November 29, 2013 § 4 Comments
I adore PYP.
And I still adore him, even though we both agreed our relationship wasn’t working for either of us. As endings go, it’s the most mature and least awkward ending I’ve experienced thus far. But I still cried. I honestly hadn’t expected to do so. I started to say to him, “You’re the first person I have been with since…”
And that’s when it happened. Emotions swirled in my stomach and into my chest, traveled up my throat and poured out of my eyes.
“…my last relationship.” I managed to squeak out.
This statement revealed nothing new. I had told him this before, but that was when I was getting to know him. Saying it at the end held a whole different kind of weight. Vulnerability, you son of a bitch…but thank goodness you still exist.
In many of my posts I tend to come up with morals to the end of my experiences. I like to think that all of the lessons I learn must be making me a better person. And then I read an article by Robert Holden on Oprah.com. He wrote the following, which opened my eyes and for once, I am letting someone else have the last word:
“Self-improvement usually starts with the belief that something is lacking in you. Thus, your ego sets about working on itself, proving itself and making itself into ‘a somebody’ that wins admiration and applause. The problem with self-improvement is that you are trying to improve upon a self that you haven’t really gotten to know yet. Self-improvement causes you to overlook your true nature. No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance…self-improvement is full of musts, oughts and shoulds…Self-acceptance helps you increase your overall trust in life. The more you accept yourself, the more you trust your innate goodness, wise heart and natural intuition.”
November 10, 2013 § 2 Comments
I’ve been trying on pretty things lately as part of an attempt to find clothes that make me feel good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought items that almost fit right, looked passable because hey, it covered what it needed to cover, and because it was on sale. But if I feel uncomfortable, I’m going to look uncomfortable.
With the constant guidance of one of my most fashionista friends, I’ve been trying to stick to the rules I’ve been given and have slowly rebuilt my wardrobe for the past year. Last year, I was opposed to trying on dresses because I was very much wedded to the idea that my bare burritos weren’t meant to be seen in public. But during my trip to Hawaii this year my attitude slowly began to change.
I recently added two dresses to my wardrobe (I only had one before). They’re both striped. I know, I know! But they were too cute to pass up. They need to be hemmed. I think. But how many inches? I will need my friend’s sage advice on this one. PYP is of no help to me. I texted him a picture of me in a dress I tried on a few days ago and he said it needed to be hemmed about mid-thigh. Mid-thigh?? Hahahahahhaaaaa!!! I have never worn a dress that short in my life and told him so, adding that it never crossed my mind to wear a dress that length. He responded with his trademark “lol”, which is how he responds to most things I say.
See? My dresses were always at a tasteful length, even as a progressive 70’s chick. Although I can’t say that about my friend there next to me, harhar. There’s that fake fur coat I loved so much…I don’t know if this photo was taken before or after the Devil Dog took a bite out of it. Probably before – I still look happy. Oh…and those groovy boots! Today, sadly, many knee-length boots are too long for my short legs and I cannot zip them up past the most generous part of my calves.
I’ve never owned a red dress, let alone wear red. But I saw this dress in a little boutique when I was walking downtown the other day. I stopped. And then I heard it: You love me…Don’t try and resist me…I belong to you… I stared at it, listening intently.
One of my rules of thumb is, if I buy it, I have to wear it. I can’t let clothes waste away in my closet, taunting me for my impulsive and/or poor judgment. However, because I don’t buy into the latest trends, it’s possible that I will still be able to wear the dress years from now. My friend was appalled at the price tag. But then she said, “Remember years ago when you said that you wanted to wear a red dress in Paris?” I did, didn’t I…
I loved it. I couldn’t resist. It belongs to me now.
The Red Dress isn’t just any dress. It symbolizes a shift in my thinking and image of myself. It’s about hope and possibility and magic that I can’t define.
Whether it be a person, place, and/or thing, I hope to have many “Red Dresses” in my lifetime.
And because it’s not all about me (sometimes it’s hard to tell), I hope you do, too.
November 8, 2013 § 2 Comments
In the past couple of weeks I’ve learned of a handful of people passing away. Most of them suddenly, unexpectedly, swiftly. One in particular was a 47 year-old woman I used to work with. Cancer took her life in eight short months.
Cancer is my sworn enemy. And as my enemy…Cancer, you can suck it.
In fact, you can suck it big time: My good friend N is battling ovarian cancer. She started out at stage 4 in April 2013. The prognosis of this disease at that stage would lay anyone low. After enduring a multitude of tests, drainings, 12 weekly sessions of chemo, surgery, and currently more chemo, N just received the results of her CA-125. This marker measures the concentration of ovarian cancer cells, normal being at 35 and under. SHE WAS AT 8.
I flipped my lid when she told me and I cursed to the high heavens in happiness. True to form, she thanked me for making her experience less lonely, less scary. Seriously? How lucky am I to have a sistah and friend like her?!? I told her that she gave me strength. For real.
For the time being, N will continue her chemo sessions because her oncologist told her that the cancer cells could simply be “sleeping”. Oh? Then blast those suckers, I say. So far, she is tolerating chemo very well, thank goodness. I wish I could be there to celebrate with her.
I think I’ll go for a walk and celebrate the fact that I can.
Good health and wellness to everyone out there.
November 7, 2013 § 2 Comments
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know that I have a fondness for self-deprecating humor. I’ve used it unconsciously and consciously and thought it was quite harmless. I didn’t mind making people laugh at my expense.
Except…I noticed (and it was also pointed out to me) that making fun of what I think are my real deficiencies doesn’t do me or anyone else any favors. Not taking yourself too seriously is a good thing; turn it against yourself too often and you weaken yourself with your own sucker punches.
I’ve made fun of my height, legs, cellulite, age, over thinking…well, I think that’s enough to begin with. We’re all self-critical to varying degrees, but when it plays heavily on our insecurities, enough is enough. Yes, I want to be a lot taller, have different shaped legs, dimple-free skin, be younger, and I want to stop thinking so damn much. But unless I have bone extension surgery, can turn back time, and stop being an INFJ, well, it ain’t gonna happen.
As I tackle Project Jane and work on my “stuff”, I want to embody this mantra: Own and learn to embrace what you have, who you are, and that you are a work in progress. The stronger you are at your base, the stronger you will be against your inner critic and outside forces. Why not focus on your assets as opposed to highlighting what you think are your weaknesses?
Easier said than done, I know. It’s taken me a long time to even get to this point and even then, I falter. I just want to make sure I don’t falter too far or for too long.
It’s funny, for years I would walk down the hallways at work with my unusually fast, stompy stride, always giving people the impression that wherever I was going, it was important. And I needed to get there immediately. Sometimes it was true, other times, I had no pressing agenda. I’ve found myself morphing that walk into a strong, bouncy, purposeful stride. Like one of my Zumba teachers says, “Don’t know what you’re doing? Fake it!!!“
Didn’t anyone tell you? I may be 4′ 11″, but I can be 6′ 0″ tall inside…