Archives for the month of: October, 2013

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The end.

Just kidding.  But seriously folks, this is one of the simplest life concepts to grasp.  Loving yourself is the first, if not the most important step towards happiness.  It is also the biggest hurdle to overcome.  Just ask me!  

Lady Lesson #25: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

I am so, freaking mean to myself.  We all know how easily I beat myself up.  I am quick to judge, especially when I’ve made a mistake or failed.  I am very quick to chastise myself and make sure I’m good and punished, yet it’s like choking on nails to tell myself I’m beautiful, or smart.  

Somewhere along the way, I allowed my inner light to dim.  I thought humility was polite and courteous.  “Thank you for the compliment, but you’re mistaken.  Here’s this other problem I’ve invented to prove it to you.”  I got in the habit of putting myself down because I didn’t want to come off as cocky, or arrogant.  I wanted people to like me, so that of course meant staying as far away from arrogance as possible.  Over the years, I’ve grown quiet and diminutive.  I’ve started believing all of the bad things I say about myself.  And now, I hold myself back from many of my hopes and dreams because my confidence is buried beneath the years of “humility.”

In the last year especially, I’ve learned that that sh*t’s gotta stop.  Yesterday.  I live in Los Angeles.  I’m competing with everyone and I’m not even my biggest fan.  What kind of position does that put me in?  Last place from the get-go.  The odds are definitely not in my favor.

My friend had a birthday party and there was this guy who was just dancing his badonk off.  He was absolutely intoxicating to watch.  I tried to figure out what was so special about him and it was definitely his confidence, but equally important was the love he had for himself.  He got a kick out of watching himself in the mirror, he almost had a flirtatious quality, like “yeah, I see you.”  To himself! It was amazing.  Later, when I talked to him he said that he had spent hours in front of the mirror, working on dance moves and praising the things he liked.  He loved his hips and his stomach, so he would practice hip isolations, simply because he liked watching himself.  

I was always the girl in ballet class who avoided the mirror because I hated the way I looked.  I missed out on so many learning opportunities because I was unkind to myself.  I’ve started doing flamenco dancing for a show I’m in and I’ve approached it in a completely open and loving way.  After meeting the dancer, I realized that the only way the technique would look good on me was if I focused on what I loved about myself doing it.  It made a world of difference!  I wish I could convey the powerful feeling I got from just loving what I was doing.  It’s indescribable.

Confidence and self-appreciation is key.  How do you expect to reach any goals if you don’t believe you can do it?  And I mean, truly believe.  Truly, deeply, feel it in your bones, not-even-a-bad-morning-could-shake-you belief.  That’s the type of love that is most important in your life.  The love you have for you.

I woke up this morning and was prepared to  berate myself for all of the things I haven’t accomplished.  For the first time, I stopped myself.  I said “you are not getting out of this bed until you say something nice!”  So I did that.  I complimented myself.  I gave myself a hug.  I looked at uplifting quotes and images.  I even felt compelled to share with a friend.  I feel so much better than I have in recent months and it’s because I made it a priority to start the day off from a place of love and care.  I’ve only been awake for 90 minutes, but I already feel great.  I looked in the mirror and said “you’re beautiful” instead of picking apart my face or judging my body.  I am seeing the positives.  It’s a freaking miracle and I love it.

It’s not easy.  At least it isn’t for me.  I’ve gotten along for so long putting myself down that it feels like a complete lie when I say “I love myself.”  “I appreciate myself.”  “I am a worthwhile human being.”  The hardest part about loving myself is that nothing is getting in my way other than me and my mind.  It’s such a simple command, believe in yourself, but have you ever tried to change your way of thinking?  It’s tough.

But it’s necessary.  

When you stop beating yourself up, you stand a chance at becoming your best self and that is a person everyone can love.

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-Jadey Lady

I’m sitting in the waiting room waiting for my friend to come out of surgery. See, he was in a motorcycle accident last week and his wrist shattered into 5 pieces as he rolled across several highway lanes. His knees and left hand also got pretty banged up. 
The reason? He was changing lanes and the car  he ended up behind didn’t like that. So she slammed on her brakes. To teach him a lesson. 

Luckily he’s okay. Thank God, those are the only injuries he suffered. Cuz you know, he might have, I dunno, died? Or something? 

People forget that every other person they encounter is still a living, breathing human being. As in human being, just like them. 

Lady Lesson #24: Think Before You Rage

The woman who brake checked my friend out of anger or revenge, continued to drive after the bike went down. Apparently she stopped at the next exit, but she called in to the cops because she was afraid someone had gotten her license plate and could identify her. All signs point to a horrible human being. I just had to say it. If I had her name, I’d shout it from the rooftops so she gets the judgment she deserves. 

Starting over. The woman decided to let her negative opinion of motorcyclists overpower her humanity. There was nothing in front of her.  There was no reason to slam the brakes other than to say “I’ll teach you to pull in close behind me.” Had she let go of whatever judgment she had, had she let go of her road rage long enough to realize that someone’s life was in her hands, none of this would have happened. No lost days waiting at the hospital.  No lost wages from the 3 months of recovery where he can’t go to work. No inexplicably high medical bills that really can’t be paid right now, especially without generating income. No heartbreakingly sad pitbull who can’t properly wrestle with his daddy, lest he cause more injury.  

This lesson is universal because all of our actions have consequences, but it applies on the road.  Road rage is  a real thing and as long as you keep it to shouting obscenities and grunting with your windows up, it’s fine. But don’t ever retaliate. Don’t slam on your brakes to stop someone who is following too closely for your enjoyment. Don’t make a point to show that car that cut in front of you two miles back how angry you are with them by returning the favor. Don’t touch your horn unless you need it! Sitting on your horn only makes you look like the asshole. 

There are plenty of aggressive, stupid drivers on the road. They’ll piss you off. But every other vehicle (and I mean vehicle, that includes motorcycles) on the road is operated by a human being. a human being with family and friends and people whose lives are directly tied to the well being of the driver you feel the need to teach a lesson. 

Be the bigger person. 

Ryan was lucky. Incredibly lucky.  Some people are not.  Be nice to motorcyclists. They aren’t the problem. You are.  Image

-Jadey Lady

Good friends are everything. Good friends will get you through the rough times. They’ll bring caramel apple suckers and popcorn to your emergency sleepover. They’ll make you laugh harder than any comedian ever could. They’ll call you out when you’re using your stress as an excuse to be a biatch. They’ll keep you on track with your career goals. They’ll keep you off track with your diet (but if we are being honest, we all secretly love the friend that bakes us cookies).

They’ll climb mountains with you. They’ll complain about it the whole way, but you will too so it works. They’ll celebrate the fact that it’s a Tuesday and they are alive by scarfing down copious amounts of margaritas and tacos. They’ll order a pizza and watch movies you both know by heart, all while offering a brilliant commentary.

They’ll pick you up from airports, train stations, bus stations, your mom’s house. They’ll wait for a tow truck to get your car that just caught on fire. They’ll fly across the country just to see you. They’ll take you to the hospital and they’ll pick up your prescriptions on the way home.

They’ll send you a text when you most need a reminder that you are loved. They’ll teach their babies call you “Auntie” even though there’s not a drop of blood between you.  They’ll put you in their wedding and accept your presence as their gift because a 500 dollar plane ticket and a 200 dress don’t leave much room for spending.

They’ll come to your rescue when you least expect it. They’ll drive from New York to Ohio with your aunt and uncle they don’t really know just so they can support you when you lose a parent. They’ll drop what they’re doing to bake you mini quiches and finish off a bottle of Jack Daniels. They’ll hand over the keys to their apartment without hesitation when you go through a breakup.   They’ll take the phone away from you when you’re too drunk to be calling your parents about it.

They’ll support you until the day they die, regardless of what happened in the past.

They will be there for you through thick and thin.

They will remind you that you are loved and you deserve to be loved.

Lady Lesson #23: Appreciate Your Good Friends.

They are the ones that will be there when everything is wonderful. They are the ones that will be pulling you up when the world drops out from underneath you.  They are your chosen family.

Take care of them.

-Jadey Lady

Recently I came to the conclusion that I had found “The One”. The Ross to my Rachel, so to speak.  Lucky for me, he’s got himself a girlfriend! Even luckier, he and this unknown entity have been parading around my thoughts and haunting my dreams. And they’re both super nice and sensitive to my feelings in my dreams so I don’t even have the satisfaction of being angry about it!  

I’ve been nauseous, like I’m constantly two minutes away from hurling, since my revelation of who he is to me and the subsequent discoveries of who I can’t be to him have not really helped my anxiety.  At all. 

Lady Lesoon #22:  People Ever-changing and You Cannot Possess Them

So I’m in my own romantic comedy right now. Or my own three season love arc on a sitcom. It’s that part of the movie or series where everything goes awry for the main characters. You know everything’s going to be just fine, but you have to get through all of the antics and feelings before they have the wedding of the century that’s all over TV Guide.  

As much as that dream of the big wedding, or even more epic, interrupting the big wedding to say “I object! I should have been with you the whole time, come, let’s drive off into the mountains together”, is, it’s not necessarily true and if it is, it’s not a guarantee. And it definitely doesn’t give me solace in this time of frustration. 

The heart of the matter is that we aren’t at the same place in our lives to be with each other. And as much as I want to, I won’t try to convince him I’m right. He’s his own person and I don’t own him. Regardless of what happens between us, I never will. And I have to accept that. Look, we both have grown a lot, and there’s still more growing to do. To have an expectation that things would just click because “you’re mine and I’m yours” is asinine. 

A lot of my hurt is tied to the deep seated belief/dream I have that we are meant to grow old together. I’ve been unwilling to let go of this dream and every second that takes me further away from it distresses me. I feel entitled to him. What? Now that doesn’t make any sense. Holding on to what can’t exist right now instead of letting the relationship evolve into whatever dynamic it’s going to be only hurts me in the long run. It also prevents me from fully engaging in new experiences. 

Through this I’ve learned patience is key. Not that I’m waiting for him necessarily, just being patient and having faith that life will work out how it’s supposed to. I’ve learned I need to rely on myself and love myself because at the end of the day, I’m the only constant.

Let people evolve. Be it a friend, significant other, family member, whatever. Sometimes they grow into even better versions of themselves. Sometimes they evolve into someone you really don’t like and need to stay away from. Sometimes they can only grow if you aren’t around. Accept it and don’t stress about it. Or at least try not to. 

It’s one of those listen to Mariah Carey’s “Butterfly” on repeat kind of days.  But also a Bill Withers “Lovely Day” kind of day.  Everything’s all akimbo.  That’s quite okay.  

-Jadey Lady

I recently had a conversation involving good monkeys and bad monkeys.  Anything involving monkeys is already a winning conversation in my book, just want to throw that in there.  You’ve got the good monkey on one shoulder, being the adorable voice of reason and you’ve got the bad monkey on your other shoulder.  He’s hissing into your ear “eat that Taco Bell!” and “chug that bottle of Jack!” “Slap her!”  You know, the fun things.  Now most people see this image as the angel and devil on each shoulder.  Whatever works, I don’t discriminate.

As I reflected on my monkeys (henceforth referred to as Good Monkey and Bad Monkey respectively) and how they had come into play recently, I realized that the main difference between Good Monkey and Bad Monkey is my focus.  Bad Monkey lives in the present.  Whatever feels good right now is what needs to be done.  Oh man, sleeping that extra 3 hours feels real good right now!  Whereas Good Monkey takes a minute, thinks “wait a second.  Won’t this keep me from getting things done and make me upset?  Perhaps I should wake up.  Yes, that’s it!  Wake up!”  

Lady Lesson #21: Listen to Your Good Monkey.  

I kind of touched on this idea in one of my earlier posts, so I may say some things that have been said, but are still relevant.  I’ve learned that I’m happiest when I make choices that help me in the long run instead of doing what just feels good in the moment.  I tend to lie.  About little useless things.  Mom hated it.  I shaved my legs once when I was young.  Mom saw this, asked me if I shaved my legs.  I denied it vehemently.  In spite of the fact I was wearing shorts and clearly had baby smooth legs.  Needless to say I was grounded.  It’s a bad habit I’m still breaking.  In the moment, lying feels right, but it always gets me in more trouble than telling the truth does.  I’m listening to the Good Monkey and I’ve found it much easier to get through the day.

But seriously.  Bad Monkey will be right in your ear like a speakerphone when you really need to think about the future.  In college, he’ll be knocking back shots at Happy Hour with you when you might want to spend more time preparing for your senior presentation that determines whether or not you will work right after graduation.  He’ll be inserting winky faces into those texts that shouldn’t be sent lest your significant other look through your phone.  He’ll be the one telling you it’s okay to rip the rearview mirror out of your car because someone pissed you off.  

Learn to hear the Good Monkey.  Good Monkey will save you heartache and distress.  Good Monkey knows what you want your life to look like.  He knows what you value and who you value and he will always work to maintain what’s important to you.  Bad Monkey just wants that cute guy to give you some attention and buy you another drink.  Bad Monkey just wants to win the argument at all costs.  He doesn’t think of the consequences and he especially don’t give a sh*t about how it affects other people.  

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is impossible to get through.  I tried.  A lot of people I know have tried.  But!  One of the habits is “Begin With the End in Mind”.  Know what you want, know your values and know them so deeply that they live inside of you.  Your actions will start to reflect those values.  It’s almost like you’ve picked your destination on the map (let’s say it’s Disneyland!) , so you stop wandering around aimlessly and stop taking detours to stupid small towns that take you further away from Cinderella’s Castle.  Good Monkey wants to go to Disneyland!  Bad Monkey is the kid in the backseat who has to pee every 10 minutes on top of being carsick.  

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I know I’m ready to hand the reigns over to my Good Monkey.  I’m discovering what is important to me and I’ll be damned if I let my careless Bad Monkey take any of that away.  He’s not really bad, just misguided.  Perhaps I shouldn’t refer to him as Bad Monkey as much is Present Monkey?  Or Instant Gratification Monkey?  Who knows, but maybe he’ll learn from Good Monkey and find joy in walking towards the bigger picture.  I’ve got my fingers crossed!

ImageSo befriend your monkeys, just think twice before taking Bad Monkey’s advice.

-Jadey Lady