February 27, 2015


I wrote this in the midst of trying to choose between visiting Iowa City and going to Nashville a couple of weeks ago. And while that weekend has passed, the theme surrounding this is still a big part of my life and process, especially during this "in between" stage, as some have dubbed it. Sometimes it's exciting, confusing, heartbreaking, and perhaps all three at once. All I know for sure in this moment is that it's OK to not have answers all the time. 


I wasn’t born on one side or the other
I just walked in the middle of the road
Believed from observation
Always questioned, never told
Some say it was the rose-colored glasses
The romantic and optimistic side
Can’t say for certain how it happened
Perhaps it’s just my mind

I wonder why we use labels
Special names and categorize
We push away in fear of discomfort
Rather than realizing how we were each created
By God as human beings
To love and give love
Yet instead we have to decide
Rather than seeking to listen and understand

With age comes evolving and changing
In interests, tastes, and dreams
The world gets a little bigger
With more chances and opportunities
And the possibility of going anywhere with anyone
Both equally thrilling, yet terrifying
Truly anything can happen

You’ll come across thresholds on how to live your life
Wondering if you could be doing better
Or if you’ve fallen behind
You want to do what feels impossible at times
Sharing you heart with the world
And one day giving it to another

You ask, you doubt, you wonder…
What’s out there?
Part of you desires to play it safe
But there’s still a mild itch to explore
Not for selfishness, but to grow and learn and be inspired

So throw away this empty box
And breathe in freedom’s scent
Let the winds of history guide you in order to lead and teach
Don’t follow your heart, but feed your soul
It’s OK to come back around

Keep being sweet with a little bit of spice
Faithful, but unafraid to go deep
Take chances and set boundaries
Pray and trust in the unseen
You were not made for a box
You are wonderfully made

photo credit: alki_set via photopin (license)

February 20, 2015

Life Lately: When You're Disappointed (and Maybe Even a Little Heartbroken)

Do I focus on the positive or the negative? The side embellished in sunshine and pretty colors, or the raw, deep and sometimes tear inducing stuff?

 That's a question that I'm sure all writers and bloggers alike ask themselves at some point or another. That's part of the reason why I haven't been posting for most of February, as this month has come at me in a way that I was not expecting, nor was I prepared for.

My birthday was overshadowed by the passing of my sweet Yellow Lab two days early; she'd wandered off and was hit by a car, and there was nothing more that could be done. Despite that she was closest to my brother out of everyone in my family, but the loss was still devastating. Knowing that she was pretty far up in her years, I knew that time was going to come sooner rather than later, but I believed that at the very least I would be able to say goodbye. However, this was not the case, and as it usually goes with any kind of upsetting or heartbreaking news, I found my mind going numb. All I wanted to do was curl up under the covers and cry.

And like most losses do, this caused me to start thinking about my choices and making the most of the time in front of me. That's why when one of my best friends invited me on a road trip to Nashville, I took her up on it. Granted it took some deliberating, but I ultimately made the decision because I wanted to do something different, and it's been on my list of cities to visit (along with San Diego and San Antonio). I'm in a place where I want to explore and try new things, and am now slowly building the means to do it. Unfortunately this trip was abruptly cancelled; and while I understand the reasoning behind it, it doesn't mean that I wasn't disappointed. It taught me that circumstances don't always result because they're supposed to; sometimes it's a result of poor planning or not thinking, and sometimes stuff just happens that no one has any control over. 

Life has been going at a pretty steady pace; I'm finally getting into a routine with work, exercise, and relaxation. But yet at times, I still get the sense that something is missing, whether it be excitement or being in community with others for more than one day a week. Though it has been a little over six months since I moved back, it's still very easy to get lonely out here. In the last week or so, I've realized that it's not business that keeps me going, but the intentional effort to feed my soul. In order to center myself spiritually, I'm making a point to start and end my day with God. Saturdays and Sundays will now be dedicated to creative writing and/or journaling, unless I'm in a place where I don't have access to my computer or a notebook. And though getting around is a bit of a challenge, I want to get involved in at least one or two meet-up groups or organizations.

But the one thing I miss most right now is the deep conversation, especially now that I'm more confident in who I am as a person, It's not so much for the lack of friends as it is less opportunities than there used to be. Granted there are plenty of phone calls and text messages, but it isn't quite the same as sitting face to face and observing their expression and emotion. I miss the no-holds-barred, no sugarcoating type of talks, and that's a big part of why I often send people unedited versions of my writing; maybe we don't always get to spend time together or catch up like we did in college, but at least they'll know what's on my heart. 

When all is said and done, I do feel like I'm out of my element, and not having access to what makes me feel alive all the time is still taking some getting used to. 

However, I'm grateful that places like that are only a bus ride or a train ride away, one which I'll be embarking on in a couple of hours. One extreme positive about post-grad life is that you really have to plan ahead if you want to make things happen, which I've always been a planner and have been for practically my whole life. And though various things haven't worked out like I thought they would, it has been all right in the long run. There's still a lot happening right in front of me, and there are plenty more adventures yet to come.

February 09, 2015

Music Monday

What I've been listening to lately....

Thinking Out Loud-Ed Sheeran
-This one makes me smile. It reminds me that (pop) love songs still exist.

The Perfect Storm-Brad Paisley 

Too Cool To Dance-EdenXO
-Yes, I admit it: it makes me think of my college days,

Wastin' Gas-Dallas Smith

I See You-Luke Bryan
-I don't normally like break-up songs, but I can make an exception for this one. 

Have a great week, everyone!!

February 06, 2015


I wrote this back in October, feeling overwhelmed by having to adjust to a lot of difficult things at once. There was still getting used to not being in college anymore, facing some tough-to-swallow truths about myself, and maintaining motivation while trying to find a job. I desperately wanted to talk about all of it, but struggled nevertheless because all of closest friends seemed so far away, and I didn't know how to do it without maintaining that I was a strong person. It was one of those things where I knew one thing but didn't believe it, mainly because of what was ingrained in me for most of my life.

I had a vivid (and somewhat poetic) vision of what it would be like to be face-to-face with someone, my arms outstretched as if to say, "Here I am and this is me; love it or leave it." Initially I did have a certain person in mind when I wrote it, but it can easily be applied to anyone, or even God. 

Regardless of who sees it, I still intend to include it in the book that I'm writing. 

I’m sitting here with my head in my hands, wondering how much longer this could go on for. For the sake of needing a change, part of me longs to just disappear into the walls that surround us. Still I see you walking toward me, your footsteps quiet but intentional. I look up at you, transfixed by your eyes rather than my heart thudding against my chest; you look worried, yet determined. Taking your outstretched hand, I want to stand up, but the exhaustion won’t let me. I didn’t realize how much energy it took to hide, to ensure that only certain facets of me were seen and the rest were tucked away, only to be discovered by those who made an effort.

Without hesitation, you kneel down in front of me as a way to let me know that you’re fully present and willing to listen. You’re at my level and I am at yours.

I’ve envisioned this moment for so long, one that is terrifying and yet so desperately needed. Surrounded by a self-imposed desert of isolation, where my thirst can only be quenched by that of connection.

 You slowly pull my battered wrists away from my face. Open your eyes! It’s not a question or a command, but reality; self-protection hasn’t kept me all that safe like I thought it would, but actually held me hostage all these years.  I let those wrists splay against my knees, wrists that guarded against the heavy blows meant for my face. You gently trace your thumb over the patches of black and blue skin: I am here. You’re safe. You’re not alone.

I grimace at first, and as I start to speak I experience a burning sensation, like pouring peroxide over a bloodied wound. You must hurt first in order to heal. I’ve done this before, but something about it feels genuine and real this time around. I don’t know what language we’re speaking or what you’re seeing. You know my past and are aware of the present. The future is a different story, one more palpable with each passing moment. I giggle when an invisible touch of silk slides down my face and into my lap. Touching my cheeks, they feel raw and yet soft at the same time. I can feel the clouds lift from my soul, which is somehow giving me the strength to stand. It’s OK. I’ve got you.

We’re taking baby steps here, both with caution and one foot in front of the other. We’re holding onto one another, but not so tightly where moving becomes impossible. A mirror is now in front of us and I stop to look at my reflection. I’m laughing and I’m dancing. My sallow skin is replaced with a warm, natural glow. The bruises, faded but left in traces as a reminder that I am not a victim, but not necessarily a survivor either: I’m a warrior.

This is me. Not who I want to be. Not who I wish to be. I see a small smile tugging at the corners of your mouth. This is who I’ve always been. You’ve seen her. You’ve grown to care about her. You’ve always known.  It was more a matter of accepting her as myself.

We continue to walk. You’re not saving me, but rather allowing me to save myself.

We’re outside now, the sky a mixture of both rain and sunshine. Time has passed, a number of years that we both lost track of. It’s all right though, because we’re both where we need to be.

Yet before we go on, I have one request. That you let me take care of you too: that you may feel comfortable enough to show me the depths of your heart the way that I’ve shown mine. That you don’t shut me out or brush me off because of what society says is supposedly normal or correct. You’re not less of a person for crying or for getting pissed off at the world. It shows you have passion. It shows you care. It’s what makes you the kind of person I want to know and to keep growing with.

Because like it or not, we have each other now, and we’re in this together.

photo credit: P7120003-2 via photopin (license)