How to Love Selflessly

– By Nikki –

Love is important in all forms, but today I want to talk about friendship (or as C.S. Lewis calls it “philia”) and how to accomplish loving a person selflessly. For those of you who want to learn more about his views on that type of love specifically, here is a helpful link, and I would suggest reading his essays in The Four Loves.

For as long as I can remember friendship has always made my life more enjoyable. My childhood best friends still make my life great because when we see each other we reminisce about growing up together. When I think of my high school best friends I still enjoy their company on occasion and we always remember the pains of puberty. And my college friends are also still very meaningful to me. I can remember running with a friend of mine and then getting to class a second before it was about to start. I remember the parties and the pains of becoming an adult because I spent them with people that took care of me, and I thought that maybe I took care of them as well. My husband and I even started out as best friends. I told him everything, and honestly friendship is an essential ingredient in our love story. Continue reading “How to Love Selflessly”

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Light

– By Nikki –

I hear a voice more harsh than a gunshot whispering in my ear.

“No one will understand, listen, or care about you,” it claims, wrapping it’s arms around my neck and dragging me out of the existing moment I am participating in. I struggle against the weight of the constricting arms that are slowly choking me to death. I try to to verbalize what is going on, but all that I see is your hard face not noticing me.

I close my eyes and allow the darkness to overtake me.

I don’t feel anything.
I don’t have an opinion. Continue reading “Light”

Social Media and the Filtering of Life

– By Nikki –

I have been given a great number of blessings in this life, despite my rough start. I am finally happy, and I want people to share that happiness with me. However, there is a certain social media network that has been controlling me for too many years.

That technology is Facebook, and of it I have come to a revelation. It would be wrong of me to turn special moments in my life into preprogrammed moments for social media.

I freely admit my problem: I am obsessed with Facebook because I want people to see that I am all right. I had a tough go growing up, and at times I want to be able to share with the people that I’m fine now. I am no longer the little girl that lost her mother 14 years ago. I don’t need the sympathy of others. Thanks to God I am doing well. Continue reading “Social Media and the Filtering of Life”

Baby Curls

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– By Nikki –

When I was a little girl, my mother would tell me that the small curls gathered frizzly around my face whenever my hair was in a ponytail were call baby curls. She thought they were pretty, and she loved them. I guess she called them baby curls because they reminded her of the hair that I had as a baby. Despite my mother’s love for these curls I hated them with a burning passion.

Whenever I looked in the mirror as a kid I would see a literal mane around my entire head. It looked like I had shoved my finger into an electrical outlet. I would go to school and see girls with pretty, straight hair. I would catch myself becoming envious of these girls, and I would often compare myself to them. My mother was always saying that I was a natural beauty, and that I just needed to enjoy being a kid.  While all of her ideas were practical, and important for a young girl to think about, things like being a natural beauty bored me to no end. I wanted to be cute and girly, but my mom just wanted me to act my age. Continue reading “Baby Curls”

Fighting Back: The Daily Reality of Being a Woman

– By Nikki –

I walked out into the sunny area that I like to run regularly by myself. The day started out well with coffee and breakfast at home, but slowly I had begun to feel depleted by the weariness of my daily responsibilities. I had deadlines to meet, and time was creeping up on me.

I always start out my run by turning on my app that helps me keep up my mileage, and I usually find a playlist that encourages me to keep going even when I want to stop. However, today was different because of the stress my brain was putting me under. I was overthinking certain parts of an assignment I had to get finished for graduate school.

I felt my heart rate picking up at a faster than usual pace. My breath was coming out in small gasps. I slowed myself to a walk and attempted to find a different playlist. Failing that, instead of worrying about what I was listening to I gazed at the path ahead of me. The sun was out, and the normal harshness of St. Louis’s hot summer weather had been replaced with a genuinely nice and comfortable day. An 82 °F (26 °C) day in July? Rare indeed. The trees were green and beautiful.

As I contemplated the beauty of the moment, I felt myself stop walking before I even realized it. I snapped out of my daze to see why my body had stopped moving to see two very large men standing in front of me. Continue reading “Fighting Back: The Daily Reality of Being a Woman”

Facing Yourself: Escaping the Black Hole of Depression

– By Nikki – 

Mild trigger warning: if you struggle with depression or any related mental health issues, you’ll find this journey familiar. Be advised this post could be a difficult read.  

Imagine that you have been silent for the majority of your life. That silence turns into a big black hole constantly sucking away your desires, dreams, and goals. Life itself slows down, and you begin to see it stretch out before you and every person that you know is moving forward in life. You cannot move forward – you only look backward at the moment when everything changed, and you realize that you are stuck at the event horizon of that black hole. People on the outside see you and nothing has changed, but on the inside you are being stretched to the point of absolute destruction. You wonder if it will ever end. Continue reading “Facing Yourself: Escaping the Black Hole of Depression”

My Third and Final Breakup

Today I decided to give up being on Facebook and Instagram. Not completely, but at least on my iPhone. I still have to get on social media for work reasons. My motives for getting on Facebook and Instagram are for strictly business now.

What am I supposed to do without my security blanket? This has been the main thing that has been keeping my attention for the past three years! I feel like I’ve gone through a bad breakup. I have been through two in my life. My first breakup was with someone who I thought I loved. The second was supposed to be a filler guy who was taking up the space that belonged to my current fiance. Unfortunately, I ended up getting to know him and he broke my heart too. These negative experiences, however, led to the wonderful man that I will be marrying in less than a year. I love my fiance very much, and he helped me rise up from those horrible exes. Continue reading “My Third and Final Breakup”