The Fog

college, life, Uncategorized

It rolls in, smooth and sure of itself like a lion stalking its prey.

You don’t see it coming though. It hits you all at once.

One moment you can see and the next you’re blinded by your own thoughts.

It’s thick and unforgiving.

The sun is completely shut out and confusion swirls around you.

You try to remember the moments before the fog set in, it’s impossible though.

Your mind is entirely clouded with fragments of thought. Nothing truly complete, just little snippets here and there.

Only enough to shroud you, but never so that you can fully understand what’s going through your brain.

You try to tell yourself that this won’t last forever, things will go back to normal, but then the thought comes in: “What is normal?”

So then you wonder if this is normal. Is the fog friend or foe? You don’t know. You don’t know anything.

You forget what it was you were thinking about seconds after it crosses your mind.

But then, just as quickly as it came, the fog swiftly and deftly rolls out of your mind and things are clear.

You look around and see that once again the landscape of your mind has changed.

And just like when you have to clean up after a storm tears through a town, you begin the reconstruction of yourself.

Look, the sun is out again.

 

 

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Is This All There Is?

Boys, college, life, love, Uncategorized

 

Sorry, this is not a “Merry Christmas” post or a “Happy Birthday Jesus” post, no this is a “Wtf?!” post. This is a “I’m fed freaking up” post. A “Beyond done” post.

Is this really all there is? Is this the famed “dating game”? Have we really devolved so much that now I have to introduce myself by saying, “Hi, I’m Ali, you are single right?” Are relationships so unimportant that cheating is just a concept?

And I’m not talking about sleeping with other people. Cheating is more than that; I’m talking about the flirting. You know what I’m saying… The kind of flirting you wouldn’t do in front of your significant other–nor should you do in their absence!

I’m sorry, but I’m just a little confused. Disney and Hallmark shoved this whole knight-in-shining-armor BS down my throat, my entire life, and I just thought things would be a little different. Not this toad pond that I find myself wading through.

What happened to romance? Respect?? Honor??? And I’m not the most Notebook quoting girl on the block, but I know that there has to be something better than this… Isn’t there?

I didn’t expect some golden-haired god to come sweeping me off my feet, but I thought that he might be single at least.

I didn’t think there would be a boom-box blasting outside of my bedroom window, but I believed someone would look at me with admiration instead of lust.

I don’t think all guys are pigs, but damn could they get it together a little?

And no, I will not excuse their behavior. I don’t care if you’re worldly, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or nothing at all, it doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 95, you have no excuse to act like a buffoon when it comes to girls or women.

We’re not that confusing. We like to be hugged, kissed, held, and chocolate. Not too much to ask, right? I feel like men just have this already defeated attitude when it comes to women. We really don’t bite…Hard.

I mean if you want to approach me, be a man about it, but not an a**hole. DO NOT TELL ME WHAT I’M GOING TO DO. Ask me if I would like to do something, and if I say no, GO AWAY.

I know that sometimes it takes trial and error to learn your way of talking to women, I get that. But it just seems like guys these day don’t understand the learning from your mistakes part. They’re like Einstein’s theory of insane.

Look I’m not trying to man hate, but it’s high time they get called out on some stuff! In the end you really need to be four things: Kind, courteous, respectful, and for the love of all things, be single!

 

Spring Retreat….

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Nature is good for the soul… I’m sure that’s some sort of famous quote or something. I normally don’t identify myself as nature inclined, but I have to say that after living in LA for six months, I was beyond excited to see some green, and some stars!

For those of you that don’t know, I’m a part of an A-mazing Christian organization here on USC’s campus called Cru (formerly, Campus Crusades). Every fall and spring, Cru puts together a retreat; nothing crazy, just some Jesus loving people out away from school and getting some great hipster pictures for Instagram.

This past weekend we had our spring retreat (for those of you currently living in the Arctic, sorry the “East Coast”, it’s pretty much spring here #sorrynotsorry). What does spring retreat entail, you ask? Well, basically, over 80 college students packed their Bibles (and cameras) and heading to Santa Barbara for some “glamping”*. We spent two bitterly cold nights learning more about not only Jesus, but each other…. One of the greatest tools of the enemy is isolation; he wants us to feel alone, or like we’re the only people dealing with certain things. When, in reality, so many of us are hurting in the same way, and if we could just take 5 seconds of courage and be vulnerable with one another, there would be so much healing.

So to say that God showed up and showed out is a complete understatement. So much was broken in me, that I came back feeling 10lbs lighter! My eyes were open, my heart was softened, and my soul was refreshed.

Another wonderful tidbit of information: I brought along a friend with me, who God has definitely placed in my life, and at the beginning of the weekend she was agnostic; she left on Sunday believing in God and starving for more of His truth. Being completely honest, I was in tears just watching the beauty of one of His lost sheep being returned to the fold, and the fact the God intrusted me to help in that mission. I have not felt like the best daughter lately, but it just goes to show that we are not the ones who qualify us, God qualifies us. We don’t determine if/when we are worthy, Jesus died and declared we are always worthy. And we can’t decide when we deserve love, God is love and He said that we deserve Him.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, or undeserving, or unlovable, or any of the other many lies Satan throws at us, maybe you need a little spring retreat of your own! And if you can’t get to nature (I mean, snow), then get out your Bible, pour some coffee (or tea I guess), turn off the phone, GET OFF FACEBOOK, and spend some time being kind to your soul. He will remind you of who and who’s you are, and that your life is justified because of Jeremiah 1:5–go read it. I love you, God loves you, and that’s all that matters!

*Glamping= Glamour camping; this may or may not entail queen size beds, heaters, and indoor plumbing…But there are still bugs! images-1

Love and Other Annoying Facts of Life….

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So, Valentine’s Day is around the corner. And many of you are gearing up to either spend that contrived  blessed holiday with the one you love, or  eat your feelings (Aka be like me)! Because of this, I thought I would get into the spirit (you may laugh), and post a little something I jotted down the other day:

The Lover

     Let me tell you a little something about the “lover”…. The lover’s heart is too big for their chest. Their thoughts are constantly going to other people. Their bank account is especially drained around Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, and Christmas. They have many “friends”, and most people would describe them as pleasant, happy, always smiling… But the truth is something darker.

    Behind that smile is a broken and hurting person. The happiness and pleasant demeanor are there so that we don’t scare you away with our many (hidden) feelings. We are lonely. We love more than we get, and we love those whom most would deem “unlovable”. We give, and people take, and then we give more. We try to hold it together; we say that admiration and appreciation don’t matter, but actually they’re what we desire most. We long for a friend like ourselves; for a Lover of our souls.

    It’s so easy for us to fall into the traps of false love and unhealthy relationships. When we don’t seek the one great Lover, we begin to break down. Our hearts start to shatter, and the cracks in our “suit of armor” become deep valleys. We know how important it is to love, but we forget how to be loved.

    That’s when He comes to fill us. That’s when our smiles become true. And that’s when we can finally let ourselves feel loved. So, if you’re a lover, don’t be discouraged. Seek Him. Seek the Lord, and you will find the love that you so desperately desire. And if you know a lover, share some of your appreciation; you have no idea what a simple “thank you” could do.

    “But the greatest of these is love.”

                           -Jesus

Isn’t it funny…

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Isn’t it funny how life can go? Sometimes I like to think of myself as comic relief for God. And this isn’t me being cynical or hating on God, it’s just how I feel sometimes. I mean, I’m clumsy, I say the wrong things at the very wrong times, I forget really important things, and remember every embarrassing moment, I have wardrobe malfunctions constantly, and I make mistakes daily. All the while I can just picture God laughing at most of these. But not for the reasons you would think….

How many times does the Bible tell us not to worry? (I haven’t counted, but I’m sure it’s a lot). And how often do we actually adhere the that? (If you’re me, not very often). Honestly, God dresses the lilies* and how beautiful are they, and yet we worry about laughter lines and love-handles?! How often do we spend every waking moment engulfed in the chasms that life likes to throw at us? I will use USC as an example. Here, everyone is an overachiever. If you don’t work three jobs, have two internships, multiple leadership positions, are part of greek life, and taking 18 units, do you even go to USC? The name of the game is Don’t Let Them See You Sweat. You have to look like you have it all together, even after your fifth all-nighter. In reality, we are hurting. We’re tired. We’re lonely. Wanna know why we have such a huge hookup culture? It’s because no one really has time for relationships now, but they still go to sleep feeling the emptiness of their beds and long for connection. So they go and get it Thursday-Saturday night from any person willing to walk back to their room with them.

We worry about jobs, and not having them after graduation. We worry about all of our money going to student loans for the rest of our lives. (Yes) We even worry about how our parents perceive us, and if they are proud of us. I once heard one of my college prep high school teachers tell me how he didn’t want his children going to a school like ours. He said, “I’ve seen too many 17/18 year olds burned out by the system, and I don’t want my kids to go through the same.” That’s pretty powerful. 17 and 18 year olds, who haven’t even really started life, are burned out.

This was not how it was supposed to be. We weren’t created to deal with this kind of stress and worry. We don’t even see all of the blessings in our lives, because we’re too wrapped up in our own heads.

So, when I picture God looking down at my life, I see him laughing, not because of all the completely, ridiculously, embarrassing things I do (everyday), but because I have so many adjectives for those moments… God, the creator of the universe, overseer of over 7 billion people, does not worry. And we, the receivers of His glory, worry about everything. I can literally hear God saying, “If you only knew…” So take today, take tomorrow, take forever, and calm down. Find things that bring you joy, and do them! Want to learn how to speak Chinese, take a class. Want to travel, get in the car and go. We aren’t promised tomorrow, so take your peace and go live. Isn’t it funny how simple life could be? *Matthew 6:28

I can’t sleep…

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I’m sure from the looks of my title, you’re probably thinking that is is a rant about me not being able to sleep. You would be correct! However, this is not a negative rant. No, this is a positive one. How does one write a positive rant? I’m about to show you!

So this past week marks the first week of my second semester of college (crazy right?). Well being the scheduling genius that I am, I have 9:00 am’s all week *insert pitying looks*. On top of school, I started work again, and have been shuttling up and down the California coast for doctors appointments. Needless to say, but I am exhausted.

This leads me to today, where my first and only class ended at 10:00 am. Now most, “sane” people would take this prime opportunity to take a nap; if I could I would! But you see, I’ve finally hit the reason for my rant. I can’t fall asleep because…It’s just too beautiful of a day! That’s right everything you’ve heard (and seen in movies) about California weather is true. To put into perspective: It’s 71 degrees and sunny–it’s January. Every time I look out of my window, I feel this overwhelming sense of guilt for letting such a beautiful day pass me by.

You see, I’m not crazy (right now), I just couldn’t imagine blocking out this glorious day, for something as insignificant as a nap. It really is incredible though how much one’s mood can improve with a little warmth and sunshine. Stay warm my friends, and I’m sending California dreams to all of you! And now I will end with a little blurb about beautiful days (I never have been good with conclusions).

“When I look out and the sun is shining, I see your smiling face. When I’m outside and the wind blows, I feel your tender kiss. And when I’m surrounded by a day full of blue skies, I hear your voice whisper, “That everything will be alright.”

-Anonymous

This is my first attempt to write something interesting.

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Well, welcome!

Yes Marilyn, being normal is boring! So in an attempt to once and for all prove to the world that I am in fact, not normal, I have decided to blog.  In this sacred space, I will look at the world around me, and sometimes write about my observations. I say “sometimes” because, in addition to being a Gilmore Girls enthusiast, world renowned food connoisseur, and a full-time procrastinator, I am also a Neuroscience major! *cue crazy looks, and collective gasps*. So yeah, I don’t understand this mystical term called “free time”. However, when I do have some, I will report back here; just for the few people who will actually be reading this (I’m looking at you mom).

As you can probably already tell, I’m quite fluent in sarcasm, and because of that, I want this blog to be a mix of snarky fun, and serious cool (just like me). I’m no communications major, by any means, but they say practice makes perfect, so if John Green can write 2,000 words a day*, then I can write 200 once a week– sleep be damned!

I also want this to be interactive (because who wants to be written at all the time??). So occasionally I will post blogs with questions– they will not rhetorical–so please answer them in the comments. Other than that, I will leave with another quote from one of my favorite people, Marilyn Monroe:

“Fear is stupid, so are regrets.”

*S/O to Michael Henley for bestowing me with that fun-fact.