Monday, February 25, 2013

The Awesomeness Of Being Human

We all struggle to with self-worth. With the idea that we're not living up to the imagined version of who we should be. Like, "I'm (insert age here), I should be (insert goal here) by now!" and that because we haven't achieved said goal yet, we automatically suck. This would be true, if our inherent value was directly correlated with our achievements... a lot of people think it is. I'm here to tell you, It Ain't! Let go of all that "should" crap.

Who we are has nothing to do with what we've achieved. It's the trying that matters. What's that saying? It's the journey, not the destination? We can't treat life like it's a race to the finish... 'cuz you know what's at the finish line? Death.. and we're all gonna get there sooner or later. So you might as well try to have a little fun while you're here. Who wants to waste their life feeling bad about things they haven't accomplished yet? It seems like a losing battle to me. It's like crying because you expected it to rain... enjoy the sunshine, silly!

We are all human (ie imperfect), and in fact, it's those imperfections that make us awesome. Picture a world where everyone is perfect. Everyone's super successful in their chosen field, anything they want just magically appears in front of them... there's never any uncertainty, or tension, or suspense. It would make for a very boring movie, and I believe, a very boring life.

It's the weird, painful, uncontrollable stuff that makes life worth living. It makes you get up every morning, because who knows what the hell's gonna happen.. maybe something good, maybe something awful, and maybe, something you couldn't even fathom! You might turn your head and meet the love of your life. You might turn the corner and fall down a manhole... and that's the fun of it. Embrace the unknown, because darling, you really don't know anyway.

**Sidebar:  I'm reading this book, it's called "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown. If I were to recommend a book to all of you, this would be it. Along with her other book, "Daring Greatly". They've helped me understand feelings I didn't even know I had. But most of all, they've taught me that the best thing I can ever do is be my weird, awkward, imperfect self. And seriously, it's paying off... so read it, you guys... I'm telling you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Importance of Eyeballs

I was sitting on the couch, ranting about something to my very good friend... talk talk talk, look up, look down.. and then suddenly I caught eyes with him and burst out laughing. The truth was, the problem I was ranting about wasn't a problem at all... it was just me being a dramatic idiot, as I've been known to be, and watching my best friend's eyeballs staring back at me showed me that. It showed me a reflection of myself,
all agitated and silly, shouting about some inane situation... and it really made me laugh.

That's the importance of eyeballs. They show us who we are. And it really doesn't matter if they're a person's eyeballs, or your dog's, or even a stuffed animal (yes, I've spent hours explaining the complexities of my life to a stuffed frog pillow named Sherman). The point is, sometimes we need to look at someone else to truly see ourselves. Especially when we're overwhelmed by emotion. There are few things more comforting than seeing a trusted face looking back at you, saying "ok."

But why is that? Why is it not enough to talk to ourselves? I think it's because sometimes we can lack perspective. We live inside our own bodies 24/7, and it can all get a bit convoluted after a while. Ideas become reality, all those what ifs, all those goals we set for ourselves, what we think we're supposed to be, our failures and our successes.. All those feelings can get jumbled up, and before we know it we're sitting in a corner, chewing our own hair (not that I've ever done that).

Sometimes it takes someone else to remind us of who we really are. Just one look at someone who thinks you're pretty all right, and things start looking up. The fog clears, and that thing your boss said yesterday sounds really petty... because actually, it kind of was.

So let's not ever take eyeballs for granted, you guys. Let the owners of those eyeballs you hold dear know that you appreciate them, that the green specks and blue irises are highly regarded by you, and have in fact made a real difference in your life. That the subtle golden notes around the pupil are not lost on you. Except maybe don't say it like that, you might make them a bit uncomfortable...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Open Mic Night: The Good, The Bad... and the Really Bad.

It's happened to all of us. You're at a bar, and unbeknownst to you someone with a guitar steps on stage and starts to perform. You feel inconvenienced, intruded upon, "Who is this person, and why are they interrupting my relaxing conversation?" You suddenly realize it happens to be Open Mic Night... and you remember why you never come to this bar on Tuesdays. Next time you find yourself in this situation, may I suggest having a little compassion for that guy with the guitar.

It takes a lot of guts to get up there and expose yourself emotionally to an audience who didn't necessarily come here to see you, or see anyone for that matter. In fact, most of them are here to get drunk and hang out with their friends. They have no interest in you or the art you've worked so hard to bring to them. Still, you pull yourself together and get up there.

Scary, huh? All I'm saying is, give the guy a chance. Listen to a couple of his songs... If after that you conclude he really does suck, and don't get me wrong, there's a strong possibility he'll have no talent what-so-ever, then feel free to ignore his attempts at stardom.

I've attended lots of these performances, and I gotta say, more often than not, I leave having experienced something new and at the very least interesting. So next time you stumble upon an Open Mic Night situation, sit back and let whatever's coming hit you right in the face. Who knows, you might enjoy it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Crazy Dance Workout?

nothing like some high kicks in the morning!
I think the main reason most of us don't work out is because it just seems really complicated. We're constantly bombarded with this workout, or that workout, or join this gym, or try this new "thing"... and by the end of it, we're like, "forget it! I'll just go get a cookie."

Who wants to look like one of those muscle-bound people on TV, anyway? Ok, maybe you do... but do you really? You wanna look like the guy from P90X? 'Cuz he seems really tense... but I digress. Let's get real for a minute. Unless you're training for some kind of athletic event (i.e. a marathon, or the Olympics) there's simply no need to pursue fitness like a relentless lunatic. What I'm saying is, it's not that serious, you guys. There's enough strife in this world, why do we have to make working out such a chore? Isn't it supposed to make us feel good? I mean, isn't that the idea here, to feel better?

So I propose a brand new way of exercising. I'm calling it: The Crazy Dance Workout. It basically consists of you playing your favorite music and letting your body do whatever it wants. Let the music move you, baby! Declare a Dance Party in your living room and shake off the stresses of the day. Joanne in accounting got you down? Shake it off! You'll be sweating, --and smiling, before you know it.

It's the most natural thing ever. Our bodies want to move, but the pressure to do it "right" gets in the way. Who hasn't shown up to an aerobics class and completely hated it? I know I have... Not only do you feel like everyone's watching you, but you're too freaked out to follow the steps, and this "expert" next to you keeps glancing at you like you're awkwardness incarnate... because in that moment, you kind of are. Not because you can't dance, but because you're not allowing yourself to. The fear of doing it wrong keeps you from doing it at all... not fun.

So I say, forget about all those inhibitions. No one can tell you you're doing it wrong, because there's no right way to do it! This is especially fun to do with kids.. and those who are too self-conscious to try will be emboldened by your reckless abandon and probably join you. If someone walks in on you and laughs, laugh with them, 'cuz dancing like a crazy person is funny! Dance over to them and see what they do.

Don't worry about calories, or heart rate, or any of that other stuff. Just dance. Stop when you're tired. Stretch a little if you want. I promise, you'll feel so very much better the next day. So good in fact, you might want to try again in a couple of days, and you may dance for even longer.

Exercise doesn't have to be scary. It doesn't have to follow a specific plan. As long as you're moving, and doing something you actually enjoy, it will enrich your life in ways you're not even aware of. So press play, close your eyes, and watch what happens.

*Image by Nemo