Light.

A few days ago a friend of mine, Antonio, asked me what I was doing artistically as of late. I told him I was too busy planning my wedding to have time to do anything artistic, but hopefully after the wedding I will slide back into the art world without clouded mind. The truth is…I just haven’t had the want to do it.After giving him my excuse he said, “I hope so, you’re a very good writer.”This sparked something in me. I need to just write or paint or draw whenever and however I can. When the creative bug bites (as it did this afternoon) I just have to scratch the itch.

I haven’t written in a very long time. It has almost been an entire year. 2013 was kind of a tough one. In January, after breaking my thumb, my doctor discovered I had a benign bone tumor called an enchondroma which needed to be removed and filled with bone graft. I was in a removable cast for 6 months and also a temporary south paw. I then, after losing weight from post surgery and running too much, discovered a lump in my right breast that had to be removed (non-cancerous!). Shortly after, Kelso died (our family dog and my best friend). My last piece of writing occurred a few days after he passed. A few months later, I lost my job and then our family cat, Jynx, died.

I guess all of that stunted my creativity. You could call it writer’s block, maybe depression. But I stopped writing, I stopped drawing, I painted only a couple paintings (once I got my right hand working again).

Now don’t get me wrong, there were great things that happened last year too! Danny and I got engaged! I ran my first 5K, then I ran my second 5k. I took my first trip on a plane. I was an alumni guest speaker at my college. I found a new job!The point is that I used to be able to write any time of day about anything. It was usually angry, short and to the point. I just got it out of my system and into one of my many notebooks. It was just something I needed to do to function. I could just throw together works of art. My creativity poured out of me like hot lava onto paper and took on lives of its own.I hate that this doesn’t happen anymore. Maybe I am too busy, too tired, too something to even bother to put the energy into it. I really want this creativity back. I can’t seem to open my mind like I used to. I need to find that ability again.

Slowly but surely I think I am finding my creative self again. Little things push me to open a door that has been shut for only God knows how long. Comments like Antonio’s nudge the door a little, showing that light on the other side. It is a beautiful light that is dying to break down the door. It is warm and bright, it makes beautiful things. It also has patience and is encouraging. Hm…somehow I am describing God. He is the the greatest artist after all.

 

Oh…and thanks Tony. <3

My Best Friend

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This is Kelso. This is my best friend. This is my brother. Kelso died recently and I am honestly having a really hard time coping with the news. I decided that writing out some of my memories may help with … Continue reading

Good People.

I just ate a taco.

Not just any taco…one of my favorite tacos. 

This taco came from Smoke BBQ Taqueria in Homestead.

Around 6:00 p.m. tonight, my car decided to stall out and die on West Carson Street in Pittsburgh. I had just dropped off my little (from Big Brothers Big Sisters), Autumn, and I was on my way to my cousin’s house to babysit so they could go out to celebrate his birthday. So I call Danny, who is working, and he doesn’t answer. I then panic. This has never happened to me before and West Carson isn’t exactly a slow street. I call my cousin to tell him what has happened and let him know that I will keep him updated. 

I get out of my car and I hear sirens. Two cop cars come down West Carson at 100 mph. I try to wave them down, no good. Five minutes later they come back through at 100 mph. Obviously not there to rescue me.

It took 15 minutes for a good samaritan to stop and help me push my car off to the side of the road. I didn’t even get his name. He asks me if I had called my parents yet to have them come get me. I laugh and I’m like my parents don’t live here, they are in New York. I must look really young…

Anyway, it just so happened that my car died right in front of Corliss Auto, a collision shop, and the guy who stopped to help me knew the guy who owned the shop, his name was Stan.

Turns out Stan had already called one of his guys to come tow me to a place that could help. The good samaritain asks if he could give me a ride somewhere and I turn him down, thank him for his help and he leaves.

So now I am on the side of the road with my doors locked and a dead car. I get the brilliant idea to call the shop that Danny is working at to see if they can relay a message. It works, Danny calls me 3 minutes later. I explain to him what is happening and start to cry. 

“Don’t cry babe, everything will be ok. I will send you a picture of my AAA card and they will take care of you.”

I take a deep breath, “Ok, is there anyway for you to get here?”

“No, I don’t have my car here and I don’t know when we are leaving. Call Baron he is the close to you right?”

“He is in Texas…I could try Shelby, maybe she could come. I will keep you updated.”

“Ok, I love you! It will be ok.”

“Love you.”

I first call AAA, turns out you can only use somebody else’s AAA if they are physically there. Fail.

I flip to my favorites and click Shelby. 

She answers, “HEY!! How are you?”

I explain what is happening and she says, “Ok we are at Smoke, here is Cory, He has the car so he will have to decide what to do.” She hands the phone to Cory.

“Hey! What is going on? We are at Smoke, but we can be there as soon as possible. Shelby has AAA so we can call a truck when we get there.”

I thank him, tell him I love them both and I will see them soon.

So then I am back in my locked car alone. I call my mom of course to fill her in on what is happening in my life. In the middle of talking to her, the original tow truck pulls up. It is now 7:00 p.m. I hang up the phone with my mom.

I think his name is Bob, that is what the truck says anyway – ‘Bob’s Towing’. He is a nice guy, missing a few teeth, I actually think these type of guys know their stuff better than anyone. 

“What’s going on? Tell me what happened.”

“I think it may be the battery, maybe the alternator? I just stalled out while sitting at the light and now my car is completely dead.”

He asks me put the car in neutral, guide it back beside his truck while I steer, pop the hood and he would take a look. I get out my jumper cables and he hooks the cars up.

After about 10 minutes and some good classic weathered mechanic tests, he discovers that my fuel pump is bad (which really sucks cuz I just filled my tank!)

I explain to him about the cops not stopping and me panicking. He fills me in on a high speed chase that had happened that he just come from. Apparently a car that was exactly the same as mine was totaled only a mile from where I stalled out. So weird how things happen. 

That is when Cory and Shelby pull up. Bob says to call him if AAA doesn’t come through. He pulls out and I walk over to Shelby and Cory.

“We are here to rescue you!” Shelby says.

“And we brought tacos!!!” Cory holds up a Smoke BBQ bag.

“And a cookie!” says Shelby.

“I love you guys, seriously,” I say smiling and I get in the back seat.

We call AAA, get everything squared away and then we sit.

20 minutes. 30 minutes. 40 minutes. An hour. A little over an hour and some funny moments pass and the AAA truck comes to tow my car away.

Basically this adventure is over. Four hours later Cory and Shelby have left my apartment and I’ve finished my taco. My favorite taco from Smoke BBQ Taqueria, that only people who care about me would know without asking that it is indeed my favorite.

I’m not even worried about my car. You can always fix those, but true friends are hard to come by. I discovered today what true friendship is and I will never take it for granted. I love you guys so much and you really did rescue me today in more ways than one. <3

 

 

Beautiful Things

Easter has always been my favorite holiday. The story of the resurrection of Jesus. It is such a beautiful and heartbreaking tale and a story of love and hope. 

It is a time for family and being thankful for the sacrifice Christ made and his love he has for all. This year I am feeling home sick and feel like I’m missing out on everything happening back home. Sunrise service with my grandparents and family dinner at their house. Then you know, the memories of when I was little and finding jelly beans and eggs all morning. It can be depressing to be without family on holidays like Easter. Today the feeling was especially strong. 

I’ve been waiting all week for today. The weather forecast was saying it was supposed to be beautiful out – sunny and warm. A beautiful spring day. We all need some sun in our lives after this terribly cloudy winter. GIVE ME SOME VITAMIN D!!! Also probably a factor in my depressed mood.

Well for once the weather man was right! There isn’t a cloud in the sky, the sun is beaming and it is the perfect temperature.

Earlier this week I made the decision that I would be running my first 5K this summer, then I made the decision to make it 2 or maybe even 3! So, as I am not a runner (AT ALL) I downloaded a “couch to 5K” application on my phone to help me train to be ready to run these things and keep me on track. Technology is amazing. 

Since the weather was gorgeous today, I decided that I would head over to the Montour Trail to do Day 3 of 5K training. So much different than running on a treadmill.

I pull into the parking lot, grab my phone and slip it into my armband, put my car key into my pocket and slip on my headphones. 

Motivating running music starts from Spotify. I push start on my 5K app.

“Begin 5 minute warmup!”

And so it begins. I start walking to the trail. The training is only 30 minutes currently and overall I go about 2.5 miles (not a 5K, but I will get there!).

I cross the road and head into the woods on the trail. 

“Begin running!”

One minute of running begins.

“Begin walking!”

90 seconds of walking.

“Begin running!”

One minute.

“Begin walking!”

90 seconds.

“Begin running!”

One minute. I round a bend.

“Begin walking!”

I slow to a brisk walk and look up. Out of the corner of my eye I see a doe standing at the edge of the trail. I look over to her. She stops. I slow down to almost a stop.

She is a beautiful creature. Her hair is still thick from her winter coat, but in the sun that shines on her between the bare branches I could see the red fur shine beneath ready for spring.

She flicks her ear and walks a few steps forward and away from me. I start walking a little faster. We make eye contact. We both slow back down. 

Then she perks her head, hesitates and jumps down to the trail ahead of me. Hooves pound into the dirt and she pushes off into the other side of the forest. She takes off running into the distance.

The song in my headphones ends and I hear children freaking out behind me about the deer. They run to the edge of the trail where the deer pushed off. 

“Begin running!”

I begin again.

As I continue the rest of my 30 minute training (which turned into 40 because I didn’t turn around when it told me I was half way!) all I can think about was that moment and how my feeling of homesick and lonely had vanished. God gave us a beautiful day and gave me motivation to go out an run. I just love how he works. The timing was perfect. It was only 90 seconds, but it was exactly what I needed today, along with some well deserved vitamin D. I wish I had gotten a photo of her, but it would have ruined it. I would have been fiddling around with my armband and she would have taken off sooner.

I am not sure why those 90 seconds made me feel better, but God does. So thank God for today and all those moments that he gives you. He makes beautiful things, you just need to open your eyes and see them.

 

Revelation 21:4-5: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

Moments with God

I was coming home from work on Friday, driving west, I was two exits from where I get off the highway and this feeling overcame me. A perfectly satisfied feeling, happy, and loved. I looked at the sun (with sunglasses on of course) and noticed it was perfect, a perfect round circle and you could see the white edges. It was producing the purist light – bright, clear, and white. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The sun was having its time after days of cloudiness. It wasn’t quite time for a sunset yet and really if the sun wasn’t set so low in the sky you would have never known it was almost 5:00 pm in the beginning of January.

The song “I’m Alive” by Peter Furler came on the radio at that moment. It just made me want to keep driving west and chase the sun. There was an unusually low number of cars on the highway at that moment – 4:40ish pm on a Friday. My gas tank was on E, so I wouldn’t have gotten very far. But I didn’t feel like I was driving, I was just in the moment. I was watching the sun and taking it all in. It lasted probably 2 minutes tops, but felt like forever and I can’t stop thinking about it. I consider this a moment with God. Where you forget everything that you are worried about and you are just surrounded by this feeling I can’t truly describe. Nothing matters, you’re just alive. It is such a wonderful feeling and in that moment everything seems perfect.

Anytime this moment with God happens to me (it has happened on numerous occasions and more often than not it happens to be in my car) I wonder if it is a sign for something – a message? Or maybe it is just him reminding me that he is still there even if I forget. It is such a small amount of time and yet it stays in my mind for weeks. My eyes open and I see so much more than I did before, at least for a few weeks or a couple of months. I become more creative, my mind just works differently after this happens – I really have no explanation other than God.

This makes me think, should I just be paying attention more to the world? Or maybe not. I actually love those short moments that God sits in my car with me. With all the people in the world, he comes and sits in my car for 2 minutes at a time. How can you not love a God like that?

Blessings.

At the end of August and early September I made the trip home, twice. Seven hours in the car, by myself. That is a lot of singing and talking to myself. But on my second trip home, I decided to have a conversation with God. He had blessed me with a wonderful afternoon of driving and incredibly good gas mileage – I thought we should talk, which included laughter, tears and very serious moments.

I’ve always had trouble initiating a conversation with God. I’m not sure why, because he knows everything I’m thinking anyway and where I’m going and well he knows everything right? This talk made me think a lot about everything in my life that I have been blessed with.

I was just amazed by all the blessings I have and I really didn’t realize it until I started talking about them out loud.

I have an amazing family – we have our quirks, our problems, our amazing good looks. I love all of them. I am blessed to have my grandparents, who are absolutely incredible people and have remained together after 60 years. They are the most amazing, adorable, and funny couple I know and probably will ever know. I have incredibly beautiful cousins, who are all so smart and so easy to love. My aunts and uncles have all taken one part or another to raise me to become the person I am today. My mom has become one of my best friends and for everything we have been though I would do anything for her. She is the bravest and strongest person I know. My step-dad, Rick, even though we have had our differences he has become one of the most supportive men in my life and I truly love him for being the dad he didn’t have to be. My parents also have our family dog, Kelso, who has loved me unconditionally for almost 10 years and is a highlight to my weekends home.

I have some awesome friends – I have come to discover who my true friends are in the last few months. It is a very small circle that I have allowed in my life. It is interesting who God introduces into your life – the different personalities, the different careers, the different interests – but some how they work into your life – with your personality, your career, and your interests.

I have an incredible boyfriend – Danny. He has seen every side of me – good, bad, sad, happy, weird, even weirder – you get the point…yet he loves every single part of me. He makes me happy and makes me feel amazing – even on my worst days. He works very hard and too long on his feet, but that doesn’t stop him from being amazing. We also have 2 dog-like cats (Calib and Cano) who have made our lives way more entertaining. <3

I work with some great people at a job that I really do love. Who could ask for more than exactly what you spent 4 years of college studying? I have a great environment and an extremely fun team that I work with.

So all in all…I have an amazing family, friends, boyfriend, and job. My car is running, the bills are paid, I have food to eat and clothes on my back. Of all the evil I have seen and bad things I have experienced…nothing can come close to all the things God has blessed me with. And really, these are just a handful of things, if I counted moments, sunrises, sunsets, doors held open, accidents avoided, butterflies seen and meeting a giant panda face to face (at the zoo) I could write for hours. You get the idea right?

Everything happens for a reason and for every reason that has blessed me with amazing people, experiences and moments I am so thankful for. So thank you Lord for our great conversation and opening my eyes and giving me all the good in my life.

Friends.

I’ve always had trouble with friends.

It’s a problem I have had for a very long time and I know the roots. They stem deep down into my past.

TRUST.

That is the main problem. I have never allowed anyone to see all my layers because I have never been able to trust anyone enough to allow them to see me for all that I am made of.

I have peeled back different layers for different people depending on who I think they will like.

Loving. Goofy. Mean. Intelligent. Vain. Self Conscience. Artistic. Tough. Sarcastic. You get the point.

In my mind I think that if I show too much, somebody will judge me and abandon me.

ABANDONMENT.

This stems deep too. I think when you are put in situations when you are a child that are out of your control, it is carried with you the rest of your life.

Nobody wants to be abandoned by anyone. Whether its your father, your best friend, or even an acquaintance – nobody likes to be left alone.

ALONE.

I have never fit into a group. I cannot be put into a category. I am far too different to be molded into something and stuck in a box with a certain group.

This can sometimes be a problem. You can find yourself alone because of it. Certain personalities fit with each other, and when you don’t fit, you’re left out. I have found myself in this situation a lot. This just leads to depression.

DEPRESSION.

You know those commercials, “Depression hurts.” Yea they’re right about that. If you have ever experienced any type of depression at all, you should know this. If you suffer from post traumatic stress disorder like I do, you know that depression sucks a lot worse than it does for normal people. Especially if you deal with it without any help.

This is why you need friends. But when you can’t trust anyone enough to be able to open all your layers up to them and let them judge you for what you are, you will not have any true friends who will allow you to lean on them when you need them.

It is a big circle.

So this is what I have to get over. I need to not care about people judging my layers. I have experimented with this since moving to Pittsburgh a year and a half ago. I have found friends and lost them, but really I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. There are certain people in your life for a set time and purpose – God puts them there for a reason and like always you never know at the time. Then there are life long friends who stick with you till the end. Sometimes you just need that life long friend and sometimes life gets in the way. Or you get to be 23 and you aren’t sure if you have any true life long friends or if they will ever come a long or maybe they are there but you just haven’t uncovered that they are yet.

There are people I know who have friends that talk to them about everything. They know everything about one another, they know everyone in their families, their favorite place to eat and their favorite songs. They have years of memories that will always stay with them and traditions and secrets. I want that.

So herein lies my problem - I can’t deal with drama and guy problems and hormonal issues and shopping and “where did all my money go?” and “why didn’t he call me?” and the parties and just the overall girliness of things. You know what I’m talking about. It’s like having a girlfriend.

Not saying every girl out there is like that, but seems to be a lot of them. Which then I feel bad for some of the men who have to deal with that when it comes across their paths. But that is a whole other ball of wax.

I didn’t have a plan when I started writing this tonight. I just know that the line “Trouble with Friends” has been on my mind for a while. Finding friends when you’re an adult is a lot harder than when you were a kid. But then again it was pretty hard for me when I was a kid too – so you can just imagine the trouble now. Don’t get me wrong, I have found some great people in this city, but sometimes you just want more. Isn’t that how life goes? 

I also hope nobody gets offended by this, these are just things that I think about. I love all of you, even though I might not know that you love me too.

Bird.

 

Bird on a branch,
So pretty and blue.
Silent as death,
Not singing a tune.

A flick of his tail,
A clack of his beak.
Pretty little bird,
Why don’t you speak?

Others fly by,
They squawk and they squall.
Tiny blue bird,
You don’t care at all.

There’s no fear in his eyes,
No doubt in his heart.
He is ready for flight,
He is ready to dart.

As darkness falls,
All the birds go to bed.
He looks around and,
Starts singing the song in his head.

A beautiful melody,
A song of truth.
A tale of sadness,
Hope and brute.

Then he stops,
He bows his head.
He looks at me,
All words are said.

He poses himself,
To fly away.
Away from the sorrow,
Away from the pain.

I watch him fly,
Into the night.
Over the branches,
And out of sight.

Goodbye sweet bird,
Forever gone.
I will remember you,
And sing your song.

Storm.

Her skin is porcelain, her hair dark, her eyes piercing blue. Her feet are bare. The wind blows her waves of soft hair.  Her voice is soft and sweet. Epitome of innocence.

She stands alone in the middle of a large field. As she looks up she only sees dark, black storm clouds. She looks around – only darkness.

“A storm is coming,” she whispers softly.

The rain begins to pour out of the black clouds. It’s cold and hard – stinging as it pelts her alabaster skin. She still stands in the middle of the field. Lightning strikes near her – the bright flash reflects in her blue eyes. The thunder resonates in her body. Still she stands.

She takes a deep breath. The wet air fills her lungs. A sweet smell…a mix of clovers and mud. The rain pounds onto the muddy ground. Her ankles are splattered with the warm mud she is standing in. The lightning strikes again. The thunder rumbles the ground around her.

Her dark hair now saturated, dripping wet. The rain dripping off her eyelashes and rolling off the tip of her nose.  Her dress stuck to her small, bony body. She begins to shiver from the cold rain. She looks down at the muddy ground around her. She spots a lone blue flower growing in the field. The rain pounds on the tiny green leaves and the fragile sapphire petals. She is not completely alone.

There is a sudden gust of wind that takes her to the ground. She falls into the warm mud next to the flower. Her head slams on the hard ground. Her eyes fall upon the flower, it stands defiant against the harsh storm. Laying on the ground she looks up at the dark sky. Rain still coming down hard upon her face, she closes her eyes and breathes.

Breathe.

Sometimes it is all you can do.

The rain starts to dwindle. The thunder rumbles in the distance and she can hear the chirps of birds around her. She slowly opens her eyes and takes another deep breath. Directionless rain drops fall around her. The dark, black storm clouds taper off into the horizon. The sky is overcast and  grey, but the storm is over for now.

She gets up and looks around. She stands strong against the cool wind. Her skin calloused by the harsh air and pelting rain. Her hair tangled and dripping. Her eyes more piercing blue than ever before. She is worn and abused, but she stands solid and sound.

She breathes. She’s alive.

One.

I am writing this at 12:25 a.m. completely zonked. I really just needed to post something before I put this brand new blog to bed for the night. I couldn’t just leave this without a post! I have been carrying around a notebook for 2 weeks hoping to write. Every time I sit down to do it, nothing happens. I used to be able to write down anything I had weighing on my mind – poetry I suppose. I called them song lyrics, in hopes that one day they would make me famous. But I just had words. Notebooks upon notebooks of “song lyrics” that never made it anywhere but a couple of poetry slams in high school.

Hopefully this will help me get into writing again. The notebook wasn’t doing the job, so today I thought that a blog would be a better idea. I can share my thoughts with the world, instead of some secret notebook that nobody will ever read. I am not sure if anything I have to say will matter or affect anyone in the world, but it will help me.

I really need to go to bed.