Sparks Flying in the Dark

Find the Light

“But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening, I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.

-Perks of being a Wallflower

Ice Breaker

Enjoying dinner with my mom

Tapas Bar in London

 

Now that I’ve officially figured out how this whole blogging thing works, and let’s be honest, I’ve become mildly obsessed with it, I think it’s about time I do a little introduction of myself…mainly because right now I kind of feel like the voice behind the green curtain (think Wizard of Oz here). So, minus the booming voice, here’s a little bit about me, and what I’ve been doing in my life up until this point.

Let’s start…I was born at a very young age. Haha, just kidding, that is my dad’s joke and had to use it just to flatter him. Let me say it again, that is my dad’s joke, not a joke that I would ever use on my own. I swear my jokes are much better than that, but of course, I’m a little biased..

Let’s try again…

My name is Andrea and I’m currently living in the CLE (for those of you that aren’t up-to-date on your slang, that’s Cleveland, Ohio). I have lived here all my life, and although I moved to Columbus for four years while I was in school, I moved back home right after graduation, and am now living with my three favorite roommates (aka my parents and brother). I have no complaints about moving home after graduation…yes, you have to adjust your definition of what “sanitary” means, because the college definition and the “living at home with mom and dad” definition are a wee bit different. You might have that moment where you feel like you’re in high school again, and it’s totally and completely unacceptable to throw an “after party at your place” after a night out, but the tradeoff for all of that is homemade dinners (major winning), clean laundry (God bless it), and the lack of stale beer odor. Oh, and saving money. Money is always a plus, especially after four years of college broke-ness.

Anyways, getting back on track. So, I am a recent graduate of Ohio State University, otherwise known as the best damn school in the land, and I graduated with degrees in Strategic Communication and German, with a minor in Professional Writing. I absolutely LOVED school and all the friends I made there, although I just did not love Columbus the way I did Cleveland. There might be some truth behind that whole “home is where the heart is,” thing, but then again, I’m not one for clichés.

I have six main absolute loves of my life, and exempting my family, friends, and boyfriend from this list, here they are in order of obsession…

1. My cat. She is the cutest little animal to grace this earth. I’d like to think I haven’t become a “crazy, cat lady” yet, but friends are telling me otherwise. I’m in denial…

2. TRAVELING! If you didn’t know that this would be on the list, you seriously need to catch up on this blog

3. Coffee-This really should be on the list five times, just to emphasize my point

4. Frank’s Hot Sauce/Anything Spicy- It’s amazing that people can eat eggs without this stuff. Frank is my main man, end of story

5. I like NOT planning things. Spontaneous trips and random adventures are totally my thing

6. My drink of choice? A bloody mary, extra spicy, extra olives.

So, in a tiny, little peapod of a nutshell, that’s me.
I love life and even moreso, I love the people in it.

“A stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Beauty of Breathing

Breathe in love, breathe out life

Breathe in love, breathe out life

“Only underwater is a person so aware of the beauty of breathing”
-Marthe Jocelyn

How many things do we miss in our daily lives that are right there in front of us, right there in plain sight? We always are in a hustle and bustle to get to where we need to be, always checking our phones and calendars to see what’s next and what to prepare for. We hate surprises and we hate the unknown. Isn’t that the purpose of a smart phone? To avoid the “not knowing” and to avert the unexpected. We are always so stressed out and so pushed to our “about to have a nervous breakdown” brim that distractions are simply not allowed. There is no time to stop and smell the roses, because even if the roses are beautiful and blooming and right there in front of us, we just can’t do it. If we stop to smell the roses, we might get pricked by one of its thorns, and who has time for that? It’s amazing how many things we miss in our days simply because we are so concerned about getting to “Point B”. You see the starting point, Point A, and you imagine the ending point, Point B, but you forget about the line in-between, the line that “connects the dots.”

In truth, I have always been envious of those who deem themselves “observers”. Someone who takes in everything as if they are seeing it for the first time, someone who acts as if they were blind and now can see. While I feel like I do an adequate job of taking things in and capturing moments around me, there still have been all too many moments in my life when I’ve noticed something long after I’ve been aware that it’s there.

Let’s say you drive down the same street every day. You take this street to work, to church on Sunday mornings, and to the local gym. You drive down it every single day, and yet, finally, years after going down this street, you finally notice a beautiful tiny house tucked away behind some trees. And from that point forward, you notice this little house on the side of the road, always looking for it and anticipating it. But why did it take you so long to see it? You may have been aware that there was house there, in that little spot on the side of the road, but maybe you never really “saw” it; never really looked at it and took it completely in.

Now, of course, that was one example, but this happens with everything in our lives. Sometimes, it takes us months and months to notice something beautiful that we have gone past 100 times. Other times, we never notice the beauty of something until we are at risk of losing it, of never having it again. Tragedies reveal to us the beauty of what life was like earlier, and help us to embrace the beauty of things afterwards. We see the beauty of things when it is slipping through our fingers, when we are trying our very hardest to hold on to it, but yet it falls between our fingers like sand. Like the quote posted above, the simple act of breathing is beautiful, but we do not realize it until after we cannot claim it as ours.

To say that you must try and notice every tiny detail in your life is both absurd and intangible. We see thousands of things every day, and to remember it all is beyond anyone’s power. But to pick out a few small details, to notice a house far back behind the road, to acknowledge the person that pours your cup of coffee every morning, to be aware of the first few breaths you take right after you wake up, these are things that help you see the big picture, and more importantly, help you see the simple, pure beauty of living.

**Prayers go out to those affected by the Boston tragedy this past week. Prayers also go up and out to everyone that has ever been affected by a tragedy, big or small, national or local. We all define the word “tragedy” in our own ways, and we have all suffered through our own sort of “tragedy”. And it is through tragedy that our eyes open up to the world’s most overlooked beauty; The beauty of breathing.

Photo Credit: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/breath

Magic in Writing

 

Shakespeare

Two words… Carrie Bradshaw. There is just no other way to describe how I’m feeling right now. I have really been trying so hard to keep away from that comparison, because first off, we all know there can only be ONE Carrie Bradshaw in this world (and only one BODY like Carrie’s in the world), and second off, I wanted to pave my own “blogging way”, but this time, I just couldn’t resist. Because here I am, currently laying in bed, pink cheetah print comforter and all, typing out this blog post, and all i keep thinking about are the only things from actually keeping me from being Ms. Bradshaw are a carton of cigarettes next to my bed, a six pack of abs that are totally nonexistent( does a six pack of summer shandy next to me count?), and whatever pair of $700 shoes I bought that morning. Don’t get me wrong though, because I am totally confident that the stories I have about my wild friends back in college, and the experiences I had in the dating world before I started dating my boyfriend would give Carrie some serious competition. But let’s put all of that aside; take away the designer clothing, toss out the penthouses and high rise apartments, and replace the New York City skyline with the Cleveland skyline, and boom, you have a person that is pretty darn close to that of Miss Bradshaw.

The truth is, once you’ve boiled the image of “Carrie Bradshaw” down to its bare basics, writing has become as important to me and as essential to me as it was to Carrie, or to anyone else for that matter. It’s my escape and salvation, the one thing I have total control over when everything else seems to be chaotic, unpredictable and just plain out messy. I used to write all the time, whether it was for school or for internships, and that had quickly slipped away from me. When you have a million other things going on in your life, the last thing you want to do is post something on your “online diary” per say, because you can just talk about whatever is going on in your life with the people around you.

But of course you can. Of course you can sit down and have a conversation with someone, of course you can text someone with whatever is on your mind, and of course you can pick up the phone and call any one of your friends, regardless of distance or place. Talking is easy simply because it’s natural. But it is in writing, in expressing your situation and detailing your thoughts with written and tangible words that makes writing remarkable. I am no artist, I am no musician (few people know that I am actually a professional instrument “quitter”, I have quit every instrument I started), and I am definitely no singer, but I can say that while I am no “official” writer, I am in love with the simple art of it.

So, here’s a question for you. Why do people like music? Why do people read books? For music, it understands us when we can’t understand ourselves, it listens to us when no one else is listening, and it helps us see when we think we have gone blind. For books, it provides us an escape from our crazy, hectic lives. It puts us in the shoes of other people, helps us see life through other’s eyes, and throws us into a world far, far away from the world that we know.

Combine the two. Mix and stir them together, and that, my friend, is what my goal in writing is. I am here to tell both my stories, and your stories. A good writer isn’t someone that can stretch out a story to 750 pages, and it’s certainly not someone that puts themselves above other people. Rather, a good writer is someone who brings themselves onto your level, someone who gets what you’re going through and is spelling it out the same way you are going over it in your mind. As a reader of this blog, my goal is to understand you. I want to tap into things you have never thought about, or maybe things that you are too afraid to admit, even to yourself. I want to push you farther, to help you live and understand every moment for what it is, and to show you that taking chances is what it is all about. If you are bored with your job or your routine, stop right now. Step back, and think about what it is that would make you the happiest, what would make you the best person you can be. What’s stopping you from taking that chance? What are you so afraid of?.

My writing has changed the way I look at life. It has broken down what it is that I want, and has shown me the kind of mark that I want to leave. Just like Carrie Bradshaw, writing has helped me break free of everything that was holding me back, and has only pushed me further to embrace the future.

“Maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe, you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be.”
-Carrie Bradshaw

Photo Credit: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/books