I'm Just Saying

All The Broken Hearts

heart-noteThere is a five year old child inside of me that gets really, really into 80’s music. This is, of course, because I was raised on 80’s music due to the fact that I have very wonderful parents. On the days when nothing seems right, when I can’t get any of the pieces of my life to fit together, when I can’t figure anything out, there is always Journey, Boston, and Def Leppard. To name a few of the greats.

Every now and again, my sharp wit and sarcasm get me into a world of trouble.

Seriously, the only time I ever make huge, glaring errors in life is when I say exactly what I’m thinking. Most of the time it’s not a big deal and I can be the funny one, other times I get snarky and…well.

I’ve done quite well over the past few years at limiting this type of thing. I have worked very, very hard on thinking before I speak and this sort of thing doesn’t happen to me too much anymore.

But it happened last night. And even though I apologized and everything is okay, I’m still shaking off the feelings of guilt and shame.

And you’re probably thinking I’ve said something absolutely horrible to rend the relationships of my life, and truthfully I have been in that position before and it was just the worst, but this isn’t what happened last night. In fact, on a scale of 1 to Oh-My-Gosh-How-Do-I-Have-Friends-I’m-So-Cruel, it was more of Oops-I-Could-Have-Said-That-Differently-Sorry.

But I’ve been doing this thing lately where it’s like I’ve never learned anything or had any balancebouts of self discovery ever and all the sudden I’m relearning all the things. I’ve been torn between optimism and pessimism, despair and hope, happiness and sadness, caring and indifference. I’m just going to say it: balance is hard. Not only that, but it’s never been my forte in…anything.

I’m an all or nothing type of person, and totally not into this half way crap.

Last night I was driving to my apartment from my sister’s house, this was before the incident in which I forgot to think before vomiting my thoughts, and I was feeling rather lost. The truth is that my mind can be a little bit of a scary place but I frequently get lost inside of it, and as a result I turn into a philosopher who get easily overwhelmed. (And I’m not even a coffee drinker which poses a problem because I’m pretty sure that’s some sort of necessity for people who dare to get lost in their own mind.)

At this point, the wonderful band Boston decided to remind me to Hold on Loosely. Bless their hearts, they always know just what to say. And this isn’t a joke because I’m really, really good at clinging to things and spiraling out of control as a result. (I have an entire, really awesome blog post about this that you are more than welcome to read if you so desire. All you have to do is click here.)

It could possibly be because I’m 21 and in a phase of life, but life has decided to teach me about love recently. Recently meaning the last year especially. I’ve written quite a few posts about my findings on love, but one thing I’ve never talked about is how I’ve come to realize that love is love no matter what. You could be talking about romantic love, familial love, or the love you feel for your favorite food. Love is just love. And because that is the case, it encompasses everything, it connects everything. Love is the undercurrent of our lives.

heartWhen I was a little girl I used to think that a “broken heart” could only be the result of a romantic relationship gone wrong. Life very quickly showed me that this isn’t the case. Broken hearts happen all the time, with many different things. Sometimes we break our own hearts, sometimes our friends or family break our hearts. Sometimes we want a bowl of cereal and there’s no milk. The possibilities of heartbreak truly are endless.

What intrigues me about heartbreak is that it is the surest sign that you felt something. It is the surest sign that you did the purest thing in the world: you gave of yourself and you poured your love into life. Being heartbroken, then, is quite possibly the most noble thing to be. Especially when you keep on loving anyway.

And as I come to the close of this blog post in which I’ve talked about a plethora of different subjects, I think that all I’m really trying to say is that sometimes we do things we regret and we need to apologize, and sometimes we get our own hearts broken, and sometimes the only wisdom we can find is in the songs we grew up listening to. But I guess that’s coffee-less philosophy.

Thank you for exploring my thoughts with me today.

I Was Wondering

What Are You So Afraid Of?

The subject of fear has been on my mind quite a bit recently. And I will be completely honest and tell you exactly why: I’m a pretty frightened person.

This is not something that I’ve known about myself for very long. Mostly because I try very hard to be brave. But lately I’ve begun to realize that there are so many things in this world that I’m afraid of. Fear seems to drive just about everything that I do. It is very tempting for me to succumb to fear, and very often I do.

fear-indicationInterestingly enough, I think that the thing I fear the very most, above anything else in the world, is being happy.

Can you even believe that?

I have met so many people who fear being happy, and it is always for different reasons. I have some relatives who are so comfortable with their misery (health problems, financial problems, etc) that being happy would almost be worse. Because trust me, folks, being “comfortable” and being “happy” are two very, very different things. After a while you become comfortable with just about anything, but being happy is something else.

But like the human that I am, I never stopped to look inside myself and wonder if I was doing the exact same thing.

This isn’t to say that I’m not a happy person. I have so many blessings: wonderful family, great friends, a job, ambitions. Overall my existence is a very happy one. But I think that every one of us, no matter the stability or goodness that surrounds us, all have at least one dream we are reaching for.

But being happy is, oddly enough, a scary thing. All sorts of questions come up for me when I think of what it would be like to be truly happy. Questions like: do I dare? What would happen? Where would I be? What would that mean for me or my family?

Most of these questions stem from the fact that I, like many others, have a really hard growthtime trusting others. To be truthful, I’m not exactly sure where this trust thing started with me. I grew up in a large family with lots of older siblings who made really dumb choices, and as a result I learned to just rely on myself. It is infuriating, even to me, how hard it is for me to trust others. I am your classic “I’m afraid of getting hurt” human. Talk about cliche. Gag. (I usually avoid being cliche anything. I hate being like everybody else. Don’t even get me started.)

So if I were to be truly happy, if I were to live these dreams I have stored away in my heart, I feel like I’d always be waiting for something bad to happen. I’d always be looking for the catch. I’d be tempted to wait for the dark places, and then be all “I told you so” when I ended up crying in my room over something I felt like I ruined.

When it comes to fear, I honestly believe that we are our own worst enemies. And for that matter, this also applies to happiness. It can get so frustrating and I just want to shake myself and yell:

What are you so afraid of?

But I think the curse of the human soul is that we are so infinitely more than a body that we occupy. And whether we realize it or not, we’re pretty deep. So the whole “I’m afraid of getting hurt” thing is quite valid. There’s a lot of unknowns in the soul that we’re trying to work with, and getting hurt is definitely an over complication.

believe-thinkI often have these exhilarating moments where I throw all my fears out the window and decide to just go at this life thing. Unfortunately, they never last long. I’m too much of an expert at getting inside my own head.

I wish I could end this post by saying that I’m not going to be afraid anymore. That I’m not going to fear happiness, that I’m going to stop retreating into myself at the slightest sign of danger. But if I say that then I probably will not do it on purpose because this is the type of personal contradiction that I have to navigate daily.

So I’ll just end it by putting the question to you:

What are you so afraid of?

Just Writing

I Rise

The world has whispered many things in the places we call home. Sometimes it tells you glittery lies and others dark truths. It whispers of excitement and exhilaration in deep kisses and strong drinks. It lures you into cold water. It tempts you to regret the black corners when you walked without a light. It lurks you into fog where you cannot see the sun.

But the world never whispered of the ashes you arose from. It never hinted of the strength you possess. It makes you think you can only get so far before the regretted moments catch up. You are dependent on me, it says. You are dependent on this hurt for happiness.

I stumble and fall because at times I follow the whispers of excitement. I want to live, live like they say. Fully, and in each moment. I want to give my love generously, and believe in the fairy tales. But we all carry inside us a heart as deep as the ocean, as vast as the universe. So strong, and yet so fragile. We allow our hearts to be tinged with blackness. We put them in strange, wrong places and call it love.

And perhaps it is not the fault of those we thought we loved. We are all vast universes looking for a star, and that journey is not an easy one. So how silly of us to think that in our vastness we could fit inside this world. How silly of us to listen to the dark things it says. How strange that the world and the earth are two different things. I think sometimes that the earth is mourning the use of its beauty for so much destruction. I look at the beauty of the earth and wonder how the world became so cruel inside of it.

I am not the world, but neither have I overcome it. I work to rise above the black regrets, to move past the need for hurts. I don’t want to wear them like badges. Each day I work on rising. Rising. Rising. From the ashes. I work on renewal. I rise.

I'm Just Saying

Half in Love

roseI used to think that love was something you fell into. What can I say, I’ve always been a completely incurable romantic. The idea that fate or destiny or some force other than yourself could bring you together with another human and you could just find something in them that you’d always been searching for, almost by accident, long caused my girlish heart to pound with ridiculous joy.

What could possibly be more romantic than that?

But as the years have passed, and I’ve had to experience this thing often referred to as life, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to grow. Oddly enough, many of these opportunities come in the form of novels that I write. And because I personally think a novel would be pointless without it, all of my novels feature romance.

But as I’ve grown as a writer from the stage of every character being the exact same person no matter the novel to the stage of realizing that I’m supposed to be creating actual people – with personalities and everything, I’ve realized a lot of different things. In studying people and trying to recreate them in my novels, I’ve learned a great deal about people in general and what it means to love.

And besides that, I’ve learned so much spiritually over the last few years.

I’m just going to give it to you bluntly, as I’m a fan of blunt things. All of these different writing opportunities and spiritual growth have brought me to one very bold and life changing reality:

“Falling in love” is complete and total crap.

Seriously.true love

Just stop a moment and walk through this with me. We are human beings with brains that make decisions every single day. We have this ability to choose. We have this ability to discern right from wrong. We are not cookie cutter things that are just thrown out to “fate” or “destiny” or whatever.

Now before you get the wrong conclusion, please note that because I’m this crazy type of romantic person I believe wholeheartedly  in true love. I believe in fate and I believe in destiny. I do not, however, believe that something as beautiful as true love is out of our control.

No, sir. I don’t believe that for a second.

I think you meet somebody in your life, and then one day you choose them. You choose to love them. You choose them because they make everything right and wrong all at the same time, because they make you laugh at really dumb jokes, and hug you when you’re at your worst.

Love, my friends, does not just “happen”.

choice thingLove is created. Love is sustained. Love is a choice.

Think about this: you meet somebody, perhaps by accident, and you get to know them, and you create this love between you by getting to know each other, and then one day you choose each other. You choose each other because it is the only thing that makes sense.

What could possibly be more romantic than that?

I'm Just Saying

The Best Is Yet To Come

It has been a really long time since I talked about God on this blog. I guess that’s probably because, surprise surprise, I’ve let myself get distracted again. I have that tendency.

do it with passionYou see, I have this character trait which is simultaneously a strength and a flaw: my passion. When I become passionate about something, it absolutely consumes me. There is really little else I can think about. That’s why, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I can see things in black and white terms at times. I don’t have it in me to be halfway passionate about something. I have a tremendous amount of loyalty that way. It isn’t something I’m trying to be boastful about, it is simply the way that it is.

And it is always completely amazing to me how God can find me in the midst of these whirlwinds I get myself caught into. Here is a truth: I have to be very, very selective about what I give my energy to. Because I know myself. And I know that once I get in, there is no getting out. That is why I try to avoid popular fads and phases as much as possible (not only because I’m a bit rebellious and a nonconformist at heart), but because I know how easy it is for me to get caught up in something once I’ve put my toe in the water.

But last night, I had a tremendous experience. One that has happened to me before, but happened to me again. I was reminded, in a very simple way, of just how much God knows me. How much He loves and cares for me.

As He so very often does for me, He answered a heartfelt prayer with music.best is yet

I went on a drive to clear my head. Once I’d returned home I sat in my car, holding my head in my hands as I prayed for direction in a stressful time. Frank was singing quietly in the background, as he so very often is in my daily life, and as I finished this prayer, the song changed to none other than the classic: The Best is Yet to Come.

This is significant not only if you know the lyrics of the song, but because this is the second time that God has answered this type of prayer in this exact same way.

I was at a turning point in my life the last time it occurred, right before I left on my religious mission. Many things about my future were up in the air, and though I was tremendously excited, I don’t think that I’ve ever been more afraid. I drove to a quiet place on the farm and stood in the trees, praying that I would know what to do. After several moments of waiting and listening, only to hear the rustle of leaves and the chirping of birds, I walked back to my car in the fading light.

Once there, I closed the door, started my car, and turned on Frank. I hit the shuffle button, knowing that whatever song came on would be able to calm me down and help me think straight, as that is what Frank Sinatra does for me. And what song do you suppose started playing then?

takes us as we areAs I mentioned, I have now had this experience twice, and both times it has happened, it has reminded me of several things:

  1. Trust in God. He loves me, He knows me, and He’s watching over me. He understands my frustrations, He understands my griefs, He understands my confusions. He is there.
  2. Trust in myself. Far too often I find that I am trying to rein myself in, and control this uncontrollable thing that is my soul. But I believe we are all a little bit that way, and we don’t give ourselves credit for the beauty that we are and the joy that we have the potential to bring into others’ lives.
  3. Trust in the process of life. Things rarely go according to plan. I look back on every intricate plan I’ve ever laid out for myself and realize that most of them haven’t turned out anything like I thought they would, no matter how great I felt about the plan in the moment. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. My life is wonderful the way that it is, and it would have never come to this if I hadn’t been willing to change my plans and do what I felt was best for me, even if it wasn’t necessarily what I’d always had in mind.
  4. Believe. Life is a beautiful thing, and more often than not it is messy. But it was never meant to be perfect, only something to become better at. I have this long-standing, and perhaps irrational, fear that I’m going to mess things up. I love having deep discussions with people, I love getting to that point in a relationship where I can trust them enough to open my heart, and when they’ll share a part of theirs with me. But then I start worrying that by exposing these depths to others, that I’ve ruined something, and then all of the sudden I feel a million times more connected to them and I realize that they’ve become an indescribably crucial part of my life. Like I said before, I have to be careful about the passion thing. But experiences like these brush away all this worry, and make me grateful for experiences that crack open my heart, because all too often it is a little bit shut away. Experiences like these teach me to have faith even in the midst of the mess of life.
  5. Have understanding for others. If these experiences open my eyes to anything, it is all work outthat God speak to all of us in a different language. He speaks to us in ways that we understand personally, because He knows us. He knows how to help soothe each individual heart. I can always tell when I start to get close to somebody because I start wondering what things they are passionate about, and what things help soothe their heart. And I start wanting to share mine with them. It is a beautiful perspective, to realize that God understands us so well, that He speaks in different ways to His children. It helps me understand that we all receive comfort or revelation in different ways. Its an incredible thing.

For several posts now I’ve been alluding to a struggle I’m experiencing in my life. You all know me well enough to know that I’m not going to be pouring out all the gory details to you probably ever, but I will tell you this: with the end of my semester approaching, it has me thinking a lot about life in general. It has gotten me thinking about what I want in life, and how I’ve realized that it is quite a bit different than I expected.

Endings always cause this kind of reflection for me. So not only am I trying to juggle finals and papers and moving and good-byes that I’d rather not face ever, but I’ve all this philosophical stuff taking up room in my already very over-crowded head.

But then last night happened, and I was given a very personal, profound, and simple reminder: God is there. He knows me. He loves me. He has a plan. Have faith. Have courage. Have hope. Be loving and kind. Don’t worry. The Best Is Yet To Come.

Just Writing

Just Write

If there is one thing in this world that I know I’m good at, it is giving pep talks. I am literally the best pep talk giver in the entire world. Honestly. There is nobody on the earth who could give you a pep talk like me. I’m unrivaled, unbelievable. I am so, so good at giving pep talks.

hardThe only issue with being the absolute best at something is that you have to understand by simple deduction skills that nobody else is as good at it as you are. Therefore if you are ever in need of the thing you are the best at you have to settle for less than the best because you are the best and you cannot give yourself your own bestness.

In my case, I guess I could give myself a fantastic pep talk. I could. In fact, I have. I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and just gone right into it. But I always have a tendency to believe myself when I’m talking to others and not when I’m talking to myself…unless it’s something negative. Like, “You’re a literary potato. Give up writing, sweetie.” Then all of the sudden I’m not a writer anymore.

Why do you think that is?

Because I can’t be the only one who has this issue. Why can we see so much good and potential and brilliance in others but yet when we look in the mirror we only see what we lack? We can’t believe the good within ourselves. I wish that weren’t the case.

Lately I’ve been thinking that it’s time to get serious about my writing. I think I’ve been kindsaying that on this blog for a while now, which is sad, but I truly and honestly mean it even if I’m not sure how to go about it. I know that I want to an author. That is all I’ve ever wanted. That is literally all my brain will allow me to do. And if that’s what I truly and honestly want with my life then I should be able to find a way to accomplish it. But I have this comparison syndrome and when I get thinking of all the other writers out there who are “better” than me or “more accomplished” than me then all of the sudden it doesn’t matter that I have talent or passion. It’s just all about somebody else’s work.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for people and proud of them for making it as authors. And I’m sure they have all been in similar places as me. But the cold, hard truth is that if all we ever do is look at other writers and lament our chances then nothing ever happens. Nothing ever gets finished. I think we can definitely get too caught up in admiring others and then we lose the greatness in ourselves. Learning from others and admiring them becomes a bad thing when it becomes burdensome rather than inspiring.

So if I weren’t me, but giving me a pep talk, I’d probably say this:

Just write, dude. Don’t worry. Don’t stress. Don’t compare. There’s room for everybody. Just Write.

I'm Just Saying

Witty Paradoxes

I’ve gone to the “Add Post” section of my blog no less than three times today. And just stared at the page. Blankly. Knowing from the sadness in recent statistics that I should probably write something, not knowing what to write. I guess my blog hasn’t been the happiest of places lately. I’ve been doing this “be honest” thing, and while liberating I have a feeling that I’ve chased many of you away.

simpleTruthfully, my blog has been teetering on a ledge for several months now. Not that this is something to worry about. I know I’m not the only one to have problems like this with my blog.

The problem is that I want to have more followers. I want to reach more people. But I don’t want to do anything that this requires. I don’t want to use social media to promote my blog, which would basically be the solution to all of my issues.

But here’s why.

I’m an incredibly private person. Shocker, I know. For a long time my blog was anonymous. There was no picture of me, none of you knew my name. To this day you don’t even know my last name! And get this: only within the last few months do some members of my family even know that I have a blog. Up until about two months ago the only people in my immediate circle that knew about my blog were my sister, my mom, and my best friend. That circle has now extended to several of my siblings and to some more friends. But that is it.

It’s this weird paradox I have. Because nobody really knows that I write a blog, I can write torn betweenanything that I want. Because nobody that I know who knows I have a blog reads my blog (you may have to read that sentence more than once), I can write anything I want. Now many of you know that my blog is anything but rude. I’d never write anything bad about anybody. There is just a freedom in this anonymity that I’ve created. And I like it that way.

But then I have this constant, “I’m so incredibly witty and talented! Why don’t I have more feedback and views on my blog?” thought process going on in my head. (Part of the problem could possibly be that many of my devoted readers – bless your hearts – live in England and so the time difference could play a role there…) But in general this is a daily lamentation.

There are lots of paradoxes happening in my life, actually. And oddly enough, all of them involve my writing. I have this huge dream of being this incredible, world wide author someday. And yet I can’t even share my writing with others because I just have zero confidence in that arena. I mean, I can write a blog post because I’m fully aware that I’m hilarious and the way I put posts together is completely ingenious, but when it comes to my actual writing…my confidence may as well be subzero.

all and nothingActually, in general I am not a super confident person. Most people don’t know that about me, but it’s true. There is a certain sense of security in pretending like you are confident when underneath you really aren’t.

But now I’m off on philosophical tangents and we all know how messy THAT can get. The point is that I’m in several writing paradoxes. Witty paradoxes, but paradoxes nonetheless.

Happy Tuesday.