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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Better Days

"Tonight's the night the world begins again."

Happy New Years, Everyone!!! I am writing you this December 31st in the midst of getting ready to go celebrate the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012.

2011 was full of incredible experiences and memories for me, and I hope the same goes for you all!

I have always loved the Goo Goo Dolls, and I think that you'll understand why!  This song is such a perfect way to say hello to 2012!  No matter what happened in 2011, if it was a great year for you, or a terrible one... tonight begins a new chapter in all of our lives... tonight is a way to start over... tonight the world comes together to say goodbye to the past and look positively and optimistically at the future.


Please enjoy tonight, and all of the magic that it brings.  Hope, joy, excitement and love to all of you on this wonderful evening!

And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
'cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

[Chorus]
So take these words and sing out loud
'cause everyone is forgiven now
'cause tonight's the night the world begins again

I need some place simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that's faith and trust and peace while we're alive
And the one poor child who saved this world
And there's ten million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them


I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days


'cause tonight's the night the world begins again

The Goo Goo Dolls - "Better Days"

God Bless! And Happy 2012! xoxo
Love True-
Allison

Friday, December 9, 2011

Walk on the Ocean

Today, I realized that I have probably spent more time in a gymnastics gym than I have in any other place.  Particularly the gym at UW-Whitewater, where I attended college and now coach.  I have spent 9 months of the last 7 years there.  No wonder it feels like home to me.  It's not a chore to go there, and I don't ever feel like I'm at work when I'm there.  It's just a warm feeling, happy and content.  

I entered my first gym at age 4... so needless to say, I've been pretty content to be barefoot and in a leotard for the last 21 years.  Okay, my leotard wearing days are over... but I still go barefoot :)

Anyway, I came across this quote again today, a line from a song that wasn't very familiar to me, but for this one line that pops up frequently in one of my favorite TV shows.  

"Somebody told me that this is the place where everything's better and everything's safe."

 
My home is one of these places for me.  Relaxing in the comfort of my home, with my family by my side is the safest I've ever felt.  The fabric of the "nap chair," the warmth of the fireplace, the smell of my mom's candles, and the clutter of 4 young adults watching movies together with their parents, is the happy safe zone that I love the most.  I wish I could be there more, but real life isn't always that easy.

Work keeps me a good distance away from my home, but lucky for me I have a home away from home.  I have a nice little studio apartment where I spend a lot of time these days.  I am a nanny during the day, so I'm home a lot now.  But my apartment is not my comfort zone.  When I am away working, my home is the gym.  I feel happy there, calm and serene.  Sure, sometimes college gymnastics is stressful, and intense... but that is normal for any job. 

Despite the location, where ever it may be... I think the true HOME feeling comes in part because of the people who surround it.  I know how blessed I am to have two incredible families who love and support me... and that is all the SAFE I need.

My wish for everyone is that they have one of these places.  Somewhere they feel the most like themselves.  Somewhere they feel comfortable being who they are.  Somewhere they can trust to save them from the outside world when times get hard.  A safe haven. 


"we spotted the ocean at the head of the trail
where are we going, so far away
and somebody told me that this is the place
where everything's better, everything's safe

walk on the ocean
step on the stones
flesh becomes water
wood becomes bone

half and hour later we packed up our things
we said we'd send letters and all those little things
and they knew we were lying but they smiled just the same
it seemed they'd already forgotten we'd came

walk on the ocean
step on the stones
flesh becomes water
wood becomes bone

now back at the homestead
where the air makes you choke
and people don't know you
and trust is a joke
we don't even have pictures
just memories to hold
that grow sweeter each season
as we slowly grow old"

Love True-
Allison





Thursday, December 1, 2011

Carrie Underwood

"Lessons Learned" - Carrie Underwood



There's some things that I regret,
Some words I wish had gone unsaid,
Some starts,
That had some bitter endings,
Been some bad times I've been through,
Damage I cannot undo,
Some things,
I wish I could do all all over again,
But it don't really matter,
Life gets that much harder,
It makes you that much stronger,
Oh, some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were,
Lessons learned.

And every tear that had to fall from my eyes,
Everyday I wondered how I'd get through the night,
Every change, life has thrown me,
I'm thankful, for every break in my heart,
I'm grateful, for every scar,
Some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were lessons learned.

There's mistakes that I have made,
Some chances I just threw away,
Some roads,
I never should've taken,
Been some signs I didn't see,
Hearts that I hurt needlessly,
Some wounds,
That I wish I could have one more chance to mend,
But it don't make no difference,
The past can't be rewritten,
You get the life you're given,
Oh, some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were,
Lessons learned.

And every tear that had to fall from my eyes,
Everyday I wondered how I'd get through the night,
Every change, life has thrown me,
I'm thankful, for every break in my heart,
I'm grateful, for every scar,
Some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were lessons learned.

And all the things that break you,
Are all the things that make you strong,
You can't change the past,
Cause it's gone,
And you just gotta move on,
Because it's all,
Lessons learned.

And every tear that had to fall from my eyes,
Everyday I wondered how I'd get through the night,
Every change, life has thrown me,
I'm thankful, for every break in my heart,
I'm grateful, for every scar,
Some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were lessons learned,
Oh, some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were lessons learned,
Lessons learned.


This song came on last night while I was coaching, and I nearly broke down into tears right there.  It was one of those moments where the right words hit you at the right time.  I've been looking for the right words lately, to describe how I've been feeling about life.  Sometimes I feel like I've fallen so far behind that I will never catch up to where I am supposed to be.

For instance, if I would have done something different, would my life be easier?

Probably.

If I wouldn't have gone to grad school (or undergrad for that matter), I wouldn't be incredibly in debt.
If I would have stayed home and gone to school, I wouldn't have missed out on watching my little sister grow up.
If I hadn't done gymnastics, I wouldn't have scars, broken bones... or dreams...

Wait.

No dreams? What kind of a life would that be?

Every struggle, and every pain was worth it's weight in what I've learned because of it.

That white scar down the front of my leg made me Strong.  And the fact that it's two scars deep makes me Stronger.  The purple "swirly design" on my heel is a reminder that I have a family outside of my family should I ever need them.  And the one on top of my foot reminds me to believe in myself when there is nothing else for me to believe in.  And all of the marks on my heart that have come through loving and losing, dreaming, daring, taking chances, being scared, succeeding and failing have only prepared me to be a more compassionate and understanding person.

Life is all about lessons.  If we didn't make mistakes, we would never learn from them.  If we didn't take chances, how would we know how great life can be?  I have to turn down that ticket... to the event in LA that I was dying to go to.  Unfortunately, I can't afford the trip, but I'm planning to save enough to go next year.  Am I bummed?  Of course I am.  But I am still thrilled to have been acknowledged for my accomplishments, my struggles and for being brave enough to tell the world what I have been through.  All of that pain was worth the lesson I learned about my life; That it is far more important to do something that I love, be someone I love, and to be proud of that than to waste energy worrying about things that don't really matter.

Sure, I probably could have skipped out on all of this hard stuff had I chose another path in life.  But who knows what that would have brought me?  I don't want to know.  I want to appreciate.

Day 24: Appreciate life's little lessons.  You may not recognize them as they hit you... but if you're patient, they will always reveal themselves!

Love True-
Allison