What is beauty really?

It’s dark. I’m at the park.  The sun will be popping its head over the hills within the next 30 minutes or so.  Puget Sound stretches in front of me.  The lights of a boat quietly makes its way along the shore; I think it’s a tug, but it is still too dark to properly see.

A small factory is nearby and I get caught up watching the steam billow from the single chimney  I sip from the coffee I brought with me.  I have music playing from my phone – a song that I seem to play a lot lately.  And I mean… A. LOT.

Scars to your beautiful

She just wants to be beautiful
She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits
She craves attention, she praises an image
She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor
Oh, she don’t see the light that’s shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it
Maybe we have made her blind
So she tries to cover up her pain and cut her woes away
‘Cause cover girls don’t cry after their face is made

But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

She has dreams to be an envy, so she’s starving
You know, cover girls eat nothing
She says beauty is pain and there’s beauty in everything
What’s a little bit of hunger?
I could go a little while longer, she fades away
She don’t see her perfect, she don’t understand she’s worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface
So to all the girls that’s hurting
Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within

There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

These lyrics, the words bounce around in my head.  I suppose they strike a chord.

Beauty.

Beauty is something so fleeting… so changeable, and yet so many of us strive to embody it. But what is it really?

We have this image in our heads and hearts of what the perfect version of ourselves would look like, and yet…

In nature – it is often the unique…

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the renegade…

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the inner play of co-existing dualities that are some of the most beautiful.

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Beauty can be simple and can be complex.

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For too many years now, I have looked at myself as not beautiful. I’d turn such critical eye to my perceived faults instead of celebrating that which makes me beautiful and unique.

Enough is enough.  Maybe it’s the state that the world is in lately, maybe it’s just a strange burst of frustration mixed with heartbreak and hope … but damn!  If I can’t love myself, how can I possibly expect the people in the world around me to spread love? Enough with the hate.  Enough with the judgements.  Today… I celebrate myself.  Today – I will celebrate you, your neighbor, your mother, your friend.  For today – and every day to come, I will find a reason to spread a smile, and lift someone else up.  The world must change. Let’s put away our walls.  Love yourself, and love others.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me.  Off to work now!  Much Love!

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I Had An Epiphany Today

There’s something to be said about commuting in a car, it leaves for plenty of time to think.  To decompress and review things in my head.  I certainly don’t do it with everything, but I do find that on occasion, something someone will say or do will get stuck in my head.  It leads me with a need to churn it over a bit and mull on it.  I think it’s because, in the moment, my brain will nod and move along in conversation… but later, it will pop back in my mind and I’ll wonder about that moment – why did I react that way?  Do they really feel that way?  Is that really what they meant?  Perhaps I am simply an over thinker and need to learn to control that side of myself a bit better. Regardless, it is how my brain works.

Ginger kitten looking in mirror and seeing a lion

Friends and people who learn my story often comment to me about how strong I am.  And while it’s nice to hear, it is in no way a reflection of how I see myself.  I have strength when it comes to my brain.  I’m able to figure out a solution, make a sale, or find a way out of a sticky situation on most occasions.  BUT… when it comes to matters of the heart, and when it comes to matters of sex…. I am a total pansy.  Let me repeat that, because I’ve never admitted that before.  I am a pansy. I wasn’t always like this.  This.. is new.  A new Jen.  One who, now that I see her, I’m not too happy with.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the few times I’ve really opened up and trusted in someone, I’ve ended up highly disappointed and heartbroken over it.  A part of me wants to remind myself that “Hey! That’s life! You win some, ya lose some.” But, because those times have been a bit few and far between – what I usually end up doing is just raising my walls further.  Protect myself from the pain just a little bit more, but of course, the side effect from me doing that is that sometimes, people who’ve been trying to get inside my walls – get hurt.  I shut down and close myself off – and it leaves them hurt.  Which ultimately – is not something I’d ever want to do to those who are close to me.

I’d like to change my goals for the year.

I want to learn to bring those walls down a bit more.  To let someone in.  I suppose… this is my very first step.  Admitting that I can see it, recognize it and want to change it.  I also have to understand that it means letting in some pain.  If I bring down my walls, it’s going to hurt.  I’m scared to hurt.  I’ve felt sadness and hurt and pain for long enough over plenty of things.  The idea of facing pain and sadness scares the shit out of me.  But – I want people to know me.  For people to see me for who I am – and if they don’t like me… it’ll hurt a little.  But this is me.  Who I am on this blog… is me.  And if I ever want to feel like I’m not alone anymore, it means I have to let people in.

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The Rulebook of Life – According to me

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If you were to write a rule book – for life according to you… what would be some of the rules?   Not the obvious ones… as far as always being honest, upholding your own honor, not murdering people and such…

I mean the other things. Guidelines for how we live our lives, that make us unique to who and what we are.  The ones that we all seem to have… although perhaps subconsciously, which would make them challenging to actually pick up on.

A sampling of the Rulebook of Life according to Jen

Rule 13:  Coffee is a requirement for Jen, if she is to be expected to use her brain in a capacity that is more than her normal morning autopilot is programmed for.

Rule 97: Fuzzy blankets are required to properly watch a movie or binge TV.

Rule 389: Jen must always have the ability to pull her foot out of the blankets at night in order to maintain the correct body temperature.

Rule 413: When Jen gets home from work – she must be allowed 15-20 minutes to decompress, also known as the “Don’t Ask Mom For Anything” time.

Breaking this rule can lead to potential willpower melt-down and the mass consumption of chocolate or soft cookies from her secret stash.  Note: If you promise to never share knowledge of this secret stash – she may just share with you.

Rule 1022:  There are two places that make Jen anxious.  Hospitals and Airports, for very different reasons.  When Jen is anxious, she may need an extra hug, an extra smile, and a little extra patience.  She also may need a swift kick in the ass to make her go to these places.  Use force as deemed appropriate and necessary. Bribes work too.

Rule 1031: Sometimes, Jen just needs a snuggle.  For no reason at all.

LOL.

Yea … I know…

I’m a dork.  But seriously – how cool would it be if you could see other people’s rule books?  I know my friend Ray’s would have things like

A sampling of the Rulebook of Life according to Ray

Rule 124: One must yell at the TV during scary parts of a movie, or during sports.  It is highly recommended to not sit next to Ray during these times, as it is highly likely that her flailing arms might make contact.  Pillow armor is suggested.

Rule 213:  If in debate about what to wear on a date night – always err to the side of showing too much boob.  LOL.

Rule 349: Must always follow something sweet with something savory/salty when snacking.

It must be noted however on Ray’s Rule 349.  I don’t agree.  I personally prefer to end on the sweet.  🙂

Have a good day everyone!  Much love to ya!

lipstick kiss

Memories

I was watching a movie tonight.  And a scene inspired my brain to run a million miles a minute.  I had to go look up the line from the script so that I could share it with you all.

I tell you, I just….
I just wish I could have a piece of her that I could keep safe, you know?

Just something.

Something more than a bunch of memories.

Memories.  It’s interesting to me how broken we get when something that we thought was our entire world… gets reduced to memories.  A lost love, a death, or even a rejection of some sort… when we feel that something has been stolen from us, even when that something was only a dream… it evokes a strange pain.  A loss that we have to grieve and accept in order to move forward.  And then things change and shift and all that is left are the memories of it.  It’s almost like we have to grieve the dream of what was.

memories

Almost makes one reconsider what the worth of a memory REALLY is?

If memories are all we have to take with us, if they are all we get to cling to on those lonely nights when it’s just us alone with our thoughts… then why do we put so little value on them?  Why do we get so caught up in all the strange bullshit that we do, when we should really be trying to savor every single delicious moment that we have – because in the end, it will only be a memory.

This evening I was reminded… oddly by a movie that I haven’t seen in a long time… that sometimes, you just have to let life flow.  There are things that happen that are out of your control- and that if I just hold on to the memories from my past, and relax and keep creating new memories… that somehow, it’ll all work out in the end.

Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you this evening.

XXO!

lipstick kiss

When you’re given a rare and unusual gift…

I have what feels like a million thoughts flying through my head at the same time, so please forgive me if this post is a little scattered.  I’ll do my best to control myself, but the way I write is to literally let words fall out of my head.  I can type easily 150 words per minute, more when I’m angry or particularly passionate, so it’s easier to keep up with the thoughts that fly through.

I’ve been given a strange gift.  I’m choosing to look at it this way, at least for now.  🙂

About two weeks before xmas, I invited my children’s nanny to rent the spare room from my basement.  She was in an odd situation and the room was just empty and sitting there, so I offered it to her and her daughter.  It’s been fun to have a two year old in the house again, although holy cow did I forget how much child-proofing a place needs!!  We’ve loved having her here, although of course, moving someone into your home takes a bit of adjustment.  There are certainly things that I’m sure we drive each other nuts on, and that’s to be expected.  Thankfully, things seem to be fairly smooth.

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She’s an interesting girl.  Very different from myself, but not in a bad way or anything. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and her daughter more.  And being that we’re both single mom’s, we do share some things in common.  One of those, being an interest in men.  The topic comes up often.  Her approach is VERY different from my own.  Again – not bad… not wrong… just different.  It reminds me of how I acted in relationships when I was younger, before my own life experiences led me to become a different person with a completely different approach to people.  And here’s where we get to the gift…

I’m getting to witness (from an outside perspective) – ME… when I was younger.   The mistakes I would make, the insecurities I felt, the highs and lows of over-dramatic relationships.  HOLY CRAP!  Looking back now… hoo boy!  I’m suddenly very thankful that people mellow a bit with age.  At least I have.  I may have struggling levels of confidence in my physical appearance, but my confidence in who I am at my core is stronger than it’s ever been.

This girl has commented a few times that she’s looking at me as a mentor.  She thinks I’m strong and never get discouraged.  I laughed when she said that.  I get discouraged.  Hell – when I’m really let down, I’ll even hide under the covers and have a good cry when I need to.  But I don’t quit.  Not if something is really worth it.  But to me – what other choice do you have?

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So this past week, she started seeing someone new.  I won’t go into too much details, but let’s just say that there’s been some drama – and what surprises me, is that instead of having that drama be a red or yellow flag to caution her to move forward… she’s fangirling like a clingy, love-obsessed, crazy-ass, future-tripping girl.  It’s been quite shocking to see someone who is my age go through this.  Eye-opening really.  And I can’t quite pin-point if I’m happy to have my eyes opened or not.  At one point, in my life, I acted like that.  And now, even just thinking of acting like that would be … embarrassing.  I mean, I get it… new love is exciting!  It’s the clingy and the crazy that I don’t agree with, and future tripping, I try to avoid, as it usually leads to disappointment.

On the bright side, I can clearly see how far I’ve come.  I can also clearly see something I don’t and wouldn’t want.  I have this desire to build something healthy with someone.  Something real and long-lasting.  I know that the person for me is out there, and I oddly have this strange comfort in knowing that eventually – we’ll find each other.  I will just keep moving along!

just-keep-swimming

 

On a completely unrelated topic… my side business … hoo boy!  Things are moving along so quickly – it’s almost hard to keep up.  The retail space that was supposed to be a test store for only 2 weeks is still going – they asked us to just keep it up permanently.  We’ve got an offer to join amazon and sell there; and I’ve got an opportunity to take on a booth at an event that’s coming up.  Technically there are a few coming up – but I’m considering signing on for February 9th – see if I can’t get any valentine’s sales.  The trouble is… I can’t seem to keep the stock on-hand.  I know – it’s a good problem to have, but at the same time, it’s frustrating.  I don’t want to take too much on at once and then fail.  I wanted to build this business slowly, to ensure that it would do well, but it’s taken on a mind of it’s own in some cases and is just plowing ahead! 🙂 I have a feeling I’ll have to hire at some point in the coming year.  Oy!  🙂

Hope you’re doing well!! Much love to all of you in Neverland.