Reminder to myself:

It’s not about having everything be the way you want it to be;
It’s about having a chance to change the way things are.

It’s not about how many people care about you;
It’s about listening to the people who tell you the truths you don’t want to hear.

It’s not about being the most beautiful, desirable woman in the room;
It’s about seeing beauty in everyone and desiring to be only yourself.

It’s not about making the most money or having the most toys;
It’s about what you do with that money and with whom you share your toys.

It’s not about how many lovers you’ve had or hearts you’ve broken;
It’s about learning to love truly, deeply and with tenderness for the heart you’re holding.

It’s not about being the best, the brightest or the most admired;
It’s about finding the best in your fellow man and telling him so.

It’s not about being the most powerful or strongest;
It’s about using your strength to help those who are weak.

It’s not about shouting boastfully to be heard;
It’s about letting your actions speak your truth.

It’s not about proving a point;
It’s about keeping your mind open.

It’s not about what you say;
It’s about how you say it.

It’s not about the end of the life;
It’s about the journey that came before it.

The Mad Ones

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 
― Jack KerouacOn the Road

I’m sure you’ve met people like Mr. Kerouac describes and they either frighten, fascinate or just plain freak you out. I’ve met a few in my life so far and they instill in me the deep desire to throw off the ties that keep me behaving “correctly” and just go balls out in my quest to live my life. I admire these people greatly because they seem to have come to the conclusion that this is a limited time offer and they are not going to waste one second of it wishing things were different. They just live their life, passionately, fully and with a great love for every minute of it. These people seem to have been able to break things down into their simplest form; enjoy each and every minute of life and squeeze from it every drop of enjoyment possible. I believe that this is one of the secrets of living a long and happy life; keep it simple. Be who you are, fully and without apologies. If you come across as mad, consider it a compliment. I would rather be “mad” and true to myself and my life than “sane” and faking it. Society will love you one day and crucify you the next, so isn’t it better to live your life by your code rather than a nameless, faceless group of people who don’t even know you? Too often, I think we don’t trust ourselves to know who we are, exactly. But that is the beauty of Life; our growth as a human being is (hopefully) constant and therefore, able to change. I have the ability to make changes, to improve upon myself and to learn. I’ll be learning and changing and growing up until the day I die and beyond that, too. The more I live, the greater my desire is to fully enjoy each day, each person I encounter and each bit of beauty displayed before me; to be one of the mad ones.

Love

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

I have found at various points in my life, that love was the motivating force behind my thoughts, my actions and my happiness. I looked for it everywhere I went, in every pair of eyes I gazed into, every set of lips that spoke to me and every hand that touched me. I felt that I would recognize my soul mate, the one true love, my one and only, forever in love, partner for life individual when I met him. I desperately wished to have that “lighter than air” feeling, walk around with a silly smile on my face and dreamy eyes, out of focus just enough to soften the harsh images of reality; I wanted to be loved. Completely, unabashedly and unconditionally. Funny thing was, as soon as someone would profess their love for me, I would instantly feel my heart stop beating, I would break out in a cold sweat and feel claustrophobic deep inside my soul. So much pressure! Someone now loves me, which means I have to be everything to them, for them and with them. Their very happiness lies in my words, my actions and how I treat them. Within 3 – 6 months, I would find a way to free myself from this new-found love and run as fast as my little feet would carry me in the direction of solitude and safety.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was absolutely clueless about what being loved and loving really meant. I thought of it as more of an ownership of someone, rather than a sharing of two souls who recognize and are drawn to each other. It wasn’t until much later in life that I was able to understand that love does give you strength, courage and the will to live, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all state of being or emotion.

There are many, many different kinds of love and endless numbers of people experiencing those different shades of love every day. Love is not a set thing, it’s fluid, ever-changing, growing as we grow, as our relationships grow and circumstances change. Even happy events in life can change a relationship, place stress where there was little to no stress before; the first child a couple has together, the first home they buy, a new job, a promotion. These are all wonderfully positive events, but they still carry their own brand of stress with them. Changing roles, defining or re-defining boundaries and encountering situations they had never thought would happen. On the other side, there are those heart-wrenching events that life brings, such as the loss of a loved one, illness, mental or otherwise, an addiction that is out of control, loss of a job, loss of a home, loss of self-esteem and self-worth. Growing old to me is a reward for making it out of my “wild years” alive, but some people look at it as The End. Every birthday is not a celebration, but a mourning, a loss of youth. Love changes to survive during these times; the caretaker becomes the patient, the quiet one speaks for the one who cannot, the one who always leaned on the other must now bear the weight of both. If we do not bend, we break. If we do not change, we do not grow. If we do not love, we do not truly live.

Thank you to all of you who have loved me, let me lean on you, carried me when I couldn’t walk and drew me out of the darkness. Your love has given me courage when I was afraid, faith when all seemed lost and hope when I couldn’t imagine ever being happy again. Without it, I wouldn’t be here. Love can move mountains, heal wounds and bring back to life what was thought to be lost forever. It’s our most powerful weapon against indifference and hate. Live, laugh, love.

Happy Friday!!!!!

Magpies and Other Annoying Creatures

Magpies, those birds who cannot stop chattering, have long annoyed me in their unending quest to make their presence known. I now have the displeasure of working with someone who reminds me of them. I don’t know what it is about some people who cannot allow a single moment of silence in their day. Are they afraid the quiet will steal their soul? Do they think that if they aren’t talking, that they will become invisible or worse yet, people will forget that they are there? Whatever the reason, as someone who values the quiet and the ability to think clearly without distraction (incessant chattering) I have to say that it takes monumental effort to not walk over and tell said person in THE LOUDEST VOICE POSSIBLE that I would appreciate it if they could just SHUT THEIR PIE HOLE long enough for me to think. Or better yet, go outside and see if you can out-chatter the freaking magpies; I’m pretty sure that would be an attainable goal for this individual.

They are not burdened by the need to have something relevant to speak about or even something interesting. A typical conversation would go something like this, “I saw the sky today and it was blue. It wasn’t really a sky blue, even though it’s the sky and it is blue. No, it was actually kind of a blue-grey, not sure where the grey came from, but I was looking at it and I just kept thinking who decided what color sky blue is? If the color is in the sky, does that mean it’s automatically blue? What if there is a fire somewhere and the smoke from the fire changes the color of the sky? Then is it still sky blue? Now, what was I going to say? Oh yeah, I looked at the sky today and I thought it was pretty. Do you look at the sky in the morning? I mean, it’s always there and I guess some people never look up. That would be the only reason I could think that they wouldn’t see it. My aunt always walked looking down at the ground, so I don’t think she EVER saw the sky. I asked her one time why she’s always looking down and she said that she doesn’t want to trip or that she might find a penny on the sidewalk, which I thought was a great idea. Maybe I should start looking down when I walk…” You get the idea.

Annoying. Totally uninteresting and completely irrelevant. Oh and another thing – I DON’T FREAKING CARE. I came here today to work, to do actual work that has a reason, a deadline and someone needs me to complete it. I didn’t come here to work on my patience or my tolerance, although I should’ve put something extra in my Wheaties this morning to fuel the effort of not exploding on your chattering, idiotic face.

Deep breathing….cleansing breath in, exhaling stress out. I believe this is one of those times when I need to just get up and remove myself from the situation. So, I will be going for a walk in the blissfully quiet outdoors, with only the sound of traffic, jackhammers and sirens to keep me company. I can feel myself relaxing already.

Can’t Buy Me Love?

My best friend has been after me to sign up for one of those online dating services forever and I finally did. My reluctance has always been based on the thought that one shouldn’t have to buy love or pay to find a mate. However, if one confines their experiences to being at work or being at home, it does tend to drastically limit the amount of human interaction. That would be the case with me; I don’t frequent bars, I don’t work out at a gym (or at all, actually) I don’t attend many AA meetings anymore and I don’t have a hobby that involves hanging out with groups of people and/or meeting new people on a regular basis. So, I signed up for 3 months with a popular service. It was very difficult to write my little biography…What are you looking for in a mate? If I knew that, I think I would have already been able to locate it myself. What is your greatest attribute? I guess my incredible intelligence in paying for a service to find someone that I may eventually make a “love connection” with? It’s really difficult to answer honestly without knowing the answer. Would you be open to dating someone with children at home? Do I get to find out if they are beastly little things that will scream incessantly and throw fits on a regular basis before I answer that? Will they run back to their mommy and tell her that daddy is seeing a witch? Or worse, what if they get attached to me and/or I end up liking them more than I like their dad? These are all very important questions and concerns, but I guess the main point as my friend would state is to just put yourself out there and invite the opportunity to meet someone that could possibly be THE ONE.

So far, there have been a half a dozen men that have communicated with me in one way or another and they all seem to have one thing in common; they are in a hurry. They want to skip the guided communication, the answering of standard questions and even the e-mails back and forth and go right to phone calls and then I would guess, in-person meets. Maybe I’ve been away from the dating scene for too long, but I have a difficult time with such a hurry. Ok, so you’ve seen my picture, read my minimalist biography and whatever you’re read has inspired you so greatly that you just can’t wait another minute and simply must, I mean MUST meet me right away? Or will the sound of my voice by the final deciding factor if I am THE ONE? It seems a bit silly and perhaps even a bit desperate but then again, I put myself in the position of having this kind of exposure. I guess I need to spend some time deciding on where my boundaries are and sharing that information with The Men, so there are no misunderstandings and/or hurt feelings. Whatever the case, I think this will be an incredible opportunity to learn about myself, my expectations and what I absolutely cannot tolerate in a potential date. It has been far too long since I’ve been out in the world, dating and extending myself beyond my comfort level to see if there is something (someone) out there for me.

I’ll keep you posted as things progress and let you know if I am able to buy me (some) love.