No Reason Needed

It’s now late afternoon and almost Halloween eve. For those of you who are fans of Halloween or will be celebrating in some way, I wish you lots of fun and excitement! Before we head into the weekend, I felt I needed to share an article I stumbled across merely moments ago. One of my favorite authors, Amy Hatvany, shared an article on Facebook this afternoon and also posted a quote from the article, which ultimately lead me to click over to read it in its entirety. What I read left me nearly speechless and stunned. The author said many of the words and thoughts that are difficult and painful to verbalize, but he did so in such a way that made sense and commanded my attention and thought.

In the article, (http://www.timjlawrence.com/blog/2015/10/19/everything-doesnt-happen-for-a-reason), the author states that everything doesn’t always happen for a reason, contrary to the phrase people so often utter. This thought in itself was intriguing and prompted me to question the times I, myself, have personally said it. His rationale behind it was unique and I more or less do agree with him. However, the most intriguing and eloquent aspect of the article for me, came towards the end, and I’d like to share the specific passage:

“When a person is devastated by grief, the last thing they need is advice. Their world has been shattered. This means that the act of inviting someone—anyone—into their world is an act of great risk. To try and fix or rationalize or wash away their pain only deepens their terror.

Instead, the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. Literally say the words:

I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you.

Note that I said with you, not for youFor implies that you’re going to do something. That is not for you to enact. But to stand with your loved one, to suffer with them, to listen to them, to do everything but something is incredibly powerful.

There is no greater act than acknowledgment. And acknowledgment requires no training, no special skills, no expertise. It only requires the willingness to be present with a wounded soul, and to stay present, as long as is necessary.

Be there. Only be there. Do not leave when you feel uncomfortable or when you feel like you’re not doing anything. In fact, it is when you feel uncomfortable and like you’re not doing anything that you must stay.

Because it is in those places—in the shadows of horror we rarely allow ourselves to enter—where the beginnings of healing are found. This healing is found when we have others who are willing to enter that space alongside us. Every grieving person on earth needs these people.”

After reading the author’s writing, I felt relieved and understood. So often, I have experienced situations where a loved one or close friend has experienced something tragic, overwhelming or upsetting and I’ve been torn with what I should say or how to convey them how much I care and want to be there to support them. I’ve often wondered if I’ve conveyed this in a way that makes them feel supported and cared for, or if I’ve simply sounded foolish. The way the author describes how to support someone, is eye-opening for me. It makes me recall all those times I’ve wondered what to say or do and lets me know that just by being there and sitting through those painful silences, maybe my support is known. It’s also comforting to know that by writing this article, I am aware that I am not alone in the sentiments I’ve felt.

Presence Quote

Anyhow, I felt it was necessary for me to post this today, because I know if I hadn’t stumbled across my favorite author’s post, I might never have come across it, so I thought if it offered me a perspective, it might prove to do so for others, as well. With that said, Have a great Halloween weekend and take time to enjoy the Fall foliage!

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Just say YES!

Yes. Whether you say it as oui, si, or in any other language of your choice, it is a word that often comes with an impact, whether monumental, or minuscule. Some of us, (myself, included) will often say yes to things I’d like to say no to. Sometimes, I say it out of guilt, fear, laziness, or worry. Other times, I say it because I feel if I do it, perhaps I’ll come to enjoy it. Then there are many other times, both past and present, where I wish I HAD said yes, but instead said no and shied away from opportunity, chances and experiences. It’s sometimes difficult to make the decision to say either yes or no and after making a final decision, having to deal with the repercussions of it, if they happen to be negative.

Yes photo

That being said, yesterday while perusing some of my favorite social media pages, I stumbled across an article posted by a coupon service I often frequent – RedPlum. It was an article written by Jennifer Frye and appeared on their October 7, 2015 blog post. If you’d like to view the actual post I’m referencing, here is the link to browse at your convenience: http://www.redplum.com/blog/151007/6-things-you-should-consider-saying-yes-to

Decisions Quote 2

In the post, the author highlighted 6 things we should consider saying yes to. The article left me reflecting and considering what I have in fact said yes to through the years. Here is what the author feels we should say yes to and my perspective on it:

  1. Making time for you. Your physical health and overall well-being are a priority. Do take the time to relax, exercise, read a book, take a bubble bath, or do anything that makes you happy.

My Take on it: I think this is of the utmost importance and completely agree with the author’s suggestion. Often times, when I find myself overly-stressed or worried, taking time to relax, through reading a book, listening to music and belting out my favorite tunes, or indulging in a favorite movie, like “Serendipity,” leaves me feeling rejuvenated and puts things into perspective for me.

      2. Go out on the town.  Visit a new museum or restaurant downtown. Catch a movie, grab drinks with your friends, have fun outside of the home.

My Take on it: This is a fun idea to indulge in and think about. Sometimes, it’s simply running to the nearest Starbucks, taking time to sit and savor a favorite beverage, taking in the scenery and relishing in the moment. Other times, it could be going apple picking (as I did this past week!) and spending time in nature, enjoying the weather, Fall foliage and landscapes

      3. Take a random trip somewhere. If the opportunity to travel presents itself, just go. Whether it is to Japan, South Africa, or Paris remember to see the world.

My Take on it: Oh, how I absolutely love this idea! I’m a traveler at heart, but I don’t get to travel nearly as often as I’d love to. The idea of one day visiting Paris and enjoying the Eiffel Tower, practicing my French language skills and indulging in the French cuisine are all travel plans I aspire to someday fulfill! Though, even the smaller trips, such as a couple years ago, when my sister and I visited Delaware for a brewery tour and some outlet shopping, can make the all the difference and is still an experience in itself.

      4. Make a new friend. You never know where introducing yourself to a co-worker, classmate, or a neighbor can lead, possibly to a new friendship. Take the time to meet new people.

My Take on it: This is definitely true and I have done this numerous times in the past. For instance, back in middle school (starting in 6th grade), I became acquainted with the girl who would become my best friend through senior year on the bus ride on the first day of school. Other times, I met another close friend in a summer class I took in college, prior to my senior year. We can often meet friends in the most unlikely places (in line at a store, in a doctor’s office, etc, the possibilities are endless) and in my mind, a new friend is always welcome and something I’ll say yes to.

       5. Spending time with family. It is important to nurture and spend time with the people that matter the most in your life. Call, Skype, or visit your parents, siblings, cousins, and grandparents as much as possible.

My Take on it: I’m a family girl at heart, so this is something I will surely always say yes to without having to put much thought into it. My mom and sister are my closest confidantes, so I always value and cherish the time I spend with them. Since becoming an Aunt in August 2014, spending time with my niece is always the highlight of my life, as well.

        6. Accomplish your goals. Never give up on your goals. Overcome your fears and take the first step to seeing your dreams come to pass.

My Take on it: How true is this? It’s difficult to really place into words, but many times over the years, I’ve proven this concept to be true. What immediately comes to mind is my high school years. I may have mentioned this on here before, but early on in my high school years, I applied to be a writer on the Reality section of my local newspaper, which is a teen section published once-per-week. It allows adolescent writers on the teen panel to write about anything and everything they are interested in. It was my goal to write for the section since childhood, having read the newspaper on a regular basis since assigned current events in elementary school. The first year I applied, I was rejected, with the editor telling me my writing simply wasn’t “up to par,” or the type of writing that would appeal to readers. Hearing this, part of me was crushed, discouraged and let down. Since I am often critical of myself in general, I decided to make it my goal to try again next year and throughout the year, hone my writing skills, working as hard as I could to improve them. Unsure if I was able to accomplish this, the subsequent Summer, once again, I submitted an application to join the Reality panel and much to my surprise, was graciously accepted and welcomed aboard! My excitement was palpable and I began to envision all the possibilities and the ideas I wanted to explore and document. That particular school year, I entered filled with promise and excitement. The day I found out I would be joining the panel, my friend took me to celebrate and I remember feeling euphoric as we indulged in a celebratory slice of cheesecake. That being said, never giving up on your dreams and goals is definitely, without question, something to say a profound, concrete YES to.

Chances

So there you have it. Now that you’ve read the author’s suggestions and my take on it, what will you say yes to, today?

A “Hello” of a Thousand Words

This morning, I was innocently perusing through Facebook, mindlessly looking over the endless amounts of posts with little or no pertinent information, not believing I would find anything of true substance, but contrary to my preconceived notions, I did. Years ago, when I first became acquainted with her music and at the height of her career, I apparently “liked” Adele, the renowned singer on Facebook. For about two years now, she has been noticeably absent from the music scene, taking time to write, live her life and plan her next steps. Her absence from the music world was upsetting for me, as it was for many and made me curious as to when she would make her return, if ever.

Adele picture

Then, I started hearing buzz on the radio and TV about her impending return, this year, at some point. The other day, a 30-second clip of her latest single, apparently aired on the British version of the X-Factor TV show. Her new album was confirmed (officially, this morning!) to be titled, “25,” which chronicles her transition period, documenting where she’s been, what she’s encountered and more importantly, what she’s learned. I think her album is bound to be filled with bravery, strength and inspiration. I’ve always admired Adele for her talent and presence. She is one of the few singers who can simply stand on stage and sing. She doesn’t need to perform intricate dance routines or wear scantily-clad clothing; she can stand on stage and command the attention of all with her voice.

Anyway, back to the premise of this post – this morning, I stumbled across Adele’s Facebook post. In her post, she explains the concept of her new album and quite frankly, it is one of the most candid pieces of writing I’ve ever read and one that closely resonates with me. I felt compelled to share it on here, in case you might not have seen it, and also, I’m hoping that it will provide inspiration and comfort to some, as it has for me. Here it is:

Adele writing

(Since it is a bit challenging to read the actual text from her Facebook post, as you can see above, I am posting the actual words below)

ADELE’S Post (posted on Facebook and Twitter and shared on various websites)

“When I was 7, I wanted to be 8. When I was 8, I wanted to be 12. When I turned 12 I just wanted to be 18. Then after that I stopped wanting to be older. Now I’m ticking 16-24 boxes just to see if I can blag it! I feel like I’ve spent my whole life so far wishing it away.’

‘Always wishing I was older, wishing I was somewhere else, wishing I could remember and wishing I could forget too. Wishing I hadn’t ruined so many good things because I was scared or bored.’  

‘Wishing I wasn’t so matter of fact all the time. Wishing I’d gotten to know my great grandmother more, and wishing I didn’t know myself so well, because it means I always know what’s going to happen. Wishing I hadn’t cut my hair off, wishing I was 5’7. Wishing I’d waited and wishing I’d hurried up as well.

My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record. I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. 

‘But I haven’t got time to hold onto the crumbs of my past like I used to. What’s done is done.Turning 25 was a turning point for me, slap bang in the middle of my twenties. 

‘Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully-fledged adult, I made the decision to go into becoming who I’m going to be forever without a removal van full of my old junk.

‘I miss everything about my past, the good and the bad, but only because it won’t come back. When I was in it I wanted out! So typical. I’m on about being a teenager, sitting around and chatting shit, not caring about the future because it didn’t matter then like it does now.

‘The ability to be flippant about everything and there be no consequences. Even following and breaking rules…is better than making the rules.

’25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realising. And I’m so sorry it took so long, but you know, life happened.”

Welcome Back, Stars Hollow!

Good Morning! By now you may have already heard, but in the event you haven’t yet heard this exciting news, Gilmore Girls is apparently slated to return to Netflix for an *all new* series of roughly four 90-minute movies, as opposed to a full season of one-hour episodes. The return to the small screen will be produced by original creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her executive producer husband, Daniel Palladino. Hearing this news, I was more than ecstatic. For the number of years it aired, Gilmore Girls was a TV show I looked forward to each week and highlighted what I had to look forward to in my teenage and college years, as depicted by the stars, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. It was a show that attacked not only lighthearted topics, but also those with a heavier and more controversial take, such as teen pregnancy, drug usage, and volatile relationships. In my mind, Gilmore Girls was one of the few TV shows where the characters seemed to “inhabit” their roles. None of it really ever seemed “acted,” but rather, it felt as though I was taking an insider glimpse into people’s everyday lives – a reality show without the “reality,” if you will.

Gilmore Girls

Even years after the show officially ceased airing new episodes, I would watch the reruns during my college years, in-between classes, thankful I was able to relive my favorite episodes and see familiar faces. The fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow where Gilmore Girls was set, was one that created a concept of the “ideal, cookie-cutter” town, I would later search for. One town I encountered in particular, Newport, Rhode Island, brought this town to mind, and though it wasn’t exactly the same as Stars Hollow, it evoked that small, hometown, locavore feel I looked for. It was a quintessential New England town and I couldn’t help but think about Gilmore Girls as I explored.

The TV show, Gilmore Girls, was one of the few TV shows that shaped my childhood and teen years. Along with Felicity, 7th Heaven and Everwood, they were TV shows that always left me in a contemplative and reflective state. The acting and storylines were emotional and sometimes happy and thrilling and other times, heartbreaking; similar to how a person’s true life can be. The writing was beautiful and telling and the acting even more so. To me, a lot of these aforementioned TV shows were more than just that to me; they were similar to some of my favorite novels I’ve read, serving as a guide for events and situations to come. A lot of the time, situations I would see in these TV shows would mirror my life and at times, provide me with a unique perspective or take on the situation.

Gilmore Girls 2

Needless to say, the news of the Gilmore Girls revival brightened my day, as I learned of it during early evening, yesterday. While of course it is always good to welcome new TV shows in to my repertoire, sometimes, it’s comforting to have a bit of a beloved favorite back for an appearance, even for a short while. So with that, I say, “Welcome back, Stars Hollow.”

Gilmore Girls Quote

A Quotable Perspective

Good Morning! For those of you who may have been intermittently reading, you might be well aware of my fondness for quotes. In the past, I’ve posted several quotes to offer perspective, introspect, and perhaps support for those of you who might be in need for inspiration or encouragement. For me, quotes have a way of uplifting my mood and letting me know there are others who share in my sentiments and can relate. Quotes have a way of taking an emotion we might feel inside and putting words to them. With that being said, this morning I thought, what better day than today to share some of my favorite quotes I’ve recently stumbled upon? So, without further adieu, here are some of my latest favorites:

“The thing about being brave: It doesn’t come with the absence of fear and hurt. Bravery is the ability to look fear and hurt in the face and say move aside, you are in the way.”

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”

“The 3 C’s in Life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change.”

“You only fail when you stop trying.”

“The best way to get things done is to simply begin.”

“We never lose, we either win or learn.”

So there you have it, just some thoughts to provide perspective and inspiration and hopefully offer reassurance, if it is needed.

Autumn Visions

This past weekend was too beautiful a weekend to not mention. Before heading to sleep on Saturday night, I spent several minutes handwriting my thoughts, feeling the urge to profess my intrigue with how picturesque the weather was. It wasn’t only the weather though, it was something about the overall feeling early Autumn tends to bring, or fill me with. It is a feeling of possibility, opportunity and reflection. Seeing the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground, scattered about, all in vivid, deep and rich colors. It is a sight beyond words and one I look forward to each year. That being said, here is a page from my handwritten journal and some additional thoughts from today, to follow:

“Today, was a beautiful day, weather wise. It was simply too beautiful for me to not document it. Everything from the abundant sunshine to the bright, crystal blue skies, to the calming breeze; it was picturesque. Days with weather like today, makes me envision all the possibilities and splendors life could bring. It makes me truly feel anything and everything could be possible. It’s so hard to believe on days like today, that inclement weather ever exists.”

Yesterday, was a repeat weather day from the day prior and again, I looked outside, all around me, taking it in with such awe. It’s so easy sometimes, for me to wallow in my disappointments and upsets, or feel me to feel doubtful and negative, but then I remind myself of a quote I was recently presented with a couple weeks ago: “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” Sometimes, in life we hold onto the things or people we think we need, or contribute something positive or significant to our lives, when really, it is a facade, and the only thing we really need is to trust ourselves and know that we are strong enough to stand on our own.

When I start to think about my future and the goals and dreams I have for myself, my mind drifts back to this quote I read awhile ago. For some reason, the other night, as I sat innocently watching TV, the quote popped into my mind and hasn’t left since. It was one of the most interesting thoughts I’ve ever been presented with and actually provides me with a source of comfort when I start to feel as though I’m not where I wanted to be. Perhaps those of you reading this might have seen it already, but for those of you who haven’t, or might need a reminder, here it is:

John Lennon Quote

If the font is too small to read, it says, “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.” When I read this quote, I get chills. I actually didn’t realize at first it was John Lennon who said it. Being asked what or who we want to be when we grow up is a common question children are asked each and every day. From the time we are able to speak, it is a question we receive, being asked to define ourselves by a career. It’s funny though how prior to reading this quote, I never thought about how I could have responded with the way I wanted to feel, as an adult. Instead of speaking of the profession we seek to be as adults, why can’t children respond with the feeling we want to have? Isn’t happiness more important than being defined by profession?

Yes, it is true, that some people truly are lucky enough to work in a profession where they feel as though it isn’t a job at all and that it is simply an extension of their personality and life, but for others, their job, is simply that; a means to an end. The fact that John Lennon responded to his teachers’ inquiry about what he wanted to be when he grew up in terms of his sentiment and personal feeling, is one that is eye-opening. How many other children would respond that way? I think it is more than imperative to be happy and content in one’s life, no matter if someone is earning minimum wage, or six-figures. Some people CAN be happy earning minimum wage, others maybe not, but it isn’t it a goal in life to wake up each morning and feel excited to take on the day? To feel like there is something to look forward to, as though life is an adventure to be enjoyed; isn’t that what life is about? We spend so much of our lives training to become something, when sometimes, I think to myself, what does it take to be happy? Happiness is defined as something different for each person; one makes one person happy may not be enough for someone else and that’s okay.

I suppose to make a long-winded explanation plain and simple, John Lennon as a 5-year-old had the right idea; having a goal to be happy as a grown-up isn’t quite so bad a goal after all.