elements

For some reason this makes me think of a lullaby. Perhaps because I’m trying to soothe someone’s heart, put them at ease. Written January 19, 2015.

elements

Don’t be scared.
The world won’t hurt you,
And more importantly,
I won’t hurt you.

You’re so strong,
But your heart is soft, kind
And your soul runs deep.

See, you and I are of the same spirit.
Just like the sun takes care of the earth,
Giving warmth and light to end the dark hours,
I will be there to brighten and encourage,
To heal and hold,
To have.

Fear not, because you have me by your side.
And we have everything on our side.

You and I,
We’re the lucky ones.
To have this life and to be given each other.

Let me be there for you,
To help you,
To love you.

In the way that the moon gives the sun a break come nightfall,
In perfect harmony, I’ll take your hand in mine
And support you during life’s dark hours,
During the sunny days,

And everything in between.

infinite

We live in such a fast-paced world, yet there are those brilliant moments in life that seem to stretch on for eternity, that you want to hold on to and never let go. I wrote this poem January 16, inspired by the most infinite summer — and really, the most infinite time — of my life. I was in Jordan for six weeks celebrating love and life. Skies streaked with fierce reds and oranges at sunset, riding in the car next to the person I loved with our favorite album playing, late nights that became lingering mornings and then lazy afternoons, the hot desert sun warming my skin while pools and oceans offered reprieve.

But all of this wouldn’t have meant much without someone by my side. Someone who made life and laughter feel infinite. A person whom I’ve shared some of my best moments with not doing anything at all. Because inside of these little, seemingly meaningless, impossibly infinite moments — I had him, he had me, and together, we had everything.

infinite

When I’m with you, the world seems infinite.

Time seems obsolete.

Rain, snow, and sunshine don’t matter.

Nor does place or what we’re doing.

As long as I’m with you, anything is possible.

i knew

I wrote this right after I wrote “always,” on January 15.

Do you remember the exact moment you fell in love with someone? I do. Although, it feels like it was many, many moments all rolled into one moment of realization. John Green said it most eloquently in The Fault in Our Stars: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” Perhaps the “at once” is when we finally recognize how we feel. We accept our heart’s intent and allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

That moment for me was in Paris (of all places), in 2009. Then again, in Dallas, just two months ago.

I knew

I knew I loved you in Paris.
I knew I loved you before.
I think my soul knew I loved you before I even did,
Especially this time around.

Sometimes you need divine permission
To undo the tangles of your heart
And form them into what you want, at your core.

And what I want, have always wanted,
Many times without even knowing it,
Is you.

always

Goodness. Where have I been? I got present to something in my life yesterday and that is that I am full of a lot of great ideas and valiant starts but with very little completion. My blogs are one of them. Some of the books I’ve been working on (or thinking of publishing) are another one. But, I was inspired by Tyler Knott Gregson’s short but captivating poetry, and recently I’ve been going through some emotional highs and lows. So I started writing poems that are really just a stream of consciousness of what my heart is going through. And bonus — they are something I actually complete.

I wrote a letter to someone I called “H2″ on March 15, 2014, my ex who had resurfaced in my life. Well, he resurfaced again this past August when I realized I wanted him in my life, even if we were just friends. In the seven years that I’ve known him, we’ve both grown up, and since August, we’ve started to have a whole new sort of relationship.

Before my mind could catch up to my heart or bring any sort of logic to it, I realized I was still in love with him. I always have been. He invited me to two events where he lives (out of state), so I flew to see him twice. Before my second trip there just two weeks ago (and since then) I’ve been writing poems — the things that are mostly left unsaid and just revolve in circles around my heart and mind. I did tell him how I feel, an echo of this poem you’re about to read. But perhaps I should have just let the poem do the talking.

I wrote this January 15 in about 10 minutes at work; guess that’s what happens when emotions just soar out of you.

Always

It’s always been you.

 

My mind once convinced me otherwise,

But in the end, and the end being now,

It’s my heart that prevails.

 

The difference is that now my mind is in agreement with my heart.

All of me — heart, mind, body, soul — wants all of you.

 

Always.

 

I want you when you’re right next to me,

And I want you when you’re far away.

I don’t want you far away from me for one second longer.

 

Just as I’ve always believed a room without books is a room without a soul,

I believe a state, or a city, or a house, or a room without you is without a soul too.

 

Do you know how happy you make me?

Do you even realize how much I am in love with you?

 

I know love is scary. I know it is taking a chance and a risk.

I know that you have huge decisions to make and big changes to follow.

But I also want you to know that this time, I am here.

I’m with you — I will be with you — every step of the way,

No matter when it is or where you choose be.

 

I’m not going anywhere.

 

Because if I went somewhere,

If I chose something other than you,

That means there would be no you.

And I don’t want to be anywhere that you’re not.

 

We are not a decision that needs to be made.

We are not something to stress out about.

We just are.

 

You and me.

Together.

Again.

 

And always.

remembrance

I woke up this morning, November 16, feeling grateful and reflective. But also that terrified feeling you get on the anniversary of something that is hard to relive, even though the outcome ended up being okay.

Two years ago today, actually right as I type, my dad had one heart attack and four cardiac arrests — and clinically died four times. Today, though, he lives.

I remember being at work in San Francisco and finding out through a text from a family friend. It was cryptic, something like “I’m so sorry about your dad but it looks like he’s going to be okay.”

I lost it.

Frantically, I grabbed my phone and ran outside to try to get a hold of my mom. She didn’t answer my calls.

In desperation, I called the family friend’s father, who answered. I found out what happened but that, thankfully, my dad was going to be okay. When I finally got hold of my mom, she was completely shaken up. It’s hard to hear a parent like that when they are always so strong. I remember asking if Dad was going to be okay and her telling me she truthfully didn’t know but that she thought so. I sensed she knew more but didn’t want to worry me.

All the sudden she told me she had to go, that Dad was going into another cardiac arrest. I cried out, grasping for someone to tell me it’s going to be okay. But in tears, she said she couldn’t talk right now. I was afraid my dad would die, hundreds of miles away, before I got to tell him so many things.

It’s in desperate moments like that where your life and that person flash before you. Everything else all feels so meaningless, and you realize what really matters — the people in your life. I started envisioning moving to Santa Fe to help my mom. My mind wandered too far and I didn’t know what any of us would do, how we would survive, if we lost him.

So I was left, standing alone near Market Street in San Francisco with life happening all around me. Buses driving by, cabs whizzing past, and people shuffling to and from their offices. Yet I felt like my life had stopped.

I hung out by the same bench and shrubs for two hours, making phone calls and not knowing what to do with myself. There wasn’t anything I could do and once I got home, I would plan my flight home the next day.

I called my brother, a high school friend, college friends, posted on Facebook. I was desperate for all the prayers in the world to go to my dad. I didn’t post much on Facebook back then, and I was surprised and deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support.

I went back up to my office, got my things, and left. The train ride home was a blur, literally, as I saw everything through a shield of tears. Even though the train was packed, I felt so lonely. People got on and off the train, listened to their iPods, and read books, yet there I was, this young girl who just found out her father was in peril.

After bumping up my Thanksgiving flight to the next morning, I laid on the couch for hours, sick to my stomach with worry, my phone clutched in my hand. I think I sipped on Sprite and munched on Saltines like you do when you’re nauseous.

Later, my friend Sheena came over and made me dinner. She stayed with me too, so I didn’t have to be alone. Calls and texts from my mom told me my dad was doing okay, and that they had to put another stint in his heart. But I wanted to BE there.

Finally, I arrived in Santa Fe. Seeing my dad in the hospital, looking so weak, was hard. I wanted to hug him but all I could do was hold his hand. He could barely speak and he was exhausted. His body had fought for his life, twice. But I wouldn’t learn the details of what he went through until later.

He was mostly stabilized and the only other scare was in the middle of the night, when my mom, brother, and I were all home sleeping, and my dad’s heartbeat sped up to a dangerously high rate. Thank God his machines alerted the nurses, but it was his fourth cardiac arrest and a close call.

It was after I learned that this had happened, when he had been moved from ICU into a room for less-serious patients so we all thought he was in the clear, that I began to live on pins and needles, like something could happen at any time. For a long time after (and sometimes to this day) if I can’t get a hold of him or he doesn’t respond to a text — because he is always available — I would freak out.

He was moved to a heart hospital in Albuquerque and didn’t come home until Thanksgiving Day. I’d never felt so thankful on that holiday before.

But now, two years later, he has been vegan, lost 50 pounds, works out daily, and has a defibrillator/pacemaker that helps keep him alive.

Today, I’m present to how precarious life is. I’d never seen my dad cry the way he did on that Thanksgiving, just over a week after his heart attacks, when he talked about his near death experiences. He talked about the colors and shapes he saw. He told us he could have let go, that he felt so peaceful and calm and it would have been so easy. But he said, and I remember it well, “I fought for you. I chose to live for the three of you.”

My entire life, I was always close to my dad, but experiences like this can change a person and shape relationships. My dad was truly changed and so was our relationship. We talk a lot more than we used to and he is always, always there for me, to give me advice on anything from my career to dating.

He is my hero, and I am so thankful that he fought to live, so that today, I can reflect like this and then give him a call.

***

My dad has started speaking about his experience to different groups in Santa Fe. You can listen to him speak here in a podcast titled, Dying Changed the Way I Do Business.

IMG_3396

career kool-aid

I was asked to contribute a blog post to another twenty-something blog, 20somethingsblog, that focuses on different people’s stories about finding a career in their twenties in our economy.

What an honor to be asked to share some of my story, especially because, as is evident from my previous posts, I don’t have everything figured out yet. But, mostly due to trial and a lot of error, I’ve definitely learned some things.

I’ll admit I did write the post at the start of my new job almost two months ago when my spirits were a wee bit higher and I was still in that honeymoon phase. Reality has settled in and I’m not so sure the job I now have is the right fit for me, but what I’ve written on this blog are thoughts and actions I still really believe in. If I could add something to it now, I guess it would be that we are all ever-evolving and that it’s okay to discover that what you thought you wanted isn’t what you want at all.

If you read the post, you’ll see that I talk about a sense of rightness in a job and when I wrote this, I thought I’d found that. Had I written this two weeks later you’d most likely see something very different written in place of that, something a little less assured. Already, I’m ready to exit the highway I’m on again (you’ll have to read the post to see what I mean!), although I still believe we all have the capability to find passion and rightness in our lines of work — it just may take a while to circumnavigate to that point.

Perhaps it’s a good thing the blog owner, David, posted this a couple months into my job. I could stand to revisit the beliefs that I have about how things have a way of working out. I’m in a place where, yes, I need to drink some of my motivational, pep-talk kool-aid.

You can read my post here.

For all you job-seekers, job-haters, or anyone else questioning things — I hope this helps a bit!

reconnecting with the past

Lately I’ve felt this sense of wanting to reconnect with the past. This is piggy-backing my post about my ex so I guess that is fitting. But it’s more than that – it’s with old friends from college and with myself. I’ve grown into someone I’m proud of and wouldn’t want to revert to who I was five years ago because I’ve learned so much. Yet, at the same time I keep finding myself revisiting, well, myself — and the person I was five, ten years ago. The person who had really big dreams and high hopes and believed almost anything was possible, and believed in the goodness of the world and people.

Perhaps ignorance really is bliss because as we all get older and start becoming more aware, I think fears set in. Whether we realize it or not, fear is such a propeller of not taking actions. Yet, back in high school and college, I was encouraged to dream big. And now, between trying to keep up with the pace of my life, the hectic schedule of my job, and everything in-between, sometimes I wonder where dreams fit in to the equation.

I’ve felt this overwhelming sense of wanting to comb through my old books from my writing classes, my notes, old photos, old journals, my bucket list from high school, and call up old friends. I don’t know why I have this feeling but I know that it’s important to listen to it. While we’re in constant growth, there’s a steady part of our hearts and souls that I believe truly stays the same. Maybe that’s why some say people don’t change; I don’t really know.

But what I do know is the same things I’ve always been drawn to — my passions and the things that drive me — still remain. I value people and quality time with them, learning, traveling, and new experiences. And right now, in my 8-5 job that has become an 8-6 job with working on the weekends, I feel so far removed from all of that, and ultimately, from myself.

Sometimes I convince myself that life’s too short, I’m young enough, and have no attachments (other than a car payment) so I could just quit at any time and do whatever I want. But a rational side of me kicks in and says otherwise. Sadly, a lot of that is driven by money (which I hate to admit). But if I am working so hard at a job so that I may afford to live (and like, paycheck to paycheck live), but I don’t feel like I’m actually living then what is the point of that job? This “what’s the point” is often a thought I have during our countless meetings, where people seem so passionate about a new marketing plan or new initiative and all I can think is, is this what life is really about?

For me, the answer is a big hell no.

I feel like I always need to qualify things like this post because I do feel blessed and know that these issues aren’t life-threatening and that there are so many people in our world hurting from much worse things. But what I will say is that I do think it’s human nature to question ourselves and our lives and where we are going.

We all “grow up” but I think it’s normal to sometimes want to revert to who we were a long time ago and surround ourselves with the people who knew us “back when.” I think we all, at some point, wonder what happened to those big dreams we had in childhood or adolescence when it was encouraged to think outside the box. As we become adults it feels like we are encouraged to think within a box of what society deems acceptable, like deal with the daily grind of work or have kids before age 30.

I’m sorry, but when did the the words “grind” and “work” really ever have a positive connotation? I don’t know about you, but I want to be on fire about my life and what I’m doing. Not sitting here writing about how I wish it was different. But I also hope that with these sorts of ponderings, I can encourage and empower people who have these same feelings to know that it’s okay and they’re not alone. At least I hope I’m not alone in this.

We’re all told to live in the present, and not look back toward our pasts and not worry too much about what is to come. Mostly, I think this is sound advice. But I do think that there’s a value in looking ahead and figuring out what your heart is calling you toward and looking back to see how that resonates with the dreams you’ve dreamt or who you were two, three, or seven years ago. And then, with a combination of those, putting some tangible actions into practice in the present is what’s important.

I guess I say all this to say … there has to be a reason a longing to revisit the past has set into my soul. Sometimes it’s hard to look back at, but I’m finding more than anything that it’s brought me comfort.

And hope.