

There are days when you are too tired.

Somehow after the hurricane passes everything quiets down. You remain behind in a little yellow room filled with the smell of the lime tree. The warm summer air brushes the curtains making them dance a slow waltz and the soft crooked notes of someone playing the piano make the air hum. You hear birds singing and people talking in the other room and cars passing by in the distance and trees rustling and life and peace. You remember some of God’s words like a refrain in your mind and you just know He is there. The rain was too heavy to feel His light but now you know He was right there sitting on that chair in the corner waiting with a bag full of seeds to plant in your cracks because the other ones might have got damaged in the storm. He sat there patiently through many of your storm with a new bag each time waiting to renew the seeds and watch them grow more beautifully each time. He might not heal some of the cracks and we don’t need to know why if He chooses not to tell us, but He takes each one at its time to make something of it. My biggest two cracks are uncertainty and fear. They still bleed and create smaller wound all around. These two have been with me for my entire life, ever since I was a child. You’d think a child is not capable of feeling such dark things, but then again many adults don’t think their kids are capable of calling other kids ‘freaks’ and indulge in their little ‘games’. I was called many things, I was pushed aside countless of times, I was laughed at and ignored when I told my preschool teacher I was bullied. Some of these wounds still bleed and spill blood all over my life because since then I lived with anxiety, depression, doubt and lowered self esteem on a daily basis. I was not always the victim because I have to shamefully admit I became one of the bad persons, judging and being angry with everyone. I compared myself feeling like a rag doll in a world made of porcelain and plastic. I was jealous, hurt and felt like everyone had everything figured out. How wrong I was.

In preschool I received a small rag doll at the end of a year and named her Heart (true story, I still have it) and I cannot tell you that I loved that doll more than any other Barbies I had. I kept it safe and slept next to it for so many nights until she became part of me, just like my heart. Now let me tell you that even in the Bible it is said kids are most like God so if that 5 year old me loved more a rag doll than those beautiful porcelain dolls because I thought it was soft and huggable then God loves each and every one of the rag dolls here on earth or in the universe and maybe He doesn’t want to change them for a reason, He wants them to remain soft and huggable to help others break from their porcelain too. I realized when I got older that people don’t have anything figured out, not even when they seem like they do and I am part of those people and that is ok. We should be like those lost kids at the playgrounds that don’t have any idea they are lost, they just play and laugh. Our problem as adults is that realization and reality hit us too soon. We should learn to be lost some more and enjoy it, but like I said some days are too tiring to try to enjoy being lost so we break. I am guilty of this more than anyone because I don’t know yet how to trust God more than I am right now. I am only at the beginning. But I try and believe me that counts. So it’s ok to have days where you just want to scream and be ungrateful. You are allowed. God understands some days are too much (1 Kings 19:4-14 ), but even if you have some of those days you have to try to get back up and not indulge in your pain.

Like I said earlier, He always makes something out of your cracks and if I wouldn’t have had mine this pages would not have been written.