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.