The language you don’t speak


you stare at me with cold eyes

time freezes and time flies

looking through me like I were glass

I clench my fingers hoping time will pass

you don’t always speak, but your silence says all

your not impressed, perhaps even appalled.

yet, here I stand before your eyes

I do exist and you don’t know why

for I can never be who you think you are

but I don’t want to be you, I have my own bar.

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Not sure where these thoughts came from or really who they are directed to. Nonetheless, this is where my train of thought went when I saw the “language” prompt.

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The superhero was me


When I was little, I didn’t need superheroes stories to inspire me. None of them fit my superhero image. So, I created my own superheroes…and they were me.

Of course, I thought no one would catch on that I was the girl in the stories. I am sure I had my writing teacher fooled, very fooled. Just because the girl in my books sounded like me and looked like me, it could not have been me. I mean, I didn’t have a flying horse or telekinesis. And I certainly did not have those large awkward hands like in the book! Sure, my house was yellow, but it certainly was not the three-story estate I illustrated in my story, The Horse Star. Just look at these pages I created back in elementary school. You will see, there is no way this girl could have been me, been inspired by me or had anything close to do with me. (That’s my story and I am sticking too it.)

In The Horse Star, I, I mean ‘Gail’ sees a flying horse and starts to tell her parents, but then decides they may not believe her and could make her go “see nice doctors.” Blah ha ha. Clearly, I, I mean ‘Gail’ was worried about some perception, and afraid of doctors.

Regardless, ‘Gail’ finds and befriends a superpower horse. I mean what young girl wouldn’t?

In my next book, The Power, I write about another girl, ‘Jenny’, who has telekinesis. The fact that ‘Jenny’ was a blonde girl who only had a couple of friends, was concerned about being considered weird or had a mother who sounded strangely like mine are all ironic coincidences of course. The pages are filled with odd and stilted dialogue, spelling errors and poor grammar. (I was in elementary school though, so I hope my young eager self will not be judged to harshly.) But  the main story line is that ‘Jenny’ has a super power and hides it from everyone out of fear.

I wrote these stories back in 4th grade (and fortunately, my mother kept them for me). And looking back, I think, these are some pretty heavy topics for my young mind back then.

I remember taking the two books to a young author’s convention and meeting a real-life, published author. I wish I could remember their name but I remember sitting with them and felt like I was talking to an actual superhero. I remember they told me I had potential and to keep writing.

I did and I didn’t keep writing though. I wrote for school and then for work, but I never found time to really write for me. Life demands always got in the way. In the past few years though, I have started blogging and writing.I needed to see if that little author was still there.

As a matter of fact, in November of last year, I wrote about how this little writer who dreamt of ponies and superpowers was coming back to life. And just this week, I came across the actual books in a box, so I thought I would share the images with you as a follow up.

As I travel down this path of rediscovery, I see that this little girl had big dreams, but she was insecure and scared of pursuing them. She thought the world would not believe in her or accept her. So, she hid her talents (and flying pony, naturally). The only way she could believe in herself was to make herself more than she already was, which is what Michelle W. said in The Daily Post, Superhero. 

“When we’re able to associate with a hero, especially as children, it helps us to believe that we could also be this better, nobler, more powerful version of ourselves.”

Decades later, I know that ‘Jenny’ and ‘Gail’ were really me. (As I am sure my teacher and you followers already did too.) I just wish I could go back and tell that younger me: keep writing and don’t hide who you are. Do you. Be you. And don’t ever think you are not enough, because you were, are and will be.

I can’t travel back in time or change the past though. But that’s ok, because that little superhero girl comes to visit from time to time and she assures me: everything will be just fine.

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The Daily Post ~ Superhero

Everybody Lies


Everyone lies. Everyone. If you say you don’t, than you are already lying. So just stop denying it. You are a liar like the rest of us. The question is though, what is your intention when you lie, and how often do you do it? To me, intention and frequency separates the lowlife liars from the normal honorable people.

We learn how to lie from our parents. From birth, they deceive us. They fill our minds with the magic of Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Oh, and don’t forget that you were a precious gift from the Stork who delivers babies too. (If I just ruined some magic for you or made you realize that your parents did indeed have sex to conceive you…I am so sorry, but the truth eventually always comes out.)

As we grow up, our parents tell us we are capable of doing anything we want. When in reality, we do not have the physical height for that basketball career we dream of. They promise us that those spankings and shots will hurt them more than it hurts us. Yet, no hands or needles touched them over the years. They look us straight in the face and claim they cannot find that the amazing movie we like to watch 18 times before lunch is missing and that they have no idea where it could be. Suspiciously, later, we find that movie behind the couch in the pages of their magazine, and they were not nearly as excited at the discovery as we were. They tell us if we touch our privates too much, they will fall off. If that were true, just imagine how many self-made eunuchs there would have been in high school after puberty!

I could go on, but you get the point. As parents, we lie to protect our kids, give them confidence and frankly, to keep ourselves sane because if we watch that Barney episode one more time, we just may lose our ever-loving minds. I get that and can respect it.

I can even appreciate the lies we tell to other adults at times. Again, these are lies with good intention though. For example, you lied to your girlfriend/wife and told her that her meatloaf was great. But, you really thought it was equivalent to what shoe leather may taste like. You agree with an acquaintance who claims their baby is the most beautiful child. However, when you look at the unfortunate lad, you wonder if you have ever seen an ugly baby and then you realize, you just did. You concoct some story about traffic to explain your tardiness to a party when really, your spouse was having a wardrobe malfunction of epic proportions and you had the forethought to not mention the truth as it might be embarrassing to your spouse…and maybe not so good for your health. To me, these are all acceptable forms of lies. That is hard for me to accept at first though since I loath lies. However, these lies help others, and that is noble and a form of storytelling, according to Daniel Wallace (The Kings and Queens of Roam). “A storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself.”

The latter is the type of liar I cannot stand. Their intention is what makes them ugly. They lie to cheat the system, to cover up their tainted tracks or to claim unearned accolades. Their deceit builds upon itself and eventually, some even start to believe their own fantasies. I’ve known several liars in my life. From childhood to work to loved ones, I have witnessed some tales in my time. I have heard people lie about major illnesses to get sympathy or get out of a physical task. Others have spent more time lying about work they claimed to have finish, when it would have taken less time to just do the work. Others have fashioned audacious legends about their accomplishments to appear more grand and important. Sadly, who and what they were then, was impressive enough. I’ve heard of countless stories where spouses, both men and women, have woven such intricate fables to cover up their unfaithfulness. Isn’t one relationship time consuming enough people?

All of these types of lies come with a price. It seems, at least from my experiences in life, that the truth is a critical factor in the stability and longevity of relationships, businesses, and what not. “Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies,” said Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina).

Just think about scandals in the world and relationships. Generally, the scandalous part is because some truth has been revealed. Now, I am not saying I have never lied. Of course I have. I am human. However, I try to be an honest, good person for the most part. But frankly, another reason I avoid lying is that I just don’t have the energy to do it. When I consider these scandals, I think of how exhausting it must have been to hide so many things. One lie seems to require another and another. Eventually, there is a web of things to remember. Hell, I cannot even remember my own birthday or what I walked into a room for sometimes. How in the heck will I remember 26 interconnected lies? I don’t think I could. Therefore, I just tell the truth. It is easier. Call me honest by default of laziness, but this is not a unique belief. Even Abraham Lincoln thought it was strenuous to lie. “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.” Too bad Lincoln’s belief seems to have escaped politics these days…

Other than requiring so much energy and memory though, lies seem to ruin trust and intimacy in a relationship as well. “Over time, any deception destroys intimacy, and without intimacy couples cannot have true and lasting love,” said Bonnie Eaker Weil (Financial Infidelity: Seven Steps to Conquering the #1 Relationship Wrecker). And doesn’t everyone ultimately want love? So why would we go out of our way and spend energy on ruining it?

The only excuses I can think of are: one, the liar is not happy with themselves and therefore, they lie to make themselves feel good; two, the liar is addicted to the challenge and excitement of lying; and three, they may actually believe their own lies. Regardless, when you realize someone has lied to you, it diminishes the trust you had for them, which according to Victoria Schwab (The Unbound) is difficult to regain. “Da used to say that lies were easy, but trust was hard. Trust is like faith: it can turn people into believers, but every time it’s lost, trust becomes harder and harder to win back.”

To me, relationships, both work related or intimate, are like bank accounts. When you have good encounters and experiences with people, you build a positive account. (I think this belief came from Stephen Covey book somewhere.) When you have negative events with them, you withdraw from the balance. So like in basic math, when you have more withdrawals than deposits, your account will become negative. Think about that coworker, friend or romantic partner who last lied to you. How did it affect your relationship with them? Friedrich Nietzsche summed up the after effects of lies very well. “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

And there is the rub. The more people lie to us, the less likely we are to believe them. Let’s just hope those known liars don’t tell you how good you look today or that you have a pretty baby.

 

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For the Walking With Intention series on The Seeker’s Dungeon.

 

 

 

Dreams are Like Water: Necessary & Fluid


As a little girl, I dreamt of horses and gymnastics, I wished that I could fly and I wrote stories about having telekinesis. (Don’t ask me how the heck I knew the name telekinesis back in elementary school! Perhaps I was gifted and then my brilliance was re-gifted to another child later.)

Now, a few decades later, I guess my life is not actually what the school-girl me wished for, but it is really not that far off considering. Considering what you ask? Well, for one thing, considering reality.

The reality of my parent’s finances determined I was not going to get a horse or gymnastics lessons. Gravity determined that I could not fly. My lack of access to the supernatural world or superheroes wanting to bequeath their powers to me limited my ability to move things with my mind. I know. Reality kind of sucks. Big time. I learned that as a kid.

What I also learned over time was that I could still get those dreams. I just had to work harder, smarter, and shape those dreams around the confines of reality.

As a teen, I volunteered my time to teach little kids dance, ballet, tap, jazz and acrobats. This service allowed me to get my own free lessons. Sure, it wasn’t gymnastics exactly. My short, stocky, flexible frame had missed the Olympic window after I passed the age of 7 anyway. But, with those lessons, I at least learned to do a little bit of dancing and flipping. Even now, I can still manage to do a cartwheel and a back-bend. (OK. Not the Mary Lou Retton I wanted to be, but hey, not bad for a 43-year-old who only had local dance lessons.)

When I got to adulthood, I still could not fly. (I know, you are surprised. ) Well, at least not by myself. I had to be a little more creative. I had to take some risks. I had to dish out a little moola…or deploy. As an adult, I have literally flown though. It was just with the help of planes, helicopters, parasails, bungee cords, and zip lines. Each type of flying is different, but each has had a wonder to it.

I did manage to get my first horse a few years ago too. She is not actually the magnificent pure-breed mount that commands attention, but hey, neither am I. What we are together though, is a compatible team that respects and takes care of each other. We go on trail rides. She walks. I manage to stay in the saddle. We wander through nature. I admire it. She eats it. See. THAT is team work.

Now, as for the telekinesis. This one takes a bit more creativity and work. No matter how many times I have stared at objects, they still refuse to move. Unless of course you count the times people have moved away from me after staring angrily at them. That has to be close doesn’t it? OK, maybe a reach there. But how about when I walk by things and they literally do jump of the shelf and onto the floor? My friends call this clumsiness or karma though. I call it, my-awesome-vibe-on-the-world effect. (Because I wear rose-colored glasses.) But, as I age, the adult-me realizes that I have to tweak my image of the telekinesis. The child-me wanted to move things. The adult-me wants to move people. Yeah. I can do that if you consider moving in some of these categories: inspiring, directing and reacting. I think I have moved people a time or two with my words and pictures. I have moved people into to action with some instructions/guidance/advice/military orders. I have moved people to react to my actions. See. I DO have telekinesis after all.

That’s the thing with dreams and wishes, they belong to you. No matter how you change through life, you can still acheive them. It just takes a little hard work, and sometimes, you may need to change the form of those dreams to reflect the stage of life you are in.

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For the Daily Post Writing Challenge ~ Ice, Water & Steam.