Wednesday, December 28, 2011

feeling sad & Christmas Mass

I don't know what is going on with me right now. According to my new Netflix obsession "How I Met Your Mother," nothing good ever happens after 2:00 a.m. and I suppose that is accurate. It's hard to be devoted to the cause sometimes because it can make a person feel so small at times.

One thing that got me really sad a few days ago was just thinking about how isolated I can feel when I go back to my hometown. Christmas Mass, for example, used to be one of the loneliest and most awkward times of the year. Before I could drive it was the worst. I started going to Mass when I was 14 years old and I didn't realize that Christmas Mass would be different from the LifeTeen Masses I was used to, where you could show up by yourself and find your friends and just make your own pew. No, Christmas Masses aren't something you can do solo. Before I could drive was the worst because I'd get dropped off, no big deal, but then waiting for my ride and watching all the other families pile into their vehicles with the "Keep the Christ in Christmas" or "BABY DUE" stickers... that was just awkward... and cold. Not so much the weather, but mostly just in my heart. Was that emo? Yes... but was I fourteen when I experienced these emo emotions? Yes. Makes sense!

Once I got older, a new problem arose: I am tall and could potentially look like a young wife. One year I sat at the end of a crowded pew. The usher directed me to sit next to a young father with his 3 young children. The wife left with the youngest, who was crying, and then I realized that - at 16 - I appear to be the mother of these children. Obviously this is a total stretch, but in a way Christmas Mass kind of is about appearances to some (red sweaters, dresses, coordinated couples, bows everywhere, etc.) and it appeared that I belonged to this family. I don't remember much else about that Mass except feeling so weird and wanting to leave because I was such an extra.

Now, I don't cry anymore! Go Sarah! lame. But really, now I kind of have grown to like going to Mass alone. It beats not going and I can't imagine how strange it would feel to have my family there with me. This year I had prepared myself to sit alone and I did, until a friend's family absorbed me into their pew... which I would've enjoyed, had it not been for the texting & whispering when I was really feeling like getting into a reverent mood.

These rando Christmas Mass stories are just one little way that I feel isolated when I come home. The biggest, I realized over this break, is just the gap that exists between my life and the life I share with my family. It hurts that so much of what I have done the past 3 years and so much of what I plan to do in the future is wrapped up in the Pro-Life movement, along with my heart, while my family doesn't share any of my beliefs in the matter. I love my parents and family so dearly, and they love me too, and I know they will support me in whatever I do... but it sucks to feel like I am being supported, but not my ambitions. It's like "we support you, but not necessarily what you do." I think of friends' parents who I can share my Pro-Life ventures with and sometimes I feel sad that my parents don't share that. It's like they are missing half of who I am. I resort back to this reclusive and cynical person when I come home... and I am starting to think it's because I have to turn off "Pro-Life Sarah" and this sarcastic shell of a person is all that is left. I love my parents to the end of the world and back, but I'm sad that I cannot be myself in the place where I became myself- my childhood home. I feel like a lot of what I am expressing can be summed up in that moment where I am dressed and ready for Mass and leave in the middle of our family Christmas celebration, with extended family over and all, and it's kind of like everyone does their own thing... and Sarah goes off to do her little church thing. How much more open am I with Pro-Life friends I have only known for a short time? How much more do my NRL Academy girls understand me than my own family? Oh dear, now I'm crying.

Well... I'm waking up in 6 hours to take maternity photos for a friend, so I should be going to bed. Actually, I've been in bed for 2 hours but just can't sleep, so I guess I should be going to sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

why do you not drive a station wagon?

This video encompasses so much of what has been annoying me lately. Love it.

"Why do you not drive a station wagon? Your car is too nice for someone with food stamps."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

lucky problems

Wednesday morning = doctor's appointment & I was like: whaaaat?
Wednesday afternoon = spent with Ryan on a boat & I was like: I'm so lucky.
I went to a new doctor this week to address some not fun symptoms I've been experiencing. I didn't think anything would really be wrong or anything, just thought I'd get some medicine and get out of there. I ended up getting a little bit lost on the way to his office and then encountering a really terrible accident in Kyle and then arriving 15 minutes late; I'm never late. Anyways, the doctor was amazing and brilliant and I loved him except for the problems he said he was concerned about regarding my situation (the internet is no place to get specific, y'all know that). Like, I'm just an everyday 20 year old college student going about her business and not getting into any trouble; nothing could be wrong with me... but after hearing about what he thinks I am suffering from, I started to take everything in and realize it wasn't something I'd heard about happening to someone else. He proceeded on to tell me how he would address the problem and the words "surgery" and "anesthesia" were casually thrown around.

I was thinking about the doctor visit later on that afternoon. After venting and confiding in a close friend about everything going on, I realized that my main concern at this point was just the potential pain of the surgery and just the thought of surgery. At no point during the day was I concerned, worried, or stressed about the cost. That's when I realized how lucky I am.

To be sick and have to worry not only about getting better and surviving, but having to worry about whether getting your medication will mean not feeding your children... that is what some people face. The next day when I went to pick up my prescription, the girl at Walgreens said, "That'll be two-ninety-two." I said, "oh my God, like two hundred and ninety two dollars...?" and she laughed at me. Praise the Lord... it was $2.92. The thing I realized, though, is that $2.92 is to some people what $292.00 is to me.

OH, some good news I want to throw in really quickly because good news is so rare this week- I was officially accepted into the School of Social Work this week.

This past semester, one of my social work classes focused in a lot on poverty and welfare. I had no idea what it meant to live on minimum wage. Some of the documentaries we were shown... just wow. This poor woman whose husband left her with her 3 dependent children. She had been working as a waitress for years. She was getting fewer and fewer hours due to a change in restaurant management. She could no longer afford her car. Her car was taken away. She had no way of getting to work. Her middle daughter was lashing out from the trauma of the divorce and became violent, needed therapy.With no car while living in the country in a home she couldn't afford or sell, going to work was nearly impossible. After divorce, men are financially far better off than women. At one point, her daughter offered her the $15 she had saved in her piggy bank. I don't remember how this woman's particular story ended, I just remember the scenes of her crying at the end of days where she had literally done everything she could... but it wasn't enough.

I'm going to be a social worker and I'm going to help people. No one should suffer like that. More on my social work aspirations another day.

I'm pretty lucky this week with all the problems that life has thrown at me: my weird diagnoses... at least I am insured and can go to a great doctor! my flat tire problem... at least I have an amazing boyfriend who was with me when it happened, and at least I am so incredibly and undeservingly fortunate to have a dependable vehicle (this is the first problem I've had with my little buggy)! I was almost positive my computer was completely broken today and I was so mad... but at least I have a computer to begin with and have access to computers at my university if something should happen to mine and I cannot replace it!

It's a week of "at least"s and I'm trying to stay on top of everything... but it's hard. Thank God for Ryan, my continually forgiving & tolerant parents, and my NRL Academy sisters who support me at all times.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

i love Stephen Colbert

THIS is why I love Stephen Colbert. 

most beautiful

members with some of the gifts after wrapping
A quick post to share one of the most beautiful things I have ever been a part of.

Bobcats for Life adopted a PRC client's family for Christmas this year. We used some of our funds (okay actually a lot of... more than expected) to purchase gifts and necessities for the children - 6 month old twins - a boy and a girl - and a 3 year old girl. Group members also donated out of their own pockets and hearts. I posted last week about the fun we had wrapping the gifts, but that didn't come close to the experience of giving the gifts.

I was the first to walk into the PRC and when I entered the room where the mother was waiting for us, she hugged me so tight and just started crying on my shoulder saying thank you, thank you, God bless you, thank you. I felt so happy to be there with her and so happy to know that we were able to help someone in such a state of need. We seriously had so many presents and so many cute things for her to take home.

"We had a tree donated to us, but we have no presents to put under it," the mother said, tearfully. We were all crying and taking in the moment, the gifts, the tears, the gratitude, the immediate closeness we felt with her. It was so wonderful. We spent a lot of time talking with her and hearing her story - which was another tearjerker cry-fest - and I couldn't think of a better way to spend my money and Friday afternoon. It was incredible. We are staying in contact with her and will be throwing a 1st birthday party for her twins next semester. :) Before we left, she hugged each one of us so tight and she could not stop thanking us or crying. She finally said, "I just want you all to leave so I don't keep talking and crying so much!" It was so great.

such an amazing memory

Sunday, December 11, 2011

knowledge is responsibility

now THIS is love.
Today I got into a conversation about Bobcats for Life and I ended up getting really negative. Later on, I had a "check-yo-self" moment and now I think I'm thinking clearly.

You see, sometimes I get really frustrated with the enthusiasm people display for organizations or groups that just don't seem relevant to me. I feel like once I learned about abortion and now that I'm learning more about poverty and social justice, it's like I get so frustrated by people who share my beliefs but don't share the desire to act. It's just like how can you know about what is happening and not give a few moments of your time to it? With the TX Rally for Life coming up, I'm trying really hard to get 100 students to go. Last year we had 75 so I think it'll be possible, but it's hard to reach out to other groups - especially within the Catholic community - because each of our groups has its own agenda.

People say "everyone is calling to something different" or "Bobcats for Life is your thing" but it's like, just really difficult sometimes for me to process how people (okay, I'm mostly talking to Catholics here) can be aware of such a tragic problem and say "I am pro-life" but not do anything about it. I'm not asking everyone to go pray at the abortion facility every morning and then follow that up with an afternoon life chain and then head over to the church to pray a Rosary for the unborn, I'm just asking for an event. Just one. Just come to the rally and be a voice- it's like 3 hours of your life.

I feel like if you've been blessed with knowledge, you are responsible for acting on it. If you are aware of abortion or of slavery or of abuse, you are responsible for stopping it.

on some building I passed in DC this summer

Okay that's my little rant, which didn't even end up being about what I thought it was going to be about... so the Mother Teresa picture is kind of random. Oh well!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

sorry I'm not sorry

sorry I don't hate gay people
sorry I hate abortion
sorry that I believe Rick Perry is awful and sketchy
sorry that I believe in social welfare

oh wait, I'm not sorry for any of these things!

you should be sorry
for discriminating against gay people
for standing by as millions of children are lost to abortion
for supporting unfit prejudiced politicians
for not taking care of your neighbor in their time of need

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
-Mother Teresa

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.
-Mother Teresa

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

some words to live by

So relevant to the cause, and everyday life for that matter.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

gifts for a family

Bobcats for Life adopted a family for Christmas this year. The mother is a client at a local pregnancy resource center. She has twin babies and a toddler. Can you say HANDS FULL?! We are delivering gifts on Friday, but we had a gift wrapping party yesterday and I'm so proud of all that we've collected so far.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

two things

1. Planned Parenthood showed up on campus today. They weren't rude or anything, I'm not like mad about the actual people, just not happy about their presence. I was kind of too busy to get riled up. Some nice male friends of mine went on the offensive and talked to the volunteers. Peaceful.

2. Had a randomly nice evening at Wassailfest with Ry & a random group. Everyday I find more reasons why he is my best friend.

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