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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Life Update: LPA Got a Face Lift!

It’s been a while since I did an update on what’s going on in the life of Little Peb.

Let’s just say, things are getting crazy.

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Classes are in full-swing! And boy, am I swamped. I’ll be sharing some of the short stories that we’ve been reading throughout the course, so keep an eye out because there have been some amazing  authors I have had the pleasure of being introduced to and I just cannot keep their amazing pieces to myself. I have also encountered some absolutely mind blowing poetry in another course that will definitely be gracing the pages of LPA. It’s amazing how work that you wouldn’t have normally thought you’d find yourself interested in becomes so… life changing.

I’m going to Georgia! This gal, you know, the one who has never flown before, gets to head down south for 3 days of extensive training for work. I’m super excited to take my first flight and it’ll give me a bit of an idea in terms of what to expect when I take the long awaited flight to Finland. I’ll be down there to get some great insight on how to properly handle emergent cases and what truly qualifies as an emergency in the eyes of veterinary care. I’m super pumped for it.

Little Pebble’s Adventures got a facelift! I. AM. IN. LOVE. I cannot say enough good things about the amazing artist that was behind this work. If you guys are in need of any sort of branding, check out Krysten’s site by clicking here. Not only does Krysten create amazing, one of a kind, illustrative and design pieces, she is also an ethical taxidermist who creates adorable ensembles and truly gives these perished animals a new life of their own. All in all, she is an amazing artist and an absolute pleasure to work with; Krysten truly brings your ideas to life while adding her own, amazing, spin to it. So please, go check her out. You won’t be disappointed.

As I said, guys, life is getting crazy, but I’ll be trying to stay on top of it all while still posting weekly posts, so fret not. LP isn’t going anywhere!

-LP

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Life Update: Breathing is Necessary

Even if you can’t smell the roses, you should still stop.

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I figured it was time to give you all an update on what’s happening in this crazy life of mine! Stick with me ’til the end.

  1. Homegirl’s got a cold like somethin’ fierce. I’ve been hit by the funk and this train ain’t stoppin’ for nobody. But really though, I’m not quite sure what it is, but everyone at the office has come down with one bug or another. I’m not a fan. I’ve been downing water and taking vitamin C like it’s my job, but I think it’s time to call in for some back up; gotta get those meds on board, because, you know, breathing is necessary.
  2. Little Pebble’s Adventures is going to be getting a facelift! There are a few projects in the works and I’m so damn excited to share them with you. You folks are gonna love them, so stay tuned!
  3. My cat is going to the vet on Tuesday! Any of you fellow cat owners out there know that when you bring out the carrier, those buggers magically become octopuses and do everything within their power to avoid being shut in said carrier. We’re going to see how this goes down. Hopefully it’s not too crazy.
  4. Classes start on March 13th! I have been so damn excited for my classes to start up again, but that means that I’ve got a lot of crap to get done so I can stick with this dandy blog we’ve got here. Keep me in your thoughts, folks; If this cold isn’t gone by then I don’t know how I’m going to handle working full time, a full load of courses, and blogging. We’ll see how it goes! Fingers crossed.
  5. Shane Koyczan released some new, amazing poetry! Anyone who knows me at all, knows that SK’s got a hold on this heart of mine. I finally had a chance to listen to his entire Crush album. I love each and every piece on there and I think you guys will love them too. I love the sweet innocence in “Crush,” take a listen and tell me what you think.

 

Anyway, you’re all bombtastic and I thought I’d give you a little info on what’s going on in the life of good old Lil Peb and a taste of the awesomeness that is Shane Koyczan’s new album. Take some time this weekend to kick back, relax, and enjoy life around you; I know I will.

Have a great weekend!

-LP

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

Find Your Voice

How cliché is that title?

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Pretty damn cliché, I know, but I’ve been spending the last month or so trying to write in a way that is marketable and not in a way that is genuine to myself. I’ve been editing myself down into this lackluster form instead of allowing this snazzy personality to shine. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t felt motivated to write, so I went to Youtube. I mean, who doesn’t like Youtube? (My mom, but that’s beside the point) I spent the last few hours watching people talk about their successes and failures, plus what you have to have in order to make it as a blogger. Every single one mentioned passion; so I found myself sitting here wondering why I feel like I have absolutely no passion to write, right now?

I know why.

I’ve been trying to sound more professional than like myself. Can’t I be sassy and fun while being a writer worth reading? I think so and if you don’t well… I guess that’s cool, too. You should still stick around and read what I have to say though!

In the last 1.5 months of writing on this little blog of mine, several hours of watching videos on blogging, and lots and lots of inspiration hunting, I’ve learned a few things:

  1. If you’re bored with what you’re writing about, don’t write about it. Pretty damn obvious, right? You’d think so, but when you’re trying to find content, you’ll write about anything! Or, you’ll end up not writing because you don’t know what to say or how to say it. I’ve been using the short story I’ve been working on as an excuse, but in all reality, I just haven’t had much to say lately. It’s been difficult because I have this innate desire to write, to share my thoughts, but trying to change into this strange form of myself has made me feel like an alien at the keyboard. I don’t know how to say what I want to discuss anymore because it feels so… unnatural. No more! I’m going to say what I want when I want and, by golly, you folks are just gonna have to like it. (Please don’t hate me! I’ve just got some sassy attitude brewing beneath the surface today.)
  2. Writing is hard work, even on the days you’re feeling super gung-ho and those fingers are itching to write; it’s still hard! It’s okay for it to feel difficult. It’s okay to feel have doubts and wonder if anyone is actually interested in what you have to say. If you’re not wondering then either you’re a super snazzy, hella popular blogger who just doesn’t give an eff, or you must not really be all that interested in what kind of affect you’re having (and if that’s the case, why are you writing at all?). It’s scary putting your thoughts out there for all of the inter webs to peruse through, believe me, I get it. But buck up, buddy, you can do it and you can do it well!
  3. Believe in yo’ self, foo! Don’t doubt that you can do it. Don’t think that just because you’re currently struggling, that you will struggle forever. You won’t! I promise. Stick with it; see it through. You’ll end up surprising yourself. If you’re willing to put in the hours of hard work, if you can push through this wall that you’re standing in front of; you will be rewarded! You’ll feel pretty damn great about yourself at the end of a hard day of writing. Genius takes time. We weren’t born able to walk let alone run, so why do we just expect to be amazing at any given skill the moment we put our mind to it? Because we’re impatient, imperfect creatures. It’s true, but writing takes practice and revision, then rewriting and some more revision. It’s part of that “romantic” process we all grew up thinking that writing was, but really… actually it isn’t all that romantic, after all.

All in all, be yourself. Use your voice; no one has the exact same view as you or lives the same life as you. You are so damn unique so embrace it and let that shine through in everything you do.

Keep fighting, we’ll make it!

-LP

P.S. Don’t worry, this might be a post about things I’ve learned, but you’re still getting the weekly blog post of “Things I Learned This Week” tomorrow!

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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

Life Update: One of Many

I can’t stop smiling.

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My life has been a bit of a mess the last few years, but lately… man, it’s just been so damn great. I’ve been dealing with a lot of problems and issues that I’ve been working through but even with all that, I’m still happier than ever. It’s just amazing. This path of mine has made its way up mountains, down valleys, and through the thickest of all thickets; all the while I was worried about each decision. I constantly wondered if I was making the right decision. It’s really difficult to know that, you know?

I’ve second guessed myself every step of the way, but I’ve learned -through a bunch of trial and error- that, generally, the first thought that floats through that mind of yours is often the right one. Trust your gut. Seriously. Don’t doubt yourself. You’re smart and most often our first decisions are the ones that our heart truly wants us to follow. I’ve had to make so many difficult decisions in my short life and each decision has been riddled with self-doubt, but I’ve finally made it to the other side of pure clarity. Let me tell you, the fact that I feel secure in my decision doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes feel the clouds of doubt looming overhead; it just means that I know a gust of reassurance is heading my way and soon those clouds will be gone.

I grew up thinking that earning a degree in English would be wasteful. I thought it would be amazing but not worthwhile; I thought I would be happy just writing in my free time, but I needed a “real job” to pay those bills. I spent years taking courses in education, social work, and nursing, and filling in any opening with courses in literature and writing, I finally got to the point where I had one useless degree under my belt and I was looking for something more. I knew I had always longed to complete an English degree; I had known it for years, but it was always just a pipe dream, something that was just for dreamers- funnily enough, I always called myself a dreamer.

Well folks, yesterday I got my official acceptance letter into the English program and I was able to register for courses. I furiously clicked through classes while slouched into the sofa, excitement building with each press of the button. The list of classes that I had to choose from overwhelmed me with pure joy. I squirmed excitedly in my seat as I read through the courses that I get to take and immediately bought and began reading the required text  upon selecting my courses.  I’ve always loved school, but now I am finally pursuing something I am so beyond passionate about. I know that I’m blessed to be able to at only 23 years old, but it’s been a lifetime of thinking that it just wasn’t practical to follow this dream of mine.

Not only am I able to pursue something I absolutely love, I have the support of someone who encourages me every step of the way. The boyf and I are just two peas in a pod. Honestly. I’ve never had a relationship in which I can be my true self. I’ve often found that I have to give up pieces of myself or push down the things that make me, me in order to be more palatable, but not with him. I can be excited and bouncy or sassy or sweet. I can be who I am every moment of the day. I can love things that I love and appreciate the things that he loves. It’s just spectacular.

Life is grand.

-LP

One of these Days, I’ll Get it Right

I used to take everything so personally.

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I’ve learned to  just let all the crap that comes my way roll off my back. For instance; today at work, my boss told me he wanted to hit me in the head with a baseball bat for making a simple, easy to fix, mistake that I, a brand spanking new employee, had never even been talked to about before or taught. The old version of myself would have probably cried on my drive home from work, but not today. I’ve learned to let that crap go. I’m honestly more annoyed than upset by it and even with that, it’s like minuscule compared to how I would have felt like a month ago. I’m home and I’m happy. It’s crazy to think about where my life was just a short while ago; I guess it goes to show that when you’ve got joy in your life, even shit doesn’t smell so bad.

When I was younger, I was that optimistic person who wasn’t afraid to take risks; as I grew, I got scared. Instead of having someone to push me to be brave and to be myself, I had someone who babied me and told me to basically run from what was scaring me; it’s definitely not what I needed, but I took that advice anyway. It took me a long time to get to a place in which I could appreciate someone showing me a bit of tough love. I’m insanely grateful for the people who give that to me; truly. I’m the kind of person who might complain about something, but I get more from the experience when I’m basically told to suck it up and move forward than when I’m sympathized with.

I’m a tough love kind of person; I can dish it and I’m thankful that I can take it. I like that constructive criticism because it gives me a chance to grow. So when someone comes to you and tells you about all the things you’ve done wrong, take that as a chance to become better. Did your essay turn out horribly? I guess you should that editorial process my boyfriend keeps talking about. (I hear it’s helpful.) Are your fingers fumbling around the strings of your guitar? Practice. Does your painting look muddy and lackluster? Pay attention next time and be deliberate with those strokes. Learn from what you’ve done and what people think about your work.

But, remember to take it all with a grain of salt; sometimes people just wanna be dicks. It’s cool. Let them be jerks and then let that crap go. Who cares what they think if they’re only expressing an “opinion” to be hurtful? I sure as hell don’t. They’re lame lint lickers anyway! Anyway, stay positive and stay true to yourself. If you’re like me and you just love to write, spit it out, and see what people think without revising it all that much; then do it. Even if your boyfriend keeps singing that sweet song that the editorial process is part of being “professional;” darlin’, please. I’m too young for that speak. I’m going to make an attempt to grow up someday soon, but we both know it’s going to take a bit of work on my side and patience on yours.

The moral of the story is: if crap comes your way, let it go, but appreciate the fact that it did and learn from it. Life is nothing but a whole lot of trial and error.

Keep on tryin’.

-LP