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Archive for July, 2011

There are only a few things that bother me more than passive aggressiveness. It’s not healthy, it’s not proactive and it’s not straight up. Passive aggressiveness is the consequence when someone is unable to say no or “I don’t like this”. I think in our world today we tend to overcommit ourselves and spread ourselves too thin. Not to mention no one wants to be the “bad guy”, we don’t want to disappoint or hurt feelings. Part of me even believes that politeness is ruining our social society. It’s okay to not agree, feel hurt and be unable to do something for someone else and it’s alright to express those things. Communication is key and most of the time it’s not just the words but rather the delivery. People are sensitive, even the ones who pretend that they’re not (usually they are the most sensitive) and how you say something to someone can be more important than the words themselves. There’s no need to say “no” in a snide and annoyed way but rather “Ohh, bummer. I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that”. It’s easy. Try it. I love saying “no” (I promise I’m not a tease, though) and find it very liberating!

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I’m feeling awfully guilty. Today, I went to the coffee shop to work and sat down at a table with another man. When I put my stuff down at the table he stood up, smiled and told me that he was a gentleman and would be honored to sit with such a beautiful girl. We shook hands and introduced ourselves, his name was Jim. I plugged myself in and after politely engaging in some conversation I was eager to put my headphones on and zone into my own world. I smiled and nodded at what Jim had to say hoping it would be enough to camouflage my impatience and irritation.  He told me he was a storyteller. “Great” I thought, “storytellers love to talk”. Then he asked if I knew the difference between a storyteller and a writer. I simply responded with “No”. I resigned to the fact that it was going to be awhile before I was going to be able to get any work done and switched gears. I told myself that someone was trying to teach me something in this moment and instead of resisting a lesson I needed to be embracing it. So, I listened. Jim went on and on. He spoke about Henry Kissinger, the Cuban Missile crisis, New York Times Op Ed writers, his own struggles, emotion, experience and people. In only a matter of minutes, it was apparent that Jim was extremely smart and there was no question that his intelligence far exceeded my own. However that wasn’t our only difference. Jim is physically challenged. His speech is slow and slurred, his hands and arms are crippled and his walk is crooked. I don’t like that I use these things to describe him because those things are so small in comparison to him as a whole. Yet, as a human, I can’t help but not only see these things but truly be unable to disregard them. After Jim asks me for some help plugging his phone into its charger, refill his water and open a packet of crackers for him he asks me if I’m married. I smile and shake my head. He asks if I have a boyfriend and again I shake my head. He tells me he doesn’t have anyone either and it’s because people judge him on his exterior. I feel a tinge in my heart. I want to tell him that I can relate and that people judge me on my appearance but I stop myself when I realize that my issue isn’t comparable and that I’m just like all those other people who have hurt Jim. It doesn’t matter if I’m not embarrassed engaging with him or having people stare at us as he talks to me but because there’s no way I could ever be attracted to Jim, I feel guilty. As hard as I try to love and accept everyone, I’m just as guilty as the people who have hurt me. I feel as though I don’t deserve anyone to love me because right here, there’s someone ready to love me and I’m rejecting it due to superficial reasons. If only we weren’t so human, this world would be a better place.

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The older I get the more people I meet, the more places I move and it’s only naturally for me to want to visit the people and places I’ve left behind. Not to mention, there are all the places in this world I dream of visiting or revisiting. But, when I add up vacation days, money and airfare the numbers don’t always work in my favor. Plus, the amount of time it takes to actually travel somewhere doesn’t make some trips worthwhile. It is impossible to travel everywhere I want in one year and I am forced to forfeit experiences (which is difficult for me because I hate when group pictures are taken without me in them). This makes me heavy sigh. So, do I miss Christmas to go to Scandinavia? Do I skip a wedding so I can go shoot a documentary in Africa? How come Europe has bullet trains and we don’t? I wouldn’t have to choose if we had bullet trains and I think the world would be a better place.

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I love babies. They’re fragile and unaware. Not to mention, they’re us and who we used to be. A friend recently had a baby and I was invited to come visit, only hours after her little girl was born. I had been to visit babies, such as new cousins, at the hospital before but there was something different about this experience. Maybe because I’m getting older or because it was one of my peers’ babies but it really moved me. It moved me in a way that brought tears to my eyes and a sort of happiness and excitement that was so precious. Of course, I was super embarrassed because no one else was crying-not even the brand new mom or grandma. After laughing, apologizing the tears away and taking a few photos, I left the hospital feeling so calm. Content. Happy. I felt as if I had been recharged, ready for life and the challenges ahead of me. They say that “being born” and dying are the most painful and difficult experiences to endure (which I’d like to know how anyone knows that) and if this tender little human could handle being born and struggling into our world then we can persevere over our pain, struggles and conflicts.

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I’m not talking about for big things like mortgages, tuition and groceries (although my life would be a lot easier if that were the case) but what if this was the currency we used among our small personal circles? What if every time you needed a favor you had to hug the person? You go next door to borrow a cup of sugar for the cookies you need to make and in return you give your neighbor a hug. Or, you ask a coworker to take on a file of yours so you can lighten a workload and when they respond “yes” you give them a hug. Not everyone is a hugger and for some reason a lot of those people are my friends. I need to ask for hugs and even then I usually get a response of “no” so now I just have to sniper attack hugs. Sometimes when I’m fighting with someone, all it comes down to is me simply needing a hug. Reassuring me that I’m loved and appreciated. If every day, every single person such as people of power, skeazy finance guys and even you and me were randomly hugged, making us all feel loved and appreciated, I think this world would be a better place.

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Obviously, this is a dream. But, if I were in a beauty pageant and was asked what my wish was for the world, it would be this. Right now, I have a lot on my plate. I’m moving out of my loft, putting everything in storage for a few months so I can be a free bird and I have to do all of this by next Friday, which is when I leave town for three weeks. Not to mention, I’m in the process of writing query/cover letters, sending out writing samples/resumes, getting my photography onto a website as well as trying to keep writing everything that’s inside me! Plus, all the things I need to do that go along with leaving town for nearly a month. So last night, after I packed a bit more and before I sat down to write more queries, I opened one of my “special” wines (from one of my favorite wineries up in Los Olivos, CA). Even though I know I’m supposed to save my red wines, I couldn’t help it and felt it was deserving. I’m broke, stressed and in need of a little pick me up. I sat down with my glass of Petite Syrah, put on my headphones filled with Bettye Lavette and got to work. Not only was I very productive but I also danced (yes, by myself) and reconnected with my best friend (again, yes, myself). I love me and I love what I do and I think everyone should love themselves and love the things they do too! This moment that I’m living in will soon be a memory and even though I’m feeling stressed now, it may become a moment in which I look back and remember for it’s simplicity. I’m going to try my best to live in it, for everything it’s worth while dancing and drinking my red wine!

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Most of us living in the US of A have led pretty charmed lives. Sure, we had our adolescent struggles as well as our fair share of disagreements with our parents. It’s an understatement when I tell you that I was angry at my parents for most of my teenage years. Not only was I grounded from the age of 12 until I was 18 but in this time my dad kicked me out of the house for not washing dishes properly as well as didn’t talk nor look at me for bringing home a D in conduct on a report card. Did he handle these situations rationally? No, not at all. I even went to therapy with them, for them and because of them. What it all boils down to is they did the best they could with what they were taught. I know my Dad loves me, was scared I was going to turn into him and only wanted me to succeed. If you didn’t have a parent like that, I’m sorry. That’s horrible and you didn’t deserve it however, stop giving them power over your life. It’s only you, right now, always and forever so live how you want to live. One of grandma’s, I won’t name names, is in her seventies and still blaming her parents for her “horrible” life. This doesn’t just boggle my mind but makes me feel so sad that this woman is not even a woman in so many ways. She’s stunted, debilitated and imprisoned by merely an emotion. If this sounds anything like how you feel then free yourself and forgive! Don’t be my grandma (unless you want to bake me cookies and tell me how wonderful I am).

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