I know I started this blog years ago with an intention of bashing satire, but lately I feel like I have turned it into a documentation of my transformation. I think the combination of busyness and that the emotions plugged into my original satire all equally provide the reason for the turn. Writing about my “little thoughts” just comes so much more naturally than always sitting down to ruthlessly tear apart a topic or an attitude. Sometimes, doing the latter almost makes me feel worse. Writing about pure Kayla Faith just feels healing and therapeutic, like a journal that I throw up to the world and don’t care who sees me for who I am.
I’ve found comfort in this kind of writing as of late. And, today, I noticed that I found comfort in places I never expected to find it, at times that didn’t seem to be supportive of it.
It started last night, really, when a long Saturday at work turned into a fun night in the snow and an invitation to spend the rest of the weekend with someone I care as much as humanly possible about. Never in a million years would I expect such an invitation from someone so busy this past week and so low on spare time.
Today, despite a conversation that I had last night that tore me down a bit, I attended church as I have a few times now with said person. I found so much comfort in going. We always sit in the same place, I’m starting to recognize the same faces who always express their loves to see me, and I watched snow fall outside the whole time. When I first attended, the music was my favorite part. An actual band plays. Now, it has become the application of scripture. Perhaps that is because I have been reading the Bible to understand the preaching better. And today, I had few qualms with what was being said. I had memories of singing Gospel with my grandma, thinking she had the most beautiful voice in the world and that one must obtain such a voice by singing for God and that only,… so I suddenly began craving the scripture reflections and traditional hymns. Furthermore, just the feeling of going to church makes me feel good. I got up early in the morning, I went with someone I care a lot about, I supported his faith the way I like when people support what I care about, and I saw many kind – and now familiar – faces. I’m not saying I believe things one way or another, but I’m just saying I have come to love those Sunday mornings. I know he would say God is making me love them, but I don’t care what is – I’ll just keep going.
Comfort came to me again when we left and we drove through the snowy parks. We ran up to Squire’s Castle, I in his work boots because silly me wore moccasins, and we just loved the snow. Snow. Snow. Snow. I love you, snow. Snow is perhaps the silence that screams about peacefulness louder than anything else on Earth.
I always find comfort in fixing our meals, sneaking the dishes into the dishwater before he can yell at me for cleaning up, leaving notes and sending letters… Sometimes I worry I look like I’m trying to hard when, really, I just can’t imagine not doing those things. Maybe it’s actually selfish. They make me feel good? Because I make someone else feel good? Maybe that comfort isn’t inexplicable, because my friend Rita already sat me down and explained to me years ago that I’m a “people-pleaser” like her. It helped me understand why I feel so easily rejected and depressed when I don’t meet someone’s standards. Regardless, I found comfort in doing those favors today.
I found comfort on the way home when I stopped at the store. I usually avoid talking to people or making eye contact. I always feel like some silly deer in the headlights. People always come up to me and ask if I’m okay because I look frazzled or tired or stressed or like I’ve been crying… and that’s happened on my happy days, thus launching such days into self-conscious misery. So I avoid it altogether. But then I had the briefest of all conversations at the checkout counter with the grocer. I recalled previous experiences at Whole Foods and nearly all of them include conversations at the checkout. That never happens at normal stores. Whole Foods definitely has a unique vibe, and suddenly I felt comfort that there are people out there who understand me but whom I have not yet met. The world maybe isn’t as dark as I always think it is.
I found comfort in driving from the store to home and listening to my audiobooks. I had previously finished Knowing Scripture, a book to accompany my reading A History of God while also reading the Bible (NKJV) cover to cover. I actually really enjoyed that audiobook. It was gentle, although set in its ways, and tried to express the importance of “literal” meaning. What is literal meaning? Taking something literally doesn’t mean word-for-word but instead the way it was intended to be taken, something that can be determined by its literary mechanisms. Was that hyperbole? What is that in the context of its time? (Or, in the case of the Bible, things like What was the original word for this in its native language and how might it have been translated?) I liked that, but then I listened to RIchard Dawkins. I thought I would like this audiobook more, a much longer book which basically speaks against Scripture and is the opposite to the book I just finished. Truth of the matter is this book is so damn arrogant, the claims so wildly inappropriate half of the time that I sympathize for any and all religious or semi-religious peoples. Some moments, I agree full-heartedly. Others, I’m appalled. I think I was appalled maybe once or twice at some far-fetched concept in Knowing Scriptures and so I suddenly realized how arrogant the arguments sound. Religious people often strive to be loved by and show love for their god(s), whereas atheists often display contempt for those loving people. I’m not saying it’s either-or, but I suddenly felt comfort in places where I had previously felt uncomfortable: under the judgment of those who follow religion rather than those who follow proving it wrong.
At this point, I was home. Expected mail was not in my inbox. My place looks half-cleaned. And I suddenly burst into tears in the kitchen. I do that sometimes, maybe because I’m just confused about life. About why I’m here, who I am, what I’m supposed to be doing, am I supposed to know these answers, are there no answers, where do I go from here, what is the point, etc. etc. etc. Suddenly, from no where, I turn to the kitchen counter on my left and my cat Phantom is looking up at me, eagerly. She has never jumped on my counter before. She starts to nuzzle me, so I pick her up. I have never cried into a cat so long before. All she did was purr and respond to my scratching her ears until I set her down at the windowsill a good 10 minutes later. Sometimes I’m convinced that people of our past are reincarnated into our pets, to somehow guide us. Perhaps there is some god that oversees this. Or perhaps I’m just crazy. I don’t care, I still feel that way. Just like I somehow know my grandma is there every time a ladybug refuses to leave my arm. (And, yes, that exact experience has caused the only female on a construction site – me – to burst into tears in front of a slew of male drillers before.)
Finally, comfort came in the form of a text conversation. One of my closest girlfriends from home texted me this evening, asking about the person I spent the day with (she saw a photo I posted of us hiking). I briefly explained the situation. I mean, she’s probably one of the better people to speak to about it. She became incredibly passionate for my side that it made me feel, yet again, that inexplicable comfort. Where did this come from? She was so adamant to support me, being me, believing whatever I believe, no matter how it ever does or doesn’t change… She was convinced that love is boundary-less, that it is foolish to throw out feelings over a difference that may not exist and that may only strengthen the diversity of something if it does… Her argument made me feel sound and strengthened and not so hopeless. She gave me courage after a day of mild confusion. And, better than all else, she made me feel like my battle was not lost but just slow at being won. It’s comforting knowing people so far away can care about you so much that they nearly lose their cool in expressing their support for you.
Ever since a conversation I had with a non-religious friend a few months ago, I have fully adopted his outlook on religion and faith: We are all religious, we just define our personally tailored religions in different ways. This is, I think, completely true. Even if you’re Christian, you likely interpret things a certain way, one in which others may not. But what is wrong with that? Follow the Scriptures all you want, but only certain ones were selected, they were all translated to varying degrees of accuracy, and who says they are set in stone? (Okay, maybe the 10 commandments were originally but…) With this in mind, I have no doubt that I am religious. Religion is literally – there it is again! – defined as not just supporting a superhuman concept, but also following a set of beliefs with a certain upheld faith. BOOM. My beliefs may vary throughout the years, molded by whom I am near and what I have learned and seen, but I will have those beliefs nonetheless. I’m adamant about adhering to certain ways of living and doing what is right, whether or not I’m convinced that right and wrong have to exist.
BOOM. I am religious. I always have been, but now more so than ever. And I find it really odd, but I have been compelled to occasionally pray since I was about 8 years old. Sometimes I pray because there is someone who asks for a prayer or who is struggling, so I pray for them and I pray to whomever their god is or gods are. Sometimes I pray because I feel completely hopeless and what else should I do? I always start off in my mind with “Dear God or gods or Mother Nature or whoever it is that I’m sorry I don’t know but who might have a say in this…” I honestly hesitated to express in an entry that I am this way because I didn’t want people to regard me in a certain way, but then I decided why do I care? I am who I am and I don’t know who I am but I’ll still be who I am whether I want to be me or not.
Seriously…my mind is such a freely flowing stream of randomness…but I just really felt like I had to record this moment, today, a day of highs and lows but of discovery and this odd sense of comfort in moments that felt so dreary. Today, just when I felt like all was lost, I actually began to feel more hopeful. Like, these are the tests we are going through to make us confident that this is actually everything we want. We can handle this, because it is nothing. There is so much compassion to be had and, like my friend told me today, love and respect are the center of it all. And that’s there. It will all be okay because that’s there, so I just need to focus on me, continuing to be growing, dynamic me, and this will work out because it’s meant to be this way.
Even if not everything has a purpose, as humans we always find it one.