wlotus: (Tending the Flame)
I believe it is quite normal to question things and re-examine one's path at pivotal stages of life. The forty-something years are one of those stages. I am getting close to the age where I will not have as many years in front of me as I have behind me. Right now i can still double my age and see living to that number of years. That won't be the case, before I know it.

The other day I realized that the first 18 years of my life were a mistake on many levels. To make matters worse, I perpetuated many of those mistakes for another twelve years, not realizing there was another way to be. I have only been 11 years on the other side of the decision to seek other, healthier ways to be, so I don't feel as though I've entirely made up for the three "lost" decades at the beginning of my life. What a waste. As a result, I regularly find people far, far younger than me who have far more wisdom and freedom to be themselves in certain ways than I had at their age. Janelle Monáe is one of those people, which is why I admire her creativity as deeply as I do. I don't know much about who she is as an everyday person, but I like her creative vision, and I admire her gumption to put that vision out there in her own way for others to be inspired by. After I saw her perform last week, I wished I could be 24 years old and have that same belief in myself to put my own creative vision out there so young, when I had that kind of energy. She has been believing in and working on that vision for a few years, already. She started young.

I did not. I am 41 and just starting that creative journey. Well...that's not entirely fair to myself: I am not JUST starting. I've been inching along on this journey of self-realization all of my life, every time I kicked against the voices outside of me that said I had to suppress myself and live out their vision for my life, instead. It's just that compared to where I envisioned I would be at 41, it feels like I am just starting. Anyway, being where I am at 41 isn't a bad thing. It's far older than I would have preferred to be making the realizations I have recently been making about life, but that's just how my life worked out. I am not dead, so I can still make progress on my journey.

I try not to dwell on the what ifs. Instead, I am learning to acknowledge them (as I am doing in this post) and keep on moving. My paper journal gets them a lot. I figured I'd share these here, for a change.
wlotus: (Blackberry)
I was thinking too much about something. Now I am not.


wlotus: (Tending the Flame)
My conscience is my guide. In fact, honoring my conscience is very important, because that is how I honor and respect myself. When I do not follow my conscience, I am dishonoring myself just as surely as everyone who ever disrespected me in any way has dishonored me. If I should be able to trust anyone to honor me, it should be myself.


Jan. 20th, 2010 08:06 pm
wlotus: (Photography II)
paper journal

I prefer NOT to perpetuate the practice of calling people who do not keep in touch with me.*
20 January 2010

*This photo is art for art's sake; it is not a passive-aggressive message to anyone.
wlotus: (Happy)
For quite a few volumes of my paper journal, I have written a title inside the front cover. [livejournal.com profile] labyrinthnight bought me a beautiful journal for Christmas, and since I just finished my latest one, I started writing in the new one today. I couldn't think of a title, but sometimes it takes a few weeks for a title to come to mind, so I didn't let it bother me. I knew inspiration would come at some point.

A little while later I was on the train and decided, on a whim, to play Bon Jovi's 2002 release "Bounce". I bought the album a couple of years ago just for the single "Misunderstood"--that is the funniest music video EVER!--and didn't listen to the rest of the album. When I heard the title track, though, I knew I had found the title for my newest paper journal.

I been knocked down so many times
Counted out 6, 7, 8, 9
Written off like some bad deal
If you're breathing you know how it feels
Call it karma, call it luck
Me, I just don't give a

Bounce! Bounce! Nothing's gonna keep me down.
Bounce! Bounce! Stand up, shout it out.
Bounce! Bounce! I play hard, I play to win
Count me out, count me in
I'll be bouncing back again.

This ain't no game; I play it hard
Kicked around, cut, stitched and scarred
I'll take the hit but not the fall
I know no fear, still standing tall
You can call it karma, call it luck
Me, I just don't give a



Bring it on, I like it rough
In your face, I call your bluff
It ain't karma, it ain't luck
Me, I just don't give a

(Chorus 2x)

wlotus: (Peaceful)
The future's unanswered questions scare me. But given the choice between where I was 2 years ago and where I am now, I would much rather be here.
wlotus: (Princess)
If The Others* would stop insisting I am "nothing" if I am not a superstar in everything I do, I would be far less stressed. But the fact that I recognize their accusation is ridiculous is cause for celebration!

Tonight I wrote in my paper journal, "Be inspired by others without comparing myself to them (and stressing or depressing myself). I do NOT NEED TO BE A SUPERSTAR TO BE VALID. I am building MY life for ME at MY OWN speed and in MY OWN way." I think I'll leave my journal open to that page, so I'll see it when I wake up in the morning.

*The Others is my term for the hyper-critical messages I picked up from others over the course of my life.
wlotus: (Tending the Flame)
Twyla, resting in the park.
Twyla the Bike, during a break in our 12-mile adventure.

I had determined to create a special photo today in honor of Michael Jackson. Problem is, I couldn't come up with any ideas. All I could think of was a man simply doing his thing (and going out of his way to give much of his time and attention to others in the process), no matter who liked it or didn't like it, and sometimes going to great lengths to protect his right to do his own thing.

Today I got up from my computer, donned my bike gear, and rode 12 miles on my bike, camera in tow. I wasn't trying to prove a point. I wasn't trying to be what others thought I should be. I was simply doing my own thing in my own way (with MJ on my iPod, I admit). And you know what? That's a suitable tribute without even trying to do a tribute.

Rest in peace, dear Michael. I did not know you, but I never believed any of the accusations made against you in court or in the media. I always defended you when people made jokes about you. Your only mistake was confiding in the wrong people. I always believed you were too child-like to harm anyone.

I am sorry life and people were so hard on you. I hope now you have the peace that seemed to elude you for most of your life.

Tayatha Om Gate Gate Paragate
Parasamgate Bodhi Soha

Gone, gone, gone beyond
Gone utterly beyond...Oh what an awakening!

~ "Heart Suta", by Wah!
wlotus: (USA Flag)
Senator Clinton did not concede the race last night, even though it appears Senator Obama has enough delegates to assume the party nomination. She thanked her supporters for all of their hard work through all of the primaries and said now that the primaries are done, she will give serious thought to what to do next. I am glad she didn't concede. She has made me proud to be a woman of intelligence and convictions, who does not bow to peer pressure when her convictions tell her to stand and fight.

Some people have suggested Senator Obama should take her on as a running mate. If he offers, I hope she declines. For too long, powerful, intelligent women have had to settle for a supporting role behind men without their same qualifications. I would hate to see her play that role with Obama. Let him stand alone on the weakness of his platform, one built on emotionalism rather than intelligent, concrete solutions. Why should her strength and intelligence and ideas be used to make him look good? She would do far better to either run as an independent or remain completely silent regarding his campaign. In fact, since running as an independent might be a career-limiting move--the old boy network would treat her worse than they did in the primary, by painting her in an even more negative light and doing more to sabotage her career--remaining silent would at least allow her career to continue.

Then again, why do women always have to choose between silence/appeasement and abuse? Why can't women, like men, stand up for themselves and still be able to further their careers?

Some say unity is the most important thing, so we should put our differences behind us and all support the Democratic party's choice. There is a problem with that idea of "unity": if we don't continue to speak up against what we know will harm us in the long term, when do we get to speak? Do we wait until things are so bad that fixing the situation is impossible? Why should we remain silent when we are convinced the country is headed in the wrong direction? If anything, NOW is the time when we MOST need to speak out and follow our convictions in a different direction from those who claim they want unity. We need to go our own way for the good of the nation, for the sake of freedom of speech which cannot be legislated away, according to our constitution. That freedom is the bigger picture, here, and shutting up in the name of "unity" will leave that bigger picture in the dark, rather than illuminating it for the sake of those who have eyes to see.

For some of us who were able to recognize Senator Clinton as the more qualified candidate and relate to her solutions for this country's ills, it doesn't matter whether McCain or Obama wins in November; both are just as bad. With one caveat: at least we know where McCain stands on the issues. We don't know where Obama stands, because all he has given are vague statements full of sound bytes contrived to play on emotions, rather than stimulate our brains. The thought of waiting until he is in office to find out just how undecided or, worse yet, opposed to certain issues he is frightens me. If I wasn't determined to write in Clinton in November, I would consider voting for McCain; at least with him I'd already know how bad things could get, rather than getting a nasty surprise under a man who is an unknown quantity.

And then there is the sexism in the way this all played out. The media and other talking heads were pressuring Senator Clinton to drop out months ago, long before Obama had enough delegates to claim victory. I do not believe they would have done that to a man. Instead, they would have applauded his strength in the face of adversity. (I won't even get into the sexism of how Clinton was torn apart for any and every aspect of her deportment.) And many of us know full well that if Clinton was a first-term senator who spent a good chunk of that term on the campaign trail instead of in the senate chambers, who was known for making speeches rich in emotion but poor in content, she would not have been able to get her campaign off the ground, let alone clinch the party nomination.

The fact is a lot of people would rather be subject to a man of any color than to a woman, and they are willing to turn a blind eye to a lot of stuff in order to make that happen.

So, you can keep your cries for unity*. Just like you are boldly standing up for what you believe in, I will do the same, and I refuse to be ashamed for doing so. I should only be ashamed, if I allow peer pressure to silence me when my convictions are telling me to stand up for what is right. Freedom of expression (what is left of it in this country) gives me the right to do so, and I will continue to use that right for however long it continues to be available to me. Expecting dissenters to shut up already and get behind what they oppose is spitting in their faces and in the face of freedom of expression. That is far more tragic than a split party could ever be. At least in a split party each side is able to make their voices heard. Bullying dissenters into silence makes the party and country begin to resemble a dictatorship, and I love my freedoms and my country far too much to silently let that happen.

*By the way, according to the Oxford American Dictionary, one of the definitions of unity is "a thing forming a complex whole". That doesn't sound like conformity, to me.
wlotus: (Princess)

Last night I dreamed a man was attacking me and a male friend. I was successfully blocking the attacker's blows and refused to give up my bags, which had my wallet and camera in them. First I told my friend to run while I fought the attacker. I fought off the attacker long enough to run after my friend, but the assailant caught up with me after I caught up with my friend. The attacker was not phased and began attacking both of us. I had wanted him to just back off and leave us alone, but he wouldn't.

Since that wasn't going to happen... )
wlotus: (Face)
I have no "lot in life" other than the one I create by how I respond to the things that happen to me.

1 December 2007


wlotus: (Default)

October 2010



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