Letter To An Old Friend

Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that. – Ally Condie

Dear ex-friend, I’m sorry it ended like that. Our friendship that spanned years that we bonded over things and listened to each other’s problems. But it changed. We changed. We changed in ways that I wish I could say don’t matter but I don’t want to lie to you, to myself. We grew apart and ended up wanting very different things out of life, having different views of the world. There’s nothing wrong with having another view from mine. I quite enjoy having a friends who want think in a way I want to understand. However, with you, it was different because I saw you going down a path that I know would cause you pain yet when people showed concerned you acted as if they were jealous, unwilling to understand. Then you got angry when we didn’t pay attention to an event

I never meant to grow apart and for it to end the way it did. But sometimes that is life. Friends come and go, family disappoints and surprise you, others leave skid marks across your path that show you their mistakes that you avoid or repeat. I hope you know that no matter how it ended, no matter how it felt as the chapter closed on this friendship, I wouldn’t ever want to erase it or wish it hadn’t been written. We shared a lot, had some adventures together. They still mean the world to me. They shaped you I am, started me off on a journey I could have never predicted. You are a good person and I respect you with my entire world even if we ended up in different galaxies. I can’t say that for all my friends who no longer call themselves my allies but I truly mean it for you.

We were both at fault. We had our differences. I can be stubborn, base decisions of emotions instead of logic. I can get intense because of my feelings. We are human. Humanity isn’t supposed to be perfect, empires have fallen based on emotions. Friendships can be given with a smile and taken away with a click of a button. No matter what, we grew together even if we ended up going in different directions, bloomed into different people. So thank you for being in my life at any point, for shaping me into the person I am now and helping me on my journey to grow. Perhaps one day our paths will lead us back in the same direction. Until then, I shall carve your name in the armor I wear against the world, a mark to reflect how you inspired me and helped shape me as a person.




For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

Audrey Hepburn said this and I think it’s really important that we all remember that beauty is different for everyone as much as there’s a difference between physical beauty and a beautiful soul. Now I’ve met people who have both and people who have neither as well as those who have one or the other. But I think we as a whole expect that being beautiful means being appealing on the inside. That can be important and at the same time it can be irrelevant.
I love this quote a lot because it mixes the two in a few ways while encouraging us to make sure to look at the whole of a person before we judge certain sides. She tells us to look for the good in people because it takes more than one glance to know a person especially when people have their days where they aren’t themselves. It also reminds us that we are never alone because the greatest company we can keep is ourselves. While it can also be our worst, Audrey Hepburn reminds us that we have to believe in the ourselves, in our own good as much as those around us.

Letter to My Friends

So last night I had a pretty rough emotional night and I was feeling as if no one really liked me. Now I know that it’s irrational to think that my friends don’t like me or anything but that’s what emotions are. They can be guided by fears and insecurities. It happens but the important thing is not to let them control you. I don’t mean you have to ignore them but you don’t have to accept them in you’re heart and devote all your time to those emotions that drag you down. Sometimes it takes a few deep breathes to gather yourself, to find your courage and handle with those feelings. So I woke up this morning and decided today’s entry would be a letter to my lovely friends who I am lucky to have in my life. So here it is:

Dear friends,

Thank you for being there for me, for sending me messages to me when I am having trouble. Thank you to those who live within driving distances and you see things I post, call me up and take me out for a drink to talk. Thank you to those who live far away, both those who I have and those who I haven’t met in person but who take the time to write me small notes of love.  

I know I can be ridiculous, annoying, and obnoxious. I know I can say things that come out wrong or things that offend you. I’m trying to work on not being like this so much. I’m sorry for being that way; I am sorry for ever coming across in a way that is less than acceptable. I am trying to let go of notions introduced to me as a child that I have grown more aware of being problematic. I am trying to be a better person and I know it is a rough journey. I can’t express how much grateful I am that you all are sticking with me.

Thank you so much for believing in me at all, for helping me on my journey of being a better person. I have had a lot of people tell me what I am doing wrong and not out of love. Yet you guys tell me in an effort to make me be more aware what I say I know it isn’t because you hate me or think I am stupid. I love how each and every one of you is working towards making the world a better place. I am in awe of the intelligence and desire for equality in all of you to be honest.  You care so much for others and I can only hope that I can grow to be as loving as all of you are to both people you know and those you don’t but know that you are out there who deserve to be defended. 

Thank you for giving me the courage and support I need when I’m afraid to step away from those who are toxic for me. I have a hard time cutting off those who threaten actions that drag me down to a place that makes the trauma in the shadows all the more haunting. Each one of you believes that it’s okay to be weak and need help, which unfortunately is a belief that is too rare in our world. So many times, women who need help are placed lower than those who don’t when ladies who need help and ladies who don’t are equal because they both have weaknesses and strengths in themselves. You all helped me most when I need it and I want you all to know that there is no knight in shining armor who could be as brave as you perfect princesses in flower crowns given to you by the goddess of spring herself (even the few mistresses of all evil who get mixed in). 

Each and every one of you has gifted me with an gift that is so uniquely your own individual selves. You are all so special and I cannot express how much I adore you all. Thank you for making everything better just by being in my life anyway you can.You are the most amazing people ever and I can’t begin to describe how much you do for me in one general letter. But I will for each of you are my inspirations, my guides to being a better person. I have had a lot of friends leave me behind, walk away for so many reasons. But I hope you are all in my life for a long time to come.

I love you all,



Letter to Past Me

Dear Past Me,

I know it seems hard now. Balancing all of your feelings and trying to deal with the actions of others on top of your own. You struggled with yourself in so many ways. You had so many voices in your head telling you about how you should change, about who you should have been in the moments so real to you that hung over you like ropes from bars in gym class. None of them were louder than what you thought was your own. It tells you that you need to change, be better, be more like your sisters, be more like the cool girls in school, be totally different from you who were. You felt the need to be skinnier, prettier, have less acne, have lighter hair, have straight hair. It scares you because you think that the voice is the real you,buried somewhere down deep inside but you can’t get to her, always going to be out of reach.

That voice that makes you doubt yourself, that makes you hear everyone you trust, every person who care for secretly hates you, it isn’t you. It tells lies, tricks you, tries to make you believe that you aren’t enough. It disgusts itself, fills the cracks, coloring itself to appear as a natural mark on your skin. The voice is the cracked mirror of society that distorts your image as you look back. Its a combination of society, of those who have expectations of you, of people who have and those will come and go in your life without a second thought that leave you wishing it was different, that you could have done something different to keep them.

I wish I could say it goes away but it doesn’t. It’s still here, echoing in the ears of the present, But its getting quieter with every step you will take to come closer to being okay with you, with your faults, with your strengths, and with the world around you. Other voices are there to help you. You will meet friends who you think will be temporary that stick around you when you don’t deserve them and will love you for all you are. Your family as flawed as it is and through all the problems, they will stick by you even though you argue and feel like you don’t fit in. You still struggle with feeling like no one actually likes you but you learn to tell who is a real friend who you want to keep in your life and you started to learn to let go of those who hurt you again and again because they make you feel like a back-up plan. You’ll start to see yourself in a new way and find you are more than you think.

There is a bravery in you that got me here, brought me through all the detours on the road between my current state. I know you think you don’t matter a lot and though you wouldn’t hurt yourself, you often feel like you are just going through with what is expected of you. It may seem like nothing, it may seem like it doesn’t really mean anything in the long run to anyone. I want you to know it does. I’m not sure it means something to others- I like to think it does.But I can guarantee you, it means the world to the most important person in the equation- you, me. Who I am for all my faults, all my issues I am trying to deal with, you brought me here. You carried me through almost losing my sister, the guilt of not being able to help. You swept the shattered pieces of my heart in a dustpan and glued them together when I realized those I thought were best friends were the ones hiding nails in the dirt for me to stumble and all on.

You dreamed of who you wold become. I hope who is writing to you isn’t a disappointment. You will get through all the pain and heartache; you’ll experience things you never dreamed of and feel joy you always wanted. You will change and grow. Your faith will evolve and your beliefs will shift a bit. You’ll find your own voice and struggle to own it but never let it fade. The journey here will have its ups and downs but you will get through and there will be possibilities that await you and friends you could not be more thankful for as you start a new journey and open yourself up to the world around you in a new way.

Until you get here, I will be here watching out for you,

Tessa- age 23


Letter To Future Me

ImageDear future me,

I hope you are happy. I hope whatever brings who I am now to who you are, who I will be makes me stronger even though there are moments where I know I will feel broken and that I can’t be fixed no matter how hard I try. I hope you figured out some of the things I have no idea where to start on. I hope you didn’t let petty things get in the way of your friendships but I hope I’ve learned to cut people out who don’t deserve me. I hope I know my value when I get to be you because right now I’m struggling with it.

I wonder if we have the same questions about life even if we have different priorities. Do you still fear that everyone secretly hates you? Do you wonder if you really ever fit somewhere? Are you any closer to what you want deep down that you are afraid of saying out loud because if you do then you are giving away a part of your dreams to people who could crush it with a few words? Do you dream of your next vacation or do you dream or the few experiences that you have had the honor of having?

I have to admit as much as it scares me that I don’t know you or what happens to me, I am excited to spend to see what takes me to you. I cant say I don’t expect stumbling because that’s what I am doing know. I have goals that I want to reach and I wonder if you’ve seen yourself get their or give up. I want to live somewhere else, experience a new way of live, meet new people. I want to meet those who inspire me to be a stronger person, I want to grab lunch at someone’s favorite joint in town when I am on vacation to see them, sneak chocolates from my purse as I lay under the stars as I spent time with people for the first time. I hope you’ve experience all these things. 

It’s weird to think that I know you but I have no idea. Maybe it shouldn’t because you’re still me. You’re just a part of me that I have discovered, a new version of myself that followed a path I haven’t come across. I find a strange sense of calm when I think about who you are- who I become because there is a lot of room between where you are and where I am. There is a lot to be discovered on the map of my life between the place marked beginning where my feet stand as I pen a letter to you and the question which marked the spot that you take on the map.

Thank you for clearing the path for me and forging on even when you felt like giving up.

Your past,

Tessa- age 23.

In Honor of My Good Friend Merricat

“Never put your faith in a Prince. When you require a miracle, trust in a Witch.”
― Catherynne M. ValenteIn the Night Garden

In honor of her birthday today and the fact she introduced me to the concept of a lionhearted girl (for which I will be forever grateful), my first featured inspiring real life lady is my good friend Merricat. I was blessed to meet this real life bewitching princess on my first out of country trip to Vancouver, BC Canada (which was the most beautiful place I have ever seen and I have lived all over the Unites States on some of the prettiest beaches as a military brat of a U.S. Coast Guard member).

I don’t want to post any pictures of my friends without their expressive consent but let me assure you that Merricat is one of the most beautiful young women I have ever seen. However, as pretty as she is on the outside, that is only a fraction of how utterly dazzling she is as a person. She is kind, intelligent, loving, sassy, and truly talented with a needle and thread.

I remember meeting her on a Wednesday. My two friends and I had flown to Vancouver, BC because we wanted to see this breathtaking place that has been featured in some of our favorite shows. We heard one of our favorite actors was on set so we got in a cab at hotel after landing not even an hour before and headed to the beautiful village of Steveston. As we stood, watching the show film in front of us, I noticed this pretty group of girls standing about a block down the street. My first thought was that they may have been the coolest looking group of girls I had ever seen as they stood laughing about something. One of the girls had the one the coolest tattoos I had ever seen on her arm. (They all had awesome tattoos and they are all very dear to me as friends. They really are the coolest group of girls ever. All of whom I will most definitely talk about one this blog. Even in that moment I knew they were all ladies after my heart.) This girl’s tattoo was Alice in Wonderland, which is one of my favorite pieces of literature in the entire world. I think I looked at her tattoo for at least a full minute because I thought it was so pretty. Luckily, she didn’t see me or she would have thought I was creepy and we probably wouldn’t have become friends!

It was a bit later as a bunch of people stood around when I noticed the girl with the Alice tattoo was in front of my friends and I chatting with one of the other girls from the group. For reference, I tend to be shy when I first meet someone. Most of the time I introduce myself and say it is nice to meet a person. Every once in a while will throw in a compliment because I like something they have but I tend to clam up especially if I am in a new place. By some unusual boost of confidence, when they turned around, I had the guys to talk to them and I told her I loved her tattoo. That weekend I got to hang out with the cool chicks from California (my home state that I left behind a long time ago) and I got to know some of the most interesting people in the world. If I had to chose the one compliment that I gave that paid off the most in my entire life, it would have been telling Merricat that I liked her tattoo.

Her tattoo is whimsical, fun, daring, bold, colorful yet surrounded in delicate black swirls. It is her in a nutshell. She has an edge of a girl who can take on the world with a hair flip of dark brown tresses, a smile, and a twirl o a floral skirt. She creates flower crowns that can adorn the head of a girl finding her inner princess as she challenges all those who doubt her abilities and try to make her doubt what makes her an individual. She cares so much for those who mean a lot to her and welcomes people into her arms with a smile and a hug.

She’s not afraid to be fierce to cute down her enemies with logic. She’s deadly with her words and looks. She’s like the moon, beautiful and radiating life. Yet she is covered in darkness, her dangerous beauty entraps you and makes you worship her. She doesn’t let dark edges control her; she control’s them herself, a goddess who walks on earth’s surface learning the lay of the land so she can build her empire high above those who try to keep her down. She is a witch with power to create as much as she can destroy.

She inspires me to be creative and to be courageous, to be brave enough to do what is best for me, what is healthiest for my soul. She is my beautiful bewitching princess who I am so thankful that fate, destiny, god, whatever you believe in brought us to the same place so our paths could cross. She introduced me to the concept of a lionhearted girl, of a woman who has the heart to face her fears and continue on, of a person who is wise enough to know which path is easiest and what path you should take as well as the ability to tell when the paths are the same and when they are different.

Merricat is a blessing I never expected. For so long, I felt more like the cowardly lion lost in the forest of Oz than someone who could be placed in the house of Gryffindor (I actually belong to Ravenclaw but before I knew her, before she inspired me, it never seemed like a remote possibly that I could even relate to the house of a savior). For her, I dedicate this blog. Words are how I create, how I express myself the way she does with fashion. I vow to be brave enough to believe in myself, in my ability to create. I owe you a lot for believing in m, for allowing me to be your friend, to be inspired by you. I will write and I promise I will think of you being there as I discovered I had a lionheart inside me all along, I just needed the bravery to be look inside myself, to shed the demure princess who hesitated to speak out and become the Queen I know lives in my heart, bravery entwined with my soul if only I opened myself up to who I could be, who I am meant to become.

If anyone doubts how amazing talented my beautiful bewitching moon goddess is, here is a cosplay she made for Belle from Once Upon A Time:

Merricat’s Cosplay:                             Belle’s Actual Costume:



If you want to see her awesome flower crowns, you can visit her amazing Esty shop: MiceInTheTea. Go on and send her some love. She deserves it!

Happy birthday, Merricat! May you have a day you do, so amazing its out of the world that reaches the moon and the masquerade in your lichen castle! ❤

Where I Stand and What I Plan to Do

“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.”
—Caroline Myss

Do you ever feel like you are standing at a crossroads and you know one path leads to quicksand and that the other would take you right off a cliff but you have no idea which is which? You’re not sure what would happen if you go down either path.

If you chose quicksand, would you sink a bit but manage to find a rope to drag yourself out with or would you be swallowed whole slowly? What would happen at the cliff? Would you fly slip off the edge and manage to find a way to fly or would you fall faster only catching glimpses of things as they fly past with no control over your life?

Both paths have possibilities- good and bad- but you can’t decide which to take or which one is worth the risk. Are they both worth it or neither? So you just stay still, wondering…

That is where I find myself right now. Legally an adult, no less confused than I was as a teenager when I heard “by the time you’re in your 20s, everything will make sense.” Yet here, I am. I turned 23 this month, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in May of last year, and am currently working as a part-time administrative assistant. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I write with no way to get it out there.

Remember in school when everyone wanted to be an astronaut, a police officer, a fireman, or a teacher all of whom would stand in front of the class during career days? Adults would crouch down to your level, look you in the eye, and smile in what they thought was sweet. (I usually found it to a little unsettling but then again, I am not really a fan of a lack of personal space). They would ask in a friendly chipper voice “what do you want to do when you grow up?” If you answered with the one of the expected careers, you would receive a pat on the head, a handshake, or a wider smile as they cheered you on with words about how honorable of a goal you set for yourself. Any other occupation, you would hear about how ambitious you are at such a young age.

Then you get older, learn more about what drives you, experience things that a naive little kid never thought about, and you change. Sometimes these things can be hard and they will challenge what you believed in or who you thought you were and you fear that they ill reveal that you don’t know yourself as well as you thought. Other times, change is the best event life can give you. You met people who become pillars of friendship or romance who become a family you feel at home with when you are sitting down on a Friday night, watching the latest blockbuster. You go places and see sights like waterfalls or skyscrapers that leave you in awe of nature as well as the capacity humans have for creativity. Hobbies grab you and bring out passions you didn’t expect. Whether its for the good or bad, change mixes in with the constants in your life and you become an individual whose dreams aren’t the same as a five-year-old sitting on the floor, legs crossed eager to hear about someone’s latest fire fight.

So as you change, so does the question and how it feels as it echos in your ears. Now instead of it being a moment of excitement, its a moment you come to dread when someone asks the question you know comes every time you meet someone new. “What do you want to do for the rest of your life?”  There are people out there who can say for certain they want to be a lawyer or a doctor and everything in their lives seems to be falling into place to make that happen. People expect you to have an answer, a set path you’ve chosen because you are out of college, a legal adult who can drink what ever you chose or fight wars in foreign lands. This is my experience and many of my friends, my graduating class. For everyone lucky enough to be certain of their future, there is someone who is afraid because nothing seems sure in their future.

I’m afraid of saying “I want to be a writer” because I hate knowing I will hear about how unrealistic it is and I need to find a more stable career path. Hesitation has become a stable friend on my tongue. So I answer that I don’t know and I feel ashamed for not having everything figured out.All through high school, I was brought up being told by authority figures that once I got through college, I would know what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be.

Unfortunately, the world is always changing and always shaping itself in a way that all the certainties of generations past have become the uncertainties of the new era. So many of the careers that seemed stable to older people are fading and there are no guarantees anymore yet the people who are now deemed adults based on how long we have taken up occupancy on this planet still feel as if they failed in some area of their life.

This blog isn’t going to be about how scared I am to be a writer or self-pity. This is about me learning to accept myself, to change what I don’t like about my life through writing. I am a writer and I am going to write. At least one post each day where I dedicate myself to writing. It may be a poem, a short story, or a general post about my life. I refuse to let my fears control me anymore so I am going to battle through and achieve my goal.

Each week, I am going to write one post about a real lady and another about a fictional lady who inspire me. Each of these ladies mean a lot about me. Every lady in the world brings something to the world around her. They offer the chance to find ourselves in them. They inspire us to face our fears. So this blog as much is it is about me, it’s about ladies who fight on, overcome obstacles, and who have courage even when they are afraid. This blog is for any woman of any age who chooses to have faith in herself and her own power.

So I invite you to read, comment, suggest whatever you want. Ask me any questions. Tell me your own stories. You can find me here, on twitter at @lionheart_lady, and on tumblr at ladywithalionheart.tumblr.com. Send me an email. I am here for you as much as I am here for me. So welcome to my blog, ladywithalionheart, and raise up with me from a princess to the queen inside for anyone who identifies as a woman regardless of other circumstances is a princess and there lives a queen in each of us if only we have the courage to open up our hearts to her and our minds to own power.