Listen

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If you know me, you know I talk. A lot. I have a lot of things to say and despite popular belief, sometimes I am afraid to say them…but I do it anyway. This includes to Jayden. If he asks questions, I always answer, I never lie, and I’m probably more honest than you should ever be with a 5 year old…but hey, that’s life. However, during our walk the other day, I wasn’t feeling too ambitious so I decided to just listen to what he had to say. It turns out, kids have just as much to teach us as we have to teach them. For some reason as our knowledge expands as adults, some very important messages get pushed to the back of our minds and we start to neglect to use them in our everyday lives.

Don’t take things for granted.
That cloud shaped like a dinosaur is going to be gone in a few minutes. Same thing for that dinosaur one with the banana hat. The fact that the snow has all melted outside and springtime is bringing life again? That’s amazing. There is so much beauty and so much happiness around us every single day…and it’s not required to just jump out at us. Happiness is a constant effort and some of that effort is noticing the little things that the world is trying to hand to us every day. You can’t always get rid of your demons and knowing people that have depression–myself included–I know that happiness is not necessarily a choice. But you can make an effort to be happier. You can let nature clear your mind, meditate, and listen to your soul. The world is here for us to enjoy and take in.
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There are no crocodiles and sharks in a river in Michigan.
I know this. You probably know this…but you know what? Jayden didn’t know this. I’m willing to bet you’re going to run into a lot of people in your life that don’t know plenty of things that you do. It doesn’t mean they’re stupid or ignorant–they’ve just been following a different path than you. Don’t judge people for their lack of knowledge, encourage them to learn. Take the time to explain something you know that they may not know. Chances are, they can teach you something too. We all have our strengths–whether mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual–and we need to share those strengths with each other so that we can all become well rounded, successful, happy human beings.
(No crocs or sharks that I can see)
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Obstacles are something to be conquered, not avoided.
What happened to the days when we’d see a giant hill and it was just second nature to start ascending? We become so comfortable where we’re at that we start avoiding anything that seems to be a challenge. Even if it’ll help us rise higher. Climb your hill–whatever it is. You’ll become stronger and probably have a better perspective on things. (That would be his hand in the air with an Iron Man glove…taking on the world)
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Don’t throw pretty things in the river.
Don’t throw good things away. Don’t throw good people away. That person checking in on you, asking how you are, trying to make small talk, going out of their way to make you smile…they love you. Who knows, maybe they’re in love with you. Regardless of what kind of relationship you want to maintain with them, maintain something. People loving you is not something that should be taken lightly and they don’t deserve to be cast aside. Be good to them.
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Outside the Wire

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This is taken from a piece I wrote my freshman year of college while my then boyfriend was deployed when our son was less than a year old. That turned out to be a very important year for me. It’s the year I learned to be independent. It’s the year I found balance. It’s the year I learned I can do it by myself. Looking back when the relationship first ended, I was confused as to whether or not that year still had the same meaning to me and I realized it meant more. That year shaped most of who I am and that had nothing to do with the relationship and everything to do with me learning to be me. Learning to be strong.

I have friends currently going through the same experience so it seemed like an appropriate time to share.

Outside the Wire

I’m surrounded by company every day,
but I’m alone.

Red painted on lips
to brighten a nonexistent smile
and draw attention away from pained eyes.

You’re doing so well they say,
I bet he misses home they say,
Concerned they say, or maybe just nosy.

Time is my greatest enemy and
the second hand is a ticking bomb
waiting to bring bad news.

The possibilities build into
short panic attacks
where every heartbeat is a gunshot

What if’s creep around in my head.
There’s no use trying to push them back.
You can’t run from a missile.

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