I strive to be a positive person. Like literally strive

Strive~ verb:

To exert much effort or energy.

Synonym: REACH

Attempt by employing effort.


I am not a naturally a positive person. My inner running commentary would have you on the floor either laughing uncontrollably or holding your head, begging for it to stop. It’s a constant battle against myself and it’s exhausting. Over the years though I’ve developed a kind of statement and response mantra to combat this. 

Inner me: You need to lose a few pounds.

Real me: You’re just fine. Keep working on being healthy.

Inner me: You’re alone and always will be.

Real me: And? Even if that’s true there’s so much life to live, I’ll be fine. Plus, I have friends and I’m still really young there’s plenty of time.

Inner me: You’re never going to actually matter in life.

Real me: Liar. I’m smart, I’m always working on myself, I have so many things ahead of me, and a heart to make things better in the world. So shh! 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has these conversations. Ugh. 

The external conversations are exhausting too. I swear I find myself playing devil’s advocate a million times a day. I’m always trying to get people to understand each other and be more forgiving. Then, I listen to myself and want to crawl in hole. What’s with me? Did I honestly just say that? Why can’t I think the way I want to all the time? Yes, that person treated me like crap. Stop talking and think. What’s going on in their life? Why are they acting this way? How can you help them? Boundaries are a good thing, people shouldn’t be allowed to treat you badly, but then you join in on the gossip even as you’re cursing yourself for doing so? Pick one. 

I’m striving to be this wonderful person. The person who can set a boundary and then not speak of it again. The person who can hear gossip and promote understanding without joining. The person who can have a conflict with another and not be torn to shreds when the other person is still mad in the end. Just because I can’t make them happy, doesn’t mean I failed. People pleasing isn’t helpful, I know that. Promoting understanding, level thinking, and at least a mite of positivity is helpful. 

I’m not one to make resolutions. I prefer to acknowledge the fact that life is always a work in process. I’m never going to be finished. So, with the new year, my only goal is to keep fighting. I’ll fight the inner battles as I always have, maybe find a new weapon along the way. I’ll fight the outer battles with my ever strengthening patience muscles, and work on my self control while I’m at it. The only thing I’m going to add this year works in tandem with the outer battle. This year I’m going to try to help some people. I surround myself with positivity as a weapon against my inner battle. I’m going to try to help others with their inner battle and surround them with subtle positivity as well. I’m not sure how this will work, but it can’t hurt. I feel like if others could feel better inside, they might not make our shared outside space such a battle as well. 

Inner me: Quit squeezing, your turnip is out! 

Real me: They’re worth it and it’ll be worth the investment. Smart business, I promise. 


Time to Leap

A while ago I took my youngest out with me to do some errands. At some point, and I still don’t know what inspired this, she looked at me and said, “Mom, you need to take a leap of faith.” Huh?  I though about it for a bit and explained that I had actually done that not too long ago when we packed up everything and moved and her dad and I got divorced. That leap had been a very scary decision that paid off well, for all parties I believe. She replied, “I think it’s time for another.” My tiniest is eight. This was an odd bit of insight coming from the child we’ve nicknamed “Tornado.” Whenever inspired it, even if it was a TV show, she saw that it was needed in my life. I’m choosing to take her wisdom to heart. 

I’m not a great leaper. I plan things and I generally have an idea of where I’m going and what my next goal is. So, jumping into something without knowing what’s at the bottom is slightly terror inspiring for me. I suppose that’s the point. I have actually done this many times, but it’s an anxious process and hasn’t always worked out for the best. Still, I’ve survived well enough that I know things generally work out as long as you keep working at it. 

This is part of my leap. The other part might take years and might never see the light of day, but I’m still doing it. 

And the thing is, this leap might be the only thing that gets me to where I really want to be. It might not, but my current path probably won’t either. There’s a little risk involved, but it wouldn’t be a Leap of Faith without risk right? 

I’ll leave you with some seriously meaningful lyrics. You might remember the group Hanson from the mid-90’s. They were very young kids with long hair, music that far deeper than it seemed on the surface, and seriously understated talent. I was a fan. Then, life happened and I totally missed their second album (which was pretty good too), probably due to the stigma they had picked up and the rise of harder, darker music in my life. Their third album got stuck in production for years and at every turn their label would thwart their efforts. They did a series on YouTube about the struggle if you’re interested. Finally, they took a Leap of Faith. They broke with their label and started their own. They’ve released four more albums including Underneath, the one that got stuck. The first song they recorded was Broken Angel, it chronicles their struggle to do right by themselves and their art. This song has meant a lot to me and serves as a reminder to, likewise, do right by myself and my art.

Broken Angel, by Hanson
So small, yet still so proud 

At night before he dreams he looks into the clouds 

A high-flyer’s what I want to be 

Seems they won’t let me

Says I’m too small 

I don’t feel small at all 
Break my dreams

That’s what they’ll do 

Well, I’m going to run away

And learn to fly like you 

I’m going to go so high

And swoop so low 

You can’t bring me down

Going to be so proud 
Little angel, you got to learn to fly 

Get up and earn your wings tonight 

Little angel, just look in my eyes 

Get up and earn your wings tonight 
Push and shove, then climb aboard 

This is the shuttle train to the top of the world 

When you look around, what do you see?

These are all high-flyers 

But none of these high-flyers look like me 
What is that supposed to mean 

What am I supposed to be 
I pull my way up through this crowd 

To find your body crushed on the ground 

It’s so obvious; why couldn’t you see

That you can’t go high-flying 

Without a pair of high-flyer wings?
Little one’s broken lying on the ground 

Trying to get up ’till his last breath out 

Wings are strewn everywhere; there’s blood all around 

‘Cause even angels die, but that light just fades 

It’s so sad, but he’d be so proud 
Broken angel, you’ve got to learn to fly 

Get up and earn your wings tonight 

Broken angel, just look in my eyes 

Get up and earn you wings tonight 

Get up and earn your wings, earn your wings tonight