Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reminders to self: on success

If I were a character from Greek mythology, I think I'd be Icarus, so excited to fly that I'd soar too close to the sun and plummet to my death in the sea. I'm with Teddy Roosevelt who said, "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." I mean, I don't want to be an idiot about it. There's a fine line between daring mighty things and doing mightily stupid things. But I'd rather be up in the air - flying, flailing, even plummeting - than safely sitting at home, never having left the ground.

Sometimes I think about what it means to be successful. Am I succeeding at life? I'm not comparing myself to anyone else. Success means different things to different people. I'm sure I fall far short of some people's definition of success. But that's irrelevant. I'm not trying to impress or prove anything to anyone. I'm only trying to live up to my own ideas of what it means to be a successful robot/person. For me, success isn't about money or power or fame. It's about daring mighty things. It's boldness and bravery and learning and growing and taking chances. It's falling down 7 times and getting up 8. I'm ok with mistakes and failures and awkwardness and a wee bit of discomfort. I'm not ok with being afraid to try and never venturing out of my comfort zone.

For me, success is more about attitude than accomplishment. It's kindness and empathy and gratitude. It's being open to experiences and people and loving the crap out of everything. I think as long as I'm doing those things, I'll be happy with whatever happens as a result.

The weird thing is that I haven't gotten any smarter or stronger or prettier or richer or anything like that, but I do feel better about everything. I think what changed is that I became really bad at self loathing. Now when my head gets all OMG you are the worst ever. Terrible. F, I'm just like Oh hey crazy lady, how's it going? Life is good, no? Let's get frozen yogurt and watch Newlyweds and LA Shrinks! (I mean where does Bravo even find these people? They are the worst best.)

Lyric of the moment: "I can't be told it can't be done..."

Friday, May 17, 2013

The rush of impending freedom

I'm lucky to have a job and I'm especially fortunate to have one I enjoy, but sometimes work is still....work. And on Fridays I get a little jolt of excitement, the rush of impending freedom.

Work has been crazier than usual lately. In addition to all my normal work, I've been doing the payroll for a few weeks. It makes me nervous - I don't want to make any mistakes. Plus it's a weird feeling to write out one's own paycheck. But it keeps things interesting. I can hardly believe I've been working here for nine years now. What a long strange trip it's been. And I mean that in the very best way.

The working hard I don't mind so long as it's balanced out by some playing hard. Last weekend Mom and I saw Les Misérables at the Auditorium Theater (such a depressing story but the music is beautiful). This week Mike and I went to free member movie night at The Little to see The Great Gatsby (and now I am coveting all those 1920's dresses hardcore) and we caught the tail end of Rusted Root playing at the Lilac Festival (but it was too crowded to move or find anyone). I'm hoping this weekend will be filled with running and kettle corn or possibly a frosty in a waffle cone, which the radio told me is a new thing. It's about time.

I would like to be spending some time on my brand new porch, but the guy got held up on another job and now he can't start work on my house until next week. I just want to get it all over with and pay him because the longer I wait the harder it is to keep myself from going into full-on ridiculous mode and freaking out about spending money. That train of thought runs nonstop service to a future where I am destitute and living in a cardboard box. And I do not want to be in a cardboard box. I want to be in a hammock swing. On a porch. Eating a frosty.

Lyric of the moment: "Baby in our wildest moments, we could be the greatest, we could be the greatest. Baby in our wildest moments, we could be the worst of all..."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The cost of awesome sauce

The price of awesomeness is that sometimes you end up in pain. Or really phlegmy. One week I'm touring Egypt and the next I'm becoming best friends with Nyquil and the only sights I'm seeing are the insides of my eyelids. So it goes.

Every time I go somewhere new and fabulous, I return with a cold. But it's all good. I like to think of it as giving my immune system some new challenges, some foreign and exciting germs to vanquish. My body and I are still speaking different languages, but at least now I'm actually listening and trying to understand. Rather than being that annoying tourist who tries to communicate in a foreign land by speaking increasingly loudly in his own language. As if there is some magic decibel level at which his words will get all Rosetta Stoned and suddenly everyone will understand him. I don't want to be that guy. I'm putting down my fanny pack and backing away slowly.

The thing about pain and discomfort is that sometimes it's a warning sign, a call to action or immediate cessation of the current action. But sometimes that discomfort is a sign of growth, a manifestation of all the awesomeness building up inside of you.

Lyric of the moment: "Sometimes the very thing you're looking for is the one thing you can't see..."