95 degrees and the smell of chlorine on my bikini makes me euphoric
I crave a rocket shaped Popsicle colored red, white and blue
I find myself asking "do you love yourself more than your dreams?"
Unfinished vision boards because I want too much for this life
bottles of paint lying on the floor
new brushes mingling in my cup filled with ones, used
exchanging stories with one another, whispering pictures
I am creating memories, right now, I am living today.
I took a nap on my yoga mat and fell in love with myself again
I hadn't slept well in days and the night terrors came back to haunt me
not because I was missing something out there
but I forgot to listen to what is in me

Thank goodness for people and life experiences that give us wisdom. The beauty with adulthood is a deeper self-realization. Hopefully we recognize the wonderful uniqueness within us that makes us special. Hopefully we develop the emotional maturity to take responsibility for our flaws and work on them. If we are lucky, we have a great support system of friends, family, therapist, cats, and so on to get us through those challenging moments where we falter. 

We have all met people who shape our character. Sometimes these people emphasize or enable the undesirable facets of our personality. Each of us have positive traits that help define us, guide us. We have flaws.  Some of these flaws are habits and they can either consume you or redefine you. It's a choice. You can take these "faults", dwell on them, crippling any growth. Where on the other hand, you can understand, love, and build a stronger you. This takes acceptance, effort, and readiness. But most importantly, it takes time. So forgive yourself and forgive others. 

*** *** ***
I'm passionate about everything I do. Recently, I got into a disagreement. Words were exchanged and rash decisions were made. I discovered that I have a hard time letting my guard down. In this particular situation, it manifested itself into high emotion. I'm aware that this defense mechanism generally results in either pushing people away or having others wanting to disassociate with this version of me. This negative outcome made me realize what I really want: to be a better person. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes someone you care about to expose the warped canvas in which you paint on. It isn't desirable and I know that it isn't easy to accept but it's the first step to creating the masterpiece I've always wanted. Remember each lesson you learn is worth the experience. Stay strong and warm wishes to all you perfectly, imperfect humans.

My Temporary Break-Up with Social Media

I remember feeling like an addict that was constantly either absorbing usless information or expelling it. A few months ago, I stopped using social media for 82 days. I found myself having an extremely easy time with this change. It was surprising, I just didn't care. There was something really cool about going against the grain. It was more fulfilling to have a voice and share who I am to the world without all the extra noise. There was no need to portray a special image of myself, there was no urge to look through pages I didn't need to see. Most importantly, there was less time-wasted. I felt more genuine and independent. My views were more realistic and focused, too. What made the change easy was the fact that, nothing really changed except I spent a lot more time doing things I loved, being who I fundamentally am, and physically discovering new things. I was spending time with people, fully present. The ones I wanted to keep in touch with, I did (ring-ring!). I wasn't tempted with empty, emotions or "friendships". I also didn't need validation or distractions to feel relevant. 

I'm not saying everyone who uses social media needs those things.

On the flip side, social media is great in many ways. They make it easy to engage in powerful discussions, self promote, connect and stumble on new things. I've had countless laughs reading something I probably wouldn't have found otherwise. Unfortunately, they are also easily misused, and can create unhealthy relationships with ourselves. So next time someone says they may disconnect from it for a while, try to be encouraging! There is nothing wrong with experimenting with this sort of thing. Maybe try it out for yourself and see what changes (if any) you notice. 

Yellow Chair

My mother was clearing out my old bedroom to prepare for my move back home. I noticed a small yellow plastic chair in the corner and it made me feel uncomfortable. I asked her to leave it. I remembered that yellow chair vividly, it was part of a children's play-desk set. 

Growing up, my family didn't have very much money and that was one of the nicer things she had purchased for me. I always loved how bright and vibrant that chair was, it still is.

I was 5 years old when she left me at home with my grandmother to run errands one day. I thought that it would be a great idea to take a black sharpie and draw a huge smiley face on the back of it.

View the full story on page 7, here