chronic illness

With Love

Friends, I hope this post finds you happy, peaceful and loved on this gorgeous Valentine’s Day.

I know I have been quiet around here, and it isn’t at all what I had planned. My health struggles continue, and I have fought to know and find my voice in this chaos. I have been working through unprecedented symptoms, and it seems there is no end in sight.

pomegranate on a tree

I have spent my days quietly at home, in bed mostly, and it has been so hard to find interesting and inspiring things to say. Part of me feels like I can’t speak as candidly as I want to about all that is happening to me. I don’t know if illness is a worthwhile thing, or an appropriate thing to talk about, and at this point in my life I feel like it is the only thing I truly know.  What do I say? Do I write about how lonely this feels? Do I write about doctors and hospitals and other unpleasantries? Do I write about abandoned plans, or suffering relationships? Do I write about how exceptionally boring I feel I have become?

emerging hydrangea leaves

When I come here, I want my words to echo a certain meaning and confidence; a heart and faith that I am simply lacking right now. I want to talk about projects, passions and adventure, the things I just don’t have room for while I manage my health. So if the days and weeks wear on and I continue to be quiet here, that’s why. I know one day I will wake up feeling better and stronger, and I will get back to living this life the way it is meant to be lived. Until then, I will simply take each moment as it comes.

succulents

Despite everything, I know I am immeasurably blessed. Mine is a life filled with countless reasons to be hopeful.

Hope is a miraculous thing to hold on to.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone.

A Year Of Moments

Friends, I hope this glorious new year has you feeling well and inspired.

Truthfully, this post is coming much later than I ever intended. I wanted to write it in the final week of December as a tribute of sorts to 2013 and all of the good and creativity that I felt at times throughout the year. But I spent most of 2013, and the last two months of it especially, in a constant state of pushing and suffering~pushing myself through my physical limitations, only to collapse under the weight of that unfortunate choice. The holidays felt like a blur. I struggled to be content.  What little energy I had was spent keeping my home in a small degree of order. I would then find myself too ill to read, to cook, to even hold my head up or comprehend the least intellectually stimulating show on TV.

I find myself one week into this new year, this new gift, and I’m not really feeling better. I don’t know if, when, or how this will end. But this place is important to me, and these words are especially important to me today, because in 2013, in spite of everything, I discovered my love for photography. When I published my book in the late summer of 2012, I was enjoying a time of stable health~not great, not good, but stable~and it was enough for me to feel as though the future was limitless. Things changed drastically in early 2013. My cognitive abilities have been effected greatly by lupus, and it only left me heartbroken when I would sit down to work on my second book and I would struggle so much with finding the simplest words.  For my own sanity I had to shelf that beloved project and hope for better days and a sharper mind.

My spirit required a creative outlet, something I could handle, something that wouldn’t tax my energy. At first I started to play with my iPhone camera a bit more, and realized that I could develop my eye and capture the most unassuming things and shed them in an amazing light. My precious mom graced me with a new Nikon camera for my birthday in June, and at that moment I knew I had to keep going. It gives me purpose, a connection. Granted, I am in no way a professional. Far from it. This is so completely new to me. I go online almost every day and see the most amazing images by pros and by amateurs alike, and I am blown away by what I see, knowing my images pale in comparison. My cognitive challenges leave me struggling with the manual settings on my camera; I’m not mastering them as fast as I want to. But if I can at least look out into the world with open eyes and an open heart, and recognize the things worth capturing, I think that is most of it. I don’t think that is something that can be learned. It can only be felt.

And with that, friends, here are some of my favorite photos from last year; some taken with my phone and most taken with my camera, but still cherished all the same.

Have a beautiful week.

daisy

bamboo forest, CA state capitol

beautiful brown horse

Point Reyes Cow, CA

fuji apples

buddha

Sacramento Zoo giraffes

King Sago Palm

Point Reyes Daffodils

Point Reyes crab shell

CA State Capitol garden

tropical canna lily

Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe

King Sago Palm spirals

Old Fair Oaks Bridge

Fall Leaf

Fall leaves

Tahoe National Forest

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