Bookshelf

books

*Found on Facebook. Happy to give credit where due. Just thought it was beautiful.

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Inspiration

*wipes dust off blog*

Ah. I love the sound of the wheels grinding back onto the tracks after being derailed for awhile.

Sometimes we just need a little nudge, a little push or a great big wake-up call.

Sometimes all three come in the way of a coffee invitation and a warm, welcoming smile.

(After all, coffee is the only love I have ever written poetry about.)
Inspiration

You are all of the above. A breath of fresh air. Exactly what I needed.

*wipes dust off brain*

Pain. Laughter. Memories. Regrets. Openness. Authenticity. Reality. Vulnerability.

Life.

Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of all of it.

It’s been a while.

 

Reading the stories of our hearts, between the lines, deeper than comfort allows at times.

Scenes of days long gone dance through my mind, bringing cold coals back to blazing fire.

My dormant senses awake with purpose and passion once more.

Adventures await.

That was always my phrase.

Adventures await the bold, the brave, the beautiful.

And I needed to remember.

Hope.

No matter how tumultuous or tiring your journey, you carry hope with you, freely showering it on anyone who will accept your gracious gift.

Passion.

 

It blazes from you, warming those who dare to walk close enough, lighting up the dark places, and consuming those who are too frail or fragile to withstand.

Energy.

Raw. Pulsating. Vibrant.

I needed that. I needed you. You will never know how much.

Thank you.

I will keep reading.

I will keep writing.

I will keep painting.

I will keep going.

And today, it’s all thanks to you.

 

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Break

So much brokenness. So many hurts. If you’ve lived a little, you know the feeling.

My kids have been with their dad this week. But before they left, we started growing crystals on my kitchen counter. They made me promise to send them a picture each day so they could watch the progress since they wouldn’t be here.

Yesterday, I sent a picture and got a response about all the broken pieces. If you didn’t know, crystals break off as they grow and they create a nice little mess.

That’s right… The broken pieces bring growth.

Brokenness creates the room that is necessary for the crystals to become more.

IMG_20180102_163025_747

Much like life, isn’t it? Sometimes we need some brokenness, an end, a change, a hurt that spurs us to be more. Sometimes we can only find growth if we accept the brokenness. Sometimes the broken is the best thing for us.

How beautiful is that?

 

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The Little Big Year

Oh the memories.

Home Sweet Home 2013

This was my first home after I left the shelter. 900 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 1 very tiny bathroom. The washer was in the kitchen and the dryer was in a closet in another room. The kitchen floor was a hodge-podge of different laminates pieced together to form a somewhat workable floor. The bathroom was between the bedrooms and made it really awkward for guests if the kids were sleeping. There were holes in the kitchen and living room walls that I patched up the best I could, but never got around to painting because I couldn’t even afford a gallon of paint. My bedroom wall was splintery wood pieced together to hide even more holes. It was in a neighborhood where there were people shot and you couldn’t go to the park without seeing some kind of drug deal or being threatened.

But it felt like a palace. It felt like freedom. It felt like hope.

See, we were coming from one bedroom with a twin bunk bed that the three of us shared. So two bedrooms, a private space for me, was about next to heaven on my list. We were coming from a shelter with 150 other women and children, so solitude, the ability to have quiet, was an answered prayer.

I loved that house.

I loved that the landlord let me rent it. Because I shouldn’t have been able to. My credit was in the toilet, I had unpaid evictions on my record, and I had no “good credit” with anyone. All I had was my word and my story. And she believed in me and trusted that I could make it work. So I did.

We lived there for two years before upgrading to a nicer, newer home.

That was the house where I decided to upgrade my life. The house where I started back to school. The house that I started my first job that I loved. The house I was in when I started to open my heart back up a little. It was a house where growth happened. Even though I couldn’t see it at the time. Even though all it felt like then was work. MOre of the same. Trudging uphill.

Looking back, I can see how those changes have impacted my life, but at the time, I just felt like I was doing what I needed to do in order to survive.

I was embarrassed that I was on state assistance, embarrassed that I couldn’t even afford a little run-down place like this without help.

But because of that, I made the changes necessary, one small step at a time.

Which brings me to 2018. The Little Big Year.

Here I am, with a beautiful home, a wonderful job that I love, and a happy little family. Our life is pretty stable these days. Not a lot of struggling or scraping by. And I am so incredibly grateful for that.

But I have become complacent lately, and upon becoming complacent I became bored. And boredom led to a bout of depression.

I don’t like to feel like there is no more to accomplish, no more to do.

So, in 2018, I am going back to basics. Back to the little changes that make such a tremendous impact on what my future might hold.

I have no resolutions for this year. No big “I am changing EVERYTHING going forward from this day” attitude. No big announcements of weight loss or monetary goals.

Instead, I have determined that 2018 is a year to focus on the small habits that will impact my life long-term.

This is the year where the little things become the big things again and life moves in a positive direction as I go back to the basics of becoming who I want to be.

I wrote a list of 12 habits I would like to implement in 2018. Each month I will focus on only ONE small habit. I will do this until they are engrained into the very fiber of who I am, a habit that becomes me. It will not be a dramatic change, but over time, I am excited to see what the growth looks like.

Here’s to a new year and a new lease on life! I am excited to see what happens.

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? What is your plan for 2018? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear it!!!

 

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From a different time and place…

I found this journal entry that I wrote in 2012 and wanted to share it with you. There is so much truth in this. That period of time was the most painful, challenging time I have been through, but I feel that it made me stronger and wiser than I ever could have imagined. Reading this, I can feel how deep my pain ran, although if you had asked me at the time, I would have told you I felt nothing but numb. It wasn’t long after this that my world changed forever.

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through love and friendship can we create the illusion for a moment that we’re not alone. I have become so enthralled with that illusion that I wrapped my entire self in it and lost my individuality in the process. I am on a journey to discover who I am and unwrap myself from the illusion. I can’t have my identity wrapped up in another being or I will never discover happiness.

Jim Morrison said: “A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.”

I want a love like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning it is a flame, hot and fierce, slowly fading to something light and flickering and fun… When it is fed with oxygen (freedom and trust) and wood (affection and affirmation), it dances and lights up the night. As the fire matures, as two hearts meld together, love becomes like coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.

I know that all love shifts and changes, becomes something different almost daily. I don’t know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time. Love does not begin and end the way I always thought it would. It isn’t a fairy tale with a “Happily Ever After.” Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up. And a painful one at that. But I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

It is sad not to love, but it is much sadder not to be able to love. To fear love is to fear life, and in fearing life, I am already three parts dead. Love is so vulnerable though. It takes off masks that I fear I cannot live without and know I cannot live within. It reveals more of me than I ever thought one person would know and that makes me tremble in anticipation of being left for who or what I really am. I have heard so many times that you never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back. I just have to figure out HOW…

I have a picture of love in my head. Love, wholehearted, unabashed, more than I deserve kind of love. Love that sees the flaws and works to be a covering. Love that tells AND shows in everything. Love with trust and respect and affection and the knowledge that one is valuable and needed. Love- a gift bestowed freely and willingly, without any expectations. Love is a commitment with no guarantee of whom or what the other person will be… when they are given an endless supply of forgiveness and grace. Love is a persistent pursuit of passion for one another. Someone to stand by you. Respect you. Give you two arms to cling to and something warm to come to.

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Day 6…

Here I find myself on Day 6, having another 3 days to catch up on. I am attempting to avoid the typical “thankful for my family/friends/etc.” stuff, so I might get a little weird. Lol.

Day 4. I am grateful for good food. This month I am limiting my intake of foods to reduce inflammation and increase my energy, hopefully discovering the foods my body responds best to in the process. However, in limiting myself, I realize how very much I enjoy food. It may be a passion for me, in fact. I find immeasurable pleasure in discovering ways to make healthy, good-for-me foods taste like a little bit of heaven. I enjoy food in the regard that it brings people together. I enjoy food in the fact that it fuels my body. I enjoy food because it truly makes me happy to eat. I am a glutton by no means (in fact, I often find myself forgetting to eat due to a lack of hunger signals to my brain), but I very much eat for the pleasure of it. So, in all that, I am so happy that I do not have to choke down tasteless, disgusting food, but can use it as a very rewarding part of my daily life.

Day 5. I am thankful for technology. As much as I dislike the time-suck vortex that seems to be technology, I love the freedom and flexibility that it offers. Only because of technology was I able to stay home with my kids for most of their pre-schooling years as a single mom. Only due to technology can I work from home with flex hours from my job. It is only due to technology that I don’t have to put together a good, old-fashioned garage sale, but can sell a few things at a time as I come across them. So, in all my espoused hatred and lack of knowledge regarding technology, I am actually, truly grateful for it as well.

Day 6. I am grateful for post-it notes. When I was first recovering in 2013, I had post-it notes everywhere, reminding me what to do and how to do it. I needed them to get through each day and to learn to function again. As I have healed and my routines have stabilized, I still use them to jot down important reminders and keep me on task. I love being able to tote around little notes and keep track of my world and my accomplishments.

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The Yearly Thankful Posts…

I have been debating whether or not to do these, since I am currently on a hiatus from Social Media. However, I think it is important to count our blessings and this is a great month to remember that.

Today is day 3.

Day 1 found me grateful for rest. The cool, fresh feel of a fluffy pillow as I lay my head on it. The way the sheets form to my body as I slide under them. The warmth found in my comforter as it settles around my body. That moment right before oblivion when it feels as though all is well in the world. And the feeling of waking up refreshed from an uninterrupted night of glorious deep sleep.

Day 2 revealed the beauty of a clear, crisp fall day. The colorful leaves meandering in slow circles as the cool breeze whipped through my hair. The smell of the earth and rain mingling with the final, fading sounds of summer. To be in November with this glorious weather is quite the thing to be grateful for.

Day 3, today, I am grateful for my job. I am grateful that I have an employer who provides fair pay, phenomenal benefits and a great work environment. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and develop, not only in my career, but also as a person. I am grateful for the friendships formed and the good times provided here.

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