When I lived in California I would go to Del Mar beach as much as I could, with my camera in tow. I was taking a photography class so I finally had an excuse for taking so many pictures. Being behind the camera has always made me feel safe, I remember feeling lost, restless, confused and just walking along the beach thinking. The fresh air and the sound of the crashing waves calmed me, I felt a sense of peace near the ocean. I let my camera lead the way, following whatever caught my fancy. I often walked near the train tracks taking pictures from up above the beach. It may sound unusual but the sound of trains/coasters relaxed me, a sense of distraction from my thoughts.
I’ve always felt a strong connection with horses, feeling safe, yet aware of the risk, trusting this 1000 pound animal with your life. Being on a horse is extremely exhilarating, freeing, captivating, and literally breathtaking. A beautiful escape into a carefree perspective, the everyday doubts, worries, unbearable stresses just fade away into the sand.
I’ve been getting my horse acclimated to dogs barking, kids playing, sirens blaring, and to my frequent stops, taking pictures of the beautiful nature. I love the perspective from the back of my four legged 1000 pound companion.
It is necessary in life to find something that refreshes, and recharges you, a hobby that gives you clarity, and new perspectives. Horseback riding and photography are outlets for me to step back, think, and process life’s obstacles. What are your outlets?
All photos are taken by me.
Life isn’t meant to be done alone, I am dark, weak, broken, bruised, sick, I’m selfish, and often forget to spread love; I’m in desperate need of His grace, and mercy. We all are flawed, yet God still loves us. How can we not love everyone no matter what they do, when God has showed us unconditional love. Remember to love, even when it hurts, even when you think someone doesn’t deserve it, because we don’t deserve God’s love but He does anyways. Remember to listen, to be there for each other, lift each other up not bring one another down.
I recently stumbled across a poem (ish) that I wrote in my first year of college. I’ve been missing English class, and having writing assignments. Feel free to honestly let me know what you think.
Cold, blood running through veins like water through a pipe,
As still as night, I thought of the good days to try and wipe the tears away,
Blind at first sight, I kissed that life goodbye with not a single gripe,
Why remember the mistakes of my past? Why go down a path of pain?
When I want to look forward to a new day,
The old me held questions, why trust what I can’t see,
Why run to someone I have never run to before?
I didn’t know what was real, couldn’t tell black from white,
I looked left, fell right, you said hold on tight, instead you left my sight;
I had the keys but couldn’t find the door, didn’t know where to turn,
I lost my way why didn’t you erase my pain that night?
I sat and stared through the day, alone, cold, blind in my room;
Sitting, waiting, fighting the knowledge of truth,
After almost a year, what once used to be a heart covered in holes,
Now beats for love, a willing heart, realizing you never left, I had to ask for help,
I had to be ready to let go of my control, you never forced me,
Heart is now open to embracing what comes, and to running to the unknown,
For the unknown awaits with love, and a warm embrace, it’s not too late, my heart will be okay,
Yesterday was fueled by doubt, unanswered questions, and desperation,
Today is filled with hope, redemption, comfort, feeling of contentment, and a journey of healing.
Just a little encouragement to start your week. I came across this tank top at a store called Basement Marketplace, it inspired me to write. How often have you looked in the mirror, and thought “I feel ugly, I have pimples on my nose, my hair is frizzy, and I have love handles from all that ice cream, and laffy taffy?” Okay, maybe you haven’t thought that exact thing, but I sure did this weekend. Sometimes I wish there were less mirrors in the world, think how much happier everyone would be, if they didn’t have to constantly keep up with outward appearances. I’ve always felt so much happier and content with myself when I don’t look in the mirror, when I’m doing something to make others happy. Being less focused on myself, and focused on more important things.
We all are different shapes, colors, and sizes, but does that make anyone less beautiful than someone else? No, we are all beautifully, and uniquely created if people tell you otherwise, than they aren’t people worth surrounding yourself with. It’s about accepting your differences, and everyone else’s, and seeing the beauty in all of it. When you have a moment doubting yourself or feeling “ugly” try skipping the mirror, go lend a hand, step out of your comfort zone, and you’ll be amazed at how it feels. Knowing it doesn’t matter what you wear or if you have pimples on your nose, nobody notices, because we all have our own insecurities, and struggles. We need to take our negative opinions, and insecure thoughts, putting that energy towards making someone smile or laugh, turning the negative into a positive.
Last week my best friend, and I volunteered at church cleaning the campus for the new school year. She, and I had some last minute hesitations, because we didn’t feel like cleaning. I was feeling bloated, and crampy, and would rather have watched movies on the couch. Once we got there, and were put to work we forgot all about ourselves, our attitudes immediately changed. It was refreshing to be apart of a community with a group of others working to better the environment for kids at school. I was sitting on the ground in the 90 degree weather scrapping gum off the sidewalks, and it didn’t matter that my makeup was melting off my face, my armpits started sweating, and getting smelly. (okay, that part did bother me a bit) It was knowing that we were apart of something so much more than us, helping others regardless if you are comfortable or not.
I was able to meet new people I wouldn’t normally have a chance to meet. We can stay strong, and beautiful the minute we stop thinking of ourselves so much, putting our strengths to use helping others in need, sharing our stories, and encouraging one another. It’s easy to let the negative thoughts, and the insecure moments of body shaming control our every thought, but we are stronger than that. I dare you to try going a day without makeup or without looking in the mirror, and lend a helping hand to someone. Whether it be big or small, for a stranger or a friend, step outside yourself and make a difference. Help remind someone that they too are strong, and beautiful just by being themselves.
A few days ago, I was in my studio, now empty as the day I rented it. Up and down the ladder patching holes, polishing the wood floors, dripping in sweat. (won’t miss the evap) I took a second to decompress and soak up the last few moments of my first place. I had been so busy being overwhelmed by stress and anxiousness, I was forgetting to be thankful. It has it’s flaws like any house from the 30’s. As does everything, and everyone. Life hasn’t gone the way I thought, the year has been full of questionable choices, self doubt, disappointment, and ended with my eyes being opened. Through all the bumps in the road, I would never trade my year in this house. I learned so much, about life, what it takes to care for an old structure, loving others, and most importantly about the one who loved me first. This house in particular taught me, that I never ever want to rent from a management company, ever again! That is a whole other story.
Discovering I am not as strong on my own, as I thought I was, realizing I have created a pattern of running from God. Learning I haven’t done anything to glorify Him or deserve His love. Yet it is by God’s mercy and grace, I can reevaluate my choices with new eyes, make some adjustments, and make the biggest choice of all, choosing to trust in Him. Some things are just a detour in our journey that we need to take, before the start of so much more.
In the eyes of others, I don’t have much, I quit a job, turned down another, broke up with my boyfriend, moved out of my studio, and temporarily back into my parents house. Trust me I have relentlessly beaten myself up (figuratively of course) about the direction I am going. How could there be good in any of that? After lots of crying, anxiety attacks, moments of stillness, endless praying, I’ve come to the conclusion… I am not good at making the right decisions or being in control of my life. That’s because I shouldn’t be in control, I’m not supposed to be living life to please myself or satisfy my flesh. I had numerous opportunities to be a light in this world, but I chose to let darkness overcome me. There were times I was so unhappy, but I was in denial as to what was causing it. I felt as though I was too far gone. I had my chance with God when I was at my Christian high school, then my year at the Christian college, how could he possibly take me back after all these years of running, and hiding??
I’ve been pouring into the word for comfort, lately, and I’ve been feeling so convicted. I had been overcome with so much shame in my life, feeling worthless, and wallowing for far too long. I know none of that is from God, it was the lies of sin telling me “it’s too late for God to take you back, you’ve strayed too far, just keep committing the same sins, this is who you are now.” I kept believing those lies! I was finding my self worth in others, and of worldly things. I kept wondering why I was so unsatisified and had endless moments of emptiness, and continually searching, I was searching for the wrong things. My eyes weren’t opened until God started tugging on my heart. I was at a job that was literally sucking the life out of me, and making me a miserable person, in a relationship that I thought was what I wanted, and needed. It’s going to be a long journey of accepting my past decisions, taking responsibility for my choices, truly learning from all of this, and moving forward. Progression over perfection.