I took my nephew on an adventure today. There were castles and bears and moats and winding roads. And in the midst of it all, there was a motor-mouthed six-year-old tugging at my hand, telling me the stories about how he wished he could see a real castle. He wanted to slay dragons and see the pretty stones. But most of all, he said that he wanted me to be the queen and he wanted my prince charming to be my king.
Little does he know my “prince charming” is miles away from me, where my heart is aching for him, and he doesn’t seem to know…
We accept the love we think we deserve…
You know, I’ve spent a lot of my early 20s trying to understand who I am. Not in the sense of, “Oh, what do you want to do with your life,” but more like…what it is that makes me…me. I often wonder what people see when they look at me. How do I come off to people when I talk and interact with them? Do they see me as I feel like they do more often than not? Is it something completely different?
The truth is, I don’t know who or what I am. I don’t even know what I want to be or how I want to look to people. I just…want to matter to someone. I write things like this and think to myself, “If I let someone read this, they’re going to think I’m crazy. All the people that I want to like me are going to think I’m crazy.” For a little while, I thought that I didn’t care – or really, that I shouldn’t care – what other people think of me. And for the most part, that’s true; but there’s a sad truth that lingers in all of that. If you go through life doing things, not caring what other people think of you, eventually you run the risk of having no one around…
I’m not a fake person. The people that see me on a daily, weekly, monthly basis see the real me. They just don’t see all of the real me. I’m often afraid that if I let them see all of my heart, they’ll think that I carry too much baggage for them to “deal” with. I’m mostly scared of this, I think, because there’s one person in this world that I want to notice me and to like me, and I’m afraid that if he sees any of me beyond what he sees in our short meetings every few months, he’ll be absolutely put off by me (more than I already expect he is). I mean, let’s face it. I’m not the prettiest face. I have nice eyes, but that speaks little to the short, almost 200 pound body I carry around and I somehow can’t seem to be that person that people want. I like myself, sure – at least enough not to hurt myself anymore.
Do people who meet me see all of the scars on my hands and arms and know what they’re from? Do they notice enough to care – to care that I’m a person and I’ve had enough bad done to me that, at some point, I felt like I needed to turn to a blade just to feel? It wasn’t healthy. I knew that. Just like it’s still not healthy how much confidence I DON’T have in myself. And still, somehow, I’m able to keep these people that I call my friends coming back. I’ve been beaten, both physically and emotionally. I’ve been sexually assaulted and abused. I’ve been bullied into a corner. I’ve been made to feel like I’m nothing and no one. And weirdly, I turned out relatively okay. I don’t need medication to keep myself sane…anymore. Yeah, at one point in my life, I was so depressed that I needed a pill every night to keep myself from leaping off a ledge. But somehow, I worked through all of that and I’m okay now, at least as close to okay as someone with my life could be. But somewhere in the midst of all of that, I still feel like I don’t deserve another human’s love. And I don’t mean that in a friendship, mother, or brother love. I just don’t feel like there will ever be another human being on this earth, of the opposite sex, who feels like I’m someone that they’d like to spend their time with. I’m not sure what it is about my mind that makes me feel that way, but it’s a prominent feeling in my heart. I mean, I suppose it doesn’t help that the one person that I chose to fall in love with is my friend, but no really attainable at this level in his career. And it doesn’t help that every time I get a chance to talk to him about how I feel about him, he’s in too much of a hurry or on too much of a time constraint to talk to me properly about it.
And because of that, I feel like there’s no way he could care. I mean, if he did, at least in the way that I wanted him to, he would make the time, right? He would take a moment and listen to what I have to say. He knows how I feel about it. He knows how deep it goes. And let’s face it, if it had moved him like it does in the movies, there’d be something more than a hug and some picking on each other in the few times that we see each other every few months. Maybe I’m just not giving it enough time…
But if you move past that, past that loving, thinking, feeling part of me, I’m sort of lost. I’m at a point where I don’t know what I want out of life…or what life wants out of me, either way. I know that I’m good at just about everything I pick up – and that’s not bragging, that’s just a stupid truth. I just get bored. I can do things in 5 minutes that take most people an hour to do. And then I have nothing to do. And people think it’s laziness which in turn makes me feel like a failure.
I feel like Albert Einstein had it right when he said, “Everyone is a genius; but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing it is stupid.” Why do we judge each other on our abilities in fields that we’re ill-equipped for? I wouldn’t hand my mother a guitar and tell her to put on a concert for me. She can’t carry a tune in a bucket; whereas I, on the other hand, have been singing since I could make noise and haven’t ever wanted to do anything else, except maybe write. It’s frustrating that we are thrown into situations that we aren’t fitted and are then expected to excel and do well and surpass everyone else.
It’s one of the hardest things in the world to deal with. It’s part of reality and I hate it. I hate that my dreams can be called far-fetched and that I can be made to feel like they should be thrown by the wayside while I try to figure out my “place in this world.” Shouldn’t my dreams give you an indication of where my “place” really lies? Who says that it’s so other-worldly to want to be an astronaut, or a chef, or a pilot, or a writer, or a rock star? I feel like children have it right when they tell us their aspirations before they start kindergarten. They always want to be these amazing things, like firefighters, and policemen, and business owners, and pet trainers, and things of that nature. And they dream and dream and dream until one day, all of their aspirations are crushed with that dirty word: “reality.” Why does my reality have to be the same as yours? Why can’t your reality be your dreams and my reality be my dreams?
Forgive me if I’m young and speaking out of line, but I just don’t understand why the human race has turned into this machine that smashes people before they’ve ever had a chance to live. I feel like we shouldn’t be letting other people tell us what to do with our lives. It should just be a natural thing that happens. You should do what you love and love what you do. And if that means that you’re 40 and you still don’t know what you want to do, then that’s what it is. It is what it is. That should be what life is. Not this. Not how we’re treating ourselves now.
I feel like if we lived that way then there wouldn’t be people like me…who spend most of their waking lives worrying about they look to someone else or what’s going to happen in the next few hours. There wouldn’t be people like me who refuse to admit that they are a little screwed up and that’s okay.
Happiness shouldn’t even be a thought or an act. It should be a habit. Happiness can damn near destroy you, but it should be there because it’s what you want, not because someone else wants it. That’s not happiness. That’s just existing. I feel like if you try to force it instead of letting it happen, it will break you to pieces on the floor. If you just live your life and let it happen, then it will happen.
So, then, based on that assessment, who am I? I suppose I’m just me. I like to sing. I’m not crazy about work, but who is? I don’t really consider something work, though, if you love what you do. I like to read books and write books. I believe in God, but I’m still not sure what part he plays in my life. I wear a cross around my neck and I have a rosary hanging over my head when I sleep. I do pray, but mostly to have someone to talk to when I feel like no one is listening. I often use jokes and sarcasm as a way to fill awkward silences or to flirt, but that’s just because I’m shy and I’m nervous around people. I’m a little bit screwed up. I’ve been damaged more than most people, but I still could have had it worse. I couldn’t choose where I come from, sadly. I’m consistently and constantly trying to find a look that “works” for me and my body. I don’t feel very pretty most of the time – in fact, I feel like people of the opposite sex probably look at me and think I’m absolutely repellant; but that’s just from a lifetime in public school, getting told how fat, ugly, and stupid I was. I like to collect Converse shoes and cars make me giddy – old cars, new cars, designer cars, vintage cars…anything. I don’t like to deal with people who I think are stupid – which isn’t “stupid” in the general sense; it’s stupid in the “you have no common sense” sense. I’m one of the pickiest, most observant people alive and I will point out anything that is out of place. I don’t like to be bothered when I’m in the middle anything. As a matter of fact, if you bother me when I’m in the middle of something that I’ve deemed “important,” I will probably tear your head off right then and there; and then I probably won’t talk to you for a few hours afterward. I throw myself into every project head first and without reservation. I often have to remind myself to eat, because I get too caught up in my work. Little things annoy me, but on the same end, little things can make me laugh so hard, I can’t breathe. When I love, I love deeply, with my entire heart, and not lightly. That’s why, when I tell you I love someone, you can always know that it’s true, it’s real, and it’s not petty, shallow, or small. In order to be loved, someone has to have made such an impact on my life that I cannot reverse it. And I just want someone who will love me and accept me for who I am.
But mostly, I’m just trying to find my “happy.” I feel like I’ve been searching my entire life for that. I’ve torn my skin open and screamed at the top of my lungs and written and sang and cried and traveled and loved until I thought I couldn’t do any of it anymore trying to find that. I know at some point, I’ll find my contentment, but until then, I’m just going to keep chasing my unreachable boy, singing and writing my songs, and traveling with my best friend.
Happiness is like the old man told me
Look for it and you’ll never find it at all
But let it go
Live your life and leave it
Then one day you’ll wake up
And she’ll be home.
from me to you
I’m not gonna let it get me down.
I’m not gonna cry.
And I’m not gonna lose any sleep tonight.
‘Cause tomorrow’s another day;
And I am not afraid.
So, bring on the rain.
Tattoo design by me; tattoo is on my shoulder.
Hunter Hayes ||
Photo 1 taken in Princeton, IN on July 13, 2012.
Photo 2 taken in Grand Rapids, MI on May 12, 2012.
Photo 3 taken in Milwaukee, WI on April 20, 2012.
Photo 4 taken in Herrin, IL on May 28, 2012.
Photo 5 taken in New Orleans, LA on September 7, 2012.
Photo 6 taken in Indianapolis, IN on October 21, 2011.
Photo 7 taken in Nashville, TN on January 10, 2012.
Photo 8 taken in Louisville, KY on June 15, 2012.
Photo 9 taken in Danville, IN on July 14, 2012.
Photo 10 taken in Hillsboro, OH on July 7, 2012.
All photos by me
South Bend, IN - Cheers Pub
November 9, 2012
Photos by me
The Season of Giving; My Holiday Challenge for You
Halloween is over and it is now the season of giving. While you and your family are sitting down to wonderful dinners of turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and corn, there are children all over the world that will not be able to experience those things because they lack the funds, supplies, and/or ability to do so. There are children and families, even here in the United States, that cannot h
My challenge for all of you this season of giving is a simple one. At one point or another we all have $5 we can spare. I want all of you to find a charity that you love and give that spare $5 to that charity. You can give it to any charitable organization you choose, a local one, a worldwide funding network, even a church offering in which all proceeds will go to a charity they choose.
If you’re having trouble choosing a charity to give to, visit here: http://listofcharities.net/
“List of Charities” will help you make an informed decision about which charities are the best to give to this holiday season. Many charities have webpages that give several options on how to give, which include addresses to mail money orders to and PayPal accounts that can be paid into online. However, if you don’t want to send out a money order and you don’t have a credit/debit card to pay online, you can look around your city for plenty of places that are asking for donations.
Be weary, however. Make sure that the organization you are choosing to give to is a legitimate charity. There are loads of scams out there.
The charitable organization that I am choosing to give to this year is, as always, Music for Relief.
Music For Relief is a grassroots effort comprised of musicians, music industry professionals and fans who believe that together we can create positive change. Established in 2005 to provide aid for those affected by the tsunami tragedy in South Asia, the idea for Music For Relief originated amongst the members of the band Linkin Park who wanted to do something to help the victims. The idea was that if they made a donation, and then asked their musician peers and their fans to make a donation as well, a huge impact could be made in assisting relief efforts. With this in mind, they started reaching out to others in the music community to get involved and became the founders of Music For Relief. Some of Music for Relief’s accomplishments include: Over $5,000,000 in donations; 1,000,000 trees planted; helped survivors of 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Hannah, Ike, Gustav, Irene, & Sandy, Cyclones Nargis in Burma, Sidr, and Aila in Bangladesh, Wildfires in Southern California & Victoria Australia, Typhoons Ketsana, Parma, Morakot and Lupit in Southeast Asia, Zimbabwe Cholera Outbreak, Tornado in Mena, Arkansas, China’s Wenchuan Earthquake, 2009 Earthquakes in the Pacific Islands and Indonesia, 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Monsoon Flooding in Pakistan, 2011 Japan Earthquake & tsunami, and the famine in Somalia.
I wish you all a happy holiday season, hoping that you, your family, and your friends have the health and happiness they deserve. I also hope that you can all help other families around the world achieve these wonderful things as well.
Quote ideas! Preferably short, having to do with friendship, faith, memories, and/or dreaming. GO.
“To Make You Feel My Love”
You know, someone asked me today to describe myself and it made think really deep down to who I really am. Have you ever done that? If not, you should, because it really makes you dig deep down into your being and decide who it is that you are - and you have to decide if you like that person or not. I know this might sound conceited, but I’m in love with the person that I am (more so today than I ever was before in my life).
I’m creative. I love to sing. I’m very detail oriented. I’m fast paced. Everything I do is quick and done fast. I love to multitask. I’m mostly quiet if I’m in a group of people I don’t know, but talk to me once and I’ll talk your ear off. I like photography and love to read. I’m a writer. Music is the one true and constant thing in my life. I love to laugh, but something has to be genuinely funny in order for that to happen. I take a lot of pride in my appearance, both outwardly and inwardly. I’m very passionate. I’m not shallow and I’m level-headed, so when I say I feel something, you know it’s real. I’m a dreamer and I firmly believe that anything you dream is possible as long as you shoot for the stars. I am best friends with the most amazing girl in history and our group of friends, the Hayniacs, make my life worth waking up every day. I get angry easily at some things and not so easily at other things. I can get frustrated when things don’t go my way, but it’s just because I’m a control freak. I’m a germaphobe. Some of my favorite things are cars, shoes, guitars, books, music, and the cross I wear around my neck. I’m a Christian. I don’t follow any organized religion, but if I did, I would be Catholic. I have blond hair and blue eyes. I’m about as tall as a 5th grader and I’m 24 years old. I have 4 tattoos and I love getting them, but that doesn’t make me a thug or a punk. Actually, most would consider me a bit of a goody-two-shoes. I hate confrontation. I don’t like it when people are upset with me. I feel and I feel strongly. And I do everything with my whole heart - love, dream, and believe.
And I’m in love with the most amazing person in the world. Just like everything else I do, I love him with every fiber of my being.
I often wonder if he could ever feel the way about me that I do about him. I’m actually scared to find out…