Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Which I LOVED.
And looked dang good on me. It also helped that I wasn't eating real food and running almost every day for that endorphin-high, so my features were particularly gaunt (for me) (also please note sarcasm, these habits are not healthy nor endorsed).
Anyhow, rough times aside, I've been trying to grow out my hair since that last chop in May, and this picture shows (in shadow, I know) exactly how far that's gotten me.
The problem with some change, is it takes a-w-h-i-l-e for the result to manifest itself. Being patient through this waiting period can take a lot out of a person, it can cause them to look back, see what they could have with a few snips of the scissors and think, "Hey, maybe that wasn't so bad."
It can cause a person to look forward and get anxious for what is to come, thus forgetting to enjoy the fun things that can be done NOW... with their hair that is. Sometimes, it feels as though there is no change, when progress is coming steadily all along, centimeter by centimeter, but it does come, so in the meantime, enjoy the growth.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Sometimes your brain ain’t your best friend. Self-discipline is really friggin’ hard. Especially when your brain chemicals are gushing full-force telling you to do something that you feel as though you cannot stop doing. I think a sign of strength and maturity is the ability to stop yourself when you feel the most like you cannot. Sometimes this test happens when we are in a lot of pain that we desperately want to get out of, and sometimes it’s simply when we are in the heat of passion or we really want that glazed donut. The secret to everything you wish you could do, or could make yourself do, lies in how you behave in those moments. Do you decide you are powerless or do you decide you are not? Well, the secret to changing a long set trait is being successful just once. Walking the other way, pulling the emergency chord. Listening to a tiny voice inside yourself and changing course when you feel like you can’t.
The enlightenment that I recently had in my own life is this exact realization. People talk about it often and it doesn’t do much to tell another person. “Everything is up to you.” Thanks. Well, I can now see that everything you do is in your power. The key is to get to that realization and be able to access that power when you need it the most. It’s almost like tricking HAL when your whole body is over-ridden. But it’s completely possible, just try as hard as you can to remember to take a new step in the face of this overwhelming chemical urge. You just have to use that emergency chord. Just pull it. Whatever it is – calling a friend, walking the other way, running the other way, having a one-gal dance party. Just remove yourself from that situation and you will slowly regain chemical balance. It actually helps to run or jump or get blood into your brain; maybe hang your head upside down. When my chemicals take over, it’s usually because I want something to medicate myself, or my brain IS medicating myself with endorphins of some kind and they are very overwhelming and or seductive. It’s like we often want to let ourselves be intoxicated, not responsible, not capable. But in the end we really don’t want that for ourselves, we just think we do. It always ends the same way: disappointed regretful “defeat” that was in fact in our power to avoid.
I will summarize my steps again but more simply. When you’re in a place where you’re feeling out of control, listen to that tiny voice that’s screaming in your head to maybe stop and maybe not do this. Then enact your escape plan, no matter how silly and weird it is. Mine is running to downward dog. It’s kind of inconvenient at times, but hey, it works. As my long-time voice of reason put it, “It’s like being in the same room your entire life and realizing there’s been a door behind you the entire time.” Profoundly huge realization.
Stay nice and cozy and hoping you all have a wonderful Sunday.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
The last few weeks I've been counseled to live in the moment, not to worry about the future when I'm working on enjoying life, and more importantly not to dwell on the past. Be in the moment. I've also read a lot of articles and seen this video, just randomly for work or whatever, about how technology is becoming addicting and keeping us from being in the now. Now I am definitely guilty of using my cell phone as a defense mechanism, "It's okay that I'm here by myself and don't have anyone to talk to, I have someone very important that I'm texting (mom), and no, it's not my mother (yes it is)." But looking around both before the bands began to play and during the performance I was a little stunned at how many people were texting, or checking their phones for messages. The ones who weren't you could tell were into the concert, dancing like crazy, singing loudly to the music, occasionally stomping on my foot, and they were living in the moment, enjoying fact that they were AT a concert. The others, you could barely tell the difference of if they were at a concert, or driving in the car, or on their laptops at home nodding along and occasionally repeating lyrics. No joy.
(Ironically, I just heard my cell phone beep with a text message and had to search it out before continuing.)
One of my favorite songs was played while I had full view of both singers faces, and the foot-stomper seemed to disappear, or lose energy and I was zoned in. It was bliss. A lyric that has always meant something so distinct to me suddenly changed it's entire meaning, "This is what it's like on a fantasy/You put your life on hold as we interest one another." Coming down from my own fantasy has been long and tedious, but down I am coming. This isn't a sad thing, fantasies (in this specific case) keep you from seeing reality, you have a skewed perspective of other people, yourself, and your priorities. Real life has ups and downs that make those ups so much higher in comparison. The next time I'm tempted to jump onto a fantasy, I hope I can remember that real life can be so much more beautiful and lasting and important, and that can turn into something fantastic.
Third, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids? I don't even know. They were playing movies on two screens in the venue that were some of my favorites. ET, The Big Labowski, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. I forgot how much I love that movie.
Taking a look at the art of change. Not that I have experienced the following at all................ some boyfriends know how to make a damn good mix tape. New songs, new bands, new renditions, perfect hopeful and coupley lyrics.... ahhh you and me. The thing is, once that relationship is over, (again, I can not relate to this at ALL...............) those songs, that have become thereafter your favorite songs are ruined. They bring back broken promises, false hopes, memories, and self-doubts that never belonged there in the first place. So, I'm not sure how I'm going to continue with this, but I'm going to endeavor to make different associations for those favorite songs that have meant so much to me so I may be able to continue to enjoy them and maybe attribute them to something else great in the future. And maybe this is what happens in all break-up situations, new memories, and new experiences take the place of the old, and the old begin to fade in importance.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I cannot sleep because this week I've been sick and awake until 3 or 4 am for the past few nights in a row. I am starving to express myself, and I don't even know what I want to say.
Sometimes I study the plains of my face and can pull out each highlight as I simultaneously identify the shortcomings.
And that face in the mirror looks just as confused as you or I.
Monday, October 31, 2011
I went "home" this weekend, and on the drive out there I could feel my insides unhook, untangle, and I could begin to breathe. I didn't realize I was holding my breath. Just like when you discover you've fallen in love. A long awaited exhale you didn't know you were waiting for. This feeling of relief brought along an anxiety -- this is a place I've moved away from, and that I have to continue to pull myself away from as I grow and expand and as those people who make it home leave (in one way or another).
I'm grateful for the arms around my shoulder, the acceptance that I felt, the knowledge that though change happens in my life, there are those who knew me before who accept it along with me.
I hope that I can build a new home. And I mourn the slow loss of this old.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
My question is, does change have to be a conspicuous event?
I really get a thrill from chopping my hair in a drastic way, of seeing a sudden difference, picking up and moving, even buying a new outfit. But the changes that are REAL. How do they happen? I look at myself a year ago, six months ago, and am so glad I am no longer that person (though some may not see that difference) and I can not pinpoint where the change was made. On a trip home? During a funeral? In a hostel during a road trip?
I'm sure these landmark moments in my life impact who I am in some ways. But I think that it's those quiet moments where life is still. I can breathe in and out. Those resolute moments. That have contributed the most to who I've become, and who I am becoming. I'm grateful for age and experience, for the peace-of-heart that I currently am clinging to.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Changing is terrifying. Not all of us are in danger, not all of us are even trying to make a change in the world. But in our own worlds within the space between eyebrows and cranium we sometimes do set out to make changes in those places.
Facing opposition and going headlong into confrontation is necessary to effect real change. No one is going to step aside and take it gracefully. Heck, I can't even accept change on my favorite social network let alone in other aspects of my life. But I accept and move on. Just like those oppositions I face will do... eventually.
Side note on change...
When I was young I would see others crying in movies and think "well that's embarrasing" and sit with a stony cold stare. Now I cry at just about everything. I believe, maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me, I believe I've had to experience real pain (which is relative and may vary from person to person) to appreciate others' more fully. And the pain that I've had in my life is nothing compared with so many others. I cannot imagine how they cope, but am grateful for that example.
Monday, October 17, 2011
I've been seeing glimpses of goals becoming reality. Of the change in myself. I like it. And I am more determined that it is possible. Reinvention is doable without feeling a loss... but feeling a growth. Reinvention is a weird word, one of too much intention and forethought. But if you notice that you make one small goal, and move forward in accomplishing it, other things fall into place, backs straighten, shoulders square, knees forget to wobble.
I am so woefully behind in everything I want to do yet. Today is a weird day to be typing this since I've just been wading in my own inadequacies and I need to remember to hold onto that thought. That I can become what I envision, and I am capable of doing what I want. Regardless of expectation.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Why do people move? What makes them uproot and leave everything they've known for a great unknown beyond the horizon? Why climb this Mount Everest of formalities that makes you feel like a beggar? Why enter this jungle of foreignness where everything is new, strange and difficult?
The answer is the same the world over: people move in the hope of a better life.
I was raised with this fear of public transportation, this rule of anyone who takes it is a bum, druggy, crazy, don't-talk-to-them-or-make-eye-contact. You will be raped, murdered, molested, and accosted. So it takes a moment for me to realize that the creeper/bum with brown eyes isn't trying to find out my schedule so he can jump out of the dark on my way home. He just wants to talk about the book I'm reading. He caught me on the train ride between internship and shave-them-legs-at-a-public-bathroom so I twisted and contorted so he wouldn't notice.
It was nice to know that not everyone is a creeper. But I'll take my chances so next time a balding 60-something asks when I get off work and laughs when he says "Yeah, I guess you could say I work here," I will continue with my vague answers and walk in the opposite direction of work, instead of introducing myself and making direct eye contact with a guy named Marco Fox.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I have not resigned myself to Utah life. I love being in Salt Lake, it's kinda crazy and familiar and alien all at once and is just the energized place I long to be right now. But when I back up and think of where Salt Lake is located, and what surrounds me, I struggle to breathe and have the desire to rocket myself to the coast, to the south, to the moon.
Yet, I have never felt more like this exact location is where I need to be at this moment. So I'll just keep my view narrow at the moment and plow through whatever it is I need to do while here before getting that change from this change.
My internship is pretty much the best thing in the world. I am familiar with the content, and have been trained for four years to hone the skills to accomplish what is being asked of me.
My job is pretty much the best thing in the world. I'm constantly at a complete loss -- information glides over my brain like water over a glass dome. But the people, the atmosphere, and the moments when those drops of water permeate through, it's just the best. I look forward to feeling productive, in the meantime I'm thankful for YouTube.com.
This experience has been perfect to illustrate that change is hard, uncomfortable, and tiring. But it can feel so right at the same time. I do not want to go back, and I'm trying to see the time when this will be just as good as I have felt in the past, like how I feel in my heart.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
As we drove from Pleasant Grove to Brigham City and searched condos, houses, and half-a-doubles, I was trying to imagine trading in a home I've made into a safe haven for some unknown. With noisy neighbors. Less square footage.
I've had several places that were home to me. A drafty narrow house built on the side of a river bank in Pennsylvania. A crowded apartment that smelled like stale spices in Idaho. Somewhere between two parking lots at the base of a hill in a teeny tiny town. And a young man's arms.
Each place had been hard to leave, and though I may sometime revisit each, it's never the same. There's been transition periods in between, sometimes lasting years. I know that I have out grown places. I don't know where my next home will be. My stuff is in storage in a different town. And my bed is wherever I can stretch out.
But a job is a good start. Thanks for the welcome, SLC.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I know that for me there are people who I am not comfortable with because I relate something in their gesture or attitude as not really willing to get to know me, to see past my clothes, to see past my words, and to feel who I am. Maybe these people don't realize this about themselves, or maybe the fault is in me -- I could be intimidated for some reason, or judgmental myself.
But in my mind, saying that I am not me because of the length of my hair is absurd. It's like saying "You are not you without clear skin," okay, so since it's hot and especially humid in Rexburg this summer and my forehead has a few more blemishes than usual, you're saying I must not be myself? I am me with or without that attribute. Long. Short. Bald. All of it is me. Maybe it distracts you from trying to get to know me? I am not my hair. I am me all over. You can not personify a piece of a person because we are all. I encompass my toes and my shoulder blades, the fat on my tummy. This is who I am. And I want long hair.
I turned in my two-weeks notice on Friday (and by Friday I mean Tuesday). I went to the school and tried to print it out on their computers (but the file was incompatible, so I waited). While driving there, I was filled with a sinking lightness and heaviness in my toes, the area behind my bellybutton, my finger tips, and throat. I print this out, and in two weeks I will not have a job. I will not have a job, and I will not have a place to live by the end of the month. I did not mind that the file was not compatible and I went to work and could pretend that nothing was different. Regardless, I knew it was coming while I sat there. Listening to the heavy machines puncture fabric and leaving behind a row of thick thread like a scar in skin. This was not meant for me.
I knew I was turning in my two weeks notice, I had dozens of applications in four major cities. Two fall back plans. I was leaving my job. And I'm leaving this state.
I have an interview for a job in SLC next week thanks to the thoughtfulness and connections of friends. I have five more days at a factory. I am looking at my pictures on these walls and I know they will be in a box in the matter of days, a week or two tops. I don't know where I'm going, or what I'm supposed to be doing. But I can make change happen in my life.
I can get up and go for a run tonight. Oh, I went running three days last week, and once already this week. I can do this!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
I can WORK IT. And by WORK IT I mean that I can make my humanly-flawed body do what the heck I tell it to do!!! Dangit.
When I was little I was good-naturedly teased by family that I ran like a duck which was "so cute." No big deal. But to my overly sensitive 10-year-old self I was devastated and mortified. I thought "I'll show them," and just not run. If we had to run to the car because we were late? I'd walk briskly at most. Playing sports? MMmm... nah.
Although I grew out of this mindset fairly quickly, in the back of my head I remained self-conscious about the way I ran. Even in college I would usually skip activities with friends that involved sports and running, and when I did participate I would have to battle inhibitions to not slow to a trot in embarrassment.
The second week of May in 2011 I began a running program. A beginners running program. For two months, three days a week, I would run, gradually feeling the difference as my body grew in strength and I grew in confidence. I played soccer with my friends and only thought about the sun being in my eyes and getting the ball from between the feet of my friends and into the net. How incredible!
My goal with all of this running and such nonsense is to run a marathon, or a half-marathon, when I'm 25. So next year. No big deal.
I'm going to increase difficulty levels every six weeks until I can push myself further.
Okay, now to the real embarrassing part. Agghhhhh..... So when I first started thinking of writing this particular blog post at the beginning of the month I was instantly hit with the lazies. Instead of running? I would take a LOOOONG nap. And that hasn't changed. Though, my goal is that tomorrow it will, it's a new month after all! I'll have to work up a little to where I was but I feel okay with that. As long as I keep going, it doesn't matter. I have great support in a long-distance dear friend who happens to have her certification in Personal Training and who will also be running with me in said marathon. I can WORK IT.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
In my own life, I've gone through waves and bursts of sociability. When I was young and the tide would eddy I was perfectly content with picking up a book for a few hours, doing a project, or just being on my own in whatever capacity. In college, and even for a time after while living in the same town, every night there was something going on. I went through my day knowing that, even if there were no plans being made, at around 7 or 8, 10 or even 11 at night someone would have something to do.
The hardest adjustment though is going from that high level of activity, down to a sudden lull that was not at all what you had in mind. Learning to be alone again can be a difficult thing. Lately for me, as I plan out my next move and am in the ever painful waiting game of hearing from a possible new job in a possible new city, being alone is being faced with doubts and insecurities. I'm apart from my wingman, old roommate, bestfriend and sister and have to learn what it is I want to do and how to do it without these people.
Step one was going to a concert last night and staying after the one or two people I was friends with left. A small step. Okay, kind of a cheating step since I showed up with people, and the band members were also some acquaintances of mine. But, consider, I didn't like to get gas by myself.
Today I spent mostly on my own, some moments were good, and some were a struggle. But as I was picking up the pieces of myself I let fall on my carpet, one of the band members had something to do. I would not have had company tonight if I wasn't alone yesterday. Just a thought.
Also, check out the Dorfman and Davis video below...
Thursday, July 21, 2011
My problem comes when I buy an article of clothing that I have been coveting in the stores for weeks, and I finally bring it home, wear it once or twice, eventually hang it up in my closet even. Then one day, I open my closet, and that amazing sparkling jewel of a top is sitting next to my navy cardigan, and some other obscure top that was once loved and I realize that the spark has faded. It's not from a store, it's not new, it's just mine. Like all the other things in that closet.
Another problem I have is that I hate laundry. I hate that the machines in my apartment building cost money and make my clothes smell like mildew. I hate piling my clothes in my car and driving them to the laundromat, sitting on hard benches for an hour just to shove them back in my car. So I put it off as long as possible. For two days I end up wearing a skirt with a athletic t-shirt, or sweats and a blouse. It becomes a desperate situation. All joy in clothes disappears as my options shrink.
Yesterday I did three giant loads of laundry, and as I was hanging the same old clothes up in my closet I felt as though I had options. Wait, this navy cardigan, that obscure top with this cami, ooooh and the belt from that dress from last summer!
Sometimes it's hard to see that we can work with what we've got to make change in our lives. Hopefully next time it won't take me so long to do laundry to see that I have options.
Monday, July 18, 2011
The latest entry I read was on The Law of Sacrifice. This article explains that attaining goals, and effectively changing one's self requires a price. As I continue through this project of recording my changes it was very helpful to be reminded of this law that this undertaking takes real work and fortitude. So I'm taking a card from the Gentleman's deck on this one.
I tried to be empathetic and understand where this friend was coming from. I've had similar experiences in my life; I did not want to remember times when I let myself down, or embarrassing moments, or hurtful relationships. Isn't it part of moving on, of getting closure? Forgetting who we were to make room for becoming someone new.
When I've had to move on from someone I've been close to (friend, flirt, boyfriend, whatever), the only effective way was to do my best to cut that person out. It's painful, it can drag on, I go through a whirlwind of blaming that person, feeling sad or angry, and hoping that someday it ends. And eventually, most of the time, it does end. That person is a distant thought that can be looked on with mild disinterest, the bad parts gone, glazed over, or just a joke. That association is gone.
But now, moving on from when we change, should we feel connected or disconnected? Relieved, or sad?
Who I am: Today I am a little more streamlined. The hair is considerably shorter, make-up in consistent modest proportions, style over all is unique but classic. No more combat boots. I still have a thing for unrequited loves but now they seem to have gained some complexity. Best-guy-friends will always be the most attractive. I have switched from fantasy and classic literature to contemporary and creative non-fiction. I no longer care about the popular girls. I have a Bachelor’s degree. I cannot bring myself to jump off a cliff. I love roller coasters. I need at least three hands to keep track of the concerts I’ve been to. I’m confident in who I am, I’m excited for change, I’m an observer, I can be outgoing... sometimes.
Who I will be: I will have long hair again. I will jump off a bridge, or a cliff, maybe. I will write more. I will read more. I will run. I will volunteer. I will have a job I can enjoy. I will be me, but a better me. I will have a better sense of who exactly I want to become.
This is not a goal setting post. This is just a further explanation of who I am, whether this is read by anyone else than me doesn’t matter. I believe that to move on from ourselves we have to be okay with who we are, not change because we want to be different, but change because we want to be better. Stronger. More comfortable with ourselves.
Change takes sacrifice to become something better. Sometimes we lose things we once cherished for things we cherish more. We move on from parts of our lives, from memories, people even, to have more life experiences. I do not want to be stagnant. I will not be tied down to who I have been, and who I have failed to become.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
There are many reality TV shows that follow the course of someone changing their life. We follow people losing weight, getting rid of collections of wine bottles, and there are at least four too many "finding love" shows featuring rock stars or just regular Joes. We can all relate to wanting to change the way we look, or improve our health through losing weight, or feeling bogged down by too many possessions, or maybe even wanting to find THE ONE. So we make lists, start a twelve step program, and a new grocery list. Sometimes while hanging out with friends and listening to toxic self-pity and negativity we are left with the overwhelming urge to get up and change our scenery and associations, even if it's just for a night. We change, we read a book, or go to a motivational speaker.
Other reasons people up and change being stuck in a rut, their job is unsatisfying, their routine has become monotonous; relationships come or go and change needs to come, the exciting euphoria that comes with a change to be with that person, or the necessary catharsis from changing your life when one is over.
The exact reasons why I want to change are not important for this specific post, there's plenty more time for specifics. I'm writing this blog as a... a focus, maybe I've been watching too much Sex and the City and think my daily life should be narrated too, but this is what it is.
I'm going to recount my progress of improving my life, cause that's what this is, an improvement. I'll remember the ol' times and acknowledge how I've changed throughout my life, giving homage to the 35 different SarahJo's I've been.
Here I'll keep track of plans and goals and how I want to change.
This is my banner to follow.