Green Peas (23)

Hello guys, I hope you’re doing well. I have some cool news, but I thought I’d first give you some really bland back story. 

I hate summer. 

The one pictured below was closest I ever came to reaching a happy summer. I’m a winter person, not by choice but circumstance. This story explains why: 

 Well the story is quite simple, from about the age of eleven I started receiving horrible news during the summer. It quickly went from feeling like a strange coincidence to an unwanted yearly occurrence. The worst of this news being the death of a friend. 

The summer usually brings a lingering sadness that most people feel during the winter. 

I always try my best though. 

California has a way of offering beautiful distractions. Seriously though, I usually await the month October with the hopes of  relief from the sunny anxiety people call summer. 

So you may be asking yourself, ” So what’s the news?” 

I’ve been making art to sell. 

The art is part of my “Not This Summer Satin” collection. 

I still hate the summer, but I’m ready to address my feelings for the most part. 

So cheers to fun and frustration. 

#summer2017 

(for now details about the art will be made available upon email request) 

welcometothe39th@gmail.com

Circus (22)

So, what do you get when you combine moving two-hundred miles away from home with the craziness of new marriage? A very apologetic writer. 

I’ve been spending the past month adjusting to a new life in a new town where no one knows my name and people always smile at the grocery store. It’s also very green here and ducks block traffic lanes. It’s a far cry from the life I knew back home, but it’s life that I’m getting used to a little more each day. 

I’m doing my best here, but I still do long for my hometown somedays. It’s a bitter sweet nostalgia that is sometimes swiftly stomped out with the thoughts of a better life offered by this new town. I guess I’ll still always miss those friendly faces of my friends and love ones. 

Oh, Grands. She complains I never get her good sides in pictures, but guys look at her lovely face.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot something else, the move brought me one more thing. 

I’m going to say this one last time for the people in the back who don’t listen. Stability is everything. I must simply tell you how much it means to have a place called home. You see for a long time like kids of divorce, I didn’t get to have just one home. You know the deal Christmas here, birthday there, the thought of not being able to sit between your mom and dad without fear of an argument. Although the physical shifting about mellowed in my teen years, I still felt the effects of three different homes of people not working together for a common goal. 

I’m more confident than ever in my ability to build a home with my husband. I owe it to my parents to make my house a home that fosters good memories and creates an ambitious atmosphere. I also happen to think it’s working already. 

This last month has been the craziest, most unexpected month of my life. It feels like a circus sometimes, but the fun ones where you eat a little too much cotton candy. It has its good days and bad, but as long as I’m willing to defend the path that I’m making and continue living with purpose then I’m good. 

These are the things that make me feel successful, and that’s what matters because haters are always going to hate. 

Well at least that’s what my dad tells me. 

Cheese (21)

That’s me, carrot and all. I was seventeen here and this back then was my favorite photo. 

Those here to read about my wedding and my new husband, well I’m actually going to still tie that in, I just really need to address this topic. 

This photo along with many others of its kind were taken by one of my closest friends from high school. He was kind, somewhat of a genius, and the new kid. His friendship would lead to countless adventures and photos, most I no longer have. In classic teenager going on adult fashion, emotions, immaturity, and a lack of empathy ended our friendship. I look back on those last few months with my friends and have strange regrets, but I mostly regret not staying friends with the nice boy who once built a computer. I also regret the stranger I introduced to my friend group, but that’s a different story for a different day. 

These photos remind me of the simple days before we turned about nineteen, these were the days when we would get weird sunburns and run loose on the pier. We were children yet to be changed by the uncertainty of our early twenties. We had not suffered the pain of what was to later come in our lives. Looking back I now understand that as we got closer to our twenties we were acting based on our frustrations that rattled us behind closed doors. 

Death of love ones and friends had not yet reached us. 

Fear of the future had not yet reached us. 

The idea that we could all just naturally be pulled in different directions had not yet reached us. 

These friends once threw a birthday party when a member of the friend group parents had accidently forgotten his birthday. 

These friends once wore matching purple outfits and marched around together. 

These friends were all once part of a kindness club at their high school. 

The older I get I look back and I can’t tell you how fondly I think of these young kids and frown on some of the events that occurred in their lives. These kids are bright beautiful pieces of potential. The boy that took these pictures was always a wiz with computers, and I always knew he’d be something great. 

So what does all of that have to do with my marriage or my husband? 

Everything. 

I’m twenty-three now and a lot of those experiences and those laughs helped me shape who I am as well as the bad times and the end of some of those friendships. Nothing ever lasts forever, however,  those experiences taught me empathy and understanding and would allow me to do certain things a lot differently in the future. I will never again be a seventeen- year old digital artist and time will forever move forward. As I now scroll through the feed of marriages, college grads, and babies, I’m reminded how quickly we’ve grown into adults. 

We’re tiny pieces of the people who raised us mixed with our experiences in search of a future. 

I was once a teenager sitting at the feet of adventure, my dreams were simple and my thoughts complicated. The fondness I feel for these times are both romantic and genuine. These pictures were a great way to start my marriage because they remind me of where I came from and how much has changed. I look at these photos with the hope that I will do that quirky girl some amazing justice. I know just how scared she was.

 It brings me great pleasure to see everyone doing well and I hope that whenever anyone gets down on themselves that they remember simply that time is still moving and a lot has changed. 

Well, mostly. 

How can it be? (20)

The greatest gift bestowed upon human kind is that of empathy. We were granted the ability to take a step back and put ourselves in the shoes of others. 

Although we were granted such a wonderful gift, we lack so much compassion at times. We are a defensive people that search for ourselves in things that don’t concern us. We read into the actions and words of others and we arrogantly assume we are the only motive behind those actions and words. We get offended quicker than we take the time to listen or consider other reasons for someones actions or behavior. 

At twenty one years old I lost a friend to suicide. That experience lead me on a personal journey to understanding how I could become more empathic. When my friend passed away our relationship was actually poor. I had chosen to be upset and defensive when we hit a rough patch  rather than just sitting down and asking why they were behaving that way. 

Looking back, I realize that’s all they really wanted. They wanted to tell me that they were hurting because of family, pressure, broken dreams. They wanted my ears to hear their stories without input. They wanted to be transparent. 

I let them down by assuming they were attacking me because they were being unreasonable. I didn’t take the time to understand that I had broken the trust of someone who was used to me just listening. 

Never again will I have the chance to tell that person that their feelings are valid nor apologize for not being more understanding. That feeling will always haunt me. 

 Not everything is about us. 

We need to ask questions without motives and make an effort to understand we aren’t always in need of a defensive attitude. We are to blame sometimes. So take the time to be understanding and also take time to leave some people behind. 
That’s the kindest thing we can do sometimes. 

You see pain (19)

I’m very used to being called hurtful names. 

Those names are painful reminders of the most volatile and vulnerable parts of my existence. The haunting side of my actions brought fourth in tiny bits of childhood trauma. 

I am in essence a ticking time bomb of experiences. 

This picture used to mean everything to me, well it meant a lot. That was my dream school and those were my dirty red chucks. UC Irvine had so much of my heart, that I was forcing myself to do math so I could pass the classes I needed to get in. (I hate math) That was my dream, my ticket out of my house, an anteater full of success. I was young and hopeful about the prospect of being an anteater given the proper fight for it. Unfortunately, motivation also plays a big roll in success. 

In a sea of doubt I lost my morale. That’s my fault.

 In a negative environment the first thing that is usually dashed in a person is morale, but I should have squashed that feeling with disappointment. 

Confused? Let me explain. 

That thing in my hand is a notebook, a sketchbook to be more accurate. I was once an artist who spent hours sketching my inner thoughts. I loved art so much I took to expressing myself in digital arts as well. 

Not my best work, but it was what I could find. This was my outlet and defense against a chaotic home life. My art was everything until I was called a name. 

Encouraged to make art for a profit,  I began to hate everything about it. I resented being told I wasn’t getting anything out of it unless I used it to turn a profit. I lost my interest and eventually stopped all together.

 That too was very painful. 

When I got older I realized something, the loss I suffered both times was at the hands of my weird need to impress people or live up to these weird standards set by others. I lost my chance at Irvine when it became about proving something. 

I know what it means to be disappointed in little things as well as big. I should have realized that the people doing the name calling were both nasty trolls as well as hurt people themselves. I owed them nothing. Irvine should have been for me. My art should have been for me. 

My life is a gift that I want to live in peace not pieces selected by others.

I urge you to really examine the pain in your past failures and see if you let yourself fall victim to others expectations or if your past motives were poor. If so, let it go and create new ventures for success. 

So what’s the silver lining in all this? I never got poor grades in transfer level classes. That’s right ya’ll my transfer GPA is actually still good so with some hardwork UCI could be obtained, but those days are behind me. My life has a new direction where success is defined as so:

I hope I am fortunate enough to travel, write, and volunteer for the rest of my time on this big rock called home. I’m grateful for my failures like I am my vitctories. 

The cry of the Anteater will always be a bitter sweet reminder that failure is out there, but a great reminder that success isn’t far behind. 

I’ve been called a lot of things growing up, but my favorite has always been Lark. 

After all these years (18) 

Holy pancakes you guys, well actually just regular pancakes. 
These blogs now have a tendency to start out with me profusely apologizing for elongated absences, but again I have a good reason.  I can promise you that this story is worth the slightly long read.

So I don’t recall if I’ve ever mentioned my love and admiration for Vietnam veterans or my tendency to stop and strike up random conversations in grocery stores, but I live for it. The vast amount of knowledge that I acquire from each soldier is enough to make me think about the things we take for granted, but also the things that we as civilians could never fathom. 
My fiance’s great uncle is a purple heart veteran who my fiance and I had the pleasure of meeting about three weeks ago. He told me that he had many stories, but that these stories were not unique to just him. His great uncle was only one of hundreds of thousands of boys who saw the war-torn jungles of Vietnam and were left changed by the unforgiving scenery.  His uncle told me of his battle with skin cancer, most likely an effect of the chemical weapon Agent Orange. His mother, who was sitting on the couch beside him, noted his missing fingers.

 I look back on that moment and I realize how grateful I was to be able to witness his response. 
I watched that man look his hand and smile. He said, “When you have seen what I’ve seen, and you’ve seen some of the vets missing arms and legs, a few fingers is nothing.” 

We will never see what a whole generation of veterans is still dealing with. Whatever happens to us can never be as bad as what happened to those men in that jungle.
Towards the end of our conversation, he looked at me again, but this time with a smirk. He learned towards us and said, “I’m dying.” 
He told us that this was a fate that he had accepted, but he also told us of his many adventures in life. He balanced the talk of death and appreciation for unique experiences so well. I felt as though his mistakes and successes all just blended into one unique life story that had no time for regret, only lessons. He told the story as if he wanted you to understand that he was only a man.
When I see a veteran at the grocery store I stop and crave the knowlege of a gentleman who knows what it’s truly like to be anxious. The image of hero pushing a shopping cart fighting a silent hell they we could never fathom. 
I read about the Vietnam war, but these men are the war and after all these years, the war is still killing them. 

Might (16)

(re upload) 

Oh boy, you guys I’m really excited to write this one. 

So recently I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on the Internet. I find myself scrolling through endless comments about President Trump or the Women’s March, but sadly it’s mostly fluff. It’s either people attacking points of view they can’t relate to or people just lacking empathy all together. 

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of visiting the Los Angeles Museum of The Holocaust (LAMOTH for short). The most haunting thing about that museum was the countless number of artifacts were all encased in glass. I sometimes feel that I don’t understand how or why something like the Holocaust could have occurred, but then I remember the word empathy. Umong the swastika flags tucked away in glass draws and cases full nazi propaganda there were pictures of ordinary faces. 

I’ve spent a lot of time reading about the what happend to the Jewish population in Europe under Adolf Hitler and the restrictions placed on a specific group of people as a means of scapegoating. I read these things over and over but something was still missing; outrage from the groups not being effected. I say this because the Jews, liberals, and communist were being blamed for something that could have easily been explained had enough people used empathy and had chosen to educate themselves.

Germany’s economic crisis had not been caused by a lack of nationalism that was under attack by the Jews and other groups of people in the country at the time. 

Germany’s economic status and political unrest in the country came by way of the Treaty of Versailles. 

The Treaty of Versailles was a peace treaty between Germany and the Allied powers that was signed at the end of World War One.The treaty forced Germany to reduce the size of its military substantially and did not allow the country to obtain certain weapons. The treaty also forced Germany to pay reparations and stripped the country of all of its colonies. Although Germany  had little to no part in the drafting of this document, it was now their countries problem. 

So what does all that mean? 

The issues in Germany were extremely complex, far more complex than probably most common people in Germany at the time could comprehend. 

When the people heard a politician speak about restoring Germany to it’s former greatness and removing the plight that was the Treaty of Versailles they brought it. They chose a simple answer to complex problem instead of the messy task of challenging a political figure who’s promises were quite frankly ridiculous. The picture he painted of Germany was a lie personally manufactured for the frightened masses. 

Silence, lack of education, and a lack of empathy lead to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the many fascist polices that lead to the death of many people and the launch of the second World War. Fear of what was uncomfortable to certain people lead to Adolf Hitler. 

Hitler destroyed Germany on his quest for a unified more German Germany 

I believe empathy could have saved Germany. 

I believe education on the part of the people could have saved Germany.