Journal

My writing, lifestyle, and favorite poetry.

Journal Entry 4: Counting Days 

It has taken me 47 days to write this. Mostly two days of writing, many days in between of feeling nothing, other days crying, and a few feeling anxiety at the thought of finishing it, of putting myself through finishing it, of acknowledging my feelings, of sharing them. Sharing my life experiences is how I get through them; writing is how I reflect, learn, grow, move on – sharing it is how I come to peace with my experiences, bond, and reflect more. It is by far my favorite thing to do.

Therefore, I leave you with this disclaimer: This post may hit you hard. I have yet to post anywhere about this matter in my life for the past month and a half because I don’t want or need anyone’s sympathy, pity, attention… but as I said, my writing is my passion, my soul, my strength. And I hope that from my posts, you can feel and connect with something extraordinary.

Here’s the reality: my life is insanely eventful, and not always in a good way.

Reality #2 – Maybe I will never be a good blogger because of it.

Reality #3 – I’m sitting here explaining to you yet again that I am a bad blogger because of my dramatic life, like I have for every journal entry.

Reality #4 (the saddest reality of all) – My hectic life makes for good content. But this post, in particular, took me a lot of courage and anxiety attacks to get to you.

So, per usual, here goes nothing…

Why is it that we designate or expect so much from certain people just because of their titles in our life? “Mom”, “Dad”, “Aunt”, “Uncle”…

Why do we let them give us emotional/personal problems because of their lack of fulfillment within those roles?

Why do we typically look at them as that role and only that, rather than a human being going through whatever it is that they may be experiencing?

Why do we shun them for not being able to fulfill that role without considering their own problems?

I sat for countless hours and I flipped. And flipped and flipped. Two large 5 subject notebooks filled to the brims – 873 people’s names (and counting) scribbled along the lines. I had found my fathers notebooks buried in the bottom of the bookshelf in his room from his time in rehab (while in rehab from drugs/alcohol you go through the 12 steps). 873 people, 322 pages, one mans entire life spilled and separated into sections of analytical reconciliation. These were his deepest feelings, his fears, his anger, regrets. I was getting inside his head.

15 years.
It has been 15 years since my dad had gotten into a motorcycle accident and sat in a coma, soon to wake up with minor brain damage, but still able to once again live a high functioning life.
“Rhode Motorcycle & Bike,” he wrote, in one of his lists (in one of the steps, you write about the places & things you did, and the negative actions you took)…
“No helmet. No pads.”
“Accident,” he wrote…
“Lost house, job, fiance, money, relationships, hope, faith, God.”
“Another motorcycle,” he wrote…
“Made people worry about me.”

47 days.
It has been 47 days since my dad tossed his leg around his motorcycle for the first time in years and decided to take it for a spin.
47 days since that night when he pulled it into a bar parking lot to meet a friend.

47 days now that my dad has been in a coma.
47 days of tubes. Of nothingness. Of sleep. Of stability with no signs of change. Of sadness. Of confusion. Of numbness.

9 days I sat there next to him in the hospital wondering where he was. A body there but a soul wandering. Some days sitting there watching him I felt so alone. He wasn’t with me. Other days I could see his lids flickering, his fingers twitching and lips rumbling. I wanted to believe then that he was there with me, somehow.

I was always embarrassed of my father. Writing that sentence alone hurts my soul. I was embarrassed. Cheer competitions, graduations, even out to dinner – I was embarrassed to be with him, because I knew (the sum) of his past, his life, his mistakes. I knew about the drugs and the alcohol. I didn’t want to be in pictures with him or let him take pictures of me in fear he would post them online.
13 years since I’ve owned my own camera. 13 years with the ability to take my own pictures. 13 years of memories piled in boxes in my bedroom – none with my dad.

But since I’ve become a young adult, I started calling him 3 times a week and speaking to him for hours on end about life, about mine, about his, my relationships, his, his jobs (or lack-thereof), his substance abuse.
I called him when I was upset and I would cry.
I called him when I was in one of my depressive funks and he would make me laugh.
I called him when I needed help and he was always surprisingly there. When I was stranded at a gas station alone in the middle of a snow storm somewhere in Maryland. When I needed a car. When I needed a phone, even though the bill wasn’t always paid. The first time my ex and I broke up and I needed a flight home. The second time, too. When I called him crying and needed a flight to California.

He always wanted to give to me, even when he didn’t have much for himself.

It took me a long time to learn about and understand substance abuse.
It took me a long time to learn who my dad really was.
It took me a long time to grow the courage to look past the addict and see the human, to stop hurting when he fell back into it again, to stop trying to be his reason for change and to simply just enjoy him when I had him sober. For so long I wanted to be his reason to not pick up the bottle. I thought that maybe I could change him, but I couldn’t. No one could.

Rarely, even after my love for him grew, did I have the courage to admit that to anyone – that he was human, that I cared about him even though he couldn’t always care about me, that I wasn’t enough for him to change. It was my kept secret because I was embarrassed. I didn’t want the judgement or ridicule for caring so much about someone who could only care about me while they were sober – who could care more about his addictions than me. And I know that that’s not true; being an abuser is a mental illness, but that’s how it felt. The only way that I can understand it is by comparing it to depression – sometimes, when suffering from depression, one is horrifically sad for no reason at all, or for reasons that are no longer relevant to their daily life just because their brain is making them sad, telling them to be sad – so sad that they think that life isn’t worth living and that they should die. Imagine that? Wanting to die? Your brain is tricking you into thinking that your life should end, and for some, it does. When I think about addiction I think the same thing – your brain is tricking you into thinking you need that bottle, that puff.
My dad suffered from depression. He wanted to die multiple times and even tried to kill himself. Growing up he was bulimic and had severe insecurity issues and still did till this year.
I’m not making excuses for him. He chose to get on that bike and ride it to a bar. He chose to leave his last rehab (and countless ones before that).
Really, the point I’m trying to make is going back to what I was saying at the beginning of all of this… Do we ever really see the human, or just the title?

I suppose we see the title because we, as their children, are supposed to be that exception – us, the mini blobs of them that they chose to bring into this world. Keyword: chose.

But even then, still, I question it.
I’m not saying that any mistakes are okay just because someone might be going through something personally that they can’t get control of – but overall, in any relationship we have with someone in our life, all I can say is think about them, too. Think about if it was you. And for those dealing with loved ones with addiction: that it’s okay.
It’s okay to give up, to not be strong enough to deal with their issues, to think about yourself and your feelings first.
It’s okay to bury your hurt and their issues just to keep a relationship with them when they’re sober.
It’s okay to hurt and then not hurt at all.
It’s okay to be too forgiving – you are not weak.
But it’s okay to not always stay strong.
It’s okay to hurt for them and still not be able to help.
It’s okay to still love and care even after they may have hurt you for the drugs and alcohol.
And that it has nothing to do with you – you are enough.
And being there at all can mean the world to someone in need, even if they aren’t showing you or you can’t give them what it is they’re needing.

Stay loving.
Stay compassionate.
It’s all okay.

-alex

Advertisements

Journal Entry 3: 30 Days in Cali…

I’ve been a bad blogger …again. I hope that every time I add to my Journal Entry chronicles, I am not self-confessing my lack of interaction. But yes, I’ve been a bad blogger again.

I’ve been scared. I feel like I’ve used that word a lot since I’ve started my journal entries – but this time around, I’ve been scared that I would jinx the happiness.

These past 30 days have been the best days of my life. 

I promised to myself at the end of 2016 that 2017 was going to be my year – my year to do what’s right for me – my year to be strong, to adventure, to make life happen for myself. I was worried that moving to Cali could actually result in me failing that. I was in a new place with one person to call my friend who had her own life to live. I worked from home, which isn’t the best way to make friends. I had no way to get around, not that I really knew where to go. The cost of living was haunting me. I was scared. I was scared of failure and loneliness.

But then it all so quickly started to fall into place and all that fear went away. And then I was scared to write. The words being printed indefinitely on paper made me feel like they would be left there as a closing and make it all come to an end. I would be jinxed. But before this I ran around the entire house knocking on every piece of wood in sight – so, here goes nothing…

They say that when things are meant to be, they work out in mysterious ways. A large part of me wants to believe that that’s true – that this move was meant to be, that everything happens for a reason, that secretly our inner being knows what’s right for us and gets us there, eventually.

This experience for me thus far has been a fairy-tale… And maybe, just maybe, it’s not a fairy-tale at all – maybe it’s just how life should be, I just haven’t lived like this yet …until now.

Since the immediate second I stepped foot into Santa Barbara I’ve been taken in by my loving cousin who would tear down bridges for me (…literally). She brought me into her world and made me a friend to everyone she knew. I was worried that, like being in a relationship somewhere new, I would then in result be living her life instead of one of my own – but oddly enough, I wasn’t.

I have new cousins who aren’t my cousins at all but have me over for family dinners, and don’t second guess my company when I crash their Sunday beer pong games (even without the OG cuz), whose kids run around calling my name to jump on the trampoline and take silly selfies with me. They add me to their group texts, invite me to movie nights and for glasses of wine and hunt down bagel bites with me at every Starbucks in town.

The same goes for every other friend of my cousins that I’ve been introduced to – I can now call them my own. Every day, without fail, someone is asking me to hang out. Fashion shows, bottle service and sparklers on my birthday, classy parties in giant houses in giant hills, photo-shoot’s, signing my first lease, consuming my body length in burritos, sun bathing on beaches with palm trees in them…

I took my first shot of tequila, drank more in the past 30 days than I have conclusively in my entire life, champed through an oyster shooter and even ate cow just for the sake of the In-N-Out experience.

The list goes on… I went into this experience very scared, overwhelmed, sad… I set my expectations very, very low and did some burying of the excitement I did have. I forced myself, instance after instance, to not get my hopes up.

So now I ask you – Is it really true, when they say what’s meant to be will be? Or is it that we (I) tend to aggressively overthink things into such intense mannerisms that we destroy all sense of hope and expectation until we take the risk, so that it has to end up being more amazing than we anticipated? Maybe knocking our expectations down (not aggressively, but you know what I mean) is what we need sometimes to be grateful and remind us that life and people really are amazing? (Not to get confused here – I mean, get out of your own inner fairy-tale of expectations – I don’t mean let people treat you like sh*t).

I’m not exactly sure what direction I’m going in with this post, because there’s so many different things I’ve learned in my 30 days of this new life so far – So I’ll give you the sum of it:

1. Life is what you make it. Plain and simple. 2. YOLO 3. Take the risk. ALWAYS. 4. It will all work out. 5. If you’re scared to do something that you really want to do, just do it. Chances are at the end of the day it will be one of the best decisions you have ever made. 6. Be kind. Smile wherever you go. Let things roll – it’s usually useless to get worked up. And don’t forget to make friends wherever you go. 7. There really are nice, inviting, friendly people out there – sometimes it just takes time to find them. Don’t let any selfishness and ignorance you’ve experienced with others bleed into your judgments of humans as a whole. 8. Even if it’s not what you want in the moment, force yourself to do what’s best for you (we all have that little gut monster telling us what’s right). You will look back, even in a weeks time, and thank yourself for it. 9. Always be genuinely you. No matter how weird or imperfect it is. If you are raw from the get-go, then your friends will be your friends – everyone will love and choose to have you around for the crazy human that you are, not who you think they want you to be. 10. Look at everything, and yourself, as a constant learning experience. Take it in – all of it.

30 days down, a lifetime to go.

xx,

Al

 

Journal Entry 2: I Moved to California…

Reporting to you live from Boston Logan Airport: I am scared. I am worried. I am sad. I am excited? Mostly sad. Mostly scared. My bag’s are too heavy and I’m a hot sweaty mess, but I’m making my way, people. I’m a woman on a mission with one end goal – happiness. I’m sitting at a window looking at the sunrise trying to think of how exactly I can put into words my feelings – how exactly I can explain to the world that I just upped and moved (again, but…) across the country. How I can convince myself more that it’s all okay by convincing you, too, that it is.

As I venture through life as the 22-year-old that I am, sometimes sh*t happens. It happens and you have to decide then and there what you’re going to do about it, how, when, if it’s the right thing. Sometimes you will be wrong. Sometimes you will regret. Sometimes you will struggle more than you ever thought you could – but those are the risks you have to take.

I’ve been a bad blogger the past week or two, so I thought I would give you all the inside scoop. Here’s the reality of it, plain and simple – I moved to California.

I hit a realization point in my life so I packed up my things, called everyone I knew and bought my ticket to California – all in a matter of 5 hours. Impulsive, I know. Across the country, I know. A little ridiculous and extreme, I know. I owe no one an explanation, but I mean, I didn’t make it easy for you not to wonder. So, here goes nothing…

The past 4 years have been the hardest years of my life. I had to grow up too fast. I had to fall a million times to stand up once. I had to learn to understand selfishness and selflessness and the proper times for each. How to handle giving and lowering my expectations for what I would receive in return. I never had trouble loving unconditionally but I had to learn that sometimes that’s not always what’s best for me. I went on so many adventures. I found myself. I never really knew who I was for a long time and constantly tried to turn myself into who I wanted to be, but it took  me understanding that that’s what was happening to realize I needed to just let myself be who I was meant to. I finally understood and defended my morals, my opinions, my emotions, but only after they were tested and sometimes persuaded in the wrong direction. I made and lost many friendships – broke down old relationships and then helped to build them back up again.

These were the best four years of my life in Virginia even though they have been the hardest. I received unconditional love, something I had been looking for for so long. Life is hard. Love is hard. Sometimes we settle for the love we think we deserve, or the love that we think is the most we will ever get. Sometimes our expectations are too high. Relationships are hard in general. They take work, time, mistakes, breakdowns… They will never be perfect. But sometimes it takes realizing that the relationship we have with ourselves may need some work first before it can ever have a successful one with someone else. Every single day that I wake up is a learning experience and I’m not saying the next four years of my life will be any easier – they will most likely get harder – but I’m taking risks for me, and all I can hope for is that I will one day look back on my life and say I never settled, I never shied from adventure, and I never didn’t risk it all. Life doesn’t have a guide or rule book. We are all in pursuit of our own happiness, whatever that may be. Live fearlessly. Take risks. Find adventure.

Here’s to mine.

Al

Journal Entry One: You Gave Me A Sense of Purpose

I have been using my second blog, Deeper Than Words, to post my creative writing; poems, short stories, lifestyle and journal entry posts. I figured that from now on I will put more of them here. After all, no blogger is just one specific genre behind a computer – they are human, and you should see the human side of me too. So, I’m going to post a series of journal entries – meaning, posts where I reflect on situations I find myself in in life; posts about those moments when I take a step back from the situation and think about it more as a whole. These posts can get pretty personal and sometimes very deep, but hey, that’s a part of being a writer. You can’t really be a good one unless you lay it all out there on the table. So, here it goes. Journal Entry One…

____________________________________________________________________________________

You gave me a sense of purpose.

You gave me a sense of purpose.

You gave me a sense of purpose.

The words continued to replay over and over in my head. “I… you know…” he stumbled, “It’s just when you were here you gave me a sense of purpose. I could have helped you. Or, well, I could have tried to. And now you’re not here and it’s just that I don’t have the incentive, the reminder, the bond with you that we have when you are around to remind me that I could have a purpose, that I could be good for something. It’s just hard. It’s hard.”

It hit me like one of those giant, unexpected waves I’ve almost drowned in on the shores of the Hamptons. The taller-than-you waves that curl over your body, that you might actually in reality expect but aren’t seriously prepared for even though you think there’s some way that you will indeed be able to handle its strength. I hated the waves. I hate the ocean but at the same time it’s my favorite thing. I’m afraid of it, and there aren’t many things that I am actually afraid of. It reminds me so much of this moment because this, too, this deep moment of honesty that had been stored for at a minimum of 4 years since I had been living away from my dad had been built up and then released over me. It hit me hard, and I tried to handle its strength but it brought me down anyway, and I was drowning in it.

I finally reached the top and felt the sun on my face. Gasping for air, I rubbed the salt out of my eyes, found my feet and buried them deep and hard into the sand below me and calmed myself. Sweet relief, sweet gratification, purity.

He knew it and I knew it too, that with the truth comes more truth. Before I could even speak he had filled in my words, “But I want you to live your life. That’s where you want to be and what you want to do and that’s what I want for you too, your happiness and to make your own choices.” I had my life to live and couldn’t change my destination or course to be what someone else needed rather than what I did. He understood me, and all at once I understood him too. I think I always did – I always knew this unspoken truth – it was just one that I wanted to stay under the water. I didn’t want to feel it, drowning me, yet it still did. And with the relief of it, I still felt the grains of salt burying themselves into my skin. They soon too will wash away, but I couldn’t help but think how unfair it was that they took me under in the first place. It hit me exactly how he didn’t want it to but needed it to all at the same time.

It felt unfair for him to throw that upon me. I am here and he is there and I wish every day for him to be better. I have tried with my kindest strength to be an incentive for his sobriety – calls every other day if not daily, understanding, loving tones, genuine love, kindness, motivating words. I thought that was enough but it never was and so I gave up.

Those moments, underneath, seeing glances of the sun shine through into the darkness as I searched my way to the top, the salt burning my eyes, are panic mode. Honesty is my favorite action yet the most unpredictable and breathtaking, for good and bad reasons of course, and instantly sweeps you off your feet and into panic. You see, that suffocating moment led me to a deeper understanding.

Maybe sometimes it is the healthiest decision to relieve yourself of your deepest feelings, but for others that relief can leave a burden. But then again, maybe sometimes that burden on us can be turned into less of a burden and more into a deeper understanding and perspective into that persons thoughts and your relationship with them. I’ve come to learn that the truth will, at one time or another, be revealed whether it’s from the person themselves or through some other revealing that might not be as pleasant – and that’s in a emotional and literal way. But regardless, the truth conquers all. Maintaining a healthy relationship is all about communication – honesty, perspective, understanding. All of these things my dad and I had together, and whether the truth did drown me for that moment or not, it was the gentle rawness of his feelings, the truth of it all, that I appreciated more than anything.

I think that’s something we all can (or more so need to) understand and appreciate – that sometimes the pain of drowning for a moment brings us the utter beauty and appreciation of the fresh air pulling deep into our lungs, and the sun shining on our skin.

 

P.S. – Yes, the header picture is me on the shore of the beach (known as ‘The End of the World’) in the Hamptons, NY. I was on vacation with my family there. We stayed in a tiny, old little hotel that legitimately rested on the ocean shore. The 6 of us would step out of our one bedroom shack at sunset and listen to the waves pouring onto our doorstep. It was magical. And yes, I almost drowned. True story (but then again, I can be a bit dramatic). XO

 

Scotland Adventures 2016

I’ve dreamt for years of traveling abroad and seeing the elegant cobbled U.K. streets, the ocean shores of another land, tasting the food of a different culture. For the first time ever, I got my passport and took to the sky to explore Scotland. I am extremely fortunate to have a boyfriend who’s a native of the country, who took me along with him. With my camera in hand, I did my best to take pictures that really captured the beauty of all I explored to go on remembering it and to share – but, the reality of it is, that a lens will never do it justice. Regardless, here’s a little view of some of my travels.

The first thing I did on the trip was visit the Royal Mile and Holyrood Palace, where the Queen, and the history of them, has stayed during their visits to Scotland. Scotland’s history is unlike anything you could ever experience in the U.S. The stone architecture is everywhere, and stands strong and steady for thousands of years, preserving the homes and histories of millions before us.

The Royal Mile

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

 

Holyrood Palace

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The next day, we did a tour of Edinburgh Castle, which was just as interesting as I’d imagine. My favorite part was going through the prisons where those were kept during wars. The old wooden doors still remained and had carvings in them from prisoners. It was quite a site!

Edinburgh Castle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

 

Of course, St. Andrews had to be on the list of sites to see in Scotland. The famous course and University were unrealistically beautiful, as was the shore. It was incredibly windy, and even that, in some extremely strange way, was beautiful as well.

St. Andrews, Fife

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

While there were so many more tourist sites we visited that I was unable to take pictures of, the adventures were endless! From Soccer games ( I mean Football 😛 ) to pitstops on the water to chippy’s, this trip was an absolutely amazing experience made even more remarkable by amazing people who I will cherish and remember forever.

img_4805

Dundee United Game

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Celtic Stadium

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Stewarts Melville School

Staying True To You – The Blue Hair Dilemma…

“I can’t agree, it’s too much… I would never.”

“Anything but that… Don’t do that.”

“I don’t want to wake up in the morning next to that.”
I heard it all. It was as if the world was ending just from merely mentioning the idea of adding any type of color to my hair that wasn’t the typical. I was so sure I wanted this too, and for so long! It had been nearly over a year and I never stepped up to the plate, which for me is odd, as I typically tend to do spontaneous things that are out of norm. But the words were replaying in my head and eating me alive, and the panic had set in. I found myself starring in the mirror at my hair for longer than what was normal and thinking about how much I loved it the way it was, which was something I never felt before. And then, cracking under pressure, I told myself I wouldn’t do it… ‘how could I do it? I look great!’ and I soon found myself searching online for “safer” options.
 –
Then I gave myself a good smack in the face –> THIS IS NOT ME. “Safer options”?? That’s just not my style. I’m the artsy type; The spontaneous type; The ‘I like ugly things’ type! Why was I negotiating myself out of my true character because of the opinions of others who were nothing like me!? I was frustrated with myself. I felt at that moment that I didn’t even know me. Was I who everyone wanted me to be, or was I who I wanted to be? Was I going to let everyone else tell me what to do? Was I really going to let others opinions of me sway my own opinions and decisions for myself? I thought I was going to vomit – and I know that sounds so dramatic, but I felt nauseous at an abnormal degree. That’s exactly the type of person I have never wanted to be – scared to do out of the box things because of others opinions. Who even cares if anyone likes it if I like it? And it’s just hair… It grows back, can be dyed over again, can even be cut off!
 –
I escaped to my friend’s apartment for the weekend and it was then that I realized it. As she encouraged me to do it, talked about her hair-goals herself, and bounced around the room with me to our favorite tunes, I really realized it. There are going to be tons of people in your life that are nothing like you, and you’re going to love them for that – but you can’t let their opinions of what you like persuade you, nor can you let anyone’s, really. Therefore, I don’t say this lightly, it’s great to have friends of all types, but never forget to surround yourself with people that are very much like you, and not just people, but your environment. Find that place, somewhere out there in this world that you automatically feel in love with even for the first time. It’s those people and those places that will bring out your truest, you-est you, and we all need that. We become who we are because of the people and places we surround ourselves with. How does one enhance their creative soul and be creative to the best of their ability in a non-creative environment? For instance, all of my poetry is usually about love, and my best writing and deepest emotions about love all come out when it’s written in bed, my comfort zone, next to the person I love… it makes sense, right?
 –
So don’t settle. Don’t have friends who you don’t click with right away. Even if they aren’t anything like you, if you click with them they will bring out amazing sides of you, some that you didn’t even know you had, and don’t live somewhere that doesn’t describe who you are. Move. It’s more simple than people make it out to be. And always do what you want to initially. Your gut and instincts are your truest self talking to you. Don’t ever let anyone, or the status quo, influence your style, your choices in friends, hobbies, etc. What makes you special is being you and no one else, and not catering to other peoples desires or opinions. If they love you, they will still continue to do so anyway, for the you inside, not your blue hair.
xo, Al.
p.s., they all loved it (;
 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s Okay to Have Half-Assed Friends…

It wasn’t until this past weekend visiting home that I realized and understood what a good friend really is. I was dreading the thought of it – being home without a car, staying at my Grandmothers depressing house, having nowhere to even go! I knew the general routine – I spent time with my family and that was that. Rarely did I go home and spend any time with friends from home. It had gotten to the point that they have gone on with their lives without me. Yeah, we still kept in touch and were the same good pals we always were when we did hang out, but my effort was the only one that was present. Relentless texts and calls, to the point my brother snapped, “Are you kidding me? No, do not text her again. Why do you even try,” with a sassy ‘ugh’ and an eye roll. I realized then that I was just making a fool of myself. So, this weekend in particular, I made it clear in advanced that I would be home for the weekend. I wasn’t expecting them to drop their plans at my beck and call because I just so happened to be in town. Yet as predicted, they never called. But it was this visit home in particular that I truly felt I needed them, their comfort, the distraction. And still, nothing.

I had arranged a ride from the airport from a very close family friend who I have known for years, mainly for being best friends with my older brother, but had grown closer to me in the past year or so. She was there to get me, and how grateful I felt. I was intent on expressing my gratitude and desire to spend the day together after I got in, and we did just that. We had spoken briefly of spending some time the next day together as well, but I knew how that went. People have lives, they’re not always there to spend time with me when I need to. Life doesn’t stop for me, nor did I expect it to. It was destined to not happen. And yet it did. She was my mediator for an awkward brunch, my reliable driver and laughter for long car rides to visit my brother, my puppy cuddling, relationship gossiper for the rainy afternoon and she even chose dinner with me over it with her boyfriend. It was all so nonchalant, so natural, so easy. I went away, back to my second home, content and looking happily on the weekends visit – something I didn’t think I would feel. It was then that I realized good friends do exist, and after twenty-one years, I finally had one.

I’m a hopeless romantic, which means I’m an over-emotional, over-caring love giver in all types of relationships I get myself into, and it has always been hard to remember that not everyone is as caring and loving as I am. I would drop anything and everything for someone I care about, and never felt like anyone ever did the same in return, but that’s just who I am. Through much stress and frustration, it is not till this very day that for the first time I’m really starting to understand friendships, on a level I never thought possible, which is why I share this with you…

IT’S OKAY TO HAVE HALF-ASS FRIENDS. Lots of people half-ass their entire lives. Yeah, no, this is no excuse and doesn’t mean it’s okay to have bad friends, but it takes a lot of understanding to realize that even some of the half-ass ones are good friends.

A good friend is a different definition for everyone, but we all know the basic rules and that it takes caring and loving. It takes being there for that person when it really counts; maybe not for all of the weekend visits or random phone calls but when when they miss your birthday two times in a row, thats a deal breaker. When you need a shoulder and they’re never there, deal breaker. When you’re the one waiting all day to spend time with them and cancel all other plans and they go hang with other friends instead, deal breaker (yup, I’ve had to learn the hard way). These are pretty understandable things, but its tough realizing that not all people are going to be as caring as some, and they really just can’t. For many, it’s not in their genes. Not everyone is equal amounts of caring or giving or appreciative or reliable. And it’s not true, that ‘if they’re a real friend, if you really connect and bond and are soul mates, they will be the most caring and loving no matter what’ (this goes for relationships too). Its not like the movies for every person. It’s not all thoughtfulness and love and caring. they may not go to extremes for you like what you would do for them. It’s not taking it personally and understanding that that’s just who they are. It doesn’t mean that they’re not good friends, they may love you unconditionally, be there for you when it counts, and love you just as much as you love them, but don’t have the same level of understanding and ideals in terms of commitment and care that you do. But what makes people best friends are the ones who connects with you because you share the same level of understanding and desire in terms of being a good friend; they would do the same for you that you would do for them.

I’ve had a lot of half-assed friends. They most likely don’t see it as being half-assed, but i do just because I’m the type of person who gives it my everything, and it took my a long time to understand that IT’S OKAY, they’re still GOOD FRIENDS, they’re just not the same type of person I am. Any type of relationship requires balance and having needs fulfilled to make them flourish, but some people will never meet your needs and you either have to accept that they aren’t that type of person and love them anyway, or move on. Maybe you’re not the type to give it you’re all and wear your heart on your sleeve but you need a friend who is, and vice versa. It’s understanding the type of person you are, understanding the type of people you’re dealing with and what will come from the relationship, realizing what you need and accepting what you can’t have and loving them anyway. Man, life’s complicated, as are you and everyone else, and we’re all just trying to figure each other out, one step at a time. We’re all unique in our own way and it’s understanding peoples individualities that make it all so interesting. Therefore, always remember, everyone’s different, and it’s okay.

The City of Freedom…

There comes a day in our lives where we meet that special something that holds a place in our hearts, and with every meeting it never fails to warm it; That special something that influences our souls to flourish, to express itself in its most natural, unique state. That is the epitome of New York City.

Standing on Fashion Ave, after getting off my bus and arriving into the city, I’m standing waiting for a friend. Not a person doesn’t go by that my eyes don’t wander to. A woman with thick chunky platform shoes and hair cut to her jawline, the face of Vogue. A few friends walking the streets, dresses and skirts swinging so casually, yet anywhere other than the city that would be style for a special occasion. Headphones and leather biker jackets with literally just about everything. Even the athletic jocks and gym-goers look stylish in the city.

The embodiment of NYC street style is being oddly strange in the most normal way. Whatever it is that makes you your quirkiest and most offbeat self is suitable for NYC lifestyle. Not being average is the norm. I’m walking through the streets of Soho and strut past a shop with sunglasses displayed in the window, a pair with kaleidoscope lenses is shining in the sun, front and center, calling my name. Suddenly, I seriously consider buying them. They’re incredibly awesome and so unique! And then I remembered last Spring I was in New York, when I bought large, square framed pastel-pink sunglasses that were chic and acceptable in the city but could never be worn again in Virginia. Or the hippie, ripped, patched vintage jeans I bought in the city a year before that and only wore nearly a handful of times… The city brings out the inner extraordinary, unique parts of your soul and accentuate them.

For my first night out in the city I realized how true Sex in the City really is… Everyone’s single or pretends to be. Everyone is out clubbing till four in the morning. And while this may not be the typical weekend lifestyle for everyone, it’s beautiful in a most extraordinary way. No one cares if you’re out every weekend or you’re not. No ones cares about the standard rules and regulations of life; go to college, get married, get a job, have kids.They just live and don’t judge. Not a single New Yorker asked me if I had a degree, if I had my own place, they simply ask, “what do you do? Where are you from?” And talk about life and love and experiences.

Not everyone loves the city like I do. I’ve come to find there’s a true love-hate relationship for it, and most people I know hate it. But no matter your love, or lack thereof, for the smells of the subways or the business of the streets, there’s something to take from the city, and it’s a sense of freedom. The freedom to be completely yourself and not be judged, to wear what you want when you want to, to take whatever life path you want and not be judged. I met many adults who were writers, stylists, nannies. A New Yorker friend said to me, “No one I know has a proper job anymore. It’s so weird now. You can be Blac Chyna and make a bank… I know many people who don’t use their degree, myself included. Waste of money.” I even met transgender Mono, who was his born male, and was male by week, and a ‘drag’ female on the weekends. No matter their sexual orientation, outfit, or career path, New Yorkers didn’t care. I find that outside of the city, in many other states around the U.S., that that’s not the case. Here in Northern Virginia, and other places I’ve lived in, everyone has the same basic life map; college, marriage, kids, a perfect house and a 9-5 job. That is what’s expected. That’s what is strived for, nor is that wrong, but if it’s not what you strive for or where you’re heading, a filter of judgment is passed over you. That’s everything that’s wrong with a lot of society, everything that’s right about the city and exactly my point. New York City is the city of dreams, whether you like it, don’t, or have never been, everything you can take from it, and this, should be applied to your daily life whether you’re in the country, city, or a suburban town. Be the quirkiest you, embrace your personality, your opinions, your taste. Who cares what anyone thinks, if it’s what everyone else is doing or it isn’t, it’s what you want, what makes you happy, so embrace it and live every day like this life is yours to take.

Falling in Love…

I do this really awful thing, called falling in love…

And I don’t do it casually. I do it madly, deeply, to an extreme; to the point my heart is spilled out on the floor and I’m dragging it wherever I go.

You see, I do this really awful thing, called falling in love… I engulf myself into the lives of others and make it mine, because why would they not love me more that way, involved in what they love? Why would I not love what they love, solely because such a beautiful person loves it? I get lost in the swirling sea of their life.

You see, I do this really awful thing, called falling in love… Their single glance, their tone, their actions towards me dictate my emotions and drowns my days. I take my dragging heart through woods, puddles, let it get stomped on by boots, and yet it still holds on and loves just the same. Maybe stronger because it was so weak.

And that’s why it’s such an awful thing, falling in love. I let my heart fall so brutally to the floor and leave a hole in my chest, with none left for me. It falls so quickly that it has no time to breathe, decide, realize…

Maybe one day, I’ll be a little wiser, softer, lovelier… Maybe one day, it won’t be such an awful thing, falling in love…

 

StoryChick…

Hi everyone! My blog has been lacking a bit lately… I’ve been extremely busy, between work, class, spending time working out and writing, I’ve been non-stop. Although I haven’t posted frequently lately, I have been writing tons and hopefully I can get some work up soon! Speaking of writing… I am officially a blogger for StoryChick Magazine! It’s an online magazine that caters to mainly woman, and covers all topics you can imagine; from body, mind, soul, lifestyle, fashion, celebrities to news beauty and so much more, they really have it all! As well as a great set of bloggers! (; So far, two of my articles have been posted. I will be sharing many of them with you on here, as well as exclusively writing pieces just for this blog and the same for the magazine. Check out their page, and my two posts below, and follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see their articles in your feed!

http://www.StoryChick.com

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

My first two articles…

What to do When Your Heart is Hurting

The Key to Being a Chic Traveler: Airport Style

Enjoy xx