Friday, May 27, 2011

My favorite Memory

My favorite memory of my mother is rather simple, and is in fact my first memory.

I was only maybe 3, and my mother is sitting across from me, smiling at me as she paints my nails. It is a warm summer day, and we are sitting in front of an open window in my room. My tiny hand is being held ever-so delicately by my mother's. I remember trying to be dainty and lady-like while my mother completes this very grown-up task, but I am so excited I can barely contain myself. I felt so happy to be getting so much attention from my mother, I felt special, loved, and I remember I just couldn't stop smiling. As I studied her and my manicure I felt deeply connected and in awe of her. I felt so much happiness and love in that moment, and I think this is why it has stayed with me for so long.

I don't remember the color I picked, (but I want to say it is red, because red is my favorite color), or the conversation we had (although I would like to imagine my mother was impressed with whatever 3-year-old me had to say), but I do remember my mother's warmth and love, and that is all that matters.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What a Wonderful World

Hey y'all. Well, this week has sort of been a roller-coaster of emotions for me. You see, tomorrow is the ten-year anniversary of my mother's death. While it is still incredibly hard for me to come to terms with my mother's death, and the emptiness I feel in the place she once inhabited, I have learned to communicate with my mother's memory.

I see and feel my mother in so many ways. My mother's joy is in the lilacs beside my house- her favorite flower. My mother's tenderness is in the wind that whips my hair on a warm spring day. My mother's laughter, full of life, still echoes in my ears when I watch movies we both enjoyed. She is everywhere and in everything that I do.

Tomorrow is going to be hard, just like all of the tomorrows since she passed-- but by now I've learned there are good days ahead as well. Remembering my mother in these ways helps me deeply. Instead of thinking about my loss, about everything my mother was not there for, and will never be apart of, I focus on the beautiful pieces of time we did have together.

Therefore, I would like to implore you: Respect the time you are given, Appreciate your friends and family, Make every Moment Count, and See the Beauty in everything.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guest Post

Hi there y'all, I know I haven't been as consistent as I would like with posting recently, but I wanted to let everyone know I guest posted for one of my good friends, Doug-Smug.

Doug runs a Website devoted to wine- terminology, tastings, and tips. Please check it out:

Friday, May 6, 2011


(((This piece is UNTITLED by 14-year-old photograher, AMANDA PHAM. See more of her work on FLICKR .)))

Did you read that? This beautiful photograph, (one of many, by the way) was created by a 14-year-old girl! Someone who has lived about half as long as I have, and who is as busy with school as we all are with jobs. I am blown away by Ms. Pham's creativity and belief in herself (then again who wouldn't believe in themselves if their pictures turned out like this).

I am beyond impressed that Amanda has found a passion for photography so young and has actually taken this hobby to a whole new level- she available for creative shoots. It really is inspiring to see someone so young following their heart and doing what they love to the fullest degree.

What an amazing Young Woman!

P.S. Check Out Amanda's Professional Website here.

P.P.S. I might see if she is interested in an interview!
"Discovery" is about to become a new weekly entry. Every Friday I will introduce you to an interesting person, place, or thing which I think it worth hearing about! If you have ideas or suggestions, please feel free to let me know!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Do what you Love-and how to know your Love is True

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” ~Jack Dixon

The past year has been more than a little different for me. After working for over three years at a high-stress, long-hour, well-paying job with a one hour commute, my boyfriend offered me the opportunity of a lifetime: quit my day job and begin writing. Oh, and I get to be down in Florida over the winter months instead of being in frigid Pennsylvania. No more commute. No more travel. No more stress. Now, this was a harder decision for me than some of you might think, I am not accustomed to giving up a perfectly good job without a solid amount of money waiting for me on the other side. . . But, in the end, my heart reminded my mind that while this was not the safest thing in the world, I was being afforded an opportunity unlike any other I had ever had- to do what I love.

I will be the first to admit that my first taste of freedom led me astray, most days I opted for the beach rather than putting my pen to paper. In the Summer of last year I started churning out short stories and began working on a novel, but as rejections piled up I became a bit depressed. Come winter, I was feeling a bit down in the dumps, until a friend introduced me to reverb, which inspired me to take a look at my life and my creative process- I was recharged, but still unsure of what I wanted to do.

Basically, my mind stopped listening to my heart-- Writing wasn't paying any bills. Sometimes writing felt so difficult, I often felt uninspired, but mostly, writing wasn't paying my way. I wanted to pay my way. Maybe I should go back to school? That was more spending money and less making money, though. Plus, it might interfere with what writing I was already doing. Maybe I should make some money? How? What else do I like to do? What is flexible and fun?

I settled on getting certified to be a personal trainer, convincing myself personal training would be flexible enough that I could still write. I spent this entire winter studying and studying and not writing AT ALL.

Finally, one day, I packed a lunch, my camera, and my black Moleskine notebook and went for a long walk on the beach. Something was wrong, I felt sick, or off, maybe it was a profound sadness. . . Whatever it was I had felt the need to sequester myself, to walk until I was alone on the beach with myself and my thoughts. I walked for an hour, until I came to the edge of a bird sanctuary only birders and the token inquisitive tourist visit. I cried for what seemed like no reason at all as I ate the small sandwich I had packed myself. The ocean was a beautiful grey-blue, with hints of green when the sun was released from the clouds. But it's beauty was not what touched me. It was the realization that I had not written. I realized that in these past few month I had had no outlet, no confidant. Writing has always been a form of healing and growth for me, but I had stupidly pushed it aside.

I began to page through my notebook, reading old entries, noting ideas for short stories, and gazing at rough sketches with new found respect for myself. I had been given this gift of time, a chance to work at my craft and make myself a better writer, a better story teller, a better person- and instead I made excuses and stopped believing in myself. Instead I embarked on a new, less personal, safe career. But was safer better?

As I walked back home, I knew I had been squandering this gift of time. Writing is what excites me. I have been writing poems and making up stories since I was in elementary school. It was engrained in my soul. While it took me a little over a year to learn to believe in myself, and to focus on my heart, I would never give up that lesson learned.

Whilst in search for inspiration for today's blog, an email from Reverb10 was thankfully plunked in my inbox! In it I found a wonderful new resource for wisdom. Through the blog, you can read inspirational stories regarding a range of topics, including finding happiness, and dealing with change. There are also a multitude of inspirational quotes. If the website seems a little too time-consuming for your busy day, follow tiny buddha on twitter.

Thank you, as always, #Reverb10 / 11!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My take on life

How true it is. Everyone sets out with certain goals and experiences in mind when embarking on this journey which is life. We have a clear idea of where we are going and how we are getting there. Yet,as the above quote reflects, I feel it is more than safe to say that despite our insistence on the pursuit of a certain end we tend to meet other paths, other possibilities, and become side tracked, often coming to an entirely different destination than perhaps we ever imagined.

I feel as though most people have embraced minor alterations in their life plans, but then again so many of us get sidetracked with "what-if's". I myself have fallen into a pattern of second-guessing decisions made 5 or more years ago. My what-ifs range from things I wish I said when others were rude to me, to where I went to college and what I majored in. So much is right in my life, so why worry over things I cannot change? Reflection is necessary, but obsession over the past is never healthy, so how does one strike a balance?

I like to remind myself of the above quote, it helps me recognize myself as a lost discoverer, a traveler along a broken road with a destination in mind but a open mind and a flexible timetable to get myself where I want to go. What really matters is that I learn from my mistakes, enjoy myself and accept what comes, whatever it may be.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm moving out

Well, technically the boy and I moved into our new home a little over 6 months ago, we just sold our old house. That being said, there was still a lot of old furniture and knick-knacks to get rid of, plus a lot of spring cleaning to do at both the old and new house which needed to be done before the sale. Throw on top of that the fact that his family's mountain house is selling this weekend, and you have a good idea of what the last few days have been for me!

If any of you have moved, you know one of the main problems with moving out of a home is deciding what to keep and what to sell or donate or throw away.

Some of these decisions are easy (i.e. Throw out the old beer which sat out all 4th of July of 2009 and has since been been sitting in the far reaches of the refrigerator).

While others are a bit harder. . .
(Should I keep the chipped Double old fashioned my grandmother gave me, or chuck it? )

(Do I try to make the boy sell all of the photographs, paintings, and other golf memorabilia which lined his walls, or let him keep it in hopes he will keep it contained to a man-cave?)

Slowly these decisions were fretted about, and finally made, and I at last I was feeling really good about everything. . . Then, as scores of people scoured over items the boy and I had deemed unnecessary at our moving sale, I began to feel pangs of remorse. That lamp was his mother's! (Nevermind that it befits the older couple living in a farmhouse who bought it rather than our modern hillside escape) The sculpture of the lighthouse was given to me by my grandmother! (It was also purchased at a moving sale, and it in fact had a chip in it, plus my grandmother was more unloading the piece than giving it as a gift; the older gentleman purchasing it was creating a man-cave of the nautical sort so the lighthouse sculpture would be perfect for his room). As pieces began to be gobbled up by appreciative passers by faster and faster, I suddenly came to terms with it all:

Letting go is part of moving on. These items were not the sum of the people who had given them to us. Their memories were not housed in these imperfect vessels, these were merely projections, half-thruths, artifacts with only a shadow of meaning. Cherished possessions were still in safe keeping, safely packed away in our hearts and moving boxes.