Sunday, May 10, 2015

i've moved!

pbtp needed a little
T | L | C
so that's exactly what it got.
check out the
new | improved
design with the same
quirky | thought-provoking | witty 
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r | a | s

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Right Way to Eat An Oreo

There’s a special place in heaven with my Dad’s name on it. I have two older sisters—making quite an estrogen-filled household. Possibly attributed to this, or perhaps just to the person my father is, I never thought of my Dad as a typical, ass-kicking, Hulk-man. I grew up innocent and oblivious to the idea that some kids grow up in a household that value accessibility over interaction. When I mentioned in class one day that I grew up seeing my father cry (per most human beings) every time they yelled “move that bus” on Extreme Makeover Home Edition, I was not lying.
See, on the father, fatherhood, fathering scale, my Dad truly fathered my sisters and me. He didn’t just see that we had the financial means and appropriate insurance to support us when we were sick. He stayed up with us at night, got the antibiotics we needed at the store, and saw to it that we took them according to directions.
My sisters and I also grew up with a passion for dance. We each danced from the time we were three to the time we were eighteen. We didn’t skip a beat and neither did our father. As most mothers stared in adoration of their daughters, my father sat in his uniform and boots with his eyes glued to no screen but the two-way mirror peering into the dance studio where we learned the difference between first position and second.
And when it came time to write a—gasp—100 word essay in grade school about our hero, I wrote about my Dad. In was the exception to the rule, no doubt, but I didn’t know this. Call me innocent still today, but I didn’t know I was the exception to the rule any more then than I did last year. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not oblivious to a large number of kids who are raised without a present father or parents at all. But when I wrote about my Dad, the words surrounding him as a hero came easily. When I shared my paper with him after receiving it back from my teacher, I’ll never forget the moment he read it. He was sorting laundry and began crying for the first time I can remember. Even though he often told me how proud of me he was, I didn’t need to be told. He showed me.
My father was always and is always expected to do the same things as always. Love and support me unconditionally and teach me the “correct way to eat an Oreo.” Yes, he is absent a little more than he used to be. The reason for this increased absence is for no other reason except that college happened and we are physically more absent. But when it comes to fathering me, he couldn’t be more present.
I call my Dad every Monday and Wednesday when I walk to work at six in the morning before my ten hour shifts. I do this partly because hearing the voice of my father will always make me feel protected even if I am not. But I also do it because we are closer in our relationship than ever. Going off on my own has blessed me with the ability to truly understand all he has done for me to ensure I am a successful and independent adult. Although, I use the word independent very loosely; my parents make it extremely difficult to be emotionally independent.
So cheers to you, Dad. Cheers to the guy that will drive down to Athens in an instant if I need him to. Cheers to the man who is just as irreplaceable in the mind of my 10 year old self as he is in the mind of my 21 year old self. Love you forever & always.
it’s an outlet. it’s an inspiration. it’s a gift. it’s a purpose

Friday, May 23, 2014

Three's a Crowd

One thousand ninety five days later and my heart still aches. It’s a low, dull ache. The kind of ache you only notice when the chaos subsides and reality sets in. The kind of ache that isn’t enough to hurt but enough to constantly remind you it is still there. And that you’re still imperfect. That you’ve gone through something that once crippled your soul and consumed you with pain.

That chilling pain and lasting ache are what remains from the loss of my cousin. He left us three years ago today and the loss brings me to tears still today. I’ve found my own ways to honor him and stay true to the promises I whispered to him one thousands ninety three days ago. But there’s no way to sugarcoat the black hole that is grief and mourning. It sucks you in with no mercy. But if you just say a prayer, hold the ones still here physically, and look up, you can find a way out.
I remember holding his hand and talking to him in his last days. You see, it’s an unexplainable connection I have with him. Maybe it’s the fact he’s the closest family member in age I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s the shenanigans we used to get into when we were young. Or maybe it’s the idea that he has changed my life more than any single person on this earth.
I didn’t stand on stage moments after his passing to address my graduating class and move my tassel from one side to another for just myself. In fact, if I had only done it for myself I wouldn’t have done it at all. I didn’t come to college to chase my dreams just for my own benefit. And I will not stand on stage next year and address my graduating class of Ohio University for me and only me. I have done and will do these things for the both of us. I’ll do them for my old-souled cousin that never got to walk across that stage. I’ll walk down the aisle to the love of my life with the love of my cousin in my heart. I will be the parent I know he would have been. It’s been my promise to him. And it will be a promise I keep until the day I get to finally hug him and be the cousin he has been to me both on this earth and from above.
Love you, E.

it’s an outlet. it’s an inspiration. it’s a gift. it’s a purpose

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My New Year's Resolution for You

If only I had a dollar for every weight loss commercial I have seen on TV since the new year started. Or perhaps, a cookie for every commercial. Wouldn’t that be ironic...
It amazes me that some associate a new year with weight loss or a “new you.” What if we lost a grudge, a friend that drains our energy, or the negativity in our life instead? The extra pound or two around your tummy doesn’t weigh nearly as heavily on you as the chip on your shoulder.
There’s no need for a new you. The old you is wise with experience, knowledge, and a past. The old you remembers the wild child that through heartbreak, disappointment, and beauty came out as a strong and stunning adult. Feel that soft thumping within your chest? That steady movement has felt your chest quake in laughter and jerk in sobs. That constant flutter has been gripped when you have been shocked, touched, and moved by life’s wonders. It has been spun by dance and lifted by reach.
 The old you is vintage—an original antique. Let your heart carry you through another year and your mind guide you to the love of yourself and others. Let your curiosity lift you to a new culture, experience, and person. And let the old you continue to find happiness and the constant fluttering of butterflies in your heart and a cautious gut-feeling in your just-the-right-sized tummy. This is my resolution for you.
it’s an outlet. it’s an inspiration. it’s a gift. it’s a purpose

Sunday, December 1, 2013

20 Lessons I've Learned at 20

Introduction: 20 Lessons I've Learned at 20
Lesson One: Take advantage of the time you are responsible for no one but yourself
Lesson Two: No amount of inspirational quotes will comfort you quite like your mother can
Lesson Three: Counting calories doesn't help you count your blessings
Lesson Four: If you have a funny feeling, chances are you've found a phony
Lesson Five: Sob uncontrollably if you have to. Just make sure you have peanut butter...
Lesson Six: Never overuse "I'm sorry"
Lesson Seven: Never stop doing what removes you from the chaos
Lesson Eight: Life will place you exactly where you need to be
Lesson Nine: Look up
Lesson Ten: You have the pen that writes your life story
Lesson Eleven: Laugh at yourself
Lesson Twelve: Believe in that four letter word
Lesson Thirteen: You can learn the deepest knowledge from the youngest brains
Lesson Fourteen: If someone doesn't contribute to your life, pack your good memories and move the hell on
Lesson Fifteen: Don't make stress, make a plan
Lesson Sixteen: You're never in a boat alone
Lesson Seventeen: Take pride in your hometown
Lesson Eighteen: Make your own rules & follow them
Lesson Nineteen: Write a letter to yourself
Lesson Twenty: My purpose
The Purpose Behind The Series

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

20 Lessons I've Learned at 20: Conclusion

The Purpose Behind The Series

To think of what life has taught me in twenty years is like trying to win Monopoly or a dog chasing its tail. You can try to come to a concise conclusion. You'll go in circles for an hour without an end in sight.
But eventually you learn that you must enjoy the small victories. Because, you see, in life there isn't a way to artfully sum up what you have learned. You can take one lesson or one hundred lessons to explain what this life has taught you. Every pit and peak of our day, week, and year uncovers a lesson.
However, my twenty lessons don't attempt to put my life in a box. My intentions were not to create an end-all, be-all list of my personal victories after dark times.
My lessons are meant to scratch the surface of the meaning of my life. My hilariously awkward, quirky, sassy, loud, cozy crazy life. My goal was and is quite simple. I want you to know you aren't alone. That it is okay to be single. In fact, it should be celebrated. I want you to know it is okay to love and be loved. It is okay to miss home, move on, make your own rules, write your own story, laugh at yourself, sob like a baby and eat a double cheeseburger. You can even do all of those at the same person if you want. And it is okay.
This world is large but these lessons are small. Our hearts are in different places but our experiences are the same. We breathe the same air. We feel the same hurt. We feel the same love. Ask yourself why we shouldn't learn the same lessons. Because if we share what we know with the world, we may save someone from feeling that same pain it took to learn a hard lesson. Share your wisdom and in turn share your life.
it’s an outlet. it’s an inspiration. it’s a gift. it’s a purpose

Monday, November 4, 2013

20 Lessons I've Learned at 20: Lesson Twenty

20. My purpose.

It’s hard to fathom the idea that by simply being, we are serving a purpose. We may think we aimlessly go through the motions of our day with no bruises or surprises, highs or lows. But the fact you are you and no one else—existing, breathing, learning and living—you, love, are serving a purpose.
But we yearn for a bigger purpose in life. Rightfully, so, I might add. And some people search the entirety of their lives to fall short of finding the reason they were put on this earth.
However I know my purpose in life. And in the 20 amazing years I have been blessed to live—it is the most breathtaking, startling, profound lesson I have learned.
I, simply put, was placed here to reveal the love life brings us.
It sounds winding, overly simplistic, and who knows, maybe a bit arrogant.
But I know I am needed because of my heart, the courage I have to use it, and the talent I have to deliver it in words. Through my talent of writing, I am able to show others how much love life delivers to us every day, year, and lifetime. I am here to help others see love and find the importance in purpose.
So now it is time for me to reveal the love of others. I asked for family and friends to reveal the lessons they have learned in life. And this is what I learned:
"Never allow yourself to depend on another person." -Lauren
"The importance of family to get through the hard times. When something goes wrong they are just a phone call or hug away." -Megan
"There's no excuse for being a pessimist. This world is beautiful and the fact that we wake up every day should be enough to put a smile on your face.
The amount of stress you let in to your life is your decision. Deal with things the best you can then let them go. Think back to what you used to stress out about in high school and how insignificant those things seem now, that's how we'll view these situations when we're old and dying!
Whether it be work, school, or play keep a smile on your face and joy in your heart. That's how life was intended to be lived and any other emotion, although sometimes necessary, can take away from the potential of your day." -Micah
"Family is just that….family. Whether it is your natural born or extended. After marriage you should never learn to just “tolerate” your extended family. You need to open your heart and accept them as your own. You learn that they are there for you and support you just as much as your own. They become your own." -Craig
"I've learned, as cliche as it may sound, laughter is very often, if not always, the best medicine!" - Louis
Oh so many things...if you do or say something that makes another person smile, you have given them a gift." -Gail
“'You don’t like the person you’ve become? Then do something about it because no one’s going to do it or you.' This quote has taught me so much about my life." -Zach
"Quality over quantity in everything in life. Few friends who are true friends over tons of fake ones. Fewer possessions with meaning over many without need. I try to apply that rule anywhere I can and I think most of the time it makes people happier in life." -Bridget

We never know the minutes we have left on our time clock. The earlier we learn the reason we are here, the earlier we can discover the meaning of our lives and find comfort in the pits and peaks of our existence.

Lessons are permanent marks on our minds and hearts. They remind us of where we have been, where we are now, and where we will go in the future. They are a part of us- guiding, lighting, and calming.

It is and always will be...

it’s an outlet. it’s an inspiration. it’s a gift. it’s a purpose