Saying Yes to The Big Easy

Traveling is good. It can stretch you out of your comfort zone and as a result, invite change. Transformation.

When I got on the plane for New Orleans, I felt a rush: I’m in an airplane. I’m going somewhere. I’m going to experience something new.

When a friend of mine told me that she was going there for a conference and asked if I wanted to meet her there, I hesitated for a moment. New Orleans? Isn’t that one of the most extroverted cities in the United States? I don’t know…

“Sure! Why not!” I said a moment later.

Who am I to say no to an opportunity like that? Sometimes an introvert has to push her anxiety aside to go meet life. Give it a big hug (and you know how I appreciate a good hug).

Was I transformed? No, not like in past trips I’ve taken. But it’s a fascinating part of the world. The only other southern state I’ve been to is Kentucky and I do so appreciate Southern hospitality, Sugar. Delicious food, sultry (I prefer this word as opposed to soaking, which I was) weather, local architecture…it’s good for the body, mind and soul to be out of your regular routine and shake things up a bit.

However, I could have done without the rowdy crowd mentality and the activity of drinking-likker-in-the-streets: “HELLO LADIES!!! YOU’RE CHINESE, AREN’T YOU!!!” Uh, no, we’re not, but we’re not going to stop and tell you that. We weren’t even on Bourbon Street, which we studiously tried to avoid.

As the plane took off on the connecting flight home, I gazed down at the twinkling city lights below. So pretty… I wanted to turn to a traveling companion and say just that; I wanted to share that experience with someone. And when I looked out and up at the stars, I wanted to have someone to look at those stars with me.

Crap. Now I was sad.

It happens.

Sometimes you just have to accept that your emotions have a life of their own. Respect them, and they’ll respect you. The more you try and fight what you don’t want to feel, the more you betray yourself. Emotions are constantly flowing throughout you in varying degrees. So go with the flow, I say. (But please seek help if you’re feeling entirely overwhelmed.)

Perhaps I was wrong after all. I’ve had a delayed, mini-transformation, because today, I was gloriously happy. But that’s another story.

Love Me, Love My Burritos

I’ve been writing a lot about dating (and the idea of dating) lately.  But now that I don’t have much material to work with, I realized that I haven’t written much about being physically active.  When I checked to see how long it had been, I was horrified to revisit a post in which I described my body like a meat buffet.  I made it sound like my body was becoming toned and fabulous.  No.  Well, maybe it has gotten a little more toned, but I didn’t say I looked good.  I don’t like the shape of my legs, and my cellulite is most definitely not impressed by my exercise habits.  A friend said, “You won’t wear shorts because of cellulite??  Who cares?  You don’t have to look at it!”  Yes, but what about the poor people behind me?

Isn’t it ironic that most of us can be so supportive of our friends, but not so much for ourselves?

Self-acceptance doesn’t happen overnight nor does it happen just because you say you will.  It’s a conscious practice of bravery, forgiveness, and patience.  So I’m going to try and show a little more love to the parts of me that I’ve labeled as less lovable, for example, my burritos thighs and my genetically-evolved calves.  Such sturdy things.  It’s important that I not take them for granted.

As usual, the Universe has chimed in, too.  I recently attended a memorial service in which the minister talked about the value of accepting yourself as you are.   Sono mama, he said.  Which, in Japanese, translates to mean “as it is”.  And I just read my horoscope from Rob Brezsny – I swear, I can relate to 90% of what that man has to say about my sign – and I’ve been asked to reject all forms of demoralizing words and attitudes, and try positivity.  It’s uncanny.  I get the hint, Universe, I get the hint.