The beginning of something beautiful

planeWe arrived in Brussels early morning after a long night of traveling over the Atlantic. What a wonderful feeling– the world exists wherever you are and it’s always beautiful.

Leaving for JFK after a night of packing and repacking, our plans were finalized with overpacked bags that have already started new aches in our bodies. A transfer in Dublin gave us just enough time to walk up and down the terminal– a quick video-chat home to a friend reminded us both that no one is ever really far away. 

Our mini-plane to Brussels was pleasant. Next to me, a 14 month old slept the entire way home. Once landed, his father asked me where we were from. “Near New York,” I responded. He smiled and told us he was from Brussels. “Welcome home,”  I said with warmth in my smile. I felt it too.

The train to the center of Brussels was on floor -1 and we got there without issue after drinking 2 emergency coffees that our bodies yearned for at 3:30 AM “our time.” 

Without a map, the city center seemed a mess. We gave in and used our phones to direct us where to go. A roquefort salad and white wine mussels (paired with white wine and local beer) was exactly what the doctor ordered. We sat and watched the new world around us happen. We then rushed off to another train station downtown to catch a train to Amsterdam.

The train was booked and the following train as well– but that’s how this trip was going to work. Go with the flow. We settled on a departure time that allowed us to sit and drink in town for an hour longer. 

This is the blessed life, as an accordion player serenades us while I write and Ryan sketches. These are the perfect moments in life where whatever happens, happens.

This is every moment.

Written May 4, 2014 at 2 PM in Brussels, Belgium (the beginning of a 3 week adventure with ryan s crane)

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A short letter inspired by the book The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Mademoiselle Reisz,

I am writing you to inform you that I intend on leaving. I am not going far, but I intend on going permanently. I am only letting you know because no one else understands this feeling in the pit of my stomach, this feeling at the center of my very being. I have chosen to write to you because you are the only person who has tasted these depths of isolation. You understand me.

We are outcasts for only the best of reasons. I plan to pursue a future without being owned and without living falsely. I will be completely true and awakened for the first time in my life. Somehow, I will fill this chasm inside of me.

For months I have felt exhilaration and confusion—I have experienced emotions I never knew existed. I am leaving because I do not know what I am doing with my life or what I truly crave. How can I be my own person when I was in such a stupor for so long? I have made my decision to leave and I am holding true because that is the only way I can be confident in who I am, confident that I am not allowing anyone else to own me.

Please let my children know I love them and that I gave them all that I could. Tell them the world is a harsh place and that they must be careful to keep their eyes open in order to stay afloat.

Please tell Robert I love him, and because I love him I must say good-bye.


Sisters of Mercy

The voice on the other end of a telephone always sets the tone of the conversation to be had.

Ms. Bubbico resides here in the main office, with a recent important transplant from the admissions office… Sister Janice.

Sister Janice, a Sister of Mercy, let my family feel comfortable and secure when she invited my other half, my sister Rita, to attend Lauralton Hall.

It was late in the year; it did not matter.

We had no money– she would arrange everything.

It was very dark; my father had just died a few weeks before in Nicaragua.

She showed us light.

She gave my family our first taste of Mercy Spirit.

She alone set the tone of the conversations that I’ll be having for the rest of my life.
April 2006

High School

High school is full of inexplicable growth, growing up before you feel ready to… before I knew what was really going on.

It’s feeling older too soon. It’s the first party you attend without parents around. It’s the first car ride with your friend at the wheel.

It is a weird time in your life… the time right before you have a firm idea of who you really are, what you are doing, or why you are doing it.

It comes before you want it, and sometimes you need it before you get it.
It’s wonderful and scary just the same.
April 2006


The voices of “Advanced Vocal Ensemble” ring through the halls, but no one knows the truth. We’re harmonizing and laughing and enjoying every second we have before the bell tolls, bringing us back to homework, tests, and projects.

First sopranos, second sopranos, first altos, second altos… it never matters what section you’re in because you’re nothing on your own. You help everyone and everyone helps you.

Teamwork and challenges mold girls into a choir that is respected and appreciated by the rest of the school and community.

Caring and laughing mold us into young women who will forever remember these days.
April 2006


When anxiety takes hold, the feelings are incommunicable;
You feel powerless in your own mind.
“All I know is I have no reason to feel this way and I have no way to stop it.”

Like when you are caught beneath a wave, you will only struggle more if you fight it.
Though you cannot breathe and your body is rolling,
Just let the waves wash over you.

How do you talk yourself out of it? How can you make the darkness ebb?
Keep repeating the things you want to believe; breathe and talk yourself through it:

“You will only be who you allow yourself to be.
Whatever is meant to happen will.
You are beautiful, honest and kind. “

Remain calm.
The more guidance you give yourself,
The more you remain in control of your life and your love.

Just remember to breathe again as soon as you catch some air.
March 4, 2013

Kind Words

My feelings feed into the conversations that I have with myself for my entire day.
If I repeat my to-do list, my faults, and my hardships, where will my heart be?

When I wash myself in the shower and negativity does not wipe away,
I have to make the decision to change the way I’m thinking.
I have to take myself to the next step– a leap of faith.

These topics often feel like they can’t be avoided, but I don’t need to dwell on them.
I create unnecessary anxiety for myself,
because I simply don’t remember to turn it off.

Perhaps it’s my inherent nervousness, but I believe it’s mostly habit.
I know that when I don’t take the time to love on myself,
There’s no one else who can help me get there.

I alone make the conscious decision to think positively.

What about you?

Do you speak to yourself with the same love that you give to others in your life,
or do you unconsciously bring yourself down?
Move up, get up, stand up to yourself. You are in control.
How to get there is simple—think about kindness and continue with positivity.

Take the time to wash away your anxieties and encourage your optimism.
Tell yourself the things you honestly deserve to hear.
March 4, 2013

I’m Possible

Someone told me once:
“Create a list of ‘impossible’ things and review it in one year.”
Hot air balloons? Savings? Skydiving?
Whatever you can imagine.
Perhaps fill it with things you’ve been saying you’d do for years
and never got around to.
Write down your ideas in a list of 5, 10, 15, 20….
whatever you can muster up.
Then see where your year goes.
No matter what you have written down,
I bet you’ll be surprised but the things you still want to do
and perhaps the things you’ve done.
You can do absolutely anything.
February 24, 2013

Watching Others

We’re addicted to the internet.
We just don’t know how to turn it off, we don’t know how to tune it out.
It’s always there, always ready with something else that will give you what you want.
But what do you really want?
We want to be entertained, we want to be fascinated,
We want to get out of our own minds.
But why?
Think of your life and your beauty and take a moment to appreciate it.
Learn to prioritize yourself.
Step away from watching what other people do,
Walk away from what distracts you from being you.
Catch yourself when you are scrolling without purpose
And try to change your ways.
Have you smiled for yourself today?
February 24, 2013

Where Family Begins

When two people understand that kindness begets kindness, a family begins. You choose whom you love and how you love them; you create your own family. We all have a family of choice that becomes our blood.

I have been gifted the blessing of welcoming a new sister-in-law into my life just a few weeks from today; my brother is getting married. We have led different lives and we have seen different things, but I believe from the bottom of my heart to the top that she is my family. We are already sisters by choice.
February 2013