A Little Separation

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Do you ever have that urge to just get away?  Just dropping what you’re doing and leaving?

Separation.

A break from what seems to trap us in the routine that many fall into.  How lovely would it be to break the cycle?  To say, “that’s it.  I’m disrupting the mundane.”  

Perhaps, it would be the most healthy thing we could do.  Change is necessary.  We’re not made to go through the same tedious motions.  We need to experience, to hear new sounds, feel new things.  

New sensations.

I don’t mean forever.  Just for a few weeks.  I think challenging ourselves and adventure are what make us better, and whether we step into a new environment or re-explore one that we have forgotten, accepting this need for change signals a transition.

But the key is having the courage to see that we all need a little separation, a little break from the cycle.

Yesterday, Today

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“Don’t ruin today by worrying about yesterdays problems”

Two different days.  Two different opportunities to change how you want to see yourself living in the world.  Who cares what happened yesterday.  It’s over, it’s in the past, and sometimes remembering that things are best left in the past can be hard for people to manage.  It’s amazing how much freer one feels when we allow ourselves to be okay with letting go of something that carries the possibility of making today the best day.  

Yesterdays problems don’t matter anymore.  Unless they are about something truly serious, why bring them over?  When we close our eyes, that should be it.  Forget the problems and forget the annoying nag of wanting to change something that you can’t.  Do yourself a favor and make today about being better than yesterday, without dwelling on what you should’ve, could’ve, or would’ve done the day before.

The Beauty of Wandering

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When we wander we usually find more than we are looking for.  Often when we think we’re lost, we forget that with each step comes the excitement of the unknown.  It just takes the courage to recognize that even the unfamiliar can bring new adventures, new hope.  It requires an intimate look within, to accept that wandering does not mean you have lost your way through life.  It does not mean that you have done something wrong, nor does it mean that you are any less worth the life you have been given.  It just means that we each have our own path and that there are many opportunities and directions that we can choose to go.

So, the next time you find yourself questioning your purpose, your life, remember that wandering can bring with it the pleasure of something new, something that could change your life in a way that would have been impossible if you had decided to go right instead of left.  

Today I Stopped To Smell The Roses

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Today, I did the simplest of things: I stopped to smell the roses.  How many times have we heard that phrase, telling us to slow down, to enjoy the little things in life?  My guess is quite a few, and my guess is that very few of us have actually lived out this little cliché.  I think what makes this concept so special, is that it asks us to examine and take note of everything that we let slip by us in the midst of our busy lives.  We are so programmed to go – go – go, and a small proportion of us, myself included, forget that there is pleasure in taking a walk, reading a good book, or exploring parts of your city that you never knew existed.  You’d be surprised how healing such a simple action is, and how much you learn about yourself along the way.  Stopping to smell the roses isn’t lazy.  In fact, it’s far from it.  I think it’s a part of life that we all should learn to incorporate into our routine more often.  So, step away from whatever you’re doing.  It can wait, and trust me, it will be there when you return.

A Quick Note About Summer: The Driving

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Perhaps some of the best moments in life come in the simplest of forms.  Summertime fosters memories that can leave us feeling happy for days.  It ignites a certain feeling that cannot be recreated by the other seasons.  Maybe it is the fact that all of my friends are in town or maybe it’s relaxing by the pool in my new neon swimsuit.  Or maybe it’s driving with the windows down listening to country music with my sister…  

Sometimes driving is the most freeing experience.  There are rules, however, when Hailly and I drive in the summer: windows always have to be rolled down – I think we both love the feeling of the wind blowing our hair into a chaotic, yet perfect arrangement – the music always has to be turned up, and our voices always have to be ready to sing along to whatever song is playing.  For some reason we just enjoy the drive.  We enjoy these moments of separation from our summer jobs, from whatever happens to be bothering us.  It is in these simple, everyday moments that make me crave the arrival of summer.

A Brief Encounter With Writing

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Ink stains my hands, leaving a constellation of marks across my skin.  These are the hands of a writer ~ at least that’s what I call myself in these moments of separation from the rest of the world.  Here, I am in charge, and I control what is written and expressed.  In these sacred parts of the day I exist for no one but myself and I write simply for the pleasure of writing.  There is something calming about the sound and feel of a pen gliding across paper, as the smell of ink registers in my brain, leaving a trail of words – my words, my heart. 

Writing can be brief or it can take hours.  We can slave over just one word or the words can spill out in a perfect formation.  Writing, whether we know what for or why we do it, leaves us feeling complete – whole.  It is a unifying experience and it is a snapshot of who we are in that moment of that day.  So we have to remember to take the time and write something down everyday, even if it’s the simplest sentence, because the simplest sentence holds the promise of becoming something more.    

Be Creative

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What does it mean to be a creative person?  For some, it comes in the form of a lyric, a poem, a painting, or a melody.  While all different, and while each involves skills that may not be transferable from one form to the next, passion is always constant.  The passion and the desire, or rather the need to create, allows us to expose something about ourselves.  Being creative lets us use our hands, our mind, and our heart to build something out of nothing.  But what makes this need to create so strong in some of us?  I think that in order to function, in order to be the best version of who we are, we have to show the world and ourselves what’s inside.  In the process of creating we discover about life and more about the internal. Being creative peels back the layers, and it gets to the core of who we are.  Even if we don’t always know what the final result will be, there is something therapeutic and freeing about exposing pieces of our life.  So find what motivates you and turn it into something creative, because you never know what you might learn about yourself along the way.

Why I Travel

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“Who lives sees, but who travels sees more”

What does it mean to leave it all behind?  To make the decision to just go somewhere, and be a part of something different?  I have always thought that life must be one of travel.  Traveling expands our knowledge, it takes us a step further than the books and pictures we see of places.  It transports us into an environment where we can really know what these distant places are like, and it challenges us, not only physically, but mentally as we may have to shift how we see the world.  I like to think that where we choose to go, reflects our individual passions, as our destinations tend to coincide with what we may be lacking at home or they are an extension of the life we already lead.  Those initial seconds of being in a new place, as our eyes adjust to the sights, as our ears take in the new sounds, and as our feet move unknowingly, yet steadily forward, are my favorite moments of traveling. Regardless of why one finds themself on a plane or train to a distant place, the decision to travel leaves the door of experience wide open, and no matter how much of it we plan out, surprises always manage to find their way into any journey.  But don’t worry, it’s usually in those surprise moments that the best memories are created.  So travel.  Experience the world, and immerse yourself in the excitement of the unknown.  You’ll like it, I promise.

Holding On

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“Most of our life is a series of images. They pass us by like towns on the highway. But sometimes, a moment stuns us as it happens. And we know that this instant is more than a fleeting image. We know that this moment… every part of it… will live on forever.” — Lucas from One Tree Hill

I have recently been re-watching old episodes of One Tree Hill, and I forgot how much this show is a testament to life.  It captures the simplicity and the beauty of the everyday, of the seemingly mundane pieces of life that most take for granted.  I think what really kept me interested over the course of its nine seasons was its ability to take life, take the ordinary, and comment on how our relationships with each other reflect how we live and act in our own lives.

Oftentimes, it is in these everyday moments that an extraordinary one emerges.  Take the life of the average person.  That person has a family.  They have friends.  They interact with the world and move through it with an almost eerie sense of regularity.  But then it happens.  That stunning moment when the regular is turned on its head, when everything we are familiar with is challenged.  And it always happens in the most unlikely of places, with the most unlikely of people, in the most unlikely of times.  But then, when is life ever truly regular?  No matter how hard we try to anticipate the slightest change, there is no lesson that teaches us to prepare for the stunning moments.  And this is what the characters of One Tree Hill taught me.  They taught me not to question the why’s and the how’s, because when we get lost in these questions, the moments slip by, and we miss out on something that could have changed our lives forever.  Because you see, that’s the key, the most important part of the puzzle.  We have to remember to hold on.

Uncovering What’s Underneath the Dust

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Cleaning can often be one of most dreaded things an individual has to do.  Oftentimes, the piles of stuff seem like too much and we just let more stuff accumulate.  I know that many times I just sit on my bed and look at the collection of once folded clothes, and the books that lay strewn across my floor, and I make the decision to not even bother.  But today was different.  Today I was not in my room, nor was I in my house.  Luckily, this was a different type of cleaning.  This cleaning was special, and it held promise.  

My grandma, like most grandma’s, tends to keep EVERYTHING; so when I arrived at her house to help clean out the attic, I knew I was in for a treat. I knew that I was going to uncover a little piece of my family’s history.  The journey up the creaky stairs and the spiderwebs could have been done without, but as soon as my head emerged from the opening in the floor, my eyes lit up.  Upon first glance this is what I saw: An old baby carriage, that most likely held my aunts and uncle, suitcases from the 1950s, old photo albums (which I’m sure held many funny pictures from the past), and lots of dust.  Now I must admit, I was more excited about going through this stuff, that I forgot about the bugs and the dust.  I forgot that my purpose was to clean, not to rummage.

As the day unfolded, and as the sticky air and heat made the job uncomfortable, my grandma and I did manage to get a lot of stuff done.  With that said, we also took a lot of breaks, which included me learning the name of my great great grandparents, not knowing that I had a now deceased, rich great-aunt who gave all her money to cats, and a great uncle who died when he was only six months old.  Throughout the whole process, I laughed at pictures of my dad when he had hair, became the owner of antiques, and saw the wedding dress my grandma was married in.  But mostly I listened as my grandma explained the story behind each picture and object we uncovered.

It’s amazing what lays hidden bentath the dust.  It makes me wonder how many other houses have similar situations, with just as much infortmation left to be discovered.  How much history is just collecting dust?  What more could we learn about oursevles if we all just took one day to look through our attics?