Letter to a Friend

Hello friend,

Or should I say former friend? Ex friend? What does it even matter? This wasn’t supposed to happen. We were always going to be friends. Right? I mean isn’t that what we all think when we first start a friendship? That it is the greatest thing in the world and you get close and you tell each other things and they become your whole life. You talk every single day. And suddenly you can’t see life without them. Why does life do this? Why do we ever even care about others? Don’t they always hurt you? It’s said in some cases it’s worth the pain they put you through. I call bull crap. It’s a load of crap and everyone knows it. But what is a life without friends?

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I mean it was just going to be a break. But then you deleted me as a friend on Facebook and unfollowed me on Instagram and Twitter, To make matters even more painful for me you blocked me too. The break was only supposed to be us not talking as much. Limiting our interaction so we could figure out what the hell is wrong with us. Where we took a step back and tried to fix the issues, that were forming, from a different angle. Well that was a load of crap. But it always is. I knew it was. Breaks almost always mean the end.

Though you hurt me, everything isn’t your fault. As much as I’d love to say it is, I mean I’m to blame too. It would be wrong to blame it all on you and I’m not like that. As I delete our stupid Instagram messages, I ache. This WASN’T HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE!!!!! Becasue of our issues the depression I thought I had defeated came back and it bit me hard. My anxiety is higher than it’s been in months. Of course I know it was because of you. You did this to me! No, that’s mean. It’s not all your fault. There was plenty of times that I didn’t react appropriately. I got angry over things I never should have allowed myself to get angry over. Which of course resulted in a mind frame that allowed the depression and anxiety to come back and haunt me. It began to cave in and now this is what we are: shambles of what we used to be. It hurts to admit that. It hurts to admit that I messed it up too. It hurts to think.

Never think me admitting my wrongfulness in this situation as a reprieve for everything you’ve done. You’ve done plenty too. I’ve felt used, ignored, hurt, like a commodity, like a second choice. I’ve only felt that stronger throughout this friendship. I should have just told you. Just talked to you and told you what was wrong. But I was afraid. Afraid of exactly this. That we’d stop being friends. So I held my tongue. Why did I do that?! I shouldn’t have done that. I let myself get upset. Hoping that the feelings and hurts would pass and we could go back to like what we had. You thought it would be a simple fix too. You were wrong. I knew it wouldn’t be but I pretended that it could be. I’m sorry I just didn’t speak up.

We had so many good days as friends, before the dark clouds came in and ruined everything. I’m very mad at you. I want to scream and I want to cry. I hurt deeper than I have in quite a while. You probably do too. I just want to let you know of the positive thing you gave back to me. Hurt and angry and I am very grateful of this thing. One thing that I will always remember. Writing. You gave me my love for writing back. I had given it up. Never thought I was good enough to write but now I can’t live without it. I wrote a book and published it because you gave me the courage to write again. You helped me find it again after it had been gone for so long. Thank you for that.

If you ever actually read this I want you to know a few things. You’re probably pissed I wrote you this letter. I just want you to know. Maybe all this is good, maybe you can start growing more as a person. Maybe you’ll stand up for yourself. Maybe I had started holding you back.When I said take a step back I didn’t mean this. I just want you to know that. Also, you are capable of more than you think. I may be dying inside but I still believe in you. I care about you. I want you to stand up for yourself and I want you to fight for the life you are supposed to have. No more half ass life. I hope you learn how to be happy in yourself and not others or the circumstances around you. You’re stronger than you believe and I will miss you. Goodbye. Perhaps we’ll meet again, or maybe it’s goodbye forever. It wasn’t supposed to end this way. I’m sorry it did.

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Wanderlust

I love to travel! It’s kind of hard to believe how much I love it, especially, since home is where my heart is. I am very much an introvert, but travelling is my happy place too. When I was young, like I’m talking 2nd grade or younger I hated the idea of sleeping anywhere that wasn’t my bed. We never went on vacation and I was okay with it. Maybe you can related to that. I mean it gave me horrible anxiety to think about leaving over night. My bed is safe and comfortable and I knew it.

But once I actually began to travel I was bitten. I wanted to see the world. I’m not even sure why it hit me so hard. It was such a sudden thing. Maybe it was when my older brother, Colin, went on this epic road trip. I got to feeling jealous, I too, wanted to see these things that I saw on tv and in pictures. I wanted to feel the way my brother seemed to feel. Excited and in awe of the world. Or perhaps it was because the year he went on his road trip I started college I got that first feeling of freedom. Maybe it was because someone I knew had just suddenly died at the age on just 16, and now I truly believed life was short. I don’t know, maybe each one was the culprit for developing my wanderlust.

Whatever the cause of this wanderlust I made a plan with my brothers to go on a trip. With almost no money we settled on going to see the pacific ocean. We saved for a year before making our very first trip together. We went to Los Angeles, California. There were so many instances that I didn’t think we could make it but I was committed to going. If it was the last thing I ever did I was going to see the Pacific Ocean and I was going to see Hollywood.

After months of hard work and planning we made it. We were on our first flight and we were really going to LA. We were nervous but excited. But it was just the three of us and we were doing it! That feeling is unexplainable. I was finally completing a dream, a plan, a goal. Have you ever felt that way? I’m not sure I ever had.

Now our trip to Los Angeles did not go exactly as planned. There were fights, homesickness, tears, laughter, happiness, excitement, medical issues, good music, traffic, and fantastic memories. Even with all that we all managed to come back in one piece. The problem for me is I wanted to see more. Now I have gotten to see more but that is for a whole different blog post. Follow me to read about those stories in the coming weeks.

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Photoshoot with a map and a truth close to my heart

Anyone who tells me they’ve never been anywhere I just want to tell them to go try some place. Make it happen. How do you know you’ll hate it? I thought I did but look at me now. I absolutely love travelling and seeing the world. But at the same time I love my bed and home and I somehow have found a balance between the two of them. My dream came true.  I now realize it’s imperative for my well-being. There is so much more than your backyard.

Anyway, travelling is something different I can look forward to. It is that time that I know I’ll be slightly more brave and adventurous. I mean I always love a good adventure but there is something so specifically special about being adventurous while on a trip. I don’t know if it’s the thought you could kill yourself while away from home or because you don’t have the comforts of home. Unfortunately, I haven’t be able to go on as many trips as I dream of. I mean if you follow me on Pinterest you’d know. I want to see the world and I haven’t even scratched the surface. It’d kind of exciting, but damn, how am I going to fulfill this dream more and more.

 

I Visited Heaven Pt. 2

In my last blog post I kind of left you guys hanging on my other discovery of heaven. Well, the wait is no more and I’m here today to marvel in the glory of the IRISH! Glorious, glorious Ireland. So green and beautiful. The accents perfect and the rediscovery of my love for a guy in a kilt.

No, I didn’t go to Ireland so I had to settle for the next best thing…..My city’s Irish Festival. I have been wanting to go for years but I could never get anyone to go with me. What fun is a festival if you go alone? The answer is, no fun! Well, I got my family to come with me and we spent quite a lot of time there. I mean, with all the food, music, vendors, drinks, and performances a person could easily spend the entire day there.

Our first stop after getting through the gates was art vendors. OH! So many fantastic artists! I could have easily bought a ton of art, but as I am not made of money (not even close!) I could only look and wish I had money to buy it all. There were so many photographs and paintings of Ireland. Made me wistfully long for the day that I am able to visit such a beautiful country. Also, the wood and glass work was mind-blowing. How do these people get these delicate and difficult pieces to look so beautiful? I am clearly not an artist.

I think we spent about an hour just looking at all the beautiful artwork. Fortunately, we were able to listen to the music being performed at the same time. Irish, or Celtic, music is awe-inspiring. It can either be completely ecstatic or depressed. I don’t believe there is an in between. The way they play their instruments to the way they sing, it all tells a story. You don’t even have to hear the words. Kind of like people, I guess.

We spent quite awhile just looking around and listening to music and people watching. We were incredibly unorganized, but at least we know now what to expect. The first year always has a huge learning curve. One thing I know now is I will NOT try Haggis again. We got hungry after all the walking and my brother, Morgan, and I wanted to try something weird. We ordered Haggis and fish and chips (just to be safe).

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Haggis and chips in the back and Fish and chips in the front

 

Haggis was just this disgusting mound. The texture and consistency reminded me of cat vomit and it tasted like vomit too. I’m so sorry to the people who love haggis, but I just can’t do it. It was horrible. Days later and I can still taste and smell it. I mean I heard that the Irish don’t eat haggis anymore and they only feed it to the tourists. Is that true? I don’t want to be misinformed if it isn’t. That being said I honestly can’t blame them if they don’t eat it anymore. So awful. Oh, but the fish and chips were fantastic, as always.

Okay, after that description, time for something else. So I still love a guy in a kilt. I saw over 20 different guys wearing one. I wonder how many of these guys weren’t even Irish and just wanted to wear one. Besides that this festival had beer gardens, whiskey tastings, and cultural events such as dancing and comedy. And we weren’t even able to see everything that we wanted to. Which is unfortunate, but I guess it gives me an excuse to just come again next year.

As I have said before I love going places with culture and a place to learn. I like trying things new, which let me tell you is not who I used to be (that subject for another time). Even when the experience is gross, like the haggis, I always am happy I tried it.  It’s not to say I’m not a little anxious about the outcome, it’s to say I do it despite that anxiety. These cultural things are a good lesson in that. If someone wasn’t brave enough to show the word their culture than we wouldn’t have these amazing festivals, foods, and customs. We wouldn’t have someone to teach us about the other corners of the earth. So yes, I walked through heaven. The Irish and every other culture I’ve encountered is a little piece of heaven because they don’t let anyone stop them. They’ve all had pain but they keep taking the necessary steps forward to better themselves, to create their own happiness. If I could only take a lesson from them and live that way too.

So have you gone to a festival this summer. I still really want to hear about it. Tell me about it in the comments and if you’ve tried foods you thought were disgusting, I really really want to hear about it.

Till next time!

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Happy Irish Fest from me (in front with red sunglasses) and my family!

I Visited Heaven

Heaven is an amazing visit….no I didn’t die, please don’t take everything so literally. What I mean is I love festivals! I don’t mean music festivals because I’ve never been to one, but I’m sure I’d love those too. But I’m specifically writing about food and cultural festivals, I’ve been to a couple in the last month.

First, I attended my city’s ethnic festival. This was my second year of going but since I was pretty sick last year I wasn’t able to enjoy it that much.  But this year did NOT disappoint. My friend, Michael, and I explored this festival for a couple of hours and ended up spending our time savoring different foods and cultures.

It was worth the time and money.

Other cultures fascinate me. I always want to learn more about each one. Each and everyone is different and it kind of gives me perspective and reminds me that not everyone needs to be the same. We gotta embrace those differences in each other and ourselves too. Very good reminder because I fear sometimes we forget. So these ethnic customs and culture are amazing but nothing compares to the FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on these places know how to cook! I don’t feel like I’m eating synthetic food that is jamming up my arteries. Don’t get me wrong! I can definitely enjoy food that definitely isn’t food. Boxed mac and cheese come to me!

Anyway my friend and I began our search for pieces of heaven. We found them.The first one being in Israel. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture but I got to try falafel! Oh my goodness that stuff is fantastic. So I love hush puppies and let me tell you falafel is like 100 times better. Trust me I’m getting them again as soon as I can.

Our next stop was St. Lucia. My friend wanted something sweet and since we both love coconut and cake we decided on the coconut cake. Sounds good, right? Oh it wasn’t good. It was life altering!! The coconut flavor and texture was strong but not too much to overwhelm the entire thing. It was beautiful and delicious.

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Coconut cake from St. Lucia

 

Next we headed over to Ireland to get a something to quench our growing thirst. We got Kilkenny lemonade. I’m not sure what made it Irish except for the name. I mean I didn’t even know lemons grew in Ireland. Nevertheless, it was good. I’m not usually a fan of homemade lemonade as it usually tastes either like sugar water with a hint of lemon or lemon water with a hint of sugar. Other than that there isn’t much to talk about. Though it was pretty. Either way good job Ireland on the lemonade.

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Kilkenny Lemonade from Ireland

 

After satisfying our parched throats we really got adventurous. Heading over to Nigeria for some goat meat. I’d never tried goat before so I was curious. It came with fried rice and I knew I loved that so I figured I was safe. Oh, I was so wrong! We got spicy fried rice thinking it was like everything else that is allegedly spicy. In other words not spicy at all. Well I’ve never been more wrong than I was in that decision. I didn’t even realize anything could be that spicy! It burned all the way into my stomach. My eyes watered and my nose was atrocious and it was completely amazing. I ate all of it. Even with the pain and I would get it again, in a heart beat.

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Goat meat and Fried rice from Nigeria

 

Even with our mouths and all our internal organs on fire we went next door to Nepal and had some chicken dumplings. From what I could tell they were delicious. Though, next time I think I need to try them when my body isn’t on fire.

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Chicken Dumplings from Nepal

 

We’d seen these amazing pineapple drinks all through the festival so we wanted one immediately. They looked delicious and we needed something to cool us off. Quickly, making out way over to Laos we got some crab ragoons and the pineapple drink. Both were great and both helped my friend and I to get some feeling back in our mouths.

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Crab Ragoons from Laos
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Pineapple Drink from Laos

 

Having our bodies set on fire was exhausting we needed to just rest. We sat and enjoyed ethnic music and a parade of the different countries for a while. It was truly beautiful to watch them march around the middle of the festival. After that we grabbed some noodles from the Philippines.  Not completely sure how I felt about them at first. They looked, umm, strange, to say the least. But hell, I tried it anyway just to say I did. Oh the life of an adventurous eater. They ended up tasting like Ramen. So not too bad. I’d try something else there before trying these noodles again.

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Filipino noodles from Philippines

 

Our very last stop was Bolivia. They had this Purple Corn drink. I thought it sounded just weird enough for me to try, and that drink didn’t disappoint. It was so good. It kind of reminded me of koolaide, only not as sweet. It even came in a cup that I was able to keep as a souvenir.

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Purple Corn drink from Bolivia

 

I fully intend to go back again next year and I totally recommend going to an Ethnic Festival near you. It’s great to try new things, especially food. And it was a really full day but it was a day that made me feel good and those days are important. Those kinds of days are a bit difficult for me to have. I hope I’m not the only person who feels that way. Do the things that make you feel good. I try to remember that and to practice it.

I know I said there were two festivals that I went to recently but I’m out of time today so come read about my other adventure on Thursday. I hope you will and please tell me, in the comments, about the fun festivals you’ve gone to this year. Also, please ignore my messed up nail polish in all the pictures, as I did not have time to fix them. Life is more than perfect nails.

Till next time.