Café con Leche

Skeletons in my closet wave hello having learned all too quickly my poison of choice: I’ll have one Latino man with a cup of charisma – hold the machismo… Skeletons in my closet mock me reminding me that love is … Continue reading

FEATURE OF THE WEEK! A Discussion on Feminism & Faith

Hello readers! I always love sharing my Wednesdays with you. Today is feature-of-the-week day! I’ve decided to share the post of a fellow writer and friend of mine who I admire and respect named Nephtalie Lesperance. Her blog, “Sacred Loved … Continue reading

Pleasant Misadventures on the 51

“That’s it for today,” professor Rovira announced. Picking up my back-pack or as I like to think of it, my “ton of bricks,” I glanced at the time on my iPhone – 5:31pm. That’s enough time to rush back to … Continue reading

Creative Ambient Advertising

Happy Wednesday, readers! Looking for something to make you chuckle on your lunch-break or something to distract you from the monotony of work? Look no further than today’s feature of the week: e-MORFES. Their post on clever advertisements will make you look twice, think twice and you might even think about the way YOU see advertising. Enjoy your Wednesday, the day known all to well as HUMP DAY.

PS: Stay tuned for this Saturday’s post at 12pm when I’ll be posting an update on how my summer is going. 🙂

e MORFES

ambient-advertisingNational Geographic – 3D Crocodile Escalator

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Lovesick(ness)

Love looks like tears running down my face – Like toxic swirls on brown cheeks collecting in mascara pools. All of Love’s jokes sound cheap: cacophonous sounds mocking an empty room. I have had my fill of love; tossed round … Continue reading

Street art by Daan Botlek

Hello reader! Today’s feature of the week is a trendy art, design and architecture blog I follow called e-MORFES. Check out their post on street artist Daan Botlek. His work will startle you, make you laugh, and might even make you question if there’s a 4th dimension. Enjoy!

Tune in every Wednesday at 1pm to see which blogger on WordPress I’ve chosen as feature-of-the-week. 🙂

e MORFES

Daan Botlek

Rotterdam based street artist and illustrator Daan Botlek is known for his minimalist form of character-driven street art. His ghostly white figures painted on old building walls, are depicted to execute daring escapes interacting  with the space around them or  passing in and out of unseen dimensions.

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Ghost of Friendships Past

About a week ago, standing in my kitchen in the midst of seasoning pork-chops, a disturbing and unsettling question popped into my head:

“Who will be the bridesmaids at my wedding!?”

Gathering myself a bit and returning my efforts to the pork-chops, I realized that the root of the question that initially startled me was even more frightening…

Out of the women in my life that I consider close friends, I would probably only have two bridesmaids!

Frightening. Because as a women in her twenties, I must admit that marriage is often on my mind – society practically shoves the idea down my throat! And, as sad as it sounds, if I were to get married tomorrow, or in a month, the only close friends I can think of are two women that I’ve known for a couple years that I’d feel pleased to have as bridesmaids. What I’m really getting at here is that I only have two close friends – that are women.

I think of shows like Sex And The City or everybody’s favorite 90’s American hallmark Friends, where even society points out a crucial characteristic of human existence: friendships. There are also shows like Clueless and I Love Lucy where, content of both shows aside, the link between the two is the close friendships shared by the two main women: Cher’s Dionne and Lucy’s Ethel. It is almost as if the creators of the aforementioned TV shows we’re trying to convey the same message: You may have your boyfriend or your girlfriend, your husband or your wife, but within a telephone’s reach, you must always have your best-friend. As for me, it is wonderful having two very good friends – they are the most genuine, funny, and caring people I know. But, I would be remiss if I did not mention the close runner-ups that led to me only having two best-friends.

The truth is, I have a had a slew of “close” friends. But, at a very young age, I felt the sting of friendships gone wrong. I’d had pretentious friends whose narrow-eyed glances at my clearance-aisle jeans opened my eyes to class-rank, jealous friends whose “You’re so pretty – I hate you'” comments helped me realize that a jealous friend is no friend at all, and I’d had belittling, arrogant friends whose insults about my lack of maturity led me to bitterness – all by the age of eighteen. At a certain point in my life I had had it with people that I sincerely believed we’re my friends, people that I invested time in and genuinely cared for, stepping on me like I was their doormat. Somewhere along the way I decided that if someone I cared about hurt me badly enough, I’d completely erase them from the planet – mentally. Now that I am a young adult, I have to fight not to do just that.

For example, after a friend has hurt me, my impulsive defense mechanism usually kicks in:

Good friend behaves in a way that is hurtful to me > I assess my hurt at their behavior > I then determine in my mind the value of the person’s friendship > I come to the conclusion that his/her friendship is no longer worth my time (despite how much I might’ve cared for the person)

And that’s how it goes every time. The person’s phone number is blocked from my phone, all pictures of him/her are erased, contact with the person on Facebook deleted, and the impulsive list of “cutting him/her out” actions goes on. I figure instead of “working things out” with a person, essentially telling them, “Hey friend, you hurt me pretty badly on this one and I do not appreciate it,” I try to flush out the daily existence of the person in my mind. The major problem with the string of actions I’ve developed is that people do exist – they are very real. They are real for my memory, real for my emotions, real for me – the memory you have of people does not go away simply because you want it to.

It is that simple truth that has led me to reevaluate the method in which I deal with how people hurt me. “Deleting” people from my life does not work, and honestly, dropping friends gets very lonely. After a couple of years of leaving people behind who I didn’t think were worth my time anymore I started to feel like I was living with a trail of ghosts following me. I found that even when I entered a new phase in my life, a graduation or moving to another state, I was still carrying my ghosts of friendships past.

In the end, I think many people live their lives with a number of friends in their memories that they’ve “let go.” As for me, I have grown tired of collecting ghosts. I have learned that it is better to fight for the friendships I love, than to continually cut people out of my life. Fighting for a friendship, working through the nitty-gritty with someone that you deeply care for, and repairing ties with a person is no cinch. In fact, I’ve never fought to keep any of my friendships. Thinking through my life, I’ve decided that it is time to make a change. My two closest girlfriends are ones I would never want to lose, and I realize that I even though I may have intense moments of disagreement with either of them in the future, both of those friendships are worth fighting for. So, as I challenge myself today to fight for my friendships, rather than giving up on myself and the other person, I invite you to the challenge as well. Be the type of person who is willing to fight for your friendships.

As Bob Marley once said, “… Everyone is going to hurt you, you just have to find the [friends] worth suffering for.”

Danyealah the Music-junkie

Hello, my reader! In reference to an earlier post I wrote titled, “Summer-time Sadness With a Little Less Lana Del Rey,” I’d like to share a bit of how my summer is going.

As you may know, healing can be a slow process – emotional healing doubly so. In my summer “manifesto” I mentioned that this summer would be a time of emotional healing for me – a chance to mend the scars that resulted from my emotionally taxing junior year of college. I stated in my last post that I wasn’t exactly sure what my emotional healing process would look like, whether it would involve me spending time with close friends and family or going to the beach weekly to ease my mind. Proudly, I can say that I’ve discovered something as precious as gold when it comes to allowing myself to heal. And, I must admit that I was closer to defining my emotional healing process than I initially thought. Giving myself the time, the energy and the space to heal (to essentially fulfill the summer “manifesto” described in my last post), involves doing the things I love. As plain and simple as that!

“Do the things you love, Danyealah…”

A sentence that has been running through the course of my thoughts as if it were a tape recorder on loop, “Do the things you love…” One of the things I love is music and, “doing” music has helped me a lot this summer. Because music is something close to my heart, I am gifted with the ability to sing and I grew up playing the flute, I gravitated naturally to the thing I knew would help me cope with my issues. Not only does music have the ability to soothe, it’s therapeutic qualities for me are much deeper. Music gives me a sense of identity, helping me fight on in the journey to not only heal emotionally, but help me figure out who I am as a young adult.

The truth is that music creates community – for the listener and the listened to. When I troll the web, or solicit recommendations from friends, or seek out NPR’s All Songs Considered for new music, I know that I am not the only one searching for a good tune to listen to. “Doing music” involves not only endlessly searching for underground artists or new alternative bands, it involves becoming engaged with the music community. And for me, engaging the music community includes everything from singing in my shower to a Yellowcard album I loved in high-school, to finding the perfect song to match every mood I’ve ever had.

Essentially, rediscovering my love for good music has given me a snippet of my identity back. It is almost as if my inner-self walked up to me and said, “Hi, Danyealah. I am the part of you that loves music. Embrace your identity as a music-junkie.” Now here I am, half-way into the middle of summer accepting that part of myself, allowing myself to heal.

In closing, I’d like to leave you with a song that has soothed me many times this summer. The melody carries me to a place where I can sit in peace and my own thoughts are not my enemy. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do. 🙂

Summer Heart – I Wanted You to Stay on the Other Side <- Click me