time to recharge

part of me has always hated self-help stuff. part of me knows that it’s the best dealio out there. i’ve taken a long break from this blog but now i’m ready to do it again. this time with slightly new eyes.

the main reason i think blogging is important is not because every sentence one utters is mind blowingly amazing, but it’s a reminder that the act of writing is important. and when you see someone else blogging and taking their thoughts seriously, i think it’s a good thing. it helps you do the same.

in some ways, i am so tired. soooooooo tired of my life being the way it is. predictable. same job. same house. same situation. it’s winter. it’s dark. i don’t like it. at the same time, i know that it doesn’t matter where you are and how much money you have and how fancy your stuff is, if you don’t enjoy you and yourself then the surroundings don’t matter. you have to enjoy yourself.

so it starts with you. can you enjoy you? are you proud of you? do you like you? and sometimes you have to learn or relearn how to toot your own horn because as you get older you don’t necessarily have a parent or coach or partner or bff always there to root you on. you have to learn how to do it for yourself. it sounds cheesy and dumb and annoying but you really have to do it. you have to learn how to be your own cheerleader.

so excuse my vanity now but i’m going to try to toot my own horn, as weird and awkward as this may sound.

  1. i’m good at making an instant latte: instant espresso powder and heated up milk on the stove. it makes less noise in the morning and it’s fast.
  2. if i get enough sleep and time to myself, i am a very patient person. if i don’t, i turn into a sourpuss. but when i do, i am really good at spouting self-help affirmations and advice whether people want to hear it or not. i believe self help affirmations are better than me yelling at people and i think they would agree.
  3. i like and i’m pretty good at talking to pretty much anyone. except maybe that homeless person wielding a sharp object but other than that i can talk to pretty much all folks. except maybe my old boss who had a beehive and a shrill voice and who wore outfits that i’d never be caught dead in and who made me feel very small and who i had absolutely zero in common with in terms of a sense of humor. but everyone else, yes.
  4. i’m pretty good at complimenting myself.
  5. i like writing and i do it quite a bit. occasionally i say something funny or deep stuff. much of the other time it’s just dribble drabble but somehow or another people put up with it or at least my friends are nice enough to just let me ramble on and do my own thing because i’m not generally hurting anyone with it. and for those whose eyes or ears i do hurt with it, well… no one is forcing them to read it. so if you’re one of those people, stop reading this. thanks.
  6. i like dmitri martin. a lot. and i just realized that i am now starting to sound like dmitri martin. but, you can’t help imitating your mentors, you know? your idols? i didn’t do this on purpose. i just loved pretty much every chapter he wrote in his book this is a book so somehow, like the actor that i am, i internalized it. so sue me. but please actually don’t sue me. i’m really writing this on my own and i promise to combine my style with his eventually to forge it into something new. i promise. please.
  7. i really am good at doing nothing. some people aren’t. some people need a plan. a direction. a purpose. a goal. an itemized ‘to do’ list for every day of their life. if i didn’t have to worry about money or anyone besides myself, i would have NO TROUBLE keeping myself entertained 24/7 and it would definitely involve zero plan making. plan making is for the birds. and, to be honest, i don’t even think they like it very much.
  8. i’m ready to start living the rest of my life.
  9. i really love lists. they separate your thoughts better than periods or paragraph breaks.
  10. but this is not an itemized list. no way jose! i don’t like ‘to do’ lists. not at all. nada.
  11. i am a really good procrastinator (i don’t even know what the theme of this list is anymore… maybe that’s a good thing). but i did learn something powerful recently. when asking a friend how she deals with her pile of things to do every day, she said, ‘you just have to do it.’ sound familiar? i didn’t realize she was using a variation of the Nike motto at the time so it had more of an impact on me than the Nike motto ever has had. just do it. it really makes a lot of sense. like right now. i don’t want to do it. i want to do what i’m doing. but in a few minutes, if i do want i want to do right now for a while, then i will DO IT. i really will. i know what i have to do and i don’t want to do it but knowing that i had some of my own real fun for awhile, then i’ll do the annoying stuff and just through it. that’s the best trick i know for combating annoying stuff you have to do.
  12. i’m running out of things to add to this list, but i’m not ready TO DO IT yet.
  13. i’m going to go check the heading of this list again to refresh my memory, get new ideas, etc.
  14. oh yeah, tooting my own horn. that’s what i’m supposed to be doing. hmmmm. let’s see. what else? i’m good at rambling. i’m good at meandering. i’m good at diversions. i’m good at deluding myself. i’m good at ignoring stuff that’s annoying. i’m good at going inside myself and burrowing there to hide from annoying stuff. i’m running out of things… i’m….. going……. to…….. do…………..IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cheesy cheesecake moment

i’m going to make gluten free cheesecake and nobody can stop me because even though alexander graham bell apparently said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us,” i say that if one door closes you’ve got several options: 1) get a locksmith to open the door, 2) watch a silly animal video on youtube while plopped in front of the door, 3) make a cheesecake, 4) clean the tops of your cabinets that are full of dusty stickiness and you’ll feel like you accomplished something even though nobody will ever see or appreciate the work you’ve done (you’ll know you did it and that’s all that matters), 5) remember that being alone and bored is the seedbed of creativity because you will finally remember who you really are on the inside and you’ll self actualize sooner, 6) start digging a hole to get under the door and when you’re doing that discover something amazing like that extra key to your car that you thought you had lost, 7) write your great american novel you’ve been meaning to get around to, 8) take a shower and get some more sources of inspiration that you feel compelled to post immediately to facebook for no good reason other than it’s another way of avoiding doing more annoying grading, 9) remember that when you were 9 you were at your peak so savor that and try to cultivate that sense of inner peace throughout your day and life. the end.

What are you in love with?

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We’re all in love with something or someone. But if I had to pick something because someones sometimes come and go… I would say writing/dancing in my kitchen.

What are you in love with?

I know someone in love with talking on the phone. Another person in love with working out in the gym. Someone else in love with dirty memes. And then there’s the person in love with…

  • Being constantly on the move
  • Taking a dip in the pool
  • Walking and talking
  • Quiet moments with close friends
  • Being boldly honest and raw and direct
  • Being alone
  • Slowing down time to its minutest parts
  • Talking to strangers
  • Drama and gossip
  • Being on the cutting edge
  • Reading
  • Music
  • Handwriting
  • helping kids stay kids at heart even when they’re adults
  • and so on….
  • and what about you?

Tiptoeing around in my brain

There are two regular parts of the day that I can write. In the morning after the kids go to school, and late at night when everyone is quiet, doing homework, or in bed. It’s tricky because at both times I really should be doing more responsible things like grading papers or getting ready to teach. And I DO do those things. But at the same time, this overwhelming urge to write creative things, naughty things, silly and philosophical things takes over and I can’t be responsible anymore! No more! No more!

But I have to be…. So my compromise is that I time myself. Right now I’m letting myself spooge all over the page for ten minutes.

I have two favorite places to sit. In the kitchen at the table or on the ground next to the heater in the living room. I like the kitchen because it’s expansive and I don’t have to sit on the floor. Sitting on the floor isn’t SO bad. I sit on pillows and prop the laptop up on a small settee. But it’s kind of cramped down there. So in a way I prefer the open space of the kitchen.

I love the quiet. Just my thoughts tiptoeing around in my brain and my fingers relaying them into words on the screen and then…quiet. Finally, peace. No more interruptions, pleadings, beggings, grievances, disputes to settle, last minute trips to the store, whining cats or dogs, nada. Just me and my thoughts.

I remember things. Like living near Aztec, New Mexico and discovering Natalie Goldberg for the first time and eating New Mexican food that was so hot that it felt like flaming turds were flying outta me in the middle of the night. When I was a kid (I know: I’m always rattling on about ‘being a kid’), I used to do this all the time. I liked to recount things. My day, my week, the year. I was always sifting through, remembering, organizing memories. Now my life is so busy that there barely are moments when I can finally catch my breath and make some kind of meaning out of it all. It’s just “run run run til your daddy takes your t-bird away.’

It’s the quiet. The breathing. Just realizing that time can move very slowly or very fast depending on how awake and aware you are. Sometimes I look at the clock at 6:30pm and think, ‘What the hell are we going to do all evening?’ And then next thing I know it’s 9:42pm and I’m barely squeezing by anticipating another late night where I vow to go to bed by 11pm but end up still puttering around by 12:30am. What have I been doing all this time? God knows.

When you realize that the world is your oyster and it’s up to you whether you sautee it with garlic, white wine, and butter,  or eat it raw with a little homemade cocktail sauce, then your mind moves at a different pace. Time is irrelevant. You don’t check your watch very much at all. But it’s when you feel oppressed by the endless To-Do list imposed by yourself ON yourself and which you’ve convinced yourself was foisted on you by outside forces that you begin to feel sucked in by the quicksand of Time.

I’m running out of time. Nope, I’m OUT of time. I have to stop and go be responsible now. Shit.

What do you care about?

I’m 48 years old now. Does it even matter? I don’t care anymore how many wrinkles are around my eyes. How thin the skin is getting on my eyelids. How thin the hair is coming out. I don’t care that my eyelashes are fading away to oblivion.

What I care about is people.

I care about the fact that I like to make people laugh. That I can help people forgive themselves when they are shitheads to themselves or each other. Not by ignoring what they’ve done but by learning from it. I care about the fact that I know how to be patient and calm most of the time and when I’m not there’s usually a pretty fucking damn good reason for it. I am proud of the fact that I can teach people how to communicate. To get out of their fucking shells and live in this world and stop hiding behind gadgets and gizmos because I know, even though there is a lot of joy to be had from all that shit, that ultimately what we all really need for happiness is connection.  Face to face, skin to skin, eyes to eyes connection. Those are the memories you’ll remember when you’re lying on your deathbed. Not the time you sat in the car and stared at your phone for an hour to kill the monotony.

I sound like a preacher most of the time. I think it’s because of all the catholic school. Sometimes I hate that. Sometimes I embrace it. Sometimes I wonder why the hell I can’t write about anything else. And then eventually I accept the fact that this is who I am right now and I jolly well should just enjoy it. I better be who I am until I am sick of it and only then will I be ready to move on and be somebody else.

Writing is like making love.

When you’re writing, you get to be close to your own mind. Super close. You notice your thoughts microscopically. You come to terms with them. Maybe at first glance they seem strange and embarrassing but then with more thoughtfulness comes understanding and perhaps acceptance. You tease out any knot in your brain eventually just by writing about it. Or talking aloud about it. But stifling it in your head doesn’t work.

Just like making love. You can’t just make love to someone in your head. Well, you can but it’s not that satisfying. Ok, well it’s a teensy bit satisfying but what’s really satisfying and unforgettable are the moments, the snapshots of closeness that never fade once the event is over. You don’t realize how important those moments are until they’re over. You can smell them in your mind. Taste them. Touch them.

Just like writing. Once I’ve written something, it’s almost like I never have to go back. Like watching a movie and not needing to watch it again. I remember practically every sentence. I remember where I am when I’m writing it down. Especially if it’s a thought that hit me while driving or walking. Writing is like making love because I adore every word. Every word comes out and my brain feels a little less cloudy. It makes me happy knowing that it will travel into someone else’s fatty flesh in their head. And what makes me even happier is knowing that some tiny, weird thought that hit me might make someone else smile or laugh or feel some kind of emotion that I’m feeling.

It’s like sex. Writing is a reminder that we’re not alone. That we trust someone enough to take it all off and let them see how we really are. Weird sounds, cellulite, awkward grimaces and all. We reach across the empty space and feel.

sloppy and barely sorry

if all the world had someone to sit there and listen and sympathize and let you figure your shit out on your own, the world would be a healthier place. that’s (one of the main reasons) why we pay counselors and therapists, in my opinion. why can’t we be therapists for each other more often? mental health. we all need more of it. and it comes from purging that nonsense. somewhere. we all need an enema (not an enemy) of the body/mind/soul.

that’s why i write this (often but not always) barely edited drivel. i believe it’s better to get shit out than to worry about it being perfect. of course, some effort has to be made but i think many of us (myself included) worry so much about things coming out perfect that we often never get it out at all. i honestly blame this as the cause for the ending of some big relationships in my life. shit that was shoved under carpets for so long that it just ended up being too dirty and messed up to ever deal with and face. insurmountable shit.

so i would much rather get this out in its imperfect state than worry so much about being grammatically, capitalization wise, and punctuation wise perfect. yes, i’m even a teacher but i still say it. more as a psychology loving teacher really. GET IT OUT!

like right now. i’m sitting in my house and typing this and i think about the number of times i’ve hesitated going outside because i didn’t feel good enough. like i hadn’t done enough to organize my house or clean myself up or tidy up the whatever in the house and so i stayed and tidied and organized trying to achieve perfection and meanwhile the perfectly imperfect world outside waited for me. i’m done with perfection.

today i don’t care. i don’t care if the cellulite is showing because my underwear are too tight in my jeans. i don’t care if my bangs are greasy. i don’t care if my bills aren’t looked at for another day. i don’t care if the fence still isn’t painted because i can’t be bothered to get more paint. i don’t care i don’t care i don’t care.

i just care about getting out. and getting it out.

 

 

random abandon

I am waiting for someone

Who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about doing things the right way

But who also knows what it means

To be there, unselfishly, for something larger than themselves.

I am waiting for someone

Who is concerned about more than money

More than fame

More than networking

More than namedropping

More than buttkissing

More than being cool

More than being anal retentive

More than being jealous

More than being controlling

More than serving themselves first.

Who prizes creativity over compliance.

Who values solitude over toxic relationships.

Who needs laughter more than dwelling.

And who craves random abandon over premeditated perfection.