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Hurricane Irma

While this category five storm makes it’s way towards Florida, and many Floridians desperately scramble for the last cases of water, sandbags and cans of tuna, I batten down the hatches at my own home, and pack a bag incase an evacuation order is issued for my county. Only the essentials. Long pants, baggy shirts, closed toe shoes, some toiletries and a blanket. I throw a book in the bag, so I will have something to occupy my mind. I stand in my room and look around, scanning for anything I might have missed while packing. Instead my eyes focus to the things I cannot take. The “non-essentials”.

In the spirit of preparation, I know these things can be replaced, and that ultimately my own safety is the most important thing, but I am only human.

I pick up my stuffed dog that I’ve had since I was one years old. The same dog I slept with and cried on for so many years and think, how is this replaceable?

I gaze at the framed pictures of my loved ones. My nieces, my nephews, my parents on their wedding day and a picture of my best friend and I in Manhattan, in a frame I had made at a pottery studio back in New York. Yes I will always have the memories, but these pictures helped me to feel at home in a strange new place. They are priceless to me.

I am trying to remain level headed and to think of the bigger picture. I want my family, friends, boyfriend and pets to be safe during and after this devastating storm. I want the state of Florida to come out of this stronger than ever. I want to help my fellow citizens in any way that I can, and ultimately make the best of an absolutely horrible situation (if that’s even possible). I don’t want to be the type of person to worry about silly possessions, but like I said before, I am only human.

Life has a funny way of teaching you lessons. I think this is one of them. I imagine this will be a humbling experience for me, and many others. The lesson; to care for what’s most important in life, the people who make it worth living.

For anyone reading this who lives in the state of Florida or has any family here, you are all in my thoughts. I pray she is gentle lover, and doesn’t fuck us too hard.

 

Until next time,

The Greenest of Blues

 

 

 

 

 

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Finding My Roots in the Sky

“Learn character from trees; values from roots and change from leaves” – Tasneem Hameed

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After a two week excursion to my home state of New York, with some much needed time with my family and friends, I sat in LaGuardia Airport at five o’clock in the morning, my mind running a mile a minute. I wondered how I could live without New York. How could I make a home anywhere other than Long Island? While thinking that, I recollected on the trip and a feeling I couldn’t shake while in my own home town. I felt out of place. I stood in my favorite bar, where I had spent my 21st birthday (and birthdays before) and felt like I was in a room full of strangers. I walked down Tulip Ave and felt the nostalgia wearing away. The high school where I had spent six years of my life was being remodeled, the park where I played as a child was no longer the same park I remembered, even the home I grew up in looked different and made me feel different too. Everything was changing. I started to realize that I was changing too.

I began to think of myself as a tree.

New York is my roots. It has made me the person I am today. It will always be with me, even if it is hidden beneath the surface. Florida is my trunk. The sturdy trunk of my tree, which makes it possible for branches to grow. I was able to learn to stand on my own two feet again in Florida; it has helped me to remain resilient and steadfast in my stages of growth. My branches are where ever I go or where ever I end up. Whether or not they be boughs or twigs, all will be significant to the tree. Last but certainly not least, the people I meet or the people that will inevitably affect my life, will be my leaves. Some will grow on my branch, change color, and eventually fall off. Some will blossom into something else entirely. It’s important to note the tree will not always be full with foliage, it will sometimes be bare. It does not make the tree less. Sometimes all that is needed is a quenching rain or beam of sunlight to give it life again.

I boarded the plane, took my seat and peered out the window as we took off. I watched New York slowly fade into the clouds and for the first time since taking the trip back to Florida, I felt okay with leaving. I wasn’t losing my home and I wasn’t losing who I was. I’ll always have my roots, and so I’ll never have to fear the winds of change.

 

Until next time,

The Greenest of Blues

 

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The Great Divide

“You don’t want to work towards your future, so why would you want to work towards ours?” he says

 

I don’t even think, I just say  “Maybe I don’t want a future”

 

He looks away, disappointed at my answer. I’m too angry to care about my response.

 

“I pictured a life with you and I don’t want to be the only one working towards it” he says; his eyes focus towards the steering wheel.

 

I think of ten million things I want to say.

 

“I’m sorry if I make you think our future is unimportant to me”

 

“I wish I could believe in myself the way you believe in me”

 

“I love you and appreciate the work you’ve put in to show me how amazing you think I am”

“I’m going to prove you wrong. I’m going to show you what our future means to me”

Instead I say

 

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be what you needed. I hope you find someone that you deserve”

 

Now laying in bed, I’m staring at the ceiling and wishing things could be different.

 

That I could be different.

 

I want to prove him wrong but that takes time.

 

Time is what I’m most afraid of.

 

What if he finds someone new? What if he falls out of love with me?

 

What if in the end, I’m still not good enough?

 

Until next time,

The Greenest of Blues

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Antiquing Adventures

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history” – Martin Luther King Jr 

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Anyone that knows me knows of my love for thrift shops and antique stores. I could spend all day searching through shelves of old books, records and knick-knacks, even in this sweltering Florida heat. It’s something about those dusty, musty, over crowded shelves that intrigue me, always have me thinking beyond the surface. I see an old, raggedy teddy bear and think, who cuddled this until they fell asleep? Maybe a love-struck teen won this for his sweetheart at a county fair, where they shared their first kiss. Maybe a father gave it to his child before he headed off to war, so they would have something to hold when they missed him.

When I see a ring; I think of whose fingers it sat upon; a widow perhaps? Thinking of the love she had lost, or a young woman thinking of the love she had just gained?

Who received this record for their birthday, and listened to it until they knew every lyric by heart?

Whose eyes peered through the lens of this camera? What were they pointing at?

The most intriguing thing for me to find is old photographs. I love to fantasize about the lives of these people. The people who were lost to time. A young woman, with three children, sitting in a field of wildflowers. A group of bearded men in top hats. Two young women in attractive dresses, champagne glasses in hand. Were they happy or sad during this photo? What was going on in their lives? What happened to them?

What can I say; I’m a sucker for history with a bit of mystery.

 

Until next time,

The Greenest of Blues

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Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happily Ever After?

“The word happiness would lose it’s meaning if it were not balanced by sadness” – Carl Jung

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When I was young I imagined a fairy tale-esque life. A quaint cottage, draped in colorful flowers, nestled just outside of a small village, where everyone knew and looked after one another. A funny pet sidekick, always an obedient dog, feisty cat or trusty steed. A beautiful singing voice that made even the song birds stop to listen and of course, a handsome and doting prince charming. Tiny, minute details changed over the years (three cherub faced babies, two boys and a girl, resurfaced from time to time) but the idea was always the same, I wanted my own happily ever after. Now I’m living in a small city in southern Florida (far from a fairy tale), with three aging pets, a voice that would stop birds (but not for good reason) and a bearded prince that is sick of doting on me. I’m no princess either; I’m far from elegant and graceful.

But does anyone actually believe that Cinderella, Belle, Ariel and all those other princesses really danced off into the sunset, with their prince and lived happily ever after? There wasn’t one disagreement about Prince Charming never picking up his dirty laundry? Belle never lost her mind over the fact that Beast left beard trimmings all over the sink….AGAIN? Prince Eric never got an earful from Ariel about not visiting her folks enough?

Happily ever after’s aren’t realistic.

This post is a bit more cynical than previous posts I’ve written. Which is sort of the point. In the famous words of Maroon 5, “life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along”. It’s gonna rain sometimes, even on the day you planned a picnic. You’re gonna feel sad sometimes, even though for weeks you’ve been nothing but chipper. You’re gonna feel inadequate sometimes, even though everyone around you makes you feel like you’re worth it, and I’m here to tell you; that’s okay. What’s not okay is not making a compromise with yourself to move on from that feeling, even when it feels impossible to come to an agreement. “I feel bad today; I’m not going to do anything but lay around, reading and ignoring the world, but tomorrow I’ll go for a bike ride and, call my friend who’s been wanting to make plans, to go out for coffee”. Hoarding yourself in your bedroom won’t fix your problems, trust me, I’ve tried this method.

Happily ever after’s aren’t realistic.

Finally, what I mean by this is that you’re not simply going to have everything fall into place, and be happy for the rest of your existence. It’s just not a pragmatic approach to life. We need to feel pain; endure and overcome it, to see how strong we really are. We need to fail so we can appreciate our successes, that much more. We need negatives and positives to balance out our lives.

Until next time,

The Greenest of Blues

 

 

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Where’s Your Brave Person?

“To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around it” – Richie Norton

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Are you the type of person to overcome a challenge? Or do  you run for the hills when presented with one? Do you try, fail, then get back up and try again? Or do you not even try at all because of the fear of failure? If your fight or flight response is more leveled towards flight, fear not; I know how you feel. From pee-wee soccer, to dance classes and even when it came to relationships, quitting and running have been my go-to strategies since I was five years old. I overthink things, sometimes to the point where I can’t think at all. I’m also too cautious for my own good, and cautiousness is the ugly cousin of cowardliness. I recognized these problems but I never did anything to try and fix them. I was so afraid of failure, change and commitment that I was willing to believe I was okay with the bare minimum. It’s safe to say that fear has been ruining (and running) my life. Well not anymore! I’ve been trying to take more risks, embrace new things and I’m even in my first real relationship. It’s been truly terrifying at times but so incredibly rewarding.

I use to believe that feeling fear, anxiety or sadness meant that you were weak; but true weakness is letting those emotions overcome you, and letting them control you. Strength is understanding that these emotions are not only inevitable but important, because you can’t appreciate courageousness and happiness without those other feelings. Brave people aren’t strong because they have no fear, they’re strong because they don’t let it stop them. We all have that brave person inside of us, and it may take some digging but deep down they’re just waiting to be uncovered. My brave person still hides from time to time but I never stop looking for them. Please don’t stop looking for yours, no matter how long they’ve been hiding. You’re better than a bare minimum life.

Until next time,

The Greenest of Blues