For my creative souls out there

QUICK BLOG UPDATE:

Hey guys!

Before I get into what this post in actually titled. I just wanted to clue you in on some things. I have been vlogging as mentioned, but I haven’t edited anything yet,(things have been busy and this holiday season has me exhausted.) So the vlogs will be up at a later date. I have more footage than I thought-initially I planned to just do one massive vlog, but at this rate-it would end up being really long-so I’m probably going to have to break them into smaller vlogs.

Also today I did a lot of ground work for the writing of  my newest short story series; Welcome Home. Good stuff coming your way…and I will be posting a new chapter soon.

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XO

Michelle

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Dear Creative Souls,

It’s a beautiful thing when it just comes naturally isn’t it. When that light sparks and a fire is ignited inside you and your fingers can’t type as fast as your mind is going.

It’s such a rush and that’s when you feel like you are doing what you were always meant to do.

But, sadly it isn’t always that easy. In fact more than likely it’s a difficult task to handle on the regular.

I’ve always been creative. Even as a kid, I was always pretending and playing.

And I have always said that if I had a job that I really loved, it wouldn’t feel like work to me.

But you know what -being creative is work. It is some of the hardest work you can do.

It is mentally and emotionally exhausting. So much of your heart is displayed to the world for other people to comment on and critique.

And when the inspiration and the ideas stop, the failure you feel is much more personal and internal, than if you just failed at a regular job related task.

So what do we do when we lack inspiration? When our lights go dim?

Do we give up?

Are we supposed to just accept this fate.

This momentary lack of inspiration.. is it going to be forever?

There are so many creative people in this world, who have missed their calling.

Or who have moved on from their creative talents, because it wasn’t the sensible or “adult” thing to do. Because life pushed them into a corner and they needed to stray away to make ends meet.

It’s no secret that the creative souls struggle. We put ourselves in unhappy circumstances sometimes. We let our creative souls suffer. We sit behind a desk, we turn into daily robots, and crunch numbers.

It’s no place for a creative soul.

I see emotion in things. Love.

I see colors. I see patterns.

I’m trained to analyze and to dig deeper.

What is the meaning behind it all?

So much beauty comes from art, film, music, photography, writing.

These things we treasure, these things we used to escape our stresses.

These enjoyments.

Yet these are the people who struggle most to make a living.

The cost of life is higher than ever, and gone is the artistic feel at times.

It’s all about the benjamins.

I understand money is important.

Do it for the green.

But if something isn’t right and you feel it in your soul, you are doing it wrong.

It’s time to find that passion you once knew.

Weather it’s painting a blank canvas. Or writing that book you always wanted to write.

Stay in the crummy job, stick it out.

But only long enough until you find  some place else to turn to, a job that feeds your creativity.

Because we can’t let the arts die.

I work with kids and I can see how it’s changed.

It’s all academic.

You ask a math question. A million hands go up.

You ask them to talk about their likes, their interests, they freeze.

It’s uncool to be creative, since when?

It fills me with such joy, when I see a child express their creativity, when they are proud of a product they’ve created.

That’s what being a kid, is all about.

It’s that piece of child that should stay within us always.

Allowing anything less, is stealing childhood moments from them, they can’t get back.

So what do we do here?

When we start to notice that artists get the short end of the stick?

So many artists have back up plans-in case.

Why can’t being an artist be the goal, the attainable goal?

This itch to create, to move onto more…to keep going-to climb out of our rut.

Those are the real signs.

They are the pushes.

It’s so easy to get comfortable in life, to feel safe.

To settle.

But when you think about that, is that really living?

What would the artist in your soul do?

Think about it.

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life- Viewing Party & Review

Gilmore Girls is a show that I have always had a special place in my heart for. I loved their fast talking, coffee loving, and their silly anecdotes. But most of all- the love stories.

Dean? Jess? Logan?

The ever begging question.

I have a love for each guy, but #TEAMJESS forever and always.

And then there’s the constant on and off of the Luke and Lorelai saga.

Will they? Won’t they? Will Christopher come between them?

Damn I did love Christopher though.

The circular story never ends. Or does it?

So you can only imagine that from the minute Netflix announced the Gilmore Girls Revival, I was losing my mind thinking about the epic viewing party I wanted to throw for all my Gilmore loving girls.

Needless to say time and life gets away from us a bit and I found myself searching for a free time to host just that.

I couldn’t let too much time pass without watching, because well…#Internet #Spoilers

So I was in the process of planning a bit and I actually ended  up having an impromptu viewing. I scrambled a bit, but I think I did pretty good.

Let me know what you think, my fellow Gilmore fans…

We all know Lorelai has a special relationship with snow, so I paired our beloved Stars Hollow welcome sign (that I found online and printed out) with some sparkly blue and silver snowflakes and hung them on my door.

“I smell snow.”

The focal point of every kitchen is the table and here is where the party is at. I made these two little banners, that spell out the first few lines of the theme song. A theme song that I have grown to love so much. Every time I hear it I have to sing along and it brings me such joy. Accompanying those banners are a few of my favorite Gilmore girl quotes.

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All of these are from one of my very favorite food centric episodes, the thanksgiving episode- A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving.

 

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On the table are some things that just remind us of the fond memories, we’ve shared with our Gilmores.

We all know how much our girls love food, and how they would have the most epic movie nights with sweet treats and pizza or Chinese food, or both.

So I pulled some inspiration-candy, pop tarts, popcorn & pizza.

I put the candy and popcorn into little  Chinese food containers and found an Al’s pancake world logo online. Al’s was a staple for the girls, they would order their Chinese food from there all the time. #WeirdIKnow

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In one corner of the table, I set up a little ode to Lane’s band- Hep Alien. Lane was such a great friend to Rory and she was such a funky, interesting part of the show…and she loved music just like I do! So I pulled some images together to create a band flyer and set some of my favorite CDs out next to it-calling it- Lane Kim’s Kickass Music Collection.

I also found the Yale Daily News logo online and taped that to a local newspaper and set that on the edge of the table to represent Rory’s college years.

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 I also printed out the school flag and a Richard Gilmore memorial. I added the words “Pillar of Strength” because that’s how Rory describes her grandparents in her speech as Valedictorian at her Chilton graduation, she calls them her Twin Pillars.

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Next up we have some movies that we’ve heard the girls speak fondly about- Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Casablanca.

While behind them you see an ode to one of my most favorite characters-Sookie the chef of the beloved Dragon Fly Inn.

In the center is a map of Stars Hollow that I found online, I loved it because it shows all the quirky places we’ve grown to love in this small town. Like Doose’s Market, and Gypsy’s.

Now moving away from the table…I couldn’t host a Gilmore Girls Viewing without a coffee station at Luke’s Diner…could I? I just gathered some mugs and made some coffee, and posted some coffee inspired Lorelai quotes and a Luke’s sign…and Viola! It’s a Gilmore Girls Party! Shhh don’t tell them it was decaf. 😉

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And last but not least….

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We had to.

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And Flannels for Luke.

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United Front. #TeamJess

So there you have it…my Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life- Viewing Party

Gilmore Girls is such a special show. So full of heart and friendly memories. I knew I couldn’t watch it without my best friends.

Ok and now OPINION TIME-SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you really think I wasn’t going to comment on what I thought… 😉

I freaked out a bit. It was like living in an alternate universe. I was so excited to see them on my screen again. Our favorite girls. Talking in perfectly crafted circles.

It was weird. Everyone being older and slightly out of character at first, but I enjoyed it so much. I was hooked, I had to keep watching. Yes, I binged. I had little control. I loved how the town came back to life. I loved how we saw EVERYONE-each of Rory’s exes, Gypsy, Kirk, Christopher, Lane, Hemp Alien, Mrs. Kim, Babette, Taylor, Miss Patty, Sookie, Jackson, Michele, Paris, Doyle, Francine, Head Master Charleston,  “Tristan” (Um where’s Chad Michael Murray these days?) Colin, Finn, Steve, Luke’s daughter April- the list is endless.

I loved the 4 mini movie, set in each season. That was such a beautiful concept. I loved that Rory and Lorelai are still close. I loved that Luke and Lorelai are still going strong. I loved how they handled Richard’s death. Emily was a force to be reckoned with, a powerhouse. I loved that she got drunk and told off those DAR snobs. #BULLSHIT

Thank you Netflix, for allowing Emily Gilmore to say the word Bullshit several times.

I loved that Lorelai still wore the funkiest clothing and that Luke and Lorelai finally got married.

I loved every single Jess moment. I love that he always happens to be the only guy who really knows where Rory’s heart lies. I love how he is the one to tell her to write a book-about her relationship with her mom. I love that he’s still pining for her….you saw that look….did you see that longing stare???? So damn good.

I love Rory’s good bye moment with Dean. I truly love what she said. Because he deserves so much. He really does. He was so good to her. Always. And although I have always been a Jess supporter I really can say something nice about any of the three guys. Rory got lucky.

Logan is sexy as hell in this revival. I always thought he was charming, in that rich guy riding on a big white horse kinda way. You can see how much he really does love her, he’s always there to save her. And he’s always there to be her shoulder and her friend. And he stills calls her Ace…..I died.

Needless to say…still Team Jess.

What I found slightly odd was Rory’s nomadic existence. No permanent housing address. Sleeping and sneaking around with Logan even though he’s engaged to another woman. Didn’t he ask you to marry him and you said…oh that’s right you said no! Keeping things from her mom. Bouncing around from job to job. She seems lost and she’s already in her 30’s.

On the one hand I thought that she was kind of unlikeable. I didn’t get it. I was very confused. I felt like it was severely out of character for someone like Rory. She had seemed like she had become this horrible person, who didn’t care about people. And Rory Gilmore always cared about people.

So imagine my surprise. And the whole time, I just kept saying this girl is pregnant. Although….I didn’t think they’d actually go there.

Lorelai seemed a little lost too. Her relationship with Luke seemed stagnant and the Dragon Fly was kind of at it’s peek-Sookie had left, and now Michele was next. She lost her dad and her mother was losing herself. So many uncertainties. Then she decided to see if Luke would like to start over and have a baby. Holy Jeez! Her/His sibling would be 32! Like what? It becomes so much that Lorelai decides to go on a hiking trip. That’s right she tries to rough it. Our Lorelai on a HIKING TRIP. Oh man shit got real.

So many weird things happened in the revival that made me question whether or not it was going to satisfy my expectations. Gilmore Girls has such a legacy. Was this the show I always knew and loved?

But after I thought about it, I realized all of this…everything makes sense. Rory and Lorelai have always been spiritually linked. So as Rory hits a point in her life of uncertainty so does her mom. Age doesn’t matter here. It’s life. We all struggle, we all question our next move, we all feel the burden. Lorelai had always been a free quirky spirit so it makes sense. Rory had been trying to be perfect for so long that it was bound to catch up with her. And if you remember correctly there was that whole rebel Rory phase-Quitting Yale, Sleeping with Dean while he was separated/not separated from his wife. So yea, she’s had this inner vixen in her. I don’t think we should hate on her that much. Because in the end….the real Rory Gilmore eventually does stand up.

Now lets talk about those last four words….oh my damn…..

“Mom?”

“Yea?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Rory confessions to her mother just before the credits pop up and the screen goes black and Netflix suggests a new show for me to watch. #StrangerThings #HeyHowAreYa

Holy crap. Did they really just go there.

Sure it was expected. Sure I called it within the first few minutes. But somehow I was still so shocked.

Who’s baby is it?

Logan’s. It has to be Logan’s right? Or is it One Night Stand Wookie’s?

Or in some miraculous way she and Jess had a few go’s and it’s his? #ThatLongingStare

In my opinion it looks like Logan’s. It makes sense. It’s full circle. Just like Lorelai says to Emily during one of their massive fights.

Lorelai and Rory are kindred spirits.

No matter how different they may appear at times, and how reserved you may think Rory is, she is Lorelai’s daughter and she has spunk.

Lorelai had her Christopher and her Luke.

Rory now has her Logan and her Jess.

Logan is Rory’s Christopher, the wealthy guy that can breeze in at a moment’s notice and take her on adventures and save her financially. He knows her, and is there for her always.

Jess in Rory’s Luke, the hometown vagabond that was thought of as not good enough and who has been pining over her for years. He knows her in a way no one else really does, and he loves her so much. Not to mention he’s Luke’s nephew and he’s already part of the family. #NoItsNotIncest

Some people may argue this whole theory but that’s how I see it.

And as Amy Sherman Palladio has said in interviews, this is how she always envisioned the series ending. With Rory telling her mother she was pregnant.

There could be a fight made saying that we don’t need to see what’s going to happen, because we’ve already seen it play out with Luke and Lorelai. Rory will be pregnant with Logan’s baby, but will end up with Jess who will eventually help raise her child-who I can’t help seeing not being a girl. It has to be a girl.

However, I’m sorry I don’t buy that shit, the way that revival went down, the crazy twists and turns, that baby could be anyone’s. In fact there is a crazy theory that Rory is acting as Lorelai’s surrogate, so that she can have a baby with Luke. HOW CRAZY WOULD THAT BE!!!! Needless to say I am not down with this being the ending for good.

I think I need to see more. There has to be more. The story is not over. No matter how parallel Rory and Lorelai’s experiences may be, I still think they are individuals and they handle things differently. That “History repeats itself” crap can keep moving right along, because there’s more story there. If Rory has Logan’s baby but ends up with Jess, I want to see that. I want to see it all. So can we get a Season 2. Because I think we need one. There’s far too much to still tell. And maybe next time….bring back my theme song….I missed it!

If you haven’t watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. It’s first season is streaming now on Netflix…

 

-All photos are my own.-

-<3-

 

 

 

Welcome Home.

Hey guys, it’s that time again…I’ve been toying around with this first bit of a new short story series for a while. I like how it’s shaping up. This new story series will probably send us into the new year, and long after. #AlwaysRambling.  I hope you will join in and read along!

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Meet Melanie…

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Melanie stares at her reflection in an airport bathroom. Her crystal blue eyes stare back at her.

She fluffs her hair and reaches into her purse for her lip gloss, as she applies some of her favorite very berry with just a hint of pink, and is instantly hit with a feeling of déjà vu. 

Time freezes and she thinks of him. As she often does.

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There she stands in front of her vanity applying her lipstick as she feels him watching her from the doorway of their bedroom.

Turning with a smile, she says, “What are you looking at?”

He smirks, “Everything,” he says casually leaning against the wooden door molding.

“Yea? And…do you like what you see?” she says showing off her outfit.

He smiles and walks over to her, taking her hand he spins her around, as his eyes glance over her full ensemble.

“You. Look. Sexy as hell,” he smiles pulling her to him and kissing her.

She smiles against his lips as she cups his face, her diamond ring sparkling as it sits on her left hand.

Melanie is brought back to reality as a stranger sets off the hand dryer nearby.

She shakes off the memory as she looks at her now empty ring finger.

She looks at herself in the mirror once more.

You can do this, she thinks to herself.

Melanie wipes a tear from her eye, as her cell phone begins to ring.

Grabbing her plaid suitcase and purse, she strolls into the airport lobby, answering her phone.

“Hey mom.”

“Sweetheart! Did you land yet?”

“Yes. Just now actually, I am just about to head out and grab a cab.”

“Oh honey I’m so sorry we couldn’t meet you, there’s just so much prep to do, we have the whole family coming early tomorrow morning.”

“Mom it’s really ok. I understand. It’s no big deal. I will see you soon.”

“Ok honey! Oh I am so excited to see you!”

“Me too. Love you, see you in a bit,” Melanie says with a smile.

“Love you, bye.”

Melanie hangs up and heads toward the exit. Stepping toward the end of the curb, she raises her hand to hail a cab. The fall chill nipping at her nose.

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“Thank you,” Melanie says to her cab driver as he unloads her suitcase for her.

She looks up at her childhood home, and instantly her heart is full.

She smiles at the festive decorations of hay stacks, pumpkins, scarecrows and twinkling lanterns that line the pathway to the door which is dressed in a sunflower wreath. Orange, yellow, red and green flood her eyes as she blinks to feel more grounded.

It’s been a while.

She reaches for the door knob, the cold gold feeling strange yet familiar at the same time. And turning it, she peers in. Her nostrils instantly flooded with her mom’s famous sweet potato pie and cranberry stuffing.

“Hello?”  She says wheeling her suitcase in as her low heeled booties click and clack over the hard cherry wood floor.

She hears some clinking and banging in the kitchen and then is met by her mother’s streaks and open arms.

“Melanie!!!! Oh my word. You look fantastic,” she says hugging her daughter tightly.

“Hey Mom,” she says smiling.

“Is that my Mel belle that just walked in?” her dad says walking in the front door in his work clothes and rushing to hug her too.

Melanie smiles as she hugs her parents.

“It’s good to be home,” she says finally feeling an inner peace.

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“Mom can I help you with anything?” she asks as she settles in on a chair at the island across from where her mother works on mixing up some cornbread batter.

“You could get started on the sticky buns?” she says with a smile.

Melanie smiles back with wide eyes.

“Sure,” she says standing and heading to the fridge.

“You remember how to make them?” her mom says peering over the edges of her red rimmed eyeglasses. 

“You put them in the oven, let them rise, add some honey and brown sugar and then get to starting on the glaze.”

“And…” her mom says with a questioning smile.  

“Add a little extra cinnamon for a lot of extra love, How could I ever forget?” she says as her mom smiles at her.

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Melanie sits in front of the fireplace. Her eyes glazing over as she watches the flames flicker away.

An image flashes in her mind of him. Them. On that very same couch. He leans over.

“So…are we actually alone in this big old house?”

“I think so,” she says looking over at him her eyes smiling with a sparkle.

He smirks, and leans over to her, kissing her. As he leans into her, the kisses intensify as he switches them to a laying down position, him above her gazing down into her eyes.

“Promise me something?” he says tucking her hair behind her ear.

“Anything,” She says gazing back her hands wrapped around his waist.

“Promise you’ll never leave me.”

“Never,” she says reaching up and cupping his neck, pulling him into a kiss.

“Good, because I don’t think I can handle that.”

She smiles, her heart bursting as they kiss into the night, their clothes disguarded piece by piece.

Melanie looks around her living room, it’s emptier now.

She shifts uncomfortably in her seat.

She sighs, her heart heavy.

You can do this, she thinks.

Her eyes begin to well up.

“Honey?”

Melanie looks up to find her mother looking at her with concern.

“Melanie, what’s wrong? Or do I even have to ask?”

Melanie smiles simply as she brushes a single tear off her cheek with her cream colored oversized sweater sleeve.

“If we’re going to do this…I’m going to need a little liquid courage.”

“I have some Thanksgiving Day punch, shall we sneak a little in tonight?”

“Yes please,” she says smiling faintly.

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“So…have you seen him?” Melanie asks looking over the brim of her glass as she throws back a giant gulp of Thanksgiving Day punch.

“I have,” her mother says carefully, calmly.

“How is he?” Melanie inquires  caught between wanting to know and not wanting to know but having to ask anyway no matter what the truth may be.

“He seems good.”

“Good. I’m glad. I want him to be good.”

“He asked about you.”

Melanie sighs looking away.  

“Did you tell him I was coming home for the holidays?”

“Did you want me to?”

“No. I mean I don’t know. Town like ours, I’m sure I’m bound to run into him anyway so…”

“He knows. He guessed.”

“Ah,” she says her eyebrows raising.

“He always had a way of knowing you better than anybody…”

“Except you.” She says smiling at her mom.

“Well yes, mother knows best.” She smiles.

“I know I see him every few years. You’d think it’d get easier. But it hasn’t, it just gets harder. I don’t know what to say, or what to do. He deserves so much better than I could ever give him.”

“Honey, I don’t think there is any resentment there. Not anymore. Time does heal.”

“Not all wounds.”

“Maybe not yours. But he seems very much ok. Moved on even.”

Melanie ponders, her eyes watering, and her mind racing as she looks back at the fire, the flames crackling and glistening in the night. She takes another sip of her punch as she stares off into space.

Her mother watching on with a sad heart.

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Who’s this mystery man, that lurks through Melanie’s thoughts?

To be continued…

-<3-

Change.

Hi friends,

I know it’s been a minute. I am sorry. Every time I attempt to work on a post or even think about working on one, I would get discouraged or sidetracked. Holiday season, work, amongst personal changes have sort of taken over. It’s a mixture of an artistic slump and a life slump. But if you follow me, you do know that this blog means alot to me, and I always come back no matter how long I’ve been away. Because in my heart…I’m a writer and I am always writing a story in my head. So I’m going to hit you with a little emotional rant of sorts.

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Change.

Why is it that word scares us so?

What about it instills that fear in us?

Unfamiliarity.

Insecurity.

Loss of control.

Why is it that anytime you get comfortable in your day to day…life has a way of just throwing a pie right in your face?

I love pie, but not change. (lol)

The intelligent, rational side of me understands that change is part of the natural progression of life.

It’s not only predetermined to happen, it has to.

What’s that saying?

You can’t look backward, only forward.

It feels like you blink and you miss it.

I have no idea how time escaped me.

I feel like I’ve always said…when I grow up I want to do this and be that and live here…

And yet then I woke up and realized I’m 25 and still trying to get my life together.

But then there’s this…

I think what gets me most is when it all happens at once.

All the change hits you and your not as ready as you thought you were.

I’ve always been a- dance to the beat of my own drum kid.

I never liked to do things just to do them.

They needed to be backed by an emotion or a need.

My heart had to sit with it, for a while, before a decision was made.

And I am still that way.

Risk taker isn’t a word I’d use to describe myself.

However, as part of my discovery into myself and my self growth, I’ve learned that risk taking is how you get places.

And so I’ve been practicing just that.

That realization.

That’s when I want to run…far…away…away from everyone and everything and just be.

Be safe and in my comfort zone.

Last year I felt really inspired and worked on alot of self-growth.

This year- felt a little less inspiring.

Not in the sense that I wasn’t happy, or enjoying life.

Just in the sense that life just kind of flew by.

I guess it’s not so bad that I’m busy.

I struggled for so long to find work, that I am very happy and humbled to be employed and actually enjoying what I do, even if it’s not a lifelong career, I am learning about myself and what I am capable of.

But as the year ends and the New Year will soon be rolling in, we are conditioned to reflect on our lives over the past year.

And mine, I gotta say is kind of a blur.

Good, happy, exciting things happened, and are still happening, but I find myself a little stuck.

I feel like I’m just going through the motions each day.

There’s a routine and I’m ok with it, but now my thoughts of the future and where I’m going next are stirring up again.

Work, school, relationships with my loved ones.

Where do I want to be? What do I want to do? Who do I want to be?

I have so much I still want to work on.

How do I achieve my true happiness?

I don’t think that’s a definitive destination.

I think happiness is ever changing.

There’s that word again.

There are always going to be two sides to every coin.

Good days and bad days.

We aren’t always going to be smiling.

Sometimes we’ll cry and sometimes we’ll feel the weight of those tears in our souls.

And sometimes we take that as a sign that we are broken.

Who ever said that crying was a sign of weakness?

Shame of you.

I see your bottled up feelings, and I raise you a pack of Kleenex.

I’ve cried in front of rooms full of people, and still lived to tell the story.

Who’s tough?

There are things that I thought I would have accomplished by now in my life.

There are places I thought I’d be by now.

25 isn’t exactly the youngest number.

And it isn’t exactly all it’s cracked up to be.

I don’t know maybe it’s just the time of year that stirs up all of this.

Or maybe it’s something to think about and really figure out.

I know I will always keep striving and going, it’s just that change scares me so much.

Add anxiety, stress and certain insecurities to that and it can be crippling.

Sometimes I just wish I could go back and ask for a re-d0.

Maybe I would have done a few things differently.

But then again, I do think that this is my journey.

It’s unlike anyone else’s and it may not be perfect-

but it was meant to be mine, and no matter how scary and painful the struggles I’ve dealt with may have been, I found a way to overcome them.

And although a work in progress-

I am so much stronger because of them.

If I’ve learned anything from where I’ve been, it’s that I was born to be a success story.

And so are you.

xo

Michelle Leigh

Hang in there my fellow 20-somethings!

New Year, clean slate, make new memories.

 

-<3-