strength

Love After Love

It’s been a few weeks. Maybe a month. My apologies – I’m terrible at keeping up!

However, there’s something that I’ve been dying to write about – because this is my space – my internet journal, if you will – and I need to write it down as an insurance policy, in case I ever forget.

Since my ex, I’d been anxiously pondering what love would feel like after the first one. After the first heartbreak. Would I remember what it felt like? Would it feel the same? Would I be scared?

Well, on our anniversary last month, The Drummer told me he loved me. It was something I wasn’t expecting, but I was ready for. Prior to our anniversary, people started asking me if I loved him. I told them I didn’t know – mostly because I didn’t want to say it out loud. I didn’t want to jinx it. My ex was the first and only person I ever said I love you to- I said it first – and dammit, I swore I’d never say it first again. For several months I’d been quietly looking at the Drummer while we’re laying in bed together and just thinking the words in my head.

I love you.

But I refused to say it out loud. I didn’t need to. I knew how I felt, and not saying it was okay. Because showing it matters more.

But low and behold, on our anniversary night when I was about to fall asleep, I asked him to give me a hug and kiss goodnight because he wasn’t tired yet.

He laid down and looked at me.

You know I love you, right?

What? Huh? Yeah, I know.

….Wait, did you say you loved me?

Yes!

I honestly thought I didn’t hear him right. I didn’t want to respond without being 100% sure I heard him right. Of course, I told him I loved him too. Because I do. Every bit of him. He’s been the kindest, sweetest man, and has treated me better in this little-over-a-year that anyone has treated me in my entire lifetime. We aren’t perfect – but we’re happy. And affectionate. Yet have the perfect amount of space between us to the point where we always miss each other. It’s absolutely lovely.

And in that moment – in that few seconds where our hearts were all laid on the table, or the bed if you want to be technical, I knew it was possible. Yes, Lara. You are able to love again. And it’s real – and true – and genuine. And because of that moment and this relationship I will always remember my capacity to love does not end with one person. To many, that may not be a big surprise but to me it means the world.

I am the proof, my friends. Feeling love after such a tremendous heartbreak is possible. And to answer some of my own questions, it feels the same and different all at the same time. The same because when I look at him I want to just melt with happiness, but different because it’s a more mature kind of love. It’s a more appreciative love. Because I know nothing in this life is every promised to us and we don’t know what tomorrow brings. I refuse to go to bed angry, or leave without telling him I love him, or even without thanking him for something simple like getting me a glass of water. It’s so important to do those little things because that’s what keeps love alive.

Love is a verb. It’s an action. And just because you feel it for someone doesn’t make it constant. You must work at it. Nurture it. Help it grow. And don’t ever stop. Whether you are 17 or 70, loving someone is still something you must do. Many people forget that and let it fall apart at the seams. If you try your hardest and it still falls apart, so be it. But if you let it, shame on you. Because love is one hell of a feeling. And I’ll never forget that again.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my followers. If you don’t take anything from this post, at least take some love from it, because I have plenty to go around. From my heart to yours, Namaste.

Snow Days & Thank Yous

#100HappyDays Days 14 & 15

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It’s no surprise that Snow Days can make someone so happy.

Nothing got me feeling more like a high school kid than my boss texting me about our office being closed. I spent the day doing various healthy activities: Persian Zumba (Holy Calorie Burn, Batman!), steaming vegetables, pastel drawings with my little nugget niece, etc. It was a great day despite a slight case of cabin fever that I cured with my Taco and some singing bowl meditation. Day 14: I kicked your ass.

I wanted to take today’s happiness post as a chance to do a shout out to all of you. My internet homies.  You lovely, amazingly beautiful honest creatures whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the past several months.

Chris, for nominating me for yet another Dragon’s Loyalty Award.

My friends.

Most of all, my followers.

Words cannot describe how I feel when I see these complete strangers have added me to their follow list. It’s a plethora of emotions, let me tell you. I get all excited that someone else gives at least one single shit about what I write. But then as I see all the numbers add up, I get anxious about how I’m going to continue.

How many times can one write about the experience of pain?

Who wants to actually read about the 100 reasons why I’m happy?

I don’t think I’ve been getting drunk enough lately.

The days where I feel this anxiety are the days I fall silent on my little blog. I can’t write when I’m freaking out about what to write. It makes it less fun and less therapeutic.

The same happens when I’m singing. I can be in the total groove of things and record tons of songs, but once I start to lose my mojo and I screw up for no reason, I get frustrated and just stop altogether. It’s even worse with singing. I’ve sung the same songs for years now and I’m still unsatisfied. That’s life I suppose.

But for today, scratch all that.

I just want to acknowledge all the wonderful people who come and visit my crazy, word babbling, all-over-the-place blog. Thank you for sticking with me through my ADD writing and through the happy times, as well as the pain.

Especially the pain.

I think with every single feeling and emotion, pain is the one that brings humans together the most. I know I do it with other blogs. When you read a post where that person is sharing their tears with you. Their fears with you. Their inner most demons. You get that empathy flowing and you just want to run all the way to the other side of the planet and cry with them.

That’s human love right there, folks. That’s what togetherness is all about. 

And as much as flipping through the news makes you feel like it’s gone, it isn’t.

WordPress is one of those places where this phenomenon, this global consciousness takes place. And that’s one of the reasons why I love it so much. It’s one of the reasons why I love all of you so much. You’ve shown me that people are still beautiful.

I hope I’ve lived up to my blog for you. I hope it’s a place where you can come to laugh, maybe cry a little, feel sort of uncomfortable, and get inspired all at the same time.

Life is a beautiful web that holds together all of the bits of your existence to make one entire masterpiece. You’re never done spinning. You’re never done dreaming. And you’re never done painting. Be life’s artist with me and create something so magnificent, that you will always remember how time is of the essence.

Wish that I could stay forever this young

Not afraid to close my eyes.

Life’s a game made for everyone,

and love is the prize.

You Are The Answer

 

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
-Buddha

Throughout my life I’ve known many who were broken. They’ve felt helpless. Alone. Insecure. And distant to themselves and everyone around them. And they’ve continued to feel that way because they don’t want to admit that they need to look inside themselves for happiness. They spend their entire life waiting for someone to save them. Someone. Anyone. Even external forces. This is where they’ve become stuck in the mud.

Nobody can make you happy.

Sure, they can make you happier. But, true happiness and contentment comes from inside yourself. You have to put work into it. You need to feel, be present, reflect, and dig your heels so deep in the dirt that your ankles become sore and tired.

That’s true struggle.

Overcoming those obstacles and loosening yourself from the tight grip of sadness and destruction is where you can find your light at the end of the tunnel.

But to do all this, you need to stop looking for others to do it for you.

We all know that person. You may be that person. I used to be that person.

The one who will be in a relationship with anyone just to avoid loneliness.

The one who clings to their friends like a last lifeline.

The one who chases danger, but mistakes it for excitement.

All these people have one thing in common. They’re trying to fill a void and gain happiness through anything other than their inner self. Do you think they’re actually happy though? Probably not.

If only these people put as much effort into themselves

as they do clinging to other people and things, they would find what they are looking for.

Doesn’t that make sense?

This is a great year and time to get to know yourself better. If you haven’t already, start doing some soul searching. Even if you’re not broken or lonely. The more aware you are of yourself, the more prepared you will be when life gets twisted.

Love yourself. Truly love yourself.

Love those around you, but don’t use them as tools that control your emotions.

A friend is just that-a friend. They are hands to hold. Not crutches to walk with.

Time is always of the essence. Be sure to use it wisely.

xo.

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.

 

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.

And if you’re tired of them breaking you into two

When you feel like you’re out there on your own
Know there is someone watching over you
When out at sea feels nothing like a home
Oh sailor we will blow the wind like

And if you’re tired of them
Telling you what to do
I hope you know that you can sail right on
I hope you know you’ve got the ocean blue