Category Archives: Experiences

A Heart Found in Full Circle

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller

Here’s a quote to serve as food for thought.

Picture this… Tonight I watched The Little Mermaid, live theater, via beautifully set central staging, or theater-in-the-round. Seated in front and slightly to my right was this young boy. He’s probably between the ages of 12 and 15. I had noticed him come in and take his seat, but for the most part didn’t notice him much until my two girl friends pointed him out just as the show was about to start. His excitement was very plain. He was clapping and grinning. Surely you haven’t known the definition of “grinning from ear to ear” until you’ve seen this boy. His reaction at first was downright commical. He reacted to everything! The fog machine starting, the lights lowering. He even raised his arms and started conducting the prelude.

He didn’t get any calmer during the show! He was entertained by the show details as much as I was entertained by him, and something about him stuck with me. Something about the pure joy and unrelenting happiness called to the deepest and darkest part of my heart.

Not that I knew. I came home as the sun was setting, crawled out of my fancy “I’m not just going down to the gas station to return my Redbox DVD” clothes in the dark of my room, and went surfing online. That’s routine these days. I’m not wallowing. I don’t want to call it that because I don’t know what there is to wallow about. My life is pretty much great, so using that word is unjustified. So I’m lying there, “not-wallowing,” scrolling through countless articles, statuses, location tags, trending hashtags, and I stumble upon this article. There’s a pretty picture and a vague enough title that would suggest it applies to me and my life.

“Why Finding Yourself Doesn’t Mean Hurting Yourself.” The article wasn’t quite what I was expecting so at first I just started skimming. There were no bullet points accompanied by relevant GIFs, witty captions under said GIFs…. Whatever, I’m about to give up on the article when I see the words:

“We imagined that hurting made us clean and that aching made us pure, and we thought that the only way to find ourselves was to do it on our own. …

There is nothing magical about being haunted, and there is nothing beautiful about being sad; in fact, the only sweet things about sadness is that it may end. …

When you are older, you will have faced enough adversity to have earned battle scars without looking for them. Challenges don’t make you stronger or more mature if you wallow in the limbo that is not overcoming them, and often, there is a strong support system of people who will help you get through the tough times. Don’t turn away from them; they are part of the fine line between what constitutes feeling lonely and being alone, and the latter is an experience that no one should have to suffer through.

It is okay to be sad; every emotion has it’s purpose. But if looking for company means looking for those more miserable than yourself, remember that they will only be there on those bad days, feeding you a bleakness that you don’t need. You need to turn on the lights, open your door, and head downstairs to talk to the people who can celebrate you in your happiness and your spontaneity and your life; not just in your sadness.”

It was after reading these words that I realized why that little boy stuck with me. I wanted his joy. I wanted his unabashed love for life and the moment he was in. I wanted to borrow even an ounce of his pure heart, because the aching doesn’t make me pure. It’s the beauty of light and the lightness of bliss that makes my heart pure and strong and true.

We’ve now come full circle, back to the Helen Keller quote:

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller

Give me back my heart, world. Give me back my heart, emptiness. Give me back my heart, sadness.

Give me back my heart, me.

I’m feeling blind and deaf and want to be given the opportunity to find the best and most beautiful things again.

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Two Years, Two Heartbeats…

…it’s all the same.

In just 3 days, it will be the two year anniversary of your death. Two years is a long time, but in this case it still feels like two heartbeats – if that – that I lost you.

And just like that day that you were simply gone, I’m still addressing everything to you, still waiting for a response.

Of course I’m not the only one who lost you. We all did. I think about the others who lost you often. What their hearts must have felt like. Is grief just grief or does each person bear their own brand of grief? Each one of us had a different story that tied to yours, so does that mean we each get our own grief? In that case, are we alone? Surely not right?

Did it rain that night? Was it pouring on me as I moved quickly down the partly lit streets to find comfort in Molly’s? Or am I remembering one of the countless times I ran through the rain just to pop in and say hi? I don’t really remember many details about that day, but I remember, whether it was raining or not, that my heart was beating too loudly, to strong and too unevenly as I still reeled and walked in dry-eyed and polite as I walked past Molly’s family only to sit down on her bed, rub my eyes, and curl into her for the onslaught of tears.

With every ounce of honesty in me, I can tell you that life changed for me that day. You had affected me too much for me to not constantly compare my relationship with you to everyone else around me. You always were and always will be everyone’s Golden Boy, and no one shines as brightly to this day.

Don’t let this letter deceive you. Really, I’ve been doing well. The sadness isn’t as cloying or ever-present. I’m not always dwelling on the grief, but once in a while it does get the best of me. And when the sadness and pain and grief clear away, I’m so grateful for all the happy moments that we shared; for the quiet, radiating love in everything that you did and still do for me every time something or someone reminds me of you.

love,

the aly to your jack

First Chances

I’m starting to do a little photography for people. I’m not a professional by any means. I just have a pretty decent camera and I’m taking pictures for people and using it as practice. 

On Sunday I did a little shoot with an 8 yr old boy for baptismal announcements and I am still beyond nervous about the pictures!

There are already things that I know I will improve for next time! 

Other than that, I’m pretty stoked about this opportunity and for people being so wonderful and for thinking of asking me even though they know I’m just getting to know photography! 

First chances – they might even be more exciting than second chances! 

“LISTEN,” you scream.

“Listen,” your voice now a pleading whisper. “This struggle? I can save you from it. I’ve fought this same beast. It’s scary, I know. My battle is now over and I’m here at the top of this hill I’ve conquered. All I can see turning back, is you, blindly throwing your arms at this enemy. I’ll guide you past my pitfalls, carefully circumventing your direction. Trust me, and listen. It’ll save your heart from bleeding too.”