Full Time Student, Artist, and Procrastinator

Well, I have a midterm to take later today and I should be studying. But instead, I figured it wouldn’t help me by getting upset over something I’m not good at (science). Instead, I’d focus on something I can be good at when the hands cooperate. Every artist understands this struggle.

So, my friends, “art.” I don’t promise that it’s all fantastic. I’m just not mentally ready to immerse myself in the world of general science. Procrastination by uploadation.

Abstract

Abstract_2

Birds

Castle

Elf

Eyes Are the Window to the Soul

Face Forward

Midterms

This is my life.

Normal

Profile_3

Punk

Punk_2

Song Bird

Two Worlds

Windy

Windy_2

Okay. That’s it.

Have a lovely day and pray for me please!

Thank you and bless you!

Rana

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I Don’t Support Komen for the Cure & Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Either

Hello, lovely!

You probably don’t know this about me, but I was named after an aunt who died three months before I was born of breast cancer. I know a few people who have struggled with cancer. So this blog post is written, not to not show respect to those fighting this battle, but instead to inform you as to why I won’t support Komen for the Cure and urge you to not support them either.

Below is a list of highlights from different sources and, instead of rewriting it all, I decided to make a list.

Essentially what this article (and many others) says is:

 
> Only about 20% of donations goes to “research” (and not even all of that goes to research).
 
> Only 11% of total revenue goes to researching to find a cure.
 
> $171,635,612.16 spent in advertisement.
 
> “…over half their money toward promoting awareness and screening, for early detection of breast cancer. It’s not curing breast cancer to be aware that you could get it, nor is finding out that you have cancer and treating it in the early stages in hopes of entering into remission. That’s not a cure. Yet that is Komen’s largest promoted focus.” – Source
 
> Komen for the Cure’s largest sponsors are the organizations that profit from cancer through radiation and chemotherapy.
 
>At the 1998 Food and Drug Administration hearings, the Komen Foundation was the only national breast cancer group to endorse the AstraZeneca cancer treatment drug tamoxifen as a prevention device for healthy but high-risk women, despite vehement opposition by most other breast cancer groups because of its links to uterine cancer.” – Source
 
> They spend nearly a million dollars annually suing companies that use the word “cure” in their charity endeavors.(They threatened to shut down a small lung cancer organization for the use of the word “cure” in their name.) They’re essentially bullies.
 
> They pay to put their label on a bunch of stuff (like KFC buckets of fried chicken, cupcakes, perfumes that actually cause cancer, etc. – Regarding the cupcakes and KFC buckets, sugar causes cancer. So they put their label on it. Sounds counterproductive to me.).
 
> They heavily support Planned Parenthood (which distributes birth control pills which can increase the risk of getting breast cancer) and also kills people. So they support an organization that harms life and causes cancer – both of which they claim to be opposed to.
 
> In the end, for every dollar you spend donating to Komen for the Cure, only about a dime actually goes to research which could help develop a cure for cancer. Or it could not. And a so-called non-profit organization that is supposed to find a cure for cancer, is actually counterproductive and hasn’t shown that they value human life.
 
Those are the highlights.
So will you still support Komen for the Cure or has this information changed your perspective on this organization?
God bless and stay strong!
Rana
P.S.
You might want to check up on some alternatives to supporting KftC. A quick Google search brought me here.

A Tribute to the Real Heroes

(If this is only semi-incoherent, it’s because my thoughts are sort of jumbled and I have so much to say, but not the talent to say it. I wish I could pay adequate tribute to my hero, but hopefully the message comes through clear.)

Heroes don’t wear capes. They don’t hide behind pieces of metal. They don’t wield magical hammers. They don’t have all the answers. They’re not fearless. They’re often not sexy-beasts-of-muscle. They don’t fight villains.

They fight people making the wrong choices – choices that can affect the world in a negative way.

They are normal human beings until they decide they want more. They’re normal until they realize that the future is in every individual’s hands. They’re just like us. But they choose selflessness. They choose possible death because life is nothing without the freedoms they fight for.

October 7, 1917 – October 14, 2014.

My great-grandfather died the other night. I’d only met him a few times since he lived up north and I down in the south, but have been quite fond of him. I remember the telephone calls, the couple of weeks we spent up in New Hampshire cabins with him several years ago, lunch at

Young’s, his cat (Pudder), and the way he would end his calls with, “God bless each and all of you.”

Lt. Col. Charles E. McLean was a World War II and Korean veteran. But I knew him as Grampy Mac, the great-grandfather who fought for my country. Who fought for me before I was born. Who would say, “Semper Fidelis” which means “always faithful” in Latin. He would tell the hour by military time. He asked me on the phone once, “What time would it be at thirteen hundred hours?”

I think we all owe that man so much more than we could ever give. He was an active member of society up until his death. He was proud of his service to our country and when he spoke, he commanded the room. Mac Mclean was very opinionated (and he had a right to those opinions, mind you – he risked his life for ours), stood by his values, and contributed to a society that has nearly forgotten that WWII even happened.

At 97, he still hadn’t lost his sense of humor. At lunch last year, he would say, “I should be dead. But, hey, the Good Lord’s kept me here for some reason.” Or something along those lines. 😉

One of the things I admire about him is his absolute selflessness. Even though he suffered from Alzheimer’s (which was the cause of his death), he continuously gave himself to the community. He’d allow college students to board with him, met with members of society on Tuesdays for lunch (and would invite people he’d just met to attend with him), and didn’t mind sharing his history, knowledge, faith, or opinions.

Now, I’d like to share a story with you. It’s one of my favorites. And this actually happened!

In Mac’s words, “From the nearby village appeared an elder carrying a basket of apples. His tall stove like top hat defined his status. I bowed gratefully, accepted the fruit, and he returned to the village.

A young man then appeared saying, “Me Jap, Me Jap,” I started to walk downstream with him walking next to me about 20 yards away. We had covered about a quarter of a mile when a hail of bullets, with the Doppler effect of tumbling ammo surrounding us, came our way. I concluded they were not leaning on their weapons. Thank goodness their aim was very poor.” It was a North Korean Rifle Company of about 150 men.

As I began walking directly to them, the firing ceased, I picked out the commanding officer, walked up to him, came to attention saluted and shook his hand. I then reached into my uniform and withdrew ten packs of cigarettes, ten Hershey bars and began distributing them to the Commanding officer and the soldiers. Amid big smiles and a relaxed situation, I then again, saluted, shook hands, and continued on my way expecting at any moment to be fired upon, shot in the back and be killed. They didn’t shoot nor did they follow. I continued to walk and eventually met up with and joined some South Korean troops and safety.”

My great-grandpa was pretty darn cool. ^_^ And to make him even more admirable, he won’t have a funeral. He’ll be having a celebration of life ceremony (?) instead. Doesn’t get more selfless than that.

Please, if you’d like to know more about him, click here and here. Our soldiers deserve so much more than we give them. I pray for their safety and peace of mind. May God bless them and their families.

R.I.P., Grampy Mac. ❤ Thank you for setting such a positive example in a world that disrespects most the ones who deserve the most respect. Thank you for your decision to protect the greatest country in the world. Thank you for fighting the enemies of justice, morality, and basic goodness.

Semper fi.

Rana

{Have you ever felt?}

Hello, you!

Have you ever endured a pain so consuming that your skin seems to shrink and crawl over bone and muscle? Your heart sort of morphs into a little monster trying to tear its way out of your chest and, in that intense moment, you’re not thankful that your ribs hold it back. You wish your fingernails were claws instead so you could tear yourself open and apart. Maybe then the pain would ebb and a comfortable numbness would replace it, right?

Have you ever waited until the lights were out before you’d allow your mind to run through all the thoughts you forced to the back of your mind throughout the day because maybe a memory might trickle down your cheek and you know others see tears as an invitation into your struggles even though they have no right to even ask to be let in?

Have you ever felt that people asked what was wrong, and listened to only half of what you said so they could take that less than half of a truth and use it as a conversation starter with someone else?

Have you ever felt there could be no reason good enough to justify the pain you’re barely making it through now?

Have you ever felt…?

It’s been something I’ve thought about for a while. I believe there’s a reason behind everything. But until recently, if someone asked me why, I wouldn’t have had an answer and that bothered me. Now, I do and I thought I’d share it.

{Does pain have meaning?}

Yes.

{Why?}

I have a few answers to this question.

>>>>>>> Because I’m only human and this world is crap. If I didn’t believe that pain had a meaning, I’d have no hope. This planet is full of suffering, bloodshed, hate, anger… If there is no meaning to pain, and life is full of pain, then, to me, life would have no meaning.

>>>>>>> Because I have faith that this suffering can be used to help someone else whether by helping me relate to their situation in the future or…

>>>>>>> Ever heard a Catholic say, “Offer it up?” Hold up, non-Catholics! This applies to you too (if you’re Christian). It has a Biblical basis. In Colossians 1:24, Saint Paul says, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church…” 

(Quick note: Christ’s suffering lacked nothing. What this verse means, then, is that we should unite our sufferings with that of Jesus’ on the Cross. We can gather this from Romans 8:17 which can be found below.)

Jesus told us to rejoice in our suffering in Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Now, where does the term “offer it up” come from? Well, we see it in Romans 8:17: “and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him”

When Jesus said, ““And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” in Luke 9:23, He was telling us that we would suffer. But for a greater glory. His glory and also (take a look back up at Colossians 1:24) for the sake of the Church.

So suffering isn’t worthless then. And that’s the biggest thing for me. If it means nothing, then a lot of our lives have been wasted. But, if it has a purpose, and we act upon it, then I think it’s justified. Now, if we complain a ton while we’re suffering, are we really acting as Christ would and uniting our pain with His? I think not.

For a more comprehensive article on the Biblical basis of why we suffer, I strongly urge you to click here.

I hope this helps you, lovely. ❤ I hope you can see the beauty in your pain and I wish you the best.

So what are your thoughts? Is there a reason behind your motive to push through pain? Anything that helps you deal with it? I’d love to hear it!

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

This song is just wonderful. Don’t be afraid to get hurt. Don’t be afraid of pain, darling.

Is it just me or are little kids terrifying?

Hey there!

This morning, I had to play substitute teacher to a group of kindergartners before Church (because that’s when the little ones have CCD/Sunday School).

Can I just say that little kids are terrifying?

I think it’s sort of similar to that mutual fear that humans share with, you know, spiders. “They’re just as afraid of you as you are of them.”

Not sure what it is, but kids don’t like me.

Get this. There’s this little girl. She’s the cutest thing with blond/white curls (these are the curliest curls you’ve ever seen) and she’s super outgoing. She walks up to my sister and tells her she loves her and she’s only seen her once or twice before.

I smile at her and ask if she loves me.

Her response? “Um, no.”

This was several months ago.

Thursday, we stop by an elementary school for whatever reason. And it might be because I’ve been home schooled for the last seven years – I don’t know – but I walked into the cafeteria and it was one of the most horrifying moments of my life. These little humans just stop what they’re doing and watch us walk through their lunch room with these large eyes that sort of seem to want to suck your soul away. I try to smile, right? I don’t think I got one back.

Friday night, I go to celebrate my cousin’s birthday. My baby cousin (whose birthday we were not celebrating) sort of just shooed me away and screeched like a pterodactyl when I asked for a hug.

Whenever I try to hold babies, they start crying.

Am I doing something wrong? Is there something inherently scary about a 4’11″/5′ ginger? I- I don’t know. I’m so confused. My life is so awkward. Like, what am I supposed to say to the parents? “I promise I wasn’t doing anything! They just started screaming! Why was I holding my arms out? Well, it wasn’t to kidnap or strangle them.”

I guess I should just look at cute kids and babies from afar. But that makes me a creeper. Oh, well. Whatever works, right?

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

Guess what I get to do all day tomorrow? Yep. Babysit the cute one who shooed me away while her baby brother is being born. 😛 So prayers for my aunt would be appreciated!

Stop Saying “That’s Just The Way I Am”

Hello, darling!

I’ve heard this so much lately, “That’s just the way I am.” And people pass it off as an excuse to be a jerk. I don’t think that’s acceptable. We choose what we become and to believe that we are not in control of that is utterly false. The reason we do it, though, is because it’s easier to think “we can’t change” as opposed to “we should change.” We like to think it’s not our fault.

You are in control of your thoughts. You are in control of what you do. We hold murderers accountable for what they do. They can’t use the excuse, “I just like to kill people and that’s who I am” as justification for their actions. In the same sense, it’s not a justifiable excuse for our actions either.

So let’s go through a quick list of things we think we are because change requires effort, but actually aren’t.

You’re not a jerk. You just choose to be a jerk because maybe you feel better when you tick everyone off with your opinions (I know I do).

You’re not a rebel. You just choose not to listen to authority because maybe that makes you feel more autonomous or something. Dude, everyone thinks they’re a rebel when they scoop the spinach off their plate when their parents aren’t looking. Not many people rebel against the right things.

rebel

You’re not an idiot. Sometimes, you’re goofy. Sometimes, you have a blonde moment. It makes you human which is another thing entirely. Unless you don’t study and slack off. Then you’re just lazy and that’s your decision.

You don’t have trouble keeping friends. You just choose to jump at the slightest thing and push people away because you’ve been hurt before. Accept that people aren’t perfect and be more forgiving.

You’re not a horrible person. You’ve just tricked yourself into thinking you are because of what other people have done or said to you or by dwelling on your mistakes. You’re not perfect. It’s okay. No one likes perfection so don’t beat yourself up because you aren’t.

The list goes on.

Essentially, none of us are allowed to use, “that’s just the way I am” as an excuse to be a jerk. The way you act is the way you choose to act whether it’s conscious or not.

Let’s choose to believe the best about ourselves and others and stop labeling people. They’re people, not containers. Let’s be decent folks in a world sorely lacking in that department, huh?

Love you and God bless!

Rana

You Are the One

Hello. My name is Rana. It’s pronounced ‘Reh-nah’ but people have called me “Rayna,” “Reena,” “Ronna,” “Rosa,” “Renee,” and basically anything else that starts with an “R” and is about two syllables long. But you can call me anything you want as long as it’s nice. I’ll still respond. I’ve kind of up given up on embarrassing people so they can say my name correctly.

What’s in a title anyway?

Depending on the meaning, I may not even want to live up to it.

In Spanish, it means “frog.” And I hate frogs.

But in Arabic, it means “queenly.” I think.

We’ll just go with the latter, okay?

Anyway.

I’m here to tell you something.

You are flipping wonderful.

Seriously. And, keep in mind, that the “world” can be defined as just one person’s outlook on life. Give them something to hold on to and hope for.

You could be the person someone falls in love with on the bus. You could be the one who smiles at someone who needed it. You could be the one.

You could be the one, baby.

You are the one.

I am the one.

LET’S BE AWESOME, OKAY?

God bless, lovely!

Rana