Get Busy Living | Learning to be with the one you love

Good albums. Another novel. New recipes. Finding a getaway in town. 

These are all the things that I discovered when I learned to spend some time by myself.

The world is loud. There’s constant noise and chatter everywhere we turn. We seek it out in almost all the actions we do. Scrolling through social media, pausing every now and again to watch the newest viral video. When we keep the keyboard sounds on on our phones, like everything orbits around the response. Even as I write this on my laptop. Headphones are plugged in, Featherstone by The Paper Kites is filling my ears, and I’m pounding out this article like a journalist cutting it close to a deadline.

I suddenly wonder- What are we rushing for? When did we get so scared of being alone with ourselves?

When I was younger, I had this fear that I was missing out. At times, that feeling can still sneak up on me. When I go seeking for plans, choices, who’s looking to go out, or deciding instead to stay home and watch old reruns of Law & Order: SVU. I feel so indecisive. Fearful of not being there instead of here, or here instead of there. So I open up Instagram, looking for posts from throughout the night. I follow snap-stories like they will fill me in. Phew, you’re less alone. But that shouldn’t be the case.

So I spent a weekend without checking in on social media. I deleted Snapchat from my phone. I called people if I needed to talk. I went out and looked at CD’s like I haven’t done since I was nine; when you had to put the CD in a track box located in the trunk of your mom’s car- subjecting everyone who road with you to listen to the new Grammy Hits of 2005. Outkast and Green Day fueling the drive. I discovered Arctic Monkeys that weekend. Still listening to their AM soundtrack when I drive around town. All those recipe clippings I had saved? The pages of Eating Well magazine that I had dogeared, and forgotten about? Those got taken out. The kitchen was alive again, and it smelled like baked sweet potato slices and homemade soup. I read Station Eleven, and got lost in a post-apocalyptic world, fighting to keep the ghosts of art and humanity alive. Traveling from town to town; remembering what was beautiful. Another great novel that sits on my windowsill- stacked between Catcher in the Rye and Sharp Objects, and right next to my jar of pens. I ran the trail that backs up to my apartment complex. No headphones. Just the crunching leaves on the ground, my heavy breathing, and the smell of cool air carrying the promise of spring. This is where I realized there’s a difference between being lonely, and spending some time with yourself.

In the span of one weekend; time moved slower. I won back my moments. I was in no rush. I had nowhere that I needed to be. I didn’t have any definitive plans. I did what I wanted. I woke up by the sun, and dreamed by the moon. I spent quality time doing the things I should have done long ago. I had real conversations with my roommates. I was genuinely interested in everything that was happening around me. I was fascinated by the real world. I wasn’t distracted by the world that fit in the palm of my hand. My sole focus was on the here and now.

So I urge you, spend some time with yourself. Everything will look brand new again.¶

Emerson:

Good Reads | “Where the Sidewalk Ends” Shel Silverstein

This book has allowed me to be a dream weaver, a story teller, and a magic bean buyer. 

(more here)

It’s a dangerous thing for a writer to claim that they have a favorite book, but this one in particular has sparked so much inspiration for me. Growing up I read a poem a night, and as I’ve grown-no matter what phase in life-I’ve always taken away something new each time. They say that you can never duplicate that feeling of reading your favorite book for the first time, but with this one, it’s like the first time-every time.  Continue reading “Good Reads | “Where the Sidewalk Ends” Shel Silverstein”

These Words | 4

“When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.”

 

William Butler Yeats

Get Busy Living | Forgiving Yourself

Forgiving yourself. 

This has been on my mind for a while now. When things don’t go exactly how I thought they would. When I got in a fight with my sister. When that guy who I was hitting it off with seems to have moved on. I take a look at the things that I wish were different, and assume that since I’m the common element in all these situations- it must be me.

In high school, I faced a bout of depression my junior and senior year. Growing up I was always outspoken; I performed in dance recitals, went to summer camp, made friends, sang in the school choir, and performed in marching band. I had two parents who loved me unconditionally, and I was healthy. I had all those things. So when it hit me, I thought it was just a phase. Something that would sort itself, on its own. I went along with the good life, I went to parties with friends, and continued all the usual things I would have done. But that was it; I was just going through the motions.

Those two years are particularly foggy, and it’s still hard for me to face those ghosts head on. But they’re my ghosts; part of the thread that makes me whole. So, I started writing more and journaling every night before I went to bed. I ate healthy, I talked to my parents about how I was feeling, I sought out people who made me happy, and surrounded myself with the positives in my life. Day by day, I worked on it, I worked on me. I let go of the idea that I had to control every aspect of life. I just needed to be in control of myself. How I was doing, and how I was feeling. College was just around the corner-I met new people, made new friends, kept in touch with old ones, and started a routine. I have bad days every now and again. But I remind myself of how far I’ve come, and to continue to be better.

So, you ask, how does this go with forgiving yourself?

This took me a long time to realize- but every time in those two years, I’d blame myself for the things that went wrong. Never looking at the big picture. I didn’t get accepted to my dream school- but now I realize that where I am at right now is my dream school. And I could have been happy somewhere else, but this life I’m leading has brought me to some really incredible moments, with some really incredible friends. Who I would have NOT met, if I didn’t get rejected. Getting in fights with my sister, well she’s my sister. Some things don’t change, but we grew up from being teenagers with nothing better to do than getting on each other’s nerves- that’s a sibling thing.

And as for the guys- they’ll come and go. But I’m stuck with me forever. When I wake up in the morning, and start each day. And when I go to bed at night, right before my head hits the pillow; I just need to remember that as long as I’m happy with the person I am, and love myself, then all is well. Nothing about me should ever be contingent upon the approval of someone else. The right person will find a way into my life, and they’ll stay because they want to. That’s the person worth loving, and that’s the person worthy of my love.

I am forgiving myself for all the times I blamed myself. I am forgiving myself for not seeing my worth. I am forgiving myself for loving those who didn’t deserve my love. I am forgiving myself for not taking more care of myself. I am forgiving myself for the past. And I am forgiving myself for all the things I will undoubtedly stumble upon in the future.

But they’ve led me to these conclusions, and all the miss steps, and detours- they are just that- another obstacle to overcome. These moments are temporary, and not forever. It’s so easy to look down, and forget that there’s a whole world out there. A whole life out there. 

So, what’s past is past, and what comes will come. Let it. Embrace it. Forgive it.

Forgive yourself today, who knows what you face tomorrow

12390937_10206416498190114_2994567326819808555_n

These Words | 3

“for if we can’t learn to be kinder to each other how will we ever learn to be kinder to the most desperate parts of ourselves.” 

Rupi Kaur:

 

Good Reads | “The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories” Marina Keegan

When my nose isn’t pressed to the pages of a textbook, it’s buried in a novel. 

images

This book found its way into my life in the fall of last year. I gravitated towards the title, and once past the cover, I was hooked by the words.

The Author Marina Keegan

Marina Keegan graduated magna cum laud from Yale in 2012, and was on her way to becoming one of the next best writers to come ofour generation. With such a promising future, the twenty-two year old tragically died in a car accident a few days after her graduation.

This posthumous novel is a collection of both fiction and non-fiction essays and stories compiled by professors, family and friends. It is a must-read that was created in honor of Keegan, highlighting her imagination and literarygenius.

Why this novel?

While I was reading this novel, I cried, I laughed, and I felt both so tiny in the world, and so big in my life. It’s haunting to see this girl on the cover- and to read her life was to feel like I knew her, as if we were friends. Her prose takes you along for the ride, and that with every turn of the page, you were experiencing this too. Keegan gives you this sense of urgency, to pursue all the things that make you crave being both accomplished and fulfilled. To chase adventure, and to realize that time not spent well, is wasted.

I recommend this novel for so many reasons, but the one that stands out among the rest, is that even after her tragic death- she left behind something that made you question your life. Keegan gives voice to all the hope, doubt, and promise that our generation faces.

The Opposite of Loneliness is more than just another best seller; it is what we are too afraid to say, but all undoubtedly know. That we’re stumbling through this world and with every obstacle, we’re figuring out who we want to be, what we want to say, and how we can use all that we know- a captivating take on living life, the best way we know how.¶

What’s your favorite book recommendation?

These Words | 2

“Pursuing happiness, and I did, and I still do, is not at all the same as being happy- which I think is fleeting, dependent on circumstances, and a bit bovine.

If the sun is shining, stand in it- yes, yes, yes. Happy times are great, but happy times pass- they have to- because time passes.

The pursuit of happiness is more elusive; it is life-long, and it is not goal-centered.

What you are pursuing is meaning- a meaningful life… there are times when it will go so wrong that you will barely be alive, and times when you realize that being barely alive, on your own terms, is better than living a bloated half-life on someone else’s terms.

The pursuit isn’t all or nothing- it’s all and nothing. Like all quest stories.”

Jeanette Winterson

Why Be Good. Do Good?

Untitled design

Be Good. Do Good. is more than just a blog, it’s a challenge to start practicing the things we preach. 

I’ve been a writer since I was a kid. It started with the usual stories of adventure and mischief. As I grew, life started showing me there was more to write about than fiction. There were personal stories to be shared, lessons that had been learned- and I felt like I was going through them all alone.

Being a twenty-something, and battling the struggles of school, friendships, relationships, and personal growth; I feel like I’m caught in a whirlwind, and that I’m not experiencing my life. Just going through the motions.

This is a space where life takes a pause, and chronicles the moments that we need to be reminded of. It’s a space that is shared, nurtured, and cultivated. It is a space to remind each other that we are NOT alone. It is a space that I would have needed for my younger self. A space that I’ll need for my forgetful future self. And a space that is currently at work for my present self. This is a space that is as much for you as it is for me.

This is a new kind of adventure that I’m writing. An adventure of change. A positive perspective. A story of life.

This is living, and I’m writing what I know so far.¶

 

 

 

 

These Words | 1

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

E. E. Cummings

Get Busy Living | “Goals & Growing”

Changing perspective, one post at a time.

Copy of Because we always want to be better. better for ourselves. Better for the world. -m.j.t.

You were on the path to forgetting about the last year, and letting go of grudges. Pioneering yourself through the unknown and shaky ground of the future. Finally taking that leap to being free of all the ghosts that haunted you in the past. January came around, and you pep talked yourself enough to realize that some people didn’t deserve your love, and you deserved more of it. Continue reading “Get Busy Living | “Goals & Growing””