Open Letters and Lyrics to the Men Who Influenced My Life

I originally posted this on my quiet music blog, but I was told I needed to share it here too and I agree. ❤ I hope the music can touch you too. ❤

These are open letters (certain identities hidden for privacy) to four men who’ve affected my life in ways that have shaped me into who I am today. I say goodbye, I say I miss you, and I say I love you. I’ve had these words and lyrics on my heart for a long time…it felt good to express like this.


{For The Childhood Best Friend}

Dear B,

You were my first best friend, my playpen buddy, my childhood friend, the one I always knew would be my partner in crime in all our games. You were one of the best parts of my whole kid world. You’ve inspired some of my best fictional characters by leaving such an impression of the ideal childhood friend. I’m sorry our families fell apart like they did; I’m sorry we drifted. But thank you for being a part of what gave me a happy childhood. You will always be my first best friend. ❤ This song makes me think of you and miss you as we leave childhood behind us. Thank you for all the memories, and I wish you the greatest luck in your future. I’ll always be in your corner, ok? ❤

So Long by Zooey Deschanel.
“Hate to say goodbye, goodbye and I hate to see the end, the end.
‘Cause it’s been so long since I’ve made a friend like you.”

{For The Friend Who Disappeared}

Dear D,

When my whole world was crashing, you entered my life…you were like a life preserver…you noticed me, wanted to be my friend, entered worlds with me, made me laugh and forget my pain, my depression, my fear. I liked you. I’m sorry our families fell apart….I’m so sorry that I lost contact with you. I’m so sorry that you never came to see me, that you never responded to my note, that I’m not yet brave enough to come find you myself to say thank you and goodbye. While things have worked out in my life, I still consider you disappearing from my life as one of my biggest regrets and personal losses. I grieved your loss to this song for years: I listened to its chorus a thousand times because it matched how my heart hurt, and sometimes still does. I do thank you for being the friend I so desperately needed at that time in my life, for helping me feel special; I miss you when I see Willy Wonka, vampires, and Sherlock Holmes. You deserve the best of luck, wherever you are. Just please don’t live in fear for the rest of your life, ok? Please don’t live in fear.

Habits by Tove Lo.
“You’re gone and I gotta stay high all the time to keep you off my mind ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh.
High all the time to keep you off my mind, ooh-oh, ooh-ooh.
Spending my days locked in a haze, trying to forget you, babe, I fall back down.
Gotta stay high all my life to forget I’m missing you, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh.”

{For The Unsafe Father}

Dear Dad,

I really miss you: the you I thought I knew when I was a little girl. I’m sad that you didn’t want me to become my own person, that you believed I didn’t have a mind of my own, that you couldn’t just love me enough to let me be free. But I’m not sorry I don’t see you anymore. You played too many mind games, your words never added up, you made me feel like dirt. I won’t accept being treated that way again for the rest of my life. I do hope you will change one day. This song has been my anthem of freedom from your treatment since I first heard it, because even though you kept me down for a long time, I’m standing up now. I’m becoming that ball of fire again, and I’m finding emotional and mental freedom and happiness.

Roar by Katy Perry.
“You held me down but I got up, already brushing off the dust.
You hear my voice, you hear that sound like thunder gonna shake the ground.
You held me down, but I got up, get ready ’cause I”ve had enough.
I see it all, I see it now; I’ve got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire, cause I am a champion and you’re going to hear my roar louder, louder than a  lion ’cause I am a champion, and you’re going to hear me roar.”

{For The One I Love, the One Who is There}

Dear James,

You’re incredible. You’re the man who loved me for three years and was too scared to tell me for fear of losing our friendship…the man who has given his everything to win my heart, to be there for me…. You are the one who helped me grow despite my hurts; who helped me feel safe; who made me feel funny and happy; who told me I was gorgeous the way I was, to embrace my flaws; who told me I had a voice, that I had value, that I was worth more than gold…. thank you. Thank you for over a year of dedication as my romantic partner and for five whole years of being there. For just not leaving or disappearing like everyone else has. Thank you for loving me so unconditionally and for telling me you’ll always be there. Thank you. I have a dozen romantic songs that make me think of you, but you are more than just my boyfriend; you are my best friend, the seashore to my rocky waves, my home and happy place, my joy. I am full of gratitude for you and for everything you’ve given me. This song is my heart to you; because every lyric rings true. Thank you for changing my life for the better and I love you! ❤

Thank You by MoZella.
“Mixed up and lost, you showed me love at no cost, and when nobody else cared you were there….

Down on my luck, you helped my life get unstuck and when the world went away, you stayed…
Thank you for the good times, thank you for your love, thank you for the joy you’ve given me…
You fight off my enemies, you’d take a bullet for me, and you know I’d do the same for you…
‘Cause that’s how we roll, connected at the soul, and I just want you to know how I feel…
Thank you for loving me every day, thank you for showing me the way, thank you for things I never say…
Thank you.”

Dear Men,

You have changed me, shaped me, and influenced my life in so many positive and negative ways, but you have helped me develop into a better person; you have made me feel loss to appreciate love and loyalty when I truly recognize it; you have given me the sweetest memories and most bitter tears. You have even helped me become a better person. Thank you for that. None of it was in vain. I won’t forget any of you… don’t you forget me either.

Don’t You by Simple Minds.
“Won’t you come see about me? I’ll be alone, dancing, you know it, baby.

Tell me your troubles and doubts, giving me everything inside and out, and love’s strange so real in the dark.
Think of the tender things that we were working on.
Slow change may pull us apart, when the light gets into your heart, baby.
Don’t you… forget about me… don’t don’t don’t don’t, don’t you… forget about me.”

Sincerely, your old friend, your daughter, you girlfriend and future,
Jamie ❤

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six years of blogging (and how it changed my life)

So I completely forgot that on New Year’s Eve it was my blog’s sixth anniversary!

I have been purposefully absent from blogging this past year; and it was kind of weird. I’ve grown used to blogging about my personal life, about the things I learn as I struggle and grow. However, outside of some purposefully vague blog posts, I’ve been quiet about my life most of this year. I was concentrating on something very important to me and waiting for when I was secure enough to share it.

Well, tonight’s the night and I’m so happy that I waited! Some of you who keep up with me on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook already know what I’m talking about. 😉 But I’m ready to talk about it here. I haven’t planned or outlined any of this post, so hopefully me just explaining what I want to explain all makes sense. XD

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I’ve been building my first romantic relationship, with my best friend James, who lives in Georgia, for the past year.

Yeah; probably not shocking many of you who can read between the lines. XD But hey, this feels very official. XD Some of you who’ve been here awhile know James from his blog; several of you readers kinda grew up with us all together, watching Marvel movies, discussing Star Wars and growing up into college kids–you know who you are. 😉 ❤

Well, James and I met through our blogs back in 2011 and have been friends ever since. About a year ago, after several years of consistently skyping and being the best of friends, our true feelings between us surfaced. I’d had feelings for about six months or so, dropping hints which I thought he was not reading at all. Meanwhile, he’d been holding a crush for about three years (which he hid so well, because I had no idea!) and was absolutely terrified of somehow losing our friendship. So it was quite a big deal when “us” happened; when we began to talk it all out, along with how we could meet.

Our top priority in all of it was protecting our friendship: neither of us wanted to lose what we already had in our friendship. I mean, we loved talking every week about anime, about life, about anything really. Our friendship was too valuable to risk, so we entered the romantic waters very thoughtfully. It was not a walk in the park, people. We both experienced a lot of anxiety and fear during those early months. I was unsure how we could make us work at first, being so far apart and having not met in person, but I knew I wanted to try. I wanted to go slowly and make time for us figure it out, to adapt, to fully comprehend we really did “like like” each other, and spend enough time talking about everything we needed to. And we helped each other through the anxiety, the fear, the trust building!

We talked so much before we first met in May; with all the talking was the trust-building, honesty-building; being respectful, trying to be ourselves, learning more about ourselves as we learned more about what “we” were and could be. We messaged and skyped so much before we met, constantly talking out those fears. It was terrifying and absolutely amazing at the same time. We loved it. It was exciting, it was completely brand new! The butterflies were insane!

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Our first hug at the airport; he barely saw me coming, I was running so fast to reach his arms.

We had a lot of fears before we met, resolving some while I was there, and dealing with others after I went back home. (You can read about our first visit here, if you missed it; it’s tastefully written to exclude we were romantically involved at the time.)

I asked him not to ask me to be his girlfriend during that first visit because I wanted to return home without any ties to see how I felt. I wanted to make sure I loved him, not the idea of him. I wanted to be “just us” for awhile, if that makes sense: just James and Jamie, without any labels like boyfriend and girlfriend.

He very patiently let me take my time. I knew a couple months after coming home that I wanted to officially be together, to try to see if we could make it in the long run. I knew the distance didn’t matter, the distance didn’t effect how I felt. So we privately called each other boyfriend and girlfriend from then on and continued being just us, talking about us, before I returned to him just a few weeks ago.

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From our first official photo session as boyfriend and girlfriend.

He officially asked me to be his girlfriend when I returned, and we made it public on social media to enjoy being a couple without feeling like we had to hide it. (I wanted to take as many cute couple selfies while we were together, after all LOL.) We were both happy and felt safe in own feelings and in each other. We had worked so hard for a year to build us, so it was exciting and still is exciting, to share the fruit of all that work.

We will tell you we’ve already been together more than a year, though: 365 days of very, very hard and dedicated communication being “us”, discussing boundaries, discussing fears, building trust, sharing secrets, discussing fun things like anime as we always had, and figuring out what love was. We’re still doing all that now, really. We’re still learning what love is and becoming closer, stronger.

That’s why for a year I chose to keep us private, so we could grow and become stable without anyone’s input but our immediate circles. I’m so so happy that I chose to be slow and private, even though it meant neglecting my blog for a year. XD

I feel secure and free to talk about it now! Now that such a huge part of my life has received a solid foundation that I’m confident in, I feel like I can come back here (and my other blogs) and talk openly again about life: what I’m learning, what I’m feeling, what I’m doing again. I can refer to James as “boyfriend” on here now; I can be happy knowing that I truly love him very much, without any doubts. That I’m proud to have him as my special someone (and wow, he wins best boyfriend award in the world. How did crazy ol’ me get someone so patient, so empowering, so kind, so affectionate, so gentle, and so supportive? I’m incredibly blessed, you guys!)

So, I’m very excited to come back here, back home to this blog. Back to the place that made us possible.

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Because without starting this blog six years ago, I wouldn’t have met James.

Without this place for us to have gotten to know each other, none of what I just documented would have happened! Like woah…mind blown.

Without writing here, without sharing my fandom joys, my little silly thoughts, my painful life experiences, my personality expressing itself in its whacky funny way, James wouldn’t have wanted to get to know me better! XD We wouldn’t have shared watching the new Marvel movies together; we wouldn’t have commented on each other’s blogs as teenagers for years; he wouldn’t have started his old podcast in 2013 as a way to start skyping with me; we wouldn’t have become the unlikely opposites who get so much out our differences, yet discover so much common ground; we wouldn’t have had each other’s backs during some of the darkest most painful times in both our lives.

Without this blog, I would not have discovered anime, flown across the country twice in a year, discovered myself as I have, experienced the most romantic first kiss one spring morning deep in the south with my hero, best friend, and first love, in the most affectionate, steady, funny, thoughtful, Godly young man ever who shed blood, sweat, utter loyalty and devotion, and a crap ton of being the funniest thing ever, to win my heart. ❤

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I’ve always loved words, telling stories, sharing my struggles and journies in writing. I’ve always believed that words are more powerful than the sword. I’ve believed words were one of the most powerful things in the world. And I’ll always believe that. Because the words in this stupid little blog did so much; it made so much possible. FOR GOODNESS SAKE, someone FELL IN LOVE with my personality, my words, my heart, because of this blog! And right now, despite all the crap that can still hit the fan in my life, I consider myself the most blessed woman in the world.

Your words matter. So when you write, be open, be kind, be true to yourself every single time you share them. You never know what might happen because of it. ❤

~Jamie

Where Blogging Brought Me

This was written last week, but its long overdue to be documented on my blog because it’s thanks to blogging that I got to find my very best friend and confident.


Right now, I’m blogging with my very best friend, at the same time! Some of you will recognize him as James from J and J Productions. We’re elbow to elbow at the moment on the couch, both typing up our posts and looking at each other’s screens. XD We’ve been blogging friends for years and even closer best friends for over two and half years, but this is the first time where we’ve actually gotten to simultaneously write blog posts together in the same room in real time, and it’s quite fun. XD

What I’ve decided to blog about is just about us and how we ended up here, because what else should I be writing about? 😉

Once upon a time, five years and seven months ago, 16-year-old me watched a movie called A New Hope and I fell in love with Star Wars. Earlier that same day, I’d literally started this blog. And after watching A New Hope, I wanted blog friends who liked Star Wars too. In that quest, I stumbled over a young blog like mine, run by a boy my age named James, and he loved movies enough to attempt reviewing them. I commented, then he commented back; we followed each other’s blogs. We both loved Star Wars. Tonight, we’re going to watch A New Hope together for the first time, and the last half a decade of our lives will come full circle for me.

Blogging and Star Wars brought us together, but Marvel made us real friends. About four years ago, I saw Captain America: The First Avenger in theaters–it was my first superhero movie–and James wrote to me saying, “hey, glad you liked it! There are more movies you should see before The Avengers comes out!” He wrote blog post after blog post, mostly for me, mentoring me in characters and films and our friendship really solidified. After the Avengers came out, we skyped every time a new Marvel film was released just to rave and hype about them.

Last week, we saw Captain America: Civil War together in 3D. THAT was surreal. That movie was like the climax of a very grand adventure that for the two of us had shared for years. We clutched hands in gasps and jumped in unison, and spazzed in hype at character introductions. I cried over a certain funeral scene and he squeezed my fingers to let me know he felt it too. We both shrieked with laughter. It was the first new Marvel movie that we did not have to message each other to say, “I’VE SEEN IT. TELL ME WHEN YOU DO SO WE CAN TALK SPOILERS.” We finally saw a Marvel movie right. XD

Marvel made us real friends, but anime made us pretty much inseparable in 2014. We skyped every week to discuss new anime episodes and that was the platform that helped us become the best of friends. Anime, which so rich in life and emotion and fantastic storytelling, gave us so many avenues to connect and discuss ethics and beliefs and our own lives. We built trust and solid communication skills as we spent time together goofing off and enjoying conversation. Over the last two years, we were especially able to be there for each other when life got rough on the other. And finally about seven months ago we decided enough was enough, and began to plan how we could meet in person.

This past week, after five years of blog comments, movie and anime rants, and 10,000 skype calls, I’ve flown to Georgia so I can see my very best friend in person instead off of a screen. After an early morning rise, a three hour flight and turbulence, we met in the Atlanta airport and it was incredibly surreal. We were both in Star Wars shirts and I almost knocked him over hugging him the moment I saw him. 😀

I think we felt like us by the time we were dragging my 49 pound suitcase to the car. I pushed it on its rollers up the ramp while insisting I was as strong as Thor and could handle it, through huffs and giggles. He scrambled behind me pointing me in the direction we needed to go and freaking out that I was going to trip and tumble over the suitcase. I got to the car and exclaimed, “It’s humid” and he grinned, rolled his eyes and said, “Yep!” It was hysterical. XD

The trip so far has been amazing and I’ve felt so at home. I was made welcome by his family immediately too. When we reached his home, his grandmother was standing there with open arms almost as soon as I was out of the car, and everyone is all smiles and making sure I’m comfortable. By day two, everyone said it felt I’d always been there. It feels amazing to fit in so well! ❤

I love being here with my best friend. We hug a lot; we can’t believe the other is real. I’ve never been so grateful to be with someone in the flesh. We spent the first days marveling how the other looked in 3D instead of 2D on a screen. XD And awesomely, we get along better than we’d hoped in person! He’s less smug XD and apparently, I’m more sweet in person. XD We’ve already watched a lot of anime in person, and of course seeing a Marvel movie together just put us on cloud nine.

I’d singing his praises, but this post is already incredibly long, so I’ll save that for another day. ❤

I can’t wait to spend the next few days with this guy. I’ll blog more when I come home, but for now I best enjoy where it’s brought me so far. 😉 ❤

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my favorite picture of us, taken directly after the end of watching Star Wars: A New Hope.

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I’m home now and I’m getting ready to publish this. I will write more about my visit another day, but for now, this is where blogging for the past five years has brought me. It blows my mind at the opportunities that God has allowed me to have. I’m incredibly thankful to be able to visit my best friend at all, all the way from Arizona to Georgia. And we just had to blog at least once together, because hey, so much can happen just from blogging. 😉

~Jamie

The Happy Tag!

My blogging pal SW tagged me to do the happy tag (and do check out her blog A Free Mind, it’s one of my favorites! <3) So I complied just a few things below that make me happy!

BOOKS:

“The Night Circus” ( ’cause magic) // Sherlock Holmes original novels and short stories  // “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (THE NOSTALGIA.) // Treasure Island” (pirates, hello?! XD) // Dracula”  //

WORDS

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Twitterpated (“Love-struck.”) // Serendipity (“Finding something good without looking for it.”) // Wanderlust (“a great desire to travel or rove about.”) // Collywobbles (“butterflies in stomach.” // Kawaii (“something super stupid cute.” pst, my own definition. XD ) //

MOVIES/TV:

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Movies/TV:

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (because Ellen equals happy LOL) // Clue (my fave! XD ) // The Office US (I credit it as saving my life with joy.) // Frasier (my life was not complete before I saw Frasier.) // Murder by Death (mystery parodies FTW) // Erased (tears. so many tears, but most of them happy.) // Harry Potter (#ObviousReasons) // KonoSuba (happy feels happy feels happy feels.) //

SCENTS:

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the air before it rains // pizza // pool water // freshly baked brownies // white citrus Bath and Body foam soap // hotel rooms// the smell of mint when you open the floss container // and that speCIAL SMELL NEWBORNS HAVE ON THEIR HEADS THAT YOU JUST WANT KEEP YOUR NOSE BURIED IN FOREVER, BECAUSE SWEET MAMACITA.

SONGS:

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“Sh-Boom”  by The Chords // “Clean” by Taylor Swift // “Sing” by Pentatonix // “Rise” by Selena Gomez // “Female President” by Girl’s Day // “Spy” by Super Junior // “Fireflies” by Owl City // “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles // “Sleigh Ride”  by Leroy Anderson //

MISC:

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balloons // aquarium trips // Hercule Poirot // fairy tales // CASUAL CAPSLOCK CONVERSATIONS XD // Encyclopedia Brown // jellyfish // candles // anime marathons // bubble baths //  Mickey Mouse // color // bubble gum chewing //


 

I tag anyone who hasn’t ALREADY been tagged to do this…is there anyone left who hasn’t? Everyone in my circles seems to have done it. XD But if you want to do it, I’ll come comment on your post if you leave me the link! ❤ Because comments and commenting also make me happy! ❤

~Jamie

Beautiful People: Writerly Resolutions and Goals

10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_n 1_zpsw3b8il6sI have a day left to join the link-up for Beautiful People, hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In. Last month they had questions for writers on their resolutions for the new year! Considering I’m taking a very different approach to my writing this year than I did last year, I thought I’d join in and attempt to pin down my thoughts for 2016 and my fictional writing!

What were your writing achievements last year?

They were nothing that I originally wanted, at least in terms of “finishing first drafts and publishing”, but I still broke a wall last year that I’m happy a bout

I wrote completely for myself last summer. I was hit by a strange form of inspiration, for the continuation for an old saga that’d I’d been stuck on for years. After being scared of following that character route due its nontraditional elements, I decided to challenge myself to break the walls in my head and write completely for myself. I didn’t tell anyone but my sister about it, for the entire summer, and wrote completely for me.

Honestly, it was the best thing to happen to me as a writer last year…learning to write for myself. I wrote like I was mad (I felt mad too,) and I got to know my longtime favorite characters like I never had been able to, just by being experimental and brave! So, I consider that the best achievement of 2015 when it comes to my writing.

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Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

I have decided to do something different this year and not make any one book a top priority project. I did that last year and when I realized I needed to do something different, I almost felt guilty for changing my goal. I want to avoid that feeling this year. I’d like to give myself a more open path. I want to follow my heart and the words in my head without feeling the need to “reach a goal.” For one year, we’ll see how that works.

List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

I have actually only 1 area I want to work on this year, and its to stop stopping at the “boundaries” in my mind. Basically, to grow on what I learned last year. I learned last year that experimenting for myself leads to amazing breakthroughs, so this year I want to stop holding back on things I want to write. Especially when it’s completely personal anyway. I want to give myself permission to freely express what I need and thinkig in my fictional writing. I hope to bring that into what I blog as well!

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Are you participating in any writing challenges?

Noooooo, sadly. I’d love to think I could start writing every single day, but I won’t even pretend that I could give that an honest go right now. XD But since I took this past NaNoWriMo off, I would love to do it this year for sure! Every other year seems to work best for me when it comes to NaNoWriMo. XD

What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

While I let my best friend and my sister read things when they can before I publish them, I currently don’t have anything else set up at the moment. I don’t have anything in particular that I need beta readers for, since I’m focusing on a lot of short stories at the moment. XD But…then again. I always need help with those too. I over think my wording too much. XD

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Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

Last year I bought several writing books cheap and I’d love to put a dent in them! I would like to read the book “Writer with a Day Job” and really use my copies of “The Pocket Muse” and it’s sequel (excellent books for inspiration!) “The Little Red Writing Book” is slim, looks extremely promising and should be easy to read as well!

Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

If I had to get to know a character better this year, it would be my villain-turned-anti-hero, Kyle. I created Kyle when I was fourteen and for years he’s remained the bland, two-dimensional baddie whom I didn’t understand personally or know how to use properly. But last year when I got to know my lead hero better, I also realized that as Kyle’s role expanded, I began to understand why he felt the way he did. After seven years, we finally began to click.

So, if I had to get to know one character better this year, it would be him. He’s the angry, grieving, screaming sound in my head that’s slowly mellowing and releasing and changing when I reflect on him. I want to get to know him even better!

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Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

Oh no, I can’t make any serious promises for that this year, like I did last year. I’m going to just write and follow my gut this year. XD

Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

I desperately wish there were more books that followed a guy and girl friendship that didn’t have any real romantic tension or didn’t develop into romance. I’m determined to write stories like this myself.  It just would be refreshing! Also you then completely bypass all those annoying love triangles. XD

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What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

I hope to have achieved a stronger sense of freedom in my writing, to be less terrified of exploring my own consciousness and writing inspirations. Right now, I think the most I want to ask of myself is to become a better writer than the writer that I am in this moment. Continuing self-improvement, at my pace and in my way, will be all that I’ll demand of myself this year.

And quite honestly, that's a tall order all on its own anyway.

Are you a writer? What are your goals for the year? Did you accomplish something you’re proud of in 2015, whether in blogging or novel-writing? 

~Jamie