iain s. thomas and why you should be reading his book

I have a new favorite author! His name is Iain S. Thomas. Well, he’s been a new favorite of mine since early March… which is around the time I shared a quote on this blog from his book I Wrote This For You.

Goodness. I really like him because he writes stories, prose, and poetry.

All things I obviously I love.

Wow, I am using very intense language right now: really like, love…

ANYWAYS. Iain (cause obvi he and I are pals and we’re on a first-name basis!) published a book in 2015 (almost exactly two years ago!) (wow, lots of parathesis going on here…) titled: How to be Happy: Not a Self-Help Book. Seriously.

A book I am currently reading for the second time… Yes, it’s that good.

Let me explain:

Back in March, I was sad… a lot. And often. It was kind of a problem because I really didn’t want to be sad. I would actually get really mad at times that I was sad but being mad only made me sadder. Mostly because it was the kind of sad you can’t really tell yourself not to feel, right? You just feel it every day, until there comes a day when it for some reason decides to leave you.

That’s just how it goes. I think.

All to say, my sadness and desire not to be sad led me to Iain. Well, to his book.

At the time, I was stuck in an airport terminal with six hours to kill and iBooks only gives you limited pages of a book to sample before it hooks you in for the purchase. Needless to say, it’s safe for you to assume that I most definitely bought Iain’s book on my laptop and finished it in one sitting!

I bring this up because Iain writes this book with great self-awareness. Honestly, I think I could quote his whole damn book because it’s amazing and you should go read it right now… Even if you aren’t struggling with sadness.

But, if you are sad right now… Consider this, as Iain so beautifully poses:

“I think sadness is there to make us avoid the things that are bad for us.

Sadness is a way for the person deep down inside you to take care of you, the person desperately trying to keep you alive despite everything. They reach out from the dark inside you and pinch your heart between their fingers so that you’ll stop whatever you’re doing and look around you, and wonder why your heart feels so very, very sore.”

I mean, how beautiful is that?

Your own self, looking out for your own self… Yes, perhaps this process hurts, but (as Iain shares earlier in his book) we wouldn’t really know what being happy means… if we didn’t know sadness.

(Wow, kind of sounding like the movie Inside Out, now.)

Ok, but really… Perhaps, if you are feeling sad… its actually there to help you and somehow, pave the way back to joy.

Idk, just think about it.

trying to be the millennial I am

I decided to sign up for a social dating app today. Just try it out. Cause why not?

Surprises:
It’s weird having a random person I don’t know like my picture
All prospects recommended either got an ugh or no response from me, instantly
I got overwhelmed super fast
I don’t get why people share pictures with other random people in them
Someone actually liked my photo… now I either like one of theirs or start a chat?
…feels weird.
Apparently, my social anxiety levels are HIGH

Uhm pretty sure this will not end with a date anytime soon. Cool.

as the song goes: would you lie with me and just forget the world? (maybe this post is all over the place but it’s kay)

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMom and I traveled down to Athens this week to stay with my great aunt for a few days. She’s 84 and life isn’t really too kind to those whose age is a high number.

Three days, no wifi. Ooph, it was hard! My millennial self struggled. I can’t say I was missed but being online is a daily routine my habitual self didn’t know how to live without. I mean, obviously, I cheated a couple times! I went to a nearby coffee shop to check my social media and put in a couple job applications. Satisfying that compulsion to feel connected through the interwebs.

I discovered there are benefits to this disconnect though…

My great aunt, Irene, reminds me of my grandma. They’re sisters (after all), three years apart, both relatively short women who married tall men. They share a similar spunkiness, a tendency to keep their fridges full, and both very kind hearted. Their commonalities are strong, and sometimes I wonder if when I get older people will say the same for me and my sisters.

But, grandma passed away 10 years ago… and aunt Irene has been not a substitute but a nice reminder of her sister.

Anyways, yesterday, as aunt Irene woke up from her nap, I ended up getting in bed with her to snuggle. It was an action that ended up surprising us both. We enjoyed it a lot and each time I got up for a moment, she’d call for me to come back. We spent a good hour and half laying there as she shared stories about when she was my age, about her sister, and about her late husband, Harris.

It was so neat to feel the world drift away and hear her talk. She told me about Harris and how he wanted to marry her from the moment he set his eyes on her. She lost him over 20 years ago and her heart still aches for him.

Love is this wild thing that I don’t know much about it. At least, not the “in love” part. I know about loving people and I try very hard to love people well, even if I don’t always succeed. But lately, I’ve thought about love a lot and about loving someone deeply and losing that person… and then what’s left?

A heart that’s broken, lost, and confused?

How do you ever move forward

How do you let go

The Christian answer in my head is: God will heal those wounds. And the thing is, he does… sure, but sometimes, I don’t think the whole pain ever leaves. Not really. It’s a thorn that remains in your heart, right? Or so it feels. A thorn that stabs you every day, even if its hollow and faint.

I just don’t think such a pain can ever truly, completely stop.

Perhaps because hearts are made to break. They are fragile and marked by their ability to feel – everything. So, sometimes, when they are shattered… those pieces can only attempt to recreate what they once were. It’s like when you break your ribs, right? Those bones can never heal as they were before but mend within their brokenness. They will create something new of which you are forever reminded that they were once deformed and now changed.

I don’t know, loving is hard but as I laid there listening to my aunt tell me story after story and share her hurt, here’s one thing I know: I’d lay on a damn bed any day with a person I care for and love, just to spend a few moments forgetting about the world.

Maybe that’s selfish, but maybe it’s not… Yet, maybe it’s just savoring those quiet moments that tend to be far and wide apart.

to spring, change, life: a thing can only produce something beautiful if it dies first

So, maybe 2017 hasn’t been your year.

Maybe these past three months have been hard and dark and lonely, and cold. Maybe you’ve waited for spring, anticipated spring because it’s meant warmer, lighter, dare I say, happier days?

That’s the promise, right?

As the flowers bloom, so will your heart. As the rays of sun kiss your skin, you will feel alive again. You’ll want to smile more. Live more. Be yourself more.

Just remember to be patient.

Sometimes the prettiest things come from the darkest nights and coldest places, as we learn to let the old die and the new take life.

goodbye january 2017, hello february 2017

Oh January. You have been a month full of loss, hurt, and pain.

You’ve been hard.

Harder than I predicted. You’ve been hard on the world too.

2017 you did not start with a shiny new beginning. Instead, you followed closely in the footsteps of 2016. Not surprising since we put way too much pressure on you.

I won’t lie – part of me wishes for a do-over; rewind time and maybe get it better the second time around.

But.

Maybe February 1st can serve as a do-over. It’s tomorrow after all. New month, new day, new 28 days to live. New prospect that maybe this whole month will be easier and lighter and freer.

Tonight January ends and tomorrow February begins.

May it be good.