On Pining

Someone told me recently that the stories of my childhood are somewhat akin to the story of ‘Little Women’. He said the relationships I have with my family, my sisters and my friends are just precious to see.

And even more frequently I’ve been told that one can tell how close I am with these people in my life by the way I talk about them; the way I weave stories of them into my conversations with new friends.

And it’s true, it seems that even though distance has parted me from the ones most dear to my heart, I can’t escape them. The memories of them creep into my every moment. I catch a fleeting glimpse of my childhood here and a flashback of my friend there all throughout the day.

There’s a piece of my heart back home, with each and every person I love. My heart tore in pieces when I left; and what’s left of my heart with me bleeds at the aching pain of loss.


It’s recently hit me just how much I miss home and family and friends. And I feel as though I must learn how to be friends again.

The friends that have been with me all through my life are like a family; we have the past, the childhood and the memories that bind you so close together, you might as well be super-glued to them!

That sort of bond doesn’t happen in a month. It takes decades to pile up that much love for someone. But here I am: thirsting for those soul-satisfying moments with those who know me most….and it’s not there, at least not where I live. It’s an hour south of where I live; fifty-something miles away by interstate. Those moments only happen at certain times, when the missing becomes so severe I can almost feel my heart breaking.

There are many lovely people that have been placed in my life right now; people who, I think, might one day be like family. But they aren’t yet, and not for lack of trying. It just takes time and I’m impatient.

What kills me is just how much I took it for granted, being surrounded by so many selfless and caring people. Back in those days I pined for my boyfriend, living at the time, where I live now. And now I pine for those who were with me when he took my heart with him on that interstate every weekend.

It hurts, all this loneliness; and my past has proven that I am not the best at dealing with my grief.

It’s so much easier to pretend it’s not there and go on being blindly happy instead. But the heart keeps breaking and you eventually become numb to the pain.

Being numb to the pain also makes you numb to the happiness, and I don’t want that.


Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we didn’t have hearts? But how colorless would our world be if that were the case?

Don’t take people who love you for granted, because when life takes you away from them one day, that is when you will miss them the most. Soak up your every moment with those people. Memorize their every expression and their every quirk. Life is so short and the times with those you love is never long enough, make sure that you never take it for granted.


“Children don’t grow up, our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up…”

Me and my husband were driving home, listening to one of our favorite stations on the radio. We had just finished grabbing a bite to eat and running some errands.

(p.s. One of those errands was buying a Christmas sweater for our puppy….it’s glorious!)

In the dark, as headlights passed by us on the interstate, likes lots of moving, twinkle lights; dark had settled over the city and the one I love was holding my hand.

Then the opening notes to our favorite song: Wake Up by Arcade Fire. Immediately, we turned up the volume and started singing as loud as we possibly could. It’s particularly special to me because it was in the trailer of one of my all-time favorite movies: Where The Wild Things Are. The movie mainly focuses on the times that you are faced with the hardship and ugliness of this world as a child. When you realize that life isn’t fair, that people hurt and they hurt a lot. It’s a very moving story of learning to grow up.

For some reason, on this night, the words of this song resonated with me more than they ever have in my life. I’ve struggled with many thoughts and changes in the past few years; I’ve been forced to grow up as I never have before. And just recently I’ve realized how much growing up scares me.

It’s not the responsibilities, it’s the heart-ache and hardships. Friends leaving; some for now and some for good. Families moving away. Deaths and birth and love and life: raw, gritty, scary and despairingly beautiful life.

And when that line came up, and I was singing at the top of my lungs with my husband, my heart caught in my chest and I had to fight a momentary lump in my throat.

“Children don’t grow up, our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up…”

That’s where I am. Beneath the facade of being a wife and a mature 23 year old, underneath it all, there’s a kid. A kid that’s afraid of messing up, a kid not knowing how to handle life and all the pain that comes with it but having to handle it anyway.

I’m scared to grow up and my life is on the brink of so many more changes that frighten me.

But I saw this quote once and it really encouraged me.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

Life isn’t fair and it’s scary. But what beauty there is in it! And I’d take all the heartache in the world just to experience a few of the precious moments it has to offer.


“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” Oscar Wilde

I just finished reading ‘The Night Circus”….again.

Sitting in a booth with food in front of me, my feet propped up on the seat across from me, hunched over in rapt attention; I devoured every last word that dripped in magic and meaning. Soaking it up into the very toes of my soul. And although books aren’t the thing to bring tears to my eyes, I experienced a sort of heart-ache that comes from something beautiful that I caught my breath and tried to stop the moisture in my eyes.

No longer was I in a red and white restaurant, I was in the circus, the black and white tents were there; the scent of caramel and popcorn and cider were there. The crisp night air, the magic and anticipation, it was so real. When the book was over, I could barely return to reality. It’s one of those books that leaves you pining for the escape again and again and again.

I don’t want to be in Auburn, AL….I want to be jumping trains to follow the circus, I want to be waiting for the word, “We are in New York.” or “We are in Budapest.”  To wear black and white with a red scarf wrapped tightly around my neck to protect me from the cold. I want to be under the twinkling lights of the tents watching the illusionist, getting my fortune told, walking through the Ice Garden or wishing on the Wishing Tree.

A sweet, young, man asked me what book I was reading when I finally put it down and my descriptions of “magical” “colorful” “glorious” and “amazing” took him off-guard. He just couldn’t understand the emotional journey I had just been through; poor guy!

This quote proves true: “That moment when you finish a book, look around, and realize that everyone is just carrying on with their lives as though you didn’t just experience emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback.”

So if you want to experience what I have just experienced; if you enjoy mysterious circuses, clocks, magic, intrigue and pure enchantment, then go get ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern. Make yourself a mug brimming with cider, curl up next to the fire and set aside a few hours so that you can be immersed in a black and white dream.

“The circus arrives without warning…”


Mid-twenties Crisis

My name is Melanie….and I never finish things.

It’s become a serious problem; a problem I’ve struggled with my whole life and that has completely taken over every aspect of me.

It’s a shame really. Life is so beautiful and so short, and I just sit here moping and unmotivated to finish anything.

Admitting that you struggle with something is never easy; and in our culture, there is so much pressure to be perfect. Fashion magazines tell you that your clothes aren’t perfect. Beauty magazines say your appearance isn’t perfect. Lifestyle magazines say your life isn’t perfect. Home magazines tell you your home isn’t perfect. And all these magazines are telling you what you have to do to achieve perfection in every aspect and facet of your existence.

But isn’t that what true beauty is? Imperfection.

I find the most beautiful people to be the ones who are most raw, most messed up, but most content to struggle on despite the world telling them they will never amount to anything.

I never finish things. It’s a problem. A problem I don’t like, a problem that won’t solve itself; a problem that I’ve fought against for years. And lately, I’ve sunk into a state of sullenness. I’ll never be good enough, I’ll never be able to fix this problem so I might as well just wallow in it.

Fight the good fight. Soldier on towards imperfection. True beauty is when you are at peace; knowing you’ll never be perfect, but striving to make something worthwhile and lasting out of this life you live. There will be bumps and bruises and LOTS of mistakes along the way, but those scars make you who you are today and there is nothing wrong with that.


The Beginning

This is the beginning of an idea.

This is me trying to do something worthwhile, something that will last.

And even if this doesn’t turn into anything truly spectacular, my hope is that I’ll be better for it in the end.