July 5th.

Today is the day you were born.

Only, this year is unlike the past 43 years because you’re not here to celebrate with us.

Today, you would have been 44 years old. An age you’ll never get to be. You won’t see 50. You won’t grow old. You’ll always be 43. And I wish I could say that I’m just happy you were alive on Earth for that many years, but I’m not. Because you were too young to leave us. You were too young to have to go.

And I wish I could type out some elegant, inspirational message about your legacy, and the memories you left us with. I wish I could write consoling words to make it hurt less today. I wish I could thank you for everything, and be grateful that you’re not suffering anymore. But I can’t do any of that today. It hurts too much.

I can’t look at the past because the moments with you we can’t ever get back are too painful. And I can’t look towards the future, because it’s all going to be without you.

All I can do today is look around at the life that you’ve left us with. The boys, my daughters, myself. We’re here because you made us. Without you, none of us would be. And for that, we can remember this day, July 5th, because it’s the day you came into this world. And even after death, that truth will always remain.

Happy birthday, Dad. We love you always.


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Rain Men in the Line of Duty


Image by Rebecca Siegel

I awoke to the pitter patter of rain drops, forcefully splattering themselves onto the glass of my bedroom window. And all I could imagine was these raindrops as little tiny soldiers, obediently executing the given mission, prepared to destroy their life in the name of honor and duty. They fall from the sky like a stealthy air assault, become a weapon aimed at the target, and just do it – without hesitation, without restriction, without afterthought.

And what’s their given mission? To wake me up, of course. To stir me from my sleep, to greet me with another day that feels almost exactly like the last one. Or two, or three, or four.

Such honorable little rain soldiers. And yet, here I am, still in bed. Awake, yes, with coffee in hand. My mind is racing with all the missions I have been given, all the things I need to accomplish. Yet why must I greet this execution with so much resistance? And, honestly, how self-centered of me. The rain men woke me up so that I could wake up, breathe in life, and act.

I look through the open blinds of my window, and I see life in abundance despite the dreary gray and somber sky that lids our part of the world. Birds are out there soaring, trees are rhythmically swaying, and all I can see is green.

Green, green grass blankets the backyard and the field across. I imagine all the little lives that thrive in the grass that is their home. And I imagine all the life that this grass helps to produce and sustain.

But, why is it so green out there? Lord knows I don’t take the time to water the lawn.

And then it dawns on me. The little rain men give life to the grass by parachuting down from the sky, free falling to their destruction. Only to them, it’s not destruction. They are committing a duty, a mission for the greater good of Earth. They are destroying their own water bodies to sustain the green source that serves as home, shelter, and nutrition that so many lives rely on.

Today, a battalion of those little rain soldiers had a different mission – they sacrificed valuable rain lives that could feed the grass, and took a detour towards my window instead. Their mission was to wake me up from my slumber, so that I can contribute to the world – not just my world, but the world.

And how dare I waste those little guys’ efforts. I better get to work.

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Copywriting is killing my creativity.

I love writing; I really do. When it all comes down to it, the bottom line is that writing frees me, gives me power (or the feeling of control). And the flowing expression that becomes a product of my writing is something that makes it all worth it – to me, anyway.

I’m not an excitable person, really. Well, I am deep down inside, but I don’t show or share my emotions freely. And writing gives me that outlet; it gives me the opportunity of effortlessly becoming less reserved, less restrictive, and more transparent and… alive. I love it for that.

I don’t love it for the excruciating pain it brings in the form of frustration, procrastination, writer’s block, blank spaces, dry spells… and you get the idea (if you’re a writer). Some days, words don’t just spew out in nonchalant perfection, and beautiful sentences aren’t strung together as easy as they are read. Ideas don’t just pop out of the toaster, ready to be devoured and appreciated for all their innovation, like a convenient, toasty Pop Tart. Writing is painfully difficult mental work. And it absolutely drains me.

When I graduated with my degree in English four years ago, I was ready to take on the world. A month after graduating, I landed my first copywriting job and was not only thrilled, but relieved. Relieved because for four long years in college, the prospect of successful career opportunities in my degree seemed dismal. As a young, single mother with a four year old to support, my brain was clouded with worry that I wouldn’t be able to find a job in writing. But I did, miraculously. Once I began working as a copywriter, I started to learn the ropes of what writing for business was really about.

Four years later, I’m still in the copywriting field for different companies, and while my professional development continues to improve through my experiences, I’m sad to say that my “writing for pleasure” ability has dwindled to basically…nothing.

Sure, my life has been crazy, and I guess I could blame it all on that. And by crazy, I don’t just mean crazy. Everyone says their life is crazy. Mine has been an absolute rollercoaster of highs and lows, with virtually no middle ground. From illness to marriage to cross-country moves to graduate school to military life to death to pregnancy (and soon, birth), these are the life experiences that have sprung up on me, creating a tornado of this human journey depicting the ugliness and beauty of the world in all its shades.

But even still, I haven’t written for pleasure in what seems like ages. Writing, to me, has become about making money. It’s no less difficult; in fact, tailoring your writing to the expectations of a business with a target audience, is indeed very hard to do.

But what kills me as I sit here today and reflect on my life and current habits, is that I haven’t been able to write without being told what to write about, in what feels like such a very long time.

And a part of me is lost in that reality. And I would like to get it back, no matter how painful it will be. So yes, I have allowed copywriting to practically kill my creativity. I have done what I said I wouldn’t do…I have lost touch with my own voice.

And so today begins my journey back into the wild, wild wilderness of words.

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{YML Voices} The Real Baggage Of Being A Young, Single Mother

Read my recent guest post featured on theyoungmommylife.com about the social stigmas young, single mothers often have to endure.

The following is an excerpt from the article, titled “Social Stigmas: The Real Baggage of Being a Young, Single Mother”:

 Being 22 with a 4-year-old, I try not to internalize the things I read. But some of the stuff just makes me cringe as I think of all the single mothers, who have enough on their plate already, having to go through their everyday lives carrying the baggage of such negative perceptions about them, and facing the world with insecurities.

The stereotypes and judgments of those with the “holier-than-thou” attitude are detrimentally oppressive. Though I’m aware that some of the criticism may ring true for some women, generalizations are never okay. There are single mothers that are beautiful, capable, and individualistic–and they need to believe this in order to continue to be an asset to themselves, their children, and the world.

Be sure to check out the full article and the other great blogs on the site!

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Image by Catrin Welz-Stein


What are dreams?

Shapeless things

that make your heart ache.

It’s dreams that you wish would stop haunting you, the same dreams that keep you alive.

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As summer of ’12 slowly comes to an end…

Leave it to me to get into the spirit of summer just as August rolls into the tide.

Of course we all know that August symbolizes the closing of one summer chapter, and the opening of another school year –back to school, back to routine, back to stress and back to reality. At least for those of us who haven’t quite entered the workforce yet and still have the luxury of a summer break.

So as I was jamming out to this song with my A/C on full blast in traffic, I started to feel very tropical. The immediate thought,  “should I plan a last-minute summer vacation?” No, no…of course I can’t do that!

So instead, I will just make a “top three” list of personally appealing beaches that I most definitely want to consider the next time a vacation is even remotely possible (provided I have the funds and resources to get myself to these destinations). And I will continue to jam out to this fun, summer-y tune while I imagine myself laying in soft, white sand, taking in the sun’s warm embrace, and enjoying my temporary escape.

1) Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire, Wales


2). Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Ley, Thailand


3). Jumeirah Beach, Dubai


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