Where Do We Go From Here?

Optimistic

How do you fuel the fires of optimism?

Day 2 - Overcast

Continue reading

Advertisements

2016 – Challenge: Day 10-18

Day 10

Day 10 – Monochrome

Iron[wo]man. I have too much time on my hands. Or not enough. I’m not entirely sure. Continue reading

2016 – Challenge.

Years ago I spent a lot of money on a DSLR camera. Since that purchase, I have used the camera enough times to warrant the purchase, but I have not moved forward in pursuit of bettering my photography skills. This year, I hope to fix that. Granted, these photos are mediocre, but I’m hoping throughout the year I will improve.

I’ll be posting probably once a week, even though I’ll be taking the pictures daily. Maybe if I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I’ll post the pictures after I take them. I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath for that one though.

The challenge is called Capture Your 365, and I’ll be tagging it as such despite the fact that this year will have 366 days in it.

Continue reading

We Can Love If We Want To

The time I spend on the internet is much more limited than what it used to be, because I have other things occupying my time now. Do I miss my time online? Sometimes. Then I see articles that make me realize my time spent enjoying real life moments are far more valuable. Granted, most of my real life is occupied by work and school, but I take joy from the little things because that is sometimes all we can hope for sometimes.

Recently it has come to my attention that numerous people think love is no longer attainable for the younger generations. Articles such as this one and this one seem to think that we have ideals too high to make love work. I’m not going to sit here and bash the articles or the people who wrote them, because the truth of the matter is they each have valid points.

Love is complicated in different ways than what it used to be, but there are still some similarities involved. Those similarities mainly reside around the fact that love takes work. Period. It’s a two way street, and both partners need to work together in order for a relationship to sustain itself. It’s called give and take for many reasons, and I believe that is the real reason relationships fail time and time again. Of course there are other factors involved, and I’m not discounting those. But these articles are basing results off of life aspects that can be fixed.

Perhaps I’m not the person to be writing this, seeing as how I am nowhere near being in a relationship let alone a serious, long-term one, but I think that is why my opinion can make a difference. I’m not being biased because I’m so in love and I’m not being hypocritical after suffering through a bad break up. I’m seeing the real deal for what it is, or at least I’m trying to. So what if I’m not sure whether or not marriage is my endgame? I’m not going to put a pin in the hopes of those around me just because something might be not be for me.

The point of this post is to address some of the little things that might make a relationship last. They’re simple fixes, and it all focuses on paying attention.

Don’t text you partner when they’re in the same room. That’s just ridiculous.

Unless there are other people in the room and you’re using the written word as some form of artful foreplay to be completed at a different location then just don’t do it. Speak. It’s why we were equipped with the gift of language. Use it.

If you’re letting finances rule your life, you probably weren’t ready to be married in the first place.

It’s a sad point that I believe holds validity. You don’t need to be 100% financially secure to be married, but having a plan helps. A lot of people are not ever going to be set for life, but if you’re letting arguments over money take control over the love you share with your significant other I believe that is a sign right there. Just wait for a bit. Find that stability you so obviously crave, and then move forward with the rest of your life plans; such as marriage and children. Hell, even throw in that white picket fence if it’s in your cards. Just do you, and make sure the timing works.

My point is that yes we have complications ahead of us, but that doesn’t mean we are ill-equipped to handle love and/or marriage. It just means we have obstacles to get over, which will make the journey that much sweeter in the end. If you’re a romantic don’t let discouraging articles deflate your sense of self. You’ll find someone, and maybe they won’t be everything you ever dreamed, but they’ll love you and you will love them.

I think that’s the point these articles might have been trying to make. We all want love, we just aren’t always the best at looking for it in the right places.

~Johana Spade

Help & Poetry

I’ve been feeling pretty down in the dumps lately, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it came to me. As the weather started to turn sour, so did my mood. It’s one of those things where you begin to find it harder and harder to get out of bed, and you start putting off tasks that would normally be a quick job. That’s been me lately, it’s really a wonder I’ve been getting anything done.

The reason for this is because I’ve had a flare up of S.A.D – season affected depression that is. Sometimes I forget that I suffer from it, especially when last year I was so busy that I really didn’t have time to be alone with my thoughts. It didn’t hit me as hard as it is hitting me now. I’m posting this here because I want everyone to know that they are not alone. They don’t need to feel bad if they are having troubles adjusting, because it happens to a lot of people. Especially here in the Pacific Northwest.

In fact, the other day I wrote a poem that I would like to share. It depicts of how I feel whenever this comes around, and I’m betting people can relate.

You can feel like you’re choking
Suffocating on air
Your lungs could burst
But really who would care

Your feelings are fleeting
Your heart might be ice
Because you don’t have the will
To even play nice

You really wish you could feel
The way that you used to
You wish you could just see
The light instead of blue

But most of all the thing you want
Is for your heart to beat
Instead of breaking and pulling taut
Because you can’t stand that

Obviously it’s reflective of the funk I’m in, but that’s neither here or there, because really the reason I shared that was to give tips to those who might feel the same way. Some of the techniques I have found useful for this empty void in my chest are as follows:

  • Music. Listen to something upbeat, something to get your body moving and blood flowing. Sad songs aren’t going to cut it, because while they reflect your mood perfectly it’s only going to drag you further into your funk.
  • Write. It doesn’t matter what. Silly little poems, notes about the weather, how you’re feeling. Anything. Write it down.
  • Draw or color. I’ve hauled out my coloring books, and the color I place onto the paper really helps me cheer up a bit.
  • Eat. Make your favorite food, or just something simple. Being down in the dumps is no reason to let your health follow. Stay healthy, because your mood will improve.

Hopefully this at least helps somebody out there, because I really do know what it is like. There are people out there to support you, and you are not alone.

~Johana Spade.

 

We Deserve Equality

After being bedridden for the better part of  four days due to this damn stomach virus I have, I feel that I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ll spare you the gory details, but you’ll just have to know that I’m still not feeling well. Which means that this post might be a bit loopy and very short.

That’s it. That’s my whole post.

No, I’ve got a bit more juice left in me.

After miserably rolling over and seeing the date something pinged inside of my brain. I didn’t know what alarm was being triggered, but I knew I would find my answer online. First I checked to make sure my homework for the day was done, and then, when that didn’t yield any results, I came over to wordpress to see if I could find my answer here. Today’s prompt helped me remember.

As much as I wanted to write some long, thought out post about inequality, I fear that my time here is going to brief today. Hopefully no less powerful though.

Inequality is something I have seen a lot of in my life. When I was younger I saw it, but I did not understand it. A few key facts about me are that I am the youngest child and the only girl.  I was treated differently than my brother’s, and I am not sure if it is because of the younger aspect of that previous statement or the fact that I’m a female. That’s a story for another time though.

Inequality in society is based off of unequal opportunities presented to different individuals based off his/her gender, race and ethnicity, as well as social class. Other factors can be involved, but those are some of the main ones seen.

Inequality means that not everyone is being paid the same. That some people out there are being promoted quicker just because they have a different gender, race, or social class. It means that clothing for men is cheaper than clothing for women. In certain states, inequality means that an unstable mother can gain custody of the child over a stable father simply because she is the mother. It means that because of a person’s race they are being persecuted more swiftly and harshly than those around them. There are so many examples of inequality out there in the world, and yet still they remain unseen to a lot of the population.

It’s going to take a lot of people to stand up against inequality. To let people know that we won’t stand to be treated like anything other than people just because the color of our skin is differently, we make less money, and/or because we are of a different gender.

We are all people, we all have the same human rights. I’m tired of inequality saying that that’s not true.

Let’s do what we can for equal rights, because the world deserves equality.

~J. Spade

 

Make It Count

You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?


 

In a world that over 7 billion people call home, how does an individual decide who their one important person is? Are we really picking one person more deserving than the rest? I talk to people of importance every day. We share smiles, conversations, and dreams. These people are important to me, so therefore they are simply important to the world.

When thinking like that, it just makes choosing who will be the recipient of my message that much harder.

The last time I was given a somewhat similar challenge, I wrote to my past-self. While I would love to choose her again, because she needs all the support she can get, I know that it might be more feasible to go a different route.

No, I’m not going to write a message to my future-self either. We might as well write off my present-self too, because I can send words to anyone and they’ll read it.

The truth is of the matter is, I don’t know who that anyone might be.

I could send it to actors/actresses. Any of them would be within the reach of my message. From Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Watson, and from Tom Hiddleston to Robert Downey Jr. They would hear what I had to say. My praise for their talents, and my wishes to just be successful in whatever I choose. It would all flow straight from my mind into theirs, but I’m not sure I would want that.

Then I think of all the people who have performed a heroic act and who have not received the proper glorified praise for it other then the obligatory 15-minutes. As much as I would love to send it to an actor/actress and know that they would actually see my message, I know that I could send them fanmail anyway. It’s not guaranteed that they’ll see it, but it will be addressed to them. The same as the thousand or so similar messages that have their name on it.

My message would be to those who don’t get enough thanks in their life, to the man who saved a baby but only got a tiny news segment and profuse thanks from the family. My letter would be to you. To the woman who stood by the side of a lost young girl just so she knew she wasn’t alone. You can have my thanks. To anyone out there who just got into the school they wanted or who got the job they interviewed for, my letter is to you.

My feelings cannot be condensed to just one person, because there are so many people out there who need to hear it. They need to know that their thoughts and actions are valued. That even though the whole world doesn’t know their name or their face that they are still just as important as those who are well known.

I give my message to those of you who have done or who will do something worth noting, because even though the whole world doesn’t recognize you that does not make you any less important to those in your life. You are great, and you are loved.

We’ve all been given an opportunity to live, so let’s do what we can to make it count.

~J. Spade

 

 

 

Deal Breaker

If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?


 

We all have those relationship “deal breakers” that sometimes spring out of nowhere. Figuring out the facet of a potential friends personality is something that can save a lot of heartbreak early on.

As contrived as it sounds, I’d like to think that I can be friends with anyone, but we all know the truth for what it is. There are simply people out there who are so incompatible that being around them is torture. That sounds horrible, but it’s true.

My question would probably be somewhat basic, and while I do not know of the question I could always resort to, I do know it would be something along the lines of: What do you think of so-and-so? Whether ‘so-and-so’ references an object or a person, that question will often speak a lot about the person answering.

I have had too many friends trash talk people who didn’t deserve it, and it’s beginning to unnerve me how often it happens. The answer to that question could be my deal-breaker; because if you’re going to treat that person in a bad way behind their back, who is to say that the same will not be done to me?

~J. Spade

Brevity Pulls

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” — Blaise Pascal
Where do you fall on the brevity/verbosity spectrum?


 

As I sit here and contemplate where I stand on the scale of brevity versus verbosity, it becomes quite obvious that I tend to be more on the verbose side of things. After all, I did just spend the last couple of hours creating an outline – that is right an outline – that ended up being 5,000 words. The outline was probably far too detailed, but I guess hopefully this way writer’s block will not be an issue.

There are times when I fall more towards brevity. If I do not wish to be talking, which sometimes is during verbal presentations, or if I’m tired or angry I tend to be more clipped with my words.

Whether it a person speaks or writes with brevity or verbosity, it does not make one better than the other. Sometimes brevity works and the same can be said for verbosity. The real talent is finding out which works under the situation. If you can combine the right amount of brevity and verbosity into a story then you will have a true impact. After all, it’s the difference between show and tell in a creative environment.

~J. Spade.

The Buck Stops Here

I somehow simultaneously expect too much and too little from society as a whole. Moreover, I know how bad society can be, and I keep hoping against all else that it will change. Instead of the change I’ve been wishing to see, it only seems to be getting worse.

Yes, how incredibly fascinating that I’m yet another unspoken activist hidden behind the confines of a keyboard and a pen name. Dreary, really.

Back in the old days, that long three years ago when I was still young and naïve, I applied for the Miss County pageant. Let me amend, I was in the Miss Pageant. Circumstances lead me to not trying very hard, because all the platforms offered to me just seemed so contrived. If I was offered another chance, I’d have a platform I could work with; one that I would want to strive towards. Alas, that cannot be, so I’ll simply have to rehash these would be memories at a later date.

As I was saying, the potential activist inside of me does not quite have the means to make the change happen that I wish to see. I am so sick of the high horse people ride in on. What good does it do to tear people down?

I’m not saying this because I can’t handle hate – anonymous or otherwise – I am saying this because I can. I’ve dealt with my fair share of ridicule, and I’ve grown from it. It’s actually gotten to the point where I am quite indifferent to the insults slung my way. I am not, however, indifferent to the crude behavior taking place everywhere else. Say what you want about me, because I can handle it; it’s everyone else that worries me. Because there are so many people out there who can’t handle such abusion. And no one should have to handle it.

It’s everywhere: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Whatever social media site you’ve dabbled in the so called ‘haters’ have also forayed into those grounds. I have not been on WordPress long, but I’m sure that it receives its fair share of bashing. Excuse me if I’ve used the word fair too lightly. There is nothing fair about someone being slammed for stating their thoughts.

I do suppose that the haters use that as a defense too. “I’m just stating my opinion,” they’ll say as the write out a contemptuous review that not only berates a person for his or her words but somehow threatens and abuses all in one go. And there is the difference. I wouldn’t mind if people were merely sharing their opinions. It could range from “I don’t like this” to “I love this” and social webbing would already be a safer place. It’s the ones who feel the need to throw in the threats of death, wishes of disappearance, and the criticizing of morals and appearances that bring haters to a whole new level.

I ask again, why? Why would anyone think they are so high above the rest of us mortals that it is okay for them to think this way?