Thursday, April 25, 2013

Echos from Brooklyn

Shhhh don't tell... but I may have a ridiculous crush on this "wild and wily brunette" out in Brooklyn whose writing echos the thoughts that are tucked deep away in my soul. I read her words and a breath of knowing escapes my lips... and I mutter..."YES!... exactly!!"  Her words are real and poetic and heartfelt and gruesome... and the truest of true.

I never liked blogs... I never understood them.  I thought it was strange that people had weird attachments to people they had never known or met.  It seemed incongruous to post deeply personal things out there in the abyss and be connected to people you'd never met through their own distant scribblings...

But as I once heard, and am learning more and more to be true, the most personal is often the most universal.

As a tribute to my new found love for blogs and the personal stories that strangers expose for the betterment of those lucky enough to stumble across their strong and satisfying words.... here is an excerpt from the 'bombshell':

"So say yes. To coffee in the morning. Or tea. When he asks you for a second time, after you've already said no, you should be getting home, please just say yes. It may amount to nothing. It may be just what it is, a cup of coffee or a cup of tea. Or it may be the beginning of everything. Say yes to the shower offered. Say yes to a man's fumbling attempt at kindness. Say yes to saying what you're afraid to say. Say yes to being bold and appearing uncool and revealing just how deep you're in it. Say yes to the full power of your femininity--to the full extent with which you're capable of love. Let him pull you in close  and nestle in the slope of his neck. Kiss him that second time even if he's already late and rushing out that door. Make him a little bit later. Say yes to what is so damn pregnant with potential that it utterly terrifies you. Say yes to anything that might count as experience or adventure--even if the adventure at hand is navigating the long, grueling road of heartbreak. Say yes to letting the guy help you get the dresser in the apartment--self-suffiencieny don't make you more of a woman and it doesn't protect you from the good, the bad, the ugly. Accept love when you want to accept it, accept help when you can, and accept that it'll be the second photo--the one you didn't plan for--that'll give a certain shape and meaning to everything that comes after."  

Amelie Introductions

A couple years ago my very creative and awesome friend wrote this lovely post about Amelie and her ability to bring a character to life via a quirky description of their likes and dislikes.  Though brief, these odd-balled introductions capture more of the true essence of the characters.

Using this idea as a stepping stone, I present Blog Challenge #4 -

"15 Things You Should Know About Me: An Amelian introduction to Aubrey"

  1. I prefer salty to sweet, unless its ice cream. Ice Cream trumps everything
  2. I often make up my own words… and facts
  3. I bake bread in a lime green Chantal Dutch Oven
  4. I prefer political intrigue to any other movie genre
  5. I don’t really care for apples, oranges, grapes or bananas
  6. I despise group planning
  7. I can only drink milk if its ice cold and accompanied by cookies
  8. I prefer jewel tones over brights- except in office supplies
  9. I got my first coach purse for Christmas this year- and finally feel like a grown up
  10. I would rather spend money on food than entertainment, but I’d chose travel over both
  11. I prefer tulips or ranunculus over roses
  12. Owning a piano makes me feel musical the way owning a kitchen-aid makes me feel like a chef and having tall bookshelves makes me feel scholarly
  13. I clean my house frantically before guests arrive (and rarely any other time)
  14. I’d pick a Gin over Champagne
  15. I’m not necessarily a “morning person” but I feel compelled to wake up cheerfully

Friday, April 5, 2013

Learning it can't be Learned

If you know me… you may know the 4 little words that have been attributed as my unofficial mantra. 

“Say it with Confidence” 

If you don’t know, make something up and say it with confidence
If you might be wrong, but think you’re right, just say it with confidence
If you absolutely know you are right… by all means, say it with confidence.  (catching the gist?)

I remember my parents trying to drill the words “in my opinion” into my vocabulary.  Trying desperately to teach me to not state opinion or whim as cold hard fact.

I remember being in class and unable to stand the silence of an unanswered question.  My fingers would tap, my feet fidget… I would try as long as possible to hold back (seconds would feel like eternity) until finally, when I could stand the uncomfortable silence no longer, I would raise my hand in relief, and confidently answer the question. 

I hate when things go unanswered…

We’re supposed to learn as we go:
Writing, Reading, Arithmetic. 
Driving.  Dating.  Breakups.
Laundry.  Making your own meals and balancing your own budget. 
Resumes.  Bills.  Taxes… 

Most things come with age and experience.  Some take longer than others… (Boundaries).  Some lessons feel like you may never learn them…(Humility).  We acquire answers and knowledge in a multitude of places in a myriad of ways.  Our questions will eventually get answered… right?

I am a learner.  I love stuffing my brain full of tid-bits of information like a piƱata full of candy.  I hate when I don’t know something. I will google it on the spot or make something up until I can research it later.  I must have an answer to give.  And in most things I can wear this “I know all things mask” and get by.  I can do a quick wiki search and find the ingredients in that “Army Navy” cocktail or tell you how to replace your rear brake pads.  I’m really good at finding the answers I need.  I’m really good at Learning.

But what happens when there are no answers. When it can’t be found out there in the wonderful world wide web.  When I can’t learn my way through it.

That… That is the hardest lesson.  That not everything has an answer.  That not everything can be learned.  Some things are just…. uncomfortable, sticky, mean, grey anomalies.   

In my 27 years I’ve learned a lot (and forgotten much too).   But the most challenging lesson I wish I had learned earlier is that in reality there are limits to learning.  There are things without answers.  There are difficult “Why’s” that I desperately desire to resolve.  There are reasons and rationales that slip into that much loathed “mystery” file.   

I still hate not knowing. 
Some lessons you learn and some answers you find one day.                                                                                                      And some you can only hold lightly and pray that the unknowning doesn’t crush you.

I wish I had known that earlier.