Friday, January 4, 2013

Awesome Loves Company, Too

Misery loves company. I've grown up with that phrase - I'm sure you have, too - and it's very easy to see examples all around us. Not only does it seem like miserable people find each other to commiserate, but terrible things seem to happen in bundles, as though one awful thing will cast a net far and wide, grabbing all the other calamities it can along the way. 

But one observation I've made over the past few years is this: awesome loves company, too. Just as much. Maybe even more.

Okay, okay. This is probably sounding a bit like that crazy self-help book The Secret and its promises that magical thinking can help you attract a good parking spot. But that's not a bad thing.

Hear me out... I've found that, since I've owned up to my own wishes and hopes and desires to be a better human on the planet, I've come in contact with other people who are similarly seeking their own awesomeness. And in pursuing that awesomeness, they ARE awesome, simply by the very nature of the pursuit. There is a spark in their eyes and a joyfulness in the way they talk about their lives and a willingness to take risks - and to fail, for goodness' sake - in order to find out what they're capable of. They are always learning, striving, interested... 

One thing I've learned about myself in making this observation -- hey, maybe I'm kinda awesome myself -- is in direct opposition to an old story I used to tell myself: "I'm not good enough." And I pushed it down by being "perfect" - sound familiar to anyone? I got good grades - no, not merely good, but the BEST - and struggled to put myself through college and to get a corporate job that paid well and to make all the "right" choices so that I would be "good enough"... 

But where does that get you when you've outgrown those ideas? Who are you if you no longer believe that story?

Well, you're awesome. And you're on your path. And that path will never end because you are too curious about its nooks, crannies and detours to worry about where it takes you.

Even knowing all of this, I must admit that, even now, I worry that I'm getting "too old" to write a book. 

Bollocks! my awesomeness says (and he/she sounds suspiciously like all the awesome people I've come to know in my life).

Here's to finding your unique awesomeness and allowing it to cast its own net far and wide, ensnaring a wide variety of awesome seekers who will encourage you on your way. Happy 2013!

Peeling Back the Layers

I found this pic

Pardon the tiny, phallic picture. I just wanted to illustrate my point for the new year.

A few days ago, I went to my aesthetician Gia for my annual "winter blues" facial. Generally, after the holidays, I need a little pick-me-up in the form of a fake tan or a facial or a new cosmetic. I guess the excitement of the holidays and the promise of a new start makes me want to show off my enthusiasm for what's coming next. And when I look in the mirror, a sunny tan, glowing skin and/or a fresh lip gloss always makes me feel a little better.

Anyway, in lieu of the usual facial/microdermabrasion, I chose to go for a chemical peel. I won't go into the procedure or any of that stuff - if you're curious, Google is open 24/7 - but after 45 minutes, I was out of there and back in the world with a few words of caution to ensure the best results. 

The main one was: don't panic. Gia said, It will get bad... and then even worse... before it gets better. Way better. Trust the process. In 3 weeks, you'll be so happy with the results.

Okay, that was three days ago. I survived looking like a St. Tropez vacationer, and then an Oompa Loompa, and now my face is both tight and shedding skin like a snake. I need to go to Costco for something but I am reluctant to even leave the house because I look CRAZY.

However, I'm trying to remind myself that this process is identical to what I'm going through in my life, both creatively and personally. I'm shedding skin. I'm going through the process, trusting that what looks rather unappealing now (in the form of my 2nd draft, or the blank art-deprived walls of my house, or my winter garden, or sticking to a fitness routine, or any number of in-process projects on the inside of my brain) will pay off in spades once it's done. 

I may look like a withering old cobra now, but when this is done, I'm hopeful that my skin will appear as soft and buttery as the flesh of a banana... 

May your new year allow you to shed some old habits, too, so that you can emerge with a new "skin," too.