ALCALA DE HENARES EDIFICIOS UNIVERSITARIOS /MADRID

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ALCALA DE HENARES EDIFICIOS UNIVERSITARIOS /MADRID
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Image by Jose Javier Martin Espartosa
El casco histórico de la ciudad de Alcalá de Henares y su universidad, fueron declarados Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco en 1998, en reconocimiento a su condición de primera ciudad universitaria planificada como tal que ha existido en el mundo

Los orígenes de la ciudad de Alcalá se remontan al nacimiento de la Complutum romana, ciudad que en sus más de cuatro siglos de existencia alcanzaría gran esplendor y una importancia que mantendría a lo largo de todo el periodo visigótico. Al período de dominación musulmana le debe Alcalá la construcción de una ciudad que con el tiempo será conocida como Al-Qalat-Nahar (El castillo del Henares) y de la que hereda su actual denominación.
Con la Reconquista Cristiana se produce la nueva reconstrucción en lo que supuso desde entonces su emplazamiento definitivo, en torno a lo que es hoy la Catedral Magistral. Sin embargo, hay que esperar a finales del XV para asistir al gran período de esplendor de la ciudad: en 1499 el Cardenal Cisneros funda la Universidad, produciéndose a partir de ese momento una renovación urbanística que convierte a Alcalá en una ciudad universitaria, siguiendo los cánones arquitectónicos clásicos.
Durante los siglos XVIII y XIX la ciudad inicia un periodo de decadencia. El traslado de la Universidad a Madrid en 1836 unido a las sucesivas desamortizaciones provocaron el cierre de varios conventos y el empobrecimiento del ya degradado ambiente cultural alcalaíno.
Hoy, tras la reinauguración de la Universidad en 1977, el desarrollo industrial de las últimas décadas y el reconocimiento como Ciudad Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco, Alcalá vive un período de expansión económica, turística y cultural desde el que se asoma al futuro con optimismo manteniendo estrechos lazos con su singular pasado.
Roma: Complutum
La conquista romana de la Carpetania parece que se inició con una campaña dirigida por M. Porcio Catón en el año 195 a. J.C. Posteriormente, los carpetanos, en alianza con vetones, vacceos y celtíberos, se constituyeron en una amenaza para Roma que ésta solucionó en el 192 a. C. por medio de Marco Fulvio. Las luchas terminaron, con la caída de Numancia, el año 133 a. C. en el que se inicia la pacificación, asentamiento y romanización de la zona.
No se tiene conocimiento de la fecha exacta en que los romanos ocuparon la ciudadela de San Juan de Viso y el castro del "Salto del Cura", pero las monedas del denominado "tesorillo de Zulema", parecen sugerir que antes de la mencionada caída de Numancia.
No obstante, en el año 80 a. J.C., durante las guerras entre Sertorio y Pompeyo, ya se menciona a Complutum, que en época de Augusto adquiriría gran importancia por su valor militar y como nudo de comunicaciones (entre vías primarias y secundarias se dice, en el "Itinerario de Augusto", que eran 23 las calzadas que permitían llegar a la ciudad).
La romanización empezaría en la población preexistente del cerro del Viso, cuyas fortificaciones se reforzarían a la vez que se tendía la red de calzadas. Posteriormente, con la paz de Trajano y de los Antoninos (siglo II), la población comenzará a descender al pie del cerro en busca de una zona con menos declive, más fértil y mejor comunicada.
Mosaico romano de las Cuatro Estaciones de la Casa de Baco en Complutum. En sentido antihorario desde arriba a la derecha: primavera, verano, otoño e invierno. El área que acabaría ocupando la urbe sería; desde la ladera del cerro del Viso hasta la actual nacional II (en la dirección norte-sur), y desde el Arroyo Torote hasta las puertas de Madrid y Santa Ana (en dirección este-oeste). Ello no excluye la existencia de edificaciones alejadas del casco urbano, como la villa que se descubrió en 1970 a la altura de la ermita de Nuestra Señora del Val. Complutum tenía el trazado típico de la ciudad romana, que arranca del campamento militar con dos calles principales que se cruzan; cardo y decumano.
La denominación de "Complutum" parece venir del verbo latino "compluere" que significa confluir o del término "compluo" (confluencia de aguas). El nombre sería bastante apropiado puesto que la población primitiva se encontraría en la "confluencia" de los ríos Henares y tenía la ciudad carácter de «civitas stipendiaria», es decir, que mediante el pago de un tributo o estipendio anual a la metrópoli conservaba el derecho a su autonomía y sus propios usos mientras no alterasen el orden establecido.
Durante la época visigoda la ciudad conservó su importancia, llegando a ser sede de obispado. En la Hispania visigoda fue sede episcopal de la iglesia católica, sufragánea de la Archidiócesis de Toledo que comprendía la antigua provincia romana de Cartaginense en la diócesis de Hispania.

Dominio Musulmán: Al Qalat La dominación islámica de la Península Ibérica arrinconó en las zonas más septentrionales de la Península a los pocos cristianos que conservaban su independencia. Los musulmanes, nuevos señores de casi la totalidad de la geografía hispana, requerían de un puesto fortificado en la ruta de Zaragoza a Toledo, que junto con las ciudades cercanas de mayor valor estratégico como Guadalajara o Talamanca, sirviera de apoyo a las razias que periódicamente se dirigían contra los reinos cristianos del norte. Estas fortificaciones tenían la función de impedir el descenso de las tropas enemigas hacia el curso medio del Tajo. Constituían, pues, las dos referidas ciudades y la fortaleza de Al-Qul’aya, levantada a orillas del Henares aguas arriba de la antigua Complutum, los tres puntos estratégicos que vigilaban y defendían el territorio frente al acceso de las huestes cristianas, que intentaban descender al valle del Jarama desde los altos de Somosierra, o llegar hasta el valle del Henares desde Atienza y las zonas orientales de Castilla, y desde Zaragoza
A principios del siglo X, el nuevo emplazamiento árabe de Alcalá no debía de ser más que una atalaya fortificada de reducidas dimensiones, a juzgar por terminología con que se la nombra en la primera noticia conocida que tenemos de Alcalá la Vieja. Según el Bayan-al Mugrib, en el año 920, reinando en Córdoba Abd-al-Rahman III, el gobernador de Guadalajara derrotó a una gran expedición de cristianos leoneses que había atravesado los puertos del Sistema Central con la intención de atacar Guadalajara. El emplazamiento que asediaron, cercano a Guadalajara, aparece reseñado como al-Qul’aya, que se puede traducir como “el castillejo”. Lévi-Provençal lo identificó como la pequeña fortaleza que precedió a la que dio nombre a la ciudad actual.
Parece ser que en el transcurso del siglo X esa pequeña atalaya aumentó sus fortificaciones, acompañándose este incremento defensivo del crecimiento de su población y de una mayor importancia urbana, sobre todo, si atendemos a su nueva denominación de Qal’at Abd-al-Salam, que puede traducirse como Castillo de Abd-al-Salam e incluso según algunos autores como Castillo del Príncipe de la Paz. Esta denominación aparece en las crónicas islámicas, al relatar la crisis del Califato cordobés en los primeros años del siglo XI.
Sería en el verano del año 1062 cuando Fernando I, al frente de un numeroso ejército, puso cerco a la ciudad musulmana, combatiéndola con ingenios para abrir brecha en sus muros, lo que obligó al rey Al-Ma’mun de Toledo a hacerse tributario suyo y rendirle parias para que levantase el asedio, a cambio de la entrega de grandes riquezas. Sin embargo, a pesar de la histórica conquista de Toledo por Alfonso VI en 1085 y de su dominio de la comarca inmediata, la fortaleza de Alcalá la Vieja continuaría bajo el dominio musulmán hasta que en 1118 el arzobispo de Toledo, Don Bernardo, llevó sus ejércitos al importante enclave de Alcalá, en donde consiguió rendir la plaza.
Edad Media: El Burgo de Santiuste El 3 de mayo de 1118 el arzobispo toledano Bernardo de Sedirac conquistó la plaza musulmana de Alkal’a Nahar o Alcalá la Vieja para Castilla pero este reino cedió Alcalá y su Tierra al Arzobispado de Toledo, pasando a ser la comunidad de Alcalá un señorío eclesiástico. Pronto, la ciudad gozaría de privilegios y Feria (data de 1184). El Burgo de Santiuste, Alcalá de Santiuste, Alcalá de San Justo o Alcalá de Fenares (nombre del s. XIV) sería un emergente centro de transacciones y mercado comarcal, lo cual haría incrementar la población considerablemente. No obstante, la aljama o judería y la morería alcalaína serían de las más notables de Castilla (la aljama complutense está considerada de tamaño medio. Algunos estudios la cifran en 5.000 judíos). Durante la Edad Media, Alcalá fue habitada pacíficamente por judíos, musulmanes y cristianos. En el siglo XII se suprimiría el obispado complutense en favor de la sede primada de Toledo.
El día 19 de diciembre de 1308 fue rubricado en la ciudad el tratado de Alcalá de Henares, suscrito por el rey Fernando IV de Castilla y por los embajadores del rey Jaime II de Aragón.
En 1345 y en 1348 tendrán lugar en la ciudad las Cortes de Castilla (léase también Cortes de Alcalá y Ordenamiento de Alcalá).
La ciudad y su alfoz de 25 villas fueron dotadas de dos fueros: el Viejo y el Nuevo (por Cisneros). A lo largo de los siglos, las aldeas del alfoz irían obteniendo la independencia como villas con ayuntamiento propio hasta que en el siglo XX el término municipal alcalaíno sólo tuviera a la ciudad como núcleo urbano.
Es conocida por su histórica universidad, la Universidad de Alcalá, que fue fundada por el Cardenal Cisneros. El 13 de abril de 1499 data la bula del papa Borgia Alejandro VI que autorizaba la creación del Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso que fue la cabeza de la universidad. En 1508 se abrieron sus aulas y entre los colaboradores de Cisneros se encontraban importantes personalidades como la de Antonio de Nebrija. No obstante, el germen de la universidad alcalaína lo encontramos en el año 1293 con la creación de los Estudios Generales. Pronto la Universidad de Alcalá compitió con la de Salamanca y por sus aulas pasaron importantes personalidades,
La primera mujer a la que excepcionalmente se le consintió estudiar y alcanzar el grado de doctor en Artes y Letras fue María Isidra de Guzmán y de la Cerda (1785)
Carlos II concedió a la población el título de ciudad en 1678. A partir del siglo XVIII la ciudad perdió importancia a pesar de la construcción de nuevos monumentos como la Puerta de Madrid. A comienzos de ese siglo, Alcalá fue ocupada por los portugueses durante la Guerra de Sucesión.
Es universalmente famosa Alcalá por haber sido la localidad natal de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, novelista, poeta y dramaturgo que escribió la que está considerada la obra cumbre narrativa de la literatura española, El Quijote, que muchos críticos han descrito como la primera novela moderna y una las obras más leídas, traducidas y difundidas de la historia.
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The historic old town of Alcala de Henares and the University, were declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1998 in recognition of his status as first planned university city that has existed in the world

The origins of the city of Alcalá back to the birth of Complutum Roman city in more than four centuries of existence had great splendor and importance, which would maintain throughout the Visigothic period. The period of Muslim rule owes Alcalá building a city that will eventually be known as Qalat Al-Nahar (The castle Henares) and which inherited its current name.
With the Christian reconquest the new reconstruction occur in what was from then its final position, around what is now the cathedral canon. However, we have to wait at the end of XV to attend the great period of splendor of the city in 1499 by Cardinal Cisneros founded the University, resulting from the time an urban renewal that makes Alcalá in a college town, following the classical architectural fees.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the city began a period of decline. Moving to Madrid University in 1836 joined the successive confiscations led to the closure of several monasteries and the impoverishment of already degraded cultural environment Alcala.
Today, after the reopening of the University in 1977, the industrial development of recent decades and the recognition as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, Alcalá is experiencing a period of economic expansion, tourism and culture from which peers into the future optimism maintaining close ties with its unique past.
Rome: Complutum
The Roman conquest of Carpetania seems that began with a campaign led by M. Cato in the year 195 a. J.C. Subsequently, the Carpetani, in partnership with vetones, vacceos and Celts, constituted a threat to Rome than it solved in 192 a. C. by Marco Fulvio. The fighting ended with the fall of Numancia, the year 133 BC C. in initiating the peace, settlement and Romanization of the area.
Nothing is known of the exact date when the Romans occupied the citadel of San Juan de Viso and castro "Salto del Cura", but the coins of the so called "little treasure of Zulema, seem to suggest that before such fall Numancia.
However, in 80 a. JC, during the wars between Sertorius and Pompey Complutum already mentioned, that in times of Augusto acquire great importance for its military value as a hub of communications (including primary and secondary roads, speaking on the "Route of Augustus" that there were 23 roads that allowed to reach the city).
Romanization begin in the pre-existing population of Mount Viso, whose fortifications were strengthened while he lay the network of roads. Later, with the peace of Trajan and the Antonines (second century), the population will start to fall at the foot of the hill in search of an area with less decline, more fertile and better communicated.
Roman mosaic of the Four Seasons of the House of Bacchus in Complutum. Counterclockwise from top right: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The area would end up occupying the city, from the slope of the hill to the current national Viso II (in the north-south) and from the Arroyo Torote to the gates of Madrid and Santa Ana (east-west) . This does not exclude the existence of buildings away from the village, as the villa was discovered in 1970 at the height of the shrine of Nuestra Señora del Val. Complutum had the typical layout of the Roman city, military camp, which starts with two main streets intersect; thistle and decumano.
The name "Complutum" seems to come from the Latin verb "compluere" meaning confluence or the term "Complutense" (confluence of waters). The name would be quite appropriate since the original population would be at the "confluence" of the river Henares and had the city’s character "stipendiaria civitas’, ie by paying a tax or annual allowance to the mother retained the right to autonomy and their own applications while not altering the status quo.
During the Visigothic period the city retained its importance, becoming home to the bishopric. In Visigothic bishopric was the Catholic Church, suffragan of the Archdiocese of Toledo who understood the ancient Roman province of Carthage in the diocese of Hispania.

Domain Muslim: Al Qalat Islamic domination of the Iberian Peninsula cornered in the northernmost parts of the Peninsula a few Christians who maintained their independence. Muslims, new masters of almost all Spanish geography, required for a fortified post on the route from Zaragoza to Toledo, which together with the nearby cities of greater strategic value as Guadalajara or Talamanca, serve to support the raids periodically were directed against the Christian kingdoms in the north. These fortifications were the function of preventing the descent of the enemy troops into the middle of the Tagus. They were, therefore, the two aforementioned cities and the strength of Al-Qul’aya, built on the banks of upstream Henares Complutum old, the three strategic points guarded and defended the territory from access by the Christian armies that tried down into the valley of Jarama from high Somosierra, or reach the valley of the Henares from Atienza and eastern parts of Castile, and from Zaragoza
In the early tenth century, the new Arabic site Alcalá should not be more than a fortified watchtower small in size, judging by terminology with which it is named in the first news we have known Alcalá la Vieja. According to Bayan-al Mugrib, in 920, ruling in Cordoba Abd-al-Rahman III, the governor of Guadalajara defeated a large Christian Leon expedition had crossed the ports of the Central System with the intention of attacking Guadalajara. The site that beset, near Guadalajara, appears as al-Qul’aya reviewed, which can be translated as "the chateau." Lévi-Provençal identified him as the little fort that preceded the one that gave the city its name today.
It seems that during the tenth century that little watchtower increased its fortifications, defensive accompanied this increase population growth and increased urban importance, especially if we consider the new name of Qal’at Abd-al-Salam , which translates to Castle Abd-al-Salam and even according to some authors such as Castle of the Prince of Peace. This name appears in Islamic chronicles, to relate the crisis of the Cordoba Caliphate in the early years of the eleventh century.
Would be in the summer of 1062 when Ferdinand I, in front of a large army, laid siege to the Muslim city, combating with mills to open a breach in its walls, forcing the king Al-Ma’mun of Toledo to become tax and pay him pariah to lift the siege, in exchange for the delivery of great riches. However, despite the historic conquest of Toledo by Alfonso VI in 1085 and his mastery of the immediate region, the strength of Alcalá la Vieja continue under Muslim rule until 1118 the archbishop of Toledo, Don Bernardo, took his hosts the important enclave of Alcalá, where he managed to pay the plaza.
Middle Ages: El Burgo de Santiuste The May 3, 1118 Archbishop Bernard of Toledo Sedirac won the Muslim seat Alkal’a Nahar and Alcalá la Vieja Castilla but the kingdom gave Earth Alcalá and the Archbishopric of Toledo, becoming Alcalá community an ecclesiastical dominion. Soon, the city would enjoy privileges and Exhibition (dating from 1184). El Burgo de Santiuste, Alcalá de Santiuste, Alcalá de San Justo or Alcalá de Fenar (name of the XIV century) would be an emerging market central and local transactions, which would increase the population considerably. However, the Jewish quarter and Moorish or Jewish Alcala would be the most notable of Castile (the Jewry complutense is considered medium size. Some studies put at 5,000 Jews). During the Middle Ages, Alcalá was peacefully inhabited by Jews, Muslims and Christians. In the twelfth century the bishopric complutense be deleted for the headquarters of Toledo.
On December 19, 1308 was signed the treaty in the city of Alcalá de Henares, signed by King Ferdinand IV of Castile and the ambassadors of King James II of Aragon.
In 1345 and in 1348 the city will take place in the Castile (read also cuts and Management of Alcalá Alcalá).
The city and its district of 25 villages were provided with two forums: the Old and New (by Cisneros). Throughout the centuries, the villages of the district would achieve independence and villas with own municipality until the twentieth century the town of Alcalá only had the city as an urban center.
It is known for its historic university, the University of Alcalá, which was founded by Cardinal Cisneros. On April 13, 1499 data of the bull of Pope Alexander VI Borgia authorizing the creation of the Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso was the head of the university. In 1508 he opened their classrooms and among employees of Cisneros were important personalities like Nebrija. However, the germ is found Alcala University in the year 1293 with the creation of General Studies. Soon the University of Alcalá de Salamanca competed with and passed through its halls important personalities,
The first woman who was exceptionally agreed to study and achieve the degree of Doctor of Arts and Letters was María Isidro de Guzmán y de la Cerda (1785)
Charles II granted the title of city population in 1678. From the eighteenth century the city lost importance despite the construction of new landmarks like the Puerta de Madrid. At the beginning of this century, Alcalá was occupied by the Portuguese during the War of Succession.
Alcalá is universally famous for being the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, novelist, poet and playwright who wrote what is considered the masterpiece of Spanish literature, fiction, Don Quixote, which many critics have described as the first modern novel and one of the most widely read works, translated and disseminated in history.
Regeneration Society Condueños Main article: Society Condueños recovery would probably not have been possible were it not for the existence of "Society Buildings Condueños were University", which was the first private individual and society that was created in Spain to save and preserve an artistic heritage philanthropically. Condueños Society, a citizens’ initiative that Alcala, 1851, watching the city’s main buildings were to be auctioned, they decided to save the heritage of the city to make its money and creating a society whose sole purpose was to buy the iconic buildings University to avoid looting and in the future, to get around the city’s Complutense University. Today, the buildings house the Society Condueños rector and several faculties of the University.
The Twentieth Century: Heritage Plaza de Cervantes. In the background, the remains of the parish of Santa Maria Maggiore: Oidor chapel and tower. The church of Santa Maria la Mayor was destroyed in a fire during the Spanish Civil War, losing most of the paintings housed. Among the remains were preserved, highlights the pile where Miguel de Cervantes was baptized. Alcalá is an agricultural city, military and until the 40 monasteries in the ceramics industry and Forges de Alcalá (rolling stock) predict the next industrial development 60. In 1968 he declared the old town as a Historic-Artistic, with 9 National Monuments. In 1977 the college was refounded in the city with the name of the Universidad de Alcalá, which has been a cultural renaissance in the city and artistic heritage recovery.

Day 64: March 4, 2008- Screaming For Freedom
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Image by ashley.adcox
Title is a blend of Mr. Kearney’s line in Girl America- "I can see her screaming when she’s dreaming for freedom"

"Well half way down is half way out of here
We’re either halfway drowned or half way ’round the pier
When you’re that far gone

I can’t break her, I can’t break her fall
She’s lying in the back room, crying on the bathroom floor
Singing I can’t take it, I can’t take any more
Just one reason, one to believe in
That’s not that far gone
Not that far gone

She says today is gonna be the last time
And I know there’s never gonna be an easy way out"
– Mat Kearney: Can’t Break Her Fall

Everyone says mental health is just like physical health…often using that point for their own gain, in trying to say that everyone should seek help…but after six years in and out of the system, I’ve decided that yes, mental health is like physical health in that sometimes you just get dealt a sucky hand, and you can’t do anything about it, and you deal with it. You can responsibly refuse treatment as well.

If I had a brain tumor (which believe me, has indeed been thrown out as a possibility, but I figure the suggested “full neurological work up” wouldn’t really be worth the money…why pay thousands of dollars just to be told “you’re screwed!” or “you’re perfectly fine!”?), then it would be up to me to decide if I wanted to pursue treatment, knowing that it could prolong my life, but also make it quite painful at the same time.

Same situation. I’m tired of people throwing out their ideas when it’s based on nothing. I’m tired of having things shoved down my throat. I’m tired of being reminded of who I am. I’m tired of being forced to come up with answers to things that I’m clueless about. Like…seriously…why do you think I was trying to get help? Obviously I don’t have answers…so don’t act like I should. I’m just tired of everything about it. It was my decision to get back in to the whole treatment plan crap after realizing how horrible my life had become, and oddly enough, it’s only made it worse.

It’s not worth it anymore. Absolutely not worth it. It’s funny how it seems as though those who refuse physical treatment are seen as brave and accepting. They want to make the best of the time they have left. But those who refuse mental health treatment are seen as irresponsible. I’ve thought this over, and I don’t see how it could help. Could it prolong my life? Maybe..but at what cost?

I’m becoming convinced that whatever is going on with me will eventually kill me. I don’t mean that in a suicide way. There are times when I just completely lose myself, and nothing of my “normal” self remains. I absolutely don’t think the same. I wonder about those times, in that sense…but…no. I’m mainly referring to the little things. The stress that I’ve put my body under over years of prolonged sleep issues- whether it be the inconsistency, or flat out sleep deprivation for days on end. The incredibly inconsistent diet I have of eating all the wrong foods all the time, or hardly eating at all for a few days. The insane anemia, resulting in me often being quite weak. Hardly ever leaving the house…it’s all seriously compromising my immune system, and I’ve been told many times by many people that I just better hope I never get seriously ill, because my body couldn’t fight it off. Not to mention it’s near impossible for me to swallow a pill anymore. I apparently picked up a major pill phobia after trying to suicide on a cocktail of who knows what when I was 12. My throat starts to close up at the mere thought of having to take a pill, which is the main reason why I haven’t treated my anemia…iron pills are huge and I completely gag. I guess that can happen when you down over 25 and then stay violently ill for nearly 2 weeks. It doesn’t leave the most pleasant memory. So…when I say I can’t swallow pills, and screw up various treatment plans because of that, I’m not trying to be difficult, which always seems to be the consensus…I’ve gotten physically ill when I’ve tried to force “normal sized” pills down, so…yea.

Between losing myself, and the physical stuff that my body has endured because of whatever is going on with me…they could eventually kill me if they continue to get worse.

Everyone shoved every freaking diagnosis under the sun down my throat all those years ago…and now..”well…your MMPI scores are all decently normal… so that solves it. nothing could possibly be wrong with you…our all mighty, ever so holy MMPI knows all”.

They say it’s supposed to trick you and catch if you lie…but that was the worst test I’ve ever taken. I convince myself out of everything I feel…I intellectualize every emotional thing when the spotlight is on me…which is funny, because I don’t care about “solids”…I care about emotion. I live for emotion…but when it comes down to me…I can’t do that. How do you answer a yes or no question of “do you feel hopeless?”…you have no chance to ever explain…it’s just yes or no. I do feel hopeless, but I know that’s stupid and grossly near-sighted. I know there is hope. I say no, even though I FEEL hopeless, because even there are no right/wrong answers with mmpi, it’s clear that “no” is the right answer. And that’s how the entire test went. I went with what I knew.

So all of that to say…I’m done. Nothing in my life has ever been conventional, mainly due to whatever is wrong with me…so I don’t know why I thought I could be fixed through something as conventional and cookie cutter as the american mental health system…but I’m through. I’m going to find my own way. Attempt to ignore my other half as much as I can, and deal with it when it comes.

I desperately need to figure out how to have a spiritual life while living like this. Going from seriously loving God, to not even being able to acknowledge there is a god…that makes it pretty difficult. I think it’d be cool to go to England and stay at their L’Abri program for a while (http://www.labri.org/england/home.html). I need to get out of the area if I have any hopes of changing, that’s for sure. I’m so secluded, I’m in such a rut…that would force change. I know my heart, and the core is just the same as it always was…I have the same spiritual desires, I have the same beliefs…so it makes sense for me to go to some place like L’Abri…and have the spiritual teaching, but having the fellowship of people who are all honestly searching and asking the hard questions in the same kind of way. It’s a night, and the average stay is like 8 weeks…but it’s something to think about.

I need to be removed from this stupid situation and I desperately want to find a way to have a consistent walk with God. …it sounds perfect.

It would be nice to go back to church, as I still love that place…but…I can’t. I realize that church isn’t just for people who have it all together, and that it should be all-accepting…believe me…I saw nothing but the best of that when I went to Life…but when you can’t even make a commitment to be there nearly every Sunday…it’s hard. I hated who I was. How do you explain that to people? I hated feeling like I had to lie. I knew they’d totally be fine with the real answer…but…do you really just throw 18 years of baggage on someone you’ve only known for a few weeks?

I hate to sound cliche, especially at this age…but…I need to go find myself. And as easy as it would be to just get lost in photography and have that be my life…I don’t want to live a life that doesn’t have God as it’s priority. I’ve lived both options, and lived each one for quite some time, and there’s no comparison. Everything was empty. Even now, things are far more empty than they should ever be, because that relationship is so strained. The heart is still there…but the mind has wandered.

I’m done caring about judgment, because no one knows…no one has a clue. Some people think I seem absolutely fine, other people think I’m just…gone…and they’re all equally right and wrong. I’m done caring about things that don’t aid to a better quality of life, and a stronger walk with God…preferably simultaneously. I’m not sure what gives me any hope of getting out of this…but there is a peace. There’s a peace in knowing that all I have to do is all I can…and if I still lose, then that’s okay. There are bigger reasons for everything that goes on, and it goes far beyond what I could ever comprehend. If I still lose, there’s a bigger reason. There’s always a bigger picture.

All I have to do is breathe my next breath and seek after God…and when I can’t breathe any longer, at least I know I’ll be going Home.

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