Going back to the beginning . . .

When I began this blog, it was about a journey . . . of self-discovery . . . of revisiting my past and seeing what I have learned and what I still need to work on.

After a few weeks, I got derailed.

I became a feedback junkie.  I worried about how many people were reading what I wrote – and not what I or others might learn from my words.  And I lost my passion for the basic reason I write.

So, I’m going back to the beginning.

On one my very first blogs, several  years ago, I shared part of a journal entry from a writing class about why I write.  I’m sharing an updated version here to remind myself why I do this; It isn’t for the reblogs, or the views, or whatever kind of recognition I might be seeking.  At least, it shouldn’t be.


 

littleizzy

Why do I write? Because if I didn’t, I honestly think I might go insane.

When I’m not writing, things are not right in the world of Izzy. And even when I’m not physically putting things down on paper (or on the computer screen), I am constantly writing things in my head.

Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because I will come up with a brilliant idea while driving down the road, but by the time I get somewhere to do something about it, it has run away with the other thoughts crowding my brain and it feels like a lost opportunity.

I have so many ideas of what I want to write about, learning from my past, being a single mom, music, poetry, and even the never-attainable fairy-tale romance.  I probably have 20+ drafts of things that I have started and not finished.  I get caught up in the reasons why I’m writing it, or what any readers might think of it, or if what I have to say even matters.  Often, I chicken out and don’t go where my heart and my words are leading me.

But I continue to write.

I write because it is born in me.

Writing has been passed down to me through generations of storytellers, poets, and musicians.  It is a part of me that makes me who I am and a part that has never gone away, even when I’ve tried to suppress it.

I always write more than required when it comes to school or work assignments and often get teased or even reprimanded for “writing a book” when only a paragraph is required.  I don’t do it to be an overachiever.  The truth is, I love words.

I do not want to write for recognition and I will not allow myself to follow that path anymore.

I write because I really have no choice.

And it is time to go back to the beginning where I remember that.

-Izzy

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
—Allen Ginsberg, WD

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When Random Acts Find You

Can you believe we are just ONE MONTH away from Christmas?  I have not started my Christmas shopping yet.  But I’m not stressing about it.  I have learned that the holidays are more about spending time together and making memories and not buying expensive gifts.

We are also 17 days away from my 40th birthday.  I spoke on several other blogs about my wish for this birthday and having at least 40 random acts of kindness performed and helping make the world a better place.  A few people have already started doing this and have given great creative ideas for paying it forward to others.

I wanted to write this post to reiterate that you do not have to PLAN random acts.  All you have to do is keep your eyes and your heart open to those around you, and opportunities will present themselves to you.  This happened to me the other evening at Meijer.

My youngest daughter takes forever in the bathroom.  I know she will kill me if she sees this someday but SORRY – YOU DO!  As we were checking out, she said “I have to go use the bathroom.”  I groaned internally, wishing she had decided 10 minutes earlier that she should go.  My son and I finished checking out and then went to stand by the door and the restroom to wait.

An elderly woman with snow-white hair and piercing blue eyes was also waiting in the mobile cart, her basket filled with groceries.  She looked at me and asked if I knew what time it was.  She was very soft-spoken and looked a bit timid, but something about her reminded me of my beloved Grandma whom I miss so much this time of year.  I pulled out my phone and told her the time.  Her expression changed as she said “Oh, I will be waiting here a long time.”

I know of times when my car was broken and I had to rely on others to get to where I needed to go – and it isn’t fun to lose your independence.  I felt for her.  So I asked her if she needed to call someone and I let her use my phone to call her son who said he would come get her right then.  When she handed me back my phone, the sparkle had returned to her eyes and she thanked me.  My daughter had already emerged from the bathroom by this time and she and her brother had taken our groceries to the car.

I wished her Merry Christmas and hurried out to my car, tears running down my cheeks.  I could have continued to be irritated at my daughter being slower than molasses, but I chose to just look up for a second and the opportunity to help someone was right in front of me.  It changed my attitude for the rest of the evening.  It wasn’t a big elaborate gesture – it was just doing what we should and looking out for our fellow human beings.  Loving people in whatever ways we can.  That is how we can turn this world around.

I hope you will join my 40th birthday celebration on December 13th.
Let’s change the world one Random Act of Kindness at a time.

 – Izzy

The Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 2

Thanks to T. Wayne of A Joyful Process for nominating me for the three day quote challenge. The rules are to select up to three quotes each day for three consecutive days, and nominate three different bloggers in each of these posts to do the same challenge. Here we go with Day 2!

The theme for today’s quotes are centered around working your passions.workhardhavefun

I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself:
‘If today were the last day of my life,
would I want to do what I am about to do today?’
And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row,
I know I need to change something.  
– Steve Jobs

Are you bored with life? 
Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all heart,
live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness
that you had thought could never be yours.  
– Dale Carnegie

Twenty years from now
you will be more disappointed
by the things that you didn’t do
than by the ones you did do. 
So throw off the bowlines. 
Sail away from the safe harbor. 
Catch the trade winds in your sales. 
Explore.  Dream.  Discover. 
– attributed to Mark Twain

Think on those things as you enjoy your weekend!

And I didn’t forget . . . today I nominate these 3 bloggers:

Dajena from Moonskittles

David Snape

Ann from Anroworld

The Only Day that I Still Love Him

“Thank Life For Happening,
Thank Every Twist And Turn,
There Is A Reason For Every Single Thing,
There Is A Reason For Every Worry And Concern.” 
– Dante Jannicelli

healing_after_divorce

Divorce is difficult.  As I wrote about in Ripped Apart, no matter what the reason – anyone dealing with it goes through a myriad of emotions.  One of the hardest things I had to deal with was allowing myself to fall out of love with the man I’d pledged my life to.  I didn’t want to do it.  It made me feel like a liar and a failure.  So many things had happened and I had so much anger toward this person, it was so incredibly confusing.  One day I hated him, and the next day, I just wanted to pretend everything was fine and start all over again.  Because that was no longer an option, I had to somehow let my heart heal and stop loving him.

I actually begged and pleaded with God every day to take the love I had for him away.  Loving him was only hurting me more every single day.  I needed to pour my love into my children who still needed to love their Dad, but the hurt just wouldn’t stop.  It was overwhelming.

I spent a lot of time just being angry.  I had people around me who would constantly remind me of things that had happened so that I wouldn’t give in and go back to him. Being angry didn’t help, but it helped me stay strong enough to keep from repeating an unhealthy cycle.

He moved on to someone else very quickly, which caused my anger to turn to hatred that was really just my heart aching even more.  There were certain songs, certain movies, and certain places that I had to avoid because it hurt so much that I couldn’t breathe being reminded of happier times, and sometimes not so happy times.

Almost a year after we split up, I had a moment where I realized that my feelings were finally changing, it didn’t hurt so badly, and that I wasn’t angry ALL of the time. I knew that I could be thankful for the relationship because I learned from it, and it brought me my 3 awesome kiddos.  And yes . . . I finally knew that it was okay to not love him anymore.

Except for one day.

My ex and I were married in August of 2001.  Less than a month after we were married, something happened that tore the fabric of our nation and anyone who was alive and old enough to remember it was forever changed.  I was at work in Customer Service when my manager told me her husband had called and said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  My best friend who worked at the desk next to mine turned on her radio and we listened in horror as the events unfolded that morning.  At lunch time, I met my new husband at his mother’s house and we sat on the floor of the living room watching the news.  We said little, but held each other as we wondered what it all meant.  And that day, I was so very thankful that I had him to go through that with.

Every September 11th, I remember those moments.  It is the one day that I allow myself to love him and be appreciative that I had him in my life when the entire world was falling apart.  And that is enough.

“You cannot close the acorn
Once the oak begins to grow
And you cannot close your heart
To what it fears and needs to know

That the hardest part of love
And the rarest part of love
And the truest is part of love
Is the letting go . . .”

[lyrics from Steven Schwartz’s Children of Eden]

Better Days Ahead: What I want for my 40th Birthday

“And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days
‘Cause I don’t need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days . . .”

In a little over a month, I will turn 40.  Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to it.  If I am being completely honest . . . my thirties SUCKED. I am determined to start this new decade out with a bang and do what I can to make the world a better place.

For the past several years, I have asked that my friends and family do something different on my birthday. Instead of gifts or birthday wishes – I have asked people to perform a random act of kindness for someone else – a stranger, a friend, whoever. Because this is my BIG 4-0 Birthday – I’m hoping to have at least 40 random acts of kindness happen all over the place!!  I originally created a private event on Facebook so that I could invite my family and friends – but I know more of an impact can be made if I reach out to the awesome blogging community I am blessed to be a part of.  SO – I also created a PUBLIC EVENT and I hope you will join me in celebrating this new decade by taking a moment on or around my birthday to do something for someone else with no expectation of anything in return.

If you perform a random act of kindness, I would love it if you would post it on the page – you don’t have to say what you did unless you want to, just let me know you did something. If you DO want to share – feel free to share a picture!  The past few birthdays that I have done this have been the bright spots of some pretty dark years.

If you want to be a part of the fun click on the picture below and join the event!

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Join the 40 Random Acts of Kindness Public Event!

If you are looking for some ideas, check these out.

Let’s do our best to make better days for those around us.

Peace & Love,
Izzy

same or similar?

This is very fitting for me right now.

survivor road

you’re not me
i’m not you
we’re unique individuals
our problems
they’re unique too

our symptoms
are kinda alike
a lot of patterns
of our issues
look the same

but my road isn’t your road
and your speed-bumps aren’t mine

our roads may go
the same direction
for now
we can hold hands
to help support
and call out encouragement
to one another

but i can’t carry you
and you can’t carry me

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