Tag Archives: music

Just Breathe

30 May

IMG_20130411_171837_415

This evening I’ve decided to share a video with you guys.  It’s a little clip from a song.  Unlike the rest of the music I’ve shared on here, this one is of me.  Yep, that’s right… I’m officially going to make my internet singing debut…  Hahahaha.  🙂

Let me back up really quickly.  I have mentioned a few times that my Mom plays the piano.  She got a new one a month or so ago, and I got her old piano.  It’s in my living room, right as you walk into my front door.   That is a picture of it above.  That piano is special.  It holds a lot of memories and meaning for me and for my Mom.  Her parents bought it for her when she was 8 years old.  Her father passed away when she was 16.  I never had the opportunity to meet him (obviously).  This is the piano she learned to play on, and the one that I sort of learned how to play on.  I will admit that as a child and even a teenager I wasn’t very motivated.

My Mom gave me the piano at the perfect time.  I want to learn, at least a bit, although I have no illusions of becoming a concert pianist.  More importantly, I now have a chance to focus on myself.  This is really the first time I have had that opportunity in years and years due to the drama and neediness of my exes (both of them).  I also find myself craving a creative outlet with which to express myself (besides writing here).  Music has always been a cathartic, soul cleansing release for me.  Now I have another medium for that besides my guitar and my voice.  The more options the better!

A few weeks after getting the piano, I realized pretty definitively that I didn’t remember a darn thing about how to play it.  The next time I visited my Mom took me up to her attic and we grabbed some music books.  She also gave me a folder of “secular music” from a band that she used to play with.  I opened it up and found the song Breathe (2 am) by Anna Nalick.  Not only is it fairly basic, it is also on the piano originally which meant I could listen to it a few times to get a feel for it before attempting anything myself.  Finally, the song hit the trifecta because it has been featured several time on Grey’s Anatomy, which is possibly my favorite television show of all times.

The song also get major bonus points were assigned because of the title and lyrics.  Here’s the portion that I sang for the video:

2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song

If I get it all down on paper, its no longer

inside of me, threatening the life they belong to

And i feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd

Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud

And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,

And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table

No one can find the rewind button now

Sing it if you understand.

And breathe, just breathe

woah breathe, just breathe

I connect deeply with those words.  I am often up late writing, thinking, singing, and playing (like tonight, for instance).  It’s like my brain just can’t stop until I get it out.  I write so many raw, personal things here and share them with people who know me and those who don’t.  I am judged sometimes, but receive support so much more often.  This really is like my diary, though.  When I was writing music (and it has been a while), those songs were a little piece of me.  Now I give that by singing and playing the words of other people that connect with me.  I may even get back to writing one day.  The truth behind this song that hits me more than anything else is we can’t go back, only forward.  It reminds me to take a moment and a deep breath, and keep pressing on with my head held high.

Soooo… after a few weeks of playing around here and there when I had the opportunity, tonight I decided to try recording myself.  I was already filmed once today at work for a video that will be featured at our convention in July, so I figured what the hell – I’ll give it a shot.  I ended up with a pretty decent video.  Only after uploading it to my computer did I realize portrait mode isn’t exactly computer friendly.  A few tutorial videos on the internet later and I had at least figured out how to rotate the thing so people don’t have to tilt their heads sideways to read it.  Just for the heck of it, I went ahead and shot another one in landscape mode, too.

The truth is that neither of the takes are perfect.  I didn’t play and sing the entire song, which I know means that it’s completely useless for almost all intents and purposes.  I mess up some words, and they have multiple piano issues like pauses and wrong notes and inconsistencies.  But I like them.  I like that song.  I like the fact that I made some mistakes, but it’s still beautiful.  I even like that despite the fact that I’m irrationally scared of posting videos that hardly anyone will ever, ever see, I’m doing it.  So if any of you care to watch me sing and try to play the piano in my “READ” t-shirt, here are the videos.  Feel free to let me know which one you like better if you care enough to watch them both even though they are basically the same thing.

And don’t forget, no matter what you’re going through, to stop and just breathe.

Take 1:

Take 2:

The Perfect Song Came on My Radio Today

21 Dec

This song is perfect for me and where I am right now.  I’m the complicated, giving, tough, overachieving, scarred, strong, mess of a woman who is finding who she is, figuring out that she will be okay, and opening her heart to the possibility of something more in life.

Little Miss done on love,
Little Miss I give up,
Little Miss I’ll get tough, don’t you worry ’bout me anymore
Little Miss checkered dress,
Little Miss one big mess,
Little Miss I’ll take less when I always give so much more
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
Yeah, sometimes ya gotta lose ’til ya win,
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
It’ll be alright again, it’ll be alright again
I’m okay, It’ll be alright again, I’m okay (okay) It’ll be alright again, I’m okay
Little Miss do your best,
Little Miss never rest,
Little Miss, be my guest, I’ll make more anytime that it runs out
Little Miss you’ll go far,
Little Miss hide your scars,
Little Miss who you are is so much more than you like to talk about
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
Yeah, sometimes ya gotta lose ’til ya win,
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
It’ll be alright again, it’ll be alright again,
I’m okay, It’ll be alright again, I’m okay (okay) It’ll be alright again, I’m okay
Hold on, hold on, you are loved, are loved
Little Miss brand new start,
Little Miss do your part,
Little Miss big ole heart beats wide open, she’s ready now for love
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
Yeah, sometimes ya gotta lose ’til ya win,
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
It’ll be alright again, it’ll be alright again
I’m okay, It’ll be alright again, I’m okay (okay) It’ll be alright again, I’m okay,
It’ll be alright again

The Music That’s Making My Heart Sing

20 Oct

Today I’ve been doing a fair bit of driving – much more than usual for me.  I drove to S-Anon and home.  I drove to the ATM.  I distracted myself by driving out for an hour or so of shopping.  I drove to my Mom’s house for dinner.  We drove around to Sam’s Club and BJ’s (very unfortunate name) and a few other places, then back to her house.  I just drove home.

During all of that driving the common thread was that the radio was blaring.  Not the radio so much as some of my favorite music that has been loaded onto a flash drive that my radio can play.  Either way, you get the point.  I thought I would share the two songs that seem to be epitomize where I am right now.

For my husband:

Little Big Town – Looking for a Reason

Chorus:
Lookin’ for to make some sense out of nothin’
Lookin’ for the hunger to hang on
Lookin’ for to know if you’re really worth it
Lookin’ for a reason not to be gone

Your signs are fadin’, Baby
I can’t read ’em anymore
Can’t you see where I’m standin’, Baby
I got one foot out the door
You better show me somethin’ fast
‘Cause my patience for you, it ain’t gonna last

Chorus

If there ain’t nothin’ there
Well, that’s my time you’re wastin’
If you say you’re givin’ all you’ve got
Well, that’s my chain you’re yankin’
Love is on a slippery slope
Barely hangin’ on at the end of my rope

Chorus

 So tell me what you’re gonna do to keep me around
And Baby, whatever it is, you better do it now, now, now

My state of mind (or at least the one that I’m trying really hard to have):

Martina McBride – Happy Girl

I used to live in a darkened room
Had a face of stone
And a heart of gloom

Lost my hope, I was so far gone
Cryin’ all my tears
With the curtains drawn

I didn’t know until my soul broke free
I’ve got these angels watching over me

Chorus

Oh watch me go
I’m a happy girl
Everybody knows
That the sweetest thing you’ll ever see
In the whole wide world
Is a happy girl

I used to hide in a party crowd
Bottled up inside
Feeling so left out

Standing in a corner wearing concrete shoes
With my frozen smile
And my lighted fuse

Now every time I start to feel like that
I roll my heart out like a welcome mat

Chorus

Laugh when I feel like it
Cry when I feel like it
That’s just how my life is
That’s how it goes

Oh watch me go
I’m a happy girl
And I’ve come to know
That the world won’t change
Just ’cause I complain
Let the axis twirl
I’m a happy girl

Chorus

Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah
I’m a happy girl

Every time I start to feel sorry for myself or get the urge to mope or complain, I think about the above song.  It is true, as simplistic as it may seem.  I just choose to be happy instead.  I don’t push my emotions down, as I admitted earlier today I still cry when I feel the need.  I just try not to dwell in that place.

I get my emotions out, feel the pain, let the gratitude and thankfulness for my family and those who care about me wash over me, then think about or do something that makes me happy.  I cuddle with my dogs, turn up the music, laugh at a funny story, or text someone who brings me clarity, strength or even just a distraction.  I pick up my journal and write.  I organize or clean something (there is never a shortage of that to do).  I take a deep breath, wonder at the beauty of the changing leaves, revel in the perfect October weather – warm sunshine, a cool breeze, the crispness in the air of the beginning of Fall.  I have a lot of reasons to be happy, so that is what I choose to focus on.

I hope everyone’s Saturday was full of love, beautiful weather, good food, and great music!

Another Reason I’m in Love with Sara Ramirez

20 Sep

Sara Ramirez (EP)

I heard Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol on the radio in the office today.  I had no idea what the name of the song was, and still have absolutely no idea who that artist is.  However, I immediately recognized the song from Grey’s Anatomy.  The Office Manager at work looked up the song and band for me, then I rushed back to my desk to buy it from Amazon.  I listened to the sample, and it’s just not the same.  The Grey’s Anatomy version is about 1,000 times better.  All because of Sara Ramirez and the wonderful producers of the show who wrote a moving story-line.  I get chills every single time I watch the video.

If you’re not convinced of how powerful and gorgeous Sara Ramirez’s voice is from that clip, then you have to listen to her singing The Story by Phil Hanseroth, sung originally by Brandi Carlile.  Again, I have no idea who Bradi Carlile is, but I listened to her version.  Not even close to a comparison.  There is a reason Sara Ramirez graduated from Juilliard, performed on Broadway, and won a Tony!  She is amazing!

Warning:  This video may make you cry if you’re anywhere close to as sentimental as I am.

I can’t say enough about her talent.  And if you are one of those people who thinks she is just lip-syncing or has been touched up vocally like crazy in the studio, watch this video, then shut up.

I really relate to this song, and I think I’m going to have to find the music so I can sing it very, very soon.  These lyrics especially resonate with me:

“You see the smile that’s on my mouth
It’s hiding the words that don’t come out
And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed
They don’t know my head is a mess
No, they don’t know who I really am
And they don’t know what
I’ve been through like you do”

Most people who work with me, see me around, and even a few people that are relatively close to me don’t see what is behind the smile on my face.  It’s not that I’m not happy, but I am much more of a mess than I appear on the surface.  There also aren’t very many people who really know who I am.  That is something I value immensely in my husband.  He knows me, all the way down to my core.  When I’m having a bad day or triggering, I can hold on to that knowledge.  We have been through worse, and we’re growing stronger every day.

I’ll leave you with one more picture of the incredibly sexy Sara Ramirez.

Sara Ramirez modeling at the Red Dress Collect...

Sara Ramirez modeling at the Red Dress Collection charity fashion show to benefit The Heart Truth. Identity confirmed through image gallery at wireimage.com (a gallery of professional photos of the same event that has the models identified). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Using My Imagination

9 Jul

Here’s another set of odd and random questions from the folks over at Sunday Stealing.  I haven’t done one of these in a while, and don’t have a lot of time for a full-fledged post.  So here are the answers to a few strange and silly questions.

1. Ocean or pool?
Pool without a doubt.  The ocean is so salty.  And cold.  And filled with fish and poop and sharks.  Plus, I always end up with sand in my bathing suit and that is virtually impossible to wash off with just one shower.

2. Fridays or Ruby Tuesdays?
Ruby Tuesdays because of their salad bar.  I love salad bars.  No one can make me a salad quite like I can do for myself.

3. Did you want to go to college?
I always wanted to go to college eventually.  I’m pretty glad that I decided to delay it for a few years to travel around and get myself settled and independent.

4. What did you do the last time you were at a mall?
Went shopping…  What else is there to do?  I hit up the Yankee Candle semi-annual sale and got some great deal!

5. Do you believe in aliens?
No.  Absolutely not.  Zombies I can fathom.  Aliens, not so much.  Waiting for proof on that one.  There are just too many factors that have to be exactly perfect in order for a planet to sustain life.  We haven’t found anything close to that in the light years and light years of space and galaxy after galaxy that we have documented.

6. Why do you like the music you do?
Because it’s good.  Duh.

7. Do you read much?
All of the time.  I do need to find some more time for myself to just relax and enjoy a good read again.  I’m waiting on a few books to arrive via mail very soon.

8. Favorite country?
Hmmm…  That’s a tough one.  My favorite country that I’ve been to so far is tied between Switzerland and Austria.  They were so magnificent.  The beauty of the land, the history, the food, the people, the music, the entertainment…  All spectacular!

9. What is something you wish you were better at?
Flying.  I wish I was way better at flying.  I can never seem to get off of the ground no matter how hard I try.

10. What’s your favorite album/CD?
I don’t really have one “favorite.”  My favorites at the moment (a.k.a. the ones that I play over and over in my car) include Adele(especially Someone Like You and Rolling in the Deep), Katy Perry (especially Firework and Part of Me), and Hunter Hayes (especially Storm Warning and Wanted).  In celebration of our recent holiday, here is a video of Firework:

11. What’s a good dinner order?
Fried rice with beef, hot, from Pad Thai.  Or maybe (like I had last night) soft beef chimichangas and cheese dip from Mexico Restaurant.

12. Planes or boats?
Can I pass on both?  Planes would be 100 times better if it wasn’t for the crazy lines and ridiculous TSA regulations that basically require me to be viewed naked by some perv behind the scanner screen.

13. One rumor that’s been spread about you:
That I’m gay.  I’m actually bisexual.  Not all rumors are false.  😉

14. Who is your newest friend?
Samantha Baker over at Repairing Shattered Pieces.  She and I have been blogging buddies for a few months, but we just met in person on Saturday.  It was a great time.  We really connect and can talk about anything.  It was definitely well-worth the hour trip up to see her.  We are already planning our next meeting.

15. Have you ever sat on a rooftop?
Yes, I have.  It was wonderful.  I went up on the roof of our house out in the country to help my Dad nail up some new shingles after a storm.  It was a breath-taking view, and I loved working alongside my Dad and feeling the breeze on my face.

16. Was your last text useful?
Yes, it was.  I asked someone a question.  Although I still haven’t gotten an answer back, it was a useful question that I need to know the answer to in order to make a decision.

17. Favorite soda?
7-Up.

18. Do you like yourself?
Yep, I sure do.

19. The worst weather: Hot or cold?
Both.  I like it in-between.  The perfect day is a mild spring or fall day in the 70s.  The blistering hot weather we’ve been having lately (well over 100 for weeks now) paired with the brutal humidity and insane heat indexes (115?  Seriously?!) is almost unbearable to be out in.  Conversely, I hate being cold.  Even worse is cold and wet in the snow and slush with a chance to fall on my ass because of black ice.  No thanks!

20. Do you play an instrument?
I pseudo play the guitar.  I can play basic cords and rhythm.  I can also play a few songs on the piano if you give me all day to practice and some sheet music.  My real instrument is my voice, though.  I’m currently having a tattoo drawn up of a vintage microphone.  It will have music notes swirling around it and be done in gray-scale.  Here are a few inspiration photos.

Farting on the Massage Table

3 Jul

See how relaxed the woman in this picture looks?  When your entire body relaxes that way, all your stress melts, and your muscles begin loosening it is a great feeling.  Until your body gets a little too relaxed.  The dim lights, soothing sounds of waterfalls, and quiet music make for such a peaceful environment.  It’s almost like being in a library, only more serene and low-key.  It’s the last place you want to let one rip.  I’ll put it out there right away that I didn’t actually fart on the massage table, but it took quite a bit of willpower not to.

Let me back up a bit.  Yesterday I had a massage.  It was part of a Groupon deal at a chiropractor that was set up about a month ago.  The timing couldn’t have been better.  After the lie discovery I could use a little quality “me time.”  I also decided to give the 180 a real try for the first time.  I found it a few months back, around the same time as our D-Day antiversary.  I wasn’t ready to implement it at the time because I still wasn’t focused on myself and my own happiness.  I was too wrapped up in everything he was doing, saying, feeling, etc., etc.  Since then I have used some of the techniques during a few arguments, but not consistently.  I had some success the times I did implement it, but ultimately I would end up losing my temper or being drawn back in far too easily.  This time I’m going to try to do it right.

So, back to yesterday.  During the day I stayed busy at work.  We didn’t have very much contact at all, and I didn’t initiate anything.  He texted me at lunch and said:

“Another in the line of the many days after I have caused in which both of us are asking ourselves why?  With no good answer to that question only more uncertainty about where we are headed.  I am afraid and angry at me.  I sit here broken and fearful that I am not fixable.  For all I have done and all the hurt I have caused us both I am very sorry.”

Normally a text like that would have caused me to gush all over him – tell him that I know he is scared, reassure him, tell him I love him, say that I think he is fixable, and try to make him feel better.  I did all of that out of a place of wanting to help.  However, it really didn’t help either of us because I can’t fix it.  It is also his job to figure out his why.  I do love him, and I don’t want him to be afraid and angry – but I can’t fix it.  I fear that he isn’t fixable sometimes, too.  I am not going to give up on him or our marriage right now, but I can’t fix it.  I want him to feel better, and I do want him to get help.  But I can’t provide that for him.  So this time I responded by saying simply:

“I can accept your apology.  I do not have the answer to the questions, though.  Those are yours to find.”

That’s it.  I had already told him that I feel like he needs to work on those issues in therapy.  I already told him that I would like him to go to SA more regularly.  I already told him that I can’t sleep in the same bed with him until I see him making real efforts and I feel safe again.  That’s all I really can do.

After work I headed over to my massage appointment.  I had told him about it back when I set it up and again last week when I remembered I would have to cancel my normal chiropractor appointment to make it.  I didn’t notify him of where I was going.  I wasn’t even planning to get in touch with him at all.  Then one of the guys I work with let me know that he would be dropping a dog house off at my house that evening.  We had talked earlier in the day and his mother, who lives in my neighborhood, was getting rid of a really nice wooden shingled dog house.  Since we have 3 dogs he asked if I wanted it.  I said definitely because I have always wanted one like that but they are expensive.  Since I was going to the massage, though, I wouldn’t be home when he dropped by.  I told him I would let my husband know because he should be home.  I then sent Mr. Mess a quick text that said:

“A___  from work will be dropping off a doghouse at some point soon.  I may not be home yet so just wanted to let you know.”

Once that was done I drove over to the massage appointment and decided to leave my phone in the car.  He hadn’t texted back yet, and I really didn’t want any distractions during my hour of being pampered.  Once the massage began I immediately felt relaxed and relieved.  I let myself drift off a bit, not think about anything, and just feel the sensation of the massage therapist kneading my muscles.  Having someone massage your neck, shoulders, and head is fantastic.  It is like the shampoo you get at the hair salon, only better.  When she turned me over and started massaging my feet, calves, and legs is when I really felt my tension fading.  It’s also when I felt the gas trying to escape.  Eeeek!

As I laid there suddenly tense again trying to hold in a fart during one of the most serene and relaxing moments I have experienced lately, I almost started laughing.  It really was funny.  I saved myself from embarrassment when the urge passed, but it got me thinking.  There really is humor everywhere in life.  Instead of getting wrapped up in the drama and pain of the lie my husband told me I was laying on a massage table holding back gas and laughter.  It really is such a better option.  My day ended up pretty darn good.  Excellent even!

After the massage was over, I headed out to my car to find several text messages from my husband.  Here they are in order:

“Ok see you when you get home.  What is the dog house for?”

“Im going to food lion to pick up a few things do you want anything?”

“Im not sure what your message means.  Are you still working or is it something else.”

“Im going to [my brother’s house] you dont have to stay away from your home because of me.”

Wow…  That 180 thing seems to be working already!  This is a man who doesn’t feel the need to tell me when he changes plans.  We got into an argument recently when he came home 2 hours late from work on a night when he had school and a test he hadn’t studied for (with the books sitting on the table) and no phone call.  He thought it was no big deal and I shouldn’t have been concerned at all.  Now I can’t even be out of contact for a 1-hour massage without him becoming Mr. Needy?  I shot him back a reply that the dog house was for the dogs and I was just finishing up a massage.  I left it at that.

My plan was to swing by the tattoo parlor on my way home and look into a face piercing I think is super sexy.   A picture of the look is to the left.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind after seeing it on Avery from Around the World in 80 Plates.  I was going to stop by and ask them about the process and cost.  My plan was to just go for it.  Unfortunately, they were closed.  Apparently they have weird hours on Mondays and close super early.  Oh well…

Once I got home Mr. Mess acted like nothing had happened.  He came home from visiting his brother, who recently broke his leg, and just started making dinner.  We ate together, and I was perfectly polite.  I answered the questions he asked about my day with short, to the point replies.  I was positive and happy.  He was more than content to just pretend not a thing was different.  When it came time for bed, though, I went to the bedroom, closed the door, and he stayed on the couch.  Today we also haven’t had much contact at all.  Again, my day was perfectly happy and peaceful.  When I get home today from the chiropractor he will be off at school.  So far, I’m liking the 180 quite a bit.  He will either take care of himself, go to counseling, and SA or he won’t.  I will just keep enjoying my life in the meantime.

Note:  I looked into the face piercing today and found out it is called a microdermal piercing.  They are apparently permanent.  If you want to take them out it requires a scalpel.  As adorable as I still think they are, I’m gonna have to opt out of that one.  I’m seriously considering a nose ring, though.  I may just stop by on my way home tonight and get it done!

Signing Out for the Weekend

22 Jun

I’m gonna take a break from blogging this weekend to just enjoy myself and my husband’s company.  We have gotten some VIP tickets to see Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, and the Eli Young Band tomorrow night.  We are also attending a friend’s housewarming/ birthday party, although we will have to leave sooner than I wanted in order to get to the concert.  Sunday will probably be a glorious day of doing absolutely nothing.  🙂

After some thoughtful and deep posts this week, I thought I would leave you with a little levity.  I stole these questions from The Other Side of Infidelity who got them from someone else, who also probably got them from someone else, and so on.

81. What’s your favorite action movie?

Hmmm…  I’m not a big fan of the action genre in general, so I have to think about this.  If you had asked me for my favorite movie in just about any other genre I would have one off the top of my head.  Ok, got it!  Taken.  I loved that movie!

83. Do you believe in lust at first sight?

I’m leaving her answer – Hell yes.  What gets referred to as “love at first sight” is just lust at its core.  It’s a bodies chemical reaction more than anything else.

84. Favorite type of venomous snake?

I don’t really have a favorite snake, but if I was forced to pick one that I think is pretty bad ass I would say the cobra.

85. Do you drink alcohol?

Not very often, and even then in moderation.  I have seen too many people do a lot of really stupid things because of alcohol, and alcoholism has touched my family.  I enjoy an occassional glass of wine with my husband when we’re having an evening in.  I don’t like the taste of beer, but those fruity drinks can be dangerous if I’m not paying good attention because they are so yummy.  Now that I’m on antidepressants I have to be even more careful because of the interaction potential.

87. What do you wear to feel sexy?

There are different levels of feeling sexy for me.  Sometimes I feel the sexiest in a simple white tank top and cloth shorts.  Other times I like the feeling of lace and ribbons and the more traditional “sexy” lingerie.  A great pair of boots makes me feel sexy.  The best thing is a well-timed slap on the ass from my husband with a nice, long kiss.  Then it’s more about what I’m taking off than what I’m putting on.

88. Do you like to learn?

Oh my gosh, yes!  If I could be a paid student for the rest of my life I totally would!  Those grants and scholarships aren’t really enough to pay for a mortgage, two cars, insurance, etc., etc., though.  I just LOVE learning!  I am constantly trying to learn new things, expand my horizons, and find out something I never knew before.  I am a fantastic student.  It is something I can say with absolute certainty that I am amazing at.  I am a great writer, I can examine complex subjects, and I enjoy being challenged.  Anything less than a 4.0 GPA was always unacceptable to me.

89. Have you ever been hit on by someone who really overestimated their attractiveness?

Absolutely.  There is nothing more unattractive than someone who thinks they are the most attractive person ever.  That cockiness is a major turn-off.

90. Where did you last go on vacation?

Orlando, Florida with a quick stop-over in Charleston, SC.  I wish we had more time in Charleston!  Orlando was fun, but half of the week I was working.  Disney, commercialism, and beaches really aren’t my thing, but it was a nice little mini-vacation.  I would like a real one that doesn’t involve work soon, though!

91. Dallas (as in J.R. & Bobby) returns this week. What film or TV series would you loved to be resurrected?

I am sad at what happened to Medium, and I also really liked Lie To Me.  I could use a few more tips on how to spot a lie!  I’m just kidding (mostly).  A show that I really loved as a kid?  Little House on the Prairie.  Where is that kind of family series today?  Nowhere.

92. Explain your karma beliefs.

I don’t believe in karma as an actual thing.  I’m not big on spiritual entities of any kind.  I do think that if you live your life in a negative and hurtful way it will come back to bite you in the butt eventually.  Not every good person gets good in return and not every bad person gets bad in return; however, I do think that you are more likely to end up being treated the way that you treat others in the end.

93. When do you think that you have a hard life?

I’m not really sure I understand this question.  It is worded quite strangely.  I have had hard things to deal with in my life, but I don’t think they are necessarily any harder than what every person has to go through at some point.  Pain is the inevitable outcome of living.  What I’ve been going through in the last few years is harder than anything I’ve dealt with before.  I do think that other people have much harder lives than me, though.  I am really lucky.

94. Favorite comic strip?

I never read the comics much.  I do remember one about a mom who was really stressed out.  It had a married couple and some stuff with their kids.  I did a quick internet search and think I found it – For Better Or For Worse by Lynn Johnston.  Appropriate title for what I’m going through, huh?  I think that’s funny!

95. Have you ever broken a heart?

It’s possible, but not very likely.  I went through a few boys in my young teenage years.  None of them could hold my interest very long.  None of them should have gotten their hearts broken, though, because we were never really that serious.

96. Should pot be legalized?

I don’t really know.  I don’t think it will be, though.  There are too many people who really don’t want it to be.  As long as it stays illegal I will be staying away from it.

97. Have you ever gone skinny dipping with someone that you shouldn’t have?

I have never been skinny dipping, so no.

98. What do you do when you’re down?

I have to leave the first part of her answer here, too – Blare music.  Music can almost always make me feel better.  Or it can help me wallow if I want to.  I also tend to eat, especially chocolate.  Or buy stuff.  Or sleep.

99. Last time you were really angry?

I can’t really remember, which must be a good thing.  It was probably about a month ago or so.

100. What is your favorite flavor in general?

Yummy.

The Hard Way

20 Jun

I had to travel about an hour away today for a meeting.  On the drive up and back I couldn’t stop thinking.  That’s not really unusual for me because I’m a thinker, but there was something out of the ordinary.  Usually after I write a blog post it eases my mind.  The racing thoughts abate, and I’m able to put that topic behind me for a while.  Today I was still thinking about some of the questions that I answered yesterday about reconciliation.

I got a lot of really great comments after my post.  One of the things that has stayed with me is the common perception that staying to work on the marriage is “weak” or letting the wayward spouse “off easy.”  Those two things couldn’t be farther from the truth, so it blows my mind how they have seemingly become the collective cultural idea.  Usually stereotypes have some grain of truth to them, which is why they are so enduring.  This I don’t understand.  Maybe some people out there just give their spouse a pass and move on like nothing happened, but I don’t know anyone like that!  All of the men and women who I talk to on message boards and blogs are going through the same difficult journey that I’m on.  Sure, we’re all in different places, but I don’t think a single one would say this is easy – for us or our spouses.

I was also thinking about my blog in general and wondering where all the music went.  When I started this I was posting more music and using songs to express my ideas.  I still believe music is very powerful, so where did it go on my blog?  I have a pretty cool radio in my car, and I have a flash drive loaded with basically all of my music that I let play continuously instead of listening to the radio (all of the stations around me pretty much suck).  While I was driving and thinking my music was playing away.  I rolled through a few songs from various artists, then it hit the Keith Urban section.

A picture I took from one of concerts I attended. I was right up next to the catwalk he had, and actually reached up and touched him once!

I paused in my musings to remember how much I used to love his music (and still do).  He is just the consummate musician.  I have been to several of his concerts, and I really couldn’t get enough of him live.  He and his band are amazing.  At their concerts they have a big jam session on stage.  They improvise, riff, extend songs, do fun and interesting transitions, and have this rare music-driven performance that is mesmerizing.  Keith Urban himself plays the guitar, bass, drums, piano, and a few other things (I think he played the trumpet during one song).  The first time I saw him in person I’m sure my mouth was open in amazement the entire time.

Another thing about Keith Urban that you may or may not know – he is an addict.  Today as his music was filling my car I understood the deep emotions behind some of his songs for the very first time.  I heard his words from a completely different perspective.  I was amazed at how much more I liked the songs (which I didn’t even think was possible), and how they really connected with me.  One in particular started playing, and I cranked it up as loud as I could stand it.  Then I put it on repeat.  I listened all the way through at least 3 times barely breathing, then repeated it a few more times while singing along.  It was perfect for where I am right now.  It paired perfectly with my post yesterday.  It was right in line with all of the things I have been thinking all day long.  Just listen:


Combining Grey’s Anatomy and Keith Urban?  Rock on!

Here are the lyrics for the chorus:

But I do love you.
You keep me believin’ that you love me too.
And I know it’s true,
This love drives us crazy but nobody’s walkin’ away.
So, I guess we’ll have to do it the hard way.”

The whole song just really fits, but I’ve already said that.  I think my main point here is that we shouldn’t consider people who want to save their marriages “weak.”  We should be looking up to them in admiration.  Just take a hard look at the state of marriage in this country.  It seems like divorce is as common as the cold!  Love, committment, pushing through the messy stuff, and learning to change and grow is so special!  It’s definitely harder than walking away.  But it’s also more rewarding.  So, bravo everyone for sticking it out and putting your all into things!

In closing, I will leave you with this picture of Keith Urban’s cute behind.  🙂

Pink

23 May

A few days ago I changed the look of my blog to make it perkier and give it a lighter ambience.  One thing I made sure was consistent, though, is the color: pink.  I have had a love-hate-love relationship with pink throughout my life.  I thought today I would give you a little glimpse into me using the color pink as a framework.

When I was very young my parents were members of an Apostolic Pentecostal church because my uncle was a pastor there.  One foundation of that faith is that women (and girls) are required to only wear dresses and to keep their hair long.  There are all sorts of other strict rules, but the basic idea is that femininity is required – even for babies.  That means that I actually learned to “crawl” in a dress.  I put crawl in quotes because I couldn’t really use my knees like most children do since the dresses made it virtually impossible.  Picture this:  me in a frilly pink dress, hair that had never been cut, “crawling” around on my hands and feet in this weird hunched/ crouching position so that I could maneuver around without tripping myself.  I think I have a photo of that somewhere, actually.  I will have to try and find it.

It wasn’t quite like this, but you get the general idea…

In my early childhood pink was a staple.  Even after we changed churches and parted ways with the stringent guidelines I owned tons of cute outfits, hair clips, and chunky plastic jewelry that was pink.  When I was about 6 years old my parents bought 10 acres of land in the country, and my Mom started designing a new house for us.  We got to pick everything, which was very exciting for me.  I picked out pink carpet, pink paint for my walls, pink wallpaper border, and a pink bedspread.  We moved in when I was about 7 years old, and I loved my new room.

In the next few years I got more active in sports (softball and horse-back riding mostly), started exploring those 10 acres, and became a tree-climbing, tough, tomboy who loved getting dirty, didn’t mind a few cuts and scrapes, and spent more time with my horses and dogs than playing dress-up.  I started hating the color pink with a passion.  I decided orange was my new favorite color, I think mostly because it isn’t “girly” at all.  I named all of my stuffed animals “orangey,” even the ones that had absolutely no orange in them.  I also spent some time ripping the heads off of my sister’s Barbie dolls just to prove how not interested I was in being frilly and delicate.

As I changed from a pre-teen into a full-blow teenager orange was no longer my favorite color, but pink was still at the very bottom of my list.  I gravitated to blue, gray, black, and anything that made me feel tough.  I think part of that had to do with the fact that I was very picked on in school.  I was home-schooled by my Mom until 6th grade, which I thought was wonderful.  I was super-fast with my school-work, which allowed me to skip a grade and have more time to play outside.  I could finish my lessons for the day in just a few hours at home.

Then I changed to private school for 2 years.  Not only were the lessons excruciatingly, unnecessarily long (it took 3 or 4 times what I had been spending to go over things that I found incredibly simple), but the kids were mean.  Private schools sound good in theory, especially to religious parents who think their children will get the benefit of Christian teachings, prayer, and smaller class sizes.  Let me tell you something – the reality is much different.  Private schools are full of kids who have been rejected from public schools because of their bad attitudes, problems focusing, and in some cases drug habits.  Sure, there are only 15-20 students in an entire grade.  That just means you can’t get away from the bullies.  Ever.

I was very glad to switch to public school for 8th grade through graduation.  At least there I could blend in, fade into the background a bit, and hopefully find a niche for myself.  Still, I was the “new kid.”  Everyone had been together, known one another, and formed their social circles since elementary school.  I wasn’t especially popular, outgoing, or interested in the “normal” teenage drama.  I came to despise the color pink even more because it was associated with the narcissistic, cruel, and shallow group of “mean girls.”

I did end up finding my own comfort zone in show choir, academics, and a few musicals and plays (even though I never fit in with the drama crowd).  I had a few close friends, I was relatively well-liked and respected, although not popular by anyone’s standards, and I was able to avoid being ridiculed for the most part.  I graduated at the top of my class, and couldn’t have been happier to leave it all behind.

I will skip most of the stuff in between then and now because it really doesn’t relate to my journey with the color pink.  Once I became a more self-assured adult something slowly changed about my opinion of pink.  It started with just a few nice pops of pink in a pretty shirt.  I realized I was okay with being feminine – in fact, it was something that made me feel good about myself.  I bought a bright pink shirt for the summer and noticed how much it flattered my dark hair and fair skin.

Slowly pink started making its way back into my life.  Now it represented confidence.  I could own pink for myself, not as something forced onto me by religion, culture, my parents, or the “in crowd.”  I also found that since I was more confident in myself I was okay with the vulnerability and softness that pink sometimes implies.  I didn’t have to be tough all the time.  I didn’t have to be strong, invincible, and shielded from the world.  I could just be me.  And I discovered that “me” likes pink.

I have been shaped by my life experiences and have grown because of them.  I still like black and gray, but I also enjoy silver and pink.  In fact, black and pink were the colors of my wedding.  I wanted this blog to have a pink theme because it reminds me of the journey I have taken to be okay with pink.  It reminds me that I can be vulnerable.  It reminds me that I am fluid – changing and becoming a different person every day.  That is why pink is important to me.

What Makes Me Beautiful?

4 May

So yet again, a topic on a forum has given me something to think about.  The question came up, “What makes you beautiful?”  It made me pause.  What does make me beautiful?

Having an unfaithful partner can make you wonder what is wrong with you.  It makes you question whether you are pretty enough, thin enough, sexy enough, and the list goes on.  I know in my head that there is nothing about ME as a person that caused my husband’s infidelity.  I understand that his almost non-stop porn viewing habit while he turned me down was not about me, my body, or my sexuality.

Still, I wonder sometimes about my intrinsic value as a person.  It is hard not to be critical of my shape or my weight when I am surrounded every day with media and images that virtually scream that a woman’s worth is directly tied to her beauty.  There is constant advertising that tells women that if they just change this or that they will be desirable, and their whole world will improve.

“Women’s” magazines are plastered with headlines like “lose weight fast,” “get a flat tummy,” and the promise that this haircut, this makeup, or this piece of clothing will fix your flaws.  They even slim down and Photoshop the super models and celebrities who are a size 2 to begin with.  With all of those things constantly barraging us, how do normal women even stand a chance of feeling beautiful?

      

In the same post I mentioned earlier a very good point was brought up.  Someone said, “I want the world to recognize my beauty, but first I have to believe it myself.”  So I asked myself what makes me beautiful to myself?  When I actually started thinking about it I realized that there are a lot of things that I admire and love about who I am right now.  Without changing a single thing.  Here are some of them:

  • I have a beautiful singing voice.  It is reminiscent of Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood.  I am a vocal powerhouse.
  • I am confident.  I could stand up in front of a crowd of strangers and sing my heart out without fear.  I am also glad to be who I am despite my occasional moments of self-doubt.
  • I have beautiful hair.  It is a deep, dark brown that is almost black.  In the sun some of the strands hit the light which brings out auburn undertones.  And it is completely natural.  I don’t ever have to touch a bottle of dye.
  • I am unique.  I am who I am, and it is different from everyone else.  I have come to embrace my quirky.
  • I am devoted to my family.  They are the most important people to me, and I show it all the time in many different ways.
  • I have a very womanly body.  It is curvy, well-proportioned, and looks great in a pair of jeans because I have an ass that fills them out wonderfully.
  • I am smart.  I graduated from college Summa Cum Laude.  On a full scholarship.  While working full-time.
  • I am ambitious.  I bought my house when I was 19.  I am driven to be the best.  I don’t know what the future holds, but I know it will be good things because I won’t accept any less.
  • I have a little hump on my nose.  I used to hate it because I thought it was a flaw.  Now I see it as part of my unique beauty.  It gives me character.
  • I have freckles that come out strong in the summer.  Again, I used to hate these.  Now I find them endearing.
  • I have a beautiful spirit.  I keep pushing through things no matter how hard they get.
  • I am compassionate.  I feel other people’s pain and can empathize with what they are going through.  Some people can’t do that – my Dad being one of them.
  • I am an adventurous soul masquerading as a home-body.  I love to travel, see new places, and experience new cultures.  At the same time I am always glad to come home and curl up on the couch.
  • I am strong.  I am finding the strength to get through this bad situation.  Every day I realize this a little more.
That is certainly not an exhaustive list, but I think it’s a great place to start.  I already feel better about myself.  This also reminded me of another great song from Sara Evans that I blasted from my radio for a few months:

It became my mantra – I’m getting a little bit stronger.  I’m done relying on him for my feelings of worth.  I have everything I need inside of me already.  I know now what I will and won’t accept.  I know that I will be okay no matter what happens.  There is nothing he can do to take my beauty away or make me feel like I’m not enough.  Because I am.

This might be really hard for some of you, but tell me, what makes you beautiful?

Life Without Losing

3 May

While I’m on the topic of loss and pain I figured I would go ahead and post a song that has helped me deal with everything.  I really love the latest CD from Sara EvansStronger.  She dealt with infidelity in her marriage and betrayal on a really deep level, and she put her entire heart into her newest music.  The song “Life Without Losing” has helped me get through the loss of my grandfather and deal with the pain of infidelity.  It is a really great perspective song that acknowledges pain but then also accepts it as part of life that you have to move on from.  Here’s the video:

I love the whole song, but the chorus is what really resonates with me.  These are the lyrics:

*Chorus*
I’d like to get through a day without crying
Night without asking why I can’t stop thinking about you
Get through a song without thinking I’m drowning, I’m sinking
Wondering how I’m ever gonna get through
But my feet just keep moving
And I know the truth is
Nobody get through life without losing

Beautiful Mess

25 Apr

Today I’ve been thinking about the username that I chose for this site – beautifulmess7.  It’s something that I have used from time to time in the past, although it has never been my main username.  When I started thinking about blogging it came to mind immediately for a few reasons.  First of all, it doesn’t contain any part of my name which is important to me since I want to remain anonymous.  Secondly, none of the other usernames I have used in the past seemed to really fit the theme of this blog.  But more than anything it captures what I am now, who I was when I started this relationship, and it embraces the fact that I can be a total mess and still be beautiful inside.

I also have to admit something.  I stole the idea from a song.  You already know that music is a huge part of my life.  This is just more proof of that.  So I decided to continue along the music theme and explain my choice with songs.  Here are a few videos of songs that have inspired my choice and express some of the various aspects of how I feel about myself.

Diamond RioBeautiful Mess

Okay, so this was the original inspiration.  This song came out about 10 years ago, and I loved it.  Then when I first met my husband in 2007 I felt like I really knew what the song meant for the first time.  I wanted to spend all of my time with him.  I was staying out late.  I felt this heady mixture of adrenaline, endorphins, and reckless abandon.  It was definitely something like an addiction – and I know now that it wasn’t all that healthy.  Still, the sly smile was always on my face and for the first time in my life I didn’t have everything under control, in its place, and buttoned up.

Then later, after the infidelity and all of the crazy ups and downs, the beautiful mess part had a deeper meaning to me.  I felt like I was the mess.  Now the “haze” was from shock and hurt, not lust.  I literally had a terrible time concentrating on anything and I was always tired.  But it wasn’t fun this time.  Yet somehow I was able to find strength inside of myself that I didn’t think I had.  Instead of his unfaithfulness making me feel worthless, I discovered that I now knew with conviction that I didn’t deserve this.  That I am worthy of honor and respect.  That I am beautiful.  Despite the turmoil and the pain.  Despite the awful mess I found myself in.

Here are the parts of this song that resonated with me the most then and still do today:

“Going out of my mind these days
Like I’m walking round in a haze
I can’t think straight,
I can’t concentrate
And I need to shave

I go to work and I look tired
The boss man said son you gonna get fired
This ain’t your style
And behind my coffee cup I just smile

What a beautiful mess, what a beautiful mess I’m in
Spending all my time with you
There’s nothing else I’d rather do
What a sweet addiction that I’m caught up in

Cause I can’t get enough
Can’t stop the hunger for your love
What a beautiful mess
What a beautiful mess I’m in”

Hunter Hayes – Storm Warning

 This song is one that I just heard on the radio the other day.  I have to admit that I hadn’t even seen the video until today.  Even though I only heard it one time, it stuck in my head.  It took me a while to find it this morning, but I’m glad I did.  The first thing that struck me had absolutely nothing to do with the song itself.  He looks like he is about 15!  I’m not sure how old he really is, but I do know that he seems very talented.  After doing a quick search I found out that he plays a ton of instruments (guitar, piano, drums, bass and more) and has written songs for Rascal Flatts and Montgomery Gentry.  Very impressive!

Back to the song.  I like the imagery of the woman being like a storm.  It feels very powerful.  I also really connect to the part when he says she is, “One part angel, one part perfect, one part a wreck.”  I certainly don’t feel perfect, but I like the contrast between being something ethereal and beautiful and ruined all at once.  It also mentions burning wheels and being somewhere between coming and going.  I feel like that a lot these days.

Here are the parts of this song that I relate to the most (I realize that it is most of the song…):

“Have you ever noticed every hurricane
Gets its name from a girl like this?
She’s a cat 5 kind keeps you up at night
Hangin’ on to the edge of a kiss

She’s a beautiful mess
Yeah, the kind you love to love
But what happens next?
I got a feelin’ when the sun comes up

I’m gonna wish I had a storm warnin’
I’m gonna wish I had a sign
I’m gonna wish I had a little heads up
A little leeway, a little more time
Some kind of radar system
Locked in on love
I got a feelin’ by the time the night finds the mornin’
I’m gonna wish I had a storm warnin’

Ain’t it funny how it feels when you’re burnin’ your wheels
Somewhere between goin’ and gone
You get so lost that you can’t turn it off
You give in and you just turn it on
She’s a heart full of rain, red lips like a flame
She’s a girl from your favorite song

What a beautiful mess
One part angel, one part perfect, one part a wreck
The kind of flood you’ll never forget”

Well that’s it for now.  Those are really the two songs that I had on my mind this morning.  More of my ramblings will be coming later on.  In the meantime, what do you think about me potentially changing the name of my blog to Beautiful Mess?  I have been thinking about it a lot, and I think it might represent more of who I am.  It is also a bit more positive, at least in my mind…

Music – A Soundtrack for Life

17 Apr

Music has always been a huge part of my life and who I am.  I was raised in a household full of music – singing, instruments, and hours devoted to practicing, performing, and enjoying it.  My mother is a pianist, led the church choir, and was a long-term music teacher substitute at the local middle school when the choral director was out on maternity leave (twice).  My uncle plays the guitar, my aunt led worship, my cousins play a variety of instruments (trumpet, sax, drums, guitar, bass, and more), my brother plays the drums and learned to manage a sound board, and my sister even tried violin once (it didn’t stick).

I was in chorus all the way through school, and in my senior year of high school I was part of the show choir and chamber ensemble.  I decided to skip “early release” and add an extra music class – even though I already attended choir every day.  I dropped out of the International Baccalaureate Program when the extra class requirements would mean I couldn’t focus on music the way I wanted to.  I went to county and state vocal competitions, traveled all over the country and once internationally with my show choir, and even formed a band of my own for a short while.  I never learned to play the piano the way my mother does, but I did pick up the acoustic guitar and teach myself a few things.

More than those collections of facts, though, music is a part of my soul.  I remember singing in the car to the radio as one of my earliest memories – yes, I was that young.  Music has this amazing power.  It can transform my mood, bring me back to the past or into my future in an instant, and express all of the emotions and thoughts in my head in a way I haven’t even considered yet.  Songs are intimate.  They are expressions of our deepest desires and most shallow thoughts.  They can lift you up, tear you down, make you laugh, cry, and sing along at the top of your lungs even if you don’t get a single note right (like my Dad).

I am constantly amazed by all the new ways that song writers can express age-old themes in fresh and exciting terms.  Just when I think every word has been said or every song has been sung on a particular subject I hear something else that blows me away.  The best song writers are the ones that bare everything – all of their fears, hurt, guilt, shame, joy, triumph, loss, love, and the list goes on.  There are songs and song writers that are so raw and real they touch a place inside of me that I thought only I had access to.  There are songs that speak to me and seem to speak for me.  Truly, songs are a backdrop for everything, a soundtrack for life, because they incorporate every part of life.

In this blog I have already shared some of the songs that are capturing my life, or at least some of my feelings, right now.  I think that will be a continuing theme here because sometimes words alone aren’t enough to express everything inside of me.  Here is the latest song I am really connecting to – “Let it Rain” by David Nail.  It has been rolling around in my head for hours.  I really like this version better than the official music video because it is a very clean, honest performance.

The words of this song are really powerful for me.  It helps me understand some of the emotions that my husband feels, especially the chorus.  There is guilt, shame, acceptance, pain, regret, and so much more wrapped up into the song.  It’s not just the lyrics, either.  He puts such emotion in his voice that it just shoots straight through me.  I’m going to sit here for a little while with this song on repeat just listening and feeling and enjoying another great song that is beautifully written and poignantly performed.

Better Than I Used to Be

11 Apr

Today while I was driving I heard the song “Better Than I Used to Be” by Tim McGraw on the radio.  I hadn’t heard it before, but it struck me immediately.  It’s a great song about a man who is making himself “better.”  The tag line is “I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get, but I’m better than I used to be.”  The song is very honest and heartfelt about mistakes he has made and issues he’s had, but it is also positive and inspiring.  Here’s the video with the lyrics running across the bottom (I don’t think there has been an “official” video released yet).

When I heard the song it made my think of my husband immediately.   Even though this blog is from my perspective and things have been hard for me, its been a very intense process for him as well.  I think this song is a perfect anthem of achievement and growth.  It made me stop and reflect on all of the things my husband is bringing to the table every day and the progress he has made so far.  I am so proud of him for the guts it has taken to give himself a good hard look, be proactive, and actually make changes.  It is painful to self-examine (I know because I am truly my worst critic).  One particular line says, “I’ve pinned a lot of demons to the ground.”  That is great imagery because dealing with bad habits and ingrained behaviors that are unhealthy is a real battle – it takes strength and resolve to take on your demons and bring them to the ground.

I see a lot myself in the lyrics, especially the first part.  The song mentions, “I’m learning who you’ve been ain’t who you got to be.”  That is something that I’ve had to learn through this process.  Neither one of us are the same as we used to be.   It is hard to change, but it’s definitely possible.  The first verse also talks about holding grudges and burning bridges.   That has always been more of my style in a hard situation – I have let friendships and relationships go over conflicts and held onto my anger for a long time.   At first I thought staying and working on my marriage was a weakness.   I thought it meant I didn’t have enough self-respect or that I was a “doormat.”  That’s not true, though.  It’s actually harder to forgive, let things go, and mend fences.  I don’t want to throw away the connection that my husband and I have, even if I was hurt immensely.  It is healthier for me to find a way past it.  Our relationship will be more resilient and durable because of it.

“Put some faith in me and one day you’ll see there’s a diamond under all this rust.”  I know that statement is true for our marriage.  It will take some polishing and a whole lot of faith, but there’s definitely something rare and beautiful underneath all the crud from our past.

Part of Me

10 Apr

Just have to say that I absolutely LOVE this video.  I didn’t leave my husband or join the Marines, but I do feel stronger, more confident and less likely to take bullshit.  Katy Perry rocks hard!

Does anyone else out there really connect to the lyrics and video?  I know exactly the part deep-down inside that she’s talking about.  It’s the thing that no one can ever take away no matter how much I feel shattered and vulnerable.

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