When Words Fail

Words…

Are they all just lies

if not always true?

 

I am happy

but sometimes I am sad

Does it mean those words are wrong

when I get mad

It’s true for now but not for then

Are they lies until I feel it again?

 

If so then something is always a lie

What do I say when asked if fine

In that moment happiness may be so

But in a blink I may not know

Do I reveal the lie that hid my pain

Or let your happiness be to gain

 

Words…

How tricky they are to share

Just always know they will be there

to help mend and heal

to band-aid the wound

of a temporary sadness that will end soon

 

Happiness…

Let that truth be yours

and let the negativity

be washed from the shores

Wave after wave of positive vibes

For nothing less than a wonderful life

 

-A Guardian of Memories

 

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Ah, finally, some time with nature, and I didn’t completely melt like a Popsicle in the unforgiving heat of summer. I learned quite a few things today while on my adventure, and not just because I went with a friend I hadn’t seen in a few years, either.

One thing I learned is that no matter where I go, I will always see articles of clothing randomly lost on the trails. (Where was its rightful owner? I am sure someone was missing the socks. Even with wearing socks I regretted not having taller ones as to save myself from a blister that formed. So, I couldn’t have imagined not wearing any.)

Another thing I learned was that I need to do more cardio at the gym. (Or just go hiking more?) Also, I must be getting older because my knees hate me when hiking downhill, but my heart loves it for not having to work so hard, so that’s a plus.

I had forgotten what it was like to hike with someone. I was so used to going at my own pace, stopping whenever. It definitely was a different experience, and enjoyable one. It made me push myself to keep up. I felt more accomplished at the end, and also had motivation throughout to make myself work harder than I normally would.

It was worth the blisters, pains, and heat. I got to indulge in nature, enjoy time with a friend, and see a beautiful view of a waterfall all while breathing fresh air. When is the last time you took a breath of fresh air? It is never too soon for another.

-A Guardian of Memories

Another Adventure

Today held the perfect ingredients for an adventure. Partly cloudy skies, a slight breeze, warm weather, and someone who needed to escape after a seemingly extra long week. Though it was a familiar place I ventured to, I had quite a different experience. I didn’t strain myself trekking to the top of a mountain to see the view, or even climb the monotonous stairs to the top of the waterfall. Instead, I climbed over rocks in hopes to get some mini water fall shots, then sat listening to the serenity that surrounded me soaking up the sun when it decided to peek out from behind the clouds.

People hurried about aiming to get to the “view” not even noticing the views that were already around them. It’s doubtful that anyone even noticed the random clothing items that strayed about, lost and forgotten. Today, I decided to slow down and enjoy more of whats around me rather than worry about what I know lies ahead.

There’s a feeling I get when I spend time in nature. It feels like I’m home, like I belong, like I am alive. The smells, sounds, sights, and feeling of nature, there’s nothing like them. Even if it seems like the day doesn’t hold the perfect ingredients for an adventure, there’s always a way to make one happen. You have to want it, and if there’s one thing that’s true for me, when I want something, I will stop at nothing to get it (at least, I will try everything I can).

There were several families having picnics or hiking together. Children were running along the rocks as if their shoes couldn’t make a wrong step. Dogs were stopping to get water in the creek and couples trying to keep up with each other. And then there I was, sprawled out on the rocks trying to get the perfect angle, contorting myself in between a rock and a hard place to get a better view, laying on dead leaves and broken branches to get even closer to what I wanted.

Once satisfied, at least for a moment, I decided to make my way back. Even then, I couldn’t help but stop and see thing that I had missed the first time. Eventually, I did make it back to the car, only to have people crowded around unwilling to move and let me out. I didn’t want to disturb my calm vibes, so I sat for a few minutes seeing if they would get the hint to move. That was not the case, so I just slowly started backing out anyway. Thankfully, they realized it would be better to relocate their bodies elsewhere, and I headed home, windows down, sun roof open, taking in every ounce of fresh air I could.

Go find your next adventure or make something familiar new. There’s no time for excuses, only time for living.

– A Guardian of Memories

What an Adventure!

Finally, a warm, dry, and beautiful day came right in the middle of a rain spell just in time to begin my hiking journey of the year with my new Nikon D750 (I may be just a little excited for my new baby). My mind was made up that I would find somewhere to explore. I was hoping it would be somewhere new, but of course, I had went to the wrong access point. Next time I will know better.

After beginning my journey, lurking behind an older couple with a cute dog (the start of the cute dog parade), I was not disappointed. The sounds of nature came beckoning me to stop and enjoy it’s music. Then the scent of the outdoors filled me. Nature was welcoming me home.

Eventually, I came to a crossroad. I could go the way I had been before, or try something new. According to some of the hikers, there was supposed to be a view the other way. Now, I’m not sure what view they were talking about, but I never found it. However, I did run into some people I know. What a small world. After hiking maybe half a mile, or longer, I came to a sign that said 6 miles to visitor center. Umm, no thank you. I turned around, hoping those I had passed along the way wouldn’t really notice, not that it mattered.

Once I got back on track, I headed up to the pinnacle. And when I say up, that is exactly what I mean…up. Then up some more. (Maybe I should focus a little more on cardio at the gym.) I scrambled up some rocks, then passed through the mini crowd, and sat on the edge in a rock perfectly shaped in a seat for me. The view was amazing, and it still is, of course (I’m sure now the lights from the towns below competing with the stars, as if it is really a competition).

I took my time up there exploring, and searched for a spot to claim as my own, away from the noise of people. Someone else had the right idea, with their hammock hanging just where they could lay and look at the ocean of trees, towns, and mountains. High above the towns were we live our sometimes mundane lives, already high on the love of nature, others found even more ways to get even higher, as if it were even needed. I sat watching the hawks fly, listening to the sounds of nature, so pleasant and soothing, until a fellow hiker wanted to play music. Eh, to each their own. Not everyone appreciates the sound of silence (as a Pre-K teacher, I very much appreciate it, and crave it).

This is where it gets interesting. I started heading back to the trail, or so I thought. I got turned around because there were a decent amount of people up there, and many of them were blocking the path, so I followed a group thinking they knew where they were going. I even asked and they seemed sure. They let me in front so they could catch the rest of their group. I knew in my mind something wasn’t right, but there were other people ahead on that “trail” as well. I ventured down a hill where the path seemed to be, and saw someone down that hill also. It had to be correct, right? Wrong! I kept walking, thinking if I turned back, I wouldn’t make it up the hill due to the steepness, and the leaves. I kept walking hoping to run into a path or some people. Thankfully both happened, and they got me back on track. When I made it to the trail I needed to be on, I realized I had skipped a strenuous part of the trail. I was relieved.

Though I may have been to this place before, it was definitely not the same path I had taken. It was quite the adventure. It’s the simple things in life, like getting “lost” on a hike that remind you that sometimes you need to make your own path and trust things will work out. Go out, explore, even if you have been there before, you can make a new memory. Adventure awaits!

 

 

-A Guardian of Memories

 

What is Winter?

Here I am sitting at home wondering what day it is because I am not at work, and it isn’t the weekend. Apparently when some white stuff falls out of the sky we don’t always go to work. Something about hazardous road conditions. Yeah, I think I’ll stick to leaving the snow on my car and not trying to get out.

Not even halfway through the day, I’m at home, alone, which is strange because I’m never alone when there’s a 13 year old in the house. Except for today, she is at a friends, granted it is only across the road but still, there’s a quiet house for me.

Of course, after spending the morning and half of the after noon editing photo sessions, doing house chores, and venturing out in the snow (yes, that seems to be what people call this substance that has fallen out of the sky, and continues to) I have found myself wondering what to do next. So here I am blogging, since time seems to escape whenever I try to do this any other day.

So what is winter?

Winter is cold nights and

Sunny days tricking you into

Thinking it’s warm

But when you go outside

You are greeted with a piercing hug

Winter is waking up extra early

To defrost your car

And stand in the warm shower

Because you don’t want to get out

As if you even wanted to get out of bed

Winter is finding beauty

In something bland

A white blanket

Covering the colorful world

Of dead grass and naked trees

A drop of red in a sea of white

Winter is beautiful

Like each season

In their own way

Embracing what it is

As we should too

-A Guardian of Memories

Another Year Gone

Has 2017 already came to a close? It’s hard to believe this year is already over. 2017 has definitely been one for the books. With many adventures and unexpected journeys, I must say, it has been a year full of surprises. You never know what life will bring, but always be ready for anything.

I rang in 2017 in Virginia, having many firsts while there. First time in an Uber, first time going to Richmond (which there will be future trips to), first mimosa, first concert (besides at a festival, but Disclosure was amazing at Echostage), and more (which didn’t make the cut to the blog).

There were several good things at the beginning of the year; however, there was one thing that put a slight damper on my active lifestyle. After four months of hard work and dedication at the gym and becoming a more healthy version of myself, I found out I had to have surgery, exploratory surgery at that. It was nerve wrecking to say the least, and I hit the gym until a few days before I was to have surgery. For almost eight years I had a bothersome spot that I kept pushing off getting checked until it got unbearable. The doctors were unsure what it was after testing, leaving the only other option, to explore. Fortunately, when I woke up from surgery, I found out it was a hernia, which they were able to repair. The next month would be a long journey being out of work, unable to hike, or be active in the gym, but I had a good support system. Which brings me to my next topic of the year.

Before I was to undergo surgery, I met someone at the gym. I had no idea where it would go, but I ran with it anyway, and I am glad I did. We have had many of our own adventures, and it has challenged me in ways I never imagined, in a good way, though. I have no children of my own, but he does, a 12 year old daughter. That has given me an opportunity I never thought I would be able to pursue. Understandably, it has been quite a learning experience which I have grown to love, even on the hard days. I still have my own adventures, but its nice to share them with someone as well.

One of my favorite memories of this year is our cruise to the Bahamas (another first for me, leaving the country, and going on a cruise). There was always something to do, even if it was doing nothing lounging in the sun. We visited a private island, which was beautiful beyond words (see featured picture of the blog, now it makes sense, right?). Swimming in the clear water while being able to see the bottom of the ocean and the fish swimming around is something I will never forget. Escaping reality with someone special, for what seemed like only a few short days (Saturday to Thursday), was just what I needed to help me tackle the rest of the year. (Is it time to go back yet? I may need a boost for this coming year!)

It seemed to be a year of firsts for me because for the first time ever, I moved out of the small town I grew up in, and into an even smaller town. I wasn’t even sure there was a smaller town, but I was quickly proved wrong. It is nice and quiet out here. And it is also a short (ish) distance to a hiking spot, so, of course, that is a plus for me! I get to see mountains every day on my drive to work, and smell the wonderful aroma of country life (sarcasm, of course, because what is wonderful about thinking you have stepped in poop when you walk outside…haha!).

Overall, this year has been a great one. I have become a part of a new kind of family, grown in my journey to a healthier me, enjoyed numerous adventures, and pushed myself past limits I didn’t know was possible. I look forward to what 2018 has in store. One thing is for sure, I want to continue the trend of firsts for 2018. I will venture to places I have never been, do something I have never done (hopefully zip-lining), and continue to strengthen my body and mind along the way in order to live life to the fullest.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope 2018 is good to you.

– A Guardian of Memories

 

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

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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