Tag Archives: alive

A Life Less Extraordinary

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Does normal exist anymore?  In fact, did it ever?  I once heard a good quote, “Normal people are just people you don’t know very well yet”.  Once upon a time, the world existed in the mindset that everybody was normal, lived a normal life, wore normal clothes, and only hippies, radicals, and the like stood out from this crowd.  I think nowadays the message to be unique and be yourself has people wondering what that self is.  If we are all trying to find ourselves, and stand out with our unique talents and beliefs…isn’t trying to be unique now the new normal, and trying to be normal, the new stand out?

I come from a family of four kids.  Four very successful and very different kids…but, when young we all strived to have the same goals, same achievements, same wealth, and same standards of life. And now as adults, none of us are living identical lives.  Not all good, not all bad, not all of our choices are the right ones in hindsight, but we are all living within today’s standards of “normal”, which are frankly, well… none.

I had a recent discussion with my brother, where I said, “You know, in the eyes of what is considered traditionally normal, you are the only one of us living that life”.  He has 3 kids, 2 cats and dog, an addition on his house, has been married to the same woman for 10 years, loves golfing, going to cottages, planning vacations, and having backyard barbecues.  In the eyes of what my parents dreamed for us, he is living that dream.  Well, unless you count the Tiki Bar and Jimmy Buffet obsession…

I, on the other hand, have lived another life that though many people envy, has been frought with ups and downs, mainly based on my own fears of perpetually striving to improve, or having false assumptions that I was meant for something more than all those ‘normal’ kids.  That I, of all people, truly was special.  My measures of failure have been unrealistic, and my hopes and dreams have at times been abnormally big.  However, look at my photos, hear my stories, and imagine you are living my life….and you too will think I’ve lived the dream.  At least an interesting version of it.

Though I don’t have regrets (most of the time), I do have a newfound respect and love for my brother and his happiness in the simple things.  As I get older I want to remember life how I did when I was younger. I strive to have quiet nights, joy in the small stuff and an appreciation of the people and things in my life.  Not to mention that I sort of now love who I am more for my failures and epiphanies than my quote-on-quote “successes”.  I’m tired of struggling and striving and trying to be who I thought I should be…and am just excited to be who I am.  Or at a minimum continuing to figure out who that is.  I’m tired of making big plans, and ready to make little ones…because life is marathon, not a sprint my friend.

It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions. – Ben Stein

The Ginga Ninja

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Tartar Sauce with a Side of Love

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Have you ever been fishing?  I’m not sure how many women have.  Maybe that’s just sexist of me…it is assumable that between fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and boyfriends most women have fished at one point in time or the other.  This girl personally enjoys fishing.

I’m no pro, but I can handle the squiggly worm, the frozen bait, and even (if small enough) remove that fish myself.  I must admit that as peaceful as it can be, I’m not always game for catch and release fishing.  Of course if the cute little fish is too small to fit in my stomach, I’ll let him be…but, I do think if you have put that poor little guy through fear, panic, and assumable pain you may as well eat him.  That sounds terrible.  But, a fun quote from my girl Gray in the movie Catch and Release is,“I think catch and release fisherman are heartless weenies. I think putting a fish through agony for nothing more than your own entertainment is just plain cruel. I think if you’re going to torture a living thing if, you’re going to make it look into the eyes of its maker, face its own puny little place in the universe, then, for God’s sake, have the decency to eat it!” 

But, to restate…I like fishing…for FISH.  Not men.  I want to truly believe that there is still some special connection I may have with someone, not just bait that I hooked him with. Now, big breasts do help, but it’s hard to keep that fish once the bait is gone.  You need something to keep it alive, something to keep it fresh, and though this will ruin the analogy, something to keep it real.  If I knew what was needed to make it last forever, well, I may not have been writing this blog right now.  But, I haven’t.  Maybe you haven’t.  But, trust me, catching a fish is not like catching a man.  The key with relationships isn’t to catch, but to keep.

“Catching Fish; I’m sure it’s not that much harder than catching a man.”  (Courtney, The Bachelor, Season Bajillion).

The Ginga Ninja

Oh Fortuna

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So, for all the times I whine, moan, cry, vent, dream, analyze and philosophize (and how much probably depends on who you are asking); I need to remind myself how LUCKY I am.  I may not remember this tomorrow, or when the phone company has charged me $193 in additional fees, or when I’m complaining about how it took THREE sets of movers to actually move a freaking piece of furniture…but, I am lucky.  I’m lucky because I’m here.

Good and bad, heartache or happiness, poor health and wealth, I need to remember that I’m lucky because I have tomorrow.  That alone means that everything in my future is still to come…that we don’t really know how things will end up.  A tragedy in the life of a co-worker reminded me of that today. There is no point obsessing about the possibilities of what could happen because let’s be honest, there just may be no someday.  No good…or bad.  Try your hardest to make someday today, and be thankful for the good things, no matter how simple.

We can picture the bad – a life of debt, your ex moving on, a future of boring Friday nights, crazy cat lady-isms and all, but really, truly, it’s all still open-ended.  Life is still an adventure.  Maybe our reality won’t be the blissful movie we envision, but it probably also won’t be the dark and dingy horror we fear.  In every sunset, hot bath, cuddle with your pet, good movie…is a little piece of why we should be grateful to be here.

If I stop to truly, honestly, think about the worst that can happen in every situation…most end up with me moving back in with my parents, who would (probably) reluctantly take me.  Pretty much none of them end up with me being homeless or in a psychiatric ward, so I guess that alone means that my life cannot be that bad.  So, even with imperfect skin, joints shot to hell, a cat that licks my armpit to wake me up (eww), and always wishing to lose that last 10 pounds….I guess it could always be worse.

This post is in respect to that lovely lady whose entire world just changed and who reminds me that some people have real problems.  I can’t promise I’ll never contemplate again, but I can promise I’ll try.

The Ginga Ninja