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Thursday, February 28, 2013

When Apples & Blackberries Were Just Fruit!


 
It happened yesterday. The rare opportunity occurred where I had time to hit one of my favorite trails in Kennesaw Mountain before I picked up my son from 'school' *cough, daycare* ( don't you love when us Moms call it school when we all know what it REALLY is....anywho, another post, another day). I had about 30 minutes to get in a quick and vigorous workout before I picked up the Lil' Fella and it was all I needed. I knew exactly which trail to run to get the most bang out of my workout (code for my thighs would be on fire). Aside from the obvious benefits of exercise, I needed to escape my day. I was feeling over stimulated by emails, facebook, pinterest, work, just connectivity in general. .


 I had my Iphone in hand and headphones ready to work it out. I began walking towards the trail and a Miranda Lambert song came blazing on. I was a second away from imagining a steamy country music video starring yours truly that involved vintage trucks, cowboy boots and a gun. Two seconds later the phone rings...I hit ignore. It dawned on me. I wasn’t taking the chance to disconnect literally.I should've left the phone in the car. I should be enjoying this scrumptious silence, looking at the beauty of the mountain, enjoying the sounds of the birds, the wind and even squirrels (those these days I detest those rats with cuter outfits). I immediately turned my phone off, shoved it in my pocket and continued on my hike. I realize this is what I was craving. This is what I need MORE of in my life. When I can walk in silence I have my best ideas. I have clarity. There is no outside noise or influence other than those of nature and fellow trail climbers.
It wasn't about the workout. although I had just thrown down on some Girl Scout cookies. I needed to disconnect in order to reconnect...with myself. This is when the idea hit me. What would happen if I could disconnect for a long period of time. Not just a 10 day 'fast' from Facebook but like a YEAR. No more social networking, no more pinning of things, no more reading of blogs, no more Internet or texting or emailing.  There would be OBVIOUS challenges and it may not be realistic; unless you live in a remote village or under a rock.  But wouldn't it be nice?

Don’t misunderstand. Technology is an amazing thing and I'd say I'm a champion and avid user.. Yelp tells me where to eat, Skype let's my parents and in-laws see my kid, I can find a new fitness class or my way to the mall.  I love shopping online, emailing,  and g-chatting with friends. I love reading blogs and pinning DIY projects I’ll never complete. It’s all wonderful. But somewhere along the way I have missed out on myself. I get comfortable. I  text friends rather than call them. I read blogs and am constantly bombarded with things I should WANT (fashion, beauty products, trends).. It’s all become a little too much for me to handle. And what am I teaching my son about communicating? I remember the 'good ol' days' when you'd call a friend after school and talk for hours. Talking! Now, we text..heck, some days I text my Mom instead of calling.
 I feel like I’m shorting myself and maybe those around me.  What would happen if I didn’t look at those things and just did what I wanted, bought what I felt I needed instead of what someone else thinks I should have. What if I picked up the phone to call a friend, or wrote them a letter instead of an email. Could I find a deeper level of happiness if I just went back to the basics? Why do I need to spend time on Facebook reading updates of people I haven’t seen in over 20 years or for that matter some that I don't even know? Does this bring any sort of value to my life or am I just falling victim to the "Time Suck" that is social networking?  If I want to reconnect with someone from my past, I should call them or send them a letter to see what is happening.

 I want to try….I want to disconnect so that I can reconnect in really meaningful ways. I think it would be exciting to see what would happen.

Do you think you could do it? What do you think you'd get from it? How would you set ground rules?
I’ll have to sit on this one for a while. Until then, gotta run…I need to update my Facebook status and get started on that DIY project I pinned last night.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Confessions of a Former Popstar Wannabe!






We were all sitting around in my Mama and Papa’s living room. My Papa was explaining a particular route he takes to get to Panama City (he is the human equivalent to a GPS system. He laughs in the face of Google maps. Actually, he probably has no idea what Google maps is… but if you're in southern alabama and lost with little cell service, give him a call. He's got you!) My brother was out on the front screened in porch likely reading his Nintendo Power magazine and trying to defeat Zelda....again. My little sister was quietly sitting on my Mom’s lap while the adults continued conversing.  It was the perfect time for me to sneak away to the back guest room where my brother and I slept when visiting my grandparents down South.

I grabbed my Walkman and headphones, went into the room and closed the door. This room had a full length mirror on the back of the door, and I didn’t have one of these at our house so my level of excitement instantly sky-rocketed. It was the perfect spot.  I delicately took my grandparents hanging clothes off the back door and laid them on one of the twin beds. I put on some lip smackers, placed my headphones on my ears, and flipped my tape over to side B.  I grabbed my brush, closed my eyes, turned up the volume and pressed play. 











The stage goes dark. The fans are screaming and cheering, some are even crying with excitement.  It reminds me of the fans you used to see faint when Michael Jackson enters the room or gives autographs. All of a sudden a single pale blue light focuses on center stage and the music begins. I am rising up from a secret door under the stage and the fans are LOSING their minds. I’m wearing my white leather jacket with the blue fringe hanging from the arms that I got for Christmas.  I begin…” I get lost…in your eyes…and I feeeeeel sooo hypnotized…”  I feel alive, picturing my well thought out choreography, the band members swaying and looking at me with awe. I catch a glimpse of some friends who came out to see the show. I give them a wave to acknowledge them and I know they’ll go back to school and brag about this encounter for years to come.  I shake someone’s hand in the front row and they hold onto me as long as possible. I am exactly where I am meant to be.  I am the biggest pop star of my generation.

A knock on the door. “Knock, knock” I don’t hear anything. My music is cranked up full tilt and I’m about to climax at the end of the song, "Oh I'll be FOUND...when I am looooost....."  The knocking gets noticeably louder (KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK) and I’m jolted. “Amanda? AMANDA!? What are you doing honey?”  It’s my Mom…lights fade to black.

I look at myself in the full length mirror, take my headphones off and open the door.  Reality strikes. I’m still just a normal 9 year old hanging out with her family on vacation.

 
 I spent hours doing this as a young girl, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I still do it occasionally  *cough, all the time*(when my son and husband aren’t home. Okay, an hour ago.). I was the ultimate hair brush singer.  My music selections have evolved over the years naturally; Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Janet, Paula, a little Britt,  an awkward TLC phase, Pink, No Doubt, etc...At the time I had belief that I was destined for great things. I will become a famous singer. I had what it takes. I was always a good dancer and a performer. I had the ability to memorize lyrics or dance moves from a music video after seeing it twice on MTV.. (Do you still remember the moves to "If" by Janet because I do).  I had personality and just know I could have rocked a TV interview with Dick Clark or Carson Day if I had to. I didn’t get scared or nervous in front of a crowd. I just didn’t have the tools to make it happen. Or maybe I was afraid to try.  Or maybe I actually sucked. I’m not sure.

This was before shows like American Idol existed. Star Search was my beacon of hope but most of those kids were from Hollywood or had stage moms.  I lived in a fairly small town in Illinois and the closest my parents came to being stage parents was taking me to my dance recitals, attending every showchoir competition, or coming to see me in a musical every night that it played. They win the role of best supportive parents flawlessly. Besides, my Mom and Dad would probably just think it’s cute if I told them what I REALLY wanted to be when I grew up.

 

I was lost somewhere between fantasy and reality and had a hard time differentiating the two. It has taken me years to figure this out and perhaps therapy would have been a viable option and still could I suppose. I guess blogging will have to do.   I was very similar to Roxy Hart (ala Renee Zellwegger in "Chicago") in the sense that every opportunity or daydream evolved into me performing. I'd zone out and just like that I could perfectly visualize it.  If I was at a concert I could actually see myself up on that stage taking Paula's place and just crushing it. I could be walking down the crowded streets of a city listening to my music and envision myself in a music video.

I was CONVINCED I  should have been on Kids Incorporated or at least the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse…”The Party” was missing the 6th member and they didnt even know it (who remembers them?? Allow me...)

 You haven't heard of me have you? Exactly! These days I'm a Mom, a Wife, and an ufulfilled employee just trying to figure herself out. I've reached a point in my life where I am ready to take control of who I really am (figure out who that is), embrace my flaws, laugh at my past and determine my future. I'm Wonderfully Lost and hope you join me on this ride.....