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Tag Archives: vocal chord paralysis

The Dress

1 Feb

2012-07-02 11.07.09
I have this dress in my closet. It’s a deep emerald green so yes, a departure from my daily black and gray. I remember buying it off the clearance rack and wearing it a few times; every time I put it on I get lots of compliments so naturally I love it. Well, I haven’t worn it since 2001 and here it is still hanging in my closet waiting for the possibility of being worn again. I am one of the fortunate people who has been the same size since probably high school (minus the times I was pregnant). NO I am definitely NOT complaining but because of this I have a really hard time getting rid of clothes, especially dresses, work clothes, etc because they’re not worn as often and therefore stay ‘nice’ for a longer amount of time. I’d say 14 years of not wearing something should be enough time to decide I’m not going to wear it again?

Why do we hang on to things for so long? For some of us it’s a piece of clothing, for others a relationship, and for some a life long dream. I 2012-12-24 08.42.14believe there are certain things that we hold on to because maybe the memory of that ‘thing’ is actually greater than the thing or person itself, or maybe it’s a safe choice or a safe path, or maybe there’s just plain fear. There’s the other side of it too. Sometimes we hold on to pain, bitterness, resentment for the exact same reason; because we know it, understand it, it’s safe, there’s fear of what may be on the other side and maybe sometimes we don’t think we deserve anything different. Why the dress? It still fits and I think I may still wear it, but I honestly haven’t put it on in almost 14 years. So maybe some of that stuff is in my head. Today I put that dress along with many other ‘older’ items into a plastic bag to donate. Sometimes we have to let go of what’s past to create space for the future. What are some of the things you are holding on to? Tomorrow’s a new day, start cleaning your ‘closet’.

Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today I wear Nars Audacious Lipstick in Audrey. I like just about every Nars lipstick formula but these ‘audacious’ lipsticks have both lots of color coupled with a light texture. I chose this color because it’s like red wine and it has my daughter’s name. Cheers!

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Unexpected Family

21 Jan

2013-07-05 04.25.31

My dad is the oldest of 7 and my mom is the youngest of 4, that being said, I have many cousins, aunts and uncles. Here’s the thing, when my parents immigrated to the United States in 1972, it was just us; me, mom, and dad…no other family. So what happens when you have no family around? You find people in similar situations, similar interests, or maybe just genuinely lonely and you make a family. I grew up with several other Filipino families who we met in our Detroit apartment complex, church, work, etc. who became my ‘cousins’, ‘aunts/uncles’, and ‘grandparents’. I don’t remember a time flipswhen families and extended family grew up and stayed in the same area. I know people who have this and it’s awesome, but with the changing times, changing family units, and the changing economy, families seem to spread all over the place for most folks. What’s the definition of family? Traditionally, family is defined as ‘a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household’ but I also found the definition of a family as ‘a group united by significant shared characteristics’.

The past few weeks have been filled with some super happy exciting things that I will talk about soon and at the same time the past week has been boutextremely stressful and at times frightening. Some of you know that I started getting involved with a local roller derby team over the summer. My time with them has been off and on because of a knee injury and now the current situation I’m in, but last Saturday as they welcomed me once again with open arms it was overwhelming. I couldn’t help but feel like I had another group of people that have become family. I have found unexpected family as a child through friends of family, and as an adult through a college sorority, work, church, and now derby. I am so grateful. There are many people who are lonely and have little to no blood relatives around, what’s your part? Would my life be different if my parents did not put themselves out there or if people had not reached out to us? Absolutely. Hands and eyes wide open, someone needs you as much as you need them.’There are the families that we are born into, and there are thederbysis families that we choose our circle of friends. While their faces may change over the course of our lives, the joy they bring us remains constant.’~unknown

Today I wear YSL Volupte’ Tint In Oil in Drive Me Copper. It’s winter in Michigan and my lips tend to get dry. I was introduced to these just a couple days ago and WOW. It’s oily but not greasy, it’s lighter but not exactly a balm or a gloss. I can’t really describe it but it’s awesome! It has a wash of color, enough to wear alone and since it’s YSL, it’s a bit pricey, but WOW. I chose this color because it’s like glistening gold on my lips (like sunshine)…cheers!

Scars

16 Nov

scar
I was sitting in a lunch room speaking to some of my customers when one of the staff members asked what the scar on my neck was from. She made some assumptions and I told her my story while she ate. Like most people, after hearing my story, she didn’t know what to say but I’m ok with that. Usually I start asking questions about them to divert attention away from me. I asked about her job, what her responsibilities were in the office, her plans for Thanksgiving, etc. What’s great is that typically when you actively listen to someone, they will continue to speak and open up (at least that’s been my experience). She ended up telling me all kinds of things from her job woes to her food allergies but ended up talking about her strained relationship with her kids. She had been a single mom for a very long time and now that her sons were grown and out of the house they were no longer speaking to each other. She teared up talking about some events that led to the situation and how hurt she was, but pride on both sides prevented them from speaking and she wasn’t going to be the first to apologize,hmmmm…sad. She said she has grieved the relationship with her sons like a death in the family and she will always have a broken heart because of it; sounds like ‘sorry’ would be easier.

I have a few scars, one on my neck from cancer, one on my shin from banging my leg into a car door, and probably a few that I don’t remember. Every scar tells a story, either a funny one or maybe a difficult one, but either way, it’s a wound that’s been healed while also leaving it’s mark.’Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.’~ Cormac McCarthy. What about the scars you don’t see? The ones left by hurt, words, anger, discouragement, do those heal? I think it takes a really long time and maybe, without the ‘sorry’ and forgiveness, will never heal. My daughter recently showed me a picture that her friend drew of herself. I was shocked and saddened to see this self portrait because it showed a girl, sad and scarred pulling a mask away from her face; the mask was of a beautiful smiling girl. Being a woman and a mom of a teenage girl, I know how hurtful girls and other women can be to each other and because of my past I am fully aware of how damaging words and actions can be. When scars heal they change the texture of your skin, what about the damage of scars on your heart and soul? The hurt always alters something. ‘It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.’~Rose Kennedy

We are all damaged and scarred to some degree and we should remember that when speaking to each other. How do scars of the heart heal? Kindness, peace, patience, love, sound familiar? (Galatians 5:22-23). Some scars run deep and are easily injured again, be patient, continue moving forward. Maybe your heart won’t be the same, but like the scars on your skin, you’ll be a little bit tougher.

Today I’m wearing Cherry Chapstick, it’s a throwback kinda day! Cheers!

Fear vs. Freedom

14 Sep

bridge
A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook the other day asking what people’s fears/phobias were. There was a variety of answers ranging from the typical snakes, spiders, clowns, all the way to the fear of an ex or of not being wanted. Can fear and freedom co-exist? Sometimes. Take the fear of moving someplace new; new school, new job, etc..but the freedom after the initial adjustment knowing that maybe it was for the best (or not). The fear of cancer coming back yet freedom with the knowledge that you’ve beaten it at least once and you have today to be alive. There is great fear, but the freedom you can feel is a choice that must be made yourself.

Fear is a monster slowly making its way into your mind. It’s blackness and its long tentacles wrapping around your brain creeping in like a sheer cloud of death. Trapping your mind and body with a blanket of insecurity which penetrates every thought of every minute forcing your body to respond. Slowly it takes piece by piece; your conscience, your confidence, and ultimately your freedom if you let it. It paralyzes you and twists your stomach, makes your heart pound and eyes dilate. There is no hunger, no sleep, and at times you choke at the very breath left stuck in your throat. Emotions raw, body weak, fear is a trap waiting for you to fall. Yes, I have felt this.Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation…. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.~Charles Stanley

Can freedom exist in the presence of fear? It has to. Resting in the knowledge that God is in control…Step 1. The exhilarating feeling of wind in your face, arms open, trying to capture the stars. The heat of the sun or even the raindrops reminding you life is always washed and renewed. Being alive is awesome, every moment precious and not worthy of wasting. Smart, strong, determined to break the chains of fear that bind you even if it’s link by link. Fear is powerful but none is more powerful than the human spirit touched by God’s grace. Every moment, every breath, make a decision to take life back. Who needs Superman to save the day when you have you? Be your own hero.Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.~Jim Morrison

Today I wear Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Dare Devil which is a cool sparkling blackberry. Seriously, I just bought this and love it. It’s not too shiny or sticky, has lots of color and just kinda melts on your lips. Plums and deep berry shades are in for fall and this one’s great. Gotta love the name too, a dare devil wouldn’t have fear now would they? Cheers!

Heart of an Artist

3 Sep

singing
I recently read an article which talked about a firefly and a butterfly. The point of it was that everyone loves the butterfly because it is outwardly beautiful; the colors, the patterns, the way it floats in the air, they get all the attention. The firefly on the other hand is more non-descript, not very recognizable until it lights up. The firefly’s beauty is on the inside and it chooses when to show it. I am not writing it as eloquently as the author of the article but reading it really impacted me. It was geared toward children and talked about artists, musicians, writers, book lovers, because these are the kids who are usually more introverted, not always understood, and who see things a little differently. They may not be as social or express things easily unless it’s through the written word, music, art…whatever their ‘language’, is. This was (is) me. Growing up I was the quiet one, shy, introverted, and not2013-04-23 21.06.16 exactly the popular girl (or butterfly) getting the attention…but turn on music and I was lost in it. The stage became my home because when the music started to play my heart would burst and it didn’t matter who was watching because I was in my own world. I felt every note, lyric, and rhythm deep in my soul. It still happens now, even on a smaller scale. In my car, in a restaurant, in a meeting; it’s very hard for me to focus if there’s music playing in the background and sometimes, something beautiful,a person, or event can turn a song on in my mind. Life is better with a soundtrack (or at least more interesting). Music and writing have always been my way of expressing myself and sometimes they have even brought out emotions I didn’t think I had.

Some months ago I met an artist on an airplane. I’ve never met anyone so passionate, so interesting, and whose brain never seemed to turn off. What was most beautiful is what I saw when I looked into his eyes and listened to him speak. There was an excitement for life and living, the desire to experience everything that life could possibly give; to taste it, to feel it, and to simply breathe it in. Life and people were his canvas; art, his language. I was inspired and walking away left me pearwanting more from life, feeling almost invincible, like I could do anything, or at the very least try. Recently I had the chance to catch up with him again and it wasn’t much different. I went to a couple galleries which housed some of his work, was introduced to another artist, and once again I was left wanting more from life. I saw the same drive, passion, and excitement, and saying goodbye left me a little sad; sad that maybe he’d take that light along with him.

There is a quote that says, ‘There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.’

He told me I inspired him, but in this case, I think I was just the mirror. What’s beautiful about a firefly is that when it lights up, it becomes transparent; like the firefly, when artists express themselves you get a glimpse into their soul and his soul was beautiful. You can always find a beautiful face but beautiful souls are more difficult to find.

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Today I wear Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked which is a nude/pink. You all know I love this lipstick because they’re moisturizing yet have lots of color. I don’t usually wear nude lipstick because well, I’m tan and they don’t show. This one has a little bit of pink so it’s great as an easy everyday color for me. I also like the name….we may not talk as much, but we always find ways to bare our souls! To all the artists, dreamers, and fireflies, here’s my soundtrack for you ….Cheers!

The Sky

27 Jul

sky
Have you ever stopped and all of a sudden looked at something and seen it in a completely different way? I have always been in awe of large birds, the way they float in the sky and soar. A few months ago while watching a hawk over my house my eyes went beyond the bird and saw the sky. Now, this is going to sound cheesy maybe, but I fell in love… with the sky. I was talking about this with a friend of mine and my eyes actually filled with tears (thanks Jill for not looking at me like I was crazy). When I look at the sky I see endless beauty. Every day it’s different, the clouds add depth and character. On the cloudy and rainy days, the sky turns color and you always know that just beyond the clouds and rain, the sun and stars are still there. It’s truly beautiful and inspiring, and for me right now, a symbol of hope for a future looking at the unknown but with unlimited possibilities. I read this quote which is true ‘We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.’~Mao Zedong. It sounds crazy but I have an entirely different view and it’s amazing. Every day most of us do the same thing, life can turn into a routine but what are we missing? Look around, open your eyes, play some music because life is better with a soundtrack. By the way, the song Fly On by Coldplay is a great one to listen to while looking at the sky.sunsetsky

Today I keep it simple and use Naked Ultra Nourishing Lip Gloss in Streak which is a coral peach. I LOVE this gloss. It’s a gloss/balm so it doesn’t just sit on your lips. It feels light and moisturizing and this just gives a hint of color. The coral peach of Streak brightens your face a little and is just pretty. Life is cool, don’t miss it, cheers!

Moments

15 May

2012-07-02 11.07.09

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes,Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear.Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes,how do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes,how do you measure, a year in the life?-Seasons of Love, Rent

I really love those lyrics. I know I’ve used them in my blog before but they just never get old and it’s a reminder that life is short and time just ticks away. How do we measure a year in the life? I’ve been crazy busy the past few weeks with work and the upswing of kids activities that I really haven’t had time to think. As I sat to write a blog the thought crossed my mind that nothing significant happened this week, just a regular, busy week, but I really had to stop for a moment because that wasn’t true. Life happened this week. A friend’s dad passed away a couple weeks ago and I was able to meet up with him and give him a hug in person, my daughter was inducted into the honors society and got an award for awesome grades, my youngest son had a baseball game and pitched a no hitter for two innings straight, I met some fantastic new people through work, and I worked out and finalized plans to reunite with great friends once again in Chicago soon. Looking back, it was an ordinary week with extraordinary moments. Did you catch that? Moments. A smile, eye contact, a hug, a good night’s sleep…all moments that when put together make an extraordinary week if you open your eyes to see it. I spoke to another cancer survivor today who was told just recently that she was cancer free. She said that she’s tired from all the treatments and she’s nervous about cancer returning in the future but she’s ok, ‘it is what it is’ (recall I really don’t like that phrase, but it’s true some times). She is now more focused on quality of life instead of quantity of life…Amen to that. Do you measure your life in inches, miles, sunsets, cups of coffee? Take in the moments or you just might miss out. Each passing moment becomes the past!Anna166

Today I wear Laura Mercier Lip Glace’ in Wildflower which is like a hot pink/red. I LOVE these glosses! They are packed with color and are super moisturizing but not sticky at all. This color is great for spring and summer. Some of the colors are more sheer but this one is not and seems to be more long lasting on me but without the dry factor. Be a wildflower and seize the day! Cheers!

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