A Revival of Sorts

I had almost forgotten I even had this blog. It’s somewhat mind-boggling to look back and see that it’s been over a year since my last blog entry. But to be honest, I’ve been more focused on just living my life and finding myself for the past year. I have been in something of a slump and was struggling to pull myself out of it. You see, I’m the type of person who both loves routine and despises feeling trapped.

A routine offers stability. It makes my life more predictable, which in turn makes the task of managing my energy a bit easier. I know I have to go to bed at a semi-reasonable hour so that I can get a certain amount of sleep. Even if I’m a zombie when I first wake up, I know it won’t last long and I’ll soon be chugging along like a slow but steady train. I know that I will work on specific days at around similar times for fairly consistent lengths of time. I know I have certain tasks that I need to accomplish in that set amount of time and I do my best to achieve that objective.  I know that when I’m in school, there are classes that I have to attend on a regular basis and that there are assignments associated with those classes that I must get done in a timely manner. Admittedly, I’m not always successful at that but it doesn’t stop me from trying. This continues almost like clockwork, day in and day out. For me, routines are wonderful in that regard because for many years stability was exactly what I craved.

The problem with this situation is that my life has become too predictable. Yesterday, I had a customer come into work who had not visited the store or my particular area of it for over a month. He is a regular customer. I know exactly what he orders and how he likes it prepared. I always speak with him in a genial manner because he’s just a genuinely nice, respectful individual and you can’t help but be genial with him. And yet I had not realized that he had stopped coming to the Target Deli for an entire month. The routine of my life has made the days bleed into each other. They are so similar that I can only distinguish today from yesterday by the fact that today is my day off. I never used to mind that. But now, the realization horrifies me. I have no desire to be floating listlessly through my life. The thought of being stuck in one place, repeating a handful of tasks, with little hope for change is incredibly depressing. And worse, I cannot help but feel that much of the past four years of life – years spent wrapped up in my college education – have been wasted to some extent. And by my own choice. Because I am a creature of routine.

And now I feel trapped. I do not have the money to just uproot myself and head for somewhere far from Iowa – or to at least have the chance to travel on occasion. I do not have the degree that would afford me more opportunities to find employment that would earn me the money to leave or travel. I barely have enough to afford a Greyhound ticket home for Christmas so that I can see my mother for the first time in almost four years. What kind of life is that? I’m rapidly coming to think it’s not one worth living. And I’m trying to find ways to shake up my routine. Perhaps I should try blogging more often. Sometimes, it makes things easier to be able to put the feelings into words.


Prologue for an Untitled Story

Right. So I’ve been “working” on this stupid story since my freshman year of college. And I had an epiphany about it a week or so ago that has helped with the major writer’s block I was suffering with it. So I’m posting the prologue here and might continue posting the short chapters as I come up with them. I’m not telling anything about the plot, except that the empire’s name is Minatrusis. If you read this blog, you’ll just have to see how it develops as it goes. Also, this Prologue may or may not change as time goes on. We shall see. 😀

Glossary of Terms you’ll find in the Prologue in order of appearance:

Untaou: the elite enforcement agency of the Empire. Characterized by animal-shaped masks, this group has been in existence for nearly 1000 years – almost as long as the Empire itself. It has been responsible for the conquest of no less than 30% of the provinces now held by the Empire. Its members have shown unwavering loyalty to the Empress throughout most of its history. After a failed coup led by deceased leader Josk Danta, the group was disbanded.

Lirni: a predatory animal. Similar to a tiger in form, but roughly the size of a timber wolf as well as a “pack” mentality like wolves.

Iblas: the general term for a bloodline power. There are six basic ‘types’ of bloodline powers. Each noble family usually possesses a bloodline power, though some posses more than one. Members of the main royal bloodline can theoretically use all six types, but the first to develop is usually Amaean and it is therefore the preferred power used.

Amaean: the iblas associated with the control of lightning. The royal family Ental possesses this iblas.

Rokuan: the iblas associated with the control of fire. The Danta family possesses this iblas.

Greva: a predatory animal. Similar to a shark.

Hyuton: a predatory animal. Similar to a wolf in form, but is larger than a horse and generally used as mounts when tamed.

Danta: one of the four prominent noble families of Minatrusis. Rules over the Burgium province and possesses the Rokuan iblas.

Ental: the royal family of Minatrusis. Rules over the Empire and possesses the Amaean iblas.

Grixsa: a cross between a gazelle and a unicorn; generally bronze in color, though other colors aren’t uncommon, with three gray horns; extremely timid and rare. The rarest type is silver-hued with golden horns.



Thus far the evening had been unremarkable. The palace grounds were quiet as the guards did their rounds. The light cast by the three moons bathed everything in a peaceful silvery light.  Perhaps this lulled the guards into complacency. It was difficult to believe that a military coup might take place tonight. There was no sign of unauthorized personnel as a gentle breeze ruffled the leaves of the trees and sent waves through the grass. No. It was simply ridiculous to think anyone would strike against Empress Rosal.

And yet the peace was abruptly shattered. A bolt of fire struck the ground before two guards. The men were thrown backwards by the blast. They were blinded, deafened, and burned but alive. War cries rose all around in an eerie chorus. This was it. Dozens of black-clothed men rushed across the grounds, attacking guards as they went. The masks they wore were reminiscent of animals, untamed and bloodthirsty. These were the masks of the Untaou – Empire’s elite enforcers. Its members had showed nothing but unwavering loyalty throughout its long history and answered to the Empress alone. Until now.

The firebolts struck sporadically, lighting up the night with a bloody glow. Its source was another man, cloaked in black and taller than the others were. He strode calmly forward behind his men. Soon, the rebels reached the palace and broke down the doors. “Kill the Empress! Kill the princesses and prince! Let none stand in your way!” called the tall man as he stepped through the splintered doors.

“Yes, sir!” They moved through the halls with ruthless efficiency. Despite every attempt made by the guards, the rebels made steady progress towards their goals. They knew the quirks and skills of each and every guard, after all. Screams befitting the gruesome death of each defender reverberated throughout the palace. Soon, several of the rebels came across the Empress Rosal and her guard in mid-flight. “What irony,” one said, his voice husky. His mask resembled a snarling lirni. At an unseen signal, the rebels with him leapt towards the guards. As the two groups clashed, the Empress faced the leader.

“Your misguided goals will not be accomplished this night. You will pay for your defiance, each in their turn,” she said. The air around her seemed charged. It took on a bluish hue as she called upon her iblas. As the air about him shimmered with the heat of his own iblas, he laughed at her. It was utterly humorless.

“My misguided goals? This is not my war, Empress. But there is much to be said of our leader’s particular brand of…persuasion. I am sure you understand what I mean…It’s nothing personal.”

She calmly gazed at the masked man. It was impossible to tell if she understood. Or if, perhaps, she chose not to. Abruptly she nodded. “All shall pay, each in their turn…I wish that this had not come to pass,” she murmured. Lirni frowned. Had she known all along?

Without warning, her hand swept up and Amaean lightning leapt from it. Lirni twisted to the side, bending backwards to avoid the bolt as his own hand shot a stream of Rokuan fire at the Empress. The blue hue around her solidified, causing the flames to split and slip past. He straightened and gathered the fire in both hands, compressing it into tightly spinning balls and magnifying their power. Her shield needed to be broken in one short burst, immediately followed by another blast. With all his strength, Lirni hurled one ball at the shield. He felt the discharged power as the shield wavered then shattered. Without hesitation, he threw the second ball where the shield had broken.

As if in slow motion, he watched the ball pass through and slam into the Empress. It bloomed into a raging inferno that utterly engulfed her. The shield instantly disintegrated as she flew backwards. There was only silence for several minutes until Lirni extinguished the flames with a flick of his hand. He slowly moved down the corridor, walking through the air like a diver pushing his way through deep, heavy water. When he finally reached her, he stared down at the Empress’ charred body. He felt cheated in a way. She had nearly sixty years of experience and not inconsiderable strength. He had the stamina and raw power of youth. Somehow, he felt it shouldn’t have ended so quickly. “We are done here,” he said. “No more.”

The others nodded as one, though his back was to them. Looking at the bodies around them, they couldn’t help but feel disgusted. There was a fine line between a revolution and insanity. They knew now, beyond all doubts, that fine line had been crossed somewhere far too long ago. “Greva. Hyuton. Return to the rendezvous point and release Lor and Vorne. They should yet be alive, since their guards are more in line with us than our illustrious leader.” His gaze never left her body as he gave his orders. “Bring them here immediately. We need to end this.”

“Yes, Lirni.”

Lirni moved a bit closer to the Empress, ignoring the nauseating stench of burnt flesh. He couldn’t help it. That final look haunted him. He knew it would haunt him for the rest of his life. It shouldn’t have been on her face. A soft expression they had all seen just before the flames had enveloped her – as if she truly understood and forgave them. No questions asked. She had let him kill her so easily.

But why?

“I have to find him,” Lirni murmured before turning and running back the way his squad had come. They, in turn, followed him.


“Atreos, wake up. Wake up, darling.” Princess Yulia shook her son awake. Beside her stood Jani the servant girl and Yulia’s terrified daughter Saari.

“Huh? What’s going on, Mama?” Atreos asked as he clambered out of bed. It was so late. He couldn‘t understand why his mama, sister, and caretaker were all up in their nightclothes and cloaks.

“There is no time to explain, darling. We have to go.”

“Here,” Jani added, wrapping Atreos in a cloak she had brought with. It was much too large for the nine-year-old. Yulia could have laughed at the sight of her son swallowed up in one of her older cloaks. But there was no time for laughter. “It’ll have to do,” the princess said briskly. “Now come along, Atreos.”

Atreos looked at them, feeling more than a little lost. He had been sleeping soundly, caught up in a dream about him and Rochelle in the woods – sitting by the stream, seeing the herd slip past them like liquid silver. And now…now Mama was looking concerned. And Saari – his brave awesome amazing big sister who was never ever scared – she looked like she was going to faint. Like the ladies of court sometimes did when their dresses were too tight. Except Saari never wore her dresses too tight, so why would she faint? He wanted to go back to sleep. It was his birthday and it had been such a long day. But the look on his mother’s face made him hold his tongue. If Mama was worried enough to show it, then he had better not protest right now. Maybe later when whatever was going on had calmed down. So he silently took his mother’s hand and followed her to the hall. Jani and Saari trailed close behind, Saari holding on tightly to Jani’s hand. Atreos looked back and took hold of Saari’s other hand, giving and seeking comfort.

The four moved swiftly through the halls, passing several guards on their trek. Blood-curdling screams could be heard directly beneath them. Atreos clung to his mother. He was slowly becoming as terrified as his fifteen-year-old sister appeared to be. Now he was definitely confused. Why was there screaming? Why were they leaving in the middle of the night, with nothing but cloaks and their bed-things? And where was his father, Lor? Papa should have been back from his trip with Papi Vorne by now! Papa would know what was going on, right? And he’d explain it all so Atreos could understand. Why wasn’t his papa here? But Atreos didn’t dare ask. Confused as he was, he knew this wasn’t the time to pester his mother with his perpetual questions.

After what seemed like an eternity, they stopped before a portrait of a former Empress. Yulia released Atreos’ hand. Stepping forward, she pulled the portrait away from the wall to reveal a dark passageway. “In you go. Quickly now,” she said. Saari and Atreos clambered through the wall, fear still radiating from them as their faces scrunched up from the mildewy smell in the passage. Jani swiftly followed. Yulia made to climb in as well when she suddenly glanced to her right. “Jani,” she whispered. “Take Atreos and Saari and follow this passageway until you reach a flight of stairs. Head all the way down them and through the corridor you find there until you reach a door. Flee through it. And do not look back, understood? Just run as fast as you can.” Jani nodded, taking the prince and princess by the hand.

“What about you, Mama?” Atreos asked. But Yulia wasn’t paying attention. She slammed the portrait against the wall and turned to face the figure now approaching her. She began to dig for the iblas – the heartless blue Amaean that was her birthright…yet she could not find it in her. Her head throbbed in agony as she tried. It was as if something was blocking her or misdirecting her efforts.

“Not going to try and escape, Yulia? Going to stand and fight instead?” he asked. His soft voice, coming from the depths of his cowl, sent shivers through Yulia. It was an eerily familiar voice. She took several steps back, standing to the left of the portrait. Desperately, she reached for the lightning that always sparked through her whole being. And again, she felt nothing but her throbbing headache. “Better to give my children a chance to escape than let us all die,” she said defiantly.

“How do you expect to stop me when you cannot even grasp your iblas?” he scoffed. Yulia’s blood ran cold. The man snickered as her face paled. “I suppose it does not matter, anyway.” There was scuffling behind the portrait Yulia had just closed. It fell away to reveal the young trio being firmly held by several men. But how had they known about the passage? The royal family had jealously guarded knowledge about the network of passages and tunnels hidden within the walls of the palace for centuries. “You see?” the man said. “Pointless resistance. But now…now I get the pleasure of doing the deed myself.” The man nodded and two others grabbed Yulia. Their masks glinted in the moons’ light.

“Why? Why are you doing this?” she demanded, unsure if the man would even answer. The children were dragged out of the passageway and held tightly just to Yulia’s left.

The man jabbed an accusatory finger at her. “One who cannot accept the family’s wishes and those who indulge that rebellious nature are filth. Isn’t that right, Yulia?” He waved the same hand in the direction of Yulia’s children. “The way I see it, you and your unnatural brats have no place on the throne. Rochelle belongs on there more than any of you. And the gods know it!” Fire crackled around him in his outrage. Yulia frowned. How Rochelle could be more worthy when she was of the Danta line was a baffling thought. Her children were of the proper Ental blood line, just as Yulia was. Saari had even begun controlling the Amaean with ease! “This would have been the crowning moment of this little rebellion, if I could have gotten to Rosal first. Ah, well. Darling baby brother certainly did my dream justice. I will not begrudge him.” Yulia’s eyes widened as things finally clicked. The odd taste of the wine from earlier. The headache that plagued her even now. But it was far too late. A silvery gleam was the only warning she had. The man smoothly slashed Yulia’s throat. The spattered droplets seemed black against Atreos’ pale skin. He would have screamed, but his mind and body had disconnected. This wasn’t happening. The men wearing these masks—masks he had always admired, always wanted to wear—weren’t doing this. Their loyalty wasn’t exposed as a lie. This wasn’t real. It was just a dream. Just a nightmare. He squeezed his eyes shut. He had to wake up now!

But when he opened them, nothing had changed. This was no dream.

The man turned to Atreos and Saari as Yulia dropped to the ground, scrabbling at her neck. “Now for you two,” he whispered. But the young prince’s attention was riveted by the sight of his mother. Yulia was no longer moving, though the blood continued to spurt from her wound. But it was the look on her face that froze Atreos – as if death and horror were darkening her gaze in equal measure. Why…gods, why had they done this to her? “Mama?” he whimpered.

The man simply laughed at the boy’s pitiful question and gestured towards the rebels. Saari was dragged towards him, struggling wildly against her captors. Atreos finally tore his attention from his mother. This new sight wasn’t much of an improvement. Saari’s eyes held more terror than Atreos thought possible. But then again…they both knew Death stood before them.  The cowl had fallen back slightly, revealing the man’s assassin mask.  And its porcelain face was an innocent grixsa. “Do not worry,” he assured the princess. “The poison moves quickly. I doubt you will feel a thing as you bleed out.” Another slash and more droplets decorated Atreos’ face, delicate as freckles. Saari slumped atop their mother, hands clutched desperately at her throat to hold the blood in. It was Atreos’ turn, now. This was the end, then. He didn’t struggle like his sister and mother. What was the point? There would be no more hunts with Papa and Papi Vorne. He had no doubts they were dead as well. And he wouldn’t get to tease Saari again. Definitely no more walks with Mama and Mami Rosal, taking afternoon tea in the palace gardens. Tears welled up in his eyes as he realized there wouldn’t be any more picnics with Rochelle. They fell one after another because he could no longer dream of being worth something, even if he was hidden behind a mask. Even if he could, he wouldn’t want a mask anymore. The Untaou had tarnished it forever. But it didn’t matter because this was The End.

Atreos wanted to scrunch his eyes shut, desperately wished to block out Grixsa. He could barely see the assassin through his tears, but he could see that Grixsa was hesitating. Why was he being forced to wait? His whole body ached from the adrenaline that rocketed through him. His head throbbed with each pulsing heartbeat, adding tears of pain to his blurred vision. And still, Grixsa did not kill him. Why wouldn’t he end this terrible pain? Why was he forcing Atreos to suffer like this when Yulia and Saari had been granted immediate death? It was as if this moment of time were frozen and they couldn’t move forward or backward. But the boy knew time still marched on because the pain in his head was not constant. It grew and grew until he could stand it no longer. He let out an agonized cry and finally closed his eyes. Surely now, death would come. The pain was too much.

But death eluded the boy.

Instead, yells and inhuman snarls of fury reached him. Atreos found himself suddenly free of his captor’s arms. The release was quite unexpected. He fell to his knees beside his mother and sister. His hands fell upon them to prevent him from falling. They felt so wrong to his small hands. Thuds and miserable cries assailed his ears, distracting him from his own rapidly fading pain. Jani attempted to pull him away. But the prince jerked out of her grasp and remained unmoving, refusing to even open his eyes. And then a strange gurgling sound reached him. Silence slowly descended once more. The pain had faded away to a dull ache that filled his entire being – unfocused and wearisome. And still, Atreos kept his eyes closed. Only when he heard a comforting, familiar voice did he consider opening them.

“It’s ok, Atreos. You can open your eyes now. I’m here,” Lor said soothingly. The boy sniffled before slowly opening his eyes. The first sight to greet him was that of the still-warm bodies of Yulia and Saari. Their eyes were still filled with fear, glazed though they were. Atreos gave a small cry and pulled his hands away. He tried to scramble away from the bodies, but his hands slipped on the floor and he nearly lost his balance. Lor caught the boy with ease and steadied him with one hand.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t here, Atreos.” Atreos looked up at his father with a confused frown, then stared down at his hands. Blood slicked them, still black against his skin. Would Papa’s presence have made any difference? “I’m so sorry.” Lor moved the hand that had steadied his son and cupped the boy’s cheek. His thumb wiped away the tears that were still trickling down, smearing the blood of his wife and daughter on his near-doppelganger’s cheek in the process. The other hand was firmly pressed against his side, where Grixsa had cut him.

Atreos said nothing. He merely pulled away from his father’s hand to look around the hall. A crowd stood around the two. Many of them also wore the masks he had once coveted. He ignored them for the moment and turned his attention to the bodies littering the floor. Some were guards. Others wore those masks, broken to reveal faces he had known his whole life. He dismissed each in turn, just as he had the crowd. They were insignificant, not what he was looking for. To his left lay what he sought — the man with the grixsa mask. He was unmoving. Atreos slowly crawled over to him with some difficulty, since his hands were still blood-slicked. But he couldn’t find the energy to actually stand up. The boy met no resistance from Lor as he crawled away from his father.

Moonlight streaming through a broken window illuminated the dead man’s face, covered by neither the cloak’s cowl nor an assassin’s mask. His neck stood open, red as bloody venison. Numbly, Atreos recognized the man – his cousin Josk Danta. A man who, not eight hours prior, had stood with Rochelle at his side. He had stood with a smile on his face in the afternoon sun that had bathed the royal gardens that day in delicious warmth. He had wished Atreos a happy ninth birthday.

“Darling baby brother certainly did my dream justice.”

As those words echoed in his mind, the boy shuddered and jerked away. He pulled his legs up to himself, wrapped his arms around them, and started softly crying. He felt his father’s warm arms encircle him and he moved his hands to cling to his father’s tunic. A damp hand stroked his hair soothingly and he cried even harder. “Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

“Shhhh, Atreos. It will be okay. Papa’s here. Papa will make it okay.”

His father had always been terrible at lying.

I Will Never Leave

When you push me away

When you tell me to go

When you curse me

When you say you despise me,

I will never leave.


When your heart is breaking

When your tears flow

When pain is all you feel

When you think there is only darkness,

I will never leave.


When you seek an escape

When you want a refuge

When you wish for death

When you see no end in sight,

I will never leave.


When the world is crushing you

When life blocks your path

When all hope seems lost

When everyone has left

I will never leave.


Believe me.

I will never leave.


Here I am with another rant. This seems to be becoming a regular thing here, but what are blogs for? I kid, of course, but it’s useful nonetheless. This time, I’m talking about friendship. So I suppose it’s not so much a rant as a publicly written introspection on the friendships I’ve had over the course of my relatively short life.
Not too many friendships have ever ended “badly” for me. Sure, we’ve grown distant. We don’t talk as much as we could or should. We don’t visit with each other or play catchup or normal things friends do. Well, I suppose I can’t really visit many of them because they’re far from Iowa. And I’m not a talkative person by nature, so I’m not likely to pick up the phone and call or text someone. And I tend to be very tunnel-vision about my life. It’s a fault I’m well aware of and do try to not overindulge it. My friends that are here know this and try to keep me from the hermitic life I would otherwise live.
Setting all that aside, I can still have a conversation of some sort with the people I count as friend when I do get the urge to call them up. It doesn’t feel terribly awkward talking to them and I come away knowing what they’ve been up to and how they’re feeling. Those are the most important things to me. What’ve you been up to? How’ve you been?
The past not-quite six months have made me seriously question my friendships, though. I think I mentioned in my last post that I subscribe to the “fool me once” school of thought. For those who read my blog and know me personally, you may or may not be surprised to learn that I don’t make friends easily. Oh, I’m fairly friendly with people in class and I don’t completely shutdown if a stranger comes up and talks to me. But when it comes to really letting people into my life? Let’s just say the list isn’t very long. It’s just difficult to trust people that much. I’m not sure where exactly that comes from, but I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t like that. So really, I can probably count the number of people I consider close friends on both hands and still have room for a few more. Whether it’s a good or bad thing to be part of that small list is up to them to decide.
Which brings me to my next niggling issue. Do they think it’s a good thing? I think that’s something I worry about constantly, but I never have the courage to ask. There’s one I know beyond nearly all shadow of doubt will have my back until the very end. She knows just about everything there is to know about me – all those deep, dark secrets you normally take with you to the grave – and miraculously she’s still by my side. And admittedly, I never expected that sort of loyal friendship from her – and I’m eternally grateful for it. I still worry she’ll leave me one day, but it’s a back-burner worry. The rest I worry about all the time. Because one person I let in decided she didn’t like what she saw and mishandled it so horribly that I doubt either of us will ever be okay with the other. I think she cropped up in my last post as well – the ex-friend that’s returned to Iowa. Now I wonder what other friendships were such complete and utter bullshit – pardon my crudeness.
And that hurts, you know? Not because of what she did, but because of how she now makes me view every single friendship I’ve ever had. I never used to question before she came into my life. I never wondered if I could truly trust the people that I had come to trust. But now I’m not so sure and that hurts more terribly than I can possibly describe. Because for all that I might seem strong and indifferent and completely capable of taking on the world by myself…I would probably shatter into innumerable pieces with a well-placed and well-timed tap. That’s a terrifying thought to live with. And I sometimes wonder how I’ve managed to survive this long without losing my mind somewhere along the way.
I hope either this fear departs soon or I find the courage to ask. Because I’m starting to get tired of always doubting when I should be always hoping. Or at least content most of the time.

Another Whiny Post

So I’ve been running on this wonderful high for most of the month. As much as I’ve complained about my class, it’s been pretty enjoyable. The people in it are interesting, the topics are interesting, the teacher is awesome. The reading could be better, but life’s not perfect. I’ve been working steadily at Target and have now started up a new work-study position. I spent time with friends, chatted with family, and overall had a decent month.

And then not too long ago, it’s like I crashed. Just completely burned out like a wrecked plane or an exploded car or some similarly depressing and gruesome image. In hindsight, I should’ve seen it coming because I’d been more distracted and just flat-out exhausted the past week or so. I haven’t been able to accomplish much of anything aside from going to work at Target. And that was harder than it sounds.

I think it’s kind of struck home that I’m in a rather undesirable situation in my life. Last I checked, I’m still $2000 or more in debt to a school I’ve rapidly come to dislike. I owe money left, right, and center it seems for God only knows what. I’ve lost track. I honestly don’t know 100% what I want to do with my life or even how to get there if I did. I don’t know how I feel about an ex-friend coming back into the picture, knowing that I don’t want to spend time with her nor she with me but our mutual friends want to spend time with us both. And that’s pretty awkward, you know? I don’t want them to take sides, though I suspect that if she’s even a little like how she used to be she’ll certainly want them to. I hope she doesn’t, but I’m not optimistic.

I feel very trapped right now and have no idea how I’m going to wriggle out of it. I want to just sleep until it all disappears, but I know that won’t work. I’m sure some would say I’m depressed and that perhaps I should seek counseling. Already a few steps ahead of you, my friend. Ask for depression meds? Already taken them at some point in my life. I’ve already discovered they don’t work for me. I don’t know why, but they don’t. And I’m quite loath to try again. Kind of a “fool me once” type of deal.

Anyway, that’s my whiny post. Let angst fill my cup to the brim until it spills over and is soon replaced with fresh, pure hope. If such a thing is possible

A Rant of All Shapes and Sizes

This whole week has just been kind of rotten. I was sick for most of it and had absolutely no inclination to do anything. Things were tolerable on Monday, slumped on Tuesday, bottomed out at the end of Wednesday, and just kind of stayed there until today. Today started out decent and then sank beneath rock bottom for a while. I don’t much feel like going into the details about that, but suffice to say my final work shift could’ve ended on a much happier note than it did.

I don’t often reach this kind of low. I’m generally on a fairly even-keel every day. I don’t have manic highs or lows. I’m just kind of…there. Sounds kind of depressing, but it’s really not. It’s not like I’m miserable or anything. I’m just going from day to day, somehow managing to not lose my sanity amidst the stress I go through – and that’s a surprisingly large amount.

The “light” stress is school. And although my performance of late hasn’t been up to snuff, I’m generally not such a terrible student. I attend my classes fairly consistently, usually offer insightful commentary, and turn in decent work. I’m not stellar all the time, but I’d definitely say I’m average. And I’m fine with that.

Like I said, that’s the light stress. The rest of it comes from several other personal issues. The main one, to me at least, is finances – which I have little of. I spend most of my spare time working to pay the school. Between doing my work-study for Dining Services and working weekends at Target, I find it very surprising I don’t have more grey hairs on my head. And about 90% of it goes back to Mount Mercy. What doesn’t, goes to pay my phone bill and credit cards. For example, I was saving up to buy a new laptop. The one I have is finicky and likes to pull crazy stunts on me when I’m trying to do important work. Like, say, homework or sending important emails or downloading important documents so that I can do HOMEWORK. I had over $200 saved for that purpose. I was gonna buy a brand new laptop from Best Buy for about $300 to $400. Instead, I decided to make a massive payment to Mount Mercy so I wouldn’t be crushed under more debt. Next massive paycheck from Dining Services will be going the same route.

My weekends are rarely relaxing and my weeks are packed – except for Thursdays and evenings. And by the time I hit evening, I’m so wired and needing distraction that I don’t feel tired until about midnight. And most days, I’m awake before 7 am because of work or appointments or needing to do some last minute homework that I couldn’t get to the night before. So. I manage to accomplish everything that I do on a daily basis with less than 6 hours of sleep on average. I nap on Fridays after I’m done working in the kitchen because I wouldn’t manage to get through working at Target otherwise.

And you know what? I actually started writing this post to say that I really enjoyed the school play tonight and it made the whole rotten week a lot better. It’s called “Over the River and Through the Woods” by Joe DiPietro. Yes, this massive rant was done for the sole purpose of saying that. I really know how to beat around the bush, don’t I? I might write some sort of review about the play in another post. A post that is less whining and more “I have important things to say.” Or I’ll just make another whiney post. We’ll see.


Faith is a tricky thing. It’s something that can be a source of great strength. It can comfort in the darkest places. It can redeem the most damned souls. It comes to those in the depths who have nothing else.


I used to have faith. When I was younger, I firmly believed in the rightness and all-encompassing great goodness that was the one true Almighty God. I used to feel a sense of peace when I entered a church. I felt a connection to Jesus Christ. I had faith that God could do no wrong.


I just visited the chapel on my campus a little over an hour ago. I’m not sure how long I was there. Half an hour, perhaps? Not much longer than that, though. And at first, there were a few people there. They were practicing with bells. It was pretty music, but I really wanted to have a solitary moment there. And they left not long after. But even while they were there, all I felt was this vast lonely emptiness. It only intensified after they left. For the first time in my life, I felt abandoned – as if I was no longer worthy of receiving God’s love.


This is the first time I’ve set foot in a Catholic Church since my freshman year with the intent of speaking with God. Before that, it had been five years since I’d entered a Christian place of worship. This was partly due to choice and partly due to moving to Washington. My mother was never able to find a church she liked after we moved out there. As for me, I had begun losing my faith in God about a year or so before we ever moved. So I’ve been agnostic, more or less, since fifth or sixth grade. For some reason, I just…I didn’t feel that same peace in a church. I didn’t feel the absolute rightness of God. I felt as if He had turned His back to me. I don’t know where those feelings come from – I still don’t. But even when His back had been turned, I didn’t feel abandoned. There was some hope, I suppose.


Faith is a tricky thing. It’s something that can be a source of struggle. It can destroy lives in the greatest heights. It can corrupt the purest souls. Without cause, it abandons some in the depths with nothing else to hold on to.


I’ve seen both sides of this coins. Not to their greatest extents, but I have seen them. I’m always questioning faith – my old faith, the faith of others. Not to be rude or antagonistic, but because I want to know. I want to know why. Why? That is the question perpetually before me. Nothing specific attached to it. Just why. Why?

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