The Best Medicine

Maybe I laugh too much; that’s probably the only reason why identifying a true hearty laugh from my past is so difficult. Or I have the memory span of a five year old at a birthday party, and that’s probably the truth of the matter.

Laughter fuels my day to day, and it is not always in the best of ways.

For instance: I laugh when I’m nervous, I laugh when I’m sad. Sometimes I laugh when I’m in pain, or I don’t know what to say. Laughter is there to get me through each day unscathed, but when it comes to true honest laughter I can’t identify a moment.

There’s times with my friends when I laugh myself into the bathroom, and those are always on my mind. Other times I laugh so hard I cry when I see a funny picture online.

While laughter might come in abundance, it is the true, honest laughter that shines through all else. Remember those moments, because when you’re feeling down they can be the reason you pull through.

~J. Spade 

 

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A Kiss of Apology

I’ve been gone for awhile now
Lost in my mind
I’ve whispered secrets not allowed
Can you hear my cry?

It’s a shame you are no longer here
Did you know the time?
I fear the end has come, my dear
Let’s embrace our last flight.

~J. 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.

 

To Be Or Not To Be

To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you better?


There are so many verbs out there, and I feel I have a connection with all of them. Or maybe, I just need to have a connection with all of them.

I am an active mind, constantly in a state of want because there is so much that can be done, written, or thought. In one post, I mentioned how I was never bored; I believe this is the reason for that.

While I would love for my spirit verb to be any of the aforementioned, I know that it is probably something a little more basic.

In fact I’ve mentioned it in this post and in many others.

I want. Period.

I want for me. I want for my friends, family, and even mere acquaintances. It’s a selfish and selfless action all rolled into one. This is the verb that best describes me because it encompasses all others. I want to be, to have, to think, and to move.

I am best characterized with want because I know that I don’t always succeed in my endeavors. But I damn sure am going to try, regardless.

~J. Spade

Secondhand

Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.


As the youngest child I spent a lot of my time dealing with hand-me-downs. Toys, books, clothes, and even sports seemed to belong to someone else before it came to me. At the time it really annoyed me. I was the only girl amongst my parents children, it didn’t make sense to me how my mother kept happening across used clothing for girls that were conveniently in my size. Of course, I had plenty of older cousins that helped out with her endeavor to keep me clothed in articles that were well past the point of worn.

Being as young as I was I just didn’t understand. Why did my brothers receive new things when I never did? Was it because my parents loved them more than me? Questions filled my brain and stuck in my mind, making me more confused than I had any right to be. Then one day all of that washed away. All pieces of hand-me-downs that were given to me were not merely objects that had previous owners, they had been cared for and loved in such a way that shouldn’t be looked down upon. The objects had lived, had stories of their own. That was beautiful, that was new, and the fact that I could create my own stories to go right along with the previous ones was an incredible feeling.

Once I had realized that, I ended up being happy with the things that I had. I was able to appreciate the value of them, and even to this day I still admire the quality of life found in hand-me-downs. That’s part of the reason I donate the stuff that I have outgrown, because maybe, just maybe, someone will have a place for that material in their own life.

 

~J. Spade

The One

You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?


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To The Grave

Keeping a secret, while difficult, is not impossible. Secrets are small glimpses into another person’s soul; they happen because you were trusted by that person to help keep a piece of her or him unseen. It’s an act of trust between two or more people, and spilling the so called beans can essentially mean breaking that trust. Reality is harsh, but if you fail to keep a secret that is that big then you might has well have literally thrown your friend under the bus rather than figuratively. The key here is keep your lips sealed to the best of your ability.

As with anything, there are plenty of tips that can help keep a secret remain just that. Some of those tips include:

  • Putting yourself in his or her shoes. Think how you would feel if it was your secret being shared. You wouldn’t want to tell just anyone your secret, so you shouldn’t tell just anyone their secret.
  • Listen to them. Chances are they mentioned at least once that you “can’t tell anyone”. Anyone means anyone. Even if it is someone who doesn’t know them you still shouldn’t let their secret slip. Telling a person who doesn’t know the person is just as bad as telling someone who does know them. It’s a gateway slip, it will undoubtedly lead to future slips. So just don’t do it.
  • Secrets can be soul burdens. If you’re finding a mighty need to tell the secret just to ease the pressure of your soul write it down. Use code-names of course so that if someone happened across it all parties involved would still remain intact. Writing it down is similar to sharing the secret with someone without all the horrible backlash that could result in a loss of friends.
  • Know your limits. There are some people who just can’t keep secrets. If you are one of those people, speak up before the secret is spilled. That way if for some unfortunate reason you were to let it slip later on, then it will not be entirely your fault. You gave fair warning, and they still decided to share their secrets.
  • Understand the difference between secrets that should be kept and secrets that shouldn’t. Sometimes there are people out there who give you a secret that can be harmful: to themselves or to others. If you happen to come across such a secret you will have a lot to contemplate. First you will need to know who you can turn to with this secret, because harmful secrets aren’t always best left swept under the rug.

Those, of course, are just a few of the essential guidelines to follow. There is more to it than that, but knowing the basics helps to lay the groundwork for future tight lips.

~J. Spade

Growing Up

Getting older means that you take on more and more responsibilities; you have to care for yourself and for others. If you’ve ever spent any time as a designated driver (DD) then you know that it is akin to parenting or babysitting. There is something wholly uncouth about being the only sober person amidst a mass of drunkards; especially when you’re in a fairly large city.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I am glad I could be there for them on their big day and help out; but holy crap can drunks be difficult to handle. Mainly when there is a large group of them. There is nothing more taxing than a group of eight or more drunks each getting ideas in their head, because as the DD you are bound to be pulled in a million different directions trying to wrangle up the lush’s.

Of course, there are different levels to each person. One person might be content to follow you around all night because they “love you sooo much”, whereas another might just want to go make out with someone and you’ll be damned lucky if they mention anything of the sort to you. So not only do you have to search out your friends in the dark, but you have to look for shadows of themselves behind the silhouette of the partner they have chosen. It can get somewhat awkward out on the dance floor, because more than half of the people out there are sucking face and you’ll be lucky if you can see your friend at all.

As a DD you’re not there to snub out their fun, you’re simply there to give them a safe ride home. But shit, is it hard to make sure they get home safe when they’ve all scattered like a bunch of flies at a barbeque.

You’re bound to hear the same story at least ten times, with spastic embellishments that can only make sense to those with inebriated brains. You’re going to get annoyed, your feet will hurt, and the music and smells might just give you a headache. The selling point would have to be the fact that you’ll probably spend more money than you had planned on by buying your friends birthday drinks, and sadly none of those drinks were even for you. It can be frustrating, but hopefully the drunk birthday girl or guy is kind enough to drunkenly declare how grateful they are that you did this for them.

A few tips for surviving a night as a DD would be:

  • Set your guidelines early in the night when they’re still coherent enough to understand them.
  • Don’t plan to leave the bars early. Chances are they are going to want to close it out, and if you had planned to go home early your annoyance level will be through the roof.
  • Be firm, but understanding. They’re drunk and you are not. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be a party pooper either.
  • Have fun. Yeah, you’re surrounded by a bunch of drunk, horny fools, but that doesn’t mean you have to be angry about it. Laugh, enjoy the embarrassing shenanigans that everyone is partaking in.

And most importantly:

  • Take detailed notes. It’s all going to be worth it when you’re reacquainting your friends with all of their drunken shenanigans.

 

 

Yours Truly

~Johana Spade

The Find

500 years from now, an archaeologist accidentally stumbles on the ruins of your home, long buried underground. What will she learn about early-21st-century humans by going through (what remains of) your stuff?

It’s amazing how much a person can learn simply by looking at the material items a person possesses. There’s that saying revolving around ‘judging the contents of ones purse’ and it is so very true. A lot of people can be a bit obsessive when it comes to what’s theirs: do not look through their phone contents, their purse contents, or their wallet contents. It’s a matter of privacy in a world that is all too public.

Now saying that, I tend to be more on the border of “take a look at your own risk”. I don’t care if people look through my stuff, it will fall on them if they see something they don’t like.

If 500 years from now someone were to stumble upon the ruins of my home, I think they’d be in for a bit of a shock about how this 21st century girl lived her life. Crammed into a somewhat small living space I have the necessities: a bed, fridge, kettle, and clothes.

No big deal right?

Well, I think the most important thing she would learn about 21st century life is that we were extremely good at Tetris. At least I know I am. I have packed over twenty years of accumulating crap into one room that I still don’t even know how I managed it. My room’s some sort of whacked out version of Mary Poppins’ bag, I have so much junk. 

~J. Spade