In which I wake up

At 3 am this morning, I woke up and stared at the blank canvas of my bedroom ceiling. An allegorical reflection of my life. In a week and a half, I turn 34. Life has passed in the blink of an eye. There is a feeling that all this time I have just been staring out the windows, watching the world pass by. To date, I have one short story published that is in need of a 2nd edition, 17 short stories that are in an array of discord, one novel poorly half written, and the second novel is a silent film that continually plays in my head and has yet to be scripted. All the adventures that I long to take remain as scribbled words on a bucket list. I’ve only crossed off 6 out of 297.

In the wee hours of this morning, something inside snapped awake. A tiny voice whispered in my head, In life there are no dress rehearsals. This morning, I realized that the state of hibernation that I have been suffering for the past two years was finally over.

This very moment, the one we are existing in now, is the only one that we tangibly have. We can plan for the next moment to come, hoping that it appears. Yet, it’s never guaranteed. Take a breath. Exhale. In the next breath, one of us could be dead. A life instantly terminated. We are only promised the moment we hold right now. And if we allow this moment to pass unfulfilled, we may not get the chance at another.

Since 2015, I have been dreaming of what I want to do, but lacked the propulsion and motivation to achieve those dreams. An era of dormancy was maintained until I took a trip to the Baltic states last summer. While wandering the remnants of a Cold Ware era prison in Tallinn, a spark of inspiration involuntary began a transformation within the core of my soul. The spark was so tiny that I barely felt the burn, but there was a slight movement on my part to extinguish the infinitesimal flame as the fear of failing crept into my heart. However, the nostalgic warmth of my former self reflecting in that flame was captivating. The flame was allowed to burn. It took several additional months before the flame was fed and ignited into a wildfire.

The appeal to become physically stronger, to eat healthier, to travel more, and to enjoy life intensified in January.  Suddenly, I found myself exercising everyday, gorging on vegetables and fruit, signing up to run a 5K & 10K race in April, organizing an excursion to New Mexico for May, and eyeing up a September 125-mile bike ride that begins in Quarryville, Pennsylvania and ends in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (those closest to me know of the ‘saudade‘ of the ride’s finish line location). And, I decided to take the final step in committing to train for a triathlon – today I bought swimming gear and made a pact to swim laps 2-3 times a week… at 5 am…

Oh, and the words! The words! At moment of my full awakening this morning, when the inferno of inspiration was set fully ablaze in my soul, I realized that the words were back. My muse rose out of the embers and all the motivation that I had for creative writing once again burned brightly. The new novel that had been brewing as a silent film in my sub-concise showed its purpose. Today, there is direction. During breakfast, the plot was feverishly started. Then an inkling began that my blog was in dire need of revitalization.  And so, here I am.

As insane as all of this sounds, it is like the ‘light switch’ on a transformation to become my true self finally flipped ‘on’. The most amazing part of this awakening is that a change elicited in my writing style and perception.

Dark fiction is a ‘genre’ that I’ll continue to enjoy.  Fear, which is evoked in characters who are placed in harrowing situations, is quite captivating as it is an emotion that reveals a character’s true nature. Yet, it is in that moment when truth is exposed by fear that I now want to leverage as a seed for strength and purpose, as opposed using fear as a tactic to break and destroy characters with a purpose to deteriorate their will to live.  I may still base a few short stories off this trope; however, going forward, I want to convey that one’s strength and purpose are revealed when one has lost all hope. And a will to survive overcomes fear.

These past two years have changed me. For a lack of better words, the time was a cataclysmic whirlwind. Personal negative situations aside, I’ve been fortunate enough to be granted with many opportunities to travel the world. I’ve seen wondrous sites, met the most soulful people, and sampled delectable cuisine. In these experiences I found renewed creativity and inspiration to thrive.

Life’s an adventure, and our next moments stand on precipice of excitement and wonderment! Reach out, take hold, and never let go.


This picture was captured whilst visiting one of my dearest friends, Michelle Muller, in Tallinn, Estonia. She knew Patarei Prison would captivate me. She wasn’t wrong. This mural, which was hand painted outside of the ‘hanging room’, triggered the start of my transformation. The mural directed me to continue the journey of wandering and wondering. (c) Amanda Headlee 2016

Definition of ‘saudade’:

Saudade is ‘the sorrow of not having enjoyed that which was there to be enjoyed; it is the vehement but resigned desire to enjoy a thing we were deeply attached to; and also the yearning to see, or be in the company of, someone from whom we have reluctantly been parted.

(Quoted in Dalila L. Pereira da Costa & Pinharanda Gomes, Introdução à Saudade: Antologia Teórica e Aproximação Crítica (Porto, Lello & Irmão, 1976), p. 10.)

Will you, won’t you join the dance?

Envisioning your true desires in life is the easiest way to achieve them.  Think about what your really want.  I mean really, truly want.  Think about it every morning, afternoon, and evening.  I have begun the habit of thinking about my desires right before I eat – even before snack time.  Place your desire in a positive light when you envision it.  I am a firm believer if you put enough thought into something, it will come to fruition.  Though, a little physical work helps to bring about the desire even faster.  It really does help to take some steps in order to bring the desire into reality.  Things are not going to magically appear out of mid-air.  How boring would it be if life were like that?  With a snap of our finger we could have what we want.  Each person would have millions and millions of dollars and cherry red Ferraris.  Yeah, it would be fabulous to have all that, but then we would all be the same.  No one would be unique as we would all have the same things.  And in that, we would not appreciate our desires if they were just handed to us.  So, the Universe dictates that we are to do use little elbow grease to make our dreams into reality.   The hard effort that we put in to make our desires real, make us treasure the reality of our desires.

Exciting, isn’t it.  You can have whatever you want just by thinking about it and a little hard work.  Our mind is a very powerful tool.  It creates kings, sends people to the moon, builds empires, and inspires technology.  Amazing what a little “thinking” can do, right?  We should all follow the advice of the White Queen, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”  1

Now, keep in mind the tone in which you are manifesting your desire.  You have to make it positive and be very meticulous on how you think in order for the desire to be born in the way you want to.  Your mind and the Universe cannot distinguish between positive and negative.  So if you have this horrible fear that you will be trampled by pink elephants, do not say to yourself “Do not think about Pink Elephants”.  When you say that, all that is heard is pink elephants!  Merely do not even conjure the though in your mind.  You can not only manifest your desires, but also your fear.  If you do not give any thoughts to your fears, your fears will not be born.

Give yourself a timeline with your manifestation.  Depending on the amount of elbow grease that could be involved in assisting the manifestation, the reality may not be immediate.  Say you are building your dream house.  Everyone knows all the run-around and issues that can be sometimes involved with construction companies.  If you want to avoid all this hullaballoo, and then say to yourself “My dream house will be finished from 90 days from today”.  Then each day after in which you envision your desire, adjust down the days.  With you personally tracking the progress of the construction, keeping in constant contact with the builders, and working hard on your daily manifestation, your dream home will be finished within three months from the day that you began your first thought of desire.  Now, keep in mind that you may not be living in your dream home at that time because your manifestation was just that the house will be finished within 90 days.  If you have an extremely specific desire, then you need to make your vision of that desire specific, “Within 90 days, my dream home will be finished, furnished, and move-in ready.  Within 100 days, my new job will begin, which is only 20 minutes down the road from my dream home.  Within 80 days, the house in which I currently live in, which is also up for sale, will sell for $900,552.00”.  See, be very specific and everything will fall in line with how you want it to be.  Remember, your mind and the Universe can only produce what it is asked directly.  Do not leave any loop-holes or open-ended desires.

It is time that humanity becomes more determined to seek out producing their desires.  Too many of us sit around depressed, seeing the good fortune of others.  We all want to share in that good fortune, but so many of us have become too lazy and unwilling to do anything about it.  And we all can make our lives into the dream life in which we want to live!  Yes, it is going to take some time.  Rome was not built in a day!  Yes, it will take some hard work.  Your desire has to always be on the forefront of your mind, and you will have to get your hands dirty.  Keep your manifestation positive.  When your thoughts turn negative, fear arises and the outcome of the manifestation will be that of negativity.

Always remember, when you manifest your desires, never create physical, emotional, or mental harm to anyone or anything. 

Is it not time for you to join the dance?

1  Lewis Carroll. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. London: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Title:  From the Mock Turtle’s Song by Lewis Carroll.

©2011, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative – visit  Amanda Headlee — It is Always Darkest Before the Dawn for the original source of this content.