Have you ever felt nostalgia hanging in the air so thick…it covers your mind with a fog? Has a scent…a piece of music…a good book…ever thrown you so quickly and violently into the past you feel as though the present never existed?

I have these moments a lot. I’ll be schlepping about…and then one of my senses will be ignited by a familiar touch, tone, sight, or smell. I become paralyzed in the moment…and I am transported to another time.

This just happened to me. “I Gave You All” by Mumford and Sons came up on my Playlist. My mind jumped directly to a moment I swore never to forget from a few years ago. Even though my body existed in the present time in my bed here at school, my mind and soul seemed in a different place entirely.

I felt as though I had actually flown back to a memory from home…to that beautiful night sitting on the porch, listening to Mumf and watching the sun go down. As I closed my eyes to better picture the moment, I could even smell the faint aroma of rain still lingering from the night before.

I couldn’t really tell you why this night was significant. Maybe its serenity struck my soul as an ideal. Maybe it’s all I ever wanted. I could have stopped there, and I would have been happy. Either way…a simple song brought me back there.

I wonder about nostalgia a lot…and I thank God for our amazing human ability to appreciate moments enough to store them as our own little keepsakes.

“Love isn’t love until you give it away.”

I was listening to the music from Sound of Music (1. It’s amazing…but mainly 2. Lady Gaga’s performance was incredible and has it on my brain). In the Sixteen Going on Seventeen (reprise)…Julie Andrews’ Maria gives Liesl some simple…but incredible advice. That is… “a bell is no bell til you ring it, a song is no song til you sing it, and love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay…love isn’t love until you give it away.”

While I DEFINITELY recommend you go and listen to the rest of that beautiful song…I’d like to spend a few minutes really diving into this idea. Does love not actually exist until it is shown?

I’ve always wondered about this…because I think it is a beautiful idea. Love cannot exist without showing its face. If you feel compelled to hide love…does it really qualify as love? I’m not sure it does. I think that part of loving someone is wanting the best for them. And…I think a sort of appreciation for the person you love…whether shown with actions or words…is necessary in bringing them to be their best self.

I think love needs to be given away to be real…but does that mean it has to be shared? This brings me to another question.

Does love have to be reciprocated for it to be real?

I don’t have any sort of logical argument for this one. Is love really a feeling that has to flow in two directions? Is it really not possible for love to be one-way?

This seems silly to me. I think I actually believe you can love someone without having them love you. I don’t think it goes against any sort of “general love principle.” Apart from the fact that I don’t believe love has any general rules because everyone is different…I do acknowledge the fact that it has some general ‘guidelines.’ I’m wondering what the general thought on this quote is.

But yeah…I think it can be a singular thing. How do you explain people who are stuck pining after someone who doesn’t love them back? How do you explain Jesus and His recommendation to love everyone no matter what (especially your ‘enemies’).

What do you all think? I’m very interested. Indulge me please!

Quote to Live By

This morning I woke up to a few of the daily emails I receive regularly. I went through my Skimm feed…giving me the daily news in snippets…and I went through my daily blog reminder, and eventually I finally got to the one I look most forward to…Gretchen Rubin’s Moment of Happiness for the day:

“Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything…we deny,denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to realize it as such.” -Henry Miller

Background before I go into the quote: I read Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” over Christmas break this year…and it was AWESOME (I think you should all go do that…now!). In the book, she wrote about a blog she started…and I couldn’t help myself…I looked it up. Turns out…she has one!…and it’s awesome as well… (check it out!). I signed up for some awesome daily emails…including the option to receive quotes about happiness EVERY day. You should sign up too! Her dedication is inspiring…and the quotes usually make my day.

Going back to the awesomeness that is the Henry Miller quote, though…What do y’all think?

Personally, I love this quote. I don’t know quite what to make of the beginning…but the last part has truly molded my day. Every moment I would become angry or flustered…I just thought about how precious a moment really is. How could I waste any moment angry when there are so limited a number of them? We have set, fixed day-numbered lives. We might as well live every moment for its beauty.

Because the beauty is what makes us smile, laugh, and appreciate…why don’t we look for it in all things and all times? We have been gifted brilliant minds…minds that are able to change our moods and feelings…why not use them to change perspectives…and make the ugly beautiful?

Then I think to myself…does anything actually exist ugly? Or…does it have an innate beauty…and we just look at it in a certain way that forces us to perceive it as ugly? I don’t know. Maybe I’m going too far with this. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

A Lesson about Love

I learned something beautiful last night…and I thought I might share it with you all.

To give some background…I broke up with my ex-boyfriend of 4 years at the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester. This is the second time I have broken his heart (not saying that in a totally guilt-ridden way…but with a matter-of-fact sort of tone).

I have felt happy and free for the past 5 months…and that is exactly what I needed to feel. I began a new job (one which I loved and wanted to pour every moment into)…to go along with a full course load and another job. There was no time for me to give to myself…let alone to another person…so I did what I had to do…and ‘spread my wings’ for a time. The people around me were more than supportive of my decisions…some maybe even TOO supportive.

I began to see what I had originally seen as a break…as a break-UP…and I began to blur the memories that we shared into ones that legitimized my dislike toward this boy. These feelings were encouraged by my very empowered, very independence-pushing friends. I was easily manipulated…as per usual.

Long story short…I did not say a word to the kid for 5 months. I did my work…and I grew into my lady self…but something was missing. My heart was hardly in the moments I was supposed to be living. I wasn’t actually living…but simply moving without a thought.

My friends noticed…and were not happy with the change. I frequently got the question, “is anyone even in there?” along with a firm wave-of-hand or snap-of-finger. But…I had no idea where my lack of emotion was coming from.

Last month, I decided to visit my ex-boyfriend. ANYONE in their right mind would tell you this is a bad idea…but I’d just like to say…when it comes to love…it’s not about bad ideas or being in the right mind. It’s about following what your heart tells you…even when all of the logical minds around you can’t fathom your reasoning. FORGET THE REASONING. It doesn’t belong in love. But…I digress…

He and I had an amazing time dancing, laughing, cooking, and crying together. I have never been more happy about making a ‘poor’ decision in my life. I felt reassured of my love for this boy I had watched grow into a man. Evening came and morning followed…and I was back at school.

Now…here’s where last night comes in:

In the midst of our conversation about my weekend trip to see my ex, one of my close friends professed to me that he had an attraction for me. The dialogue went a little something like this:

Me: “There’s something about —. He would do anything for me. Our love is literally a sigh of relief to me. I feel sort of like I’m floating around in a bubble of stress and nothingness…until I’m in his arms…and then suddenly…it’s like I can breathe again.”

Friend: “If you hadn’t said the second part…I would have questioned your feelings for him. You know…he’s not the only one who would do anything for a chance with you. A few months ago, I would have done just about anything to date you or kiss you.”


Friend: “Don’t worry about it! I’m only telling you because the phase is over! I met a new girl.”

My utter shock and obliviousness usually would have bothered me to no end…hating the fact that I lead this guy (who is more than very close to me) on…and didn’t even know it.

But after the shock…this moment made me realize something. Many guys may come and go from a woman’s life. They all may make claims to want her endlessly…and do anything in their power for her. But…the reality is that these passionate and possessive feelings are usually very sporadic…and they are gone with the honeymoon phase’s last breath.

The million dollar question: How do you know who your real man is? How do you know when to stop looking?

Answer: When you find the one who would do anything for you at any given moment. One who can show you in his own particular way how much he adores you…as ardently in year 30 of your relationship as it was during year 1. Find someone who holds you tight…just in the way you like…and that never lets go…for the rest of your days.