Monday, July 30, 2012

The blame game

Well, this past Saturday marked 9 months since I arrived in Los Angeles. That is officially long enough to give birth to a child, and just like bringing a new life into this world, the list of uncertainties can be boundless.

Now, you may be sitting there thinking, "I don't have kids or want them for that matter and I haven't picked up and move, so this post is not relatable." But I'm here to say, you're wrong.


Well, lets begin with the cleverly chosen photo I have at the top of this blog.

This quote is true for ever one of us. The end.

I love to talk about all the things I love in L.A., and I like to leave out the hard parts (most days) because of the negative peanut gallery out there. Those who feel the need to exploit low days and say things like, "Just come home."

Can you go home when you're already here?

When you get pregnant, you spend 9 months watching your body grow, change, bloat and your emotions... now there's the most terrifying roller coaster you'll ever be on. Just as when you pick up your life and transplant it anywhere. Maybe it's 100 miles, maybe it's 10,000 miles - it's going to be hard no matter how much you absolutely love it.

I love L.A. I love the noise, the "industry", the traffic, the everything - the crazy people that dress in gold lame and walk Hollywood Blvd, the artists that try to give you a "free" sample of their music (for a tiny donation) on the Venice boardwalk. And don't even get me started on all the amazing vegan food.... BUT... it's hard.

I'm isolated - in a town of millions, almost completely at times and that will take it's toll on anyone.
On days, I let it get to me - I cry in my wheaties, "Poor me! I can't buy this! Poor me!! I can't go there!! Poor me!! Poor me!! Poor me!!" And this rant turns into a gigantic pity party that twists into depression and then I'm all like, "Why don't we have chocolate and cookies in the apartment ALL the time...?"

That's where I was last night - and let me tell you, cookies just before bed leads to dreams that involve the Muppet's, and not in a cool fun way.

This morning when I woke up and saw that photo on facebook and it was sobering, because it's so damn true.

I chose this life - as hard as it is at times
I chose to give up teaching to come to L.A.
I chose to live in a smaller place
I chose this and part of me is proud, because my family is so very, very happy here and my husband is don't so great. (and if there is anyone in my life that totally deserves it, it's him)

When I figured that all out this morning (and talked to a wonderful friend who cheered me right up) I pushed the "poor me" aside. No, it's not gone, but the silliness is. I knew this wouldn't be easy, starting over rarely is, but I also knew it would be worth it. And it REALLY is.

So I said that this is relateble to you - because it is. Every inch of your life is yours - if you're in a job you hate, quit it. If you're in a relationship that is terrible, leave it. If you have "friends" that only call when the want something, stop answering the phone.

You can choose to stay or go.
You and you alone are the one in control of your life - and if you don't like it and still don't change it - you're to blame. Just like I'm to blame when I doubt myself and tell myself that I'm not good enough to be a writer - 'cause I am. Just like I'm to blame when I hold on to the terrible comments some people make instead of clinging to the wonderful ones others say - that my fault. Just like I'm to blame for having a pity party over not being able to by a $60 skirt I saw online - it's a f***ing skit - who the hell cares - there will be more skirts.

Everything happens for a reason, you may not see it at the time, but you will - be patient.
Listen to your gut, it will guide you. Yes, you may have to leave people behind, but if they're really your friends and they really love you - you'll find them again. I know this for absolute certain.

For every second we waste on obtuse conversations with OURSELVES in our HEADS over things we can solve by picking out a phone and having an honest conversation...
For every moment we lose because a pity party seems like the easier route...
For every sugar cookie we eat at 10pm just before bed because it's the only comforting thing we have right now (is it? really?)...

There is so much more. 

There is the life we want.
And it'll be hard at times
And it will be scary at others
And some times you'll want to cry, and stay in bed for weeks

But the only way to really fail in life is to give up
And the only moment you're too old is when you're dead

Make your choices, accept your choices and as a wonderful woman I know always says "always in motion is the future." Keep going. Keep overcoming. Keep positive.

You have the power to have the life you want, so if you don't get it - blame yourself, but just well - when  you do get it - congratulate yourself, I know you deserve it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Do you like to read? 'Cause I could use your help!

Hello all! I'm here today to put out a call to arms! A book reading call to arms!!

As you may or may not know, I've been writing a book for awhile now. I've finished it at LEAST two times and I'm currently editing it again. This time, I want to do this right, and I need your help. I am looking for beta readers.

If you're unfamiliar with this term, what I'm asking is for people to responsibility read my book and give me feedback (there will be a questionnaire involved) so I can improve both my writing and this book - thus making it acceptable for submissions. Here is the catch - I'll need you to read it in a reasonable amount of time. Meaning in a week or two, and no more than a month. But that's the only catch, if you are too busy - I understand. I have a 3yo climbing on my face as I type this.

At this very moment, the book is roughly 300 pages long, and I should have my edit done in about a month and a half, possibly sooner. If you're interested, leave me a comment on this post or email me - please put "RE: BETA READER" in the subject line.

Thank you in advance!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What do you wanna be?

When I was in 6 grade, my math teacher asked my class what we wanted to be when we grew up. Sister Maryanne went around the room forcing each and everyone to answer that question and making us announce it to the entire class.

Public speaking, something I hated more than liver and onions.

And every student had a perfect answer: lawyer, doctor, astronaut - but then she got to me and I said "happy."

Sister Maryanne was probably the model for nun stereo-types. Cool and cruel at times. My middle school experience was less than stellar (just like a few of my dear friends) and it all led back to SMA (Sister Maryann - the "cool kids" called her SMA) She told me that I had misunderstood her as she laughed with a few of the other students directly at me. How could I have been so dumb?

At that age I was mortified, but here I am many years later and that question still pops into my head from time to time and the answer has remained the same - when I grow up, I want to be happy. See, the problem was that at 10/11 years old I wasn't very articulate, even though I talked incisively. At 10/11 years old the only response I had to her laughing was to cower in my seat and cry when I got home, but now I'm 36/37.

Sister Maryanne had been right about one thing - there was a loss of communication between her and myself, but it was because she phrased her question wrong. She should have asked my fellow students and I, "What career path do you want to take", or even "What did we want to do with our lives", maybe then I would have answered World Explorer, Fighter Pilot, Teacher or Writer, but she didn't. She clearly asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up." - and answer to that question is and will always be - happy.

Don't let your job define you.
Follow your bliss regardless of the SMA's out there who cut you off at the knees and laugh at you and if you can't, remember if SMA had been truly happy, she wouldn't have had the need to be cruel. Only sad and angry people pass along negativity. Only small people take the time out of their day to tell you that you are wrong when your choices don't match up to theirs. (only empty people would do that to a child)

Be happy when you grow up.
Be happy.

And remember, how you treat people morphs their memories of you inside and out, so even if you look like this:

You may always be remember as this:

Because you couldn't be kind.

Friday, July 6, 2012

30 Things (and then some)

I haven't done a random meme in a while and stumbled across this one on pintrest, so I thought - what the hay! LET'S DO THIS!

Here are 30 questions about me and a ton of answer to go with them. Happy reading!

1. List 20 random facts about yourself:

  1. I love carnivals 
  2. I hate cooking just as much as I love it
  3. Feel that every meal should end with dessert
  4. I rarely eat dessert
  5. Wish I could lock myself in a room an read for weeks at a time
  6. I don't really want a pony
  7. I dream of traveling for months at a time and seeing the world
  8. I believe in magic (not the crazy kind where you think you can control people - the whimsical kind that involves rainbows and silver moons.)
  9. Feels everyone should run away from home once in a while
  10. I miss singing in a band
  11. Wanted to get into movies after I graduated High School, but chicken out
  12. Could sit around an read poetry for hours
  13. My favorite hour of the day is around 6-6:30pm (in the summer) when the shadows begin to pull super long and you feel like you're walking in the credits of a movie
  14. Feel every meal should have some sort of bread product
  15. I rarely eat bread
  16. Really like inversions (headstands, handstands, etc)
  17. Feels everyone should meditate and get out of their own head.
  18. Would rather watch Indiana Jones than the Notebook (I'd rather watch anything than the Notebook...)
  19. Has a lot of random crushes that last about 5-10 hours max
  20. Lie about not wanting a pony

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
  1. Fear of Falling - Don't know. I've always had a fear of falling ever since I can remember. It's better than it used to be. At 15 I couldn't climb one rung up a ladder and now I can make it to the top if I need to. 
  2. Fear of Rape - all girls are afraid they'll get raped, probably because it happens so much and we all pretend it doesn't or we blame the female involved and say they "deserved" it. No one deserves it. No one.
  3. Fear something will happen to my child. I had a kid. That's what you do after you have a kid.

3. Describe your relationship with your parents.

4. 10 things you would tell your 16-year old self if you could. (ready for brutal honesty?)
  1. You're pretty and not ugly and you don't need a nose job, so shut it.
  2. Start the band already and grab the microphone and sing. You'll love it.
  3. If you want to act, take classes and stop assuming you know what others are thinking and that it's all bad. It's not. Go for it.
  4. Try harder at school, you're acting like you're stupid and you're not.
  5. Read more. Write more. Talk less.
  6. Kiss less guys. They don't deserve you.
  7. Don't lose touch with your friends - you need them
  8. You're doing a great job, stop giving up on yourself
  9. Laugh louder
  10. If they make you feel about about who you are, stop talking to them.
  11. (slow down)

5. What are 5 things that make you mostly happy right now.
  1. My son
  2. Writing
  3. Music
  4. The Ocean/Beach
  5. Husband

6. What is the hardest thing you've ever experienced?
Toss up between my miscarriage and the death of my grandmother who I lived with for 22 years. It's been 14 years and I still think of her daily.

7. What is your dream job and why?
I want to write novels. Because I can do anything, be anyone and go anywhere - writing is liking having my very own T.A.R.D.I.S. and if you understand what I mean by that statement, I love you even more. 

8. What are 5 passions you have?
  1. Words
  2. Art
  3. Music
  4. Food
  5. Family
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how:
  1. S. E. Hinton - words
  2. Charles Bukowski - words
  3. Thomas Jefferson - wisdom
  4. Albert Einstein - wisdom
  5. Samuel Clemens - wisdom, words, humor
  6. Erma Bombeck - wisdom, words, humor
  7. Angelina Jolie - fearlessness 
  8. Bob Kane - because he created a superhero who was just a man who worked really hard
  9. Stephen Hawking - wisdom, humor
  10. The Doctor

10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
Which one? My top came off at the beach one time... Oh wait... So this one time I went on family vacation with my mom, dad, and sister - we went to the Bahamas. (This is a highly inappropriate story. You've been warned) My mother is (and was) a nurse and she had a pager in the days before cell phones. One day, previous to the trip I jokingly called her pager her "vibrator", you had to be there. I pretty much said it to make my mom blush. She's a woman who blushes and I love that about her. So there we are on vacation, at this really nice restaurant and I looked at her and said, "Hey, ma. Did you bring your vibrator on vacation?" in front of about 50 other people. 

Did I mention the table of cute guys next to us? Really wanted to crawl under the table and die.

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have. 
  1. excessive fidgeting
  2. lying (even small lies)
  3. gossip
  4. people who milk injuries or have pity parties 
  5. laziness
  6. "blamers" and "toppers" 
That's about it - I don't care for people who lie, are lazy, talk about others behind their backs, act like they need saving and fidget too much.

12. Describe a typical day in your life:

Wake up, check email/FB/twitter, drink coffee, sometimes write, sometimes practice yoga and then spend the day with the kid at park/long walk/front yard/science center, come home and chill - make dinner. Bathe child, put kid to bed, watch TV - hang with husband, go to bed, read, sleep. Boring, isn't it?

13. Describe 5 weakness you have:
  1. Saying no to people I love
  2. Chocolate
  3. Coffee - been trying to give it up for years, but I love it too much
  4. I'm a sucker for flattery (which can be a weakness at times)
  5. Spelling

14. Describe 5 strengths you have:
  1. I know my own mind
  2. Good listener
  3. Honest
  4. Enthusiastic
  5. Supportive

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
A wolf because it is my spirit animal. 

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
  1. Xander
  2. Chris
  3. The Hope Saints
  4. The F-Bombs/Whitechaple Harlots
  5. Yoga

17. What is one thing you wish you were great at?

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
Those who have hurt me when I loved them. Sounds and is vague, but its the gist of it. The most difficult thing I have ever had to do is to forgive those I love who have hurt me.

19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
Europe, probably Paris for a stint but all over Europe. Because I think the more you see, the more people you meet, the more experiences you have (both bad and good) the more places in and outside of you that you reach for help you become a better version of yourself. 

20. Describe 3 significant experiences from your childhood:
  1. Being at the hospital when I was 3. It was the first time I was away from home and it was both scary and liberating. 
  2. 12 years old - my mom said, "You're grounded." and I said, "Go to hell." walked out the front door and walked to a pay phone to call my buddy and see if I could come over. I hung out there all day playing video games and came home around dinner. It was the last time I was grounded. 
  3. Getting lost in Disney World. (Getting lost at the Home and Garden show)

21. If you could have one super power, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
I would be able to fly and I would fly pick my son up and fly to the beach.

22. Where do you see yourself in: 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
  • 5 years - published.
  • 10 years - traveling and yoga-ing and writing
  • 15 years - happy

23. List your 5 top hobbies and why you love them"
  1. I really don't have any hobbies
  2. I wish I did and I'd like to get back into painting
  3. and clay, I miss clay a lot and I was good at that
  4. Photography - that's kinda a hobby I have
  5. Sarcasm 

24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
Charles Bukowski - wine and french fries

26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
That you need to eat meat to get the protein you need in your diet. You don't. (only 6% of doctors have ever taken any nutritional classes. That means your doctor is just giving you his or her personal opinion about food. Do the leg work yourself or find a really good nutritionist.)

27. What's your favorite part of your body and why?
My hands, because I've just always liked them - even with all their scars.

28. What is your love language?
Sex? Not even sure how to read this. 

29. What do you think people misunderstand about you the most?
When I meet new people they think I'm cocky when I'm really gun shy. Been burn too many times and I'm to old to just be best friends with someone because we met once. It takes time to build a friendship. Trust isn't easy to come by these days.

30. List 10 things you hope to be remember for:

  1. Being a good mother
  2. Being a good friend/wife
  3. good listener
  4. my writing
  5. this blog
  6. my sense of humor
  7. being loving
  8. trying to be helpful
  9. food
  10. hugs

And that was a lot! I'm going to pretend it makes up for all those post I haven't been writing... ;)
Have a happy weekend everyone.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Blogging - thank you for your words.

Life changes so fast, doesn't it?

When I first started to blog, I didn't know any bloggers and now... who doesn't blog? Hell, people blog about how stupid they think blogging is. A landslide of words blankets the internet as people wade through, searching for whatever it is they think they need at that moment.

I blog more in my head than on screen these days. There is a constant fight for the single computer that rest atop the dilapidated desk in my bedroom, a fight I normally lose to the sticky hands of a 3 year old who wants to play on ABC Mouse. I'm forced to pull out my ancient laptop where I write, when I can, in hopes to one day break this "rejection letter" cycle I find myself in.

The dream pushes forward, the dream continues.

But it all goes back to blogging.

I've stated before how I can't seem to keep a schedule or theme. Two things that are of upmost importance if you really want to keep people reading, but my brain runs dry and the posts I come up with seem like a pitiful cry for attention. Which I want, but not because I'm depressed or a massive train wreck.

So maybe it's not blogging as much as it is writing. The air that I breathe and the blood in my veins.

I, just like you, have done the whole, "What am I here? What is my path? What is my purpose?" rant from time to time in the last 30+ years of my life. Writing.

The "blog" is a methadone clinic for writing junkies who can't find the words to fill the prose they need to complete. It moderates the pauses between active genius and sheer madness allowing you to continues without complete withdrawal. The ebb and flow of writers block and those nights you don't sleep because it pours out of you like water over a cliff.

Moderation is key.
Life gets in the way.
Words are lost.
Return to blog.
Start anew.

We take for granted, the blog.
We take for granted, the freedom.
I take for granted, the freedom.
I take for granted, the words.

A free virtual writing home to call your own, where you can (pretty much) do and say whatever you want, as you weigh out your demons in black and white - for all to see. You place yourself in the window of a department store and you wait, in vain hope, for a response. (A positive one. One that points out your brilliance.) Blogging.

Even if you don't care for it, or read them, or even like the idea that they exist - they are important to what and who we are. They are the thesis of the sociologists. They are the romping grounds of a psychologist. They are the strawberry fields of the artist. They are the free writings of the novelist.

The blog.

I wonder what will be its predecessor?
I wonder what will become of standard print?
I wonder how fast time will move until I find out...?

I wonder if I'll still be blogging then.
Probably. It's almost been 10 years. What's 10 more?

Cheers to you, the blogger, even if I never comment on a post you write.
Chances are I'm reading you. Thank you for your words.