As I have grown older, I have danced around with my faith in God. My extended family is very Catholic. Like, so Catholic that my great grandparents had fifteen children.
Both my mother and father grew up in the church. With families that wholeheartedly believe in God and Catholic values, there was little room to be different and your own person with different values and morals. My parents saw flaws in this system and didn’t raise my brother and me in the church.
Now, as my relationship with God is pretty non-existent, I wonder about the strength in religion and the power of spirituality. Around the world, there are all these varying forms of praying to a higher power(s) in order to feel something like happiness, clarity, or reassurance.
My aunt is currently sick. And I am waiting for a miracle.
My family has urged people to pray to keep her alive and healthy. But, is that legit and enough?
We have been praying for months.
We have been watching the sickness take over her.
We have watched the weight drop off her like the tears that run off our faces when thinking about her future.
We are putting our hopes and prayers on one person and what is He doing to save her?
But, I pull myself back from this cycle of negativity and think about her, just her. I think about her needs, what she wants right now.
She lived and lives a beautiful life.
She is surrounded by people who love her and will be for eternity.
She has made hundreds of people smile.
My sentiments on prayer and putting all your hopes on one figure can be pushed out the window. For now, I will pray because I know that is what she believes in.
the pool, hot on a september slab of concrete. a speaker singing a distinctly weekend song, listing back towards the heat of summer struggling against the onset of school. but we just repeatedly submerged ourselves and lie on hot things in the sun roasting to save a bit of heat, sort of fattening up for the winter. Peter was ripped of course, how could he not have a six pack at 16, he’s just that kinda guy. strong silent type, super cool, badass; also relentlessly nerdy, shy as can be, and definitely one of the guys you have to know well to know at all. he’s perched like a lizard on the high dive rolling over to toast each side, occasionally and jarringly rolling off the diving board upsetting the water 10 feet below and the less fit, less shy, me on the low dive (because heights aren’t my thing.)
you feel like the sun is shining through you when you lay on a black diving board like that, the surface burns your skin and the sun does its worst on the other side, you lie there. the closest we will ever feel to a cold blooded animal, or a zucchini in the midst of the broiling of a lifetime. we just lie there thinking that maybe if we didn’t move time might pass us by and leave us happily stranded in constant farewell to the pregnant bliss of the weekend. and teal, blues in abundance like a brochure to mykonos, both the sky and the water both are cloudless and still moving.
in those peaceful hours i saw fleetingly like a stag in your peripheral, the adolescence people tell you to hold onto. we did. we savored it. an experience we never talked about partly because it might seem gay and partly because what would we say. in a way it was my connection to the schoolboys i see in black and white, with my white gloves flipping through ancient yearbooks. content to lie on a hot rock by the creek with a friend you have been through hell and back with. i saw a glimpse in that moment, a glimpse of the school we would’ve attended had we been born in 1900.
Peter never chose me. he was content with the friends he had, i wasn’t cool, and i idolized him. terrible way to make a friend. but i just kinda showed up, next door, and i would just come and sit with him, uncomfortable as all hell at first, but within days we became happy to distract one another and would spend study hall sneaking back and forth between our rooms talking about rock climbing season and expensive climbing shoes. like two freshman boys did in a hundred years prior, one running into the others room discussing the intricacies of a new radio. wasting a two hour study period and leaving homework for 5 am the next morning before we went to muck their horses. and tomorrow we’d plan to sleep through study hall as a result of our long day but instead chose to scour ebay for deals on aforementioned climbing shoes.
we weren’t fast friends, but when we needed to study we could sit in silence and study and that was comfortable. also wasting our time nerding out over lame climbing equipment, but both were necessary evils and a part of our lives. for me silence was always the enemy of friendship because good friends always had something to talk or argue about. but Peter liked to listen, to say nothing, to test if it would be awkward, sometimes it was, most of the time it wasn’t. but now when i see him once a month silence is my enemy again. i want him to tell me everything, tell me the gossip, what’s happened since i left, who’s with who, who hates who, funny stories. and Peter just wants to be with his friend and sit and eat obscene quantities of brie and just exist and pretend nothing happened.
It’s a philosophical paradox. Am I gaining or losing? People often say that you get abs from training. But without losing the fat, you can’t see them. So is it really gaining or losing? I don’t know. Just like life, when you gain something, you’re automatically losing something.
From ancient epics to nowadays trivia, the paradox applies. Achilles’ mother dipped her son into the styx, which made him powerful—except that Achilles got the fatal weakness in his heels. He gained strength but also weakness… you gain some you lose some. But was he really losing when he got the weakness in his heels? Although it was bad for him, he was gaining something. Or is it really a bad thing to have weaknesses? Immortality is considered miserable by some—gaining everlasting life while losing your humanity? Or should we stay animals, return back to the caves? Our existence does stop the evolutionary path, like Ishmael said. If we are animals, our IQs lower and we keep evolving. Is losing intelligence really bad? “Ignorance is strength,” George Orwell said in his novel… This is a paradox indeed.
Am I gaining or losing by being here right now? Not having an existential crisis, but what really am I? A person born to die, I would say. So, is my birth a gain (because I’m added to the world) or a loss (because I’m destined to die)? I fancy the idea of an afterlife and envy the people who believe in it. Everything turns out to be paradoxical when you look at the perspectives. Brutus loved Rome just like Caesar did, and he killed Caesar for it. Caesar was his friend and he murdered his friend for politics. Did he gain from his participation in the conspiracy or lose honor from killing his friend? Would I make the same choice if I were Brutus?
You gain some you lose some, so is there anything to be gained in life when you’re losing while gaining? I guess thinking too much about something can only make a simple subject complex. We should make choices that are good for us, and sometimes they come at a cost… Are you willing to make sacrifices for your desires?
Surprisingly, one of the top questions I get asked being low waste is what I do when I get my period? I know many girls that have wanted to make a change from using Tampons, pads and panty liners but don’t know the next step. So I thought I would come on here to give a complete guide to having a zero waste period.
There are many issues with disposable tampons and pads but the top two reasons why we should make the switch is:
For our health: Most mainstream tampon and pad brands use a combination of bleached rayon, conventional cotton, and contain plastics.
For the environment: The average pad contains the equivalent of four plastic bags. And all of the excess product goes straight to landfills and our oceans.
There are a lot of different approaches on having a zero waste period which personally have been easier and saved me a lot of time.
Option Number one: Swapping tampons and pads for menstrual cups:
Menstrual cups are a great option for any female on their period with heavy to low flows. You’re also able to sleep while wearing a menstrual cup which is a great alternative to wearing bulky plastic filled maxi- pads or tampons which are not designed to be worn for more than eight hours of sleep.
My experience over with menstrual cups is good, it takes a while to master the process using it, applying it, but makes life so much easier… now when I’m on my period I barely even notice.
Option Number two: Switching to period panties:
This option is good for girls with light flows to medium, or girls with heavy flows at the end of their cycles. The period panties are just like regular underwear with a thin built in lining to soak up the blood. It’s just like using a pad without the waste, so you just through the underwear in the wash afterwards and then you can reuse it.
My experience with period panties is some leakage so it is a good option if you have a heavy flow. You can use reusable pads or the menstrual cup in the beginning of your period and when it gets lighter switch to reusable pads/cloth pads.
Option Number Three: Reusable pads/cloth pads: They are just like regular pads but you have to wash them out afterwards to reuse.
I haven’t used reusable pads/cloth pads before but I think it’s a good option to have along with other products. Some women I know use reusable pads and it works well for them.
Overall people have different preferences so not every product could be for you. It could take some adjusting but this is the future trend for our female hygiene products. It will help you and the planet at the same time. So it’s a win/win!