Category Archives: Reasons to Smile
I made a video blog awhile ago that I never posted because the sound wasn’t matching up with the video and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it so I’m going to try again, with the written word. I feel like this needs to be said because most of my close friends are going through difficult times and I have dried up my emotional resources. I have been crying at work every day because nothing I do it say helps them and a little voice at the back of my head is, once again, trying to tell me that I’m not good enough, that I’m worthless, that I don’t matter. But none of those things ate true. I know that now and I refuse to let those thoughts win.
I am enough. I matter. We all are and we all do. So this is for my friends. And this is for everyone out there who may feel lost or hurt or sad. You aren’t alone. I’m here.
This whole train of thought started with the stars. Do you ever look at them? Really look at them? They connect us in a way that we can’t even imagine. They are the same stars that your grandparents looked at and the same ones your grandchildren will look at and the same ones someone on the other side if the world sees. They are the past, present, and future. And what’s even cooler is that by the time their light reaches us they are usually already dead, so its like we are looking into the past while seeing the future. And we are all a part of them. The cosmic dust that falls to earth becomes a part of us is some small way.
We are all the same in that we are different. We get to made decisions and think and feel and form our own opinions and love and even hate if we want to. We are all beautiful creatures and…we all hate each other. We do. We hate the very thing that brings us together. Just because someone has a certain political view or believes in a different religion or has more money than you or less money than you or lives on the wrong side of town or…anything. We find all these different things to dislike about each other instead of seeing how beautiful it is that we can each be completely different from each other. We are unique. Each and every one of us. We are ourselves, and we can’t be anything else. So we judge. And we find something in others that we don’t like. And we dwell. But life is beautiful and amazing, just like us. But we don’t even like ourselves; we project our dislike onto others because, well, because we’re human. We are told that we aren’t good enough, or that different is bad. But guess what? It isn’t. Different is beautiful. We all have flaws. We all fall in love with the wrong person. Few of us are content with where we are in life. There is always something lacking in our lives. And that’s okay. But I think, what isn’t okay, is to hold onto all these insecurities and “downfalls” and allow them to fester.
I used to be so depressed I went to bed every night hoping I wouldn’t wake up and not just because I didn’t like my life or myself, but also because I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that nobody else in the world seemed to either. There is death and destruction everywhere. We start wars based on beliefs someone else has. Shakespeare said, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” And I think that is true. I won’t say that war is good, that is definitely false, but it was thinking that lead someone to think that a war was needed. Shit just is. Someone is going to believe differently from you but that isn’t a bad thing until you think it is. Now, it took me years to get to the point I finally reached a little over a month ago, but now that I’m here life is fucking fantastic. But that quote helped. Every thought I had put me where I was. I held on to every damn thing and turned it into a negative and I will be the first to admit that it was in no way healthy.
I’m not positive what it was but one day it just clicked and suddenly I understood what I needed to do, what I wanted to do, and how to get there. It may not work for you, but it may help you on the way to your own personal clarity. I finally realized and accepted that I can’t change the way people think, feel, or act, but I CAN change all those things about me. Instead of looking at everything in my life under a microscope and analyzing it I decided that everything I have ever done lead me to the point I’m at; a point that I’m not exactly happy with but at the same time could be much worse. I have a roof over my head, a job that doesn’t totally suck, friends whom I love dearly, an amazing family, and hope. I hold on to hope with every essence of my being. I truly believe that I will get exactly where I want in life simply because I want to. The truth is that nobody else will get me where I want to be, I have to rely on myself and guess what? I’m pretty frickin reliable!
Sure, life sucks sometimes, but when I get in that state of mind I just laugh it off and remember that life happens. All around us. Every day. Every moment, every memory, every experience is ours to keep. And we get to decide what we do and how we do it and what we take from it. We can take all the bad or we can take the good. Being broken up with sucks. Especially when you know they have gone back to someone else or are still in love with someone else. You tell yourself you aren’t good enough. You spend hours every day trying to figure out why that person is better than you when you KNOW they aren’t, when the person even told you that you were better! But you can’t change them. You can only change yourself. You can know that they missed out. Cry. Scream. Be angry. But don’t hate yourself. Because it isn’t you and you will never understand. You won’t understand because it doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t. Love doesn’t come with rationale. Love is passion and stupidity and intuition. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. At some point though, you have to realize that you will be okay. You will! Your heart is broken, true. But it will heal. And that scar will be there to remind you that you hit bottom and clawed your way back to the top crying and broken and in pain and unsure. But you did it, and you can do it again. The best part? You have all those memories – the good and the bad – to remember forever. The bad you will learn from, the good you will smile from, and together they will continue to build you and mold you and create you. I always told myself that I wasn’t good enough. I always fell into that trap. But I am good enough. I’m perfect, in fact. Perfectly imperfect because I’m me and I make no excuses for it. Nor should you because you are also perfect in all your imperfections.
Every day is something new to look forward to. You get to wake up and live however the hell you want to. This morning I was down and struggling because of my inability to help out my friends; nothing I do or say seems to make them see anything in a positive light. But then I realized that all I can do is continue to be there for them, continue to shed that positive light on every damn thing, remind them that they are amazing and I am lucky to have them in my life and everybody else should feel lucky too. I can’t fix them, but I can be there for them every time they fall. And that goes for everyone out there – if you are the one hurting or if you are the one helping a friend out, always know that someone out there has been through it and someone out there wants to help. Whatever you can do is good enough. Right now I can’t do as much as I would like because, as I said earlier, I have given a little too much and neglected myself. I am grumpy and easily angered. However I have realized this and decided that this weekend I will go on a small trip (more on that in another post) just for me so I can recharge, refocus, and come back ready to face any problem that comes at me or my friends.
If you are stuck in a rut, unhappy, depressed, confused, hurt, or anything other than happy take a moment to reflect on what happened to get you where you are today. Was life shitty? Is life still shitty? Every day come up with one reason to smile. Mine is generally excessive amounts of coffee because no matter what I can rely on there being coffee somewhere. (Seriously, you have to start with the little things.) If you are mending a broken heart, start off telling yourself that you aren’t done forever, simply that now wasn’t ya’lls time. That one day you will be together again. It may or may not be true, you honestly don’t know, so why not believe that it will happen? That’s how I got over HIM. I started by believing that one day we would find each other again, and eventually rationality stepped in and I realized that HE wasn’t my one, but that meant my one was still out there and if that isn’t a happy thought then I don’t know what is!
Smile because you get to decide. Smile because you aren’t alone. Smile because you have friends. Smile because you are alive. Smile because…it confuses people. Just start with a smile. Then you can move on to turning one negative into a positive every day. I started out small and am now able to do it with everything while at the same time annoying the shit out of my friends with my unstoppable positivity! Soon I will have rainbows coming out of my ass. It’ll be beautiful!
Anyway, I will leave you with a few things to remember:
The thing about goodbyes is that it’s the beginning of a new hello.
Broken hearts mend and become stronger.
Scars are there to remind us of what we’ve been through and what we can handle.
A smile can fix your day.
Positive thoughts help not only you but the people around you.
Life is beautiful. Live it. Enjoy it. Love it. Because you only have this one, so why not make it great?
And, as usual, I have to sign off with something completely insane even though this was mostly a serious post…May your days be filled with syrup chugging contests and buckets full of water, glue, and glitter filled water balloons to throw at those particularly annoying people you may encounter. Remember to always sing in the bathroom, never let anyone see it was you who emptied the coffee pot, and keep glitter handy to throw at people – water balloon or not.
p.s. These photos came from another blogger I discovered via Facebook. You should check her out: A.D.D. Music Mamma
It is time for Reasons to Smile post number two. Fair warning though, if you don’t like birds or squirrels this one might not make YOU smile. But I have a treat at the end, so just scroll down there!
#1 reason to smile to day? IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!! I am officially 24…but I maintain that I am 22, I like that number much better.
Today I thought I would focus on a day spent at the Arboretum with my mom and a friend. And the fuzzy snugglies we found along the way.
We began our visit with a nice picnic in the park area. One of the first things I spot is this guy:
You might not like birds, but I LOVE birds. From a distance. And not in my house. I especially love brightly colored birds and this guy was just too good to pass up, I whipped out my camera and, on über-ultra zoom, I snapped some pictures. As I always do, I named him, but I have since forgotten his name. Sorry little guy, you aren’t important to me anymore.
Anywho, the entire reason we came was to celebrate my mom’s birthday (I see a trend!) and I thought it would be fun to pack a lunch and enjoy the nice day. When we get there and start getting everything out of the picnic basket we notice something is missing… We remembered condiments, cheese, and even lettuce, but we forgot the meat. So, meatless and amused we compromised and had plain ole cheese sandwiches! And we decided to share them with this little fella:
I always want to lure squirrels to me when I am in a park because, not-so-secretly, I want to have a squirrel as a pet. Oddly enough my mom and friend were in on it and we began tearing the extra bread apart and tossing the pieces towards him.
At first he stopped and nibbled on his own scrumptious goodies and gave us a nice view of his manhood. I decided to name him Tedward because I couldn’t decide between Ted and Edward (this was before I had ever heard of Twilight, I promise), but called him Ted for short. As he sits and tastes his victuals, we continue on ours, hoping our nibbles of bread will lure him into our trap of cuddles and kisses.
Out of nowhere he springs into this position:
We assume this means Ted is on to us and is going to flit away, mocking our attempts.
But, no. Instead he does this:
Yup! That’s right folks, our plan is working!! Little Tedward is slowly making his way towards us, lured by food. If only we’d had Cheetos, he would have been in our laps in no time.
I remember when I was still under three feet and could count my age on one hand my family was in California and we were eating our lunch in some forest/park and the squirrels were not shy at all, they came right up to our table and took the Cheetos right off our plates. Like we had invited them or something. Maybe that’s why I want a squirrel as a pet, our mutual love of all things Cheeto-y…
Once Ted finished a few pieces of bread and gets within touching distance of our little picnic:
He turns around and leaves. So typical. Use us for food and then leave. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO STAY FOR CUDDLES AND KISSES!!
Knowingly this guy snickers, I swear, he snickered at us!
Him I didn’t name.
Once we admitted defeat we packed up our picnic and strolled around looking at all the beauty that nature has to offer. I would put up some of my Arboretum pictures but I am already planning a flower post and I don’t want to repeat pictures.
As we were leaving, we passed by our spot in the park and who do we see?? Our little Tedward, back for more!
He missed us. Can’t you tell?!?
You might not have smiled thinking about luring a squirrel into your lap, maybe you think they are rodents with fluffly tails. You are probably be right. But I also happen to LOVE mice and rats. Call me crazy! No, seriously, call me crazy. I promise I am. However, I have decided to give you anti-squirrel-rodent people something to smile at. Or maybe laugh at.
Ready for it?? I give you…
I give you Bear and Evi, respectively. Also lovingly known as Bearykins, Burr, Butch, Evikins, Evester Beavster, or Evel Knievel.
Now tell me you didn’t smile.
To end post number two I will remind everyone to never overlook the small things. Looking back, it is always the little moments, or the spontaneous trips that bring me the most happiness and make the best memories. Make every day the best it can be! And don’t forget to SMILE!!
For quite awhile I have been down and in a bit of a funk. My job bores me to tears and every day I take several deep-breath sessions to try and relax and remind myself that I only have two weeks left. But as I’m sure most people can understand, when you are unhappy and in a negative environment, two weeks can seem like a lifetime. I spend hours on MindBodyGreen reading articles that help for the most part, but…my heart is still broken and my memories always remind me of what I used to have and what I still love. When that stops working I write. When that stops working I busy myself with a crossword puzzle. And when that stops working, I excuse myself to the restroom for a short cry.
Today was a particularly bad day followed up by a migraine, so when I got home I was in no mood for anything that would make my day worse. After breakfast for dinner, a Helena Bonham Carter movie, and headache relief I decided to go for my number one feel good activity – a Guy Ritchie movie. I then had the bright idea to look through all the photos on my computer…honestly, I should have though of this earlier. There are so many things in there that made me smile or laugh (and a few that made me yearn for my lost love) so I thought I would share some of them.
There are far too many to share in one post, so, as a reason to force myself to smile again some time, I will break it up into several posts. Quite prudent, no?
Because I once worked HERE:
I went to school in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California (FIGHT ON TROJANS!!) and while there I was allowed to participate in the work-study program since I didn’t float in on a river of money, rather a train of debt. What is even better than this? If you aren’t familiar with Los Angeles I will tell you a wonderful fact, the Natural History Museum is located right across the street from the campus. Right. There. Neighbors of the Coliseum as well. Does it get any better than this? Take away the gangs and, no, it doesn’t.
Every day I worked I passed these beauties:
I named them Edgar and Bianca. (Bianca is the T-Rex, because that makes less sense.) I used to make polite conversation with them if I got to work early. Edgar was quite loquacious, which made Bianca jealous I think. That’s why it looks like she is about to attack him. Never get in the middle of a pre-historic relationship. It might end badly:
At least they will spend the rest of their days together. Bianca told Edgar, “I would rather spend the rest of my life fighting with you, than ever look at another creature.” Wish granted. Edgar would have rolled his eyes but he had better sense than that. So he continues to remain at her side – the perfect couple. We could learn a lot from these two, folks.
This isn’t even the best part. You see, right next to the Museum is The Rose Garden:
This view might be familiar to you if you watch Bones. Unfortunately it was not filmed here. Nor was it filmed here:
This is the Science Museum. Conveniently located next to the History Museum and inside the Rose Garden. I’m telling you, USC was the best place to go to College. UCLA sure is pretty but USC has some insanely awesome neighbors. Sometimes I would sit in the Rose Garden and read or do homework or just think…until I wold be interrupted by a wedding or some other event – for some reason people liked to use this as some kind of event grounds. Rude, no? But then again, when something like this happens, you kind of understand why:
It isn’t the best of pictures, but it was a really beautiful sight. It was one of those moments that made you truly appreciate life in all its beauty. Imagine sitting in garden, the sweet scent of roses tickling your nose, the low murmur of the bushes as the gentle breeze plays with them,the beautiful chorus of children playing and laughing, the water splashing merrily in the fountain, and then the sudden whoosh of flapping wings as the birds, in one swift movement, move on to something else; alerted by something only they are privy to. In that moment you feel connected. To the moment. To the world. To something greater than yourself. And you just know, it’s all worth it. These are the moments you tell yourself to remember. Remember and hold on to for times when life doesn’t make sense. When you ask yourself “why.” This is why.
And the Rose Garden doesn’t stop here with its magic. When my sister came to visit I happened upon the perfect angle in which to make an animal from a tree:
Isn’t it amazing how you can be walking along, look up, and find your five year old self making shapes out of clouds, or foliage, as it were. The ability to use ones imagination should never be given up. This happens to be one of my favorite pictures and it makes me laugh each and every time I look at it.
And last (for this post), but certainly not least, is the worlds most perfect rose:
Maybe it hadn’t bloomed yet, but that is what made it so beautiful to me. It was so soft, and the colors were perfect, and it smelled like what I imagine happiness would. It wasn’t intimidated by all the large flowers surrounding it. It didn’t care that it was different. It grew, and it was proud. I like to imagine myself like this flower. I haven’t fully bloomed yet, but I keep my ground, keep growing, and keep trying.
There you have it – A few reasons to smile on a day when crying seems like a much more cathartic activity.