Monday, July 22, 2013

Gotta Be ME And You're Gonna Like It Even If It Kills Me Or The Monday Morning Haze (De-Caf)

I love to read. Oh yeah, everyone everywhere should know that by now. If you don't, well, I LOVE to read.
The older I've gotten the shorter the books, I'm down to a dozen articles or so a day. So as I was drinking my tea this Monday Morning about a 5:30am workout (I'm already out the door by 5:15 so that's not happening), about Managers with hearts WANTING TO KNOW what makes their "teams" tick (again, fairy tale land where I'm at right now) I come across a few other articles from a wide range of websites I visit and I come across the one about everyone needing a DREAM BOARD.

I have this pet peeve about blogs that come blinged out. (See http://carmenmcolon.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-race-to-being-one-dimensional-01.html) So here is an article telling me that to actualize my deepest desires, I could do so by going through other people's images, posting them on my electronic board of photos and I suppose if you wish hard enough and use them as motivators, maybe then you can actualize those dreams into reality.

Mmmmmm, nope. I'm sensing that what will happen is that my longing for images, created by other people, validating concepts thrown at me all day, created by other people, will probably invoke a sense of longing more than a desire to motivate me to do something.... but I'm just throwing that out there.

See, what I've been getting a lot of lately are the "change your ways, change your life" speeches. Or maybe because I've found myself in a place where I'm restless, it's me zooming in on them but then, that's where it stops. I like who I am, for the most part. I can be short tempered, mostly with my loved ones, and I self absorbed when I'm fretting over the issues of the universe as they pertain to me. I think too much, I'm sure I've burnt out my brain cells on things that will just never come to fruition but it's how I'm wired. Overall, I'm at a place where I recognize that my life, while being my own and having pushed myself to move beyond all that fear keeps most from doing, I still have set up some serious road blocks to being more content in my life.

A recurring theme when I meet up with some friends in a particular circle is about body image. 47 and 250 pounds is an accomplishment I think. I'm not embarrassed by either, after all, that's all me. Yet I do know that I've been in an unhealthy rhythm for close to seven years now. Yes, seven and I can even remember the day. September 4, 2006. The day my life changed. I used to believe it was the day my life ended but in fact, as I've gotten older I see it for the day I was forced to grow up and take my life into my own hands: literally. I won't bore you with specifics, because I wrote a book after that, a cathartic exercise that led me down an interesting and adventure packed journey that I still enjoy even today. Defining Moments is the title.

For over seven years I've had this mega-tug-of-war within myself. I love myself but I hate myself. In fact while I hated that I did very little to take care of myself while I was alone I made sure that in front of the world I gave a great show to just how amazing I thought I was. And I was amazing; in public. In private I was just a mess. Those life changing events, like a death in the family, a break up, a divorce, the loss of your job, whatever rocks you to your core so much that you find yourself lying in bed in a fetal position for days, they test everything you know about yourself. I used to wish that my life was less eventful and that if I could only have one of those quiet lives we read about - Farmer John and his wife Bessie Celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary with their six kids and eight grandkids. Farmer John has been running his farm since he was but a young boy, Bessie was his HS sweetheart and life was a bland as it sounds. Except that's the thing. As we interpret it. Farmer John could have been a gambler and Bessie could have been a host of other things, their lives were their own and when you try to describe FIFTY YEARS in a few words you'll never get a full picture of what two people may have gone through.

The same goes for people. I love words but there simply aren't enough of them to fully showcase the amazing facets of a human being. We are so many things and yet this world will do all it can to shove you into a box of ten characteristics or less. Oh and it usually starts with the lowest of the important one like race, creed, color, religion, body shape, age. Yep, those are at the top of the pyramid, the ones that loom so large that we're still struggling to deal with them. After all, the people who are getting everyone's attention is trying to sway everyone to believe that their choice of skin color, or religion, or body shape, is what YOU need to be if you're going to be HAPPY!

So what does this pissed off Taurean do? I say to the world, "You're going to love me like this dammit, screw you and your perception of ANYTHING!" Except that in my mind I'm thinking, well, I could be a bit smaller but for health reasons and I should see a doctor more regularly because I'm feeling crappy. But I'm stubborn and I don't like being told what to do or what to think.

I have this friend who says she's not going to conform to public opinion either. There's a lot of 'beating about the chest' for emphasis. She's not going to change a thing, but on her profiles, on more days than not she's sharing quotes and poems about needing strength to get through the bad times. It got me to thinking that maybe she's not happy and that she's also not doing anything to change that. Well, a bit like me really. It wouldn't kill me to lose weight and yet I've been so hell bent on not "conforming" that I finally can't pretend I don't know what's wrong! I'm scared out of my gourd! To lose the weight would attract attention and goodness knows I don't want that do I??? That would mean getting compliments that might lead to dating that might lead to relationships that might lead me right back to September 4, only in the future!

I sold a bill of goods, and while I'm all good, my age, size, the number of teeth in my head, whatever people are talking about nowadays to detract and distract others from living aside, I've had to come face to face finally with the fact that I've not done anything specific to better myself outwardly because my insides had been stung so mercilessly that I'd been hiding in plain sight all this time. Except this was MY "in your face" way of coping with the pain of that life changing event. I am going to be me, like this, not the norm (and would you know it, so many people are going through the same stuff that actually my size is starting to become THE NORM!) and the world is going to like it dammit!

But I don't like it, not anymore. I don't like feeling lethargic and unfocused in the morning. I don't want my sons most vivid memories of me was vegging out on the couch for days devouring psychological thrillers and documentaries (because everything else stung in ways I couldn't explain - and I really hate horror movies, I really do.) When they were younger they used to call me a super hero mom. They'd describe me in Lara Croft gear (and if I had a Lara Croft body I might even then still found fault with myself, although I'd really like to give that a try) doing Lara Croft world changing things. They made me feel so amazing and they're older now, all but one left at home, just about ready to leap off his limb into his new adult life and I see how they worry about me, the woman on the couch on the weekends, hiding in plain sight.

Maybe today I'll not drink so many cups of coffee and I'll take that break and sit out in the sun, but it won't be because of the thousands of articles telling me to. I want to do it, for me. Now where's Dr. Steve's number? It's been far too long between check-ups.


Carmen M. Colon is a mother, an engineer, an education and childrens advocate, an author and a workshop facilitator on the topics of leadership, womens empowerment, career advancement and now on parenting. She is writing a series of "Dear Kids" letters to her three sons on a series of topics and issues.
Her website is http://carmenmcolon.info
Her books can be found online: http://amazon.com/author/carmencolon

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Race To Being One Dimensional, Their One Trick Ponies And Other Excuses, Entry One

In 1994 I purchased my very first computer. I did it through my company's then new computer program. They set a limit, you can buy from a couple of places and over one to four years you can pay the company back. It was a miracle, a happy and amazing chance to be a part of a new world and I took it. $4000 for a Micron Computer with a monitor whose caboose was so huge two people needed to pick it up.

I learned all about the World Wide Web that year, most of the websites were nothing but text, some with little to no pictures. You had to scroll for days it seemed to read all the content that these sites were trying to provide. I then literally picked up the Complete Book of HTML and me and my notepad in Microsoft Office went to town as they say. I started writing code. HARD CORE CODE, practically pen to paper. I created websites.

It'll be 20 years next year and I'm nowhere near as proficient in web designs today. The madness of making the website STIMULATING is ridiculous. Bells and whistles. Everyone wants, NO, THEY DEMAND to be entertained, stimulated. Gone are the days that data was good all by itself. Now, it must come with an animated chart or slide show.
I see life has turned out the same way these last 20 years. DISTRACTIONS. EXCUSES. All of it, because all it does is keep people from the core facts.

Blogs. I used to write a blog just to write down the things that added value and meaning to my life at the time. If it motivated and inspired someone then it was even more of a plus. I'm a nurturer, a giver. Not many of us nowadays, or so it seems. I've come across a WHOLE LOT OF TAKERS. I don't know. Maybe it's me. I'm putting out a vibe that says, "hey, giver over here. Free lunch." When I read, and I read a lot I try to learn things. I mean I read articles as often as I can. More than watch videos really, because my mind wanders too much during videos. See, I GET DISTRACTED. But when I read, I have to focus. So, I read an article about writing a successful blog and you had to do so many things to your words! (make them bold, give each paragraph a title, make that title shiny and dance, add pictures, but wait! If you add videos then your audience will love it that much more!)

So, I'm thinking, this is why I may start to write about something meaningful but the blog world are so full of idiots now that whatever I wanted has lost all meaning because I've spent five hours BLINGING OUT MY BLOG. Why? People will read it because of the WORDS right? Not because of the all the stimulating and entertaining crap! At least I don't read articles because of all the stupid tags I can click on. I'd never finish the damn thing. Hmmm, was that the point?

So I've decided I'd like to go back. One of my favorite sayings is "sometimes you have to go back a few steps to then go forward". Sounds good. So, it's 1994 and I'm going to write about things that I find meaningful. If it motivates and inspires then great. See, I'm a giver and I like helping others. It makes me feel good about myself. Only, I'm not going to try to stimulate and entertain because that's not my job. Bells and whistles can be purchased at Party City.

THIS IS A TITLE FOR MY NEXT TRAIN OF THOUGHT. Why? Because I put it in caps.

July 2013 has been overly emotional where I'm at. Personally and publicly. The fact that I'm writing is how I'm handling the personal stuff. Writing sometimes makes me feel better. I don't do it enough. Now publicly, it seems the world has come the fucking edge of the proverbial cliff. I mean WTF Earth? An article I read about writing (you're going to come across a lot of these) says to keep to one message. Why? Can't people handle more than one at a time? But for the sake of not making this not only the longest blog entry in the world, I'll just deal with the most mind boggling event that have been bugging me and deal with them the only way I know how - drinking. Yeah, that's another issue but not here, not today. Actually, this issue was so caught up in my mind and heart and soul that drinking wasn't going to help in any way. I also didn't relish the idea of being sick for 24 hours and still having the idea of these events bugging me - what a waste of time.

Ok, so this thing had to do with sports and singing. Yeah, in this country and I think in most of them, the ritual of singing the national anthem is a show of respect. For the country, the team, the sport itself. Twice now the idiots with no lives went on social media witch hunts and decided all by their lonesome WHO should NOT have the privilege or the honor of singing those songs at those events.

I'm a doer. I'm also an expert procrastinator but I like to feel that at least I'm doing something. Something. So what's someone like me, average in most ways when compared to the rest of the literate world, to do when a social issue arises? I don't want to add to the bullshit screamers. The ones who write on all their profiles all day their opinions believing it will actually make a difference. Now, that's not to say that people shouldn't. Writing your feelings down is a cathartic exercise and if bitching to your friends on network sites makes you feel better then hey - GO FORTH AND ROCK YOUR VENTING. But for me, I feel as if I'm spinning my wheels and my head is already in a fight to shake the cobwebs I feel at 47.

So I did the second thing I like doing and that's research or as you young ones call it SURFING which I'm sure the pre-teens now call it GOOGLING. (My first and favorite Search Engine by the way was METACRAWLER. It was the Mother of ALL Search Engines. For another time.) So I'm researching what all the hullabaloo was about. An 11 year old boy, Sebastian Cruz, who found some fame by being a contestant on a TV Competition Show was asked to sing the National Anthem at a basketball game in his home town. Hey, sounds simple enough. Good for him. So I go to the video website and watch his performance. Oh wow, he was adorable and amazing! He even wore his cool Mariachi clothes... you know because he was a member of a Mariachi Band, the band that was on the show.

Then all hell breaks loose on the internet because a bunch of couch potatoes thought the boy was not an American citizen and that ONLY REAL AMERICANS should be allowed to sing the song... Hmmm, ok but did anybody do their due diligence (oh I'm sorry was that too smart for the couch potatoes? They're not reading this: NO PICTURES) or shall I say RESEARCH before they put their foots in their mouths - or asses - either one. Uhhh, nope. They surely didn't.

HA! It turns out that the little boy was born in the country so screw you you idiots, he's American AND he was invited to DO IT AGAIN. Are the couch cretins upset that THEY weren't asked to sing? I don't know. So, I go back to my ho-hum life and everything is trudging along. Then, wouldn't you believe it! AGAIN! Only this time the fools are freaking out about a TWO TIME GRAMMY AWARD WINNING CELEBRITY! Oh my goodness! Really?!? But this gentlemen I knew! I had even met him! In 1996, at the Copacabana in NYC, back when I was young and honestly thought I could be in the Music Industry without any music background. (Yes, I know, for another time)

Marc Anthony. His voice is beyond silk. The power behind his voice is so strong that I'm sure it could turn on a car. I feel the same about another of his colleagues, La India. Both are of Borinquen descent. I can relate to that, so am I. Like them I too was born in the United States of America. We're all American, only my voice can't start the engine of a car the way those two can.

Again, I go and research and hear it for myself. His rendition of God Bless America gave me chills. Hell, my engine had definitely gone VAROOM. For the adolescents reading this, NO. I felt pride, in guess what! My country, that team (which happened to be in MY TOWN) that sport. WOW! HE WAS PHENOMENAL! They should bring him back! Again! WHAT'S THE FUCKING HULLABALOO?

Ah, the ass clowns (this is new, I thought I'd try it out) thought with their toes and not their heads and went off yet again about the "foreigner" who was chosen to sing the national anthem. If I roll my eyes any more they will surely lock up at the back of my head. This man is not only an expert at his profession (awards, a career that has provided him with millions of dollars, fans, opportunities, you know, his job) he's adored by millions all over the world and a few hundred stupid Americans took the time out to show their disturbed disappointment that HE was asked to sing the song.

It got me to thinking. After all, at the bottom of all this there was something deep, disturbing, like mildew. What was happening in this country where idiots thought not only that it was alright to demean and dehumanize another human being in public forums for simply doing nothing but for existing??? They were different and so what. When did it become alright? Personally, in my opinion (because after all that is what a blog is, a place for opinions) that crack in the country came about when that disrespectful woman, who happened to be a public official put her finger in the face of our current President. You know the disrespectful WHITE bitch who disrespected our BLACK President? I'm not being racist I'm just expressing my disgust and using adjectives to emphasize it.

All of a sudden it was happening more and more. Things that were once unimaginable, like interrupting the President during a speech was happening all of a sudden! (I mean a man threw a shoe at the last one and ended up in prison after all! Oh wait, that was in another country!) LIAR! Wait a minute! Did another elected official just call our current President a LIAR - DURING A SPEECH? What the hell is this world coming to? I mean, he won two elections, so the country had spoken right? Or had it?

So back to the issue of AMERICANS SINGING AT AMERICAN PASTTIMES. Well, you know what I did, I researched it and I thought about it and in this case I say, give the cretins what they want. I even thought I would do something about it. See, I'm a doer.

AMERICANS SINGING AT AMERICAN PASTTIMES - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/761/965/698/american-singers-for-our-american-pasttimes/

So this is where this post will end off. Because in writing the petition I know anyone interested will go and read it. Then decide if they want to sign it or not and hopefully, the time spent here has inspired an action, to sign it, to share it, to comment... something. As to the issue at hand. The racism that came spilling out into the very cracks of all our main streets, I believe that if this President doesn't STAND HIS GROUND and push back, we're in for even worse.... and yes, that last "crack" will be the topic of my next entry, along with something to do. Because, you see, I'm a doer.


Carmen M. Colon is a mother, an engineer, an education and childrens advocate, an author and a workshop facilitator on the topics of leadership, womens empowerment, career advancement and now on parenting. She is writing a series of "Dear Kids" letters to her three sons on a series of topics and issues.
Her website is http://carmenmcolon.info
Her books can be found online: http://amazon.com/author/carmencolon