Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Have No Idea What To Title This Post.

WARNING! I am about to purge contents of my brain that have been bouncing around for about a week in this huge skull (22 3/4 inches...the biggest on my high school drill team) of mine. Remember, nobody is requiring you to read this blog. It is an outlet that helps me gather my thoughts, and realize what is going on in my head and heart. The transparency of a blog just encourages me to use proper grammar, and also makes journaling more fun when I can reference links, and share photos. Encouraging and loving feedback is always welcomed, but at this time, advice and/or negative comments are not. Please and thank you. Onward...

THIS MORNING, I woke up before my alarm, at 4:58 instead of 5:04. I let Teddy out, and stayed awake, because I'd gone to bed at 8, and was rested. You can read more about my religious musings here , but to keep things short (ha!), I have become more spiritual, and less religious, in the past 5 years. I used to attend weekly bible studies in high school, but haven't picked up my Bible other than to reference a specific quote, in so long, I couldn't remember. For a reason greater than I know, I felt inclined to open my Bible. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. I found so many old studies, papers, and a LETTER TO MYSELF. Yes, I found a letter my 14 year old self wrote TO MYSELF, and read it with an immense amount of thought. I then flipped to a page in the New Testament, and thought I'd read whatever was there with a fresh pair of eyes, and an open mind. What perfect timing. This was no coincidence. The passage was Matthew 6:19-34.

I had this section in my Bible underlined; I obviously was inspired by it then, and am now. However, I wonder what will be different this time? Apparently, these were just words that inspired me, because since underlining this passage, I have gone to a University, received a degree, started a career, and moved into a high-end loft, as well as drive a nice car. My Anthropologie shopping splurges happen a little too frequently. I wonder if I'll continue to be motivated by achievements and materialism, or if I'll gravitate more toward storing up treasures in heaven-which I believe can be attainable here on Earth-in love and living simply. I desire to live more simply. I've made small changes (limiting my Thai take out because it has GOTTEN OUT OF CONTROL, buying sushi from Central Market rather than take-out, and I've attained probably 75% of my current wardrobe from clothes swaps or consignment). But I'm really desiring a bigger change. When my lease ends in October, I want to downsize. Not because I have to, but because I want to. I love my loft. I love it so much, but my rent comes off the top of my check, and I never really thought what I could do if I lived somewhere smaller. My cottage in Norman only cost $550/month. My loft now is almost twice that. I think I could be just as happy with all the decor I've acquired, in a smaller and more modest house. And I hope this move will be my last for a while--I feel like a bird that's been flying from branch to branch, moving every year since I was 18, and I'm ready to land. And nest. In a simple, modest, rich-with-character-not-necessarily-ammenities- home. But wood floors are a must. Ahh! I'm so fickle. I can hardly stand my own inconsistencies.

I got a really fantastic deal on my dream car 2 years ago. It will be paid off next summer. I intend to drive it for at least 6 years, which will mean half the time I drive it, I won't be paying anything other than maintenance and insurance. Yes, it's a BMW, and parts are more expensive than they ought to be, but I love this car, and I look forward to driving it until there's a reason I shouldn't.

Later this afternoon, my mom (a teacher in the LISD) informed me that Senor Couture, my Spanish III teacher, passed away. He JUST retired. I'm sad he's gone, but since I haven't kept in touch with him, I'm not feeling a void throughout my day. I'm just mainly sad that he lived his entire life, working, and when he finally reached the finish line, couldn't enjoy his retirement. This further reiterates everything I've been thinking lately. LIFE IS TOO SHORT. Why am I volunteering myself in the rat race? Is it to make my parents proud? Is it to maintain the lifestyle I've set for myself (that I'm starting to lose interest in)? I'm living such a conventional life. Thank GOD I'm hitting the road next week with George. My phone will be turned off, and we will be using a map as our "GPS" and CDs as our "iPod." I'm naming it the "Back To Basics" vacation, and maybe that's all I need right now...or is it??? I don't know. I'm feeling confused, but not really sad. I'm actually really calm because I feel the security of a great job, place, car, relationship, family, and friends. I just wonder if prioritizing my career (which I have undoubtedly done the past 2 years) is something I'll be glad I did, if God forbid I should lose somebody early, or if I die unexpectedly. I wonder if Senor Couture knew he was going to die today, if he would've retired a year or two sooner. I wish he would have. It seems like a tragedy.
An Instagram shot of TX wildflowers on one of my walks with Teddy. I don't break a sweat, it is not intended to be a calorie burner. It is a time for me to disconnect from Facebook, my phone, and my job, and connect with my heart, head, pup, planet, and surroundings.

Meanwhile, I recently saw a music video called "Salem" by Penny Hill  thanks to Greer Husserl's Facebook status. This song is excellent for gathering my thoughts. It is playing now, as I type. This song itself made me reflect on women, particularly with the Salem witch trial reference. Only about 300 years ago (thinking about how long this planet has been revolving around the sun, and that Jesus was here over 2000 years ago...this really is like yesterday, in a chronological timeline), people were actually executed for witchcraft, and 74% of the victims were women. Still, today, for the same job, women are getting paid about 76 cents for every dollar a man makes. We have yet to see a woman president. Women are constantly targeted in every advertising medium, and subconscious and subliminal messages are being sent THOUSANDS of times a day. The Denton Women's Collective (<-click this link to see a blogpost I wrote back in December while forming the group) had a meeting where we watched this film by Jean Kilbourne about advertising and the effect it has on women. THIS month, our meeting will be about "Finding Kind," and any woman is welcome to join us. Click here to see the Facebook invite. I'm really looking forward to voicing some of my thoughts on this matter, because as I've grown, I've realized how ridiculous I was in high school. The film, "Finding Kind," is a documentary that encourages girls to realize that a lot of the harm, we are doing to OURSELVES. Girls are very hard on other girls. We compete with one another, rather than depending on one another. I used to be much more this way, and am so glad to be more aware now of my actions, and the effects they have on myself and others. I hope we can get to high school girls so they can learn more quickly, and save themselves a lot of heartache and heart-breaking.

My senior year of high school, laughing at something or someone, I'm sure...but struttin' with pride in my fringed Farmerette uniform. Little did I know, so much would change. I've turned into a kinder, more tolerant, and more accepting person, and I work at this every day. With each day, it seems less like work, and comes more naturally. 
Finding Kind poster. Come watch it with us!! 

Shifting back to my job...one small little complain I have dates back to my problem I had in 8th grade when Hedrick Middle School attempted to pass "standard attire" upon all students. With the help of two friends, we made a Powerpoint presentation and convinced the PTA why standard attire was not the answer. The reasons will have to be for another post, on another day, because there are dozens. The most important being limiting self-expression (and from a monetary standpoint, money is NOT saved, because an entirely separate "school wardrobe" has to be purchased-nobody wears the uniform after school or on weekends...) BACK TO TODAY. I do not enjoy wearing a monochromatic, unoriginal, box-shaped uniform every single day. When I get to take it off, and change into clothing I choose, I feel so expressive, even with an outfit! I wrote about this in more detail back in February , and now I find my outfits to be even more expressive. I realize the aforementioned bible passage discourages worrying about clothes, but the way I see it, I'm not worrying about clothes or trying to buy "designer" labels or anything rooted in materialism. When you are required to wear a uniform, choosing an outfit means expressing yourself through clothing. When George and I went on a picnic at the Grapevine Botanic Gardens, I felt inclined to wear a vintage hat I bought a while ago, but it is quite outlandish. It's beautiful, and it's probably 70 years old, but for some reason, I felt a hesitation...will I draw too much attention to myself? Am I trying to draw attention to myself? Do I just think it's lovely, and want to feel lovely? I opted to wear it. Without saying a word about my debate about to wear or not to wear, George looked at me and said, "You can totally pull that off..." Regardless of his stamp of approval, I was going to wear it, I'd decided. But his affirmation definitely made me feel lovely, which is what I was really wearing the hat for in the first place. I later found another hat for $12 and decided to wear it that evening. It made me feel like I was on a vacation. That was what I wanted to feel when I put that hat on- like I was on vacation. I find that if I let go of what other people might be thinking or saying, and truly embrace my authentic desire to wear more unique accessories, I end up feeling the way I intended.

Probably the coolest thing I've done so far at my job--operating the machine that extracts stem cells from fat tissue. These stem cells can be banked and used later, but the majority of our patients have it injected in their breasts or face. Anyway, I'm off track yet again. The point here is I am in a uniform. Monday through Friday.
Goofing around at work with my "new boyfriend," the Nitrous tank. We dressed him up. It had gotten hot, so I took off my scrub top (I almost always wear a solid shirt underneath). I realize I don't have many pics of me in my scrubs, which is probably a good thing.

SATURDAY. Feeling lovely in my 40's hat and flowy white dress with my little man.

SATURDAY. Feeling like I'm on vacation. With a woman who makes me feel relaxed and like I'm on a vacation EVERY time I see her! So grateful I live so close to Lake Grapevine. Beautiful!
Back to the re-discovery of my Bible...I ALSO found wedged somewhere between Old and New Testament a tri-folded handout that contained some helpful tidbits entitled, "Principles for Fair Marital Fighting"...Thought I'd share these, too. You don't have to be married to have a reminder on how to "fight fair." These can also be applied to any fight with any person...

  1. Be specific when you introduce a gripe.
  2. Don't just complain. Ask for some kind of reasonable change that will relieve the gripe.
  3. Ask for and give feedback on the major points. Make sure you are heard.
  4. Confine yourself to one issue at a time.
  5. Don't be glib or intolerant. 
  6. Always consider compromise-your partner's reality is/may be as real as your own.
  7. Don't allow counter-demands to enter the picture until the original demands are understood and responded to.
  8. Never assume you know what your partner is thinking; don't assume or predict how he/she will react.
  9. Don't tell your partner what he/she thinks or feels, or ought to think or feel, and override what he/she REALLY thinks or feels.
  10. Never put labels on your partner or make sweeping, labeling judgments about his/her thoughts or feelings.
  11. Don't use sarcasm. 
  12. Forget the past; stay in the "here and now."
  13. Don't overload your partner with grievances.
  14. Think it over and consult with yourself: "Do I really want to fight over this?"
  15. In a fight between intimates, either both win or both lose.
Looking through this Bible has my brain in high gear. It is not merely a book with two hard covers and pages in between...from an anthropological point of view, this is THE MOST read and recognized book in the world. From a religious point of view, this is a GUIDE on how to LIVE A FULFILLING LIFE. From a personal point of view, there are passages that mattered to me at one point, and matter to me now, and I interpret them both similarly and differently at the same time. This book has matters very close to my heart folded and wedged between pages. I can't possibly begin to share everything on this blog, but just spitting out all these thoughts into something tangible, I certainly feel a weight lifted.

Thank you for reading. I'm off to walk my dog.



  1. Thanks for sharing Linds. You have inspired me to get back to the basics and to live more simply. I too am always finding my self apart of the hustle and bustle and "rat race". I am sorry to hear about SeƱor Couture, I hope he had a pleasurable life and got to enjoy lifes special moments before he past. I hope his soul is resting and in his next life isn't racing full speed ahead to the end. You are a beautiful person inside and out and I love reading your blogs, but connect with this one especially! To living happily, simply and finding pleasure and joy in the ways God intended us to :)

  2. Thanks, Raquel. I feel the same way about you :)

  3. That is one of my very favorite scriptures. I actually printed it out and have it taped up at my desk at work. I get so easily overwhelmed and stressed about life, money, etc., and all I have to do is glance at it sometimes in order to feel peace at once. I think your plans to simplify are AMAZING. And I can't wait to spend more time with you and get to know you at the next DWC gathering.

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