Archives for the month of: August, 2013

As I cleaned out my bedroom at my parents’ house, I came across a few gems in my CD collection.  I mean, do you know anyone else who is the proud owner of not one but three S Club 7 albums?  Probably not and if so, let me meet them so we can gush about how much we wanted Hannah and Paul to get together!

Now, I rediscovered Natalie Imbruglia’s Left of the Middle album.  You know her, she sings that song everyone hates, “Torn”.

Seriously, I hate that song, but the rest of the album was pretty good.  One song stood out to me, “Don’t You Think”.  *Warning, it’s incredibly late 90s, girl pop rock*

I’d always loved the song because it sounded cool in all of it’s 90s pop rockiness, but yesterday, for the first time, the lyrics hit me.

“Ignore reality, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“Secondhand opinions don’t make you look any smarter”

“You’re not affected by the truth unless it’s on your doorstep”

The song discusses how we are so focused on the superficial things in life that we don’t take time to look at what’s really important in the world.  As important as that message is, I strangely enough took it in a more personal direction.

Lady Lesson #15: Look at your reality and be honest with yourself.

Right now, my superficial reality is sitting on my cat hair covered bed in feetie pajamas, trying to decide whether I should keep writing or go for a run because I’ve been eating since Thursday and I don’t like how I’m feeling.  My actual reality is desperately trying to find something to do so I don’t pace from my room to the kitchen every 20 minutes out of boredom.  My actual reality is being surrounded by television for the first time in months and not wanting to get sucked into an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras because I know that it’s absolutely possible no matter how much I poo poo itMy actual reality is that I still don’t have a plan for when I get back to Los Angeles and haven’t worked towards any goals for a long time.  My actual reality is I’m falling into my unmotivated habits and I’m scared I won’t get out of this cycle.

My reality is one of fear and laziness. I don’t like it.  I’ve allowed myself to feel helpless.  “There’s nothing I can do here, all my friends are gone, I might as well sit at home.”  I’ve allowed other people’s opinions of me dictate how I feel about myself.  I haven’t been taking the next step to just tie my other shoe and because of that, I’ve become stagnate again.  My truth is on my doorstep. If I want to succeed in this life, I have to be honest with myself about my lazy and fearful habits.  Sugarcoating my actions does a disservice as it excuses them as okay.  Being honest about them and what they really keep me from accomplishing can be the catalyst for a positive change.

I have not done my best.  I have talked a good talk, but in all fairness, I have not done my best.  I have not made my success a priority.  I have not Killed Will.  In my head, I was patting myself on the back for little accomplishments that were in actuality, just par for the course.  Really looking at what’s in front of me, not with judgment, but with complete honesty, is uncomfortable.  It is also necessary if I want to change.  Which I do.

Also, getting back to the original intention of the song.  Look at the reality around you.  I know I have been paying more attention than I’d like to a certain performer/admirer of stoner teddy bears, vinyl swimsuits and shaking tuckus whilst bent over and licking the air.  There are real things happening out there.

One of the voice teachers from my school has been diagnosed with cancer and his health is rapidly declining.  He’s decided to forgo any further treatment.  It’s time to look at what is important in this world.  Let’s you and I have higher standards for ourselves.  Maybe we can improve the quality of the world.

It’s time you started thinking.

-Jadey Lady

Love for David Price was created by my very sweet voice coach Harriet Hill in an effort to offset some of the medical bills.  Help someone out today instead of getting that latte.  Any little bit is appreciated.  If you have the means to help out vocal teacher David Price, please go to the following link:  http://www.gofundme.com/3zkkt4?preview=1

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I’ve been away for a few days.  I’ve been thrust into the Maid of Honor spotlight since returning home for my sister’s wedding.  I’ve been going non-stop and today, the one year anniversary of my father’s passing, is the first time I’ve been able to really slow down.

Coming home has been an experience.  Coming home at this time of year has been an experience.  When I got on the plane I had high expectations for a relaxing vacation where I could clear my head and recharge my batteries.  I expected to come home and breathe a sigh of relief.  That changed about three hours into my flight.  As soon as Iron Man 3 shut off, it hit me that I was going home to a place that didn’t really feel like home anymore.  The foundation was there, the same 4 walls, the same city, (most of) the same people, but that essential feeling of ‘home’ was missing.

Lady Lesson #14: Home is a Fluid Concept

I’ve been all jumbled in the head because of this feeling that something’s missing or that everything has changed.  But if I really think about it, my home has been evolving since I was a wee little thing.  Yes, daddy’s death really made it apparent that things were changing, but he’s not the reason it changed.  We’ve gotten new furniture before.  We’ve had sisters move out, move back in and move out before.  We’ve had our favorite stores and restaurants close because Wal-Mart moved in and destroyed the local economy.  Every other time, we’ve adjusted and learned to cope with the new normal.

I’m faced with the new normal every second I breathe in the smog-less Ohio air.  The pain I feel comes from resisting the new reality.  I’ve walked around my house desperately trying to find that feeling of “home”.   I’ll go through my journals from high school to recreate those memories of innocence and irresponsibility.  I’ll put off cleaning my room because, for some reason, I want to recreate the memory of when I never cleaned my room. I’ll sit in my dad’s basement office, covered in spiderwebs to recreate the memories of helping him design logos.

Grasping on to the past just leads to disappointment.  Reading my journals won’t send me back in time.  Leaving my room in shambles a la Jade circa 2001 won’t take away any of my responsibilities.  Sitting in that dirty office that he never even used in recent years won’t bring him back.  The key is to enjoy what exists in the now.

My new normal?  A family full of strong women who are always supportive and willing to play several rounds of ‘Head’s Up!’ at any given moment.  (Download the app in the iTunes store.  Best 99 cents you could spend).  Nice new couches and floors.  A soon to be functioning guest room.  And a guardian angel who is with me when I need him most.

If I can just recognize and accept that home will never be what it was and that what it is now is pretty great in and of itself, I will be much happier.  My anxiety and sadness will disperse and I can breathe with ease.  Home is always changing.  It always has been and it always will be.  Find the comfort in whatever you can.  It’s there if you want it to be.

Daddy, with endless love.

-Jadey Padey

I woke up this morning with a nice big knot in my left shoulder.  The kind that hits you in your chest and your shoulder blade and sends tingles to your fingertips and makes it slightly painful to tilt your head to the left.  You know, the one that’s been aching for the past year even though I can’t quite pinpoint the injury that started it.  

I woke up this morning and tried to stretch.  My left hip decided it wasn’t having any of that.  My leg wasn’t having it either.  It made it’s presence known with one tendon stretched so tight it threatened to snap.  The odds of that happening were very slim, but that’s not a theory to test on a Wednesday morning.  Now I know what injury caused it, what I don’t know is when I lost the ability to work through it.

I woke up this morning and took a good look in the mirror.  Upon close inspection, I discovered tiny freckles where crow’s feet will plant themselves.  I discovered laugh lines where smooth skin should be.  I discovered dark circles under my eyes where there were none before.  Thank God I didn’t have one of those 10X magnification mirrors or else I would have been planted there for hours picking at my face, realizing that I’m getting older.

Hi, I’m Jade and I’m aging.

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Lady Lesson #13: Your Body Will Betray You!

My body started noticeably changing around 23.  I’d been out of school for a year, which meant I had been out of dancing for a year.  Let me tell you, 17 years worth of dance damage will catch up to you fast if you stop cold.  When you’re dancing and using those muscles every day, you don’t notice any pain, but when you stop, it’s like the Tin Man taking a bath.  You get rusty.

When my body decided to start seizing up and ache all the time, I noticed my skin was changing.  The texture was different, coarser.  The same went for my hair.  I noticed the veins in my legs were looking a little brighter than usual.  I didn’t know what caused it, but I didn’t like it and I desperately wanted to change it.

Here’s the thing though, aging happens.  It will happen to everyone. You cannot change that.  The people who try to end up being Joan Rivers.  Seriously, I saw a woman who looked like Steven Tyler last night.  I don’t think that’s what she’s going for.  The key is to accept that aging is inevitable and to not hate yourself for doing it.  It’ll come quicker than you expect, but it’s not gonna stop.  So become friends with it and move on.

But we are not powerless!  I learned quickly that this is my body and it’s the only one I’ll ever have.  I’ll be damned if I don’t age well.  I’ve been working with what I got.  I’m aching a lot.  So I stretch a lot and dance again.  I’ve got an “old lady hip” that catches when I walk and pops when I do high kicks to the front.  So I focus on loosening those muscles.  I get really tight in the morning.  So I exercise a little bit every day.  My metabolism is changing.  So I’m changing my eating habits.  My skin is being a little biatch! So I take care of it.  I wash my face at night after taking off my makeup (something I NEVER did) and make sure I use good skincare products.  I floss every night and brush my teeth twice a day because I don’t want to be the person whose teeth fall out someday.  

I feel so much better about myself when I take the steps to care for my body.  They seemed like chores before (seriously, I never took my makeup off) but now I see that they are just the maintenance tools I need to age gracefully.  I know I’m young, but it’s never too early to start paying attention.  

Like I said, your body will betray you and it will keep doing it until you die.  You may wake up and not recognize yourself.  You can pout about it, or you can be proactive and work with what you’ve got to create the best possible life for yourself.

Hi, I’m Jade and I’m aging.  NBD.

-Jadey Lady

I’ve been slacking this weekend.  I’m ashamed to admit “Kill Will” was not my mantra.  My mantra of choice was more like “Pace Around The Apartment Some More!”  You see, I was overwhelmed and I didn’t know what to do so of course I started pacing, because that always clears your head right?  Little did I know, pacing just reinforced the anxiety I was feeling about not getting things accomplished.  So I was on this endless anxiety loop all weekend.  

That loop stalled me.  I allowed my uncertainty of the next step to overpower me and lost an entire weekend.  The problem I see now is that I was thinking too broadly.  I have this big picture goal in my head and I see it.  It’s this shining beacon of hope, like seeing the castle at the end of a level in Super Mario Bros.  But I have no idea how to get there!  I want to get there right away and on the first try, but when I don’t see how I get frustrated and end up thinking myself into a coma.

Lady Lesson # 12: Take Smaller Steps

My horoscope is freakishly accurate on a regular basis.  Today is no joke.

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Step One: Get out of bed.  Step Two: Get out of the house.  Step Three: Start crossing off my to do list.  Seems much more manageable than simply working towards my life goal without any direction doesn’t it?  One step always leads to the next.

Take the next step.  The next step might be as small as tying your right shoe after you’ve tied your left one.  It seems obvious that that would be the next step, but that’s okay.  Think of it as getting a freebie!  If you have a goal in mind, be it buying a boat, cleaning your apartment or becoming best friends with Beyonce, look for the obvious next step and take it.  You don’t have to put that boat in your driveway first thing.  Open up your laptop, Google buying a boat.  You don’t have to clean the whole apartment in one fell swoop, you’d lose your mind.  Start in a corner, straighten up that area, move to the next small area until eventually the whole place is clean.  You don’t have to be Blue Ivy’s godmother just yet. Google Beyonce’s entourage, “run into them” at Starbucks every day, let your charming personality take it from there.  When you break it down into smaller steps, the goal becomes more manageable and attainable.

Taking the next step also frees you from your head.  Bonus Lady Lesson, your head is an absolutely terrible place to be.  It is the ultimate saboteur.  Don’t put so much pressure on what you have to do that you sit there and think and think and think about how you’re going to get it done. That’s how I drive myself insane.  That’s how I lose days. Sometimes you just gotta start by tying your shoes.  Eventually, the ball will start rolling and you will be clear headed enough to handle whatever is thrown your way.  

Also, pacing wears you out and leads to napping.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

-Jadey Lady

The following video has got me in a tizzy.  I came across it while helplessly scrolling through my newsfeed.  Take a second to watch it.

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/70534716, http://vimeo.com/shimicohen, https://vimeo.com

For those of you that didn’t watch it, to sum it up, all of this “social media” is actually destroying our ability to communicate.  We are so focused on creating this ideal image of us, this profile, that we sacrifice genuine connection and are in fact, quite lonely.

Lady Lesson #11: Disconnect to Make a Connection

Now I am GUILTY of using social media.  Wake up 5 AM.  What’s going on Facebook? Notification from Instagram!  Someone I don’t know likes my photo!  “The music is so good @republicofpie tonight.  Making studying so much easier! #lovinglife #goodmusic #mmmilovechai”.  Tweet.

While I do spend some time looking at other people’s status updates, photos and tweets, I spend most of my time wondering why more people haven’t liked my  status updates, photos and tweets.  I’ve realized

1) I crave the validation of people I don’t usually take the time to actually connect with and

2) I don’t value the opinion of my true friends enough to be satisfied if they’re the only ones who like my status updates.  It’s sad and I don’t want to be that person.

Before I gave in to Instagram and Twitter, I rarely took photos and posted them.  I lived my experiences.  Now I find myself seeing something and thinking “this is hilarious for Instagram, I should let the world know how awesome the beach is!”  Everyone knows how awesome the beach is.  I’m ashamed to admit I went to the beach to clear my head and I spent 15 or so minutes, trying to get the perfect #selfie.  You know, the kind that doesn’t look like you’re trying to take a #selfie.  Maybe I’m using Instagram incorrectly, but that’s the compulsion I felt.  Must let world know how I’m doing so I can generate likes and followers.

And hashtags! Oh man!  Just a way to get random people looking at our posts.  How often do you search hashtags vs post hashtags hoping someone searches for yours?  Sometimes they are funny, but those are usually ones that no one else has (ie: #dontwannaeatthiscupcakebutiateitanyway #whoops)

That’s not life! I don’t go out trying to generate followers.  I try to make genuine connections with people. Those are so much better than my online profile where I can present “Ideal Jade”.  What’s ideal is when I mess up and am human and my speech sometimes disintegrates into schmargenfargen.  That’s the beauty of genuine interaction, human imperfections.  The beauty in friendship is sharing your humanity, not just the pictures of your amazing life and super witty captions.  Sometimes, we aren’t perfect and we definitely aren’t funny all the time (I mean, I am but that’s a different story…kidding!) but if we would stop spending so much time trying to be, we might be able to get back to a more human place.

I’m not saying get rid of social media.  I wouldn’t do so well myself with that.  But look at your habits.  Are you trying to share your life with your friends or are you seeking out a perception of popularity?  It might be a little of both.  I am saying, call your friends.  Skype with someone.  Go get coffee.  Meet someone new.  Go out and communicate!  Just make sure you turn your phone off.  You can tweet about it when you get home.

#Jadey Lady

Or at least how to avoid being miserably poor.  This post is hard for me.  I have developed such a negative association with money that the thought of even talking about it makes me want to hurl.  No joke, my stomach is tightening up right now.

Last night, I had a dream.  I was in this fitness apparel store (something like Lululemon, but way cooler) and there was a dress I wanted.  I went to buy it, along with a few other items (I’m a sucker for a great sports bra) and  the clerk said it would be about $600 dollars.  “For a hundred dollars more you can get a pack of socks!”  All of a sudden I was surrounded by women whipping out their credit cards, throwing down thousands of dollars for glorified sweatpants.  And I was left alone, rent money in hand, but no awesome sports bras, loungey dresses or overpriced socks.

That is my kind of nightmare.  

despise talking about money.  I don’t have any.  It’s not a fun topic of conversation.  But I want so many things!  That means that money is a problem that needs to be addressed.  I don’t want to talk about it, but I do want to be able to walk into a store, buy whatever I want, and not look at price tags.

Lady Lesson #10: Being Broke Ain’t Cute

For me, being broke is the ultimate stressor.  As soon as I sense my emptying bank account, my entire demeanor shifts.  I am worried and agitated, I’m super sensitive (especially if someone asks me about finding a job) and I often end up crying about it at some point.  Gone are the days of frivolity and joy.  Now comes the suffering!   Now comes the scrimping and staying at home!  Now comes the ramen noodles!

Firstly, ramen noodles are not food and should never be consumed.  Seriously, it’s better to starve than to eat that styrofoam, even though sometimes it tastes like childhood and heaven.  Secondly, it doesn’t have to be that way.  It really doesn’t.

Jadey Lady’s Money Tips (That she doesn’t always use but would greatly benefit from)

-Educate yo’ self: If things haven’t been working out for you, try a new approach. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki is a surprisingly fun read and points out the habits that poor people have and how they hinder the growth of their bank accounts.  The Money Book for the Young Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman is catered to college kids and post graduates.  She explains how to budget, how credit works, how credit screws us over and benefits us.  Everything you ever wanted to know about something you never really wanted to know about.

Image-Seriously, read the books: It’s one thing to buy the books.  Read them.  It will only help you.  Bonus tip, if your dad tells you to read Rich Dad Poor Dad when you’re 14, you should probably do it instead of waiting til you’re at the end of your rope at 24.

-Always have a job that is consistent: I quit my job as a server because I was miserable.  I decided to dress up as Princess Jasmine on Hollywood Boulevard.  

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The first day was great, but then I quickly learned that the money was inconsistent and the people treated me like a homeless person.  (In Vegas, I’m a queen, but I could never live there.  It’s uninhabitable).  I dreaded putting on my costume and now here I am, unable to support myself.  Take that leap of faith, quit your job, and you’ll probably reach the same conclusion.  Don’t quit unless you’ve got something stable lined up.

Have fun!: Now that I’m on the job search again, I’m really getting creative.  What other ways can I generate an income?  How can I get a job in the field that I want?  What are my strengths and how can I use them?  I want to be out of the rat race.  How am I going to get to that point?  So get that day job because money makes the world go round.  It’s not good or bad, it’s just fact.  Accept it and work with it.  Use your spare time, get creative.  When you find that new avenue that excites you, going to your day job will be easy.  It’ll motivate you to keep working hard so you eventually don’t have to.  

Get inspired:  Instead of listening to the radio which is pretty much crap anyways, take advantage of all of those free Podcasts.  With just a basic search, you are bound to find one you connect with.  Life’s too short to listen to “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun Thun” , as catchy as it may be.  Check out The Money Pillow (http://www.themoneypillow.com/) and listen to the interviews.  Sean Malarkey interviews entrepreneurs who took a simple idea, made billions of dollars and no longer have to work.  Seriously, some of these guys only work 5 hours a month.  If that’s not inspiring, man, something’s wrong with you.  

Take help if it is offered: Pride is useless in this case.  This is a time when people want to help.  Take advantage.  I would never have been able to take the classes I need to get ahead if I didn’t ask for help.  I would be living in my car, or worse, in Ohio if I didn’t ask for help.  Someday, that help won’t be there.  Just remember that.

Money has no real power:  It’s just paper after all.  It is a concept.  Once you get a handle on it, you’ll be ok.  Money should never be the catalyst for a break down.  Understand how it works and make it work for you.  You don’t have to cower whenever the Money Monster is brought up.  

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You may be broke now, but if you educate yourself and make money your friend, or better yet, your employee, you’ll avoid that poor eternity.  Happy spending!

-Jadey Lady

 

After Earth was not a great movie, I’ll admit it.  But the movie’s epic billboards reeled me in and struck a profound chord in me that still rings true.

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The image would’ve had much more impact if it were larger.  My bad.  Anyway. Fear is a choice.  Unfortunately, it is a choice I make often.  I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t sadden me when I not only act out of fear, but then become aware of the motives behind my action.  I feel weak when I act out of fear and you know me, I’ll beat myself up for days because of that weakness.  Check out my previous post “Womp Womp” and you’ll read all about it.  (I tried to link to it but now’s not the time to learn HTML, so next time!)

Lady Lesson #9: What Will Said…Fear is a Choice

I avoid conversations where I might be involved in a conflict.  I don’t want anyone to be upset with me.  I’m afraid I won’t be liked.

I avoid going out with my resume asking for a job because I’m afraid I’ll be rejected.  At least with an online application it’s no skin off my back, right?

I avoid making decisions because I’m afraid I’ll make the wrong one.

I don’t know about you, but all of these examples bother me.  I see no strength or confidence.  I see a girl holding herself back, hindered by irrational thoughts.  I recently finished The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and what I remembered most was this:

ImageThe fear of suffering is far worse than the suffering itself.  Oh boy, I can’t tell you how many times I have dreaded calling my parents for money because I had built up this expectation that I should be able to support myself.  I believed they would be disappointed and angry with me, even though they always assured me that it was okay and they understood that I’m not quite there yet.  Regardless, I would build up this pressure and push it off and push it off until rent was due and my account was overdrawn and I broke down crying on the phone.  Every time, they would assure me it was okay and every time they would ask me to please, give them more time so that it doesn’t get to that point.  Little known fact, your parents don’t want to ever hear you in pain, no matter how old you are.  That fear I built up made the problem much worse than it was.  Mom, I’m sorry for putting you through all those stress laden phone calls.

There is so much I miss out on because of my fear.  Hell, I’ve missed out on the opportunity to belt out Adele in my car because I was afraid the guy next to me would hear it through both of our rolled up windows.  No one should deny the power of Adele (men love it too.  We’ve all done it).  I’m tired of it.  So I’ve started to really pay attention.

Sometimes fear is more obvious, like with the Adele thing.  Other times, not so much.  Like when you stay in submitting to crappy ads on Craigslist instead of hitting the pavement.  You think that you’re accomplishing something when really, you’re just too afraid to put yourself out there.  Sometimes the fear is holding back what you really feel with someone you love because you’re afraid of hurting them.  What comes from all of this fear?  Nothing.  More suffering if anything.  Your voice isn’t any stronger, you end up with bottom of the barrel job interviews, and ultimately you end up distancing yourself from those you care about.

Recognize that all of these actions are fear based.  You’re not going after what you want.  You’re running away from what you don’t want.  That only leads to emptiness and suffering.

Exercise your courage!  I am scared of a lot of things, but I want to be more like Queen Beyonce and you know she isn’t scared.  I test myself whenever I can.  Don’t want to go to the gym and try the free weights because that’s where all the hardcore gym buffs are?  Go and do one squat!  No one’s paying attention to me anyway.  Don’t want to make that cold call to a manager to try and get a meeting?  Call anyway!  Each time I do it, it gets easier and hey, I’ve gotten a few meetings out of it.  Find myself avoiding a conversation about cleaning the kitchen? Have that conversation.  I might realize I have to explain how to take apart the juicer.  Problem solved!  Terrified of singing? Belt it out! Find a way to make it fun and I’ll get better.  Each time you conquer a fear is a little milestone and eventually fear won’t be a choice you make.

Fear is a hinderance, probably the biggest hinderance you will ever encounter.  But it’s all up to you.  You are completely capable of conquering fear.  You just gotta make the choice.

-Jadey Lady

First of all, if you truly want to get in the spirit of this post, let this play in the background.

Lady Lesson #8:  Be Prepared!

“Well..duh!”  I can smell your thoughts before you think them.  I know this seems like a pretty obvious lesson.  We’ve been told to be prepared all of our lives, but how many of us actually take that to heart?  I really didn’t until now.  I mean, I always carried extra pens at school, but that’s mostly because I was a pen hoarder.  But here I am, 24, fully realizing the benefits of being prepared.

On a smaller, more practical scale, it’s just less stressful to be prepared.  Live in a city like Los Angeles or New York for a while and you’ll learn this.  Sometimes you don’t have time to go home between appointments.  Sometimes you stay over at a friend’s house after a party night.  Sometimes you run into Leonardo DiCaprio and both of you have forgotten your phones.  What’s a lady to do?

Look at your day.  What do you have to do?  What do you need? How can you make everything go as smoothly as possible?  Have you figured out what to do?  Okay, then do it.  In the long run, you’ll be thankful that you keep army pants and flip flops in your car.  You know, for those mornings you don’t want to grab your Starbucks in knock off knock off Louboutins and a sequined dress.  

ImageJust FYI-wearing this before 5PM automatically brands you “Walk of Shame.”  Ladies never walk in shame.

Wanna be prepared?  Here’s how!

Keep resumes and business cards in your car or backpack so you can whip em out whenever opportunity knocks!

ImageKeep your gym bag stocked and in your car!*

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Make a “Get Yo Sh*t Togetha Kit” and keep it in your car!*

ImageBuy lots of toilet paper and keep it in your car!  (Just kidding-but seriously, always have a spare roll)

ImageLook, there are a million ways to be prepared, these are just some of my silly favorites.  The main point I’m getting at is this. Being as prepared as possible just makes life easier, on a superficial level (much like the majority of this post) but also on a higher level.  When it comes to your goals in life, be prepared.  Do your homework.  You never know when you’re going to get the opportunity that’ll change everything for you.  Wouldn’t it be a shame if that opportunity knocked and you couldn’t answer the door because you were too busy trying to get ready?  Be prepared.  If you’re not, someone else will be.  

Someone said it best (the internet has conflicting opinions on who.  Typical.)  “Success is where preparation meets opportunity.”  That success could be as small as being able to touch up your eyeliner after an unexpected rainstorm or punch in the face.  Or, it could be being the only girl at Leo’s party who opted to bring a business card.  You decide.

-Jadey Lady

 

 

 

I had a lapse yesterday.  I was having a hamster wheel conversation.  You know, the kind where you talk in circles for 2 hours and never get anywhere.  It gets frustrating, feeling like you’re not being heard or that your feelings are invalid.  You want to be understood, you want validation.  Sometimes you just don’t get it.  Sometimes, you are completely misread and sometimes you are so determined to be heard that you’re closed off to the possibility that the issue lies in you.

Now, I’ve been having a really good week.  I’ve had some breakthroughs, I’ve reached new levels of acceptance, I’ve raised my level of awareness.  I’ve been happy and feeling like I’m on the right track.  I’ve been feeling really strong.  So how is it, that I found myself stressed to the point of tears as a result of a conversation with one of my favorite people in the universe?

Lady Lesson #7: Sometimes you take a few steps back

I think this is one of the most important lessons I’m learning.  Changing habits that have gotten you through 24 years of life is not an easy fix.  You may make the choice to change, but those old habits can kick in and next thing you know, you’re topping off your kiddie pool with tears.  It happens.  It’s not the end of the world!

I tend to think it is.  It’s so easy for me to fall behind and then judge myself.  Harshly.  “I should be better”, “I should know this by now”, “I’ve already learned the lesson, how could I be so stupid to get back to this place?” “I’m never going to change”.  Remember that vicious cycle I talked about?  This is it.

Image*from Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now

The key is stopping those thoughts before they start.  “But they just come!” I know they do!  It’s just cruel.  But if you can sear your brain with the belief that sometimes, you take a step backwards and that’s okay, you’ll be able to climb out of that hole easier.  Yesterday, I cried.  When I got off the phone at the end of my conversation, I took a second to breathe it out.  I allowed myself to be upset.  For the first time, I opted out of getting angry with myself for crying.  I then looked at the situation.  I looked at what was said and I asked what could I learn from this, but I did not once judge my reaction.  It was okay, I was okay and I can still move forward with a clearer head.

Taking a step back while you’re learning and changing your habits is going to happen every once in a while.  The only way it’ll hurt you is if you sit there and judge yourself.  Don’t fill your head with reasons why you suck!  You’re awesome.  Forgive yourself.  Eventually, whatever habit you’re changing will become second nature and falling behind won’t even be a blip on your radar.

Like I said, this lesson is so important for me.  I’ve got such a distaste for failure I’ll beat myself up for days if I detect it within myself.  I really need to remind myself that sometimes you fall behind, and it really is okay, just so long as you use it to propel you forward.  Just keep swimming folks!

-Jadey Lady

Nothing like getting out at 1230 in the morning and realizing you definitely haven’t eaten enough today.  We’ve all been there.  Starving.  Hoping some magical meal will appear in front of us.  Knowing the only real options consist of drive thrus and dollar menus.  Off to Taco Hell it is.  Big Mac combo meal with a Diet Coke.  5 Piece Chicken Nugget and a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger.

It tastes so good.  You scarf it down like you haven’t eaten in weeks.  You feel satisfied.  And then…it hits.  That lump in your gut.  The acid in your chest. The shame, oh the shame.  You know almost immediately upon completion that you’ve done yer body wrong.  Over the next few hours (depending on how quick your metabolism is) you’ll find yourself saying “Why did I do that?”  You’ll also find yourself getting real acquainted with the restroom.  (Bonus Lady Lesson,  the best place to store your puzzle books is in a bathroom cabinet!)

Every time.  It happens every time.  If it doesn’t, it’s because your body is used to this type of food.  Or “food” I should say.  There are plenty of articles detailing the contents of fast “food”, peruse at your own risk.  So when does it end?

Lady Lesson # 6: Food Flashback

Last time you ate Taco Bell, did you jump for joy?  Last time you ate a combo meal from McDonald’s, did you feel like a million bucks? Last time you dipped your fries into a Frosty, did you wake up feeling light and airy?

If the answer is yes then kudos!  I’m happy for you.  If the answer is no, as it is for me, then it may be time to reevaluate your late night eating habits.  Now I know I’m picking on fast food because it’s most readily available late at night and usually causes the most upset, but this can apply to restaurants and food you prepare at home, day or night.

Food Flashbacks come in handy when you are hungry but faced with less than wonderful options.  I’d been eating a lot of late night Italian food because Little Toni’s is the only non fast food, non Denny’s restaurant open past 11.  I would go to bed with a heavy lump of pasta and cheese in my belly, wake up feeling terrible, and be frustrated that I was sluggish and icky feeling for the next few days.  I finally made the choice to prevent  that horrible feeling from returning.  All it took was asking “is it worth it” before deciding.  The answer is usually no.

The long and short of it is if you want to feel good in your body, and I’m talking really good, you’ve got to put good things in it.   You’ve got to learn from your food mistakes.  Realize that, especially late at night, no food is better than bad food.  I’m not even talking about weight here, I’m just talking about the sheer joy of feeling like a million bucks and not being bogged down by cheese and fries. I feel so much more energized and light when I opt out of the quick food fix.  Bonus, I never even crave fast food anymore, though sometimes I could kill a man for some chili cheese fries.

Look, I just got out of a show and I haven’t had enough to eat today.  I’m starving,  but I’m not going to give in and get Jack in the Box.  The temporary discomfort of being hungry is far better than the alternative and if you really can’t handle it, go to sleep.  I’ll let my body work it’s magic while I sleep and treat myself to a wonderful, large breakfast tomorrow.  My body will thank me.  You do the same and your body will thank you.

Oh god.  I’m so hungry. Foooooooooooood…

Image

I guess I should eat this Taco BellImage

Oh god.  Why?  Why did I do this to myself?!

ImageThat’s always how it happens.  Remember.

-Jadey Lady

*Update-I’m not condoning not eating, so please do not misconstrue what I’m saying.  Not eating will make you hangry (so hungry you’re angry) and isn’t good for you.  I’m just saying, fill your body up with foods that will make you feel awesome :-)*