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

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I Can Feel It

I love you.

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And you know what? Loving someone and trying to love someone is so damn different. With some people it’s just natural and easy to love them. It’s simple and it doesn’t require work.  Even on the bad days, they don’t seem so bad, but with others, each day is a struggle. Putting them first, loving them “anyway…” Well, sometimes, things just aren’t so easy.

I’ve always wanted the easy kind of love, but I had never had it. You know what I’ve realized though? It’s not meant to be easy as pie every day. Some days are hard, but you shouldn’t have to love someone “anyway” or in spite of things. You should love them because you love them. It should be the kind of feeling you can sense filling your heart. The kind of emotion that you can feel radiating from your body.

My love for you reminds me of that song by The Temptations- I Want a Love I Can See

I want a love I can see.
The kind of love you can give to me.
The kind of kisses to make, make me melt.
The kind of love that can really be felt, now.

With you, it’s a love I can see. It’s easy. It’s there. It’s the kind of love that only you can give to me. A kind of love that I know is a once in a lifetime kind of thing… I’m so grateful to be able to have experienced a love like this. So many people don’t get the chance to and I feel terribly for them. I do.

I’m so damn lucky because loving you is easy. I love you because I just love you. I love you not in spite of what you are or what you believe. I love you for those reasons, too. I love you because I just do. It’s a feeling I can’t shake. One that will never leave me. One that I’m more than okay with allowing to fill my heart and radiate from my every pore.

Loving you is so damn simple. Loving you is all I could want. Loving you makes my heart sore from pumping so hard, from feeling so much… I’m grateful for the pain because it shows me that you’ve been there. It shows me that your face and your presence have been gracing my thoughts, my dreams, and my life. I feel it with you. I feel it so simply. I don’t have to work at it.

I know it won’t always be like this; I know we’ll have bad times. I know that the skies will be gray at times, but the thought of having your fingers laced with mine and facing those days together… well that’s a pretty thought if you ask me. The sorrow and sadness that life brings will still have a bit of a rosy glow, even if it’s not seen by the naked eye. Even if we can’t always see it, it’s there.

Just like my heart. Even if you can’t see it. Even if you can’t place your fingers under my jaw and feel my pulse, you know that my heart, each beat, it’s for you.

-LP

P.S. If you’re interested in helping a baby blogger out and enjoying some of the best music by The Temptations, click the link below.

Take a Load Off

You Deserve Peace.

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If you’re fighting through something or you are facing adversity, you are not alone. Know that and let that sink in. There are millions of us feeling the same way as you. I know how easy it is to feel alone when you feel like the bad guy, or if you feel like you deserve to feel like crap. You don’t. I promise you, you don’t.

I came across this poem by Najwa Zebian that is honestly just fitting my life right now and I think you folks will enjoy.

these mountains that you are

carrying,

you were only supposed to

climb.

How beautiful is that? I mean truly. We all have some sort of burden that we carry with us and sometimes it’s insanely hard to escape the reality that we need to let it go. Sometimes we feel as though it’s our job, it’s our cross to bear, but that’s not always true.

We are not Atlas. We don’t need to carry the world upon our shoulders. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed; if you’re feeling like you’ve got too much to handle, maybe it’s time to take a step back and look at the situation from another point of view. Maybe you were only meant to face these problems, not carry the burden of them with you. You deserve peace. You deserve joy. You deserve to feel happy and free. Regardless of where you are in life or of what you’ve done; you do not deserve to spend your life unhappy.

If you’ve made the hard decisions; you are brave. If you made the easy ones; you are human. If you’re facing hard times; you’ll become stronger. If you’re feeling alone, please know that you’re not. If there are consequences to deal with, deal with them. The repercussions may be great, but that doesn’t mean you cannot handle them. You can handle this. Have faith.

Take some time and forgive yourself, because if you don’t you won’t find peace. Sometimes it’s better to hurt someone than to keep living a lie. Sometimes it’s better to let go than it is to hold on. It might not seem like it at first, but give yourself some time and the truth will be revealed. Sometimes the hard decisions are the ones that need to be made. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but a necessary one nonetheless.

Darling, just love yourself. Love others. Love life. Just Love.

-LP

P.S. If you’re interested in reading more poems by Najwa Zebian and supporting a starving blogger, like myself, click the link below and check out The Nectar of Pain.

Focus on the Motive not Motivation

What is your driving force?

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If you’re rooting your actions, thinking, etc. in something as weak as some feeble motivation, prepare to lose it. Have you tried starting a diet, making a lifestyle change, learning to recycle, etc.? Odds are, you lost motivation half way through. I get it. I’m the same way. The excitement that gives you initial inspiration quickly fades away and you’re left wondering why the hell you started this to begin with.

Find your Motive.

What is the reasoning behind your actions? Be honest with yourself. Personally, I’ve found that extraordinarily hard to do. I like to kid myself and say that I’m choosing to do whatever I’m doing based on something smart or sparking change or whatever, which isn’t always true. Half the time I’m doing something because of how it makes me feel. It may make me feel smarter; it may spark a change within myself, but that’s not the driving force behind my actions. I am. That might sound hella selfish and self-centered, but the biggest disservice you can give yourself is to pretend that you’re not a selfish creature.

We all are. And that’s okay.

Embrace the crap out of the fact that you should be driving yourself, but don’t simply find inspiration within. Let your world inspire you; let it give you motivation, but take that one step further. Once you have the motivation to begin, ask yourself “why?”

This will help you to determine if whatever task at hand is actually doable for you. Don’t waste your time on odd jobs, projects, or people that don’t inspire you. It’s a waste of your time and a waste of theirs. It’s easy to fall into the rut of sticking with things that you’re indifferent to. I know that from experience. I let the winds of the world sway me into things that I didn’t really love; things that I was just “okay” with. It took me a long time to finally realize that I had lost that creative flame that burned inside of me. I had snuffed it out by piling on things that the old, excitable, creative version of myself wouldn’t have given a second thought.

I became a person who just existed. A person who had motivation to do these lame tasks, but always ended up giving up because I didn’t have any meaning behind it, any reasoning; I was lacking motive. Passing time isn’t a good enough reason to do something. If you need to earn money to pursue your passion; Work that shitty job. Live in that tiny apartment. Eat those damn potatoes for every meal. Just do it and remember why you are. You’re dealing with the crap now so you can bask in the glow of your dreams. Follow them. Find the meaning behind them. Find your purpose. Just do it.

It won’t be easy. Quite frankly, if you’ve lost your drive for life, it’s going to be a massive pain in the ass to find it again. Just do it. Seriously. It’s so damn worth it. As cheesy as it sounds, follow that damn heart of yours. It’s truthful and worth the risk.

Always keep searching.

-LP

Enjoying the Day-to-Day

When I was working at Dairy Queen I felt constantly stressed and unhappy. The job itself was great, I mean who doesn’t like making ice cream? I had worked at multiple Dairy Queen stores and I really really enjoyed it. I had a great boss and coworkers; even though I didn’t have a relationship with them outside of work, work was fun and stress free. I mean, we basically sell happiness in a cup. Unfortunately, when I moved back home from Eastern Michigan University, my new store wasn’t as welcoming. I definitely learned to get over it and I even made some fantastic friends that I love more than anything, but all in all, I hated it there. There were a few people that made my job miserable and having a new boss that doesn’t do anything about problems, does not help. After exhausting my resources available to me for conflict resolution, I decided to leave, at least for the time being, namely because I just could not deal with the stress of nursing school and catty coworkers. It just made life easier.

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It’s been almost exactly 1 month since I left DQ and I already feel so much better. The constant unhappiness and stress has faded away as a distant memory and I can talk about Dairy Queen without feeling like I’m going to crawl out of my skin. I have come to realize that life will never be stress-free, but if you are in a situation that makes you constantly unhappy, you need to get yourself out of there! I became a completely different person while working at DQ, and it wasn’t someone that I liked being.

Here are some tips and tricks I use (and I’m still trying to perfect) to help you enjoy the day-to-day:

1. Leave the stress at the door. Work is stressful. School is stressful. Traffic is stressful. Everything is stressful. If you weren’t stressed out, you wouldn’t be alive. When you come home after having a horrible day at work, or you fail an exam, it’s okay to be upset. You can cry and you should. Let the stress out and deal with it, but do not bring it home. Do not lash out at those that love you and want to be there for you. They want to help, so let them.
2. Focus on the good. Look at the stress in your life, the failures you’ve encountered, the promotions you didn’t get as opportunities to learn more and do better. Don’t beat yourself up! To err is human. And we are so far from perfect, even if we pretend we aren’t. Even if we try to be, we fail.
3. Let go & pray. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, my friend. Honestly though, take some quiet time to yourself and look inward. Look at who you are and what’s happening around you. Focus on the good in life (as difficult as that may be) and take some long deep breaths. Meditate, breathe deeply, just focus on what you’re feeling and allow yourself to feel it, guilt free. It’s okay to be upset, unhappy, overwhelmed; it’s okay to need to look to something or someone else for a bit of reassurance. The quiet time will help and guide you back to the happiness you seek. Take a few moments and try. You just might be surprised at how much it truly helps to calm you down and help you through it.

For those of you dealing with a stressed out partner, realize that as much as you might want to help, or as much as you want to get to the bottom of why your significant other feels the way they do, give them space. (At least for a little while) Then go to them, express how you are feeling about the stress they are dealing with and listen to them with open ears. Avoid asking “why?” as it can make a person feel as though they have to defend their feelings and justify them and they might not even really know the reason behind their emotions. That is for them to wrestle with and figure out; you can still be there though, just go to them with open and understanding, nonjudgmental arms. Odds are, they want a hug and someone to talk to.  🙂

As crappy as the day may seem, you will have better days! You will probably have some more not so great ones too, but try to look on the bright side of life and find things that make you feel better. I am a HUGE fan of long showers, listening to music, going for a nice drive, or focusing on things like homework to get my mind off of what’s bothering me until I feel like I am ready to deal with it with a level head. It isn’t easy. I lose my cool, but it’s something I’m working on and something that I encourage you to work on as well! Choose joy. Choose peace. Choose happiness. Choose to be optimistic even when you do not feel like it.

There are some circumstances in which a person is genuinely depressed and those people should seek help. Remember, if someone is coming to you with their sorrow, it’s probably hard for them to do so, so allow them to express how they are feeling and offer some support even if its awkward or uncomfortable for you.

If you, or anyone you know feels as if they are in the midst of a crisis, please take the appropriate measures. Call the completely free hot-line: 1 (800) 273-8255 if you are located in the United States, because you matter. These people who man the phones at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will talk with you, listen to you, and help. You are not alone.

-LP