YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG

IMG_1491Youth Is Wasted on the Young

If you could turn back the hands of time and go back to when you were 19 years old, would you? Consider that same scenario, going back to being 19, but not being able to take back with you all of the knowledge that you have gained today? Would you still do it?

It’s amazing how a shift in perspective changes things, or maybe it doesn’t.

My, my, my how introspective we get when a birthday nears. I am not unlike many folks who find themselves reflecting on the culmination of life choices they have made to date right around their birthday. What milestones have we met? What does the future hold? We may even be prompted to get a physical, or even a psychological tune up.

What brought this topic to the foreground of my memory is because just the other day I remembered being out with my grandmother many years ago. While we were shopping she looked over at some total stranger who was behaving badly shook her head in disgust saying, “youth is wasted on the young.” At the time I didn’t fully grasp what it is she was saying, but boy do I get it now.

What my grandmother’s wisdom revealed was a universal truth; by the time we have gained wisdom, knowledge and understanding to make intelligent decisions we are much older. When we age we slow down and lack the youthful vigor and idealism that typically accompanies moving the mountains in our lives. When we were young and had energy to spare we tended to waste it on things that we now know were foolish and meaningless.

When you’re young you often lack good common sense. When you are old you finally gain that common sense, along with a sore back, shortness of breath, the ability to sleep while standing up and a bunch of wrinkles.

Today there is a cottage industry that preys on people’s desire to look young again. They tell you that they can turn back the hands of time, for a price. But what they’re selling people is, in itself, a deception because they’re not selling youth. They’re selling the appearance of youth, and that’s something entirely different than youth itself.

In the end, in our western society where youth is seen as an invaluable asset, happiness, that ever so fleeting intangible, is what’s really being offered. The problem with happiness is very simple: it’s something that first has to come from within.

So as I hit the gym to squat, lunge and tone myself back into the long legged siren of my youth(Ha) I’m secure in the fact that I’m not there to waste my time trying to get something back that wasn’t there in the first place, I’m good as is.

F*@K CINDERELLA

While riding home from the movie theater last night I began to well up thinking about my current relationship situation. What triggered these not so heartwarming emotions was that prior to the start of the main attraction at the theater I was watching a trailer for Disney’s “87th” remake of Cinderella. My movie date turned to me and said, “Damn, how many times are they going to remake that movie?” I replied, for as long as girls believe in fairytales.”
So, back to my car ride home. What I began to remember was that, not too many years ago, I had posted on my online dating website profile a striking photo of myself. In it I was wearing a blinged out tiara and captioned it something Cinderella would say, “I want a man to sweep me off my feet.”

After the movie why was I at home with packing tape, tears and wine, boxing up my life “starting over again”? Clearly not a woman who was swept off her feet.
With much consideration, my car ride home became an epiphany. I fondly refer to this phenomenon that I had experienced as the princess syndrome. In other words, grown women prancing through life waiting for Prince Charming to make it “All Good”.
The reality is the story is B.S. in its essence. The “fairytale” or better yet “fantasy” sets up a faulty arrangement from the onset. All you have to be is pretty, sweet and gracious and a man will come along and rescue you?
If it were only that simple.
Has anyone ever considered that with the epidemic of fatherless daughters, how in the world would a woman even know what chivalrous treatment is supposed to look like if Prince Charming rode up on a horse or a Porsche, or a beat up Buick?
These idealistic girls who grow into women, have no real example of how to be treated or how to treat a man. For the most part they are clueless, beyond looking attractive, as to what constitutes qualities of a sustainable relationship between a man and a woman. What is to be expected of them and what to expect in a relationship is a mystery. By proclaiming, “I want a man to sweep me off my feet” when they have no realistic, tangible definition of what that looks like is a recipe for disaster.
The love of a father is a girl’s first true love from a man. That provides a standard and the embodiment of how to be treated. If you’ve never had a man love you unconditionally how could you possibly be equipped to know that what you are receiving is whole, complete and right for you? Therefore most “daddy’s girls” have a definitive roadmap, a watermark that they can point to and know with certainty “here is a standard that I don’t want my mate to fall below.”

Some women today discount the unique distinctions between men and women because so many times they have gone without. But those distinctions are real and have to be acknowledged for any real bonding and understanding to occur.

Conversely, a fatherless boy who grows into a man who lacks direction because he’s been deprived of any meaningful examples of how to love a woman, has no idea how to treat his princess and she don’t know what its supposed to look like either resulting in two lost souls, craving the unattainable, confused and disappointed in each other. Ultimately, there is no glass slipper, only razor sharp broken shards of glass scattered across the floor.
So Cinderella can take her sparkly slippers, ball gown, and horse drawn carriage and shove it, that broad lied.
TIARRA

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The Journey: Sometimes falling is necessary

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The roadmap of my life has a lot of unincorporated areas where nothing is mapped out yet. Just this past week I was forced to make a detour and I wound up at the proverbial fork in the road…..I’m wondering if I should use a checklist, call my pastor, my mother, Ghostbusters, anyone who can help. There are, as always, my instincts, which are readily available (and at times, unreliable).
Since I’m “Escaping From My Comfort Zone” I can’t possibly do what I’ve done in the past. I’ve got to be bold, take risks and step out on faith. I must make firm decisions and not “go with the flow” following along with people in my life who I’ve allowed to set the agenda for me.
I started writing this blog three weeks ago, stepped away from it because I was so incredibly conflicted about what to do and regrettably, had a setback. I oozed into my quasi-comfort zone and it was an utter and complete disaster. From the moment I ventured into it, I was unhappy, disappointed, regretful and uninspired.
Now I’m shoveling manure all around me trying to dig myself out of this hellhole.
Have you ever had a setback? Have you ever been in a situation where you made a decision that you wished you hadn’t?
The reasons that we make decisions that we are soon to regret is because our comfort zone has the ability to reshape itself. It’s like an ever expanding cape that becomes the size that it needs to become in order to try and cover the growing fear that we often manifest.
That is what happened to me. My fear grew larger than I had anticipated and, as a result, I darted back down one of the dark side streets of short sightedness.
I stumbled.
But, brushing myself off, I arose again. And, just like the mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes, I overcame and now I’m so excited that….in my next blog I’ll tell you why.

Is There Room For Individuality Within a Relationship?

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“When I was a dedicated married woman my wedding ring seemed to have the completely unintentional mechanical properties of a high powered industrial man magnet.”

-The above quote is another except from my soon to be published book

Is There Room For Individuality Within a Relationship?

Is it selfish to hold back a part of who you are in order to appease the other person in a relationship? This might sound like an absolutely absurd proposition, but it is, in reality, something that we all do everyday.

When it comes down to “keeping it real” in a relationship we all play the delicate balance game. At first we filter the person who we know ourselves to be from being the person we want our mate to know us to be. This is called the infamous “honeymoon stage”.

And this is not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about when you intentionally “dumb” yourself down in order to appease a mate who is extremely sensitive about their lack of exposure. I’m talking about being the type of person who is eternally optimistic but suppresses that reflex because their mate is eternally pessimistic. I’m talking about when you forego your dreams and aspirations in order for your partner to feel better about their complete lack of them.

How long can you keep wearing that mask before something breaks…..and it’s usually you!)

Being real in a relationship shouldn’t mean that you have to wrestle the other person to the point of their submission just so that you can be your genuine self. Yes, strong personalities often prevail, and that’s fine. But when that personality becomes the 500 lb gorilla in the room (and we all know that a 500 lb gorilla needs to be fed…all the time) to maintain your healthy relationship you have now become a professional at how to keep the beast fed and happy.

And you lose yourself.

When one person’s agenda becomes the sole focal point of a relationship it ceases to become one. In other words, when a relationship morphs into a bully pulpit it can only be maintained if one person surrenders while the other one conquers.

There is a special type of person that can maintain this type of relationship: delusional.  If you have to silence who you are to stay “connected” to someone then, well, good luck with that.

(And take lots of aspirin.)

If finding your voice in a relationship causes you to self-medicate, then maybe you should re-think your plan of action.

Do You Believe or KNOW You Can Do It?

Go to WordPress to read my full blog for this week-Here it is: All of the stories you are about to read are real. None of them have been altered or enhanced because reality, in this case, is much greater and far funnier than fiction. I have changed some of the names to protect the identities of the foolish, the lame, the weak, the brave, the strong and the downright sorry. The only name that I haven’t changed is mine.

I hope you enjoy.

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The above text is another snippet from my unpublished book. When I reflect on my previous posts here on WordPress and how I woke up one day; a day that I thought would be like any other day a did something different, I am filled with joy and validation. One simple act, that has redirected my course.  Something inside of me prompted me  to write the blog “Escape From Your Comfort Zone”.  I thought about the amount of vulnerability one must possess to expose themselves to the world, so to speak.  Various thoughts germinated in my mind, like “No one knows me, why will they care about my story?” and “You’re not saying anything that everyone hasn’t already heard before.”  One might also ask why I would feel validated when it was just 1 blog. I mean, there are tons of people out there blogging about everything from their children to cats to reality stars. (And many have rather large followings) By the way, I am on my way to having a large following. I say that with boldness because I know that I am capable. I have underutilized and undervalued most of my talent and strengths, until now. It isn’t necessary for a large following in order to establish credibility-although this society does base legitimacy on such notions. Simply put- I have created personal and professional goals for myself and a sizable audience happens to be one of them. Either one of two things happens when a bold decision is made, you allow chatter in your mind to talk you out of your decision and you retreat or you build confidence. I want my story (the flattering, the painful, the cowardly and courageous, the outrageously funny, the inspirational, the larger than life) to be heard by many, so that in some way it will help others to take their rightful place in the sunshine. It feels good out here. It’s my turn and I’m taking it.

No More Hiding

You can only be a relationship chameleon for so long before you hit the proverbial burnout wall.

-excerpt from my new book that I’ve finally found the courage to share and soon have published

Have you ever seen a toddler dragging around a baby doll? I mean, they adore their little raggedy, dirty, grungy ragdoll and have convinced their parents to allow them to take it with them everywhere they go. It gets cleaned up occasionally but for the most part it is a voiceless, defenseless thing and just travels along for the ride.

Have you ever felt like an inanimate object in a relationship? Whether it is a friendship or romantic union, have you been the ragdoll who gives up power, rolls over and complies with your partner’s whims, demands and rules?

There is always an expiration date on these scenarios, because no one can be untrue to themselves forever. When you suppress your voice, you actually can’t even be angry with your partner, your outrage should be directed towards yourself because while the other person was imposing their will on you- you never spoke up (expressed your opinion, weighed in on the topic or just flat out said, “No!”) Let’s face it; the only reason you’re here is because you’re afraid. You’re afraid that your opinion doesn’t count or doesn’t matter.

I’m living proof that sharing my opinion in a relationship actually gets me what I want. If you replace faith with fear, you can do anything-even find your voice. Can you hear me?Image

Up, Up But Not Too Far Away

Up Up but Not Too Far Away?

Have you been Hot Air Ballooning? Or would you prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. Where it’s safe…or is it?

I’ve been exploring what it takes to break free of the mental encumbrances that prevent us from being our very best. The barriers that keep us from taking risks, from facing adversity, from leaving bad things behind, from ending toxic relationships, or just walking away and hitting the reset button.

Hot air ballooning is a grand experience. I realize it’s not for everyone, but I’d like to use it as a metaphor for risk taking.

We arrived at about 6:00am to a meeting spot and then were driven to the launching site. As we rode over, I was so eager with anticipation that I could hardly contain myself. I knew we’d be doing an outdoor activity but the actual activity itself was kept a secret by my beau until we arrived at the meeting spot. Having you ever smiled so hard that your cheek muscles ached?

We pulled up to three shockingly vibrant, partially inflated balloons that were lying on a huge lot. I don’t recall the door being opened for me- I just rushed towards one of the balloons like a five year old on Christmas morning. The best part (aside from floating 4,00 feet above ground) was when the captain allowed us to walk inside of the balloon prior to fully inflating it.

After that treat, we were instructed to exit the balloon, given safety instructions and soon the true magic began as they finished inflating the it right before our eyes. We hopped inside the basket and then 1, 2, 3, we rose in such a way that I didn’t realize we had left the ground. Either we were with one of the most experienced captains in history or hot air balloon flights are just plain and simple … ballooning is smooth.

As we rose higher and higher, I filled my nostrils with the air because I felt like it was purer, fresher, better in some way. I savored every second of my time up there.

Momentarily, my perspective shifted. I vividly recall looking down at houses, swimming pools, grassy yards, people waving up to us and it was like seeing those objects and structures for the first time, when in reality I saw them every day.

Do you have the courage to change your perspective? Most people need motivation to demonstrate courage, others are hard-wired with a courageous heart and spirit.

I’m on a mission to change my perspective, expand my horizons and evolve. To literally and figuratively …go higher and higher, up, up and away.

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Have You Escaped From Your Comfort Zone Yet?

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Get me outta here! As I was feverishly, yet securely being snapped into a worn, leathery/canvass-like harness in the lush hillside of the Dominican Republic by some local natives, I was thinking, “Yikes, I am frickin terrified”, while simultaneously saying, “This is so incredibly amazing!” I was firmly thrust from the narrow raised wooden perch clipped to a thick wire, I then quickly acknowledged to myself that the extreme oppositional emotions I was experiencing were actually coming from the same place. I nearly crashed into the platform upon my first landing. Hey, I just needed a practice run to get the hang of it!  I proceeded to zipline through a total of 11 lines, having one of the most memorable and thrilling days of my entire life. The motivation that led to the outcome was the payoff! There was something inside of me that assured me that ziplining would be a phenomenal experience, one I would regret missing. And although fear was present, I wasn’t overtaken by it, thus I overcame it!

Thrilling doesn’t begin to describe my experience, but back to the fear. Let’s explore that for a moment. Sometimes we find it comforting to remain in a lull, a place of predictability and sameness. Kinda like a perpetual womb. THE most secure place we’ll ever know in our entire lives. But, even from the womb, we are thrust out when the time comes. That natural cue from the universe is that we should spend our lives progressing, improving and evolving by continuously thrusting ourselves forward.

What are you doing to exit the womb? How are you challenging yourself to prosper and progress? What are you comfortable with, but can do without to be more successful, more at peace? Look up comfortable and complacent in the dictionary and be sure you know and understand the difference. Don’t be so comfortable and stagnant, that you are numb to the idea of change.

Get out on that platform, by yourself and go.

Until next time.

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I Want to Be as Uncomfortable as Possible, For Now…

I once heard a wise man say, “Dissatisfaction brings about change.” How right he was. Problem was although I heard him I was too young and dumb to listen. So I went about my life making seemingly comfy and cozy decisions that only concluded with extremely undesirable and uncomfortable fallout. Many life decisions made on auto-pilot, just going with the flow, following the status quo, taking the path of least resistance. So fast forward to me now, a forty six year old mother of four, so full of wisdom, knowledge and understanding…and full of sh-t. (That word is certainly cringeworthy!) I say that because up until recently, and I mean within the last 6 months did I truly fully dissect my existence and examine it like one of the most gigantic, complicated, complex jigsaw puzzles- the kind that you leave in the box for a long time or place on a coffee table and work on for months to years, a few pieces at a time. Its been a grueling, painful, funny, embarrassing, ridiculous, unbelievable journey. Damn, journey sounds so cliche, but I do believe I’m a traveler and along the way I meet people, see places and experience things that edify me, challenge me, change me forever, until its all over. Why am I on this site literally pouring out myself to virtual strangers? Because I have to. I need you, whoever you are- to hear my voice… I just found it.

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PrinciPAL?: DPChallenge

He rises early; he has to be an early riser in order to arrive to school on time. He has forgotten what time to himself means. He wanted to be a school principal from the moment he took his first teaching job. And it wasn’t long before he got it. He was on a fast track and took no prisoners. Just three years in the classroom then an assistant principal for two years and then bam- a principal position opened up and as luck would have it, he got it. He was like George Jefferson, moving from a ghetto school in el barrio to the most upscale school demographically in the entire district.

Yeah, the kids were cool, but it was just like any other corporate job but with different customers, hours and pay. The pay would enable his wife to remain at home with his boys: The parents at his school were the toughest, most demanding customers he’d ever seen- nothing like the one’s in the casino where he used to handle marketing. In fact, he’d rather comp a busload of blue-haired bible thumping grannies than sit through another parent conference to discuss Johnny’s disruptive behavior.

And these needy, prima-donna teachers. Geesh, do they think this is a school or a country club? He had too many people to answer to in this monstrously humungous bureaucracy to cater to these teachers, parents, let alone the students. Crazy huh?