confession #1: I am fearful

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I realize I haven’t written something on here in a while, and so I thought it would be a good idea to post something. This time, though, I wanted it to be personal, not just for myself, but for you as the reader. It’s awkward and scary for me to write this, but I believe honesty is the best thing we can offer ourselves and the world. I hope that no matter what I reveal here, it will inspire you to be the best person you can be.

“Okay, so what’s your story?”

This is a question I like asking people. I love to know to know what makes up the heart and soul of who you are and what sort of passions are hidden inside you. But when it comes down to it, I become flustered when the reverse happens to me. What’s my story? How much should I present? The verge is a scary place, and yet sometimes it can be amazing to see what you can find when you’re out there.

But I’m made up of fears. I’m far from proud of that factor, and I wish I could snap my finger and become a fearless lion on a savannah. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. My fears sink deeper than that of finding myself alone in the same room as an oblivious (and probably also very fearful and panicked) cockroach. As deep as that may be, that is only the surface. Sometimes, just looking at myself in the mirror can prove to be scary. It’s hard to look at yourself eye to eye, especially when you haven’t slept well or when your hair refuses to cooperate. I can remember days where I stand in front of the mirror trying to talk myself into smiling despite the fact that nothing about my face or my hair gave me confidence to show myself to the world outside. Maybe society paints these insecurities onto our minds and hearts…maybe…then again, I know deep inside that beauty is deeper than the first layer of skin. Still…I fear.

 

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There are other things that haunt me. Success, is one of them. I’m a writer and musician and sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to work with what you have. Suddenly your art becomes work because the pressure is on and you’re obligated to raise yourself to this ridiculous level. To be fearless is never an easy task.

I know I’m not the only one reaching for the stars and feeling as if maybe it’s not worth it. I’m not the only one wondering if anything I have to say is even worth saying. As I write this, I doubt whether or not my words have any point. Most of the time, I feel as though I am rambling. And yet, I have so much to say and I find myself out on the verge all over again, whether or not I want to be out there. We all have something tugging at our hearts; some of us may climb over the wall and reach success; and some of us will spend our whole lives climbing a rope that has no end. Nevertheless, the prize is never what matters. What matters is that we gave ourselves something to live for. But no matter how much positivity I speak, fear will always find a way. It’s a constant battle, but it’s a battle that is worth fighting.

 

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All in all, I think it’s safe to say that “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”. And as cliché as this sounds, those are some of the truest words ever spoken. And while I type out these words, I find that the only thing holding me back from finishing this post is the fear locked inside me. I mean, I think every artisan can relate when I say that revealing one’s thoughts to the world is scary and brings out even the worst of insecurities in a person. But there’s something about divulging your deepest thoughts and creative ideas (even if it may nearly destroy all your self-esteem….ha ha). You see, despite fear, there’s a part of it that many people don’t see…it’s letting go; it’s reaching out; it’s adventurous; and it’s redeeming. That is why, no matter how many people dislike what I say, no matter how hard it is to express myself, and no matter how many times I press the backspace on my keyboard, I will continue this messy and uncontainable art. Because, though fear will never suppress, the key is always to punch it in the face whenever you begin to feel it sink in.

I don’t know… Maybe you’re just like me and you have no idea what you’re doing, so what? Keep on, keep on. And to those who say that we can’t succeed; let them eat their own words because it’s better to do something amazing than sit around letting your creativity eat away at your soul.

 

I confess, I am fearful. But I am also a dreamer; and dreams, given the chance, can come true if you give them a chance to live and breathe.

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the essence of wonder

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~

To see a World in a grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

 ~

A while ago, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the great Wonders of the World: Niagara Falls. There I stood, at the foot of a cliff, with only a railing keeping me from plummeting into the raging gorge. Below me, gallons upon gallons of water freely fell. I was surrounded by people from different countries who came to see one of America’s great scenes. It was surreal.

I can only imagine what it would have been like when there was nothing but barren land surrounding the falls like a picture frame, with nothing for miles, and you can only hear the deafening rush of water. And now, I can only close my eyes and imagine the wind and mist kissing my face like a long lost friend. Sometimes I think we take for granted these moments, the ones filled with innocent wonder.

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I’m still taken aback by flying in a plane with clouds below me. When I was a little girl, I was just like any other little kid, wanting to know what it would be like to fly. I even wondered what it might be like to walk amongst clouds. There’s something about reality that takes away the charm and beauty of life. It’s hard to make out the art in the world around us within the constant hustle bustle of daily life. Everything we see has become a routine, we’re used to it, and thus, we have become visually impaired.

But you see, in the height of impossibility, there is wonder. In the essence of wonder, there is art and beauty and a pure resilience. There is life. And in life there all three of these things are present. I close my eyes and I can see moments in my life that are sheer wonder and brilliance that I’ve never noticed before. It’s in silence as I stared into the firelight glow while waiting for conversation to start between the rest of my companions; it’s in the starlight as I gazed at it with tired, yet wide eyes; it’s in the bright Autumn air as I followed the ones I loved through wooded hills, our feet crunching fallen leaves on the ground. It’s all there. In every moment and in every silent word, there was wonderment.

 

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Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you’re looking at,

the beauty is there.

You may not understand what I mean; you may not grasp what I’m trying to say. The thing is, the essence of this wonder I am trying to write about isn’t something I can easily put into words. It’s not explainable. You have to experience it for yourself. And when you do, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

 

If you have ever been to a place that nearly takes your breath away because it’s so beautiful, or perhaps there is a person in your life that simply amazes you to the point where you have no words to say, just silence stands between you and them, yet both of you know—your hearts know—that’s it. When you see something, and it makes you feel as though time and space have come to a halt, that is it.

 

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That is wonder. That is beauty.

That is art.

And my friend, that is not something you want to let go of. Looking down at the infinite fall of water reminds me that it’s all here. Every piece of life that revolves around me holds a portion of uncontainable iridescence. We just think that it’s out of our grasp. In all we see and hear, we are accustom to believing we have seen it all. In the midst of the pain, heartache, loneliness, and vulnerability of life, we expect very little and yet so much, when in reality, we’ve experienced and seen very little. Everyday, there is something knew and beautiful to see—diamonds hidden away just waiting for us to dig them out.

 

I want to look at things with wonder and excitement, as though today is my last. Because, as cliché as it sounds, it’s real and true that I may not see tomorrow. I want to hold onto each moment, each little wonder I find in life, because the next thing you know, it’ll be gone. Take it from me; I know what it’s like to lose. But I’ve learned to never forget the best of what I’ve seen.

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 memorandums from my life

 –

i. personified

-Autumn days are closing in.

-I finally released this song.

-My friend is getting married *internal screams*

-ice cream

-new clothes

-and did I mention AUTUMN IS COMING?

 –

ii. beautiful words

 

-Said by a friend: “Persevere to persevere.”

 

iii. brilliant art

 

 

iv. photographic bliss

 –

 v. favorite harmonies

-“Still Falling For You” by Ellie Goulding

-“Let It All Go” by Birdy ft. Rhodes

-“Not Today” by Imagine Dragons

-“Priceless” by for King and Country

-“One Black Sheep” by Mat Kearney

{pictures from Pinterest}

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Autumn’s back again.

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“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace

as I have seen in one autumnal face.”

[The Autumnal]” ― John Donne

So the winds of Autumn have found their way to us at last.

I suppose I will have to wait a few more weeks before Autumn’s gentle hands greet me, for Summer is reluctant to say “au revoir”. Unfortunately, I do not find Summer’s company as endearing as I could; her impulse to spread heat wherever she goes does not appeal to me, yet I will greet her again next year, because there is no way I could avoid her passing by.

 

Ah, but Autumn, how I welcome you to my doorstep with open arms. We have had many good times together, you always have a memory to leave behind with me. With all the souvenirs you bring, you always have a box of nostalgia for me to open. It is a strange yet bittersweet gift to give a friend, but I am always happy to receive it.

 

I cannot help wondering what sorts of festivities are in store for us. What events will come to pass, what friends will we meet? What sorts of stories will I take with me when I pass through Winter’s gate? Alas, I shall try to keep my patience, though the suspense has kept me waiting for so long.

 

Dearest Autumn, don’t tarry too long, for I cannot wait to see your bright colors and breathe in the scent of your air. Whatever your season brings, I hope it will be beautiful and fair.

 

Until next year, dear Summer, Autumn is now here.

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Random things from this week.

i. personified

– rainy days in summer

– new books

– new music video by Koi Reef

cooler weather and the approach of Autumn

 

ii. brilliant words

“You don’t learn music…you become it!”

– “Endings exist in the world…but not in our hearts.”

{The Queen’s Soprano by Carol Dines}

-“Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day in the year.” {Ralph Waldo Emerson}

 

iii. photographic bliss

 

iv. harmonies

– “O” by Coldplay

Another Blue Sky” by Lost In Caravaggio

– “Clear” by NEEDTOBREATHE

– “Celeste” by Ezra Vine

– “Love Will Set You Free” by Kodaline

 

{pictures from Pinterest}

the height of impossibility

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photo by John Scoggins

I would like to talk about mountains.

A while ago, I watched the movie Everest (if you haven’t watched this movie, you should). It’s about endurance and faith in doing the impossible—you know, climbing Mount Everest.

 

Throughout the movie, these people were training themselves for the real thing. As they journeyed up the mountain, little by little, they would come upon small obstacles—small because, compared to what they experienced on their last leg of the climb, it was nothing.

 

Before they began the treacherous climb that would define their fate, one of the characters asks this question: “It hurts. It’s dangerous. I gotta ask the question, you know I do. Why?” It’s a logical thing to ask, and if you watch the movie, you’ll be asking yourself why too. Why would someone spend all that money, all that time, basically risking your life just to climb a gigantic rock form? One of the guys offered an answer I find speaks volumes.

I have kids. They see a regular guy can follow

impossible dreams, maybe they’ll do the same.”

We all have dreams keeping us up in the dead of night. And a lot of us will do anything just to chase after it. Plenty of people have run a race they know they may never win. But they do it. Why? I think it’s because, in the end, we all live to prove something. Whether or not you think you’re trying to make a statement, you are. And we all seek something to live for, to show that we’re making the most out of our existence.

I think mountains say a lot about this. They are scary, yet amazing, and they can take you to heights that will steal your breath away. But at one point, they hold impossibility. Everest isn’t a mountain you go and climb without a second thought; it’s a choice and decision one makes seriously and with a lot of consideration. And when you’ve chosen to make the climb, you do so with precision. You climb until you’ve reached your limit.

 

Dreams are the same way. You can’t start something and decide you’re not good at it and give up (I’m talking to myself here). You have to keep going. Because you never know if you’ll reach the summit until you challenge yourself to. You’ll never know how amazing the view is until you make it to the top. It’s hard, it’s difficult, but you keep trying. Why? Because there are people watching you; and the ones who truly believe in you want to see you succeed. Their expectations shouldn’t make you feel bad when you fail, they should make you want to try harder.

 

I’m no better than you at achieving my goals.. We all have something we’re failing at. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep your head in the game and keep running the race you’ve chosen to participate in. And you know, if you get tired, take a break, remember to breath, and remember that you have a chance to enjoy your journey.

 

So today, lets both choose to climb impossible heights. Maybe we’ll inspire someone else to do the same, that’s the real goal. Maybe it seems like we won’t reach the very top, and you know, maybe you won’t. At least you tried. And frankly, I’d rather die trying. Wouldn’t you?

 

Oh, and don’t forget…

Nothing is impossible if you just believe you can.

it’s too loud in here

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Lately, I’ve been having a hard time putting my thoughts into words on paper. I think I know why. I’ve been straining my mind, trying too hard to come up with something amazing. I know I’m not the only one, and it’s sad that I feel I need to always have something intricate and brilliant to say when I really, I don’t.

 

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’

then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

Vincent Van Gogh

As a writer and musician, I find it very hard at times to reach into the well of creativity. The world is so full of people who have amazing talents, and most of the time, you end up placing yourself into the whirlwind of competition. In all the commotion, it’s easy to lose true and honest art that is your own. Not only that, the world is moving at a rapid pace, and it’s hard to keep up with all the trends and what gets people hooked.

 

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I have so many ideas, songs and stories that are left unfinished because I don’t believe them to be good enough to ever complete or share. For some things, this is true, but I believe I have limited myself to my creativity because I feel what I come up with will never be good enough. It’s a fear of failure. And within that fear is the prevention of ever succeeding. This I know is true, and it is a struggle I face every day. What’s more, I’m placing more pressure on myself than I need to. What’s the point of doing what you love if you’re not enjoying it anymore?

 

I have to remind myself that we all have the chance to share our ideas and talents, and the point is to enjoy sharing them. It’s not about who is at the top and how many fans or followers you have. This is about making the most out of what you do. This is about taking your time. Because, nothing good ever happens with rushing your dreams. If you do your thing well, you’ll be rewarded (eventually). You have to be patient.

 

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Sharing is a part of life. This is what I hope to accomplish. And I hope it’s your goal as well. Let go of your fears and just be yourself. Because it doesn’t matter if what you say or do is simple. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re as good as the next person. It doesn’t matter if you never see gold to your name while you’re alive—the gold is already there. It’s deep inside your heart. It’s what drives your passions and inspiration. So you stick to your art, whatever it may be, and I’ll do the same.

 

Maybe my story is simple. I only want it to be inspiring.

you’re a storyteller

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The point of Art & Brilliance is to talk about life and share stories, because there is art and brilliance in everything. So, to make this more personal and to get others involved, I’ve decided to make a page where you can share your own personal experiences and life stories.

 

You’re a storyteller. So get out and start telling your story. You don’t have to be an expert at writing to sit down with someone and share what you’ve got with them. That isn’t the point. The point is that you’re giving someone a bit of light from your life and placing it into theirs. Also, telling your stories helps you let go, release. You don’t even have to go in depth with detail, but it does help to open up. That’s why I love writing and why I love music. They bring release to not only myself, but to others. It reminds every one of us of what we have gained or lost and that, no matter what, it’s okay to feel pain and joy in the circumstances we go through.

I want to share my worst days and best days with all of you. But whoever you are, wherever you’ve been…I want to know what adventures you’ve been on because I love hearing other peoples stories. You are a seed to inspire and encourage other people. That’s my goal, and I hope it’ll be yours too.

 

So…what’s your story?

Tell me about it.

how to be amazing

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“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”

 

step 1: believe in yourself

You can’t succeed without first believing in yourself. You have to have faith that you can do it. When you are determined, fear and doubt will set in, but you can’t let anything dampen your determination.

 

Step 2: believe in others

The one ingredient you cannot leave out is this one. So you’ve found belief in yourself and you’ve made the effort to keep on going no matter what. Now it’s your turn to spread the sunlight to those around you.

You know what it’s like to lose hope, to feel like giving up. But you didn’t make it to the finish line alone. So show those who need encouragement that you are cheering them on. This leads to the next step…

 

step 3: encourage and inspire

You have the opportunity to be a light to the darkness of anyone you meet. It may be a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or maybe just a person on the street. Sometimes all you have to do is smile and that’s enough to brighten someone’s day. It’s the effort that counts. So smile a little more, hug more, show love more! Why? Because you can.

 

step 4: show that you care

We are so limited these days to how much we show love to those around us. We don’t check on people to know how they are doing or how their lives are going. We don’t let people know enough that we care.

You have that opportunity everyday to show love to anyone and everyone you come in contact with. When it comes down to it, showing love is far more fulfilling than showing indifference or hate. Is it easier? No, but it’s more rewarding.

 

step 5: plant some flowers

Now, I don’t mean this literally, though it wouldn’t hurt to go out and actually plant some flowers. What I mean by this is how flowers seem to make places lighter and colorful no matter where they are placed. They are a sign of life and growth. You too can be a sign of life; color where there is none; and light where it is darkness. So plant flowers wherever you go.

 

And in the words of a good friend,“You don’t have to be rich, or famous, or a genius or anything to be amazing.” Just be yourself.