Cheers 2016!

This year has taught me a lot about myself. Although there are several reasons to agree with those on social media who claim this year has been garbage, I choose to look at it differently. Yes, there have been challenges I endured, but the growth has been worth the pain. I have always been an independent and ambitious person; that is just who I am. However, this year, I stepped out of my comfort zone and into a better way of life. Instead of letting things that were holding me back wear me out, I let go and allowed it to launch me into a whole new perspective.

From traveling to new places, meeting many wonderful people along the way, to getting focused on the gym and getting healthy, I must say, it has been quite a year to remember. In my opinion, we can either take all of the crap life throws us and let it bring us down, or we can learn from our mistakes and let it shape us into a person who can enjoy life, even when it seems to be bad.

The difference in a happy or a depressed life isn’t our circumstances it is our perspective. When something doesn’t work out, that is just the universe’s way of telling us something better is supposed to fill that space, or we need to try harder. Remember, time is short, pursue your dreams, put in the effort to become who you want to be, and don’t forget to love yourself along the journey. Relying on others to make things happen will only end in failure; go do it yourself.

 

-A Guardian of Memories

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One Last Taste

After a rather frustrating morning on my last day, I decided it was necessary to have one last taste of Shenandoah before heading home. (Ironically, I ran into some hikers that stayed at the same hotel as I; what a small world.) Little did I know of what I was in store for me. With little time I sparingly stopped at places along the way to the Hawksbill trail. I took the long route, and it was the best choice.

For the majority of the hike I didn’t run into anyone, which was nice because I was finally able to understand what silence sounded like. There was no wind, no chatter, or no extra noises. It was so silent that I was almost annoyed to hear myself breathe.

After soaking in the solitude of nature, I continued on to what felt like I was trekking through the pages of a book. Rocks covered in moss surrounded the trail. Up the hills icicles dripped from the boulders that overlooked such pristine beauty. I couldn’t help but to climb and get pictures up close.

Eventually, I ran into a couple of fellow hikers, which turned out to be a great thing, as I had ended up on the Appalachian Trail instead of the one I was supposed to be on due to both being marked with the same color.

Once I got to the first outlook I was met with a gorgeous view, but there was more to be seen. The hike up to the summit felt as if I were walking through a giant bird’s nest. When I arrived I was not prepared for the view that awaited. It was already unquestionable that the hike was worth the effort, but the summit made it even better, as I was not expecting what it offered.

It was hard to tear myself away from the views when it was time to go. There was still a long drive home back to reality. Hiking will definitely be on the list of things I must do often.

 

-A Guardian of Memories

Being Outdoors is Being Home

Hiking yields great joy to me. Honestly, being outdoors enjoying nature in any way makes me feel stress free. While hiking in Shenandoah National Park today I learned a lot about myself that I didn’t know. I pushed myself past limits I didn’t even know was possible. While driving in the Park, I stopped at some random spots that I didn’t plan to see. It was worth it.

One of the first spots I saw was Stony Man, which was a short hike at 1.5 miles. However, the wind picked up and by the time I arrived at the top, I was unsure I still had legs. The view made up for it, and I braced myself on the rocks as the wind tried to push me over the edge, as if to taunt me for being so ungrateful for its presence. It was a satisfying hike back to the car.

A bit later, a sign that said falls ahead caught my attention, so I had to stop for that one. I assumed it would be an easy and short hike like the last one, being that it was only 1.7 miles long. Apparently, that didn’t take you all the way to the falls, just to the creek. I trekked what had to have been around three miles before I even made it to the falls. There were so many broken and fallen trees along the way it looked as if a tornado had torn through the area. It was so quiet and peaceful that you could hear the trees squeaking as they danced with the wind. It was almost as if their moans were a warning for the hike ahead and a tale of my pain on the way back.

I hadn’t been prepared for such a long hike, so I only had one bottle of water and no snacks. Needless to say, when I finally did arrive back to the car, I had a late lunch. Due to sweating in the 30-degree weather, it took quite a while to get warmed up. Next time I will be better prepared for such weather.

Overall, it was a rewarding trip. I will definitely have to return as one day isn’t nearly enough time to experience all it has to offer. Hiking solo tends to open up your senses and gives you clarity. I would recommend it for anyone, just be cautious and plan ahead, maybe a little better than I did.

 

-A Guardian of Memories

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There’s Too Much Wasted Time…

Time rapidly escapes us and we are left wondering why we feel so dismal when we have no memories to fill the time we lost. Material things were never really a big interest to me; however, I’ve found ways to cut back on unneeded items in order to invest in experiences. It has been one of the most freeing choices I have ever made. I am glad I opted to go outside this Black Friday; thanks to REI for the inspiration. It was worth the hike on Crabtree Falls Trail to miss the “sales”. If there is something people should know about me, it is to give me memories and not material things. Time is the most valuable thing we can invest. Where are you putting yours?

-A Guardian of Memories

The Escape

So much change caused by so much pain

You try to clean it up, but even bleach can’t erase the stain

And now you have a house full of stained glass windows

The only time they look pleasing is when the light is piercing through

But they never are aesthetic because there’s only darkness in you

One day you tear down the wallpaper and replace it with your dreams

Except the only things that remain are the thousands of screams

You only want to demolish what’s left of the unfamiliar place

It was once called home, now its home to an unacquainted face

Thinking of this only makes your heart race to the beat of a distant drum

The only thing you can think to do is run, run, run

To a place so far away you can’t get there in a day so you keep running

And when you finally arrive, you can’t even imagine a life where you have survived

Without the surroundings in which you have found yourself

You sit and relax in the place you have always felt at home

When you are with nature there cannot be anything wrong

-A Guardian of Memories

I am Here. I am Now. I am Free.

I sit holding my chest

Trying to catch my breath

There’s nothing left

What’s right? 

Between the silent screams and cries

No tears left, my eyes are dry

Its time I tell you why

I’ve become so distant like the clouds

You can see them but you can’t do anything about

What they produce – weather – shade or rain

Bust through them with a plane 

To temporarily disperse the pain

In the end nothing is to gain

But the distance still came

So rapidly fast

How did it last 

Bringing up the lies from the past 

Distance created because I stayed with them in the past 

But now I’m breaking free from the ties

That bound me to the lies

And I’m no longer the cloud in the sky

I am here.

I am now.

I am free.

-A Guardian of Memories

There’s Room to Roam

Oh as I dream of life

And how it could be

There’s so many possibilities

Let’s explore what we can

Then continue until

They make us stop

And we make them feel

What it means to be alive

Not just to breathe

But to experience moments

That give you life

Ones you never can forget

That make you cry

From the happiness you felt

And you crave it once more

Nothing can stop this drug

Give me all that you can

Take the stress of life

And place it I’m my hand

Watch me throw it away

Over the highest mountain

Where it floats above

The clouds ahead

And dissipates with the wind

Don’t look for it again

Just enjoy this life

We don’t have much time

So we need to hurry

As we pace our steps

On this new journey

To find ourselves

Scattered around the world

In our home we create

But never can reside

Because the world is our beacon

And there’s no place to hide


-A Guardian of Memories

A New Me

This past year has been such a roller coaster ride, but where it has led me is better than I could have imagined. I had to be broken so I could be fixed, and although sometimes I still feel broken, I just remember that I’m not where I used to be. The great moments I’ve experienced this past year have shaped my perspective, and now I live for the moments in life that will never be forgotten because they become apart of me. I’m no longer the girl who let’s everyone walk all over her, use her, abuse her, and wants nothing more than to sleep her life away because it felt like the only safe place. Some nights even that place was tainted with the scent of disdain.

The people I have had the privilege to meet and/or get close to this past year will never understand how much they mean to me. They played such an important role in helping me realize that I deserved to be happy, and that I was good enough despite what anyone else tried to manipulate me into believing. So, thank you so those individuals, although, I know words can never make up for what you all did for me without even realizing it.

-A Guardian of Memories