Thursday, May 21, 2009

Some Old Pics

Here are some of my favorite pics I've taken...I hope to take a photography class sometime...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Living With Another

So the end of the semester is near and it's time to evaluate how it all went. And although I should really be typing up my research paper instead of this blog, I will write about my experience here.

Dorming has taught me a lot. You get put into many situations that test your integrity, beliefs, and especially your faith. My freshman year I decided to leave my roommate selection up to school hoping for the best. I got paired with a 20 year old international student named Ana. She came from Venezuela although one would never know by hearing her speak English which was probably spoken better than most Americans I know. Little did I know that in the next 2 years she would teach me one of the biggest lessons I would ever need to learn. Patience, love, and compassion.

For those who don't know, Ana is very different from me. I am a neat freak, super organized, anal person. She is pretty care free, messy, "I'll do it eventually" kind of person. I thought I was opinianated but meeting her I found I'm more reserved than I give myself credit for. I try to find the positive spin on situations where as when things go wrong she is very negative and loses all hope. Now don't think I am bashing her (lol), these are all things we are both very aware of and have admitted about eachother and ourselves.

Living with her I learned so much about myself. I learned that sometimes it is best to just stay quiet. I learned that sometimes we need to let things go in order to move forward. I learned that it is easy to be an example to everyone "out there", but to the ones on the inside, the ones you live with, not as easy. I also learned that in order to live with anyone for that matter, you need lots and lots of patience, love, and compassion.

We live within 4 walls, constantly invading eachother's space, so comfort is a privelage. Getting to know her my first reaction was: "She needs Jesus!", easier said than done. Little by little, I show her through my lifetsyle, through my experiences, what God can do for your life. I remember one of the first nights we shared together, and how we stood up until 3 AM just talking about life and our expriences. She shared with me how she had been in a really bad car accident that May before school began and how it changed her life. The driver died and she was badly injured. This experience led her to drink heavily and pretty much lose hope in God. That night as she spoke I thought "God, what do I tell her? What do I say? What do I do?". But at that moment I could only do one thing. I told her that even though she didn't want to turn to God, God was always turning to her and that if she ever felt she wanted to come closer to Him that I could help her. She took my words into consideration, telling me she knows deep down she will eventually turn to God, just not now. Those simple words may not have produced the actions I wanted from her but it was later on that I came to learn that the action had to come from me.

The one year anniversary to her accident came, April 1st. She stayed in the room, curled up in a ball crying all day. Her bestfriend had abandoned her days before and she had no one. It was a busy day for me, but i managed to buy her some icecream, sit her up, make her eat it and even make her laugh a bit. It was then that I saw God's plan. This person, totally different from me, different beliefs from mine, I had to love. It's my calling, it's what I was made for. To love her, as weird as that sounds (lol).

I know God placed us together for a reason, although the school calls it "random selection", it was not random for God. Everyday she pushes me to be a little more loving, a little more compassionate, a little more patient, without her even realizing it. I have had to learn to love and be there for her even when I'm angry at her, even when she's annoying me, even when I don't want to be around her. It is in those moments that my actions show her what God is really about. What the difference is between those who have God and those who don't. I thank God so much for her because she has never judged me. She has seen me fail and fall and she has never came to me, or behind my back for that matter and said "But aren't you a Catholic? Don't you follow God?", even when she has all right to. Instead she understands that I am not perfect, that we as Catholics are not perfect, but that we are trying.

Until the day comes where she choses to take the hand to the one who is always extending it to her, all I can do is be the example and pray. I pray that one day she comes to Jesus through her own decision, even though I will always be here to invite her to a retreat or event. I pray that through me she can see the Truth. With patience and love I am sure that day will come, in God's time.