There is no Multiverse, but there are multiple versions of you. Throughout your Life, within every person that’s been close with you, lives a version of you from that time period. Every version is different, and they culminate into the person you are in this moment. After I suffered a debilitating stroke, I wanted the versions of myself that lived in my friends minds to be what existed in the current physical realm. Therefore, I actually hid from some people, preferring to be the version that they remembered over the version of me that is. This sentiment crossed my mind again more recently upon the impending reunion with a long time friend. However, I pushed those notions away in favor of anticipation. Where I once wanted to stay hidden away in favor of a memory was no more. Because, I’ve realized staying stuck as the same version in someone’s mind correlates to being stuck in the here and now. There is no growth in that. Besides, with the right person you won’t be afraid to be yourself. Even if I was in a wheelchair, they could see me walking. Even though my left side may be currently paralyzed, they could see me moving fluidly. In fact, whatever the current physical reality was, they would see me. And, just the same, I would see them! That’s the beauty of knowing. It’s not that we have the ability to recall a preferred version of each other, but rather that we can see each other through whatever version we are currently inhabiting. The ability to do this with one another is not only true authenticity, but it’s what creates a safe place. It is a space in which we can be messy. A place in which we can be vulnerable. A place in which we can truly share a laugh. Furthermore, one in which, failure is okay and successes are celebrated. My wish is not to be an old version of myself that is remembered by someone, but to be brave enough to shatter that memory and replace it with who I am today. More importantly I hope to always have people in my Life that I can do that with, and I hope you do too!
Posts Tagged ‘Family’
“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.
Find your Tribe.
“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!
Love is a Shore Thing
“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.
*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.
The Great Escape
“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.
“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!
“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.
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….
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)
Now please, try and treat each other better.
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