Monday, October 25, 2010

P.S. I Love You or DIY: My Confessions

The thing about secrets is that, good or bad, they add a kind of tension to your life that can be addicting.  Some people are all about the drama, the gossip, creating secrets to keep themselves occupied. Others are completely bland--at least externally, the kind of people one couldn't imagine having secrets. But we all know still waters run deep. A secret is by its nature something that can keep people apart or hold them together, creating relationships you might never have under other circumstances. They can cause you to be, and do, and act completely out of character. How many of us have secrets from each other, about each other that'd we'd never share because having a secret gives us- even if only in our own sight, importance?  I have secrets- not always good ones, juicy ones- some that are just sad, and some that are only important to me and might not even be worth the determination I hide them with. Some of us share the same secrets- a feeling  of invisibility, or loneliness. But who wants to be told that everyone feels that way some time? Secrets are part of our identity- of who you are. But, while your secrets might identify you, they shouldn't always define you. Who you keep a secret from or share it with- what you do with it, and how you handle it tells far more about who you are as a person than you know. No matter how well you think you know someone or yourself, you can always be surprised. And that's what's surprising, sad  and sometimes lovely, about us all.

Part I of My Confessions

1. I  have never been in love with someone who was also in love with me.
2. I have been skinny diving twice... and plan to do it again, because it's one of the only times I feel happy.
3. I have never seriously considered marrying anyone, because I believe any one who would marry me would have to be crazy.
4. I have seriously considered how I would commit suicide... and decided not to only because I didn't want anyone to be bothered with my remains.
5. I often dream of drowning in the ocean- it is one of my most peaceful, recurrent dreams.
6. I am more afraid of making bad decisions in my life than I am of dying.
7. I am afraid that I am the worst person I know.
8. I  have few male friends because men scare me.
9. I love cooking because it is a way to show people I care about them.  It is also why I rarely cook good things for myself.
10.  When I am alone, I often talk to myself. I am never surprised when the voice in my head sounds different from my everyday voice. The voice in my head is way smarter than me.

Take the challenge and send a post card to PostSecret- a really great community project where people can mail in their secrets anonymously and share their secret selves with the world. Send your postcard to  the address below, then check out the website for some seriously moving confessions.

Post Secret
13345 Copper Ridge Rd
Germantown, Maryland 20874 
Postcard size requirements- 4X6 inches

Trade your secrets and become who you are.

Frank Warren- Post Secret

P.S. - one secret I'm glad to share.  I love all of you- thanks for sharing my adventure.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Average Everyday Sane Psycho Super Goddess- or DIY: I'm Gonna Pump (Clap) You Up!

I'm slamming two topics together today with my usual witty (read: haphazard) writing.  I've decided that I need to get on the bandwagon and really visualize where I want to go in the next few years. As much as I've been contemplating (read: whining) about my situation, the truth is, I really have too many options right now, not too few.  I feel in need of some clarification about what I want to accomplish, and since my Magic Eight Ball is currently out of commission, it's up to me to make some choices despite feeling like I'm floundering in the dark. So, two things to accomplish today; look back at what I've already accomplished and decide what I want to accomplish next.  Earlier this year I did a Bucket List  of things I wanted to do before I die. While I've been busy bemoaning my current state, it occurred to me (after talking to my friends and family, all of whom said "get over yourself"- thanks for the support, guys!) that I really was doing okay in my life. I had accomplished things on my list and not even acknowledged them, even though they were kindof a big deal.

Let's look at the list-

Dee's Bucket List
1. Learn to dance-  the waltz, the tango, salsa- whatever.  
Check- I actually can do the waltz, and got a chance to dance in a little bar in Nagasaki City for my half-birthday. (Don't ask)

2. Go horseback riding on the beach- like on the cover of a romance-
      preferably with a guy with ripped abs in a poet shirt open to his navel. (grrrowl!)

3. Write a book- on anything. Just finish one.   
Check- I have written the book, it's currently in revisions, and hopefully will be available soon. 

4. Travel to every continent at least once. Preferably more than once. (and buy lots of tacky souvenirs.)

5. See an opera.  (Not the Gotterdamerung- too much Wagner isn't good for you.)

6. Read my poetry on stage -without collapsing in a puddle of sweat. 
Check- have already done this, didn't collapse, and might do it again soon. 

7. Adopt-even if I'm sure I'll suck as a mother (though I have a pretty good role model. Hi Mom!)

8. Sing once in public- again, without melting into a puddle of sweat.  
(I do a pretty good Tina Turner- "polite snickers in the background"-    ok, fine, maybe Nina Simone?)
Check- did this too- again in  a little bar on an island off the coast of Nagasaki. Tune? "Knocking on Heaven's Door"- --gospel style!

9.Buy a motorcycle- or at least drive one on my own. 

10. Start my own business- and get some good advice so I don't run it into the ground. 

11. Learn to shoot a gun- and hope like hell I'll never have to use one. But at least I'll know how.

12. Fall in love at least once more- and this time really pay attention,   
 instead of just drifting around in a  rose colored fog. Those memories might be all I have one day. 
  (okay- maybe more than once- if at first you  don't succeed and all that.)
Ummm- still working on it.

13.  Wear an itty bitsy teenie weenie bikini- but not yellow or polka dot. (Polka dots make me gag)

14. Go to a really great party- I mean a New York at midnight on New Years party,  
a Mardi Gras or Carnivale in Brazil type party- a   party and don't stop till three days later party. (and it goes without saying, be the life of the aforementioned party. Body shots anyone? )

15. Write a love letter- and get one in return.  
Check and check...Ok,  I still haven't gotten one in return, but it's a start, right?

Ok, so currently I'm five for fifteen- not so bad when you think about it.  So okay, some of the things on my list were a little...out there. But thinking about those things happening in my life makes me happy. So if you're gonna go, go big, even if your dream seems a little insane. Right now, I just have to decide what to do in my new year, which starts.....right now.  I'm gonna put together a vision board (yes, I did see this on Oprah and it worked!)  and will my life into shape. Last year my vision board had these main things on it- fall in love, write more than I had in years, start a cool new job, get in shape, and go to Japan.  Curiously, every one of these things happened, although not the way I had expected. I did fall in love, I have been writing more (helloo? blog?), I did find a cool new job,  and it  just happened to be in ...wait for it...Japan!  I don't know about you but I believe!  (oooooh- in scary voice).  So this years challenge?  

1. Publish the first (of many) books- before Christmas.(Plug- Black Girl At Large the book will be available online before soon as I finish the editing!) 

2. Make a decision about my next relocation- current top runners- Texas, Kentucky, Mephis, Tennessee, Kentucky, or Europe- send your vote if you like and reasons why would be good too!

3. Decide- business or culinary school- and don't vote for culinary school if all you want is free cake.

4. New relationship or adoption- or both? I'm not gettin' any younger or less selfish. That might be a hard one. 

Maybe when I get the new vision board done I'll post a picture, or you can send me one if you'd like that I can  add to the montage. It's time for me to get this thing we call life, off the ground.  At the risk of sounding a little crazy, it really comes down to a choice of which makes more sense- being stable or being happy? Before, one move, one vision, changed my life. Admittedly,right now everything's a little topsy turvy- but if I had to do it all again...I'd do it all again. So send me your votes for where to go next.  My vote is the same as always- if there's a choice between being stable and unhappy, and insane and joyful- I'll go for insanity.  Care to join me? 

For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. 
Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.
Jean Dubuffet 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

God Bless The Child That's Got His Own

I didn't know how good I had it. Two months ago, I lived in a fairly nice apartment, I had enough money to send some home every month, my rent was about 150 dollars (yes, really!) and I had a Japanese car that I  bought when I arrived for about 5,000 yen (around 500 US dollars.)  Then I moved home.  Suddenly, I feel like I'm paying to breathe, let alone move. The times, they a'changed while I was gone.  Everyone knows that the recession is over (no, really it is!)  But hard times are still around- it's just that those of us who maybe hadn't suffered before, now are- and we aren't doing it in silence. Forget the vast majority who has always had it hard. This is about us. (Please God, don't let someone completely ignore the obvious sarcasm and take this quote out of context. Then again, mid-term elections are coming and politicians are everywhere. It's their job to take things out of context.) At any rate,  I'm incredibly fortunate that I came home to a family who were willing to house and feed me with no qualms while I try to find my place in the new America. On the other hand, when I left, I had my own house, car, no student loans, and a job that gave me a structured life  and enabled me to hold conversations with other adults.  Despite the love, I kinda feel sometimes like I'm on house arrest. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers. And I am currently a beggar. It's amazing how I got used to not having cable, walking everywhere and not buying clothes, books, Starbucks coffee (but I did live for weekends in Nagasaki City, which had the closest Starbucks to my island...and a mall! So it took a two hour ferry ride to get there- it was a mall!) Now I'm home with, still, no job, although there are finally some prospects (wish me luck!).  This morning I lived the definition of irony... or is it paradox?  While looking online for coupons to go shopping, I was simultaneously checking my stocks.  I own a part of a company, and I'm still looking for coupons for Gain laundry detergent, because every penny counts.  BTW, those stocks? Worth about 400 bucks- maybe more if Microsoft's new phone  lifts the company's sales out of the doldrums. Yeah, I own Microsoft, baby. At least a couple of shares. It's incredible that that things that were once worth so much are now not even worth the paper they're printed on.  My house, which I bought as a young teacher, is and will be worth only as much as the market downturn. It seems to be stable now but ... My 401k- let's not go there.  It depresses me.  My bank account? Enough for now, thanks to a southern coogking mom who always happens to have "a little too much." But it certainly feels like I'm not where I wanted to be at this point in my life. I'm 33 years old and living at home, hoping like millions of other Americans that this interview or the next will be the one. I'm hoping that the next stage in my life is going to be what I've been looking for- productive, creative, and satisfying, filled with love and a little more certainty about what "it'" is all about. I want to feel like an adult again, fulfilling my goals and (love you Mom!)  living in my own space again! I'm so fortunate that I don't have the burdens that so many others are bravely carrying.  But Lord, what I wouldn't give to be able to walk in my own home in my undies again. (sorry, TMI) To have my own car, a job I love, time to spend with friends,  money to spend on foolishness, and to save. It's all coming, I know.  And I can wait. I'm blessed. To all those who are working to the same goal, I wish you good fortune and good (job) hunting.  After living in another country, I still truly believe that America is one of the greatest nations in the world. And we will lift ourselves out of our troubles again by depending on each other and working as we've always worked, for a brighter future for all.  We, (I) will rely on the great inner strength that we all have, and while I can't guarantee a chicken in every pot, I can guarantee that those who work to the best of their ability will always get it (what they want, not a chicken) in the end.

It is not wealth one asks for, 
but just enough to preserve one's dignity, 
to work unhampered, to be generous, 
frank and independent.*
W. Somerset Maugham

*Actually, I want the wealth too, but this will do.  Does that make me a bad person? :>


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