How I Decided To Not Commit Suicide

Note: Language.

Earlier today, I was feeling low.

I realized I didn’t meet the standards to get into the college I’d wanted to go to and, to add insult to injury, I learned that my financial situation wouldn’t allow me to go to that college in the first place, leaving me once again stranded in Limbo for the time being.

Not the cool, do-anything-you-want Limbo from Inception (2010)…

…the nightmarish “SB-129” Limbo:

With my future looking bleak, my mind went to dark places. Thoughts of suicide popped into my head, and I just let them be — I didn’t make an effort to drive them away.

After letting such morbid thoughts have their time in the sun, I feel that I was able to think more clearly — I feel that there was a method to my madness. After my mind went through every dark scenario it could think of, the light was able to come in.

I realized that I didn’t want to die. I realized that what I really wanted was just for the pain to end. The pain of knowing that my future is looking nothing like I wanted it to look 3 years ago: before I attended a 4-year college for 1 year and spent the next 2 on the couch.

A number of factors snapped me out of my suicidal funk:

I wouldn’t go through with it. There’s a difference between what a person can do and what a person will do.

It would be selfish. I imagined how my family would react, and I realized that making the choice to take my own life is a selfish one. Why? Because I would be putting people I love through terrible pain for the sake of trying to escape my own pain.

I realized I didn’t actually want to die. To reiterate: After letting dark scenarios run through my mind, I realized that I didn’t want to die — I just wanted my pain to end.

My beliefs. Suicide is considered a sin by the Catholic Church. I didn’t want to risk ending up in Hell.*

Beauty. If anime has taught me one thing, it’s to appreciate the beauty of this world that God has made.

When we create, we are, in our own little ways, doing what God does. J.R.R.Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, called this “sub-creation”: Creating secondary worlds inside of God’s primary world.

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And: It might be embarrassing and weird, but it’s true:

I thought of that shot of Yolko’s butt in the Sword Art Online episode “Murder in the Safe Zone,” and that was another reminder of beauty, too.

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I wasn’t glad I thought of that shot because of anything having to do with sex. (Lust is a sin that I try and avoid like the plague.) I was glad I thought of that shot because, like the world that God has created…

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…I see it as another example of beauty that I realized I didn’t want to see the end of.

What I’m trying to say is: There is so much beauty in the world, and I didn’t want to see the end of it by taking my life.

Suicide is not how I’m dying. Everyone dies eventually. And earlier today I decided that since I must die, I’m going to die in such a way that will be worthy of the good life I (hope to) have lived. I don’t know how or when I’m going to die, but I hope it’s in a way that makes God go “And that’s why I made Tim! Fuck yes!”

In conclusion:

I’m doing better now.

Praying, giving myself time to think more about my situation, spending time with my parents and kids from my local Catholic school’s youth group, video games, and music, did wonders for me.

Suicide is a complex and hard subject to talk about.

If anything I said in this post offended or upset you for any reason, let me know, and I apologize, because it wasn’t my intent to do that.

*On a related note: The only sin that God won’t forgive is the sin you don’t ask forgiveness for.
If someone you know has committed suicide, pray for the salvation of that person’s soul, and your prayers will not be in vain.

Need Evidence That Good Will Triumph Over Evil? Look At A Woman’s Butt

Evidence: The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.

Fascination: Draw irresistibly the attention and interest of (someone).

God saw all he had made, and it was very good.
~Genesis 1:31

The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
~Genesis 2:22 — 23

The Shadow…can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own.
~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Note: This post is not an apologia for gawking, fantasizing, and/or jerking off. Those things are not groovy.

On a side note: This is groovy:

As a Catholic, I believe that the Devil exists.

But the Devil isn’t a being on par with God.

God and the Devil aren’t two titans locked in a desperate battle to the death.

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The Devil was one of God’s angels. Before he decided that he wanted to do what he wanted, when he wanted, where he wanted, how he wanted, to whoever, or whatever, he wanted.

The best way I can think of to describe the Catholic Church’s view of the Devil, is this scene from SpongeBob:

We human beings (SpongeBob) are panicking and despairing because the Devil (Plankton) is running rampant. But God (Mr. Krabs) is not daunted. God walks right up to the Devil and, merely by reaching out his hand, is able to put an end to his scheme.

God could swat the Devil like a fly, but He doesn’t.

Why?

To quote J.R.R. Tolkien again:

Iluvatar’s (God’s) words to the Ainur (angels) after Melkor’s (the Devil’s) failed rebellion in The Silmarillion:

…no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.

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The reason I say all of this, is:

This shot:

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An awkward shot of Yolko’s butt.

Why is the shot awkward? Because: What is the camera doing there?

Anime is a visual storytelling medium. What about the story is being conveyed to us, the viewer, by having the camera be where it is?

I believe the easiest answer to these questions, unfortunately, is:

Sword Art Online is an anime aimed at teenage boys. Is it surprising that there would be a shot of a woman’s butt?”

The reason I say “unfortunately” is:

I believe shots like the one above can cause a person to lust. And lust can make a person do, to put it lightly, bad things.

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With lust, the Devil is twisting a person’s fascination with the opposite sex. Twisting Adam’s words of love for Eve:

Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.*

But: Despite the temptation to lust — the temptation to see people as a means of attaining pleasure, not as human beings — our fascination with the opposite sex is still, to quote Genesis 1:31, “very good.” It’s just not as good as it could be, because of this imperfect world we live in. (Genesis 3:7)

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That is how a woman’s butt is evidence of the eventual triumph of Good over Evil.

The Devil will use what God has created to try and get us to lust and, thus, be separated from Him because of that sin.

But: Despite the Devil’s efforts to tempt us, what God has created is still inherently good.

What you feel when you look at a shot like this…

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…is evidence that, despite the imperfect nature of the world, God’s creation still causes perfectly natural fascination.

And fascination with the beauty of the female body can lead a person closer to the creator of that beauty.

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…a woman’s breasts, hips, bottom, and lips all proclaim the glory of the Lord! Each womanly part honors Him. He created the female body, and it is good.
~Sharon Hodde Miller

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*I’m not saying that lust is something only men struggle with. I know women struggle with lust, too. I just used Adam’s words about Eve as an example of our fascination with the opposite sex: something the Devil tries to twist.

Naked Disclosures

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“Nothing is really little as long as it is genuine.”

The temptation to be like the world is as close to us as a mother kangaroo is to her her baby. It’s normal for people, for humans like us to crave for acceptance from the world we live in. We’d rather take nasty, second-hand, fifty-percent meant compliments rather than have genuine, authentic, and rebuking kind of conversations. We’d choose to suffer the guilt of not being true on our own little bubbles, our rooms and the closed comfort of our homes than to reveal who we truly are and what we truly feel to everyone around us. Including those who confess they’re just like us – the ones whom you share the same faith with, the same blood with, in one lifetime or another. We get so caught up by becoming someone to others, someone strong, someone who’s got it all together, we…

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Taking On Narnia

Anybody else get a The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe vibe from the music video for “Take On Me”:

The woman = Lucy
The man = Mr. Tumnus
The bikers = The wolves (The White Witch’s secret police)
The diner patrons = Lucy’s older sister and brothers
The comic book = The portal to Narnia/Narnia itself

Lucy’s and Mr. Tumnus’ relationship isn’t romantic, and the man’s and woman’s is. (At least: That’s my impression of it.)

But still: I can’t help but think of Narnia when I listen to “Take On Me.”

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

My Current Thoughts On Life

Below are some random thoughts I’ve been having lately that I felt like writing down just because they’d been bouncing around in my head and I felt like letting them out.

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Lately I feel like I haven’t been taking good care of myself.

I’ve been so focused on trying to be a light for others that I feel like I’ve neglected being a light for myself.

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I want to do good for others. I want to change the world for the better. I want to be the best person I can be.

One of the reasons why is because, according to my parents, I almost died as result of my premature birth. I was born 3 months premature.

I see my life as a miracle, and I don’t want to waste it.

But I’m not perfect. To be blunt: I’ve fucked up.

There are times where I’ve become the kind of person I promised myself I never would be, and that has ended relationships I thought would last forever.

I believe there is a God.

Why?

Because: There’s a feeling within me that there is more to existence than what I can perceive with my senses. I don’t care if I’m seen as “illogical,” and I don’t care if I’m seen as “close-minded,” but: There is nothing anyone can do or say to persuade me that there is not something more to existence.

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I believe that God loves me.

But, at the same time, I believe I am undeserving of God’s love. One of the reasons why I believe I am undeserving is: I struggle with pride. And, if I think to myself I don’t deserve ___, than I won’t be as tempted to think Life owes me ___! I want it! I want it! I want it! like a spoiled brat.

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Joffrey Baratheon — Game of Thrones

What currently drives me to write is the fact that I think so much of the art by my fellow Christians is awful. For example:

I hate saying that. After all: We (Christians and non-Christians) are just doing what we can to be the best we can. But I’m not going to be dishonest about my feelings.

I know my own writing isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread. I know I still have a long way to go before my writing is ready to be seen by the masses. But there has got to be better art made by Christians. And I want to do what I can to make “better art.”

I feel like a lot of my posts come across as pessimistic. And that troubles me. As a Catholic, I know I shouldn’t be like that — I shouldn’t be pessimistic. But if I were to say “I’m not pessimistic” than I would be lying. And I will not lie.

It felt good to let that out.

In conclusion:

The song that does the best job of conveying my current mood:

Why I’m Worried About “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

The trailer for the new “Star Wars” movie was released yesterday…

…and I am worried.

Why?

This line:

“I only know one truth: It’s time for the Jedi to end.”

You only know one truth?

Really?

What about the truth that there is — or was, because he’s dead now — good in Vader?

Did you forget about that?

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Return of the Jedi (1983)

My first impression of The Last Jedi is:

Moral relativism, like a kouhun, is creeping into the “Star Wars” saga.

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“…very poisonous.” — Jango Fett

Other lines in the trailer that add to this creeping feeling:

“Light. Darkness. A Balance.”

“…is so much bigger.”

On the one hand: “Balance” has always been a theme in “Star Wars.” More than once, characters have talked of the importance of bringing balance to the Force.

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On the other hand: The Last Jedi seems to be going beyond balance — going beyond the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force, to uncharted territory.

And that makes me raise a skeptical eyebrow.

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Why?

I mean, what’s wrong with expanding one’s worldview, no longer limiting oneself to notions like “Good” and “Evil”?

Well: If Good — i.e., Light — is just one point of view, not a state of being to strive for…

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Rogue One (2016)

…and it is essentially no different than Evili.e., Darkness — like Luke is teaching Rey that it is, if their dialogue is anything to judge by — “…is so much bigger.” — than I consider that ironic.

Why?

Because: Another “Star Wars” character also taught their apprentice that Good was merely one point of view:

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Revenge of the Sith (2005)

The message is clear:

In the “Star Wars” universe, moral relativism is a tool of Evil. A tool of the Sith. A tool of the Dark Side.

Yet the same education that Palpatine gave Anakin is the same education Rey is receiving from Luke. Only this time, such an education is not treated as a trap — i.e., a means to cause one to fall to the Dark Side — but as gospel.

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In conclusion:

The Last Jedi teaser trailer comes across as an attempt by Disney to show how hip it is by asserting that there is no Good and Evil, and no absolute truth — or, rather, only one truth.

It flies in the face of Disney’s most recent “Star Wars” movie, Rogue One, where notions of Good and Evil existed, and the line between them was clear:

“The Force moves darkly near a creature that’s about to kill.”
~Chirrut Imwe

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And it flies in the face of Luke’s previous experiences: How can Luke only know “one truth” when it was truth — “…there is good in you.” — that redeemed his father? You think he would remember that.

Did Disney watch the movies they paid $4 billion for?

Now:

I thought The Force Awakens (2015) would suck. And I was so happy to be wrong.

I wasn’t hyped for Rogue One. But then:

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My point is: I like Disney’s “Star Wars” movies.

But, if the teaser trailer is anything to judge by, The Last Jedi will be the first of Disney’s “Star Wars” movies that makes me do this:

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Thank you to T. Martin for inspiring me to write this post:

Unsurprising cynicism (towards Star Wars)

Celebrating Beauty: Max Comforts Kate

These last 2 months have been rough.

In February, I started my first job in over 3 years. I’m glad I’m working again, but it can be hard.

Last week, I decided to end a relationship with a friend after I came to the conclusion that communication had broken down and such a relationship was now doing me more harm than good. In short: Briefly, I became the kind of person I promised myself I would never be, and that cost me someone dear. I pray for her, wishing her the best. But I came to the conclusion that it is better for me if she not have such a prominent place in my life anymore.

My deadline for deciding whether or not to continue my college education is drawing near.

There has been at least one bright spot, though: I finished my first screenplay.

It’s a short film about how a young woman’s choice to go naked effects her search for meaning in her life after she returns home upon dropping out of college.

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The reason I say all of this is:

I am bringing back Celebrating Beauty.

Celebrating Beauty was a series of posts I wrote in December — I tried to write one every day — celebrating the beauty in the world.

I was sick of, and depressed by, the 24-hour news cycle of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, rapes, and murders, and wanted to do what I could to shine some light into the darkness.

After the rough time I’ve had lately, I’ve realized that I need beauty in my life now more than ever.

There won’t be any limit on Celebrating Beauty now — I won’t be doing it just for one month.

The first entry in the new Celebrating Beauty series:

Max Caulfield comforting a depressed Kate Marsh in DONTNOD Entertainment’s Life is Strange:

Thank you to Wild Woman Sisterhood for the photo.

Boundless Challenge: Week #11

OriginalPhoenix, I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the Boundless Challenge.

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My last entry in the challenge was almost a month ago.

The point of the challenge is to write about how I “lived boundless” this week — to write about one example every week of me doing more than I thought I was capable of.

And, I really do hate to say it, but: Lately, my neighbor’s cat has been more boundless than me.

Since I used to have two dogs — they died after living long, happy lives — my neighbor’s calico cat — that hangs out around my house because I give her food — has, for the longest time, resisted actually coming into the house. She must still be able to smell the dogs. But, over the weeks she’s made progress.

Yesterday she jumped on my couch and stayed there for 10 minutes before running to the door and meow-ing to be let out.

The light is bad, but here she is:

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I call her “Kiki,”  thanks to Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989).

Why?

Because: Instead of delivering bread, Kiki the calico delivers “Aww!” Whenever I see her, I can’t help but go “Aww!” She always makes me do this:

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To get back on subject:

This week, I do have something to be Boundless about:

I finished the screenplay for my short film.

There will, undeniably, be more edits as I show it to people more knowledgeable about screenwriting than I. But, I’ve hit a wall: I feel like I’ve done everything for this screenplay that I, with my current knowledge of writing, can do. Hence why I consider it “finished.”

Have you ever felt like that? You write, and write, and write, and you get to a point where you look at what you’ve written and think I’ve done everything I can.

For weeks, my life has been relatively unexciting.

Just been trying to get more used to my job stocking shelves, since it’s the first job I’ve had in over 3 years. (School, family obligations, and soul-searching kept me busy during that time.)

When I’m not working, I’ve been listening to the Life is Strange soundtrack while I try and think of more ideas for screenplays…

…and spending time with my best friend. We hang out more frequently now, which I’m glad for. In my quest for awesomeness, I don’t want to neglect relationships.

What else has happened recently?

Well, thanks to Wild Woman Sisterhood

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…and some editing, I found a picture that captures what my short film is about:

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Regarding my short film:

I’ll write more on that later…

Thank you to TheOriginalPhoenix for inspiring me to get back to doing the Boundless Challenge.

Her fiery, phoenix-y awesomeness is just what I needed today.

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A Light In The Darkness

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
~Matthew 5:14 — 16

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Where this picture comes from: Wild Woman Sisterhood