Cold Nights, Cold Days

So it started out as a random cough OUT OF NOWHERE. A little *cough* here, a little *cough cough* there. I just thought, “Huh. That’s weird.” But I figured it would just wear off and that it was nothing at all! Oh no, no problem! Wellll….

It did indeed become a problem. By the next day, I had a stuffy nose, a headache, a sore throat, I didn’t want to get out of bed. Really, what even…
HOWEVER, I have still tried to make a negative out of a positive, starting with getting the delicious sliders from Subway! Really, y’all, I have a developed a bit of an addiction to the Subway sliders. I started out with the Little Cheesesteak Sliders, but now I am LOVING the Little Turkey Sliders. So I got me some, went home, and sat in my kitchen, ate them sliders, and wished that I WASN’T SICK.

Now, even though I have been miserable these last few days, I have tried to distract myself by focusing on some happy things. You know, doing some things I enjoy. First, I am crocheting a tote bag to carry my art supplies in. Things like my sketch pad, pencils, blending stumps, erasers, colored pencils, etc. I am a human who likes going places and I also like creating, so OF COURSE I need to make one of those. I am also trying to deal with the RIDICULOUS amount of yarn scraps I have by making a scarf (I made a super cute hat, so why not a scarf? Besides, I feel like I have more yarn scraps than ACTUAL skeins of yarn and I want to change that ASAP). I still felt yucky, but at least I could inject a little happiness.

As of right now, I am feeling a lot better. I still have the darn cough and my nose is a little red, but at least I don’t feel totally gross. The problem with having a cold is that it takes FOR-EV-ER to go away. It’s not as unpleasant as having the flu (trust me, I’ve had that too and IT AIN’T FUN), but it is very annoying and it takes forever to wear off. So I’m not thrilled about that, but hey, I have my crochet hooks, my yarns, my drawing supplies, and some good music to play, so it’s all good!

Now that I’ve rambled about my week, I want to just talk about something else. If you’ve read my previous entries, you may have seen some of my poetry. I want to start posting my writings again, so that’ll be happening soon! Maybe Writings Wednesday? Storyteller Saturday? I mean, knowing me, it won’t even be on a schedule, it’ll just be random, but the idea’s interesting, so who knows.

Next, I want to show off my favorite crochet hooks because they are pretty and I love them.

The first one is the pretty floral one because I really like pretty things and floral designs, so I was very excited for this one. Plus, it’s very comfortable to hold while I’m working!

The second one is really cool because IT LIGHTS UP! Literally, I had to buy batteries to go with it and it has a switch so I could crochet even in darker lighting!

The third one is just a cool shape and pretty color, lol. I thought it was neat and it always has a good result after using!

The last one is made of birch wood and it’s the one I am currently using to make my scarf. So far, so good!

So that’s…well, that. I’ve been rambling about my cold for most of the entry, so I wanted to talk about something happy, even if it’s just showing off my cute crochet hooks! Gotta love the simple things, after all.

But anyway, that’s all for this time! Hopefully I will be cold-free by the time I post again. Have a wonderful day, night, evening, whatever time it is in your part of the world! Stay beautiful and be kind always!

                                                                                –  Brooke

Guess Who’s Back

Has it really been almost a year since my last post?

*cue cricket noises*

Yep, it has.

Anyway, yeah, I’m back! I was having trouble finding inspiration for the past few months, but I’ve missed talking to you all! So, paperheartsandstarrynights has returned. Hello!

Now, what have I been up to since we last talked? Workin’, creatin’, etc. Y’know, the usual. I recently joined my town’s art league and I entered one of my drawings in their fall art show, so that’s fun! And I’ve been crocheting, of course. Yesterday I finished a hat that I am REALLY proud of. In fact, here’s a pic!

.20Let’s just say I’m reeeeeaaaallly looking forward to winter now. There’s Christmas, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and now I have a stylish hat to wear when Queen Elsa decides to roll into town (I couldn’t resist referencing Frozen). Now, what else….

OH!

Writing. I have a creative writing degree, so obviously I’ve been writing. I’m no published author (yet!), but I do have some novel ideas in mind. One in particular has been on my mind for the past few months and now all I need to do is buckle down and, well, write.

Speaking of writing, I’m going to be posting some of my poetry on this blog, so keep an eye out for that! Maybe I’ll even try writing some short stories, yes?

Well, that’s basically all I’ve got for now. I just wanted to reintroduce the blog! Talk to y’all again soon!

                                                                                –  Brooke

A Spooktacular Halloween

Is the title totally predictable and not-so-creative? Yeah, but oh well! It’s still kinda cute, I’ve gotta admit. And now I am going do what I said I was gonna do in my last entry. I’m going to reveal my Halloween costume! This year I was….

A UNICORN!

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I noticed that unicorns seemed to be popular among little girls, so I thought, “hmmmm, I’m gonna be a unicorn this year. Now, the wig DID NOT come with the costume, but come on, could I really be a fun, colorful, magical unicorn and NOT have a cool wig? Of course not! So of course I went all out with the wig, the face stickers, and all that fun stuff!

I had a great time sitting outside and handing out candy to the kids. They looked so cute! And one car drove by with the Michael Myers theme song playing and I thought that was really neat! I recognized that song right away, lol.

And now that Halloween is almost over, I gotta get started on NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH! I already have my novel idea and now I gotta work on writing 50,000 words in a WHOLE MONTH. I am so, so, so excited! It’s going to be so much fun writing this novel. Of course, the story does have a lot of sad moments because it explores things like grief and tragedy, but it also has family, friendship, and self-discovery. I’m looking forward to exploring all of these and seeing how my characters deal with it all.

Last, but definitely not least, yesterday was the one year anniversary of this blog. I have been enjoying it so much and I am very much looking forward to another year of sharing my life and experiences with you all! Hopefully you’ve found something that either inspired you, helped you, made you laugh, or whatever else! Thank you for an awesome first year of paperheartsandstarrynights.

– Brooke

AS HALLOWEEN APPROACHES…

Y’all, I was trying to think of a good title for this entry and THAT up there is the best I could do. Sorry. Anywaaaaay, I know it’s not Halloween yet, but I can’t wait until October 31st to talk about it! Candy, costumes, scarrrry movies, all that fun stuff! *cue the suspenseful theme music*

First, I may be 25 years old, but in my opinion, you are never to old to put on a costume and hand out candy to the little ones! Yep, that’s my tradition. Pick out an awesome costume (I’m not going to share what I’m doing this year until Halloween, so shhhhhh!!!!), buy a few bags of candy, put ’em in two or three jack ‘o lantern candy carriers (or whatever those things are called), get a comfy chair, and wait for the kiddos to start showing up!

Now, like I said, I won’t be sharing this year’s costume until Halloween, but I can show you one of my PAST costumes.

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I’m a big fan of masks! Especially the sparkly ones. Basically, anything sparkly or fluffy. My costume for this year falls into the FLUFFY category. It’s pretty cute, if I do say so myself 😉

As for candy, I always try to pick a variety. I personally love Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, so obviously I include those in my collection. Oh, and maybe some Hershey’s. And Tootsie Rolls! Can you tell I love chocolate? Hahaha.

Now, even though Halloween hasn’t arrived, I’ve already started watching a few scary movies since October started. I’ll admit, I enjoy the ones that involve ghosts. Here’s a picture of my cat, Pepper, to best describe my reaction when watching scary movies.

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(This was taken last year and he had been to the vet, and they had to shave a little of his fur. Poor Fluffybutt.)

Seriously though, his expression makes for a perfect reaction pic, lol.  He cute, though. He cute.

Anyway, back to scary movies. I’m picky with my scary movies. I REFUSE to watch The Exorcist, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, etc. Like, NOPE. Nope nope nope. Even those are too much for me. *shivers*

But that’s all for now. I’ll reveal my Halloween costume on October 31st! Also, I’m back on Twitter, so follow me @ stcrryniights, especially if you love arts and crafts, inspirational quotes, memes, music, and more!

– Brooke

 

CAST  AWAY 

I gotta stop waiting so long between entries! I mean, I’ll admit that I had a bit of Writer’s Block, though.  BUT I got back that inspiration in time for the one-year-anniversary of this blog, which will be on October 30!  Ahhhhh, that’s awesome! I’d felt inspired to blog for a while and last year, I finally did it. So needless to say, I’m pretty excited.

Now, onto today’s topic.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” –1 Peter 5:7

This is something that I am still working on. Even the small stuff. When something goes wrong, I find it hard to just let it go. Often I will dwell on these things for hours, even a few days. But I want to get better at NOT doing that, because let’s face it, there’s better things to do beside dwelling over small stuff. Just like 1 Peter 5:7 says, cast your anxiety on Him! He cares for you!

For me, I’ve been doing a little self discovery over the past few months, and with the uncertainty came a lot of worry. Would I ever do this? Would I ever do that? Who AM I exactly? Truthfully, I’m still on that journey, even at the age of 25. I’m not as worried about it now, though.  I’m just going with the flow and taking it one day at a time. Normally, I’d say, well, what’s next? I don’t know and I’ll not going to drive myself insane trying to figure it out.  Trust me, it’s exhausting.

And the doubt. Oh, the doubt. I still struggle with that at times too. I wonder if I’m good enough at my job or if I’m good enough to do anything except keep to myself and avoid failure. (Yeah right, like THAT will happen.)

But then I think about that verse again and I am reminded to cast my worries on him, instead of holding onto them, because he cares about me and wants me to have a peaceful mind and a peaceful heart. I often fall short, but I try. I really do. I mean, there is so much in life to ENJOY! It doesn’t have to be anything big either. Even the little things can mean SO VERY MUCH.

Even something as simple as sitting down and working on a new knitting project or planning my novel is special. It allows me to channel my artistic side and create something beautiful. It gives me some quiet time to put the stress of daily life aside and get create. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s relaxing!

Then there are the bigger things, like family, friends, and most of all, Jesus. For me, thinking of these things provides me with comfort in the low moments. I am reminded that whatever I am feeling in that moment is temporary, but these other things are forever.

Now, I want to talk to YOU, the reader. Do you have something you are worrying about today? Something that you can’t quite let go of? Well, think about this. When you are moving from one house to another, you likely have a few boxes that are too heavy to carry on your own.  So think of life like one big move, where you are moving from one place to the next. If you are carrying heavy boxes full of worry, it makes it much harder to move to the next point, doesn’t it? Well, cast those boxes of worry onto Jesus. He cares too much to see you try to carry the weight of the world on your own! When those boxes get too heavy, give them to HIM and focus on all the positives as you move to your next point in life. Cast those worries AWAY!

Stay strong, stay focused, and remember that we do not have to travel this journey alone.

– Brooke

Who Am I Now?

The past month has been such a wonderful and exciting adventure for me. Intimidating at first, but goodness, I am loving this new life and this new version of myself. Sometimes glimpses of the old me (anxious, easily frustrated, etc) may creep in, but most of the time, I don’t even recognize myself.

So, who was I before and who am I now? First, let’s go into who I was before. You are looking at a blog written by a girl who has faced depression and anxiety, has questioned if life was even worth living, who sometimes hated herself (her personality, her physical appearance, everything), and more. I had very low self confidence and struggled to deal with my emotions because if anything went wrong, it would really get to me. You’re reading a blog written by a girl who had very little understanding of herself and the world around her, a girl who was afraid to get out there, afraid to do anything outside the bubble she had been in for so long.

Ah, but that’s just the first part of the story! The next part is beautiful and exciting and uplifting and so much more. That was who I was before. Now I am slowly being renewed and I’m finally started becoming the person that I want to be and that God wants to be. I find enjoyment and excitement in life. If something goes a little wrong, I don’t shut down and start crying. I know how to handle my emotions a lot better. I’m stronger. I don’t criticize my physical appearance as much anymore and I have motivation to get in shape. I’m starting to work too! And I’m ready to go out into the world and not be so dependent on others.

Now, as I said in the first paragraph, sometimes the negative things will creep in, mostly my anxiety and tendency to worry. Sometimes I’m afraid of being pulled back into the old way of life, where I stay inside a bubble and let depression and anxiety take over again. So far, I see no signs of that happening and I don’t expect that it will happen. I just sometimes have these tendencies to worry about stuff that hasn’t even happened. This is very rare, though.

In other worlds, I am a brand new person. I feel more confident, more outgoing, more adventurous, more excited about life. And you know what? I have a feeling that things are only going to get better.

— Brooke

Life with the Lifemaker

First of all, has it really been more than a month since I last wrote? *checks calender* Apparently so! But anyway, I have got a WILD story for y’all today. No, I did not do anything stupid. I promise you that. I AM STILL IN ONE PIECE.  Now, I feel like I need to give you some context, because otherwise it’ll be confusing and GOOD LORD I do not wanna confuse y’all. *deep breath*

ANYWAY, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was eleven, not too long after my mom passed away. I had these ups and downs of being okay and accepting, and at the same time not wanting to accept it. Well, I’ve always been reminded of that diagnosis in some way or another ever since, and hey, it’s exhausting. I just kinda submitted to it and said, “y’know, I’m gonna be like this forever, so whatever.”  I didn’t bother trying to find my individual self and embark on the journey of self discovery that most people have done LONG before age 25.  I literally did not even bother. I cared, of course, I wanted change, but at the same time I was afraid of change. Not to say that I’m not still afraid of change. Trust me, I’ve been going through some BIG changes lately and while very exciting, it’s also scary. Now I’m not talking scary like “Oh my god, I just watched The Exorcist and there are some things that cannot be unseen” kind of scary. No, I’m talking scary like…fear of the unknown. Because I’m taking some major steps in my life that I just kind of….waited for, but never once did I consider taking control and actually DOING something. Not until now, anyway.

But lemme tell ya, Asperger’s isn’t the problem. I’m no longer allowing myself to believe that I’m any different or less capable than anyone else. Ohhhh no, anxiety and depression are what really have sucked the life outta me for years. Sitting in a bathroom and sobbing because something went wrong or you anticipate that something’s going to go wrong? Yeah, that’s….that’s very unpleasant. Having a full blown panic attack is even worse. Literally feeling like you’re choking or you’re going to throw up or pass out. Not fun at all.

And I’ve never really found my individuality.  I didn’t really know who BROOKE is. I do know one thing, (and yes I’m about to speak in third person. It’s for emphasis, and okay, maybe I am convinced that it sounds poetic and that probably made no sense, but *shrug*), Brooke didn’t love herself. Brooke didn’t even like herself. Brooke thought she was disappointing because she has a college degree and hasn’t done anything with it yet. Brooke believed that God does not love her because her thoughts and actions have not always aligned with that of a Christian. Brooke believed that God did not hear her because of those flaws and mistakes. Brooke was frustrated at God because she could not hear him. Brooke was lost. Brooke was afraid. Brooke, in a lot of ways, is still afraid. Brooke wants to strengthen her relationship with God. Brooke wants to feel closer to him than anyone else to the point that if she messes up or thinks the wrong thing, then she won’t feel the need to confess to her family or her friends or desperately try to compensate for the areas in which she has fallen short. When Brooke makes a mistake, she’ll talk to Jesus and ask him to forgive her, and then she will be at peace. She won’t have any hang-ups. She won’t hate herself for falling short. She won’t look at herself as being bad or unworthy of His love.  She will allow herself to receive His love.

NOW we’re done with third person.

Okay, so I went to church today for the first time in a while and lemme tell you something that both excited me and made me go “Uhhhhh….” I was talking with my aunt and uncle Saturday, and we were discussing some things. And we were talking about how you can’t give what you don’t have. I hadn’t allowed myself to receive God’s love, so I wasn’t able to give that love and that joy to other people. There was no light in me for me to shine on others. And here’s where things got intense for me at church today while listening to the pastor, and let me just remind you that this man has not met me, does not know anything about the conversation I had with my family the day BEFORE the service. He said, “you cannot give what you have not received”, basically the EXACT same thing from my conversation the day BEFORE.

SAY WHAT NOW?

No really, that literally went through my mind.

He had never met me, he didn’t know me at all, he hadn’t once heard that conversation I’d previously. I mean, WOW.

It was that moment that I realized that God has been trying to talk to me, He HAS heard me, but I wasn’t listening to HIM. Nothing else was working, so He spoke to me through this pastor. And it wasn’t even just that specific thing (that was the stand-out moment, but still), it was like God had wanted me to be there this Sunday because He had a whole message that He wanted me to hear. That’s just so beautiful. Feeling God’s love on such a high level was different because I’d never felt it like that before, but I’m so happy that I experienced it today and got a fresh start with my faith. I am thanking Jesus Christ for the changes that my heart is going through even at this very moment.

Also, I’m actually going to follow through on my goals and dreams! Not just the ones that I deem “safe” and are within the bubble I put myself in. Today I am popping the bubble! I am going to pursue ALL of my dreams, big and small.  Starting a business, for example. Starting a business has its risks, sure, but should I stop myself from trying? Not today, Satan! I want to write more poetry and eventually publish a book, even though there’s a risk that it won’t be successful. Am I going to just hide my poetry in a journal, away from the world? Not today, Satan! I dream of having friends, and eventually finding love and becoming a wife and mother. Am I going to retreat to a quiet room, away from the outside world? Not today, Satan! I want to follow my dreams and tell anxiety and depression where they can put their tears and panic attacks and breathing difficulties. (By the way, I mean stick it where the sun don’t shine). Am I going to let that anxiety and depression scream “RETREAT, RETREAT, RETREAT” anytime I try to do something outside my comfort zone? NOT TODAY, SATAN!

Does this mean that I don’t still struggle? Do I still have moments where I feel weak and emotion takes over? Yeah. But now I don’t feel ashamed of it. I’m human. Humans have real feelings and that’s okay. I am slowly getting on the right track and that’s all that matters. I wasn’t made to be perfect or to not hurt.

Jesus is the Lifemaker. He created life and when a life is broken, He can repair it. He can renew all that is broken. He can take one’s pain and turn that pain into triumph. I know because I am experiencing that as I write.  I can feel it, and for the first time, I mean it.

— Brooke