Thursday, October 24, 2013

Questions to Which God has no Answers

I sit here tonight with my glass of wine and my thoughts which are overwhelming my brain. All I can think of is loss. With each new tragedy in the news, it comes closer to hitting home. A recent tragedy has sparked the questions in my mind. I find myself close to this one as I know someone who is affected. It seems cliche, but the questions won't stop- Why? To what end? What is the reason? Where is the motivation? Why is violence ever an answer? Just. Why?
Tragedy and loss make it difficult to believe. To believe in a higher power, to believe in humanity, to believe that life is good. Innocence is gone in the snap of a finger, in the shot of a firearm, in the slice of a knife, in the threat behind a word. It can be hard to find one's way back, to find the light, to find life. How do we continue on? How do we restart when tragedy hits so hard? 
I don't lose faith often, but now is one of those rare times that I have. When I see human life cut short, someone who has years to live, someone who has goals to accomplish, I can't figure it out. Why would God or a higher power or whatever you believe in condone this? Where is the greater good? Because I can't find it. I just can't. 
I sit here listening to Sara Bareilles' track "Islands." She sings, "When will you realize / You must become an island." That is exactly how I feel. Like an island. You have to retreat into yourself to reflect on how you feel. And right now I feel confusion, I feel pain, I feel nothing. Tell me why tragedy exists. Please someone tell me the reason. Because I haven't been able to name one yet. 
I realize this is far from the posts I usually write, far from inspirational; however, I believe that we are multidimensional. It's not all roses and buttercups, sometimes emotions are raw. Pain is very real, and I believe it is important to write, especially during times of disbelief. Life is messy, life is dirty, it's painful. These are the times in which we learn the most about ourselves. These are the moments that come around to help define us, to remind us of who we are, to remind us of why we're here, to remind of us of what we need to accomplish, to remind us that we are human.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Reminders of Love

I have been having one of my famous nostalgia-filled Saturdays in which I spent my morning cleaning, listening to The Fray, combing through old pictures from college, thinking about friendships that have come and gone. I am having a hard time coping with the present when the past seems so perfect. In reality, I know it never was. There were fights, break-ups, hurt feelings, breakdowns, moments I've buried, moments I couldn't bury if I tried. Once again, I come full circle in my preaching that everything happens for a reason. 
I ask that you bear with me today as my thoughts are scattered, and I tend to jump from one to the other. I had a dream last night that scared me beyond belief. I lost a loved one and the dream was so real that I woke up stressed with an imminent migraine. The memory of that dream has followed me around the apartment, looming with its massively frightening face over the dishes I wash, over the clothes I fold, over the floor I sweep. I can't shake the nagging feeling that something bad is going to happen and I know it's silly, but I can't help it. I've always placed weight in my dreams because I know that my extremely emotional subconscious is relaying messages to me constantly, and I feel it is my duty to listen. 
Despite the severity of my dream, it has been the catalyst for contact with those for whom I care a lot. I find myself sending text message to friends from college, calling loved ones, writing about them. It is never too late to reconnect with people, never too late to remind someone just how much you love him or her. I think we often take for granted that people know we are there for them. Sometimes it takes a single message or a quick phone call to remind another person that we care, that we are still there, that we have not forgotten. I have to remind myself of this as I get wrapped up in work and my own life. How much do I appreciate it when a friend I haven't heard from in months posts on my Facebook wall? How do I feel when a friend sends me a text just because? I love to receive, and I need to remind myself to give as well. 
So take the time to let your loved ones know of your love. It shouldn't have to take a scary reminder, but sometimes it does. I am reminded of the "How I Met Your Mother" episode when Marshall loses his father. The gang spends the episode thinking of the last words they have said to their loved ones. Make your words count because they are appreciated often more than you know.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Reality Check

Recently, I moved into a bigger apartment. I think my parents were more excited about this fact than either Dana or I because it means that they get to send me home with copious amounts of stuff every time I visit them. My boxes and bins stuffed to the brim with paperwork, college books, grade school projects and baby books all suffered suffocation in the backseat and trunk of my four door sedan as I trekked the three hours back to my apartment. I dreaded going through the boxes and organizing. I knew that I would most likely be storing it in my apartment and that it would sit just as it had for the past ten years. 
I finally gathered up the stamina to tackle some of the boxes last weekend. I found a bin that has kept my memories since I was a baby. Each of my siblings and I have our own box dedicated to photographs, papers, projects, as well as anything and everything my parents found worth saving from our school days. I found class photos from middle school and even farther back, but I had to stop when I found one from fifth grade. I looked at all the faces and realized that I only knew where about a fourth of those kids, now grown adults, are now. 
I couldn't seem to grasp the reality that is the present. One of the boys is now married and recently had his first child. One of the girls is still in my life and has been one of my best friends since we were eleven years old. Another guy died last fall in a tragic plane crash, while another girl is getting married on my birthday next spring and I will be attending her wedding. It is unreal that the years have passed and some of the students in that picture are here while some are no longer with us. I look back and think that none of us knew who would be married by twenty-five or who would no longer be featured in photographs anymore. 
I wonder if any us are where we thought we would be now in the year 2013, a year that sounded so foreign in a millennium that didn't exist when we were in grade school. Time changes us. Life changes us. Our goals are different, our priorities become real, our lives mold into ones that we may or may not be proud of due to actions we have chosen and decisions we have made. It humbles me to think about how my life now is so far removed from how I imagined it to be when I was eleven. The real world is more vivid and alarming than I could have imagined, and I am still trying to discern daily whether that is a good thing or not.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Pursuit of Happiness

Over the weekend, something happened that I haven't been able to shake from memory. My boyfriend, Dana, and I were sitting on the couch watching television and playing on our phones. Dana decided to "Google" me as a result of a conversation we had been having at the time. The first thing that popped up when he used my full name was a woman who was a publisher, author and editor. He showed me the page from his phone. On the page, was a list of this woman's various accomplishments next to her smiling face and all I could think was, "That should be me." 
I instantly started bawling and he felt awful for showing it to me. I assured him that I would be fine and stopped to realize just how intense my reaction was at this stranger's success. I realized in that moment that I still knew what I wanted out of life, the career I wanted to have, the merits with which I wanted to be credited, the biography in which I wanted to be featured. If I am getting this choked up over a random article on Google, then I am meant to do other things with my life. 
I think we get so wrapped up in the way things are now that we fail to recognize our future is bound to be different than our present. I remind myself that just a year ago I was working part time at the bank, trying to make ends meet, worrying about finding a full time job and writing in my journal about my hopes to be working in the office where I am now. Life moves forward whether we want it to or not, and we have to decide in which direction we'd like it to go. I could have allowed it to flat-line, staying at the bank until the full time spot inevitably opened, going through the motions for years, numbing myself to a career in which I would never be fulfilled. But I didn't. 
I allowed myself to take a step forward, accepting a new job that challenged me. I was scared when I started, even though it was what I had wanted. I wondered if I was stepping from something comfortable into a place where I'd be miserable, but I had to take the risk in order to know. Almost nine months later, I realize that it was the right decision. I may not be in this office or this career forever, but I'm in a better place now than I was in a year ago or even two years ago. 
I suppose there is a lesson to be learned from my slight meltdown- continue to follow your ambitions. Your dreams are shouting at you, flashing in front of your face, and it's your job to decide whether to ignore or embrace them. I know that I can't let go of my desire to write. It may take me a while, but every job I take, every new friend I make, every experience I have is leading me to a better place. Every decision I make contributes to the person I am and strive to be.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Getting Back Into the Groove

Well, if it has not been apparent, I have been in a bit of a writing rut lately. It isn't necessarily from lack of things to say- I have a plethora of words, ideas, and memories floating around in my head at any given time. No, I have been ignoring my inner creative child, an action that was quite frowned upon in my creativity class. I was just writing in my neglected journal about class and how I missed composing every day. Writing a journal entry or "morning pages" was a requirement, yet it never seemed like a chore or a job. The assignment motivated me to channel my inner thoughts through ink to paper, and I beyond proud of the stacks of composition books lying in my closet. There is something about one's handwriting scrawled across pages and pages of paper that is indescribably rewarding. 
However, I have let life take hold of me and ignored my inner voice. I have become so wrapped up in my job, my relationship, the relationships of others, that I have pushed the small voice in my head aside as it nags me to be heard on my daily commute. It is the moments in the car before the rush of the day that the dreams of the previous nights, the conversations I've had recently, even memories that I have buried, come creeping in to float around my consciousness. It is in that half hour commute that I give my thoughts free range along with my emotions. I let the past and the present and even my potential future collide in a thunderstorm of mixed emotions within the confines of my vehicle. My problem is I never allow them to escape that cabin. 
On the way home, I grow increasingly weary from my day and brush aside my thoughts from the morning. I swat at the memories as they beg for my attention, brushing them aside when a song from the radio sparks a thought. Instead of going home and writing, as I should do, I drive home and lock my car, securing the words inside to suffocate in the rising summer heat until the next day. It is like that every day- wash, rinse, repeat. I can't claim to want to be a novelist, a blogger, a successful writer if I ignore all the senses that scream at me daily, begging for relief through words on a page. 
As I sit in my kitchen, coffee in hand, silence surrounding me, I am giving into my creative child. It has been months since I have paid attention to this blog; my journal looks like a starving creature next to my plump notebooks of years past. There is so much changing, so much happening that I am missing, that I am failing to capture in words. I made a promise to myself that I would try to get back on track. I can not promise perfection, but I can promise to make a valiant attempt at getting back into the groove. I don't want to lose my drive, and I certainly don't want to lose focus on my writing. It is beyond imperative that I live up to the expectations I have set for myself, or else, what is the point?

Friday, April 26, 2013


I am up early inordinately early today after being unable to sleep well. There is something special about birthdays, something exciting about having one day all to yourself. Now I know this day belongs to countless others as well; people are not only celebrating birthdays, but anniversaries and other special occasions. However, my birthday has never ceased to thrill me. I still get excited to have a whole day where others acknowledge my existence and send well wishes. I still wake up early because I'm planning every minute of my day so it doesn't go to waste. 
When I was younger, I'd want to open all my presents right away. I couldn't wait until my birthday dinner to be able to enjoy all of the great things I had received. Now, I take pleasure in waiting until the very last minute to open my gifts. I like going through my day knowing I still have cake to which I can look forward, dinner with friends, and gifts to end the night. You have one day that is all your own, and I have learned to savor mine. 
As I think about today and my prior birthdays, I muse about how much can happen in the short span of a year. I still have the card from my grandmother on my dresser from last year; unfortunately, I won't be receiving one from her this year. Instead, I am surrounded by pictures of her and keepsakes I have been lucky enough to have. Last year, I was unemployed at this time and beginning to wonder if I would ever find a job. Now, I am in a job that I enjoy with people that are incredible, and I am lucky enough to call them my friends as well as coworkers. Last year, I was still getting used to the idea of living with my boyfriend and calling his apartment my home. This year, we have our own apartment and have been living together for over a year, in a relationship for three years. 
I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so many good people who define my life and nurture the person I have become and continue to be. Every year my birthday reminds me how many people care, how many people change my life every day, how many people respect and love who I am. I couldn't ask for any more than that. 
So to all those who share this special day with me, I wish you a happy Friday/birthday/anniversary,etc.! I owe you all some posts and hope to be back on the writing train soon. Much love to all my readers today and every day.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Find Your Passion and Thrive

As a resolution to myself (even though I said I wouldn't be making resolutions this year), I took a pledge, along with my coworkers, to be healthier. I joined a gym at the end of January and have been taking several zumba classes a week along with walking/jogging on the treadmill. As a step out of my comfort zone, I have taken a weight lifting class as well, but it is zumba that has become my savior. I was taking zumba before I moved here, but had stopped as I knew no one in the area and was not committed to joining a gym at the time. In the past two months, I feel better than I have in the past year. 
I am taking these classes because dancing is something that makes me happy. I don't claim to be good at it, but I would say I'm decent, and I enjoy it. I also enjoy the companionship and camaraderie that goes along with it. A whole bunch of strangers are thrown into a room together with great music, and we just dance for an hour. Everyone is silly and individual personalities are encouraged to shine. 
While our classes are mostly filled with females, every once in a while we get a male who decides to take the class and the instructors literally rejoice. I've seen three different men attend a class since I have been going, but one is by far my favorite. He is an elderly gentleman, and while I do not know his name, I do know that he has a great time. While the rest of us are booty shaking to "Sexy and I Know It," I watch him swaying back and forth, light on his feet, dancing to the music in his head. At one point during Katy Perry's "California Gurls," he catches my eye as he spins around in a circle opposite from the rest of us. He grins from ear to ear, shakes his head back and forth, and continues to dance towards the front. 
Another woman I have taken quite a liking to is an elderly woman who always dances near me in the back. One Saturday morning, my coworker and I were forced to stand near the front due to the sheer number of people attending class. Afterwards, the woman comes up to me and asks, "Where were you?" I shook my head confused and she explained, "You're always in the back near me. I always follow you because you know all the steps." I had never spoken to her before that. This morning she came up to me and said, "Good, you're back where you belong," as I purposely headed for the back of the classroom near her. It is instances like that which make me smile and dance with passion despite how I may look compared to others. 
My point is not to write a thousand words as a zumba advocate, but to advise all you readers to find something about which you are passionate. For me it has begun dancing, along with writing. You have to take the time to honor that which makes you happy, those activities that make you different. Emphasize the qualities that make you unique, that make you you in spite of what you look like or how you might do compared to others. Never compare yourself to others and never doubt yourself. If it makes you happy then do it. If others say you are foolish, just let them talk. At least you know you are nurturing your creativity. At least you can say you are thriving.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Being Versus Doing

I have begun to realize that moments of clarity are both rare and fleeting. Those moments sneak up on you like a flash- time slows just long enough to comprehend that you are in a unique space at a specific time in order to have a less than concrete realization. Just as soon as you understand you are in that moment, you are sucked back into reality and forced to continue the daily grind unless you take the time to remember these moments. 
Tonight I did a "group power" class with a coworker at the gym. As I was laying on my back relaxing from an hour of weightlifting, lunges squats and all manner of exercise to which I am not accustomed, I realized I was in a moment of clarity. I stared at the stain on the ceiling of the gym and realized that it was the first time in a long time that I had just laid down, listened to music and allowed myself to stare at nothing, to think of nothing. In that moment, everything in my life shifted into focus without crowding back in to overwhelm me. It was one of those rare moments that I sometimes experience while driving, where my mind shifts to nowhere and I just am.
I don't think we ever allow ourselves to just be, we always have to do. Why? What is so great about doing when you're not experiencing the joy of being? I guess I don't get it. We live in a world where moments just fly by, where we don't stop to appreciate, where everything in our lives is taken for granted. It often takes something traumatic happening in order to snap us out of our selfishly driven world- a car accident, the death of a loved one, a near death experience. It should never have to come to that, ever. 
Now, I don't claim to be immune to the lifestyle of taking things for granted. I have gotten better at being grateful, but there are still times that I act like a spoiled brat and ask "Why me?" when I have no reason to be asking such a question. So I ask all of you to stop and just be tonight. We often do not allow ourselves that luxury, and it shouldn't be a luxury, it should be a given.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Past- Beastly or Beautiful?

It is a sit-in-the-shower-and-think type of night. I often get in these moods where being reminiscent is the only emotion I can seem to manage. I sit in the shower and stare at the droplets of water spattering the shower lining. I can see the Picasso-like pattern of the curtain behind it, blurred through the drops of liquid. I stare and stare, thinking about things past, things that should no longer matter, guiltily sighing as I realize my skin is bright red from sitting too long under the burning shower head. 
I often wonder why I do it to myself- bringing back events I can't change, remaking someone into a person that he or she will never be. It does no good and only puts me in a foul mood for days, muddying up my dreams with images I continually seek to destroy in real life. I wander between dreaming and waking, hoping the images come to life, wishing the past did not turn out the way it had, remaking decisions that have been set in stone years ago. 
It is a sickness, a disease of over-emotion, yet I go through periods where all I can do is live in the past. In my lucid moments, I remind myself that if things had worked out the way I see them in my head, then I would not be sitting in my car staring at the dashboard daydreaming or scalding myself on the floor of my shower. Why do we do that? Why do we think we can change people or events? Why do we think we can mold our own lives and the lives of others? 
We really only have so much control, and that control only extends to our own actions. Often I think I can control the outcome of a situation, when in reality I can not because I have learned that people are unpredictable. You can not change the will of another, you have no right to take that freedom away even if it benefits you. 
Now I realize this post is semi-cryptic, but when people from my past pop up in dreams or real life, it often sets a chain of events in motion in my mind. I get stuck in this bubble where I think I could be living differently now, when in fact, everything does happen for a reason. Everything happens because people decided it would. Two people decided an outcome. Two people made choices. Both parties now live with those choices. 
The past is not a force you can change; it is not a force with which you reckon. It is certainly not a force to get caught up in as I am now. I hope that writing my thoughts down will allow me to verbally relieve myself of the tension I have created in my mind. The past can be beautiful or beastly if you allow it; it is one lover from whom you never quite recover.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Humanity- To Hurt or To Heal?

A couple posts ago, I wrote about the nonexistence of forgiveness. Being the emotional person that I am, I have been pondering that concept ever since. I ride waves of knowing exactly how to deal with my feelings; one minute I think I can forgive everyone else's sins and leave the past behind, then the next I'm cursing the day I made that first fatal mistake and wondering why I ever chose to forgive. It's a wild ride. My ex is in a show this weekend in town; he has the starring role as Prince Charming (oh the irony). My first reaction was to rashly throw out all evidence of this fact- papers went directly in the trash and I casually ignored the bulletin boards around town. Now as I sit here, fairly calm after a grueling zumba class this morning, I wonder if I should go. I still fall into the trap now and then of believing that I can alleviate my own guilt and regret by supporting those people in the past who have hurt me. So I try to play nice, to rekindle friendships long gone. I know it is a bad idea, but I do it anyway. 
The thing is, this method may work for other people- being friends with exs or trying to forgive a friend who stabbed you in the back, but it doesn't work for me. My guilt brings me back into the relationship, and then I end up more scarred than before as I'm spit out for not the first, but the second time. But it's so tempting, isn't it? I guess old habits do die hard. I lead myself to believe that I can have another friend in town, or start writing to an old friend, and it will all just resume as before. Well the truth is, it doesn't. Life doesn't work that way. I wish it did, and for those of you who can forget and forgive, well you are better people than I. 
I grew up Catholic, so forgiveness was part of the spiritual regiment with which I am well accustomed.While I attended church when I was younger, I have strayed in my older years. I still consider myself to be religious, I pray and attend mass occasionally. The chapel was always my place of calm in college, and I would often sit in the pews watching the sunlight fade through the stained glass and just think. I haven't been the greatest Catholic of late, especially with all this talk of forgiveness not existing, for which a certain old friend of mine with whom I no longer communicate would shake his head. It isn't that I don't think it exists, it's that I wonder whether I am capable of performing such a heavy task. How do you absolve someone else from his/her sins against you? How do you forgive yourself for your words and actions that have hurt others? 
I can not figure it out. I have claimed to forgive, but then I get hurt again. I ignore, but that hurts as well. Now, I didn't intend for this post to be a lecture or a depressing rant, but I really do grapple with the concept of humanity and our need to hurt and heal. What does an apology really mean? It never erases the hurt. 
Some of my friends have told me that I just need to get over it and move on. I have moved on in a sense, but I recognize that I am a highly emotional person, extremely receptive to love and thus extremely vulnerable to hurt. I am the people pleaser, not so much in that I forget myself, but I like to make sure others are happy. Therefore, I can't simply "let it go" or "get over it." It's just not that simple. Everything that has happened in my life, every person that has entered into it, has a part to play. They are pieces I don't take lightly, and as such, do not discard lightly either. 
So while this post has to end at some point, my emotions do not, my feelings attached to certain people or events do not. They are all a part of me, and while I have physically moved on, I am allowed to mourn the pieces that used to make up my life. For me, I just have to make sure that mourning does not morph into obsessing. There is a fine line between remembering the past and still living in it. 
So I write to you dear readers this morning, an emotional being, vulnerable and full of questions. Maybe some can relate, maybe some have no idea what it is that I am trying to express. I hope my musings are helpful for at least one soul out there. Remember to enjoy your life because it is important. Remember to always remember.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Be Thankful for the Present

Well, all of New England is stuck inside today under massive amounts of snow drifts. I am among the complainers who just wish that spring would arrive and we would be done with this nonsense. I shouldn't complain, the snow is almost over, and I'm not the one stuck in the driveway under eighteen layers of clothing making friends with the snow blower. But seriously, a person can only stand cabin fever for so long. In an age where we have copious amounts of entertainment sources, we still manage to find boredom quite easily. 
However, I should be thankful. I have spent the past two days at my boyfriend's father's house. Not wanting to deal with our drafty apartment and the impending threat of a power outage, we both packed up once work was cancelled and headed to his childhood home. While both of us have been grappling with boredom in a space we can't call our own, it has been nice. There is a wood-burning stove that he has kept burning since yesterday, and we made chicken noodle soup with his father's girlfriend last night. I went to the kitchen this morning to make some coffee and saw five blue jays on the porch, digging for food and fighting with each other. They were beautiful. I love looking out at the birds because they literally flock here- cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, chickadees. It's incredible, and I know my grandmother would have loved it. 
Grandma loved to watch the birds. She used to stand at the kitchen sink and wash dishes, watching the birds at the feeder in the yard. Her hands would be all sudsy as she pointed to a blue jay or a robin, and we'd jump up from eating our lunch to try and see. I thought of that the last time I visited my grandfather. As I was cleaning up the dishes at the sink, I looked out into the dark, imagining a time years ago when I wasn't bothered by the dishes or grown-up thoughts. She would stand at that sink for what seemed like hours, whistling and washing, as we anxiously waited for her to finish and play dominoes with us. I miss those times, I miss her songs, I miss listening to her Big Band CDs as she whistled along until my grandpa turned on the afternoon news. 
You never realize the importance of a moment until it becomes a memory. You never think that the present will become a snapshot to hold on to in the future when you've lost those that surround you. I miss her every day. The few moments I can remember stay with me, ingrained in my head until certain things bring me back to them. Today as I watched the blue jays on the porch, I sighed and wished grandma could have seen them. Maybe she can. So be thankful for the present because you never know which moments will bring you comfort in the future.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Nonexistence of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a funny word. Now readers, please bear with me; I am about to embark upon a rant that I have been building for years, a rant I thought I no longer needed to articulate until now. You see, someone from my past, who I have mentioned before, recently popped up in my community's paper. Now, I did realize that at some point it would happen. I moved here knowing full well that he lived in the same town, but I thought my reaction in seeing him would be different. I thought I would handle it with grace, with a small smile, with a calm and collected manner. Guess again. 
There he is smack dab in the middle of the community section surrounded by a bunch of girls. He is starring as the Prince in the play Cinderella. Isn't that sweet? I know it's petty and stupid of me, but sometimes I wish that the people who cause us the most hurt would just fall in a hole and have only bad things happen to them. Karma needs to be a bitch once in a while, agreed? Okay, now that I have gotten that out of the way, I should probably start preaching forgiveness and love, but the thing is I can't do it. I can not. I tried not to let it bother me, I really did; however, I remained in a sour mood last night and today, despite a scathing entry I wrote in my journal this morning. Then I came home after a busy day to his face in yet another weekly paper that we receive. 
So I'm sitting here wallowing with my glass of wine and can of mixed nuts. Yes, instead of counting my blessings, I'm guzzling fatty foods and feeling sorry for myself. I just don't understand how good things can continue to happen to bad people. I mean he took a lot of my best qualities away from me- my goodness, my naivety, my innocence, and I will always attribute that to him. So I thought I could be mightier-than-thou and forgive him, but it's harder than snapping my fingers and erasing four years of hurt. So how do you do it? How do you forgive? I'm asking, I'm truly at a loss. I can't help in this matter. 
Now, maybe I shouldn't be blogging in this despairing condition, but I think it's important to be real, to be raw, to be vulnerable. I'm sharing this story with the vast Internet, with strangers, with friends, with family, with people who probably know exactly of whom I am speaking. But this experience is about being honest. For me, blogging is about speaking my mind and not being afraid to take criticism from my readers. Writing is about sharing your heart, tapping into emotion, and not pulling back due to fear from those who might make judgments.
You see, the thing is we really can't understand each other's experiences and heartaches because we haven't lived them. We live with the burdens that life has allotted to each of us, and they are all unique and difficult in their own way. While we may empathize or even sympathize, we each experience our own levels of pain, some we can bear, and some we can not. But we write and talk about them in order to come to peace with them, in order to find a network who listens, in order to gain that cliche shoulder to cry on. 
Isn't that what life is all about? Honesty? So I'm being honest with you, dear reader. I was hurt in the past, I buried that hurt and now it's rearing its ugly head. I will deal with it in my own way and get over it until it comes back to haunt me again. Until I completely come to terms with it, I will write and I urge you to do whatever it is that helps you purge yourself of emotion as well, whether it is to paint, kick box, write, draw, work-out. Do the thing that helps you feel more like yourself. After a while the bad thoughts won't plague you, and you can be free, at least for a little while. If you're not free, then you always have someone to turn to... me. I can't say I understand or know what you're going through, but I can listen.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Despite needing to stay away from the intense brightness of my computer screen, I am here writing to you dear readers. I have been struggling with a migraine on and off today, but I had an experience on my drive home from work this afternoon that I swore to myself I would record so that a) I remembered it and b) I don't become a hypocrite, preaching about doing the things our inner creative child tells us to do yet not doing them. So here goes...
I was driving home this evening and staring at the sky. The sun had set only a half hour earlier so despite being almost dark, the sky was still a pale blue where it mixed with the remaining light of the sun. I looked out my driver's side window to see the sliver of a crescent moon. At that moment, everything seemed to collide. I got goosebumps all over as the road seemed to smooth, the sky darkened, and the radio played exactly the words I needed to hear. All I heard was a voice in my head saying, "You're exactly where you need to be right now." And despite the multitude of questions I ask to myself on a daily basis concerning my job, my bills, where I want to be, who I want to be, and what I'm doing with my life, I believed that voice. 
As I continued to sit in silence, I thought of all the people whose voices make up that one thought I had. I know that there are multiple people watching over me. Now, whether you believe in heaven or a higher power is up to you. I can't say to know for sure, but I most certainly believe that there is place from which the loved ones in my life who have passed on sit watching over me. The message I heard came from my grandfather, my nana, my grandma, and possibly others, maybe even God himself. The moment lasted just that, for only a moment, and it was gone. I shed a few tears as my head became delightfully numb, most likely due both to the experience and the migraine which is still brewing.
But I felt it was important to write this down, whether or not you can relate. Have you ever had a moment when everything comes together? You don't know why, and you certainly don't have any of the answers you have been seeking, yet out of nowhere, it smacks you in the face. Every once in a while, for some reason, everything aligns just right so that we can be reminded that we're on the right track. 
I've been questioning a lot of things lately, and I need to remind myself that by letting go and not expecting things, the answers will follow. Even if I'm not sure what those answers are. Even if my moment of clarity is actually quite obscure.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Simplicity Says It All

I am spending this quiet, gloomy Saturday alone. And it's perfect. Now this is not to say that the company I currently keep is boring or annoying or overrated, no. But he was called into work today, and I find myself alone with an attractively vacant apartment full of neglected journals, dirty dishes and a checkbook I haven't balanced in weeks; it is glorious. To any other person, the list I have just created may sound like a bunch of chores, but to me they are challenges that I happily accept. 
I know I have posted before about making time for yourself in a relationship or even in your own busy life. This morning alone has given me the time and space to do exactly that. I was able to sleep in, journal with a mug of coffee in hand (a practice that has become foreign to me since taking a new full-time job two months ago), take a long shower, and embrace the pile of dirty dishes with a smile... all before noon! I know I am forever preaching about alone time, but when you live with someone, be it a significant other or an entire family, this point often becomes void. Both my boyfriend and I struggle to find things to do on our own because when you live in a tiny one bedroom apartment, it becomes exactly that- a struggle. 
Lately, I have become so wrapped up in the "daily grind," I'm too tired to invest any quality time in myself. It is sleep, work, eat, repeat times five. Then the weekends become a time devoted to chores- doing laundry, washing dishes, grocery shopping. It never ends. Where is the alone time? Where is the relaxation? Sure, there is time to watch television and hang out with friends, but it often becomes lost in the other things that have to get done before Monday hits and work begins for the five day stretch. We never relax. We never allow ourselves to have a break, to take a vacation. We live in a society that is all work and no play. For me, this means I give up my writing, my creativity. It becomes stifled in the lists I make of chores to do and people to see. It remains dormant, trying to grab my attention on my rides to work alone in the car or in the shower when I stop to think for a few minutes. I push my creative thoughts aside, forgetting the lines of poetry I had been writing or the idea for a blog post I had been formulating, and instead I merely walk through the front door of the office or get out of the shower, dry off and plop myself in front of the television. 
But we have to acknowledge our creative process, have to recognize what it desperately is trying to tell us, and do it. Often on my rides to work I think "I would love to go for a long walk right now while the sun is still low in the sky and the snow is sparkling," but I never get up early enough to do so. Often when I'm on the couch watching television or standing at the sink tackling the infamous pile of dishes, I think of the beginning to a new poem or remember a dream I wanted to journal about, but I don't make the effort to stop what I'm doing and write. I'm working on finding the motivation to accomplish the tasks my inner creative child is pleading with me to tackle. Several minutes ago as I was finishing up my shower, I had the thought for this blog post. I made myself come straight to the computer afterwards and start typing; and believe me, putting on my sweatpants and watching another episode of Parenthood sounded a lot better after my fleeting thoughts of writing. 
So I urge you to listen. Listen to your thoughts, your dreams, the words your subconscious often repeats to you on a daily basis, and do them. I know that it is a lot easier said than done. Nine times out of ten, I choose to sit on the couch and pick up the remote instead of sitting at the desk and picking up the pen. But I wrote in my journal for the first time this year this morning, and it made me happy. It made me miss the look and feel of my words pressed against the page, glinting ever so slightly between the light blue lines. It made me miss the moment of peace I often have with the warmth of my mug between my fingers, sipping my morning cup of coffee, and just writing, just being. Often simplicity is underrated in our busy lives; I ask you not to let it be.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It's Slump Season... What are you going to do about it?

January is my slump month. Actually, I should clarify... Winter is my slump season. Right after New Years is when it begins for me- the binge eating, the lazy days, the lack of motivation, the need to stay glued to the couch with remote in hand. I think winter is the downfall for a lot of people. Others have made fun of me for saying so, but I swear I have that Seasonal Affective Disorder. I go into a hibernation coma and wait not so patiently for spring to arrive and along with it my motivation. Well this year, I refuse to do so. I am rolling my eyes at myself right now because I know I've said these words in years before, but this time I have a little motivator. I stepped on a scale. 
Now, I'm not massively overweight or utterly immobile from lack of incentives, but stepping on the scale last night confirmed my greatest fear- I've gained almost ten pounds from last year. I have done a fantastic job of avoiding scales- pretending they don't exist, running away from them, admitting that the camera really does add ten pounds, but last night I stood on one and I was not happy with the number I saw. Like most of the population, some of my standing New Years resolutions have been to eat better and exercise. Most years I fail quite miserably. 
It was easier in high school when I was taking and teaching martial arts. I didn't have to think, the weight just stayed off and was replaced by constant muscle. However, when college came along, scheduled exercise went out the window to be replaced by frantic late nights, stressful study sessions, late night interventions, all of which were accompanied with loaded nachos and mocha frappes. After college, I briefly joined a zumba class for a summer but failed to keep that commitment due to my varying schedule. Instead, I got my mom hooked and now she is the most fit she's ever been. I am so proud of her for that, but in return I get to wear all of the clothes in which she now seemingly swims.
I guess I've gotten side tracked in my original mission statement here, but the point is that I have to do better this year. One of my coworkers just downloaded a new fitness app on her phone and is now tracking calories and eating better. Yesterday afternoon, I did the same thing, and after an amazingly satisfying yet simultaneously fattening meal at Friendly's last night, I have decided that today marks the turning point. I know it won't be easy; I have the world's largest sweet tooth thanks to my mother, the world's tiniest person, but I have to give it a shot. I think the only way to kick my yearly winter depression is to actually do something about it. I know that I will be giving in to bad TV at least once in a while, but if I can occupy my days with something other than lounging and snacking, I think it will only be beneficial to me. 
I made a promise to myself in my last post that writing would be more of a priority this year and I believe that with eating right, exercising, and staying away from the television, I can become more focused on this blog and on writing in general. My goals will continue to remain untouched unless I start making strides toward accomplishing them. The only person who can do that is me. It starts with step one. Are you in?