Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I never liked to beg

My first Halloween costume ever was Wonder Woman. I was 5 years old. It was one of those awful, plasticy costumes with the horrible masks that were oh-so-popular in the 70's and 80's. I liked dressing up as Wonder Woman, but I remember wondering - why am I begging strangers for candy? This seems unsafe - and unnecessary. Can't we just go to the store and buy this stuff?

Me dressed up as a sparkly, coordinated witch.
Not a stretch.

Much to my father's relief, after that I sort of lost the taste for trick-or-treating. I think I may have gone once or twice more, but mostly, I just wanted to go to parties or shaving creme fights where I could dress up (with minimal effort) and have fun without begging.

I dressed up once in college - finally realizing my life-long dream of being one-half of a couples costume. Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Because X was (and is) such a good guy - I did not have to beg.

As an adult, I only dress up if there's a party. When I do, I'm minimally creative, and unwilling to invest a whole lot of effort (or money). I don't enter costume contests, and I won't wear anything that isn't an outfit I'd normally wear, anyway. Nothing uncoordinated, no cheap makeup, no bad wigs.

Since I live in a house, I hand out candy. If I'm not going to be home, I leave a basket on the front step. I'd say I do this to be a good neighbor, but mostly it's because I don't want the little beggers to trash my front lawn.

I guess I never got the point of a holiday that celebrates dressing up as someone else - as if who you are isn't fabulous - and begging others to give you something you should know how to get for yourself.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Words shape your life

It's sort of funny to me how sometimes, the message at church is really appropriate and timely for me, and exactly what I need to hear. Other times, it's just down right eerie.

That's what happened this weekend, when my church started a new series called Words. The message this weekend was about how words can shape your life, and change your direction. At the end of the message, we all wrote down negative words that have been spoken to or about us - and then threw them away, and replaced them with the words God uses to describe us. 

It's a nice thought, and quite powerful. Honestly - I've been struggling a little bit with negative image, and figuring out how to see myself in a positive way, even when I get the opposite message. 

But truth be told, it's hard to use words like "redeemed" or "victorious" to replace words like "fat" or "ugly" and feel like I've come out ahead. I mean, I can be redeemed or victorious all day - it won't change my New Year's Eve situation. 

With regards to relationships, I was recently told that I need to stop with the negative thinking. If I start putting positive thoughts out, I will start getting some positive back.

I was told I need to stop thinking I'm not pretty enough or smart enough or successful enough. I especially need to realize that the right person is going to look at me for my whole person. He will see that I've "got it all going on" - but I have to see that first.

I was told that I need to not assume every guy will be a jerk, and start giving the good ones a chance. I need to start listening to my instincts more, and have more faith in myself.

I guess the message is the same - I need to replace the negative thoughts with more positive, and start seeing myself the way I want others to see me. After all, I can't expect to get positive, good things in my life if I'm not putting out positive, good thoughts. Right? 

I think we're taught too soon, and for too long, to judge ourselves based on what others think. We choose how to dress, what to say, who to like - and more - based on how our choices shape the opinions of others.  

By the time we're old enough to figure out that the opinions of others shouldn't really's kinda too late to unring the bell. So what's a gal to do? 

I guess I could start by listening to what people who actually like me have to say. They'll tell me I'm pretty, smart, funny, talented, compassionate, generous, thoughtful, sincere...those are some nice words. Plus, I mean, let's face it - I obviously surround myself with the best people. If that's what they're saying...well, there's no way they're all wrong. Right?

Even bigger than listening to those words, is figuring out a way to silence the words of others. To completely discount the opinions of people who don't think I'm any of those things. When someone says or does something that makes me feel less than what I know myself to be...he needs to go

I need to remember that I have the option of seeing myself the way he sees me - or the way I know myself to be. Then I need to make the right choice.

Negative words will always be there. I guess the trick is to make sure the positive words are talking louder.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'll admit...

...that I got this idea from Baking Suit

...that I have two posts that have been sitting in draft-stage for weeks, because I keep getting distracted.

...that I probably don't need any more shoes.

...that I'd love to resign from my job, but I'm very attached to the quality of life the salary affords.

...that I should be more careful with my money.

...that I sometimes give in to feelings when I shouldn't.

...that some of my best stories are born from bad ideas.

...that I sometimes know something is a bad idea, but might do it anyway.

...that I can (almost) always handle the consequences when that happens.

...that sometimes, I really don't like when friends offer opinions or advice.

...that I sometimes just want to stay home, eat unhealthy food, and watch stupid TV.

...that sometimes I wish I was the sort of person who could just unplug - but that's just not me.

...that there are some things even I won't admit here.

...that sometimes it feels good to admit things - so feel free to do so below.

Friday, October 5, 2012

My hair's not on fire

I am traveling this weekend to visit a friend in Virginia. Since I've never taken a train beyond Penn Station in NY, and never by myself, I decided to splurge a little and make the trip on Amtrak. I say splurge because it will end up costing me more than driving. I weighed the cost against the fact that I wanted a new adventure, 9+ hours is a long drive to do alone, the miles on my car, and the fact that traveling by train allows me time to relax while someone else does the work.

Train won. 

I woke up earlier than any human ever should this morning (5 am). I had to get ready, take care of the kitties, say goodbye to my housemate's munchkins, then drive 30 minutes, park, and get to the gate for an 8:05 am train. I arrived at Penn Station at 10:35, and departed on a train bound for Richmond at 11:35. So far, so good. 

As I was standing in Penn Station, hovering around the departure board waiting for my gate to be announced, I realized something, that I think I can finally admit:

I really don't like New York City. 

It's not that it's scary, because it really isn't. True, I find it a little intimidating because I don't know my way around, but it's actually pretty easy to navigate if you just pay attention. I'm not worried about crime or terrorism or anything because, well, worrying would do no good. Also I've never seen so many security people in one place at one time.

It isn't that I find the people rude. I know New Yorkers have that reputation, but honestly, I've never really encountered that issue. Not to mention - it was Penn Station. Not everyone in there is from New York. This morning, I saw an older woman drop a bunch of paperwork, and no fewer than three people rushed to help her. 

I even enjoy the part of New York that involves walking around, seeing sights, shopping, and wandering in and out of museums. Oh, and people watching. Don't forget the people watching.

What I don't like is the pressure. All the bustle and confusion and hurry up and get where you need to be, even if all you're going to do is wait. I don't like the pressure of always hurrying, never stopping, and feeling like I'm in the way. 

I'm not high-strung, and I'm never urgent. Almost nothing is an emergency to me. I feel very out of place in an environment like Manhattan - where everything is a "my hair's on fire" kind of moment. 

I guess the truth is, I'm more an upstate kind of pace is a little more relaxed, and my hair is never on fire.