What’s That Ford Slogan Again?

 

I don’t love my job.

 

xibit

 

It’s not that I HATE my job, because I don’t.  I’m not even ungrateful for my job, because I’m grateful for the work I do.  Lately, I’ve been wondering what else was out there for me.  In December of last year, I was offered a job at another location with more pay (before my raise).  I was immediately intrigued and gripped with fear over going to a new job to start over.  I had everything set up where I am now.  But my gut was pushing me to at least hear the other company out.  But I never did.  Instead, I told my boss that another company, after hearing rave reviews about me, wanted me to work for them.  My boss looked me dead in the eyes and said, “I don’t think that would be a good idea.  You shouldn’t leave.”  And I didn’t.  I stayed exactly where I’ve always been, but I felt bad about it.  I felt I was given an opportunity and I allowed fear AND the opinion of another keep me where I’ve been for the past three years.    But this year…..this year has been different.   Oprah once said that the Universe will send you signs in a whisper, and if you ignore the whisper that it’ll turn into something much louder that you can no longer ignore it.   I’ve heard whispers this year.  They turned into rumbles.  This week?  Two people in particular turn them into screams.

 

 

I won’t pretend to act as if I care about basketball, but hearing about LeBron James exercising his right to terminate his contract (early) to become a free agent was a story that I couldn’t ignore.  Starting July 1, he’ll have plenty of options to choose from on where he would like to take his talents next.   A lot of fans– of the Heat or for LeBron, I can’t really tell — seem to be devestated by this news; even going so far as to call him a “traitor”.  They love to remind all of us that Michael Jordan never left the Bulls and he won lots of championships.  I can see both sides.  I can see him just finishing up his contract and then leave; there’s nothing wrong with that.  I can also see how you would want to see how you would fit in at another team.  In his profession (I imagine), you go where you feel you would have the best chance of winning.  He’s also very young.  LeBron got me to thinking a lot about why I’ve stayed at my job.

 

 

Angie Martinez, the “Voice of NY” radio, announced that after 15 years on Hot 97, she was leaving the station.  If that wasn’t shocking enough, later on that day it was revealed that she was joining the Power 105.1 roster.  I remember when I heard the news and was extremely happy for her.   This seemed like a very lucrative, smart career move.  She wanted to try new things and expand and evolve as a radio personality.  My co-worker, however, didn’t share my sentiment.  She called her act “treason” and that it made her sick to her stomach that she would betray her home (Hot 97) to work for their “enemy” (Power 105.1).  Really?  I started thinking about all the people who have quit their job and went into unknown territory and did just fine.  Sure it was scary, money was funny, and mistakes were made.  However, they came out better than they would’ve if they stayed at their current spot.   After watching/listening to her interview, I completely understood.  She just wanted a change and felt she had a better shot doing that at Power 105.1 than she would’ve with her previous employer.  Sometimes when you’re at a job, no matter how much you move around in the company, you hit a ceiling.  You do all you can do in that space and that may be good for you, but for others it isn’t good enough.  Angie gave me the confirmation.

 

Ford-nuevo-slogan

 

I think I’m on the verge of quitting my job.

The 10-Year. Tenure.

 

 

I happened to come across this video after my blogging mentor posted another video by her about  having someone “pick your brain”.   After watching the video, I wanted to see more from her.  I’m always a fan of a person who can speak to me in a tough love,  humorous, truthful kind of way.  I like the “concerned best friend who just wants to see you reach your full potential” feel and Marie gave me that.  So how funny was it that this was the video that was recommended to me?  You know how I feel about messages that are confirming something that I’ve been thinking or talking about doing.  Using the 10-year plan was just what I needed to hear.

 

In it, she talks about envisioning yourself 10 years from now and ask yourself, “Do I regret not going for that thing/opportunity/person/trip?”  Whatever that answer is, then you know what you need to do.   You’ll become more focused and determined to do what is necessary to finally go after your dreams.  So I really sat with that notion.  Visualized my 42 year-old self and wonder if she would look back full of regrets, or would she look back and say “Well played!” as she sets out for the next decade of her life?   What do I want to do now?  What do I want to accomplish in 10 years?  Just something that was on my mind that I wanted to share with you.  This song by Tori Kelly sums up everything really well, too!

 

The time will never be perfect.  The pieces may never fall into the correct place.  Just….go for it!

 

 

Halfway To Happy

 

happy-the-movie

I kept noticing on my Twitter feed a few people participating in a challenge.  The challenge was to post everyday for 100 days something that makes you happy.  You could start anytime and use any platform you choose to.  Curious, I went on to the website to sign up for my 100 Days of Happy.  I picked a date: May 1. I even picked the platform: Instagram (which you can check out my collection of happy!), which was going to get me to be more consistent posting there AND fuel my passion for photography.  I was ready to take on the challenge and really stick to it.   Now that I’m half-way through this challenge, I look back on how far I’ve come and anticipate what lies in the other 50 days.

 

be_happy_by_sceneyme-d5sj540

 

I knew starting it in May (my birthday month) that I had at least ONE day that would be a happy day for me, but what about the other 99?  I started feeling like I had to plan my happy days; that my normal, everyday life wasn’t happy enough. I saw my life as lacking happiness and this challenge was going to make me finally have some happiness.  So I actually started to actively seek happiness; even planning days in advance what I was going to post, just in case I don’t have one for a day.  But in an instant, it didn’t feel right.  It felt forced, and I no longer like to live my life forcing anything.  If it comes from me, I wanted to come from my heart.  I want to be authentic and genuine in all of my actions.   It also felt deceptive.  Why would I post a picture on Day 12 of what makes me happy, when it actually made me happy on Day 3?  I had to step out of my own way and lose control (in a sense).  The challenge is about being in tune to what makes me happy.  Sure, I can “plan” events and “construct” what I think happiness is, or I can really pay attention.

 

f-happy

 

I can notice this world I live in more aware than I may have perceived myself to me.   I can really pay attention to what makes me happy and see that something as simple as feeling the sun warming up my skin, or a cinnamon roll can really get my endorphin going .  And what if I already posted something that made me happy that day and I experience another wave of happiness?  I posted that, too!  This challenge so far has made me more open to happiness coming into my life (and it has been pouring in!).  I wake up knowing that happiness will come to me.  I set my intentions on it during my meditation.  I find myself at so much peace and less stressed.  I am, in fact, happier.   So I definitely encourage any and everyone to take the 100 Happy Days challenge  and to get you started, check out the clip below that definitely made me happy today.

 

Fight The Weddings That Be

Alright, this blog was a long time coming, so let’s just jump right into it!

 

beach-wedding-bouquets

 

Ever been so caught up in the IDEA of something, that you don’t even take the time to see if it’s really something that you actually want or fits into your life?  For me, that would be marriage.  I’ve mentioned before that I never grew up envisioning my wedding day.  I was never called “Princess” by my dad.  I never wanted to wear a crown (or even a tiara).  When I actually did go to weddings, I was more excited about eating cake and dancing than catching a bouquet.  But the imagery of marriage was always there.   It was that elephant in the room.  The white dresses and the veils and the groom….they were all there to remind me that as a woman; you better get married.

 

Going to church, I began to hear words like “equally yolked” and “marriage beds aren’t defiled” and “when a man finds a wife, he find a good thing” .  Whenever I would get the courage to ask a Sunday School teacher if I could live with a man instead of marry him, I would immediately be shut down; because of the whole “living in sin” bit.   So marriage was what I had to strive for, you know, if I wanted to live a sin-free life and have all the sex I wanted with my husband.

 

In  college, marriage was once again the topic of discussion. It moved from being a spiritual obligation to it being an necessity.  It became a part of a “check-list” that was the basis of how successful (or lack thereof) you were.  Soon, dating and relationships became a means to an end.  A race against the clock to obtain this title, this ring, and this piece of paper by the time I reached 30.   I even remember once during orientation, a beautiful, slender woman stand up in front of the classroom and introduced herself.  She also told the class, without hesitation, that her plans for college was to find a husband and become a stay-at-home mom.  A few of the guys laughed, some of the girls scoffed.  I shook my head.  This is kind of an expensive dating service, don’t you think?  But wasn’t that why we were all there?  We heard the stories about how most young adults meet their husband/wife at college…so were we any different than her?   I had my serious college relationship and I just knew we were headed for marriage, even though something inside was nagging.  Is marriage what I really want?   We never did get married, even after I pressured him to just take us up to City Hall one day.  Not because I loved him and couldn’t see myself with anyone else, but because it just seemed like the right thing to do.   We were (I hope) faithful.  There was no one else.  I was almost 30.

 

wedding ideas

So here I am, 32 and single.  My ideas on marriage have changed tremendously.  I wanted to believe that there is “The One” out there for me and only me and we would get married and have the happily ever after.  But after I encountered my third “The One”, I stopped looking.  Something about “The One” felt incomplete.  Made me feel incomplete.  It didn’t feel real to me; as if “The One” was some sort of fantasy I was chasing that would really make me get 100% on board with marriage and being married.  Then I learned about being Present and Being.  To say those two things changed my perspective on relationships is an understatement.  I started to see a level of possessiveness in marriage that I wasn’t comfortable with.  I’ve always resented any relationship where I felt that I couldn’t be free.  Not in the “I want to date other people while seeing you” aspect, but not having the space to become the woman that I’m suppose to be.

As I watch friends around me get married or engaged, I start to wonder what’s wrong with me.  What haven’t I realized that they have?   This is my conclusion: I’m more focused on cultivating real, meaningful relationships.  I’m not completely against getting married.  Actually, I wouldn’t mind having a destination wedding.  I’m just not in a rush to get married, nor do I feel that pressure to be married anymore.  When it’s my time, I’ll be ready.  If I never get married, that’s fine too.   If I just have a rotation of great relationships, then good for me!  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not a true cynic of marriage.  Just for now, it’s not for me.

…..But Not An Editor

According to the dictionary, an editor is: a person in overall charge of the editing and often the policy of a newspaper or a periodical or, a person who edits written material for publication.  Remember when I said that everybody is an author?  Well…who is the editor?  If we control our reality, why don’t we control our story?    Because in some way, we actually benefit from the stories that we tell ourselves daily.  Be it positive or negative, we gain something from them.  Otherwise, we’d stop telling people a long time ago, right?  At the very least, we’d stop telling it to ourselves.  See, a story gives us an identity.  A background to which everything that we are stands on.  Even excuses for the things we do.  Take for example this line in the story I told Tuesday:

When I put myself into a vulnerable position, I feel weak.  I saw weakness and any emotion leading to it to be something that needed to be caste out. 

Now, why would I tell myself that?  What do I gain from that?  Well, there is a fear of being vulnerable…which simple examples have shown me that feeling vulnerable made me feel afraid.  Feeling afraid and alone terrifies me, so I close myself off to any situation that would allow me to feel that way.  I choose comfort over the unknown.  I sit with it and nobody gets hurt (especially me).  I get to control how I present myself to people and I can’t do that if I’m being vulnerable.  So that’s why I tell the story to myself anytime I find myself in a position of vulnerability.  But what if I changed that story?  What would that look like?  Sound like?  So…going back to my previous story, let’s write it a little different.

 

icon_focus

 

I took a risk in posting a comment on a public blog that I felt showcased my creativity and witty sense of humor.  Everybody isn’t as brave as me.  I encountered one of those people today, when they left me a nasty comment and criticized my work.  I would rather keep writing and improving on what it is that I love than sit on the sidelines and critique those who at least attempt to do what I did.  I become better for it and stronger because of it.  Everything I write won’t be funny, but at least I’ll be writing; which is what I love to do.  I won’t allow someone to silence my writing.  Being vulnerable hurts, but it hurts more not being able to be myself and do what I love.

 Doesn’t that sound much better?  I think it does.  So…focus on the stories you tell yourself the most.  Figure out why that is.  Then, get to editing!

Everybody Is An Author….

love

What are the stories you’re telling yourself?  Everybody has one.  Hell, even several.  I know I do.  That’s how we learn.  Stay entertained. Evolve to become something greater.  Start a war.  Fall in love.  To make the decision to travel the world.  Or finally call that friend you lost touch with.  Maybe start a business.  To finally end a business.    It starts with a story.  But over the weekend, I started to think about my many, many stories.  Specifically, what are the stories that I’m constantly telling myself?  What has become my go-to tale?  The reason I started thinking about the stories I tell myself because I’m becoming more aware.  That words mean things.  That my thoughts become my reality (and I mean REALLY grasping that idea) and this feels like the right time to really turn all of this around.  I know I have a lot,  so I’ll tell you the story of what happened to me this morning.  Ready?

I went to my favorite blogger’s website and left a comment on the video that was posted.  I really sat with that comment and I felt that I was getting better creatively and was witty.  I log back on to see a person responded: calling me “unoriginal” and “trying to be funny”.  This person then proceeded to air out their grievances with people “like me” who try too hard to be funny.  I felt embarrassed.  I wanted to rip that person a new one.  The reason I wanted to do that was because I was being critiqued and there was nothing I could do about it.  This person, who may or may not be projecting their own insecurities, found what I had to say as really terrible and was determined to let me know.   I felt vulnerable.  When I put myself into a vulnerable position, I feel weak.  I saw weakness and any emotion leading to it to be something that needed to be caste out.   So, the comment hurt me because I’d rather feel validated than vulnerable.

So, what stories are you telling yourself?

 

The Trance

 

Today, I was given the liberty of being able to come in later to work.  One of my co-workers has taken a personal day off and I get the pleasure of filling in his position today.  What that really means for me is that I get extra time in the morning to exercise freely.   So I turn on my television and select the “Fitness” option on my cable On-Demand and decided to see where my curiosity takes me.  What caught my attention was an exercise series called “Yoga Trance Dance”.  I immediately pressed play because, well I never really give up a chance to dance.

 

I got the 30 minute tease of it and I didn’t really know what to expect but I remembered what my astrologer sister friend told me during my reading: You are going to find your spiritual healing in your creativity. Your passion. The occult.  When I began the Body Blessing, I was so in my head.  I just wanted to get the moves right or connect to my breathing, but then the instructor talked about visualizing being open and awaken.  Suddenly, I got still.  I felt loose.  No really, I felt as if whatever I was holding on to was being released.   Then came the trance dance segment.

Yoga-Trance-Dance

All I kept hearing was to “let go” and “be fluid” and that’s exactly what I did.  I can’t explain it, but something broke inside of me.  I felt completely in the moment as my arms and hands swayed.  I spun around with reckless abandonment.  My hips moved.  My feet never got in my way.  I felt like a current; just moving any way my body felt like moving.  It was hypnotic and surreal. Is this a workout?  Or some naming ceremony?  I completely surrendered to what was going on and I barely looked at the screen.  In fact, it all became white noise as I allowed myself to just flow with the beat of the drums, the chants, and the music.  Then the calmness washed over me.  When it was time to do the twist of Fire, I actually envisioned myself as a blue flame.  I saw my fire!  I saw my light!  It was the most intense experience I ever had working out.  But I had to stop.  Not because I was scared of what was happening to me.  It was something far worse.

 

The Chips Ahoy cookies I ate the night before were joining me.

 

Grown-Ups. Grow Up

You need to grow up.

 

This has to be my mother’s favorite phrase to me ever since I turned 16.  Anytime I would find myself enjoying my life (laughing at a joke, dancing when there’s no music playing), she would utter those five words and I would take them to heart.  I always thought that I wasn’t “acting my age” and that if I wanted to be taken seriously, I had to put my childish actions behind me and become an adult.  I wanted to be an adult because adults were respected.  Adults got to drink things other than sodas and apple juice and stay out late.  But the more I got told to “grow up” and start “acting like an adult”  I started wondering if when you become an adult, do you donate any form of fun to someone younger than you?  Was that what it takes to be an adult?  Super serious about everything all the time?

 

I thought about being an “adults”: I would wake up at 6 in the morning and have a nice relaxing cup of green tea with my cream cheese bagel while I reflect on the day rushing out of the door because I overslept; cursing at myself for hitting the “Snooze” button 6 consecutive times in a row.

rushing

Then I would pull up into somebody’s fast food place and order some form of a breakfast sandwich and possibly a iced latte if I were feeling particularly special that morning, but I probably wasn’t and possibly needed enough caffeine to keep a small town awake for a week.  So I skip the cute latte in exchange for the triple espresso and having to weave through traffic because I only have 20 minutes to get to my job and then I’m greeted with this on the highway:

traffic

At this point, I’m cursing at myself 1,000x over because now I’m late for work and this important meeting that I didn’t know was re-scheduled for next week because I’m thinking it’s this week and I complain about it to my co-worker who pretends to listen to me, even though she’s secretly updating her Facebook status on how she can’t stand when I come into the office and always want to be “friends”.  So I crunch numbers and fill up spreadsheets for 8 hours, go back into rush hour traffic and get home, exhausted.  I look in the refrigerator like I’m going to cook something healthy but deep down I’m too exhausted to even attempt to crack open a beer.  So I grab a Chinese take-out menu and order the General Tso for the umpteenth time and click through the television, trying to find something entertaining to watch because after the long day that I’ve had, I deserve to have some form of joy right?  But I don’t.  Instead, I’m exhausted but can’t sleep.  So I self-medicate…hoping it’ll help me fall asleep so I can repeat this cycle all over again for the next 30 years until I can retire.  Or die.  Whichever comes first.

exhausted__or_dead__by_ImSHOE

 

 

Ok, so I may have exaggerated the last part a little a lot, but there had to be a reason why we couldn’t wait to become grown-ups as a kid.  Now I’m not saying that there aren’t certain responsibilities one has when becoming an adult (believe me, you can’t buy groceries with monopoly money or roll a dice into college), but do we have to sacrifice our child-like essence?   It’s great that I gained all this wisdom with getting older and going through some things, but I don’t want to lose my optimism for life.  My enthusiasm for the unknown.  Even my ability to have my funny bone rattled everytime I hear a silly joke.

 

I like being grown up.  But telling me I need to “grow-up”?  Grow up.