The Kindness: An Award from Jessica

dare-tl-be-remarkableI wanted to give a shout out to Jessica Larsen who nominated me for a Versatile Blogger award.

Such a kind and lovely thing to do — to just let someone know, that you appreciate their work, their words, their time writing.  It really touched me something fierce.  It’s taken me a few days to get to this part of it — so please forgive me.  But, when you have a moment, please visit her lovely site:  https://www.jessicaelarsen.com/ — and yes, please follow her!  She’s fun, and writes about everything with a special gist on romance.  A very lovely site and an avid writer/blogger.

Let me also add this:  I know a lot of us take so much time to write and share our thoughts, pictures, moments — and I do visit a lot of sites that I follow on a regular basis. I don’t always comment.  I don’t know how so many of you so easily write blog posts daily — I’m so jealous!  But some times I just read and don’t comment because I never feel I have enough time to really say what I want to say.  Maybe I’m thinking too much on it?  Not sure.  Sometimes, I just think “Eeh, they’ll get how much I loved this by the pressing like.”

I want to be better about commenting more often. I know for me, when people take the time to comment and share their thoughts on my blog posts, it just brightens my day so much. Especially if it’s been a full day in solitary WORK WRITING mode — having this interaction is a blessing, even if people disagree or have a different point of view — so thank you for those that always take the time.

Well, check out Jessica’s blog when you have a sec, follow her and, as always, thanks for stopping by and have a sweet day!

Writers Block: Never Experienced It

I’ve never experienced writers block.blocks-bricks-brickwall-761142

I know –  I was talking to a friend yesterday and we had a whole conversation about writers block and she didn’t believe me AT ALL.

[Please continue reading the lightly transcribed post below or listen to the podcast here] 

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But the truth of the matter is, long, long ago I used to have the same experience as a dancer where I would keep making the same mistake over and over and over again.

And I had this amazing coach (and instructor) who would just tell me, “You know what? Enough. Just stop!  You need to just sit down!”  And so I would do that.  I would be forced to just sit down and do something else.

I would go take a walk around the track.  Or I would go sit on my knapsack – or whatever.  The point is that I learned early on that when you get stuck – when you get into a place where you can’t  do what you need to do as a dancer,  then you need to stop and do something else – because you’re just repeating the same mistake over and over again.

And I think in a lot of ways I’ve incorporated that into my life as a writer – and just in my life in general.

When something isn’t working, I stop doing it.  I try to do something else.  And then I come back to it.

I also think because I learned this at such a young age, I don’t see “writers block” as a negative thing.

I see it as a way in which my body tells me that I need a rest.  That I need a break.  Just like as a dancer,  I would keep making the same mistake over and over again – and then I’d realize that the reason why I was making a mistake over and over again was because I was tired.  I was exhausted.

Well when you write it’s not any different. We get exhausted. Our mind gets exhausted. We may not readily see that,  or experience it,  but the way in which I view that moment in time when I’m writing and I can’t really stop thinking about other things —  or I can’t seem to keep myself focused,  I see that as my body trying to tell me that I need a break.  And so, I’ll go listen to music, or I’ll go take a run, or I’ll just go watch television for a bit and then I’ll come back to it.

And sometimes it’ll be 5 minutes later and sometimes it might be a day later.  But what I don’t do is beat myself up for needing a break.  And I definitely don’t call it a “block” —  I don’t call it a “writer’s block” —  I just call it a time for me to take a break.

I think if we see that as a positive —  as resting period – as an ability to kind of rejuvenate –  it becomes a much quicker thing to notice Number 1,  and a much quicker thing to get through Number 2. Which means you can then get back to work!   Usually with fresher eyes and a rested soul.  And with much more enthusiasm to get back to your creativity — instead of beating yourself up for having “Writer’s Block”.

So, I just wanted to share that.  I would love to hear how other people deal with this writer’s block phenomenon….

Thank you so much for stopping by —  I appreciate it so much —  and I hope you have a sweet day.

I’ll be back again soon.

Carmen

To Be Hurt is Human

To Be Hurt Is Humanbitmoji1646363289

So, I just got back from this amazing workout and I want to try and capture how I’m feeling at the moment.

Three weeks ago I hurt myself trying to do all these new workout moves and just trying to up my game as an athlete (so funny that I’m calling myself an “athlete).

(watch video or read below):

I’ve been working-out since I was about 4 years old and working-out for me is like brushing my teeth —  but I would never actually call myself an “athlete” except that I’m still exhausted at the moment.

Anyways, I was trying to up my game – and I hurt myself.

Instead of acknowledging that I was hurt, I just tried to push on through because I thought I was being weak, I thought I was finding an excuse and I thought it wasn’t trying hard enough.

It got so bad – I hurt my lower back – that I couldn’t even sleep.  And so it started that Round-Robin thing – where you can’t sleep, so your body can’t heal itself, and you’re still in pain and you can’t sleep…

I mean it just kept going on and on and finally I had to call my doctor.

I hate doctors.

Actually, I don’t “hate” doctors but you know what I mean.  I had to call and we had a conversation about what I had to do and basically he said, “You need to stop doing any physical activity whatsoever.  I just want you to try to walk around the block if you can do that but no more working-out. You need to let your body heal.”

And I didn’t really answer him back at first because I was kind of stunned.  And then he said,  “Did you hear me?  I said you have to let your body heal!”  And he said it in kind of a “fatherly” way even though he’s younger than I am – but it’s been stuck in my head. Basically, my doctor had just yelled at me about not listening to my body.

So, I did what he told me to do. I did the icing, the Advil and I did very little “physicality” at all (my God I’m so tired I just had a crazy workout by the way).

But this isn’t about working-out.  That’s not why I’m doing this video. 

The reason why I’m doing this video is because I want to share this moment I had after leaving my trainer today and while I was in the car…

I think I don’t listen to myself when I’m in pain emotionally or mentally.  I have a feeling a lot of us do that. Instead of listening to ourselves and acknowledging that somebody hurt us, or that work was painful today, or that something didn’t workout.   I think a lot of us do what I do — which is just push it aside or ignore it – and just plowing on through anyway.  It’s so much easier to push things aside than it is to deal with them.

And what I realized with the whole “back” [pain] thing is this:   that when I can acknowledge that I’m in pain, when I can realize that it has nothing to do with weakness and it has nothing to do with not being a “strong” person, but has everything to do with actually being human  – that YOU can get hurt sometimes.  When you can acknowledge that you’re hurt, then you can go about finding the remedies:  to heal thyself, to help thyself, to feel better.

It’s just something that I realized driving back.  That I want to take away from the whole experience from the past 3 to 4 weeks of being in such pain and not being able to work-out.

I just wanted to share that with all of you.

Thank you again for stopping by.  I appreciate it so much.

Have a sweet day and I’ll be back again soon for sure!

Bye.

Carmen

Age Totally Matters

AGE TOTALLY MATTERS

podcast:

*As always, you can enjoy the podcast above, or the light transcript below – thanks for stopping by! *

It’s never too late to start a business, to dream, to write a book, to run a marathon… It’s never too late to start from where you are right now.  I don’t even understand why we think that.

Again, I’m really going to be heavy on this whole idea of our own personal journey and the pathways we choose to walk are just more and more information and more and more education of ourselves, right?  To be our best selves!

And so if at 50 or at 60 or at 70 – if  that’s when you’re ready to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do,  then that’s when you start!

I’m not trying to say age doesn’t matter.  I think it does!  But not a negative way.

I think it matters in a positive way.

I would not be able to do the things I’m doing right now if I didn’t have all of this experience and wisdom and “know how”.

I would never go back to my 20’s just try to do what I’m doing right now. There’s no way!  I just didn’t have all the stuff I needed:  the emotional growth and wisdom and I didn’t have the experience.

So yeah, if you want to start something today, don’t question it. If you were thinking about it that means you’re ready to start doing something. It means you’re in the process.  The fact that you’re questioning it IS part of the process of telling you – YOU SHOULD!

Have a sweet day. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll be back again soon.

Carmen

PS. Yes, yes, I have a podcast — check out the podcast page for more information on how to follow!

Definition of Success: A Different Vision

As always, enjoy the PodCast or the transcribed version below.

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I heard a motivational speaker on someone’s news feed this morning. They were talking about how – if you want to have success –  you have to leap.  You have to get rid of all this fear and just leap.

I was so frustrated.  I was so annoyed by it.  I immediately started writing.  Why is this bothering me so much?  Clearly understand what he’s trying to say and it’s not that I completely disagree —  I just have a different vision.

I also think it’s this weird concept that the only way you can find your true North or you can find “success” as he put it – is by somehow risking and possibly having loss.  To me, there’s something so negative about that.

I think it also comes from a place of experience for me. More times than not in my life I have leaped and many times I have landed on my feet and felt success, but many times I have to say I have leaped, and I have fallen (and I have fallen hard) and gotten hurt.  So, I’m not sure that’s the answer to success.

It’s probably good to define what success means though. So, clearly I think what he’s talking about is financial success.  I’m not talking about financial success – however, I think financial success and any kind of abundance in our life is all kind of the same thing.

I don’t put that much value in material goods but we do have basic needs. We also need to take care of our families and we also like to have the things we like to have — we all have a standard of life we wish to have.  So I’m not against financial success.  But I think when you pursue financial success as your only goal, you’re cheating yourself.

I say this because my experience working with so many ultra wealthy people and knowing so many (I guess) ultra poor people — the one thing I know for sure is that money does not make you happy.  And I know that’s a cliché, but that’s a true one.

If anything, I think wealthier people seem to be more miserable – because they had this idea that money would be able to solve all their woes.  But I know that being poor is also not any better.  So that’s all about financial and material-esque ideas.

I actually think the real purpose of success in life:  is learning how to walk through any situation you’re in.  I don’t think the point of life is to have as much material wealth as possible or to have as much stuff as possible – I actually believe that you can have all those things but what’s more important, is learning how to get through certain parts of our life and come out on the other side.

The first part of this is to think of life as a path – a journey. Again another visual cliché, but this is how I have always envisioned my life.  Walking along this pathway you’re going to encounter good times and bad times. And you’re going to encounter things that work and things that don’t work – and how you choose to go through those events in “our lives” is the ultimate meaning of success for me.

So yeah, I’m feeling a little down today but the way in which I choose to walk through it is: Do I dig the hole deeper? Or do I find a way to climb out of it and walk on through to the other side?  I always choose to climb out of it as quickly as possible.  And the more that you learn to deal with difficult things in your life in this manner the easier it is to get through things.

I also think we don’t put enough value in happy moments, in good times.  I think a lot of us have an expectation that life is always supposed to be good and in bliss — but that’s not true, and that’s the confusion with material wealth.  We think that people are always happy because they have everything they’ve ever wanted.  But actually, life isn’t about being continuously joyful and continuously happy.  If it was, you’d be in a mental institution – because no one can be continuously happy.  And the only way to really understand true happiness and true joy is to understand sadness and bad times.

So life to me is kind of this equilibrium where we experience all of these things. And the real true purpose is for us to learn how to walk on through each moment that comes to us and figure out how to get through it.

As time moves on and as I get older, and as I have more and more experience, I realize that even when bad times are happening to me, I find it easier to get through those than I have in the past.  With more time, comes some wisdom into how to deal with these things.

I’m also learning as I get older that I need to embrace the happy moments.  I need to really pay attention to those times when things are good.  And I think a lot of us kind of just expect life to always be good so we don’t really embrace happy times.  We’re kind-of like, “Oh yeah that was great…”  unless it’s something monumental — but even times that are content, even times that are just regular days that nothing happens, I’ve learned to really embrace and to really love and enjoy and find purpose in it.

So yeah, I don’t think that in order to have any amount of success you have to experience loss or be in a position of fear.  I think it is true that if you’re afraid to do something, that you may want to think about why you’re so afraid of it and figure out a way to walk on through.  But this idea of “leaping” and hoping you’ll fly and soar… it’s a possibility – and you could soar – that’s true.  But you could just as easily fail. How do you stand back up when you fall that hardHow do you get back up, dust yourself off and walk on through anyway?

That’s the trick.

And every time you learn that, you realize that things are not scary to try because you’ve already failed before because you’ve already been there before.  You know you can get yourself back up again and move on through.

Maybe there’s a few different concepts here that I’m talking about.  But I think it’s important to define what success means to you.  I think it’s also good to understand and visualize for yourself: what is your purpose in life?  And the third thing I’d like to leave you with is this idea:  how do you embrace the good times?  Do you take enough time to really enjoy when things are great?  And also, do you take enough time to embrace when things are just standard contentment. Just a regular day?  And if you don’t, then let’s start focusing on that!  I know that’s what helps me.

I know it helps me to focus my attention on the things that are good in my life and the things that I love to do like writing.  Today, I just did all this writing on this and now I’m sharing it with people and I already feel better even though this morning I woke up feeling a little bit blue or sad or whatever you want to call it.  I feel like I’ve gotten my energy back – and so again, how do we walk through those moments when we’re not feeling good – I think that’s the purpose of life.  I think that’s the true success that everybody seeks.  That’s the true wealth.  Everything else, is just icing!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Have a sweet day and I’ll be back again soon.

Carmen

Authenticity

Authenticity

*As always, enjoy the podcast or the kinda-sorta transcript below! Thanks for stopping by!*

I’m glad to be back and I feel like I need to have this conversation. So here it goes: the latest thing that is driving me nuts.

A few weeks ago, I went and spoke to a bunch of students in Boston – high school students and I also  spoke to 7th and 8th graders.  And we had this conversation about authenticity and what that meant.

When I landed back in Los Angeles, I realized how much it was bothering me – the people that I had to deal with after talking to these great wonderful students, it was so depressing.   

I came home and I had a meeting with this young man  (I don’t know if he’s young but he’s in his 30’s so he’s younger than me) but he’s very successful.  He sold his business.  He just moved here with his family and he’s going to be working in the film industry and he was looking for a bookkeeper. And I was happy to help him with that – possibly help him with that search.  But he kept boasting – he was doing this whole thing about how he makes about $300K to $500K a year –  how he sold his very successful business and so now he gets a certain amount of money every quarter from that –

So he’s trying to explain to me what’s involved with his need for bookkeeping and in the next breath, he’s saying things like, “…yeah you know but I’m so poor I live paycheck to paycheck.”

I actually said to him: “You’re not poor!” I mean, I said it in a tone I hope was nice — but I knew within 10 minutes of meeting with this man that I would never work for him, nor would I ever help him find somebody.   I could already tell he was just full of it – you know? 

So in one breath he was talking about how much money he makes and how successful he was and what he’s doing,  and in the next breath – because he doesn’t want to pay anything to have someone take care of his bills he’s trying to pretend that he doesn’t have enough money to pay someone a decent wage.  

So I said to him, “Look, if you can’t afford $1000 a month – that’s $12,000 a year –  then you shouldn’t hire me or you shouldn’t hire anybody that I would refer to you.”  And his whole face kind of just — I don’t even know the right word is — I just realized in that moment:

I don’t want to be around people who are not authentic, who not real. Who are not honest.  

Now, either he was bullshitting about how much money he made or he’s just a cheap human being.   Either one of those things are people I don’t want to be around.  I don’t want to be around someone is telling me to make a half a million dollars a year but they can’t afford to pay someone to help them with their money at a whole rocking $12K a year!!

And then it happened again.

A weel later I was talking to someone at a presentation I was at  – we were all just  milling around talking afterwards and everybody had left the conference room she was telling me about all the things that she does and that she’s kind of this big time entrepreneur. 

She has 5 businesses, so she’s so busy she’s always doing speaking events —  and I was kind of intrigued by learning more about her speaking events because it’s something that I’m starting to do a lot more as well.  I don’t have 5 businesses – I just kind of doing my small little thing – but I was intrigued.  I went to her LinkedIn and to all the websites and I thought, “Wow this woman is a powerhouse! She’s doing all this stuff!” 

Later that evening a mutual friend of ours said to me, “You know so and so is looking for work so if you have any work for her she kind of does business management like you and she’s also into branding and marketing and really needs a job because she got let go…”. 

I was stunned.  Not because she needed work,  or whatever,  I was stunned at this this kind of false narrative we’ve all fallen into that we’ve confused the line between branding and marketing ourselves so that we can try to get work –  so that we can be perceived a certain way and just straight up lying about who we are. 

It’s funny. Both of these people that I met –  within 5 minutes of talking to them –  I knew I would never work with these people.  I have no interest in being around them because I wasn’t getting the right vibe.

So finding out that she really wasn’t this booming entrepreneur person –  and that yes she has all these great websites and can probably do all these things, but that actually at the end of the day she’s just a regular person trying to get a job too, just trying to get work. 

I starting thinking about authenticity and I started thinking about why we’re skewing the line — and all this stuff about branding and marketing is kind of the thing you do right now. Everybody has a website.  Everybody brands. And I think we’ve confused branding with actually crossing that line where we lie to try to get work.  It’s grey line.  I’m not sure what the answer is to tell you the truth.

And then there’s social media where we’re always presenting our best selves. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with presenting the best of who we can be –  we do it every day for goodness sake I mean I I’ve been coloring my hair for like 15 years because I saw like 1 grey hair 15 years ago and freaked out!  I want to present myself in the best possible way I can.  We do it all the time.  Animals do it as well.  It’s the way in which we attract people in our lives so there’s nothing wrong with that.  I mean that’s healthy, that’s part of all of our socialization.  But when we skew that, when we’ve gone a little bit beyond presenting our best selves – to being inauthentic –  I think that’s where the line is or that’s where we’ve skewed those two things. 

But it is something that has been bothering me and I’ve been dealing with it for the past couple weeks. I keep meeting people that I just literally want to smack upside the head (not literally ’cause I would never physically ever hit or hurt someone) but you know — in my head I totally slapped him ‘upside-the-head as I was sitting across the table – and then that woman —  I just felt really bad for her.  I just wanted to hug her actually! 

So, I just wanted to share this idea of being your authentic self.

And here’s what I told the kids because is such a great conversation:

When you can figure out who you really are, presenting yourself is actually pretty easy.  Branding who you really are is actually not that hard.   I mean you can get some help from other people to help you with the coloring or the logos or whatever all that is,  but if you’re not sure of who you are —  and in the same respects with companies —  if you are not sure what your company does or what your company is supposed to be,  and all you’re doing is “branding” just a bunch of  bullshit so you can say this is all the stuff I kind of sorted do but I really do absolutely nothing…  If you don’t know who you are, you’re never going to come across the way you think you’re going to come across. 

So knowing your company, understanding what your product is, and even in our own individual selves —  Knowing who I am –  is what makes me so authentic!  Not lying about it and not trying to be more than what I am. 

I am so sick and tired of inauthentic people. And I don’t want to be around them. And I don’t want to work for people who are inauthentic.  And I don’t want to associate myself with people who are fake (and have like 15 companies but they’re actually looking for work doing anything that they can find that will pay their bills).   

Okay. So, thanks for stopping by.  Have a sweet day. 

Carmen

The Picture Is Vague

Life feels like a 5,000-piece puzzle some days.  The full image is vague at best with only random sections partially filled in. We’ve never seen the full picture and we don’t know what it’s supposed to look like, but we have to put it together anyways. There are thousands of pieces still needing to be connected.  We can see there might be some likeness coming to fruition, maybe a tree, the sun, dark clouds – is that a house over there?  But nothing concrete, not just yet.

With both frustration and glee and every feeling in-between, we trudge along anyways, excited by the highs of figuring out a 218-piece part in the top-right-middle that finally looks like something solid.  We get easily saddened by the lows of realizing a piece we once thought fit perfectly, never actually fit at all.  We kick ourselves for having wasted so much time on that one part. How did we not see it was the wrong piece for so long?

But when all the pieces fit and a small portion of the picture emerges, the joy is almost unbearable.  When a baby is born, when you fall in love, when you accomplish a long fought after goal – in those moments, figuring out the puzzle pieces of life seem well worth the effort.

Maybe when we began this journey, if we were lucky, we started out with a corner piece handed to us by our parents and mentors. Then, for most of us, our daily adventure (or torture depending on your perspective) is to figure out where the rest of the pieces are and how they all fit – if they fit.  Maybe connecting all the puzzle pieces of our lives is exactly the journey we’re all on.

Is life just a matter of figuring out the full picture of a 5,000-piece puzzle?

Maybe.

Just something I was thinking about today.

 

A Million Dollar “Gift”

I was just on the phone with my good friend “John” (we’ll just call him that for this post). I was complaining, venting about how hard life can be at times and he asked me simply, without hesitation:  “If a million dollars landed on your doorstep, what would you do?”

We’ve all had this dream at one point or another, right?  The conversation is usually with one of my girlfriends as we finish off our typical weekly catch up call where they’ve complained about their husband or kids (or both) and I’ve complained about work, a date or my latest frustration, my neighbors. And as we finish off our chit-chat we remind each other to get our lotto tickets because “…you never know…” and “…hey, you can’t win if you don’t play.”  (That last one is my favorite).  But yeah, we’ve all had that dream, Am’I’Right?

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But today was a different.  This friend of mine is actually wealthy.  He’s in a position to drop bank and not think twice about it. I’m not sure if he’s the “million dollar” kind of bank or not, but he has “bank dropping” abilities nonetheless.  So interestingly the question sounded different coming from him.  It felt like a real question. I hesitated. I had no quick witted funny-isms, no:  “Gurl, we’d be killing it on a sandy beach somewhere watching some half – naked man serving us drinks” – no:  “Gurl first stop, Rodeo!” (It’s a Pretty Women thing).  I had nothing. I was stunned. Into silence. Rare.

Truth is, no one “needs” a million dollars especially if they didn’t earn it.  I calculated that if I could make $200K a year for the next 50 years, I’d be tre cool with that “tiny” amount (she said sarcastically)!  Interestingly enough $200K for 50 years is only $10 Million dollars. I say “only” because those lottery grabs are always so much more than that.  Truly, no one needs that much unearned money EVER!  Even the ultra-wealthy like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates give their excess money away because at some point it just makes sense to share it.  Seriously, how many homes, cars and shoes does one person need?  No, for real?

I honestly don’t need a million dollars dropped on my doorstep. But when I heard Donald Trump say:

“…it has not been easy for me and you know I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars. I came into Manhattan and I had to pay him back, I had to pay him back with interest…”.  

I lost my dang-on mind! Even as I write that quote I cringe. There’s an actual sensation in my chest that feels like somethings burrowing deep into my being as I hear it, read it, write it. It bothers me so much.  I know I’m not alone in this.  But, I have finally figured out why.

People think they want loads of money.  People think they need lots of money.  A lot of dumb people think money can buy them happiness (yeah, my apologies for using the word “dumb” here but it really is dumb to think money can buy you happiness).  Money can provide choices. But choices are abundant even when you’re poor.  So, having money can sometimes give you too many choices and become a burden and lead you down the wrong path (Uhem, “Elephant” man bones, Michael Jackson…Google it. An extreme example, but you get the point).

What people actually want in life is security.  That’s a very different thing than loads of money but people confuse it all the time. It’s why I hate that quote from Donald Trump so much.  He doesn’t understand the security he has….

Let me explain.

Money is a vehicle that allows for security, but make no mistake about it – security is a thing, and it hasn’t always been about about money for most of us.

I’ve wanted security my entire life.  And security comes in different forms throughout our lives.  You can see the joy in children who have parents – they may have very little money-wise or a lot of money, but if a young child has love, money is generally not even a thing.  It’s not even part of the conversation.  Think about it this way:  do you remember the first time when you realized you were poor?  Or, do you remember the first time you noticed you were rich? Do you remember whenever you found out that there was a status associated with how much money your family had or didn’t have?  Before that time, all you knew was (hopefully) the joy and happiness of being a child.

I remembered when I fully understood we didn’t have money. It was when my mama bought me boots.  I wanted to march in parades. I was part of an organization that marched in a lot of local events and I didn’t have the right real boots to wear. And one day she used the money that should have been used to pay for heat to buy me the boots I had wanted so badly and for so long.  She traded a utility bill payment to give her little girl a Christmas gift Santa had forgotten to give her.  We went without heat in the middle of winter.  And yet, despite our actual poverty, I always felt secure as a little kid. I knew even then, mama would take care of me, would take care of everything. But seeing her trade heat for a gift, was a realization I hadn’t comprehended fully till that moment. Yeah, we were poor.

As we get older that sense of security becomes our own responsibility. If you’re lucky, you’ve made some choices that maybe provided for some shared responsibility with a husband or wife – or maybe you’ve been able to get a great job with a 401K and good benefits. Maybe you’ve saved a bit, made good investments, and have a cushion of some sort. But see, security now becomes about how much money you have in the bank – and less about your mom or your dad providing that basic sense of safety.  But that oblivious sense of security – that blanket kind of comfort, that sense of well-being you had as a child that was all encompassing and about your safety, security and nurturing, is now all on you. And a lot of it is about how much money you have.  If you don’t have tons of money, then you do what you can to give your family and friends that sense of security and safety anyways.  And even if everyone else believes you’re doing okay, maybe the fact is, you live in that place where fulfilling your personal dreams and ambitions take a back seat to making money every day for your family or just to make ends meet. Taking care of your basic needs is priority numero uno.

Truth is, most people live paycheck to paycheck. There’s not a lot of time for being “creative” or “starting a business” when the fundamentals of living haven’t been met.  A lot of real honest hard-working people, who have done everything right don’t have much more than a couple of months or so savings to make it through if they lose their job (or, if they work for the government and there’s a shutdown – uhem).  It’s been estimated that 40% of people don’t have enough for a $400 emergency.  Rack it up to a $500 emergency and I bet it’s even more people! Fact is, you can make all the right choices in life and still lose everything because financial security is elusive to most regular folk.  It’s hard to dig yourself out of whatever hole you may be in trying to make a better life for yourself , your family (school loans, medical debt, etc.) and still save such an abundance of money (or credit) that you can live through any other financial emergency crisis that may occur AND fulfill some life long dream. I love that line about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”. I always counter with, “It’s much easier when you’re born with boots that have them bootstraps to pull on. I’m still walking around barefoot trying to find my way into the damn boot store.”

When someone like Donald Trump talks about it being so hard for him – maybe it was. I mean, everything is relative I do suppose so maybe for HIM it was difficult.  His world is so different from mine, so maybe it was hard for him to deal with receiving such a gift from his father. What angers me about the statement is his inability to understand how insulting it is to those of us who would give anything to have half the advantages he’s had in his life AND get an offer of any kind of loan or gift to make our dreams come true.

The security aspect is so important.  It’s the part that people of such wealth and privilege like Donald Trump don’t understand.  If I had the security of knowing my rent would be paid, my student loans would be paid, my taxes would be paid, my gas bill would be paid, my electricity bill would be paid, my health insurance would be paid, my car payment would be paid, my auto insurance would be paid, my phone bill would be paid, my AAA membership would be paid, my gym membership would be paid, my groceries would be paid, my dental bill – paid, my eye doctor – paid, contributions to a retirement plan or knowing that I would be taken care of in my old age… If I knew all those things – that all those basic necessities would be paid regularly and on time and I didn’t have to ever worry about them, then yes, I could see how being laden with a million-dollar loan might feel a little difficult.

You see, because if all those basic necessities were paid and I was given a ton of money on top of all of that, I’d actually have to use that money to do something amazing and brilliant and I’d have an enormous amount of pressure to succeed.  Maybe that’d be scary.  To have no excuses? To have no worries of how to pay the rent?  To not be able to bitch and moan about how hard life is to make ends meet?  Maybe, that’d be scary.   But hell, I’d take that challenge every day of the week and twice on Sundays. I’m pretty sure most of my friends reading this post, would too. Wow, how to succeed when all you have is a million dollars and your dream.  Talk about First World Problems.  It took me ten years to complete and publish my first book. You know why? It wasn’t because I write slow.  It wasn’t because it was a complicated idea or I didn’t have a plan – NO. I wrote the book fairly quickly.  But I had to worry about all the other priorities that came first. And no, I didn’t have extra money readily available for an editor, for a book cover “designer” and blah, blah, blah. Basically, it took me ten years to write my first book because I had to do things like pay the rent.

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I’m not saying it’d be easy, but yeah, go ahead Universe, bring it! I dare you.

I don’t “need” a million dollars to fall into my lap. But if it did, I’d pay all my bills for a year, and then go from there fulfilling the next steps of my dream. Because what I really want in life, what we all need in life, is a sense of security. A solid foundation to start from.  Then, on top of that, I’d take the opportunity to soar. That wouldn’t scare me at all. And I promise, at the very least, I’d  pay it back…with interest.

 

xo,

Carmen

 

Your Resolutions From Me

Yup, you read that right. I wrote a 2019 wish list for YOU! You’re welcome.  😉

  • May you listen to more music on a regular basis and stop texting, especially while driving.bitmoji-20190101063153
  • May you meet your friends in person, talk to them on the phone, enjoy the reality of life instead of this “cyber” version we’ve all become addicted too.
  • May you read more books and take a journey anywhere that doesn’t involve a computer screen. bitmoji-20190101065859
  • May you stop having your entire life and relationships revolve around politics and Trump in general. Stop it!bitmoji-20190101065032
  • May you stop being so obsessed with your looks, your weight, your “outer” God-given shell and learn how beautiful you really are. This is how I see YOU. bitmoji-20190101080924
  • May you realize that life is both hard and then some days even harder – for EVERYONE. You’re not the only one having a tough time – walk on through it. We’re all over here, waiting for you, needing you too. bitmoji-20190101065401
  • May you be more generous with your time, your money, your love. Being selfish, cheap and self-absorbed is easy (and so unattractive).
  • May you realize that it’s not always about forgiveness, but about acceptance. Sometimes things are just the way they are – and that’s okay.bitmoji-20190101080058
  • May you celebrate your birthday so brilliantly understanding that this is the day YOU were gifted to the world and YES, we should celebrate that ALL. DAY. LONG. You matter!bitmoji-20190101065455
  • May you be considerate of others – while driving, while walking, while at the grocery store…you know, everywhere! Kindness stems from being considerate.
  • May you dance a lot more often and stop being worried that you’re doing it right. (If you’re dancing at all, you’re doing it right!).bitmoji-20190101065543
  • May you take care of your health – mental and physical. No excuses! bitmoji-20190101075845
  • May you reach out to others instead of sitting at home wondering why no one is reaching out to you. bitmoji-20190101080015
  • May you stop swearing – it’s the easy way out (I’m talking to you Arianna Grande, Adam Levine, Cardi B. and others… uhem, and yes to myself). bitmoji-20190101063056
  • May you have more people in your life who are not like you!  Racially, religiously, culturally, sexual orientation, etc. Let’s broaden that circle people! We’re all better for knowing and accepting difference! bitmoji-20190101075909
  • May you go out of your way and hug someone you’d never imagine hugging before, just because they need it (and so don’t you!). bitmoji-20190101065623
  • May you find the time to create art in whatever way it manifests in the unique being that is YOU!bitmoji-20190101080601
  • May you find that part of you that is warm and fuzzy and let that shine instead of that yukky part that surfaces in all of us way too often.bitmoji-20190101063338
  • May you break out of your comfort zone and learn what it feels like to really BE!
  • May you understand what true beauty is and that it has nothing to do with looks. bitmoji-20190101063532
  • May you love fiercely, cry with joy and see all the good in the world. bitmoji-20190101065827
  • May your 2019 be a monumental and beautiful year!bitmoji-20190101062605

Don’t let me down people!  I promise to do my very best also!

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