Something about the state of unemployment that makes one feel perennially unproductive.  Yesterday was a day jammed pack with activity.  I networked; I brainstormed; I branded myself (as an underachieving weakling with no talent…argh!); and I sashayed a bit on the runway before taking my new moves to the dance floor.  In short…I played.  And it was fun.  And I think this is why today I feel more compelled to work.

Hollywood’s sun always shines in Los Angeles.  No matter how much you try to ground and root yourself, glamour is addictive and entertaining.  It’s fun.  It’s play.  Today I’m trying to understand what about this glamour intrigues me.  Because soulless beauty is really just a trick, but everyone sees you from the outside in.  And if beauty is only on the surface, and we all can have it these days, is it even scarce anymore?  And isn’t that scarcity what makes it valuable?

Why are some emotions valued while others are not?  Why do a censor myself now when I’m self-defeating?  Is it really a bad thing?  Is there any beauty in imperfection?  When is change a move in the right direction?

I’m done asking questions.  Signing off to pursue the answers.

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It’s funny how a few simple plans can feel productive.  Somehow just deliberating about what you want in the future pulls the nebulous into the realm of concrete possibility.  Oh…gotta go.  Plans. 🙂

New adventures await!! Just a few days ago, I was commenting about how my friend seems to be bringing me down, and now she’s bringing me up. I suppose it just goes to show how cyclical moods can be and how patience pays off. Whew! (Editor’s note: Please excuse the glowing generalities and stifle your yawns. I said stifle them. As in stop it.)

Today I’ve committed myself…to a mental institution. JUST KIDDING!! I’ve committed myself to thinking outside the box and just letting me be me. If that means I take an improv comedy class, just because my friend suggested it, so be it. (Me being me includes being impressionable.) (Editor’s note: Please laugh here.)

It just occurred to me that anyone coming out of the closet must have a really difficult time doing so. I mean, I have a difficult time just owning up to what careers interest me, because I’m afraid of being ridiculed. How would I handle having to tell people something that I know many disapprove of? Hmmm…. (Editor’s note: This is so random. Ugh. All because of a purple tree?  You need to find inspiration elsewhere.)

The inner editor is forcing me off my blog. Enough already.

Before I even start, on a side note, lately I’ve been wondering how people write about anything authentically in a public forum without alienating themselves from their loved ones who may be offended. Perhaps I need to continue to write in a bit of a distanced fashion in order to keep producing something. I just wonder how interesting any of it is. For me, when I’m reading a journal, I connect mostly with uncovered, vulnerable and tender wounds more than sweeping generalizations about ambiguous experiences.

So I may need to just go back to journaling to unload until I figure out what I’m trying to do with this blog. There’s a mixed message of slow, personal growth competing with wisdom from the ages.

The word of the day, today, children, is *misery* and how much it loves company. I’ve noticed a trend over the years of preferring to be with people who were down. Whenever I met someone who was having a rough time I was elated, not because I wish evil on all people, but because I could identify with them. These days I feel stronger and no longer enjoy commiserating with people because I can start feeling the weight of their burdens, and I’ve finally recognized that it can only hurt to continue to stay in that bumbling state.

More later…time to get on with the weekend!

Oh goodness!!  So I think I’ve actually packed my day with things to do.  Sometimes I really need to hear “The Eye of the Tiger” playing in the background to get my heart pumping.  Today my motivation came through an early morning text.

I know this is completely random, but sometimes, I realize, getting in a better mood is just a matter of doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to prop yourself up.  Like today I decided to brush my teeth, wash my face and eat a clementine all *before* turning on my computer to check email and news.  This may be revealing just how far I have to go before getting to the promised Happy land, but I believe this is also what people call the j-o-u-r-n-e-y.  Omg, I am actually making myself smile smugly over my happy sarcasm.

I’m also taking the HUGE STEP of making dinner tonight.  I’m not sure why I’ve become so against the kitchen over time, but I’m trying to fall in love with it again.  I think there’s a part of me that finds the kitchen repressive, as if it’s holding women back.  But I suppose if that’s the case, then lawns everywhere are holding men back.  I don’t know.

Anyway, I’ve reached my minimum required word count.  Yay for me!

Lately I’ve been thinking that in a quest to rid myself of perfectionism, I should publicize my god awful brain farts for all the world to see/smell.  But then when I read over this sh*t, I realize…it’s not quite me.  Or maybe even better, I’m not quite me.  That is to say, it’s not apparent that I know who the hell I am.  And that there’s a part of me in this blog that is trying desperately to be someone that I’m not.  I mean, what’s up with the lotus flower picture?  Am I trying to be Ms. Monk?  Why all the troubled musings over my state of mind?  Do I see myself as some kind of self-help guru?  What’s going on here?!?!!

Maybe the worst part of this god awful exercise is the realization that I’m not fooling anyone, not even myself, because 1) no one’s reading this and 2) the moment I read my own writing, I start to gag.  And I think the reason is…I’m not quite being true to myself and haven’t quite figured out *why* I’m bothering with a blog.  Isn’t it some sort of narcissistic urge to believe that someone wants to know every last thought I have in my head?

So…I’ve decided to use this as a “Morning Pages” type of exercise to help me find my voice.  Personally, creatively, professionally and otherwise.  I’m not sure that this is thoroughly engrossing, but at least it feels genuine.  For now.

And another thing…this little salamander picture is the cutest thing ever.  It’s completely random for me to mention it, but I know this nutty pic is going to inspire me to do great things.  Great nutty things.

Yesterday I ended up swapping sob stories with another unemployed friend.  She’s a sweet, pretty, thirtysomething and has what sounds like an asshole of a boyfriend.  The whole time I tried to be cheerleader I realized that there was something about this conversation that was bringing me down.  Was it her casual comment that I was in a “happy phase” of unemployment for now and that my world was going to come crushing down soon?

I felt like I was doing a good deed throughout our conversation by focusing on what positive steps we could take to get to the next level.  The rest of the night I was rested and centered.  Yet this morning, after wasting away a couple hours doing absolutely nothing all by myself, I realize that…I’m not getting anywhere.  I started to think she might be right.  That my uncanny pep may just be a phase, and the worst of it is yet to come.

I’m starting to believe that focusing so much on “happiness” can only bring me down.  Today, I just want to be. And today, part of being is being a little down.  Ho hum.

I just need to sit with this today.  Breathe a little…and get myself ready for the next big thing.

Whenever I’ve interviewed for jobs in the past, I’d always answered the “What’s your worst trait?” question with what I thought people would actually see as good quality: perfectionism. In my head, there was nothing wrong with trying to be perfect. Ten years later, I realize it’s exactly that quest for perfection that keeps me from going after what I want and from being able to recognize that I have it good. I always believe there’s something better out there. And while that keeps me striving for more, it also keeps me from ever finding contentment. That’s not a good thing.

What’s great about this blog right now is…no one’s reading it. Ha! How funny is it that while I toil away at something that I love (writing), struggling to find just the right words to express my thoughts, there is no one out there to appreciate any of it?  Is there any value to this if there’s no one there to see that value? And who’s judgment is worth valuing?

Why even write about this in a public forum? It makes me wonder…how many people wholeheartedly pursue their dreams? And when is it a worthwhile venture? Who makes that decision? And why can’t I own up to making it?

How can I let go of my own need to be perfect? How do I learn to detach from the outcome and just enjoy the moment and what it has to offer?

Posted by: smilesmores | February 18, 2010

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” Rumi

Rawr!!  It’s day three of the Year of the Tiger and the claws are coming out.

“The Eye of the Tiger” blasts nonstop from my speakers, because I need this unabashed anthem of courage to overcome the draw of my own pity party.  Rocky’s theme song is all about the chihuahua of underdogs preparing for battle.  It inspires me to fight for my own happiness.  I may be the campiest and most unlikely beacon of positivity, but dammit I gotta try to be happy.

This blog is my baby step towards a happy-go-lucky personality.  I’m not starting this foray into the land of sunshine and rainbows from ground zero, but things aren’t picture perfect either.  I’m an unemployed, unmarried, officially middle-aged woman, but let me stop there before you start hearing the violins.

Things really aren’t that bad.  And they start getting better from here on out.

There must be something about the Cinderella story that attracts the victim in all of us. I mean, if you have no sob story, then what excuse do you have to be unmarried and living in the basement with your ugly relatives, right?  As a kid, I remember actually praying to have something bad happen to me to justify how I felt, because I feel naturally (genetically, if you will) depressed most of the time.

I got my wish.  Bad stuff has happened to me.  Good stuff has happened to me too in the form of a fairy godfather.  A few years ago, “Mr. Godfather,” a kind stranger with a warm heart and generous spirit, volunteered to fund my training as a yoga teacher.  Honored, my lost soul took his gift as a sign from the heavens above that I was supposed to be healing people through a series of ohms and pretzel-like poses.

It turns out that I’m a bit of a reclusive smart ass with an attitude problem which doesn’t translate well in the yoga world.  I felt like a big phony.  On top of that, I never really thought yoga was that interesting to begin with.  So why the hell did I take on this yoga teacher training?  The truth is, yoga teachers may be boring, stinky, and hairy, but they’re also downright beautiful, inside and out.  This is what I want to be when I grow up…beautiful.

So the question is…how do I get there?

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