“What other people think of you is none of your business.”*
“Do you really care what other people think?” *
“I can’t wear this; people will make fun of me!”*
We have all heard/used/said these statements at some point. Do you believe it to be true?
I do. I did before, but I really do now.
This past weekend, I got my hair cut. For the first time in more than 2 years. For me, this was a big deal.
About 3 months ago, I thought “UGH! My hair is getting too long.” So I pulled it back with a barette (down low) and cut 3″ off myself. (I don’t recommend it.)
Then, on Friday, I was combing my hair out, and I thought, “UGH! I can’t take this anymore. I’m too old to have hair this long.” (I’m not one of those who believes that once you turn 40, you need to cut your hair. It just seemed right for me.)
My friend recommended her salon, I called, and told them I had a hair-emergency. They fit me in on Saturday. Cut, color, highlights, the works.
I won’t bore you with the ridiculous amount of inane conversation I endured. I could feel my brain melting. It was scary, really.
Now, my hair is dark (dark chocolate-ish) and short. I estimate that she cut off about 8″. It is a big change. And I LOVE it!! It’s probably a shade or 2 darker than I’m happy with, but that’s okay. I will get used to that. But I love that it’s short, and light-feeling, and curly.
Of all the people I have seen today at work, and there are probably 600 people in this building, 3 have commented. 3.
And one of those knew I was getting it done.
Wear what you want. Do what you want. As long as you are not harming others, NO ONE CARES. No one. They are just as wrapped up in themselves as you are in yourself. Think about all the time you spend thinking about yourself.
Scary right? There’s no time to think of anyone else. So no one else has time to think about you either.
So get over it. If I can change my hair by 8″ and go from red-ish to dark chocolate-brown, and have NO ONE notice? No one cares.
Be you and be happy.
*I know these quotes are not mine, but I can’t find a good reference as to who actual is credited with them. My apologies to you if they are yours. Let me know and I will give you credit.
I know I’ve posted on here that I don’t watch the news. I find the “It bleeds, it leads” premise disgusting. There is very rarely anything positive reported. And I just can’t deal with it. I read headlines online, so I’m not completely oblivious to the world around me.
I’ve also posted that I have disconnected cable. I did it at the beginning of the year. If I want to watch something, I have Netflix or Hulu. And so far? I don’t miss it. I missed all the awards shows, which are gross displays of excess and self-congratulations, in my opinion. “Who are you wearing?” “How big is your diamond?” Really? Who cares? $5,000+ for a gown that you can only wear once? That’s disgusting. But, then again, I don’t know who most of the young actors are anymore, anyway. One of the benefits of not having cable is that I don’t see movie trailers, so I don’t know what’s playing or who’s acting in them.
Then she wrote about giving up all social media. I’m not ready for that yet. Her comment that she doesn’t want a 140-character live makes sense to me, but I do like Twitter. I met Debra via Twitter. I’ve “met” a lot of amazing people and found blogs, blogging, stories, websites all because of Twitter.
For months though, I’ve been irritated and logging on to Twitter less and less. I was “muting” people rather than “unfollowing” them. Heaven forbid I unfollow someone and hurt their feelings. (Insert eye-roll, here). I felt like I was sifting through loads of noise to find the posts of people who matter to me.
So, this past weekend, I set up a new Twitter account. And deleted my old one. I am following 40 people (I think) and have 13 following me. And it’s lovely. When I pull up my timeline, I know there are going to be posts by people who I would love to meet. I will get my news. I can keep in touch with people, to a degree.
This is just one more way to turn down the noise.
About a week or so ago, a friend confided in the privacy of a chat, that she had slapped her daughter during an argument. Slapped her “a few times”. (Her words). Slapped. Her. Daughter.
No. I just wrote out what I know about Louise* and her story, but A) it isn’t my story to tell; B) I only know about her story that which she has shared; and C) this post is only about the slap and my reaction. So I deleted it.
Suffice it to say that Louise is making a huge change in several areas in her life. One of her daughters has been acting up – lying, promiscuity, possibly drugs – and this is all completely out of character for the daughter. So they have been fighting a lot.
Last week, Louise joined the chat and said “XXX and I has a HUGE fight last night. Everything came to a head. We were yelling at each other and I slapped her. A few times…. but the result was XXX”. Again, that’s the big part of what you need to know.
All the other women in our chat were “Oh, I’m sorry you have to deal with that.” “Teenagers are hard.” “You did the right thing – she needed a wake up call and you got her attention.”
I? Remained observant in stunned silence.
- I was never slapped by my parents, as a child. I was spanked, but rarely.
- I don’t have any children (that I know about), so I cannot put myself fairly in her shoes.
- The magnitude of the changes Louise is making would make anyone crazy, I would imagine.
I was going to write this post the day it happened, but I couldn’t. I wanted to marinate in her actions, and more importantly, my REACTION to her actions before I wrote anything.
My response to Louise at the time was something like: “I have to be honest. I’m struggling with the slapping portion of your story. I AM NOT JUDGING YOU, but I’m having a hard time with it. I’m glad you got XXX to open up and talk though.”
But who am I kidding. I did judge her. I think I still am. I haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what it is about “the slap” that has affected me so profoundly. I’m not a mother. I don’t know how bad the argument was. I don’t know the degree to which XXX was acting up.
I mean, I know how frustrated I get with my cats. But really? They’re cats. I know it’s not the same thing, by any stretch of the imagination.
I reached out to my friends at The Band to get their perspectives. They seemed to be as shocked/horrified/disturbed about it as I was. Not that that makes my reaction right. (BTW, are you with The Band? You should be.)
So, your turn.
If someone told you this, how would you react? What do you say? Am I blowing this out of proportion because I don’t have the parental-perspective?
“It’s the friends you can call up at 4am that matter.”
– Marlene Dietrick
So, this morning, I pulled up my chair and my coffee and opened my reader to peruse the blogs that have been updated. I do this most mornings. Why would today be any different?
I met Debra via Twitter. I don’t even remember who followed whom first. But I found her to be engaging and honest and lovely. We hit it off and we became part of each other’s lives, as much as is possible when we live more than 1,200 miles apart.
For a long time, Debra and I spoke via Twitter, or on the phone, daily. We heard about each other’s successes and hardships. There were well-wishes and hugs being sent through the ether, back and forth as needed. We both knew that if a 4am call was needed, that would be okay too.
At the end of 2010, Debra made a trip out to meet me. I met her in person. And she was just as lovely as I had imagined. She did spend a good amount of time stalking a giant lobster while she was here, but even that was endearing.
At the start of 2011, we had both been through a fabulous class together. (I was only able to attend due to Debra’s generosity.) We both started 2011 full of the desire to make significant changes in how we approach life. Sadly, my desire waned and, while I did make some changes, I ended 2011 not too differently than how I ended 2010.
Debra, however, made lasting and wonderful changes. It was exciting to watch the change which was visible in the tone and content of her Tweets and blog posts. It is my opinion that in 2011, she became fully Debra last year. The changes she displays are profound and noticeable and inspirational.
So, what is my problem today?
This. This is my problem.
And before you say it, I *know* this post isn’t about me. The decisions she’s made aren’t about me in any way shape or form. They are decisions she’s made to continue her own growth and happiness and (jeepers, I hate this word) journey.
And all of that? I am applauding and cheering and I honestly cannot wait to see how it all turns out.
I couldn’t even leave an appropriate comment to that post. (Sorry, Debra.) And for a while, I couldn’t even figure out why.
And then I did.
Friendships are fragile things and require as much care
in handling as any other fragile and precious thing.
– Randolph S. Bourne
1,200+ miles is a long distance. For anyone.
Now that Debra is not on Twitter, I won’t see her smiling face in my timeline. I won’t see her smiling face on Facebook. I don’t really see the point of G+, so that’s not a big thing.
But the reason Debra’s post affected me this morning is that I am afraid. And a little envious. And afraid.
I am afraid that this friendship is going to end? I don’t know that that is the correct word. I think on some level we will always be friends. I think my fear is that we will become polite acquaintances. And that will make me sad. What makes me sadder is that if that *does* happen, it will be my fault.
Because I am a terrible friend. I am working on making that an invalid statement, but for now? It’s true. It stems from my own insecurities. It manifests in that I am rarely the one to reach out because, in my mind, the other person always has something better to do. The other person gets tired of always being the initiator. And understandably so. I would get sick of that too.
I have lost a lot of friends this way. Looking back, I know now that some of those people were not “friends” in the true sense of the word. But others were.
Reading Debra’s post affected me the way it did because I immediately went to that place of “I’m losing yet another friend! What is wrong with me??” In my self-centered mind, I immediately made it about me – how it would affect me, what that would mean to me. Rather than celebrating that Debra is now fully Debra, and that she is out there, actually LIVING life, I internalized it just like I always do.
This is where the envy comes in to play too. I see how far she has progressed since we first met, how happy she is, how many positive changes she has made, and I think: Why not me? When will it happen for me? Why can’t I have epiphanies like that?
I know the answers to those questions, by the way. Debra has put in the time, and the work, and the effort. I haven’t.
“Some friends come and go like a season. Others are arranged in our lives for good reason.”
Debra – this is to you.
I have watched you grow and change and become happy, over the past few years. I think you are amazing and an inspiration. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life. I don’t think this will be the end of our friendship, but too often, we never say thank you to our friends. Or even indicate the role they have played in our lives.
Thank you for your post. It shook me. It showed me how wonderful life can be when fully embraced. It showed me to not rely on cyber-friends exclusively.
Thank you. You have set such an exciting path for yourself. I cannot wait to see where you go, where you end up.
These are the feelings I am having.
One thing I’ve never had is a charm bracelet. I find them fascinating. Each piece telling a story about the person – where they’ve been, who they’ve loved.
When my niece was born, I started a charm bracelet for her. For the first 10 years, I kept it to myself. I tried to find charms reflective of what she was into that particular year. On her 10th birthday, I gave it to her. And now every year I send her another charm. Honestly, I don’t even know if she still has it. I’d like to think she does and that she appreciates it.
The past few years have
sucked been less than optimal, I think, for many people. So last year, I decided I needed a reminder of good things – affirmations, if you will.
I decided to make myself a charm bracelet.
However, there are some drawbacks with charm bracelets. They can be very jingly, which some people at the Gas ‘n Sip would find annoying. (I know I shouldn’t care about that, but there you go.) Also, by being jingly, they can prompt questions from random people; people who don’t need to know what’s going on in my life. People who don’t care, really, about what I’m trying to say with my charms.
So instead, I bought myself a 24″ sterling silver necklace. It’s long enough that it hangs near my heart, and it stays tucked into my shirt, so no one else needs to know it’s there. Also? No jingle. Ergo? No questions. Now if I’m playing with it or someone sees it, and they ask questions, I can tuck it back in, out of sight. Or I can answer questions if I choose.
Why am I telling you this now? Excellent question. I’m telling you now because I am using this now, not so much as a chain of affirmations, but more of a reminder of the journey. Does that make sense? It’s much less a tangible life raft, and more of a comfortable friend. I don’t need it to be a secret anymore.
So. Do you want to see it?
Okay. Since you’ve asked nicely. And really, more that despite WEEKS or MONTHS of no activity, you still keep coming back. (What is wrong with you? *snort*)
I’ll start from the right, because they have been around the longest.
(OMGoat. Why am I nervous??)
The first 3 disks go together. They say Fear, Less, Ness. Sometime ago I wrote a post that I wanted to get that in a tattoo. But who knows what I called it. I looked for the link but can’t find it. I bought the disks from someone on Etsy. I would totally post links to the store (well, stores really, because a few of these are from Etsy) but again. My organization leaves a lot to be desired.
Anyhoo. Fearlessness is a term I love. And aspire too. I found it on Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart site. She sells one there that is gorgeous (and you can see her wearing it every week on her show) but last time I looked it was $450. Love the sentiment. Don’t love the price.
The next is a heart. It’s to remind me to keep my heart open.
You can’t really see the little clear crystal thing I have. It’s my faux diamond. Because I deserve diamonds.
And the last in this grouping is for courage. Similar to fearlessness. But it’s a reminder to step out of my comfort zone more often. I tend to limit my risks. About this time last year, I broke my comfort zone by signing up for a triathlon.
From right to left: “Follow Your Bliss”, a faux topaz, “I Am Enough” and a little prayer box.
Follow your bliss is something I got at Etsy also. We all need to do this. Listen to your heart. It knows what is right. Also, don’t get trapped in doing what other people want you to do, what will make them happy. Follow your own path.
The topaz is my mother’s birthstone. I have written about her a lot. She is my hero.
I am enough. How many of you can say that, on a regular basis, with conviction? I got this from Tracey Clark’s wonderful blog. There hasn’t been an updated post there in a while, but the message is still true. Have you had your breakthrough moment yet? That moment where you have the epiphany that yes, you are enough?
The last one in this group is a little prayer box. It opens up, so you can put a prayer/wish/plea out to the universe. Once it is out there, the universe begins to conspire to make it happen. I change out my little slips of paper about once a month.
This group shows a little disco ball, a butterfly, a breast cancer ribbon (with a little rubber ring) and an owl.
The disco ball is just a reminder to have fun. Dance when I feel like it. Listen to music that makes me happy.
I think the butterfly is pretty self-explanatory. I know that I am working towards becoming something more beautiful than what I started with. And I don’t mean just physically. I know I am becoming a nicer person. I can feel it. The outward appearance is just window dressing.
The breast cancer ribbon? I gave that to myself after I completed the triathlon. It wasn’t pretty, but that wasn’t my goal. I finished – and was seen in public in a wetsuit – and I am still pretty damn proud of that. The little rubber ring came with the ribbon. I like to think of that as the life-saving ring that I might have needed during the swim portion. 8^D
And finally, the owl. Debra got me started with the owls. (Turns out, owls are the new *it* girl). Everyone loves owls now. But for me? Debra reminded me that I am wise, and that inside me is the wisdom I need to succeed. Plus? It’s sparkly.
So that’s my charm necklace. I didn’t buy all the charms at once. I buy a new one when I see something that strikes me. I don’t think the owl will be the last one either. Just as I’m not done improving, my necklace needs to reflect that. The first charms – Fear, Less, Ness – are looking pretty beat up and worse for wear. But they’ve been with me the longest. The owl? Still pretty new.
There is your glimpse into my life. I don’t let it show often. But Courage, right? If I don’t show it, I won’t have new experiences. And that’s what life is for.
It’s December. 2011 has just flown by!! I’m already looking ahead to 2012.
About this time last year, I was on top of my game – feeling good and ready to make 2011 my bitch! I started the year that way too. But then, as the year progressed, I slipped back into my old ruts and habits. My word for the year was Kind. But regressing back to self-destructive behavior isn’t very kind, is it?
I was kind to others. I was kinder to myself than I had been in years past. But I’m still a work in progress.
As I look to 2012, the word that keeps coming up for me is Wellness. I know some people won’t understand that I need to take care of myself. Since I’m single and have no kids, what else am I doing? How can I *not* be taking care of myself? Right? Well, in 2012, that is my focus.
How, you ask?
1. I’ve already started eliminating beauty products with chemicals in them. My goal by the end of the year, is to use homemade or organic products only.
2. My job at the Gas ‘n Sip – I will either get a new job or get promoted. Either way, by the end of the year, I will be in a different job.
2a. I reached my absolute limit at the Gas ‘n Sip Monday. Background: You already know I am the Slurpee Manager. However, there is an exam to become certified in Slurpee creation. I have been working towards this certification for years – it’s a combination of education and hours. You have to spend a certain number of hours making Slurpees before you can take the certification exam. I? Have completed all the prerequisites and now I just have to take it. But here’s the thing. The exam is ridiculously difficult. So, in order to help the Slurpee Managers at the Gas ‘n Sip pass the exam first try, the company is hosting a prep class. YAY! The class is being held in another state. BOO! My manager said I could go. YAY! But her manager said it was too expensive to send me there.
BOO! What the phuck??????? Am I so dispensable? You can’t send me to a class to advance my career? I was so pissed. I am pretty defeated.
2b. I spent Monday evening stewing and not sleeping and feeling like a loser. But then? I got up on Tuesday, and turned on the radio, like I do every morning. The song playing was that woman screeching “You are loved, you are loved, you are really really reeeeeeeeeeeeally looooooooooooved.” You know the one I mean. The Universe has spoken. I stopped and listened. And then I realized, Slurpee Manager is what I do, not who I am. I have been beaten by them for the last time. If they don’t want to send me to a prep class? I’ll send myself to a prep class. I *will* get certified. And then #2 will be realized.
3. By the end of the year, I will have all but eliminated processed food from my diet. I can’t promise to give up pizza, because, c’mon. It’s pizza! I’m human, not a robot.
4. I won’t quit the group I joined. I still think it’s a tough group to get into, but everyone is so nice and I totally support what they do, so I’m going to tough it out. It’s worth it.
There will be more that I will add to this list before the end of the year. I may have slid downhill a bit this year, but I plan to keep trying. 2012 will help me regain that ground and move ahead again.
For as long as I can remember, I have always felt like an outsider. One of those sad little wall-flower people, looking in through the window at the cool kids, hanging out, laughing and sharing inside jokes. It’s a cold and lonely place to be.
I remember being on the outside during high school. I was friends with some of the “in-crowd” but never fully accepted. Same thing happened in college. Again, at my jobs.
And OMG, don’t even get me started on the book clubs I have tried!
The common denominator in all of these situations? Me.
Maybe my insecurities have stopped me. Maybe my shyness. Maybe my self-esteem (or lack thereof).
But I know I have something to contribute. I *know* I do. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m creative. And yet, I still hover around the edges, hoping someone will smile or say hi or take me under their wing, and help me be more comfortable. Am I just having flashbacks to the mean girls in high school?
I recently joined a group, ever the optimist. They have been together for a good amount of time and are well established with each other. I joined because I support what they do for the community and people in need. But at times, I feel like I’m stepping into a rushing crowd with no idea what’s going on. So I either get out-of-the-way or I get trampled. And, there I am, on the sidelines again.
How do I get over this? Give me some tips, please! I have been thinking about leaving the group already (it’s been a few months now). They will go on and continue to do good things. And I will feel like I have failed. Again.
So I ask you: Does it ever get easier to fit in with an established group?