Thrifty Messages

There is something nostalgic and slightly romantic about buying used books from a thrift store. I can only imagine if those books could tell a story beyond the one it holds within its pages what it would tell. Details of its journey, and the hands it has been held in. Had it ever been forgotten by its owner and picked up by someone random? Had it been treasured and adored, until the day that was no longer the case, or had it been ignored, left to collect dust in the back of someone’s shelf?

No matter how the tale went, these books have made their way to the donation shelves and into my hands. In the beginning I always leaf through the pages and look for the dedications, scribbled notes, or highlighted sections. It is almost like getting a glimpse into a phase of a stranger’s life. A stranger whose book made its way into my life, a confirmation that there is someone out there who had these pages in common with me. I read the messages they leave to their loved ones, always uplifting, empowering, full of love and best wishes. I try to imagine the sender taking a second to jot it down, and its receiver reading, holding it to their hearts with excitement and comfort. Scrawled messages, questions, moments of enlightenment fill in the margins, allowing me access to their thoughts, thoughts now frozen in time.

I don’t always make it out to the thrift stores as much as I used to, which saddens me since it is half of the fun when selecting these little gems. When I discovered Thriftbooks.com that became a game changer. For the most part, if I’m looking for something in particular, I will usually find it on there. Prices are very similar to those you’ll encounter at your typical thrift store. However, the newer the book (you will find new books sold on here) and depending on whether or not it’s in demand, you can find yourself paying full price for certain reads. With every purchase you make you get points that allow for free book purchases later on.

My latest purchase included 5 books, two on Yoga and the other three are self-help books on Leadership and Business management. I’ve been having trouble with my work team lately and so I decided to purchase a couple of books to see what I can learn and in turn, improve on. As I opened up the first book, “Leadership and The One Minuet Man” there written in black ink, barely legible, was a message:

Dear Malcolm,

Thanks for everything you have done for me, more than you will ever know. Keep inspiring others. Keep inspiring yourself. Have a great year!

George

It was a wonderful message and maybe even more inspiring than what the author of the book had to share with me. So, as to not let it die, I did what any other person would do. I stole it for myself for it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Time Taken

Hyattis. It’s what my writing took for what has now seemed to be like an insurmountable amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, I have continued to journal. I couldn’t imagine not being able to purge all these thoughts and experiences on to paper. I’d burst. The break I took was more from sharing.

So much has gone on that I just couldn’t keep up so I didn’t. At a moment’s notice, I began feeling that my cup was running low and when that happens, I am of no use to anyone, not even to myself. Thoughts of life and what was going on in the world around me began to jumble up. One day, moment, second I would be feeling one way. The next day, moment, second I was feeling the complete opposite. I felt myself begin to get carried away with the crowd. That’s when I recognized that changes had to be made.

The thing with change is that although, yes, change does not happen overnight, once the ball gets rolling, it gets rolling rather quickly. Once you begin to address the thought of, “a change should be made”, it isn’t long before the nagging sensation begins to follow you. Those little words will dance around your mind creating a new dynamic between you and life. You will slowly start to pick up on small instances of unease in stitutions that before you wouldn’t have even thought twice about.

Change is what began speaking to me a few months back. I noticed a few aspects of my life that I wanted to make better. There were habits that needed breaking and plans to be laid out, and so that’s what I did. Without making it seem like a rigid gameplan, and, as to not shock my system, I began making small changes in how I went on with my days here in there.

I started off with breaking the habit of watching the news every morning while I had my coffee. It’s funny because growing up I always hated the news. It was something I found depressing, stuffy, and at times comedically dark and dramatic. As I got older I wanted to become more informed on what was going on around me me, and now being an adult it just seemed like the adult thing to do. Now I realize the havoc believing in what the media is telling us is creating within our society. No thank you. So I turned off the news and instead began my mornings with a quick chapter from that book that “I never have time to read”. During the warmer months I would sit outside taking in those very few moments of my day. Currently, I give myself an extra moment in bed under my covers manifesting the day ahead of me while other times I take advantage and journal a bit extra.

Yoga soon incorporated itself into my life. A new friend that I made over the summer extended an invite to attend the studio she practiced in. I had just begun a new mantra of saying “yes” to things more and so I accepted the invitation. From the moment I took my 1st class I was hooked. I found what my body and soul needed and I now go to practice about 3 to 4 times a week. I’m at the point in my practice that if I don’t go… The guilt eats me alive.

Anyone that works out or has some sort of active lifestyle will tell you that once you begin to move and actively workout your body, you’ll soon begin to actively care about what you put into it. If you would have told me 6 months ago that I’d be making the nutritional choices that I’m making today, I would have looked at you as if you’d gone mad. In all actuality I was never one to go off the deep end when eating but I also didn’t restrain myself much either. I am a fiend for anything sweet. Pizza and pasta are my favorite dinners. No, I won’t turn away fruit or salad but I usually turn to those out of guilt. With yoga, as my body grew stronger and became more active I instinctively turned to healthier foods. It wasn’t long before I actually felt the difference that living actively and eating healthy we’re leading me to feel.

As of recent I have decided to take a month off of drinking. Apparently “dry January” is actually a thing but this isn’t some sort of fad or trend train that I’m hopping on to. It’s been an idea that’s been floating around my mind for quite some time now. So why now? Well, I’m going to answer honestly when I say that it’s not something that I am strong enough to do on my own. I’ve got a couple of other people in my immediate circle there are also going for it. To have their support and the knowledge that I am not having to struggle alone is great. Out of all the new changes to come about in my life, this one has been by far the most challenging. I have come to realize how often I’d make an excuse to have a drink. I was drinking on a day-to-day basis. There were multiple instances that I’d even have a drink because everyone else was drinking, not because I wanted to. Or maybe I’d find myself having a drink because the clock ticked that it was just about that time.

Without making it feel like a chore I took control of my life. I took some time and with that time change came with it. If I had to state what my end goal is, it would obviously be to ultimately feel better. Yet the end goal isn’t what I’m focusing on. What I am fixated on is the Now, the Process, the immediate obstacle I’m trying to overcome right now. How do I make today great? By making conscious choices to feel happy and live healthy in the right now. The world of change has opened up a whole new feeling of freedom and it’s brought me back here. It’s brought me back to that feeling of wanting to share again . My cup is full and I once again am ready to share what’s in it.

That Little Prince

It’s summer but I spring cleaned my room this week, for what seemed to be the umpteenth time. It’s not that I’m messy. It’s a controlled chaos. Sometimes that controlled chaos gets a little frizzy, so I have to come around and tame it a bit, just like everyone else. Actually, not like anyone else but that’s not why I’m here. I’m here because during this so-called “spring cleaning” I stumbled across an item that sent me reeling back to a time that once was. It was a book gifted to me by someone special in the days before me moving back home from CA. The book is “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupery.

The book came to me initially by recommendation. I was at my local library at the time scanning isles, nothing really jumping out at me. One thing about me and my trips to the library, which could be either good or bad or neither really, is the fact that I never went in with a plan as to what I was looking for. I would just walk up and down the row of bookshelves, with hopes that the right one would jump out at me. On one of my trips searching for that right book, I accidentally (on purpose) bumped into my crush. Now, this tall glass of water worked there restocking books. By this point we hadn’t exchanged more than a few words here and there, and definitely some stolen glances. This particular day was the beginning of something special. After apologizing for the minor collision, he asked me if there was something in particular that I was looking for. I told him the method to my madness and in turn he asked me if I was open to any recommendations. I, of course, accepted. I would have accepted almost anything by him at this point, and that’s when he mentioned The Little Prince.

Typically, I do not judge a book by it’s cover, not in any aspect that you can apply that phrase to. Taking a look at the font cover of this one, however, made me doubt my desire to read this book. It did look a bit adolescent to me, but what did I expect when taking recommendations from an almost complete stranger. That same night I sat on my bed and began reading, and by early the next morning I was finished. I closed the book amazed at the fact that something so small could pack such a big punch.

I walked to the library the next day, all the while planning on how I was going to walk up to him directly, without any pretenses other than to thank him for the recommendation. It’s not everyday that someone impresses me with a good read, and so I walk in. I dropped the book into the “return” bin and scanned the library, wondering where he could be. Maybe in the non-fiction, historical section? Religious or Spiritual isle? Or maybe in the cooking section? I couldn’t find him, but it didn’t take him long to find me.

He asked me out on a date that day. I was over the moon. I had always thought I would meet the man of my dreams in a library, and walah! It happened. From the night of our first date, we were inseparable. I found a lot of joy sharing my time with him, as we both learned and experience so much with one another. The tragedy didn’t come for months later, but it was one that I saw coming, hoping in silence that it wouldn’t. I was to return back home after a year of not being able to get my life together there. It had all been so hard, much harder than I ever thought it would be. Jobs were scarce and those that I was able to obtain never lasted long. They were either temp jobs or paid peanuts. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how little I tried to eat, no matter the times I would sit in my home with all the lights off, trying to conserve any bit of electricity I could, I never had enough money to cover life in CA. I had two major heartbreaks that year, leaving CA, and leaving him behind.

After having to deliver the news of my return home, the weeks following that were filled with happiness draped in a woven quilt of sadness. We tried to make sure that we relished in every moment that we spent together, but as the days would turn into darkness, the feeling became more desolate, each day being one day closer to that of me leaving.

On the last day that we spent together, we did nothing remarkably special. We went to our favorite burger joint, the one where we went to the day after I first spent the night and morning with him. We rode around the neighborhoods in his El Camino, taking in the last bit of Cali streets I would be seeing in what I knew would be a long time, if ever again. That night we hung out in his bedroom, and after a while of listening to music and reminiscing of our times together he mentioned that he had something for me. I closed my eyes and once reopened, there in front of me, was the library copy of The Little Prince.

Fast forward to earlier this week when I was cleaning out my room, I began dusting the books that lined the walls of my bedroom. Dusting was something that I hadn’t done the last time I cleaned, which is probably why I hadn’t noticed the book there before. The moment I saw it and picked it up, my heart skipped a beat and slightly sunk. So many memories resurfacing, pulling at my heart, instances that I had thought I tucked away so many years ago. I brushed of the dusty cover and opened the book, and there on the inside cover was the quote…

“But she in herself is more important than all of you because she is the one I watered. Because she is the one I put a glass dome. Because she is the one I sheltered behind a screen. Because it is for her that I killed caterpillars (all except for two or three who were to become butterflies). Because she is the one I have listened to, complaining, or boasting, or sometimes when she says nothing. Because she is my rose.”

Immediately after reading this, I felt almost every emotion one can feel. Happiness and sadness. Anger. Guilt. After leaving CA, it wasn’t long when I had slowly started to cease communication with him. I had been depressed. I felt as though CA was such a painful experience that I just couldn’t continue to remember. I knew I had, too, broken his heart and I didn’t feel ok in knowing that by keeping in touch, I could be hurting him even more. Before I knew it, communication completely stopped, and even though I have since reached out on a number of occasions, our talks have never been longer than just a couple sentences.

By the time I wanted to try to save even a friendship, it had been too late. I lost him.

If I could tell him anything, I would tell him how sorry I was to have let our friendship go silent. I made a mistake by closing a chapter in my life that was too painful to continue reliving and by doing so, I lost one very important highlight of what once was a time so cold. I’ve never forgotten, nor will ever forget what it was to have a person like you on my team, making some of my best memories in CA being shared with one very special Little Prince, that one who got away.

A Letter To Self

You are so imperfect, its perfection. Don’t doubt who you are or what you’re becoming. Simply live every day getting yourself to the highest level of good feeling frequency that you can. Living positively is the force that will take you where you need to be. Believe in your intuition and if something gives off a negative frequency, steer clear. Take steps with love and kindness in mind, with no regard to race, gender, religion, or any other sort of diversity, and understand that that path will never lead you in the wrong direction. 

Life isn’t a race. You’ll get to accomplish the things you want and need to accomplish at its own time. Don’t compare where you are in life with those around you. See them as their own individual example of how others live their life. Contemplate the lessons you may take away by admiring their situation but don’t compare, for you are on your own journey.

Be mindful and stay present. The best way to live your life is to live right here, right now. Feel the breeze that just brushed across your cheek. Touch the petal of the flower that just caught your eye, give it a “thank you” for blessing you with its natural beauty. Listen to the laughter that erupts from children playing as you walk by your neighborhood playground. Let their giggles uplift you and ride its innocence to the depths of inner joy. Have no thought to the past for why reminisce and long after what no longer is. Don’t live in the future for there is no real future. You’re not promised the next 60 seconds let alone an entire lifetime.

Waste not your energy or time on things, people, or situations that bring you no joy. Forcing yourself to do things won’t strengthen anything other than the bond others will have a hold on you. Don’t allow the social chains to hold you back from taking advantage of this journey you’re on.

Laugh as much as possible and if you cry, cry from deep within your soul and let your tears nurture the ground below your feet. Allow its nutrients to strengthen the foundation for your rebuild. Don’t simply get over your problems, work through them, and move on.

Happiness is a choice and you have an abundance of it at your disposal, but only if you make the choice to seize it. Have faith in yourself because you are worth more than you know.

XOXO

Me.

A Love For Fools

Long-distance love?

…run for the hills!

Ok, maybe I am a little bias BUT in my defense, when it comes to my blog posts I am writing about MY experiences, so why not write about this one??

When I was growing up my mother had a boyfriend who was one of her better ones. He was a wonderful guy, or so I thought. It was a few years after their break-up that I came to find out that he had cheated on my mom while on a trip to Colombia but that’s for another story..maybe. His and my mother’s relationship was a strenuous one. I remember my grandmother always telling her, “Amores de lejos, Amores pendejos.” Which pretty much translates to “A love from afar is a love for fools.” My grandmother didn’t hold back. She was a wise one that one and this phrase always stuck with me. Watching my mom have to really plan out her week when it came to her being able to drive off for two and a half hours to go see her love, or even vice versa, I noticed how big of a challenge it was for her. God forbid it was an off week for them and they fought during one of their visits. They would each leave one another feeling defeated. My mom spent every night talking with him on the phone when he wasn’t around. In a way, it was cute to watch her get so excited when he called for their nightly talk. Giddy like a little school girl she would be.

I don’t really recall how long they dated. It was about four years I believe? Possibly longer. All I really remember was that one day he no longer was going to be apart of our lives and I was a little crushed. It wasn’t so much that their love really fizzled out. This heartbreak was a big one for my mom. Neither of them were willing to relocate for the other. He lived in Jersey City, north from our south Jersey home, in a dingy city with great mom and pop style eateries but nothing motivating enough to get my mom away from her pension job and safe neighborhood. Why hadn’t he wanted to move south?? I’m sure he had a level of comfort built around his life in Jersey City. He had a good job, and I also feel that he liked being able to take a break whenever the family life got to be too much for him. A single mom with two daughters can’t be the easiest or most ideal situation. No matter the reason, it hadn’t lasted.

Moving forward about 15 years later, here I was in the same style of relationship. The young man and I had met one night while out at one of the local clubs in my town. Unfortunately for me, he didn’t live locally so then started my first (and only) long-distance relationship. Of course, I had remembered the wise words of my grandmother and, yes, I had remembered what my mother had gone through. Yet, in my eyes, I felt as though I had been given an opportunity and so snatching it up was what I had to do. I began my weekly (at times bi-weekly) commute to the east coast of Florida. It was two and a half hours for me to get to my home from his. Sometimes, if I was feeling up to it, I would leave after work and drive straight there. Most times I would leave on my day off early in the morning and drive back home the next day. In the beginning, it wasn’t such a chore but later on, as life moved forward it took a toll on me and my emotions. There were moments when maybe he had to work late that night or the entire next day that resentment would build because I felt as though I was getting the attention I needed or expected after a long ride to see him. Arguments that sometimes didn’t need to go on for more than a day would go on for a week because there wasn’t much quality time to work on issues. At one point I was even starting to believe I was dating a complete stranger because who I thought I had initially met was now turning into someone I hadn’t even thought existed.

The biggest downfall in our relationship I will say was the fact that we hadn’t given ourselves enough time to really get to know one another before really diving into an official and committed relationship. By week two I noticed that he was no longer in the courting stage. We had become an item so soon that comfortability took over and with that, the “wooing” period went straight out the window. Little by little I began to learn who this man really was and although I cannot speak ill of him I do know that if distance hadn’t played its part, I would have gotten to realize a lot sooner that maybe this man just wasn’t for me.

We made it nine months before our issues got the best of both of us. This wasn’t until after I had already made my move to the east coast to be with him. I won’t lie that even when I was sitting in the moving truck driving across the state I knew that this wasn’t going to work out. But a commitment had already been made and to be honest, I was also tired of the town I was in. I had decided to move forward with the plans, always staying hopeful that maybe, just maybe, by being closer together we would be able to work things out.

Moving in together had only amplified our issues. No shock there, right?

I write about long-distance love because it happens every day. I feel that people are in such a desperate need to find love that they don’t really think about what it means to be in a long-distance relationship and the hardships that come along with it. It is truly difficult to get to really know someone who lives hours away. You seldom get to see each other in one’s natural habitat and the “best behavior” aspect of dating lasts a lot longer. Meaning, that it takes a while to really see what the other person is truly like, what their flaws are, etc

I don’t think I was at his place for an entire month before things began to fully fall apart. We had different ways of approaching life. We wanted different things. What he was willing to settle for was not something I wanted. Not only that, but I soon began to discover that he had habits that I was not willing to ignore. Substance abuse and the refusal for help wasn’t going to be tolerated and so it wasn’t long before I packed my bags and said adios.

Most of what I learned after I moved in with him were all things I would have probably picked up on if we would have not had the distance in the way to slow the learning process down. Love already isn’t easy. You have to work at it no matter how easy it is to love the person. Adding distance to the equation almost dooms it. Don’t get me wrong there are people who succeed in making it work and do end up lasting a lifetime. However, the odds of it working out are slim and the journey will be at times empty and almost always frustrating. I guess when it comes to love, we never want to pass up the love of one’s lifetime. It’s only human nature to try to go after the impossible when it comes to it. If the pros outweigh the cons, then hey, go for it and make sure it’s adding to your life more than it’s taking. All I’m saying is that long-distance love is not for the weak. It’s more for fools in love.

Ripples of the Mind

One’s mind is as deep as the galaxy’s core and at times can get as dark as the bottom pit of the Earth’s seas. Raging internal wars will occasionally interrupt our external lives making life difficult and at times unbearable. We fight with ourselves, with others, and with imaginary entities.  It’s only when we learn to control it that we can make it calm. Still, that only comes with practice and only after we have even acknowledged that we need to do so.

I found myself swimming in unchartered territory last night. I was watching t.v with my pup when she began clearing her throat and at times, gasped for air as if she was trying to catch her breath. My dog isn’t some young pup anymore. She’s 16 years old so during moments such as these my own breath will catch and my mind begins to wander. Dark thoughts begin to toss around my mind. Images of her falling ill and me not being able to do anything about it. It’s a reality that continuously lingers in the back of my mind. A reality that isn’t far from someday happening. As my mind played the unwanted scenario, my body began to act as if it were really happening. My heart began to beat a little faster. My eyes began to tear up. It was as if I was experiencing a loss that hadn’t happened yet.

This is where meditation and learning to silence the mind comes into play. Where before my mind would have continued to run with the thoughts that began to plague my mind, now I find that I can slowly still it. I relaxed my breathing and the thoughts that swirled my mind and suffocated my heart began to subside. I took myself out of a future; a moment that hadn’t happened yet, and brought myself back to the present moment, sitting on the couch, snuggled with my puppy who had stopped gasping for air and was currently staring up at me with happy eyes.

The mind can be trick There have been many times when I’ve found myself having a conversation with people who aren’t there over encounters and situations that hadn’t happened. I’ve gotten as worked up as I would have if the confrontation were to be actually taking place. Meditation has really been such a great tool in helping me control my thoughts. It also helps when it comes to me being less reactive and when it comes to situations that frustrate me or are completely out of my control. It seems strange or silly when Ii talk about it for I am no meditation expert but over the years of me slowly leaning into the practice I have come to truly understand how great of a weapon it is to have in your arsenal when it comes to overcoming one’s own mind.

If you find that your mind is one vast ocean full of turbulent thoughts, waves of ideas that come crashing down on you, debilitating you when you least expect it, try meditating. Slowly, with practice, you can guide your mind towards the stillness of peace. A place where the ripples of the mind become calm and as still, and nothing but tranquility governing your mind.

This Round of Retrograde

Let me tell you a bit about how I’ve been fairing during this retrograde. It has literally been kicking my ass.

It began uneventful. I remember thinking to myself, “Is it possible? Will I be able to get away unscathed this time around?” The instant I thought it, I wanted to kick myself because at that moment I felt as though I had jinxed myself.

By day four life was still smooth sailing and I figured that maybe, just maybe that by realizing I had jinxed myself days before, I had inadvertently jinxed the jinx and it had just canceled each other out. I mean, in life anything is possible, right?

WRONG!!! SO SO SO WRONG!!!

Ok, so…

If you’re not big into astrology and universal vibrations, things of this nature, you must be thinking, “What the fuck is this person even talking about? Retro-what now?” I totally understand that. I also understand that many of you won’t care for specifics as to the details of what mercury’s retrograde is and other’s who have heard of it and find it to be a bunch of baloney. Short description for those of you who are interested is a 3 week period that happens every few months in which the planet Mercury shifts differently within its rotation throwing off the balance of how certain things operate. During this period communication with others is poor, electronics malfunction, travel plans become more difficult to follow through with, and every thing is more accident prone. Luck isn’t very much on your side, anyone’s side really. If you find the topic interesting or feel as though it’s pretty relateable to you, I do suggest looking it up and doing further research on it.

I am a HUGE believer in all of this and the last few days have been a testament to its validity. Its almost as if the Universe has decided to turn my life into the poster child of the unluckiness this period of time can be.

A week ago today is when it all began. It was my last day off before I had to return to work for the weekend. I took myself out to breakfast to my favorite local diner. After a delicious meal and a bit of relaxation, it was time to head out and continue with the day’s errands. As I get into my car and go to start it, dead. Alright, no biggie. I’ve got a power box in the back seat so I hook it up to the battery and jump it.

I continue on about my day without much of glitch until later on that evening I decide to log onto my bank site to check on things when I noticed that airline tickets were purchased with my card. Living in a metropolitan area one finds that this happens all the time. Since moving to South East Florida I have had to get my account suspended and card replaced numerous times. This time was no different, it would be 5-7 business days before I would receive it. I could get a temporary card from the bank to hold me over but unfortunately it was already late in the evening and banks were closed and I worked all day Friday and the entire weekend. It was no problem really. I would just patiently wait.

The next morning it became a problem. My car wasn’t starting and I had to get t work. I was running early to work until I spent 15 mins trying to get it to start. I gave up, went upstairs to wash up, and decided on calling an Uber and dealing with the car trouble later.

Uber: “Unable to process payment. Please reenter payment option below”

FUCK!

Since my bank account is suspended any links to it would be too. I have no other forms of plastic and therefore no other means of independently getting to work so I opted to ring a friend. I made it to work an hour late but just in time to help with the rush. A nice and busy day is what my wallet needed especially now with the unexpected car troubles waiting for me once I got home.

I had a quick dinner with a coworker of mine. After work we decided on grabbing a bite to eat and then went our separate ways, her on her bike, me in an old school taxi cab. On the way home I realized that, me not being used to having to call cabs, had used most of my cash at dinner so if I wanted to leave the driver a tip Id have to run up to my apartment to grab some. We arrived and I quickly explained the situation, exited the cab, ran up, and then down again in seconds. It hadn’t been until 30-45 mins later, once I polished off the rest of my left over dinner, that I realized that my phone was missing. I had left it in the cab.

Without my phone I have no internet.  Since moving into this apartment I hadn’t splurged on buying internet for a couple different reasons, one of them being that Xfinity is the only provider in this area and I REFUSE to use Comcast/Xfinity. Instead, I decided to just use my mobile hot spot. That choice was all fine and dandy until now. Without internet or my phone, there was no way of contacting anyone. So here I am, no car, no debit card, no phone, and no internet. Great….

I set the oven timer as my morning alarm and went to bed. I had to work at 9 am the next day and I would need the rest.

Its been exactly one week since things in my life started to tank. I was able to get through the weekend, getting to work and back with the help of neighbors and coworkers. I’ve had off from work since Tuesday (its Thursday now) but haven’t really enjoyed or relaxed because I have been having to deal with one thing or the other. I’m still waiting to get my card. I’m truly hoping (fingers crossed) that it arrives today. Cabs are way too expensive.

After battling with Verizon’s RIDICULOUS process of filing a claim on a lost phone, they shipped me a phone last night so I should be getting it today. My car? It’s no more. I’ve come to the final realization that it is truly time to sell her.

Has this week been an easy week? No, not one bit. Yet, I will say that up until yesterday I have handled everything pretty well if you were to ask me. I say “until yesterday” because after realizing that Verizon still hadn’t shipped out my phone due to “insufficient documentation” I freaked out a bit. Luckily it was just the pets and I that got to bare witness to my mini meltdown. As soon as it was over (it took approximately 5 mins from start to finish) I felt so much better.

I sat and thought about my entire situation, and although many wouldn’t agree with me, I say that it all could have been much worse. I was lucky that my car hadn’t broken down anywhere else, leaving me stranded. I was lucky enough to have had a dear friend of mine (really one of the only two I have here) help me with sending in the paperwork for my phone, rides to and from work, ect. I was lucky to have had the last 3 days off so that I had time to deal with all of this. I’m also lucky in the way that I love reading, and writing, and was able to entertain myself  through these while not having a phone or internet to distract me.

In the next couple of weeks I will be going through some major life changes. I can’t help but think that this period of retrograde was a true end to all of what no longer serves me. A tearing down of what was in order to make way for the rebuild of what’s to come. I am excited. Months ago I had begun to minimize the junk in my life. I wanted to not just start over from scratch but to maintain the lightness of what it feels to be free. Free of gadgets, materialistic shit I never use, freedom of always having to stay connected, freedom from obligations or expectations placed upon me, not for my benefit but for the sake of other’s happiness. This past week has shown me a lot. It has freed me from certain things and has reminded me that life isn’t what makes it comfortable. Life is about living in the moments, embracing its natural beauty of all that is around us. Life is also about the moments of discomfort, because those are the moments that allow for us to grow much taller and s Continue reading

Judgement Free Zone Please

Human beings tend to forget that we are indeed that, human beings. Some people place certain humans on such a pedestal that when that person “fucks up” or does something that goes against what another would do, those who once supported that individual feel cheated or lied to. I laugh at that. It is one of the silliest mistakes people make.

A good person can make an “evil” mistake. A sad person can be happy. A positive person can be depressed. A selfless person can make a “selfish” decision. Who is anyone to criticize and judge the choices made by others? Do we live their lives? Do we walk in their shoes? Is it fair to question the choices they make for themselves without understanding the situation they are in?

It blows my mind to watch family members and “friends” be most critical of their loved ones. People who claim to be supportive, accepting, and understanding are actually the first to disagree over a decision made, their conditioned minds allowing them to feel as though they could have done things differently or even better. I tend to try to stay away from people of this caliber. Life can get pretty tough at times so why keep people like that close?

Since childhood we are told stories, certain tales spoken through allegories of how everyone is created uniquely different. This is what keeps the world beautiful, unique, and interesting. As children we accept this wholeheartedly. It is as if we are already born with this knowledge and aren’t aware that there is another way to think until it is brought to our attention. It is only as we become older that we forget this known little fact and begin to criticize the people around us. Whether it is because we are conditioned by society, by our loved ones, or by strangers who begin to infiltrate our minds with tainted garbage.

Times are tough right now for people all across the globe and while in some ways we have to begin to hold each other accountable for certain things, it is also time that we let up on one another. It is crucial for humanity that we begin to support those around us in ways of understanding and encouragement. This doesn’t mean that you must compromise your beliefs or ways of happiness. It just means that instead of belittling one another, we instead try to understand each other and accept  that we are individually different. So the next time someone you know makes a decision you may find questionable, try to understand and if you cant, you don’t have to. Simply support because at the end of the day, it is their lives they are trying to work out, not yours.

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.