Archive for the ‘Dream Big’ Category

Musings, and a big-ass goal

The second half of last year really wore me down. Well, let’s be honest, the first half did, too. I feel like I spent an entire year not knowing who I was. I forgot how to dream. I wonder, is it possible to ever reach a point in your life when you know exactly who you are, what you are all about, and where you are going? Is that even desirable? I don’t know. I see people who make me think they have got it together, like they never have a moment of crisis or indecision, never need to just sit and stare at a wall for a little while. I want to be one of those people, but I feel like I am still trying to figure out who I am. Now, many people who know me will disagree with this. They will say, “Oh, you are so self-possessed, you know exactly who you are and what you are all about,” but they are just confused because I have opinions about almost everything and am loud. Do my opinions make me who I am? I think not.

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, of the soul-searching variety. Like, what do I want to be when I grow up? How do I want to spend my time, what is important to me? What kind of parent do I want to be? And on a more superficial level, should I keep that cute pair of shoes I bought even though I want to be a minimalist (a chic minimalist, mind you) and live simply? These are the things that keep me up at night. Well, these things and my bad habits, but it’s so much easier to blame an overactive mind than bad habits. Much less guilt-inducing.

One of the things I came up with in my soul-searching, or rather, one of the things I returned to, is my lifelong desire to write a book. I have always, for as long as I can remember, wanted to be a writer. I wrote a lot of bad poetry and fiction during the angsty years of adolescence, toyed with the idea of getting an MFA when I was in my twenties, and finally realized that what I really want is to write a memoir. I don’t know how to go about this. I know that I don’t want it to be self-indulgent. I want it to be interesting and to help other people see things in themselves that maybe they have been ignoring or perhaps didn’t even know were there. I thought that I should start by writing short essays about specific events in my life, to help me figure out how to approach the telling of a larger story. To help me figure out what the larger story is. I always get stuck on that part, but I figure maybe I just have not lived long enough to have a story yet…but in many ways that is just a crap excuse. I need to buckle down and just start writing some stuff, because I’ll never get anywhere just by dreaming a lot and being a perfectionist. Maybe I should title my memoir, “Paralyzed by Perfection.”

I listen to The Moth podcast a lot, especially when I am cooking or doing dishes. I imagine that it must be so fun, so satisfying, to tell a story at The Moth. Somehow I came up with the idea that it would be a good exercise for me, in terms of writing and storytelling, to tell at story at one of The Moth StorySLAMS. But then I thought, well, anyone can tell a story at a StorySLAM, all you have to do is have your name picked out of a hat. But then I remembered that the stories are judged and there are winners. So it was decided, and I have a new goal. This might actually be my only goal since most of my other “goals” are really just to-do list items that I am pretending are goals so I don’t have think about what I really want out of life. Anyway, here it is, stated clearly so I can’t fool anyone, or more importantly, fool myself:

I want to tell a story at one of The Moth StorySLAMs in NYC, and win.

This scares me and makes my heart do a little flutter, so I know I’ve hit the target. Brian and I have been talking about dropping Dylan at his grandparents’ house in PA for a few days this summer and going up to NYC to visit friends. I think we need to make this trip a reality and schedule it around a StorySLAM.

I want to take up tap dancing again

I took tap dance lessons as a little kid as well as during my junior year of college, and I keep dreaming that I’ll get back into the lessons again someday. This video is some serious motivation to make tap lessons a priority! It also makes me think I need to create a tap dance routine that Cooper can be involved in, though I think the small dog featured here is perhaps a more versatile dance partner.

2010 Resolution

Now that we’re a solid week into the new year I figured I’d better get my resolutions sorted out. Maybe some day I will be one of those bloggers who has their new year’s post, complete with previous-year-in-review and resolutions for the new year all ready to go on December 31st. Ha, whatever. I haven’t even done resolutions the past few years because, for the record, I am not a big fan of the idea. They generally turn out to be ridiculous lofty aspirations that are forgotten about by spring break anyway, and I think goal setting (and achieving!) should be a year-round activity.

That being said, this year I’ve decided to do resolutions because I am in the mood for goal setting! After an 18-month period that involved moving three times (twice over distances greater than 2,500 miles), getting pregnant, having a baby, and breaking my back I was just done. Tired, you know. Granted the moving and getting pregnant were definitely part of the plan, but going through all of those experiences in such quick succession did not leave me with the mental space or physical energy to live as consciously as I wanted to. But, Dylan will be seven months old this week and I’m ten weeks out from the back breakage, and I’m starting to get that itch again. That ambitious type-A only child itch to set some goals and achieve them! Yeah! I’m not one for letting the tides of life sway me, as y’all well know.

Without further ado, my new year’s resolution for 2010:

Be authentic, radiant, and fabulous.

Yep, that’s it. I initially started out with a little list of things that I wanted to accomplish this year and realized rather quickly that the list didn’t accurately represent what I was after in terms of self-improvement and transformation. I needed something bigger, grander, and all-encompassing. Now I know that a good goal is measurable, and I have not yet figured out how to measure this resolution, but it feels like a very accurate way to communicate the kind of change I want to see in myself this year. Let’s break it down:

Be Authentic. To me this means to be my authentic self. According to Merriam-Webster, one of the five definitions of authentic is “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character,” and I think that sums up my feelings exactly. Maybe you are one of those people who always behaves authentically in every situation. I generally do a pretty good job but could certainly do better. I’ve definitely let circumstances influence my choices more than they should have at various times in my life. (Example: working in a career I hate just for the money. So NOT authentic. For the record, my current job, stay-at-home-mom, rules and is very true to my personality, spirit, and character.) The gist of being authentic means to be my truest self at all times. The practical application, as far as I’m concerned, involves heeding my intuition and not sabotaging my gut instincts and true desires by being lazy or cowardly.

Be Radiant. This is just a fancy way of saying “look good,” which luckily I can accomplish simply by purchasing the correct beauty products. Ha! Just kidding! What this really means to me is to shine my light out into the world. To radiate my unique flavor of positive, uplifting, inspiring energy so that others may benefit. The practical application involves setting a good example in terms of my behavior, and being supportive of others rather than critical. That last part is what’s hard since I am very improvement-oriented by nature (that’s a nice way of saying I’m critical). A big part of sharing my positive energy involves giving other people the space to benefit from it in their own special way, and not trying to force a certain result. So I’ll be focusing on being a ray of sunshine for those around me and not getting caught up in the outcome.

Be Fabulous. Uh, does this one really need explaining? It means feather boas and glitter all the time, bitches! It also means having fun, making my own fun, making the best of things, laughing a lot, and being the best version of myself that I can be while forgiving myself for the many mistakes I will surely make. Technically the word fabulous means “of an incredible, astonishing, or exaggerated nature,” and I intend to have an incredible, astonishing, exaggeratedly awesome year. I want to look back on my year and be like “Day-am!” or “Wow!” I did it last year, so this one shouldn’t be too hard.