Changing X

I am not happy.

Well, that’s not true. I’m happy now. But for the past week(s), I have not been happy.

Every single thing felt like it weighed a thousand pounds. Even the smallest of stresses felt like life-ruiners, and for the past few weeks there have been plenty of small stresses.

My Boyfriend’s friends may or may not like me as a human being. He nor I can tell anymore. It’s been the cause of a lot of tension between us the past few days, but I think today I stopped letting it get to me. People, sometimes, won’t like you. I’m learning you have to deal with that.

My Boyfriend, however, has bigger problems with his friends disliking me. Mainly, that his friendships are suffering because of it. I’m letting him deal with that on his own. Another thing I’m learning is that you can’t control anyone.

You can control yourself, though, right?

So I haven’t been happy.

“I don’t think Old You would like how You Now views the fraternity,” he told me the other night.

As much as I didn’t want to admit it, he was right. But I can’t change the fraternity. I can’t change who dislikes me, or who thinks I should not have a leadership role, or generally the actions of anyone except myself.

So I’m changing my actions. I’m trying to put out more of what I want from the fraternity. I’m trying to remember that all I can do is forgive people and accept them and love them and respect them, and hope for the same treatment in return. It’s been hard. Like, really hard.

But being miserable gets old quick. Being angry is exhausting. Refusing to take responsibility doesn’t actually make you feel better about anything.

So I’m thinking about dropping from the fraternity. But I’m changing what I put into it, first. I’ve decided to put in more hope, confidence, positivity.

I’m reminded by the tattoo on my ankle every day that getting stuck in a rut is the last place you want to be. Changing X changes Y so, assuming that X and Y have a direct relationship and the change to X is a positive constant, I can only go up from here. So I’m changing X.

I found a Bible verse I like. It’s short, sweet, and to the point:

Stand firm, and you will save yourselves. -Luke 21:19

I’m pretty sure the context has nothing to do with saving yourself from your own Self Hate Hole. But faith isn’t One Size Fits All, right?

Yes, I do switch translations of Bible verses depending on which one I like the most.

Also, it’s my Boyfriend and I’s anniversary. Congrats to us for surviving four months!

-HH

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Joy Cometh in the Morning

Today I ran for an Officer position within my fraternity and I lost. I sat through the rest of Executive-Board voting, I got into my car, and my Boyfriend (bless him) suffered through me going through a flurry of emotions as I finally got to voice my grief at the loss.

And for a minute I really wanted to fall into my hole of self pity. I remembered a post I wrote awhile back, which started off with, “I am not the girl who gets.”

I wanted to reaffirm that. To kick myself while I was down and convince myself that the Universe has just decided that I do not deserve the things I want, and that my fellow Brothers do not find me capable.

But I didn’t. I cried because I was disappointed, because I was mad, because I was frustrated and bitter.

“I wish I had never gone up there,” I told my Boyfriend.

And when I was nominated for a position to be voted on next week, I couldn’t even stop my response. “I don’t want to do that again.”

Because I don’t. I am not beaten or bruised or broken, but I am not willing to get up there for something that I want again. Right now, I don’t think I want anything enough to get up there and fight for it.

My pride is shot, my confidence even lower than before. And it will be picked up (I hope) but not tonight.

Tonight I will eat my feelings and be a little angry. Tomorrow I will get up and be better.

I found a Bible verse that I quite liked that’s kind of my motto for the night. Since I’m trying out this whole faith thing, I guess quoting Bible verses is a thing I’m into now.

…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. – Psalm 30:5

-HH

God is Love, Apparently

So there’s this video circulating the internet. It’s a three year old girl answering questions provided to her from her mom.

“Last question,” the faceless voice speaks. “What is love?”

She’s quiet for but a moment before responding. “God.”

The mother stop-starts. “What?”

“God.” The girl says again.

There’s silence. My boyfriend, with his arms wrapped around me in bed as we watched the video, quietly responded. “Wow.”

I couldn’t see his face, but I could hear it in his voice; there were tears in his eyes.

The video finished playing in the background, but I got caught on his visceral response.

Before that moment, I have always rolled my eyes at videos like that. Always groaned at people’s sentimentality and dramatization of faith. Before that moment, I was not a person who entertained  ‘God.’ My resolve on ‘God’ was always firm; ‘God’ did not exist.

For the first time in my life, watching him respond so quietly but emotionally, I had a thought I have never had before.

I want to know that. I want to know God’s love.

It made me feel weird. Mostly because I meant it.

It took  me over a week to say that to my boyfriend. And even then, I don’t think I said either of those sentences aloud. I was not ready to discuss those feelings.

Last night we got into it a little more. My Boyfriend, a Proper Catholic, responds to my question of, “Why do you think God gives us cancer?” with “I think cancer is something we have to deal with because of Original Sin.”

And–no. If I’m going to have a ‘God’–if ‘God’ is going to be real–then my ‘God’ isn’t going to be the kind who decides that twelve-year-old me has to watch my grandfather’s body decimate, be in so much pain that he cannot remember who I am or how to function on a basic level, all because Home Girl Ate the Apple.

“My God will not play favorites.” I declared. “I have to believe that my God is not involved in every day life, because if he is, then I have to believe that everyone is being helped. And because I know everyone isn’t, I have to believe he isn’t helping anyone.”

“He helps you because you ask for it,” My Boyfriend argued.

“Do you decide only to help someone because they ask for it?” I countered. “Do you only open the door, return the twenty dollars, grab the heavy boxes just because someone asks for it?”

I waited. He didn’t respond.

“No. You don’t. You help regardless.”

Later I asked if he was mad at me for arguing with his beliefs. He shook his head. “I just feel like I don’t have the answers you want.”

I laughed. “You don’t really have answers at all.”

I guess I’m okay with that. I think, maybe, part of this is figuring out that I’m trying to find the answers that work for me. That faith isn’t ‘One Size Fits All.’

In case you were wondering, the video ends with the mother in tears.

“Why are you crying about that?” The girl smiles.

“You blew me away with that answer. I asked you what love is and you said ‘God.’ God is love. Oh my word.”

Oh my word, indeed.

-HH

P.S. I know I’ve been slacking on the writing. Balancing Boyfriend, Schoolwork, and Fraternity without dying usually means my default De-Stresser is Sleep. But writing this felt good. Hopefully it’ll come back to me.