Cali Girl

Neatly folding my gauzy swimsuit coverup, I tucked it into the corner of the suitcase and sighed. I had done it. Every square inch of the oversized cheetah print rolling case was occupied by a perfectly coordinated sandal, blouse or handbag. 

The notion that I was overpacking briefly crossed my mind before fading away. Sure, I would only be in San Diego for a handful of days, but as I saw it, I had to be prepared for anything. After all, this was the trip I’d been pining for— a relaxing respite by the ocean. If I felt it necessary to cram every item I could think of into a suitcase that would consequently become too heavy to lug down the stairs, why not just go with it?

I laughed to myself as I riffled through the muck and mess of my desk drawer in search of a luggage lock. All this fuss over a trip I had not too long ago felt lukewarm about! It’s true; when the opportunity to travel to the all too familiar beach town was initially presented to me, I had accepted it, but not without strong apprehension. It was certainly no coincidence to be offered a free trip to California right on the heels of being instructed to “go home”, but this was also a trip I’d wished to avoid— permanently.

My relationship with my home state has been rocky for many years. Though it is the land of my birth, a physical manifestation of all that I hold dear, and the primary backdrop to my most treasured memories in life, it is also the final resting place of my naivety. It was during my last visit to the Golden State that I had my rose-colored glasses slapped clean off my face. My friends were not my friends. My family was not my family. My life, as I knew it, had been exposed as a well orchestrated lie. It hurt to finally see the truth about the people I loved, so I left, vowing to never return. 

Everything and everyone was gone. I was emotionally homeless. 

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“Go Home.”

A most happy new week to all of you! I hope everyone had a great weekend. If you caught one of my last posts, you may recall that I recently went on vacation. I had promised to share some insight that I gained during that time, so here we are.

I suppose the most important thing to know about my getaway is that it was an unexpected answer to a sorrowful, but heartfelt prayer. 

As I’ve previously touched upon, the latter half of this summer has been a considerable challenge. From trying to plan and launch new business ventures to pursuing a healthier, sustainable lifestyle, Summer 18 has been a physical, emotional, and mental workout beyond anything I’ve experienced before. 

Though my path hasn’t been neatly paved and the night has lasted far too long for my liking, I have faced so many fears and jumped over so many mental hurdles this year. It’s been scary, thrilling, inspiring, motivating and gut wrenching all at the same time. Some things haven’t worked as well as I had hoped, while other things haven’t worked at all. These particular moments have sent me to bed crying more than once, forcing me to ask myself, “You’re performing for an empty stadium. None of this is working. Why are you still trying?”

I continue to try because I have to. If I give up, there is nothing else left for me. I know that. Falling flat on my face is preferable to the nothingness that lies just beyond the inability to keep going. The possibility of finally succeeding at something—no matter how slight—keeps me on my feet. If that’s all I’ve got to show for myself by the end of this, then it’s alright by me. At least I kept going.

Rewinding back to the end of June/early July, I was utterly exhausted. Before this point, everything was going swimmingly. Full of energy and ready to conquer the world, I was blowing through my to-do lists like it was nothing. The newness of everything was invigorating, and I genuinely reveled in the challenges I was facing.

Then I crashed. I don’t know what happened. It was as though someone had suddenly pumped the breaks, sending me right through the windshield of my own life. 

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an unnecessary evil

 

There might not be a need for this.

A hasty farewell stalks a salty kiss. 

We are but four hands, two heads, and one determined mind

A defunct design. 

 

It’s tragic on the surface, but I swear we’re fine.

 

There might not be a need for this.

Your harsh reality, my tardy bliss

If only I could, I’d trade my flesh and split my soul.

I’d shorten my life to make you whole.

 

The wheels have fallen off, but He’s in control.

 

There might not be a need for this.

A single tear rolls down the face I’d miss.

You’ve searched across the land, putting your life in the hands of man.

A most flawed plan.

 

You think no one can save you, but I know He can.


 

Life is full of unnecessary evils.

In the midst of awe-inspiring beauty and joy lurks needless suffering and pain. We fill our lives with activity and noise, hoping that by doing so we can block out the misfortunes of others… as well as outrun tragedy ourselves. This works a majority of the time for the majority of us. However, what happens when life-altering situations land square on our doorstep like the Sunday paper?

The world will tell you that matters such as terminal illness, addiction, trauma and poverty are inevitable conditions of the human experience. Though they are not guaranteed to be imposed upon the masses, people would have you believe these are things that simply happen from time to time… as though we should accept them as a mere inconvenience or wrinkle in the fabric of our fragile lives.

But it isn’t true. This doesn’t have to be true.

When the clearly paved road we travel fades into a rocky, abandoned footpath it can be so easy to rely upon our senses to perceive the fullness of our reality. We may have sought out the very best advice, spoken to all the experts we could find, and done everything within our own power to solve our problems. But still, you may be left wondering what can be done when nothing seems to work. You’re still sick. You’re still lost. You’re still broken.

There comes a time in many of our lives when we are faced with a problem that is bigger than ourselves. We could turn the entire world upside down on itself and still never come close to finding the answers we so desperately seek. Hopelessness and despair will start to converge upon us, and we will question what this life was ever for. It is in these deep, dark moments of fear and oppression that we must all turn our eyes to the sky.

No matter the situation, there is always hope. If you’re still here, there’s still a chance. We must simply remember that there is more to this life than what we can see or readily explain. Even the most intelligent men on Earth are ignorant of what really lies behind our existence. You don’t have to understand how you can be delivered from your circumstances in order to be rescued. Likewise, you don’t have to see an answer for there to be one.

He who seeks shall find. He who asks shall receive.

If there is ever a time you find yourself with questions no one can answer, I hope you will remember to go to the One who knows all, sees all, and loves all.


If you enjoyed this little blurb I’d greatly appreciate you giving it a like or sharing it with someone you think might also enjoy it.
Also, don’t forget to follow this blog for more stories and ramblings! Ciao for now! ❤

 

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*Unless otherwise specified to be property of LonersGuideToLife.com, all photos were sourced from Pexels.*

 

It Finally Showed Up. Now What?

I seriously can’t even believe this.

Today I received an unusually wrapped item in mail. I stared at it for the first few moments as though I’d never before laid eyes on such a thing. This certainly isn’t the case, but I was shocked nonetheless. You see, I had gone online to request a postgraduate admissions catalogue from one of the schools I was interested in. It was supposed to arrive within ten business days, so I excitedly ran to check the mail every single day. To my disappointment, it never showed up. 

That was four months ago.

Much has happened in the last four months. Things have changed at a rapid pace. My goals, my career path, me. The notion of pursuing my Masters (much less a PhD) has managed to slip to the very back of my mind without me noticing or even caring. I’ve been so caught up with my new plans and aspirations, so enveloped in a blanket of newfound passion and positive expectation, that I had once again convinced myself that my grad school dreams weren’t important.

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Only Chicken Scratch: A Disclaimer

When I was a small child growing up in Southern California I would ride in the backseat of my parents’ car.

Quite often we’d drive the 50-60 miles through the valley to visit my grandparents in the LA suburbs. All along the way I’d press my bored little nose up against my window with “Are we there yet?” on my mind, but pure vapor on my lips.

On and on we’d drive, whizzing past buildings, signs, cars and towns. It was all so dull to me then. I mean, if you’ve seen one scraggly palm tree, you’ve seen a dozen. Though I loved visiting my grandparents, I greatly disliked having to seemingly trek halfway across the galaxy to reach them. If it weren’t for the graffiti scribbled across the trains, I don’t know what I would have done.

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Need More Peace In Life? Be Present.

The wealth of a prosperous man or woman should be measured not by the money lining their pockets, but by how much peace they have. If this was truly how society measured wealth, I would have been marked as destitute for most of my adult life.

You see, I used to suffer from debilitating anxiety. I’m talking 3-5 full blown panic attacks per week. It didn’t matter where I was, what I was doing or who I was with; anxiety would hunt me down like wounded prey on a daily basis. This (quite unintentional) tendency to be a bit high-strung left me held for ransom by anxious thoughts and habits for many years. Panic and worry made my day to day life far more difficult than it ever had to be.

Aside from wasting the majority of my days fighting back invisible bogeymen and straining to achieve even the slightest semblance of normalcy, my chronic lack of peace bled into every area of my life that meant something to me. My health, relationships, career and finances all took significant hits, leaving me with feelings of discouragement that couldn’t be overcome no matter how hard I tried. But this was then.

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Be Thou Removed

I’m afraid that I’ve gone and gotten myself into trouble again. Don’t bother sending for help. I fully accept where I’ve landed.

You see, he is the first thing on my mind when I wake up. I start praying for him before I can even get my eyes halfway open.

There used to be a time when I prayed first thing in the morning for the strength to chase down my dreams. I’d pray for the remaining members of my family—my cat too. World peace. More love. Less strife. Answers to questions I can’t answer. I still pray for these things, but I pray for him first. I always pray for him first.

I pray for him to find his rightful place and purpose in this world.

I pray that he lives with more gratitude and passion now than he ever did before.

I pray that he took my nervous ramblings to heart.

I pray that he doesn’t think that I am completely delusional.

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This Could Be You

As the morning sun would stretch and rise from its resting place just beyond the horizon, she would open her eyes and say to herself, “S—t. I’m still here.” And like clockwork, her tortured mind would take up its usual post. The damning inner dialogue swirled round and round, raging like a tropical storm. It was like this all day. It was like this everyday.

I can’t do this anymore. I’m so tired. Why didn’t I just die in my sleep without any fuss? Now I have to find a way to get through yet another day. Another day of constant pain. Another day of crippling loneliness. I could probably cope with it all if I could just take a break—I only need a break. But there’s never a break, is there? Not for me. Not for messed up people like me. 

I want out.

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Thank You/Finally Listening To God

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of today’s post, I just want to say thank you.

Over the course of the last week or so, I have been fortunate enough to gain new followers. I have received a number of likes along with the most gracious comments, which couldn’t have been more of an encouragement. If you were one of the kind individuals who took the time out to follow my blog, or read, like and share my content—thank you so very much. Your feedback has motivated me to continue on this journey when I’ve genuinely wondered if I should give up, so words cannot express how valuable our small (but quickly growing) community means to me.

It has been a tremendous blessing to receive any attention for my work because in all honesty, I do not promote or share my content at all. I don’t utilize social media for this site and no one in my personal life knows this website even exists. On the two occasions that I mentioned this blog to complete strangers, it just didn’t feel like the right thing to do. Despite desperately wanting to showcase my writing and potentially open new doors for myself (professionally speaking), self-promotion is simply not my gig.

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Accept Thyself: A Daunting Journey

It is amazing to see how something can go from looking like the best idea ever to looking like a dire mistake in the short span of 24 hours.

After publishing the first of my old blog posts last night, I spent about three to four hours going through the entries that followed it. When I exported my posts they were spat out in XML, which rendered them poorly formatted for copy and pasting purposes (you know, the easy way of doing things).

Naturally, I couldn’t leave it looking like that, so I had to get to work editing out the nonsensical characters and organizing everything by date. I also needed to remove any blatantly personal information, typos, grammatical errors, unintentional redundancy, certain individual’s names, and excessive expletives (I was quite fond of sailor’s speech back in the day).

Sure, the work ahead will be positively tedious (I’ve only gone through 2.5 posts so far), but I strangely enjoy searching for errors. What I haven’t enjoyed as much is reading the things I had to say about myself. This is why I now wonder if I’ve made a mistake in thinking that I should share these old writings. I am afraid.

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