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The Valley that is Lent

March 12, 2011

I have come to realize I don’t speak much of my God. Which is a tragedy and that I need to rectify.

I am not a Catholic though I think they have beautiful cathedrals, comforting rituals and absurdly long weddings. (Have you ever been to one of those? Srsly. Forget yoga. Just go to mass. It’s a workout). I have never really “celebrated” Lent (though I think observed is the word I should use. Celebrating abstainance from something really seems masochistic but that’s Catholics for you! (If you are Catholic. I am really just kidding.) My current church home has a practice of observing Lent which I decided to participate in. I believe that we don’t earn our way into Heaven. Thank God because I would have been doomed from the very start. However, an acknowledgement of the sacrifice of Christ and a 40 day meditation seems appropriate before Easter.

I have given up shopping. Both looking and the actual act of purchasing. I don’t actually buy a lot. Not that I needed to save money (though I really do) but rather it has become very obvious to me that window shop a lot because I want things. Which is not bad in and of itself. However, I want things that say to people “I have taste” and “I am beautiful” and more importantly “I am better than you”. So really a lot of things I covet has really been coveting a lifestyle that (a) I cannot afford and (b) that is superficial.

I am not going to lie. Lent started on Wednesday and it hasn’t been easy. In fact its not even a week and its sort of killing me. I had no idea what a habit it has been. A comfort. After a long day at work to browse through my favorites: Asos, Modcloth, Anthropology and lust and dream after beautiful clothes, beautiful wears, a future present that I can one day afford. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe it is wrong to want to better your life. Or to want to be stylish or have a beautiful clothes. Rather what is in question in my case is motivation. What does motivate me to want beautiful clothes or a better life. Do I want beautiful clothes because they make me feel beautiful, more confident? Yes. But perhaps a bigger part of me want beautiful clothes because I want people to say “You have flawless taste”.

I am trying to cultivate new habits instead. I am cleaning a lot (and feeling like someone in an episode of Hoarders). I am rereading old favorite books (because I can’t buy Patrick Rothfuss’s, “The Wise Man’s Fear” that I have only been waiting its release for a year. Not bitter or anything. I mean, just sayin’). I am praying more (because this crap is hard than because I am more spiritual). Worked a garage sale whose proceeds are going to a good cause (got a sunburn after announcing to all the girls “I am Asian! I don’t burn, I tan!” Famous last words). *sigh* And this is only day 4 out of 40. This ought to be interesting.

What are you giving up for Lent?



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