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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Eve of New Year's Eve

I was going to write a poem, maybe a short story, but decided to just write. So here I go. I am feeling excited for New Year 2012. There's a lot I'm looking forward to, as well as, what surprises that lies ahead. I've learned so much this year, I've grown so much. I feel more confident in things I used to shy away from, and no longer worry about how people perceive me. I'm just me. One thing I've learned most in 2011 is the importance of keeping it real.  "Keeping it real" is something I hear often in my neighborhood or on TV, but what does this actually mean? For me, keeping it real means to be honest with self in order to be honest with others. I've always been an honest person when it came to other people, but not with myself.

I focused most of my time wondering what people thought of me, and whether I was pleasing to them. Sadly, this gets one no where. What's worse is when you allow yourself to say, do, or feel things to please others, but it's not pleasing to you. This is not what we call, "keeping it real." Although I am not one to be rude in speaking my mind, or inconsiderate of people's feelings (I'm always considerate), but learned to be honest with myself first. I've learned to say no, and don't feel uncomfortable being expressive about something I don't like. In friendships, I'm more honest about situations that may hinder me from being happy. Some friendships I had to let go, some may end in 2012, and some I believe will develop. Whatever will be will be, and any mistakes or bad circumstances that have occurred was a lesson learned. I've learned plenty.

This year was the first time I began loving my physical self. It's something I've struggled with for years. I have been insecure when it came to my facial features. Some who know me may assume I have a problem with my weight. Actually I don't. However, I always thought my face was unique, but not in a good way. I was never one to take pictures of myself, by myself. I didn't like looking at myself without glasses on. I've been wearing glasses all my life so I'm used to it. After being laid off, I was hurt and angry by how it went down. And although I understand why it happened, it has impacted me in a way I never felt before. Cutting my hair was the start to letting go of these ill feelings, and a new beginning for me. Since then, I don't feel uncomfortable admiring my features. However, I'm not conceited. I do believe beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, every one's beauty is unique. Mines is no different. Of course someday I would like to meet someone who admires my features, not just facial but all of me.

I have many goals for 2012. I don't say "resolutions" because I may not follow through with them. In having goals, I know I will pursue and accomplish them. For the first time, I feel confident knowing that the things I want are obtainable. I can see it and will work hard to make my dreams come true. Most importantly, my goal is to make a difference in this world, and continue helping people. In helping others, I help myself. I enjoy inspiring people and being inspired. Inspiration can be found anywhere, but it's up to us to find it and embrace it. I believe New Year 2012 will be a good year. I'm ready.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunrise Monday

I didn't sleep last night. I'd finished writing and downloading music. Listening to music always makes me happy, especially tunes I haven't heard in a while. I laid on my bed, staring into the darkness allowing random thoughts dance around in my head. The house is quiet, barely no cars driving by or people talking outside. Each song I listen to brings a new thought, sometimes a reminiscing moment, or I draw a blank. I think of many things, people, places; I pray a lot too. My eyes are stinging from being up til 4am the prior morning, and now it's 4:49 this morning. I closed my eyes attempting to empty out any leftover thoughts, letting the music drift me off into another world. Before I knew it, I was saying good morning to friends on Facebook and Twitter. Guess the drifting off to sleep didn't last long. 

It's now minutes to 6am, and I saw some light piercing through the window blinds. I knew the sun was about to rise. I grabbed my phone and snapped pictures trying to capture every movement of the sunrise. Simply beautiful sunrises are, I relish in the moment. As I said in my second blog, Dara Sun Sparkles ( I may not be in her presence, but I radiate knowing the sun is here with me. For that, I smile. 

I lay back down smiling, listen to a little more music as I attempt to sleep. It was after 8am when I finally slept. This was an interesting night and beautiful sunrise Monday.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

The Christmas spirit was definitely felt, especially by me. The joke today was that my reindeer antlers were sprinkled with magic dust, because I acted silly and laughed a lot. A good friend reminded me of the importance of doing things differently. I couldn't agree more. One tradition that hasn't changed is me walking barefoot on the cold floor, and overjoyed by the warm smells of the house. My mom baked biscuits, and was preparing for tonight's dinner. Christmas carols played in the background, from jazzy Christmas songs to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Our little light display of artificial pine tree branches, garland, snowman nicknacks, brought the holiday spirit into the house.

I wore my favorite perfume, as I do every year, did my hair, and put on some makeup. I took pictures and for the first time in a long time, I admired my features. I love my eyes. That would explain why I love eye makeup so much. And as I snapped away, the bell rang and my brother was here. Mom and I welcomed him and it felt like a complete family again. While waiting for the food to be done, we decided to open gifts. Before we did, I hugged my brother telling him he's my gift. Mom said, "Awe" and I smiled. Opening gifts were different because we focused on taking pictures of our reactions more than what we received. I was the main photographer. It was fun. We later ate, prayed and thanked God for being here. What a nice way to end the day by receiving a phone call from my dad. I always love hearing from him. Another nice Christmas, another nice experience.

I sang Christmas carols, made jokes, took pictures, and laughed more than usual. Although mom and bro were concerned about my hip (I wouldn't sit still), I didn't feel the pain. I simply said, "I'm too happy to worry about this old hip!" I texted friends, tweeted and wished everyone happy holidays on Facebook. I even posted pictures of me being silly, not concerned what response I'd get. I was just being me.

Merry Christmas 2011.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

It's 11:43 pm and it's Christmas Eve night. I am looking forward to tomorrow, not because of the gifts, or the Christmas programming on television, but the fact it's a holy time of year. Christmas, to me, is a beautiful time to celebrate God (for those who believe), spend time with family and friends, and a time to give back to those less fortunate. Although I believe everyday should be a time to give back, it's this time of year that's about the spirit of giving. I love this holiday because it's about love, love for self, love for one another. Christmas has always been celebrated in my family since I was a baby. My parents always went out their way to make Christmas special for me and my brother. Although we received many gifts, and carpeted the floor with ripped up wrapping paper, my parents taught us the importance of appreciation. Mom always said, "You get the things you need, and some of the things you want, but always appreciate what you receive." This has stayed with me ever since and I truly believe in it. As we got older, there's not as many gifts, and not as many family members left, but we continue to keep the spirit of Christmas alive. We just do things differently.

I love making people happy, and giving back makes me happy. I like gifts but I've learned that gifts don't always have to be materialistic things. Sometimes a simple hello, a phone call, or email can make a huge difference. Even visiting some one's home and spending quality time with them can mean a lot too. Gift giving, in my opinion, should be done creatively. One of the things I love about being a writer is offering the gift of expression. People who read this blog get to experience what I experience, share my thoughts, and feel my inspiration. What a nice journey it has been here at Dara's Creative Corner! As another year passes, I reflect more, preparing for a new year. Each year, God blesses me with more wisdom and I'm more aware of things I weren't in years' past. I become a stronger person, I appreciate myself more. I look forward to New Year 2012, because I feel there are more surprises and chances to do things differently.

I wish everyone a very happy holiday season. Thank you all for being with me along this creative journey, and I look forward to have you with me for more years to come.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


This is a quote from one of my Twitter friends, Empower UR Today which says, "Love with an open mind, feel with an open heart." I really like this quote, I feel the same way. However, what happens when your love has been compromised? Do you still love with an open mind? When the heart has been broken, do you feel with an open heart? Probably not. I speak for many of us who's been broken hearted, taken for granted, mistreated, unappreciated, and for some of us, abused. When the heart has been hurt, or worse broken, it causes one to feel afraid, bitter, or be more cautious who to love. There are many ways people react to heartbreak, and since I'm no expert I won't attempt to assume or conclude how others deal with this. I will only speak for myself.

I love simply because I can't help it. I've been this way since childhood. It never mattered how a person looked, what they did or how they presented themselves, I loved them for who they are. I still loved with an open mind and felt with an open heart. Despite how I've been hurt, I continue to love people because it's who I am. One of the hardest challenges for me is making sense why someone would hurt another. I don't understand why I was heartbroken. Why was I abused by someone I loved and trusted more than anything? Was I too naive or desperate to have someone love me? It's possible that I wore my heart on my sleeve, and allowed someone to manipulate me in the worst way, emotionally. Sadly, when someone abuses you emotionally, it can lead to physical, mental, and sexual abuse.Unfortunately, I experienced those too. It's not something I'm proud to discuss, in fact, this is the first time I'm writing about it. Some may read this and ask why I would write something so personal. My answer is simple. I need to release.

Release is very important when dealing with anger, hurt, disappointment, or anything you are unsure of. Holding things in for too long can cause more anguish and stress which doesn't solve anything. For years, I've been ashamed to talk about my previous relationships, particularly this one. I felt embarrassed, because how someone intelligent and loving as myself would put up with a man telling me, "You know I'm the only man who'll ever love you." I blamed myself for years and felt I should have known better. Thankfully, I had the foresight to leave him, and never looked back. I prayed a lot which helped me deal with the pain. Prayer was my release.

I continue to love with an open mind and feel with an open heart, I'm just careful who I let access it. Release is an on-going process. It's not a quick fix, but it's a step in the right direction. I'll always have an emotional scar of what my ex did to me, but I can move on because I learned to let go. I began to love myself enough to breathe, release, and be mindful not to wear my heart on my sleeve.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Spirit

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the bright lights, the ornaments on a green, white, or silver tree; I love the glitter on decorations. I love glitter in general. I enjoy walking barefoot on the cold floor, and smelling baked biscuits in the oven. I like listening to Christmas carols playing on the CD player, and admire how nicely decorated the apartment is. I enjoy receiving text messages of "Happy Holidays" from friends, and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas on Facebook and Twitter. Watching my mom make us coffee with our favorite coffee creamer, prepare to indulge on warm biscuits, and thanking God for allowing us to see another year, makes me feel grateful. Christmas has changed a lot for my family, some good, some bad, but we're happy to be in each others company. That's what counts. It's never been about receiving gifts to make Christmas special for me, giving them is more fun. I like to see the surprise on my mom, brother or dad's face when they receive my gifts. The same goes for friends too. One of the things I love doing (and been doing so since I was a child) is sticking all the bows on me. I love bows for their different colors and designs. Every year I take a picture of me with the bows on. Maybe I will do that again this year. This year is very different. Economy has been hard for us, my health hasn't been good, and this is more of a quiet time than festive. At times that makes me sad; most of the time I feel lonely. It's just mom and I now, and majority of my friends don't celebrate this holiday. Despite that, I promised myself to reflect on the good things that happened this year, and use that as inner strength. I may not have many bows to wear this year, maybe none, but I smile knowing what this holiday is all about. It's about love for the people you care about. That's what gives me the holiday spirit.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A little girl's wish

A little girl’s wish
Is that someday
She’ll meet a prince
He’ll sweep her off her feet
Making her feel complete
He’ll honor and console her
Be her rock, never let go
The prince will be handsome
Not by appearance alone
By heart, loyal from the start
He’ll love her unconditionally
She’ll love him forever
The little girl dreams
She is very clever
Knowing when she grows up
she’ll have a chance
To meet someone wonderful
For her, love is simple

Friday, December 9, 2011

Writer's Block

Author's note: There are times you just don't know what to say.

Thoughts of you
Circles around my head
Missing your presence
Do you miss me too?

Emotions build up
A lot I want to say
Frustrated because
You’re so far away

Sometimes I fear
Unable to think
Gather ideas or create
You are my Shakespeare

You come around
Impromptu moments
I shouldn’t look too hard
Eventually you are found

At moments like these
I wish you were here
My mind is now empty
Come back to me please

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My life in 6 words: a mini memoir

The 6 word memoir, courtesy of Smith Magazine (, allows writers to write their life story in 6 words. The memoirs range in topics such as, love, happiness, pain & hope, food, and so much more. I have been writing for Smith Magazine since February 2009. I've decided to combine my memoirs to create a mini life story. This is just the beginning!

They call me "Teacher": our journey.
Continue being colorful like chalk dust.
Always traveling along my creative path.
Sun smiling on my face, euphoric!
Love the plot of your existence.
I'm a survivor of most wrongdoings.
Love is confusion waiting to happen.
The miffed, the logic and the ain't got.
You are what I didn't know.
Enjoying every step of Life's uncertainties.
Love surrounding myself in your mystery.
Savoring the essence of brewed coffee.
My fingers are married to Twitter.
Hush-able moments of glee and reflection.
Come back to us we hope.
Loving you inspires me to love.

To be continued.

Goodnight thank you

Author's note: I dedicate this to everyone who's been by my side.

I'm not ready to go to bed yet
its something I'll probably regret
but I cannot sleep without saying
that I appreciate your being
here with me throughout my journey
and standing by when I worry
I can’t thank you enough
For encouraging me to be tough
In times of despair
Your kind words and prayer
I’m grateful to you
For everything that you do

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An anniversary free-write

I'm listening to "Waste" by Foster The People. It's 5:43pm. It's gloomy outside, but since it's dark one can't tell the difference. I'm still not used to the time change. I miss summer already. The good news is, this month makes 1 year of the Creative Corner; that makes me smile. I feel this blog has brought many people here, and created new friendships along the way. I am incredibly grateful to EVERYONE who's been reading this blog, and for allowing me to express my creativity with you. This year was filled with surprises, disappointments, life changes, self-reflection, and overall fun. I love to write.

Lately on Twitter, I've received comments of how this blog inspires people. That means the world to me, because that was always my goal. I write in a way that's not only creative, but personal. I do this to give a voice to those who aren't able to express themselves. I believe in inspiration, and feel sharing inspiration is a great way to bring people together. If this blog brought people together, then I accomplished my goal. It's not easy to be completely honest about yourself when there's an audience of strangers reading your inner thoughts. There's always risks involved, but I've been blessed not to receive any hate mail or disrespectful commentary. In fact, the response has been positive and beautiful. I'm proud of myself for this accomplishment, and for keeping it real.

I should note that all the pictures used on this blog is my own. I love photography and although I'm no professional, I like to capture Life through my eyes. I take pictures at random, storing them on my computer or cell phone. I may not post them right away, but when I need something to visually show what I'm expressing they come in handy. I've become inspired by some of the pictures I took, and wrote stories and poetry based on them. An example, "The Road" poem was inspired by its accompanying picture, a street aligned with trees and a jeep driving ahead. I truly believe inspiration can come from anywhere, anything, or anyone.

So what's next for my creative corner? I'll let inspiration make that determination. I look forward to the next road I follow, continue to be one with the sun, create my own love story, cry tears of joy, and have good weekends ahead. Overall, continue being happy.

Traveling in thought

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Went for a drive today

Not much to think about

Just watched the sun glow

There was nothing to say

So many streets

I used to play on

Reminisced the good times

The best friend, an icon

Missed the way we used to talk

Popping gum, jump double dutch

Doing homework, not so much

Neighborhood has changed

Many moved away

I’m left behind

Still hoping for those days

To relive the moment

When things were simple

No problems, no judgment
The drive was long

I looked out the window

Trees are still colorful

Autumn’s presence felt

Through me

A moment heartfelt

Friday, December 2, 2011

My moment of truth

I went to the doctor today to get the MRI results of my hip. Before consultation, I needed to have an X-ray done so the doctor can compare those results with  the MRI. Luckily, the X-ray was done in no time and my doctor had those results quickly.

So, what's the verdict? It is official, Dara needs surgery.

When I heard the doctor tell me the grim news, I wasn't surprised. He explained what it is I have, the surgical procedure, and brought in a resident to explain the pre-operation test. The surgery is scheduled for next month. While in the examination room, I stared out the window with mixed emotions. I'm relieved to know that this 2 year nightmare will end, and there's a chance I'll walk well again. That made me smile. However, the fact I'm going under the knife scares me. Although the surgery itself is outpatient, it's something I've never experienced. For some reason that evoked sad emotion out of me.

I'm grateful to my doctor and the hospital staff for all their help. This was long overdue, and I'm glad I will have some relief next year. However, I still feel scared.