Purple Rain

You think she is just a happy girl eating ice cream. She has a smile on her face as she walks through the crowd of happy people watching the outdoor concert. So yeah, you wouldn’t question where her smile stems from.

But there’s something else to her story, like there usually is.

She wishes her story could be as simple as it looks. She wishes that moment in the crowd was an easy smile.

What you missed was the person walking ahead of her, the person she was following. The distance between them grew. She couldn’t see his face, so she held her own expression. She wore a smile, and she remembers it felt good.

As his strides got longer, she felt more alone. But, she realized she was on her own the whole time anyway, so she continued to smile.

She decided to feel the grace of the moment around her. When she passed other people, she saw a joy that she couldn’t help but smile with. She felt the passion of the music being played on the stage behind her and she couldn’t help but sway with it. She had a smile on her face and as she looked at the people she was passing by, they smiled back at her. She was living in a moment, and it looked easy.

But the person walking ahead of her must have had a different determination. When she turned to watch a song that caught her attention, he didn’t follow. With a hard face, he stood his ground. Maybe it was because he couldn’t hear the same piano she heard when she was a kid and feel the joy that song always gave her. He didn’t feel the sacred melody that moved through everybody else in the crowd. Even so, why did he have to stay back?

She turned back to him thinking he’d be by her side, but instead found him 5 paces away standing there, waiting for her. She gave him a playful smile inviting him to join her, but I guess he didn’t see it. He only came up to her to tell her “c’mon let’s go.” She bit her lip, held her breath while she took a spoonful of her ice cream, took one more gaze at the stage, and turned around to go with him. It was the pivot of her foot that sent her in a direction away from that moment. But she didn’t protest. She took another bite of her ice cream and continued to sway with the music as she walked behind him. She swayed and sang up the steps, through the entrance, up the elevator, and to their door. She stopped when the door shut behind her and she found herself in the quietest room in the whole building.

He doesn’t even realize what he just silenced.

The man who walks ahead of her doesn’t seem to care. He couldn’t know her because he never turns around to see her.

He says she’s crazy.

He doesn’t know that is the worst thing she could hear from him.

She’s become exhausted, over time. Exhausted trying to show him the good, what she sees. She feels like she’s screaming at the top of her lungs, but no, she’s standing in front of him struggling to get the right words out. With him like this, her heart feels like it drops into the acid of her stomach, over and over again.

You see, it’s not an easy smile.

Wonder on

There are words that get overlooked when they stand next to the bigger ones of today.  When the verbs and nouns such as hate, revolution, change, opinion, media and news fill the articles we scroll through with negative connotations, when more than ever everyone seems to have opinions on topics with the limited knowledge of headlines, words of authenticity like hope, love, joy, and charity find themselves being swept under the rug society walks on.

Wonder is one of those good words, one that we don’t see much praise for. It has almost become something overrated in our world of “doing” and “making a change.” While it lays as the foundation of change and revolution, its authenticity gets lost in opinions, or more like the fear of others’ opinions. In conversations we often feel the need to have opinions, even if we don’t. Agreeing or disagreeing, having a stance on something without conviction, has taken the place of the vagueness that hope conveys. We rarely gives ourselves the step back to fully see a picture. We restrict ourselves to what is already seen, we forfeit original thought. And this gets us into something that is even more bleak than conformity. Because without wonder where did it start?

Wonder

noun- a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

verb– desire or be curious to know something. Feel admiration and amazement; marvel.

Like damn, marveling doesn’t happen often anymore. Which, is so unfortunate because marveling, the sight of ones jaw falling slightly open as one looks steady ahead with wide eyes, has a beauty to it that just can’t rival the tight squeezed jaw or open flailing mouth we see too often.

Wonder is where it starts. Wonder is what creates opinion. It’s what stirs thought, pushes for action, and creates a picture. The greats of our time, the revolutions that were rightfully started, began with someone wondering, being curious enough to delve, to put forth effort to form their own opinion and act upon it in hopes to make a difference. To wonder is to dream. To wonder is to hope. To wonder puts in action figuratively, then literally.

As a whole, I don’t believe we are all hopelessly lost, but I do think that we all could use more room for wonder in our life, our thoughts, and our actions. We need to know where it started so we know how it should end. This is where right and wrong come into play, and where the faded lines have crossed each other in unfortunate places.

Stand for something you know, believe in it, care about it, and do something with it. Big or small, we don’t have to be the face on the posters, but we can be proud of the ones we hang in our homes and still are able to marvel at.

Cake

You bewilder me.

You simplify my thoughts,

breaking them down and stretching them out.

You make ordinary something to look forward to.

Your scent lingers with me just like I want it to.

Because when I think you’re one flavor, sometimes I get more.

What can I say,

I like cake, and I want more of it.

Travel guide to homelessness and happiness

Today I starred a bunch of big girl jobs on Craigslist. Jobs that seemed interesting enough that dealt with marketing/pr—things around my degree, jobs that come with security—401k, health insurance, a salary. Because jobs like this is what I’m being told I should take. Being told by society, my student loans looming over my head, my family, the voice inside my head when I think about my future, my money problems, and my adulating self. I found myself getting exciting, saying “hmm that could be cool, I could do that.” More times than that though I did find myself thinking I’m not qualified enough for that one, or I would never get past the first round of the interview process. So, I moved on, I moved through, job after job, not starring anything lower than $15/hour.

But then I starting thinking of something else, like my brain usually does when forced to focus on a particular task. Damn.

I slowly, but quickly, started realizing that maybe these types of jobs are what I don’t want, shouldn’t have right now. I am in a place in my life where I feel pretty lost, wandering in a familiar path, looking for something that can prove itself as new to me. Thinking, if I land one of these security jobs, what happens when I realize years down the road that I took the job too soon. I fell into a life that I swore I wouldn’t ever stumble into, because of well, health care.

I found myself saying “shit this job wants me to commit to a 2 year program, NEXT!” I cannot, in every cell in my body, commit to something for over a year at the moment. Love is the only thing I can see as an exception. I simply am just too goddam unsure, ok, more like scared that I’m going to make the wrong decision and send my life into a direction of tripping in puddles and looking up to see that I am nowhere near anything familiar. Hell, when the gym guy was signing me up for my membership and asked me if I want a lower-priced committed plan vs a higher monthly priced non committed plan I pretty much screamed OH I DO NOT WANT COMMITMENT.

I know that right now, in my 25 year old self, body, and soul that I aggressively am against putting myself into anything that I am not passionate about. Yes, I know I need to start setting myself up for the future, and I know that can be seen as an incredibly selfish and naive statement, but if I am setting myself up in a way that will actually put me 5 years back when I’m 30, is it worth it? Because I know myself. I know that I can’t allow myself to settle and feel ok about it. Is it worth always wondering if I could be doing something I actually enjoy, something I made for myself because of the giant risks I took in my 20’s? If I put myself in a position right now of setting my creative 20’s life away, where will that put myself in the future? Is now the time when I need to be taking foolish jobs, wandering even more, falling in love even more, feeling even more scared, and jumping into some not so lucrative creative things?

Recently a coworker was just talking about how almost everybody out of college gets a job that pays over a 30K salary—not sure how valid that point is— and it got me to thinking that, damn, I really don’t want to be in a category of people that go into the fucking “job market.” Right now, I don’t want to picture myself saying, “yeah I never saw myself marketing ceiling fans, but damn I’m sure good at it and its makes me a make a hefty salary.” No, right now I want to picture myself standing strong on my own in my own art studio in painted overalls sipping on tea while a soft jazz number plays in the background. I want to see myself as someone who made her own path. Made something of HERSELF. I don’t want to market SHIT. I want to find a passion, run with it, and be proud of it because it is a part of me. Ceiling fans will never be apart of me. I don’t care how good I could be at it, I don’t even want to imagine myself in that god awful position no matter how good looking that salary looks. Label me crazy. Hell, I sure feel like it. I think it’s an inner battle that I’ve been having with myself for awhile now. I just haven’t realized it. I know what I should do, aka get a security job. And I also know what I want to do/should also do because it’s something I want. And I sure know, I do what I want.

Listen,

I’m not sure what kind of decisions I’ll make, nor what I’ll base them off of. I do know I’m nervous, and I also know deep down that whatever decisions I make will be the right ones, because life has a way of working itself out. I truly believe that. It’s all perspective.

The day is today.

There are a few things that I’d like to be known. And it’s not because the bullshit of it being a new year and I’m feeling all ambitious for the reason of the first of a month. No, it’s because of the weather today. My moods are like the seasons, expectant, ever changing, and surprising. Like days like today. It’s the second week into January, and after a good week of freezing face and ass weather, we are at a balmy 50 degrees. Granted, skies are still grey as hell, but the wind sounds different. It’s not as harsh and hating as it’s been. And you know what I woke up to this morning? A bird chirping. A bloody happy bird.

So, you could say I’m a woman moved by nature…ok so it’s more the weather but it’s pretty much the same thing and nature sounds so much more profound and deep so I’m gonna go with that.

This morning I also set my alarm to an early 8 am wake up call, but every time Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours serenade came on I immediately hit snooze, until it was 11 am. Now, even though I set this alarm to get in the routine of getting my day started out earlier, you know for my well being, that little voice in the back of my head kept shouting “why the hell did you set an alarm this morning, you idiot,” which further encouraged every snooze button hit.

Feeling pretty stiff come 11 am I throw my legs out of my bed, put some pants on, and precede to drag my lazy ass down the stairs. At this point I know full well I’m a let down, that other little voice in my head was telling me so. To make up for it I make myself a healthy breakfast of mushrooms, eggs, and toast, gulped down with a pot of very black coffee.

I do some reading after breakfast because I just read a headline the night before that CEOs read an average of 30 books a year. 30. I’m in the middle of 4 and I’ve been in the middle of one of them for 3 years.

I’ve been doing this thing lately where all I listen to at the gym is the Guardians of the Galaxy Pandora station. It really stirs something in me, and I dig it.

Got a bit off topic here, but I think my morning is a nice lead up to what I want to be known. Because having a good morning with certain intentions, warmer weather, and a singing bird stirred up some thoughts. I think it’s important to set goals for yourself, and I think it’s just as important to hold yourself accountable to them. While I do have several personal goals that do not need to be public knowledge, I have some that I think the public could benefit from too.

In todays society filled with social media, casual relationships, frightening politics, frightening leaders, and guarded-more-than-ever people, I think we all need to add a few things to our daily routine. Rather than setting a New Years resolution like going to the gym, which by the way every goddam body seems to be doing, set some resolutions that can actually contribute to more than your fucking glutes.

Here’s a few that I’m keeping in mind.

Look strangers in the eyes more. We all want to be seen.

Speak more realness. Too often we comply with what others are saying for the sake of saving face. We are so quick to agree with an opinion or topic, and a lot of times we aren’t fully informed on the said topic, but for some reason we just have to seem like we know what’s going on. For once, maybe say, “hmm I’m not really aware of all that you’re talking about,” rather than excitedly saying, “oh my god, I know what you mean,” or “for sure!” (que eye roll)

Be an outlier. To reiterate on the point above, say what you goddamn feel. It’s refreshing, and real—something this world needs a hell lot more of.

Love hard, and fucking fight. This is an obvious, but I’m realizing more and more that people have a tendency to go along with things because it’s easy. And yeah, you can definitely find yourself in a relationship because a lot of times it’s easier to be in one with someone because they’re easy to sit down to a dinner with. I call bullshit on a lot of things, and am picky as hell when it comes to people I let in. Fight for what you want, because easy isn’t going to get you what you really want, or need.

Laugh with people. I was at a movie the other week, and something happened at the end that really felt awesome. Everybody clapped, like really clapped. You could tell the whole theater was full of ear to ear smiles too. This felt like such a cool moment that we all experienced together. No matter what our views, beliefs, or demographics are, we all came together to feel this way.

Have more human experiences. Be present. Relate to others. Be kind. Be the best you can be. Be corny. Be smart. Lead. And most importantly, love.

Just another day kicking my own ass

I’m not one to use big words. I’m more someone who creates words and insists they’re real. I mean come on, funner has gotta be real. I get a lot of flack from that one—from not fun people I should add. Anyways, I do think it is important for me to become more aware of the real words out there. Especially when, ya know, I try to write. Which is why lately when I come across words that I don’t know the full definition of, I ask my Australian Siri Man. He’s useless for the most part, but defining may be his one strength. 

So being very transparent here, you might say I’m in a bit of a rut. Call it a quarter-life crisis maybe. Fitting since I am 25. Meh, whatever you want to call it, it resembles a ball sucking, ass kicking, and mind boggling time in my life. All we can do is live day by day they always say, so day by day is what I do. Great advice oh wise one—sheesh. But, sometimes corny obvious advice is what one needs. We overlook what’s in front of us while we’re searching for our soul in the greener grass.

While I’m off climbing yet another mountain to find my guru, I’m reading this book. It’s a very thick one, and it is taking me for-fucking-ever to read. It’s because I have to re-read every single paragraph this lady writes. Her content is so dense, so true, I want to fully understand what they hell she is really saying. And, you know, the whole making up words thing is just not cutting it for my comprehension. With Australian Siri Man to my rescue, I find a word that I didn’t realize describes my current situation perfectly.

Malaise. A general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify.

It’s such a vague word, and is the twisty tie holding my world together. It’s tied in such a way that when I think I’m untying it I then realize, nope, I’m making it tighter. So I go the other way. Over and over again. Floating in this emotional malaise while getting seasick over the raft I built for myself. It’s a constant itch as I try to keep my emotions in check.  It’s partly due to the fact of where I am physically, back at my parents house, cramming my stuff around Pokemon cards and remote controlled cars in my brothers old room. It’s also partly due to what I’m settling for. For the first time in my goddamn life I know what I want, but yet I feel like I’m holding sand in my hands. Following the heart is a devastating path. It’s hard, it’s fucking hard. But, for some ungodly reason, it’s still all I want to do. And settling, oh it’s killing me. More so making me feel psychotic. Temporary is what I keep telling myself, it’s all temporary. This emotional malaise, this overpowering general feel of uneasiness, is challenging me to ends I don’t know how to meet.

Drastic moves is what will come next. I can feel it climbing up through me. After such contemplation, over-analyzing, and self scrutiny, I know in my bones who I am. And drastic is something I do. Once I make a decision, it’s made. There’s not even a chance for me to talk myself out of it. A very large fault of mine, I know this, but at the moment I’m going to see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to go after my instincts, to feel in my gut what my heart wants, and let my head actually create something sustainable.

…and it’s going to be funner than anything else.

You carry it, even if it’s heavy

Your eyes are closed, your head is bent over, but you still know it’s in front of you.

Loyalty.

It’s there because you want it to be. You make a point to have it in front of you, even when you can’t see it. Loyalty has a hold on people, and maybe that’s why people struggle so much with it. Because, it does dictate us. It is the reasoning to why we do things, and it is the wall that keeps us at bay.

People don’t always like having something have that much of a hold on them, and people choose life without loyalty because of that. Loyalty requires strength. Loyal is a word that is thrown around with importance, but not always carried as so. It’s a word that’s meant to carry weight. Loyalty should mean more than being faithful, it should represent you caring about something, actively being a part of it, and standing strong with it.  You have to know what you care about—what’s important to you. It’s something worth carrying. It doesn’t have to be a heavy weight, but it should be felt, always. Whether you have loyalty in people, in love, in work, in beliefs, in places, or even in things, it is a lifestyle that you are proud of, happy about, and is worth the weight on your shoulders.

Because we can’t go around walking with nothing. To carry something you care about is strength. We don’t have to do it, but it makes walking a whole lot more rewarding.