Monday, December 9, 2013

This Is Living...

 "...Every step feels so brand new. It's hard to jump with no net but I've jumped and got no regret."

During the past two weeks I learned what living is and let me tell's exactly what everyone hyped it up to be! Remember when I wrote about how important it is to dream and that daydreaming leads to living...I took my own advice and made my dreams into a reality.

I spent my last few weeks in Australia (my dream place), Dubai, and Italy. It was as if one day I was wishing and hoping to see Australia at least once in my lifetime and the next, I was petting Koalas and Kangaroos at Steve Irwin's zoo in Brisbane! I went sightseeing in Newcastle and skydiving in Picton, Australia. Most of my time was spent in Sydney where I met new people and got a new tattoo. 

It's not exactly what I did in Australia that made it memorable or that made it all worth it, it's what I learned. I learned about adventure and risk taking, but those weren't the most important lessons. The lesson that mattered the most to me was the lesson of learning to live. For so long, I was just simply existing in a world that would someday kill me and it wasn't until I actually went out to see the world that I learned there was an alternative to existing...and it's called LIVING!

For those of you who never experienced life, this is what it feels like: better than dreaming. When Dr. Seuss once said "you know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams" he didn't just mean falling in love with a significant other. For the first time ever, I felt like I was in love with life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. There is no greater feeling than doing exactly what you always dreamed of. There is no greater feeling than knowing that you can't get better than reality. There's something so rewarding when you can say to yourself "this is living..."

I've had my trying times and I had my moments where I wanted to not exist and give it all up but the last few weeks made me grateful that I decided to stick around. How could I give up the possibility of living my dreams and seeing more of the world than I ever thought of? My whole point is to say: never give up because your present is messy. Where you are right now doesn't depict where you will be or end up. Don't worry if you're not "living" at the moment, work on bringing yourself to life. Learn to say forget everything and everyone and do what makes you happy. Take the driver's seat so you can eventually let go and become the passenger and see all of the sights as you drive by. 

Getting lost in a new and foreign town was both amazing and scary. At one point I told my boyfriend "let's get lost and see things we didn't plan on seeing." It was during moments like this one that I realized how important learning to live is. Sometimes just learning to enjoy the ride is all you need to pick up on the lesson. 

This post wasn't meant to be long, it was meant to tell everyone else to learn the lesson that I learned over the past two weeks. I discovered that existing and living truly are two different concepts and we all should learn the second one before it's too late. Life is short but it can be filled with so many wonders if you let it in. Become the world's passenger and be sure to look around and enjoy the view.

Enjoy a few pictures from my trip to Australia while I made stops in Dubai and Italy!

 The famous Aquarium in Sydney, Australia.
 Steve Irwin's zoo in Brisbane, Australia!
 Darling Harbour, Sydney.
 Darling Harbour.
 A sleeping Koala
 Newcastle sight.
 Sunset in Australia from our cruise ship.
 The Italian Alps, Milan, Italy.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Don't Wake Me Up from Daydreaming...

"I wanna get out and build my own home on a street where reality is not much different from dreams I've had. A dream is all I have..."


They always tell us not to sleep for too long; it's the ones that's wide awake that will take the winning. Always keep your eyes wide open because that way you won't miss a thing. I say, close your eyes and keep them shut tight. Who needs to see when you can dream?


Being wide awake doesn't allow you to think of anything new. Staying awake only allows you to see what's in front of you, but dreaming gets you everywhere. Dreaming gives you the greatest ideas and the adrenaline to keep you going. Dreaming is sometimes all we have and if we never close our eyes, we would never know what lies inside of our minds. 


Just because you need to open your eyes sometimes doesn't mean you always have to be wide awake. It's okay to be alert but you have to allow yourself room to daydream and see visions through your eyelids. They say dreamers are fools or they have their heads in the clouds but it is possible to keep your feet on the ground while you're worlds away. 


Dreaming isn't only for the young, anyone can do it. We shouldn't limit ourselves to the average six to eight hours of dreaming we get every night, we should be dreaming all of the time. Without dreams, there would be nothing...we would be nothing. Everything starts with a dream, a vision only you can see. That's what makes dreaming so important.


Everyone has a different vision so why let yours become entrapped in reality when you can do the impossible by simply closing your eyes? Of course dreaming takes action but how can you take action if you never take the time to dream? Action with no purpose is useless. It's like driving without a destination: long, frustrating, and eventually you'll run out of gas.


Reality has life they say, but there were times in my dreams where I've never felt more alive. I'm sure you all know that feeling; that feeling where if someone pinched you, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between reality and your dreamworld...well, that's how life should be too. You should be dreaming so often that eventually you won't be able to tell the difference. Before you know it, you've made your dreams a reality and that's when you see the importance of having a dream. A dream isn't just a made up world in your head, it's a vision that's meant to become real enough to live through.


You may be thinking that the problem with dreams are that they never have an ending. It all usually abruptly ends or fades into oblivion causing you to feel uneasy or always wondering what would have happened. See, that's the thing about dreams, they give you the most important thing you need...a start! The rest of it is up to you. 


Wouldn't you rather live in your most exciting dream than be where you are now? What if I told you that you can? What if I told you that it's all possible? Would you close your eyes and get started now? Or would you take the safe road and be on the look out for all of the "what ifs"? 


The sleepless ones are always caught up with limitations that keep them trapped in a world where only the things you can touch are real. The daydreamers are the ones who break the boundaries of life and truly come alive. When there's a problem, the sleepless find something "real" to fix the issue, the daydreamers create a monster to fight off the villain. It's not hard to see which storyline is more exciting. Why use someone else creation when you can come up with your own?


So, next time you doubt dreaming and you think about staying awake "to get more done"just remember that the sleepless eventually go insane...



A look at my dream that became a reality:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's Here and Now...

It's Here and Now...

It's official! My first novel, "A Tragic Heart" is here and now anyone in almost any part of the world can pick up a copy. I know it's been a while but I've been busy not only with the release of my first novel but also other business excursions. 

I've decided to stop sleeping on myself and do something about my dreams and goals. I never meant for this to sound sappy or mushy but I simply got tired of feeling "average". There are just times when you have to tell yourself "the time is here and now." 

Waiting can turn into "never" and "never" turns into "regret". I never want to feel the regret of not trying. I think as humans we always try to wait for the best times to start pursuing something but waiting can be deadly. Maybe there is no "right" time because there isn't enough time. 

Theoretically we only have about nine years of our lives to do what we want after factoring in the time we use for working and taking care of everything else, so why not start now? For one, I know that I need more than nine years to pursue everything that I envision for myself so I woke myself up and decided to go without waiting for the light to change. Lights are meant to direct traffic and I just want to be in my own lane on my own highway. No time for red or yellow lights...

Am I sure that I know what I'm doing? Do I know if I'm making a mistake? What if it all goes to hell and drags me along for the painful ride? So, what if it does? At least I can regret trying instead of regretting the "what ifs". The truth is, I don't know what I'm doing, I'm learning as I go. I don't know if I'm making a mistake but if I am, I'll learn from it. Life is all about learning and perfection is boring. Where's the excitement in getting it right all of the time? Shouldn't we live for the unexpected? Both bad and good? I think so...

Waiting is mediocrity, second guessing is crippling, and worrying is pointless. I never thought I would be the one saying go for the jump and pray that you take a leap but there comes a time that everyone must change who they are to get to where they are going. Hiding behind waiting or "that right time" is only going to fill you with regret and sorrow. You want to feel better about yourself? Just go for it

There will be criticism and you should take the constructive kind, but remain blinded to the negative. Someone will always have something to say and as long as you are happy with your decisions, that is all that matters. Someone will always disagree with you or try to argue their opinion but opinions are like........noses: everybody has one.

Now, of course this also means to use better judgment and to always be rational but also know that thinking for too long will only keep you in that one spot. Thinking only equals progress when you're taking action over your thoughts.

So, let's raise a glass to taking chances! Here's to here and now...

Included are links to the product of my "here and now":

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Lullaby For the Suicidal Cats...

"We're the kids who feel like dead ends...And the poets are just kids who didn't make it...and never had it at all..."

 If you bothered to read the back cover text for my upcoming novel "A Tragic Heart" then you are already aware that the novel touches heavily upon the topic of mental illness. Although the concept of self-mutilation and depression are becoming more and more mainstream in our culture, my fear is that it is not recognized enough and never will be. The opinions and stigmas that are held by many people in today's society toward those who suffer from a mental illness isn't so far from the 1950s where many thought it was okay to perform a lobotomy on anyone deemed as "crazy" or "mentally ill." As a society, our actions from a medical standpoint may have improved but our beliefs haven't really changed at all.
Even though recent studies have shown that people who are deemed as mentally ill tend to have some form of creative gift present within them, it's still not enough for society to change their viewpoint of those who are affected by the term. I've witnessed too many times, others being called "crazy" or "incompetent" because they were officially diagnosed as being bipolar, schizophrenic, depressed, or suffered from anxiety, OCD, or ADD/ADHD. Having a mental illness doesn't mean that you are incompetent or worth less than anyone else. It just means that you were given something extra that sets you apart from the crowd. Since when was standing out a bad thing?
Society has placed a standard for what is "normal" and what is "crazy" but who is to say that society is always right? I mean, society also deemed homosexuality as a mental illness at one time also, but let's not stray too far away from the topic here...
Over the past few days, after countless conversations about the topic of mental illness, I felt compelled to write about what it really means to be mentally ill and how we should approach those who are pained by a particular illness. What gets me angry is when people can boldly and honestly state that those who "act out" or suffer from a mental illness are only doing so for attention. I believe this is something we humans say when we can't fully understand something (kind of like saying something doesn't exist or can't be good because we can't figure it out). I am here to shout on behalf of all people who must endure the "curse" of a mental illness: THE LAST THING WE WANT IS ATTENTION. WE DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS;IT IS NOT A CHOICE! Contrary to popular belief, of course.
 Now, I would say that happiness is a choice but only to an extent. There are just simply times when it is impossible to smile or to hold back tears that so desperately want to fall. This is what it feels like everyday for someone who is suffering from depression. Keeping calm is not a simple option for the one who has anxiety. Doing what makes "sense" to others isn't a choice for schizos and the often ignored bipolar folks. Saying "just focus" doesn't help the ADD/ADHD or OCD students. How can you focus when there are so many other things to pay attention to? How can you smile when everyday is the new worst day of your life? Do you really think you can stay calm when your heart decides it wants to be speed racer on steroids?  How can you act like everyone else when your mind decides for you that it wants to be free and break all the rules? Now, take your time and answer these questions to yourself...
I remember (and I'm sure you do too) Britney's infamous meltdown during 2006-2008 and how everyone condemned her with their hateful words and opinions. "She's trash!" "Ugh, she's disgusting!" "That girl is crazy!" "It must be drugs!" "She just wants attention because she's not as famous as she used to be!" These were just a few things the world was saying about her but not one person stopped to ask her how she was doing or what she was feeling inside. No one ever stopped to think that maybe she needed guidance or professional help until things got really bad. Even today, her image is forever tainted because she had a mental illness that wasn't being treated. Maybe if the world took half the amount of time they used criticizing her to give her space or send positivity her way, she wouldn't have had to hit rock bottom to rise to the top again. Sadly, we give the same criticism to our friends and family who are a lot like Britney. Instead of helping them, we shake our heads and whisper with others about their behavior.
So, how do we approach those who are clearly not in their right state of mind? Should we yell at them? Bombard them with questions and demand that they get help? Tell them to get their act together or else? Pray for them and then condescendingly tell them that they need a closer relationship with God? From my experience and listening to others, all of the above are unacceptable and should be avoided! We're so quick to give advice especially when we want what's in that person's best interest but as the old saying goes: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
We may feel like we have the answers for them to get better and we know them best because they are our children, sisters, brothers, parents, or maybe even best friends, but the truth is, no one knows better than they do. No one knows the pain they feel and the confusion that goes on in their minds better than they do. For the most part, they know when they need to be left alone, they know what type of person they want to talk to, they know when they're ready...
Of course there are exceptions and some people may need assistance from others and be placed under a conservatorship for a little while but these people are not forever incompetent. They are not beneath you because they were once held under a psychiatric hold. The measurement of their future success cannot be determined because a doctor said that they are bipolar and you witnessed them take actions that seemed highly irrational in the past. A mental illness does not define a person; it is only a part of who they are. 
The self-mutilator isn't an attention seeker;they are simply frustrated and couldn't find a better way. A cry for help should never be confused or synonymous with attention seeking. The schizophrenic is not crazy, just temporarily confused. The bipolar boy is not a danger to everyone around him...besides I'm sure he buys his girlfriend flowers just because and he's a great creative writer. The kid with ADD/ADHD isn't useless...they turn out to be Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5). The one with anxiety isn't a time bomb waiting to blow...they just haven't had the chance to show the world how great they are so it may make them a bit anxious. 
We've all heard celebrities endorse that "it gets better" and we've all seen the posters that says we're all irreplaceable, but a celebrity endorsement and a poster isn't enough. A textbook and a therapist can't give us all of the answers. We shouldn't only rely on these things as our only sources to gain a better understanding of mental illness. We should stop being ignorant for once and find the answers on our own. Maybe then we can destroy the 1950s mentality and start treating everyone as equals. Maybe then there would be less suicides and self-mutilators. Maybe then we will understand...

Feel free to leave comments and start a discussion...

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Battle...

"There's a battle within that I'll never win, because it's me that I'm up against, it's my heart versus common sense."

Anyone who knows me knows that I get all of my inspiration from music and the artists who makes it. I like to think that I'm pretty well rounded in my choices and what I listen to, though I will admit that I lean more towards anything that has deep lyrical meaning. You may be wondering what this has to do with anything but since this is my first official blog post I just thought it would be a great idea to begin with something personal...and it doesn't get anymore personal than knowing about my longtime obsession with music.
As many of you know, I'm preparing to release my first novel entitled "A Tragic Heart". I couldn't be anymore excited and nervous...mostly the latter. From time to time you guys may witness me starting a blog post with a quote (more than likely taken from a song) simply because I  don't always have the right words to say what I'm feeling. The only way I've ever known how to express myself was through writing which is how my first novel came to be. Almost everything I write is based off of experience or someone I've come encounter with somewhere down the road of life.
I've never been so open about anything ever in my life and it makes my stomach feel like it's doing one hundred jumping jacks per minute while trying to withstand an earthquake...okay maybe that's a bit dramatic but it's also accurate. I never put myself "out there" before and I know they say there's a first for everything but I never knew it would be this intimidating. I was never one to have a huge ego or the highest esteem which is why it feels like I'm battling myself. 
I fight to tell myself that I'll do fine and this will be a success but there's always that wretched little voice in the back of my mind that quietly whispers that this will be a disaster just like most things. So I tell myself, "don't listen, this is your time," just before that little voice laughs and says "yeah, right!" 
Okay! Enough with the melodrama! I'm sure that's what you're thinking by now. Maybe you're thinking, "you wrote an entire book, what are you complaining about?" Yeah, you're right about that one but it still doesn't take away that nervous feeling that follows me around everywhere. All my life I just wanted to matter and to be remembered for doing something....well memorable! Now that I have the chance it's much scarier than I thought it would be. How do you obtain greatness when you are competing with the greatest? How do you stand out when you're one in over seven billion? There's so much talent in the world that I'm afraid that mine will go unnoticed. 
...But even after the bloody battle between my heart and my common sense, I know in the end I have to take a chance because if I don't we'll never know, now would we? So, even though I may sound a bit dramatic and I may even doubt myself at times, I'm going to do it anyway. Maybe doing it anyway will turn out to be another insignificant attempt in my life, but hey, at least I did it, right?

A Simple Hello For Now!

New to this blogging thing, so for now I just want to thank everyone who gave my blog a visit. Soon enough you all will be able to get an insight into my personal life, feelings, and ideas. Here you will find short stories that I create just for the heck of it and some will be based on characters from my novels. I'm excited and nervous about starting this new journey in my life and I hope that you all will come for the ride with me! I'll be back later to create my first real post. Just figuring this all out for now...