This Is Me

This is what I find interesting. Maybe you will too!

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It has recently been suggested that I should work on the way I present myself. I come across as, well, negative. Because one rarely gets constructive criticism presented directly to their face, especially the kind you know is being imparted from a well-meaning source, it is important to seriously consider. 
As the wise words on the paperweight above suggest, you should always be yourself. One should really focus on finding success as themselves because, as the Oscar Wilde saying goes, everyone else is taken. But is there a place between being your authentic self and presenting that self in a way which is palatable to others, as a means to an end? 
In thinking about my alleged negativity, I returned to my childhood dinner table where in order to stand out you needed to share one heck of a story. I recall crafting my news of the day as the tale of an underdog success. After a challenging time studying for a Spanish test, tons of other work (who assigns three chapters of Moby Dick in one night?!) and spending hours at an away basketball game we didn’t even win, I still achieved a C+ on that evil Spanish test: my best grade yet that semester. My C+ news would never compete with the achievements of my siblings sharing the table, so I spun a truth highlighting my triumph against adversity. This was hardly necessary all the time (I had my own successes), but wasn’t good news that much better when it came after an explanation of obstacles overcome?! 
I wonder if it was then that I got in the bad habit of making my actions look better by contrasting them against the potential disaster that might have been. Over time maybe I felt my successes, which did not come as a result of pulling off a feat as amazing as leaping tall buildings while being chased by Godzilla, but rather genuine skills I acquired from hard work and practice, still could not stand on it’s own. I wanted the situation to almost fall apart only to rise again from the ashes to great success - giving chapters of my life the arc of a movie. It makes sense that someone as obsessed with movies as I am would unconsciously link her own life to a typical film structure. 
Or maybe I’m over thinking it all. Maybe I just need to learn to read the room better and not be so jibber-jabbery (as my husband accurately describes me sometimes). Maybe there’s a way to focus on the positive and let the negative go, releasing the qualifiers. Maybe in doing that I will reveal a more authentic me.

It has recently been suggested that I should work on the way I present myself. I come across as, well, negative. Because one rarely gets constructive criticism presented directly to their face, especially the kind you know is being imparted from a well-meaning source, it is important to seriously consider. 

As the wise words on the paperweight above suggest, you should always be yourself. One should really focus on finding success as themselves because, as the Oscar Wilde saying goes, everyone else is taken. But is there a place between being your authentic self and presenting that self in a way which is palatable to others, as a means to an end? 

In thinking about my alleged negativity, I returned to my childhood dinner table where in order to stand out you needed to share one heck of a story. I recall crafting my news of the day as the tale of an underdog success. After a challenging time studying for a Spanish test, tons of other work (who assigns three chapters of Moby Dick in one night?!) and spending hours at an away basketball game we didn’t even win, I still achieved a C+ on that evil Spanish test: my best grade yet that semester. My C+ news would never compete with the achievements of my siblings sharing the table, so I spun a truth highlighting my triumph against adversity. This was hardly necessary all the time (I had my own successes), but wasn’t good news that much better when it came after an explanation of obstacles overcome?! 

I wonder if it was then that I got in the bad habit of making my actions look better by contrasting them against the potential disaster that might have been. Over time maybe I felt my successes, which did not come as a result of pulling off a feat as amazing as leaping tall buildings while being chased by Godzilla, but rather genuine skills I acquired from hard work and practice, still could not stand on it’s own. I wanted the situation to almost fall apart only to rise again from the ashes to great success - giving chapters of my life the arc of a movie. It makes sense that someone as obsessed with movies as I am would unconsciously link her own life to a typical film structure. 

Or maybe I’m over thinking it all. Maybe I just need to learn to read the room better and not be so jibber-jabbery (as my husband accurately describes me sometimes). Maybe there’s a way to focus on the positive and let the negative go, releasing the qualifiers. Maybe in doing that I will reveal a more authentic me.

Filed under quotes words of wisdom Oscar Wilde self improvement

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November 6

I am concerned about many of the political issues being examined in this, and every, presidential campaign. While not a very political person, I do want to be informed and aware of what’s happening in the government that leads the country I live in. I accept that I will disagree with many choices our president, congress and justices will make. That’s all part of the system; you can’t win every argument and other points of view are valid.

If I were to vote on one issue, it would be a woman’s right to choose. That issue is the line in the sand for me. I do not want the government to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. I don’t want them to dictate what my sisters or the high school student I mentor or my niece can do with their bodies. Period.

The issues goes well beyond the women’s right to choose. It is an example of how our health and medical matters are managed in this country. Reform is needed and women’s health is one item on a long list of issues to be addressed. It also directly relates to education. Anyone who chooses to have a child should be able to have the opportunity to educate them, well. Let’s start with these and other reforms to take care of the people who exist and who need their government to support not merely their existence in this country, but support their right to a successful, healthy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Feel free to disagree with me. That’s fine. I’m not trying to convince you of anything, but merely want to share my personal opinion. It comes from my knowledge and experience of the real world around me. Thankfully many people have said what I am thinking better than I ever could and today I share their words with me.

If I ever choose to have a child I hope she or he will have the full rights any American, any human, deserves to have. This is a two way street - all people are created equal. I will vote for choice and equality on November 6, 2012.

*All images courtesy of 400 Years for Choice.

Filed under Pro-Choice Vote democracy Obama Barack Obama 4000 Years for Choice Women's Rights equality Democrat Etsy quotes Margaret Sanger Michael Cohen Joycelyn Elders human rights

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"As I reached the crest of the hill, a rap-rock band was playing. The justification for rap rock seems to be that if you take really bad rock and put really bad rock over it, the result is somehow good, provided the raps are being barked by an overweight white guy with cropped hair and forearm tattoos. The women from those few little farmhouses had gathered at their fence; they leaned and mumbled and dangled their canes. One of them was one of the oldest-looking old people I have ever seen, with stiff white hair and that face, like the inside of a walnut shell, that only truly ancient women get. She and her friends were actually listening to the rap rock, and part of me wanted to run over to them and assure them that after they died, there would still be people left in the world who knew how horrifying this music was, and that these people would transmit their knowledge to carefully chosen members of future generations, but the ladies did not appear worried. They were even laughing. I’m sure they remembered traveling circuses in the field in eighteen ninety something, and what was the difference, really?"
- Excerpt from "The Final Comeback of Axl Rose" from Pulphead: Essays   by John Jeremiah Sullivan

"As I reached the crest of the hill, a rap-rock band was playing. The justification for rap rock seems to be that if you take really bad rock and put really bad rock over it, the result is somehow good, provided the raps are being barked by an overweight white guy with cropped hair and forearm tattoos. The women from those few little farmhouses had gathered at their fence; they leaned and mumbled and dangled their canes. One of them was one of the oldest-looking old people I have ever seen, with stiff white hair and that face, like the inside of a walnut shell, that only truly ancient women get. She and her friends were actually listening to the rap rock, and part of me wanted to run over to them and assure them that after they died, there would still be people left in the world who knew how horrifying this music was, and that these people would transmit their knowledge to carefully chosen members of future generations, but the ladies did not appear worried. They were even laughing. I’m sure they remembered traveling circuses in the field in eighteen ninety something, and what was the difference, really?"

- Excerpt from "The Final Comeback of Axl Rose" from Pulphead: Essays   by John Jeremiah Sullivan

Filed under Pulphead books quotes Essays John Jeremiah Sullivan Axl Rose Rap Rock

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Monday Funny - Relationships & Sex

“It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.” —Nick Hornby

“Women don’t want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think— in a deeper voice.” —Bill Cosby

“Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go its pretty damn good.” —Woody Allen

“Sex is like air; it’s not important unless you aren’t getting any.”                   —John Callahan

“Seems to me the basic conflict between men and women, sexually, is that men are like firemen. To men, sex is an emergency, and no matter what we’re doing we can be ready in two minutes. Women, on the other hand, are like fire. They’re very exciting, but the conditions have to be exactly right for it to occur.” —Jerry Seinfeld

“If we take matrimony at it’s lowest, we regard it as a sort of friendship recognized by the police.” —Robert Louis Stevenson

Filed under Glamour Magazine Sex love quotes humor

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Favorite Quotes - A Severe Mercy - Part 2

"We talked, I recall, about death or, rather, awakening after death. Whatever it would be like, we thought, our response to it would be ‘Why, of course! Of course it’s like this. How else could it have possibly been.’ We both chuckled at that. I said it would be a sort of coming home, and he agreed.”              

"As I stood there in that suddenly empty room, I was suddenly swept with a tide of absolute knowing that Davy still was. I do not mean that I thought her body might still live; I knew it didn’t. But past faith and belief, I knew quite overwhelmingly that she herself - her soul - still was.”

                              

"We had spoken of ‘moments made eternity’, meaning what are called timeless moments, moments precisely without the pressure of time - moments that might be called, indeed, timeful moments. Of time-free moments. And we have clearly understood that the pressure of time was our nearly inescapable awareness of an approaching terminus - the bell about to ring, the holiday about to end … . Life is pressured by death, the final terminus. When we speak of Now, we seem to mean the timeless: there is no duration. Aware of duration, of terminus, spoils Now.”

"And yet, after all, the clock is not always ticking. Sometimes it stops and then we are happiest. Sometimes - more precisely, some-not-times - we find ‘the still point of the turning world’. All our most lovely moments perhaps are timeless."

"Time is our natural environment. We live in time as we live in the air we breathe. And we love the air - who has not taken deep breaths of pure, fresh country air, just for the pleasure of it? How strange that we cannot love time. It spoils our loveliest moments. Nothing quite comes up to expectations because of it." 

      

"Just as a sculptor might contemplate a block of stone, seeing ever more clearly what was within it and only then beginning to remove the stone hiding that form, so I, contemplating the past, saw every more clearly the essential form, moving in time, hidden within the block of seven thousand days. Art is first a seeing and then a revealing."

Book cover courtesy of Russell and Duenes and C.S. Lewis photo courtesy of the Into the Wardrobe website.

Filed under A Severe Mercy C.S. Lewis Christianity Sheldon Vanauken books quotes