Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
“You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back in a few years and be absolutely perplexed and awed by how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful- or where you always wanted to be. You will be grateful that things didn’t work out the way you once wanted them to.”
Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.
Your past does not define you. Some people just do not know how to move on.
Don’t be discouraged if you have to remind them, that you don’t live there anymore.
I am feeling so blessed in this moment. Firstly, I really hope they don’t mind me putting all of this out there but, they truly make me so proud to call them my parents.
My mother and father have been divorced since I was 12 years old. They used to not speak to each other, at all. Tomorrow, my mother and father will be leaving for vacation together. Not as a romantic venture but, instead, as great friends.
I can not even express in words how amazing of people that they are. To have gone through so much, and now, have overcome it all. To be able to be friends with someone like that. To me that is truly amazing. I must say, as far as role models go, myself and my future children have really hit the jackpot. They are not perfect people but, they have overcome and accomplished so much more than most have to withstand in life.
And on top of this all off, they shine forgiveness and humbling vibes. I hope I can be half the parents, that mine are today. I feel so blessed to have my family back together. Not “together” in the traditional way. But, I do believe that is why it works so incredibly well, for us.
Thank you Mom and Dad. For, not only, being amazing parents and people in general; but, for being so strong, brave, and true- for me, and for yourselves.
Thank you both for everything you do. Thank you both, for our family.
This is an article that I wrote from Inspired Imagery Magazine, that I would like to share with you today.
When I was approached by Jacob, about writing this article; I instantly felt two distinct emotions. Initially, I was super excited (and honored, so three emotions, I guess), of course. How flattering, that someone thinks I write well enough, to ask me to do an article for a magazine’s first issue.
As we spoke about what the subject of the article would be; I seamlessly went from excited, to perplexed.
“‘What inspires me?’ Oh, well, that can’t be too hard, right?” Wait for it..The Moment of Realization: writing about yourself, for a lot of people, is one of the hardest and most awkward things to have to do. Then, I started wondering to myself, “well, why is that? Why is it so hard and awkward for us to talk about ourselves? Shouldn’t we know ourselves, better than anyone else does?”
I still don’t really know the answer to any of those particular questions. However, after much thought and consideration, I do believe that I stumbled upon the answer (or, at least, one of the answers) to, at least, one question that is raised in this article. And that question, is what this entire article is supposed to be about, to begin with. I guess, I was kind of ‘inspired’ (to force myself), to go the other direction, as opposed to letting this awkwardness overwhelm me. This will not be awkward. This shouldn’t be awkward. And, if it is; then, we’ll just try to make sure it’s funny, at least.
In my ‘self-journey’ of sorts, I stumbled upon many reasons why I believe that I inspire myself. Yes, you understood me correctly. No, I do not believe myself to be a boastful person. However, if you stay with me for a few moments, I am confident that there’s a tiny chance that I captivate you with my words. Thus, inspiring you, which, is also another thing that inspires me. I am inspired by, inspiring others.
First, I went the technical route. The initial thing that drew me to the conclusion of ‘self-inspiration’ is that fact that, technically, I really do. I inspire myself because, in all actuality, it is my brain that identifies certain things and triggers inspiration. So, logically, I do, in fact, inspire myself. However, my second thought process brought me back to my earlier questions. When Jacob asked me, what inspires me, it really did make me think. Telling someone about what inspires me, is basically like telling someone who I am…and, I,like many others, find it incredibly hard to write about myself.
I found myself in deep thought, of how awkward it feels to write good things about myself. And the astonishing amounts of people, who also suffer from this kinda of anxiety, if you will. That’s when I made the decision to recognize that I do inspire myself, and I should totally write about that. ‘Why’ Do you ask? -And to that I respond, “Why not?’
I feel as if it is the truth. I also feel as though it is a good exercise in improving my self-worth. A lot of us could benefit from complimenting ourselves a little bit more often. Why should that be something to be ashamed of? Our entire lives, we’re supposed to try to be the best that we can be, right? Well, this is me; at this point. I am trying my best to be the very best me that I can possibly be. And, that in itself, is something to be proud of. I feel like, THAT is inspiring. And I want you to try it to.
Without further ado, here are some things, about myself, that inspire me:
I am inspired by how I look on the bright-side in situations and my love for eye-catching colors. I am inspired by how simple it is to make me happy and the joy I get from appreciating what I have been given. It uplifts me, to think about how I have overcome so much in my life and how wonderful I help my loved ones feel about themselves. I love the fact that I get along with so many different types of people. It is inspiring to me, that I have learned to move on and learned lessons from ‘bad’ times I have gone through. I have withstood one of the hardest things I could imagine going through in my life..-and I am, not only, still here but, I am a stronger woman for it. I love that I am inspired by things, like smiling faces around me. It amazes me that I have so much love in my heart. It amazes me even more that, I have more opportunities to love this way, in my future, than I have had in my past. My talents inspire me, along with my ability to make the most interesting friends in the world. Loving, creating, dreaming, laughing, these are all things that inspire me. I do all of these thing, every single day. And for the first time ever..I feel like I could go on and on about this subject! It’s truly an amazing feeling, to make yourself think about what good, you, personally put forth into the world.
What about you, inspires you? What about the person you are, will make life a little more worth living?
Today I’d like to share with you the stories and lessons of a ‘less fortunate’ man, who taught me so much in the few years that I knew him. He was a simple man but, he had a heart of gold. I am truly saddened that I couldn’t see my buddy one more time before his last day here on Earth:(
This is my recognition Of Tony “Cookie” “Billy” Parker.
In early 2008, I started working at a bar, downtown in New Iberia, La. One of my best friends, Kristen, worked there and I was always visiting with her. So, when they needed a replacement girl, fast, I gave it a go.
Kristen and I would go hang out with each other for our slow, afternoon shifts. People really didn’t start coming downtown until about 8, so it could be a little boring sometimes when you have to start working at 3:00PM. I hadn’t been working in the bar for very long, when one afternoon, Tony walked in. On this particular day, I was sitting at work, with Kristen as my sole ‘business’. It was early and we had nothing to do.
By first sight, the man was unkempt. His beard was patchy and unshaven, he’s clothes were old and beat up, and the smell…oh, the smell. I instantly felt sorry for him. Then, something I am ashamed of happened..-I got scared. He scared me. He was dirty and couldn’t talk correctly. I did not know what to say or do with him but, I didn’t have the heart to just snarl at him to leave because, he simply looked unpleasant. So, instead, I just watched him.
He walked around aimlessly for a few minutes and talked to Kristen. He has a very crucial stutter and, though he did aim some comments in my direction, I did not understand a word that he said. But, Kristen did. She sat there and talked to him and laughed with him for about 10 minutes before he happily hopped back on his bike and pedaled away.
When he left, I was still dumbfounded. Who is this guy? How does Kristen know him? What on Earth did he say to her? What was so funny? HOW DID SHE UNDERSTAND HIM?! So, I did what any curious young lady would do- I asked.
Kristen began explaining to me how she knew, Billy (which is what everyone thought his name was at the time). She explained to me that, with patience, she has learned to understand him (kind of like we have to do with toddlers and small children who don’t speak clearly yet). She also explained to me that he would come and hang out with her everyday, so she wouldn’t have to be alone and bored when I was not there. But, what she told me next is really what stopped me in my tracks.
Kristen began to tell me how the public treated this friend she had, that was so kind to go and visit with her every day. She told me about the rude comments and how people would throw quarters at him because, sometimes he would ‘beg’ for change. Every word that slipped from her tongue was like another dagger to my heart. Why did this man have to be treated so badly? Simply because, we didn’t understand him? And that day, I decided that I was going to do just that. I decided that maybe my friend was on to something. Why judge this man? He certainly looks like he already has a rough enough life. Why couldn’t I just slow down and try to understand him? Why couldn’t I be his friend too? So, I did.
And that man changed a part of who I am, forever.
See, what I learned when getting to know Tony, was this- don’t judge a book by its cover. We can’t always just fear the unknown. That means we are scared to grow.
I did take the time out to get to know Tony. And honestly, what would I have done with those boring hours anyway? Why spend them ignoring one of the few people around, who is just trying to feel accepted? Maybe we really aren’t that different. After all, isn’t acceptance one of those things that everyone strives for? So, I let myself be open to getting to know Tony.
In the years I worked in the bar, I saw somethings happen to Tony that made my heart cry out. He’s been called a bum, useless, and a crackhead. People usually thought he was homeless. I’ve seen this man be belittled, shunned, kicked out of places for his appearance, and simply ignored or made to feel wrong because, he had the nerve to even walk by someone who thought that they were better than he. And the facts are, those people will NEVER be half of the man that Tony was because, they don’t have the heart. Tony was misunderstood, not a bad person.
The amazing part about Tony was, no matter how bad anyone else treated him…he knew we loved him and he was our buddy. It never failed that he would come right back later, or the next day, with that same huge smile on his face.
Upon getting to know Tony, I learn that, if he slowed down..he won’t stutter. I learned that he is NOT a crackhead. He was simply born with a slightly slower learning ability and was kept uneducated by whomever he lived with, so they could get his check every month. A check that Tony never personally saw. He would sit and talk to me for hours. It was all starting to make sense.
People may think it was weird but, Tony and I formed a real bond. A real friendship. He was really a person and I really accepted and respected that. He’d show up when I was closing and stay with me sometimes just to make sure I was ok and not alone that late at night. I used to give him rides home, after he’d help me clean the bar. He would even tell me what road to drop him on because, ‘where he lived wasn’t safe for a pretty girl like me.’ I’ve watched this man work for hours to earn $20, then turn around and buy a daiquiri from me JUST so he could tip me. ( he normally didn’t have money. I’d buy him a couple drinks every now and then but, he normally couldn’t afford to buy anything for himself.). I’ve watched him proudly accept a suit and put it on. We had a dress code at the bar that I worked at, at that time. That night, he walked in looking spiffier than ever, in his suit. He had the biggest smile that I had ever seen, on his face.
I even once watched him refuse $50 that someone offered him. And when they asked him why, he simply replied, “I didn’t earn it.” Now, don’t get me wrong. Tony would ask us for quarters and he’d take a couple of dollars if you gave it to him. But, I guess, when it was small amounts from a bunch of different people, he didn’t feel like he’s putting them out. Because, he would not take that much money from this guy who was just offering it to him. I felt so proud of this man. He had nothing yet, he wasn’t going to take that large of a hand out, without working for it. And, just so you all know, the guy offering the money spoke with one of the bar owners and worked out a deal of Tony mopping the floor that night, for his $50 payment. Everybody wins.
When I would have to work doubles, all weekend for festivals, he’d show up on his bike with plate lunches for me. I normally didn’t eat them but, only because I really was not sure where they came from. However, I never let him know that. I would kindly thank him and visit for a while. I would then slide my plate lunch under the bar because, I couldn’t eat it with customers, anyway. It warmed my heart that my friendship was so important to him.
As time went on, more and more people did warmup to Tony. There are lots of people out there who love him. It never stopped the bad completely but, as time went on..he made more and more friends. Our friends would question us and we’d explain. Luckily, good, compassionate people do still roam this world.
Tony always just wanted to laugh, hang out, and be accepted by everyone he would meet. He actually had a good sense of humor and tried his best to keep us laughing. He is one of those treasures that most people don’t have because, they don’t bother to notice or worry with him. Some people just didn’t have the compassion, patience, or desire to try to know who he was. Tony just wanted to have friends and be someone’s friend. I truly believe that he tried to do the best that he could, with the hand that he was dealt.
I’m very sad to say that I hadn’t had the pleasure of talking to Tony in a year or two. I am a few years past my ‘going out’ phase and my life has been pretty overwhelming for the last two years. I actually tried waving to him, when I saw him on his bike a couple of weeks ago. He didn’t see me. Today, I am feeling very sad that I did not turn around that day and go say hi like I wanted to. I will miss my ol’ buddy. But, I will never forget the memories that we shared, the beautiful heart that he had, or him.
Anyway, I don’t want to make today’s post too long and drawn out.
I would simply like to leave you with this thought:
Look around you today. The sun is shining and the birds are chirping. No matter what is going wrong in your life right now, it’s still life and it’s still beautiful. If Tony can smile everyday, so can you. And next time you see a random stranger or someone who seems less fortunate, don’t fear and judge them. Embrace and show love to everyone, regardless of age, race, social status, etc. You truly never know who has a beautiful heart hidden in them and what unexpected lessons you will learn from opening yourself up to something you aren’t familiar with.
I dedicate this post to Tony Parker, a hidden hero. A man who probably never knew how much he taught me and how big he opened my heart. I don’t think he ever knew how much he mattered to a lot of people. May you rest in Peace, Tony. A Teacher of great lessons and a hero that was hidden amongst us.
Today I would like to introduce you to one of my closest & dearest friends, and my Matron of Honor-Breigh Neuville.
Breigh and I have been friends for about five years now. We are so very different and so very much the same, in so many ways, it amazes me! Needless to say, I totally love her and feel as though she is an interesting and talented enough person to dedicate this blog post to.(:
Breigh Neuville was born in November of 1985, in New Iberia, Louisiana. She began her young career as a paralegal somewhere around the year of 2004 or 2005. At this time, Breigh had only begun to explore adult life and find herself. And though being a paralegal did have a nice pay off, it simple wasn’t fulfilling her creative side-which she so strongly desired to nourish.
Breigh always was a very fashionable and well dressed young lady. Heck, even when she isn’t dressed up, she looks stinking gorgeous. Anywho, I am getting off of the subject.
Breigh dabbled in a few different hobbies/crafts, such as painting, before she really found her niche. I do believe that she has matured greatly in the last few years, thus slowing down her social life (we used to be quite the party goers). Long story short, she was looking for something to do with her idle hands. Around the time of January of 2011, Breigh began to get curious about making jewelry. So, of course, she did like any young, motivated, woman does..she acted on it. And boy, I certainly think we should be thankful that she did!
I promise you won’t see the girl standing next to you wearing the same jewelry!
Breigh is a freelance jewelry maker, who specializes in fashion jewelry. She is the sole owner, designer, and creator at B.E. Unique. She brings her self-taught experience and keen eye for fashion together to create beautiful works of art that we would quaintly call, jewelry. Her pieces are unique, bold, and glamorous. She has an outstanding talent and is as friendly as can be. I have already purchased items from her myself because, I simply could not go without them! I 100% intend on having her make some things for me and my girls to wear in my wedding! It’s so nice having talented friends, hehe!
There are a few of things that I absolutely love about B.E. Unique’s pieces, such as:
B.E. Unique’s extra ordinary designs are often displayed and sold, along side of my art, in local art shows, vendor markets, and such events. She does currently have a Facebook Page set up but, she does not have an Etsy shop set up at the moment. However, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, I will provide you with an e-mail, where she accepts orders, at the very end of this article. (After all the photos of course!)
Since Breigh has started making jewelry, she has broadened her horizons a little, so to speak. She is also skilled in metal works, engravings, & cake toppers. Regardless of what you are interested in, this talented young lady probably has something to offer you.
If you are interested in learning more about B.E. Unique or making an order you can visit the site below:
Or you can e-mail Breigh directly at:
“I would rather die of passion than boredom.”
-Vincent Van Gogh
“I would rather die of passion than boredom.”
-Vincent Van Gogh
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