Sunday, February 24, 2013

Six Impossible Things

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said. "One can't believe impossible things."

"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

--  Lewis Carroll

I've loved this quote for a long, long time. You see, I'm determined to not let my imagination run out as I age. Sure, I can't completely stop the loss; some of it's out of my control. But what I can do is use my imagination, keep it into practice to keep it into being.

If we don't imagine, we don't dream. And if we don't dream, then why live?

For how can we hope for better, achieve better, and live better, if not for dreaming better?

Even though I live well a life full of happiness, I know that things can be better. Things can always be better, for anyone, anywhere. And for that reason, I believed six impossible things before getting out of bed this morning. 

I will be a professional writer.

My dog will live forever.

I will live within (at least) short driving-distance from my sisters and we will get together (at least) weekly.

I will live cellulite-free one day, for the rest of my days.

I will be able to travel without anything standing in my way.

My loved ones (including me!) will live in perfect health for perfectly long lives.

It's in my control to make 4 of those come true, anyway.

Because how would we ever make things possible if we didn't challenge the impossible?


Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Get What I Want

As a child, my mother encouraged me to sleep with a wish list under my pillow. She did the same, and then added the list to a box when all of the itemized wishes came true. Every once in a while, she would sit down, open the box, and reflect on all that she had hoped for and received.

I loved this idea as a kid and I love it now. I take it very seriously. I love it because it solidifies my wishes; by putting them down on paper, they become one step closer to becoming reality. By allowing myself to lay out what I really, really want and set goals on how to go about achieving each thing, my hopes and dreams become all the more attainable. But, most of all, I love the list because it works. And it works because, all of these years, I have adhered to three very strict rules:

1) Be very careful as to what you put on the list. Only items of the highest priority can be added. Nothing trivial. The trivial items can lessen the urgency of the significant items and result in an overall longer waiting time. I define important things as those that have the potential to greatly affect my life or the life of others.

2) Be patient. The key to the list is patience. It could take days, weeks, months, years, or decades for things to happen. Never take anything off of the list (unless you no longer wish for it). If you need to create a new list and still have an old wish that hasn't come true, just recycle it to the top.

3) Keep present. Every once in a while, take out the list and reread it. Take time to recognize what it is that you want, and how close you are to getting it. Keep the items on the list ever-present in your mind. If you stop thinking about them, you may not see the opportunities out there that can make them happen. And, sometimes, you will no longer hope for the same things that you did six months ago. Time sheds light on things and can give you a better understanding of what you want. It is ok to remove things from the list--that will only clear the path further for the other wishes to happen.

There you go; that's my secret to getting everything I want--well, at least everything important.

Try it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Come Hell or High Water

I cry in my sleep.


It started happening a couple of months ago, and, until now, I hadn't understood why. I didn't understand why I would wake up mid-sob in the late hours of the night or with a tear-stained pillow in the early morning. The tears didn't come from the same dream, either. I was haunted with nightmares of death, stress, failure, and loss. My sleep was no longer the haven to my day that it used to be; instead, it became painful.

As many of us do, I ignored my bad dreams. I would lose touch with what they really were upon waking up, and go back to sleep to a better dream on a good night or, if I was unlucky, the same tear-rendering nightmare of before. I didn't recognize the frequency at which they were happening until, well, now. I woke up crying this weekend and thought, this has got to stop. What is wrong with me? I was flabbergasted.

And then it hit me: I am crying when I sleep because I stopped crying when I am awake.

I am a crier. I cry from sadness, from happiness, from disappointment, from achievement, from frustration, from bliss, from hate, from love. The list goes on and on. Anything and everything in this world has potential to make me cry.

I've never seen my crying as a weakness. It is a part of who I am. I get upset, I cry. I get excited, I cry. The sun rises, the sun sets, I cry.

I spent a lot of my youth in tears. The tears helped me cope with my emotional struggles; with them they carried and washed out the worries of the day. Yes, I cried on a daily basis in my childhood. And no, I did not have great cause for crying. At least not external cause, anyway.

The tears started to come in patterns as I aged; these patterns gave me better understanding and control. Now, instead of not knowing what specifically I was crying over, I at best started to know why I was crying. I could expect the tears, and that gave me better control. To me, knowledge is power.

My emotions have evened out over time, with age. Where I was a generally wistful person before, I am now a generally happy person. I might tear up over a lost love in a novel or a heartfelt moment in a movie, but other than that, I have had no cause for heavy crying. (Internally andexternally.)

So this is why I have begun to cry in my sleep. My body has been a mass producer of tears for my whole life. It worked on a supply and demand basis. Once production would complete, a mass exodus would ensue. Tears produced, tears washed out. It was a revolving cycle.

But now, the tears aren't getting washed out. They are not exiting en masse as they habitually had before. There is no longer a demand for the tears, but my body does not understand. It continues to supply at the frequency it always has, and I’m not giving it the catharsis that it needs. I'm essentially walking around with pockets of tears inside of me, ready to burst at any time.

Life has been so steady and positive of late, though, that I'm not bursting. At least not consciously.

A lot of you won’t understand it, this need to cry. I’m not sure if it’s a female thing, a genetic thing, or an Audrey thing. It’s ok, though—you don’t have to get it. For this kind of thing, I think it takes one to know one. And I’m thrilled that the world isn’t filled to its brim with criers like me; it’s you non-criers that establish a balance.

In gaining this self-understanding, I’ve come to terms with my nighttime tears. I know what my body is doing, and I accept it. While I’m glad that I don’t have anything in my life to make me cry too much just now, I’m a little relieved to know that I still have the ability. Crying is a part of who I am, after all.

I’ll leave you with a little bit of advice: if you need to cry, do it. It feels good. And if you never feel the need to cry, understand that others do. Even if it’s in their sleep.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Love yo' kids, love yo' wife

I love love. It's my favorite thing in the world. Love is what I hope for, what I believe in, who I am.

It shouldn't be difficult to surmise that I am a hopeless romantic, either.

I appreciate and practice all types of love: familial love, sisterly love, friendly love, conditional love, unconditional love, and romantic love.

My husband and I must say "I love you" to each other at least a dozen times a day. I'm like this with most people that I love and am comfortable telling. It's kind of like word vomit; I can't hold it back. All of the sudden I'm walking down the street with you, going about my business, and the love hits me. I have to tell you. I can't not--otherwise it builds up in my chest and becomes so uncomfortable until I can no longer bear it. And sometimes, even if I'm not that comfortable with telling you yet, I have no choice. I become overwhelmed with this need of sharing my love.

And it usually never comes during opportune, already heart-felt moments. It'll happen at the grocery store, or mid-conversation during dinner, rushed at the end of a phone call, while driving on the highway, or called over racks of clothing while shopping. I usually feel awkward about it, this compulsive need to tell you that I love you.

I guess it isn't the worst thing in the world, sharing my love for you. Most of you accept it graciously. Nobody's ever not replied with an "I love you too," which is pretty nice. I've been lucky in my ability to restrain my impulses for those that I knew the love was unrequited, seeing as they're usually so uncontrollable. I'm sure I've surprised a couple of people with my feelings; love can be so restrained these days. In my opinion, people don't tell the ones they love nearly enough.

This month, I challenge you to try it. Work the word "love" into your daily routine. Tell your mom, your dad, your siblings, your significant other, your friends, your pets. Tell anybody you love. There is great potential in making their day by uttering those three simple words. You may feel awkward, as I sometimes do, but in the end it's a nice thing to do, really.