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Aug 18, 2014
Aug 1, 2014

Dirty Laundry

This might be shocking, but airing your dirty laundry for the whole world to see can be a little intimidating at times. Knowing that your crushes, friends, and family can see exactly what you are thinking, with the click of a mouse, isn’t always the most reassuring thing, but I write so that people will read, simple as that.

And yes it’s an outlet for me too, of course it is. A place where I can bitch and moan, and think and complain. A place where I can heal, and a place where I can discover more about myself. But there’s no way in hell I would put it out there if I didn’t want people to read it.

It can be a little dangerous at times, because I’m no expert. I definitely don’t hold the answers to life (I’m 21 for Gods sake, I’m still learning to say no to that final tequila shot). But I do have some experience, and that is where my writing stems from.

The point is, I can be wrong. And although I try to write when I feel like I’ve learned a lesson, when I feel like I have some bit of helpful knowledge that I can share with people, there are some lessons that I just haven’t learned yet.

You see my writing can also be a good way to get back at people. A way to passively say, “fuck you” to the people that have screwed me over and that’s a dangerous game to play. Let me give you an example: the other week I wrote an article from that negative mindset. It was called ‘Severing Ties’ and maybe you read it. It was about ending relationships when they aren’t working, about not settling for something if it isn’t perfect, about waiting to find the person that can do absolutely no wrong in your eyes. But in this case, I was the one who was wrong.  I didn’t know I was wrong at the time, but that’s another thing about life: you keep learning lessons, even if you think they are ones you have already learned.

I knew I was wrong when the two people in my life, who I respect the most, my sister and my mom, told me that they didn’t really agree with my latest piece of writing. That had never happened before, so I knew I had made a mistake. There are many relationships around me that I truly respect, but the two that I admire the most are theirs. Both of these amazing women are in relationships with great guys, and I always thought it was just because they were lucky enough to find their soul mates. And yes, they are with their soul mates, and by that I mean two souls that compliment each other, but there is more to it than that. 

In this country we grow up believing that when you find the ‘right one’ things will just automatically click. That there will be this ‘ah ha!’ moment and the rest of life will just be a whirlwind of a romance. But what I recently learned is that maybe that’s not the reality of it. As both my mom and my sister told me this week, a relationship takes some effort. They explained that every single day a relationship involves work. It requires two people communicating with each other, spending time together, learning about each other and accepting each other. It involves physical things too, but those are the things that come naturally, the other stuff is what you have to put effort into. 

As my sister so wisely put it, life is a lot more like Frozen than it is like Cinderella. And no I am not going to give you a pitch on why Frozen is a good movie, I think the Internet has done enough of that, but it has a good message. Perhaps the person, who sweeps you off your feet and dazzles you with the possibility of a storybook ending, isn’t the person who is really going to struggle through the hardships of life with you. Maybe it is the person who you wrote off for whatever superficial reason, the person who you can laugh with, the person who you truly connect with, the person that wants to work to form a real relationship with you, who is meant to be your prince charming.  

The thing is I had actually deleted the post before either of them talked to me about it. That’s another thing about lessons, for you to truly learn them, you have to learn them for yourself. I wrote ‘Severing Ties’ because I was angsty. I was sick of dating guys who didn’t want to put in the effort. I wrote it from a place of anger and not a place of understanding, and that was where I made my mistake. I knew that ‘Severing Ties’ didn’t convey what I was really trying to say and that is this: if you find yourself SETTLING in your relationship, if you find yourself wanting more, but you are too afraid to go and search for it, or if you feel like whoever you are with isn’t really trying anymore, then definitely sever those ties. But if you really want to be with someone and you are willing to work a little bit at your relationship, then that is what love is really all about. 

I stand by a few other things I said as well, that you should be with someone who brings out your angels instead of your daemons, and that having similar fundamental beliefs about this world is one of the most important things, but I was wrong about cutting things off too early.

If you end things with someone too soon, if you don’t try and work together to figure things out, and if you let your fear outweigh your better judgment then you might never know what kind of relationship you could find with someone.

So yes, I make mistakes sometimes, I’m a blogger, not a therapist. And no, you shouldn’t agree with me about everything. I write from my own experience, and each person experiences life in a different way. But I don’t write to air my dirty laundry. I’m not aiming to be the Taylor Swift of the writing world. I am writing to try and better the world, and that is why most of my writing ends with a lesson. And yeah, maybe I’ll lose a few potential suitors, a few guys who would never want to date me, for the fear of having our story written down someday. But I don’t think I’d want to be with a guy like that anyways. 

I write so that people will think. I write because every once in a while I get a Facebook message from someone who has been going through a similar experience, and who really appreciated feeling like they weren’t going through it alone. And of course, I write so that people will read. And if you have read this whole long ass post, then congrats you have read more today than most of our nation and maybe you even have something new to think about. Maybe you are starting to look at your own relationships and consider how much effort you are actually putting into them and if that effort is being reciprocated. And maybe, just maybe, if your love life isn’t where you want it to be at, you will be inspired to make a change.

Thank you for taking the time to open your mind, and read a few thousand words. <3   

BY Izzy Martens

"Love isn’t always perfect. It isn’t a fairytale or a storybook. And it doesn’t always come easy. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go. It is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define, and impossible to live without. Love is work, but most of all, love is realizing that every hour, every minute & every second was worth it because you did it together."

 ~Unknown

Jul 24, 2014 / 3,658 notes

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Jul 20, 2014

The Cheating Game

For brief moments I’ll forget her name. Granted, it always comes back. But the fact that I can forget, for even a second, is encouraging. I’ll never forget her face, no that’s grained into my mind. And comes back to visit me sometimes in bad dreams. The truth is it wasn’t all her fault, of course it wasnt, but she holds some of the blame, that’s for damn sure.

I wrote her a letter before it happened. Or as it was happening…I guess that part I’ll never know. The letter asked her to back off of him. I explained how much we had been through; I told her that our relationship deserved this fighting chance, but with her in the picture it was making it impossible. I told her that I was actually a pretty cool person, and that I was sure she was as well. She must’ve been a cool girl, because he was a cool guy. I told her that it wasn’t fair of me to come back after so long and steal him away again. I said we hadn’t planned on getting back together, which was the truth. Love makes you stupid sometimes. I acknowledged that it wasn’t really fair of her to get pushed to the side, but I was asking her to respect the love we shared. 

I never sent the letter. I should’ve. Maybe it would of made things different, but maybe it would have made me hate her even more. Knowing that she read it, and did it anyways. I even knew where she lived. I had dropped him off there before, it was where all of his friends hung out and I was trying to be trusting. Trying to be a cool girlfriend, even though it tore me up inside. I was so tempted to just drop it on her front porch, but I couldn’t bring myself to. I thought about egg-ing her house a few times after it happened. I probably should’ve done that as well; I’m sure it would’ve made me feel better for about ten minutes.    

Cheating has always been the lowest form of betrayal in my eyes. I guess it’s because guys have always done it to me. You see cheating doesn’t make the person you cheated on feel very good. No shit right? It makes you think that it was your fault somehow. That you weren’t hot enough, sexy enough, smart enough, etc. It makes you think that there was something you could have changed about yourself; some fundamental problem that could be fixed, when in reality it usually has nothing to do with you at all.

It’s a two way street-cheating is, and it seems like most people struggle on where to place the blame. I’ve seen it go down multiple ways. Either it’s all the girls fault: she was a slut or a tease, she tempted him too much, she knew he had a girlfriend and she urged him on anyways. Or that she enjoyed winning him over, she enjoyed knowing that she was the straw that broke the camels back. On the flip side„ and in most cases this is the best way to go about it, the blame goes to the guy who cheated on you. The guy who, by asking you to be his girlfriend, by saying I love you, and by kissing you morning after morning, promised he would be faithful to you, then wasn’t. 

The truth of it is cheating goes both ways. Unless you weren’t aware that the person you were about to sleep with was in a relationship, of course. In that case I’m really fucking sorry you let a d-bag like that under your sheets. But if you know someone is in a relationship, and you do it anyways, than you have to take responsibility for the fact that you probably just hurt another person pretty badly. You may not know that other person, you may not want to think about the other side of it, you may only be focused on your wants and your desires, but that’s the way it works. And if you are in a relationship, and you aren’t happy, and cheating looks like the easiest way out. Or if you see a girl at a bar, and she is looking at you like she would bang you until the sun comes up, and you just can’t resist the temptation. Then words are usually a better first option, rather than unzipping your pants and letting the rest go to shit.

You see words save you from all the messy stuff. They save you from looking like a total fucking asshole in the eyes of a person you once really loved, or liked, or even cared about. They save that person from all questions of “what did I do wrong?” and “I’m just not good enough.” They allow you to maintain your dignity, your reputation, and your conscience. Cheating is not an easy out. Saying the words “I just don’t want to do this anymore” is. Or if you still want to be in a relationship than the words “Hall Pass?” might help you out. You might get slapped in the face, but it’s worth a shot, apparently open relationships are the wave of the future.  

And on the flip side, if you know that someone is in a relationship, and you still are planning on hooking up with them, than think about the roles if they were reversed. Think about the person who is really going to suffer from your actions. Think about the pain you will cause, and then think about whether or not it would actually be worth it. 

I think respect for one another as human beings is something we all need to work on a lot more in this world. I think placing yourself in someone else’s shoes is something we need to be doing on a daily basis. Respect is something that needs to be practiced a thousand times more and by thousands more people, but respect for relationships is a good start. 

So yeah, maybe I never will forget her face. A face I’ve only seen once, in a picture the size of a dime, on the top of an Instagram account. But one day maybe I really will forget her name. Perhaps one day, when my mind draws a blank (as it sometimes does when I feel like saying her name and cursing a little) the words just won’t come. And maybe one day I’ll look back on all this and only remember it as a learning experience. Perhaps sooner or later I will write it off as a lesson learned and I won’t think anymore about the person behind the scenes.               

"The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too."

-Ernest Hemingway

Jun 25, 2014 / 1 note
That fall was the most beautiful of my life. Even forty years later I can say that. And I was never so unhappy, I can say that, too. People think first love is sweet, and never sweeter than when that first bond snaps. You’ve heard a thousand pop and country songs that prove the point; some fool got his heart broke. Yet that first broken heart is always the most painful, the slowest to mend and leaves the most visible scar. What’s so sweet about that?
Stephen King
Jun 24, 2014 / 1 note
Jun 15, 2014

This One Is For My Dad

I guess you could say my family wasn’t typical when I was growing up. We didn’t have the American, idealistic, stay at home mom, wearing an apron and tending her children, while the dad worked away from home. Instead, we had a stay at home dad.

I don’t know why things worked out this way, but my mom was the one with the high power job and my dad stayed at home with us, making lunches and driving us to soccer practices in his sweet mini-van. If you knew my dad, this would make sense to you. He is the type of guy who is content with the little things in life: enjoying a mountain bike ride in the middle of the day, being able to eat lunch at his own kitchen table, picking up his guitar and cracking open a beer by the time the sun sets. Although my dad also worked, in the loft-turned office in our house, being able to work from home allowed him to do all of those things he loves. It also meant that when I was growing up, I got to spend more time with my dad than many kids do.

Spending all that time with my dad taught me more then I probably realize. He has shown me how to accept life as it comes. His mellow attitude about the world has shown me that although you can’t control everything, you can learn to roll with the punches. His love of music, and his love of guitar, is why our home was constantly with beautiful melodies, and is why I have the love of music that I do. His excitement about the world around him has shown me to always take a few seconds and breath in the beautiful world that we live in. His thirst for adventure has inspired me to always strive to do and see more, even as my bones grow older.      

My dad is basically just the chilliest guy in the world. He is going on 60 but he is more fit than I am, no doubt. He rides his bike for miles and miles each day, visiting the tops of mountains and the bottom of plains. Having grown up in the seventies, my dad had long hair and a ponytail for most of his life. He rocked paisley bell-bottoms and he smoked pot just like the rest of us. But the best thing about my dad is that he is not plagued by the insignificant worries, which most of us seem to be afflicted by. My dad knows how to be grateful for the life he has, and that is one of the most amazing things on this earth.
 
I am so grateful that my dad is who he is. I am grateful for the lessons he has taught me and I am grateful for the adventures he has taken me on. I am grateful that he used to carry me in a backpack up mountains, I am grateful that he has led my family and I around the world. I am so glad that my dad showed me what good beer is supposed to taste like and I am so thankful that he urged me to pick up the guitar and keep playing even when I thought I wasn’t that good. I am thankful for all the warm meals my dad has made for us and I am so thankful for the childhood he provided me with.

I love you so much dad and I hope you have the best fathers day ever.

Jun 13, 2014

Powerful.

Jun 5, 2014

One Deadly Sin

Everyone has some sin in their life. Admittedly there are different levels of sin, but everyone experiences it in one-way or another. Some people find sin where others would find a typical Saturday night. Some people think it is sinful to kill a bug, others draw the line at killing humans. Some people allow the judgment of their sins to be looked upon by God, while others let their best friends decide if what they are doing is pushing the limits. But regardless of the varying degrees of sinfulness in someone’s life, everyone has something with which they look upon with remorse.

We’ve all heard of the seven deadly sins, we’ve seen the costumes, we’ve read the stories, and maybe some of us even know the history behind them. Well, if you don’t, let me give you a little overview. Way back in the fucking day Pope Gregory the First wrote out a list of seven sinful behaviors that humans are prone to. These seven sins were:

Luxiria(lust)

Gula(gluttony)

Avaritia(greed)

Acedia(sloth)

Ira(wrath)

Invidia(envy)

Superbia(pride)
Years later, Dante Aligehri placed the seven deadly sins within the bonds of literature, chronicling them in Dante’s Inferno. In this epic poem, our main character Dante travels through the depths of hell, witnessing the horrors that each different type of sinner is forced to experience. The lustful are punished by constantly being blown back and forth by a forceful wind, representing an inability to be stable with someone in life. The gluttonous lay in filth while icy rain pours down upon them, the greedy are forced the carry heavy weights upon their chests, the wrathful lay buried beneath sheets and sheets of heavy ice.

While thinking about these seven deadly sins, it is hard to not to identify with more than one. We are all greedy sometimes; most of us know what it is like to over-indulge in a delicious dessert or 4 pieces of pizza. This generation of college kids is generally pretty lustful and being lazy may as well be a universal flaw.

But what if we looked at ourselves under a closer lens? What if we examined how deeply we fall into each ‘sinful’ category and figured out which one affects us the most? This isn’t an easy thing to do of course. No one likes to look at their flaws, let alone their deepest flaw.

I stumbled upon mine in the last couple of years. Although my deep obsession with Cosmo’s pizza and good beer might suggest that Gula is my downfall, it is a little less comic then that. Instead the sin, which affects me the most, is Invidia-or envy.

Maybe I was born that way, or maybe it is youngest child syndrome, but jealousy has always been something that I’ve struggled with. Whether it was envy of a toy that my older sister had when I was growing up, or jealousy about a new pair of shoes one of my friends got during back-to-school shopping. As I grew older I began to realize that this jealous-nature was affecting my relationships too. I saw my green monster come out when I was crushing on guys and there were other girls, who I considered competition, in the mix. Instead of brushing it off and being confident in myself, I would talk shit about the other girl; delusional in my thinking that talking smack would make me seem like the better choice. When I saw my first love begin a friendship with a new girl, I immediately went on the defense, making snide comments about her, to let him know that she was on my radar. The only thing I succeeded in doing, in that case, was to push him right into her arms.

That’s when I learned that being jealous accomplishes only one thing-making you seem small. Jealousy or envy is part of life, but it also has the power to do more damage then you would expect. And that is like all of the seven sins. Each one has the power to control a major part of your life, unless you make the decision to take control of it, before it takes control of you.

Perhaps each one of us has one of these sins affecting our lives more then we’d care to admit. Maybe you have a deep hunger for money; so much so that you get in fights with the people you love about it, making your one deadly sin greed. Maybe you are a few pounds too heavy and the numbers on the scale just keep ticking up, then perhaps you struggle with gluttony, or maybe even sloth, something you would have to decide for yourself. Maybe you’ve been sleeping around for as long as you can remember, but no matter what you do, you can’t seem to find happiness, then maybe you need to take a look at how lust is affecting your life.

There are seven deadly sins but maybe it takes just one to change your life. Admitting to your flaws is probably one of the least fun things to do in the world, making the decision to do something about your flaws might be even harder. My challenge for you is to find out where you are on the seven sins scale. Find the one, the one you struggle more then all the others and recognize it as a problem area. Once you do that, then you can begin to find solutions.

So yes, maybe I am a jealous person, but at least I know it. I can never un-do the mistakes that my one deadly sin has forced me to make, but I sure as hell can learn from them. I can learn that jealousy is just one small part of what makes me human, and all the other great things, that life has blessed me with, are stronger than one, deadly, sin.

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