Sunday Drive.

I did a lot of driving today. I hate driving. I needed to get out of the house. I’ve only worked 5 out of the last 14 days because I needed to use some vacation time since I’m not accruing it anymore. Unfortunately, it was kind of a last minute decision and I didn’t really make any plans to do anything. I thought I’d be content hanging out at home and diving into Netflix full force – which was fine for awhile. I don’t know. Cooped up all day when it’s freezing outside gets me thinking and nothing I thought about was very positive.

2015-01-04 14.07.05I kept thinking about our recent decisions that landed us to where we are. Was it a mistake? Why did we decide to come here? All that pity party jazz. So, I decided to bundle up for the 15 below zero [who knows what the windchill is] weather. I popped in Taylor and just drove. I drove and stopped to take pictures. I took my time. I don’t think I’d ever been passed so many times in my life! I guess that’s my fault – 30 in a 55 probably isn’t legal.

It was a refreshing drive. Although I still don’t know if we made the “right” choice by moving here, I felt better after getting out of the apartment for awhile. My mom told me to enjoy every single minute of every single day as much as possible. I really should take her advice more often. Moms always know best.

Today, I fully enjoyed the two hours I spent singing to Taylor Swift as loud as the radio would go. I enjoyed driving like a tourist in Bemidji admiring the beautiful homes and scenery. I enjoyed pulling over and baring the cold air for a good picture. I enjoyed driving even though I hate it.

I also decided that I’m going to look into a few things over the next year. I love photography. I’m no expert and I don’t even know if I’m any good at it in the terms of being a “photographer.” But I do know that it’s my meditation. It makes me happy and it helps me capture beauty the way I see it. It helps me to tell a story that I have no words for.

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So, I want to spend a little money and send some of my favorites to get printed on a larger scale to see how they look. I’ve only ever printed small scale stuff but it’d be really cool to sell my photos down the line and if they don’t print well now, I need to teach myself how to take photos that will print well.

Second, I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember but I don’t know what exactly I’d write about. After venturing to a few bookstores in the last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of imagery themed books. I would probably refer to them as table top books. I’m sure some in the literary world wouldn’t consider the title of “author” to be an accurate definition of the books creators but it’d be a great way for me to combine my images with some small passages. I don’t know, just a thought. But my plan would be to gather 50 or 60 photos that I’ve taken and pair them somehow with text. I used to work with a gal that has published a book of her own and I’d probably ask her advice once I gather some material together.

Thanks mom for getting me thinking. You really are the best. I took these pictures today with you in mind.

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Nostalgia.

10891799_10152947100593363_8204990569162125994_nI should have left the house sooner than I did today. The snow was fresh and fallen. We didn’t get as much as was forecasted but that’s okay. I drove to one of my favorite spots in town; Campbell Park.

I haven’t “discovered” very many places yet but this is one of the first that I came across a few months ago. The last time I was there, we had a crisp blanket of snow but the ice wasn’t frozen over yet. It was probably one of my favorite photos that I had taken in quiet awhile. The sky was bright and blue, the water was shining. By clicking here, you’ll be able to see it on my other blog; A Working Title II.

I wanted to capture winter in Bemidji. We haven’t had much of a winter (not that I’m complaining) but there’s something about a winter scene that brings a sense of warmth and security. I’m calling this on “Nostalgia.”

Minorities.

We’ve been taught from a young age to not be judgmental or prejudice towards minorities like the disabled, people of color, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. Yet, terrible things happen by people of all abilities, colors, sexual orientation, and views each and every day.

We’re asked to “look the other way” or “give them a chance” when we have bad vibes about a person of color or someone with a disability because if we judge them, we’re immediately perceived as a prejudice asshole.

Things like rape, child abuse, drug charges – they happen everyday when society “looks the other way.” And just to clear up foggy air; I’m not defending the fully-capable white person here and saying that we do no bad. Believe me, white people are just as guilty as anyone else in the “committing crimes” edition of society.

I’m simply saying that when we’ve been taught for so long to not judge someone that we feel uneasy about. We are taught to try to push that deep down in our gut to forget about it because we don’t want someone else to think that we are racially profiling or pointing fingers because we feel uncomfortable.

That’s the sad thing. Horrible things happen to innocent people every day when society looks the other way for the sake of hurt feelings. I’ve witnessed this first hand. A group of extremely innocent people could have been protected years ago if we as a community weren’t taught so sternly to “give the guy a chance.”

I’ve learned that it’s best to go with your gut and if you’re an asshole for doing so because you think a disabled person or any other minority is a fucking creep..than so be it. You could save a life.

Is It Too Late?

Noticing that there are a few people in my peripheral life that are getting engaged, planning weddings, and having babies..it’s gotten me thinking. Again. I came to a very very sad realization that I won’t have the same exciting joys that they have due in part to my social circle or lack there of.

Getting married involves bridesmaids which usually include best friends and sisters, stuff like that. Planning a bridal shower, bachelorette party, spa days, dress shopping, ect. Having a baby; same thing. Best girl friends, sisters, family, and so on. A maid of honor helps plan everything. It’s one of the happiest times of your life. Your closest friend or sister throws you a beautiful baby shower.

That’s where I fall short. I don’t have that. I just don’t. The last time I had a best girl friend was in 11th grade. And my last best friend (whom of which was male) was probably four years ago. I’ve unintentionally secluded myself from the public eye of friendshiphood. Now, every time I enter a social situation, I feel awkward.

I’ve always had a tough time finding my “spot” in social circles. My peak was between ages 16 and 20. I had friends galore and was open and fun and happy. Looking back, that time in my life quickly plateaued and continuously spiraled down. There are many reasons. One of the most prominent was the period of time where my friends and I were. We went separate ways after high school. Different interests lead us into different directions. Then in college, I didn’t make a point of making many friends during the day because I already had my group of friends from work, whom of which ultimately didn’t go to college but decided to be couch surfers and content with minimum wage jobs for the next 5 years. I wish I had known this ahead of time. I love them and I cherish the memories I had with them but those kinds of friendships quickly become dead ends.

I wanted more so I did more. I moved to different cities. I got better jobs. But in order to do that I left people behind and even though it’s more of an excuse than a reason…time passed. Memories faded. People moved on. For being the 21st century, it’s not as easy to keep in touch as one might imagine. There are so many people I know that still keep in touch with high school pals or college roommates. Friends from old jobs and places in time. But not me.

I have rarely “cut ties” due to disagreements or fights. I don’t really think I’ve ever “broken up” with a friend. Things just…changed. And that brings me to where I currently am. Socially awkward and unable to make friends, I guess. I talk to people daily. I laugh, joke around, have a good time but that doesn’t mean I fit in. In each setting I constantly feel like the goose out of the flock of ducks. I just don’t fit in.

The older I get (yes I know, I’m only 24 but seriously consider it) the harder it is to make new friendships. I don’t live the college lifestyle where you meet people everywhere you turn. I don’t live the bar lifestyle where you can meet someone at the door and party the night away. I don’t meet moms at the park because I don’t have children. I don’t go to coffee shops because coffee is gross. I go to work and I come home. I go to the grocery store once a week. My hobbies include reading and doing artsy craft projects – all of which don’t involve leaving the house.

I don’t mean to be an introverted shut in, I love people. I yearn for a deep meaningful friendship. I want to go to the store with a friend and just walk around. I want to have a girls weekend and a spa day. I want to be the first one someone calls when something amazing (or terrible) happens. I want that. But I don’t have it and I don’t know where or how to get it.

I know it’s probably pity sounding but it makes me sad. It really does. I won’t have that baby shower you dream about through Pinterst boards. I won’t know the fun and memories a bachelorette party entails. I won’t have someone to call. I won’t have someone to share my deepest darkest secrets with. I won’t be that person either. I won’t be the shoulder to cry on or the maid of honor. I won’t have that “bond” that everyone should have.

Is it too late?

Genie, You’re Free.

10565051_10152597690648363_376277940965275515_nMy mom gave me this on Sunday for safe keeping. She asked that it be engraved on her tombstone whenever that may be. Which by the way will be the same time as the rest of our family. I have this “thing” where everyone I love is going to die at the same time because I honestly don’t think I could handle losing anyone close to me and fortunately I haven’t lost anyone with whom I’m extremely close with. Yet.

With that being said, I wanted to send my condolences to the Robin Williams family. I never noticed until after the fact how much of a comedic influence he really did have on my generation from Jumanji to Aladdin to Jack to Flubber..the list goes on. He was a comedic genius.

I read an article today that was really eye-opening especially to someone like me that has always been taught about suicide in the negative and selfish tense. Someone had asked how RW had died and the response in this article was…depression. Not suicide. Which I now believe is an accurate cause of death. The analogy the article gave was describing a cancer patients death. The cancer patient in question had “died”  from a pulmonary embolism but when people ask how so and so died, naturally most people will say s/he died from cancer. A pulmonary embolism is a side effect of cancer. So in relation, Robin Williams sadly died of depression. A disease that is very difficult to find hope for and suicide happens to be a very tragic side effect to said depression.

Usually I don’t get overly sentimental about the rich and famous dying, passing on, whatever you may refer to it as. I think the reason that this for some reason hit close to home is due in fact to two key reasons: 1. He was undoubtably (in my opinion) a hilarious and insightfully genius human being. He was quick and witty. He helped to shape and mold the millennial generation through his characters. And 2. A school friend of mine took her own life less than a year ago. Up until her death, I had a very “selfish” view on the term and act of suicide. The thoughts I had about it were probably very ignorant and hard to change but through research and learning about the history of many people involved in a suicidal train of thought, my heart hurts for not only their families left picking up the pieces but for them; the victims of depression.

So Robin, I’m sure one of your first pitstops will be Belushi but could you do me a favor? Find Aron and tell her how much we miss her? Thanks to the moon and stars and universe and back.

Impressions.

Impressions are everything. They give the people around an unspoken but open door to judge you by the way you’re acting. Or not acting. The more and more I observe impressions of others, the more I wonder what people see in my own impressions.

The obvious and most easy impression to understand is probably happiness. There’s definitely a difference between being content and happy but I’m talking about the full-blown happiness segment of a facial impression. Smiles, laughter, joy, glee. It’s all found on the face and it gives us all a pleasant and warm feeling deep in our guts.

On the other hand, I’m currently putting out into the world a quiet demeanor on this fine Friday which I happen to think is the most difficult impression to dissect. When someone is quiet there are so many different impressions that could be misconstrued when observing said individual.

Quiet could mean anything from being tired to being angry to sad. The list goes on. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed more times than not that when I personally am quiet, some assume that I’m purely pissed off.

Although that definitely isn’t something to rule out. My quietness today and most times when I’m quiet at work is because I’ve had enough and it’s just not worth dealing with. Sure I’m a little “pissy.” Why wouldn’t I be? It’s hard to thoroughly enjoy yourself in an environment where there is a difficult subject constantly in your bubble. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I enjoy being around most everyone in the office. However, when a mosquito bites you, that annoying itchy feeling doesn’t seem to go away for a long time.

So, back to impressions. Knowing that I’m being judged by my impression makes me want to try harder not to judge so many people by the impression that they put out into the world. Maybe they are quiet because they had a tough week or because their basement is flooded from a recent storm. Maybe they are quiet because they are just plain tired, being up with a newborn all night long. Maybe they haven’t gotten their morning coffee yet. Or maybe, they are just sick and tired of dealing with you.

Does Heaven Have DQ Ice Cream Cake?

Happy Friday. I had chosen not to write this week because I ran into an occurrence where I got really frustrated with someone. Bitching it out to my sounding board wasn’t working and the only thing that let me free my anger was to write about it; which I did. Writing my anger out is a good release for me especially when I am aware that I am overreacting over something so trivial because the paper doesn’t judge. Or really, the blank page on the screen doesn’t judge. But..I didn’t post it.

enhanced-7872-1395329299-5I didn’t post it because I knew it was hate. I don’t want to advertise hate. And I know that I would probably get some kind of hate in return. Karma, I suppose. On the other hand, I wanted to post it because I saw a picture about writing the truth (see right) and I agree completely with it. But the way the post was constructed was absolutely absurd and I really think that if I re-read it right now; I’d feel like a complete asshole.

At some point, when I’m ready, I plan on digging out my demons and letting people hear what I have to say in the most true and raw sense but this blog, right here..it’s not the place.

Today is one of my guardian angels birthdays. She was one of the happiest and funniest people I had ever known. Thinking back to earlier this week when I had written such an ill-tasted post; I’m so happy that I didn’t publicize it. Although the situation really irked me, I thought about a couple posts I’d written in my old blog about Aron when I found out about her death. I talked about finding the good in people like Aron did and accepting everyone for who they were instead of what they stood for. If you’d like to check either of them out, I’ll post them below.

IMG_5154Aron was a trooper. Literally and figuratively. She was everyone’s role model whether they realized it or not. Her smile, her attitude, everything – it lit up whichever room she walked into. It didn’t matter if you were gay, black, fat, or ugly; she’d make you feel welcome. All that outside superficial bullshit didn’t matter to her. Billy Joel knew what he was talking about when he said “only the good die young.” It’s true, it really really is. I could only hope that I could find the good in people like she did. That I didn’t judge so easily and that I wouldn’t have lingering anger towards others. At the very least, Aron’s death has thought us all to hug those we love a little tighter, keep in contact even when time passes, and open our hearts to everyone no matter what.

Happy birthday, Aron. We miss you.

Click below to read more about Aron and the effect she had on the lives of the people that were fortunate enough to know and love her:

We Shouldn’t Have To Say Goodbye Yet.
I Want To Be A Better Person.

I’ve Fallen (ill) And I Can’t Get Up.

Friday.
Really short post tonight due to some sort of flu/cold epidemic that just keeps getting worse. I haven’t been feeling well all week and have been focusing on sleep, fluids, and vitamin C.

Keep warm and stay healthy.

Saturday.
After sleeping as often as a newborn for the last few days, I’m finally starting to feel better. I hope I’m not in some kind of temporary remission just because I haven’t gone anywhere or gotten dressed yet but I do feel alive and energized.

Even though I might have gotten the tip of the flu bug going around, I still will never get the flu shot. I’m sure many people have a whole books worth of lectures and reasons why I and everyone else should get it but I don’t see the point.

To start off on the right foot, I have no medical experience or basis for my reasoning. I just personally know people that get as sick as dogs due to a reaction of the shot. So what are we avoiding? Sure the flu can be more dangerous than the shots side effects but thats “can” not “is.”

Regardless, to anyone experiencing fatigue, extreme body aches, cramps, and headaches – fill up on vitamin C and sleep. You’ll feel better in no time.

Here’s to a once again working immune system!

Heavy Hearts And Open Arms.

Anything going on in my life is nothing compared to the sorrow of the families of those lost in the last 24 hours. My Facebook wall and Twitter feed has been flooded with quotes, sayings, and memories of three different deaths in the surrounding area. I lost a good friend a few months ago and up until that point, I didn’t have a terrible amount of empathy or relatable experience to anyone suffering loss. Not because I was a complete asshole but because I didn’t understand. And I still don’t. I don’t think anyone can completely understand the meaning of mourning and grief. It’s different for each and every person.

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I didn’t keep in touch and I didn’t know what was going on in anyones lives. I didn’t bother saying “Hi” to people I knew in stores and I didn’t go out of my way to extend a helping hand. I was just doing my own thing in my own world by my own self until Aron died. Even though I hadn’t seen her in such a long time, her death put my life into perspective. I realized that I needed to show people that I care not just assume that people know it. I needed to reopen friendships of people that I’d pushed away and books that I had closed and most of all, I needed to appreciate everything.

I’m very fortunate that the most important people in my life are still on this physical Earth. But I am reminded on a daily basis that even though we are alive, happy, and well; that doesn’t guarantee us a lifeline. Any single one of us can be taken in an instant and although it’s only pointed out when a loss has happened, we all need to learn from it. We really do need to appreciate the people around us. Love them and tell them and show them and be with them. We need to reach out even though we haven’t spoken in weeks or years. We need to cherish the memories and the moments yet to come. Because it can all be gone in an instant.

I want to take a moment to extend my absolute deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost. I don’t know exactly how any of you feel (none of us do) and there are never any words that can be said to console everyone in the same way but know that every single one of you are in so many peoples hearts and prayers.

So tonight, hug the ones around you, reach out to the ones far away, and never ever stop making memories.

If You Were An M&M, What Color Would You Be And Why?

If I could choose a word to describe my day, it’d be ‘discouraged.’ I’ve had such an off blah day that my New Years optimism has completely dwindled down to nothing.

The highlights of my day included waking up feeling like crap and being unmotivated to do anything. My throat was sore from coughing all night and I could barely breathe out of my nose. Even though I went to bed last night around 8 o’clock, it only felt like a 20 minute cat nap. Work was just work, nothing crazy different occurred other than coming in a little late to try and feel better. I’ve lacked motivation all day in regards to getting ample liquids and eating a balanced diet. I think I’m stuffed full of candy and McDonalds on this fine Tuesday. And I’m too unorganized to do anything tonight. Mreh.

Enough complaining.

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I think I’m going to just lounge and hang out on the couch until it’s time to turn in for the evening. Some people would take this opportunity to turn the day around but we weren’t all born with that go-getting attitude.

I will be giving my youngest brother a call though. That’ll brighten my day a bit since he’s such a goof. He has a big interview coming up so we’re going to be practicing some interview questions and etiquette. I guess there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all. It makes me feel needed and bright that he knows I’m confident in and good at something since we don’t always see eye to eye.

Tomorrow is hump day, see ya then.