Look So Tired

(The title is a song by Landon Pigg-I think it’s phenomenal, just not the one I’m focusing on today. It deals with the same kinda thing though.) There’s a song (a kinda old song) called Comes and Goes in Waves by Greg Laswell. I’ve been working through life and this song brought with it some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past couple months and years.

This one’s for the lonely, the one’s that seek and find
Only to be let down time after time
This one’s for the torn down, the experts at the fall
Come on friends, get up now, you’re not alone at all.

The song starts out with these words and I am immediately drawn in. I’ve been in such a funk lately. It speaks to me of destiny, of the path I am on, they way that I feel lost and hopeless in the face of recent tragedies. The way I feel overwhelmed by how much need there is in the world.

And this part was for her (3x)
Does she remember?
It comes and goes in waves

This is the way depression and anxiety are to me. It comes. It goes. And I struggle to remember that it isn’t always dark skies and sadness.

This one’s for the faithless, the ones that are surprised
They’re only where they are now regardless of their fight
This one’s for believing if only for it’s sake
Come on friends get up now love is to be made

This is the part of the song I connect with on a personal level. I feel like I fight so hard, just to keep myself afloat and it’s all I can do to remind myself that it will be okay-even if I don’t believe it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at where I am and can’t seem to rationalize it against how hard I’ve struggled just to get there.

It comes and goes in waves, I
Am only led to wonder why
It comes in goes in waves, I
Am only led to wonder why
Why I, why I try

I hear these words and nod my head. I want to help the world, but I feel so minuscule in my attempts. I feel like a single grain of sand in an entire shore of beach.

This is for the ones who stand
For the ones who think they can
For the ones who need a hand
For the ones who try again

This is the remembrance of my goals. I wake each day to rediscover how much I have to give to the world. How much capacity I have within me to make it a better place than I found it.

worthyI’ve been hard at work on a project I will unveil to you this week, along with the premise of why I’ve been working on it so fervently. But for now, I want to look at the way I’ve experienced my own work.

I know I will succeed. I know that because I simply have no other option. Even so, the big huge shadow of insecurity grips me tightly. I stood in front of the mirror last night and had a heart to heart with myself. I know I’ve shared this quote before, but this is essentially what I said to myself and it’s pretty damned important.

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I’m alive. I’m fighting. And I will always keep fighting. I take things personally, I emote-with exceptional capability. I’m human. But in the end, the world is always going to say that I am not enough. That I am not right, not perfect, not this or that. It shouldn’t affect me at all. But it does. And that’s alright. What bothers me is that at some point I was taught that I should say those things to myself as well. I mean, holy crap what even is that?

I had to take time out of my day, right before I went to bed just to reassure myself that I was enough. That I was worthy of love, of respect, of everything I’ve worked towards. I had to look myself in the eyes and remind myself that I am enough of a person to live an unapologetic life. I am worthy of acceptance, of happiness, even when I cannot see that for myself. I am a human being and I am enough to make a difference. I am enough.

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Those words shouldn’t need to be spoken in a whisper through tears. They should be standard issue. Instead, it’s an uphill battle against society. Your worth is determined by numbers on a scale, numbers in your bank account, numbers of followers and likes and retweets. Your worth is determined by people who don’t even know you, your struggle, your thoughts and heart. You are judged before you even leave the womb and you have to fight to claim your worth beyond selfies and eating disorders and lies.

I first felt that pressure when I was in fifth grade and hadn’t started shaving my legs yet. I was 10 and I got made fun of. Then I remember being told that I’d be worth dating if I were 20 pounds lighter. Then I made the joke that you could see my ribs, so I knew I was on the right path. I was 13. Then I couldn’t understand why I hated myself and my arms will forever remain an invisible zebra. I was 14. I thought I would be better off dead. I was 15. I turned to energy drinks as a way to fight off the nightmares and in the process I damaged my kidneys (to the point of shutting down). I was 18.

I’m twenty three. I’ve been fighting with myself for over a decade. HALF OF MY LIFE I have hated the person staring at me from the mirror. I can’t say that it’s been a perfect year, but I think it’s important to look at the path I took to get here. I’m fighting my hardest. And each day comes and goes in waves. I’m just swimming about, keeping my head above water. And I think there’s something beautiful about that.

I-Am-Enough.jpgAnyway, You’re probably wondering what it is that I’m even saying today. The Campbell’s soup (condensed) version? I didn’t want to write a post about my problems but I saw a video of an interview with Jared Padalecki who said the words “I didn’t want to talk about my sadness because I thought it would make everyone else worse. Instead, I found solidarity.” ( I paraphrased.)

So if you’re struggling today, I’m in that ocean with you. And we’ll make it out alive, we just have to keep fighting.

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Oblivion

I’ve had the song Oblivion in my head all day, rewatched the YouTube video about 80 times today. That’s not an exaggeration either. I love the musicality of it, and the lyrics are just delightful. The part that gets me every time is the following section:

When you fall asleep with your head upon my shoulder.
When you’re in my arms but you’ve gone somewhere deeper.

Are you going to age with grace?
Are you going to age without mistakes?
Are you going to age with grace,
Or only to wake and hide your face?

When oblivion is calling out your name,
You always take it further than I ever can.

When you play it hard, and I try to follow you there.
It’s not about control but I turn back when I see where you go.

Are you going to age with grace?
Are you going to leave a path to trace?

But oblivion is calling out your name,
You always take it further than I ever can.

When oh oblivion is calling out your name,
You always take it further than I ever can.

I know, I probably didn’t need to add the whole song, but at the same time, I’ve cried at songs before but this is beautiful.

We all go through battles. Life is hard on all of us. There’s nothing we can do to prepare for it, nothing we can do to make it easier. We just keep fighting. We have no other choice. But no matter what, we’re not alone.

I invite you to give it a listen. The music starts at 0:56, it stars Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and the video is sad, but I like to listen and make my own mental video.

Bastille-Oblivion

Once Upon A Time

It was a slightly overcast day, but with enough sun to count as sunny. I woke up, smiled a bit, and headed to school and my then job as a tutor for the school. It was the end of April, and I was looking forward to the end of the semester. Ben, working in the same department, saw me as I walked in. I asked him what was on his mind, and we began to talk about the same topic that we’d been casually mentioning for ages: marriage. I thought we could just do a courthouse run when we went to get our marriage certificate, but the courthouse hadn’t offered them, and so we were still looking for a solution. I pulled the number up for the courthouse of the municipal we were in for classes (which was the next district over, and therefore a possibility). The judge DID perform marriages-by appointment only!

When would we like to be married?

I wanted May Day-a religious holiday about fertility and thusly good luck.

They only did Friday’s.

May second? Booked.

May ninth?

That was fine. We were scheduled for 9AM. Perfect.


The date was two weeks away, with plenty of time to break the news to our families that we were being completely serious (they’d known we would for about a year, but until we had something concrete it was always just up in the air.) We’d tried a December wedding, but it hadn’t panned out.

Fast forward to the Friday before our wedding-Friday, May 2 at 4:56PM. The Judge had been overbooked! And he wouldn’t even able to do our wedding!! No appointments available before our marriage certificate expired. Thank you.

It was the end of the business week before we were finished with our conversation. I could call no official until Monday, and that might be too late. So I began to try every minister, high priest, high priestess, pastor and anyone I had an email address for in the closest three counties. Most, as I had assumed, needed more notice. One had asked if we could drive forty miles to their Sabbat that same night, where they would love to do so, with less than an hour to get there-we passed, but I would have loved to!

Ben had been calling people with the same fervor, and emailing his professors (who are well known to be better connected than college students!) and lo and behold-one of his professors was ordained! Was he free on Friday the 9th? Yes! Would he be willing to do so? Yes! Perfect!

It wasa sunny Friday, the flowers were all blooming in the trees and it seemed like the perfect day for happiness. My parents and siblings, Ben’s dad, Ben’s best friend (and his parents) and a couple lost stragglers came to the classroom. My dad stopped off and bought pizza for everybody before we got there. In walked the professor, complete with a stole and robes, a brief case, and a guitar case. I’d never had Dr. Emens, but he seemed a nice enough fellow, and he was certainly doing us a kindness.

We had a traditional wedding, complete with prayers, vows that were based in a religion I had left, and the exchanging of rings. Then, at the very end, Dr. Evens sat down and asked if he could play a song for us. He chose “Good Riddance (Time of Our Lives)” by Green Day. We paid him, signed the things we needed to and then headed to our honeymoon-weekend (where we watched three seasons of Game of Thrones and the owner of the place we stayed picked wild flowers-which I dried (because they were my wedding bouquet).

It may not have been traditional, it may not have been the big and fancy wedding that everyone always thinks about, but it was unique, it was prophetic and it was the start of a wonderful marriage. And it was all completed at 4:30PM Friday, May 9, 2014.

Now, two years later, it is rainy (which I love!) and I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my huge cup of coffee, thinking about that day. I remember that I sat there thinking that I wasn’t nervous at all, that I knew I was making the decision that I’d made in my head a long time before.

There are some things you didn’t get with that version of the story.

I was 21 (and had been so for 5 months exactly). Ben was 20 (and had been so for a week under 5 months). I was asked within five minutes of getting married if I was going to have kids/when I was going to have kids/if I was already pregnant. 

Ben told my dad (and I later adopted the same reasoning for the people who asked why we got married so young:

I didn’t want to start our lives separately and have to make room for the other person. I want to start from absolutely nothing more than love and build a life together. I want to start out together poor and watch as our riches grow.

I’d always told people that when you know you love someone, you shouldn’t feel like age should stop you from spending your life together.

I chose to hyphenate my name because at the time I thought I wanted to go into academics and that way, if I published any papers, you’d know without a doubt it was me. I may not be directly going into academia, but I don’t regret splitting my name. Because it gives me an identity all my own. I use either name as I please, both for formal occasions and I am content.

So happy anniversary, my love. It’s been an interesting, epic, bizarrely perfect two years and I look forward to collecting more with you.

Angels on the Moon

I shared, a while ago, about how there were some quotes that really spoke for me, almost. As though those words embodied all the thoughts I had about a particular subject. And although I know that there is need elsewhere, I need to once more, complete a mental purge with some quotes. This time, though, there is only one song, and it’s been the “fight song” of my heart lately, guiding me even when I’d rather sit and “go dark”. I want to bring it up, because it’s more than just that though, it’s my lullaby, my mantra, my shield. And something that powerful has to be worth discussing. I’m copying the lyrics in and then in parentheses, I will add what I “hear” when I listen to them.

Do you dream that the world will know your name? (Do you need validation?)

So tell me your name (You can validate yourself)

Do you care about all the little things (Do you obsess about things?)

or anything at all? (Or drown in apathy?)

I wanna feel, all the chemicals inside (I want to live, without medication)

I wanna feel (I want to breathe freely)

I wanna sunburn, just to know that I’m alive (I want to live a life I’m proud of)

To know I’m alive (A life I can be sure has no regrets)
Don’t tell me if I’m dying (Don’t tell me if I made a mistake)

‘Cause I don’t wanna know (Because I can’t let that get me down)

If I can’t see the sun, maybe I should go (This depression isn’t the only way)

Don’t wake me ’cause I’m dreaming (But neither is mania)

Of angels on the moon (I have to be my own angel)

Where everyone you know (For myself, but also for those I love)

Never leaves too soon (To enjoy my time with them fully)
Do you believe, in the day that you were born (Do you have faith in yourself?)

Tell me do you believe? (In the you of the future)

Do you know, that every day’s the first (Each step you take)

Of the rest of your life? (Is just the beginning of a better adventure)
Don’t tell me if I’m dying (Don’t tell me I’m not worthy)

‘Cause I don’t wanna know (Because I’ll know you’re lying)

If I can’t see the sun (Even if I don’t always believe it)

Maybe I should go (I have to keep trying)

Don’t wake me ’cause I’m dreaming (And I won’t let you steal my sunshine)

Of angels on the moon (Because I’m finding hope in the darkness)

Where everyone you know (My light will shine brighter)

Never leaves too soon. (Each time the wind extinguishes it)
This is to one last day in the shadows (Just get up one more time)

And to know a brother’s love (Find happiness in the world)

This is to New York City angels (Find the path to where you want to be)

And the rivers of our blood (To make your sacrifices worth it)

This is to all of us (Because you’re worth it)

To all of us (I promise)
Don’t tell me if I’m dying (Let me find my own way)

‘Cause I don’t wanna know (Even if it may take me a while)

If I can’t see the sun (I know it can’t always be heartache)

Maybe I should go (But hold my hand when it is)

Don’t wake me ’cause I’m dreaming (I’ve got a heart worth fighting for)

Of angels on the moon (And dreams to be believed in)

Where everyone you know never leaves too soon (And I have to keep them alive, for my sake)
You can tell me all your thoughts (If I speak, someone will listen)

About the stars that fill polluted skies (Because I’m worthy of validation)

And show me where you run to (Embrace your biggest secrets)

When no one’s left to take your side (You are your biggest ally)

But don’t tell me where the road ends (Don’t wait for all the bad things)

‘Cause I just don’t wanna know (They will come, that’s true)

No I don’t wanna know (But you’ll make it through, each time)
Don’t tell me if I’m dying (Keep looking for the sunshine)

Don’t tell me if I’m dying (Keep finding reasons to love yourself first)

 

So a big huge thank you to Thriving Ivory, because this song is seeing me through so many dark paths and helping me reestablish the love I have for myself.

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(Source: Google)

What’s My Age Again?

9 December 1992. It was a cold day in December, flurries and snowflakes abounded and as the sun disappeared, a lunar eclipse kissed the moon. In the chill, the bitter cold of night, there was a silence. A single snowflake fell to the ground, having caught the light of the blood red moon, and the world held its breath. Seconds passed, each one bringing the moon closer to the culmination of the eclipse, the tint caressing the moon with no inclination of saying goodbye. And right as the moon shone brightest, a scream rippled through the stark white hospital. The lights were dim, the sounds of Christmas carols humming through the radio and in a flurried rush, as the snowflakes outside the window, a baby was wrapped in a blanket, the jam-like innards having been sucked from her nose, her bottom having been smacked. That child, covered in goop, being rapidly wiped off and swaddled, was me. I came home in a Mickey Mouse shirt, which my mother graciously lets me keep in my clothes drawer with my socks.
My mother was told she could never have kids. I was both a surprise and a blessing (or so my parents tell me). I’m sure they really had no idea just how many surprises were to come to them on my behalf. I’ve been through every emotion and hair color, I’ve grown fond of coffee (if you couldn’t tell), I fell in love with music. I learned to play almost a dozen instruments, I even thought about being a music major in college, even auditioned. We always put the Christmas tree up after (or on) my birthday). And now, I live with my husband and life has changed so much since my earliest memories.

Last year on my birthday, I anxiously awaited the minute I turned 22 so that I could buy the Taylor Swift song. But as I approached this birthday, I realized that finding a “23” song would be much harder. So I began my search. As the title suggests, I found Blink-182 first and then Jimmy Eats World. But that song just wasn’t enough for me. I’m sure my sister would love for me to claim the R5 song “Wishing I Was 23” but I just can’t connect to it either. Next to reach the chopping block was “23” by Shakira. I’m a huge fan of Shak, and I really thought maybe this song would be it. But I kept looking-just in case. And then I landed on “Waiting” by Jamie Campbell Bower. And I think I have my song. 

Being 23 is already pretty stressful. I have another year just gone. I spent it being sucked down by my cowardice and anxiety, I found myself changing my mind-a lot, and I picked myself up after tons of times being metaphorically beaten down. But it’s gone, for better or worse and I can’t get it back. That’s really something to think about. It’s a scary world out there and I’ve missed another year. Or am I just another year closer to the best me I may ever be?

So my goals for year 23, are personal,more so than they have ever been. I want to break my shell once and for all. I want to get out and meet people, make eye contact and not be afraid of everyone. I want to work out more. Not so I can be skinny, but so I can be healthy. I want to be able to go into the next parts of my life in the best shape I can. I want to do something-like get my book published, or sell a song to a famous person, or even just go somewhere. And more importantly, I want to succeed. Less thana year from now, I’m applying to grad schools and law schools. I want more than anything to get in. I want to smile at the acceptance letter and realize I did it. I want to not be scared to drive. I have a CRAZY story to tell you all sometime about why I have worries driving, but today I shall not get into it. And I want to enjoy life. I don’t need to have “everything”-the perfect body, makeup, hair, and material goods. I just want to spend more mornings looking at the sunrise, more evenings staring up at the heavens and maybe, just maybe, finally learn how to play guitar.

All that I need is to be true to myself. And that is my favorite reason why I’m 23.

So come close, and I’ll scream

Oh just let me be me

And I fail to see

The dark skies aren’t all that dwell inside me

-Jamie Campbell Bower, Waiting

  

Thankfulness, The Sixth Day

I’ve been at this almost a week, and I came to realize that I’m not the same person I was last year, or the year before that. I mean, obviously I’m biologically different, but my mind has grown as well. I had planned on writing today’s post about coffee and conversations, but then a song popped into my head. It’s a pretty common occurrence for me, and yet that song made me pause. 

Chances.

The song is by Five For Fighting, it came out in 2009. I really didn’t appreciate it when it first came into my life. But then again, when do we appreciate things immediately? 

This semester, I’ve been pushed to my limit. Classes with no posted grades and crazy attendence policies, professors with no filters (and bad manners), time that never seems long enough, money that never stays. I’ve changed schools, changed addresses and changed jobs in the last year, not to mention, vehicles and personalities. I’ve missed opportunities because of depression, passed on opportunities because of anxiety, taken opportunities and made mistakes. But just when I’m about to close the door on something (or the door closes on me), something happens.

Chances.

Looking for a job, grad schools, a car, really anything that can be looked for (my marbles?), it’s so easy to become discouraged. So many things seem just slightly out of my reach. I’m not quite good enough. And the thing is, that’s how it’s always going to be. But I am good enough. I know that. I just have to convince everyone else (or do I?). And while it’s easy to get frustrated at all the things I’m not quite ready for, the lyrics come back to my mind.

Chances lost are hope’s torn up pages

Maybe this time

Chances are we’ll be the combination

Chances come and carry me

Chances are waiting to be taken, and I can see

Chances are the fascinations

Chances won’t escape from me
Chances are only what we make them and all I need.