coffee stains

We all have coffee stains in our storybooks.

We all have little moments in history that feel to be a dark blot on our storyline, something we may wish we could erase or forget. But there it remains, a stain on our otherwise perfectly crisp, clean pages.

However, we forget that everyone has coffee stains in their lives. Everyone has been through a dark time in their life, or been dealt a bad hand. We all experience a part of life less than memorable. However, like a coffee spill on a blank page, these stains can even be aromatic, familiar to loved ones who have went through or experienced something similar. Sometimes it makes us more relatable, more human.

Some people call it baggage, but I refuse to own that label. I believe that, in this life, everything we do or experience shapes us in some way, and those little coffee stains are what make us our little storybooks unique.

We shouldn’t attempt to hide or downplay these moments in life. These moments in life don’t define you, they are merely part of the plot line that led your life. We can choose to grow through them or attempt to hide them away.

Own your coffee stains. Everybody’s got em.

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tiny adventures

The Hamptons. Cruises in the Atlantic. Hikes in Machu Picchu.

It must be nice to vacation at an expensive, extravagant destination, right? I have never been to any of those, and they sound pretty luxurious. I will also probably never make it to any of those destinations, as there are only cobwebs in my wallet.

However, I believe it is important to have a little vacation, occasionally. In fact, I like to call them tiny adventures. Especially when life starts to feel a little stagnant, I believe it is important to do little things to add a sense of momentum or novelty to our day. Sometimes we just need to stir the pot a little.

I took a tiny adventure today. I went driving through the backroads near my house. It was not a long drive by any stretch, as my gas light was starting to threaten to blink orange, and the clouds threatened rain. However, on this drive, as I blared my music (it was “I Said Hi,” by Amy Shark, and super empowering, by the way) and felt my fingers trace the wind, I felt my soul rejuvenate a little. Lately, life has been a little dim, that’s no lie. But today I caught that little glimmer of sun, the little glimmer of hope for things on the horizon.

Because today I got to pause, and take in the world in a unique way. There were rows of corn I had never seen before, tucked away neatly into the local wildlife, there were rolling hills that had bypassed my eye. Lush greens, gurgling, bubbling creeks. All right up under my nose. Between the cracks in the dismal tedium of my every day, I found new life. My soul found new life blood in a tiny adventure.

When is the last time you took a tiny adventure? What can you do that is cheap, free, or breaks the monotony of routine for just a moment? I encourage you guys to break the routine, try something. Rejuvenate your soul with a tiny adventure.

hope

I wish I could escape it. This dark night. Everywhere I turn, shadow, shadow, shadow.. dark figures are my only friends in this ghost town. Like clockwork, the Moon dawns again, his bright luminescence glowering coldly over this recurring nightmare. Again he circles, over and over, and I wonder where he goes for the brief moment he disappears beyond the horizon.

I have a secret. Every morning, I wake, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Sun. She’s beautiful, Her shimmering hair crowning Her bronzed and powerful complexion. Deep within me I know She has hidden power, a mysterious and golden goddess whose long absence has yet to be explained. I caught Her, just once, peaking between clouds, stealing a furtive glance, then chased away by a horde of marching burning, angry stars. It didn’t always used to be this way. There is a memory folded neatly between the paper walls of my mind, back when She ruled the summer, when Southern humidity, was the only condensation wetting my face. I remember Sunshine, how it felt encompassing my skin, Her kiss dispersing even the darkest shadows of my heart. I remember Sunrise and Sunset, the sky blooming cherry red, creamsicle orange, sometimes blessed with swaths of imperial purple … It has been years, but I hold those hazy summers close to my heart. There is a Feeling tucked away somewhere, camouflaged in the depths of my memory. It is only a flicker, but radiates white gold. I reach out in dreams to touch it, but as familiar as it appears, it dissipates into the space between my head and the pillow. I know this Feeling is what I need, somehow my gut knows this alone can unlock the prison of eternal night. This Feeling holds the key.

Subsequently, every morning I rise from my bed, and slip on my shoes. My dreams echo the Feeling, propelling me to the window. So I pull back the curtain, and look for the Sun.

you are not alone

Today,

My fear is crippling. All I want to do right now is to disappear into the cavity in my chest.

Today,

I do not have the strength to vocalize, or fight the anxiety stifling each breath.

Today,

Is a battle that cannot be won, though my knuckles are bloodied and fists clenched.

Today,

I embrace the storm, knowing even the strongest must fade into breaths of wind.

Today,

I focus on holding on, despite pain, despite sorrow.

Today,

I put my hope into tomorrow.

when I cannot speak, music does

Today, I sat and wrote, trying once again to convey a feeling of the heart. Today, the feeling could not be captured in 26 letters, being larger than my current diction.

Despondency stifled my lips. Why bother?There were no words to illustrate, no adjectives to paint the stirrings of my soul.

Today, music spoke my soul for me.

The strum of the guitar matched the melancholy in my soul. Where gaps replaced words that would describe my sadness, quarter notes permeated like the slow pour of hot cement. The beat of the drum grounded me when I felt anger attempt to embitter my mind, a last ditch effort to drag it off into the dark abyss of dejection. The piano keys charged starlight straight to my bones, electrifying my soul, making me feel human again.

Music did that. When I could not speak, music spoke for me. When words were simply not enough, music found a way.

fog

Sometimes there are no words to describe how you feel.

You feel like there is this fog of an emotion, a blur of a feeling that you can’t quite put your finger on.

Maybe it’s a shadow of a feeling more familiar, or a mix of several conflicting emotions. Maybe it is entirely new.

So you sit in this haze, unable to accurately describe how you feel. Sometimes it is lonely.. if you’re like me, if you can’t describe the feeling, you won’t vocalize it, for fear of not making sense, or sounding ridiculous. All you can do is turn it over in your brain once more, over and over.

So you continue to sit in the fog. And you wait until it clears.

I did it anyways

I stepped into the bathroom and closed the door. I couldn’t breathe, my machine gun heartbeat rapidly firing in my chest. My mouth was dry, why was it so dry? I stepped forward and grabbed the sink, and looked into the mirror. Keep it together, I thought. I took a small step towards the door, and stopped as I felt my brain swim around in my head. Dizziness is a rare byproduct of the anxiety that so often grapples at my chest. What often felt like an empty cavity now felt filled to the brim with smoke, choking me out.

Keep it together.

I sat for a second, pretending to fuss with my hair as a pair of ladies exited bathroom stalls.

I had already spent time with my hands clenched under the table, fingernails digging into my palms as the buzz of conversation swarmed around me, swallowing me whole like southern humidity. I escaped to the restroom only for time to ground myself before facing a seemingly overwhelming scenario, that would otherwise be joyous for me, but tonight left me with an ice cold feeling in my gut.

Keep it together..

This scenario outlines one of many episodes I have experienced over the past few days. Anxiety has held onto me, and gripped me tight.

I spoke of anxiety a few posts back, but I really felt it hit its peak these past few days, for the first time in a long time.

Though I felt on the verge of a panic attack almost constantly the past few days, but somehow I made it through. I didn’t freak out, I survived the sweaty palms and shallow breathing without letting it impede on my trip too much. I did not allow these overwhelming feelings to compromise my vacation. I did not stay in my hotel room, hide away from people, or remove myself from situations longer than a bathroom break to take a moment to breathe. I felt myself resort to coping methods such as viewing my anxiety waging a worry war against my brain, and myself as a quiet observer, separate from everything.

That night in the restaurant bathroom, I was actually proud. I was anxious, but proud. One of my earlier posts talked about acknowledging something is scary or difficult.. and doing it anyways. Even though this trip was scary, even though it was uncomfortable and stretched me to my limits, I did it anyways.

That night, I realized I had overcome. I may have struggled, I may had scraped knees and bruised elbows, but I did overcome. What felt impossible became possible, because I pushed myself to see it out to the end.

Friends, you can overcome. Whatever you’re struggling with in your life right now.. it may seem difficult or impossible, but you can overcome it.

When it feels scary, do it anyways.

You won’t regret it.

you feel like home

Some people are magical.

Really, they are.

Some people have the unique ability to feel like home. These people have the wondrous phenomenon known as The Click. What is the The Click?

“I don’t know, she and I just click..she just gets me, you know?”

The Click is what I like to call the inexplicable connection you make with someone from the start.

As a fairly reserved introvert, finding these relationships is gold for me. I have found a few in my life.. my friend Nancy springs to mind.

I met Nancy on a beach mission trip my junior year of college. I had initially been invited by an acquaintance of mine, and found myself thrown into a whole cabin of girls. From the first conversation, Nancy and I just clicked. We spent the week together, walking the beach and telling secrets, picking each other’s minds about our different hopes and dreams. When it usually takes me a while to open up to someone, with my new friend it came naturally.

From a week on the beach, I had found a lifelong best friend.

I find these connections to be sweet and like I said, magical. I find their origin to be mystifying, an amazing experience of the human existence. There are really no words for the strong connection one sometimes just immediately forms with people, or why it happens.

Have you ever experienced The Click? Who feels like home to you, and why?