I wrote the following this past Monday after the start of my recent internship for The sanctuary but I posted it to the wrong blog:

screenshot-thesageprincess.wordpress.com 2015-07-31 11-36-36

I have been kind of cryptic lately as to all the upcoming changes, let’s just say by September 2nd, my whole is going to be completely different. It’s so excited and a little nerve racking but I have all my faith in God. There are a few things in the works right now, I don’t want to jinx myself by sharing right now but I will say that expect to see more and more published works from me! And not just writings either, recordings too.

I super miss working at my dojjj. I’m praying that God is with me as I try to work out my schedule ( because I am hoping to take Krav and Muay Thai again, plus work full time, and go to school, and volunteer at the Sanctuary as much as possible). I really want to do school this fall and I’m thinking I’m going back to Human Services if they’ll have me. I did really well while I was in that degree program and I actually really liked it but was initial put off by the idea of social work. However, I realize now that there are so so sooo many directions to go in with an associates in Human Services including an option in pastoral work should I decide to become ordained someday. And i’m thinking about it. But I’m not sure if I really want to be a pastor as much as I really want to be a missionary and travel and spread the Good News.

I finally find my mission, my direction, my purpose although I don’t quite feel ‘on fire’ yet I keep praying and studying and I know it’ll happen soon.

Today I am back at the Sanctuary taking pictures and blogging. And Saturday I will be checking out Terra Nova Church in downtown Troy. I’ve been there before but I didn’t really love it ( it felt kind of cold). But I’ve been listening a lot to their sermons online and one of their pastors is very gifted. So I’m am giving it another shot! Looking forward to it.

I haven’t given up on the Miss NY thing so hopefully God will bless me with some sponsorship.

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and don’t call me ‘Shirely’

Just returned home from my first day of volunteer at the church. It was kind of a slow day: there were only 3 girls and they didn’t stay very long, mainly just long enough to eat and color some Popsicle sticks. I was forewarned that these children that frequent the church can be rowdy and violent at times, so suffice to say I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. It was OK though. For most of the time it was just me, Pastor Hannah and another adult Stephen. Stephen and R. Hannah shared good conversation and both promised to help me learn to play the guitar. It was fun! I noticed that girls that time come into though lacked manners. Better than being violent. They had a tendency to ignore Stephen when he was trying to joke with him and at one point one demanded a PB&J sandwich. Later in the day ( after the girls left and returned) a 4th girl stopped in. The eldest of the previous 3 ( two sisters and one close friend) asked the 4th girl “what are you?” then began to rattle of racial combinations. As someone who is light skinned, light eyed, and usually wears her straight, I’ve been asked the same question many times. It’s always offensive and I usually reply, “I’m human” which is never satisfactory answer. People just gotta know what to label, what ‘category’ you belong in: it’s frustrating. For dinner we made enchiladas. Eh, more like quesadilla’s with chicken in them but they were tasty. All in all it was a great day.

Early this morning I had some odd dreams. The one I remember involved my friend Tiffany whom I met in middle school orchestra class. Back in November I think or maybe it was September I ran into Tiffany at the Troy Traffic Court. She called out to me as I was leaving and asked me “Do you remember me”. I recall thinking she looked familiar and I was about ready to say that she probably recognized me from when I worked at Stewart’s in Bellevue when she said “Sunrise Middle School”. It was quit shocking, I don’t think I ever saw her again after middle school. Well in my dream Tiffany and I met up so she could return my memory card from when she did that photo shoot with me. We met up at some random time like 1am somewhere desolate and dark and she returned my card and I asked her to wait for me cause the bus wasn’t coming for a while and it was dark & sketchy. She then received a call from someone else we both knew and that person wanted to hang out so she asked me if I wanted to hang out with this 3rd person (in Vermont I think) and I obliged (mostly just not wanting to be where I was anymore). The next thing I knew I was in a hannaford or a safeway and when I left the store the other friend I’ve known from middle school, Terrence, walked by me but didn’t acknowledge me and I called out to him. He spoke to me but kept his distance, seemingly not wanting to associate with me but doing so out of respect ( or guilt idk). I had a feeling in my dream that he didn’t want his GF to see us talking but she was nowhere around that I saw. Also during the entire dream I had my tongue pierced and then I got my lip pierced ( the area below my lip) and it was very painful and I had some big eyesore of piercing in it and I kept playing with it ( which is the reason why I don’t have either pierced anymore cause I can’t help but chew on them). Shortly after that the dream ended but I just remember the pain in the dream from lip felt so real.

I was feeling pretty bummed this morning. Tiffany did stop by today and dropped off my memory card ( which is not prophetic, it was a planned we made yesterday). Always nice to see a familiar face- especially one familiar of home. I guess it doesn’t take an expect to know that my dream was most likely me feeling like my friends back home have moved on without me, which is true and expected- I mean I know they miss me, I know they will make time to see me next time I visit, but I also know or at least I think that if I moved home we probably wouldn’t hang out like ‘good ole days’. And I guess in my dream I was sticking with Tiffany cause the sense of something familiar from home was comforting. And I feel very alone at times and in the dark.

Well anyways, I’ve been praying that God comes me a sense of direction. I need to feed the fire and find the mission again.

maybe that’s it

continued my day of cleaning and have made a complete disaster of my room, or so it appears…

it is however almost finished and when it is complete i will have space again! took a break and walked around a little bit in search of a metroland in the rain. Success!

IDK why but I’m still drawn to the ISAWU section… there was nothing reminiscent of the back and forth I was involved in a few weeks. a small blurb that could of been as easily it could not of been for me: ” isawu and i can’t get you out of my head. you’re killing me though. you’re overthinking as we do, stop.” could of been for anyone really. and of course my own writing to myself. rereading it im happy i submitted it. if nothing else it’s always cool to see your writing in print. regardless, it appears that whatever was or wasn’t between me and this other person is over. not sure whether i should feel happy or sad about it. on the one hand it was lot of misunderstandings and heartache at least on my end of things.

still i have faith. and i learned today that faith is hope in action. as things slowly and surely start to come together and work itself out, i am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. a new life is forming, a new pathway is being light and i am embarking on a new journey. next week i start interning at the sanctuary for independent media again and i’m nervous but excited. one thing that has come from allll of this stuff is i’m really ready to start stepping outside of my comfort zone. and i know being active in the community will open a lot of new doors and avenues for me. i’m going to meet new people. AND the next time I meet someone I like, i’m not going to fight it (the only reason I did fight it at first was because i was already involved).

but i continue to think about this previous person. there is a bundle of memories i have swimming around in my head. they are but mere moments in time, simple but also deep in a way. reflection gives a new perspective on things that have happened.

i don’t miss the heartache though nor do i miss the confusion. i guess as always we will see what happens.

and yet, somehow staying here, going back to hvcc, and just picking up where things fell apart just doesn’t seem right – well it seems right, i guess i just don’t feel excited about it. i really want a change of pace. i want something different, something new something fresh. i guess all of that can be found where i’m at…

so what am I missing?

i know who i’m missing.

Home sweet home

SongOfSolomon6.3

Finally started cleaning my room tonight

what makes it such an undertaking of a task is the fact that my room is tiny and i have a LOT of stuff (especially clothes)…and it is hard to rearrange things and find home for things when everything is just everywhere in a small space.

today my big adventure was going to my bodega for a lucy: my favorite thing about New York is the proximity of ‘bodegas’ or corner stores. Most sell ‘lucys’ or a single cigarette and my favorite BEEF PATTIES. No beef patties today ( 😥 )

So I know I’ve spoken a lot about the book in the Bible, Song of Songs. Honestly I’ve been kind of obsessed lately, obsessed in a healthy way. I had my own epiphany as I was reading it (around 2-3am ) this morning…I started feeling encouraged. I will just mention a couple of things and then I won’t talk about it again in this post ( I hope I’m not becoming a broken record).

First, I’ve been doing some research on the book as it is rather a controversial book for Christians. Reason being it is quite graphic ( not at all graphic by today’s standards) and it’s also cryptic. There are many Christians out there that believe that the book is one big allegory representing the relationship between man/woman and God. Personally, I don’t buy it. And I think that ideology robs SOS of its beauty ( not because God’s love for is isn’t beautiful- it is, but the bible is full of examples of how great and grand his love for us is. SOS is stunning in the way that it shows that the love between man and woman can be grand and wonderful in its own right). As with all else that is good in this world ( and bad as the case may be) God created it. God made us in such a way that we enjoy sex ( not all creatures on this planet do) and I think its a problem in these times that there isn’t a whole lot of in between. Meaning, sex tends to be looked at either in a prolific way or a sinful way or a plain/boring/vanilla kind of way ( mostly not even talked about it within the church). As a result I think it turns people off from having a relationship with God because one might feel ashamed for their sexual urges or their past sexual history. Having cohabited with a man and having had a sexual relationship with him that was outside of marriage, I remember feeling so terrible about it: I knew what I was doing was not glorifying God and I felt that I was at a crossroads that deeping that relationship with God was going a different direction than being with Nick and I was right and I choose Nick ( I choose Nick desperately and anxiously: always praying and hoping that relationship would grow and flourish but always feeling empty and like I was giving, giving, giving but not getting much back). I’m glad I did because what I know now is that that whole time I still had a relationship with Christ and even though I was turning my back on him he was still with me every step of the way and it was all part of a bigger picture that I couldn’t see it. After that relationship was over I thought initially that I was going to fall into my next relationship and off I’d go into a different direction but I was wrong…

Or in a way I was right, I just didn’t understand that that relationship was with myself and with Christ/God. And during that time I needed that personal space to really first find myself again and for the first time but also accept myself, really see myself for who I am -the good, the bad, the ugly- and LOVE myself. I spent a lot of time looking and looking for someone else and just not finding anyone that I could really connect with(except the one person I did want to spend time with and did feel a connection with, but refused to speak to). During that time though I came back to center: I found that silly, stubborn, passionate, and loving ‘little lady’ (my Grandfather’s nickname for me ❤ ) that I’ve always been again.

BUT as a humanbeing and as a young woman with a sexual history (albiet not a huge one, and not really a great one…) I am really looking forward to sex. It’s worth waiting for because I know next time it will be intimate, it will be an expression of love. Just because I’m Christian, I don’t think that dirty, kinky, freaky sex is off the table it’s just about the context. And the context of SOS is beautiful and it’s graphic and it’s a man who meets a woman who he doesn’t want to be without and as their relationship grows the couple gets to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh.

What was encouraging about my reading this morning were the passages in which the lovers reaffirm their feelings for each other. I’ve been in an anti-love funk: not having it & wanting it realllllly makes it hard to hear about it butttt instead of feeling sad, I felt excited! I felt excited because for the first time (ever) I can say ( or write) that there IS someone out there for me and every day I grow closer to having him in my life, whoever he is.

My beloved is mine and I am his ( SOS 2:16).

Place me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm;
For love is as strong as death, Its jealousy unyielding as the grave (SOS 8:6).

[I am] a secret garden, a private and pure garden (SOS 4:12).

And so tonight I clean my room and I prepare for days to come. I will be moving within the next month or so, relocating most likely to Albany. No plans that are concrete at this point, but I figure for now I will see if going back to HVCC this fall is a feasible option. If it is then come fall I will be working in Colonie, doing my MMA classes, and working on getting my associates degree. I will continue to grow in my faith and seek community with other Christians in whatever way I can. If I do not end up going back to school this fall then I will likely pick up a second job and start reallly (really, really) saving money and then I think I will follow through on my dream to move to Seattle. We’ll see, it is impossible to plan because life can change in an instance. And we all know how I just love to go with the flow. But for now at least I find comfort in the fact the I am moving towards something and completely my number 1 goal for the year is my main commitment, it will be a great reward and a gift to myself. I just don’t feel sick over it anymore: I’m confident that I will achieve it and therefor, in a way, I already have. The war is won, even though the battle rages on.

❤ i feel peace in my heart.

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…but I’ll say it again,

Today I started studying Song of Songs with my pastor. We met up at the Daily Grind and Christina bought me coffee (yay :)) Although we most covered background information ( and got largely sidetracked by my non-related Christian quandaries…) I feel that it was a great study and I learned a lot. Again I felt the spirit and I was deeply moved by our conversations. I think one of my favorite things about Christina is that she is a born again C. Having that history in the secular world makes her very down to earth and easy to talk too. We discussed how the title of book is sometimes referred to either as ‘Solomon’s Song of Songs’ or ‘Song of Solomon’ and how it’s debated whether or not Solomon is the protagonist in the story, however history advises us that Solomon (who was born of King David and Bathsheba and was the richest, most powerful and successful king of Israel) had 1000 wives and concubines and therefor is unlikely that he would be the leading man in the poem as the poem describes a relationship between a single man and woman (and God). (Unless of course Solomon was saying that this particular woman was his favorite and he wished he didn’t have those other Hoes around- haha.) Apparently the title ‘Song of Songs’ means that this poem stands as the ultimate Love Song ( the greatest). It features a lot of metaphors, motifs, and parallelisms. I thought it was interesting how the leading lady in the book refers to herself as a flower but specifies that she is simple and common flower and no different from the rest. Personally I feel that I have egotistical thoughts but humble actions (at times- heh o.O), at least that’s how I view myself. Sometimes that’s mistaken for insecurity and maybe that’s what it is sometimes (I’ve always been shy, I’m down right antisocial at times)…but I identify with what the female protagonist is saying here. The book covers beauty and it’s always a good reminder that true beauty comes from the heart and the kind of person you are. I feel that I am an outstanding person and I think it’s my heart that is the most beautiful ( and at times the most ugly) thing about me but we live in a world where appearance matters more substance and substance is frequently cast aside.

Song of Songs 2:1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

I’ve been feeling sheepish lately for what I wrote to myself in the ML describing my beauty, I know I shouldn’t feel that way though as there is nothing wrong with an ode to the self but I felt subsequently that I went into great detail describing how lovely I was as if I don’t know, as if I don’t hear it constantly, as if I haven’t heard it constantly my whole life ( although when I was younger the people I heard it from were always older which in a way felt less validating at the time. I wouldn’t say I was an ‘ugly duckling’ growing up I just think I was- well the same as now- different and a lot of my features were features that little boys didn’t appreciate the way a man does). The part that makes me feel sheepish is when trying to follow up with what makes me really amazing, my inner self, I draw a blank. So I’ve been reflecting on and I think reading this chapter and reading about what true beauty and true love is all about I will have more to write about on that in the future. We didn’t discuss it today but one of my favorite biblical verses is Psalms 139: 23 & 24:

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Trust me, if you pray this you will see your offensive ways! LOL Harsh. My ultimate takeaway is that one should hide their heart in God so that if anyone seeks his or heart they have to go through God to get it and God is love ( 1 John 4:8).

Anyways, I digress, it was a great study and I’m blessed to have found such an amazing person to talk to. To be apart of the Christian family is to be apart of a large and expansive network of people all over the world whom albeit are not anymore ‘perfect’ than the rest of society but who are more loving ( and therefor more forgiving and understanding) just so long as it is God they are truly seeking. I’m eager to grow my Christian family in the area so I am volunteering at the church and I am excited to start this Saturday. I know I’ve said it before…but when I think about all the causes out there and all the problems of the world I feel that at the root of it is people not loving other people. The way people vilify poor people, the racial and economic tensions, and all the hostility and rage you see out in the world can you image how it would be if everyone came from a place of love? It is why I can’t fully give myself to any one cause because I think most treat a symptom and not the root issue… for example, the BlackLivesMatter (which yes, obviously black lives do matter) but ALL lives matter and to distinguish is to separate and there for perpetuate that separation rather than unify. It should be a human rights issue not a ‘black’ problem or a racial cause. At the root of the issue is the idea that someone is different or less than because their black when really it comes from fear from separation and the non belief that color is only skin deep. If people felt that way the we’d see radical change and that is ultimately why I decided that the only cause worth living for ( dying for, should that be the case) is spreading the word of God and Jesus because it is the personal relationship with the divine that gives inner peace.

Okay, end rant. 😀  I also volunteered to help my friend with his campaign for Troy City Council. I figured it would be a great way to get involved and I always feel inspired when someone I know is trying to change the way things are. I can’t say that I agree with everything he is about 100% but I appreciate that is heart is in the right place. And of course, anything to keep building that portfolio 😉 We met up last night to discuss some ideas and then we will meet again today for some photographs. It should be a great experience. The same friend also advised me that the ML is up for sale. So I did some light research myself and found that this is true and I emailed the owner for more information it is unlikely ( or at least feels unlikely) that I would be in a position to buy the paper, but hey knowledge is power. Long term goal wise I would love to have my own publication, that has been a dream of mine for sometime. One of the many. But as with many dreams I’m not holding to them quiet so tightly anymore. I’ve been watching one of my favorite shows lately (binge watching actually), Angel, and in season 2 I think, Angel “the vampire with a soul” has a discussion with another character after he has this like mental breakdown and goes on a rampage against this evil law firm Wolfram and Hart regarding his epiphany in which he realizes essentially that nothing matters: the good versus evil fight will always be there until literally the end of time. It is therefor that while big picture wise nothing we do matters and as a result the only thing that matters is what we do. Very existential. In the end we all die- no matter how famous, rich, beautiful or whatever we are or whatever we’ve accomplished. In time we will be forgotten, unless we do something grand like Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, Hitler or Stalin and even then as time goes on those people to will be reduced to smaller and smaller blurbs in history books and should time go on long enough, also forgotten. So in the end the greatest thing one can do is live a fulfilling life. I guess most of us spend most of our time trying to figure out what fulfills us. Which is why the greatest relationship we can have is the one with the self, it can truly be a life long romance. Which is entirely why I even bothered to write to myself in the ML anyways. (That and to show those boys how to write a loveletter :P)

me baby pic (1) - Edited
baby me and the love of my life

after all this time (1)

…  that’s the kind of love I want. Maybe it’ll find me, maybe it won’t. Maybe it already has in more ways than one. But the heart is far too precious to let just anyone have it. We are all damaged goods. It is important to know that God loves us like that so that’s what I’m chasing, and when I put it like that, I’ve found it for sure (always had it in fact).

Another door opens

Went to church this morning and left feeling very inspired. We studied Genesis, the story of Joseph. Joseph was the chosen son of Abraham and he was the envy of his brothers. To add insult to injury he was kind of an asshole about his position and he teased his brothers. As a result of his taunting and their jealousy they conspired against him: selling him to slave owners. However God remained by Joseph’s side and made him prosperous first as a slave (his owner loved him and put him in charge of his household), then as a prisoner (although he was wrongfully accused and committed, he became the favorite of the warden who again put him in charge) and then by the Pharaoh himself who eventually  made second in command. Through Joseph’s time of imprisonment and enslavement, God kept his promise to bless him. My pastor made a great point that perhaps the greatest treasure Joseph received was that of a humble heart.

Im guilty of being vain, self centered, and boastful and I repent for being that way. I’m excited to see how God will use me and I’m ready.

Looking forward to the week ahead. My mma classes are postponed indefinitely for me, in the meantime I will be volunteering at the church, studying Solomon’s Song of Songs with my pastor and maybe taking up a community, yoga class.

I definitely felt the spirit of God in church today and eager to feel it again.

🙂

Back to basics

when ever times get rough it is most encouraging for me to take a step back and look at the big picture. I start to feel like a failure sometimes. I won’t say that i’ve made all the best choices, and I can’t say that my circumstances aren’t completely a result of my own actions but what I WILL say is that at every step of the way I made the best decision based on the information I had at the time (and what was in my heart)… you really can’t ask more of person than that. After taking my blog off the radar for a couple of days I decided to bring it back. I don’t know whats next. I don’t know if I’ll be a contender for the Miss NY pageant, I don’t know if I’ll ever be a successful model, I don’t know anything will ever pan out with that guy, Caoimhghín, and I most certainly do not know what tomorrow brings. What I DO know is what I wanted to accomplish this year:

Goals for 2015…
1. Get fit- lose excess weight and get down to true size
-improve diet and nutrition
2. Find a job I love
3. Grow my freelance writing business
3a. Finish a story (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
4. Face Fears
4a. OWN the spotlight
5. Be a better daughter
6. Master hula hooping
7. Become a professional MMA fighter
8. Be a light that shines in the darkness
9. “[To not go gently into that good night, but to RAGE RAGE RAGE]”

We can just check of number 9 right now. LOL

I am well on my way to meeting all my goals this year and that’s a great feeling. Thinking back on the last 5 years, my only real regret is not managing my money properly so moving forward that is going to be my number one priority.

And last, but greatest I am finally ready to let love in ❤
The biggest challenge that I face is really trusting God through all the dips and turns and loop-de-loops my life has taken, so many situations have tried to test my faith and yet I have remained steadfast…and I’ve coined a new saying:

“Keep your heels reasonable, your head high, your lipstick bright, and your faith on FIRE”

“RAGE RAGE RAGE against the dying of the light”

&& sometimes darkness loves the light

today I met up with Rev Christina from a local church in Troy. We were connected through my family friend Grace who has been encouraging me to seek out a spiritual community. While I have tried several churches since I moved to NY ( and before moving), I hadn’t really connected with any but I have definitely felt the lack of such a presence in my life. So it was great to meet up with R. Christina. She was really nice and not at all pushy or condescending, plus I felt like we had a lot to talk about. Before taking up pastoral duties, Christina was a reporter who lived in Bakersfield, California. Christina bought me lunch and coffee at my favorite diner in Troy ( the one with all the cute guys 🙂 ) and I was very grateful. It was like a date with Christ! (The best date I’ve been on this year for sure).

the next chapter of my life i’m pretty sure involves this church, at least while i’m living in the area. The Rev has a very small church that works mostly with youth ( young black youth) and I like this because I feel that there is a lot of positive things about working with children. I cherish my experience growing up and I know that being raised a Christian has made a huge difference in my life. I feel that it’s been what has kept me from going too far left or too far right.

taking a step back from dojjj indefinitely i guess. and im thinking about picking up another full time job. if i don’t work myself to death in the next few months, i’ll deff have money to do whatever i want by christmas.

also i was feeling disappointed a few days a go that my summer seemed like it was shaping up to be a snooze fest,

but i’ve decided that i’m going to the 3 day phish show and glen watkins. i signed up to work it 😀 so hopefully it’ll pay for itself. i’m trying to get my roch friends to work it with me

also a friend is running for office locally and i offered to use my skilllzzz to help him. i’m super excited. 🙂