Sunday, December 30, 2012

Definition of the Heart


    I have been thinking all night how to describe the current state of my heart. For someone who has a love of the English language, and gets excited by discovering unique vernacular...I am at a loss.

Thus, I find myself going with the old Southern standby:

Blessed.

Merriam-Webster defines the word, blessed, as : (adj) blissfully happy or contented.


Yesterday, as I unwrapped nicely wrapped Christmas packages, it dawned on me that it isn't how long you know someone for them to understand you; It's how much you allow yourself to be known. The longevity of a friendship does not equal the depths with which people can care for one another.

Are you opening yourself up to allow a true friendship to blossom, or are you closing yourself off in an attempt to shelter yourself from being hurt?


So...this is my return gift to you:

Not for the gifts I received yesterday, but for your friendship.

For making me realize that I deserve to be loved.
For barging into my life, and helping me realize that true friends are those who take you and love you exactly as you are.
For giving me a reality check when I need one.

I love you, and thank you.

   

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An Open Letter: To The Bitches Who Were Mean To Me In High School

This is an open letter to all of the bitches who were mean to me in high school.

Hi.

Suprise!

So, I survived high school.
Whew!

I survived the mean looks, gaggles of gossip and cold shoulders.

As you paraded through the halls with your boyfriend's letter jacket, make-up that was applied via a garden trowel and your flippant use of the word, "like";

I clutched my books to my chest and navigated my way through the crowded hallways.

Trying desperately to avoid attention.

I was several different things in high school:

The new girl.
The poor girl.
The loud girl.
The girl who is friends with that girl.
The girl who might be a lesbian.
The girl who dated a teacher.


That was a lot for a person to be when all I wanted to be was the girl who blended into the scenery.

I started wearing solid color T-shirts and jeans because I figured.. it is really hard to make fun of a solid color T-shirt.

But I must give credit where it is due because... you creative ho-bags figured out a way to do it.
While you all attended parties, ball games and bitch gatherings;

I found solace in a world of words.

The books that I clutched tightly to my chest like a shield in the hallway became my escape.
I found friends within the spines of old books and thoughts put to paper decades before.

I read Camus, Voltaire and Thoreau.
I journeyed to a land of thought and philosophy.

When I would encounter disdain from your group of vacuous airheads, I would remember Camus and his words of wisdom:

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was, in me, an invincible summer."



I expanded my vocabulary, and discovered myself slowly caring less about the looks of disdain in the hallway and the whispered words at lunchtime.

If I could go back, and tell my younger self something important I would tell her:

"This isn't all there is. You see the curly haired girl? She won't be a size two forever...in fact, she's
gonna get fat. I mean...real fat. 

You see her? The girl who uses single syllable words and erroneously uses the word epic? In eight years, you will see her trip and fall in the mall parking lot. Trust me, this isn't all there is."
So, to all of the bitches who were mean to me in high school I would like to say, "Thank you."

My thick skin isn't an inherent quality, it's a learned one.

You taught me about how people can change and how terribly sad it is when they never do.

Most of all, you all taught me how strong I am and how important words are.

The impact you can leave on people.

The way you can change the world.

So, thank you.

You mean ass bitches taught me more than you know.









Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dancing With My Papa

I spent the majority of my childhood with my grandparents.

In the summer, mostly because my granny didn't want us to have a heat stroke, my grandparents would find fun things for us to indoors.

There are few summers I remember quite like the summer of  '92, and "The Record Player".

My grandparents, like many people who lived through the shock of the Great Depression, didn't believe in wasting things or throwing things away. Growing up, the boxes of records in my grandparent's home were a landmark of sorts. There were tons of them. Little boxes...big boxes...suitcases full.

However...my grandparent's didn't have a record player. I just shrugged off the exorbitant amount of unused vinyl as weirdness, and lumped the boxes of records in with the other things I didn't understand about my grandparents; the tools all over my papa's truck, my granny's canisters of old buttons and their penchant for creating new, exciting meals from leftover ones.

In spite of how crazy my grandparents were, on occassion, they would do things that made sense. When I was seven years old, my grandparents bought a record player. Of course, this was the early 90's so there was also a dual tape deck, some big ass speakers and a record player. I like to think of the summer of '92 as a three month period that greatly shaped my musical interests.

It was during this summer I was first introduced to The BeeGee's, Ronnie Milsap and Starland Vocal Band. I would sit in front of the record player and play vinyl after vinyl; discovering hidden treasures within each cardboard cover.

It was during this summer I learned Micheal Jackson was more than a pigment-confused man. He'd once been a small child whose voice could make even the most rhytmically challenged person tap their foot along with the beat. I remember listening to Leapy Lee, and acting out all of the parts to "Little Arrows", while trying to shoot my brother with a Nerf Gun. (It wasn't until I was older that my vision of what Leapy Lee looked like was completely shattered. I pictured him to be blonde and cherub-like...he sort of looked like a Beatles impersonater)

I spent many hours perched in front of the record player, but the times I remember the most fondly...were the times I spent dancing with my papa. My papa always came home for his lunch. He would eat, drink his tea and then clap his hands and say, "Alright, sis...let's dance!"
Fats Domino.
Chuck Berry.
Brenda Lee.
Elvis.

We would dance two or three dances. If the song was upbeat we would do "The Bop", and if a slow song came on...I would stand on my papa's feet and we would dance around the tiny living room.

These were moments when my papa would seem younger. The stress of the day would melt away, the lines on his face would disappear and I could see glimpses of the young boy who took my granny dancing on the weekends all those years ago.

While dancing with my papa, I felt like I understood who he was, and where he had been.

Last night, I went to a ball with my papa. As I danced with my grandpa, I thought back to the times spent dancing in front of the record player, and I felt the years of my life reverse.

Although I am grown, and in my heels stood nearly eye to eye with my grandfather...last night I felt like I was seven years old again.

The crowd went away, the venue dissolved and in my mind...I was back in my grandparent's living room. Only now, I do see him a bit differently. I noticed that his dance steps weren't quite as smooth as they'd once been. The lines on his face don't really disappear like they used to. Last night, I realized...these special moments that I share with my papa aren't going to always be available to me. It would seem, that even my grandfather isn't immune to the curse of aging.

Last night was a night that I will remember my entire life.

How nice my papa looked.
How many compliments he recieved on his fedora.
The look of shock on his face when not one, but two women asked him to dance.
The frightened , but delighted look on his face when he was doing The Cha-Cha slide.


The way he laughed and asked, "Do you remember when we got the record player? How we used to play records, and dance in the living room all the time when you were little?"
Yes, Papa, I do.







Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Soundtrack of 2012

 I have been a little mentally constipated over the last few months. It is common knowledge that writers tend to be more industrious when their emotions peak, or they experience life-altering moments. Moments that are so important to them, they then feel it is compelling enough for the rest of the world to read about.

Guys, I got nothing.

I've searched through all of my brain lint....and I don't feel like I have a single hilarious story or any sage advice to offer.

There is so much talk right now about how quickly the year went by, and when I think about the last year it all goes by in a blur of moments for me.

Tucking the childrens into bed.
Long days and nights at the office.
Phone calls.
Teaching.
The moment I realized my body was never designed to be a size 4. (That was a fun, cake-filled day.)
Putting popcorn in Nate's car. (Best. Thing. Ever.)
Coffee dates.
Donuts with Sammy.
Crying because I felt like my right arm had gotten fat.
The first time I succesfully pulled my hair into a ponytail.
Facebook chats with new friends.
Nutella. (Lots of Nutella)
Game night.
Making friends that are oceans away.
Losing friends that are minutes away.
My Juicy-Lucy birthday T-shirt.
Holding hands with Jerry in the hospital waiting room.
Building a sandbox.
Selling a trampoline.
Post-It notes.
Throwing my make up away.

 A year of acceptance. A year of learning. A year of growth.

The year of 2012 holds a special place in my heart. Whatever the future holds for me, whatever kind of old woman I will be... it is all because of this year.

And because every good year deserves a soundtrack...here is "Lucy's Soundtrack For 2012".







Be OK
Ingrid Michealson
 






 
 
We've Come A Long Way
Good Old War

 
 
 
 
 

 


Freedom
Tyrone Wells


 
 
 
 
 
 



Shake The Dust
Anis Mojgani


 
 
 
 
 


Pout Pout Fish
Gordon True



 
 





What'll I Do
Lisa Hannigan






 







Beat That
The Period Song












Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Dr. Seuss
Narrated by John Lithgow

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012- Affirmation of a Resolution


I have taken a break from writing. (In case you haven't noticed the absence of my brain lint in your inbox.)

I am unsure if my writing sabbatical took place because of writer's block or if I've just been too busy with other parts of my life to sit down and tap anything out. Needless to say, the last thing anyone wants to read are random sentences about bowel movements and the lackluster social life of a mother of two.

As another year comes to a close, I have become quite reflective about how I spent my days during the year of 2012. As many of you know, in December of 2011, I made a New Year's resolution to accept my physical appearance for what it was. Foregoing cosmetics, I barged into the year of 2012 hell bent on not changing anything about myself. (except eyebrows because...Eugene Levy)
About three-quarters of the way through the calendar year, I looked at myself in the mirror and realized it was silly to think I could go on this quest for physical acceptance by negating change...and not be changed by it.

I am happy to report that I achieved my ultimate goal. On December 29, 2011, I sat in my living room, and thought about the year ahead of me and the things I needed to change.
I can see it as though it were yesterday; I was too thin, too tired, a bit frazzled and sitting in my living room floor while I furiously typed the words, "I hope in the year 2012 to be able to look at myself in the mirror, and love everything that I see without changing it or wishing it looked another way."I have accomplished this. I've gained ten pounds, (my breasts are no longer concave!) I've just sort of let my hair choose its own path and beyond some spf on my face and some gloss on my lips...I don't feel compelled to change the way I look. Frankly, I feel I look better now that I ever have in my life.

Now, when I look in the mirror I don't see the roots I need to get re-done or smeared mascara that has reached its breaking point at the end of a long day. I see me. I see variations of me, but I see me. I know that beyond washing my face or combing my hair....it is what it is; And what it is...is fine. It's better than fine, in fact... It's marvelous and wonderful and beautiful and...real. The reason I feel so comfortable with my outward appearance is because I'm finally at peace with my inner self.


It would be silly for me to sit here and tell you that all of the ways I've grown over the last year can be attributed entirely to my New Year's resolution. I have had many exciting, wonderful and eye opening experiences that have helped me grow into a stronger person; Some of them have been scarier than shit. (Two brain surgeries, anyone?)

 They have helped me become a better friend, a mother, companion and teacher. These experiences, coupled with my quest for self acceptance, have made this a year that will change the course of the rest of my life.

When I am an old woman looking back on my life I will see (with more clarity) just how much a person can grow in a year; how one can resolve to love herself, and see the life-altering moments follow.

Learning to love yourself will help you accept love from others.

It is the greatest gift you can give yourself.


You can change your own life.


Don't wait.


Also...because it is fitting http://youtu.be/98DFcIS_lc4.