You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2008.

“Laughter is inner jogging.” –Norman Cousins

If you want to do something similar to both, try the Wii. I admit, I was skeptical at first. I’m not much for video games. I usually get bored easily and I’m not very competitive. But my friends and roommates were all playing so I decided to give it a try. After a few rounds of boxing, I was hooked. We were swinging and laughing and completely out of breath.

Watching the next boxers go, it was just as funny to see how rediculous we all looked, punching the air, dodging fake jabs, completely oblivious to our surroundings.

It was nice to lighten the mood, shut my mind off, release and have fun. Hope you have a great Labor Day Weekend!

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“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” –Erica Jong

My decision to forgo all anonymity means I’ve given up the ability to be as open as I’d like about certain situations. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still express some of the effects.

Over the past year, I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster. Each time I’m on an upswing, life is great. Then comes the downswing, and immediately I run to a select few friends. I tell them all the messed up things that happend and how angry and shocked I am. At first, they’re equally shocked and angry with me. They commiserate, giving me all the advice I need to hear.

But then, without taking their advice, I’m back on an upswing again and I barely remember the down. Convinced everything fixed itself, I’m back on my merry way. Inevitably, the downswing comes back and I run back to my friends. By now they’re used to it, and though they’re still there for me, the shock factor has somewhat faded.

I’d be willing to bet we’ve all been in situations like this. We run to our friends (bless them) with our problems, in which they tell us exactly what we need to hear: dump him/her, get a new job, move out, etc. It’s reassuring to hear them say this, because it often backs our intuitive instinct. But throw emotions in the mix and the right answer is not always easy to follow.  So when’s the breaking point? When do we finally get off the ride and give in to the advice we know we should follow?

“In jealousy there is more self-love than love.” –François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1665

The only time I ever saw my ex-boyfriend get jealous was at a bar on New Year’s Eve. He said he didn’t care who I flirted with, as long as I knew who I was going home with.  Apparently exchanging numbers with a guy wasn’t OK either.

I know it wasn’t right, but I felt compelled to push his limit. Why would you try to hurt someone you love? In an immature way, I saw it as proof he loved me. His possessiveness showed me that he cared.

Through grown-up eyes, I realize jealousy doesn’t make sense. Real love is more about trust and free will. Being jealous means wanting something for yourself, not thinking about what the other person wants or needs. Yet, I think it can be a hard emotion to control. A difficult place we sometimes find ourselves in.

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.” –Christopher Morley (1890 – 1957)

Nothing sums up my dream for life so much as this. Too often I feel the need to be included. Being part of a group kills loneliness. But even more important is the need to be unique. What value is the same life lived by a million others?  Do something different and experience the world a little differently. Make your life stand out as much as possible, so that you know your existence left a different footprint than anyone else’s.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” –Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

Through some unfortunate events this weekend, I’ve realized that the previous quote cannot stand alone without this. (Uncanny how it was put to the test so quickly!) Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, true. But it does not neccessarily come free. Try as I might, sometimes there’s just no where to put the hurt and anger. You can tell yourself you’re forgiving someone, but what about the emotions? It can almost feel like a lie when you know you’re still angry.

So I thought about ways to help get past the emotions. It’s the only way to ever truly forgive. Hence Ghandi’s insight, it takes a strong person to get through their emotions and forgive. But here are some things I’ve found helpful:

Try to see things through the other person’s eyes. Can you figure out why they did it? You may not (or probably won’t) agree, but it helps to understand.

Find something to occupy your mind. A lot of people (including myself) like to vent when they’re angry. But this only catalyzes the emotional drama, reminding you what happened and keeping everything fresh. Going out with friends or watching movie can usually help distract me long enough to cool down.

Remind yourself that time heals. Obviously some hurts are worse than others, but over time you will be OK. You won’t be this angry or this hurt forever. Remember that and just get through today.

Anyone else have thoughts or tips? I could use the help!

“It really doesn’t matter if the person who hurt you deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” –Real Live Preacher

There are countless examples I can give where I have felt utterly wronged, and I considered bringing them up. But it’s not really nice to publicize old faults, and I’m sure each of us has our own. When it happens to me, I’m usually hit with shock. Sometimes it’s anger. Sometimes it’s hurt. A lot of times it’s a combination of both. Somewhere in there, my pride is damaged, too. It’s a horrible feeling to know someone was able to carelessly do me wrong.

But once I’m past the initial reaction, I eventually have to address the situation. In the big picture, there are really only two outcomes: Hold a grudge or forgive. Captain obvious says forgiveness is the right answer. But in the real world we all know it isn’t always that easy. Do we just let everyone get away with all the bad things they do to us? That’s when you realize that forgiveness is a two-sided coin. On one side, no one likes to have someone angry at them. But on the other, how much fun is it to BE that person who is angry?

My Minnesota guy

“The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.” — Jacques Benigne Bossuel

On paper, I had the perfect relationship: He was sweet, a hard worker, my family loved him. He was responsible and saved up to buy a house. We picked out all the furnishings. I had just graduated college and we had all the starts for a perfect life. I couldn’t complain…but I did. In my heart, I just wasn’t there. I loved him, but somewhere along the line I had to leave.

I’ve been in California for almost two years now. In and out of different relationships, I’ve worked and been frustrated over almost all of them. Sometimes, I think back to my Minnesota guy and wonder why I left him. And I wonder how I can care so much about guys now that don’t compare. Logical reasoning says it’s crazy. But for some reason I can’t explain, my heart just knows.

“If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music… and of aviation.” –Tom Stoppard

The obvious, is that Beethoven was a musical genious. Robbed too early of his talent, who knows where music would be today. But then you think about how chain reactions can have such a monumental impact. And how the death of someone of importance would make a much bigger impact than someone unknown. And how a single failure and fear could have potentially halted one of the most progressive human developments of all time.

Clearly, this wasn’t the case…and thankfully so. But it’s interesting to wonder what could have happened. Even more interesting, is to think about similar situations that may have stopped us from developing and moving forward. Where have we stopped short due to fear or a single failure? Likewise, can we use this idea to keep pushing forward, even when we feel like we should give up?

Profile of Time

Profile of Time

Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. –Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989)

It is said that Salvador Dali would hold a spoon above a plate just as he was about to sleep. As he began to doze off, the spoon would clatter onto the plate and wake him, allowing him to vividly recall the dreamy state between the conscious and unconscious.

Dali’s story was told to me in 8th grade Spanish class. While I can’t remember many of my bilingual skills, this lesson stuck. I found him facinating. I’m sure I’m not alone, as Dali is a world-famous artist. But the principles and ideas behind his work seem just as intriguing as his visual arts.

We all try so hard to live up to expectations. Whether they are our own expectations, or the expectations of our parents, our bosses, our friends or lovers. What if we pushed those aside and started following our own path? Dali’s method was radical and probably seemed a little crazy. But look what he was able to achieve. If we stop thinking about perfection and just took shots in the dark, who knows where we might land.

Four of the five girls I worked with at the club.

Four of the five girls I worked with at the club.

“The most decisive actions of our life – I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future – are, more often than not, unconsidered.”

–Andre Gide

An argument errupted outside of a Hollywood club last night, with around 20-30 people standing nearby. In a matter of seconds, a body hit the ground and flooded in a pool of blood. The next few moments were a blur as chaos ensued. When the six girls we came with with were safely together, we tried recounting the steps of the night. Who stabbed him? Where did they hit him? And what started it?

 All we could conclude was that it happened so fast. Helicopters and police cars were combing the area. Meanwhile, we learned the victim had a severed spinal cord and would be paralyzed if he even survived.  In that split moment of anger, lives have been changed immeasureably.

It’s strange to think about how many things we ponder over endlessly… what should I wear? What should we have for dinner? Where should we go out? Then in a split second, without a thought, the course of our future can be changed.

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