July 18th, 2013

there was a time when things were so in sync you would have thought we had been dating for years. the look he gave me that left me breathless or the way he could describe my smirk.  he had a way with words that often times left me curious, but many times left me speechless in the worst way possible.  a kind soul but one helluva controlling man.  there was a shared determination, independence, and stubbornness. a respectfulness that i once envied, and an unveiling of his true character that i can’t help but now despise.  there were miles traveled, attempts made, and walls bound and determined to remain.  those blue eyes that hooked my attention, his callused hands that modeled his work ethic, and his touch that never got old. my parent’s approval quickly shattered. a resilience to know the real me, the me known by loved ones and true friends. his ability to pique my interest when least expecting it and pull at my heart when i wanted to walk away.  it was ten years in the making, but only a few months for it to dissolve away…

do you miss him?" that’s the million dollar question that leaves me sorting through words. 

May 13th, 2013

i’ll never quite understand why things have worked out the way they have-

how i ended up building a home ten miles from my parent’s house yet daydream about where i’m going to live next,

or how so much loss can happen in a short period of one’s life- a death of a family friend, a friend’s father, a forever friendship, a prospective suitor, an amount of weight, a pocket full of sunshine or even an exorbitant amount of energy.

i’ll never quite understand why time has to be spent in one place versus the other-

how you can disregard everything that’s been so hard to maintain, how control can be so one-sided or why upfront effort dissolves all because of distance,

or how after years of going and going and going and going, there’s still a strong lean toward keeping busy instead of lounging indoors with self-inflicted thoughts.

i’ll never quite understand how you can feel so content one day and so uncomfortable the next-

how you can fight through interview after interview, butterflies in the stomach crush after crush, move after move, disagreement after disagreement, calorie after calorie, mile after mile, only to realize you should have originally chosen option A instead of B,

or how there can be so much contagious happiness and love one day and so much hate between others the next.

i’ll never quite understand how endorphins can be produced, how cancer can be caused, how a pill can treat a headache, how tears can well up, how goose bumps can appear, and how life can forever change due to an unexpected diagnosis-

how every fall season can make my soul pitter pat just like the first time i stepped onto a college campus all those years ago,

or how an hour long sitcom or late night rom com can make me question my past taste in men more than any thought that has ever crossed my mind or any sound advice my father has not so calmly uttered.

i’ll never quite understand how one without an addiction can continue down the path of insanity—performing the same action over and over again with no change in result-

how things can be so obviously wrong yet feel so obviously right,

or how music can alter a mood without ever having to really understand the lyrics escaping the mouth of a ex-felon.

i’ll never quite understand how my words, my voice and my opinions can be legit equal to my actions yet to some, they are seen as less-

how the dynamics of a family can shift with one move, one disagreement, one victory, one location change, one holiday, one doctor’s visit, one job, one failure, one surgery or one selfish decision,

or how i continue to strive to garner attention when the lights have clearly been knocked off.

i’ll never quite understand…

August 14th, 2012

finding warmth in the chill.

i had been craving warmth since seven a.m. one of those days that you think should start off jovial but somehow slips into something else. the next thing i knew, it was lunchtime and i stepped away for a break. i hopped in my jeep and cranked up the heat as i began to chip away at the frigidness i had felt.  when you’re told that you haven’t been acting like yourself as of late, you start to believe it.  i drove over the bridge and around the lake until i arrived at my favorite lunch time getaway.  with a cracked open window to inhale the fresh air, i started to decompress. i began on page one of Bossypants and let the words of Tina Fey lift my crooked mood. i knew i hadn’t been myself lately, but the truth is not always what you want to hear.  an hour flew by, then three, then six. i took my new-found route home. a quick swing by the house to see progress. a new electric box had been installed on the exterior. it was enough to ease me out of my slump. progress reminds you of where you’ve started and where you’re headed. ten minutes later, i pulled into my all too familiar garage and was warmly welcomed by a doggy who had recently been sick. i needed to show love in order to give it. and give it i did. i carried her upstairs with me and laid her on the bed as i changed into something more comfortable. then it hit me. the scent of fall. the seasons beginning to change. the smell of outdoors naturally wafting in. the chill in the air brought on by something other than a shift in attitude.  the yearning for thick, soft, over-sized sweaters. the temptation to bury your head in the covers instead of being productive in any means. the desire to taste coffee served in a mug that needs to be held with two hands.  it’s the thoughts that over power the feelings. the hope in the future. the image of a dog overcoming sickness. the simple progress of a house. & the snap back to reality- the one reminding you that life, even while not always glamorous, is always pretty damn warm.

July 2nd, 2012

A tree against the sky possesses the same interest, the same character, the same expression as the figure of a human."  -Georges Rouault

The morning started with a drop-off at the groomer (Bentley) and morphed into a long drive spent cruising by our old house, discovering untouched wooded lots, and reminiscing on our time spent here in Indiana (me, Mama, & BR).

it was 19 years this past March.

a relocation from our beloved state of California to this land of new adventures, race cars, & major talk about a little film called Hoosiers.

it was a move that translated into making memories- spending summers at the ball field, learning to drive in the country, first kisses on the back porch, meeting new best friends, purchasing parkas to experience our first snow, marking our growth spurts on a door frame in the laundry room, planting weeping willows with the hopes that a bench could someday go underneath, exploring this place- this place that was just supposed to be a new home that somehow became a lifetime of fantastic stories, & learning how to grow up as a solid unit with this family that i would choose if i was ever given the choice.

i can’t believe it’s been 19 years since i left that cute little boy with the precious curls behind, the one who said he’s be my pen pal ‘til the end of times.

i can’t believe how much has happened since that move across the western country.

& i can’t believe that all it took was a drop-off of the dog at the groomer to spark a huge hit of nostalgia that reminded me of so many fabulous past times.

June 15th, 2012

When that moment arrives, you realize what kind of person you are capable of being. It’s that moment you prepare for your whole life. The one that you know will shake you to your core when it arrives yet will still doubt, with all of your strength, even when it’s staring you in the face. It’s that moment that will inexplicably shift the dynamics of your family-where joint optimism should probably reign above all and pessimism should be left on the table.  It’s that moment that will undoubtedly change your life forever. It’s that moment you’ve witnessed others battling. That one that disproves your, “it won’t ever happen to me” antics. That one that goes against silently questioning, “how could that ever happen to me, I’ve done everything I can to avoid it?” It’s that moment that leaves you standing there, searching for solutions, planning for an even more unknown future, and trying to stay your calmest self all in the same.  It’s that moment of truth- the time you can no longer avoid the tough stuff that seemed impossible when you were seven- the tough stuff that adults typically deal with is now your painstaking reality.  It’s that moment that inherently makes you stronger- the one that makes you face all of your fears with the delivery of very unwelcome news. It’s that moment when you love a helluva lot harder, you dream a helluva lot bigger, and you ask for the brightest light to shine your way.  It’s that kind of moment you loathe- the one that makes you lose your appetite or crave comfort immediately.  It’s that moment when voices naturally quiver, faith is immediately questioned, and T’s being crossed and I’s being dotted are no longer on your side.  It’s that moment that’s completely out of your control- when you inhale the deepest breath and cry tears that burn as they stream down your weathered cheeks.  It’s that moment that leaves you numb, reeling for strength, nodding in front of others in hopes that they stop asking, “are you okay?  It’s that moment when you realize what kind of person you are capable of being- the kind of person that has to deal with shitty news, because sometimes, that unavoidable moment becomes a new daunting addition to your life.

February 9th, 2012

deleted.

last night, i decided it was time to throw your file into the trash.

it needed to be done.

& man, was it easier than i expected.

a quick hold & drag across the screen & into the virtual can it went.

& with one, easy right-click,

i emptied the trash & said goodbye to the words you once promised,

the thoughts you once expressed,

& the feelings i once felt.

there are times when holding on to spoken words matter, 

& there are times when actions mean way more than what you once declared.

last night, 

i realized, once again,

that actions will forever hold more precedence in my life;

therefore, your words are no longer taking up my valuable memory.

January 8th, 2012

this used to be my favorite place to write.

i would park in the lot, slide in between the metal gates, & climb into the creaky bleachers.

it was my place.

a place that bred memories of legit friday night lights,

of wearing jerseys of handsome boys,

of leading the “pump it up” cheer at least four times during game time,

of watching my best friend perform back flip after back flip on the asphalt,

of acting as quarterback on the powderpuff team, 

& of creating memories that i will never forget.

this place used to be for what i will always refer to as my glory days.

some very happy times,

some of the most treasured times,

some of the loveliest of times.

this place used to be where i would meet him.

on sunday afternoons,

for four years,

in the spring, summer, fall, & winter, we would meet at 3 p.m. every sunday.

rain or shine, we would show up.

it was a date of sorts, one only he & i would understand.

i would splash on a little not-trying-so-hard make-up before i drove over,

& for the next two hours that soon followed,

i would giggle, stare, & fall harder & harder for the guy standing at the fifty yard line.

his sweat never grossed me out & the subtle redness of his nose & cheeks during the winter months only drew me closer.

this was our place.

this was for us.

& soon, it was for them.

after the split, it became easily avoidable.

if i wanted to visit, i could, but i always risked the awkward run-in.

this had become their place,

their bonding spot,

their field to make the memories.

there were even times when i wouldn’t turn down the street because i wasn’t ready for the possibilities that could exist.

my once favorite place soon became a source of pain.

during times of loneliness, i took no time to acknowledge its existence.

in all the years between him & me & them, i couldn’t bare to admit the struggle to visit.

it all seems too trivial to explain.

then came the time when i finally had to drive-by.

i had no choice.

i had to go.

& even then, after all the years that passed in-between, it still hurt like hell.

& maybe that’s okay.

maybe it’s okay that there will always be that one place that reminds me of him,

of the one guy who made me giggle like a schoolgirl,

of the one guy who made me fall harder than i ever wanted to admit,

& of the one guy who trusted me on his turf (pun intended), all the seasons of the year & every sunday in between.

this used to be my favorite place to write,

now, it’s just a field.

November 30th, 2011

last night was peaceful.

the city’s first snowfall

productive discussions with those i care for most

a natural change of heart

perhaps even a culmination of all three.

two nights ago, i went to sleep mad at the world, upset with the people who i can usually trust, & tired from exerting energy on those stubborn things i know i cannot change.

the dramatic words of, “i am pissed off at life" were uttered from my usually positive lips. (& it should be said, that "p" word is not one i use lightly or frequently)

i think it was a long time coming.

i cried myself to sleep feeling sorry for myself & for this somewhat pouty person i had become.

coming off from a very blessed Thanksgiving & ending the weekend like this?

who had i become?

they were tears of sadness but i think more cathartic than that,

they were tears releasing all the pent up emotions i had been holding in for far too long.

yesterday, as the snow began to fall, my world transformed into one more at peace.

last night, as bentley wandered around out back, i listened…& heard nothing.

my thoughts were quiet.

my anxiety was quiet.

my world was quiet.

it was so peaceful.

i’m well aware that life is not always full of sunny days & sugary lollipops,

but when i am unable to wrap my head around the actions of others,

i need peaceful nights,

just like last night.

November 29th, 2011

expectations.

i wanted to believe it would be better, to know that you’d always be there, for you to visit when i needed it most, for one last hug & kiss before you said goodbye, for a phone call even when you knew i’d be busy, to receive a card in the mail when i was having a bad day week semester, for an A in that class that rocked me to my core, to be recognized for my hard work & dedication, you to be good, to be given a fair opportunity, to be happy for you, to know that you received my resume, to go back to being four years old, for you to look my way on one of those days when i was feeling the prettiest, to consistently run faster, one more cup of coffee before we parted ways, forever friendships, to be closer, a home-cooked meal instead of cereal five nights a week, to improve my outlook on life-on people-on standards, to run away, to be caught off guard by your attentiveness to details, so much to achieve more than any professor thought i was capable, to fully understand why they thought i would be a good fit.

i wanted to be there, to unpack my stored items by Christmas, to stand on my own two feet, to eat as much ice cream as i wanted without feeling like shit the next day, to shop for my new place, you to be completely & utterly upfront, you to be on my side, answers, to rip those batty braces out of my mouth, to make that flight home in time for the surgery, to annihilate the tasks where others before me failed, to stop being compared to others, to undoubtedly trust your words, him to fight through the cancer, to throw back the pain you caused me with each & every one of your wretched doubts, my hair to stay straight even during a down-pour, those damn skinny jeans to fit one year later, to boldly say everything i once held in, to graduate & know that what i just went through was a lot harder than the months that would follow, a genuine friendship, a substantial job offer, a never-ending supply of dark chocolate in my freezer, for it to last, that song to be attached to amazing memories, to drink all the drinks, to slap that dirty man who delivered such inappropriate comments, my mother’s hand when i was having a bad day, that shining moment when i could sit back & say, “look at everything i’ve done right,” kindness, you to stop criticizing, you to listen, you to fly out for the weekend, the realization that you’re worth fighting for.

i wanted to say yes, to prove the doubters wrong, freedom & so much independence, the right to set my own path, to stop going to bed stressed & anxious about the future, an undeniable connection, the ability to control my next move, the chance to say “i love you but you are being a very selfish person,” a devilishly handsome man to insist on opening my door & picking up my every-growing coffee tab, to think fondly about my time in kansas, everything to be copacetic-in life-in school-in my mind, to relax, to indulge, some things to remain unchanged, to give-in, to take you more seriously, a beautifully organized closet with a sparkly chandelier, to forget about that damn hickey, to run-in to my past on a best-dressed day, a dog who stops seizing, a line-up of books that suck me in, sunny days-everyday, you to notice the halt in communication, to look back & be convinced that every struggle along the way added up to be the most perfect mix of bad-ass solitude.

i wanted to feel like it was all worth it when i expected it the least.

November 17th, 2011

kindness, revisited.

every couple of months, when i’m home in indy, mama & i schedule a pedicure date…

typically in the evening, 

at the end of a hectic work-day (Mama)

&/or a calling for some tender lovin’ care (Me!).

it’s our thing- a tradition of sorts.

usually it plays out the same way

we sit in comfortable, reclining, pseudo-massaging chairs

we read trashy (aka perfect) magazines

we close our eyes

& we allow the nail technicians to work their magic.

last night was different.

it was all those things plus so much more.

our appointment wasn’t until 7:30 at night-

the time when most people are at home, enjoying their family time, curled in front of the tube, sipping hot cocoa;

however, we were obviously holding up our ladies from leaving work early & partaking in said night-time activities.

in our presence, they didn’t seem to mind (but really, what choice did they have, right?).

as my precious nail technician, Anita, tenderly massaged my legs, applied an exfoliating scrub, & paid special attention to my “trying to get back into shape before the holidays fully take over” feet,

she turned to mama & kindly asked, “is it okay if i pamper her a little bit?

without hesitation, mama answered, “of course.”

& pamper me, Anita did.

for the entire hour, it was nothing less than pedicure perfection.

as our session approached the 8:30 mark,

mama j patiently waited across the way while Anita proudly touched-up my “quarter of a century”-painted nails.

when i inquisitively asked, “you must have been able to tell i’m a little stressed?

she looked up & said, “oh yes, all of your muscles are so tense.”

& that’s when it hit me…

here it is,

well past dark,

we were clearly the last time slot of the night, 

& yet, her kindness for me never tired.

it was the kind of moment you could never predict.

pure kindness when you need it the most.

a time that re-affirms the goodness of people.

& last night, i was oh, so thankful for the time with mama, for the kindness of a stranger-friend, & for my beautiful holiday-themed tootsies.

simple pleasures, i tell ya.

sometimes, that’s all it takes.

Hi! I'm Brooke. Indianapolis is my home & I welcome you to my little nook. I'm a twenty-something girl who was born in the land of corn (Okl.), attended undergrad in the true Sea of Red (Neb.), & eventually found her way back home again after picking up a couple letters behind her name (Kan.) while clinging to an adorable Maltipoo named Bentley. Thank you for stopping by & please feel free to leave a comment (or ask a question) under the "Be Kind" tab at the top... xo, B