Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Thank God for Good Music and Good Vibes

Sometimes there's a feeling where a song brings you back to a particular moment in time.

I can probably give you a list of at least 10 songs that when I hear them, they mentally, emotionally, and spiritually transport me to a previous moment in time that I experienced with that song. I definitely don't think it necessarily always brings me back to the first time I heard the song. I could have heard a song millions of times and yet one time, one single time, it moved me in a new way, to a different place. And from that moment on, I will hear that song and think of that particular moment.

Senses are crazy like that. Sometimes I smell Estee Lauder and think of my Great Grandma. I'll hear a song and think of how my heart felt and my skin tingled at that one music festival. I'll taste a blue bobbin marg and feel like I'm out on the pontoon on Pelican lake with sun in my face and rockin the shades. 

Thank god for senses. They help us remember the beautiful, important things that all the silly details of life make us forget about. Sometimes I'm so concerned about what I'm going to wear today, what I should make for dinner, if the steaks are cooked yet, or if so-and-so knows we're standing off the to right. I forget about the important things - to enjoy the people I see and love at my job everyday, to appreciate when I have people to cook for, to feel the beat of the live music as it's happening... and to stop worrying about all the (minuscule) details.

I kid you not, since I have started this post, 3 songs have come on my Spotify shuffle that have transported me to some other time when I heard this music. They maybe reminded me of the first time I heard the song or the laughs I heard the 20th time this played around the bonfire. No matter the memory, every song made me break into a smile, look up, and cherish that memory. 

Which brings me back to... thank god for good music and good vibes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Things I'm Willing To Struggle For

I wonder how many times I'm going to start typing something before I stop deleting it and actually let it be the beginning of my blog post... wow, Samantha, wow.

A friend of mine asked me the other day why I don't blog anymore. I looked back kind of confused and was like uh, because I don't have time. I have this thing called work; I'm trying to not only take care of but still get settled into a house; I'd like to maintain whatever pathetic semblance of a social life I have (or had) - I just don't have time. And my friend said, well you used to make time for a few hours of volleyball on Wednesdays - why don't you make time?

It's kind of a good point. Whatever time I used to set aside for volleyball could be blogging time. Or it could be time to do a yoga class. Or time to get lunch with a friend. Why is it that when push comes to shove or time is short it's the good stuff that goes? It's the stuff that makes your heart happy, fuels your soul, or brings you some sort of endorphin rush that gets pushed aside to make room for the other stuff. Now I'm not implying we can live off lunch dates, yoga classes, blog life, or Saturday nights out. I realize the other stuff - the job, the house, the responsibilities - have their place. But life is all about balance. And me, especially being an all or nothing girl, I sometimes have a hard time with the balance part of life.

If I decide I'm going to start exercising again, I'll tell myself I have to work out every day of the week for an hour. Or if I tell myself I'm going to work on doing a few projects around my house I'll come home from work on Monday through Thursday that week and work on my house from 5:00 until 10:00. Apparently whoever said "a little bit here and there" didn't know what they're talking about because I'm either gonna do it all at turbo-speed or else I'm gonna pick up Chipotle on my way home from work, put on comfy pants, eat in front of the tv, and veg out all night.

Is this healthy? Abso-fricken-lutely not. I realize that. But becoming a better version of yourself, realizing what you want out of life, knowing how hard you're willing to work for it, and trying to maintain a healthy balance of all of those things along the way is a constant, life-long job I think. 
I read an article the other day - I don't remember where but most likely on Facebook because I don't read the newspaper, online news, or any other form of news that would make me a more educated, knowledgable American citizen (I'm working on it). The gist of the article is that what do you want is not the important question you should be asking yourself - the important question is what are you willing to struggle for?

There's a difference. There's one-hundred percently a difference in those 2 questions. I want 6-pack abs. Am I willing to work out like a fiend 7 days a week and never party or eat late-night chips and salsa? Absolutely not. I am willing to struggle for a healthy, slim, fun-to-dress body, though. I want a lot of money. Hell, there are so many orgasmic closets on Pinterest that money could buy me. But I'm not willing to give up weekends at the lake or my geographic location or time with friends (see previous late-night chips and salsa reference) to work all the time, make a ton of money, and get me the pin-worthy closets or Jimmy Choo shoe collection. 

Life is not about what you want - it is about what you're willing to struggle for. I'm willing to struggle for love, friendship, family, a career that allows me to live my choice of lifestyle, and a healthy body. I am a person who values relationships, confidence, passion, and anything that brings me joy.

I've been seeing a counselor for over a year now. Every 2-4 weeks I pay someone to listen to me talk about my thoughts and feelings - by the way, the actual experience that I get for my hour is a lot better than I just made it sound. Anyway, I was telling her that a week or so ago I went out to dinner with a girlfriend that I haven't seen in nearly 7 months. And before that encounter I probably hadn't seen her 7 months, either. And it was truly. a. blast. I was telling my counselor how great it is to have friends that pick up right where you left off no matter what the time. I was bragging to her about how proud I felt to reach out to a friend that, at some point or another for some reason or another, I lost touch with. And because I reached out we refueled a connection. My counselor looked back at me with tears in her eyes, and told me how proud of me she was. That in the last year, in the midst of a divorce and struggling with who I am and what I want to be, I have come such a long way and have even so much more to look forward to. She was so happy for this great dinner I had with an old friend and asked me what else isn't in my life anymore that used to bring me joy.

What else used to bring you joy?

That's a hard question to answer. But I think it's something we all should ask ourselves. In fact, whether you're going through big life changes or just living the day-to-day, asking yourself what else used to bring you joy could be life-changing.

I don't know my answer yet. I'm still in the middle of finding myself, figuring out who and what I want to be, and what I'm willing to struggle for. But I'm going to keep asking myself that. Because if there's something out there that isn't in my life anymore but used to bring me joy, I want it back. Life is too short. It's way too short to care what others think, compare yourself to your younger brother, or tell yourself you have plenty of time. I am not guaranteed to have plenty of time. But I can do everything in my power to make sure I live a life full of joy, love and passion - and those are the things I'm willing to struggle for.

That and Chipotle. I love my Chipotle.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

You Can't Play On Broken Strings

A few months ago my life literally became a whirlwind. One big, messy, exhausting whirlwind. And when life gets crazy, when things aren't insta-perfect (or at least what social media makes us believe is share-worthy material), apparently the blogging comes to a halt too. I also like to blame it on my crappy computer that I have no patience for. Moving onnnn....

I honestly had a life that looked perfect on the outside. I was 27, a few years into marriage with my high school sweetheart, working a job that I was good at and enjoyed, living in an apartment that we liked, and surrounded by loving family and friends. Although it was good, and I'll be honest there was a lot of good, as time went on I realized this isn't what I wanted. I was growing up and starting to become my person, the person I wanted to be. And something wasn't right. Something needed to be different.

Fast forward a few months, and I mean fast forward because there was a lot of thought, conversation, tears, and dreams that are just way too personal to share with even acquaintences, let alone the world wide web. So fast forward a few months and now I am 27, divorced, still working a job that I'm good at and enjoy, and living in a home that I recently purchased on my own. And although it's been a whirlwind - it's been messy and exhausting, and it definitely hasn't been all smiles and rainbows - I wouldn't change anything about where I am.

It was time to become who I wanted to be and reach for the things I wanted to have and do the things that I wanted to do.

I realize there are a lot of I's in that sentence which means it may sound a little selfish. But I'm ok with that; because I have spent the majority of my 27 years not worrying enough about myself - my needs, wants, desires, and dreams. And it's time for that.

There's this song that says you can't play on broken strings and I love it because it's so true and that's what I was trying to do. I was trying to pick up this guitar that had a few broken strings and make beautiful music. Sure, if you only play songs that don't require you to use the 1 or 2 strings that are broken, you can make some beautiful music. But you get bored with those songs. You can't keep playing the same ones over and over because life is too short to never try out a new one or push yourself with something more challenging. 

At some point or another you realize those broken strings are holding you back. 

I think everyone can relate to this in some way or another - whether the broken strings be your job, your significant other, a friend, a bad habit, etc. For me it was a multitude of things - not just one person or one thing. But I was ready to step outside the box and move a different direction in life. 
And I wasn't ok with trying to play on broken strings. I definitely don't expect it to be perfect. And I don't expect it to always sound good. But I know that eventually, in time, I'll be able to make some beautiful music and I might even find someone who wants to play with me. Until then I'll keep playing, enjoying life, and smiling along the way. 

Because if I've learned anything, it's that life is way too short to not dance, sing, laugh, and play some great tunes. Better late than never.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


I   B E L I E V E   I N . . .

tall beers on a sunny patio.

dance parties.

belting it out when you're driving with the windows down.

writing when you feel like writing.

the power of a good hug.

telling someone how much you love them.

time alone to do what you want when you want, talk when you want, and think when you want.

Netflix marathons.

working a job that you don't dread going to every single day.

sand volleyball, even if it means sand in places you never thought possible.

the power of music.

the saying that good things happen to good people.

family and friends.

floating on water as much as possible.

after-dinner walks and good conversation.

the power of a hot shower and bowl of ice cream.

choosing to live a life that you truly love.

cleaning, just because it feels so good when you're done.

taking pictures.

making wishes on eyelashes and shooting stars.

the good things comin.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Testing the Waters

Oh hey.

I didn't really know how to start the post so I just went with a classy oh hey. None of that long time no see business. And I'm not going to say I had a nice break from blogging but can't wait to get back in the swing of things because I don't really know if I'm going to get back in the swing of things. Yes there was a completely unintentional blogging break but life happens. And when life hands you lemons you should either stuff 'em in your bra or mix them with vodka. I think I read that on a greeting card somewhere.

I've been enjoying that beautiful little place in the photo above as much as possible. I've been enjoying family and friends and sunshine and margaritas and trying to soak up summer life as much as humanly possible. Quite honestly, life has been a blur lately. You know how sometimes when there's lots going on it feels so good to sit down and write? Well other times there's so much, so many thoughts, and so many feels it takes too much energy to sift through them enough to put them into words, let alone a blog post available to the entire internet community.

So here I am testing the writing waters. Feelin it out to see if I want to make this more of a regular habit again and we'll see how it goes. If yes, I'll see you and another blog post soon. If no, you could probably find me on that beautiful body of water up there or somewhere on the course of my daily 10-mile run. Just kidding, I don't run. Duh.

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