100 Words- Happiness

IMG_1310

Hey friends! Something new and different today. I’ll be starting a mini-series just to work on my writing a bit. I’m challenging myself to describe a series of words in 100 words or less. Thinking about it off-hand, 100 words seems like plenty of room, but writers know this is barely a complete paragraph. Today’s word is Happiness. Without further ado, my definition in 100 words.

Happiness. Looking up at the clear blue sky and watching the clouds move past. Seeing a loved one’s face for the first time in a while. The smell of coffee. Sitting down to a home-cooked meal. Honeysuckles growing over fences. Having someone you love play with your hair. Freshly washed sheets. Putting on clothes straight from the dryer. 80 degree weather. Closing your eyes and feeling sand under your toes and the ocean gently washing up over your feet. A baby’s laugh. That fluttery feeling when you realize someone likes you as more than a friend. Being proud of some one else.

Take 100 words and describe happy today. The challenge with this one was to try not to just list things that make me happy, but to take experiences and break down the feelings it gave me to describe the feeling of happiness. Does that make sense? I’m confusing myself here. I’m not entirely please with my definition, but it was the best I feel I could do in 100 words. It’s a fun writing challenge, and that’s really the point. Short post today I know, but I hope you enjoyed all the same, and hope to see you here again soon!

Advertisements

Today’s Letters

Today I came across a blog in which a husband and wife share a journal and write letters to each other daily. Occasionally they share these on the blog, an example can be found here. I love this idea and though I may not share a physical copy of these letters, I think it’s nice to collect these little daily thoughts as a reminder of how great even the smallest things are. I’ve gathered my letters from the last week or so, and posted them below:

Sunday- 11/17/2013
Dear Dad: Thank you for scaring the crap out of me, then pleasantly surprising me by how much you and Jacob really got along. Dear Mom: You were right. He’s a keeper :) Dear Little Brother: I knew you would like him! Playing video games together is the perfect way to win you over. Dear J: Thank you for everything today. I loved walking through my city with you hand-in-hand. I loved seeing you in Grapevine, loved seeing you feel at home in my home. Today couldn’t have been more wonderful because of you. Dear Hometown: Stay beautiful, Grapevine.

Monday- 11/18/2013
Dear Vikki: I’m sorry I was late to math. Again. Dear J: We just spent the whole weekend together, but I missed not seeing you today. The day was a little quieter, but you still made me feel loved. Thank you for that darling :)

Tuesday- 11/19/2013
Dear J: Today you surprised me with a morning visit! You brighten my day, and I was so happy to see you before I went to class.

Wednesday- 11/20/2013
Dear Stomach: I know you hate Panda Express. I’m so sorry.

Thursday- 11/21/2013
Dear J: Today we spent an evening playing pool, and you convinced me that one band guy really does like me for some reason… We finished the night with Netflix in bed, which has become one of my favorite things now :)

Friday- 11/22/2013
Dear Dad: Happy Birthday!! I wish I could have spent it with you, but I was so glad that we had our time on the phone, and happy that you and Jake get along so well when you talked. Dear Jacob: Today you sat through the cold, wind, and freezing rain to watch my colorguard practice. The practice was awful and I couldn’t give my best performance because of the weather, but having you there really did cheer me up. I still feel terrible you had to sit through that, but it just makes me all the more sure of how much you love me. Dear Texas weather: Fuck you.

Saturday- 11/23/2013
Dear Jake: Today you came to the football game!! It made me so happy to look up into the stands during my performance and see you smiling back down at me. Again, you sat through the cold, wind, and freezing rain for me, and you earned about 1500 points for that and yesterday. I love you so much.

Sunday- 11/24/2013
Dear Jake: Today I met your parents. I’m not gonna lie, I was super intimidated and nervous. But I got there and you made me feel comfortable and eased my fears. Also, we watched the Cowboys beat the Giants, so it was obviously a good day :) Dear J’s Dad: Thank you for being a Cowboys fan! I hope I didn’t disappoint anything Love’s told you about me. I hope you know just how wonderful your son is. Dear J’s Aunt: Thank you for keeping conversation up at dinner. I tend to get quiet when I’m nervous, but you kept the talking flowing and even brought up the biggest dinner conversation that saved me :) Dear J’s Mom: Please like me. Please.

Monday- 11/25/2013
Dear Math professor: I’m sorry no one showed up to class today. Matrices are awesome, you’re right, and everyone loves college algebra, I promise. Dear J: Today I went shopping with Vikki and found a perfect Christmas gift for you!! I hope you like it :) Dear Starbucks: Thank you for so loving the world that you sent your only caramel apple spice. That stuff is magical delicious. Dear Love: Today we managed to get into an orchestra performance for free! Thank you for not getting upset when we were late because I told you the wrong building, woops.

Tuesday- 11/26/2013
Dear Love: Today is our last together before I go home for Thanksgiving. Two days seems short, and I know I haven’t said it yet, but I know I’m going to miss you. Hopefully pumpkin pie will tide me over until you come up on Friday :) Also, thank you for not judging me for totally taking apart my room in an attempt to clean up/pack. Thank you for telling me I’m beautiful as I walk around in leggings, a comfy sweatshirt, hair in a ponytail, without one spot of make-up on. You’re a beautiful person, and I adore you.

A Love Letter to: Mom

Dear Moms,

I love you. All of you. Not just mine, not just yours, all of them. Even though Mother’s Day has already passed, since its still May I feel its appropriate to celebrate Mom’s Day. There is a reason I say ‘Mom’ and not ‘Mother’ though. A mother is simply a female that bears a child, while a mom is much more. You can be a mother and not necessarily a mom (how sad!) and you can most definitely be mom without being a mother. I believe this the same way I believe that a house is not always a home, and the place you feel most at home is not always a house.

Taking the time to actually ‘raise’ children is a huge dividing factor between moms and mothers. As sad as it is to think about on Mom’s Day, it must be remembered that there are negligent and abusive mothers out there in the world. Of course I hope that one day they become ‘moms’, but until then my biggest hope is that their children have another ‘mom’ figure to look up to. Notice I didn’t say maternal figure, and that this is what I mean by saying that a mom doesn’t necessarily need to be mother. Children of same-sex couples can most definitely still have a mom figure in their lives, regardless of whether or not they have two dads. What matters here is not sex or gender, but love. This is another dividing factor between a mom and mother- love. A mother is not required to love her children, but a mom does so unconditionally.

I call my mother ‘Mom’ because that’s what she is. She is not simply the female who gave birth to me, she is also the woman who raised me. From my very birth she (with the help of my dad of course) took it upon herself to teach me about the world, and to let me learn about it on my own as well. It is a well-known fact that are most valuable lessons are often the ones outside of the classroom, and I have been blessed with no shortage of lessons from my mother. Aside from teaching me simple life skills (how to cook, do my own laundry, write a resume, etc.) she has taught me things that cannot be measured or performed. She taught me about compassion and gratitude, sympathy and love. She taught me how to ride a bike, the best times to plant tomatoes, and the importance of patience. And there is so much more. So many lessons that I will always be grateful to her for, lessons that I only hope I will be able to pass on to my children someday. Beyond being an incredible teacher, my mom is a pair of ears when I just need to get things off my chest. She is a hand to hold when I’m nervous, a shoulder to cry on when I need it, and that extra intuition when I’m making a tough decision.

Being a mom, or parent in general, is the hardest job in the world, and that is something that I can say with confidence, despite being only 17 myself. So I’m grateful to all moms, and I hope they recognize how loved they really are. Because no matter how many times your toddler throws up on you, your 8 year-old refuses to eat his veggies, your 13 year-old tries to grow up to fast, and your 18 year-old tries to show you she can do it on her own…. You matter. You matter so much more than I think a lot of you realize. Thank you for all that you do, and Happy Mom’s Day.

Mommy, I love you :)

20130524-154521.jpg

Today…. You Graduate.

A love letter to my not-so-distant future self. And anyone else graduating as well :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
[And yes, this is one of my senior pictures! It’s one of my favorites :)]

Dear You,

Today, you graduate high school!! Today, you have come to the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. But don’t let that scare you, at least not yet.

Today, take the time to celebrate with family and friends, and remember just how much you’ve achieved. You’ve endured 13 years of this education system, and that is something to celebrate. Really, it is.

Don’t take it for granted just because you have a large graduating class, or because you don’t know very many people who didn’t graduate high school. Remember that some people never do, so the fact that you have plans to go to college, plans to have a career and life of your own makes YOU special. Don’t let anyone ever make you think otherwise.

Celebrate today, you’ve got every right to. You have your whole life in front of you know, but don’t let it overwhelm you.

Look to the future with wide eyes and an open mind.

Take way too many pictures this summer, because its these that you’ll be coming back to when homesickness washes over you this fall. It’s inevitable.

Take a deep breath now, close your eyes, and say it with me.

I did it.

Congrats, grad :)

The World Needs More Love Letters

The world needs more love letters. Simple as that. I came across a particularly powerful TED talk by Hannah Brencher, which you can watch here. In this talk, Brencher reminisces on how her mother never believed in email or facebook, and always wrote her handwritten letters in college. When Brencher moved to New York City, she did the same, writing love letters to strangers and tucking them away throughout the city. I had found one if her letters through Pinterest, titled ‘A Love Letter to the College Freshman’ which is truly beautiful and you can read it on her website, moreloveletters.com, here.

I was inspired by these letters, and I would love to do the same. Sure, I’m not certain about how much wisdom I can necessarily give out, but I’d like to try. This begins a new category on my blog of love letters, love letters to every type of person. To the aspiring author sitting in Starbucks, to the high school senior full of doubt about the future (read: me!), and to the mom having to learn to let go of said senior, and let them live their own life now. To the kid waiting backstage to go on for the first time, to the father giving away his bride, and to the family who just lost everything.

I want to write love letters like these to inspire people. I want people to understand that even though I may not know everything about their situation, one thing thing that all people have in common is their ability to hang on to hope. Among these, I want to write letters to myself. Letters to the future me who may stumble across this blog 5 years from now when I’ve all but forgotten about it, so that I can come back and have something relevant. Letters that I can read back on and see how things have changed, or stayed very much the same. These letters will be categorized with my other love letters, and part of just more writing. I’m interested to see how this goes, so stay tuned, and have a wonderful day. :)