Daily Post: Why, Thank You?

What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?

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Back handed compliments never fall short in this world, but rather than focusing on the negative I would like to discuss compliments. Obviously. Compliments are the best.

After starting this blog I would get the occasional “you just have it all figured out” as though to suggest just that… I had my life figured out. They would then take it further to state that they did not as though to ask me the greatest question of all: HOW? The craziest part about this situation is that it happened more than once. Each time someone would discuss the life I posted on the internet, I wondered what I was projecting that someone would assume that I solved a piece of life’s puzzle. It felt odd because I often felt as though I had so much to resolve within my own life. The truth is, we all want to figure “it” out and find ourselves, or discover what creates a greater meaning for us in this world. But who has any of these things really figured it? Deepak Chopra?! Certainly not me.

So while it has been exceptionally flattering that people think because I am self-reflective in a public forum that this living this is so easy it’s for the birds, it’s not. I’m just soaking up this world too. And since I have zero insight to provide you with, I’ll leave you with my boy, Deepak.

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Why, Thank You? | The Daily Post
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Luna

I believe that truly learning about life comes from experience- it has to be authentically earned from moments we come across whether they are positive or negative. Whatever the moral of the story may be, it’s what that connection imparts in us that helps to define our understanding of the world. Life lessons have come to me from all corners of my tiny universe but one that I have learned greatly from is my relationship with my dog, Luna.

My dog taught me patience- half lab, half crazy, Luna was never the easiest pup to own and though her name came from her dark color that reminded me of the night sky, we would often refer to her as Luna-tic. From the time she was a puppy she made no discrepancies in her hatred towards all humans not in her family. Sure, her incessant barking at strangers was bearable as a little black puff ball, but as she got older and stronger it could scare the pants off of a grown-ass man. A lovely midday walk could result in a 90 pound dog taking me on a drag as she launched her body at a tender little child passing by on the street. I chose the word tender because I imagine that Luna would use that word to describe the child. She looked like she wanted a steak dinner. Because of her difficult behavior, we were forced to keep her bound to the confines of our small raised ranch in the quiet hills of Westchester, New York. As an avid pet lover, it was disappointing that our dog would never be the hiking partner I dreamed of. Or would she.

When I say that Luna will take you on a drag it’s because she truly will, but after becoming a closet Dog Whisperer admirer I began to use Caesar’s training methods on Luna on a regular basis in the Summer of 2007- I was a bored college student home on break and I made it my mission to tame the wild beast. Every day I would take her leash, bring her to the car, and go down to the bike path, choosing the least desirable time for bike riders, joggers, and children to be present (for fear of their safety.)

Day in, day out, this became our routine, 10 miles on the bike path, just me and my dog. If I so much as walked by her leash her head would perk up. I had to be careful with my words around her and even spelling the word car became part of her repertoire. We were bonded by the bike path and overtime she learned that if she even so much as gave a human the side-eye it was back in the car. We are nice in this family, Luna! We don’t eat our friends! I can’t tell you that she became this human loving, child canoodling, dog, and I’m not even convinced that if given the chance she would never eat a child, but within a summer she learned that if she wanted to run, she had to play by the rules. I learned a lot too. I learned the love and bond a person can develop with a pet is remarkable. I learned that hard work and perseverance paid off and I learned to never quit, and never say never. Many people would have quit on Luna a long time ago, but our family loved that dog.

This non-quitting attitude carried into the following year as Luna got sick and stopped walking. The veterinarian put her on a medication but she was given too much and her liver and kidneys went into failure. As a family we discussed at great lengths what to do with our sick, but young dog. The decision was to bring her to another veterinarian and give her a chance. This vet practices holistic medication and today Luna receives acupuncture on a weekly basis- I can’t make this up, that’s how loved this dog is.

Luna getting accupuncture

Luna getting acupuncture

At times we questioned what was the right thing to do. There was never an easy answer, but I will tell you that the right decision was made. Today she can no longer run, but she has been given six extra years of life that were almost taken from her. Since receiving treatment she has regained the ability to walk though she struggles to do long distances. This dog is a fighter, a wise old lady, a family guardian. She is stoic, but humble, and the boss of the other dogs in the house. I admire her.

The summer of 2007 we connected over those walks and developed this secret bond that only she and I will ever understand. I can never thank her enough for those memories. Today I no longer live at home but when I am home she still gets excited when I walk towards the door or near her leash. It breaks my heart to know that times will never be like they were seven years ago, but we both still remember, and that’s a beautiful thing.

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The First Person

I have not always been, nor am I currently, the most confident person. I don’t think it’s a self conscious thing. I think it’s more of a, I’m a young female, thing. We are brought up in a culture that requires that we constantly evaluate ourselves: am I thin enough? Pretty enough? Stylish enough? Somehow, at the bottom of this list of expectations, we may ask essential questions in life, like, am I smart enough? And if you’re like me, at times in your life you may have driven yourself crazy trying to answer these ridiculous questions.

I’m sick of it. After watching a sketch comedy show by Amy Schumer making a mockery of our crazy ass-hat-ness, I had to reevaluate myself. Video is NSFW due to cursing: Amy Schumer

And I can’t believe that this epiphany came to me through sketch comedy, but it did, now I just say thank you. You like my shirt, thanks. My hair looks great, thanks. So frequently, rather than just say a simple thank you, stupidity would instead roll out of my mouth: oh, this, ah, I feel like garbage today. I can’t say I’ve perfected the thank you, but I’m working on it!

Recently I got this fortune: self confidence is just enthusiasm at work.

I put it up on my medicine cabinet in the bathroom as a morning mantra. It’s ok to start your day off with that kind of positivity. So now, the first thing I see when I wake up is this:

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Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror
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Learning to Fail

How do I learn? I use all of my senses.

I allow myself to risk failure while striving for greatness.

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I allow myself to fall.

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I take chances.

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I travel. And when I travel I ask questions. I also dye my hair. And I learn from that too- don’t dye your hair.

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I use my brain. And I study. And I read because I have to.

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I read because I want to.

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I try to see it all. From every angle.

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I listen carefully.

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I watch the successes of others and strive for their great accomplishments as well.

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I take in the world around me and allow myself to be humble that I am just a speck in the grand scheme of life.

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I believe in working with others and I believe that I can learn as a team.

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I allow myself to fall in love. Despite making myself vulnerable to another person. And sometimes love doesn’t work, but I learned from that too.

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I learn from the love of others. And from those who have far more experience in everything.

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I learn because I have a deep intrinsic need to, because I am appreciative of the world I live in. I have seen what life has to offer, and though at times, I have been jaded, I know that this world is whatever you make of it. When I allowed myself to risk failure I found that sometimes I will fail, but other times I will achieve whatever I set out to do. Taking the risk of failure in order to truly live makes it all worth it. That is how I learn.

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