Sunday, November 5, 2017

Goodbye 36...

     On Tuesday, October 31st, I said, "Goodbye," to age 36. No big deal, age is all a state of mind and I really haven't been worried about getting older because it is a gift, only granted to few. What I did feel, however, was a sense of sadness having realized that all year when asked how old I was, I would say, "I'm going to be 37 on Halloween." In my mind I was set on 37 and I was not present in my 36th year of life. This year hasn't been an easy year and the struggles have been internal and complicated. My emotional journey is far from over and yet I know I'll be better for everything this year has handed me. Still, how sad to sort of glide from 36 to 37 without any intent. I feel that each year, we should relish in all the days. We should feel their essence and not just get "stuck on survive" (a phrase made famous by Jewel), but we should find brilliance in every single second. 

    I have issues, I have struggles - no more and no less than everybody else's, but this past year I finally realized that I have completely tuned out my inner voice and replaced it with so many other voices that weren't serving me, but continuously breaking me down. I see that I have allowed this to go on for years and years and years... When all you hear in your mind is negativity, it's hard to give love to yourself or to see yourself in a positive light. It gets dark in that space and every single decision is scrutinized by nobody and yet everybody whom your mind wants you to believe would have something negative to say about your choices. It's all in the mind; some of it is valid and true, but most of these voices are projections on what you feel about yourself. Your mind gives them the voice of someone who has been vocal in scrutinizing you in the past, but the present dialogue is not even real. 

   How do you get out of a negative mind? The first step is to be honest about it. "The truth shall set you free" - The Bible, John 8:32. (Side note: I never knew that came out of The Bible, did you?) The truth is tricky though. Your truth is valid, but another person who lived some of the same life events as you, but has a different truth is also valid. There is no RIGHT. RIGHT = EGO. EGO has no place in a kind life. As soon as you feel superior or need to be right at all costs, you are not living a kind life. Your narcissism has taken hold and there will be no outcome where you are able to be truly compassionate, empathetic or selfless. Still, what you know to be the truth for you is valid, but that's where you must let it end. You don't need to be right or make everyone believe your truth.  Everyone has the right to their own truth. Just because it doesn't mirror your truth doesn't make it a lie. We all have our perspectives and everything we bring to the table based on our experiences. IT IS ALL VALID! 

   Offering up your truth isn't always easy, but you should share how you feel and why you're feeling the way you feel, when you feel it. Masking it or sweeping pains under the rug only cause horrible cycles of more self-loathing. You may think you're protecting yourself or you're keeping the peace, yet in actuality, you're not authentic and your pain will bubble up to the surface at some point. There is no way around that. So, when you feel something, don't "walk on eggshells," or "sweep it under the rug," tell the person who needs to know, but for heaven's sake BE KIND about it. When you scream or yell or voice opinion, attaching labels to a person or calling them this or that, it does no good AT ALL. We all deserve respect, no matter if your truth isn't aligning with that person's truth. There are ways to be KIND about EVERY SINGLE THING in this world! Meanness NEVER is the answer. TOUGH LOVE is something made up by those who need an excuse to be cruel. EVERYTHING CAN BE DONE IN LOVE AND KINDNESS - EVERYTHING. No excuses. 

   My year has held some deep wounds. Some wounds that I didn't even realize (till recently) are living so deeply within me. January 2017 was where it began to get really hard for me mentally and emotionally. This was when someone I loved and admired very much, took their own life. For them to feel that alone just hurt so badly and I haven't been able to really get over that, but I don't think I ever will or that I'm supposed to. It is awful, but on the flip side of the coin, it is an important lesson to learn that you don't know anything by looking at a person's surface. You can see a sunny exterior and a heart full of gold on the outside, but that doesn't mean ANYTHING. The rest of this year has held many reminders of this man and a realization that he has touched my life and so many, many more lives forever. How we take people for granted... At parties, at holidays, at anything including him - he was the man. He was the guy attending to everyone as well as cracking jokes and making each and every person feel the love. He's so missed. Nothing will ever be the same again.  

   This year also held some very serious fears and anxiety for me. From April through August, I would wake up quickly out of a dead sleep with panic and just start crying at the realization that eventually all the people I know, all the places and things that I love, everything will be gone someday. I would be sweating or couldn't breathe at the thought of death at 3am and Paul would hug me and rock me and tell me it was okay. He’d tell me to breathe and then I’d cry myself to sleep and be okay. It’s a crazy fear to have since we have no choice in the matter. It’s not like the fear of jumping out of an airplane where you can just choose not to get on the airplane or choose not to hurl yourself into the sky. When it comes to death, it’s inevitable.  I feel a little bit out of the woods with that fear (though it’s reoccurred in my life since I was 4 or 5 years old), but now I have anxiety to deal with. 

    My anxiety is usually fueled by feeling stuck. So, when I’m in a meeting where the doors are closed or even if the doors are open, but I’m seated so far into the room that I feel stuck, I have a “fight or flight” response. After about 10 minutes, I feel like I just need to get out of there. Of course, I’m not going to "fight" anyone, but my brain screams "DANGER. DANGER. DANGER." I feel like I’m in a life or death situation and it’s only a training or a meeting. I don’t feel anxiety for the normal reasons at all. I’m not ill prepared nor do I fear being called on to speak to the group. I actually prefer to talk in these situations. Only I need to talk through the whole situation. When I’m talking, my brain doesn’t have a chance to freak out. I’m engaged, and I feel okay. Unfortunately, the moment that someone else takes the conversation, I tense up, I get clammy hands and my brain tells me to “GET OUT!” This happens sometimes in casual situations as well. Standing in a coworker’s office or having someone stop me in the hallway. If I feel that I am stuck in any slight way, I can panic.
    Sometimes though, I am completely fine. Sitting with the department head in an impromptu meeting in her closed office, I had no feelings of fleeing. I was talking about 65% of the time, but just being in that room alone would normally shake me and I was okay. I was explaining my anxiety to her and so perhaps talking about the anxiety helps calm the anxiety? Who knows. I explained that my anxiety is not about my doubt in my job performance or my fear of public speaking, but that it is irrational. 100% irrational. It is about the way the room or environment makes me feel. I can’t control it, but I’m learning techniques to help deal with it. Breathing, meditating and being true to myself are all things that are key to my well-being.  Also, stress is a huge factor.

     I decided to take a demotion from my Supervisor position to return to my Administrative Assistant status. Since it has been officially announced, a big weight has already been lifted off my shoulders. I think it was a wise choice to step back and free up some of my mind to be able to focus on my health and well-being. Personnel issues = people issues, and this girl just can't turn off the caring switch. I was taking everything home with me. Hopefully now, I can just go to work and come home and focus on getting well. Time will tell... Many people were shocked, and I heard things like: "You're gonna give up all that extra money?" or "You worked so hard to get that title." or "Just try and push through it."  They all mean well, and I so appreciate their vote of confidence in me. It is so sweet, but nothing is worth my well-being and I'm finally learning how to listen to my inner voice. Yes, the inner voice that has been trying to be heard through all the lies my mind was feeding me. I hear you! I am listening! 

   I'm all over the place here, (as per usual) but I'll wrap up here and hopefully get my few points across. The first being, enjoy each moment. Don’t let a year go by with your focus set on the next year instead of enjoying your present year. Take time to write, self-assess and come to terms with who you are in each phase of your life.   The second point, own who you are in each phase of your life, value it and don’t let it go no matter what is said, thought or shown by other people. Every bit of you is valid. Every bit of everyone else is valid. The third point is BE KIND! If someone strays from the path of which you think it is right, it is NOT your job to judge them, but it is your job to allow them validity. And if there’s something that really goes against your grain, you can engage in conversation, but let that conversation be a flow of communication back and forth. Hear them if you expect to be heard. Always choose kindness... Words are very powerful weapons and though we have the choice of what loop we play over and over in our head, sometimes we don't realize we've allowed our mind to sneak another person's record under the needle. Lead with kindness, know you’re valid and that everyone is valid and stop the cycle of negative projections in your mind. You are the narrator, keep hold of your story…

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Have you ever been honest with someone about what you're going through and they look at you so surprised and say "We couldn't tell." Or "I couldn't tell."? You feel so relieved that your brave face is working or that your spots aren't showing,  but at the same time you feel a bit inauthentic. Not that you want to be an open book,  shining a light on all your flaws,  pains and secrets,  but you wonder why am I covering everything up. The song "Put on a Happy Face," comes to mind. A great song in theory,  but where's the limit to our fake smiles? 

We seem to cover,  cover,  cover until our beautiful,  original paint is so many layers below the surface we can't see what we started as.  One day,  there's too many layers and the only way to rid them is to strip them one by one until that authentic original coat of paint is there for all to see.  Question is,  do you start the layers again or do you add Killz or some kind of protective coat to help toughen you up to the wear and tear of life? 
Protection is probably smart and who hasn't been told at one time or another,  "you've got to toughen up," or "don't be so soft." The thing is, I don't want to turn hard or develop armor.  I don't want to squash the last pieces of innocence I have left.  I don't want to be someone who adapts to the harsh qualities of the world and "bucks up." I have seen the value of "soft" or "innocent" and they aren't weaknesses or a downfalls. The soft care,  the innocent believe in hope.  These are things to hold onto at all costs and believe me,  they come with a cost. You can care too much,  you can have so much hope that the reality is lost and you can get hurt.  Still, it's worth the hurt. The beauty of softness,  hope and caring is worth so much more than becoming hard which often leads to being jaded and filled with bitterness. Being soft gives others a safe place to land.  

So,  where is this all coming from? What is my point?  Today I had my most frightening panic attack ever.  I had to remove myself from an interview panel.  I felt that I had let my peers down,  that I'm incapable,  that something is wrong with me,  that I'm such a weirdo.  All these horrible things I attached to myself for something I tried so hard to control,  but got the better of me.  Why do we paint over our original paint,  the paint given to us when we're 0,1 & 2 years old by doting family and friends? "Look at those blue eyes," "you're such a sweet girl," "She's such a smart girl." Etc... Why do we paint over that with "you're screwing up your life," "you're ugly," "you're such a weirdo," etc? Though the external voices may have put some of those harsh ideas in our heads,  it is our internal voice repeating that dialogue over and over again.  

Today after my panic attack,  a sympathetic co-worker so kindly and concisely said (when I was apologizing and professing my embarrassment) "Why don't you try being as nice to yourself as you are to all of us." And ain't that a kick in the head?!?!  What a beautiful thing to say and what a life altering idea. So often the caring and consideration we give to others is not something we bestow upon ourselves. I would never call anyone else a "weirdo" or "incapable" for stepping out of a meeting so why do I internally shame myself?  

I have a long way to go to figure out what is the true root of my anxiety and how to get it under control so I can get back to being able to function on a daily basis. I know that the mind and body tell us in unconventional ways to slow down,  limit stress,  take better care of ourselves. My brain and body have been screaming lately,  but I have been tuning it all out.  Today,  it was payback time,  my mind was like "listen to me or else!!!" The extreme was uncomfortable and embarrassing and so it's time to listen.  It's time to strip the layers of paint that are not serving me.  All these negative ideas I've painted on my walls and reside in me,  but don't serve me one bit need to go.  How I repaint is completely up to me.  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Brain Is Wider Than the Sky

Brain Is Wider Than the Sky 
A Socratic Dialogue written by: Jennie Camile
April 2015  

Socrates: A human’s thinking and creativity is not limited to the life it knows and experiences. It
reaches and spans far greater than the limits of the material and tangible world. 

Alekto: You mean to say that there are no limits to the ideas and thoughts our brain can

Socrates: Precisely. Take a story for instance. A fiction piece one writes, made up of characters
and set 3000 years into the future. As a human living in this time period of 2015, how would we
know what 5015 would look like? The author would have to create every technological advance.
Other details would need to be created as well, such as: what people might dress like, what they
would eat, what they would drive, etc. It would go far beyond the material world we live in now.

Alekto: Yes, but would one not look to the progression of the last 3000 years and use that
pattern as a point of reference for the future? Wouldn’t that use of pattern make your creativity
rooted in the material world?

Socrates: Points of reference are helpful to all creativity, but to create the future, one would have
to imagine beyond anything anyone has ever known. This kind of imagining far
surpasses our present day and time. Though points of reference are used, it doesn’t make the
creativity rooted in the here and now. Think of the inventor of the cellular phone. Would you say
that his invention is just an extension of the regular household phone? That the cellular phone is
rooted in the year 1876 because that is when the phone was invented?

Alekto: No, but it is the same type of invention. The cellular and household versions are still
both phones.

Socrates: Yes, but the telephone is separate from the cellular phone just as the bicycle is
separate from the car. Both get you to your destination, but the mechanics of each are very
different. For someone to come up with each takes imagination that far surpassed what was
normal at that particular time.

Alekto: Point taken. So, then let’s talk about the characters of a story. Do you mean to tell me
that these characters would not have any attributes to people whom surround the author every

Socrates: Yes, they would be fictional characters who do not exist and so all of their attributes
would come from the mind’s eye. The author would create their hair color, their eye color, their
height and build. They would create where the characters come from, what their hobbies are and
what type of person they turn out to be, such as: a hero, a villain or a sideline sitter. Every bit of
the author’s imagination would come into play to create each and every character.

Alekto: So, the hero in their story would not have any familiar qualities of an everyday hero in
their life? Such as bravery, chivalry, strength or kindness? 

Socrates: Of course they would. These qualities you speak of are timeless. The difference
between the people who surround the author day to day and the people in their story would be
the combination of attributes as well as possible traits that haven’t even been invented yet. The
author’s limitless mind could come up with a woman who reads through invisible eyes on the
back of her head. She could have the same color eyes as say the author’s Mother, but no one in
this world can read from the eyes in the back of their head. 

Alekto: I agree. So, if one was to look at the works of artists like Picasso, Michelangelo, Monet
or Rembrandt, you would say that their creations came from a limitless mind? These painters and
sculptors were only mirroring what they saw here in the material world.

Socrates: Yes, I see where you are coming from, but don’t forget that painters and sculptors – all
artists – are interpreters. If you put their artwork next to the real thing, (the tangible items of this world) they would have differences and similarities. What the artist chooses to put in and leave out is all his own imagination and creativity working. His interpretation far surpasses what is right in front of him. His brain is in a realm of limitless possibilities. 

Alekto: So, the inventor of the space shuttle had a brain of limitless possibilities because he saw
the moon as a place to travel to? 

Socrates: Not only did he see the moon as a place to travel to, he created a way to get there. We
can say we want to travel to the deepest depths of the ocean, but the mind being wider than the
material world comes in when we deem it possible. Then, we create a vessel with the means of
getting us there. The brain becomes limitless when there is nothing we can’t do. 

Alekto: I’ve always wanted to live in a house under the sea. My brain can prove to be wider than
this material world when I create my house under water. To my knowledge, no such home exists.
I could draw up plans for such a home and then work on ways to actually create such a place.
Plumbing, electrical and pressurized cabins would all be tricky, but I could create it and then it
would be real. This would be the only way to prove I had a limitless brain? 

Socrates: Actually just the creating and planning would prove that your brain was limitless. One
does not have to follow through with the plans and make a tangible contribution to the world.
Ideas are born every day and sometimes they are never carried out. Just the ideas, inventions and
stories alone are enough to prove that the “brain is wider than the sky,” as Emily Dickinson
would say. 

Alekto: So true. 

Socrates: So you see, the limits of the material world have no hold on our imagination or
creativity. Do you have any further doubt that our minds can reach passed the material world

Alekto: I can gladly say, I do not. 

Reading Will Always Endure

Reading Will Always Endure
By: Jennie Camile 
May 2015 

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one,”
George R.R. Martin. Nice quotation to begin with! Before the art of cinema and visual depictions
of stories, people entertained themselves by reading books. The reader would journey along with
the main character as he slayed dragons or sailed pirate ships. Books of a non-fiction variety
would showcase life for a person in a different part of the world. Reading was the only way to
understand what a different life from your own, might look like. Fast forward to 2015 and there
are many avenues of escaping or peeking into the life of someone on the other end of the globe.
All you have to do to see some culture or chat with someone on the other side of the ocean is to
log on to: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. This idea that only “a reader lives a
thousand lives,” is a hard point to prove in the twenty-first century, but reading as a whole will
never be dead. 

When you look at the decline of reading on paper, there is very little room for argument.
Andrew Ofstad, wrote in his essay America’s Decline in Literary Reading: Grappling with
Technology’s Effect on the Print Culture of Literature, “In June of 2004, the National
Endowment for the Arts released Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America…
The study revealed that only 46.7% of the American population reads works of literature, down
from 54% in 1992 and 56.9% in 1982.” Since the study was done in 2004, it is easy to assume if
the study were conducted again in present day, there would be an even greater decline. This
decline has been directly linked to technology. The distractions of visual stimulation that come
through the television or a computer screen are said to be the blame for people not picking up a
book. “Michael Dirda (a Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic for the Washington Post) regards the
web as largely an ‘invention of the devil.’ It is easy to see why many readers dislike technology,
since they usually believe it to be responsible for the decline in literary reading.” (Ofstad 4) 
Dirda’s regard for the web as an evil invention is one sided because he’s only concerned with
how it has changed reading when on the other side of that argument; the Internet has also given
us access to an array of information. 

With the closures of big chain bookstores like Borders, Waldenbooks and Crown Books,
the pro reading activist may feel a little defeated. I do miss wandering through bookstores and
finding books to read that I wouldn’t have known I should look for. Defeat is not the proper
word for what is presently happening in the literary world; Change is a much more appropriate
word. Christopher Farley, a writer for Speak Easy Online Magazine, points out the similarities
between this shift and that of the music industry when MP3s were rolled out to consumers. In his
article Borders Bankruptcy: Why Reading Isn’t Dead, Farley sides with consumers who
embraced purchasing individual songs. No longer did the consumer have to purchase an entire
album of songs that they weren’t guaranteed to like. “People hadn’t fallen out of love with music
– they just wanted it in other forms.” (Farley 2)  The same goes for literature; the consumers are
embracing other forms. Audio books, IPads, Kindles and even cell phones give readers the
flexibility of downloading a book right when they want to read it. Instant gratification is the way
of our society and there is no exception when it comes to readers. Why get fully dressed, hop in
your car and drive across town to the library or bookstore when you can stay seated on your couch and download Anne of Avonlea in two minutes on your Kindle? Reading has changed, but
that in no way means that reading is a lost cause. 

 What has also changed is the way we receive information. We used to write each other
handwritten letters, grab a newspaper in the morning to read over a cup of coffee and when
someone passed away, it could’ve taken close to a week before the masses knew about it. Now
instead we send emails, turn on the News or turn on our computer for up to the minute obituaries.
“I’m not surprised that few people read newspapers or print magazines, many check in with
online news sources, aggregate sites, incessantly. They are seldom away from their screens for
long,” observes Sven Birkerts in the article titled Reading in a Digital Age. Screens have taken
over our world and whoever gets the news story out the fastest wins; or so it seems. “Information
comes to seem like an environment. If anything important happens anywhere, we will be
informed. The effect of this is to pull the world in close. Nothing penetrates, or punctures. The
real, which used to be defined by sensory immediacy, is redefined.” (Birkerts 1) Redefining what
is real can feel so very overwhelming at times. With so much at your fingertips, your ideas and
thoughts can get washed out. A quote that really captured what it means to live in this
information overload age was written by Will Self, a professor who wrote The Novel is Dead
(This Time It’s For Real) for The Guardian Magazine. He wrote: “the instant availability of
almost everything that has ever been done stifles creativity and makes a person feel hopeless.” I
immediately thought of someone who is sitting down to write a screenplay and every movie they
have ever seen comes flashing into their mind. It’s hard to rid the usual storylines in order to
write something new and different. The same can be said for the News.  A newspaper which
takes time to print and be delivered cannot compete with the Internet; it will always fall behind.
There is no way to escape the trap of sounding like every other story out there when you’re all
getting the news at relatively the same time. Even if you had a competitive edge because the
story unfolded right near the newspaper offices, your exclusive could make its way to an online
source which could get distributed to all their viewers far before they sit down to their newspaper
the next morning. It’s not far-fetched to believe that everything in print is dead. Still, unless
you’re watching the news unfold on television, which most of us can’t do when at work or
school, you are reading. Each and every time you pull up an article about what the latest Taylor
Swift lyrics mean or what awful state the country of Nepal is in after the earthquake; you are
reading. It’s a part of our everyday life and that cannot be denied. 

 Even though reading is a part of day-to-day life, it can be argued that reading for
enlightenment or for pleasure is different than everyday reading of articles, work/school
materials, etc. So, for argument’s sake, let’s say that reading for pleasure is dead. That very well
may be true. According to an article entitled, Study: Reading Isn’t Dead for College Students
written by Ryan Lytle, the average student has a 50 hour work week when you include studying
and working. Most of the time they have left is spent outdoors doing something active since they
are cooped up inside focused on schoolwork all week. Still, college students aren’t the only ones
who don’t have time for reading. “Only seventeen percent of all elementary school children
(ages 6 to 17) surveyed, reported having time to read a book of their choice at school daily,”
noted Motoko Rich of The New York Times in his article Study Finds Reading to Children of All
Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own. It would seem that schedules and other
curriculum is keeping our young people from taking part in the joy of reading. On the other
hand, “A study, which included responses from 717 college students, notes that 93 percent of
respondents enjoy reading for pleasure.” (Lytle 1) When elementary and middle school children
were asked if they enjoy reading for pleasure they all responded positively as well and had the
same feedback that schoolwork as well as extra-curricular activities were keeping them from
reading. (Rich 1) It may seem that reading is dying out for our young people, but the opposite is
actually true. The passion for reading is still alive, but their other activities are keeping them too
busy to sit down to a good book. 

 An overwhelming amount of choices has been said to be a factor in why people have
stopped reading. When you purchase your books digitally or purchase a hardcopy online, you
could spend hours scrolling through titles and summaries. Each book comes at you and entices
your interest, but then you see another book below and maybe that one is better? By the time
you’ve chosen a book, you’re too tired to read it. You’ve spent hours selecting it and the next
night when you go to read it before bed, you aren’t impressed. So what do you do? Start the
cycle all over again, scouring through more titles and before you know it, you’re snoring as you
drool on your Kindle. It was so much better when you would walk into a bookstore or the library
and displayed were about ten to fifteen titles that were either popular titles or best sellers. There
was always a section for employees to recommend their favorite books. This made the
experience feel personable and half of the work was done for you. The social aspect of buying a
book seems like a far off memory. Well, the good news is Barnes & Noble is still in business and
can be found in every major city. Wal-Mart, Target and even some grocery stores have book
sections. There are still quaint little Mom and Pop ran bookstores, if you look hard enough. The
biggest indicator that reading isn’t dead is that the library still exists. The Black Gold
Cooperative Network of libraries spans all the way up the Central Coast from Santa Barbara
County all the way through San Luis Obispo County. Not only can you get books from your
local library, but you may also request any title that is located at any of the other 33 branches.
The other great thing about a library is they display books of special interest in each section.
Whether it’s a new addition to the library or just a book they know is doing well on the Best
Seller’s list, the librarians are there to work on displays and show you which books you should
check out. “At the University of Florida, librarians have strategically placed books at the
entrance of libraries so that students can ‘walk by and see and be intrigued by things,’ says Judith
Russell, the Dean of University Libraries at the institution. ‘We see a fair bit of material selected
from those shelves,’ Russell acknowledges. ‘I imagine most of the picking off the new book
shelf is the serendipity factor of just walking by and something catching their eye.’” (Lytle 2)
Yes, you must leave the comfort of home to experience such a feeling, but having a book catch
your eye and holding it in your hand is what I believe will keep reading alive for years to come.
There is no doubt that the electronic book movement is a strong force to be reckoned with
and the key reason is convenience. However, when it comes to the beginning stages of reading
where parents read to their children, parents aren’t opting to read from digital devices. Instead,
Children’s Books are still profiting very well. According to Kristen McLean, Co-Chair of
Nielsen’s Children’s Book Summit and CEO of Bookigee, who wrote the article The Digital
World Report for Nielsen’s Children’s Books, “parents of kids 12 and younger were asked the
format of the last book they bought for their children. Ninety-six percent of parents of children
up to age 6 reported buying a print book, and 94% of parents of children 7-12 said they bought a
print book.”  Starting a child off with tangible books that they have constant access to, can help
them integrate reading into their entire growing and learning processes. Even better is when the
parent continues reading to their children long after the children have learned to read for
themselves. “Reading aloud through elementary school seemed to be connected to a love of
reading generally. According to the report, 41 percent of frequent readers ages 6 to 10 were read
aloud to at home, while only 13 percent of infrequent readers were being read to.” (Rich 1) It all
starts at home and with the parents. If parents don’t read, children won’t read – it’s as simple as

 Clearly, reading is a part of the human fiber. We read daily no matter what avenue of life
we travel down. I believe that the more endangered “species” are thinking for oneself as well as
truth. In an age where if you can’t remember the answer, you can Google it; your brain becomes
lazy. You no longer have to think for yourself, the answers are at your fingertips. All those
answers, but what if the same question leads to three answers. Which answer is the truth?
Anyone can put anything they want on the Internet and call it truth. The black and white aspects
of the world, become greyer as we rely on the Internet for information. While we’re asked the
question, “is reading dead?” We must read in order to seek out some sort of truth and thinking
for oneself, I myself believe that in no way is reading dead. The only evidence I really need is the
fact that you are reading this right now. 

Works Cited 

Rich, Motoko. "Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on     
       Their Own." The New York Times, 07 Jan. 2015. Web. 19 May 2015.

Farley, Christopher John. "Borders Bankruptcy: Why Reading Isn't Dead." Wall Street Journal. 
       Speakeasy, 17 Feb. 2011. Web. 5 May 2015.

McLean, Kristen. "Attachment to Print - It's A Parenting Thing." Newswire: Media And 
       Entertainment. Nielsen, 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 19 May 2015.

Lytle, Ryan. "Study: Reading Isn't Dead For College Students." US News. U.S. News & World 
       Report, 15 Dec. 2011. Web. 15 May 2015.

Ofstad, Andrew. "America’s Decline in Literary Reading: Grappling with Technology’s Effects 
       on the Print Culture of Literature." PDF. 15 May 2015. 

Self, Will. "The Novel Is Dead (This Time It's For Real)." Books. The Guardian, 2 May 2014. 
       Web. 15 May 2015.

McCarney 8
Birkerts, Sven. "Reading in a Digital Age." The American Scholar. Phi Beta Kappa, 1 Mar. 
       2010. Web. 19 May 2015.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Positivity INSIDE and OUT


I haven't written in a while. My words, thoughts, feelings, etc. lost all meaning somehow. When you write, you aim to be heard and when it feels like no one is listening, you just start to feel replaceable. When you take some time away from it all and reflect and work on yourself, you see that you have been giving your power to outside forces. A writer writes to feel something. I am on cloud nine as I type here, fire in my belly and words hitting the tips of my brain. Formulating and carving out a piece of written history. It may not be heard by the masses, but it's being heard by me as I write it. Like therapy, I get out some angst and thought and vision and I hope it helps someone else or gives inspiration and healing to at least one person, but guess what? If it doesn't, it has given me life. 

 What I've begun to realize is that negativity and positivity are both swirling all around us all the time. It's our choice which balloons we grab onto. And perhaps instead of handing out negativity balloons to those we peg as such, we should first look into their situation and listen. "We have no right to express our opinion until we know all the answers." 
- Kurt Cobain. 
Also, there is no one way to feel, to break, to be happy... 
there are millions of ways to do exactly the same thing. 
Positivity is abundant in an OPEN MIND... 

That being said, I have judged based on experience or preconceived notions. I am human. I am not void of getting it wrong. I have made some monumental mistakes, but all I can do is apologize and move forward. I've been on the other end of mistakes as well and moving forward when you've been damaged by words is really hard for me. 
Because I am a wordy gal, words echo like knives in my ears. 
I hold tight to words or they hold tight to me and I find it so very hard to let go... 
BUT - I am the one holding on... I am the one who has to let go... 

Life is such a beautiful mess and I have no time for falling into a negativity zone again. I hear the negative words and I feed them to my good 'ol friend - self loathing...  I don't ever feel good enough. I take whatever someone says as fact about who I am when I am the writer of this autobiography. No one should be able to write the lines of my story and yet I let them write in sharpie and I stew in the words that they penned. This makes it so I don't ever feel that I have what it takes to be part of any circle of friends or family. Any tiny judgment on anyone's part just gets added to the trillion self judgments I already hold over myself and I cave in. This has made it very hard for me to live without anxiety or self doubt. I want so badly to live up to everyone's expectations of me that I don't stop and think what my expectations of myself are. I run, run, run and rarely stop to nourish my inner spirit, soul and life. There's no one to blame but myself. My ego is non-existent and at least a small ego is key to a healthy balance of inner peace. You have to believe in yourself in some capacity! I have had some great flourishes of success that give me hope of self esteem, but any hiccup sends me right back to feeling insecure and hopeless. John Mayer's lyrics: "Stop this train, I wanna get off..." illustrates how I feel a lot of the time. I don't want to take the same trip down the same track year after year, but I buy that ticket and I go round and round again and again...  

Something has got to change and the best way to change is to add dollops of positivity to my life. I feel so run down all the time. The anxiety comes on and I just sit there in a stomach acid frenzy hoping for things to change. I love HOPE and I believe in it more than anything, but in this instance, it won't get me out of this mess. I've gotta change. I've been changing my mind frame and scope, but now I've got to change my actions. I am worthy of a mistake or a hiccup. It's all in how I handle it and respond to it that will make all the difference. I am not meant to be perfect nor do I ever want to be. I miss all the creative things I used to do. I used to send cards for every holiday. I used to draw, paint, write, sing and feed that creative side that is so important to my character. Those are pieces of positivity that I've allowed to leave my life. WHY? I guess I had come to think that positivity was  just a demeanor. To be well equipped with smiles, a can do attitude and doing my best to give as much happiness to others as possible is what I thought it meant, but positivity is far more than that. Positivity comes most authentically from a person who is fueling their life with it. I am not. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not faking anything I give. Man do I love to make life a little easier or better for anyone and everyone I can. I just have to start seeing that the same love I give outwardly, needs to be given inwardly. As I write this, I'm beating myself up internally: "You're 36 years old, what is wrong with you?" or "How come it's taken you this long to figure this out?" All I have to say to that voice is: "This is where I am and this is who I am!" I am a beautiful mess full of ideas, unfinished dreams and a wonderful life before me. I am so blessed in love, family, friends and this little orange furball I call my kiddo. All I need to do is start letting positivity rule my life from the inside out and not the other way around... 


Be simple. Be inspired. Be YOU!