It’s Not What You Think (A Short Story)


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Her name was Ally Harmon and it was happening again. Her body began to tense up and her breathing came quicker and more shallow. She began to look around herself, paranoid, panicked. She knew there was someone, someone was in her kitchen, she could feel it. She looked over the room, her house was open, not too many walls and the kitchen was open to the living room. Luckily, she would be able to see whoever was in her house before they got too close, she hoped.

She could see the front door and wondered if she should try to make a run for it. The living room had a couple couches, a side table and a TV on her left. No one was to be seen. She shuffled over to her kitchen knives, which were in the corner of her kitchen and grabbed her largest chefs knife and waited for the intruder to reveal himself.

She waited and the eerie quite made her heart only beat louder in her ears. She had seen him before, he’s been here before. He stalked her and found her, she got away before but she feared for her life again. Then, she could see him.

He was wearing an oversized hooded sweatshirt and his face was in shadow beneath the hood. He had his weapon again, just like last time, a jagged hunting knife. She didn’t know why he continued to pursue her all this time but here he was again and she was scared for her life just like she had been before.

Last time he appeared in her bedroom. She was cleaning out her dresser when he was suddenly in her room standing like he was now, with knife in hand, waiting. He ended up chasing her downstairs and through the living room. She was about to run for the door when she looked back and he was gone. No reason, no answer. But now here he was again, in her kitchen this time.

She was still frozen in place, he didn’t move and so she didn’t either. She waited barely breathing, waiting for him to do something or say something. Maybe explain what is happening to her and why he’s here, why he was here before and why he won’t leave her alone.

“What do you want?” Desperation and confusion in her voice as she wondered why this was happening to her.

He took an aggressive large step forward towards her. He was about eight feet away from her and she was in a corner, the only thing between them was the kitchen island and she knew she could use that. He moved fast towards her moving to her left side and she dodged right, keeping the counter as a barrier between them.

She wondered why she didn’t try to find her phone earlier to call for help but it wouldn’t have done much good as she couldn’t currently remember where on earth she had left the thing anyway. But there wasn’t much time to think about that because he was moving again. This time to her right side and she moved again to keep the counter between them. She was back in the corner and gripped her knife tighter and prayed she would get out alive.

He moved again, more quickly this time and swung out at her with his knife which she barely dodged and she ran to the front door. He was close behind she could feel it but she was able to get the front door open and she ran out. She started running down the sidewalk and she turned around to see her pursuer gaining ground and she pumped her arms faster as her legs pushed harder against the smooth concrete. She started screaming, surely her neighbors would hear and come out. They would get help or at least seeing them come out would surely scare him off.

“Help! Help me! I’m being attacked!” She screeched at the top of her lungs. “Help!”

She kept screaming down the road and around the next block. She made a complete circle until she was back on her block again. She would turn around whenever she could still seeing her pursuer, still trying to get her. By this time the neighbors had come to investigate and some were on the phone. Concerned faces showing her they were probably calling for help. But there wasn’t much time, he was still chasing her and she was tiring.

“Help! I’m being attacked!” She yelled with less power than before.

Her neighbors looked concerned but nobody rushed to help her. They must be afraid of him too. But the police should be here soon and they can help-. She tripped and fell. She turned around into her back and saw him standing over her. He raised his knife and she screamed. “Aaaaaahhhh, Help! Help!”

He was stabbing her and everyone looked on as she flailed and screamed. Why won’t anyone help me? She cried as she continued to scream and kick out. Blood, blood everywhere. She began to feel hopeless when she heard the sirens. A few moments later she saw the lights but her attacker wasn’t stopping. She screamed for help and fought back as the officers approached her but they didn’t stop the man attacking her. She felt the knife she held knocked out of her hand and she was being lifted up. Her attacker stood off the side, completely calm and no one was arresting him.

“Arrest him! He attacked me! He got into my house! He’s been chasing me! Get him, Get him!” She was shrieking and pointing to where he stood. But the officers only stood there, looking confused.

“Ma’am, there’s no one there.”

She was hysterical now. “What do you mean? He’s right there! He’s standing right there!”

The closest officer to her tried to soothe her. “Okay ma’am, we’re going to get you out of here and we are going to get you help, you’re bleeding a bit so we are going to take you to the hospital, okay?”

It was an understatement, blood had run down her arms and legs although they were surprisingly shallow stab wounds. She hadn’t lost too much blood but it had managed to almost cover her entire body.

“He stabbed me! Why aren’t you arresting him?” Tears started forming in her eyes as one of the police officers took her gently by the arm and helped her into the back seat.

She was still hysterical and balled her eyes out all the way to the hospital, where they immediately put her in a room and started cleaning up the blood and treating her wounds. The whole time she tried to tell them what had happened but they only nodded politely and kept telling her the doctor is going to be here soon.

After about 15 minutes her arms and legs were bandaged, she had an IV in her arm and she began to feel safe again. The man didn’t follow her when she was taken away, he only stood there and watched as she was driven away in the police car.

The doctor finally came in with a woman beside him that held a clipboard and a calm expression. She began telling her story, all the while they nodded and asked the occasional question, waited for her to answer and then would nod some more. After a couple hours of this the doctor spoke.

“Miss Harmon, this is Dr. Applegate and she is our hospital psychiatrist. I brought her in because your story and the police report didn’t add up. I think she will have some answers for you.”

Ally looked over to Dr. Applegate feeling confused but ready to listen to what she had to say. She needed answers. This has happened before, she had told them so but now she needed to know why.

“Ally, after talking to you I think you don’t need to be scared anymore but you do need help.”

Ally, waited and leaned forward a little more, waiting for the answers she needed.

“Ally, it’s difficult to understand at first but you weren’t really attacked. Not in real life. It was all in your head, you’ve imagined the whole thing. We believe you are schizophrenic.”

“But what about these cuts? They’re real! I was bleeding!”

“Ally, you did that to yourself when you thought you were fighting off your attacker. You cut yourself with the knife you were carrying.”

Ally was very quite then. It was a lot to take in but it all started to make some sense. Mainly because the man attacking her more than once for no reason really didn’t make any sense and now she knew why. She knew why her neighbors looked on but didn’t help and why the police stood around and didn’t arrest her attacker.

The psychiatrist spent the next hour and a half explaining what schizophrenia was. She learned that she might see things and even experience things that weren’t there and that she could experience anxiety because of it. She learned about treatment options and set up an appointment with Dr. Applegate to continue to learn more and get help.

She was released from the hospital later that afternoon. As she walked out she saw the hooded man standing in the parking lot. But this time she was more calm.

Ally, it’s not what you think.


Thank You!


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So many times I have abandoned this blog only to eventually come back to it or hastily write a number of posts to try and catch up. Since I started this blog I’ve tried to post every Friday. My first year was probably my best. I didn’t work or if I did it was short term and part time and I had no other serious obligation other than making sure my posts were published every Friday.

As time went on I realized that I could schedule my posts in advanced. This came in handy on the weeks when I was overflowing with inspiration and topics to talk about. I’ve shared a lot, I’ve shared too much at times and I somehow got people to like me enough to follow me. It’s given me confidence in my ability to connect with people because I’ve found other people who feel the way I do.

I’ve learned a lot of things from this blog but probably the most important is that we are not alone. There is always someone who actually does understand. There is always someone who can benefit from your words and life experiences. I always tried to make a point to add a positive twist at the end of my blogs no matter how negativity I vented about whatever angst I was going through at the time. I felt that it was not only important for me to listen to the words I was writing but for others who may need to hear them.

I am not abandoning this blog at least not permanently but as the years pass I find myself with new challenges and I continue to get busier and I find less time for writing. But I wanted to thank those who have been here from the beginning and if you just arrived I appreciate your time and knowing I’ve built a small audience has given me so much satisfaction. I will be here for a while more yet and I will always come back to write when inspiration strikes again.

But if you want to see more of what I am doing now you can find me on instagram and facebook as Jena Galindo Photography. I have started a business and when I catch my breath I can’t wait to tell you more about my journey with that.

Thank you all again so much! You all are amazing and I will see you soon!

God Bless Texas!!!


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It seems appropriate that the one mark I left in Texas was a lipstick stain.

In the world’s largest HonkyTonk I looked up and down and all around the massive bar and music museum. I was in awe of the multiple dance floors and bars and I about fell on my butt when I saw the indoor bull riding arena. Yes, real bulls. Although it was empty at the moment it was still impressive.

Along the walls on one side of the building were hand prints and names set in concrete, signed and hand stamped by famous singers. Lipstick stains were on some more than others but I chose a small unoccupied spot on Miranda Lambert’s square. I kissed the wall and left my mark.

Even then, only a few hours being in Texas for the first time I knew I wanted to leave my mark there. Little did I know how appropriate that kiss would be.

The Stockyards in Fort Worth was the first piece of Texas I got to experience. After finishing my lunch in Billy Bob’s Texas I headed over to the Stockyards and walked around the shops and adjoining streets. I wouldn’t see the longhorns, cattle drive, shops and restaurants until Friday but Sunday I soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed the day until I had to head to my hotel room.

As the week went along I fell more and more in love with Texas, becoming comfortable with the highways and relishing the food. It all felt so natural with the exception of the occasional culture shock and exceeded expectations.

Southern hospitality is alive and well and I enjoyed sharing conversations with so many people I met along the way. I was surprised by how open and kind people were and I was floored when a gentleman apologized to me because I opened the door before he could get to it.

Did I mention I love the food! My taste buds couldn’t believe it! I actually walked into a steakhouse and had to take pause as the smell stopped me in my tracks. I understand now what it is to have your senses overwhelmed. The smell was so strong and amazing that for a moment my mind went blank and I swear I might’ve gone blind for a second as the amazing smells of the restaurant filled my nose making me ignore everything else. I had to snap myself out of it as I walked up to the hostess desk. The steak and potatoes I ordered didn’t disappoint and although I was stuffed I had the best peach cobbler a la mode I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.

I didn’t have a single bad meal while I was in Texas and in fact I had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. And the great thing was that everything was so filling I could only manage one or two meals a day and sense I was walking so much every day I had the great joy of hearing my husband tell me I’ve lost weight after he hugged me when I got home.

The music was something else. No matter what genre I heard it was more diverse than anything I’ve heard in California. I heard the current hits, music I haven’t heard in years and a lot of music I’ve never heard ever. All of it was good and I knew I would miss driving down long country highways listening to the radio. Even now being home I already miss the stress free drives and wish I could run away from the congested streets I have to drive in California.

Waco was a dream. I didn’t think such a large town could maintain such a small town feel and yet it did. I adored the shops, museums and all the little activities that there was to do and I’m sad to say that in two days I barely made a dent. I was sad to leave all the friendly faces as well but I look forward to my next visit.

Texas has left it’s mark on me and I’m glad I could at least leave a kiss because I know I will be back as soon as I can and hopefully I can leave my mark again soon. God Bless Texas!



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I write it again and again.



I write it in cursive and then I try a sentence. Jena is going to Texas. Then again. I am going to Texas. I am going to Texas.

I wait for it to sink in and it doesn’t. It probably won’t until a few hours after I land. I’ve tried just about everything to convince myself that I am going to Texas short of packing. I’ve prepped and washed my clothes and I’ve started making lists but I haven’t pulled out my luggage yet and I only have a couple more days to pack.

I haven’t flown in ten years and I’ve never traveled alone. The farthest I’ve ever gone on my own was just 100 miles, an hour and a half trip for me. This trip will be roughly 1445 miles.

I think about each possible leg of the trip and I plan where I should go at what time. I worry about a missed flight but remember I can always get another. I day dream about Texas BBQ because there aren’t any good BBQ joints around and I think about the charming towns and the fun little stores and about the people I will hopefully meet. Everyone is supposed to be so nice and while I know not every single person will be I look forward to a little friendliness and maybe a smile.

It still doesn’t sink in until I’m at the airport and before I know it I’m on my way Texas. Landing I smile like an idiot and I remind myself of every cliche small town girl who goes to a new place she has always dreamed of and walks around looking at everything with wonder and awe; the people around her looking bored while she wears a smile.

The smile never faded and things only got better, I came home from my Texas trip feeling lighter and happier than maybe I’ve ever been.

It’s a Risk

Taking a risk can be one of the most nerve-wracking things you ever do. But in fact, you probably can’t ever accomplish anything if you don’t first take a risk.

A few years ago I was highly risk-adverse and would cower out of most things to avoid feeling uncomfortable or risk failing. Silly me because failing is how you grow and how I’ve learned how to be better. And yet it never starts to feel safe when you are moving in an upwards direction. There is always fear and it is always a risk and the more you gain, the more you have to lose.

If I were to put my name out there and be known it could be a substantially positive thing for my personal life and business life if I were to succeed. But if I were to fail, what then? What if I just don’t give myself the option to fail and instead choose to succeed? When failure isn’t an option does a huge risk become less scary?

One thing I do know is that the biggest regrets are because we never tried and the biggest fears feel the best when we overcome them. So I will keep moving forward and push myself past this next challenge and I know whatever the outcome I will be better because I tried.

I Wouldn’t


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So many people would say that if they could go back in time and change something about their life, fix a mistake, change a decision, make things not hurt, leave no room for regret, they would. They would go fix that embarrassment, they would take back their words, they would try to make the life they thought they could’ve had. Shoulda, coulda, woulda and all that.

Many years ago I did the same thing. I wished I could fix my mistakes and make different choices but when I met the man that would be my husband I realized that every road block, every missed opportunity, every bad choice led me to where he was and together we fell in love and are now building a life together.

I’ve realized that the things in life that happen or that you make happen are for a reason. Even if something really is truly a mistake, it’s a test of character on whether you will fix it or lay in the ruins. We have the potential to make things great for ourselves if only we have the will to do it.

Every now and then I still run into that trap of wishing I had done something when I was younger or I could take back some words said. But when I take a moment I realize every mistake is a lesson learned and every challenge has been a chance to grow. I’ve learned that it’s never too late to pursue a dream and you are the only one that can make it happen for yourself.

I’ve realized that if I stayed with the choices I wanted to make ten years ago I wouldn’t have recognize the person that I am today. I wouldn’t have learned so much, I wouldn’t have grown and if I went back to make the choices I wanted to make ten years ago I wouldn’t be happy with my life now.

I’m not the same person. In my opinion I’m better. I’ve learned who I am and what I truly want out of life. So if I had the chance to go back and change ANYTHING… I wouldn’t.

Life Is Short You Gotta Live It Well

There is something really fun about walking out of the office at the end of the day. It could be sunny or cloudy, raining or blue skies but suddenly the world becomes a little brighter and things feel a lot better because your time is yours again to use how to wish.

At least until you have to go back to work but until then there suddenly are so many possibilities. You could be productive and run errands or get a project done or you can spend your time well wasted doing something you enjoy or treating yourself. I do both depending on the day and my mood.

More times than not I chose to be productive but usually once a week I will have at least a half day to a full day of deliciously doing nothing except snacking and binge watching my favorite TV shows or maybe a couple movies. If I get tired of sitting I will move to my sewing machine and whip up a stress free, fun but functional project. Every now and then I will go for a drive just to go. I will pack up the dogs who love it even more than I do and go for a cruise in the country. This is especially pleasant on nice days but even when it’s a bit gloomy it’s still nice to enjoy the slow country roads and listen to some soft country music in the background of my thoughts.

It’s really the little things isn’t it? These little moments or simple pleasures that bring us not only joy but a deep seated contentment. It’s when I go without these things that I especially notice and appreciate how much I need them and so I become desperate to make that time for them again.

It’s so easy to forget in a fast paced world and with our busy jobs that ambition and hard work, while important sometimes need to take a backseat to slowing down and making sure you are enjoying your life. What would we work so hard for anyway if we couldn’t take a step back and enjoy it.

When my time is mine I make it mine whether it is productive or not I try to remember the importance of enjoying my life and making things fun and to take some time every now and then to relax and recharge. I will always go back to work and put my effort towards the company I work for and I will run the business errands and do my mundane and never ending tasks but when I step out those doors at the end of every day it is my time and whether it was well spent or well wasted, I try to do live it well.

Let’s Keep Bitching


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In the land of the free we have freedom of speech. We can complain, argue and yell about anything and everything we want. We can take sides and fight for what we believe in. We can march and protest or in a more subtle way share our opinions through social media. We all hope we can all be civil but that doesn’t always happen. However, even with our insults and put downs as long as it’s not a call to action or a threat then we can speak our minds freely.

So keep doing it! Keep expressing your rights, your freedoms, they are yours to use! There are things I hear quite often that I don’t like and don’t agree with and at times I am offended. But I want everyone to keep speaking anyways. It’s our God given right to be free and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel they couldn’t. Just remember I have every right to speak my mind as well.

But what’s really important to remember and to never forget is while we are enjoying our freedoms there are people out there fighting for them everyday. We may not always agree with them and not everyone is righteous it’s true, but there are men and women out there everyday with families and people who love them and depend on them risking their lives for us everyday. And by the way, most of them are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet in your life.

They love their country and their people so much that they make the choice everyday to step up and defend everything at every cost. Some will never come home and families will be split and hearts will be broken.

Please remember how much we owe to those making the ultimate sacrifice and to those that continue to gamble with their lives. Keep speaking out, keep fighting, keep arguing, keep bitching. However you chose to speak out do so without violence but please do so! Just while you’re doing it remember all the people that have and continue to make that possible for us. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

God Bless America. God Bless Our Soldiers. God Bless Our First Responders.

And Thank You to all our Heroes!

Finding Inspiration in the Mundane


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So many days I go about my business and do all the things that need to get done. I often find myself bored and frustrated. However, recently I’ve used this time to my advantage, brainstorming projects and topics for the creative outlets in my life to fill the empty time in between errands and work.

It’s about making things interesting when you’re bored and finding inspiration in the mundane. All too often I find myself like many other reaching for my phone when I’m bored. Because why sit and be bored when you can easily find a more interesting distraction to occupy your time?

Although, I definitely still do this way more often than I would like, I find that as of this past year more and more often I’ve allowed my mind to wander and let my thoughts be my own.

The first time I did it it was like greeting an old friend when I let my imagination roam like it did when I was a younger child, before cell phones were available to me. I was surprised that I could still conjure such amazing fantasies, both completely unrealistic and realistic ones. A familiarity returned to me and I embraced the silence and lack of outside stimulation.

I felt much happier and calmer during the days I allowed myself to take some time for myself. After awhile I noticed my inter thoughts and imagination began to inspire my reality and I felt myself more motivated to tackle projects and to do’s I’ve been putting off for some time.

If I was in the mood I would write a blog or maybe do something even more practical like a spreadsheet. Suddenly I wasn’t just killing time, I was allowing myself to be creative and productive. I started to sew more often and brainstorm ideas and plans for the future.

Maybe it was giving my brain a break from so much stimulation and stress. Maybe it was allowing myself to get in touch with my own organic thoughts again and in turn in touch with myself and what I wanted and needed to do.

It made me start to realize why so many people in the past and present have been able to create and build so much when they weren’t completely distracted by the technology that allows us to zone out of our lives and allow us to abandon our original thoughts. And I’ve realized they probably found most of their inspiration in the mundane and made something amazing come of their time better spent.


Thoughts of an Upcoming New Year


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Every year I get unusually excited when the New Year is just around the corner. The way most people plan their Christmas list I plan my New Year Resolutions. For several years now I’ve made a list of not one Resolution to remember throughout the year but a minimum of ten. Before I would make this list I might be disappointed at the end of every year if I didn’t meet that one goal I set for myself for that year. Things turned around the first year I made multiple. I made fifteen and although I couldn’t tell you everything that was on it I could honestly say I completed almost all of it. This left me with a feeling of accomplishment knowing that I had actually improved that year and grown as a person. Progress was the name of the game each year after that and I always look forward to playing.

This year I’m setting some big goals and I am very optimistic about achieving them. This past year I completed most of my resolutions I’m happy to say and the ones I didn’t succeed with will go on next years resolutions. In 2019 I’m hoping for some big things so I’ll make some big goals and I’m feeling like the future’s bright.

But I guess that’s what we all love best about the New Year; the promise of a new and better year, maybe a fresh start for some of us. The opportunity to start anew and wipe the slate clean or maybe to build on the last year’s successes.

Either way this past year was very hard for me and I hope 2019 brings better. But more than that I hope we all have a good year of growth and happiness. May each year be better than the last! Happy New Year!