Paradise Lost

I remember when I looked forward to writing. I’d sneak it in whenever I could…in random notebooks, on various Word documents scattered in my laptop, even on PostIts.

But I haven’t actually written much of anything in a very long time. I’ve let work consume me, and in turn, forgotten what I was actually working towards. 

I miss it. My brain misses it. My heart misses it. And whether or not someone out there is going to read it, I have come to the conclusion that I need to force myself to find the time for it. 

To be continued…Image

The One Where I’m an Idiot

I’m an idiot.

Okay, in reality, my trying to foster the right type of mood for the writing I was working on was headed in the right direction. I consider myself pretty self-aware and know what changes my moods. Like my sister and a good friend both mentioned in the comments, music can be very influential. I couldn’t agree more. Music has soothed my soul for as long as I can remember. Even before I can remember if you want to go by my mother’s account of the excitement I expressed when John Denver would come over the radio.

On Monday I was way too chipper. The weather was sunny and fairly warm. I had lots of errands to take care of and the day went way too well for me to flip the switch to somber. Tuesday didn’t look any better. I was starting to hunt for the right CDs to edge me into a darker tone. Maybe I could draw the blinds and eliminate some of that glorious sunlight. 

And then…

Then the rain came. The gray, chilly rain. This seemed promising.

You might be wondering where I realize I’m an idiot. It’s about to happen.

I put on my favorite sweatpants. I make a cup of tea. I grab a blanket and the remote and get comfortable on the sofa. I found a movie on the Sundance channel that I had missed once before and as I watched, felt the clouds gathering over my head. Then it hit me…MOVIES. All my life I have wanted to act or have some involvement in the entertainment industry. Just like reading a book, you are watching a story unfold in front of your eyes. Your emotions are manipulated by what you are seeing and hearing. When I leave a movie theater, I feel like I was a character. My mood is fully enveloped in what I’ve experienced.

How did I not think of this first?

Between the rain and the movie, I felt myself sliding down a slippery slope to gloom. I opened my laptop and the words started to flow. New ideas struck in intervals along the way; the lightning that sparked my character into motion. It felt good to get all those scattered thoughts I had been having come to fruition.

I’m not sure if I’ll have to wait to be wholly inspired to work on this piece again, but at least I know what can nudge me into the right state of mind now. The facepalm from not using what I’m so passionate about in the first place was enough to knock  the sense into me. 

 

Pushing Boundaries

Let’s just ignore the fact that I haven’t blogged in ages. Deal?

Deal.

Moving on…

I’ve been trying to push the boundaries of my comfort zones in different aspects of my life. With any task, I can usually go only so far and pinball around in my own small space of familiarity. I ricochet off the same ideas over and over. But, how long before I hit TILT?

I’ve always fancied myself a bit of a chameleon. I take bits of what I see and know to help myself evolve. The problem is, I’m not finding my own way. When I recently started a project journal, I decided to stop allowing the lined pages confine me. I’m varying the size of my print, the margins and using words to carve pictures. For every little step across a line, I feel a little more liberated. And also a bit more inspired.

Creativity is something I always envy in others. Whether it’s writing, art, cooking, fashion, anything really. I’m always thinking, I wish I had that ingenuity. Now, I do think that this is not always a learned thing. Some people are just born with that door open. However, I don’t like limits and I do believe that you can be taught, conditioned, to a certain degree.

So this is my current self-improvement project. Pushing my boundaries. Letting my brain forget about common practices and finding what works for me. I’m hoping to pick up some forgotten art projects to give me a push in the right direction. That was actually one of my wants in a previous post. And as an update, numbers 2 through 7 I’m doing well with. I’m still working on 1 and 8.

Even if your goal is to write, exercising your mind in other areas helps you branch out. If I can pick up an old craft project, I can look at it and see how to make it better. I can dig in and clip here, add there. The same goes for my writing. Editing is like pruning the rose bush. Or adding a red stripe to that abstract painting. And the more I push my creativity, the better that final product is going to be.

*Please feel free to share how you boost your creativity in the comments. I’d love to hear your ideas!

I Want, I Want, I Want

Last week we went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I didn’t do anything. I relaxed. I laughed. I moved in slow motion.

It. Was. Sublime.

I went thinking, I’m going to read and I’m going to write and be productive in the most awesome of ways!

But, I didn’t read…or write. I watched this:

 

So, mostly, all I did was admire. And think. And I thought, What the hell do I want? What am I doing?

This is what I came up with, so far, in no particular order or necessity:

1.) I want a job. An honest to goodness, pay me regularly and not scraping for work or hoping this gig will last kind of job.

2.) I want to improve my posture. What? There’s nothing wrong with that. My shoulders are always so tense…I need to push them down. I’m working on it.

3.) I want to make some stuff. Ok, maybe this one isn’t completely specific, but with my impulsiveness in mind, this could include crafting, drawing, painting, redecorating and/or papier mache. Well…not papier mache. You get it.

4.) I want to be healthier. This one I revisit frequently. I’m exercising. I’m eating better. I’m a work in progress. I feel motivated with this one.

5.) I want to learn Spanish. I know Spanish fairly well. I read it better than I speak it. I’d like to be able to speak it without thinking twice. My best guess is this will include a lot of verb conjugation for me to master. Maybe after that…Italian. Too ambitious?

6.) I want to kick Anxiety’s ass. ‘Nuff said. Prognosis looks good.

7.) I want to soak up as much as I can. Knowledge. Movies. Music. Life. The point here is to absorb, not just admire in passing.

8.) I want to be a guest on the late show with Craig Ferguson. Okay. I know. This is completely outlandish and pointless. Maybe it’s why I put it on the list. Maybe I need something so unreachable to keep my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground. People are famous for nothing these days…anything is possible, right? I just REALLY fancy an awkward pause. (If you don’t know what that means, I suggest you watch the show.)

There are my thoughts. Don’t worry, I don’t charge for them. Not even pennies. Feel free to comment with your own wants. It feels good to put them in print. It also helps you feel more encouraged to go out and get them. 😉

 

 

Done Waiting

It was 2 weeks ago that I posted about how I need to step up my game. In writing and in life.

So, did I do anything? Am I all talk and no walk?

Yes, I did and no, I’m not.

Wait…you get that, right?

I started with a movie. I took myself to the movies. I went to a matinee to see Hangover 2. There were about ten other people in the theater, so I got to stretch out and get comfortable. (I’d like to add that matinee is prime time because if you heard a whole theater laughing, you may have missed half of the jokes as they were layered in one after another.) While I usually bring my own snacks in my oversized purse….ssshhhh!…this time I bought myself a snack and drink there. Hey, if no one else is gonna splurge on me, why don’t I do it? I spent two hours in worry-free bliss, relaxing and laughing.

A few days later, I treated myself to some new summer clothes. Nothing extravagant, but a few bright colored things from Old Navy perked me up a bit.

This week, I took my kids to the local zoo. Not a big city zoo, but a local one where we can still walk around and enjoy the day outside. The kids had a great time and I was at ease allowing them to run around and watching them ooh and aah at every little creature.

Tuesday. Tuesday was a big day. I took my son to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. My quest to spend more time in the city has begun. A bit nervous on the drive in, we made it there with no problem. I only freaked out mildly when I found out I couldn’t park in the usual parking lot in front of the building.

WHERE DO I GO?!!

Street parking…ugh. We found a spot, and the bonus? I didn’t have to pay for parking. Score one for me.

And even though the residual effects of the stress tainted my stomach for the next two hours, I managed to suck it up and make the most of the day with my son. We strolled. We admired. We wondered. He received several compliments on his hat; he has a fedora he loves to wear. There’s something elating about seeing your child beam at random compliments. We even marveled at our favorite room…The Armor Room.

All in all, I think I’m on the right track. The past two weeks gave me a boost and I feel like some life has been breathed back into…well…my life. I’m definitely going to take myself to the movies more often. And finding things to do outside with the kids will be a priority, as well. There are a bunch of playgrounds nearby. Maybe that will be next week’s fun.

What are YOU doing to live a little more? Let me know!

What AM I Waiting For?

I’ve felt a bit stalled. And stale. With my writing and with my life. I’m busy hunting for jobs. I’m running errands and cleaning house. The fun factor is very low right now. Not that life is all games and nonsense, but my personality requires a certain level of me that’s running on empty. And when I feel like this, I gravitate to this:

I was lacking in inspiration last night, and a very cool Twitter friend, Jason, gave me a hand. We played a little word association game to help each other get some ideas going. And in the process, I ended up being inspired by inspiration. The ridiculous word combinations reminded me to have fun with my writing.

I also felt a little push to my outlook on my life, as well. I’ve been feeling like this summer is going to be a big deal for me. Like things are going to happen. Nothing grandiose, but maybe some serious change that will be for the better. I’m also vowing to be more of me. The girl that wants to enjoy what she does whether it’s working, being at home, or going out with friends. Or even by myself. I want to go into the city more…that would be Philadelphia. I realized it’s a shame that I’m not enjoying what the city has to offer when it’s so close. Maybe I’ll get over that whole “I hate driving in the city” thing.

I want to write more. I want to have a good balance of work coming in that will include jobs that allow me to use my personality to enhance my writing. I’d like to pick up a gig as an advice columnist. I give a lot of advice. And it’s usually well appreciated. I have an ability to talk to people and see a problem from every angle. Maybe even start my own advice page to see how it goes.

So, off into the wild blue yonder…errr…interwebs? I go! And then into the yonder stuff. I’m not waiting any longer.

I Should Listen To Myself More Often

Me: What should I write?

Me2: I don’t know. Write about writing. That’s the point of this blog.

Me: Yeah, but I’ve been having a hard time thinking of my next entry. I think I have writer’s block.

Me2: Don’t be ridiculous. Just get to the page and let your fingers start typing. It’s what you do whenever you come here.

Me: What if my fingers won’t type anything? What if they have nothing to say?

Me2: Are you listening to yourself?

Me: Ummm….

Me2: You don’t need inspiration. You don’t need motivation. You don’t need a reason to write. Just sit down, stop being a baby and write.

Me: But I don’t know what to write ABOUT. I was thinking about an entry on how important reading is to a writer. I’ve been participating in some hashtags on Twitter with other people reading. It’s great for finding book recommendations. Or maybe the fact that I have writer’s block. I mean, what do other people do when they get it? I’m just not sure where to go with either of them.

Me2: You’re an idiot.

Me: What? There’s nothing wrong with those ideas.

Me2: You just wrote an entry.

Me: I what?

Me2: With all the fuss you made about what to write, you wrote an entry with it. This is your blog. It’s done. And you are still wondering what to write.

Me: …….

Me2: I told you. Let your fingers do the typing.

Me: Oh.

Aaaaaaaand scene.