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Tuesday’s Tunes: Brandon Chase.

6 Nov

Last week when I was searching for Texas singer/songwriters on Google, I knew I wanted to find relatively “young” singer/songwriters, or at least the ones that were closer to my own age. It took some rummaging, but I finally found Brandon Chase. When I heard his song, “Most Beautiful Thing,” I sat there wondering where all the guys were like he portrayed himself in the song. More than that, though, I smiled because the song is just so sweet. Any girl who got the chance to have this song sung to her by a guy would, without a doubt, feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I know I would.

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NaNoWriMo (Day 1): Different kinds of love.

1 Nov

My parents are very different people. I guess you could call them polar opposites in a lot of ways. However, they compliment each other, and I also know that without them being very different, I would have had an even harder time dealing with the struggles related to my Cerebral Palsy throughout my childhood. In connection with my parents being very different, they also have very different ways in which they show love. I like to think that I got lucky and am able to show others how I feel through how each of my parents behaved (and still do behave) towards me regarding love.

My mom has always showed affection through tough love. During my childhood years, I couldn’t understand that this was even a form of love. The toughness hurt. It made me cry. Most days, it made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Especially concerning the exercises that I had to do in order to get stronger and be more independent, my mom was the pusher. The goal was to get me to be more independent, and in my mind, I felt like that is all she could really see. For much of my life, I didn’t want a tough love mom. I wanted a mom who would show me she loved me in the obvious ways. I wanted a mom who would see me in pain and instantly hug me and rock me, continually telling me that it would all be okay. I wanted a mom who would welcome me into her arms, welcome me into the place that I fit and would always belong. I didn’t understand how my mom could push me to complete all the really painful exercises and not even be phased when the tears began to fall. I didn’t understand why she didn’t tell me she loved me more often. For much of my life, I doubted my mom’s love for me. Since we were often butting heads, I couldn’t allow myself to see the ways in which my mom was showing me love. I just knew that I was in pain, and instead of making it stop, she was making it worse. In my mind, that was so far from love. Though my mom was pushing me so that I could be a more independent person and fight through what was bringing me down, I couldn’t see that. All I knew was that what I did end up doing never seemed to be good enough. As soon as I completed one exercise, using all my strength to push through the really painful parts, there was another exercise to do…and another after that…and another after that. It was a never-ending stream of pain and tears, and at the center was my mom, telling me to bend my knee up just one more time.

My dad was the complete opposite. He has always been incredibly sympathetic and has always showed his love for me in ways that I could relate to. For instance, I remember the first few weeks I was home after my first surgery. Throughout those weeks, I was in an incredible amount of pain, which often made it really difficult for me to sleep at night. Therefore, I’d call out for my dad, and even though it would take some time for him to hear me, eventually he’d come to my room. In those moments, there was nothing he could do to ease my pain except give me some pain medication. However, the ability for him to just sit at my bedside and brush my hair with his fingers was enough. Though I was still hurting, it was obvious that all he wanted to do was take away my pain. I could tell from how he looked at me that it was so hard for him to not be able to do anything. However, in those moments, his love for me was obvious. The simple fact that he just came to sit beside my bed through my tears said so much. Even if he never said anything to me, I could feel the love that was held in those moments.

My dad has always been an incredibly empathetic person, and I know that’s where I get my ability to empathize with others and relate to the pain that other people have felt, though I may have not felt that specific kind of pain myself. Though my dad has always been empathetic, that doesn’t take away the fact that for my entire life, I have longed to have someone to understand my pain. I’ve wanted someone to be able to come up to me and say, “I know exactly how you feel.” However, in a situation such as mine, that’s not an easy thing to find. My dad’s love for me has filled many of the gaps that a person who knew my pain normally would. Though he doesn’t know what my pain has felt like it, he (as well as my mom) lived through it with me. They were with me every day, watching as I went through unimaginable pain that they couldn’t take away no matter how much they longed to do just that. Also, since I’ve always been incredibly close with my dad, he’s grown to understand many of the parts of myself that I don’t show to many people. Since we’re so similar, he probably knows me better than anyone else. In so many different ways, we understand each other, and my ability to be incredibly open and honest with my dad has allowed us to have the kind of parent-child relationship that I know many people wish they could have.

In much of my teenage years, during the times that I was going through intense physical therapy but also beginning to become my own person, I began to doubt my parents’ love for me. Though I have no doubt that my parents had told me they loved me countless times before, I feel like my own low self-esteem impacts the way I imagine others feel towards me. Though that may seem sad, I think it’s something that any of us who are different struggle with. In a childhood that is filled with a great deal of emotional and physical pain, where is the love? How can we feel like others love us if they are pushing us to do things that are incredibly physically painful? Isn’t love supposed to be a warm feeling? Isn’t it supposed to be the kind of emotion that has no boundaries or limits and is able to lift us out of the hardest times in our lives? Doesn’t love conquer all? Regarding my ability to doubt that others love me, I have realized that I have always been one of those people who needs reassurance, which I feel like is another trait I get from my dad. Therefore, even though I have friends and family who may tell me they love me on a regular basis, I often wonder when I will allow myself to believe them. I wonder how long it will take to stop doubting how much they care. I wonder…I wonder…I wonder.

Though my parents showed their love to me in very different ways, they’ve always complimented each other. If I had 2 parents who demonstrated tough love or 2 parents who were incredibly soft, caring and empathetic, I wouldn’t have been able to make it through my struggles. Though sometimes it’s still hard that my parents show love in 2 very different ways, it’s helped me define my own definition of love. It’s also helped me understand that since my parents have two very different personalities, the way they show affection is definition, and that’s just the way it is. However, it’s helped me see that there isn’t just one way to show someone who you care about them or love them. Though I am only 20 and I still have a lot to learn regarding love, I know that the love I have received from my parents has shaped me into how I show my love to other people. Though I don’t solely demonstrate tough love or solely demonstrate softness and empathy, I know that having a mix of the two is probably the best way to be.

[Word count: 1380 of 50,000]

A Father’s Love.

17 Jun

I have always been a daddy’s girl, and that fact hasn’t changed even though I’m no longer a little girl. When I was growing up, my dad was my number one supporter. Though I know that my mom supported and loved me as well, there’s something really special about the relationship between a father and his daughter that can’t be replaced by any other kind of love.

Besides loving and supporting me completely and without hesitation, my dad has taught me practically everything I know about life, love, and what it means to chase my dreams and follow my heart. However, one of the greatest things about my dad is the fact that he understands me. He understands my feelings so well that more often than not I don’t have to say much of anything for him to know how I’m feeling. There’s something really incredible about knowing someone who is connected with you in such a way where you don’t even have to say a word for them to know what you’re trying to say.

I remember one specific memory from Shriner’s after my first intense operation in 2003. I had intense physical therapy at Shriner’s twice a day, and my mom and dad switched off every few weeks in terms of who was staying with me at Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville, SC. My dad was unable to be at Shriner’s as much as my mom could, but he was there as much as possible. Anyway, I remember one day right before going to PT. I had to be put into a small wheelchair with my legs strapped down into a bent position. I should also point out that before my intense PT I was in long-leg casts for eight weeks. Therefore, attempting to bend your knees after having your legs completely straight for eight weeks is a kind of pain that I can’t even begin to describe. Anyway, my dad was attempting to strap my legs down, but even before he put the leg plates on the wheelchair in a position where my knees would have to be bent, I started to cry. Not small whimpers, but the kind of sobs that come up out of your chest when you’re scared, in pain, and can hardly breathe. Even though my dad knew that he had to have my knees bent before taking me to PT, he couldn’t do it. I remember looking at him to see the anguish, fear and pain that I was feeling mirrored on his face as well. It was one of the first vivid memories that I have of my dad crying. Even though I didn’t know it at the time, this was a memory that I would come back to in my mind every time I was trying to describe the intense love that my dad has for me. I come back to this memory not because it brought me pain and fear, but because even though it shows my dad’s love for me, it also shows his empathetic nature that I have found within myself over the past few years.

Webster’s dictionary defines love as “an intense feeling of deep affection,” which seems fitting since scientists and poets and musicians alike have all been looking for the true definition of love for centuries. As well as teaching me empathy, my dad has also taught me what love truly is. From holding his hand ever since I was a little girl to the recent days of listening to him relearn how to play the guitar, I have known what love is through my dad’s expression of it towards me. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful to have such an amazing father in my life. And even though I am getting older, I know that my dad will always be here to welcome me home into one of his hugs that holds more love than I can even express. So yes, today is Father’s Day, the day that we go out of our way to tell our dads how much they mean to us. However, for me, every day is Father’s Day. No amount of words can express the insane amount of love I have for the man who taught me to follow my heart, no matter what.

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: he believed in me.”

The Power of Introverts, A TED Talk by Susan Cain.

9 Jun

I just listened to this amazing TED Talk called The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain, and I wanted to share it with all of you. Susan Cain discusses the differences between introverts and extroverts, while also mentioning how our society needs to stop placing such a negative stamp on those who identify themselves as introverts.  I’ve got to go and get Susan Cain’s book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. 

The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain

“The No. 1 thing is for introverts to feel not just comfortable about who they are but to be proud, and to harness their strengths. Introverts often feel like something is wrong with them, as if introversion is a weakness. People feel a lot of guilt about preferring to be alone. But they shouldn’t.”-Susan Cain (from a Q & A featured on PsychCentral.com).

Tuesday’s Tunes: A Closer Look At The Art Of Missing.

29 May

 

Yesterday I listened to this song on repeat for over an hour, letting the lyrics sink in and waiting for the painful memories that I knew would surface in time. That’s the special thing about music. Each song is unique in its power to allow all kinds of memories to rise up, ranging from childhood moments to moments that only lasted a split second in the scheme of your life, yet moments that seemed to have a stronger hold on you than you seem to have on the current life that you’re living.

While listening to this song, I thought of the art of missing. It’s been an idea that has rolled around in my head for the past few days. However, I’ve been unsure as to how to bring life to it through my words. However, putting off writing just because we are stuck is not what true writers do. We move forward, muddling through the words that we know we yearn to say, waiting for the moment when they decide to allow themselves to be seen by someone other than ourselves. Anyway, the art of missing has been on my mind lately. Isn’t it a bit of a funny concept? It’s almost like a hunger for something that can only be satisfied by some kind of contact. Often times, I find myself missing people who I’ve just talked to or just seen. I think that’s probably because I
have had a habit of getting attached to people and then I have always hated any kind of goodbye. Whether it’s goodbye for a few days or a few months or even a year, it’s never any easier. However, by some miraculous twist of fate, we move forward. We place one foot in front of the other, knowing that walking ahead is our only option.

I believe that one of the most heartbreaking aspects of the art of missing is when you miss someone who may not be missing you in return. Not because they have told you that they don’t miss you, but because you no longer have the kind of relationship where it would be okay to ask that kind of question. In that instance, I’m missing someone who I used to know. Though that person is still around, they are not the same person that is etched into my childhood memories so precisely. Maybe, deep down, that person is still there. The person that I put so much trust in and looked up to for so long. The person who taught me to believe in myself and reminded me to never stop smiling. But truthfully, I probably will never know if that person from my memories still exists. That’s the tricky thing about time and the art of missing. Even though people say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, is time factored into that equation? To me, it seems like time is often the polar opposite of distance, causing the heart to ever so slowly forget the faces in one’s mind that were etched there so many years ago.

Through some recent introspection, I’ve realized that missing someone is like a hunger, but in another sense, it’s also like a sickness. A sickness that fills you internally, causing you to stop and wonder if there was ever a time that was spent not missing someone. Even though the art of missing does reflect the strong amount of love that people are able to show to one another, it’s almost as if the love is just never quite enough. The love is present, it has taken your hand. However, instead of simply having it take your hand, you want it to surround you, fill you up…and not leave you standing at a window looking out into a world that you are part of and yet isolated from. Even though missing someone shows that you care about someone and that you love them, it can also pull you under its current, leaving you to wave your hands frantically, waiting for someone to realize that you are, in fact, struggling to simply stay above water.

A Nicholas Sparks Book: The Perfect Beach Read.

26 May

When I was in Florida, I vowed to read one Nicholas Sparks novel. I’m a fan of Nicholas Sparks’ books (even though they have pretty much the same plot line). However, they are the perfect beach reads, and sometimes a light, cute romance is just what I need.

I settled on The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. Surprisingly, I wasn’t a fan of the last third of the book since it just felt so unrealistic. Granted, I know that all of Nicholas Sparks’ books are usually pretty unrealistic as it is. It’s why his books make perfect movies….because they portray the kind of true love that we all want but few ever find. However, that being said, either way I’m a fan of reading love stories. I have lots of Nicholas Sparks books on my bookshelves, and 95% of my movies are romances. Yeah, yeah, I know. I just can’t help it.

Anyway, here’s the summary of The Choice (according to Amazon.com):

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life– boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies–he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him…and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heart wrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

As I said, I enjoyed the first 2 parts of this book. I always love reading how Nicholas Sparks writes the beginnings of love. Though often it feels “too good to be true,” I’d be lying if I didn’t sit and smile at the scenes that are just so cute. I mean yes, I don’t doubt that most almost-20 year olds would tell you that they wished they could have a love like the stories of love in Nicholas Sparks books. Who wouldn’t want that? Though Sparks’ book do hold a certain level of unrealistic tendencies, there is a reason why Nicholas Sparks is a New York Times Bestselling author. Women love reading about love stories. That’s a fact (well, for most women anyway). Though they may seem unrealistic, the stories are also cute, popular, and great stories to lose yourself in when you’re sitting on the beach with your toes in the sand.

So what is YOUR perfect beach read?

For Those Who Love Quotes…And Grey’s Anatomy!

17 May

Since tonight is the season finale of season 8 of Grey’s Anatomy, I thought I’d post some quotes from season 8. Enjoy!

  • I love you. It’s like you’re a disease.-Lexie
  • It’s one of those things that people say, you can’t move on until you let go of the past. Letting go is the easy part, it’s the moving on that’s painful. So sometimes we fight it, try and keep things the same. Things can’t stay the same though. At some point, you just have to let go. Move on. Because no matter how painful it is, it’s the only way we grow.Meredith
  • The human body is made up of systems that keep it alive. The one that keeps you breathing, the one that keeps you standing, the one that makes you hungry, and the one that makes you happy. They’re all connected, take a piece out and everything else falls apart. And it’s only when our support systems look like they might fail us that you realize how much we depended on them all along.-Meredith
  • I’m supposed to be studying for my boards, the most important exam of my life. And instead, I’m locked in the bathroom crying over a boy.Cristina
  • We’ve all heard the warnings and we’ve ignored them. We push our luck. We roll the dice. We play with fire. It’s human nature. When we’re told not to touch something, we usually do, even if we know better. Maybe because deep down, we’re just asking for trouble.-Meredith
  • You can seek the advice of others, surround yourself with trusted advisors. But in the end, the decision is always yours and yours alone. And when it’s time to act and you’re all alone with your back against the wall, the only voice that matters is the one in your head. The one telling you what you already knew. The one that’s almost always right.-Meredith
  • We are always looking for ways to ease the pain. Sometimes we ease the pain by making the best of what we have, sometimes is by losing ourselves in the moment, and sometimes all we need to do to ease the pain is.. call a simple truce.-Meredith
  • There are times in our lives when love really does conquer all.-Meredith
  • You get to a point in your life when you realize you have more yesterdays than tomorrows-Richard
  • You can’t prepare for a sudden impact. You can’t brace yourself. It just hits you. Out of nowhere.-Meredith
  • Sometimes, it takes a huge loss to remind you of what you care about the most. Sometimes, you find yourself becoming stronger as a result, wiser, better equipped to deal with the next big disaster that comes along. Sometimes, but not always.-Meredith
  • You have to go back to the beginning to understand the end.-Teddy
  • Sometimes it happens in an instance. We step up, we see a path forward. We see a path and we take it. Even when we have no idea where we’re going.-Meredith
  • Okay, do you know what will happen to Christina if she has a kid that she doesn’t want? It will almost kill her. Trying to pretend that she loves a kid as much as she loves surgery will almost kill her, and it’ll almost kill your kid. Do you know what it’s like to be raised by someone who didn’t want you? I do. To know you stood in the way of your mother’s career? I do. I was raised by a Christina. My mother was a Christina. And as the child she didn’t want, I am telling you, don’t do this to her, because she’s kind and she cares and she won’t make it. The guilt of resenting her own kid will eat her alive.-Meredith
  • I wish I wanted a kid, I wish I wanted one so bad.-Cristina
Who will be watching the finale tonight? 🙂