Silver lining, a glimpse of hope in finding refuge in our community.

It has been a little over a week since an antiquated electoral college system made a madman President-elect of the most powerful nation in the world. We have gone through all but one stage of grief. There has been tears, grief, anger, protest but no acceptance. How can we accept as our leader someone who has enticed so much hatred? We have gone too far as a nation, as a people, to simply resign ourselves to four years of bigotry, racism, misogyny and intolerance or to put it bluntly, fascism.

In the last 8 days, we have heard of countless accounts of hate crime, violence towards women, people being targeted in places where they are supposed to feel safe, a French restaurant in Brooklyn, a bus, a college campus. For anyone to think that this is just a coincidence is purely delusional. These attacks are a direct consequence of months of Mr Trump directly encouraging his supporters to target certain groups of people, either by his rhetoric or by openly ordering them to do so. There hasn’t been one place where the election results was not a topic.  Medical offices had to put up signs in their waiting rooms reading “Please refrain from talking about politics as this is a place of healing”, people have randomly approached strangers and started conversations. I witnessed a man at a gas station passionately talking to drivers about a potential civil war breaking out on our beautiful land. Facebook and Instagram friends have deleted one another after decades of friendship when suddenly bigotry showed up on feeds the day after the election. To say the least, the mood of our country has been very low.

Ironically enough though, after the initial tears and shock, this outcome has brought a lot of hope and as much as it seems to have us pulled apart, it seems to have brought some of us closer together. Many have turned to social media to voice their opinion and to find comfort in the commonality. For some, it has been the only thing keeping us from depression and despair. Our desire to fight for what is just keeps us from falling apart. In a way, war has the same effect. In times of conflict, our survival mode is instinctive. We tend to work together against one common enemy. Unfortunately for us, our common enemy is our future leader and his bigoted followers. It is indeed worrisome, but we must find refuge in the fact that more people actually voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. She did win the popular vote. What we need to fight is the system, not so much each other. I personally think it is completely acceptable tjusticeo distance ourselves from those who support Trump. I tend to think that this time is too crucial to engage in arguments. People have spoken and if they have decided to support him, there is simply nothing I can say at this point that will change their mind. His supporters just had a huge victory and it is as if they were high, nothing will get through to them. They are simply too elated. We, however, cannot rest. We must prepare, organize, and create enough momentum so that our country fight the possibility of becoming an autocracy.

Thankfully, I have witnessed a lot of peaceful actions from liberals. There has been very little violence compared to what Trump supporters have done. Instead of punching, shoving, insulting people or threatening to burn someone alive because of their beliefs, faith, race or sexual orientation, we have stood up tall and marched together hand in hand to demand change. To me, the most inspiring event happening right now is the protest against the Dakota Pipeline (DAPL). Native Americans have shown us that is possible to protest peacefully and gracefully. They have proved to us, over and over that violence is not the answer and that there is strength in numbers, love, and prayers. I happen to believe that as the NO DAPL movement becomes more mainstream, it is becoming the poster child of peaceful protest. It has inspired so many and, in fact, is now even more important than ever. Our environment is at risk. People, including myself, are terrified of the consequences a Trump presidency will have on our planet.

It is clear to me that the majority of Americans believe in climate change and want a positive, healthy future for their children and generations to come.  It is in our DNA to want to succeed and be happy. Right now, we are feeling threatened by this one man and his posse who have stirred the pot of bigotry and ignorance but it has finally awakened us from our deep sleep of avoidance. We have been forced out of our comfort zone and in a way it is good. We have been energized. Every day that goes by, I feel stronger and come to appreciate things that really matter more. There is so much superficiality in our materialistic world and times like these help us center and focus on the most raw aspects of life. Happiness, peacefulness, respect,humility and integrity are all that seem to essentially matter right now. We are fighting for our rights to live without unjust rules imposed by a few.

My teenager and I often discuss reasons why we are here. Passing on knowledge and wisdom through whatever skills we have is the main one. Helping one another is obviously crucial to our survival and common happiness. There is absolutely nothing more rewarding in this world than carrying each other like Bono would sing in his 1997 U2 song entitled “One”.  Those who do not believe this are simply too distracted by all the shiny things around them! They’ve lost touch with the most basic concept there is. Our world is based on competition too much. Everywhere we turn, someone is trying to beat someone at something, or make more money, or have more than someone else. No one ever competes for less, when in reality, we should strive to have less so we can give more of what really matters, our heart.

I sincerely believe that this time, right now, is the beginning of us focusing more on the heart and less on stuff or status. I have seen so much unity in the midst of all the ugliness. What this election did is just bring everything to the surface. It has always been there. Trump is just the monster who woke it all up. But, remember, every fairy tale or myth has a hero who manages to destroy the monster. A hero usually has a pretty big posse too. I’ve seen or heard about a lot of heroes this week. Students are standing up for their immigrant, gay, black , and Muslim friends, or simply for their peers being attacked for speaking against bigotry. Strangers have taken a stand for those who were unfairly targeted. I think it’s time to shoot a new episode of that What Would You Do? show because I am pretty sure the results would be different. People are awake. They will stand for what is right. No more hiding. No more fear. And at night, or on our lunch break, we can turn to social media and see that we are not alone in this fight. We are ONE and we carry each other. Against HATE.

 

Advertisements

Hipocrisy

WHEN SILENCE MEANS JUDGEMENT
WHEN “AS LONG” AS IS REALLY A DOOM FOR “SO LONG”
COMPLIMENTS UNCOVERING JEALOUSY
FAKE ENTHUSIASM SEEMINGLY HARMLESS
WHEN CARING EQUALS SHALLOW PROMOTING OF THY SELF
WHEN “WISH YOU THE BEST” IS SILENT BUT HARSH CODE FOR “I DON’T WISH YOU WELL”
PASSIVENESS IS NOT ONLY LAZINESS FOR IT IS THE EPITOME OF LOVELESS REACTION
FORCED SMILES, WORDS WITHOUT MEANING, LOUD THOUGHTS SCREAMING AND LAUGHING
HIDDEN BEHIND SELFISH ENDLESS STORM OF SELF PROCLAMATION
WHEN IGNORING IS BETTER THAN ADMITTING
WHEN YOU FEEL MORE LOVED BY STRANGERS THAN YOUR OWN POSSE.
WHEN HURTING YOUR REPUTATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MORAL ACTION
WHEN AVOIDANCE AND LIES TRUMPS HONESTY

YOU KNOW TRUTHFULNESS TO THYSELF IS THE ONLY ESCAPE. THE TRUE FACE OF HAPPINESS.

 

Intouchables

The 2011 French movie Intouchables, The Intouchables in English is probably one of the best movies I have seen in many years.

I had this movie sitting on my Netflix instant list for quite a while and finally got to it last night. I can honestly say that I felt a bit stupid once I finished watching it. I have a tendency to beat myself up when I realize how long it took me to watch a great movie.

Intouchables is a heartwarming movie. It is real, honest and funny. Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy had such great chemistry. Anne Le Ny’s character was such a crucial one as her opinion changed in the course of the movie. While she is never overwhelmingly outspoken about how she feels about Driss, she is a great representation of what the average middle or upper class person think of Driss’ character.

The movie is great to me because it shows the judgments, it shows how they can be accurate at first but it also shows how they are only accurate because of how we perpetuate them. The scene with Phillipe and his lawyer is so crucial in setting the tone of the movie. So is the opening scene of course which is pure brilliance.

Maybe the reason I love this movie so much is because of how it shows people’s growth and change. It teaches by example, not by telling or reprimanding. The progression of Driss behavior is so well played. The more he spends time with Phillipe, the more he calms down, the more he feels respected and the less he falls back to his bad habits. The scene when Driss asks the man in the car to move his vehicle is the finale in Driss maturity and growth journey. If you watched the movie, you’ll know what I mean.

The openness the Phillipe has from the get go comes from his hidden despair, his desire to be seen for what he still is and never lost. When Driss walks in, he sees his opportunity to be without being judged. He is able to understand Driss and even dismissing his negative actions.

Phillipe and Driss need each other more than they even realize. They embark in a lifesaving adventure. They both become who they want to be by teaching each other without ever realizing they are doing so.

If you are a hope, faith oriented person who believes in the power of human touch, you need to watch this movie. It will inspire you, put you at ease and make you smile. It might also make you look at people who are different from you in a whole different way.

intouchables

She is just one of us

Sometimes, smart people do really stupid things; beautiful people, ugly things; respectable people, offensive things. So many names come to mind, people whom we loved and made mistakes or caught us by surprise by doing something we thought they would never do.

There are 2 groups of people: those we idolized or love and out of nowhere shock us, and the ones who we know are really smart and we love and hate at the same time. We usually are not too shocked when they do something stupid. We expect it from them.

Let me give you a few examples. There are a lot of people we look up to, or enjoy watching on TV, listening to, but then one day, they do something stupid and suddenly it changes our whole view on them. Think Paula Deen. Think Lance Armstrong, Think Bill Clinton, Think, oh you know. I am sure you have your own list. Yes Miley Cyrus falls in this category, at least for young people and parents who thought she was a good example, and then suddenly went and did something so shocking….more on that later.

But first, let’s address the other category, the ones who really are smart, but do really stupid things because by trying to make a point (usually a good one) they are portrayed as monsters. Often, they are just misunderstood. Kanye West to me is the perfect example. If you listen to the man, he is actually extremely smart. He only wants harmony, peace and help people. He also does incredibly stupid things. I personally like the guy and like to hear him talk. I am very much like him. I sometimes let my frustration take over. Kanye West has gotten himself into a lot of trouble for things which, if you think about it, are not so wrong or untrue. Kanye lacks tact. I sometimes do too. I speak my mind and sometimes need to bite my tongue.

There were many men and women in history who were loved and hated at the same time. They were at first judged, only to be respected later when people realized what their message was.

There is nothing worse than seeing good people do stupid things because they might have lost their chance to do some real good. Look at Weiner, he screwed up a very promising career because of his indiscretion. I personally don’t care. I am one to believe that this just reminds us that these people are human. They make mistake like we all do.

No one is perfect. Yes, that includes you. You know you’ve done something stupid once. If you haven’t, maybe you should try it.

We’re all a bit judgmental of one another. Why? Because we are human and in a way we have a sense of superiority. We are social beings and we judge. I think jealousy plays a big part too.

This brings me to our dear Miley. Poor Miley, well, sort of. She is talented. Her songs are not any worse than a lot of pop songs playing on the radio these days. I believe she would have been a lot more respected if she had sang her songs but illustrated them differently. She took it a bit too far, but that is HER rebellion. I guess, even if we don’t like it, it is her life, her decision and in the end, she will be the one dealing with the consequences. She will be the one who will need to explain to her kids why she felt it was ok to expose herself to the world the way she did. It will be her regrets if she has any. 10 years from now, we won’t care about her VMA performance or her wrecking ball video. Who really cares about how shocking Madonna or Lady Gaga were in their videos?

Miley is just one of us, going through life. Yes she is in the public eye and she is using that to really get back at an industry who honestly probably took advantage of her and robbed her of a normal childhood in the first place. So in a way, who are we to judge (me including)? Michael Jackson, who is one of my favorite artists of all time, has done some PRE TTY weird stuff too. His ball grabbing was bothering me a lot when I was a kid. A LOT. But having a little compassion and understanding his life made me accept him and all his weirdness. I even felt empathy.

We all do things that are not always good or right or appropriate even. We all make mistakes and grow in our own weird way and at our own pace.

To be honest, I think that as spectators, we are awfully critical. Again. Guilty here too.

Everyone talks about how they hate the Kardashians. But honestly, who cares? First of all, their dad was famous before they were, they were thrown into the public eyes many years ago, before the sex tape. Then they had an opportunity and seized it maybe. Whatever. I don’t see how they are to be hated any more than other Hollywood celebrities. Why can’t we, “normal” people, just drop the judgment? Why do we have to resent people because they are successful? Ok yes, I agree if someone has gained success by stealing, then it is wrong. So why aren’t we more upset at CEOs, Cheney, Oil companies, Walmart more? They rob us more than the Kardashian. They do more evil. Pharmaceutical companies have worse agendas. So quit your jealous whining about so and so.

So ok, we can express our opinion. Miley Cyrus VMA performance and her new video are bad taste but let’s remember that she is human and if you don’t want your kids exposed to that, don’t let them watch it but also take the opportunity to teach your kid, and yourself, that she is human and makes choices, good, or bad. She is just a kid who is learning how to live in this world, like we all do everyday. Some of us have it figured out, some of us don’t. Some of us MIGHT THINK we have it figured out, only to wake up a decade from now to realize we are lost. There are no definite right or wrong way to live OUR lives. It is a journey. We do what we can.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to bring some positive back. Instead of focusing on what is wrong about someone, why not try hard to find the positive aspects?

You want to know what made me want to write this post? Well, obviously, I watched that Wrecking Ball video because I wanted to see what the fuss was about (kids were talking about it and I needed to be aware). I found the song to be pretty good and the video could have been brilliant and powerful, even keeping the wrecking ball, etc. After the initial shock and disgust, I started reflecting and felt bad about the whole thing. It prompted me to realize how one small decision can change everything. Take out the self touching, nudity and hammer licking, a new approach and it could have been a more meaningful artful video.

Oh well. Maybe next time Miley. I mean in 10 or 20 years. We will forgive you. We understand. We really do.

untitled

 

 

Everything is ok

Today is my birthday. I started the day feeling down, for so many reasons: an old friend of mine picked My Birthday to bring up some things that were hurtful, I am all alone today since I have been jobless since Monday. I went to get a massage that turned out terrible. I did get a gift certificate though in case I wanted to ever come back. Trying to make my day a good one didn’t seem to work so I headed home.

See, I was really trying to not feel sorry for myself and do something for me, like all my close friends and relative always tell me I should do. I always put everyone else first and usually don’t like wasting money on myself. Then when I do, it doesn’t seem to work. But this time, I didn’t give up. I called up a different massage place, got an appointment and finally got the massage I deserved and needed.  I walked home, feeling content and decided to write a post.

I have been gone for so long and have truly missed writing, one of my passions. I will soon go back to writing about random things, health, politics, and other things, you, my dear readers love but for now, I need to express and share a bit of me and my “wisdom”.

Since Monday, I have been worried about how I was going to provide for my family now that I was jobless. I have many moments of ” freaking out, OH MY GOG what am I gonna do, how am I gonna pay for this and that”. But I also have to be honest and admit that I have had many moments of liberation. Monday night, in the shower, I felt like I had just been released from prison, or as if I was alive again.

Having someone repress you everyday is the worst thing a human being can go through. Not being able to be yourself is a shame and a tragedy. At the end of the day, you are more than your paycheck, you are more than your commute and how much stuff you buy, how often you travel, what you do for the holiday. Deep down, you are YOU, a fertilized egg who grew slowly and was influenced negatively or positively by those who raised you. But really, you are just a peaceful piece of nature, or miracle and more than anything you owe it to yourself and nature/God to live your life, the way you want it and to be happy.

I am tired of explaining who I am to those who do not get me. I am tired of trying to please everyone. And so what if people don’t like me….does it mean I am less than they are? No. I am still this little piece of nature. I was obviously meant to be here. So good riddance bad jobs, good riddance bad people or bad friends. I don’t owe you anything. I owe myself more. I owe Nature more. I owe my child more.

The purpose of this blog was always to support those who do not feel like they belong……(fill in the blank). This is for the beautiful souls who are talented and intelligent and those who want peace and love and understanding around them and are shut down by the others who tell them they are not being realistic. Who are they to decide what we can and cannot do? What we should and should not do?

I am tired of trying to fit in and having to explain myself (I know I am repeating myself).

Everything is ok. I am warm. Everything around me is calm right now. I am listening to Debussy. There is a lot to do and think about and figure out but for now, right now. Everything is ok.

Remember, if you feel like you do not fit in, it just means you are around the wrong people and you have yet to find those who are like minded. Send out a message to that world. Maybe they will come to you.

Restrictions

It has been way too long since I wrote a post here.

I miss blogging, but my life has taken a different course the past 5 months and I have been having a hard time adjusting. I work full-time now, like many/ most people. Still, I am a full-time mom. I still run the household.

I can’t even remember if I mentioned this before but I have a couple auto immune diseases and the number one thing my doctors always recommend me is to rest, rest, rest and not push myself to hard. I have done the complete opposite for the past few months. I lost my somewhat good habits, gained at least 20 pounds, stopped exercising, am constantly tired, was total moody for 2 months when I started my new job and stopped doing almost everything that actually made me happy because I had no time to do them or was too exhausted to do them.

Some of the things I stopped doing was: well obviously, blogging. Sorry guys. Not sure you missed me but I surely missed YOU! I also stopped doing most things I love writing about on his blog. I stopped listening to music, watching movies, walking, taking photos, watching and reading news stories, checking Facebook for political humor posts to repost, and eating healthy to mention just a few. I figured that after a few months, I would adjust and find a way to reincorporate all those things I had to put on the back burner during the adjustment period. I have indeed been able to manage doing some of those things but I constantly feel rushed though. It just isn’t the same.

I had not worked full-time in quite a long-time. I always managed to work part-time so I could be a very involved mother. Being a mother is my number one priority. However, it was time and necessary to go back to work full-time to make things easier financially. Don’t get me wrong, I also went back to work full-time for me. I needed to be more validated as a person. It now sounds completely ridiculous, but I needed to feel like I was more “normal” ” be part of the society” “be like everyone else”– I know it sounds like the total opposite of what I am writing on this blog and who I am. But I guess, sometimes, you just want to feel validated. ( I had been looking for a full-time job for a while and after so many rejections, I started to feel like there was something wrong with me). I finally found a great job, that paid well, that was related to what I had gone to school for, etc. I felt like I fit in -at first. It was great, even though I was miserable at the same time (missing all I mentioned above), I was so happy to be like everyone else, skills recognized, remunerated, etc.

The only problem is: I am not like everyone else. I am not meant to work a 8-5 job. People do not appreciate me for who I am and they try to change me. In order for me to fit in, I need to drastically change my personality which in return makes me so unhappy, it is as if someone had crushed my spirit. I have been doing a fantastic job at my work. I have even at times been praised for it. However, I have been criticized for a few things that I can honestly not change, as they are just innate and part of ME. There is an unbelievable amount of double standard in my place of work and I will leave it at that as I am not interested in judging and commenting on it. Instead I want to talk about generally how it is pretty much the same everywhere. I have a huge problem with workplaces or people who have double standards. This is not a new occurrence.

In society, there are three groups: the ones who try to mold people in a certain way to control them and get what they want or need out of them/it (let’s call this GROUP A for the fun of it), the ones who fit in the mold and make themselves comfortable in it or the ones who are oblivious they are in it (GROUP B), and finally the ones who are resistant to being molded and want to burst out of the mold (GROUP Z).

Group A are employers, banks, those who hold political offices, pharmaceutical companies, teachers, doctors, the media, religious leaders, the Upper Class,etc. Group B are employees, patients, the average citizen, students, most kids, most religious people, for the most part the middle class and lower class. Group Z are activists, Anonymous and Occupy groups, people who follow those who question and expose Group A, some atheists, agnostics,  some scientific people, anyone who “doesn’t fit in”. Z people also often are B people with depression or substance abuse. They just haven’t realize yet that they are Z people, they still try to be B people. Once they realize it is ok to be who they are, they fall into the Z category.

Group A has been creating and perpetuating group B for centuries by putting restrictions on B people. I always like to go back as far as the feudal system because of it is the best, simplest and most obvious example. It must be the French in me that loves discussing this but it is not my purpose here. If you are interested in learning more about feudalism, go google it.

I have always been outspoken about the fact that I am not meant to work in a corporate environment. I do not do very well with rules. I can follow them. That is not the problem, but I become so miserable that it just ends up utterly miserable. Either I hurt myself, my being depressed or overeating, etc ( being a B person) or I end up speaking up and rebelling against the rules and resigning from my jobs. I have indeed quit  jobs because they felt unethical or because my superior had double standard or were dishonest. This unfortunately is so apparent at my current job, I am miserable. I find myself feeling sorry for humanity in a way, but then I realize it is more us, Americans. We work so hard, we make ourselves sick. We work so hard to make it. We work hard so our kids make it and don’t have to struggle. But while we are doing this, we barely see our kids, husband, families, ourselves. We lose touch with who we are.

Lately when I come home at night, I am so exhausted, I pass out on my couch and end up wasting my few hours with my kid. It makes me so sad that by the time it is bedtime, I cry. My bedroom has this collage I made a long time ago (with my kid). It is a collage that grounds me. It is all about nature, love, beauty and purity. I find myself staring at it and then I just burst out, feeling like I’m not being the being nature meant for me to be. I am upset about it too because I yearn for this being but it is seems impossible. I have so little time for fun now or just to breathe and reflect. So little time to enjoy life and my family. We all work so hard for the future or to not be homeless that we ending not enjoying the now. When will there be time? I am truly sad. And I feel stupid. Stupid that I can’t seem to figure out how to be happy in this society, how to make a living and do what I love. Isn’t it everyone’s problem? Pursuit of happiness?

It feels like my work just turns my brain off. Going to work every morning, being stuck in traffic, rushing home to rest just to do it again the next day. What a life! I knew I was never going to be happy in a cubicle. But I had to because I need to support my family. Now, I wonder if it is worth it? And I go back and forth….I do this for my kid can fulfill her dream, but at what price now? My child, like every parent is the most important thing to me in this universe. But it goes beyond the normal love between a mother and child. My child is my soul mate. I believe people have many soul mates.  My heart aches everyday when I have to be away from my kid for so long. It is truly the worst heartbreak I have ever had. Forget about boyfriends, etc. I think it is much worse because I am not happy at my work. If at least I felt joy during the day.

I know, I know. I just need to look for another job. Not so easy to do, in an economy like ours. But I do not give up. I need to get back to me. I have been saying that for years now. My favorite motto is ” When there is a will, there is a way” . So what is my problem? What is our problem? We all have dreams, aspirations, no one wants to work at a job we hate or don’t enjoy, a job that drains us and makes us feel like robots or zombie. We are all afraid. Of what? Everyone is different but we are all afraid of taking the leap. We are afraid of failure. But aren’t we failing ourselves already everyday by not being the way Nature/God intended us to be?

Happy.

 

 

 

Do you feel forced to follow tradition? An epiphany on Epiphany!

After a few weeks of writer’s block, it finally hit me. Don’t you love that moment when something comes to you and all you want to do is grab a keyboard ( *smiles*) and write a blog post about it. Well here it comes. I had my epiphany, ironically enough on Epiphany!

One of my readers figured out some of my origins after reading my blog post about eating consciousness. No wonder, all that mention about eating rabbit and cow’s tongue and liver as a child gave it away. Yes I am partly French. My whole adult life, I have had issues with how to keep up with traditions. As I mentioned in previous posts, the first dilemma came when we had to figure out whether to celebrate Christmas or not. Well I figured that out. But there are so many other things. For me and my husband, a few issues come to mind. First, we’re not Catholic but both had at least one Catholic parent, then when it comes to me, I was raised in a home where food WAS a national TRADITION! I’m not joking. So, even after having figured out that we didn’t have to celebrate some religious holidays, food is always a reminder or even an excuse. Like today. Today is Epiphany. I grew up celebrating Epiphany. My mom was not really a practicing Catholic but in France, it was tradition to get the Galette with the fève inside. Whoever got the fève was crowned King or Queen. Also, every time you would visit someone during the whole month of January, you would have to bring a galette. Whoever got the fève was the next one to buy the galette. It went on until the end of the month. We also have until the end of the month to wish Happy New Year. Anytime afterwards was bad taste.

I continued all the traditions I grew up with (well most of them) because it is heart warming and I wanted share my culture with my family and kid.

After a few years, I now find those traditions more as chores and duties. I went to bed last night thinking, “oh shit, tomorrow is Epiphany, I have to go get a galette I guess” excuse my language but that is really what I thought. I started wondering where I would get it, where the best one is at, which store has the cheapest…. AND because of my new vegan diet, I honestly had no desire to even eat it. It was Christmas all over again. At Christmas, I bought a bûche de Noel but I wasn’t excited about eating it. I looked forward to my vegetables a lot more.  Traditions are legacies, I get it. But we change, people change, so why do I feel so guilty by just thinking about NOT getting a Bûche de Noel or a Galette? I think it is because all those things were fun for me as a child, but I am not a child anymore and I could care less if I eat a galette on a Holiday I don’t even believe in. I am a closeted double hypocrite. So here, I am out. I am not Catholic and I celebrate Catholic holidays just because I did when I was younger even though it was mostly because of the fun and for the food and now I force myself to do it for my kid.

Don’t get me wrong. I do like traditions but after a while, it is time to move on. For example, we used to celebrate Easter, but now we no longer go for the Easter egg hunt. We graduated from that tradition. I never baked beignet on Mardi Gras like my grandmother used to. That’s ok. I don’t make crepes that often either which probably explain why I am not rich since the tradition is that if you make crepe on a certain day, you’re supposed to be rich all year. I think I have to stop being so hard on myself. Another reason why I kept those traditions for so long even when they annoyed me was because my mother would make me feel guilty about not being in France anymore. I think she was afraid my kid would not have enough reminders of where we came from. That could not be further from the truth. We all know where we come from and we cherish it. What is more important though to us is who we are today as people. Who we are is not defined by traditions. I love my origins and I will always cherish them but I see myself more as a part of the human race than as a National of a specific country or a follower of a specific faith. We did a great job raising our child that way. This might anger some people, but I find it wrong to force kids to say the pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag every day in school. We love our country very very much in our house. 9/11 was one of the worst days of our lives. We love our American People but we do not need to assert it that way because we feel we alienate the rest of the world. Traditions are like history to me. They have to be remembered and people choose to remember history in their own ways. Some express their opinions loudly, some join parades, some make movies about it, some light a candle quietly in the privacy of their home. The way we choose to honor our traditions is up to us and we shall not feel pressured by anyone, not our parents, not capitalism (hello Valentine’s day around the corner) or our government. So I am officially over the guilt.

The other very important thing to remember is to forever create new traditions. It is actually the most fun. I have countless ideas every year which turn into beautiful new memories and traditions and it makes me happy to know that I am continuing to write our history.

 

Now for all those of you who wonder what I ended up doing: well, I did it. I went out and bought a Galette des Rois. When I came home I wrote this post…out of frustration. Now I think I will actually enjoy it more but I will no longer do anything just because I have to follow some tradition.

 

20130106_163759

 

 

Need to escape and recharge!!!

Sometimes living in a big city can be overwhelming.  There are many advantages to living in a city like Los Angeles, New York City or Chicago. We get exposed to many different cultures, food, people, entertainment, product availability, more tolerance, etc but we also can easily get lost in the pace of things. Lives in big cities are fast paced and sometimes crazy. We don’t seem to have time to stop and smell the roses any more. We are so absorbed by our schedule, getting from point A to point B, making it to the office on time, taking the kids from school to their activities. Even weekends are full. Some of us work on weekends and don’t even have time to relax. Yes, living in a big city might indeed mean that we have to have 2 or 3 jobs. Living in Los Angeles or New York City can cost an arm and a leg. So why do we do it?

Well, apart from the things mentioned above, I think city living is just a dream for avant-garde people who just need to feel alive and need to be on the move all the time. It is also suitable for liberal people who might feel stuck wherever they were living before. They move to a big city because they might feel like they can blend in more easily and be more accepted. Some would never even consider living in Los Angeles because they are actually trying to avoid the melting pot. Some embrace diversity while some would rather stay in their comfortable environment. I do not see anything wrong with either people. I think that we have to be wherever we feel most comfortable. Traveling of course is a good thing to become more aware and accepting but finding a place that feels like home is a very important part of our Pursuit of Happiness. Home is not necessarily where you are born and raised. Home is wherever you feel happy and comfortable. Some people grow up in really small towns and cannot wait to leave. Others are content and would never entertain the idea of leaving. Small towns can be warm and safe. They can also be claustrophobic for those who cannot wait to get out. It all depends on your personality. You have to follow your instinct or gut and just go wherever you feel happiest.

For me, Los Angeles is great. It is full of people from all over the country and world. I like the mix. I like the diverse landscape. Everyday I feel extremely grateful to be able to witness nature’s beauty. Southern California has mountains, valleys, the oceans, desert, and well, a lot of freeways. That is probably what I resent the most about Los Angeles. Driving is a pain here. People do not drive very well here and it is the major cause of frustration here if I had to guess. Los Angeles is way too busy, too fast paced. As much as I love living in LA, I also have days where I really hate it. I am a pretty simple person. I do not care for all the fashion and materialistic things some people seek after. I like my quiet time., I don’t like going out to all the clubs LA has to offer. I don’t like crowds. I am a non conformist as you saw in my posts. I like doing my own thing. I love people and I like socializing but I don’t always do it in the most expected manners. I find it difficult to make true friends here. Too often, people say, “yeah let’s do something” “Let’s make it happen” and it never happens. I talk to many foreigners who come to Los Angeles and who tell me the exact same thing. They feel that people are fake here. I admit, I do understand them. I sometimes feel that way too. Coming from the Midwest where people are a lot more warm and fuzzy, LA can seem a little cold. Actually, not so cold, just fake. People who were born and raised in LA are not necessarily like that but those who come here with a special goal in mind sometimes are so focused on what they came here to do that they become  very insensitive to everything else. Manners have been lost. The “I’ll do anything to get what I want” attitude is real here. Then there are all the people who get so absorbed by the L.A. lifestyle that they lose touch with their roots and what it means to be a good person. LA is superficial and it is a little easy to fall into the trap.

Many times, I want to get out of here. I suffocate and need to escape this crazy city. This week is one of those times. I need a vacation from Southern California. We could get out of LA and travel to Big Bear or Mammoth, etc but what would be the point since we would end up where all those Angelenos escape to in December. A trip to the Midwest or Anywhere but California would be nice. It won’t happen anytime soon unfortunately but it would be rejuvenating. I always say that California is like its own country. We feel so detached from the rest of the United States. That is of course mainly because of the time difference with the rest of the country. We get everything 3 hours later that most of the US. If you want to watch a show, you better stay away from Twitter or Facebook because most likely someone will spoil it for you before you get to turn on your TV. I really hate that. Also, people in Los Angeles have such a different lifestyle than the rest of the country that it feels like we are so separated from everyone else. We are a bit strange here. We are ahead for many things but that is not always a good thing. I think we do things that are not always seen as normal in other parts of the US. Los Angeles is very liberal. We eat tofu, we have froyo shops everywhere and finding an actual ice cream place is a challenge nowadays. We have vegan restaurants on every corner. People skateboard to work. We wear flip-flops all year round, even if it is 50 degrees outside. Women go to Dry Bars just to get their hair done (no cut!). They get their nails done once a week. We drink so much alcohol to survive our crazy stressed lives than we have liquor stores on every corner and 5 cents sales at BEVMO. Happy hour is the most popular word during the week at the office. We are obsessed with deals, like Living Social or Groupon. People go tanning all the time, even though we get sunshine almost 365 days a year. I’m an actor, director or producer are the most common responses if you ask someone what they do for a living.  So, yes we are laid back here. If you drive around the coast, you will witness some pretty laid back attitude, the cool surfers, the stoners, etc but that’s not all LA. LA is also full of cliques. You have the extremely rich, the extremely poor, the homeless, and the ones stuck in the middle. You have the stress of everyday life. You have the superficial crap that no one really thinks about. If you are not born here, most likely, there is only a certain amount of LA you can tolerate. After a while, you will need to take a mini vacation from it. Most people do. People get out of the city or state ALL the time. I think it is a mandatory thing if you want to survive. I am an exception. I can’t really afford leaving LA so I am stuck here, for now.

In the meantime, I turn on my music, I try to block things that bother me. I try to talk to family and friends who are not from LA. I attempt to create my safe heaven. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about what people are doing in other states. What are people doing in small towns…? Thinking of simple things brings me back to center and peace. I try to just enjoy the most basic things. I also watch a lot of documentaries. A recent one if HAPPY. It is such a great documentary that reminds you about how we should all live. Happiness in usually never wrapped in a package. It is never visible. It is impossible physically hand in happiness. Happiness comes in the strangest ways…To find happiness again when we are too overwhelmed and stressed out, we often have to recharge….elsewhere.

IWhere are the angels in the City of Angels?

Here I am at home, sitting in my very uncomfortable 15-year-old couch, but warm and happy. I just came back from my job which I am lucky to say I love. A lot of things have changed since I first arrived here in Los Angeles. As I was driving home, I was talking to my family about the short conversation I had just had with a homeless man while I was waiting at the cross walk. I talked to him and gave him some money. He smelled and was obviously in need of help. He was holding a sign that said, “Happy Holidays”. He wasn’t really begging though. But his eyes caught mine and so I started to talk. I asked him if he slept outside and he said yes because there was no room in the shelter but he was waiting from friends in Jamaica to be help him. I asked him what his story was and he said, “oh it’s a long story”. It was my turn to walk and so I talked to him for a few more seconds and then crossed the street. I said, I hope things would turn for the better and wished him a Happy Holiday. He said the same and wished me a Happy New Year. I now regret not staying to talk longer. My family as usual was sweet to me when I told them the story and said I felt bad for him. They said to me, ” At least you were nice and you helped him”. It’s true. Most people pass them on the street and ignore them as if they were trash. I always smile to homeless people and talk to them if I can. Today reminded me of an essay I wrote after being in LA for just 5 months. My husband remembered it. So there it was. I decided I would go home, find what I had written back then, post it and see where I was today. I wanted to see if anything had changed.

So here it is and please read all the way to the end to see my comments about what I feel and think now!

BEGINNING>

It’s been almost 5 months since I’ve arrived in this heartless, dysfunctional, delusional city. We came here because we thought it would be better for all of us. We were full of hope that we would fit in here better than where we came from. Perhaps our thought was the illusion. All I can seem to focus on since I have been here is how ugly, mean and sad things are around here. I see the ugliness in people’s face, in their behavior, in the way they drive, talk, and ignore each other. My soul has been aching for 5 months and I am not sure how to make it stop. I came to work one day, very distressed after having experienced a very disturbing chain of event. I attempted to explain to a coworker why my heart was in despair. I told her about the feeling of discomfort and misery I have had since January. She looked at me and said: “I used to be like that too, I used to cry everyday, but after a while I didn’t see it anymore. I don’t hear or see things anymore. It will get better, you will get used to it.” Then I looked at her and said: “if you knew me, you would know that I will never get used to it”. Indeed, I know that it is impossible for me to be numb to what is around me and that is exactly what she was trying to convince me would happen with time. This is the core of all problems. When people first come to this city, they most likely feel the same thing that I have been feeling but they only allow themselves to feel this way for a short amount of time. They become desensitized. Or rather, they desensitize themselves. A good example of this came from another coworker of mine who gave me an advice one day on how to be happy in this city. He told me to create a sort of cocoon, to create my own happiness with my family and just focus on that. Apparently, that’s what he did, and it undoubtedly works for him extremely well. In my opinion, the only way someone is able to live that way, is by desensitizing himself to the point that things don’t look the same anymore, or aren’t even there at all. Or is it that these people have made some kind of mental agreement with themselves that if they let themselves feel, they would lose their sanity or comfort? What has happen to humankind? Humans are “feeling” beings but at the same time, they have the need to protect themselves from what is hostile or unacceptable to them. Humans feel but they are also intelligent. At times, their intelligence takes over their senses and attracts them to selfish behavior. Some would say that the need to create a cocoon for themselves is simply a defense mechanism that every species has. But who says that it is impossible to protect ourselves and at the same time help each other? I, like everyone else in this world, feel the need to protect myself and my family from danger, but I also have this incredible feeling that I was put on this earth to make it better and to help people. I was born with this amazing ability to feel other people’s pain and rejecting this ability would be an insult to who I am and an insult to mankind. I am able to see, hear, taste, smell, touch and feel and yes sometimes, most of the times for the past 5 months, it is very unpleasant but what am I to do about it, just repress all those senses? Don’t get me wrong, I do look away, and walk away from uncomfortable situations, but every time I come out of it disturbed. I cannot just move on or forget about it or block it like my 2 co-workers were able to do. Instead, I go home and wonder how I can go on. How can I witness pain, suffering, chaos and insanity and sometimes evil, and just manage to go on? How can I be surrounded with all this everyday and just ignore it, pass it by and go home to my cocoon everyday? What kind of human would I be? My feelings overcome my intelligence and my ability to block things.

For years now I have been looking for my purpose in life, just like everyone else has. I have been aching inside for a long time. I have this strong feeling of sadness and pain inside of me. I cannot watch the news without feeling personally touched by what I see. So many times, I just want to go help people personally, but I have no plan. When Katrina happened, I sat there watching the horror on TV, crying most of the time. I wanted to scream at the TV and then pack my bags and go help those people. But I couldn’t because of my own family who needed me and because me leaving to help those poor people would jeopardize our financial stability.

When I arrived in LA, the aching feeling resurfaced almost immediately. How can a city have come this far? What happened? How can this be possible here in America? This question sounded so familiar, the same question everyone had been asking for days when Hurricane Katrina happened? People in L.A seem to have lost touch with reality; many have created a life of disillusion for themselves. They live in a fantasy. The entire city seems to be out of touch with the rest of the country. L.A is a selfish, rough, desensitized city and so are many people who live here. I do understand it is a way for them to survive here. A good majority of people come here to follow their dream and in their journey to attain their dream, they simply forget to be sensitive to others. They walk on a straight line and force themselves to not look aside by fear it would destroy them.

Well, just like I was telling my coworker that day, if I do not look, if I let myself be desensitized, I will be destroyed. How can I create a cocoon for myself, go home at night and not be touched by how many homeless people I saw on my way back to my cocoon?

Sometimes, I do envy those who can pass by the ugliness and chaos and just not feel. Sometimes I wish I was numb. Perhaps my life would be easier, perhaps, it would be meaningless. Perhaps, I would have a job that interests me today if I was numb. I have a college degree, I speak 3 languages; everyone was so sure I would have a good job by now that pays well but look at me today. Every job that I have had seem so meaningless to me. Working in a store, working at a hotel, this is not what I want but it’s all I can get. Everyday I wake up with deep sadness and I feel as if I am wasting time. I wish I could use the hours of my precious life, doing something that matters, help people, tell stories of the people who are passed by everyday by those who go home to their cocoon. Sometimes I wish I could start a revolution. I wish I could expose the world’s misery because I do believe that exposing the truth and misery in a major way is the key to re-sensitizing people. Remember during Katrina, how much people were affected by what they saw. How many people donated to the Red Cross, made in kind contributions, drove to New Orleans to help. That is I believe because of the dramatic impact the media had on people. Of course many turned their TV off after a few days but those who didn’t are the ones who made a difference. Those who allowed themselves to bring the tragedy into their home allowed themselves to suffer as well. Accepting the pain and suffering and allowing it into their homes is the first step to become compassionate. Turning off the TV, ignoring the homeless person on the way home, is unfortunately a way of keeping the status quo. As hard as it can be to feel other people’s pain, it makes us better people. It makes us think more and eventually find a way to make life a little more bearable for all of us, not just us as individuals.

Finding my peace will be finding a way to everyday make a difference for someone who is suffering. My heart and soul will not be content until I find a job that lets me be who I am. I wish I could afford to drop my meaningless job and go do what I want to do but the status quo prevents me from doing that right now. I moved to L.A and now I have to settle here and beat the monster. After 5 months of searching for a place to live and hundreds of people denying us because all they rely on is a piece of paper called a credit report, I must have faith that I was brought here to finally find a way to everyday make a difference to the world. My husband, daughter and I have been victims of people’s stereotype, blindness and fear and I truly hope we soon find a place to settle before we find ourselves on the street like nearly 90,000 people in the city.  If we make it here or even if we don’t, it would definitely have made my conviction stronger and will have brought me closer to making a difference. I just hope I find the strength to keep going and I hope one day someone gives me the chance to make a difference at a broader level.

END>

It’s been almost 7 years since I wrote this. I am still the same person and still believe everything I said. I think what has changed is that I have become stronger from everything I have encountered and found a way to ease the pain I experience by being such a sensitive human being. I am sensitive to pain and suffering. That has not changed. I am a very aware and conscious being. I always side with the less fortunate, the poor, the struggling class, the minorities. I somehow have found a way to deal with my sadness and sometimes anger towards the system. First of all, I am not afraid of speaking my mind. If I see something disturbing, I will denounce it. If I see I can do something, I will do it and encourage other people to do it too. I also decided to volunteer my time. I joined the American Red Cross and did hours of training. So basically, the way for me to deal with the suffering was to be there first hand where suffering was. I am part of the Disaster Team. I stay locally because I do not have the luxury and finances to be dispatched to out-of-state but I am always asked and will go when I can. This gave me more power over my feelings. It gave me purpose.

As I said back then, I always felt like I had a bigger purpose in life, that I needed to help people and so I found a way to do just that and I do whenever I can. I am sort of a good Samaritan in so many ways. I help people stranded on the road, I find myself in weird situations where I end up being the one giving someone CPR, etc. It is quite odd sometimes. I still think it is horrific how many homeless people live in Los Angeles and how a few blocks down, there are stores and shops with products costing an unnecessary arm and a leg.  Social equality has always been important to me and I personally think we do it all wrong in America. I think social equality goes hand in hand with racial equality as well. I think we need to educate our children better in school. We need to bring everything back to basic humanity. Teaching humanity and compassion should be the most important subject and very first thing taught in school. Instead we desensitize our kids. That is a whole different topic which I will gladly discuss.

Caring makes us vulnerable, it’s true but as a society, I think we would definitely benefit from having more caring people. Strength and compassion can go hand in hand. It does not have to be one or the other. Strong caring people can lead and change the world. Real change happens in the heart first. I know it sounds so cliché but “Be the change you want to see in the world” is a good line. If you want to see more happiness and compassion, you need to do be compassionate yourself. Avoidance never leads to anywhere. Just because your little cocoon is comfortable does not mean it is safe. Putting yourself in someone’s shoes will make you realize that there is a lack of understanding and love in this world. I recently watched a documentary called the Human Experience which I highly recommend watching. These two young men went around the world and put themselves in the shoes of many different people, the first ones being homeless people. This taught them so much. It made them better. It transformed them, brought back humility. We all need to feel discomfort and feel pain that others feel, otherwise, we become no better than what we use on a daily basis, ROBOTS.

SOUND OFF

Originality is my convention

We are extremely lucky to live in the Western World. Developed countries have so much to offer to us. We pretty much can get anything we want, whenever we want, however we want. Sometimes, there are so many choices, we get lost or confused…..or annoyed (which reminds me, one of my next posts will be about shopping so stay tuned!). The privilege we have to live in such a society (let’s think about it here for a minute, it is a privilege, many people in under-developed countries envy us) can also be a curse. What I mean by that is that having everything handed to us on a platter makes us lack originality. We have become dull, plain, boring. We do not use our brains as much as we should and we just go with trends. With follow the herd like sheep and don’t question anything really unless it is something extremely important. In the next few paragraphs, I will mention how our society bores and traps us in its conventionality, how it makes us less interesting and most importantly how a buddabamama goes against the norm whenever she can. Some might call it rebellion. I just call it using my heart and soul.

Enjoy.

I’ve always struggled with fitting in this society. I struggled because, I really always wanted to do things that I wanted to do and not be pressured to do otherwise. Let’s say that it probably originated from my odd childhood. I always wanted to burst out of my shell, exit the world I was in. I still remember vividly reading a story in High School called ” The Black Sheep in the Family”. I do not remember who wrote the passage but it described me so well and for the first time in my life, I felt adequate. I thought, wait, maybe more people are like me… How amazing? Maybe if the people around me didn’t SEE me, others would. I just needed to find my blissful environment and like-minded people.

I was never one to conform to the norm. To me the word norm is scary and ugly. In my family weird is more of a compliment than an insult. Weird to most people means odd. What’s wrong with being odd? Creativity is an important part of our happiness. If we cannot create, then why are we here? What is the point of living our lives, just going with what the crowd does, buying what everyone buys, celebrating the same way people celebrate? Why not come out of our bubble once in a while and try something completely different? Why not do something NEVER done before? Why is that so scary? I think it all comes down to comfort. We are so busy, tired, sick, frustrated, what is presented to us is plain and simply appealing because after living our exhausting lives, we do not have time for creation. It takes time, courage and thought to create. No, we don’t have time for that. Instead, look, there is something on the TV, I can just call and order it and it will come to me so fast, I won’t have to worry about anything. I don’t have to come up with my own idea. It would take me forever to figure out how to make something like that….? Right? The good thing though when it comes to products is that the best thing that can ever happen to you to trigger creativity is lack of money. If I don’t have the money to buy something, I will try to make it. Often, if I need something, I will think, “How can I make it”? It is usually an adventure because I am not the  most crafty person. When my daughter was younger, we wanted to buy her a little table and chair so she could do her art. Everything in stores looked too commercial and expensive so I told my husband that we should make it ourselves. He was very reluctant ( he is the least daring person in our family). I had a vision to use an old side table that was passed on to me from my friend Ella. It was a dark wooden table with beautiful legs. I dragged my husband to a store that sold only unfinished furniture. We found the cutest little chair to go with the table. Then we went to Lowe’s, picked a color we know she would love and got to work. My husband was dreading the whole thing. He had so many doubts and fears. We stayed up late, sanded, coated, painted the table while our daughter was sleeping. The results: amazing. She had a great birthday and a decade later, she still has the table (now covered with hair accessories and jewelry) and she treasures the fact that she can pass it on to her daughter or granddaughter in the future. The best part is: I had won my husband over and from that day on, he has been a lot more supportive of my crazy ideas.

That is just one example on how I always think outside the box. I won’t lie to you, I encountered many nay-sayers and people who try to discourage me (my husband used to be one of them).  What I would recommend those of you who are brave enough to be creative is to just ignore, ignore and ignore again those who try to stop you. You could spend an hour trying to explain those people that you have a vision, that your idea will turn to gold, they will never understand until they see it. SO: don’t waste your time on them. If you are lucky enough to have been blessed to have the ability to free yourself from conventionality, then you owe it to yourself to just do it and not worry about how others will judge you. One thing for sure is that you can never please everyone. So why try? The person you must please first is yourself. It took me a long time to come to term with this simple notion.

My husband and I were both raised with some sort of religious upbringing. I was raised in Catholic country with a mother who didn’t care much for organized religion but with a Muslim father. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. What a combination!!! The good thing is that because of that and all the crazy things I was asked to do, I sort of deviated from the whole idea of religion. I mean no offense to those who are religious. I have the utmost respect for people’s choices and free will. What makes you happy, you should continue to do. However, religion is not for me. I do not find any comfort in organized religion. I never believed anything that was sort of shoved down my throat. It makes a lot of sense actually. If something is somewhat forced, you will rebel. When I went to college, I found my peace by taking a non-western religion class and reading up on Taoism and Buddhism. I am not a Taoist. I am not a Buddhist but I identify with those two ideologies the best. But I still don’t go to a Buddhist temple. I am content with my beliefs. They are original. It’s a little bit of science, a little bit of spirituality, a little bit of Buddhism (my blog name is starting to make more sense now doesn’t it?) a lot of nature appreciation, and lots of love and compassion. If I may, I recommend anyone who is reading this and who feels inadequate in their religion or faith to do venture outside the norm. You do not have to be the same religion as your parents. If they love you, they will accept you whatever you feel comfortable in. If you are afraid they won’t, it is not your issue. It is theirs. This is your life. You are with yourself more than you are with them. You will be the one raising your children, not your parents. You will be the one passing on your experiences so make them worthy of them.

All this brings me to our daughter’s first holiday season. We did not live in Los Angeles at the time where so many people have different faiths and no one is surprised if you do not celebrate Christmas. My husband and I had a huge dilemma ahead of us. We were not religious but were both raised celebrating Christmas. We didn’t know what to do so we did nothing. We figured our daughter was young enough that she wouldn’t remember anything. The only thing she really cared about was being loved anyways. By the second holiday season, we had it almost figured out. Because we both enjoyed Christmas as kids and because of the pressure of society and family, we figured out a way to make ourselves and everyone happy. We decided we would celebrate seasons. We decorate our house according to each season. We do have a tree with decorations matching our personality (we have yoga figures, lots or papier-mache animals, pictures of our dog, etc) and we do exchange presents. We keep our decorations sometimes until the end of January. We taught our daughter the meaning of Christmas, Jesus, etc, even though we are not Christians. There is nothing wrong with educating our kid about every religion. She knows about Ramadan, she knows about Jewish traditions, she knows most religions. We however put no pressure on her. We figured, if we do our job right, she will make her own choices. And she did. One important thing for us around the holiday is to bring our creativity to the season. We make collages with things we love that represent the season and holiday and hang them on our walls, we make our own crafts, we make our own wrapping paper sometimes. We shop in odd stores. We buy useful things. The holiday season is a celebration for everyone. I do not like to buy things that will only benefit the receiver. As much as we can, we buy things that will make an impact somehow. We also do not like the pressure around Christmas. Family can be stressful sometimes. My husband always tells me story how crazy is Christmases were, having to spend so much time in the car to go from one part of the state to another just to spend Christmas with everyone. We don’t do that. The world won’t end if we don’t follow the traditional schedule. We eat whenever we want, with whoever with want. One year, we got Middle Eastern take out and ate in our car before we unexpectedly decided to drive down to see my husband’s grandparents. It is to this day the best memory I have of Christmas. (This is for you Luella, whenever you are). The best things in life are not planned, they come out of blue or come out of pure sheer creative craziness.

So, we have originality in product creation which can range from kitchen stuff to jewelry, clothing, anything for the house, anything, you name it!, originality in our own personal choices such as religion, traditions (what is your own personal touch on birthdays, holiday celebration?). Now, let’s touch on originality of thought pattern. People sometimes find me unpredictable and to be honest, I like it that way.  I sometimes piss people off because I hate planning and I will just call someone up at the last minute and see if they are free. If they are not, I move on. Never upset because I know I am unusual. That’s just how I like it. I can be extremely traditional but also very “out there” in my way of doing things and seeing the world. I like to question everything. I tend to first go against the crowd until I have time to analyze things. I never rush to buy new popular things. I do not have an iPhone. It took me forever to even get a smartphone. I do my homework carefully before getting into anything but most importantly I will listen to my gut. Being used to going against the norm makes it easy to do this. I am sort of a pro at it. It does take time to feel completely ok with oneself. There is so much doubt at first. We are human and we want to please one another. We are also creatures of habit who sometimes just need to be part of group. It is only natural. Fear not, with a little bit of practice, you will soon find comfort in being different. Different changes the world. Originality is our future. Status Quo is an old thought. 2012 is a time for evolution, change, higher consciousness.  We don’t have to just be fed whatever is giving to us, we can stray from that and get better nutrients for our brain. If there is just a slight question or doubt coming to your mind, then it is worth exploring. Under no circumstance shall you dismiss it! *smile*. I was raised eating meat at least 3 times a week. Now I am a Vegetarian, close to being Vegan, except for my love of cheese. My eyes were opened by allowing myself to watch very uncomfortable documentaries (that is a whole other post). I question and study what I hear or read from news network. Pretty  much, a good rule of thumb is to question everything and anything that is on TV. Curiosity goes hand in hand with originality. If you dig into whatever it is you are watching, buying, thinking, you will most likely be better off. It is quite ok to not go with the crowd. You are born alone. You will die alone. It is ok to be alone in your search for truth and it is ok to be the first to come up with an idea.

My advice to everyone who is reading this is, don’t sweat it. Embrace yourself and explore your mind and your choices. I do things that seem strange all the time. People think I am crazy, only for a few years later to realize I was right all along. Ask my husband, he has tons of stories, especially when it comes to odd health remedies or advice on food/bad food. I think original people are ahead of their time. Do not give up on yourself because no one understand you. Your time to shine will come. But always remember that what matters the most if that you are staying true to yourself by being original. No one can ever take that away from you. So cherish it. Don’t be ashamed of it.

Now because I love you all so much, I leave you with one of the songs that inspired me while writing this. Remember, this world was made more fun for all of us to live in because of amazing people who dared to dream and explore, think out of the box, or challenge authority!