Musings

Be A Muse. Inspire myself and others. Be Thoughtful. Create. Share. Repeat.

Unconditionally.

I’m short on words but not on grateful tears. Happy Birthday, Finnian Scout. You are loved. Unconditionally. May you always always feel it.

"come fly with me / sinatra by sidewalk"

all it takes is finding a pair of discarded suitcases next to the sidewalk to begin planning a grand adventure.

In response to rituals in transition (written just four months prior)

I am not naïve to the strand of DNA that requires one to belong to a start-up lifestyle. To live and love and maintain and succeed in the start-up world. While my life didn’t harbor it personally, my DNA certainly understands a strand that believes in something so strongly that it becomes life’s calling. And when you meet someone that has it, I believe you have no choice but to immediately fall into one of two camps: you love him for it or you despise him for it. There’s no middle ground. You respect the passion and believe in it just as strongly — or you don’t.

You can’t make yourself fall in love with a lifestyle you’re not meant for. 

Whether or not I knew the lifestyle was meant for me, the man was. The man is. And I knew the moment I was finally able to sit across from him and breathe freely and wholly, which camp I fell into.

I have seen article upon article in the pages of Inc. or from the thread of tech tweets, that speak to the regret-ability of the successful start-up who won at work and failed at home. And I get it. Maybe I’m one of the lucky ones who landed one of the good ones. Or maybe it just takes work. But whatever the case, it’s working.

Here’s what works:

  • It’s nice to miss someone. You unfairly begin to take someone for granted when they never leave. When your partner has to pack up every few days to go stand tall for the empire they’re building, you believe. You believe in what they’re flying for. And you believe in their return. And come to think of it, you don’t miss them. You desire them. You long for them. You long for their return. You’re excited at their arrival. Each and every time. (This is enhanced each and every time you’re lifted off the ground at the airport. Thank you.)
  • Autonomy. Two halves don’t make a whole. They make two halves. But two wholes — two strong, independent, self-fulfilling well-filling individuals, make a really fucking great couple. The separation isn’t to be thought of as a void, but as personal time. Me time. His time. And again, the space created in those moments makes the space created together, that much stronger.
  • I need time with my son. Our family will continue to intertwine in beautiful ways, but I will always value quiet moments where I get to create with my littler man. Late nights required by the valley or the prairie mean date nights with my son. And although more is always merrier, I will treasure this time when I have it. And for that time, I am thankful.
  • Belief. If you’re lucky enough to land in a start-up relationship, you’re with a man who knows how to believe in something. And when there’s enough belief to go around… and that belief also lands in you, life is good. And I have quickly come to learn, that when someone so vehemently believes in you, it’s the most beautiful constant cycle you create with one another. Belief begets belief.

 Here’s what takes work:

  • Flexibility. As a late-in-life ballerina and out of practice yogi, I still can’t touch my toes. But I can eat dinner anytime between 5 and 10 and with just a slight heads up as to how many I can expect at our table, I’m good to go.
  • Honesty. It’s important. It’s the only way to ensure you’re getting across what you feel. So things like “I miss you” or “I need you” matter. Perhaps just as important as things like “I just can’t decide what we’re having for dinner” and “Can you please leave this warm house to go out into -11º temperatures to pick up a package of Pull-ups® because I can’t believe I forgot to pick them up when I was at the store earlier and I’m too tired to do it?” Saying what you feel matters. Also perhaps most important, “shut the laptop and take me to bed.”
  • Communication is its own category. When you don’t communicate, you can’t expect the other person to know what you’re thinking, what you need, or what you’re out of in the refrigerator. Sometimes you need to say things three times, write them down and tell his assistant. You learn that some things can fall off as unnecessary and some cannot. And when you learn to be a bit more strategic about what needs communicated, both of your expectations can be met. (Particularly when your photo made the cover of the magazine and you want him by your side, even on that particular day when the Bank is supposed to get all the devotion.)
  • Deciding on home. Edward Sharpe had it correct. “Home is wherever I’m with you.” But that doesn’t make defining an actual zip code any easier. And when it’s not just the two of you deciding, that takes work. And time. And drinks. We’ll pick this discussion up again next year.
  • Rituals. Those precious things that when at the same kitchen table or in the same area code, should never be gone without: the New York Times, freshly ground coffee, a walk in the woods, and my head on your chest.

If you’ve ever peered out over the edge of a cliff, you’ve felt the fear.

To give credit where credit is due, I owe a giant {hug} to Ms. Laura Palmer for introducing me to this article, which I put off for a solid week (although it remained an open tab the entire time). If you don’t follow what she’s doing, start. She is a glowing example of sunshine and perhaps my only rival in puns. She also probably thinks she is as funny as I think I am hilarious. I like that about her.

This. (Only read it when you’ve got the time and mental capacity. I’m surprised it only took me one week.)

I want to believe there is something that resides between Should and Must. Perhaps, however, it’s just the jump. The deep breath(s). The full lungs and the fast steps before the vast < insert your jump here >. 

I won’t spend six weeks in Bali figuring it out. But I promise to honor the calling. Today. 

Does anyone have a paper shredder I can borrow for the weekend? 

Betty Jean wore bright pink lipstick

Growing up, my grandmother never left the house without putting on bright pink lipstick. Irrelevant was the fact that her t-shirt and jean shorts were splattered with paint from a day in her ceramic shop. Irrelevant was the fact that the cats on her t-shirt didn’t have a lick of pink on them.

She didn’t need a reason, I guess. It was her thing. 

I don’t remember when she stopped wearing it. And I guess, in my mind, she never will. And that’s how I’ll remember her.

Death has a way of causing us to remember so much about life. For that, I am thankful.

I remember afternoons of rummy and ramen with my grandmother.

I remember watching soap operas in the shop while we painted ceramics.

I remember the journals she kept of the weather.

I remember some of my first family traditions — a living room full on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

I remember pumpkin and cherry pies.

I remember her mixture of hot cocoa in the winter and her mixture of hummingbird juice for the feeders in the summer (which my grandfather would faithfully mistake for fruit punch and drink half a glass before she told him otherwise).

I remember summer picnics and badminton and snapping green beans from the garden.

And I’ll always remember that perfect shade of pink.

Rest in peace, Grandma Sonney. 

No. 205

There are things you share with the world instantly because you feel it necessary for the whole world to weigh in just as quickly.

But there are some things, some moments, that you hold onto so tightly for days on end, keeping them the only place they belong — between your heart and his.

And at least for a little while, the world doesn’t get to weigh in. Because you forget the rest of the world even exists. 

But it does.

And it’s filled with a lot of love and good records. And that’s something worth sharing.

fact.
fire needs air.
be careful where you breathe.
be careful what you burn.

I was recently asked to provide my resume for recognition of something I’m not entirely sure how to rationalize. I haven’t touched my resume in nearly seven years — perhaps a nod to my current employer or perhaps an insight into my lack of preparedness. Regardless, it didn’t exist. And as in the case of most requests for something that should be readily available, I had about 20 minutes of available time to produce said document. So I opened Microsoft Word and produced the required piece of paper meant to outline my accomplishments.

I completed the ask. But I failed at what should have been my usual interpretation of an assignment. Rarely do I find comfort in following orders. My comfort — my normal — lies in the abnormal. My normal, lies in reframing the question until I’m comfortable with the ask and the creative product I’ll be able to produce based on my re-engineering of the original assignment. (This is a fantastic way of living life.)

I’ve never agreed with the concept of reviewing an individual based on a representative sheet of paper. If you’re in front of me and want the job, your piece of paper can do little to prove you’re capable of being curious, passionate or laid back enough to create alongside me. Neither should your curiosity, passion or creativity be minimized if your previous employment opportunities don’t meet someone else’s criteria and therefore don’t feel it necessary to pass along that obligatory piece of paper. I could go on and on but I’m already getting annoyed at the topic. 

Perhaps the concept of a resume isn’t wrong, but certainly the template is. You might glean my age from a graduation date listed from the Midwestern university attended I attended, but it doesn’t tell you it was two years delayed from dropping out twice and what those lessons taught me that someone successful of the four-year plan could not comprehend.

I listed my career experience but failed to speak most prominently of my most successful role from 2009–Present as that of being a mother. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: undying love, relentless mentoring, sleepless nights, sleepless mornings, shoulder to cry, snot and puke on, chef, maid, dishwasher, crafter, healer, head disciplinarian and overall chief creative officer. 

Certainly my roles as daughter, sister, aunt, ex-wife and girlfriend all require a skill set that any employer would die for.

Why wouldn’t I have listed my taste in music, film and photography? This pertains to nothing on that electronic piece of submitted paper but continue to add to the distinct fiber of me that can not be removed.

And where should I have placed the fact that I will produce nothing of actual value before 9AM (including my presence) but work best between 10 and midnight after my son has been bathed, read to, sent a bedtime video to his father and I’ve finally poured my second glass of wine?

The current standard of resume review creates nothing more than judgement of one’s value based on a subjective date-to-present employment scale — like the production of a paper doll without the closet full of clothes that truly allows her personality to shine through.

This is dumb. And needs fixed. But, it’s nearly 50-degrees out in mid-January and the other thing that’s not listed on my resume is my love of high-tailing it to the woods the moment the opportunity presents itself. 

What I’ve Learned | 2013 Edition

I don’t make resolutions. Not for the turn of a new year, at least. But I have always been inspired by Esquire’s What I’ve Learned. So in lieu of resolutions I won’t keep, I reserved some quiet time to reflect on my own personal 2013 edition of things I’ve learned. It was a good exercise and one I should do more often. 

But let’s not mistake that for a resolution.

//

  1. They say you accept the kind of love you think you deserve. The key is to remembering that just because someone thinks you deserve to accept their love, doesn’t mean it’s the right love for you.
  2. Stop reading into things and just ask already. 
  3. Life isn’t too short. Just make smarter decisions. You know which ones those are.
  4. I will never get to as many baseball games as I intend to during the season but I’ll imagine being at the ballpark during the entire offseason. Somehow, this all works out.
  5. On that note: ballpark dog beats NYC street corner dog. Paws down. Thanks for that lesson, Ben.
  6. I’ll never grow tired of laughing at my own jokes. See previous pun hilarity.
  7. Never underestimate the power of intellectual and emotional attraction. 
  8. At some point, you pull the trigger. Because you realize that you’re not repeating history by doing so. You’re living your life. And the outcomes of their decisions do not predict the future of yours.
  9. Records, a wood-burning fireplace and a bottle of wine will never go out of style.
  10. Heat makes everything hotter. And that’s a very good thing.
  11. Community theatre is a lot like the minors. Except for the fact that these players rarely will have a shot at the majors. But you still go because you support the arts, you get to watch your son in awe as the curtains open and it’s cheap as hell. (The only downside: no cold beer.)
  12. At some point, I became satisfied with “it’s the thought that counts.” But when you’re talented enough to move past the thought, it’s a waste if you don’t.
  13. Don’t be wasteful.
  14. A day will come when you’ll want to remind your **edited for content and the need to maintain important familial relationships**
  15. Stop skimming and start reading. It doesn’t count if you can’t recall most of it. Guilty as charged.
  16. TV might eliminate the silence but it can’t eliminate the loneliness.
  17. A “Like” doesn’t constitute a “love” nor does a lack of a “Like” constitute a lack of love. So just cool it. 
  18. Choosing to communicate tough or hurtful things over text will continue to be the demise of the modern-day relationship.
  19. If you have the ability to make someone’s day by telling them how you feel, why the fuck wouldn’t you? Say what you feel. And say the good stuff. It’ll feel great to everyone involved.
  20. It’s a choice to react with patience or with anger. It’s a choice to assume the best or the worst in someone. And it’s a choice to choose love over hate. While it seems like a no-brainer, choose wisely.
  21. I don’t ever want to be without a dog. I lost her before I lost her and I can’t stop missing her love and loyalty.
  22. Find out what makes him happy and never stop doing exactly that. But this can only happen when the pendulum swings fully in return. Fifty-one percent.
  23. It often times requires more courage to share than the courage required to create. But you get to choose the trees whose limbs you climb out upon. Choose those you know want nothing more than to hold you in their branches.
  24. Sharing your problems with others doesn’t make them their problems; it just gives them something to talk about when you’re not around. Share sparingly.
  25. It’s really not a choice after all. Choose patience, assume the best, choose love. Always… choose love. 

on finding one’s true self

The true self is challenging in both its power and its tenderness. Unless we are taught to work with its force and vulnerability, we lose our link to it. We rely more and more upon our false self, and become more and more uncomfortable with our true self. As this happens, we lose our ability to create, to play and to love. Kierkegaard said that ‘the deepest form of despair is to choose “to be another than himself.”

Think about it. And then go find her. 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/finding-love/201312/the-power-the-gifts-we-hide?tr=HdrQuote