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Things I’ve Learned at 45

5 May

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I saw a story in Huffington Post this morning about one woman’s reality at the age of 45 and it got me thinking about my own reality at the same age. I think back over the years and realize just how much things have changed, not just physically but mentally. When I look in the mirror, I still see the eyes of a nine year old girl with pigtails but with the reality of a woman.

* My heart’s been broken more than a few times, it’s also been filled with love even more than it’s been broken.

* I’ve loved and lost, I’ve lost and found, and I’ve found and hung on to.

* I see the world through the eyes of someone interested in what’s going on around me

* There will always be haters. Don’t be part of that crowd.

* No matter how bad things are, don’t be an asshole. Nobody likes an asshole regardless of your situation.

* Get out and experience people and places. There’s more to life than “reality” shows, Facebook, Twitter and sitting in front of the tv or computer.

* I feel the pain of those around me and I also feel the love of those same people.

* I realize how important watching the news is now when I used to want nothing more than my dad to change the channel to something “interesting”. Now it’s the first thing I watch in the morning. I want to see how the world is changing around me.

* I realize the importance of politics and want to see the difference in how my country is currently being run and how our forefathers meant for it to be run.

* I don’t have the “stretch mark trophies” from giving birth, I have them from pizza, beer and years of eating the wrong things.

* Life doesn’t always have to be fair and it won’t be. But life is always worth living.

* Losing weight isn’t as easy as it used to be and neither is picking up something I drop.

* I’ve learned to see the good in people instead of immediately focusing on their flaws and imperfections. It’s not always the first thing you see, but it’s there somewhere if you pay attention.

* It’s ok to cry. Do it often if you need it. Cleansing the soul is good and provides clarity when you need it.

* I’ve learned that there’s always someone else who wishes they had my life, even though sometimes I wish it were different.

* People will always find fault, criticize and be cruel. Doesn’t mean what they say is the truth, it does say that there’s more of a problem with themselves than there is with you.

* I see my parents aging and sometimes it’s hard to realize that time is really passing as quickly as it is and I realize that the time I spend with them and the things I give up to help take care of them is so important and will leave me memories I wouldn’t trade for anything.

* I realize that my mom’s music really isn’t that bad, in fact, it’s actually pretty damn great. I realize dad’s music has always been great 🙂

* I know that scars will heal but they are always going to be there so learn to accept them and appreciate them. I now view them as “battle wounds” from surviving years of fighting my way through life.

* I realize that I’m never going to be that young girl with the cute body who turns a guy’s head anymore and I’m ok with that. I’d rather be the woman who grabs his attention because of who I am and holds his heart.

* I used to wonder if there was a God and honestly, with the state of the world, I sometimes catch myself wondering this same thing but I always know in my heart just by the beauty of things around me that there truly is.

* I’ve learned that our differences can sometimes bring us together instead of tearing us apart. It’s important to know that just because someone thinks differently doesn’t make it wrong, it’s simply another way of viewing things and we don’t always have to agree or see eye to eye. That’s the beauty of choice.

* Beauty is so much more than skin deep. It radiates from the heart, it comes from who you are. It’s in the way you carry yourself and the way you laugh at a stupid joke. It’s in the way you talk to other people. It’s in the way you learn to love who you are and be confident in yourself. Ugly is also more than skin deep. A beautiful face can never hide an ugly heart.

* Dirty jokes and fart jokes are funny. Sorry, but they are and at 45, there comes the time when you have to pull the stick out of your ass and loosen up a little. Have a sense of humor and stop cringing when someone talks about sex, farts or anything else that was once deemed “inappropriate.” It’s all part of being human, embrace it.

* I’ve learned that my circle of friends is so important. They’re the ones that I’m gonna lean on when things start to happen that bring you to your knees and take the breath out of you. They’re the ones to help me get back up and start to breathe again. The circle may not be large, but it’s important to realize who is really going to be there when you truly need them. Keep that circle close and keep it tight.

* I’ve learned that it’s ok not to be perfect, that it’s ok not to be a size 2 and that it’s ok not to have the flattest abs or the “apple bottom”. It’s good to just be who you are and work on improving what makes YOU comfortable and not what makes society comfortable.

* Old movies on the couch with a comforter and a bowl of popcorn (and a box of Kleenex) is a great way to spend a night.

* I am no longer the all nighter, the party animal, the girl who can run on high energy all night long. By 10pm. I”m good with being in bed. I live for it. Sleep does a body good.

* Lists like this are great to make once in awhile, they make you see how things have changed and how important it is to notice.

And I’ve learned that 45 is a great place to be.

Read the Stories of Life and See the Beauty You Might Not Have Seen Before

21 Apr

Every day I look at my social media feeds and see so much focus on negativity in regards to looks, self-esteem and just our differences in general. What has happened to our society? It’s become so toxic and that toxicity doesn’t seem to end. There’s so much focus on what society deems as attractive and what is “acceptable” that it’s forgotten that perfection does not exist. Perfection is only a word in the dictionary.

I have heard young girls ask their moms why they’re not pretty just because some kid at school told them they weren’t. I hear people make snide remarks about the appearances of other people or the circumstances that other people are living with and it’s really sad to see that this is what’s going on out there. When I was growing up, I don’t remember bullying being such a huge problem like it is now. I don’t remember ever being made to feel ugly and not having any worth in my awkward growing up phase but having been in a mentally abusive adult relationship, I sure heard it plenty during those few months and because of those words, I have a really hard time seeing myself as anything other than that. It’s been 6 years since I got myself out of that relationship of unnecessary hurt, anger and pain but it’s been an internal struggle every day to build myself back up to the confident, strong person I was before I was knocked down by an insensitive, controlling jerk with no self-esteem of his own. Being told or just made to feel that you’re not good enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re too this, you’re too that is something that doesn’t just sting, it’s burns and it leaves a mark, both in your heart and on your brain. I don’t understand why people feel the need to bring other people down, to make them feel horrible about who they are. You can think you’re the most confident person in the world but when someone you trust and believe in makes you feel otherwise, you start to believe it yourself and then when total strangers say things behind your back or sadly these days, even to your face thanks to the reality of the anonymity of the internet, it’s in your face every day, in some form and you find yourself falling into the trap of thinking that maybe these things are true if others are saying them. They’re not. I realize that in a lot of cases it’s a cycle that the bully has endured in their own lives, but when does it stop and how do we stop it from repeating itself? It’s not cool, it’s not hip and it sure isn’t attractive to tear others down when we should be working to build each other up. It makes YOU the ugly one, not the one you’re trying to break down. This goes on with both men and women, every day, all day.

Men are made to feel like they have to have 6 pack abs, a head full of thick hair, work a high paying job with a title and have a big wallet to be worth something to a woman and likewise, women are made to feel that unless they wear a size 2 jeans, have big boobs, wear a shit ton of makeup and dress like Barbies that we’re never gonna find someone to love us for who we are, for the right reasons, the reasons that God put us here for – to be unique, to be exactly who we are That’s bullshit. Total bullshit. Society is the ugly one, not you.

There is good in everyone and beauty exists in all of us, whether it’s something you can physically see or it’s on the inside, it’s there if you take the time to look and pay attention to it. It’s in the way you can look into someone’s eyes as they’re talking to you and be able to see straight to their heart, it’s in the way that a single mother works 3 jobs to take care of her child, it’s in the way that a dad works the night shift to be able to take proper care of his family, it’s in the laughter of two girls embarrassed because the cute guy sitting at the table next to them just smiled at them, it’s in the way that your grandmother still looks into your grandfather’s eyes 50 years later and still smiles like they’re on a first date, it’s in a father’s eyes when he sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time, it’s in the way your best friend sends you a text just to say they were thinking about you, it’s in the way a child with an illness such as Down’s Syndrome or Autism laughs at the joke they heard in their special education class today or it’s the girl’s tears that run down her cheek because he never called. It’s not about what we look like, although when it comes to romance, a physical connection is what draws most people together. It’s who we are, it’s how we carry ourselves and it’s how we show love and caring towards those around us. Love and acceptance are all around us if we just pay attention and know what to look for. Instead of focusing on someone’s appearance, learn to look AT them and really see them instead of just looking THROUGH them. When you start to accept people and see the good that’s there, the cycle can stop, at least in your own life.

People are beautiful in their own unique ways and we all have untold stories behind the smiles, the sadness, and demons they fight every day. The person next to you may look different than you, live differently than you and that’s ok, we don’t need a bunch of Stepford clone who look alike, think alike, or believe the same things. This is what makes us great, the ability to be different and to not be like everyone else. People are walking, talking, breathing stories of life, experience and lessons. Learn from them, appreciate them and take the time to “read” their stories.

The Trouble with Love Is …

13 May

I’ve noticed that with so many reality shows trying to help you “find real love” that people tend to forget what real love is these days. It’s become so commercialized that people can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t anymore. The trouble with love is that so many people don’t learn to appreciate what real love is and what it should be. They think that the occasional “I love you” is all it takes or they think “well, they know I love them, I don’t have to tell them”. It’s not that you HAVE to tell them, it’s that you WANT to tell them. Love isn’t obligatory, it’s not something that you’re guaranteed, and it’s sure not something you can just go onto a tv show and find. Love is a gift and it’s one that should be held in the highest regard. So how do you know that it’s real love and not just something trying to fake you out again? For me, personally, I’ve only experienced real love twice in my life and I’ve learned to tell the difference. It’s not just the funny feeling in the pit of my stomach, it’s so much more than that.

Love is:

Giving someone your heart and not expecting anything in return from them.

Looking into someone’s eyes and instead of seeing their faults and flaws, you see the good things.

You learn to look past the imperfections and realize that those are what makes them who they are, along with the good.

You genuinely find yourself being completely unselfish and wanting what’s best for the other person, even if it breaks your heart in the process.

Believing in someone when they’ve ceased to believe in themselves – seeing the best in them when they can’t see it themselves.

You look at that person and they honestly make you want to be a better person.

Though the outer cover of the book may be tattered and worn, you still love what’s inside those covers.

When you can forgive and forgive from your heart and mean it

When you want to be with the one that just “fits”, the one who makes you laugh, the one who makes you feel like you can do the impossible

When you are able to step back and give the other person breathing room when they need it and not wonder if they need it because of something you did, you don’t question, you just give them the space we all need from time to time

You can’t go a day without thinking of them at least once (not obsessively mind you, but at least once)

When you discover that sometimes letting someone go is a much deeper love than hanging onto them because sometimes letting them go is what’s better for them

When you’re willing to put your heart out there and be honest about your feelings, even though it may not have the response you hoped for.

When you say “I love you” and get those same butterflies in your stomach because you know how much you mean it

When your arms are willing to hold and your heart is willing to accept someone at their worst

When you can talk AND listen

When you can sit together in total silence and not wonder if “he’s mad at me” or why he’s not talking..

When you’ve had a horrible day and just their smile or the sound of their voice makes you forget how bad it was and how good it just became

When you find yourself forgetting to breathe 🙂

When simply holding their hand is all the security you need

When they hug you and all your defenses disappear

And in my case, I can do or say something really dumb and NOT feel like the world’s biggest idiot.

I think it’s about time that we get back to the basics of love, relationships and stop letting society dictate what’s right, what’s wrong, who’s right and who’s wrong. I still believe in the fairy tale and in true love like my heart told me when I was a nine year old girl with pigtails, but now I believe in it with the clarity and sense of a 44 year old woman. Never feel like you can’t tell someone you love them, go ahead and do it, you may only have one chance to do it because tomorrow is never guaranteed.