Living in the Moment…

Salad + Gluten Free Pasta
I forgot to take a picture of my beautiful friend, but we’re having a great time living.

…has been a motto of mine for quite sometime. It isn’t because I have perfected this idea; it’s more of a reminder for me. I had a very recent conversation where we touched briefly on community and connection. I know that social media and the internet can get a bad rep sometimes, however, it is very true that sometimes we can achieve a false sense of connection through the internet.

I have never really been good at living in the moment. When I was a kid, I suffered through very severe abuse at home so my remedy for that was to completely displace my mental state with a future moment or idea of not being in pain. Thus, me having issues with being present.

I work very hard at this idea. Being present. This is where I am. This is what I’m doing. This is who I’m with. Although I love social media and the ability to ‘connect’ with others across the globe,¬†practicing the act of being where I am and disconnecting from the web, to connect with an actual living, breathing human being is a discipline I never hope to lose sight of.

Pictures are very important. When you ask many people what they’d take from their house if they knew their family was safe, they’d say their pictures. But at times, it’s okay if you’ve forgotten to take a picture because you were living the moment.

I hope to always bask in the beauty of writing a letter or a card, taking a walk, experiencing laughter that lives outside of an ‘LOL,’ and sharing a meal.

xoxo

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Never Give Up

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I can remember, as a kid, hearing older folks say “Life is like a bed of roses.” This statement has never felt truer to me than now. Honestly, these days, I am able to smell and see the beauty of the flowers. But for me personally, it’s mixed with the prickling of the thorny stem. I was thinking very deeply about life yesterday and I realized that at this point, most of my life was lived as a survivor. In the last 6 years, I’ve been learning the gloriously painful lesson of thriving. I’ve been learning how to really enjoy the one life that I’ve been given.

I actually have a very large appreciation for life. As a child, I had a very unsafe and violent upbringing. Many times, I wasn’t sure that I would survive the night. I didn’t live in the projects. I didn’t live in places that were perceived as dangerous. I lived in what could be thought of as a nice warm house with a nice warm bed. But almost everyday, I had to fight for my life. I had to watch every word, every gesture, every everything for fear of being brutalized. It’s funny how the people that see you often, don’t even know you or your story. Many people had no idea that these things were happening regularly; that we were regularly running out of our house scantily clothed at late and early hours just to save our lives from the monster living in our home. But, I survived.

Survival is one thing I know how to do very well. Too well. It’s a very familiar friend. But, over the years, I’ve come to realize that although I’ve fought so hard to save my life, I lose it by not living it. This is partially why I started this blog. I wanted a ¬†place to share my heart, the things that I love, the things I’m learning, and the adventures of an ex-survivalist.

I was talking to a young girl at school in the recent past. She was vulgar, inappropriate, and did many things for attention. Yet, she was the first person to greet me when I walked in the door. For a few days, I watched her. I watched her say things to get a rise out of people. I saw her perform less than what she’s capable of because deep down, she was convinced that this was all she could be. The moment that broke my heart was when I heard her say “I’m bad. I’m just bad. I’ve always been bad,” as she shrugged and grabbed her cigarette. She said this in response to another girl talking about the experiences she had in high school. With tears in my eyes, I told her, “I don’t believe you.” She said, “Don’t believe what…?” I said, “I don’t believe that you’re a bad person. I think something in your life has convinced you that you’re a bad person. You might have even done some unsavory things in your past, but we all have things in our past that we’ve done.” She began to tell me about her childhood and how difficult it was. She had a very tough time at home and at school. When you grow up in a tumultuous situation, it can be difficult to realize the brighter truths.

When you’re younger, many things seem like the end of the world. Life can be extremely difficult for some. You might’ve been in a situation similar to or worse than mine. But the truth is, if you’re able to make it beyond 18, you’ve walked into an amazing opportunity. When you turn 18, everything you choose to do with your life is your choice. My turning point was when I decided that although I was abused for all my life, I wasn’t going to take over and continue the abuse to myself and to others. It hasn’t been easy going through this transformative experience, but it has been worth it.

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I’ve decided to embark on a journey of living. I’m choosing to be vulnerable. I’m choosing to dive into the things I love and to share life in all of its challenges and triumphs. I’ve decided to be loving, beautiful, and present. I’ve chosen to do, become, and treasure what I love whether trivial or deep. Although the rugged moments still happen, I’m going to continue to choose these things. I will never give up. I will never give up on myself. I will never give up on my goals and dreams. I will never give up on the people I love. I will never give up faith and hope.

Someone in this extra large tiny world loves you more than you know and treasures you beyond what you could imagine. You are worth trying for. Don’t give up.

Good Things Happen: Chocolate

Chocolates

Of course, chocolate. Because, when is chocolate never good?

After a particularly difficult night last week, I was give this sweet little box of chocolates from a friend who simply wanted to brighten my day. She went somewhere with her husband and brought back a little token, just for me.

You can call me naive if you’d like; which would be the farthest thing from the truth. I digress. But I like to believe that there is someone, somewhere, at some point and time that is thinking of you. Someone, somewhere is having good thoughts and sending well wishes to you from their heart. Take heart in knowing that you are completely loved by someone, somewhere.

xo