Childhood Fears

Lying in bed a couple of minutes ago I was suddenly hit with a memory from my childhood. Barely any recollection was possible, however I could clearly recall that in the midst of an elementary school weekend church retreat, surrounded by my classmates and leaders that I saw 2-3 times a week: I was terrified. Terrified of being alone, forgotten, rejected, and that no one understood me. As I tried to follow the memory deeper; remember more of what I experienced or what happened, I came up empty. My memories of my childhood are very slight and 80% of the time are sad/depressing. It’s challenging to remember the good things I experienced, the carefree times that all children should have. Instead when I search my childhood for memories – I’m greeted with an overwhelming amount of fear.

How our childhood, and what we are capable of retaining from our childhood, affect our “grown up” lives is a bit unnerving. Those fears we experienced when we were 4? Yeah, they still show up in our lives when we are 24, 34, 44,etc…  In my own personal life, I tend to push people away – exert my independence as far as I possibly can, which sometimes causes me to injure myself. Teamwork? More like “how much can Danielle do without anyone else’s help-work”. At least I am able to recognize my lacking ability to rely on others. I’m afraid to ask too much of others only to be denied and rejected.

Even though I know that I will never be rejected by certain ones in my life… And even though I know that I will always have outstretched arms to run to for support… I still have these nights where all I can recount from my childhood is the fear of being rejected. My heart is and always has been very sensitive; that’s one thing that I don’t think will ever change, but maybe someday when I look back to my childhood I’ll remember the better times.

Follow Your Inner Moonlight…

Don’t mind my random ramblings…

Things are going well, in the full scheme of things. Yes, there are challenges – but that is how life goes. Tonight I am stuck. I have quite a few things to do for school, as well as personally, but it seems as though my mind is on vacation. At the least, it is preoccupied with trying not to dwell on the facts. The facts? The facts are things that are and cannot be altered. There are those which are good. And then there are those which are not. There are the facts which push you to grow. And then there are the facts which seem to stunt you where you are. Any and every part of life has its facts. With school, work, home, relationships, personal and other – everything can be broken down into one of these categories.

Finding the time to sit down and do my school work is challenging. Being motivated to write essays on topics I do not even begin to have any sort of passion for is practically impossible. Putting a project together on a country which I have already visited and didn’t necessarily enjoy is low on the list of interesting things to do. I know what I want to do, but I do not know how to get to that point. Without a doubt, I want to work with children in orphanages. Show them some sort of love and kindness – prove to them that there are people out in the world who truly do care and they are not alone. My heart twists every time I see parents who yell at their children calling them names or demeaning them in any sense. Sadly, I feel like I see that every day.

I’ve always been a great actress, and I feel as though that should be a requirement for my job. So many days I walk in and do not want to smile, talk, or be peppy and warm. All the things which are required to be a great employee in a major retail store. Work isn’t a place to bring your personal life in to, so I leave it at the door. I try to at least. Every once in a while when I’m not helping a customer I find myself feeling entirely overwhelmed and struggling to maintain my composure. I do though, every time. Because I am capable of handling anything that is thrown my way.

My baby puppy, Ava, will be turning two years old soon. It is easy to see she has not had the attention she deserves. It is difficult to give her the attention when I barely have any time when I’m at the house with her. I have found that losing two hours a day driving to and from the house has been detrimental to my ability to raise her properly, and also to accomplish essentially anything when I am at the house. It is “the house” and not “home” because it isn’t my home. I don’t have a home. I don’t have a place where I truly feel comfortable enough to relax, cook dinner, have “me” time. Since moving out of my apartment in Mechanicsburg in August 2010, I haven’t ever felt home. I’m not a person who can survive without a home – I need it. I require it. Otherwise there’s a lot of unrest.

On the outside everything looks great. Everything looks perfect at times. It isn’t until you get into the meat of things do you realize how many things are not even close to perfection. There’s a constant striving – striving to be the best daughter, friend, confidant, equal that anyone ever could be. I’m afraid to disappoint anyone. Every move I make I wonder who it will affect and how. Through this I’ve put myself through more stress than I ever should. This stress has truly taken its toll on me the last couple of months. Since the beginning of the year I have dropped a couple of pounds because I lost my appetite, and when I would force myself to eat I would get sick after only a couple of bites. On my tiny frame, a couple of pounds is impossible to miss. Especially when it’s closer to ten. Attempting to resolve and push my body back into something more normal is no fun, but it’s where I’m at.

It’s times like these that make it so apparent as to how desperately I need to dance, write or paint. Express myself in one form or another. After 25 years I still prefer to dance even though my body revolts as soon as I stop moving. It’s always been, and maybe always will be, the truest form of freedom I know.

And yes, I still say that things are going well in the midst of this. I have some challenges to overcome, some issues to accept, recognize and ultimately grow from and a lot of fear to deal with.
In some sense or another though that is all of us.

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” – Allen Ginsberg

Clothed in Ivory

I’ve mentioned it a few times but never have I completely explained the story…

Last January, fresh off of becoming engaged to a guy in PA, I returned to California for the Spring semester at school. Every day I woke up asking for a sign as to what I should do – stay in Cali or move back to PA. Every day I searched and begged for a clear sign from God. Just one sign, that’s all I needed. The second to last Saturday in January I had decided that it was time to go to Sacramento and try on dresses. Just for fun. Because that’s what an engaged girl does!
When I walked into the store with three of my friends, I didn’t have an appointment. Because of a little bit of patience and others canceling, I managed to attain one 10 minutes later just as we were ready to walk out the door. As I found myself describing what I had envisioned for my dress I realized how real the engagement was. There was one dress which I had particularly noticed in my searches online. Sadly the store was not carrying it that day but the assistant said she would find a few others which were similar. Back in the fitting room she helped me get into one which was elegant, but I didn’t have that feeling. The second one she brought made me look 12 (because that’s easy enough to do already). The third went on and immediately I began to smile. The smile that slides across your face when you know something is right. Never one to believe something could be that easy, I tried on 9 more dresses (so a total of 12) before returning to that third one. The one which when I put it on for a second time felt even more right than the first. The smile was broader, the feeling was more right, the material was more soft, the fit more perfect. It was more in all ways good.
It was then that I was told someone in the store was purchasing the dress for me. The most beautiful dress was being given to me as a gift. The dress which was beyond my price range, someone wishing to remain anonymous was purchasing for me. The dress which symbolizes innocence and purity, was found. My sign which I had been asking for was being handed to me.
So I stayed. Grew and moved beyond the things which were holding me back. Eventually ended the engagement and stretched into the me of today. All because of that beautiful ivory gown.
The dress was a gift, and is a gift. It still hangs in my parents’ house. I refused to look at it for the longest of times. Just the other week I took my first peek at it and it is more gorgeous than I remembered. I have finally reached the point where when I think about or see the gown, I smile. Previously I believed it was too good for the occasion which it was to be worn. But I realized it was only because the guy wasn’t the right one. The dress will be worn, as a reminder of how good God is as well as symbolizing the innocence and purity it is meant to.
This time around, I’m determined to do things right.

Ring of Fire

The last week I took part in an experiment. One which I never thought I’d have the moxie to do. Since I wrote “15 Diamonds” I have worn that ring, just about 9 months or so now. The very simple, delicate ring was bought with the intentions to be worn as my wedding band. Obviously life determined otherwise.   My choice, and continuance of wearing the ring on my left ring finger was filled with so many different reasons.
I didn’t want people to look at me and see me as the girl who failed.
I didn’t want to feel empty.
I didn’t want to let a beautiful ring sit.
I didn’t want the question “What happened?” when I talked of my wedding plans.
I didn’t want to accept the fact that I came so close to what I have desired for so long, and I had to let it go.
I didn’t want.
About a month ago it started to bother me. It had just served as the perfect reason for an unsavory fellow to leave my girl friend and I alone while walking down a street at night, but I couldn’t quite shake the thought from my mind that something wasn’t right.
After a bit of soul-searching I decided to swap the hand that the ring was worn on. After two days of attempting to wear it strictly on my right ring finger I realized that subconsciously I would continue to switch it back to the left hand.    There is no part of me which is sworn away to another. There is no one in my life who stands in the position as soul mate (or whatever one chooses to believe in). Rather, it’s simply me. I could no longer fake the fact. It was time to accept it as it is. The last week I’ve been painfully aware of a very small tan line, the lack of bling, and the sinking in of who I am right now.

No longer wearing the ring is a choice. A choice to accept where I am in my life. A choice to accept that there is something better out there for me. A choice to believe that someday I will once again wear a ring on my left hand, but when I do, it’s going to be the one I love from the one I love. Not a ring I bought for myself to match the wrong ring.
In the mean time, I may go back to wearing my ring on my right hand – but I first have to meet a few goals I have for myself. Oh how I love a reward!

Carnations Among Us

The other night I was watching an episode of Sex and the City (oh yes – I own the entire series and am not ashamed in any way) in which Charlotte exclaims that no woman should ever receive carnations – they are the filler flowers! Meanwhile Carrie shares with her love interest that her favorite flower is actually a pink carnation.

The entire scene made me laugh – I’m with Charlotte on this subject completely. Carnations are the flowers which promote the beauty in other flowers. I believe that a female should never be given a bouquet of carnations. Sure, they come in all sorts of color varieties, can be found essentially everywhere, are easy to take care of and last a very long time, so you would think they’d be perfect. But they aren’t.
Now, ladies – it’s the same situation with men – there are so many out there. You have to be careful and make sure that you have a guy in your life that when compared to the others is like comparing a single stem of your favorite flower with a single carnation. When you find him, that’s the man you need to hold on to.
I know from experience that a single carnation is sweet, it doesn’t make me feel special or like I am important. It made me feel second class. Simply put, it was the wrong guy, with the wrong flower.

Flash of Familiarity

Over time most, if not every, person who is involved in your life will remind you of someone you once knew. Their disposition, physical features, personality – anything and everything. Lately this has been happening a lot regarding a few of my ex’s. I believe that the more you allow a person to impact your life, the more similarities there are to discover in others. It’s been interesting the past couple of weeks – I’ve noticed the slightest thing and immediately I’ve been transported to a time and place of the past. While these flashes aren’t always the kindest, they definitely are reminders of what I want to avoid.
I love how much knowledge it’s possible to gain just from experiencing something once.

Hollywood

Hollywood has created the perfect unreal relationship. In each movie, there’s always that singular moment which we all wind up searching for in our own relationships. The look, touch, sigh, song, kiss… Even the first intercourse between the two characters. No matter what it is – after that one happening the two are instantly a happy couple.
Why are we trusting an industry which is known for blowing things out of proportion, creating false realities, pushing people to become someone else, and lying as if it’s going out of style? Why are we looking to these movies, characters, and even the actors as guides to our own personal love lives?

Last time I had a first kiss there were no fireworks which shot off, and there was no perfectly timed and beautifully written instrumental piece which began to play in the background. Last time I saw a guy who I thought was attractive and caught eyes with, he did not come up to me and we did not immediately commence in witty banter. Last time I snuggled with a guy we had to adjust ten million times before we were both comfortable. Last time a date came to a close I walked myself to my car. Last time I allowed a stranger to buy me a drink it did not come with his number on the napkin, and he certainly never approached me. Last time I danced with a guy in a club it did not end with us leaving together, or even with each others’ numbers.

My life is no Hollywood movie and frankly, I’m thrilled it isn’t!