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Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the tag “identity crisis”

“What’s Inside”

Over the years there have been stories about how things are not what they appear to be. People are that way as well. No one knows who lurking in our psyche, oftentimes we don’t know ourselves. There are the personal secrets, one of mine is I am addicted to “bubblegum rock”. I think this is because I was a hippie in another time, and that other time exists in my mind. This place feels very natural and very real. It  does not explain why I have no rhythm yet want to sing and dance, instead I chose to sit silently and not dare even bob my head or tap my foot.

The bright colors, the peace signs, “flower-power” hanging out in a park all day; that is a big part of she who shapes me. However, you’d have to look past my exterior to see this person. That exterior is almost as much an illusion as what is formulated in our minds about who we truly are.

Perhaps you can remember the slogan tee shirts of the 1970’s; this first one that comes to mind is the yellow happy face which said Have A Nice Day, of course there were many others and some of them quite risque’. The snug fit and letter/word placement often drew attention to passive-aggressive attempts at subtlety. I had one that said, “The Best Part Is Inside” placed strategically across the chest; on a guy one might look right past those words, but on a young lady. Well a hormonally charged young man could and often times would seize an opportunity to be charmingly-flirty, disgustingly-crude, or a combination of them all. Plus that was the intention in the first place.

How many times have you heard , “Watch out for the quiet ones”. How many times have you found the rowdy party-animal to be a conservationist that  does foster-care for small woodland creatures. While no one really knows what’s on your mind or be acquainted with that alter- ego that may present themselves at the most inopportune moment the question is;

Do YOU know what’s inside of you?

Deep Dark Chocolate

It shouldn’t be any other way. I grew up loving chocolate. Hershey invaded my life very early. When there was Russell Stover’s candy in the house it was the assorted chocolate box; at that time in my life all I knew about dark chocolate was it was the last candy I would eat, and that was through sheer desperation. The one exception,  which by the way still remains in tact, was OREOS. I cannot say enough about those cookies, so I will only say you love um or you’re not all there.

Time moves on, you grow and you tastes change, but my love of  milk chocolate remained pure. Pure, really, milk chocolate is cocoa in one of  it’s most processed form. I  do have to give honorable mention to the so-called white chocolate and it’s rich texture, even though the extreme sweetness over takes any substantial flavor. Now as our waistlines increase and blood pressure rises, we all know that dark chocolate has a hosts of positive affects. Yet it is difficult to equate good to you and good for you when we think of this decadence. We ladies for the most part crave this, our chocolate love or love of chocolate.

A few nights ago it hit me, I was in the mood for something sweet, I didn’t know what so I figured “go down the cookie aisle and you will find some chocolate love”. I fought and resisted the urge to go on and pick up the familiar blue package with the picture of the most beautiful cookie on the planet. There are no secrets or surprises there, no challenge, plus if all else failed I knew where I could get satisfaction.

Instead I reached for the milk chocolate creme filled Milano, for reasons unknown. I had them once before and felt they could take care of this wanton desire. I couldn’t wait until I got out of the store before I had ripped open the package and quickly bit into one. There it was nothingness and disappointment all in one blow. The cookie tasted “brown” not chocolate. It was sweet but clearly not enough cocoa was put into this recipe. I struggled through another bite but had to resign myself to”this was a mistake”. The only thing to do was to run back into the store and indulge myself.

However, I resisted and moved on but was this a success? I must ask because here we are 7 days later, and there is the need to talk about how unfulfilled I felt after that encounter. Delving deeper and deeper into the “chocolatety” question, I ask what is this truly about. How would I rank my chocolate love; experience(what I prefer), expectation(what I think I prefer) or pattern(what I have in actuality preferred) the answers would all be different. Although if you read me(literally), that revelation should not surprise you in the least.

Who’s The Fairest Is Not

I was listening to Jermaine Jackson when I started this. I  thought about a title and several came to mind. It is later on my Monday morning than I would hope for it to be, when this writing bug bit me. This is the second post I started on and was working to complete another two, suffice to say this was not a plan.

YouTube has some really creative people who post music and videos  Yet it was from one of these folks, who I am not particularly pointing out as talented or not, that I have to thank for this. I wanted to hear “You’re Supposed To Keep Your Love For Me”, nothing underlying except for the piano intro of the song along with the emulated birds tweeting in the background. I don’t know what the person who did the YouTube video was going after, but there were pictures of Jermaine from before the plastic surgery CATASTROPHIES as well as after. I shook my head in disbelief and the thought occurred to me, ” I remember when he USED to be handsome”. Instead of letting the song play in the background as I wrote about something else, the subject of the video became catalyst for the subject of my piece.

I watched the pictures turn from one shot to the next. I saw a typical African American teen boy with OUR features; he morphed into an individual with more and more European influenced features, and finally  to some person who had suffered some type of accident that surgeons were attempting to restore on some level. I took it personal.

Yes his nose was broad, but he had a gorgeous smile and teeth. Yes his hair was bushy, but it was healthy and well cared for. There was nothing unattractive about this guy. I thought about the entire Jackson brood and shook my head. I had to ground myself. I did not want to entertain the thought of “how could they think…” You see when I turned 18 I visited a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills for a consultation on a rhinoplasty for myself. I talk about this without a second thought now. Yet, as I looked at Jermaine I think of how close I came to doing the same thing( just not that magnitude). I know the ONLY thing that kept me from that surgeon’s knife was the fact he told me during the consultation, ” After the surgery you will have some swelling”. I stopped dead in my tracks, I did not hear another word. I grabbed and held onto the thought , “MY NOSE WILL BE BIGGER!!” I did not process the swelling will go down. I left that office never to return and never to think of that surgery except to point out I almost did it and why I chose not to.

Who’s the fairest, we ask that question and never think twice. This line in a fairy tale is ingrained in our heads; and while the men of our group don’t necessarily relish those tales like the women do, they are guided and influence by these same stories. Couple that with the  fact that big screen has given these fairy tales life, and well we are doomed to feeling bad about what we look like. Fairest do you mean color? Snow White is clearly white and I mean an anemic white. That is just not healthy on ANY level and I LOVE Disney movies.

Did you ever go to a Jackson Five concert? Do you remember seeing the guys on “Soul Train“. I did, and ELECTRIC only scratches the surface of them and their presence. What do you suppose your reaction would have been had the family appeared on stage looking the way they have been altered to look now. Micheal’s face taut and so very pale. Jermaine with check implants that look like they have decided they want to be above his eyes and are slowly working their way up. Everyone’s noses abbreviated and pinched. Finishing off with the bone straight Euro-Asian type hair.  This would look more like a Marilyn Manson coming out party.

Who’s The Fairest Is Not may have easily been an “Eye of the Beholder” offshoot.  To sum this all up I have my own personal looks issues; I almost got my nose “fixed”, I straighten my hair probably will not stop, but this piece is NOT all about me. The thing about me is I still see recognize the beauty of people no matter race, color, ethnicity; because beauty is everywhere, including but not limited to the eye of the beholder.  So now go and BEHOLD!

It Feels Sorta Cosmic

I don’t know how to explain it any other way. A phone call out of the blue from someone that you have been thinking about. Meeting someone for the first time and you can talk for hours. Your lover knows you are upset with them regardless of if you said a word or not.

This may seem rather obvious, but it really isn’t how many times have you heard or been told, “I didn’t know”. I think that there is so much information readily available, subtlety is virtually unrecognizable. We have to put whatever it is we are feeling right out there. If you are shy or reserved, you may be in trouble. However, in these instances even the universe is not buying the feigned ignorance.

We truly are closer to one another than we think. Perhaps the instances I pointed out are more common or familiar among folks who are closely connected, but there are instances where the ties are more distant and there is still an unexplained connection. I think we underestimate what we as human beings mean to one another. We concentrate so heavily on the differences, that we overlook that which is right there in our faces.

I find myself slipping more and more into the mindset of the “AARP world“,  the world in which the youth  is just “totally out of it”. However, I do have to give credit where credit is due. They( our younger counterparts) have contributed  positively to our sense of self-awareness, characterized by contemporary phrase. From the generation that wanted to know, “What’s happenin” and “Can you dig it?” our children have answered with “Do you feel me?” I anticipate the time when we can answer and mean “Yeah, I feel ya“.

“Pipe Dreams”

The sound of crumbling up paper, the image of “Curly Bill” from Tombstone saying, ” I feel greaaat, greaaat”,  followed by him firing off several rounds into the night sky. What does this mean?  Well these are the end results of “pipe dreams”  and I want to touch the subject of them.

Do you know what a “Pipe Dream” is. I am sure at some point in time you have had one, or accused another individual of having one. I imagine most of us deal with the “Pipe Dream” in a metaphoric sense, but this is what prompted me to investigate it further.

Having heard reference made to them since childhood I only equated them with actual dreams; later in life I came to know them as outlandish, far-fetched, or even impossible/improbably fantasies. I did like the sound of the term and since I love words this combination made an indelible mark.

In slight anger and frustration one evening, I decided to look up the origin of this “Pipe Dream”.  I was amused and fulfilled to find the two references that begin this piece were very logically associated with the term, and therefore they were appropriate to use. Short version they are drug induced( particularly associated with opium) fantasies, images, dreams. “Curly Bill’s” display in Tombstone came after he emerged from an Opium Den in the film. The crumpling paper was the sound of lottery tickets being discarded, while not drug induced a strong yearning to make something happen where the likely-hood is ( in my opinion) remote.

Now entertain the possibilities of being lost in either of those two listed scenarios, then imagine being lost in a “Pipe Dream” of your own.

How Many “Do-Overs” Do You Want To Do-Over?

Kicking yourself you allow the thought to enter your mind, “If I had just…” If you had just.. what?” It makes you feel better, it gives you a bit of validation or much needed hope, but without the ability to truly correct or change things what are you actually getting.

I have done this many times before myself; now I am facing an opportunity to actually make a change, so what will I do. Less than a week ago I danced around a very similar subject matter and here I am again. Conceding change is wanted/needed, but well aware that your feet are stuck in quicksand as far as taking action. Now one must resign themselves to the thought that what needs to change is in fact you. Factor in that although we are at a point where we are still vibrant and capable of taking on major life altering changes, we do not know how many more opportunities will present themselves.

The Well has run dry, there is no more to give. Therefore, you had better move on or die of thirst for certain. When you own up to being the master of your own destiny you have to be prepared to take charge. Don’t allow the fearful child-like voice to invade the space that needs to be occupied with forward progress. Where do you really want to be, and are you ready and willing to take a chance?

Y

The short title is to give you relief from what I believe will be a long read, but then we will see how it flows.

After “The Week From Hell”, I settled into what I hoped would be a calm, renewing weekend.  I lie to myself, push myself, and try very hard to self-motivate. However, I got hit really hard this week. In spite of all the things I know I have to live for this weekend, I said, “You know what, this is BS.”

I got to thinking how many other folks out there are faced with such a week, month, day (no particular order here)? I can tell you how draining it is. I can tell you that there is a feeling of being lost, for you are only searching for answers to take your mind off what is ultimately troubling you. With the mental anguish there then comes a physical feeling of sickness. I think this is where you know your return will be difficult and the result of a force of will.

I need to believe that what I am going through will make me stronger or there is a lesson to be learned. I must say and I imagine some of you will relate to this, ” I could easily exist in a vegetating state right now, my reality is too REAL.” I decided that what I will do is turn everything off and let my faith carry me this weekend. I will make a couple of calls to let loved ones know I am still alive and kickin(but not high), then I retreat to my “cave”. This is a period that I could use answers, what better place to start than “the information highway”, right?  Yet I truly feel like my temporary disconnect will do me much more good than hanging out in my normal places.

Therefore, I signed off and would return 48 hours later. Hoping at best I would be renewed and ready to go and the very least I would be renewed and ready to go. I tied up the loose ends, made my phone calls and turned my laptop off.

Here it is; I did not quite make the entire 48 hours and I really do have a renewed sense, though my journey to this place has been riddled with peaks and valleys. It is healthy and productive to step back and take look at things. If in the blink of an eye or a heartbeat things can change, why should it come as a surprise that a deliberate action of close examination would not do the very same.

Pardon Me But That’s My Life You Are Living

I put this stuff out here but I am certain I am not the only one who goes through these changes. Here go armed with chocolate at my side I will sink into myself and reveal yet another flaw of mine. ENVY.

She is smart, pretty, and successful. She is out there every-so-often I visit her page. We are not friends though. I know of her through a friend from work. We have very similar tastes in clothes, furniture, and I will leave it there. The blank I leave is the thing we have most in common. It haunts me. I want to rise above this; tuck it neatly away in something airtight, lock it up, and throw away the key. Yet I cannot. Time passes sometimes months without a thought; but then I have to see, I have to know if anything has changed. Though I never know for certain because I stay just far enough away to observe without being seen, it seems her world is taking it’s natural course. The course of which I wish mine were. I feel terrible that I am watching my  self proclaimed competitor and she is not aware. I do not mean her any harm, I know that which she has belongs to her. Yet deep inside I feel like I could be there, where she is, in that same spot, and I want to be.

As I thought of  the lists I have compiled over the years, I realized I always gave her credit for being the one thing I thought of first, that I bothered to intentionally mention in a secondary spot, even though I didn’t really feel that way or even see it in her. In other words I would always call her pretty in spite of the fact. I felt like “who am I to judge”, because “pretty” has always escaped me.  Besides what did I know about “pretty”? I had a hold on “smart”, I just let “smart” go. I visited with “success”, but success required much work. Well I know a great deal about “pretty”, because I have several friends who actually fit that bill comfortably, even and especially through my critical eyes.”Pretty” is  wonderfully balanced features. “Pretty” is making one look twice even in a ponytail, without make-up, wearing a tee shirt and cargo shorts. My “pretty” friends would make you say “Halle(or whomever is YOUR idea of gorgeous) Who”? Ironically, I like them and I love them. I SEE there is much more to them than their pretty-pretty faces.

I have an idea for an invention, I believe I could patent. It will do for movies what I want to do with my life. I would magically be propelled into her spot, the spot that I am convinced I want to be in and she would be sent… somewhere else. She would not be sent to my place, because I am not wanting a trade. One day I know I will see this invention on television or at the local WalMart, for much cheaper than you can purchase it online or at the local specialty electronics store. What I also think/ believe/feel is while I contemplate, she would do. Then I realized she is me without the excuses and the “stupid” mistakes.

Self-Absorbed

After a grueling period in which I played a role I am totally unequipped to play, the state of being self absorbed came to me.. I, in anger and in a bad place, began to systematically place people in my life into this category. During the process I was aware of the fact that I too might fit into this place as well, but I was focused on the people other than me. I needed to do this so I could be angry. Why you may ask would someone want to be angry? It is simple and it is complex. First off when one sacrifices they have a tendency to expect something good to come of the sacrifice. No matter they keep this expectation to themselves. However, we all know that this is not always the case. Being angry was a way for me to vent. I am a dutiful individual, an admirable characteristic if you do not mind the role; on the other hand if you do, what you have is a mean spiteful person who is very capable of doing a great deal of harm. Under the guise of dutiful, contempt and disdain can flourish and grow. These are not good things to cultivate. After mulling over this situation and the parties involved I decided the best thing and simple solution was to let it go. A suggestion for all involved, but it is not that easy. I point this out because I know how I felt. I have grown tired of  “taking the high road” which is often higher and steeper, while others seem to do as the damn-well- please. I also know I could not consciously do the insensitive, mean, wrong thing either. Thus I was left with my anger and my anger was really no different than “their stuff”. “Their stuff”, no matter what it was, had a personal pronoun attached and this is what made the difference.

The thing that makes these behaviours so easily recognized and labeled is they are coming from an outsiders perspective. If I point out YOU are being self-absorbed because you are thinking of “YOUR stuff” and NOT considering ME and what I have to deal with, am I being any less self-absorbed? One has to stop and realize, as one places a label a label is assigned to one as well.

When It Just Stopped Being Fun

I cannot remember the moment, but one day I recall there was no more joy attached to it. Then there was a sense of emptiness. I didn’t know why. When I finally put my finger on it, there was the feeling of loss. How does one recover from such a thing?

I am going to start with a positive and use it as a mechanism to get us thinking. Cooking… now our generation grew up with some fabulous cooks. We will say mother, grandmother, aunts,  sisters,  for starters(because I realize there are some fathers in this list as well). It was important for us to be able to cook and these ladies saw to it that we did. My family had some great cooks. We had Sunday dinners that were reminiscent of the ones depicted in the movie “Soul Food”. Two of my childhood friends fathers were great cooks in  their own rights.  To say that cooking and food surrounded my life would be an understatement. I  have cooked and baked since I was about 10 years old.

A natural deduction would be I must be a pretty good cook as well, that would be correct. Another one would be I must enjoy cooking, that would be incorrect. You see I was an overweight child; but that didn’t turn me against cooking, if anything it motivated me to do it more and more often. Later I married a man who did not object to cooking, and often took it upon himself to cook because of our working hours. I will give this point as contributory. However, my not enjoying cooking stemmed from what stated this entire dialog.. It just stopped being FUN. Cooking is an art, a talent. It is for sustenance and pleasure. A way of sharing feelings, if you will. It can be sensual, down right joyful, and let’s not forget the all important it just plain tastes good.

What began to happen was I attached a negative to a positive. The food tasted good but it was work,the food tasted good but it put on weight, the food tasted good but there was an easier way to feed the family. The negative took over and won. Instead of finding reasons to cook, I gravitated to the reasons not to. Without warning it happened and it stopped being what it used to be pleasurable, joyous, fun. The purpose still existed, but it was all too serious now.

Acknowledging all the things we experience in our lives are NOT going to bring a smile to our face or a sense of joy in our heart, but some of those the things that can should. Otherwise, they just become yet another task.

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