Tuesday, February 26, 2013

From Confusion to Clarity



I had one of the most honest, heart wrenching conversations with a friend of mine last night. We talked about relationships, past and present, making mistakes and questioned why we do what we do. It was…enlightening. It taught me a lot about me. It took me from confusion to clarity.

Sort of.

You know, the thing about other people is that everyone else thinks they have the answers. They give us advice, they tell us how to live -- or how not to --, they make suggestions, and they mean well. I know that they do. Heck, I do the same thing. The only trouble with that is that everyone relates other people’s experiences to their own; they are relegated to that. And, the truth is, no one is educated enough about you to speak on your life, no matter how much they might believe they are. The bottom line is that no one’s experience is yours. So quit letting other people tell you how to live.

And it might very well be my rebellious nature, it might be that I have this crazy gift of intuition, or it might be my generality to go against the grain in life -- because that’s what I do --, but I realized that sometimes you just need to turn the music up and drown out everything else.

 Learning lessons, figuring out truth

Beauty is born in chaos, not in boredom or mediocrity. The most beautiful people have lived the most chaotic unpredictable lives, not the most stable, normal lives. These people go through periods of darkness; in fact, the most brilliant people among us embrace their inner darkness, because they understand the power required to harness their demons, but they also allow themselves to feel the entire gamut of emotions that they need to; whenever they need to. And when you are going through things that no one else can even begin to possibly understand, sometimes you just go dark, because you need to take that breath. You just need to take a beat and feel it. Because you know that, if you don’t, you can’t understand the good that comes after.

You have to understand that God, the Universe, or whatever you believe in gives the hardest battles to the strongest warriors. And that doesn’t mean that the warrior is perfect, but it does mean that the warrior can handle it. All you need to do is step back and let them. They will. Have some faith.

Being analytical means that you have to understand one simple truth: You can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain. And sometimes that means crying in it, not dancing in it. And I dare anyone to prove me wrong.

Being “healthy” isn’t always about being predictable. Sometimes, it means that you work through what you need to, when you need to, as you need to.

So…I’m taking my life back

My choices, my decisions are mine. I own them. And I don’t ask for anyone’s input or approval. I know what I need to do, so I’m just doing it. For me, this means clamming up a little bit. It means talking less. It means sharing…a lot less. Because, for the first time in my life, I’m admitting to myself that if I can’t figure things out on my own, on my own terms, and on my timetable, I never will.

And guess what...neither will you.

Which leads me to my song selection for the “Soundtrack of Life” tonight: Stand in the Rain. And the “why” is my own, but I encourage you to make your own why. After all, making your own ‘why’ is what’s life’s all about, isn’t it? 


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Changes, Checks & Balances


Change is both constant and inevitable. Two trees that grow next to one another adapt for mutual survival. I suppose we could all learn a little something from trees. When you stop changing, dreaming, believing and working toward something, you get a little closer to death; spiritually, anyway. But when you stop adapting for the mutual survival of those near and dear to you, the same thing happens. You get just a little closer to the death of a relationship. It’s your responsibility to morph and change as the winds blow through your branches. And, if you don’t, don’t be surprised when you get left behind.

Make a promise, keep a promise…and stuff
I’ve learned some rather incredible lessons over these last few months, and (to be blunt) the lessons I’ve learned are life-altering, changeable, living, breathing concepts that we all need to either learn or re-visit from time to time. And as most great lessons do, they came at the cost of making many mistakes, of making a lot of choices -- good and bad -- but, they also came at the price of learning from each one. And, isn't that what life is all about anyway? 

Yet, I digress. I have list, and I want to share it with you today. If you want to be happy, it really only takes a few simple rules. 

  • If you make a promise, keep it.
  • Understand that sooner or later, good comes to those who do good; joy comes to those who bring humor to others; opportunity comes to those who persist in their dreaming.
  • Don’t talk about what you are going to do, instead, talk about what you’ve done.
  • Make sure that everything you do is a positive thing; things that make your heart happy.
  • Respect yourself enough to walk away from situations and people that don’t inspire you to be a better person than you were yesterday.
  • Be better.
  • Evolve. Don’t get stuck in the same routine.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes every day on personal growth and development.
  • Forgive people.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Be more understanding, tolerant and able to see things from other people’s perspective.
  • Understand that now isn’t always forever.
  • Don’t tell everyone everything; parts of your life are your own. Keep those sacred.
  • Smile more. In fact, smile every day. Make it a habit.
  • Make someone else smile everyday; make a goal. 
  • Evaluate your choices; change it up so that you make the choices best suited for you.
  • Stop living your life according to other people; they don’t have to deal with the consequences of the choices you do or do not make.
  • Believe.
  • Change.
  • Improve.
  • Listen to your heart when it speaks.
  • Stay strong, you can do whatever you need to do in the time you have.
  • Remember that time is limited. Quit planning for tomorrows you aren't' promised. Do it now, make the changes you need to today, take the trips you have been putting off, play in the dirt, sing in the shower, stop thinking about it and do it instead.
  • Having a social life is not the same as having a social media life. The first is better. 

So that’s what I’ve learned. What did I miss? Tell me.
If you have a topic you’d like me to tackle, leave me a comment.

Today’s choice of mine for the ‘Soundtrack of Life’ fits, because it was what I was listening to that inspired me to finish this blog off the way I did.



Friday, February 22, 2013

A Plethora of Paradoxes



I have a confession to make: I’m a horoscope junkie. Even worse than that, I am an atypical control freak horoscope junkie. The simple fact that DailyHoroscope.com offers me the ability to look at daily, the next day, weekly and weekend predictions for this crazy little thing that happens to be my existence, keeps me on my toes trying to dissect what’s been written in the stars for me ahead of time. Yet, there is but one problem with these predicates of predictions:

They are usually quite wrong.

At least, when it comes to me, and my crazy, unpredictable life.

So here comes the plethora of paradoxes: Do we put too much stock in words on a page when it comes to star centric predictions, retrograde explanations and even faith in a higher power? Or do we rebel against such predictions and promises if for no other reason than because it is already hard coded into our deeply rebellious nature?

Here is the thing that baffles me about people on a regular basis -- myself included --: We spend most of our time hiding out in the open. We smile when our hearts are frowning. We answer every query about “how we are” with an “Okay,” a “Great,” or an “Excellent.” We tell thousands of little white lies. We tell whoppers. We say nothing at all when we should say something. We trust no one. And we think it’s all okay; we justify it all in our own heads.

And even when we find a safe place to confess all of our sins, indiscretions and secrets, that place too becomes superficial, over time, as we clam up, as we keep more and more of our secrets to ourselves and share less and less of what is going on in our tiny little spheres. We close the circle. Slowly, we drift apart, we find and gravitate towards others; new and old. We make our sphere smaller, even though we probably shouldn’t; even though that probably isn’t what’s best for us. And we do this because are stubborn, because we are tired, because we are flawed.

Still, we do it anyway.

We get tired of the chirping; the same conversations; the same chastisements; the same blah, blah boring nonsense that we have just outgrown. We quit trying. Then, we lose the magic that we happened upon in the first place. And we’ve no one to blame but ourselves. And…it’s just not right.

Sad, isn’t it?

Is it that the novelty has worn off? Is it that people tend to gravitate toward the notion that growing apart is normal? Or is that we have all become so self-absorbed and wrapped up in our own heated blankets of ego that we simply justify our own bullshit?

I want to know. What’s your answer?

Tonight, since I am particularly feeling a little rebellious, this ‘Soundtrack of Life’ song fit. Perfectly. Leave me a comment on the blog or on my Facebook page. And, of course, if you enjoyed reading what I had to say today, please share it amongst your social networks. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

There are Times I'd Rather Say Nothing at All



There have been a billion words on the tip of my tongue these last few days. And why wouldn’t there be? I am a wordsmith, a moniker merchant, a purveyor of plots and a siren of sumptuous story lines  I mean, writing is my art. It’s my lame attempt to take a paintbrush and spread some sort of beauty on a page -- and I can’t draw to save my life, so it’s really my only other option.

So I write. I communicate. It’s kind of what I do.

With that said, I rarely am I left speechless, or, for that matter, lacking in the communication department. Yet, lately, I find myself unable to do what I do best… convey what’s going on in my brain onto the page, or even to other people. And it’s frustrating to me. In fact, it’s incredibly frustrating to me.

With that said, my frustration began dissipating when I realized my problem wasn’t coming from the fact that I don’t know what I want to say (not exactly, not yet), because I do. I just don’t know how to say it. And, truth be told, I’m not ready to say it just yet anyway.

Basically, this is me admitting that I was on the wrong track, and saying that I am adjusting course and taking a new approach. And with change comes resistance, and the birth of fear and uncertainty. So the fear becomes a blockade of gargantuan proportion, and I thought (initially) that it was that catalyst that stunned me into silence.

But it wasn’t.

Still, I write on.  

For now, I backspace, I delete, I close the document, I throw papers in the trash, I chew on pencils, I twist pen caps, I fiddle with my hair, I toy with my jewelry and I fidget like crazy. I do all of the stupid little habits that I do when I’m nervous or when I’m contemplating my next move; or when I’m thinking really, really hard about what I want to say. Because I just can’t seem to shut this brain of mind off, no matter how hard I try to.

And, the thing is, I don’t really want to.

Now, here’s the real mind bender in all of this:
I always say that life is short, that we should spend less time thinking about it and just live life to its full potential -- and when I say this, I mean our lives (not someone else’s). But despite my best intentions and my advice, I find myself hypocritically waiting my turn; biting my tongue until I can feel it bleeding in my own jaw, and until I hear ringing in my ears from the pounding of the words in my brain, begging for release.

Yet, as I sit here alone tonight, on my bed with my laptop humming in the background, chomping off every bite I can take of this little blog ‘o mine, I got it. I had that moment of clarity I have been dying to have for a while now. Finally, I found the words. Because I’ve never in my life heard silence quite this loud. Are you ready?

Here comes the paradox:

The answer, the “words” are nothing. That’s right. Nothing at all. Sometimes you stay silent because you are just tired of explaining something who will never understand what you have to say because they aren’t ready to understand it, accept it or even be receptive to it. I guess, what I’m getting at here (as much as I hate to admit it) is that silence is sometimes golden; because it speaks volumes when words have nothing to say. It echoes loudly through the caverns of distance and time when the words on the page have no power and when the speaker longs to say something, but is responsible enough to understand that it is better to say nothing, than the wrong thing.

Don’t agree? Prove me wrong. I dare you.

Tonight’s selection from my ‘Soundtrack of Life’ -- yes, one day I’ll explain all of this is one that inspired this particular blog, because it’s a mash up that I really liked. What’s a mash up? Well, simply put a mash up is made up of two things that shouldn’t go together, but somehow work. You know, like a wordsmith who chooses to be silent. 



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Regrets, Rebellion and Retrograde



We all live with them; these silly little things that we bury deep inside of our hearts and of our minds called regrets. At times, we regret things we say, but all too often, we regret the things we didn’t say far more.

We ache over the times we didn’t say “I love you” for the first time, or for the last.
We regret not having the opportunity for that final goodbye after the first hello.
We are contrite for not saying we are sorry, and then losing the opportunity to do so forever.
We mourn losing the people we have lost, the people we allow to pass through our fingers; the people that our own stubbornness and ego forced us to let go of...until they just aren’t around anymore. 
Our regret deepens, and we realize that we loose people; we miss opportunities not by choice, but because of our own rebellious nature.

We live in retrograde, when we should be living out in the open.

If we are lucky, we realize that in these short blips of existence we are granted, we take in the simple fact that life is not infinite. We come to the realization that this crazy little thing called “time” is quite constrained. Not a single one of us has forever. But, even deeper than that, we realize that not a single one of us is guaranteed tomorrow.

Which led me to ask myself a poignant question: If we don’t have forever, why is it that we insist on acting as if we do? How do we know that “things will be better tomorrow” if we have no guarantee that we will not expire before we wake? -- I know, it’s  tad morbid, but stick with me on this.

Yet, even in the wake of such blasphemous epiphanies, we have morphed into a generation of “waiters”. We wait for the right moment, the right person, the perfect time. We declare that everything in our limited rear views conform to our even more limited belief systems. We put too much stock in what other people say and too little in what we have to say for ourselves. We question everything we think, and even what we don’t. We consume (and are inundated with) so much information -- and, dare I say misinformation -- that we “think” we are making informed decisions when, in fact, we are making anything but; or, at the very least, decisions not true to own hearts.

Despite all of this knowledge, all of this deeply rooted truth, we wait. We wait for things to happen, when we should be proactively making things happen. We wait ourselves right into a deep well of personal regret. At the end of the day, we regret the places we didn’t go, the things we didn’t see, the apologies we didn’t make, the forks in the road we stood upon too long at the corridor of question marks.

But sadly, we shut off that regret and turn to an everlasting ‘hope’ for tomorrow, when tomorrow is not promised. We band aid all of our own personal brands of remorse and compunction with positive updates, assurances to friends and family that we are “okay” and by replying to those we keep at arm’s length by saying, “everything is great”, when the truth is that ‘everything’ is often anything but. Yet we keep so disgustingly untrue to ourselves for the sake of remaining in the safety of the status quo with society; for no better reason than the desire to fit in and be accepted. We become such slaves to our own insecurities that our voice becomes still, quiet and mute.

For what?

We don’t do what makes us happy. We do what makes everyone around us happy, accepting and content with our behavior and our actions. For what reason though? Why do we insist on conformity, even if it comes at our own detriment?

After all, why are we trying so hard to fit in, when we were born to stand out?

Be bold, be daring, be brave, be you. Be the person who says, “This is my choice, you can either stand with me or choose to get out of my way.”

For those are the people who are remembered. Those are the people who live. Because a life lived full of regrets, really isn’t much of a life at all.

As always, I welcome your comments and opinions -- as long as they don’t suck! Have a fantastic rest of the week, my dear readers.

Now, I want to know, what’s YOUR deepest regret?

Lovingly,
Miss Adventures


Fittingly the song I chose for the ‘Soundtrack of Life’ today is all about regrets; the times you “almost” but you didn’t.







Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Finding Mr. or Ms. “Right”...Now




It seems as though everyone is on a quest this week to find Mr. or Ms. “Right”...or at the very least, Mr. or Ms. Right Now. What’s the deal with the scramble for last minute Valentine’s Day love anyway? Is there a contest? A prize? A world record that you all are going for? I’d really like to be cut in on this deal…or at the very least get some insight into what’s up.

However, you’re going about it all wrong. Here’s a sad, horrible, bitter and nasty truth. In fact, you might not even be ready to hear it, but I’m going to tell you anyway:

You have probably already met the love of your life, the person you are supposed to be with, but you either “A” already screwed it up, “B” didn’t follow up or “C” were too scared to follow through. You were so busy chasing your own tail that the one person who could be your “everything” slipped right through your fingers, and you let it happen.

Look up here.

And now, you’re stuck with ‘everyone else’. What’s worse is that it’s your own fault. Here are some primary reasons why:

You let your fear cloud your judgment.
You spent too much time listening to your head, not your heart.
You let yourself get in the way.
You made excuses, not exceptions.
You play too rigidly from your rulebook.
You didn’t try hard enough.
You didn’t try at all.
You made too many assumptions.
You didn’t listen.

So now you sit alone, lonely and miserable, scrambling to find someone to occupy your time for dinner…or whatever…on the ‘most romantic day of the year’ -- cue vomit, for me anyway. Your life is full of regrets and “what if” moments. And, frankly, you kind of suck.

Now, here is a thought for you, and I really want you to ponder this for a moment. You might not be ready for this either, but I’m going to drop some knowledge on you: Quit waiting and start doing. Stop with the what ifs and give something you once thought was lost another shot. And do it because you owe it to yourself, and maybe, even to them.

Call, email or text the “one who got away” -- obviously only if they are single, you don’t need to be chasing after people in a relationship -- and try again. Except this time, try harder. Or, really try for the first time. Start over. Clean slate it. And then, see what happens. You might just surprise yourself. Heck, you might even surprise them.

Instead of waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right (or even Right Now) to drop magically into your charmed lap, try finding something you lost with the one person you never thought you’d lose, except this time, don’t lose them.

Because you never know unless you try, now do you? And remember: NOTHING works unless YOU do.

Now, that’s about as romantic as I get. So I hope you all enjoyed that, because it’s not happening again until next year. I leave you on this V-day eve with what was probably the most endearing song I have heard in a long time, and it’s one to add to the “Soundtrack of Life”. Once you are finished listening, go do what I told you to do and let me know what happened in the comments below -- if for no other reason than that I’m nosey and enjoy living vicariously through you people! And check back tomorrow for the results (and photos) of the first inaugural “Bitter Bash”. 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

It's not me, it's you. No...really.


Sometimes you just have to let go. At times this means giving up your fears with reckless abandon, for if you refuse to do so, you will never know what treasures await you. Other times it means you need to let go of a person, an idea or a quest, because there is something different out there for you. Dare I say…something better.

As I got to thinking about deep thoughts well…deeply, I had to ask myself the question: How do you  know which is which? How do you know when to let go and when to hold on?

And this is how I formulated my answer.

You just know.

Life gives us all (yes, every day) a unique, magical and wondrous opportunity every day to grow, to become better, to become more than what we were yesterday. And if you don’t believe this, you aren’t looking at life the right way. Secondary to that, life continues presenting you with the same lessons, over and over again, until you learn that lesson; until you actually take that lesson to heart.

Here is where I am going with this. As I peruse my Facebook newsfeed, I notice the mounting anxiety many people have as Father Time ticks us every closer to Valentine’s Day; a day of romance, love and the (what I consider to be a pointless) celebration of all things icky, sticky, mushy, gushy and disgusting. (Sorry, I’m not a mushy person.) Yet, I noticed something else: by and large, the folks with this ever-mounting anxiety are the same folks who have anxiety about relationships in general. People who seem to have the same relationship issues repeat over and over again, because they are simply too thick in their tiny little noggins to “get it”.

And this is what was truly interesting to me…

These are the same folks who repeat the same relationship behavior girl after girl, guy after guy, etcetera, etcetera and so forth…you get the idea. They run away. They clam up. They self-sabotage. They hit that scared threshold and BAM, all of a sudden it’s as though a switch is flipped on the crazy button and they doom themselves to failure. They claim that they don’t want to be “alone”, but yet they do everything within their own power to ensure their own loneliness. And then, they behave like children every time a relationship “doesn’t work out.”

Because, at the end of the day, you just have to realize that some people are like trees, in that they take FOREVER to grow up.

So…what’s wrong with you?

After countless failed relationships, relationships that never took off or relationships that just can’t seem to get out of the gate, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about what’s wrong inside your own heart, before judging and condemning the hearts, actions and feelings of others. Perhaps it’s time to employ a tiny bit of compassion and empathy. And maybe, just maybe, you need to clean up your own house before inviting anyone else inside. (Figuratively and literally.)

Of course, I say this with nothing but love in my heart for you, dear readers -- albeit love of the tough variety --, because that’s precisely what I’ve opted to do for myself. Because successful change within yourself breeds successful change in life. Why? Because the only person you can ever TRULY change, is you.

You see, as I got to thinking about all of this, while writing this blog, I realized one simple truth: It’s better to be alone than lonely. Because it is.

Oh, and if you think this post is about you, you’re probably right…or a total narcissist. Either way…leave me a comment and sound off! Tell me I'm right, tell me I'm wrong or tell me I'm crazy. I want to hear it all. 

Happy Stinkin’ Valentine’s Day everybody!

My song, for my ‘soundtrack of life’ this week should fit in nicely here. Enjoy! 



Friday, February 1, 2013

Blessings



The funny thing about life is that in this everlasting, self-imposed pursuit of our own tails to harness the compulsory powers of change, happiness, peace, tranquility and even love, you find blessings underneath all of these intangible aspirations. And, if you look hard enough, you find these blessings everywhere.

You find yourself blessed by friends who have never left your side.

You discover yourself surrounded by those who stand by you through thick and thin.

You are extolled with those who love you, even when you weren’t entirely endearing.

You realize the advantage of being able to see people’s true colors, even if those colors have been obvious to you all along.

You are lauded to have things somehow, magically fall in your lap, only to realize that it truly wasn’t magic at all.

At the end of the day, you realize that maybe, just maybe, the Universe is rewarding you with just the smallest, tidbit of minuscule good for the whole hearted smattering of evil that you’ve had to traipse through for most of your life. Maybe.  

It’s then that you can breathe. Even if you’re wrong. Even if you are facing of against a nemesis, a formidable adversary, you breathe. Because you've already won. 

And it’s at that moment that you know who needs to stay, and who needs to go. It’s in the wake of this most profound revelation that you are able to deduce who will play a part, and even who won't. And, if you are keenly lucky, you even understand why.

It’s then that you know what you have to do. It’s at this poignant, ever-so-important, weighty moment that you make choices that have to stick, even if you don’t necessarily want them to. And you do this not for you, not for your happiness; you do this for the most unselfish reason imaginable.  You do these things for the greater good; for the happiness of others; for the people in your life that you love more than you love yourself. Because it really is that simple. Sometimes it isn’t about your being happy, sometimes it’s about letting someone else find their happiness, on their own path, their own road, their own time.

So you let go.

You throw the dice.

And you wait. Patiently.

Those who are worthy prove it by their actions. Those who are not will fall away. And that, in and of itself, is a blessing. For that tells you everything you need to know.

However, let not your kindness or loving heart blind you to the wicked nature of mankind. Always sharpen your mind, your quill and your heart enough to attack with calculated force when necessary and to love with more force when needed.

Because all of that, all of this, and all of what we have left is a blessing. Use it to your highest purpose. And that, my friends, is what we call…living.

For if there is one virtue I possess it's patience...the other is persistence. There are some battles you have to fight longer in order to win, but it is when you fight those battles with a greater purpose in mind than merely destroying someone that you will, inevitably...win. And they who are only out to destroy will lose, they will fall...and they will deserve it. When the dust settles, those who set out to do real good win...those who set out to do nothing but harm do not. Therein lies the difference between real winners and real losers. 

And even that is a blessing. 

Which leads me to my ‘Soundtrack of Life’ selection. I admit, it’s a bit haunting, but it caught my ear, and I hope it catches yours too... 



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