Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hill Repeat Meditation

I have a hard time with meditation. Even my savasana in yoga is more zombie pose than corpse pose. As soon as I try to be still, my skin suddenly gets very itchy and my brain is all "Hey, look over there! Something that happened 10 years ago! That embarrassing thing you did! A person you don't want to think about! Where are your hands supposed to go? Palms up or down? I think it's up but that feels weird. Palms down feels better. No, it's palms up. The instructor just said palms up. Are we there yet?" The closest I can get to meditation is running a bunch of hills before dawn. I find that hill repeats are easier in the dark because I can half pretend I'm still asleep and also that I'm the only person awake in the whole world. I know that makes no sense. But neither does running uphill at 5am. That's why it's fun.

This morning I ran up the gravel hill at Cobb's Hill 8 times, which is a personal record. I kept waiting for my legs to feel like Jello but they didn't. I kept waiting for my nose to stop running but it wouldn't. I think I could have done at least one more hill, except that I needed to run home, shower and get to work. It was not a fast run (my watch said 6.5 miles, average pace 10:30 per mile) but afterwards I felt the way I think meditation is supposed to make you feel. Calm, centered, happy. Hungry? I think maybe I'm more of a moving meditation sort of person. Especially if there is a soundtrack. There are some songs that always make me feel better about everything, whether it's climbing up a literal or a figurative hill.

Here's my current Playlist For Hill Repeats And Other Obstacles:

Hayling by FC Kahuna: "Don't think about all those things you fear. Just be glad to be here."

Breathe by Telepopmusik: "Just breathe. Just believe."

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead by Stars: "When there's nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire." And "Live through this, and you won't look back."

The Fixer by Pearl Jam: "When something's broke, I wanna put a bit of fixin on it. When something's bored, I wanna put a little exciting on it. If something's low, I wanna put a little high on it. When something's lost, I wanna fight to get it back again."

Ali In The Jungle by The Hours: "It's not how you start, it's how you finish. And it's not where you're from, it's where you're at. Everybody gets knocked down, everybody gets knocked down. How quick are you gonna get up?"

I Lived by One Republic: "Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad. The only way you can know is give it all you have. And I hope that you don't suffer but take the pain. Hope when the moment comes, you'll say, I did it all. I, I did it all. I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places, the things that I did. With every broken bone, I swear I lived."

Magic by Coldplay: "And if you were to ask me, after all that we've been through. Still believe in magic? Oh yes I do. Of course I do."

Guerilla Radio by Rage Against The Machine: "It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?"

Drive by Incubus: "Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there with open arms and open eyes."

Shake It Off by Florence + The Machine: "It's always darkest before the dawn...And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back. So shake him off."

Lyric of the moment: "All you do is call me. I'll be anything you need...I want to be your sledgehammer..." (Because I get to smash things with a sledgehammer tonight! Don't worry, it's legit smashing. Pete has been cleaning out/fixing up his dad's house to get it ready to sell and tonight is break-up-all-the-big-things-to-fit-in-the-garbage night.)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Aloha State

The weather in Hawaii is perfect. Sunny, 80 degrees, ocean breezes, rainbows. Every day. Sometimes it rains. And even the rain is perfect. Tiny droplets that swirl around you in a little cooling mist. It's...I don't know how else to explain it...cute. The rain is freaking cute. It's downright adorable. But the downside to all this paradise is that the backdrop of perfection casts a harsh light on one's own imperfections. And my trip to Oahu was already off to an inauspicious start. My body was misbehaving in all the ways. I can never sleep on airplanes. The few times I started to nod off I would get jolted awake by an errant elbow or the ding of the Fasten Seatbelt sign or startled by that actual falling feeling you sometimes get as you drift into sleep. I got a sore throat and cough. A bug flew in the car window and died on my leg, guts everywhere. But sickness and kamikaze bugs and the horror that is the backs of my pasty white thighs notwithstanding, it was a fabulous vacation.

We had a partial ocean view room. The other part was construction view. Which turned out to be far more interesting. We got to watch the crane operator climb up to his tiny control tower in the sky and lift things up and put them down. We speculated on if he spent a full 8 hours a day up there and what he did when he had to go to the bathroom (I thought many trips up and down all the stairs, Pete thought bucket.)

We hiked the trails above and then went swimming in Hanauma Bay, after watching the terribly cheesy video they force you to endure before you gain admittance to the park. Basically it tells you over and over in annoying songs not to a) step on the coral reef or b) touch the fish/turtles/nature. While we were swimming and relaxing in the sun, the lifeguards made a few unintelligible announcements on the loudspeaker, the only one of which I understood was a warning pleading parents not to leave their children unattended. Which is common sense, one would think. Though to be fair, it was not one of the rules covered in the video.

I had the pleasure of meeting Pete's Navy buddy and his lovely wife and they took us to see Waimea Falls, to the best taco stand in the North Shore and made us a fabulous dinner at their house. We also went bowling one night, where I bowled my highest score ever, a pitiful 82 (I am The Worst at bowling. Tragicomically bad), and had dinner at Duke's Waikiki another night. Duke's is apparently one of those places you have to go, as he was an Olympic swimmer and "Father of International Surfing." His salad bar is also very impressive.

Pete and I visited the Polynesian Cultural Center, where we enjoyed the luau and a show called Ha Breath of Life. Which was kind of like the Lion King with humans, and ridiculously cool fire jugglers. This was my first time at a luau and I liked the purple foods the best (purple sweet potatoes, purple rolls and purple bread pudding). The rest of the desserts were not great, but the shows were quite spectacular. And it was a pretty drive from the hotel out to the center. On the way I noticed a sign saying "Farm Moving Sale," and I said "How do you move a farm?" To which Pete replied "Horse and cabbages?" and then "You can use that one in your blog."

While Pete was at Navy duty one day, I ran from our hotel to and up Diamond Head Crater, and back. It was the warmest and most gorgeous 10 miles I've run this year. Normally I wouldn't have attempted something like this myself because I'm terrible at directions and I always get lost. But I just ran and let my smartphone tell me where to go. Though I did get lost on the way back because I think the phone was confused about where our hotel was, but I found my way to the beach and took that back to the hotel. And a run that includes both a volcano and a beach is my kind of route. Though I think I must be running hills all wrong because my calves were killing me afterwards but my quads and glutes felt nothing. I need to learn how to run with my butt apparently.

A few days later, Pete and I hiked up this crazy steep tram trail, the Koko Crater Railway Trail. Part of the trail goes over a bridge where you're just walking on the wooden railroad beams and there's nothing but air underneath. It's a little unsettling, both going up and down, but it's a killer hill workout and the views at the top are totally worth it.

We also did the short hike to Manoa Falls and, while the falls were more of a trickle this time of year, it was a beautiful, rainforest-y walk. All in all, it was quite an epic week.

If I've learned anything in life, it's that the things that seem like bad luck usually turn out to have the most delicious silver linings. So that inopportune cold, it's a good excuse to eat shave ice and acai/pitaya bowls to your heart's content. For medicinal purposes of course. And if, despite not feeling your best, and at times being frustrated at not feeling your best, you spend the week hiking/running up volcanoes and laughing and wondering how you got so lucky, you really must be onto something here.

I thought Aloha meant Hello and Goodbye because it's used as a greeting, but it actually means Love. Which is actually the perfect greeting. And it occurred to me that this place, this feeling is what love is. Warmth and sunshine that embraces you even on your sick/tired/highly imperfect days. Good times with good people. Hills to climb. A partner in laughs and adventures by your side.

Lyric of the moment: "I don't get many things right the first time. In fact, I am told that a lot. Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls brought me here. And where was I before the day that I first saw your lovely face? Now I see it everyday. And I know. That I am. The luckiest..."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Travel. In 6 word stories.

Green house without white dog, empty.
Taxi is ten minutes late. Annoying.
The line for security...oh shit!
Others miss flight. Luxurious extra space.
Airplane tea is The Actual Worst.
Flight attendant's false promise of peanuts.
Watching sunrise from above clouds, magic.
Landing in fog, eerily ethereal vibe.
Why do people walk so slowly?!
Ten more hours in the air.
Loved St. Vincent. Beautifully flawed characters.
That tall guy looks familiar. Hugs.
Pete and Jen's excellent adventures continue.
Torn between here and there, always.
Let's do this forever. And ever.
Adventure! Until the end of time.
Lyric of the moment: "Take me on. Take on me..."

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Backwards in timezones towards the future

Peter Gabriel's Big Time was playing on the radio. Which always bums me out because I want it to be Sledgehammer. I have nothing against Big Time. The end is funny. It's just that it's not Sledgehammer. And that's the problem with expectations. You ruin a perfectly good now by wishing it was something else.

I am far from mastering the whole having no expectations things. I haven't figured out how to stop having them, though I am getting better at letting them go. So when you're living in the land of layers and then suddenly you have to pack to go somewhere tropical and you look in the mirror and instantly regret every cookie you've ever eaten, you have to be all Brain, you better check yo'self before you wreck yo'self. You have to let go of any expectations of ever being tan. (Well, you probably don't. The sun probably doesn't have a vendetta against your skin. But I have a better chance of winning the lottery than I ever do of being tan. Which is to say, it's beyond hopeless). You have to let go of the expectations that you have to be this perfect traveler who never over-packs and yet always has cute outfits and never gets jetlagged and certainly never has unkind thoughts about screaming babies on planes.

Because if life gives you the opportunity to simultaneously travel backwards in timezones and towards the person who could be your future, don't worry that you're not ready, that you're not good enough at any of the things yet, that you're going to a faraway place with new people that may not like you and may sunburn you. Just get on the plane.

Lyric of the moment: "All the stars up in the sky, and the leaves in the trees. All the broken bits that make you jump up, and grassy bits in between. All the matter in the world is how much I like you..."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It seemed like a good idea at the time

My adulthood is oddly similar to my childhood, albeit with significantly more disposable income. Most of the things I do now are the things I enjoyed as a kid: running around outside, getting up to adventures, reading. And writing. I was always writing. My mom made me blank books with wallpaper and cardboard covers and I filled them up with stories. One Thanksgiving my dad and I wrote a story called The Turkey That Got Away. My brother hated books but somehow I convinced him to collaborate with me on a comic book called Superman Vs. Godzilla. We typed the pages on an old typewriter in the basement and made our own colored pencil illustrations. It was as terribly awesome as it sounds.

When I was younger, everything I wrote was fiction but now I'm more interested in non-fiction. I find the truth is stranger and more awesome than any fiction. Plus I like having a record of my adventures here, all the weirdness, lessons and hilarious happenings. Like that time Jeff and Erica came to the RIT men's hockey playoff game with us and I had Styrofoam in my hair (they were handing out tiger bobbleheads and when I opened the box, the Styrofoam packaging went everywhere, including my hair). And Pete ate the cookie I dropped on the ground. And this conversation happened:

Me:   Bill asked me "What's your dog's name again? Mothball?" and I couldn't stop
         laughing. Who would name a dog Mothball?
Pete: You should have named him Megatron.
Me:   Yes! I totally should have! Then I could be like "This is my little robot in disguise."

I don't know why I write. I don't have any particular aptitude for it. I just enjoy it and it makes me laugh. And I think maybe that is the secret to everything. Find the things and the people you enjoy, that make you laugh, and spend your time there.

So when I got the idea one day to write an ebook, I didn't focus on the myriad reasons not to do it. (Chief among them, I'm not a good writer and I have no idea what I'm doing). I just did it for the enjoyment of doing it. I wrote it, edited it, then released it into the wilds of Amazon.com. I don't expect anything to come of it. Maybe no one will find it. Maybe someone will find it and absolutely hate it. But maybe someone will read it and it will make them think or laugh or feel less alone. And that is the legacy I want to leave.

So here it is: All Roads Lead To Awesometown

Lyric of the moment: "I've never been so lost. I've never felt so much at home..."

Monday, March 16, 2015

Johnny's and The Eternal Flame

A blonde, a brunette and a redhead walk into a diner. That's not the start of a joke. It's the story of my weekend. But let's start at the beginning.

Thanks to Gustavo for the Johnny's pics!
Johnny's Runnin' 'O The Green on Saturday was my first race of the year. I woke up thinking how strange it was to run only 5 miles on a Saturday. This is not my favorite run in terms of course. It's kind of boring, just an out and back on the roads. Plus I always get stuck in the back at the start and wind up weaving and dodging for the first mile. The real fun of this race is enjoying it with friends. And it feels like the light at the end of the dark tunnel of winter.

The race didn't start until 9:30am so Pete, Steven and I had plenty of time to goof around at Pete's house beforehand. There was some juggling involved. Then we headed downtown to the race. I didn't warm up, which in hindsight was probably a mistake. My body is used to distance not speed. So for the first few miles my stomach and lungs were like WTF is happening here? But if I've learned anything from running it's that you take what your body has to give you that day and do the best you can with it. So that's what I did. Between mile 3 and 4 I finally reached the discomfort demarcation, that point in a race where my body relaxes, the pain subsides (or numbs?) and I feel like I can run forever. The last mile and a half were fantastic. Though long slow distance is my true love, I sometimes miss that feeling of running hard. I forget how good it feels to push the speed button. I crossed the finish line at a little under 40 minutes. It's not fast but I don't care about that. It felt good to get a little turnover in my legs after a winter of slow trudging runs through the snow and cold. And any day I have legs for running, friends for hugging, and second breakfast for eating (at the Golden Fox, which despite sounding like the name of a strip club for the AARP crowd, is actually a family diner) is a good day in my book. Bonus points for Jen(n)s taking over while wearing cool socks.

Sunday the adventures continued when Laura, Sonia and I took a mini roadtrip to Eternal Flame Falls in Chestnut Spring Park. There's a natural gas spring at the base of the waterfall and it can be lit year round. To get to the falls, you need a spirit of adventure. It's about a one mile hike with creek crossings and post-holing through the semi-melted snow and scrambling to find secure footholds. Basically, it's a winter playground for grown-ups. That smells like sulfur. The flame wasn't lit when we got there and none of us wanted to try lighting it. But it's such a pretty hike and it would be fun to go back and see it again when it's warmer. As we were walking, Laura said something about how sometimes the steps you think are secure actually aren't and you fall through the snow, while some of the steps you think are risky turn out to be solid. That's how it goes in the hike through life too. Sometimes you glide effortlessly along, sometimes you slip, sometimes you fall in the creek. But it's a beautiful adventure, made even better with good company. After making our way back from the falls, we explored the park a little then headed to the car. While searching for nearby restaurants, Laura found one called Three Girls CafĂ© and we decided it was only fitting that we go there. The menus even had a picture of three girls who looked like us: a blonde, a redhead and a brunette. The food was pretty good, though we didn't try the $ Pancakes or Stuffed Pot Pancakes listed on the menu.

Infinity of thanks to my favorite bromance and some very lovely ladies for an adventurous and laugh-filled weekend. Extra high fives to Sonia for facing her fears and being all-around awesome.

Lyric of the moment: "Close your eyes, give me your hand. Do you feel my heart beating? Do you understand? Do you feel the same? Am I only dreaming? Or is this burning an eternal flame?" (This was the only choice, for obvious reasons. The cheese at the diner was fake, but this cheese is 100% real.) 

Friday, March 13, 2015

eBook: All Roads Lead To Awesometown

The secret to awesomeness is not in being better, faster, stronger, happier (though those are often bonus side effects) but in finding the joy in every opportunity, in living with enthusiasm and love and hilarity. I wrote an eBook containing some of the things I've learned during my adventures in being alive.
Things like:
*How to avoid taking shit personally
*How to repair hurt feelings
*Facing fear
*Taking risks and making mistakes
*Self-improvement and self love
*Building a rocketship to Awesometown
Maybe some of them will be useful to you in your own journey of awesomeness.

Check out the link below if you feel so inclined:

Here's a sneak peak:

I use the word awesome a lot. I can't help it. Life is breathtakingly, awe-inspiringly, mind-bogglingly amazing and I am head-over-heels in love with it. To me, awesomeness is a state of well-being and enjoyment of life that is unconditional and always accessible. It's not about everything always going perfectly well and feeling fantastically wonderful all the time. It's about embracing all the twists and turns and ups and downs as part of the entire experience of life.
The most important thing I've learned (the hard way, of course) is that it doesn't matter what happens to me, it only matters what I do with it. And I realized that all the times I felt bad, I also felt happy. When I felt sad to lose someone I cared about, I also felt happy to have had the chance to know that person and to let go and move on to other adventures. When I felt disappointment at failing at something, I also felt happiness at learning from my mistakes and finding a better way forward. In hindsight, it's all the moments I thought were terribly embarrassing at the time that turn out to be the comedic relief.
I've realized that random shit happens to everyone and whether you interpret it as good luck or bad luck, you'll be right. So if you embrace life with open arms and an open heart, if you see the best in everything, much awesomeness will come your way. You can see the glass as half empty, half full or, as I prefer, half full of ice cream.

Get the ebook here: All Roads Lead To Awesometown

Robot vs. dentist

Earlier this week, I went in for a regular teeth cleaning and both the dental hygienist and dentist pointed out that my one front tooth sticks out slightly more than the other. Then they started pressuring me into getting Invisalign braces. Maybe they were genuinely trying to help. Or maybe it was a ploy to drum up business. Their super hard sell made me think it was more of the latter. Especially since after the x-rays and cleaning, they said my teeth were perfectly healthy (though apparently not cosmetically attractive enough). If it was medically necessary, I'd consent to fixing my teeth, but I don't have any interest in wasting money (that could be spent on adventures) trying to make my teeth align with someone else's idea of perfection. I already went through years upon torturous years of retainers and braces and headgear. I had 4 permanent teeth pulled, in addition to my wisdom teeth. After the braces came off, I wore retainers again for what felt like forever, until I just couldn't do it anymore. I had an awkward phase that lasted like 25 years, you guys. No joke.

At first, I felt a little self-conscious about my teeth. I mean, my parents spent so much money on them and they still refuse to behave. But if the full gamut of orthodontia couldn't wrangle my teeth into perfect orderly submission, I think I'm going to let them be as they are. In a way, I kind of love my nonconformist teeth. I love that there are parts of me that are untamable.

There are certain things about myself I'm trying to change. But I don't think my crooked teeth are going to be one of them (my sweet tooth, maybe). I think I'd rather be happily imperfect, a bit rebellious and wild around the edges, than perfectly toothsome.

Lyric of the moment: "I'm a war, of head versus heart. And it's always this way. My head is weak, my heart always speaks before I know what it will say..."

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The impermanence of suckiness

The other day I was driving. Well, trying to drive. It was cold and snowy and the traffic was moving painfully slowly. I was frustrated at winter for being interminable, frustrated at traffic for existing, frustrated at not getting anywhere, and frustrated at myself for being frustrated. I actually said (out loud, to no one) "I hate everything about this." Then I immediately started laughing because it was such a ridiculous and untrue thing to say. I don't actually hate anything. Not even my nemesis, Lucien Morin Park. (Though strangely, ever since I decided to make him my nemesis, I've liked him a whole lot more. I am terrible at this having-a-nemesis thing.)

I've noticed that when I get frustrated over little things, it's not actually those things that are upsetting me. I don't really care about traffic or cold. They are just infinitesimally small bumps on the road to infinite awesomeness. What is really going on is that I'm annoyed at myself for a whole host of other things, culminating in my annoyance at myself for being annoyed about anything in the first place. But all those things, the small bumps and even the big ones, won't last. The truth is that any moment, no matter how painful or heartbreaking or frustrating, is temporary. Things will get better. Usually you have to do something to make them better. But recognizing the impermanence of the suckiness is a good first something. Recognizing your own power in changing the suckiness or, if nothing else, changing your attitude towards the suckiness, is a good second something.

Life throws a bunch of random shit at everyone. Some of it is pretty freaking sweet. Some of it totally sucks. But I believe it's possible to make something good out of even the worst moments. Every obstacle can make you stronger, every loss can make you more grateful and every struggle can make you more compassionate.

Impermanence is the best and also most difficult part of life. One day I'm going to die alone. It's inevitable. Death is one adventure you have to embark on solo. I'm not worried about it. If I can, I'll come back as a ghost and leave you funny messages written in Skittles. But the fleeting nature of my existence does make me feel pressured to realize my full potential and live life to its fullest, most absurd extent before I die. I have so much to do and so little time here. I want to be an infinite source of laughter and adventure and hugs for as long as I can.

Lyric of the moment: "I always could count on futures. That things would look up, and they look up..."

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Utter idiocy

There's a fine line between epicness and idiocy. I have a tendency to err on the wrong side. It's just so hard not to want to do everything. Rationally I know that I can't do everything. But it doesn't stop me from wishing I could. I wasted a lot of my youth studying too much and being invisible and staying too long in the wrong places out of fear. I got lucky and somehow everything worked out extraordinarily well for me, but I'm determined not to make the same mistakes again.

Saturday is my favorite day of the week. Because two of my most favorite things are running for hours and talking to people. And Saturday is the day I get to do both at the same time. It doesn't matter if it's zero degrees or the snow is knee deep and it's really more like riking (run-hiking, not to be confused with Riker-ing). Of course I'd prefer the sunshine and warmth but whatever the weather, if I have legs to run on and friends to joke around with, it's a good day. Yesterday morning it took us 3 hours to run 10 miles. The snow was so deep in some sections of the trail that we looked more like staggering drunks than runners. But it was a whole 20 degrees out, the sun was shining and I loved it. Some of the group went on to do more miles and I was really tempted to join them. If there weren't people depending on me for a ride back to their cars at the start, I would have kept going, no matter how ill-advised it was. This morning we were back at it again for 5 miles on the Mess The Dress course to celebrate TrailsRoc's 3rd birthday. And all I could think was how much better my days are for knowing all these amazing people.

It was an awesome but tiring week. My mileage hasn't been very high but with the strength training, yoga, hills and snow, it feels like more. I hope this means that I am working hard and getting stronger, not that I'm trying to take on too much. I'm trying to be smart about it but it's just so freaking hard. I really want to run Mind The Ducks. But I won't. Because it's utter idiocy and I know I'm not ready for something like that. Still, it's been in the back of my mind for a couple of years and I'd love to attempt it someday. Hopefully next year. That means I have to build the foundation this year. Lots of training, less races, far better nutrition (that one has always been my Achilles heel). And most importantly, learning to listen to my body and actually rest when I need to. If I can do that, I just might become a perpetual motion machine.

But either way, epicness or idiocy, I'm going to enjoy the ride.

Lyric of the moment: "I am young and I'm alive. I want to talk about things. I am young and I own my life. I need to talk about it...I'm right on track but this state is frail. You slip out and derail. I do my dance in the round...I wanna do it right this time..."

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cake is for eating

They say you can't have your cake and eat it too. I think it is intended as a warning against wanting incompatible or impossible things. But how do you know what is really incompatible until you try to reconcile it? How do you know what is really impossible until you try to realize it? And why would you want to have cake anyway? Cake is for eating, for enjoying, for experiencing, not for having.

I am saying this as a reformed cake-haver. When we were younger, someone gave my brother and I these Henry VIII chocolates, packages of individual chocolate bars with wrappers depicting Henry and his wives. My brother ate all of his chocolates right away but I kept mine for months, maybe even years. Long enough so that when I finally gave in and agreed to open them, they were beyond spoiled. I don't know why I was never tempted to eat them. I was weirdly self-disciplined as a child. I just liked having them and reading the stories on the back about each wife's fate. (None of which were very good. I don't know why women kept lining up to marry that dude. You'd think having a penchant for blaming all his problems on you and then beheading you would be a deal-breaker, no matter how many palaces a guy has.) I don't know why it never occurred to me to eat the chocolates and keep the wrappers with the stories on them. Oh well. I think they might have been mint chocolates so it was no big loss that I never got to eat them (mint is for toothpaste, not candy). Though I do regret not taking advantage of the opportunity to bite off chocolate Henry VIII's head. 

Delayed gratification and I are good friends. I'm all for making wise decisions that will lead to future awesomeness. But some things are meant to be enjoyed in the moment and if you wait for a "special" occasion or the "right" time, you might miss out. Life is meant to be lived, inhabited fully, used up. Eat the cake.

Lyric of the moment: "The future is no place to place your better days..."

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Those bizarre moments

Probably I shouldn't write about these things, but I sort of have a soft spot for bizarre moments. Even if they don't make me look very good.

Life has a wicked sense of comedic timing. Like when your ex-boyfriend leaves a check in your mailbox on your boyfriend's birthday (after messaging you to ask if your spare key is still in the same place so he can leave you a check to repay part of the money you once loaned him). Or is that the kind of thing that only happens to me? I wish I was a better person, that I could be all magnanimous and whatnot. But all I felt was a mild annoyance. Because no, I don't leave a spare key under the dog statue anymore. And even if I did, you can't just go in my house when I'm not there. Sigh. And yes, I wish everyone well. I want things to go well for them. But I'm so happy here, I don't even want to think about past nonsense. No doubt, I'm grateful for my past. All those prior iterations of Jen, for all their mistakes and failures, they're the reason I am where I am today. And everyone I met along the way helped shape me in some way, so I'm grateful for them too. But I don't want to think about the past. I don't even want to think about the future right now. I just want to live the present. Because it's the best present I've ever had the pleasure of being in and I'd like to enjoy the everloving crap out of it.

So I'm still working on being a kinder, more accepting person and not getting annoyed by small things. I'm still working on the whole being in the present/not worrying about the future thing. I'm still working on a lot of things. I think it may be a long process. I can't change the past but I can avoid repeating it and do better going forward.

Lyric of the moment: "I am so homesick now for someone that I never knew. I am so homesick now for someplace I will never be. If I could go back once again, I would change everything, yeah. If I could go back once again, I'd do it all so much better..."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March forth and be awesome

Get out your maple syrup buckets 'cause it's about to get sappy up in here. Happiest, most inappropriately hilarious of birthdays to Pete, who is the love of my life. Because with him I get to be all the things that I am and love all the things that I love, I get to have all the adventures and people I want in my life. Because knowing him has made me a better person. Because he has given me the best thing you can give anyone, which is laughter and love, despite all my imperfections and no matter what else is happening.

When we were first dating and I found out his birthday was March 4th, I said, That sounds like an imperative. March Forth! And be awesome!

I think about that from time to time, especially when I'm afraid or in doubt. Oddly, the closer you get to living the life you want, the scarier it seems. Because the paradox of life is that it is intensely painful and downright terrifying and unfathomably awesome. And that awesomeness is forged, not by avoiding pain and fear but by embracing them, by letting every experience open your heart and mind instead of closing them. So what do you do when you're living out all your wildest, most impossible dreams and you're more than a little afraid you're going to mess everything up somehow? Remember that true strength comes from vulnerability and trust, not from armor. And march forth and be awesome!

Lyric of the moment: "Saved it up for this dance. Tell me all the things you can. I just wanna sing a song with you. I just wanna be the one that's true... 'Cause blue eyes, you are destiny's scene. 'Cause blue eyes, I just wanna be the one. I just wanna sing a song with you. I just wanna get it on with you..."