6.26.2016

Don't Tell Me I Don't Know What Love Is


One thing I hate is when people say "You don't know what love is"...in companions to their own personal experiences.

Every love is different.  
It's not your place to tell someone that what they feel (or felt) isn't real.

When I have children, and they come to tell me that "Mama, I love this girl" or "Mama, I love this boy", I won't discourage them.  I won't say "You can't love them.  You don't know what real love is." Or "That's not real love, sweetheart, because it's not the kind of love Daddy and I share."
No.  
If they believe that they love someone, I will let them love that person.  As fully and as passionately as their little hearts know how to.  Because there's something about that little love that made them label it "love", and who am I to say otherwise?

Love is quite possibly the most amazing, intense, crazy feeling you will ever know.  It changes you.  It takes you on an adventure.  It makes you fly.  How does a little child know what that's like?  Well they may not understand it completely, but something about how they feel for someone makes their natural instinct kick in and say "What you're feeling right now is love."
How beautiful is that?

The same goes for people telling teens - or even adults - that they don't know what true love is.  Who are you to tell me what I felt or feel?  You don't know my heart.  You don't know everything I've experienced, what words were exchanged, what memories were made.
I've actually had someone (a couple years older than me) tell me that I don't know what true love is because I didn't have the type of relationship with my former boyfriend that they had with their ex-girlfriend.  Because THEY loved each other and wanted to get married and blah blah blah.
Funny thing is, though, he found out that she cheated on him with her coworker.  And they were together for four months total.
Now I'm gonna take my own medicine here and give them the benefit of the doubt that they were truly in love and whatnot.  But...actions speak louder than words, right?  And if what they had was true love, why did she cheat on him?
And he has no right to tell me that, compared to his love, I've never known true love in my own life.  If HE truly loved her, then maybe that's a different story.
But still.  Everything I've felt with love is different than what he has.

I think people compare others to themselves much too often.  In all different situations in life.  Not just love.  And I think it's unfair to the whole human race that we are so quick to judge based on our own experiences.
Nothing happens the same way twice.
Nothing happens to two individuals the same exact way.
Give grace.
Listen with humility.
And above all, encourage the positive energy, the positive love, and the beautiful things in life.

6.24.2016

6 Ways To Know That I Totally Trust You

1)  I let you be on my phone.
Either I give you the passcode or I unlock it for you.  Both are huge, huge, huge signs that I trust you.  This is NOT because I have things to hide.  I don’t trust people to be on my phone because I’ve had so many experiences where someone texts something to a contact of mine that I would never, ever tell to that particular person.  (And that just opens a whole can of worms.)  Or they hack my social medias or email addresses.  Just not cool.

2)  I stay at your house till really late.  And/Or spend the night.
This is pretty self-explanatory.

3)  I let you drive my car.
Oliver isn't some super expensive race car (shh, don't tell him I said that), but I'm really nervous about allowing people to drive him.  He's genuinely moody (not even joking).  He will literally drive well or not well depending on who is driving him.  And also a lot of my friends like to try driving fast, but aren't safe about it.  Sooo yeah.

4)  I let you know any of my passwords.
Not that this is a typical occurrence between me and my friends, but on some occasions, I can’t log in to something (online, at the bank, etc.) and a friend of mine is available to do it for me.  And this does include my phone passcode but it's different than #1 because in giving you my passcode, that basically means you could get into my phone at any time, not just when I allow you to look on it.  Make sense?

5)  I ask you for advice.
This is a huge privilege, honestly.  I do not take it lightly when I ask someone for personal advice - on anything.  I'm a very strong-willed, make-my-own-decisions type of person so humbling myself to either realize I need help/advice or just knowing I can't figure something out on my own, is a big step for me.  I struggle with this.  Just being real.

6)  Being emotionally vulnerable with you.
This includes sharing my innermost thoughts and personal struggles...and knowing that you will keep this information solely between us.


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How about you?  What are some ways you can show people that you really trust them?

6.23.2016

Erratic Prose [at a coffee shop] | edition 4


I'm sure you've all noticed the lack of posts this month.
If you follow me on any of my social medias, though, you would have seen that I went to Peru.
For the fourth time.
I was away for 2 weeks.  And just got back last weekend.
It was a perfectly timed getaway.  I haven't gone on a 'vacation' in a while and my feet were desperate to be on distant territory.
I not only went for a personal time to recharge but also to surprise one of my best friends for their birthday.  It was a successful surprise mission, I must say.

I didn't get as much time to write as I thought I would.  And when I tried to, I felt like I couldn't.  It almost like my brain was telling me to fully enjoy being in Peru again and to let itself recharge as much as my heart needed to.  So I did.  And it was good.

But since getting back late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, I have been craving to write.  I have so many words flitting through my mind that need to be expressed through pen and paper or laptop keyboard and screen.  I'm feeling motivated to articulate all these thoughts.  And I think I'll have the perfect time to because...
Next week, I'm going to a little cabin up on an Oregon mountain to spend a few days.  I guess to recharge from my recharging trip, in a way.  But also just to...rediscover myself and who I am in the here and now.

A lot of changes are going to be happening in my life.  I got accepted to a college - the exact one I wanted to go to (thank You, Jesus!) - so I will be moving.  Hopefully by August, so I can get settled in, and get a job, before classes start.  I can't fully convey the excitement I have about moving.  I have been in the same small town for over 12 years.  And I am just so ready to move on.
Get away.
Start afresh.
And plus, getting to start college and pursue a degree in a field that I am passionate about.
I mean, wow.  I am so blessed.

Oh!  And I am going to really try working on my YouTube channel this summer.  I have a bunch of ideas of things I want to start posting on it, and I hope you all will enjoy it too.

(So many exciting things up ahead!!!)

As of right this instant, though, I am sitting in a coffee shop called Insomnia, in the heart of Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Last night at almost 10pm, me and a friend set out on a night road trip to visit a friend who lives at the beach but will be moving soon.  We reached the beach house at 12:30am, found our respective spots in the living room, and passed out.  This morning we decided that we were true north westerners and weren't going to let the rain, wind or 58 degree weather stop us from hiking down to the beach.  I didn't have proper hiking shoes so I'm pretty sure I get bonus points for "hiking" in sandals (am I right?).
It was all well worth it though.
There's just something about hiking up a small hill of rocks on the beach and standing at the top, letting the wind and rain blow through your loose and wild hair, and just feeling F R E E.  It was a good feeling.
Then we hiked back to the house, took showers, changed into dry clothes, and drove to our favorite local coffeeshop.  And here we sit, drinking tea and coffee, reading, writing, sharing quotes, enjoying the comfortable silence around our little table.  For when you are with kindred spirits, no silence is awkward.

Well, dear readers, I will sign off for now.
I hope you're all doing well, and enjoying this first week of official summer.

PC: Jeremiah Zschomler


"I want to thrive.  Not just survive."

6.03.2016

I Tried Tinder For Five Days | A Perspective On Online Dating


I've never been opposed to online dating.  I know quite a few couples who've met through Christian Mingle, eHarmony, even Facebook, Instagram or blogs.  And a large percentage of them have gotten married.  
I believe God can use ANY means to bring two individuals together.  And in this day and age, you can sure as heck meet, be attracted to, become interested in and start dating people through social medias.  You never know what you'll find.  But you shouldn't count on it 100% working all the time, for every single person, including yourself.

I decided to give this online dating thing a go.  Partly from intrigue, partly from being open to meeting someone, and partly as research.  To see what the big deal was about anyway.
It went pretty well...at first.  It wasn't as if I was extremely lonely or felt "doomed" to singleness.  Some days I honestly couldn't imagine myself being okay with committing to a relationship again.

I met quite a few guys via several different dating apps.  I was attracted to some, I developed an interest in some, I could even go so far as to say that I developed a crush on some of these guys that I met online.  I went on a few first dates too, that all went well - a couple of whom wanted to see me for a second or third date.  (Sorry, no First Date Horror Stories for you.)
But the truth is, after just a few days of swiping right and being matched, I felt that online dating had calloused me.  I didn't have as much of a desire as I once did to 'put myself out there' and 'see who I'll meet'.  They could tell me how attracted they were to my face and body.  Some were even decent enough to say they were attracted to my heart and personality.  They told me how much they enjoyed our conversations, but I was always wondering how long it would last.  How long before they got bored of me?  How long before they made it clear that they didn't have serious intentions?

And that's when I realized something...
I had allowed online dating to unintentionally make me label guys 'future disappointments'.  
Or believe that I will disappoint them.  
So a part of my brain kept saying, "You're just never gonna be good enough."

And that's a lie.

Because I know my self-worth.  I know I am valuable.  I want to be respected.  I want to be cared for.  

Honestly, I think there are more cons than pros when it comes to meeting someone through the internet.  Getting cat-fished, to name one.  Or worse yet, you become callous to every person who hits you up with a "Hey, what's up?" after you were matched with them.
Sure, the initial "It's a match!" boosts your confidence...for about five seconds.  But the truth is, all the messages and faces will just mesh into a blur and you'll only be swiping right out of pure boredom.  
Or you'll have a good, steady messaging-back-and-forth going with one guy, but the next day, won't hear from him.  Next week his account will be deleted.  And next week, you're left feeling depressed and wondering, "What did I do wrong?"

Like I said, online dating has worked for some individuals.  Some people just match and click and know and don't have any doubts that they're meant for each other.  I am so happy for those couples.

Others, like myself, would much rather do without being bored and swiping right.

If online dating isn't the thing for you either, then quit it.  It's as simple as click 'Delete My Account' and then removing the app from your phone.

And that is why I tried Tinder for five days and then was like "Screw this.  I deserve better."

6.01.2016

Everyday Blessings // 44


>> being the first guest on a friend's brand new podcast - Grace In A Strange Place

>> Captain America: Civil War (#TeamCaptain)
>> spontaneous mini-roadtrips to beautiful locations
>> writing a travel/packing list (yes, I'm going on another adventure... Anybody live in San Francisco?)
>> surprises
>> finding a men's plaid flannel - with a hood - at Goodwill for $7
>> the First 5 app
>> new rings
>> seeing friends in healthy relationships
>> applying to colleges
>> maxi skirts
>> planning to move again at the end of summer
>> roadtrips to the beach at 11:30pm
>> puppies
>> an evening of friends, pizza, ice cream, cookie dough, whipped cream and movies
>> a bouquet of wildflowers being left at your doorstep
>> yoga mats
>> eating pancakes at 1:30am at a bar
>> new tattoos
>> birds singing outside my window
>> getting a Dutch Bros drink paid for by the car in front of me
>> playing Never Have I Ever on the beach
>> saltwater taffy
>> answered prayers
>> God's timing
>> reassurance
>> encouraging emails from readers
>> first day of June

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Who's excited for it to be June?  Any fun summer plans?