26 July 2015

Checking off the List

After my rant on artists yesterday, I'm going to showcase one of my recent artistic endeavors.

One of the items on the #30b430 was to write poetry every day for a month.

I finished on June 30 and I was very pleased with the whole exercise.
I learned a lot about myself and I feel like it reignited the spark that was missing in my relationship with God.

Here are some of my favorites. I just took pictures of them because typing them out makes them lose something. As you can see, there were some themes that kept coming back up. I tried to include some that are different from me pleading with God, haha. Enjoy!

St. John Paul the Great, pray for us.

25 July 2015

The Great American Lie

This is my objection to the notion that "you can do whatever you want when you grow up." A line told to many by their parents.

To be sure, America is still the land of opportunity. But with opportunity comes responsibility. This is the part that many parents leave off.

I'm going to try to be as charitable as possible in this, my treatise on artists.

I love the arts. I love live music (in the right setting, especially if said music has no lyrics.) I love musicals and plays. I love craftiness and textiles and fabrics. I love paintings and art museums, I love the idea of making something new and beautiful that reveals the truth of the human person.

That being said, I'm jealous of artists, to some extent. Maybe this is me being cocky but I feel like if I had the time and resources to develop my artistic side, I could be just as talented as anyone. Sure there are prodigies with supernatural talent for specific things, but hard work is a HUGE part of success, and I'm pretty determined (stubborn.)

I know a few "starving artists." One is a musician, one is a painter, a few others do various different things in the arts.
These people are reliant on friends, family, and the government for the majority of their well-being. As a human in need of beauty to direct my soul to the Truth, I appreciate their sacrifice. As a child of capitalism, I think it's ridiculous that these people seem to feel entitled to the charity of others because they are talented or passionate in an area that is not considered valuable enough by our society to earn a living. I wish society did value these talents and passions, and surely a shift is needed, but what about until then?

I'm sure I sound jaded and angry, and to some extent I am. I wish I could forego a job and a career which takes up 40-55 hours per week of my time in order to cultivate my creativity and become better at my chosen craft. But I can't, because I have responsibilities. I have to think of my family, my future.

In my opinion, these outlets are HIGHLY valuable. But because of the world we live in, which doesn't match that opinion with a value that translates into real dollars and cents (sense, haha), these things are hobbies, and artists have a  responsibility to find ways to support themselves that doesn't include the government, family, or friends.

This sounds harsh, but it seems to me that artists are just creative and passionate people who lack common sense.

Someone please tell me I'm wrong. I want to see the softer side of this argument. I want to understand.

St. Catherine of Bologna, Patroness of the Arts, pray for me!

11 July 2015

Life Update

Two posts in one day!

I have been thinking about my little blog- just unable to post due to lack of internet.... which has afforded me the time to watch Downton Abbey from the beginning. I'm in the middle of season 5 now, and just to give you an idea of my feelings, I've added this conversation between a friend and I from season 2.

Me: Tell me why I'm obsessed with Matthew Crawley.
Her: I know, same.
Me: What if I love him more than I love my real husband?
Her: These are legitimate concerns.

Anyways, moving on.

As most of you know, I have been working towards moving to Denver for approximately 18 months. I never prayed really specifically about it, I just wanted to do it and figured that if it was God's will He would make it happen. Now that it's closer, of course I've been praying about it in much more specific ways. Back in February I got some contacts of people who work with me in different jobs and I've found my (for now) dream job. I had a phone conversation with the boss of the team I want to be on a few months ago and he told me he didn't think anything would come open in Denver.

Side note: I'm really burnt out on my current job, so I decided I would give it some time (until July 1st specifically) until I started applying for jobs outside of my firm.

By this point I was hooked on the job, and after praying about it, I thought maybe Denver really wasn't where God was calling me. So I applied for the same job in other places... Chicago, Raleigh. I just figured I'd toss it up and see what God would do with that. It was really freeing and I felt like I was trusting Him fully for the first time since FOCUS.

Nothing ever came of any of the other locations... and then on July 1st, I got an email from the manager of the team I wanted to be on telling me that there was a spot open in Denver, asking if I was going to apply.


Not only did he remember our conversation, I had made an impression on him, and he was interested in interviewing me. AND he'd been getting applications for two weeks, so my thought is maybe he wasn't too excited about any of the candidates so far... but that's just a guess. Also, the client that I would be working with, if I get this job, is a Catholic Hospital run by a group of Sisters in Denver.  It's almost too perfect.

I had my interview on Thursday, and the manager is looking to move quickly on this, so he says I'll know by early next week. That makes me nervous because all the other candidates are in Denver, so I had to interview well enough to give him a reason to move me out there, and I'm second guessing myself.

The bottom line is that God is good, and although I don't know what his plan is, I know that it is good.

St. Josemaria, pray for me!

Walking with Turkeys

A few weeks ago, after the Supreme Court decision to legalize same sex "marriage," my Priest gave a homily about how God made us. Fitting, right?

One of the things he talked about was how God made us to live in freedom. I've written posts before about how free you really can be when you have the confidence of knowing that you're doing the will of God. It's unlike anything else. 

One of the things Father talked about was how God made us to soar with eagles, so why do we spend our time walking with turkeys? It's an interesting question. We know that misery loves company, and people who live in the darkness of sin not only want others there with them, they want people there who tell them, the turkeys, that they are in fact eagles. But through our baptism, in continuing with this analogy (which is now mine and not Father's), God makes us new creations- we go from being turkeys to eagles. (Maybe this would have worked better with caterpillars/butterflies.) 

It's difficult to be an eagle among turkeys at first, but then after a while, even the proudest eagle starts to think he may also be a turkey, if he never spends any time working out those wings, and seeing how high he can fly. But God calls us to make eagles of all turkeys.... the hardest part for me is finding a balance. 

(I swear I'm not on drugs.)

Moving on from the worn out analogy. 

One of my colleagues and I got into a conversation about same sex "marriage" after the decision. It was the perfect example of why I don't think I could ever really be friends with any of my colleagues. I LOVE a good debate but I can't stand talking to people who unknowingly hold multiple opposing "truths" to be true and haven't even realized it. As the conversation went, we ended up on the topic of abortion. He said that he thought it should be legal for women in their first trimester, because... "its a woman's body." I said that the first decision that had to be agreed upon before we could have a conversation was the question of when life begins. He immediately said that life begins at birth, and had no idea why he thought abortion should only be legal in the first trimester. 

It sounds calm as I type it, and I don't think I ever let him know fully how frustrated I was, thank goodness. After the fact, I was so mad that I had to walk away. And then after calming down, I was mad at myself for how mad I got. I suppose it may be considered righteous anger, that someone (and so many people) can be so careless about the value of a human life. But after spending some time reflecting on it, I realized that there's no way that I can convince someone of the love of Jesus by showing them why I'm right and they're wrong... even if I have non-religious reasons for the beliefs that I hold (which so happen to be truths of Natural Law and upheld by the Church). And isn't that the ultimate goal? To show them that they are infinitely loved by the God of life? People don't need Catholic Social Teaching Apologetics. They need a relationship with Jesus. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

Holy Spirit, give us the words of eternal life.