Happy International Women’s Day!!!

I’d like to think that Daylight Savings Time was just as eager as the rest of us to get this lovely day started—this day where (although we should celebrate it every day) we formally celebrate women everywhere.

As a woman, I’ve always struggled with my identity—that is, how can I be the best woman I can be? Do I try to live the best that I can be every day? Do I take advantage of the opportunities that I have? Am I pleased with how I have lived my life? Can I live it better?

Of course, there’s no need to “lift” myself to anyone. We all stand uplifted if we can feel confident that we are being true to our own selves.

Can we be delicate and quiet? Sure, but that doesn’t make us weak.

Can we be warm and compassionate? Sure, but that doesn’t make us passive.

Can we be confident and flamboyant? Absolutely—and it doesn’t make us arrogant or loud.

Can we be strong and assertive? Durn tootin’—but it doesn’t have to make us pushy.

And even if it does…

So the freak what?

We are not limited by words or the opinions of others. Their power does not determine our self-worth. Even when the energy rolls over us more negatively than before, so much the better—because we have learned to dismiss the negativity of it and simply retain the power, and reuse it to make us stronger in the face of adversity.

So, here’s to the women who work hard, play harder, love strong, live true, and fight. Their efforts are selfless most of the time—and are truly allowed to be selfish the rest. 🙂

Here’s to all the women who have made a difference in my life and continue to make a difference everywhere else. I am proud to be a woman and hope that I can set the same example that those around me do every day.

Though the gallery below is far from complete, I’d like to thank all of the women in my life who set a constant example in showing me that a women does not simply have to be one thing only.

A woman can be everything while still being a woman.

A Park’s Perspective (Photography)

Though this is an old set of photos, it’s a set that I’ve been sitting on for months. And sometimes, words can’t provide the perspective that we’re really looking for.

So, for this week’s post, there are words–but most of them aren’t mine. And there is perspective–just, not all in words.

(Click on any image to see it in full size!)

The Playground

It sounds corny, but I’ve promised my inner child that never again will I ever abandon myself for anything or anyone else again.

Wynonna Judd

The Grounds

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Khalil Gibran

Sunday Walk: Saying Goodbye to the Old Restaurant

There is a restaurant that I visit on occasion since I moved into my current house. It is a lovely establishment with a warm, comforting atmosphere, spacious seating arrangements, and the most welcoming ambiance of any place that I have ever visited.

I’ve never eaten there, but I imagine that if it had ever opened, the cuisine would have been exquisite.

Several Sundays ago, I took my usual early morning walk amidst a gentle drizzle and a slow-to-warm wind. I’ve been meaning to brush up on my photography skills but had been struggling to find the right motivation–and the right subject–to lift my dwindling hobby. What better way to do that than to stroll through my favorite (alright, alright–my only) urban exploration spot and see if there were any pockets of timeless nostalgia that I’d missed?

Reaching the restaurant was a brisk, 20-minute walk, and I skipped through my Google Music playlist, careful not to slip on the sleek, saturated asphalt. The lull of empty office parks, parking lots, and construction zones I passed contributed to the feel of an world abandoned of all its occupants, save one.

When I turned the corner of the road that led into the restaurant’s parking lot, I immediately pulled my smartphone from it arm sleeve, pausing my playlist to listen for any sounds that would trigger the need for me to hide or run. Over the roof of the restaurant, the scaffolding of a new apartment building seemed to wave at me gleefully.

I know, I thought angrily at it. New construction = more security. Authorities would be watching the space more than they had in the past. That meant that this last time visiting would, most assuredly, be my absolute last time.

Sure enough, as I sniffed imperiously and swung on my heel, I locked eyes with a camera peering at me from the awning of the main house.

I wasted no more time, plunging into the currents of the decayed landings, seeking corners and caverns that I had missed in my previous visits. Time slowed as I froze each moment in my lens, seeking tranquility in what many would call old, bacteria-ridden, forgotten, lost.

But alas, the memory of the security camera stayed fresh in my mind, and I hardly stayed ten minutes. I trudged through the tall grass, climbed the stairs back to the main parking lot, and tucked my phone back into its arm sleeve. All this was done as a large, black vehicle eased itself into the lot towards me.

A large, black police vehicle.

He lowered his window as he rolled up before me. I feigned partial interest in my earbuds, then glanced up at him as if in an afterthought.

He smiled, nice and wide. Waved.

I smiled back. Nodded.

His car accelerated, exited the lot. I plugged my buds back into my ears and pressed play on my music list.

Time, and reality, resumed once more.