Whatever you dream to do, be sure to do it well.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Adolescence 2.0 The Blue Bird's Song. Part 2

Click HERE for previous installment. 

"It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter." Marlene Dietrich 

via http://md.fpemad.com/ 

       Trinity Events occupied two offices in an old four-story brick building situated between an indie coffee shop called 37 Drops and an arts supply store, which made for an ideal location. After she picked up a large cup of coffee and a packet of dried apricots, Trinity climbed the familiar steps to her offices, as she never bothered for the elevator.
A hair salon, Amazing Cuts, took residence in the first floor, and its owner was a sweet lady named Annabelle who never opened before 11, so Trinity usually greeted the middle-aged woman at her lunch break. Up on the second floor were several paper and copy services; third floor, a travel and real estate agency among others; and the fourth floor hailed her events business, along with a couple of environmental grassroots organizers and premium kitchen knife salespeople.  
            She wasn’t the only one who came early thirty minutes before show time. Someone had turned on the main lights of the offices, and Trinity had a good guess about the early bird’s identity. She opened the door and wasn’t surprised to see Acadia Jyung in one of her many spring dresses, her long auburn hair curly at the ends. She sat at the large semi-circle reception desk with a croissant in her petite hand and brown eyes on the computer screen. She looked up.
            “Trin! Good morning,” she said, covering her mouth, but her eyes smiled.
            “Morning Acadia.” Trinity leaned over the tall desk. “You know you don’t have to be here this early, right?” The metallic square clock behind her friend said it was a little after half past eight.
            “And you know you don’t have to worry about me and time, right? Croissant? I bought a whole box for everybody to share.”
            Trinity jiggled the plastic packet of dried fruit. “Thanks, but I’m good.”
            “You can’t live on coffee and that every morning. Come on, take one. They’re delicious. You’ll make me feel bad if you don’t.” Acadia stood and placed the box of freshly baked croissants right under Trinity’ nose.
Trinity admitted the warm aroma was beyond inviting, and her stomach grumbled in approval. “Oh, alright. Just one.”
            “Very good.” Acadia grinned and turned her head slightly to the right whenever she got her way. “Our newest member is finally coming in today, right?”
            “Spiro? Yes, he starts today.”  Trinity knew that her friend had the date circled in red permanent marker on her calendar. She asked every day of the new member’s arrival just to make sure he hadn’t changed his mind. 
            Acadia sat back down and rested her elbows close to the computer screen. “Spiro Karimov…where did you find such an amazing beauty? I’m actually getting goose bumps at the thought of meeting him today. Seriously Trin, he looks like a model!”
            Trinity laughed. “Just between us, I got him just for you.”  
            “Ha. Ha. Nice try. Come on. You’ve been all secretive about it, and I want to know. There’s no use hiding it now that the day is finally here.”
            “Then wait a little longer. He’ll tell everybody his story.”
            “Ugh, why are you so mean?” Acadia stuck out her lower lip.
            “No no, missy. There will be no pouting in this establishment,” Trinity teased, and winked.
            “Heartless as always,” Acadia said.
Trinity chuckled and strolled away from the reception desk to her own desk situated at the opposite end of the room.
She organized the office space into four worker stations with a large conference table that cut through the middle of them. The walls were a warm olive green with orange accents such as the border of the windows and doors. Large high-definition framed pictures of past successful weddings, graduations, banquets, and other celebrations and ceremonies decorated the area. A collection of plush orange furniture sat in the corner with a refreshment stand for clients and guests. The second office space served as storage, and now, thanks to the addition of their newest member, a digital darkroom.
            Sterling Xing was the first person to trickle into the office after Acadia. Trinity’s handsome six-foot tall college friend responsible for finance, budgeting, and supplies chatted a little with Acadia, swiped three croissants from the box amid her protests, and sauntered over to Trinity with a croissant half down his throat. He took a banana from his leather bag and threw it at her.
            She caught it and shook her head. “Why does everyone have the need to feed me today?”
            “Have you looked in a mirror? It’s like you’re running for Ms. Anorexia or something. Here you can have my cinnabon too.” He placed it in front of her.
            “Not funny,” she said and raised her brows high.  
            Sterling half smiled and sat on her desk. Locks of his jet-black hair fell a little over his eyes as he leaned forward. “You broke up with her again, didn’t you?”
            Trinity unpeeled the banana and sighed. All these food offerings actually made her hungry. Sterling did well. This banana was ripe and succulent in her mouth. “This time is final. We won’t be getting back together.”
            “Yeah, sure. Maybe you two should go see a therapist.”
            “A therapist? I don’t think so. Like I said, it’s over.”
            “For you and Val, it’s never over. Just another hiccup in a series of many. Trust me. See a therapist.”
            “Thanks for the advice, but it’s not necessary. So, how’s Olivia doing?” Trinity asked, switching the topic to Sterling’s wife of one year. Conversations about Valerie always ended up in a spiral to nowhere.
            “How come you never ask me how I’m doing?” He crossed his arms.
            Trinity smiled and threw the banana’s peel into her trash bin. “That’s easy. I like her a lot more than you now.”
            He laughed. “Liv is peachy and happy. Should we still expect you for Saturday?”
            “Of course, you know how much I love your wine collection.”
            “Yes, unfortunately I do,” Sterling said and groaned.
            “Hello, beautiful people! And how are we this fine morning!” 
            That was Rhett de la Cruz, the queen of social media and marketing and another college friend of Trinity’s. The three of them started the events company a few years after their college graduation and recruited Acadia soon after its inception. Her presence always brought the energy of the room to overdrive, which Trinity loved and appreciated for when they had to be on the grind.
            “We’re contemplating whether we can jump from the roof and successfully die thanks to your voice,” Sterling said dryly.
            “Sterling! What are you doing here?” Rhett marched over. Her medium brown layered hair bounced with each step. “I thought I told Olivia to hide the key to your cage.”  
            “Nothing can keep me from seeing your beautiful face naturally,” he said.
            “Too late. Damage done. I hate you.”
            “I’ve been getting that a lot lately.” Sterling turned his attention to Trinity who smiled innocently.
            “I didn’t say I hated you. Only that I liked you less than Olivia.”
            Rhett reached over to pinch her cheeks. “Sweetie! What happened to your face? You look like you made out with Death and she slapped you around a few times.”
            Trinity burst out laughing. “Are you serious?” She honestly did not know what she would do without her friends, her second family.  
            “Take this,” she gave Trinity a small bottle of Ensure drink. “I was going to give this to my grandfather later, but I can get him another one. You need it.”
            “She broke up with Valerie again,” Sterling said like a first grade tattletale.
            Rhett clapped her hands in ear-popping fashion and widened her brown eyes. “Again! Ay dios mio. When will it end? This can’t be healthy for a person’s heart, especially you honey. I’m so sorry.”
            Trinity smiled sadly. “It’s okay.”  

Rhett de la Cruz - outside work :)
She remembered when she briefly dated Rhett when they were juniors in the middle of Trinity and Valerie’s second break-up. They had a wonderful time together, but Trinity reconciled with Valerie, and crushed Rhett’s heart. But Rhett forgave her and later met a nice girl named Holly who she married a few years ago. Nearly all her good friends were hitched now, and it made Trinity anxious to start this new part of life.
            Acadia screamed.
            Trinity jumped to her feet, alarmed. “Acadia, what’s wrong?”
            “He’s here. Mr. Spiro Karimov is here!” she said, gesturing outside the office window.
            Trinity sighed in relief, and then shook her head.
            “And here I thought someone had finally kidnapped her and spared us of our misery,” Sterling said.
            Rhett punched him in the shoulder. Hard. “Oh, you wicked man.”
            “I’m ashamed to say that actually hurt,” he said, rubbing his shoulder.
            “Okay, you silly bunnies. Let’s be sure to give Spiro a Trinity Events welcome,” Trinity said.
            “So. Where did you find this guy?” Rhett asked with her eyes on the window. “It’s like Men’s Fall Season in Milan is walking straight for us.”
            Trinity took a sip of her coffee. “You’ll find out soon enough.” 

to be continued...

Adolescence 2.0 © 2013 C.S. Severe All Rights Reserved. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Unlocking Your Highest Potential: A Letter of Encouragement to You

via http://etsy.me/135ftmJ

Dear Friend,


BRIGHT explosion of LIGHT in the darkness that surrounds?

Do you know how much YOU ARE LOVED, IMPORTANT, and SO PRECIOUS, oh so precious that to lose you would bring so much pain and tears?

Do not be afraid.

Stand tall because you were meant to sit a top a mountain and SHINE BRIGHT, brighter than the sun. YOUR SMILE is needed; your love, your strength, your thoughts, YOUR WORDS, and the sound of YOUR LAUGHTER create bursts of HAPPINESS and JOY all around.

I know how it is.

I too have felt the on going frustrations of this life, the push of darkness against the chest, and the rejection that comes with being different, being other, BEING YOURSELF.

I understand the pain of waiting, the conditions that say nothing will change, that you’re stuck or worse, trapped in a dark, cold pit with no way out.

I too hear the voices that whisper criticism and negativity
The whispers that tell the lie, “You will not be loved.”


They are all but illusions that dissipate when you shake them with the earthquake of power that lies within you. 


Yes, YOU

You possess boundless strength, a heart that sees eternity, and a soul that sings melodies more beautiful than heaven’s angels.

No one on this planet can BE YOU.
No one can create the life written in your footsteps and inked in the hearts of those who:
have met you,
shared meals with you,
laughed with you,
cried with you,
dreamed with you,
danced with you,
hugged you,
kissed you,
heard your voice,
and held your held.

Do not lose HOPE. Hold on to FAITH. And do not give up on LOVE.

Continue to create DREAMS that surprise you and lift you higher without end.

Don’t let hurt from the past cramp your heart and keep it from loving again.
LOVE again.
And again.
And again.
Yes, you really are that amazing.

And it’s okay to see some things like love, friendship, failures, victories, and dreams through a simple lens. Overthinking tends to bring more harm and confusion than good.

And if you must be afraid, take a step forward anyway because you never know where you can go, who you can meet, what you can accomplish, and all the things you can see, taste, feel, and know. 

Life is an adventure waiting for you!

And if someone should dare belittle you or sound off all your weaknesses and make you feel less than the amazing individual you really are, know that it speaks more loudly about their insecurities, failures, and shortcomings than yours. It’s not about you, but rather them. The truth is they’re jealous of you, your dreams, your power, and the light within you that pierces through anything and anyone.

And always be true to yourself and your voice because anything else or less would be a true tragedy and a great loss. This world already has enough of both.

So please, BE YOU and share the beauty that comes along with it.

via pamspence.com

And, always remember like my amazing friend Geo once said to me, “Never, never lose your sense of HUMOR.”

Loving you,
A fellow human being 

Know someone in need of encouragement? Please share this with them! :) 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Adolescence 2.0: The Blue Bird’s Song. Part I.

Click HERE for previous installment. 

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell." ~ Edna St.Vincent Millay 

Early mornings followed a ritual at the Itou household. Trinity dragged her reluctant body from the warm, cozy hug of her blankets, pillows, and queen-sized bed to step into the prickly cold arms of the mistress called five AM. Once she cleared that most difficult hurdle, she switched into a comfortable, familiar rhythm: opened the dresser, grabbed her exercise garb, socks, and dropped her knees to the floorboard to reach under the bed for her sneakers. 
            She combed her cropped hair, but nothing too serious since she was headed out for her usual eight mile run. On the way to the stairs, she walked past her mother’s room, its door always flung wide open. Her mother, Miranda, sat in an armchair facing the window, and she rubbed her fingers back and forth against the upholstery. She stared outside as if the most interesting show in the world was on display.  
            An enemy of inane idleness, Trinity disapproved of how her mother focused on nothing before every sunrise. However, she knew enough to leave her alone. For nine years, the woman refused to talk to her only child, and as far as Trinity was concerned, the only person who cared about her existence. Her father, Henry, divorced her mother when Trinity was in high school, and he later married a beautiful blond woman named Julie Andrews (no relations to the amazing, real Julie Andrews). 
            They moved to Washington State forever and had three beautiful children that she had yet to meet, but had seen in pictures when she spied on her father through facebook. He looked happy with his beautiful family. His parents had died before Trinity was born and, unlike her mother who too was an only child, he had four siblings, all scattered in different states. Her mother never cared much for them and vice versa, but while Nana was alive, Miranda had recovered and been okay. With her grandmother in the house to mediate between them, Trinity almost forgot her mother’s silence toward her.

You shouldn’t have died so early; You shouldn’t have left us alone, she said to her grandmother’s picture that sat on a round, three-legged Mahogany table at the base of the stairs. The elderly woman with the broad warm smile said nothing of course. Nana had always loved her even when Trinity came out in the first year of college.
            “So you fall in love with women, you’re still my Trin Trin, strong and kind. I thought something was strange when you didn’t bring any boyfriends home. Oh dear, was that best friend of yours actually your girlfriend, then?” Nana had laughed, holding her belly, and Trinity had laughed along with her, giving her a tight hug, tears of joy in her eyes.  
The news zipped Miranda's mouth shut, and she stopped talking to Trinity altogether since then. Her father had bombarded Trinity with a series of offensive rhetorical questions, and worse, blamed her sexuality on her mother. At present, they held sparse communication with an email here, a facebook message there, and phone calls on major holidays. Her father had yet to invite her to his home because they both knew Julie Andrews, a staunch Evangelical Christian, would not accept her presence at the house, and heaven forbid, around the children.   
Trinity went to the kitchen to fill out her mini water bottles to snap around her hydration belt. When Nana was alive, this house breathed and lived with her laughter, old jokes, bustle and movement, sizzling aromas of meals she cooked, and commotion from the game nights that she hosted for her friends from the YMCA where she exercised and swam every week. 
          Nana loved to exercise. She had always been an athlete since her younger days. The autopsy dryly reported she died of natural causes, but nothing natural could explain the way she died at seventy-two. It was shocking and cruel like a kidnapper killing his victim even with the ransom paid.
Nana took the life of the house along with her death last year. Trinity’s mother shrank further into herself and stopped teaching English at the local high school. At least she still wrote her poetry and occasionally played the piano in the living room, but nothing more. She hardly left the house except to go grocery shopping or have her hair cut in the same chin length bob she had after the divorce. 
           Her best friends were that armchair in her room and whatever happened outside her window. When was the last time Miranda cracked a smile? If she did, Trinity was never there to see it. All she saw and felt now was emptiness. Emptiness transformed this four bedroom Victorian house into some arctic castle in the middle of nowhere, tucked far away from all life, joy, and hope.   
She stood frozen with a bottle in her hand. She half-expected and half-wished Nana to walk into the kitchen and begin making steamed white rice, grilled fish, miso, and omelet.
“Don’t want you to eat that miserable bowl of cornflakes before going to work. I know you. That’s depressing. A real meal is better,” she would say.
 No one made her breakfast now. Miranda had stopped that when she was in college.
            And that’s why Trinity wanted a life long partner, someone who was in it for the whole journey, not just a joy ride. She had enough of joyrides. She wanted someone by her side to love and love her back, someone to share this home with her and hopefully, raise children together. She wanted to resurrect this dead house, to again feel something close to the life that Nana kept alive.  
            She thought she could have that with Valerie, but her ex-girlfriend’s uncertainty blocked any progress. Maybe this final break-up would give Trinity a chance to meet someone willing to grow with her. Valerie. Although she said she wanted some distance, she still hoped they could remain friends. Nana had loved and treasured Valerie like her own granddaughter. She remembered how they would sing and laugh together while Nana played the piano…
Trinity eyed the clock in the kitchen and realized she was twenty minutes behind schedule.  But for the first time in the past year, she didn’t care. Instead of rushing out the kitchen door like yesterday and the day before, it occurred to her that ever since her grandmother died, she had never made it out to her runs on time. Maybe without knowing she too did what her mother did alone in her room. 
Think of Nana.   

To be continued...

Adolescence 2.0 © 2013 C.S. Severe All Rights Reserved.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Unlocking Your Highest Potential: Feed Your Environment to the Fishes

Happy Monday, March 11th! I hope that you’ve been well and feel ready to conquer whatever comes your way. I know I feel that way, although times have been difficult and tiring. The most important thing is not to lose faith, stay strong, and know that better times are coming if you believe. Sometimes, I wish I could transport myself to a relaxing island where I can have some time alone to sort out my feelings, heal my mind, and soul, but of course the thing about wishes is that they’re disappointing and sometimes leave you feeling worse because you’re powerless to make them come true. The only thing you truly have power over is your mind, your attitude, and your reaction to your environment. Now, if you’re like me and have a less than ideal external conditions or are bound to them by forces beyond your control, you have to learn to feed your environment to the fishes. My circumstances have taught me that when I’m in a rough place, the most important thing I can do is live comfortably in my mind instead of trying to force my environment to bring comfort to my mind. Today, I want to share a few things I do to overcome my environment.

Go forth and conquer the obstacles to your dreams!

Draw and Invest Strength and Hope from and into Your Ideal Future

This is not just going to your happy place, nor am I suggesting that you live in the future, but rather that you give and receive power in the future you know you want to achieve someday. I’ve learned to nurture my dreams and trust them without question. Whenever a horrible situation comes up or I feel discouragement tugging at my chest, I draw strength from thinking about how my present situation does not reflect entirely who I am and who I will be. I know where I’ve been and I know where I’m going, so I don’t need to be afraid, lose hope and give up. On the contrary, I face the now with fierce determination to work hard on my current projects and not doubt about whether they’ll pan out or not. I see victory and its inevitability. Doing so helps me a ton!

Brush Aside the Excuses and Limiters

Excuses, excuses, excuses! If people adhered and believed their excuses, nothing great in this world would have ever been done. Or will be done. The same is true in our lives. I have a mountain of excuses and statistics and odds that chirp louder than birds in the morning:

It’s too difficult.
You don’t have time.
The competition is too high.
Failure is unavoidable.
The economy is too rough right now.
There are no more opportunities.
All the doors are closed.
You need a better occupation.
You should settle down.
You’re crazy. Stop before you regret it.
You need stability.
And blah blah blah blah

It’s actually quite easy for me tune this out; especially when it comes from loved ones. All I hear is Charlie Brown’s teacher when all these excuses, put downs, or negative points pour like acid on my dreams and ambitions. They’re the small fry distractions that you have to learn to brush aside and rise above from with no looking back. Excuses do not have your best interest in mind. They exist to stop you from reaching greatness, but don’t let them. You were meant to be great. Believe it, work it, and watch it happen. 

Make a Nice Home in Your Mind

I’ve said this often to myself: you can go far and wide in the world, but you cannot leave yourself behind. Since you’re stuck with yourself, it makes sense to make a nice home in your mind. Are your thoughts encouraging or aggressive? Are the conversation partners up there pleasant or vindictive? Are you served cookies with a warm blanket or given clamps for your feet and hands? Is your mind a paradise or a dungeon? Several years ago, my mind was the latter of the two. I hated living in my mind along with my environment so that made for a very unhappy life. However, now that I’ve managed to see the illusions of my negativity, open my eyes to my unlimited potential to make my dreams come true, along with trust my God-given abilities to make a good life for myself, I can say without too much doubt that I’ve made a nice place for myself in my mind. There’s still much cleaning and rearranging to do, but I must stay it’s a whole lot bearable than what it was last time, and it’s one of the main reasons why I can overcome my environment. I live in two places: the physical and mental. As long as my mental space is pleasant and I can laugh and make fun of my physical place, I can gather strength to weather my tough external situations.

So, how about you? How do you feed your environment to the fishes? Or do you? I’d love to hear your thoughts about how you overcome the outside world.

Thanks for reading,

Sammy :)

P.S. Be Brave.