Monday, December 31, 2012

Ugh, 2012

Me. Or something.

*Heavy sigh* 

2012 was tough.

I have never had a year that was pure struggle, pure heartbreak, pure lesson and really nothing else. And I didn't even have to leave my apartment to experience most of what I did. I only “worked” two months out of the entire year [and I walked away from both of those jobs], I dated and dumped three different boys, I said goodbye to a handful of friendships [one of nearly four years], I took an honest look at my life, reexamined my priorities and shaped myself up. I cleaned out my closet, minimized the "stuff" I was living amongst, and purged all the negatives lingering in my life along with all the barriers in my brain and the fears in my soul. [I guess I can go into specifics at some point!]

It was not easy. And I definitely wouldn't want to do it again... But it was worth it.

I have never had a year that revealed the real me more than this one. 2012 tested my intuition and it also tested how well I'd heed it... throughout lost friendships, broken relationships, and ill-fitting job opportunities. I said "No!" a lot... but with every goodbye came further clarity. With every heartbreak and hardship, what I needed in my life and who I really wanted to be became crystal clear. As the murky waters I'd lived in for so long washed away... the me at my core became the everyday normal me, instead of just the woman I dreamed of becoming.

I know I am always talking about personal growth and self discovery and blah blah blah... but this year was truly a major game-changer. So major that I'll admit something very embarrassing to you: I am used to skating by, meaning that I consistently give C effort and still ace whatever I'm up against. I have gotten where I am today by putting forth only about 25% of my full capacity. Maybe that's even being generous. The other 75% has been too absorbed in some combination of doubt, fear, laziness and excuses. It hit me that I will continue progressing at a snails pace if I don't do something differently. I have vowed that in 2013 [and henceforth!] I will nip the mental chatter in the bud and give 75% effort [not 100% - that's crazy - compromises people!] I am positive that in doing so, miracles will happen. To quote a fellow wise tweeter: “2013 is the year of manifestation.”

Here's one last gem for y'all this year:
“You need not fear the unknown if you are capable of achieving what you need and want.”
Reading this quote was like turning on the light in a room that had been dark for a few years. It helped me realize my power, and helped me realize fear was useless. The same strength, smarts and skill that have gotten me this far will take me the rest of the way. And that is that... Goddammit!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Things I do to combat stress

I don't smoke when I'm stressed. Say no to drugs kids!!!

Stress pretty much occurs when something/someone I care about has gone all wrong or when I can't have something I desperately want. Am I spoiled? No... I just want what I want.  

*giggles*
 
Here are some of the things I do when I just can't take it anymore!

Vent:
If I can't locate a friend to blab at for a few hours, [friends which most likely have been chosen based on their superb listening skills], I'll write instead. Talking is actually easier for me, as I'll take time to explain what happened, and then explain how I feel and then dissect. And dissecting is always easier when I'm speaking all the details out loud, instead of typing them because when I'm writing I'm also concerned with making it all sound good. *shrug, I am a writer with an editor's eye after all. Whatever I end up doing, I know the important thing is to get it out. I think of sadness, disappointment, frustration and stress as a malleable anvil in my belly... one that makes its way out of my system piece by piece the more I talk about it. The more I release my feelings, the lighter I feel. That’s not the case for everybody, but that's why it's important to know yourself, what's effective for you and what makes you feel good. Learning yourself is a process, you see!

Badger the perpetrator: [aka the person who annoyed me or frustrated me to begin with]
Why talk the ear off of a perfectly innocent friend when I can just annoy the person who annoyed me, and bring their level of frustration up to mine so that we can be frustrated together? Who better to face my wrath than the person who incurred it? Now this might seem immature to some of you, and even pointless, but to be honest it's quite effective. Usually, the incessant and unforgiving nagging and badgering results in an apology, an explanation or some kind of mutual understanding. Here is one fact that you should know about me: once you've annoyed me and gotten on my “bad side”, I don't really care what you want to do about the situation, I'm just gonna do what I wanna do. Because your feelings are no longer relevant and I am a reckless individual.

Get proactive:
Is this a problem I can fix? Do I have control of this situation? Can I get of out this situation? If I can answer yes to any of these questions, I am on an action-taking mission like white on rice. Being proactive takes energy though, energy that I am sometimes lacking while in the middle of freaking out, so this usually happens after I've gotten all the toxic energy out of my system. Sometimes it takes a few hours to get to this point or a few days, but either way, I get there.

Sleep:
I used to be able to sleep the day and night away, hoping erroneously thinking that by the time I woke up, the issue would have miraculously solved itself. Of course it never vanished overnight, but at least I got to give my brain a rest from circling through it for a few hours. In the past I was able to sleep it off, but I find that I can't do that anymore. The irritable feelings sink into my subconscious now, and I'll toss and turn all night, my heart racing and every limb sweating. It's really disturbing actually. If anything, it forces me to be proactive sooner. My peace of mind is more important than keeping “peace” between me and the issue. Equanimity is the goal, and I'm truly relentless until I get it.

Daydream:
I used to daydream a lot as a child, something I just recently found out has a name: maladaptive dreaming. I'm not sure if my level of fantasy was as engrossed or as severe as what is described here but I definitely did fantasize a lot, and saw myself as a high-powered executive, complete with white pantsuit and a floor to ceiling glass-encased office. I saw myself as a chic city-dweller with a fabulous closet and fantastic friends. While the latter is certainly true, I'm working on the former. I don't daydream anywhere near as much lately. I'm not sure if it's because the fantasies don't hold as much weight now that I'm an adult with quite a bit of experience under my belt, or because I now know the amount of work that achieving those dreams actually takes. Or maybe it's because my head is preoccupied with all the million things I have to do on a daily basis? Who really knows. I miss it a little, but don't know how to fix it. As with everything else, I blame adulthood and the stress of the city

Music: 
I left this one for last because it's the one I always forget to do. Even though I used to spend entire evenings in my youth blasting pop tunes on my mini boom box, I often forget how cathartic music can be. I really do feel like music is therapy for all the senses... and my favorite kind of tunes - funky R&B or danceable smoothness - really take me to another place. As an added plus, the kind of music I love always makes me wanna dance, which is another stress soother. Last Wednesday night I went out and made some new friends at No. 8, and then joined them for dancing at 1OAK. I was one of only a handful of people shaking my ass on the dance floor, but it didn't matter because I felt good... I felt great... and I felt free.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My name is my name

RIP BlueShame: March 30th 2009 - December 13th 2012

BlueShame. A lot of you discovered this blog when it had that somewhat melancholy and definitely made up word as its title. It will always have a special meaning to me, but as things moved onward and upward in my life, I felt like the quirky cynicism in "BlueShame" didn't fit me anymore. I wanted positivity, light, and something that made a bit more sense for a site that's just full of my thoughts and mandates.

All the easy stuff – LadyBlue.com etc - was taken, but I knew the new name would come to me eventually, so I tucked the thought in the back of my mind and handled all my other to-dos. Every now and then, I'd brainstorm again. And one night while lying in bed recharging, thinking and tweeting, “Known as Blue” dawned on me [because hey, I am known as Blue] and I jotted it down. Two days later, I made it official. The new blog name works beautifully for me and the site, because after all, this space is all about me, and both the name and the blog reflect who I am. [And as an added plus, no one on any social media accounts had it!]
"MY NAME IS MY NAME!" - Marlo “Black” Stanfield [aka one of my favorite fictional characters of all time – I respect him for his poise and skills in magic].
I also realized that if I was going to sell digital media packages to clients with a focus on building brands, I should hone my own first. My “name” became important. It's one of the first things that people online see, and the difference in response when introducing myself under one name versus another is already astoundingly noticeable.

I am 24 [and a half!] with my own wonderful place in my dream city and my own business. Plus, I have a crazy high self-esteem, a fabulous closet and real love from many genuine sources in my life. All things considered, I am living my dream. And actually, I'm probably living the dream of many daydreaming young ladies all over the world too.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know one thing to be true about me: I have a very high self esteem that I believe is truly unshakeable. I have gone through my fair share of tumultuous life experiences and the gamut of emotions as a result, and there was never a point where I loathed or even mildly disliked myself. I never lost faith in myself, if anything I lost faith in the world and what it had to offer instead. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born this confident, and my undeniable allure is one of my most vital and cherished assets.

I mention this because I know that without this unrelenting faith in myself, I would not be where I am today, in any way shape or form. It took a lot of honesty, a lot of courage, a lot of focus, a lot of self-reflection, a lot of trial and error, a lot of quitting the things that didn't work and - even though I consider myself cautious and smart - a lot of learning things the hard way. The hurdles that I so painstakingly leaped over, and the challenges and walls that I beat down with my bare fists are the same ones that hold other people back everyday.

I hate to sound clichĂ© , but going after what you want in life is so worth it. This isn't a dress rehearsal. It's a one shot deal, and you either seize the day or get lost. I used to be confused as to why most entertainers would immediately go into the ugly cry upon accepting an award for their work, but now I understand. It's a struggle to climb to the top of that hill, but once you get there, all you can feel is an immense sense of accomplishment. Once you give yourself a moment and let it all catch up to you, you can finally taste the sweet sweet victory you hungered for, instead of the blood, sweat and tears you powered through for so long. 
“I left my entire family, got the cheapest apartment I could find, and ate shit until somebody would listen.- Lady Gaga
Depending on what you believe, the world is ending in one week. And even if it doesn't, a new year will be here in two. Take this time to think, plan and reflect. And then, when you are ready [or not]...

Make a name for yourself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to love me

“Neglect the whole world rather than each other.”
 
  • Recognize that I'm different.
  • Celebrate that I'm different.
  • Take care of me, my heart and my body.
  • Admire my body, brains, independence and accomplishments.
  • Be loving and sincere in your criticism.
  • Think of me.
  • Respect is just the minimum, respect my body, my opinions and my valid emotions.
  • Do not treat the word "love" lightly. If you say it, mean it, if you mean it, show it.
  • Encourage me.
  • Don't make me wonder if I'm one of many, let me know that I'm the only one, that I'm one in a million.
  • Hold me.
  • Never talk down to me.
  • Talk to me, engage me, ask me questions. Figure out what I like.
  • Be gentle.
  • Adore me with your words, touches and kisses.
  • Be thoughtful, kind and generous.
  • Show appreciation when I am thoughtful, kind and generous with you.
  • Be affectionate.
  • Enjoy my laid back demeanor but don't confuse that for anything goes.
  • Compliment me.
  • Show me new things. Excite me. Engage me.
  • Don't get too comfortable and don't stop trying to impress me.
  • Give me your attention.
  • Go out with me, explore with me, show me off.
  • Display your gratitude.
  • Make me and us high, if not at the top of your list.
  • Kiss me, suddenly. Always.
  • Be open and honest. Be straightforward.
  • Discover new things with me.
  • Tell me about yourself without me having to prod.
  • Share.
  • Be affectionate with me.
  • Cuddle with me. Sleep with me. [And make it count!]
  • Make me yours and only yours.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plan of Mastery

Crossing the bridge into dreamland. [Photo by: Lanolan]

I know I've been quiet, but I've been busy. And when you're hungry, you don't talk, you eat.

I have a "Plan of Mastery" file I reference, that details all of my big and small goals and how to achieve them. I love the name of it as working on yourself is like painting a picture. A masterpiece, if you are so skilled. Or a "beautiful fresco" as a loquacious man once coined me.

Upon turning 24 and feeling like there were some huge chunks of my life "missing" [also the realization that the same things had lingered on my to-do list for YEARS now]; I felt like I needed to make a change. Especially with 25 looming, just under 6 months away.

So here are some of the changes I am making, some of which I've already implemented. A lot of these things are obviously, things that I've never done before - so here's to Winter 2012, all of 2013 and beyond:
  • Asking for help from family and friends and receiving it, accepting it
  • Trying non-conventional therapies and changing my realistic borderline pessimistic [anything that can go wrong will] thinking in order to allow growth, abundance and opportunity into my life.
  • Making money and investing it into further opportunities, saving money, squashing all debts once and for all.
  • Really honing in on my career desires, pursuing them, marketing them and myself.
  • Not settling! Not in gigs, not with clients, not in romance, not in friendship. I've always been good about this, but I need to watch out for the "exceptions" I tend to make.
  • Dressing in a more true fashion for me. More sophisticated, sharp and sleek, less girly, young and frilly.
  • Going by the sophisticated and real "Elle" vs the little too casual "Blue".
  • Challenging my own thoughts.
  • Stepping up my beautyifying game [regular hair masks, at home deep cleanse facials, using natural non-irritating products, eating better and more regularly, getting massages, doing acupuncture etc].
  • Letting my hair go long.
  • Accept the challenge of a dance class.
  • Being friendly, networking, and presenting myself as the ambitious and focused lady that I actually am.
  • Stop THINKING about goals, desires and plans past a certain point and take ACTION on them instead.
  • Give myself permission to be happy, loved and fulfilled.
  • Paring down my stuff and making moves more towards a more minimal lifestyle and household.
  • Truly owning my power as a sexy, bright and shining young woman.
  • Maintaining my health and taking better care of my physical body [regulating my food intake and paying attention to the kinds of foods I eat, getting a balanced level of sleep, maintaining regular physical activity, taking MSM and a multivitamin!] 
  • Going deeper with my writing, changing up my style making my entries a little more personal, challenging what I think I know about writing.
  • Making a plan and pursuing it until all options are exhausted.
  • Loving with no reservations and allowing myself to be loved.
  • Going to fucking Paris. Finally.