I love contemporary art. I love the way people can capture a mood through items we so often see in the everyday, yet make them profound, real, and tangible somehow. I love the way artists convey such deep meaning through light, color, even sound. And I love the feeling I get when I walk into an exhibit and hear only silence around me, save for the intake of breath as everyone experiences what is in front of them—transfixed, almost as if transported to another universe.
I’ve spent an exorbitant amount of time the last few weeks worrying—about my living situation, about my relationship and the newfound changes to come, about my family and some things they’re going through right now, about one of my dear friend’s health, about my own personal life changes (in regard to my business, my future, etc.)—and in all these stresses and changes, I’ve continually disregarded one important thing:
I am not in control. Continue reading
I know the way you feel. I know you’ve spent countless days just trying to quiet your mind, endless nights awake staring at the ceiling, wondering how, wondering why. I know you’ve beat yourself up, replaying moments over and over, questioning whether you were the one to blame. I know you’ve reached for your phone, dialed the number, and then hung up, afraid even to hear the sound of your own voice.
I know you’ve spent so long just trying to build yourself back, to erase the memory of the two of you, arm in arm. I know you’ve ached over the last image you have of him—his car headlights fading in the distance and you standing there, tears making a lump in your throat.
I know you’re broken, but I don’t know the whys, the hows, the answers. I don’t know whether you were innocent, or played a major role in what happened. I don’t know if you tried to fight back, or reluctantly watched as he made his exit from your heart. I don’t know how you’ve healed thus far, or if you’ve even been able to let go at all.
But I know that not every man will break you like the last one did. Continue reading
I still remember the bright glimmer of the Lake Tahoe water reflected back with a shine in the whites of our eyes. We were sharing the same extra-large towel, two bodies only having met a few hours earlier, connected under that warm summer sun. This moment I remember so vividly—his long hair tossed over broad, tanned shoulders; the light warming our faces; the sound of his laugh. It was love, yes, but in the strangest way. It wasn’t that I wanted to lean in and kiss him, to draw his body closer to mine. It’s that I wanted to hold his heart in my hands, lay there and just listen to the sound of his voice.
I loved who he was as a person, I loved his soul.
He had turned to me, pouring stories of his past. I could tell by the way his eyes looked away over the water that he was heartbroken—he didn’t have to say her name for me to know.
He was dying—epilepsy—every seizure taking his strength, but not his heart.
I watched the way his mouth moved, comforted by the sound. And in that moment, I did not have words. I just listened. Realizing that he, even with his numbered days, knew far more about living than I did. Continue reading
1. You speak with your hands.
Whether you’re telling a story, giving a speech, or even talking on the phone, you have the tendency to speak with your hands—throwing them in the air, gesturing to people, using them for dramatic effect—hand movements come naturally (and often unintentionally) to you. To be honest, in general you have a tough time staying still.
2. You have a lot of feelings (deep ones).
You can’t help but want to hear someone’s story, to listen to them pour their heart out, to want to ask questions and get to know someone on a deeper level. You’ve been programmed to be empathetic and invested in the world and people around you. It’s just who you are. Continue reading
There is a baby I am nannying laying in my arms, eyes half-closed, fighting sleep. There are dishes in my sink back home. There are piles of paperwork I have to go through on the kitchen table, pamphlets I have to read, websites I have to study to learn how to start my business from the ground up. There are notifications buzzing on my phone, friends I need to call back, family members I need to email back today. There are six different to-do lists, each three pages or more long.
There are not enough hours in the day.
And yet, as I rock this little baby, hear the hum of a lawn mower across the street and the birds floating and singing lazily in the cloudy sky, I know one thing—no matter the items on my lists, the stress I’m feeling, the weight the world sometimes puts on my shoulders—I am blessed. I am happy. And I am thankful.
I am thankful for moments like this—when nothing goes my way, when I can’t catch a break, when all I need is a few more hours to breathe, to sleep, to think, to be still. I am thankful for the baby that cries, teaching me to slow down, to be patient even when that’s the last thing I want to be. I am thankful for the moments of peace where I can grab a quick drink and write from the heart. I am thankful to be here, even when ‘here’ is a little helter-skelter.
Right now, even though my heart is beating far too fast, even though everything feels like a landslide ready to fall with the tiniest, pebble-sized movement, I know I still have so much to be grateful for.
One of my favorite slogans is ‘be better, not bitter’ because it’s a constant reminder that when we foster negativity within our hearts, it only spirals us down instead of up.
When someone wrongs us, the easiest thing to do is to be angry, to feel spiteful, to want to seek revenge. It’s hard to let go, to breathe, to forgive, to move on. But when we choose to do those positive things, we bring and build light within our hearts and rise above.
Forgiveness is powerful. When we choose to forgive, we are choosing to not let the circumstances of this life define us. We are choosing to grow beyond pain. We are choosing to remove toxicity and bring ourselves onto productive, empowering paths, rather than ones that destroy our hearts, leaving us empty and unfulfilled.
How many times have you tried to seek revenge and only ended up feeling immature? How many times have you expended time and emotion on your anger, only to leave yourself exhausted and worse off than before?
‘Be better, not bitter.’ This means that you are choosing to better yourself, to better your situation, to better your next step instead of wasting energy on ‘getting back’ at someone.
When you choose to be better you choose to let someone’s words roll off your back. You choose to acknowledge the humanness within all of us, and though that doesn’t necessarily lessen the pain this person has caused you, you accept mistakes and sinfulness as a part of this world and don’t let what someone says, does, or implies about you ruin the way you see yourself.
When you choose to be better, you choose to forgive because forgiveness sets yourself free. Continue reading
I have the cutest couple friends. They’ve been married just shy of eleven years, together even longer, but what I love about them is their energy. It’s so obvious that they feed off one another, that they bring one another light. So often I’ll catch myself watching them out of the corner of my eye; they’ll be laughing over silly jokes, playfully punching one another’s arms, daring each other to do something stupid in the middle of the coffee shop. Like children, blissful and innocent.
I can’t help but smile when I’m around them—the simple purity in how they love warms my heart every time. He is always asking how she is, especially now that she’s pregnant. He’s her caretaker and she’s always considering what he’s thinking, how he’s feeling—they are always looking out for one another, working as a unit, never making decisions without consulting one another.
This is the kind of love we all search for.
After being around them the other night, taking in the enormity of her belly, the way she was still her silly self even with her back aching, and how he was so protective, his arm around her shoulders making sure she was happy, I started to think about the dynamics of relationships. I started to think about the dynamic of my own relationships, and of the strength within my heart.
I don’t think I’ve ever really learned how to fully surrender to someone in love. Continue reading
Have you ever felt like your life was on fast forward, hurrying to get to the next thing, next day? Like there’s something missing, something you’re so close to grabbing within your palms? Like you’re almost, but not quite there?
What is that thing? Is it success or money? A job you love? A person you’ve been longing for? Is it the life you’ve always wanted, just slightly out of grasp?
Are you going after something at all, or is this just a relentless pursuit of more? Continue reading
When I think of home, I think of summer nights on the back patio, gnats hanging still and heavy in the humid air. I think of the yellow bodies of lightning bugs like mini fireworks in the sky. I think of the smell of my father’s grill, of hotdogs wrapped in bacon and the first icy sips of lemonade leaving a sour-sweetness on my tongue.
I think of the way this all felt comfortable, slow. Continue reading