Handle with Care

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If she had a label it would be ‘handle with care’. She was gentle and sensitive, very sensitive. She had a big heart, big as Texas, she loved so easily. Her smile was as big as her heart and could light up a room. Her laugh was so full of life. But she was fragile.

She cared and always wanted to help. She was a fixer. She had her very own ‘Mary Poppins’ tool kit purse’. Her heart got her in trouble. A lot. It disabled her logic. Who needed logic anyway?

The problem with a big sensitive heart is that no matter what it rarely feels full and is easily damaged. What good is a mostly empty big damaged sensitive heart that runs around fixing everyone else gonna do?

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That One

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He was charismatic. He had an air of confidence about him that she was drawn to. He was intelligent, funny and smooth. It was easy to like him. She didn’t even have to try. She had never met anyone like him before. He was romantic and always knew exactly what to say and do to make her melt. Puddy in his hands. They meshed so well. She didn’t even have this much in common with her best friend. It was hard to tell where he ended and she began. They were flawlessly in sync.

She would pinch herself some days to make sure it wasn’t a dream. At first, she held her breath waiting for this almost perfect world to come crashing down around her, but it didn’t. So she exhaled and settled in.

Then almost in the most random instant, someone flipped a switch and everything changed. That’s when she realized he wasn’t charismatic; he was a chameleon planning a cruel joke trick on her. She was left alone, hurt and always wondering if it was real.

Fork In Road Not In Mouth

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Life is a long journey. You walk down this road, you walk and you walk. Along the way you pick up a lot of baggage, an experience or two, things people call lessons learned. You stop from time to time to climb a tree, skin your knee, swim in a pond, skip through tall grass. You meet new and interesting people along the way. You listen to stories and advice.  A few may even pick up the pace and join you on your journey.  From time to time they fall away to meet up with other. At some point you come to a fork in the road. Do you go left? Or do you go right? Turning around isn’t an option neither is going straight forward. {For those of you who like to blaze their own trails, kudos, but this is not an option either} Each path has certain rewards, but they also come with sacrifice. Is going left to risky? Would going left be considered frivolous and irresponsible? Will you lose everything you have gained on your long journey, or will you get everything you’ve dreamed of? Is going right settling? Is it the safe choice, the back-up plan, in your comfort zone? Or is it what you really want? Which way will make you happy? Will you regret your choice? If you go left and get part way down the path can you turn around and go right instead? Or is all that we left behind gone? They say shoot for the moon, if you miss you will still land upon the stars. But what do you do when your only option is a fork in the road and not in your mouth?

Best Advice

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The best advice she was ever given came from the two people in her life that had always been her constants. The two women in her life she loved and respected. The one, her aunt, had accomplished so many things and had done so much good; she was in constant awe of her. While the other was her best friend, partner in crime, her peer. Neither judged nor mocked her. Always treated her with love and compassion. She knew she could count on them for the truth, no matter how much she didn’t want to hear it.

But advice. They had it. Her aunt told her that she was never too old to be the person she always wanted to be. She was never too old to change and create a different path. It wasn’t too late. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s never too late to correct them. Move on. Her best friend told her to never try and change her personality. What she saw as a flaw is what makes her who she is. Some people may see it as a flaw, while others see it as an attribute. Good or bad it was all part of who she was, and she should never try and change who she is because someone made her feel bad about it.

I don’t think they will ever know how much those words meant to her, how much they changed her. They were just words, and weren’t intent to hold the power that they did. But they did. For that she will be forever grateful.

After that, everything was different. She had purpose and confidence. She embraced this new path she was ready to forge. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, and she would get side tracked along the way. But as long as she held on to the words of wisdom that were imparted upon her she could always find her way back.

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She Jumped

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She jumped. Into. On to. Over. In with. Whatever it was, she jumped. Most of the time blindfolded haphazardly. She held her breath, stilled her mind, ignored all warnings and jumped. If you don’t jump then how do you know? Her bravery and willingness were often seen as inexperience and immaturity. She didn’t care, she still jumped. Most of the time she jumped, she ended up in a thorn bush or snake pit. Her wounds healed and lessons learned. She still jumped because eventually it would pay off and she would land in her dreams. After an almost paralyzing jump she took the blindfold off and un-silenced her mind. Still vowing to follow her heart. Realizing that her jumps were sending her bouncing around nowhere. She had purpose now, confident in the direction. A short time later she was standing on top of the world, or so it felt, six stories up, she jumped…landing on her feet…they gasped. She smiled. Cameras flashed. She made it, because she jumped.

 

*Photography courtesy of Kate Bentley Photography || http://www.katebentleyphoto.com/

Half A World

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She is silently lying in bed, complete stillness, staring at the clock begging it to move faster, clinging to her cellphone as if it is her only lifeline. Although it has fallen more silent lately then she has. She rolls over, his side of the bed still empty. Minutes turn into hours, which turn into days, which turn into weeks, which turn into longer then she wants to count.

The chime of her phone snaps her out of it. Her heart-racing, craving any word from him. Half a world away. News that he was okay, or better yet, coming home. The words ‘I miss you’ crawled across the screen. She quickly types her reply and hits send. Anxiously awaiting his next message. The seconds move at a snail’s pace in anticipation. He says ‘good night’ and signs his message with xoxox.

Tears always fill her eyes when the last message comes through. They were automatic at this point. Half a world away and every ounce of her was craving to be with him. She took a deep breath and laid back down, clenching her lifeline to him. She knew she signed on for half a world away.

Strength

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I would say I am a strong person, and my past has forced me to grow. I have been through challenging times with family, friends, health and just life in general. I loved and lost, I have watched grandparents grow old and die, I have watched family members make bad decisions; I have had to walk away from old friendships because they were too toxic. Each experience has shaped me into who I am today.

Now I am not here to be a pessimist or a downer, but simply to rant about strength. I also do not claim that I have had a bad life or have been dealt the worst hand of cards. I know there are others out there who have suffered far worse situations in life than I have. As a whole I am very blessed, and remind myself of that daily. I have chosen not to let anything or anyone break me.

I firmly believe that God will not give you more than you can handle, for that is the reason my cards have not all been jokers. Crying is not a sign of weakness, but a healthy way to deal with hurt, anger, frustration, and disappointment. Oh and joy! So in a time where I know God sees an opportunity for me to grow stronger, these are the sayings that give me that strength. (Along with belting out some Sarah Evans or Christina Aguilera lyrics.)

{please also note I totally swiped these from Pinterest}

All In

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She wasn’t the gambling type. She stayed away from the high risk, high stakes games. Especially ones concerning her heart. She was more the self-preservation type. But there was something oddly intriguing about him. Something that kept her coming back around.

He seemed so sure and at ease. He was laid back like nothing could shake him. Best poker face she had ever seen. She wished she could be more like that. Before she realized it was her turn – was she going to fold or go all in? Deep breath, eyes closed, she pushed all her chips to the middle of the table.

She wasn’t sure if the feeling was normal. Odd calmness and happy butterflies came over her all at the same time. He laid his hand of cards out on the table and she hers. They walked away from the table hand in hand, both all in, no matter what the stakes.

Mirror Mirror

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She stood in front of the mirror – fixed on the image staring back at her. Nine months ago she stood in that very spot unable to make out any familiar image. That girl was unrecognizable, blurry, broken, not even a whole person. That poor girl never saw it coming. Little by little she let him steal parts of her, until he had all he wanted. That girl in the mirror feebly searching; not even sure what for. But with the grace of God and the hand of her amazing best friend she slowly pulled herself together. Stronger and more confident than before. That girl she was fixating on in the mirror was finally clearly defined. She wore her battle wounds proudly.

Passion

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She was sitting on his bed pretending to watch whatever was on TV. He was unpacking from his weekend on base. She was trying to ignore the constant internal battle between her head and her heart. For some reason it was a little easier today. But, was he a bad idea?

She caught him looking at her out of the corner of her eye. He was still in uniform and her heart skipped a beat. She smiled and batted her eyes. His strong hands grasped both her legs and pulled her to the end of the bed. She lost track of any internal mumblings. He gently put his hand behind her head and lifted it up softly. Meeting her half way he kissed her. The perfect kiss. They separated for a moment. To catch their breath, she reached her arms around him to press their bodies together. He leaned back in and then…Fireworks.

Was this passion? Was this lust? Her heart put her brain on an indefinite pause as it was trying to keep beat with his. He stood up. She caught her breath. Again. Time was standing still and rushing past all at the same moment. Even though their bodies were no longer touching their eyes were locked. She couldn’t move as she watched him slowly undress from his military uniform and climb into bed with her.

She lost control with his every touch. His hot breath. His strong body pressed up against her. Nothing was in focus but him. It could have been one minute or one hundred. Lost in the moment. Lost in him. She was contently calm falling asleep in his arms. That night she stayed with him and her head stopped trying to argue with her heart.