Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Big Three

I’ve mentioned comparisons of the following three a few times.

Michal, Catherine of Braganza, and Diana Spencer.

These three get compared to each other the most…well, usually they’re just compared in twos–Michal and Catherine; Diana and Catherine; Michal and Diana. Let me tell  you–there are many obvious comparisons, but in all my research, there are hundreds of princesses who would understand them very well.

That being said, I would like to make a comparison of my own among the big three. My next post: Catherine and Diana similarities.

Further Views of Catherine of Braganza

I know that there are those who don’t share my favorable views of prominent women I post about. I am also well aware that Catherine of Braganza herself has haters.

To some, Catherine is responsible for the slave trade due to her dowry she brought with her marriage to Charles II and England. This is a serious issue we need to consider.

Catherine’s parents took risks in order to prevent Portugal from crumbling. Catherine was a woman in her early twenties when she found out she was going to marry the king of England in exchange for protection against foreign threats.  This case is hard to judge because a country’s princess acted out of duty . She was a good queen and wife to Charles, but made comments that she didn’t look at the marriage as favorable towards her.

She was tied in a tough spot (like most of her life). Catherine did what was in her power to save people and individuals. Sometimes she succeeded and sometimes she didn’t. In a book about the Popish Plot, it talked about how she stepped in for individuals but at the same time, the queen couldn’t save everybody.

Catherine’s life and the events surrounding it were so complex. I don’t see her as responsible for the trade.

 

 

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The Beauty and Beast Within Me: A Love Story

Weeks ago, I found myself packing up again and writing as usual on a Saturday night. My heart started thumping hard. I realized something.

I fell in love.

Setting Priorities
The night before my twenty-ninth birthday was bittersweet. I wrote of my frustrations of the past and hope for the future since I hadn’t accomplished as much as I wanted. I also went to a church meeting that evening. I arrived late and sat in the way back. I became frightened when I heard the speaker’s name.

From his comments, I gathered that it was his wife—along with her associates—who hurt me emotionally. I had worked at healing those wounds for years. I don’t think they still have any idea how deep the hurt went. The speaker said another thing that caught my attention: “A story without two sides is like a very flat pancake.”

I knew what I needed to do. Before I turned twenty-nine, I needed to forgive her and her friends. I needed to say hi to her after the meeting. I was scared, texted my family who knew the grief she caused me, and asked for their prayers.

After the meeting, I rushed up to her. She recognized me but couldn’t remember my name. But pretty soon we were talking about her life. It was a satisfactory chat.

I was still confused about things when I arrived home. Yet I felt I could let go. I wrote in my journal that night:

“You can still change your story while forgiving. I can change my story while appreciating the past. I don’t have to be stuck. I can move on.”

I forgave her and her friends that night. That was a number one priority. It opened doors for me. The Lord blessed me with more knowledge afterwards—especially in the areas of human nature and psychology.

Looking for the Good
Any adult who’s constantly mistaken for younger will understand when I say this:

Youthful looks can be a curse.

The “you’ll like it when you’re older,” statement is no compliment.

There are those who mean well. But looking younger adds complications in workplace and social settings as well as feelings of belittlement.

Someone surprised me with a never before heard comment after he discovered my age: “I guess that’s what happens when you don’t drink or smoke.”

I can’t express my shock and gratitude!

It made me realized I had been doing some things right. That epiphany was life changing. Though I still strive to look older, that incident certainly made me wiser.

Appreciating What I Have Done
Into the summer, I was still unhappy with poor decisions I made in life.  I was counseled to “Appreciate all that you have accomplished.”

I started pondering not really my accomplishments but what I took away from that. Different kinds of strength. More empathy.

I also thought of things I completed the last year. Things I never dreamed I could do. It’s refreshing when you’re wrong sometimes.

Loving Quietly
Now go back to that Saturday night. Surrounded by boxes and pen in hand, I wrote poems about those I truly admire. I admire them because of their quiet actions they take to help people. I’m attracted to that kind of thing. Then I figured out I had unconsciously developed some of their wonderful habits but felt like an individual at the same time.  I smiled when I went back to my poem. I ended my prose with:

“Hey everyone! I love me!”

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Now that’s a huge transformation!

I want to express gratitude to those who see the good in me and know I can improve. I know there’s so much more I need to work on. However, knowing that I have already conquered beasts me confidence that I can conquer again.

There’s beauty in the transformation.

Photos by Sarah Patten

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The Little Mermaid Heartbreak

Introduction: I’m getting weary  of those wondering about why I care so much for the past, first kiss, commenting how I act like a child, or acting  like I’m detached. With the help of Mr. Andersen, I hope I can give some explanations.

 Long ago, there was a little girl turning six. She loved The Little Mermaid movie so much, and her parents loved her so much that they planned, stressed over, and threw one of the most memorable birthday parties ever. Tons of friends and tons of presents. Yet the next day, when she actually turned six, her family had a little celebration which was best of all. The little girl finally got the Ariel doll. All her wishes came true.

The next year she found out the tragic ending to the original tale of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson. What she found most frustrating was that the little mermaid couldn’t tell the prince she saved his life.

But years later, the little girl learned it wouldn’t have mattered if the prince knew. Even if the little mermaid could fully express herself, the prince’s heart would never be hers.

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I was electrified when my prince came. There was something about him that was so real but unlike anyone I ever met.  Other guys had come before him, but I still can’t totally explain why he stood out. I was terrified, but felt incredibly safe at the same time.  He took me under his wing, introduced me to people, and took me on adventures.

I even ventured to tell some friends and family how I felt. They seemed happy for me but advised me to be careful.

I understood once I met her.  I tagged along with the couple who seemed happy together. Seeing them so close made me realize that any physical affection I shared with the prince truly meant nothing.

On one occasion, I heard a movie line in my head. It was from Fairytale Theatre’s version of The Little Mermaid. It’s actually a classic, damning line that’s ended lots of relationships and hopes: “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”

In Andersen’s tale, the little mermaid’s prince had also been gentle with her and called her his “foundling.” I have come to realized I was my prince’s pet—never a potential lover. Looking back at that even now, it’s more apparent that I was treated like a puppy who just came back from the groomer. It’s still how others see me.

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There were some weak attempts to win the prince’s heart. But I knew it would never work. I stopped trying as I threw myself into other activities. Sounds like a good solution. But it was one of the most stressful times in my life with school and work. My grief made things worse. I was so unhealthy that I was actually whisked to the ER.

Eventually I went back to ordinary life. Of course things would never be the same. Other gentlemen have been in my life since then, and I’ve cared for some of them more than my Little Mermaid prince and also fell harder. But the Little Mermaid heartbreak will always stand out. I took special notice of things and people. I became more empathetic and interested in others’ stories.

The prince never gave me the love I was looking for, but he unintentionally opened another world.

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Credits:
A very special to Hans Christian Andersen for all his tales. He gets it.

Images:
Autumn Sea by Gustave Courbet
Illustration of The Little Mermaid, mid-19th century, by E. S. Hardy
Portrait of a Maltese dog by Anonymous (British) painter, 19th century