Monday, September 05, 2011

Moving Sale

Candid Karina has moved here.

I do hope you'll come visit me there! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Warrior Girl

Ever since I discovered Wonder Woman as a little girl, I’ve wanted to be a superhero.  Then, in high school and college, I became a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, and I totally wanted to be that girl.  The one who can kick serious butt while wearing stiletto boots and a skirt.

But there was one little problem to this desire.

I was lazy.

As a little girl, I did gymnastics, and even ran track for a few years.  But once puberty hit, I became way more interested in boys and fashion then I ever would be in sports and sweating.

In high school I was one of the girls who opted to “walk around the track” during gym class to avoid breaking a sweat (or God forbid a nail) during volleyball.  I only owned a pair of sneakers because it was required for said gym class.  I was not a jock.

I really wanted to be strong, fast, a superhero, but I had no desire to actually, physically, do anything strenuous.

Then, in the last few years, I started working out more, and then running, and then, suddenly, in this last year, everything changed.

And on June 28th of this year, I did something that my inner “stiletto wearing, make-up loving, boy crazy” girlie girl would have told you was ABSOLUTELY NOT EVER going to happen.

I ran the Warrior Dash.

What is the Warrior Dash you ask?  It is a 3 mile “run” through the woods, over obstacles such as 20 foot walls and rope ladders, ending in a mud pit of epic proportions.  Go here for a better idea (including a video of the insanity).

Yeah…I did that!  And I loved every muddy moment of it.  It was taxing, and challenging and exhausting.

It poured that morning, so I was wet, and sweaty, and muddy and gross.

I had bruises and cuts all over.

I have never been so dirty in my entire life.

I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.

Pushing beyond the limits I set for myself years ago felt amazing.  I felt like a butterfly finally pushing out of that cocoon.  There was this feeling of re-birth.  The new me emerging, muddy, and sore, and laughing.

I am an athlete, and I have the medal and the bruises to prove it.

I am Warrior Girl.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shall We Dance?

I am getting pretty tired of this song and dance.

I promise you (I promise me) that I’m going to blog more often, I get you (I get me) all excited that THIS will be the time when I will once again return to my regular blogging habits.

For a time, all seems well, I’m here, I’m present, I’m blogging.

And then…it all falls apart again.

I miss a day. I miss a week. And suddenly I’ve missed a whole month.

The doubts creep in, the judgments, the accusations…

Do I even have a right to call myself a blogger anymore? Should I just throw in the towel? Is there a point to any of this anyway?

But like a dysfunctional relationship, I come back, again and again…unable to break away.

Unlike one of those relationships, however, there is no downside to blogging…even sporadically.

Truth is, whether I’m writing daily, weekly, or even monthly…I’m writing.

Whether anyone is even reading is no longer the point anyway.

Like most things in my life nowadays, I’m doing this for me.

I have learned that if I do things for me, without any expectations of praise or recognition, without feeling the need to be validated by the outside world…then I’m doing something right.

So, here we go again, another tango, another dance, another try at this…

How long will the music last this time?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Close To Home

First of all…yes, yes, I know, I failed miserably at the “posting every day in June” challenge…now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on. ;-)

I watch a lot of television, and I have always been a fan of crime procedurals, police shows, and the like. I don’t know if this is because I wanted to be a lawyer at one point in my life (grateful now I didn’t choose that path after all), or simply because most of the stuff that happens on those shows is really like an alternate reality to me. Sort of like my vampire shows. Those things don’t happen, not really, in my life.

Unlike my vampire shows, I realize that the crime stuff is all too real for many people, but I am blessed to not be faced with those harsh realities on a daily basis.

I mean, there is plenty of crime and devastation in the city where I live (trust me, we are far from a Utopia here), but I’m removed from it. And in general, I don’t really even watch the news or read the paper. This is a topic for another day, but I’m a bit of an emotional sponge, and watching the news always ends with me in tears, aching for the world we live in.

Now and again, however, something hits so close to home, that it is impossible to avoid. And last night, it couldn’t have gotten any closer to home…literally.

I came home to find out my upstairs neighbor had shot and killed himself earlier this week.


Here’s the thing, it didn’t exactly come as a total shock. The man was obviously suffering from a deep depression and we all knew it. He’d lost his job, he was always holed up in his condo, and recently, he was foreclosed on, his unit was sold, and he wouldn’t open the door to the new owner. Last year around this time his family sent the police over to do a wellness check on him. We found out then that he was estranged from said family. The few times I saw him recently, he’d put on a large amount of weight, and lost most of his hair. He had aged noticeably. He was only in his early 40’s. He had, quite obviously, given up.

This neighbor gave me grief for years with the parking situation, and I spent the better time of the first 6 years of living there disliking him. But recently, my tune had changed. As much as I was still annoyed that he never moved his car ONCE this entire winter, leaving me without a parking space due to the tremendous amounts of snow we got, I realized that something was obviously wrong. So I began to pray for him whenever I’d get frustrated. I prayed he would get the help he so obviously needed. I’m sad to say he obviously didn’t.

The scary part of it all is that looking back on it now, talking to my other neighbors last night, I realized…I actually heard the gunshot earlier this week. I shudder at the thought, but I remember sitting up on my couch and going “what the hell was that?” And then, when I heard nothing else, I went back to watching television.

My heart breaks for his family, and obviously for him. How hopeless must he have felt…how I wish I could have done something to help.

But all I could and all I can do is pray…it still seems inconceivable…and far too close to home.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

(Yes, I realize I missed yet another day yesterday…eh, whatever…the goal was to revive this little blog of mine, and I’m posting almost every day…that’s enough for me).  Moving on. ;-)

I’m the sort of person who projects an air of confidence to the outside world.  I’m pretty sure that the average person meeting me would think me to be strong, confident, independent and comfortable in my own skin.  In fact, if you ask most of my friends, they will likely describe me the same way.  I know this, because I’ve been told often that this is how people see me.

And some days, this is, in fact, exactly who I am.

However, the truth lies deeper than that.  Behind that confident demeanor is a shy little girl, mercilessly teased and bullied in junior high, practically invisible in high school, and still, daily, completely unsure of herself.

I am a social butterfly, but am, in truth, painfully shy.  I am the life of the party, but much prefer the position of the wallflower, people watching, taking it all in.  I walk with my head held high, but whenever I walk in a room and heads turn my way, my immediate reaction is “are they laughing at me?”

I could go into a tirade of the effects of bullying, and how it has affected me into adulthood here…but this is not what this post is about.  I could also, just as easily, launch into a speech about the detriment of the media, specifically the “beauty” industry, and how it’s made me (along with millions of other women) feel less than.  But again, not where I’m going with this.

No, this post is about growth.

It is about the change taking place within me as I get older.

And I'm not talking about external change.  I'm not talking about my weight loss.  I'm not talking about my successes as a new runner, or about my improved level of physical fitness.  I'm not talking the shape of my abs, the texture of my hair, or the quality of my skin.  I'm not even talking about the more positive feelings I get when I see a photo of myself, or catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I'm talking about internal changes.  I'm talking about the fact that there are days I realize I haven't looked in a mirror at all since I left the house.  I'm talking about the fact that I can walk in a room so much more often and not care IF they are in fact talking about me.  I'm talking about the fact that being comfortable in my own skin now means that it really isn't so much about how I look as it is about how I feel.

Don't get me wrong, the insecure, and sometimes vain girl still lives inside me, and is present way more than I would like her to be.

But every day I'm more and more able to live by this quote which has been my email signature line for years now:

"What you think of me, is none of my business" - Terry Cole-Whitaker