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Life advice

Change (In The House Of Time)

Hi Everyone!!

Change in the house of fliesI hope you’re all having an awesome week so far and enjoying your summer (YAY, SUMMER)! By the way, if any of you got the song reference in the title you have excellent taste in music! Man, it feels like it’s been years since I’ve blogged instead of months. It’s kind of amazing the changes your life can take in just a few months.

I’ll spare the gory details of all the recent changes in my life… but as some of you know I’m still at home recovering from open heart surgery. I’ve had a lot of time to think. A LOT OF TIME.Benedict thinking
I know I should be relishing in all this time off. You get to read all day. Write all day. Binge-watch Transparent and Orange is the New Black! HOW AWESOME ARE THESE SHOWS? I already know most of you watch OITNB, but if you haven’t seen Transparent trust me, watch it. SO good. Sorry for the aside, if I go off on any more tangents during this post I’m blaming the anesthesia.

Anyhoo, it’s been all well and good to be off work, but something else happens when you have time to waste, you begin reflecting, on life, on your relationships, on regrets, on your decisions. All of it. And I’ve been on this earth for [redacted because I’m a spy (no, not really.) Or am I?] years. And in those years I never once thought about what negativity had done to me. How I never realized how far it had clawed and carved its way into my mind and soul. How did I find out I was unhappy? Well, recently my grandma remarked about how she hadn’t seen a particular look on my face before. And I realized the expression she was talking about was happy. YES happy. Had I never looked happy around her? And then I realized that maybe I haven’t. Maybe I haven’t looked happy around anyone. Maybe I’d been faking it. And that hit me hard. I had to be happy right? I mean, I felt happy. But the truth was, I wasn’t. And I had no clue. Not until that day with my grandma, not until I had time to think about it.

So what does someone do with this information? I decided to change my entire outlook on life. No really. Ann Kendrick skeptical

Not a small task, right? I know you’re asking. How the hell do you do this? Well, I don’t actually know. But I can tell you what I’ve been doing and how it’s made a difference for me.

So to start, I decided to take joy in the small things, like getting a cool new planner to organize with (Erin Condren anyone?), or spending time with my sister and mom, reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve been researching more about gender identity so I can understand more about YA diversity and improve my writing. I’ve also downloaded Rosetta Stone (Spanish) and have been learning that while I’m off.

The biggest change I’ve made is how I talk to myself. It’s been difficult because it’s almost impossible to get rid of negative thoughts once they’re implanted in your brain, but I’m trying. It helps that through the recent changes in my life I have been able to rid the negativity that once surrounded me. It’s amazing the freedom that comes with expelling the negativity around you whether it be in a person or a situation. I kind of feel re-born. I think that’s the biggest thing that anyone can do to make their lives more positive and maybe find this ever elusive and mysterious happiness that people talk about.

I’m not saying I’m happy all the time, but instead of being more like this…

Sheldon fake smile

I’m more like this…

Castiel laughing

And that is a pretty awesome thing. How about you? What makes you happy?

erica

Song on repeat: “Indifference” by Pearl Jam

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How Do You Eat An Elephant? (no, not really.)

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you are all having a FABULOUS day ;o)

Okay, so I have this awesome co-worker who will remain nameless… he said to me once when I was having one of those days where everything was going wrong. I had a bazillion things to do and like ten minutes to get it done. He said, “How do you eat an elephant?”

I, of course, being the smart ass I am was like, “I don’t eat elephants. Gross.”

He gave me the look (you know the one. I get it a lot), and said, “One bite at a time.”

At first I was like, “Ohhhhh.” Then, “Wait. Huh?”

Then I thought about it. I thought about what he was really saying. What he was trying to tell me in a weird gross way that made me picture things I didn’t want to about elephants.

When something seems huge… Like an elephant. And you’re hungry or something? I don’t know where the next part comes in because I would NEVER EAT AN ELEPHANT. Let me just make that clear. But I suppose if I did I couldn’t just take a bite or anything right? I’d have to section it off…

Okay, this is going to a place I don’t want to go. Let’s use a different analogy shall we?

You have this huge… I don’t know, pizza. And it looks so huge you can’t seem to fathom how the hell you’re going to eat it all, let’s say you HAVE to eat it all cause you want to win some competition for money or something. It’s so overwhelming you start to sweat, curse, clinch your fists. Then someone says…

Just eat it one slice at a time.

Oh. DING DING.

So I don’t have to do everything at once?

NOPE. Just eat your life pizza one slice at a time.

Sometimes I think we forget… everyone, not just writers, to eat our pizza one slice at a time. We’re moving so fast in so many directions that we want the whole pizza, we want to shove it into our mouths and swallow, not even stopping to chew… and you know what happens when we try this?

We choke. Then someone has to give us the Heimlich Maneuver  (WOW. Try spelling both those words on a first try without spell check. I’ll save you the time. Not Possible. I did get Heimlich right though. I KNOW. Who knew? But, I digress)

Writers are busy people. We’re always writing or revising, or editing, or helping friends, or CPing or Betaing, or just being a parent, or a spouse or a friend, or having a real life. It would be SO much easier to eat the pizza whole. But we can’t.

And sometimes we just have to stop between slices and just… be. Read a book for fun, or go for a jog. See a movie, hang with your kids.

Do you get what I’m sayin’? What do you think? You ever choke on some pizza? No fun, huh?

Until next time…
Er

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