The True magic of christmas

December 22nd, 2018

As I lay in the comfort of my home, surrounded by family during the holiday season, I can’t help but feel warm. This is one of my favorite times of the year, because for me…it is when I feel the most present, while reflecting on the past, and becoming increasingly excited for the future.

With time, I’ve realized I no longer write a Christmas list or send letters to Ol’ Saint Nick. Instead of telling my mom what I want for Christmas, she has to ask and the season becomes less of what I want, and more of what I should get others. And although that may sound like a good thing, I feel it is not. Of course it feels good to get someone something that will make them happy, and I feel (I hope) it is not so much the gift but the person who is giving it and the person who is receiving it. Nonetheless, it is a time where some feel intense pressure when buying presents. Now as I return home for the holidays I’m eager to spend time with family and friends, reenacting all my favorite traditions I did as a kid. It’s moments like these you wish you appreciated more when you were little because you look back and remember doing things with people who are no longer here…that as I’ve grown up, others have grown old.

I love the holiday season because it is, and always has been about the magic. Sure, as a kid I was excited about toys, but even more so I was filled with the joy of Santa, and his reindeer; to bake cookies and place a note next to the milk right by the tree. I remember doing it every year and having a parent, or aunt, or grandparent help me set up. Even though setting out milk and cookies was to further instill the Christmas spirit in me, it was something done together (and now I know, eaten by them). The magic was found in the fight against your eyes to keep them open, to hear the thud of a sleigh on the roof, to stealthily sneak down the stairs and see if the big man has come yet. That magic…that sweet, hopeful magic is the one thing that never goes away as you get older. I still feel it every time I come home during winter. And as you get older you realize the magic never was Santa, his reindeer or even the milk and cookies by the tree. The magic always is, and always has been instilled by family.

Ever year the thrill to jump out of bed and run towards the presents slows down. Everything that day seems to slow down. Presents have been bought, wrapped, given and torn apart. The crazy holiday hustle and bustle has finally come to an end. And I think that is the best part. I think that is the greatest gift Christmas has given me every year, and it gets better and better each year I get a bit older. Time slows down, and it is surrounded by those who matter most. Because nothing…nothing, beats the stillness that resides after the last present is opened, the food is eaten and only the soft music in the background keeps a steady beat. I truly believe it is one of the slowest times of the year, and what a better time to hold onto a single moment.

As a kid I used to believe that Santa would freeze time to travel the world and deliver presents. That was the magic of Christmas back then, and I’ve found that it’s still the magic of Christmas now.

A girl who still believes

The Language of Love

October 26th, 2018

On a late Thursday night I decided to watch a romantic high school movie. Of course, it was filled will drama, confusion, laughs, and love. Though as I watched, I actually enjoyed it. It was the first time I watched anything related to high school and love and well…didn’t gag or roll my eyes. Instead, I gushed….a lot.

I sat there for the first time missing high school. Missing the drama, the confusion, the laughs and yes…the love. To experience REAL complications in life instead of the made up ones in my head. Drama that actually existed and wasn’t the result of my fabricated thoughts. With this, I can’t help wonder if we weren’t childish in high school? Were we just living, learning, and putting it out there? Now, being older and unable to release our thoughts and struggles in the locker hallways, we are made to feel as though we have to keep them to ourselves; deal with our pain alone.

Take me back to when mistakes were socially acceptable. Where the cafeteria was the hub of gossip, and your trusted friends were your therapist. Where your heart would burst when talking to your crush. Where love was worth skipping class for. Worth fighting for. Worth quite literally, anything.

And now here we are. Made to pretend we are young adults who somehow know how to handle those same instances. Those same feelings in a “mature” manner…whatever that is supposed to mean.

I miss it…I miss all of it. Well…not ALL of it. I just miss the substance. The importance of your actions and words holding weight to someone else. Everything meant something.

I haven’t loved or been loved in so long, I’m scared I have forgotten how to. That I’ve forgotten what it feels like and will therefore not know when it’s right in front of me. When did love become so scary? When did the risk factor become more than getting caught texting your crush in class? I’m talking so scary you remove it from your life, change you first name and never look back. I’m not sure if I have given up on love, or cultivated a life that learned to speak a language without it. I’ve been left voiceless. Maybe that’s what love is. Loud, noisy and sometimes too much to understand. All I know is that a world with sound is so much more entertaining, than one in silence. But how do you make it so both don’t become unbearable?

Self love. When does it become, “I’m happy with myself” to “I’m happy without anyone”? If I push away all the love that comes my way is that a form of self defense or self harm? Tell me, is that really self love? How am I to know when I love myself enough to put myself out there? Love myself enough to risk the possibility of getting hurt for the sake of a new love. Is my own love not enough?

I’m not sure, but I know that even on the days I feel as though love doesn’t exists, I know it does. Like a ghost forever haunting my mind. Always there, always trying to make its presence known. And here I am doing everything in my power to believe it isn’t real. The positive? Love is a native language everyone grows up with and that is something that can never be lost. Perhaps deep within us. Perhaps dark. But there…always there and waiting to brought out for the rest of the world to experience.

Perhaps thats really what self love is. It’s not about learning how to love yourself. It’s about learning to share the love you’ve defined and hold within you, with others.

Learn the language of love and speak it.

Loneliness Doesn’t Discriminate: An Ant’s Perspective

October 11th, 2018

I recently read an article that socially isolated ants die at younger age than ants that are surrounded by others; that an ant will die quicker when lonely because it doesn’t know what to do and its body forgets how to function. It got me thinking…am I much different?

This isn’t a new find. Many animals react negatively to isolation, but the question is why? Must we surround ourselves with others to survive? If loneliness can cause an imbalance of energy in ants, making them unable to digest food properly, what does that mean for me? Will I die at a younger age because I am lonely, or am I lonely because I live as if I’m already dying?

No, I’m not lonely all the time. No, I don’t keep myself isolated from the rest of the world. Yes, I thrive in social settings. Physically, I am present. Mentally, I am absent. If my mind is hidden away, does that mean its energy will become imbalanced? Will I become imbalanced?If my mind should go…surly my body will next.

If so, at least I can begin to understand myself. Begin to piece together the reasons I am falling apart.

Recently, I have been traveling alone, returning home alone, and have done nothing but sit in classes and work on assignments…alone. In the past 72 hours I have said very little. Even as I write this I sit in silence. This morning I Ubered to class and tried speaking to the driver…tried. When I opened my mouth not much came out. I sounded sick. It was as if I hadn’t spoken in so long, I had forgotten how to use my voice. As if my body was trying to make the whole world feel like I should have stayed home. Was I slowly fading away? Was my voice the second thing to forget how to function, after my mind? Was I too an ant?

Will I die at a young age or have I already begun to?

Tiny or large, we all need love and I’m beginning to accept that no matter how much you love yourself it is not enough to stop you from starving. You cannot feel full with just one. Balance cannot exist without two. Without you, there is no me…without me, there is no you. By merely existing in the presence of others, you are given life and giving life.

I will love myself as much as I can, and will continue working towards loving myself more each day. That way, when it’s time for my love to be shared its energy will attract another equal in measure. A love that, when combined, is balanced, yet heavy.

I just hope it’s not too late. That I have more time than my fellow lonely ant. Because no one, not even a teeny tiny ant, should die…alone.

The art of silent commotion

October 2nd, 2018

As important as it is to find someone you can talk to, it’s just as crucial to find someone you can sit in silence with; have a shared sense of comfortability. The moments where no words need to be spoken because your presence already speak volumes. Love doesn’t require the unnecessary need to fill up space that is equally as beautiful being empty. There is no awkward silence. No bullshit small talk. Love is unspoken. Love is unbound. Love is a dark room with the muffled TV playing in the background. Blinding, all while guiding.

Opening yourself to love can be a scary thing. No one wants to get out of their warm comfy bed to check on the noise that is constantly ringing. That bed is soft, cozy, and has been warmed all thanks to your own body heat. You are capable to keep yourself warm, and that’s a miraculous thing. Yet, as you lay there, trying to doze off…that noise continues to be heard and as much as you want to ignore it, you know you’ll sleep so much better if you get up out of that bed and turn it off.

So as you fight all the evil illusions in your head, finally convincing yourself you are safe to get up alone in your own home, you do just that. You get up and shuffle your feet towards the sound. Eyes squinting, you lift your arms to reach for any sense of direction. Your hands are the only safety net you have, and you’ll be damned not to use them. As you near, the sound has grown so much you realize it’s okay to rest your arms and release your net. You stand before it, tired yet relieved. Allowing the noise to settle, and truly be heard for what it is…a song.

As you kneel down, surrendering yourself to the source of noise that once caused so much frustration, you reach your arm out and with the push of a little round button, you turn it off.

Stillness resides.

A Beautiful Connection

September 25th, 2018

As I rode the bus into work, tired, dazed and a bit confused, the morning rush began to engulf the persona of everyone it surrounded. It’s early, most people are going somewhere they don’t want to and everyone is worried about getting to that somewhere on time. Ironically enough, you’re lucky if you even make eye contact with one person on a packed bus. With all eyes down toward cell phones and ears occupied with headphones you allow yourself to stand alone in a room full of people.

But this day was different. As soon as I hopped on that bus, and (luckily) got a seat, a baby boy looked at me and continued to do so. Being the softy I am when it comes to innocent chubby faces, I gave into the boys smile and shared one back. Our interaction continued with a wave of my hand and a chuckle from his belly…my day was made and it was only 8:00 a.m..

As the bus drove along Commonwealth Ave, an older man entered and sat across from the boy. And as that man sat there, about to join the occupied world of isolation, the boy reached into that world and pulled him out. Well…he was reaching for the man’s cane. But it’s ironic isn’t it? This boy was fixated on that cane. Couldn’t stop playing with it. It was a perfect balance of two revelations; inevitable destiny (death), and infinite opportunity (life). With all the emotions such revelations could bring…it was simply humbling.

The man let the boy play with the cane, and you could see the joy shared between them. And I’ll say it….to see a black boy engage and play with an older white man on a city bus was refreshing. So before anyone thinks to themselves “why does race always have to be brought up”. Let me say, this moment had everything to do with race, gender, age and so much more just as much as it had nothing to do with it. There is value in acknowledging differences that authentically come together and strip itself of socialized meaning . To witness a rarity, let alone during the morning rush is an awakening. Perhaps it is the perfect time to truly wake up and spot a gem in all the hustle and bustle. In just a glimpse of these two human beings engaging, I witnessed the past, future, and present all become one by 8:12 a.m..

So really, what are we all in a rush for anyways? Maybe the world would slow down, and live a little longer if we just gave it the attention it deserves. Life is constantly looking us in the face, and I think it’s time we looked back.

A wish no one should make

September 12th, 2018

I’m beginning to fear death. Not because of what may happen after but because of what hasn’t happened before. You never know when your time may be up. And it’s not the loss of potential accomplishments that scare me. I don’t fear not graduating college, not seeing more of the world, or becoming successful. Those are dreams that only exists through me, and die when I do. It’s bigger than that…deeper.

I’m scared that I won’t meet the people I’m meant to. That I won’t build and create the relationships I’ve been meaning to. That I won’t laugh, and cry with those who matter most. I sit here, scrolling through a screen wishing I was friends with people. Everyday I go to my apartment walking past homes with lives in them. I can hear the voices speak from inside that brick building. Why don’t I know them? Why don’t I just fucking say “hi”? And I know, my persistence looks desperate, but I think I’m just going to do it and put myself out there. Because in a world where people will want me to leave them alone, one will want me to stay…and that’s worth fighting for.

After all, should I die, I only survive through those who remember me. The best memories are made through time being spent with one another. And I’ll be damned to die with the weight of my own secret thoughts. The mind is to be shared with others. That’s all I want. That’s all I can live for. For someone to truly know me…all of me. Even the corners of me I wish no one to know.

Should I die tomorrow, please do not say “I wish I got to know her better”…why do you think I open myself to the world? I hope at least one person’s sees me…truly sees me. Don’t you too…want to be seen?

As I work on building relationships personally…face to face, I will continue to do so virtually. I only open myself to you, in hopes you will do the same. Yet, I understand not everyone is willing to do so. But at least I tried…I put an effort in understanding and learning who you are. Should you die tomorrow, I can only hope to not feel the urge of regret climb up my neck and spit out with the words of, “I wish I got to know you better”. How awful a thing to wish for, only when it is too late.

-With love

Fleeting Moments of Time

June 3rd, 2018

I think learning how to be alone is crucial in beginning the journey of understanding yourself and the relationships you surround yourself with. As I learn to balance loneliness and self-love I begin to further grasp the true depth and value of time. I have a greater respect for my own time and others. The value in people sharing their time together (to me) is the most priceless thing this world has to offer. Whether that time is spent with others or providing needed time you desire for yourself, it shows the transition between using up time and spending time… respecting time and whomever you share it with. It is the acknowledgement of love and witnessing the value of shared love. Our lives are made of moments. If someone is willing to share just a moment of their time…their life with me, I am greatly honored. For the moment where two separate lives come together, is the moment when two lives, for the time being, become one.

It is not easy for someone to open themselves up to another. It is a rarity for a soul to bare itself. This is why time is priceless. Why you are priceless. When enjoyed our soul has the power to make time feel infinite. Whether it’s alone time or time spent with others make sure it is with someone who provides love. Make sure it is someone who makes moments infinite while at the same time making moments feel not long enough.

Time is forever moving, forever being born and forever dying. It is intangible; cannot be stopped and yet it can be felt. A life where one learns to be at peace with time by simply loving and sharing it, is a life well spent.

The Power of a Single Moment

May 9th, 2018

To the woman that noticed me today. Thank you.

As I sat in a coffee shop facing the window, I alone, worked on my laptop. The shop was full of people, but me, I was alone. I was working, writing, sinking, forgetting. I was trying to vibe, trying to feel the day for once. I was listening to some mellow music, enjoying the evening and there you were. In the corner of my eye I saw you. Your eyes were wide, the corner of your mouth shifted up, your hands lifted with energy simply to point at me. Acknowledge me. I looked up at you, with what was probably a confused expression. You pointed at me up and down and with amazement on your face, you lipped the words, “I love your outfit, you are so cute!” My eyebrows raised and my mouth shifted just the way yours did. I said “thank you” and hoped you could feel and imagine the sound that came from my lips. I was honored. Nodding your head, you lifted your hand and created the OK signal with your fingers. I laughed, and in that moment forgot that a glass window divided us. I thought you were beautiful too. Shy, I looked down and continued to smile. I looked up to say words I have not yet formed in my head. You were gone. I waited a moment before looking to the entrance of the coffee shop, hoping to see you walk in. I pretended what it would be like for you to come to me and continue to complement each other. Learn more about one another. The thought of potentially making a new friend amused me. I could use that…a new friend. I didn’t even know you and I felt as though we shared something. Looking back I realized that something was sisterhood. It was womanhood. It was female empowerment.

Thank you for empowering me today. Thank you for reminding me that I have a world full of sisters. Thank you for seeing me. Reminding me that I am someone worthy enough to be seen. I hope you know that I saw you too, and wished to see you longer. I guess some people you are to meet for just a single moment. A split second. I think that maybe makes it more powerful…do you agree? It shows that a complete stranger, with little interaction can greatly impact your very life. Which makes me wonder, how do the people you interact with regularly, impact you? How do you impact others?

I’ve been feeling like I am in my own world for awhile now. That we are all in our own, individual world. But you saw me in mine, and pulled me into yours. You showed me the very world we all stand in together. YOU did that. I think I will start to look up more often now. Hold myself a little higher. You never know when you may meet a long lost sister.

Thank you, and girllllll…you were rocking it too!

A Little Reminder

May 9th, 2018

I am happy. In this moment I am happy. I write this only to engrave the feeling into existence. This way, if I feel like happiness is too far for me to reach, it’s here in writing for me to see. I am tagging this moment as mine, as free. Happiness is free, always has been and always will be. It is not a commodity to be bought, sold or even held onto. It is a feeling that naturally comes and goes. A feeling that beautifully flows. I may not feel like this tomorrow, but at least I did today and that stands for something. This feeling of happiness matters, and so do I.

my greatest idea.

April 12th, 2018

I have fallen in love with the idea of you. Every word you write, every opinion you preach. You inspire me to continue my passions. To fight, and be the vocal person I am. You seem to not care about society’s standards of masculinity. Sometimes you show a sensitive side, sometimes an aggressive one. You ask questions, try to learn, and fight for your beliefs. I have fallen in love with your words. Your intellect. I have fallen for what I imagine you to be. Yet I know it’s not real. That I am only shown the surface. There are more depictions, more words to be wrapped around you illuminating who you are. Your Facebook posts are simply not enough. I do not know you as much as I think I do. As much as I would like to. But this idea of you…it has given me hope. Although rare, there are more like you. More open, genuine human beings with the same energy as you. I celebrate your existence.

I have fallen in love with the idea of you. I will not pursue you for anything more than a Facebook acquaintance. You are taken, you are of distance. We have a mutual respect, and I am happy to have such a connection. Just know, you inspire and give me joy. This is my thank you. A thank you to your voice, to your openness and honesty. I wish you the best.

I have fallen in love with the idea of you and it may well be the best damn idea I’ve ever had.

Alyssa Kinahan-Dundas