Hey Stranger

I see a glimpse of you, In the shadows of stranded hair, a glimmer of hope, despite past despair 

Just a short time ago, there was nothing left, but ashes and memories, from the hole in your chest

But now I can see it, Through the glow in your eyes, You block out all the negative, Pessimism and lies 

You’ve accepted the truth, That you can change the path, Despite failed attempts, Now lesson plans

You don’t ever give up, Even when you should cry, When you’re broken and scared, But never ask why

You were the perfect stranger, But I now know you well, Fought through all kinds of soot, With your story to tell

A reflection of courage, The wrinkles in your smile, Bare skinned knuckles, And determined eyes

How far we’ve come, My reflection and me, I can cast a high shadow, Or cower in thee

Yet I fear not who I was, For the she that’s become of me, The former and the present, Now dance candidly 
By: Me (Johanna Arroyo 4/21/2015)



What would Johanna do?

It is a question I ask myself everyday. I am not talking about the things that are clear but more so the things that are unlike myself. When I don’t want to be moral or do the right thing, I ask myself. . .What. Would. Johanna. Do? Being good comes easy, being positive even better and yet there are times when I just want to crawl into my own shell and hide from the world. Making decisions. . .the right decisions, is exhausting. Even so I choose daily, sometimes it doesn’t come easy, sometimes it is pretty clear but no matter the what or when I must decide.

So here I am on the eve of another Monday. I have had some tough decisions to make and I couldn’t help but to feel alone in them. No matter what I decide I have had support but I am reaching that point that I am so tired of having just support from friends and family. . .I feel alone. . .lonely. I don’t like to admit it but it is true and I have become a worse liar by the minute so I shall spare the lies for one who knows how to tell them.

It’s Christmas again, my favorite holiday in the world and the other night I found myself walking hand in hand with my little brother. While it is sweet, I couldn’t help but notice all the couples and families strolling through the park enjoying the holiday festivities. I don’t get jealous but I found myself rather envious that night of the people who had a person. Whether they walked hand in hand in silence because their company was sufficient or if they walked hand in hand speechless because they were the fighting type. How funny is it that I even regret not having someone to fight with.

I’ve been single for quite a bit now, with a few bouts of dating. I have been alone long enough to understand my own silence but that silence is enough to crowd my brain with a million thoughts and my heart with a wrenching pang of solitude. My son once asked me if I got lonely when he wasn’t around and at the time I said no. I needed the alone time to get to know myself and to figure out what I wanted and to also learn how to love myself. The time has come that his question is ringing in my head and I am afraid to say the answer has changed.

When my son is around, nothing else in the world matters. It is as if we live in this world and it is only he and I, but when he is gone my life feels empty. It is as if he is the sun and I am the moon wishing to see his light. When he is back, that frozen time that feels like an eternity comes to a halt and I can breath again. I love my son above everything else but we all have needs. The need to be loved for our quirks, for the silly way we say hello or how crazy our hair looks in the morning.

The past few years I have said I wasn’t ready for something serious and that I was ok with being just a portion of someone’s life because I had goals of my own. . .but. . .things change. I don’t want to rush into love, I don’t want to rush into anything but my tune has changed and I know I am ready for something more than the occupancy of someone’s time. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

30 to life. . .


When I was a child, thirty was the age when it all ended. I didn’t know better when I assumed that everyone was old and everyone was done. . .done living I suppose. I didn’t have a real role model and I lived in my imagination. There was no go big or go home motto, let’s face it, I never left home.

There are so many things I have learned in life and many I have yet to learn. The years flew right by and all my childhood fantasies of what I would become at this age have come and gone. Now. I will say, most of those dreams changed all together.

I have been in love and I have broken hearts. I have been hurt and I have hurt others. I have made wishes and cashed them in and I have taken leaps of faith and fallen straight on my face. What I have learned that no matter how often we all point the finger we both have two sides of a penny, the good and bad. . .the funny and dry. No matter how different those two sides are it makes us versatile, it makes us unique but it also binds us.

I don’t know what another thirty years of life will give me. I had no idea what this life would bring but so far I am happy and thankful of the journey I have partaken in. It’s been a little messy but I have never been worried about getting my feet wet.

I la la la

For some time now I’ve done everything in my power to ignore my heart. It’s not the best alternative but listening to my brain keeps me from going through heart break. I know that we all think we are alone but truthfully there are so many of us that cope the same way.

Break ups are terrible and like any normal human being I minimize the feelings once shared. Things that were once stated to be once in a life time are categorized as ordinary, only because I was afraid to admit that what I’ve lost was worth a damn.

How do you get things back to the way they were if you come back together? How do you get the dynamic back once it’s been lost? Do you try as hard if you’re given another chance? Do you hide and retreat in fear because in just a few months you’ll find yourself alone again? I have no idea…love isn’t taught it’s experienced and I am not an expert.

Love is like buying a pair of shoes in the wrong size. You can grow into it or you can fall into it…none more or less valid than the last.

What is Love?

Sometimes I wonder if people ever give love a serious thought, no not a shot, a thought. Do they ever really ask themselves, “What kind of love do you want (self)?” Many years ago, I was one of those people who thought she had this whole love gig figured out, but I had never really asked myself what I wanted and when I knew. . .I was afraid. . .very very afraid.

When I was a kid, I saw everything black and white. I always felt there was wrong or right nothing in between. . .but things are actually blurred, grey, shady. . .what have you. The thing is that blurred, grey and shady aren’t always the worse things in the world they just indicate that not all things have a clean cut.

There is so much love going on in my world right now but I am still without that scary I am in love type love I decided I couldn’t live without and I know why. I have been loved deeply but I didn’t love back, I have loved deeply and it also was not reciprocated. Love has become so overused that it’s lost it’s true meaning. I love you…there I said it…but I don’t know you.

I love my son for none and a million reasons.

I love my puppy

I love myself

I love my car and the fact that I named it Dexter Dempsey

I love love

I love

Yup that’s me,  a bleeding little heart full of love. I dish it out so often I’m starting to realize I can’t take it.

Love is the best feeling in the world It’s a simple premise. We all want to be loved but very little thought goes into the type of love we deserve, sometimes or maybe all the time, we find the love we need!

I’m not just talking about the in love type of love that we’re programmed from birth to attain. I speak of love of life and everything in between inception and expiration.

I don’t write this little blog for the fun of it, heck I don’t even get paid (yet), Sometimes I write to deaf ears because I have a passion for writing. I am in love with the fact that my ideas or thoughts could inspire others or at a bare minimum entertain. This is my first love as it relates to careers but I have a second passion, social work and helping others, which fortunately pays the bills. With that being said I’ve worked for so long that I started to realize my love life sucked. There was rarely any love in this life. See when you work for a paycheck some things just don’t add up. When your kid is afraid to approach you because you look busy, that’s not love. The obligation of work goes without saying but how often are we walking into work shooting rainbows? I for one deserve to be happy at work, I need a paycheck, yes. . .but see the difference is the need and deserve thoughts. I found myself in a dilemma, my son was getting the short end of the stick, more work and less one on one time with him. More stress, more overtime and the hours I robbed from my son could only be flexed out during the hours that my son was already away from me. He and I could never get that time back. So I asked myself, “what kind of love do you want Johanna?” The answer is and always will be, “I want that can’t live without you kind of love,” a paycheck I can live without, but my sons happiness I could never do without. So I am doing what I know is right, I am fighting for my love.

Then there is the complicated relationship love. This type has challenged me in many ways. See, when you aren’t in love with a passion or a career you may be able to quit it, you can save up and plan ahead for the time in between your finding success but you can never plan ahead for the type of love that pulls on two heartbeats. There are people who come into your life that feel like they’ve left impressions of tip toes on your heart and others have done the cupid shuffle on you but all those grey feelings amount to something.

Some people are passers by and then there is that one person you tell your grandchildren about, that inescapable, pause before you say the next phrase as you smile and think about how amazing falling in love was type person. I want that love.

I don’t want the right here right now, I don’t want the you’re perfect but the timing is wrong, I can’t stand the let’s just see what happens type love. I want love. . .the type of love that comes with knowing you are the world to someone. That is a love I have yet to experience. I’ve experienced inconvenience, not ready for you, maybe there is better, what if I am missing out on something better type of love. . .those all pale in comparison to true love. These loves were preempted by needs, not what I truly deserved.

To me, love is knowing you’re enough, not an afterthought.

That is why I love myself because, I. Am. Enough.