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Dreams

Okay, I’ve accepted the fact that all the #Trust30 prompts are exactly the same, but in different words. Honestly, I’m disappointed. I feel like they either should have asked the prompters different questions, or they should have shared the prompts that had already been written with the rest of the prompters so they didn’t keep writing the same thing over and over. That, or they shouldn’t have asked very similar people the same question.

Listen to this. These are the prompts from the last three days:

Today: Write down your top three dreams. Now write down what’s holding you back from them.

Yesterday: Decide what you want the future to be and make it happen. Because you can. Write about your future now.

The day before: Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.

Maybe it’s just me, but these all sound the same. I can only write about my fears and my goals and my process so many times in a row. In fact, I can’t write about them ANY amount of times in a row. I can write about them once, and then I can maybe write about them again sometime later. Seriously. This is nothing against the prompters, I get that your assignment was probably pretty vague, and you were all trying to be epic and unforgettable, but I’m sorry, it’s not working for me. So, instead of following the prompts, I’ve decided to still read them and take the first thought that comes to my mind when I open the email, either from the title or the words or the author’s name, and that’s what I will write about.

Today’s subject line: Dreams.

When I saw this email, the first thing I thought about was being asleep. Which is not what this prompt was actually about. But the point right now is that it doesn’t matter. Okay?

I’ve been having REALLY crazy dreams lately. Like, when I wake up I remember them, and I want to text everyone that was in them to tell them that I’m thinking about them, but then I immediately forget. And then, sometime throughout the day, or the next day, or even the next week, something that has to do with what happened in the dream actually happens in real life, and I can’t tell what’s supposed to happen next or what already happened because I feel like I’ve already been there, except I’m not really sure. It’s basically deja vu, but in a serious way. If I think hard enough, I can tell when I’m remembering something because I dreamed (dreamt?) it, and not because it really happened, but it’s a bit unsettling at first. As you might imagine.

If you’re wondering if I’m doing drugs or drinking too much Four Loko or on some crazy new diet, the answer is no. I think I just haven’t been sleeping well, so the dreams have become more vivid. I once read that the average length of a dream is 7 seconds, and so if you wake up a lot during the night, you’re more likely to remember dreams. I think about this concept a lot. I also wonder about how other people sleep. Anytime I’m in proximity of someone who is sleeping I get really jealous. I wonder how they were able to fall asleep with all the things happening around them, and then I wonder if they’re just really, really tired, or really, really calm and good at falling asleep. Either way, I’m so jealous that they’re asleep, and I miss the days of being a child and not thinking about anything before falling asleep. But just… falling… asleep.

All I can think is that the older I get, the harder it’s going to be to have good sleep. Is that true? I know they say that you need less and less sleep as you get older, but does that mean I’m going to want to sleep less? I don’t think so. I love sleep. I love everything about sleep. I love snuggling under the covers and sinking into the pillows and feeling the fabric of the sheets and the blanket against my skin. I love the idea of being in bed for an entire day, just because it means that I don’t have to do anything but be comfortable. This makes me sound super lazy. But I think the world would be better a place if we all took one day a week to do nothing but bed things. Yes, I’m talking about that too. We could have the weekend days, or maybe just a single day, where we go on trips or do fun outdoor/night time stuff, and then we could have Bed Day. To do Bed things. Yes, I like this idea. What do you think? I think I’m going to go dream about it now…

Ellie Goulding x Portland Cello Project x Kanye West

I just stumbled upon this mashup, and I couldn’t not share it.

I love EVERYTHING about this. I love Ellie’s voice. I love All of the Lights (whether Kanye is a part of it or not). I love that both songs involve “lights” and that someone decided it would make everything so much better if they were combined!

Also, I hate that there are so many people out there who are so much more talented than me. And I hate that I don’t know how to make this music player look right, but I’m lucky to have nerdy developer people in my life who make the internet so much better than it already is.

Enjoy!

Audio MP3

Ellie Goulding x Portland Cello Project x Kanye West

All I Need (Live From the Basement)

This song has haunted me since I actually paid for “In Rainbows” when it came out in 2007. I find the bass line beating inside me from time to time, like when you’re at a concert and you feel the drum beat take hold of your heart beat.

Also, Thom’s crazy eye really does something, well, crazy to me.

Thanks to JMoreau (who probably doesn’t know I exist) for this find.

I didn’t want to write about dating but I can’t help it right now and I want anyone who is reading to read this:

Want to Be My Boyfriend? Please Define.

That’s an article that was published in 2008 from the New York Times. Read it. Do it.

This is exactly how I’ve been feeling. I’m the girl who is super chill and easy-going and who was never looking for a relationship because it’s too hard and too much work and she’s not sure that any type of “real” relationship even exists. On top of that, she’s not sure if she’s ready to commit to any kind of relationship, real or fake, so she maintains a constant stream of casual things because every time she tries for something more it blows up in her face. My parents are divorced. My grandparents are divorced. Most of my friends’ parents are divorced. So what else am I supposed to think? I have dreams (nightmares really) about people I know getting divorced. It’s pathetic, really. It’s not that I don’t believe in marriage, because I do. I just believe that somewhere somehow we all started becoming too complacent, too selfish, and too jealous all the time. Instead of choosing to be with someone forever, no matter what, people are constantly looking for someone else, something more, and the second they feel any kind of attention or affection from a new person, they go for it, regardless of the situation they’re in. We are starved for love. Why? Are we really not being loved enough or are our expectations just completely unrealistic?

I can’t figure if people have always been like this, or if they were just too scared of being alone in the past to break up with each other. Or maybe they valued relationships and marriage more than we do now. Or maybe they worked harder for each other so they could stay together and maybe that made them stronger and better for each other.

I can’t figure out if this is some kind of 20-something angst that too many people I know seem to be going through right now.

The thing is, I’m not scared of commitment. I’m not scared of having a relationship. I really believe that I can break the pattern, and that I’m not going to fuck everything up because I’m too crazy or fragile or needy or whatever else most girls are. I think that people need to be better about communicating their needs and feelings from the beginning and stop expecting everyone they talk to to be able to read their mind. And then it will work. But if it doesn’t? Then we call a spade a spade and we move on. At least we can say we tried. Which is more than a lot of people can say about anything, really.

This is so damn sappy. GOD I hate feelings. Sigh.

Fear

These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? Put yourself in the shoes of the you who’s already lived your dream and write out the answers to the following:

Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel?

Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes?

Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are?

Now Do. The Thing. You Fear.

(Author: Lachlan Cotter)

I’m starting to not really love the #Trust30 prompts. They’re all starting to sound the same to me. Yes, humans have fear. Yes, some of us humans are afraid of everything. Yes, fear often holds us back from doing/being/becoming the person we want to be. But there are reasons besides fear that keep me from doing things most of the time. If it’s only fear that’s holding me back, then yes, I agree with the whole “just do it” and/or “get over it” mentalities. But I struggle with the “you only live once” or “you could die tomorrow” thing. The reason I’m not doing one of the things I really want to do right now is because there are also other things I want to do. And one of the other things I want to do is exactly what I am doing right now.

Someday, I want to live on the coast of France or Spain or Chile to make wine and learn about delicious food. I want to put my creativity into both the wine-making and wine-marketing process, so that when people buy my wine they know it’s mine. They will want to buy it not only because it tastes good, but also because of all the other cool stuff I’m doing to promote and engage my winos. It’s not a pipe dream. I know I’ll do it someday if I still want to. Plans change, and people change, yes, and am I afraid to make the leap into that industry? Of course. But that’s not the reason I haven’t done it yet.

photo taken by me at the Casillero del Diablo winery in Chile

There are days when I question who I am and whether or not what I’m doing is propelling me toward greater success. There are days when I want to shut down all of my social media profiles, pack one bag, and take the next flight out of South Florida. I’m pretty sure everyone has these days, whether they’re willing to admit it or not. But most days, I’m happy doing exactly what I am doing. I’m happy learning about people and processes and strategies and how all of this works, because I believe that having this foundation of knowledge is going to be valuable for me in whatever I decide to do and be in the future. Do I want to be the next “social media expert” out there? No. I think there are several really amazing people doing a great job at that. And by the time I amass the experience to do what they do, social media will be something that everyone does and uses without batting an eye. And at that time, perhaps my work here is done. But perhaps not. Learning the new tools and technologies is so fun, and those aren’t going away. The feeling of being under a microscope because of what I share online does get tiring though. And the time when I can’t stand it anymore is probably the time when I’ll fall off the radar and start doing something with my hands aside from typing.

But until then, I think the important thing to think about with regards to fear is not whether or not you have it, because we all do, but whether or not you’re letting it paralyze you. And I’m not. Maybe part of it is being single, and only having to think for myself, as opposed to thinking for two. But I do things all the time that scare me. The only way I know how to cope with that fear is closing my eyes and crossing my fingers and hoping that it will be okay, because when you’re confident in what you’re doing (or at least when you tell yourself that you’re confident in what you’re doing), everything else works itself out. That “fake it til you make it” thing? It works. In this case at least. NOT with social media. But don’t even get me started on that. Plenty of others have already written plenty of bullshit about that. Just make it stop! Maybe these skeptics are all afraid that social media experts are going to take over the world so they need to put them all down in an attempt to make themselves look better.

I wish everyone would stop looking at what others are doing as a threat, and start seeing it as an inspiration. I think that’s what this prompt is really about. It’s about our humans desperately struggling to take down the rest of society because they think that if everyone else is below, then they will be above. But that’s just a manifestation of fear and lack of confidence in oneself. And what happens as a result of that time and energy spent on putting others down? The ones (like you and me) who are working on bettering ourselves rather than worsening someone else get that much bigger and stronger. And that’s all we can really do: Take one thing at a time that moves us to toward our bigger goal, one day at a time, and conquer.

Paradise

If we live truly, we shall see truly. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

(Author: Chris Guillebeau)

Today is day… I don’t know, 10 of #Trust30? This prompt is from day 5, but meh, I’m late. Life happens. And it happens hard sometimes. But anyway, I love Chris, so here goes…

this photo was taken by me in Hawaii. don't steal it.

I think everyone has a different view of Paradise. To some, it’s the place where they can lay in the sun with a cute boy in a white suit serving them fruity drinks and unlimited massages. To others, it’s bundling up in snow pants and jackets and scarves and skiing down a huge terrifying mountain covered in fluffy white snow. To others still, it’s riding a moped through sunflower fields or sitting by a fire in a log cabin or strolling through a town next to a flock of elephants. Do elephants come in flocks? That just seemed right but I’m sure it’s not. ANYWAYS.

To me, paradise has consistent sun, but no humidity. There’s clear blue water, but no sharks or jellyfish. There are fruity alcoholic beverages, but no calories. There are cozy bungalows and trees and pretty shells and dirt roads, but no bugs. It gets dark at night, but not too dark, and when the sun comes up it kisses us slowly rather than forcing our eyes open with its harsh rays. There’s internet access, but only for certain hours. During those hours we work. During the others, we play, we kiss, and we sleep. There is no domestic currency. The money we make is the money we save.

I can’t pinpoint one specific place that I want to go. There are tens, if not hundreds of places I want to go to and see and thousands of things I want to do. But the idea of a place where everything is in its right place, where there is control that I don’t have control over sounds great to me. A place where I don’t have to think so much all the time about how things are going to work or where other people need to be. A place where I don’t have to make so many decisions for myself and others all the time.

This place that would be paradise to me doesn’t actually exist. At least the part where alcohol has no calories. But I need a break. And in order to get there, I need to figure out how to take the time to stop all the internet and all the people and all the stress and go away for a while.

At this point, I don’t think it matters where I go, but if you find the place that has less bugs and more unawareness of time or decision-making skills, you let me know.


On Believing In the Universe and Also Blondes

Day 3 of #Trust30 is about beliefs -

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

(Author: Buster Benson)

Duh, this one is so easy: I believe that blondes have more fun. Done.

Kidding. I mean, blondes DO have more fun, but I’m not going to write a whole post about that. It’s obvious. Hehe.

The thing that gets me deep in conversation pretty frequently is the reason I’m living in South Florida in an old folks community alone: I believe that I can do and be anything I want, and I don’t need anyone’s approval to do so.

People are always asking how I left everyone I grew up with in Connecticut to go to school in New York City, how I then left my friends and family on the east coast to move to Los Angeles, and how I then packed up my car and left my friends and new home to drive across the country by myself to a new city where I’d be a stranger and be living completely alone. I never thought much about it at the time, but now I think I know the reason: It’s because I believe that while having the emotional support of my friends and family is essential to my existence, their physical presence is not, and sometimes being alone is best thing for growth, which is what I strive for. And in keeping in line with why I started writing here in the first place, my biggest goal right now is overcome my fears. All of them.

The goal of leaving my seemingly perfect life in sunny California had nothing to do with the people. The people were amazing. My upper-middle-class-white-girl upbringing caused me to always think that girl friends were put on this earth to make me feel inadequate and steal all my boyfriends. California taught me what real friends are. That real friends actually care about you because you’re you, not because of where you came from or what you have. And they all gave me such a hard time because I was “leaving them.” But the truth is, it had nothing to do with them.

I was unhappy, for a number of reasons. And I never wanted to bring anyone else down or burden them with my sadness. I decided I needed to fix myself for myself. Not for anyone else. And I didn’t need anyone to tell me it was okay to do so, because if there’s one thing you need to know about me it’s that I hate when people complain/worry/get sad about something and then don’t do anything to make it better. Another thing you should know is that I’m TERRIBLE at making decisions. I can always see the positive to both sides. It may be a blessing at times, but it’s also a burden. So, because I have such a hard time making decisions, I make a lot of pro/con lists, and I force myself to stick to one decision when I actually do make it.

When I decided I had to go on a bit of a sabbatical, I just… did. Maybe it’s the blonde in me (always fun, fun, fun!), but I didn’t think too much about the when or the how. The details and technicalities fell into place. Because… okay fine there’s another thing you should know… I wholeheartedly believe in The Secret and all that mumbo jumbo about the Universe being on your side, no matter how hokey or cheesy it sounds. It’s worked for me, and perhaps it’s more because I believe in myself and not some higher power, but whatever. It’s nice to feel like there’s a higher power there to catch me just in case, even if it’s a crock of shit.

I’ve never even read Self-Reliance, but today’s quote really fits in with everything I’ve been learning and feeling for the last four months:

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

It is easy. Too easy, in fact. Easy is for lazy people. Let’s break away from easy, shall we?

Who Knows, Who Cares

This is an amazing video from La Blogotheque, a really cool music blog/project that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already. The Local Natives are one of my favorite new artists. They’re all amazing singers and musicians, and their harmonies are gorgeous. Full screen that shit and enjoy!

Special thanks to my friend (and future roommate) Helena for reminding me about La Blogotheque and for sharing this video with me :)

Paralysis, Judgment, and Why I’m Here

I’m new here. Here to this URL, not new to the blogosphere. I’ve been writing and reading for years, but always somewhere else, somewhere that doesn’t have my name attached to it. I’ve been too scared to put the words down in a place where people would have the opportunity to say, “Oh, look at her, she totally makes herself seem like this, but she’s actually that.” Because they will. And they already are. Hey, you’re probably forming some kind of opinion about me right now…

For me, this was paralyzing. The idea that people I don’t even know could sit here dissecting each and every word I write, trying to figure out, “Is she happy?” “Is she as miserable as I am?” “Does she even have a job?” “Does she make more money than me?” “Is she going to have a mental breakdown? When?”

I don’t know why I was so afraid of this. I have those thoughts all the time. In fact, I would say that I am very judgmental. At least in the beginning. I read blog posts about the writer having some kind of grand realization about life and the universe and I say to myself, “THIS IS BULLSHIT AND YOU’RE NOT HAPPY AND YOU’RE JUST TRYING TO MAKE US ALL THINK THAT YOU HAVE IT FIGURED OUT BUT YOU DON’T.” Of course, I say these things to make myself feel better. Because I don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t have everything in my life completely put together.

And then I realize that no person can be completely happy all the time, and that most people only expose the things that they want other people to know. The things that they think will help inflate their reputation or their image or their net worth on this planet. Everything that you release onto your social media channels are all a reflection of who you are, what you’re good at, and your level of competency. But this is important! Yes, it is. But you can only hide behind your rainbow-filled-butterfly-covered social media wall for so long. You are a social person. You will meet people, and they will figure out that you’re not who you’ve been saying you are because they’re perceptive just like you are.

This ties back into the idea of transparency, and relates to both individuals and brands. And it’s really crazy to me, because I feel like everyone is always talking about these companies who are really great about being open with their customers about who they are. When they make a mistake, they own it. They apologize for the mistake, but they remind us that their company is made up of… guess what… HUMANS. And humans are not perfect. Humans have feelings. Not just some humans, all humans. This not only boosts their brand reputation, but also boosts sales. Crazy, right? So why are we always holding back?

Whether it’s subconscious or not, most people take a second to think about what they’re about to tweet or post on their Facebook status, regardless of how they’re feeling. Because Twitter is not private. Neither is Facebook, and neither is your blog. I’ve seen so many people write about how they have X number of blog posts in draft status that they’ve never published. Everyone has their own reasons for this, sure, but the underlying reason is fear. Fear of what OTHER PEOPLE might think. Fear of how their writing will affect their reputation, their status. Fear of how people will perceive them when they meet in person for the first time. “Oh, remember that scary blog post she wrote about how she was crying in the corner and couldn’t move or speak because she was so depressed? She’s unstable.”

Oh really? You can really extrapolate the entire nature of someone’s existence because of a vulnerable blog post? Are you like a blog whisperer or something? You can read through the lines and into my soul or some shit? Well, good for you, but you’re wrong. I’m not broken because I cried in the corner. In fact, maybe I’m more put together than you because I had the guts to confront my feelings and write about it.

So why are brands successful when they add a human transparent element to their approach? Because it allows their consumers to relate to them as people, and it makes people trust them. That’s why I’m here. I trust very few people, and it’s partly because so many people are blowing smoke and bullshit into the world. And for what?

I’m just a human, but if I can help one other human admit that they’ve felt the same way as I have, that they are afraid of everything and that it’s holding them back, then I think we’ll all be better off for it. As my Norcross says, the only real fear is imminent death. Everything else is in your head.

So what do you think?