"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!" — Dr. Seuss

Sunday, July 28, 2013

You know those storms that take away pictures that hold memories, houses with wrap around porches that share stories, and towns that savor secrets?
How do they rebuild?
Can the water stains, scattered rubble, dented surfaces and coats of dirt be righted?
Can they ever come back from the storm?
What other constructive choice is there?
I think there is really only one option.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy” ― Isaac Newton

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pillows propped up strategically behind me resting against my picnic table head board with a fortress of comforters and pillows surrounding me, Ashley posture on her air mattress tells a similar story.
There we lounged, just like we were 5 and 9 again, sharing a bedroom, sharing hopes for the future, just doing the sister thing.
Only a few things have changed over time, we are a bit older, perhaps a bit wiser, a bit less duck tape used as a room divider, and drinking a bit more coffee.

I was just sitting there taking in the morning with Ashley, knowing that soon she will find a home and her air mattress would be packed away until her own guest arrived.

This specific mornings conversation was about how we had too much stuff. How my closet was in need of being rummaged through and pieces eliminated. You know those pieces that you didn't even realize you were missing until you find them? Ya those are the ones I am talking about getting rid of. Ashley talked about how her storage unit is packed to the brink.
This reminded me of two and a half inspiring people I met through Kandice and Jared a couple weeks ago.
They exhibit so much adventure, inspiration, and warm-heartedness, actually boiling hearts would be more accurate. Nick, Shea and their 2 year old daughter Paisley sold almost 95 percent of their belongings about a year ago. Livin Lightly (Check out their blog) Each of them was allotted 30 items of clothing to keep as their own. Shea described how she spent a year narrowing down what she wore and used the most with a system of turning clothes hangers every time she wore something. Contentment and satisfaction beamed from her sincere inviting eyes as she told me that she had everything she needed. This immediately intrigued me. This process of eliminating for this family was in preparation for the move into the airstream they had bought. The airstream has been stripped, crafted, traveled and been the home for the lovely family for over a year. My favorite part of the airstream is Paisleys bed. She is set up underneath the kitchen table, a fort of sorts. But the best part is that Paisley gets her own night sky, real camping, with stars placed under the kitchen table.

As I told Ashley about this adorable family and their crafty airstream both of us got excited about the possibilities of simplifying our own lives. This way of living intrigues me to believe that it would simplify every other aspect of my life.
That complications, frustrations, anxiety, and other somewhat dissatisfying feelings I may have would disappear, just as easy as removing my oversized floral dress from my closet.
I know its not that simple.
But I do believe there is some truth to it, that eliminating other distractions in our lives allow us to focus closer on the things that really actually need our focus and attention.
This doesn't necessarily call for us to empty out our closet and move into an airstream.
Although I hope to someday add something unique like that to my story.
But for me at this point in my life, it calls me to prioritize...to savor whats important.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I wanted to be helpful, productive, prepared, and agreeable and in wanting to be that I became scattered, frazzled, anxious, distancing myself from me.
It hurts me to think about how I had let myself creep away from who I was originally.
But if I am kind and tender with myself I understand that circumstances and events sneak up and can slowly inch their way in, rearranging, impacting, and silencing the voice inside. 

I’m reminded of the movie Runaway Bride. 
I “get” Maggie, the main character, on some level; I see bits of myself in her.
There is this scene where Ike (her love interest) is intensely and yet caringly telling her how she has lost herself in the mix of others. How she is unable to even decide something as simple as how she likes to eat her eggs. That her favorite way to eat eggs happens to be everyone else's favorite way to eat eggs. 

In the end of the movie Maggie gathers back bits of herself, she ends up trying every possible way you can imagine to cook eggs. 

She tells Ike confidently, assertively "I love Eggs Benedict, I hate every other kind." 

I imagine she felt contentment, relief and satisfaction when she discovered the simple choice of how she liked her eggs.

Naturally this got me thinking about what I like, dislike and think about myself...

-My eyes are always attracted to the color mustard yellow, even though I state green is my favorite color.

-Growing up I wanted to be little duck in the book, Little Ducks Moving Day. The story and the pictures never got old. 

-I can’t think of anything better emerging from a dryer than a warm matching pair of socks. 

-Popping a pimple or black head is grossly one of the most satisfying feelings. 

-Face Karate Chopping a Watermelon is one of the best ways I can think of to get a good belly laugh.

-There is something about scrubbing a plate and seeing immediate results that grants it the honor of being my favorite chore.

-The sound of a tiny (toddler) laughing is one of the best sounds that could enter my ears. I have never heard something so precious and contagious all at the same time.

-My mouth never turns a berry away, it’s dangerous.

- I hate clich├ęs but love quotes. 

-Summer evening air brushing my skin is almost better than a loved ones touch. 

-I’m not a fan of Mexican food because most of it is made with pinto beans, and pinto beans don’t blend well with my stomach. 

-If only one smell could occupy my nose for the rest of my life I would choose the scent of a lemon. 

-A glass of wine is what the Dr. orders and I follow directions.

-I believe there is a God and that he wishes us well.  

-I would rather swim in a lake than an ocean. I would rather play in a river than a lake.

And finally…
I love an egg white scrambler.

Let me see the world behind your eyes... -jon foreman

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I looked forward to every other day when I was doing my fieldwork for occupational therapy school at the VA. Every other day meant that I would get to see Mr. C.
He would wander in all round faced and figured. His black motorcycle helmet in one hand and his black backpack in the other, consistently accompanied by a large gentle smile. He was mild in temper, never even raising his voice to tell a punch line.

"Baby Girl lets get started" is how he always greeted me. 
I would usually be repulsed if someone called me baby girl.... but for some reason it was endearing when Mr. C called me it. It made me feel really youthful. I felt valued, appreciated and had a purpose in his treatment plan (which was actually only paraffin treatment on a knuckle, essentially playing in candle wax.) That was the first time I thought to myself, "I don't think I would mind having a pet-name like that." Something I always thought I would not like and have always somewhat made fun of. 
We would sit and chat, telling stories, talking about family and future plans. 
Without fail he always ended his session with a directed "thank you" and "see you ladies next time."
It was always my favorite 40 mins of the day. 
The last day I came in I found out that Mr. C. had been admitted into the hospital. His pleural cavity was filling with fluid. I was really upset to find this out, especially since it was fathers day weekend and his sons were flying in to take him to a Dodgers and Yankees game (I have never met a bigger Yankees fan). 
We got a call later that day from the nurses station saying there was an emergency and we needed to come up to Mr. C's room immediately. 
We quickly went up to his room and there was Mr. C. with all sorts of tubes coming in and out of him, not looking his typical self.
He gestured to the table next to him. There sat a simple pink box. My clinical instructors opened the box and there was a cake with patriotic flags covering it (flag day) and in the center it said "Happy Birthday".
You see it was my clinical instructors birthday and Mr. C., despite his condition, wanted to be sure that she felt extra special on her birthday. 
My heart in that moment was cracked opened and all the inner parts oozed out, just like carmel melting out of a chocolate kiss.

Shauna Niequist describes in her book, Cold Tangerines, exactly what I see in Mr. C. and encompasses what I feel. 

I have glimpses every once in awhile of this achingly beautiful way of living that comes when the plates stop spinning and the masks fall off and the apologies come from the deepest places and so do the prayers, and I am fighting, elbowing to make more of my life that life.  I want that spirit or force of happiness that is so much deeper than happy - peace that comes from your toes, that makes you want to live forever, that makes you gulp back sobs because you remember so many moments of so much un-peace.  I search for those moments the way I search for beach glass, bits of glitter along a desolate expanse of sand, and I want those moments to stretch into hours, into days.
The word I use for it is shalom...It's equilibrium and free-fall, balance and shake. It's a new dance, a new taste, the split-second cross between a fact and a feeling, something you would swear on in a court of law but couldn't find words for if you tried."

"Shalom is happening all around us, but it never happens on its on." 

He gets it... 

“You can decorate absence however you want- but your still gonna feel missing.” Siobhan Vivian,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

From time to time I think about my stolen bike and I always think "I miss it."
I think if that green bike could twist its metal, contorting itself into the shape of a brain, and some how chemical synapses could take place sending neurotransmitters...I'm positive it would think... "I miss you too."

“People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder.” — Salma Hayek

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Short hair, braces and starting acutane (a strong acne medication) was not the best combo decision I ever made.

I feel like I am a 14 year old, reliving the awkward stage of her life, but in her 20s.
My face, on top of having acne, is in a constant stage of peel.
The acne medication is not forgiving.
Lets get real, chapped lips are not ideal for a 24 year old single girl living in a city.
My braces are on around the clock watch, making sure no morsel of food sneaks its way through the wired mess-- adding color to a white canvas.
The hair is just a whole other story.

Sasha, Kara, Me and Nose Cast
Freshman Year

Despite all these, what seem like horrifying features, I am glad I am going through this in my 2os’.
I think about my impressionable, hesitant, awkward 14 year old self and wonder if she could have handled it.
She had her struggles but maybe I don't give her enough credit. 

I now look in a mirror and into those deep rimmed blue eyes and I know that I have my own struggles, and that days can be tough... but I am tougher.

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