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!