Monthly Archives: December 2015

2015 Reflections

Whew! What a year it’s been! Probably the best ever, actually. And this blog, and the people I’ve met this year have played a huge part in that. So thank you! It’s been a crazy year. Jam packed with a bunch of valuable lessons that I will most definitely carry with me forever. Looking back, 2015 feels like it flew by, yet dragged. At the same time. I’m blown away by how much I’ve changed and learned in just 12 months. I’m also really, really, really looking forward to 2016!

For my first post of 2015, I typed up everything I wanted to accomplish during the year. So looking back, I wanted to share whether or not I accomplished any of those! Time to see how pathetic I am! Here goes!

1.) I’ve vowed not to make mention of the past. I will not dwell on what happens and I will make “Keep Moving Forward” my new motto.

Okay, I succeeded far greater than I imagined with this one! I actually wrote an entire post about it 

2) Spend less time online. Sometimes I do educational things but not enough that I can justify the amount of time I spend on Pinterest.

Ehh yes and no? I’ve spent A LOT more time online over the past year, but I did manage to use it to do productive things. I broke my addiction that I was developing to Pinterest, which was a relief. Now I only really go on it to read all the info I’ve pinned about college and other useful articles. So does that count as a success? Eh, I’ll count it. Now if I could just spend less time on Instagram….

3) Become a genius. (Haha just kidding) Its just that my personality [INTJ] is known for having the highest IQ and having an incredible mind. I know I am capable of so much and if I would stop being so afraid of what I’m capable of, I know that I could be incredibly intelligent.

Ugh, I worded that so terrible. *facepalm*
But anyways….I’d say that’s a win! Even though I’m a huge overachiever and feel like I suck at everything, I did do and learn a lot this year. My IQ is now 124, so I am improving. Also, if you don’t know what an INTJ is, I also wrote a post about that!

4) Get in shape. I don’t mean get skinny. I don’t care about that sort of thing. I just want to be a lot stronger. And hey, if that brings me down a few pant sizes, I won’t complain!

I beyond failed for this one….My lack of movement hasn’t been too good for my arthritis so this one will definitely be more of a priority starting next year.

5) Become a polyglot. I’m extremely close to being bilingual so now I want to learn more than one language this year.

*Hides in shame* I’ve slacked with language learning SO much this year. It’s embarrassing. I really do enjoy learning languages, but I kept on putting this one on the back burner. Something I really regret that I’ve done.

I don’t want to go too much into my resolutions for 2016, I’ll do that in my first post of 2016. I really look forward to seeing where God will take me this next coming year and sharing the lessons I learn with y’all. Before I bid goodbye for the year, I wanted to share with you how much my blog has grown over the year. It’s something I’m really excited about! TADA:

Visitors: 250!

Views: 1,351 (what?!)

Top 5 posts:
INTJ Female Description
Is Debating About Religion Right?
Mood Swings and Other Signs of Junioritis
“It’s Complicated”
13 Things I’d Tell 13-Year-Old Me

And the most craziest thing of all? My blog has been viewed from 18 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES!  The most coming from the US, but shoutout to my readers in Italy and Norway! You guys are amazing and thank you so much for coming back to read my posts! Also, where is Trinidad and what is the European Union? #ignorantAmerican

See you again in 2016 and Happy New Year!

  
 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Lessons Learned in 2015: Fear

151,000 people died yesterday. Around another 151,000 people will die today. So many people who never saw today, many more who will never see tomorrow. When the Paris attacks happened and images were released, stories of death and horror told, it all just hit me so hard, you know? So many people, all of Paris woke up that day, thinking they were going to see tomorrow, thought their city would be the same. But it’s not and so many had to spend their first Christmas without a part of their family…because their brother or sister or parent or cousin…is dead. And with this growing threat, what city will be next?

And as much as all this wants me to go curl up in bed and never live, on the other hand, it pushes me to make every moment count. I feel like I’m wasting my time. Every second I live is one more second than those who die today have and I feel like I, oh I don’t know?! Should be doing something and be something grander than I am right now. We all have the same amount of time each day. And we wake up everyday pretending like we have time to waste, but we don’t. We never know when the last bit of sand is going to fall from the hourglass.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as scared as Hell on a Sunday, and maybe I always will be. My entire life has been some roller coaster that won’t let me off. But I just, I refuse to believe that we are supposed to live our lives as timid beings. Always afraid of what’s lurking in the shadows. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of love. So we’re not supposed to spend our lives afraid of natural disasters, the government, terrorist groups, hell, the apocalypse  of all things.

Yes it may happen, but if you die because of it, do you want to die knowing that you failed to live? Failed to tell your parents that you appreciate all they’ve done for you? Failed to tell your siblings or friends or spouses how much you love them? Missed out on your kids lives all because you let yourself get wrapped up in “What If?!” Your death is a guaranteed thing. It’s going to happen. But your life is full of endless possibilities. Don’t throw those away.

I’ve realized this year how much I let fear creep its way in and wrap its dark hands around my heart. I abhor how much I’ve let everything that’s transpired keep me from living. I don’t want my life to be just a series of statistics. I don’t want them to define me. 1 in every 103 people have Celiac Disease. I was that 1 in 103. And I feel like thus far, my life has been some series of statistics that could be used to sum me up. I don’t want my life to be a circle or a series of circles. Life should be a climb, one should always be reaching upwards, attaining to see more, do more, BE MORE. And yeah, it’s hard, and scary, and maybe even dangerous…but oh the view we’ll have once we’re up on top.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this years series! It’s been a ton of fun to write and I really look forward to seeing what lessons I’ll learn next year! Tomorrows post will be called “Reflections” so I hope you come back tomorrow to read that! Happy New Year!

Read the rest of the series:

Lessons Learned in 2015: Forward
Lessons Learned in 2015: Flux
Lessons Learned in 2015: Friendship

Interested in last years series?

Lessons Learned in 2014: Confidence
Lessons Learned in 2014: Change
Lessons Learned in 2014: Loneliness
Lessons Learned in 2014: Strength

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lessons Learned in 2015: Friendship

86,400 seconds in a day. 604,800 seconds in a week. 2,629,800 seconds in a month. 31,557,600 seconds in an entire year. We don’t deal in the currency of money, but of time. And it can’t be saved or stored up and with every click clack of the clock, another precious second is being spent. Have you ever stopped to think of how you spend it? We all budget our money, counting every dollar. We rarely find ourselves wasting or throwing away our money. It’s quite frowned upon to do so. Why do we do the same with time and people treat it like it’s nothing?

Have you ever thought about the concept of friendship before? It’s basically meeting someone you don’t know and thinking “They seem pretty cool, I want to spend my time on them.” And then you do. Maybe months, maybe years, maybe the rest of your life. And maybe if we thought of it that way, we’d stop giving our moments to those who don’t care whether we waste them. Those who make us feel unwanted, or unloved.

The funny thing about all this, is that I learned the most about being a friend when I had none. I couldn’t imagine what it was like to just be able to call someone up, or vent about something to them whenever. I had a few people come into and my life during those years, but not like it is now. Some were friends I had during Bible Bowl. We of course spent a lot of time together, especially when we were paired on the same team. but those ended more or less after I left. And I had another friend of 5 years but I don’t think I’m going to hear from her again.

I’ve learned that the most important thing to be as a friend is loyal and honest. Being lied to by someone who I once considered a friend has taught me that the most valuable thing I can give someone is my honesty. And being left by some who I thought would always be by my side has taught me that being loyal is greater than any gift or words of affirmation. And most importantly, from being alone all these years, I learned that the only thing worse than being alone, is being friends with those that make you feel lonely. I don’t ever want to do that to anyone.

I’ve learned that as human beings, we need friends. We need companionship. 2015 has been probably the best year ever and the people I’ve met this year have played a huge part in that. This blog has played a large role in that too. I feel more connected now to people. It just hit me the other day that there are people out there in other parts of the world that genuinely care about me. Care about my poetry and my words. It blows me away every single time I think about it. I’m not invisible anymore. I have a voice and you guys are the reason why. So thank you so very much for coming back and reading my posts every week! It means more than I could ever say. Stay tuned tomorrow for the last post in the series!

Read the rest of the series here!

Lessons Learned in 2015: Forward
Lessons Learned in 2015: Flux
Lessons Learned in 2015: Fear

Interested in last years series?

Lessons Learned in 2014: Confidence
Lessons Learned in 2014: Change
Lessons Learned in 2014: Loneliness
Lessons Learned in 2014: Strength

3 Comments

Filed under Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned in 2015: Flux

There’s a story that I’m sure we’ve all heard. It’s about the Red String of Fate. It’s said that a red string connects each and every one of us. To things that must happen, people we are destined to meet, places we are destined to go. And the string may tangle or grow taunt, but it will never break. It’s probably one of the most beautiful stories out there in my opinion. The thought that everything follows some predestined pattern. It may seem foolish of me, but I believe in a pattern for the universe. That every action leaves some sort of cosmic ripple that was supposed to happen. Predestination. That we are like specks of dust, caught up in an eternal spinning, always spinning, and always unaware that we are doing so.

I mean, everything in creation follows some predetermined pattern, Why shouldn’t we? Everything lives and everything dies and if you stop spinning for a second, you will see it as well. You will see the pattern in your own life, a cycle perhaps. But we are only ever allowed to catch glimpses of it and I think the reason for that being that if we were fully aware of what was going on around us, aware of how connected we all are, how every choice we make is leading to something, maybe even our eventual deaths…it would break us. Pull apart every fiber of our beings and shatter our very souls. It’s called fluctuation. This pattern that we are caught up in.

Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe it and sometimes it just hits me, you know? Like the weight of my everyday choices don’t seem important until suddenly they’re the most important thing in the universe. Like what would happen if you took a different way home? All the sudden, drove a bit faster or slower? Why did you decide to stop at a new restaurant? Or talk to the person who was standing behind you in line? What would happen if we could see where every choice led?

Maybe that’s why the wisest people in the universe are children and the elderly. Because the children have this inborn sense of hope, of optimism that just somehow EVERYTHING is going to be okay, and the elderly, have lived their life to its completion and looking back can see the entire pattern lain out before them. The universal tapestry that we are all woven into. And they know, they can see just how magnificently everything came together.

My subconscious is aware of about 3,000  things right now. But me? I can only be fully aware of maybe 30 or 40 of those things. I’m here now, typing. It’s December 26th, 2015. 11:47 PM. I’m alive right now. Who can say if I will be tomorrow? Or the day after that? And the ones that will follow? I was born to eventually die and my entire life played itself out even before I was born. My entire life is already over, I just haven’t reached that point in time yet. If I could see my entire future stretched before me, all the fluctuating possibilities, I daresay it would implode my mind.

And over the course of 2015, I’ve become slightly more aware of this pattern. Became aware that everything follows a pattern. Most all of us have heard that God knows everything, makes everything happen. That’s what predestination means to us. And that he is the one who directs us all like some puppet? Who can say, really? But the way I like to see it, is that God is some sort of universal constant. Like the speed of light. And how we perceive him may change. Some just see him as a Shepard, or father figure. Others a wrathful judge, or maybe not even there. But that’s just the theory of relativity. We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.

But he is I AM. He’s to us, our perception of him, but he’s also not at the same time. That’s how he’s been around forever, time and space mean nothing because they do not own him and he is outside of it all and the reason he knows everything is the same way an elderly person can know everything. Because they have both been through it yet now reside beyond it.

I’ve been so worried lately, about whether of not I’d receive a scholarship from the college I’m attending. And maybe this post isn’t going to affect anyone. Maybe these words came to me because right here, right now, I, Kate Cruz needed to hear them. Or maybe someone on the entire side of the world or 25 or even 50 years into the future needed to hear them. These words, once I hit ‘Publish’ will forever exist, touching countless lives. Or not. Maybe they just needed to touch mine. This is how predestination and the universal pattern works.

Is your mind blown yet?

Read my other posts in the series:

Lessons Learned in 2015: Forward
Lessons Learned in 2015: Friendship
Lessons Learned in 2015: Fear

Interested in last years series?

Lessons Learned in 2014: Confidence
Lessons Learned in 2014: Change
Lessons Learned in 2014: Loneliness
Lessons Learned in 2014: Strength

 

2 Comments

Filed under Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned in 2015: Forward

So last year at this time, I did a series of four posts about lessons I had learned in 2014. Or at least the major ones. The first post in the series can be found here. 

I had so much fun doing it last year, that I decided to make it an annual thing to highlight the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the course of 2015.

Today’s post is going to be about moving forward. My first post of 2015 had highlighted a few goals or things I wished to achieve over the course of 2015. And the first thing I had mentioned was this:

1) I’ve vowed not to make mention of the past. I will not dwell on what happens and I will make “Keep Moving Forward” my new motto. 

And I succeeded far greater than I could’ve possibly imagined with this one. I was amazed with how much my perspective and view of my past self and my past had changed once I stopped dwelling on it! I used to have a terrible habit of bringing up past experiences at much as possible. Like my arthritis and all the struggles I faced concerning that. Now I rarely mention. Actually, I make a point to never mention it. I realized that by constantly bringing it up, I had built it up into some tragic, horrible experience that simply wasn’t true. Sure, it was hard being diagnosed with it at 8 and I certainly hated going to the doctors and the months of physical therapy. But I also had a super supportive family throughout the entire thing.

I’ve learned that many hardships can be overcome simply by moving on. Whether that is doing something big like physically moving away, or something small but equally powerful as making a conscious effort not to dwell on it. Taking those steps to moving forward with your life is incredible.

Time has a way of putting things into perspective and making us realize that we are capable of recovering from the things that we thought had the ability to permanently break us. And whenever life seemed bad, I had hope that the next moment would be better and the one after that better than its former. Moving forward doesn’t have to be some drawn out ritual. It’s something we have the opportunity to do every second of every day. It’s about realizing that you are not who you were. And forgiving yourself.

Once again, that’s something that comes with time. And if you stumble, get back up. Two steps forward, one step back. And before you know it, life will move on and so will you and one day you will look back and realize how beautiful it all is. And then, you will decide to show yourself mercy and finally forgive who you were. And as you embark onto another year of your life, forget the former things for they are not your permanent reality.

All you have to do is ‘Keep Moving Forward.’

 



image

4 Comments

Filed under Lessons Learned

The Pollyanna Game.

That’s the name of a game I’ve been playing since I was 12 years old. A way to be optimistic in the face of darkness. For those days when nothing seems to be going right. And after a recent conversation with a friend of mine about optimism, I thought a post about it would be appropriate.

For those if you who haven’t heard of Pollyanna, she was a character from a book called, um, “Pollyanna”.
A story about a girl who always saw the best in every situation when, and especially when, there seemed to be no bright side. She made the world a better place merely by seeing the best in everything. I aspire to be that way. I can only hope that I’m making the world a better place by blogging and writing the words I could never say aloud.

Let me explain how the game goes. It can be played two different ways. One of the ways is at the end of each day, write down three good things that happened to you or three things that went right. The second is to throughout the day, whenever something bad happens, just pause and find the silver lining to each situation. For example, here are three good things that happened to me today:

  1. I organized my room and it turned out looking very nice. which makes me feel very productive and therefore happier!
  2. The weather warmed up drastically so my arthritis isn’t bothering me anymore!
  3. I helped one of my friends feel better by talking to her and lending a listening ear. I’m glad I was able to help her and helping others makes me happy. : )

Needless to say, it’s been a good day! Sure, I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to do, but it’s a fresh day tomorrow just brimming with potential!

This game that I’ve played for the past 5 years has taught me that good things come to those who find the good in every thing. And that the ability to have hope, to be optimistic, lies in each one of us. For every bad day you have, there are many more good days you haven’t yet lived. Who knows how many wonderful people will come into your life or how many more wonderful things will happen to you?! Yes, the world is full of death and darkness, but if you choose to just see the storms, you’ll never recognize the light when it hits you.

What are three good things that’s happened to you today? 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Most Valueble Lesson I’ve Learned

      Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

———————–

My life thus far has been a roller coaster of change. It never stops. And I remember when I was younger, wanting life to stop being so…difficult. Why couldn’t I just have a moment of peace? As I got older, my perspective widened and I realized that this constant desire for change and peace and harmony within our lives was something universal. We all looked around and wondered how so and so had it all together or why pieces of the puzzle fell together perfectly for everyone but us. We all cried out, screaming curses at the cosmos for giving us such a fate as the one we had to endure. But the cosmos didn’t want anything and our cries just bounced around in the vastness of our own minds. Echoing our pleas back at us.

And all this made me wonder. Why? Why do some people with difficulties still manage to face the day with hope? Rise with a smile on their face despite the storms they have weathered? And I realized that we all break differently. When something terrible happens or when life is a succession of terribleness, one after the other, we don’t shatter the same. We point fingers and direct glaring glances at those around us and cry that they don’t understand. The couldn’t possibly understand what we’ve been through, or going through. But the ones who realize that even if life breaks them, they don’t have to stay broken…those are the ones who have peace. See, the thing I failed to realize is that it doesn’t matter what we’ve been through, but rather who we are. Every one has bad days. And a lot of people have a constant pattern of bad days. So what?! Life sucks sometimes. It’s not supposed to reach some point of ultimate perfection. That’s not how it all works. And it never will.

But the difference? The only thing that makes us all so different from those who have hope? They’re content. They may not always love their life on some days. But they love being alive. And that, right there, is what we’ve been naively grasping for since we first began to tread across this earth. Contentment. A sense of inner peace despite all that rages around us. And no, it doesn’t mean we’re going to be in some constant state of happiness. That’s not how all this works. But rather a constant state of acceptance.

The moment I accepted my life, no it didn’t magically change. Well, in a way it did. Or at least I changed. And my past didn’t seem so…bumpy anymore. I saw my life for the lovely and precious thing it is. Each of us have such a small bit of time allotted to us here on earth. But the irony of life is that we never stop to see what’s right in front of us. We have time, yet we waste so very much of it. We look around at those around us,and up into the vast expanse of the universe and scream that life isn’t fair. There are so many stupid self help books out there that claim they and only they have the power, the ability to change our life. But you know what? It’s never our life or others that need to change. It’s us! Within each of us, is a wellspring of endless possibilities yet we always fail to see it. Fairness is just a concept born in the mind of men too immature to realize that they are an agent of change.

And so I, too, have learned the secret to contentment. It’s a balance of riding with change and also be willing to create change for ourselves. And acceptance that life may not always seem beautiful at the time, but being alive? That is something too wondrous for words to describe.

Leave a comment

Filed under Lessons Learned