We're not just a nation.
We're a team.
I am a writer.
It's in my blood.
I spill words like ink to paper and this blog.
My own and others.
I LOVE President Gordon B. Hinckley's thoughts on keeping a journal and writing down your story:
"You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them maybe be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experience."
Words can tear, break, repair, and are essential to life.
Of course, there is nonverbal communication that can express more than all the words in every language could ever begin to say. In the touch of a lover. In the hug of a friend or family member, In the smile of a stranger.
That are moments and feelings where words aren't necessary.
Where you can't find the words.
Where words don't exist to say what you need or want to say.
You can be speechless.
However, when you have something to say. SPEAK NOW.
Don't keep quiet.
If you love someone, tell them. NOW. Don't wait.
The only exception is anger.
You need to watch yourself when you lose your temper or get feelings of rage or hurt... often during these times, words and emotions get the best of you and you can say things you can't take back. Things you probably don't mean. Words that can haunt a person forever. Words than can kill a soul.
As Rumi wrote: "Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder."
Say the words you mean.
Mean the words you say.
Speak now or forever hold your peace or regret that you didn't say what you needed to.
Words how little they mean when they're a little too late.
Listen as well.
Take in the words you hear.
Pay genuine compliments to those around you.
You have the power to make someone's day, change lives, and bring about change just by opening your mouth and talking words of hope and love and kindness.
As you all are aware, I am struggling.
I am going through the hardest time of my entire life.
This trial threatens to tear me down every single day.
I just have to keep breathing.
I have to plan my days and fill them so I don't let this suffering drown me.
I am not okay but I will be.
That's what matters.
This quote by Taylor Swift says it all elegantly and with near perfection:
"Speak now or forever hold your peace, the words said by preachers at the end of wedding ceremonies all over the world, right before the vows. It's a last chance for protest, a moment that makes everyone's heart race, and a moment I've always been strangely fascinated by so many fantasize about bursting into a church, saying what they'd kept inside for years like in the movies. In real life, it rarely happens.
Real life is a funny thing, you know. In real life, saying the right thing at the right moment is beyond crucial. So crucial, in fact, that most of us start to hesitate, for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. But lately what I've begun to fear more than that is letting the moment pass without saying anything.
I think most of us fear reaching the end of our life, and looking back regretting the moments we didn't speak up. When we didn't say "I love you" when we should've said "I'm sorry". When we didn't stand up for ourselves or someone who needed help.
Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together. I hope you use yours for good, because the only words you'll regret more than the ones left unsaid are the ones you use to intentionally hurt someone.
What you say might be too much for some people. Maybe it will come out all wrong and you'll stutter and you'll walk away embarrassed, wincing as you play it all back in your head. But I think the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest.
So say it to them or say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it in a letter you'll never send or in a book millions might read someday. I think you deserve to look back on your life without a chorus of resounding voices saying 'I could've, but it's too late now.'
There is a time for silence. There is a time waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it.
I don't think you should wait. I think you should speak now."
I've been looking back through the pages of old journals.
I write down the words of people who pay me nice compliments or say things that mean a lot to me.
Maybe some of the words are from you.
We often forget the lovely words we say to people, but they can remember them forever.
That's how some of these comments are.
Maybe you don't remember saying them... but I'll never forget.
I am going to share some here... words that people said to me that have made all the difference in my life. These aren't all of them that I hold, but these are some.
I don't think it's narcissistic. It's healing and refreshing to know people care.
I am going to share them here.
I'll change some of the names of the people who said these things to me just in case they don't want to their words to be shared with the world.
I ran into one of my favorite high school teachers in a grocery store by the flower aisle.
He was talking to someone. He actually was one of my English teachers. He inspired me. He improved my writing. He made me a better writer. He had a way with words that helped me find my voice.
I saw him but didn't think he saw me. So I was going to talk by without a second glance (honestly I didn't think he would remember me) but as I passed by, he stopped and said to the person he was talking to, "Except Charley here. She's the only exception. She got an A. She was an amazing student!"
Then he smiled, ended the conversation with whoever he was talking to, turned his focus to me, hugged me, and we had about a ten minute conversation. He asked me about what I had been up to, my plans, dreams, etc. He told me he loved my Facebook posts and always looks forward to them. He said he liked how insightful and meaningful they were. He explained that when everyone my age is only getting on FB to post random pointless junk about partying and the like. He is an absolutely amazingly talented writer so it was a major compliment. It made my day.
"Your posts are some of my favorite :)"
"My mother absolutely adores you! She told me that you are seriously the most nicest girl ever!! Haha."
"You are my favorite of all of Christian's sisters :) You're the best babysitter EVER! and you always remind me that I'm awesome :) LOVE YOU CHARLEY :) P.S. You enjoy my random songs. :)"
-Drake (one of Lambsey's friends)
"Oh Char, you and I have become each others best friends. We have sister Saturday pretty much every Saturday. I love how close we are cause it's good to have your older sister be your best friend. Just letting you know how much I look up to you as like my role model. You get through every trial that is put in front of you. You never ever get mad and you don't hate anyone! Even the people I can't stand you're always so nice to them. You never lie and are always straight up with people. You also always give back and say thank you. You are so incredibly smart! Makes me jealous you're gorgeous. I love youuuuu!"
-Jordan Lawren Chriswell (my youngest sister)
Can I just say that comment touched my heart. It made me cry.
"Every breath you have ever taken was gold. You're the best kind of person and I think no matter what I'll always remember you as such."
"You have always been one of the sweetest, most kind people I've ever met. There is no reason for you to be lonely. You have no idea. I would have to get a team together to search the country for a man worthy enough to have you. You will not be lonely forever. You shouldn't be now and not ever. I just mean he has to be kind, courteous, chivalrous, strong, regal, and the perfect gentleman. He will come and you will be completely blown over. You two will hit it off faster than they do in the storybooks. When he meets the Charley, he's going to just die. He will have to have you. Have a good night beautiful."
-Wilson (name has been changed).
That made me smile. I mean REALLY smile. I needed to hear it at the time.
"I miss you and I'm drinking a Diet Pepsi and it just doesn't feel right without you!"
-Deedra (hahah I love her)
A conversation I had with Wilson in 2012...
Charley (me): "I am sorry. I know that means absolutely nothing nor does it help or change anything. But some words of inspiration--maybe good things fall apart so even better things, things beyond our imagination, can fall together."
Wilson: "I guess. You realize saying those things makes just want to flirt with you."
C: "Flirt with me? Why me? Why especially when you love Brianna (name changed)?"
W: "Because I have had crushes on you since elementary school. Because you are insanely beautiful and you seem to be more and more my type as we talk. Because even though I am turning into a mess, you make me feel like you would pick up the pieces."
C: "Why didn't you ever tell me? People should say these things you know, when they feel them. I am not insanely beautiful. I wish I was. I am just Jordan and McHale's sister. And what is your type? I am always here for you. I will help you pick up the pieces. I will also do anything to help you get Brianna back since I know you love her."
W: "Yes you are. You are their radiant and elegant sister. Not their other sister. I don't know why I never said anything. I never felt good enough and didn't think you would care. Thank you."
Just an FYI, Wilson and I never dated or were anything but friends. I didn't and don't like him like that. But we were good friends. I like being there and helping people.
Another Wilson/Charley conversation...
C: "How can you still believe in love? Do you believe in soulmates?"
W: "Of course I believe in love. I don't know about soulmates."
C: "How do you still believe in it though?"
W: "Shouldn't having your heart ripped out make it more obvious that it's real? Should all the joy and happiness you feel gets taken away make love that much more apparent and desirable? You know it's real. There's a reason why you've been wishing for it forever. Everyone wants love. When it's taken away from us it hurts worse than anything else because it is the greatest feeling and power on Earth."
That was eye opening. I'd never thought about it like that before.
Haha I love the following quote. I went on a triple date with some friends. My little sister came along and he date paid for her. I was in shock and telling him how cute and nice that was. He exclaimed, "What has the world come to when it's such a surprise when a guy pays for the girl. It should be expected. A guy should always pay for his lady. That's how it's supposed to be."
"You are such a sweet person. You are amazing and I always love your posts :) You are beautiful and I am thankful to know you! You deserve all of the good that life has to offer."
"Well I just thought I would post on your wall about how thankful I am for you!!! You are just the most gorgeous and sweet person I have ever met. You always have amazing statuses and you always greet me with a big beautiful smile. Thanks for making my day a little brighter with your kind words and kind smile."
"It's almost been two years since we met right? Thank you so much for always letting me read your Facebook posts that help me out through the day. You are amazing along with your family! You are special!"
-Holden (named changed) we once dated. He recently got married. I am so happy for him :)
"I love you so much! It has been so long since I've seen you and I must meet up with you soon pretty lady!!! You're such an incredible friend :) mwah <3 I miss our letters."
Oh my goodness, this is the silliest. most random conversation that took place on night at TyBrie's house...
Tyson: "Are we humans or are we dancers?"
Me (To Lambsey): "Somebody told me that you had a girlfriend who looked like a boyfriend that I had in February of last year."
Lambsey: "It's not confidential, I've got potential."
Brie: "You know what I'm getting from this conversation? Who is this boyfriend you had in February, and why did he look like a girl?"
Me: "No Christian's girlfriend looked like a boy."
Brie: "No because she is me. I'm his secret girlfriend trying to be scandalouser than you cause he's younger than me."
Lambsey: "This sounds like an episode of Desperate Housewives!"
Brie: "That means I'm Gabby!"
Lambsey: "Then Tyson is Carlos and I'm John!"
Brie: "I wish I looked like Gabrielle!"
Tyson: "I wished I had as much money as Carlos."
*We all laughed so hard our stomachs hurt*
Brie (To me): "Then I guess that makes you Susan."
Me: "Oh well! That's fine by me. It means I get Mike Delfino!"
Yep, we can be silly.
I wrote a Facebook status that stated: "A real girl isn't perfect. A perfect girl isn't real." One of my friends named John made a sweet observation: "And yet love masks imperfections making a perfect girl very real."
"So I just decided that you have amazing quotes and I thought I'd let you know."
"Charley... you are adorable! I was just being all creepy stalker like and looking at your blog... it's cute. I like it :)"
"I love you girl. You are so inspiring."
"Charley :) I miss your B-E-A-Utiful face, and adorable eyes :) I just love you so much! You are my favorite! Darling, you're so cute. Save some cuteness for the rest of us. You are beautiful period."
"You got it all goin for ya pretty lady!"
"Lofes you so much, you are the best pretty lil lady :)"
-McHale Annette Chriswell (sister)
One of my statuses was "I wish I was a star."
I got the following responses.
Taylor: "You're a star to me."
Lacey: "="I love stars. I have always had some infatuation with them. Haha. I'm not sure what kind of "star" you're talking about but if it's like celebrity then me too! Awhhh. That's cute. I think Taylor's right. You're already a star!"
Jordan: "Hey, you are a star! Don't let anyone tell you differently."
Chris: "Charley, you should be a counselor."
Kirsten: "Charley you are amazing."
David: "Charley that is impossible to promise. You are an irresistible person and who doesn't love you is out of their mind."
Alexia: "Charley, you're gorgeous! Miss you a lot!"
Lizzy: "See you are gorgeous and your smile is stunning."
My friend/step cousin Mitch said the nicest thing to me once upon a time.
"You're like a superhero in my eyes. All the s--- you've had to walk through. And still are walking through. There's no one else who I have such a high admiration for. You truly are amazing. I love you."
Another Taylorism (he is the kindest. Mind you he has a gorgeous girlfriend now! We are still friends but these are words from the past!): "Charley! I care about you so much! More than I show! I just want you to be happy more than anything. I've been thinking about you all week. You're so beautiful."
David gave the best compliments. Always cheering this girl up!
"Dearest friend, I hope all is well. Your smile brightens up the world and makes all things wonderful, just like you do :) Charley, you are the most wonderful person I have ever had the privilege of being friends with and I treasure you :) You brighten up my life and make me smile."
"Sweet dreams Char. I really hope things get better with your health, you're a strong girl. If there is ever anything I can do to help you out please let me know. I am glad I got to see you."
"Charley Brooke is one of the most beautiful inspirational people in the world. I envy her... and it makes it worse that I have to face her everyday! I love my angelic sister so very much :):):)"
-McHale (my sweethearted angel of a sister)
"You're very talented in this matter! Better keep it up! People LOVE your writing and gorgeous pictures."
-One of you lovelies! An anonymous lovely who reads my blog (I adore you!)
"Charley Brooke Chriswell is one hundred percent positive one hundred percent of the time. I really admire her."
-The lovely Morgan
"I really like it when I have a bad day, and something you post makes me instantly feel better."
"You're a beautiful writer."
"Dear Charley... I just have to say your profile picture is awesome! I miss that time we went skydiving together... Love you!"
"Your story didn't start out on a dark and stormy night--I promise! I was there... It started out with the most beautiful little girl who was and still is the joy of her mother and father's life. You are a great story and your ending has yet to be written and I bet when it is finished it will be a BLOCKBUSTER!!!"
"So you probably get this often, but I think you're really pretty."
-A random stranger
"Charley, I know I don't know you very well. But, I've been reading your blog during my downtime at work and I feel like I know you so well! So much of what you say I can relate to. Keep up the good work."
-Wilson (not the Wilson mentioned above)
"I need you to make me a book of your sayings so when I get in a jam I'll have the right words to say."
-David (a cousin)
"I know a million girls who wish they looked like you. No lie. You're tall. You're thin. You're beautiful. Go look in the mirror and say good things about yourself, Charley. You have a lot of style and personality."
"You should write self help books!"
"Love love love love love love love your statuses."
"Honestly your statuses make my life. They're amazing."
"You are cute. Too bad people aren't more like you huh? :)"
"Char, I LOVE your words beyond anything I could tell you. You are a great person, and I am so proud and happy to be your father. You make me so proud."
"Charley!!! You are so cute and your messages make my day :) You are an awesome girl and I love your positive outlook on life... your posts and quotes always make me happy!"
Okay I could keep going foreverrrr. These are comments I've written in only a few of my journals. I write your words down just like mine.
My point is, these words help me even now! I am going through hell but I see heaven. I know heaven is there. This path will take me to where I belong. Your words mean more to me than earthly possessions. I treasure words like gold. Words take seconds to say and can have lasting impressions. These words and the things you continue to tell me just completely overwhelm me with happiness. I love you all completely, lovelies. You are the loveliest. I hope my words mean to me and touch you like yours do for me.
I encourage all of you to write or tell your story in one form or another.
We all are creating our own movie moments. Love each one. I write so I can remember and share them.
THANK YOU for all of your support.
For speaking now and forever.
To speaking now&always,