Love and Only Love


“Nineteen things I’ve learned before I turned nineteen.

1. Always carry $5 and a lighter with you (even if you don’t smoke).

2. Ask every person you meet how their day is going. Genuinely ask with the sole intention of learning how their day is. Ask the coffee shop employee. Ask the person next to you in line at Walmart. Ask your distant friend. Ask everyone.

3. Take many photos of yourself. Take photos of yourself when you’re happy. Take photos of yourself when you’re sad. Take photos of yourself because there are millions of trees in the world, and we all look at the same sky, but there is only one of you.

4. Stay in contact with your parents. Try not to hate them. They are the reason you have the ability to feel anything at all. Try not to hate your parents.

5. Opening your skin will not set your demons free. Open your heart. Open your mind. Open your hands.

6. Nobody knows anybody completely. That’s okay.

7. Be gentle, but be aggressive. Take a stand. Nobody hears your voice if you stay silent.

8. Respect everybody. We are all humans trying to survive. We all deserve respect.

9. Wearing black will ALWAYS make you feel better about yourself.

10. Always give tips, whether it be a couple extra dollars or a piece of mind. You never know how much you could be helping someone.

11. Change is the only thing consistent in life. Do not allow that to bother you. Embrace chance and move with life, whichever direction it chooses to take you.

12. Smile often. Smile at strangers. Smile at your friends. Smile when nobody is looking and you’re alone in your bedroom. Smile when somebody is rambling to you.

13. Body image means nothing. Your body is merely just a seatbelt in the car. Your body is here to protect you. You choose the direction you go, and your body will not hold you back. Only you can hold yourself back.

14. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t allow yourself to hate anybody. Forgive them. Learn to love them for the person you never got to see them to be. Believe that a beautiful human exists in that person. Wish them well.

15. Drink orange juice. Lot’s of it.

16. Don’t allow the opinions of others to choose your destiny. We are all simply trying to live our own life.

17. Sing all the time. Sing off key. Sing in a silly voice. Sing like you’re on stage. Sing no matter who is around. Singing is breathing for the soul. Sing.

18. Take time to think. Write your feelings down. Write letters to the people you love. Texting is overrated and not as heartfelt as a nice handwritten letter.

19. Live for yourself. Breathe for yourself. Do everything in your life for nobody but you. This is your life. This is it.”

Katey Chrest

1966 all over again

This had to be one of the first 45s I owned.  Either that, or Dizzy.  Tommy Roe.  I was in love with him.  My boys and I were out tonight getting haircuts, a new pair of shoes, an ice cream…and we were listening to an Oldies station…well, at first we were listening to Easy Come, Easy Go by George Straight, and Gymnotes #1 says that the song makes him think of his Dad and me, and could we please change the station.  We listened to the Beatles (Something), and the Eagles (Take It Easy)…when Tommy Roe came on the radio.

I had to stop the car.  Ever have one of those songs stop you in your tracks?  It’s Sweet Pea for me.  They had to get Starbucks gift cards, so they wanted to get out of the car, but I had to stay.

I’m downloading all of Tommy Roe as I type.  Your first music.  There’s nothing like it.  I’m seeing my cousins in Monterey, in our Duro-Dyne shirts, before my oldest cousin dropped acid, and the rest of us were subject to their parents’ horrible relationship.  Before we knew there was no Santa Claus, and when Go Ask Alice came out on the best seller list.  Before the world started spinning a different way.  Before Hippies and Vietnam…or before I knew about them.

A sweet time. 

My world is starting to spin another way, and I’m finally realizing that I might yet love again.  I’m not ready, but I’m ready for whatever God has in store for me. 

I start realizing this when one of the girls I sponsor in AA drinks again.  Or someone close to our group drinks again.  Alcoholism.  A wicked disease.

…and I remember that I am one of the lucky ones.

Happy Friday…