Sound off.

I’m not sure if this will be a philosophical post, by my usual standards, but I’ve had this thought going through my mind lately:

You remember my post about my struggles with asl class?

Since ASL 1 I’ve had the same problem in every class, I find myself getting sleepy and my attention wandering.

This happens in spoken classes too, but I found it to be much more immediate in ASL.

I finally decided it has to be the silence. I’m one of those people who needs almost no noise to sleep, so when I’m in a  very quiet space, it’s easy to go into sleep mode.

But this time around in ASL 4, I have a new edge to this feeling. Perhaps it’s been getting more pronounced with time, or maybe it’s the attitude of the class (as I mentioned before in Greatness: a blog essay inspired by deaf events. It’ll be listed as my previous post at the bottom.) The sensation of missing something is growing on me.

It’s kind of like a hunger. I didn’t really become aware of it till I noticed that when I leave class and my classmates and I immediately resort to English once outside the door, there’s a part of me that breathes a sigh of relief. I’m missing: Sound.

Who knew you could miss voices? But it’s not just voices, it’s any sound at at all, beyond meaningless scraping of chairs and clicking of pens.

Think about it, for many people even written words carry an idea of sound, you can hear the person’s tone in them, even if you’ve never heard anyone actually talk this way, you get a feel for their unique voice. Other people think more in images, I’m not one of them, but for a lot of us, sight and sound are almost inseparable.

I consider myself a visually oriented person overall. I like reading, watching stuff, and doing things that require visual detailing. But I missed how many of those things also involved listening. In fact, I play music while I write fairly often, I listen to things when I knit or do puzzles. I get bored very easily when there’s a lack of sound. I enjoy driving when I can hear my favorite music or talk to a passenger, I loathe it when it’s too quiet.

This can be a flaw to some extent. We need peace and quiet every now and then. But it’s also important to recall that peace and quiet are never total silence. The more you search for total silence, the more the simple sounds of nature and city life will strain your nerves.

People complain the city is too noisy, but nature is noisy in its own gentler or wilder way. I visited a state park recently, it was very quiet of city sounds, but the wind was blowing so strongly you had to speak loudly to be heard.

The sound of silence dis actually very bizarre if you ever hear it uninterrupted. And awkward. Sound is a part of this world.

To me it’s strange that there’s a group of people who’ve never experienced it at all.

I suppose you cannot miss what you’ve never had.

Still, as I’ve said, my reliance on sound is treated like some sort of reverse handicap in Sign Language. It has many advantages to it, yet it’s as if it’s only condescended to being used.

I’m not sure why so much stress is put on separating sign and sound as much as possible, except in music videos, when it’s hardly going to reflect real life.

Actually, the presence of sound in a classroom is far more realistic to how anyone in real life is going to  use signing. It’s not like hearing person can just turn off their ears, they’ll have to learn not to be distracted by sound.

Actually, I find sign great for focusing when it’s too noisy to hear myself very clearly. But when it’s already quiet, voice seems better.

Anyway, I’m not really arguing for which is better at the moment, just for not separating the two of them so much.

I wonder if Deaf people feel the same about a lack of hand movement in conversation.

I’m trying to reconcile my enjoyment of signing with my craving for sound. I don’t know if it would be so much of a problem if I didn’t find it made class so much harder to focus in. I think if we were allowed to even have music (wordless or turned down low) it would wake us up a lot.

Interestingly, I’m not the first person to note this hunger for sound. I recalled while I was writing the opening paragraphs that there’s actually a chapter devoted to this in The Phantom Tollbooth. A book I’ve read several times but never thought of in relation to this. Which is weird, because there is literally a Sound Keeper who stops all the sounds in a valley because she gets greedy for them and doesn’t trust the people to use them well. She spends her time listening to different kinds of silence, but is still able to speak within her castle and hear other noises. Milo, the protagonist, finds this selfish. She hasn’t stopped using sound, but she won’t let anyone else use it. He ends up releasing all the sounds again.

The Sound Keeper hated Dinn, the representation of chaotic noise in this book. All the sounds we hate most, like fingernails scraping a chalk board. Yet at the price of beautiful sounds like music, laughter, animals, familiar homelike things, was a little peace a quiet really worth it?

In fact, the sound of laughter later saves Milo and his two friends’ lives when they travel through the dangerous  mountains towards the end of the story.

I’m not sure quite what profound conclusion to draw from all this, other than science has recently discovered a kind of sound to be the thing that binds atoms together at the smallest level.

Hebrews 11:3 says God created the things which are seen (visual) from things that are unseen (His voice.)

Sound came before sight, oddly enough. Maybe that’s the reason it’s tied to us to tightly.

Well, that’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

Greatness: A blog essay inspired by Deaf Events.

Greatness is not in our weaknesses, but in how we overcome them we can become great.

So, I have to go to Deaf Events for my ASL class, as I think I’ve mentioned before.

And while there are a few I enjoy, for the most part, I don’t get much out of Deaf Events.

I’ve noticed this thing with the deaf community, I think it’s best if I express it through some notes I took while actually at an event yesterday at my college:

Some of these stories are interesting, and it’s good to know what these people have experienced, but I still don’t understand why they make their disability their identity.

I think how horrified they would be if Jesus healed one of them right now, horrified, because they don’t think they need to be healed. What a way to spit in the face of the Gd who made the ears, and clearly intends most of us to hear.

It all reminds me too much of how The Incredibles points out that exceptional people are pushed down by the ordinary. The kicker is all of us can be exceptional in different ways, but instead of pursuing excellence, we pursue equality.

The strong are shoved out of the way of the weak, instead of the weak being elevated to the strong’s level. Perhaps they (the people sharing) did learn to join the hearing world, but they do not view it as a more complete picture of life. Blind people know they are missing out on something, and who would argue that?

All my life people have wanted me to put my strength aside, one lady here just said “put your hearing aside.” Why? Will deaf people put their deafness aside? No one would even ask them to.

Whether out of pity or a false sense of equality, it really doesn’t matter, either way they still aren’t our equals. [I meant in terms of ability, not that they are not human beings just like anyone else.] Reminds me of Adam Taurus from RWBY and his “lionized” ideas of faunus. Being at a disadvantage does not automatically make you worthy to rule. We forge our strength in suffering–and in joy–if we never have the second, then the first will warp our strength.

I learned to be stubborn by being afraid and angry, but I learned to use my willpower with joys. Why am I always being told to shut up? Using my strength has been the only way I helped people. And we need the strong to lift up the weak. God makes our weaknesses strength, until He does, they don’t help anyone. True of physical weakness as well as other sorts.

That was a bit raw, I know.

Perhaps I sound a bit like a disgruntled hearing person, mad that my advantages are being exposed.

Well, guilty as charged I guess. I am hearing…like most people…and I do have advantages because of that.

Saying deafness is not a disadvantage is akin to saying you don’t need your right arm. You can live without it, and do almost anything really important, but you do need it. Only a lunatic would cut off their right arm.

Yet people willingly choose to be deaf because the idea somehow got popular that it was something to be proud of. Like it was their choice!

Well thanks to the stupidity of socialism, now it is. I don’t mean you should have to get a hearing aid if you don’t want to, but the whole notion that turning down the opportunity to hear is somehow liberating is…insane.

Sure, you might feel like it is…people feel like a lot of things that aren’t true, but objectively, it’s better to be able to hear. IT’s safer, easier on the people around you, and lets you enjoy a lot of things in life.

Deaf people have begun to take pride in the fact that they miss out on all these things, because it means they get to be a part of their deaf culture, and only them. There’s an attitude that hearing people are somehow intruders into it.

Which is totally backwards. I don’t know of a hearing person who’d look at a deaf person as an intruder into our culture, because our culture is…culture. It’s based around being able to hear.

Some people now have the nerve to resent that…like it’s not okay!

And that just gets under my grill, because why the heck should the rest of us feel ashamed for not being…deaf

Oh excuse me for being able to use my ears…that I have…because I’m supposed to be able to hear…yeah, I should be so ashamed.

Lest you think I’m going off on deaf people, let me just say, I’ve met some who are not like this. I believe the ones I know would probably not say this to my face, or even realize they think this way. What’s unfortunate about it is they don’t realize the implications of the term “deaf pride.”

I have no problem with deaf people in general. The ones I met who treated me like a person who was honestly trying to understand them, I liked. I found them very easy going, friendly, and open. Great! I like people like that.

Imagine my shock when I discovered via my liberal college’s biased material that there’s a lot of deaf people who not only embrace deafness as some kind of gift just by being what it is, but actually think I, as a hearing person, should have to be at their level.

Here’s the deal: I’ve seen videos openly implying that  I should just freaking learn sign language because deaf people feel so unheard and unseen and shut out by hearing people…the irony? The video had to have been shot at a school that welcomed deaf students if there were that many of them involved.

Also, uh, writing exists.

What was funny is one deaf lady at the event I was at was saying “Deaf people don’t need you, they can write, interpreters just make things easier.” Really, well if you don’t need us, quit whining about not being heard…start speaking.

That’s not meant to be cruel. Many of them can speak, or could, had they chosen to learn. And they can speak through other mediums. It’s silly to expect everyone to learn your language. If they want to talk to you, they will; but if you want to have a voice in their culture, you need to learn their language.

I would not take up residence in another culture without learning it’s language. Which is why deaf people do learn to talk… so why the shaming? I’m not really sure what the problem is.

They swear they are oppressed, but in their country, (I know I have readers not from America, so this won’t apply unless you have a similar set up) you literally can get paid for being disabled…yeah…that’s definitely oppression.

“But hearing people just don’t understand deaf people, Natasha. We need to be more accepting of those who are different.”

Oh please.

Yeah, there are jerks out there who mistreat anyone who’s different. Ten to one, it’s not just deaf people either. Bullies are bullies. But there’s more people learning sign now than ever before, more programs for deaf people than before, and more interpreters joining the field. I’m trying to become one for crying out loud!

But if that meas I need to apologize for being hearing, something I cannot control, then why the heck would I want to be involved in their culture? Feeling welcome works both ways.

Oddly enough, the attitude doesn’t seem to carry over into actual conversation very often. It’s  usually just in how we’re taught. Hearing students are made to feel ashamed for being hearing.

My teacher mocks one student in my class for signing one sign wrong weeks ago…it’s now her name sign…her mistake. A minor one at that. Somehow, I imagine if I nicknamed a deaf person based on a word they mispronounced, I would be labeled a jerk. But of course, if you’re the victim, it’s perfectly okay.

Do not tell me it’s different. It is completely disrespectful to a hearing person to do this, just as much as a deaf person. My classmate has spent 4 classes, (a whole year’s worth of her life) learning your language, how dare you mock her for one mistake repeatedly and make that her name. And my other classmates are participating in it.

The girl doesn’t even realize  she’s being dissed, though she’s clearly slightly uncomfortable with it, she laughs it off. What else cans eh do?

I hate bullying, and I would never condone bullying a deaf person. But I won’t condone bullying hearing people either,

See, this may shock some people (probably not you readers) but I couldn’t care less about your race, gender, social status, or abilities; if someone is mistreating you, I want it to stop, and if you are mistreating  someone else, I don’t care what you’ve been through, that’s still wrong. And I will want you to stop.

People may hurt each other thinking they are dong the right thing, because they have been hurt before, and it’s up to those of us outside the cycle of pain to sort things out. An impartial person, as it were.

I won’t say I’m that currently, I’m kind of mad over this whole thing. And I think I should be mad, if students are getting shamed for what they did not do and cannot help.

I’m tired of hearing over and over again that certain people groups are oppressed, and yet all I’m seeing is them being extolled, given special funding, and their own clubs, based on how they were born or what they like, and not on their character.

Oh wait…isn’t that what they say white people are like?

Yeah I have news for you, it’s hard all around, I’m having a terrible time getting hired, and I fit the stereotype perfectly for what people consider white privilege…aside from actually being rich, or privileged in any way I can see outside supposedly being looked at differently. I’ve never had this proven to me.

I am lucky I admit, but I don’t really think it has much to do with being white. If it does, it’s not something I can change anyway.

Anyway, what does bug me about this is everyone has to be a victim to be taken seriously now. You have to have “survived” abuse or cancer or bullying, you have to come “from a background where…” and grown up being “treated differently” or you have no right to speak. Conversely, if you have, then you can speak even if what you’re saying is nothing new, and nothing profound.

You know, call me crazy, but I happen to think truth is truth. And if someone who’s had a good life speaks it, it’s still truth. No one should have to earn that right by being put through crap.

Suffering can add weight to your words because some things only become clear to us after we suffer, but suffering itself does not make you profound or wise, only how you handle it.

Like I was thinking to myself while jotting down my notes, I became stronger because I had joy as well as suffering. I hear people talk about pain all the time, not many of the talk about the joy that brought them out of it. It’s like they don’t even find that important, or maybe it never happened.

We have a culture telling us to accept out issues as unchanging part so who we are that we can manage, but we can’t shake.

Because the world has tried and failed to fix things, by psychology, medicine, laws, and self-expression, and failing at that, (since only God can heal us) they decide to just give up and live with he problem.)

And that’s why it would be horrifying to many dead people to be healed. Because they know no other life, and they think this is part of who they are.

I can see the world thinking this, but when Christians start to, it scares me.

We are clearly taught that God heals, restores, and his design for us is to be whole, inside and out, maybe some things do not get healed in this life, and that can be come people’s gift. But it is only a gift because God redeems it, it isn’t a gift in of itself.

It might totally change your life to be healed, because the truth is, we get comfortable with out flaws and weaknesses. Both inward and outward. It can be scary not to be that way.

But God would warn us  not to put our identity in anything that is not of Him. It will always lead to us limiting Him, and then ourselves.

I apologize for the length of this, the title was partly  a warning, I wanted to complete my thoughts–until next time, Natasha.

 

 

 

 

Under a Bushel

If you’ve grown up in church, you’ve probably heard the parable of the Talents, if you haven’t or are a little rusty, I’ll sum it up:

Jesus told this parable to illustrate how God views the gifts and resources He gives us. A man goes on a journey and leaves three servants in charge of his possessions. He gives one 5 talents, one 2 talents, and one 1 talent. (A talent was a sizable sum of money at the time. I think it would be like a hundred, maybe a thousand, dollars or so for us, give or take. And depending on whether it was gold or silver.) When the man comes back, the first two servants doubled their amount to 10 and 4 talents, but the last buried his in the ground. The man rewards the first two with cities to look after, and is furious with the last for wasting his talent and not even putting it in the bank to gather interest, he is thrown into the outer darkness.

The meaning of this parable is that we should use the gifts God gave us, whether they are many or few. Jesus sums it up by saying “To him who has more will be given, but to him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

There’s an idea now, not new, but with a new name, that there are people in society called “the have-nots.” I don’t want to disparage anyone who is suffering for lack of necessities…though if you are reading this, you can’t be that badly off, because electronics are expensive…Anyway, I just don’t like this term.

Even the poorest among us have gifts. It all depends on your attitude. In the classic book A Little Princess, the author observes that if you are a giver by nature, then even if your hands are empty, your heart is always full and you can give things out of that. Kindness, compassion, a smile, all of us can do that.

The most selfish people in the world have moments of kindness, usually.

I think we all feel like we’re less gifted than other people, at least, I think a lot of people feel that way, but all of us have felt that in some situations at least once.

I have a lot of gifts, but I get stuck on what I’m not good at.

For example, I am very good at mental stuff, language, and crafts. But I’ve never been a sporty person. I’m not in terrible shape, but I’m not in great shape either. I don’t have a lot of practical survival skills. I still don’t know how to cook and clean that many things, change a tire, or pay taxes (can’t wait for that one obviously. Ugh.)

I can always learn more, I plan to, but it doesn’t come as naturally to me. For whatever reason, I dwell on this. People who are good at those things often lament their lack of intellectual exercise. We all wish we could be good at everything, don’t we? Or at more things at least.

But this focus on what I can’t do has made me forget about what I can.

People don’t guess this about me though.

I have the unique experience of being told constantly that m gifts are inspiring, and beautiful, and people say they just enjoy watching me use them.

My sign language for example. I never thought it would interest that many people. I initially started doing it in public to practice, I’d sign along with worship. And it was not big deal, other than I felt like people thought it was weird.

But when I started going to my church, people kept telling me it was cool, or beautiful, and they loved watching it. I thought “But…worship’s not about me. And I’m just doing it out of habit and because moving helps me concentrate on what I’m singing.” Still, why stop?

Turns out some folks also wanted to learn it. And recently someone filmed me doing it for a class project, kind of a show-and-tell type thing, but in college they call it something more adult. I have used it in teaching my Sunday school class too, kids like hand motions to stuff.

Teaching is another gift I have. And just talking in general. (Who can relate? Be honest.) I’m aware of all this, because I got into the whole personality assessment thing some years back. And I’m glad I did because I’m more aware of my strengths now. And weaknesses. But it still surprises me when people actually appreciate it.

I’ve shared before how as a teen and a kid I got shut down for talking too much. Teachers have always loved me for paying attention, but had to rein me in so other kids would have to engage. Luckily, in college this is less of a problem. But every class I’m in I manage to establish myself as a scholar without really trying. I have to open my mouth, that’s all.

I think it’s funny, at this point. But I do feel weird too. Maybe you can relate.

I’ve realized though, that if I don’t use these gifts, it’s ungrateful. God doesn’t just give us these things and the not care if we do something with it or not. And I can use my gifts in the smallest ways and it catches people’s attention, because God shows through us. He is the source of our inspiration after all.

I’ve always caught people’s attention by being myself, and I’ve been embarrassed by that, but I realize I’m lucky it happens so easily. I know a lot of you feel invisible.

And people like me, we feel invisible in different ways. Like all anyone sees is our talents, and not our needs and our deeper feelings. Sometimes not standing out can make relationships easier to maintain.

We all have our own struggles. But I want to encourage you to just start doing what you love, and doing it more openly. When you enjoy something, people like seeing it even if they aren’t personally interested in it. It’s why geeky YouTube Channels are so popular. Passion is refreshing to see.

If you display your gifts, people will be touched, if even for a moment. And as Christians we’re admonished not to hide our light under a bushel. It hurts us, not just other people. We’re made to give something back to the world.

Until next time–Natasha.

Burnout.

Yikes, I haven’t had the time or energy to blog in days!

Not that I’m all important, but one has to stay in the habit.

College is still going well, but this second week I hit burnout. I just did not want to be there and be carrying around my heavy backpack. Though one of my teacher says I can leave the course book at home and just use paper if I want, and since I’m already carrying a notebook that’s one less extra thing. Yay!

I am spending two thirds of my day or more at campus, so burnout is bound to happen. I’m not used to being around strangers, in class, or walking all over that much. It’s a lot to get used to.

But I couldn’t figure out why the day after I was so exhausted. I felt more tired the next day than I did while I was actually there. (Comment if this happens to you too. Am I alone in this?)

Of course my muscles hurt from all the extra weight and it’s hard on your shoulders to have backpack straps sitting on them so much. But this tiredness was deeper than that. You can have sore muscles and still be energetic.

I was tired inside. And not because my brain was overwhelmed, though that might be a small part of it, but because I’m emotionally exhausted.

I can endure a lot when I’m at ease. I’m not a super athletic person (to understate the case) but I’m tougher than I look. I’ve walked miles and managed not to keel over. Which is pathetic compared to what people used to have to walk, but I’m not in practice.

Maybe a lot for me is a little for someone else. Certainly the older adults in my life don’t think much of my difficulties. Soldier on, they would say. Of course I’m more active than some of them, but hey, one is over seventy years old.

My mom is the one who amazes me. She’s always busy. If she’s not working her own job, she’s working with my dad, or running errands for him. When she is home she’s doing laundry or finances, or helping with schoolwork. (Not mine of course, wink.) Etc. You can fill in the rest.

Me? I try to do a few things. But I don’t have to do most of them. Maybe that’s why I don’t.

Yet, it isn’t exactly fair to compare myself to my mom. She’s had decades of experience. I’ve had a couple years of even knowing how to do most things, and a few months of even having a Driver’s License.

I heard today that Millennials (Me) and Gen X-ers, ( who ought to be calling themselves X-men if you ask me,) are the most stressed people in the country. I think Millennials are twenty to thirty year olds, or slightly younger, and Gen X are their parents or older siblings. I’m not sure, it’s always changing. Let’s just say people under 40 or 50. You’d think it’s be middle-aged folks, wouldn’t you? But they are more established.

And get this, if you live with family, parents especially, who are stressed out a lot, you can pick it up from them. even if you have nothing personally to be stressed over.

Which totally explains why I had a terrible time when I was younger with feeling anxious, even though I had an “easy” life.

Actually work or no work doesn’t make your life easier. Sometimes people from very messed up backgrounds go on to lead very productive lives. And some of them aren’t stressed out constantly either. Often that’s because of their faith, but there’s a few cases where it’s not. For whatever reason, those children make a different choice and grow up to be better people then their parents

And then there’s the rest of us who seem to be more influenced by our parents then we could ever imagine. Even if our parent’s were good to us, they weren’t always good to each other or to people outside our family. That has an effect on us.

And it ties in to my college experience, your job, your hobbies, our families, etc.

The reason being around so many strangers stresses me out is because I’ve grown up hearing strangers are dangerous. Which is sadly true so much of the time. Yet it’s not often the people who are cautious about strangers who get attacked by them, funny how that works.

Maybe I also just don’t know how to handle people very well. I never have. Even though I can be friendly enough to them, it’s not the same as having true social grace.

But do you know what? I’ve had the curse of no social skills spoken over me for years. Even before I even has a real chance to test mine. I’ve been told I wouldn’t make friends, I wouldn’t know how, I would upset people if I acted a certain way. Before I ever acted that way with my target friend group.

And now I struggle with feeling socially confident. Oh, bit shocker there. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.

Now, I can wallow in this, or I can work through this. I choose to believe that I can learn social skills. I just need practice, perception, and patience. I’ve also learned that some people will overlook your lack of social grace because they know they struggle with it too.

Which is, by the way, not something anyone every bothered to tell me when they warned me about how I would fail.

People do forgive you. Not all of them, but some will. Stick with those ones, they’re better friends anyway.

That’s all for this post, but I’ll be keeping you updated as I expect to learn a lot from this experience. Until next time–Natasha.

Collegiate.

I started college this week, yay!

I can’t tell you how its’ going yet, it’s too early, but let me say i don’t recommend trying to take your car to campus unless you’re ready to be two hours early to your classes.

I’m taking twelve units and I have to be on campus for a good 8 hours, twice a week.

Which is 32 (more or less) hours a month, times four and a half months… some of you know already but I have to think about it… 254 hours I think. Well maybe it’s less than some more ambitious students, but it seems like a good amount to me.

If I complete all those hours that’s a sizable investment of my time.

So far I’m loving it. It’s exhausting but my classes are all in my element. Speech, English, and of course ASL.

I feel sorry for people who can’t afford to go to college, but I recommend community college unless you absolutely have to go to a university for your field of study.

It’s a fourth of the cost if you’re smart.

I didn’t plan on becoming a collegiate. I thought I could get by without it.

And I don’t think you have to go to college, but I realized what I wanted to pursue required it, so the joke is on me.

But I wouldn’t even be doing it if it weren’t for God, and I really mean that.

I’m not being glib here, if I didn’t have my faith to fall back on I don’t think I would have worked up the nerve to go.

I’ve been having stress headaches since November. Right when I started working actually, technically since October.

The doctors diagnosed it a tension from anxiety, but all they could tell me was to take medication for it. And to try to manage my stress.

I think the medical business has to be the most depressing stuff in the world, I never feel anything but discouraged when I visit the doctor. Unless they have that reassuring air about them, not all of them do. I think doctors, as much good as they do, often just don’t know how to make you feel hopeful. Not these young ones anyway, they seem so serious.

But I am not an authority on doctors, thank goodness.

Frankly, I didn’t want to accept that I would just have to live with this problem. So I started trying to find a solution. For awhile all that happened was I ruled out stuff.

Even now I’m not sure of all the factors. But I do know that the problem was and is mostly in my head. And it had its spiritual side.

Some of my church acquaintances and I agreed that though are lives haven’t been ideal and we’re all messed up, we’d be a heck of a lot more messed up if we didn’t have Jesus.

It’s hard to explain unless you know him, it’s not that Jesus takes away all one’s problems or that problems aren’t exceedingly painful.

In fact, in some ways Christians suffer more than other folks, because we have to reconcile our pain with the life we’re supposed to lead and the hope we’re supposed to have.

It sounds like denial, but there’s a fine line between hope and denial. A line that is quite distinct for being thin.

You can hope for something without denying your problem.

How can we dare to do anything unless we hope for a favorable outcome?

So here I go, good luck on your ventures–Natasha.

This is my 300th post! That’s mind boggling.

Here again, here again.

I’m back! Yay! Thanks to those of you who still read my posts while I was on my hiatus.

I had plenty of ideas while I was gone. It’s funny how you can think of stuff once you don’t need to. All those people who’ve crammed for tests and then blanked out know what I mean.

Speaking of tests, I should be starting college next month.

I won’t be going to a University, so I hope to escape the grind of tests and finals for a dozen different subjects. (2 or 3 is plenty.)

I wasn’t actually planning on going to college. I don’t believe it’s necessary to succeed in life. Though plenty of companies prefer to hire college grads, the trends are changing. However, I decided to finally pursue ASL officially. I’ve wanted to do that for years and now I can.

So now I have to do all these adult things like set up a bank account and get a parking permit.

Do you know what I’ve realized? I have insecurities about being an adult. Shock!

I also realize adults have insecurities about being an adult.

In essence, being an adult just means being a person capable of independence and of giving something back to the world that you live in. Kids can do that, but they don’t have the same opportunities. The thing is, independence scares the heck out of people.

Especially me. I’ve wanted it for a long time. Now I don’t know if I’m ready for it. I’m lucky to have people in my life who believe in my abilities. And also some who don’t. Human nature being what it is, we all sometimes need to be antagonized before we’ll rise to the occasion.

The truth is, I know I am ready to step into being an adult, and that I’m doing it as fast as can be reasonably expected. It’s just that liberty can be daunting. We;ll fight for it, but once we have it, it’s a lot of work.

Here in the USA that knowledge is a part of our history (as forgotten as it may be.) far be it from me to say the USA is the best country in the world. I think so, in most respects, but it’s good to love your own country. I do think Americans tend to put more focus on freedom then most countries. Often because freedom there isn’t an option for enough of the inhabitants.

I’m just saying maybe my experience of growing up is different; but wherever you are, you have to have an increase of responsibility if nothing else.

I think many of us try to hang on to childhood as long as we can. There is some wisdom in that. I don’t want to give up all my childhood ideas and hopes and fancies (we need fancies) but I also think it’s a mistake to put off growing up as long as possible. When it’s time, it’s better to embrace it.

embracing it might look a lot like kicking and screaming for every inch of ground, but still going forward of your own accord. No one said it’s always a graceful transition.

My dad used to become physically unwell when he faced adult responsibilities. My mom seemed to do it more smoothly. I guess I have both.

I was once a worrier. If I’ve had to deal with one thing this past year, it’s trying not to be a worrier again. I’m not one to stew over all that could go wrong, though I used to be. But sometimes I still worry over repeating problems.

And I have to remind myself that my life is in God’s hands, as is my health, my finances, my social circles.

As Christians like to say, if God is for us, who can be against us?

Well, the answer is, a lot of beings can be against you, but the point is that none of them can stop you.

People like to use “unstoppable” as a slogan. But unless you have something to back that up, it’s an empty word. Almost everything can be stopped, it would be arrogant to think you’re above that.

But if God, who is unstoppable, is backing you, that word can be a word of faith.

The difference between faith and empty bragging can be confusing on paper, but they are unmistakable in real life. I know when I’ve just trying to psyche myself up.

And that’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.