An Open Letter to my Raison D’être

This letter is long overdue, and while I’ve been piecing millions of words together in my head since the day we met, I still don’t think these words I’ve chosen will ever get my point across, but I owe it to you to make an effort. Yes, I owe you; more than you realize, but perhaps this letter will put it in perspective. To show you how you’ve affected my present and future, I suppose I should start with the past and work my way up. Grab a coffee and get comfortable; this could be a bit of a read. I know you always listen to my ramblings about everything and nothing, and I love you for that, but this time I honestly and truly have something to say. This is me pouring my heart out in the only form I know how, and laying my cards on the table; even the ones you may not have been aware were even part of the deck.

You know I was not new to love when we first met. As you know, I was dating someone when we met officially, but my relationship was not a happy one. Before I’d met him, I’d found myself at a crossroads in my life. I had my heart broken one too many times and no longer knew how I felt about anything. I was so used to pretending to be okay, and had become accustomed to convincing the world that I would always be ‘just fine.’ It had gotten so bad that I was stuck in this strange region between numbness and crippling sadness that seemed to follow me like a bad dream everywhere I went. I found myself living less, and trying to simulate what I thought life was supposed to be. The world I had seen ten years ago in vivid colour-vision had grown less and less so throughout the years. At this point, I couldn’t see much colour anymore.

Then I saw you.

I know the moment was different for you; in fact, I know this moment is insignificant to you because neither of us really knew what would happen between us.
I remember looking up at you and into your eyes for the first time and seeing a burst of light that I hadn’t seen since I still believed in love. No man I had met, no person I’d fallen for had ever hit me like this. Naturally, at first I wasn’t sure how to take it. After being numb for so long, it felt as though I’d forgotten how to breathe, but someone had breathed life into my lungs again. From that day on, I couldn’t get you out of my head. I tried to push away what I felt out of fear, but somehow I always knew I wouldn’t be able to suppress how I felt.

That all felt so long ago. Ages, almost. Despite how long we’ve been together, what we’ve been through, and what we’ve seen, we’re still here stronger than I ever thought we could be. There are still little habits I can’t shake that I had when our relationship was fresh and new; feeling a sense of warmth and a swell of pride when I see your eyes light up as you talk about your passions, waking up in the morning to hear you snoring away and loving that start to my day, sneaking glances of admiration from the passenger’s seat, and revelling at how perfectly your hand fits around mine.
I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude toward you for more than just the amazing dates you’ve taken us out on, the situations you’ve seen me through (even when I was being an insufferable cow), and the memories we’ve made. I mean this in the most literal sense; you saved my life simply by being yourself. Frankly , you may as well have stopped a bullet aimed directly at my chest.

I, without a shadow of doubt, owe you my life.

At first, I was concerned that I was living solely for you; that you have become my identity, which I knew would be just as toxic as gargling battery acid. As I continued along my life, I realized something; you become my second chance at life. You were once my only reason to hang on. But somewhere along the way, I found myself, too. I found my passions, my confidence, and I found myself capable of being emotionally independent when the need arose, which I found only solidified my love and admiration for you tenfold. I realized you were not only my love, you had become my best friend, my partner-in-crime, my mentor, my guiding light, and in a word, my home. It was then I realized that my home wasn’t where I grew up, or the roof over my head; my home was, and still is you. Simply you.

This necklace of yours you’ve had me hold on to all this time is the only one I ever wear, and I wear it each and every day. I’m not religious, but every day as I place it around my neck, I close my eyes and wish for everything you deserve and more; all the success and good fortune, the courage to keep fighting through every hardship you are forced to face, and the hope that you will never doubt how much you are loved and appreciated. You are always fresh in my mind, no matter my situation, and when all is said and done, when the day is over and it’s time for my home to return, I will be there waiting with open arms, a better and stronger woman than before.

So, to conclude this letter and end my tendency to babble, I just want to say this:

Thank you for being my everything. Thank you for being my home, my love, my friend, and my hero. I will forever owe you this life, and every life I live until time ceases to flow. Even then, I will always find a way. I love you to the moon and back.

Yours, forever and always,
~B

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Our Love Story (So Far…)- Chapter One

Disclaimer: Please be reminded; any names of people portrayed in this series are altered to protect their identities.

Thomas wasted no time; the next morning, he called and we set a day to meet. I counted down the days, and when the day arrived, my stomach was in knots. I tried on nearly every outfit I owned, changed my hair and makeup three times, and I may have gone through an entire pack of gum before my phone buzzed and he’d arrived. I found myself rolling my eyes at my frazzled nerves; I hadn’t felt this frazzled over a guy since elementary school.

I took a deep breath to try and calm the butterflies and walked out to his car. It had to be one of the brightest and sunniest summer days of my life. As we drove to the theatre, I sat back and enjoyed the moment. The windows were down, the sun was radiant, and for the first time since our fort night, the moment just felt right.

After the movie, we headed over to a nearby Italian restaraunt, but as we took a seat, I grew even more nervous. The draw to the movie theatre is it is a date location that doesn’t involve a lot of actual interaction. At a restaraunt, you don’t really have anything to take the focus away from you, making the vulnerability much harder to ignore.

At first, I was a bit quiet, but before we knew it, we were talking and laughing away, not realizing it was time for the restaraunt to close. He paid the bill and we walked out to his car. Along the way, he asked, “well, now what?”

I sighed and thought for a moment. I certainly didn’t want the night to end, but I also didn’t want to come across as clingy; which is no easy feat, I’ll have you know. I’m notorious for my tendancy to cling.

He brought up the idea of ice cream, suggesting we pull up to the airport runway viewing area to watch the planes come in and take off. I agreed and before we knew it, we were taking in the sights of the airport in his car. Talking back and forth, I started to learn how passionate he was about aviation and his work in the industry. It was nice to be around someone who still had dreams careerwise. Most men I had dated seemed nearly devoid of those aspirations; this one was in a word, refreshing.

Our idle chatter started to diminish and there was a momentary silence before he began to speak again.
“So, I have a question for you…” he lead. I knew what he was going to ask, and by the little grin on his face, I could tell he knew the answer already. He asked if we could go steady. Of course, I was already smitten. The car had gone quiet again as I remained in my seat blushing like a starstruck idiot. He nuzzled his head against my arm for a moment and motioned me over to cuddle up to his side. It didn’t take much convincing.

I stopped and looked up at him and we leaned in and shared our first kiss. I immediately felt a rush of warmth flow through my veins and the kiss deepened. Before I knew it, the car’s windows had fogged up and it was getting quite late. We both chuckled at the situation as he started his car to take me home. He realized we needed to wait for the car’s ventilation to clear up the windows.
“Oh, we’ve got more time,” he stated, and he immediately returned to my lips and we indulged ourselves for a few more minutes before he took me home and I stumbled up to my room in a dizzy stupor.

I felt a weakness in my knees and a warmth in my chest that painted a nearly permanent smile on my face. I didn’t know what life had in store for us, but I was eager to find out. For the first time in years, this felt right.

Girl in Love In The Sunset
(to be continued…)


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Miss Bloodstone’s Top 10 Favourite Pokemon

Hello again, folks! Now, most people at least are familiar with the Pokemon franchise, but if you’re anything like me, you grew up with it. My life as a child consisted of 3 things; Pokemon, Neopets and Slurpees. Throughout the years, the original 150 Pokemon I knew and loved have now grown to over 720! While I do think that’s a bit much, there have been a few of the newer Pokemon that have made it to my personal favourites list.

Now, as you read on, please keep in mind, this is my personal Top 10; I’m not necessarily judging based on how strong they are, or how popular they are; this is simply my own opinion of which Pokemon would make it onto my team for various reasons. If you’ve made your own Pokemon Top 10, link me so I can see your favourites!

I am only setting up two restrictions:

  • No legendaries; so you won’t find the official legendary dogs or birds on this list.
  • Only ONE Eevee-lution. I love my Eevees and all the evolutionary facets, but to ensure I keep my other favourites on here, I’ll stick to the one that stands above the rest in my eyes.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started!

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10. Absol (#359)
Released in Gen III, Absol is a Pokemon I sympathize with a little. Absabsol_zpsd121e90aol is very in-tune with it’s surroundings and can often times predict an impending disaster. In it’s attempt to warn and aid others, it is often blamed for the disaster itself. This misunderstood dark-type Pokemon may not be the most powerful, but it has the potential to have a lot of heart. That and let’s not forget it’s a beautifully-designed Pokemon; especially it’s mega-evolution.
divider_by_danotomorrow9. Cubone (#104)
All aboard the train to Feeledelphia; this ground-type Pokemon from Gen I has possibly one of the most depressing backstories (and if you think about it, one of the darkest) of the Pokemon even to today’s standards. The skull this adorable Pokemon wears is actually the skull of it’s dead mother. As a result of the trauma, it has been nicknamed ‘The104 Lonely Pokemon’ as it closes up and keeps to itself. Particularly on nights where the full moon is visible, this Pokemon cries loudly in mourning as it connects the full moon to the memory of it’s mother. As if that wasn’t bad enough, if you played the Red, Blue and Yellow Game Boy Pokemon games, you’ll find out that Cubone’s mother was atually murdered by Team Rocket! Isn’t this suppose to be a kids show?!

It’s okay, little Cubone; here, have a spot on this list. *cries*

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I love my dragon Pokemon, and Flygon is one of my favourites! This ground/dragon-type Pokemon was released during Gen III and is one of those slightly unfair Pokemon that can learn pretty much any kind of attack. It manages to look both adorable and intimidating, and it looks a bit like a dragonfly. 🙂 See, Yanma? You could learn a thing or two from this one.
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7. Milotic (#350)
This is possibly one of the most beautiful Pokemon in my opinion; and not only thatmilotic_zps39e396fd, it’s deceptively strong. Feebas, being only slightly more useful than Magikarp evolves into this water-type, creature I call “Girly Gyarados.” It is even said that by releasing a wave on energy, this Pokemon can calm emotions and cease anger and conflict around it. Now, that’s a Pokemon that commands respect. This is, in my opinion, one of the best Pokemon to come out of Generation III.
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One of my best Pokemon-related memories is connected to this badass rightgyarados_zps3efad08b here. I remember pulling up to Mt. Moon while I was played Pokemon Red back in the day. I had no idea what Magikarp was, but some dude was selling it in the Pokemon Centre; so of course, I said “yes please!” To my dismay, I wound up with a fish. That fish eventually learned tackle. I was about to give up on it before it began to evolve into one of the coolest Pokemon ever made (and quite possibly one of the angriest). Needless to say, this water/flying-type Pokemon is a prime example of why you should never underestimate someone just because of the beginning of it’s story. It just may come back to kick your ass.

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This flying-dragon-type Pokemon was one of the more pleasant surprises from the Gen VI, this is easily my favourite bat-like Pokemon (I should know; I love my bats). It can naturally learn many of my personal favourite attacks, and it’s stronger than it looks; and it’s very speedy. Aside from that, it’s one of those Pokemon I can’t completely explain why I love it; I just do.
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I know what you’re thinking. “Really? That’s your favourite Eeveelution?” Well, this o134ne has a little meaning behind it. Shortly after I started playing the games and watching the show, I began growing unhealthily addicted to the card game. My grandfather took me to the shop one day and bought me by first large pack of Pokemon cards, and the first holographic ‘rare’ card I ever had was Vaporeon. While I no longer play the game and have either lost or given away most of my collection, I still have that same card with me to this day. This water-type Pokemon was released during Gen I.
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3. Dragonair (#148)
This dragon-type Pokemon from Gen I has the ability to change the weather, antumblr_mzq9vpw5k51scncwdo1_500d not only that, it’s one of the more beautiful and powerful Pokemon. Capable of pretty much all move types, I always have at last two of these beauties captured and trained up for battle. It seems slightly reminiscent of the Cardcaptors art-style and looks as though it could be a legendary Pokemon in it’s own right.

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divider_by_danotomorrow2. Starmie (#121)
I love this Pokemon. Seriously, this is my favourite psychic/water-type Pokemon of all time. Starmie was released in Gen I, this is one of those overpowered Pokemon that can learn bloody-well anything. Behind the number one Pokemon on thi121s list, Starmie has always been the second Pokemon I always, always have on my team as soon as I’m able. It’s believed to be extraterrestrial, but I suppose anything this amazing must come from somewhere unfathomable. Regardless, I recommend training one of these up and bringing it with you on your next Pokemon journey; it won’t disappoint you.
divider_by_danotomorrow1. Arcanine (#59)
Here it is, folks. My favourite Pokemon of ALL time; no other has even come close. The mighty (and unfortunately under-powered) Arcanine! It’s a fire-type Pokemon from Gen I and it is said to be brave and fiercely loyal; which are 059instant wins in my books. This Pokemon just screams pride, and was even theorized to have been considered a legendary Pokemon. For some reason, it never received that honour, but it will always be a legend in my books. No team of mine will ever be complete without an Arcanine on my side. (I mean just look at this adorable thing!) Don’t let that fool you though; this speedy Pokemon is known for putting others in their place.

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There you have it! You now know all about my favourite Pokemon of all time! What about you? Which Pokemon would you have on your team? Be sure to link me to your own Top 10 List so I can check it out, or comment away below!

For more Top 10 lists, be sure to check back again.

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Top 10 Evanescence Songs

Let’s talk about one of my favourite bands of all time. Unless you’re living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard a few songs from Evanescence’s Fallen album. You couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing ‘Bring Me To Life’, ‘My Immortal’, or ‘Call Me When You’re Sober’ at least twice; and for good reason. Evanescence has managed to find trademark sound through their variance between soft gothic ballads, and heavier metal-inspired tracks. Amy Lee’s unmistakable vocals are at the heart of this band’s creation, and while we’ve seen a rather constant revolving door for the band members involved, with the band announcing a 2016 tour, I think it’s high time we review some of their best songs so far.

Please note I will only be covering Evanescence songs; solo work work by Amy Lee will be saved for a list all it’s own!

 

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10. Missing
I’d like to start by acknowledging a less well-known song from my favourite band; Missing. Originally, I heard this song on their Anywhere But Home album. This is one of their sadder tracks, in my opinion, which resonated with me a great deal in my adolescence when I was struggling with thoughts of suicide and self-harm for the first time. Far from their heavier sounds of other tracks, Missing has a sound of someone in the distance desperately reaching out into what feels like thin air as they begin to lose hope in their endeavor to know in the heart they are loved, or simply significant to someone; anyone.
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9. Lost In Paradise
Musically, this is one of Evanescence’s more outstanding pieces from their 2011 album Evanescence. Starting out soft and simple as a piano ballad, it builds more and more with intensity before quickly silencing into what feels like a cliffhanger for more. Amy Lee had originally written the song during the band’s hiatus as she laid her focus on her family and her personal life, but she described her life as no longer feeling, “whole” as she realized she missed making music with the band, basically apologizing to the fans for the break. It was not originally going to be a full-band piece, but after giving it a try, Amy realized the band only made the song that much better. You can’t help but value a song with such personal meaning to the writer.

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8. Disappear
Disappear was one of four bonus tracks on Evanescence (2011), and an absolute treat for any fans of the band’s work with Fallen as it resonated a sound nostalgic to the album that drew in more fans than any other in 2003. I’m not clear on the official meaning of the song, but to me, it has a great connection to the concept of allowing one’s past to dictate the choices they make in their present. So many people I’ve seen who have had past traumas continue to negatively influence their lives through self-harm, drugs, alcohol, and even suicide; often resulting in the loss of everything they ever were. Disappear is a wake up call, and to me, it says you are stronger than your fears. It’s the 2011 song that screams, “we’re back; and we’ve still got it.”

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7. Bring Me To Life
Ah, the song everyone knows, whether they’re a fan or not. The reason I’ve put it so high on this list is because of the unfortunate details behind it’s production, and I’d heard it sooooo much back when it first came out; even now, you’ll still catch it on the radio from time to time, but for good reason! The sound is catching and a staple of the sound we all loved back in the early 2000’s. With powerful vocals, a sound from the band that will not be overlooked, and lyrics that can snap you out of that emotional funk you’re in.
It originally was not intended to have male vocals (originally by  Paul McCoy), but the record company insisted the song would not be successful without a male counterpart. (Pretty sad, huh?) That’s why in the versions of this song you’ll hear on the radio these days will generally only have Amy Lee’s vocals; you won’t hear the trademark ‘Wake me up/I can’t wake up/Save me’ these days. To his credit, however, I did enjoy Paul McCoy’s contribution to the song; it’s simply disappointing it was forced into the song for marketing purposes.

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6. Tourniquet
This was actually written by the drummer, Rocky Gray, who was in a Christian metal band called Soul Embraced before he joined Evanescence! With Christian roots, this hard-hitting song doesn’t shy away from the topic of suicide, and the idea that someone who has taken/is contemplating taking their own life, and the thought of not being accepted into heaven as a result. It screams the silent words of someone who desperately wants to end their life, but instead feels trapped by their belief. This song paints a vivid image of someone with a kind of inner battle between their emotions and their religion, uncertain of their method of escape. Musically, this is one of the songs that sounds a little more death-metal inspired than many of their other works, but still manages to sound melodic and musically enjoyable by those less inclined to listen to anything too rhythmically heavy. This is why we love this band; they don’t sugar-coat the harsh realities.

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5. Lithium
While not as popular as ‘Bring Me To Life’, Lithium is one of the only songs on The Open Door (2006) that really managed to reach me on a more personal level. The album was my least favourite at the time, as I didn’t feel as much heart from the band’s sound. However, this song resonates with me in many ways. As someone who has struggled with many facets of depression and anxiety, I often battled with the idea of whether it was better to feel the various emotions battling for dominance, or to go numb and push those feelings away. In the end, I’ve found that it almost says to learn to find solace in emotion, whether it be happiness, anger, sadness, what have you. There is beauty in emotion, and in this beauty, you may find your inspiration and in turn, inspire those around you. Musically, it has a perfect blend of the attributes of a ballad and a heavy, driving beat that leads you to sway in the euphoria of the sound.

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4. My Last Breath
This is one of those songs I played on loop when I first picked up the Fallen (2003) album. While it seems unclear to me what the inspiration was behind this one, it almost sounds like a description of a scene from a dark, gothic fairy tale. It’s has a mysterious, romantic, and melancholy air about it that cannot be understated. This song showcases Amy’s vocal power and the band’s incredible sound and passionate, creative influence. If you want classic gothic romance, look no further; this song will have you hooked with it’s first perfect note.

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3. My Heart Is Broken
This is the song that got me hooked on their self-titled Evanescence album in 2011. We all know Amy has an unmistakable sound, but few songs can capture that raw power as well as this track. Contrary to what some may think, Amy Lee explained this song was inspired after meeting the victims of sex trafficking, and imagining how they felt in their situation of being trapped in a world they didn’t belong, with no escape and no way of telling anyone about it out of fear of what would happen. I feel this song can be applied to so many situations; sometimes we create fantasies and dreams in our minds to offer a kind of escape and solace from the pain we feel, or difficult situations from which we feel there is no escape/end in sight. Returning to the real world, having to be forced to relive those problems feels like being torn away from a dream, and the viscous cycle continues as frustration builds. Particularly in the final half of the song, you can almost feel Amy pouring out her heart in the lyrics, really giving you a glimpse of the inspiration’s dark, and disturbing roots.

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2. End of the Dream
This is one of the exceptions to the belief that all gothic music is sad and depressing; this song is one of my personal favourite because it talks about embracing life, pain and all; living your life to the fullest because it’s too short to waste on petty things. The vocals in this song are some of my favourite in Evanescence’s history, and this is one of those songs that you could just imagine being performed in a massive stadium, slaying the crowd completely. The guitar and bass riffs are amazing, the subtle piano is reminiscent of that used in ‘Going Under’ and ‘Bring Me To Life’, the drums are driving and fit the song perfectly as usual. You want a little inspiration to get yourself back on track? Find this song, crank it up, and just let it hit you.
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Honourable mentions: My Immortal (Origin, Fallen), Breathe No More (Anywhere But Home), Oceans (Evanescence), Taking Over Me (Fallen), Before the Dawn, Everybody’s Fool (Fallen), Swimming Home (Evanescence), Snow White Queen (The Open Door).
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1. Going Under
This is it, folks; one of my favourite songs of all time, not just by Evanescence, but in general. Going Under talks specifically about coming out of an abusive relationship after reaching a point where you realize something needs to change, and you need to make it happen. As with much of their work, this iconic gothic masterpiece can be applied to any tough situation as an inspirational push; if you need something to change, change it. And let’s not forget about the sound; ah, the sound. We all know this entire band has only ever consisted of people with talent and a unique style on their own, but if you’re looking for a song that makes you want to stand up and do something, you’re going to love this one. The world’s a harsh and cruel place, and we’ve all struggled somewhere; Going Under’s message rings true as it tells us to “break through.”
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Well, my beauties? Do you agree with my list? Which Evanescence song inspired you? Let me know, and link me if you’ve made your own list of favourites so I can have a look! \m/


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Thank/Fuck You For Smoking

Okay, folks. Sit on down and let me talk to you about something that seems to be pretty back-and-forth these days; nic-sticks, cancer sticks, smokes, cigarettes.

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We’re bombarded with messages from both sides. In media, smoking has often been portrayed as stylish and glamourous. Sultry jazz divas charming the microphone with a cigarette between wine-coloured lips, leather-clad badasses racing muscle-cars  with impossibly attractive women on their arms.giphy

Now, if you were raised in a similar society as I was, from day one, you’ve also been surrounded with the propaganda that all screams the same thing; smoking’s bad, mkay? I grew up with the D.A.R.E. program which focused on everything from alcohol to drugs, but they also touched on cigarettes and their effects. I grew up with a family with very set morals against it. So, what do I think? Are cigarettes really all that bad?

Yes. Yes they are.
(now, all you smoking enthusiasts out there; bear with me. My views on this are far from black and white).

It’s not exactly a secret that cigarettes cause a multitude of health problems. Hell, we’ve had it jammed down our throats all our lives since as far back as I can remember. It does a serious number on your body, and yes; addiction is an issue. There’s the danger of second-hand smoke, causing harm to those around you. So, my mind seems made up; why am I even talking about this?

Well, despite everything you’ve just read, I’m a smoker.
Yep, I smoke cigarettes. I’m no chain-smoker or anything; generally, I smoke socially. Frankly, I’m not a very social person, so one small pack of cigarettes will take over a year to go through; and that’s with lending most of them out to fellow smokers. I simply don’t smoke very often. However, from time to time, I do enjoy a cigarette every now and then. Why? Well, why do people like to enjoy the occasional beer? Or get a new tattoo? Or eat copious amounts of sugar? Everyone has something they enjoy that’s not exactly good for them, a vice as it were. I simply chalk it up to one of my favourite philosophies; everything in moderation.

In all things, going overboard is never that far away. The best thing you can do is be educated about something before jumping in if you’re unsure. If you understand the risks and problems, who am I to stop you or say you’re right or wrong? All I ask is that you are mindful of others whilst you make these choices. In this case, the biggest example I must stress is second-hand smoking. I know it’s unfortunate, but it is a danger. I do not see smoking as a free-pass to be inconsiderate. For example, I don’t smoke around children. If I know a child nearby can even see me smoking, I will lower the cigarette, or put it out and light it up later; I don’t want to be an influence to them at such a young age when it comes to something you should only really do when you’re old enough to really understand the severity of the potential consequences.
If I’m walking with someone who doesn’t smoke, but I decide I’d like a cigarette, I always check first, and I never subject them to the smoke more than I absolutely must; it’s as simple as standing downwind, taking it easy on blowing that smoke everywhere, etc. But generally, I won’t smoke around non-smokers as it’s not fair of me to subject them to a choice they didn’t make.

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Now, right here I’m specifically addressing the non-smokers out there; specifically the ones who are anti-smoking advocates. All I ask if that if you see someone smoking, that you take it easy on the hate. I’ve had it happen to me; I’ll light up for my semi-annual cigarette and all of moments later, I’ll get the look of disapproval, or even sometimes a little mini-rant on how unattractive it makes me look. Generally, I simply say, “who says I desire to be seen as attractive through anyone’s eyes but my own?”
People will always find your flaws and many will be happy to point them out. Maybe you’ve got tattoos or piercings; maybe you have no tattoos or piercings. Maybe you’ve dyed your hair a wild colour, maybe you’re wearing a brand of clothing that isn’t 100% vegan.

Fuck those people. The only one you need to be concerned about when it comes to your aesthetic value is you. You like how you look in those skinny-jeans? You wear them whenever you please. You like wearing that adorable frilly dress? Own it; you know you can. Just know that everyone still has their opinions, and people will think as they please regardless of your feelings. To those people, you have my respect; all I ask is that you grant me the same courtesy I have shown you by keeping those opinions to myself unless it’s brought up. I’m not going to judge you based on how attractive I think you are, or how you’ve made one choice I wouldn’t have; I will judge you based on the kind of person you are. How do you treat the people around you? That’s the essential question I ask myself before I really decide whether a person is worth my time or not.

So folks, there’s two bottom lines to be said:

  • If you’re a non-smoker and proud, you go on with your bad self. Just remember that not everyone thinks like you, and while you are welcome to your opinions, that doesn’t mean you get a free pass to attack those around you for their choices. Save it for someone who really deserves the hostility.
  • If you looooove your nicotine-sticks, I’m not going to judge you if you love your nicotine. I partake every now and then and I enjoy an occasional cigarette myself. All I ask is that you uphold the same standard that should be upheld whilst drinking; smoke responsibly, know the risks, and be considerate.

denis-leary-o


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My Love Story (So Far…)- Chapter 1

Alright; it’s going to get a little personal up in here. So obviously, I will not be using names, but if I’m going to be speaking on the subject of l’amour, I suppose the easiest way to see my points of view are through understanding where I’ve come from, and how my ideals have been built on the subject.

I believe love is constant, and never truly has an ending, so obviously, this will be in parts as my own never-ending story.


My earliest ideas of love stemmed long before I’d like to admit. My first love, believe it or not, started in first grade (bear with me, I know how it sounds). As a child, I loved my fairy tales and Disney movies. My idea of love was illogical, unrealistic; utopian. I was painfully shy, and horribly awkward (that never changed, even to this day). I had developed a bad case of puppy love for a boy one grade above myself. As each year passed, we were friends, and I said and did nothing to show I cared for him beyond what he saw. With each passing year, that puppy love grew to much more. However, the time came where he had moved on to junior high. As shy as I was, I had not worked up the courage to ask to keep in touch. I said nothing and returned home upon my last day of school with a heavy heart and a sensation I had never known.

Upon thought, I became resolved to the decision that I would wait. It was only a year; I would see him again, and when I did, I swore I would be braver than I ever was. We would pick up where we left off and I honestly believed it was ‘meant to be.’ Yes, it’s very cliche, I know; but I had a completely untarnished view and a belief in the prospect of true love the way it was portrayed in a child’s fantasy. To my dismay, halfway through my final year of elementary, my parents approached me with the news that we were moving away. I was devastated to be leaving my friends, but just as dismayed of the idea that I wouldn’t see him in junior high.

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We moved shortly after. Yet even so, I promised him silently that we would meet again. Not one single day went by where he didn’t cross my mind, and I strayed from any others who showed interest until the social digital age started to really gain traction about six  years later. I discovered Facebook (cue dramatic music). Having found my friends from elementary school, I came across his page and sat in front of my screen with my fingers hovering above the keys, unsure of what to say. Nine years of devoted resolve and undeniable faith in a love never realized, four of those years with no contact whatsoever; that was a long time for such young love. There he was, just within my reach, and I didn’t know where to begin.

So finally, I opted for a simple opening. “Hello. We went to elementary school together. How’ve you been.” Etcetera, etcetera. I could feel my heart beating harder than ever before as I waited for what seemed like forever for his response. When the reply came, the world shook.

He didn’t have any memory of me whatsoever.

Not my name, nor the memories I’d thought we had made.

The conversation died shortly after and that was the last time we ever spoke.

Nine years I’d held on with nothing but my faith in love to keep it alive, and I’d found him once more only to discover it was all in my head.

I was devastated. My views on love began to change into less of a lady-in-waiting’s dream, and more of a Frankenstein’s monster. Days later, I was to take on my first day of high school, and I no longer knew what to believe.

I suppose you could call that Chapter One, but this story does continue. Much has happened since that sad day, but that is a story for next time.

2d8gtxy


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Finding Love

Ah, love. There is little in this world that can inspire and overwhelm, create and destroy; that can be so clear, and yet devoid of all reason. However, the prospect of finding love is one with no clear answer. It can sometimes feel that we will go our whole lives without finding the prospect of that ‘other half’. While I cannot tell you where he/she is, I can assure you they are out there, if you are not so lucky as to have found them already.

Everyone starts somewhere; many of us come from little to nothing. Our lives are spent trying to build our empires out of the values we’ve picked up through the years. Some of us want money, fame, love, or the world’s largest video game collection. Regardless, in your pursuit, you will find someone along the way. You may not realize it right away, but along the journey, it’ll hit you. Whether it be slow and gradual like a warmth from a fire, or quick and sudden like a shiver of excitement, it will hit you. Maybe a year from now, maybe 20 years from now. Often times when you least expect it; when you are focused on your passions, your career, your friends, life eventually leads you to them without your knowledge.

One of the tried and true methods I have found that has not failed is simply this: stop looking. So many of us spend so much time frantically trying to find that needle in that haystack. Find your passion. Whether it be a career, a lifelong dream, or a beloved hobby, love always has a way of finding you. However, it is also stubborn, and will do so in it’s own sweet time. Hey, love’s an asshole.

However, if I can leave you with one piece of advice in this article, it would be this: true love is not found; it is built.

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Whoever you spend your life with should be someone who loves you, teaches you, learns from you, and supports you in any way they are able (but this is moot unless you are willing to do the same in return!). I have always taken solace in the saying, “if you’re going to marry, marry your best friend.” Sure, you should have a platonic best friend in your life, but the person you spend your life with should be someone you can talk to about anything (and I mean anything), who you want by your side through thick and thin, and who understands you in ways few ever could. Those basic ideals of honesty, understanding, compassion, and mutual respect are what make up the very foundation on which love is built. From there, you make it your own with your adventures, your inside-jokes, the times you fought and cried, and the times you learned to make the best of a horrible situation.

Every love is a work of art. It’s a unique and priceless masterpiece that holds meaning only to those who put in the time and patience to create it. It is ever-changing, and may grow weathered through time, but that only makes it all the more fascinating to experience.


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