We are them too…

There is this amazing time-lapse video bouncing around the internet that shows the blossoming of various mushrooms deep within forested areas. It is absolutely fascinating, disgusting, inspiring and flat-out-weird all at once. Isn’t that life, though? Most of the time.

As humans, we stumble upon stories ripped straight from the lives of others. The horrific crimes we can’t comprehend, the amazing tales of survival and super human fathomings. We love the miraculous, the oddly tragic- the real life stories. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been inspired to do something bold, brave or heroic after looking at an individual, upon hearing about their boring upbringing, which was followed closely by their average college, marriage and work experience, carrying them to this point of completely mundane normalcy. Films and books certainly aren’t written about people like this.

Two reasons for this are:

  • because that sort of life wouldn’t really inspire much of anything. (Maybe a little envy from someone whose lot in life has been particularly harsh.)
  • That sort of life doesn’t really exist. A perception of that sort of life can, but that sort of life itself? It’s not even possible. There may be seasons when we identify with feelings that our own journeys have been that uneventful. There will be other times, perhaps when we’re drowning in our own overwhelm, and we may perceive someone else’s seemingly drama free life is just like that.
  • bonus point- the moral of the lesson here is, just because something may look, or feel a certain way, in a moment- doesn’t mean that it is.

That idea, the idea of normal + boring, I think most of us have pretty wrong. We think, in times of distress, that this must be what simplicity and peace is like. It wouldn’t be. That imaginary life I’ve described? It is a one dimensional, apathetic version of what we minimize in our minds. Period. We only feel our lives are dull and boring, when we are discontent in our own circumstances. We only reduce someone else’s story to such when we are attempting to reduce them, in our minds, or when our circumstances feel too big/loud and we long for small/quiet. It is a perception. Period.

If we could see a time-lapse of our own lives, we would be amazed. There are hardships and heartbreaks we’ve all known, and many of us are living them as I type this. Sometimes it is easy to hear the circumstances of our own journeys in comparison to another person and think we have nothing to share. It isn’t true. Each and every one of us have lives comprised of many things, things both beautiful and horrifying, that others may need to see.

We love the stories of the hero who lived through incredible difficulties, overcame extreme odds and we sit through the movies and documentaries about them, awed. They inspire us. We read books about them, tell others about them, and often make changes in our own lives because of the incredible examples those people were. Our entire world is built on the foundation of everyday people living through something and then paving the way for a better future because of it. (NOT despite it. BECAUSE OF IT.)

Guess what, friend- you and I? We are that very sort of person. The abuses we’ve known, the mistakes we’ve made- these things can bury us in their rubble, if we let them. How do we not allow that to happen? We choose not to let it. We move on, altered for the better, because. Because, because, BECAUSE- Always.

Someone, somewhere, can see the time lapse of your life (in a sense… not an actual time-lapse video, because that would honestly be awkward for everyone.) and move forward, for the better, too. The mushroom is merely a fungus, living on the ground, and sprouting from the mildewed bits of dirt on the forest floor. Often they are toxic. Sometimes they can make people happy, or paranoid, or what have you. Some of them are ugly, many are beautiful and often they are an annoyance. They come from the worst, often remain the worst- but their journey when viewed with a nutshell perspective is mesmerizing.

Friend, we are so much more than forest fungus. We may come from the worst, but we don’t have to settle for becoming that.

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

You guys, it’s February! How?

Last week I received an email from one of you lovelies, and I loved it! It’s author was having a bit of a rough season and said:

I really enjoy getting in to the office on friday mornings and finding your post in my inbox. I often find new favorite songs, things I have to purchase as soon as humanly possible, a good chuckle or a reason to tear up. There is something so human about your sharing and transparency. Some days though, like today, I just want to sarcastically list the top five things I really don’t like about this week, in reply. That’s pretty transparently human too, don’t you think?

I DO! We had a nice back & forth exchange, over the weekend. The truth us, sometimes I do slip things that I might be disappointed, or am struggling with, into these Friday-Five posts. Life is not perfect. I do not want to give that Fake-Facebook illusion that my life is picture perfect. There are weeks so overwhelming that I really have to grasp to fill these five slots. While I do have a list of five ready to go, for this week, I could probably come up with a list of forty-five “bad things” almost instantly. Like, do you know what I don’t like? When my husband’s business trips get extended. When it feels like I spend less hours/days with him home than not, and all of the side issues that accompany that, and this particular season of ours. Do you know what I really, REALLY don’t like? When it is dark outside, and I’m walking the dog (close to home) and she stops, alarmed, and then follows something (with her eyes) as though there was actually something there, which there isn’t… Creepy dog. I DO NOT like that. And also, nearly crashing my car into the back of someone. (although I do really like that it was a “nearly” and not an actually.) Adding to the terrible list, cucumbers. Gross.

That is kind of the point, I guess. For most of us, it is super easy to find, list out and dwell on the bad. So I (try to) intentionally focus on a handful of things I love a little (or a lot, sometimes) to share with you guys, whom I also love.

1.) Let’s chat about wish lists for a second. I keep a running wish list for a few reasons, but the two biggest would be that A.) my husband will ask, come birthday and Christmastime, and I ALWAYS come up with nothing, when put on the spot. Also there is B.) the fact that my memory is pretty worthless and sometimes I see really great things that I might just want to buy one day… Even so, while I am known to ask a child what they’d like for Christmas or birthday, I try not to make any occasion super materialistic and consumer focussed. It is a pretty fine line, at those times, but what about the asinine Hallmark holidays? I have always prided myself on being the low maintenance Valentine wife, content with a bouquet of Costco flowers and cheap little date. Or not. That’s how easy I am. (Though between us, my heart always hopes I’ll secretly be surprised by a bouquet of peonies, because they are my absolute favorite. I can say that because Chw doesn’t give two hoots about this blog. I also know myself well enough to know that once I saw the amount spent on such an indulgence, I’d kick both of us and then go back to being just fine with Costco roses…) That being said, there is this book releasing which I absolutely want to beg my husband to buy me, and inscribe it with something heartfelt and lovely.

Who am I kidding? I already showed him this book, about a month ago. It sounds so delicious, doesn’t it?

2.) Speaking of my husband… The guy is a BIG fan of Emergen-C. (So much so that sometimes it almost seems like the Windex thing from My Big Fat Greek Wedding…) I’m not above taking it, if I am actually sick (or feel strongly that I’m getting sick) but I am not a masochist and so I have to mix it with orange juice. (or, best of all is several juices together so that I can pretend it is a mimosa or cocktail.) When we ran out, this month (GASP!!!! The Horror!!!) my husband managed to find the Army supply size at Costco, to purchase. I only half rolled my eyes though, because let’s face it- the guy is hardly ever sick, so he may really be on to something. To my surprise, on the side of the box there was a smoothie recipe.

Mind blown… Why hadn’t I ever thought of that?

This week I made my normal smoothie recipe, (forget theirs, their product already tastes like dehydrated floor cleaner, I don’t care to try their smoothie recipe) and added a packet of Emergen-C. I can honestly say that it was incredibly tasty, and I would do it again! (also, I’m not sick! which, I wasn’t actually feeling sick, but still, I’m not sick and we can pretend that my magic smoothie is why!)

3.) No link here, sorry. While at Costco, over the weekend, stocking up on our seven trillion packets of Emergen-C, I stumbled upon Cauliflower crust pizza, in the freezer section. What really caught my eye was that the toppings were Roasted Vegetable. There used to be these delicious Lean Cuisine personal pizzas that were Roasted Vegetable and i LOVED them. (Think pre-economy tanking, back when Godiva also sold the most perfect ice cream ever, in the freezer section of all supermarkets. Man, those were the days… Can we spend a second in silence, remembering gas that was well under $2 a gallon?) Even though I love cauliflower, I’ve been a little slow to embrace it taking over the world, but the Roasted Vegetable appealed to me and so I brought it home.

This is the best pizza ever.

Seriously.

Is EVERY Cauliflower pizza like magic, in your mouth? Is it just this one? Honestly, I am a little panicky about the whole thing because things I love at Costco have a habit of being temporarily available, and then I never see them again.

4.) I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone. Do you remember home phone days? When a phone bill would be around $25, and then long distance calls might bring it to a hundred dollars, on a really bad month… In those days I never would have imagined monthly phone bills of the cell phone variety. As I stated, I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone in which I text people and they text me, and I occasionally play Disney emoji. And sometimes I think it is ridiculous that I have this phone, and then an afternoon comes along when one of my oldest, dearest and truest friends and I spend four hours talking. In those four hours, the distance between Michigan and the West Coast shrank a little, and my heart was full. (and now I’m set on actual phone conversations for a good, long while.)

5.) I don’t watch the Grammy’s, they are pretty much not my bag o’ fun. I am sure there isn’t a person around, however, who hasn’t heard about the amazing performance Kesha gave, of her song Praying. Already deeply moved by the song, her performance (as seen absolutely everywhere, all over the internet) moves me to tears. Every. Single. time.

As a survivor of sexual abuse, I identify with every ounce of it. Even with the conflicted feelings I have regarding the #metoo sensation of right now, I feel the message of this anthem (I am totally calling it an anthem!) is EXACTLY the one we need to embrace. Empowerment involves many, many things. It is a layered process of several facets, but being a victim and cloaking one’s self in pity is not among them.

I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
‘Cause I can make it on my own, oh
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring thunder, I’ll bring rain, oh
When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name

 

It is on a somber note that this week’s post is ending, and that’s ok. Sometimes somber can be beautiful too.