Tag Archives: personal

The Game…

Pain and loathing spread across their faces. The sweat, mud, and tears mix together hiding their expressions. Their muscles are worn and tired. Their arms too sore to reach up and wipe away the sweat from their brow. Their fingers pulsing to the sound of their running steps. Their bodies ridged with suffering, but maintaining to carry their body weights through the field.

But they never surrender, and they never will give up. They push through their misery with great gusto because they love the game. The game drives them, pushes them, finds their inner beast. Rain, sun, or snow we continue this game.

Normally, I play alongside them. The adrenaline scorches my blood and sends currents of electricity through to my muscles. The chase is the best part of the game. Everything seems to blur into each other, and you fly through the chaos to success. Everything moving a mile a minute. Never slowing, always a steady fast pace, but only your breathing quickens.

I stand here immovable, watching them play. My eyes can’t leave the field. My body yearns to join them, and every muscle is tightening ready to burst into action if need be. But now as the coach, I must let them discover the love of this game. My body is stone cold and stiff. No sweat drips down into my eye line. No tears pour from my eyes in fury and excitement. No mud mixes onto my flesh turning me muddy. I am perfectly clean, and I feel incomplete.

But watching this game from the edge of field, causes it to slow. I can see the stopping and falling. I see their bodies actually move at a normal pace. Every athlete is wincing in pain, but I witness that smile creeping through the layers of mud across their faces. I see the high power leaps into the air towards success. I see the collisions in slow motion, and then the bodies slowly cascade dowards collapsing into the mud. I see the small gestures to their teammates as they have done well, or are losing.

No one really ever losses at this game. You only lose if you give up. You only lose if you quit. You only lose if you don’t try. You only lose if you believe you did not give it your all. If you do everything you physically and mentally could then you have won. That is why I play this game. You must work as a team to score. You must put in the work to succeed. You alone must decide if you want to play the game or not. This game is challenging but still through all the pain, hurt, tears, sweat, mud, and effort you might catch a glimpse of a smile or smirk if your mind slows down their movements.

Even though my body is aching for more than to just stand here on the sidelines, I need to give them the chance to love the game. I also get the chance to slow down my mind and see the dissimilarities between the athletes who want it and who don’t. Also, I have another source of knowledge to help them understand our true sport. This game is our outlet to team bonding and self-finding, but our true passion happens elsewhere.

But without this game, we would not know what it feels like to have sweat, tears, mud, dripping into our eyes. The water masks our expressions and exhaustion. I only truly see it in their faces during this game. When we swim there is no slowing…this only happens in the game.

Pace Oddity

Beauty…

I find the strangest things beautiful. I do find the traditional things beautiful as well, but I find the unusual things just as beautiful. Maybe its because I see myself as something different than anything else, and I too find my unique qualities beautiful.However, there are people out there that see imperfections as just that, imperfections. They don’t get that not one person is perfect, unless you see your quirks as beautiful additions to yourself. (I like to call them that, because when say it, you say it with a smile.)

Anyways, back to unusual beautiful things. Technology has helped me bring out the beauty within different objects. I know the world has become technology junkies, and I am right there with them. I don’t know if I would be able to survive a day without my iPhone or iPad…that’s kind of sad.

But technology has given me the options to create art while saving money at the same time. Normally I would get an idea for a piece of artwork, and I would stop everything and jot down my idea. I would probably spend the rest of my day in that chair drawing away for hours. Don’t get me wrong I still love to do that, but with work and school…I don’t have that luxury as much as before. Also I have been spoiled by an expensive set of markers that was given as a present. I can’t keep using them for just mock ideas…because I don’t know if I will be able to afford to replace them.

But back to technology…it gives me the option to capture the image I want to paint, and then be saved into a album for the future. Yes, I had to pay for the phone and data, but that is way less than those markers. Also I love the special effects you can use on the pictures. (Sometimes I will spend hours changing photos, instead of drawing them…which wasn’t the plan…) But when you can change the lighting and color of the photo by just a touch your once mild idea can become extravagant.

Also you can create images that some people might see something other than you did. Like a photo I am showing today…I see a burn over the eye, but I still find the face beautiful. I think it’s the emotion in the eye…(Yes, it is my eye, but when you alternate it enough you see many other people.) But some might look at it and say, “They are off to battle.” or “They wear their feelings on their face.” or “They had trouble with the blush…” I don’t know what people see, but I see beauty in everything. No matter what it is, I like to find a hidden beauty…

Eye

“Beautiful…”       taken 2/19/2016

 

ear

“Imperfections”     taken 2/19/2016

 

rose

“What do you see?”    taken 2/19/2016

 

shoe

“…chaos…”         taken 2/19/2016

 

I will definitely be posting more pictures on my blog. Even if I don’t write much that day, maybe just a poem… but art is in my life constantly. These photos are my ideas and or could be artwork; I am excited to paint them in the future.

Have an amazing weekend! Find a hidden beauty…

Why Me?

“Hey Mama!” I yell from my chair knowing that, that was the stupidest thing you can do to a hard working mom.

“What Honey? I am busy at the moment.” An exhausted voice exits the hallway to my left. “If you come to me I can help you.”

“Nevermind!” I yell back, because I can hear the strain in her voice. She must be really busy with her task that I don’t want to burden her any more.

Looking back down at my page of homework I ponder how I am going to complete this assignment. Our teacher wants us to explore our names. She wants us to discover why we are the way we are. But why did it have to be six pages long…that just seems ridiculous. You know how when you stare at a pot waiting for it to boil; I feel like that as I stare at this paper. Maybe magically it will be finished.

“Okay Honey, what’s the problem,” mom sits right down next to me. Her eyes are tired and her body hunches over itself, collapsing but still sitting tall. “You’ve been staring at this paper for 15 minutes with a very ugly face.”

I jokingly glare at her.

“I am sorry, but it is true,” she says with a small smirk across her mouth. “I needed a break from the laundry. Maybe your assignment is more interesting.”

“We have to write about ‘Why we are the way we are’.”

“Hmmm…. well you are tall because of your father. You have brown hair because of me. You have hazel eyes because of your grandfather. You have graceful hands because of your grandmother. And you are loud and annoying because of your siblings. Does this help?” Her smile growing with every statement.

“Mom…” jokingly I throw my pencil at her, but she avoids it and is clashes onto the floor. I am not loud or annoying…not really… “But yes, things like that help. But I think another part is towards my qualities.”

“Hmm…well one is… you are extremely competitive. I believe this is because this family likes to be the best of the best. However, for you I think, you truly believe you must earn everything you want in life. You don’t let people win, because they must want it for themselves. You don’t give up too easily, you try until you can’t physically move. I think you might get this from my side of the family. All of my brothers were extremely competitive and still are to this day.” Her eyes mist as her mind wanders back into her childhood…or somewhere which I was never a part of.

“This is great stuff mom. I do see myself as you describe me, but I always saw my competitive side as a weakness…in a way. People don’t like to lose. They tend to not like getting beat or pushed to their limits.  To me I am too competitive sometimes…” I do feel this way a lot. Sometimes friends leave me because I want to do something to the fullest and they just want to breeze through it.

“It is a strength Honey.  And don’t you ever forget it or change for someone. People who understand you know you have them ahead of yourself. You want them to succeed and accomplish it alone so they can be more confident within themselves.  You do what you do because you care.”

Tears are coming…but I can’t cry now. I kiss her on the cheek and then ask the next question. “A big thing is our names. Some people believe that our history behind our names will give a reason to why we are the way we are. Why did you give me my name?”

“Hmmm…. well Jane was for a past relative. Also I have grown to love the name Jane. It flows off your tongue as people call you. You should add in your paper the meanings of your names. Jane means: God is Gracious. Which is true to me, because I have you. Your last name is, of course your father’s name. It means: Peace Ruler.”

“And my other name?”

“Well Emily means: To strive, to excel, or rival. Which fits you perfectly.” She embraces me into a loving hug.

“Thank you, Mama. But why did you choose Emily?” squeezing her right back.

“Actually…I chose Emily because I liked the name. It has no family ties or relations to our ancestors. I guess God knew that the child inside me was an Emily, and he might have guided me to give you this name. You are forever my darling Emily.”

One last squeeze, and then the words flowed from my mind, to the pen, to the paper. A watched paper will not complete itself. Sometimes words from another can help you succeed, but from the beginning you must want it too.

Say Your Name

Needed…

My Favorite

The girl stepped away from her precious home and turned toward the unknown. She understood this would not be forever, and what she was doing was for a good cause. Someone outside of her immediate family needed attention, and she would willingly give it to them if it would help them feel better. She piled her overflowing belongings into her small silver car and then she slammed the trunk shut. She gazes back at the house that has cared and loved her for many years, filled with her family, and she steps into her automobile and drives off.

A month has passed in this new house, and she craves the love she has left. This girl sits in her bed centered in a large room; she has no one near her and she feels alone. There is sadness. She misses her other home dearly.  But she also recognizes the good she is doing in this new home, which she has known since childhood. Still she yearns to return while her heart continues to call out. She collapses into deep sleep, clouded with whispers of tears.

Days pass, and the girl continues her good work. She does this work out of love; the love for family. However, she still feels lonely. She has always been surrounded by  unconditional love, but now in her moments of free time she is alone. She has no dislike towards this house which needs her, but she wants to be in her real home.

Weeks, it has been almost two months and she has hit her breaking point. She dreads another night alone. She dreads another meal alone. She dreads another night where she will not hug someone she loves goodnight. She dreads not saying, “I love you” in person, because she has for these two months said it through text. Of course the work she has done has been highly needed and extremely wanted, but she feels she needs to return home. There were some good times in this new house, but the ache for her home is a greater need.

“Good bye, Grandma. I am sorry for leaving before you are better, but…”

“All is fine my dear. You have been the greatest ‘at home nurse’ I could have asked for,” the loving old woman says as she pulls her in. Whispering into her ear, “I understand who you need…go…”

With tear filled eyes she hugs her grandma back and runs to her car. She travels away from this temporarily house and back to her true home. She pulls up to the curb and there outside the front door stands the woman she needed most. Mother.

Sickness…take a pause…

I wouldn’t say I didn’t believe my mother when she said she was sick, it was more I didn’t understand the level of sickness she was having to endure. But now as I lay in my bed and attempt to write this post I feel the headache coming back to me. So sorry mom if I seemed at all humorous to you when you were in bed, because now I must endure the slow recovery to my normal health.

Have you ever said to yourself, “You are not sick. Just believe you are fine and the sickness will not be there.” Well In the past I told myself this for years. When I swam, my coach would tell me the same thing, “if you don’t want to be sick, then tell yourself you are not.” Easier said then done, however if worked perfectly fine for her. She said she would only allow herself to be sick in the Summer, because she only had coaching. I however swam year round and my only vacations were holidays, and I wanted those times to be with family, not in bed. So constantly pushing myself to not be sick, just made me extremely sick when my body couldn’t take it anymore. Which is why I think my body sometimes shuts down. It is telling me I need a rest and I should take a couple days.

For the past 2 years I have not experienced that shutdown. I believe it is because I have one less stressful thing in my life. As much as I love and miss swimming, I think it was the best thing for me to stop. Yes, I might have been able to make it to the Olympics or even just Olympic trials, but I would have never been able to experience life through my twenties. So getting injured, even though I thought my life was over, was the beginning of my true self.

It’s funny how when you have time, even “being sick time”, that you can look deeper into your life. You see the things you cherish more, and you discover what truly matters to yourself. Family, friends, art, dancing, love, work, etc. I have much to cherish, and without stopping and pausing ever so often I might forget.

So in a way I say, “Thank you Mom. You might have given me a sickness which produces the worst headache in the word. And the constant terrible sweats, and chills. But you have given me a pause to reflect what I love most. Which is you, and my siblings. I love you!”

Whom Do You Hear?

Can’t Stand Me

The lights are blaring into my mind, and the chattering of people engulfs my essence.  There is just an audience of strangers ready to judge and comment on my performance. “Why am I doing this?” I question my reasoning’s as I stand behind this curtain about to take the stage. The curtain hides my figure and my fears. I have never wanted to be a singer; I have always been the girl who just quietly hums to herself. In my head I sound like this musical angel and there are no cracks or squeaks in my voice; I just hear soft, smooth, lyrics pour from my mouth without much thought.

The curtain is a stiff material and smells of alcohol, grease, and an unmentionable. I step away from the curtain, but then I feel revealed and less safe.  Because if the moment came that the curtain would rise I could clutch onto it and disappear into the darkness above. But I stand there, cowering behind the curtain, almost center stage, waiting for…

“Next up we have, Emily2Jane! Clap for her it is her first time here!” Thunderous applause erupts after his last syllable.

My hands are sweating and I drop the mike. The echoing sound causes my head to pound and ache. I snatch it up and the assistant off to the right gives me questioning look of, “Are you okay? You can give this up now if you still want to.”

I ponder this choice. Give up…that is not in my vocabulary. New Year’s resolution was to try and be courageous no matter the result. Although, if I leave now I could still keep this as a daydream…No do this for yourself. I answer with a firm shake of my head and the assistant cues the curtain to be raised.

Again I am flooded with light. I can see no faces. That makes this bearable, until the light dances off to my side and I see every face staring at me. The machine to my left brightens and the music begins to play.  My chance is here and everyone is waiting. I pull the microphone to my mouth and…squeak! I stop dead not wanting to continue. “I already accomplished my fear. I stood in front of an audience and put myself on the chopping block.  Can this be enough?” Looking back to the assistant. He is bright red but he circles his hand, telling me to continue.

I continue, but it is awful the whole way. I cannot hear my own voice, but I imagine it is what everyone usually experiences.  My throat is dry and weak with nerves as I continue; I imagine I must sound like I am just mumbling the words off as they appear on the screen. Nerves are not a fun thing to have; they make everything twice or three times as bad.

The song ends and I hear nothing. I want to run off the stage and through the door into my quiet life. But of course, I freeze with fear and my feet are glued to the center part of the stage.

“Well that was great, wasn’t it?” the announcer tries to diffuse the silence. If we were outside you would hear crickets. Nothing. Silence. And every eyes still trained on me. Mouths gaping open with wide eyes. My hands are sweating again. I feel the microphone slipping and I clench its handle tightly spraying sweat over my knuckles. I can hear a mumbled voice speaking, must be the announcer, only my heart beat is penetrating the silence. A hand opens, pointing off stage, trying to lead me out the right side back behind the curtain. Still there is silence. I reach the curtain and there is a small clap. It is slow and steady; then another clap joins in. Until the audience is clapping in unison. I stand halfway behind the curtain and half on stage. I thank them with tearful eyes and a small reassuring nod and exit to my right.

I have no idea if they clapped because they liked me or because I was brave. I have no recollection of my performance and I couldn’t describe it to you now. I only slightly remember the squeaking and this could have been my imagination. I am drenched in sweat and smell terrible. I need a bath and a large bowl of chocolate ice cream to help me recover. I move towards the exit and many hands congratulate me with a small pat on my back. I wish they wouldn’t because I can feel the sweat dripping off of me. I reach the coat rack and move towards the exit. The announcer calls back, “Come again, Emily2Jane!” and I leave.

My New Year’s Resolution

New Year's 2016It is the New Year and now is the time for people to state their New Year’s Resolution. Most of the time it consist of adults saying they will go to the gym every day and will feel accomplished when they can again fit into those snug jeans or tight dress. I think last year I said, “I will give up eating French fries!” My younger brother also took that oath and we survived one day; because, when your older siblings are eating them in front of you, you cave and stuff your face.

I was planning on setting my resolution to getting back in shape and go to the gym, but I already must do this.  Because once I start my high school coaching job I want to be ready.  It is of most importance because this year I get to coach the Varsity team, and if one of my athletes challenge me to a race I want to be able to still beat them. Actually no, I have to beat them so, they understand I know what I am talking about.

Instead, I have decided to look at life as an adventure. Last night I did a puzzle with my mother and I have not done that in years. However, when we opened the box it was revealed to us that two pieces were already missing, but we had no idea which two. When we saw that note we debated on whether we should even attempt to assemble the puzzle knowing it would not be complete. So, we faced that puzzle head on and believe me it was a struggle. Because knowing that two pieces were missing would make us continue to second guess ourselves whether the piece we were looking for was lost of just hiding under other pieces.

I guess, what I am saying, is I want to try new things in my life.  I want to explore different possibilities and new activities. I have for years just stuck to the same cycle for years and years never feeling brave enough to break out. I want to attack my life with the understanding that sometimes things will not fit, or that if I finish a new activity I might not feel complete. I want to keep this image of an incomplete puzzle in my brain, but to not be afraid of jumping into life head on filled with courage.

An earlier post, I said I am an artist, but I guess I did not really specify what I meant by that. I want to explore and challenge myself in every aspect of my life. I want to bring an artistic side to everything in my life, whether it is: art, writing, photography, dancing, singing (only my car and close family hear me), speaking, coaching, etc. I am an artist and I am proud to be one, but I want to be an artist in every feature of my life.

So for people making their New Year Resolution remember if you falter off the course you have set remember you gave this goal to yourself; you can jump right back on it if you decide farther on. I know I will drift back into my old ways and try to fit my old cycle… but I want to be different this year and I am determined to be. (My competitive edge is helpful sometimes.) So to begin my New Year I will be signing up for two dance classes the East Coast Swing and the Argentine Tango…enjoy your New Year and discover who you want to be.

Lack of Warmth

Lack of Warmth.png

Last summer I remember constantly complaining that my Pajamas were too warm for the hot weather, and I also remember having the brilliant idea of cutting all my sweatpants off into shorts. Which wasn’t that big of deal they were already 3 inches too short exposing my bare ankle.

However, even though at the time I thought I was being a genius…I was not. I should have saved a few pairs, as short as they were, for this winter. Because I am running from my room, to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to my desk, inn short pajamas and I am freezing. I know what you are thinking, maybe, that I should go and purchase some new pants that fit me. The problem is I am extremely busy and all of my teachers had decided to be annoying; one of my teachers said this:

“Since we are coming down to the end of the semester I am going to boost the amount of homework I give; because I know that you all are extremely busy in your other classes, but I want you to learn how to deal with unfortunate situations.”

Normally I am fine with loads of homework; I know how to set my schedule up to finish on time or at least get credit the day of for finishing.  But since this I have planned my day to a “T” and it does not involve buying myself warm, beautiful sweatpants for my constantly numb legs. Maybe I will solve my problem by just wearing a blanket like a dress until I hope into bed. That seems more logical then running to get my headphones that I forgot on the other side of the house. Also, I have been waiting for that “look” from my mother; you know the one, the one that means:

“You are making me cold, go put on a sweater,” this line has actually happened a lot through my life, and I have used it on my athletes as well.

But honestly I would prefer to just steal some of her pajamas.  They are so warm and cozy, but then she comes looking for them when she needs a pair and they are dirty.  Then a new look comes; the one where she makes you feel guilty, in a humorous way, for not being able to give back the warmth she had first lent you. She is good at this face; however, I am just as good. She taught me well.

My point to all this is if you did like me and cut off all you pajamas and you have not yet replaced them, do this before it comes unbearably cold. Because it isn’t just the bedtime you need to worry about, in the morning you must decide on whether you desire coffee more than the warmth of the bed…hard decision. But usually for me coffee outweighs the need of warmth. And as I wander to the pot of delicious steaming coffee my legs grow numb and stiff.

If you wish to avoid these terrible feelings and troublesome actions take the time now and replace your long sweatpants. Or if you were smarter and put them away for the winter, bring them out before you need them. If you purchase these pants purchase some slippers as well. Believe me they are worth the investment. I have these, but no pants…I am half way there to beautiful comfort! Good luck and I hope your winter days are filled with some comfort in your nights and mornings

November 13, 2015 at 12:30 P.M.

I am strangely a highly competitive person. But the sad thing about it is I sometimes am competitive with myself.

Like today at lunch time I had amazing delicious Chinese food,that I had been craving for 3 weeks; but, during my meal, I was three quarters of the way done and the voice of reason said:

“Stop now, because you are content. You can finish it later if you become hungry again.” (Imagine this voice as my angelic side.)

However, there on the other shoulder sprung my highly competitive side.

“No! You want and must finish it now! So, you can proclaim your supreme accomplishment of completion!”

Sadly, I usually have these types of conversations in mind, but rarely do I speak them out loud.

It is ridiculous; I was having a competition based on food with myself.

My competitive side won the match and I finished my meal. I strangely feel like I did accomplish something and I dominated my competitor. But now I get to listen to that angel of reason laughing at me as I sit and suffer through my bloated feelings.

Why do I have to be SO competitive?

Maybe I need to exercise more…