Pick Me Pick Me!

Grade School wasn’t easy.  I mean, education was easy.  But that other stuff the teachers didn’t teach but you still had to learn, that was the hard stuff.  And the dreaded recess, it was awful.  Within the confines of twenty whole minutes you got to play, but before you actually got to play, you had to toil through the torture-esque process of being chosen for the kick ball team or the baseball team.  Hating to be the last person, you inwardly scream “PICK ME PICK ME” each time, it didn’t matter what team you were chosen to be on.  It only mattered that you are not the last to be chosen or, God forbid, the excess person not chosen for any team at all.

Why did I have to learn that? Wasn’t I too young to be taught the need for acceptance, the need to be “chosen”.  Who knew that I would spend the next several years of my life inwardly screaming “PICK ME PICK ME”.  I would spend so many days saying in no uncertain terms, “Hey you! Sum me up because I’m a girl or because my sneakers are cool, or because I don’t look like I hit home runs; PLEASE PICK ME”  Who decided I’d get to spend the rest of my adolescence yearning to be picked?  Who came up with the grand scheme of being picked, as if being picked was vital?

I mean it’s not like we’re apples hanging from the tree of existence hoping to be picked before our stems wear thin from the weight of our substance and we’d fall to the hard cold earth and rot.

We aren’t apples.

Yet, we spend each day picking people.  We without regard for life, culture, or experience see people and sum them up.  We without hesitation pick people.  We pick people to show kindness, while we deem others un-pick-worthy.  Those people aren’t worth our kindness because we’ve determined the return on the investment of our kindness is slim to none, so we ignore them.  We pick people to express our unmerited rudeness.  We pick them first because they are different from us, they smell different, they eat differently, they sin differently.  We make no effort to love them where they are or show kindness to them because they aren’t just like us.

But they are.  They are simply grade schoolers inwardly screaming PICK ME.  Pick me because I am me.  Pick me to show kindness to because I am worthy of your kindness and will reciprocate.  Pick me because even after you’ve inaccurately decided who I am, I am still here picking you.

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Pick Me Pick Me!

Who I Want to Be Challenge Day One and Day Two….

I am challenging myself to be more. I want to be creative and to create businesses.  I’d like to create a legacy for my daughter to see and know that she can accomplish anything.

Day one was sort of busy, but I did manage to focus on my improvement.  I wrote down ten business ideas.  It was harder than I thought.  I have been kicking the same business ideas around in my head for years now.  It’s nice to see them on paper.  At then end of the day I realized writing them down just wasn’t enough.  So I’ll imagine and dream the exclusives of these businesses that will set them apart from the others.  I’ll exhaust all of my thinking power on an idea before moving on to the next idea.

Day Two I feel empowered.  I feel business minded.  As I was crafting a gift for my cousin’s birthday, I began to think of ways to improve the idea, to set myself apart from the 900 other people making things and selling them on the internet.  And two things that I love and appreciate are exclusive details and presentation.  Personalization rather than cookie cutter ideas with insert name here tabs will be the thing that keeps my customer’s attention and their business.  I’m excited and inspired.

Who I Want to Be Challenge Day One and Day Two….

What I want to Be When I Grow UP

Transitioning to civilian life after 20 years of service has me doing a lot of extra thinking.  The usual things I thought about before were, what would I do, where would I go, what would I wear every day, and what crazy things would I do with my hair and nails.  But now that I’m less than a year away, the thoughts have transitioned.  I enjoyed serving my country and wouldn’t exchange that experience for anything, but I can’t help thinking that I’ve done very little that I actually chose to do.  I chose my job of course before boot camp, but aside from duty stations and my attitude, I chose little else.   So it got me to thinking about what I wanted to do before I joined the Navy.  Honestly I planned to join the Navy since I was a little girl.  I wanted to go to college first, but my mother didn’t like that idea.

I’ve loved art since I could remember and thought for a while that I might go to art school.  I designed clothes and shoes and even drew a little abstract art.  I told my mother, she said art was a hobby not a career.  I wanted to have a career and POOF like that the dream was gone.  We have to be careful of dream killers and those who try to block you into a certain life because of their mindset.  20 years later I understand that art is indeed a career for many people.  But I digress.

Living a life based on stability and meeting needs often leaves little room for passion and purpose, unless those are the things that have provided them for you.  And Navy life teaches you things most other careers don’t, so I grew content in having stability and focused very little on self-development.  So much of who I am is defined not by me, rather by the experiences I have gained through the Navy.

While chatting with my sister Gladys, I gathered that it must be an actual “thing” to become so wrapped up in life that we lose focus on “what”  or “who” we want to be.  I learned that lots of people wake up one morning farther than ever from who they want to be or need to be to themselves.  I shared with her a concept that I started in my career back in 2008.  I wanted a promotion and it wasn’t happening fast enough for me.  I asked my self if I was doing what I thought that promotion required.  I sincerely self evaluated and realized there was more that I could do.  I felt bothered by people who said they wanted to be promoted but didn’t actively pursue that role until they were filling it.  I felt like it was unfair to those they lead and those who were leading then.  Oddly I didn’t apply this to any other aspects of my life consistently.  I would start, but didn’t value the changes because they weren’t required to live the life I was leading.  It’s so very important for me  to live the rest of my life by a standard that I set.  I set my standards for love, life, excellence, mediocrity and living above it, and health.

I’ve decided to challenge myself and anyone who is willing to join me to start becoming who we want to be.  My idea is to have a 30 day challenge beginning March first.  So you don’t have much time to prepare.

Challenge:

1) Make a list of 10 character attributes,characteristics, professions, or changes you want for your self.  Keep it simple.  List things like, Great Parent, Healthy, Great Wife, Great Husband, Neat, Cleaner, Studious, helpful etc. etc.

2) Select one thing on this list that you want to focus on for March.

3) Make a list of all of the attributes that encompass that thing.  For instance a good wife in my opinion, is tidy, makes great dinners, smells nicely, makes her bed, has amazing sex with her husband etc. etc.  All of these things should be based on YOUR ideas of the attributes of that thing, this can’t be based on things you don’t believe.

4) For the next 30 days make an intentional, conscious effort to do the things on your list daily.  Don’t be too hard on yourself, just try.  When you fall short of your goals, remind yourself that you are worthy of being who you want to be.

5) At the end of 30 days, comment and tell me how it went.  At that time you should have a great grasp for the ideas of becoming what you want to be.  Keep it up.

Helpful hints:  I suggest list making because it gives you a clear objective.  Once you’ve made your list, leave yourself reminders.  Reminders can be a written list that is clearly visible or post-it notes on your bathroom mirror, dashboard, or as reminders in your phone.  Focus. Speak nothing negative about this process.  And no matter what you do, know that you CAN become who you want to be.

What I want to Be When I Grow UP

How do I turn this thing back into a frog?

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Tiana…all of those princesses, they get the happily ever after and then there’s the rest of us set up for failure by good old Walt.  You ever wonder what happened after they married the prince?  Me too.  I’ve always wondered what made them so special.  There are no actual princesses waiting to be rescued by the knight in shining armor.  But you see modern-day princesses every day.  One day some handsome fella chose them, to sweep them off of their feet, whisk them away to a castle, and they live happily ever after. And me, oh yeah that’s me the chick still scrubbing floors and plucking chickens to fry for dinner.

Walt Disney set me up.  Why didn’t he make a cartoon for the chick who didn’t get picked.  If I were him I’d write a cartoon called, “Queen Elizabeth Wasn’t the Only One” or “My Fairy Godmother Brought the Dress and the Shoes and I Had a Ball”.  I am in no way suggesting that I have lived a life less desirable, only rather there is an alternative.  When you’re a little girl someone tells you that you will grow up and get married and have children and live happily ever after.  As if the happily ever after couldn’t come unless there was someone there to whisk you away from your miserable single existence and into your great awesome life.  You were supposed to wait for this knight to come along with his fancy horse and perfect hair, and if you played a good damsel in distress, you’d be “rescued”.

The funny thing is I did that.  For years and years I waited to start living because I had to share it with him, didn’t I?  I couldn’t travel the world or go to see a movie alone because I was taught that he would come along and define me, add value to me.  I mean no one ever actually said “Hey Melissa, make sure you look pretty today because Prince Charming may stop by and rescue you” but they said other things.  Things like, you won’t ever get a husband if you’re this…or you will make a great wife someday, or you learn this now so you can be prepared for being a wife…good wives do this and bad wives do that.  Don’t be a bad wife in the making….and then soon after you sprout armpit hair and start wearing a bra and you aren’t magically married, then they start asking what’s wrong with you.

I remember sitting in a “Singles Mentoring Class” and the facilitator who was a real life Cinderella, handed each lady a little cluster of pearls wrapped in tulle and tied with a delicate white bow.   Each person was given a different amount of pearls.  Each pearl was to represent something that you had never done and wanted to do with your spouse (whenever you got married)….I remember being perplexed for several months.  I couldn’t come up with anything.  I had lived such an awesome full life, there wasn’t anything I hadn’t done, that I wanted to do.  She talked about this awesome list that she had made and asked God for specific things she needed and wanted in a spouse.  At first I thought, gee that’s what I had forgotten to do, make a list.  As I listened a little further, I just heard how she hadn’t actually lived!  She was waiting for a husband to have a 5 star dining experience, she needed him to buy her a car, and put her through college, and rescue her from living in her unfulfilled life.  Before she shared her experience, I envied her a little, she had the house and the white picket fence, the luxury car that someone else paid for, and a companion to share life with.  And after she shared her experience, I KNEW that I wouldn’t trade lives with her for any mount of money.  I realized I didn’t need someone to rescue me from my meager existence, because my life was brilliant.  I do know that I need someone to fill the “double occupancy” on this amazing escapade.   I’m not knocking her life, I pray she is Happier than she ever imagined.  Her story is great, just different from mine.

HER YE HEAR YE, Mr. Disney  and the rest of you.  Life happens whether the Knight shows up or not. I waited for him and he’s late, so in the mean time I’ll dance a little, laugh a lot, sing off-key when I feel like it, and travel the world.  Life doesn’t start when the knight shows up, he simply adds to the brilliance.

Each day is an opportunity to live….use it to the best of your ability!

How do I turn this thing back into a frog?

Love me.

The funny thing about life is that there is no magic book that tells you what to do or how to feel about yourself.  No one ever slaps you in the face, grabs you by the shoulders, and says “Hey! Love yourself!” Of course they tell you to love each other and to love spouses and such.  The circle of love doesn’t start with sending out love.  Reciprocal love isn’t like the domino circle that eventually reaches you.  Love has to begin with you and it has to end with you.  We spend so much time focusing on how to love each other, but focus very little on self-love.  Self hate is often an untaught behavior that is perpetuated more than self-love.  We look to so many others for love and when it doesn’t happen, we find ourselves emotionally depleted.  We are depleted because we never realize that we are the source.

What does self-love look like?  It looks like self concern for our health.  It looks like appreciating our self-image rather than scrutinizing it.  It looks like being excited to see whomever we see in the mirror every single time.

Loving yourself doesn’t mean that you are happy with every aspect.  It just means that you are willing to do something about it.  If you feel like changes are in order then make them.  Love yourself enough to be best to yourself first.  Be your best friend.

Be honest with yourself.  Be true to yourself. Love yourself enough.  Be in love with you.

Love me.