Friday, February 24, 2006

I Quit.

Today I did something I have never done before in my life...I boldly walked into my very new place of employment and quit. HA! I had a good long talk with myself after an interesting evening with a new friend and a most excellent run in beautiful weather and realized that I was willing to commit close to 1300 hours of my life to something that, not only was I not passionate about, but I really hated: restaurant work. Yes, the money would have been great and it would have required very little of my mind, but I had to ask myself another question: why was I not willing to reinvest that time in myself, my passion, my work? I had no good reason other than that I might be a little afraid I would fail. Then, I had to ask myself yet another question: WHAT THE FUCK AM I ALIVE FOR IF I AM NOT WILLING TO RISK FAILURE? Great success only comes from the willingness to take great risks and risk great failure. I realized that I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO live everything that I believe; otherwise, I am a hypocrite...I am not willing to put my money where my mouth is. So today, I guess I really decided to commit 110% of myself to my work, myself and Portfolio Center. Something has shifted in my life in the past few months...everything has really begun to come some weird, universe sort of way. I really got it today that I had to let go of all of the fear that I had about failure and start living boldly, fearlessly and with the sense of purpose and passion that inspires me to do what I am doing. And for god's sake, when I make up my mind to do something, I DO IT. It may take me a while to get there, but once I am there, it's a done deal. So, tomorrow, I show up at 7am for Hank's class with a fresh attitude and I a renewed sense of determination and passion and I am totally excited about it! Yeah for me!

Thursday, February 23, 2006


One of the best things in life is mobility. The freedom to move around in the space that we live in, to move outside of the space we live is one of those great pleasures of life that we seldom are grateful for until we suffer some deprivation of it. I am lucky that, in my lifetime thus far, I have not suffered such deprivation and today, as I embarked on a run in, what many people would think was some pretty awful weather, I thought to myself how amazing it is.

Yes, I am one of those runners...I love to run. Most of the time, runners fall into the category of being pretty creepy in their passion, dedication and, more often than not, addiction to the exercise. I have run for so many different reasons throughout my life. I have run so that I "could" eat. I have run to reduce stress and anxiety. I have run because I was scared to not run. I have run for peace. I have run from peace. I have run to center myself. I have run to have control in my life. I have run to punish myself. You name it, I've run for it or from it.

At this point in my relationship with running, I would say that, more often than not, I am running because it centers me. The movement is meditation and allows me to clear my head. That is no easy task because my brain is constantly processing, turning over, seeking out and questioning information. But today, I was reminded of how great it feels to throw on your running shoes, open the door to the world beyond the projects, deadlines, obligations, needs of others, and responsibilities...and just run. Just move.

My favorite two times to run are in the rain and at night. There is a certain intimacy that exists when you run in darkness. It is such a private time to feels like you are the only person out there and when you look up, a blanket of stars is hovering overhead. It feels so safe and secure. I always am amazed to look up and think about the infinite space that the universe is and how small we actually is definitely a communion of sorts with nature.

So my words of wisdom for all of you today: GET OUT AND MOVE. Enjoy what is around you, look up, look around, find inspiration from common, everyday things. Go run in the rain, get soaking wet, and enjoy every minute of it...just watch out for traffic...Atlanta drivers are not big on yielding to pedestrians.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


I stole this from Anne Elser's blog...but these are my answers not hers.
Thanks, Anne :)

Four jobs I've had:
• Restaurant waiter
• GAP salesperson
• Pennington Biomedical Research Center "metabolic kitchen" worker
• Gold's Gym receptionist

Four jobs I'd like to have a for a day:
• Downhill skier (if I had the skills which, clearly, I do not)
• Actor
• Forensic anthropologist
• Inner-city Cop

Four movies I can watch over and over:
• American Beauty
• The Sound of Music
• Out of Africa
• The Black Stallion

Four places I’ve lived:
• Burlington, NC
• Mobile, AL
• Atlanta, GA
• Baton Rouge, LA

Four TV shows I love:
• Law and Order SVU (because Mariska Hartigay is soooo cute)
• The L Word
• Six Feet Under
• The Sopranos

Four of the most inspirational places I’ve vacationed:
• Sienna, Italy
• New York City
• The Lake District in Northwest England
• Asheville, NC

Four of my favorite dishes:
• My homemade pesto pizza
• My mom's chicken casserole (until I made it for myself this year and gave myself and my neighbor food poisoning)
• Anything from Albasha (a greek and lebanese restaurant in Baton Rouge)
• My mom's vegetable soup

Four sites I visit daily:
• Post Secret
• On-Line Dictionary
• Craigslist
• Mary Campbell Blog (just to check in with myself and see what I'm up to)

Four places I would rather be right now:
• Asleep in my bed snuggling with my dogs
• At a fabulous dinner with my best friends
• The beach...with NOTHING to do
• The mountains....with NOTHING to do and a horse somewhere close-by

Friday, February 17, 2006

First Love.

So my friend, Diana and I were talking last night about all manner of topics as we often do. There is no such thing as a linear conversation when I am a participant...happily, Diana goes right along and, somehow, manages to track me without missing a beat. Not an easy task, I can assure you. How lucky I am to have such an amazing friend and neighbor.

I digress, I was talking about my horse, Lovey. I had Lovey from the time I was 12 to when I was 17 and graduated from high school. Lovey was my first real relationship. I had never realized that until last night. I had never realized that I learned how to trust and love unconditionally with the help of a 1500 pound animal that I poured my heart and soul into. When I first got Lovey, we had some major battles...she was very "spirited" (in the world of horses, we call that "un-broken") and, together, we had to learn all about each other. Neither of us were trusting souls...she and I were extremely anxious and bolted at the mere scent of danger. Literally. I fell off of her probably 12 times in the first 2 months I had her. She would "spook" at something, I would panic, she would run, I would fall. It was a beautiful dance we participated in. I hung in there, though...thanks to a trainer that belived in me more than I could ever have possibly believed in myself and, consistently, put my feet to the fire. I was not allowed to let my fear control me and she made it very clear that if I wanted to do that, she was not going to be a part of it. Plain and simple.

Many people think that riding horses is a sport, but it is a relationship. There must be trust between horse and rider. Once I was able to relax and guide Lovey, she was able to relax and allow me to guide her. She learned to trust me. That was huge for me because, in the process, I learned to trust myself. I had to go beyond my own fear. I loved Lovey more than any other soul on the earth...I would, literally, have conversations with her about life, what I was thinking about, what I was worried about and she, patiently, would sit and listen. Okay, so she had no choice, because she was tied to a fence, but I would like to remember her as a patient listener.

I rode horses for 10 years. From the time I was 8 years old until I graduated high school. I haven't ridden since and I miss it more profoundly than I miss many things in my life. It was the first thing I was really good at. Last I heard, Lovey was 22! She was 5 when I got her...I can only imagine what a beautiful soul she evolved into. I don't know if she is still living...I don't really know if I want to know. Part of me always wants to remember her as the spirited creature that changed my life and who I am; I don't really want to know when she passes...and yet, there is a part of me that thinks I will somehow know when she does.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"The stars are so big. The earth is so small. Stay as you are."

What does that mean to me? It is the essence of the messages I have received from society and my family: just blend in, don't really be YOU, try to fit into the box of what we deem "normal and acceptable." If you know anything about me, which some of you do and some do not, you know I am driven by MY vision, my values, my sense of the world. This does not mean that I have no regard for the welfare of others; on the contrary, my values demand that part of my purpose on this earth is to help others, to understand and, somehow, connect with the plight of each and every human being. I also do not believe that making everyone feel comfortable by hiding the truth of who you are or what is real serves them on any level. It only serves their desire to separate themselves from something they consider bad, immoral, unethical, ugly, or sinful. I believe that, somehow, we share in a collective conscious; that, on some level, each and every person's struggle is connected to our own.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


So this morning I was listening to NPR, as I usually do before I brave the daunting tasks of the day, and they had a piece on Beethoven. What an amazing man, artist, philosopher. I am so inspired by artists that incorporate passion, intellect, personal conviction into their craft. These are the most provocative and profound artists; they take real risks, follow their heart unfailingly, and, ultimately, find great success. They do so without apology or regard for how people will perceive them. I suppose it is because everything that they do, everything that they create, is driven out of a personal sense of truth and purpose. I think that everyone on a conscious or unconscious level is drawn to that kind of work because it is real; it may not always be the easiest to create or to absorb as a "consumer of culture," but it speaks to a very authentic part of everyone of us. No matter who we are or what we do, there are aspects of us that we do not disclose to others or even ourselves because, to do so, would be terrifying. If an artist can speak to that part of us, they have recognized and legitimized that piece of who we are. That is, perhaps, the most empowering thing that can happen to a person: to be seen, to be heard, to be understood. It is something that frees us to be who we truly are. Art has such potential to heal, to truly transform people's lives and, ultimately society. Wow, I love what I do.

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."
–Carl Jung

Thought for February 10, 2006.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Meanwhile, back at sleepy's house (part 2)....

Okay, so something is up with my dreamworld these days. I had a dream last night that I was in my was a BIG house, but a sort of amalgamation of my parent's house and a house that I would live in...not my apartment right now, but a place I could see myself living in the future. For reasons unknown to me, the roof kept catching on wasn't the same room, but different locations in the house and I was running around the entire dream trying to put out these fires. I wasn't scared or worried, but each time I put a fire out, another one would start somewhere else.

Of course, I looked up the symbolism of fire in is what I found: "Fire can symbolize one or more of the following {but not limited to}: passion, sexual or or extreme emotions; fever, an actual body fever; unconscious destructive attitudes, greed, hate, anger; transformation, a need to rid yourself of unwanted attitudes or aspects that prevent you from being your true self; spirituality, a need to discover {self-} knowledge about your inner self.

Dreaming of your house being on fire may symbolize your external life is 'going up in flames', or a feeling that it is. Look at the dream and determine what causes these feelings, the other symbols associated with the fire. Sometimes these associated symbols appear as other people which may indicate emotions pertaining to that person or aspects that person possesses that represent your own emotions about yourself or other people."


Meanwhile, back at sleepy's house....

So I had this dream last night.
I was going to school, but I had to go through the wilderness to get to the road that lead to PC.
On my journey with me were Hank and Tania from school but I was leading the way.
There was a lot of red clay and I had to navigate around streams, tree roots, and other natural obstacles.
When I finally got through the rough terrain and to the even ground, I was walking over a box of some sort on the ground and I looked down and saw a baby which I, of course, picked up.
At first the baby was very quiet and sweet and then the baby started crying and wouldn't stop.
And then I woke up.

So I looked up what a baby could possibly symbolize in a dream and here is what I found: "may symbolize vulnerability, or your need for love. Also your pure, innocent, true self (other than the ego). It may represent some new development in your life."


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Creative Constipation.

It is pretty amazing how we have the ability to stand in our own way; I have recently discovered how I engage in these self-defeating behaviors that retard the creative process...all of this judging, second-guessing and censorship. It is quite exhausting. I would never dream of treating another person with this harshness and criticism and I, somehow, allow it to go on within my own psyche. So how do we get out of our own way? How do we clear a path through our own crap to get to the real treasures that lie within each and everyone of us? How do we find that most authentic voice and open the channels through which we can express ourselves? That is my existential angst for the day. I often find inspiration through reading and music. I don't really get inspired by looking through great design books...I always feel like I am filling my mind with someone else's "visual solutions"...I get inspired by thoughts, words, ideas, concepts, possibilities. That comes with being a thinking person, though...I like to stretch my mind. Having a "passionate outlet", a channel for exploring my emotions is a relatively new experience for me. I guess I am going to have to be patient with myself. That is something I have never been really good at.

"There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul."
-Arnold Bennett

"Everybody, artist or not, wears a costume so as not to be revealed. The real trick is to get the self to come out against all odds."
-Robert Motherwell

"I have always assumed that the essential nature of intelligence's functioning is the grasp of relations. Many of these relations are nonverbal. Indeed, one of the worst things that a painter can say about a painting is that it is a literary painting."
-Robert Motherwell

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
–Marianne Willamson

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Why I love Kung Pao Chicken.

So this is the fortune I got from some take-out chinese the other if I needed a fortune to tell me that. One thing I was not so clear on was whether the fortune meant that, generally speaking, romance comes in my life in an unusual sort of way or if I should ANTICIPATE romance coming into my life in an unusual sort of way. In any case, I have temporarily given up on love. Don't worry...I have not officially given up on love...I have simply chosen to not make it a priority in my life for now. I just want it to be right on EVERY SINGLE LEVEL this time. I do want it all. I want kindness, intelligence, compassion, strength, sensitivity and self-awareness. I want to be with someone who honors and respects every aspect of who I am and puts equal priority in valuing and loving herself. I want to know that the person I commit myself to is 100% committed to herself and that, together, we can create a life that is meaningful. I value thinking about and considering the big questions of the universe. I want to know that she can think. I don't necessarily care about academic "intelligence;" I care that she wants to think about the possibilities...that she can balance passion and logic. Okay, so I want her to be a lot like me...if truth be told, I do. I want an equal. I don't care what she does, what she looks like, any of the details. I can work around details. I have worked around some serious details and I just want to be inspired by the love that I share with another person. Needless to say, with this list of demands...I am probably going to be single for a while. But I'll keep my eyes peeled for that unusual romance.

One more thing: a word of wisdom from one of my teacher..."the mate meant for you is the one whose goodness and work ethic is worth rearranging your single life for." –Anne Elser.

Friday, February 03, 2006

It is amazing how the universe brings us people, experiences, challenges at precisely the time when we need them. I have found that, ALWAYS, when I am stuck personally or professionally, something or someone crosses my path and I am given exactly what I need to proceed with faith and confidence. Wow. That is amazing. You know, some people might say that I am not a faithful person...most of those people believe that due to the frequency at which the word "fuck" shows up in my vocabulary. On the contrary, my vocabulary is quite large...I have several dictionaries and thesauri of "difficult words," but "fuck" just happens to be one of my favorites. I digress, however. It is remarkable to me how misunderstood the concept of faith is in our society. So many people believe that it is through a rigid, fear-based interpretation of the Bible and Christianity that one becomes a faithful person...that, basically, we are scared into believing that there may be something bigger than itty bitty us out there. What is amazing to me is that, somehow, in this process, the truth of Jesus is completely lost; his message of compassion, forgiveness and not judging becomes invisible as this message is filtered through the evangelical, religious-right mentality. What a waste.

I cannot, personally, imagine living with fear being the primary motivational force for any action in my life. Perhaps, because I have fought fear all of my life. I know how sheer, unadulterated terror can completely immobilize all feeling, thinking and action. If nothing else, I will do every last thing on this earth that I am afraid of SIMPLY so that I am absolutely certain that fear is not a causal factor for inaction in my life. Okay, so I won't jump out of a plane...that is just plain fucking stupid, but if I am challenged with my work, with my life, in any aspect of my existence, I am going to walk directly into the fire and do whatever it takes to get through it, learn and be a stronger better person as a result. And I am a far cry from where I want to be, but I don't believe that we are ever "there". There is no real destination, just a journey filled with meaning and a search for truth. I just want to be certain that I am conscious of every moment that I do have on this earth.

Shit, no wonder I am tired...I am exhausting myself just reading much to do, so little time...but I guess, as Hank says..."you can sleep when you die." Hmmmmm...I may have to think about that one.