Hello 2015!!!

Every year you hear people make New Year’s resolutions. Some want to drop those 15 lbs. of holiday weight. Others devote to go to church every Sunday while some say they will get a promotion at work or straight A’s. I have a new resolution idea however. Rather than setting so many goals that are really never achieved (the reality is we are all guilty of not following through) set a new, more unconventional resolution. Any goals you wish to pursue this year, pursue them because you want to, not because you feel the pressure from a new calendar year. This New Year’s make your resolution to love the skin you’re in and be happy with the person you are today. There is always room for improvement and growth, but that doesn’t eliminate the importance of loving and accepting who and where you are in this very moment.
May 2015 bring us all a plethora of success, love and creation in us all! Happy New Year!!!

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Best Friends

On my fridge hangs a magnet that was purchased by my grandmother at a craft fair and gifted to my father. It reads, “A friend is someone who knows everything about you, and loves you anyway.” I look at this from time to time and I can’t help but think that in that short sentence, it sums up so perfectly what a true friend is.

Best friends weave their way throughout all our lives. Some come and go but others are there for the long run earning the title of this blog. Having a best friend that I have known through the years, I wanted to write this piece not only as tribute to her but to all those who have and are best friends to others.

A true best friend is someone that (like mine) will tell you the absolute truth about everything! A good friend will sugar coat their honesty in order to avoid hurting your feelings, but a best friend will happily tell you the harsh truth in order to help you. Whenever I hear the words “Elle, I’m about to give this to you straight,” I know it’s time for me to take a seat and swallow down a dose of reality. As callous and cruel as the truth can sometimes seem, it is always delivered with love. The facts aren’t always easy to hear, but they are often harder to provide. I can proudly say that thanks to my best friend, I have never left my house (at least when she was around) looking like a complete hot mess. The fact of the matter is, no matter how much I think those patent leather boots with my fish net stockings look cute, she just won’t let me walk out of the house looking like I’m about to go turn tricks on the corner without me first knowing what kind of image I’m soliciting.

There comes a point in a friendship where you have such a sense of comfort with one another that the way you talk almost converts into a code of care. What sounds completely rude in turn is actually kind. For example, when my friend looks at me and says, “You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself all the time and start fixing your problems instead of just whining about them,” actually converts to, “I know you’re going through a lot right now and I’m here for you to talk to, but only you can be the one to resolve this issue, and anything I can do for you just say the word sweetie.”

A best friend can laugh at you when you make a complete fool of yourself, because chances are they are making a fool of themselves with you. They can tease you for your downfalls because they do it not only with love but as a way to make you aware. They can crack jokes at you that others normally couldn’t because only with them can you always be guaranteed that even the meanest words out of their mouth are always presented in a caring and loving way making them nothing short of thoughtful.

So, that probing question that you are now all asking is this; why is it that your best friend can point out all the flaws you bare without hurting your feelings and making you feel patronized and degraded? It’s because when they point out what you consider to be a flaw, they are simply acknowledging one more characteristic to love about you. Just like that magnet said, “A friend is someone who knows everything about you and loves you anyway.”
A true friend is a blend of all the essential people we all desire and need in our lives. When you are single on February 14th, they are your valentine. When you are an emotional wreck, they are your therapist. When you are lost in life lacking feelings of accomplishment and only bearing despair, they are your mother. At times of teaching, they are your father. In periods of poverty, they are Santa. And when you just don’t want to be social and would rather a movie on a Saturday night over the party of the year, they are your best friend, sitting right beside you.

Best friends come and go, but true best friends seem to come but once in a life time. If you have been blessed with a friend as precious as that, make it a point today to not only acknowledge but thank them for all that they do. You may not say it enough, but a true best friend will still love you anyway.

Here and Now

Just last night I enjoyed what I think to be one of the most beautiful ballets of all time, The Nutcracker. As I sat in the balcony stacked seat next to a stranger who I soon forgot to notice due to the intrigue the performance created, I realized something. As the thought crossed my mind, I should come to events like this more often, I noticed that this thought has entered my mind on many occasions. Of course flooded with captivated admiration in the presence of the ballerinas twisting and twirling in graceful magnificence, my attention was pulled to the stage. Walking out the grand doors of the venue and into the icy December air, I turned to my father and continued with the thought that I had allowed to momentarily plague my mind before.

“I always say that I want to come to more plays or ballets and things of the sort, so why don’t I?” I said asking the question without really expecting an answer.

With that statement being said, when was the last time you found yourself saying something like that to yourself or perhaps even another? So many times I find myself vocalizing that thought whether it be in regards to a ballet or play or even something as simple as enjoying the company of a friend during a walk around the park. How is it that we seem to so easily forget the things we truly enjoy doing?  I always say I want to do more of “this”, yet I never do it. But why? Is there even a good reason?

A few months ago I wrote a blog titled “Work Hard Play Harder.” The idea behind that piece was to realize that the things that we love doing regardless of it being characterized as a leisure activity are just as important as tasks we consider to be priorities. I discussed how I felt that it was essential to make time for these things in order to practice not only self-care but to allow a healthy balance of work and play. On that note, I write this blog today hoping to express the importance of living in the here and now with an effort to stop saying “someday I will do this,” and start doing it today.

It is time we all stop saying, “I should really do this more,” or “I would love to go here more,” and start doing these things. Sure, sometimes there can be an issue of time, money or convenience, but that is not always the case. Just last night I was pondering the obvious idea that I wish I went to more plays. In all honesty, if you were to ask me why I don’t attend more, I would have no legitimate reason to provide.

The truth is, we all get so comfortable in our everyday way of thinking and doing that we forget there are other things out there just waiting to be explored. There seems to be a fear of stepping out from what we know and considering the unknown. How many times have you responded with something like,” I just don’t do it,” when someone asks you why you don’t normally partake in activities you enjoy. Stop letting your comfortable cocoon of “regular” shield you from living. Whether it be plays, sports games or even painting on the weekends, start making the irregular things you treasure a regular occurrence. Just because something isn’t familiar does not mean it is unattainable. Become familiar with the unfamiliar and start living. Life is too short to always say, “Maybe someday I will.”