Monday, September 23, 2013

Be your own narrator.

~Disclaimer:This post is a little touchy-feely, but it's important~

Today someone I care a lot about had a very hard day. And in giving her my words of encouragement I realized, we never seem to encourage ourselves. It's so easy to give the kindness, truth, and praise someone else deserves, but so hard to create an inner monologue of the same positivity. 

Our minds seem to play a trick on us - the rules that apply to others seem to fly out the window when we think about ourselves. We are so critical of our mistakes, unforgiving even. We cannot just let go of our flaws, or relish in our successes ... Yet, when called to stand for a friend, we can become pillars of hope and strength. 

In fact, just yesterday, I beat myself up so badly over a mistake at work I could hardly get through the day. And I wonder - why are we so hard on ourselves?

I think it takes conscious effort and constant practice to learn to love who we are the way we love others. To learn to treat ourselves with compassion and give ourselves the understanding we so easily give to others. It doesn't come naturally.

So hey, why don't you cut yourself a little slack today?

Life is just a series of chapters. We don't always get to write our own stories or decide how a chapter ends or begins. But - we can always be our own narrators - and we can spin the story however we'd like!

Tonight I am wishing my friend, and me, and all of us, a little more self-directed kindness and positivity. The art of loving who you are doesn't have to be lost. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tootsie

Ok so I have a confession to make. Brace yourself. Sometimes, I feel really ugly. (I know, don't fall out of your chair.) Sometimes I trap myself, thinking that beautiful women - slim, attractive ladies who can wear the latest styles, have a better life than me.

Of course this isnt true. But let's be honest, my mind isn't always interested in silly things like logic or rationality. Puhhhlease.

I have to give myself a kick in the (big & tall) pants sometimes. I have to remind myself that no, I don't look like an ogre or witch, and being big isn't the end of the world. I tell myself to stand up straight and own my height. To wear my size well and be proud of who I am. After all, there is no way for me to exist without this body. So this body represents not only what I look like, but everything good and funny and awful that I AM.

But its a struggle. Even gorgeous celebs like Jessica Alba, Beyonce, and Eva Longoria are airbrushed to oblivion with smaller waists and clearer complexions than likely possible. The average US woman is around a size 14, but being a 16 or (gasp!) 18 is considered "plus-sized" and your style options dramatically decrease the bigger you are. There are so many styles I want to wear but can't - because I'm too big, too tall, too 'me' to fit them. I swear, you guys, I'd be so cute if I was smaller (ugh, seee? there I go again).

Anyway the point is, this: I am really grateful that some people are starting to realize the toll that society's altered images take on women. It's refreshing that people like Gabi Fresh are out there, blogging, working, talking about how larger (ahem, more realistically sized) women can fit in, feel 'fresh' and wear the latest fashions. It helps people like me to feel more inspired, less alone.

This video of Dustin Hoffman really deserves your time. Truly. Watch it. It really was empowering to hear his thoughts on how life would be different if he were a woman. He explains how dressing up as a woman, then wanting to be more beautiful really made it all "click" for him, and its a touching message. How would you be a different person if you were the opposite gender?



Did you watch it? Go ahead. I'll wait.

Men experience societal pressure too. To be manly - and a provider. To be tough - at times violent. To have huge muscles - and smaller feelings. I think it's important to consider both sides of the coin. But I do think the job of being beautiful - and all the crap that entails - is largely left to the women. I say it's time for that to change.




Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lunch bags and Headphones (most creative post title winner, 2013)

Two things that aren't exactly big secrets: 1) I can't stand my job, & I have 0% job satisfaction. 2) I looove music.

The biggest saving grace about my place of work is that I can listen to music on my headphones. I'm actually shocked that after all this time my boss hasn't asked me to keep my damn phone and headphones put away. Very out of character for her. But I won't argue. It's a huge gift! 

Here at work, we have about 25 classical music CDs in a CD changer on constant repeat.  I've worked here 3 years now and the CDs have never changed. It's the same music, the same grating cellos, the same whiny violins, over and over and over. My boss, I think, knows how I feel about that, and so the headphones are our unspoken compromise. Being able to listen to pandora and watch videos (shh!) is the best job perk I have, and it keeps me happy throughout the sometimes very long, very boring day. 

Ok enough back story.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Don't You Worry Child - PS 22 Chorus

Have you heard of the PS22 Chorus? They're a group of kids from PS22 in Staten Island, New York who have some amazing singing talents. Somehow their videos always leave me inspired and a little choked up!

with Ithacapella, Don't You Worry Child, by Swedish House Mafia, ft. John Martin:

I love watching their little faces and their emotion when they sing.

Their teacher, Gregg Breinberg, is my hero! One of his students is quoted in an article, saying "Mr. B, he’s a handful – he teaches us but we teach him – he’s not just a regular teacher – he is un-ordinary"

Indeed! I hope someday I can inspire kids (and the world!) like Gregg does.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Extraordinary

When I was a teenager, I imagined I'd have an amazing, extraordinary life.

I don't know exactly what I thought I'd do ... I thought I'd see the world, meet all kinds of interesting people, explore art and culture, get involved in meaningful civic projects. Purifying water in Africa. Teaching English to children in Kathmandu. Building homes in Mexico.

But no, I work in a law office and prepare divorce papers.

Here I am now, almost 29, and I haven't done any of those things. My life is very ... ordinary. I'm just your average adult. Nothing special. Work, pay the bills, try to enjoy the weekends. Nothing amazing here.

Often, I feel sadness and longing for the free, fun life I always imagined I'd have. But I was just a young kid then, I had no idea how adult life would be. No idea how much work it takes just to get by. See the world? I can hardly pay my student loans. Meet interesting people? I hardly know anyone outside of my family. Explore? I don't even have a car.

Am I just expecting too much out of life? Possibly. But the feeling remains.

I'm not sure where I went wrong. But I feel such a tugging toward something greater. I hope I can find a way to get to that. I hope I can find a way to balance the mundane reality with the thrilling, yet unreal, life I always imagined.

Part of me just wants to take off and never look back.

If only that were possible.


How do you reconcile your dreams with reality? How do you make it happen? How do you know what you're called to do with your life... and then, how do you DO it?

All I really know is: I'm not meant to be sitting at a desk all day, working for someone else, taking orders and pushing paper without a shred of my personality shining through.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You don't have to find out you're dying to start living...

Imagine you knew you were going to die in a matter of months. And you're only 17. What would you do?

Well, Zach Sobiech wrote songs. They were his goodbye letters to this world. His song, "Clouds" has reached over 6 million views on YouTube, and I've added another 5 or 10 to the count this afternoon. 

We already know that I love Macklemore. Today, I was reading about Macklemore and his chart success when I saw mention of Zach Sobiech, who's also on the Billboard charts. That led me to look up his song "Clouds" and watch the video. And I learned his story. And I shed a few tears.

I truly believe that things come your way when you need them. This all happened months ago, late in 2012, but I found it today. Today, only 9 days after Zach Sobiech passed away from cancer. Today, when I'm feeling sick and overwhelmed.

Watch Zach's video. And have a tissue close by. It's a little perspective from the clouds, for us. This story is very touching and very very important.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Poetry

I found this poem on my new app, Happier. Happier is like Facebook but strictly for happy moments. It's replaced my gratitude journal and I find joy in coming up with three happy moments each day, despite how crappy the day may have been.

Maybe I should start reading (and maybe writing) some poetry?!