Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Avoiding pain

I've come to notice a pattern in myself that I find rather curious. And slightly concerning. I prefer not to make friends because I'm afraid of saying 'goodbye'. I don't like the awful feeling in the pit of my stomach when I realise that that is it; I may never see you again. And it hurts so much to invest so much into someone and to then be cruelly torn apart.
I prefer the pain of loneliness and separation from people to the pain of goodbyes. I would rather not interact than to have to say 'goodbye'.
Is this really the better option? I fear that I will always walk that path though.

I even anticipate it though. When I sense that a relationship will be short I hold back and don't invest as much as I could. Or even as much as I would like to. Something holds me back. And I find a trail of superficial relationships, that were truly created to fill a moment of time.

I know that people will move on, and I know it will hurt to see them leave and so I keep myself clear of the emotional trauma that will follow.

Is this a safe and boring way to live? How much do I miss out on? I feel like I miss a lot, yet I am not ready to brave it out there. Maybe one day I will.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A summer in service

So after I got back from California, I slipped quickly into a heaven sent job in terms of location and amount of work available. I spent the first few months of the year stressing ever so slightly over whether or not someone would want to employ me for such a short time period, and stressing over whether I would have enough money at the end of the summer to pay for everything in order to get back to college. And amazingly, God had everything in control, and in retrospect I look fairly foolish. I could in no way have predicted what happened.

And now I am well and truly settling in for a crazy, busy summer at an up market hotel as a food and beverage assistant. Which I don't find as stressful a job as I thought I would. In fact I rather like it. I don't mind the small irritating tasks that must be done every single day. And scrubbing the floor during a deep clean. Doubtless these things will become annoying eventually. But just now I am so grateful, and I am immensely enjoying the fact that I am earning my own money, and in a way contributing to society. Also I love kind of freedom and independence that it brings. And I excel at the opportunity to prove myself reliable and useful. There is nothing worse than feeling purposeless! And I hate to be idle, it grates on me, and this job certainly keeps me on my feet, rather literally.

The hotel is utterly beautiful too. I do remember feeling completely out of place and far out of my comfort zone when I was shown around on my first shift. Everything is so lavish and expensive. In comparison, I grew up on a farm of sorts. But I do so love to put on my smart work clothes and go to work. Is it strange to enjoy work so much? 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

God leads, always...

I will never truly get used to the way God works. His ways are so intricate and it's incredible how such small things that seem so insignificant come together and result in something greater. Small decisions that seem throw away and spur of the moment come back around months later and you realise that they had a huge influence on where you now stand.

And if that wasn't amazing enough, God also divinely places you exactly where you need to be at exactly the right moment. Chance encounters are never accidental with God, he plans them all, but from where we're standing it just looks like a lucky coincidence.

We cannot see what lies ahead in our lives. Yet God knows the life of every single person on earth. Every single twist and turn, every single good or bad decision.

When I came back to England to find a summer job before I head back to college in August, I was convinced that no one would hire me for such a short period of time. And I was a little downcast, because I don't consider myself to be exactly swimming in hire-able skills. And I don't really ave any proper references as I've never had a proper job before. Needless to say I wasn't truly desperate to pop over to the local manor hotel and enquire about any vacancies. I did put it off for at least two days.
But when I did finally go down, with a hastily put together CV of sorts, I walked into the lobby at the same moment as the head of hospitality staff walked out of his office. And oddly enough, although I believed that the only vacancy was in housekeeping, he practically hired me on the spot on the basis of my availability and the fact that I have had a little training in hospitality over in California! He had me come in the very next evening for a trial shift, and even drove me home afterwards as we didn't get out of work until 1:20AM!!

This seemingly small and chance event has increased my trust in God just that little bit more, and I cannot tell you how silly I felt after fretting about finding a summer job for the last two months or so.

God is so good, and he knows what he's doing. I wish I trusted him more! But he is so graceful and he continues to love me even when my trust is weak.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Mother's love

I saw an article posted on Facebook this week which rather intrigued me. It described how recent research has shown that the brain of a child who is raised without a Mother's love and is abused can be highly underdeveloped especially compared to the brains of his peers who grew up in stable homes with loving and doting parents.

 I find it curious that something so important as brain development is dependent on emotional stability. Mothers are so crucial to child development, and without them children can become emotionally scarred. Not to mention Mothers who abuse their children can cause so much damage to their children, which is oftentimes irreversible.

 The absence of a Mother and love can have as great an effect on children as a Mother who is always there and does everything she can for her children. 

Don't let society tell you that Motherhood is unimportant. We need an emotionally stable generation to take the lead

Friday, May 10, 2013

When I grow up....

When we are children one of the things we enjoy is planning what we shall do when we are older. There is such a vast multitude of things that we cannot do until we are older, wiser and more mature. Planning life as a grown up seems so exciting an interesting. Like deciding what kind of car we want, and what we want to eat and drink, where we want to go, and what we want to do.
Yet time passes us by so fast, and before you realise it you are a grown up, yet, you realise that you have done nothing you intended to, nor do you have what you want.
Life after childhood is so very different to what we think it will be. From the perspective of a child life can seem so very easy as a grown up. People listen to you, and you always have money, a car, a house, anything you need, you can just whip out a plastic card from your wallet and purchase anything your heart desires.

But growing up creeps up on you. And one day you look back and are shocked to discover that while you were so busy trying to sort through your life, you have gown up. Yet it didn't happen how you expected it to.

There is a sudden realisation that your life turned out so completely unlike how your expected it to that you didn't even notice yourself changing and the different manner in which people are now treating you. You have practically nothing even like what you thought you would have or do.

You can find yourself far from what you thought was home. You discover that everything you thought was stable and constant can crumble and disintegrate. But you hardly noticed. You had so much to worry about and plan out and that plastic card that lets you buy all you want is not as magical as you thought as a child.

Growing up can be hard. And sometimes you find yourself saying, 'when I grow up I shall..........' and then it dawns on you; what you really mean is 'one day I should like to.....'
You think you can do anything and everything when you grow up, that is the perspective of a child.

I still say 'when I grow', I haven't got used to this idea that I am a grown up, I am of the next generation. But I still feel like a child, and all those childish dreams and wishes are long gone and seemingly impossible, and highly unlikely to occur.

I do not have that car, nor that house, nor that house, or job, or even the life that my childish mind concocted. I am somewhere I never imagined I would ever be or even could be. And my life seems so uncertain. I have left practically everything behind me. And looking at how different lie ends up being makes you wonder what could possibly happen next. Everything is so very different. Nothing is as simple. How wonderful that we are given a childhood in which life can be simple and straightforward. But how exciting it can be to grow up and see where you end up.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Abortion; a response

I have always been pro-life. And abortion has always caused me much sadness, and to some extent anger too. Yet the whole concept of abortion was always somewhat hazy and unclear to me. I did  not know how or what took place in an abortion clinic. And as I believe it is naive and foolish to even in engage in a debate or argument about a topic of which you know little I decided to dig a little deeper and gain some insight into the subject.
So last week I watched some of the abortion procedure videos on Youtube. And let me tell you they were horrific! I can't even begin to describe the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and the tears that pricked at my eyes. The sight of tiny mangled bodies is both indescribably sad and traumatic.
But abortion itself has so many different aspects and everyone looks at it differently depending upon their experiences and indeed their emotions.
Personally I have no direct dealings with it. I hold to my belief that a child in the womb is as much of a person as I am or the woman carrying said child. However there has been such a huge push to convince the population that while still in the womb, babies have no human rights, or even, are human. This tiny human being, who is so very vulnerable and helpless is denied life and instead given over to death in such a horrendously painful.
People proffer a plethora of objections and arguments as to why abortion is acceptable, and try to reason why it is okay for people in certain situations. Just this last week, I was forced to consider my views, and work out my response to a multitude of these objections and arguments.

Abortion is used to remedy accidental pregnancies.  This surely has to be one of the very worst reasons to kill a child? When there are so many other ways to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, how can anyone possibly have an 'unwanted pregnancy'?

Another of the weaker arguments is that the pregnancy will kill the Mother. But these cases are so rare they would have to be judged separately, and with so many advances in modern medicine a solution that allowed both Mother and child to live could probably be reached.

The argument for abortion that I find the most enraging is the financial argument. The idea that because you cannot afford to have a baby, you kill it. I am sure that there are some cases where this is very true, however, is death truly better than a life below the poverty line? Especially in first world countries where the term 'poverty' is very liberally used. Personally I have grown up below and still do live below the poverty line which was set by the British government. However I do not feel deprived. I have lived a full life, and I am healthy. don't let the government tell you that you are financially incapable when children are starving in Africa. And if you truly cannot afford a child, why is adoption such a distasteful option?

There are so many couples that would love to adopt babies, for various reasons, the biggest one being that they cannot have their own. I have met many people who have adopted, or would like to adopt, or plan to adopt. Even here at college many of my own friends in their late teens and early twenties are hoping to adopt at least one child. So to say that no one wants to adopt or that giving up a child for adoption is cruel and heartless is just not true.
How is it less cruel and heartless to rip limb from limb and crush the skull of a fetus with life coursing through his veins in the second trimester of pregnancy. How could you allow something so vulnerable and helpless to be so painfully removed? No-body deserves that. Babies in the womb respond to sound, so surely they feel pain also? It would be considered a horrific crime to kill anyone by pulling them apart limb from limb, yet because a fetus cannot stand up for itself and depends upon someone else for life it is considered socially acceptable to kill it.And in fact belong ripped limb from limb was used as capital punishment for high treason in the Korean kingdom and in some parts of China.

The biggest controversial issue that surrounds abortion is that of post rape abortion. This is a very tender and sensitive area. Rape is a serious crime and the victim has to live with that for the rest of their lives. It is easy to see why abortion would appear to be the easiest and wisest option to go for. Especially when the victim is a young and girl. Yet, does one evil deed permit the second? Surely it  is possible to carry out the pregnancy to full term, have a C-section, and the baby whisked away for a couple who cannot have a child of their own. The biological Mother would never have to see the child, and the child would be raised in a home where it was loved and longed for?
There are stories of rape victims who became pregnant and chose not just to complete the pregnancy but kept the baby and raised it. One such girl I heard of  was the result of gang rape. She has no idea who her Father is, or even what ethnicity he is. Yet she thrived and was a scholarship student at Cambridge University. Sometimes good things can come from what seems so bleak and hopeless.

Women who have an unplanned pregnancy for whatever reason should not be ignorant of the horrific decision they have to make. To deny them that knowledge is not "pro choice" - it is to deny them an honest choice. So many younger girls go into abortion clinics and they have no idea what takes place. The medical profession likes to gloss things over and make everything seem okay. Women are so often taken advantage of, they are often forced by family, or boyfriends to have an abortion without understanding how the child is removed from the womb; this is not choice, this is being hemmed into a corner, this is no-choice. Unless you know all the options on hand and the magnitude of your decision you have no real choice. Don't be afraid to look for other alternatives.

Monday, April 29, 2013

UFC gym - Train different! A review.

So I signed myself and a friend up to take a free kickboxing class at the new UFC gym across the street from our college. To be really honest I had no idea what to expect. The most similar thing I had done prior to Wednesday night was Jillian Michaels' workout videos, and padwork at my karate club.

When it comes to working out I consider myself pretty tough and I have endurance. However I will say that most of my strength is in the legs, I like my long runs, bike rides, and etc. But when it comes to arms I am just a little bit lacking in the muscle department.

For those of you who do not know what UFC stands for, it refers to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The gym franchise in question offer a variety of classes including kickboxing, Jujitsu, and boxing. Their classes promise to provide you with a complete workout including strengthening and toning while simultaneously building your endurance and general fitness level. They cater for all ages, from 5 years and up.

The facilities are clean and neat. Everything is laid out in a user friendly manner. The staff are very helpful and friendly, with your best interests at heart.

The class I took was an hour long kickboxing, which I was told would burn around 800 to 1000 calories! Now, I run 10 miles to burn 1000 calories normally, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that that many calories could be burned doing something else for less time.

The warm up was gentle to begin with, however when the instructor asked us to do push ups in the warm up, I wondered what I had got myself into, and feared that I may be in over my head. Squats I love, push ups and I have a really bad relationship though. However once we were out of the warm up, which involved, plank, squats, burpees, bear crawl, spider crawl and various punchbag attacks, I was much more at ease. I pretty much just attacked a punchbag for 45 minutes.
I have never sweat so hard in a workout besides racing in extreme heats. I was dripping 5 minutes into the workout, but the whole atmosphere of the gym, the people around you and the instructors who do it with you keep you motivated, and that one hour I spent in class literally flew by.

The cool down was very much welcomed though. Gentle stretches and  sighs of relief.

Another important point is the music that they play; I liked it, but I am aware that it may not be to everyone elses taste. However I only really noticed it when I first walked in because an Imagine Dragons' song was playing. But I did get so caught up in my workout that I kind of tuned it out.

I felt so great after the class. However pretty much every single muscle from my waist up hurt for the next 24 hours! My legs were fine, but they weren't used all that much, but my arms, back and stomach muscles were a wreck! Be warned, hehe. But don't get me wrong it was completely worth it!

And all in all I was very impressed. However I think that the price is a little steep. At least for a poor college student it is steep.
But I would still highly recommend it!! Just remember to drink plenty of water! And be ready to kick butt, or get your butt kicked!