It's those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge.” ― Margaret Atwood

Saturday, August 31, 2013

When I went to India I felt like I escaped everything and found everything all at the same time.
Any stressors in my life disappeared, discomfort in friendships, knowing my career path, the weight of being under your parents, the pressure to be, look and act certain ways.
I had found the value in me, in God, in relationships.
I sat there cross-legged, head thrown back on the comfy couch re-living, indulging in the moments of India, re-living the way it made me feel, wondering if I could ever grasp that again.

"You weren't a part of the community yet."
I lifted my head from the couch and stared at my therapist, puzzled. What?! you must be mistaken. I felt so welcomed. She must not understand, maybe I wasn't clear enough in my description.

She continued on to say that it can take a significant amount of time to be truly accepted and treated no differently than any other member in the community. Eventually you would run into the same struggles again, because you just escaped them temporarily, you didn't solve anything.

"Did you feel like you were treated differently than others?"
I paused, knowing the true answer but tempted to lie to prove my point...
"ya." I said quietly.
I sat there thinking. I had been treated like the new kid on the block, the one everyone wanted to be partners with or on their team.
 The stuff that had been stressing me out was no longer blaring in my face. I was distracted by the newness, the acceptance and overwhelming love...but it was still buried there inside, the lostness, the insecurities, the frustrations, the issues.
This posed the option of moving every 6 months. Tempting.
But what kind of a life would that be? Fiction fantasy.

I want to be a part of a community, treated equally, facing what life gives me, finding ways of coping and solving the way everyone else does, contributing my part and my experiences to this picture, infinitely bigger than me.

“We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.” ― Norman Maclean

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My friend Tara sent me these thought evoking, creative, honest pieces of art from beautiful angle. Instead of guessing and attempting to interpret what the art is saying, it just says it...simply, vurnerably, no guessing games, no masking, just straight forward.

Sometimes you just need to escape.You need to step outside, gets some fresh air and remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I got to go to the beach today... and well, it was lovely. Although the skin is a little red, and sand is still being found in random places it was overall a much needed mini day vacation. 

“Between hello and goodbye is I love you.
” ― Jarod Kintz

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It came and went. And this household is sending it away properly, exactly what it deserves. I love the summer, in fact its my favorite season.
I hate goodbyes, I don't like change all that much, at first I was saddened by this banner but then I thought "creative", so I am trying to look at the positive of this.
Slowly but surely I am seeing bits and glimpses of things to come, like pumpkin and eggnog flavors, oversized sweaters, holidays that give us reasons to throw parties, and a time to remember and surround ourselves with people we love. Good things are coming, but I sure do hate goodbyes.

“Avoiding life, avoiding making any concrete plans for yourlife--that's just one way you're pretending you can keep bad thingsfrom happening to you again.” ― Susan Vaught,

Here I sit surrounded by a coffee, a breakfast that was not thought out and consist of a power bar, jazz music coming from the corner of Starbucks sounds extra loud this morning, and an overwhelming amount of paper.
My heavy eyes stare at my weighted paper, and I cant seem to lift the knowledge into my brain. 
Some kind of hoyer lift for the mind would be convenient at this point. 
Maybe it could also assist me in lifting my doses of caffeine to my mouth, because it seems my arms are even having a hard time doing that as well.  
The sun is starting to come up increasing the weight to snap out of this funk. 
So I am done avoiding what I shouldn't be. 
Time to pick up that weight and throw it off this small coffee table because there isn't enough room. 

"Maybe who we are isn't so much about what we do, but rather what we're capable of when we least expect it." — Jodi Picoult

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I have always been proud of the fact that I have never missed an important ride, that I am always on time, and often early.
But there is this part of me that aches to miss something important, forget, be late, have to fight my way to get where I want, problem solve my way out of something. I envy those people who are late or miss something important and they have the opportunity to adapt and make their lives continue on.

This one time a friend had to leave my house early in the morning, like at 1:30am to make a train. Since none of us wanted to wake up super early, and they wouldn't have let us take them even if we wanted, we decided to let them take a car, park it, and then we would pick it up later. We said our goodbyes and went to bed. At about 2 in the morning I woke up in a panic to my phone ringing, a disappointed frustrated voice came over the phone, "I missed my train and locked the keys in the car, can you come get me?" 

I was of course so excited to see them again but their frustration radiated out like a wood stove. 
But they kept calm, seemed in control and not at wits end even through all their burning frustrations. This was always how they dealt with unfortunate events and I often admired and even envied them for it. 

Have you been in a similar situation? 
I hadn't been there before.
I was almost afraid of how I would react if I was presented with a similar situation. Would I just completely melt down, fall apart, and feel like I was left with no options?!

After my summer break had come and was almost gone I headed to the airport to catch a flight back to Loma Linda. I arrived at the airport to be greeted with a long TSA line. I checked my bag and the agent told me not to waste any time and get to my gate as quickly as possible. So I rushed my goodbyes and hopped in line. The line was slow. 
I got to do what I have always wanted to do...... I started asking people if I could cut in line, I had my whole spiel, a big smile and a soft voice, I explained that I was in a hurry to catch a flight back to school.
 I felt like a movie crew should be following me, I was rushing to catch a flight to confess my love to a man boarding a plane to South America. But I was abruptly stopped by a woman who refused to acknowledge me and my spiel.
It was a short movie. 

So I will ruin the ending... I missed my flight. I was upset at first but then I looked at the guy next to me  who was freaking out that he missed the flight, and I didn't want to be him. So I told myself "worse things have happened." 
So I did the only thing I could, re-booked my flight and hung out in my hometown a bit longer. 

It felt good to be faced with this type of situation, to know that I won't fall apart. 
That I too can keep calm.

That obstacles will show me how bad I want something and what I am willing to work for to make it happen. 
That my life won't stop or crumble when faced with an "unfortunate event" , but it's rather a fortunate event to show me what I am capable of. 

"A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." — C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One of my very favorite things I could possibly think to get is... childrens books. I will search thrift stores and online stores in hopes of adding to my little library, but the most meaningful books that fill my shelves are the ones that come from loved ones. The people that gave me a book because my name was in it like, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, or the ones that explained a mood from a certain time like, Today I Feel Silly. My mom is probably the biggest donor to my library, she is so thoughtful. I just saw her on Sunday and today I got something in the mail from her. 
How does she do it?!!
My new book was especially good today... These are my favorite parts. 

Poems of Comfort

by Deborah Chandra

I like the way they looked down from the sky 
And didn’t seem to mind the way I cried 
And didn’t say, ‘Now wipe away those tears,
Or, ‘Tell us, tell us what’s the matter here!’
 But shining through the dark they calmly stayed
 And gently held me in their quiet way. 
I felt them watching over me, each one 
And let me cry and cry till I was done.

Commitment in a City
by: Margaret Tsuda 

On the street we two pass
I do not know you.
I did not see 
if you are --
If we should pass again
within the hour,
I would not know it.
Yet --
I am committed to
love you.
You are part of my city,
my universe, my being.
If you were not here
to pass me by, 
a piece would be missing
from my jigsaw-puzzle day.

Hold fast your dreams
by: Louise Driscoll

Hold fast your dreams! 
Within your heart
Keep one still, secret spot 
Where dreams may go, 
And, sheltered so, 
May thrive and grow 
Where doubt and fear are not. 
O keep a place apart, 
Within your heart, 
For little dreams to go! 

by Karla Kuskin

I think I could walk 
through the simmering sand 
if I held your hand.
I think I could swim
the skin shivering sea
If you would accompany me.
And run on ragged, windy heights,
 climb rugged rocks
and walk on air:

I think I could do anything at all, 
if you were there. 

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." — Maya Angelou

I sat there quietly as the waiting room started to wake up, phones starting to sing their daily songs, nurses chattering in the back, the tv flashing alive with an old western, and the faint sweet voice of an older lady across the room. There she sat with her age being revealed by the way she fumbled with her oversized cell phone, moving it away from her ear to glance at the screen making sure the person she was talking to was still there. Just by her sweet words I knew exactly who she was talking to...
"Did I wake you up? The cat got out, and I found her. I made you some coffee, it's on the counter, but you will have to make breakfast on your own. There is your Cheerios in the cabinet. How did you sleep? 
I will be home after my appointment. I love you sweetheart." 
I could hear a gentleman's voice loudly crackling out of the phone, "thank you sweetie, love you too." 
She had probably been gone from her home for 30 mins but she wanted to be sure that her love started the morning on a good note, that he knew she loved him. 
I was so glad I got to experience this little interaction, even though I wasn't invited and had to eves drop. It reminded me that I sometimes overlook the little things people do for me and somewhere in the world there is probably someone wishing for that exact thing. That I become consumed by whats going on in my life and what will make me feel better that I overlook what the people I love need. 
Sweet reminder from the old and wise. 

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” ― FriedrichNietzsche

Saturday, August 17, 2013


My walks are intentional besides the direction or distance I am going... I like that. 

Glass Eyes

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The other day I was talking with a friend and we were discussing how we, as people, don't typically like to cry in front of others. How by crying we feel like we are opening up our souls, showing a side of ourselves that we don't want to share with others. Advertising that we don't have it all together, that our ducks aren't in a row all the time. 
This friend of mine is the type of personality that is always bubbly and positive, that you look at and question if they have any other emotion options. Even despite all of the things she has experienced at a fairly young age, she has this incredible outlook on life. 
As we were talking she started to tell me about some difficult things she is facing in her life right now. The tears started pouring down her face, coming in contact with one of the largest smiles I have ever seen. I looked at her, and I felt for her because her eyes were telling a different story, she was hurting. It was strange that she had such a large smile but nothing I hadn't seen before. 
I got overwhelmed and somewhat abruptly spited out, "CRY! Even when your sad your still trying to smile but your eyes are screaming, I HURT! Just let it out!!!" She took a big sigh and loosened the curves of her mouth so that they matched the expression in her eyes. I felt an overwhelming relief for her.
We can attempt to make our faces hide our true emotions but the eyes never lie. If you look into my eyes, your parents eyes, your dearest friends eyes and you really look, words are often unneeded. 

Emily is sweet, she knows how much I love quotes and sent me this one in a text message yesterday, no cliff notes, just the quote. 

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.” 
― Audrey Hepburn

When did we learn to hide our emotions? That what we are feeling won't be accepted? That we will be  judged by others? In the end does it really even matter what others think? I know the answer is no, but still we care, I care.
I'm learning. Learning that my eyes speak more honestly than my words often do, and in the end I should sync the two. I think syncing the two would solve a lot of humanities issues, increasing our quality of being human.

“Hapiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions.” -Saul Bellow

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When I was small I played hard. From sun up to as close as I could get to sundown, of course my case had to hold weight in the court of the parentals. I would dig my hands into the dirt, create trails to a remote place to build a fort, steal apples from the neighbors yard, and grab willow branches to whip my bike that magically turned into a chariot and horse. Life was pretty grand, no worries...until my mom would point me in the direction of the shower.

I loathed the shower. It felt like the shower stole away valuable playtime. I would try to play as far away from the house as I could, in hopes of not hearing my mom call for me to come inside. My hearing did "fail" me a couple times, but that never helped the situation either.

I would try and trick my mom by turning on the shower, for what I thought, was a reasonable amount of time, but never actually stepping foot inside it. I would rush to the door hoping my mom would rely solely on the sound of the shower to verify that I had done the deed of showering.
I always got sent back, but I always believed I was getting wiser...This time I would stick my head under the sink, dampening my hair, but not realizing the bottom layer was still dry as ever.
As soon as I emerged a finger would be pointing me back.
Eventually I would break down, relentlessly take each item of clothing off and step into the very thing I had tried so hard to avoid.

These days I like showers a bit more. I didn’t see the value as a kid; I wanted to be swept up in the day. I still want to experience that in life but I see value in a shower besides the obvious fact of hygiene; it's a place to escape from everything else in the world, all the distractions. It's a place to go that no one else will follow you, unless invited. It's just you, standing naked, hot water mechanically hitting the back of your head, face tilted to stare down at your body as water cascades down creating a bubble around your head. There I am left to think. To wipe my pruny hands over my face as they move down my chest and arms, attempting to hold this moment of thought. Unsure of the thoughts that will rush in, ones that have been hiding by the days distractions.
No avoiding, no rushing to meet the world, just standing there, me, my pruny hands and feet. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

“It's not the critic who counts. It's not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled. Credit belongs to the man who really was in the arena, his face marred by dust, sweat, and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs to come short and short again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming. It is the man who actually strives to do the deeds, who knows the great enthusiasm and knows the great devotion, who spends himself on a worthy cause, who at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement. And, who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and cruel souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

- Theodor Roosevelt

“Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, August 9, 2013

Upper Ball Lake, Idaho

Sometimes I appreciate blunt people. Most of the time they sting us, leaving a residual tingling pain.
But most of the time when the pain softens we realize that there was already a wound underneath.
I wish, in some cases I could be more blunt, but then I run the chance of being viewed as a bitch. Which if I am honest, most people who are blunt have been called that along with other names at some point in their life.
I will think something in my head and the words creep from the back of my throat making their way to the tip of my lips but I bite down caging those thoughts and opinions in. I know if I let the words escape my mouth, there is the chance I will wish I could suck them back in. Thats where a good filter could comes in use.
Like the times when...
During a group quiz, everyone is contributing their part, but there is that one classmate who tries to contribute but the concepts that come out of their mouth sound like a foreign language, and everyone knows they didn't read, and they know everyone knows. But yet they keep talking trying to prove that they did read.... and I get this overwhelmeing urge to say, "Just give up. If you would just fess up we would cover your back. Your making this more painful for everyone."
Someone asks you, "are you ok?" and you smile and say "I'm good, I promise." with an encouraging smile, but inside its taking every fiber of your being to hold back the trembling lips and the tears leaning on the edge of your eye lids.

But I end up saying what I think I should say and what I think I should feel. 
I have this sense of hope that by saying "what I should" out loud it will overtake the true emotion of what I am actually feeling, changing my thoughts, my heart, my interactions. 
I think it does sometimes, but when it doesn't take over.... it feels crappy.
It sort of feels like lying. misleading. this sense of false hope. negativity inside. Which I guess it is.  

I started watching this show on the BBC called Doc Martin. To sum up the main character, he is the House of the UK, so no filter and very blunt in other words.  I like the way in one of the scenes Louisa is somewhat upset with Martin, like most people are, but she meets him on his level of bluntness, but in a oddly loving way. 

Louisa: there are 20 things about you that are crap.

Martin: Thank you

Louisa: But if you were a stick of rock (UK sweet candy)  you'd be Martin Ellingham all the way through. 

I know I never want to be at that level of rudeness like Doc Martin or House, and I think most people would agree with me, but their ability to share whats on their minds regardless of the negativity they get in return, is actually quite incredible.
It's more than just being blunt though, its about giving yourself a voice.
Its digging your toes deep down in the sand, even when you feel yourself bending, fading, washing away, and you find yourself still standing.

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I have to be careful not to fall into the mind trap of how my Saturday mornings should look like:
Waking up early to read a morning devotion, cooking up a special sabbath breakfast, ironing my dress, showering, shaving my legs being precise to get all the hairs on my knees, curling my hair, applying extra mascara and an extra squirt of my favorite perfume, off to church to socialize, with a planned lunch followed by a hike.
When I see this schedule of things, I get overwhelmed. It doesn't feel like rest to me. It doesn't feel sincere for me. But for some people the discipline and routine may feel like rest and a day of decisions already made.

For me I experience my Saturdays by seeking things that maneuver me closer to spirituality. Finding new ways of thinking that silence me, finding that peace in my bones in a rushed world, discovering moments that bring all the awareness to what this life is actually about.

I don't have my own definition of spirituality, or even know exactly what it means to me and I might never know. But I do know I want Saturdays where the sun wakes me up, I just lay in bed thinking what it is my body wants to do today; maybe I take a bike ride that forces me to breath deep into my lungs, maybe coffee with friends that build stronger ties, maybe dabble in my garden, maybe read a book that has clear simple thoughts, maybe blogging, maybe yard sale-ing that adds spice to a home...

I like the way Elizabeth Gilbert describes spirituality, "Flexibility is just as essential for divinity as is discipline."

Today I sit, wet hair bun, running shorts with legs that are a tid bit prickly, in a bustling coffee shop with people demanding their coffee and scones, but in all the chaos there is comfort.
The way the sun rest upon my hands on these smudged keys, the way little kids ride up on their training wheels with helmets that hang in their eyes, the way birds hop from one table to the next looking for scraps of breakfast on the ground, and the realization that this is exactly where I want to be.


I don't want to live any other way.

“Like the ocean I wave. Hello and goodbye are the same, when I talk with my hand.” ― Jarod Kintz

Friday, August 2, 2013

There I stand hesitantly behind a neatly stacked tower of mangos and avocados, a fortress of fruit.
It's easy to avoid eyes that become storytellers when they are hiding behind the "99 cents a Ib" discount signs that dangles over the fruit and veggies.
Blotchy pink lips tightly hold back the corners of a smile, the only thing that lingers under the sign.
I would like to think I was thinking about what produce I would need for dinner, or the ripeness of a fruit but that would be a lie. 
I know they are there and they know I am here, but I have become a familiar stranger.
There is a familiarity felt in the produce, as well as a juicy lush wall of produce that guards things from being said, glances from being exchanged.
A simple question is asked, and a slow side step like two people doing the waltz box step follows, making us realize we aren't paralyzed. 
I don't realize all the things I want to say until I am standing directly in front of the person.
I search for clues for the recipe for mixing two separated ingredients? 
It's those moments that I want strong arms to reach down and shake me till my eyes go blurry, releasing any self-doubt, frustrations and anxious physical feelings.
Then I realize this is not the place or time any longer for secrets, jokes, wishes and passions to be shared and a large watermelon lands between our feet cracking, exposing the ripe sweet red inside. Then a cluster of beets lands mixing in its deep purple with the watermelon, then pineapple, blueberries, spinach, all this produce accumulates.
The produce cascade slowly adds up and builds a divide right between us until only our eyes and the top of our heads are all that’s left exposed.
I chuckle that a banana has replaced a smile and a radish for a nose, authentic eyes are the only things left to focus on.
As much as I want to wrap my average size hand around a grapefruit and throw it at this produce wall that has been built, creating an ultimate collapse and scatter of produce, I wont…I know that’s just the inner child in me acting out; because I don’t want fruit faced strangers in my world.
So I pick up a grapefruit and instead of tossing it with a slingshot of emotions, I place it on top.
Fruit after fruit I add on, covering up, giving my best effort to create a complete fruit face. And when it’s so high I can’t see any sign of a soul on the other side, I fill my arms with all the groceries my tired arms can carry and say a soundless goodbye.

side note: We found the tallest mountain we could climb before the sun escaped, it was wonderful. 
All Good Things Are Wild and Free...

photo credit: Emily Wilkens
Photo Credit: Emily Wilkens

Photo Credit: Emily Wilkens

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