This girl loves…creating.

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Oh, Will, you constantly amaze me!

William Shakespeare surely knew what he was talking about when he said, “All the world’s a stage, and all of the men and women merely players.”

Today was Wacky Wednesday in honor of Read Across America week.  Each year, we celebrate the written word and each year I am reminded of the importance of creating.  Writers create pieces for us to read.  They create a world in which we can escape.  Today, I wanted my students to do that as well.  I wanted them to create a world in which they could escape.

In his book, Wacky Wednesday, Dr. Seuss creates a world that is upside down.  Today, I created a world that was upside down.  I came in to school and taught as my alter-ego.  I explained that if I could play any part, I would play myself as a British girl.  I created a backstory similar to the backstories writers create for their characters.  It helped that Olivia is really just a married me with a British accent.

I asked my students to create a part to play for the day as well and they did not disappoint.  They created characters that played golf, football, and basketball.  They created characters that sang, danced, and acted.  They created characters who invented and explored.  The main theme here was that they “created”.  For homework, they were asked to tell their families stories using the characters they created today.  I have already heard from a few of their parents that they did, in fact, tell their stories.

I read an article a few weeks ago about the importance of theater in our lives.  What we did in class today was theater in a sense.  We created characters for ourselves and we acted as those characters.  We utilized that part of the brain that so few people use anymore, it seems.  I hope that by spending the time today to create, I have helped our future generations become thoughtful, creative problem solvers.

I think in our busy lives, we have lost a bit of our imagination, thus, losing some of that essential creativity.  Creativity lends itself to great problem solving, a quality lacking in much of our adult population.  We are so used to programs being created for us, problems being solved, books being written, but where are we creating?  What are you creating?  What mark will you leave on the world?

This girl loves…living.

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“When daffodils begin to peer, with heigh, the doxy over the dale, why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year; for the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale” William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale

This week was a busy one and when I had some time to reflect I thought about living.  I thought about all of the living I have been doing for the past four months.

It is amazing to think that my soul had lain dormant for close to ten years-since I set foot in this new and unfamiliar place.  For ten years I cursed the place I lived, blaming it for all of my unhappiness.  But four months ago, as in Spring, my cold soul was awakened and I was ready for a new outlook on life.

For the past four months I have thought only of today.  Yes, of course I’ve made plans for the future, but the immediate future, as in tickets to a concert or a show a month or two in advance.

I feel the need to clarify that until four months ago I planned for a life I would lead a year, five years, ten years from now.  When I finally realized that prolonging my happiness for when I was in a better living situation, a better social situation, or a better financial situation was hazardous to my mental health; after this realization is when I did start to have a better living situation, a better social situation, and a better financial situation.

You see, four months ago my plans for happiness were uprooted because a partner I thought would be there for the rest of my life, left me.  With this departure, my plans for a new career and social life departed as well.  I realized that it was no longer the place that made your heart soar, nor the place that made your heart ache.  It was me that did that.  I realized that I now held that power in my hand and I was tired of not utilizing it for my own well-being.

With this new found power, I started to forge new friendships, understanding that they would take time to develop into the friendships I had already established.  I looked at my surroundings and decided that it was time to start exploring this untapped resource right in my backyard.  Since then I have patronized local eateries, art galleries, ballets, concerts, and more…  I feel as though I am able to give back to the world I inhabit.  In seeking my path to happiness, I feel I have helped others whether it has been through my generosity or simply my live-for-today attitude.  With each new experience I do just that, I experience it to the fullest extent.  Some experiences have  proved better than others, but I understand that it what living is: adding to my emotional toolbox.

Since this realization, I feel better  inside.  I sleep better at night.  I work harder at my job during the day.  I laugh more often with my friends.  I love more deeply and profoundly.  I have learned how to truly appreciate the life I am currently leading and not look ahead toward a life I will lead.

The clarity of mind this realization has provided me is food for my soul and I am finally hungry.

This girl loves…tea.

A cup of comfort

A cup of comfort

A cup of tea is a cup of comfort for me.

Whenever I’m feeling sad, a cup of tea somehow makes it all better.  Maybe it’s the warmth filling your chest, the place where your heart rests.  Maybe it’s the aroma that brings back memories of your childhood.  Maybe it’s the bitter-sweet taste upon your lips reminding you that though life may feel bitter at times, it is always followed by something sweet.

I was sitting here thinking as I often do and my thoughts were sad today.  The origin of my sadness is not important, for we all feel sad at times.

I called a friend, she was unavailable.  The television only provided depressing news stories so I turned it off.  I tried cleaning (something that usually cheers me up) but it too didn’t help.  As I started to leave the kitchen, I noticed my tea kettle, cold and unused, on the stove.

That’s when I realized what I needed: a cup of tea.

Just the act of filling the kettle with water, heating it on the stove, finding my “afternoon” tea cup, and opening a package of Earl Grey calmed me.  Hearing the whistle and watching the steam rise from the cup as I poured the hot water-the tea ritual itself-calmed me even more.  As the first sip worked its magic, my body miraculously healed.

My grandma introduced this magic to me when I was seven.  She taught me the art of tea time.  It was a time I looked forward to-a time for grandma and me to sit and talk while we enjoyed a batch of her freshly baked brownies alongside a cup of tea.

As a kid, while I preferred the brownies and special time with my grandma to the cup of tea, over the years the tea came to stand for something.  It came to stand for comfort.  It was a safe time.  A peaceful time.  A time to reflect on the events of the day and look forward to what the next day would bring.

Today, I remember why I love tea and I raise a cup to my grandma and the experience she introduced into my life.

This girl loves…romance.

The month of love is upon us and seeing as this blog is all about what I love, I thought it would be fitting to talk about romance (or in my case, talk about my hopeless romantic self).

"Who could refrain, That had a heart to love, and in that heart. Courage, to make's love known?" -Macbeth

“Who could refrain, That had a heart to love, and in that heart. Courage, to make’s love known?” -Macbeth

February 1st arrived and I was ready with my Valentine-themed pins.  I had collected and made an inventory all of my red attire: scarves, hats, socks, tights, sweaters.  I had pinned all of the recipes and crafts for the most lovely month.  I had also noted my favorite poems and quotes of love.

I had secured all things necessary to make this a love-filled month; all except a partner, a detail that had not yet escaped me.

For here I am, a girl who has so much love to give and but no partner with whom to give it.  I guess that is what defines a hopeless romantic after all: a romantic sans hope?  I refuse to believe that because I have yet to give up hope.

I have dreamed about that perfect someone that would sweep me off of my feet since I was a kid.  I’ve dreamed about words of love being whispered into my ear.  I’ve imagined scenes where we’d kiss in the rain or kiss in a field full of flowers or, the ultimate, kiss in front of Big Ben (yes, I am an Anglophile not a Francophile, so it’s Big Ben and not the Eiffel Tower for me).  Most of all, I’ve thought about how completely happy and utterly satisfied I’d feel if I just had that special someone.

I’m not imagining this feeling though because I’ve felt it before.  I guess that’s what sets me apart from other “hopeless romantics” because I have had that perfect someone.  I know what it feels like to be so content in love with someone that the rest of the world ceases to exist. I know what it is like to want to stop time and freeze that moment of sheer happiness.

For all of that, I cannot be content calling myself a hopeless romantic, better I should call myself a hopeful romantic.  As long as I have those memories of true, all-encompassing love, then I cannot lose hope; for, one day my prince shall come.