Friday, June 24, 2011

a love letter to you

a recent class assignment, tweaked a bit, I thought I'd share.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."
-Honest Abe

Dear you,

            I'm writing you this letter for you to read whenever you need encouraging.  Or whenever you're excited, or if you just simply need to be reminded or reassured.  Keep it somewhere safe, where you'll never forget where it is, because you may need to read it frequently.  Life is interesting.  I would love to tell you how beautiful it is, how sunsets and sunrises make your soul quiver, how a lightning bug on a summer night can warm your skin, how standing on the top of a mountain can send a chill throughout your entire body-and it's not the temperature outside you're feeling.  To say the least, life is interesting, and most of the time extremely difficult challenging. However if you will follow a few tips, I'd like to think it could help you make the most of it.  Most people think of success as having a lot of money, a large home, a luxury car, maybe even a vacation home; but let me inform you that genuine success has nothing to do with living on easy street.
 Success is found within yourself.  Like one of my favorite artists', Ray Lamontagne says, the answer is within you. Not in a career, how much money you make, the clothes you wear, the car you drive, the sports you excel in, the people you associate with, not where you come from, nor your family.  Success is doing what inspires you, doing what makes you lively, and all of that begins with loving and believing in yourself.  You create the life you lead, you have the power to do anything.  You can either choose to do great things, or not so great, or nothing at all, so make your decisions wisely.  Know that your time is precious, and be mindful of others.  Selfless acts go a lot further than selfish ones, but there will come a time when selfishness will be a must.  When doing something solely for the betterment of yourself is crucial in your succeeding.  If that means excelling in a sport, graduating college, or scoring a high-paying job, then so be it. But even then you will realize that taking the time to do something for you, will benefit others in the end.
Think of yourself as a creator, just the way your Creator created you to be.  A painter with a blank canvas, a writer with a blank piece of paper, a surgeon with an uncut body, a pilot in a grounded plane with the whole world infront of you, an architect with a piece of land, or a chef with a loaded kitchen and empty stove- you choose.  You can do anything with Him Who gives you strength.  Just remember in everything you do, you must take responsibility for your own actions.  You are responsible for your actions, your happiness, and your attitude, so create positivity for yourself.  You have the ability to change a life, even save a life, but the life you are most responsible for is your own.
Unfortunately, success isn't something that comes easy.  In fact, it takes immeasurable effort and hard work.  Set goals for yourself.  Start out with small goals that are easily achievable so you can see that you are able to reach them.  Your goals should be personal, something that means something to you.  Not something your parents, your closest friends, or your significant other, want for you.  It's okay to want what you want. March to the beat of your own drum, but always have a plan.  As fun as it may seem to live freely and fly by the seat of your pants, you will never regret having a plan; and you certainly won't let anyone down with one, especially if you stick to it.  I don't know of one person that doesn't value commitment, even if that commitment means not breaking a lunch date. Yes, you have the right to change your mind, but never ride the fence.  Let your yes be yes, and your no be no; and once you've decided, stick to your word.
Let me reiterate, life is interesting.  Yes, it is challenging, and success doesn't come easily.  Be mindful that hard word takes discipline.  It takes staying focused and motivation.  It takes desire.  Be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish your dream.  Persistency can be one hell of an annoyance, but it can also mean reaching the top, it can mean your hard work turning into accomplishment.  And let me just tell you, accomplishment is one of the best feelings you will ever feel. Talk about confidence.  You don't know confidence until you have overcome an obstacle, whether it's conquering a fear, earning a good grade on a challenging assignment, assisting your team in reaching a championship, admitting a mistake, forgiving someone, or meeting a deadline.  Your confidence will take you further than you realize.
I realize you may already know all of this.  You may think I'm crazy for writing you a letter to share knowledge you already possess, but sometimes we forget.  If I have learned anything, I know that as humans we stray.  Over and over and over again. At times we stray so far, that we almost don't want to get back on track.  We become complacent, and apathetic.  This is when we need reminders, we need reassurance, we need encouragement, and most importantly, we need love.  So keep these words with you whenever you may need them.  Know that I love you, and always will, but the love you have for yourself is far stronger than the love any other person can give you.  Believe in yourself, believe in capability.  Don't forget your past, forgive it. Learn from it.  Your existence in the present and future will be more meaningful when you do.

Ali May

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

stir it up, little darlin', stir it up

He's not perfect. You aren't either , and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn't going to quote poetry, he's not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you apart of him that he knows you could break. Don't hurt him, don't change him, and don't expect more than he can give. Don't analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he's not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don't exist, but there is always one guy that is perfect for you.
- Bob Marley

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

feelin' fine in the summertime

I'm doing my homework.
Thou shalt not complain. As hot as it is, I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Here's to all of summer's joys- with or without the pleasure of a/c.

so take a hike

and don't be afraid of the rain,

or to wet your whistle.

turn on a good song,

and enjoy it while you can.

and do everyone you love a gigantic favor, and wear your sunscreen this summer.

because no one wants to look at this..

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blackbird, fly.

In ninth grade, my english teacher challenged every class- including most of my siblings years before me, to a project that I will never forget. We were to put together a scrapbook. A list of writings that were requirements, and then some of our own from complete scratch; and I remember one assigned page in particular being my favorite. A personal credo.
Reading the list of beliefs now, some seem juvenile, and some still very dead-on. I won't bore you with its entirety, but here are a few:

I believe in my personal savior, Jesus Christ.
I believe in prayer.
I believe in guardian angels.
I believe there is no place like home.  (which is funny, because this was written a year after my parent's divorce, and where we were living was not "home," but the statement still true nonetheless)
I believe in laughter.
I belive in myself.
I believe in soul mates.
I believe true beauty comes from within.
I believe that shopping makes me very happy. (it goes without saying this is one that is still very dead-on.)
I believe in traditions.
I believe in the power of music.

It's funny how our horizon broadens with age and experience. How one belief can be completely dismissed, and others can only grow more with truth. Like traditions- I believe in traditions, but never being traditional. March to the beat of your own drum.
Like soul mates. Over the years I'm not so convinced anymore. I believe there are mates out there that God intends for us, and we can either embrace the relationship with every blessing and challenge it brings, or we can choose to let them slip away and hope the next best thing crosses our path.  I believe that St. Augustine of Hippo said it best:
“Love is a temporary madness;
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides,
you have to make a decision.  You have to work out whether your roots
have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.  Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any
fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots
that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have
fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”
I know that I want this one day.

I came across Audrey Hepburn's doctrine, and I think I'm going to add it to mine:
"I believe in manicures, I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything else is going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
So until my miracle, I will continue telling myself that tomorrow is another day and I will live it the best way I know how.  I will memorize 1 Corinthians 7: 17
"And don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. "
And I will trust that my God knows what he is doing. 
And I will believe with my whole heart that it's okay for things to not be okay, for the best rainbows come after the greatest storms.

According to Yvon Chouinard, it's not an adventure until something goes  wrong.
Life is one giant adventure, and I'm going to march to the beat of my own drum and
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.