Monday, May 24, 2010

The new bachelorette...

I'm so ready to fall in love again and have a life!”

“…And I know a life without love is a life without happiness.”

Let's play a little game and find what's wrong with these sentences.

Ok game over, that was a trick. There is nothing right about these sentences!

These are both quotes from the new season of the bachelorette, and lead me to ponder the following: Are you fucking kidding me?

Blonde bubbly and pretty regular Ally, is looking for love in a sea of men, well white men. Not only do I have a bone to pick with the already fairy tale ideals of the show and our new bachelorette, but I have major issues with almost all of the singles being Caucasian. Come to think of it has there ever been a non-white bachelor or bachelorette? As I think of the answer to this question I feel my blood’s temperature raising to a medium boil. This will have to be discussed further, later.

Now I know that some of you are going to read this and think a couple things, “the author of this blog must be black.” If that’s your first thought, then you are dangerously off track and completely missing the point. If this show, and this woman, are truly here for “love” then am I, you, or anyone else supposed to expect love to come packaged as a suited up white man?

Is this Greenland, or Sweden? No, this is America- a mother effin melting pot of European, African American, Middle Eastern, Asian, Latinos, and Hispanics to name a few.

The next thing you may be thinking: Charlotte, you’re not the bachelorette, maybe these men aren’t you’re type and that’s the issue. My response… horse shit! It should be the responsibility of any match maker to mix it up! Love can come in any color, size, shape, form or race. So GET WITH IT ABC, you have 25 men for this woman to choose from and the most that we get is one Hispanic man?

That’s right folks, ABC has included a Hispanic man this season; lucky him, lucky us. America… we can now continue. Our country has been properly represented. Even I feel better, 24 men all white, and one Hispanic. Now I approve, this is almost like real life! Congratulations ABC, you’ve made the masses happy, thank you for the ‘token.’ In a tribute to the 80’s, I offer one word: PSYCH!

As I look at my surroundings, I think that I’m still in America. Warp Zones haven’t been invented yet, so I know that I’m living in the United States.

With this observation, I ask myself this: “why in the hell is it that I can turn on my television, in 2010, not 1962, and see a show with 99% whites?” It’s ridiculous and it pisses me off. If you are someone that dates, and has dated all types, personalities, shades, and races, then this should piss you off too.

I truly find this show shameful. Truth be told, I turned the show on this season out of complete curiosity. But as I started watching, I remembered just what it is that has enraged me about this show since its inception. Its lack of diversity and old fashioned ideals are like a bad TV episode from the 50s.

Before I bring this blog/bitch session to a close I’d like to address what our new bachelorette said in the beginning of the show.

“I'm so ready to fall in love again and have a life!”

“…And I know a life without love is a life without happiness.”

First of all, I have so many problems with the first quote. I’m so flooded with commentary that I don’t even know where to begin! If we, women, were to wait for “love” or a man before we had a “life” (which many sadly still do) can you imagine what a sad, useless existence that would be? I cannot believe that this woman said that she can’t wait to fall in love and have a life!

Having a life is such a multilayered thing. To have a life is to have purpose, to have inspiration, to have dreams, to have vision, to know your talent, to know and love YOURSELF. I hope that these old fashioned, fairy tale ideals about finding a prince charming and living happily ever after aren’t still what women expect. Love should be a big part of your life if that’s what you want, but not your reason for living, or the best and only thing in your life. Besides, can you imagine falling in love at a time where you already love your life? What an amazing feeling that would be.

Ally also says that a life without love is a life without happiness. I’d be lying if I didn’t have a guttural, nauseating reaction to the site/sound of this. Let me first say this, Love IS important. LOVE of your family, your friends, your pets, your purpose, career, YOUR life. So yes, a life without love is a life without happiness.

But Ally clearly wasn’t talking about different kinds of love. She is talking about the love of a relationship, the love of a man. To have a life without the love of a man is to have a life without happiness. Chew on that for a while folks. (Thank you ABC/Bachelorette for setting women back 40 years.)

Until next time, it’s over and out.

(For those of you that are still curious, Charlotte is half black and half white, and loves and dates men of all colors.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

finding my way

I think that God give us gifts and guidance in many different ways. But just like anything, you have to be open to receive them. Today I realized that God hand-crafts little packages and tosses them down to earth to guide us along the way.

We call them metaphors.

As silly as it may seem, I was able to see this clearly today.
My current place of residence during this chapter in my life is nestled behind prickly bushes and palm trees, guarded by fire ants and adjacent to the river. I live on one of earths many little peninsulas, Florida.

I came here in December unsure of anything. Not sure why I was coming, what I was doing or what lay ahead. The only thing I did know was that I had me, a thought that was at times was both comforting and frightening, and when I say frightening, I mean a dead zombie man with 4 teeth sitting in your backseat, and looking at you in your rear-view mirror.

One thing is for sure in life, no matter where you are, there will always be some type of tension, some type of stress, some type of obstacle. Being a person that wants a good life, I've learned that with that comes difficulty, comes challenge, comes pain. And many times during those times of pain, its easy to lose sight of anything but the pain your'e in, making it easy to lay down and give up.
There have been so many times in my life, that things have seemed "harder than they should be" according to me I suppose, and I just wanted to quit. Somehow, as dismal as I can get in my darkest hour, I've always managed to pull through and attempt to start over trying.

Today, even though a few weeks ago, I learned that like many others here in the US, my job had been cut back to nearly nothing; and that things may not be going exactly like I always envisioned, I woke up wanting to try something different.
After my normal routine of loving my cat, drinking coffee, having some hot cereal, and kicking off the day with Sir Flavor Flav', (yes I wish I was kidding) I got dressed to go on a little river adventure-- alone.

I'd been eyeing the kayaks that we have for a very long time. Its not that I'd never been on one, its just that, I'd never been on one alone, and never really wanted to. I guess part of me thought that it would be too hard, and that I couldn't it. And maybe I thought that if something happened out in our dolphin and manatee rich river, that I wouldn't be enough to get myself out of deep water so to speak.
But today, I climbed into the yellow kayak, equipped with nothing but a life jacket, paddle and a bottle of water.

But today, it felt more like an adventure where I could turn in any direction, stop, keep going or come back whenever I was ready. My first metaphor.

After being on the river for a while and getting into a rhythm I noticed that the water was was pretty calm, something I was grateful for. But as I kept going I noticed a large wake, or current, or something. At first it was very hard to row, or yak, or kay or whatever the hell people call it, but it honestly became less and less difficult, and I realized that instead of following my initial reaction, of turning soon and going back, that I could and would keep going.

After I fought the wake for a while, the river closed in and led me to a prettier area that I had never seen. It was full of rich green foliage, big splashes, birds flying, and best of all, no wake.

I relaxed for a while, imagining a home made kayak anchor, (we could call it a Kanckhor,) made with a large stone, tied to a rope that I could drop down and reel in so that I could relax without floating into an alligator's mouth. I relaxed for a while, but decided to head back to solid ground.
I started to feel like I was in a water paradise, where there was no stress, no responsibility, no one to answer to, and nothing to worry about.

But then, I started rowing, or kakking, whichever it was, and not only was the wake/tide bigger and stronger but the wind was blowing hard against me. Not only making it harder to move forward but even harder to go in the right direction. For a moment, I wished that my Dad was with me. "He's better at kayaking," I thought. "He's stronger, and if I started to get tired from this, I could just lay back."
Ok, so that might have been a bit of a stretch. Knowing my Dad he would have soaked me with water, and said sit up you lazy bitch. What I can say, he's British.

Metaphor two....

So back to reality, the kayak was forcefully turning to the right, and I didn't want to go right. My leisurely strokes we no longer making any difference. It was like I was on a treadmill on the water, doing all the work, but going nowhere. Truth was I wasn't working hard enough. There was a part of me that just wanted to lay back in my seat, and wait until the wind died and the current disappeared.

It was then that it hit me, that there is no paradise, not even on the water. There will always be challenge, and stress, and forces that try to hold you back or turn you in the wrong direction. But its how we handle it them makes all the difference.

Today, I sat up and out of my recline position, wiped the salty/brackish water from my eyes, and faced the current. I didn't look back, I didn't complain, I just pushed forward and decided that I could do it on my own.
Turns out, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. I saw some things I'd never seen before, and found a new route.
Turns out, I can do more and handle more than I realize.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

He doesn't look like a pervert...

Online Predators

There are many things that I am passionate about. Some are new passions, some have been dormant, and some are just born out of anger.

This post, is about a passion that was born out of anger and disgust.

In a word,


I work at a television news station, and I hear terrible news everyday. Theft, murder, people being hit by cars, kidnapping, etc. These stories are painful to hear, see and realize that they are an everyday reality.

But one particular type of crime, one particular type of predator, shakes me to my core. It angers me in a way that I can't express with words, and as I sit here writing about it, I'm already displaying physical signs that the topic at hand stirs rage within me. I'm biting my lip, sighing, and shaking my head.

I'm speaking of sexual predators.

I like to think of myself, as a humanitarian, optimist where there should be no optimism, and a pacifist.

But when a person, selfishly, knowingly and continually damages the lives of others, especially children; the flower-child qualities that make me who I am, begin to fade, and quickly.

Not a victim myself, I have always been very, very passionate about this topic, and even in an early speech class in college, I debated on the use of chemical castration as a tool, if these pathetic excuses for human beings must be re-introduced into society.

Just yesterday, while sitting in the studio listening to the day's doom and gloom report, one story caught my attention. A man who lives locally, was recently arrested for repeatedly raping a young girl for several years. The girl is now 12 years old. In the news report, it was made known that several of the instances occurred while the girl spent the night at the freak's home.

In an effort to understand why this individual was in the young girl's life, and why she was allowed to spend the night, I began an online search to see if I could fill in the blanks myself.

Unfortunately, I didn't find what I was looking for, but what I did find was eye-opening, disturbing, yet powerful.

The man who had been or as I should say allegedly harming the young girl is Kelly McDermid.

In searching for him, I found a website that he, among other perverts were listed.

Not only did this website list pictures of these (insert expletive here) they also included a detailed news story about each sicko, and they're myspace page.

For me, it was so interesting to see how easily these people could blend into society, and especially an online society.

Unlike what many may subconsciously think, most of these demons didn't look like perverts.

Of course, some looked as if they had emerged from the Hills Have Eyes, but others (although they should have been donning the mark of the beast) looked like regular people. Some even looked ( its hard for me to say) attractive. Note: None of these devil-rats looked attractive to me, but they could easily be attractive to a young teenager, or young naive person looking for someone to talk to online.

Not only did they appear (aforementioned) some even seemed like the very antithesis of anything impure.

Many had pictures of family, and happy kids, some listed their religion, workplace, everything that would seem... normal.

With many of the men, (a couple were women) looking young and fresh, and their profiles often listing good jobs, spirituality, pictures of friends, etc. Who would ever have guessed that these "cute guys" as a teenage girl might say, ARE abusers, molesters, sodomists, and rapists?

My point is this, WAKE up people. Girls WAKE UP, parents wake up. It doesn't MATTER if they coach a soccer team; women- it doesn't MATTER if he is a school teacher and has 100 friends, it doesn't MATTER if he looks normal. Its doesn't MATTER if his page says he's a good person, or that he's a Christian, or that he's spiritual. It DOES NOT MATTER. No employee or college will EVER use your myspace page, or any other social networking sight as a reference, or to find out if you are a good employee.

You know why? Its not reliable, its not credible, it is a person's personal description or representation of THEMSELVES, or who they think they are, who they want to be, or what they want you to think they are. As I write this, I can hear a teenager telling her friend, or mother, "but he's not like that, he has a job, and he goes to this school, and he dresses nice, and he's cute, and he's nice to me..." I don't CARE. Its really time for people to wake up and realize that the internet is not a fantasy world, or a special place where special people gather to make lasting relationships. NO! The world is corrupt, people are corrupt, and corrupt people have computers.

Just like we have awareness on the street, in a store, in our cars, we need to have DOUBLE that awareness online.

In real life, our God-given senses do their best to protect us from harm. We're able to use our ears, our sight to see strange body language, and that overall protection that we carry with us that keeps us alert. Well when it comes to the internet, we don't have any of that. We don't have the option of seeing things the way they are, unedited, and un-retouched. We don't get to gather for ourselves through observation and intuition what a person is like.

What we do get, is a crafty creation that more often than not represents that person's most positive attributes, even if those attributes don't exist.

So if the internet takes away our senses, prevents us from seeing things the way they really are, then why do we let our guards down? Why are we so trusting?

The answer:

I don't know, and I don't care. But what I do know, is that this planet is FULL of predators who live everyday to do people harm. And abuse doesn't just happen to some people. It can happen to anyone, in any state, in any town, on any block, on any dirt road, anywhere.

If our legal system keeps doing what its doing, and placing these (expletive) back in society, back into our neighborhoods, then we can no longer rely on and trust the system alone to keep us safe.

We have to keep us safe. Its time to educate, be aware, be smart, and STOP meeting people on myspace. Its not worth it. Even if your itching to meet someone who seems super normal, and who you are convinced is your soul mate, remember a couple things... if you are 13, 14, 15, 16 even 21. Do you honestly think that you are going to meet the person you may spend the rest of your life with? At best, you could get a free cup of coffee and an awkward story to tell friends. But at worst, you could feel very awkward, not know how to leave, you may get stalked, attacked, raped, kidnapped, or killed.

It isn't worth it. Let's do what we can to gain control back over these monsters, lets protect ourselves and protect our children.

By the way, here is the website where you can see the names, news stories, and myspace pages of these criminals. If you do go, you will see, that anyone, can be a murderer or rapist.

(Enter as a guest to bypass being a member if you do not wish to join.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Anger, sadness, frustration, compassion, knowledge.

I'm sure, or at least I hope that you have seen or heard of the massive recall of beef.

Pertaining to the story, I'm not pissed off because I'm shocked and newly appalled, not at all. I've known that this type of thing REALLY goes on, and that these dispicable practices with animals has been going on for years.

(But I bet you didn't know that animals being farmed for meat, get to eat dead cats and dogs from animal shelters.)

But back on topic, I made a decision a few years ago, to move my brain away from denial avenue, and start taking some accountability for what I put in my mouth.I realize that some people are carnivores, they know what they are eating, they believe that animals what put on this earth for food, and have no plans to change.

However, there are people that have grown up eating meat and can't see anything wrong, selfish or unusual in the consumption of flesh because that's the way they were brought up. (Tha'ts how I was brought up too.)
So in having been one of those people for a very long time, I realized that during my meat eating days (hamburgers and steaks were my favorite) I did something to remove myself from acknowledging what I was putting into my mouth everytime I ate a chicken nugget, a hamburger, a steak, or a piece of veal.

I detached.

Most people don't even realize they are detaching because it comes so natural. Think about it, we call carrots, carrots, lettuce, lettuce, potatoes that have been mashed are mashed potatoes. But with our most popular and consumed meats, we don't do that at all. With chicken being a weird exeption, we call cows, BEEF, steak, hamburger etc. We call Pig, PORK, bacon, and chitterlins.I know that when I was growing up, as a curious child, I would have asked alot of questions if what I was eating was called just what it was.

"Come to dinner Charlotte, we're having pieces of a chicken chopped and covered in breading."

I have spoken to SO many people who say that they love or like to eat meat, but admit that they try not to think about what it is or else they wouldn't be able to eat it.

Why? Why if it is so natural to consume the flesh of animals do we give it euphanisms and mentally detatch from what is that we're chewing on?


If its so good and so natural, why do we try our hardest not to remember that what lays in between our slices of bread was once a living, breathing creature that had to be slaughtered, that had to bleed and die, so that we could have the satisfaction of eating it? It just seems so selfish to take part in the breeding, birth, and life of a creature soley for it to be murdered, dismembered, processed, and shelfed for a yummy dinner.
And why do we put so much good faith and trust in goverment agencies, farms and markets that in their practices they will be sanitary and humane?

I understand that people will probably consume meat until the end of time, but why is meat such a priority? Our world's meat consumption has gone up five-fold since the 1950s. With all the negative facts related to meat consumption and production, why aren't Americans more concious? With so much information, Americans constantly turn a blind eye to anything inconvienent.
Most American families have meat with every meal, every day. That's 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.

On another topic, many people don't realize that no two vegetarians are the same. There are moral vegetarians and health vegetarians. But what's interesting is, according to statistics once practicing the lifestyle, the vegetarian almost always becomes a vegetarian with moral and health arguments.

Facing the reality of what meat is, and opening your eyes to what goes on to turn a living creature into a slab on your plate is something that everyone should know about; and those who don't want to know, are being irresponsible because they are refusing to make informed decisions. In another words, if you like it and want it, find out what is is, what it does, what it took to get it there, and if you still like it, you've made a decision that's best for you and your beliefs... but if you're not doing that, what are you doing?
I believe that if you want to eat meat, love meat, and are strong in your stance, then go ahead and watch something or read something about moral and health issues pertaining to meat.

Besides, why wouldn't you? Are you afraid its going to make you not want to eat meat?Food for thought.

If you haven't figured it out already, I began my journey as a vegetarian because of moral issues. It actually pained me to continue to eat certain types of meat after I became aware of the treatment of animals. I first cut out beef, and wasn't worried about what to eat, because I had already had the opportunity to try meat alternatives and knew which ones were great, and to be honest, after alot of reflection, I reliazed that I liked many of the products more than the meat I'd been eating my whole life!

But over time, just like statistics show, I also became a health vegetarian, and tried to impart those messages to my family and loved ones. There are so many reasons why meat products are and can be threatening to human health, but that I'll save for another time. Keep in mind, I don't pass these messages on for people to promptly become passionate vegetarians, I pass them on so maybe people can realize meat doesn't have to be, and shouldn't be a headliner at every meal.

After learning more and digging below the surface to learn more about the all-around impacts of eating meat, I began to find that there are also economical and ENVIORNMENTAL issues and repercussions associated with eating meat. Below I'm going to paste an excerpt from that talks about the long term envrionmental impact of eating meat.

But before I paste that, I will say that many people have rebutted me by saying, "that's what animals are here for, its natural."
Mass prodcution, THE MASS PRODUCTION of living creatures, kept in horrible conditions, over -bred, fed filth, beaten and kicked for being ill and shot with drugs, is the farthest thing from natural. Its more like creating your own freakish version nature.

The excerpt...
Americans are eating more meat than ever before-the average American consumes nearly twice his or her weight in meat each year. As Americans throw more hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken wings on the grill, they lead the way in a global trend towards increased meat consumption.
The growing consumption of meat-particularly large quantities of high-fat meat, dairy products and eggs-is spurring a global epidemic of lifestyle diseases, such as heart attacks, strokes and cancers, as well as creating new pressures on land and water resources, contributing to water pollution and exacerbating global warming.
World meat production has surged nearly fivefold since 1950, growing from 44 million tons to 211 million tons in 1997. Per capita meat production stands at 36 kg, more than double the 1950 level.

Today, people share the Earth's natural resources with nearly 1 billion pigs, 1.3 billion cows, 1.8 billion sheep and goats, and 13.5 billion chickens-over two chickens for each man, woman and child on the planet. (See Table 1.)

Charlotte says: and it gets better... cont'd

This boom in meat consumption has been accompanied by increased intake of all animal products, such as dairy products and eggs, as well as seafood. Per capita consumption of milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and eggs have climbed to all-time highs. The world fish harvest has soared from 21 million tons to 120 million tons since mid-century, tripling the per capita consumption of seafood.

In a world where an estimated one in every six people goes hungry each day, the politics of meat consumption are increasingly heated, since meat production is an inefficient use of grain-the grain is used more efficiently when consumed directly by humans. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grain to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat eaters and the world's poor.
Global meat consumption is highly concentrated, dominated by only a few nations. The United States and China, which contain 25 percent of the world's population, combine to consume 35 percent of the world's beef, over half of the world's poultry, and 65 percent of the world's pork. If Brazil and the European Union are included, this group consumes over 60 percent of the world's beef, over 70 percent of the world's poultry, and over 80 percent of the world's pork.
While pork and beef once vied for the lead in global meat production, pork has emerged in the past two decades as the uncontested leader, largely due to production increases in China, the nation that produces and consumes half the world's pork. At 85 million tons, pork production last year was easily a third higher than beef and poultry production. (Poultry production surpassed beef production in 1996.) Mutton, including sheep and goats, is a distant fourth in the global meat hierarchy.
While meat consumption is on the rise everywhere, the type of meat consumed varies widely across cultures, with most nations focusing on a single type of meat. For example, pork dominates meat intake in many European nations and China. Beef reigns in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. In South Africa and various East Asian nations, chicken tops meat consumption. Mutton provides the meat for diets in countries such as Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia. And in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, mutton rivals beef as the principal source of meat. Only the United States ranks high for all three major meats: beef, pork and chicken. (See Table 2.)
Worldwide, the production of beef and mutton depends heavily on a natural system-rangelands. Since these lands are too arid or too steeply sloping to be plowed, meat production is the only option for generating food from these ecosystems. But as overgrazing becomes the norm in much of the world, rangelands are being pushed to their limits and beyond.
The fragile state of the world's rangelands-which cover roughly twice the area of the world's cropland-is of concern because these ecosystems are the source of nearly one-quarter of the world's meat. In addition, hundreds of millions depend on these lands not only for food, but also for their livelihood. In areas as distant and diverse as southern Africa, the Middle East, Mongolia and Central Asia, the livelihood of herder populations-and cultures that revolve around animal husbandry-is threatened by the escalating demands on the world's rangelands.
Once rangelands are fully exploited, substantial future gains in beef production can come only from feedlots. At that point, the competition with pork and poultry for feed grain will intensify. Beef production requires nearly twice as much grain as pork and nearly four times as much grain as poultry. (It takes 7 kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of beef: the conversion is 4 to 1 for pork and 2 to 1 for chicken.) Since they are less grain-intensive, chicken and pork are more cost-effective choices. As a result, while beef production has stagnated in recent years, pork and chicken production have surged ahead.
Each kilo of meat represents several kilos of grain, either corn or wheat, that could be consumed directly by humans. If the 670 million tons of the world's grain used for feed were reduced by just 10 percent, this would free up 67 million tons of grain, enough to sustain 225 million people or keep up with world population growth for the next three years. If each American reduced his or her meat consumption by only 5 percent, roughly equivalent to eating one less dish of meat each weak, 7.5 million tons of grain would be saved, enough to feed 25 million people-roughly the number estimated to go hungry in the United States each day.
Meat production also has a growing impact on nations facing water scarcity, from the North China Plain to the Middle East, from sub-Saharan Africa to northern India. For example, shifting from pork to chicken requires half the grain, and hence half as much water.

The massive quantities of waste produced by livestock and poultry threaten rivers, lakes and other waterways. In the United States, where the waste generated by livestock is 130 times that produced by humans, livestock wastes are implicated in waterway pollution, toxic algal blooms and massive fishkills. And livestock farms are getting larger throughout the world: one 50,000-acre hog farm under construction in Utah will produce more waste than the city of Los Angeles.
According to EPA, the world's livestock herds account for roughly 25 percent of anthropogenic emissions of methane-a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Moreover, the stagnant waste lagoons of factory-farm operations emit an additional 5 percent of human-induced methane, making livestock production the largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions.

If moral and human issues don't get you going after the recent news, and environmental issues somehow leave you with little or no reaction, then let's go to an area where, according to the news most people are concerned with.
According to the book fast food nation, here is what you get to put in your body.
"Far from their natural habitat, the cattle in feedlots become prone to all sorts of illnesses. And what they are being fed often contributes to the spread of disease"......"about 75% of the cattle in the United States were routinely fed livestock wastes - the rendered remains of dead sheep and dead cattle - until August of 1997. They were also fed millions of dead cats and dead dogs every year, purchased from animal shelters....responsible for mad cow disease". "Nevertheless, current FDA regulations allow dead pigs and dead horses to be rendered into cattle feed, along with dead poultry". And in another chapter: A 1996 USDA study found that "78.6 percent of the ground beef contained microbes that are spread primarily through fecal material"......."the medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms"....."behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is sh_t in the meat".
Wow huh?I'll be writing more.Thanks for reading,Charlotte.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I don't need 9 lives, just 1 good one.

Yuki laying on Spike, after being at their new home for only a day or two.

After a very unusal and difficult night, I'm thinking about my life to this point, and doing alot of reflection. As thoughts fill my mind and almost overwhelm my soul, I sit and gather myself and try my hardest to steal a moment of calm. I glance around at my new environment and surroundings to see if all of this is really real. While looking about and summoning some calm, I locked eyes with my little cat Yuki. Its then that I have a bit of a useless, but conveniently distracting epiphany.

I wish I were a cat.
My cat has a happy life, and even though he just moved from his home and birthplace in the Mountains of North Carolina to the warm sun of Florida, his existence wasn't thrown into turbulence. With his move, came all the joys and needs of his life. His brother Spike, his food, playtime, cozy naps and cuddles, a warm place to roam, the same entertainment, me, and new adventures that are very appreciated because of his comfort level.

In essence, Yuki's life simply and effortlessly came with him. He hasn't really had to rearrange anything, find a job, consider working at 3:00 am to provide for himself, feel dissapointed that he can't find a job, and he most certainly isn't hundreds of miles away from something irreplaceable, rare and special.

He isn't far away from someone he loves.

I wish that my life could adjust as easily as my cat's, and that my only stressors were new cats, a Bulldog named Jazz, my owner forgetting to leave the window open, leading to a stinky poop in her closet, and did I mention Jazz?

This is Jazz. She is a cat's worst nightmare.

I wish that like my cat, I could always have the same warm eyes to look into that made me feel at home.

I wish that I could somehow have brought all my joys with me.

I wish that I wasn't so far away from someone I love.

I wish that I could simply, truly enjoy the here and now.

The truth is, this week I have been very stressed out. I'm a bit worried, and so far, not as happy as I thought I would be.

I miss someone near and dear to me, and the comfort they provided to me in situations like this. So why is life so hard? Why am I always trying to figure things out, find a decent job...etc, etc. I don't really know.

Maybe in my search for "happiness" I haven't looked hard enough, or more than likely in a once fantastical view of life, overlooked too much. So I'm asking myself now, what has made me happy from now retrospectively?

Writing, laughing, new friends, new family, hobbies, creativity, a personal bond and connection with someone, cooking, giving gifts and love, being a nurturing and caring person... and really, some of the little things in life.

So where does that leave me? Thus far, it brings me to this, a job has yet to be the golden ticket that makes me happy. All the time in my youth that I spent obsessing about a career was because I thought that an amazing, adventurous, creativity filled career would be the bain of my existence.I always thought that I would be another Oprah; that I'd have a great job, and that's all I needed. Everything else would just come in second.

In having that attitude, and in my ferocious hunt for a top notch career and a flashy life that would fill pages in history books, I've missed out on some things. I missed out on living. I ignored jobs that very well could have made me happy and didn't always appreciate those around me as much as I should have.

As I'm getting older, and more importantly growing as a person I'm realizing that I'm not going to be the Indiana Jones of employment, or better yet the Indiana Jones of life.

I'm not going to wear blinders and only go for a career because it looks golden, because its rare, dangerous, adventurous, comes with pride and prestige and attracts the oohs and ahhs of passers by. I'm realizing that I may not have a career that puts my name in lights, gets my hands next to a star, or has people loving me that don't even know me, but none of that matters.

I'd rather have more control over my destiny, have more control over my life, and cherish the love of those who know me well.

So where did I go wrong? I chose a degree based on dreams, fantasy, and even a little envy (without much respect paid to reality.)

I'm not saying not to dream big, but what I am saying is, make sure that what you're going for is truly a passion for the right reasons, and that you're prepared to do anything to get it.

Don't choose a career to try to create your happiness in life, find happiness in things that you can choose and control. I spent alot of time blinded because I was searching for something huge, something bigger than life. I now know that I don't need the life of Oprah Winfrey to find the path to contentment, and that in going for that life, I was limiting myself and not allowing anything else but my fantasical goals to make me "happy".

So I plan to change my life. I'm going to go back to school. I'm going to do some soul-searching. I'm going to wake up and take off these 20-year-old blinders. I'm going to find a job and a career that will be a part of my happiness, that will go with who I am. I'm no longer going to place my happiness in the hands of someone in a human rescource department. I'm no longer going going to be defined by the job that I get. A few years ago, I told a family member about a dream where I finally got the job that changed my life; and how the dream made me so happy. He said something to me, that at the time, I found ridiculous. He said, I think you're supposed to try to find happiness first, not a job and then happiness.

Suddenly now, it all makes sense.

My life is a journey, and I'm no longer trying to find the "perfect" place or the "perfect" job, I'm trying to find me.

Oh and p.s., I've changed my mind about the cat thing.

I might not have been able to bring all my joys and loved ones with me, but unlike a cat, who has no control over his destiny, I still have my joys and loved ones, no matter how far away.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Soul searching...

Being wide awake, at 4:00 in the morning caused a song to drift into my mind.

'You Don't Know What you've Got till its Gone.'

Although in my case, I'm sure I knew what I had, so I miss it terribly. Sleep has always been something that I've treasured and viewed with heavy endearment.

Someone once told me that insomnia is the result of my soul trying to send me a message.

I must admit that I pondered on this explanation for a few months and even considerd it.

Here is what I have gathered.

If the aforementioned theory were true, then the soul has yet to evolve into an intelligent entity.

I can't think of a worse time for my soul t attempt communication to a peaceful and receptive mind. When I can't sleep I'm upset, aggravated, tired and feeling like I got a raw deal.

So in essence, how should I put this?
That theory is crap. I've sat awake at ridiculous hours of the dark, early morning, doing nothing but waiting for the sound of my soul's voice, and guess what I got?
I got hungry.

So for those of you who truly believe that this is when the soul's volume is abruptly turned up like a bad commercial, think again. Our souls have all day to talk to us, why would a soul choose an "un-Godly" hour to speak?

When the sun rises today, I'll be ready for my soul to whisper into my ears.