Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Every Moment

That same irritating buzz informs my brain to transmit a message to the rest of my body that it is time to get back to work.
With a deep breath and a stifled sigh I move my toes so as to move the blanket off of me feet slowly. Don't want to send shocks through my body, you got to wake up nice in slow in order for the day to go smoothly.
Instead of falling snow the crack between the curtains solves the mystery of the weather. Sunny with a high of 75, love that song.
A new day brings new struggles, new experiences, new faces and conversations. Yesterday still screams loudly in the back of your mind, secretly choosing your responses for today.
Nobody really understands it... no one knows what the outcome of the day will bring, though we speculate and always hope for the best.
Life's unexpected turns leave everyone with a sense of uneasiness in the back of their minds. We don't do well with the uncertainty. We are controlling beings and the idea of not knowing what the next moment brings causes us to act first and think later.
Our lack of faith in a human's character tends to make us question their motives and many times we misjudge others, we put others down to make ourselves feel better.
Why can't we be honest about our insecurities, embrace the fact that we cannot obtain perfection and give those worries and weaknesses to out maker?
When I look at human behavior, especially my own I end up feeling sad and confused. This may sound like some preacher conveying a "holier then thou" message from a pulpit but I am putting myself in the mix. I want to help make this world a better place. I know that I will not be here forever, I understand that this lifetime will only feel like a minute compared to eternity.
We have to plan for that... never take a moment for granted. Shed those weaknesses and allow God's strength to shine through.
Just a thought,
That's all for now
~Amy Jo~

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Prodigal

I want to run away, to get lost for a day.
I wish to run barefoot through an open field, to lie down and stare at the sky. To pause and thank God for the beauty that lies in silence.
I want to thank the busy bee and the hard working ant for reminding me that there is always more to be done and that there is more to this life then my selfish problems.
I want to stare at my reflection in a river, reach down and distort that image as a reminder that beauty is more then the surface of my skin.
I want to stop and pray for my loved ones so that they will feel overwhelmed with love from both God and I.
I want to forget about my self pity;
My low self esteem.
I want to wash away my negative thoughts,
Aiming to dismiss the thoughts of money, love, work and failure from my mind.
How much time have a allowed to be wasted with my own doubts? Of God? Of my own ability?
I can't count the number of falling tears that have been caused by pointless frustration and forgettable pain.
When one is as blessed as I am I count myself as selfish from taken these blessings for granted,
So as I lay on that soft grass, still wet from the midnight dew, I will reminisce on my childhood. My childlike faith that could move mountains; the faith that I possessed before this world taught me that high hopes were foolish.
Before this worlds lessons of "socially acceptable behavior" distorted my once beautifully painted picture of God's plan for me.
At one time my fingers danced on the cheeks of my mother expressing love and cherishing her beauty; this was before I became consumed with perfection.
Oh how I yearned to reach that place of sweet contentment.
Pushed, struggled, fought to cross that finish line called "perfection."
Laughter arises in my soul as I think back on my ridiculous perception of life and the immature thought of the attainment of becoming perfect.
I see the clouds forming shapes that I do not recognize,
Again I am in the dark... for God's plan is beyond my comprehension.
Try as I might to understand all of His love and mercy,
I must come to grips with the fact that I will not obtain this eternal oasis on this earthly journey.
Faith in His plan must suffice.
Looking around at the obvious glory that He has placed together in His creations.
The trees... rich green hunched over branches weighed down from a long life lived here.
The birds flying not to make us who cannot defy gravity jealous but instead they soar because it was what they were designed to do, plan and simple.
God is our foundation He bears the weight of this world if we allow Him, if we hand over our own insecurities and trust Him to dispose of them.
Forgiven, forgotten.  
The smell of a fresh spring breeze, inhale, exhale... Take it in. Allow God's love to overcome you body and soul as you feel the warmth of the sun fall upon your face.
I want to get lost for a day,
So that I can find you again and leave my old self behind... I don't want her anymore.

That's all for now,
~Amy Jo~

Monday, March 7, 2011

Raindrops on Roses

A heavy heart is like trying to outrun a hurricane. Its weight is ever approaching and when it reaches the surface there is no escaping it, and so you take a deep breathe and you take it in. It over powers every muscle it suffocate's you and all you can do is wait for its current to pass.
You keep the pain inside; not wanting to add to the burden of anyone else's life.
What is the point?
People don't really understand your unique situation and their apologies don't make sense, I mean it's not like it is their fault... Why do they say that they are sorry then?
We know that they care, but the word sorry is a way to ask for forgiveness. I wish their was a word to better describe the sorrow that you feel for someone you love's pain.
I write this entry with a down turned smile and droopy eyes.
Exhausted, somewhat broken. I am not sure where to go from this point. I don't have the answers, and the questions continue to come into my mind.
One day I will look back on this tiring time and I will be able to see what the next step will be but for now its just another part in my adventure to get to where I am going.
Hopefully it won't be too painful of a journey.
That's all for now
~Amy Jo~

Monday, February 28, 2011


Why is it that we change our minds over and over and over again. In today's society we are given the option to change our direction based on every shift of emotion and the people and places around us will do their best to aid in your new pursuit in life.
We have this overwhelming fear of failure, of rejection, of even the possibility of defeat so instead of facing these fears head on we turn around and we start a dead sprint in the opposite direction.
Let me be the first to confess that I change my mind based on an newly discovered whim that pops into my mind.
Hopeless romantic, perfectionist, social butterfly... these combine into a lethal combination at times. Learning how to stick to my guns, how to think through the situation at hand and to follow through has been one of the toughest lessons to cross my path.
When someone makes me smile, my heart tends to melt.
When hateful words cause me to cry, I guard myself from any future pain.
When someone tells me that they love me, I would take a bullet for them.
This characteristic that I happen to have an abundance of is compassion. My most powerful gift but when used without discernment it can be my greatest weakness.
In life when we are faced with tough times the most difficult move to make is to look into the mirror and examine our own issues. Instead of searching through our own inconsistency we will aim our frustration and anger at those around us, those we love, people in the media, complete strangers; it doesn't matter who we place the blame on as long as it is someone other then ourselves.
It is my most recent mission to examine my own weaknesses, I hope that in doing this I will be able to become a stronger and better person.
As I said I am a perfectionist... it is my natural tendency to act as though everything is going perfectly on the exterior; all the while I am broken internally. So this step is huge for me... And I hope it inspires others to do the same.
That's all for now,
~Amy Jo~  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

When I feel overwhelmed with the hardship of this world, my natural reaction is to turn to a reliable friend. This week I have been reminded of all the amazing people I have been blessed to have in my life. I don't understand why it is so easy to take these fantastic people for granted.
I run to these people when thing's don't go well and I complain about how tough my life is... they listen patiently, they hold my tightly and they remind me that I am loved. How is it that I can whine so easily and so constantly? I wish instead that I would take this time and shower them with the love that they deserve! 
I want to make them smile... like the billion times they have caused my lips to curve upward 
I want to hold them tight... just as their embraces have warmed my spirit 
They deserve the very best in this life; I only hope that I have added something special to their lives. Each and every one of these friends have impacted my life in such a special way. I don't think they realize how much their love and support means to me throughout each day. 
I hope they feel my grateful I am for them...
I pray that they are able to see how without them I would not be the same person that I am today. 
"A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity." -- Robert Hall
I know what my friends have done for me... I only hope that they consider me to one of those special people that they could not live without because I know that my life would be a much darker place without them. 

That's all for now
~Amy Jo~

Thursday, February 17, 2011

To the groove of my heart-beat and melody

Topic up for discussion, MUSIC. What an amazing connection that we are all able to share as humans. We argue about it, defend it, listen to it for hours, to relate to when we are sad and to sing along to when we are feeling our best. The instruments, the harmonies, the lyrics that speak the very words that you are feeling. When you're sad someone shouts out the name of a band they heard one time that would help you out in that situation. Why is it that music can bring a smile back onto our face when we have been crying for hours?
Why is it the solution to so many problems?
There's something that brings us all together in the creativity of a rocked out band session. Its the vibrations in the floor, the sweat dripping from the intensity of the moment and its the soul and conviction that lies within the voice of the artist. It's being able to lash out, to scream at the top of our lungs, to say the things we are too afraid or ashamed to say... set to beat, rhythm and chords.
How is it that when we hear the right words combined with right instruments and the right pace... when it is sung by the right voice... when all the elements come into place at the right time... how is it that we are able to shed our heightened emotions and we replace them with a chilled out persona?
It just works.
It doesn't need a reason,
or an answer...
That is what makes music so special, it breaks the rules, it creates its own path, it gives each individual a voice and an outlet to express themselves whether it be intricately or simply.
All I know is that for me it has become something to which I rely on. It has become a faithful friend.

That's all for now,
~Amy Jo~

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Poem 2

A Distant Dream
My patience wears thin
As my thoughts pace my hearts surface…
Leaving parts bare like balding grass

Confusion about my circumstances
Haunts my daily routine
Causing me to question every last detail

My dreams are vivid
I feel your arms around me
Holding me

For fear that in letting go
You will lose that connection
Between our intertwined heartstrings

You won’t let me fall
Your strength carry’s me
Through every trial

My tears seize
My laughter grows
You are the light to my life

Do you even exist?  

~Amy Strop~

The Mask

"We wear the mask that grins and lies, it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes." Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote these words in a much different time then we live in now. Yet they could not be any more present then they are today, we all have our happy faces that we pick up on our way out the front door. We shed our true feelings, stuff them deeply within ourselves so that others will not see our weakness.
I have perfected this ritual, I have this unhealthy desire to ignore my own pain so that others can smile. I want to be their sunshine on a cloudy day. This can be a helpful tool, its important to come to the aid of those in trouble. The issue arises when you begin to suffocate your own thoughts and raw emotions in order to bring a smile to your neighbors face. Placing others before yourself is necessary in this life, but being healthy and taking care of yourself is the best way to help others. When you have your act together, when you are open and honest with yourself and with others then you will receive the support you need.
I was reminded today that I don't always have to be so strong. I can be vulnerable, I can trust the people that love me so much. This is difficult for me because I am such a perfectionist, I never want to show failure or pain because I feel as though that comes across as being imperfect...
Whoa wait what???
Perfection is not humanly obtainable...  
I am learning,
slowly but surely
that when I am transparent with my friends and family I will receive the support that I need in order to function at 100%.
I am so blessed by the people that love me in this life. I need to include them in all area's... EVEN in my moments of weakness.

That's all for now,
Amy Jo

Poem 1

Criss-cross applesauce
sitting on my pockets

snapping fingers
begging for attention

brother playing
sister reading

all I'm doing
is observing

I will be like them
one day

I whisper in my mind

Tall and fast
smart and old

wiggle my toes
scratch my head

slouch my back
"sit up straight" I hear her yell

bored, bored, bored, bored

flower, tree, butterfly
I wish I could grow my own set of wings

I want to fly a plane
I want to jump out of a plain and fly to earth

I want to shoot off like a rocket
I want to learn how to shoot a gun

I want to arrest bad guys
I want to be a hero...

I wonder what he is playing,
I wonder what she is reading

Criss-cross applesauce
sitting on my pockets...

And off I go

-Amy Strop-
~This is my poem about a childhood experience of being put in time-out~

Beauty From Pain

The question of why we endure painful experiences is hard to answer. We don't understand why we go through things that feel as though our hearts are being ripped out of our chest. It is in the area of relationships that we most often feel this immense torment. Human beings are in this constant journey of tossing waves... acting upon our fickle emotions, forgetting to think through our choices and look at the consequences that may occur. We live selfishly in the present and we settle for less then... We search for instant gratification; and we suffer the necessary consequences for our rushed decisions. I have thought long and hard about the pain I have caused myself. Faces cross the screen that plays back memories in my mind and tears stream down my cheeks like waterfalls... they cannot be contained; a force of nature. How could I have been so foolish?
Deep breathe...
Saying goodbye to these faces... faces that are owned by a name, a laugh, a smile...
a beautiful soul that I loved.
Overwhelmed with sadness for the loss of innocent love;
of hopes and dreams of a possible future...
childish ambitions
immature fascination
I extend my hand and I wave... you may no longer haunt my dreams... unanswered questions will be forgotten by morning. I will no longer live in constant fear of "not knowing."
I will turn my back... as you once did...
as I watched you walk away
without a thought
without an apology
not even a whisper of a farewell.
Your power over me made me feel inadequate
But I have picked up speed... gained strength
grown into someone-->
someone confident.
someone beautiful.
Someone that knows my own worth and will no longer settle for second best.
My pain once defined me; it told me of my value and it held me down.
Now this pain, pain within my soul, has become merely an accent of my story.
There is beauty in pain!

Thats all for now,
Amy Jo

Down in the Dumps

So today has been one filled with many emotions. I often times find myself falling back into old habits of self-destruction. Not in action but in thought; I tend to see only the good in others and only the negative things in myself. It is important to see your own faults but there must be a good balance in order for one to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I can't speak for everyone... I can merely talk about my own past, I can draw from my experiences and hopefully help others on their journey so that they do not follow the same wrong path and so that they will be able to make the right choices.
People, are hard to figure out. We all act on emotion; when we are anger we lash out at those we love. When we fall in "love" its hard to see past those feelings and really think consciously about the things that we are doing and the choices that we are making. As we grow older and mature we teach ourselves to take a step back and to analyze the situation to make sure that we are making the right decisions. At the same time we are not always able to achieve this. So we need to make wise choices in who we allow in our lives.
Family... we can almost always count on our family to have our back; to kick us in the butt when we need to wake up and make a change and to be there for us when things take a turn for the worse. They are there to be your anchor, your rock and they won't let you walk foolishly into a dangerous situation.
Friends... it is difficult to find a close group of friends whose motives are completely pure and who will be blunt and honest (even when you don't want to hear the painful truth). Friends are an especially special gift because you are able to hand pick those that you desire to be a part of your life. It is usually easier to be open with your friends because you have a unique level of trust and you feel as though they won't judge you.
It's funny because when I began this entry I was feeling low, and even a little depressed. But when I began to talk about all the amazing people that I have in my life it is as though all the weight of the day was lifted off my shoulders because it caused me to think about how extremely blessed I am. I shouldn't complain, I should be thankful and I should always show them love in return.
That's all for now,
Amy Jo

The inevitable "good-bye"

Being in college has given me a world of independence, creativity, and self-discovery. I have finally been able to see myself for who I am and in this I have been able to find my value. I know who I want to become and I have placed people in my life to help me reach that ultimate goal. In my past I haven't always made the best choices in who I put myself around and in who I called my "friends." There is this overwhelming desire inside of me to want to help people; to heal the wounds that burdened my fellow human beings. My mom says that my compassion is my greatest gift and character trait. However it can become like a raincloud hovering over me all the time, because it is like I can't stop helping people... I allow people to use me and hurt me repeatedly because I hope that they will change in the long-run and that they will see the error of their ways. It is quite rarely that this actually happens however.
I say all of this to get to the main point of this entry; I now have in my life the best close net group of friends. Friends that care about me, who invest in my life (it is not only I who am investing in theirs... which had so often been the case in my past). They can be blunt and harsh at times but this is essential because when you truly care about someone you must be honest, even if this means saying something that people don't want to hear. I rely on these friends of mine; they are my hand-picked family members. They accept me with all my flaws and all my issues and I reciprocate that acceptance.
Sadly, as we grow older we have to make tough decisions about college, relationships, profession and even marriage. These choices will often times separate us for our closest buddies; and I am learning had to deal with this recent "separation anxiety" that I have become ailed with. Several of my closest friends attend college in states that feel like a MILLION MILES AWAY. I know that this is not true and the fact that they are merely one phone call away makes it more manageable; but when I hear them sniffing back tears on the other end of the line I wish I could just drop all my responsibilities here and run to their aid.
Now that Christmas break is coming to a close they are starting to pack up their suitcases once again and I will have to hug them and somehow I will have to find a way to spit out the words "good-bye" though I will probably have tears streaming down my face. I usually come up with an alternate word for this farewell moment... good-bye sounds so ultimate and final; I will usually say "see ya later" it's a more hopeful way to say adiĆ³s.
These parting not only make the individual parties stronger; but they allow the friendship itself to grow. If it doesn't learn how to work harder to maintain this bond between friends then it slowly dies. That's a somewhat dramatic way to put things but I like to use colorful and expressive words.
That's all for now,
Amy Jo 

Setting the Bar

So I have involved myself in several conversations lately where the topic is standards. Looking back at those chats now I have come to the conclusion that people tend to set them somewhat high and then when it is convenient or when they really want something they lower them in order to obtain those things. Why is it that so many people today (especially the younger generation) choose to settle instead of being patient; waiting for something better to come along... something that will met all the criteria on their list? 
This sounds somewhat shallow but I believe the reason why we would call this "shallow thinking" is because we are constantly making excuses to dumb things down or make things easier on ourselves. This is what our society has become; we fight for things that have no true value and instead we become cowards when something worth fighting for comes up. We have become lazy, passive and complacent. As adults we teach young children that they can be whatever they want, yet as they grow we begin to discourage creative thinking and any type of argumentative conversation because we feel as though they are being disrespectful. However they are at the stage in their life when they are discovering their own ideals and when they want to speak up they are hushed and this is when they learn what it is to be "smart" to hold any type of intuitive thought inside because it would be perceived as "radical" and so they are molded into society's sculpture of being common and normal. We are now expected to be plain, because how dare we try to exceed in life and make something of ourselves... because then the lazy man to our left or right would then feel inadequate.
This may just be my way of venting about my frustration with the way our society has become somewhat of a death sentence to not only my generation but to all the generations that follow; and with the fact that so few are willing to stand up and make a change. I just want my children and grandchildren to live in a world where creative thought is not only allowed but encouraged and even expected. Thanks for suffering through my tangents.

That's all for now,
Amy Jo 

My reasoning

Many people seek an outlet in life when they are feeling frustrated or upset. I am one of these people and my outlet is... writing. I am 20 years old and in I am at the point in my life where I am taking the steps to create the pathway to the lifestyle I desire to one day be able to live.
I'm an Elementary Education Major at UNL and I absolutely love knowing that once I graduate in 2013 I will be able to impact kids by showing them that learning is a gift and a privilege; not something to dread. Energetic and motivated by nature I tend to overdo things. I want to be involved and I want to live my life to the fullest and without regrets.
My goal for this blog is that it will become somewhat of a sanctuary for me; a place I can run to when I feel lonely or trapped. Words have in essence become my freedom; no one can tell me what to say or what to feel and I can write anything that I so desire to. I don't want this to be something shallow or pointless. I want to express myself; I want to be honest and I want to use myself as an example so that others may be able to learn from my mistakes.
This journey of discovering who I am has been one filled with a lot of bad choices. I pride myself on my natural tendency to see the good in people. I am a lover not a fighter and yet I have to be honest in saying I too have hurt people along the way. I aim to have pure intentions in all the things that I do; however I am a human being... one who can act selfishly and whine when I don't get my way.
In life my goals are to maintain healthy relationships and to always show love to those around me. I want to laugh easily; life is a precious thing and too many of us waste time holding grudges and causing drama. I am extremely blessed in my life to have a loving family, fantastic friends and a strong faith. Taking things for granted is a common occurrence here on earth, my deepest hope is that when I do take even the smallest of things for granted that I will be able to take things into account and put things into perspective and realize quickly that I if I need to always be thankful for what I have been given and at this moment... I am! :)
That's all for now
~Amy Jo~