Monday, December 31, 2012

The fist punches and calm paths...

It’s the last day of 2012. It was such a BIG year for me. So big that I am not sure whether I should jump and giggle, shed some tears or take a deep breath and hope life will slow down. Except I don’t want it to slow down. 

2012. 1/1/12 - I woke up in my best friend Sarah’s house. Full of hope and dreams. Full of giddy energy. Full of ideas. Full of I can do’s for the upcoming 12 months. I stood tall, with my head up and shoulders back. My chin raised and a sneaky smile on my lips. I had plans. No resolutions. Just plans to make 2012 unforgettable and on man it was! 

This year I felt like a contestant on ‘Wipe Out’. I was running on a slippery track with huge rubbery fists coming at me from each side. Fist punch, calm path, fist punch, calm path... 

Calm path - my parents in law sold their house in Rochester, NY and moved in with us for a couple of month until they bought a house in our neighborhood. We love having them so close. I think I even got used to dad’s grouchy ways and just make sure I serve him his favorite beer every time he comes over. 
Fist punch - in the end of January I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease.  I was so glad to know why I wasn’t feeling good that I stayed oblivious to the impact the disease was going to have on my life. I started my meds. My hands stopped shaking. My eyes bulged out. The diagnosis came - ‘we expect you to lose your sight in the next 18 months’. Ohhhhh hello? That was not right. That was something I was not going to listen to. I found an amazing ophthalmologist that specializes in Grave’s and started a steroid treatment.
Fist punch - (thankfully they don’t always come in 3). My parents were denied tourists visas to come to our wedding. Ohhhhhh hello? Seriously American Government? I have a Green Card, I’m paying taxes, I want my parents here. There was nothing I could do.
Calm path - the Sun was bright in May. My path was bright in May. I became a citizen of the United States of America! After 10 years of quietly dreaming about receiving the certificate I was standing in a small garden house in Charleston, SC reciting Pledge of Allegiance. I was so proud. I was crying. I’m still crying even writing about it. A citizen! 
Fist punch - the last attempt to bring my parents to the wedding failed. Mr. President didn’t sign the bill to waive visas for Polish tourists to visit US. Ohhhh hello?? I’m a citizen now why can’t they visit!
Calm path - 7/7/12 - I’ll cherish the memory of that day my whole life! On that day I married the most amazing man. My best friend, my encourager, the sweetest introvert I’ve ever met. The day was magical, enchanted. 
Calm path - we flew to Poland for out honeymoon in August. First Krakow - the city I adore. Full of history, culture, colorful people. City I would live in if I ever moved back to Poland. City James fell in love with, where he had his first Polish beer, his first Polish meal, where he saw his first castle. We spent 2 weeks with my family in a small town called Marynin where I grew up. I was so afraid to see them after 10 years. So worried I wouldn’t fit, they wouldn’t love me the same way, I wouldn’t recognize them. I was worried that I was too sick to enjoy them. I was so wrong. My family was amazing. They held us both in their arms for 2 weeks and showered us with unconditional love. James fell in love with them. They fell in love with James. I felt blessed.
Fist punch - September came and with it sad diagnosis. The steroids weren’t working any longer. The doctor had a few ideas for treatments. I agreed to consider.
Calm path - I took an online course called Flying Lessons. I don’t know what I expected. I wanted the world to see my art, I hoped the Flying Lessons would give me a confidence to show it. I learned a lot. But most of all I became a part of a community of incredible women that comfort, encourage, and teach one another. I still hide my art but the class gave me wings, and the women I met are building up my courage.
Fist punch - I fell apart. Grave’s took it all from me. I wake up in pain scared to get up not knowing what my body will do. Will I be able to stand on my own or will James have to help me, will I get sick? With so many questions: why is it attacking my nervous system, why can’t I feel my left hand, will I ever stop gaining weight, will I see if I open my eyes? Thanksgiving weekend came and with it a realization that the person I used to call myself isn’t there any more. Monika I knew my whole life was resting in the body that was fighting itself. I cried. I screamed. I asked James what was wrong with me? What happened to my energy, willingness to do and see things. Why was I hiding from my own friends. James - my alway calm husband screamed back - You have Grave’s Disease. I don’t know what was worse him raising his voice in act of desperation and hurt or me finally realizing I needed to meet current myself. I scheduled an appointment with a therapist on Monday after Thanksgiving and asked her to teach me how to cope and grief. She promised I will smile again but I knew I had a long road ahead of me.

Calm path - I woke up today with a fever. The antibodies are high, fighting something beneath my skin. I laid in bed for a while trying to feel everything that was happening in my body. Things I’ve never felt before. Pains I though only older people dealt with. I touched my chubby chicks and laughed. I though of the girl that stood so confident and tall 365 days ago. Would she have her chin up if she knew what was going to happen to her in that very short year? Would she complain about the shirt that didn’t fit on the New Years Eve if she knew she was going to gain 75 pounds? Would she be so giddy if she knew the Grave’s Rage was going to soon take over her thoughts and feelings? Would she get annoyed with her 5” heels if she knew she was going to need help tying her sneakers only a few month into the year? I felt a smile sneaking on my lips while thinking of that girl. She wouldn’t have any different thoughts even knowing what was about to come. She was strong and courageous. I laid still admiring that girl. Thinking of everything she went through in her life and how she handled it all. Always with her chin up, smile on her face, glass 3/4 full. I got a bit ashamed. What happened to that girl? When did she become a deflated balloon? I tried to look to the side but there was only a darkness. I had to move. Was I ready to move? I didn’t go through the check list yet. Would it hurt to move? The other girl would just move, ignore the pain. I turned to my right. I could see my sweet husband sleeping. It was 3:30 in the morning and he looked so peaceful. I noticed things that I didn’t notice in the past 12 months. He’s wrinkle on the forehead got a touch deeper. Is he that worried about me? The wrinkles around his eyes are a little more permanent. Are they getting that way because he’s teasing me so much trying to take my thoughts off of Grave’s? He’s strong hand was laying on a pillow and his wedding ring was shining. It’s the hand that always reaches out for me when he wants to touch my face or move the hair behind my ear. Same hand that helps me get up when my body fails. I felt warm tears going down my face. That girl last year had no worries. If I could talk to her today she would have told me that I missed the biggest reason why she stood so tall. She was loved. And she was so sure and confident of the love of her now husband. I moved a bit and James reached for me. He whispered ‘Are you ok babes?’. I shook my head unable to talk through the choking tears. I am OK. Tomorrow I will wake up and stand up with my shoulders back, smile on my face. I will be proud again. My courage and strength are within me. They may be hidden and maybe it will take me a while to find them and bring them out to the surface but tomorrow on the first day of 2013 I will believe that I can once again ‘do it all’. I will believe that my art is there to share with others. I will believe that as much as the doctors ‘know their stuff’ I will not go blind, I will learn to deal with the Grave’s Rage and I will find a holistic way to heal my body. I will reach out to others that lost their strength. I’ll teach them to stand strong. I will pray. I spent the whole year wrestling with God, praying that He will make me healthy, not truly believing in His plan for me. I will pray that He will forgive my doubts. I will promise myself to take a better care of myself. And I will do things I never had guts to do... All because I am strong, courageous and full of love. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

You deserve it!

You deserve it! These are three words that my blog guests Jenn wrote under one of my posts. She was referring to my studio, space I adore and want to be in every minute of my time. I read the whole comment a few times but it was those three words that got me thinking all day. Every time I replayed them in my mind a small doze of shame twisted my heart. You don’t deserve it screamed that sqeeky fearful voice in my head. You deserve it and see how much you’ve done there whispered my soul. There are so many voices inside of me!
Our whole lives we are being rewarded or punished by others depending on what they think we deserve. We deserve a good raise, we don’t deserve that grade… and it goes on and on through our existence. One random person making that decision for us can make us or break us forever. I’ve been made and I’ve been broken. I made others and I broke others.
Today is a very significant day. Today I realized that I need to decide that I am a deserving individual. I deserve it! I deserve the studio of my dreams, I deserve the husband of my dreams (got really lucky here), I deserve friends that love me and care for me, I deserve to hear that I’ve done something right and I deserve to be proud of myself. Only I know where I’ve came from and what I’ve done to be here. Here is the place where I deserve to be!

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's the little things....

My love languages are touch and gifts. I love being close to people. Yup I am that person that always hugs everyone, grabs people hands, and can’t stand more than 2 feet apart from others. I know all about personal space I just choose not to pay attention to that rule. I believe that a simple hug can change someone’s day. I totally love this idea and this video. I’ve seen it million times and I still cry every time I watch it!

My love languages are touch and gifts. I love gifting people. Even if it’s a simple card. It makes me feel whole. It makes me feel happy. I always ‘see’ things that I could give to someone. I have trouble receiving gifts and that’s something I need to start working on.
I’m surrounded by so many loving and carrying people. I have trouble asking for anything. Asking for help. And all those people are here for me. They all know when I need them. They gift me with care. I just love the little things they do for me. They all seem so huge to me and I can never thank them enough.

Sharing the acts of love and kindness from my friends!

Note from my sweet friend Emily. Oh how much I love her!

Beautiful flowers from my friends Stephanie and John
with a message letting me know they are there for me... always.

Cross from my friend Mel who encouraged me through the toughest
test in my life  Getting citizenship was not a piece of cake :)

A quote Emily left on my desk not too long ago. So sweet!

My friend John gave me those magnets. He comes to my cubie from time to time
and creates interesting patterns that I keep admiring daily. I LOVE MAGNETS!!!

Take a moment and think of all the acts of kindness you've received from your friends. Life is full of those!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My studio

NO WAY!!!! I am so so so excited!! Like super excited! 
I’ve taken over the dining room in the front of our house for my studio after we moved in a year ago but I knew that some day I would have to move into a small corner of that room to make a space for all the office furniture we were going to buy. James and I spent weeks in that little room in the past few months trying to figure out the best way to make it manly office/quirky studio looking space. We finally made a decision to order custom furniture, picked a sassy dark finish and... I could not commit. I was just not feeling that dark, preppy color in my studio. So today I told James what my dream for the room was: a small couch, lanterns, light colored furniture, YELLOW everywhere, my birdie, and other very quirky stuff and he said: We could just make a space for the computer 'here' and the room would look great! NO WAY!!! HAPPY FEET DANCE!!! I am so so so excited! My studio/his office will be done soon! 

For now you can take a look at what it looks like now :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Lately I have a thing for keys. Random. Just like most of my thoughts. There is something changing in me. I feel like I am slowly unlocking a very bright and colorful room in my heart. Room that has been closed for many years, maybe even my whole life. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling and every time I feel this pull or push I stop breathing, I listen. I try to hear what it is that my heart is saying but there is silence. I am not ready to hear the whisper. Wherever I go I keep noticing pictures of keys, painting of keys, I even bought a few metal keys you would normally use in some crafty way. They have ribbons on them. Something is calling me. There is a lock somewhere within my heart and I know these keys are the ones that will open it. I just have this overwhelming feeling. It’s coming. The whisper will get louder and I will hear. And this time I will follow it. I will persevere. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fears - the squeaky, annoying voice

There are two  things that I know about myself very well. I am strong. Strong enough to concur anything that life throws at me with a smile on my face and random thoughts of the true purpose in any crappy situation. I am courages. Courage is what drives me. Courage is what sets me apart from others. I make mistakes and courageously tackle the outcomes. I make risky decisions just to challenge the faith. But as strong and as courageous I am  I am not fearless. I push though life with passion until the squeaky, annoying voice in my head presents me with some random fear. ‘You can’t do it’ ‘You are not that great’ ‘You are full of it’ ‘You are not enough’. Fear is what stopped me from following the whispers of my soul when I graduated high school and pushed me through boring business school instead of letting me surrender to my calling and create art. This fear lasted for over a decade. That squeaky, annoying (almost like Karen from Will & Grace) voice kept shouting ‘You are not an artist, you just wish you were!’. Let’s stop here for a moment. What did I just say? ‘I wish I was...’ You don’t wish to be a lawyer if you don’t like stuffy court rooms, you don’t wish to be a gardener if you don’t like flowers, you don’t wish to be a farmer if you love living in a city, you don’t wish to be a car mechanic if you don’t like the smell of metal and grease (ewww). You don’t wish to be someone you are not. You can only wish to be who your soul screams to be. You can only wish to be the answer to all the whispers and dreams. And when you are who you were created to be you are always enough, you are in peace, you are fearless. 
After reading Kelly Rae Robert’s post about fears that make our hearts cringe I was able to reasonably name a few I was facing these days but I knew that the day was coming when all the fears were going to take over my heart and mind and I was going to start doubting myself as an artist. I knew that was going to be the best day to go through this exercise. And I didn’t have to wait too long. 4 days after reading Kelly’s post, on a pretty Sunday evening the dark clouds creeped in and all the ‘flying high’ with my course-mates was gone. I went into hiding behind a wall of self doubt. 
My strength and courage were gone. I went to bed pouting and had a very random conversation with my husband:
M: I’m not an artist any more. I changed my mind!
J: Baby only an artist would say such thing! Get some sleep.
Sleep was the last thing I wanted. My heart was broken. I was giving up again. My heart was racing. I felt stupid and silly. What was I thinking jumping up and down, playing with my brushes, feeling sixteen again? It’s a good thing I realized my silliness in time... 
The morning came way too quickly. I wasn’t ready to wake up and face the failure of my short lived dream. James cuddled me and asked:
J: Where is all that self doubt coming from?
M: (Tears taking over my whole face) It starts in my tummy then goes through my heart. Or maybe the other way around. And I..
J: You know that’s something only true artist would say! And only a real artist would wear the socks you are wearing.
M: Huh?

I knew the time came when my heart was ready for me to face my fears. I was ready to write them down. I was ready to counter them with my courage and strength. I sat at my ‘artist desk’ and grabbed a heart I made months ago. Hmm that’s a good start... Now write! Use the ugly color pen - you don’t like your fears...
The first thought that came to my mind after writing it all down was “I seriously want to SLAP you now!” Where is all this coming from? Is there any confidence hiding within that self doubting you? Uh I got angry. Let me walk away for a second. (an hour thanks to the traffic!). Now sit down and read it again. Is this who you are? I know you are not! I know you are so much better, so much happier, so much more than that! Raspberry? Really?

Before I knew I was leaning over an almost finished piece of artwork with lots of color and a new tree. Holly molly I actually used that scrap  bark I thought was trash - it was broken, pathetic... It grew strong in my piece. It was reborn. I let go. I’m not sure whether my face was covered with paint or tears or both. My heart was racing once again. My hands were shaking. My hair was covered in glue. My poor hair, there is no hope for it. I stepped away. 
I am bigger than my fears.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Giving up what you love for what you love more

Have you ever felt like you wanted to let something go for something you loved even more? Our hearts are so huge and our lives are so long we think we have space for everything we love in it. But then there are moments when we realize that it’s time to make a change, to close one little door and open another one that will bring so much into our lives. So often we are stubborn about locking that door and throwing away the key. We are afraid of the change and we want others to change for us so we can stay in our cozy environment. This year was going to be a year of changes for me and I knew that would challenge me to close many doors. I promised myself that every decision I’ll make will be based on the feeling of I really want to do it because I love something/someone more than I love this. I won’t go over the long list of all the things I’ve changed in my life but I would like to share one of the most recent ones. To some of you it may seem silly, to me it was a decision I contemplated on for a long time.
Our house was divided. Our friend John mentioned it in his speech during our wedding (awesome speech!!!). He said the opposites attract (I know there will be a blog post about that in a near future) and asked all of our Seminoles friends to do the chop. Ugh I cringed a bit hahahah. Then he asked all the Gators fans to chomp. Yeah baby!!! I did the chomp with a bittersweet feeling. My sweet Gators will always be in my heart behind a door that I just closed. The last couple of football seasons were sort of torturous for me and James. We even got into huge argument ones because the Noles hurt my RB. I hid James’s bottle opener that played that ‘ugly Noles’ song and he kept changing the channel away from the Gators games. We even bickered about our Gators and Seminoles Christmas ornaments – which one will be hanging higher, which one will be more visible. We don’t have kids yet but we already argued about which team they will follow. Not to make it sound like we fought tons about it but we definitely bickered quite a bit. Healthy bickering type. The Gators were my thing, I loved the orange and blue, I loved the idea of painting little Albert on our kids faces. I loved James more. I loved how his eyes lit up when Noles scored a TD. I loved seeing him all excited when our friend’s 3 year old daughter did the chop. I loved his kid like excitement every Christmas when his mom and I bought him tons of Noles gear. I loved all those moments and it was breaking my heart that I could not share them with him. I gave up the Gators that I loved for James and our life together that I loved more. I decided to tell him that on our wedding day with his wedding gift. He was happy but I don’t think either of us realized then how it was going to impact our life together.
As a part of the wedding gift I bough James two tickets to the FSU-Clemson game in Tallahassee which we attended yesterday. This weekend, for the first time since we’ve met, we enjoyed a college football game together. We drove to Tallahassee on Friday and I have to say I was a bit skeptical about my ability not to roll my eyes every time I saw a Noles sticker on a car. Well what helped was the smile challenge. My subconscious tricked me that day! I challenged myself to smile every time I saw a red car and since 70% of Noles fans drive red cars I smiled pretty much every time I saw the team logo. Why did I pick the red? Tricky tricky subconscious! It is my favorite color after all! James showed me around that day, took me to the places he used to hang out at, and drove me by his old apartment. I learned so much about my husband and his partying abilities hahah By the time we were going to the stadium on Saturday I forgot that Gators played that day (shame on me I don’t even know who they played), I stopped noticing that everyone was shouting spelling f-l-o-r-i-d-a s-t-a-t-e every five minutes and I caught myself enjoying the cowgirl hat with a Seminoles logo James bought me that day. James was SO pumped. I was pumped. We were pumped together. His eyes sparkled! I love when he’s so excited that his eyes sparkle! The game was intense and there were times we thought the Noles were going to disappoint that day but at the end they won the game. And somehow I felt like I won something great too.
The whole thing made me consider giving up on many other things in my life. Replacing them with others that I know I will love more and that would bring endless opportunities. Somehow between shouting f-l-o-r-i-d-a s-t-a-t-e, chopping, wearing that silly hat and wanting a Seminoles sticker on my face I became brave. Brave enough to close the doors that once brought possibilities into my life but now were just holding me back.
This year’s challenge continues. It is, after all, a big year of changes!
It doesn't take much to make him smile :)

I made it official. Good bye Gators.

It was an awesome speach

Chomp Chomp

Surprise groom's cake
Wedding pics were taken by my talented friend Lauren

He's a very happy man

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I’ve been thinking about creating a blog series for some time now. Something that will be meaningful to me and would make me feels whole. And I realized that I just don’t feel ‘whole’ at all. There are so many ‘mes’ these days and they are all competing against each other.  And just like that I decided that every two weeks I will pick one word that I want to describe me, that I know that already describes a big part of me and I will live this word to the fullest. The idea made my heart jump and my feet did the happy dance. It felt right.
 I sat quietly today thinking of what words I would like to be described by. I wrote down so many. Encouraging – yes I love to encourage others. Loving, carrying. Smart. Unique. The list kept getting longer…  And then I thought of my grandpa who so many compare me to saying ‘you definitely are as quirky as your grandpa’. Quirky. I like it. My grandpa may appear quirky and funny and silly and I couldn’t pin point to what it is that makes my grandpa such a special person. He brings this ‘something’ into the room. He makes everyone smile. I looked through some pictures I took of him recently and it became all so clear to me. My grandpa is 72 years old and he’s the most youthful person I know.  
Youth (def.) The state or quality of being young, esp. as associated with vigor, freshness, or immaturity.
I asked my husband ‘Am I youthful?’ He said ‘You are very youthful. You are a 5 year old trapped in a 31 year olds body’. I pouted, stated I was not 5 and started dancing to the chicken dance playing on my iPod. James rolled his eyes and said ‘Yeah that’s my point’. Ok so maybe I am 5 in my heart.  I got used to living in the grown up’s body and it’s so comfortable here. I go to work, pay the bills, do all the grown up things that others do and it’s all so easy and familiar. I took a few minutes to think about how often I suppress ‘youthful me’ so I don’t sound silly or crazy. I am afraid to be described as crazy yet all my friends that know me already know that I am not so very normal. They all have experienced my silly faces, my childish sayings, jumping in the puddles of water on the streets in my red rain boots, dancing chicken dance whenever I hear it. They all love me for who I am so why am I so afraid to be me. The youthful me.
If I asked my grandpa how he does it he would say ‘I just live life to the fullest’ and I know that he does. He doesn’t care about what others think of him as long as they know him as a good man with admirable morals. When I saw him in August he wanted me to take a picture of him while I was running crazy with my camera around his house. He was standing on the grassy patio and before I was able to snap the shot he was up in the air with a huge smile on his face screaming ‘yyyyyaaaayyyyyy’. This picture is priceless! My grandpa in his undies (short shorts) was tanning on his favorite swing and listening to the radio before I took it. He looked peaceful, calm, relaxed, and almost lazy. Nothing indicated the upcoming explosion of youthfulness and energy that happened the moment I took this picture. The aftermath was even greater. My grandpa started laughing really hard and proceeded to telling us a joke. If you knew him you would know that he knows millions of jokes. He starts laughing while he’s telling them and it’s so hard to follow because he laughs so hard. It all happened in less than 5 minutes. I saw him sitting quietly, I saw him jumping, screaming, I saw him telling a joke and laughing so hard he couldn’t breathe and tears started pouring down his face.  In just five minutes I went from saying ‘uh and oh’ exploring my grandparent’s house to feeling overwhelmed with his energy and laughing with him. I’m not even sure what we were really laughing about. I loved the feeling. In my head I was 5 again twirling behind my grandparent’s house in a long ruffley dress. The youthful me sneaked out from the deep corner of my heart and took over my grown up body.
I want to remember that feeling. I want to be that person. I want to be described as this person. I want to let the youthful me come out from hiding and bravely show itself to everyone.
Youthfulness (def.) having a vitality or freshness of youth.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Dear you. I like when you smile. You are smiling now. You used to always smile. Let’s practice smiling today. I challenge you to smile every time you see a red car today. You will see a lot of them driving to Florida. Look up. Wait. Good job smiling at that car. Doesn’t is feel good? Now continue throughout the day. Before you know you will have a permanent grin on your pretty face and your chipmunk chicks will be hurting. Isn’t it how you used to do it? Practice, practice, practice. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Feeling amazing.

Good morning. How did you sleep last night? Did you sleep last night? How much fun was it yesterday? There is still so much paint on your hands. I especially love the mellow yellow. Bright, happy yellow. Look at you breathing freely and deeply. You poured all your heart, all your soul into that one painting last night. All of it. And you still have so much more in your heart. Go ahead. Grab that blank canvas. I’ll see you later.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My husband

I’m married! James and I stood looking at each other in a small, enchanted chapel on 7.7.12 and promised each other eternal love. It was a perfect day. Full of laughter. Full of love. Full of friends and family that we adore and that adore us. It was magical. It was nothing like I imagined it. It was a million times better! I was a happy, giddy bride. I woke up with a very swollen face, my dress ripped while I was putting it on, my flowers came dead, my parents weren’t there, DJ played a wrong first song and other disasters happened and all I could do was giggle and enjoy it all. Nothing could upset me that day. The day I married the love of my life, my best friend. There is a picture of James looking at me while I’m walking into the chapel. He’s face says it all. It says ‘Babes I love you SO much’. Tears start dropping down my face even today just thinking of that huge smile on his face. At that moment something changed in me, something I would discover a couple weeks later.
So many people asked me how it is to be married now and if it’s any different and all I can say is that it’s pretty much the same. We love each other the same way we did before, we have the same routines, we laugh at the same jokes and we bicker about the same stuff we did before (no eating in front of TV!). The life is the same. I am different. Seeing my “to be in five minutes” husband’s expression when I walked down the aisle changed how I perceive myself. His love for me is greater than I ever prayed for. His love for me is unconditional. His love goes beyond my sickness, beyond my quirkiness, beyond my moodiness, and beyond anything that is annoying about me. He loves me for who I am and if you ask him ‘what does your wife do?’ he will say ‘she’s an artist but she works for a bank’. He’s given me the confidence I needed to spread my wings and become who I’ve always been deep in my heart.
Being an artist isn’t just my hobby. It’s not just a thing I do in my spare time. It’s not what I do hoping I can make a living (surely that would be nice). Being an artist is letting my soul take over my heart, letting my heart lead my thoughts, letting my thoughts direct my hands. Being an artist is letting everyone see the most vulnerable part of me, the part that has been hidden all those years patiently waiting for a moment when I gain the confidence to claim that old apple tree again and let the wind and sound of whispering leaves take me where my soul longs to be.

Isn't he adorable with this huge smile on his face!!!
Pic taken by my talented friend Lauren 

Friday, June 1, 2012

My tree came to life!

My tree is alive! I came home today and while walking into the kitchen I noticed a small dot on my very fits tree. I paused to investigate the object and I almost started to cry. A lady bug found its way into our home and was visiting on my tree. Sitting there all peaceful, cozy, happy. She found her home on my tree. My tree came alive. I closed my eyes and imagined the tree was standing strong on the top of a hill covered with daisies. The crispy air was dancing around with its branches. The lady bug sat there looking around lost in a beauty of the rising sun. My tree came to life!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Late bloomer

I woke up today to this little guy in a full bloom. My heart skipped! All other daffodils bloomed almost 2 months ago. This little guy was standing alone, strong, proud, saying to me ‘you can do it too’. So what if I spent years building a career I didn’t care for? I knew math so well it made perfect sense. It paid bills. I met incredible people. So what if I was making excuses why I should do it until I retire?
I am not any more. My little late bloomer was an answer to my prayers and my questions ‘can I be me?’ It won’t happen tomorrow and it may not even happen this year but today I promised myself that I will find a way to make it happen. I will find a way to set my trees in the wind and let their branches whisper and giggle.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Miracle magnet

I love looking at my magnet board. I collect magnets wherever I go (and of course Christmas ornaments!!!) and I often look at all of them and the pictures attached to the board and think of all the people and places I know and I visited. My board is messy. Very very messy. Not artistically messy. Just messy. It makes me smile when I look at it. James would say ‘remember when we went there?’ or ‘remember when you found this acorn?’ and we both ‘awwwwww’ and ‘ohhhhh’ for a moment. The board takes us to the happy places, reminds us to come out from the ‘every day life room’ and explore. It reminds us that we need to believe in happiness. Happiness is all around us. Happiness is often a result of a miracle. I think this is the message I was supposed to hear today. I found my ‘miracle’ magnet in January on my way home from NY. I was praying in the car, asking for a miracle, asking for a good outcome, asking for better news. I found a magnet. A magnet I forgot about for a few months. Today in the morning I could not take my eyes off of it and I picked it up, put it in my pocket and with a silent prayer brought it to my new doctor. He’s an old school doctor, pretty intimidating. He barely talks and when he does he stops in mid sentences. He has scary equipment and smiles when he sees something encouraging. He was very serious for most of the visit and then he smiled. Not much. But I know I saw a smile. A smile that filled me with so much hope I could not hold my tears back. A smile. I knew he would announce a miracle. Even the smallest miracle would be good. He smiled because I didn’t get ‘any worse’. He called it a progress. 3 out of 10. Possible! 

I laid the magnet on my table. I love that my table is covered with random splotches of dry paint and glue. The magnet fits there. I wanted to escape. I grabbed some paper and glue… I was lost in my art for hours. The tears dried up. Now I was smiling. Not a miracle I was hoping for. I looked down at the canvas. Oh my! Awaken me may not understand what the doctor said but the zoned out me definitely saw and believe the miracle. The tree was in bloom.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Old apple tree

Eeeeeekkkkk the trees are getting flowers! There is nothing more beautiful than that. Today I pulled over on a pretty busy street, left the car and sat on a sidewalk for a bit admiring the median. A few miles of trees in pink bloom. Was I always infatuated with trees? As a kid I used to love claiming on the apple tree near my house and eat not so ripe apples. One thing I can remember clearly is how much I liked the smell of the bark on my hands after I claimed up to my favorite branch. I sat on the same branch as a teenager listening to the leaves whispering to the wind. I once even wrote a short novel about the stories the tree and the wind told each other. The wind was always telling the tree about the miracles it saw on its journey around the world. The tree giggled so hard that the leaves started falling. The tree told the wind stories about ever changing life around it. Kids growing. Houses being build. New pets. New trees. New people.
Not too long ago I heard a pastor preaching about being a parent to a nine year old. He told the parents to observe their children interests when they are at that age and help them develop. I called my mom and my grandma. ‘What did I like to do when I was nine?’ Both answers were exactly the same. ‘You sat on that big apple tree painted trees and skies and wrote stories’. Really? Is it possible that I was always an artist in my heart? How did I end up in banking then?
I miss my big apple tree. I miss the smell of its bark and the taste of its apples. I miss the days when I knew who I was. Smile. I finally know who I should be. A happy girl that can claim as high as a top of a big tree without any fear.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Last month I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and started a life long battle praying it would go into remission. Drug after drug I started feeling more distanced from myself and life and the scary words that came out from the mouth of my doctor hunted me every second of the day ‘you are going blind’. How can that be? Now? Now that I finally concurred the fear and spread my artistic wings? Blind. No way MR. DOCTOR. According to all the study I've one only 7 out of 10 patients in my condition looses their sight. I am going to be one of the 3 out of 10. Watch me. I am going to see.

Yesterday was a nice sunny day. If you have ever been to the Carolinas you would know that the sunsets are amazing here. The clear blue skies often change colors into reds, pinks and oranges and small cuddly clouds take over the view. Every evening I stand outside looking up at the sky in a complete awe. Yesterday I looked long enough for the sun to completely go down. Then I closed my eyes. Is this what I will see when I’m ‘blind’? My eyes were shot and I could see the perfect sunset. First I saw the one from yesterday, then the slideshow started and the view of the skies form the day before replaced the first image. Can I recall the one before and the one before that one? Can I see James’s face and the adorable freckle on his lip? Can I ‘see’ a Christmas tree? I sat down at my table and started composing a tree with closed eyes. The tree branches felt weird at first but then my imagination took over. Oh my! My fingers started ‘seeing’ what my closed eyes couldn’t. Then I paused, I got scared. How bad will it look like? Well it looked unfinished and I will have to spend many more hours completing it. But it was perfect. What happened was what I hoped for.  My fingers projected what was in my soul onto the canvas. Blind=Inspired. Blind=Brave. Blind=Possible.  3 out of 10. 30% chances. P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E.