Live Like It’s Your Last Day

I received some sad news a few weeks ago from one of my best friends: one of our mutual friends passed away, suddenly. That’s, truly, the worst news anyone can receive. Steve was an important person in my life because he was the first person I ever started telling my stories to. He was my first listener. Steve always anxiously awaited the trials and tribulations of what was/is the dramatic life events that keep my days interesting, laughing hysterically the whole way through. I remember at work he would always say, “Ohhh, Barone…You could write a book with this shit. I’ll be the first one to buy it.”

We never really know when it’s our time. It could be whenever. We never know when fate or the universe or God has decided that it will be our last day and we will take our last breath.

That’s something that some people fear.

I have a very difficult time with death: I have a hard time accepting it. (Relationships, pet dying, etc). I can definitely admit to being in denial on many occasions after important people in my life have died. When people leave my life (moving, one of my student’s graduating, etc.)…even that can be extremely difficult for me. But…trust me, my therapist earns a good chunk of change from this gal and death is always on the agenda as topic of discussion. HE’S WORKING ON IT.

My point is this: We really do have to live each day like it’s our last day because you never know when it will be.

What will you want to have done on your very last day?

Does that mean we have to do every single activity for your last day on Earth? Maybe!…Why not?

Another thing I think about is that…the “good ole days” will come to an end. Your “good ole days” aren’t going to last forever. Just like the “best days of your life” won’t.

Who will you want to have spent those days with?

Think about this: it’s up to you to make things last as long as you want them to. I think we have so many things we can do to prolong our happiness. We have some choice in the matter. If there are certain people or places in your life that make you happy…gravitate towards them! Keep them around for the good days…because you never know when you might have your last ones.

It’s not worth it to feel misery if you can help it. It’s not worth it to do things that will make the good days end sooner. I can do things to make them last longer by being around an environment with the people that make me the happiest in order to create those beautiful moments.

Yeah…those moments might look differently than they did when I was in my early twenties and they might look differently than when I was in high school; but that’s okay. I still appreciate and adore both sets of memories.

What matters out of this thought process I’m having right now is to keep in mind that we don’t have a long time on Earth. Some of us have longer than others; but, none of us have any idea what our timeline is. Don’t put yourself in a position where your best days are spent miserable because you’re not living each day as it is presented to you. You can’t go back, you can only move forward. One step at a time.

And before you know it, your time is up.

As for Steve, I hope books are cheap wherever you are…my manuscript is already written. 🖤

Dancing Queen 👑 🏡🦋🦁

{Wreckage}

Wish not, want not

I must stop yearning for you

Desire makes me vulnerable

To the pain you put me through

Time after time I pine for your touch

A soft kiss on the lids of my eyes

As they shut

Your voice the calm strength to my slumber

For the most of you

I hope against hope

Only to set myself up

For disappointment

Fate will always intervene

Reminding me

I am in control of nothing.

So, maybe one day I will see

That wanting only leads…

…To wreckage.

Soft Edit Photo by: Jeff Goldberg

{Fairytale Romance}

You pretended to be

Something you believed

Out of a storybook romance

And your childhood dreams.

But, the wind of reality turned the pages too fast…

…Making it hard to last

In the costume of a King.

Me the Woodland Nymph // Chicago Suburbs // Photographer’s Name is Withheld Publicly; Require Privately for Inquiries.

So…what is this “love,” exactly?

(Updated from the original Valentine’s Day post on my Main Instagram account @m.leigh_8)

This post requires some work from you…my reader. ❤

You can close your eyes if it helps you, but I want you think about the word: LOVE.

Think about a moment when you felt that word, truly, felt that word: LOVE.

What, where, when were you at this moment that brings you back to the word: LOVE?

What was happening?

Most importantly: Describe that feeling to yourself. What does the feeling…feel like?

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy can be our teacher.” -Pema Chodron

I had an amazing experience having my cards read by my favorite reader Cally Nelson via Skype from her location – NYC. What resonated most with me was this idea that in relationships people may sacrifice emotional vulnerability and connection because of the questions that practicality put at the forefront.

It’s so much easier to give up on love because it doesn’t seem practical. That reasoning makes it a lot smoother of a transition into the next relationship…right? Not always. It’s never a good idea to ignore emotions and feelings especially not the ones that make you tingle in all of fibers your being…like love.

Not all emotions deserve attention at length and they don’t all deserve to be acted on. However, it’s vital to acknowledge that what you feel exists and that it’s valid, it matters, and nothing or no one else (not even practicality) should be suffocating those feelings with “reasons” to believe that they are wrong or irrational.

Opening your heart is a scary AF thing to do. You are volunteering to play a dangerous game and signing up to, at some point, feel the PAIN of that contact sport. But, think of all the times you’ve made it through before…you learned so much from that, didn’t you? So, as you are getting back in the game (or in the game, already) this time around, you have new plays, maybe more pads on, practicality is gliding on the surface (but, not at the forefront)…and love is growing, teaching, guiding you to victory.

So, keep in mind that love, when with the right person, is not complicated. Love is not confusing. There is no ambivalence. Love is not something that goes on “autopilot.” Like Netflix, it can’t chill in the background of your life while every once in a while you have to check in on it and make sure someone is still “watching.” Love is not just one more thing to add to your checklist for the day, it’s not white noise that clouds your head with, questions, concerns about the future, or problems that you feel you have to fix or solve because you think something just isn’t right.

So, when you answered the question before you began reading…what kind of feeling did you feel when you heard the word: LOVE? Was it warm, full-bodied, tingly, fluttering? Was it soft, sweet, gentle, fun? Was it exciting, fierce, easy? Was it slow, tender, smooth? Was it an “autopilot” kind of love?

When you find your right person, your twin flame, love will become the brightest fire that fuels your days and lights your nights. Love will lluminate the earth with passion and lust, allowing you to fully surrender to each day eagerly to begin anew with each other in the next.

Like myself, please don’t ever give up hope that you will find your true love. Your twin flame. Love lives everyday, all days. Open your heart, to all possibilities, close off practicalities, let your emotions bleed, and the fullest love will find its way to your soul.

Me // Photo by: Jeff Goldberg // Chicago, IL

{The Lust of Wander}

Lovers are so much more than just

Sex & Fantasy.

I fear that as time has passed

You see me as only that.

But, maybe one day you’ll embrace

The lust of this wander.

Only, then,

To finally feel the same regret I hold

As a rusted toll for this mistaken love.

Me // Chicago, IL // Photo by: Jeff Goldberg

{Masters of Depression}

We are masters of depression

Because we hide it so well

Disguise from ourselves

Hide it from each other

We are masters of depression

Because we fear it so much

Afraid to feel where it really comes from

Anxious about what others will think

We are masters of masking with false happiness

Seeking value in the wrong places

Seeking love in the wrong faces

At the wrong time

We are masters of judging fate

We worry about being late

And future dates

Now missing past memories lost in space

Can we go back with what we know now?

We are masters of none.

We are masters never.

We are forever learners and lovers.

Lost.

Colorado Springs, CO

{Wolf Costume On the Loose}

He is a sheep in wolf’s clothing

Shy on the inside

Riding high on the outside

Escaping all that plagues him

That chases him

Only to run right into me.

His piercing eyes disguise

The death

Behind the depth

Of the echo

In his voice as he whispers

In my ears

A taste of true love and wanting.

But, oh, little lamb…

You try so hard to be who I am…

Forgetting that I have figured out

The REAL clothes that you wear

And all the lies behind each “loving” stare

Buried beneath the surface.

Nurturing your insecurities

With a blanket of deception

My numbness toward your existence

Frightens the ravens into the darkest of places.

Watch 4 Prey // 📸: Mari Tanaka // Chicago

Sex & Love // Live

Sex is a very powerful force. It makes people feel alive.

It makes people feel alive – revived – when they’ve been left for dead. It makes people feel alive when they’ve lost all their breath and their last thoughts of love have buried six feet under.

Sex makes people feel alive when their thoughts of love have been turned to ambivalence and neglect. Sex makes people feel their deepest, darkest secrets turn to reality and it makes them become fantastical reality all in one. Even your worst memories and your worst thoughts become dreams and become hope when you find someone that makes sex into art.

Sex can be what you make it. It can be just sex when you’re with the wrong person. But, it becomes the art of lovemaking when you’re with the right person. I believe that what happens when we find that person is immediately we feel that word…“love.” A feeling that’s indescribable and unique to everyone.

After we feel, we think that, then, we’re in love and that’s true. I think when we are with the right person we are making love happen. This is a form of love and it’s okay to feel that and it’s okay to be in love in those moments. To accept that as true and to accept that as real is okay. It’s one of the most natural forms of human life. Let it exist and be true in your reality for the beauty that it is.

Explore the adventure of love in all places. Explore your sensuality. Discover the depths of your soul. The true nature of the lover that you are/can be cannot be uncovered until you have loved fully, deeply, and with a lust for life. Never be afraid to feel.

Photo by: @priankarpatra // Me! // Chicago, IL