A Train of Thought
Here it goes:
I was shopping for a dress. Let me start off a little earlier. A friend of mine asked me to support him while he is at a funeral for his brother-in-law. Yes, My little black dress has been used a few million too many times for me to feel comfortable with considering wearing it just one more time, so I went shopping. So, I was shopping for a dress for my size 18 self. Mind you, for my age-43-I realize I'm in transition, Too old for juniors, too young for matron. That said, no matter what size you are, you should go to a swanky store like Macy's and see how designers have lost their imagination after size 14. Yes, I could just cut off my gut and fit in those clothes, but that might be a little painful. I digress. I was shopping and saw two things: I hate shopping for dressy stuff and clothes are expensive, even the ugly clothes. I got disgusted. Really disgusted. I don't know where it came from, but I began thinking of how the amount of clothes that I will buy will become limited. Then how the amount of shoes will become limited, then the amount of hours spent becoming disgusted shopping will...(you are now on that train, aren't you?) and how my life is limited. I am no longer young. I am no longer feeling like I've got all the time in the world, because I don't have it. Maybe Michael Jackson's death had something to do with it, but I'm feeling a ticking clock surge through my senses. I bet you hear it sometimes, too. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Yup. There it is, just a ticking away.
Daily OM Thought
Fuel That Nurtures
Eating Right to Feel Better
At its simplest, food is fuel. Though our preferences regarding taste and texture can vary widely, we all rely on the foods we eat for energy. Most people are aware that it is vital we consume a diverse assortment of foods if we aspire to maintain a state of physical well-being. However, the intimate connection between diet and our mental well-being is less understood. Just as the nutritional components in food power the body, so too do they power the mind. Some foods can impair cognitive functioning and sap our energy while others heighten our intellectual prowess and make us feel vigorous. What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.
Food allergies, which don’t always manifest themselves in forms we recognize, can also play a significant role in the maintenance of mental health. Thus, for most of us, even a simple change in diet can have a profoundly positive impact on our lives. Taking the time to explore whether anxiety, muddled thoughts, or inexplicable tension can be linked to a food allergy or food sensitivity can empower you to treat your symptoms naturally. The benefits of a healthier, more personalized diet are often felt immediately. Sugar, saturated fats, wheat, and dairy products are frequently allergens and can stress the body. For people that are allergic, consuming them can cause imbalances in the physical self that have a negative effect on the body’s ability to nourish the brain. Water, fiber, nuts, unprocessed seeds, raw fruits and vegetables, and vegetable proteins, on the other hand, support physical and mental functioning by providing those nutrients we do need without additional subs! tances we don’t.
A balanced, natural diet can ease mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, and mild depression. Intellectual clarity and agility is improved when the mind receives proper nourishment. Even those individuals who are blessed with the ability to consume almost any food can benefit from a healthier and simpler diet. Since the mental and physical selves are closely bound to one another, we must feed each the foods upon which they thrive.
Labels: Daily OM
Wide Awake Sleeping
Well, I said that I would start writing. With so many things swirling in my head, I'm never sure what to say. Most of it makes no sense.
Yesterday I read This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosely. It's a really good book for those who want to know more about elements of books that make books enjoyable to read. I read the 103-page book in a few hours--a record for me. I even jotted down some notes. I'm going to put a paragraph of what someone inspired me to write down here. Let me know what you think:
Uncle Pleak was not the nickname that she’d hoped for. At birth, her eyes were as big as silver dollars, as shiny as new ones. They somehow looked as if generations of secrets were sealed inside. The compliment was lost on her. The thought of looking like a man—let alone the fact that she couldn’t gain a pound of weight carrying a croaker sack of potatoes—just plain made her mad. With the other girls around her getting attention from the boys, Pleak got nothing from them but laughs and questions about other girls. Everyone took Pleak as one of the boys and she never thought things would change.
Daily OM Thought
We all have days when the bad things seem to outweigh the good ones and we begin to think that life isn’t fair. You get stuck in traffic, which makes you late for an important meeting, and then your car gets towed. You might ask yourself, “Why me?” Events like this one can test anyone’s ability to be grateful and feel optimistic. If you have a tendency to feel sorry for yourself, and many of us do, things usually progress to the next stage: the pity party. You begin to feel like the innocent victim of a dismal fate because you are seeing your life through inaccurate lenses. Most of the thoughts that run through your mind at times like these are not helpful, and they mainly serve to increase your indignation and feelings of powerlessness. What these feelings and thoughts don’t do is change your circumstances or make you feel better.
When you have a terrible day, there should definitely be a time and place to have your feelings so you can process them. It’s important not to pretend that you are fine with things when you aren’t. It’s also important, however, to notice when you’re having a pity party. It’s a good idea to set a time limit in which to fully express your emotions and not feel guilty, ashamed, or judge yourself. Having a friend witness you during this process can be helpful. You may also want to write about your feelings. When your time is up, let go of the negativity you just expressed. You can declare your intention to your friend. If you’ve written down your feelings, you can burn the piece of paper or throw it in the recycling bin.
Try not to dwell on unpleasant experiences and do everything you can to avoid holding on to negative emotions. When you indulge in self-pity, you only make a bad day worse. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, release the notion that you are a victim, and notice the good that exists in your life.
Labels: Daily OM
"Good done anywhere is good done everywhere." - Maya Angelou
I feel like I am living as if I'm supposed to be broke. I had a few hundred dollars in my account and in my hands a few days ago. It's almost gone. I have to think that I will have abundant money by keeping it.
It's that time of the year again. The end, that is. Let me tell you a little about yourself on this, the last day of 2008.
You are wearing braids and weigh 200 pounds. Your health is pretty good, and you've been working out at the YMCA--I hope you will remember the secondary reason why you are doing this. As you typed this you are wearing a blue fleece like pull over, a pair of jeans and a pair of KEEN shoes. (Finally spent some money on some quality shoes for a change.) A lot has happened this year personally, but first major things that happened this year:
May 10-graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English with a Creative Writing concentration from Millsaps College.
May 17-went to Merida, the Yucatan, Mexico for a month. Memorable moments? Jumping into a cenote, going off the grid, breaking the stupid shower head, crazy girl...don't even want to spend time on that one, the night of the hotel, speaking Spanish to natives, the abject poverty, the cows in the middle of the road, the pictures, the walks, the colors, the food, Jamaica juice (do you still drink that? Remember when you couldn't get enough of it?), the woman, the house--kinda messy but wonderful, and the poodle, the square area, the art on the Paseo Montejo, losing your debit card, getting lost with Lydia Gee, Chaltun, so much more that I'll have to add it on another time.
June 23-Dad was shot. The things that your aunt (his sister) did to disrespect you and leave you to become an outsider, being strong, the way that thousands of people came to the wake, how you wept for your dad or talked to him.
Okay, those and my Aunt Penny died while I was in Merida. Today, you have been "working for Dad" by keeping up the business. Even after you got your degree, wrote some scenes, succeeded in getting your degree. Kirk was the only one there. I cried because Dad didn't come, he knew what it meant for me to have him come, but he didn't. I hope I forget his last conversation to me, how he abruptly interrupted me and quickly disconnected. I hope he got my page to him the night he was shot. I keep thinking that if I would have called him, he might be here today.
You applied for grad school and thought about taking some teaching classes. You actually took a class in floral design, and you created some really nice work.
You aren't in any serious debt except for your school loans. No love in your life. A development...someone in your class wants to get with you and always has wanted to. He actually said to me, "We could have been married, Gina!" Wow. You are still with--using the term very loosely--that one guy. You want to see him and he's not that far away. I wonder how that will develop. Sheesh, I should give up. I should, but he's my best friend. He knows me.
This is the year you felt like you discovered two things that are integral for you to change your relationship with your father. One, he transferred his feelings about Mama to you. Two, you have some of your mama's worst emotional traits including fear, faithlessness in yourself, a knack for pushing people away if they get a chance to get into your life.
What I would like to say to you today that you will read in the future that will inspire you is not in my mind right now. I feel like I've inspired so many other people with the words God gave me and I can't look in the mirror for my hopes. You know what you want to do. You want to be happy and care about yourself. You want to get rid of that animal that's always been in your head, pulling you down constantly, keeping a tight grasp of fear around your heart and mind. All the things you want to do, you always want to stop yourself more. (Remember Christmas Day at Doretha's? Bet the next time you read this, you will not remember. I hope not.)
Gina, you have to set yourself free, like when you were in Mexico. Rub the scar on your knee. Stop getting suicidal and overemotional before your periods. Do you still do that? This was supposed to be your inspirational paragraph. Do what you are capable of doing and completing. Work on your Spanish, breathe your dream, be a starter, a go-getter, and a finisher. You are either going to make inroads to making Dad's business what he wanted it to be or you are going to go back to school for more education. That Master's degree in TESOL sounds really great.)
You are as beautiful as everyone says you are. Don't let the people around you stop your joy. Seek out that spot where you can plant a seed of your own joy. Then let it grow within you. Let the branches permeate your veins so you can be the source of your joy instead of trying to find it from the outside. You have all of the permission to feel everything you need to feel.
You've got mine.
There's other things to write. Perhaps I will write them here. Deep down inside, I believe in you, Gina. You have to be your number one fan. Nobody else.
Be good to yourself in 2009.
I love you abundantly, dearly, and as a whole,
P.S. You were in St. Louis at the Loft when Barack Obama became president. You were in Memphis at Elma's house when Uncle Baby Brother told you that Dad was dead. I still love you.
I Have a Confession
This is not easy for me to write. It is my last post (perhaps) of this year. I've had so many wonderful things happen to me this year--graduating with my Bachelor's degree, traveling abroad, knowing how to start writing a a script for a play, being happy, losing weight (okay, not pounds, but I see how my body has changed). Other things. Things I can't remember because of the thoughts that come in and out of my head.
I often feel like disappearing, even dying sometimes. Since I've known that the option existed, I've wanted to commit suicide. It comes and goes, this urge to disappear. It now lurks because of my family. I've never been close to them. Not to anyone on my mother's side, not anyone on my father's side. Years have faded away without speaking to a large number of them. I'm closer to people online and people whose names are like seeing invisible ink on a piece of paper--I see the paper, but its contents are beyond my knowledge.
How long have I had this? I remember when I was fifteen. I wrote a suicide poem, let my mama see it. I never saw it again. That didn't stop my thoughts, though. I take that back. I remember reading "Lisa, Light and Dark" and identified with it.
I've had times in my life when these thoughts were not as clear and potently present. I've tried it. Commit suicide, that is. My mother told me that if I ever killed myself, she would kill herself so I should know that I would have two lives that I'm responsible for or something along those lines. I did what I was supposed to do. Not try to commit suicide again. She's gone now, so is my father. I'm free to do it.
Makes me wonder how it would feel to no longer feel this way. To no longer feel. I almost feel like that now. Days go by and I have not accomplished much lately. Writing this much is almost an amazing feat. I feel as if I'm on a flying trapeze at the moment. I'm not going to do it. I just feel like I have to say it. I have to put it on paper (such as it is). Everyone has an "I hate myself because" thing about themselves. I hate my fear. I hate my not being able to be myself. I hate not wanting to have anyone love me because they will leave me alone eventually.
Funny. I just thought of why I have this in my core. Must be pms'ing. I've got to see a doctor about this. Everything just sets me off. Just got a bill in the mail. Over $600, including one month of overdue school loans. $35k from one school alone, I think. Can hardly wait until the other loans come in from my other school.
I've got to snap out of this. Hell, I really need to put myself in a beautiful place so that when all hell breaks loose in my mind like it has now, I won't be as unsettled by it.
I'm still alive. Besides, there isn't enough medication around for me to do the do.
Think I could overdose on Metamucil?
Ten Things This Tuesday
Long time no see, I know. Got a whole bunch of nothing here. Just got through watching the second of the three presidential debates. So here is...
Ten facts I've been wondering about presidents:
1. McCain is not the oldest presidential candidate. Dole was the oldest.
2. McCain will not be the oldest president. Reagan was in his second term. McCain will be the first newly inaugurated lackey.
3. Obama's not the first African-American presidential candidate. Before Al Sharpton in 2004, Douglas Wilder in 1992, Jesse Jackson in 1988 and 1984, Miss Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman (yup, Hilary didn't do anything historical, either) who seriously ran for president. I knew that. Did you?
4. How many political parties have existed in the United States? Too many to count here. Just go to this site for the answer.
5. Clinton--him, not her--should have tried to run for president. Grover Cleveland did. And won.
6. "Teddy" bears were so named not because Theodore Roosevelt looked like one. He was given one.
7. Calvin Coolidge, a man who did not have loose lips, did not use the telephone while in office.
8. Hoover donated his salary to charity. Let's ask if either one of them would.
9. Gerald Ford once worked as a fashion model. I could see that. You could too if you click this.
10. No, you don't have to be a lawyer to be a president. Harding was a newspaper publisher, Andrew Johnson was taught reading, writing, and 'rithmatic by his wife and Carter studied nuclear physics.
Labels: Ten Things This Tuesday
What Is It???
What is it that's been going on in my head lately? Well, besides missing you terribly, not much.
I keep thinking about how I've been traveling, day by day, rather aimlessly. Since I've been in St. Louis, I've been wandering a great deal. One thing I have noticed is that--hold up. I am in a library doing this. Would you believe that a gun-toting sherriff is leisurely strolling around with nary a care! Geez! What's he gonna do with that thing here! It's not like there is a bank vault in here or something! What is he going to arrest people in here for, overdue books?!!!! Sorry, that was just really startling. Where was I? Oh yeah. I've noticed that I've been pushing away people. I know why I do it. The reason why I do that is because of the reason two guys that "wanted to get to know me better" are no longer two guys that I'm in consistent dialogue with. Drives me crazy. I don't know what's wrong with me, but then sometimes I do. I'm just very screwed up (so not the words I want to use) in the head. I don't want people to get close to me just to prove to me that they don't want to get close to me. It's happened so many times in my life--people practically walking away from me once they have one or two conversations with me--that I don't want to go through the pain of trying. I guess that is why I am also very--extreeeeeeeemely--reluctant to apply for a job, engage in relationships--anything. It's painfully better for me to not even be around people simply to prove my hypothesis repeatedly. I wish I could go back to every person I know, drop off a survey that would ask, "Why did you not want to have anything else to do with me after barely knowing me?" and ask that they results be tabulated, graphed, and all that stuff so I can be analyzed and figure out what the heck (yup, you're right--don't want to use that word) is going on with me and my people skills. I don't think it is something I can change. I'm too old for it. I'm also too old for anyone to teach me how to change this. I want to love and be loved, but how can I do that if I can't even convince a man to want to do more with me than see me horizontal. Geez, (another deferring word) I don't want do see myself horizontal. Why do I attract that? What can I do to avoid that? What the Sam Hill (another one) am I doing wrong? Don't say, "it's not you, Gina, honest," because it is. I know it has to do with my limited knowledge. Yes, I'm intelligent on some levels, but I don't have faith in myself, can't believe in myself. Maybe I should start something else again. I don't want to say what, and by the time I actually read that sentence again, I may myself forget what I was referring to, but I know now, and sometimes now is all that matters.
Just had to put that out there. Now, back to having empty hopes in myself. I'll be better soon. I have to convince myself to believe, then eventually I will get to believing without thinking that the thoughts are empty. Later.