The Girl in the Porcelain Doll

college, friendship, God, illness, life, love

If I had a dollar for every time someone commended me on being “strong”, I’d be a very rich woman.

In our society, being strong means balancing everything and everyone without breaking a sweat.

It means sleep deprivation and a borderline serious addiction to coffee.

It means meeting deadlines, no matter the cost to your sanity; or relationships.

It means not falling apart when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Sometimes I feel like a girl trapped inside a porcelain doll. I can feel myself beginning to crack; trying to escape this emotional prison, but I patch myself up time and again, for the fear that if I shatter, who will be there to pick up the pieces?

If I fall apart, who will hold the others together?

If I’m not Superwoman, who’s going to save the day?

But I’m not Superwoman.

I’m just a woman.

Sometimes, I just can’t withstand the pressure.

Sometimes, those few little cracks happen in the right places, and I can’t tape them back together; I shatter.

Sometimes, I’m PMSing with a stomach bug, missing deadlines, can’t clean my apartment, don’t have energy for love or friendship, and go through a great loss.

The mind is a fragile, terrifying, beautiful place. It is the entirety of you; it is the seat of your soul.

My mind is frazzled. My mind is tired of hiding emotions that I push aside because, “I just don’t have time to fall apart right now.”

My soul is tired. It’s tired of straining to hold up the mask .

My mouth is weary. It cannot utter the words, “I’m fine,” one more time.

So this is me being honest. This is me falling apart. This is me crying out the tears that have been burning a whole sitting in my stomach. This is me pouring out the emotions that have turned to bile and started to poison my heart.

This is me breaking free from my porcelain frame.

This is being strong.

 

 

 

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An Open Letter To The Guys On The Row

Boys, college, God, life

Dear Guys on the row,

I want to thank you for comparing me to a dog today. I know that sounds a little counterproductive, but let me explain. I’m not thanking you because you decided to be a chauvinistic butt-head. Or because you almost brought me to tears. Or because you completely deflated the happy feeling I had in my heart.

No, I’m thanking you, because you reminded me of one thing: My worth, and identity, can no longer be wrapped up in what you think. The only One who can decide that is God, and He thinks I’m pretty freaking great. You see, I used to care so much about what you thought of me. Whether or not I was pretty, smart, funny, or clever enough, was all up to you. I let who I was become who you told me I was. But not anymore.

You proved to me once and for all that you will never see me the way He does. You’ll never be able to give me the approval I so desire, because you weren’t made to.

I’m sorry I ever put you in that position and that I ever elevated you to such heights in my mind. I can’t promise it won’t happen again, I am a 20 year old girl after all, but what I can say is that I will try.

I will try to believe the truth about myself. I will try to not care about what other people think about me. And I will definitely try to forget about what you said to me today.

Sincerely,

Dog Girl.

The Feeling

college, life, love

There’s a special kind of pain. It’s the kind of pain where you can feel every pulse of your heartbeat, and with every breath that draws your chest upward, it’s like a thousand knifes bearing deeper into your soul.

All your nerve endings are on fire; searing, burning, screaming fire.

Then the tears come. Fast and hard. They fall from your face like fat goblets of truth. They burn your eyes as they leave them, further validating the pain you feel.

Then the screaming comes. Gut-wrenching, breath-stealing, ear-ringing screaming.

Finally, you’re so exhausted that all you can muster is a pitiful “please.” You silently plead with God, asking Him for them not to be gone.

But you know it’s for naught. And as you lay with your spent body in pieces the screaming will cease, the tears will dry up, your nerve endings will relax, and the pain will dull.

Because now it comes in moments, and you know that all you have to do is make it through.

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!

 

Reality

Boys, college, life, love

I’ve been so uninspired lately. As you can tell from my last post, I’ve been mending a broken heart. If any of you have experienced this phenomenon, you know exactly how I feel…

The world just seems a little bit hollower; the sun not as bright; the colors not as full; and life just not as fulfilling. It certainly makes creativity hard-pressed to come by.

I’m not trying to make excuses for my radio-silence, rather give some insight into my life. I have tried to be as vulnerable and open here as possibly, but I’ve always tried to keep some semblance of veil between us.

I wanted to create a space not only where you all could  see me and how I handle issues of life, but where there was just enough room for you to disassociate me and insert yourself.

I hope I’ve done somewhat of a good job of that…

I have been keeping my mind busy at least. Books have begun to consume my life again (my finances are having a hard time keeping up with me ;). There’s just something about losing yourself to words on a page. If only for a little while, you get to break from reality and think of someone else’s problems.

It’s really refreshing. Haha there have been so many times when I’ve was completely engulfed in a book, that people have to yell my name multiple times. I mean, I’m already good at tuning people out, but give me a book, and it’s over.

Books are a great escape, but the thing about reality is, you can run from it, but you can’t hide. Sooner or later, you have to wake up and come to terms with your life. You have the choice between accepting your circumstances and being oppressed by them, or understanding them and working towards changing them (if that’s what you desire).

A really good friend of mine really slapped some sense into me last night– no, not literally– but even in its figurative state, he helped me to see that said guy had moved on, and I needed to as well. Feeling sad was ok, but I still needed to be moving forward and doing the things that make me happy.

So here I am, moving forward, doing the things that make me happy; not stuffing my sadness, but not letting it consume me either.

Time for me to go change my reality.

Xoxo, CB

To Have Loved and Lost…

college

They say it’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all; my battered heart begs to differ sometimes… Love. It’s such a wonderfully terrible necessity of life. Before we begin, I want to announce now that this is not a ranty post about how sucky love is (false) or the stupidity of boys (true), but in its truest form, this post is just me talking to someone I loved dearly. Someone who not only impacted my life, but who has shaped who I have become…

Two days ago, you would’ve been 89…

Two weeks ago, the family would’ve called one another frantically to talk about what to do for you, or what to get you. They would’ve bickered constantly about the time, place, and especially about what food to cook. Arguments would’ve inevitably sprung up, and eventually you would be called in to bring the peace, like you did so many times before.

One week ago, the final plans would be made. Feelings would be hurt, food and cooks would be selected, a place would be booked, and friends would be invited. Then I would call you, hear your gruff hello, say, “Hi Papou”, and you would say, “Hi baby!”. Then we would chat about school, and work, and the weather. I’d ask you what you wanted for your birthday, and you would most likely reply with, “I don’t know, just not shirts or socks!” After, I would apologize profusely for not being able to be home until Greek Easter, to which you’d say, “That’s ok baby, you’re doing good in your school, just focus on that and don’t stress too much.” Then we’d say I love you’s and goodbye’s and hang up.

One day ago, I’d be feeling guilty for not being there because how many birthdays do you have left? I’d hear all about the fights, food, gifts, and just plain gossip. I’d call to make sure you had a good day and that you got my gift. I’d try and get you to work FaceTime, but that would be a fail, and then we’d just give up and promise to talk again soon.

Today, I am sad. I’m sad because none of those things happened. There were no failed FaceTime attempts, no gifts lost in the mail, no food or fights, no planning or bickering, and you didn’t turn 89, at least not here with us. Not with me. No, we said our goodbyes 7 months ago… At least I know that our final words were, “I love you.”

So is it really better to have loved and lost? Most days I would say yes, because without those memories–without you–I wouldn’t be me. But some days, like today, I just miss you–and it hurts like hell.

Two days ago, you would’ve been 89…

Spring Retreat….

Uncategorized

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