• no rain, no flowers •

It’s my birthday.

I’ve been breathing for 18 years.

In the eyes of the law, I am now an adult and will be held accountable for my actions; because up until today, all my bad choices could have only been marked down to immaturity. Obviously. So if anyone needs a crime committed before I’m an adult, let me know yesterday.

But law and life are two different things.

• Education •

I’m expected to have a plan for the next 40 – 50 years of my life. And there’s been a lot of pressure because I don’t.

I’m often jealous of my friends. They don’t have the pressure like I do. Their parents don’t pressure them to go to college; they’re chill; they’re open to other options. If the kid wants to take a year off, that’s totally fine. But I’m expected to have it all planned out with a college picked and scholarships lined up while staying on top of school and, oh, I should get a job too.• no rain, no flowers •

It’s stressful + it’s painful mostly because I’ve always been expected and told to go to college all my life; make lots of money, support myself… but I don’t think that’s what I’m called to do. Not right now. All these things are fine, but it’s so shallow and not satisfying to me. I don’t mean I don’t want to go to college, so I say “I’m not called to do it” as an easy way out. I like school; I want to go to college. But I just don’t think it’s what I’m supposed to do.

• Friendship •

I’ve been learning lately that I’m looking for love in the wrong places. I want the things I don’t/can’t have. I want a friendship like that. I want to be so individualized like that. I want to stand out like that. But if I am like that, then I am not who I was created to be which is not that. It’s this. Maybe I’m not supposed to have those things at all or maybe I’m not supposed to have them until I’ve learned that I can’t be truly happy as I am if I’m only half myself without that.

I wasn’t created for partiality. I was created to be whole + when you’re supposed to be full, it’s lonely to be only halfway there.

• no rain, no flowers •

All this context to say that I believe that my life will ultimately be a garden. Trial results in rewards if we handle it the right way. I have faith and I have hope that this struggle now will be useful to me later. I give it to God, the One who loves me more than I can love back, the One who doesn’t pressure, doesn’t confuse, doesn’t go on vacation, doesn’t get too busy, doesn’t leave empty.

As an 18-year-old, I strive to grow in that love, not love to be loved, not even hope for love/friendship. I strive to let go of the things that don’t matter to me + to be okay with disappointing others if it’s what I’m supposed to do. I strive to learn, grow, and make my soul a garden.

I wasn’t created to follow the path laid out for me by those who do not know God’s plan; neither were you. Let’s be okay with that. Let’s be okay with letting others down because, ultimately, we weren’t created to please them, were we?

I strive to love God more than anything else; I pray for the strength + grace to allow no human ties to separate me from Him. I pray for the grace to rid my heart of fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

– 1 John 4:18 –

Peace + blessings,

Rana || xoxo

P.S.

I can now reply to comments! Comment away, friends! I look forward to meeting you all. ^_^

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2014 Going On 2015

Hello, lovely.

I’m not ready for the new year. This one has gone by way too fast. So I think I’ll live in denial for a while and just take life a day at a time.

When I think about a whole year that I have to get through, it’s overwhelming. But when I focus on just a day at a time, it’s easier to think about. Is that the same for you?

I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions. Why make them if you know you won’t keep them? They’ll just bring you down in the end. Instead, I propose that we set a few goals – not “I’ll lose this much weight” or “I’ll exercise this much a week” but set some meaningful goals.

I will say something kind to a stranger.

I will try a new food once a month.

I will love myself.

Whatever. Just make it meaningful to you, because if it doesn’t mean enough, you won’t keep that resolution. Personalize it. Make a plan to follow through. And just take it a little bit at a time.

Here’s my list:

  • I will work harder at speech and debate.
  • I will be more proud of myself for the effort I put in than the outcome.
  • I will finish editing The Reset.
  • I will read the Bible more.
  • I will pray more.
  • I will create more art.

It’s not a lot, but it’s doable.

And I won’t think about that right now. I’m going to eat chocolate cake with tinted cream cheese frosting to cope with this new year.

2015 Cake 2015 Cake

And in this new year, I hope you overcome your struggles. I hope you strive for your goals. I hope you succeed – and when you fail, I hope you learn why and use that information to make yourself a better person.

Now, a certain cousin and little sister of mine are about to eat my cake. Excuse me and make this year the best year ever.

Love,

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

The Maze Runner: A Review

Hey, you!

Just a heads-up: this post may or may not contain spoilers concerning the film, The Maze Runner. You have been warned. 😉

Disclaimer: I didn’t finish the book before I saw the movie. I know! I’m such a loser. *hides face in shame*

My dad took my sister and myself to see The Maze Runner last night. I really, thoroughly, enjoyed it. There were several parallels between the film and our lives that I noticed throughout the screening. To me, it was sort of a wake up call and a shot of hope. Let’s take a look at a few different scenes and what I took away from them, shall we?

The Elevator

My dad actually pointed this out. He said that he found The Elevator sort of represented life and death. Before we were born, we came from another place. We don’t remember it (praise the Lord). We know nothing about this strange new world and we’ve got to make the best of it. As for death, if you’re religious, you believe you go to another place when life here is over. It, too, will be a strange new place.

Thomas’ Curiosity:

This section can be split into two parts:

1) We can either live or we can exist. Most of those boys in the Glade were content to be there. They were comfortable (and afraid of angering the Grievers which kept them from making any risky moves).

But then Thomas came. He wanted out. He was scared and uncomfortable, but he was willing to risk a lot to actually live while the others were simply existing. Thomas showed them a new way of life.

And I think a lot of us are those other boys. We’re comfortable. We go to school, we do our work, we hang out. That’s it. Shouldn’t we be living for so much more? If that’s all there is to life, then it’s worthless. But I think there’s more. I have to believe there’s more. If there wasn’t, then why the heck have we been surviving all this time? For Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? I think not.

Humans are survivors. We find a way to live. We always make it.

Thomas shows us that there is more to life than just existing. I want that. I want to be the Thomas in a world of goodhearted but merely existential Albys, Newts, Minhos, and Chucks.

2) The second point here is that it’s always good to get a fresh perspective on something. Minho and Alby – they thought they knew every inch of the Maze and the Glade. But Thomas came with a new idea. He wasn’t going to be held back by fear. He knew who the enemy was and he fought them.

The Grievers: Our Daily Demons

           I think the Grievers can be interchanged with our personal demons. Society? The kids at school? Now, I’m not saying go get them squashed in whatever metaphorical maze you’ve got going on in your head. 😉 I’m saying that it’s okay to disagree and think for yourself.

Society’s screwed up. It’s obsessed with fake. Show them something real.

Are you faking it for the kids at school? Why? Are what they stand for worthy enough for you to not be who you are? I’ve fallen into that trap. I used to hate myself because I wasn’t like the kids at school (and then I started homeschooling and, suddenly, the students were all too similar). Nothing I did was cool enough, funny enough. Nothing I wore met their ridiculously low standards (“You don’t know what Limited Too is??? You must be so sheltered!”). None of the shows I watched were good enough for their tastes (“You don’t watch Hannah Montana? Does your mom even let you watch T.V.?”). I wasn’t skinny. My hair wasn’t cut like theirs. I didn’t eat white bread with no crusts.

I didn’t eat white bread with no crusts.

How petty was I?

It Doesn’t Matter What We Did Before…

…it matters what we do now. People change, learn, and they move on. Be the best version of yourself, baby. The world needs it.

Chuck is Your Little Sibling/Cousin/Niece/Nephew…

Chuck, I think, represents the kids of today. Who do they look up to? Us. What are we showing them?

All you have to do is starve yourself to be cool.

All you have to do is eat white bread (when you eat).

All you have to do is wear Abercrombie & Fitch.

All you have to do is not be single (because you have no identity if someone else isn’t constantly defining you).

All you have to do is be addicted to [fill in the blank].

All you have to do is listen to everything everyone else is listening to.

All you have to do is rebel against your parents because they’re stupid and know nothing.

All you have to do is be the popular kid in school.

All  you have to do is swear up a storm because you’re not mature if you think for yourself and choose not to go with the flow.

All you have to do is be diagnosed with some “cool” disorder. When did depression become cool? When did a lack of hope become cool? When did no reason to live become cool?

Is that what we’re showing Chuck? If so, what’s he got to live for, hm? Nothing on that list gives me hope.

“Cool” is such a subjective concept. If that’s what standard you’re holding your life to, I’m sorry. Chuck knew only what the other boys told him. How much hope do you think they really had of getting out? If they were smart, I doubt if they had any. Thomas gave them hope.

Conclusion

You don’t have to risk your life to be a hero like Thomas. All you have to do is think for yourself and do what you believe to be right because the rest of the world is screaming lies at you, darling. And when the truth is only a little whisper, we need to listen hard. But the more Thomases we have, the easier it is to know the difference.

If you saw the film, what did you think? Do you agree with my thoughts? Any I looked over? I’d love to hear about it in the comments, lovely!

God bless!

Rana

Hope Didn’t Go Anywhere

M’k. First off, I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m shocked by how many people commented on the last post in regards to my feeling hopeless. A lot of you don’t know me and yet you still care. You cared enough to take the time to write out long comments. I’m so blessed. ❤

I can’t say I’m magically all better, but my heart feels a bit lighter. Some of you said you felt the same way and you’ve got no idea how much better that makes me feel.

Not Alone by RED is probably the theme for this post and life. ❤

The Grey by Icon for Hire is probably the off and on theme for my life. 😛

But seriously. Hope was always there and I knew it but couldn’t see it. It’s in each and every one of you guys that I’m so blessed to know exist. Just by being alive and telling me it will be okay and backing that up with Truth is phenomenal. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I really can’t say that enough. Please, continue to pray for me since the struggles aren’t over and you bet you’re in my prayers as well. 🙂

A lot of the problem is just that I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my life. I know that whatever is supposed to happen, will. I need to work on trusting and believing. Not as easy as it sounds. xD Life isn’t a Disney movie. If it were, I’d make friends with faeries and be flying around to hug you all. ❤

I love you all so dearly. Thank you. 🙂

Hope never leftGod bless. ❤

Rana

 

Where did hope go?

Where did hope go?

It’s been on my heart lately. People have been making depression, sickness, lack of hope, etc. look “cool.” If you’re not on meds, if you’re not hurting yourself, if something’s not wrong with you, you’re weird. You’re innocent. No one will like you. You’re not cool. Well, I’m hurting right now, and it’s not cool. Guess what. It hurts.

What kind of a suicidal society wants their children to be in pain to be accepted?

Even as a Christian, life can be hard, you know? Sometimes I feel hopeless and just completely ready to go. I should probably be happy that I’m alive and I have life a lot better than a lot of others, but I’m not. I’m selfish and imperfect (sorry to let you all down! 😛 ).

It was on the news the other day. Another school shooting. Why can’t the news show something hopeful for once? I’m sick of all the crap. I’m sick of all the darkness. I’m tired of feeling like I have nothing to look forward to in life. When I graduate, what’s the world going to be like? Two short years, but so much can happen in that time.

Is the majority of the world’s population as sick as the ones who make the news?

The utter putrid sickness of this world is so overwhelming and I can’t handle the thought that this is what I’m growing up in.

I’m terrified.

I need to see something good. I need to know there’s something for me to look forward to. What were all those survivors of World War I and II holding on to? How did they do it?

Frodo and Sam – Sam said they were holding on because there was still some good in this world. Where is it?

If you see it, show me. Please. I need it so much.

The world needs it.

Do you have answers to all these questions? Seriously, we can use some cheering up right now.

God bless each and every one of you beautiful people out there. ❤

Sincerely,

A very confused Rana

Write Real

So we know to write honestly.

But what do we write honestly about?

For me, it’s the struggles people deal with. Self-harm, inner struggles, and, with this new novel, even domestic violence and abusive relationships.

booksThis is going to be short, because I have something very simple to say.

We read to find pieces of ourselves. To know we’re not alone. To know other people have, do, and will deal with the same pain we struggle with.

I’d like to point out the fact that while I do write about some very real issues, I don’t endorse them. Right now, in Buying Time, Thyme is a girl in an abusive relationship Eagan treats her like filth. I don’t write it because I enjoy it or feel comfortable. In fact, I feel very uncomfortable while writing some of their scenes, but honestly, people need to know this is real. It happens. It’s not right, but we need to know about it in order to know how to deal with it.

I write about wrong issues so people know it’s okay to mess up (as long as you try not to make the same mistakes 😉 ). You may have done something so wrong, you can’t stand to talk or even think about it. But you know what? We have ALL done something we’re ashamed of. The thing is to learn from it. If you don’t accept it as a lesson and learn from your mistakes, you’ll regret them.

And guys, life is too short to regret. Live, learn, and love.

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

January is loving his questions, guys! Keep them coming! 😀