You know the type. Glazed-over eyes, often seen twirling hair around a finger and obnoxiously chomping on a gigantic piece of pink bubble gum. And thinking that buffalo have wings.
The entertainment industry has given us countless examples of the “dumb girl.” She’s everywhere in movies, sitcoms, and reality shows. She’s usually bubbly, gullible, blonde (sorry all you girls with the golden hair), big-chested, often can’t spell or read, and relies on her looks to get her through life. Movies and reality tv exaggerate these stereotypes and sadly, women in the world start exhibiting these characteristics because their favorite characters act a certain way. (more…)
Sobbing. Boo-hooing. Bawling. Weeping. Bursting into tears. Blubbering. Wailing. There are so many names for the act of salty drops of fluid flowing from one’s eyes as a response to an emotional state.
Crying has many monikers and is the result of a plethora of different feelings. Some are sad, others happy. Sometimes the result of a delirious state following a sleepless night with a sick baby. Other times the reaction to the pain dropping a television on one’s bare foot or the relief that a loved one is safe. Tears can form in times of stress, happiness, anger, hopelessness, excitement, panic, grief, frustration, loneliness, hilarity, pride, and about a thousand other emotions.
Your nose starts getting stuffed and then turns runny as your sinuses sense that something is about to be unleashed. A lump forms in your throat as big as the jaw breaker you once tried to devour when you were six. Eyes start to stare at objects in a fruitless attempt to ward off the excess moisture that is suddenly threatening to spill out over your lashes. The muscles in your face tighten in order for your face to keep its composure.
And then you lose it. (more…)
How many times have you felt like the life you lead wasn’t the life you wanted? How many times have you let an opportunity pass because you didn’t feel good enough about yourself to take it? How sick and tired are you of making excuses as to why your life isn’t consumed with the sparkle and shine of a thousand disco balls?
I’ve got three words for you: embrace the fabulous. You heard me. Embrace. The. Fabulous.
Confused? Let me explain myself. (more…)
I am a horrible friend.
Yes, it’s true. When it comes to friendships, I suck. I am stubborn, temperamental, and have an excruciating time accepting people for who they are if who they are differs from who I expect them to be. I walk away from people when I no longer feel that they are a part of my life’s story. It’s not easy to be my friend and I must admit, it is my own damn fault.
When it comes to ending friendships, I am a complete chicken. I hate confrontation and I just end up disappearing from people’s lives, like a phantom. I’m sure there are a ton of people out there who wonder where I went or what they did or didn’t do to make me go poof in the night, but I just don’t have the balls to tell them. When a switch flips in my head that makes me see a person a certain way, it’s impossible for me to flip it back. Believe me, I’ve tried. (more…)
You have been a part of my life since my mother ordered your Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS tapes so that she could work out in the living room without needing to get a baby-sitter to hit the gym. To a five-year-old me, I was eager to join her. How could I not? It looked like so much fun with the colorful outfits, the great music, and the smiles on each of the dancers’ faces. I knew every word, every song, every routine—still do. Even now more than two decades later, I still catch myself going through the exercises when I hear songs like “Locomotion,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “I Get Around” much to the embarrassment of those around me. (more…)
If any of you out there had a protective mother like I did, you were taught from a very early age not to talk to people you didn’t know. Those people were called strangers and they were very, very bad.
As the only child of a single mother, I was well-versed in what to say when someone I didn’t know came up to me and said, “Come here, little girl” (NO!) or “I work with your mommy and she asked me to pick you up from school today” (What’s the password?). We spent hours role-playing and I’m pretty sure that I would have passed any of those hidden camera investigations Dateline produces about stranger danger.
Case in point: a story from my childhood. Granted, I should forewarn you that I don’t remember this at all, but the story has been told many times over the years and I can attest that, in all likelihood, it did happen as it’s written.
Around the age of four or five, I went to the bank with my mom. She had finished up and we were heading toward the exit, a rambunctious me skipping a little ahead. When I reached the door, an older woman politely held the door open for me and uttered those famous last words: “Come here, little girl.”
That was all it took.
I stopped dead in my tracks, looked up at her, and yelled, “NO!” just my mom and I had rehearsed dozens of times before. I ran back to my mother and took her by the hand quite proud of the way I had handled the situation. Afterall, she could have snatched me right then and there.
My mother, on the other hand, was horrified. I guess her frequent warnings had stuck with me and now she was paying the humiliating price for it.
It was well into high school that I felt comfortable speaking with new people and that was mainly because I worked as a waitress and had to speak to them on a daily basis. Despite the fact that most folks I know would classify me as a “people person,” I still have a hard time meeting others in a social setting. Maybe deep down in my psyche, I’m still worried about being kidnapped.
I’m envious of guys like Hawkeye who, quite literally, makes friends wherever he goes. Then again, maybe I could do the same.
In the last week, I have been contacted by several people I don’t know. Strangers, if you will. They have come in various forms: a bullied girl I once reached out to online, another who found my lack of inspiration inspirational, men seeking my affections in the world of online dating, and still others who I knew of, but did not know personally. And I have learned something from these vastly different characters. Each of them I might never met in “real life,” but if I hadn’t had the interactions I have had, my life would be missing something.
The thing is, even people you don’t know can have a positive impact on your life. I am so glad to have shared even the briefest of sentences with these men and women. I have been flattered, thanked, intrigued, encouraged, amused, and last but certainly not least, inspired.
You see, as I grew from a child into an adult, I learned that not all strangers are bad. Some are welcome additions to our lives, while others are simply there to add a little color to our stories. I once spent an unforgettable night exploring Las Vegas with an Irishman who stumbled into me at Planet Hollywood. Would my life had been better if I had decided to walk away as he tried to converse with me? I don’t know, but I do know I had an incredible evening seeing the Strip through the eyes of someone from another country.
While it may have once been pivotal to our safety, speaking to someone new does not necessarily mean you will be abducted from your parents and wind up a cautionary tale. It can introduce you to wonderful experiences, ideas, and personalities that you may not have had the chance if someone didn’t make the first move to strike up a conversation.
Though I would hardly recommend throwing caution to the wind and encourage my readers to forget common sense and speak to everyone that comes their way, I would say that there is something amazing when strangers become friends.
After all, we were all strangers to each other once.
By its very definition, motivation is the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
We all have something that drives us to achieve. For the woman who spends hours at the gym and counts every calorie, it’s fitting into a pair of jeans that was worn in high school and has since resided in the far recesses of a closet. Others slave away at the office in order to buy a dream house or a lavish vacation for their family or even to stay afloat in the current economic state. A father pitches ball after ball to his son in preparation for the one day he hits a home run.
Motivation is wonderful when it comes to giving you just what you need to move forward, to reach a goal, to take a risk. It lifts you up and makes you believe that you will hit your target.
Unfortunately, motivation can sometimes be a neglectful character in our lives.
I started this blog as a New Year’s resolution and vowed to write something at least once a week. When I began, it was incredibly easy. I had a ton of topics I could dive into and I was eager to share my thoughts with whoever would bother to read them. The novelty was like a bright and shiny new present in my life and I couldn’t get enough.
And then I hit a slump.
Yes, dear reader, you may have noticed the infrequency of my postings. I have yet to break my New Year’s resolution, but I have begun to regard this blog as homework, something to be pushed off until the last-minute and then half-assed just to get it done.
It’s like that episode in Sex and the City where Carrie is going through a dating dry spell and resorts to writing about her sock drawer. Yeah, that’s about how I’m feeling these days. My blog has become my sock drawer. My muse has gone and has left no trace of the sparkle she once bestowed upon me.
Should I cease this silly little blog or should I press on hoping that something will propel me into interesting thoughts once again?
I choose to keep going.
I find that I have been drawn to the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress and the plethora of new blogs I have been introduced to. There are so many people out there who question life the way that I do, travel to places I long to see, and cook food that I would love to eat. Plus, it is inspiring to see that others also struggle with writer’s block and the motivation to keep their posts coming.
Therein have I found my new motivation.
It’s not about what is not moving you along, it’s about what is.
The key to motivation is to keep going no matter what. Maybe motivation camped out on the bleachers when you were running laps around the track. Maybe motivation grabbed a tub of Ben & Jerry’s after that last horrible first date. Maybe motivation was out sick the day you couldn’t finish the report at work.
The wonderful thing about motivation when it’s gone: it always comes back. And it usually returns like a power surge. All of a sudden, words flow again. Ideas that once seemed completely lame appear to be relevant.
I found this to be true when I started spinning.
The first several classes were brutal. The exercise was intense and I felt like the bottom of my pelvis would never fully recover from those brutally uncomfortable seats. Months later, I am still spinning two days a week and everything has changed. My endurance has increased, my speed is faster, my legs can push through tougher resistance, and my bottom is no longer bothered by the seat. Plus, I burn at least 600 calories in each hour. Not too shabby.
I guess what is important to remember is this: there are times when you will not find the motivation that you need to reach a particular goal, but pushing through those rough times will bring it back in full force. You can hate the entire workout or day at the office or the time spent struggling to teach someone a new concept. You’ve just got to keep going to reach that goal.
As Nike’s slogan says, “Just do it!”