Really liked this one today:
Both emotional and physical pain are messages that we need to stop and pay attention.
When we feel pain, our first impulse is often to eradicate it with medication. This is an understandable response, but sometimes in our hurry to get rid of pain, we forget that it is the body's way of letting us know that it needs our attention. A headache can inform us that we're hungry or stressed just as a sore throat might be telling us that we need to rest our voice. If we override these messages instead of respond to them, we risk worsening our condition. In addition, we create a feeling of disconnectedness between our minds and our bodies.
Physical pain is not the only kind of pain that lets us know our attention is needed. Emotional pain provides us with valuable information about the state of our psyche, letting us know that we have been affected by something and that we would do well to focus our awareness inward. Just as we tend to a cut on our arm by cleaning and bandaging it, we treat a broken heart by surrounding ourselves with love and support. In both cases, if we listen to our pain we will know what to do to heal ourselves. It's natural to want to resist pain, but once we understand that it is here to give us valuable information, we can relax a bit more, and take a moment to listen before we reach for medication. Sometimes this is enough to noticeably reduce the pain, because its message has been heard. Perhaps we seek to medicate pain because we fear that if we don't, it will never go away. It can be empowering to realize that, at least some of the time, it is just a matter of listening and responding.
The next time you feel pain, either physical or emotional, you might want to try listening to your own intuition about how to relieve your pain. Maybe taking a few deep breaths will put an end to that headache. Perhaps writing in your journal about hurt feelings will ease your heart. Ultimately, the message of pain is all about healing.


Get in the driver's seat.

An expression that I have always found sort of amusing is the old "everything happens for a reason" routine.
(I also, for the record, think "No regrets" is overrated. I have about 75 1/2 million regrets in my life)
Yes, I know this sounds like I'm being a pessimist, but I assure you that I'm not. The reason I think "Everything happens..." is a tired excuse is that that it's silly. Of course everything happens for a reason. But people have a tendency to rely on "fate" to provide that reason. We say to ourselves, "it doesn't make sense now, but one day life will unfold it's true meaning to me and it will all come together."
Come on, now. Everything happens for a reason, but more often than not it's the reason that we give it. One person will take a success to mean they've reached a goal, while another will take it as an indication that they should continue making even bigger goals. As romantic as it sounds to say these good and bad events are guiding you toward your destiny, I just don't think that's the case. I think that life happens, and if there is any reason behind a lot of this stuff- it's so that we will learn to grow from it. Hey, a bad thing happened when I did that. I shouldn't do that again. Good or bad things don't happen because we deserve it or because we are being guided toward our destined path of life. They happen so that we will learn to correct ourselves, and to learn to make the best of our lives. Human beings are not victims of fate, we're evolutionists. Not in a religious sense, but in the sense where we need to use the things that happen in our lives to constantly move upward and onward.
So I suppose that everything DOES, in fact, happen for a reason. But it's not to get to a final product of a life. It's to improve the methodology of the person in the driver's seat- it's meant to improve you. So I think it's time we own up to our responsibility to ourselves and learn from our lives rather than feel like they're out of our control. Learn from everything, good and bad, and progress in the direction you feel should result.
Live your life for the process and not the product.


Siiiick, bro!

I woke up yesterday with that old familiar feeling. Scratchy throat, itchy eyes... welcome to cold season!! I hate it ...I hate it so much.
I have a history of sort of over-reacting to cold season. It's pretty standard protocol for me to go to Sav-On Drugstore and nearly buy them out of anything I haven't tried before. I would like to think I've tried it all. I even bought one of those Zicam nasal sprays once... gross. But in the past few years I haven't been getting (or at least staying) sick nearly as much. I know I usually try to post stuff on here to take care of your soul, but you can't take care of much of anything when you're under the weather. So here is what works for me when I'm sick.
1. Drink copious amounts of water. I usually aim to drink water consistently throughout the day. I rarely drink soda (it eats at your tooth enamel, among other things) and I don't bother buying juice because most of the juices from the market are like, 8% juice and the rest is crap. Water is my best buddy. And Chai Tea. But that's a whole 'nother ballgame. When you're sick, drink water like it's going out of style. It's going to flush out all the toxins in your system and clean you out. You will also be better hydrated which means clearer skin, better brain function, and more energy. And if you're like me- you don't look so hot with dry winter skin face. Or Rudolph nose.
2. Emergen-C. I'm obsessed. It's the only thing that I've tried that I can honestly say I think helps me with my cold. I also take Nyquil or Dayquil if I can't sleep or function at work & school. But those don't actually beat the crap out of whatever Cold Bugs I have the way Emergen-C does. I drink it like it's going out of style. Whatever vitamin C you don't need, you body just disposes of. So you can't, so I hear, overdose on it. I actually ONLY take anything with vitamin C in it when I'm showing symptoms of getting sick because for some reason if I take anything outside that window I actually start getting a cold. Weird, I know. Bonus: if you're drinking a crap ton of Emergen-C packets you are also drinking lots of water. Two birds. One stone. Sweet.
3. Rest. This is key. This means as much as you can, don't stay out on Friday night until 2am. Not getting enough sleep is pretty much the worst thing you can do. I know that if you're a parent or have other non-negotiable responsibilities you don't have many options. But do what you can to keep it really low key.
4. Light exercise. I am an avid stretcher. I stretch my body at least once an hour, sometimes more. Especially in these stuffy winter months, it just feels good. Yoga and light cardio are also great. Don't work yourself too hard. Then again... this might not be an expert opinion since I never do really strenuous exercises. If you're a big runner, I say you go for it. I also recommend getting outside as much as you can. For some reason fresh air really makes me feel better. If it's freezing, uh... bundle up. Duh.
5. Eat. The old "feed a cold, starve a flu" applies. I like chicken soup. And anything with tons of vegetables. I also take a multivitamin, but I do that year-round as well. If you can take the heat, add hot peppers or hot sauce to your meals when possible. I don't have a medical excuse for this but it sure does clear out your sinuses. Don't drink milk or eat anything dairy if you can help it. Cheese-a-holics, I feel your pain. But no one wants to hear you coughing and congested for hours just so you could enjoy some brie. Gross.

My final piece of advice is to get, like, 5 things of Anti-bacterial gel. Use the crap out of it. I have one at work, one in my purse, and one at home. The pump kind is convenient, or Bath and Body works has some that smell delicious so you will be more motivated to use them. You wont only avoid catching germs, but you wont be that jerk who drops them off on the door handle at the mall either. Not the kind of "Giving Season" you were going for.

Get well soon!



I've had some writer's block lately, which has been stellar since I'm trying to write a screenplay and realized a week ago that what I have so far is complete crap. But this morning I started to feel inspired again, so I'm pretty happy about it.
I want to talk about revertation. Revertation is probably not a word... but guess what, I don't care. I've decided that revertation is the act of reverting. BAM! Just call me Webster.
Now I know that life is a lesson and that it's important to adjust your sails based on acquired knowledge. However, there is a certain amount of power in reverting to the innocence of our youth. Who we were before we learned how to exist according to everyone eles's expectations. We are individuals, each and every one of us. However, as time wears on in our lives and we experience the world more and more- we become more run of the mill. We alter ourselves based on learned fears and behaviors. But as with everything else in life, it is vital that we instill a sense of balance to the equation. Learn to exist with others, but remain true to who we are at our core.
Let me address the "exist with other" portion of that statement. I use a lot of idealism in my writing, and plenty of "should," statements. But I realize that in order to coexist, we have to adapt to our surroundings. It's ideal to think that the true "you" should sit and play video games all day because it's what makes you happy, but it's not a practical survival method. The same goes for social coexistence. I know a lot of people who will tell you that they say whatever they want to others without worrying about their reaction because they are going to "be who they are." These are the same people I know who have hardly any social connections because people don't want to be around someone who cares little for their feelings, and these are the same people who seem to me to be consistantly unhappy human beings. It's not sacrifice of being true to yourself, but merely adaptation. You adapt, you consider the feelings of others. It may be considered slightly selfish to admit, but being kind and considerate enables that you will be more permitted to interact with other people. You give a little, you get a little. In return, they receive (considerate) interaction from you. Everyone wins.
On the other side of that balance is the idea of remaining true to yourself. I encourage you to think back to who you were as a child. What was important to you? And I mean before interactions with parents or friends changed you to adapt to your world. Before I was influenced by others, I was always a very weird kid. I'm sure that wouldn't come as a shock to anybody. I collected bugs, ran around barefoot, told people I was from outer space, and loved to play pretend. I remember my favorite game being "Speedy Gonzalez" (remember him?) and it consisted basically of running around our neighbor's fruit tree in circles as fast as we could. I don't remember watching TV pretty much at all and I would sneak into the kitchen and steal literally spoonfuls of sugar when my Mom wasn't around. I also remember sitting in my brother's room and listening to The Smiths and They Might Be Giants for hours on end while he was at school. Then my neighbors taught me what a Barbie doll was and that if I wanted to be accepted, I needed to stop playing pretend because it was "weird." So I grew up. I feel like a lot of my life went that way... people saying that what I wanted to do was weird so I would try to be more serious and socially "normal." I suspect a lot of people had the same experience.
It's important for us to maintain some of that sense of who we were as kids. Free, full of dreams and fantasies, individuals. We grow up and become so much of what the world tells us to be that we forget who we are at our core. It's time we revert. Revert back to who we were as children and remember to dream and play and to have fun. I spent an hour yesterday walking my roommate's dog (see: my old dog) and stepping in every pile of leaves I saw- just to hear the crunch. Totally weird, but completely awesome. We can't live our lives according to someone else's idea of normal. Closed mindedness really ought to be something we leave in 2011.
So the real question is how do you balance the two? How can you hold to who you are while coexisting with other people? I think the answer is to determine what behaviors of yours are detrimental. Most people are willing to accept oddities in others, so long as they aren't attitudes or behaviors that put people down. It's really a matter of "just be nice." The answer really is just to live with love. You can be weird, peculiar, strange, and bizarre. But remember to connect with others in acceptance and love. Love their weirdness, and recognize the beauty in their differences from you. Love is the only compromise you should make in yourself. In the end, it has a tendency to be what matters most.


The Red Queen.

Isn't this the most beautiful thing ever??
It makes me want to learn how to play Chess.
Maybe in 2012?

(Anthropologie: $1,200... Not exactly practical)


Life for the sake of itself.

I talk a lot on here about working on one's self and the processes that I suggest taking to get "there," wherever "there" is. And I think that projects of the self have always sort of fascinated me. They become this crazy sort of roller coaster of Finding Yourself, including the highs and lows of the whole ordeal. I think that the problem can, on occasion, lie where people assume that they are capable of completion. Like they have this person that they can become and once they reach that, they are somehow "done."
We are never Done. We are never Completed.
And that is a very, very good thing.
I think that people get so caught up in this idea that they begin to look at everything around them as a destination, rather than a journey. The dream job becomes "where I want to end up." Or the spouse who becomes "who I want to end up with." And they get upset if something doesn't pan out, which to me is sort of ridiculous. No person, place, or event is our end goal. They are a part of a time that has passed, and you are now in a time that is. Exist now.
There's really no Grand Finale to life. Not to sound morbid but the last day of your life will almost certainly wind up being a random Tuesday like any other Tuesday. But that's the point: life is about making each and every Tuesday extraordinary for the simple reason that it's a day and each day is a gift to be marveled at. I can guarantee that if the last day of your life is spent playing video games and eating ice cream- that will be the most vivid video game and the sweetest ice cream you will ever enjoy. Every day should feel this way. Every nap is a luxury. Every hand held is warm with the pulse of precious life. Each breath should taste of the sweetness of life. The world is love, and beauty, and hope. And it's a journey, without a destination.


Like a Boss.

Obsessed with her.



I was driving home from Utah this weekend, travelling through St. George and looking out the window as I am so inclined to do on road trips. It's a gorgeous drive that reminds me of countless road trips through the area when I was just a kid. I remember driving through the canyons and writing poetry in my little secret notebook. I looked forward to that part of the drive the entire trip so that I could basically marvel at how gorgeous the mountains and red rocks look in the sunlight.
Anyways, driving through this trip was no less magical and as I stared out the window I noticed my mind wandering to other places, and to other times. Initially I didn't catch myself and when I finally realized what I was doing I kind of mentally shook myself with a little bit of self-resentment. "Be here now!" Here I was, in the front row of some of nature's most gorgeous work and one of my favorite places since I can remember, and I wasn't fully enjoying it.
And how often does that happen? How often do we spend too much time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future rather than just enjoying our lives? I feel like it's an awful lot. And it's a terrible habit. Life is awesome. Like, seriously really and truly awesome. The people in it, the experiences available to us, all of it. It's important to live in the current moment so that we don't miss out on what is happening right here and now. Because that, my friends, is what it's all about. It's about the moments in our lives (yes I know this is very Hallmark sounding). It's about what is happening now, and not what has happened or what will happen. I can't emphasize enough just how minuscule the things we stress over really are in the grand scheme of things. And trust me, I am just as guilty of not being in the current moment as anyone... but it doesn't have to be that way. Sometimes you almost have to take baby steps to be in the Now. I pulled myself out of my head by small observations: That rock is red. The sky is so blue. I wonder what the wind feels like blowing through those branches. The leaves are so pretty in the Fall here. You kind of start to really SEE what is around you and stop seeing what exists solely in your head.
I think that as a writer, I am probably more prone to this kind of behavior. It's just so easy to sit around and romanticize things that exist in my mind rather than just use my eyes to appreciate the world as it is in front of me. But there is a huge gift in simplicity. In the simplicity of seeing something for what it is, and appreciating it. It's like in one of my previous entries with the half full/ half empty glass: stop focusing on whether it's hypothetically full or not and just appreciate the "Hey! Free milk!" It can be as simple as that: Just enjoy it.



Tomorrow is my last day at my computer before I leave for my Thanksgiving trip, but I know tomorrow will be too crazy to write anything substantial on here. And before I leave I think I would be remiss if I didn't make some feeble attempt to discuss all of the things I have been so grateful for this year.
2011 was a pretty crazy year for me, and if you go back through last year's Thanksgiving, it's been an insane 12 months of my life.
To start with the obvious: Exactly 12 months ago today, Jill went into Cardiac Arrest and her heart stopped for 5 full minutes. For anyone who doesn't follow my blog religiously- Jill is my sister just older than me. This time last year was one of the most shocking periods of my life, and I don't remember having many deep thoughts about it because it was so jarring that I couldn't focus on much of anything. It wasn't until later that the severity of the situation settled in with me and I realized just how close I came to losing my sister. You just don't ever think something like that will happen to you until it does- but I think that's what anyone who has been through something like that will tell you. Jill has been one of the most important people in my life, and to think of a life with her no longer in it is just unimaginable. I am so, so, so beyond grateful that I still get to have my sister. I am also very humbled and grateful for her progress in her recovery so far. I know it's frustrating, and difficult for her and her family on the frontlines. But I know that she can do this, and I am grateful for such a strong sister to inspire me.
Next up on my list is a person who I had been fortunate to be around this past year or so. And not just the fact that he was in my life, but the people he exposed me to were some of the best and most inspirational people I have met. I know he wont read this, which makes it a little easier to be frank about things. But knowing Tony allowed me to see parts of who I am and more importantly- who I want to be. And of course it's tough when you talk to someone every day and come to realize isn't the person you're supposed to end up with- but I would feel like an ingrate if I didn't at least recognize the things that knowing him brought to my life. I think, honestly, that it ought to be like that with anyone you date or surround yourself with. I spent a long time of my life wandering. Too long, really. I have always taken the long road and not really minded it because I enjoy the journey so much. But I didn't even have my feet pointed any which way, and because of that I was settling for a life of mediocrity wherein I would mainly work and "hang out" every day. Oh, sure, I had dreams to accomplish things in my life. But I didn't DO anything about them. And along came this person who had actually done a lot of the things that I wanted to do with my life. Travel, explore nature, become more educated, enjoy some interesting hobbies. All of them were things that I had always wanted to do but never had the drive to go out and just... DO. I think the combination of what happened to Jill and my exposure to Tony gave me the incentive to make some commitments to myself to stop treading water where I was and start swimming towards something greater. Life is short. And sometimes you have to just go for it.
Another (related) thing I am grateful for is Tony's family. I know, I know, I'm sounding like a kiss ass here. But they've been a major part of my life for the past year or so. And each one of them inspired me, probably more than they realize. I don't know how specific I want to get here, mainly because it's actually quite difficult for me to. But this family is something special. Their dedication to one another and ability to support each other is and always will be inspirational to me on a level I can't quite explain. I have been unbelievably lucky to have been welcomed into their home and get to spend the time that I did with them.
I am grateful for my (hopefully first of many!) trip to Europe. Sara and Matt were the absolute most gracious hosts to me and it was so cool of them to show me around Paris, Amsterdam, Kos, Nisseros, Turkey, and Dusseldorf. I had the most unreal time there and being able to accomplish a trip that I'd been dreaming about since I was a little girl has been something that I will forever be grateful for.
I am grateful for the people that I have lived with this year. It has had it's fair share of challenges and of course- ups and downs. But all in all it has given me some wonderful experiences to take with me. I am no longer at the house that I lived at for something like 4 years, and I am grateful for the fact that I have moved on. With the utmost respect to my former roommates, the place that I am living now is much better suited to my needs as my life has evolved to where I am now. It has, so far, been like a dream living at my new place. And I'm certain that challenges will come. But I will hopefully be grateful for them and the opportunities they give me to be stronger and better as a roommate and as a person in general.
I am grateful for my friends who have seen me through this past year. I've made some new friends in people I've met through Tony and who I couldn't BE more grateful for. Fun people like Kim, Chelsea, and Kaila- with passionate dreams and exciting lives. I've also been lucky enough to stay in touch with old friends who have remained in my life for years and years. Last year on my birthday we went to dinner and I was so amazed by the number of people who wanted to take time out of their busy schedules to be with me on my big day. People like Sayum and Grant, who I am constantly baffled for how I deserve such people in my life. Kenneth, who has been there for me as a friend whenever I've needed someone to talk to and make me laugh. I am so insanely lucky to have the friends that I have. I don't know if I would ever be able to express that to these people, but it is an overwhelming feeling.
My family. My foundation. My everything. Even when they drive me a little bonkers. My Mom, who has held me crying as a child and an adult- telling me that everything will be alright. My Dad, who is my constant idol in life and who hangs the moon for me. Ky, my twin. My oldest brother that constantly makes me laugh. Charity who has become one of my best friends and trusted confidants the older I get. Ryan who is one of the smartest and most interesting people I know. And of course Jill who is my brave and amazing fighter, inspiring us all.
It has been a wild ride. And I know I say this every year: but I feel like the past 12 months have been the most influential months of my life. I have changed in ways I never knew I could. I have faltered, I've fallen, I've gotten up, and I've catapulted forward. It's been unreal and amazing and terrifying and exhilarating. I wouldn't say I have loved every minute of it, but I am unapologetically grateful for every minute of it.
Thank you, Life.


Pinterest Love.

Majorly geeking out on the fact that a blog I've been following for nearly a year just re-posted something I had on my Pinterest page.
It's pretty cool to see your name credited on a blog you admire, even if I didn't take the photo myself!! Check it out: http://copperandlace.blogspot.com/


I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.

Some days, I feel like I'm sort of in the wrong place. But I think everyone might feel like that sometimes. I'm learning more and more that despite my best efforts at covering it up, I am a very sensitive, soft-hearted person. I never thought myself much of a sap, but I admit that I cry during sad movies. This is something I never did when I was younger, and something that sort of alarms me every time it happens. "No! No no no. This is not something we do!"
But can I tell you a secret? I'm not tough. I'm not tough at all. I'm never going to be a hard ass type girl who you "wouldn't want to mess with." Come on, I'm 5 foot 4 and weigh all of 112 pounds. I'm hardly going to kick your ass. If they made a cartoon character of me, it would most likely be wearing a sun dress and playing tag with Fawns and Bluebirds.
I constantly battle with myself on my Rose Colored Glasses persona, which is sort of my default view on life. A lot of people have told me that I need to toughen up. To be more real and stop being so naive. And I agree, naivety can be dangerous. But some times I just want to imagine that the world is wonderful and that life is this amazing gift and not so much a trial. Is that so terrible? Some people look at the glass half empty, and some people look at it half full. I look at it as, "Free milk, which is great because I'm thirsty!" Yes, I realize that makes me sound like sort of a ditz- but am I really? Or am I just someone who doesn't want to waste time analyzing whether something is half full or not while it spoils itself?
A part of me worries that I have some sort of mental illness wherein I just want to be a kid forever. I call it Peter Pan Syndrome, and have been suspicious of it for some time. Some of my favorite things are fantastical. My dream house is a tree house (it has plumbing and everything- trust me I have thought this through!). I love to draw and paint. I love doe-eyed owls and snowy Beluga Whales. I sing along with my car radio and don't care who is looking anymore. I'm fascinated by fantasy and comic book movies. I splash in rain puddles and I like to go on long walks to look at the different trees in my neighborhood. I love being barefoot and when I go swimming- I float on my back and let my arms dance in the water. There are few things I love more than to stretch. I despise being indoors and am obsessed with nature. This is my life. It's sort of like the life of a 6 year-old.
But my question is: is that so terrible? Sometimes I think about the advice people give me to grow up already, and I start to feel manipulated. I am proud to still hold on to fragments of who I was when I was a kid. A sort of innocence that you can't really get back once it's gone. Do I want to abandon my sense of wonder towards my world around me? Do I really want to know how the serious people of the world think and live? Or do I want to stay ME- to watch cartoons and eat Popsicles for breakfast?
I know there is a middle ground where I can protect myself from the world but still embrace it. I'm just looking for that place where I can keep my feet on the ground but my head looking towards the puffy little white clouds.





Just made this. I think it turned out rather lovely.


Don't Fear The Creeper.

Today I want to talk about the irony in fear.

For starters, what is fear? And why does it exist? Fear is, to my knowledge and in a strictly scientific sense, a defense mechanism created to protect us. From the very first man who walked the Earth, we were instilled with a sense of fear to help aid us in a "fight or flight" response. We NEEDED fear in order to quickly analyze potentially dangerous situations and asses if we ought to stand up to them or run from them. Fear also instills in the human body a rush of adrenaline so that if we DO choose to fight the good fight, we have that extra boost of energy to complete the task. People need fear to survive. Fear is a very, very good thing.

As people evolved and day-to-day situations became safer and safer, our need for fear has (in my opinion) decreased. We aren't out in the wilderness, fighting for our lives against wild animals and natural elements. We're in safe, warm homes. We are protected and well fed. And the need for us to use fear to our advantage has leveled at a minimum necessity. But we still have this natural gift in us, and because it's in our nature, we have to use it somehow. So I think we transfer it. We aren't using it for survival anymore, but for what we think will have the least potential risk. What will be the path of least resistance? And we choose that path. And rather than look at the more difficult path as an exciting challenge, we fear it. We feel that it's a threat to our comfortable and "safe" little lives.

But the irony in fear is that it has become an overly wasted emotion. For example: a good friend of mine was talking about being nervous to embark on a particular class at school. She was intimidated by how intensive it would be and she was getting nervous because she feared she would fail it. I asked her one simple question: How many things that you try do you ever fail at? Not just not be the best at, but actually FAIL? Her response was, "Well.... none that I can think of, actually." We will always have things in our lives that we aren't the absolute best at- but rarely do we set ourselves out on a path that we completely fail at. Not if it's something we really try hard to succeed in doing.

And it's funny because I'm afraid of failure ALL THE TIME. I'd venture to say that my fear of failure is one of my biggest setbacks in life. It prevents me from trying a number of things that I'd really like to do, but am afraid of doing. And why?? I think it's important to think, during these situations, what is the worst case scenario? I am going back to school for my Bachelors Degree in Journalism. I've always wanted to write, but I think I was afraid of doing it. I guess on some level I worried that I wouldn't be good enough, or that I WOULD be good enough in my classes but upon graduating I wouldn't be able to get a job. But what is the worst that could happen? I get my degree and can't find a job in my field. And so I get a different job but one day, I apply for a new job and realize that my degree pushes me towards the top of the list of applicants. Or maybe I never use my degree, but I gain more knowledge. In none of those scenarios am I any worse off than I am now. So why the fear? Why the irrationality? I'd be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 times in my life, the leaps I've been terrified to make but made anyways have ended up being the best things that have ever happened to me.

I suggest we all stop being so scared of failure. And stop fearing life going a different way than we planned. Rarely does life go as we plan it, but it's also pretty rare that the things we fear are the things we actually SHOULD fear. It's almost always some unforeseen event in our lives that becomes the "bad thing" in it. Living in fear of the unknown is a waste. Just don't do it.


Not So Reckless Abandonment.

Something that I find to be an interesting lesson in life is the mythology of the old "Sour Grapes" story. In case you haven't heard it, it goes something like this:
A fox was wandering and came upon a beautiful vineyard. He spots this vineyard and gets very excited to eat the grapes. So he runs up to the tall vines and notices the juicy purple grapes are all up near the top of the plant. He runs to them and jumps, just barely missing the fruit. He tries again, and again. And after several failed attempts to reach them he gives up. "Fine," He says, exasperated, "those grapes were probably sour anyways."
So I completely ad-libbed that story, but I think it goes something like that. My point is, my entire life I have had this fear of being "Sour Grapes" about things. If I didn't succeed, I would insist that it was my fault and beat myself up about it because heaven forbid I consider that it's possibly not a part of "the plan" in the first place. And I understand the concept of never giving up on something, I really do. But some times... in some situations it's okay to give up, I think. It's important to know when to walk away from something.
Like if you LOVE to paint, I think you should do it. And if you're terrible- do it anyways. But by all means- do not become that starving artist who banked everything on your art only to die in the streets. Do not go down with a sinking ship!!
I have always thought of myself as, and forgive the comedy in this because it IS a pretty funny statement, as someone with hardly any pride. If I'm wrong, I like to think I will be the first to admit and own up to my part in it. But I'm realizing that I have this tendency to be stubborn. But, like, in this very peculiar way. I can admit that I'm wrong, but I have a draining opposition to "giving up" or being "sour grapes." It terrifies me for some reason. And it's funny because I don't think that even failed endeavours are a waste of any one's time because everything is a learning lesson and an experience. But I loathe the thought of failing at something and then trying to pawn it off as "whatever, I didn't really want that thing in the first place." Which is funny because you don't really need to do that in your failures. You can fully admit that you wanted something really badly but it wasn't working out and you just knew when to fold. You didn't want to go down with that sinking ship.
The other thing that factors into this behavior of mine is that I think I'd like to live a very poetic life. And what's more poetic than the old "______ conquers all!" ideology? Insert whatever word you want there: love, God, hard work, righteousness. They all work. Being a martyr for what you believe in is a very poetic thought. And especially as someone who humbly considers herself a writer- a poetic life is ideal. I want those moments of  "I tarried and suffered for my convictions!!!" Yea, okay, that sounds like a really nice story. But in the mean time, you're suffering for X amount of time. You are sinking. Your ship is sinking. And you're staying on simply because... well... it makes for a good story. Wow.
And it's the ego in us that wont let us give up some times. And you know, most times it's good to give something all you've got. But it's essential to your well-being to make sure to keep your eyes open for the fine line in the sand when you're fighting a losing battle. And it's alright to have wanted something, and it's still very poetic to have tried. But life is too short to worry about your ego so much. Let it go. Admit that you failed, and look for the lesson in it. Some times the endeavor wasn't ever going to work, no matter how hard you tried. So just enjoy the experience and the thrill you got from working for something.
On a semi-unrelated note, I'll end with another ad-libbed story I recently read somewhere (not a clue where, sorry). I think it really hits home for remembering to enjoy your moments and not worry so much about stuff:
There was a gentleman who loved to have company over for dinner and tea. He would always invite his guests over and after dinner, they would socialize and drink tea while he washed all of the dishes from the meal. One evening, a guest asked the host if he would allow him to wash the dishes FOR him so that he could enjoy the company. The host informed the guest: You may wash the dishes, but only if you do it the right way. The guest was amused, and inquired what the "proper" way to wash the dishes was. The host answered him, "You must WASH the dishes. Do not wash them while thinking about looking forward to drinking your tea. Washing the dishes is an experience in and of itself. Enjoy it. It is the same as if you drink your tea while thinking about tomorrow. You are not actually drinking your tea at all. Enjoy the moment you are in, not the one you are looking forward to."


Yasemin Turan.

I know it's two in one day, but I can't stop listening to this girl's youtube channel. This song in particular is just stunning: the imagery, tune, her voice... the combination is pure comfort.


Holiday Fun.

Okay I know Halloween is over, but I just saw this and couldn't help but repost.
Absolutely amazing.


Come Alive.

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

-Howard Thurman.


Vulnerability Part 2.

I'm sure I've talked about this before but today I want to talk about Vulnerability. Partially because I watched this amazing video on Ted.com about it and it really made me feel inspired. PS, have you heard of Ted.com? It's ahhhhmazing.
Brene Brown gave a speech about vulnerability and how it is both good and bad. Which I SO identified with because I have those moments. The times when I open myself up and I feel so refreshed, and moments when I have my vulnerability trampled on and wish I'd never let anyone in. Getting shut down is never a pleasant feeling, I don't care who you ask. And I know several people who have opened themselves up to things only to get shut down and it completely wrecks them. Their brains tell them that they've done something "wrong" and for some reason they start to feel like the only way to right it is to close up. Which I think, like, they did something wrong. But many times the thing that was wrong wasn't that they allowed themselves to be vulnerable, but that they did it in environments that weren't trustworthy. You need to be careful where you place your vulnerabilities. Because sharing them with people who don't deserve it can be destructive. But sharing them with people who deserve it can yield you the greatest rewards of anything you could ever do. Sharing will build you trust, and create bonds with people that never could have occurred if you remain closed off to the world.
Through this I have realized that I am sort of a vulnerability-addict. I will tell you absolutely anything about my life's struggles because I feel like it's that connection to other people (often through vulnerability) that makes bonds between us. I don't suspect that many people bond over having easy lives. We, as people, bond over our frailties and our struggles. Watch any great movie or read any great book and take a look at the bonds that people make there. How many characters do you feel a connection with that live seemingly perfect lives? It's always the people who have identifiable flaws with whom we connect. And life is all about our connections that we make, and how those connections make us feel.
But you must be careful of your world around you when you open yourself up. And in any single one of my bad experiences in this life I look at one simple question: Was it me? And hey, sometimes it is. Sometimes I was thoughtless. Sometimes I became someone I should know better than to be. And I make conscious efforts to move away from those poor choices. But sometimes it's NOT me. Sometimes, it's the people and places I was around that need to change the next time around. Sometimes I did everything right, except to trust the wrong people. Made a bad judgement call, you know? So be careful of those, too.
I feel like I'm getting more complex than I need to here, because the message is really simple. It's okay to be imperfect. It's okay to take risks where you make yourself vulnerable. That's where the real leaps forward occur. They don't happen when you "play it safe" by doing the thing that will be the easiest. You move forward by doing the toughest stuff, the stuff that you might get hurt doing. Just be weary and aware of your surroundings when you leap. Don't take risks with people who would be careless with your vulnerabilities. And don't be a person who is careless with other people when they expose themselves. I read somewhere that fear is the cause of almost everything negative that a person can do. Fear of not being accepted, fear of not being loved. Don't be a person who instills that fear in other people, for any reason. Just don't even start that pattern. Be kind, and caring, and loving. Put good out and you'll get good back. I promise.


Fall into Winter.

It's Halloween and all I can think about is how excited I am for Fall & Winter. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, basically. This year I get to spend Thanksgiving in Utah which means I get to play in some snow, finally! I'm also a huge Christmas fan and I am really excited to start getting things ready! Christmas cards, decorating my new house (which hopefully my roommate will be cool with), and looking around for good presents. Lots of chocolate-peppermint stuff and nights of hot cocoa and big fuzzy warm socks! I'm excited for ribbons and shiny wrapping paper. I have never been a person who cares much about getting gifts for Christmas, but I love the idea of giving your loved ones something fun to open and use. So I can hardly wait for that, too. I am looking forward to a mix of a few choice Christmas songs and a lot of Gangster Rap which, for some reason, really puts me in the Holiday spirit. It's time!!


Knowledge Vs. Bliss.

I've been making an effort to become more educated as of late. I notice that a lot of the time when friends and classmates are discussing political or world events, I have no clue what they are talking about. And that's sort of pathetic, considering I sit at a computer all day long with tons of time to learn about the world. So pretty much every day, I spend some time going over the NY Times website and learning about what's going on around me.
But I feel a mixture of emotion when I'm reading this stuff. For one, I'm glad to know about what is happening. This week I've been reading a lot about the earthquake in Turkey, the protests in New York and around the US, and some of the upset in Greece over their government's financial situation (which, I admit, I'm still trying to understand it all). But at the same time, I feel sad. I feel sad to see how many terrible things are happening in the world at any given point in time. The arrests near Wall Street are nearing 1,000 since the middle of last month. There was a shooting in Sarajevo. I mean... I know this kind of stuff happens, but at what point is it important for my sanity to remain peacefully in the dark about some of it?
That's something I've struggled with my whole life, really. I feel like if I were left to my own devices I would walk around with my rose-colored glasses and when bad things happened I'd just cover my eyes. I hate hearing about bad things happening, especially to good people. And I think I could very blissfully remain ignorant of the world's bigger problems if I really wanted to. But then I realize that in order for anything good to come, there has to be some conflict. There has to be challenge in order to pursue better and brighter futures. I mean that in myself as well as the world. And I certainly don't want to be ignorant of why my world is the way it is, nor do I want to stand by watching other people participate while I cross my fingers or play with butterflies.
I guess it all comes down to balance. I already knew that, of course. But there has to be a balance of good and evil, joy and sorrow, complication and simplicity. We can't and wont win all the battles we fight, but that doesn't mean we should be all or nothing about them. Effort. Knowledge. Awareness of the world's problems. But with a little enjoyment for the GOOD things in life mixed in. I can spend an hour reading the newspaper, and spend the next little bit looking at pictures from National Geographic or listening to something beautiful on iTunes. There is good out there too. It's just about finding that balance between both worlds.


Asking For Help Is Helpful.

So today is going to be a day of seriously opening up to you. Prep yo'selves.

I started seeing a therapist, again, recently. I saw a family therapist when I was a kid because, well, I was not a very good little monster and my parents wanted help. At the time, I think I held a grudge against them for it. But now... now I think it was quite possibly the bravest thing they could have done. Therapy is asking for help. It's admitting that you're not perfect and that you can't fix things by yourself. Rather than being stubborn and arrogant and thinking you have all the answers (ps- you DON'T), you're admitting that you could really use a little assistance. We honestly could all use a little help some days. I wont judge people who think therapy isn't for them. But for me- I live in a world where I need to rely on my own gut and instincts to survive it. And if I feel like my mind isn't doing such a hot job of making good choices, asking for a personal trainer to get my mind to pique performance is a good idea. So I made an appointment. So far, so good.

First of all, I want to say why I'm sharing something so personal on a public forum. It's because I want to admit my flaws to other people, as well as to myself. Because I post a lot of self-help kind of stuff on here and if anyone reads this, I want them to know that asking for help is huge a part of self-help. And that's not only okay, but something to be proud of if you ask me. I like myself, therefore I think it's important to get all the help I can get to make myself better. And if you like yourself, and care about yourself, you know that you're worth doing whatever it takes to get yourself to the best you can be.

I also want to share my journey with you because it will most likely be a big part of my life from here on out. I'm not embarrassed to be working on myself, and I think that opening up about it will really help anyone else out there who feels anything like the way I feel.

This week I learned a few things in my appointment. For starters, I learned that I have some problems with co-dependency. That was the main thing we discussed this session. I already knew that, so it wasn't groundbreaking in the sense that I had an "aha" moment. But I did learn some things that I can do to help work on it. My therapist gave me a book to read as well as a group I can go to if I feel like it. Kinda cool that they have a group for co-dependant people. A little ironic, but it seems like sharing your trials and how you've solved them might not be a terrible idea. I'm willing to check it out. There's also a pretty cool website that you can go to called meetup.com where you can make friends who share the same interests as you. Thought that was cool too. I have a lot of people in my life who I am dependant on and who aren't great influences on me, so it will be good to branch out to find new people who might have similar goals to mine, that way I can have more positive influences and work towards doing things that are good for me (my goals usually are) while not isolating myself. My therapist says that it's good that I find the things that I like to do, but it's important not to isolate myself because then I will be lonely and latch onto the wrong people again simply out of loneliness. Makes sense, I suppose.

Anyways, I'm excited to start this journey. There are a lot of things that I have realized about myself even in the past week or two, and it's all been sorta empowering. I'm learning what things I like and more importantly what it means to say "no" to people and activities that I don't need in my life. I've always been a pretty open person, so if anyone has questions or anything about this stuff, please feel free to ask me on here in a comment or send me an email. It's my hope that my being open and honest about this stuff will help anyone who struggles with self-esteem or the like as well. We're all imperfect. But (more importantly) we're all worth fixing.


Ear Holes.

I literally cannot stop listening to this song. It's perfect for one of those hazy lazy day drives.


Life IS Sweet.

I am doing much better this week than the last few weeks (I haven't wanted to post about feeling crummy because it's depressing!).
We all have rough patches. The last time I went through a tough time, I feel like I posted a lot of stuff on here that was more or less crap. Inspirational and actually helpful to me now, but not 100% honest. At the beginning of the year this year, I had a really tough time. My posts here were my attempt to convince myself that I was going to be fine, but deep down I was pretty depressed. And I can admit that now. For a while, more recently, I was feeling that all too familiar feeling of hopelessness. Holly Golightly called it The Mean Reds, "Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of." It's a crappy feeling. And I have had my mornings of that lately, but it's been encouraging that it hasn't been anything lasting more than a day or so. Earlier this year it was much worse. Which is sort of pathetic since I had so many great things going on, but all I could feel was this hollowness where I just didn't know what to do about it except escape. But not now.
Here's the thing, and I hope this hasn't been too depressing for you so far because it's about to get better, life is HARD. I know, right?? And life will always BE hard. It's never going to get easier or less complex. I read somewhere that life is a journey- a process. And people get so caught up in this goal-oriented style of living (which is usually a good thing) that they begin to frustrate themselves when life doesn't stop getting difficult at the conclusion of a particular task. But it never stops and that's why people need to focus more on healthy living habits as opposed to definitive goals. Don't get me wrong- goals are important too. It's good to work toward something and it's the only way to accomplish the THINGS that you want to achieve in your life. But I think it's much more important to figure out how to live the lifestyle that will bring you the most peace and satisfaction with who you become at the end of each day.
It's with this knowledge that I am much happier through this rough patch of my life. Because while I am making some solid goals to travel, go back to school for my Bachelors Degree, and move into a less toxic environment- I am concentrating more on the day to day lifestyle changes that will ultimately bring me happiness no matter what comes along. I'm not running away or distracting myself with false claims of peace. For the first time in a really, really long time I am meeting my life head on. I'm tackling the things that have brought me sorrow and figuring out ways to battle them in the future. I'm making plans of the lifestyle that I want, as opposed to the events I want to plan for specific dates that will come and go. And of course, I'm not perfect. Every day is a challenge for me and some days I sort of feel like I'm so far off course it's hard to get back... but I've been getting back. I'm getting back on track and every time I do it it's a more rapid approach, which is encouraging. Maybe I'm just getting better at being "me." Or at least becoming more familiar with who "me" is and therefore finding it easier to find myself again. Life is Sweet. Just remember that it gets better the more you practice living it the best way that you can.


Daily Purpose.

I got to thinking today about what people can and do accomplish in their lives. Don't ask me to backtrack on it because it would take forever due to a day spent sandwiched somewhere between reading Self-Help books and browsing National Geographic's website. In all fairness I also spent a good portion of my day watching Family Guy on Hulu, so it's not like I was deep in thought ALL day long.
I was wondering to myself... what things are important to me? What things do I want to do, on a daily basis, and if all I ever do is those things- I will feel as if I've lived a full life? And here is what I came up with. If I can do each of these things every day, no matter HOW bad my day is, it will be a success.

1. Make someone feel good.
2. Learn or see something new.
3. Stop and really look at the world around me.
4. See something simple and beautiful.
5. Laugh.

What's your list?

PS here is something pretty for your ear holes!!


Sleep is for the Sheep.

Do you ever have one of those days? Today is, for me, one of those days. I haven't had a proper night's sleep in over 4 days, since I went out to visit my sisters in Colorado this weekend. It was just a mixture of staying up too late and plain old restlessness. So of course last night I finally came home to my familiar bed- expecting to sleep like a baby- and didn't sleep a wink. Okay, maybe a wink but no more than an hour. This happens to me sometimes and without warning. And it reminds me how very, very, VERY important sleep is for me to function. As such, everything seems more hopeless than it really is.
I was talking to a friend of mine who is having some emotional problems and she asked me about some of the self-help books I am reading. I told her that the books help, but the absolute most important thing you can do for yourself if you're feeling emotionally strained or drained is to take extra good care of yourself. Shelter yourself from negative outside forces by ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Eat plenty of good, healthy food. Drink more water than normal. And get lots and lots of sleep. If you're feeling frazzled, it's your body telling you that it needs some extra attention. Take vitamins and stretch. Go for a scenic drive or hike. Sometimes our soul is just pissed off at being ignored for too long. Treat yourself to a spa day or paint something pretty. I like to watch Amelie or any other artsy movie. Be selfish with your time. You wont have much to show for yourself if you don't take time to cater to your own needs and wants.
As such- I am beyond excited to get some sleep tonight. If I have to knock my own lights out, this is happening.


Knowles Knows.

I read an interview with Beyonce this morning that I thought was pretty cool. I honestly don't pay a whole lot of attention to her, usually, but found her views on motherhood and marriage to be really refreshing and thought I'd share them with you.
On the subject of preparing to be a Mom: It was important to me that I take the time to focus on becoming the woman I want to be, building my empire, my relationship, and my self-worth, before I became a mother.
On her famous marriage to Jay-Z: We have been together since I was 20 years old. We took our time and developed an unbreakable friendship before we got married. ...like anything great and successful in your life, marriage takes hard work and sacrifice. It has to be something you and your husband both deeply want. The best thing about marriage is the amount of growth you have because you can no longer hide from your fears and insecurities. There's someone right there calling you out on your flaws and building you up when you need the support. If you are with the right person, it brings out the best version of both of you.
... I don't know. I really, really love her perspective on both of those things. This is not me sitting here saying I want to be a mom right now, or even a wife. My views on both of those roles have changed drastically in the past few years. I used to want to have those things by a certain deadline. I think it was somewhat expected of me and so I was more or less impartial to the details so much as the timing. We, as women, are on a physical deadline for starting a family. And it's a scary thought some times. But I'm always in such a rush. I like the concept of developing an unbreakable sense of self before I try to involve anyone else in the equation. I like the concept of developing an unbreakable friendship with a person before moving forward romantically with them. It's just... cool.


New Girl.

Some big changes are happening in my life, and I couldn't be more excited about them. I think that the funny thing is that I am always so scared to make changes but when I do I always- every single time- end up coming out the other side so much happier. So I'm not sure why I get so freaked out to embrace change when it happens. I guess that'll be something I need to work on.
For starters: I no longer have Nora. I know. I'm a terrible pet owner. I always said I would never be one of those people who gives away an animal, but I felt that it was the right thing to do. I am hardly home and even when I am home, I'd rather not be. I've thought for years that I was such a homebody but as it turns out I'm really not. I like to go out and go camping, hiking, hang out with my friends, see movies, all that stuff. And it was becoming increasingly unfair to Nora to have her sit in the yard all day with no one to play with. So I gave to to a friend of mine a few weeks ago. I have seen her since, however, and I can tell that she is SO much happier there. Which makes me confident that I made the right decision.
Change number two is the biggest change of all. I am moving. Not far, just to the next town over. But it's far enough that I'm hoping to cut some drama out of my life and move forward into the next phase. I've lived in a condo with 3 other girls for the past nearly 6 years, and it's time to move on. The girls have rotated in and out through the house and I'm the only person left from the original group that lived there. Which, I think has given me some sense of longevity but at the same time has put a lot of pressure on me. I've become kind of the one "in charge" of a lot of stuff that I've gladly taken on as my responsibilities since I've been there the longest. But it's a lot of pressure on me that I don't need. My new house has way less people and will be a great environment since it's someone else's house and I don't have to shoulder all the responsibility of everything. It will be good for me to take my hands off most things. Between my house, my work, and my pet-owning responsibilities... I have just been feeling a lot of pressure to be someone I never signed up to be, simply because I'm the type of person willing to step in when something is needed.
November will be the turning over of a new leaf, and I'm thrilled at the prospect of all these changes. Changes are really just opportunities to grow, and I have every intention of doing just that. Growing and evolving, yet simplifying. I want to hold onto ONLY the things and people in my life that I positively need, and let go of the rest. The next few months are going to be a whirlwind but I'm embracing it. I'll probably even start making goals again once I have time to catch my breath! I'll be sure to keep you posted.


It's Been a Pleasure.

I'll share a little story with you. A few years ago, I used to work for a company where my employer also asked me to babysit his kids a few times a week. It was totally no big deal and I enjoyed the change of scenery very much. I think I was their sitter for somewhere around 4 or 5 years.
When I first started watching the kids, it wasn't my cup of tea. Not that I minded children. I mean, I've been an aunt for 17 years. But it was boring. And while I looooove my nieces and nephews, other people's kids can be pretty annoying. Especially bratty ones who's parents give them whatever they want. So what started out as a refreshing detour from the daily grind became an annoyance that I didn't much look forward to. I'd give the kids stuff to do to keep them busy, I'd plop them down in front of the TV... pretty much whatever would get them out of my hair.
One day, and I don't remember what caused it, I just stopped. I decided that I was going to start enjoying my job. I thought of activities that would be fun for the kids. I took them places in their parents (SWEET) car. We played games and watched cartoons. And suddenly, it wasn't work anymore. I wasn't going to their house to babysit, I was going to their house to hang out. And it changed everything. I started to enjoy my time with these kids, and they started to really gain an affinity for me as well. We were just a bunch of kids, having fun and playing. And I loved it, and miss those times to this day.
But isn't that SO how  life is? We go to our jobs, sit in our relationships, deal with our parents or roommates... and just look at it like work. Ugh, I HAAAAVE to do this thing. And it's like... that's not a life, man. You're going to live a long time (hopefully) and there are going to be a lot of things that can be seen as "work." So the way I see it, you can either bum out on it and take it seriously and wait for the fun to start. OR you can make the work fun. Relax. Don't take it all so seriously. Play games, eat chocolate for breakfast (not all the time, of course!), go play in the rain. You can always hop in a warm shower and eat whole grains later. Life isn't so serious, after all. It's just a matter of how you look at it.
I think that, for me, I spend a lot of my time looking through these "self-help" blogs and trying to perfect myself. I want to hone in on who and what I should be, and that's really great. It is. But it's important that I also take the time to enjoy who I am. My failures are, on most occasions, sort of amusing. My flaws make me unique. I keep asking people how to help me FIX me, rather than just developing myself into a person that I can enjoy and love. Flaws and all. And maybe that's been my biggest problem all along: I'm a fixer. I'm a doer. I'm an evolutionist. Evolve, grow, develop- yes. But most importantly: Enjoy. Enjoy my life, my friends, my cat... just enjoy it all. When it's all put in perspective, enjoyment may well be life's biggest lesson.
(Ps I know you've seen this picture already. I just love it that much.)


Anything you want, you got it.

Due to recent events in my life, I have decided to downgrade it. To simplify it. I wont get into what events because, quite frankly, they're irrelevant. The fact remains that my life has been on a particular path. One in which things have become complicated and overcrowded.
My mind is like my home. And one day, I decide to have a party at my house. Good idea, right? Totally. So I start sending invitations out to this person or that person. I worry that so-and-so will be offended if I invite his best friend but not him, so I invite him. I kind of start to lose control of who is coming. And it sort of becomes an open-invitation party. So they all show up, and lots of them are people I don't even know in the first place, but I don't want to turn them away so I open the door. And before I know it, my house is a mess. People are throwing party cups on my carpet floors. I've got some douche smoking a cigarette in my living room. It's gone completely out of my control. Damn.
The only thing to do is to clear everyone out. And that's what I'm sort of doing. Clearing out the party so that I can straighten everything up, spray some Febreeze, and just bask in some peace and quiet. It's not to mean I can't have parties anymore, only that I need to be a bit more particular as to who I invite. And just invite those people who respect my house.
I was watching the movie Eat Pray Love recently and saw the scene where they're discussing what their "word" would be. I asked myself what mine was and I was surprised how quickly it came to me. Evolve. My life is about evolution in and of myself. I really think I came into this world a VERY blank slate and it took me a long time to realize just how influential I am as a person. I am the least stubborn person I know (although I know people who would disagree), and I can adapt to nearly anything without too much of a struggle. These are things about myself that I fought against for YEARS because I thought they were character flaws. It has only been recently that I'm seeing what incredible gifts they really are. I'm learning more and more that my adaptability has been my greatest asset. I mean, if I stuck by who I was when I was 19 and refused to change, I would probably have A) A great deal more tattoos and B) made a LOT more mistakes. Letting go of yesterday (see: evolution) can be our best chance of survival. And I know that I have that power in me- I just need to harness it and hone in on the portion where I let go of the things that aren't working in my life. 
I have a quote taped to my computer at work that says: Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense (Ralph Waldo Emerson). I'd like to think that could be my evolutionary credo. Change. Let go of what was and embrace what is. I like that.
So what's next on my path to evolution? I'd like to think quite a bit. I spent the early parts of this year making goals and proving to myself that I am capable of accomplishment. And I did that on my own, which was a first for me. These are things I'd like to continue, of course. But I also spent a lot of time this year, looking almost too far forward. I think I had a lot of aspirations, and that's absolutely fantastic. But some days (and I've heard this from other people) I would write these blogs that were like, "who is she trying to convince?" You know? What was I trying to prove, and to whom? So I think that my aim, my aspiration, for this point in my life- is to figure out what I want to convince MYSELF of. I want to throw a lot of the party outside. Just for a bit. I promise not to recluse- because that's not healthy. But I've been spending a lot of time lately trying to decipher what things I like to do and then: doing them. Like, what I'm doing and what I'm saying needs to be because it's what I want to do and say, and not because I'm trying to convince anyone that, you know, "I'm fine," or "I'm exciting." I've had friendships in my past where I haven't felt them reciprocated and I'd like to clear them out to make room for the people who actually make me feel good. I hung out with my friend Kim recently and after I left realized that my cheeks actually hurt from laughing so hard. Do you know when the last time that happened was? I don't... maybe when I was like 15. And that's what friendships are supposed to be like. I want those friendships I had when I was 8, where they're carefree and simple. Where it's not hours upon hours spent talking about dramatic events but a lost track of time spent laughing at nothing.
Simplicity. That's what I want. And if there is one thing I've learned this past year, it's that I'm halfway decent at setting goals and completely nailing them.


A Valiant Effort.

As a foreword: I am actually going to write something today. Not just quote someone else! But the quote IS relevant so read on.
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, in the end knows the triumph in high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those of cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.   -Theodore Roosevelt.
Wow. What an incredible quote, if you ask me. I guess it's encouraging when you can realize that even when you may be hurting, even when you may be failing, it's only because you actually tried something. You cannot have failure without having put out some effort, right? And while failures aren't very much fun while you're in the midst of them, it's empowering to know what it was that brought you there. It was a sense of belief that you could do it. It was a conscious effort on your part to make something that is into something that could be. I'd like to think that's what life is about: the drive and the strive to hope for what you believe to be possible. It's like another quote I've been repeating to myself for a few weeks now: At the end of your life, you're far more likely to regret the things you didn't do over the things you did.



Sorry for the lack of originality lately, but here is something that struck a chord with me today. My brain is still taking a vacation from blogging.

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be...When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the Orange on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.
-Carl Rogers



Less is more. Say less, listen more.
Own less things, and you'll experience more freedom.



Stories, like people and butterflies and songbird's eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks. Or they are words on the air, composed of sounds and ideas- abstract, invisible, gone once they are spoken- and what could be more frail than that? But some stories, small simple ones about setting out on adventures or people doing wonders, tales of miracles and monsters, have outlasted all the people who told them, and some of them have outlasted the lands in which they were created.

-Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things.



 It's almost over.
Do something about it today.


Happy Life.

I read a blog today that talked about how to "Live a Happy Life." I actually haven't finished the entry just yet because I stopped in the middle of it to follow this exercise and was so amused when I did.
It asked us to think about what we enjoyed doing as a child. Our gifts, most likely, hadn't changed. And the blog entry suggested that we ought to consider what made us happy once upon a time in order to decipher what would make us happy now. So I started to make a list of the top 5 things that I used to do as a kid that made me the most happy. When I finished, I laughed out loud at myself. Here is my list:

1. Write Stories
2. Play Outside (ride bikes, tennis, etc.)
3. Play with animals
4. Listen to my sister's radio and my brother's CDs. I also loved to make mixed tapes.
5. Play pretend- be it with Barbies, my play kitchen, or a game we used to play wherein we would make up our dream life.

How funny is it that all of the things I loved as a kid are currently my favorite things to do? Writing, getting outside. Playing with animals?? Mixing CDs for my friends and downloading new music? Even the play pretend is funny since one of my favorite things to do is daydream about how I want to spend the upcoming days of my life. I plan vacations. I imagine my future home when I have money to decorate it. Teaching myself how to cook... it's all who I am today.

I guess I'm on track after all.
Maybe you could try it now: what made you happy as a kid? Are you still on track?



It's been one of those weeks. After months of unfocused thoughts and carefree (and often forgetful) actions, this has been one of those weeks of reflection. And as the days have continued passing forward, I have grown increasingly introspective and peaceful... probably more peaceful than I've felt in a really, really long time. I think that sometimes I can get into this mode where I need to be surrounded by other people, mainly to distract myself from my own mind. I don't trust myself, and I don't feel comfortable in my own skin. "What will people think if I do this?" or "Am I giving the right impression?" become my main motivation for about 90% of the things that I do. My conversations aren't sincere and I'm just quite frankly not being myself. Maybe because I'm scared to. Maybe because I have a history of not being very self-confident. But this week has been different.
For the first time in possibly years, I feel like I'm resting. Like my life is going exactly the way it will go, and that I can allow that to happen. I'm accepting any discomfort in my personal life with open arms and welcoming them as opportunities to grow. I'm not rushing to BE anybody to anyone. Not to anyone but myself. For the first time in years, honestly, I really really am okay with me. I think that I've been doing a lot better at that since early this year when I started trying to be more goal-oriented and optimistic. But there were still a lot of really hard days in there, and I still fought some demons. I still felt uneasy and I couldn't figure out why. But now I think I'm starting to get it... I wasn't being ME. I start acting the way I want people to perceive me and a lot of times that means behaving in ways that are sort of alien to what I'm really comfortable with. It's not natural for me and while I appear to be fine with it, I'm battling against it inside. Any behaviors including me being stubborn, or closed minded, or definitive... that's not who I am. Who I am is ever changing. Who I am is malleable, and peace-loving. Who I am is someone who knows when I'm acting in a way different to my nature, but occasionally tries to do what I think "better" people will do because I don't trust myself. And you know... I'm learning that trusting myself isn't the worst thing. I'm learning that my instincts are pretty good ones to trust in.
I think that a lot of the time, people lose faith in themselves. Mostly out of insecurity, of course. But that's not the weird part. The weird part is that when it HAPPENS, we have a tendency to feel guilty or "unnatural" about it. We try to be someone who we're not, in order to please an audience who is just as imperfect as we are. And this, my darlings, is where the real stuff happens. Because now we are battling against ourselves, and we can't escape that. We can't escape our own mind or our own conscience no matter where we try to hide. When we try to behave in ways against our nature, we are telling our ego that it is wrong, and our ego can be a real pouty bitch if it wants to. I've always felt that our egos are so sensitive because we all work REALLY hard and for our entire lives to become the type of person that we think is "the best." So when someone (or worse yet, we ourselves) tell our ego that all that work is crap... well, our ego is going to get really upset and battle against those kind of thoughts. And no one can make you feel as bad as you can make yourself feel if you really put your mind to it. 
I don't even know if I'm making any sense anymore to anyone except myself here. Ha. What I can say is that self-acceptance is a beautiful thing. Accepting that you're imperfect, accepting that you're a work in progress. Accepting that if you're in a room alone, you've got everyone you need- and that everyone else is a really wonderful added bonus. I don't need anyone to assure me that I don't suck. I don't need any more pairs of pretty shoes to feel worthwhile. Those things are great, and I'm not saying they hurt. But I don't NEED them. Ultimately what I'm saying is, everything will be okay. It will always be okay. You just have to trust in yourself and believe that life is meant to be a positive experience for you. Just don't go effing it up by trying to convince yourself otherwise.


Absence makes the blog grow fonder?

Hi darlings! Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. And not that this is a promise to post today... life is busy and I have been trying to focus my attention on other things right now. I guess you could say that my goals for September are to be living my life rather than spending hours a day blogging about it. I will be back soon, I promise. I love you all.



How cool is this chandelier?? I have no clue where it's from, but I found it online a few days ago. In other news, I started school last night. Pretty excited about that. I suspect that I wont have much time for blogging the next little bit mainly because I will be focusing on my writing projects. But I would like to go over September Goals, which I think I will do tomorrow.
August Goals went alright. Not great, but that's okay. I haven't made an appointment with my counselor but I DID completely block myself from spending any money on my credit cards. I also did not finish the Superhero book I was reading because it got REALLY boring about a quarter of the way through it's 450 pages. But I did start and finish reading Stealing Faces, a thriller that Amazon recommended to me. It was good. I'm going to see how it goes the next few weeks with school and if it's looking like I have enough time to dedicate to it I would like to start reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Great success at spending some more "girl friend" time this month. A handful of my closest girlfriends and I have been doing a weekly girls night at my house, which has been really fun! We usually watch a movie and make something good for dinner and it's been a great way to get together and just hang out. I'm a complete homebody so going out to clubs or bars hasn't been my thing, whereas eating dinner at home and chatting about what is going on in each other's lives has been really cool.
Sorry if this post isn't very exciting today. I've been running around at work and at home and haven't had time for much of anything else. Laundry is piling up and I desperately need to get outside and walk Nora more often but there hasn't been much free time for that stuff. Not that I'm complaining, but it's always nice to have spare time. Oh well... another lifetime!!