A New Chapter In Life

School for me has been a bittersweet experience. On one hand, I’ve made wonderful memories there. On the other hand, I couldn’t wait to leave. Now here I am, once again, ready to embark on a new journey in my professional/ educational life.

I’m going to university.

Now to most, that doesn’t mean much. But to me, it means stepping out into the world again after a long period of pain, illness and agony.

In so many ways I’m grateful. Then there’s all this doubt and uncertainty from not having a clue how I, in my current state, will be able to keep up. There is a voice in my head that asks, what if you fail? What if nothing comes of this?

Over the years, I’ve gotten so used to thinking that I have to rely on myself; that I must be in control at all times. Now, even when I know better, it seems only the worst case scenario comes to my mind – I’m going to fail. Having dealt with these kind of thoughts for many good years, I’ve long come to the conclusion that they are simply not helpful in any way. If anything, they set you up for failure.

Now I’ve decided it – anything that happens, happens. I am not in control, nor am I alone in my fight. If all else fails, my faith will carry me through. All that I have to do is to what I must, and do it to the best of my ability. Gone are the days I beat myself for not being the best of the best or for not “proving myself worthy.”

Now I call death to the old me, the me who sought to find happiness in physical perfection and academic success, only to find that in doing so, life had become a vapid experience. Rather I welcome the joy I find in my relationship with Christ and vow to carry it with me wherever I go, never allowing people, illness or academics to define me, but rather doing what He has called me to do to the best of my ability.

As this chapter of my life, I must confess that I have many hopes and many fears. But I’ve seen it happen one too many times in my life to ignore it. Whenever I kept my faith, I saw miracles happen. Whatever life throws my way, this is the hope I cling to. I may be ill, and I may have no clue what I’m really doing, but  what I do know is that my faith has always kept me going.

For anyone else struggling or hurting in any way, my message here is simple: just have faith. That is all you’ll ever need to do to make it through this life.


@dainellewrites

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The Mystery Blogger Award

Recently I was nominated for The Mystery Blogger Award by a faithful reader of mine, WelcomeToRealti. She has been supporting me since the beginning and I am ever so grateful. I thank her for nominating me for this award.

So, what is the Mystery Blogger Award?
As defined by the creator of this award, the Mystery Blogger Award is “an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts.” Now who could ask for a better compliment?

(Special thanks to Okoto Enigma for creating this lovely award!)

RULES

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

 

3 Facts About Me

  1. I am a blogger (obviously) and a fiction writer. Writing allows me to express myself freely and personally, I like to mix fiction with a little truth.
  2. I am an art lover. I sometimes have eccentric taste.
  3. I am a Bible-believing Christian. As I continue on my spiritual journey, I hope to grow more in faith.

 

My Answers (Questions By Welcometorealiti)

1. Who inspires you the most to keep doing what you do?

This probably isn’t the most conventional answer, but God inspires me to keep on writing. If not for Him, I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far. Through my writing, I’d like to tell the world of His love, whether directly or indirectly. With this goal in mind, I am able to remain focused and inspired.

2. What is your biggest regret?

My biggest regret is being too critical of myself in my early teens.

3. What do you want your blog to represent to you and to others?

I want my blog to represent hope, both to myself and to others.

4. What are you most proud of so far in your life?

I wouldn’t necessarily call it being proud, but I am happy that I was able to overcome my agoraphobia.

5. What’s your favorite word?

Ethereal. I guess.

My Questions for Nominees

1.When did you first start blogging?

2. What do you blog about?

3. What do you like to do in your free time?

4. If there was one thing that you could change about your life, what would it be?

5. What’s your favourite body part? (weird question, as requested by award creator)

My Nominees

IndieSongLyrics

Moiline

Her Unusual Journey

Picnic With Ants

Rekha Sahay

Girl From Ghana

Writer Lady

Chasing Kites In Neverland

Jeanette

Youtopia

My Best Posts (Views/ Likes)

Dear Someone

A Life Of Purpose

Life Is A Journey – Therapeutic Travel

 

The Pessimist

After making a conscious effort to change my pessimistic ways, I thought I had finally become the person I wanted to be – positive, kind and well…likeable. Now, I think it’s safe to say I was wrong.

For so long I’ve convinced myself that there would be no one who would accept me as I am, and that I was destined to be alone. I had no hope in others, and I had no hope in myself. This, I thought, was the reality, and I just had to accept it. I would always assume everyone had bad intentions.

Whenever I look back at all my experiences, I find that it is only the bitter parts that I choose to focus on. I realize now just how destructive this can be, both for me and those around me. Even so, I can understand it. How else can a mind like mine protect itself? All these memories serve as a reminder to not get my hopes up too high. But at what cost?

It would be foolish to think that no one ever has bad intentions, or that I would never hurt someone I love. But maybe, once in a while, I could stop focusing on whats wrong with humanity, and start focusing on what’s right.

There are fascinating people all around, and I desire to know them and to love them, even those who hate me. I want to connect with others, and unfortunately, my undying pessimism is not going to allow me to do that. Though I know that there are people with bad intentions, I know that there is also good, and I no longer wish to allow this fear to hold me back.

But for now, whether likeable or unlikeable, I am a pessimist, and I understand clearly why it has to be so. This is my process, and it requires patience. If I only allow myself to be patient, I know someday I’ll be able to find the peace I’ve been looking for.


Follow for more stories, poems & peculiar thoughts.

@dainellewrites

 

 


New video:

Confessions Of An Ugly Girl

It was a new school year. Naively, I thought to myself, this is it. This is the end of my misery.

Much to my dismay, nothing had changed at all. Even in a new class surrounded by new faces, I was still the same shy, acne-scarred girl I was the year before.

I remember it clearly, how the person who’d spoken to me in Biology class was called a fool for choosing me to be his partner rather than the obviously much more attractive girl sitting next to me. Apparently, my unattractiveness deemed me unworthy of being included and more worthy of being left in the dust, without a partner.

All the while these things would happen to me, and I’d either stay silent so as to feel safe, or lash out and prove that I was indeed ugly, both inside and out. There was no winning here; not with the biggest critic of all living in my very own mind.


Now at present, I wish I could say that these memories don’t hurt. I wish I could say that they don’t matter anymore. But the truth is that all the words have had and still continue to have a profound effect on me. The only difference now is how I choose to use that pain.  Today, I choose to use that pain to share the love God had shown me during my time of need and use it to uplift those who may be hurting as well.

Now, I can honestly say that I no longer the ugly girl,  but rather, fearfully and wonderfully made by a wonderful Creator. Thanks to Him, I am learning to forgive my rejectors and appreciate the beauty He has given to me – even when the rest of the world calls me ugly.

But the real beauty of it all is that, in being ugly to the world, I have learned to find meaning in greater things. I have learned to love, to sympathize and to look beyond the surface.

In my pain and many reflections, I had come to realize the meaninglessness of it all. Nothing here lasts, and nothing here stays. In death, even the most beautiful people become dust, and the rich, penniless. So then, should my life revolve around these things?

If I had never ached, I’d never have come to know the truth. In this life, whether knowingly or unknowingly, we’re all fighting the same battle. As beautiful as the concept of ‘world peace’ sounds, so as long as we live in this state of brokenness, it will remain unachievable. All I can do is empathize with others and offer my love, as I too, often times, struggle to do/say all the right things. It is only in God that I am able to find peace. In knowing His love, even an ‘ugly’ girl like me can be able to call herself beautiful.


Follow for more stories, poems & peculiar thoughts.

@dainellewrites

Faith vs Science – Why The Debate?

As the saying goes, seeing is believing. For the man who finds science to be the answer to life’s many questions, never have truer words been said. On the other hand, some rather embrace another old saying: “Walk by faith and not by sight.”

As a Christian, these words, originating from the Bible itself, are what I happen to live by, and that, to some, seems a little silly – scary, even. However one chooses view it, I have seen faith work wonders in my life, and for me, that has always been enough. Then one day, something happened, something I could have never imagined.
“Prove it to me.” These words often spark highly intense debates between believers and nonbelievers.  Most, if not all of these conversations end in disappointment. I too have fallen into this trap.

My curious young mind would spend hours searching for videos to increase my biblical knowledge and faith, only to find that the whole comment section would be ridden with heated debates. Once, after watching a rather anti-Christian video, I’d taken it upon myself to challenge the video maker’s view. When the replies came rolling on in, I realized that nothing I said would be taken seriously. After being warned by fellow commenter, to spare myself the headache, I erased the whole thing.

Now I have to ask myself, what was the point? How can one prove that which requires faith? In order to believe in God, one must have faith, and that is the undeniable truth. I could say that all things require a creator in order to come into existence. I could say that not all things that exist are visible to the eye. I could examine nature and humanity and say to myself, such magnificence could not be born out of mere coincidence. All of that, at least, requires some faith.

These days, I try to remind myself of the role that I am supposed to play. A Christian is called to spread the gospel, not to scientifically prove anything. If one has questions about God, then it is in God’s Word – the Bible – that he would be able to find answers. By applying faith, he can find truth in it.

But it doesn’t end there. For me, faith has only opened the door to a world of possibilities. As I read of grace, sin, death, prophecy and all these strange things, I look around and compare it all to the world I see around me and suddenly, they don’t seem so strange to me. That is my truth, and my understanding of the world around me.

On the flip side, I think science is a good thing, and while I don’t look to it to answer all life’s questions, I can appreciate it. Faith, however, fills my life with a greater purpose.

So, why the debate? Yes, I believe in God, not because science proves it, but because I have faith. Should I be so ashamed to admit it? If anything, faith has made me a stronger person.


Follow for more stories, poems & peculiar thoughts.

@dainellewrites

Confronting the Past – Reality & Escapism

No one likes to be reminded of their past. In fact, many of us simply put it in the back of our minds and carry on as if nothing ever happened. But what happens when the past comes back to haunt you?

For the past few months, this is exactly what has been happening to me. I too wish I could lock these memories and carry on with my life, but my mind refuses to let me do so. It wants resolution, and perhaps, it’s for the best.

Continue reading

Life Is A Journey – Therapeutic Travel

Lately, I’ve been on the road a lot, and I’ve come to the conclusion that travelling can be quite therapeutic.

For a while, I’ve been allowing myself to get wrapped up in my own little world. Going on these trips have helped me to feel a little more human again, and even a little victorious.
Not too long ago, I hated the thought of having to go to school. It was the only place I had to go by myself, to  face my anxiety on my own. With God’s guidance, I was soon able to tackle my fears head on and overcome my agoraphobia. Each time I find myself feeling completely comfortable in my own skin, even with a whole crowd watching, my heart rejoices.

My greatest battle for the last few months of my life has been trying to regain my sense of individuality. After overcoming agoraphobia, I thought I’d already won that battle. Much to my surprise, it didn’t take long for another storm to hit. These days, I’m hardly alone, and I was beginning to forget who I am.

The complexity of my illness often makes the reality of it much too difficult to be explained to strangers, but the questions never stop. The only problem I have with this is the question of whether or not I should lie. So many genuinely want to help. Some only want to know. Some would rather not. Whatever the intention, it always ends the same. I become my illness, not the person behind it.

The more I travel, the more I am reminded that there is a big world out there waiting for me. For this very reason, I have overcome my bullies & forgiven their transgressions. Nothing will stop me from doing what I came here for, and while I’m not sure where this journey will take me, I’m going to make the best of it.

 

Quiet Thoughts: Faith, Love & Persecution

I was born into a world of darkness, full of ills that I’d yet to know of. As a child, I spent most of my time in school, learning about the world around me. I met all sorts of people; some more intimidating than others. I was a sensitive child, and it wasn’t long before I realized just how cruel the world could be.

Many times, people have let me down. I was always searching for love in other people, but not just any kind. What I wanted most was a perfect kind of love. Instead, what I received was hatred; hatred so strong and loud that it drowned out any glimpses of love. I was called fat, ugly and stupid. When I expressed myself, I was called an attention seeker. I was even told to kill myself. Simply put, it hurts, but what pains me the most is that many have heard similar things.

When I sought help, I felt even more discouraged. I was told to stop feeling sorry for myself, and that others had it worse. Even upon hearing this, I couldn’t get myself to stop feeling unhappy. When it seemed all the world had abandoned me, all I could do was cry out to God.

In just a moment, I experienced the love that the Bible had talked about. By then, my mind had been plagued with darkness, but in that very moment, it was silenced. Some would call it chemicals. Some would call it survival instinct. The only thing I could call it is impossible.

Why, you may ask? Because an anxious, depressed mind such as mine was could never conceive such an intense feeling of love and peace on its own. Instantaneously I felt it was God speaking to me. Rather than this being a mere assumption, it was a natural, immediate response. If someone had asked me to explain it, I couldn’t.

This was the very moment that inspired me to explore my faith a little more in depth. Reading the Bible, I learned about the imperfection of humankind, and our common enemy. I’ve learned not to take things too personally, but rather to only concern myself with God’s will.

Now hearing news of how Christians are being persecuted in Egypt, I have to stop and think to myself. In this world, death is such a scary concept for many. Willingly giving up one’s life for anything seems almost absurd. Christians have the confidence, however, that in the end, it is good that wins. For all, in as much as death is the end of this life, it is the end of agony.

While Christians are currently said to be among the most persecuted religious groups in the world, we are surely not the only target. Sadly, senseless killing happens all around the globe.  As crime persists, we all become more and more eager to reach a resolution.

For now, I consider myself a sojourner. I am grateful for God’s grace, but also His justice. I pray to grow exceedingly in faith, even to the point that I may die in His name’s sake. I hope that someday, my words will touch someone else’s heart, so that they may also experience the love that I have.

 

Social Media – Beyond the Lens

Hey everyone! It’s Monday again, which means it’s time for another personal post. This time around, I’ll be talking a little about social media.

First I’ll start off by saying this. I love social media (in moderation), though naturally, some sites are a little more enjoyable than others. Personally, I’m a fan of Instagram (and WordPress, of course). However, at some point, I have to remind myself that I have a life outside of all of this.

The ability to communicate freely on social media has always drawn me to it. Sadly, it is also what makes it terrifying. Often times, I find myself scrolling down the YouTube comment section appalled by the hate that these people have in their hearts, even towards people like me. I find myself enraged, fighting the urge to reply. Then I ask myself. What’s the point?

It is so easy to get sucked into this world, where everything seems to be some sort of competition. You fear that what you create is not good enough. You become nauseated at the realization of how cruel the world can be. You wish that “freedom of speech” actually meant peaceful discussions instead of heated arguments. Then you realize it’s time you take a break.

Now don’t get me wrong. Social media can be beautiful thing. It connects people all over the world, and as such, holds the power to unify. Sadly, it is, more times than often, misused. But just as it is in our own immediate surroundings, we must acknowledge the fact that we cannot control what other people say. We must learn to separate opinions from facts, surround ourselves with positive energy and respect those who do not think like we do.

Personally, I have had a hard time processing how some people perceive my Christian beliefs. Where I come from, Christianity is dominant. Using the internet has opened up my mind, and I’ve come to realize now that quite a few look down upon it. I even find myself feeling pressured at times to live up to an ideal image of myself – that is, someone strong and carefree.

I have to remind myself now and then to love & respect myself and others, regardless of what is said and done. It feels good to disconnect once in a while and try to remember who I am, and why I am that person. After singing songs of praise, I feel renewed and unafraid; fired-up and ready to love those who hate me. Everything is simplified.

Spending so much time alone, I’ve learnt a lot about people. I’ve learnt to love them even when I can’t understand them, and social media has played a definite role in this lesson. Opinions may differ, but one thing’s certain. At the end of the day, social media should only be, by choice, a part of your life – not the foundation.

Why I Don’t Wear Makeup

Happy Monday everyone! Yes, I know no one says that (unless you actually love your job, of course).

So today I want to talk a little about makeup. Around age 16/17, I tried to wear makeup. I found this foundation that supposedly helped acne. Naturally, I bought it, hoping I could appear to have clearer skin while actually working towards clearer skin. It sounded like a great deal.

Not long after, I stopped. After 16 years of seeing my bare face, makeup was a foreign concept to me. Even for someone plagued with acne and anxiety, I much preferred my bare face, simply because it was what I’d been used to. Looking back, I see now that it has built my character. I must confess, though, that I still hate it when people point out my acne. (It’s just one of those things).

I also remember temporarily dying my dark red hair once. One of my sisters told me how proud of me she was; that I was somehow “growing.” At the time it puzzled me, but the more I look at it, the more I start to realize something. All my life I’ve been told that the more I change the way I look, the better.

Now don’t get me wrong. In no way do I think I’m better than anyone who wears makeup or dyes their hair. But throughout these years, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing myself grow up to look like my parents, particularly my mother. Not wearing makeup has actually allowed me to challenge myself and work through my anxiety.

See, I may not always be what the world calls beautiful, but I am, in a literal sense, a work of art. It absolutely fascinates me how we grow to resemble our parents, or even our ancestors, yet never having to sacrifice our own individuality. For mother’s day, I just wanted to take a moment and reflect on this.

But more importantly, I’d like to give a shout-out to all the loving mothers in the world, even if it’s a day late.