Book Review: Johnny Cash, Forever Words

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Since his first recordings in 1955, Johnny Cash has been an icon in the music world. In his newly discovered poems and song lyrics, we see the world through his eyes. The poetry reveals his depth of understanding, both of the world around him and within – his frailties and his strengths alike. He pens verses in his hallmark voice, reflecting upon love, pain, freedom, fame and mortality.

Illustrated with facsimile reproductions of Cash’s own handwritten pages, Forever Words is a remarkable new addition to the canon of one of America’s heroes. His music is a part of our collective history, but here he demonstrates the depth of his talent as a writer.

-Goodreads Summary

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Depression jokes don’t count as healthy coping mechanisms.

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The internet is terrible at normalizing extremely self-deprecating jokes and any type of depression joke. When you criticize them people are quick to call them coping mechanisms, without stopping to think if they are a healthy one or not.

I find myself making them, I made one a week or two ago on Twitter, I liked one on Tumblr two days ago. I’m as guilty as anyone. The thing is, I’m not depressed and haven’t been for a long while. They aren’t a coping mechanism for me, they’re just ingrained in my mind as normal humor and I find myself saying them both out loud and mentally.

It’s not healthy to have the voice in the back of your head scream “this is why you’re going to die alone” when you something annoying. It’s not healthy to have it say “I want to jump off a building” when you embarrass yourself.

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Goals for 2018:

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New year, same me, but I’m hopefully going to make some improvements. I had started a yearly recap post, but I decided to toss it after realizing that all I could seem to say was that this was a year of reflection and painfully slow process. It all needed to happen, though, and somehow I’ve managed to make great strides without much physical movement.

I feel more awake and aware than I have in a long time, so I figure I’ll make some goals for 2018 since I know some of these things need to start happening. I’m not going to call them resolutions, though, because those are supposed to be firm decisions, and I never seem to hold too firm to mine, so here’s to revisiting these every month and realistically trying to keep up with them.

  • More time on hobbies, less time online: Alright, I’ve only talked about this in a dozen posts (x, x, and many more) but I need to seriously cut back on social media and invest it in reading, writing, my horse, photography, friends, even this blog (just less scrolling through dozens of feeds).
  • Read the entire bible: That’s right, the entire thing- in order. The other day I picked it up for the first time in a while and I had one of my faith based questions answered right away, it made me realize how I really hadn’t covered enough of the text and always went back to my “favorite” sections.
  • Be more aware of what I’m eating: I need to be eating less sugar because I have Lyme Disease, but I’ve also recently been added snack foods that have ingredients lists I can pronounce. I realized how many chemicals I’ve been processing on a daily bases, and though I’ll never be a purest, trying to move towards more organic food would be good for me. Especially with snack brands that make it insanely easy.
  • Being a better friend: I’ve gotten so I talk to my friends less, and it wasn’t on purpose! Some of it was being sick, some of it was starting work, but none of it was okay, so I need to get better at being the friend a friend would like to have. (funny- I’ve talked about this one before too. You can tell how good my follow through is.)
  • Read more than 30 books: Last year I wrote over 400 Word pages, but I hardly read a thing. So I’m trying to find a little more of a balance. I’m starting strong, we’re on the second day of 2018 and I finished one of the books I started in December.
  • Finish writing two novels: This shouldn’t be too terrible. I finished one at the very end of November, and I have two that are 80% done, along with one that is in the beginning stages. I’d really like to finish all three of them, but I’m trying not to get too carried away.
  • Wean myself off sleeping pills: I’ve become reliant on sleeping pills to get a good night’s rest. I know what I have to do to pull back- less screen time before bed, a better diet, more exercise- but I haven’t seemed to care enough to do it. So here’s to getting my sleep on, naturally.

So here is to a new year, to a metaphorical clean slate, and here’s to you and what you’ll get done during it.

Lying to yourself, lying to others, and why we do it.

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“I don’t lie that much.”

It’s something I’ve believed for a long time.

If I was asked to elaborate I would have explained that white lies don’t count, and it really didn’t matter if I was late because I forgot my gas tank was empty or if it was actually because I wanted to finish the last five minutes of the TV show I was watching. It really didn’t matter that I told myself I was going to do something today when I knew for a fact I wasn’t going to do for another three weeks. It really didn’t matter if I told myself that I didn’t have time to work on my hobby, when in reality I did and ended up wasting it online.

Those things don’t count as lies, right? They’re tiny, sometimes they can even be necessary!

Only no one is asking me if the dress they’re already wearing in public makes them look fat. None of the things I listed above were necessary. They were just lies for the sake of lying, for the sake of making myself feel better.

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Five ways to beat the winter blues:

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Winter has come, and while you might not have the impending doom of night walkers you’re still having some trouble. It’s completely normal to get the winter blues, whether you have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder or not, it’s easy to understand why it’s acronym is SAD. Here are some tips to fight it that don’t require medication:

  • Burn the right candles: It’s winter, you’re probably burning vanilla, cinnamon, and other warm scents. What if I told you to burn something citrus or a bright floral like honey suckle or lilies? It might sound like I’m trying to tell you to trick yourself into thinking it’s spring, but that’s only because I am. Here’s the thing, study’s have proven that it works and helps combat seasonal affective disorder.

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A Day at the Aiken Polo Club

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It’s been a month since my adventure down to Aiken, South Carolina. I wanted to spread out these two posts a little bit so I would overwhelm everyone with horse pictures.

Sometimes when I get really into taking pictures I seriously wonder whether I should drop everything and become a horse photographer, not necessarily because I’m the best at it, but just because I honestly enjoy it and am always pleased with my results.

This was my first polo match, I enjoyed watching it, but I’m definitely glad it’s not the horse sport I went into.  It takes more hand-eye coordination than I will ever have!

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The Power in Knowing You’re Not Alone.

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I saw a friend recently who was going through a really hard time. During the conversation she started a sentence and I filled it in, because I knew what she was talking about having thought similar things myself in the past. She stared at me for a moment in disbelief before saying “you don’t know how sane that made me feel”.

I think we often get caught up in our brains lie. For some reason when we’re going through hard times it likes to tell us that we are alone in it. Our rationality isn’t completely astray, after all nobody has the exact same experiences because none of us are in the exact same situation, but emotions and reactions are chemical, and they all have certain rules to follow. The chances of you being alone in your thoughts or emotions is highly unlikely. You don’t study the brain and read that a certain case is an isolated incident, and where that is recorded it’s normally followed by a footnote that says a similar case was studied seven years later on the other side of the world.

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