Thinkin’ About You

I subscribe to the Lifehack newsletter, and get all sorts of gems from them each day – this is one of my recent favorites. If you’ve been reading ’round these parts for awhile, you will know that I care very little what other people think of me – I figure that it’s none of my business. Instead, I try every day to be a brave little toaster, to forge my own path, and to just go on with my bad self. Here’s some words of wisdom I wanted to share with you about that:

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  1. “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.” ― Virginia Woolf

  2. “A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.” ― Mae West
  3. “You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” ― Richard P. Feynman
  4. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”—Lao Tzu
  5. “Never dull your shine for somebody else.” ― Tyra Banks (Preach that one, Ms Tyra!!!!)

  6. “If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” ― John Lennon
  7. “I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.” ― Michel de Montaigne
  8. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”— Dr. Seuss
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  10. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. “― Suzy Kassem
  11. “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”— Oscar Wilde
  12. “Some people say, “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.” ― Tina Fey
  13. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”— Albert Einstein
  14. “Some people say you are going the wrong way, when it’s simply a way of your own.”— Angelina Jolie
  15. “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.”— Coco Chanel (Love this!!!)
  16. “Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.” ― Erma Bombeck
  17. “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” ― Marianne Williamson
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  19. “Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.” ― Cynthia Kersey

  20. “No name-calling truly bites deep unless, in some dark part of us, we believe it. If we are confident enough then it is just noise.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton
  21. “When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I’m already better than them.” ― Marilyn Monroe
  22. “Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” ― Tina Fey
  23. I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” ― Charlotte Brontë

  24. “I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” ― Amy Poehler (YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  25. “You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.” ― Olin Miller
  26. “There is nothing more attractive than confidence, once she sees her own beauty, everyone else will.” ― Habeeb Akande
  27. “Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
  28. “People who repeatedly attack your confidence and self-esteem are quite aware of your potential, even if you are not.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman
  29. “So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But it all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach.”― Michael Phelps
  30. “Well, laddie, if you’ve let an old buzzard like me hurt your confidence, you couldn’t have had much in the first place.” ― Tamora Pierce

  31. “Most people just want to see you fall, that’s more reason to stand tall.” ― Emma Michelle
  32. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” ― Aristotle
  33. “He thinks himself rather an exceptional young man, thoroughly sophisticated, well adjusted to his environment, and somewhat more significant than any one else he knows.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald
  34. “When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.” ― Lily Tomlin
  35. “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” ― Sigmund Freud
  36. “My dear, I don’t give a damn.” ― Margaret Mitchell

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Aren’t these fabulous?? I think so, too! Give ’em a read, go over the list a second and third time, and let those words soak into that beautiful brain of yours. Good stuff! :)

xxx

School’s Out

Something pretty exciting happened today – I earned some new letters to put behind my name. I have been pursuing a Doctorate for a number of years now – sadly, the degree I did earn was not that….but it’s pretty damn close. I have completed all of the course work necessary for an Education Specialist degree (EdS) – I received my grade for my final massive research project this morning: I got a perfect score. :-)

As I said, I’ve been toiling away on the Doctorate degree for awhile now – I flew through the course work and found it to be very interesting, educational, and fulfilling….but the dissertation process has been the death of me. No joke. I went through three different dissertion chairs, and I could not seem to get myself and my way of working to the point that they wanted me to be – and they couldn’t provide feedback or advice in a way that made sense to me, so….there was no meeting of the minds whatsoever. It was painful, and awful, and I decided a few months ago that I was done. I couldn’t take it a moment longer, no degree was worth my sanity. I contacted my university to see if there was something that I could do that would allow me to get some acknowledgement for all of the work that I had done – and they told me about the EdS program. It’s designed for those who are already working in a specific field, and it’s kind of like a stop along the way between the Master’s degree level and the Doctorate programs. They took most of my course work that I’d already completed, and asked that the only class I take was the final Capstone research project. I agreed, and began the class in April.

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I had one of the most positive learning experiences that I have ever had. My instructor was amazing, he understood me, and he valued my work and contributions. He didn’t make me feel like I was depriving a village of its idiot, and he didn’t tell me that I was useless on the daily. I was able to research a topic that relates to my current job (which was a source of constant struggle under the old program – they wanted me to research something that was considered a ‘hole’ in the existing literature…which I didn’t give a shit about. I wanted to research things that were happening around me every day, so that I could be better equipped to deal with them. Different philosophies and approaches, I guess).  My instructor gave me feedback that I could actually use and apply to my work, and he didn’t rip me apart for my writing style. The entire experience was so positive that I feel tremendously proud right at this moment. Am I disappointed that I didn’t complete the Doctorate? Absolutely. Do I think that someday I may take another run at it? Probably. However, it won’t be any damn time soon. Right now, I want to focus on improving in my job, improving on the time that I spend with my Wee One and those that I care for, and I want to spend some time on me. I want to write write write for pleasure, not academic purposes….and I want to read for fun, not research.

 

I’m SO excited…I can hardly wait! :-)

xxx

Shake Your Tailfeathers

It became apparent a long time ago that I must not be a very easy person to love. I’m not high maintenance, my heart is most decidedly not black, I am not mean, I’m not cranky….none of that kind of thing – I’m just a different kind of kitten. Part of the problem is that I am a very creative person – my mind never stops going, I’m not known for my finely-tuned logic skills, and I’m also quite averse to seriousness (which is a polite way of saying that I am a raging jackass most of the time). I came across this article recently, and I absolutely LOVED it! Entitled “20 Things to Remember if You Love A Highly Creative Person”, it’s a great read. While I’d never be so pretentious to think of myself as being highly creative, I do think there’s some very decent advice for all of us on how to deal gently with each other – and, for those who may be interested, how to deal with me. :-) Happy reading! :-)

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1. They have a mind that never slows down.

The creative mind is a non-stop machine fueled by intense curiosity. There is no pause button and no way to power it down. This can be exhausting at times but it is also the source of some crazy fun activities and conversations. This is absolutely, 110% me – my bloody mind never stops (which is probably why I suffer from insomnia), I’m always thinking…I exhaust myself. The rest of the world must find me frustating!

2. They challenge the status quo.
Two questions drive every creative person more than any others: What if? and Why not? They question what everyone else takes at face value. While uncomfortable for those around them, it’s this ability that enables creatives to redefine what’s possible. I don’t do this so much, actually….I tend to go along with things outwardly, rarely pausing to rock the boat – but you should hear the revolutions I’m starting in my head!

3. They embrace their genius even if others don’t.
Creative individuals would rather be authentic than popular. Staying true to who they are, without compromise, is how they define success even if means being misunderstood or marginalized. This is ME!!! I don’t give a whooping funt about being popular or well-liked – I care far more about being me, and being true to me. I think I’m a pretty decent person – if others don’t get me, then that is their loss. Whatevah.

4. They have difficulty staying on task.
Highly creative people are energized by taking big mental leaps and starting new things. Existing projects can turn into boring slogs when the promise of something new and exciting grabs their attention. I am natually inclined to be this way, but years of conditioning has forced me to learn to stay on task, hyper-focus and finish the job at hand. If I didn’t have to worry about keeping my job, I’d probably be loopier than a shithouse rat!!

5. They create in cycles.

Creativity has a rhythm that flows between periods of high, sometimes manic, activity and slow times that can feel like slumps. Each period is necessary and can’t be skipped just like the natural seasons are interdependent and necessary. I can definitely relate to this – sometimes, my creative juices resemble the rushing waters of Niagara Falls, and I can’t get all of the ideas whirling in my head out quickly enough. Othertimes, it’s like the friggin’ Sahara around here…dryer than hell. Ebbs and flows, friends…ebbs and flows.

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6. They need time to feed their souls.
No one can drive cross-country on a single take of gas. In the same way, creative people need to frequently renew their source of inspiration and drive. Often, this requires solitude for periods of time. I am a girl who definitely requires ‘me’ time – I need to be left alone to read my favorite websites, slide through my Twitter feed, catch up on my favorite shows on my DVR…all of these things feed my creativity, they inspire me, they get me thinking, and they make me feel good. Does anything life-shattering ever happen after I watch the week’s worth of Jimmy Fallon on Saturday mornings? No. Does it make me feel as if I’m ready to take on the world and I am going to be okay after an exhausting week? Absolutely. Bring it on. :-)

7. They need space to create.
Having the right environment is essential to peak creativity. It may be a studio, a coffee shop, or a quiet corner of the house. Wherever it is, allow them to set the boundaries and respect them. I wish that I had a quiet space to work and think and just be, but I don’t. Instead, I set up shop on my bed most of the time (I got a new Casper mattress in December which is the friggin’ bomb of all time – seriously, it has been SUCH a game changer for me. Love it! :-) ), or I park it in the living room on the love seat, and get down to business. I used to love writing outside on my deck, but the yard is a shithole of a mess and I don’t have time nor arm power to clean it up, so…I’ve taken my show inside. :-( In other news, I’m currently holding auditions for intern yard boys/pool boys ( even though I don’t have a pool) – all interested applicants are encouraged to apply through the Comments section. 😉 PS: Shirts will be optional! 😉

8. They focus intensely.
Highly creative people tune the entire world out when they’re focused on work. They cannot multi-task effectively and it can take twenty minutes to re-focus after being interrupted, even if the interruption was only twenty seconds. This is partly me – I am a focusing fool….but I can multitask with the best of them. I think it must be the years of conditioning in the work place -plus the fact that I’m a girl. 😉

9. They feel deeply.
Creativity is about human expression and communicating deeply. It’s impossible to give what you don’t have, and you can only take someone as far as you have gone yourself. A writer once told me that an artist must scream at the page if they want a whisper to be heard. In the same way, a creative person must feel deep if they are to communicate deeply.  I can definitely relate to this one…I feel all the feels, all the time. When I get my feelings hurt, it cuts me to the core. When I care for someone, I love them with all of my heart and want to build a shrine in their honor on the regular. I spout love declarations, I sing their praises, I compose them bad love poems – the whole nine yards. When it comes to feelings, I am a believer in the ‘go big or go home’ philosophy. This probably explains why I’ve been hurt/shattered so damn many times. Oh well….nothing ventured, nothing gained.

10. They live on the edge of joy and depression.
Because they feel deeply, highly creative people often can quickly shift from joy to sadness or even depression. Their sensitive heart, while the source of their brilliance, is also the source of their suffering. I don’t suffer from depression – I get sad and bummed, of course, but I generally try to keep that in and hide it from the world. However, thankfully, my moments of melancholy are mostly few and far between. I said to someone recently, as I was pissed off and ranting and raving like a lunatic, that I work so hard all of the time at keeping my feelings between the lines, keeping everything on a real even keel…never allowing myself to swing to extremes. Why? Why do I feel that I have to do that? I suppose it’s the years of my mother telling me to tone it down, to stop every time that I showed any extreme of any sort – she still does it, in fact. I’m 41 years old…perhaps it’s time for her to realize that the ship has sailed???!  There are days when I would like to just let’er rip, show all of my feelings and emotions to everyone around me, whether they asked for it or not. I can’t imagine the carnage that I’d leave behind! 😉

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11. They think and speak in stories.
Facts will never move the human heart like storytelling can. Highly creative people, especially artists, know this and weave stories into everything they do. It takes longer for them to explain something, explaining isn’t the point. The experience is.  I don’t know if I am a good storyteller, or if people think I am boring as shit and wish I’d shut the hell up when I talk….I hope that I am interesting. :-)

12. They battle Resistance every day.
Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, writes:

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

Highly creative people wake up every morning, fully aware of the need to grow and push themselves. But there is always the fear, Resistance as Pressfield calls it, that they don’t have what it takes. No matter how successful the person, that fear never goes away. They simply learn to deal with it, or not.  This is so me. Every day, I know where I want to be, the things that I want to do….but I seem to lack the knowledge of how to bridge the distance between the two. I certainly don’t lack the motivation, though…so perhaps some day I will figure it all out. :-)

13. They take their work personally.
Creative work is a raw expression of the person who created it. Often, they aren’t able to separate themselves from it, so every critique is seen either as a validation or condemnation of their self-worth. This is something that I struggle with…I take criticism very personally, which I really ought to get over. With the amount of shit and abuse I take from the world, you’d think I’d be better at it!

14. They have a hard time believing in themselves.
Even the seemingly self-confident creative person often wonders, Am I good enough? They constantly compare their work with others and fail to see their own brilliance, which may be obvious to everyone else. Amen. That’s all I’ve got to say about this one!!!

15. They are deeply intuitive.
Science still fails to explain the How and Why of creativity. Yet, creative individuals know instinctively how to flow in it time and again. They will tell you that it can’t be understood, only experienced firsthand. This is a weird thing that I go through all of the time…I get these wonky feelings about stuff, and I am usually right. I feel it in my gut, and there is little that I can do once that feeling settles in…I don’t understand. However, I am also the dimmest person in town about some things, and you damn near have to hit me over a head to catch on to them. Grr! I am maddening!!! :-(

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16. They often use procrastination as a tool.
Creatives are notorious procrastinators because many do their best work under pressure. They will subconsciously, and sometimes purposefully, delay their work until the last minute simply to experience the rush of the challenge. I’m funny about procrastination. I am SUCH a doer, 99.9% of the time – but there are a few things that I happily put off, hoping that perhaps a fairy will appear and take care of it (or the shirtless pool boy). Cleaning out my fridge is one of these things, cleaning the old toys and junk out of the upstairs of my house is another. I don’t know what the hell I’m waiting for with these two tasks, but I am clearly waiting for something!!

17. They are addicted to creative flow.
Recent discoveries in neuroscience reveal that “the flow state” might be the most addictive experience on earth. The mental and emotional payoff is why highly creative people will suffer through the highs and lows of creativity. It’s the staying power. In a real sense, they are addicted to the thrill of creating. I get this. I find painting to be the most thrilling activity around…and I’m NOT a good painter. However, the act of putting colorful blobs on a canvas and making something pretty makes my heart pound with excitement, and each time I do a painting class, I’m like an addict looking for another fix, checking the calendar to see when I can go back. Nutty!

18. They have difficulty finishing projects.
The initial stage of the creative process is fast moving and charged with excitement. Often, they will abandon projects that are too familiar in order to experience the initial flow that comes at the beginning. This is linked to my procrastination – I do finish things that I think are important, but…unpacking the last two boxes from when I moved in 7 years ago? Not important. Oops.

19. They connect dots better than others.
True creativity, Steve Jobs once said, is little more than connecting the dots. It’s seeing patterns before they become obvious to everyone else. This is me, I am this – I see patterns everywhere I look in the world around me. I see patterns in people’s behavior, I see connections between our actions, I see links all the time – whether they exist or not. I am a person who makes meaning from connecting to those around me…which is probably why I’m always trying to establish relationships with others.

20. They will never grow up.
Creatives long to see through the eyes of a child and never lose a sense of wonder. For them, life is about mystery, adventure, and growing young. Everything else is simply existing, and not true living. This is the essence of me…I live most days full of a childlike sense of awe and wonder, and I frequently have to stop what I’m doing to marvel at the world around me. I love to laugh, I love to have fun, and I love sharing those things with other people. I think the Wee One and I get along so well because we are very similar in our sense of glee…and I hope that never changes. Some people that I know have been OLD since they were 10 years old. I am not one of those people. I want to always feel the tingles of a new experience, and I actively combat cynicism and being jaded with all of my might. This doesn’t make me immature (much)…I think it makes me a lover of life. :-)

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Are you a creative bunny? Whether you are in love with a creative person or you are one yourself, embrace the qualities that make this kind of person so magical to be around….and try to love them in spite of these things. :-) Maybe, just maybe, you will learn to love them BECAUSE of these things – and that would be the very best of all. :-)

 

xxx

Happy Birthday! :)

Happy Birthday to my long term love William Shakespeare!! (it’s also the anniversary of his death, but….we don’t focus on the negative ’round these parts) Our love affair began with me reading “Romeo and Juliet” when I was 8 years old (and yes, naysayers, I totally understood it!)…and continues to this day. We get each other – it’s a pretty deep and real love thing. :)  To honor him, I give you some of his finest…. :)

 

 

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This this THIS :)

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Clearly Mr. Shakespeare knew some of the places I have worked over the years.... ;)

Clearly Mr. Shakespeare knew some of the places I have worked over the years…. ;)

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The wisest words of all :)

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, my love! :)

xxx

Ghost Town

Madonna released the video for her latest single ‘Ghost Town’ this week, and it’s pretty bloody stunning. Here’s a link for you to check it out….it’s beautiful. :-) ** Click on the image to see the video**

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Should you fancy a sing-along, here are the lyrics:

Maybe it was all too much
Too much for a man to take
Everything’s bound to break
Sooner or later, sooner or later

You’re all that I can trust
Facing the darkest days
Everyone ran away
We’re gonna stay here, we’re gonna stay here  

Ah, ah
I know you’re scared tonight
Ah, ah
I’ll never leave your side

When it all falls, when it all falls down
I’ll be your fire when the lights go out
When there’s no one, no one else around
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

When the world gets cold, I’ll be your cover
Let’s just hold onto each other
When it all falls, when it all falls down
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

Tell me how we got this far
Every man for himself
Everything’s gone to hell
We gotta stay strong, we’re gonna hold on

This world has turned to dust
All we’ve got left is love
Might as well start with us
Singing a new song, something to build on

Ah, ah
I know you’re scared tonight
Ah, ah
I’ll never leave your side

When it all falls, when it all falls down
I’ll be your fire when the lights go out
When there’s no one, no one else around
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

When the world gets cold, I’ll be your cover
Let’s just hold onto each other
When it all falls, when it all falls down
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

I know we’re alright
‘Cause we’ll never be alone in this mad mad, in this mad mad world
Even with no light
We’re gonna shine like gold in this mad mad, in this mad mad world

When it all falls, when it all falls down
I’ll be your fire when the lights go out
When there’s no one, no one else around
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

When it all falls, when it all falls down
I’ll be your fire when the lights go out
When there’s no one, no one else around
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

When the world gets cold, I’ll be your cover
Let’s just hold onto each other
When it all falls, when it all falls down
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown
When it all falls, when it all falls down
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown


This song is just gorgeous…and a beautiful sentiment as well. It’s kind of the musical equivalent of relationship goals, eh? Think about it – when things go bad, I will be your fire when the lights go out; when it’s cold out I will be your cover, let’s just hold on to each other…when there is nobody else around, we will be two souls together. I LOVE it. :-) It’s amazing. :-)

I was asked recently what I thought relationships should be – my answer was not words (for a change), but this image:

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This is really it, isn’t it? Someone who wants your company, thinks you’re the best, and wants to shag only you. Sounds pretty straightforward – and great – to me. :-) I was listening to an acquaintance describe a man that we know in common, and he described him in the most elegant and tragic way – he said that he was a “seeker of lost souls”. I can’t stop thinking about that sentence….because I think that is me. I have always been drawn to strays (animals and humans), those that are down on their luck, those that are unavailable, those that are inappopriate choices….the whole nine yards. It seems like I purposely and deliberately go out of my way to choose the most difficult options in life, and make things hard on myself. I suppose that part of it is that I have always believed greatly in the power of the underdog, because I have felt like an underdog myself. I have always wanted to teach in the prison system, because I believe with every ounce of my being that when we know better we do better, and education has the power to transform lives – and I wanted in on that. Sadly, that opportunity hasn’t come my way yet, but hopefully it will some day. I think I could do some good things. :-) That wide-eyed optimism is the same way that I approach my interactions with other people…and, while this attitude has got me in trouble far more times than I’d care to admit (there are too damn many cruel people out there, my friends), it’s the only attitude that I have. Thinking the best in people, regardless of how lost their soul may be, is all I’ve got. My soul is probably lost as well, you know…and I’m just looking for someone to seek me. :-)

 

xxx

Come On Get Happy

On January 1st, I embarked on a journey to celebrate things that made me happy. I started posting a minimum of 1 picture a day to my Instagram (@leannaerin, if you’re interested in joining in the fun) of something that made me smile and feel happy – and I labelled it with the hashtag #100HappyDays. I had technical difficulties a couple of times that prevented me posting before midnight, but I did fix them right away, and I made it all the way through…my 100th day will be this Friday, which is, ironically, my birthday. :-)

You can find out about this project on their website – and I strongly recommend you give it a look. It’s a great idea – I put a reminder on my phone for every evening at 8:00pm, just to be sure that I wouldn’t forget. Some days, I had so many happy things to post that I blew up my Instagram (sorry about that, following friends – my very large night out in Austin last Friday must have been a beast for you!)…other days, I had to dig pretty bloody deep to find anything to feel happy about. The thing is, though, that I did it, I did find things to feel optimistic and happy about….which is always a great thing. :-)

Here are some highlights for me:

My love :-)

My love :-)

The truth!

The truth!

Hahaha :-)

Hahaha :-)

Sage life advice :-)

Sage life advice :-)

My new short 'do!

My new short ‘do!

I have said these to people....much hilarity ensued ;-)

I have said this to people….much hilarity ensued ;-)

It happens ;-)

It happens ;-)

Amen!

Amen!

If you don't do this, then you're a liar.....EVERYONE does. :-)

If you don’t do this, then you’re a liar…..EVERYONE does. :-)

:-)

:-)

 

According to their website, people have found the following when they have done this project:People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:

– Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
– Be in a better mood every day;
– Start receiving more compliments from other people;
– Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
– Become more optimistic;
– Fall in love during the challenge

 

This is what I found: I looked at the world around me differently, constantly keeping my eyes open for things that made my heart super-happy, and took a picture….just to be sure that I remembered the feelings that I had in that moment. I didn’t receive more compliments from people, sadly – however, this is totally fine, as the project was done for me, not for anyone else. I believe that my optimism level improved, which is quite the thing as my optimism is already pretty darn high! As for the last point up there…I think that I fell more in love with myself, with my surroundings, and with this life that I lead – mixed up, chaotic, confusing, and difficult though it may be….it’s MY life, and most days, it’s pretty damn magical. :-)

 

xxx

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Some folks operate on a completely different frequency from most everyone else around them, they just don’t connect with the masses…and I believe that I am one of those people. I don’t think like most others do, I don’t do the same kinds of things as other people are inclined to do…I’m just basically an odd duck. I have tried to do a better job of fitting in with the world around me, but the results of these efforts have been bloody disastrous, not to mention more than a lot comical. I guess I was just born to stand out – and not fit in.

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I have come to accept this, and most of the time I revel in my weirdness. I am flattered when someone comments on the odd uniqueness of me, and if I was to be called boring, I would probably weep real tears. However, I have come to realize that while I may think this is an awesome way to be, it is not awesome even a smidge to have to try to deal with me. The people around me have had to put up with a lot of shit from me over the years,  and….well, that’s probably not fair. I’m not entirely sure why this has come to my attention recently, but it has. I feel like I should contact everyone I’ve ever known, everyone I’ve ever dated (now there’s a list), everyone I’ve ever worked with, and try to make amends, AA-style. I need to somehow tell them that I’m sorry that I’ve been strange, odd, and difficult to tolerate. I need to apologize and acknowledge that my quest to find my best self has interfered/wreaked havoc on their existence…and I need to say sorry for that. I don’t really know the way to fix all of this, but believe me, I would sure like to. I know some very kind people, it seems….and they all put up with me. Angels, every single one of them – thank goodness I found them at just the right time.

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Speaking of time….so much of life and your success in it comes from timing. I have notoriously BAD timing….no joke. If there was to be a super-great life opportunity about to happen, I would show up when it was over…not because I’m not punctual (because I totally am), but because that is just me. My timing is almost never right. I have struck gold with this issue the odd time – I had my daughter at the perfect point in my life, and she has been the most beautiful gift every day of her nearly 9 years. I happened to be at exactly the right place (working next door to my dream school) at exactly the right time, and I fell into this AMAZING position that I am in now. That was really fantastic timing….but that is the exception, not the rule. I’m the kind of person that meets someone that they can really connect with, and maybe have some sort of a kick-ass relationship and life with…..when the person is either married to someone else or freshly out of a previous relationship and is rebounding more than a bloody basketball. I hate that kind of stuff, and wish that I could do something different to change it, but…I really don’t know that any of us can change circumstance and chance, can we? I have really worked hard on adopting an attitude of gratitude, and embracing the idea that at least something really great came along….even if the timing wasn’t quite there. I’m grateful for the opportunity. :-)

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My outlook on things is kind of weird, too. I was talking with someone recently, and an interesting idea came up – I made the statement that if someone said that they didn’t want me, I would leave and go away, and never bother them again. The person that I was speaking to called me cold, and heartless…and I can certainly understand that perception. However, I see it in a completely different way – I went on to explain that I absolutely will not stay somewhere that I am not wanted, and that I have way too much self-respect to consider begging someone to stay with me, so…I will move on, comfortable in the knowledge that they will be damn sorry to have lost me. My conversation companion continued to stare at me like I had grown a second head (which would be super-cool, btw) – I asked if I had said something wrong, and was told that I hadn’t, but that I possessed a very different way of looking at things. This is not the first time I’ve heard that, and it won’t be the last, I’m sure. I often wonder what it’d be like to see the world the way everyone else does. It’d be easier, of this I have no doubt….

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How do you see the world, my friends? Is your glass half-full or half-empty? Mine is generally half-full…with plenty of room for more vodka! 😉 I talk about this idea of being different with my little one all the time…she fluctuates between wanting to fit in with the masses in her elementary school, marching to the beat of her own drum, and letting her tiny freak flag fly any old time she pleases. I’ve worked in Education long enough to know the vital importance of acceptance from one’s peers during the tumultuous adolescent years, but I so hope that she holds on to some of that uniqueness, that vibrant personality that is coursing through her veins. Those are the things that make her sparkle…and what could be better than that? :-)

 

xxx

 

Wise Up

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Have you been watching HBO’s “Girls” this season? I have (of course), and I really liked the direction the show has taken this year – and last night’s season finale was an absolute gem. I don’t want to ruin your day with spoilers, but I have to point out a few highlights for me: three cheers for Hannah for not saying YES to a reconciliation with Adam (although I loved them together and wish they could have somehow found their way back to each other)…her ability to say no to him when he says he wants her back was so strong, so powerful – I doubt I could have done that. Adam has always been a magical, powerful force in Hannah’s life, and for her to realize that he was not good for her, and that them being together was destructive….well, that was just awesome. Three cheers for Hannah – our little girl is growing up. :-)

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I have always been a huge fan of the character of Ray – I think that he might just be the one of the realest characters on television today. Over the years, he has made some speeches that have pretty much brought me to my knees with their raw emotion (seriously – whoever is writing the lines that Ray speaks is my friggin’ hero and I want to share a pizza with them and talk over beer), and last night was no exception. He ripped the Jackass Desi a new one, letting him know that he wasn’t good enough to be with Marnie (so.true)…and he said this: “I also know that you absolutely do not deserve her. Even remotely….She is a beautiful, fully-formed woman, dazzling in her complexity, maddening in her mystery. And you underestimate her, every fucking day.” Isn’t that just brilliant?? I was so blown away by that speech that he made, so full of love and admiration, that I paused the TV, hit rewind, and kept watching it over and over again…just to be sure that the full power of those words seeped into my soul. Amazing. Who doesn’t want to be described that way??! I sure as hell do! Love Ray! :-)

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The final thing that I loved most from last night’s episode was the stuff involving Shoshanna – that girl is everything that I imagine I was when I was her age…I just hid my eccentricities a whole lot better than she does. Her wide-eyed optimism is a standout for me on that show, and I loved the scene between she and Colin Quinn, when she is sharing that she’d been offered a job in Tokyo, but wasn’t sure about leaving the new guy she was dating to take the position. Colin Quinn started ranting about reading the most excellent Sheryl Sandberg book ‘Lean In’, and told her, “Grab a seat at the table and lean the fuck in. And if this guy’s worth his salt, he’ll be waiting for you.” Mind. Blown. What I wouldn’t give to have someone have cared enough about me to have given me that advice at various points in my life, when I have made eggregiously stupid decisions based upon the men that I thought were going to be there for me – and they weren’t. And I let opportunities go. Like an idiot. Grr. Oh well….live and learn, eh? :-)

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I know that I am not the target demographic of this show (by about 15 years or so), but I love it with all my heart and think the wisdom of the writing is mind-blowing, regardless of what age you are. Take this line of Hannah’s, for example:

So am I, Hannah...so am I.

So am I, Hannah…so am I.

Isn’t that pretty much what we all are doing? It’s funny….I will be 41 years old in a couple of weeks, and I still feel as if I’m waiting to grow up. There are days when I look around me and see this beautiful life that I’ve crafted for myself, one that is full of responsibilities, events, a maddeningly busy calendar, tasks to be done, places to go…and I wonder how it is that I managed to fall smack into the middle of someone else’s existence, because all of this grown-up stuff can’t possibly belong to me. But it does. I don’t know how it happened. I think I will always feel like Hannah, working hard to try to become who I am. I wonder when I will finally wake up and realize that I’ve been me all along?

xxx

 

Don’t Stop Believing

I watched the series finale of ‘Glee’ today, and felt all the feels, cried like it was my damn job, and LOVED every second of it. While I had felt that the show had done its share of shark-jumping in the last year or so, last night’s finale was just everything. I laughed, I cried, I was happy with the resolution of things, which rarely happens in a series finale (if you want to start a fight with your friends, solicit opinions on the ending of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ – which I really liked, for the record)…and everything ended happily, which you know I’m all about. :-) Good fuzzy feelings everywhere here today, friends! :-)

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One of my favorite lines from the show was this (Rachel Berry said it during her Tony Award acceptance speech – she was talking about the impact her teacher, Mr. Schuester, has had on her life): Being part of something special does not make you special – something is special because you are a part of it. Don’t you just friggin’ LOVE that???! I know – me, too. :-) LOVE. :-) This is something I have always really believed – the importance of acknowledging the special qualities that other people have. We all get busy, we don’t praise each other, we don’t stop to reflect on the AMAZING things that everyone around us does every single day. Instead, we rush through life, hurrying to do all of the things that are on our never-ending To Do lists…when really we should be taking time to enjoy all of the beautiful stuff that surrounds us. I’ve always been the worst at this – I work too much, I’m always trying to take on too much…when in reality, I need to just slow ‘er down a bit, and breathe. It’s good to smell the roses. Or the candy. Or the bottom of the cereal bag after you’ve emptied the Frosted Flakes into a bowl. 😉

One of the highlights of the ‘Glee’ finale for me was Lea Michele’s final ballad – a song called “This Time”, written by the loooovely Darren Criss (fun fact – I think he is about the cutest, most talented, and bestest guy on TV) – this article has an audio preview for you to check out (which you should – you’ll love it!), and here are the words, should you care to sing along:

These walls and all these picture frames
Every name they show
These halls I’ve walked a thousand times
Heartbreaks and valentines, friends of mine all know

I look at everything I was
And everything I ever loved
And I can see how much I’ve grown

And though the mirror doesn’t see it
It’s clear to me, I feel it
I can make it on my own

I’m not afraid of moving on or letting go
It’s just so hard to say goodbye to what I know, I know

This time no one’s gonna say goodbye
I’ll keep you in this heart of mine
This time I know it’s never over

No matter who or what I am
I’ll carry where we all began
This time that we had, I will hold forever

This old familiar place is
Where every face is another part of me
I played a different game then
They called me a different name then
I think of all the things I did and how
I wish I knew what I know now

I see how far I’ve come and what I got right
When I was looking for that spotlight
I was looking for myself

Got over what I was afraid of
I showed ’em all that I was made of
More than trophies on a shelf

For all the battles that we lost or might have won
I never stopped believing in the words we sung, we sung

This time no one’s gonna say goodbye
I’ll keep you in this heart of mine
This time I know it’s never over

No matter who or what I am
I’ll carry where we all began
This time that we had, I will hold forever

I’m looking out from the crossroads
I don’t know how far away I will roll
I take a breath, I close my eyes
Your voice will carry me home

I’ll keep you in this heart of mine
This time I know it’s never over

No matter who or what I am
I’ll carry where we all began

This time that we had, I will hold
This time that we had, I will hold
This time that we had, I will hold
Forever

Forever

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Isn’t that song awesome?? So. Profound. I love it, it seems to be a perfect description of how we all feel when we are on the cusp of change, leaving behind the familiar, and taking a giant leap into the great unknown – something I’ve done MANY times myself, but it never gets any easier, or any less exhilerating. I am a person who generally thrives on change and loves massive life shifts like nobody’s business – it’s learning to revel in the day-to-day that’s somewhat challenging for me, but I’m working on it. :-)

 

Did you watch ‘Glee’? What’d you think? I hope you loved it as much as I did – well done, Ryan Murphy et al. Well done. :-)

 

xxx