Posts Tagged ‘Journal’

Oh baby, I’ve proven
A thousand times over
That I am not movin’
When you push me away
I know that you’re scared, now
To enter the ruins
So, I’m reachin’ my hand out
Baby, I’ll lead the way

And I’ll bare the battle scars
As I fight like hell to save your heart

‘Cause babydoll, I love you the most
The menagerie of wicked animals
Inside your cryptic brain, so enchanting and strange
I want it all
Will you follow me through?

They’re lighting the torches
They know that we’re coming
But I’ve got my sword
And I’m ready to swing
The ivy vines tangled
Grid iron gate’s stable
But, I’m young and I’m able
Stay close behind me

And if the demons have a cost
That’s fine, I’ve got a heart of gold to pawn

CHORUS

And no, I won’t let you down easy
Because I won’t let you down at all
My love for you is amaranthine
My precious hands are yours to hold

Cause babydoll, I love you the most
And it’s killin’ me to see you skin and bones
Call olly oxen free, I’ll tear right through the trees
And bring you home
Will you…?

CHORUS

Copyright © Shonna Rae Bell 2017

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anton2

We’ve lost a number of artists this year, and while each death has been sad and tragic in it’s own way, none of them have knocked me off balance quite like the death of Anton Yelchin. Typing that just now made my throat constrict and my eyes burn. And yeah, some people think it’s silly to mourn the death of a “celebrity” or an “artist” because we don’t know them personally. I beg to differ. Artists create art that impacts us in different ways. As an actor, Anton used every part of himself to create art. His body, his mind, his face, his voice… every part of him was art. You can’t enjoy his art without enjoying him. You can’t be impacted by his art without being impacted by him. And honestly, a big fuck you to anyone who tries to dictate how people grieve.

I was watching TV with my mom yesterday and the trailer for Anton’s new movie with Zooey Deschanel was on. I made a comment like “aww, lil Anton” and made a mental note to see the film because I enjoy everything he does, and my mom made a connection to his movie “Rudderless,” which she saw and loved. And we moved on. And then I woke up this morning to a text from a friend breaking the news and I feel kind of like I’ve been in a haze all day and I can’t really explain why. I wasn’t obsessed with him. I didn’t have his pictures plastered all over my wall. I didn’t have delusional dreams of marrying him. But he was an actor I respected and admired and I’ve always appreciated that he somehow always manages to make me cry when I’m watching him on screen.

There’s something so magnetic about him – so genuine and vulnerable and kind and it’s like, no matter what role he’s playing, his soul shines through it and you’re just drawn to him. He’s exactly one year older than me, and I think seeing someone your age creating things and being successful always inspires this sort of feeling of kinship. He seemed like someone I would have been friends with, and I always rooted for him. I always got excited when he had a new film coming out. And my heart physically hurts knowing that he won’t be making films as we get older. It fucking sucks.

The nature of his death is something that is so baffling to me I can’t even put it into words. A total freak accident. I read he was checking his mail? He was checking his fucking mail?!? And his car was faulty and he fucking died? Just like that?!? I’m so angry that something so….. stupid can happen, and then someone is just gone. I can’t wrap my head around it at all. It doesn’t make any sense. He wasn’t murdered, he wasn’t on drugs, he wasn’t doing something he shouldn’t have been doing. He was checking his fucking mail and now he’s dead. And that makes me question everything.

I don’t really know what else to say other than I’m sending all the love in my heart to his family and friends. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, Anton. Your work has brought so much to my life, I feel blessed in a way. You may not have known me, but you moved me, and I think that’s all we can hope for in life. To move people. To make people feel things. And you were so, so, so good at that.

RIP.

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beanie courtesy of @charlavail

The past week has been a wild one. I got some really exciting and potentially life changing news that I can’t really talk about yet, but the opportunity I’m being presented with is amazing in and of itself. I also just got home from visiting friends in NC, and every time I’m there I’m overwhelmed with this sense of gratitude and contentment – like my soul has been rejuvenated. I’m so hyper aware of how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life and I can’t even understand why I’ve been so fortunate, but I think it all comes down to positive energy. If there’s anything I’ve learned in recent months/years, it’s that you really do get what you give.

Energy is so important. What you think and feel puts some sort of aura around you and it makes you glow, and that light attracts other people that feel the same way – like a moth to a flame. I’ve definitely hit some rough times in my life, times where I’ve doubted myself or felt bad for myself or felt frustrated and helpless… but I’ve always remained true to who I am, and that’s something that I’m really proud of. I feel like life just wears you down, it tries to strip you of originality or identity, it picks at you when you’re the most vulnerable and tries to change you into someone you don’t even recognize. It tries to make you cold and cynical, and it can become this void that you’re lost in where you can’t see the beauty that surrounds you.

It is crucial to shamelessly be yourself, especially throughout your teenage years and early twenties, because if you lose who you are during those impressionable years, the odds of finding yourself again are slim. Even if people aren’t accepting you or you feel like you aren’t good enough or cool enough or talented enough, you must always accept and embrace everything about yourself. Do everything with love and light, and it may take some time, but those things will begin to come back to you. I promise.

In the last year, I’ve really tried to be the best version of myself. I’ve been actively not letting myself dwell on negative things, I’ve only been celebrating the good. I’ve let go of people that have had a negative influence on my life, who have used me and taken me for granted, and I’ve been focusing on people who truly love and appreciate me. When you rid yourself of toxic relationships and live your life with a kind and loving heart, bad things can’t touch you. They just can’t. The light you give off illuminates the darkness and the monsters can’t get to you. It’s an amazing feeling that I can’t really put into words. It takes a while to climb the mountain of positive thinking, but once you get there, the view is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Once you accept the hand that the universe has dealt you, and you recognize all the beauty in every single day that you’re given and have faith that everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to, life becomes so much less scary.

For the first time in a while I’m really excited about what the future holds. I feel the winds of change blowing and they’re pushing me towards the path I’m meant to be on. I’m excited for this journey and to see how everything unfolds. Not only for myself, but for those that I love. Things are changing, life is happening, and we’re all headed toward somewhere so beautiful.

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My eyelids shiver lazily and
open to find you driving
in the middle of the night as
the moon kisses your face,
making you look like a boy
and a man
at the same time.

There’s an old woman rasping
on the radio
and you haven’t noticed that
I’m awake.

So I just watch you and think about how I
was just a broken little girl
until your hands,
worn and strong and gentle,
put me back
together
without hesitation or
sympathy.

And as the cool air
turns my hair into a wispy
tangled mess,
you smile without glancing
over and say
you love me too.

Copyright © Shonna Rae Bell 2015

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What is it that makes us unhappy? What is it that makes us feel like we’re stuck? That we’re nothing more than hamsters running as fast as we can but no matter what, we can’t break free from that wheel of everyday life? Of monotony and boredom?

I have often found myself reflecting on the year 2013. A lot of people who know me have heard me talk about how that was the best year of my life. I got to travel to so many places and experience so many things and it was a year of growth and freedom. However, in the background, my personal life was in shambles. The year that I have often thought of as the absolute best it will ever be was also one of the darkest, most taxing years of my life. I was lost in so many ways, but I also think that that year taught me about miracles. That every single time you feel like giving up, something beautiful happens that reminds you why you’re alive, and why you’re lucky to be. 2013 taught me that instead of trying to run from darkness, I should just carry a flashlight.

That flashlight is positive thinking. Over the last few months, I have felt the earth shift beneath my feet. I made a conscious decision to be happy, to always be sure to find the beauty that is surrounding me because it is there – we just sometimes turn our heads away. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to be upset about things, to be frustrated and afraid. But when that sadness and fear becomes overwhelming – when it starts overtaking who you are and affecting your day to day life – you need to make a drastic change. And that change can happen in a second, like the flip of a switch.

For a long time, I suffered from that horrible habit of comparing myself to others. I won’t lie, I still catch myself doing it sometimes. I still feel envy and I get upset that I can’t have the things that I want. What I’ve started to do recently when I find myself feeling that way is I begin a countdown of all the things I’m thankful for. I make a mental checklist of all the people that I have in my life that love me, and do so more than I could ever deserve. I relive happy memories and let myself relish in the fact that I will have the opportunity to make more of those memories. I think about spending autumn afternoons exploring used book stores and I think about soy mochas and I think about that one song that just sets my heart on fire. I think about all the things that have ever made me happy, and I’m often overcome with this incredible feeling of gratitude. All of the envy is washed away, and I realize that if I wasn’t who I am, I would probably be jealous of me.

I know that seems sort of like a self-centered way of thinking, but sometimes you have to do that to put things into perspective. I have stopped taking anything for granted. I very often realize when I’m experiencing a beautiful moment, and I’m not afraid to verbalize it. I can’t even count how many times I’ve turned to a friend and said, “I’m so happy to be in this moment and I’m so happy you’re here with me.” I remember being in Washington D.C. with my friends Kate and Amy early last year. It was night time and the moon was shining and we were standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial and I stopped what I was doing and I said, “I just wanted you guys to know that this has been one of the best days and I’m so glad I’m experiencing it with you guys.” I don’t hold back anymore. I’ve realized the amount of love I have in my life and I feel like if I don’t release a little bit of it back into the universe, I might explode.

I feel like as soon as I switched gears in my brain, everything else fell into place. I started putting faith in the universe and I began truly believing that everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to. You get what you give. If you block yourself off from positive and happy possibilities, they won’t come to you. They are always trying to, though. Positive experiences are around you constantly, you just have to open your eyes and see them. For the first time in my life, I am totally content with where I am. And more importantly, I have learned that you don’t have to do these huge, pretty, flashy things to be happy. You don’t have to travel the country and have all these crazy experiences to be happy. Every single moment is filled with so much fun, joy, and love.

Now, instead of having some goal that I need to be happy, I find happiness in the tiniest moments. I find happiness in staying up all night watching weird horror movies with my friend, Macie. I find happiness in playing with my friend Steph’s beautiful twin baby girls. I find happiness in watching Netflix and crafting with my friend, Taylor. I find happiness in dancing to Taylor Swift with my friend, John. I find happiness in thrifting with my brother. I find happiness in having lunch with my friend, Ashley. I find happiness in taking my mom to see her favorite dancer. I find happiness in curling up in the cafe on campus and reading a book. I find happiness in watching The X-Files while I put away laundry. I find happiness in falling asleep with my cat, Max.

I find happiness every single day because I choose to. Will you?

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If I’ve learned anything the last few years, it’s that you can’t chase happiness. You can’t build something up inside your head and think that if you ever get it, you’ll finally be happy. 9 times out of 10, you’ll end up disappointed. Trust me, I know from experience. Happiness must come from within oneself.

I’ve spent a long time chasing happiness. I’ve moved to different places, I’ve gotten jobs that I always thought would be the coolest jobs to have, I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time loving people that could not or would not ever love me back, all in a desperate hunt for that elusive happiness. The whole time, though, I don’t think I ever understood what happiness is. Sure, I’d felt it. I’m really good at making a conscious effort to be entirely present when I feel happy, to completely be alive in that moment. But those moments always seemed to be fleeting and it was never absolute. In my day to day life, there was always something missing. There was always some piece of the puzzle that wasn’t in place, be it my location, my lackluster love life, my job or my school or whatever. If something was off, then I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t be. Everything had to be exactly how it was in my head. I had to be at my dream school and be dating the love of my life and I had to have my friends near me and I had to have an awesome job and I had to be in Virginia with my family and the list goes on and on and it is just absolutely goddamn unattainable and I knew that, but it didn’t matter. I needed all of those things to be “happy.” I somehow managed to condition myself into thinking that way. So yeah, I’d have good moments, but that’s all they were. Blips of good fortune on the radar of a rather bleak life. This way of thinking leads to a pretty sad and unfulfilling existence, if you can imagine.

Over the last few weeks, things started culminating. It seemed like everything I ever wanted was finally coming my way. I wanted to live near my friends, I wanted to try, once and for all, to win over the guy I’d been pining over for years (my first mistake, really. If you have to “win them over,” it’s not fucking worth it. I know that, now.), and I wanted to get accepted to my dream school. So, I moved down to North Carolina and applied to my dream school and I felt like maybe this was it. Maybe this was finally my chance at true and complete happiness. Well, a bit of time has passed and not only did things not go the way I wanted them to, they went in the complete opposite direction. I’ve watched some of my most sacred relationships crumble before my eyes. I was rejected by the only school I have ever wanted to go to. Oh, and it turns out dudes are dicks. So yeah. I didn’t really achieve the blissful happiness I craved. Or did I?

I’m only realizing now, after having an eye opening and life changing couple of weeks, that happiness truly comes from within. I’ve heard that song before, but I never really understood it. I’m still not sure exactly what it means, but I think it has something to do with realizing that everything is as it should be. You may not always get what you want. You may not always have those amazing things you build up in your head. You may get beat down and you may get dragged through the dirt and everything you believe in could be a total fucking lie. But just rest easy. You will always have everything you need.

I feel the winds of change blowing. I know that even though things may not have turned out exactly how I wanted them to, they happened the way I needed them to. I’ve learned so much these last few weeks about myself and about life and about growth and change. I’ve learned that sometimes you need to let things go, even though you’ve been fighting for so long to hold on that your knuckles are turning white. Sometimes things need to change and that’s completely okay.

I’m ready to go forward in my life with no expectations, with no “visions of how things should be.” I’m ready to take each day as it comes and see what happens.

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Misha Collins is a toxic mixture of dreamboaty weirdness. Most well-known as the beautiful and vaguely gay (at least for tortured golden boys named Dean Winchester) angel of the Lord, Castiel, on the show Supernatural, Misha flew into our hearts with his giant black wings and nested there indefinitely. But I’m not here to talk about Misha and the fact that I’m gonna be meeting him with my friend Amy in just 3 short months (my heart just stuttered), I’m here to talk about…. well I am here to talk about him. But not just him. What he represents and how he’s changed people’s lives by simply being who he is and not apologizing for it.

A few years ago, he started this thing called GISHWHES (the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen), which is this week long scavenger hung that people all over the world participate in by doing absolutely ridiculous things from a list created by Misha himself. If that isn’t cool enough, it’s sponsored by Misha’s charity, Random Acts, an organization whose mission is “to conquer the world one random act of kindness at a time.” I haven’t gotten to participate in it yet for one reason or another, but I always check in through out the week of the hunt to see what kind of shenanigans these people are up to. This year, I know that NASA had to release a statement basically asking participants to leave them the fuck alone, William Shatner got involved at one point… it got pretty ridiculous. Anyway, what I’m getting to is that I came across this introduction that Misha wrote for the GISHWHES coffee table book, and a few parts really struck a chord with me:

“When we see a nun, arms raised, gleefully racing down a waterslide, our world is momentarily shaken. We respond by laughing at these incongruous things. But who says that nuns shouldn’t be on waterslides? Who says we shouldn’t try to talk to the astronauts on the space station? Who says we shouldn’t tour particle accelerators in costume? By doing these unexpected things, we’re actually in a strange way being reminded that life is full of possibility. A nun on a waterslide is a reminder that we do not need to be confined by an arbitrary normalcy. We can choose freedom. We can carve out our own path. We can actually talk to a homeless person on the sidewalk or we can gather the courage to sing in public. An entirely different version of reality is open to us if we make ourselves available to it.

In adulthood, opportunities for wonder are curtailed. We often unwittingly sign on to a set of interpretations, rules for behavior, ideas about ourselves and our world. We go into a shopping mall, pay the cashier, leave the store. We know how the interaction will go, we’re on autopilot. And decades from now, when we lay breathing our last breaths on artificial respirators, we may wonder “What was that? Was that a life? Was my life something that I did or was my life something that was done to me?”

Something happens when we shock ourselves with the unexpected. Seeing a nun on a waterslide takes us, even if just for an instant, off autopilot. It causes us to pause and for a moment really see the world around us.”

My entire life, I’ve been a little bit off. And I’ve always been aware of it. I know that the way my mind works and the way I see things and the way I feel about things would by no means be considered “normal” to the vast majority of people and I’m completely okay with that. I learned to embrace it some time ago, really. The thing that I think is so beautiful about Misha Collins and GISHWHES is that he’s this public figure that is using his status to give people a place to belong. People who grow up not knowing why they can’t fit in, people that feel alone in their own mind, he brings those people together. He’s like, “Hey! I’m totally insane! And so are you! Let’s be totally insane together and have a shit load of fun and make other people wonder what’s wrong with us!” And the truth of it is, strange people are so often judged. They’re teased and made fun of and tormented a lot of the time but in all honesty, the strange ones are who keep everyone else entertained. They give the “normal” people something to talk about. They give them a reason to laugh and they do it willingly. They keep them on their toes. And without those weird ones, the ones that are slightly out of tune with reality, the world would be so horrifically fucking boring.

I don’t know, I just really appreciate Misha and all those other people out that that stand up in front of everyone and are so unapologetically themselves, and I’m so thankful that people like him are around for people my age and especially those that are younger. When I was in elementary and middle school and I wouldn’t get invited to parties and I would be left out of groups and picked last for projects and I hated that I couldn’t just be normal and get along with everybody else – I really needed someone like Misha to let me know that I would be okay. And now I do.

The moral of the story is just… be nice to people. Appreciate those that are different from you. Take in that new perspective. Don’t be so quick to judge and maybe, just maybe, if you try to see things the way that weird person sees them, an entirely new world might open up before you.

And to all you weirdos, do me one single solitary favor? Never, ever, under any circumstances sacrifice who you are or what you love to fit in.

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