Its sort of amazing... when push comes to shove and you realize just how much your mind is making a mockery of your life. Not your brain, but your mind. That part of you that makes mountains of molehills, and tells you that you can't do things you always dreamt you could. It's like... I guess it's like holding your breath underwater for a really long time. You're holding your breath and that feeling in your chest is heavy. So heavy that it sinks down into your stomach. And you have let bubble after bubble of air escape until everything is gone. And then you break the surface and take that GIANT breath into your once empty lungs and you realize that there is still life in you. That your whole world has been, until this moment, underwater. Glazed over and chlorinated. Your eyes have been foggy and everything you thought you knew as one way is suddenly more vibrant and clear. Humans are not fish. We are not meant to live underwater. And it's like you suddenly realize something that should have been so obvious all along... you actually BELONG up here.
I feel like a lot of things have been happening for me in the past few years. And from a spiritual standpoint I suppose it should be obvious that this is all a part of "the plan." Maybe I've had a few trials thrown my way. And at the time I guess I was so underwater that the reasons were still foggy and unclear. And my mind was taking those unclear images and turning them into bigger and badder things. Setbacks became brick walls- coming between me and where I needed to get to. "This is hard," became "This is impossible." And the impossible meant that I should just give up.

Living in Southern California, in such a relaxed atmosphere, it's easy to get lazy. And for me, it's even easier to get lazy because I am, by nature, not a very ambitious person. Not in a bad way but merely that I am someone who takes a much more laid back approach to life. I don't get caught up in competition, or worrying that I'm not like other people in my demographic. I think I learned at a young age that I wasn't like the other kids in my family or classes at school. And I embraced that in the only way I knew how- to just exist as who I was and no one else. Pretty healthy approach, really. But in existing, I forgot to strive for more. Not more than anyone else had, but more than I had. I didn't care if I had a fancy car or the hottest boyfriend. I wanted to be simple and happy and at peace with where I was at that moment. Except that I never anticipated the next moment. And while I sat there, happy as a clam, I lost sight of making goals and having ambitions for myself. To further my character and my life. And then something terrible happened. I got bored.

Boredom could possibly be one of the greatest enemies of the American woman today. Boredom creates drama, it creates laziness, it creates wallowing. Not challenging yourself means not growing, and not growing means stagnancy. The thing about stagnancy is that you can get so comfortable that you feel like this is "it" for you. This is where you belong. And the thought of moving again starts to seem so arduous that you figure "hey, I got HERE, didn't I? Here is good enough." But HERE isn't good enough. To be 27 and have arrived Here with no more stories or adventures is just damn depressing. And if you're lucky, something will come along and kick you right in your lazy ass. For me it took a number of things... because I can be as stubborn and lazy as they come.

When I had my surgery, it rocked me. Not physically, and not emotionally per se. But hearing words tossed around like "Chemo" and "Bypass Surgery" shook me up like a damn soda bottle. I was 27, things like this happen to people who are older. People who have really LIVED. And then I thought about it... have I though? Have I lived? What did I have to show for a 27 year old? A cat. I fully owned a cat. And it occurred to me that life isn't about what I owned, but the experiences that I had. The stories I could tell. And trust me, I've got some stories. So once I fully healed from my surgery, I intended to really take care of myself and live the life I was meant to. And I meant it, I really did. But as time passed something awful happened again. I got bored. I had a comfortable relationship and a comfortable life. And there were plenty of stories happening all around me every day. Some I was even involved in. So time passed and I stayed where I was.

And then my relationship ended, and I realized that I needed to take some time for myself. Time to figure out where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. Find my own stories to tell. And something happened, and the next thing I knew I was sitting in a hospital in Colorado holding my comatose sister's hand. Life is so fragile, it's so fleeting. And nothing can hit home that message like the possibility of losing a loved one. I sank underwater again. I couldn't tell what was up and what was down, images became so cloudy in my mind that I lost my own thoughts. What did family mean to me? What did my life mean any more? I could handle mortality when it was me in the hospital gurney, but seeing my sister laying there was a whole 'nother ballgame. My big sister- who I had always admired more than anything in the world. And I knew that if I was going to stay on this Earth, it was going to have to start MEANING something. But how did I get there?

Lucky for me I had some help in that arena. That kick in the ass that I needed, inspiring me that moving forward was possible. And like a surfboard leash does after a giant wave, it dragged me upside down to the surface. I have to admit, it's been the first breath of fresh air to my lungs in quite a while.

And so now here we sit. I am seeing things so much more clearly lately. Almost to a point where I'm scaring myself. Life is fragile, and short. And I am happy, always. And satisfied with who and where I am. But there's more to life than today. I want to strive. I want to do WELL, and have stories to tell. Stories that will wow people. Experiences that I can look back on and say "I lived, I went forward." A friend of mine and I were talking last week about how people in Orange County can get so lazy that it's almost a part of the culture. But I'm setting out to prove that I can be laid back without being lazy. I can be awesome. I can not only surface, but I can excel.



My friend's wife must think I stalk her blog with the amount of stuff that I swipe from it but she just ALWAYS has the greatest stuff on there. In case she reads this- thank you, this quote rocks.


Mumford and Sons.



I am beyond tempted to buy this for my room. I love it. A lot.


Thought for today.


How about this.

It has been my experience, in recent years, to make full utilization of the "how about this" approach. Let me explain to you how this works: In any person's life there are going to be personal trials brought forward by events or people out of their control. And I think that it is a natural reaction for any human being to reject this loss of control and to fight against it. I suspect there is a pattern of reaction, going something like
1. Rejection
2. Upset
3. Bargaining
4. More upset upon realizing you can't bargain
5. Acceptance
6. "How about this."
Initially we reject anything we find undesirable in our lives. We feel that if it wasn't our idea and it doesn't fit our "ideals," we want no part in it. This is followed by a general Upset over the situation. We get angry, frustrated, etc. We fight it and try to argue why it should not be. In some cases, this may work. But when it does not, we switch into bargaining mode. "Okay, life. If you're going to be like that, I'm going to do this." Or, "I will allow this action, pending that I react this way. And my reaction is completely acceptable because of your action." To be quite frank, this is a pretty dumb thing to do. Because even if the compromise is made, you have to believe it is a fair trade. You have to believe it 100% or else you will feel begrudging over the issue. Most of the time, even when a compromise is made it isn't held up for this reason. Forced compromise rarely is. Which obviously leads to my step 4- more upset at failure.
The next step takes you into a different approach. Acceptance. We accept that not everything in our lives is going to go our way. And here is where my "how about this" approach steps in. I tend to look at scenarios like this as unavoidable. Life hands you crap some times and you just have to take it. Or a scenario you expected to play out as such, simply does not. So you factor in the how about this. Which for me goes: How about this- you're going to do what you want. I can not control that. How about you do that thing, and I just exist the best that I can. How about that? I find this approach particularly effective when dealing with difficult people in my life, as opposed to scenarios. How about YOU be difficult. And how about I just do my thing, be happy, and continue to aim towards being the best ME that I can be. How about that? Because no one wins by being an angry person, or spiteful, or jealous. No one wins by consuming themselves with another person's silly actions over their own. I can control ONE thing in this world: myself. So how about I focus on controlling that, as opposed to controlling anything or anyone else? How about that?
When someone pisses you off, or makes you sad- try shutting their actions out completely. Instead, simply focus on yourself and no matter what that person is doing to upset you just work on making YOU a better, more awesome, more fun person. If someone seems to intend on jeopardizing your happiness, work on finding it yourself rather than looking to someone else to give it to you.
If you want to be happy, be. How about this?