You Are Beautiful

“You should feel beautiful and sexy all on your own.”

That’s what I was told.

And I’ve never forgotten it.

The truth is, or maybe it’s the sad truth, that I’ve never really thought of myself as beautiful or sexy or special in any way, as far as looks go. At least, not when I was younger. Of course I’ve always had confidence in myself and other aspects of life (and I’ve always loved my eyes), but physical appearance is, sometimes, completely different.
In a world that seems to place standards on beauty and how women and men should look, it can, at times, be difficult to feel comfortable in our own skin. We nitpick the things we dislike about ourselves. We think about the things that we believe need fixing. We hunger for the approval of others. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, or who has felt this way. And I’m fairly certain that we’ve all, at least once in our lives, have seen someone who is a complete stranger to us and thought – “They are so much better looking then I am.” or “I wish I looked like them.”

Now that I’m older and have gained a little more perspective, I believe we’re all beautiful in our own way. That’s part of what makes us unique. And there’s many ways to be beautiful. It’s not just physical beauty, but our inner beauty and the humble confidence we carry in ourselves.

Over time I’ve realized that I am beautiful. It’s not ego or vanity. Those who know me best will tell you that I’m down-to-earth and low maintenance. No, I’ve learned to feel and see myself as beautiful in my own way. Not only that, but I have a new confidence that I didn’t have when I was younger. In the end, I’ve learned to loved myself.

It’s true – “you should feel beautiful and sexy all on your own” – and you shouldn’t need a man or a woman or the validation of a stranger or even your friends or family. Please don’t misunderstand. Of course compliments are nice (and always welcomed) and it’s wonderful to be (and feel) desired, but you should always be proud to be who you are and embrace it.

Those words still resonate with me today and I know it’s something I’ll always remember.

I only wish the person who told me this so long ago would take their own advice.

After all, we’re all beautiful in our own way.

Love

I used to think that love must be the best feeling in the world. There’s so many strong examples of it in my life – my grandparents, my parents, my cousins and even my brother and his girlfriend. Then, about a year ago, I experienced it for myself.

It was the first time I had ever fallen in love. It was the fist time I had ever found a man worth giving my heart. And it wasn’t some silly schoolgirl crush type of love. It was real. During that time, I realized that love truly is a wonderful feeling.

This past weekend I attended my cousin’s wedding. For a long time I knew they loved each other so, eventually, the news of a wedding was no surprise. After all, a wedding is a celebrating of love and the union of two people. So I watched as they exchanged their vows. I watched the way they looked at each other, the way they held each other, the way they danced with each other and the way they laughed with each other. I simply watched the way they interacted with each other.

And that’s when I understood.

While love is a wonderful feeling, it’s only one of the best emotions a person can feel. To love someone and have that person return that love must be one of the best feelings as well. To love someone, have that love returned and for two people to love each other so deeply to the point that they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other – now that also must be one of the best feelings.

I was close once, but the love I gave wasn’t reciprocated in the same way. At least, not in the end. That doesn’t mean I’m quitting on love. None of us should give up. I firmly believe that there’s someone out there for all of us. I believe that we’re all deserving of that feeling called love – to love and be loved.

No Regrets

I’m fairly confident in saying that we’ve all been there. We’ve all been hurt. We’ve all felt our hearts bursting into a million pieces. We’ve all felt our hearts swell with love. We’ve all made connections with others and, in some cases, created bonds. We’ve all had experiences that have helped shape us as well as grow. It all blends into this lovely, chaotic thing called life.

This man. This wonderful man. Despite everything, I wouldn’t give up my time with him for anything in the world. I believe he’s one of the good ones. Whether he sees this letter or not, he already knows everything that’s in it (and more) I’m sure. After all, he lived it.

Dear Handsome,

I love you.

I finally told you and hear I come to find out that after all this time you already knew. I often wondered if you did and there were so many times I wanted to tell you, where I almost did, but I never said the words because I was always afraid it would scare you away. I’m a big believer in if you feel it then say it, but I had never felt it before…until you.

Everything I’ve ever told you, I’ve meant every word. You know and remember the things I’ve said. You know and remember the things I’ve done, the things we’ve done. You know I’m a sincere person. You know me.

So now…where are we now? Some of it still doesn’t make sense. I’m not putting the blame on anyone, but part of me thinks that sometimes you weren’t fair to me or to yourself. But the past is the past and we can’t change that, not that I would want to. If I had the choice to do it all over again, I would relive every single moment in a heartbeat. I have no regrets. You gave me more then you’ll ever know (or maybe you do know). Thanks to you I’ve experienced some beautiful things in life. It’s easy to say that if it wasn’t you it would’ve been someone else, but it was suppose to be you. All those other women were mere girls, obviously never realizing what they had when they were with you, since they were stupid and foolish to have treated you poorly and to have let you go, but through their mistakes, I won. When they let you go they set me up to one day be with you. When they let you go they set us up to be together, to make each other happy and to share so much with one another. It was always meant to be you. And for that I’m grateful. As I’ve said before, I’m so glad it was you.

Neither of us knows for sure what’s going to happen. Unfortunately, neither of us can see into the future and our crystal ball seems to be broken. This could be the end of the road for us or it could be the beginning of a new path. We could stay friends. We could enter into a relationship again. Or we could go in completely different directions. You said it yourself, you don’t know what’s going to happen because you just never know. And that’s one of the beautiful and scary things about life, life’s mysteries – the unknown. That’s when, I think, we simply have to have faith.

You say that you want to be friends. Well, I would love to be friends with you. I think you’re a good person with a good heart. After everything we’ve shared it might take a minute for us to switch gears, but I think we’re both on the same page – wanting to be in each other’s lives rather than not at all.

When we first met, when we first started dating, I told you I wasn’t going anywhere. Well, that still holds true. You can always talk to me about anything and everything. I wish you nothing but the best, always.

Always,
Nicole

A Way Back

words unsaid
actions undone
leaves a bad taste
on the tip of the tongue

missteps taken
opportunities lost
moments become the past
and turn to dust

frustrations mount
confusion swarms
as the heart still swoons
and hopes for more

a casual talk
a warm embrace
leads to heated thoughts
while the heart and mind race

secrets abound
hesitation exists
time is fleeting
yet there’s restrained feelings

soulful look
captures a gaze
but words still hide
behind soft lips for day

dangerous risk
loving touch
a kiss on the cheek
says so much

broken dam
words flood the air
captures back an honest stare
as the truth is told once more

Embarrassing Moments (To Look Back On and Laugh At Later)

My feet have always been there. We’re not strangers. Yet, there I was, stumbling over the threshold and through the door of the kitchen. And yes, he saw it all.

I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all been there at least once in our lives – embarrassed ourselves in front of that special someone.

Why do these things happen? Maybe it’s some sort of right of passage. Maybe it’s part of that awkward phase. Maybe it’s us and we can’t help it. Whatever the reason, one thing is for certain – it happens.

I’ve had my fair share of embarrassment, especially in front of this guys. (I’ll call him Mr. Handsome, since that’s how I refer to him in all my letters.) When we first met, most times, I turned into a total klutz. I always tried to be graceful and keep my composure, but, sometimes, it never went well. In the end, I suppose it worked out considering he found each embarrassing thing that happened to me cute.

One day Mr. Handsome and I were talking at work. I was making him laugh. (I can’t remember the topic, but I was just happy to make him laugh. He has a warm laugh. And when he laughs, he smiles. He has such an adorable smile.) I may have been being silly or sarcastic or sassy, but when I went to make my exit, I misjudged the length of the wall and almost smacked my face. I attempted to gracefully recover, hoping he didn’t notice, but later that day he brought up my less then graceful exit.

I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve walked into walls, tripped over my own two feet, almost tripped up the stairs as well as down them and have completely lost my words – all in front of this man. (Usually, I’m a very together person, but maybe part of being human is to sometimes fall apart before coming back together.)

One of the most embarrassing moments (yes, more embarrassing then walking into a wall) was within the first few weeks of us meeting. It started with cold soup and ended with me licking it off my arm. See, the soup was meant to be my lunch. Mr. Handsome had offered to heat it up so I brought it over to the kitchen. He put it in a nice bowl and added some garnish. (He’s a great chef and great with presentation.) The only problem was he had made it too hot. So I picked up the hot bowl, the soup sloshed out and started running down the sleeve of my sweater. (At that point I was already a little embarrassed.) On impulse, I pulled up my sleeve and began licking the dripping soup off my wrist. And that’s when I realized I was in a kitchen full of guys and Mr. Handsome, the man I was attracted to, was staring at me. I made a quick, nervous laugh (although, I tried to sound confident and jovial), asked for a napkin and left with my soup.

These are the moments that make us want to run or hide under a rock, at least at the time, but I think all we can really do is laugh. I don’t think we can take ourselves too seriously. These moments that embarrass us are things that we probably couldn’t have anticipated and, eventually, we’ll be able to look back and laugh.

The point I’m trying to make here is that we all have embarrassing moments. We all make a fool out of ourselves in front of that special someone. And that’s alright. I think, in the end, it’s all part of life.

Let’s get a conversation going. Feel free to tell me about one of your embarrassing moments by using the comment section. I’d love to hear from you!

Beautiful Souls

What if we saw a person’s soul as easily as their outward appearance?

What if we, for lack of a better term, judged a person on their soul rather then their face?

I’ve met some beautiful people with ugly souls and average people with beautiful souls. And maybe that’s what makes them beautiful – the fact that they’re humble in their ways. Sometimes they have low self-esteem or low confidence. Sometimes they don’t think they’re worth much or are just quiet individuals. Sometimes they don’t realize they’re more, much more, then they think. Sometimes they lend a hand not for the praise or glory, but for the sake of helping another. Of course there’s many ways for a person to have a beautiful soul, but most times they don’t even know they’re beautiful.

The soul is a person’s most inner being. It’s every part of them – good and bad. It’s dreams and doubts, hopes and fears, things they don’t normally show other. It’s all sides of them. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to see at first. To truly know a person’s soul we must get to know them.

We can be just as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. And I believe what they say is true – what’s on the inside really does matter. After all, when we age our looks fade and all we have left is the person we are inside.

The Beauty of an Aftershow

The night air is cold, but not yet cold enough where you can see your breath. (But what did we all expect on a February night? Even if the high for the day was 60 degrees.)

Stars shine above like little spotlights aimed at the earth below.

Everyone is standing around the clock tower, waiting, and it’s one of the biggest aftershow crowds I’ve seen.

And then Jon appears at the bottom of the hill, coming toward us with his trusty guitar and harmonica. Once again, he still has a few more songs left in him.

He doesn’t do them every night. He wants them to feel special, not like something that’s expected. So when there are still notes bursting to escape into the night, he’ll set them free.

At every aftershow I’ve been to it’s always amazed me how music has the power to gather together complete strangers. Of course people come with their friends, maybe a family member, but it’s the people they met that night, the connections they make, that’s equally as amazing. In that moment everyone is strung together by a single bond – music.

And that’s the beauty of an aftershow.