Exist Loudly

Things I’ve Learned

In no particular order, here’s a list of things I’ve learned while exploring & exposing myself…

As Ville Vallo of HIM says in a brilliant quote, “Music is my ‘God,’ my best friend.” Without music, I am sure I would not have survived being on this earth for so long. Music has also given me some of the best friendships I could ever ask for. It will always be the one thing I turn to when I am lost.

 Writing is my release and salvation. I release the demons in my head when writing. I release the thoughts, feelings, emotions I bottle up inside when writing. I release my walls and things I hide behind when writing. Writing has saved me and kept me tethered to reality when I needed it and it has let me let go of reality when needed.

Some of My Pack: Beth, Nikki, Me, Heather August 2013

You must remember to “pick your pack” of chosen family (friends) wisely. They will be with your through thick and thin. Some forever, some for just moments, but make sure you can laugh with each other, at each other, and that you do not judge each other for the choices one may make. I must say I have the best pack. We’re thrown across the US but goddamn we love the hell out of each other and support each other from coast to coast. We’re a family and we’re stuck with each other, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.

There are places on earth where your soul knows it belongs and feels at peace there. Go there as often as you can to reenergize your soul and let it breathe in the magic and the wonder. For me, Key West is where my soul resets. It loves the freedom that comes from that tiny little island floating in the ocean.

Jimmy Buffett sings, “I have found me a home and you can have the rest of everything I own…” and I always thought it was Key West for me, but I realized that home for me is Australia. There has always been a pull inside of me to that country and while there, I can say I have never felt more at home than when I was there. Something felt right being there and felt so wrong and sad to leave there. Australia, I will make you my home as soon as possible.

Being surrounded by positive beings is more important than anything else in life. No job, relationship, location, etc is worth the negativity. Being positive and having positivity in your life is the only way for me to live!

Making a difference in my nieces lives is and has been some of the most rewarding moments in my life. Knowing that Riley looks up to me and to me for advice is wonderful. I hope to be the same for Taylor as she grows, but knowing I am positive influence means more to me than anything else. I have made a difference and it’s for the good.

It took me almost 37 years, but I am comfortable in my skin. Comfortable with who I have become.

Risk is everything and the word regret doesn’t belong in my vocabulary. Risk in heartache, in tears, in happiness, in love, in whatever…that scared feeling you may be feeling might just be excitement.

Hockey is still a way for me to overcome whatever the world is throwing at me. Nothing beats sitting in a hockey rink and listening to the sounds of the game. Nothing. For two hours or so, it’s me and the game. Nothing else matters. Nothing.

I may not have “faith” in one god/religion, but I have faith in the Universe and for me, that is enough.

I can do this thing called life on my own, but it’s sure a lot more fun with friends and family.

I love pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It’s a lot more exciting closer to the edge and I constantly learning what my personal boundaries are and love that they are broader than I thought they were.

This quote: “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” has become my motto for the last three months in parts of my life and I’ve learned so much from tasting the experience and would not change anything…no regrets.

The Gin Mill family means the world to me. All the friends who have become my chosen family are people I would do anything for. They have been there for me through it all. I will always raise a toast high in your honor wherever I may roam.

I may hate working out and running, but I like the zen moments that come from them.