This afternoon as I drove home from work, I was watching the way the light fell across the trees. It’s that lazy, Sunday afternoon, light that just splashes across the leaves amongst the shadows. Fall is here. It’s been undeniably warm, and humid but there’s no doubt – that’s fall light in the air.

I may have been at the beach twenty-four hours ago, but that doesn’t erase the fact I’m giddy for that fall weather. It makes me excited with anticipation for everything that’s ahead. It’s funny the power seasons have over emotions like that. Or maybe it’s just me? I just want the air to get cooler, where I’m not baking from the inside out when I run down the sidewalks in the morning. I want my nose to get cold if I’m outside for too long, and then that just welcomes warm drinks and cuddles and the constant possibility of bonfires in life.

In the meantime I’ll fill my house with candles that feel seasonal, and everything pumpkin. (Yes, I’m that girl.)

It’s October, this is acceptable.

Ride the Wave

So, I’m sitting in the computer lab of my apartment complex typing this because I haven’t had internet for five days. (If I did, I’d hope that I’d have been back on the bandwagon of making regular posts.) Conveniently enough the computer lab is right next to the gym, so that all worked out. And I just happened to make a new friend. Well, anytime I have a connecting conversation with a stranger I tend to use the phrase “made a new friend.” But either way, positivity spread. It’s kind of rejuvenating sitting at a desk space being productive, though. And I brought goldfish, which probably the weird orb security camera above me disapproves of, but that just means Century Link should go ahead and fix my internet!

Today has been a day of days. This week marks a little more than a year since I’ve worked at my current job, which is crazy if you think about the past year. So much has changed, so much has happened in such a short span of time. How have all these months been so filled with friends and family and adventure? New experiences, repeats of favorite old experiences, memories, losses, growth. Change is inevitable, and most of the time it’s out of our control. Lately I’ve been reminding myself that because so many things are beyond my grasp of control. So the things that I can affect I just have to be very intentional about. In the meantime, I’m trying to remember to flow with the wave of life right now.

(Sunset on the way back from Mexico Beach last week.)

In other news my days have been filled with parks, happy hours, good phone conversations, family time, friend time, sunsets of cotton candy colored skies, walks and walks, puppies. Lots of puppy play times! Today a friend a few stores over brought over surprise egg rolls and fortune cookies. Last night I went and saw “Boyhood” and went to sushi with two of my cousins. Saturday my brother and I fiiiinally got to have a sibling dinner at Burrito Border, which hadn’t happened in quite sometime. While I was doing my cool down on the bike at the gym, Shelby and I reminisced over my time as house manager and VP in our sorority house. (And how somehow that turned into me being the person in charge of the internet, even after I graduated?) It’s funny to look back on all of those times now, and impossible not to laugh at the absurdity of being awoken in the middle of the night because someone wanted me to kill a bug in their room, or the buffet was leaking downstairs, or a girl locked herself out of her room and wanted me to call a locksmith. I’d like to think all these crazy circumstances were prep for something in this life, and I think they very well were.

(Meet Chief, one of my favorite puppies on the planet.)

Expect the unexpected. Life is full of surprises. Sometimes, beautiful ones. 

(Like these flowers waiting on my doorstep two weeks ago.)

 

Because you might need to read this today…

I know my blog has been a happy place for a while now, when I do make these fleeting posts. But, I know, life isn’t always a happy place. And that is precisely why I’m so grateful for these days, for these people, for this sunshine, to feel loved – by family, by friends, by new people who bring such light into life with just their refreshing presence. I feel like my appreciation for this time, for these days comes from the times when it wasn’t exactly there…and it’s not that the love wasn’t around me, but you can’t always feel it. It wasn’t an absence, it was more of an invisible barrier between me and all that positivity. And sometimes darkness creeps in, and it’s so much harder to see the light that’s peeping from under the cracks. It’s a battle to fight the inner demons that so badly want you to just give in. I know what those times are like when it’s hard to remember the days that have a light an airy weight in living, laughter that flows freely, and a clear mind. And oh those battles are so difficult to fight, but I’ve been thinking lately, (especially over the past few days with the loss of Robin Williams and the social media world abuzz with mental health discussions) about the feeling of exuberance that washes over me when the curtain is lifted and light shines again after times like those…

I guess I just didn’t want to keep letting these thoughts float around in my head without sharing them. How everyone is fighting their own battle each day, and you might not have any idea what those around you are dealing with on the inside, and they might not have an idea what you’re dealing with either…but you’re not alone. And there is hope. And there is light.

A few years ago when I was doing a series on the blog called “Spend Less, Give More” spotlighting my favorite give-back organizations, I featured one called To Write Love On Her Arms. (You can see my original post, here.)  There’s a shirt my parents gifted me with the following quote from Jamie Tworkowski,

 

This past week I’d seen the quote from Rob Bell on Twitter: “It is as if the smallest amount of light is infinitely more powerful than massive amounts of dark.” which just instantly resonated with me, and I’ve thought about these words each day since then. When I get to my dark place my coping mechanisms for life usually have to do with writing, reading, prayer, music, and movies. Art. Creating. But what else I’ve found? Big changes happened to my life when I started letting people in. When I started saying yes, when I embraced who I was and I met people who not only accepted me for myself, but appreciate what makes me, me. Coffee, putt-putt, scary movies that make me squeal in the theatre, hanging out with a friendly acquaintance that could turn into a great friend, phone conversations that make you feel love despite distance, spontaneity…openness, that vulnerability can be so so worth it in this life. We do need other people, and when we find the right people, man it’s like more lights turn on in the world.

I guess what I’m getting at here, is that if I felt on my heart strings that I needed to put these words into the universe, than there was probably a reason for that. Depression isn’t something to be ashamed of, or kept secret, or to write-off. You know how you can scroll through someone’s instagram and it’s all happy pretty stuff? (Here I’ll point out my own: flowers, sunsets, icecream, smiles, puppies, music festivals,…all the good stuff.) But in between all the really great little moments that make life so darn beautiful – the soulful conversations, the forehead kisses, the friendly “good morning, how are you?”s from people that you encounter each day, the joy that comes with singing along to your favorite song with the windows rolled down and a breeze on a summer day, a chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven, a text message that puts a smile on your face, bear hugs, hand written mail, tired lungs and legs from a long run outside, laughing ’til your stomach hurts, cotton candy colored skies…in-between all of these absolutely wonderful things can be some really rough times. Days when your friends feel far away, or you don’t feel like getting out of bed, or listening to your favorite song, or really doing much of anything…They might not show up the way the good stuff does on our social media networks, but there’s no avoiding that the twisty-thought days are there.

So I guess I’m saying, don’t be afraid to talk about it, don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed about it, and don’t be afraid to ask for help (resources)…Sending so much love and hugs into the universe right now…

National Hopeline Network: 1.800.SUICIDE (784-2433)

National Suicide Prevention Line: 1.800.273.TALK (273-8255)

 

Life’s Little Surprises

You know how sometimes life just makes you tired, and then you start not wanting to do things after work or make plans or whatever just because you’re so sleepy all the time? (No? Just me?) I’m someone who completely enjoys my time of decompressing, whether that means reading or writing, watching Netflix, laying on the floor listening to music, practicing guitar (not exactly relaxing, yet) cooking…whatever it is, I just enjoy being still and alone and not having anyone try and rush me around. That’s great, when it’s needed…like Sunday and Monday this week were for me. I ran tons of errands, took care of my little check list of things I wanted to get done before the semester starts and things are crazy at the store again.

My point in all of this is the flipside to that. All the things I said to say yes to? Even when you’re starting to get tired. I’m the kind of person who thrives off the momentum of all that activity. Until I hit a brick wall of exhaustion. But then I just need a little recharge, and it’s time to go again.

Last week I went to Food Truck Thursday out at Lake Ella with my friend Jamie. We hadn’t seen each other since the beginning of summer, so there was so much to catch up on. We decided to forgo real food, and skipped right to dessert with Big Easy Sno Cones. It was a nice evening because we sat on the front porch and watched the sunset across the street, and had time to just talk and talk. Which is basically my favorite thing to do. On my way to meet her though, I ran into another friend on the sidewalk who I’d known for years for but we never really hang out. We’d mentioned it a couple times at the beginning of summer, but never really made it a point to make plans. We decided to put an end to that last week, so yesterday we met up at one of my favorite little bars in Tallahassee, (Fermentation Lounge that’s over in the All Saints District.) Oh my goodness. Such a good time. We were there for a few hours just talking and talking, swapping life stories, and similarities, and a shared appreciation for our college friends, and adventure and travel and lots of laughter mixed in.

Even though my weeks lately have been packed with activity, it just reminded me of the little surprises life can through in throughout the days. If I hadn’t made my initial food truck plan with Jamie, I wouldn’t have run into my other friend and probably wouldn’t have been so intentional about making plans for us to hang out.

It just reminded me that as the easiness of summer starts to fade away in a couple weeks that I need to remember all these great evenings, and mornings, and mid-days, I’ve had these past few months. The time carved out from the days, even when the other compartments of life seem to drain the energy, quality time with people is so refreshing and rejuvenating in itself.

So, there you have it. That’s my encouragement for now. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Don’t spend too much time psyching yourself up to do things, just go do them. Find new friends. Invest in the relationships that click in life. And just enjoy yourself and make the most of the time you have, whatever that may be.

A Little Advice

I haven’t been posting much, (okay at all…) I know. But when I find the words, I’ll try and update this more often. In the meantime, any readers who’ve stumbled across this little blog in the massive world of thousands of bloggers, I’ll say this: start saying yes. Yes to dates, yes to new friends, yes to phone calls, yes to adventure, to being alive, to absorbing every bit of each moment of your life. They’re not all going to be absolutely pleasant experiences, but I have a feeling the more open you are to life and its opportunity, life will surprise you with its bounty of good graces. 

Let’s Have a Pretty Party

I’m not normally too much of a creep about melting over wedding photos and such on the internet. The only time you’ll finding me looking at rings is when my girlfriends are trying to explain things to me because of how clueless I am. Hey, living in a sorority house made me a little bit better…but I’m still totally in love with everything unconventional and not a million dollars because people wearing stuff that costs so much, on their finger, at places like the grocery store and the gym -scares the crap out of me. ANYWAYS, I do kind of love all the inspirational ideas you can get from wedding shoots, though – from decorations to lighting to even photo pose ideas. ( I won’t lie that I do have a wedding related board on Pinterest.)So, when I stumbled across this article on Who What Wear , I was immediately mesmerized by the first photo.

(Featured on Green Wedding Shoes and Martha Stewart Weddings.)

And in case you didn’t recognize her glowing smile, and chic effortless bohemian style, that is Kate Bosworth. Oh.My.Goodness. The rustic barn behind them, the lights, the grassy area that gives you that feeling of freedom, HER DRESS!, her braided hair. ALL OF IT.

Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not focused on this for it’s relation to a wedding per-say – but just the sheer genius of style and design skills. (Though, they do both look to be completely enjoying themselves in this photo.)

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve never been quite convinced that I’ll be someone who gets married one day, and I wouldn’t put this in a “dream wedding” category or anything, but what about a party? Say a birthday party, or a…”flower crowns aren’t just for music festivals” party?

The next time someone wants to throw a party for no reason, and you need theme help, call me and let’s do this one…

xoxo

I saw this video from the Harper’s Bazaar Facebook page yesterday, and I was memorized. Twenty strangers, meeting for the first time, and their first kisses captured in an artistic experimental video. Sound a little creepy? I found it to be the opposite. Maybe it’s the black and white approach. Maybe it’s the beautiful people. Maybe it’s those magical moments of hesitation before two people make contact, captured on film…whatever it is, I found myself smiling at the screen. Also, perhaps it goes without noting (but it’s me, so I’ll note it) the music – perfect song choice.