Coming Back Stronger than Before

Cinderella

Disneybounding as Cinderella

I am not even sure how to start this exactly. The wait between these posts (both for you reading and me writing) has been far too long.

Life has been a bit hectic and full of changes lately. Since my last post in June (forever ago, I know), I have been offered a new job which I will be leaving the country for in a few months. After years of dreaming and doubting myself, I am going to be teaching English in China. Better yet, the Disney company will still be my employer.

The joy of taking this new step in life comes hand-in-hand with the fear of change. Am I really moving to a country across the world that I have never been to before? How will I learn Mandarin that quickly? How will I survive without my family and friends? How will I ever be confident enough to teach?

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Passing Through the Change

Path in Florida

Life is full of changes in the path.

Change – what a frightening word and concept. Something that I regularly try to avoid and yet crave at the same time is change.

I Ching is quoted as saying, “When the way comes to an end, then change – having changed, you pass through.” These words hold much wisdom although they seem simple enough. There are many meanings that you can construe from this quote. Here is my perspective on what these words on change mean.

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Dissolving the Bitterness

It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail. - Lech Walesa

It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail. – Lech Walesa

Over the past semester, bitterness towards me school has built up inside of me. The firing of dear faculty, condemning of my views, and belittling of me with others’ superiority has bothered me. At times, I did not know if I even wanted to walk with my graduating class this May.

However, the last few days have amazingly melted away some of my bitterness. A wonderful chapel speech from a great leader who complimented my performance and knew my name, kind words from the class president who also remembered my name (how?), and a surprisingly uplifting theology class all contributed to this change. Plus, numerous relationships are healing beautifully and making me sorrowful about leaving Minnesota.

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Coping Skills: #81. Take Time to Change Your Mind

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change. - Thomas Hardy

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.
– Thomas Hardy

“I’m sorry, but you have to put on your shoes here, sweetie.”

The request from the woman at my school was simple enough. However, the fact that she touched me on the shoulder unexpectedly while I was speaking to a friend and standing so near while looking straight into my eyes upset me. Silly, I know. Yet, my automatic response was panic. Instead of staying like a rational adult and just putting on my shoes, I stormed away in search of a safe place to hide in shame.

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Bitterness Erodes Hope

Fear of Anger

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean. – Maya Angelou

Hope, although powerful, can be shattered by numerous events, feelings, and other things. Fear, disappointment, shame, abuse – there is a long list of ways we can lose our dreams and ability to see a brighter future.

One that I realized I am currently struggling with is bitterness. When you are bitter against a certain place, person, or group, you are unable to make a positive change. Instead, the negativity inside of you undermines your ability to be a symbol of hope.

Even worse than being bitter about a certain thing is being bitter about life in general. If you are cynical about everything and mad at the world, how can you have hope for positiveness? How can you love others and inspire change?

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Top Ten Signs of Discontent

Me in black and white

Are you struggling with being discontent?

I am discontent with my life. Today, that realization dawned upon me. So many times, my mind turns to what is wrong with myself and the situations that I am in instead of being content with the journey of each day.

Being discontent takes root in many ways and can change with each moment. I am anxious with people but lonely alone, nervous with romantic feelings but unloved single, stressed busy but bored without plans, etc. The list of my fickle discontent goes on much longer than I care to admit.

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One Thousand Thanks: 977 – 987. Joys of Singlehood

Releasing Your Captive Imagination

Being single can be ok and even a blessing.

Loneliness is one of the worst feelings in the world. It brings hopelessness, misery, depression, and lack of motivation.

Lately, this sense of being lost without anyone has been difficult. From everything that I have read, this is typical of Aspergers. Just because I know about part of the cause of my loneliness does not make it any easier.

Since being single has been a huge part of my current sense of sorrow, I decided to look at the wonderful parts of not being in a romantic relationship. Please add any others that you think of in the comments.

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What is Success in 2015?

The beginning of a new year is when people often make resolutions. They decided what to change, what to add more of, and what to do less. Exercise, technology, work, eating habits, school, religion – there are many different goals that are set.

I rarely (if ever) thought of New Year’s resolutions growing up because I tried to make a difference each day instead of at the beginning of a year. However, setting goals is something that helps me. Thus, stumbling across the video below gave me the idea for how to start 2015 off well.

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Listaliciousness: Rapping Worship, Homemade Breads, and Gender Equality For All

Singers in Oxford

In honor of my links regarding studying abroad in Oxford and religious singing, here is a picture of some people who sang wonderfully at the Blackfriars Mass and vespers in Oxford.

This Thanksgiving break has been both a blessing and struggle. Mostly I feel awful for working the past six days at least 8 hours each day (but mostly more) instead of spending time with my family. However, today at work, a couple came up and raved about my service to me as well as my manager and then online. The fact that my small interaction touched them brought tears to my eyes. I want to be able to love people even if I am only taking their order, bringing them food, or smiling at them. Everyone can add light into the lives of others.

Anyway, this crazy work schedule is the reason I did not get out a blog yesterday. I feel really awful about that. That is the third one this year. Instead of beating myself up, I am continuing to attempt self-compassion. Preaching that is one thing, but following it is so much harder.

That all aside, here are some links. There are some fun videos as well as top ten lists and mental health articles. Enjoy!

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Working in Customer Service with Aspergers

Tea and teapot

Some tea that I was served in Oxford

Working in customer service can be difficult for anyone. However, having aspergers or autism adds to this challenge. For a year now, I have worked as a hostess in a restaurant. This job has taught me a great deal and helped me to grow. One of the biggest lessons was how my aspergian brain affects my work, especially when dealing with customers.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that this is my own experience. There are people with aspergers who have never experienced these difficulties and those who had more troubles that I did not mention. Despite those differences, this post will hopefully resonate with people on the autism spectrum. My goal with this post is to bring hope, humor, and camaraderie to fellow aspies as well as show people without aspergers a glimpse of what an average day at work is for those on the spectrum.

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