A Bit Heavy Tonight

Here we are again, late at night, and I have no idea what to write about. I feel like I always end up here, and it’s only been a week.

…Really I’m just avoiding the things actually on my mind, but that’s not the point of this blog, so I guess I’ll just have to get over it. The thing is, everything on my mind is a little dark, so you will just have to bear with me.

Today in one of my classes, we had a “check-in”, and all of us were given a chance to just share where we were in our life, what was going on, and how we were feeling. And we were all feeling some stuff. College is not easy on its own, with deadlines and obligations and requirements and expectations, and the rest of life is not going to wait to load more things on. Everyone had a number of things happening, and as nice as it was to get somethings out in the open, it is still hard to hear about the things in life that aren’t going well. I see it on the news everyday- the latest tragedy or catastrophe that just happened, or the one that is right around the bend coming for us all, but you can always turn of the TV and avoid those websites. I can’t ignore the way that the people I know are suffering, and to be confronted with the reality that everyone has struggles to face can bring up a lot of different emotions to the front of the mind.

It can be good to hear some things, things that I relate to and can understand. To hear that you are not the only one with a problem is encouraging, that there is someone else who knows what it is like, who is working through it just like you are. It can also be good to empathize with others, to take a moment to remember that you are not the center of the universe, to connect with the community. There is value in confronting the reality of pain and darkness, and in facing it as a group. After the activity, and we all were aware of everyone’s burdens, we spent some more time just being together in silence and supporting each other.  It was nice, and helpful, and good.

It can also be bad to listen to long to the sorrow. If one tends to melancholia and sadness anyway, leaning into the suffering can cause you to lose sight of the things beyond the pain of the moment. There is an overwhelming nature to negativity. If we hadn’t done small activities afterwards, the value of sharing would have been lost as many of us would not have been able to leave the words when and where they were said, and would have continued carting them around. I know I would have, and I kind of am carting them anyway.

So, what do I do now? I have learned over time that some things are better to do at times like this than others. One of the things I tend to do in times like this is listen to music. I prefer music in the mood I am feeling. It helps me express the emotions healthily, understand the universality of such emotions, and give cathartic release. Tonight’s choice was the music of Fall Out Boy. I’ve also learned the place of social media in this, as you should to. I have unfriended/ unfollowed people on Facebook who posted way too much negativity or upsetting things. I also check Instagram a lot. For some that might not work, but I follow very few people I actually know, and I do follow a ton of dogs, and a number of artist. My feed is filled with cute dogs and works of art, which works for me. Figure out what works for you.

Sometimes life just gets heavy. There is a lot of things in this world that are hard, and sad, and wearying. This is reality, and it will never work to run away from it or deny it. Say the things that need to be said, and acknowledge the darkness. Just remember that the darkness is not the be all or end all, and that the sadness and pain is not ultimate. There is good, and there is joy, and there is hope.

… Thanks for sticking through that, lots of love sent out tonight ❤

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13 (ESV)



Apparently Blogging is a Late Night Thing

So I’ve been blogging for less than a week, and I’ve already missed a day, and nearly missed today as well. Sounds pretty typical in my life right now. I do at least have a good reason, unlike many other times I have neglected my duties.

The story is: I was sick. I felt super nauseated Thursday night, and eventually threw up at 2 o’clock Friday morning. To add to the fun, that triggered a migraine that kept me out of class on Friday, and then I developed a fever after doing nothing all day but sleeping. By the end of the day, I was pretty much better, but too worn out to do anything  but sleep some more.

As a result, I have actually slept enough over the weekend to make up for all the sleep I don’t get during the week. So, I was thinking I could use this blog post to talk about the awesomeness of other people. Personally, I watched/read sad and horrible news stories, and watched “try not to cry” challenges on YouTube, and was sick, as I mentioned. Other people this weekend though, they were amazing.

First of all, my suite-mate Audrey saw me on Friday morning right after I threw up. She was busy finishing up work and going to bed, but when I told her that I had just been sick, she went right down to Quick-zone (the dorm convenience store) and bought me 2 bottles of ginger ale, a bottle of Pepsi, and a box of saltine cracker, all with her own meal-plan. She went well beyond the necessary to help me out.

My roommate Swapna did the same. She asked me what I needed, and declined my meal-plan when I offered it, instead using her own to buy me the Gatorade I asked for. She also was quiet the entire time she was in the room, and she kept the main light in the room out all day too. She made it easy for my to sleep off the migraine and the fever, and helped me get better.

Every single one of us in the suite went random on the roommate assignment, and I cannot imagine that there was a single person that got luckier on roommates than me. This whole year, these girls have had my back one way or another, and it is a blessing to have had the opportunity to know them. I know how good I have it in this suite, and I am so grateful that it ended up this way.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19 (ESV)

Small Happenings

I have a lot of thoughts today, and none of them are very cohesive, so here we go with a couple of little things…

-I wore a dress today. It was my green dress, my go to “it looks like I put in effort, but I really just didn’t put on pants today” outfit (although I did wear leggings, because it is winter). It was nice to feel put-together, and I feel like I should do it more often. It’s some thing so easy to do, that had such a nice effect on my mood, that there is no reason not to.

-I learned how to use the testing center today. I was worried it would be supremely complicated, and I would be hopeless at navigating it. In reality, it was super simple, and the front desk lady was very nice. This is just another good example to store in the back of my mind to remind myself that my anxiety is extremely irrational.

-I dropped my fork on the floor before I could eat my salad for lunch. There’s nothing more to the story, I just want every to know that I was really disappointed that it happened.

-I went through my “to be placed” playlist on Spotify and moved a bunch of the songs on it to other playlists. There is something about organizing that makes me feel like I’m doing something useful, even if it’s just on Spotify, and I listened to a number of good songs, which made for a relaxing hour or two.

Over all, today was a very simple day. Today was peaceful, and with how rare those sort of days are in college, I cannot be anything but grateful that I was able to breath, relax, and find some energy in the quiet.

“For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.” Psalm 122:8-9



Welcome to Intractable Hope.

This is a blog for the sharing of whatever comes to mind. At the moment, what comes to my mind is the title of my blog. I just started this blog, and the part the took the longest was naming it. I finally settled on “Intractable Hope” after running through just about everything else I could think of.

You see, this blog is, and is about, my thoughts, but it will often be about physical and mental illness, as those are the most common topics in my mind. I wanted the name of my blog to reflect that. My first thought was of Romans 5:5 “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (ESV). This is a verse I very recently read, but it has immediately become one of my favourites. A hope that cannot and will not fail me is a truth I need to hold onto everyday, when it feels like every other hope in my life is foolish and false.

Working off that verse, I considered a number of names, before I stuck on the word “intractable”. Intractable means “1: not easily governed, managed, or directed <intractable problems> 2: not easily manipulated or shaped <intractable metal> 3: not easily relieved or cured <intractable pain>”, which is an unfortunate descriptor of my health problems. Not governed, not manipulated, and not relieved.

Choosing to pair “intractable” with “hope” reclaims the state I live in. It is not a tragedy, or a catastrophe to be intractable, not when it is referencing the truth of the gospel and the promise of Christ. It makes something awful into something amazing, and reminds me of all the blessings of God.

I have hope, and it will not put me to shame.