Yes, You Can

I often find when reading advice columns, what the writer most often seeks is permission.

Is it ok. Is it ok to feel bothered by this behavior after months of gaslighting to the contrary. Is it ok to leave. Is it ok to stay. I like this, does it mean I am broken. Am I weird for being this way, am I the only one.

This is a non-educated guess but judging from the epiphanies I see on social media this is common in therapy as well. Folks contorting themselves into different people, forcing themselves into triggering situations because not being bothered by them is surely something “normal” people do.

Is it ok to not be normal. Is it ok to just…not do this thing normal people do.

It is not lost on me that it is a strange post to be tied to a picture of a crispy-fried sunny-side up egg, but it happened to be my first one in years.

Why?

I detest anything but a completely set white, but I love a runny yolk. And I just discovered it is an Instagram foodie hack to simply…cook the whites first, then gently re-add the yolk.

Is this the most non-normal method of frying an egg I have ever heard of? Absolutely. Did I do just that and gobble it up anyway? Of course. Because I can.

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Confessions of an Inconsiderate

“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m a writer.

I’m a Writer.

I said it, ok?

I don’t know how you do it. It is entirely too much pressure.  I share, I bleed, I worry how you will take it, I wonder what you want to read, I worry about content, I don’t know what the fuck RSS even means, none of my pictures are the same size, I can’t own this. I came here because I needed a space to write freely. But you’re here, and you read, and you cry with me and I care because if I write a post and no one reads it was it still written? Christ, another typo??

This is my head space every time I hit publish. Multiplied exponentially when I hit “share”.

I inherited the teacher’s spirit from my mother, who got it from her father, and the line goes on. No matter what I do, I have an instinctive urge to take others with me. It’s why my posts are always 100 words longer than I want. It’s why sometimes I have to end with a “this is a work in progress”. It’s why my twitter feed is broken up into series of rants instead of individual thoughts. It’s how a two-sentence story takes me fifteen minutes to explain. I can’t help it. I’m…considerate.

Do I know my most impactful posts came from when I spoke my truth? Yep. Does this knowledge stop me from wringing my hands for three weeks wondering how to spin a thought for my “audience” to make it seem more in line with the flow of this here blog? Nope. With every bit of positive (and negative, trust me) feedback I started to care more about what people reading expected than what I had to say.

Oddly enough, the other day a question was posed on twitter as to what writers we found enviable on the app. Many answered with great and famous writers that happened to also have twitter accounts. After taking a long time to think on it I realized that while I found certain writers inspirational, entertaining, moving- my writers of envy all had one thing in common; they were inconsiderate.

Inconsiderate. They wrote when inspired. They took breaks from writing, or twitter, or the world. They lived a life worth writing about. They assumed their audience was smart enough to catch their point. They couldn’t care less if they didn’t. They wrote because they had something to say. And what they had to say, no matter how inconsistently they said it, moved people. They didn’t have an image. They were unapologetically imperfect.

And I don’t know what “writer” means when someone points to me. I don’t. I don’t know if I have a goal to move people, or to publish books, or to churn out consistent content on my blogs for a change. But I do know I get as much fulfillment out of a completed post I gouged out of my core as I do writing an entertaining yelp review. I get the same feeling when all the pieces fit together on a bit of copy as when I release a conscious tweet stream. I write. I write. I’m prone to prose. I should admit this more often. And I realize I don’t because to me, writers write. They write regularly, consistently, on-demand, perhaps even for money. I write three posts and get derailed for a week because “he” didn’t call me back. This is my life.  And I’m not writing this because I care if you read it. I’m writing this so I can be okay with it.

This here thing, it takes a lot from me. So it may not be daily, or even weekly. It may be a topic that doesn’t fit. It may not have a neat ending. But I write. I write when I have something to say. I write when I can no longer fit my skin. I write to bleed out. Sometimes I’m empty and I can’t. Sometimes I need to fill up my tank with life before I can come back. And that’s okay, too.

So, consider these 700+ words my pre-emptive apology. I probably will never be able to bleed on demand. But when I’m here, you will feel it.

 

With Love,

An Inconsiderate

The Monster; #30Layers30Days Challenge Day 27

DAY 27 // LURKING

What is the elephant in the room of your mind?  What issue, big or small, are you avoiding because you feel you don’t have the time or energy to deal with it?  Even if you don’t take action on it right now, writing about it will keep you self-aware.  When we ignore parts of ourselves, those parts act out in our lives in subtle ways.

 “I don’t think there’s anything I can do to shake your confidence.”

I guffawed internally. I was in the middle of airing out my grievances to a potential suitor, one of them being his spotty attempts to make plans. I had joked that his perceived reluctance to see me was giving me a complex.

I may have only been half-joking.

Whether it’s due to my wit or background in sales, somehow I have developed a reputation for being a person that holds myself in high regard. I have not one clue how that happened. Maybe it’s cause I save my crying for the shower? Maybe it’s because I save my complaints for my journal? Me no know. But what I do know is every day I am anxious about something, and it’s due to this irrational fear that I’m going to be found out. Because I’m really full of shit.

I swear, this is an actual thought.

I dance around relationships because somehow I think he’s going to realize that I don’t have that much going for me. I take pictures from the same side because somebody one day is going to figure out I’m not that cute.I don’t bring a bunch of people to my house because they will learn that it’s only 3/4 furnished. My house is 3/4 furnished because I’m certain I’m not going to live there long. I don’t plant my feet, I don’t claim victories, I don’t brag on interviews, I don’t charge as much as I should for my consulting services-all because I swear someone’s going to pop my big ass balloon after finding out all I’m filled with is hot air.

Does it sound crazy to you yet? Listen, I gotta get this out.

I am literally laughing hysterically as I type this. I know this is ridiculous. I’ve won pageants. I’ve spoken in public settings for years. I have a Miss America and over $100,000 worth of scholarships awarded to my titleholders in my history. I’m a damn good host. I’m a great cook. I was published at 16. I’m well-traveled and figured out how to do it on my dime. Everything I’ve tried to do I’ve gone in blind with zero experience, and I can figure my way through damn near anything. I’m pretty, I’m witty, I’m intelligent and I can prove anyone wrong that doesn’t believe it.

Except me.

It’s the monster under my bed. It’s what I go to sleep with every night. It’s what’s on my shoulder every time I want to put my foot down. It asks me how dare I have standards. Why should I ask for that. Why don’t I just accept what’s given. How can I think I deserve to ask for more. Why would he want to be around me, anyway. Do you really think someone’s going to listen to you. Every. Day. Every day. Every. Damn. Day.

Whew.

I don’t have a neat ending for this one, either…but somehow getting it out makes a world of difference. So, even if you don’t do it here, do it for yourself. Write down whatever the hell it is you think is “ain’t shit” about you. And read it out loud. And have a good belly laugh. Then dammit, move on.

And yes, I’m talking to myself, here.

Conceived by GG Rene of AllTheManyLayers.com, the #30Layers30Days Challenge dares writers to dig deep with thoughtful daily inspirations meant to promote introspective thought and mindful journal practice. I will be posting my more inspired entries from the daily challenges. You can follow the #30Layers30Days hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, or follow GG Rene at @ggrenewrites.

Feels Like Home (pt. 3); #30Layers30Days Challenge Day 24

DAY 24 // HEARTSTRINGS

What do you want to change about the world? What cause or need tugs at your heartstrings the most?

 

Michael had always been an introvert I understood.

Intensely intuitive, often tormented by his ability to feel the pain in the world. Acutely aware of it due to his travels. Unable to find a quiet from the constant noise. Functioning at a constant state of burnout. Alone among millions. Out of place in his own home.

His death felt intensely personal to me because it reignited a fear I have had since childhood-that I will never rise above the noise and find a balance. That I would never find a place to “be”. That my place is somehow not here.

But like Michael I have always found a safe space with children. Specifically, children who feel as out of place as I do. He often surrounded himself with orphans, or child-stars weighed down by the weight of being their family’s sole support. He found joy in giving them a place where they weren’t alone or unique. And this is where my heart lies.

While others coo over newborns, I’m usually in the corner with the new middle child helping them adjust. I have always had a place in my heart for children in the system and hope to adopt an older child, or at least be able to mentor a few from youth through adolescence. I took great joy in my work speaking with and coaching through the pageant system and consider being a part of their story one of the accomplishments I can take to my old age. I can’t even write this out without getting emotional about it. But making the difference in one child’s life somehow makes the big world and all its ills manageable.

Conceived by GG Rene of AllTheManyLayers.com, the #30Layers30Days Challenge dares writers to dig deep with thoughtful daily inspirations meant to promote introspective thought and mindful journal practice. I will be posting my more inspired entries from the daily challenges. You can follow the #30Layers30Days hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, or follow GG Rene at @ggrenewrites.

The Power of Yes; #30Layers30Days Challenge Day 23

DAY 23 // LIMITATIONS & AFFIRMATIONS

Limiting thoughts have a way of popping up when we are trying to rise to our next level.  These thoughts tells us that we can’t do it, it will be too hard, or we’re not enough or we’re too much.  Do you think your personality, appearance or background holds you back? What kinds of limitations do you harbor in your mind?  Counter each limitation with a positive affirmation to reverse it.  

“A No is what you had when you started.”

I have a pretty extensive background in sales. For many years, this was my mantra. Whenever I was afraid to ask for something, afraid to take that chance or worried about rejection I’d always mutter “a ‘no’ is what you had when you started, so you have nothing to lose.” And I’m sure on the surface, it looks like a healthy way to approach life, right?

Maybe. Maybe not.

As I moved on and discovered pageants, a common theme came about as I was being coached, and later as I began coaching. See back then, I had the challenge of competing in a year where back to back Miss USA’s fell onstage during their International competitions. Every girl was nervous about their heels and their walk. I asked my coach, “how do I keep from falling onstage?”

“Well, first off, you’ve got to stop thinking about falling.”

We have a saying in the world of individual competition, “What you think of most becomes your reality; what you practice becomes your habit.” I, nor my girls, were ever allowed to frown or have a straight face when practicing, because when you’re on that stage or on that mat and your body goes into auto-pilot, all it will remember is what you’ve practiced. What you’ve focused on. If all you’ve done is scowl, you won’t remember to smile. If all you’ve focused on is *not* falling, falling is in the forefront of your mind.

So what does that have to do with anything?

I started noticing the same patterns I had in practice in my life. I had given “no” SO much power, it was becoming the most dominant theme. I’d apply for this job not because I thought I was qualified and could do it, but because I “might as well, a no is what I had anyway!” I’d meet someone nice and not expect or ask for anything because “I might as well just enjoy the journey since it’s gonna end eventually!” I had an immense amount of faith in “no”. I stared at every situation as if I had already been rejected and am earning a “yes”. I did not claim anything, hope for an outcome or wish for the best. I just prepared for the worst. A “no” is what you have, what you start with. A “yes” is what you hope or work for.

Now while this may seem to contradict what I worked to remove with my Lent post, hear me out here. My problem wasn’t my over-focusing on the outcome; it was the point where I started. I’d dig a ditch for myself, hop in it, and then exhaust myself climbing out just to get to zero. Getting to the “yes” became important because I was fighting against a “no” that might not even exist. Sound a bit backwards? It sure does to me.

Worse off, I was cancelling out some of the most important steps in bringing positive energy and karma into my life; desire. By expecting a negative outcome first I willed myself out of wanting it and declaring it to the Universe. Not a healthy detachment to the outcome, but an outright lie as to what was important to me and what I wanted. Expecting disappointment so it wouldn’t hurt as much. Life was looking everywhere for me and I was hiding beneath the shelter of my own apathy.

So today, I start with YES. I give power to yes. I bask in the glow of life and claim my desire for it. I start with success. I start with blessings. I start with the joy of the Universe. I give a voice to my desire. I am here.

Are you?

Conceived by GG Rene of AllTheManyLayers.com, the #30Layers30Days Challenge dares writers to dig deep with thoughtful daily inspirations meant to promote introspective thought and mindful journal practice. I will be posting my more inspired entries from the daily challenges. You can follow the #30Layers30Days hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, or follow GG Rene at @ggrenewrites.

Feels Like Home (Pt.2); #30Layers30Days Challenge Day 19

DAY 19 // WHEN I THINK OF HOME

Think of an environment where you feel surrounded by kindred spirits. What kind of people, vibes, places and things inspire you?  Also consider if you are putting yourself in these environments often enough.  Are you making time to do the things that make you feel at home in your life?

Anytime I am asked to write about home it takes me forever to start.

Because the concept just seems so..foreign. So I’m just going to write. Bear along with me.

When I think of “home”, I think of a place where I can be me. All of me, not just the pieces I give people or the masks I don every day. Not the version of me you can handle. I can be goofy and dark, cheerful and cynical. I can sing in the kitchen while making dinner and possibly trip while serving it to you. I can wear my comfy pants and take them off to reveal the lingerie underneath. I can be strong and vulnerable. Smart as a whip and yet always learning. fearful of everything but brave enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Stronger than you ever could imagine, crushing from the weight of your Earth. Home is where I can be All. The Creative, The Intuitive, The Child, The Backbone. The stars in orbit, perfectly aligned. I shine. I thrive. I am all and I am ok. This place is home. This place I will find.

Conceived by GG Rene of AllTheManyLayers.com, the #30Layers30Days Challenge dares writers to dig deep with thoughtful daily inspirations meant to promote introspective thought and mindful journal practice. I will be posting my more inspired entries from the daily challenges. You can follow the #30Layers30Days hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, or follow GG Rene at @ggrenewrites.