Tag Archive | memories

For a friend <3

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“And now I’m left without, but you’re here within
As I watch the sun go down, watching the world fade away
All the memories of you come rushing back to me
As I watch the sun go down, watching the world fade away
All I want to do is kiss you once goodbye”
~ Jimmy Somerville 

This is a song I love and sometimes I listen to it when my grief (about different losses) is at its worst. I discovered this song a few years ago after my dog, Koko, died of old age.

I felt destroyed and like my loss is unbearable. My agony over the loss of my dog felt like it was killing me. Sometimes I still feel that. Shortly after my dog died in 2013, I was so griefstricken and was searching for anything to help me and I stumbled upon this song riddled with love & loss.

It’s a beautiful song about the devastating loss of a friend. It’s very sad but hopeful too.

Grief & loss can feel so lonely but it’s something almost everyone experiences at least once at some point. We almost all will lose a friend, a parent, a pet, a grandparent…and we won’t all experience it the same exact way or handle it the same. But underneath it all, is that sense of loss & grief that most of us will relate to in some way. 

“I never cried the way I cried over you
As I put down the telephone and the world it carried on
Somewhere else, someone else is crying too
Another man has lost a friend, I bet he feels the way I do”

I love this line here because it displays empathy. Whatever we are experiencing, pleasant or unpleasant, no matter how unique our inner experience is or feels, it’s very likely someone else, somewhere out there, is feeling or has felt the same way or very similarly. 

It’s great to remember that, not just because we can feel less lonely but it deepens our empathy for others and can deepen our sense of connection and oneness with others we know or not know personally. 

It’s not good that others are suffering but since there are people suffering like us, it’s good to reach out to each other or share our stories so others can feel a sense of being understood. 

Empathy isn’t just about understanding or feeling the pain of others but also sharing in their joy, success, and happiness.

I have been listening to this song and thinking about my friend/coworker, Diane, who I was close to and worked with for almost ten years. She died unexpectedly of a heart attack at work almost a year ago. I experience all kinds of emotions about it, anger, confusion, fear, despair, pain…, sometimes I feel as if I’m drowning or suffocating. But I also experience love & gratitude which I know are strong enough to conquer all those horrific emotions. Love & gratitude won’t burn them out completely but they make them easier to bear. 

Grief doesn’t go away usually, but we learn to handle it as the days go on and it heals to a certain degree.

“I’ll never let you down, a battle I have found
And all the dreams we had, I will carry on
As I watch the sun go down, watching the world fade away
All the memories of you come rushing back to me
As I watch the sun go down, watching the world fade away
All I want to do is kiss you once goodbye, goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye”

Beautiful lyrics! ❤

I feel his pain. </3 ❤

Let's remember the positive qualities of the ones we lost and honor them each day. Bask in the happy memories and the fact we got to know them as long as we did even if it wasn't very long. We could have never encountered them in this life but we did and that's a blessing even with the severe pain. 

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Much love & light & inner peace to you, always.

❤ 😀

Xoxo Kim 

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When the sun comes out again….<3

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“It felt like spring time on this February morning
In a courtyard birds were singing your praise
I’m still recalling things you said to make me feel alright
I carried them with me today”

I found this fortune on the floor near the door when I walked into work today. It brightened my day and made me smile. And it reminds me to smile at the very next person I look at (which I did! And he smiled back! 😀 ). 

Last night I had difficulty sleeping. My grief kept me awake. It tends to do that some nights.
But my adorable dogs know when I’m in serious pain whether it’s physical or emotional and they show me extra love. Lol It’s so cute!! ❤

One of the strange things about grief is how one moment it can be quiet, soft, mellow, calm, easy to bear then the very next moment it can be raw, agonizing, violent, nearly unbearable. It appears and reappears for many of us as long as we live, no matter how long ago the loss occurred. I still feel this for my dog who died of old age in 2013 and others I knew and love.

Last night I was thinking about how in just a few weeks, it will be the first anniversary of my close friend/coworker's unexpected death. It has been a long exhausting journey of grief this last year. Full of beauty & pain. Light & darkness. Love & hope.  
One year is just a social construct and it seems strange and interesting to think about it. Our society places so much importance on anniversaries each year.  This can be good or be very painful. Or both? 

My grief exacerbates to nearly unbearable levels off and on throughout my days. And while it's so hard sometimes, I know that's ok. It will be like that. I no longer try to battle it usually. It's not something to be battled. 

It's just a natural reaction to our losses. So I let it appear, do what it will, and then mellow out to the more bearable levels until the next raw flare up whenever it may be. 

Sometimes I still have trouble doing this though. Sometimes I want to resist that grief that hurts so much. 

Last night as I laid down to sleep, it just hit me. So unexpectedly. My beautiful friend never leaves my mind and my grief never leaves me either. But like I said, my grief now is usually bearable. 

But last night as I thought of the first anniversary approaching, the pain came at me like daggers piercing every square inch of my being. I thought of all the beautiful days we shared together in the last decade. All the love she has shown me and the love I still have for her and always will. But last night the happy memories weren't enough to soothe the pain. In some way, they even worsened it. Somehow though, I finally drifted off to sleep with her beautiful face across my mind. 

“Oh darlin’ as I lay me down to sleep
This I pray, that you will hold me dear
Though I’m far away
I’ll whisper your name into the sky
And I will wake up happy”

Today I woke up still in that terrible raw state of grief. It's worse than when she died because at least back then the shock of her unexpected death protected me against the agony that was soon coming. But when I think of her, when I speak her name, it's so healing. 

As I sat at work today, a memory came to me. It was the Summer before she died. It was July, just after her 58th birthday. I was 28 years old. Diane always treated me like her own daughter. We stood together by the soda boxes in the store I work at. Her job was in the bar kitchen across the street. But she came over to the store to help me when it was busy. She absolutely loved to help people. She was a very giving person.

She often came over just to talk to me or bring me food and tell me something funny. She was hilarious, so full of life. Diane bragged about me to others constantly and always told me how wonderful I am and how she loved me. She was so proud of her sons and always sharing stories about her grandkids. She was so full of love. 
I always loved how she referred to her boys as "My Thomas" and "My Matthew" and "My Daniel" 
She would scold me when she thought I was doing something not good for myself like if she thought I was not eating enough food. She was always making me food and bringing it to me. 

My sweet, sweet friend. I miss her like crazy. The pain is almost physical. 

I always felt so close to her. 

I remember her black hair blowing in the swirl of the air the fan was blowing that day. I remember her white t-shirt and long denim shorts. And her beautiful voice.

There is nothing significant about this memory. It just came to me in one of my worst moments of grief and stood out. I love how it's just a simple memory of a mundane part of an ordinary day, yet it's so vivid in my mind. 

And it's a memory only I have of us together that day. There was no one else here. It feels so unique. But now it's written in stone, for the world to see at any moment of any day. And for that I am thankful.

Today I walked over to the soda box where we stood that day. I longed for her. I longed to feel her near me. My arms ached to hug her. 

 And as my grief reached its pinnacle and I felt it would destroy me and I was so tempted to repress and deny it, instead I let it ripple through me in agonizing waves. I let my body writhe in agony, I let myself keel over as I clutched my chest which felt like it held something inside physically breaking, as I thought of how I'll never see her again, how she'll never live again, never work again, never see her sons and family and friends again. Never again feel the wind blowing through her dark black hair. I thought of her hearing aids and how she'll never again reach up to adjust them. She'll never again eat her favorite strawberry ice cream or drink her favorite soda, which is also my favorite. Coca Cola. We both have always loved it and we both wouldn't drink Pepsi if Coca Cola was sold out. Lol Instead we drank Mt. Dew. 

So I let the pain break me. As much as I wanted to resist it. I let it break me. Then I allowed myself to steal away into the stillness around me and within, the quietude, the spaciousness, the emptiness, that awaits beyond the worst of the pain. The still of this cold, desolate  afternoon enveloped me in a soothing, exhilarating kind of way, giving me life & hope. 

And I felt beauty. I felt calm. Love. Whole. I felt her in my loving memories and I felt healed to a certain point. Grief, for many of us never completely heals but that's ok. 

It will appear and reappear and rise and fall. It will scream some moments, loud and vicious and terrible. And other moments it will softly arise in our self, floating gently and sadly but beautifully across our essence. Sometimes the happy memories will shatter us to pieces and other moments they will put us back together and help heal the darkest pain. And it's all ok. But it won't always feel ok. And that's ok too.

I was so tempted to only see the ugly in my grief today but I remembered my vow to this year refine my ability to see beauty in every moment, even the seemingly ugly ones. To deepen my sense of beauty and strengthen my philosophy of life that life is beautiful even in its darkest moments. 

So I let myself stand in quiet and calm and felt the beauty rise and surge within and consume me in its glow. 

And it was all ok again. 
And all will be ok again.

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Acceptance is a beautiful thing. It beautifies the world. We can accept our things that can't be changed and just go with the flow. And even things that can be changed, we can accept that things happen that aren't good while trying our best to help it. Acceptance doesn't mean we don't try to help it. It just means we allow whatever will be, to be and move forward doing the best we can, the best we know how. 

I accept my grief and my loss. And I move forward and try to help others in any way I can, often through my writing here & sharing inspiring posts. If it just touches one person, even in some small way, it's truly amazing. ❤ ❤

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“It’s not too near for me
Like a flower I need the rain
Though its not clear to me
Every season has its change
And I will see you
When the sun comes out again”
~
 Sophie B. Hawkins – As I Lay Me Down 

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I’m wishing you much love & light today and always,

~Hugs~

Xoxo Kim 

Smile because she has lived <3

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She Is Gone (He Is Gone)

“You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
~
David Harkins ❤ 😀

This poem is deeply inspiring to me. What the author suggests can be so difficult but it's worth the struggle and some occasions will be easier than other occasions. The poem can be comforting in grief but also apply to life in general. It's very hard to put a positive spin on death, grief, tragedy, and loss. But it is possible to see a glimmer of hope and light in it. And often necessary to aid in healing. 

And with life in general, it's good to remember there's often a bright side to even the most unfortunate situations and if not we can create one. If we still just cannot see a positive side to something itself, we can focus on other good things there are in life in general. This doesn't cure all problems but makes them easier to bear and just brings joy into our hearts in the midst of the sorrow. 

I just love this poem! ❤ ❤ ❤

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My heart goes out to all who struggle with grief, heartache, and loss of a person or pet, depression or physical pain/sickness. ❤ ❤ Grief is one of the worst kinds of pain someone can experience. I don't think there's anything worse whether it's the loss of a human or animal friend. And chronic pain conditions whether physical or depression can also be extremely difficult to handle. 

Like the poem says though, for all those lost, let's smile because they have lived. Let's carry their love and light in our hearts always.

Death cannot take away the love we have for them and the love they had for us.

Let's smile for them, love for them, live for them, and keep them alive in our memories forever. ❤ ❤ Let’s display some of their positive qualities whenever we can.

And for any problems we have, let's do whatever it takes to see that light glimmering in the darkness. Even when it's just a faint flickering. 

Look at the vastness of all the darkness of a midnight sky, it seems never ending, all the blackness. But just one small star is bright enough to shine through it all. 

“Into the darkness I fade. May my light lead me through.”

“The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is.” 

Much love & light to you, always. ❤

Xoxo Kim 

Thursday (and some random memories) <3

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It’s August 2nd(but probably says August 3rd)! Yay! I love the beginning of each month! But I wrote this on July 31st. So yeah…i couldn’t post it because I had so much work and wifi wasn’t working well at work.

Thursday, I was at Buddhist class in Center City, Philadelphia and it ended early so I sat in the park across the street. My dad drives me home so I waited there. I love the park so much! It feels so beautiful just sitting on a bench surrounded by trees, flowers, green, insects, birds, animals.., people when there’s others in there, experiencing the floral fragrances and soft air upon my skin.

That night,  it rained and when the rain stopped all the park benches were wet but I sat on one anyway after taking a brief walk under the dusky sky as the setting sun washed over the city in a disarray of grays and pinks and oranges. It was lovely. I love the way the sunlight reflects off of cars and buildings and windows.

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Two young men, like college aged boys, came to the bench next to the one I was sitting on.

One sat down and the other stood and asked why he would sit on a wet bench and he replied “Dude, my ass is always wet anyway…”

Lmao! I couldn’t help but wonder why his ass would always be wet! But maybe I don’t want to know…

So this story probably has no point but it’s just really, really funny!

Also Thursday was my babies’ birthday! Their first birthday! Last year on July 30th my dog had twins! A boy & a girl. She only had two puppies and my family kept them. And we make sure she doesn’t have anymore! Lol She’s very old. And the daddy is very young.

They light up my world. I have six dogs and we celebrate all of their birthdays and anniversaries that they came to live with us.

We bought them bones and little cakes that they love.

When it’s one of their special days, they all get a gift because we don’t want any to feel left out.

My mom & sister & me are big animal lovers. We treat them as if they are family members because they are. And we feed stray animals when we can and do what we can to save pigeons when they are eating in the street. It’s best to feed them on a pavement so they don’t get killed in traffic.

Here are my babies shortly after they were born last year.

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Woody is the big boy (named after the doll on Toy Story, my favorite movie! His name is Dagwood because I loved that name when I was little and thought the reactions of those I told, were funny, no one else liked it! and I love Toy Story and decided to name him that and call him Woody) Quinny is the girl. My little sister named her.

They are chihuahua/daschund/pomeranian mixes and are the most adorable, sweetest things ever! Their mommy is a mutt and their daddy is a purebred pomeranian.

When they were born we quickly realized their mommy’s nipples weren’t producing any milk except for one nipple, which Woody found the second he was born, my mom said. Lol little piggy! Woody was born first.

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So we had to buy them special milk to drink in a dropper. Now they are very healthy. Woody has a big belly, it’s so cute! He’s now smaller than Quinny but heavier to pick up and has a bigger belly.

This is Quinny shortly after she was born, with milk all over her little face! My heart just melts! ❤

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They are so bad! The older they get, the more energetic they become. They chew everything they get their little paws on and they rip our pants off while we’re walking! Lol But they are just too cute!

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They sleep in bed with me every night. Woody follows me everywhere day & night when I’m home.

They have only been in the world for one year but it feels like forever. I can’t even remember life before them.

I just can’t get over the cuteness. Quinny looks just like what she is, a mutt! Lol And Woody looks like a purebred chihuahua even though he’s more pom. But they both look like their mommy, Boobie(I named her when I was 16 years old. Lol my sister named her Sweetheart but I called her Boobie and it stuck). She’s a great mommy and still takes care of them, cleans them and snuggles with them.

Emmy is the little daddy.

This is him! He’s so adorable and loving.

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He took good care of his babies when they were born, he would go in the pac n play we got for them and take them slim jims and other treats! Lol He had no idea they were too little to eat them but he really did not want them to eat them because he wanted them! It’s so cute, he would drop a slim jim in front of them for a few seconds then take it back and eat it! He wanted it but he wanted to be generous!

Now they annoy him but he still loves them! He growls at them when they annoy him but then he kisses them real fast to show he doesn’t want to be angry. Lol The babies and daddy are always flying around the house playing and having fun, he’s only a year older! Lol

When Woody is being bad and I’m yelling at him to stop, he kisses me real fast too, to let me know not to be mad then he goes back to being bad! Lol And he kisses us as he’s walking by, it’s the cutest thing, he just stops, kisses us, and keeps going. I also get woken up to kissies in the morning.

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best friends 4ever. ❤

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I just love my babies. They are too adorable for words!

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They love having their bellies rubbed and being held and snuggled.

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and here is the little mommy.

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Isn’t she so adorable?! She got a treat for Mother’s Day! ❤
She will 13 years old next month.

And Thursday I had blueberry iced coffee!  Yum! Blueberry is my favorite. I'm also drinking it now(and now. Lol I wrote this on Friday, July 31st, now it's August 2nd and here I am again with blueberry coffee!). I don't care much for regular hot coffee, only if it has a flavor or is iced coffee. I love iced coffee and hot tea but it's not something I drink everyday and I drink it for the taste and pleasure of drinking it. I don't need it to function like some people claim that they do.

It doesn't keep me awake.

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I don’t understand how people can drink coffee every single day and it still helps them stay awake. Doesn’t your body get used to it after a while and it no longer works? Like when people take drugs and have to keep getting them stronger to work like they used to.

In college I never drank coffee, not even iced coffee, it just never occurred to me to drink it. But one day I got yelled at by a philosophy professor for sleeping in his class. I was right in the front row and it wasn’t the first class of his I fell asleep in.

Then he yelled “if people are going to be sleeping in my class or struggling to stay awake then drink a Red Bull before coming here or don’t bother showing up! There will be NO MORE sleeping or struggling to stay awake in here!!” omg! Awkward! Lol

That was the morning after I was at my good friend, Mike’s, house all night! Then after we left his house, we stayed out all night, went to the movies and all over and I did not get home until like 3:00 in the morning! It was a fun night! But I paid for it the next morning! But I would have probably fell asleep anyway!

So I started getting to campus earlier to buy iced coffee and see if it helped me stay awake. I always heard coffee can keep someone awake and wasn’t sure if it is true. I was amazed that it did in fact help me stay awake but did not keep me awake if I wanted to sleep. It helped me have a choice. This was an early morning class and I was struggling with very severe depression (I was involuntarily hospitalized that semester for it) on top of just not being a morning person, and staying up late often just reading or going out with my friends, or contemplating all night if I should live or die(lol dramatic but true). I love morning but I just can’t stay awake that early even if I get to sleep early.

But after a while, my body must have gotten used to the coffee and it no longer helped me stay awake. And still doesn’t. But I came to love it now and still drink iced coffee for the thrill! And I realized how great it was to get to school early and drink iced coffee, read, walk around, and take pleasure in my own company.

I missed classes because of depression and fatigue. Sometimes I couldn’t even get out of bed to go to class and sometimes I managed to get myself up but couldn’t get to class and I would just collapse somewhere outside or in a building and sleep or lay in a near catatonic state. It’s not unusual to see college students lounging around campus so luckily no one was freaked out thinking I was having some emergency.

Fortunately, my depression is not generally this bad anymore and even when it is, I learned to usually cope and function much better! I can’t imagine going back to that dark place. It still gets so dark here but it’s not as frequent and not as threaded throughout my entire existence (it’s hard to put into words) and I’m so much better now in so many ways. It still gets as bad but with the help I asked for and my self help techniques I am generally much better. There’s always hope as long as we stay alive.

If you struggle with any issue, depression, physical pain/illness, please stay alive! There’s always hope for us. And always, someone, somewhere cares or would care if those people knew your struggles.

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This is at the busstop where I wait for the 5 bus some days. ❤

This reminds me of another day I got yelled at in class by a different philosophy professor. For walking in late every day. Not because of depression. Just carelessness and laziness. I deserved to be yelled at. Lol

I walked in late and he was pissed but said nothing. I was relieved because another student walked in a couple minutes later so I felt the attention was no longer on me. The professor still said nothing but looked as if he was about to, then another student walked in and that's when he had enough. He threw his pen on the desk and yelled "alright! This is it!!! It's the same three people walking in late everyday and it won't be tolerated anymore…!!!!" and a big long rant about the three of us disrupting his class that I can't remember much of now. lol again, awkward!

I couldn't get out of that class fast enough that day!

And I remember another day in college, my first year, a boy's phone rang during a math lecture and the professor ran over, picked it up and answered it and he said "who the hell am I?! No, who the hell are YOU?! He's in MY class, he can't be on the phone right now!l then he hung up, tossed the phone on the boy's desk and went back to teaching, like nothing even happened! Everyone burst out laughing while the boy just stared speechless. The professor wasn't really angry, just really funny!

Lol I have so many fun/funny memories of those days in college!  And even the painful ones remind me now how much better I am.

How sweet it is to reminisce!

I can go on and on but I'll save the rest of the memories for other days!

Also, check out this little baby!

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I found him on the counter at work! How cute!

We have lights outside work and it attracts some insects once in a while, in the Summer. Those gnats and mosquitos love the lights!

At first I was embarrassed because I thought he was a roach and there was a long line of people  and I don’t want anyone thinking we have roaches in the store (I promise we don’t!) where we serve food! I did not want anyone to crush him, people are quick to kill insects, especially roaches, it seems! So I ran over to get him in my hands and bring him inside the store. It’s window service so this counter is on the outside. There was a long line of customers and I did not want them seeing me bringing a bug in the store. Lol But I couldn’t let anyone kill him if I could stop it. Luckily the lady in the front of the line knows the lady who was in back of her and turned around as I reached for the bug and no one seemed to see. Except her little girl! She was thrilled like I am and was yelling, “hey, what’s that?! A bug! A bug!” but she, like me, wasn’t afraid, she was fascinated! I love other insect lovers! I don’t seem to find too many of those around!  And I love how little kids are so full of wonder in ways adults can never be. We can be full of child-like wonder but it’s not usually the same as when we were little. Little kids are so amazing!

And it turns out he is not a roach but a kind of beetle! I threw him in the trash. But only because I knew (or thought) it was safe, it is usually just napkins and stuff and a small trash can. If I put him on the floor, he could have gotten stepped on or crawled back out for someone to see. Then an hour later I remembered I threw him in there and went to check but I knew he probably already got out. I found a water ice cup with melted liquid in it that my coworker must have put in there earlier, and hoped he wasn’t drowning in there. I felt my heart about to sink as I checked to make sure he wasn’t in there dead. Sure enough, that’s where he was, of all the places, the one I was desperately hoping he would not be in, there he was! But not dead! Thank goodness! He was just loving the sweet liquid he was slurping off the side.

Aww so cute! ❤

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I took him out, got a few pics, held him for a while, then reluctantly put him in the tree outside. Reluctantly, because I wanted to keep him! Lol

The little thing is so cute and pretty and I felt a connection to him, as I often feel with others, and the world itself. But he belongs outside so I put him out in the tree and there were other insects so he won't be alone and I watched him go into the soil. I am thankful and I think he is too.

I hope you are having a beautiful night or day or afternoon or whatever!

Much love & compassion to you,<3

Xoxo Kim ❤ 😀

Random Inspiration #10 {old memories and what to do with ugly/plain/useless photos you take}

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Sometimes I take pictures that turn out not that good, blurry or ugly or boring or plain looking, too dark, too bright, seemingly having no point…I usually have the urge to delete them.

But not so long ago, I got a better idea. 

I can “recycle” them in a way, I guess you can say. Get creative and fix them up and make them pretty or more interesting. 

I can do things with the pictures that will make them look good that would ruin other pictures.

Example:

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Look at this terrible picture! Ack! I want to delete it right now! I meant for it to be a lovely view of the Philadelphia skyline at night but it sucks instead. No hope for it…

Unless!

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Now it’s pretty, right?!

I think so! But even if you still think it’s just kind of useless or sucks, you still get the picture, right?

You can take a sucky photo and prettify (or creepify) it. Imagine if I took a beautiful picture and then put that heart on it like that? It would ruin it!

But this picture already sucks so the heart can’t ruin it! And you can still see part of the skyline and I think the heart makes it look even better.And the colors pop more The heart is the main thing now but then we catch a glimpse of the buildings and lights in the background! Perfect!

Or you can make a sucky picture look creepy, like with my pic of the door above. That was just a simple pic of a door I took that had no use (the pic had no use, not the door) so I put a weird creep effect on it!

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I like this one. Sometimes I’m in the mood for making my pictures cheery and pretty and colorful while other occasions I want them seeming dark, nostalgic, hazy, blurry, creepy, sad-like, vintage, shadowy…
This one is on the dark side.

Heres’s the original :

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And here’s another pic I made fantastic when it was just kind of blah originally:

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Original:

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I actually like this one too but can see how it’s kind of plain. It’s interesting though. It’s a University of Pennsylvania building. The campus is beautiful. This is the medical examiner’s office, where they do autopsies and examine corpses and stuff.

And here are some more pics of mine that weren’t that good and I fixed them up:

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Lol the heater at work. I made it look like I was having some dance party with strobe lights. I only took the pic to test my phone because it wasn’t working correctly. I took the picture last year and just found it in my phone recently.

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Library on Temple University campus. I used to go to school here. I took this pic a few nights ago as I was going by.
I love when I see the campus again. I don’t see it frequently and whenever I do so many emotions come flooding back to me.
Both happy and sad ones, feelings of longing and feelings of joy. Nostalgia and happiness and gratitude.
i embrace them all.
It’s so familiar yet so distant now. I know it so well, so intimately, yet I feel as if I would probably get lost walking on there again.
That is so strange to feel.
i am never quite prepared for the feelings I experience when seeing the campus again and reminiscing.
I loved walking all around the campus day or night. When I had breaks in the middle classes

sometimes I would walk around the same buildings over and over and over, loving every single second of it. I would explore the entire campus by myself. And I would get there early just to have breakfast and iced coffee and just to walk around campus in the early morning before class.
It’s there and then that I learned to love my own company. I was always afraid to do things, go places alone, not because of social anxiety but because of my depression and certain painful memories I have. I dreaded long breaks in the middle of classes and it hurt me to see girls alone drinking coffee or eating or reading, it stirred feelings of horror and despair in me because of certain of my own experiences but I took the chance, the risk, and embraced my physical aloneness and came to welcome it and love iit.

Sometimes I still get those old feelings and fear of aloneness but then I remember my strength I found on campus in college.

I loved those early mornings having coffee with just me, reading, walking, exploring.i found it healing and I love the memories now. I cherish them always. This was before my depression was as healed as it is now and that aloneness and embracing it helped heal me so much and instill more joy into me. I’m naturally extroverted, always wanting people around me and it was hard at first to learn to do things like this alone but I accomplished it! 😀

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These are steps that lead to nowhere. They are in a neighborhood I used to live, one I lived in since I took my first breath until I turned eleven years old. It’s a small place where everyone knew each other. It’s often called the “ghetto” because it’s a very poor neighborhood and full of trash and falling down houses. And loud people, prostitutes, criminals, and people with drug problems. It wasn’t always as bad as it is now. It started to get worse and that’s why my mom and dad decided to move when I was eleven years old. People were getting murdered on the street corners where I played with my friends. One day I saw one of the murder victims after the homicide occurred.
A young woman who I still think of today. I never saw her before she died
That I know of. I don’t know who she is/was.
she had thick curly long hair and I remember it so vividly. I wonder who she would be if she were allowed to live.
I saw the whole thing, all the gore and all, I saw the emergency paramedics take her body away after covering her with the white sheet. I saw the gruesome aftermath, the things that no one cleaned and remained day after day until the rain washed it away.
She was killed on a man’s pavement and I wondered why he did not clean up his pavement after it occurred.
She was stabbed to death.
I knew it’s horrific but I was too young to completely understand.
i was sad to leave the neighborhood because I loved it there (not the violence and gore and all though)
i knew everyone, I had many friends there.
i never minded the loud people or the prostitutes on the corner.
One of them was even my friend when I saw her around.
she was sweet and friendly and I wondered why people talked about her In an unkind way.

i just saw her for her, not the unfortunate circumstances of her life.
I was very angry at my mom and dad for taking me away and moving me to a bigger place where I knew not as many people. I met a few friends I frequently saw but I still wanted my old ones and wanted to go back “home.”

i used to know a lady who lived on the street where those steps are. Her house is gone now but the broken steps remain.
she was very old, very sweet, very youthful and full of life. Very loving and warm.
She worked or volunteered at the elementary school I went to.
i remember when it was almost Christmas and I was in 4th grade and a little girl in class asked her if she thinks Santa Claus is real and she said “yes because who else brings all the toys?!” 😀

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These are some of my darker pictures. The ones that don’t resonate with everyone. My mom and sister don’t care for them. Some pictures are universally pleasing like, most people would probably like them or agree that they are pleasant, pretty, uplifting…such as flowers, a bowl of fruit, cute animals, sunsets and sunrises, babies…and I love all those too. but there are certain kinds
of 
artistic things that only certain others will understand or appreciate like this stuff. I never used to like black & white or sepia pictures but now I love them. Only for certain things though, usually not for people or
Nature, definitely not for the sky usually. I think those things are meant to let their colors fly. But for buildings and things I like b&w and sepia as well as color.

This concept can be applied to many things. Some things are probably better off being tossed. But some things can be given new life, used in a different way. Old clothes, old mail, things which no longer serve their original purpose well can be creatively made into something else. Even ourselves! 

You can use useless mail for an arts and crafts project, clothes too.

This can probably be good for the environment too! Recycling is important!

And we can even rebuild ourselves into something new, grow, evolve, expand…

I wish you much love, happiness, health, joy, and creativity!

😀

Xoxo Kim

P.s. This post is not in good condition, like the format because I posted it directly onto the app on my phone instead of how I usually do. The app is not compatible with my phone for posting directly onto it, I can’t correct mistakes easily and other stuff. I did this like this because I got confused with the locations of the pictures in my phone and that part was easier to just use the app directly for. Most of my posts won’t be this much
Of
a wreck though. Lol ;-D toodleloo lolz

Fear & Hunger

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(me then & now)

“Winning isn’t everything. The will to win is the only thing.”

It seems that some emotions or feelings such as fear of death or fear of anything really, and desire for things or people we can’t or shouldn’t have are viewed negatively by many people. Viewed as a weakness, a flaw, something to avoid at all costs. There are self-help books and teachings designed to help us not be afraid and to not desire. Not to fear death or how to overcome the fear of death, not just overcoming an unhealthy phobia but even just any natural, primitive fear of death. Not to feel desire, to not want things we do not have, to just be content with what we already have or to be happy with very little. To not want more. To not want material things because material things are bad and desire is reprehensible. To not feel disappointed if we can’t get more. 

It’s like a rebellion against the media, advertising, commercialism, and consumerism. 

These are good things. We don’t want fear taking over our lives or being too frequent. And it’s not good to ignore our current blessings just to want more, more, more. 

Too much restlessness and ungratefulness are not good. 

We often think of disappointment, the feelings we have after not succeeding or getting what we want, wanting what we can’t have, as a bad thing. Sometimes we may feel guilty for acting or feeling ungrateful. 

Maybe we feel wimpy for being afraid. 

But fear, hunger, and desire are beautiful things. They are not bad. They are not an indication that we are bad or wrong or ungrateful or that we need fixing. We don’t need self help books or anything to help us completely obliterate fear & desire.

It’s fantastic to be happy with very little or with everything we already have but there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging those things with gratitude while also desiring other things now & then. 

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I see things in a way that I would never have if I never suffered with depression. I see through a lens of depression, even when I’m not depressed. (it’s a good thing) I see through depression tinted glasses. Even when I’m very happy. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

No matter how happy I am, no matter how healed I am in general, I will never lose touch with my depressed self and the deep wisdom it has shown me. And I don’t ever want to lose touch with that part of me.

There are lessons and observations and truths bubbling in my core, ingrained into me, resting in the crevices of my brain, that I would not have come to realize any other way. 

For many, many years I suffered with depression and often, very little to no desire, hunger, or fear. Many days, I did not want anything. I did not fear anything. I did not care about anything. There was no hunger for life. No hunger to win. No hunger to get better. 

I often did not care if I lived or died. 

When I was a little girl I wanted everything. I wanted every toy in every store. I wanted to go out and play with my friends. I looked up at the sky and I hungered for more. I hungrily devoured the scents, the feels, the sights and sounds, the tastes of Nature. The taste of salt water as the strong Ocean’s waves washed over me, the feel of the dirt that got under my fingernails as I rolled around in the lot my friends and me played in. The blueness of the sky that pierced my matching oceanic blue eyes as I stared innocently into the sun until it blinded me and all I saw were specks of unknown galaxies and dark black shadows of mystery. Mysteries lost in the whites of my eyes, sparkling amidst the invisible spaces of my corneas. 

Mysteries I longed to know. But loved the obscurity of. 

My immense love for water bugs, roaches, and my wonder at maggots turning into flies almost matched my love for caterpillars, butterflies, songbirds, and the
colorful flowers that bloomed into Spring. This seemed to baffle most of those around me, both the other kids as well as adults. How could anyone love such ugly, repulsive things? The other kids would run screaming at the first sight of a big brown roach while I would drop to my knees in awe and watch closely as one would turn over and play dead. Then I would playfully imitate the scene, lying on my back with my arms and legs crumpled up, tongue sticking out, trying hard not to laugh. I loved the disgust on the faces of those in my audience. 

Or I would watch a white maggot squirm and wonder what they’re made of. What makes them white? What gives them the ability to move? Do they have insides like people? Like me? Does a maggot have a heart? My innocent, curious little girl thoughts swirled around inside my head. There was no Internet I was aware of. I couldn’t easily look it up like I can now. So I wondered. I contemplated. I entertained an infinity of ideas, in my little girl ways. 

The Internet is a great gift to the world but the absence of the Internet in childhood is also a great, valuable gift. I am happy I had no Internet. 

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 Bumble bees never scared me like they scared the other kids, even after I was painfully stung by one in the neck and my mom had to remove the stinger as I yelled in anguish and confusion. I would chase them just to catch a glimpse of that yellow fuzz that decorates their bodies, getting as close as I can, feeling a deep connection to another living, beautiful creature. Not very unlike myself. I wanted to run my finger along that fuzz. I never killed insects or bugs out of fear, dislike, or to capture that magical green glow of fireflies in my hands, on a hot Summer night. 

I knew that would be one of the worst offenses anyone can commit in this life, like stealing a star out of the sky and keeping it all to myself or taking a jellyfish out of the ocean just to see through that thick clear gelatinous body
all the way through to the spineless depths of her being. 

I would look up at a navy, starless midnight sky and just know somewhere deep inside there were no stars because they all burned out, not being able to stand the heaviness and constancy of my endless, annoying wishes. I felt that they had secrets I was never meant to know. I felt both sadness and awe. Awe, a feeling of great wonder, deep inspiration, and a strange kind of fear and respect. 

I couldn’t think in these words or concepts at such a young, innocent age. But I felt it in my bones. I felt it venturing throughout my veins and electrifying with each pulsation of my beautiful heart that pounds through my chest. The rhythm of life pounding through me. 

I still feel it. 

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As a little girl, my friends and me would build tents out of sleeping bags and sheets and blankets and beach towels, building tents to huddle in and play house together, and pretending as if these tents were our hideouts deep into some lost, secluded woods where we were being chased by a big bad wolf or a deranged stranger, I noticed the rough and smooth sounds of the sheets and nylon sleeping bags as they gently brushed together. I was struck by the infinite beauty of something so simple. Time stood still. 

Listen to that! It’s like music!” 

Kim, you’re just crazy!” 

Maybe. 

I would eat fun-dip candy until my tongue bled and stung, like catching a mini falling star on the tip of my tongue as if it were a snowflake. I would stare at the white stick streaked with my blood, my beautiful life sustaining fluid, in awe. There was something wondrous about eating delicious colored powder until my little tongue started leaking pink-red blood onto white. There was something thrilling about that sting. The coppery, metallic taste in combination with the sweetness of powder. I loved the burn in my chest. I would happily run to inform my mom, as if it were my greatest accomplishment. Holding up the white stick to show her this magic I discovered. But my wonder was never met with satisfaction and praise as I always hoped. Instead my mom would tell me to quit eating the candy. 

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Unlike most kids I knew, I happily anticipated going back to school when Summer ended and shopping with my mom for school supplies, shoes, and clothes. I couldn’t sleep the night before my first day back. Happy, grateful thoughts raced across my mind. I wanted to get up and dance. I wondered who I would meet. What would I learn? Even now the memory of that feeling thrills me. The great potential of meeting new friends, seeing old friends, the thrill of new teachers, and learning new things I would run home to proudly share with my mom and dad. Wondering what desk I would sit at, what kids I would be grouped with, who would my work partners and playmates be…

I loved shopping not just to get the stuff but the whole feel of shopping for it with my mom, seeing all the other shoppers, the feel of the back to school spirit all around me, the endless commercials advertising impressive things for going back to school. The scent of new, blank notebooks with white, lined pages just waiting to be filled and freshly sharpened pencils and broken crayons in a multitude of fascinating colors with fascinating names. “Tickle me pink.” 

The big fruit scented markers in a disarray of colors and soft, squishy pencil erasers that felt like rubbery cement upon my fingertips. The various shapes of pencil sharpeners. I even loved the idea of white-out and couldn’t wait to make mistakes just to get to white it out. I loved the containers it always came in, the little bottles and then the other kind that came out, no longer like liquidy liquid but a little sponge that smoothly glides across the paper. 

I always loved how it smelled mixed with paper and ink as it wafted up to tickle the scilia in my nose. In school we were not usually permitted to use pens so I had no use for white-out so my mom and dad would buy me it for home. I cherished the opportunity to give out valentine’s day and Christmas cards with paper hearts and candy canes taped on and would usually make one up for every kid in class. It felt so beautiful making them all happy with a sweet little card and I always had some to bring home too with sweet little messages of friendship. 

I loved the feel of being in school surrounded by other kids, cared for by teachers. Immersed in the glow of the whole environment. My hungry curiosity soaking up all the information my little brain could hold. I took in all the fragrances of the classroom, the smell of food, pencil lead and shavings, washable, markers, non toxic paint, clay…,the chatter, the laughter, and all the emotions swirling about, through the air. People, children & adults alike, always told my mom how “crazy” it is a girl can love school so much. 

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Each day after school, I couldn’t wait til my friends came out and we ran through the streets and the abandoned lots. We snuck up onto the railroad and secretly climbed the gates to trespass into people’s backyards with the possibility of getting caught hanging over our heads, both thrilling us and frightening us. 

As I sit here and write this, I can smell the fragrance of the green grass that filled my nose and lungs in the Summers all those years ago, I can smell the sundrenched metal on my hands after climbing the fence surrounding the big lot we played in, I can feel the richness of the soil we buried treasures in and searched for wiggly worms in with our bare hands and little fingers, I can taste the magic of the glistening snowflakes as they landed on my tongue in the dead of Winter, I feel the crisp Fall air as it caressed my skin, I feel the rainy mist and the floral beauty of Spring as it bloomed into my essence after that long, cold slumber finally ended. I hear the childish screams and laughter, the innocent taunts “takes one to know one! Last one there is a chicken brain…! I’m rubber you’re glue whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you! Traitor! Dirtball! Kimbo Bimbo!!

I can still hear the songs we listened to as our small bodies happily danced up and down the street, the songs that skipped and stopped and started back up as a result of my scratched up CD’s I never took good care of. I can feel the sunlight dancing upon the rain puddles after a heavy storm and the bruises and burns of the scrapes, like little sun beams, that adorned my knees as I did somersaults, went tumbling endlessly down the hills we used to play upon near the railroad, only to smack hard into the low concrete walls that surrounded the sandy, rocky spaciousness when I reached the end, and burst out laughing.

My Earth colored hair soaked in mud and sweat and grit as it tangled into an unrecognizable mass of chaos and beautiful destruction. 

I can taste it today.

I sit here and my head overflows like cauldrons of emotion, nostalgia, longing, joy, happiness, pain, a deep ache way deep inside in some mysterious place of me I can’t quite identify, crackling and sizzling to the brim, on an old stove as brilliant purple and orange flames swallow it up. I see colors and stars and thousands of burning suns and glowing moons, everywhere.

It reminds me of a line in LeeAnn Womack’s song, “I Hope You Dance”. One I reference often.

“…get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger.”

I was satisfied with the beauty all around me but I always wanted more. I got my fill but I kept that hunger. Each day I couldn’t wait to go outside and play in the dirt, the snow, the grass, the rain and oily, muddy puddles my feet loved to dance in, the leaves, the worms and rolly pollies….I was astounded by the beauty in every form it came to me. My senses passionately, greedily devoured every bit of it. I was filled with wonder & awe. And I was very aware of this wonder and awe that always breathed in my lungs and flowed with my blood like a starry serenade.

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I desired things I couldn’t always have. I wanted every toy, every book, every pair of shoes the instant I saw them and I would throw brief conniptions Sometimes on the rare occasions I was told no. I thought it was the worst thing to want and not get.

I also felt fear. I feared my own death even though I was too young to truly understand the full concept. I feared getting lost. I feared getting sick. I feared deeply. Fear did not take over my life but I experienced a healthy dose.

But then I gradually developed mild depression and I saw beauty still but not to the same depth. I couldn’t quite feel it as much. But it was still there. Then my lowgrade depression turned to severe, unbearable depression that consumed me in its darkness, pulling me into the secret black waters of its depths, I was submerged in despair, hit like a bag of bricks, with this thick, heavy darkness, and I saw beauty but almost never felt it as deeply. It jumped out at me and I noticed it to some degree, still noticing the simplest things it seemed no one else noticed or cared for, like the taste of cold air, the sounds of crickets, the smoothness of floor tiles, the cars and trucks sloshing through the rain in the flooded streets, the soles of shoes squeeking on bright white floors, the light reflections bouncing off of metal, the smell of hospitals and medicine and healing, the salty taste of longing, the way my soft hands feel in warm weather as they softly stroke utility poles and the wood of public benches, in fact, I seemed to notice it even more now…but it was shadowed by gray and darkness. I wanted to want it. But I just couldn’t to the extent I once hungered for it. And on those instances I paid too much attention and I did begin to really feel beauty again, I would shield myself against it, feeling as if I don’t deserve it, that this world is too beautiful for someone as ugly as me.

I noticed the city lights softly bathing the pavements and streets, the sounds of trains rolling across the tracks, the Beauty of the

soft rhythms of car horns in the distance late into the night while most of the world around me remained asleep, laughter out in the streets, the starlight illuminating the night, music notes riding the air as neighbors played love songs all night long, the wind that danced through my long hair. The scent of soil after the rain, the taste of cold air, the feel of soft fleece against my delicate, sensitive skin that brought me a sense of comfort, the sense of unity that surrounded me during the holidays, the creaking of floorboards beneath my feet, the green glow of fireflies, the gentle creases on people’s faces, the laughlines and the wisdom, the curve of shoulders, the little hairs in the big, dark, moles on the face of the girl I used to see on a bus often, the things I have always known are beautiful that others believe are ugly or not worth noticing.  And it was all incredibly beautiful but I closed myself off to it. 

I forced myself not to notice it. I wanted that beauty but I did not want to want it. I believed I wasn’t deserving and it hurt me. I have always been blessed with an ability to notice, acknowledge, and appreciate things, incredibly simple and mundane things, in a way it seems most around me almost never do or never notice and appreciate in the same way I always did. I have always loved simplicity and monotony. And not just the things themselves but the fact of experiencing them, the whole experience itself. And I have always lived in gratitude and some degree of mindfulness even before it became my intentional way of life. Even before I knew what gratitude or mindfulness even is.  

I was never quite able to put it into words. 

I was not brought up this way. It just lives in me. It always has. It always will. 

Most children are more mindful and grateful than adults I believe, it’s a child’s nature, but mine seemed on fire and still is to this day. As we’re growing up, we often lose that sense of childish wonder to some extent, just getting caught up in the obligations and expectations and stresses of everyday life. Mine was hindered by depression but then brought back to life by depression way more intense than it was before depression. 

Now even in the throes of a deep, deep depression, I don’t shield myself against that beauty. Instead, I cling to it for my life.

When I’m depressed, I can’t feel it to the same depth usually, as when I’m not depressed but I still easily notice it and can feel it to some degree. And I seize it and hold on tight. 

Like a lifeboat out on some distant shore waiting for my grasp, promising to save me if only I reach out. 

That wonder never left me completely. 

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Even in a mental hospital under suicide watch for weeks, as a young woman,  when I got my hands on a pen without anyone knowing (mental patients weren’t allowed to have pens) I was thrilled beyond belief. A doctor accidentally left it on a table and the second he walked away I snatched it up and it hid it and when we had to sign in for a group therapy session I was just the coolest thing around,  signing my name with a pen in big bold, blue, letters, while every other patient had to use a pencil.     ;-D

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And the day I found a paperclip in the visiting room and hid it because it was just the most amazing thing to have a prohibited and somewhat sharp object in my possession while under suicide watch. I got both the pen and the clip taken off me when they saw me strolling the halls with them in my hands.

:-/

My mind drifts back now
to that moment my sense of taste returned while in the cafeteria, after what seemed like an eternity.

I am sitting around a small table with my friends who are not my friends but intimate strangers, all held together by some kind of lonely bond. No laces in our shoes, plastic forks and spoons, strings removed out of our hoods, plastic bracelet around my slender wrist bearing my name that then seemed
anomalous to me.

Struck by the sharp taste of the potatoes, struck in a delicious way, like meteor showers.
blasting through my whole being. Still so deeply and heavily depressed but

holding onto that moment as if my life depends on it. A moment surrounded by people who understand my pain and bizarre thoughts. 

When they took me to the court of mental heath and I was the star of the show, I was fascinated. It felt so bizarre and so intriguing to be the center of attention, everyone talking about me but not to me. I wasn’t allowed to speak unless spoken to and no one spoke to me til the end when my lawyer and me lost the case and I was involuntarily hospitalized even longer. I sat in a zombified state, lifeless, sedated not by medication but deep emotional pain. But some moments my hunger returned. My hunger for knowledge, my fascination for how laws and courtrooms operate. 

Even in my deepest, blackest despair in a mental hospital I stood with a young man, another sick patient, as we marveled at the vibrancy and color of the life in the courtyards outside the windows, just beyond our reach. 
Tantalizing and beautiful. And heartbreaking. And breathtaking. We stood in breathless wonder, even while held in the agonizing bondage of our sickness, invisible fetters keeping us chained in darkness and psychosis.

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He brought my attention to it, bringing a small spark of life back into me, a thin sliver of feeling to my zombefied state when he showed me the solitary flower that seemed to blossom just for the two of us, reminding me that life still exists beyond the pain as he showed me a bright red flower bathing in the golden, fiery, sunlight. Even the thin sliver of life, that

sparkle of electricity that surged through my body was enough in that moment. Just enough. This reminded me and continues to remind me to grasp and embrace whatever gems of beauty are before me, surrounding me, within me, in any form they exist. No matter how much it hurts or how lifeless or hopeless it feels. There is always something to hold. Something to move forward for. Even if it’s just a tattered thread blowing in the bitter
cold winds of despair. 

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I think of the nights we are kept awake by the sound of each other’s insomnia and the silent but screaming tears the night weeps onto our surface and into our core, and those moments we are able to laugh with one another as if we were never sick, as if we never knew the lifelessness and horror of depression and psychosis. Laughing uncontrollably without holding back, everything else is pushed aside for a moment, all the despair, the hallucinatory voices & figures that
stalk
the
nights, the suffocating loneliness,  the paranoid delusions, the puddles of emotional sickness, we laugh relentlessly in raw joy and all is momentarily Ok.

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I recall the day a group of us got together and decided to trick the psychiatric technicians and pretend we were talking to people who weren’t really there. She knew we were faking and laughed with us playfully warning us “just wait til the doctors get here and see if you get to go home any time soon, you’ll never get out of here!” We quit real fast!

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And the day I was going to be discharged to go home which happened to be the day they were having an ice cream party but not until later, after a couple of us had to leave. I wanted ice cream and to sit around with the others and I seriously, very briefly considered telling them I was still suicidal. I wasn’t. But it was almost worth it to pretend. Just weeks before I would not even get out of bed for breakfast. My hunger got stronger each day.

I have always known a certain awareness that most others I know or encounter seem oblivious to.  

There are moments I have felt lonely in my ability to see and appreciate the things it seems many or most overlook. It reminds me of a scene in Edith Wharton’s, Ethan Frome.

“He had always been more sensitive than the people about him to the appeal of natural beauty. His unfinished studies had given form to this sensibility and even in his unhappiest moments field and sky spoke to him with a deep and powerful persuasion. But hitherto the emotion had remained in him as a silent ache, veiling with sadness the beauty that evoked it. He did not even know whether any one else in the world felt as he did, or whether he was the sole victim of this mournful privilege. Then he learned that one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his side, living under his roof and eating his bread, was a creature to whom he could say: ‘That’s Orion down yonder; the big fellow to the right is Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones – like bees swarming – they’re the Pleiades…’ or whom he could hold entranced before a ledge of granite thrusting up through the fern while he unrolled the huge panorama of the ice age, and the long dim stretches of succeeding time. The fact that admiration for his learning mingled with Mattie’s wonder at what he taught was not the least part of his pleasure. And there were other sensations, less definable but more exquisite, which drew them together with a shock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow. When she said to him once: ‘It looks just as if it was painted!’ it seemed to Ethan that the art of definition could go no farther, and that words had at last been found to utter his secret soul….” (pp. 24)

I was shocked the moment I first read those beautiful lines. Pleasantly shocked. I feel myself in those words and in the small but profound spaces in the middle of each little lexeme. 

It can be frustrating and also beautiful to feel as if those around me cannot or won’t share in my sense of wonder at the simple beauty all around us. The forgotten. The ignored. The abandoned. 

The things I make it a point each day to reclaim. 

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(I STILL do this when I get happy, thrilled, overwhelmed in joy!) 😀

It’s one reason I love poetry and photography and novels. They have the potential to capture beauty, ugliness, pain, and ordinary things in an extraordinary way. Shedding light on dark, abandoned places and spaces. Places and spaces I have always longed to color with the beauty of my Truth. 

And it’s beautiful.

They have a way of replicating wonder and awe and fossilizing them. Bringing them to life. Bringing them to the surface of consciousness. Threading them throughout eternity like a beautiful tapestry of gold and red, fire and ice.

I have always had a poetic way of seeing things. My head spins the world into poetry and song. 

It doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes it’s incomprehensible even to me. But it’s always wonderful.

So even in my desperation, my depression, my despair, and lifelessness, I often noticed and wanted these beautiful things but I closed my heart to them, shut it off as if encased in thick cement. 

Sometimes I wanted to want things and couldn’t.

Other occasions I wanted things I did not want to want. 

Still, other occasions I wanted nothing and did not want to want anything but to vanish into nothingness or die a horrible violent death to match the horrible violent feelings inside me. 

This went on for years and years, and more years. Until I finally decided to get myself better. I asked for help. I work on myself relentlessly to be the best me I can be(not a perfectionist).

Now I feel beauty everywhere, every day. And I feel fear. Fear for myself. 

Have you ever been crossing a street or standing at a curb on a pavement and a car seems to be coming too close to you and a bolt of fear runs though you? Or have you ever been in a car and another car almost hits the one you’re in or actually hits it and you feel a bit shaken for a while after and you feel it’s a bad thing? I don’t think most people have true near death experiences but I think many/most of us have experienced at least one of those mundane occurrences like with cars coming a bit too close, maybe an encounter with a creepy stranger, walking up a dark street alone and hearing footsteps or seeing/hearing something that makes the hairs on your neck stand up. Or a person driving a car you’re in a little too fast and you fear for others but also yourself. 

All these experiences may shake you up a bit but that is an amazing thing!

It shows that you are healthy. You’re meant to be afraid when you think you’re in danger. 

Desire.

Have you ever walked through a store and saw expensive things you strongly desired but couldn’t have? Jewelry? Designer clothes? Beautiful furniture? Antiques? A lovely handbag? A gorgeous dress? Ever laid eyes on a beautiful house you couldn’t buy? 
And then you felt low for not being able to buy them…for not having them…

Have you ever wanted to win a game so badly or a competition of some sort? Ever wanted to be accepted to a certain school and graduate? Or applied for a job you desperately wanted?

And it did not turn out how you wanted it to and you felt devastated…

This too is a great thing! It’s healthy to want, to need, to hunger….and to be disappointed when it doesn’t turn out.

Just like when a very physically ill person is too sick to eat or even want food then the person begins getting better and appetite and physical hunger returns and the person’s doctor or mom says how great it is. Because it’s healthy to want to eat. 

Have you ever shielded yourself against beauty and things you want, feeling as if it’s wrong to want them or feeling as if you deserve none of it?

I encourage you to embrace the beauty around you and within you. Embrace your hunger, your fear, your desire. Whether or not you act on it. 

It’s healthy to want. 

Wanting is more important than getting.

Desiring, itself, is to be cherished, valued for all that it stands for. For all that it is. 

It shows you are an active participant in life. 

I had this epiphany, I guess you can say, in greater depth one day recently walking through Target. I saw so much jewelry, real and fake, I wanted but could not get. I felt disappointed. The way I wanted it was more than desire. It was hunger. The bracelets, the earrings, the necklaces, the bags that can make a girl go weak at the knees!…and then I remembered various occasions years ago walking through that very same store, seeing all that jewelry but not caring to have it even though I loved it, or wanting it but not with the same enthusiasm I would now, because of being depressed, or wanting it and becoming more depressed for not being able to have it.

That’s when I realized more how great it is and feels to desire what I love. Even when I cannot have it. I don’t always desire material objects like that even when I’m not depressed; generally I’m so happy with just the things I already have. I can often walk through stores without wanting everything I lay eyes on. And that’s a good thing too. But it’s not good to have no interests because depression or guilt saps it all away. Some people have reached a certain level of spirituality where they want almost nothing and do not fear death even when it’s currently staring them in the face but not because of an illness, because they have trained their brains to not be concerned with material things or external factors. They are happy this way. They are not numb. They are alive. This is a good thing. Most of us, though, are not spiritual like this or to this extent. So when we have desire and fear, it’s good. 

I think it’s hard for non depressed people and maybe even some depressed people to realize this. It’s ok to want and not get and then be temporarily devastated or angry or disappointed. It’s healthy to a certain point.

After years of pain, numbness, and lifelessness, I realize this. I was stuck and stagnant. I was half dead. 

When I used to think I was going to die, I was usually either happy or indifferent.

Seeing a speeding truck coming at me only provoked my concern for others, not myself. 

I still get like that but generally I’m not that way anymore. I’m like the little girl I was before all that. I experience hunger & fear again. Often.

I realize how beautiful it feels to want to paint my nails, to want to put makeup on because it’s fun, to want to walk through a store and buy things even when I don’t have the money. 

I wanted these things sometimes even when I was depressed but not to the same extent. They often felt like hassles or obligations. Or just tainted in gray. Dull gray. Or the color of vomit. A faded kind of green. A lifeless shade of green-gray. 

Often, I would see things I wanted to want or see things I knew I would want if I wasn’t lost in a vicious kind of darkness tearing me to pieces, choking me, swallowing me whole. 

Now I want to paint my nails. I want to choose eye shadow of various pretty colors to complement the vibrancy of the blue of my eyes.  I want to wear pretty clothes that look amazing on my beautiful physique. 

I want things I can’t have and it hurts. 

And it’s beautiful.

I still get depressed and am consumed by the dark pain or I get the other kind of depression, the kind that numbs me and I feel nothing, which sometimes feels worse than the unbearable pain.

But it’s not in general anymore. It’s just episodic now. And I realize more and more the deep, primitive beauty of hunger & fear. 

When I come out of a severe depression, when it starts to lift, I am hungry. Ravenous. Not hungry for food but hungry for life and everything in it. Hungry for the colors in the wind, the textures, the tastes, the sounds, the feelings and fragrances. Food tastes better than I can ever remember, an out of this world kind of deliciousness.. Music and songs are beautiful in an unfathomable way, my mind feels clear and hope is restored.

My judgment can be trusted. 
 
I become ravenous, rapacious, like a starved, wild animal. My eyes, my mind devour anything they can. 
It’s like I can’t get enough.
It reminds me of a blind person who was blind his/her whole life then all of a sudden can see and it’s overwhelming. Everything jumps out at once, the sensory input is too much to bear at once, dizziness, confusion, clashing, mind-blowing.
But it’s beautiful because the person can see.

I was blind but now I see.

It reminds me of the novel “The Secret Garden,” a beautiful story of growth, hope, and rebirth. 

It reminds me of when I had emergency surgery on my kidney when I was a girl of twenty-one years. I couldn’t eat for days, I was in pain and had an IV drip for a couple days. When I got a little bit better, I was starved. I was hungry.
I craved food like never before.
And pizza fries and Coca Cola never tasted so good.

I feel the entire universe inside me in all its perfections and flaws, all its beauty and pain. Its joy and misery, happiness, and despair. And I am born again. 

When I look up at the sky or at a bumblebee or at thin blades of green grass or weeds, I see poetry and music and paintings. When I’m in a dark room and I look at a door, ajar with just a streak of light seeping in through the narrow crack, I see photography. When I look at strangers on a bus or walking up the street, when I see traffic speeding in the rain on a dreary gray day, I see novels flash across my mind. When I think of my pain, I feel a story. A story to be written and told again and again to reach out and touch someone else for the better. 

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I’m not manic. I know what mania is. I don’t have it. It’s an illness and the people struck with it can’t think clearly even when they think they can and have clouded judgment. I can remain and think in a calm manner even when I think and feel this way. I know I am not invincible. My judgment is sound and I am not delusional in this case I mention here. And I know there are reasonable limits and rules I must adhere to and I do.  Mine is not dangerous like mania can be. But what I describe here may resemble that illness. It’s not to be confused with it. Mine is an awakening, an awareness triggered by an illness of the mind, one that has ravaged my brain for years.  It’s not an illness itself. I don’t always feel this ecstacy when I’m happy. Sometimes it’s more of a calm serenity, a quiet joy. But it’s just as fierce. 

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If you want something you don’t have, it’s ok. It’s best not to let it take over your life and make you miss out on all the goodness you do have and it’s usually best I believe, not to feel our worth is dependent upon external factors but it’s ok to desire, to hunger. And it’s ok to be angry, disappointed, devastated for a while, that we can’t have it yet or ever. Even if it’s something  trivial like jewelry or a fun vacation. Bask in the beauty of that hunger to be better, to have more, to get away…bask in that desire and the disappointment.

Sit with it.

Then remember all the greatness you possess and are and let that disappointment And desire dissolve.

And be happy now.

Did you ever think of disappointment as a good thing? 

I’m here to open you up to another perspective.

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You don’t have to be someone with longterm depression like me to get an idea of what I write of. That’s one reason why we write, to help others understand and discover wisdom without ever experiencing what we have. And to let those with similar experiences know they are never alone.  

The worst thing is not to want and not get. The worst thing is to be dead. And half dead. To not want at all because you are too lifeless to care. Or too lifeless to have the energy to even begin to desire or fear. And it’s ok to be half dead. If you are half dead then you are half alive. And you can awaken that other half. 

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When you have a brush with death and your body turns to jelly, bask in the beauty of that fear. Embrace it. Keep tasting it. You’re alive. And you want to be alive.

Revel in the wonder of that trembling.

Trembling in awe. Trembling in fear.
 
Trembling. 

Don’t shield yourself against the beauty you know. Try not to mask your desire and fear with feelings of guilt because we’re taught it’s wrong to want, to need, to fear, to get.

Let’s be happy, thrilled, overjoyed with the simplest of all the beauty around us. And nOt too

disappointed too long when we don’t get what we want. And let us keep reaching for the stars. I have always been naturally inclined to notice and love the simple beauty but I learned to strengthen my nature, make it more conscious, intentional.

Keep wanting more, keep desiring, keep trying, keep fearing. 

Get your fill to eat. But always, always, keep that hunger.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nICs–86Vng

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RV-Z1YwaOiw&app=m&persist_app=1
😀

Read “The Secret Garden” for free here:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/113/113-h/113-h.htm

Read “Ethan Frome” for free here:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4517/4517-h/4517-h.htm

Xoxo Kim

Today is one of those days…..<3

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I woke up after a night of restless sleep. I have been struggling with a bad flare up of my chronic facial pain disorder. I haven’t slept much in over a week and haven’t consumed much other than water in four days. I try to eat something everyday and can’t. The pain is just too much. Even soft things are hard to chew.

People think I’m losing weight because I want to. That’s not the case at all. I don’t want to, I just can’t eat. I’m kind of sick looking. My face is swelled slightly and my eyes are pink looking and puffed underneath because of the pain and lack of sleep. My skin is pale looking.

I’m exhausted and fatigued. Today I decided to walk to a store and buy mashed potatoes with beef flavored gravy! Yum, right?! I came home, put it on the kitchen table and my dog had to go in the backyard and doesn’t like the yard door being closed with no one out there with her. So I went out with her and came back in and guess what?! My cats ate my potatoes! And they were kind of on the expensive side for someone like me with very little money! Can you say, disappointed?! Lol oh well there goes that.

So what kind of day is today?

 I woke up fatigued, restless, hungry, in pain, exhausted, and achy and I feel nothing but…..pure joy! That’s right, sheer joy! 

I’m generally very happy but the joy I feel all day today isn’t a regular, general happy.

You know that joy you experience when you hit the lottery, buy a new car, meet a new friend, a new romantic love interest, get a job offer…it’s kind of like that! But none of that happened to me today or recently!

I can often tap into that kind of joy when I try but today it’s just here unexpectedly but definitely welcome!     😀

I had a flashback memory today of when I was a little girl and my mom and dad would take me to Center City Philadelphia at night and we would buy hot chocolate chip cookies and lay out on the grass under the black or navy starlit sky and eat them. There were so many fireflies lighting up green and all people would just lay out and look at the stars and stuff and one night a man said to the fireflies “Hey turn out the lights!” lol it was so funny and we all just laughed.

There’s a kind of childlike joy that we often don’t feel as adults. Things that were so amazing and thrilling back then just often don’t have that feel anymore. We may still love them but they don’t as frequently provoke that deep joy. I love when I can tap into that now. And I believe we all can more often with mindfulness.

Today

Music sounds so great, the air is sweet and caressed by a sweet floral fragrance. Outside is bursting with green, flowers, sunshine. There’s a sweet breeze in the air.And my long hair got stuck in a tree walking to work today! Lol 😀 It’s always fun when that happens! ;-p

It’s a beautiful Spring day. Except today is the first day of Summer here in Philadelphia! My least favorite season! 

But it feels more like Spring.

I love the wonder all around.

This just goes to show that someone CAN be happy even when things aren’t perfect or there’s problems and lots of pain.

And when I say pain, I’m talking about bone deep pain, soul shattering pain, like it’s gripping my very essence. But you know what else is gripping my very essence? Love. Deep love. Not just the the love directed at certain people and objects, and things but just deep all encompassing Love.

My pain disorder can leave me feeling and being so broken. I’m not referring to depression. But the broken-ness that comes along with having a chronic physical illness or pain disorder. I’m broken but I’m so beautifully whole. There’s a kind of irony to that but it’s beautiful.

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joywill burn out the pain.” – Joseph Campbell

It doesn’t completely burn out the pain but it does lessen the power of it, it breaks the bondage.

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” ~ Kevyn Aucoin

I hope you are well wherever you are and experiencing bone deep joy and love.

Xoxo Kim

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