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.


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!

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).

It’s a simple fact that everyone is different so why is everyone trying to live the same life? Your neighbor’s grass looks greener from over the fence but if you got closer you’d see all the weeds and dead patches. You think you’d be happier if you were married? Well, then you get married and envy the simplicity and independence of being single. You wish you owned a home? Then you buy one and realize all the work that constantly needs to get done and your bank account dwindles and your weekends are busy going to Home Depot. You wish you had more money? Then when you have money you realize all the responsibility that comes along with it or how difficult it is to trust people. If you get caught up in this, the list could keep going…”I wish I had her body” “He has a better job” “Their mom and dad help them out more than my parents” “He’s in much better shape than me” “Her kids are better listeners than mine” “I wish I had an Aunt Sally who took me on trips to Africa” and blah blah frickin’ blah. Don’t be such a downer.

The things is, everyone struggles and everyone can thrive, the details are unimportant (to-may-to/to-mah-to). Everyone has pros and cons. So, let’s focus on our pros and make the world a better place.

My parents tried to introduce me to the idea of death and funerals at an early age. Their thought process was that if they treated the idea as normal and just a natural part of life than I wouldn’t think too much of it. The thing was-I had a mind of my own and it was filled with anxiety. For a long long long time I was terrified of death. Not just of my own mortality but my loved ones as well. Whenever I would leave my parents, uncles/aunts or grandma I would tell myself “This is going to be the last goodbye”. It was hell. I worked hard to change my thought process and thankfully I have learned to embrace the idea of death without crumbling at the very thought of it. Shirley MacLaine believes in reincarnation. I’m not sure if I do too but I do believe our souls never die and if that’s the case then we never die. War is pointless, if death doesn’t mean anything. The thing is our society wants us to fear death. They want us to be afraid so we buy things to make us feel like we’re cheating death-Earthquake survival kits, medicines, insurance policies, etc. Not to mention, a group that is afraid is easier to control than a group that is brave. My suggestion? Live live LIVE your life loud. In the end/beginning/transition, we are alone. Let’s embrace it and not be afraid anymore so are world can be healthier and happier!

Ok, so now we’re all grown up and we’ve learned that life can suck. We have responsibilites, obligations and 401k’s. Stress has become one of those things that we manage on a day to day basis. Crinkles in our annoyed/frustrated/angry faces are beginning to leave wrinkles. But, do you remember a time when you couldn’t wait to be a grown up? A time when everything was a mystery, exciting and new? What were those things you couldn’t wait to do? And better yet, what were those things you used to love and have stopped doing? Did you play sports? Pretend? Blow bubbles? What made you laugh? I hate to break it to you but here’s the thing: you’re still that same person. Don’t stifle your fun, energy and excitement for life. You’re finally allowed to do almost whatever you want to, so what’s stopping you? Go shoot a gun, jump off a cliff (with a bungie cord attached to it), climb a tree as high as you can, travel somewhere far away or get in a tickle fight that makes you scream and laugh for your life! Do things that make you feel free and young to balance out the ball and chain of life’s responsibilities.

Read whatever you want, just read! Listen to people’s perspectives, funny moments, horrifying experiences and beliefs. We all want to be heard but to truly be heard we also need to listen. It doesn’t matter if you agree, disagree, laugh, cry or feel nothing at all. What’s important is that you are active in the search to find something that sticks in your brain and not in your ass, hips or thighs. Junk is so frivolous, fleeting and fake. People consume that crap because they’re souls are hungry for nutrients. Nourish yourself. Read!