War is over (if you want it)

HANNAH BRENCHER

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The battle has been bloody and we’ve lost limbs.

Okay, no. That’s a bit of an exaggeration. The battle has been bloody though— the battle that has somehow consumed my life for the last few months. It’s ongoing still so maybe I hesitate to write this but I am a girl who wears a tattoo on her wrist to remind her of victory so I wanted to come to this space and this page and not be afraid to type out the word: Victory.Victory for this day.

The battle has been bloody in the sense that I am having to shed the weight of things carried for days that became months and months that morphed into years. Insecurity. Pain. Worry. Fear. Fear— that’s the big one. Fear is the costar for most of our days.

We write a lot about punching fear in the face but we never seem…

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The Ghost on My Shoulder

“All good things must come to an end”

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I have a question for you readers concerning matters of the heart. Let me tell you a little bit about my Problem.

It started just over a year ago. Ever since, no matter where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing, I have been carrying around a little ghost on my shoulder. This ghost is my problem. It has a name, and yes it’s a real person. But no, that person is not actually dead. No, in fact, he is very much alive and therein lies the issue.

My ghost’s life is full and real and active, but I only ever see reflections of it. Seeing his life in full is a privilege I have never known. I will notice the underlying whispers of his goings-on or glimpse images of his interactions out of the corner of my eye. These little bits of him are more or less infrequent and come as interruptions to my day. However, every time I catch these reminders of his actual existence, the figure on my shoulder comes into focus, taps my head, then waves at me with a grin upon his face. It is a mocking grin, but a beautiful one nonetheless.

This relationship between me and my phantom is a strange one. You see, as much as I enjoy having a little follower, I often wish him gone. Every teasing smile, every blurred image and series of sounds are coupled with a punch to the gut and a blow to the heart. Talk about an interruption. Sometimes the pain isn’t so bad, and it’s easy to just continue on with whatever I was doing. However, sometimes the pain is searing and it takes me a moment for me to catch my breath. The pain is rooted in that grin; the one that reminds me of the man before the ghost and the scars that he put on my heart.

There once was a time when my ghost was not just a remnant of a being, but a fully realized individual with blood pumping and thoughts thinking. It was during that time in my life that his face delivered not pain, but joy. His words were full of sustenance and his actions a comfort. Before my ghost was transformed into his present state, he was the oxygen I breathed. Like tobacco, I inhaled and exhaled so much that by the time I reluctantly quit, the damage had already been done. His presence had infiltrated my body and mind so much that during my withdrawals I obtained my little ghost who has yet to ever fill the shoes left by the human being I had come to love.

So every now and then I get poked by this apparition and I see the grin and I feel the pain. I feel the agony of his happiness without mine. The reminder of our once blissful times compared to the current reality of my loneliness. And yet, I carry around my ghost, my Problem, because something is better than nothing, right?

At what point do you choose to forget the one you once loved?

Geekery

“…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”

-John Green

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Everybody is a geek about something, and that is something that I’ve come to appreciate more and more as days go on. For me it’s music. I love playing instruments and using songs to build community and bring people together. Something about the way we create art through sound holds captive my imagination. For others it’s nature. There’s no where else they’d rather be on a free weekend than at the top of a mountain. Maybe it’s sports that fills you up; leaving your stress behind as you reach for your goals. And then there’s fiction. Be it books, shows, or movies, some find that the best way to escape is to do it through the life of another.

I believe we are each born with passions that develop as we grow. When it comes to nurture versus nature I think that God gave us tendencies which manifest themselves differently depending on the opportunities we’re given through life. The best thing we can do with these passions is to find out how we can better our world with them. Humans have a responsibility to this earth and the people on it, and we fulfill that by giving back with our gifts.

So how will you use your passion today?