A few reactions to a recent article of mine voiced surprise and disapproval that I would list fictional characters as inspirations alongside biblical ones, or that I would be inspired by fictional characters at all. I would love to discuss this further with you lovely readers, because fiction — especially science fiction and fantasy — is near to my heart, and telling stories is a part of what it means to be a human in God’s image.
“You will be happier once you’re a Christian.”
This is a seemingly great way to convince people, especially children, that God loves them and it therefore makes sense to change their life for Him. You’re promising a future filled with happiness and joy and unicorns and rainbows and 1-Up Mushrooms? Sign me up.
The reality is, yes, life might be better in the sense that you are living for a larger purpose and you have found hope and a future in a relationship with Christ, but God doesn’t promise life will be easier or happier when we follow Him.
During my early adulthood (high school and beyond), I had many friends. At least I thought I did. These are the people I went to school with, hung out with, watched movies and played games with. I had a good time with them. I was a private person, though, so I didn’t share much about my personal life and daily difficulties. When I was struggling with morality and relationships, I didn’t mention it. When I was dealing with stress and anxiety, I kept it to myself.
Contentment can be elusive for single people when we just want someone to share burdens with, when we are feeling lonely, when all our friends are happily paired off and we’re constantly the third (or fifth, or seventh, or thirteenth) wheel. It’s perhaps especially frustrating on a day like Valentine’s Day, when romance floats through the air in the form of heart-shaped balloons and pink confetti. On days like today, here are a few examples of singles who, whether fictional or not, inspire me by choosing to be content in their situations.
Singleness can be a challenge. Chronic illness can be a challenge. Put them together and you get a gooey, volatile, explosive and, I’m pretty sure, radioactive mound of difficult. But it’s OK, because if you struggle with both of these things like I do, or know someone who does, I’m going to give you all the answers for a successful, happy life.
Just kidding. Actually, I think I’m just here to make you feel less alone, and that’s often more important than untested recipes for success.
I got yelled at a while ago by a stranger. Full-blown, at-the-top-of-the-lungs yelled at.
I was driving home on a dark, wintry evening and there was ice on the roads. As I was yielding right onto a highway, I saw a break in traffic and thought I had plenty of time to merge. I misjudged the speed of an oncoming truck and the driver had to slow down for me. I didn’t hear any squealing breaks or see any fishtailing.
One of my friends told me she learned a lot about herself by being married; in such close quarters, it’s hard to hide anything about yourself, and your constant companion makes you think about your personality and behavior more.
I never really thought about the value of self-awareness until after she brought this up. I became more aware after I made a couple close friendships that involved sacrifice and vulnerability. As an unmarried 27-year-old, I haven’t had a spouse to highlight my personality traits.
Many of my favorite fictional heroes don’t have to deal with rejection in their romantic lives. Ever. Take Katniss Everdeen; she’s got not one, but two guys fighting for her affections. Captain America has a lady interested in both eras. Commander Shepherd gets her pick of available characters to romance.
Why do they get it so easy?
Writers want their characters to be desirable and awesome, so really, it doesn’t make sense for someone to say no to a man who can stop a helicopter with one arm.
I can’t be the only one who’s wished for a switch to turn off my emotions. I’ve complained to my friends that I just want to stop feeling things, and they pat me on the back and tell me that if I did, I wouldn’t be the artistic, compassionate person I am… blah, blah, blah.
Don’t get me wrong, I love them for saying that. But it is hard to accept emotions are a good thing when you’re feeling like Eeyore with his tail missing on a rainy day.
I woke up the other morning with anxiety. Not because I was in pain, but because I was dreading pain to come. With a chronic stomach disorder, I experience pain a lot, and I’m tired of it. It’s exhausting. How is it fair that I don’t feel well so much of the time that I live in fear of an attack coming? How is it fair that my physical appearance is affected—from baggy eyes due to lack of sleep to blotchy skin from hormonal imbalances?