Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am...

...relishing orange spice black tea while I greet the day with utter gusto and gratitude.

...still thinking about the lovely backrub my love gave me this morning to help me wake up.

...in love more than ever before.

...reminiscing on what a delicious day yesterday was. A 'normal,' but entirely delicious day.

...drifting on the heavenly smell of vanilla that pervades our living room.

...adding to my book list as we speak. Want a peek?

  • A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver
  • 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin
  • Life is a Verb by Patti Digh

...pepping up for another brilliant day.

...enjoying the moment.

...loving this quote:

"It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis."
-Margaret Bonano

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Meet the Wild Child. Meet Me.

I find myself dancing along the edges of a passionate life. Sure, I dip a toe into that glorious ocean now and again, but I have yet to find the courage to fully submerse myself in it, and here's a secret:

I long for it.

Although I have many passionate moments for which to be grateful, I yearn to live a whirlwind of a passionate life, with no regrets.

A worthy question would be, "So what's stopping you?" As a wonderful blogger once said, "Life is a choose-your-own-adventure book." That has stuck with me, so why aren't I choosing the adventure of miraculous, passionate, wild life? Because the wild child lives inside me; I feel her every day. And she whispers, "You're heart is too closed still. Open up. Break. Break open."

Like a bird fluttering against the inconsistent boundaries of my heart, determined to break free, live free, live wild and precious and unfettered. Determined, on the verge of angry at being caged for so very long. That's the wild child; that is me. Trapped, but in a gilded cage of my own making; a not-so-subtle cage of deer-caught-in-the-headlights fear, shyness, inhibitions. Fear of giving my heart to the world and never getting it back (and deep down, that wild child whispers, "A free heart is better than a closed one. Do you really want it back?")

I'm working on it. In two weeks, I'm 25, and this last quarter of a century has certainly not been awash. See, the wild child, she's not content to sit and wait; she tiptoes over that boundary more and more all the time, creating holes, dancing in the surfs of passion. I may be afraid, but that particular ocean laps at the boundaries of my heart daily, breaking those edges down as subtly as the Pacific turns high cliffs into grains of sand.

Its only a matter of time, and when I'm tossed into the waves of this life I want so badly, I will not tread water, but instead plunge into the depths of passion, delight, eternity, wonder. I will embrace the wild child who is the heart of who I am, who I wish to become, and from those moments, my heart will cease to leave my sleeve, free, glorious, vulnerable.

Because a vulnerable heart is far better than one which is caged.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Peek into My Present

The smell of green bean casserole drifts from the oven as I type, and today it represents friends and family, comraderie, love, appreciation, and all around good times. In 15 short minutes, I'll be pulling it out of the oven and hopping into the car with the husband to drive this delicious yet simple concoction to wonderful friends who also happen to be family for dinner. We usually have dinner with them once a week, and its always one of the highlights of my week. We'll talk and laugh and play with the little kids, and the baby, who is one and the most adorable thing on earth, will run and fall over and giggle and scrunch her face up in a way I've never seen, and my heart will be completely and blessedly full.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Musings of a Born-again Morning Person

So I told myself that I should really blog at the end of the day, so I can actually write about my day, but alas, as I sit at my computer, drinking my second cup of coffee after my 5:45 am wake-up, I find that there's too many thoughts floating through my head, and since I have the time to jot a few down, I'd rather not wait. And here we go:

Sitting here daydreaming about the lovely nerdiness I've developed through osmosis from my husband. The fact that we still don't own and haven't played Lego Harry Potter yet is an utter travesty. Also, we have Star Wars Monopoly tucked away in a cabinet, and I've been itching to break it out for one of those mind-boggling, up-until-3-in-the-morning marathon games. I have about 15 Buffy comics stashed on a shelf still to read before I catch up, but NO time to read them, as I'm taking 3 lit classes this semester. And while these may seem like complaints, they are mostly just me embracing  celebrating my inner geek. Can't wait till Christmas rolls around so I can brag about our Christmas droids!

Been bitten by the travel bug again. Thing's worse than a damn mosquito - its always out for my blood. Better yet, its IN my blood, this wanderlust and wonderlust. This deep, passionate need to see as much of the world and as much of humanity as possible in this short, precious life. The world beckons, and I itch to follow, to explore, to revel in all of the beauty there is to see. My heart swells with it and remembers sights so beautiful it felt as though it cracked a little. And indeed, every new place I've ventured, every ounce of beauty my eyes and heart and mind have been lucky enough to drink in, has caused a small crack, a miniscule opening in the boundaries of my heart, until those boundaries become inconsistent, insubstantial almost, with every breath of wonder that fills my lungs. Its not just that I love to travel and see new places; I love how travel changes me, broadens my world view, exposes me, humbles me, fulfills me.

I want to throw out a few aspirations for my blog here:
  • If I can ever get my camera to work again, there will be pictures. I adore photography, I love having (and sharing) these beautiful images of life.
  • Although its a blog for the now, I will be chronicling my dreams as well, because my dreams so often drive my present.
  • You won't see a whole lot of complaining on here, because that is just not the purpose of this blog. So, no, my life is not perfect, but I'm here to reflect on the blessings, not the little annoyances. I refuse to give them any more thought or power than they deserve.
  • I hope this blog will help me grow. I hope it will further break down the boudaries, the walls, around my heart, because I don't want to protect myself if it forever keeps me separated from people.

The it for now. School beckons. A big, scary test this afternoon beckons. But after that, cuddles with kitties and the husband, so its shaping up to be another good day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Some Moments

Some of my favorites moments today:

During my 5:30 am walk this morning, as I glanced from the sparkle of stars in the dark, dark sky to the tiny mirror-still 'pond,' I thought with a couldn't-stop-it-if-I-tried smiles, "What am I going to be grateful for today?"   

The phrase "lots of good smartness" uttered from my mother during our daily phone convo.

Talking gibberish with my husband and the ensuing silly laughter.

Watching the premiere of 'How I Met Your Mother' and more laughter. (Because you can never laugh enough in a day.)

And here in the next 20 minutes, being lovingly tucked in by the most beautiful person I've ever met.

Hope your day has been as blessed!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dishwashing Zen

Yes, you read that title right. Last night I achieved a sort of zen while washing dishes. While Joshua Radin and Ingrid Michaelson serenaded me in my kitchen, I zoned out into a completely relaxed state while the warm, sudsy water danced and played around my fingers, tugging on the sponge here and there. The delicious pumpkin spice candle that flickered behind the sink sent wafting tendrils of its delicate scent to tickle my senses, and my eyes lost focus watching the candle flame flicker and sway.

No, I didn't drop or break any dishes as I embraced my zen moment (although that would have been like me). While in that moment, I didn't so much notice it as subconsciously embrace it. It wasn't until it drifted away and I continued scrubbing that I felt a little wistful, just the tiniest bit bereft at its absence. Funny how so often the absence of something is more noticeable than its presence.

I can't say I love to do dishes, nor did my dishwashing zen moment convert me, but those lost-in-the-most-delicious-of-senses moments were certainly something to note. Who knew that cleaning could be a relaxing force. Ha, well, something to ponder anyway.

And if that's not an example of embracing the present, then I don't know what is.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"It is no disgrace to start all over. It is usually an opportunity." -George Matthews Adams

I have no idea who George Matthew Adams is, but its clear to me that he is a smart fella.

I have found (in my short almost 25 years of life) that starting over is both scary and wonderful, inspiring and unsettling.

Whether its a big life-altering starting over or something as simple as starting over on this blog, so often it is invigorating. Again, scary, but invigorating.

This year, I decided to start my career over. Instead of working in social services, I discovered that I wanted to be a teacher. A high school English teacher, to be exact. I made this decision just as I was finishing a sociology degree, so it wasn't exactly the best timing. Just when I thought I was finishing something, I realized I was only at the beginning.

I'm not going to lie; at first, it felt pretty discouraging, even as the hope and novelty and inspiration began coursing through my veins. After so many years of college, I wanted to start over? Am I nuts? I'm sure a number of people have thought so.

I'd say that I'm just dedicated to being happy, no matter how much work I have to put into it.

Now I have two years to go, and then I will be a teacher. Hopefully, I will start my first year of teaching just before I turn 26. Most days I feel like it can't possibly come soon enough.

And in walks the purpose of this blog... With something so big and so great looming on the horizon, it is too easy to get lost in dreams of the future. It is too easy to take the present for granted. Way too easy to forget just how great of a gift today is. And it is a gift, an invaluable gift.

The precursor to this blog was a gratitude journal that I started keeping about a month ago, after my godmother and my grandfather died within two weeks of each other. When something rocks the foundation of your world, its up to you to decide what you're going to hold onto, what stalwart will keep you from drowning in the maelstrom. Or I guess you can choose to drown, which I have no intention of doing, now or ever.

So I chose gratitude. Gratitude is my sanctuary.

Gratitude has always been my sanctuary. I just didn't realize it until after my dad died. There's no healing from a wound that deep; that leaves a hole in the heart that can never hope to close completely. But there can be growth. There are things to be learned from grief, from terror, from emptiness, from misery. And what I've learned is that gratitude is a choice, and it has not only kept me sane, but I have moments of delirious happiness that never goes unnoticed or unappreciated. The smallest things bring so much pleasure when you're mindful of their value. This mindfulness, this gratitude, has stretched the very boundaries of my heart until they can no longer be seen or felt. It is as though I stand in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight; it is just limitless love, limitless thankfulness.

Maybe I'm getting carried away. All I really meant by that particular digression is that I don't want to forget all that I have in these moments, because these moments are all I have. That's why I'm here. To share these wondrous, indescribable, heartful moments with... well, whoever reads this. And if no one reads this, there is no real loss, because the most important thing is just to remind myself.

This is a beautiful world. A beautiful life. And I intend to wring as much joy and love from it as possible while I have the chance. Because this life has all the beauty of a rainbow, but it shares the frailty and the impermanence of a rainbow as well - it is meant to be enjoyed to the utmost during the fleeting moments we are blessed with it.