Monday, February 28, 2011

Someone Told Me Not To Cry

It's 12.30am in the morning, and it's coming to the end of February 2011. I'm so scared, terrified, afraid of what is to come. A future shimmers ahead like a vast ocean, as deep as it is wide, and I can hardly see where it ends.

I have just read Carmen's blog, at and I'm overwhelmed by a sense of indescribable sadness. It's a good sad, though, with an almost poignant quality. I'm not terribly sure why.

School has been rather tough lately, and I'm tired, I suppose. I'm tired and exhausted- so much so that I've been sleeping in excessive quantities. Every spare moment I have to myself, instead of reading the papers, or a nice book or my history readings courtesy of Mr TCK, I fall asleep where I am. This includes the couch, bed, study table, floor and armchair. It's come to a point where I can fall asleep in less than a minute. Like- Lights Out Amanda! And I'm gone.

Also, as Carmen mentioned, in growing up we start to notice our own flaws and limitations.We begin to change, discover and strive. As we step out of the comfort of our old friends, family and activities, things become confusing and disorienting. It's easy to become bewildered, and bothered by it all. I too began IB with many ideals

1. I wanted to achieve 45 points.
2. I wanted to make change to the community.
3. I wanted to join the council and support the student body.
4. I wanted to excel in my sport.
5. I wanted to find god-loving friends I could trust.

I wanted, most of all, to glorify God with all these achievements. I wanted to be able to tell my friends, relatives, people, anyone, that I had studied hard with God's help. That I had achieved balance with God's grace. That my friends were blessings from my God.

I've come to a point, a halfway mark, when the end with its deadlines and final examinations seem to be approaching too quickly for me to handle, but too far off for such prolonged stress and worry. I've just ended Christian Fellowship Camp in school, but I cannot find God in my heart. Like Carmen said, there is no "Magic Bullet" which strikes me through the soul. From the song Wake Up, by Arcade Fire, "Something, filled up, my heart, with nothin'".

That's exactly how I feel right now. I hardly feel like picking up my books to finish my World Lit essay or my TOK presentation or my TOK essay draft 5 or my Bio IA 21. It's the cold and awful feeling just being.  Being, like a gear, turning and turing itself into oblivion, or like Barbossa and his undead crew in Pirates of the Caribbean, existing for the mere sake of existing.

I know, God is there. I must believe and have faith- and that's enough. That's what the random old man in the bus told me this morning. He was beaming and grinning and had crinkly laugh lines stretching from the sides of his eyes. "Good morning!" he chirped, as he sat down. Without a lead in, he launched into a soliloquy on his feelings toward God and the church and Christians and Catholics. There I sat, 10am in the morning, stunned by the greying aged man, postulating about the importance of faith.

Now that I think about it, how brilliantly timed was his entrance into my day? God was sending me a messenger, and that more-than-70 year old fella was just the angel I needed to remind me to keep the faith, and keep holding on to the lifeline no matter how tough it got to understand how the lifeline was keeping me afloat, alive.

God, fill me up with you, and teach me not to cry. 

Monday, February 07, 2011

Up, Up and Away 

Today is a day of backaches and sadness. I have a awful, terrible backache, and I'm feeling melancholy. Father Stephen Yim is leaving our parish for Immaculate Heart of Mary. In his goodbye speech during mass today, he told us three things:

1. He has been filled with love by our Christ The King congregation, and he wants to bring this love to IHM to share it.

2. He told us to please pray for him, and for ourselves, and for everybody and nobody and everything. He told us to remember to PUSH when we pray. To Pray Until Something Happens.

3. Then he told us that he'll miss us.

I think I'll miss him something awful too. His homily today was one I'll probably never forget until I'm old and stricken with 7 kinds of dementia. He told us about Balloons.

I reckon if ever I had to choose to be some inanimate object, I'd want to be a Balloon. But that is besides my point.

In today's homily, Father Yim told us two stories.The first went something like this:

"A little girl was at a fair with her mother and she saw a bunch of colourful helium balloons for sale. Her mom bought her a pretty balloon and she ran off with it, laughing and smiling. Then a soft gust of wind blew the string out of her hands, and the balloon floated up into the air.

The little girl, being little, did what all little girls would do in the same situation. She cried. 

However, her mother did not do what other mothers would have most probably done (obviously to buy her another). Her mother told her little girl that the balloon had gone into the sky to have a reunion dinner, just like how they were going for theirs later on. 

The little girl thought about this for a while, and then, she stopped crying."

The next story was also about balloons.

A balloon seller had a huge bunch of pretty, colourful and bright helium balloons in his hands. There was a crowd of little children around him. They were all extremely excited about the balloons and were watching them dance and bounce freely in the wind. 

The balloon seller asked the children: Which color balloon do you like best?

The children yelled their most adored colours, PINK! yelled one. Blue said another. Green, and yellow and orange and red and purple, all the colours were eventually chosen by all the different little children.

Then, the balloon seller asked the children: Which balloon do you think will float up the quickest?

Each child yelled that their favorite colored balloon was sure to float the quickest. 

The balloon seller then released all the balloons into the air. The sight was very beautiful, the sky filled up with different colors, and the children watched transfixed and amazed as the little round shapes disappeared from sight.

The balloon seller asked the children: Which colored balloon reached the top first?

None of the children knew. The balloon seller smiled, and told them the most profound truth they would ever hear: It doesn't matter what is on the outside, just like it didn't matter what color the fastest balloon was. It was what was inside the balloon that made it rise the fastest. Just like the balloon, our outsides have no impact on how quickly we rise to heaven. It is only the insides that matter.