While painting the living room, the extendo brush maaaaay have gotten away from me a little. My BF mocked me, visitors mocked me, even the stupid paint smudge mocked me, but they never met anyone with my imagination.
Got a paint smudge in the middle of your ceiling? Screw in a smoke detector!
Welcome back! I’ve been busy the past two months, but first I’d like to say WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?!? I moved back to the US from Mexico 730 days ago (more commonly known as two years) and wow how things have changed. I’ve gone from a job I hated to a job I absolutely love, from living in my parents’ basement to my own place, and my design business is really taking off. Best of all, I’m planning to buy a house later this spring!
I have a post at An Army of Ermas today called Back in the Nest that discusses sex, nudity, and reverting to a teenager while living with your parents as an adult.
As you’ve probably heard, this winter has been anything but a typical Michigan winter. We’ve only had snow a couple times (although the news alerts tell me “the biggest storm of the season” is on its way) but Owen took full advantage.
As much as I like pretty things, I’ve always prided myself at looking past the surface and really seeing what’s lurking beneath. I read the back cover of books, I make friends based on personality, and I think all dogs are adorable.
But a recent change in my life has changed all that. You see, now that I have bangs, I seem to have completely forgotten about my eyebrows!
Between my bangs and my glasses it somehow slipped my mind that that my tweezers have a reason for existing.
Have you ever overlooked something that could be embarrassing if discovered?
“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”
“You can look but you can’t touch.”
“We always want what we can’t have.”
I’m beginning to think you should start calling me Jack Handy because I seem to be overflowing with deep thoughts. I guess that’s what happens when I’m not writing. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about goals, desires, and what exactly I want out of my life, which means I’ve also spent a lot of time comparing myself with others.
Wistful wantings too quickly spiral into jealousy and envy, so I’m quick to remind myself that someday I too will see my dreams come true. And now I sound like I’m running for class president. Good grief. Despite my ramblings, I hope you understand what I’m getting at. It’s easy to compare our lives with those around us and play what-if.
If I had her family I’d never want for anything again.
If I had his publishing contract my life would be complete.
If I had him/her I’d finally be content.
But you can never know the full story of your neighbor/friend/coworker. What seems perfect may simply be a carefully maintained facade (and lord knows I’m good at those, proven by the number of people who were shocked when I announced my divorce), so wasting time wishing for a life other than your own is… well… a waste of time.
I don’t mean not to have dreams for yourself and admiration for others—I’d never get anywhere if I wasn’t envious of others from time to time—but don’t belittle your own life to the point that it no longer has value. And as for that thing you wish you could have but can’t? I’ll throw out another (paraphrased) quote that sort of fits:
If you love something, set it free. If it doesn’t return it was never truly yours.
Yesterday I took a picture of a tree near my apartment. The leaves are already turning and I mentioned that I craved this time of year while living in Mexico. Two years ago that dream tormented me, but I always knew it would someday come true. It was attainable.
It’s the unattainable things that require a modicum of caution.
This past Sunday was rough for me, but through the tears and what-ifs and despairs that strikes too easily at times, I took comfort that now my friend Craig will never be forgotten.
Every 9/11 for the past ten years, I’ve done a little navel-gazing and thought hard about the kind of person I am and how I need to change. I try very hard to be fair, honest, and non-judgmental. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they give me a reason not to. There are very few people I can honestly say I don’t like, mainly because I’ve become pretty good at eliminating negativity from my life and identifying those who might suck the joy from my me (then running the other way).
See, navel-gazing. But don’t worry, I have a point.
Over the weekend I met a woman who’s in a very rough point in her life. I listened as she vented. I cut her some slack as she made a numerous comments with which I disagreed. I sat silently as she offended me without realizing it. Eventually I got up and said something to a friend, and she’d also been offended. (Sorry for being vague, but I’d rather not get into the particulars.) I never said anything to the woman, but it struck me that this person that none of us had ever met seemed unaware that her words were affecting others. She was hurting, and that’s all that mattered.
A lot of my social life is online, and I see this same behavior repeated over and over again. People venting publicly about things that seem trivial to them, but are quietly hurting those around them. Griping about a spouse isn’t endearing to a widow. Complaining about bratty kids seems ungrateful to those who can’t have children. Moaning about overprotective parents is hurtful to those who’ve lost a parent.
I’m not talking about the guy who tease his wife or the friends who report the episodes of their children; I’m bothered by people who seem unaware of the blessings in their life and can only see the negative. All I’m asking — hoping for — is that those people notice those of us who are listening, and stop to think about how you maybe hurting someone on the sidelines.
Or more appropriately: That letter B is cursed!
I’ve had a heckuva couple days, and I’m blaming it all in the letter B. Take note:
Sunday morning I loaded up the car to take Owen to the dog Beach, and on the way I hit a Baby Bird. I’m talking POOF! Feathers everywhere. After a quick detour through the car wash, we hit the beach where Owen decided — for the first time — to make several dogs his Bitch.
A couple hours later I left my bundle of joy at home and headed out to run errands. First stop: Bed, Bath & Beyond. When I returned to my car, after accidentally hitting the panic button and tossing my bag in the trunk, I tried to start the car. Nothing. After a long story that I don’t have the energy to repeat, I bought a new Battery from a store at the mall. (Thanks for coming to my rescue, mom!)
The rest of the day was uneventful, (aside from Butchering my finger while vacuuming), then Monday evening I found a Bump on Owen’s nose, which today I learned is a pustule. Dictionary.com defines a pustule as “any pimplelike or Blisterlike swelling or elevation.”
Then, on the way home from the vet, my Blinker died. I’ve recently vented on Twitter about how batty non-blinker users make me, so this is the ultimate irony.
At least I still like my Bangs.
ETA: I’ve discovered my timing Belt needs replacing, too. Perhaps I should reconsider the bonfire planned for this weekend?
There’s a saying: “You know what you call people who wait until the right time to have kids? Childless.” This particular saying doesn’t apply to me, but the thought behind it does. All too often (always) I have ideas for things I’d like to do, but rather than take the initiative to just do it, I wait for someone to come along who may be interested in joining me, or worse, comes up with the idea on their own and suggests it to me.
Writing it makes it sound more ridiculous than I thought. Here are a few examples off the top of my head:
I’ve never been to an NFL game because I figured someone would invite me.
Nine years in Chicago and while I went to Soldier Field for two soccer games and one concert, I’ve yet to see a football game.
I love camping, but I’ve never initiated a trip as an adult.
I did buy a sleeping bag earlier this year so I’d be ready if someone invited me, but I’ve yet to suggest it to anyone.
My apartment complex is adjacent to woods with hiking trails, but I’ve never taken Owen.
THIS I finally did over the weekend. I’d taken Owen to the dog park but no one was there, so I decided to venture in on my own. After living in Chicago and Mexico, my need to be cautious is a tad more heightened than the average person, and strolling through the woods by myself doesn’t seem like a good idea, no matter how safe this community may be. But I decided to try it anyway.
Lo and behold, the trails are wide and easy to follow, plenty of light filters through the trees, and Owen and I had a wonderful hike. I even took him again two days later.
Anyone up for a football game?
What would you do if you could eliminate the worry and just do it?
Do you know your self-worth?
I’m not talking about how much you make, what you have saved, or how many things you own. I mean what value you as a person bring to the table—be it the conference table, referee’s table, or kitchen table. Some struggle more than others to figure out what that is, but everyone has something they’re good at.
My next question is: who determines your self-worth?
If it’s not the person you see every day in the mirror, it may be time to do some serious self-examination. (Notice I avoided saying self-reflection.)
There are plenty of people ready and and willing to form your opinion for you, and it’s all too easy to listen. Over time, the negativity can overwhelm anything good you once thought about yourself and you forget that there ARE good things somewhere inside.
Maybe it’s one too many rejections from agents or publishers. Maybe you got laid off. Maybe your spouse left you. Any of these things are reason enough to question your worth, but events do not make a person. Others’ opinions do not make a person.
I have a core group of people in my corner who cheer very loudly right when I need it most, and I keep their words close to my heart when people who don’t truly know me try to tell me what I’m worth. I can tell you that I wouldn’t have gotten through the past couple years without them, and I only hope that each and every one of you has at least one person who always has your back. Or restraints when they know you’re tempted to stoop to the naysayers’ level.
Trust in yourself that you DO have value and your opinions DO matter. If you feel like no one understands you, find new friends. The world is too big to waste another minute on people who only see you as a doormat.
Thoughts from a late night perusing friends’ friends lists and other posts on Facebook…
Freakfest on Facebook.
Spray tans + protein, oh why
did I give you up?
My long-ago crush
has a toddler named Owen.
The universe speaks!
Oh vague status posts…
If only you intrigued me
as your poster planned.
The Q despairs, for
without no home, my ten-point
Server won’t respond,
my night of frivolity
must come to an end.
Would you care to share / how you spent your Tuesday night? / haiku is preferred.
I watched The King’s Speech with Colin Firth last night and the techniques used to help Bertie overcome his stammering got me thinking: most of the hang-ups we face, the things that prevent us from accomplishing what we want or make us think we aren’t good enough—they’re all in our head. At some point someone, something, or some event put an idea in our minds that we aren’t good enough, and that feeling can follow us for the rest of our lives.
One of the things I’ve worked on over the past year is rediscovering who I am and moving past what I’d come to assume were my limitations. Without another person telling me what I can or cannot do I’m learning how to decide for myself what’s important. Physically moving has helped me even more—the simple acts of adjusting a shelf in the kitchen cabinet or tightening a screw in the dryer has shown me that returning to my old self is possible; that my worth is not dependent on what anyone else thinks. (This includes agents!)
The voices of doubt are still there, but now I’m in charge and I only listen to them when they have a valid point—like when they question if a puddle is too large to leap over or a box too heavy to carry up three flights of stairs. I’ll still listen to those hesitations.
Side note: It’s Owen’s 2nd birthday!