Self-Censored

 

I’m breaking my silence. Though I’ve resolved not to return to my blog before I’m recovered from my recent bipolar breakdown, a post… a purpose…came to me that is much too urgent to put off until my outlook on life is all flowers and sunshine. This is even a type of post that I’ve never written.

It’s controversial. It’s blunt. It’s unsettling. It’s opinionated. But it’s important.

I’ll do my best to keep this PC and avoid overgeneralizations, stereotypes, prejudice, stigma, and all the other misdemeanors I might commit while trying to strike the shaky balance between expressing my views and going on a ceaseless tirade.

I’ll do my best not to offend… but then I would be an incredible hypocrite, regarding the whole point of this piece. So, let’s see where this goes…

 

A couple of the many things I love are music and dancing.

One of my favorite artists is Sia Furler.

I love her so much that I named my dog after her…..kind of an odd way to honor an idol, but I don’t have any kids yet. 🙂

Anyway, along with her incredible vocal and songwriting talent, she is a visionary who totally owns herself and her work.

In regards to my passion for dancing, I was in a ballet academy for eight years of my life. I still dance today, but it’s usually while I’m brushing my teeth or making breakfast.

I typically despise (harsh word, I know) “reality” shows because, in my opinion, they often feature ideals and behavior that are capable of contaminating people’s minds and souls (in my opinion, of course). Also, I hate being lied to. Just don’t call your scripted shows “reality,” and I’ll have a more open mind.

That being said, I stumbled upon the show Dance Moms this past winter. I truly thought I would hate it—all that drama with the moms and the instructors. And I did. But greater than my disgust in the petty drama that these adults drag the children into is my immense admiration for the skill, talent, and dedication of these dancers. It just blew.me.away.

I haven’t watched the last season or so of Dance Moms because it was kind of a crutch I used to get me through a cold winter and a long recovery from my running injuries. So, once the snow stopped falling and I was able to move around better, my nightly admiration of those spectacular girls fell by the wayside.

So tonight, as I was discovering more music (an effective tool in recovery), I stumbled upon Sia’s new music video for her song “Chandelier.”

I wasn’t even five seconds into the video when I paused it, ran to my husband in the other room and said, “You won’t believe who is in Sia’s video- Maddie Ziegler from Dance Moms!”

I was just uuber stoked because at only eleven years old, Maddie has made a tremendous, and well-deserved, jump in her dancing career. So, although the video was slightly odd (as most of Sia’s are), I was smiling the whole way through because I could only imagine how exciting and rewarding it was for little Maddie to have this opportunity.

Then, I did the thing one should NEVER do when they truly enjoy a video on Youtube- I scrolled down to read the comments. While I expected to read ceaseless praise on Maddie’s skill, it all became a debate about her skin-toned leotard.

Yes, this girl has impeccable talent and is finally being recognized worldwide, but more people are actually focused on what she’s wearing.

Basically, many people said they felt uncomfortable by her flesh-colored leotard because it was “bait for pedophiles.” They even said the video made them like the song less.

Excuse me, but this girl is amazing, and these people are ignoring all of her talent and basically criticizing her! Most likely, they’re making her feel ashamed for having a particular color of costume, which I’m assuming wasn’t even her choice. Whether the costume designer chose this nude-like leotard as a symbol of the character’s vulnerability, poverty, or illness—  is a completely separate subject and should not alter the reviews of this young girl’s performance.

This is an amazing success in her life, and if she’s catching wind of any of this controversy, and I’m sure she is, she might be (wrongfully) feeling guilty and embarrassed. To steal joy from a child’s accomplishments by saying “Well, you’re just encouraging the perverts out there,” is wrong on so many levels.

Coincidentally, I also read an article today on how women have to censor themselves— How we don’t have the same freedoms as men for fear of being sexually, verbally, physically, or emotionally assaulted.

This is a topic that deserves far more than one post from me, and like I said, I’m not one for standing up and shouting my beliefs, but perpetuating the idea that women (no matter what age) are responsible for not drawing unwanted attention to themselves is completely ludicrous. At all of our societal successes, why is gender inequality (on many more levels that just this) still existent?

Like any cause, there are several ways to address it on several different platforms.

I’ll admit, I haven’t been helping the cause, myself.

A couple of months ago, I went on the exhausting search for a new pair of work pants. Now, I work in the office of a manufacturing facility with only one other woman and a whole slew of men. Also, prominent “bubble butts” run in my mother’s side of the family, and I am no exception to that inheritance. I’ve been working at this job for a little over a year, during which I’ve heard some pretty vile things said about my body and what particular people want to do with it.

But I’m used to it.

Isn’t that sick?

And yes, I’m aware I could accuse the forty-or-so of them for sexual harassment, but (sadly) that wouldn’t really solve the problem that spans across societies. This happens everywhere. I just hear about it more because I work in a less-professional environment. While I’m used to being a subject of crude male conversations (as are most women), I don’t like it. In fact, when I really think about it, I feel a sort of disgust and shame for my body. As if it’s my fault for having those men say such rude things to and about me.

Anyway, being only 5’2, my selection for pants is even further limited. Trying to find a pair of pants that I wouldn’t have to hem but weren’t practically a second layer of skin was difficult. So, I finally found a pair that was “ok.” It was the loosest fitting pair I could find that still had the pockets I wanted and that didn’t hang off me like a pair of pajama pants that are six sizes too big. The downside, I would have to hem them. I tried them on for my husband at the store, and while he’s incredibly supportive, I could tell by his face that he wasn’t completely satisfied. He had a pretty good idea of the things guys would say about me before I even started working there. Before buying the pants, he gave me the usual, “If you’re comfortable with them…” agreement.

As we drove down the road with my new pair of pants in the back seat, there was palpable tension. To sum it all up, there was a lengthy discussion filled with yelling, swearing, and tears (all on my behalf, by the way). He wasn’t comfortable having my coworkers think dirty things of me (who would be, though?), and he felt these pants accentuated my assets more than my preexisting pair of pants (which is a single pair of pants I’ve been wearing for three years and is finally coming apart at the seams). I cycled through anger, embarrassment, shame, resentment, and hopelessness, as I felt I couldn’t please anyone.

All I wanted was to have a pair of work pants that was comfortable, professional looking, and didn’t bust apart at the seams.

But I wanted to be invisible. I didn’t want these pants to draw attention to me or to make my husband uneasy.

This all resulted in me screaming about how much I hate my body. How I wished no one noticed me. How the only way to avoid this entire situation would be to work from home or wear a burlap sack to work.

 

That was over two months ago.

Those pants are still sitting in my closet…tags still on…still unhemmed…

So, in essence, I’ve surrendered to the very monster I despise.

I do my best to wear loose clothing and extra layers, to avoid eye contact with strangers and to rarely smile when conversing with men, in order to avoid stimulating, or “inviting,” sexual advancements.

Writing this out makes me realize how completely insane it all is. But the truth is, I’m not alone.

Not at all.

I find it easier to stand up for others than myself, and the intention of this post was focused on the importance of teaching youth not to hide their talents or their passions for fear of how others may respond.

And yet, here I am, realizing that I’ve done nothing but perpetuate the problem by altering the way I dress, speak, and communicate.

So what now….?

 

Well, I’m going to sink back into my silence and continue addressing my “me” issues before I return to my usual postings.

But before I do, I’m going to offer my deepest, most profound gratitude for the heartwarming and encouraging support you’ve all given me, even when I sincerely asked you to give up on me and to go on with your lives. I promise I’ll return soon, not because I feel I’m that tremendous of an asset to the blogosphere, but because I hope that by publicly confronting my ugliest demons, maybe people with similar struggles will have an easier time coping. We’re all so comfortable to share our brightest moments, but our darkest ones deserve attention as well. I’m by no means a perfect being, but to remain authentic, I must share the good, the bad, and the bipolar. Thank you so much for not giving up on my and for giving my words the opportunity to be part of your life.

With true love and gratitude,

Adelie

Are YOU up for a challenge?

 

This morning, I got up extra early to squeeze in a run before work. I was lucky enough to have fifteen extra minutes after my run, so I sat on the front porch and did something I haven’t in a long time. I admired the beauty of the freshly planted lilies around me and enjoyed the melody of my neighborhood. At 5:15 am, the only melody was that of chirping birds.

Meanwhile, I started thinking of how ridiculously self-conscious I am. I have literally never met (or heard of) anyone who lives so carefully as I do. Someone who tries not to fit in, but to be completely invisible. I didn’t inherit this trait (if that’s what it is), and I certainly didn’t catch it from my friends or even my husband. However, I have a strong conviction that it stems largely from being bullied in junior high, as I remember being a much more fearless Adelie before that.

Isn’t that stupid, though? That the words and actions of my classmates, from over ten years ago, still dictate how I live and how I express myself?

Aside from my writing here and my relationship with my husband, I live my life as an enormous apology. I tread softly as to not hurt others or make them upset. Also, by keeping to myself, I’m safe from ridicule for how absurd my dreams are. Living a safe life may not be fun or gratifying, but at least I’m the one inflicting pain on myself.

Yes, even I realize how faulty that logic is.

So, I told myself that today was going to be different. In case you’re a new follower or you haven’t noticed, I switched my blog’s tagline about a week ago. I did so in the hopes to inspire myself and to hopefully inspire you as well. Recently, I’ve made a habit of asking myself every morning, “How am I going to make today a masterpiece?”Today, I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m not going to walk around with my eyes down and silently mutter “sorry” to every car that tailgates me in my Prius. I’m not going to apologize, either with words or actions, if I haven’t truly done anything wrong.

So how did I do with this challenge?

Well, this morning, my close friend, and coworker, asked what I’ve been up to. I told her about my writing.

I never tell people about my writing.

Surprisingly, she told me how much she admired that I could write, as she couldn’t imagine having the drive to write more than a short email, let alone a book. So, by opening up this (very significant) part of myself, I deepened a friendship and received some helpful feedback.

Thus, my challenge to you, my dear friend, is to do something today, no matter how big or small, to express an essential part of yourself that you often keep hidden. I would especially love hearing about your experiences, if you feel comfortable doing so. No worries if you don’t come across this post five days or five years after I’ve written it. It’s never too late to challenge yourself!

If you happen to be one of the people who leave no aspect of yourself unseen, then I truly admire your courage, and I hope you might share your wisdom!

*It might go without saying, but I’m going to add this anyway, as a reminder to myself. It takes more than just one day to banish a habit of hiding. The point is to challenge yourself, every day, until living authentically no longer becomes a challenge.

To living fearlessly and passionately,

Adelie

 

My Writing Process Blog Tour

 

Very seldom am I so absolutely happy that I have a permanent smile. Well friends, a week ago, my lovely blogging friend, Alienora, invited me to participate in a My Writing Process blog tour.

Kind of makes me feel like a rock star, going on tour and all. Would that make you my groupies? 😛

Anyway, before proceeding I want to express my gratitude to miss wonderful Alienora. Her writing is courageous, authentic, bold, and artful. She’s been tremendously supportive of me from the very beginning of my blogging journey and given me the inspiration to acknowledge my truth and share it on my blog. If you haven’t read anything from her yet, please do. You’ll find that there’s nothing quite like the writing of Alienora!

So, if you’ve ever been lying awake at night, your mind racing and perplexed as you wonder what writing process gives way to the sheer delight of Artfully Aspiring, look no further. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to other reasons, this may cure your insomnia as well. Though, be sure to awaken at the end where I nominate two other blogging rock stars!

*Note: My apologies for the loopy formatting going on here. No matter how many different ways I attempt to fix the indents and such, the darn alignment rebels. So now you see an extra aspect of my writing process: my love-hate relationship with technology. Not feeling the love right about now.

a.) What are you working on?

I’m currently editing and revising my first novel of a three-part science fiction romance series. I’ve found that this particular part of the writing process is significantly less fun than writing the first draft. It’s also hard to focus on polishing the first book when my mind is constantly swirling with ideas for my subsequent books. Luckily, I’ve been writing some new material on my blog to keep my creativity flowing.

b.) How does your work differ from others in its genre?

I would be lying if I said that I never worry if my writing will be too similar to another author’s and lack originality. I’m much better at noticing, and perhaps fabricating, my weaknesses than I am at recognizing my strengths. Luckily, I have such wonderful readers here that lift me up and give me the fuel to keep going. I suppose what makes my work different is that it’s more contemplative than many of the pieces in the genre. It might not be as action-packed, but I like to give greater depth to my characters. I also believe that my education in psychology and my experience with mental illness seeps into my work, adding a whole new dimension to things, whether it’s intentional or not.

c.) Why do you write what you do?

I seek not only to entertain my readers but to give them something more. I want my stories to stick with them, inspire them, and help make the world a more compassionate and peaceful place. While my target audience isn’t specifically young adult, I hope to contribute to the survival of literature. When I look at the youth, I worry that technology and other modes of entertainment are taking too much precedence.

d.) How does your writing process work?

Well, it lacks routine and discipline, which I know would greatly improve my productivity. Rather, my writing happens in unexpected spurts. Usually the inspiration strikes me when I’m driving home from work, though there have been times actually at work when I’ve written nearly half a chapter on post-it notes (which I don’t recommend because it can be quite a challenge to keep those organized). I go through cycles in which I fail to connect with my creativity because I’m too focused on my daily tasks. Though, I’ve found that getting out in nature and taking some quiet time can do wonders for getting back in the groove.

E.) Say who is on next week (up to three people you would tag), and provide a bio and link to their website). Their posts would go up May 21st.

I’m so excited to introduce my lovely friend Jen, from Properly Ridiculous. She’s a compassionate, authentic, and modest woman. Her writing is witty and hilarious, but also courageous in the fact that she addresses issues and shares her perceptions when most of us might not dare!

I’ve started, erased & repeated this bio more times than I care to share; with that being said, I’m going to just dive in and hope for the best. Properly Ridiculous was born back in February & I consider it to still be a work in progress- but I’ve accepted the idea that I may always feel that way. I have so many ideas that I’m eager to share. I write about what inspires me in the moment. Sometimes the goal matched with the sudden inspiration is laughter, while the next time I sit down to type the goal may be the opposite. A lot of my writings are opinion based thoughts and life experiences, however I’ve recently began challenging myself & have began exploring poetry and fiction. I reside in Wisconsin and share my house with my Husband & 7 year old son. Life is good.

The second blogger I’m excited to nominate is Andy from The Wandering Poet. While this is a Writing Process Blog Tour, I decided to mix thing up a little. Why should just writers get all the attention? Anyway, Andy is a multifaceted creative genius whose posts always bring light to my day. His blog is always filled with gorgeous photography and ceaseless positivity.

I have a passion for photography. Though, because I can’t afford a professional grade camera, I often use my cell phone or a point and shoot to capture nature, especially flowers in the spring and summer. There’s so much beauty out there and I don’t want to miss any of it.

And last, but certainly not least, is my lovely blogging friend, Chatti Natti. I’m always astounded by her profound talent and versatility with her poems. She has a unique view of the world, and shares the beauty she sees in everything. Natti is a beacon of positivity in the blogging world, and I strongly suggest you give her fabulous poetry a read.

Originally from Antigua in the Caribbean, Chatti Natti is an avid reader and has been writing since she was around seven or eight years old.She was introduced to the world of literature and poetry at a young age and loves getting lost in a good story or seduced by the lyrics of a poem.A journalist by training, words are a natural part of her life. She recently decided to share her love of writing with a wider audience through her blog. It is her desire to publish a series of children’s books, a novel and two books of poetry in the near future. Chatti Natti currently resides in Belfast, Northern Ireland with her husband where she continues to work towards her literary pursuits.

Thank you so much for reading about my writing process. I hope it was, at least, somewhat entertaining. Also, be sure to check out Jen, Andy, and Natti’s most magnificent blogs!!!

With gratitude (and slight frustration with my computer, or whoever is causing these format shenanigans),

Adelie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please Forgive Me

 

^ That’s me, right about now!

We all have those weeks when everything seems to pile up…Well, this is my week. I’m throwing my sister-in-law’s baby shower this weekend and my sister’s wedding shower the next.  Throw in some major expansion at my workplace, me being sick for the last five days, my father’s birthday, and a new stray doggie we found Saturday (whose owners we’re desperately trying to locate), and you’ve got me stuck in a whirlwind of trying to figure out what the heck is going on here! I’m also supposed to complete a blog tour post today, a Liebster Post that’s long overdue, and a special challenge sent to me by some fellow Fictioneers. And don’t even get me started on the household chores that are mounting at an incredible rate. So, my whole point of writing up this quick post is to tell you that I’m sincerely sorry for being so tardy in responding to your lovely comments, follows, and the sort. As it is, it looks like I might not be able to get a single post out for a while. I just want you all to know that I love you and truly appreciate your kindness and support. I shall return once things have quieted down a little. I’m so sorry for the neglect!

Sincerely,

Adelie

How to be Happy

 

This week’s writing challenge is to share something you’ve learned with your readers. I’ve noticed that if I’m present enough in each moment, I’m always learning. Unfortunately, my self-awareness isn’t a regular ritual of mine. More so, it comes and goes in binges. I strongly believe, and know, that my life would be better if I could be more present in every breath I take. I’ve found the best way to return to that essential place of knowing is to slow my breathing and to listen to my heart. I know, it’s so cliché, but there’s a reason why that line is used as advice in virtually every circumstance. At risk of sounding even more cliché, I’m going to say that my heart has proven time and time again to be my greatest teacher. So, I want to share the lesson it taught me a few days back.

***A note to readers: In case you aren’t one of my earlier followers, you might not know I have bipolar disorder. Not that it should matter, but I’ve decided to discuss this aspect of myself in this post. I sincerely believe this piece is relevant to everyone, even those without bipolar disorder. However, if you’re not interested in reading about the bipolar aspects, feel free to skip the italicized segments.

I’m assuming I’m not the only person who lives in cycles. I mean, with the changing seasons and tides, it’s only natural, right?

Well, being bipolar has a whole other world of cycles, which can be much less predictable than when the leaves are going to fall. Typically, I’m depressed and dormant from roughly November to March. But once spring comes, something hits me, and I’m inspired, ecstatic, and confident- in a healthy, non-manic way.

When you’re bipolar, there’s a blurry line between being genuinely happy and falling into the rip-roaring tides of mania. Ever since I’ve had some very destructive episodes, I’m always on red-alert for signs of mania. Thus, I’m apprehensive whenever I feel happy. In fact, I’m almost terrified to be happy because it’s nearly impossible to distinguish it from the earliest symptoms of mania. By the way, mania is awesome. You feel invincible and everything in life is absolutely perfect, including yourself! Not to mention, your productivity skyrockets. It’s so awesome that you don’t realize how poorly skewed your perception of reality is. No matter what your friends and family tell you, you’re fine. The problem is with everyone else, those pessimistic party poopers you call your loved ones. In fact, you don’t need them. You’d be better without them, and you’ll find someone who will treat you better. After all, you’re such a stellar person, everyone loves you, so basically, the ball is in your court. Oh, and if you finally come to the realization that you’re manic, it’s not just something you can pull out of, and it’s usually too late.

Anyway, it seems that nearly every spring, I come to some *non-bipolar* epiphany that empowers me to believe in myself and gives me the fuel to work toward my goals. Kind of like a pep-talk from my soul that lasts for a few months.

So, the snow finally disappeared a couple of weeks ago, and every day I’d look at the sunrise and think, Ok, epiphany…I’m ready for you….anytime now!

Heck, I even subscribed to O Magazine this year to really boost my aha-moment potential!

However, I got nothing. No inspiration, no sudden recognition of my soul’s infinite power… Nope.

So last Sunday, I sat down to meditate, and I asked my soul something like, “When the hell are you going to enlighten me?!” I sat in silence for a while, when it finally came to me: I’ve been waiting and expecting happiness to just come to me… but that’s not how it works.

Things happen.

Life happens.

Sometimes it’s easy to be happy. Sometimes it’s impossible not to be happy. But sometimes, you have to choose to be happy.

So instead of moping around and waiting for an epiphany to turn my attitude into flowers, hearts, and unicorns, I have to make my own happiness. After all, our souls have the infinite power to do anything, and that includes choosing happiness.

Happiness isn’t something to find. It’s something to be.

Oh, and by the way, my soul reminded me that happiness ≠ mania. I need to be happy, and I can allow myself to be happy while being aware of any triggers or onsets of mania. It’s possible to be happy without tailspinning into reckless behavior.

So today, I’m going to be happy. I do hope you’ll join me. If you need some extra inspiration besides that which your heart may provide, take a look at some more quotes about happiness!

With happiness and gratitude,

Adelie

 

 

My dog hates taking pictures with me

I’m not one for taking selfies, but my Beagle, Zoe, was being so adorable tonight, that I wanted to get some pics with the little beauty queen. They didn’t quite turn out, but I thought you might find them amusing.

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She’s fine taking pictures by herself, but the moment I get in the frame with her, she suddenly has something more important to do.

She couldn’t even fake enjoyment.

God, maybe I shouldn’t have kids!

How I Met Your Father

The topic of this week’s Writing Challenge is “Great Expectations.” My intent is to discuss an experience where the end result was nothing I had expected. Initially, my thoughts switched to something all too common in the world of Pinterest:

But like I said, it’s a very common occurrence. Just Google “Pinterest fails,” and you’ll instantly feel better about your less-than-stellar culinary skills. Thus, I dug deeper to find a story in which the reality was quite different than the expectation. This just happens to be the very instance in which I met my high school sweetheart and hubby of almost three years. First, let me clarify something concerning the title. We do not have babies yet, unless we’re referring to our Beagle, Siberian Husky, and Mini Rex bunny. The title was inspired by How I Met Your Mother, because I find/found that series quite amusing. Who knows, maybe one day when the question is asked by our little ones, I’ll just whip out this blog. Until then, I hope it can bring you some sort of entertainment.

If you would’ve asked me nine years ago where I might meet my future husband, my guesses would have been college, Barnes and Noble, or possibly in a park while walking my dog. Now, if you insisted I would meet my dream man in Wal-Mart, I would have laughed and then wondered why I deserved such an insult.

On November 1st, 2006, those expectations were shattered.

I was sixteen and my mother dragged me to Wal-Mart on a Wednesday night. My mother honed in on the shoe section, the smiley Rollback sign drew her in like a moth to a fluorescent light. While she swooned over boots priced only $9.98, I glanced around the store, hoping no one saw me tethered to her. Looking back on this, I wonder why the heck I rode with her…?

Ah, I know! I was taking guitar lessons at the time, several cities over. Because of the distance, she insisted on driving me there every Wednesday. Oh, the days when I played the electric guitar, a red Fender Strat to be exact…..Glad we got that cleared up! Now, back to the story!

I noticed a man walk by. A tall, dark, and handsome man sporting a blue Wal-Mart smock. Let me tell you, never have I seen anyone so dreamy in a Wal-Mart smock. I’m glad he’s kept it all these years.It makes for some kinky role-playing every now and then. 😉 Must edit myself lest future kids read this.

Anyway, my eyes met his (underneath his long skater hair), and I could say the rest is history. But you want more, right? Alright… If you insist….

The thing is, I wasn’t the kind of girl who just goes to stores and hits on unsuspecting employees. No, few teenagers were as shy and socially awkward as I. But when I saw this man, something told me that I had to push myself out of my comfort zone. Somehow I knew that if I never at least said “hi” to him,, I would regret it for a very long time.

So that’s what I did…after leaving my mother’s side to roam around the store for an hour. Seriously, it took me that long to find the courage to walk up to the guy. Being the chronic over-thinker I am, I rehearsed several scenarios in which I might strike up conversation.

What was the winning approach, you ask? Well, the plan was to grab one of those nifty little air fresheners for the car, bring it to him, and ask if he liked how it smelled.

I truly wish I was joking, but that was the best I came up with.

I meandered over to the shoe section, and like a lioness hunting a gazelle, I hid at the end of an aisle and waited for my prey to walk by. With clammy hands and shaky knees, I glanced around and through the aisles. Unexpectedly, he turned the corner from behind me. As he walked past, dutifully balancing a few boxes of shoes in his hands, I bolted into a hybrid of sprinting and stumbling to catch up to him.

Excuse me!” I called out. He smoothly turned around, unaware that I’d been stalking him all along. And, not at all according to plan, the next thing that came out of my mouth was,“How are you doing today?”

So, the whole air freshener plot was bust at that point, and we proceeded to have a conversation that didn’t seem nearly as awkward as it probably was. Before we parted ways, I ended up with his number.

Success!

His shift ended at 10 that night, and even though I was camped out by the phone since 9:30, I didn’t call him until 10:03. You know, I didn’t want to seem desperate! It only took a few minutes of our three-hour-long conversation to confirm that he was, in fact, the one for me. Two days later, he was at my school’s football game to watch my marching band perform, and then he accompanied all of us band geeks back to Pizza Hut afterward.

The moral of the story here is to always be open to unexpected miracles. They say love can find us in the strangest places, and I’m now a firm believer in that. I certainly never expected that the shoe associate at Wal-Mart would be the one person in my life who never, ever gave up on me and who brought more joy to my life than I could ever imagine.

*Fun fact (or maybe not, you decide)! We met on 11/01/06.~~~We married on 06/01/11.

See the pattern? Well we didn’t! In fact, we didn’t even realize this until nearly a year after we were married!

Thanks for reading!

With Love,

Adelie

 

 

Link

 

 

I could write a lengthy post about how important it is to take care of our planet, not just one day a year but every day. However, I’m certain you’ve already heard similar messages about fifty times today. Thus, I’m simply doing my part to spread awareness because protecting our planet is one of the causes closest to my heart. Though, please don’t misinterpret this post as self-righteous, as I definitely have room for improvement, myself. The thing is, there are simple switches we can all make every day to help this cause. Fortunately, there are numerous resources for those looking to make those simple changes, and here’s one to help get you started!

http://www.earthday.org/takeaction/

 

 

 

 

Finding Your Flow

It’s day two of “Finding Your Flow”- an awesome meditation series, hosted by Oprah Deepak Chopra! It’s still not too late to join in on this wonderfully transformative (and free) experience!

Artfully Aspiring

My goodness, it’s been one heck of a week for me, so I’m behind in many posts I’ve planned. Regardless, I received an email this morning, and I just had to share the wonderful news with you.

Oprah and Deepak Chopra are presenting another free meditation event called, “Finding Your Flow.”

You might ask why I’m so excited about this. One year ago, I stumbled upon their first free meditation event called “Perfect Health.” It was honestly, life changing… Like three weeks of daily epiphanies!

And it’s free! I LOVE free!!!

Since then, they presented two more meditation programs: “Miraculous Relationships” and “Desire and Destiny.” So the deal is, it’s a three week event, in which they send you an inspirational article and a guided meditation every day. Each day has a new concept or theme. In addition, they have a journal with meditative prompts that help you connect even…

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Acceptance

It took me a while to finally write my “acceptance post” for The Versatile Blogger Award. Not only have I had an exceptionally hectic week, but I just wasn’t sure how to write a fitting post to convey my gratitude. I was nominated by Gupreet, the inspiring author of Rebranding Life. If you haven’t read her work already, I strongly suggest you take a trip over to her blog to follow her journey on “100 days to a new me,” which is very inspiring at educational!

I struggled with writing this because I’m profoundly honored that I was deemed worthy of an award! Honestly, when I started blogging just over one month ago, I didn’t anticipate anyone actually wanting to read this. I wasn’t prepared for the unconditional acceptance I received in such a short amount of time, and I truly couldn’t imagine all of the talented and inspirational writers I’d meet along the way. Being that I’m essentially a socially awkward introvert in person, it touches me that I’ve gained support through my writing. After all, this is the way I’m able to best express myself. So before I continue with the acceptance of this award, I want to tell you all how sincerely appreciative I am for your reading, following, support, and encouragement.

A requisite of this award is to share seven interesting facts about myself. I had trouble coming up with these for a while, until I decided to go really deep within and reveal more about myself than anyone knows, with the exception of my husband. Though these are very significant parts of who I am, I intend on not elaborating too extensively to prevent losing your attention. I hate boring others with talk about myself. I’m honestly nervous right now, knowing I’m making myself highly vulnerable right now, and exposing myself to public scrutiny.  So without further ramblings, here are seven facts about myself, which I believe might inspire some interest from you:

 

  1. I was bullied severely for the entirety of my years in junior high. I say severely because it went far beyond name-calling. I was pushed into lockers, thrown into trashcans, pushed down bleachers, and there was rarely a day where my books weren’t knocked out of my hands and things weren’t thrown at me. I was a victim of cyber bullying, which basically consisted of my peers telling me to kill myself. It breaks my heart to remember that I got dangerously close to following their orders numerous times.

Some victims of bullying will say it made them stronger, gave them thicker skin. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. In my case, it gave me a softer, more compassionate heart. Two people, who were very close to me committed suicide. I often wonder if I could have prevented it. Though I know I can’t go back in time, I know that I never want to be the reason why someone would give up on life. Thus, I tend to worry about people, more than they worry about themselves. I will do anything to not hurt someone, even if it results in me hurting myself or going against my own wishes. Sometimes I hate myself for being a doormat, for caring about people who don’t give a shit about me. Though, I’d much rather treat an undeserving person with dignity than to turn my back on someone who is struggling deeply. Who am I to judge?

  1. I was the drum major (field commander) in marching band. In other words, I was the leader of the band geeks J. It had been a deep aspiration of mine ever since my elementary years. I even convinced the director to let me join the high school marching band while I was still in junior high, to gain more experience and seniority. Before I became drum major, I played the flute for three years. When I talk about it to non-band geeks (or bandzies, as we called ourselves), I take joy in starting my stories, “So this one time, at band camp…”
  2. I met my husband at Wal-Mart. I was sixteen, he was eighteen and an employee in the shoe department. I was nervous as hell to approach him, but there was something besides his devilish good looks that told me I absolutely had to meet him. Now I recognize that was my soul talking. We’ve been through a hell of a lot in the eight years we’ve been together, but those stories are for another time. Moral of the story: you can find love in the most unexpected places.
  3. In high school, I graduated seventh in my class with a 4.25 GPA (weighted honors courses, in case you’re wondering). My senior year, I was dual-enrolled in college as well. In college, I was on the Dean’s List every semester and graduated with a 3.96 GPA. Now I’m not saying these things to brag, and I don’t find any pride in doing so. The point of this is that I looked to numbers and distinctions as validation of my self-worth. Though they represented my dedication and diligence to academics, they don’t confirm who I am. It wasn’t until I graduated that I realized I missed out on several experiences because I was always trying to prove myself.
  4. My ultimate goal in life, besides being a published author and giving back to the world that has given me so much, is to establish at least one animal shelter. My main cause is the safety and welfare of animals, and it isn’t until I create another sanctuary for them that I’ll feel significantly accomplished.  Though, my shelter will be more than that. It will not only act as a sanctuary for these animals but will also include proper training and socialization for them, as to increase their chances of finding a forever home.
  5. I don’t conform to a particular religion, nor do I feel people should be excluded or condemned based on their beliefs. If I were to identify the religion and spirituality that best describes my views and way of life, it would be Taoism.
  6. I’m bipolar. Aside from my immediate family and my closest friend, you are the only one(s) I’ve disclosed this to. I highly debated coming out with this, at the risk of having myself and my writing evaluated based on a stereotype. Though I’m stabilized from any severe symptoms that would require hospitalization, I do have to manage other symptoms on a daily basis. It took me several years to accept this diagnosis, although it gave me the comfort of knowing exactly why I’d had so many debilitating episodes in my life. Even with a psychology major and knowing the biology behind it, I’m still embarrassed and hate to be judged based on a diagnosis. The truth is, acknowledging this condition and effectively treating it has allowed me to finally be “me.” At this point, I feel it’s more important to expose myself in the hopes of disproving this stereotype, than to hide safely and allow this injustice to perpetuate. This is a significant part of me that I will undoubtedly discuss in the future.

 

Whew. Bet you weren’t expecting something so intense! But I laid it all on the line, no regrets.

So the second part of accepting this award is nominating ten other writers whom I feel are deserving of a nomination. I’ve found extreme difficulty in limiting the list because I’ve read so many spectacular blogs. However, I’ll focus on those who have struck a particular significance with me, in no particular order:

-Jennifer, the author of Properly Ridiculous. Her daily anecdotes always bring laughter and joy to my days. I admire her greatly and was surprised at how quickly we “clicked.”

-Stephanie, a.k.a. Little Miss Menopause. Being that she’s somewhat of a celebrity around here, I’d be surprised if you haven’t read her feisty and comical perspectives on life. She is very kind and we share a common OCD-ness. Though, if I met her in person, I’d probably be intimidated by her unbounded zest and quick wit.

Alienora, who has wildly intriguing views that are both bold and richly contemplative. Though she’s received a versatile blogger award before, I’m nominating her again because I truly admire her courage.

-Fred (the dog), from Love Your Dog. Being an absolute animal lover (especially a dog person), I take great joy in reading her posts. Not only are they delightfully entertaining, but she promotes the proper training and treatment of your pets and advocates adoption from animal shelters. Also, she is a very talented writer, especially for a dog. Maybe she can teach my girls a few tricks?

Forgotten Correspondence. As the name implies, each post is a correspondence from one character to another. I am astounded by Chris’ talent to portray such different voices and to tell such an engaging story in just one letter. He has a book on Amazon that I have no doubt is just as captivating and is on my “to read” list.

Soul Food. No, this is not just a site with delicious recipes that will make your stomach grumble in envy. This blog is filled with thought-provoking posts that give hope and motivation to create a more peaceful world and live a more meaningful life.

-Chris, from 61 Musings. Her blog has brought me the comfort of knowing that I’m not the only introvert out there. She’s created a very supportive community and writes to entertain, connect, and guide those who are often misunderstood in social interactions. Even if you don’t consider yourself an introvert, I believe you’ll greatly enjoy her insightful writing.

-Caroline from 101 Challenges in 1,001 Days. If you’re looking for some inspiration and motivation to take charge of your life and tackle your challenges, this is the blog to read. I greatly enjoy her light humored updates on her journey to live a fuller life, and her fiction is very enthralling as well.

-Janice, from Medicinal Meadows. My goodness, if you are looking for breathtaking photography and poignant poetry, you must visit her blog. Her writing allows me to slow down and enjoy the beauty in life, after a stressful day.

-Last, but definitely not least, Atreyee from @Zebra Crossing. There is a great variety in her stories and poetry, and she never fails to grip me from the first sentence. Whenever you’re in search of adventure, take a trip over to her lovely blog.

 

If you’ve made it this far through my post, I express my sincere gratitude and my assurance that you’re approaching the finish line! I did my best not to bore, but I felt it was a perfect opportunity to better introduce myself and to give fellow writers the recognition they deserve. I greatly apologize if you happened not to appear on my nomination list, but I assure you that I wouldn’t follow any blog that I didn’t feel possessed great talent and content. I am immensely grateful for your support and kind words.

 

With genuine gratitude,

Adelie