i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

inspire me

Where do you find inspiration?

Is it in the sky? On the ground? The people around you?

Do you look at a sunset and it takes your breath away?

Do you listen to the trees and hear the stories they whisper to the air?

Do you spend your days with your head in the clouds, watching them slowly change shape and create something new with each wisp of the wind?

Do you draw your inspiration from friends and strangers? People watch and create their stories in your mind?

Do you ever wonder what the stories are behind windows and doors? Watch people in their cars as they drive by and wonder, are they happy? Do they hurt? Is there joy or sadness?

What inspires you?

I have a folder in my feed reader titled “Inspiration”. I started it when I wasn’t sure where to fit some of the blogs I was reading occasionally that filled me with a sense of wonder. These occasional haunts weren’t quite right for the “Random” folder I had set up. There was something different about these blogs, something brighter.

My Inspiration folder has a variety of subjects within it. Writing, running, fashion, crafting. Not all of the blogs within that folder are subject-specific, but they have something about them that fills me with… something. Feeling. Ideas. Dreams? I can scroll through the unread posts in that folder and get something from them that helps me take another breath, encourages me to go forward. Makes me feel like I can accomplish things.

One of the worst things for me about having worked in an office admin job for so long is the lack of creativity. I feel dull and heavy so often. There isn’t as much room to really create in that environment. There’s not much room for inspiration. I can cover my space in colours, stars and glitter only so much and it helps. But the space outside of that is still cold and grey. The work isn’t colourful and full of life. At first I could still come home and feel like creating and singing and drawing and just doing something artistic, but now? All of these years have chipped away at the core of me and I find it more and more difficult to tap into that space within. The space that needs nurturing and attention.

And I become restless and cranky. My body electric. Anxious. Out of tune.

But this summer I found that I was able to capture that little spark once in a while and fan it just enough to occasionally ignite the fire within. As I have been running (so weird to even say that) I find I become inspired to do MORE once I am back home. I am removing the dull, grey film from my soul while out there and suddenly I am finding cracks of light shining through. As I remove the stress of the day and the anxieties from this year, it’s like I am cleaning smudges from old windows and letting the sun through. Flowers will bloom and grass will grow and maybe I’ll feel more like myself again.

I read through my Inspiration folder and I find others like me. I find I am dreaming once more. Not as many nightmares but more hopeful, happy dreams. I will create. I will write. I will sing. (I will learn how to use Garage Band on this macbook and possibly record some of my songs? Maybe?)

I am now carrying around my paper journal, despite how heavy my bag has become. (Much to the chagrin of my shoulder.) I am writing with pen and paper more often and that is helping me almost as much as the running. School starts again in a week and even though I am only taking one course a semester, that course is forcing me to CREATE as I hand in assignments and projects. This semester will be all about sales & marketing for book publishers – which is what I want to eventually transition to career-wise – and it will be a lot of work (I am sure) and I will doubt myself (because that’s how I do school) and in the end, I will look back at what I created and what I learned and I will feel much more inspired about things.

So to those bloggers who write blogs that inspire me. Thank you. I will continue to have my soul sigh at a beautiful sunset. I will continue to doodle in my paper agenda. I will doodle and spit out words in purple, pink and green ink in my journal and I will blog and run and try to find some sort of creative outlet in my dull, grey job.

I will always look for something new to inspire me. I want you to inspire me. Of course, you already do.

shut out the noise

(Warning: this post is extremely personal and pretty long. It’s about teen suicide, so not the happiest of topics.)

A photo posted by Cat Healy (@beyondelsewhere) on

1992 – 1996

Pop quiz: Spot the girl who wanted to end her life in the above photos. Go on. Look carefully. Find the girl who was so depressed and so certain that no one would notice or care if she were gone. That it would just be a better world if she vanished from the face of it. Spot the girl who did nothing but cry and hurt and couldn’t see anything but the deep, dark, endless black hole that was eating her up from the inside.

Although that girl is pretty much the same in each and every photo, I can tell you that there’s one photo in this collage that stands out to me as one of the worst days of my life and one that I was convinced that this was the day I was going to do it. Take my life. End the pain and sadness and everything. There’s one photo up there from a day I remember SO VIVIDLY. I can almost feel the pain I was in back then just by looking at the photo. It makes my heart beat fast, my breathing become difficult and my stomach hurt. I know exactly how I was feeling that day and looking back at the photo, I can almost taste how sad I was. How desperate I was for it all to end.

The girl in the above photos thought she was ugly. Thought she was fat. FAT! Thought she looked like a boy and that no boy would ever like her. People made fun of her, often she took it extremely personally and was sure everyone hated her. She wasn’t good enough. She wasn’t smart enough. She wasn’t pretty enough.

She wasn’t ENOUGH.

In her life, from childhood to early adult-hood, she’d try to take her life a few times. She wanted so badly to escape. She was worthless. She harmed herself. She didn’t matter.

She was NOTHING.

All she wanted was for someone to notice her pain and tell her it would be ok. Tell her that she mattered.

She wanted so desperately to MATTER.

A photo posted by Cat Healy (@beyondelsewhere) on

1995 – 1996

It didn’t get much better in my  early 20s. Although once I hit my 20s a doctor finally realized I had some stuff going on and I got help and medication. But I still had a few scary hospital experiences under my belt and I still had scars, both inside and out.

The worst part is that no one really knew what was going on inside my head. How lonely I felt even if I was surrounded by people. No one knew how bullied I felt (and was at times). My mother knew. My mother was my confidant. Much of my childhood I felt like my mother was my only friend, but even so. She was my mother and mother’s can only do so much to help their children because children are children and need to feel some of that love from their peers and not just their mothers. So many children don’t even have the blessing that I did of having an AMAZING mother. If it weren’t for her support while I went through a lot of this I don’t know if I would have made it through those years and be writing this post now.

Teen suicide needs to STOP.

Each and every time I read a news story about another pre-teen or teen suicide my heart drops down to my feet. I feel like I’m on a roller coaster that has plummeted down an endless rabbit hole. I can’t breathe.

If the internet and social media had been around when I was suffering my own demons, I don’t know if I would have made it out alive. I honestly don’t. I don’t even know how to cope with the internet now at times. I am thankful that I am not a popular person (as in celebrity, not in any other context) because I know I’d get hate comments or email or tweets, etc. It happens. And no matter how tough you are and how much you know to expect that sort of stuff, I can only imagine that it is STILL hurtful and hard to ignore.

Haters gonna hate. It’s the way of the world. Unfortunate but true.

But right now there are so, so many teens and pre-teens out there who are hurting so extremely that they won’t hear the help that’s being offered them. I know that because I never once saw what was right in front of my face when I was growing up – friends. True friends. Friends I still have to this day and if I had only just opened up to them even a little, it might have helped relieve some of the pressure from the weight on my soul.

The bullying and slut-shaming and the teen rape and the everything that is going on right now in the world of teenagers… it is breaking my heart. You can say “It gets better” to people in those situations until you’re blue in the face and they won’t all hear it. Some will, many won’t hear it at all. Why should they believe you? When you’re 13, 14, 15, 16… your entire world is RIGHT THERE IN THAT MOMENT. There is nothing else. There is no future. There is only the RIGHT NOW. And sometimes, the past. The past that will come back to haunt you again and again until you can’t shut it out. It’s all you see when you close your eyes. It’s all you hear, your mistakes, your faults, the laughter. It’s everything and all-consuming.

I used to worry so much about other people. What they were thinking. If they liked me. If they hated me. (I was always convinced they hated me over liking me.) It took so long for me to change those voices. It took so long, a lot of work and some really wonderful people to make me believe I was worthy of love of others.

More importantly that I was worthy of loving myself. That is the hardest lesson to learn.

So many of these teens probably feel as though they are alone. Many of them probably are. There’s only so much you can do to help someone through cyberspace. I wish I could reach out and magically help every single one of those lonely souls. I wish I could tell them that I get it. I was there. I almost wasn’t there but I was lucky, I didn’t die.

I didn’t die and it was ok. It was OK.

It took a lot of work and a lot of forcing myself to trust in others and myself and I stopped caring so much what other people said. Whether it was true or just in my head. I began living for myself, not for others. And almost magically, things did get better. They did.

2013

This is me today. Literally today. This is how I wanted to dress when I was in high school but was way too scared of what other people thought to even think twice about it. In fact people who dressed like this secretly terrified me because I thought they would beat me up. I have neon pink hair, am tattooed and pierced and were the occasional skull on my person but I’m a very polite and shy person. I am shy. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I go to bed by 9pm on a fairly regular person and you know what? I did all of this when I was 15, too but people made fun of me for it. I don’t like going to bars or clubbing. I’m not mean and evil and I won’t beat you up (although I do occasionally feel like kicking people in the shins when they tick me off.)

I wear the above when I go to my real job. My grown-up, professional job. I assist an important person on a daily basis. I manage things. I am not filthy rich but I have a job that I’ll bet people don’t think I have when they see me on the bus or on the street. You know what? I don’t care. I’m happy.

Happy.

That one word was a lie when I was a teen. Happiness was a lie people told you to try to make you feel better. It wasn’t real.

But it is. And you find it when you stop listening to all the noise outside your head. When you stop listening to the noise INSIDE your head. If they bully you… ignore them. It’s easy to say and VERY hard to do. VERY. HARD. I know it is. Please believe me when I say I know. I couldn’t do it back then but one day it just seemed to happen. Things were quieter.

Because that noise? That noise is lying to you. It’s telling you that you aren’t worth it and you are. Mistakes you make when you’re 15? You’re supposed to make those mistakes. You are FIFTEEN. You will not always feel the way you feel. That sounds like a lie, too, but I assure you it is the honest truth.

Shut out the noise. Listen to the deeper voice inside of you. The one that wonders if you really are better than the people you are trying to impress. The voice that wonders if you are good enough or pretty enough. The voice that wonders if you matter.

Because THAT voice? THAT voice is telling you the truth and it just needs to speak up a little louder.

Please don’t kill yourself. I have been there. I have survived it. I have SEEN it happen first hand and it’s just a horrible, horrible feeling to see someone’s life splatter on the ground in front of you.

Please live.

Live your life. Proud and loud. Embrace your quirks, your uniqueness. Embrace it and flaunt it. You’ll end up happier in the end and those that are trying to knock you down will probably end up knocked down as you rise up from the ashes.

I have scars but that’s all they are now. Scars. The wounds have closed. I survived. I made it. And I’m worth it.

And so are you.

I promise.

confession: sometimes I am insecure

I can be loud and snarky and sarcastic and will speak my mind if I need to (or if I don’t need to.) I have no filter between what I think and what comes out of my mouth most of the time. When I began my 30s I realized one day that I had suddenly stopped caring about what other people thought of me or what I did. I became oddly comfortable with my body, even though it was completely foreign to me with the weight I gained through medication. I have bright, flamboyantly coloured hair yet I never notice if people are noticing.

And yet…

I am occasionally insecure.

We all have those moments. Those moments when we think we aren’t good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough. When we are sure that the smallest of things is the most noticeable part of our being. Tiny stain on your shirt or pants? It’s obviously as big and bright as a sign in Times Square. Teeny tiny pimple on your face? You might as well be walking around with the Eiffel Tower sticking out of your chin/nose/forehead.

I grew up always thinking I wasn’t good enough. Wasn’t pretty enough. Wasn’t skinny enough. Wasn’t smart enough. I used to pray nightly that I would wake up and be someone else. Someone that other people wanted to be friends with and wouldn’t make fun of. I didn’t want to be popular, I just wanted to be LIKED.

Without going into all of my issues while growing up, I can say with 100% certainty that I was way more insecure than I was confident for much of my life. Although I am not entirely certain of the day that the change to who I am now, I do know that the transition began in my early 20s. I suppose this happens to most people. I was still worried about what people thought of me but as my 20s progressed that worry lessened. I dealt with a ton of depression and bad stuff as I went through it all and I know how lucky I am that I came out the other side of all those issues a stronger, more confident person. I do know that while in my 30s I noticed that I wasn’t noticing other people wondering why they hated me or were looking at me with contempt.

It’s amazing how insecurity can warp your view of the world around you. It can cripple you with fear and uncertainty. You are convinced that everyone is looking at you, mocking you, talking behind your back. When the reality is? Those people probably don’t even notice you’re there because they are way too busy wondering why everyone is judging THEM.

I worked hard with myself to be the person I am today. I like to think I’m pretty confident in myself. I’m sort of happy I don’t worry about what others think of me because honestly, I worry about way too many things. It’s nice to have a load off of that already insanely huge pile of worry. When I stopped caring what others thought and decided, “Fuck it. I don’t need friends. I’m just going to do whatever I want and say what I want* and that’s just how I’ll live life.” that’s when people started to show up. Suddenly I had people asking me to do things with them (I never wanted to) or tell me I was funny (I thought they were daft). Suddenly I got invited to things that I didn’t even know were happening because I wasn’t spending my entire life seeing what other people were doing and worrying that I wouldn’t get an invite. Or worrying that I didn’t get an invite. OMG, obviously they think I am way too lame to hang out with them and that’s why they didn’t invite me to this event that I wouldn’t have gone to anyhow because I don’t like what they are doing.

Yes. I would fret and panic over not be invited to things I had been adamant about not liking. Mosh pit and drinking? Yuck. But why didn’t they invite me? Hockey game or soccer? YUCK. But why didn’t they invite me?

See? Irrational worry for nothing. Never once occurred to me that I wasn’t being invited to something because those people knew it wasn’t my cup of tea and wouldn’t enjoy whatever it was. Nope. Every single non-invitation was obviously a personal insult against me. I obviously did something wrong to someone somewhere along the line and now I am being shut out. Dropped. Dumped.

Believe me. It is so much easier not having that extra foolish worry to worry about.

And yet…

I have this meeting to go to tomorrow. It is a meeting with my peers. Other people from across the university who hold positions like mine. I have been in my job for over 7 years now. I am GOOD at my job. I know most of these people through email and phone calls, but this meeting is face-to-face and I am in a tizzy over this. I have been rocking the bright pink hair (or purple…) for 2 years now and I don’t even think twice about it when I am out in public. I do not dress all that formally or professionally in the office (I dress nice, don’t get me wrong, but not in business style.) I am happy with my personal style and my hair. It’s all very ME. I am comfortable in my skin and with how I operate. I write all emails in purple. I am rather casual in emails, especially with my peers, but can whip up a more formal correspondence if needed. I have had people tell me they love getting my emails and phone calls because I make them laugh. I am a delight to work with.

But I am freaking out because I have neon pink and blue hair and nothing fancy/professional enough to wear to this meeting. A meeting with people who do things I do, and some higher up. People I deal with on a regular basis at a distance. It’s one thing to tell others I have pink hair, it’s another to sit in a room with people and know they will be judging you by the way you look and suddenly forget that you’re actually pretty decent at your job.

WHO AM I? The insecurity I am feeling right now is so foreign to me. It used to be second nature, but now I just don’t fit into it anymore. My body and mind have changed shape in the last 7 years and the insecurity is tight and ill-fitting. And yet I am squeezing into it in a panic.

I even went out at lunch today to shop for clothes. I was desperate to find something more professional to wear to this meeting tomorrow. I hate shopping. And as I browsed through stores I didn’t see one item of clothing that spoke to me. I thought about how idiotic it was that I was even out there looking for something to wear tomorrow. At the same time I know I need some new clothes because my old stuff is either worn through or no longer fits (can I get a “WOOHOO!”?). But there was nothing out there that I truly liked and especially not anything worth spending over $50 on.

I am going to go to bed tonight and toss and turn over not looking like I am good enough to be meeting with the people I am meeting with tomorrow. I am second guessing my own abilities and skill in my job because I am worried about facing these people in a group. The GROUP. That’s the sticking point. I don’t think I’d be nearly as worried if these were individual meetings. I often lament how it’s not always very fun to work with someone for so long and never see their face. I actually want to put faces to names.

And yet… I’m sitting here fretting and fussing and filled to the brim with anxiety over this meeting, which is really not such a big deal.

And I don’t think I am good enough. Or professional enough. Or… just … enough.

But I am.

I need to remember that. I am good at my job and people know that and they want to meet me. I want to meet them. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We are coming together to help make our jobs easier and open up a more fluid communication between us. It’s a GOOD thing and I am an important part of this process.

And why should I change who I am to try to fit in with people who aren’t like me at all? Why would I WANT to change who I am when I am so very proud of that person? I am proud of me.

And yet… sometimes I am insecure and it’s a really difficult pit to escape from.

I just need to tell myself that it’s ok to have insecurities. It keeps you grounded. But in all reality, I’m pretty freaking awesome and that’s what I’ll show them. Me. All pink & blue hair, tattoos and Jem and the Holograms earrings.

I just need to find something to wear that fits & isn’t falling apart. That’s sort of the biggest challenge right now.

 

* Keep in mind that I am goodie-two-shoes at heart so the “doing and saying” what I want, was always polite and not in any way rude or improper.

Calculated in Death

Calculated in Death (In Death, #36)
by J. D. Robb

On Manhattan’s Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better.

A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn’t seem the type to be on anyone’s hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta’s murder was the work of a killer who’s trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.

But when someone steals the files out of Marta’s office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke’s world of big business to figure out who’s cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer’s violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. . .  (goodreads.com)

Because I wait for the mass market release of the In Death books I’m always slightly behind the rest of the world. I could technically get these on my eReader now, but there’s just something about reading a new J. D. Robb book in paperback that makes the entire experience much more fun for me. I didn’t rush out to pick this one up because I have been trying to not buy books these days, but since I was in the bookstore I thought, why not? Maybe a Comfort Food Book is exactly what I need right now.

Sadly, this particular Eve Dallas novel didn’t do much for me. I was gripped and creeped out by the last story, Delusion in Death but in this case, I really didn’t give a hoot about financial accounting crimes. Yawn.

Of course I loved the character interaction as I always do and there were some great scenes between Eve and Peabody that made me giggle. I love those two together. Makes me want to go back and re-read the earlier books just to relive their bonding and friendship. That also means I need to go out and BUY the earlier books since I believe I borrowed the first 15 or so when I started the series. (Must make a mental note to look for these when I happen upon a used bookstore. Never think of it!)

I don’t know if it’s because of the mood I’m in lately, but for some reason that fact that everyone loooooves Eve and she’s the best in the world and is SO PRETTY but she doesn’t know it… really bothered me in this book. I rolled my eyes a few times and then I sat back and thought, “Why does almost every one of these books always end with her having to set herself up as bait?” It seems like they all end that way now and I’m getting tired of it. She’s a great cop, I get it. But can we please stop with how she’s the Ultimate Mag Cop and every single killer in the universe has her as their ultimate goal to kill? Because I would like a story that’s just catching a serial killer that doesn’t care to go after her and try to kill her, too. And that’s how the story will end. I understand that these books are formulaic. I understand that, I LIKE that about them and I enjoy the books immensely, but we need to move on from Everyone Wanting Eve Dallas and trying to kill her. We need to move on from that. Because it’s getting boring.

And don’t forget the inevitable fight that will break out between Roarke and Dallas about how she’s putting herself out there as bait and he wants to kill the guy for her and doesn’t want her to be bait and she’s all, this is my job, yo! and he’s all, you are my woman, *growl* and she’s all, it’s who I am, yo. These are my murder victims. I speak for them now and the killer wants ME because I am just TOO GOOD at this job and I will set them up and come out alive. And he’s all, Like hell you will!  *Irish**Irish* and in the end.. she gets through it alive and they kiss and get all mushy about how they are each other’s worlds and… yawn.

Progress your relationship a little more, please. Get knocked up or something because right now it’s way too static and each book is pretty much the exact same formula with their relationship. Something’s gotta give and soon.

I won’t stop reading them because I’m not always as irritated as I feel right now. I’m just wondering if there could be a little more character development now that we’re at book 36. Part of the reason I loved this series was because of the character development. The last bunch of books… it just stopped. No one is moving forward. They need to move forward. Once Mavis had her baby….everyone seems to be a holding pattern. Something needs to happen character-wise.

Please.

Then once I was almost done the book and I was muttering to myself about Dallas setting herself up as bait again, I thought, wouldn’t be an awesome way to end the series if she was killed off in one of these stupid plots of hers? Not that I want it to end, or for her to die (because I rather like her) but I think it would be a hell of a conclusion to this series (if it ever happens) to have her killed at the end rather than have everything tied up in a perfect bow.

I’m obviously in a mood. I don’t normally fantasize about killing off characters that I like. But you have to admit, it would certainly make an interesting decision. 😉

In Death Series

  1. Naked in Death
  2. Glory in Death
  3. Immortal in Death
  4. Rapture in Death
  5. Ceremony in Death
  6. Vengeance in Death
  7. Holiday in Death
  8. Conspiracy in Death
  9. Loyalty in Death
  10. Witness in Death
  11. Judgement in Death
  12. Betrayal in Death
  13. Seduction in Death
  14. Reunion in Death
  15. Purity in Death
  16. Portrait in Death
  17. Imitation in Death  *
  18. Divided in Death
  19. Visions in Death
  20. Survivor in Death
  21. Origin in Death  *
  22. Memory in Death  *
  23. Born in Death  *
  24. Innocent in Death
  25. Creation in Death
  26. Strangers in Death *
  27. Salvation in Death *
  28. Promises in Death *
  29. Kindred in Death *
  30. Fantasy in Death*
  31. Indulgence in Death*
  32. Treachery in Death*
  33. New York to Dallas *
  34. Celebrity in Death *
  35. Delusion in Death *
  36. Calculated in Death *
  37. Thankless in Death – hard cover Sept 2013
  38. Concealed in Death – hard cover 2014

(mass market editions, unless otherwise noted)

* book I own

bath time fun!

Oh, it’s bath time for Jinx
Because he stinks!
He won’t be happy
But he rolled in cat pee
So he brought this on himself

And though she’ll try to protest
Sophie is next!

Because it’s the end of the summer
Sort of a bummer
And I don’t know how many warm days we’ll have left!

Hose, lather, rinse
Lather, lather, lather!
OMG Lappie fur!
Lather once more
Spend 30 minutes trying to rinse all the soap out
Wonder why you didn’t adopt goldfish instead

Oh! It’s bath time for Jinx!
Because he stinks!


And though she’ll protest
Sophie is next!

That’s how we do Sunday!