If you want to sing out, sing out

Back from a day of fun in the sun,

I could barely sleep last night I was so excited for my trip to Grafton with the Sanctuary group. I got up early and went to church at Terra Nova and then was picked up by Branda Miller and crew in her sweet convertible. We had plan to set out at 11 but didn’t actually until about 1130 and even then had to turn around and come back for another child. It was an adventure for sure.

This morning during church I couldn’t help but keep my phone close, constantly checking the time. I didn’t want to miss my ride. I was nervous a little bit, trying to keep myself from expecting the worst and hoping that Branda wouldn’t forget about me. Trust issues much? Yes! I pictured myself standing outside of Browns Brewery in tears when come 1015-1030 and no ride appeared. But I kept the faith and I’m so thankful that that didn’t happen! I got shotgun on the way to the Sanctuary and then again up to Grafton and we had a full car.

Time in Grafton was truly epic. It was a complete bonding experience and I made a new friend. Many new friends in fact. It’s sad that this period of time is over and now looking forward – I’m not sure what’s next. I guess that’s at least partially, maybe mostly, up for me to determine but I’m very excited. I am looking forward to round 3 at The Sanctuary this fall and I wish I didn’t have to take a break in between but as usually it’s for the best. The coming weeks brings work, work, work which is also much needed.

Up a Grafton there was food, laughs, sunshine, swimming, and boating!  Here are some pictures… I plan on doing an official write up for the The Sanct. blog shortly. I have a few other things to conquer tonight, including a resume for a client I have been putting off, some posters for another clients city council campaign, and my own projects (editing myself portrait, MissNY stuff…)

But for now I would like to revel in the awesomeness that was today.


More to come…

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Praise God! Today was such a fantastic day! It started with me having the day OFF! Yay 😀 I know I only started working my paying gigs this week ( and I’ve yet to actually get paid) but I was praying for the day off because I wanted to be apart of the Sanctuary for the last day of Uptown Summer!

This morning I woke up late. Uptown starts at 9 and my alarm goes off at 7. I set it for 7:30am this morning because I wasn’t planning on walking there ( since Mommy bought me a bus pass 🙂 ) I didn’t get up until about 10 am this morning. I was a little bummed but I checked my email and lo and behold an email from a marketing company looking for individuals for a 4 day gig later this month to promote a new retail business that’s moving into the area- which just so happens to be the same retail company I had my first day at yesterday. If I get the position I could be making $18-$20 an hour! So I applied to that. Then I showered and missed the bus.

I was again, kind of bummed because I didn’t want to miss all the action ( and all the coffee and bagels) down at The Sanctuary. I decided to study my bible and I read Luke 3:1-20 and Mathew 3:13-4:17 & 5:1-6:4. I’ve been following this daily planner called ‘The Essential One Hundred Bible Reading Plan’ which basically skims through the bible. I don’t skims is quite the right word, it gives you a chronological display of events that outlines the lines the story from start to finish. It’s more than a skimming, but it’s less than a straight read through ( which can be difficult because there are A LOT of books and some chapters are quite wordy). Pastor Christina gave it to me as it is the plan they follow on her Sunday mornings. Although we are still studying together, I haven’t been in a couple of weeks ( and I won’t be there this week). Even still, it has been AMAZING. I have a lot of bible knowledge from growing up in the church so its all very familiar but from life experience and just general maturity I’m really getting it know. It’s great. So I read through the old testament according to the outline and I just started the New Testament. Anyways, the chapter I read in Matthew was basically Jesus explaining how we must still follow the words of the Old Testament even in his presence. He goes over murder, adultery, debt, giving, enemies, oaths…etc. What stuck to me most was where Jesus says to settle disputes and debts as quickly as possible and to not curse since it doesn’t glorify God. Those are 3 things I struggle with as I generally avoid conflict including debtors and I’ve had quite the sailors mouth.

I had just enough time to catch the bus afterwords but I guess I missed the one I was waiting for anyways. Another one came that dropped me off right at my destination so it all worked out. I got there around 1130 am. There was plenty of bagels, no cream cheese and I had two cups of coffee.

I didn’t have a whole lot to do today as most of the projects were in wrap up mode but Branda and Kathy were happy to see me! I spent most of the day working on my own blog which you may have noticed looks a bit different. I started the daunting task of organizing and I made 4 categories that all my posts, past present and future, will fall into. The categories are as follows: Journal, Old Testament, New Testament, and Meraki. I may change the names of old and new because I feel like it walks the line of blasphemy although that is not what my intention is. The category of Old Testament is everything before I really gave my life to Christ and decided to follow him, New Testament is after having given my life to Christ, and Meraki is artwork which can also fall into OT or NT and everything is under the parent category of journal. I’ll probably change OT to ‘Before Christ’ and NT to ‘After Christ’.

Next I have to go through all my posts and edit them finally as there are a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes. That is going to be obnoxious. It’s the kind of task that I might of enjoyed doing after smoking, or at least I would of idealized doing the two going hand in hand but the truth is that smoking while fun at times mostly was a waste of time and resources. I don’t think it in and of itself is wrong, but since it’s illegal in my state I can no longer consent to doing it. Which is something that’s been on my heart for awhile, but I finally made the decision to give it up. And I’m proud of myself for coming to this conclusion. Since I haven’t been smoking I’ve been much more productive and actually happier too. I missed it at first, when I simply wasn’t doing it because I couldn’t afford it, but I as I started growing my faith, spending time in church, studying my bible, spending time with other Christians, and listening to sermons online I’ve found myself more and more filled with the holy spirit which is a different type of high and it’s so much better. It’s a feeling of joy and oneness. A feeling that nothing else compares to. I have felt it but it hasn’t overwhelmed me yet. I look forward to it overwhelming me 🙂

Everyone at the Sanctuary is so encouraging. And I feel really gratified spending time there. Whatever is going on, it’s always something that is supporting the community. And I really admire and respect the leader, Branda Miller, whom is a professor at RPI. She studied digital film, has traveled the world, and even worked in Hollywood! She has such a big heart and she really authentically enjoys helping people. It’s so amazing. I look forward to getting to know her better and maybe she’ll mentor me. Sunday we are going to Grafton ( another thing I’ve been praying for) and we’ll talk about upcoming plans. In the fall I’ll be an official intern which means I’ll get to help run the radio station (!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I’m hoping to start up a work out group since I’ll be doing one anyways through my dojo. I figured I can learn those moves and teach them to my new friends and we can do them together. This well supplement all the nutrition classes the sanctuary already has and I noticed they don’t have any work out programs. Another super awesome thing is that everyone tells me I’m doing a great job. I think back to when I worked at the jewelry store and I remembered my old manager saying that she wasn’t going to tell us that every day and I just kind of accepted that, like ‘ok maybe it is too much to say that everyday’. But now I realize that it’s not at all, it’s quite the opposite. Showing appreciation is a staple and it’s easy and it’s always great to hear- even if you are confident in what you do.

For lunch there was pizza and then for desert an ice cream social where we played the students projects and then talked about what we enjoyed about the session. I spent the rest of the day working on my blog and then editing my own ‘Self Portrait’ that I recorded in the studio and will someday air on the radio. In it I talk about my adventure from Phoenix to Schenectady, meeting my friend Esha, my family who makes me who I am, my weight loss, and my desire to run for Miss NY ( and also how my confidence is holding me back). It’s like almost 20 mins long. Branda says it’s beautiful but no one will listen to it because everyone has such a short attention span these days. So I’m trying to size it down. Branda, Lydia, and myself stayed until 10pm! We would of grabbed dinner but no one had money ( we literally had $13 between us- I had a silver $).

Branda drove me home and gave me a bunch of fresh veggies from the Collar City garden. So now I have an abundance of food ( another blessing I have been praying for). I get to get creative know as I think of ways to cook all this new food as it is all vegetables ( some bagels). Maybe I will take pictures of my creations and share the recipes I come up with, or MAYBE I will video and do a tutorial! We will see. The latter involves heavy duty cleaning of the kitchen 😦

Tomorrow brings bible study with Pastor Christina and we will be diving into Chapter 2 in Song of Songs. And Sunday I will go to Terra Nova’s morning service again and then to Grafton Lake. Maybe I’ll get super lucky and I’ll get the gang to stop by the Peace Pagoda. There is an amazing energy there. The last time I went I was in pretty bad spiritual shape. I just laid in the temple, tears pouring from eyes as people walked around me and prayed. I was pretty broken then. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than I am right now and I know that that feeling is just going to escalate. I have so much hope.

Looking forward to seeing my Mommy again. I’ll be praying to go home for Christmas.

…but I’ll say it again,

Today I started studying Song of Songs with my pastor. We met up at the Daily Grind and Christina bought me coffee (yay :)) Although we most covered background information ( and got largely sidetracked by my non-related Christian quandaries…) I feel that it was a great study and I learned a lot. Again I felt the spirit and I was deeply moved by our conversations. I think one of my favorite things about Christina is that she is a born again C. Having that history in the secular world makes her very down to earth and easy to talk too. We discussed how the title of book is sometimes referred to either as ‘Solomon’s Song of Songs’ or ‘Song of Solomon’ and how it’s debated whether or not Solomon is the protagonist in the story, however history advises us that Solomon (who was born of King David and Bathsheba and was the richest, most powerful and successful king of Israel) had 1000 wives and concubines and therefor is unlikely that he would be the leading man in the poem as the poem describes a relationship between a single man and woman (and God). (Unless of course Solomon was saying that this particular woman was his favorite and he wished he didn’t have those other Hoes around- haha.) Apparently the title ‘Song of Songs’ means that this poem stands as the ultimate Love Song ( the greatest). It features a lot of metaphors, motifs, and parallelisms. I thought it was interesting how the leading lady in the book refers to herself as a flower but specifies that she is simple and common flower and no different from the rest. Personally I feel that I have egotistical thoughts but humble actions (at times- heh o.O), at least that’s how I view myself. Sometimes that’s mistaken for insecurity and maybe that’s what it is sometimes (I’ve always been shy, I’m down right antisocial at times)…but I identify with what the female protagonist is saying here. The book covers beauty and it’s always a good reminder that true beauty comes from the heart and the kind of person you are. I feel that I am an outstanding person and I think it’s my heart that is the most beautiful ( and at times the most ugly) thing about me but we live in a world where appearance matters more substance and substance is frequently cast aside.

Song of Songs 2:1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

I’ve been feeling sheepish lately for what I wrote to myself in the ML describing my beauty, I know I shouldn’t feel that way though as there is nothing wrong with an ode to the self but I felt subsequently that I went into great detail describing how lovely I was as if I don’t know, as if I don’t hear it constantly, as if I haven’t heard it constantly my whole life ( although when I was younger the people I heard it from were always older which in a way felt less validating at the time. I wouldn’t say I was an ‘ugly duckling’ growing up I just think I was- well the same as now- different and a lot of my features were features that little boys didn’t appreciate the way a man does). The part that makes me feel sheepish is when trying to follow up with what makes me really amazing, my inner self, I draw a blank. So I’ve been reflecting on and I think reading this chapter and reading about what true beauty and true love is all about I will have more to write about on that in the future. We didn’t discuss it today but one of my favorite biblical verses is Psalms 139: 23 & 24:

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Trust me, if you pray this you will see your offensive ways! LOL Harsh. My ultimate takeaway is that one should hide their heart in God so that if anyone seeks his or heart they have to go through God to get it and God is love ( 1 John 4:8).

Anyways, I digress, it was a great study and I’m blessed to have found such an amazing person to talk to. To be apart of the Christian family is to be apart of a large and expansive network of people all over the world whom albeit are not anymore ‘perfect’ than the rest of society but who are more loving ( and therefor more forgiving and understanding) just so long as it is God they are truly seeking. I’m eager to grow my Christian family in the area so I am volunteering at the church and I am excited to start this Saturday. I know I’ve said it before…but when I think about all the causes out there and all the problems of the world I feel that at the root of it is people not loving other people. The way people vilify poor people, the racial and economic tensions, and all the hostility and rage you see out in the world can you image how it would be if everyone came from a place of love? It is why I can’t fully give myself to any one cause because I think most treat a symptom and not the root issue… for example, the BlackLivesMatter (which yes, obviously black lives do matter) but ALL lives matter and to distinguish is to separate and there for perpetuate that separation rather than unify. It should be a human rights issue not a ‘black’ problem or a racial cause. At the root of the issue is the idea that someone is different or less than because their black when really it comes from fear from separation and the non belief that color is only skin deep. If people felt that way the we’d see radical change and that is ultimately why I decided that the only cause worth living for ( dying for, should that be the case) is spreading the word of God and Jesus because it is the personal relationship with the divine that gives inner peace.

Okay, end rant. 😀  I also volunteered to help my friend with his campaign for Troy City Council. I figured it would be a great way to get involved and I always feel inspired when someone I know is trying to change the way things are. I can’t say that I agree with everything he is about 100% but I appreciate that is heart is in the right place. And of course, anything to keep building that portfolio 😉 We met up last night to discuss some ideas and then we will meet again today for some photographs. It should be a great experience. The same friend also advised me that the ML is up for sale. So I did some light research myself and found that this is true and I emailed the owner for more information it is unlikely ( or at least feels unlikely) that I would be in a position to buy the paper, but hey knowledge is power. Long term goal wise I would love to have my own publication, that has been a dream of mine for sometime. One of the many. But as with many dreams I’m not holding to them quiet so tightly anymore. I’ve been watching one of my favorite shows lately (binge watching actually), Angel, and in season 2 I think, Angel “the vampire with a soul” has a discussion with another character after he has this like mental breakdown and goes on a rampage against this evil law firm Wolfram and Hart regarding his epiphany in which he realizes essentially that nothing matters: the good versus evil fight will always be there until literally the end of time. It is therefor that while big picture wise nothing we do matters and as a result the only thing that matters is what we do. Very existential. In the end we all die- no matter how famous, rich, beautiful or whatever we are or whatever we’ve accomplished. In time we will be forgotten, unless we do something grand like Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, Hitler or Stalin and even then as time goes on those people to will be reduced to smaller and smaller blurbs in history books and should time go on long enough, also forgotten. So in the end the greatest thing one can do is live a fulfilling life. I guess most of us spend most of our time trying to figure out what fulfills us. Which is why the greatest relationship we can have is the one with the self, it can truly be a life long romance. Which is entirely why I even bothered to write to myself in the ML anyways. (That and to show those boys how to write a loveletter :P)

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baby me and the love of my life

after all this time (1)

…  that’s the kind of love I want. Maybe it’ll find me, maybe it won’t. Maybe it already has in more ways than one. But the heart is far too precious to let just anyone have it. We are all damaged goods. It is important to know that God loves us like that so that’s what I’m chasing, and when I put it like that, I’ve found it for sure (always had it in fact).

surrounded by a hipster’s clothing swap

i ended up applying to quite of few jobs yesterday

and left the mall feeling great

i actually got a lot of good vibes about the places i applied to and i know one of them is going to pull through. the place i interviewed isn’t even my top choice!

ok so im 26 and im still a mall rat lol loooooveeee it. and the best part is everyone is really nice and friendly. initially i was put off by the size of xgates mall, but after adventuring out there yesterday i discovered it had a great vibe. everyone i came into contact with was nice. and the guy at the pretzel stand came me some free dip for my pretzel.

as i ate my pretzel, i couldn’t help but think about my grandfather. He loved pretzels! And ice cream. And every time he would stand up after sitting down for a long time in his favorite arm chair he would brace himself and say “tippy tappy toeeee”

LOL i miss him a lot but I am coming to realize that I am very much like him which is reassuring.

i’m sad we couldn’t hold on to the house i grew up in. i guess it was for the best. i couldn’t wait to get out when i was younger. and now of course i wish i could go back. when i was a child i always wished my house had more “secrets”, basement, trap doors, attic, hidden treasures. so i would always search for anything that seemed like it might yeild something hidden. my favorite places to dig around were the closet in the hallway and my grandpaw’s room. He always had a lot of interesting things. i once found a nazi dagger that was chipped with blood stains. it was cool. he always knew when i was back there. he said i “left a trail” where every i left. hahaha the destroyer 😛 i was playing with my grandmothers jewelry box one day in my family room when i dropped somethings. i had to dig deep into the carpet in order to find it and when i did i discovered a diamond ring. it is 14k white gold with a center stone and two smaller stones on the side. i wore it for a while on my right hand but overtime a diamond fell  out.  i took it once to see if i could sell it and the guy offered me like $75 dollars for it. then i brought it to my previous manager ( my first one at the jewelry store) and he said he would allow $600 trade for in store credit if i had it repaired. so i sent it out for repair and they wanted to tighten all the prongs and blah blah blah and charge me a lot but i just had them replace the one stone. at cost the repair was $183 but i never paid it and now that i don’t work there my most recent manager is going to charge me 3x that now. i guess thats fair, considering she is a cunt and all.

anyways i got get that ring back.

i see that none of these hipsters could bare to part with their plaid.

i need to find a new coffee shop. why can’t one be open 24 hours?

All the way alive

listening to the soundtrack from Grease on Spotify at my favorite coffee shop in Troy

Mostly rested today and came here. I had hoped to go to the gym today but my body is still recovering from Monday! I didn’t end up leaving my house until about 6 pm this evening. I had hoped to stop in my favorite store, the Hippies,Witches, & Gypsies Shoppe, in downtown Troy. Once again I missed Judy, the store owner but its always worth a visit even when it’s not open. A couple of weeks again something drew me down there and I was feeling some knee pain. After standing in front of the shop for a few mins looking at all the stuff inside and just reminiscing ( as I used to go there quiet frequently), I noticed as I left my knee pain was gone. The same today, my leg muscles are extremely sore ( almost as bad as when I climbed Hunter Mtn). I did feel some relief as I left.

Not sure if my day job is working out. I enjoy what I do but I just can’t always get down with my manager. I can’t help but think sometimes that she has somewhat of an abusive personality that reminds me of my ex in a way. And I can’t stand all the ‘corporate-ness’ of it. I want to make it work but I am going to start looking for new jobs again. I’d be happy pouring coffee at a chill place like the one I’m currently at. They never seem to be hiring when I’m looking 😦

Why can’t a church or something be hiring. Would loveeeeee to put my all into God’s work.

Yoga tomorrow night ❤