Posted in Written Word Wednesdays

Written Word Wednesday: My Own Truth

*taps microphone* Ahem…ahem.  Is this thing on???

Dear Readers!!!

I’m afraid I’m a bit rusty with this whole writing a blog post thing, so this may be a bit sloppy.  BUT, I am writing, and that is something. How have you all been? I know for me it has been almost a full year and a half since I’ve written anything, and boy, has my life been a whirlwind since I last wrote!

I have to say that I’ve been out of sorts for awhile.  Those who know me know how much I love reading and writing. I don’t think I’ve written anything significant since at least September of last year (it’s most likely longer). It is almost March–three months into 2016–and I have yet to finish my first book of the new year (I’m about halfway through). Not good enough, I say. Not. Good. Enough.

Mr Lemoncello Library
If any of you were curious, here’s the book I’m halfway done with. It’s marked as ages 8-12, and honestly, that’s all I can deal with right now. It’s been quite entertaining so far, though!

I’ve been trying to get the willpower up to do a new blog post for at least the last several months. A couple days ago, inspiration struck. I saw a link on The Daily Post, and I immediately thought, “Okay. I’m ready to start blogging again”:

Emerson Blast of a Trumpet
BAM. There it is. If any of you have been following me since the beginning of my blog where the background was the Sticky Notes on my desktop, you’d know why this spoke to me so much.

Probably since around October or November, I’ve hit what some might call a quarter-life crisis.  Problem is, I’m 8 years past the quarter-life crisis age.  I was basically given an ultimatum to figure out the ONE SPECIFIC THING I wanted to do with my life. No Plan B-Z. No different paths to choose from. No “umbrella” goal where I can branch out into different possibilities.  “It’s too many options,” my ultimatum-giver (who shall remain nameless) said.  “Nothing else has worked so far, so it’s time to put all your eggs in one basket and just go for it.”

So I’ve gone on a sometimes-painful, sometimes-exhausting, always-terrifying soul search these last several months.

Truth? I’ve come up pretty empty. I started a Pinterest board entitled “Who I Want to Be”, and I have to admit I almost broke down in tears because I couldn’t come up with one single pin for at least a month. (That’s saying a lot, considering that I have a total of over 8,000 pins for all my other boards. So yeah, obviously no problems there.) I’m nearly done with the newest edition of “What Color is Your Parachute?” (this is the third time I’ve attempted to finish this book over the years, and this time is the closest I’ve gotten to actually finishing it), and that’s helping a bit. We’ll see where that goes.

Loooooooooong story short, after nearly 34 years of life, I’ve come back to the horrifying question of “Who Am I?”.

I thought I knew. I came out of college, a bit overconfident in my success of figuring out what I wanted to do, while others my age had no freaking clue what they wanted to do or who they wanted to be.

Now I’m struggling with that.

What I do know–the one, universal thing; the compass that has remained true for what I feel has been my entire life–is that I love words.  I have always loved words, and I will always love words.  So that’s a start.  Let’s start with that, and go from there, shall we?

Here are some of my favorite quotes. My “trumpet blasts”, if you will:

Another Emerson quote:

What is Success?

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

 

This one is my very favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quote. Confession: I first came upon it while reading Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Creatures”. But I loved it so much that I’ve been strongly considering getting it as a tattoo.  I even went so far as to take some Sharpies and writing it on my thigh to see if I liked the look of it on my body. I did. 🙂

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.

I have so many favorite quotes, but these have been the ones I’ve gone to over and over again throughout the years; the ones that give me strength; the ones I share with others time and time again. So yes, I suppose you could say these are my “Bible verses” of sorts.

Now comes the hard part: my own truth. The message I’d like to share and have others put in their inspirational journals. Well, I think that would take a lot of searching through my old journals and poems. For now, I’ll leave these quotes from a poem I wrote during my whirlwind last year, when a lot of my writing came from when I was a mentor for kiddos (more specifics later):

I’ll be a warrior of confidence,
turn the careful stippling on of my face paint
into a definitive slap so forceful
that wet specks splatter onto my eyelashes,
and I don’t blink.

 

an arrogant sword is made stronger
by tempering it with humility

 

I think at this point in my life, those two speak to my truth more than anything right now.  I’m striving to be confident. In so many aspects of my life: myself, my future, my goals, my opinions. I’m not there yet, but I hope to work on getting to that “definitive slap” level.

As far as the arrogance, I’d like to think I’m far from that. But I’ve run into a lot of arrogant people, and I hope to bring them the humility to temper their arrogant sword.

And there it is!  Whoa! A completed blog post! My first in almost a year and a half. I’m going to click publish now, before I lose the nerve.

But before I do that, some questions to answer in the comments:  what is YOUR own truth? What are your favorite quotes that get you through life?  What are you struggling with right now?  Are you going through a crisis of some sort?  Do you know what you want to do with your life?  What inspires you?  Or if anything, just give me a big ol’ hello and let me know how it’s going. I’ve missed you all. ❤

To Finding Your Own Truth,

Violet

 

Posted in Friend Making Monday

Friend Makin’ Monday: An Alternate Life

Wow, what a weekend! How were all of yours? September is my whirlwind month of celebration after celebration, rendering my wallet empty and begging for mercy. My older brother’s, mother’s, and hubby’s birthdays are all one week apart, and that’s only my immediate family! Many of my friends have September birthdays as well, which leads me to the conclusion that the December holidays are the perfect for a, um…”snuggle”. :\

Anyhow, celebration weekend #1 concluded this weekend, and now I’m ready to get back into the groove of a work week, and consequently, blogging. (Week 2 of a failed every-day blog posting attempt. *sigh* This week’s a new week and a new opportunity, I suppose.) Let’s kick it off with another round of Friend Makin’ Monday!
Since a lot of the questions deal with “if you were…etc.”, I’ve titled this one:

An Alternate Life

If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin Mondays before then you are familiar with the rules. If you’re new, please take a momentto answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at Losing Weight and Having Fun so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too soeveryone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to read andcomment on a couple of other posts. I would love some topic/question suggestions from all of you, please email your ideas tome sarah@losingweightandhavingfun.com Thanks This week’s random questions come from Tyra at Random Acts of Snark.Thanks Tyra.
1. If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be? I’d say asparagus…sometimes tough on the outside and I’m good after I’m warmed up. And that I tend to be better when I’ve had time holing up somewhere out of the sun (like white asparagus).
2. If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why? I’d like to be a dolphin. They seem so happy and playful, and they can swim, which I can’t do very well. Though I’d like to go without the whole accidental being caught in a net thing.
3. If you could live anywhere on this planet, and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live? Tell the group about your choice. You know, I took one of those random “where should you live/go on vacation” quizzes online and I got Helsinki, Finland, and after doing some research on it, I’d have to agree. The skyline is beautiful, it seems there’s something for everyone there, they have gorgeous winter scenery, and the national library. Guys, I could probably spend my entire life just in this library alone:
4. What favorite color are you and how does being that color make you feel? I’ve been obsessed with purple for a really long time. I always feel more confident when I’m wearing the right shade of purple for me, which is close to a rich blue-violet. I also like lavender, which makes me feel feminine but not overtly so.
5. If you could choose an imaginary friend, who would you choose and why? I never knew there were imaginary friends to “choose” from; I always thought they were all unique and of your own imagination and for you only. Intriguing. Is there an Island of Imaginary Friends somewhere? 🙂 I remember in junior high I made up an imaginary friend (does that make sense?)–not a “real” imaginary friend, but more of a parody of an imaginary friend, if you will. My friend’s parody imaginary friend was a leprechaun named Marty that she kept in her shoe, so in turn I had a pixie on my shoulder named Love, who was a cheerleader that bopped people on the nose whenever they made fun of me. It was a riot. I had great fun doing fake-serious Marty/Love skits with my friend.
6. If you could sit on a bench in a beautiful woods, who would you like sitting next to you on the bench and why? My doggie Dexter. He’d be able to appreciate the setting quietly with me, and we could cuddle and I could just enjoy his big doggie smile. Little slice of paradise right there, if you ask me.

IMG_1056
This guy just loves the woods.

 

 

 

7. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight, or night? Please share why you picked your time of day? Twilight.  Everything’s winding down and the blinding sun is going away.  Good time to relax with a book and some tea.

8. If you could choose your age forever, what age would you choose and why? Gosh, that’s hard.  In the past, I answered this question with “eight”, because that was by far my favorite year of life so far, because it was so happy and carefree with little responsibilities.  At the same time, there are some fun things about adulthood that I’d miss out on if I were eight forever.  Maybe 28?  Still young enough to not look silly doing “young” things, but still old enough to have experienced some of what life has to offer, mature enough to be married and have kids, and I’d be old enough to drink and rent a car and all that good stuff.

9. If you could be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play? Not a lot of people have heard about this movie, but I’d be in Camp Nowhere, playing the role of Gaby.  Everyone just looked like they had a blast shooting this movie, and then I’d also get to cozy up with Jonathan Jackson.  Not too shabby.  🙂

10. If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why? Ben Franklin.  After reading his autobiography many years back, I’ve been fascinated with him.  He had many great ideas and inventions that I’d love to just introduce him to the modern world and see what he thinks about it.  Can you imagine how much his mind would be blown by computers?!?

To a Life Full of Imagination!!!!

Violet

Posted in Written Word Wednesdays

Written Word Wednesday: Just Getting Something on the Page

A friend of mine, both in real life and in the blogging world (check out her blog, The Glittered Pterodactyl.  It’s pretty spiffy!), is an inspiration to me because she practices her craft on a regular basis.  I love her artwork, even though it’s “just” the ones in her art journal.  For reals, guys, if she made them into prints and/or notecards?  I would easily run out of money.

Why am I bringing this up?  Well, for one, I really do think her artwork is awesome.  Secondly, I’ve been a bad writer lately.  I’ve fallen out of the habit of practicing my craft.  I used to make it a point to write in my journal at least ten minutes a day, and if it wasn’t that, then at least do a blog post.  Obviously I haven’t been doing well on the latter, but I’m just so disappointed in myself that I’ve (in my mind) turned my back and ignored one of the things I love the most.

Today I hope to break that cycle.  I’m not feeling inspired, but I did make a goal for myself to post every day this week, and I also miss writing.  So I’m going to respond to one of the daily prompts from The Daily Post (just fyi it’s not the current one–it’s a few days back).  I’m going to warn you right now:  it’s not my best, by any means, and I’m not putting much effort into it.  That’s why I’m not going to do a pingback, because I would be ashamed to put my rushed work amongst those who have put a lot more into it.

But I wrote something.  And for that I’m damn proud.  Here it is!

PROMPT:

Greetings, Stranger

You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?

I felt like a glutton, double-fisting a sour cream lemon bar and tuxedo mocha.  It had been a long time since I’d treated myself to something that actually involved spending any money.  While placing my order, I told myself that I’d savor the mini luxuries, making both last for as long as I could.

I failed at the first bite and sip, trying to figure out how much and how quickly I could fit into my maw without choking.  I must’ve looked like the beginnings of a soft core porn, coffee dribbling down my neck and forming a muted caramel-colored circular stain on the white-and-lavender polka dot scarf I threw on in an attempt to look equal parts sophisticated and artsy, streusel crumbs sticking to my lip glossed smirk.

With as much decorum as I could muster, I grabbed the balled-up napkin I used as a coaster and dabbed at the corners of my lips before I responded.

“Have you, now?  And who sent for me?”

He takes his right hand out of his pocket and extends it towards mine to shake, his left hand displaying a text conversation.

“You said Violet, right?  Is this you?”

I glance quickly at his phone, skimming the important pieces and careful not to linger too much on what was obviously a private affair.  My eyes focus on the last two lines:

NMAllen:  7PM at Central Perk sound good?

ViVaVoom: Perfect.  See you there.

I think about this, look at my watch–6:55.  Wow.  Punctual.

“Hate to tell you this, dude, but one, I’m married, and two, I don’t even have a Tinder account.  For obvious reasons.  Good luck, though.”

Before he had the chance to look embarrassed, an obviously-extroverted woman burst through the door, red hair seeming to glow with the intensity of neon, bangles making a metallic clanking song with her movement.

“Allen?”

“Nope.  Neil Matthew.  My last name is Allen.”

“Either way, I’m pretty sure you’re who I’m looking for.  I’m Vivian Vanessa?  ViVaVoom?”

The stranger looks relieved, and gives Vivian a warm hug.  “Ha!  Isn’t it crazy how we never even double-checked each others’ names?  Oh well.  We’re both here now.  Shall we?”  He opens up his elbow in a window for Vivian to insert her arm.  “Sorry about the mix up,” he says, tilting his head my way.

“Understandable.  Have fun!” 

As I watch them sit down to a table of their own, I giggle behind my cup, and resolve to try to make the last drops count.  Who knew what other potential amusement could happen in the next few minutes?

To Pushing Through It!

~Violet~

Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Make a Wish

While I’ve done quite a few crafts in the last several months, my lack of posting them on my blog, and more specifically lack of posting what’s on my original craft-to-do-list , makes it look as if I’ve not done much at all.  So I guess it’s time to get caught up.   This June was an amazing little girl’s 4th birthday party.  Quite frankly, I love this girl (she’s my friend’s daughter) because she has so many endearing qualities:  she loves to read, she’s creative, she’s sassy, she’s intelligent, she’s caring, and she’s brave.  She’s not afraid to just burst out into a song and dance routine.  One day, when I have a kid, I can only hope she’ll be like her.   She’s like most girly-girls her age, loving sparkles and puffy tutu-skirted dresses, pretending to be a princess and throw tea parties.  She also loves making wishes.   There is one particular memory I have of her:  picking up a dandelion with the utmost care, as if it were fragile china.  She blows on it gently, saying that those wishes were very valuable!   I kept this memory in mind as her birthday approached, and decided to make her a necklace of wishes and glitter and purple (her–and my–favorite color).  To go with it, I made a birthday card with a dandelion on it; the stem being the real stem of the special dandelion I picked for her necklace: 101_6493 101_6495 Being someone who isn’t much of an artist, I’m proud of how this turned out.  I looked up a tutorial online (which unfortunately I can’t find now, otherwise I’d link to it) and did many drafts beforehand.   Then came the necklace!  I looked up tutorials online, but nothing quite fit exactly what I wanted to do, so I did a hybrid of sorts.  Here’s what I did, in pictures:

101_6491
Step #1: Find a nice, magical-looking dandelion. One that you think can grant lots of wishes. Pick it and put it immediately into a Ziploc bag to prevent any wishes from blowing away. Put seeds into a container with lid.
101_6497
Step #2: Gather all your supplies. I have a washer, nail polish, Sharpie, glass bottle charm, loose crystals/rhinestones, ribbon necklace chain, and chopsticks or pen.
101_6496
Step #3: Paint the washer whatever color you wish with nail polish or acrylic paints.
101_6501
Step #4: Very carefully, put one wish into the glass bottle. If you like the way that looks, keep it like that.
101_6505
Step #5: If you want extra bling, add glitter, confetti, or like I did, loose crystals.
101_6509
Step #6: Add more wishes, if preferred. When you get your desired look, roll cork in super glue and put on top to secure the seal.
101_6512
Step #7: Admire your work and take copious pictures to document your awesome craftiness.
101_6516
Step #8: When one side of the washer is dry, write what you want on the other side (or paint that side as well and let dry). Thread through or attach to ribbon chain, along with your glass bottle of wishes.
101_6517
Finished product, far away.
101_6520
Finished product, close up on charms.

Step #9:  Give away as gift, or gift it to yourself!  🙂   I loved the way it looked so much, and have enough materials leftover, that I may make one for myself!  The beautiful thing about this necklace is that it spans ages.  It’s just as fun for a thirty-two-year-old as a four-year-old. What was the result, you ask?  She loved it.  After she opened all her presents, the first thing she asked was to put on her necklace so she could make some birthday wishes.  And also, it matched her pretty purple birthday princess outfit so well.  And then she proceeded to go play in the mud.   Have I told you yet how much I want my daughter to be like this little lady???  🙂

To Never Being Too Old to Wish on a Dandelion!

Violet

 

Posted in Friend Making Monday

Friend Makin’ Monday: Let’s Try This Again

…meaning two things:

  1. The goal of posting every day this week (as you can see, that didn’t pan out AT ALL last week.  Bad Violet.)
  2. A “Would You Rather?”-themed Friend Makin’ Monday

FMM

If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin Mondays before then you are familiar with the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at Losing Weight and Having Fun so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to read and comment on a couple of other posts.

This week’s random questions come from Tyra at Random Acts of Snark. Thanks Tyra.

1. Would you rather go without television or fast food for the rest of your life? Fast food, hands down.  The cool thing about fast food is that there is a more luxurious counterpart.  Except for maybe French fries.  Croquettes, maybe?  And what, exactly, is “fast food”?  I don’t consider Red Robin fast food since it’s a sit down restaurant and there’s no drive through.  I would say anything with a drive through is fast food.  I can live without those. On the other hand, if you mean no RESTAURANTS in general for the rest of my life, I’d have to rethink that.  

 

2. Would you rather have permanent diarrhea or permanent constipation? Haha!  What a funny question.  I’d say constipation, because diarrhea gets so much more in the way of your day-to-day life.  You’d have to run to the bathroom because diarrhea can strike so suddenly.  And your tummy would be in so much pain all the time.  I don’t know how I’d be able to stand that.

 

3. Would you rather be handsome/beautiful and dumb or be ugly and really smart? The thing about dumb, beautiful people is that most of them end up being either celebrities or sexually taken advantage of.  I want neither.  I don’t want the paparazzi everywhere I turn, and I don’t think I even need to explain why I don’t want to be sexually taken advantage of. I want to be valued for more than my looks, so if I had to choose, let me have knowledge.  If all else fails, I suppose I could be so smart that I could invent a way for me to be pretty.  🙂

 

4. Would you rather be always be cold or always be hot? I prefer the winter to summer and when I get too hot I get cranky anyway, so always cold, without argument.  I love cold weather clothes much more than hot weather clothes anyway.  So that’s a bonus.

 

5. Would you rather be deaf or blind? I would much rather be Deaf, for sure.  I’m not gonna lie–I’m really biased when it comes to that, mostly because I took a few years of American Sign Language in high school and so I really respect the Deaf community. (Side note:  “deaf” is turning into one of those words where it looks like it’s spelled wrong when you write it over and over again.)  They can still very much be a functional part of society, even with their disability.  That’s not to say that the blind are incapable of contributing anything; it’s just I don’t know as much about them.  I also think Deaf people are better able to be independent–they can still get driver’s licenses (I don’t know if you knew that or not, but they can, because when it comes to driving, the only “hearing” obstacle that might be a problem is emergency vehicles, but they’re able to see the lights in their rearview mirrors), which I value very much.  I know people can get by without one, but I’ve grown attached to being able to take off wherever I want, whenever I want, and answering to nobody’s schedule but my own.  I also think American Sign Language is a beautiful language, and I wouldn’t mind being more immersed in it.

 

6. Would you rather eliminate hunger and disease or be able to bring lasting world peace? Wow, that’s a hard question.  This might be a “cheat” answer, but I believe that one of the myriad reasons we don’t have world peace right now have a great deal to do with hunger and disease.  I think these are more political/social/social wars than international wars, for sure, but they are “wars” nonetheless. So with that being said, I would say I’d want to bring about lasting world peace, LASTING being the operative word.  Living in a world with no war would be such a wonderful one to live in, and maybe when people don’t have enemies or war or riots or general hostile disagreement to worry about, maybe then they’ll start focusing on how to help their fellow human being and eliminate hunger and disease as a result.  Nice thought, right?

 

7. Would you rather be stranded on a deserted island alone or with someone you don’t like? Alone.  I’m an introvert at heart and I’d finally have the time to write and read as much as I’d like.  I’d probably make friends with the animals and they’d keep me company.  I mean, can you even imagine being stranded on a deserted island with Hitler?  Ick.  No thank you.

 

8. Would you rather see the future or change the past? This is going to be a confusing-sounding answer, but what the heck.  I would rather see the future, because I’d know what was coming, but I could make changes in my present to possibly change that future, which in a way is changing the past.  It would also be an easier way of just going with the flow, because you already know what’s in store.  And if it was possible to go way into my own future, I’d be able to answer the question of what happens after you die.  

 

9. Would you rather be three inches taller or three inches shorter? I’m already pretty short (5’4″), and three inches shorter would be 5’1″.  That’s a little too short for me.  Three inches taller wouldn’t be so bad, especially since my hubby’s 5’11” so I still wouldn’t have to worry about being taller than him.  Extra bonus if I could be three inches taller and the same weight, because then I’d have the illusion of having lost weight!  🙂

 

10. Would you rather wrestle a lion or fight a shark? Seeing as I can’t swim very well, I’d rather wrestle a lion.  At least with a lion I could at least try to outrun it.  And they’re furry and cuddlier than a shark.  😉 Hope you all have a fabulous week!  Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed for me making my goal of posting every day this week!  I hope I can do it this time.

To Second Chances,

Violet