There’s nothing like having a great friend that always in your corner. Recently I realized I had a few fake friends in my circle that I had to distance myself from. I’m forever grateful for those loyal few.

Today though is all about my best friend Brandy. This lady has always be a constant since we meet. One thing I love about her is her heart. She’s always loving. I sent her a message some months ago because I was thinking about visiting. I was all in my feelings that day, the words she spoke bought me to tears. I don’t think she realized just how much those 2-3 sentences really meant. For that one moment I’ll be forever grateful for. Sure reminded me of the foundation of our friendship just that quick.

As people get older, life changes, peoples likes and dislikes changes too. You won’t always agree on some things. Getting older you understand that it’s okay to agree to disagree. There are things we don’t agree on, but that has never defined our friendship. As a matter of fact, in some ways it has made it stronger.

Brandy is a friend that I hold dear to my heart. She’s like a sister to me, so much so that her family is mine and mine is hers. I’ll always be eternally grateful for her friendship!!!!

Who is the one friend that you are especially grateful for?

Tomkatt Our Teddybear

We all know the saying that people come into your life some for a season, some for life. In life you meet people that you create a special bond with. That bond can last a season or a life time.

Today I want to talk about someone that’s so special to me. Thomas Walton. Even though we didn’t speak or see each other often, he was always there. Even when he wasn’t feeling good or in the hospital, he still kept his head up and made you smile.

We meet at work at Wal-Mart. From what I remember we got along from the start. At the point I was in my life I was doing a lot of partying with my friends. He was always a staple piece in our crew. The laughter and drinks were always flowing. Not mention my handy shutter button too! Thomas was one of the few that never shied away from the camera.

Oh the good times we had. We called ourselves the 1284 Crew. We didn’t just party, we had dinners, and other various events where he always supported where he could.

I hate his life ended so short. It broke my heart when I was told the news. You know what though, I didn’t cry. I smiled and even laughed remembering some of his antics. As we get closer to the day of his service, I’m remembering all the happy moments we created over the years. I hate I don’t have current pictures. However, I’m okay with the older pictures because that’s how I remember him the most!

Thomas, thank you for the smiles, laughter, and love you always showed. You are already greatly missed!!!

Feel free to share your memories and/or pictures.

Time To Say Goodbye

These last few months have taught me so much. I’ve discovered the truth about many people and many of their intentions.

I’m not ashamed to say that the season of friendship we had is now over. I understand we are different people and have a different understanding of what friends are. We had a great time while it lasted.

One thing that I’ve really come to accept in every aspect of life is the saying “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Many times we try to make excuses, try to give them chances and sometimes we just overlook certain characteristics. I think I did some of all of that. Now, though, I’m seeing clearer.

While I was out for my knee surgery I also learned the value of communication. There was so much I couldn’t do on my own for weeks. It taught me how to communicate better. I am by no means perfect, but I’m better. If I didn’t understand it before, I understand it now. There are people that you’d never hear from if you don’t call them. Communication is a two way line. If one person is doing all the work, then what’s the point? It shows they don’t really care, or you’re just not important enough. Guess what, those days are over too. Just because I’m not married or have kids, like many others, please understand my busy life is just as important.

No, I promise you this isn’t a New Year, New Me, type of thing. This is growing within and moving on from toxic people. As I am redrawing my circle I realize I like what is defining my new circle. Change shouldn’t be once a year at the beginning of the year, it should be when you see a need within yourself. If we don’t grow within, we become stagnant. I’ve been stagnant for a few years now and it’s held me back. Now it’s time for me to put one foot in front of the other and begin walking this new path I’ve created.

It’s time to say goodbye.

Vacation Alone Or With Friends? Which Friends?

Have you ever went on a trip somewhere but hated that you went because of the people you went with? I think we all felt that way at some point.

I’m here to tell you, you can’t go everywhere with anyone. I can tell you that from experience. While I know it’s not always all about me, I know how to compromise. I love to travel, love to sight see and do new things. When I want to site see, I go with friends that want to do that too. If I want to party, I go with friends that like to party. Want to go on an writer’s retreat? I don’t take my party friends. I take other writers. Maybe you want to hit hiking trails. You don’t take friends that want mostly pamper sessions.

There is no set rules about who to take and where. I love my girls. We can go most places together because we have the same thought processes or enjoy doing a lot of the same things. However, they are not the ones I take on writing retreats or photography trips. Now if it includes readers, then that changes things.

One thing I’ve learned through all the trips I’ve taken is it’s awesome until it isn’t. I’ve been pretty fortunate for the most part because I’m so picky about who I travel with. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few hours up the road, or out the country. One thing that I cherish the most about my friends, we don’t have to do EVERYTHING together when we go on vacations and trips. I for one value a lil’ me time. Yes, on my girls trip, I had some planned ‘me’ time and one unplanned ‘me’ time. That’s something that they understand about me. If you are like that be wise about your companions. We don’t mind traveling alone, but prefer not to most of the time.

No matter what you decide to do, you must know YOU and your friends. One thing about myself, I’m a very introvert person. I don’t mind talking to most people, but I find it hard to initiate a conversation with strangers. Being a business owner has helped with that somewhat, but it’s still a work in progress. Because of that, I know certain trips may not be best suited for me to take alone. One the other hand, some trips would be perfect for me to take alone. Most of my trips are taken with the girls, or my crew. “The Crew” is what people call us when they see us together because we’ve been friends for so long. I take trips with family, but those are typically different in nature. I’m single right now, so some trips would more and likely be different if was dating. So it all depends on where you’re going and what you want to do. I want you to have a grand time when you take your next trip, just ensure you enjoy it with the right people. Family, friends, or alone, the choice is yours. Just have fun!!!!!!!!

What about your friends…

Yes, what about your friends? Loaded question right? I know it is, but it’s a topic that’s always worth discussing. I truly believe many people don’t know what being a friend is really about and how to be one.

So what is the definition of “friend”?

a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
synonyms: companion, soul mate, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, alter ego, second self, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate

I promise I won’t call any names unless it’s positive. LOL So let’s talk about this.

Who do you call a friend? Why do you consider them a friend? Why do you consider yourself a friend?

When I look at who my friends are, it’s not many. It’s a very small, closed, and tight group of like minded individuals. We disagree, have own lives but communicate regularly and freely. We support each other in our endeavors. When it comes to my real friends, I absolutely never have to question their loyalty.

It’s hilarious how some think they fall in that category, when in reality they fall in the category of associate. Oh, what’s an associate? Someone who you don’t really talk to. The communication is slim. As a matter of fact it’s one step from being a fake friend. Well, what’s a fake friend? Great question. Many of you fall in this category. You only communicate when you want something. When it’s convenient for you, when it benefits you. Or even worse, when you can be nosey.

I tend to treat my friends using the golden rule. If you’re my friend, I’m down with you at 100%. I support your and your goals. May not always be able to pay for it, but I support you always. My BFF lives in Utah. We don’t talk everyday, don’t text everyday. Still I know she has my back unconditionally with no questions asked. Then you have my local girls, the original crew from “1284”. Those ladies hold me down all the time. We are all so very different and yet our bond of friendship is real. We don’t just blatantly ignore each other. We maybe busy, but we still make time to respond, to reach out, to not cause each other to worry unnecessarily.

I’m at the point in my life where I let your actions speak for you. I will not beg or plead for you to be my friend. I refuse. If you act like I’m bothering you, guess what, you won’t be bothered with me ever again. I have a group of friends that uplift each other to reach new heights in their lives. We can give constructive criticism without being in our feelings. We can be mad, argue, then agree to disagree and have a drink. LOL Why can we do that? It’s actually very simple, we accept each other for who they are, flaws and all.

I vowed that in 2016, there will be more friend dates. I love texting and social media like the next person. However, I understand that true, lasting friendship has to be grown and nourished. That has to have some live interactions.

So I bring the question back around, what is a friend? Are you being the friend you want others to be to you?


The Struggle Is Real

As some of you may know, I lost my dad last month (January).  So to say this month has been a roller coaster of emotions is an understatement to the 100th power. While I felt I was fairly strong leading up to services, just recently I think the range of feelings and emotions really hit me.

I found myself not sleeping at night. I would wake up every hour, almost on the nose.  My patience was already a fruitage of the spirit I’ve been working on for years. So what little I had control over is out the window.  Doesn’t take much to bite your head off.  Then I have, don’t know if this is the correct word for it, but feelings of depression and anger.   Yes, my emotions have been all over the place. To be honest they still are.

I found myself staying busy. Working, grinding, making moves in silence. I was told by a few friends I was pushing myself too hard. Sometimes, I feel it’s not enough because every time I slow down or stop, my brain is racing. Too much time to think. Too much time to see that unforgettable image.

Last night really sunk in that I have some amazingly great friends in my small circle of friends.  It also helped me to realize that others have went through similar or still going through it. 

During one of the conversations it was bought to my attention that my photography is what relaxes me. Yes, I knew this in December. However, it hasn’t really registered since that fateful night, that is what works.  Like I said, awesome friends. Those that may still be going through something similar, find that special thing that just relaxes you.

Upon getting home from our wonderful GNO, I laid down to just think and pray.  The unending support and love I’ve received has been bountiful. I replayed conversations, thoughts, emails, visions, it all made me smile.  It showed me that I needed to share my story. No, not for pity. Instead in hopes of encouraging someone else. While I’m a mixture of introvert and extrovert, I know many are introvert and may not freely discuss what’s going on.

Thanks to everyone that has been there since day one. You guys rock! Love you to the moon and back.

Places I’ve Enjoyed Visiting

I love to travel when time and money allows me to do so.  I can not say I’ve been everywhere I want to go, but I can say I’ve been to some very interesting places.

Germany was one of the most interesting places.  Granted I was a teen when I was there.  Still I remember a lot about it.  I really think I took advantage as teen while I was there.  I would love to go back as an adult now.  Even as a teen my parents ensured me and my sisters took full advantage of all the opportunities possible.  One of the biggest highlights of my stay there was being able to go to Berlin when the wall came down.  Til this day, I still have friends from that I keep in touch with.  That was such a joy to see.  While in Germany we went to a number of places and saw a lot of things.  I couldn’t even begin to list them all here.  But when my move is complete and I unpack my pictures I’ll be sure to share some with you.

Germany also gave way to me visiting Holland while in middle school.  We were able to see the Van Gough museum (art was the main reason for going), the Anne Frank House, and an Open Air Museum.  All of these were very awesome places to visit.  I would love to go there as an adult with my current photography training.  I would enjoy photographing that trip again.

Another place I love to visit is Utah.  My best friend lives out there and I always have a great time.  It’s so pretty out there, the mountains and all.  Her and her family always takes me to the best places.  High in the mountains, low in the mountains, the shopping.  The best tour guides are the ones that live there.

Those are just a few of the places that I have enjoyed.  Like I said, I love to travel and will gladly share some of those pics with you as soon as I get settled.

What are some of your favorite places you’ve visited?

Friends With Benefits

There was an article on Friends with Benefits (FWB).  The writer mentioned how having a FWB was harder than a regular relationship and she still haven’t fully recovered from that. I know everyone has their own opinion, so here is mine.

Let’s just say it worked for me!! Both parties just need to know their role. I think just like the lady, a lot of people catch feelings because of a change of heart. Some, not all, also don’t speak their mind until they’ve allowed the feeling to grow deeply. I’m a bit more cautious, the first sign of a change I’m doing a temperature check to make sure we’re on the same page still. It’s not something I recommend because of those feelings.

I’m just saying, you can’t be the mushy type to have a FWB, you’ll stay getting hurt. Have to know yourself. If I’m in a relationship then I’m all in. No ifs, ands, or buts. FWB, you have to check those feelings. If I start to feel you and you not feeling it, why keep up charades? It’s time to  bounce at that point. My worst breakup was my ex husband, not a freaking FWB. LOL Know your role.

MOST of the time at least one person isn’t clear about about what they want from the beginning. They think they will eventually change the person. That almost never works either. That’s one of the worst mistakes ever. That’s the worst hurt I’ve seen yet. I’ve seen people go into serious depression over that. Then go from depression to anger. Really? You can’t get mad because his feelings haven’t changed. If there is an action or some words that leave you confused as to the feeling of the other person, A-S-K! It’s better to know than to assume and end up hurt because of a misunderstanding.

A FWB is just that. A friend with mutual benefits. You can’t stake a claim in that relationship. You can’t question my moves, what I do and who I see. That’s crazy. If you want a relationship, be honest and say it. If you set the expectation of a FWB and your feelings change, be honest. If you don’t you only have yourself to blame.

Let’s not get this misconstrued, yes, I’ve had a FWB. Why? Because I was at a point where I didn’t have the time, nor the drive for a full relationship. He understood because I laid it out there. It’s amazing because to this day, we are still friends without the benefits.  Yes, WITHOUT, the benefits. And yes that is possible.

Some people misunderstand what a FWB. It’s not just the benefits (sex), but also the friend part. Friends hang out and do things together that friends do. They just get the added benefit of the occasional rump in the sack. Being friends allowed me to continue to be friends without the benefits. 

All and all…stay away from it if possible. If not, then be honest about it from start to finish. As I said before, know your role.

This is my take on FWB, what are your thoughts?