When I don’t feel like writing, I read these quotes:

Hi peeps just want to share with you a few quotes that have been keeping me sane for the past few weeks: Hope you enjoy them as much as I did and refer to them often. Here we go:

On not feeling like writing and waiting for motivation to kick in, this quote is my all time favorite:

“You are never going to feel like it. Ever.”

Mel Robbins

I used to think if a book is beautifully written, it is automatically guaranteed to be published until I read this quote from Ginnie Sayles

On putting the work necessary to be fulfilled: Pursuing meaningless goals while meticulously avoiding putting in the work in order to find true fulfillment for your true hear’s desire. In other word trying to escape your own good:

“When we are afraid to pursue our true heart desire we hide out from ourselves. We hide out in jobs that are not really who we are and that are not fulfilling. Oh, we may fill up our lives with lots of interesting ‘activities’ and interesting people and we may enjoy all of them on some level but by and large a deeper ‘core’ satisfaction is missing.” Ginnie Sayles, How to write a book in 3 weeks

 

”…Publishers are not in the business of publishing books, they are in the business of making money. The sooner you accept this truth, the less confusion you will have about writing books..” Ginnie Sayles, How to write a book in 3 weeks

It is easy to forget that far more than talent, good writing is a skill that can be developed if you have enough passion for it. At times when I feel I am not skilled enough or good enough a writer and I get discouraged, I read this quote:

…”A book can be brilliantly written but if publishers think it will not sell at a profit, then it will not get published, no matter how beautifully written it is is. Conversely , a mediocre manuscript—-or even a trite one—-that has a good market (people to read it) ready and waiting—will be published immediately. That is because publishing houses have a staff of editors who can whip a mediocre manuscript into shape in no time and sell it. This knowledge should make you feel better! Why? because it means that you do not have to write a masterpiece—which means you can stop prejudging your book as not good enough—-because it does not have to be good enough, just marketable. “

Ginnie Sayles, how to write a book in three weeks

When I need to put failure in perspective:

“…Not taking a a risk is dangerous because we risk never knowing the joy of fulfillment…….Hiding out from ourselves deprives us—and in the end not taking a risk to be who we are is the only true risk, the only failure….”

 

Showing up imperfect: Getting back in the saddle

“We must not let the perfect be the enemy of the good”

Voltaire

I have been MIA on this blog for quite some time now and I must say getting back in the saddle is definitely not easy…especially after stopping for what feels like ages. Well, 5 months and a few days to be exact. With that being said, there isn’t a day that went by without me missing this space that I have created. There isn’t also a day that went by that I don’t curse myself for starting it in the first place and constantly asking myself why oh why did I have to get involved in blogging (throws hands up in the air, Greek tragedy style)

“It is  better to show up imperfect than to retrieve into an early grave with perfection as the sole companion.”

As a Libra if there’s one thing I do best is study the pros and cons until I lose all motivations to do anything.  I overwhelmed myself by making things more complicated than they should be until I became paralyzed with thoughts of not being good enough. You see, I had managed to convince myself I needed to hit the ground running. I had forgotten that nobody truly hits the ground running and that baby steps matters. Instead of keeping track of my progress, I kept track of my shortcomings. A true recipe for disaster. As time passed I couldn’t bring myself to get back in the saddle but I couldn’t bring myself to quit either. It was like being frozen between heaven and hell. Naturally, once I’ve driven my husband to the brink of suicide I suddenly come to a “realization” which in my language means I have a melt-down usually scheduled around the time dear husband is trying to relax after a 60+ hour work week ( I truly married my soulmate…). While it is not easy to maintain this blog, I have discovered during these past few months that it is even more painful not to.  Dear husband has truly been instrumental during these few months of absence gently and relentlessly coaxing me into action. Not a day goes by without me thanking God for him.

So  for what it’s worth, I am back and hopefully for good 🙂 One thing I know for sure: It’s  better to show up imperfect than to retrieve into an early grave with perfection as the sole companion.

Thanks for passing by 🙂

On being a woman and the uphill battle with body hair….

“…Being a woman is worse than being a farmer – There is so much harvesting and crop spraying to be done: legs to be waxed, underarms shaved, eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturized, spots cleansed, roots dyed, eyelashes tinted, nails filed, cellulite massaged, stomach muscle exercised. The whole performance is so highly tuned you only need to neglect it for a few days for the whole thing to go to seed. Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature – with a  full beard and handlebar mustache on each shin….”

Currently reading Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ diary and I almost died of laughter when I read that quote.

How many times have we, as women, asked ourselves the same question as Bridget? I have often felt as if I am fighting a losing battle in which my body hair holds all the winning cards. In fact, when it comes to body hair my husband and I often have these type of conversation:

Husband: “Going to the doctor?”

Me: “No, why?”

Husband: “Well, your legs are smooth and you’re all shaved and everything…”

Me looking at him intensely trying to remember why I ever married in the first place.

Husband: “These days you only shave when going to the doctor.”

Me: “That’s a lie, I shave regularly!”

Husband: “Except in Winter… Are you trying to grow your own fur?”

Me: “Oh shut up!”

“…I just can’t help but associate laser hair removal with images of a possessed Light saber angrily swinging above my precious and very private body parts….”

At that point, since I wanted to remain married I chose to ignore the man. After all, being single again would undoubtedly mean — and this time around the clock — more waxing, shaving, tweezing and plucking than ever before just to get back in the saddle as quickly as possible.

But really why is body hair okay for men and borderline disgusting for women? When you stop and think for a second, it is actually pretty twisted to want a fully grown female body to be free of all body hair?

“When I think of all the time I spent plucking out every single hair off of my body, I could have easily earn another degree”

Of course I could also go the laser hair removal route but for some reason I just can’t help but associate laser hair removal with images of a possessed lightsaber angrily swinging above my precious and very private body parts…

Whatever reasons pushed us into such behavior in the past, I am sure it’s all over now. Still most of us keep plucking away. Why do we women keep doing this to ourselves? Do we do it because we think it’ll make us more attractive? Do we do it because it has been done for so long that it has now become the norm in our society? Do we do it to fit in? God forbid we’re part of the select group of women proudly sporting a mustache on the planet (Insert shivering outcast emoji here). I am quite sure culture also play a big part in the equation…..

The mystery remains said the woman who’s about to shave her legs and many other sensitive body parts for the millionth times…..

THE SADDEST ART CLASS I EVER TOOK

“What we often call art or see as magic usually hides a debilitating amount of work.”

I’ll never forget the day I attended my first drawing class. I know it sounds like I am about to relate a death scene but I can’t help it. I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw but somehow never got around to it. In retrospect considering how long it took me to actually set foot in an actual art class I am forced to recognize that maybe I just wanted to indefinitely entertain the idea of drawing. Nevertheless the day of the class I was so excited  I could hardly wait to leave work. In fact I spent so many hours daydreaming about it I actually forgot to buy art supply and had to borrow a sheet of paper from a couple of lovely classmates. I could already picture my drawings leisurely hanging on every wall of our little home with friends and family deeply impressed and throwing around sentences like “Oh my God, you did that? You are so talented” with me trying really hard to fake that deep layer of intelligent detachment usually required from famous show dogs. Sadly those happy dreams were to be savagely crushed.  I was the first one to arrive and found a stern-looking little lady arranging class materials. I prayed to God she was just a very helpful student and not the actual art teacher I’ve fantasized about about the entire time.

“The art teacher looked more like a retired math teacher from the 50’s.”

You see I was either expecting this:

Idris-Elba
“What an art teacher should look like…”

OR this:

Why can’t my art teacher look like this…

Prayer unanswered. The art teacher looked more like a retired math teacher from the 50’s.

“…She asked us to draw a second shoe…. I ended up drawing something that couldn’t possibly come out of a healthy human mind…”

Moving on to the actual setting. The classroom was located at the very end of an extremely long and impersonal corridor. This corridor was so bleak it could easily qualify as a star feature in a big-budget horror movie. I was clearly not expecting pictures of grand masters hanging down the walls but a couple of students artwork could have added some much-needed appeal. The classroom itself was a very large and cold-looking room with class materials heavily piled up in a remote corner. There were big windows but a tall and dull building was blocking the view.  A large and square table sat in the middle of the room like a sacrificial stone in a dark dungeon.  

More details on the teacher. There was no whimsy, no magic at all in the way she dressed. I mean you’re an artist for God sake! Do something out of the ordinary even if it is just wearing your clothes inside out! Her look and matter-of-fact behavior was a giant slap to my tortured artist spirit. If you’re short of ideas at the very least throw a can of paint on your shirt, forget to wash it and wear it the next day. I was open to the possibilities of meeting a free spirit but what I had in front of me did not in any shape or form represent my idea of what an art teacher should look like.

“I blame those movies featuring stylishly starving artists lugging around big portfolios that look like they’re smuggling giant pita breads.”

She took the magic out of the entire thing. I felt slightly rushed. I mean I thought we were going to do some theory first like talking about the grand masters and possibly crack the mystery behind Mona Lisa smile but sadly that was not to be. She reviewed the class material and put us to work right away. Isn’t art supposed to be magic or something? Or maybe the magic only happens after years of practice. But then again isn’t it always like this in real life? What we often call art or see as magic usually hides a debilitating amount of work.

As practice, she asked us to pick a shoe from a giant shoe pile and try to draw it. I somehow ended up with a drawing of the magic school bus. She asked us to draw a second shoe. This time around, setting all dignity of manners aside I rushed to the shoe pile and literally jumped on what to me looked like the simplest shoe style of all time. A classic pair of kitten heel pump. I still ended up drawing something that couldn’t possibly come out of a healthy human mind. And yet, each time, she would take a long look and say the same words “keep going, you’re close”. I must admit a couple of family member did try to warn me but I didn’t listen. I hyped myself up by thinking I was naturally talented. I was looking for shortcuts and found none. The advice people offered seemed so simplistic that I chose to ignore it.

In the end, I was forced to realize there were great discrepancies between my idea of what an art class should be versus the real thing.  By the end of the class she said something that profoundly resonated with me. In essence she told us that ‘As in any creative process, when drawing an object there is always a choice even if purely unconscious made by the artist on how to best render the said object based on what the artist is trying to say”. I guess that’s what makes art so subjective. It is always a reflection of oneself. Even when we choose to render our deepest emotions, we still feel the need to put some kind of order into the chaos. The very fact of picking up pen and paper automatically forces one to streamline the process. Although you won’t see me exposing my chef-d’oeuvre in any gallery any time soon I am happy to report I did manage to learn something…after all….:)

Don’t be shy dear readers and do share your budding or tortured artist experience:)

WHY I HATE GOING TO THE DENTIST

I never feared going to  the dentist. Well, I must also say that I keep my visits to the bare minimum which is why I was in for major tuneups the last time I went.  I went in with the innocence and abandon of a sleeping baby considering my husband had been going there for a while now and he assured me she was very efficient. So I told myself if my husband can take it so can I. Wrong. The thing is dear husband has a high pain threshold. I don’t.

“…I had more traffic in my open mouth than a merging lane during rush hour.”

Mulder soft palate is drilled
“What going to the dentist feels like…”

Picture: Courtesy of: http://x-files.wikia.com/wiki/Fox_Mulder%27s_abduction

So I booked an appointment and was greeted upon arrival by an extremely sweet desk clerk. Everything was going well until I stepped into the actual dentistry room. The dental assistant welcomed me in with what I thought was at first a thoughtful and considerate smile but in the aftermath I came to the realization that people on death rows must receive the exact same smile from powerless family members. Some tests were performed firsthand to determine the state of my teeth and judging by the resulting pursed lips from the dentist they were not satisfactory. The tests themselves made feel like a victim of aliens abduction, X-files style.

Now regarding the procedure itself, I always considered myself to be a delicate flower that must be treated with the utmost care but apparently in that office they did not get the memo. To put it nicely, it was fast and furious. My mouth was kept open unceremoniously with fingers and objects coming in and out of it at lightning speed. I had more traffic in my open mouth than a merging lane during rush hour. It was the longest 45 minutes of my life and the copious amounts of pain medication injected did absolutely nothing to relieve the constant drilling and pulling and scrubbing that felt like mini earthquakes. Months later, traumatized and still shocked I sometimes wonder if this dear dentist wasn’t a mechanic in a past life…which would have explained a lot of things and restored my faith in dentists all over the world (Insert Greek tragedy goddess emoji here).

“The tests themselves made me feel like a victim of aliens abduction, X-files style.”

In retrospect, I should have known because when I came in there was a little girl coming out of the dentistry room crying her heart out and to calm her down the receptionist gave her a toy. I sincerely wish they would give toys to adults too when they come out of there. Or at the very lest a hug. I know I would have appreciated one after that traumatizing experience. 

Needless to say after much deliberation I decided not to go back. I gathered a couple of suggestions from friends and family and most of them come highly recommended but I am so traumatized I can’t even bring myself to place a call for that first appointment. But I know  I have to… (Insert why me emoji here)

Are you afraid of the dentist too? Apparently it is a very common fear that I quite frankly didn’t expect to feel. Do you know of any tricks to help manage it? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Until then talk to you soon! My next post will be on December 17th. Bisoux!