I am that friend.

img_0480Do you have a friend who seems distant, not themselves?

Do you feel neglected, like you don’t know them anymore?

Well, there’s something I wish people understood. Maybe that friend who seems to have fallen off the face of the earth isn’t ignoring you, purposely. Maybe they are trying to deal with their own shit, and by becoming quiet, reclusive, distant, etc. is their way of dealing.

Even if it seems not to be their “normal” reaction, maybe their new normal is qute taxing. It seems easy enough to reach out and ask, “How have you been, I haven’t heard from you in a while, is everythig ok?”

Instead of reacting “Oh *insert name here* doesn’t want to be bothered with me anymore because life must be grand!”

Don’t make it about you, until you ask and find out.

Sometimes people retreat because they really don’t know what to do, and they’re just going through the motions of life as best they can.

Moral of the story…ask, don’t assume, you might be surprised, and you just might be offering a saving hand.

 

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I woke up this morning and realized, I am that friend.

Through no intentional fault of my own, I have become that person.

Life gets in the way. Life is not always rainbows and unicorns, I say this constantly. Life is an ever evolving work in progress, and sometimes, our progress stalls, crashes down around us, and… we retreat.

Why do we do this?

I’ve no clue.

But it happens. Then one day you finally realize it, and you find yourself saying WTF! How did I let this happen? What was the turning point?

And then you see it, maybe there was no one specific thing, it was all the little things in life taking space, taking precedence. Life as you knew it had changed, and a new world order took over. Head first into the abyss, and you either sink, or swim, or hold on to the edge of the pool…and hope your bathing suit doesn’t fall off.

This is not a WOE is me tale, this is a WHOA is me tale.

whoa

Big difference. It has a mixture of woe’s and whoa’s. But what a more compassionate world this would be if more people took the time to ask “How are you doing?” instead of being on the defensive. I know this isn’t always the case, and some people are downright rude and obnoxious, only thinking about themselves, and truly couldn’t give a rats ass about you and your problems, so they ignore you. Yet a lot of people walk this earth daily, putting on a brave face so no one is the wiser to their turmoil. It takes a lot of work to put on that brave face, and sometimes that brave face takes all the effort some people can muster.

But remember, not everyone is the same. Not everyone deals with trials like you do. So ask, ask the next time you feel slighted.

What do you have to lose? The friendship that is no longer serving your well being? So be it if that is the case, because then You will benefit in the end by freeing yourself of a toxic relationship. Isn’t that refreshing? Isn’t that glorious, to free yourself of what weighs you down?

BUT if by you reaching out for a few moments of a conversation to a friend who seems distant, helps them from teetering on the edge of the abyss, then aren’t both of you better off in the end?

I think the answer is quite simple, don’t you?

 

A to Z Challenge Y for Yemeles

Shattered pieces strewn about

Displayed ever so gracefully

Tiny cracks in the surface

Cleverly disguised from the naked eye

Yet capable of holding so much

Crevices, like the curves on my body

Piercing light cascading in

Overflowing with fears and doubts

Filling beyond the brim

Kindness, love, hopes, and dreams

All dashed in a fleeting moment

It came as a crushing blow

How was I to know

You would be yemeles

With your kiss

In that moment anger swelled

But with time it’s been quelled

There’s much peace in letting go

photo credit: Sleepy via photopin (license)

photo credit: Sleepy via photopin (license)

Today’s A to Z challenge is brought to you by the letter Y. Y for ~

Yemeles
Adj. – An Old English and Middle English word meaning “careless, heedless, negligent” – Pronounced as “yeem-lis,”

What can come of this?

What I don’t say
Is sometimes more
Earth shattering
Than the words
I do speak

But to spare
The pain
I refrain

Constantly
Holding on
Holding in

Until I’m ready
To burst
At the seams

No good
Can come of this
Yet you
Still insist

Prodding

Pushing

Prying

Please!

What I don’t say
What I should say
What I shouldn’t keep inside

What can come of this?

photo credit: Cover via photopin (license)

Reflection

Sticks and stones
may break my bones
but your words
sting much more deeply

I fight the urge
to react
it’s a waste
of my energy

Bite my tongue
don’t speak my mind
bury my thoughts
deep within

If you would only
see your faults
as clearly as you
see mine

Oh how different
things would be
but this choice is yours
not mine

I will not sway
your venom or actions
you are too set
in your ways

Truth be told
what you see
is purely
your own reflection

How sad
that must be
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A to Z Challenge. M is for Motivation

Motivation, I had little of it today. But eventually I did find some, in a most interesting and sweet way…

It can come in many different forms.

I used to find motivation on those Pinterest boards. Fitspiration, Thinspiration…blah blah blah.

Finally one day I woke up. The only motivation/inspiration I needed was myself and a Healthy Motivation to be a healthier version of my current self.

There is nothing wrong with any of that motivation, but sometimes it can do more harm than good. So I choose not to use those as motivating factors any longer. Yes the healthy, stronger, fitter, motivation is vital and key I believe, in acheiving those goals.

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Let’s just say I’ve been lacking a little bit of motivation/inspiration the last few months, for several reasons, especially in my workout regime. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not die hard gym fanatic. I prefer outdoor activities if possible. The winter didn’t assist in that realm.

I dislike the gym, BUT once I get my motivation rolling and into a nice rhythm, I’m at the gym. I know I need to do both or a mix, or even supplement one when the other is not available. I’m not afraid of the gym, or lifting weights, I actually know I wont turn into…IF One

Or even the bottom photo, but I will gain strength and feel good from the time I put in to taking care of my body.

But I also got into a lack of motivation, because over the last few months I’ve let depression get in the way of the things I enjoy doing. It’s hard to say that, or type it, and yet it is key to why I’ve kinda been a little more quiet or not wanting to do more things.

Admitting that my dating life, or the ups and downs of it, has been putting a damper on my life in general really sucks. But it is what it is. I look forward to my walks on the trails to take my mind off things, find those long searched answers I am in need of, release stress, increase endorphines, find MOTIVATION for the rest of life. So it really does annoy me that I let some crappy guys rain on my parade.

Chin up Buttercup and lets move on!!!

The last few days I did find some motivation, and today’s motivation came as an lightbulb moment.

My Mom has been having some health issues, and today I insisted she come for a walk with me on the trail. I know she couldn’t do much of a walk, but at least she agreed to come along.

And I’m so glad she did.

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She…I…We… both needed and gained a little extra motivation today. I haven’t told her yet. But this picture below, I snapped of her as she was just enjoying the moment, was my motivation for the day.

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She had left me at a spot on the trail just after I snapped that little Mother Daughter selfie above. Ok wait is it a selfie if it’s more than one person? Ah who cares lol. She started walking ahead as I was looking at the picture, and when I looked up she was singing something, and waving her arms. It really was quite a sight.

So my Mama is my Motivation for today, and well sometimes everyday. And as we got back into the car she said to me.

“Thank you for the motivation today, I think since you do that blog thingy you do, and you mentioned your letter is M, you should write about Motivation. Tomorrow if it’s nice and my legs don’t hurt, lets go to the wildlife refuge out east where all the animals are and walk there. “

So I ask you all…

Where do you find your Motivation? What keeps you keeping on? 

I hope you all enjoyed today’s installment of the A to Z Challenge, brought to you by the letter M for ~ Motivation : a force or influence that causes someone to do something.

I rise up

When darkness
falls upon me
I
rise
up

from the ashes
out of the mist
breaking from
the confines
once strangling me

freed of the grip
you held
so
tight

Your
words
thoughts
glances
of pure
emptiness

nothingness

I was there
yet
you
would not see

blinded
distracted
attracted

to the bright
lights and
figures
that danced
across the
screens

captivating
your attention
enticing your
senses
more
eloquently
than
me

I stop
in your
view
disrobed
exposed
laid bare
as you gaze
right
through

nothingness
stillness
abandonment

encapsulated
within
deep
brown
dark
hollow
eyes

no reflection
of my figure
no glimmer
of my frame
imprinted on you

I now see
what you
haven’t seen
for who knows how
long

desolation
isolation
solitude
where once
companionship
resided

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photo credit: Cover via photopin (license)

The first walk among the trees this season, is sprinkled with some dismay…

The rustling of fallen leaves, the sound of gravel beneath my feet. Ohhhh how I’ve longed for this the last few months. A girl in the woods is a happy one. How I’ve needed this day 🙂

That was my Facebook status today. I haven’t been in the woods, oh I don’t know, it feels like forever. Each time I drive past the Wildlife Refuge in my town, its been closed. Very disappointing to say the least. I’ve needed some solitude, some fresh air in my lungs, a gaze at the river, the barren trees, and the random wildlife crossing my path. I’ve longed for it, my soul needed it. It could not have come at a better or more needed time.

But to my dismay, moments after hitting the gravel pathway, I happened upon the trail head sign. And my hopes were slashed just as quickly as they peaked.

Yes, the trail I’ve found myself on many times since April 2014, will be closed beginning tomorrow, and will last hopefully ONLY until the end of this April. That my dear friends, is way too long in my mental outlook. Sure the other trail will be open, but the other trail, to me, is not as serene or inviting. In my humble opinion, The White Oak Trail offers views of the river, beautiful lush woodland areas, more wildlife, and I can go on with its praises.

Thanks to the Southern Pine Beetle infestation, which has been a nuisance among many of the trails out here on Long Island, and I’m sure other woodland areas as well, my beloved path will yet again be closed off to public access.

Southern Pine Beetle (photo courtesy of NYSDEC)

Southern Pine Beetle (photo courtesy of NYSDEC)

The Southern Pine Beetle is a bark beetle that infests pine trees. Small in measure at only 2-4 mm in length (about the size of a grain of rice) red-brown to black in color, it has always been the most destructive pest of southern pine forests. This is a major concern for this part of Long Island, we are home to the Long Island Pine Barrens Region, which occupies 102,500 acres.

One tiny little pest, that can take down a complete species of trees, all while being unnoticed for possibly years, it’s kind of unfathomable. At least to me. So here I stood looking at the sign, feeling all sorts of angst and depression was starting to set in again.

Southern Pine Beetle. Image courtesy of the USDA Forest Service.

Southern Pine Beetle. Image courtesy of the USDA Forest Service.

I’ve longed for the days to get back out on the trail, I’ve needed it. I’m putting it mildly, but I really need to be out there among the trees, taking in the fresh air. My anger towards a beetle, small like a grain of rice. Then I thought, this isn’t about me it’s really about life in its complicated state. Circle of life came to mind in an instant. How it’s all cyclical. Chain reaction. Survival of the fittest. Whatever you would like to call it.

The threat is real, it’s larger than me not being able to get outside and take a hike along the trail I love. It’s the possible destruction of thousands of acres of trees. Trees which feed our souls, give us oxygen, teach us (me) how to live. Without open space, that is protected, we truly lose our connection to the earth.

I’m not about to get all preachy on you, but seriously we need to become one with nature, otherwise we can never truly understand its limited resources. Yes I say limited. We as a society suck the ever-loving life out of all our resources, I’m included in that, I won’t lie. But at some point we need to realize that there has to be some type of give back. If not, we will eventually become that concrete jungle.

Back to my much-needed escape today. I did happen to get in some quality Me time out on the trail, before having to do daily life thingies. And it was as if, the moment I hit that gravel, I had such a release of pent-up angst, winter depression, bottled up emotions, and just a complete sense of freedom. Yes that’s right. All from a few minutes out in the woods.

IMG_4121This photo is of the same area that is in my header up on this blog. What a difference a few months and another season makes. The leaves are still there, and there is limited snow remaining THANK GOODNESS, but yet it still has this serene look to it for me.

As I took my walk, I came across these two lovelies. The first picture is the first one I came across, I think it’s a she so…she was all huddled near the tree base, and a few feet away, her protector (he just kept arching his neck looking around to check out the area and who was around) They didn’t flinch when I was getting closer, but as I walked closer to them, he made sure to get as close to her as possible. Then they eventually waddled away along the path together. It was very cute, I’m always so intrigued by the interactions with the wildlife. Either among themselves, or even with people around them.

A little further along the path but not far away, I noticed in the still leaf and snow-covered ground, the signs of spring popping out of the fertile soil. Not exactly sure what these bulbs are, but they were a little pop of color among the brown leaves, white snow, and grey ground. I couldn’t help but snap a photo.

And a walk among the trees would not be complete without a selfie! Yes as much as I hate them, I couldn’t resist taking a few dozen. I settled on this one. And ironically enough, my contemplation of why I hate selfies so much gave me an idea.

IMG_4153I really dislike selfies, for many reasons. But to get over that dislike, I plan on doing a selfie a day for at least a month beginning today. If I like the photo or not, I need to document one picture per day. Catalog it. See how I’ve physically changed over the course of time. For what reason, none particularly, but just to get over the idea of self-doubt maybe. I’ve always disliked myself in photos, not that I want to change anything about myself, I am who I am and I love myself for that. Again something I’ve learned among the trees. I just think it might be an interesting journey to document. We shall see what happens.

As for my trail walking, the other trail at the preserve is available, and although I don’t find it as peaceful, maybe I need to discover it all over again. There are many wonderful parts to that side of the preserve, completely distinct from the one which will be closed down. There are also other fantastic resources for trail walking/hiking within Long Island. It’s just a matter of finding them, rediscovering ones I’ve stopped going to, and just enjoying the time outdoors.