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Friday, November 22, 2013

The Adventures of Dara Kirstene

The past couple of weeks have been nice. I’ve been doing everything I can to keep my spirits up, and enjoy this fall season. I also want to do as much, and see as many people as I can before surgery next month. I feel differently this time around. Attitude is everything. So let’s take a walk into my adventure shall we?

Embracing Fall

I’ve always liked to pick leaves. I used to do it a lot as a child. I like it more in the fall, because of its changing colors. The leaves this year are unique and prettier. I grabbed some plastic bags and let the collecting begin. I plan to preserve them and possibly display them on my wall. I visited some local parks and admired the changing trees. I love nature. Walking along scattered multi-colored leaves makes me feel happy. The weather has been nice, in the 60s and 50s. I know winter will be here before we know it. In some ways, I’m glad my surgery is happening before winter begins so when it arrives I’ll be indoors. Snow and ice aren’t my friends. They are part of the reason why my hip is the way it is.
Leaf picking is more than just admiring its colors. It reminds me of something I used to do, something that maintained my happiness. I feel I’ve forgotten how to be happy when I became an adult. I’m going back to the days when life was simple and easy. I cannot control my circumstances to a certain extent, but I can control how I deal with it. I reflected a lot while walking through tree lined blocks admiring the leaves on the ground. In the park, I enjoyed watching the sun reflect its light through the hanging tree limbs. Its shadow effect is pretty.

The Artist in Me
One of the things I didn’t do during my first surgery is prepare for it mentally. During the recovery process, I became bored and missed being outside. This time I decided that won’t be the case. I love art, and used to create things in the past such as drawing pictures, painting, and doing crafts. Unfortunately, I stopped. I feel art is a great way in the healing process both physically and emotionally. This year hasn’t been a good one for me. In many ways, I’m glad it’s coming to a close. During recovery this time, I don’t want to feel sad or bored. So, I will turn to art. This month, I’ve been creating various videos on YouTube. These are different from my video blogs. Instead, I’m playing with video editing by using pictures, previous videos, and music to create a mini movie or documentary. The first one I did is about my experience during Hurricane Sandy. The other is about the MTA and what we pay for, and just days ago I did one about my appreciation to PIX11 news. I recently won a contest with PIX11 news in sharing why I love living in Brooklyn! I'm honored, because I not only love watching their news, but the reporters inspire me to do what I do.

My art project, creating things out of used items, is the newest edition to tapping deeper into my creativity. I’ve been asking friends on and off Facebook, to donate any old, used items they no longer want. These items vary from buttons, bottle tops, beads, and card board, anything I can make things with. Some of my ideas include but not limited to making jewelry boxes, tissue box, picture frames, handmade books, collages, and much more. I downloaded some free how-to crafts worksheets for ideas. I feel so blessed by the overwhelming response from friends on Facebook. I’ve been receiving packages of all kinds of things for my art project. I didn’t expect such a response, but so appreciative to everyone who has contributed. I will begin this project before surgery, but after I complete my manuscript.

I’m currently at 13,900+ words. The goal is to have 50,000 words by the end of November. I’m pushing to accomplish this goal. I won’t rest until I do.

Peace and Hidden Treasures
I thank God for blessing me with peace. It’s been a long time since I had it. Although, there are still so many things that I wish were better, I finally accepted it and focus on what I can control, me. I have been reaching out to people, talking more than usual (offline), and going out. My going out is unique in that I am not partying or dancing the night away (someday I will). My going out is simply walking. I walk and pay attention to things I normally would ignore. Take our subway for instance. I love the old art many subways possess. I collect Metrocards, mainly for the various messages on the back of the cards. People throw away used cards, which are left scattered on subway platforms or near Metrocard vending machines. I now look for them and collect. I also like doing this, because the duplicates I can use for my art project.
I love taking pictures of the city and of course nature. That is a gem in itself. When I meet with friends, I laugh more. We walk, talk about random stuff, and enjoy the moment. That’s what life is about, the happy moments. I share a little more, I’m open to new friendships and building on current ones. I focus on happiness rather than sadness. My hip always reminds me the bad shape she is in. I hurt all the time, some days worse than others. On the worse days, I stay home and rest. Well not really, I write and chat on Facebook (giggles). When the pain is doable, I go out even if it’s for a few hours. It’s an accomplishment. I pat myself on the back a little more, and thank myself for being me. I appreciate the small things such as capturing the hidden treasures of the city, to creating things, and allowing myself to just be myself.

With that said, here’s to being silly and pushing pain aside. I’m having fun my way. Countdown to surgery is on.


  1. I admire your strength and positive attitude girl!

  2. I second Blubtrflygrl; you are preparing for your upcoming surgery in a way that will help you get through it in the best possible way. You are one resilient gal - tapping into your inner strengths to enjoy and make the most of your pre-surgery time period [including connecting with others ] as well as planning for activities to look forward to post-surgery.

    Please email me your address so that I may too send you some art supplies :)

    1. I greatly appreciate your support and kindness Dorlee. I feel blessed and proud to have such positive energy surrounding me during this difficult/nervous time. I will email you my addy and thanks so much for thinking of me :)