Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Happy Holidaze.

Love is a strange emotion. It is ever evolving. Lust is transient. With time, one realizes that love and togetherness are two different things. Very few people are lucky enough to experience the two emotions simultaneously.” -Randeep Hooda.

Happy Holidaze everyone! I hope today’s blog finds you swell. If there’s one thing people enjoy during this bustling time of year, it’s unity and community. However, my inquiry is, why make this an annual event? While the Christmas season is important, aren’t the people you love special 365 days of the year? One of the important lessons that nearly dying has brought me is that time is of the essence. While I was in ICU in a  coma, unbeknownst to anyone my Father had been listening to a voicemail of me singing him happy birthday, and when He thought He had accidentally deleted it He sobbed, thinking He might never hear my voice again. That story was so touching, I am now utterly joyful to sing him happy birthday every year that I’m with him. That little tidbit only reveals the kind of heart that our immediate loved ones have toward us.

You can easily fill up your days with tasks, but you cannot create more days on the calendar. Therefore, besides  the things you have to do to  live in this wild world, try to fill your free time with things that are meaningful. Because our existence on this plane should  help us to grow as people. You can’t do that with your face stuck in social media! I advise some face time  away from the  screen with people that help you grow. As difficult as some people are to deal with, deal with them because the challenge they present actually helps you.   Understand that other people are like water that rushes around you and shapes who you are. This happens in nature as well when rocks are reshaped by the river running around them.  The different currents result in varying shapes, just like  different people you encounter shape you. Lest we forget, the water never breaks the rocks down, only reshapes them. If you’re  running into people that tear you down rather then build you up,  jump into another river!  After all, life is  too short to spend it with toxic people. If  I’m going to go out, I’d rather go out with a bang then be  a slowly smoldering heap of dark smoke. When you spend time with healthy individuals, they will exert light  into  your life  and thus you’ll go out with a bang rather then a dull thud.

Cheers!

-XO Leah-

 

Find your Tribe.

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“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.”

Chuck Palahniuk.

I have always felt a little out of place or like an observer of this great big fish bowl earth, that’s teeming with life. This was especially true after I was injured and found myself displaced from where I had been thriving in New York City. I woke up at the bottom of a pity pit in a hospital rehabilitation   center in my home state, back where I started before I moved away.  I had hit a snake  in life and slid right back to the beginning of the game. This couldn’t be more true since I had to relearn basic life skills that I had at one time already mastered. You would think a clean slate would be a good thing, but not  so in this case. I had witnessed all the dominos I  painstakingly set up, tumble down at the push of a bad life circumstance.  I would soon be tasked with rebuilding  it and that’s what I am now, a full time construction worker. The sixty four days I spent in the hospital  and even more before that saw me inching towards the starting line.  Although I had a supportive crowd cheering me on, I had lost my “tribe.” A group of fun like minded people that helped motivate  me to be better were missing from the hospital setting.  Therefore, I went to many therapy appointments(after discharge) with a different kind of tribe. They weren’t bad just fellow people that were hurt like me, so   it was dark and depressing in that village. I missed the glittering happy atmosphere that I had been used to, since  it lifted my spirits. Although, I certainly tried to get back there with weekend workshops like Blogcademy.(Glitter!)However, after  two days of sunshine, on a Monday I had to return to that same dark village that was therapy; never was the importance of your atmosphere so obvious to me. Since then I have stumbled unexpectedly into members of my tribe(like this)which always makes me feel much better.  Each day as I run into these like minded individuals and recover more, I  can see the entrance to my village getting closer and closer. Never take for granted or underestimate the importance of being  where you feel  you belong, it will save your life!

Cheers!
bleu
 
 

Love is a Shore Thing

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“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” -Louisa May Alcott.

The Jersey Shore is a testament to resilience, community, and triumph. It is a place that was nearly destroyed and its residents run off after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Yet  today it  still  stands  strong and as beautiful as ever. Just as the ocean waves rushed in causing destruction, the residents have returned  and rebuilt.  Within the borders of the beach you’ll find a   community of close knit families, tourists, and friends. Just as the towns along the shore  have survived and are thriving, so are these relationships. In  fact I enjoyed a week in Lavallette New Jersey at the shore because of one of these relationships. It is one that like the shore itself, has withstood  the tests of time and  the battering ram of a  horrific hurricane. In this case  it was with long time and much loved friends that have been with me since before  the massive stroke. Anything that can  withstand such an event deserves recognition. Because,  stories of victory are few and far between outside of superhero movies.However, there are plenty of real life superhero stories.  They  give us hope, they give us strength, and  remind us  of why we keep on going. Therefore,  we need to hear even more  stories like these. Surrounded by the newly rebuilt homes and beautiful beach front, I observed a community that rallied together and rose up under the  East Coast sun. There was life, laughter, and plenty of love coursing through the streets  that were once threatened with total destruction. It  reminded me that even though life may  put us through  unsuspected and  seemingly insurmountable circumstances, we can still emerge on the other side of them just as strong. Indeed we can emerge even stronger than before! They refine us like the ocean waves smooth out rough rocks and bits of glass. The relationships that  survive the storms with us are like little protective cacoons of love. Just as we become stronger because of the storm, so do they. While  it’s difficult  to find any thankfulness for these  life storms, I am thankful for the aftermath. These  storms leave survivors stronger, with wisdom, and highlighting the love we sometimes forget  exists.

Lavallette strong!

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

 
 

The Great Escape

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“Faces that have charmed us the most escape us the soonest.”- Walter Scott. 

Everyone had left the room, so in earnest my Grandmother and I  made a rope of tied together bedsheets,and I put Her on my back and  threw the sheets out of the window. Then  together We scaled down the side of the building and away to safety and into  a  world of happiness.  At least that’s what I envisioned as I sat next to my  dying Great Grandmother in a rehab facility bedroom. The family had come to the conclusion that She was soon to be departing Earth, so everyone had come to visit Grandma before She left. However, when I was left alone with Her  with this vision in my head, I started to describe the adventure We’d have together while She giggled. Of course in reality both of us were pretty much stuck in that room. I could no better sling Her on my back as much as She could make Herself young again. Sometimes, as hard as we try it seems impossible to change ourselves. Even though I wasn’t able to make our comic book adventures come true,  it doesn’t mean that  nothing else is possible. In reality  We can’t  all jump out of windows, even though in our dreams we can.  Luckily, in this  World our dreams are possible if  given the right environment and the chance. Even though I may not have been able to whisk my Grandmother away, Her wisdom still remains. One that taught me to to get up and  get dressed  to meet the day even when  no one is  going to see it. There’s something to be said for    an effort that  doesn’t beg for  attention  but is simply for ones self. This illustrates that you  don’t need validation from others to be complete.  At  whatever age until She was 97, my Grandmother got ready and dressed for the day even if She was alone just watching television. How appropriate that a Woman that had lived through the depression taught me to have class and to value what you have. By enduring an era that was so well acquainted with lacking She  learned to value and appreciate what  She did have. That’s something we all need to realize and work on.

stay classy!

bleu

 
 

Here

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“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” -Bil Keane.

You hear it often “be mindful, be present, and you should meditate.”  These aren’t just new age guru mumbo jumbo beliefs but they’re actually right!  I’d venture to guess that I’ve spent most of my life somewhere else, and definitely the past two years. In fact, the majority of us are not where we actually are at any given moment. Whether our minds are adrift or not, many times were wishing we were elsewhere. Either we are looking to the distant past or the near future. Our  “modern society,” is really talented at keeping most of us discontent with where we are, always wanting more. The funny thing is, when you stop wishing to be somewhere other than  where you are,  suddenly life becomes much more enjoyable!  When you let the  mind wander less and focus in more on your present surroundings, it allows you to savor  life and be in the moment. As an example, for many months I only wanted to be back in my beloved city of New York. However, once I chose to silence the noise, I realized that I was actually enjoying where I was. It’s easy to lose sight of where you are when advertisements and social media frequently remind you that you could be somewhere better. It’s as if we’re a rat  running through a labyrinth of distractions, all the while completely missing the point that lies in the center. When you take away all that noise suddenly the point is much easier to find. What I realized is, that New York City will still be there when I’m ready to return, but my Parents(with whom I live) won’t be. As much as I have griped and protested about my current situation, the fact is I have  had invaluable time spent with my family. One of whom supports and  loves me through it all. Therefore, I wish(not again!) that I’d realized this sooner. For if I had, the past few years would’ve been far less painful. When your mind wanders away from the present moment it really hurts you. Not only do you miss out on a part of your life, but also lose focus on your present goals. In a way it’s like self sabotage! By  looking  in a different direction you lose track of your chosen path, and lose ground(ie time. If your particularly goal orientated this is crucial to know! By being present and focused on your current situation, it allows you to see clearly the bull whose horns your going to grab.

focus & conquer!

bleu

Ordinary Objects

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“To the world you may just be someone, but to someone you may be the whole world.”

It’s strange and  sometimes emotional when I unexpectedly(or expectantly)stumble across  objects from my life in New York City. Essentially, while I was in a coma(not knowing if I would live)friends and  family  packed up my belongings and my apartment. So there I was out of commission and my life(hanging in the balance)packed away into numerous boxes. They made the trek from New York, to New Jersey,and then Michigan. While I  eventually   followed them. From time to time, I will be doing something and randomly see or find something that  used to live in my New York apartment. With each object I find,it opens  up the  flood gate of memories. I can remember when I bought it,where it was from,what I did that day,and see it in it’s  place in my apartment. Every  object holds a story. Since my life has taken a radical turn, these objects afford me the feelings that I imagine a true explorer gets.  When my eyes and fingers touch upon an object from my life before the  massive stroke, I feel like an Alien discovering something from a past civilization,of a time gone by. This is because  the situation I’m in now seems so unreal. Although the objects are not foreign to me,in some way they are. Why? Because  before I was completely unaware of the reality that I’m enduring now. This has  given me the point of view of an outsider. When I’m holding  something in my hand(or gaze) I can actually take it in as if it weren’t mine. Leaving me to see it in a   new way.  In  the  way that an explorer might see something and wonder what kind of life it once had. Although I know the life of my own belongings, I miss the girl that bought them. I’ve been in what seems like  an alternate  universe for the past two years. I’ve been working on bringing that girl back from the other universe. I remember everything,but even so I worry I’ll forget. I don’t want to forget what it feels like to be able to walk freely,tie a shoe,run,jump,and generally be able to control  my body. Those objects remind me of the girl I used to be(physically)and I want Her back. I even think back to how oblivious I was to the struggles I now face(and have) wishing I  could somehow eke out some of  those feelings back into the present. How  fortunate I  was to be  unaware of the things I know now! Those objects hold this other  universe within them. I wonder what  I  would do if I had known then, what I know now. Ah,yes it’s the  age old question,and the answer is  everything. We take  so much for granted, that it’s so important to live and enjoy life as much as you can.

Cheers!

bleu

Century Girl

Recently, I turned  100 before my Great Grandmother, and that’s okay with me!

In the past I have spoken about how important hope is to us as people.

One story that comes to mind about my Grandmother(Grandma Cookie) is a day  when She was visiting.

I had recently acquired the  book Century Girl about a fantastic woman who lived in the days of the NYC Zeigfeld Follies   dancers and continued to be involved with dance  until She turned  a century.

The reason this was special to share with my Grandmother is because of( you guessed it) JHope!

Seeing another woman who was able to live, and live that long and do it  vibrantly was important to encourage Her.

Not to mention it wasn’t often someone 60 years Her junior could converse about music,actors,and  events from the 1930’s.

She was born in 1918, lived through the depression, and enjoyed dancing to big bands with Her brother on the weekends.

I always enjoyed Her stories and pictures from days past.

More recently at the age of 95 life is waning away from Her.

However, I expect to be 100 right along with Her.

This is a post dedicated to love,hope,and most of all thankfulness!

That being said dear reader, check out my silly video below please and thank you….

Cheers!

bleu

Fish Guts

So yes, I tend to spill my guts a lot, in a nice big messy pile on display for bystanders to see. Why? Am I an exhibitionist? Am I a masochist? Do I enjoy committing social suicide? I am unsure. Am I too honest and open? yes, probably. While I don’t see it as a negative, one must be cautious. It seems there are many sides to the die, as Weezer attests to (12 sides and more!) and in relation to people you may not like or expect every side. I have learned not to trust so easily (unfortunate) because people are not very nice after all… I have learned a lot so far in my 27 years and mostly how important it is to guard your heart. People will rip it to shreds given the chance. I am weary of this, I am down trodden and tired of experiencing this in myself and observing it happening to others. How and why do people become so.. I’m not even sure one word can sum it up.. Selfish? Cruel? Immature? Self Centered? Judgmental? Pretentious? For me this is the ugly underbelly of human nature, sure I believe people are good to a point, but I meet, like each of you have, people from time to time that test this belief. I also realize that it seems all of humanity is lurching and groping for some sort of connection, answers, LOVE. When Lennon and McCartney penned the lyric “All you need is love” they were quite right. Its simple, its true. However we have made a mess of love. It seems to me I see a lot of empty souls wandering these streets and some of them have hurt me but I know, I know, I only feel sorry-for them and secondly for me.. because Ladies and Gentleman we are in a sad state. You are much more valuable than you can imagine. If you’ve ever been in an atmosphere of turmoil and then been lucky enough to experience one of harmony/caring/kindness then you know the difference. If not, I’m sorry, your one of the many who needs to experience a revolution. One in thinking, in atmosphere. People are lonely; dissatisfied. Why? What’s filling your void? We’ve all got one and at least for me I know what fills it. Love. This can come in many forms. Don’t buy what the world is selling. Find your worth, it will change your life. Don’t give up even if people seem to keep pushing you down, after all, the night is darkest before the dawn. (and yes I stole that from The Dark Knight)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4p8qxGbpOk%5D

Now please, try and treat each other better.

Honesty is the best policy…

Not to be a Debbie Downer but a few if not a lot of questions have plagued me from time to time since I settled into Ny…
I am close with many people in my family and friends that I left behind in Michigan… at least I hope none of them feel I “left” them… anyway… I just saw an opening in the road to fulfill a long time daydream of mine and decided to take the chance. So far besides having a ridiculously nice apartment just fall into my lap as well as an amazing job/opportunity (not without much hard work of course) I do feel I was led here for one reason or another and I haven’t quite figured what that reason is yet. I miss my cousins (aka the closest to siblings I will ever have or want!) badly, my parents and best friend(s). I struggle with thoughts of feeling bad for not being around or participating more in their paths of growing ever taller and older.  I am not sure when I will be done with N.Y. … I never had a plan here, I just came.. jobless with little money and only a guarantee of a room to reside in, the rest I figured out along the way.. I’m still figuring it out. I am from time to time restless in thought and body.. I am a traveler at heart; an adventurer; a risk taker; (not always good) and I doubt that will ever wane from me. I always seem to learn the hard way (unintentional!) and dive right into the deep end, sink or swim. I can only hope this path leads somewhere on the up and up. Progress, thats all. At this point I am at the “What’s next?” and it feels slow and dragging. I aim to stay positive however and I generally am… I think a vacation is in order as soon as work allows. I need some space. Home is absolutely where the heart is. Where and who is your home?