I’ll Pretend to Have All the Answers

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25 Things to Start Doing Today

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day and FLOSS. It’s important.
  2. Compliment a stranger. It can brighten their day.
  3. Hold the door open for the person behind you. 
  4. Take responsibility for your actions.
  5. Stop putting your career first. Your career is great, but so is having a life and appreciating time with your family and friends.
  6. Tell the one you love, you love them. Often.
  7. Express yourself with authority. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying, no one else will either.
  8. Declutter. You don’t need all of the possessions you’re holding onto. Getting rid of what doesn’t matter and keeping what does will change your life.
  9. Don’t be afraid to travel. Even if that means you’re going to do it broke.
  10. Care about something or someone more than yourself. Yes, cats count too.
  11. Spend time with your loved ones. They’re gone too soon.
  12. Cry when you’re sad and laugh when you’re happy. It’s okay to feel things. If you’re waiting for someone to tell you that, there ya go.
  13. Learn a new word each day and try to use it.
  14. Let go of the past. This includes old partners, bad habits, grudges, and even memories that hurt.
  15. Live in the moment, with a bit if caution. This is not a #YOLO type idea, what I mean is this: if you see a pretty sunrise, stop for a moment and enjoy it. If your family member is sick, call into work and spend the day with them, it’s worth it.
  16. There are a million reasons to not do something that’s a bit scary, focus on the reason you should. 
  17. Love yourself unconditionally, without being conceited.
  18. Love others unconditionally, without being foolish.
  19. Offer support to those around you. You never know how much they may need it and they may never ask for it.
  20. Ask for support when you need it. Life is hard and we can’t go through this alone.
  21. Don’t apologize if you don’t mean it. Unless you’re actually sorry, don’t say “I’m sorry.” Don’t apologize for being excited about something or for not knowing the answer, yet.
  22. Count your blessings. Use your fingers and toes.
  23. Say one nice thing about yourself each morning. It gets easier with practice.
  24. Never speak ill of your partner. Don’t let the last annoying thing they did, be your next topic of conversation with your friends.
  25. Don’t take yourself too seriously. We’re all still learning.

-LP

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Things I Learned this Week 1.1

This week has been quite the adventure!

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I’m grateful that I get to live a life in which every day gives me something to reflect upon and this past week has been no exception. So, here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. I learned that sometimes when you think your day is going to be crazy and stressful; it’s really not. It’s a wonderful surprise that you welcome with open arms. This week was looking like it would be crazy and filled with stress, but it wasn’t!
  2. Sometimes your friends kind of suck and sometimes they’re great. It’s so important to have a solid support system as you try to make your way though this crazy life. I’m lucky enough to have one gal pal who I can call at a moment’s notice and know she will always be there, or at the very least attempt to be. We make plans and we put our friendship first because it’s important to us. I mean… who else am I going to watch Grey’s Anatomy with while eating Taco Bell and drinking wine?!? I’ve got another friend who flakes out constantly. We’ve been friends for years, but lately it’s seemed like regardless of how much effort I put in, our friendship falls to the wayside. I guess that’s part of growing up?
  3. Bears are the most adorable creatures to ever exist. The boyf sent me like 6 pictures of little snuggly bears before work one day. It brightened my entire day!
  4. I’m not a good person to come to if you want sympathy for procrastinating. I’ve got a simple solution; don’t do it! I’ve got to learn to be a bit more chill about it, especially with the boyf. He’s a bit of a procrastinator. Don’t deny it, you are!! But I love him anyway, so it is what it is. He’s still the babest babe of all babes.
  5. I love listening to oldies and calming tunes while I’m writing. I need the noise and when I can’t make it out to a cafe or something to get some writing done, music helps. You know what else helps?! Writing crap down on random scrap pieces of paper while I’m working. I came up with some awesome ideas in the middle of the work day, so I scribbled them down and… well… they ended up in the wash so it didn’t really help much that time, but I’m sure it will someday!

Keep learnin’

-LP

Lazy Sunday Wisdom with Calvin and Hobbes

Kid’s say the darnedest things.

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Calvin is no exception. Knowing my personality and that of my other half, we are seriously in for it when we have kids; then again, what parents don’t feel that way? Calvin chooses to imitate his father in such an amazing way; he doesn’t choose to complain about cleaning his room or doing chores, but rather he goes on about  building character. I’m sure that years from now, were Calvin a real lad, he would be able to appreciate the tasks his father made him complete. Building character isn’t easy, but it’s something you’ve got to (sometimes) force your kids to do.

Looking back on my childhood really makes me grateful for my father. He always chose to put my brother and I first. He always had our best interests at heart, even if it didn’t always feel like it. As a child and then a teen, we butted heads constantly. He’s definitely the guy I get my hardheadedness from, but he’s also the one I look up to most. He’s the person I most want to be like when it comes to both parenting and life. He’s strong and has always been the kind of parent that I feel beyond grateful to have been blessed with.

My dad has countless stories of me from when I was a sassy child. Come on over, he’ll talk your ear off about both my brother and I; I was the spunky and hardheaded one. My little brother was much less confrontational with my parents back then and we’re both pretty much the same way. I’m still sassy and outspoken and he’s the quiet one. While my dad has plenty of stories to laugh at about the two of us; back in the day, it was no laughing matter. When I sassily told my dad that he didn’t come with an instruction manual so I just didn’t know how to deal with him, I know he fought back the laughter; just like when I was forced to write sentences for talking back and I drew one line from the top of the page to the bottom for every I, L, and T in the sentence “I will not talk back.” He let me off the hook for that one, because he thought it was so clever. He’s told me that he had no doubt I was his kid  and that he would have his hands full when I came to him with that page.  When it come to your kids, sometimes it’s hard to hold in the laughter, even when you should.

Although I don’t have any children of my own, babysitting has definitely given me a bit of an idea as to how sassy children can be. Goodness, it’s so hard to not laugh at them when they’re being little sassy sasquatches. I guess that can be a big struggle as a parent; your kids do something hysterical and you’ve got to try to keep your composure to not encourage their  little sassy episodes, even if you secretly love them.

Calvin’s parents sum up most parents; you want to be mad, but you can’t help but to laugh the moment you get a moment to yourself. All in all, we want to raise children to be productive members in society. It’s our responsibility to give them the tools they need to figure out this thing called life and it’s not an easy thing to do, but I’m sure it’s rewarding. Teach those little babes well.

-LP

If you’d like to read more Calvin and Hobbes while supporting this baby blogger, click the link below!

P.S. Lazy Sunday wisdom is so lazy it comes to you on Mondays.

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I Crave the Breeze

I’ve noticed as we grow, we try to tame the wild parts of ourselves.

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I realized this fact, yet again, as I was looking at myself in the mirror this morning, running my fingers through the halo of messy brown hair framing my bare face. At 15, I let the curls do their thing, but now I wake up early to smooth them into a more respectable form; I spend 10 minutes applying makeup to this face in order to “accentuate my features.” I spend a majority of my morning trying to transform into a version of myself that I’ve somehow grown into.

Why is it that as we age we feel the need to be tame? Is that just me? Surely, I cannot be the only one who feels like I’ve let go the colorful and crazy pieces of themselves. I was so eager to grow up; I wanted to have the freedom that came along with adulthood, but I didn’t realize how much would change and how quickly. I can’t stay up on the phone until 6 am and roll out of bed at 7 for work without looking and feeling like a zombie. It’s no longer “appropriate” to wear bright blue nail polish and 5 friendship bracelets on one wrist. I can’t even remember the last time I spent an entire day dancing around and eating chips by the handful without a care in the world. When did I last run for fun and not exercise? When’s the last time I spent the entire day in bed with a book and didn’t feel guilty about it? I still remember illegally piercing my cartilage at 15 and hiding it from my mother; over a year ago, I removed that little token of defiance. I think it’s time to put it back in.

But, now I actually separate my wash into lights and darks. I know how to properly iron a pair of trousers and tie the perfect Windsor knot (thanks dad!). I have to file taxes and pay bills. I realize how expensive gas is and why people complain about utilities; I can hold my own in debates about politics, religion, and culture, but truth is, I still know more about Harry Potter than I’d like to admit. I still toy with the idea of painting my toenails blue and when I’m feeling extra saucy I wear an anklet in the summer. Crazy, I know. I just wish I had realized how quickly life goes by; my dad always said that once you leave high school, time flies by. I always laughed at the thought, but as I walked across the stage at my high school commencements, I realized that I was closing another chapter and moving to the next.

On thanksgiving morning, I looked at myself in the mirror before walking out the door. I turned my head from left to right, pushed a strand of perfectly straightened, short, brown hair behind my ear, and looked into my spectacle framed eyes. I sighed when I realized that I’m no longer seventeen. Now let me explain; I don’t feel old, but I just caught a glimpse at myself and I look so different. I have faint wrinkles around my eyes when I smile and I wear diamond studs, glasses, and I do my hair and makeup each day. I don’t recognize myself. When I think about what I look like, I still imagine myself at seventeen. I still imagine the long wavy brown hair and the young, innocent chocolate eyes I once had. I don’t know when life morphed into this entirely new chapter, but the page turned so quickly, I must not have had the chance to notice this time.

-LP

Welcome Home

I dream of the simple life.

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When you ask someone about their dream home, generally they’ll tell you how many bedrooms and bathrooms they want. They’ll tell you how they want their bathroom to be dripping with marble; they want walk in closets and cathedral ceilings. Now this isn’t true of everyone, but so many focus on the structure of the home instead of what you feel upon entering. Ask my mother, she could go on for hours about the number of bedrooms and every little design aspect.

Don’t get me wrong, I have some aesthetics in mind; I want a fireplace to curl up in front of in the living room and a window over the kitchen sink to peek out of while the children play outside. I have plenty of little desires when it comes to our home. I’ve always dreamed of a lush peony bush on the side of our cozy home and a front porch to sit on after the sun has gone down. I’ve got those plans, you know, the ones that you’ve secretly been storing away for “someday.” Plans that make your heart smile and you hope are more than wishes; maybe, just maybe, they are premonitions. At least I hope so.

It’s essential to create a home and not simply live in a house. Create a safe haven. Make your home somewhere you want to spend your days in. If you love paintings, hang them. If you can’t spend a single day without listening to music, play it loudly and dance around to it. Do what makes you happy and make your house into a home for yourself. Believe me, we will have Motown playing on Sundays; we’ll have pictures on the wall and fluffy rugs on the floor. You’ll be able to look around and see that the place you just entered is more than someone’s house; it’s a home.

I want that little home; I want it to be filled with love and happiness. I want to decorate the walls with pictures of the happy family that resides within and cover the fridge with drawings that flowed from precious little hands and notes from the one I love. There will undeniably be stacks of books on the coffee table and piles of blankets in little wooden baskets by the sofa we snuggle on. I long to have the kind of home that shows a family lives there. I wish for it to be filled with smiles that broke into laughter, hugs, and bedtime stories. I want soft moments to be a daily experience and for disagreements to be things that bring us together instead of tear us apart. Sure, maybe it’s childish to have these dreams, but I promise you, I’m not walking through life with my eyes closed.

I know life will be hard and days won’t always be as sunny and cheerful as I’d like. I can accept that, but I’ve always had a bit of a childlike side to myself, so I’m going to walk into the future with these dreams and pray they become reality. I’ll get that peony bush one day, I swear.

-LP

An Open Letter to My Future Self:

Hey there stranger,

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I’m writing you because I want you to remember that, once upon a time, you felt confused. I want you to look around your life right now and realize how truly blessed you are. Look in the eyes of those you love today and understand what it took for you to get to this moment. I want you to take in every single second of today and be thankful for it. Remember that not so long ago, you were this 23 year-old girl who diligently grasped at your dreams and decided to be fearless. This girl, the one that you see when you look in old photographs; she is the reason you are surrounded by love and joy.

I want you to remember every scary moment you’ve faced, even the ones that I don’t realize I’m talking about yet. Wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug; believe me, we both need it. You need to thank the girl that got you to where you are and I need that damn hug. I need to be told that even when frightening situations come my way, we’ll make it through. I need to know that all of these major life decisions that I’m making are not in vain. I know that you already know that; you may have known for quite some time, but on this side of time, I still feel a bit overwhelmed.

If you’re not writing or living life like you want to be, I’m sorry. I did the best I could, sometimes that wasn’t much. Realize that we’ve failed in certain respects, but excelled in others. Are you happy? Does he still have that cute nickname for you? When’s the last time you were kissed? Are you a wife or a mother? Do you own 50 cats? Are you still spunky and outgoing or have you traded in the attitude for something a bit more calm? Can you look back on the time between now and then and smile at the memories? I hope you can. I’m on my knees praying that I’ve given you the best life I can. Please know that. Know that I’m working hard and I won’t give up.  We deserve a life filled with joy and peace; I’ll work diligently until my future /your present is something we can be proud of.

I look forward to meeting you when you pass by a mirror today; the reflection may have changed, but know that I’m still there. This girl who is all elbows and worried thoughts was once the entirety of who you were. Put on some mismatched, colorful socks today and smile at your aged reflection; pretend that it’s me smiling at you from where I am, because it is.

Sincerely,

-LP

The Future Seems Bright

I keep imagining that day,
You know, the one in which I hold you
In my arms for the very first time.
That day that’s filled with excitement
And anxious waiting for you to arrive.
I can’t help but wonder who you’ll look like
Whose eyes you’ll have.
The sound of your laugh.
The joy in your smile.
The shape of your nose.
I can’t help but wonder what kind of person you’ll be.
How you’ll love
And who.
They’ll never be good enough for you,
And I’m sure you’ve figured out by now,
I’ll always love you most.

I keep imagining that moment,
You know, the one in which your dad holds you in his strong arms
For the very first time.
I wonder what he’ll be thinking as he looks into your precious eyes
And feels your soft, fragile body against his chest.
I think we’ll both be looking down at you
Wondering how we got so lucky,
How we deserved to know what a love so pure felt like.
How we came to deserve you.
And how our love
Well, how our love made you.
And as I watch him look at you,
I know I’ll realize
I’ll always love him most.

I can’t help but imagine what you’ll be like as you grow.
How your voice will sound.
How your brow will furrow in concentration.
How you’ll be sweet and loving
And strong and fearless.
How you’ll hold your daddy’s hand
As we walk down the aisle.
Our little family
And our simple little love filled life.
I swear, I’ll look ahead at you both
And smile as I realize
I’ll always love these moments most.

You Get Good at What You Do, Not What You Dream of Doing

Stop dreaming your life away.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m a day dreamer. I always have been and I’m certain that I always will be. I find myself zoning out in the middle of the day thinking about random scenarios that pop into my head. I’ve always been filled with ideas and pipe dreams. I’ve dreamt of publishing poetry and stories for so long that I truly thought it could only ever be just a dream. But you know what? I’m done with wishful thinking.

I want something come out of these dreams that I have, but in order for that to happen I have to start doing something about it, and so do you! When you’ve got something in your mind, something that you just truly cannot shake; something that is constantly in your thoughts, take a  step back and figure out why you’re still just dreaming about it? We don’t need to keep up with the fantasy, we need to actually put our plans into action and make those dreams a reality.

If we want to see a change in our lives, we have to make that change. We have to determine what we want our lives to look like. Do you want to be old and frail, thinking about the dreams you had that you could have actually experienced, but instead you just kept envisioning them? No. No one wants that. You want to be able to look back on this life of yours and feel proud of what you’ve done, so make yourself proud!

If you want to become an amazing artist, musician, writer, literally anything, then you have to work at it. Each day will be hard work, but when you’re working on pursuing your passion it doesn’t feel like work. Each day is exciting and enjoyable. Each day you learn something new or you challenge yourself to be better. Who is truly content being mediocre? Not me, that’s for sure. I want to be more than just “okay” at something. I want to be great. I want to make myself and those I love proud of me, so as crazy as it seems, I’m going to work hard. I’m going to stay up late and slave over the things I love. My passions will become more than just day dreams; more than just hobbies; they’re going to become my life.

If you’ve got an ounce of determination, you can do it. If you’ve got something that you love; if you have something that you keep thinking about doing… DO IT! If you want to paint, paint! If you want to be an amazing musician, be one! If you want to quit your job and dedicate your life to your children, your passion, your family, or to whatever, do it! Don’t let fear, worry, or laziness hold you back from your goals in life. Don’t let your dreams stay dreams. Work hard at making your life something worth living. Something worth being proud of.

I’m not sure why, but the song Grow Old with Me by Tom Odell just really makes me think about this; I’m currently listening to it and it is just filling my heart with excitement.

Grow old with me
Let us share what we see
And oh the best it could be
Just you and I

Maybe it’s because the boyf and I are both pretty passionate people who want to pursue our dreams of becoming something wonderful both as individuals and as a team, but this song really just makes me think about the future. I can’t help but imagine working beside him on my latest post, short story, or poem and looking over to him as he strums away at his guitar. His brow furrowed in concentration and fingers dancing across the chords. That life… man, that life in which we both get to do what we love… it seems far-fetched doesn’t it? It might be, but I’m going to work my hardest to make it a reality. I want to live a life I love even if it is the road less traveled, I’m gonna make my way down that path and never look back.

I know you’ve got dreams, now it’s time to turn them into something great. It’s going to be hard work, but when you are living that life and enjoying the crap out of it… well, simply put, it’s gonna be great.

-LP

P.S. If you want to own Grow Old with Me by Tom Odell, and believe me, you do, click the link below to get that cool cat’s tunes into those ears of yours while supporting this sassy, cat loving, baby blogger.

 

Those Sunny Sunday Mornings

You don’t really realize how important music is to you until you stop listening to it.

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I went on a very long hiatus from listening to music and now that those tunes are back in my ears, I just can’t get enough. I didn’t realize how much I missed listening to artists from Tracy Chapman to Tina Turner, or The Moody Blues to The Temptations, or The Who (I’m pretending that I didn’t go through an embarrassingly long emo boy band phase, I’ve gotta keep that rep up, right?)

I have to say, my musical interests are extremely diverse. Some days, I want nothing more than to kick it old school with Motown; other days, like today, I jam out to 80’s music. After spending several years not really listening to much, I feel like I’ve been starving myself and now I’m just binging on everything. It feels amazing.

Growing up, music was essential. I have so many childhood memories of waking up on a Sunday morning with my dad playing some record on the record player. I would jump out of bed and run down the stairs to find him sitting on the sofa tapping his foot while he read the newspaper. He would give me a kiss on the cheek as I hopped into his lap and he would read the Sunday’s comics to me. Eventually I just couldn’t sit still anymore and I’d have to get up and dance around our living room to whatever was playing that day. I swear, those Sundays always seemed to be a bit sunnier, a bit happier; more full of life and laughter. Those Sundays were my favorite.

I grew up singing Big Girls Don’t Cry by Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons in the car on trips to the store, or grabbing a handful of CD’s (he never cared which) and running out to the car before we left for vacation. We’d play in the backyard with a CD player playing anything from Motown to Classic Rock. Dad taught me about Bob Dylan and showed me that even if your voice doesn’t fit the societal norm of “perfection” that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sing.

He made music a part of who I am. I’m not musically inclined; I can barely read sheet music, but I can appreciate some good lyrics and a wonderful tune. I can’t believe that I allowed myself to lose such a huge part of myself, but at least I found it again. At least I’m dancing around now to songs that remind me of back then, to songs that make me think of today, and songs that make me dream of the future.

I can’t help but sit here imagining myself boppin’ down the street with a boom box on my shoulder, crankin’ tunes, and singing along. A girl can dream… I’m pretty sure that those I live with would rather I not be listening to music because my singing is less than magical. Sorry guys! Girls just wanna have fun, am I right?

-LP

One Day, I’ll Forgive Myself.

Today was supposed to be my first wedding anniversary.

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Instead I’m alone and it hurts to say that it’s because I’m choosing to be. Life would be so much damn easier if I loved him. It really would be. I tried for so long. I put in so much work. I cut off pieces of myself so I could fit into the little spot he had for me. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, I wasn’t happy. I tried tricking myself and it backfired. I tried fixing an already broken relationship with marriage (don’t ever do that, take my word for it).

Today I’m hurting.

I’m hurting because I know I’m hurting someone else. I’m hurting because I know how much it sucks to lose someone that you love. I’m hurting because it sucks having to be the bad guy. It sucks when your reaction to someone crying is to hug them and tell them you take it back, but you know you can’t do that. Not again. It hurts knowing that I’m making the right decision even though it’s the hard one. It just fucking hurts.

My heart is aching. I’ve never had to wound someone in such a terrible way and this was never my intention. I went into this marriage promising to stick it out no matter what, promising to love him no matter what, promising that I wouldn’t let go. I made so many damn promises that I just cannot keep and it kills me. It’s terrible to know that I lied to someone like that. I knew I couldn’t keep them. I knew it but I still let him offer me his heart and I gave them a tiny, barely there, sliver of mine.

It’s not fun knowing that you’ll always be the villain when they tell the story of their life. Knowing you’ll be the person their future children will wonder about is hard. The thought of the nights they’ll spend alone because of you is heartbreaking. I never meant for this to happen. I didn’t know that the pieces of myself that I had removed so damn carefully could grow back. But they did.

They grew back and I’m back to who I always was. I’m back to the person I had left behind because I was trying to play the part he had for me. I swear I memorized those damn lines. I did. I walked the walk and I talked the talk. I put in all the time and energy I could, but how can you pour out more from a cup that’s empty?

My cup is parched. It’s damn near bone dry. And I’m so sorry. It’s a hard reality to face knowing that you’re breaking up a family and sending them back to a place they thought they were done with. Back into the dating pool. Back to needing a date for weddings. Back to spending Christmases alone. I’m ruining a life he had planned for us and I know it.

But what can I do?

Am I supposed to pretend that it’s okay? Am I supposed to act like these changes he wants to make for me are good enough? That’s the worst part. He’s willing to change. He’d give it all up for me, but it’s still not enough. How terrible is that? He just isn’t it for me. My God, that’s a terrible realization.

I should have known.

He’s a good guy, he is. He’s nice and he cares about me. He loves me more than I love him and I thought I’d be okay with it, but I’m not. I signed my name on that damn dotted line and thought that guilt would never hit me in the chest like a freight train, but I was wrong. I was so wrong.

A year ago today, I was so damn terrified to walk down the aisle that I could have thrown up. I should have turned around, ripped that damn dress off of myself, and ran down the street. I wasn’t strong enough. I can admit that. I’m stronger today. I’m stronger because I told him I wanted a divorce and I let him cry alone and didn’t console him even when I wanted to. I wanted to take away the pain I had caused. I never meant to bring that into his life.

Yesterday I told him flat out that I want a divorce. Before I had just said I needed space. When I told him, I was greeted with yelling and pure rage. Which I suppose I deserve… I understand why his words came out like knives. Why I saw pure hatred in his eyes when he looked at me. Why his voice broke when he told me all he wants is a family with me; when I told him I need more than that.I knew I had it coming. I knew I deserved it. I feel terrible for making him deal with the pain I’ve caused.

What makes it worse is that I’m in love. As  much as it hurts me to hurt him, I’m in love. I am in love.

Does that make me a terrible person?

Probably.

But he makes every love song have meaning. He’s taught my heart something entirely new. He inspires me. I want to cry when I think about how full my heart is because of him. He doesn’t ask me to cut away parts of myself to fit into his plans. There’s no script to memorize with him. I wish I had known he was coming… Maybe then I really would have ran down those church stairs, hopped on a plane, and into his arms. Maybe then, today would have just been the day I almost got married.

If only.

-LP