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Grieving the Loss of a Dear Friend

Erin and I Great Strides Walk May 2017

My heart feels so shattered right now. This week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. My best friend, who I’ve known since my freshman year of high school, passed away on Wednesday, February 13th. She was fighting for her life against cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects a person’s lungs and their ability to breathe, the pancreas and other parts of their body.

While I knew this day would eventually come (people with cystic fibrosis don’t have a long life span, most nowadays live until their 30’s and there’s still no cure), it still doesn’t make it any less hard for me to deal with the grief I’ve been experiencing since her passing. She was a good friend, someone I truly trusted with all my heart and soul, who cared a lot about everyone she encountered. She was strong too, always putting on a brave face even when she was in pain fighting against this terrible disease. In our friendship, I always felt like I could truly be myself around her and could talk to her about anything and everything.

She was the best friend I could ever ask for. It feels like just yesterday we were talking and creating memories together. I remember moments from high school, like some of the classes we had together and when we’d eat lunch on the senior balcony during senior year. Also, recent moments too from during and after I was done in college, like when we went to the zoo together with her oldest son, went to the beach with another friend because she loved the ocean, and whenever I went with her when she decided she wanted tattoos. There are so many other moments that stand out to me in our friendship, but these are some of the best ones. Now, she’s no longer here and I feel like a piece of me went with her when she passed away.

Erin and I At the Zoo June 2014

I know the next few weeks will be extremely difficult for everyone she cares about. She’s left behind so many good people who care so much about her along with a wonderful husband and her two young children who’ll now live without a mother. But I feel extremely lucky and grateful to have met her and know that our friendship will always hold a special place in my heart. I know one day, I’ll get to meet her again very soon, and that lessens the pain of her loss. Until then best friend, I want you to know I love you so much and can’t wait to see you again.

If you’re reading this post, if you can, please donate to the Go Fund Me page me and a couple of her friends have set up to help her husband and kids during this difficult time or donate to your local cystic fibrosis organization in honor of my best friend’s memory.

My heart is hurting, but I’m glad my dear friend isn’t suffering anymore.

Turning the Page on Life To 26

birthday cupcake image

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far. So, January 14th is my birthday and this year, I turned 26.

When I was younger, I used to make such a big deal about my birthday. I’d get all excited every time it came around to the point where I’d tell other people it was my birthday just so someone would wish me a wonderful day.

Well this year has been a little different for me. For once, I was more relaxed about it being my birthday and not making as much of a big deal about it. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve come to the realization that it’s not something I need to make such a fuss over. That if someone wants to wish me well, they will and if they don’t then on well.

Either way, this year I felt calm about it being my birthday and just took the moment to enjoy the day no matter what happened. I was at work all day and it was busy because of payroll being due for me to turn in so it came and went quickly.

While I’m another year older, I don’t feel that much different than any of the days before. I feel like just the same person that I’ve always been and that not too much has really changed. But at the same time, I feel happy with where I’m at in my life and that there have been some changes that I’m proud of.

For starters, I’ve acquired a new job that’ll put me in the right direction in life. Not to say working in food service isn’t a noble thing, it just isn’t where I picture myself working for the rest of my life. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of this job because I originally wasn’t doing well at it my first couple weeks. But now, I feel like I’ve gained my ground and am starting to adjust to my job responsibilities and handling whatever tasks get thrown at me. If anything, I find I’m busier now than when I started out due to us hiring more employees and being given more responsibilities by my boss. I see this as a positive thing because I believe they wouldn’t give me more work if they weren’t happy with the way I’ve been handling things. While I don’t know where this work experience will get me in life, I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity and to get the experience.

I’m also thankful/happy because I have a poem published in an anthology. I know I’ve already talked about this quite a bit, so I probably won’t say too much else about it, but I’m still excited that a poem I’ve written is physically in a book that people can buy and read. One of my dreams is to one day be an author who writes her own stories and gets published. And I feel like with the anthology, I’ve accomplished my dream of being an author even if it’s just having one poem I’ve written getting published. While I hope that’s not the only piece of writing of mine that’ll be read, I still want to continue pursuing that dream and having more of my voice going out into the world. I know my blog here on WordPress also helps me accomplish some of my writing goals so I’m extremely thankful for that too.

All of this I accomplished when I was 25. So, I can’t wait to see what 26 has in store for me. Hopefully it’s as wonderful as being 25. I’m hopeful that it could be another great age but will wait and see what life has in store for me.

 

Back to Blogging (Hopefully)

Back to Blogging Fall Image

Hello everyone! I hope you all have been doing well and I’m sorry I haven’t written anything on here in so long. I know it’s been a month since I’ve last written a blog post. It’s just that life for me has been super busy because of my new job. I’m still getting accustomed to the new hours I’ve been working, plus I’ve already traveled twice during my three weeks in this position. The first time I traveled to Ohio for my training, and then a week later I was asked to attend time keeping training in Pennsylvania for the new time system we’ll be using for our time sheets.

On top of all of that, I then thought I was sick with a cold. But it turns out it’s my seasonal allergies that randomly make an appearance just when the last medication I take expires. My seasonal allergies first started for me whenever I was in college living on campus 30 minutes away from home. I don’t know what exactly changed, just discovered that my throat gets itchy and all whenever the seasons change. But it’s never consistent so I never know if it’s actually my allergies or if I’m sick. So I’ve been dealing with an itchy throat, stuffy nose and headaches on top of adjusting to my new position and getting accustomed to earlier hours.

As a result, I just haven’t had the energy or the time to write on my blog like I’ve been wanting to. And I feel pretty bad about it because I’ve already canceled a post I was really committed to writing for one of my blogging friends. I was really excited about writing this post, about this opportunity, but these past couple weeks have just gotten away from me and I wasn’t able to complete the post like I wanted to. I know she understands and all, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling bad that I didn’t complete the post like I wanted. I know they’ll definitely be more opportunities to guest post in the future, but I don’t like letting those chances slip away from me.

While I’m glad that I have this new job opportunity and to see where it takes me, I’m sad that I haven’t been as active on my blog recently. But with adjusting to new hours comes me having to change the time I write on my blog. I don’t know yet how often blog posts will be, but I’ll try my best to stay as active on here as I used to be. I think it essentially depends on how I feel once I leave work, whether I’m up to the task of writing on my blog or not.

For now though, I’ll take it one day at a time just like with my new job. I find that overall this job has been okay so far. I’m still fairly new so I’m still learning how things work around there and what’s expected of me. I know there’s a lot I could improve on with myself in this position, but since I’m still learning, I need to cut myself a little more slack. I don’t know yet how I feel about the job overall, mostly because it’s office work and that’s not something I necessarily enjoy doing. But with this job, I’m definitely gaining more experience and feel like I’m heading in the right direction with what I want to do. I just need to stop over thinking every little thing I do and I believe I’ll be fine once I get really into my new position. I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity and while this job is only supposed to be a temporary position, I’m hopeful that it could turn into something more for me when I can prove myself a valuable asset to the company.

I hope moving forward to continue writing more posts on my blog. But for now, I’m trying my best to enjoy this new opportunity and adjust to my new hours. I’ll write blog posts whenever I feel inspired and have the chance, but it might not be as frequent as I used to. So until my next post, I hope all of you are doing well and would appreciate hearing back from you in the comments about what you’ve been up to. Take care and happy writing!

A Personal Blog Post

A Personal Blog Post LogoHello everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve put up anything personal here on my blog. I think the last time it was one of my coffee posts, due to feeling like I couldn’t really keep up with doing one once a week.

But I have some good news to announce that has happened to me. Something I’m really excited about, that I feel like I can no longer contain within myself anymore. So I feel like I need to write about it too in order to put into words exactly what I’m excited about.

For those who don’t already know, I’ve been working in food service since I was in college. I was hoping after I graduated I’d be able to get out of it for good. But that didn’t end up happening. Instead, I continued working in food service for these past three years since I’ve graduated, first continuing my job at my school’s dinning hall, then getting a job as a salad bar worker and server for a local deli here that has some pretty good food.

But I’ve now accepted a new job. One of my friends from college works for a company that’s based in Ohio. However, they are opening a location where I live and have been looking for people to help them with their projects here. My friend and I used to work together at our school’s dinning hall so she put in a good word for me with her employer to where they’ve now interviewed me and offered me a position with their company.

A lot of my responsibilities will involve handling their payroll, working on spreadsheets, making sure new workers fill out their paperwork, pretty much I’ll be doing a lot of office work. I don’t mind it though because I feel like this job will take me in the right direction career wise. I’ll be starting my new job on October 29th, two days before Halloween.

So I’m really excited about it. I’ve been excited about it ever since I was offered the position, and can’t wait to get started. While I’m sad to leave my current job behind, I’m ready to get out of food service, hopefully for good this time. While I enjoy the job I’ll be leaving behind, I really feel like this is the step in the right direction for me. So yes, this is the good news I’ve been wanting to share with you all.

I’d also like to say one more thing before I end this post. I really appreciate my friend for letting me know about this opportunity because without her, I wouldn’t be sharing this good news. So if you’re reading this my dear friend (which I hope you do), thank you so much for telling me about this job and putting in a good word for me. Thank you for everything this job opportunity offers me moving forward and for all the advice you’ve been giving me about the position ever since I told you I was offered the job. I also would like to add that I’m excited we’ll be working together again friend and can’t wait for us to get together again soon.

I’m just so thankful to get this opportunity and I wanted to share that with you all.

I hope you all are having a good day and happy writing!

Confessions of A Writer #7: I Love Writing Poetry Too

Robert Frost Poem Image

As someone who deeply loves the written word, one of my favorite ways of expressing emotion is through poetry. So it should come as no surprise that I love writing poetry too.

Poetry is a form of many expressions, from anger to happiness. All it takes is only a few lines for poetry to move me.

I especially love reading poems out loud. I feel whenever I read a poem out loud, I can better hear the flowing rhythms of each line and how they connect to each other.

I love both reading and writing poetry because I feel like it’s a simple way of getting my feelings across. While my emotions in poetry don’t always get expressed the way I want them to, I still find it to be a nice way to write your feelings down.

Since I love poetry so much, I have a couple poems I’ve written and posted here on my blog. My favorite ones include “I Walk Alone,” “Cheating” and “Guarded,” “Victory,” “Welcome Home,” and “Forgiveness.”  I feel like each of these poems I wrote came straight from the heart and are full of the exact emotions I wanted to express.

What about you? Do you love poetry too? If so, are there any poems you’ve written that you’d really like to share? Or are there any poems written by someone else that you wouldn’t mind sharing too?

Three Years of Blogging and There’s Always Something New to Learn

Three Years Blogging Image

On July 28, 2015, I started my blog here, not knowing how much my life would change. I didn’t realize starting this blog how much I’d enjoy writing on it, using my words as a way to express how I feel about a book I finished reading or a video game I was currently playing.

I didn’t realize in 2015 that I would find myself a writing community that I could call home. A place I could go to whenever I had books I wanted to discuss and read other’s talking about similar things as me. I didn’t realize I’d find a place full of people I could relate to even though life was taking us on separate journeys.

Three years later, and I still feel like I’m learning something new when it comes to blogging. In my third year of blogging, what I’ve come to discover is that I’m learning more about myself as a blogger.

These past couple weeks I haven’t been doing quite as much writing as I’d like. I think a lot of that is because I’ve been dealing with a lot emotionally and needed some time away to just reflect and take a break from writing until I felt like I had something I could write about. As a blogger, I’ve come to realize that giving yourself a break from your blog every now and then is okay. Especially if you have a lot in your personal life you’re trying to deal with and can’t focus on writing anyway.

I’ve also come to realize during my third year of blogging that I can write posts that others can relate to. I see this through both of my Confessions series where I talk about the things I do as a writer and reader. Knowing that people in the WordPress community can relate to what I’m writing makes me as a blogger/writer happy. It makes me feel like I’ve finally found a place where I can be myself and others will accept me.

Three years later and there’s always something new to learn. But as long as I have this blog, I believe anything is possible. Thank you to everyone who’s been following my blog from the beginning and everyone else who’s following my blog too. I know I definitely couldn’t have made this all possible without all of you. I look forward to continuing my blog and writing more posts that all of you will enjoy.

Confessions of A Writer #6: Writing Helps Me Heal

Confessions of A Writer #6 Writing Helps Me Heal Image

Whenever I first started writing, it wasn’t for the purpose of writing about the real-life situations I was going through. It was because I enjoyed it and I wanted to see where my passion would take me. It wasn’t until later on when I really got into writing via my journals and my blog that I quickly realized that writing was a way for me to heal.

For me, not only do I enjoy writing, but I also use writing as a way for me to get my emotions down. Whenever I feel sad, angry, upset, etc., I use writing as a tool for me to talk about whatever’s bothering me. I’ve found that doing this allows me the opportunity to let my feelings out instead of keeping them bottled inside, which essentially helps me feel better long term.

I also find writing helps me come to terms with certain things I’ve dealt with in my life. Life isn’t always easy, and having the chance to write down my thoughts and feelings whenever they strike me leaves me feeling better than before. It leaves me feeling in a much better emotional state of being and allows me to tackle on the world.

Writing is a way for me to heal. It’s the one thing that’s constantly helped me whenever I’ve needed it, no matter what’s going on in my life. It allows me to validate my feelings when nothing else can.

Writing is a personal journey for me, especially when it comes to writing here on my blog. Whenever I’m writing these blog posts and someone comments on what I’ve written, I know I’m not alone. It’s empowering, and I feel like it allows me to let my emotions out even further because I know someone in the world relates to what I’m saying, what I’m feeling. I then want to let that person know they aren’t alone, that I’m here and I know how they’re feeling.

There’s a whole community of us writers out there and I’m happy I get to be a part of it. Even if my community within it is small, I’m glad writing has become such an important part of my life. Because I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Writing has allowed me to open up, allowed me to express so many emotions, to let go. Writing helps me heal, and I don’t know what I’d do without it in my life.

2018: My Year of Change

New Year 2018 Image

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

I know I’m being ahead of myself here whenever I wish you all a Happy New Year. I know it isn’t 2018 yet when I’m going to post this because I’m writing this ahead of time, due to already having reflections of 2017. But I wanted to get a head start on this because I was really itching to write and reflect about this year we’ve had.

2017 really has been quite the year. It’s been a year I know I’ll remember, maybe more than many of the others we’ve all left behind. I believe part of that is because so much has happened, yet almost everything feels exactly the same.

In 2017, I made quite a few changes I felt were needed in my life. I quit a job that did nothing but drain me emotionally and I fell in love with someone I never expected to, which allowed me to move on past my last relationship. I also continued writing here, even going so far as to making changes to my blog that I felt were necessary in order to make my blog into what I wanted it to be.

All of these different changes were things I needed to do to improve my life. However, I know there’s more changes I still have to make. That is where 2018 comes in. I hope with this new year to continue making changes in my life.

In 2018, I hope to continue improving with my writing by bringing in a variety of writing topics. Of course, I plan on continuing writing book reviews and talking about video games, but I want to continue writing about other things as well whenever I can. I also want to learn more, which means the possibility of making big decisions in my life in order to make that possible. I want to continue doing whatever is necessary to make writing a part of my life and eventually my career. And of course, I want to continue improving my blog in every way I can. I know I’ve already started down that path by changing my blog’s name to something more personal and changing the design. But I want to work on changing it some more if I can.

I want 2018 to be my year. I want it to be the year where I try new things and get completely out of my comfort zone. I want it to be the year where I continue reading new books and play video games I might never have tried before.

But I know in order for all of this to be possible, I have to step up and make these changes happen. Only time will tell for certain whether I’ll be able to do that.

Thank you everyone who reads my blog for being here with me in 2017. I hope you continue following me into the new year and that 2018 is what you want it to be. I know I’m definitely going to try the best I can to make it one of my best years yet.

Confessions of A Writer #4: I am A Writer, Despite My Lack of Experience

I Am a Writer Jessica F. Hinton Quote

I am a writer. I might not have all of the experience or knowledge as those who write for a living, but I am a writer because I have the passion for it. I am a writer because I enjoy it, it’s the one thing I know how to do and it’s the only thing I can imagine myself doing for the rest of my life.

Yet, others wouldn’t consider me a writer because I don’t have a job where I get paid to write. Or because I don’t have a novel or story published for readers to enjoy or critique. Or even because I don’t have enough knowledge or experience in writing to work for a major newspaper or publication.

But the thing is, I’ve been writing since 7th grade. And I haven’t quit since. Yes, I don’t work for a major publishing company or have 3 to 4 years of publishing/writing/newspaper experience, but I did study writing during my four years of college. I did an internship for a year with a nonprofit that worked with independent bookstores called Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. This allowed me the opportunity to meet some Southern Authors at one of the trade shows I attended and gave me an insider’s look into the world of booksellers. I also was a part of my college’s online newspaper The PostScript for a year, where I wrote news stories that we published online and was the editor for a semester. For those interested in seeing for themselves, the page with all of my published stories can be found here. Being a part of a newspaper for a year was a rewarding experience. It gave me good insight into what it was like deciding what to write about in the community and gave me a better understanding of writing in a way I’d never thought of before.

And then, there is my blog here on WordPress, which I started in 2015 months after I graduated from college as a way for me to continue pursuing my passion in writing. A writing atmosphere that I find allows me the opportunity to continue writing the way I wish but also allows me the ability to improve my writing. A community of writers who’ve been nothing short of supportive as I continue on my own path of writing success.

During the two years I’ve been blogging on WordPress, I feel like I learn something different each time I set out to write. I’ve also found I’ve enjoyed writing a lot more now that I can write freely without following a specific set of guidelines. I think it has to do with being allowed on my blog to write in whatever style I choose, making changes whenever I find it necessary. But at the same time, I’ve learned that blogging is a lot different than reporting and each style of writing has its own unique rules.

I know my path of becoming a writer isn’t the traditional route of getting there, but I’ve found I’ve learned a lot since I first decided writing is what I wanted to do. In college, I gained the solid foundation needed to understand how writing works. Now, I am continuing to work on my writing style to see what suits me as well as just writing whenever and about whatever. I’m learning more about the blogging community and working on improving my blog to the best of my ability.

But at the end of all of this, I am a writer because I believe I am one. I am a writer because I enjoy it and can see myself writing for the rest of my life.  And if you feel the same as I do, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

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