Thursday, January 26, 2012

Marilyn

It’s weird where inspiration strikes you, the mood it can put you in, and the thoughts it provokes in you.

I was at work the other day checking my facebook page, I know bad employee, but I swear you can only stare at a contracts for so long before your eyes go crossed and your brain turns into egg salad, that’s the story I’m sticking with anyway.  Back to facebook, I was looking at my page and I saw that it recommended that I “like” Marilyn Monroe.  As my cursor hovered over the suggestion I stopped and thought to myself “Do I really *like* her?”  Yes, I realize that it’s just a social network and it doesn’t really matter if I like something there or not, but it made me think.

I will not dispute her beauty; she was a physically gorgeous woman, so much prettier than many of today’s beauty queens.  I don’t even want to debate whether or not she was a good actress, I’ve seen a couple movies she was in and I was entertained.  I just can’t decide if I like her.  I wouldn’t ever want to be like her, and I’d be disappointed if any of my friends or family members looked to her as a role model.

Now I’m one of the first people to say that you shouldn’t put celebrities up on a pedestal and hold them as role models, but this woman has inspired so many females from when she was still in the limelight, making movies and headlines, up to now.  Young women are getting facial piercings called that are reminiscent of her mole; it’s even named after her.  I don’t have any issues with facial piercings within reason, I had a nose ring in college that I would probably still have if I wasn’t allergic to it, but I did it because it was something I liked and I wanted.  I didn’t do it because I wanted to look like someone else.

I didn’t do it because I wanted to look like that incredibly beautiful, but probably very short sighted Silver Screen Queen of the past.  She died of a drug overdose at 36 years old.  I’m only 6 years younger than that right now.  She’d been married and divorced multiple times, was an addict, unreliable and unpredictable.  She was a woman-child who lost her way. 

In reading Wikipedia articles about her she seemed like she was such a sad tragic character.  She appeared bright and bubbly on the surface, but there was turmoil behind that iconic face.  I think the people who find her life enviable are the same people who think that Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet” was a romantic love story about two teenagers, when it was a deep tragedy.  It wasn’t so much of a love story as it was a cautionary tale.  It was about politics, blood feuds, and what happens when pride gets in the way of common sense.

So the question remains.  Do I like her?  I’m still on the fence.  I feel sorry for her I guess.  Her life was a stream of opportunity lost and poor decision making.  She may have had all the money, fame, love of a few good men, and the adoration of millions of fans for all eternity, but her life just makes me sad.  She had everything people claim to want, but I don’t think she was happy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

25 Random Facts

I did this 3 years ago when that 25 random facts email went viral and everyone (celebrities included) posted their facts.  It was fun then, and it can be fun now.  I was reminded of it when a friend of mine recently re-posted her facts.  I updated mine (some have changed in the past 3 years) and have made it current for my 30 year old self.  Feel free to send me your random-ness, I'd love to read them too.

  1. I have hair that is longer than shoulder length for the first time in 20 years and I'm loving it (even in the moments when it makes me crazy and I'm tempted to chop it all off)
  2. My favorite perfume is Philosophy's "Falling in Love" because it smells like cotton candy and summer.
  3. I have a beautiful Fender acoustic guitar that I have no clue how to play more than a couple cords on.
  4. My car's name is "Tiny Tim" he's a white 2005 chevy aveo hatchback (and this girl drives a standard... hence it being a boy)
  5. I once went all the way to Madison WI to go to a Cal Poly football game.  Was a super awesome trip and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go.
  6. I've never been outside of the USA for more than 10 minutes (mom accidentally drove past the last SD exit in the early 80s and we had to turn around on the other side of the border)
  7. Yes I am distantly related to Dennis and Randy Quaid
  8. No I've never met them
  9. I've seen 4 of my top 5 favorite bands in concert (seen: Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Gary Allan; not seen: Green Day).
  10. The bass player for one of my favorite bands (CCR, they've broken up now but are still a favorite) has posted on my facebook wall... pretty much to tell me that I can't come hang out at his house when he checked in at home and I commented about it. It was an awesome/embarrassing moment.. more awesome though.
  11. This isn't any easier to do than it was 3 years ago.
  12. The movie "8 Seconds" ALWAYS makes me cry
  13. I'm allergic to cats
  14. My favorite footwear = boots, flip flops, or nothing
  15. I've read all the Harry Potter books at least twice, and own most of the movies (all but year 2)
  16. Baking is one of my favorite activities
  17. I hate not having my toe nails painted
  18. I just purchased my first iPhone, and I think it was one of my best buying decisions in a really long time.
  19. I have a red swingline stapler on my desk like the one in the movie "Office Space"
  20. The only professional sporting events I have been to have been baseball games, and I'm not a baseball fan... have always had an awesome time at the games though.
  21. I prefer red to white wine, coors light to bud light, and 7&7s to vodka cranberries.
  22. I'm not afraid of flying, but take offs and landings make me nervous
  23. If you ask me about the Pinwheel Incident of 1999 I'll deny any knowledge of the event in question
  24. The first CDs I bought were Green Day's "Dookie" and John Michael Montgomery's "Life's a Dance"
  25. Black and White or Sepia tone photography is my favorite.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In Love with Love

I’ve been in an amazing mood today.  I’m not sure if it was because I dumped out all my feelings in my last post or if it was just a really good mood today.  I’d like to think it was in part because I saw a post of a “friend’s” facebook page, I use the quotes because I don’t technically know the person; I’m just a fan.

Anyway it was a super mushy exchange between him and his wife.  They were telling each other how they missed each other and how their lives were better because they had found each other.  They shared a couple inside jokes with each other and that was it.  Seriously, I don’t know either one of them personally and it made my day.

I loved seeing that open affection between two people who mean the world to each other.  I love it when I see that kind of exchange between my real friends as well.  In a society where love and relationships seem to be disposable, bearing witness to people actively engaged in making their partnerships work give me hope.  Love isn’t easy.  If it were easy, everyone would experience and stay in it forever.  If it were easy, it might lose its importance.  Too many people are afraid of the work, they’re scared to death of the bad times, but the hard stuff is what makes the good times so much better.  Working through problems together as a team is what makes you stronger.

Love doesn’t mean that you are going to be happy 100% of the time, love doesn’t mean that your partner will never irritate you; love doesn’t mean that you’re never going to be disappointed; love doesn’t mean that you’ll never argue.  Love means that at the end of the day, despite the differences, you have someone looking out for you, someone who has your best interests at heart, even if doesn’t always feel like it.  Love doesn’t run.  Love doesn’t cheat.  Love doesn’t lie.

There are so many people in this world who haven’t been taught the art of compromise, that haven’t learned how to be patient, that when you love someone you put them first, they think that instant gratification is the only way to be happy.  They get caught up in the lusty honeymoon phase of a relationship and don’t take the time to figure out the important things about the person they are involving themselves with.  I think the biggest problem with celebrity marriages is the whirlwind romance.  They commit themselves to virtual strangers and then are heartbroken and confused when things don’t work out.  Sometimes the fantasy is a polar opposite from the reality, and that’s so hard to accept.  I’ve been there, I know what it’s like to feel like your whole future is scattered like broken glass at your feet.  Looking back at the times where that has happened it has been because I didn’t take the blinders off, I couldn’t see all the red flags, because I was so in love with the idea being in love.

Learn to compromise.  Learn patience. Learn how to put another’s needs before your own.  Learn that just because it is in front of you doesn’t mean that it is right for you.  Find out what is important to the person you are with and if it is something that can be important to you.  Find out what that person hates and if that is also something you can live with.  The relationship is not going to work if you want to have a big family and your partner hates children, this is something you should find out before you get married.  Do you have different religions or political affiliations and can you live with those differences?  Love someone that you can be proud of.  Find the person who makes you a priority, the person who makes you laugh when you feel like crying, find the person who will hold your hand when you’re scared, who is proud of your accomplishments.  Find someone who shares your interests but isn’t your clone.  Love by your own standards, don’t compare your relationship to those around you or the ones you see on TV, I can guarantee you don’t know the whole story in ANY relationship that you are exposed to except for the one you are in.  No matter what you read on TMZ or listen to your friends rant/rave about if you aren’t in it, you don’t know everything.

I’m so incredibly happy for my friends and family members who have found their other halves.  I love seeing your updates and getting your holiday cards.  I love being part of your lives and sharing in your happiness.

I’m 30 years old, single, and I’m not scared.  I have only told two men that I’ve been involved with that I love them.  That isn’t meant to be a sad or depressing statement, it’s just that I think love is a big deal and not something that I take lightly, when I say it I mean it, and part of me will mean it forever.  Yes, I am still someone who is in love with the idea of being in love.  I don’t ever want to change that part of me; I don’t want to get jaded by broken hearts and misplaced affection.  Do I want to have my eyes more open the next time I’m in a relationship? Of course I do, I don’t want to be lied to or manipulated anymore than anyone else, but I never want to be afraid of falling in love.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Finding Light in the Darkness

So I have all these notes saved in various emails I’ve sent to myself for topics for blogs that I want to write.  While they might be controversial and spark discussions there must be a reason why they’re figuratively gathering dust in cyber-land.  Mostly I think that while I find them interesting, they aren’t inspiring. Tonight I want to write inspired.

I’ve wanted to write for so long, and I haven’t found the words.  I think I’ve been too caught up in my own head about what a “good idea” is and what people want to read…as if I’m already a viral blogger followed by thousands instead of maybe a dozen on a good day.  What I’m forgetting is that these words are for me, they’re what I need to say, not necessarily what needs to be read.

The blog ideas that I have saved and that are continuing to wait to be written about are rants about things I find wrong in our society and the idealized solutions I would have for them if I ruled the world.  No matter how much I might complain on a regular basis I am at heart an optimist, I want to believe the best in people and I want to see that silver lining in every storm cloud.  I want to see the rainbow after a hurricane.

I read a blog article today by Jenny Lawson (more famously known as The Bloggess and if you don't follow www.thebloggess.com you're really missing out).  Anyway she wrote a deeply personal article about her on-going war with depression and her triumphant victory over this particular battle.  It was beautiful, moving, and so incredibly relatable.  I may not have ever been as deep in the cave as she’s been, but I’ve experienced the darkness.  I’ve had plenty of anxiety attacks that strike out of nowhere, and will leave me a puddle of shivering sobbing raw emotion; it’s not a fun place to be.  I’ve watched people I love spiral into the abyss out where the life rings don’t reach and yet I know that I’m lucky.  I have an amazing group of friends who will walk through fire and darkness to pull me out even if means dragging me by the roots of my hair.

There have been times when I’ve been scared to tell them what I’m going through because I don’t know if they’ll understand or if they’ll judge me for making what they think are bad or dangerous choices.  What I do know is that they love me and most of the time I’m able to get over the fear eventually because in my heart I know there are no boundaries to our friendship and they’ll love me through whatever is troubling me, even if the love comes with a lecture.  Or sometimes instead of making me talk out my problems, they’ll just offer an escape.  Sometimes just sitting on the couch watching a movie I’ve seen a hundred times with someone who gets me is enough to make all the bad stuff go away.  Blake Shelton sings this great love song called “God Gave Me You” and I have to say that song fits how I feel about my friends more that it has ever fit any romantic relationship I’ve ever been in.  A great line from the song is “…For when I think I lost my way, there are no words here left to say, it’s true, God gave me you…” This couldn’t speak for my heart any more honestly.  When I lose my way my friends and family are the ones who act like lighthouses guiding me back to shore… and if my friends are the lighthouse, my family must be the tugboat.

My brother means the world to me, I’m not sure there’s anyone closer to me right now.  He knows what’s going on in my life almost as soon as I do.  Even when he disappoints me he’s one of the first people I turn to in a crisis.  When my heart got broken and all I wanted to do was stay in bed and cry all day, he crawled in next to me and held me until the tears stopped.  He listened when I told him what had happened and was honest with me about his view on the situation.  He made me laugh when I felt like I could never be happy again, and made me feel important when I felt insignificant.  When we were kids I never would have believed that we would have a relationship like this, we could barely get along when we lived together, now I get mad at him if we don’t see each other at least once a week.

My cousin is probably the one person in the world that I can tell her anything and not shock her in anyway.  Anything I’m feeling, she’s felt it, any romance drama I’ve gone through, she’s done it.  She’s gone through all the same family stuff I’ve gone through and I don’t even need words to communicate with her…but she scares me because she spends a lot more time in the dark waters than I do.  She’s been through a lot in her short life and while I know she can pull me into the light, I don’t know that I can do the same for her, no matter how much I want to.  I think the best I can do for her is to let her know that I love her no matter what she does (even if I don’t always agree with her) and that I am always available when she needs me.  I know I would never survive losing her, the darkness would win that round if I ever had to say goodbye to that girl.

This didn’t turn out to be the light bubbly post I had intended to write, but I think this is better; it’s more real this way.  I wanted to write inspired, and I feel like I did that.  My main goal is to always write from the heart, to be honest with myself and whoever may be reading this.  I think I accomplished that tonight and I feel like I’m in a really good place right now.  Yes, I cried while writing this, but I’m not sad.

I’m so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life that have made me who I am, for everyone who has stayed by my side through the ups and downs, for the people who make me laugh when I’m sad, for the people who make me feel safe in a dangerous world, for the people who make me feel like they’ll never judge me, for the people who love me unconditionally.  I hope this lets you see even in this small way how much you mean to me.