Counting my Blessings: Wednesday

Today, I am thankful for…

1) Autumn. It’s my favorite season and I absolutely adore everything about it. The smell in the air. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Longer nights. Football games. Everyone dressed in peacoats and sleek boots (sweater weather!). My ever-expending stomach from all the over-eating of cookies, candies and holiday meats.

2) My bed. I hated to wake up this morning and leave its warmth. Sometimes when I have an especially bad day, I fantasize about my warm, comforting bed. If I’m staring off into space during the middle of class (and am drooling), I’m probably thinking about my bed.

3) The evening news. When I was a little girl, I had a terrible lisp and couldn’t say certain words correctly. My parents used to watch (my mom still does) watch ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. I would get excited and running around screaming, “PETER HENNINGS! PETER HENNINGS!” It took my folks a while to figure out what I was saying but I think that explains why I am such a news junkie and studied journalism in school (that could also explain my thing for older men). Now, I race home like that same little girl to watch Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams report the evening news on their respective networks. From their stories about the attacks of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy to simple events like the Rockefeller tree lighting and hero stories, they report with such polish and passion.  They always inspire me to be the best journalist and writer I can be. I hope that one day I’ll grace America’s television screens at six o’clock, behind that big news desk.

Happy Halloween, everyone. Stay safe.

Counting my Blessings: Tuesday

I’m trying to keep my faith alive but I’m having an especially hard time.

Today, I found out that I won’t be able to afford school for the upcoming spring semester; thus, I won’t going and will not be graduating this May. This is just another handful of salt added to my bleeding wound of unemployment, bruised legs and the stress of how to pay my rent in two days.

What I’m thankful for today is my willingness to keep trying, to keep fighting both the good and bad fight. My mom calls me her survivor. There are some times where I do feel like I’m a war hero, running through bullet battlefields with bits of shrapnel buried deep in my chest. I’ve been bloody and battered- looking almost like a zombie, kicked and spit upon, called names, handed insults and other negativity but somehow, I manage to pick myself and walk slowly into the brightly colored sunset (with a limp and all).

I am incredibly thankful and proud of that ability in myself.

(Please, if you have the funding to do so, donate to the Red Cross who will help those devastated by Hurricane Sandy’s wake:  redcross.org/charitable-donations. Thank you.)

Counting my Blessings: Monday

I lost my job yesterday. The restaurant I worked at hasn’t been making enough money to keep all of its employees. I was always being sent home early, without any work to do. Of course, I’m heartbroken and panicked now that I don’t have any means of earning money. I spent last night crying and when I woke up this morning, I was too depressed to leave my bed.

I’ve lost jobs before so this isn’t anything new. I’m putting my best face forward and trying to be brave. Instead of dwelling on the negative, I’m focusing on the future and its positivity…

1) Showers. I am incredibly thankful for showers. They help wake me up in the morning, giving my cold body some temporary comfort and giving me an ounce of relief. I always feel better when I’m in the shower.

2) My mom. I love Mom so much. Yes, she frustrates me with how long she takes to call me back but I know that she’s always there with her constant support and her shoulder to cry on.

3) New York City. It’s truly my home and I will be forever grateful for the “family” I made there and the grand adventures I had when I lived in Brooklyn. My heart aches for those in Hurricane Sandy’s warpath but I know New Yorkers. They’re tough and they always bounce back. Whenever I’m sad, I think about this little kid who had bright red, curly head. He and his friends always would play kickball on my block, no matter the weather conditions, with laughter and a huge smile on his face. That boy brings me hope.

What are you thankful for today?

Counting my Blessings

Oh boy. What a week.

So far, so good. I got a lot accomplished and I’m proud to be pushing a little bit further to better myself and my situation. I scored a job interview and finally, figured out my finances and to whom I owe money to. I interview three very different but equally inspiring women for a magazine pitch I’m suggesting to a nationally printed publication. I was more than happy to play nursemaid for my sick friend Friday and had probably the most interesting telephone conversation with my mother.  Okay, there was the bike accident yesterday but I didn’t break my glasses or chip my front teeth (thank you, God!).

I’m trying to be more thankful. For all the craziness and adventures I have in my life, misfortunes and all. I’m always happy to read my friend’s, Courtney, Sunday Gratitude pages and Three Daily Delights and I’m using their own blogs as inspiration to express gratitude to all the little things in my life.

So, this Sunday, as I’m feeling a bit cheeky and in a good mood, I am especially thankful for these things:

1)      Kristin Chenoweth. Your voice always makes me smile. I love listening to you sing and speak. And one day, I’ll dance next to you on Broadway. Thank you for your charm and adorable perkiness. You’re one of my heroes.

2)      Text messages. The ones from my friends asking if I’m okay and ones from the Obama campaign, reminding to get out and vote. Thank you for the sent random amounts love and joyful silliness.

3)      Christmas music. I cannot wait for November 1st when the Sunny music station plays Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas (is You)” on repeat. Thank you for putting me in a splendid mood and getting me into the holiday spirit.

From thxthxthx.com (A Thank You Note A Day)

4)      My hair (!)- especially since you actually look fabulous today without any products. Thank you for making me look glamorous and for keeping my noggin warm.

5)      Facebook. Thank you for simply being you and helping me keep in touch with loved ones and my favorite bands.

The world has too much to be thankful for (or perhaps not enough). What are you thankful for?

Loving My Body

What a beautiful day in San Francisco!

Oh, how I do love San Francisco. The weather these last few days was unseasonably gorgeous and it spontaneously inspired me to run to the Bay Bridge to the Presidio and back. It was a good choice- I felt awesome and alive, filled with endorphins and happiness (perhaps all this exercise was the reason this was one of the best weeks I’ve had in a long time). Despite being sore and incredibly tired, I’m excited to be starting something fresh. Running is this new idea a friend suggested in order to (literally) put some pep in my step and get out of my current huff.

After I journeyed home, I nursed my aching limbs and thought about how incredible bodies are. As I ran, I noticed different people racing by me. I was impressed with what seemed like a new mother- jogging with her infant in a fancy stroller. I almost was mauled down by the group of elderly gentlemen, sprinting by with their salt-and-pepper hair, enjoying the sunshine. I was equally impressed with my own frame, scuttling along the pavement, giving it its all even though I rarely exercise.

Like a lot of women (and men, for that matter), I have had a constant war with my body. I never thought I was skinny enough, tall enough, pretty enough, etc. Boy, was I ever wrong. It’s time to think differently and I finally want to apologize to my body for hating it after all these years…

I’m sorry, eyes, for always wishing that you were green. Rimmed with liner or not, you are incredibly stunning. A beautiful shade of honey-brown.

This is the TRUTH!

I’m sorry, teeth, for always hating you guys since day one. I always tell myself that I’d take better care, brushing and flossing every day and I severely apologize that I don’t. You don’t need to be whiter or straighter- you little ones are perfect the way you are.

I’m sorry, voice, for hating your tone and despising your throaty laugh. You really don’t make me sound like a man.

I’m sorry, hair, for all the torture I put you through. For never thinking you’re long or smooth enough. The damaging dyeing and straightening. The chemical processes and the trichotillomania pulling. I’m trying really hard to love you curly as much as I love you straight. I know that one day, you will win this battle and I will finally accept your beauty and greatness.

I’m sorry, breasts, for always hating you two. For always thinking that you were too big and burdensome. For even thinking about somehow reducing you with tape binding and tight sport bras. Now I realize that you are one of the greatest things- you make me happy to be a woman- and you really do look good in tops.

I’m sorry, hips. Now I know why I have you- you look awesome swaying to music.

I’m sorry, legs. You’re not fat. You’re strong and athletic. Thanks for carrying me everywhere I go.

I’m sorry, body, for everything I put you through. You are just fine the way you are. You are a great height, the ideal weight and the perfect color (tanned with sun lines or not). I’m sorry that I feed you junk food and cringe when I find a new stretch mark. I’m sorry for my past mistakes and not blessing you with more pretty tattoos and 30 minutes on the treadmill every other day. I’m sorry for comparing you to everyone else’s body- no one is 100% picture perfect- I get that now. I finally see your purpose and I’m incredibly grateful to have such a strong, supportive and striking form.

I promise that I start loving you, from this moment on.

QUESTION: How do YOU Get Out of a Rut?

 “You try something new and exciting.” -Mike A.
“Challenge yourself physically. Hardest mental push is physical as well.” -Sally M.
“Remove the demons in your environment. Change your views and get back on the horse. Time waits for no one!” -Trout G.

What about you, dear reader? How do you clear your blues and get out of a rut?

Go Make it MAD

I started reading Make It Mad three years ago when I stumbled upon Max Dubinsky’s ‘Gentleman’s Rules for Being Cool’ column. (The man seriously knows he stuff. He’s quite honorable.) Since then, he was become one of my favorite bloggers, updating his site with thoughts of chivalry, God and his marriage to the lovely Lauren. (Plus, he was nice enough to handwrite me a note of gratitude and encouragement one Christmas.)

As I’m trying to make sense of my current situation (please read- or don’t read- my last posting), I started writing a clear of list about getting the things I want most out of my life, not just an account of things that would make me happy (more about that in the next post). As I began to think about the type of man I want a real relationship with, I thought about the words Max use to help steer other gentleman towards being better individuals (some of the pieces work for females’ brains and hearts, as well). The following is a list straight from Max’s mouth. If you are a man, follow his advice carefully- I guarantee that you could have your dream girl eating out of the palm of your hand if followed. And ladies- use this as a gauge in order to spot your own Prince Charming…

  • You can and should still hold the door for a lady. Even if she’s a malicious feminist plotting the fall of mankind. Ladies, we open the door for you because we know you’re in charge. People in charge don’t open their own doors. You enter. We follow.
  • Stand when a woman comes to the table. Keep that napkin on your lap. Let the woman order first, and for the love of God, never, ever order for her.
  • If someone else is talking, shut up and listen. It’s that simple. Got it? Good.
  • It may be common practice these days to swear like a sailor on a ship full of swashbuckling pirates, but a gentleman chooses his words carefully. Your tongue is a rudder. It steers the whole ship. Tacking on a curse to the end of every sentence does not make you sound like an individual—it makes you sound like an uneducated moron. Your vocabulary is unimpressive.
  • Read. A gentleman educates himself. Your iPhone can now download books for little or no cost.  There’s no excuse not to be reading “Catcher in the Rye” or Kerouac’s “On The Road.”
  • A gentleman never publicly worries, complains, or comments about money. A gentleman who is cool never hesitates to pick up a tab or loan to a friend in need. Remember, if you’re making more than 2 dollars a day, you’re considered in the top 3% of the richest people on the planet.
  • Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you.
  • Displaying your masculinity at the bar or club or Sunday morning church service like a lion stalking a wounded herd of scattered sheep is never cool. This representation of the circle of life in the animal kingdom always ends in a bloody massacre, so take note: stay cool, calm, and collected when she walks into the room. Eye contact with a smile from across the way is often your green light to casually approach the situation and make your introduction.
  • You are not your job or how you pay the bills. Upon introductions, ask someone what it is they “do,” really do with their life and not how they put food on the table. Not only can this question change a person’s entire day, it will also tell you more about them than any question regarding their salary.
  • The cooler you are, the less of your phone I should see. This is not a green light for your wireless earpiece to be worn at all times. If your hands are not at 10 and 2 on a steering wheel while you’re closing a million dollar deal in Japan, then take it out, jerk. You’re not as cool as you think you are.
  • Don’t be afraid to make decisions, even if you’re not the authoritative type. Call the shot. Whether or not your gun is loaded, pull the trigger.
  • Make your yes’s mean YES, and your no’s mean NO.
  • Always speak with confidence no matter the subject matter.
  • Hang out with people cooler than you. This makes you cool by association.
  • Lose the baggy clothes unless you make millions performing gangster rap.
  • Popped collars are not cool. They were never cool. Unless you’re Dracula or an Elvis Impersonator, keep ‘em down. This look only works with your winter jacket.  All other occasions: unacceptable.
  • A pair of dark, slim-fitting, true denim jeans are good for a relaxing day off, as well as a night out at a fancy restaurant or club. (You’re also never overdressed when wearing a suit.)
  • Stay cool by being creative on dates. Anything’s better than going for drinks. Take her for a balloon ride, a hike or bowling and forget to keep score. Play cards in the park or even steal street signs if she’s the mischievous type.
  • Call her the next day. The “wait three days rule” will always be cool to break.
  • Ask her out. It’s that simple. She’s been waiting for you to do it, I promise. There’s nothing cooler, or sexier, than a man who has the confidence to walk across the room and ask out a woman. And if she says no? Treat her exactly the same way you did thirty seconds ago before asking. Surprise (!). Your world didn’t stop and implode. The exhilaration of taking this risk is hard to top, no matter the results. Disclaimer: This is NOT permission to go asking out every woman in a thirty-mile radius like the world is going to end tomorrow.
  • And when asking a woman out on a date, a gentleman does this in person or over the phone. He does not poke her on Facebook or shoot her a text. Poor form, my friend. 


Please read more of Max Dubinsky’s work and life at makeitmad.com.

Balls in my Mouth

“Balls in your mouth/ balls in your mouth…” –Jimmy Fallon and Florence Welch (sorry everyone, I’m in a terrible mood today and am watching YouTube clips to make myself feel better- see this if you want to giggle: http://youtu.be/Cy2PHZvDDA .)

%#% (!!!).

Alright, dear readers. You don’t want to hear me bitching. I don’t blame you. I hate complaining. I hate the sound of me complaining. My voice gets squeaky high as if I’m a thirteen year old boy whose testicles haven’t dropped yet (yes, balls are the theme of this week. Can’t you tell?). Seriously, I feel like I hit rock bottom. For the, let’s say, seventh time in my life, I found myself in this hole that I can’t dig myself out of. Friends don’t help. Neither does music. Or sewing.  I spent all day Wednesday working on holiday gifts for loved ones, blasting Celine Dion’s Christmas album with tears running down my cheeks for no apparent reason. Maybe I’m slowly starting to freak out about the holidays (which secretly means will I being seeing “Les Misérables” or “Django Unchained” this Christmas?).

Garbage’s Shirley Manson once sang there’s no reason to living if you don’t feel alive. It’s been hard to get excited about my life lately. I’m not loving it. I know that I’m not loving it (but I think knowing that little bit is the start of fixing my problem). Every day is the same. I feel like I’m Bill Murray’s in “Groundhog’s Day.” I’m broke beyond belief. I only make enough to pay rent. I’m behind on bills that I need to pay off in order to fix my credit and nothing is being put into the “$$ for the Move Back to NYC” jar. It would be nice to purchase a pair of jeans that don’t have holes in the crotch and have the funds to visit my mom or the beach for a weekend. Job hunting blows. I understand the economy is terrible and everyone is looking for job or something better. Don’t get me wrong- I have a job and I like it (despite my boss’s occasional outbursts.) But working ten hours a week doesn’t cover it anymore. Sometimes I feel like my higher education failed me and that I shouldn’t have taken Journalism 498 but Job Hunting 101. I don’t know where to look for work other than Craigslist. I love CL but it’s failing me now, too. I can’t find any suitable positions on it at all. On days I’m not working or interning/ volunteering, I sit at home, watching my roommates’ movies or whatever’s on television. I feel incredibly lazy and know I need to get up. That’s when the depression sinks in and it becomes hard to move. So I don’t and I hate myself even more for not doing anything productive. It’s hard to be lively and active, let alone creative.

I am still incredibly lonely. I have finally wrapped myself around the idea that the relationships I had with most of my friends in this part of the world are tarnished and gone. Despite trying to be the best friend I can be, I can’t count on them anymore. I also have come to the conclusion that I won’t date here in Nevada. I didn’t before I left three years ago and I won’t now. The one man that has shown interest in me is my father’s age and lives two hundred miles away on the California coast. He’s clingy, apologizes a little too much and overly emotional- yet I don’t want to leave him. Our relationship is uniquely messy and half the time, I hate it. But I won’t end it. I have been praying to God about Him bringing someone new and wonderful into my life. Finally He listens and says, “Here you go!” throwing this older man onto my lap. But now I just want him to climb out and run away.  I want to be with someone like Jimmy Fallon; smart, funny, handsome, knows the history of rap- who is closer to my age and my street address- but I believe it won’t happen anytime soon. Knowing that makes me even more depressed and feeling worthless.

I always felt special, that I was born simply to do something BIG and AMAZING with my life, something no one else is supposed to do or be. I wake up with that exceptional burning deep inside my chest every day and I don’t know what to do with it. I’m not doing what I want with my life. Sometimes, I still don’t know what I even what I want to do when I so-called “grow up.” I wish that people would stop telling me to focus a sole career. Even though I know that I will be an amazing social worker one day, there are days where I wish I pursued acting or dancing. A not-so long time ago, I wanted to be on Broadway as a star. In the deepest nooks of my heart, I still want to make that dream happen. I want to make movies. I have my Oscar speech rehearsed (I wrote it when I was 16- I was keen on moving and shaking even then). I want to look in the view finder of an experience camera and direct the best actors on the planet- Meryl Streep anyone? I want to design clothes. I already do so. I tore apart this matriarchal-looking frock and turned it into a cute mini dress that I adore and wear often. I want host NYC Fashion Week runway shows and have others wear and love my creations. I keep watching this YouTube clip of Daniel Johns (former lead singer of the Australian band, Silverchair, another one of my personal heroes): http://youtu.be/wBN0Qgg08nQ. Music has always been important to me and I wish that I could play an instrument and read its music. The violin and the piano especially. Hell, I would even rock it at the turn tables if I could learn how. I have watched that YouTube video every day this week and cried. It’s hauntingly beautiful, watching the musicians’ arms move in unison and listening to Daniel sing. I wish I could have been there- filming, playing and harmonizing all at the same time. Even though I’m penning a novella and keeping up with this blog, there is still so much writing I want to do. I want to write for “Vogue,” “Vanity Fair,” “Nylon.” Books upon books. Screenplays and poems. Even song lyrics. Plus, there are all those traveling fantasies I’m constantly dreaming about doing. There’s too much. I know that I can’t do everything and that this bigness takes time to achieve.

Oh yeah- I just realized that I need to wait another year for applying to dream school for the social work master’s program. There goes my current life plan.

It’s like that little lyric in the song, “Total Eclipse of the Heart:” I am truly scared that the best of all the years have gone by. Years from my little life, filled with zero adventures and no memorable stories to share. I don’t want to blame my depression for everything. I’m quite the scaredy cat and I do make a ton of different excuses (perhaps that’s just the other half of my brain trying to be rational). But maybe it’s time to grow up and let go of those unattainable goals. But what does that mean? A life of cubicles, slow running computers and thirty-minute lunch breaks for me?

Okay- I’m struggling. Am trying to remember what I once said about struggling.

Man- What a funky funk I’m in.

RANT. RANT. Maybe I should just shut up, be quiet and mind my Ps and Qs. Stick some balls in my mouth and go about my day. Perhaps that is the best thing I could do… for now.