You Come First

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Love is difficult.

Love is broad.

Love is a lot to handle, if you’re not ready to handle it.

Love is a lot of things. Love can be everything great and everything bad all encompassed in a fragile wrapper.

So simply said…

“Love is

If I’ve learned anything about love, I will tell you I’ve learned the following:

  1. Love is a commitment.
  2. You cannot force love.
  3. Love is a plant that must be watered, or else it will die.
  4. Not everything and everyone deserves your love.
  5. God is love.

While, the above may be true, love in itself is a privilege not all get to encounter.

You are worthy of love, and before you can love others in a way that is healthy and effective, you must first love yourself. Loving oneself is a commendable challenge many have not mastered. It is a difficult task that as any love, must be constantly kept up with in order to remain.

Once you learn how to love yourself though all your past mistakes, bad decisions, failures and incapabilities, you open the passage to learning what it’s like to love another. Using ourselves as templates for loving others, allows us to relate to those who were/are in similar situations we are/were in.

For just a moment, think of a cliché young relationship. Everything is fine in dandy in the honeymoon phase, as “I love you” is constantly spewed from young lips unaware of the weight they carry. The couple seemingly can’t get enough of each other…that is, until an issue arises. Once there is a bump in the road, the relationship deteriorates as the two people who were “in love” decide they can no longer love each other through rough phases.

Loving yourself should not be this way. When you fail a test, disappoint a loved one, or simply even have a bad hair day, that should not constitute self-abuse in any form. If married couples can be together for shorter than you’ve been alive and get through an affair, surely, you can get through a self pitfall with temporary consequences.

However, the support system for such is love. Love is the strongest emotional bond we have here on this earth. If I’m going to leave this world having loved anyone or anything, I’m surely going to be one of them.

In short, do what it takes to love yourself. If it takes coming to terms with your past, telling yourself “it doesn’t matter what people think of me”, following more positive social media sites to keep your mind focused, etc. then DO THAT! I promise you it’s worth fighting every negative thought.

Be your number one supporter.

Much love

-v.

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You’re A Gem

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I get it.

It hurts.

Not the “ow, my finger is bleeding” kind of hurt, but the “wow, that kinda really sucks” type of hurt.

It seems as if no matter how hard you push, your feet are just tiny hamster paws rhythmically slamming down on a rickety metal wheel, as your heart thuds and your mind wonders, am I really going anywhere with this? It seems as if you’ve been here before. In fact, you don’t really think you’ve ever even left… When you look around everything is in the same place. Not a thing has changed while you’ve been on this wheel, and you spent so much time convincing yourself that you were really going somewhere…or at least you thought you were. Wait, but if all that time you spent running you weren’t moving, why do you seem so tired? You would think that tired equates to work, and work translates to progress…but…what happens when you work, work, work and work some more and…here you are, still trekking on the same wheel?

Hmm…I don’t know. But don’t worry about it right now, we still have time.

As I look at my clock the numbers melt off like water sliding down an oil covered pan. The black mixes with the white to create this odd hue of confusion in which I don’t really know where the time went, because 2 equals 4, and 4 really means 6:30, but what happens when 6:30 was actually midnight, because then it’s just too late. Too late? How could it be too late!? I promise the last time I checked it was just turning dawn, but now here I am…ankle deep in sand like a child in a sandbox, grasping for what I thought was moldable…only to watch it slip through my fingers.

But ya know, maybe I’m just too hard on myself. Maybe we both are, maybe what we need it to just relax. Yeah, relax. That sounds good.

So here I go, relaxing.

I mean…this is nice and all, but I really wish my mind would just deactivate itself, even if only for a few minutes…

*sigh* here we go again. “You really should be doing that lab report right now.” “Hold up, when was the last time you did laundry?” “Remember you told Ryan you would help him with his paper, text him and see what’s a good time before you forget.” “Did you reply to that invite?” “Make sure you log in your hours for work.”

Wow…it just never ends does it? It seems as if no matter how hard you work, how long you work, how often you work, it’s just not enough.

This world requires so much of us that often times I feel like I’m wearing kaleidoscope glasses, walking through a fun house while listening to circus music. If that’s not trippy enough, I can’t forget that on Monday at 3 I have a juggling appointment until 4, when I have to head over to Atlantis to learn how to be more like a mermaid. Then on Tuesday morning, I have a coffee date with the Loch Ness Monster to discuss quantum physics that way on next friday, I’ll be prepared to give my presentation on “Why Seahorses Should Be President,” off of my hologram presentation device, in my Ballet class, while riding a unicycle.

But really though…it is that far off from the truth? We go through our day doing things mindlessly, while over a good one third of our day is spent doing things irrelevant to what we would actually prefer to do. And if you’re anything like me…it can drive you up the wall sometimes too.

If it were up to me at this very moment in time, this is what I would do. Put on a nice oversized sweater with a pair of fleece lined leggings, sit in bed and sip on a cup of spiced chai tea out of my cow mug, read a good 200 pages of a book, surprise a friend with a genuine and lengthy “I miss you, you’re awesome” text, organize my desk for some mental relief, look though some old pictures for memory sake, bake a batch of cookies, babysit my niece, write another blog post, and then end the day with a warm cat snuggle session. Yeah…that sounds nice.

But no. The world doesn’t work like that. Just because you decide you’re tired and need a moment to detox your mind, the world doesn’t say “Oh my gosh Victoria, I’m so sorry! Wow, that was super inconsiderate of me. Let me just pause time for you so you can take a few moments to breathe. Just let me know when you’re done, I’ll gladly press play again.” Nahh…that ain’t real. But because the world can’t compensate for the daily wear and tear, I can offer you this beam of light in a dark space.

“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” -Lucius Annaeus Seneca 

You need this. You need these hardships because without them you would be just like the rest. You would be in the ruff while someone else chooses to be the diamond. I can’t afford for that to be me. While I think at times life can be a bit much and the pressure might just make me crack, I remember that pressure makes diamonds. So, to the best of my ability I embrace it. Yeah sure, for now I might just be a hamster on a old rickety wheel but that thing creaks for a reason. It creaks because the force I put on it causes it to give way to the pounding of my feet. And before long I would have given that wheel so much to squeak about that the wheel separates from the frame and finally….I’m off.

You see, once I get going…there’s no stopping me. I’m off and running and the last thing on my mind is looking back. I would hope you would do the same. I’ve never ran a marathon or anything but I heard it’s nice to have a running partner. If you’re up for it, I’m in the market for a partner and I would love for you to join me.

Friction.

Pressure.

If that’s what it takes, well then it appears I’m at least half way there already. Life is tough. And sometimes, it’s hard to accept the fact that no matter how hard I try, I might not be the best unicycler out there, but I would be a fool to give up on something just because it’s hard, it challenges me, or even because there is someone out there who can juggle even a tenth of a second faster than I can. If I’m gonna be wearing kaleidoscope glasses, walking through a fun house while listening to circus music, then you better believe I’m gonna be as fly as possible. Even while stumbling over my own two feet and grasping onto the walls to see if they’re still there.

Think about it this way…if you’re constantly under so much pressure to do well, and pressure is known to produce gems…well my friend, the correlation is obvious…

You’re a Gem.

It’s that simple.

Much love,

-v

Why Can’t We All Just Have A Banana & Be Happy?

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No really though? Like how cute is he? Super. I know.

When I first saw this gif, of course I had the initial reaction I’m sure you had. A gracious “aww,” paired with a heartfelt smile. It wasn’t until I watched repeated loops of this innocent fruit triggered celebration, that my eyebrows began to furrow. Then it hit me…

“Why aren’t I that grateful?”

“Have I not been given things far more valuable than a banana, and still have the nerve to be unsatisfied?”

“I want that joy…”

Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll understand what I mean when I say I’m ALWAYS looking for a way to improve my life. Even if it’s only an inkling of growth. And yes, that’s a valuable trait to have in life, however, I’ve found it to be a double headed sword. It seems as if half of me is excitedly searching for the next project while the other half didn’t even think to appreciate life’s most recent courtesy.

Looking back on the way I treat life and overlook blessings actually makes me sick to my stomach. But seriously, who am I to not appreciate all the things I’ve been graced with? Exactly. So, instead of sitting back with a frown mantled on my face and a shallow pit of sorrow in my heart, my little Self-Improver and I made a deal. For every “banana” I’m given, no matter the size, I’m under obligation to write a heartfelt note displaying my appreciation. This can be written on a notebook scrap, in my laptop, the notes on my phone, wherever. What matters is that I’m taking time out of my day to thank God, myself, parents, professors, friends…whoever is eligible. It doesn’t have to be pubic of any kind (although on the occasion it might be), but rather in inward expression of gratitude. Time taken out of my day to say thank you. A few seconds to just slow down and realize, wow, I really have been graced with all I need, and what I have is enough.

An ugly trait associated with the craving to constantly improve is a dissatisfied demeanor with life. Now think on this…how would you feel if every time you accomplished something difficult, did something thoughtful, or even bought something nice for yourself, someone you cared about said, “Okay and…oh wait, that’s it!? Yeah, no. Not good enough. Next time, do better.” That feeling of self doubt and dissatisfaction coming with such a statement is enough to make someone actually believe that if they hear it enough. That is what happens when we constantly strive for greatness in life and never take even but half a minute to just appreciate what has come our way. 

So, if “banana notes” is what it takes for me to tell that “forever-unsatisfied-voice” to shut up, so be it. I will now look forward to receiving bananas, and you better believe I’m gonna be like little man with the banana when I receive them.

Take time to say thank you.

Take time to see your bananas.

Make sure you cherish them.

I dare you.

-v