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

God Bless the New Year, America… and the Unknown

 Stepping into the Unknown

 

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With the New Year in full effect, and the presidency officially switching over from Obama to Trump, I feel as if a post on letting go of the old and stepping into the unknown would be appropriate.

I would be lying to you if I told you that I kept up with the politics that has been swirling on around me for the last year or so about the new presidential election.

I, like plenty of other Americans, scrolled through my Facebook news feed, twitter feed, even some of my Instagram posts dealing with the road to finding a new leader for our country.

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I gathered information from online sources that forced their way in front of my face.

I listened to my fellow peers and professors on their opinions of this ground breaking news and attempted to make my own opinion as best as I could on the subject at hand.

I tried to stay educated and well-rounded on the subject  to finding a new president.

As I sat at my computer today thinking of a new post to make I thought about current situations that were going on in my own personal life.

I’m currently facing a situation that is kind of sticky and unfortunate; the type of situation where I personally did not want it to change, but had no say in the matter. I do not know what will happen next or where I will really go from here, but what I do know is that I have to patiently wait as the universe pans everything out for my own good.

I sat here thinking about the situation I was personally going through and made a connection between my personal life and this presidential change we are going through as a country.

As a nation, we are saying goodbye to a familiar president who has made history for our country while stepping into the unknown future of a new leader.

 

What will happen to our country? Will we be as strong as we have always been? Will we continue to progress?

Or will we move backwards? Will fear lead our nation?

Or will hope, promise, and positivity rule over all individuals residing in it?

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary the definition of the intransitive verb to change is “to undergo transformation, transition, or substitution.” [1]

I hate change. Like absolutely despise it.

I hate transitioning from old ways or old people to new situations.

I hate that I do not have the control over it. I hate that things don’t always work out the way I want them to and sometimes I actually have to accept situations for what they are.

But what I am learning is that change is inevitable.  We are constantly undergoing transformations, transitions, or substitutions as individuals.

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Quite frankly, we as a nation in this point of time are undergoing a major transition.

You may be like me where you hate change, you like the way things have been. Maybe this is in your own personal life or you can relate this to the transformation we are going through as a country.

Or maybe you are good at accepting change, you enjoy change, you welcome it with open arms.

Regardless of which end of the spectrum you are, I think how we handle major changes or transformation in our life or our nation can cause us to either succeed or fail.

You see, to me this change that I am personally going through despite how much I hate it is an opportunity for me to look back over the course of the entire situation and analyze where I went right and where I went wrong.

It’s a chance to positively step into the unknown taking the things I have learned and create something for myself and my life that I haven’t been able to do prior to this change.

I think we as a country have to look at this transition in this same light. This change is a chance as a nation and as individuals to create a better tomorrow for our future inhabitants. It’s a chance to voice our opinions, our wants, our needs, and our desires to positively move ourselves and our country in the right direction.

As Obama said in his farewell speech:

“So that’s what we mean when we say America is exceptional. Not that our nation has been flawless from the start, but that we have shown the capacity to change, and make life better for those who follow.”

“Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard. It has been contentious. Sometimes it has been bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.”[2]

 

So like Obama said, America is exceptional, and I believe YOU are exceptional.

You and I, as well as America as a whole, can handle changes, transformations, and transitions that are not always easy.

 We can choose to see these changes in a brighter, more positive way and can continuously move forward into the unknown creating a better pathway for ourselves. It just depends on how we deal with this change.

How will you deal with it?

I choose HOPE for the unknown.

I choose SUCCESS for the unknown.

I choose POSITIVITY , CREATIVITY, and CONSTANT FORWARD MOTION.

I hope you choose the same.

Until next time,

God bless,

L.Blum

 

 

OUR glimpse into HISTORY

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

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As I have grown older, I have come to appreciate the subject of history more and more. When I was younger, I never understood why I had to learn about certain individual’s lives and how they had a significant impact on some of history’s greatest events. To me, history was boring – all we have is the here and now. Why do we have to learn about past events when they have no correlation to my life in the present?  Well, as all of my old history teachers used to say, historical events that have happened in the past prevent us from repeating them in the present. Aka the past shapes the future.

I was never interested in the subject of history until college, where I opened myself up to a vast wealth of information. One professor in particular (we will call him Professor D.) changed my perspective on this boring field of study. Professor D. was an energetic man who asked lots of questions to create thoughtful discussions in his classroom. The course I took with Professor D was World History before the 1500s.

What made this class so interesting was the way Professor D. taught the course. He didn’t put up Power Point slides boring his students with information about certain dates and places of origin like other professors I’ve had done. Instead, he required our class to read and analyze “artifacts” as he called them, or written documents, paintings, and sculptures that came from a particular time period.

I remember reading about the Qin Dynasty through the eyes of  the leader of the Dynasty. I read excerpts from the Bible through the eyes of Jesus’ disciples, John and Matthew. I also analyzed pictures of cave drawings while learning about the first nomadic people.

I did a lot of reading and a lot of thinking in that class.

What enticed me the most about reading and analyzing all of these various artifacts were these artifacts were real people’s stories during real times that they decided to record. I was reading about people’s beliefs, morals, and values that lead them to live out their lives in their own ways. The neat part is that these beliefs, morals, values, rules of a nation, or stories that these particular people recorded have turned into important documentations that has revealed our world’s past. The authors to these artifacts probably had no clue that their lives would be that significant. These individuals just documented what they knew and saw around them.

Isn’t it crazy to think right now as you and I live out our lives we are creating history? We do not even notice that the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the things we believe in will one day be documented in history books for future generations to read about. I think that is pretty awesome and that is why I have come to appreciate history. These people who lived and documented their lives , whether in paintings, writings, drawings, sculptures, you name it, shared pieces of their lives with the world during that particular moment in time.

It is pretty amazing when you really grasp the idea that you are a small piece that contributes to a whole generation in history.

But the question is what are you going to do with it? How are you going to document your life? What legacy are you going to leave behind?

In a sense we all are here for a “glimpse in time.” All of us are here on this earth for a select amount of time for some reason and some purpose that is somewhat unknown. We come into this world, live out our day-to-day lives, try to figure out who, and what we want to be, while also touching those around us. We attempt to create something of ourselves, whether that is creating something out of our work environments, our passions, or finding someone to join this journey of life with and creating a family. Whichever ways each of us chooses to live our lives out we end up creating a world for ourselves.  We surround ourselves with the people and things we want most, causing others to have an effect on us, and us to have an effect on them. Believe it or not, we each have something to add to this big ole’ world of ours.

I, like many others who are reading this blog post want to touch the world. I want to be able to use my abilities and the gifts God granted me with to do the best I possibly can. I feel as if one of those areas is writing and why not take a shot in the dark and put my thoughts out into the world. Heck after all it could touch someone who is reading it.

Our glimpse in time, this blog, is my glimpse into history. These are my stories, ideas, values and thoughts that will be documented in one place for the world to see. Some people document their life through songs and musical instruments, while others through a canvas and paint brush. Unfortunately, I wasn’t gifted with a beautiful singing voice or a steady stroke of a hand on a canvas. What I was gifted in was the ability to tell enticing stories; stories about my life and the lives closest to me.

As you embark on this journey with me at Our Glimpse in Time my hope is you read my stories and are impacted to believe you too have stories to tell and a life to live.

So with that, join me on MY glimpse in time to make OUR time on this Earth a better place.

Hope you come back and join me for this journey.

God Bless,

L.Blum