family and religious holidays

Don’t schedule important events on major Jewish holidays

A lot of things get scheduled on major Jewish holidays, in a way that prevents Jews from being able to participate. This needs to stop. 

If you’re in charge of scheduling things like:

  • Protests
  • Conferences
  • Public school orientations
  • College orientations
  • Exam schedules
  • Field trips
  • Other important events

Please avoid scheduling on major Jewish holidays. The most important ones to avoid are:

  • Rosh Hashana
  • Yom Kippur
  • The first two nights of Passover 

These holidays are at slightly different times each year, because the Jewish calendar is lunar. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are in the fall, Passover is in the Spring. You can check when they are at hebcal.com, and hebcal.com also has a calendar you can subscribe to that says when the holidays are.

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are the times at which Jews who don’t go to synagogue at any other time of year go. (In the same way that some Christians only go to church on Easter and Christmas). They are also major family holidays, even for people who are otherwise secular. Yom Kippur is a 25 hour fast (from both food and water) and most people who observe it are pretty wiped out immediately afterwards. 

The first two nights of Passover are when Jewish families hold Passover seders. It’s a major family holiday, even for people who do not consider themselves religious and never go to synagogue at all. Nearly all Jewish families have some sort of seder. 

It is considerate to also avoid scheduling important events that would require travel on the day before and after these major holidays. It is critical to avoid scheduling events on the holidays themselves.

There are other Jewish holidays that will create conflicts for some Jews, but they’re not as important to most Jewish people. 

tl;dr: If you value Jewish participation and solidarity with Jews, it is critically important to avoid scheduling important events on on Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and the first two nights of Passover.

Here, have some Jewish Holts (+ autistic Pidge) headcanons from the Voltron AU I’ve been writing (though most of these work on canon universe, too). I haven’t managed to explore these much in the actual narrative, yet, but I wanna talk about them so here they are:

  • The entire Holt family is Jewish, but they’re not a super religious family. They mostly just celebrate major holidays + Hanukkah.
  • Of the siblings, Matt is marginally more spiritual, but Pidge is way more into Jewish cultural traditions.
  • Matt makes a lot of jokes about “putting the ish in Jewish” and proudly refers to himself as a “lazy but sincere Jew.” But when the going gets tough, his faith is a big comfort to him.
  • Pidge is more-or-less agnostic, but you can pry her Jewish cultural traditions from her cold dead hands.
  • The family keeps Kosher during holidays (most notably Passover) but they don’t really bother the rest of the year.
  • Except Pidge. Pidge decided at some point that she’s going to keep Kosher all the time because it just doesn’t make sense to follow a rule only part of the time. (See also: Pidge is totally autistic.)
  • That being said, Pidge is never about blindly following rules, religious or otherwise. If there’s one thing her family’s faith has taught her, it’s “question everything.”
  • Although Matt doesn’t generally keep Kosher, a lifetime with his sister has led to him reflexively turning down blatantly non-Kosher food items on a pretty regular basis. I’m not sure Matt even knows why he doesn’t eat Jello, but he’ll probably turn you down if you offer it to him. (And then turn right around and eat chicken Parmesan without registering the irony of the situation.)
  • In addition to keeping Kosher. All the time. In the midst of a family that does not. Pidge also has a lot of food aversions (see: peanuts). A LOT. Of food aversions. Many of which are Oddly Specific.
  • She also has at least a couple food allergies/intolerances in the mix. Hey, at least it’s easy to avoid mixing meat and dairy if you don’t consume dairy at all?
  • Cooking for Pidge is a delicate endeavor. Everyone’s pretty sure Hunk has superpowers.

As someone with my own laundry list of religious/health/sensory dietary restrictions: Jewish Pidge with a million dietary restrictions brings me great joy.

The Losers Celebrate Christmas (/Hanukkah) Head Canon

Okay so This is the intro, and I'all make separate posts for each of the Losers gifts they get eachother, but here’s the intro and Eddies gifts

-all the losers have families that don’t really allow for a big holiday celebration. Stan’s family is religious and doesn’t believe in the excess of a commercial Hanukkah, mikes grandpa tries but ultimately has too much work (the demand for meat is way up around christmas), Bev’s dad just forgets and doesn’t even attempt, Eddies mom does a very tame and barely similar version of Christmas and doesn’t get Eddie gifts (the chemicals in toys), Bill’s family stops celebrating Christmas because it reminds them too much of Georgie, and Richie’s parents just get drunk and don’t even attempt.

-Ben is the only one whose family celebrates Christmas, and when he finds out the others don’t celebrate he is heartbroken.

-so he plans a Christmas afternoon (a couple hours after Christmas morning) where they exchange gifts (handmade is fine obvs) and play in the snow and hang out and drink hot cocoa

-the losers are ON BOARD. Everyone starts planing gifts immediately.


Eddie:

-Eddie has a little Money saved up from allowance and he can’t think of a better way to spend it.

-He gets Ben a copy of Eddie favorite book that he can’t BELIEVE Ben hasn’t read.

-He gets Bev an eyeshadow palette that he picks because it has a soft pale blue shade and he thinks Bev would look amazing in it.

-He makes Stan a homemade first aid kit because Stan has been talking about wanting to carry one around.

-He gets Mike a super fuzzy blanket (this was the most expensive, he Eddie feels like Mike deserves more credit in life because he is an angel) and mike LOVES IT. He’s a sucker for cozy shit and we all know it.

-He makes Bill a little album of pictures he has of them since they were like four, it’s adorable.

-And Richie. Eddie is nervous about getting something for Richie. He’s admitted to himself that he’s head over heels for the Trashmouth, and he feels like a lot is riding on this gift. So he works up all the courage in the world, goes into the pharmacy, and buys a box of condoms. And a ‘Cure’ t shirt but that’s unimportant. Richie will find this funny right? Oh no. it’s weird. Why did he do this.

-But Richie, of course, thinks it’s hysterical. All the losers are laughing like crazy and Eddie is bright red and doubled over in laughter. They all start laughing speculating about how little eds went and ASKED FOR CONDOMS AND BOUGHT THEM. Worth it. (And Richie loves the t shirt, and is honestly shocked that Eddie knows his favorite band as he rarely talks about his love of music)

-When the other losers give him gifts, he is embarrassed and kinda doesn’t know how to accept them without getting emotional and sappy and embarrassed

-but then Richie makes a dumb joke and he feels at home again.

Today is Bituun, the day before Tsaagan Sar (Mongolian New Year)! 

Bituun is a much lower-key holiday than the celebrations tomorrow. Religious families may burn candles to symbolize a wish for enlightenment for all people. To start the new year clean, it is good luck to clean out your house, settle debts, forgive enemies, and of course make huge quantities of delicious buuz dumplings to eat tomorrow. 

In the evening, the old year should be seen out in the company of your closest friends and family.

anonymous asked:

Hi I would love some Stenbrough Christmas/Hanukkah fics! Like maybe they try to celebrate both and surprise each other with things for each other. Also I would greatly appreciate if my fav sailor, Georgie, is in it. Thank you!

 bill loved the jelly filled donuts and stan loved eating anything at the denbrough house that wasn’t gefilte fish

 of course stan loves hanukkah but he thinks of christmas as a family holiday and not a religious one so he enjoys celebrating w his friends, but he is v happy when bill seems genuinely interested in learning about how he celebrates in his home

stan is so grateful and appreciative of having a boyfriend who took time to include his holiday traditions, so as a thank u he asked his parents to borrow the car and took bill and georgie around neighbors to look at christmas lights

 stan plays stupid whenever he gets caught under a mistletoe, “oh sorry what?? a mistletoe?? yeah i’m jewish idk what that is :///” 

 stan def puts dreidel in georgie’s stocking and tries to teach him how to ice skate

 bill gifts stan a new baseball glove and stan looks long and hard for a perfect thrifted type writer (then bill feels like his gift is really shity)

ITALIAN PIDGE HEADCANONS

-she likes american pizza but refuse to call it “pizza” ‘cause “THIS IS NOT PIZZA HUNK, ITALIAN PIZZA IS THE ONLY TRUE PIZZA AND IT’S DIFFERENT”

-like every respectable italian her favourite swear-word is “cazzo” and like every respectable italian she use it frequently

-her grandma (and her 12 cousins) live in Italy and every year the Holt family go there for Christmas and during summer holiday (they aren’t really religious, it’s just a tradition)

-when she was young she was one of the angels in the village live-presepe, her family took so many embrassing photos, they still laugh for them “MATT I WAS ONLY 5, CAZZO, I WAS INNOCENT ”
“Katie language!”
“Oh shut up Matt”
“Ok, angel”
“MATT I SWEAR TO GOD-”

-when she and Matt went to Firenze they had fun making up stories for every street name, their favourite is “lungarno degli acciaiuoli”

-her grandma call Matt and Pidge with their italian names: Matteo e Caterina (every old lady do that with foreign names, so true)

-every summer holiday all of his italian family is super tanned while she just can’t get tanned and has really white skin so her family call her “mozzarellina” but in a kindly(?) way, she hate it

-there are more than 300 types of pasta in Italy and her and Matt want to try them all (currently they have tried 123/300, they have a list)

anonymous asked:

do you guys have any age difference fics?

I defaulted to evanstan since you didn’t mention any other ships. Hope that’s okay!

ALSO SO SORRY FOR TAKING SO LONG! There was a glitch, we think, and we did not get notified of this ask!!!! Won’t happen again!

pure as the driven snow by dollylux
Chris is hired to photograph the Stan family–notorious for being hyperconservative, religious fanatics–for a holiday spread in Vanity Fair magazine.   

Sugar Daddy by WhatTheBodyGraspsNot

Sebastian is a broke and abandoned college kid trying to scrape up enough money to pay for rent and tuition. When he meets Chris, an accomplished architect who takes him under his wing, he doesn’t understand what his friends keep calling him until he looks it up for himself.Sugar daddy (n) is a slang term for a man who offers to support a typically younger woman or man after establishing a relationship that is usually sexual. [sugar daddy, age difference]

#ComingOut by alycat
When Sebastian Stan comes out on Twitter, thanking Marvel and Chris Evans for making him realize he is gay, he has no idea what will follow. Between his tweet going viral, interviews, actually meeting Chris Evans and college, Sebastian finds his life turned upside down. It isn’t always a bad thing.

I Was Broken Before I Met You by  SuperAnarchy
Chris is the leader of a world famous rock band, Sebastian is this young singer-songwriter-composer propelled into the spotlight at a very young age. They couldn’t be more different, but Chris should know by now that appearances can be misleading.

Like Rabbits by ballvvasher
Grad-student Sebastian Stan has a dirty little secret. Congressional candidate Chris Evans has a dirty little obsession.

t0ranu  asked:

are you gonna do anything for Halloween

Hehhh my family doesn’t celebrate holidays because of religious reasons but I’m going to draw mystery hunping a pumpkin and have fun with you guys

Choices

For the Free Choice prompt for May 20th of Sherlolly Appreciation Week 2017


Ribbed for her pleasure.”

“Trojan twisted?

“Red, white, and blue!”

“Extra thin… hmmm.”

Warming?”

“Oooh, Kiss of mint.”

“Glow in the dark!”

“Banana… “

“Bubblegum…”

Bacon?!” they both said at the same time, overwhelmed and gaping at each other.

Keep reading

Eleven Questions

I was tagged by @cavalier-life thank you,needed some distraction :’)

1. What is the third line of your WIP?

But she does. (name:Homesick..some drabble about Nino)

2. What is your favorite OTP to write about?

Torian

3. How do you take your coffee?

Milk and sugar.I hate that dusty fake milk thing..dunno what its called.

4. Easy squeeze cheese on Crackers? Or just cheese on crackers?  

I like crackrs, I like cheese..whats a squeeze cheese?

5. Have you ever dressed up as Santa Clause or Mrs. Claus?

Nah..I never dressed up period

6. What is your favorite holiday?

hmm..New years day.I like new starts.Also any sort of religious holiday because family gives me money even though im a normal adult like they are xd

7. Are you a morning person?

*obnoxious laugh*

8. Have you ever sang in the shower? What was the song?

uhh.not really…M take showers really fast so..usually no time for singing im just thinking..Ok..five minutes left.quickquckquick

9. When do you allow Christmas music to be played in your house?

we dont  celebrate it here but if u wanna play it be my guest? xd

10. What is your idea of a great date? (not just a good one, a GREAT one)XD

shit.u got me..i have no idea..i dont like candle-light dinner things though..So…we could go have a coffee,chat and later see a film? and later chat about the film where I scare them away with my trivial knowledge? hmm

11. What are the next three songs on your shuffled playlist right now?

ok..i wont skip so this may be embarrassing

Calling to the Night (MGS soundtrack)

Kitchen Door by Wolf Larsen

Zombie by the Cranberries

huh…what do you know..phone cooperated

Tagging: no one becaue i keep tagging people and no one s doing things i tagged them on..might be not showing too but…i wont bother >:(

Myers Briggs Rooms

ISTJ: The SJ Guardian type tends to have the neatest rooms. Popular hobbies include “include concentration games like chess and Trivial Pursuit, playing computer games, watching sporting events, pursuing physical fitness, and playing solitary sports such as golf”, so their decorations may reflect this. Their rooms are generally conventional and organized. 

ISFJ: The SJ Guardian type tends to have the neatest rooms. Being introverted, they probably spend a lot of time there; being an SJ they are concerned with their surroundings being well organized. This type probably has pictures of friends or family hanging on the walls (instead of tokens to symbolize these friendships like an NF would). ISFJ hobbies tend to include “cooking, gardening, painting, crafts, picnics, nature walks, and watching movies” so their room decorations may reflect this. Introverts will tend to spend more time in their room with the curtains/doors closed, and their room most likely will not be set up to entertain big groups of people. Their rooms tend to be very simple and warm. 

INFJ: INFJ’s tend to have partially organized rooms. Being NJ’s, they care about organization, but more organization of ideas than their surroundings. Certain things will be important for them to have organized (for example, my bookshelf is always in perfect color order), but other things will not seem as important to put in its proper place (I always forget to put my clothes away). In addition, being an NF they will likely have tokens of meaning to them around their room: a necklace that has special meaning to them, a token from a trip, etc. INFJ hobbies tend to include “writing, art appreciation, cultural events, reading, socializing in small, intimate settings, and playing or listening to music” so this might be shown through their decorations (I have books, a typewriter, my paintings, speakers, etc.). Introverts will tend to spend more time in their room with the curtains/doors closed, and their room most likely will not be set up to entertain big groups of people. Their rooms tend to be calm and cute.

INTJ: Introverts will tend to spend more time in their room with the curtains/doors closed, and their room most likely will not be set up to entertain big groups of people. Popular hobbies include “reading, cultural events, taking classes, appreciating art, computers and video games, and independent sports such as swimming, backpacking, or running marathons” so their decorations may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be structured and subtle.

ISTP: Concerned with the functionality of their room, and take pride in the technology behind different aspects of the design. Introverts will tend to spend more time in their room with the curtains/doors closed, and their room most likely will not be set up to entertain big groups of people. Popular hobbies may include “magic and comedy, archery, weaponry, hunting, scuba diving, rappelling, aviation, skydiving, motorcycles, and other extreme sports” so their decorations may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be bold and structured.

ISFP: Being an introverted sensor, the overall look of their room is very important to the ISFP. Even though they may be prone to messiness, they will take time to decorate their room in their own artistic fashion. ISFP’s have a very unique, eclectic style, so it wouldn’t be unusual to find random decorations and pieces from garage sales hanging on their walls. In addition, they tend to use color in decorating their room. ISFP hobbies tend to include “physical or artistic skills, including independent athletics like skiing or swimming, dance, and craft projects”, so they might have decorations that showcase these skills (paintings, pictures of them dancing, crafts, etc.). This type probably has pictures of friends or family hanging on the walls (instead of tokens to symbolize these friendships like an NF would). Introverts will tend to spend more time in their room with the curtains/doors closed, and their room most likely will not be set up to entertain big groups of people. Their rooms tend to be creative and unique. 

INFP: Introverts will tend to spend more time in their room with the curtains/doors closed, and their room most likely will not be set up to entertain big groups of people. Being an NF they will likely have tokens of meaning to them around their room: a necklace that has special meaning to them, a token from a trip, etc. Popular hobbies include “poetry, creative writing, music, photography, theater, and visual art”, so they may have snippets of poems, album covers, photos, paintings, etc. hung up around their room. Their rooms tend to be sensitive and creative.

INTP: Introverts will tend to spend more time in their room with the curtains/doors closed, and their room most likely will not be set up to entertain big groups of people. Popular hobbies include “reading, art and cultural events, chess and other strategy games, writing, taking classes, working with computers, backpacking, hiking, and meditation” so their decorations may reflect that. Their rooms tend to be cleverly decorated and intricate.

ESTP: Popular hobbies include “all sorts of sports and athletic pursuits, especially team sports and risky or adventurous activities like race car driving, boxing, or flying” and their decorations can reflect this. They may have skateboards, surfboards, exercise equipment, etc. in their room, but they may not like to spend a lot of time indoors. As an extrovert, they probably enjoy entertaining people in their room, and their room may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be bold and adventurous.

ESFP: This type probably has pictures of friends or family hanging on the walls (instead of tokens to symbolize these friendships like an NF would). Popular hobbies include “socializing, team sports, home improvement projects, cooking, entertaining, games, and dance”, so their decorations may reflect this. As an extrovert, they probably enjoy entertaining people in their room, and their room may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be extravagant and showy.

ENFP: Being an NF they will likely have tokens of meaning to them around their room: a necklace that has special meaning to them, a token from a trip, etc. Popular hobbies include “writing, creating and appreciating art, playing musical instruments, listening to music, participating in community theater, and reading fiction”, so their decorations may reflect this. As an extrovert, they probably enjoy entertaining people in their room, and their room may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be quirky and unique. 

ENTP: Popular hobbies include “continuing education, writing, art appreciation, playing sports, computers and video games, travel, and cultural events” and their decorations may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be quirky and intricate. As an extrovert, they probably enjoy entertaining people in their room, and their room may reflect this.

ESTJ: The SJ Guardian type tends to have the neatest rooms. Concerned with the functionality of their room and take pride in the technology behind certain aspects of the design (for example, my ESTJ father always shows our uninterested guests the laundry basket contraption he had installed). Popular hobbies may include “building and repairing things around the home, gardening, volunteering, community service, and playing and watching sports” so their decorations may reflect this. As an extrovert, they probably enjoy entertaining people in their room, and their room may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be traditional and organized. 

ESFJ: The SJ Guardian type tends to have the neatest rooms. This type probably has pictures of friends or family hanging on the walls (instead of tokens to symbolize these friendships like an NF would). Popular hobbies may include “volunteering in community, charity, or religious organizations; celebrating holidays and family traditions; cooking; entertaining; and social sports” so their decorations may reflect this. As an extrovert, they probably enjoy entertaining people in their room, and their room may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be sociable and warm.

ENFJ: Being an NF they will likely have tokens of meaning to them around their room: a necklace that has special meaning to them, a token from a trip, etc. Popular hobbies include “organizing social events, reading, the arts, museums, storytelling, listening to music, writing, and gourmet cooking” so their decorations may reflect this. As an extrovert, they probably enjoy entertaining people in their room, and their room may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be sociable and eclectic.

ENTJ: Popular hobbies include “taking leadership positions in community groups, attending social gatherings or sporting events, and playing competitive sports” so their decorations may reflect this. As an extrovert, they probably enjoy entertaining people in their room, and their room may reflect this. Their rooms tend to be ordered and assertive.

Writing Women of Color as a Non-WoC

Anonymous said: Sorry dumb question… Is it ok if my main character is a WOC and I’m not? I like drawing from my own life experience etc… but the lack of diversity in today’s media is disgusting so I was thinking maybe to help bridge the two I could have her family have some of my family’s traditions (i.e. religious holidays we celebrate for our ancestors/tradition but we’re not religious or something) Am I just being way too weird? The last thing I want to do is offend anyone. please help…

It’s very much okay. Just do your research on the Woman of Color at hand, meaning the experiences that might affect her as a Woman of Color in x region. There’s common experiences she might have with women who are also her race, but note everyone is an individual and WOC of any race are not monoliths of their people with the same thoughts or opinions, even if there’s some common experiences and issues they might deal with (such as the stereotypes, colorism and fetishizing aimed at them).

There are some differences from yourself you might write in, such as how she handles her hair, how people might react to her race depending on who she encounters, and so on; just avoid becoming hyper-focused on her race as opposed to her. Learn who she is first and foremost, then how her being x in x society affects her.

And she can definitely have had life experiences like you. WoC/PoC deal with breakups, annoying parents, goofy friends and all that just like, well, people do. So don’t get caught up on your differences. There’s research for that. Focus on how she might be like you.

Now, onto your religious holidays and traditions; what are these traditions? Note there are PoC of many different religions so it’s likely not strange if your heroine’s family takes part of traditions that you do. I’d need more details on that to touch on it further there, so provide more if you wish!

 More reading:

~Mod Colette

Straight White Boy Problem #800

easter on 4/20 last year was such a struggle man. You have one family holiday that coincides with a religious one….now that’s blasphemy! This year is a lot different. im trying not to smoke as much so I’m only celebrating EASTER! my vice will be winning the Easter egg hunt against a gaggle of 7 year olds. This is shaping up to be the best easter ever

blue night radio - 141225

jonghyun gave out some copies of shinee’s 2015 seasons greetings to fans who were at the studio. but, when he did, he went to color december 25th black (it was red before) and told them to “treat it like a normal day”. (s/n: christmas is regarded as more of a holiday for couples in south korea than it is a holiday for families (with the exception of religious families) which explains why jonghyun changed the color the date was filled in as from red to black. red shading = love / romance, black shading = just like any other day. typical jjong.) (source: bling_saur)

anonymous asked:

im kind of new here so i dont know if youve recieved this question in the past but i was wondering if youre religious and if so what religion? this is just my curiosity asking feel free not to answer this. i know to some this is very personal information.

I don’t mind talking about this at all, I enjoy it. I’m on my own weird sort of journey with it but I really love it. I love religion, I love spirituality, I love what humans have found for themselves collectively. I love that so many of us believe in something. It’s beautiful. And maybe I like studying that more than I myself believe in something. My dad isn’t religious, and my mom is Jewish but we don’t celebrate most of the holidays. So our family isn’t actively religious. I’ve never gone to church with them. I’ve gone a couple times when I was younger with some childhood friends and a few times with my last boyfriend. When I was a sophomore in high school I dated this older guy and and he asked my dad if he could borrow a book on zen buddhism. I don’t know if he ever read it, but when we broke up he gave me a box of all of my stuff. A bunch of my dad’s books were in it on buddhism. So I started reading them. Then my dad gave me Be Here Now by Ram Dass, then the Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas. They started to change me, still do whenever I read them. I called myself a Buddhist for a while in high school. I didn’t mean it though. I was just learning. And once I graduated, I started exploring it all a bit more. I took a class on the history of dreams within cultures, I took a class on religion. I bought more and more books. I have so many spiritual and religious books I have yet to read. I think I took the religion class because I wanted to find something I believed in. I remember writing a paper comparing paganism and christianity in spite of my boyfriend. I wanted to open his mind, he wouldn’t read it. I really wanted to belong to something. I wanted to believe in God. I wanted to learn how to pray. I wanted to see the brighter sides of religions, not the distorted ones. But I loved every religion I learned about. It was all about love, all about each other, all about being better for the whole world and for yourself, for a higher something. I couldn’t pick just one, so I didn’t. Since then I’ve been reading more and more books and studying different cultures and ideas. Ram Dass really sparked something in me with everything he had to say. I read a lot of different things out of interest for years and more recently I’ve been reading things, once again, to search for something. I wanted to find God. I wanted to meditate and understand mantras. I wanted to pray and believe that prayer worked. So a few months ago I was reading Grist for the Mill by Ram Dass and it was amazing. I read it so fast and it was just so interesting and he said everything so matter-of-factly and then it pissed me off. I was like “Woah everything is actually bullshit. Everything is made up. We created it all for ourselves. How could he possibly know all of this? How could he say that these are the rules? That this is how I get there?” And then I just got depressed and was like “What the fuck is the point of anything?” I started reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead and it pissed me off too so I stopped. I didn’t read anything spiritual for a month or so. I was just angry about it all. Which is silly. There’s a reason we’re all searching for something. There’s a reason groups of people collectively believe in one thing. I think I was just mad that I wasn’t buying it. I was mad I couldn’t find God. I was never one to pray, hands pressed together in a church. I didn’t understand it. I prayed for a few months because I had lost something. I selfishly prayed. I’d fall asleep holding this stone that a shaman gave me and I’d wake up with it still in my hand. I’d walk outside at night and pray. I was full of anxiety and I was so depressed and I just wanted God to exist and to save me from it, to fix me. I wanted him to bring somebody back to me because I felt so weak without them. And then I stopped praying for a long time. I’m not mad anymore, but I still don’t know what I believe in. I’ve started to pray but now it’s not for myself at all, and I think that’s becoming a problem. I pray for people who aren’t around. I pray for strangers. I pray by writing. In my journal, for my book.. I write on the back of receipts or loose papers and fold them up. Put them in a prayer box at a local shop or send them down the river. I have a couple malas. One is rosewood and I wear it around my wrist everyday. I went on a spiritual retreat back in February and it was on the altar during an important part of it and I know it has all of the blessings in it. I have a rose quartz mala that I hold and move the beads when I want to. But mediation is far from me. I can’t sit. I’m finding different forms. Balancing rocks. Walking. Drawing. I don’t know if I believe in anything still. I don’t want to try to understand it. I don’t want to pretend God is real. Maybe he is but it’s not the way I’ve been told to think for most of my life by the people around me. I’m still fighting against that image. And there’s a lot of things that I don’t understand and I don’t want to blindly say yes to any of it. My faith is in something that I can’t pinpoint. God is not a god. God is something else. Something smaller and everywhere. Something soft that doesn’t speak. I’m taking the same religion class again, 3 years later. Maybe it’ll spark something, but maybe I’m just interested in people and I want to learn again. My religion, my faith, is in my writing and in nature and in interactions with people. I believe in myself more than I believe in anything else. I don’t know anything. If you ask me this question again in 3 months I will most likely have a different answer.