Category Archives: Opinion

The Process

There isn’t a neat, concise way to accurately describe the last some odd months of my life other than that ‘it changed’. And did it ever change —as it frequently does. After coming to an impasse, I did what any introspective person hellbent on progression would do: I created an alternative path. 

I collected my lessons, and my belongings, and I moved forward. Small steps gave way to larger ones, and before I knew it, my life was different. What I once knew so well had become foreign, and what I had once not known became home. 

To an extent, I am over simplifying the process. However, that’s what life has always signified to me: A perpetual process consisting of highs and lows. At times simultaneously, and at times with the scale tipping in favor of one over the other. 

But the one truth I am most certain of is that my life is neither what it once was, or what it will be. And that there has yet to be a moment in my life that I could reflect on and say that I had not grown significantly. That I had not aspired for change, and had not achieved it. My plans may not always go accordingly, but they evolve and they adapt.

So, here’s to the past, the present, and the ever developing process that has lead me to & through them both. 

  

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Charlotte

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My original approach to this blog was to use it as a resource for my jewelry venture. I still create pieces. They go no further than myself & my loved ones but the intention itself was sound. I enjoy my other hobby, I do. But, if put in comparison with writing, that’s all it will ever be. My other hobby.

I wanted to gloss over portions of my personality and emphasize a portion that suited a ‘brand’. Promising. Sure. What I failed to recognize is that, at any given point in my lifetime, I have never been able to not be authentic, without omission, to who I am as a person.

It physically pains me to suppress myself in any degree.

So, I am me…

I have a smart mouth and a questionable sense of humor. At times, I speak without consideration.

I would take this time to apologize to all of those affected by my sarcasm but honesty is important to me. Suck it up, buttercup.

I am rough around the edges —oh, lord— am I ever rough around the edges. And, despite having a reputable vocabulary, my favorite words only have four letters. I use them like they’re going out of style, with a smile on my face. I am dry. I am poker faced. And to some, I appear disconnected.

I am connected. Deeply connected.

On the otherside, I am kind, I am lighthearted and I am good natured. I have a hunger for adventure and I am fun-seeking in most all walks of life.

I am a thoughtful person, who never forgets a birthday, even without a Facebook, and sets aside herself in a moments notice if another person needs comfort. I am loyal and if I love you, I will love you warts & all —unconditionally— always.

I have my pluses and I have my minuses. My darkness, my light. My yin, and my yang. I embrace my flaws as a fundamental part of who I am. I challenge myself to improve but I don’t seek perfection. So, standing in my own way makes little sense.

My undying desire to articulate my voice in writing will not allow me to restrict myself to the confines of a proverbial box. And while I would appreciate others enjoying what I have to say, it’s unnecessary.

Welcome to Me.

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The Business of Busyness

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Before dawn runs, rushed breakfasts, buses, morning meetings, brisk lunches, presentations, classes, papers written, homework, housework, sleep —rinse & repeat. It’s a rats race and the busiest man wins.

Or do they?

It’s irrefutable. There is constant bustle of never ending busyness. The top contender will be the one who has reserved sleep only for their final siesta. “Sleep when you’re dead.” This is for the betterment of the future… that elusive future date when all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. It’s coming.

They tell me it’s coming. It’s coming, right?

But what if it doesn’t? And what about the here and now? Does the importance of the future somehow negate the importance of the present? Is there somehow less value in experiencing the now? When is that on the agenda? Was that supposed to be squeezed in between coffees and TPS Reports?

Fuck. I knew I forgot something.

And, at what point in this grand design does the now become the then? Do the coordinates of “then” need to be plugged into my iMaps so I can route the shortest distance and arrive at my destination in a timely fashion, traffic permitted?

Shit. I think I took a wrong turn.

Consider this…

Consider the taste of the meal you consume; the wine you drink —do you ever taste it? The mornings you rise to; the skies in their distance —do you ever see it? The quality of the people you share your life with; the words you exchange —do you ever hear the words? Do you ever experience the moment?

There has to be some moment of universal acknowledgement that the now can not always be back burnered for the importance of the then. Eventually, irregardless of how many tasks you managed to both accumulate and/or accomplish, we all run out of both nows & thens.

Time is time — while you have it.

FOOTNOTE: This is a spin off from my “Finding Time” entry and the use of a morning run was for artistic purposes. I don’t run. If you see me running… you should, too.

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Finding Time

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Finding time —it’s no easy feat. Even if the hours in a day were doubled, there would still be stones left unturned. There would still be dishes undone, chapters unread, work to be addressed, and words left unspoken. Or, in my case, unwritten.

Oh, how pressing that is on my soul

Reintroducing school work into my schedule has proven to be a detour from my route to self expression. Putting my thoughts to paper has once again taken a back seat to my business oriented predisposition. Begrudgingly, I acknowledged that I was in the home stretch of my accounting degree and that that, above all, should take precedence.

Trust me, it was a hard sell.

Mind you, I am not a woman who shies away from a hard work but the monotony of a nine-to-five, combined with motherhood, homemaker, and college student extraordinaire can leave even the most devout overachiever pressed a bit thin.

Thin on time, thin on patience, and perhaps a bit thin on sanity, to boot. And I’m not even saying I had a whole lot of that to go around in the first place.

However, I stand by the fact that people find time to accomplish what is of most importance to them and they prioritize accordingly.

Don’t bother fooling yourself into believing that the reason you didn’t hit the gym for the fifth year in a row was because you didn’t have time. Inaccurate. You’re not fooling anyone else, so, why bother deluding yourself? Don’t excuse that relationship that’s fallen to the wayside as a matter of circumstances beyond control. You didn’t have time, right? Wrong.

Certain activities, people, and tasks simply rank lower into the engrained hierarchy of what a person is willing to accomplish with the hours they are given. But it’s a choice. Any way that we choose to spin it, dress it up, adorn it with a bow —whatever it takes to make us feel better— it is a choice .

A (expletive) choice.

That said, I chose both. (Or was that ‘all’?)

My academic work is an important part of my journey. I will not shortchange the impact pursuing a degree has had on developing me as a person. Not solely in expanding my knowledge database but, rather, allowing me to know myself and what I am capable of accomplishing.

Yet, solving figures only answers to the part of me that beckons for order. It allows my meticulous nature to take hold and create a pattern that never strays from inside the corners. There is one right answer and it is executed with precision, and packaged neatly in its perfectly shaped box.

But I need chaos. I need passion. I need the breath of fresh air that fills my lungs when I put my pencil to paper or use my craftsmanship to will art into existence.

I need both of these elements. Together, they work to help fine tune and pave my path.

And, it is with my overabundance of ambition and a dash of greed in tow, that I will embark on my never ending quest to overthrow Wonder Woman and reign supreme.

Wish me luck.

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Reasons I Don’t Fear 30

Thirty. Dun, dun, dun.

The word itself can cause an uproar in the hearts and minds of even the most collected of women. For some, it can feel like the end of an era. No more long nights of partying. No more casual recklessness. No more twenties. For others, this particular milestone can become a pivotal point where ‘past you’ swore that ‘present you’ would have accomplished (insert here) by this date.

If you promised yourself that you’d be a biochemical engineer or a homeowner by 30 and instead you’re waiting tables and sharing a small apartment with a roommate, it’s easy to feel like you’ve fallen short of your own expectations. All of a sudden your future self is your current self and you still haven’t earned that damned Nobel Peace Prize.

As a whole, we have a tendency to project things onto our future selves and, due to circumstance or choice, we sometimes fail to take the necessary steps to achieve them. It can be daunting when milestones knock on our door and we feel we’ve shown up empty-handed, failing to produce the desired results. We feel this way because it is easier to focus on what we haven’t accomplished because we’ve now reached the point in our lives that we once felt sure we’d have it all figured out. But here’s a secret: As long as you are trying, as long as you are learning and progressing, you are doing just fine. You are exactly where you should be. Just breathe.

However, should the impending doom of 30 cause an epiphany, seize the revelation. Take the steps, make the goals and work for what you desire.

I know that I have personally veered from the path that I once believed I would be on but I feel as if I landed right where I belonged. Each mistake has shaped me. Each decision has had a cause and effect. I’ve lived. I’ve learned. And *gasps* I don’t fear 30. Here’s why:

More Confidence:
Your twenties are a time of self discovery. It is in this decade that you try, fail, and try again. Hard lessons are learned as you create yourself. As a result, your opinions become more developed with each experience and you become more secure in your mental and physical being. With this additional presence, the opinions of others becomes less substantial to your sense of self. You become confident in who you are as a person simply because you know who you are.

More Respect:
The decade of your twenties are spent fumbling through life, trying to grasp the answers to lives complexities. Few look to you for words of wisdom and there are few places this is more prevalent than the workforce. While you are undoubtedly expected to perform, there is a preconceived notion of being a twenty-something year old. Although it is possible, few break this mold. Perhaps you are an old soul? Regardless, the stigma is still present. While 30 is far from old aged, despite what you thought a decade ago, there is now a sense of history. You have experienced a portion of life that you are expected to have developed from. Let’s hope that is the case!

More Knowledge:
Keeping consistent with lessons learned and developing from experience comes the all-encompassing knowledge. You have fought your battles. You have earned your stripes. With each additional experience, your knowledge base has expanded. Partied hard all night during the work week? Decided to incorporate the word “moderation” into your vocabulary. Spent your money carelessly? Stocked up on candles & Ramen and learned the benefit of a well thought out budget. By this point, it has become clear that actions beget consequences and you act accordingly. This growth is essential and paves the way for betterment. It assists you in becoming the best you that you can achieve. That’s all anyone can ask for.

While this compilation barely scratches the surface, there are lessons and optimism to bring forth into your next decade. Do not dread an end of an era but rejoice in the opportunity to have anew. Let yourself embody the growth you have experienced and find assurance in your presence. This life is the only opportunity you have.

Embrace it.

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Why I Deleted Facebook

I deleted my Facebook.

Understandably, this may not sound like much. However, we exist in a world where narcissism is more prevalent than compassion. A world where the word “selfies” —which I can only imagine is internet shorthand for the painfully self absorbed— has been added to Merriam-Websters. A persons every thought is uploaded at such rapid succession, that little is left to the imagination. It’s time to break the cycle.

Mystery & modesty have become dying arts. In their place is a platform to showcase your shallow assets, accompanied by “likes” that, despite their silence, cheer out as if you’ve received a standing ovation. As if the outfit worn was so great, or the comment so profound, that praise was merited. This reinforcement rings so loud in our minds, that this behavior becomes conditioned. And, subsequently, your validation has now been reduced to the thumbs up of others.

This becomes some grande parade of endless requests for approval and brand development, as if we were marketing ourselves to an audience. And that sentiment leads me to another all too blatant truth: If you are not the consumer, you are the product —in more ways than one.

Inevitably, we market our minds. “I mean, that status really was clever, wasn’t it?”

We market our appearance. “Pretending I didn’t spend the last half hour primping in the ladies room applying Revlon. #NoMakeUp”

We market our hobbies. “Just picked up a protein shake and headed to the gym. #LegDayBro”

And we even market our children. “Little Timmy’s reading at a third grade level and Suzie’s lead clarinet! #ProudMom”

Many of us have become masters of branding ourselves into that superior, superhuman version of ourselves. You know, the one that doesn’t actually exist? We are acutely aware of the differences between our own Internet personas and reality but blind to the fact of this same discrepancy in others. This bombardment of only the best & brightest moments can lead to unwarranted feelings of inadequacy. Even with the conscious knowledge, it’s hard to not to challenge an unsolicited and unwilling participant into a competition of comparison.

But, I digress.

And it is in this newfound time that I wish to become fully immersed in the activities that truly engage my mind; that soothe my soul and promote my growth. I hope to only seek validation from myself and from those few whose opinions are relevant. I hope to experience each moment with depth as it is occurring and without desire to broadcast it, or capture it, to share it on a broader scale. I want to appreciate and experience each moment for what it is as it is happening and for no other reason but to do so.

I want that freedom.

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