Archive of ‘Life’ category

They tell me I'm pretty.

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“Everything has  its  beauty, but not everyone sees it.” -Confucius.

What value does being pretty really have? Is it financially gainful?  In some  cases, yes. Is it morally upright?  Does it validate your existence?  It would appear that in many societies it does. Especially if you’re of the female persuasion. There was a time, when I felt validated only by my pretty face. Coming to the conclusion that if nothing else, at least I was pretty. However, I’d much rather have a functioning left arm than  big pretty eyes! Another important question, “What really matters?” I found myself resigned to a  wheelchair, a cane,bulky(heavy)braces, and at one point the ugliest shoes I have ever seen in my life. Where there was once  freedom of movement, cute little  shoes, and fashionable clothes I found myself stuck with the opposite at the time.  Being in these unwanted and unfavorable circumstances made me question my self worth and even  sexuality as a  Woman. I  no longer felt attractive. In turn this effected how I felt and perceived the world around me. It brought with it the question  of, for many other Women who are(or have become) disabled, how do they feel? Because, until certain aspects of your “normal,”  life experience  change, there are so many nuances you don’t realize or perceive.   Sure, it’s quite nice to be told how pretty you are. But really, in the big scheme of things, what does it matter? I remember one comment I received  in particular(though funny at the time) was quite telling of our  general attitude towards physical appearance. “Well, at least it didn’t mess up your face!” In regards to the stroke, although I’ll readily admit I’m thankful it didn’t. However, what if it did!?  Would I find myself relegated to the forgotten  in  the  world’s population?  What a sad  truth this is for our  society. We place value  on things where there isn’t a whole lot and no value on things where there is much. In fact for some time I had to be stopped from giving away all my  belongings, because after what I went through, the value  of them dropped!  At one point in time where I would spend  frivilously, I now carefully(and delibrately) saved. We all know beauty is only skin deep, but how often do we act on that truth? If we actually did, the cosmetics industry would plummet, bank account  balances would rise, and eating disorders would be arcane. Therefore, take care of your physical  health and appreciate the body you have. Especially since it’s on loan and you can’t take it with you!

respect yourself,

bleu

Heart Conditions.

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“You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.”

― Chuck Palahniuk.

We’ve got to look forward and keep moving, not  delving  into the past.  This is especially hard if you  have fears about what the future holds.  As a  stroke survivor I found that  even my worries had worries.  It was  that much harder to think of the future not only because of fear, but  also because my heart was stuck in the past.We  must not let our hearts be offended. Why? Because,  taking offense(at someone or something) keeps us in a place of pain and inhibits our growth. If we choose to live in a place of unforgiveness we’ll become  that much more cold,  and hardened, the good things of life cannot grow or flourish in  rocky soil! Therefore, we need to let go of the past and of those  things that hold us back.  For what seems like ages I’ve lived in my past. Because quite frankly, having my independence was far better than my current   bleak reality.  However, I am no longer the person that I was, in fact none of us are. To remain the same would be to stunt our growth and limit ourselves. No matter what happens to  you remember that “ You are not a victim but a victor!”   In trying times it’s easy to get stuck in the former “better,” situations of our past. However,  you must continue  swimming forward or even in some cases treading water. Because, if you stop to consider the past too deeply, the weight of it will not only tie you up but cause you to sink. By remaining in my past I missed the good things in my present. The good news is, it’s never too late to begin moving forward. Indeed the sooner the better, and making a habit of it isn’t a bad idea either. Therefore, do not stop to consider your past for too long or too often. Far greater things lie ahead!

Cheers!

bleu

 
 

A life imagined.

Imagine…-This

“I have found adventure in flying, in world travel, in business, and even close at hand… Adventure is a state of mind – and spirit.”- Jacqueline Cochran

We all want control and have visions  of what our future will hold. However, usually  while we’re making plans life  just happens. In these “derailments,” we find things we didn’t know were there. Such as strength, love, purpose, dreams, and new goals. Whatever your vision is, with perseverance, hope,faith  and determination that life is definitely possible! Sometimes we fly above these visions to revisit what we thought our life would be, before coming back down to earth  to what our lives actually are. When we’re looking down from above time  will reveal it’s perfect timing in  our life’s narrative. While some realities seem better than others, none are completely perfect. After all life really is what you make of it.  We feel as if we let go of the steering wheel that we’ll crash;but sometimes the opposite is true. Oddly enough, it is when we let go that we’ll find ourselves going in exactly the right direction. While life can certainly be a cruel mistress, She also has the capacity for grace. A grace that lends itself when you feel undeserving, a grace that finds you in your most trying times, and a grace that never ceases to surprise you. In these surprises you may come to find that the fork in the road was a detour you  needed to take, before reaching the final destination. I’d like to believe that my own detour of a massive stroke not only nearly killed me, but also gave me life. Because without it, I would not have discovered my true strength, seen the beauty of true love, and even more so learned what having faith can accomplish.

fly above and not below!

bleu

The bonds

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*This post was inspired by my best friends*

Stretching out over many miles and through space and time there exists invisible threads that hold us together. What is it that keeps us close despite time and distance? There are those places in the heart reserved for a special unforgettable few. If you’re lucky those few will be many. It  never ceases to amaze me that even if far away  someone can have a  profound emotional impact on us. This holds true for  you too, and for  those of you that have experienced your heart shift inside of your chest, or a tear has welled up in your eye  because of the impact  of  another person on your particular piece of the world. This bond seems to only be strengthened by the  shared experience of trauma. When we go through inexorable circumstances, be it with friends or family, those invisible bonds become solidified. Because, when you come across  those who willingly(and happily)hold you up during  life’s disasters  your more then happy to never  let those storms steal  them away from your heart. In fact surviving a disaster together only brings us closer!  Without the darkness and shadows that life  sometimes presents us with, we couldn’t then see the sunshine and light  in life.  The shadow proves the sunshine. It is because of those dark moments that our light ones  are able to shine even brighter. Within the light we’ll find those unforgettable  few. They inhabit the depths of our hearts, the caverns of our memories, and remain on the other end of our invisible thread.  After  suffering the event of almost dying and losing it all, I have gained and found more love then I ever knew previously. Nearly all of this love came from the people on the other end of those invisible threads. They were always there it just took an act of darkness to bring them  to light. A bigger tragedy than what actually happened is that I didn’t see them sooner, and so many of us don’t. Therefore, even though the threads are invisible, when you slow life down enough to consider it, they will become more clear to you. Don’t go too fast and miss them.

Cheers!

bleu

 
 

My Generation

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MnDbWqe_kQ&w=420&h=315%5D

 

“With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.” -Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Each generation wants to think they’re better  than the last. It’s  at the point when you start seriously noticing the differences between your generation and subsequent  ones  that  it makes you feel old. Well, my friends  I guess I’m “old.”   I’m considered part of the annoying  millennial generation, which has been watched by the world most of our lives. However, as a millennial  I have noticed some things about the yet to be officially named generation of current 20- somethings. Not to be confused with baby boomers, the millennial  generation as well as  current 20- somethings  could easily  fall under the  same umbrella, the “Me Generation.”  With the rise of social media, apps that do  almost everything, and new technologies,  self absorption has never been easier. Unfortunately, along with self absorption comes  a lack of ambition, laziness, and a  near complete disregard for other people. It’s far too easy to think(and talk, and Instagram, and Snapchat,and Facebook)  about yourself all day, rather than more outwardly consider the rest of the world around you. Therefore, if you are an individual that hasn’t been  brainwashed by social media, get out there, do something, and help someone other than yourself! I promise it feels really good to help someone else. This leads into the question of “ Would we be more fulfilled if we helped each other more?” Not only would a movement of selflessness  make our lives more enriching, but collectively easier. If we were able to count on someone other than ourselves it would lead to a lot  less stress and a lot more breathing room. Having less stress means less physical ailments and even  many  diseases!  Everyone wins. We don’t have to imagine a world like this when we easily have the  power to start  a  movement like this today. All it takes is one person and one  act of selflessness , simply just do it , and help start a chain reaction of kindness, love, and helping.

step out!

bleu

 
 
 

Impact

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“You can’t get rid of fear, it’s like  Mother Nature.You can’t beat it or outrun it, but you can get through it, and find out what you’re made of.”  – the good dinosaur(Pixar)

Whether your influence is of the dark or of the light, both really matter. Because like  in bumper cars, sometimes life hits us  and  we get  sent in all sorts of directions, but after the initial impact we can usually choose in which direction we’re  going to go. We all deal with things differently, and over time like butterflies, we experience a metamorphosis. Where one person can turn  a bad circumstance into good, others mistakenly follow or choose  a darker path. The world expertly presents us with things that are  “good,”  but are  actually cloaked in darkness. For example, all that yummy processed food that will eventually kill you, or the allure of tarot cards and the occult.This was pointed out to me in a dream recently.  No matter what  your trial  is you have a choice in how to deal with it. Oftentimes our trials  change  us,  like water running over rocks and changing their shapes and textures. Not only do trials and time change us, but they also show us what we’re made of.  Some of us will be pleasantly surprised by our resilience, while others bitterly disappointed by our brokenness. The fact is, we all have the potential to be either built up or broken down. That’s why it’s so important to choose the paths that lead you into  the light of happiness, faith, love, and hope. Rather than  the darkness of negativity,hopelessness, and depression.  Whatever your going through there are many positive resources available to you, you just have to do some foot work! Not only that, but pay attention to and remind yourself of all the things that  give life beauty. Whether it be in nature or in human kindness(like the video below )

Florence and the Machine sing to and for a young girl with cancer in Her hospital room that couldn’t attend  their concert.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uzw7MOBS9lg&w=560&h=315%5D

if you  slow down and look  closer you will find it. I promise you it’s there.

cheers + love + hope!

bleu

Human Angels

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“Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.” -Thomas Paine.

I came into his  Emergency Department unresponsive on  a gurney. This man had never seen me before and  We had never spoken. Yet, even  so He took it upon  himself, bound and determined to save my life. The life of a person that had never included  him  until it nearly slipped away. I’m not sure why I was so   blessed to have been chosen as   a  special  case   for him, but I was and I’m sure that I’m alive to write this today  because of  that.  Not too long ago this very man passed away from this world into  the next. It was a loss not only for his family, but for everyone. Because, that day the world lost a unique and special soul. For me, I lost  a guardian angel. Who knows why certain people come in and out of our lives? However, in  special cases not all of them are merely human. Without even knowing it, your  life’s path may very well  come across  an angels. It’s difficult to convey in words how much of an impact a man I didn’t really know had in my life. The fact that a near perfect stranger rushed to my hospital bedside at all hours of the night to rescue me was surely an act of love. No ordinary(and naturally selfish) person would do that. Upon  learning of his passing it was incredible to take into account the impact that this individual had, had  on my life and so many others. It would be a  crime to waste the incredible gift that He had given me.  This triple board certified physician specialist(in ICU and stroke) possessed a brilliant mind, big heart, and a pair of talented hands. The first(and only) time I met him  after the stroke, my Mother observed him quietly staring at me for several minutes while I talked to other hospital employees. We both wonder what He must’ve been thinking. Surely, still working out  solutions for his “ special case,” even then.  Even though our second trip to see him again did not come to pass, his prediction did. “ The next time I see  you, you’ll be walking.”  Indeed I am not only  now  walking  but the next time I see him I’ll be running! In this journey through life none of  us complete it entirely on our own.  As if it were an  iditarod(see here) there is always someone  special that appears and helps you on the way to the finish line.  For me, during the long and  difficult race, I had a  very capable and giant helping hand in   Doctor Devasenapathy, or better known as   “ Dr. D.”     He  not only helped me to complete the race, but to  stay in the race at all. Therefore,  show kindness and love to your fellow man, because you never know when you might be entertaining an angel.

walk in love!

bleu

 

Damsel

Train Tracks
“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.” -Winston Churchill

Perhaps you’re afraid of commitment, a strong independent  Woman, or claustrophobic. Therefore, you  likely  dislike and understand feeling tied down. Everyone wants to feel free to do what they want to do. However, there are things in life that can restrict us, and understandably so, we really hate that. Anything that serves to hold you back, hold you up, or hold you  down must go! We forget that these things aren’t always physical, but many are emotional too. If you cannot at least rid yourself of the physical circumstances, the good news is that the emotional ones you can. After all, give anything time and work on it with determination, perseverance,  with grit, and it will change. For a time in my case it was the ball and chain of medications. I  left the hospital with a tray full of nearly  ten(10!) different daily medications, a feeding tube, a daily shot, and confined to a home hospital bed. That was three years ago(2013)and what do I have now?  Well, only two(2!) daily medications, no feeding tube, and a supremely comfortable new queen bed. You see? Give it time. Granted, my family and I worked very hard to get here. Even in those times of feeling defeated or utterly disdainful, I can proudly say I  always got my butt out of bed to face the day.  Why? Because like certain foods, you eat it anyway  because it’s good for you.This is telling of the fact that you just need to face  life  no matter how scary it becomes. Because, like a taunting grade school bully, if you stand up to it, it will back down into a more manageable situation. At one time I needed medication to keep me sane, yet  more recently said medication is no longer needed. It’s been kicked to the curb. You can do this  too, no little  pill  can “fix,” your problems as well as you can by changing your way of thinking.  Perhaps, you’ll surprise yourself in finding that life gets ever better when you jump at it, rather then shrink away. If you need any reassurance of that, just ask the girl  who  was at once downtrodden but now  finds victory in everyday living. Because, simply having the privilege to live  out each day is a victory.

true grit!

bleu

Through the Looking Glass

“ ‘Closed timelike curve’ is the jargon for time travel. It means you go out, come back and meet yourself in the past.”-Kip Thorne.

As I stood at the gates next to my Father  I could nearly grasp those lost childhood years. The now abandoned  park that I gazed into was once teeming with  activity. However, now it stands a silent and still monument to  an era of magic.  Originally built in 1963 and closed down in 1999,  The Prehistoric Forest (or “Dinosaur Land”)encapsulated a few years of my life within it.While I  gazed into the park with a myriad  number of mixed emotions welling up inside me; I  imagined as I shrunk back into a child the park grew up  full life again. There exists throughout time and space pieces of us and our hearts wherever we’ve passed. In this case a road side attraction had  pieces of my beloved childhood memories within it. Beyond the fence  meant to keep me out, lay 8 acres of overgrown trails, random dinosaur(some broken)sculptures, and  a precious piece of me. It nearly felt as if  there was an invisible wall and  I could walk through into  my memory. So badly did I desire to relive that period, but alas time marches on with or without us. What it does leave behind for us are the memories. Even though I couldn’t physically  be back inside of that memory,  I was surrounded by the ghosts of it. I found it funny that present day I was standing in front of this park with the very people who lived in that memory with me, my Mom and Dad. Nothing will make you  cherish your life more then standing in front of the ruins of it, from a marvelous  period gone by. I could see a little me excitedly grabbing my Dad’s hand and crunching across the gravel to the now empty souvenir shop. “I want the  neon triceritops stuffed animal Dad!”  Although this place was fading away as each page of time was turned, it remained as vivid as ever within my memories. My Parents are  getting older and showing signs of wear, but here, in my memory they are always young. Never had inanimate objects made me consider my mortality more. I thought of all those moments that seem to go by unnoticed while they’re happening, but later become wholly significant. Because even as your living it that time  will hold great value in the future. Therefore, take lots of pictures, slow down, and tell the people whom deserve it that you love them every chance you get. To  learn and see more about my memory, click here!

Cheers!

bleu

The Feels

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Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. -Dalai Lama

How much better could we understand each other, if we were able  to actually inhabit each other’s bodies? Like some version of the movie Freaky Friday.  I certainly know that I wished someone could inhabit my body(other than me) so they  could better understand my point of view. However, there is the ability of empathy , but even that wasn’t enough for me or others  that are in a crazy situation. Mere words were not enough, I wanted an absolute understanding and connection with someone. The support group I had gone to before,  I left because it was too negative and seemingly a group of people sitting around griping and being sad.  More recently I actually  revisited the group and found it to be better. Although, there was an overwhelming sentiment of people just wanting a relationship. Some had even never really had a romantic relationship. Whether romantic or not, it seems that  well and  “sick,” people are looking for a real connection. Why is that?  Even in an age that is so well connected.What makes it so difficult to connect with another human? Have we built up our walls of protection to be  too resilient? Is it a lack of empathy?  Perhaps it’s a mix of both. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that we need to be connecting to more than just the internet. Except for anyone in an isolated circumstance, the internet  becomes the connection. When you can’t really leave your house and your social life is  hanging on by a thread, the internet offers some much needed  socialization. Personally, I’m very social and I like talking to people so this was crucial for me. However, what about those who only see a caregiver and don’t really use the computer!?  I have often asked the Woman that comes over to help me, how much She knows about the other people She  works for. Of course, this is not done only to be nosy on my part. Knowing that some of those people likely desperately need  a social life, why not  help provide them with  that?  Sadly, not everyone realizes how important that is until it happens to them. Again,  where is that  body switching machine!? We really do need more understanding among us. Since this occurred to me I have become so much more aware of  the spirits inside of  some people. The World may see a smelly, street person, but I see   the person inside who really just needs  some compassion and acknowledgement. You don’t have to be religious, a guru, or “new age,” to  see someones  true spirit. You just need to pay attention in those places that the rest of the world(or those around you) ignore.

pay attention,

bleu

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