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Running out of the Void…

Running out of the Void…

October’s beauty along Maine’s northern coast was painted in reds, yellows, and oranges, the trees were heavy, drooping towards the road as though they were ready for a long rest. The petrichor of the asphalt was potent radiating from the slight precipitation allowing gravity to pull it down towards the ground, my head, and arms. Cool to the touch but quickly warmed by my body. 38,001, 38,002, 38,003, was occupying my thoughts taking one step at a time getting just slightly closer to the destination. My breath was heavy, but calm reminding me of why I was there in the first place…

To Whom This Concerns,

I let you inside my head, I gave you power, I let you take a piece of my confidence, I let you have a part of my aspirations, but I am still here. Thank you for all the pain you gifted to me, thank you for all the tears I’ve cried, thank you for the void you’ve provided. I first noticed you in early February you were a slight twinge, a small instigator. I was able to ignore you that’s what I was best, you’d go away on your own right?

With every new step my breath became much more heavy, much more labored the break down of glycogen was occurring to ensure I could continue each new step. At this point lactic acid was forming in the upper and lower sections of my legs it burned as a warning signal to my brain to stop, but I couldn’t and I wouldn’t. I was running out of the void, out of the empty space, out of the state of being without something, out of the hollowness…

Wrong. You laughed, the more I tried to ignore you the more power I gave you. Doing the damage physically and mentally scarring me…but I didn’t know. I fed your appetite with the lack of nutrition and the caffeine in my veins, you survived and got stronger with every sleepless night. I was falling deeper into your black hole into the emptiness you provided, eventually only escaping the pain through Diphenhydramine citrate, you laughed again because you fed off the combination of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen compounds placed perfectly in a line just the way you like it.

40,001, 40,002…counting helped distract from the oven-like burn of lactic acid in my legs, and the sharp knife-like stabbing in my right shoulder. 40,098, 40,099 pain is subjective to everyone I’ve come to realize that and it is characterized both positively and negatively. Pain is a void and is experienced physically and emotionally. I like many others have experienced both kinds of pain. 40,151, 40,152, it separates individuals in any one moment. Physical pain being experienced in a loved one can create emotional pain in another. Pain interacts with everyone differently and individually. Pain is a basic bodily sensation induced by noxious stimulus received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort, and typically leading to evasive action…

You crept from my body to my mind, I let you have all of me, I wanted it to be concluded, I wanted your control released. I was losing to you and I had accepted that. I fell deeper into your darkness ignoring any hope of solution, resolution, or response. Sleep was my escape and I allowed myself to accept the satisfaction of slumber. It brought thoughts of warmth, happiness, and ease. I liked the mask you placed over my mind shielding me from your grasp as to distract me ever more just before you finished your work.

40,552, 40,553 with every new step I realized what I could have been missing, the slight breeze scented with salt engaging my lungs breathing deeply relaxed the sensation of tiredness. The echos of laughter and cheers unfurled my brow soften my complexion and reversed the shape of my unbending mouth. The warmth of the sun peaking past the heavy clouds reflecting its light off of the asphalt…40,999, 41,000 with every breath was a relief, a response, a resolution a reason to be in this moment, a reason to let go, and a reason to live…

You didn’t win though, you didn’t have a chance to finish your work, I found a way to take the mask off and open my eyes. I have fully formed fibroblasts from the scars I let you leave. They linger in my colon, on my arms, and in my mind, but only as a reminder of the shackles you once held. Thank you for the strength you provided, for the confidence, for the pain because I now know how to structure my limits you provided a standard that I will constantly surpass.

55,332, 55,333…55,334 the loud speaker from the distance was announcing in a muffled tone the names and numbers, people I didn’t know yelling “keep going” and “you’re almost there” as I approached the point of two tenths of a mile, I looked in to the faces of people on the sidelines energetic, happy, and encouraging all who pass. As I approached the point of two tenths of a mile tears accumulated in my eyes, sweat was dried to my face, and I couldn’t feel my feet. In this moment I had completed twenty-six miles, but still two tenths to go. It is funny how long that distance seemed considering I had just run twenty six miles, its as though the route was taunting and challenging me in that last two tenths…

Thank you for all the opportunities you took from me, for if you hadn’t I would have never known how to challenge myself. I would have never known how strong I could be, I would have never known what it really meant to live life to the fullest. You provided perspective on my life that I’ve since embraced and only you could have given me that. Although we are now stuck together you’ve given me more reason to be present, let go of myself, and keep you at bay. Forever Thank you inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease, or whatever you’d like me to call you…now I’m going to get things done!

Sincerely,

The person living outside the Guts.

55,445…it took me fifty five thousand four hundred and forty five steps, four hours and fifty six minutes to run my first marathon. It was by far not the best time, but I carried myself standing tall and smiling all the way because the pain I captured during my diagnosis helped me with the pain I felt in the marathon. I smiled at the pain as it took me to a new level that I would have never otherwise known. As I took that step passed the line I was immediately welcomed by strangers as the announcer called out my name and number what I remember about that moment was how happy I felt, the high in the moment of finishing a marathon was as addicting as cuddles on a snowy morning… “Kalyn first marathon finisher” will ever be in my head as a reminder to the girl a year prior couldn’t even finish one mile without stopping. I will not be that person again and that’s okay because we all grow and with growth we learn, we gain perspective, and we take a step. I have since completed a half marathon and a 10k this is only the beginning…I have colored a new picture and will continue running out of the void…I extend my hand to those who want to run with me…

What Color Are You…

What Color Are You…

When I was younger I loved to color, I was the type of kid that colored within the lines because I liked the control of having the colors within the pictures. The tools I used to color was of course a coloring book, but also a box of 24 crayons. In that box of crayons I of course had my favorites yellows, purples, and oranges these were used often whereas other colors such as grey, brown, and blues weren’t used much at all. As I have grown I realize life is like a box of crayons you have those colors that you rely on and then you have those that you don’t. In the largest box of crayons there is 120 different colors, even with all those choices life still has a way of introducing a new color as they walk through the door and your box of 120 needs more room.

We are all painters and colorists in this life always adding colors to our canvas in hopes that one day it will be harmonized. We all have a color scheme some may describe ourselves in one color more so then another, but each of these colors are added to complement, to harmonize, and to support us. Our box of crayons doesn’t exist with only one color such as in life each new color creates an opportunity to support, complement, or harmonize a part of our canvas.

You will find colors that will complement yours they will be your opposites providing a sharp contrast between the two, this can really make life “pop,” but the overuse of this combination will be tiresome overtime. Embrace the complements in your life, but be cautious of the vibrancy.

You will find colors in this life that are analogous these will sit next to you, they will support you, and they will accent you throughout your canvas. These colors in your life will balance and harmonize parts of your canvas. Take care of the analogous colors in your life for they will help you stand out.

You will also find colors that are triadic to your own color, these colors will be very bright and dynamic when they come together. Triadic colors are described as such for the visual contrast and simultaneous harmony allowing each to stand out while creating an overall balance. Cherish the triadic colors in your canvas for each needs the other for support.

Your box of crayons will also be described in temperature, warm colors are energetic, bright, and exciting where as cool colors are cool, peaceful, and serene we need to remember each color adds value to your box of crayons and we shouldn’t discount any of them.

Hue are you? Hues are a combination of tints, tones, and shades. We have all been tinted such that white has been added to lighten and brighten our colors, we have also all been shaded such that black has been added that has darkened our color. With every tint and shade however, a new color was added to our box of crayons we learn from every tint and shade that is mixed in our color. Grey’s also make an appearance in our lives mixing with our colors causing a shade in which reduces our colors to appear more subtle, be careful of the grey’s in your life for they reduce the potential brightness of your color.

What is your favorite color? Why is it your favorite color? Could it be a representational of how you see yourself or a reflection of how you want others to perceive you? Color itself is a perception our eyes observe an object and information from our eyes is wired to our brain to tell us what color is. I have had three favorite colors in my life each described during different points of my existence.

Yellow: My earliest memory of having a favorite color was described as being yellow. Yellow is the brightest color associated with competence, happiness, cheer, optimism, and youth, however yellow can also be described as cowardice, deceitful, and cheap. Yellow was my favorite when I was around the ages of 7 through 10. Yellow is a warm color complements purple, analogous to orange and green, triadic to blue and red.

Purple: My second favorite color was purple interestingly enough is the complement of yellow. Purple is associated with communication, creativity, imagination, authority, sophistication, power, wealth, prosperity, mystery, wisdom, and respect. Also being healing and spiritual it is a cool color that doesn’t grab the attention of the onlooker. This was my favorite color from the ages of 10 through 15. Purple is a cool color complements yellow, analogous to red and blue, triadic to green and orange.

Orange: My current favorite color is orange I have come to associate myself with this color the most it can be described as a color full of energy, vibrancy, fun, happiness, energetic, warmth, ambition, excitement, and enthusiasm. It can also be used to describe a cautionary tale, considered a warm color complements blue, analogous to red and yellow, and triadic with green and purple.

It seems as though my favorite colors described myself during different points in my life, my favorite color changed when I was 10 years old. This is also the age that had the most influence in my thought process. I went from yellow full of cheer, happiness, and optimism a warm color to purple full of mystery, wisdom, and power a cool color. The change in color from yellow to purple to me represented a complete change in the way I thought I went from a kid that was happy and open to someone who was cold and closed off. I have finally been able to harmonize my current canvas of my life describing myself in orange. I have found myself in the warmth, ambition, and excitement once again and will continue as I find colors that help complement, support, and harmonize around me.

Life is full of different experiences, people, and choices each of which provides a new color that we will add to our box of crayons whether we want them or not it stands as a reminder of the lessons we’ve learned. The more colors in our box the more opportunities we have to teach others about the power of color.

“Color in a picture is like enthusiasm in life” – Van Gogh

What color are you…461B5435-E8A9-4FA1-8543-670E8105F37A.jpeg

Sole Searching…

#7: Shoes – a covering for the foot, typically made of leather, with a sturdy sole and not reaching above the ankle.

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Is there ever a thought that crosses your mind as to how many steps you take in your lifetime? There are different technologies now that tell us how many steps we take in a day, but do we ever think about what it took to gain that achievement? What piece of ground our sole touched as we achieved this small goal?

Shoes I think are under appreciated for how often they are used we wear them everyday, we complain about them when we’ve stood for long periods of time, and we accessorize with them. They protect us from the outside grime of the streets, bathrooms, and cafeteria grounds. We sympathize with them when something sticks to the bottom, but also squish bugs without hesitation.  They are a piece of the equation to helping us live through this organic experiences, a tool, and an extension of our outer being. Made up of simple materials it is something we all have in common, a piece of everyone’s day no matter where you work, or who you are, we protect our feet because we are mobile beings.

My first pair of shoes were a small pair of pink baby booties all one material that slipped over the toes of my brand new feet. They kept me warm when I was cold, and protected against too much sun exposure, but mostly I think they were an accessory to the cuteness factor of being a brand new baby…

The shoes I wear now are of a different caliber some are flat, others are high, and a few are sporty, but they each share a commonality, they are all very worn. I have thirty-five pairs of shoes…I understand my collection may seem extensive, but before you comment I will tell you each of these pieces of my closet hold a significance. They represent experiences of life that we often forget like…getting a new job, how many shoes did you wear before being placed in the current pair of shoes you now hold? How many steps did you take to get there? How many soles did you go through in searching for the moment you are currently in? They provide a small memory to the places I’ve been, the types of shoes I’ve worn are representative of the types of “hats” other people wear. There are several combinations types of shoes that have carried me depending on what activity I was participating in.

We all take many steps in our life just based around the activities we choose to participate in…here are a few of the steps I’ve taken over the last several years…

8,125…the number of steps to play a soccer game

55,334…the number of steps to run a marathon

400,896…the number of steps to climb a Mt. Washington trail

45,000,000…the number of steps to Graduate college

Each of the steps you take is representative of an accomplishment, we are all pursuing something in our life that will encourage, inspire, and teach us something different. We are all searching for our niche in our corners of the world. We are all being supported by the shoes we wear, they are unique with different facets, bulky, sleek, or colorful they are representative of our outer personality but, they also support the steps you take towards your goal…

With every step you take your sole makes contact with the ground and what is left behind is a footprint whether it is visible or not, a footprint always follows the step. With every step you take in life, just remember you leave a trail behind of footprints, as a guide for those who come in to your life. Keep a watchful eye and consciously step through every moment understanding the potential contact with the person next to you, the person you haven’t met yet, or the stranger you don’t know. Whom ever you step towards in life introduces opportunities…

Just remember to step with intent while as you find yourself “sole” searching…

-Kalyn Danielle

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What about tomorrow…

#6 Heart – The central innermost part of something; a hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory systems by rhythmic contraction and dilation.

A few words for anyone peaking in to my little window…

My Father Said

War made scrapes

Not only on your body

But in your heart 

In war people dodge

Bullets and bombs but,

When the war is over the rain

Trickles in the willow

Where the sunflowers grow…

-Kalyn Danielle

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“Trickles in the willow”

 

Cake…

#5 Cake – an item of soft, sweet food made from a mixture of flour, shortening, eggs, sugar, and other ingredients, baked and often decorated.

“If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion” – Elon Musk

Have you ever baked a cake? Well if you have you know that there’s first a recipe and it can get pretty technical depending on your experience and your choice of baked good…for me it was always baking cakes, it wasn’t too long ago that I decided to bake a different cake every month. I was about seventeen and I was influenced by too many baking/cooking shows, each of which over dramatize the experience of baking…talk about stressful. This was not my approach to baking, instead I took each recipe one at a time, preparing all the ingredients before taking the first steps of the process. One in particular I can remember quite vividly is a cake I made for my brother. It was a round cake made mostly from shaped rice crispy treats with a submarine spouting from the surface…the process started with the choice of a perfect recipe…check…a vanilla base with chocolate mousse filling…now to start, kitchen cleaned, ingredients in a line, spatulas and whisks ready to operate. Step one mix butter and sugar until creamed okay great, step two add eggs until smooth okay still going good, add flour slowly as it mixes with the other ingredients…slowly but surely the batter was created…now bake until golden brown or until solid in the middle.

Each of these steps to make a cake is essential, baking is technical, it can also be considered chemistry. Each of the ingredients added to the mix is essential to making it the best tasting and looking cake it can be…life is like baking a cake…

We are all bakers in this atmosphere we live in, we are all analyzing the best recipes to create the best results for ourselves. Every baker acts in their own interest to find the best ingredients that will most benefit our cakes. We all approach the way we bake differently as well some line up the ingredients, while others place them all in a pile. Is there a better way to make the cake? What would happen if we didn’t follow the recipe…(I’d bet we would still end up with cake it probably would just be less fluffy). In the end baking may be technical filled with instructions and ingredients, but we all do have the tools the spatulas and whisks to attempt to make the best cakes we as bakers can make. Some will be better than others, but overtime as we learn from the steps in the recipe from the experiences we have had we too will have a piece of the cake.

But don’t forget the best part of creating anything cake and all is to share…good or bad, big or small…

Always strive to make the cake you can be proud to eat…

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-Kalyn Danielle

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