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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finding the Beauty in Sadness

Hey guys.

I've been thinking about that John Green quote, something like "I am happy and sad at the same time, and I'm trying to figure out how that could be." I think there's a kind of beauty in sadness. As we grow, we get stronger, and if you look just a little beyond the misery, you can find something really beautiful.

I think that you can't have happiness without sadness. Part of being a passionate person with a fun filled life is being the opposite sometimes, and finding your way through that. The beauty in life is feeling different emotions and learning about ourselves through them.

Short one tonight--it's bedtime!
Butterfly kisses,
Julia

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You're Only Given a Little Spark of Madness; You Mustn't Lose it

Good evening loves!

What's your "little spark of madness?" I have previously described myself as a queen of laughter and a lover of anything...weird. Well, here's a great quote that I have always loved: 

"You are only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." -Robin Williams

So perfect. I think that, in this rushing, crazy, often straight-laced world we live in, we are often subtly told to swallow that spark of madness, the one keeping us alive and crazy and creative and ourselves.

 e.e. cummings once wrote, "to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting." 

I didn't really understand that idea until recently, but I found that it is so true. In high schools across America, kids are being picked on for being different. What is this?!! This is the one part of each of us that is special, that has the potential to end violence or cure cancer or make a toddler giggle (I think all of those are equally important, would you not agree?)! This is the side of yourself that you return to when no one else is looking. 

I babysit two little boys who always ask me to play "Old Grandma" when I come over, in which I chase them around, pretending to nibble at their arms, calling them carrots and onions and God knows what. And guess what? It's fun for me too! 
I don't think everyone should always go around nibbling on 2nd-graders' arms, but if we let this insane, wack-job selves of ours come out every now and then (...or every day...), maybe we'd all be a little happier.

Assignment for tomorrow, guys? Well, giggle. Find something HILARIOUS and stare at it until you fall to the ground in a wild fit of helpless belly laughter. (Has anyone else tried this? I can do it anytime and always crack myself up, but maybe that's just me.) Play with a toddler. Break out your weirdest voice at the most unexpected time. Make googly eyes at someone and see how long it takes for them to notice. Whatever you do, take advantage of the moment and LAUGH already! Life is too short to sit neatly in uncomfortable clothing and take notes. Get out there, make someone laugh, and BE the noteworthy happening!

One closing remark for you guys. Here is the message for today on my Instant Happiness Daily Calendar: "Take a MOMENT today, close your eyes, and soak it in. No matter where you are, you won't have that exact moment back. Why not enjoy it?"

Turn off the computer and get giggling.

Laughs and love,
Julia

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Thoughts on Mondays


Hey Guys!

I hope you're all having a really beautiful and amazing week so far. And guess what? We made it through Monday! Wait..what? We made it through? Why should life be a problem that we have to struggle through? Why should Mondays be horrible? Why shouldn't we live them with wild abandon, loving and living all we can? I know, I know, it's so hard. And it feels like we're all waiting for something to happen. "Until (blank), I can't (blank)..."
I sometimes feel like I'm just waiting to get out of high school so I can live. Well, life doesn't work like that. After high school can come college, grad school, weddings, child-raising, job-searching, grand-parenting, and the list goes on until we've got no time left. We're ALWAYS going to have something to wait for or a reason to delay. But we're not always going to have unlimited days. Each of us has, right now, a certain number of days we can live. It could be 2, or it could be several thousand, but the truth is, if we don't realize that now, we will never LIVE. 
Throw off your shoes. Grab the fancy china off the shelf. Use that freaking purple pen already. Life IS the special occasion. Even if you have a dreadful day ahead, create your own paradise in that situation (Haha, Lily). For Mondays, I make sure that I have my alarm clock set to play Taylor Swift, my favorite. That way, I wake up smiling (or singing, or both). Then I remind myself to flip to that day's page in my "Instant Happy Notes" daily calendar. I'll often have a special outfit picked out or a plan for lunch for which I'm really excited. Or, if nothing else, I try to think of something positive in the day ahead, something I can turn around to be something amazing. Maybe it's a great first class, where this time I promise myself I'll take a risk. Or new stickers to decorate my agenda. Whatever it is, I make at least one part of my day something special, memorable, and fun! 

That's all for now, my loves. Plan how you're going to spend tomorrow! Tomorrow is Tuesday, February 26, 2013...what a lovely gift to be given! Live it for yourself, for someone who has passed, to make memories to tell your kids...whatever your reason, please LIVE! Wake up and thrive. And never forget, your smile and your kindness can light up a room.

Warmest hugs,
Julia


Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's Better to Have Loved and Lost Than to Never Have Loved at All

Hi there.

Today I woke up at Lily's house. We had a super amazing time and it was so much fun.
My dad picked me up and we took the dogs to the vet. Amber is 14.5 years old so I was kind of terrified about what they were going to say. The vet said that as of now, she has a good quality of life, but as soon as she can no longer use her back legs (even if she is strong in her front legs and alert), it is no longer humane to keep her alive. I was sobbing. I am so heartbroken.

We have literally grown up together. My baby girl has been my little sister since we were both the tiniest of babies--we got her when I was a year old. I am so attached to her. And I am beyond terrified to lose her. I have no idea what it's going to be like. I've lost fish and even a pet rabbit before, but that was no where near the bond I share with Amber, of course. Ali texted me something that really helped: old animals have to die so new baby animals can be born. I mean, yeah, it's elementary, but it helped so so so much. It is so insanely difficult to lose someone you have loved for so long. But, I would so much rather have felt this intense, crazy, insane, caring attachment and lose the animal it's connected to than to never have felt this way. It is beyond worth it. All I can do now is show her my love and give her endless kisses. We are not sure if we have months or a year (or HOPEFULLY more!) but I do want her to be comfortable. Please know that our family will never push her to live longer than she wants to. That's a promise, I think. It's going to be hard.

That's all for now. Please give your pets a kiss for me.

Love,
Julia

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Few Good Links and a Lot of Life Rules

Hey guys!
So, you guessed it, I am back today (and might now be slightly addicted to blogging). Today I want to share with you guys some of my own favorite inspirations. I get daily e-mails from this website called Positively Positive, which is basically the best thing EVER.

Some links to inspirational articles:

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/02/17/its-on-you/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+positivelypositive%2Fpositive+%28Positively+Positive%29
Hannah Brencher is a genius!

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/02/14/a-letter-to-your-heart/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+positivelypositive%2Fpositive+%28Positively+Positive%29
A little post-Valentine's Day love :)

I know you get asked this really often, but what would you do if today was your last day on earth? To whom would you apologize? With whom would you laugh till your belly hurt? Who would you give your last cookie to, just to see them smile? Who would you take pictures of? (Remember, people only regret NOT taking pictures...so whip out your phone or camera as often as you can!)

My point here is really pretty obvious, and I'm sure there are a thousand people who have said it a lot better than I can. But you get my drift. My mom loves to preach this particular belief because of the death of her mom. One day, her mom called her to say that she had a headache. My mom wished her luck, told her she loved her, and the two hung up, promising to speak again soon. The next thing my mom knew, her mother was comatose and died of brain cancer shortly after. It's a terrifyingly tragic story, but it taught my mom a lesson. Take each day and just LIVE it. Tomorrow is never, ever guaranteed.

 My mom was lucky to be able to have some last communication with her mom. In a video we watched in (the dreaded) Driver's Ed today, we heard stories of teens who had killed their best friends in car accidents, mostly due to drunk driving--that is just so awful. Please be careful, everybody.

Okay, I am really sorry if that was a downer for some of you. I hope it inspired you, even just a little bit, to be a tiny bit more careful and live a whole lot more. Even if you're sick in bed (shout-out to Ali: feel better soon baby!), make the most of it. What would you not be able to do if you weren't sick? You might be at work or school. Take advantage! Start the book you've been waiting to read (or write), spend some cozy time in bed (the kind you really wished you had more of at 6 in the morning when the alarm clock goes off), or just do nothing and thoroughly ENJOY it!

Here are some of my life rules. I feel like as soon as I hit "publish," a thousand more will spring into my head, but here's a start.

1. We're all fools whether we dance or not. Go for it.
2. No one knows what the hell they're doing.
3. Do everything with compassion.
4. Count to ten when you're angry and imagine it from the other person's angle.
5. Trust, love, dream, and believe without limits.
6. If your dreams don't terrify you, they're not big enough.
7. You're stronger than you think.
8. Fake it till you make it.
9. Keep calm and carry on.
10. Surround yourself with only the people who are going to lift you higher.
11. A scale says NOTHING about your worthiness.
12. Expect a little. Give A LOT.
13. Risk more than people think is necessary.
14. Learn a new language; it'll show you new ways of thinking.
15. TRAVEL OFTEN.
16. Practice random acts of kindness whenever possible. It's always possible.
17. Write more happiness into the world.
18. Do one thing a day that scares you.
19. Immerse yourself in different literature, culture, outlooks, and worlds.
20. Always believe that everything happens for a reason.
21. Never lose hope for love. It is on it's way. Love never fails.
22. You are a princess, but you might have to build your own castle until your prince arrives.
23. Everything will be ok.
24. Wake up thankful that you woke up.
25. Take a leap of faith every now and then. It'll open you up to new experiences.
26. Anyone who walks out of your life was not meant to be there anyway.
27. Spread positivity, but never EVER pick up someone else's negativity.
28. Holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.
29. Never, ever give up.
30. Institutional rules were meant to be broken. It's the only way to live.
31. LIVE, do not simply exist.
32. Love with all you have. It's the only thing with which you get richer, the more you give away.
33. Love yourself first and everything else will come.
34. Notice the clouds.
35. Paris (anywhere in Europe, for that matter) is always a good idea.
36. The world can be amazing when you're slightly strange. This "normal" they speak of? It sounds boring.
37. Don't hold back. The world needs more YOU.
38. There is nothing about yourself to be ashamed of or embarrassed about; if you don't stick up for yourself, who will?
39. Never regret anything that once made you smile.
40. Breathe.
41. Be someone. Be the type of person you want to meet.
42. Laugh louder and more often than most people think is appropriate. Do all you can to enjoy yourself and spread smiles!

Okay, I could literally go on and on and on. But that's enough for tonight. Some of these were borrowed, especially from Pinterest.

One closing question for you tonight. What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
Comment below...I'm curious!

I love you, world. Goodnight.
xo,
Julia


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Well Hello There!

Hi!

I'm Julia. I'm almost 16, if you count April as being close. I guess it's a glass-half-full kind of view. But anyway, I'm in 10th grade here on Cape Cod and things are pretty great. I'm not really sure if this blog will work out. I might never post again. Or, I might post every day. Sorry, no real guarantees on that. I'm a paper and pen sort of person when it comes to journaling and I just bought a ton more (I go through about a journal per month) Compendium journals. Click here to learn more about that company. But, I'll try it.

Lily's blog (Lily is my lovely perfect amazing "chicken" aka one of my best friends) is amazing and I also just saw the most adorable mommy blogs on the Parents Magazine Facebook page. That inspired me to try blogging. Don't ask. I am obsessed with parenting. I read parenting magazines/books/websites all the time. Motherhood is going to be the best thing ever. I am so excited. Of course, I have a while to wait, but I love thinking about my chaotic wonderful life-to-be with a loving husband and 5 crazy kids all giggling (or whining, or screaming) at the same time. It's going to be fun. Call me crazy. I love embracing that weirdo part of myself. I know everyone has that one (or more) weird passion. This is going to sound like one of those third grade diversity classroom posters, but people's strange differences really do inspire me. I love it even more when people use their passion to change the world. What an amazing world we live in, if you just hang out with the right people.

Anyway, today and all week I had/have driver's ed. It is so boring. But...guess how I'm getting through it? Yep, by telling myself that I need to know this to someday be a good parent (or babysitter, if I'm not in the mood to look that far ahead). I can focus better knowing that how well I concentrate in this class can relate to the safety of others some day (especially children--there is NOTHING in this world more innocent or deserving to live as a child...don't even get me started on the Sandy Hook shooting. My entire heart goes out to those involved).

So, yeah, that's really boring. But each day it gets a tiny bit better, and I only have two more days of it. Again, glass-half-full. If my hopeless optimism bothers you, you should probably leave this blog. You're only going to hear more of it. I believe in trusting with no limits, loving with no boundaries, and believing with all I have.

Okay, sorry for this randomness. What do my readers want to know? Today, I'll write about some of my short-term goals. I really want to write an advice book for teens. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, I left that experience (and am still, slowly leaving it) and experienced such a beautiful mind change. Now, I am a self-described laughing professional. I can find almost anything funny. And I love it that way. People who haven't known me for long don't know this, but I didn't use to be so wildly enthusiastic. In grade school, I was always the shy, quiet one...the one who had to be praised by her parents just for raising her hand. There's still a little part of that adorable baby inside me, but I've decided to take advantage of this amazing thing called life and just live all I can. Healthily and happily.

What else do you need to know? I am obsessed with Taylor Swift. My favorite thing EVER is collecting/reading inspirational quotations (you should see my "Inspirations" wall on Pinterest...) and I will hopefully post some of them on here. I have a mom and dad, brother and sister, and two dogs that give me the best kisses every day.

Ok, that's a pretty overwhelming description of me. I have a feeling I'll be on here a lot :)

Be kind to each other. Go out and change the world. Hug a little kid tonight. Smile to yourself in the mirror. Be positive.

Thanks for visiting my blog! Leave me a comment below!

Much love and hugs,

Julia