Headed Home

As soon as I publicly voiced my plans on moving back home I had quite a number of people reach out to me questioning why.

“Why would you ever come back here? Why leave Florida to come back to this?”

It’s a natural question especially coming from those who have never left home. For someone like me who has been away from home for 12 years now, the question is a bit silly. My answer is simple. I’m ready to head back home.

I first left NJ when I was 20 years old. I had just gone through a very painful breakup. I was tired of my town and all of the surrounding areas. I had been born and raised in the same area and although I knew quite a few people from all sorts of different backgrounds, I was bored of it all. There was an entire world to see. I would be damned if I where to just stay in one spot my whole life.

I took off to Florida in February of 2008 and I have pretty much lived in every major area of South Florida except for Miami. I also moved within that time to California and lived there for exactly one year before heading back to the East Coast with my tail between my legs (you may have won the battle but not yet the war CA! *shakes fist dramatically in the air*).

I have experienced so many different kinds of adventures, and been on so many journeys, some bad, most good. I’ve gone through many lessons and although life lessons will never cease to exist, every single one I’ve been through up until now has helped me discover who I am. I believe that without discovering and learning about who we really are, not just as people, but also as individual souls, without knowing that you can’t possibly enjoy life for what it really is. How can you enjoy it if you are always questioning yourself, your likes, your dislikes, your boundaries, your desires? How can you create your reality when you barely know your dreams? Not society’s, not your family’s, but your own. Moments of introspection and self-discovery are key to experiencing and living life in the best way we can for ourselves.

I once left home because I was tired of being around the same old, to learn more about myself, and to see what I was capable of. Now I go home because I’m ready to be around all those that know me and love me for me and always have even before I truly knew myself. I am ready to be around familiar surroundings. I can take what I’ve learned about myself and apply it to my everyday life and do something special with with it alongside of the support and love of my family and friends.

I am running towards what I once ran away from. Although I will never lose my itch to discover, that is what traveling is made for. I will always be nomadic. It is in my blood. My move back home may not even be forever, who knows!? I, however, do know that home is where the heart is and I’m headed on back.

Unexpected Unpleasantries

Try as you might to avoid certain headaches in life, it is almost certain that your plans to do so may fall short or, simply put, may not go according to plan at all.

One of the many reasons I have chosen to not have children is because I am selfish and other than my own personal issues and struggles (trust me I have many) I do not feel like I’d like to add anymore challenges to the mix. Yet, just because I have decided to refrain from bringing into this world a nondetachable relationship (because I don’t care what anyone says, children are for life) that doesn’t mean that those that are already a part of my life won’t bring in moments of turmoil or heartache. Now matter how cold and selfish I may seem sometimes, the ones I have come to love unconditionally can always count on me for help.

I recently had a friend fall from the high ranks of sobriety down into the pits of darkness. It only took a few months for his life to snake out of control and in that time it began to affect mine. It’s crazy how the mind works because I knew the signs, I had observed the escalation for months prior to me finding out for sure that they had been using again, but still, I didn’t want to believe. Prior to this I had just ended an unhealthy relationship due to the person’s substance abuse problems. After watching what I had gone through with that individual there was no way my friend was about to put me in the same position, right? WRONG. It’s in the nature of this ugly beast to muddy up reasoning, rational, and selflessness. The person tainted by this monster  is no longer the considerate loving soul you once knew but instead the shell and the soul of a stranger is what’s left. My life was full of chaos and uncertainty. I was constantly wondering if the next time I’d see this person if they would be alive or dead. It was heartbreaking for me to have lost such a confidant and friend. The person who was always there for me in the last couple years was no where to be found and instead this unco was left in his place.  Stealing, lying, and self-destruction were now what this individual was into and although I tend to avoid all unhappy and unhealthy situations, this is not one I could just turn and walk away from. How could I? At the end of the day, it wasn’t me they were truly hurting. In fact, their embarrassment and humiliation as to what they were up to lead to him completely avoid me so as to not hurt me any further than our lost friendship had already done.

To make what could very well turn into a super long story short, I recently took my dear friend to a detox center. After a few days he will be moved to an inpatient facility for some well needed addiction treatment and mental health care. It’s been a few days and it is only just now that I realize how much strain this was putting me through emotionally.

Today, I laugh at myself at how naive I was to believe that I am somehow am able to control what crisis I will and will not go through in life. Sure, you can try  to reduce the amount of exposure you have to certain situations. For instance not walking alone in the city at night may reduce the number of chances you have of getting robbed. To say that you won’t form bonds with people in order to avoid unpleasantries in life is delusional. It is my strong opinion that if life wants you to go through a difficult ordeal of any sort, try as you might, you will go through it. These are the life lessons that are meant to help us grow and learn. These moments truly do help us to evolve into much better, stronger, and wiser people. Watching them go through their own struggle and me having to learn how to cope with the situation has allowed me take a look at my own life introspectively.  The only thing that we can truly count on is that the lessons of life will keep on coming, there is no dodging it, and it is up to us how much we take away from it.

Laundry Mat Lemonade

“School bus yellow” is the color of the chairs that line the windows at the laundry mat I go to. They remind me of subway seats except a bit narrower yet, I don’t find them uncomfortable. I sat and read a bit to pass the time and to be honest it was one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had in a while.

I am a bit weird, finding pleasure in the most dull activities. My days spent at the laundry mat are an example of this. The sound of the spin cycle swooshing its contents around cradle my senses. The smell of detergent mixed with the warm air expelled from the dryers amplify the feel of comfort. The soft feel of the newly dried clothes when folding it into piles to be put away at a later date (because I’m not sure why it takes me days to put away my clothes). I find all of that so soothing to me. Sure, going to the laundry mat can take away from the relaxing bit of your time off if you let it, but I try to think of what many people would find annoying as positives.

Yes, it could get crowded with all sorts of characters, and yes you may have to wait for machines, or make small talk with a stranger. Those are all still “not-so-bad” kinds of situations. Yes, you’re hauling your dirty laundry around, getting more exercise than you had hoped for in the process. Still, not-so-bad kind of a situation. And yes, you may lose a sock, a button, or a set of your favorite pillow cases (true story) but doesn’t that happen to you anyways?

I observe. I write. I read. I take moments to enjoy how different it feels to be at the laundry mat. I look at others, be it employees or patrons, and I try to create enchanted lives for them. I may even daydream and create an enchanted life of my own.

No one ideally wakes up with the need and want of spending time at the laundry mat, but sometimes life will throw you a lemon. Don’t just stare at itor make that same old, same old lemonade. Observe it from a different angle and see what else you can make of it.

Out With The Old

It has been months since I’ve posted anything of importance on my page. I’ve been asked by people if I’m okay, if I’ve been reconsidering writing, if I’ve lost myself or my creativity for ideas. They’re all legitimate questions, I guess, for those who don’t really know me. Writing will forever be my passion and it will forever be the one thing I strive to do with my life. I will say that in the last 6 months I feel as though the Universe has been purging my life of any thing that is either holding me back or trying to guide me into a wrong direction, a direction that really isn’t where I want my life to go. Moments like these of course impact my writing and it can even lead me to going into hiding at which then any writing I do is all personal and away from public eyes.

These past six months I have been able to sift through some ideas I had been playing around with for quite sometime. I have also been becoming more grounded in the ways of how I want to be living my life; ways that best fit me and who I am as an individual, as opposed to what society may see fit for me. I have become prouder of who I am as a person and in the decisions I have made in my life. I have noticed the increase in my inner strength and courage, and have been an active witness to what a woman I have slowly become. There are aspects of my life that of course need improvement. That is obviously something that will always be a part of life, the need of improvement for mind, body and soul.

One very new self-revelation that I have come across is the the level of embracing who I am as an individual and wholeheartedly loving the being who is me. To me this is what matters above all else because this level of self love and acceptance fuels everything else. It’s what keeps the motivation going and the strength to always achieve the things that make you truly happy. Along with positive self-worth comes the knowledge of knowing that you do deserve happiness and all good things that life has to offer you.

Little by little I have been approaching a life that embraces more minimalism when it comes to the materialistic and it has in turn enriched my life in so many other ways, more valuable ways. Stress and Anxiety rarely live here anymore. Whenever I feel a hint of either, I dismiss it in my own way, be it by meditation, by simple positive thinking, whatever it is that I choose to help ease any anxiousness or stress. I feel as though I have begun to really believe the saying, “every problem has a solution”, because lately no problem seems too much to handle. I feel like after years of preparing myself mentally, I have finally gotten to that point in which I can really take a look at situations objectively and understand. I may not have the answers to why, when, where, how… the understanding comes with the knowledge of knowing that some things I cannot change yet I can still go with the flow of life and allow for certain things to handle themselves.

I’ve got a lot of “newness” coming into my life. After months of breaking down an old foundation and getting rid of the past, the old, and everything that no longer serves me, it is now time for the rebuild. I have so much more creativity due to this newness it’s time to give back, because with new opportunities, new adventures, a new way of living comes new stories, new troubles that will arise that I will find solutions to and then will later be able to give my own advice on.

There is an excitement that I haven’t felt in quite a long time and I embrace everything that is coming in to my world for the first time.

A Helpful Green Thumb

Emotionally draining, that’s how I would describe the last few weeks of my life. Not necessarily in a bad way but still draining none the less. I woke up this morning feeling slightly depressed and after moping around for the first couple of hours after waking up, I decided to try and snap myself out of my funk.

I had a few materials left over from a wedding project I had completed over the weekend and decided to put them to use in hopes of making myself feel better. I had a left over Rosemary plant, a mason jar, rocks, and potting soil. I layered the bottom of the mason jar with the small rock and then poured in some potting soil over the top . Next, I removed the Rosemary plant from its container gently shaking loose the roots. I then placed the plant inside the jar and packed it in using more potting soil. I added little bit of water and presto! Not only did I have a cute Rosemary plant but I also felt so much better.

I am unsure of when during the process the smile had appeared but either way, I am grateful for it. As I look at this little plant sitting on my bedroom window sill I can’t help but feel the warm feeling of joy in the pit of my chest. With just the small action of re-potting this tiny herb, it had instantly given back so much more. Just another way of  Life reminding us to simply try to find joy in all of its simplicities.

 

Contending With Honesty

My relationship with honesty has always been irregular.

As a kid, I would make up stories even about the most typical parts of my life. I had my reasons, though. It wasn’t because I loved lying. I used to hate to think about it as lying. I chose to think of it as storytelling. I told stories to fit in with the crowd. I used to think that all the kids I met had cool lives. I wanted a cool life too and so I would spruce up certain things about mine just to make me feel like I was like them.

I did eventually grow out of it. It was exhausting, not only portraying someone that you’re not, but it was hard to realize that others would in turn read me wrong. I felt like no one really knew me, let alone understood me, and how could they? I wasn’t giving anyone the real version of me. As I got into high school being honest soon started to become my new addiction. So much so, that I became brutally honest. That began a totally new battle. Instead of before when my battle with honesty seemed more internal, now it was starting to become a more physical battle with others.

I became explosive with my honesty. If I was feeling a certain way about something, I was letting you know whether you wanted to listen or not. There was no sugar coating anything. What for? To add confusion? To allow someone to believe that things were one way when in reality it wasn’t, or to soften the blow? I felt as though that was all wasting time and why do that? Arguments with people would ensue, be it with friends or family. Then that too started to become exhausting.

It wasn’t until my 20’s, once I moved away from home and began to really look into my self, that I began looking at life and how to handle it differently. Soul searching provided me with a different view on how to approach certain aspects of life, especially that of being honest. I learned that it was important to share your thoughts and your true feelings with others so that there would less confusion and more understanding. It was OK to be brutal but just as easily OK to soften the blows, and that there was a time and place. Yet, since then I have come to understand that I now have a new hill to climb. I now struggle with the patience that must be had when it comes to others and their understanding of honesty.

To me, I see honesty as a privilege that we should be allowed to have. It should be our prerogative, as human beings, to want to express it as well as be able to receive it. The thing is, people only see life and everything about it, from their own perspective. Human beings are so self absorbed in their own lives and feelings towards it, that they tend to forget that others that they are sharing this existence with my have a different spin on what they share as the same situation. That’s how feelings get dismissed and how lives become discounted and discredited.

Take, for instance, a “break up” (if we could even call it that) I had about 4 years ago. A good friend of mine and I were becoming reacquainted again after my move back from CA. We began going on dates here and there, which later then turned into midnight escapades. It was fun but only until I started realizing that he was falling hard and I, simply put, just wanted to have fun. I was honest and explained that him and I were on two different planes in life and although everything was fine, I simply did not see him “in that way” and felt that it would only be right to end what was going on. It was difficult for me to do because I knew of how he felt for me. Who wants to break someone’s heart? Yet, I couldn’t lead him on or waste his time nor mine. His reaction wasn’t good. He hated me of course and called me every name in the book. He went on to talk shit about me to all his friends, spewing all sorts of negativity to anyone who would listen. I was in shock. I knew he was going to be upset, but to the point that he had spoken so ill of me? I was in shock because I hadn’t understood what he had wanted me to do. Had he wanted me to lie to him and put up a charade all so his ego’s needs could be met? It took so much patience to not lash out the way I wanted to about that situation and that’s only one example. I see it everyday with the people I come in contact with , the battles we all have with honesty and all the internal and external struggles it comes with. So are battles with honesty that irregular then? Or is it actually more common than we considering human beings and how we think, which is in mainly an introspectively self absorbed way.

I place a high value on honesty when it comes to terms with myself and others. I choose to be a woman of integrity and want for my character to always be able to be described as open, honest, and approachable. I want to be receptive because if I want to be heard, I too need to listen in order to understand.

I guess maybe these aren’t even battles with honesty at all. It’s just learning life.

3 Days In

I have officially been 32 for three days now and although I have always known that I would love my 30’s, I didn’t think I was going to do so as much I do.

I feel powerful and assertive. I am truly comfortable in my own skin. I love that even though I may not know exactly what I want in all aspects of my life, I do know exactly what I want (or don’t want) right now.

“Do I want to pick up that work shift tonight? Nope. Do I want to date seriously right now? Nope. Do I feel like going on a random adventure to wherever the heck I want? Hell Yes! Am I going to wait around for others in order to realize my dreams? Nope.”

I’m not concerned about others and their role in my life as I once to be. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I care about those that are in my life. I am nice to strangers. I love and cherish humanity. All I’m saying is that I cannot and will not place my life and my potential level of happiness in their hands.

Most of my early to mid 20’s were lived thinking that I knew so much when in actuality I knew nothing at all. Not only that but I was constantly making decisions based on other’s wants and needs instead of my own. Back then I had  no clue what I truly wanted. Once I was humbled and began to realize all of this, I was opened to a deeper sense of self-discovery. My late 20’s was the beginning stage of my core self-discovery, because let us be real, life is ultimately about self-discovery. I discovered my core “self” and what it needed and wanted. These past couple of years of entering and beginning my 30’s has been a time of implementation.  I have been working on better decision making, and when I say “better” I mean better for myself, as well as taking steps towards goals I have always wanted to keep for myself.

Now I can say that my ways have changed just like the taste buds on a tongue’s pallet. My inner child lives on but its thinking has gotten a bit more wise; a bit more acquired. I look forward to all the happiness I’m going to be bringing upon myself. I’ve got this new zest to life and it’s slowly awakening my life’s purpose.