Cafe de Desiree

October 8, 2014

I want to be “in like”

Filed under: dating,dreams,life,relationships — desi83 @ 6:10 am
Tags: , ,

What does it take to have a happy, long-lasting relationship? I have yet to find that romantically. I have found this platonically. Even that isn’t perfect, but it is happy and long-lasting. My best friends…though our lives have taken us in different directions, and we sometimes make choices that frustrate each other to no end, we have a connection that is unbreakable. My best friends think I am charming, hilarious, and bitchy in a good way. I think they are hilarious, as well as smart and empathetic, and super geeky (in a good way). We have geeky interests in common, and we can talk for hours about everything. My two best friends have very different views in terms of spirituality and faith, but they both have strong values and morals, and they’re both respectful of people who have opposing viewpoints. I consider myself a new thought Christian, and I can discuss spirituality and religion with both of my friends at length without it getting heated. We are three open-minded, understanding amigas.

I want to date my friend…not literally, though. I want to establish a strong friendship with a man who will connect with me the way my friends do. Obviously, I want there to be romance and excitement, but I have learned that a relationship cannot begin that way. How could I think I was in love with someone I barely knew? I need to change the way that I date. I need to set boundaries and take control of the pace and direction of the relationship. I will not let myself be led into the type of relationship that I am not ready for ever again. I do very much want to be in love, to be happy with a partner, but being alone feels so much better than being in an unhappy relationship. I don’t necessarily have to agree with every viewpoint of my partner, but I think our beliefs should be similar, as well as our sense of humor. I hate to fight or argue..it gives me horrible anxiety. I want to be with someone who is amicable, yet also assertive and confident. I know what I want, and I cannot explain it well enough in words. I will know when I meet him, and I know that I haven’t yet.

August 16, 2014

ABC, It really is easy as 123…

Filed under: Blogging,career,life — desi83 @ 1:36 am
Tags: , , ,

If I were writing this two days ago, this would be a very negative, hopeless entry. I had a terrible bout with anxiety after having a rough couple of days at my new job. I am a kindergarten teacher. I went into this thinking that it would be fairly easy. I was wrong. I now realize that every grade level, from kindergarten to 12th grade, has its own set of challenges. How do I survive these challenges without pulling my hair out or crawling in a hole to hide? I realized that the children aren’t the problem. The school is not the problem. I am. I need to focus on being more patient and more realistic with my expectations. So, yesterday I went in with a sense of calm. I focused on the true reason for my being in that classroom: the children. I researched fun lessons, and I am now showing them more patience as they learn how to behave and function in a classroom. I listen to them, encourage them, and love them. I truly appreciate the hugs and kind words that they give me every day. I laugh when they are being silly, and sometimes I get silly with them. I sing and dance with them, and I realize that I haven’t done that enough as an adult. I try new methods and strategies and only use the ones that they seem to enjoy. I stopped being so hard on myself and realized that this year will be far from perfect, but I am going to work hard to make it a year that my kids will reflect upon fondly as they grow older.

I realized today that I have achieved two very important goals in my life. I am a certified, employed teacher. I am also now a paid writer. I am freelance writing now and getting paid for my work. It is mostly ad copy and promotional articles, and it is actually quite fun. I have still yet to publish my book or short stories, but I may attempt that this summer now that my confidence is growing. As I was leaving to go home this afternoon after working my first full week at school, the secretary said something that really impacted me. “Has anyone ever told you that you have a beautiful smile? It is very calming and genuine,” she said. “I am just so happy to be here right now,” I answered honestly. Life may not be perfect, and I am still a work in progress, but I am filled with gratitude for the life that I am living.

July 6, 2014

City Hiking

Filed under: Exercise,Health,hiking,photography — desi83 @ 10:12 pm

I am a hiking snob. I don’t consider it a hike if the trail is paved, or completely flat, or less than five miles. That, my friends, is a walk in the park. Before discovering a couple of new hiking trails, I used to only consider it a good hike if I had to drive an hour and a half in the middle of nowhere through the mountains. I want to see waterfalls and climb boulders at some point during the hike. I want to feel like I just had my ass kicked. When my entire body aches, I feel accomplished. I did not think that Nashville could offer a satisfactory hike that would leave me sweating, panting, and sore from head to toe. That was before I joined Meetup.com and was introduced to several new destinations. Mossy Ridge, also known as the red trail at Percy Warner Park, is a 4.5 mile loop, and it takes about 2 miles to arrive at the beginning of the loop. I hiked a total distance of about 9 miles. I should have used my GPS to track total mileage, but I tend to put away the technology when I hike. I have hiked much longer distances than this, but the deep inclines and declines made it a challenging 9 miles.

MossyRidge8

This is the first trail that I have hiked where the majority of the hikers weren’t hiking at all. They were trail running. I have always been intimidated by that because I can be rather clumsy. I decided that this would be the perfect trail to test my skills. Even though it is hilly, there aren’t any terrible obstacles to hinder a runner. It is fairly smooth with just small rocks and a few tree roots. There are a few spots where I had to climb rocks, but they were almost more like steps in their arrangement. I ran occasionally, and I power-hiked. I did stop to take pictures, because this blog is just more appealing to read with pictures! I also noticed that the hikers and runners on this trail are much friendlier than those at any other place I’ve hiked. Everyone at least waved as I walked past. Everyone seemed happy, healthy, and enthusiastic about what they were doing. My favorite human encounter on the trail was a runner approaching me from behind singing “Buddy Holly” by Weezer at the top of his lungs. This guy was happy in his own little world, and he has great taste in music.

MossyRidge7

I came across this random chimney when I was close to the end, and I imagined being out here with some friends during autumn. We could collect a few logs, build a small fire in the chimney, and roast some hot dogs and marshmallows while singing badly, talking too loudly, and just enjoying the moment together. I am sure someone has done that at some point in time at this chimney.

mossywater mossyrocks

This, unfortunately, was the only water source on the trail. I think Nashville needs more rain. Normally, there is a small waterfall flowing from the top of this small cave. There used to be a visible stream flowing through that area. It was still a fun area to explore today. Luckily, I didn’t meet any creepy crawlers in there!

hillatmossy

This is what I call the “Oh Shit” hill. I was trail running, and somehow I made it up this massive hill. The picture really doesn’t do it justice. There was a bench not far from the top of this hill, and I sat for a few minutes to catch my breath. “Good job, Mossy Ridge. You win,” I mumbled between breaths. “We made it!” the lady behind me exclaimed when we approached the top. She was at least twenty years older than I am, but she kept power walking past me. This hike makes me want to live somewhere else even more than I already did. Murfreesboro is flat; there are no challenging trails here at all. If I lived near a park like this, I would go a few times a week so that I could be in the shape that these seniors are in. I met a man on the trail who is 70 years old. He was energetic, had perfect posture and form,  and he was hiking at a fast pace. He told me that he used to run marathons, and he did a cross-country bike-a-thon once with his best friend. I told him that he was now my idol.

MossyRidge

I stopped to meditate for a few minutes, because it is easier for me to meditate outside away from civilization than it is to meditate indoors. I sat on a roughly carved wooden bench with a plaque glued to it with an in Memoriam message engraved in it. I wish I would’ve taken a photo of that; it had someone’s name on it, and it stated that he used to enjoy walking on these trails. I imagined an older man walking on the trail, completely at peace with himself and his life. We can only truly be happy and at peace if we can enjoy life’s simple pleasures. I sat on this bench and closed my eyes. I could hear the wind rustle the trees, and I could hear the squirrels and other small animals rummaging for food or shelter through the woods. My mind was clear and empty of distractions. It was a blissful moment of peace. Whatever your path is in life, whatever it is that brings you joy or serenity, take the time to enjoy these moments away from the stress or problems that you may have in your life. Even in a bustling city like Nashville, there are hidden areas of nature that are mostly untouched by civilization that are there for your enjoyment.

July 5, 2014

You’re in Control if You Want to Be

Filed under: Blogging,Exercise,food,Gluten free,Health — desi83 @ 12:18 am

I sit staring at the computer screen feeling depressed about the fact that I am filling out yet another job application that will be filed with thousands of other applications. I try to make my stand out, but it is probably similar to the majority of the submissions that the schools are reading. There may even be something on there that causes it to get filtered out, so it never gets read at all. I sit in this little apartment in a bad area of town, and I am grateful to have a job even though it isn’t in my career field. I am grateful to have a roof over my head and food to eat. I am just not living the life that I want. When I begin to sink into the darkness of unfulfillment and depression, I stand up and put on my running shoes. I set a goal for myself that is reasonable yet challenging. I run at a pace that is just fast enough to be a little painful, yet it is not so fast that it is unbearable. My feet pounding the pavement gives me a feeling of power. The pain in my muscles reminds me that I am growing stronger with every stride. Inhaling and exhaling the outdoor air, deeply and slowly, gives me a sense of control. The worry and stress simply melt away. No one and nothing can stop me but myself. I feel alive and relaxed even though I am sweating and exerting a great amount of energy. I am able to gain control of my thoughts and ideas. Everything seems clearer to me during that time. When I reach my distance goal without stopping to walk or rest, I feel accomplished. I hear the crowd cheering for me as I cross the finish line in my head.

 

This is what exercise can do. I don’t need anti-depression medication or therapy. I don’t need to sit around and cry into my ice cream. I just have to do something healthy that gives me a sense of control and accomplishment. I know that somehow, everything will work out as it should. Sure, I am getting a little impatient. I was supposed to be married and working as a teacher several years ago, according to my life plan. However, I am not in complete control of that, unfortunately. Life has had other plans for me. I still don’t like it, because I do like to stick to my plans and be in control of every situation that I am in. I am learning ways to deal with it, though. I have found that simply exercising and eating healthy has transformed me mentally, emotionally, and physically in ways that I never imagined. Aside from running, I also go to the gym and ride a bike. Sometimes I go hiking on the weekends, which is a sort of spiritual experience for me. Being immersed in nature and away from the crowds is peaceful and relaxing.

 

Eating healthy has made a huge difference, and the more I read about it, the more I realize how food can truly be medicine or poison, depending on what it is. I eat mostly organic, whole foods. I eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet. I have greatly reduced the amount of sugar that I eat. I include a large amount of fruits and vegetables in my diet, as well as lean meats and whole grains(rice, flax, i.e. gluten free grains). I drink water and juice instead of soda or tea. I feel healthier, happier, and more energetic than when I didn’t pay attention to what I ate.

Studies show that eating healthy and exercising can greatly reduce your risk of cancer. Smoking, drinking, being sedentary, and eating processed foods will put you at a higher risk of developing several types of cancer. Read more on the American Cancer Society website below. Seriously, just eating healthy and exercise can help prevent cancer. I think it’s at least worth a try! It’s not a guarantee obviously. Life, unfortunately, gives us no guarantees, but why not put the odds in your favor:

<http://www.cancer.org/research/infographicgallery/prevention-studies-for-cancer?gclid=CP-3o5DjrL8CFQMT7AodtnoA_g&gt;

 

The bottom line is, diet and exercise is really all it takes to gain control of your life and become a healthier person. You have to find the exercise that works for you. Running is not for everyone, I know. Some people look at it as punishment. Yoga, long walks, or cycling are also healthy ways to exercise. As for diet, I think it is important to eat whole, organic, non-processed foods. Gluten and dairy are fine for some people. I have digestive issues, so I avoid inflammatory foods such as those. If you do eat gluten and dairy, just make sure you eat whole grains and organic dairy products. It’s just not a good idea to ingest pesticides, hormones, or chemicals in general. Try going to your local farmer’s market. The fruits and vegetables there taste so much better than what you find at the grocery story. Unlike prescription medications, there are no harmful side effects of exercise or healthy eating. Sometimes you have to take medication, but sometimes you can slowly move away from it if you develop a healthier lifestyle, or at least reduce your dependency on medication. So, get off the couch and get active! Then, eat something that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized instead of uncomfortably full.

April 6, 2014

Happiness…has anyone really found it?

Filed under: dreams,life — desi83 @ 7:43 pm

What makes you happy? What puts a smile on your face that you can’t wipe away? What prompts you to get on the floor and dance in pure joy? There are two types of happiness…long-term and short-term. Most of us experience it in the short-term. A good song comes on the radio, you meet an old friend for coffee and laugh at old memories together, you dance with an attractive stranger, or you celebrate a small accomplishment. Yet, tomorrow comes, the moment is gone, and what is there to be happy about?
I go through a list of requirements for personal happiness. One is being married. So I ask my married friends…are you truly happy? No. For one reason or another, whether it is problems with health, work, family, or some personal issue such as not being happy with one’s appearance, being married doesn’t guarantee happiness. Okay, so next on the list is having a successful career. So I ask, are you happy with your life since you are working your dream job? No. Why? I work too many work hours, I am unsuccessful in love, I have health problems, etc. Okay, so what if you are married and you have your dream career? No. My spouse hates that I work so much, we can’t go on vacation because of my job, and I have this whole bucket list that I have to check off before I’ll really be happy. Right, so next on the list…children. Yes! That is the biological function of every living thing on Earth-to reproduce. You must have complete happiness if you have children. No. Why? The children are getting into trouble, or they’re sick so the medical bills are piling up, and I don’t have time for myself or my friends anymore. My once fine figure has now transitioned into a larger, looser, wrinkled one. I don’t have time to exercise because I work and take care of the kids. Mmm, so the “American Dream” doesn’t guarantee happiness. So, what makes one happy? Strip away all of your attachments, and find your happiness within yourself. Even when you sit alone with nothing to distract you, and your list goes unchecked, you can enjoy the stillness and be grateful to be alive, to be well, to know that there are infinite possibilities out there. If whatever you think is essential to your happiness fails right now, there will be something brand new around the corner. Try to enjoy those little moments of short-term happiness and don’t dwell on the disappointments, for they are fleeting. Now go and celebrate one more glorious day of being alive!

January 13, 2014

Blank Canvas

Filed under: life,relationships — desi83 @ 7:13 pm
Tags: , ,

This is (hopefully) my last semester in college. I earned my B.A. in English in 2006. I don’t want to put into writing exactly how many years ago that was. Since then, I have held several jobs that I hated too much to turn into actual careers. I have been in too many relationships that taught me a lot of lessons, sometimes more than once, and left me feeling beaten and battered. I have pretty much lost my faith in romantic relationships for myself, but I have been a witness to countless engagements, marriages, and births amongst my group of friends. I just haven’t been able to find my path, and I keep trying to force myself to accept what is not right for me because I feel like I have to accept what is available to me. I’m just not a very patient person. I took a year to spend exploring career ideas without the pressure of having to work to pay bills. I lived with my parents for a year, and I was a substitute teacher. I would’ve gotten paid just as much flipping burgers, sadly. I did it to really explore teaching as a possible career, and I was able to try out different grade levels. I actually loved it most days, especially when I was in the elementary schools. I can use my creativity, I can connect with kids and be a positive influence on their lives, and I can feel the excitement as their brains soak up knowledge like little sponges! This summer, I will be certified k-12 (highly qualified in English 7-12). I feel like this is my opportunity to start over. I have no ties to this place anymore. I have friends and my parents, but they are not binding me here. I am going to choose a few locations in other cities, and possibly other states. I need to be in a new place, even if just for a little while. I love the mountains and the beach, and I feel like the Southeast is my home, so that narrows it down a bit. I want to visit places outside of my “home”, but for my first move away from my hometown of middle Tennessee, I don’t want to go so far that I can’t visit pretty regularly. It is comforting to know that I have this opportunity and freedom to go wherever I want. I am not bound, and I will never settle for less than what I deserve, what makes me happy. This is my blank canvas, and I can paint whatever I want with the colors I choose.

January 12, 2014

The Chase

Filed under: dating,life,poetry,relationships — desi83 @ 2:57 am

This is another inspired by another doomed love of mine

The Chase

She flies above your head just out of reach

You extend your arms and strain your neck

She’s now a star in the sky, you’re a grain on the beach

Still staring above, you decide to follow, steady and quick

 

You run through the crowd never noticing a face

You step over smiles, laughter, tears, and experience

You long for the promise of her beauty and grace

Never taking your weary eyes off her vaguely seen presence

 

Suddenly she flutters down to your outstretched hands

Her feathers brush against your beckoning fingers

You try to stretch your height to grasp her body

She continues to taunt you with hope as she lingers

 

You promise to love her and never leave her sobbing

She cautiously descends to your hungry grasp

You tighten your grip on her small fragile body

You don’t hear her terrified screams, perhaps?

 

“You’re squeezing me too tightly!” she screams

“I can’t breathe,” she cries as she gasps

“Let me go,” she utters as she quickly dies

You feel the warmth leave your loosening grasp

You collapse, and your tears begin to float her away

What you spent your life chasing, you destroyed

in your selfish need to possess your wayward prey

you’re now left in a lonely self-made void

 

This scene around you is not something you recognize

You’ve been staring up too long to see in front of you

The heartbreak you feel is enough to paralyze

But you decide to finally join the scene that’s in view

 

You wasted your time chasing something precious

But you turned it into something quite odious

Now you live your life filling the void with trifles

As a robot in the crowd, you focus on mere survival

 

As you wander through the busy blurry street

A light beckons you toward a dream thought obsolete

You follow eagerly seeing clearly what is before you

Then you stop because you know it is futile to pursue

 

She stops to watch you watch her from a distance

She timidly floats to your slumping figure

No longer in fear, she lets go of her resistance

Not possessing her, you’ve gained something bigger!

January 7, 2014

An Open-Wounded Heart

Filed under: dating,poetry,relationships — desi83 @ 6:36 pm
Tags: , ,

An Open-Wounded Heart
My heart has hardened from scars of yesterday
It no longer beats to a happy melody
You speak in verse and offer your arms to try and sway
With you it wasn’t abuse or infidelity

It was being left to wonder what I did wrong
So I tolerated those punishments from others
While my heart thumped to the beat of a lonely song
That sparkle in my eyes faded as my hope withered

And I learned to be friends with a lady called Lonely
She stayed with me during those long, sleepless nights
She generously wrapped her darkness around me
Love’s been a distant memory that’s out of my sight

Now I glimpse a flicker of light that beckons me back
I have to wonder if backwards is the right way
The hardened shell around my heart begins to crack
I welcome the pain of it, come what may

The past has left me in a pile of dust and rubble
Love and hope, destroyed and replaced by consternation
Have begun to rise again, and my doubt crumbles
I slowly open the door in anticipation

to invite you back into my body and soul
Please don’t re-open the wounds of my battered heart
Help me rediscover the faith that heartbreak stole
With you on this path with me, I go back to the start

October 8, 2013

I love you-Words that now inspire fear

Filed under: dating,life,relationships — desi83 @ 5:56 pm

To continue my obsession with the Avett Brothers, Click on their official video of “I and Love and You” before reading this.
We say these words all of the time, but they aren’t always genuine. We throw them around meaninglessly to friends who aren’t that close to us or lovers whose bodies we love and want to ravish, but would we really catch this person if they fell? No, we’d be too busy checking our facebook on our phone. We don’t really “love” most people we say those words to. Those words should mean something other than I love you…r body and the way it feels against mine. Or, I love…what I can get from you. I love…hanging out with you but don’t call me if you need help moving. So, I am now afraid of these words. I don’t want to hear them from anyone who can’t back them up, and I damn sure won’t say them if I can’t back them up. Recently a guy who I have dated off and on (we have never committed because of distance and circumstances and well, he is a commitment phobe and a workaholic), drunkenly said these words to me several times. The first emotion this inspired was fear. I didn’t know what to say. He was drunk, so maybe he just felt affection for whomever was near him. But after all these years and after many drunken stupid nights, he says these words repeatedly. I just kept saying “no you don’t”. So, he said, “Fine, I hate you.” I of course reminded him of this as well as other embarrassing stories of the night, and his reply was, “Well, I do like you. And I said I hate you because you didn’t appreciate my intentions.” He seemed embarrassed, and we proceeded to laugh about a story he told about a goat that kept getting weirder and weirder, and how he hugged some guy he doesn’t remember meeting. I am probably just being a girl about this, but I keep wondering why he is suddenly throwing around the L word, even it is in a drunken state. Hey, at least I didn’t say it back. I did realize that we do have an attachment to each other that goes beyond casual encounters or the occasional dinner date when we have the time. I remember calling him when I needed to talk to someone who wasn’t so directly involved in my life. He’s turned to me several times in the past when he needed someone to listen. So maybe there are different levels of love. I love you enough to listen to you vent about your work at 1 o’clock in the morning. I love you enough to drive an hour and a half to see you, and you love me enough to do the same. I don’t love you enough to change anything in my life so that we can see each other more often or progress any further. That is what you have to consider when someone says those words, or when you say them. How much would you sacrifice for this person, because that is how much you love them. To truly love someone is to love them unconditionally. When we put conditions on our love for another person, it limits that love. When that condition no longer applies, the love disappears.

August 18, 2013

The Anxiety Monster

Filed under: angst — desi83 @ 4:58 pm
Tags: , , ,

Avett Brothers “Ill with Want”

Butterflies swarm inside of my chest, beating to escape the walls and burst out into the world, outside the confines of this limited existence. My chest tightens. A balloon forms, sucking all the air from my airway. My head begins to tingle, and my body shivers, but not from the cold. I am lying beside him, yet I feel like the bed is parting, and he’s drifting further and further away. Just breathe. It’s okay, just take slow breaths. Put your head between your knees. There is a blackness that threatens to steal me away in the night and drag me into the unknown abyss, so I ask him to hold me, protect me from the blackness. I can feel its grasp on my heart, tightening. I can feel its tugging on my body. So I ask him to hold me tighter. Tighter. I can’t breathe; that’s better. Just hold me and don’t let go. Don’t let the blackness pull me away. The butterflies seize their chaotic swarming, and my breathing slows down. The blackness will not steal me away. I am in control of this body and of this mind. Yet, sometimes I just need to hold onto something because my strength does fail me in these moments.

“Something has me, acting like someone I don’t want to be.” I know this song is actually about addiction, but certain lines really resinate with me. I can listen to these guys nonstop.

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