361 Days of Writing

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been struggling with writing lately — I don’t know what to write, how to write it, or how to make it good enough to want to post it. So, instead of staring glumly at my computer every day, I’ve decided to write a little bit every day. People are always doing the “365 Days of Photos” or “365 Days of Happiness.” Why not “365 Days of Writing”?

Except, you know, 361 days. Because it’s January 5th today.

If you want to follow along with some of the prompts, I’ll be pulling the majority of them from this link. Wish me luck.

Your average New Year’s post

It’s officially day four of our new year. And I’m already out of writing ideas for the year. Pathetic, right?

I know.

I’m spending my Sunday afternoon listening to really good live music and drinking really good coffee with my (really good) boyfriend. And I’m thinking about how far I’ve come in the last year. You wouldn’t believe the stories I have from 2014 – and I can tell you right now, they aren’t fun, awesome stories. They’re dark, painful, shitty stories. Without a doubt, 2014 was definitely not my year.

2014 was a year full of heartache, loss, grief and change. It was a year of metamorphosis. (Cue Hilary Duff.) Yet, somehow, it led me to this beautiful life that I’m living right now. It led me to the best relationship of my life, to the happiest I have ever been (honestly). So, maybe they’re right when they say that the painful, horrible times are necessary for the perfect, magical times to happen. Even though I wouldn’t want to relive 2014 for any amount of money or magic beans, I wouldn’t change a minute of the past year if it meant losing the things I have now.

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, I want what everyone wants out of a new year: happiness. I mean, getting skinny and beautiful and landing my dream job would all be nice but, at the end of the day, I just want to stay as content and purely happy as I am in this instant.

Cheers to 2015. Maybe, for once, this one will actually be our year.

May your days be merry and bright

Christmas is an idea, in my opinion, similar to religion itself. And, much like religion, there are people who love it, people who hate it and people who are completely indifferent to it. My boyfriend is one of the Christmas haters (I love him.. but he’s still a hater). I’m the complete opposite, though, and he asked me why the other day. (Well, kind of. He said, “Tell me why you love Christmas so much.” Same difference.) In my head, it went a little bit like this:

elf

But I’ve been thinking about it lately, because I couldn’t really give him a solid answer before. My response was, more or less, “I dunno. I just love it, I guess.” Eloquent, right? Well, the more I thought about it, the more I started to form a real answer.

So, Christmas may have started as a church-y holiday, but we all know that it really isn’t anymore. Yes, people still go to church and celebrate Jesus and all that jazz; however, the majority of people are much more concerned about what gifts they’ll get (or not get) to care about the meaning behind the holiday.

By the way, for those of you who just tuned it, I’m an atheist. (Not the angry, adamant kind – don’t worry.) That being said, I don’t love Christmas because of what it signifies to those in the Christian faith. I’m not saying that at all. But I also don’t see Christmas as simply another commercial holiday to celebrate.

Christmas is, like I said, an idea. It signifies the idea that homes should be warm and full of love (and smell like cinnamon, like, all the time), that people should do good unto others, that the world should make sense for even a little while. Christmas is hope and happiness and love and faith, religious or otherwise.

I can imagine my boyfriend (and all you other grinchy people) reading this and going, “That’s an awful lot of pressure to put on one stupid holiday, isn’t it?”

The simple answer? Yep. It is.

But it’s still the truth. Grinchies always want to know why the rest of us worship this holiday so much and, although I can’t speak for all other Christmas lovers, I can speak for myself. And that’s why I had to write this post (although I must extend this to the season itself, because Christmas Day doesn’t hold any specific significance in the grand scheme of things).

I love Christmas because it brings out the good in people. Everyone who tries to hide from all of the bad parts of society – homelessness and poverty, for example – suddenly allow themselves to open up to the world and extend a helping hand. Does this mean that it’s right to ignore those parts of society the other 11 months of the year? No. But is a start – one month of understanding – better than nothing? Absolutely. Plus, people are just generally kinder. I worked as a cashier in retail for a while and, around Christmastime, the majority of people were much cheerier. They’d always throw in a little, “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!” before walking away. And who doesn’t like that?

I love Christmas because it brings people together. My favorite memories of the holidays growing up are not of ripping open gifts or stuffing my face with food (although my dad does make really good fudge). The memories that I turn over and over again in my mind during Christmas are of being with family – sitting in an over-crowded living room surrounded by grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and third-cousins-once-removed, snuggling up with a warm drink and watching those old Christmas cartoons, taking a day and decorating the tree as a family. Did I appreciate the Harry Potter wands and stockings full of candy? I’m sure I did. But what stuck with me was the love that filled our house every year around Christmas.

I love Christmas because of all the potential it holds. Plain and simple, Christmas has always been a magical time of the year for me. I can give you all the rational reasons I can think of but, at the end of the day, I really can’t explain why this holiday affects me the way it does. For example, I bought a silly fake Christmas tree (we aren’t allowed to have real ones in our apartment complex… lame) and, after I set it up, I plugged it in to make sure it worked. The multi-colored lights popped on and sparkled down at me and I was overwhelmed with the same rush of emotion that hits me every single year at Christmastime. I may have cried a little. Don’t judge me.

ecrying

Okay, you should probably judge me a little bit. But my point is this: for reasons I can only try to explain, Christmas is a season that will forever hold magic and hope for me. It’s the one solitary season that holds more potential for love and goodness than any other. So all you grinches can continue being grinchy, but try to find some tiny scrap of magic in your holiday this year.

I promise it’ll be worth it.

Things Every King & Queen of Misfortune Knows

It’s true that everybody has bad luck. But your life is like a live, ongoing music video for that song by Alanis Morissette.

Except, you know, besides the braids. Because those braids are horrible.

No matter how hard you try to do things right, something always goes wrong. It really isn’t your fault. (Okay, some of it is your fault… But most of it isn’t!) Remember that one time I moved in with a guy for the first time and found the most perfect apartment and it was totally gonna be a fairytale and then I ended up homeless on my birthday instead? Yeah, that sucked. But it also wasn’t my fault, seeing as my real estate agent was arrested the week we were supposed to move in. I mean, HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!

wut

There’s absolutely no point in gambling. Or, you know, doing anything that has an element of luck. Lotto tickets? Skip ’em. Raffles? Bingo? Just don’t bother. It’ll only end in disappointment!

dawson

Don’t plan things. EVER. You have to know that it’ll just end in disaster. No matter how well-intentioned the plans, I would send the idea to someone else via a little birdy and be done with it. Otherwise, you know, the birthday girl’s house will probably blow up somehow.

hands

Learn to look on the bright side. While my boyfriend is painfully optimistic, I am most definitely on the opposite end of the spectrum.  However, when everything in your life is going wrong, you really need to learn to look on the bright side of things. Yes, something goes wrong every time you leave the house. But, I mean, you’re alive, right?

hope

An Open Letter to Love

Sometimes, you make my heart stop.

Okay, it may not actually stop, but it sure feels like it. At the thought of losing you, my heart leaps to my throat, gasping for the oxygen that lingers so nearby. Once in a while, the silly thing forgets to beat and it seems as though you may be the death of me yet.

Sometimes, you make me weak in the knees.

I fall to the ground, certain that there is no way I’ll ever stand up. My legs shake and I reach for you, fall through you, over and over again.

Sometimes, you make my mind soar.

My thoughts fly around the room at a million miles per hour, bouncing off of the walls and ricocheting off of the ceiling. I think about everything and nothing all at once, the silence both deafening and terrifying. Past, present and future combine in a dizzying wave of emotion that crashes over me until I begin to drown.

Sometimes, you make it seem as though everything is okay.

The world begins to make sense in your presence; things come together as if the key to the puzzle that is my life has fallen into your hands. When you wrap yourself around me, my broken pieces come together in a messy mosaic, reflecting your light instead of my darkness.

But sometimes, you make it seem as though nothing is okay.

The power that you hold is more frightening than anything else in the world to me. Time after time, you take my tattered heart and stitch it up, only to tear a new seam. Eventually, I know, there will be no more room for stitches.

#rantwednesday

My boyfriend recently started vlogging (YouTuber Seng Seri) and, each Wednesday, he’s decided to start “Rant Wednesday.” Normally, I’m not a ranty person… But, conveniently, I heard an obnoxious commercial on my way home from work today that I’d simply love to rant about.

The ad content was as follows: There’s a bar in town that hosted a “Sexy School Girl Contest” tonight. Any girl that showed up and participated was given a $50 bar tab.

Now, I’m all about free booze (who isn’t?!) and I’ve been known to use my womanly wiles to get it. But really? Dressing up in a stupid plaid skirt and wearing a Britney Spears-esque crop top for a free bar tab is just… Sad. Demeaning. (Insert negative word here). Boys with school-girl fantasies throughout the city probably wet themselves with excitement at the thought of a room full of drunk girls in short skirts. Way to have no shame, ladies.

Thoughts?

How to Date Someone Who’s Not Like Everyone Else

Those of you that know me know that, as far as relationships go, I always seem to get the short end of the stick. In other words, I always date totally shit guys (no offense…okay, you should be kind of offended). However, I was talking to a good friend of mine today about how weird it is to actually be in a relationship with someone that I genuinely believe in and trust because I’m finally dating someone who is, in his own words, “not like every other guy.”

Have I heard this before? Yup. Do I believe it this time? Surprisingly, yes. Will it be awkward if we break up tomorrow and I have to delete this post like, “Uhh… JK..”? Definitely. But I have a feeling that isn’t going to be the case. Apparently – contrary to popular belief – not all guys are dbags.

shocked

Try not to be terrified of the past. It’s so easy, as I said in my last post, to let the past influence the present. If you’ve managed to find a guy who is honest and trusts you, do him a favor – be honest and trust him in return. Don’t let the mistakes of every guy – or girl – you’ve dated influence the way you feel about your present relationship. It’ll just make things messier and more dramatic than necessary. They’ll make plenty of new mistakes; there’s no need to put other people’s mistakes on them, too.

past

Don’t turn her/him into someone (s)he’s not. I don’t mean this in the typical, try-to-get-him-to-dress-better way (although you shouldn’t do that either!). I mean that you shouldn’t try to turn him into a dishonest, douchey monster when he’s nothing of the sort. I have a friend who is so distrustful (is that a word?) of her boyfriend that she is constantly checking his phone – his texts, his photos, his Facebook, you name it – because she’s trying to catch him doing something wrong. Even when she has no reason to suspect anything. It isn’t like he’s coming home at 3 a.m. or ignoring her for days at a time. She’s just genuinely that terrified. I’m pretty sure studies have shown that, the more you check your SO’s Facebook page or text messages, the more likely you are to not trust them – simply because you’re always convincing yourself that they need checking up on.

stalking

Don’t second-guess the relationship. If you’re constantly looking for something to be wrong – like the above paragraph – then you’ll create insecurities where insecurities don’t need to exist. No relationship can survive a constant barrage of second-guessing and unquenchable insecurity. Yes, you’re doing it because you’re scared. But all you’re doing in the end is pushing your SO away. Confidence is sexy, right?

 lose you

Let yourself be happy. Happiness is scary (is there a theme here?). We’re all so sure that shit is going to hit the fan – especially after years of experience – that we convince ourselves that there’s no way in the entire world that this wonderful, perfect person could truly love us and want to be with us. They’re obviously cheating, right? Or just plain lying for the fun of it? Unlikely. Shake it off and let yourself enjoy the time you have – so what if it’s limited? At least you’re happy now. Let yourself relish in that happiness.

titanic