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I'm super swamped right now with wedding planning, and organizing myself, and mostly just trying not to die because it's so damn hot right now. Therefore, I'm going to take a little break from the blog. The Friday poems for The Reflection of Shadows will continue, but the Monday posts are on break with my brain.
I leave you with this.
1. Origins and Knowledge and Failure
a. My eyelashes are naturally ombre. At the base they're brown, but then they go to blonde and then to such a light shade of blonde they're basically invisible at the tips. My best friend, Mascara, is a huge help in life because of this insanity.
b. On a regular basis I get asked if my eyelashes are real because they are quite long. When I respond that they are, most people are super nice about it and compliment me on afore mentioned long eyelashes. However, a small percentage of people think I'm lying to them. I get that weird side-eye situation happening where they size me up and think to themselves, "Yeah, right." It is odd and uncomfortable and I've debated carrying face wipes with me so I can swipe off one eye, then put more mascara back on just to prove myself to those weird, side-eyeing people. That's too much work, though, and I only work that hard for people who believe in me.
c. I find it odd how people think they know more about you than you know about yourself.
One time a customer argued with me for a good 20 minutes about my heritage based on my last name. Me being me, I know the origin. It's Croatian. It looks Greek, I know that, but it's not, and I know exactly why. I know the story behind my name. The stranger, being a stranger, clearly knew nothing about me or my heritage. That didn't stop him from angrily telling me I was wrong, over and over and over and over, until he finally thought yelling at me would work. It didn't.
d. I understand the desire to learn. I understand the desire to know things. I don't understand people who can't handle being wrong. The path to wisdom is trial and error. It's mistakes. It's being humble and continually learning learning learning through failing failing failing. Ever the student, never the teacher. This is the motto of the wise.
e. The best compliment I ever received was: You'll be successful because you're not afraid.
I am afraid. I'm afraid of spiders and werewolves and I hate static so very much that you might as well consider it a fear too.
I'm afraid of plenty of things, trust me.
The one thing I'm not afraid of is failing.
I think it's one of the most important experiences you can have. I think it's how we learn the best. I think failure is a weapon in the war of life. It prepares you, arms you, readies you for battle. I think failure is a gift.
a. When I was in my early twenties and worked with people in their early thirties, I was surprised: they were just like me! For some reason I expected them to be less fun, boring, old, I guess. I expected them to be different than me, in so many ways. They weren't.
Now that I'm in my early thirties I see this come full circle. I get it. I feel no different now than I did then, except for the fact that I could really use a nap pretty much every single day. Outside of being slightly older and slightly wiser, slightly altered by life lessons, I still remain as myself. Age is a funny thing.
b. When I was a kid, a friend of mine had a crush on me, and I on him. He was three years younger but we totally loved each other in that way only kids do. You know: he thought I had a nice singing voice and played the piano well and thought I was pretty, which was a totally new concept for me. Those were my serious ugly duckling years, so his love was real, you guys. Real.
I thought he was all kinds of awesome bundled up in brown eyes and skin that was the perfect shade of sun-kissed no matter what time of year it was. He was the most thoughtful boy I knew. He had our future all mapped out- how many kids we were going to have, how many cars, and what our grownup life would look like together. I was pretty blown away by his commitment to us, needless to say.
As I got a little older, that three year gap turned into a huge bridge that I no longer knew how to cross.
I no longer understood "us" or if there really had been an "us" at all. I was so wrapped up in growing up and all the things that came with it, that my other life, which included him, fell completely away. We never talked about anything ever again.
I never forgot, though. I never felt right about it either. I hate the idea of hurting people, especially the boy I once I loved (and was going to have at least four children with, according to his plans).
In my early twenties I wrote him a message. For so long I had been sure he hated me, for good reason, that I simply stayed away. However, to heal one's soul it's good to do things like make amends and apologize and set things as right as you possibly can, even if it's decades later.
In my message I told him that he had been an important part of my life and I simply wanted him to know that, to know I appreciated him and was sorry I never said it all those years ago. Clearly, I was sorry for many things, but didn't know how to say all the words that needed to be said. I'm pretty sure the rest of the message was just a bunch of rambling nonsense. Awkward rambling nonsense that ended with hoping he was doing well, was happy, and had all the good things in life that he so very much deserved.
He never wrote back.
c. I no longer view age the way I did back then. Younger, older, none of it matters. People are what matter.
d. This is something I learned with age.
3. Normal Life
a. The more normal something is, the less normal I feel.
b. Example: Wedding dress shopping is a kind of white dress hell for me. White, ivory, off-white, sand. I can't handle it, people!
I like color, I like not-just-white. I like everything outside of the eggshell/beige world. I love white on other people and I think there are some seriously gorgeous dresses out there that are white, but that's not who I am.
I am not a white wedding dress girl.
c. White wedding dresses are a fairly new thing. This trend became popular in Western culture thanks to Queen V. back in the 19th century. Prior to that, women would wear dresses of all colors including black, crimson, and forest green. This was for many reasons; to show off their wealth as darker colors were considered rich not only in color but status, because buying a dress for one single day was unheard of, so they wore the nicest dress they owned, and because culturally, like in Asia, colored dresses are the norm. For instance, in India red is a traditional color to wear.
d. I knew I had an old soul. Pretty sure this proves it.
4. Normal Thinking
a. Whenever I'm thinking about something, it's always presented in my brain like a story. As if I'm telling a story to someone or writing a book.
b. I assume this isn't normal. I assume other people don't run around thinking in Story Telling Language all day every day like I do.
c. I assume, however, this might be normal for people like me who write, who love letters, who think continuously about how best to present the written word. I assume this means I'm on the right track in life.
There's clearing a lot of assuming happening here.
a. Poetry is one of the greatest loves of my life. It never fails to impress me, the way words can make a person feel, the endless options of combining this and that to form just the right sentence, the way writing something down feels like freeing your soul. Ah, poetry. I heart you.
b. I write a lot of poetry that deals with the darker things in life. Sadness, anger, loss, death. I don't actually do that on purpose, it's just what I'm drawn to. I appreciate all the emotions of life, but for me it's important to understand the 'why' behind the ones that so many people try to escape. Often, I do that best through pen and paper, regardless of the situation, whether it's a first hand account or something happening to a friend, in the world, etc.
c. Don't get me wrong, happy, funny, loving poems are fantastic. I enjoy writing those as well. I just think my particular gift, if I can call it that, is to unearth the jewels that lie hidden in the darkness. To stare anger and sadness squarely in the face and figure out the lesson to be learned. To understand sadness so that I can then better understand happiness.
I hope when people read my poems, they sense this. The living and learning, feeling and understanding. That darkness is essential in finding the light.
a. I'm at a point in my life right now where I feel like change is taking place. Or needs to take place. Like right now is the exact moment I need to put time and energy into...something. I haven't figured the something out yet. I'm not sure if it's career related, if it's because of the upcoming wedding with the one day kids, or if it's simply that I need a new color of paint in the bathroom. Whatever it is, it's waiting for me to find it.
b. This same feeling hit me at the same time in my life, 10 years ago. Looking back, I can see it like a movie. The feeling that I needed to do/be/learn/try/become something else. The yoga class I took over and over and over at the community college, because it spoke to me for reasons I couldn't understand. The day a substitute teacher came to class and talked about something called SWIHA. The questions in my head about what the heck SWIHA meant, and the questions I eventually asked her after class. The answer.
The enrollment in this college, SWIHA, the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. The yoga teacher training program I signed up for, just because. The holistic nutrition classes I took on a whim. The psychology degree that followed. All the little changes over the course of those couple of years where I learned so many things about myself.
c. If I look back another 10 years prior, I can see this same pattern. This feeling, this change, the outcome. Each and every time before, amazing things eventually came out of the change. Figuring out what I needed to do, how I needed to do it, that was the hard part. A painful, time consuming process that eventually led to better. Everything better.
d. I saw this quote the other day. I think this is one of many clues I'm supposed to be looking for right now. One of many puzzles pieces, pointing me in the right direction as I try to put each and every piece in place.
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e. I'm going out with lanterns, looking for myself.
Wish me luck.