Why I Write? – Finding the Why Behind your Passions

 

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Why I Write? -Finding the Why Behind Your Passions 

There are many reasons why a person writes or may want to call themselves a writer.

Some enjoy the soft grip of a pen as they scribble their thoughts and ideas across a sheet of paper.

Others use writing as a therapy, or an outlet in order to hash out specific feelings or emotions that they need to confront.

A handful of individuals may even find purpose in the art of story telling in order to better connect and motivate other humans to one another’s most vulnerable levels.

Regardless of the specific reason for writing, writing runs deep in a person’s blood.

It’s a bunch of jumbled ideas and words that are banging on the frontal cortex of a person’s brain begging to escape the chained-up realms of their creative world.

It’s the sleepless nights as a person pounds away at their keyboard racing to see how fast their fingers can type as their ideas flow through their hands.

Writing takes courage and strength to face the walls we build so high to protect ourselves from, only to break those walls down brick by brick, exposing the truth to who we really are as individuals and as authors.

You see, anyone can be a writer. Anyone can write, but it takes true persistence and passion to expose yourself and your stories to the world around you- to the criticisms and judgements of others.

That is why the willingness and passion to capture your ideas and thoughts on a piece of paper must be greater than your fear of the judgements, criticisms, and exposure of oneself.

 

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This is the main reason why I write- I simply enjoy it.

I find freedom in opening a notebook and scribbling my deepest thoughts onto a piece of paper. I enjoy creating a string of words that explains exactly how I am feeling at a specific moment in time. I love feeling into my emotions and assessing them through words, while also having the ability to be vulnerable with not only myself, but with others. I enjoy sharing my stories of triumph, of failure, of love, loss, heartbreak, and overcoming in order to motivate and inspire others to preserver through their own individual stories.

Therefore, I write because I love it.

Why partake in something if you do not have the passion and the joy for it?

If you are doing something for the sole approval of others, for the money, for the success, for the fame – or any reason other than simply enjoying what you do- why would you waste your time partaking in such an activity?

Do the thing that brings you the most passion. Spend the time crafting and practicing your passion, so that you can become better and reach new levels within yourself. By focusing and doing what you love, you will automatically bring happiness and enjoyment into your life- and isn’t this what life is all about?

So, what do you love?

What are you passionate about doing?

What activities or interests bring you joy?

You see, writing has always come natural to me. The creative ideas I held in my head were begging to come out at a young age. I remember writing song lyrics, plays, and countless stories that I would share with my family, friends and teachers. In my hands a person would almost always find  a pen, a journal, and the current self help book I was reading at the time because as children we have the freedom to explore what we love, and that’s exactly what I did.

In my adolescent years I became fascinated with reading the bible and discovering new truths about the author of the universe and the countless stories His word held. I was mesmerized with how the smallest of details in one person’s life in the bible could make up a string of themes for the multitude reading the stories.  I would create insights to what I read, writing and journaling what I thought and how I connected to the text. I discovered my love for exploring, creating and connecting to others as a child.

All of these activities came natural to me, passions usually do.

When an activity is a passion, it usually means it’s a God given desire, gift or talent.

 

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In addition to passion, I write because God gave me the gift to do so.

He gave me the creative mind I have that thinks on a deeper, more connective level than most.

Why hide away this talent?

Why make excuses for not doing something I love to do?

I think that’s the thing we all do as we grow older. We have the freedom to explore our gifts, passions and talents at a young age, but as we grow, we lack the time and freedom to keep up with these passions that bring us such joy.

Our lives start to become our to-do lists, and others place their expectations of what they think we “should do” on our shoulders.

When the reality is, God gave us these gifts, talents, passions, and desires to do these activities we love for a reason- to explore and grow in them.

If we push these passions aside because we “don’t have time” or because it’s something we think we “shouldn’t do,” we are essentially pushing off the true person God made us to be.

So, what are your gifts?

What are your talents?

What comes natural to you?

Are you engaging in such activities?

If you are not, how come?

Lastly, I write because I want to connect with the world by telling my unique, individual story.

 

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I believe the most humanistic thing we can be in this world is vulnerable. To let others see ourselves as the true, authentic self that we are. So many of us hide behind masks and pretend to be something that we are not.

Why hide your authentic self away?

It is in our vulnerabilities, our uncertainties, our doubts, emotions, pains, and victories where connection between individuals can really happen.

Essentially, we are all the same, journeying through life telling our own individual stories of how we have overcame difficult obstacles that we have uniquely faced. Each one of us does this in our own ways, whether it is through engaging in conversation with others we love, creating art, speaking, writing, practicing an instrument, playing a sport-  you name it.

Writing is a way I can connect to others around the world who face my similar struggles, pains, hurt, and victories. It is a way for others to see into my unique story. Writing is a way I can express who I truly am with no masks or walls to hide behind. I write so that I can feel more human and meet others in the familiar places that I am writing from.

So, all in all, there are many reasons why I write.

But that is the thing, in order to do something, you must find your why. You must find the reasoning behind the doing. You must find the passion behind your interest, and you must not waste it.

So, I urge you readers to find your why. Find your passion and start pursuing it.

God bless,

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L.Blum

Ready or Not the Real World is Calling: A College Graduate’s Guide to Moving on.

 

ready or not the real world is calling cover


 

I quickly cut my steering wheel to the right and smoothly pulled up the semi steep, black driveway that led to my little college house. My foot pressed down tightly on the brake pedal as I pushed the gear into park; an action I have done over and over since living here. I felt my blue Toyota Rav 4 jolt to a stop as I sat back in my seat admiring the small, cottage, college house.

 
In front of me a singular, white garage door kissed my car ever so slightly. To the left of the garage, a small white deck protruded slightly out a few feet with bright red bricks lining the awkward spaces. On the white siding next to the garage door, the number 112 rested slightly in a fancy font. Above the small deck, large, spacious windows lined the front of the house. Oh, how many times I have looked out those windows into the world outside this small little house, I thought to myself.

 
I clicked the small red button that hooked the seat belt into place and opened my car door. Stepping out of my car I took a long, deep breath, filling my lungs with air, and with an exhale I slammed the car door shut. I have stepped out of my car and walked up to the bright red door of this house so many times before. This time is different though because this time is the last.

 
This is it, I thought to myself, my final goodbye to my college days.

 
I confidently walked up to the red door and stuck my small, silver key into the key hole. With a swift turn of the golden knob I pushed the door open and walked through the doorway.

 

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Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

 
It is so empty…I thought to myself.

 
This once busy house filled with the chatter and hustle of my roommates remained empty, still and quiet. With all the furniture gone, and my roommates officially moved out, this house is nothing but a foundation of walls, floors, and rooms ready to house the next group of individuals.

 
Leaving a place and moving on is never an easy thing to do.

 
Whether it is moving to a new city or town, changing job locations, or graduating from college and moving back home; change is never easy.

But change is necessary for our growth as individuals.

 
If there is anything that I learned in the last six years of college it’s the fact that we are all humans-flawed, and imperfect-living out life to tell our own individual stories through our experiences. We as individuals choose to write our own stories, chapters, and endings.

 

 

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East Stroudsburg is not just a small little town that houses a “mediocre” sized college. To many, East Stroudsburg is home. I call this place my home because of all the memories and people who reside in it. Without the people, my small little cottage college house would just be a house built on a firm foundation on a certain street, in a certain city. What makes a particular house or place a home is the people. It’s the late nights that my roommates and I stay up and talk about life and all that it has to offer. This place is a home because of the nights we all laughed and cried about the mess our lives hold and the places we will eventually go. It is the late drunk nights where we were all silly messes wondering home from main street speaking in a jumbled language that only we could understand.

 
This place is a home because of the pre-game pep talks our coaches gave us before important games. It’s the stadium being filled with fans painted with our numbers on their chests as my teammates and I ran up and down the field. It’s the cheers, the laughs, the games played, the sweat dripped, the tears cried.

It is friendship.

 

It is figuring out who you are and who you are not.

 

It is a place.

 

It is the people.

 

It is the memories.

 

But most importantly it is a home.

 
Sometimes certain situations or circumstances like moving on from a place we considered home for so long forces us to take a deeper look at our inner selves. We reevaluate and realign how we view our past, our present and our future. We ask ourselves, what do I want for my life and how do I want to live? It is through these trivial circumstances and major life changes where we transform, transcend and even transcribe into the person we are meant to become. We transform the soul into a new masterpiece by stretching beyond familiarity or comfort. We transcend past our old ways of thinking and acting by living unashamed in our present while working hard and moving towards our goals. Finally, we transcribe a theoretical mark or imprint that can be left on the places and people we leave behind.

 

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So, readers, regardless of where you are at in life we all must leave something behind in order to grow and mature into who we are meant to become. Maybe that “something” could be old habits or ways of thinking that hold you back from the person you could potentially be. Maybe you are moving on to a new job, leaving behind new friends, or you are like me, forced to grow up and face the real world.

 
Wherever you are at, the real world is calling.

 

You see, the real world to me is a theoretical place I like to call unfamiliarity. It is a place that calls us out of where we feel comfortable, secure, and at home with ourselves.

East Stroudsburg is my home. There will always be a part of me residing in that place, but the real world is calling. I must move on from this place, gather my things, and move back to my parent’s home to start a life that was truly made for me. It may be scary, and heck living with my parents sounds god awful (sorry mom and dad nothing against you I just really like my freedom), but I must transition from this part of my life, leave behind this home, to create a new one.

 
Home can be a place, and it can be the people.

 
But home can also be the memories that come with the people and the places. Home resides in the memories and the person we are at specific moments in time; glimpses of who we were and who we became with certain people in certain places.

 
When we think of moving on in this essence it takes on a whole new meaning. Physically we let go of certain people, places, and things in our life, but home is the memories we make. The person we are. The person we become.

 
Home is evolving and constantly moving.

 
So, moving on should be quite simple. Let yourself go. Move on from each place, each person, because you can always revisit home in your memories. Home will be closer than you think.

 
But for now, the real world is calling.

 
Will you answer?

 

 

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

God Bless,
L. Blum

Unfinished: When You Feel like You are Not Good Enough.

UNFINISHED_ when you feel like you are not good enough

 

I gazed inquisitively at the waves as they crashed one after another on the solid, sandy shore. In front of the place where I was sitting, two young girls were laughing, screaming and jumping in the water. Their playful screams echoed through the roar of the ocean as  each wave came crashing at their feet. I giggled to myself at their innocence and thought for a second, when did growing up become so hard? 

I observed the two young girls laugh and enjoy life without a care in the world and it brought me back to memories when my sister and I stood in their shoes. I remember sitting on these very beaches in North Carolina at their age, running, jumping, dancing in the sun with my sister. We were so little and so innocent. The world did not touch us with pain, hurt, and the realities of life just yet.

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I remember pretending we were queens of the ocean, and mermaids who explored the deep sea to find hidden underwater cities. We had ambitions and dreams to be leaders, actors, teachers, and world changers. We pretended to be wonderful beings with a wonderful life, living out our biggest dreams, goals and ambitions. We had the world at our fingertips imagining anything and everything we have ever wanted. That was when life was good, easy. It was innocent, with no hurt, no pain, no people influencing you to be who they want you to be. It just was. And it was good.

When we were all children we played, we explored, we laughed, and we enjoyed life to its fullest. We had a childlike faith that was unshakable. We all believed in ourselves, our abilities, and our aspirations.

When did the world take those beliefs away? When did life become the daily to-do lists, or the anxieties, the worries, or the pressures of measuring up to the world’s standards and the opinions of others? 

I think in some aspect or another everyone has confronted this loss of innocence as we grow up and face the realities, disappointments and pain that life may inflict upon us. We each have these images of the person we want to be in our heads. That “ideal” being and “ideal” life we wish to live. We strive to be that perfect person that is good enough, smart enough, and CAN do everything that our real selves lack. We each strive to become that person, to do what it takes to change ourselves into this perfect version of who we are.

we will never be perfect

The reality is we will never measure up to that “ideal” version of ourselves. We will never be perfect. When we think we finally have one part of ourselves mastered, there will be another area to perfect, to work on, to strive towards, and this is OKAY.

I am not sure what path of life you may be on right now or the struggles you may be facing. Maybe you are struggling to find that perfect, suiting job. You are trying to change yourself to fit into the mold of the career path you chose; attempting to  perfect each quality to match the ideal job resume for the career you have chosen to pursue .

Maybe you are trying to live up to the perfect standards of parenthood, competing with all other parents around you, listening to the type of parent you should be, or what you should not do for your child.

Or maybe, you are listening to the opinions of others way too much, pleasing people rather than honoring yourself or your own choices. Maybe you are listening too much to the voices of those who tell you who you are, who you are not, and who you should be. You try to measure up to their worth, their standard, and come to find you let them down or fail every time you try to mold yourself to their ideals of who you are.

In actuality, we are imperfect beings trying to live in a society that pushes its standards of perfection on each one of us.

The truth is we are all unfinished, and imperfect. 

But let me tell you a little secret, by God’s grace, and perfection, our imperfections are made whole. What this means, is through our creator’s perfect eyes and love for us, he choose to create us as imperfect beings. It is through our imperfections we reflect what it really means to be human, to be flawed, to need a God who is loving and perfect in His entirety and covers our imperfections with His forgiveness, and His love. Thus, we do not have to live up to this standard of perfection we place on ourselves. We do not have to struggle, or try to be this “ideal” “perfect” version of who we want to be. Our worth is not measured on what others think of us, the amount of items we check off on our to-do list, our accomplishments, our failures, our struggles, or even our flaws.

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Our worth is measured by who we are IN our IMPERFECTIONS. The unfinished versions of ourselves. 

I have this sweatshirt from one of my favorite Christian bloggers, Jordan Dooley, it says “your brokenness is welcome here.” Every time I wear it I remember I do not have to live up to these ideals of perfection. I do not have to continue to expend my energy trying to fix every little thing that is wrong with myself and my life. Instead, I can focus on God’s grace and love that covers my imperfections and my brokenness. I can focus on being the kind of woman God wanted me to be- kind, caring, passionate, loving, happy, excited for life. I can live a life of joy, happiness, and have that child-like faith and innocence like I had when I was younger. Life will still have its struggles, and its pain, but I know I don’t have to try so hard to be perfect, to be accepted, or to be who others want me to be, because I am already accepted, I am already loved, by a God who embraces me for the imperfect mess that I am.

 

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Whether you believe in God or not, trying to live up to the standards of society and the daily stresses of trying to be perfect, or enough for this world can weigh on you.

So instead of trying  to focus on perfecting  every aspect of who you are, or what you want your life to look like, love yourself in your imperfections, and the places where you are at in this moment of time. Go back to that little child inside of you, find him or her, the innocence, the happiness, the childlike faith and focus on living a life that brings out joy, happiness and love. Live in the imperfect moments, and accept the flaws you have, while striving not for perfection of those flaws, but of being a work in progress. Work hard to accomplish your dreams and goals, but know the imperfections and flaws do not define who you are.

You are unfinished and imperfect, a work in progress, and this is okay.

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

God bless,

L. Blum

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Back, While Moving Forward

Looking Back, While moving Forward

Closing Out Chapter 2017

 

With only a few unwritten pages left in the chapter twenty-seventeen, it is only right to finalize the ending with some closing remarks. Like any natural story, chapter endings end where the chapter really began -reflecting back on the previous chapter.

 

You see, chapter endings are really just strange pauses in a story. The last period, in the last sentence, on the last page, gives readers a chance to reflect on the chapter, it’s characters, plot, and the story as a whole, before beginning the first page in the next chapter of a book.

 

The celebration of the New Year is a lot like that last period, on the last page of a chapter.

The New Year is essentially the ending of one chapter and beginning of another, which gives us all a chance to reflect on our own stories, chapters, and characters within in them.

 

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For myself, as I look back on this last year I can definitely say that this year brought lots of tears, smiles, laughter, doubts, sadness, joy, anger, happiness, and much, much more. This year was a growing year to say the least.
As the year 2017 comes to a close, so does another chapter in my book.
2017 for me, began with heartbreak and loss – loss of love, loss of passion, and loss of myself. In the beginning, I tried everything to run from myself and the pain I felt. Instead of embracing the beauty of the pain, I ran away from it, and sprinted directly into the arms of this corrupt world. I saw myself in such a negative light. You see, I saw myself as a failure and incompetent to complete the goals I set out for myself from the beginning of the year. I felt purposeless and unworthy of love.

 

Reflecting back, it took a lot of circumstances, and a few individuals in particular to help redirect me onto the right path, a path of happiness, joy, opportunities, and most importantly, a path of love.

 

I am not sure what this last year brought you, maybe it was a year full of opportunities and great experiences. A written chapter that was filled with content and happiness that you wish you could relive all over again. Or maybe this year brought you set backs and loss. The year was a year you are happy to move on from.

 

Or maybe, just maybe, this year, like mine, was a growing year for you. A year of losing yourself, and finding you all over again. Maybe it was a year that allowed you to peel back yet another layer of yourself to get to know yourself better than before.

 

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You see to me, the New Year is not about the shallow resolutions we make for ourselves or changing who we are into a “new me” because it is a “new year.” We should be constantly evaluating our lives throughout the year, and adapting ourselves to the goals and aspirations we have set for ourselves all along. Just because it is a new year does not mean a person should leave who they are behind and chase after this idea of a completely different, “newer” and “better” version of themselves.

 

To me readers, the New Year is about celebrating the big moments and small moments that have accumulated over the course of the entire year prior. It is about the people we were when we first started the year and who we have become.

 

 

Is this new person wiser? Is he or she stronger? Has he or she overcome struggles and mountains to step into the person that is sitting here reading this post?
OR
Has this new person failed in some way? Did they have all of these plans and promises to oneself but the person sitting here is filled with regret, hopelessness, sorrow or doubt?
Regardless of who you were when you first entered the year and who you are now, there is an opportunity to move forward, to learn from the good and the bad, and step into the hope of a better future.

 

2018 new year

 

What do you want your new chapter to look like? How will you write it?

Feel free to like and share any thoughts in the comment section below!

 

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Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

 

God Bless and Happy New Year!

L.Blum

 

 

 

 

 

A Letter to the Individuals who are Still Playing the Game

A Championship that Taught me Life’s Greatest Lessons

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Sitting on a slightly, raised, grassy hill only a few feet away from the bright, green turf field, I stared intently at the small, orange ball as it traveled from one side of the field, to the the other. From the place where I was sitting, I could hear the familiar pounding of the Asics turf shoes hammering the rubber pellets into the turf. Twenty-two pairs of cleats stomped the ground, to compete for the possession of the small, round ball. The smacking of the composite sticks hitting the ball, and the blow of the high pitch whistles rang all too familiar songs in my ears.
The place where I was sitting contained a scattered group of fans ranging from students to parents, bundled in East Stroudsburg University colors. The fall air contained a cold, crisp, breeze that blew ever so slightly against my face, sending a familiar chill through out my entire body. The afternoon sun peeked through the towering trees that were planted behind the field. The sun’s rays slightly kissing my body with warmth. Sitting in the fan section, I watched my old field hockey teammates compete on their home field. Man, I miss it, I thought to myself, remembering how it felt to step foot onto the very field I was looking at. Suddenly, a feeling of nostalgia and emptiness washed over me, as a memory from the last time I played flooded my mind.

 

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I took a slow and steady inhale that allowed the cold, crisp air to travel down my chest and into my lungs. I could feel my lungs slowly expanding like a balloon stretches and expands when one places air in it. The crisp air filled every crevice of my lungs causing a burning sensation deep within my chest. I held my breath for a moment causing the burning sensation to become more prominent. I then let out my breath in a big puff ,watching the cold air swarm around my face. I felt the release of my nerves as I quickly exhaled. It was in that moment I felt more alive then I ever have before. I took a look around at the large, empty, green field that was set before me and thought this is it, my last game ever – a championship game. I could feel the sun beating on my face despite the cold, fall day. I could feel the wind brush his hand over my entire body causing a chill to make my arm hairs stand on edge. Deep with in my soul I could feel this game was going to be life changing.

 


Standing on the edge of the field in that moment of time was a metaphor for my final game as an athlete. The edge of that black cement meeting up with the bright green, plastic turf represented the seventy minutes that kept me from either becoming a national champion or a regular college student. It was a defining moment that made me realize all that the sport has provided me with: friendships, a passion for something I love to do, and life’s most prominent messages. In that moment I realized how much love I had for the game, and decided that I was going to exert all the energy I had for the next seventy minutes of my life. Win or lose, I’ll look back and know I put my heart and soul out on that field.


I looked to the right of me at my fellow senior, and captain who displayed a nervous, yet determined facial expression. She looked back at me and slyly stated, “Let’s do this.” I held out my hand and smiled, as she grabbed it I stated back, “Let’s.” I narrowed my eyes, and marched out onto the battle field. I lifted my one foot off of the black cement, and onto the cushy, soft turf. Hand in hand, and side by side, my teammates and I journeyed across the field to place our belongings on the bench that was assigned to us.

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Experts say that mental pictures and videos are moments in our lives that stand out the most to us. They are moments where we feel the utmost joy and happiness, or the most pain and sorrow. As human beings we capture these good and bad experiences as pictures in our brains. We store the most prominent memories so we can look back on them as we grow older and smile at the good, or weep at the bad. We, humans, were created this way to draw upon these stored memories to feel the way we were feeling in the exact moment they happened. The purpose of this design was so that we as individuals can understand that we truly are living this overall great experience of life.
I produced a mental picture of that day that will forever be burned into my memory. With the rap music blaring, my teammates singing at the top of their lungs, some dancing, some banging on lockers, I managed to quiet my mind and take in every little detail that was going on around me. I closed my eyes for a split second and felt the bass of the music rattle my ear drums to the beat of each lyric. My teammate’s voices echoed throughout the entirety of the small, square room, bouncing off of the red lockers and cement walls. Their loud singing, that was more or less like yelling the lyric to each song filled the air with excitement. I inhaled the sweet aroma of shin guards and turf shoes, and with an exhale I opened my eyes. I looked around at the cluster of rambunctious girls that were scattered throughout the small space. Each one had an enthusiastic smile plastered across their face. The theme amongst all of us was evident – this moment would be it- we would either win it all, or lose, but we all, as a team came this far. As I took in the wild scene before me, my lips curled into a blissful smile. The thought, I made it came across my mind.

 

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The day my teammate’s and I won the Division II National Championship was a day that I will never forget. I can still feel the thrill of emotions as the ball smacked the back of the cage. I can hear the high pitch whistle blow a long and steady noise signaling the game has come to a end. I remember filling with excitement as my teammate’s and I sprinted onto the field to tackle one another. Cameras flashed in all of our faces as we collectively lifted the heavy, National Championship trophy high over our heads.
For me, I think what made this day so memorable was the fact that this was how I ended my athletic career. Years of hard work and perseverance led up to this moment- a reward for the countless hours I, as well as my teammate’s put into the sport.

 

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The sport of field hockey, or any team sport for that matter is a sport of camaraderie, diligence, teamwork, perseverance and so much more. The lessons an individual learns by joining a team sport is far beyond what any professor or teacher can teach a person in a classroom. Field hockey has taught me the essence of friendship with my fellow teammates. I learned how to respect individuals for who they are even if they are different from me.The game taught me to always have my fellow mans back in good times and bad. I learned how to show respect for my coaches, or any individuals in a position of authority. Field hockey taught me that my body will be fatigued and may fail itself, yet my mind can push farther than I ever thought I could go. The sport taught me to push through what ever adversary that is thrown my way because I am much stronger than any problem that I face. I became educated in how to properly fuel my body and love it for all that it does and is. Finally, the sport taught me to have faith- faith in a God who listens, faith in my teammate’s, coaches, and finally faith in myself.

 

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So to the individuals who still play the game,

There is a feeling of emptiness that washes over an athlete as he or she lays down their uniform for the very last time. Thoughts of now what? and what’s next? flood to the front of a newly retired athlete’s mind. At first it may feel relieving to be finished with the busy schedules, and constant “go go, go” motions. The newfound freedom to do what you want, when you want to may seem enticing, BUT once the realization of being officially done kicks in, you’ll face emotions of heartbreak, loss, and nostalgia.

An old teammate once told me, finishing a sport a person competes in for a majority of their life is a lot like a really bad break up. I never understood this comparison until I was placed in her shoes. I tried to avoid the pain by joining different clubs and organizations that would distract me while I was still at school. I stayed far away from a field hockey stick or the sport itself to keep me from reminiscing on all the memories I made over the years. This distracted my mind temporarily until I was faced with emotions of incompleteness. The sport made me who I was, and will continue to be a large part of who I am.

So to anyone who is stepping away from the game, prepare yourself for these emotions. Embrace them and know that it is natural to feel the way you feel for something that was apart of you for so long. Reminisce on all the memories you made with your teammates and coaches, for these memories will be near and dear to your heart.

FINALLY, to the individuals who still play,

 

1. Don’t take the small moments for granted.

It is easy to take the bus rides, breakfasts with the team, and pre-game talks for granted. These moments may seem small but they are going to be the big moments you will remember in the long run after you are finished playing. Take in the way it feels to sit on the long bus rides to the far away games. You may hate sitting in a cramped space for hours on end, but think about the memories you made on the bus trips -the songs you sang with the team, the talks, the chants, the funny moments-you’ll miss them all. Remember the atmosphere of the locker room and the excitement you feel leading up to stepping onto the field.

 

2. Respect and value your teammate’s and the relationships you formed with them

I think this is the biggest lesson I have learned by taking a step away from the sport. The individuals that surround you on your team are ones that mold and shape you into the person you will become. Enjoy the memories you form with each member on your team, young and old. These are the people you spend the most time with during your season, and they understand the competitive nature within you. Have fun with each of them, respect their differences, and value the times and memories you will make with them while playing a sport you all love.

 

3. Respect your coaches

Understand that your coaches are doing the best they can to help you to develop into a strong, confident player. Listen to the advice and criticism they may give, they are only trying to help you succeed. Be thankful that they have pushed you to be the athlete, and person you are.

 

4. Just Play

If I could go back in time this is something I would tell myself over and over again. Just Play. Enjoy the sport for exactly what it is – a game that you enjoy to partake in. Do not let the pressure of winning or losing, get to your head. Have confidence in yourself, and in your teammate’s abilities. Enjoy every second of being able to play the sport you love because one day, you will not be able to. Have fun with every moment, and stay positive. When you are finished competing, you’ll remember the moments on the field that shaped you, and the joy you felt by just playing.

-advice from a washed up athlete

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God bless,
L.Blum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakthrough the Pain

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Embrace the Rain

“When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in that’s what the storm is all about” – HARUKI Murakami

 

I sit at my dining room table hunched over with tired eyes and a warm blanket draped around my shoulders. If you know me, you would know that the first thing I enjoy when I wake up is a nice brewed, hot cup of coffee. Cupping my frigid hands tightly around my blue mug, I allow the smell of my steamy, hot cup of “Joe” to bring me back to life from the sleeping dead.
Since I am not a morning person, it usually takes me a solid half hour to fully wake up my mind and body before I can move on with my day’s planned activities. I slumped my tired body onto the wooden dining room chair, and peered out of the large window to the right of me. I usually gaze out of the window in a zombie like fashion taking in the hustle and bustle going on in the world outside of my quiet, sleepy bubble. The activity of others somewhat inspires me to wake up and participate in life for the day.
The view outside my window on normal day contains several students walking to and from class, cars zooming by, and adults going for brisk walks around the neighborhood. I can mostly hear everything that occurs outside of my quaint, college house. I hear the laughing and talking of students in groups, or individuals talking on the phone to a friend or parent as they stroll on the sidewalk. Usually, the sun is shining reflecting off trees and cars as much activity occurs outside of this large window of mine.
Today, the world holds a ghost like scene. The only noises are the pitter patter of rain slightly knocking on the sidewalks, trees and houses of East Stroudsburg. All is quiet and grey; the sky is dark and gloomy.
Naturally, with any rainy day comes rainy attitudes, and I can be the first one to attest to this. Waking up was harder than usual, and I had not one ounce of motivation to do all the activities I was required to do. Sitting in my chair, peering out of the window into the dreaded, wet, outside world listening to the constant flow of rain falling from the sky slightly relaxed me a bit. Listening to the slight tapping of droplets against the window eased me as a thought came into my head.
Sometimes the rain can be beautiful.
Watching the way the rain danced off of trees, sidewalks, and streets, drenching, no cleansing everything in its sight gave me peace and hope for some reason. I sat dry like a desert wrapped in warmth as I marveled at this new found beauty. The rain brought me peace, clarity and closure.

 

 

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I sat and thought for a moment.
How often do I wish dark, rainy days didn’t exist? The answer is a lot. I much rather have a day with the sun kissing my face and the sky bright, clear and blue above me. Who wouldn’t prefer this?

 
Scientifically speaking the rain is needed for growth, and life. Without rain, nothing would grow, thrive and survive.
In the same way rain is needed for the environment to survive, we too need the “rain” and “storms” of life to help us grow and thrive.
If we do not go through these stormy moments of life there would be no sunny, happy days. The rain, if we allow it, can cleanse us causing us to change into beautiful beings.
I think all of us could use a little reminder that even though rejection and bad situations may occur, it is in the pain of these situations that transform us into the individuals we are supposed to become.

 

 

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This is something that I have come to learn over the course of this entire year. Both this semester and last have been two of the hardest semesters I have had yet throughout the duration of my college career. Everything about this last year has been hard, from my school work, to my extra activities outside of classes, and finally in my personal life. There have been plenty of times in this last year that I have had my head, face first in a pillow crying hysterically over some aspect of my life. You know the really ugly type of cries? The ones where you can barely breathe and they leave you exhausted from the amount of energy you dispose? Yeah… I have had a record amount of them this year.
BUT, what I have learned from these moments of complete weakness was that those moments served their purpose. The questioning, thinking, and doubting during the times where I have completely broken down in turn strengthened me. They have cleansed me from the inside out. Sure, what I was going through did not make any sense at the time, but standing back and looking at those moments of weakness has shown me that the situations that caused those breakdowns were needed to make me stronger. They helped me to rebuild myself back up piece by piece even stronger than before that situation and that breakdown occurred.
So why must the rain fall so hard that it creates such a gloomy, yucky day? Why must pain, rejection, and hurt even exist in our lives?
I believe everything that happens in our lives transform us into the people we are meant to become. Every bad situation that occurs does indeed make us stronger and wiser and put us on the pathway to life that we are supposed to be living if we allow it to. Pain creates growth, and life.
Every sting that comes from rejection is teaching us that we do indeed need pain, and hurt just as much as we need joy and happiness to feel alive.

 

There is beauty in the pain we feel that comes from rejection. This pain puts pressure and stress on our bodies which in turn forces a transformation of some kind. Pain caused by rejection molds individuals and allows each person who feels it to piece themselves back together in their own way, separately from all of those who have hurt them.

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It is a wonderfully, creative and liberating process when we allow the pain or storms to transform us into the people we are meant to become.

 

That is why the rain is beautiful. The rain removes all the dirt and grime in our lives to make room for a beautiful, thriving individual.

So readers, instead of hating the storm, embrace the rain as well as the pain. Accept it, and let it cleanse you. Relax and listen to the pitter patter, as we all know after a storm, a beautiful rainbow shines through the clouds.

 

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God bless,
L.Blum

How to Confront the Fear of Change

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I sat perplexed, gazing at the sea of clothing that surrounded me. Piles of jeans, shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, and hangers engulfed every square inch of my bedroom floor except the tiny circular area where I was sitting. Not to mention the mountain of shoes piled high on my bed.
Starring hopelessly at the disaster, I anxiously searched for a spot in my new closet to place a small pile of folded jeans. Where to put these? Where to put these? I asked myself, as I also wondered why I thought it would be a good idea to switch rooms for my last two semesters in college.
A day ago, my entire life up at school resided in a large bedroom placed in the basement of my college house (which was HUGE might I add). Now, with the influence of my parents, and fellow roommates, my living space was in shambles and significantly smaller.
You see, my parents thought it would be a good idea to “down size” all the items I collected up at college over the years to a smaller, more “manageable” room for my last year at school. I tend to get a little messy, and in my parents’ eyes a bigger living space for Lindsay means a bigger mess that THEY have to clean up.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about the “big” move from the basement to the upstairs strictly because in the last year I created a lot of memories in the room below. I had many life talks in that room, dance parties, cries over a boy who broke my heart, and many nights of dancing to music as I searched for the perfect outfit to wear for a night out on Main Street. This basement room held sacred memories from the year prior that are hard to let go of. Now, I am leaving all these memories behind to create new ones, in a new room, for my final year in college.
I think a lot of individuals can identify with this uneasy feeling when something in our lives is about to shift or change. This uneasiness can be a positive feeling, or a negative one.

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Maybe you are changing job titles, or changing the company you work for and you are afraid to leave the security of that familiar environment behind to face new conditions.
Maybe there is a major shift that is about to happen in your life like you just recently got engaged, married, or you are about to be a father or mother– you are excited, thrilled even, yet nervous to take on these new roles as a fiancé, husband, wife, mother, or father.

 

 

Or maybe you are like me; you are attending your final year of college, and feel slightly uneasy about leaving a place you made your home for so long. You are nervous, yet excited for the changes that are about to happen- graduation, finding a job, moving back home, or moving away.

 

 

 

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Point is change can be scary, yet exciting all at the same time. We have the decision to fear the changes that are ahead or embrace the uncertainty that comes along with the change.

 

 

So how do we confront this fear of altering or adjusting our life plans and embrace the uncertainty of the future?

 

 

1.Understand and accept that there is a shift that is happening or about to happen in your life.

 

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Sometimes we as individuals do not want to come to terms with the fact that our life is constantly rearranging itself. We like to ignore and turn a blind eye to the upcoming events that are about to take place or are happening right under our noses. I know personally, I am in denial with the fact that in about eight months I will have to be a “real person” living a “big girl” lifestyle. I will not be able to wake up at my leisure five minutes before I am supposed to, roll out of bed, throw on a sweatshirt and a pair of leggings, while walking out the door to attend class like all other college students my age do. I must understand and accept that this chapter of my life is sadly ending sooner than I think it is. As individuals we must accept that change comes and goes. In order to accept the uncertainty of the future, we must understand and accept that a shift is currently happening in our lives.

 

 

2. See change as an opportunity to grow into a new being.

 

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Change gives us an opportunity to reflect and acknowledge old ways of doing something, while also creating room for us as individuals to reinvent ourselves. Instead of facing change in a fearful or uncertain way look at this shift in your life as an opportunity to grow yourself into who you have always wanted to be. Think back on your past circumstances. What areas were you most successful in? What mistakes did you make? What areas did you fail in? Where could you improve? Think to yourself: how can I carry the knowledge from my past triumphs and tribulations into this next season of my life? You can choose to learn and grow through these times of change.

 

 

3. This is your moment. Own it.

 

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I have this agenda book that I got from HomeGoods while I was on vacation in North Carolina. I am usually really picky about the agendas I use for college. They must have the right amount of spacing so I can have enough room to write my daily activities and assignments in them. For some reason I really took to this agenda book because I thought it suited my mantra for the year. The book is a square pink agenda with gold lettering that reads “This is your moment. Own it.” On the bottom of the agenda a faint 2018 is etched in the same color as the agenda book itself. I think this is a saying that anyone can use when facing times of change in their life. No matter what you are going through, no matter what your past looks like, or what you hope your future will be, right here, right now, this moment is yours, embrace it, own it, and be confident in it. Embrace the change that is thrown at you, and all the feelings that go along with it. It is okay to be afraid of what will happen, it is okay to be anxious, or nervous, but own the fact that this life, these changes that are occurring are happening and will continue to happen throughout your lifetime. Own where you are at and be bold with your decisions when facing change, and new circumstances

 

 

So readers with that, I challenge you to embrace the moment, embrace the change, and embrace whatever season of life you are in- fears, anxieties, uncertainties and all. Do your best to face the future with confidence and boldness as you move into this next stage or chapter of your life.

 

 

 

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God bless,
L.Blum

 

 

 

To the Individual who Struggles with Finding Beauty within Themselves

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Finding Beauty in a Pile of Sea Shells

I gently placed one foot down on the rocky, shell filled beach feeling the crunch of the pile of sea shells crack beneath the weight of my body. I was careful to balance myself at just the right angle so the sharp edges of the broken sea shells, and rough sand wouldn’t poke the bottoms of my feet. Holding onto my red purse for dear life, I wobbly walked along the shore line in knee deep water picking at hidden treasures that were uncovered from deep below the ocean’s surface.

My legs were already fatigued from the one and a half mile walk my family and I made along the North Carolina shore, so attempting to balance on a floor of jagged sea shells looked like a poor circus act. With every step I took my body swayed a little to the left, and a little to the right, until I finally caught my center of gravity making sure my red purse and the items contained in it wouldn’t be plummeting to their death.

Every muscle in my calves and quads, as well as the pinching sensation I felt on the soles of my feet begged, and pleated with me to stop walking. The sad part is I was once a division two athlete, but a few years living the NARP (Non Athletic Regular Person) lifestyle can really catch up to ya.

 

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The place where I was standing housed thousands upon thousands of shells washed up along the sandy shore called The Point, in Outer Banks, North Carolina. This particular spot is known for the churning of opposing currents which digs up the ocean’s deepest treasures. Looking along this beach, a guest like myself can witness large trucks such as Ford F150s and Jeep Grand Cheerokees perched on the top of the Earth’s soft, sandy surface. Rows upon rows of these vehicles housed individuals grilling food, playing country music, drinking alcoholic beverages, all while casting long, clear lines into the Atlantic blue to uncover a different kind of treasure than I was looking for. A Philadelphia suburban girl like myself was astonished at the southern sight.

 

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What intrigued me the most about The Point’s beauty was the sea shells. There were all different types of shells. Some were big, wholesome shells that portrayed an off white, grey color. Others were heart shaped shells that had ripples along the surface of the shell. There were broken shells, purple shells, pink shells, shells that were white as snow, shells with barnacles – you get the point.

 

Out of all the shells that surrounded me, I found beauty in the shells that were unique, and different from the rest. I found beauty in the shells that were broken, that had deep scrapes, barnacles, and holes throughout the surfaces of them. These were the shells I picked up, these were the shells that became sacred and special to me. I found beauty in the uniqueness of these particular shells.

 

I think we as individuals can be compared to these “broken” and “unique”sea shells I found on the beach in North Carolina. It’s a weird comparison I know but stick with me on this one.

 

Each sea shell that I picked up had its own unique, and different qualities than the shell sitting next to it. I treasured each of these shells because of the UNIQUENESS they portrayed . No two shells looked alike. No shell compared itself to the one next to it. They just laid there on the sand amongst all the other shells, basking in their own individual beauty and rolled where ever the ocean tide took them.

 

See where I’m going with this..?

 

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If those broken, barnacle, hole filled beautiful shells are treasured just as they are, then think about how greatly we are treasured just as we are, brokenness and all.

 

Have you ever wondered if you are good enough? Beautiful enough?

 

Have you ever compared yourself and your struggles to those around you?

 

Have you ever wished you had other qualities or traits?
Or what about hating the situations and circumstances that broke certain parts of your innocence?
You question why certain situations had to occur, going through them over and over in your head.

 

 

You see, like the broken shells I found on the beach, each one of us has a set of qualities – outward and inward that make us individually who we are.

 

Inwardly, each of us houses the complete, individualistic personality that makes up our entire being. This includes our passions, our fears, our likes, our dislikes, what makes us tick, what makes us happy, the circumstances and situations that broke us or pushed us to the next level – these are all the little intricate details that are woven together specifically in a unique formula and fashion that make the only you on this planet.

 

Outwardly, if you think about it no one looks exactly the way you do. The texture of your hair, the dimples on your cheeks, the curves of your legs. You were made to look the way you do for a reason. Sure you can change the outward appearance but who you are outwardly is the unique, individualistic person you portray to the world.

 

You see, each scrap, hole and barnacle on a particular shell can tell a unique story about what and where that shell has been. Just like each sea shell tells a different story about where the ocean tide took them, each particular situation, and circumstance you have been through (good and bad) make you unique and different than all other individuals.

 

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The truth is we all have broken pieces of our being, hidden parts of ourselves that we rarely show to anyone else in fear that it will drive them away. We all have ugly and jagged sides of our personality that is tainted by the evil doings of this world. At the end of the day each of us desperately hopes that someone sees these broken pieces, this uniqueness, and believes that we are beautiful despited the jagged edges of our souls.

 

So to the individual who struggles to find beauty within themselves, I am here to tell you that you are perfect the way you are, flaws and all.

You are beautiful in your OWN uniqueness, and your OWN brokenness.

I believe God finds beauty in the brokenness, he finds beauty in the holes of our personality just like he finds beauty in the unique, broken, barnacle filled sea shells I found on the beach.

 

Whatever brokenness you feel, whatever “ugliness” you think you have, I want to tell you that you are treasured more than you understand or comprehend. You are an individual that is made perfectly the way you are for this particular moment in time.

 

Whatever circumstances you faced that caused you pain, hurt or brokenness, are just what you needed to make you a stronger, more influential individual on this planet.

 

You are not what society tells you to look like, act like or be. You are uniquely yourself, let that unique, broken, different, awesome, cool individual shine. Have confidence in yourself, your abilities, who you are and who you are not, because you are one truly great individual. Strive for excellence but do not be so hard on yourself that you see yourself in a negative light. Let go of the insecurities that you struggle with and just let yourself be because you are beautiful and are treasured just as the sea shells on the beach are treasured.

 

So readers, next time you are on a beach and you find a sea shell, pick it up, admire its beauty, stick it in your pocket and let it be a reminder that you too are treasured and beautiful despite the brokenness you feel.

 

 

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God bless,
L.blum

Drive YOUR Journey

“Relax and trust the timing of your life. You will figure out your career. You will find the right relationship. You will become the person you always wanted to be. Just don’t forget to appreciate who you are now.” – Ruban Chavez

“It’s OK. You’re in a phase of your life where you feel unsure and lost. It’s a part of your path. Don’t avoid it:”  – Luna & Sol

I sit patiently in my car waiting for the traffic light to turn from red to green in the front of my college campus. Peering out of my window as I wait, I witness a group of individuals dressed in long, black gowns with square hats either resting on their head, or in their hands walking to the front of campus. Each individual has a joyful, accomplished aura to them. The group of students are laughing and smiling as each one takes turns snapping pictures in front of the metal ESU sign. Multiple girls are assembled together handing their phones to their family members as each of them take those “never forget this moment” pictures. Posing proudly, a person from the outside (me) can tell how special this moment is for them. I smile at the scene of all the happy college graduates, and look up to find that the bright, red light is now dim, and a glowing green signal illuminates, demanding it is time to move on from this scenery. Pressing the gas pedal, turning the steering wheel to the left, and driving away from scene of graduates, I sit quietly as the thoughts of insecurity roar to the front and center stage of my existence.

Why am I not where they are? How come I haven’t graduated yet? Why am I so far behind? This must make me a failure.

I sit in my own pitiful thoughts as I compare myself to all those standing, dressed in the neatly pressed caps, and gowns holding tightly to their new found diplomas. I wonder, ponder even why I am not at this stage in my life where all those individuals are, why it is taking me much longer to achieve this one goal, and aspect of my life?

Feeling the pain of insecurity, and this “left behind” mentality I allow the tears to roll down my face as I am confronted with the fact that the way I have been living is not the way that I have pictured my life growing up what so ever.

As a young child we all picture how our life is “supposed to go,” you know that ideal image that we will all accomplish our goals at a particular age and live that “happy”, “free,” lifestyle we have always wanted. I don’t know about you, but the younger version of me pictured I would be graduated, doing some cool job, married to some unique individual, living in a house with a white picket fence and owning a black lab by the age of twenty-three. A little far-fetched if you ask me. (younger Lindsay had no sense of time)

Looking at this “ideal” image of Lindsay that the younger, childish version created I can come to the realization that absolutely none of these standards have been met. The person that I pictured myself to be at the age of twenty-two years old, and the activities I thought I would accomplish by this age have yet to be reached.

But what I am realizing is that THIS IS OKAY. It is OKAY that I am not where I thought I would be.

It is OKAY that I haven’t reached the standards I set for myself because life is not about reaching the standards, its about becoming a person I can say I am  proud of being.

You see readers, so many times we get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. We see what others accomplish, wishing we could be where they are. We see how they act, or the “better” qualities they have, and we only wish we could be in their shoes. We wonder why situations don’t work out for us when they work out for others, and we dig ourselves into this grand ole’ insecurity hole that is hard to climb out of.

What I, as well as many of you reading this need to realize is it’s not about the accomplishments of others, or even the standards we hold ourselves up to. It is about the journey, the drive it takes for us to get FROM point A TO point B.

Who were you when you first stepped into this vehicle?

How have you changed?

How have you bettered yourself?

You see, our journeys are unique and different from one another, and sometimes we each get so caught up in comparing our journeys to other’s that we fail to realize how far we have really driven.

There is this great song called If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens and below I listed a few lyrics from this song. I love listening to this song when I am down about life and all it has to offer. This song reminds me that despite everything God has a plan for me, and He has a plan for you. Sometimes the place where we are standing or driving may be broken. Maybe there is a crack in the road, maybe there is a detour sign. Maybe, just maybe the GPS we were following pooped out and we have no clue where we are, so we are aimlessly driving to an unknown destination.

Sometimes we do not realize why we are on the pathway we are on. But despite it all, looking back, we can say that we have become different people than who we originally were when we first got in that car.

“The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear and I don’t know the reason why you brought me here.

But just because you love me the way that you do I’m gonna walk through the valley if you want me to…

Cause I’m not who I was when I took my first step, And I’m clinging to the promise you’re not through with me yet.

So if all of these trials bring me closer to you, then I will go through the fire if you want me to.” – Ginny Owen’s If You Want Me To

I may not understand why I face certain situations that I do, but I can hold onto the promise that despite it all, I am becoming the person that I am supposed to be. I am learning, I am growing, and I am maturing. So to anyone who is struggling with this idea of insecurity and comparing yourself to others’ journeys, I want to stress that your drive is different than all those you are comparing it to. I promise you that your journey is helping you to become the person you are meant to be, even if that means you are a little lost right now. So instead of waiting at that red light filled with doubts, and insecurities, drive on through the green light, see the places you are heading,  and the person you are becoming through it all. Keep driving because this is YOUR journey and no one else’s. So do not compare yourself to others.

Keep driving, and keep becoming.

God Bless,

L.Blum

Inspiration from a Clock

I sit here slumped on my couch staring blankly at my round, black clock that hangs ever so precise above my bed. This circular device is an analog clock that makes the most obnoxious noise. Every time the second-hand moves it creates this tick, tick, ticking noise. There is nothing on my mind, no important thoughts of what I should be doing with my day, no chores, or to do lists. Just the echoing of the tick, tick, tick, as the long thin black, hand moves from one number to the next.

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I have a love hate relationship with that ticking noise. The ticking nags me, like a mother nagging her children to do their chores.  It pokes and prods every thought of mine, reminding me that I should do something productive with my time.

I should probably be grazing my fingertips over the buttons on my keyboard to write a “thoughtful” response based off of the poems I read by Phillis Wheatley in my African American Literature class.

Or maybe I should crack open my theories of personality textbook and start reading page one because…well …quite frankly I’m a little behind in my reading already in that class (oops-sorry mom).

Honestly, I should probably get up, make myself some food, start my laundry that has been backing up for more than a week now, make my bed, and start jotting down all the things that I need to complete before the sun goes down.

BUT, instead, I sit here still as a rock staring blankly at my clock, as the ticking noises continue to echo throughout my room, and my thoughts.

TIME, such an interesting concept, don’t you think?

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I mean common, you can’t tell me that you never wished you could freeze time just for a moment so you could relax, take a breather and put a stop to your to do lists, busy, and bad days?

How about wishing you could go back in time to stop yourself from doing that one thing that you regret doing or saying so your current situation would look different, and better than what it is?

Or wishing you could fast forward to the future to skip all the pain, hurt, and stresses of today, moving to a better day, a happier day?

Yeah I’ve wished it too, don’t worry. We all have.

I think what I have come to realize about this concept of time is that no matter how much we wish we can change it we can’t. I cannot just wish that my past situations would change so that today’s circumstances would be different. I cannot stop the clock so I can just sit here and dwell in my own misery and sadness.

I have to stand and deal with my present circumstances.

I have to face the problems of today head on with honesty, integrity, and effort.

I think that’s why the second-hand keeps ticking, to remind us that life goes on no matter what situation  a person may face.

Each of us has our own set of time, responsibilities, activities, and feelings that we uphold. For me, today may be a terrible day, but for you reader, it might be a great day, filled with excitement and joy

Regardless, in the big scheme of things it’s imperative to set aside the time, and effort for the activities, and people who matter the most to us.

So readers, with that,  I am going to get up, put my big girl pants on, and face my daily dreaded activities, circumstances, and feelings head on.  Heck maybe I’ll not only do my laundry but I’ll actually fold it and put it away this time while also calling my mom to thank her for everything she has done for me.

I hope you too face today head on and accomplish all that you set out to do despite the daily draining activities of life.

Like I tell one of my good friends, it is not a bad life, just a bad day.

God bless,

L. Blum