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Tag: writing blogs

The Night Before

So here I am, sitting at my laptop the night before my very first book signing. I’ve waited entirely too long and didn’t think soon enough, “oh I should have cards to give out”! So, of course, I ordered them from staples an hour ago hoping and praying the man calls me to say I can pick them up tonight (fingers crossed). This dream come true is so real I can taste it, along with the bloody mary I have made for myself. I am sitting here alone, well Bella, Bruno, and Sweet Pea are here with me (2 dogs and a cat aka my children). My mom is relaxing in her home more than likely enjoying a good book, my love is at work tonight on a double shift and my friends are probably unwinding from a busy work week. I should be doing the same after a busy work week, but nope, I’d rather be sitting here writing, sounds about right.

Where was I? Oh yes, sitting here typing away listening to The Lumineers’s song Scotland. This song is extremely empowering for me (could be because I am Scots) and I feel the strength of Mary as I listen and type. Where would we be in this life if we didn’t have dreams? What is it like to not have them? There was a very brief time in my life when I couldn’t see the brighter side of things. This time period lasted roughly 10-15 years. It was brief because at the age of 35 thinking back, that time flew past my face. Don’t get me wrong, it was rough and the time didn’t go fast during these years in the slightest. I definitely struggled and had my own ugly to work out to find myself. I’m still working on that, but honestly all that ugly made me into the person I am today full of grit and gumption, I wouldn’t trade any bad, good, ugly or beautiful for where I am today. It’s all taught me something I just had to learn to be exactly who I am at this moment.

At the age of 13-14, I was in a pretty bad car accident. The one time I got a ride to school after my mom said I had to walk (definitely learned from that). I was also attacked by a pit bull walking home from a friend’s house and the dog had been chained up on the side of a house I was walking by on the street. It had bit my lower jaw and lower lip, as well as played tug-of-war on my right inner thigh, then proceeded to follow me home peacefully until I got to the top of my backyard. As I looked back to see where the dog was, it began to growl and show its teeth. I ran as if life depended on it, literally. My mom coincidently was working on a project in the basement and had seen me crying and went to the door assuming it was neighborhood kids picking on me and then she saw the dog. The door flew open and I ran in and by the grace of the Universe, the dog slammed into the screen door as it slammed shut. The outcome as we saw later was pretty bad and the owner of the dog who had assured my mom would cover the medical expenses had moved and cleaned out their house in one day.

I also found out during that time that my father (who I had called Dad prior to this) had kept me a secret. Before then I had assumed that Mom and Dad just weren’t together anymore especially since over half of my class in school were full of split families. This lasted until I was 27 years old after countless attempts of being known, acknowledged and meeting a family I had known about my entire life. At the age of 27, let’s just say my mom was done seeing my heartbreak over this and she did what she had to. Thanks to my mom, I now know my family and have spent the last eight years working on our relationship and getting to know each other.

The reason I am sharing all of this with you is that circumstances don’t make you who you are, you do. You can wallow all day and succumb to the wrong that has happened in your life or you can choose to see beyond that and continue striving for your best life. Believe me, since then I have experienced the worst of the worst and also the best of the best. I have seen myself through not knowing where I was going to sleep from day to day, abusive relationships, family trauma, and turmoil and here I sit writing this story. I can truly say life is really what you make of it because I am living it to this very day. I have accomplished many of the goals I had set for myself due to my drive and upbringing. I am that person always reaching for the next goal, bettering each and every day.

I bring this positive attitude with me every day, sharing it with any who crosses my path. At work, at home, in the grocery store. Why dwell? It’s pointless really. Does the past still affect me, absolutely! Are there parts or memories that continue to bring pain, yes. I am a work in progress, growing into myself daily. If we don’t learn from our past, grow to inspire ourselves as well as others then what is there? If there is anything that you take from this article, please know you are not alone. Grow, grow and grow some more from each experience, hardship and use them as opportunities to better know yourself and then spread those learning lessons to help yourself as well as others. Bad days come, but guess what? We all wake up to a brand new day with fresh eyes for a whole new outlook! Please take each new day as a challenge to be who you are meant to be!

Thank you for reading!

The Wandering Soul Writer

Where Has The Time Gone?

Once upon a time in a faraway land, people made eye contact during a conversation…the end. I’m kidding, this is only just the beginning. Do you ever find yourself in a room, filling someone in on the hardest part of your day? Sharing a hugely exciting moment in your life or a work-related topic and they just say uh-huh and stare at their phone scrolling like a zombie? I have definitely found myself in these situations. I just say am I bothering you right now (after already having placed myself in a comfortable seat and started talking about something that held interest to the other person) or I’ll come back when you aren’t so busy on your phone, how could you not be annoyed at someone staring at their phone instead of being involved in the conversation. But truthfully I don’t come back and the next time I have something to share, I no longer go back to that person to share my news.

Is it really that hard to give someone your undivided attention these days? I will say, I have been guilty of this, especially in my profession. At times there are so many responsibilities, obligations and decisions to be made that while doing my job I have to respond to work emails, text messages and calls so while trying to focus on the task at hand, I am distracted by the chaos of technology. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for a cell phone and the ability to contact someone while out on the road, however, it is a huge distraction.

How many times have you been at a family function, special occasion or just hanging out with family or friends and they want to take a picture to capture the moment? But instead of actually enjoying the moment, time flys by as they edit and update to social media, and don’t forget about tagging where you are, the people in the picture and of course typing a description of what you are doing in the caption above the photo. How much of life is wasted just to ensure people you probably don’t even like or know can see exactly what you are doing at that moment, just curious? I’m not against sharing, I share this wonderful blog here and the poetry I love to write as well as memorable moments with those close to me on Instagram, occasionally. This world is all about sharing these days, what happened to letters, developing pictures and calling someone on the phone?

I have made the decision to rid myself of facebook as I haven’t scrolled in well over two years and do not see the point in having it any longer. I’m a pretty private person, thus the reason social media does not appeal to me. I have however created a Facebook writer’s page so I can continue to share my blog and poetry with the people that I yes, do know personally and will be forever grateful to them for reading my work. You see, there are good points to sharing and social media, without it, how would you be reading this blog?

What I cannot fathom is the endless amount of time wasted scrolling on social media sites. What did we do before social media? Is Google helpful? Absolutely! But think about it, how much time do you spend day in and day out checking a notification that pops up on your phone because someone or something you follow just posted an update or status? Why do we as a human race feel required to click on that update and take a look? What are we lacking to feel the need to be entertained by whatever that post has to show or say? How boring is life if in your free time you spend it checking social media notifications or scrolling?

Think about it, when you are bored you pick up your phone to see what you’ve missed. Is that living? Just how much potential is being wasted looking at a phone? What happens when you devote those ten minutes or an hour of free time to a hobby or new strategy for creating a better life or even getting to know yourself a little better? Has the human race become so uncomfortable with themselves that they can’t just sit in their own space, uninterrupted without logging in? I thought “Where Has the Time Gone” would be a fitting title for this blog, as I hope that it makes you think. Where has your time gone? Life is short, as we all know. What will you remember? The moments you spent living, growing, seeing and appreciating this life, or all of the status updates?

Thank you for reading,

The Wandering Soul Writer

Live A little Or A Lot: Part One

When opportunities present themselves, do you run with them or do you question and/or allow fear to take hold? Do you follow your heart or your paycheck? Believe me, I of all people get it. When people ask, are you happy? Do you like what you do? How many of you have said, “it pays the bills”? Unfortunately, I’ve heard this more times then I can count, even out of my own mouth. At a very early age, my mom showed me just what following your heart and dreams looks like. I am and will always be grateful to her for instilling guts into my upbringing (at the time, of course, she didn’t know she was teaching such a valuable lesson).

My mom taught and showed me in more ways than one how to stand up for yourself, (get ready for the swear words) take no shit, follow your passions and most importantly, follow your heart. She taught me literally one hundred million other things and continues to do so every single day but that’s a story for another day and we are on a different track tonight. Let’s get back to the point, shall we? Do you live where you are truly happy? You might not work where you thought or hoped you would, but at the end of the day, can you walk out of your front door, take a deep breath, and do what your heart longs for? How about the views? Do you long for and see sky scrappers and beautifully lighted busy streets or wonderous mountain views with the fresh smell of every tree you could possibly think of? Are you where you want to be?

My boyfriend and I recently took a trip, knowing this could very well be the place that we would want and need to spend our lives and guess what, it was and is! I have played the song “Sleep on the Floor” by the Lumineers for him for over a year and a half. (“Pack yourself a toothbrush dear, pack yourself a favorite blouse. Take a withdrawal slip, take all of your savings out. Cause if we don’t leave this town, we might not ever make it out. I was not born to drown, baby come on” (lyrics from the song). If you don’t know it, I highly recommend! I have always known I was meant for somewhere else, nothing against where I am now, but it’s just not for me. I have lived in so many places and been all over. I did exactly what I was meant to do here and I am truly grateful for the experiences and people I have met here. Leaving will definitely make me cry but there comes a time in your life when it’s just time to go.

At the end of our trip, I cried. I cried grabbing our bags out of the lodge, I cried giving back the key, I cried as we drove away in the truck, I cried once on the road and I cried when we got back to where we are currently living. My boyfriend and I have made the decision to follow what truly makes our hearts happy and that is to move. It takes a lot to leave what you know and where you are comfortable (not to mention having the funds to do so). We both have such a strong pull to where we were that it only makes sense to follow that deep down, know it in your soul gut instinct. We’ve been back for less than a week now where we currently live and we are so heartsick. We will be back to our dream location in just under five months to look at properties and such and we have a plan to move within a year. Sometimes something happens or you see something that just triggers a distinct feeling that you know deep down you should follow.

Where I am going with this, is that life is short! How many times have we all heard that? Too many right? I have said before, live, really live! Yes, I know it takes time and money to pursue that which makes you happy but damn it, do it! Sorry for yelling through my blog but if that’s what it takes. No matter what your situation or where you are, you are capable of achieving, please always remember that. This world moves so fast, and the bills will always keep coming. Put some dollars into that savings account every pay, even if it’s just a couple. Your situation isn’t permanent, you are here now, living. I’ve seen a lot and lived through a lot (that’s an understatement) I can truly say with experience I am where I am today because of everything I have been through. Was it easy, hell no! Was it worth it, absolutely!

You aren’t where you grew up, you aren’t your surroundings. If what you want is the complete opposite of what you know, that’s okay, as long as you live! Work towards what you want. Believe in yourself and your goal and/or dream. I see day in and day out people who talk but don’t put in the action, dedication and work needed to get where they want to be. Guess what? It’s not going to be handed to you. Drive, ambition, grit, gumption, tenacity, accountability, and responsibility are what it takes to make it happen. But it can happen. Live the life you want and can look back and say I did it! Not one that makes you look back and regret. Life is full of lessons, good, bad, beautiful and ugly. Learn, grow, move on and keep going!

Thank you for reading,

The Wandering Soul Writer

Here it goes

It’s 3:21 in the morning and I am sitting here writing to myself, at least that’s what it feels like. As of right now, anyone out there who could possibly ever read this seems imaginary to me. As I write, listening to Mumford and Sons, Lumineers and the wonderful sounds of my kids (dogs, Bella and Bruno) snoring, the thing that sticks out most in my mind at this very moment is how the most unexpected moments lead to the most beautiful outcomes. I can say this about many situations and opportunities in my life. Like falling in love, a niece and nephew creating an awesome title (Aunt), getting accepted into college and the steps it took to get there, no matter how many tries. The relationship of a mother and daughter growing together through love, patience, forgiveness, respect and understanding.

Funny little things you would never think could connect one to the other. I have always been a writer, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I brought it back again, awakening a passion that stirred deep within me. Writing is my therapy after all, even if no one ever sees it but me. It was multiple english classes with a professor who I don’t think even realized how amazing she was and is that inspired me to write again. She introduced authors and poets I’d never read before. She gave assignments that allowed creativity to blossom. For a few of them, I could either write a short story with my own personal touch and ending in their style or a poem giving my viewpoint as to what the story was trying to say. I chose both with different authors, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf for the poem, allowing me to create my own take on the story. The poem was called What Never Was. For the short stories I chose Hills like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway and The story of an Hour by Kate Chopin. For Hills like White Elephants I chose to write a very personal story in the style of Ernest Hemingway called, Now that Everyone Knows. For The Story of an Hour, I wrote a different ending, allowing the character, Louise Mallard to live a life she was desperate for. I will share these at some point.

My point to this is, it revitized me. When I graduated from Penn State in 2016, I immediately applied to Youngstown State University for their Creative Writing Masters Program. As a non traditional student, having been 28 when I enrolled at Penn State, I assumed making the honor roll every semester, being the student speaker at graduation and submitting my awesome poetry would be enough to get me into the program, wrong. I was not accepted into the program pretty quickly. The reason given, no one writes in rhyming fashion anymore. So basically, I did not fit into the box they had molded and shaped for aspiring writers. I will tell you, this lit a fire under my ass like no other. That was January 2017 and I have been a writing fool ever since. That rejection only fueled that much more writing, especially my style of writing because truthfully, who are they?

This brings us to now. It was a song written by Mumford and Sons called, Hopeless Wanderer that inspired my writing name. Listening to the song on repeat, daily, monthly, yearly. The Wandering Soul Writer was born. I chose this name for the Title of my first self published book. This book contains every poem I had written in the year 2018, 124 poems. The rejection taught me that not everybody will dig what you have to say and that is okay. You’re not writing for them, you are writing for you. You have something to say. I recently read, Girl Wash your Face, by Rachel Hollis. A huge thank you to mom, for putting this book into my hands. After reading, I was absolutely motivated, of course, the book is great! I started this whole blogging notion 2 years ago but found I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t really in it. Thankfully, reaching my own breaking point of just say it already, I decided to create a real website. One I actually had to pay for. So here it is, writing to all of you wonderful imaginary people.

I’m almost done with this story, I promise. So coincidentally, the exact same week I decided to really do this, my sister-in-law (who is actually not my sister -in-law) long story for another day, but we’re a big part of each other’s lives, like sisters, called me up on a Tuesday and said, what are you doing Thursday night? Drawing a blank (due to my full time job filling my brain), but knew I had designated Thursday night for working on this exact blog and attempting to teach myself from scratch what a domain name was, how to research hosting sites and how to link both (which was not easy, let me tell you!) I said, uh I’m not sure, what’s up? She said, do you want to go see Mumford and Sons? The exact thought that popped in my head was, do we all want to breathe? Umm yes, yes I absolutely want to go! After ensuring that the love of my life was unable to get off work to go, my “sister” and I made the official plans.

What I am trying to tell anyone who is willing to read and listen is this, I put it out there! I was inspired by Mumford and Sons to create this awesome website name, two years prior and the week I decided to put it out into this magnificent Universe is the exact same week I received the call to go see live, the band that inspired me. Let me tell you, this was the most amazing, interactive, passionate show I have ever been to. I’ve been to a lot of shows, hands down best ever! Life is what you make it folks. If you really think about it, we truly create the life we desire. Our choices lead us to what seems like, at the time, the most unachievable outcomes, but here we are and here I am. I look forward to this journey and what will come of it. Thank you for reading!