Sunday, November 28, 2010

Positive Energy and LOVE

Today was a day of reflection, rest and counting my blessings. Yesterday was Black Friday and the day before that was Thanksgiving. In the past, our Thanksgivings were bigger and most everyone on my Mom's side would be in attendance. This year it was a smaller affair and we were missing some special people, but we made the most of the day, had a nice meal and lots of laughs. I also learned a thing or two about myself. As I reflect on this Thanksgiving I realize some great life lessons and find that I have so much to be thankful for. 

Family is key to a happy soul and I am blessed to have an amazing core unit. I am exceptionally thrilled to have a closer bond with my brother. We've had our moments of childishness as well as sibling rivalry, but as we move into this stage of our lives, we seem to understand each other more than ever. I no longer get sad when he leaves because I want to keep him here in my old selfish ways. When he leaves I truly tear up for the mere fact that he makes life so much better when he's here. He's like a bundle of joy and laughter and you just want to be around him always, because he shines. I am so in awe of my baby brother and all his intelligence, curiosity, courage, hilarity, and focus. When he was here he got his first Hole In One at the golf course and he was so excited and so proud, but humble. He's not a braggart or an "in your face" kind of guy with his successes, which he's had many in his 23 years. I'm so lucky to know him, to know he has my back, and to feel closer to him than I have in years. He's a positive person. A "Can Do," "You Can," "Go for it," kind of person. My Mom is also a very life affirming person. She believes in my brother and I and will defend our honor no matter what. I find so much strength and love from her warm and unconditional heart. She is my very best friend and we often lean on each other. Any hour of the night, I know I can call her. If I didn't have her close to me, I'd surely be lost. She's just that safe haven of a person whom you can always go to for advice and love.  I am beginning to see a pattern... If you have positive people around you or close by that are lifting you up and giving support and love unconditionally, you feel invincible. 

Well, I'm not invincible yet. My theory is that you'll never be 100% invincible. If you were, what would you have left to live for? Nothing to learn, no way to grow? No way to live. I do, however, feel a few steps closer to being 100% secure in who I am, what I stand for and that's in great part to my dear friends and core family. The people in your life matter greatly. If you always hear criticisms or insults - it can hinder how you think or see the world. There are many things some people do so casually, in everyday life, that are negative and detrimental behaviors. Some people gossip, criticize other's looks, criticize choices that are not their own, feel entitled, or act two faced. When dealt these scenarios over and over again by people in your circle - it takes a toll on your mental and emotional well being. It is so important to recognize the cycle of negativity around you and detach from it. There are so many positive people in the world that you should surround yourself with them instead. 

I recently found myself having to stand up for what I found going against my grain. Now, for those of you who know me, I am shy and hate confrontation. I'm reserved and usually write out what hurts because I'm afraid of being myself. Scared to show that I'm a strong woman with morals and opinions for fear of rejection or criticism. Proudly, I can say that I stood my ground and finally said what I felt. It felt good, but it wasn't without hitting a wall. The person in which I spoke my mind to, wouldn't listen. I stood my ground and that is what matters. Though, I do understand now, why emails have been exchanged in the past to convey feelings and thoughts. It's no fun to talk to a wall. When one person is hard headed it makes for a very messy conversation full of tension. I'm proud for speaking up then, but there were other instances which didn't directly affect me, when I should have spoken up as well. That is something I need to work on. Silence is not loyalty. I need to stand up for those who are dear to me because we all need each other. Why not be an advocate for those who matter to you? It's very important. Even though you don't add to the negativity, you're letting it unfold and that can weigh on you. It's so important to also form your own opinions of other people by  their words and their actions. Do NOT judge others by their "reputation" or from hearsay. It's not a fair assessment.

This year's Thanksgiving has taught me a lot. I didn't overdo it when it came to prepping my contribution to the meal which made me less stressed and I enjoyed EVERYTHING so much more. No my pie wasn't perfect, but it made for some funny Ryguy commentary and it'll be one of those great Thanksgiving stories. "Remember when Jennie made that pie with sand for crust?" I had a blast and was genuinely myself

I sincerely miss those who were not with us around the dinner table, but know they are happy and healthy. Their positivity and kindness are qualities dearly missed. I know that we will all be together again soon and that's what keeps us all going and getting through any hard times. The memories of visiting them (Lucky us, to have experienced Idaho - once in Winter and Once in the Summer) and investing in our loving relationships make it easy to know where we stand with each other. You have to invest, if you want a return. That goes for any part of life... not just economics. If you make time for people, they'll make time for you. When you share positivity and love, you share happiness. How I wish it could be that easy with everyone, but life ain't always easy. It's the hardships that give value to the good times. 

You want respect, credibility, loyalty, trust, love, and positive energy? It's easy - give as much as you hope to receive, but give it, without expectation! Also know that some people won't give it back and you just have to have faith that those who matter will. Life is a beautiful array of moments... paint yourself happiness... I've only begun my life's art work, but how it's shaping up to be a masterpiece. Every day is beautiful because it's full of possibility, positivity and LOVE! Be kind and give the benefit of the doubt! Mwah!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Life in General

So often do I fall asleep with thoughts of fear and sadness. So often do I fall asleep thinking of the end of this journey we call LIFE... We are all on this roller coaster and there is no way to stop the inevitable. Some day this stretch of our journey will be over. Will it continue on another plain - it's possible, it's impossible - it's ultimately up for discussion or you can leave it up to pure faith. For me, a girl who's never had a deep sense of religion, it's scarier than hell. All this I've built - my goals, my dreams, my love, my possessions: spiritual and tangible - will be gone. It's a hard and bitter pill to swallow.

I have some faith, some spirituality in me that I can't explain or control - you know the feeling inside that twists up your stomach when you're moved by some other power. I know something is there, something is guiding me or giving me signs, but exactly what is - I don't know. Some say it's God, others say we have Spirit Guides, and then there are those who believe you are guiding yourself from one of your past lives. When there are so many beliefs, it's hard to know what to believe and who is right. Perhaps this beautiful power around us ensures that we are all right. Sad thing is that many kill in the name of God and so how does that play in? I hardly think they are right? This madness plays in my head all the time... a vicious circle that can drive someone mad!

Fear is a constant in my life. The fear of death is most likely one of the crucial reasons I'm not living - up to my potential, that is. My thinking is just so warped. Ready? - Here's my logic (ridiculous): "If we are going to die, why would I want to build such a large life here on Earth? Houses, Cars, Careers, Success, Marriage, Babies, etc... That only gives you more to lose when you go...." I'm so out there, I'm aware! I used to believe, in my age of innocence and overflowing hope, that you have to do as much as you can so that you leave your mark, your legacy, so you'll never truly die. It's still floating around in my head and from time to time I get waves of - "GO FOR IT!!!!"

Some days I want to be highly successful and others days I just want as little as possible. I have stacks of songs, stories galore, and this voice to fuel it all, but my lips are sealed. Strange that I have no drive, no motivation, no constant spark to make me go the long haul and do something amazing. I know I have it in me, but that pesky little fear bug sneaks up on me and sabotages any chance. Yes I LET fear sabotage me - I have the control to suppress it. Just need to find the tools to stop fear in its tracks. Why does it take some people no time and others years to attain the same life skills? Circumstance and upbringing, I suppose. Maybe there's no real answer. Maybe that's why artists are always so tortured. They are looking for answers to come from creating and processing their art, but sadly only more questions arise. Once you feel okay in one area of your life, something comes along to create friction in another aspect and so that fuels different tones to your art and so on and so on... The questions become endless.

When you're a child looking at the many years in front of you, you don't slow down because you think it'll take forever until you're 18 years old. Then when you're 18 you look at the 12 years until you turn 30 and say, "I've got so much time, so let's partay!" Then when you're standing at the doorstep of 30, ready to knock on that door, you think of all that's gone undone. By 25 I was supposed to have a successful lyricist career in the works. By 27 I was supposed to be married. By 29 I was supposed to have a set of twins. By 30 I was supposed to be thinking about another child. Like, how is it that I'm so behind? Well, that's just the thing - I'm not behind. Life changes you, molds you, and puts everything in a different perspective. You need to grow and learn when you're good and ready. Certain things matter to me more now then they ever did. I have another person whom I deeply love and I love our little life. The simplicity of it makes it so beautiful. The ups and downs and working through our differences to form such a bond and a love that I believe will last till the very day I leave God's Green Earth - that's priceless. Yes, I shall continue expressing myself through song and word - can't stop what you're passionate about for anyone else! Still, I'm going to think of us as a package deal and weigh it for both of us and not just I, me, me, me!

Success - whatever that means to me (detailed in one of my other blog posts) will come if I put forth a good effort and all I can do is follow my heart. Why we're all here and our purpose will probably always be a mystery. How I wish I knew what this whole journey was all about, but at the same time - there's magic in not knowing... I think I'll ride this thing out: Loving more than I hate, giving more than I take, hoping more than I right off, smiling far more than I scoff!
Life is a strange adventure... May you see the hidden light in every dark corner!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lies... Sweet Little Lies...

I've just been thinking about truth, lies, and all the in between...

When we are young, to keep our innocence and belief of magic in tact, we are told many lies. We are told there is a Santa Claus, a Tooth Fairy, even an Easter Bunny, and so on... Then one day, we shockingly find out or we're simply told the truth. We realize that for the last 10, 11, 12 years of our life we had been lied to for the sake of: "magic." How effective is this? Yes, for our younger years we believe and we savor the wonder, but as soon as the truth is set free the magic begins to fade day by day. We also realize that even the smallest little untruths can cause a lasting impression. You feel lied to for many years and your trust is compromised. Thus, begins your awareness of lies and the need for truth.

As we get older we see that everyone lies. To get out of work, to run for political office, to teach their children a lesson, to get out of trouble - the list goes on and on... The "white lie" becomes acceptable and most everyone tells one at some point in their life. I have to admit that I've told lies, more so when I was younger and wanted to do things my parents wouldn't allow me to. Other times when I joined the work force and wanted to play hooky to go to the beach with friends. Being a Scorpio, I do have a sneaky side which I believe I've overcome in my present age. When I was younger I'd hide credit card bills, overdue library books, and I would even hide my report cards. These instances didn't feel like lying because they were just omissions of the truth, but indeed they were lies. When you leave out the truth - it is in fact a lie. Lies hurt the people you love.

Heading towards thirty years old, I feel a sense of truth in everything I do. I feel that I'm good enough, that my opinions can be heard no matter who disagrees, and that I am in control of my life and own my decisions. I no longer feel that I have to lie to get out of things. Everyone else does what they want and I must have respect for myself and my time as well. The more lies you tell, the less confident and real you feel. I am not saying I will NEVER lie in the future, but my intent is to be as honest and truthful as possible. In my next thirty years I want to really value who I am. Plus, the more lies you tell - the more you have to remember. My Mom's favorite quote is: "If you never tell a lie, you never have to remember what you said." Come to find out Mark Twain wrote that quote. Such a wise saying. The more you lie, the more you have to be on top of what you said so that your stories match up and make sense down the road.

In recent history, I have heard so many stories and have been told many lies by people who I respect and trust. It's a hard pill to swallow. It hurts and it stings, but at the same time shows you who can trust and count on. When you know the truth, you can hold onto it and let it shine a light on the darkest of lies. If your truth is not heard, you can't make anyone believe it. You just have to live it. Sometimes words fall flat. Let your actions speak louder than words. Don't take it so much to heart either. Most liars won't remember their lie in a couple months. It's not the truth and so it'll be like a layer of sand which blows away over time. Don't waste your time with lies and trying to defend the truth. It's an uphill battle that will just go round and round in circles. You deserve better, so seek it and don't fuel the lie.

The worst way of bending the truth is to make yourself look better. To create your persona instead of being your persona. Best example is someone who is always talking/bragging about the vacations they've been on, the money they're making, or the big things that are in the works for them. Now, yes of course people have success and do these things. The difference is that most successful people just show the world their success because it's TRUE - they don't have to talk it up. Someone doesn't have to say they have thousands of men running after them. You will just observe that they are desirable by their actions, heart, beauty and how they treat everyone. I feel that real people can stand on their REALNESS alone. Who they are shines through and they can just BE! Those who must tell you everything about them and about this, that and the other... Well, they live in a facade of lies. They boast more than they ARE. Those who love you, will love you for exactly WHO YOU ARE!

"You can bend it and twist it... you can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the TRUTH!" - Michael Levy

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Deep End

Today I cried watching a movie trailer. Two minutes and four seconds and the waterworks began to flow. This is not uncommon. I am just seconds away from tears most days. Is it because I'm an unhappy person? Of course not. Do I feel too much? Well, that is up for debate.

When most people watch a movie trailer, they see a story acted out on screen and they say, "Wow I would/would not love to see that movie." I see a movie trailer and I'm that person. The particular trailer I saw today was for a movie with Zac Efron (went straight to DVD) that was called, Charlie St. Cloud. The story is about a pair of brothers who are very close. The older brother promises he'll teach his younger brother how to play baseball. Before they get the chance, they are in a wicked car accident which kills the baby brother. Charlie (the older brother) is never the same again. In his remorse he starts seeing his brother and talking to him, which makes the town call him crazy. He teaches his brother's spirit how to throw a curve ball, throw a long toss, etc. In the process he becomes so consumed with his brother that he lets his own life and living go... I saw myself as Charlie. Especially since there was such a theme of baseball which is obvious in my family's recent history. If anything happened to my brother I would go nutty too. Now why do I even go there? Who wants to think that dark or deep?

It's a blessing and a curse
To go from bad to worse
To see a slice of life as real as can be
To find every bit somewhere deep inside of me
Kleenex at my side, just in case
Never ashamed at the emotion running down my face
Still I see people staring
Wonder why I am always caring
Everything gets to me cause I have a lot of room
The deep end is ample enough for smiles and gloom
I don't relate well, but how I try
Have stories to tell, they always end in, "Why?"
I'm like a child who's never satisfied with the answer
So many placate acceptance without having to concur
I take whatever warmth I'm shown
Hearts full of love are like temporary homes
When I doubt my train of thought
And derailing it seems like it will leave me better off
I stop and take a deep breath and think a little deeper
I am who I am and I will not be an under the rug sweeper
Cannot become a figment of someone else's imagination
God did not make me so that I would doubt my own creation
I'll cry for no reason, I'll feel what I feel - no matter how deep
Invest in what quenches my soul, won't sell myself short by being cheap

So Friday evening was a night that opened my eyes to a stranger who felt just as deeply as I did. This man was like a prophet put in my path to see me. (Just to clarify, this man was older and interested in my dear sweet Mother, but we all had an hour and half conversation that truly did change my life) You know when you go to a bar for a night out with the girls, you don't expect to have deep conversations that stimulate your view on life and who you are. You think - fun, fun, fun! That's it. Well, we went to celebrate Kristin's birthday and it was a lot of fun. Singing and dancing and having a blast. Then, everyone had gone home and my Mom and I were left with Doug, this intellectual man who decided to hang out and talk to us till close to 2am. I was amazed at how this man thought like us. He said, "Do you ever really think about something? Dissect it and trip out a little bit?" Hmmm... me? never? *chuckle* *chuckle* It was just a conversation that touched on everything from why parents are taught to lie to their children about Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc. to why fame is just everyone's hunger to leave a legacy. We talked about relationships and how if you want them to work, it's not impossible. You have to work at love, it's not just all bliss all the time. Well, duh! The working, to me, is the fun part. You feel this sense of great admiration for each other and the bond can't help but get tighter. Anyways, that's a different entry. My point is that this person was there: insightful, interesting and deeper than the ocean. It was like no conversation I've ever had and it reaffirmed the fact that I've got to stay true to myself. If I had been trying to cover up my deep, I would not have been open to this life changing conversation. People come into your life for a reason, they really do!

Another lesson I learned that night from a very wise woman named Sherry was that we all need to let go of guilt and stop making others feeling guilty. The best sentence ever, (which I've heard a million times over, but never impacted me like this) "We all do the best we can!" I have been feeling so much guilt because my lifestyle doesn't lend itself to trips down south to see my baby bro or Papi and I've got to stop it! I'm doing the best I can. That's all I can do. That's all anyone can do. No guilt needs to be lobbed the other way either... It is a two way street, but why keep score? If you want to be with someone and see them and love them - great! Don't let that be a check mark on your side of the scoreboard. Don't use it against them later. "I came down to see you 20 times and you've been up to see me once!" - that's just not fair. I'm growing up - sweet! So much more to work on, but I'm growing and learning it will come. Communication is a big one. I'm so great at words on paper - not so much with words out loud. Need to make a better effort to communicate and do so without expectation of what I want the conversation to sound like.

I am complex and simple all rolled into one. Love my simple little life that keeps the stress lines to a minimum. Love my complex heart and soul because that lends to such emotional rewards. I believe to write yourself on paper, you have to go deep. You have to dive into the places that no one sees by just looking at you. Eccentric, maybe? Off the beaten path, always! I don't want to follow the mainstream. I don't want to be obvious. I want a day that's unplanned, unscripted, unrehearsed, and as real as it gets. I want a night where the stars still hold as much wonder as they did when I was five. A night where I can talk to my love about all that scares me, moves me, and makes me before falling asleep in a comfy bed that sits in a room decorated in all our treasures. A night where our simple apartment houses the big hearts of a man, woman, and dear sweet tabby cat who all feel blessed that the day was spent together.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Love, Satisfaction & Legacy

"I shut my eyes in order to see," a quote by Paul Gaugin that I have peering at me everyday I sit down at my desk. The inner reflection of a person is so interesting to me. When you are alone and you are left with all your experience and wisdom, close your eyes and what do you see?

I hope you see love. Somewhere in all the chaos or calm of your life there is always love. It can be deep love from a lover or great confidant or it can be the small acts of love that surround us every day. Someone opening a door for you or asking how your day is going. It may sound all sugar coated and cliche, but those actions are all fueled by someone with love in their heart. To reach out to another - that's love. To find the man of your dreams who not only has your back, but keeps the spark alive that's love. I'm lucky enough to have a man who loves me so much that he can't leave a room without kissing me. To be with family laughing and being 100% yourself because you feel so comfortable and content - that's love. To have your brother write for no reason at all - other than to tell you that he loves you, that's what life is all about. To have a friend you can call at 3am and she'll be there for you, no questions asked. To want to call your Mom all the time just to say Hi and end up talking for hours because you're that close - Love, love, love! To be filled with such pride and admiration for your Grandmother who started this whole family and still loves each child so unconditionally - man I love my Grandma! I am lucky in the love department... may your life be overflowing with love too.

What I also hope you see when you close your eyes is satisfaction. To be satisfied, well that has many definitions. (Some not suitable for children) Satisfied means: the contentment one feels when one has fulfilled a desire, need, or expectation. Desires can be so many things. My desire is to bring smiles to people when I sing or create a card or collage. I desire employment that pushes me, but also uses my natural talents. I desire peace in the hearts of all those I love. I desire financial stability to be comfortable as well as have extra income to contribute to charity and be able to create organizations to better our world. My needs are pretty simple. I need a hand to hold that will never let mine go. I need friendships that are strong and continue past our first argument. I need a place that's quiet and peaceful where I can just be. I need honesty. I need to see my brother more often!!!! Expectations... well Paul (my fiance) and I have really tried hard to curb our expectations. Meaning we just let things happen and do our best not to be let down by the images our mind conjured up before we even experienced the moment. So, I don't expect much and that may seem negative, but it's not. I'm not painting an awful picture so that when it's better, I'll be happy. I paint no picture and therefore the blank canvas gets its color from the moments unscripted and I go home with a piece of art! Expectation can also mean what you expect from those around you. I expect respect - that's all. You don't have to like me or even understand me. Just show me some respect and I will do the same.

Lastly as I sit here with my eyes closed, I see legacy. What I hope my imprint on the world will be. I'm turning thirty this year so there's a lot left to do to achieve my legacy, but I do feel I'm a very kind person. I know Kindness and Respect towards others will be part of my legacy. I also hope to be known as a singer, artist, a great cook, and a word magician. I don't need to be famous. (Honestly if I was famous I'd probably go bankrupt, all my money would go to charity and we'd live in a little cottage by the sea) I just want to make a mark. Whether it be through charity work, finishing and publishing one of my 3 novels, or just getting a song sung on the radio... I've realized more and more lately that I don't need/want the spotlight. What I don't want is to be forgotten. A book on a shelf for someone in 2100 to stumble upon and find purpose, humor, truth, and beauty - that would have me smiling from the heavens above. To win a Grammy would be pretty cool too - don't get me wrong.

As I open my eyes to the world around me, I see that not only do I love, but I'm kind, show respect, and I am worthy of it all flowing back to me. I don't have all the answers, but I've lived some, hurt some and gained so much experience in this time I've had on earth. I can't wait for this next chapter of life that I'm transitioning into: being myself fearlessly. If you have an open heart, you will always have a rich soul. Be who you are and make no apologies for it.

So, close your eyes... what do you see? You're beautiful, intelligent, experienced, __________, ____________, ______________, _____________.... etc.
See yourself truthfully so that you may see others in that same light!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

No Fearing Failure Anymore...

The sun burned the top of my forehead (you know the part you just seem to miss when you apply suntan oil before leaving the house) as we made our way almost four miles. It was a hard walk with a couple strides of running here and there. Sweat wasn't the only thing pouring out - my Mama and I always talk the whole way and when she asked, "Are you all right?" - out spilled all that had been bottled up inside of me for the last month. Every little comment from bystanders and hypocrites scars me and why is that? When did my outer exterior get so soft? Truth is - if I were strong, I would be living the dream somewhere, but I am just here wishing. Wishing is wonderful, but without the work and drive behind the wish, it will not come true. I'm pretty peeved with myself and yet my beautiful fiance tells me, "You're still young." I'll be thirty this year and there is no reason I can't make it happen now. In fact, I have to say that my eyes are more wide open than they were at 19 or 20. I saw everything through rose colored glasses - everyone was kind and everything was made of gold. Now, standing at the threshold of my thirtieth year on the planet - I see truth more than ever. It's not so pretty, but instead of sulking about it, my new plan is to make my world as beautiful as I want it to be. I'm doing good - I'm running for a cause, I'm cooking Food Network meals, I'm creating greeting cards, I'm writing musical lyrics, I am writing down my thoughts to help everyone feel less alone in their struggles. Life is hard and beautiful. The hard makes the easy more brilliant and the easy fuels your strength to get you through the hard. It's all there for a reason. I used to think I feel TOO much because everything weighs me down and makes me reflect and search within. I know now I feel just fine, I am who I am and that's GOOD ENOUGH. When did I let other people's comments shape my disapproval of myself? If someone says with a smug look, "You're not working? Well as long as your comfortable." They don't mean to press a dagger to my character, I am the one who makes those words hurt. My Mother in all her wisdom has helped me discover this. We walk and talk about our past and our future and our current mutual struggles and she gets me. She is able to sweetly and brutally spill honesty. I appreciate the way she doesn't let me feel sorry for myself. There is no reason to. Her approach is motherly and soft. Much more affective because she lives by it. Hard to trust those who say one thing and do another and my Mother has gone through her share of struggle, anguish and moments of regret, but she lives change every single day. It's such a wonderful transformation she's gone through these last 10 years. I cannot tell you how thankful I am that I have her. There's nothing like having a person who truly listens to your heart and soul before making a statement back. It hurts her that I hurt so much. It's apparent in our conversations that she's worried about me, but at the same time she's so proud of who I am and knows that I'll be okay.
Back to the negative comments that deflate me. Well they deflate me because I feel the exact same way! If someone says, "You don't have a path? Interesting..." It bothers me because I wish I had a path and had it all figured out. I wish I got up every morning and had my own Publishing Company where we made cards, published songs & books, and made a difference in the landscape of the world with words. That's my dream. Now the fact that I don't have it all figured out - that's not so bad - many people tell me all the time that at 35, 40, 50, etc. - they don't have it figured out. Still my internal structure is causing me to be hurt by these comments and not own my feelings. I blame the commenter and thanks to my Mom talking me through it, I see that it's ME who hurts already and the comment is a sprinkle of salt to my wound. Fascinating really, the blame game is so easy to fall into, but once you dissect it - it's ME with the problem.
There's a line in Jewel's AMAZING new song, Who You Are, that says: "Look in the mirror, now that's not the story to tell. I give love to others, but I give myself hell. I have to tell myself in every seed there's a perfect plant. Everything I hope to be, I already am..." I cried when I heard that because I don't feel alone anymore. Even the amazing Jewel has her moments. We all give ourselves hell sometimes. I think with age, you start to own your existence more. You start to see past your mistakes and learn from them instead of dwell on them. You move forward and shift the blame from others to yourself, but only for a brief time while you mend what's wrong inside. Once you've patched up your current weakness, let the blame on yourself go too. Otherwise you'll always feel in the wrong and guilty. Guilt - don't even get me started. I didn't even go to Catholic School and yet I am instilled with so much guilt. Shed it girl... let it go. Own ME. I need to do more of that. Truth be told, I'm pretty amazing and no it's not conceited to say that. This trying to be over humble so as not to be seen as a boaster doesn't help matters either. I can be confident, considerate, loving, and even humble all at the same time. A little more confidence in the equation is needed for a good balance.
I have such a rich life, no matter how much money is in my bank account! Paul is the sweetest, most generous, and always there for me, love of my life. I get to be a Mommie to my dear sweet Dobbie - the most precious and gorgeous tabby cat I've ever cared for. Someday soon, hopefully we'll be married (Me and Paul, not me and the cat... hehehe) and thinking about extending our family. I cannot wait to be a Mom. It's something I think about all the time and just know with my kind spirit and moral grounding - I'll be a great Mom. Till those dreams come true, I need to be more proactive in my passion. I have all this time in between jobs and I have to make it count. I'm on my physical journey - running/walking a half marathon for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society at Disneyland in September. I'm on a great emotional journey, which let's face it, never ends. I see why I am the way I am - that's huge. I will NOT play the blame game. I've got the tools I need to change what I want to change. I have great support in a wonderful family and this Summer proves to be an exciting time of fun in the sun together. Fourth of July will be a blast with music and fireworks. My Amazingly supportive and loving as all getup Grandma Rie turns 75 this year and the cutest Idaho Native, my cousin Jason turns 25 this year and since their birthdays are so close together we're celebrating BIG TIME. I can't wait for that. Family is everything! Some relationships will never be what I envision and that's okay. I just need to move onward and realize I can only change the way I deal with it so it doesn't deflate me all the time. The other day when talking to Paul I said, "it just feels like every time I build myself back up, somebody knocks me back down and it's like I have to start all over again." With tears in my eyes, it was a big wake up call that nobody should be able to do that to me. I am kind, I love so much and know that I'm a good person. I need a bit thicker skin so that when I lay down to sleep each night I'm not lying there hurt by words or even silence. All I can do is live the life I've been given to the best of my ability. I also need to be less fearful of those in my life I have issues with. I need to stand tall, own my decisions and tell them when I feel left out or hurt. I let it bottle up and that's so unhealthy for everyone involved. Lots to work on... I need more direction and drive towards my career goals and everyday I vow to be open to what fears me the most. Failure doesn't exist, if you learn from each setback you never lose - you win... EXPERIENCE!!! Go live, succeed, fail, love, build bridges, create, play, sing, speak, design, cook, walk, dance, paint, and capture your spirit's passion.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oh, The Humanity!

When you look out your window or step out your door, you see the world, the real world. When you sit inside all day and shut yourself away, you imagine a world of your own. You create an idea of the world from what you remember or what you desire the world to be. When you finally step out of "your" world into reality, there is a sense of loss and you become disappointed at every turn.
If you could just step into the world each and every day and keep current in the lives of those who really matter to you, really knowing them and really seeing them, you won't be let down as often. You will have no choice, but to see the realness of life. Not what you think a person might be, but who they actually are. So often do we make up our minds before even researching and getting to the heart of someone.

We are human. Each of us make mistakes, break hearts, say hurtful things, turn our backs on people, and carry burdens and baggage with us at some time in our life. Instead of judging someone, can't we look back into our past and see when we've stood in their shoes in some way or another? Can't we find some compassion and similarities in each other?
It has come to my attention that instead of relating and admiring each other, there are often times we dismiss or write people off for something inside them that we wish we had. For instance, let's say there are two friends, one named Julie and the other named Anne. Julie was overweight and Anne was skinny. Anne liked hanging out with Julie because she wasn't a threat to her. Julie was tired of her weight issues and decided it was time to lose all the weight. She succeeded and became even skinnier than Anne. She also became more outgoing and confident than Anne. Anne feeling self-conscious, cut all ties with Julie and never spoke to her again. Instead of being happy for Julie and being selfless, Anne was selfish and was lacking security in herself. She couldn't be proud of her friend resulting in a broken relationship.

Selfishness - it's an epidemic in this day and age. Self help books often help people with low self esteem to become more focused on themselves. To take care of themselves first and then they will be more happy and fulfilled to help those around them. There are books about learning how to say, "No!" Books that speak of people trying to take away your power and confidence. So many different books that you can become paranoid that everyone is out to get you. These books are great for those in real need of help, but for those who read every book they come in contact with, the messages can get crossed and create such contradictions in their mind. Also, it is one thing to take care of YOU, but it's another to become so self-involved that you believe everyone is against you. When you take yourself out of the equation of life, you think the worst of those still engaging with each other. When the truth of the matter is that everyone is only wishing you were there and missing you terribly. Selfishness hurts yourself in the end. You lose out on so many joys of life. You also miss out on the excitement of experiencing something different because you've given up your control of the situation. To control every aspect is selfish and you don't learn new things.

Humanity is so fascinating. The joys, the hardships, the growing, the love, the courage - being human is a multi-layered facet. As we grow we realize that each and everyone of us has a past, present, & future that help mold us. What we've been through, what we're going through, and what we dream for ourselves directly affect who we are. Our past holds our foundation. Moral fiber, traumatic experiences, and lessons learned are all balled up in our past. Our present holds the now. What we're passionate about, what gets us through the day, what makes us happy usually surrounds us in our present. Our future holds our dreams, goals, and plans. The future is like a blank canvas. What you do today adds color and texture to your future.

If everyone could just look at the NOW and not what someone has done in the past. We'd all be a lot happier. If you can agree to let it all go, either by talking it out and moving on from there or simply by agreeing to disagree, life would be so much simpler. Truthfully, what good is a grudge? What good is a rift in family and friends? We need each other. Yes, you may be happy for a period of time without certain people in your life, but eventually it catches up with you. People are people - no one is perfect and everyone deserves a second chance. Just think back to when someone granted you a second chance... why not pay it forward?

This life is so fragile and so short. We are born into a support unit and somewhere along the way with disagreements, differences in character, and distance - we let people go. Maybe you see them now and then and it's civil, but civility is lacking the emotional connection that you both deserve. Why not invest in each other? Why not truly care about the other's well being? What they're doing in their life and vice versa? Love and friendship are a two way street: what you give, you should get. Still if you don't, you shouldn't write someone off - talk to them.

I hope that those who read this start to take stock of their own relationships. Lord knows, that I have all of this to work on myself. I don't claim to be an expert or perfect. I'm more flawed than most, but what is going through my mind and heart may help someone and that's all I can hope for.
This quote sums it up:
"If you want people to notice your faults, start giving advice." - Kelly Stephens
We often give advice on things we need to change in our own life. It's much easier to tell someone what we would do rather than what we've done. We are much more courageous in our advice than we are in our own reality.
Be yourself, be true, be open, go out into the world, love you, love everyone, let go of people's past mistakes, let go of your past mistakes, live in the NOW, live, laugh, find passion, and be bold!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I have signed up to run a half marathon at Disneyland - September 5th, 2010! I am doing this in memory of those we've lost and for those who were affected, but who conquered the disease. Most everyone knows someone who has had cancer or has been affected by it! I am so excited to be contributing to such a worthy cause. The greatest part about this experience will be that not only am I participating, but it's a joint family effort - My fiance Paul, Grandma Marie, and my Mother Loretta will all be taking part! Three generations of women and my sweetie. What could be better than that?

Well, all that plus losing weight and feeling healthy. This opens up such a wonderful world of determination, drive, and strength for me and all of us. We will be pushing our bodies farther than we ever have before and getting outside our comfort zone. Any pain we endure will be NOTHING close to what Cancer patients go through everyday.

You will be able to see my weekly progress (miles ran, weight lost, money raised, etc.) on my website:

If you would like to donate to this amazing cause, please see the website above... Thank you in advance for your support and contributions.

Let's see cancer CURED in our lifetime!!!!

Have a blessed day! Love to all!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Shed It All...

This past month of April has been so enlightening, mind opening, perspective changing, and empowering. With the wisdom of some angels here on earth, you know who you are, and really looking into who I am; I have finally, for the first time, truly realized what I want, believe, feel, love, and deserve.
When you look back at where you've been in your life, reflecting and comparing to where you presently stand, it's easy to feel pride and regret all rolled into one. I have grown so very much, but I also have moments of, "why did I do that?" And yet, I've done what I've done and that is why I am who I've become... Can't change it and truth be told, I wouldn't want to.
Not only do you learn from each experience, but you also find out who your friends are. People in your life come and go, but the ones who are always a constant in your life, those are the people who mean the most and deserve your energy. There are times when we don't understand why we're being treated a certain way. There's no communication and so we just take on why we think they're mad at us. The reasons we make up in our minds may not even be close to what they are mad about, but when you've reached out and tried to make it right and you're not met halfway - you have two choices: 1) You can continue to carry the burden of what you think the problem is or 2) you can let it go. I'm finally at that letting go phase. When you've truly done all you can do, how can you hold all the blame anymore? Truth is if you were still meant to be friends, you would be. As easy as that. Yes sometimes you fight, but if you were meant to be friends, your friend would meet you halfway. You cannot force someone to communicate. Your energy shouldn't be expended entirely on that. It eats you up. I've learned I am just as worthy of their time as they are of mine. It's time to shed that pain. Move on, they aren't budging.
Along with guilt, doubt and weight from unhealthy relationships, I also have fear to lose. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of spotlight, and fear of criticism are all things I need to get past. I have so much talent and desire in me, but I don't have the fuel to push me towards my dreams. The reason? Fear steals my thunder. I have my own insecurities and doubts that throw up caution signs right and left. Is this song good enough? Did I hit that high note just right? Am I good enough? These are normal questions and yet I let them hold me back instead of finding out the answers. I have such a love for singing and writing and creating and if I put just half of my passion into it, I would be making money at it - I know I would! Now why can't I push past the questions and into the bright future? I need to shed the fear.
Getting up on stage is quite scary. To have an audience of people there to judge your every move makes me shake as I type. Still, I am somewhat comfortable in front of many different sized crowds because I'm doing what I love. Lately, I've been more confident in my voice than in my appearance. Yes, I've gained some weight in my twenties. Since 2001, I have added an even forty pounds to my tall frame. Luckily, I'm pretty well proportioned and so it doesn't seem like forty pounds, but it is! I've tried all kinds of diets and exercise routines, but now I'm taking it one pound at a time instead of thinking of the whole forty pounds. It's funny looking back - when Paul (My Fiance') and I started dating, I wasn't this heavy, but I wasn't as small as I used to be either. We went out to dinner, grabbed fast food here and there, and loved eating ice cream together while watching a movie. It didn't seem like a big deal. Paul is a bean pole. So skinny with a great metabolism and so I went along with what he ate. My metabolism? Not so forgiving. Now I totally see that all the PROCESSED food was my downfall. I have always been a walker/moderate exerciser, but when you eat food that is hard for the body to digest with more calories than the number of calories you're burning, it's no wonder I didn't get results. Now I have a 90/10 life - 90% all natural and non-processed, low-fat food and 10% processed or fatty food. It's a good balance so that I don't feel deprived. I have some fat free frozen yogurt some nights and I love my chocolate, but besides that I'm mostly good. I'm also going to be participating in a half marathon (13 miles) at Disneyland in September with proceeds from my fundraising benefiting the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. I love doing something wonderful for my body and humanity - how awesome that the good will be two-fold! I need to shed these pounds. I have to say it's been eye opening to see the difference in the way people treat me and the things people I love have said about my weight. (that's a whole other blog post!) Appearance and performing are tied together and I really want to feel I look and feel good each time I get up to sing and honestly right now, I don't.
There are many things I need to shed in order to have the happiness I've always wanted, but the process of shedding it all is proving to be rewarding all its own. I can't wait to shed the pain, guilt, fear, insecurities, & pounds. Still, I know that I may never completely shed any more than the weight. Life is all about facing the others head on. Life holds pain, we feel guilt, fear is something we feel and must overcome again and again, and insecurity is something that fades with age and growth.
I feel I've had a major turning point in my life, a real growing moment. I see what is holding me back and I'm ready to take charge and change. Change is powerful and I welcome it now more than I ever have before. I love my beautiful life.

I know you've had these life changing moments too... Any wisdom you can offer? I'd love to hear it. Here's to our health - emotional, physical, & spiritual. May your life hold happiness and growing till it's very end... When you believe you've stopped growing, what is the reason to live? Always keep growing, loving, changing, smiling and always BE HAPPY!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Time is of the Essence

How is it April already? Where did January, February, and March go? Now more than ever I am beginning to notice the fast pace of the passing days. Perhaps it's because I'm on my way towards thirty and every day gets a little more precious with age or maybe the days are just speedily racing ahead. Nevertheless, Summer will be here before we know it. There's no stopping it. The start to the year seemed promising. I vowed that this will be my year and I haven't stopped believing that, but as life usually does, it happened. Not having something to do every single day is making it hard to stay 100% happy. When you have a purpose, you feel this motivation and drive in you and each day you just go... I spend a lot of time writing, but the days I'm not working on the M.D. News Magazine, I'm lost and don't know what to do with myself. If I had the mind for structure, I would finish the five writing projects I've started. Instead, I wake up with my Mister and Dobbie. I make the coffee and Mister's lunch, pour myself some java and turn on the computer as I kiss my babe goodbye and wish him a good day. I feed the kitty and I get lost in cyber space. I think of articles to write for Associated Content, look on Craig's List for homes, jobs, and couches (need a new one bad!). By then, it's about 12noon and I make myself a salad and watch The View that taped earlier in the morning. Then it's 1pm or 1:30pm so I work out for about a half hour, do the housework - dishes, straightening up, etc. That makes it about 3pm or 3:30pm and so I take a shower and start thinking about what to make for dinner. Paul gets home at 4pm and we usually talk, watch TV or a movie, and have more computer time from then until bedtime. The other days when I'm working, my Mom and I walk for an hour up the hill by my house from around 8am to 9am and then it's work time from 9:30am till 2:30pm. Then home to do chores and finish the night like all the other days unless we go out to karaoke on Thursday or Friday night.
I've applied for some part time jobs recently so that I can continue working on the magazine and make some extra money, but so many people are out of work that it's hard to even get an interview. If money was my drive and focus, I'd be kicking myself right now for giving up my full time job at the college, but it's not. I want to be happy and we're doing good. What I need to figure out is how to make money by doing what I love. I have so many avenues I could go down, such as children's books, articles, songs, singing, greeting cards, poetry, screenplays, and novels. Why don't I believe in myself? Well, that is an age old question. In the past, I've often thought it was because when I was a child I didn't have the encouragement I needed to start young and make it happen. In a way, I do believe that a firm belief in yourself starts when you're growing and maturing. So many things happened in my life during crucial growing ages and certain focuses were taken from me and put on the issues at the time. Some often compare me to my baby brother and it's just not fair to. He was at crucial developmental ages when there were changes in our family too, perhaps even more so than me, but he's really adjusted well. The reason is that he had sports and a foundation within a team to make him feel good about himself. He also had me cheering him on and a huge fan in my Papi and Mom. So everyone around him wanted him to succeed and believed he could. Not to say he never struggled, he did, but he came out of it stronger and again had a team to cheer him on. Singing was something I always loved. Since I was in the third and fourth grade, I remember loving music. I have a video tape of me with my hair brush just dancing and singing to Wilson Phillips at age 10. It's hilarious and I sounded somewhat bad, but that was the real beginning of my serious love for singing. My elementary school had a choir and I remember singing Christmas carols in the mall. Still, Junior High through High School there were no music programs, all cut from the budget. In High School I was in the talent show and that was a blast. I also sang, "I Will Remember You," at my High School Graduation. I tried to do what I could do to stay a music lover. I sang in my room every single afternoon and wrote so much poetry and lyrics which I still do to this day. If a day goes by where I haven't sung, something's wrong! Like they say, "You can't say you're an expert at something until you've put in 10,000 hours." I'd have to say I'm at about halfway... 5,000 put in so far for sure! Anyway, back to my point, I need more belief in me. When people in your life, who really mean something to you, don't take your craft seriously, (And when I say, "Seriously," I don't mean really believing that my karaoke nights could turn me into a world wide star. Seriously meaning that they actually listen to the holiday CD I make every year or give me feedback - good or bad - about my latest article, poem, video project, song, etc. Not every single writing piece I do because that is a lot, but a little encouragement goes a long way) and even make fun of you behind your back, it's discouraging. Everybody's idea of success is different and all I want in my life is to touch people and to matter to the world in some way. If money and fame comes at some point because of that, well that's frosting. I don't let many people in my circle. I have been hurt so many times by people I trusted and put stock in and so unfortunately, people really have to show me their true colors before I'll completely open up my arms to them. So that little circle of friends and family that I have in my life, well I would hope they wouldn't bad mouth me or hurt me. Especially when it comes to family. Sadly, I am constantly getting hurt in that area of my life. So, some would say, be a success in spite of it all. I am not a fan of spite. I want so badly for everyone to get along, for everyone to start here in this moment and leave the past where it belongs - long gone. Another interesting dynamic is competition. In family, everyone should just be happy for the other one. I can truly say that whatever success or happiness my family gets, I am overjoyed. Jealousy is for those who don't really love the person they are jealous of. Success of one, especially in family and in most good friendships, should instill joy in the entire group. So, I suppose that is another obstacle in my being proud of myself or believing in me. It gets really hard when your friends and even worse family members are jealous of even your smallest successes. When they talk it down so they can feel more successful, it's hard to come to grips. How can this person that loves me, take me down a notch? It is because I care and I love and I promise to never EVER be one of those people who harden because of what they've been through. I would rather that the spotlight hogging person have it, I don't need it. Still, just the act of telling myself, "They need it more than me," makes me devalue what I've been praised for. It puts this thought in my head that it doesn't matter. How will I ever be proud of me if I dim the lights shining on me for someone else? This year is my year and I've got to figure out exactly what I can do to keep my shine and believe in it. I am the star of my life. Still, I won't ever be the star of everyone else's because I don't want to be. I want to remain humble, but believe I can do anything... because I can! I have so much under this 'ol hat and there is no time like today to start using it! I never had the foundation, but that is no excuse to let the parade pass me by. Time is of the essence and I'm still youthful enough to make something beautifully amazing of this life. BELIEVE JENNIE - BELIEVE!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back to Basics

I just ate a sandwich. Sandwiches, when made at home, are usually really good for you and full of nutrients. Yet, lately - because I've been watching so many shows about being health conscious and reading the labels on food - I have become more aware. Unfortunately, I didn't look at the label until after I had consumed the manufactured turkey. Needless to say, I'm shocked. The turkey meat that I just ate included the following ingredients:
  1. White turkey (phew)
  2. Water
  3. Modified corn starch (SO BAD)
  4. Less than 2% of salt
  5. Sugar
  6. Carrageenan (WTF)
  7. Sodium lactate
  8. Sodium phosphates
  9. Sodium erythorbate
  10. Flavorings (as if the turkey alone wasn't tasty enough)
  11. Sodium nitrate. The fact that it listed "less than 2% salt" and then went on with about 4 other ingredients that had "sodium" in their title was amusing. When you read the sodium grams on the nutritional label it says, "740mg" in just 6 slices (thin slices) of this turkey product. It leads me to believe that if they would have just let the turkey stand alone, they wouldn't have needed to add so much salt to flavor it up. I'm a little freaked out by this. I remember walking down the aisle of the grocery store and thinking I want to be more healthy at lunchtime, a nice sandwich gives you a well rounded meal. Veggies, dairy, grains, & meat. Well, what I thought was meat - at least it's partly meat. Shouldn't we have higher standards for our food?
This really wakes me up to what we put in our bodies. I was already on the verge of change, these past few months. Buying organic wherever possible and watching what I eat calorie wise. Now I'm completely 100% awake. As soon as I read the label on the lunch meat, I opened our pantry to find out that even the Whole Grain Toasted Oats Cereal from Trader Joe's has corn syrup and enriched flour on its ingredients list. What a disappointment - the way I was starting my day wasn't as healthy as I thought. It's really time to start paying attention to every detail. I'm lucky to have had this enlightenment now, this year I turn 30. I have a chance to live out the rest of my life getting only the nutrients I need. Imagine those who won't open their eyes or have lived every day eating the same thing for the last 30, 40, 50, 60 years. No wonder the obesity level has become so high in this country.

When watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution the other night I was appalled by what I saw still being fed in school cafeterias, it was mind boggling. Now knowing all that we know,we are still feeding chicken nuggets, pizza, mashed potatoes made from instant powder and milk with chocolate or strawberry flavorings. Shocking. When I saw the potatoes they plopped out on the cafeteria tray I thought of what my Weight Watchers group leader once said. She was so inspiring and VERY health and organic conscious. She used to say, "Just watch what your food does to your plate or pan and realize that it does the same thing to your body." What an "A-Ha!" Moment!!!! Those kids were eating paste and processed chicken. Disgusting. Amazing what they try to pull just to meet the USDA guidelines and cook food for 400+ FAST! Convenience over quality = the way of the world these scary days...

I'm ready to embark on a "From Scratch" life... I'll be starting another blog to document recipes and ways to enjoy real ingredients and what food used to taste like before the freezer was introduced. It'll be a hard transition and I'm sure I'll have some setbacks, but I'm excited to live organic and green. Also, on this quest to be healthier and happier, my Mom and I will be planting an extensive vegetable garden in her back yard. She has so much space which is just waiting to be growing abundantly with delicious vegetables. We'll take pictures and show you our progress!

In honor of Earth Day lets all just stop and think of this beautiful planet. If you can, go see Avatar in 3D, because the underlying message of the movie is "respect nature." Such a beautiful and breathtaking movie, I've seen it twice now and honestly could watch it over and over. I love the line, "I see you,"- so deep. To see someone is huge. Think about it - when you look at someone you make assumptions about who they are. When you know someone, I mean truly know who they are then you see into their soul. At least that's how I interpret it. I believe it means more to "see" someone than to love them. To know who they are, to have their trust to show you into their entire being. So amazing. The number of people I love would be far more than the number of people I can honestly say "I see."

Human connection is so important in this world as well as having a connection with nature. To be giving, kind, and thoughtful not only gives joy to others, but you reap the benefits too. I think in this day and age with technology at the forefront of everyone's minds, we lose out on personal contact. You know where you meet up for dinner and leave cellphones in your pocket and just talk. It's a dying art. People still go out, but so often I see them each chatting on their phones or texting. Paying attention to what is right in front of us is so important. I remember when I was in Customer Service, you would put the phone on hold if someone was standing at your counter. It should be that way in life. If someone is there in front of you, Listen, Talk, Be There. LTB! There's no way to "see" each other when we're behind a cellphone or computer screen. Technology is wonderful for sharing and keeping in touch, but when that becomes the ONLY outlet for staying connected, you've gone astray.

Remember handwritten letters? Getting mail and stopping your day to open it and read what was going on in someone else's life? Yes, you can get emails, but it seems that when we sit at the computer there are distractions. Instant messages pop up, other emails come in, the side bar shows you something you have to buy and all of a sudden your attention is not on the email. I still send letters to my childhood friend and it is so special. To see handwriting instead of printed words is so refreshing.

Today I realize that as simple as I am, I can be even simpler. I can eat less processed ingredients, plant my own vegetables, spend more time outside in nature, connect more (with those willing to connect of course - two way street), and write more snail mail. Yes, technology is grand. So many beautiful things have come from it, but it's not the only avenue of happiness. Back to basics, here I go? You wanna come?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sideline Watching

We have two choices in life, to get up and persevere or to sit back and let the world fly by us. Me, I've always been the one who watches from the sidelines, scared to get in the game. Getting in the game means being that person who will take it from another because the desire is so great. I'm the girl who will give you the win because she cares, maybe too much. I sit and muddle through because I don't need the spotlight or the acclaim. I know there are people in the world who need it more than I - I'd rather they have it. When will I wake up from this cycle of self neglecting?

I really have had some time to think these past few weeks. To reflect on life and what it all means and where it's all going and it can be scary. I'm going on thirty years old - no big deal. Yet, there were so many things I thought I wanted for myself that I've not yet achieved. But then again, did I really want those things or was it all just what others wanted and I mixed and meshed it all into my plan?

By 27, I said I'd have a home and a family. I would have had an ornate wedding in a garden. I would be an established singer/songwriter who is helping change the world by 30. Now looking back at those predictions, I laugh hysterically. I am engaged to my very best friend and am in no rush to get down the aisle. I would rather run to Vegas with my prince to be wed. I don't want a lavish wedding, I'd rather spend that money on a European vacation than a party. I can't imagine having kids yet, my kitty Dobbie is my most precious baby at the moment. I am not an aspiring singer/songwriter. I sing every chance I get and write lyrics, but could never formulate a real song. Have I tried, oh yes, many times I've sat down and made a rambling attempt and it's just not in me. I'm no musician. I can play a nice tune on the ebony & ivory, but I fear I may never create my own music. I believe that my poetic words of kindness do touch my inner world and that is so satisfying. To see an instant smile is the greatest gift I could ever receive.

The staples of life are so unimportant to me and yes I get judgemental looks because I don't care that my credit is shot, that I don't have a home, that my car won't run, and that I buy my shoes at Payless shoes. Yes, I get my haircut at Supercuts and I love Wally World. Things, material things matter so little to me. They are just that, THINGS. If there were a fire, I would cry at losing my words on paper before I cried over my DVDs and works of art. I am thrilled to keep it modest. Those who know me, know I love to have things around me that make me smile and "simple is sweet" is my perspective.

I call myself "The Simple Girl Inspired," because everything makes me feel. Yes I'm a big cry baby. I watch a happy movie and yet the happy ending makes me cry. I feel so fully and so provocatively. It's not cute to cry all the time... I realize this, but still don't care. There was a time when I'd suppress my feelings because of the way others perceived me. Pardon my french, but screw 'em. This is my life. I'm realizing more and more that I need to take the reigns and not worry so much about what others say or do in reaction to it. For so long I've been scared to be myself and finally I'm aware that I'm pretty powerful, even if being kind and helping out makes me seem selfless. It's actually how I have the power. I have the respect and love because of who I am. It is very rare to find a selfless loving soul these days and I'm happy to be that girl.

I let all my caring clutter up my mind and get me worried. I think about everything and sometimes I get worked up about it and let it control my mind and heart. Even when there's nothing to worry about, I'll hear a song or watch a movie and my mind starts going... like tonight:
  • I'm worried about my baby Brother who is far away from me. I know he's doing wonderfully, but he's not in my eyesight and I just want to be there for him in every way I possibly can. He's my biggest source of inspiration. He's been with me through EVERYTHING and means the world to me and makes me want to be something bigger and better. He's achieved so much already at 23 and I couldn't be more proud of him.
  • I think about my Mom who's dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis every day of her life. She's so amazing, publishing a magazine and taking care of my Grandma full time. She's had so many struggles in her life and she's never let ANYTHING knock her down. Her strength is something that I admire and her compassion is amazing. She's always there to help out anyone sick or in need no matter what they may have said or done to her in the past. She lives in the NOW. Such a wonderful woman. I've also never laughed as hard with anyone else.
  • I think about my Papi, so dignified and intelligent. I thank the heavens that he and I are okay. We've come to an understanding that we will just go from here. How amazing it is to have him back in my life. He's a really brilliant man. So full of amazing stories and insight and he's been so wonderfully supportive lately and I love him for having my back and not judging me. What a man!
  • I think of my Grandma who has had a really rough three or four years. It's not easy when your greatest friends in life are leaving this world and I so feel for her. She is miraculously kind and forgiving of everyone. She remembers everyone's birthdays and the momentous occasions in people's lives and she makes every single family member feel so special. She's so spiritual and when she prays, oh how it helps. What a heart.
  • I think about my second Mom Barbie, I know it's not been easy. I've not made it easy on her, that's for sure, but it's all about learning and growing. She's brought light back into my Papi's eyes and made him happy again. I could never thank her enough for that. This past year through this February has been hard on her and she just smiles and says, "I get back up and get going..." She's one tough cookie, but full of heart and love. There is no one more sentimental and I appreciate her love. She is bold love.
  • I think about my Aunties who have all been ill within the last couple months. It's scary. Not only are they my angels here on earth, they are my blood. My kin and ties that bind. When someone in your family is sick, it feels like a ripple effect. You feel their pain. Such love and light from these ladies, you know who you are, and to hear you're down for the count - it hurts. So glad you are all on your paths to betterness. Remember to take care of your emotional selves. It's not all about being healthy in a exercise, eating, and sleeping sense. You've also got to keep the stress down and enjoy this life. All the money in the world made by slaving away won't buy you happiness. BALANCE and always know you have a family who loves you and wants to have fun with you!
  • My dear sweet man Paul has been my first mate. Through the rocky waters, he never waivers. When I'm sitting here crying for no reason, my goodness is he ever present and reassuring. I know why I said, "Yes, I'll marry you!" - No doubts. When there are a million doubts in my life - he's what I trust. He never judges, always encourages, and always tries to find a solution. He's been the greatest source of acceptance, hope, and love I've ever had in my life. He's so supportive of my dreams and I can't wait to start a family with him, someday!No other friend like him and he's just one of those amazing people. A shy guy so it takes a while to see it, but once you do, it's like WOW! Plus everyone knows I LOVE SHY GUYS!
Ever have a night filled with such emotion and no one to share it with? It's a really inspiring experience of thought and reflection. You feel and cry. It's therapy. My day to day has been a struggle, trying to find my purpose and thinking about this grand structure of life. We are born and someday we die. That whole "Die" thing has never been something I've dealt with very well. When I was five years old I came to the side of my parent's bed in the middle of the night crying because I was scared to die. Don't really know what brought that fear on initially, but my Papi would have me sleep next to his bed and he'd hold my hand till I fell into my dreams and forgot all about death. Strangely, I had those episodes on and off again until I reached the fifth grade or so. Then Junior High, High School, and College came and kept me so busy, I had no time to think of death. When my heart was broken the first time, I started to think of the whole scope of life again because this person I thought I'd marry was out of my life forever. That finality was scary and in turn brought me back to the finality of this life. It's not forever. Since then, 2000 or so, I have thought of death at great length probably once or twice a month. Most say it's healthy, but I don't think my thoughts are healthy. I often picture how I'll go and often cry over the thought of losing those I love so much.

Religion has never been a part of my life and being that I'm almost 30, it's really hard to wrap my head around any of it. To go to a church seems archaic and my perspective has me so closed minded. Paul has a deep catholic background and such faith. I so admire him and wish I had such peace in the wheel of the world. I just have walls built that won't let faith in. Yes, I believe that there is something spiritually out there because of the wonderful souls that reside in each of us, but I just find it eerie to read a book that was written by man. Hopefully, someday in the future I'll have a window open in my mind and some of God's light will cast a light where shadows have kept me a non-believer. For now, I just have a hard time when it comes to the grand picture. Sometimes, I do find myself saying, "What's the point?" Seems so sad that we all build these wonderful lives, buy homes and cars, make careers that all just get left behind in the end. Sweet Paul tells me, "That's because you need to find something that gives you purpose." And so I sit here writing, which gives me such purpose. I feel an outlet open when my words fall into ears who may benefit or have light bulb moments because of something I said.

I have a head full of wonder, thoughts, feelings, emotion and creativity. I believe that my purpose will come. I just need to remove the cobwebs which have me feeling, not only my feelings, but everyone else's feelings. When you have too many feelings already, how do you expect to function with everyone else's baggage on your shoulders too? And it's not like they put it there. I try and take it off their shoulders and it's just not mine to carry.

I love my life so much, I fear losing it.
I ache for a purpose, but have trouble choosing it.
I want everyone to be happy, full of smiles.
I wish everyone a high road with easy miles.
I feel so much because I care about every little thing.
With all these minutes spent on life pondering... A hundred songs I could sing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"They" Say...

They say, wait - who are they anyways? You hear people use the term, "You know they say you shouldn't eat before you swim." - who are "they?" Who are these masterminds of wrong and right. Who are these ambiguous leaders of thought who determine what can and can't be done? Perhaps it's just the rules of our ancestors that have gotten passed down so many times that no one can really take credit, but rather just be a part of the "they" which we often refer to. But wait, "They say that Tiger had over 15 mistresses." So, this "they" must be a combined group of people, past or present. Where do we come up with these sayings?

Back to what I was saying, they say that you should write about what you know. You should take your personal experience and let it flow like a river from your soul exposing who you are and what you want the world to know. I feel so full of words and thought and life, that I just want to be writing all the time. To express my self, make my opinion clear, start a debate, or just be a voice that people like to hear from. I think that is why I sing. I can choose songs that make me feel something, that express what I would say myself and make it sound pretty or interesting to a group of people. It's pretty powerful. I feel blessed to get to sing every week. It seriously doesn't matter to me if it's for 100 people or 10 drunken bar dwellers. They still clap and still enjoy it and many of them act like you're singing to just them. It's a treat.

When I'm not singing, I'm writing lyrics, poems, stories, and working on a novel that is a feat all its own. I'm painting, I'm drawing, or I'm creating something to share with family and friends. I just love creative energy. It's amazing to have something you can share that wasn't there before you created it. Simple in theory, but amazing when you really dissect what that means. There would have been no Statue of Liberty if not for the French artist and creator Bartholdi. No Mona Lisa without Leonardo Da Vinci. No "Tangled Up in Blue" if there was no Bob Dylan. No "Le Nozze Di Figaro" if not for Mozart. No "Caddyshack" or "National Lapoon's Vacation" without Harold Ramis. So many things we'd be missing without such amazing creative geniuses. So, it's no wonder I want to create. I want to make something from just the inner workings of my mind. To take a look at the world around me and make it into something the whole world can relate to. Isn't that just so amazing? It's the one thing that you can keep on doing for years too because as long as you stay youthful in your mind and never lose your imagination, you can create!

So, I write my stories, my opinion pieces, my poems, and my lyrics just dying to be put to music someday and I think to myself - when? When will I be heard, when will I be valued as a writer? And honestly that little voice always springs up and says, "They say you should write what you know." Them again. The masses, I suppose. So, I should write what I know. Seems simple enough. Strangely though, it isn't as easy as all that. I want my voice to have a comical sense. To be positive and graceful and to show the world I'm a tough woman full of ideas and set in her morals. When if I was under a magnifying glass, there are hard times when I'm just not that at all. I'm dark, moody, sad, pessimistic and does the world really want to see that? Another voice creeps up and says, "They do." Real, true, authentic, living life the best I can, but knowing that there are times when it just bites. When all the strings tied together come undone and seem to get cut so it's harder to reach for their ends and put the pieces back in place. I'm very familiar with that place. Like today, it's Wednesday. Yesterday was a great work day, got a lot done, exercised, felt like the world was beautiful and golden. Today I woke up cynical. My week is almost over, I have so much to do. Didn't sleep well because of bad dreams and took a nap in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. Where is my life going? What will I be doing in six months? I was just down in the dumps. Then, my poor cat had an episode and his breakfast ended up at my bedside. Upset stomach I suppose. I cleaned it up and comforted him realizing how beautiful and vulnerable he really is. He is always there for me when I'm sad or down and today I was there for him. If I had a regular 8 to 5 job, I would have been gone and would have been tired when I got home and would have a totally different reaction to the mess at the side of the bed. I guess there is an upside to being home today. I'll take that little piece of beautiful and move along with a smile. Yes life is hard and I plan to write all about every part of it because it's the dark that makes the light.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Life Outdoors

"Happy New Year!" rang in as my Mother's birthday faded into the previous year. How lucky is she to party with the rest of the world on her birthday. It's rather funny that she's actually ringing in the passing of her big day! Once everyone toasts - her birthday is toast! It was a very simple party, but with people who really mean a lot to us. (missed my baby brother) Everyone was in good spirits and you could see the sense of hope invested in 2010. I don't think many people had a good 2009. A lot of anguish and personal turmoil stayed behind in that year, for me. With the new year, there are new beginnings and resolutions. Every year I say that I will research and find a way to get my songs and creative aspirations out into the world. Can you believe that I've written half a novel, half a musical, half a biography, and over 2,000 song lyrics. I also am starting on a new venture of small articles and short stories as a way to actually FINISH something. So yes, one of my BIG goals for this year is to finish my novel. One thing at a time. I'm really proud of it and I just need to finish it! Another thing I would like to see in 2010 is success. Not big wads of money in my pocket, I hate money! I just want a nicer place to live and a working vehicle. The definition of success - what does it mean to you? I realize that to everyone it's different. Some want a large mansion-esque home atop a mountain overlooking the ocean with a jaguar to drive you to and from the fanciest restaurants. All I want is to live in a place without screaming, partying college students, to have a running vehicle - preferably one that is good to the environment, and to also have a creative job where I'm appreciated. Well one out of three ain't bad. I love my new job - very little stress and everything I do, I know I'm valued. What a change! I also have to thank my lucky stars every morning when I wake up next to Paul and Dobbie is all curled up at my feet. My love life is highly successful - I've got two beautiful men in my life! I also have a very loving family who loves me just the way I am and keeps me entertained with all the drama that any normal and dysfunctional family goes through. I have it made. I just need to keep telling myself that. While watching the news this morning and seeing all the devastation in Haiti, I was inspired. There amongst the tears and heartache were people singing and showing their faith in life and God and country. They were so happy to be alive and it's sad that it takes an image like that to wake a person up inside, but it did. It woke me up. The old saying that the bad is there to help you appreciate the good is still so true and poignant. Granted no one wants to have pain or grief, but it brings so much awareness and creates a rebirth. I feel reborn. By the time I reach my 30th birthday, I want to have my purpose all mapped out. I want to feel that I'm making this world better. There are so many people on this planet who need. I would love to help quench that need. If I were to make money at what I love to do - singing, creating, writing - I would be the most unselfish success. I would give as much as I could - honestly. That's why I have to have that purpose in my mind. I want to attain fortune so that I may give, give, give... The only way to make things happen is to get out there and seize it! I feel so secure in who I am and what I have to offer that I believe this year is the year of seizing! I just need to leave my life indoors. Monday on Oprah, there was a family who had gotten so disconnected from each other because they were on the phone, texting, on the computer, playing video games, or watching TV. I took a step back and examined my life and realized that I'm no different. Paul and I work, come home and get directly on the computer. Live in virtual worlds and get lost in them until we fall asleep. There are so many other things we can be doing. Going for a walk, painting, playing a game, watching a movie and actually watch it. At the moment, we put a movie in and stay on our computers, so we're not really enjoying it or getting into the movie at all. Such a waste. Life was not meant to be lived indoors. The winter is now over. Time to lose weight, live an outdoor life and limit my time in virtual worlds. A life examined makes you realize what's important and what can be left by the wayside. I choose REAL versus FAKE. A life void of lies, hurtful empty words, and negativity. Here's to a beautiful year of promise, hope, and going after what means something to you!