Breathe & Let It Go

Blood coursing through veins, heart pumping, pulse racing, fists clenched, teeth gritted together, head pulsing… the physical manifestation of anger, the outward allusion, but what does anger that no one ever sees do?  What happens internally with the type of anger that no one, but the person experiencing it really sees, the type that is hidden away for so long that you do not even recognize it until something makes it rear its ugly head, whether it be someone cutting you off in traffic, someone doing something to you personally or a grave injustice in the world. How do you even realize you are harboring this anger?

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Peace

Peace. This is a word I thought I knew the definition of so well, actually better than well. Even as a small child I was all about peace signs and peace, love and happiness. I mean after all I hated guns, didn’t think people should be at war or fight with each other, that everyone should live together as one without conflict. Well it would take me nearly 30 years to learn that there was so much more to peace than that simplistic definition I had in my head.
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Survivor

survivor [ser-vahy-ver]

Noun
1. A person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died.
2. The remainder of a group of people or things.
3. A person who copes well with difficulties in their life.
4. In Law: A joint tenant who has the right to the whole estate on the other’s death.
In American culture the title of survivor is often worn like a badge of honor, to have survived is to have somehow beat the odds and won at something in life that you otherwise should not have. However, beyond the celebratory graces of “surviving” people rarely delve deeper to examine or learn for themselves what it in fact means to survive. Is surviving the end or just the beginning?

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The Beauty of New Beginnings

As the year draws to a close I find myself reflecting upon the past calendar year. It was filled with a lot of ups and downs and one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. Perhaps that is why sitting here now I cannot help but to think about the beauty of new beginnings and all that can be learned from them.

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Caregiver

Back before it turned out Lance Armstrong was taking steroids, when everyone still loved and adored him I read his book and he mentioned something in the book that always resonated with me it was that ” Cancer either brings you together or tares you apart.” He was referring to his first marriage and while I was just a child when I read that it resonated with me for some odd reason, but years later I would fully understand what he meant.

While not married to Matt at the time when he had his stroke I became his care taker, which to everyone whom has ever taken on that role you know how tough it is. I thought the role was temporary and for the most part it was, but I think the thing I never actually fully comprehended was just how much Crohn’s Disease played into my care taker role. In so many ways that would be the reason why for most likely the rest of my life I will cycle in and out of the caregiver role. I don’t think there is ever a way to be prepared for that role especially not in your 20s, but when it falls upon you out of the blue you step up to the plate and embrace it, as I did when I needed to.

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Loss…

66A433B4-8399-40CC-80C0-878D876D5ABC.jpegLoss… some people are blessed and never really know true loss until they are well into adulthood. Others seem to be surrounded by it at a young age. I unfortunately am one of the later. At the ripe age of barely 16 I lost my mother. This is something I almost never talk about and something I hardly admitted or told a soul until everything happened to Matt. I fully believe that almost losing Matt forced me to fully process everything in a new way and I started to make peace with it.

Butterflies symbolize resurrection, a spiritual symbol of life after death. I think that it is no twist of fate that this summer as I ran my normal boardwalk route, a beautiful Monarch butterfly followed me, landed on my nose and swarmed around my head. I fully believe that was my mother telling me while not physically, spiritually she was there for me in one of the most trying seasons of life as I navigate what is next for me in my career.

I thought of her telling me the story of my premature birth and how she had spent a late night at the office a month and a day before her due date with me because she thought that then she would have a whole month to prepare for her new daughter. Surprise! I came approximately 12 hours later, when she went to the hospital in pre-labor pain, they lost my heartbeat and immediately induced. She would always say I was a pain in the ass from day one in her perfectly sarcastic way laced with her Philadelphia accent. As that butterfly fluttered around me circa mile 3 I thought Mom, are you showing me how you can be that pain in the ass too and laughed hilariously as we played and harassed each other for the next few miles. The butterfly would flutter in, I would look at her, she would fly away, repeat. Just like old times driving each other insane but still filled with so much love and joy.

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