To those of you that have been here from the beginning of this blog’s induction, I offer you the utmost gratitude and praise. You’ve seen, heard, and read so much of my journey. Through phone calls, emails, texts, and social media, you have come to me offering support, encouragement, gifts, and a sense of well-being and strength that is ever-renewing and restoring. Hats off to you, my loyal angels.
To those of you that have tuned in more recently, something has brought you here. I now have followers in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, United Kingdom and beyond. I am fully befuddled that my efforts have been so far reaching in 5 short months. I am here to support others in their journeys by offering my audience a first hand look at my life…chock full of vulnerabilities, lessons of love, lessons of loss, flaws, bruises…both physical and emotional, personal perseverance, periods of enlightenment, hard hitting facts, soul searching, and inspiration. I strive to empower you to take control of your own life if you’ve lost a grip on it. Stand strong, stand proud, fight for yourself, your health, your future, your happiness. YOU ARE WORTH IT.
Welcome to My World, it’s a fun little place with lots of laughter and sunshine, even on the cloudiest of days.
If you are a newcomer, a newbie…I don’t expect you to go back and read from the initial post from August 15, 2013, but I encourage you to do so. There is a lot of valuable information carefully laid out in those posts that very well may resonate with you. But, for those of you that can’t or won’t or don’t wanna, it’s cool. I’ll take ya anyway I can have ya. But, you might want to know why I sign my name Astrid.
It started as a joke really. I tend to run my mouth and I survive in this world on sarcasm and sass. Currently, a copious amount of medications are helping me survive as well, but I often rely on humor, pranks, and I am quite the smart a$$. It makes me a little quirky, I understand that I am different, I prefer to call it unique, and just plain silly. I’m known to wear a smile and I have my own style, that can’t ever be denied. I march to the beat of my own drum, for sure.
I’m a big fan of nicknames. I feel they are endearing and it doesn’t take long to earn yourself a nickname with me. I’ve been given a few over the years, but nothing really stuck…Ms. Independent, Toughie, Little Ms. Sunshine, I’ve always been Kimmy to my family…but for being a chronic nicknamer, I didn’t really have one of my own.
In a trash talking session with my friend Vanessa, I began calling her Vanilla. I will just leave it at that; it has a few implied meanings 🙂 She popped off one day on a text message stating, “Whatever, Astrid.” No offense to anyone, but I was like…”Oh, that’s soooo cute. Suits me perfectly. Astrid, really? Astrid. Huh?” …she randomly pulled that name outta her…outta thin air, rather. A few minutes later she simply replied, “Google it.” Unbeknownst to either of us, the meaning of Astrid in various cultures and languages is “Divine Strength.” I accepted my new nickname immediately. Less than a month later, I was kicking around ideas for a title for the book I am writing….I googled Astrid again. This time, a link popped up to Urban Dictionary. For those of you that don’t know, Urban Dictionary is a website that essentially defines common street slang or current phrases, expressions, etc.
Urban Dictionary read:
There are a few descriptions I doubt, but for the most part, it’s spot on.
Hi, I’m Astrid…have we met? I hope that answers any questions. You may also want to go back and read the post “Angels in Austin…Astrid and Tony.” I think it is by far the most touching and powerful post to date. It’s why I believe in Angels.
So, as I kick around ideas, which I do daily, I have started a vision board. It’s kinda like a Bucket List, I reckon, but more of a hodge podge of things tacked on a cork board that I want to do once I’m well, not just before I kick the proverbial bucket. In a moment of grander last week, I thought of starting a non-profit organization called “Astrid’s Angels.” It may very well be a pipe dream, but I’m gonna dream it nonetheless. Of course, I don’t know specific details and I don’t have the revenue to start such an endeavor at this time, but my biggest dream has been to open a ranch for people with Special Needs.
It would be an overnight camp that was tailored to the needs of these precious people and they could essentially have their own little all-inclusive vacation resort with their families. There would be a large pond for fishing, a swimming pool with all the proper adaptations, herds of horses for riding, feeding, and grooming, art classes, cooking classes, yoga classes, you name it. Ideally, I would recruit War Vets to work there, so that they are given an opportunity to contribute, supplement their incomes, and make a difference. This has been my dream for the better part of 10 years, long before Astrid came into play. At one point, my family and I were discussing purchasing a large plot of land in East Texas for my ranch. I’ll keep you posted on the evolution 🙂
In the meantime, I will continue to spread my wings, venture out, inspire others and pollinate kindness everywhere I go. Last week, I was at a local Habitat for Humanity. I like to buy some of my materials there for art projects, I encourage you to do the same. I had many items in my cart and as always, I’m being a total goof taking pictures. I already captioned these:
“You Make Me Shutter”
“I A Drawer You.”
“Don’t You A Door Me?”
“Am I Being a Pane?”
You catch my goofy drift 🙂 By the end of my excursion, I had a cart overloaded with potential passion projects, there were approximately 25 men in my vicinity. Some of them were working there, some of them were customers, not a single one offered to help me with the huge, awkward load. After all, I don’t think I ever need help, but it would’ve been nice this time trying to take a heavy cart down a 40% grade. As I’m wrestling the beast of a basket, I’m talking to myself. I soooo did not want to tip that cart over, I guarantee every man in the place would’ve looked then! Out of nowhere, this petite and beautiful young girl appeared. In a sweet voice, she said, “May I help you get these items to your car?” What an angel!!!
We worked our way down the ramp in one piece, gotta love teamwork….GOOOOOO Team! After some clever maneuvering and positioning, we finally got 2 doors, 3 drawers, 2 screens, one window pane, 2 shutters, 3 vents, and random other pieces stowed and secured in the back of my Forerunner. This girl was so, so, so sweet. I was so grateful for her help and I couldn’t stop thanking her. I thought about tipping her, but I wasn’t sure what policy was. When I thanked her for the last time, she looked me square in the eyes and said, “Thank you for being so nice to me.” What? Hold the phone!! She just did me a solid and she’s thanking me? Huh??
I was really flabbergasted. I barely knew what to say. I inquired, “Are people normally not nice to you at work?” She informed me that normally, no, most people weren’t and she wasn’t working….she was doing community service. Of course I was uber curious to pry, but I just said…”Girrrrllllll, you better keep your nose clean. That’s no way to live.”
Come to find out, she was on probation for selling drugs. Her baby daddy had been sent to the federal pen for the next 17 years. She is 28 years old and her daughter is 5. She is currently homeless and/or sleeping on couches. Perhaps, it would be real easy to start judging her now. But, I didn’t. By her own admission, she said she grew up in a drug soaked home. It’s all she’s ever known. She’s tried to work legit jobs, but the money pales in comparison and she doesn’t always have clean clothes and transportation. She went on to say that this is not the life she wants for herself or her baby girl. She wants to break free, go to school, become a nurse, but she doesn’t know how to get out of the only life she’s ever known. We established that we are both Sagittarius’ and that means we are very kindred spirits, but I didn’t need any astrological sign to tell me that.
I said to her, “We may look different, we may live different, but I promise you we’ve both seen more than our share of struggles.”
She got real quiet and looked at me. I told her that God knows what he is doing in her life. “You must trust him, praise him, talk to him. He is listening. I firmly believe The Lord steps in when he truly knows you need it, not just when you think you do. If we expected him to step in every time the going got rough, when we lost our job or needed groceries, we’d never appreciate his power and glory.” Her eyes filled up with tears. She was a beautiful girl with long, dark eyelashes. I took her hand. I said to her, “I know that you can’t feel The Lord working in your life. I don’t doubt that you’ve tried to straighten your life out. You need to turn to The Lord, not away from him. We’ve all questioned how HE could let certain things happen to us in our lives, how could he let us endure such pain and heartache…but it’s so we will have the clarity and appreciation for the JOY he will soon offer. He believes in you and so do I.”
I really don’t make a habit of preaching sermons. I actually disagree with other people forcing religion or faith or The Lord on others. I think the gospel is available to all of us and we will seek it and its power when we are ready on our own terms. She bowed her head and said, “Kim, no one has ever believed in me. No one has ever told me they believed in me. I was supposed to be just like the rest of them. But, I’m not anymore. You touched me. God brought you right here to me to deliver me that message. Well, you are an angel and I am listening to you.” We hugged for a very long time and I was moved to tears also. I was “On Top of The World.”
I was walking a little taller that day. The air was cleaner and the sun was shining brightly. I told her that I’d never give her money, I’d never bail her out of jail or any other type of trouble, but that I’d help her find work when the time was right. I’d meet her at the Public Library to complete college and financial aid paperwork. We aren’t necessarily friends, but I’m going to help steer her down the right path if she feels she is ready for that next step. I gave her my email address and I’ve heard from her about 10 times since last Wednesday. There really are Angels Among Us.
You’re an angel.
I A Door You.
Do You A Drawer Me?
I know I’m a Pane, but you still make me shutter 🙂
I love you,