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Letters To People Who Will Never Read Them: Dear Lady In The Steam Room

Dear Lady in The Steam Room:

I want to first say that appreciate a woman with body confidence, whatever her size and shape. Beautiful is beautiful and you do have really nice hair and skin tone.

Still, I gotta tell you, there’s something about leaving a little to the imagination.  I mean, I get that it’s 7:30 in the morning and you want to get your steam on, but laying naked-as-the-good-Lord made you across four of the six seats with three towels under you doesn’t leave much mystery.  This is especially true when your legs are  straight up against the very wall that sits next to the  glass door I have to open to get into the area. The truth is that it makes for a display of girlie bits that I don’t want to see, well, ever. I don’t think I’d even want to see Johnny Depp in that position and I could not imagine any situation in which I would not want to see Johnny Depp naked until this very moment.

I don’t know if you know the level of defeat I feel when I see that steam on the door each morning.  I know that there is a good chance you’ll be in there and I always have that drop in my chest and a moment of hesitation.  When I do finally get the courage to open the door and enter what I am guessing you see as your private naked kingdom, I really don’t need you to open or shut the door with your left foot.

I often wonder if you’re being helpful or showing your annoyance by hazing me, but either way, we both know what else you are showing.  Speaking candidly, I don’t want to have flashbacks to my actual birth day every morning, if you know what I mean.

I know I don’t stay in there often and that seems to also annoy you because I open the door a second time, but  I am trying to find a balance between my desire to have a little steam in my face with the pain of the the burning of my eyes.

I have not quite reconciled that as of yet. This is why I often go in, give up, and just go hit the showers.

This used to work to give me a little time to undo the damage, but that has all changed now. Perhaps it is because you feel bad that you now think you need to follow me into this area,  but I am good, I swear.  The truth is, I know you think your strangely erotic, long moans are showing appreciation for your hot water (at least that’s what I am hoping that’s what they are showing appreciation for) but they make me a little uncomfortable.

I have never heard sounds like that come from another woman, or I am a bit embarrassed to say, a man, and I am so glad you’re getting yours, whatever that may be, but I just want to lather up with some Oil Of Olay and think about walking my dog and writing my blog without being reminded that I haven’t made out with anyone in a while.

I do hope there is a way we can come to a compromise.  I would like to have a serving of steam and shower without the side of sex.  At least at the gym.  This isn’t Chelsea, after all.

Sincerely,

Brenda

Impossible

18 Ways To Move On With Your Life (And Do Better Next Time)

Whether going through a break-up, dealing with a career catastrophe or simply shedding some skin, you have a choice: You can focus on what has gone wrong, or accept that the universe has a plan and this is the beginning of a whole new chapter of your life.  Here are a few ways to make the next chapter even better than the last.

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Accept That You Have Flaws, But Also Gifts: The love and light you bring to those who love and value you is real, and it cannot be devalued by those who no longer have use for you or by yourself when you choose to believe those negative voices.  This leads me to why you need to…

Change Your Mantra:  My girlfriend, Annie, is one of the wisest and most beautiful women I have ever known.  Her best advice over the past 15 years? “Change the voices in your head and your life will follow.”  The things you tell yourself impact the way you act and interact with others, so if you are grateful, gentle, accountable and respectful with yourself, that is what you will attract.

Stop the People-Pleasing:  It’s not your job to make everything right for everyone and people-pleasers are often picked out and picked up by those who seek to control, manipulate and mistreat others in order to serve their own agendas.

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Make It Happen:  If you want to meet someone new, sitting in your apartment isn’t going to work.  If you want to move abroad, you’re going to need to do your research and network, and if you want to change your life, you’re going to need to work to change your outlook and choices (even if those choices are to draw better boundaries and pay closer attention to red flags).

Book The Trip:  Whether it’s sun tanning in Capri, sipping wine in Spain or laying by the water in Puerto Vallarta, getting out there into the world will open up yours.

Hold Yourself Accountable:  No one can “make” you say or do anything.  You choose how you will act and react to things, and if your reactions are disproportionate to slights (perceived or real) it’s time to get thee to a professional and figure out why (and do something to change it).

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Spread a Little Joy:  A smile, a plate full of cookies, a sincere compliment, a hug.  Why not give to the world what you seek in return?

Let It Roll, Work it Out or Let It Go:  We share the planet with billions of other humans who all have their own fears, filters, worries, flaws and strengths.  You will connect with some and clash with others; that’s how it goes.  Unless there’s a real reason to let someone get you down or hold a real grudge, accept that disagreements and annoyances are a part of life and decide whether it’s a relationship worth fighting for (which means being compassionate, compromising, forgiving and open) or walking away.  Fighting just to be right is a waste of your time and energy.

Stop Working Against Yourself:  We are all a culmination of our upbringing, experiences, relationships and daily thoughts and sometimes our habits, fears and projections can work against what we want most.  If you find yourself in the same situation and feeling the same things time and again, take a look in the proverbial mirror, make amends and get a professional and a support system to break your addictions to bad behavior.

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Know When To Let Go: Hope is a beautiful thing, but it can also be a prison.  People only change when they want to and are willing to do the work, and waiting around to get blood out of a turnip is a waste of your time here on Earth.  If you have given something your best shot, reached out, tried to make it work and done all you can do and it’s still stagnant, it’s time to move on.

Have Faith That What Is Real Will Work Itself Out: Endings can be hard, especially when you felt strongly about something or someone.  It’s helpful to remind yourself of your values, dreams, skills and desires and know that relationships, situations and friendships that coincide with these things will often work themselves out (even if that means you owning your behavior, apologizing and doing better) and the ones that don’t will fall by the wayside.

Be Grateful For The Good, Learn From The Not-So-Good: No relationship is a waste of time and no situation is without a lesson to extract.  Show gratitude, analyze how you can do better next time and move forward.

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Avoid Shady People:  If something doesn’t make sense, it likely isn’t true.    If you have to ask their friends if they are being honest or you’re getting the runaround, say adios. Life is too precious to waste your time playing detective and people who love and respect you don’t lie to and hide things from you.

Know The Facts: Men and women who love one another fight for one another.  Friends who are worthy don’t betray your trust. If he or she has moved onto someone new, it is time for you to as well.

Get Out Of The House: Meet new people, discover new things, connect with friends, get to know the world again.  Yes, it will be hard, but unless they are trying to work things out and you want to, it’s the only way.

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Don’t Be Anyone’s Fool:  You have an instinct for a reason.  If you feel that someone is not being honest with you or you should or should not do something, trust your gut and intelligence.

Polish Up:  Hit the gym, book a hair appointment, take a class or work on other ways to boost confidence and present a shinier version of you to the world.Love

Show Love: To others, to yourself, to the universe.

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10 Things I Know To Be True

Wanting something for yourself (career, comfort, time with friends) doesn’t mean you love them less.  If they cannot understand this, it’s about them, not about you not having your priorities straight.

Love is not enough, but it’s what makes us do what needs to be done to save what matters.

There is nothing more beautiful than a smart, independent, open, passionate, self-respecting woman who does what it takes to live the life she deserves to live.

Exclamation points should only be used in positive texts.  If you want to use an exclamation point in a text while upset, perhaps you should pick up the phone.

Respecting boundaries is important.  Your own. Theirs. Them respecting their own and yours.  If you tell them once, it should be enough.

If they didn’t do something before they got what they wanted from you, it’s not that they don’t know it’s rude or disrespectful.

Men will always fight for the woman they love.  If he’s talking and not acting, he’s not fighting.

When a woman goes silent, she’s had enough.

No one wants to work with a workaholic.

You can love someone with all of your heart, but if you don’t feel understood, it will never work.

On Writing: A Word From My Literary Idols

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“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” E. Hemingway

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” M. Twain

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” S. Bellow 

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” A. Nin

Writers aren’t people exactly. They’re awhole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.” F.Scott Fitzgerald

“…since it’s about drifting, forgetting, passing time without noticing. Instead, quietly pay attention…” Tom Chiarella (my favorite living writer)

“Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss.” Dumas (My favorite writer).

Sometimes, I think I am just a peculiar and wacky girl…then I read the comments of those I admire and I realize that I am just a writer.  I only hope to be worthy to have my name mentioned among them someday.

Things You Might Like: Young Victoria

 

Last night, after receiving a few texts that pulled at my heartstrings, I decided to put my writing aside, pour a glass of wine and watch “Young Victoria”.  Now, those who know me well know that I have seen this movie no less than a dozen times, and each time, I cry as though it’s my first viewing.

Though I know real life romances are flawed and complicated and often scattered in the beginning (I did write the book on this) the on-screen depiction of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria is without a doubt the most romantic and beautiful love story I have ever seen.  There is not a moment in the film that doesn’t touch me or make me swoon and daydream. Prince Albert is the perfect man in this film!

If you are a romantic like yours truly and haven’t seen it, you’re missing out.

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25 Ways to Live a Happier Life

As much as you might want to change someone else, you can’t.  That said, it’s important not to buy into the idea that we cannot change ourselves because we can. Take  in the whole lesson in that sentence.  This means that other people can change.  Out goes that whole “Zebra/Stripe” theory.

Living in sync with your value system is commendable (and don’t allow anyone else to convince you otherwise). Still,  it’s important to do a temperature check every so often to make sure that you’re not holding onto ideals and values that no longer fit your life. Doing so isn’t honorable, it’s inflexible and limiting.

Appreciate those men and women who come into your life but do your best not to  try and force them to stay longer than they want to. The tighter your grip, the harder they will try to pull away.

It’s not always easy to let go of toxic relationships (especially if you have invested a lot of time in them).  Still, sipping poison every day will slowly kill your chances of living your best life.

Treat those around you like valuable human beings.  Show a little compassion, listen intently, and give to those around you.  You don’t realize it now but those little gifts work like pebbles in the ocean and create ripples in the universe.

Do what you love as often as you can, even if you cannot do it full-time.

Clean up your mental and physical space.

Look in the mirror and get to know the person staring back at you. Instead of pointing out his or her flaws, give them props for making it this far.

Make time for those people who ask you to spend some time with them.

Live with honor.  There’s a lot to be said for a person who does what he or she says they will do with dignity.

Watch the sun rise. Play in the water. Walk barefoot in the sand. Eat a S’more. Marvel at a bonfire.

Realize that you have a choice in every situation.  You’re rarely at the mercy of someone else.

Hold yourself to a higher standard.

Understand that most of the time, it’s not personal.

Find reasons to laugh.

Cook something. Better yet, cook something for someone.

Find a way to give something to a stranger. Pay it forward a little.

Never miss out on something or someone wonderful because you’re ego convinced you to.

Always find a way to try something new.

Love with great enthusiasm (but know that love often includes pain).

Sit down and take it all in, just don’t allow yourself to get stuck.

Treat people as you would hope they would treat you, even when they don’t.

Look at flowers.  They are truly miracles of nature.

Remember all of the wonderful experiences you have had.

Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, be grateful. You’re alive. Do something with your time here.