Letting Go vs. Forgetting

I would like to be able to say that I don’t have room in my life for hatred, for bad feelings towards people. I am working toward that reality, but currently, I’m not in that place. I have forgiven, but I haven’t forgotten.

However every person that has touched my life, touched it for a reason. Who knows where I would be today if certain things hadn’t happened, if I hadn’t met certain people. For that, I thank even the bullies and  the family members that chose not to be a part of my life. I thank the friends who abandoned me in my times of need. I thank them all, because I am in love with the person I am now, and who knows if I would be her had I not been forced to grow strong with these forces pushing against me.

Even then, I still harbor resentment. I know it’s unhealthy, as an alcoholic knows the drink is bad but keeps drinking anyway. I know to truly move on, I have to at least let it go. Maybe not forget it completely, but let it all be in the past. I am not there yet, but I am here –

There is not a single person who has touched my life, that if they came to me asking for help, I would turn them away. Life is too short to watch others struggle and simply stand by with the compass in your pocket.

I understand that there are exceptions to this rule; there are people who have done things that should never be forgiven, and perhaps don’t deserve the help that you have to offer. Maybe they can accept the help from someone else, but it’s not your place.

To summarize a long story and make it rather short – I am learning to let go of the past. It’s healthy. Learn from it, remember the lesson, but let the pain go. This journey is too short to continue blaming others for our pain. Help people when you can. Offer a hand when you can. We’re all going to arrive at the same destination, we’re just taking different paths. We’re all human.

Act like it.

Earth Shattering

When I was a little girl my biggest dreams were of wedding dresses

and a prince on a big white horse

Like in the movies I would ride away

Perhaps into the sun or into the night

and I would live my happily ever after –

This is not to say that happily ever after does not exist –

this is to say that the fairy tales are a lie

and the little girl still somewhere inside of me

has excepted it.

She still loves sappy TV and romantic comedies

A prince coming to save her is still at the heart of her every dream

But the woman realizes that after the prince comes to save the princess

the princess realizes she doesn’t need saving.

This is not to say that she does not need a prince.

She needs her prince – with or without a crown –

to kiss her forehead

hold her hand

reassure her that everything will be

just fine.

She needs her prince to tell her that he loves her

on her darkest days

when she struggles to love herself but to also tell her to always

love herself.

The fairy tales are a lie

but the reality is beautiful

and worth waiting for.

The reality is saving yourself

and still riding away with your prince.

 

– Chan Eliza

I Know

I know you unlike anyone

I know the gleam in your eyes when you are happy and

the tilt of your head just slightly when you are sad.

I know the way you like your coffee in the morning

way too much sugar and just the right amount of

wake up.

I know your laugh and how

it changes when you are with different people.

My heart knows your heart.

We are like old friends that only just met

years ago or maybe centuries

I know when you are hurting.

I know when you need a hug or

ten shots of something too strong

I know you feel like giving up.

The weight of the world feels too heavy on your shoulders

And you feel alone but

I know that you are not.

I do not know all of the answers.

I don’t know the future, I’m not even sure of the present

I have never been good at adding or subtracting

but I know that I would do anything

to keep you from drowning.

I know that if you were too jump

I would be at the bottom to catch you.

This is messy

We are messy

The world is messy

But I know my world isn’t my world without you in it.

 

-Chan Eliza

21 Lessons Learned in 21 Years

(in no particular order)

1.) Forgive people. Life is too short to hold onto the past, no matter how hard it hurts to let go of situations that hurt you. Just forgive. You’re only hurting yourself by holding on.

2.) Soft blankets straight out of the dryer and a cup of hot chocolate make any cold winter day magical.

3.) Having a ton of friends is great, but don’t forget about the one person that’s stuck by you through it all. They were there when it started and they will be there when it ends. Don’t let that get lost. Best friends are hard to find.

4.) Communicate with people. No matter who it is, a boyfriend, a parent, a sibling, a friend, a boss, a stranger – people are just people and you aren’t going to get what you want by staying silent. Your opinion won’t be heard that way either.

5.) Be spontaneous. It’s good to have rules and to live within them, but every once and a while it’s okay to draw outside of the lines. As far as we know, you only get this one life.

6.) Work hard. You aren’t going to get what you want by sitting on your bum all day.

7.) It’s okay to ask for help. If you know you are doing everything in your power but you still need assistance, there is no shame in that.

8.) The world can be a terrible place, but most people are good. This has been true everywhere I have gone from Hawaii, to New Orleans, to Vermont – from cities to the country. Most people are good.

9.) It’s okay to not have it all figured out right now, no matter where right now is for you. There is no deadline for anything. Find what makes you happy, find it, and chase it.

10.) Crying is good. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being incredibly sad for hours or days or weeks, and then that sudden feeling of calm that you get after you have a nice sob. It’s okay to cry. Life can be tough.

11.) Tip your waitress. I don’t care how horrible the service was, just do it.

12.) No matter how alone you feel, you are never alone. Someone out there somewhere cares about you, even if you can’t see it.

13.) A bubble bath, a drink, and a nice book can fix any long day.

14.) If you want something, go for it. The worst that’s going to happen is failure, and a good amount of failure never hurt anyone. Get back up and try again.

15.) Always be positive.

16.) It’s okay to miss people. It’s normal, healthy even.

17.) Exercise. It’s good for you and it’ll make you feel good.

18.) No matter what society says, you are beautiful the way you are. Don’t listen to what other people say. If you are happy with you, that is all that matters.

19.) Relationships are hard. They aren’t all butterflies and rainbows, they are hard. But they are worth it. When you find the right one, you’ll know, and it will be worth it.

20.) Don’t take your family for granted. When you have no one and nothing, they are the only people you can count on.

21.) Do what makes you happy. Nothing else matters.

– Share and Comment friends –

Dear …

When I was in High School, I remember this one assignment from my English teacher in which we were asked to write a letter to someone we loved and also to someone we were mad at. We were to write it with no intent of this person ever reading the letter – and while originally the assignment seemed ridiculous – it was actually extremely therapeutic. I encourage you to assign yourself this task. Take a minute to think of that one person who made you really angry or hurt you really badly, and write them a letter they will never see. Or think of the one person you love more than anyone else in this world, and write them a letter describing every little thing that draws you to them – they don’t ever have to read it.

For today’s post, my letter is to my middle school self.

Dear 13 year old me,

There is no denying that you are different from your classmates. Don’t even try to fit in, because I’m sorry, but you weren’t born to. You are never going to fit the mold and you are going to learn eventually that for you, that’s a very good thing.

Ignore the bullies. I know how hard this is when they won’t leave you alone and seem to come from every side, but just ignore them. What your parents keep telling you is true; they are just jealous of something you have. Either that, or something is wrong for them at home and for some reason, they have picked you as their target to release the anger that causes. None of this makes it right, but it’s not personal. You are better than them anyway, and one day soon you are going to see this for yourself.

Use the medicine the doctors prescribed to you for your acne. Just use it. It takes two minutes and you’ll thank me later. Just do it.

Stop worrying about the friend’s that back stab you or treat you like a second choice; don’t give them a second thought. Focus on the one girl who has never faltered and who has always been there. You know who I’m talking about. Trust me, in just a few short years it’s going to be very clear who your true friends are and all of this time spent trying to get old friends back is going to seem like a waste of time. You will go to many lengths to keep friends, and that’s what makes you so good, but not everyone will do the same for you. You don’t need those people.

Stop arguing with your sisters so much over the tiniest of problems. Yes, I know, it’s easy to argue, but they are your sisters and you’ll always have them around. When it seems like you have no one else, these girls are always going to have your back. Don’t take them for granted.

Stop. Yelling. At. Your. Parents. Trust me. When you’re out living on your own, it’s your mom and dad that are going to be answering the phone at nine o’clock at night to hear you ramble and answer your ridiculous questions, no matter how stupid. So just stop. They are doing their best, and they don’t deserve it. You are very lucky to have such amazing parents.

Stop focusing on the family that doesn’t spend time with you, and focus on the ones that do. You have amazing people in your life. The people that don’t want to be their don’t matter.

Don’t beat yourself up about math class. You’re not going to get any better throughout High School, and that’s okay. You excel in other classes, focus your energy there. You will pass math class, it will be okay. Don’t stress about it so much.

Have fun. Don’t worry about looking silly. These years are going to fly by so fast and you’re going to wish you had taken another minute to swing on the playground and play tag with your friends. Savor these moments before they are gone.

Love,

Me

Lessons with Harry Potter

Harry Potter has saved me numerous times. My big sister read the series to me when I was little, and I have read it myself at least five times since. The messages to gather from the story are ever changing, the characters I relate to ever revolving, and no matter my age, I am convinced Harry Potter will continue to stay a part of me.

The first time I heard the story, Ron was hands down my favorite character. As a struggling preteen who didn’t seem to fit in anywhere, I related to his bright red hair and protruding ears; his awkwardness made me feel not quite as alone. He also had an amazing best friend that he would do anything for, which I connected to as well.

While Ron is still a favorite of mine, as I progressed through middle school, Hermione scooted into the number one spot with her brightness and bushy hair. Her loyalty to her classes and friends no matter what others thought of her helped me accept that maybe I wasn’t born to fit in, and that was perfectly okay.

Luna and Neville, also misfits seemingly cursed to always be on the outside, helped me realize that the outside is the place to be. This is where you make the best friends and learn the best lessons.

Of course, the main character and hero of the story, Harry Potter, deserves a shout out. While he wouldn’t of won without the help of his friends, Harry had an unwavering strength that is unquestionable. Without parents his whole life, believing no one loved him for the first eleven years of it, he never let the world harden him.

Snape, Sirius, and Dumbledore also make the list of my all time favorite Harry Potter characters. Each have their own redeeming qualities, strength and intelligence prevalent in each, and the undying will to keep Harry Potter safe at all costs. Each with their own agenda, there is no question that all three deserve applause, as each ultimately gave their life for Harry Potter.

There are so many other characters that deserve recognition, but too many to name in only one blog post. Others for another day would include Dobby, Ginny, Lupin, Mad Eye Moody, Hagrid, and many, many more. J.K Rowling carefully carved out each character, giving each a life and a personality unmatched to any other series I have read.

Which character was your favorite the first time you read the novels? Did that opinion change the next time you read it? What did you learn from each character?

I would love to hear what you have to say, please feel free to share!

For the love of an Introvert

I am an introvert. The dictionary definition describes us as “a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things”, as opposed to the dictionary definition of an extrovert being – “a person predominantly concerned with external things or objective considerations”. These are the psychological definitions, while simplified labels are shy versus outgoing. While no one can be boxed completely into either category, we all lean more heavily into one state of being. For me, I have always enjoyed the quiet of being alone with my thoughts, rather than abundant conversations and other activities that require me to socialize.

There is always an exception to this rule. Of course, I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends, and if you were to see me around my family, best friend or boyfriend, you would have no idea that I am normally very quiet and closed off.

While the dictionary would label me as “shy”, this isn’t a term I connect with. I choose to keep to myself not because I am nervous or timid, but simply because that is what feels right to me. Sure, I have a history with social anxiety, but this keeps me from leaving my house – not from speaking when I actually do. I have no problem expressing my opinion if I am angry or irritated, or overjoyed even. I just don’t feel the need to always speak on the mundane and simple topics that normally fill everyday conversation.

For the longest time, I was ashamed to be labeled as an introvert. I thought there must be something wrong with me, some wiring in my brain that kept me from wanting to talk. I would beat myself up over it, and admire the people that could strike up a conversation about the tiniest of things, making friends as easy as counting to three.

I embrace the label now. I am proudly an introvert – if you feel the need to label me this way – because of the qualities that come with it. I am a good listener, an abundant feeler, and when I do choose to speak, I know I am saying the right thing. My opinions and thoughts are well thought out, I care deeply about everything and everyone, and I enjoy my own company. I don’t fear being alone with my thoughts anymore, because I am one of my own best friends.

Which label do you fall under? I personally find that most of us fall somewhere in between, and that is perfectly okay.