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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

 

 

 

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Recovery and Self Discovery

“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was” – Sade Andria Zabala

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When I first moved down to Florida from New York, I arrived defeated. I had been desperately clinging to Long Island, working at a dead beat diner six days a week, and living on my own with my roommate, Miss K. A 51 year old recovering alcoholic with four cats. I should have realized how bad an idea this was from the start. A little more than six months later and I was moving out of my first apartment, to move back in with my parents who I hadn’t lived with in almost two years. It wasn’t like I was moving back into my childhood home, I was going to an entirely different state, leaving my friends and most of my family behind. I was devastated.

Why was this happening to me?

When I first got down here, I didn’t even try to acclimate. I hoarded myself in my room, with the curtains drawn, either sleeping for 12 hours or not sleeping at all and I kept wondering, why am I so sad? Why aren’t things getting better for me? Sadly, it took a huge wake up call for me to finally understand the answers to those questions. I was sad because I wanted to be. Things weren’t getting better for me because I wasn’t trying to make them better. I was my problem, but I was also my solution. These last two months I’ve been on a journey of recovery and self discovery. I’m learning to be more brave, to think smarter, to work harder and to be kinder to myself. I’ve stopped complaining about what I don’t have, and started to be happy with what I do have. I don’t feel the need to always be right and I try not to get upset over things I can’t control. It hasn’t been easy and everyday presents a new struggle but, I must persevere because I deserve to be happy. I deserve to look in the mirror and be proud of the person staring back at me. I already feel more content with who I am just by taking steps to better myself. My journey is far from over but for right now I’m just going to enjoy the ride, after all, it’s not all about the destination.

Until next time,

The Greenest of Blues

 

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Welcome!

“Writers aren’t exactly people, they’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Welcome fellow bloggers to The Greenest of Blues, a blog I created for no good reason. I had created a blog when I was 15 to almost be a journal of some sorts. Now I have an actual journal with some entries I don’t feel necessary to share with the world (there are some secrets best kept). No, this is more of an outlet. We all wish to divulge some aspects of ourselves, the thoughts and ideals we don’t wish to post on Facebook, where Grandma can comment “XOXO” or your high school colleagues can like for the sake of liking. In this big bad world it’s easy to lose your voice in the crowd, to be silenced by a bigger, stronger voice; to feel like your voice doesn’t matter or wouldn’t help, even if it did. I’m not trying to lead you to believe I’ll be writing political pieces on corrupt politicians, or “A Guide to End World Hunger” but merely, my musings. Surely Edgar Allen Poe, Sylvia Plath or even Anne Frank didn’t think their writings would be significant to anyone, then or even now in the present, yet they continued to write. I have mulled over why I shouldn’t consider being a writer; listed the pros and cons, waged war on my dreams and reasoned with logic. I know it’s not the smart way to go and yet I’m drawn to it, like a moth to a flame. All my life I’ve chosen the hard way, not necessarily the road less traveled but the road with the wooden sign that read, “Most People that have Traveled this Path wish they Hadn’t”.  I’m stubborn but also insecure, which can be a living hell at times. I’m persistent in wanting to follow my many dreams but uncertain of my capability to do so. I’m hoping this blog can give me the confidence to pursue my passions, or at least give me sweet relief from my mundane, nine to five life.  I can’t make people read my blog, and I can’t make them like it either but that won’t stop me from writing. Just because someone doesn’t like chocolate cake, doesn’t mean you stop eating it, right?

Until next time,

The Greenest of Blues