Not cool.

I am not cool. This is not to say that I’m not kick ass.  But, cool? Nope.

I am not trendy.  I’m classic, and even “basic,” gasp! Granted this is mostly out of necessity as I’m a working mom short on the time and money needed to be stylish. I don’t enjoy getting trashed in the bars until the morning hours. I’d much rather be snuggling with my loves in my jammies on a Saturday night. Sure, I like to go out and have fun, but I can’t stand the small talk and social games that are so often required in such instances. I’m more interested in discussing topics that matter:  environmental concerns, politics, religion, philosophy, poverty, life, love, death, all of those topics which are considered taboo and swiftly bring down a party.

I don’t brag about my children.  I should, I could, but I don’t.  I don’t post about my day, my accomplishments, my needs, my wants. I just go and do them. I value personal, private exchanges with people who value me. They are even better with eye contact. I’m not interested in pretend relationships with those who are too quick to make assumptions, judge, and insult. I refuse to aboard a bandwagon, with the exception of an invitation from a group of talented musicians.  This has caused my circle of friends to dwindle by chance and choice. Definitely, not cool. I will not shout. I will not demand your attention. I will write, paint, sculpt, dance, create, and love. Cool?  Maybe, maybe not. Awesome?  Yes. Brave?  Yes.

People do not hold a curiosity for me. I do not peak their interest. I hold no mystery, because I’m genuine and transparent. In the age of plastic, authenticity is bad ass. I tell the truth. The truth hurts. The truth saves.  The truth is not always cool, but it is at the human foundation, along with loyalty. I am, possibly, all too loyal. I will be there when you need me. Even when you have turned away in my need, I will reach out. This does not make me a doormat. This makes me kind. I have an extremely soft spot for people in need. I may not be the one to give you shelter, but I will find a shelter for you. I’m the one folks turn to for that shoulder to cry on, but don’t invite to the party. Cool? You guessed it, nope. Strong?  YES.

My intention is not to convince how incredibly amazing I am, although all of the evidence I presented does suggest that it may be true. My intention, is to encourage all of us to see beyond the cool, to see real beauty under the surface. Seeing what hides beneath brings knowledge, which brings empathy and advancement. To see one another’s gifts and flaws is to see ourselves in one another. It is through my pain that I know others’ pain. It is through my own joy that I know joy is possible for all, regardless of what they show me. All pain deserves to be recognized. All pure joy deserves to be relished. Even the cool are deeply flawed, and the troubled are often tender and vulnerable. We can celebrate our differences, knowing that our common threads are what bind, no matter their colors.

Look beyond the facade to see the truth. Peak under the mask, reach out, and peer through the cracks to see that we all have our troubles, needs, and something to offer. Sympathize not only with the publicized, but also with those who silently endure. Progress is unobtainable if we seek only what is visible. The light in me, the light in you; Namaste.


Messages Received

Over the last 24 hours I have received messages from an almost infinite number of sources. In came, “I love you” from my children, husband, and family, friendly responses from acquaintances,and holy words from scriptures. I have felt prodding, comforting, guiding hands from spiritual sources, heard my internal dialogue pushing me to do better, be stronger, and keep going, and a contradictory, “just 5 more minutes.” As a highly sensitive individual, I’ve been embarrassed, knocked down, inspired, and built up again multiple times throughout the day. I’ve felt, heard, and seen all of these messages. The less than ideal were seen as lessons or reminders. I must be honest, they kept me down longer than I’d like to admit. The pleasantries were absorbed and calmed my heart. The wise challenged me to refocus. These are the messages that I value the most.

The purpose of this blog is to give myself the freedom of self expression, and to answer the call of honoring my aspirations. I’m still relatively young, at least I hope that I have time ahead of me. A few years back, I had a creative mid life crisis. I suddenly felt an overwhelming drive to do “more,” all the while very unsure of what “more” meant. This drive led me to rediscover my love of dance, and fulfill my dream of teaching dance. I practiced painting, gardening, and cooking. I also contributed to form a local grassroots non-profit to fuel creativity for my community. I fortunately found a renewed appreciation and passion for my day job. I continue to practice pottery and writing that began during this personal renaissance.

With all of this activity, I often felt lost in the swirl of uncertainty. I sought advice from trusted individuals who have been blessed with not only a talent, but opportunity to make a career from their gifts. Two pieces of advice that resonated the most were:

  1. Don’t quit your day job until your passion pays more, AND
  2. If you want to write, paint, dance, fill in the blank, DO IT. Do it for you, regardless of quality and reception.

I put this advice into practice without a true choice to do otherwise. I wasn’t fulfilled mentally or spiritually without feeding my creative hunger. I began to personify a family name that translates into “tinker.” This seemed to be very accurate for myself as a late blooming, self described ‘Jane of all trades.’  All of this tinkering successfully quenched my ticking, creative clock. I’ve come out of this personal revolution not with bliss, but with an appreciation of the continuing challenges and joys life delivers. I’m even more receptive to the messages.

This morning as I enjoyed coffee, the messages poured in when I seemed to need them the most. I watched and listened to Bernie Sanders speak about the importance of examining causes and issues that truly matter as opposed to selling entertainment. Later, an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert presented themes of personal worth, fear, and acceptance. The morning faded into afternoon with reminders and encouragement to stay true to myself, to set my plan, and to answer my call. I have always believed that our purpose is to learn and love to the fullest extent of our ability. To ignore the purpose and to miss the call, would be to do the same for oneself. We are called to love others as ourselves. It is time for me to love myself and grant the same kindness as I do for others.  I will continue tinkering, learning, creating, and loving. I will be my own reward, answering the calls however they may come in. Messages received, indeed.

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