Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Purest Love Always Reveals Itself

1. I can be a very emotional person, and I do wear my emotions on my sleeve, but normally I'm very calm and quiet. I have an easygoing personality. I am not the type of person who likes to fight or be put in a position where I have to defend myself. I prefer to be happy. Arguing with a person doesn't make me happy so I usually avoid arguments, but, if push comes to shove, I will fight back.

2. Even though I was attacked by a dog when I was a child, I am not afraid of dogs. I grew up with  the greatest dog ever. I loved her. Her name was Silver. She was a Norwegian Elkhound, and I'm not sure if it's the breed, but she was very protective of us kids. We got her as a puppy, and grew up with her. Exposure therapy… I respond well to it. 

3. I love puns, corny jokes, and play on words. Growing up, my father used to tell me the dumbest jokes. I'd roll my eyes, but his jokes always made me laugh.

4. Even though I grew up around guns, and support a person's right to own a gun based on the Constitution, I personally do not like guns. I grew up shooting them in the desert, and I never found it to be an entertaining sport. That's not saying that I don't understand the value of knowing how to protect myself, and how to safely use one, I just hope I never have to use a gun to defend myself.

5.  I love haunted houses. They are my favorite attraction at any fair or carnival. I don't care if they are cheesy or badly done, I still love them. I have even stayed at hotels that people claim to be haunted with hopes of seeing an actual ghost, but I've never seen one. I do believe it is possible they exist, but if they do, I don't think I have the right energy to see them. Still, I think it'd be kind of cool to see one, as long as it's a nice ghost.

6. When it comes to cell phone technology, I am still in the dark ages. I have had the same flip phone for ten years. I will be upgrading soon, but I've never really been in a hurry to go out and buy the latest in technology.  Surprising, considering I grew up surrounded by the latest gadgets.

7. This is my favorite number.

8. After my parents divorce, I took on a lot of responsibilities to help my father out. He was at work all the time providing for his children. Through my teenage years I cooked for the family, two households, mine and my grandmother's (who lived two houses from us). To this day, I do not enjoy cooking, and have to be in the mood to do it.

9. I hate the game Monopoly. I absolutely despise it. I find it to be a never-ending tedious game so I purposely try to lose so I can stop playing it. I do like card games, puzzle games, video games, but ask me to play Monopoly and I will say no.

10. I have run two marathons and have no desire to run another. I believe in the causes of any event I choose to take part in, but the training was hard on my body. I lean out quickly, and it's hard to keep my weight up. I enjoy exercise, but I never enjoyed the training that was required to get my body ready to run a marathon. So no more marathons for me.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Trip from the Past - Saint Louis, Missouri

This would be a trip I took awhile back to Saint Louis. This trip, I flew to Missouri, a few days later I was in a car driving to Chicago, followed by Ohio, and then returned back to Missouri. For this post, I am only sharing a few images from my trip to Saint Louis.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. I went to Missouri to visit with a friend. It wasn't on my list of places to go, outside of the state (I do have a bucket list that requires me to visit every state in the USA at least once in my lifetime), but I figured since I was there I was going to see the arch. It was the first place I visited when I got off the plane.
Inside the arch, from the top, the view is incredible. They have an interesting system that takes you to the top. If you get claustrophobic easily, it will probably be a terrifying trip up. It's basically a small pod, that has windows so you can watch your ascent and descent, but there is an awareness of how tight and enclosed the space is you are travelling in.
The base of the arch. Surprisingly, and maybe that is because it was during the school year that this visit took place, but the area was not crowded. I have pictures from the park that surround this area, the museum, and an old church (not the Cathedral). My time in Missouri was roughly three and a half days, the rest of this vacation was spent on the road.

Cathedral Basilica in Saint Louis - I am not a church goer, but it is a beautiful building, and the inside is gorgeous. I appreciate the architecture. It is a thing of mine, I am not a fanatic on history, but I love to look at old and historic buildings. It's the design work that I find interesting.

Back to the arch for a late night visit. They had a light show, and it was worth going back to see it.

The Missouri Botanical Garden because I like to spend my time outdoors. I don't travel to sit around in hotel rooms. I want to explore the area. I want to experience what I don't experience at home. I normally travel with a buddy, but there are trips I do take alone. I can assure everyone that the moment I jump on a plane, with someone or without, I will be out exploring the area.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Person Who Seeks Will Find What They Are Looking For

Pain is something we all experience in life. It's inevitable that at some point in your life you will experience it.

Pain is a pesky little word that is always associated with being hurt, and there are different types of pain, physical pain and emotional pain, both can range from tiny almost non-existent sensations to full blown suffering.

Physical pain can be anything as minor as knocking into a table and bruising your leg, or receiving a paper cut, to something major like falling and breaking your leg. Physical pain can be the effects of a disease on the body, like cancer as it destroys a person's cells, or even the treatment that is supposed to fight the disease, but hurts the body in the process. Physical pain usually has a cause that can be explained, but not all physical pains can be cured. Some of those aches and pains come with age, from banging up our bodies when we were younger, and we pay for it as we get older. Other physical forms of pain go away in time, like a bruise healing.

Emotional pain is different. Emotional pain is caused from hurting somebody, whether it be hurting their feelings with a sly comment that they took offense to, or something to the effect of a betrayal and a violation of a person's trust.

Regardless of what type of pain is being experienced, it's important to understand the causes and effects of each are different, even so both types of pains can be equally devastating, but in dramatically different ways.

A paper cut will heal in days, and you will probably have no reminder that the injury ever existed. Cancer, while it can be cured with certain treatments, is far more likely to devastate the body in the process, and there is no guarantee of survival. Saying something to a person that might one time hurt their feelings will probably not do much damage to a person's psyche. Being insistently bullied can have a psychological effect on a person that leaves an imprint on them for the rest of their lives.

The cause of emotional pain is complex, and in no way, shape, or form am I an expert in the subject, but I have experienced being bullied, and I have had my fair share of painful experiences that have left a lasting impact on me emotionally.  I've talked about my divorce, and the commitment issues that are a result of it. I've talked about having trust issues. I've even touched on the topic of my mother, a person whom I don't like talking about. My mother is an emotional subject for me, and can result in an explosive outburst if I feel pressured to talk about her. My issues with trust stem from her. I could go through a whole list of her done me wrongs, but it all amounts to the same thing; she was an awful parent who neglected her children.

Coming up in March, this blog will be placed on hold for a couple of weeks. I'll be dealing with another type of emotional pain, which I am not ready to talk about, and it is going to affect my wanting to come over here and share.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Magic Enchants and Casts a Spell

Another project I am working on. It started out as a writing prompt that was sent to me in e-mail and is already taking shape to be much longer than a few pages. This story is still very much a rough draft. I am only sharing the first page. This short is currently at thirteen pages, and just over 6000 words, in an unfinished state, and is considered an angst driven love story. I am currently juggling multiple stories. It can be a problem when you have a head full of ideas and you have to get them on paper before you forget them.

She woke, with a startled groan, to the sound of music being played on the piano. She wasn't sure if she was dreaming the sound, but when the noise didn't dissipate she woke to the full realization that her comfortable slumber had been disturbed, and now that she was fully awake, she grumbled to herself at how truly inconsiderate her boyfriend was being. He could have waited an hour, written in silence, but instead he pulled her away from her peaceful dream.

She lay in bed for a few moments longer, hoping that the music would stop, but it just became more persistent, and though it made her grumpy, she smiled to herself because the melody was beautiful, and she could hear the heart of her boyfriend in every sound the keystrokes made.

She knew sitting at the piano was his favorite place to be. He loved making music, and he hoped to one day realize his dream of being a rock star. He played multiple instruments, but the piano remained his favorite. That is where he felt he could create his best writing.

Still, she was surprised he was up playing so early, the night had been late playing at the local bar. Afterwards, he had gone back to his band mate's home to celebrate the gig, low paying as it was, because it meant exposure in the city, write ups and reviews, and the development of a fan base.

She untangled herself from the sheets that clothed her naked body, and grabbed the pink satin robe she kept close to the bed, quickly wrapping it around herself, and loosely tying the matching sash around her tiny waist. Her bare feet cold from the feel of the tile, she yawned, stretched her arms, and then headed downstairs.

She followed the sound of piano keys, found him sitting, brows furrowed, deep in thought, a notebook in front of him, and the music sounded like magic. He was gifted, a talent she wished she had been bestowed with, but to her dismay she had no musical ability.

She came up behind him, leaning in, until her lips were close to his ear. “Hey there,” she whispered. “You woke me up again.”

Chase, jumped, startled by her intrusion, but then slowly turned in her direction, and kissed her lightly on the lips. “Morning, Sunshine.”

“I'm not quite feeling sunny this morning.” She returned, but still she smiled. “It's seven in the morning, barely the crack of dawn, and I was having a wonderful dream.”

He wrapped his arms around her waist, and brought her to him. “Tell me about this wonderful dream, and was I in in?”

“I can't tell you about the dream, darling, you woke me up. Remember?”

“Sorry, Love, but inspiration struck, and I just had to get down here. Forgiven?”

“The melody sounds beautiful,” She picked up the notebook, and looked it over. “What are you writing today?”

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Life has a Way of Answering Questions You Didn't Even Ask

It's your life, and in one’s life, we are faced with decisions, choices we make daily, some small and some large, but they are still decisions that we personally make for ourselves. Some choices could be as simple as what coffee (or tea) we drink in the morning, others could have life-altering consequences.  A life full of meaning ultimately rests upon an individual's right to make their own choices and to determine the course of their own existence. Even if the choice a person makes is wrong or leads them to a place that makes them miserable, it's the freedom to make these choices that make our life worth living.

I don't mean to make light of places that don't have the same freedoms I enjoy, but I personally don't live in a country where my rights aren't protected.

We have the right to choose our friends. We have the right to choose who we spend our life with. We have the right to choose our careers. We have the right to choose how we dress. We have the right to choose what we eat. We have the right to make choices.

Making the right choices are crucial for the direction that you want to go in your life, but sometimes it can be very hard to decide what the right decision is. Every choice you make has a consequence attached to it, some of which go unnoticed, others change the course of your life. There are some questions you should ask yourself before you make certain decisions. What are the consequences for this decision? Will it cause harm? How would my family or friends feel about the decision I made? Will it affect them? Will it affect the way they view me as a person?

If the choice you are making has a big impact on your life then you should always consider what you do before doing it. Whether it is about a relationship, personal issues with friends or family, places you want to live, or career decisions. Some consequences can be severe and cause irreparable damage. I have never known a person who was happy being a slave to a bad decision. Some decisions could turn into the best choice you ever made in your life, and bring with it a wealth of happiness. You have to decide for yourself if it's worth it.

Avoid quick, rash decisions. You should never make a decision in the heat of the moment because all important decisions require some time and thought. The pros and cons should be weighed before certain decisions are made. It doesn't hurt to confide in someone, or to seek advice from those you trust to lead you in the right direction. Sometimes simple reassurance is all you need to realize that the choice you are making is right for you.

When a person makes their own decision, it is important that they are happy with the choices they make. When they look back at the path they have chosen to take, it should always feel worthwhile and there should be no regrets.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Work of Art is the Trace of a Magnificent Struggle

I truly believe that it is possible for ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. It is my opinion, but I do believe it doesn't matter what title a person holds, or the position of power that they have been graced with, the difference between someone who is ordinary and someone who is extraordinary is in what they do to make the world a better place for all of us who live in it. I am not just talking about those who are gung ho on stopping wars, creating safe zones, or saving our planet - for me that means every environment we inhabit, whether it be home, work, or this planet in general. There should never be a situation where someone feels unsafe in their personal environment.

Honestly, I can't tell you why people do the things they do, or make the decisions they make. I would have to be the one standing in their shoes to understand why certain paths are chosen over others. I do know that when you make a choice to intervene and help a person, and the choice you've made has the potential to be a lifesaving decision that can affect the safety of that person, and even the people around them, then you've performed an extraordinary act.

I believe it's my right and it is also my responsibility to help create an environment that doesn’t promote anger, hostility, or hate, and seeks to find solutions in dealing with the problems that plague us. There are multiple solutions to every problem, but there are times when the solutions don't come easy, and sometimes we don't achieve the desired results.

It takes courage to voice an opinion, especially in an era that ridicules a person for their beliefs, but I also believe that a person is responsible to find a variety of reliable sources before pushing their beliefs on other people. It is never okay to force a person to believe the way you believe.

Worrying about problems that plague us without taking steps to confront those problems is counterproductive. It takes action to make change occur. The use of words to promote our message is easy, but the truth is found in the actions we take. If enough ordinary people step forward and take action to help make this world a better place to live in, I believe as a unified community, we can, in fact, accomplish extraordinary things.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Whisper Sweetly the Tenderness of the Moment

Life lessons are exactly what they imply, whether good or bad, they are lessons you learn in your lifetime. They are based on the concept of learning from the mistakes you make. These lessons can have a significant impact on your life, and can even be described as defining moments that are forever remembered by the person who experienced the lesson. Because each lesson we experience is from an individual's own perspective, the lesson you gain from the experience is unique to each person.

When thinking about life lessons it is important to remember that they can can occur in any area of our life, and while we do learn new things every day, those lessons don't necessarily amount to an event so significant that it affects our behavior for the rest of our life. This is what makes life lessons different from the everyday lessons we experience. A life lesson is one of those events that can be so astronomical that it has a profound effect on the person, or people, who experienced it.

Let us say for example that we behave in a certain way toward a person, or event, that goes against how we would normally behave toward an individual, and, as a result, faced incredibly unpleasant consequences as the outcome of our actions. This may cause us to re-evaluate ourselves and how we handled the situation in the first place. It may be one of those defining moments that make us reconsider the choices we made, and teach us to make better decisions in the future so that we achieve the desired outcome we want. Depending on the severity of the consequences we faced based on the actions we took in the first place, we may find that the impact of our original behavior was so significant to the outcome that when confronted with a similar situation in the future we consciously make better choices so that we don't repeat the same pattern of behavior. Basically, the lesson we learn is not to make the same mistake twice.

Significant lessons we learn in life can function as a guide to understanding ourselves better. Through the consequences of our actions or the reactions we have to the experiences we encounter, we can gain an awareness of how we think, act, and react in certain circumstances. While it is not possible to control the outcome to every situation we encounter, we can learn to control the way we respond to the situations we are placed in.