A little bit of shine…

There are fireflies out tonight and it reminds me of home. I remember my mom taking me to catch them and being afraid. There are fireflies out tonight and it reminds me all things beautiful could have a dark side. There are fireflies out tonight and I can’t think of a better use for my mason jars…

When I was in eleventh grade I submitted a story to Glamour magazine. Us girls, we started reading those magazines when we were so young. First Teen Bop, then Seventeen, even Delia’s messed with us. The glamorization of life so early on can really mess with a girl. Not that it isn’t 100 times worse now, but man do I remember.

The article I submitted to Glamour was for a contest. A life changing story, they said. Something that affected you on a personal level. I remember reading the winning story and thinking, wow, everything isn’t so bad. But it was.

I think that on some level we can all relate to the feeling of self hate, loneliness, rejection. I mean we are all human, right? When I submitted the story, I was sure I would “win”. I was sure my story was different enough. Maybe one person wanted to hear it. Because at the time, it was all I needed. At the time, I just wanted someone to relate to me.

The story was about my anorexia and bulimia. I struggled severely for a couple years in high school and “moderately” for the rest of my life. It was not something my family or friends understood or could deal with. It was just (and has been) this thing that lives in my head.

When I submitted the story, I wanted to be heard. Not by the world, but by one person. If one person could relate and tell me it would be ok, maybe I would be ok.

But the truth is. And this is something I have learned in the last however many years since I was starving myself daily, only I can do that. Since then I have struggled with a lot mental things. A lot of issues with my body and and my mind. And in the end, it all comes back to me.

I have been a size 0 and a size 12 and the only thing I have found to make me happy is …well … me.

I have been told on numerous occasions that I, not unlike the fireflies, have a glow. I have been told I have a contagious energy and eyes that can draw someone in. Awesome, right? But until I see that (and until you see that in you), it will all stand still.

If you look around, you can see a firefly in the daytime, but after the dark is when they really shine. Did you know they can synchronize with others and glow together

I remember writing the story and thinking if I get this out, I will feel better and someone else will feel better. And I couldn’t help but think of it tonight when I saw the fireflies. I kinda love that they only come out when it’s warm (I mean who can blame them?). And I kinda like to picture them at a luau, wearing colorful skirts and dancing.

Regardless, they shine. In a world of dark, they shine … because they can. And, I guess what I’m trying to say is … so can you.


A little bit of Earth Day…

The weather is warming up and it is time for all of us to get outside. Did you know that being outside decreases stress, improves concentration and, among other things, boosts your immune system?  I love being outside. Give me a hiking trail or a campsite and I am in my glory. There is something calming about being in the woods surrounded by trees. I could dive deeper into why I love trees, but I’ll keep that craziness to myself.

For now, I will stick to the facts. Did you know one large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for four people? Or that exposure to trees and nature actually reduces mental fatigue? Looking to save money? Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20–50 percent in energy used for heating. The list goes on and on.

April has always been my favorite month, partly because of my birthday, but also because the change in the weather. I love the smell of spring and seeing the flowers popping up after being covered in snow all winter. April is also the owner of Earth Day. The holiday, which takes place on the 22nd, has been celebrated since 1969. This year, Pittsburgh has expanded the holiday. The city has events scheduled from April 21 through April 24. From a runway fashion show highlighting recycled and reused materials to vendors in Market Square and, of course, the Pittsburgh Earth Day Food Truck Festival. Pittsburgh’s got your Earth Day needs covered. 

36HI hope to participate as much as I can, but just in case my time fills up, I looked into other options. Here are five ways you can give back this Earth Day without leaving your house.

  1. Tentree is a environmentally progressive apparel company selling men’s and women’s fashions. For every purchase made, ten trees are planted. They even have a map showing you where your trees are planted. I love the entire concept. Plus their clothes are super cute.
  2. WeWOOD designs wooden timepieces from scrap-wood. In 2010, the company  teamed up with tree-planting-partners American Forests and Trees For The Future. Now, for every WeWOOD watch purchased, one tree is planted.
  3. Want to donate? Check out Earth Day Network, the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement. The website is also an amazing resource for actions you can take to help the environment.
  4. Plant a tree or a garden. Planting aids in producing more air for the earth, and there are many small varieties available for your yard. Head on over to your local garden center and ask for help. In my experience, plant people love talking plants.
  5. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but recycle. Please. The world population continues to grow and, with that, so does the amount of waste. Not sure what you can recycle? This should help. Wondering where to go? Search for it here.
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