i’m not as intimidating as you may believe.

If you only knew me

I do not presume to be the most commendable nor the loveliest of people, for I am well aware of the manner and air of which I carry myself.

I come across almost entirely menacing with an unforgettable dismal display of sign much like “Do not enter, hazardous past this point, enter at your own risk”. Or the most commonly known, “RBF” the lovely resting “Bitch face”.

I beg you, all who encounter me to reconsider your prior interpretation of my demeanor.

Behind this rough exterior and layered scars is a quiet loveliness that intends to shine through. I possess a calloused heart that’s softening as each day passes, trying to break free from days long since passed. 

My heart is to love, serve and encourage all of humanity to it’s truest and full potential, even through the loss of reciprocity.

You may call it a natural outflow of the kindness I was given a long time ago. It has, indeed left a lasting impression upon my soul.

My expression of this kindness, however flawed It may be…. I’m trying my very best despite the faults of circumstance and my momentarily giving into weaknesses.

Forgive me. Forgive me for making you stray from anything to the contrary of kindness. I promise you it was not my intention. I’m just a broken soul navigating this life while simultaneously walking through it with love and reverence to the best of my capacity.

I pray.. (if I haven’t lost you yet.) That now, you may be able to see that the cover of my book, however tattered and torn, inside, there lies a tale of a young lady of little means who has conquered another day with as much grace as she can muster, with a heart for people and their stories, wanting to contribute a verse in hope of reviving a weary soul.

Getting lost in the right way

I like taking photographs of where my feet have been. Am I the only one?

Greetings, and salutations. I realize it’s been a while since I’ve last written as well as even making an effort to maintain my website. Like most people, I’m blaming covid. Secondly, I’m blaming laziness. I’ve gained a solid 30 pounds and have dealt with more mid-life crisis event’s than I’d like, but I’m sure that’s been the story of every other person. So, without further ado. I give you a little food for thought.

Right in this very moment, I’ve been perusing through all of my pictures of the hikes me and my paramour have taken these past few weeks, and I felt that the scenery and experience is still so fresh in my mind that I found it appropriate to start writing about it. So, here it goes. Have you ever gone on a hike, to a place you’re unfamiliar with, with no agenda and no specific route? I have! Also, did I mention, I do all this by myself? I must say I’m what they would call an “ameteur hiker”. If I were to hike with a group of experienced hikers, I’d be that slow and blissful hiker all the way in the back of the line, or perhaps a few miles behind. Now that I think about it, if this was a thriller/suspense film, I’d would be the first to die (and not in the epic way. I believe I would go out most pathetically, like most do). However, if I were to look at it in a positive light, at least I lived doing what I enjoyed, right? I’d say, most people probably wouldn’t agree. However, I am working my way up though. Going from the hiking trails we have here in Minnesota to trekking through Glacier National Forest, I would have to say, it was quite the wake up call. Let’s just say, I didn’t make it to a lot of our destinations. It was quite comical looking back at it all, and luckily, In spite of my legs cramping up and my lungs drying up, the scenery that I did see, was absolutely stunning.

Obviously so, In this day and age, it’s probably foolish of me to trek on my own but I find it very exhilarating to be fundamentally reckless. I should take the wise path (pun intended) but where would the fun be in that? I find spontaneity quite liberating, and I do declare more of us should live so boldly, for the sake of us actually living, before we die (even if things don’t go as planned and find ourselves being laughed at by the ugly face of failure). As time goes by, I’ve noticed people (including myself) prefer the comfort of knowing, of planning and of being in control. If we aren’t in control of any of these things, our all too familiar friend pays us a visit. It’ goes by the name “ANXIETY”.

Without a doubt, anxiety masquerades as a breeder of comfort. BOOM! Can I get an amen? Or, preach it? My apologies. This is my narrative brain at work and it can get messy, so please, bear with me if you can. Anyway! Back to the anxiety. Anxiety tricks us into thinking we’re potentially, if not fully, lost. Anxiety promises comfort if you don’t do any of the following: try new things, risk take, face failure, do the unpopular and unconventional things, be different, love yourself EXACTLY the way you are, acknowledge a friend who’s hurt you, be vulnerable, stand up for yourself and let’s not forget….. getting down right uncomfortable. THE LIST GOES ON!!!! From my experience, I’ve found that anxiety is a breeder of fear and is unquestionable conditional.

This is a tough thing to think about and you may be thinking this is way to introspective for your taste, but please hear me out. You know that cheesy quote, “fear is a liar?” I’m not sure who said that but I always find myself agreeing with that solid truth that fear, is indeed, a liar. It tends to make us feel like the end is near, that we have no way of escaping it, and that we are perpetually lost if we don’t do things within our comfort zone. I believe that it is 100% the cause of why people choose the easy way, the familiar way, and therefore, choosing the least narrow of paths.

Here’s my question though. How does living in comfort and familiarity actually benefit anyone? From what I’ve experienced, and being an expert introvert, I’ve NEVER grown from a place of comfort. We don’t learn anything through ease. To me, comfort and complacency can get rather boring and puts us in the sad place of missing out on a beautiful thing called “growth”. I like growth more than I like comfort. However! I do rather enjoy the occasional down time with a dash of ocean and mimosa in hand. I’m human! Anywho! Do you want to know why I prefer growth? It’s because “growth” transforms you into a rather versatile creature. It will produce a confidence that you’ve never known and you have the potential to thrive and live anywhere. Does it come easy and in a respectable time? Rarily, but I do have to say, that the time, effort, tears, sweat and potentially the blood you put into this endeavor….. I assure you, is rather worth it. I would rather have a chance at choosing to lose myself in search of myself, rather than lose myself and never have a chance to become more of myself. READ THAT AGAIN!!!! I believe we need to get lost and take the narrow path less traveled. It has a cost, but I believe you will see and experience grandeur, beauty and transformation you couldn’t get any other way.

Be a tad more willing to get lost in nature, than in getting lost in your own head.

The Road Not Taken

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

-Robert Frost

Adversarial things

Photography by: Chelsi Drobnick

What does one do when the uninvited, unwanted bothersome restrictions and unfair things come knocking at your door? Swing the door WIDE OPEN!!!!! Greet them kindly and make those adversarial things your friend.

You never know! Your response to such things one day may paint a beautiful picture, write a lovely sonnet or compose a legendary love song that will be passed along by the very thing you made your friend!

Make every moment a note, perfectly pitched within the composition of your life…. dance to the lovely tune of your own existence and contribute a kind verse into others melodies and add a little color into another’s canvas.

Swing wide the door…..
A new renaissance is about to begin.

-CJ