Friday, December 30, 2016

one day at a time

as days go by, i get older.
and the older i get, the more i learn about the world. i forget that sometimes. that i still don't know everything. that somewhere in me, there is still a child, and she's still innocent and naïve and some realities still surprise and hurt her. i don't think that ever goes away. i want her to stay.
i think there is a lot of courage in looking at life through hopeful eyes, trusting there is gold in each of us. trusting there is something more. i don't want that hope to ever fade. no matter how many times my heart breaks. no matter how many times my heart is disappointed and deceived.
but too, the older i get, the more questions i have. and i think questions and hope are of the same body. they're not opposites. they're stronger together.
i've been asking questions to try to understand, to get to the root of what hurts - and even in the mess, i've been finding beauty and hope, still. even when i don't understand.
a hope that can't come from me. a hope that says, "it's not for you to fix, let Me."
i learned i can't fix someone
no matter how much i give.
i learned we don't always mean what we say.
that a touch doesn't always mean "i care".
that sometimes it's selfish.
i learned that pretty words can't cover an ugly truth.
no matter how nice we make it seem.
i realized we're afraid to talk about what's inside of us.
we're afraid to change our minds.
we do the same things without knowing why.
we don't ask enough questions.
and we protect beliefs that we don't fully understand.
death is still scary, and we don't know how to embrace it.
Gilmore Girls is a comfortable show because there isn't anything uncomfortable about it.
lavender is still the tastiest ice cream flavor.
and i still don't know how to drive.

i know 2016 has been a heavy year. one of heart break, of anger, of fear. but also of bright hope. light shines the brightest in the dark, and i never want to lose sight of that. of how much light there is in darkness. moving. alive. (so alive)
as the days continue to go by, i hope to ask even more questions. to confront more. to consume less of what feels comfortable and grow from what makes me uncomfortable. to fight for the forgotten and unjust. i hope to learn more. but not lose hope. i hope to guard my heart more. but not love less.
i want to challenge what i know, and be more curious of what i don't.
and in the reminder that we are mortal bodies, i want to wake up every morning for as long as my heart beats with hope louder than my fears that tells me my spirit belongs somewhere beyond what i can see.

one day at a time.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

a letter for September

dear beloved,
it's me.
i'm writing this because letters are easier for you to make sense of what is
too big to understand. i understand.
we'll take it slowly.
we've been 26 for a while, i know there's been changes. and i know change is hard.
you've been good with it.
you've been so good, i'm so proud.
your sister moved out, and married. i know you were scared,
but it's not so scary anymore.
you talk often.
it's not the same, but
it's temporary.
it's necessary.
we need time to be on our own.
you feel alone, sometimes, i know
but i feel it, too.
that makes us two, right?
together. (we're together)
i know this time is important,
the quiet, the unknown.
let yourself feel fully,
i know you've been doing it.
don't be ashamed of what you feel,
there is power in that.
i know you can see it, too.
this is a part of your story and it will mean something,
maybe not now, but later.
i promise.
i also know your heart ached. and sometimes still does.
you weren't honored and you wished to be.
i know you know what you deserve,
and i know that you know you're strong.
it hurts, and it's okay. you're not weak for feeling it.
you give, and it's beautiful to see. don't regret loving.
please don't regret loving. you love so well.
don't blame yourself for that. (the world needs you)
you don't know what's next.
and i know you feel small.
but you're extraordinary.
and you are with me.
the mountains will move
and the oceans will separate,
some already have.
don't fear.
we are in places
and we will continue to go places
you don't know of yet.

just know,
i know.
and it's okay.
it's going to be okay.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Be human

Everything I am and do connect to my heart and my mind.
The well-being of my heart and my mind are very important; if I am healthy there, I can continue to be. And I believe this for each of us.
I think that the home we build inside of ourselves is a priority over the home we build in the world; it is the source of our thoughts, ideas, imagination, and feelings. It is the source of our spirit.
If you are at rest internally, you are at rest externally.

So why fear the subject around our mental health when it is the very thing that keeps us moving?
Mental health should be common sense and a common conversation -
not taboo.
Somehow, over time, we've created a standard of being for ourselves,
one that is "comfortable" and "safe". One that isn't messy, and without questions.
There is a certain way to be in public, and a certain way to speak.
We've created a standard that limits, quiets, and hides our being.
We've let fear and shame speak - and make the decisions. 

There is a war inside of my head;
Between sitting in the dark and standing in the light.
Between the "could be"s, "should be"s, and "what is".
Between what I know, and what I don't.
And I am not weak for admitting. I am not weak for questioning. I am not weak for being broken,
because the war inside of my head does not define my value.
The war inside of my head does not define my strength, my spirit, my being.

It is okay to feel. It is okay to be angry, jealous, nervous, even afraid. It is okay to take time to be alone. It is okay to be needy, and to feel pain.
Be human. Be as human as you can be. Be human to the fullest.
without shame, without justifying.
Your heart and mind are meant to be alive. And we are meant to be alive in this moment together.

Let's care for each other. Let's care for the homes inside our hearts and our minds.
They're important. 

You're important.

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Conversation: Q&A / Part II

And as promised, here's part II of the q&a.

I'll be making more of these conversation videos, so if there's anything you'd like to talk about, don't hesitate to contact me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Conversation: Q&A / Part I

I want to share more about my creative journey, process, experiences, etc., and decided to open up the conversation. I shared a post a year ago on creating, and didn't follow up. (I'm sorry)
So here's the follow up that I promise won't stop here.

I'm starting with a Q&A - thank you for asking the questions! I decided to answer them via video, more fun and natural that way (despite my taking a day to figure out video editing programs).

Part I:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Because, honestly

It was 2001, and I was in the 5th Grade. We had this field trip planned where we'd pretend to be adults and pretend to have a job for a day. We spent weeks preparing for it. We learned how to write checks, made logos for our businesses, created products to sell, and even jingle ads for the "radio station".
The day the class picked out their jobs, I was sick. And there were only a few left when I got back: Post office manager or server at the snack bar. I played it safe and chose the snack bar. My teacher then told me she had put aside the manager job for me, and that I'd make a good leader.
On the day of the field trip, I came in not as a snack bar server, but as an 11 year-old post office manager.
I cried in the first half hour.

I remember that day so clearly. I remember how overwhelming it felt that morning, how I feared messing up and how I didn't want to be wrong.
I think it was an important day for me.
Besides learning how to write a check, I learned something greater - I learned that it's okay to do something you don't know how and that it's worth the risk. I learned that it's okay to lead and cry, too. And it's okay to make mistakes.
It's okay to be wrong.
I didn't realize how much that day would mean to me years later.

I think I've always wanted to lead. I've always wanted to be heard, but I feared honesty like the plague. It's weird when I think about it now.
There was something about being honest that made me so anxious, the way it was straight to the point and exactly what I felt or thought, the way someone else would look back at me and how it required a response from them. It was terrifying to me.
Somewhere inside of me, I was ashamed of vulnerability.
I was ashamed of being wrong.
Somewhere inside of me, I was being told to be ashamed of my honesty before I even expressed it.

When you begin to believe it is embarrassing - or uncool - to be honest, to be human and messy,
you become trapped.
And I was trapped.
Within myself.
By myself.

And the only way I could be freed was to do the very thing that I feared: tell you how I feel.

So, this blog became.
So, making music became.
So, the Because, Honestly series became.
These simple, yet thought-filled and heart-wrenching (at least for me) drawings became my way of breaking my self-made trap.
They became my way of saying I didn't want to be Eve anymore,
I wasn't embarrassed of my nakedness. I wanted to be vulnerable.
I wanted to say the things we all felt but didn't say enough.
I wanted to say what was on my mind, but also say "it's okay to feel it and say it".
I wanted to put "I" and "you" in the same phrase and leave it that way.
I didn't want to go around in circles until you had guessed what it is that I was trying to say, like I had done so many times before.
I wanted to look you straight in the eye without closing mine.
I wanted to let you know I had a messy heart, too.
This series was going to be my way of being a leader, of making an impact.
It was going to be my way of being loud with silence.
It was going to be my way of being powerful.

You see, I think I understand now.
That voice,
the one telling me to be ashamed -
it was just afraid.
Afraid of what I'd become,
of what I'd do when I realize
just how powerful it is
to be vulnerable,
to be honest.

Well, voice, I've realized it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Now That I'm Older

Do you remember being young and dressing up as an adult, mimicking your parents and their conversations? Do you remember being young and thinking of a number for when you'd want to be married? Do you remember being young and wondering who you'd be when you'd grown up?

24. I wanted to be married at 24. It sounded like a nice number.

I'm 25 now, and I'm not married. (And 24 still sounds like a nice number.)

I've spent the last month or two typing and backspacing and re-typing this post; I wanted to write it the right way. I'm now realizing I only want it to be right because I fear saying something "too vulnerable", "too needy", or "too bold".

Why do I fear "too"?

I am human.

I feel little and I feel a lot. I need little and I need someone a lot. I guard my heart and I open up.
I am right, I am wrong. I am vulnerable, I am needy, empty and dry and overflowing, too.
And I will write as I feel and let the "too" be whatever it may be,
because in the end, it is what makes it who I am.

I'm 25 now, and I'm not married.

And I've spent the last year asking questions.
About relationships, about marriage, about love.
Is it everything?
Is it me? Them? Necessary? Temporary?

I think it's okay to ask questions. Outside a relationship. Inside a relationship.
One of the most important things I've learned this far is that we are growing.
Each day a new day, each day a day closer to becoming whole.
And I don't believe our growth to end until we meet Him face to face (and even then).
I'm learning every day. I make mistakes, I fall and I get up, I hurt and I heal.
And somewhere in that - the core perhaps - is my longing for someone else.
I wake up to the longing of being loved.
I fall asleep to the longing of being held.
As if I was created for this.

I know that somewhere in our culture is the pressure to "find love", to "find the one" and for many, to marry. I feel it more and more growing older.
I've not been in a relationship before.
I've been asked if there is something wrong with me. I've been told I will be "rescued" soon. I've been told my "prince" will arrive shortly.
By men I don't really know. By church goers with good intentions.
I've come to realize I'm not the only one.
I've come to realize I don't have to justify.
I've come to realize this is not the end goal.
It's okay to be independent.
And that doesn't mean I want to be alone.
There is nothing wrong with me or you.
There is more to intimacy than a physical touch.
It's okay to desire it.
And it's okay not to.
It's okay to be needy.
It's okay to be in love and share about it.
And it's okay to end things when it's not right.

I'm 25 now, and I've come to realize not everything goes the way I had imagined it when I was younger.
And I kind of like it that way.
I don't always.
I get angry, I get sad, and my heart will hurt, too.
But here's the other most important thing I've learned: love is greater.
It is greater than the text I don't get back.
It is greater than my "I thought you were the one"s.
It is greater than my disappointments.
It is where I forget to look sometimes.
It is in my embrace with my dad.
In the desire to see my sister filled with joy above my own.
It is in the laughs and the tears shared between close friends.
And in the smile I exchange with a stranger.
It is in the pain I choose to share with someone else.
It is in the letting go of that someone else.
It is greater than what breaks, than what is temporary.

And it will surprise me.
Again, and again.

Whether it be in a conversation with someone I will only know for a day,
or in the one who will choose me until I pass away,
love will continue to surprise me.
And I will continue to create, to be honest and bold and grow
with You
in hope for you.

(P.S. you'll be a special one.)