joining the flock

DSC00671

I’ve heard that the best way to introduce a new chicken to an established flock is to simply place said chicken with the flock in the middle of the night. When the other chickens wake up to greet a new day, they stretch their feathers and think the newbie has been there the whole time.

Taking my cue from chicken behavior and knowing that humans are addle-brained while they’re sleeping, I’m re-entering the WordPress flock like a chicken ninja, under the cover of darkness. (You people in Europe and other time zones haven’t had your coffee yet or maybe you’re exhausted with your work/kids/lifestuff, so I feel confident in taking advantage of your addled brains, too.)

Act like you’ve been here: I’m not sure if the newbie chicken thinks it’s been part of the flock the entire time, but since my brain is sorta on the soft side, yes, I’ve always been here. I can’t help it if you haven’t noticed me huddled on a branch, waaay inside the bushes.

So, there you have it, I’m back to lovingly insulting you wonderful people and comparing you to chickens. It’s like I never left (because I didn’t).

 

girls just wanna have puffed sleeves

 

Anne's Puffed Sleeves

“Puffed sleeves are so fashionable now. It would give me such a thrill, Marilla, just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves…I’d rather look ridiculous when everybody else does than plain and sensible all by myself,” persisted Anne mournfully.

Oh, how I love Anne Shirley. But seriously. Those sleeves.

All of you Anne-with-an-E fans: Am I alone in this aversion to her dress? Don’t get me wrong – I was thrilled when she got the dress of her dreams. I had myself a right ugly cry when she thanked Matthew for buying it. I mean, I’m not a monster.

But those mega-inflated sleeves. She looked like a linebacker, albeit wearing a lacy dress. A lacy-dress-wearing linebacker with a tiny head.

And then I came across this photo:

check out my puffed sleeves!

I don’t remember this dress. I don’t remember being this young. I don’t remember being so smiley.

This looks more like the me of today: You lookin’ at me?? You’d better not be lookin’ at me.

Apparently, my cute-as-a-button cousins didn’t get the memo about the dress code (sidenote: I think I look like Elvis Presley in this photo. Uh uh huh.)

And speaking of birthdays, today is my so-called day. What’s on my to-do list for today?

Write a post for my often-neglected blog. check.
Shave legs. check.
Find an adult version of puffed-sleeve dress. I’m on it.
Have dinner with friends who are excellent cooks, and request paella as my birthday dinner. Request pending. Four hours and counting.

And…Work. You heard right, you beautiful people! At the beginning of 2016, I managed to get two jobs with the help of incredibly supportive friends. One is a short-term contract job that is kicking the butt of my brain in a good way. The other? Well, it’s too early to talk about that one, as my role isn’t quite defined yet. But I’ll say this: Being myself finally paid off during the interview. I guess the others couldn’t handle the truth. (Wow. Seeing myself in that puffy dress is somehow giving me delusions of grandeur. It’s the attitude…it’s all in the attitude…)

begin

 

My brother took this photo as we explored Fort Ord National Monument (Laguna Seca trailhead, Salinas CA)

My brother took this photo as we explored the Fort Ord National Monument (Laguna Seca trailhead, Salinas CA)

My goal for this sparkling new year: EXPLORE.

Which means cracking open. Trusting myself. Shedding expectations. Kicking thoughts of unworthiness upside the head, giving me enough time to run away, shouting for joy.

Anyone wanna come with me?

Hello, 2016. Let’s do this.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

the fixer upper

I have a favor to ask. Have you ever said to yourself, “Eureka! I know the perfect person for janeintraining…”? Because let’s face it, I know you’re constantly thinking about me. But be warned: too much me will fry your brain into one of those charred and shriveled potato chips you occasionally find in an otherwise fresh bag. I hate that! What’s it doing in there?!?

Oh, right, my favor: DO NOT TELL ME YOU ARE FIXING ME UP. Bold, italic and underlined should tell you how serious I am about this. Never in the history of my blog have I used all three at the same time. (Or maybe I have. I’m too lazy to check.)

It’s way too much pressure. I will get stressed out and act how I think a normal person should act, which will result in an even weirder version of me.

…awkward…(like my dating life)

I suggest asking me to meet up for a glass of wine and I’ll be there without blinking. If you mention champagne, I’ll dress up and arrive a few hours early. And then you can casually introduce me to your brother/cousin/nephew/grandpa/son. This way, he’ll get a few minutes of normal before I start to turn.

This woman obviously cares more about her date than the champagne she’s about to spill. Where are her priorities?

I’m bringing all of this up because…

[a few months ago while getting my hair cut]
MyHairStylist: “Hey, I almost forgot to tell you – I have a client whose cousin just moved into town. She says he likes Asian women!”
Me: “…uh…” (brain short-circuiting)
Me: “…(mental capacity now like one of those charred chips I just talked about)…”

Is this what people do on dates now? Is this hygienic? Why is she hiding her hands? Has she fallen asleep from too much romance?

I’ve been single for the last four years, dating here and there. I like being single, except for when it sucks to be single. I have hope, but I don’t want to use that hope as a life preserver. I’m shifting towards being okay not finding that forever-and-ever person; rather, I want to connect with allies, gather a tribe, surround myself with a gaggle of heart-wise, laughter-invoking tricksters and soul-tenders. I want to add to my existing menagerie of superstar friends.

My brain has somewhat recovered and I’m more relaxed now about being set up. My initial thoughts of rejection, disappointment, and general fear have given way to the possibility of meeting a potentially awesome person to add to my menagerie. (Don’t worry, I don’t actually tell people this when I meet them. They might think I want to display them in a glass case with the rest of my collection of humans. Oops. I’m always revealing too much information.)

As 2016 swiftly approaches, I’ve decided to try looking at the world as a curious explorer. Somehow, this idea gives me more courage to move forward instead of staying still and worrying about an unpredictable outcome…

“A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is.”

― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness

 

inside the ordinary

 

Ordinary day.

Ordinary beach.

Extraordinarily poetic.

The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things. 

– Veronique Vienne

For more (extra)ordinary photos, check out the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge!

P.S. I think this is my shortest post ever. But I just ruined it by writing this post script.