let your heart love

When I was sixteen a friend told me it scared her how easy it was for me to love people. She said a soft heart is rare and mine was incredibly soft.  She told me that it was beautiful, but inevitably the love my heart had would be unrequited and she hoped that wouldn’t turn it hard and bitter.

We all have hearts shaped in different ways.  Many have been beaten and battered, needing a cast to heal itself back whole again.  But when its been beaten and battered, our heart never returns to its original shape.  It heals into a new form with scars and bruises, and it will refuse to forget, affecting the way it beats through love.

Our hearts, being all different shapes and sizes, are capable of love in different ways.  One heart that loves is no better than another, but sometimes two hearts don’t love in the same way and things can get messy.  I often find that this is the case with my heart when it crosses paths with others.  My heart is big and large and open.  It yearns for new hearts to know and love. And once my heart loves, it never stops.  But not all hearts are able to love this way.

I told my first and only serious boyfriend I loved him a month after we started dating and he broke up with me a week later.  I’ve lost numerous friends in the past solely due to the fact that I loved too much and they loved just enough.  Right now my heart knows and loves another, and it has for some time, but the other heart isn’t there with mine.

I cry a lot about this other heart.  It hurts to know that it doesn’t love mine back.  My heart feels bruised and broken when it’s unanswered.  So I get angry and hard on myself.  I get cruel to my heart.  I ask why it feels so inclined to love things that can’t love it back.  Then I get angry at the other heart and wonder why the hell it can’t just love the way mine does or why it can’t just let mine go.  But that’s not fair.

Everything in our past shapes and heals our heart in different ways.  Mine was shaped in ways that yours wasn’t just as yours was shaped in ways that hers wasn’t.  But every heart is beautiful whether it’s capable of loving the same way mine is or not and I need to stop forgetting that.

Don’t be hard on your heart – it’s beating the way it knows how.  It might not always beat on the same rhythm as another’s, and that has the potential to make your heart grow hard, but don’t let it.  Don’t let your heart grow small.

Let yourself love the way your heart knows how, whether it’s returned in the same way or not.  My heart loves one that doesn’t love it back, but that’s special and beautiful because it still loves despite the breaks and the bruises and the scars.

When I get hard on myself for my heart’s inclination to love everything around it, I’ll read this poem by Rupi Kaur that makes all the sense in the world –

“most importantly love
like it’s the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this means nothing
this page
where you’re sitting
your degree
your job
the money
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them”

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ten, nine, eight…

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  1. Summer is my favorite season to discover a song or a band for the first time because it feels like the music was meant to be listened to while driving along the ocean.  I just heard this a couple days ago and I can’t. stop. listening.
  2. I am now legally a tenant of an apartment.  Adulting!
  3. The traditional concept of God vs my idea of the universe has been on my mind a lot lately.  Trying to make sense of my own spirituality is really hard, but I’m liking it.
  4. There are flies all over my house and they won’t leave me alone.  This is why I hate summer when I really don’t but kind of do.
  5. My current addiction is Pinterest.  It is the best thing ever???  Wondering why I didn’t know this before…
  6. I got my hair done yesterday.  Hi, haven’t been this blonde since I was fifteen but it sure is fun so far.
  7. I go back to Chicago in six days. SIX. DAYS. Shit, I really need to start packing.
  8. I haven’t seen one “friend” from high school this summer, unless it was an awkward run-in at the gym that I wanted to avoid the second we said “hi.”  I’ve spent most of the summer with my parents and it’s been one of the best summers I’ve ever had. Can I get a s/o to all the parents who are the BEST at being a parent so much so that they are more your best friend?  HERE’S THE SHOUTOUT.
  9. I hope that someday I am able to experience this quote by Edgar Allen Poe: We loved with a love that was more than love.
  10. This playlist I made called “Sunday Morning” makes me the happiest right now and I think it’ll make you happy too.  And, it’s perfect for Sunday Mornings :):)

mother move

I haven’t had a “nice” camera for the past four months because I thought my Nikon was broken. Turns out I just needed to adjust the mirror in it, so after a two hour feat I finally fixed it.  I’ve been getting the itch to use it so much lately and now I finally can!  So yesterday I went out to Pacific Beach and filmed nature in its movements.  When I listened to Alt-J this morning, Interlude 2 came on and I realized that all the things I filmed yesterday was a visual of how that song makes me feel.  This video is a product of all these things.  Enjoy!

Life Dump, Wk. 1

This week was full of surprises and big, big things.  Last Sunday my mom was at work and my dad was gone, so I took my dog, Marley, to the farmers market right around the corner from our condo.  Marley and I have spent almost every hour of this summer together and she loves when I take her out to places with me.  Since moving here, its become a tradition for my mom to get flowers from the farmers market every Sunday, but since she was gone I took on those duties and picked out these babies, which called for a selfie or two:

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As the week went on, I realized how much closer it’s getting to me moving back to Chicago permanently for the time being.  Its always felt strange to me how slow summer feels, and then out of nowhere you realize it’s almost over and ask yourself, “Where has the time gone?”  That’s where I’m at right now, and because of this feeling I’m trying to take in my world here in San Diego, before I leave it for quite awhile.

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This past weekend was my mom’s last weekend off before I fly back to Chicago so we made one last trip up to LA to visit with our family that lives up there.  It was so wonderful spending time with my grandparents and getting to see some family that I haven’t seen in eight months or so.

I’m starting to learn how to put on makeup like a real adult, so I’ve been bouncing off the walls about that lately.  I’m learning how to put on eyeshadow and bronzer, and starting to research really good makeup products.  I never thought in a million years I’d be excited about makeup but it sure is fun.

My sweet, sweet Aunt got me a dress from one of her friends that owns a store, and gave it to me when we were in LA, so I wore it out on Sunday when my mom and I met a family friend for coffee.  I paired it with some rings I got recently:

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Annnnnd, for the most exciting part, I GOT APPROVED FOR AN APARTMENT!  It’s been such a long and tedious process trying to find an apartment in Chicago from 2,000 miles away, so getting this secured was such a relief for me.  I also adore the building and the unit I’ll be living in with my roommate so now I’m really eager to get back to Chicago. Especially since my mom is coming out to help me move in for five days.  Adult! Things!

Something else exciting: I got new glasses!!!!!!!  S/o to Warby Parker, for real.  I love them so much, so of course it called for selfies:

I’ve started packing and getting all the last things I need before I head back to Chicago. My dad found my mom, him, and me tickets to see Dave Matthews Band, a family favorite, next Friday, the night before I leave, and we’re also seeing the Cubs twice next week.  It’s going to be a fun last week here before I go back to the sweet windy city.

Some final photos from the past week:

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Today I’m Listening To…

“I don’t wanna be your friend, I just wanna be your lover…”

This is one of my favorite songs of all time.  It’s off Radiohead’s album In Rainbows, and that was one of the first albums I bought on vinyl when I got a record player three or four years ago.  My dad loved Radiohead for a long time before that, and always tried to introduce me to their music, but In Rainbows was the first Radiohead album that I connected to on my own and found connections with for myself.  Ever since then, whenever I revisit this album I just sit for awhile, often in the dark or by the light of a candle, and listen to the incredible beauty and artistry of this music.

Loving Myself Again

Going into my freshman year of college I heard endlessly about the infamous “freshman fifteen.”  People told me that you never think it will happen to you, but at the end of the year you’ll realize you fell victim to it too.  I didn’t listen to these people.  I thought I was immune to it because I liked to work out and I ate oatmeal every morning.

I was wrong.

College is incredibly time consuming.  Sure, you go to class for less hours than you did in high school.  At the school I attend we even get Fridays off from classes (which is how every school should be at every level of education, but that is an opinion for another time). This gives us time to catch up on homework, papers, and even get a little time for ourselves.  What I didn’t realize was how much time I would spend at the library doing homework, writing papers, and studying nonstop.  Fall quarter I think I spent 3/4 of my time sitting at the table by the window on the second floor every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I love school.  I love to learn.  I really don’t mind homework if it’s for a class that I enjoy. But part of dedicating so much time to my studies is that you end up not finding time for much of anything else.  So that’s what happened during fall quarter.  I didn’t workout, didn’t explore as much of the city as I would’ve liked to, and really only ate food from the dining hall, which, let’s be honest, was rarely healthy.

Since it was so. damn. cold. during winter quarter, most of my time was consumed by going out with friends and drinking incredible amounts of alcohol to get through the misery that is the Chicago winter.  I was drinking beer five nights a week, combined with other forms of alcohol, and lots and lots of wine.  Combined with that, I don’t think I set foot in the gym once in those ten weeks.  I guess I thought the cold would freeze off all the extra fat I was storing for the winter.

Halfway through Spring quarter Chicago started to warm.  The trees had leaves again, the city was buzzing, and everyone was flocking to the beaches on the weekends and on days we all got out of class early.  It wasn’t until this time that I realized how much I stopped loving myself during freshman year.

To me, truly loving myself means showing love to my body, my skin, and my overall wellbeing.  Part of that includes working out, eating healthy, drinking lots of water, cutting back on the alcohol, etc etc etc.  The list goes on.  I didn’t do any of these things for the majority of my freshman year of college.  I do believe that your freshman year is all about figuring things out, getting acquainted and comfortable in a new place and a new world, and experiementing.  But I think I got lost in a lot of that and used it as an excuse to stop showing myself the love.

If you haven’t reached the conclusion by now, I will tell you: the freshman fifteen is so real.  I didn’t fully gain fifteen pounds, but I think I gained around twelve or thirteen.  But it’s not about the number on the scale for me, though it is indicative of a much larger problem.  The freshman fifteen, to me, represents how much I ignored my own wellbeing. In order to succeed in life, you have to put yourself first.  I’m not talking selfishness.  I’m talking wellness.

So that’s what I decided to do with my summer at home.  I decided to start loving myself again.  To show love to my body, to my future, to my skin, to my brain, to my taste buds, to everything.  I asked my mom to sign me up at the gym for the summer.  I started making smoothies almost everyday, sometimes drinking them twice a day.  I read motivational fitness blogs.  I look up new workout routines to try.  I started taking vitamins.  I drink looootttssss of water.  And most importantly, I started telling myself “I love you.”

When life gets busy, or life gets ahead of you, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to prioritize.  What are your priorities?  Where does X fall compared to Y?This summer I got my priorities back in order and found that loving myself is number one on my list, and it will be for the rest of my life.  And I always have to remember that. Never let life get too busy to where you stop showing yourself the love.  Because, trust me, the hard work will all be worth it when you step on the scale and the thirteen pounds you gained during freshman year are gone.

a day at lacma

“For life is the best thing we have in this existence.  And if we should desire to believe in something, it should be a beacon within.  This beacon being the sun, sea, and sky, our children, our work, our companions and, most simply put, the embodiment of love.” -Patti Smith

Yesterday my mom and I took a trip up to Los Angeles to visit family.  Since my mom is often on-call on the weekends, we like to plan out fun stuff for us to do together when she’s not on-call.  So, this weekend, since we already have family in LA, we decided to go up to visit and spend some time in the city.

I’ve wanted to go to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) for as long as I can remember, so we decided to go there yesterday, bringing my grandma along.  I found out that one of the exhibits at the museum was “Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium.”  I’ve loved Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography since I read Patti Smith’s book, Just Kids, a couple years ago, which is all about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.  This was also the last weekend that the exhibit was going to be on display at LACMA, so it felt like everything in the universe aligned for me to see Mapplethorpe’s work.

We spent an hour and half going through just the Mapplethorpe exhibit.  All of his work was so fascinating and enchanting, and it felt each time I looked at one of his infamous photographs I was being pulled into his world during the 70’s and 80’s.  Seeing his incredible photos of Patti Smith that I’ve loved for such a long time was quite an experience.  He was a beautiful and mystifying person.

After going through the Mapplethorpe exhibit, we spent another hour or two going through the rest of the museum.  The architecture in that place was amazing.  It definitely lived up to the expectations I built for the past four years.

Feeling Stuck

During summer I always tend to lose track of the day and date and time. Everything just feels like it blends together for three months, and then BAM, I have a week left until I start school again and all I can think is “thank god.”

Summer’s never been my thing.  It’s just a time to pass the time until I’m back in school where I feel the most productive and the most human because I’m learning and I have something I have to show up to five days a week.  I have to answer to someone.  I’m never good at making plans with people, and in San Diego I don’t really have many people to make plans with as it is, so every summer, if I’m not working or doing sports, I’m usually by myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to be by myself.  Growing up an only child, you learn quickly how to keep yourself entertained for hours.  I used to lock myself in my room and read my books for hours when I was five.  No joke.  So I do like to be alone.

This summer feels different than all the others, though.  This summer was unexpected.  All year I thought I was going to be in Chicago for the whole summer, in my first apartment with a job, living the life I lived all through my freshman year of college, only better.  Then circumstances changed throughout the course of the year.  Instead of staying the whole summer, I was going to come home for a month and a half and then go back in August.  Then the last couple weeks of school, circumstances changed again.

Now here I am.

It’s July 19th.  I’ve been home for a little over a month now, but it feels like I’ve been here forever.  Usually time passes quickly during the summers because time always blends together, but this summer it feels like it passes slower and slower with each day.

I’ve been home for over a month, and I still have a month and a couple weeks left until I return again.  HOW CAN THAT BE?????

I’ve been trying to make use of all the free time I’ve found myself having.  I’m going to school two days a week to get some GE credits out of the way.  I watch movies and a lot of Game of Thrones.  But mostly I just kind of sit around and wait for the time to pass.

My mom’s been saying that I should stop waiting for people and just get out and do things, but I just feel completely stuck here.  This is not where I’m supposed to be.  I wasn’t supposed to come back to San Diego for this much time for at least ten years.  It’s one of the most beautiful places in the country, but I can’t stand it. It just reminds me of high school and all the people I’ve lost and all the sadness and loneliness.

It’s been strange going from living on my own in Chicago, where there’s always something to do and always someone to do something with, to coming home to San Diego for three months and having zero people to do things with and nothing to do.  This is why I feel stuck.  I took a hundred steps forward, and now I’ve taken a thousand steps back.

I feel like I’m just sitting around waiting for the rest of my life to start.  I don’t want to sound like I’m ungrateful, or complain too much, but I promised to get honest with myself.  And this is the honest truth.

August 27th can’t possibly come fast enough.  I’ll have an apartment, my best friend will be my roommate, and I’ll be back with my friends in the city I love more than any place in the world.  That’s where I belong.  That’s where I need to be.  It’s just going to take a little longer to get there.