Cake

You bewilder me.

You simplify my thoughts,

breaking them down and stretching them out.

You make ordinary something to look forward to.

Your scent lingers with me just like I want it to.

Because when I think you’re one flavor, sometimes I get more.

What can I say,

I like cake, and I want more of it.

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Why the mountains

I swear the air smells funny. It really does. People say the air up there smells crisp, fresh and clean, but I get something a bit different. When I first took a whiff of mountain air it reminded me of a strange and distant memory—the smell of the sheep eyeball we watched get dissected in 1st grade. I’m serious, I can see myself and 4 other classmates sitting around a small round table in the project area, sitting in tiny multicolored chairs, watching in horror and amazement as Mrs. Wile took apart a single eyeball in a clear Tupperware as it sat in a water-like liquid. That memory sits on the edge of thought as I breath in the cold air of the mountains. And, for some reason, it’s still a pleasant thing—the scent of the mountains. Very strange, I know. The unexpected placement of that memory continues to boggle me.

The mountains do strange things to the mind, and honestly we all could use some mountain time. Mountains, they let your mind wander. They remind you of lives you once lived, the feelings you once felt. All in such an unexpected way. But they don’t punish you like doubt or regret does, they just sit there, massive and magnificent in front of you. And you don’t expect anything else from them except that. There’s such a peace in it.

Sometimes you need something strong, something being all that it can and all that it ever needs to be. Because, sometimes you feel like string raveling undone off the spool onto the floor. You feel like the roadrunner losing the ground you’re standing on waiting for that plunge that you all too well expect and know. Having something like a mountain in front of you, it does something. It stays strong for you.

In elementary school, I was one of those kids who would sit on top of the monkey bars during recess. We were like trapeze acrobats swinging down off of them. I was pretty good at it too, but one time I overextended my swing and found myself landing on my back onto the wood chips. I remember laying there gasping for air that wasn’t there, terrified at this dying-like feeling, but then I found my gaze up to the sky. It was bright blue with bright white fluffy clouds, and it was then that I found my breath. This was the first memory I have of getting the breath knocked out of me, and when shit hits the fan I can feel those wood chips digging into my back with that same burning in my chest. I discovered it then, I and still know it now, I need something like mountains. Because when I stand in front of something so huge, so entirely large, I don’t have to think about inhaling. It comes easy. I get to feel small. The aching of my longings, the worries of my discontent, the pain from disappointment, it all somehow gets blown away by the air up in the mountains, and I’m able to breath.

The weird air up there, the unexpected scent of it, there’s something funny about it, I swear.

 

Travel guide to homelessness and happiness

Today I starred a bunch of big girl jobs on Craigslist. Jobs that seemed interesting enough that dealt with marketing/pr—things around my degree, jobs that come with security—401k, health insurance, a salary. Because jobs like this is what I’m being told I should take. Being told by society, my student loans looming over my head, my family, the voice inside my head when I think about my future, my money problems, and my adulating self. I found myself getting exciting, saying “hmm that could be cool, I could do that.” More times than that though I did find myself thinking I’m not qualified enough for that one, or I would never get past the first round of the interview process. So, I moved on, I moved through, job after job, not starring anything lower than $15/hour.

But then I starting thinking of something else, like my brain usually does when forced to focus on a particular task. Damn.

I slowly, but quickly, started realizing that maybe these types of jobs are what I don’t want, shouldn’t have right now. I am in a place in my life where I feel pretty lost, wandering in a familiar path, looking for something that can prove itself as new to me. Thinking, if I land one of these security jobs, what happens when I realize years down the road that I took the job too soon. I fell into a life that I swore I wouldn’t ever stumble into, because of well, health care.

I found myself saying “shit this job wants me to commit to a 2 year program, NEXT!” I cannot, in every cell in my body, commit to something for over a year at the moment. Love is the only thing I can see as an exception. I simply am just too goddam unsure, ok, more like scared that I’m going to make the wrong decision and send my life into a direction of tripping in puddles and looking up to see that I am nowhere near anything familiar. Hell, when the gym guy was signing me up for my membership and asked me if I want a lower-priced committed plan vs a higher monthly priced non committed plan I pretty much screamed OH I DO NOT WANT COMMITMENT.

I know that right now, in my 25 year old self, body, and soul that I aggressively am against putting myself into anything that I am not passionate about. Yes, I know I need to start setting myself up for the future, and I know that can be seen as an incredibly selfish and naive statement, but if I am setting myself up in a way that will actually put me 5 years back when I’m 30, is it worth it? Because I know myself. I know that I can’t allow myself to settle and feel ok about it. Is it worth always wondering if I could be doing something I actually enjoy, something I made for myself because of the giant risks I took in my 20’s? If I put myself in a position right now of setting my creative 20’s life away, where will that put myself in the future? Is now the time when I need to be taking foolish jobs, wandering even more, falling in love even more, feeling even more scared, and jumping into some not so lucrative creative things?

Recently a coworker was just talking about how almost everybody out of college gets a job that pays over a 30K salary—not sure how valid that point is— and it got me to thinking that, damn, I really don’t want to be in a category of people that go into the fucking “job market.” Right now, I don’t want to picture myself saying, “yeah I never saw myself marketing ceiling fans, but damn I’m sure good at it and its makes me a make a hefty salary.” No, right now I want to picture myself standing strong on my own in my own art studio in painted overalls sipping on tea while a soft jazz number plays in the background. I want to see myself as someone who made her own path. Made something of HERSELF. I don’t want to market SHIT. I want to find a passion, run with it, and be proud of it because it is a part of me. Ceiling fans will never be apart of me. I don’t care how good I could be at it, I don’t even want to imagine myself in that god awful position no matter how good looking that salary looks. Label me crazy. Hell, I sure feel like it. I think it’s an inner battle that I’ve been having with myself for awhile now. I just haven’t realized it. I know what I should do, aka get a security job. And I also know what I want to do/should also do because it’s something I want. And I sure know, I do what I want.

Listen,

I’m not sure what kind of decisions I’ll make, nor what I’ll base them off of. I do know I’m nervous, and I also know deep down that whatever decisions I make will be the right ones, because life has a way of working itself out. I truly believe that. It’s all perspective.

Solid ground

Looking at yesterday, you feel it brush against you.

Its touch is sticky.

That’s where you stood, how you lived.

The moments that brought you to today, sting

Because to stand where you stand now, took courage.

To have courage you had to be strong.

To feel your strength you must have lived in pain.

Because when you look at where you stood then,

You can see the ice cracking under your feet.

To this day you can feel the water take your breath away.

That cold, that damn cold will always run through your veins.

 

Looking at today, you feel it lay on you.

It’s heavy.

It’s where you stand, how you’ve landed.

Yesterday may always sting,

But look at you now

Standing on solid ground .

The day is today.

There are a few things that I’d like to be known. And it’s not because the bullshit of it being a new year and I’m feeling all ambitious for the reason of the first of a month. No, it’s because of the weather today. My moods are like the seasons, expectant, ever changing, and surprising. Like days like today. It’s the second week into January, and after a good week of freezing face and ass weather, we are at a balmy 50 degrees. Granted, skies are still grey as hell, but the wind sounds different. It’s not as harsh and hating as it’s been. And you know what I woke up to this morning? A bird chirping. A bloody happy bird.

So, you could say I’m a woman moved by nature…ok so it’s more the weather but it’s pretty much the same thing and nature sounds so much more profound and deep so I’m gonna go with that.

This morning I also set my alarm to an early 8 am wake up call, but every time Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours serenade came on I immediately hit snooze, until it was 11 am. Now, even though I set this alarm to get in the routine of getting my day started out earlier, you know for my well being, that little voice in the back of my head kept shouting “why the hell did you set an alarm this morning, you idiot,” which further encouraged every snooze button hit.

Feeling pretty stiff come 11 am I throw my legs out of my bed, put some pants on, and precede to drag my lazy ass down the stairs. At this point I know full well I’m a let down, that other little voice in my head was telling me so. To make up for it I make myself a healthy breakfast of mushrooms, eggs, and toast, gulped down with a pot of very black coffee.

I do some reading after breakfast because I just read a headline the night before that CEOs read an average of 30 books a year. 30. I’m in the middle of 4 and I’ve been in the middle of one of them for 3 years.

I’ve been doing this thing lately where all I listen to at the gym is the Guardians of the Galaxy Pandora station. It really stirs something in me, and I dig it.

Got a bit off topic here, but I think my morning is a nice lead up to what I want to be known. Because having a good morning with certain intentions, warmer weather, and a singing bird stirred up some thoughts. I think it’s important to set goals for yourself, and I think it’s just as important to hold yourself accountable to them. While I do have several personal goals that do not need to be public knowledge, I have some that I think the public could benefit from too.

In todays society filled with social media, casual relationships, frightening politics, frightening leaders, and guarded-more-than-ever people, I think we all need to add a few things to our daily routine. Rather than setting a New Years resolution like going to the gym, which by the way every goddam body seems to be doing, set some resolutions that can actually contribute to more than your fucking glutes.

Here’s a few that I’m keeping in mind.

Look strangers in the eyes more. We all want to be seen.

Speak more realness. Too often we comply with what others are saying for the sake of saving face. We are so quick to agree with an opinion or topic, and a lot of times we aren’t fully informed on the said topic, but for some reason we just have to seem like we know what’s going on. For once, maybe say, “hmm I’m not really aware of all that you’re talking about,” rather than excitedly saying, “oh my god, I know what you mean,” or “for sure!” (que eye roll)

Be an outlier. To reiterate on the point above, say what you goddamn feel. It’s refreshing, and real—something this world needs a hell lot more of.

Love hard, and fucking fight. This is an obvious, but I’m realizing more and more that people have a tendency to go along with things because it’s easy. And yeah, you can definitely find yourself in a relationship because a lot of times it’s easier to be in one with someone because they’re easy to sit down to a dinner with. I call bullshit on a lot of things, and am picky as hell when it comes to people I let in. Fight for what you want, because easy isn’t going to get you what you really want, or need.

Laugh with people. I was at a movie the other week, and something happened at the end that really felt awesome. Everybody clapped, like really clapped. You could tell the whole theater was full of ear to ear smiles too. This felt like such a cool moment that we all experienced together. No matter what our views, beliefs, or demographics are, we all came together to feel this way.

Have more human experiences. Be present. Relate to others. Be kind. Be the best you can be. Be corny. Be smart. Lead. And most importantly, love.

Boom goes the dynamite

So there I am, at the gym working out on the arc trainer— you know, the elliptical looking machine that makes you look like you’re jumping over hot coals or something. I keep my phone in front of me laying horizontal on the ledge of the face of the machine. I go to skip a song on my Pandora station, cocking my head to read the name of the next song, when my hand gets caught up in my headphone cord which then sends my phone flying off the machine. Hitting the foot swingers of my machine on its way down, my newly leased iPhone bounces off not only the machine that’s to my left, but then off a third arc trainer before it finally hits the ground leaving booming echoes of this extraordinary fall. My headphones, dangling in front of me, still plugged into my ears. So harshly was my music torn from me and left me with the deafening loud hum of the ellipticals in front of me and some top-40 pop song overhead on the main speakers.

Muttering a “fuck, “which very probably was a bit above a mutter, as I angrily ripped out my earbuds and slowed down my pace to stop the machine so I could retrieve my phone two machines over. Thankfully there was nobody in the immediate area of fire. Apprehensively walking toward it, I could see it was facing down hiding any shame it now may have possessed. Bending over and under the machine to snatch it up, I turned it over to realize my fear was real. I had managed to crack yet another screen—another glass spiderweb to look through.

Okay, so it wasn’t that bad of a crack, and it was only the screen protector that cracked, but STILL, this was the piss of the day that broke my seal.

To get some background, I am no stranger to cracks in my life. For some reason I attract them. Just one week earlier I turned in my old phone that had been severely cracked for over a year, both screen and protecter. I was just now getting used to the luxury of having a smooth, bright, crackless, and happy full iPhone screen. I currently have a crack in my car windshield that over 3 years has been annoyingly extending right into my sightline. I graduated college with a laptop that survived falling off my couch onto a wood floor—surviving meaning it worked but a ginormous crack spread over it. I was an advertising design major, and every graphic design I turned in was created through a glass spiderweb.

So, as you can see, I am FED UP with having cracks in my life, in my sight, and under my fingertips.

But, this whole crack thing got me thinking.

Cracks happen.

And yeah, they become something we always have to look past, an annoyance that we deal with. But, eventually you don’t notice them anymore. You learn to live with the cracks. Hell, maybe the cracks made me a better designer, you know, gave me a keener eye…Ha. Ha.

It just goes to show that events that happen to us may seem like a big deal initially. It might even feel like the end of the world. But, as proof of you living, life goes on. The cracks of life are still there, but your human strength to focus on the more important things, like the road in front of you, give you the edge you need to get through.

Just another day kicking my own ass

I’m not one to use big words. I’m more someone who creates words and insists they’re real. I mean come on, funner has gotta be real. I get a lot of flack from that one—from not fun people I should add. Anyways, I do think it is important for me to become more aware of the real words out there. Especially when, ya know, I try to write. Which is why lately when I come across words that I don’t know the full definition of, I ask my Australian Siri Man. He’s useless for the most part, but defining may be his one strength. 

So being very transparent here, you might say I’m in a bit of a rut. Call it a quarter-life crisis maybe. Fitting since I am 25. Meh, whatever you want to call it, it resembles a ball sucking, ass kicking, and mind boggling time in my life. All we can do is live day by day they always say, so day by day is what I do. Great advice oh wise one—sheesh. But, sometimes corny obvious advice is what one needs. We overlook what’s in front of us while we’re searching for our soul in the greener grass.

While I’m off climbing yet another mountain to find my guru, I’m reading this book. It’s a very thick one, and it is taking me for-fucking-ever to read. It’s because I have to re-read every single paragraph this lady writes. Her content is so dense, so true, I want to fully understand what they hell she is really saying. And, you know, the whole making up words thing is just not cutting it for my comprehension. With Australian Siri Man to my rescue, I find a word that I didn’t realize describes my current situation perfectly.

Malaise. A general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify.

It’s such a vague word, and is the twisty tie holding my world together. It’s tied in such a way that when I think I’m untying it I then realize, nope, I’m making it tighter. So I go the other way. Over and over again. Floating in this emotional malaise while getting seasick over the raft I built for myself. It’s a constant itch as I try to keep my emotions in check.  It’s partly due to the fact of where I am physically, back at my parents house, cramming my stuff around Pokemon cards and remote controlled cars in my brothers old room. It’s also partly due to what I’m settling for. For the first time in my goddamn life I know what I want, but yet I feel like I’m holding sand in my hands. Following the heart is a devastating path. It’s hard, it’s fucking hard. But, for some ungodly reason, it’s still all I want to do. And settling, oh it’s killing me. More so making me feel psychotic. Temporary is what I keep telling myself, it’s all temporary. This emotional malaise, this overpowering general feel of uneasiness, is challenging me to ends I don’t know how to meet.

Drastic moves is what will come next. I can feel it climbing up through me. After such contemplation, over-analyzing, and self scrutiny, I know in my bones who I am. And drastic is something I do. Once I make a decision, it’s made. There’s not even a chance for me to talk myself out of it. A very large fault of mine, I know this, but at the moment I’m going to see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to go after my instincts, to feel in my gut what my heart wants, and let my head actually create something sustainable.

…and it’s going to be funner than anything else.

the car wash you walk through

It’s what you get after you go through something that impacts you in such a way that it moves you, changes you, or inspires you. It’s like a patina that glazes over you as if you walked through a mechanical car wash. A film covers your body showing everyone what you’ve been through. Evidence of an experience. You can try to rid of it like so many of us hide what we truly are, but instead it now is your coat, your sheen armor that rather than protecting you, illuminates your vulnerabilities.

The patina itself is love. Or hate. Or sacredness. Or bravery. It’s something you now wear, painfully visible.

It happens when you let something consume you. The ear to ear smile from feeling loved, the pained face of heartache you can’t help but wear, the flinch that crawls up your body when you’re conditioned to expect the worse, or the broad shoulders you carry to prove to yourself you’re strong.

We all want an armor that will protect us. What we don’t realize is that what makes us strong is not what we wear to keep things at bay, but what we see as our truths. If we realize what they are, what we are, our vulnerabilities will make us stronger.

If your weakness is love, then you are prepared for a life of heartache, so you love harder. If you feel hatred, it means you have felt pain, which means you have cared deeply for something and that you can feel that way again. If you are scared, then you know your monster and can stare at it until it doesn’t scare you anymore. If you are brave, then you know what you stand for and have the strength to stand up for it despite any odds.

You are who you are. You have to embrace what you are, what you were, so you can become who you want to be.

The monster in front of you

Its face is warped, decomposing away. Pieces of its flesh are gone, and bone peeks through like deep puddles on asphalt. Its eyes are like black marbles, large and round with the reflection from the light in front of it shooting out like beams. Reptile like, its skin tears as it stretches its mouth open, screaming at you. Its inaudible scream fills your ears with a numb nothing. Its foul hot breath reaches you as a chill, like a gentle hum running down your body making the hairs down your spine stand up. You straighten yourself, clenching your jaw hard. Your head fills with the piercing pain of holding back tears. You let it scream at you, stare into your eyes with its own empty sodden expression.

And then you scream back. You can’t hear it, but your throat itches and rips as you tear all the breath out of your lungs. Screaming at each other, your screams combine to make a harmony, a harmony that gives you a kind of peace.

You should have something you like to look at

I was living in a house of white walls. I would get lost in them, staring at them for what felt like hours. My thoughts would go nowhere and everywhere at the same time—around and around in circles they went. It wasn’t until I put up some art, something to look at, that my thoughts found direction.

When you’re searching for something, it helps to have something in front of you… because something is better than nothing. Something will take you somewhere.