what makes you smile?

The other week I was asked, ““What is one small simple thing that makes you smile?” This question was a lot easier to answer than I thought I was going to be. Suddenly I had a running list in my mind of all the little sweet moments in life that warm my heart.

-When you see dogs stick their heads out the windows of cars while driving and their ears flop in the wind, their tongue sticks out, and they looks so pure, so happy.

-Those nostalgic commercials on TV you see for your childhood favorites like Jif peanut butter or Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

-Those nights where you are with great people and you completely lose track of time because you are so absorbed into the moment. You know that ones-they cause your face to hurt because it has been hours upon hours and you have yet to stop smiling. The times when you are sitting there with whoever makes you happiest realizing that you literally aren’t doing anything yet you remain in that serene state, always smiling.


When I was thinking of these things it reminded me that despite the hardships and troubled past I have lived, these little things are still able to bring me joy.

My favorite is when I see those who I know have struggled and been through the most in their lives that come out with the biggest smiles. Somehow, they show up at the end of the day not being defined by despair or torment. They show up with a smile that screams triumph and resilience.

They live their lives on a different viewpoint than the average Joe; they see things in a different light. A brighter light.

These kinds of souls are incredible if you think about it. Despite being torn down, they’ve built themselves back up. They have somehow fought through the demons in order to reach that light at the end of the tunnel.  They understand fearful and ugly moments you may go through in life because they have been there themselves. Several times. And have gotten through every. single. time. They sense the rainbow coming in after a rainstorm. They will dance in the rain rather than be fearful of getting wet.

These people will introduce you to a world you never knew existed because you never saw it the way they’ve seen it. Grasping onto every little thing that brings them happiness like they’ll never have it again. Because, in reality, that’s how it feels for them sometimes.

And because of this, they do not take things for granted. They hold power in life’s blissful moments.


“It’s amazing seeing you smile so brightly when just a few months ago you thought you would never see that light again. When you thought everything was ultimately hopeless, yet here you are, living in the moment and not taking these small experiences for granted. The freedom and magic you feel shows through these simple smiles in these simple moments. It’s truly incredible.” June 2nd, 2017. Told to me by a friend who had seen me in the depths of my despair to hearing my nonsense stories in the middle of the night when I was full of euphoria.

Hearing that made me think that maybe I, too, am one of these types of souls. Different from the average Joe. A tour guide of this new, blissful word. One to dance in the rain.  One to stick her head out the window of the car with a dog whose ears are flapping in the wind and tongue sticking out. One to not let my battles define who I am or how I live.

If I had to give you one piece of advice, it would be to keep these kinds of people close. They are not broken, let me tell you. Broken is too clear-cut. They are still here. Not broken, but rather some of the strongest, bravest, most resilient, people out there.

 

xoxo, maddy

find your happy, find your tribe

April 18th, 2017

“It’s not often you find someone looking as happy as you look right now while grocery shopping. I appreciate it. Your smile is contagious.”


Lately, I’ve been wrapped up in this whirlpool of fantasies.

The kind of fantasy where time slows down yet your mind is racing, darting around like a hummingbird. But then, at the same time, your entire body remains completely calm and serene. It’s the most charming type of dreaming. Here I am, smiling like a fool in the grocery store trying to pick up some sweet potatoes. Taking risks for an extra dose of joy. Exploring life for the sole purpose of fulfillment. Authentic, heart pounding fulfillment. The kind of fantasy where time slows down yet your mind is racing, darting around like a hummingbird. 

I’ve never been one to really take risks or jump into new and daunting tasks. But the thing about being so wrapped up in fantasies is that my eyes have been opened to the new, incredible things that happen when you do just so. I’ve found myself spontaneously acting upon those butterflies in my stomach at 1 am while I’m lost in the depth of my emotions. Learning more about myself at the peak hours of the morning or the darkest times of the night. Stepping outside of my comfort zone and growing, thriving, living. Learning to stop fearing the unknown and grasping onto the concept of becoming uncomfortable in order to find comfort. 

It’s funny to think about how just a few months ago I remember sitting in a grey sectional grabbing onto a pillow for dear life, not thinking I would ever make it to where I am now. Absolutely distraught by the mess that my life had become, stuck in my own fears and doubts.

Yet here I am. 

I know for a fact I would never have made it this far without the incredible people I have met along the way.

On February 10th, I was sat down in that very grey sectional, looked at in the eyes and was told,  “Please, speak up for yourself. Please treat yourself like gold. You are not something to be forgotten. You are not something to be tossed to the side of the road”. 

One of the best things you could ever do for yourself is to fill your life with those who believe in you. Truly, genuinely, believe in you. Those who look at you when you’re speaking your passion and see the stars. Those who will lift you up when you’re falling, no matter how hard you fall or how badly you refuse their help. Those who help you recognize your worth, who help you see that you, yes YOU, most definitely should be treated like gold. That you are undeniably NOT something to be chucked out a car window onto the side of the road. 

Thank you to these people who have rescued me from myself in the past few months. Those who have helped me create these fantasies that hype my soul up enough to be found dancing in the grocery store.

This level of contentment and exploration of emotions is something I most definitely would not have gotten to without you all. So thank you. I will never stop thanking you.

{m, m, d, a, b, s, z, k, c, k, d, c, k, a, j}

Never set your alarm to your favorite song. That song will be ruined for the rest of your life. No questions asked. No exceptions.

That, is a lesson I learned the hard way.
But that’s the funny thing about life; the abundance of lessons to be learned and the process we go through in order to comprehend.
You see, we could sit back and think about how much things suck and question whether or not we can make it through. Some days we just don’t know where we are headed in the future or have all the answers to all the “but why’s” we ask. Some days it hurts to open our eyes because we are so scared and feel so helpless.
But listen.
You have made it through 100% of all your past troubles. You can make it through today.
It sucks sometimes to have to literally be thrown into the depths of our troubles in order to learn what needs to be learned. But that doesn’t mean you cannot escape, that things won’t ever get better.
Obviously, things take time. Takes time to grasp onto the harsh reality of something and then take the steps of action to move past it and grow from it.
But I hope you know your ability to do just so. I hope you recognize the fact that you are so beyond capable of growing from these troubles, from learning new lessons that will allow you to flourish in the future.
I hope you are able to let the sun in, to push the rain clouds away and welcome to new possibilities.
To know that yes, you are so damn SCARED of moving forward right now, but this fear WILL. NOT. LAST.
Look at this morning, for example. You got out of bed. (maybe it was cause that song was playing and you have to turn it off – either way, you did it). You took a deep breath and continued.
That, my friend, is truly admirable.
I hope as this year progresses, you learn to smile. To laugh. I hope you here the stupidest joke ever and let out a snort from that laugh of yours. I hope your eyes water and drip with tears because you are so, genuinely happy. I hope this laughter manages to lift your spirits and remind you of the fact that you escaped the fears that once set you down.
I hope you find someone who will let you know how cute your laugh is. I hope you make new adventures and learn new things with this person. I hope they make you laugh and you make them laugh. And together, the serenity created from your laughs reminds you of the fact that the lessons you have learned from your past were essential to reach this growth.
Sucks to have to learn things the hard way. But remember how much stronger that makes you. How much brighter these lessons make your smile. How much stronger and genuine your laugh will be in the future.
Believe me when I say that you are capable of escaping these dark trenches.
If I managed to turn my alarm off to that song without throwing my phone out the window (for several weeks, may I add), then this sure is possible.
Let us flourish as we learn these lessons. Let us become irrefutable and unstoppable.
xoxo, maddy

Look in the mirror. Yes, right now.

Take a look at those blue eyes of yours – and remember they aren’t blue.

 

They are sapphire against turquoise mixed with the most beautiful royal blue, and when they water they glow, they are two perfect spheres the same color as the sky on the perfect summer day.

They are not simple.

You are not as simple as you think you are, as you may have been told you are.

 

You’re a soft, tender, loving thing. A little bit of a mess, a little scatterbrained – and that’s okay. You have fallen and you have risen day after day, you are a trophy of the shreds of your triumphs and tragedies. You have been stitched up by ounces of hope that you have collected over the years despite the many hardships-yet you still shine.

You still radiate.

 

Your big heart may get you hurt. You may be left feeling a little lost, a little confused, a little abandoned. I cannot promise you that this journey you are about to embark of moving past this hopelessness is going to be easy, but I can assure you, I can promise you, it will be so damn worth it. Remember, this big heart of yours has filled you with so much love and empathy and every feat you have faced has grown this heart of yours to be even greater, even tougher.

 

And I know it sucks to feel so much in a world that moves too fast for feelings. I know how you feel. Afraid of the world seeing you at your weakest. Craving to shrink yourself into the smallest, most insignificant ball of nothing. Wanting to withdraw from the outside world and crawl away into the some underground wonderland, pretending nothing else exists-that you don’t exist.

 

Afterall, I’m in my own journey of searching for that underground wonderland of nothingness myself, too. To be honest, I have been living a life where I am scared to share my true ambitions and passions because of the fear of disappointment. I have gone to bed too many nights afraid to share the amount of passion that is overflowing from this five-foot-two body of mine.

However, I want to escape this trapped mindset I’m stuck in. I want to live. I want to feel, to explore the tenderness of this big heart I have contained in my chest. To look in the mirror and look past these so-called simplistic blue eyes of mine.

I want to impact others. I want to influence the world in the most personal way. To spread encouragement through spreading my truths. To cultivate a life full of light and passion. Exploring this uniqueness I possess. Simply living and being, energizing my soul and redefining happiness. Cultivating the passion and abundance I have to offer this world.

I want to flourish.

I want to relinquish my fears and share my true ambitions, pushing past the doubts and judgement.

So together, us big-hearted people who are ultimately fearing our own self-discovery, we will embrace these sympathetic and intricate lives we have unknowingly been living.

For me personally, I will take this one day at a time, one bite at a time. Go to bed every night with the intention that each day I will wake up and feed my mind and my body in order to nourish and flourish. It may look different for you, or perhaps you need to do the same thing as well. Either way, cheers to new beginnings, new strengths to be discovered, new skills learned to defeat these feelings of self-doubt.

Embrace your feels, embrace that big heart of yours, embrace those two perfect spheres that sparkle when you talk about the things that set your soul on fire.

xoxo, maddy

for the big, soft, tender hearts-never stop loving

What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

However, maybe you’re the kind that is so full of care, so full of love, so full of the desire to see others reach their full potential. You care “too much”. Your heart is “too big”.

Maybe you’re the one to find yourself falling in love too easily, giving your heart away like it’s velcroed to your sleeve, ready to be ripped right off. Maybe you’re the one to stay up late, making sure those you care about are okay, making sure they get home safe and sound. To spend your late hours of the night listening to someone tell you silly stories and pour their heart out, ignoring the fact you’re exhausted and have a mile-long to-do list.

And maybe, you are drowning in the voices that tell you having a heart this big is a negative quality. And maybe, just maybe, you  need to stop apologizing for that.

Why is being full of love such a bad thing? Why are we so convinced that these feelings are “too much”? Because they break down your sheltered heart and expose your deepest secrets? Because it’s strong? Because it’s a hell of a brave yet rare characteristic in this world that so many are too damn afraid of?

In this world that is apprehensive of realizing our true feelings, in a world that is detouring around their emotions-you are enough. You are okay. You do not need to change a thing.

There is no law stating you must be sorry for having a big heart, for loving as hard as you do. Being someone that lets people in and allows themselves to candid and unguarded, that gives and gives and gives (even to those who don’t necessarily deserve it) is no crime.

Yes, it can be scary to simply not know how to give anything less than full love when you’re surrounded by people who are unsure or indifferent. When rejection and disappointment come and hit you like a slap in the face, it sucks. But your big heart holds enough room to be able to move on from these shitty moments, these feelings of worthlessness – as soon as you give yourself the same amount of worth and value you place on those you love.

Never let the world cheat you of who you are. Love without hesitations, without regret. Let people in. Give everything you have and apologize for none of it. Embrace your big heart. Keep believing in big love. It will cross your path, you will find that day when you are with someone who loves just as hard as you do, who values you just as much as you value them. And when that day comes, you’ll be happy you never changed.

thursday nights

Sometimes, those random Thursday nights can come by and hit you in the heart like a ton of bricks. When you sit in bed, far before the night is over, feeling lonely as ever. When all your struggles compile into one force and crush you down. When you are buried in pillows craving someone to come swoop you up and save you, to kiss your bruised up arms and tell you everything will be alright.

It’s on these nights that our guarded hearts break down and we realize love is both a weakness and a strength; even the darkest of us can still become weak with love. That despite the walls we have built up, despite the scars we are made up of, despite hardships, love can still get in. It’s on these nights when the negative thoughts continuously bleed out from our veins, no matter how many band-aids we slap on.

These are the nights you must fight against the demons in your mind. When you must open up to others (it will be oh so difficult yet oh so worth it). Breaking down your guarded walls will only lead you to a path of hope and faith in the future. And when that Thursday night struts its way into your life, I will be here, listening, talking, hugging. When you need someone here to melt into, someone to hug, but yet you find no one to wrap your arms around, look for me. I’ll be alive in your dreams when you are immersed deep in your thoughts laying in your bed on this Thursday night. I will be there for you, all throughout the day and into your dreams and nightmares. My arms will remain wide open and my ears will be ready to listen to your deepest secrets.

During these dreams of yours, it is often when I myself am drowning in my own struggles. When I need someone to distract the monsters in my mind, hug me, and let me know things will get better. That’s when I need you most.

We will be here for each other. We promised each other, way back, on a different Thursday night.

And that is when I realized, that love truly can seep into those who hold a dark past, those who are in pain.

That is when I realized that two hearts made up of cracks and crevices can fill each other back up. Thank you for being there for me. I will be here for you.

 

xoxo, maddy

because you deserve​ the best

We live in a world where it has become more normal to numb ourselves than it is to experience each wave of emotion that comes over us. We have become scared of the ‘crummy’ feelings. You know the ones – vulnerability, pain, loneliness, sadness, shame, etc. And maybe we’ve become scared of the good ones too – the happiness, joy, excitement, love. We fall into this addiction and vicious cycle in order to turn our emotional mind off. We’re entrenched deep in our fears, terrified of getting lost in the paralyzing world of these messy emotions. At the same time, we are so numbed out it’s as if we don’t feel worthy enough to let ourselves dive into the world of joy and undergo the positive, vibrant emotions that we truly are deserving of. We have become afraid of crumbling and afraid of rising; yet when we avoid both, we remain stagnant in this ongoing numbness that ultimately will bring our lives to a screeching halt.  

I know, feeling is scary. And if you’ve been numb or blinded for long enough, it may also sound batshit crazy, something completely out of your reach. Then there’s the flip side; when you finally gain your sight back and drop that addiction or whatever may be dragging you down, thawing out those feelings and having your mind flustered with the overwhelming emotions hurts like a bitch. Everything that has been suffocating you crashes into you at high intensity. Learning to wade through these waves, to keep swimming despite the crashing waters is one of the hardest lessons you’ll face; but oh please trust me, it opens you up to so much beauty and light and potential. 

Feeling is one of the most courageous decisions you can make. Giving yourself permission to express your emotions, ride through them, and let go of the aspects in your life that bring you down and drown you isn’t only important – it’s truly what you owe to yourself. You owe it to yourself to gain your sight back and recognize what is drowning you, what makes you feel distressed. You owe it to yourself to feel the good side of things – the joy, happiness, love. To be around those who truly care about you, removing toxicity from your surroundings.

Let the feelings flow. Keep your heart wide open. And if you’re trapped the pain and heartache and crumminess, I promise you your day is coming. The vicious cycle of being stuck in your heart-wrenching situation and caught in the numbness will end as soon as you let yourself become vulnerable and feel. Acknowledge those who are out there that care for you and purge the reluctant thoughts that are keeping you stuck. 

Your bright and shiny days are coming. Remember your worth. Be honest with your feelings and chase after what your heart truly and genuinely wants. 

xoxo, maddy

reminders, thank you’s, simple things

For all those who have reached out to me, helped me through my toughest times, said hi to me in the morning, told me that you care – this is for you.

For anyone who isn’t feeling on top of the world right now, I may not know you personally, but I believe this to be true about you, too. You are a rockstar. Believe in yourself, I am rooting for you. You will climb back to the top of the mountain soon, I know you will – remember these statements when you’re feeling low.

For those who know a friend who isn’t feeling too hot – things you should share with them to give them your support. At the same time, don’t devalue the simplicity of smiling at them. Smiles can brighten even the darkest of days – and for the times you’re filled with not only smiles but words as well,  these simple comments can mean the world to them. Share your support, share your sympathy. Remind yourself of these too; don’t let your kind soul go unnoticed.

For myself – this applies to you too. Don’t forget your own worth. Self-care is not selfish, it is necessary.

  1. Your ability to find the silver lining is an awe-inspiring quality and I hope you are able to acknowledge the beauty in this. There’s no doubt that you have gone through some tough times, and no doubt you have made it through like the brave warrior you are. And throughout anything that comes your way, you are still able to do some amazing things and make an incredible impact in people’s lives and create some amazing memories. You rock.
  2. Your heart is so pure. You are a selfless human being. You caring, thoughtful soul is something so incredible, words cannot even describe how thankful I am to know there are people like that out in this world
  3. Your passion is contagious. You make me want to become a better human. Your warm heart brings light to the darkest days in this world.
  4. You have a way with your words. Comfort, forgiveness, joy, thoughtfulness. Never underestimate the power of asking “are you okay” or saying “tomorrow will be better”. They may be short, simple comments, but your concern & care means the world. It’s refreshing. Thank you for making me feel like I matter. I hope you always remember how much you matter, too.

I hope you never forget how much you matter. How important you are. How grateful so many people are to have you in their life.

xoxo, maddy

case of the mondays

I am sitting here, at 1:13 in the afternoon, unable to complete tasks due to being held hostage by an endless stream of thought. Sitting here, suffocated in the fear of letting the vulnerability bleed out from my fingertips and onto the keyboard.  Sitting here, overanalyzing even the simplest of situations.  I am a people pleaser with a deep fear of disappointment. With this aspect shining through, I have been neglecting my own personal well being, because after all, only so much compassion can fit into this five-foot-two body of mine – all of which has been devoted to those around me. However, as I sit here a room full of complete and utter silence, typing out whatever comes to mind, my heart is gaining the capability to breathe again.

It’s scary when you feel as though your insides are spilling out and you’re left drowning in these black and white thoughts. It’s terrifying being told, “I know you’ve been through hell. I know you’re still going through it, battling to get out and escape” and hold back the tears. It’s exhausting and painful talking about this built up melancholy  until your voice becomes hoarse. It’s saddening going about your day soon to be filled with disappointment of the fact that your imagination made things a little more hopeful with your relationships than they actually are.

However, as I sit here, I’m slowly but surely grasping onto the power of our thoughts and mentality in every situation. Our minds truly are a beautifully chaotic masterpiece, and learning to manage the clutter that takes place is quite the feat. Living in a world that rushes through life and making the conscious choice to thoroughly slow down can feel strange. However, it’s been a beautifully weird sensation – this completeness, this peace. As I sit here, in this quiet library on a Monday afternoon, I am aiming to clear my mind of this chaos with each word I type. I am aiming to relinquish my fears and cherish my own self. To look beyond those in front of me to fulfill this feeling of worthlessness and emptiness, because after all, my happiness cannot be found in the hands of others.

I want to flourish.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1:13 in the afternoon, I will hopefully be able to cultivate the passion and abundance I have to offer this world whilst nourishing my own being. I will move past the uncomfortable experiences this Monday has brought me and will begin this audacious journey of nourishing and flourishing.

Because after all, I am unstoppable. I am irrefutable. I will go about my day with tenacity and authenticity. I will move past the negative thoughts that weigh me down and send me into this whirlpool of hopelessness.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1:13, I will complete the tasks I set out to do, with a clear mind and open heart.

xoxo, maddy

don’t u know that ur toxic

Thank you for having that smile in which the sunshine bounced off your teeth even on the cloudiest of days. Thank you for having an incredible laugh. For laughing at the littlest of things. It was contagious.It was cute as hell. Thank you for your sense of humor that matched mine. And your audacious vibe you let off whenever I heard words slip from your mouth. The way you would leave me hanging on my toes with everything you said, even as simple as “hello”. Thank you for showing me what it is like to laugh again, to truly laugh again. Thank you for trying not to show your nerves (but I could still sense them anyways-the feeling was mutual). Thank you for making something as simple as walking out my front door in the dirtiest pink flip flops seem like an incredible, magical fantasy. And for being there with me when I was completely and utterly falling apart. It’s funny how much a five-second snapchat or a jar of peanut butter and new adventures can transform into such magical things. And it’s funny how quickly those can be ripped right out of your hands, with all extraordinary qualities left to disappear. And with that, thank you to MYSELF from MYSELF for continuing to breathe, even when it feels like there’s no air. For learning that those who truly care for me will stay. For learning to remove the toxic people in my life in order to make my dreams a reality.

Thank you, self

xo, maddy