Month: December 2013

C’est La Vie

 

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”

-C. JoyBell C.

This quote gave me the chills this morning and slightly moist eyes. This year has been filled with so many ups and downs, but love could always be found at the core. To the end of 2013. To the beginning of a new year.

 We’ve been given the ultimate gift- to live

We are all destined for greatness.

Do not fear the unknown, for as long as you have love in your heart and a positive mind,

your soul will take you to exactly where you need to be.

Happy New Year, WordPress.

The Inventive Blogger Award

The Inventive Blogger Award

AHHHH! Hi! Hi! Hi!

 

I’m totally back. Well, sort of. I had to do a post today regardless of my busy schedule because I miss you all and I came back to such a positive feeling on my little corner of the interwebz.

The lovely Christopher Malone sent me a note letting me know that he included me in his nomination for the Inventive Blogger Award.

God, can you guys get any more positive? I’m in love.

With any nomination, there’s a set of rules to follow and I will try my best to do so.

One of the requirements is my own personal nomination for blogs which I feel are deserving of this same award. Now, I honestly don’t follow too many blogs. I have this complex when I don’t get to read every post about your life(lives), so if I had too many people in my blog feed, my brain would explode If I missed more than a day.

 

However, the blogs I follow are all incredible. Every single one of you. I enjoy reading about your lives and luxuries, and even your downfalls. But due to a time constraint, I only have time to pick one that I can write a few blurbs about.

Aussa.

I’m sure many of you know her on WordPress. She blew up bigger than the Biebz and in a shorter amount of time than Kim and Chris Hump were married. I chose to speak about her because even through her witty stories, I see a life full of struggle. Full of pain. And full of courage. She doesn’t make it out to be a secret either- Her backpacking adventures were brought on by none other than a last attempt at changing her life, or at least changing her perspective on how she views life. Plus, I think the girl is an adventure-addict. Her life is more interesting than any fantasy novel I could pick up.

What I admire about her the most is her uncanny ability to take all of life’s lemons and turning them into humor. Many people cannot do that. As unorthodox as it sounds, sometimes laughter is the best medicine, even in the most dire cases.

I see a lot of similarities of Aussa in myself, which is another reason I can relate to her stories. I’ve been up to my hips in life’s dog shit and although it certainly wasn’t funny at the time, I HAVE to laugh about it now.

The universe doesn’t care how bad your day, week, or year has been. It has no regard for the black cloud following you everywhere you go. Things will happen to you where you want to revert back to childhood and scream how UNFAIR IT IS.

Why me?

Why now?

What did I do to deserve this?

I give up.

How many times have you caught yourself saying those words?

I’m guilty of doing this time and time again. But after I give myself my “mourning time” I stop using those phrases and asking those completely unanswerable questions.

Because there is no answer.

No. You didn’t deserve this.

Life did not pick you out of a worldly lineup and decide to seriously ruin your day and your day only.

Life also did not know that you had 10,000 other things on your plate to deal with.

Things don’t work that way.

You’ll never know why you get curveballs to the face. And you’ll never solve your problems by continually asking those questions. Like I always say, you cannot change what has happened to you. You can only react to it.

And I love Aussa because her reaction is to laugh about it.

Sure, there are things that we might not all be able to laugh about. And it might not seem like any positive thinking could come after such events. But if you don’t want to feel like the world is crashing down, you have to think that way.

It’s difficult.

Feels almost impossible.

Most of the time, it’s unbearable.

But that’s life.

[enter the appropriate Coldplay lyrics here]

 

Nobody said it was easy.

Triumph over life’s obstacles wouldn’t feel as good if you didn’t try so hard for it.

Laughing wouldn’t feel so amazing if difficult times didn’t feel so awful.

And happiness wouldn’t be so fulfilling if pain wasn’t so defeating.

Nobody can make you feel a certain way. Sure, they can provoke you. But at the end of the day, only you have power over your emotions. And if you don’t feel that way, then maybe your locust of control needs to be looked at and revamped.

Because you’ll never pull yourself out of sadness’s web with the thought that the world controls you.

So thank you, Aussa. For showing us how to laugh at our misfortunes and how to slap our negative selves in the face and smile through the pain. You rock.

***

And now, the 5 things I enjoy about blogging:

1. A Community of Strangers

After my break-up, my first step to recovery was deleting my social networks. Considering my ex and I had about 100 friends in common, I couldn’t bare to see what he and everyone else was doing. I soon realized that Facebook just wasn’t for me. I’m not saying that’s how everyone should feel, but I prefer the term “Livebook” where I actually live my life instead of updating everyone, their mother, and the kid I threw paint at in kindergarten about every aspect of my boring, uneventful life. I’d much rather write detailed posts about my thoughts to fellow bloggers-unbiased, colorful, and wonderfully different people who don’t know me from a hole in the wall, but yet can relate on such a magical level. Plus, does anyone really give a shit what my margarita looked like on Friday night? IT LOOKS THE SAME AS ALL THE OTHER MARGARITAS, YOU JUST ADDED A FILTER TO IT.

2. Hi, my name is Lara and I’m a life-aholic. “HI LARA!”

Blogging is straight up therapy for me. It’s the only place where I can be totally dramatic and won’t get judged for it. Much like real-life therapy, your therapist should be an unbiased individual who doesn’t know you past what you tell them. I’m lucky to have almost 200 therapists. Take that Obamacare! I got free therapy.

3. I’m a sucker for non-fiction

I’ve never really been into fantasy reading. I’ve always enjoyed real life stories and that’s one thing I love about blogging. I’m so enthralled with peoples’ lives because quite frankly, humans are extremely interesting. Who needs werewolves and vampires when you have online dating? For reals.

4. Dear, diary.

As you all know, I’ve never really been much of a journaling person, so I consider this platform my public diary. And I want to keep these entries for the rest of my life so that when I’m 70 and doing word searches in the nursing home, I’ll have a chance to reflect on my life-especially the best parts of it. I sincerely believe 20’s and 30’s are make-or-break years and I plan on keeping myself updated every step of the way. Plus, I have an awful memory so it would be nice to know the actual story rather than a false memory. (Big shout out to pot for ruining my short term memory during my teen years).

5. Inspiration-nation

I love blogging, and reading blogs to get inspired. Reading about others ripping themselves from the chains of negativity and actually doing something about their lives is so uplifting. I know for the most part I have a positive blog, but I’m not always so damn chipper. And I have a hard time pulling myself out of a situation and changing my actions. I’m a Taurus for god’s sake. A stubborn bull.

***

So there you have it. Another lovely nomination for another fabulous award. I wish I had time to write about each and every one of you because I love you all the same. You are all inspirational, uplifting, positive people who, even if you don’t think so, you light up my life. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me. It wouldn’t be so great without every one of you.

2 days left of 2013.

 

Weekend Update & Merry Christmases

Happy Monday!

 

And Christmas Eve Eve of course!

This weekend was filled with The Drummer and last minute Christmas shopping craziness.

Friday was The Drummer’s work Christmas party. I had already met a lot of his co-workers, so it wasn’t too overwhelming. It was open bar-beer and wine-which was a really good thing because I don’t think those peeps are ready for my whiskey induced demeanor. I definitely got wasted off of Blue Moon, though. God, the last time I got drunk off of beer was on college when I used to pound Natty Ice’s like it was going out of style.

 

I actually had a really good time! I think everyone liked me, which must have made The Drummer feel more at ease. I’m very sociable so I didn’t need him to hold my hand the entire time. In fact, I threw it down on the dance floor for a little bit while he was having an in depth conversation with someone. I mean, I’m all up for meaningful convo, but if Ke$ha and Pitbull comes on, I’m there. All up in it.

He’s coming to a New Years Eve party with me to meet MY friends next week. He hasn’t met anyone from my circle yet and it’s been driving me CRAZY. I need my friends’ approval before I move any further with him. Especially, Taco. He has a really good intuition about people, so I know if he approves-I’m all set. It’ll make me feel a lot better to know my friends like him. I am a little nervous, though. We’re way crazier than the people I’ve met on his side. However, they are just his co-workers. I don’t know what his friends from home are like. Who knows, maybe they’re just as nuts. All I’m saying is, Mr. Drummer, you better get ready. Me and my friends get down. And yes. You’ll be seeing me with a bottle of whiskey in my hand at all times.

Before I sign off for the holidays, I need to make a statement:

I AM CONVINCED THAT WALMART IS THE SEVENTH GATE TO HELL.

 

I had to go to NOT ONE but TWO Walmarts yesterday and for someone as sweet as me, I wanted to punch everyone in the face. Everyone.

All the people who almost hit me in the parking lot.

The two bros who felt the need to shake hands right in the middle of where I needed to be driving through.

Every DAMN person who gave me a dirty look or bumped me in the hip with their carriage because I was “in their way.”

Like, yo. It ain’t my fault you chose the Sunday before Christmas to get ALL your shopping done in one night. Chill the eff out.

Since I probably won’t be blogging again until the weekend, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (and whatever else you may celebrate or not celebrate this time of year). The next few days will be filled with tons of cooking, drinking, and presents, but the most important part of my holiday is the people I share it with. I have so much to be thankful for and I think I’ve touched on it many of those things in past posts. At this point in my life, I am so unbelievably happy.

Whatever you’re doing this week, please be SAFE. Drink responsibly and always make sure you have a sober ride home. That’s not a request, it’s an ORDER.

Love you all.

Be you.

Be free.

Be wonderful.

xo

The Greatest Gift of All

This one gave me a tear or two.

During this time of rushing around to get all of your gifts bought and wrapped, food cooked and baked, and everything else prepared for the holidays, it can be hard to forget what it’s all about.

Christmas was never really about the gifts for me. I’ve never been materialistic. Even when I was younger, I made a list with a few things on it, but I really just enjoyed the time with my family.

May you be with everyone you love this holiday season. xo

Almost Home Free!

Hey Ya’ll! Sorry about disappearing for the last several days. It’s finals week for me, so I’ve been cramming like a mad woman since it just so happens to be the week before Christmas. I also have The Drummer’s work Christmas party on Friday, so that already takes away one day of homework doing.

But lemme tell you.

On Saturday at 11:59 PM, I’M DONE SCHOOL UNTIL MARCH!

I take 8 week accelerated courses and I can take them as I please. I decided to take the next term off because A.) I can barely afford it for right now and B.) I’m EXHAUSTED.

Working full time and doing homework 6 days a week while trying to juggle exercise, friends, family, and now a boyfriend is tiring as shit. I need a hardcore rest. And some time to do more “me” stuff.

I’ll be spending these next few months working out harder, reading the fifty shades trilogy that’s been sitting next to my bed for months, seeing all my old friends who I just haven’t had time for right now…

And most importantly, blogging. I haven’t been able to really sit down and delve into writing lately. So I promise I’ll be blogging more and it will actually be something of substance instead of my usual ADHD word vomit.

I really love reading everyone’s end of the year posts. You are all so inspiring and it’s been an absolute pleasure sharing and swapping stories with you. We seem to have all hit a rough patch somewhere this year, but as long as we keep our faces towards the sun, we will always shine.

I know a lot of people think New Years is cliché and that it’s just another day, but it really does hold so much meaning. It’s a reminder that life goes on. That the only constant in this world is change-every second, every day, and yes, every year. If time continues, then why can’t we?

My only wish for all of you is to have the strength to jump over every hurdle you weren’t prepared for. And if you’re shy a few inches, trip, and fall, may you get back up again. It might not feel like it, but you have so many people rooting for you to cross the finish line.

The race of life isn’t actually a race, nor is it timed. It’s a steady journey in which you decide what course to take and at what speed you will travel. If you get lost, don’t be afraid to ask for directions. That’s what friends are for.

P.S. I had a request from The Howling Fantogs to upload some of my artwork, so I decided to share one of my favorites. It’s a charcoal and pencil drawing of my niece that I framed for my mother 2 Christmas’ ago. Sorry about the glare-it’s a picture of a picture!

photo

Wish me luck on my finals! May I kick-ith thee-ith ass-ith.

Farewell 2013, You Bipolar Thing, You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGTvl7IlfkE

December 2012:

Taco (Yes, that’s my best friend’s nickname): I have a feeling 2013 is going to be big, Lara. HUGE even. It’s going to make or break us.

That was my best friend’s premonition of 2013. He was right on his own behalf, but he had no idea how right he was going to be about my upcoming year.

The first minute of the New Year was spent kissing my then boyfriend while Bad Rabbits played live to the rest of the crowd.

He had been feeling really off (probably because subconsciously he was preparing to dump me) and so to make him smile, I surprised him with New Years Eve Bad Rabbits concert tickets that I brought him and his very best friends to.

In that very moment at midnight, I was so happy. I would be moving in with him that coming fall and we would live happily ever after.

 

If you’ve been following at all, you know that’s just not how it went for me.

Although March was filled with many tears, sleepless nights, alcoholic tendencies, and eating every single fattening food you could imagine, it stopped there. I allowed myself 1 month of depression. Just one month to halt all the things I loved to do: Cooking, reading, working out, drawing, etc. And then I promised myself that I’d get back to my old self, and I wouldn’t dwell on such a common issue in every person’s life.

The end of the month was closely approaching and I still couldn’t stop crying. I hid it from my family because I know they were sick of seeing me that way. But they were still my family. They knew behind those dry eyes, I carried sadness and grief.

I remember coming home from work one day and my dad was the first to greet me as I walked through the door.

Hey Lara. How was your day?

Coldly. Fine. I have to go feed the cat.

I went into the kitchen and grabbed the cat food. I made my way down to our basement and at the bottom of the stairs I fell to my knees, cupped my face in my hands and began sobbing. It was such a random cry. Even I wasn’t expecting it.

After about a minute, I felt someone’s presence in front of me. It was my dad. He knelt down in front of me and just looked at me with pain in his eyes.

Lara, you need to stop. It’s been almost a month. I can see it in your eyes. You’re not fooling anyone-I see the look on your face day in and day out. You can’t move on if you’re still lingering. Life doesn’t make the moves for you. You have to.

I don’t remember what I said after that since nothing I said that entire month made sense.

But on that day

In that basement

With my dad knelt down in front of me

I finally began moving on.

I stopped eating like a filthy animal and got back on track. I started working out again (even though I loathed every minute of it for a few weeks). I began cooking again. Seeing my friends. Just getting back into the groove of things.

I honestly became better than I was before.

It’s easy to lose yourself when you’re in a relationship. Every decision you make revolves around the other person. You’re no longer doing things for yourself.

I got consumed in that. My love for another took over everything I wanted to do and instead of making my own decisions, I based every next move on whatever one he made first.

I realized how unhealthy that was. I started to do things I would have never done.

The most meaningful hobby I took up was art. I took a class in college and loved it so I continued a little bit after graduation. I stopped for a while, but got the urge again, so one day I ordered a bunch of art supplies on Amazon.

They were delivered the evening after my break-up.

Along with The Road Less Traveled. So eerie. I think I subconsciously knew I would need those items in the not so distant future.

In the summer, I enrolled in school. I hadn’t been in school for 3 years. That was HUGE.

I spent every moment of the summer doing something-whether it was going to the beach, dancing, some sort of event. I had the time of my life.

I even started dating again. And we ALL know my adventures with that!

And here I am.

2 more weeks left of the year.

I’m glad to say goodbye to 2013, but not because I think it was a shitty year. It was actually quite the opposite.

I’ve grown exponentially this past year.

I’m not as scared to try new things or to put myself out there.

My friendships are stronger.

I’m closer with my family.

And most importantly, I’m closer with myself. I have never been so happy being who I am in my entire existence. And I know that no matter what happens in life, I will ALWAYS have myself and that’s enough for a lifetime.

Lastly, I’m happy with my new relationship (Yeap. We’re official, now).

I have NO idea what the future holds for me and The Drummer. He makes me happy. And I like him. A lot. It sort of scares me sometimes, but for the most part it just makes me smile. I don’t take us too seriously right now because we’re just having so much fun and that’s how I want it to stay. But no matter what happens, at least I know that I’m able to have feelings for someone else again. And I’ll be able to do that after him, and whoever comes after him, and beyond (if it makes it that far).

***

I know Firework is one of those songs that got abused on the radio, but it holds so much meaning to me so that’s the song I’m going to end of this year with. The first time my ex and I broke up (which was WAY worse than this time because I was younger), I was driving to school one day and I was crying. I’d never heard this song and it came on the radio. To this day, whenever I hear it I get goose bumps.

Here’s to 2014. To new beginnings. To happiness.

To each and every one of you who has had to overcome a hurdle you were not prepared to jump over. It’s time to start fresh.

I know Taco said 2013 was going to be big, but I honestly have a HUGE feeling like 2014 is going to kick some serious ass. We’ll just have to wait and see.

A Love for Helping the Helpless

Last night a man was executed.

In many people’s eyes, it was fair. It was just. It was the right thing to do.

His name was Allen Nicklasson. In 1994 his car broke down on the side of the highway, a kind business man stopped to help him. He murdered Mr. Drummond in cold blood. Nicklasson said he got a “euphoric” feeling from it.

He had no last words. He prayed with a priest for a while before his execution.

He was injected with pentobarbital. His eyes fluttered for a few minutes. At 10:52 pm, he was pronounced dead.

When it comes to execution, my brain goes haywire.

I don’t believe in killing anyone that way-no matter how awful of a human being they are. They are still a being.

This isn’t a discussion I want to debate.

I get it. He was sick and twisted man. He can’t be out with the general public and he was wasting our tax dollars by rotting in prison. I’m not trying to change the system. Because I get it. But I can still think it’s wrong.

He may have been sick, but his life story didn’t have a chance. He grew up in a fatherless home. His mother was a mentally ill, heroin addicted stripper who brought countless numbers of men home. Those men sexually abused Allen for years. His mother actually had him participate in a dog fight for money once. Now THAT is sick.

Reading stories about murderers has always fascinated me. My love for psychology developed in high school, but I truly believe I had a thing for it before I even knew what psychology really was. I was one of those children who clung to “sick puppies.” To bad children. To troubled children. Because I always wanted to help them. Behind their evil demeanor, I saw sadness. Loneliness. Cries for help. And even though I might not have changed their entire lives, the love I gave them changed their days. And that was always good enough for me.

I went to college for psychology with hopes of becoming a maximum security prison therapist someday.

Who’s crazier now-the serial killers or me?

Even though I’ve changed my route to HR for the moment, I still have that dream. It’s still in the back of my brain. Sometimes it’s still closer to the front. But now that I’m an adult, I have so much more to think about. I think about having a family and what an occupation like that could do to me while raising children. I think about my own skeletons in the closet-and how I want to clean them out before I help others clean theirs.

Another large reason for changing careers was what I saw when I looked in the mirror. Would these troubled people look at me and actually take me seriously? Or would they spent every waking moment in therapy trying to “break” me. I figured I’d need to age a little bit before I delved right into the hard road.

I was scared to death when I was looking at grad school programs and I saw that they would literally have me do my internship at a prison. I thought to myself, too soon, Lara. Too soon.

But someday, I know I’ll accomplish that goal when I’m ready.

My professors thought I was crazy in college. They’d warn me about the thick skin needed to handle that sort of job. But they didn’t know me. They didn’t know that I spent years with people who turned out to be murderers and mentally ill. They didn’t know I actually spoke on several occasions to a documented sociopath (who actually used to call my phone once every 4 months and creep me out. He’s in prison now, but that’s a post for another day). They didn’t know about the time I made a murderer actually weep. Sure, I didn’t know if those tears were legitimate, but up until that moment, nobody had ever seen him cry.

Most importantly, they didn’t know my true love for those people. My compassion. My empathy. My unconditional positive regard. Most of them, like Allen, didn’t stand a chance. There’s a theory that children develop a conscience by the age of 5. If they have not learned what is right and wrong by then, it is very likely they will never learn. A window of opportunity, as you would say. Much like language. How could Allen have learned right and wrong from his mother?

In my years of studying, learning, eating, sleeping, and breathing psychology, I’ve chalked up murderers into three categories (even though there are several, but bear with me).

There are murderers who developed more environmentally, like Allen. The broken homes. The traumatizing childhood. The children who didn’t stand a chance.

But the other group-the ones that fascinate me the most-are the biological murders. The children who did learn right and wrong and grew up in the most loving household, yet turned for the worst. These people, I’m convinced, have some crazy-messed up-wiring in their brains that made them the way they are. It’s in their genes. In their blood. In their brains. Though it looks like they had a chance, they actually had less of chance than the environmental group. Cause baby, they were born this way.

The third category, of course, is a combination of the two. Nature AND nurture, if you will. I think the other groups have a little bit of both in them as well, but the obvious cases stand out to me the most.

So today, I will be thinking about Allen. I’ll say a prayer for him because I don’t think anyone ever has. When people get thrown in jail, nobody ever thinks about what happens to them. But I do. Everyday. Because I have a love for helping the helpless.

Someone once asked me if it would be worth it to only help a handful of people in my life.

I looked at them and said,

If I go through my entire life and was only able to save one person, I would feel fulfilled.

And that’s the truth.