Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm fucked up AND AWESOME for a reason people

When I was a toddler my Great Grandma gave me a pin cushion and a Pope doll with a change of robes to play with.

I undressed that Pope like he was my Barbie going to a ball in a hot pink convertible and I organized that pin cushion until that shit was color coded and neatly clustered...never thinking twice that those pins could make me bleed and that the Pope should have been "untouchable."

These were my favorite toys. Thinking back, I wonder if my chances of "getting into heaven" have been diminished after seeing the Pope naked and wondering where his package was. They don't make Pope dolls with packages, they're holy, that's just the way it goes. I learned to amuse myself with sharp things that were dangerous and by making holy things, less holy and fake-feeding them Lays potato chips. I learned how to amuse myself with adult-things.

When I was 9 a tap teacher through a tap shoe at me from across the room and said, "You'll never be a good dancer!!!".....not the thing to say when your Mother owns the fucking dance studio- but the teacher was also deaf. A deaf. tap. teacher. So, naturally I'm thinking, "What the fuck does she know? She can't hear me." I proceeded to get her fired and kick ass at dancing.

When I was 15, awkwardly "in love" flashing my gangly teeth and batting my pale purple eyeshadow at INSERT GENERIC BOY NAME HERE, his friend told me he had a "message" to give me, from him- it went like this, "He thinks you' do I UNBEAUTIFUL." I later went on to realize unbeautiful isn't a fucking word and decided that I'd never, ever let another man think those things about me....if he did, he wasn't worth my time. I'd learn to be funny and if he were to cross me, in any way, I'd knock the motherfucker down with charm. I reduced my heartbreak from about 20 to 2. And ditched the purple eyeshadow. If there's anything that'll make you "unbeautiful" it's store brand purple.

When I was 20, in the middle of a full blown eating disorder- looking at myself and loathing every. single. inch. my friend said to me, "Chels, our bodies are constantly take a sip of water- your body is bigger. You pee- your body is lighter. Your body is never stagnant." A thought that seems so obvious to the normal-thinking-eating-drinking individual, thinks that that statement goes without saying, but to me....the simplicity of it was resounding, in a way that started chipping away at the belief system that was paralyzing me.

Everyone at my dinner table talks at the same time, but I never thought I wasn't being heard. I learned to speak louder and faster. Directly. Everyone always told me I was "talented"....I learned to validate myself by hearing that and if I didn't hear it, suddenly I wasn't good enough.

We see things, we say things- we are grown within things....little. minuscule. things. A sentence here, a Pope doll there. A surrounding that, like a mold, forms this person that we've become.
Then we roll it all into a little ball and we stamp a label, a "storyline"; I'm blah blah, I do this, I'm from here, I work here, I want to.... and so on..... but all these things, are just skimming the surface of the little things that created your character.

But life, doesn't have time for "tell me about your character." Job interviews don't have time for "tell me why you have the temperament that you do...?"

The mold where we hold our "character" doesn't stop shifting- the "suitcase is closed" as some would say once we're an adult, but not if we don't want it to be.

Insecurities are reversible. They can be worked through....with time, effort. Decision to do so. My Love has made me better; he's lessened my temper, he's opened my eyes to my defense mechanisms that only harm me....that keep me from growth and from greatness. Yoga has made me better, I can be a crazy bitch...and yoga says, Chels- chill out with ego sister.

Whatever we put into our body, our thoughts, our words, our images comes out, or sticks in some way. It shapes us and molds us. The things people are saying to you and the things you're saying to people are doing the same thing..... your surroundings, your friends- we're all consciously, or perhaps unconsciously creating each other's lives.

All that to say....I should really stop watching so much Jersey Shore and making jokes about killing a person, it doesn't reflect well on my psyche.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Maybe I had too much whiskey.....

Everyone has an Elvis story.

And they'll always preface it with BPB&J, or APB&J (before and after he found peanut butter) Don't believe me? Ask you Mother, or better yet- your Grandma. Elvis gave everyone a piece of jewelry or a Cadillac at some point.....or maybe that's just my family and maybe they're all liars. Either way, I know this is true because My Love and I just spent four hours drinking whiskey, smoking Carlton 100's and eating Chinese takeout with my grandparents while we talked stories. Serious, serious stories. Elvis, Fats Domino, gambling and The Mob all made appearances. Like every good story, naturally. And then we talked life, standard dirt roads, apartment homes, grandkids and bar stools...

My grandparents didn't meet until they were in their late forties and here they are with, what seems to be a LIFETIME worth of experiences together- good and bad, rags and riches. Where many people in their forties are settled into their lives, their kids, their careers and so on....or at least that's what you assume will be your fortysomething self. You assume, the stories will lessen, the routine will settle, the bank accounts, the savings and the assets will start growing and things will just.....float. Comfortably. You'll resign to the fact that "this is my life". But in reality, LIFE if you're living it, will continue to give you stories...... beyond living vicariously though TV, your children, or your "younger you."

Whether it's today and you're 25, or you're 18- you're 50 or you're 32....when we feel stuck, or feel like... "this is it" or when we get all angsty and 20something like and start babbling on about not wanting to resign to the "real world," we just want to travel and dream. We just want to be heard and successful and fuck-god-damnit-FREAK OUT......

..... There's a moment, when we have to stop. and realize, we can push that little hypothetical "reset" button and try again, because the tape on the stories that you have at the end of your life doesn't stop running.

We can start over. Quit. Move. Sign up. Flee. Blog it out. Break up. Let go. Apply. Nothing is DONE. We are creating our stories EVERY DAY, whether we're in Tahiti, or bum fuck random Midwest. Whether we're living some "fancy" entrepreneur existence, or we're still trying to get a fucking job.... when it comes down to the end, when you're under the weight of your comforters, sipping a night cap and thinking "how the hell did I get 70?" all the bullshit we busy our frenzied typing fingertips, worrying and cluttering our minds with won't matter.

Live more by living NOW first.....right?

As I sat there listening I thought, this is what every failure, every broken down truck and every year spent doing the hard, skin drying, back-acheing labor and dirty work is really for. This is what every "what am I doing with myself, this is not 'THE PLAN'" moment is for. When you're IN IT, when you're a month late on your credit card bill, you can only buy the generic brand and the elastic on your underwear is literally hanging by a thread- it's hard to see any of it as worth experiencing. You sort of just want to punch someone in the face, or cut people off on the highway, rather than say "Thanks for the memories."

Sure, its the glamorous stories that you envision telling, but what makes the sweet sweeter is the fact that you've tasted some bitterness too.

What we should strive for is having a dash of humor, a no-bullshit attitude and the foresight to see that nothing is permanent. Nothing. So, when we're all flying high to every peak there is a down slope.....or we wait for a helicopter lift hoping we don't freeze our tits off first.

It's hard not to get to caught up in "wanting to live." Wanting to be out, wanting to meet more people- have more friends, have more experiences, more work....more....everything. While we're so busy busying ourselves with the "need" to live more, we don't realize that we're already living some of the stories we'll relish telling later on.

So yes, do I want to travel more and DO BIG THINGS ALL THE TIME, do I want more interesting twitter updates about what airport I'm in, what amazing accomplishment I have, what "Life List" goal has been crossed off and what awesome-new-person-i'm-omg-bffs-with-fml ....yes, yes I want all that- and I fully believe I am experiencing that now. But, I'm gonna be good knowing that small or large- Elvis or Bob from the Last Chance saloon will give me stories worth telling.

One more thing, since contradiction is my middle name, next to awesome and well, since I have NO SHAME and time is a tickin'- I was nominated in a few categories at 20Something Bloggers for the 2010 Bootlegger Awards, Vote here and I'll virtually lick your face. If your face tastes good.

What's your FAVORITE "little moment" today.....?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

This year I will LIVE ABUNDANTLY....and meet Jay Z.

–noun extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply:an abundance of grain.
2.overflowing fullness: abundance of the heart.
3.affluence; wealth: the enjoyment of abundance.
4.Physics, Chemistry. the number of atoms of one isotope of an element divided by the total number of atoms in a mixture of the isotopes.

Notice that the definition isn't solely about possessions, or monetary value- but abundance of HEART. I love this. This year I am choosing to live ABUNDANTLY. Of heart, mind, spirit and sure, affluence too.

I noticed when I was talking about my resolutions- I don't like to call them that, cause they have this "DON'T BREAK ME" attitude which frankly, can be too damn much to live up to, but I digress- when I was choosing what I wanted my year to look like, I was cutting myself short, or deciding not to make a "Resolution" because it seemed like "too much." Or "too good to be true." OR, mostly- How the fuck do I actually plan on doing that? All of this was decided simply off the belief that in that PAST these resolutions were left unresolved. The minute you start to ask "HOW" when you look at your dream, you'll almost instantly decide otherwise. Because the how, or the why, or the WHAT IF.... are all abstract questions.
There are a million WAYS to any solution and don't have to know how to have a dream, you just have to believe in it. The how reveals itself once you decide to get out of your head and look at the options in front of you.

...I was allowing my vision of future goals be determined by the outcome of past goals, when in reality both past and future are an illusion....All there is, is PRESENT and PRESENT choices, dreams. GOALS. Fulfillment.

We are not governed by our past unless we choose to be. We will be a victim to what life has to offer, if we have decided we have been victimized- as in, it's all a matter of perception. That's what it comes down to. So for 2010, I am going to refrain from saying, "I'm afraid that..." or even acknowledging that I've been struggling with anxiety, or panic- that to me, is no longer a real thing. I will refrain from saying "I hope...." Hoping, is really just a cushion... a window to allow a little disappointment in just in case it doesn't happen, you wouldn't need to hope for something if you decided to KNOW it instead. I will refrain from; saying hateful things about myself....talking to our bodies is no different than talking to a human, and if you tell a person you hate them- they're likely to hate you back. Why would that be any different from talking to yourself?

Making a resolution doesn't mean that in one day it is made, or broken- it's a lifestyle CHOICE. And that is what I like about the idea of ABUNDANCE..... you cannot measure abundance, it just is. One dollar to someone IS abundance, where a million to someone else is. A hug from your little sister is abundance to one, while to another a walk with their dog is their source of abundance. To some it's a full belly, or a packed social calendar- a room with a view, or a room at all. It isn't one day, or one moment- it's something that permeates through every thought, every action and every belief, every choice made from a perception that sees ABUNDANTLY. It's a choice of spirit; that thing that shines through you. Would I rather shine FULL and radiantly, or do I want my spirit to wreak of lack and discontent. Hi, no thanks.

I've decided, I HAVE CHOSEN to look at every year as getting BETTER and in turn, it does.

In 2009 I: Fell in love, spent more time with my family than I have in years, I went on tour, recorded a full length album, played more amazing shows than I can count, lived solely off of writing and my various talents, I camped and hiked, embraced Colorado with open arms, I partied and paddle boarded, I did yoga like a maniac, I moved into a new home, I rekindled friendships and started new ones. I coast hopped and planted roots. I LOVED my year. And I cannot wait for what 2010 has to bring.....

I know, we're human- we fall and worry, we doubt and judge. We look at our lives sometimes and say, "Why me" or "WHAT THE FUCK" but, I'll try my best this year to say, even during what looks like a big wall of adversity or uncertainty....that I am so happy and grateful that......after all, there's always a silver lining and that's where I'd prefer to avert my eyes.