A Brave Goodbye – To New Adventures

Dear lovely, supportive, and loyal Red Heroes,

I am nearly in tears whilst saying this, but it must be done. I have had a foreboding feeling for awhile now, one that I have been able to suppress, but I can no longer push it down. Red Hero Inspiration has been such an ambitious, integrated part of my life for the past 3 and a half years, which is what makes it so hard to do this, but I must.

I am officially retiring The Red Hero Inspiration. I feel that I have lost the original direction for this blog, as I have grown from the girl I was when I started this to the young woman I am now. I am nearly an entirely different person. I have shed new skin, and, unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to have been able to mold Red Hero along with my growth.

This, however, does not mean that it is the end. I will continue to upkeep A Whimsical Ghost, as I am never far from writing a poem. Nor does it assume that I will never again start a blog. It only means that, in this time of my life, I am not at a current place where I feel a blog is wanted as a part of my life. Red Hero Inspiration was an outlet for me that was not granted to me at that time of my life, but, luckily, I have found an outlet that is permanent.

This also does not mean that my It list will be set aside on a shelf, but quite the contrary. As of right now, my It list is evolving and shedding a new skin, too. As I had started Red Hero Inspiration with my It list, I feel it is only right to end it with such.

THE IT LIST

Acquiring an SLR
Acquiring a Polaroid
Finishing ‘The Notebook Theme’
Writing a novel
Seeing Paris in the Spring
Acquiring an old-fashion typewriter
Watching all of Judy Garland’s films
Singing in front of a group
Not speaking one word for a whole day
Learning Spanish, Italian, and French
Riding a Moped
Riding a horse with no saddle
Reading Kon Tiki
Creating my own personal library
Filling out a journal
Reading the Bible cover to cover
Reading Pilgrim’s Progress
Capturing love in a photograph
Getting a job
Moving out
Spending a day at the Hawthorne District
Spending a day at the Saturday Market
Tattooing my side with meaning
Riding the bus
Finishing a jawbreaker
Reading 20 books written about Jacqueline Kennedy
Reading “She Said Yes”
Watching the greatest movies filmed in 1939 and reading each film’s book
Watching all Alfred Hitchcock movies
Doing a 365 project
Acquiring a DSLR
Finishing “A Collection of Thoughts”
Seeing the Bodies exhibit
Taking care of a Bonsai tree
Publishing my Poetry as a book
Meeting a Person for Each Birthday of a Year
Opening my Own Gallery of my Best Work in Photography
Taking Art Classes to learn the technical side of Painting and Drawing
Reading at least one book of all the author’s on the big painting in Barnes and Noble cafes
Creating a Heart shape with Polaroid photography I take
Reading all of Shakespeare & watching one movie for each
Spending a day at Ikea with my love
Watching all of Jane Seymour and Charlton Heston‘s movies
Seeing both of the homes I grew up in years from now
Having Kevin teach me how to use chopsticks
Completing the Marilyn Monroe mosaic puzzle
Filling a jar full of origami stars for each wish or prayer
Learning each of my heritage’s language
Attending a Midnight premiere
Being at Time Square, New York on New Year’s Eve
Being at the Beach when it Snows
Reading every book on the BBC 100 book list
Not adding 1 item until 7 are crossed off
Having a Pen Pal from a different country
Listing at least 3 things I am thankful for each day for a year
Visiting Claude Monet’s house
Throwing a message in a bottle to the sea
Playing tictactoe in the sand on the beach
Throwing a dart at a map of the world and going where it lands
Riding an elephant
Visiting South and North Carolina
Finding the old truck in the article my grandmother gave to me and taking a photo of it
Participating in Relay for Life
Eating breakfast at Tiffany’s in New York
Reading (at least) 1 book in a different language
Visiting my great grandmother and great grandfather’s graves
Creating a 50-line poem with a photo associated to each line
Creating a daisy chain
Sending a post script to Postsecret
Writing a poem in another language
Being a part of the Holi Festival
Reading 20 books about Ghandi
Reading all of the books on the wall at 5th and Hall

I am going to miss this blog dearly. I have learned so much through reflection by looking through these old posts, and it truly is amazing to see the difference something seemingly unimportant can make in someone’s life.

To new adventures. I love you all.

Sincerely and most heartbreakingly,

Red

Three Years of Change – Post Six-Hundred-Seventy-One

Today is the 3 year anniversary of Red Hero.

Here’s what to expect:

  • A new item on the It list
  • A post in honor of the 3 years I’ve spent with you all.
  • And possibly a guest post from a dear friend and avid follower.

 

Au revoir,

Gigi

Continue to Grow and Evolve (Post Dix) – Post Six-Hundred-Seventy

I truly can’t believe I’m done with this small series already. It’s already been 10 days. How crazy is that? Tomorrow is the 3rd year anniversary of Red Hero. Through this blog, and through God, I’ve grown tremendously, and there is no sign of me stopping any time soon. Well, maybe with my height, but that was a lost cause years ago.

I think the most beautiful thing about living is we never cease learning. We never cease to lose an opportunity to grow, no matter how many times we make a mistake. We are given second chances consistently. We are always being challenged, urged, and pushed to make the best of this opportunity. We don’t always accept that, but when we do, I believe it’s the most gratifying feeling we have been granted to feel.

Never cease to take advantage of the opportunities granted you. Each chance you lose is one less chance you have before it’s it. Time is not something to waste or take advantage of; it is something precious beyond measure. Your chances will appear less; they will cease to come the moment you take your last breath.

Never, ever take advantage of this moment and say, “It will come again.” You never know if it will or not.

Au revoir,

Gigi

Be Congruent, Be Authentic, Be Your True Self (Post Neuf) – Post Six-Hundred-Sixty-Nine

Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss (Photo credit: andymangold)

I’m probably the worst person to comment on this, simply because I haven’t had this problem ever since I was 13. Yeah, I’ve been lost as to who I am, but I’ve always been true to myself no matter what others have thought of me.

So maybe I can teach you something new.

When it comes to other people, I respect their opinions, but I also don’t let it change who I am unless God says. I respect myself enough to let me be as I am. I never change who I am for other people unless its what God says I should do. Watching others as I grew up change themselves and completely lose themselves in another human being scared me. I did not want to be someone who lost who they were through another person. It strengthened me to say enough is enough and to stand my ground.

I am stubborn. I am shy. I am outgoing and a bit of a loudmouth. I’m funny. I am extremely intelligent, I just need more time to think things through before I comment. I have moments of extreme quick-wit. I am a writer at heart. I’m loving, kind, selfish, confident, and at times insecure about my own decisions. I second-guess myself all the time. I have flaws, and I have virtues. I have many things to work on in my heart that God is slowly but surely weeding out, but this is part of my true self.

When I was about 12, there were these new people going to my church. I was so worried about what they thought about me that it was stressing me out. My wise Mum said to me, “You shouldn’t worry about the opinion of people who don’t matter. It’s those who matter that count.” From that moment on, I didn’t care what others thought about me. I didn’t care about what they thought of my appearance, my loudness, my outgoing personality. Most people found me adorable. Others did not like me and treated me accordingly. I did not let it put me down though.

Do not get me wrong: I still respect other people for who they are and if they are offended or I’m being rude, I quickly knock myself down a few notches to respect them. I don’t change who I am; I just tone it down for their sake.

My dear readers: You do not have to change yourself for anyone. The only One whose opinion of your heart, actions, etc. is Jesus. He is the only One that matters when it comes to yourself. Think like Dr. Seuss . . .

Au revoir,

Gigi

See the Good in People and Help Them (Post Huit) – Post Six-Hundred-Sixty-Eight

This is another challenging, yet rewarding one to work on. It is so easy to assume the worst of people and justify our actions. It happens every day. We see them make a mistake, or we judge them based on their appearance or actions, and we treat them differently. In other instances, we don’t offer a helping hand simply to protect ourselves. We are afraid to lend out a hand. Sometimes we even think we deserve a reward for our ‘good deed’ and that guides our choices of when and when not to help.

Why is that? Why have we trained ourselves to think helping is a dangerous thing? Since when do we deserve anything for our efforts to help others? Helping is not about gaining anything for ourselves; it’s about helping others.

There was this time; not too long ago. This family that I count as my own and I’ve helped out numerous times – even bent over backwards for. One time an accident happened and one of their children broke something of mine. We asked if they would consider replacing it,  and they flat out said it wasn’t their responsibility. Long story short, I was angry. Not only was I angry, but I was hurt. I’d done a lot for them, even sacrificing things for myself in order to help them out at times, and they couldn’t spend $10 to help me replace something? I was upset for awhile. I was even considering telling them I’m not doing this for you anymore. And then I thought about it.

How selfish was I being? Yes, out of common courtesy it would have been nice for them to offer to pay for it, but I should not have expected them to, and the sad thing is that I did. For  awhile I saw nothing but negativity, until I forgave and let go. I’m deciding to see the good in them instead of holding their mistakes or flaws over their heads and help them anyway – not because I’m the better person or anything, but simply because I feel horrid for removing a helping hand because of something like this. I feel petty for it. I don’t like feeling that way.

No matter what anyone does or doesn’t do, you should put that aside and always help. It doesn’t matter what other people say; it doesn’t matter if it seems like people are taking advantage of you. Simply do it for yourself. Help others if only to feel better, because honestly: I feel happier when I help others and expect nothing in return, and don’t worry about whether or not they are taking advantage of me. If they are, they are. If not, then they aren’t. It’s not for me to judge. My job – everyone’s job – is just to simply help no matter who the person is. It’s as simple as that.

English: "A Helping Hand". 1881 pain...

English: “A Helping Hand”. 1881 painting by Emile Renouf Français : “Un coup de main”, Emile Renouf, 1881 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Au revoir,

Gigi

Everyone is Human (Post Six) – Post Six-Hundred-Sixty-Five

I don’t think this one needs a lot of explaining, do you? It’s quite simple: Everyone is human. Everyone is equally sinful. Everyone has their flaws, makes their mistakes, and sins.

It is hard to discuss flaws without seeming to hold it against someone. Things that need to change need to be discussed, but how can you discuss them without coming across as acting like you’re better than the other person? It’s HARD. How can you come across as loving and accepting without telling someone, “your sin is okay”? Sin is not okay; in any form. I am accepted and loved as I am, but I am encouraged to change my sinful ways.

Mistakes were made (but not by me)

Mistakes were made (but not by me) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes it is so hard to remember that everyone makes mistakes. You get so caught up in someone else’s faults that we completely forget about our own. Take, for instance, gay and bisexual people. Christians abuse them constantly, and honestly I feel that in itself is a sinful and ugly thing to do. Yes, it says in the bible that being homosexual is wrong, but it also says to love your neighbor as thyself. It also says that it’s not our place to judge others. I hate to tell you, Christians, but you are just as sinful as that homosexual – their sin is just more open. You hide it. They don’t.

I’m not saying it’s right to flaunt your sin; it’s not. It’s not right to be proud of your sin. But to acknowledge that it exists, and even take a step towards fixing it; that is what is right. To accept and love a person ALONG WITH their faults; that is what is right. No matter what, you love that person and treat them with love and respect; no matter your opinion or view on their choices or sins.

Again, everyone is human. I honestly don’t know what else to say about this. No one is perfect, no one is better than another person. Yes, others have more experience, but that does not mean that they are better by any means. They’ve just had more time to learn from their sin and mistakes.

Some of what I’ve stated here is opinion; it is something that I hold close to my heart and hits home. Other bits of it is a fact. Decipher for yourself what is fact and opinion, but as far as I’m concerned, this is fact: Everyone. Is. Human.

Au revoir,

Gigi

Take Care of This Moment (Post Cinq) – Post Six-Hundred-Sixty-Three

“I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.” ~ Ghandi

To be completely honest I had to look this one up. I had a gist of what it could mean, but my idea was a humid mirror that you can’t see through. I looked up whatever else Ghandi said about it, and this is what stuck out to me.

God has given me no control over the moment following.

Something I’ve found is hard to practice is living in this moment. Living in the present. It’s hard not to think back on the past; what I could have done differently, what happened and the affect of it all. It’s also not easy to leave the future where it belongs: in Tomorrow. Especially lately with the changes at my current job, it’s very tempting to daydream about what could happen. How am I going to pay for these bills? Am I going to have to defer my loan a second time? So many possibilities; so many different aspects of what could possibly happen.

Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

If I dwell too much on tomorrow or what happened yesterday, I will lose those precious few moments of today. I’ll lose the joy of seeing his smile. I’ll miss out on the pleasure of meeting a friendly stranger who alters my way of thinking.
For a moment I think back to just last July when all I did was live in this moment. I had come up to Portland to find a job and to enjoy my home. I went down to the Hawthorne district for the first time and met a guy named Ace. He was as short as I was. He was sweet, humble, and had an interesting perspective on things. We talked, browsed Powell’s while I waited for Chris to come meet me, and just enjoyed the moment. He was one of the most interesting people I have ever met, but what I remember most about that day is that I felt no fear. I did not allow myself to focus on tomorrow or yesterday. I simply enjoyed the spontaneous joy of what was happening. Once Chris came, we parted, and I haven’t seen nor spoken to Ace since. I’ll never forget the simplicity of the spontaneity, though.

I don’t do that anymore. I don’t just hop on a bus and go somewhere and enjoy the moment. I’m either too tired or busy. Where did that spontaneous enjoy-the-moment me go? I have no idea, but I want her back.

Don’t make the same mistake that 99% of us make. Don’t forget about today. Enjoy your child TODAY. They are growing. Enjoy your husband, your friends; love anything and everything and appreciate everything that God puts in your path, because you will never get anything like it again.

Everything is once. This is a one time moment that you can never get back. Take care of it. Make it something you’ll never forget; stories to tell your children, which will then create more moments for you all to remember. Never give up on a chance; never let it pass you by. Follow your gut, and if you have a moment to breathe, enjoy it. Hold his hand. Kiss her forehead. Laugh. Take a random trip to the beach.

Just do it.

Au revoir,

Gigi

Without Action You Aren’t Going Anywhere (Post Quatre) – Post Six-Hundred-Sixty-Two

It’s funny how it keeps turning out that these fundamentals have been on my mind long before I ever found the quote. Some of them have passed through my mind on and off while I toss them around and slowly apply them. Others I have implemented more recently through God opening my eyes.

As you guys know, I’ve been very adamant lately about chasing my dreams. I’m working towards a big item on my It list, I’ve been crossing more and more off of It, and I’m not letting anything slow me down. I’ve finally decided that I’m going to move forward and chase that dream I’ve timidly kept in the corner of my eye ever since I was a little girl.

I always tossed around the idea of becoming a writer. I mostly kept this to myself out of fear of being discouraged as many around me were in the habit of doing with anything that was not ‘traditional’ or ‘stable’. I tried photography for awhile – another unstable, nontraditional route, but I tried it. I do not regret this simply because it gave me the strength to stand against those who say “you can’t” without risking being discouraged from my first true love: writing.

I have flip-flopped back and forth many a time regarding my career. There are so many different aspects and scenarios to take into consideration that I veered away for quite awhile from deciding that path. I was afraid to take a step and make another mistake. This first mistake cost me a loan for $2,500 for something I didn’t even finish because I couldn’t afford to pay the rest myself.
For a year and nearly a half I’ve resented taking a step forward. So many what-ifs have popped into my head that it was frightening. I finally realized what a silly mistake I was making: I was letting my what-ifs run my life. Instead of praying and making a decision, I was letting my fear get in the way of what God wants for my life.
WHAT?! What is wrong with this picture?! Shouldn’t my fear be kicked in the rear with a loud ‘sayonara!’? I think yes.

So I fixed it. I prayed, and then I realized that what I was supposed to do was right in front of me the whole time. It’s something I’ve done with this blog for the past 3 years, and it’s something I’ve enjoyed ever since I was 5 years old and wrote my first ‘novels’ titled “My Horse Book” and “My Family Book” on printer paper. I should be WRITING. I should be a writer! God showed me that I was searching in all of the wrong places, and that He’d placed the desire in my heart this whole time.
So I went to the mall one day and bought a book for $5 called “How to Write What You Want and Sell What You Write” by Skip Press. Pretty much the best purchase I’ve made this year. I finished it within two weeks, and now I’m going back to college in the fall to study my Associate’s in order to get my Bachelor’s in either English, Literature, or Journalism. Why? Because I took action.

If you don’t try – if you don’t take action – you’ll never get anywhere. You’ll live in your dreams and let reality pass you by. You’ll never make an effort to see if it was what God has for you; if you have that desire, and you’re on the right path with Him, then maybe that’s a hint to take action.

Without action you aren’t going anywhere. Think about that. Without the man proposing, you wouldn’t be getting married. So without making an effort for your DREAM, it will never be anything but that: a dream.

Au revoir,

Gigi

Pi is Endless – Post Six-Hundred-Forty-Eight

So, as you know, I was reading ‘Life of Pi’ for the BBC 100 book list. I have to say it was the most amazing book I’ve read thus far. And I just found out that a movie is coming out this November for it! Oh please, Ang Lee, I beg of you: DO THIS BOOK JUSTICE! 

Ahem. Anyway. Moving on . . .

If you don’t know already, the book revolves around a young boy who is stranded in the Pacific ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Not even kidding. Does that not sound phenomenal? It starts off with a man wandering all over India. He meets a man who tells him “Let me tell you a story that will make you believe in God.” What? Really? I believe the man wandering was an atheist, so I’m sure he was a bit skeptical about a story being able to sway him so powerfully to the opposite side of his faithless spectrum.

The end . . . was bottomless. It was never-ending. As one of the critics’ said, it makes you not want to stop reading once the pages run out. Seriously . . . I suggest you read this.

So, I read ‘Life of Pi’. I went from phenomenal book to a dreadfully boring and frustrating ‘classic’ called ‘Vanity Fair’ by William Makepeace Thackeray. I’m having such a hard time with this book that I almost want to just throw it out the window and move on. At least in this last chapter it took on an interesting turn of events that is slightly more amusing than everything else that has gone on.
Can anyone tell me why ‘Vanity Fair’ is a classic? I’m not being rhetorical; I just can’t seem to find a reason as to why it’s so great. I shall drudge on, though!

Au revoir,

Gigi 

I Tossed You Away – Post Six-Hundred-Twenty-Four

lifeThis is a photo I found on Flickr that inspired what I’m about to post.

I sat down at his desk with a heavy heart. For years I’d sat in this same spot, smiling, laughing; on his lap, or writing him a love letter. It was strange, the feeling of one last time. I’d always had a sense of it coming; like a veil, I grazed it with my fingertips from time to time. Finally, much to my relief and regret, it was time.
I told him everything. I told him of the screeching, terrific pain he’d inflicted. I explained to him the scars he’d left behind with each pitiful attempt to justify his wrong. I had no guilt in admitting it all. It would never hurt him, for he would never see it.
I told him of the realization. I professed to the love I’d had for another buried deep in my heart, and revealed through the daggers he had thrown at my back, the same daggers that shattered our vase of trust and love; our vase of commitment.

Later that week, I packed a bag and drove. I stopped to buy a bottle and a cork at a local store on the way.
I drove and I drove. I reached my destination seemingly hours after I began the drive, but it was the perfect time. It was dusk, the wind was strong, but I was ready. I slipped off my shoes, holding them tightly in my left hand, and walked deeper and deeper into the ocean. Finally, waist deep, I tossed you away. I tossed your love, your selfishness, your hold on my heart; I tossed it all and walked away.

Au revoir,

Gigi