Archives for category: Perspective

It has been far too long…

Transitions. They are good, they are bad, they are happy, they are sad, I rhyme. As ridiculous as that last sentence was, it’s true. When we make a decision to transition into something, be it a new job, house, or town, we are first and foremost moving forward because it is going to bring about a positive change and most likely we will be leaving behind negative stressors in some form or another.

As exciting as the idea of something new is, I will always have those tugging emotions, that little angel on my right shoulder, and devil on my left… The angel is sitting there keeping me happy and positive and exciting me about all of the new things I’m going to do and everything that I am looking forward to. But then the devil, and I don’t look at him as an evil devil, I guess not really a devil at all. He’s more of the sad little child in all of us saying, “but wait! what about…?”. There is always going to be something we have to leave behind, whether it is a person, an object, an apartment, a car, whatever. The point is, not everything can come with you.

I am in the process of transitioning, my Mother and Father are in the process of transitioning, and my Sister is in the process of transitioning. Oddly enough the transitions aren’t fully related, and they mean something different to each of us. All I know is, it’s going to be fine. We are going to make it, even though life gets really hard, we are still standing here. Maybe that is all we need to do. Look back on those tough decisions we made in the past and how troubled we were when we were making them, and sometimes how crushed we were by their weight. But then flash forward to this very second, and you realize, you are still standing.

 

I’ve come to realize that if I do not get a thought out of my head the second it begins to take its second spin, it only intensifies and creates a home for itself. Will I still ruminate? Definitely. Will it ease slightly? Hopefully.
I have felt for awhile now that I need to get myself back. What do I want? Where do I want to go? What types of people do I want to surround myself with? What is most important to me?
I need to come back to the place where I am genuinely myself, without hesitation and the worry about what other people are thinking and doing. Their actions only affect me if I allow them to dig themselves deep inside of me, and that is a choice. Yes, no matter what happens you will always have a feeling about it, you can’t just shut feelings off, but you can decide how you will let them affect you.
I need to get excited about life again. For the past two years it has taken every part of my being and more to just keep my head above water. Now that I feel more stable in all aspects of my life, it’s time for me to evaluate what makes me happy and what brings positivity into my life.
By identifying what brings me happiness, I will in turn discover what brings negativity. Even if something has positive aspects it can still be predominately negative and those are the things I need to start weeding out of my life, even if it seems difficult to let go of the small amount of happiness it brings.
By losing myself I lost my passion for every day life and the small joys that each day can bring. This is what saddens me most of all. It’s time for me to bring my attention inward to begin to learn who I’ve become. I know that I am going to meet a very different person, but at least that person will be authentic.

We all have been in this dilemma plenty of times where someone has hurt us and we have to make the decision to either try to forgive them and move forward or to tell someone how you really feel. I’ve done both many times and I’m realizing the way I feel after is pretty much the same.

When I attempt to understand and move forward I end up bottling up these tiny resentments that then build to a huge explosion at some random point in time. When I tell someone how I’m feeling, they usually make excuses that anger me more because they aren’t understanding that I just want them to acknowledge how I feel. Either way I don’t feel understood, or like my feelings matter at all.

By constantly ignoring every situation in which someone has hurt you, you can become someone who people can easily take advantage of. If you are open with your feelings people sometimes aren’t as receptive as you wished they would be and then you feel the dynamic between you begin to shift because people don’t like to be told when they are wrong. Obviously I have been on both sides, the one who has been hurt and the one who has done the hurting. I’ve also picked both choices in how I reacted to the situation. I can honestly say I don’t know which one is the best choice. Do we really gain anything from either? If someone you thought was your friend can’t acknowledge your feelings, even if they don’t think they did anything wrong, then who was that person to you in the first place?

All I know is people wish to be heard and they wish for their feelings to be validated and respected.

I have a terrible habit of ruminating. It is something I try to let go of but the habit has been embedded in my mind for years and it is hard to break. The past few months have been… an experience. Random nights I stumble upon an email from an ex-boyfriend, an old message from a friend, sometimes I look through my journal and I am reminded of so many experiences, conversations, arguments, what have you. Did I “forget” these memories? Technically I guess I did, but being reminded of them still brings back so many emotions I thought I had left in the past.

Do we ever really let go? By this point in our lives we have all learned that the fun little phrase, “forgive and forget” is basically a lie. To quote countless movies, books, and reality TV shows, “you can forgive but you never forget”. The entire notion is sort of silly to me. When you have been hurt by someone else you can usually find it in your heart to forgive the other person. I always try to remind myself that we are all human, extremely flawed and therefore make many mistakes. We ask and tend to even expect forgiveness from others, but what does the entire idea of forgiveness really mean?

When someone else causes you pain you go through a whirlwind of emotions that usually ends with a bottle of wine, copious amounts of snacks, and a bitch session with friends (at least that’s what I do…). After the initial sting has worn off we begin to assess the situation more rationally and are able to somewhat put aside our emotions in order to come to the conclusion of whether or not to give this person another chance. I have definitely been hurt before, as we all have, and in every instance (except one) I have been able to forgive the other person, mainly because I would want the second chance if I were them. However, in these past few months I have realized that the emotion dulls with time but it never really goes away. When you are reminded of an argument you had with your best friend where they threw things out there that were below the belt you rationalize and say, “well they were angry and probably didn’t mean it”. Part of the time this is true. Unfortunately, I have realized that I am able to move on with the other person after some serious drag out fights, but when I remember what was said I realize that I haven’t let it go.

This entire idea of “letting it go” seems unrealistic and also seems to simplify the complexity of our emotions and relationships. I think we have all established at this point that you don’t forget. Are we even capable of letting go? When the words still stab you months, even years later have you let it go? Or are you temporarily pulled back into that situation and the emotions in that time? You tend to wonder “do they really think that about me?”. Will we ever know the truth? Maybe. Maybe not. I guess we all have to decide what we can and cannot truthfully handle and realize that sometimes just because the fight is over and you’ve kissed and made up, you can’t always move forward.

Well, we made it through 12/12/12 and as I can see, the world didn’t end. Sorry to everyone who had their canned goods and extra water stored in their basement, ready for Armageddon and the end of the world. When we sit and think about the future, what we are afraid of, and then look at our past, we can’t help but blame ourselves for poor choices we made.

It is difficult for me to look back on the past two years of my life. They definitely weren’t a cake walk. Yes, there were some wonderful memories made, for instance seeing James Taylor with the people I love most in this world this 4th of July, but for the most part the past two years were extremely challenging and taxing on me. They made me question who I am, who I was and made me question my judgment. For an entire year beginning in February 2011 and ending in March 2012 I completely lost myself. I had no idea who I was, I lost sight of my goals and I spent the entire time focusing on someone else, trying to save them. Around December 2011 I realized that I cannot save someone else, nor can anyone save me, we all have to make the decision to take responsibility and save ourselves. I learned extremely valuable lessons during that time, however there are so many things that I wish had turned out differently, so many mistakes made that clouded my judgment, threw me off my path and I ended up burying myself amongst the ruins of another person.

As I look back I think, who was I? Why did I make such terrible decisions? Why did I hold on to something so toxic for so long? Then I think about control, how much control do we really have over our own lives? For me, that time was full of pressure. Pressure to support and monitor someone else when I was only 22 years old. I felt pressure from my family to make a certain decision I wasn’t necessarily comfortable making because I was terrified of what might follow once I made that decision. Even now, people tell me that I have control over what I am doing and the choices that I’m making and yes, to a certain extent I know that at the end of the day I have ultimate control over the choices that I make, but at the same time aren’t we all factoring in external pressures when it comes to making decisions? When I try to take control of a situation I feel that if I disagree with what the majority feels then I am making the wrong choice, but my intuition is telling me to trust my instincts and follow my gut, or my heart. I realized recently that I am a people pleaser. I tend to go with the flow even if I don’t want to necessarily do something, because I would rather put up with my own unhappiness than disappoint someone I love.

When it comes down to it, how much control does one really have over their own life? We want to achieve certain goals, but we are forced to follow certain rules that society has laid out for us, whether we like it or not. When we attempt to make a decision, how much of that decision is truly our own? We always factor in someone else, or family members’ opinions or we worry about how people will perceive us if we go left instead of right. In the end, do we really control our own fate or do our surroundings and the people in our lives tend to guide us to make certain choices?

Since moving across the country I came to realize very quickly that I didn’t know much about anything. Yes I went to college and received a Bachelor’s degree in writing, literature and publishing so that should count for something right? Not necessarily. While searching for jobs I soon found out what I didn’t want to do but I still can’t quite figure out what it is I want to do with my life. We graduate high school at 18, go to college and in our freshman or sophomore year we are forced to choose a certain path for our lives, but at 19 years old how do you know what you want to do with your life? What have you experienced thus far that has made you understand the complexities, the disappointments, the ecstasy, the fascination and the sometimes disillusionment that you will inevitably face as you mature.

I did various internships for two years straight in my last years of college, all in some form within the communications field, thinking that is a “successful and safe” career path to follow. When it comes right down to it I just don’t want to do that. For some people it is creative and it is their passion and that is wonderful, but it’s not for me. So where does that leave me? I went to Berklee College of Music for two years before eventually transferring to Emerson College exploring different passions in my life, music, writing and literature. It’s quite funny looking at that now and saying, wow those are risky endeavors. You pursue your true passions and they aren’t necessarily stable or “safe” and they may not buy you a mansion or even offer health insurance but at what point do we decide in our lives to play it safe or take some risks?

At 23 years old I don’t have a high-paying job with benefits but is that what I even want? And who or what is forcing us to play it safe? Isn’t life about taking chances or making wrong decisions and learning from those experiences? It doesn’t matter if you take a risk and fail, at least you know you failed, so you can never look back and ask yourself “what if?”. Maybe you aren’t where you thought you’d be at your specific age but who is telling you that you should be there? Who is telling us that around age 30 we should be married with a child or expecting and why are “they” the ones to decide this? I am attempting to reclaim my individuality within society to be able to choose my own unique path, not one that society has bullied me into thinking I need or else I will be desolate and unfulfilled.

Everyone needs to find their meaning in life, what makes them wake up every day and get out of bed because without that what do we have? Some people’s lives may be filled with detours and obstacles that the average person may not face and you are allowed to ask “why me?” but isn’t it the challenge that makes life most exciting? Without challenge we would never feel accomplishment. Without loss we would never appreciate love. Sometimes you have to take a step back and become an observer of your life and ask yourself what it is you really want and then figure out how you are going to make it work, because you can. It probably won’t be easy, but if that’s what you want you should be willing to work hard enough to hold on to it.

Success is defined in many different ways. Some people find power and money to define their success, others creating a family, but however you define success is all that matters, not any one else’s definition.

Viktor Frankl once wrote, “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.”

You never will lose your freedom to choose.

There have been many many changes in my life in the past month… and I know they are all for the better. When I take a look back on the past few months I realize that I lost myself, completely, and now is the time to find myself again.

I plan to do many things to better myself (those I’d rather not share), and now is the time. So why aren’t you doing it? What is holding you back? Is it a person, a job, an emotion or maybe just the feeling that you are stuck? All of these things are excuses that we hide behind in order to not do the hard work: taking a good REAL look at ourselves and changing what makes us unhappy. If you want to lose weight, start walking daily, you don’t need a gym membership, just get outside and breathe in the fresh air. If you are unhappy in your relationship, get out of it. If you are unhappy at work, start looking for a new job. Avoid the negativity… we don’t need it in our lives and there’s no reason to remain stuck. No time like the present to change.

Why do we always feel that we have to compromise our own happiness? And for what exactly? Take a break from your day and begin to think about what you want to change. Take a second for you and I guarantee you will begin to feel happier.

It has been almost a year since my last post on this blog and I want to change that. I guess I needed to step away from it for a while to be able to come back reinvigorated. Coincidentally, I had to step away from Boston to come back reinvigorated as well.

California has become my haven. Each time I visit I come home with a renewed sense of self and a confidence that is steady and strong. During my visit I have been able to spend quality time with people I love and meet new people along the way that inspire me and have propelled me to want to achieve more. On this particular visit I was able to meet and spend time with a couture handbag designer with a passion and drive that washes over you and becomes contagious. I also met a published author and booze writer who will potentially have a sitcom based on his most recent book. He is such an intelligent and talented individual who has motivated me to focus on my writing and my career. Aside from the new people I met, I was also able to spend time with two amazing women who inspire me each day. My best friend is a world champion vaulter and a wonderful, intelligent and talented writer. My other friend is also an extremely talented writer and has an energy that is infectious.

All of these people have re-energized and motivated me to focus solely on myself and my needs and wants. Without this trip I am not sure where I would be mentally or physically for that matter. I felt stuck in a slump that I desperately needed to get out of and all of them in their own unique way pulled me out. I am extremely thankful that I was able to come out to California and shake the stress and clear my mind.

Well… at least in my opinion it is. I have experienced more than three days in a row of sunny 80 degree weather, been able to go outside and eat dinner and I have a tan so in my mind… Summer. Is. Here.

One amazing aspect of summer is the endless possibility of spending the entire day outside. My family put up a gazebo (not the easiest task, especially when all the parts are marked incorrectly!) so we can eat dinner outside without having to deal with pesky mosquitos. My Mom and I were inspired to put a table outside when we were looking at this month’s Crate & Barrel… a beautiful table, chairs and maybe even a padded bench? Sounded perfect to us.

Our next venture is to set up our badminton net so we can have badminton tournaments (it got serious two summers ago) and play volleyball of course. However, volleyball always takes a backseat to badminton at our house.

The perfect summer day at the Green household: coffee and breakfast on the deck, badminton, hiking or another outdoor activity, cocktails and appetizers at 5:00 on the deck, dinner outside (perhaps a hot tub?) and playing music on the deck with the family.

What is your favorite summer activity?

Whatever it is you love to do in the summer just get outside and do it because if you are an East Coaster like me summer time is ticking away!

my cat basking in the summer sun

Hey Everyone!

I have spent the past week in sunny northern California with my best friend from college who lives in Aptos. What a great week it has been already. I have spent the week in the sun, watching my best friend vault (an amazing sport) and do what she loves, and getting to see all the hard work she puts into the sport and has done in the past to become a world champion. I also read a very inspiring story at Huffington Post online (click here for the story). One of the quotes I loved from this story was when Rocky Clark said:

“There’s always someone who’s got it worse than you,” he says. And yet, he adds: “There are people who are not in my situation and they take life for granted. They have no determination. They don’t know things can take a turn for the worse in the blink of an eye.” (Rocky Clark, Huffington Post)

I have found an array of inspiring quotes (some cheesy, some actually inspirational) but I felt that this one has made my top five now. Rocky is completely paralyzed from the neck down and yet he is still insisting that someone has it worse off than him, which is an incredible notion. He has learned the important lesson of not taking anything for granted, trying to live each day as if it is your last, cliché notions but perhaps cliché for a reason?

A wise Russian masseuse told me and my sister that the only person that matters is you. Outside forces will come into your life (people, jobs, etc) that are going to cause negativity and stress but you have the power to control how you will allow those forces to affect you. Yes we all get down and stressed out but I believe that if you can re-channel your energy and attempt to be a positive and optimistic person as best you can you will ultimately be happy. No one can control your happiness but you. People can help add to your happiness but if you are a truly positive person on the inside, without any help, that is all that matters. We only have one life and one chance so you might as well make the most of it.

Rosey, Devon, and I had an interesting conversation over dinner at this little Greek restaurant the other night and Rosey said that she would rather die young, but feel that she was living her life and having amazing experiences, than play it safe and live to be an old woman. (I am horribly misquoting her but you get the idea.) I think we all need to take a step back to realize what is important in our lives. What do we want? What and who ultimately makes us the most happy? Why do we allow negative influences in our life if we have the control to get rid of them? Start living for YOU and no one else.

Crazy. I had to come to California for all of this to begin to really set in, and for me to begin to take it seriously, but I believe that if you live for YOU that is what matters. Surround yourself with people you love, take the job you love, do the activities that you love, and forget the rest because it doesn’t matter. Be around people who love you, inspire you, and support you so that you can achieve what you want in life no matter what that is.

Here’s a link to Rosey’s USA Team because I am sure that many of you don’t know what vaulting is (I didn’t until I met her). The video’s commentary is in German… but they are World Champions! Rosey is the one in the middle of the video around the 2:30-3:00 minute mark with Devon Maitozo alone on the horse

World Equestrian Games Vaulting held in Kentucky

To see more videos of Rosey check out her website you won’t regret it!

Adios from sunny California!

Vaulting Competition 5/14/11