Category Archives: Life story

My Scars Tell A Story …

20170804_204354I was on the line this past week at the NYC Passport Agency … more than 2 hours in 90 degree August weather … Not fun!  Realized that sometimes life becomes less about living and more about waiting … So tired of waiting!

A complete stranger noticed my scar on my back, near my right shoulder blade.  They asked me what happened.  I was surprised because it’s been a part of me for 40+ years – I forget it’s there.  I had my first cancerous tumors at six months old.  Forty years ago, no one was thinking beyond me getting healthier and growing old – not worrying about scars and plastic surgery.  This stranger mentioned I should look into scar revision surgery.   I politely listened to them.  But in my head I am thinking please leave me alone.   My scars are mine and they tell my story.  Some days they bring me comfort and remind me how much I have gone through and of my strength.

The quote by Steve Maraboli – resonates:  My scars tell a story. They are a reminder of times when life tried to break me, but failed.

My life has been hard.  It still is – most days.  I deal with sadness, grief, pain, hurt, anger, loss … I struggle on a daily basis to get out of bed and just put one foot in front of the other, trying to find my purpose and my smile.  I struggle to find the tenuous line between what hurts me and what heals me.  I struggle in letting go of the past and keep moving forward.

So I need to see beauty in my scars.  So many of us have scars – some visible, many not.  Some are inside of us, some are on the outside prominently and permanently on display.

So I will show my scars … because I continue to fight and survive.  I won’t hide my scars.  They are my reminders that I am still alive.  They serve as proof that God is forever healing me.  And I will keep finding beauty in my life and sharing my story … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.

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Giddy at Fifty

In exactly 7 days, I will turn 50 years old … yes, me turning 50!  I am over the moon ecstatic.  I never thought I would reach this age.  I am a cancer survivor, a crisis survivor, continue to battle PTSD and depression.   I have lost so many loved ones when they were too young – my brother 25 yo, my Dad 57 yo, my fiance 37 yo, aunt 35 yo … I had decided that was my fate as well.  I have spent most of my life thinking I was running out of time.  I lived in the past or in the moment, never fully preparing nor planning a future.

I am almost halfway to 100 and I am so giddy lately.  I am finally midlife.   I will be half of a century old.  How downright exciting … to be me right now??   I am about to finally reach a true milestone and with this I have learned that a happy life starts at whatever age you finally grow up and realize that it’s yours to live … not dictated by family nor work.  It’s all mine.

Sure, I am not naive enough to think it will all be smooth sailing here on out.  I have been through too much to believe that.  But I have been through so much already, I know I can get through whatever life throws at me.

I do worry at times, financially I am not in a good place; nor romantically…even professionally.  Could I have accomplished more?  Sure.  I have spent way too many years in the past.  I no longer live there.  I have hibernated enough.  I have compromised enough.  I have sacrificed enough.  Cancer, regret, loss, crisis, compromise, sacrifice – all have changed the course of my ideal life.   I still have many anxious moments – I still work hard each day to keep my fears and demons at bay.  I have learned and accepted that even with the best planning, we are never fully in control of our own destiny. This lessons learned has come with a high price in my life; it’s a benefit that I have been gifted with the act of getting older, being wise, being experienced.  I am fortunate enough to understand that growth in life doesn’t just stop midlife – it’s a continual realigning, reevaluating, realizing, reexamining, renewing, reconnecting, reacquainting and renewing…and loving the alliteration as always … finally relaxing and just accepting me … yes ME.

Learning as I turn 50, there is so much of life to look back on …and there is so much more to do.  I live for all my loved ones who died too young.  I live for me.  Turning 50 is great because I am still here.  I have learned to be my own cheerleader, my own support system.  I am a survivor.  I have found my smile even through my tears.  I fight through any pain, any sadness, any setback.  I look in the mirror and am happy to see wrinkles, even the gray hair and the love handles.  I have earned this life.  I have lived this life.  And I will continue …. with hope in my heart and grace in my step.  #JustT

 


39 More Days

Only 39 days left until Sunday – January 1, 2017!  39!!  I don’t know where the time goes.  Most days, it all seems to pass in a blur … a blur of depression, sadness, hurt, tiredness.  The past two years, I have to admit, has seen me at my most vulnerable in real time and not just via words on my blog.  I have had some heart-to-heart conversations with family and so-called friends who have hurt me or not been there for me in my darkest hours.  I have done a lot of de-cluttering of my life.  I may still be alone, but I am at peace.

I have tried to make each year better but I failed so many times.   I pray that 2017 is it – the biggest year for me yet.  I have been living off the radar, under the bar for so long.  Now I just want to shine bright.  I want to be noticed – I want to be appreciated.

I wish I knew now what I have learned while dealing with the death of so many loved ones back-to-back.  I believe I wouldn’t have lost so many good years due to my mourning.  I put myself in such a dark place, such a sinking hole.

Ironically, I have complained that I had no support system but honestly I realize now how much I cut people out, and how easy immediate family made it for me.  As for new friends, I rarely let new people in my life the past 15 years.  Working hard on trying now.   I need and want people in my life – but worthy, deserving people.  I want to be able to build each other up, not tear each other down.

For so many years, being strong found me pretending to be okay.  I didn’t want to appear weak.  But this pretending came with a very high cost which I am still paying the price.  I shut people out, I lost interest in so many things, I gave up, I let depression and PTSD keep me mired down in grief.  I hid parts of me away.  I would not get really close to anyone.  I kept to myself, isolated.  I didn’t want to be completely vulnerable nor have anyone worry about me.  So today, I have no support system and no one is worried about me.  I guess I ultimately got what I thought I wanted.  Emotional seclusion instead of a complete and utter breakdown is where I have been residing.  And the few times I have let myself be honest, forthcoming, and vulnerable, I have been met with lack of understanding.  So I withdrew even more.

It’s such a cycle.  When a person like me who is already an introvert, keeps everything inside, never fully accepting how messed up I really was, it’s all downhill from there.  I find myself trying so hard to crawl out of the dungeon I found myself in.  Writing has helped me tremendously.  Social media  has helped me as well – I get to be somewhat social without actually investing in friendships too much or sharing true intimacy.   It has provided an outlet – a necessary one.  I need to search and bare my soul.  I need some guidance, acceptance, understanding – even if it at first it appears shallow.  We all need to feel connected.   I’m thankful that social media has brought people back into my life. To me, the past few years have been a rebirth for me – learning how to crawl, walk, talk … all over again.  Now I am more than ready to spread my wings and fly away … with hope in my heart and grace in my step.


Waiting On Something Beautiful

Been home sick, trying not to get too depressed, watching old movies… watched “Waiting To Exhale” and I absolutely love the scene where James (Wesley Snipes) sends Bernadine (Angela Bassett) a letter – melts me.

I miss the days where people actually write words down on paper.

Below is the except of that note from James in the movie:

I’ve been thinking about you a lot, Bernie.  Every day. All the time.  I’m embarrassed to even write that down…but it’s true.

Bernie, I fell in love in one night.  You know what’s even harder for me to understand…is that what I feel for you…has never undercut the love I have for my wife.  Now, how is that possible?
I still watch her every day.  So beautiful. So brave.  I just wanna give her
everything I’ve got in me.  Every moment.  She’s hanging on, fighting to be here for me…and when she sleeps, I cry…over how amazing she is…and how lucky I’ve been to have her in my life.  Can I say it?

 

You’re the only person in this world I ever knew I could tell this to…
and even if this never finds you…and we never speak again…you’ve changed my life.

You know what inspiration is?  It’s someone who lets you know life will go on…and something beautiful can be waiting somewhere.  Somewhere when you least expect it.

Yes, waiting to exhale…waiting on something beautiful…with grace in my step and hope in my heart…


My Last Day …

Have been having a terribly long stint of insomnia lately but I have been resting, laying in bed listening to music and prone dancing – yes just made that up.

Heard this beautiful song last in the wee hours of today.  The English lyrics have been translated below – but as most of us know, direct translation never captures the same meaning.  It’s a beautifully stirring song.

As if it were my last day,
I’m going to live with a sincere love
And show those close to me how much I love them.

As if it were my last day,
I’m going to fight for my dreams,
Living without fear and treasuring every minute.
I’m not going to wait until tomorrow because all I have is the present.

If there wasn’t much time, I would stay and take a moment
To show you that I love you and that I am fully content that I have you.
And if your joy depended on me, I would give everything I can to you to make this day the best day in our life.

If this was my last chance to look at you again,
I would make this moment the most important in your memory,
Because in the times of difficulty and stress of this life, we miss the details we later wish we could remember.
And then regret that we’ve forgotten these experiences, and mourn that we cannot recreate them.

If there wasn’t much time, I would stay and take a moment
To show you that I love you and that I am fully content that I have you.
And if your joy depended on me, I would give everything I can to you,
And make this day the best day in our life.

I would enjoy all that God has given me
friends, family and love,
and I’ll make this day the best of my life.


Romantic Gestures … Chivalry is Not Dead!

Now that summer is winding down and my J months of dating are behind me, I can share my notes on what I have learned from my dating experiences the past couple of months.

I have learned that chivalry is not completely dead.  Thank goodness.  I believe I am finally meeting the right people.  I was raised by very traditional parents.  My Dad did everything for my Mom and his four daughters; and my brother was raised to protect us as well, even though he was younger than us – his sisters.

Being the youngest girl and sickly as a child, made my Dad and brother extra protective of me. They wouldn’t let me do much, nor carry anything.  I was exempt from most chores.  I guess that is why I became a voracious reader and enjoy writing.  But I digress.

One thing I grew up loving, was when my Dad and brother always walked closest to the curb, ensuring I was protected from any oncoming traffic, or splashes from cars hitting puddles.   I’ve known men who religiously obey this unwritten rule and those that don’t even know it exists.  Happily, lucky for me, lately, I have met men who are still old-fashioned, chivalrous and true gentlemen.

I have enjoyed the past few weeks.  I have had men open doors for me, carry my bags, hold the umbrella in the rain, take my hand to help me out of the car, give me their jacket as the sun went down, stand as I entered the room, promptly on time, and ensured I arrived home and upstairs safely.  It was refreshing.

I understand that we live in a society where women are fighting to be treated equally and are fiercely independent.  And many of the traditionally gentlemanly acts are lost to so many.  I have heard some women call men sexist for holding doors and even offering seats to them.  Not me.  Sadly, I think many young men are a product of today’s society and many may think they are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.  They don’t want to be considered weak nor whipped.

Yes, women are totally capable of opening their own door. We are also capable of opening a door for a guy. It’s the kind thing to do for others.   I have held the door open for many a people, regardless of their gender.  I have offered my seat to all sorts of people – pregnant women, elderly people, people with many bags, or small children.  When an opportunity arises to encourage, promote, and kindly accept chivalry, why not take it?  Let’s allow more kindness in our lives.  I will continue to allow the men in my life to be slightly old-fashioned, manly and chivalrous while I graciously respond to their actions.

I enjoy my femininity and prefer a masculine man.  I don’t think I am weak nor helpless.  I do like when men make me feel valuable and worthy of respect.  I truly believe that it’s the small things that count in any relationship. Displaying good manners will always earn extra points with me.  I encourage and appreciate male chivalry.  These little things are romantic and sweet gestures as well to me.

When a man walks around me, so he could position himself to be on the outside, closest to the street and curb, makes me smile.  I think it’s cute and somehow shows me he can be reliable.  And I just know that my Dad and brother are smiling down on me from Heaven when I find a man to make me feel as protected as they did.  I am truly thankful for the care and strength that the men in my life have shown me. I am blessed.

And if someone opens a door for me, offers me their seat, or any other chivalrous gesture – I will always smile and politely say, “thank you” … with a twinkle in my eye, grace in my step and hope in my heart.

 

 


Linger …

Today …  a very new friend of mine is traveling from NYC to Iceland for 14 days and I find myself obsessed with the very thought of him lingering in my mind, in my thoughts, in my random smile.  As I write, think on this, I hear the song, “Linger” by the Cranberries. Signs are everywhere, if you keep your mind and heart open to them.

I always tend to attempt dating each and every summer … and those months starting with the letter J!  Being June already is no different.  What is different is actually believing this may be a real possibility of me finding myself again, of falling in love – that I won’t get bored, distracted, jaded, disillusioned, overwhelmed.  I won’t make excuses, and go back into hibernation.  I am nearing the end of my 40s and I don’t plan on being alone.  I owe it to myself, and to my Michael’s forever love for me to keep moving forward, accepting love, and no more settling.

We all wish to be wanted, desired – I can easily admit that I need it.
We all want to be understood –  I will no longer settle for less.

I have had so many people I love die way too young.  I want to live with purpose, live more fully for them as well as for myself.  Life moves too fast.  In a blink, you can have it all and lose it all as quickly.

This week, I find myself more alive, carefree.  Wanting … wanting not to be alone.

Longing to be held by strong arms. Feel my fingers entwined with another’s.

Living to anticipate a kiss that takes my breath away …  again.
Looking forward to staying awake until the sun rises.

I want to slow down and listen, breathe it all in.

I want to stare into his eyes, get lost in reliving the moments.

I want to be free to be me around him.
I will sit quietly and wonder if he dares to let our lips linger without fully kissing, breathing me in and holding me tight.

I wish time could stop … I wish I could stop time –  so we can linger.
An honest life is made of moments of both good and bad – I fully understand this.  But right this minute, this instance, this small moment in time, I want my conversations with him to linger … and when I sigh, I want him to sigh.

Is this all too much to wish upon? No – already our conversation linger on my lips …  as always with grace in my step, hope in my heart, smile on my lips …

 

 

 


I Feel Empty …

I came across this quote but I do not know who wrote it.  It captures exactly how I am feeling today …

I feel empty
yet so full
of emotion

Like the smallest thing
could push me
off the edge

What do you do
when there’s nothing
but pain
left inside you

And what if everything
we were looking for
only existed
in our
dream

How do you explain
something
you don’t even understand
yourself


You Only Live Once – False!

I came across this post and had to reblog it.  Thank you Aeron Elizabeth!

You only die once!
It was meant to be funny,
but I found truth in the words.
I don’t want to just live every day.
I want to give my angels a show to enjoy!
Joyce Meyer said something cute,
“The 20 angels watching over you sure are bored to death when you
go about living each day like it’s another ordinary day.”
Exactly.
Each day is a gift.
Don’t let “The Joy Thief” steal it away!
Get up in the morning telling yourself,
I am going to make this the best day!
I am going to overflow with joy, love, happiness, excitement,
even if I just go to the grocery store!
I will not let anyone steal my joy!
We have only ONE life to live!
Every day is another chance to give it all you got!
Living, breathing, going after your dreams, making a difference!
Find the beauty in each day.
It will become a habit.
Make your angels dance for joy.
Give them a show.
 photo 1b88a4c6-1ece-4940-b3b4-9682ee6452e9_zps395bafe1.jpg

Let’s Make A Monument For Our Love …

Heard this song today, and thank goodness for Shazam for helping me find it.  Celebrates life, love, memories, romance … makes my heart happy, my feet move.

There’s a daylight going under
There’s a new spark to discover
And you know we’re not getting any younger
So remember, this is our time

[Chorus]
I wanna drive an open road
Can we go out tonight
Anything goes
Let’s make a monument for our love, our love
Our love, our love
Let’s make a monument for our love, our love
Our love, our love…

There’s a memory around the corner
There’s an angel on our shoulders
To remind us life is far from over
So remember, this is our time

[Chorus]
I wanna drive an open road
Can we go out tonight
Anything goes
Let’s make a monument for our love, our love
Our love, our love
Let’s make a monument for our love, our love
Our love, our love

Every night is ours to own
Everywhere is ours to roam
Every sun is sunshine gold
Everywhere
Let’s make a monument for our love, our love
Another monument for our love, our love

Our love, our love
Let’s make a monument for our love, our love
Make a monument for our love, our love…

Produced By: MUTEMATH

Written By: MUTEMATH


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