Posts Tagged ‘love’
I’m headed out for a fun, pizza-filled birthday celebration so I don’t have time to write much of a caption, but I wanted to get this up! Today is my brother and I’s birthday and obviously, Sunday is Mother’s day. This is my brother and my mother.
We’re not, by any stretch of the imagination, a perfect family, but, man, do we love each other. We fight like crazy but at the end of the day we would do absolutely anything for each other. Anything.
I love you both to pieces! xoxo Love. Loyalty. Friendship.
This song is so appropriate for a variety of reasons. I spent the last night I was home with some of my nearest and dearest friends, the Kenney sisters and Jackie. Per usual, there was mucho listening to the Avett Brothers.
Now, en route back to San Francisco I’m having a glass of red wine having just finished a phenomenal book and contemplating the state of my life.
After a constant weekend of being on the go, I am alone, listening to music, writing; I’ve never been more grateful for a six hour flight in my life.
How irrevocably my life has changed in the past 8 months.
“Some say with age our purpose comes clear,
I see the opposite happening here.
Are we losing the fight?
Are we growing backwards with time?”
I used to know exactly what I wanted. I would spend my summers in Rockland hanging out with my friends and family. Eventually I grew restless.
Rockland is no longer a desired place to live for me.
People have changed and most of my friends have moved on.
But when it comes to the matter of family how do we move on? After living several months in San Francisco with a serious lack of love, in comparison to the immense amount of love when surrounded by so many friends and family I have back home in Maine, I was truly humbled on this last trip home just how much lighter life is when you let that much love in.
Spending some time with my brother and his girlfriend I was genuinely envious. My brother, most days, is content and happy with his life. A fisherman who loves a girl, his friends and his family. He spends his free time either hanging out with his best friends, his love or doing handy work for my parents.
A part of me is envious of that. I am envious that it could have so easily been a life I’d chose. A simple life.
However, when it comes to the familiar and the unknown I’ve always chosen the unknown. A part of me is much more comfortable with it.
My question now is: is choosing the unknown a weakness? Is it instead choosing what we know the harder option? Being satisfied with what we know and wanting what we have, not constantly striving to have what we want?
Is my life now a case of wanting what I cannot have? And not wanting what I have? Honestly, I’m not sure.
I know what I have is an incredible heart and love and loyalty for my family and friends but I also know I have a talent as a writer and a love for travel. How do I equally honor both those things?
“I was young and love was fun, now it’s so serious.
Now all the fun has equal pain,
There’s something wrong with this.”
Despite today’s post title, I am aware that it is Monday. However, this photograph was taken on Friday, does that count?
Unfortunately it’s not the clearest photo but it is most certainly now one of my favorites. This past weekend we held a memorial service for my grandmother on my mom’s side who passed several months ago. This photo was taken the night before my grandmother’s service at her favorite restaurant.
I cannot put into words how much fun, love and memories were shared with family and friends this weekend. I am feeling truly blessed and at ease by just how much love I have in my life.
Sitting in the airport now catching up on work I’m preparing to completely change gears and get back to life in SF. I’m not sad I’m leaving, for I love my life in California as well. I simply feel at peace that my life is so rich with love despite the miles that keep us physically apart.
Recently I’ve been continuously occupied. Whether it be with having fun with friends, working for the agency, working for my other client, reading/learning or contemplating some potential big life changes, I’m finding after a few days I have to stop, recharge and focus on me. Because ultimately, I’ve found that when I do that, all the other things, be it work or play, seem to improve and become that much richer experiences.
Here was number 6:
6. Get to Know What you Truly Enjoy
Take a moment today to make a list of 10-15 things you enjoy doing on any given day. My list might include sipping hot tea at the end of the day, bringing home an arrangement of fresh flowers or cooking a favorite meal while sipping a glass of wine at the end of the week. Now, try to incorporate at least one of these enjoyable activities in every day of your life. Simply having something to look forward to each and every day can improve the quality of your life.
I started mentally making a list the other day. Here’s what I came up with…
On any given day I enjoy:
- Music: pretty much any genre from new indie to classical piano to Louis Armstrong.
- Dancing (I’ve recently started having mini, solo 5 minute dance parties. They generally involve lip-synching into a hairbrush. INCREDIBLE mood enhancer.)
- Red wine (ESPECIALLY when accompanied by cheese)
- Drinking coffee and reading the New York Times in the morning
- Taking 5 minutes to read “#WhatShouldWeCallMe” when work gets too stressful
- Writing in my journal
- Reading a good book
- Watching a hopelessly romantic movie
- Calling my dad and making him laugh
- Running by the ocean
- Taking photographs
- Telling someone I love them, and truly, deeply, genuinely, meaning it.
- Lying in the sunshine.
Well, that’s my list! I’m now making a point to mix up this list and take the time to do AT LEAST one of these things every day. Actively setting out to make time for it makes it that much more enjoyable when it arrives.
What’s on your list?
I woke up this morning to a breaking news alert on my phone from the NYTimes that all Boston residents were on a “lockdown.” As I got on my computer to investigate further as to what had happened now, I called my sister who lives very close to the Cambridge/Watertown line.
Relieved to hear her voice I asked her what the hell was going on. Upon hearing that everything was going down with in blocks of her apartment my anxiety levels started to grow. My sister is fine. But I have never wanted to hug her, hold her and just be with her more.
My sister and I don’t always see eye to eye, in fact, we rarely ever do, but the idea of her being so close to danger is legitimately gut wrenching. I know she’ll be fine and I know that this awful, awful, awful human being will be brought to justice. I believe that because I believe that there is more love and more good in this world than there is hatred and evil.
I know that she will be okay, but what I hope I can remember, is how strong the love I have for her truly is and to continue to embrace that and embody that in our every day conversations and interactions.
My heart is with all of you in Boston.
My heart is with all in Boston tonight. I am still at a loss for words. The heartache that I feel for this city I once called home and the many residents whom I still call friends is deep and very real even across the miles. Checking in with friends today I was brought back to Boston in so many ways. I could sense their sadness and fear, but I think President Obama put it best: ”Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people.”
So much love for you, Boston. Always. xo.
My aunt recently sent me this photo while going through the thousands she has collected over the years. I absolutely love it. It speaks so loudly to exactly who my grandmother was: a kind, gentle and loving person who loved her family so tremendously she would do anything for them.
I think this photo is touching in a grander sense as well. It expresses life so beautifully. My expression being one of curiosity drawn to a piece of my grandmother’s jewelry while my grandmother’s expression is seemingly one of curiosity that life can be so full circle. That this small curious child is quite literally pieces of her.
I wish so badly she could see who I’ve become and advice me in my growing years. I know that’s not how the circle of life works, but I still long for her advice. That being said, I’m very lucky in that I have a father and family who was very close to her and frequently pass her wisdom on to me. Furthermore, I know that all that she was, that loving, loyal and strong person is also within me already and what she would advice me to do I already have the capability to do.
I am so fortunate in that I’ve had very close relationships with most of my grandparents. Without their love and guidance I would certainly not be the young woman I am today.
Over the past few weeks my family and friends have shared many words of advice, of love, of wisdom and of encouragement. None of them asked for but all appreciated knowing they come from a deep place of love.
I adore quotes. As a writer I guess I would find inspiration in words. While I’m fond of quotes and love to infuse with my life with words of wisdom from others, I’m also a firm believer in finding your own path, your own words and your own way.
That being said, I’d still like to share some of my favorites over the past few weeks. I find I keep turning back to them at times when it seems the going gets rough and I start to falter.
Hope you enjoy!
“To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
“And so Janus did close a gate
with a resounding thud
as one face looked East
and the other looked West
towards the light-
Always towards the light.” ~ from a sympathy card
“It’s still two human beings trying to get along, so it’s going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
“There comes a point in your life when you realize:
Who never did,
Who won’t anymore,
And who always will.
So, don’t worry about people from your past, there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.” ~unknown
” ~Irwin Edman
“Everything you need to know is within you.” ~ my aunt.
“This too shall pass.” ~ everyone always in a bad situation
The following was something my mom found in my Grandma’s papers a few days after she passed…
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning, and company doesn’t always mean security.
You begin to learn that kisses are not contracts and presents are not promises.
You begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
You learn that you really can endure,that you really are strong and you really do have worth.
You learn and you learn, with every goodbye you learn.” ~Veronica A. Shoffstall
~All little mediations I’ve been focusing on from a book about Eastern wisdom.
Last, but not least, a quote that has shaped me, in many ways, to who I am today.
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” ~The Beatles.
My sister wrote it in a notebook when I was still in 8th grade. I thought it was so cool. I wrote it everywhere. In people’s yearbooks on the inside of my desk (sorry!). It just made so much sense to me. If I were going to get love, I would first have to give it. Despite how sometimes giving love only turns around to hurt you when it is easily dismissed, it is who I am. Instead of trying to change or love less, I have to embrace it.
One year ago today, I started the Leiter Side of Life in a post titled, “I wanted to write…”
In a blind leap of faith and excitement I set out on a quest to find more happiness and a sense of accomplishment in my life.
What’s so bizarrely ironic is that I found that, a lot of it, and lost a lot more. How far I’ve come is dulled by how much I also lost. Two of the strongest women in my life, the physical closeness of my family and friends and the man I thought I would spend forever with, my best friend.
I’m told that’s what growing up is and becoming a stronger more beautiful person and that life is never fair.
I guess I believe that, but honestly, some days I just long for the naivety I once possessed and the faith that everything will work out. It was so much more fun.
Still, I wouldn’t trade a second of it. Life is so beautiful even in the painful moments. I think that’s why I love piano music so much, and the ocean. They both can accurately represent sadness and phenomenal beauty at the same time, among other things.
I’ve been thinking for the past week that my ability to love so easily is a flaw. What I realized is that I was applying it to others, but I wasn’t applying it to myself. They say we are our biggest critic. That is most certainly true. It’s easy to judge ourselves and unbelievably difficult to forgive.
Looking back on the past year I made some big mistakes mostly caused in times of overwhelming emotions. Bigger than the mistakes, however, were the successes.
I went from being an unhappy waitress confused about where my life was going, to becoming a succesful and important part of an advertising team in downtown San Francisco. I write every day of my life and love every thing about that. It took a tremendous amount of discipline at times but was fueled by a strong desire to take control of my own happiness.
I learned another valuable lesson, however. That your career can’t bring you everything and it will never be who I am, it’ll always just be what I do.
My family and friends are incredible. Without their love and support I never would have made it through the work days.
Enough looking back though. Goals for the next year?
Write EVEN MORE Love myself a lot more. Stop letting my heart make all the decisions. Sign several new clients at the agency. Tell my friends and family I love them more. And have at least 5 minutes of pure selfish fun every day.
There’s a reason I used the term “leap of faith” at the beginning of this post. A dear friend of mine sent me this quote the other night and I feel it sums up much of my journey over the last year and also reminds me to keep moving ahead.
“There’s a reason we refer to ‘leaps of faith’- because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable, and I don’t care how diligently scholars of every religion will try to sit you down with their stacks of books and prove to you through scripture that their faith is indeed rational; it isn’t. If faith were rational, it wouldn’t be – by definition – faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Prey, Love
This is my dad and his, “Yes-I’m-attentively-listening-to-you-and-yes-I really-like-our-conversation” face. He has a passion for people, for conversation and for stories. He’s one of the greats. This photo was taken a few years back in October on our trip to Spain. It was the first night he got there. After several missed flights to Valencia, he ended up in Barcelona, rented a BMW and somehow found his way to this little town on the coast of Spain where we were staying.
It was a great night. Everyone was so happy he got there okay. There was a big group of us, maybe close to 15? All family friends. We ate at this restaurant where we were pretty much the only people in the place. We ate a long meal full of laughter, food, wine and love.
I love this photo of my dad because it captures him so well. His old kind eyes and his weathered face in combination with a genuine happiness to live in the moment.
In some ways I grew up too fast. I left for the first half of my senior year when I was 17 to live abroad in Spain. Looking back I was just a baby. I can’t imagine how hard it was for my parents. Since then I have had a pretty strong sense of independence. I stopped needing my parents for the most part. I thought I knew better than them in most situations.
This week, I learned that it turns out I was wrong. While I may not “need” my dad, it sure helps that even thousands of miles away he’s not afraid to step up and be an incredible support system. I also realized that while he may not be perfect, he sure does have a lot of wisdom and good advice to give when I need it the most. Thanks, Dad. I love you. xo