Sorry, Ashton, but you are wrong. Smart isn’t sexy.
Perhaps wrong is a little harsh – truth of the matter is, I loved most of your speech at the Teen Choice Awards (see speech here). I appreciated your call out to hard work as the response to opportunity. I really resonated with your ending passage about how each of us needs to work to build a life. Bravo that you even decided to do such as speech at an award ceremony like this – and held steady during the squeals and screams of “we love you, Ashton!” Yes, I admit it. I am kind of fond of you myself.
I have just recently had my birthday. The birthday when I turned 50. This is the one-year mark since I started this blog in hopes of preparing myself. This was the moment I had hoped to Become Oogway.
As a quick historical reminder – a year ago I was confronted with the fact that I was not all I was capable of being. I was too anxious, I was too quick to judge others. I wasn’t as open or adventurous as I wanted to be – I hadn’t learned to love with all my heart and soul. Using both my love for movies and my love for my kids as anchors – I visualized my journey as the one from Kung Fu Panda – my quest being to Become Oogway – the calm, wise, powerful master who seemed to embody everything I wasn’t – but wanted to be.
I have to admit this is a somewhat new thing for me – and even as I type this – the acknowledgement that I believe that unseen (mostly) spirits are indeed hanging out with us – strikes me as somewhere between illogical and irrational.
But oh well, I do believe in angels.
Let me tell you why.
From the beginning of days – we’ve always known that we have so much for which to be grateful.
And when I say the beginning of days – I mean it. Almost all cultures and traditions have a creation story – whether it is the breaking of the egg in Chinese myth or the spirit people making humans out of clay in African storytelling.
But in the Christian, Islamic and Jewish tradition, we are well used to hearing these words.
“And God created the Heaven and Earth, and it was good…”
Of course, we know how that story turned out. Adam and Eve were living in abundance and goodness, but failed to look around them and realize it. They were too caught up in thinking, wondering, and being tempted by what they DIDN’T have, that they stopped seeing the abundance of what they DID have.
They traded positive, sustaining and fulfilling emotions such as gratitude and contentment for those negative emotions that empty our being like resentment and jealousy. Here were Adam and Eve living in paradise and they let their brain (or a snake, depending on how you interpret the story) talk them into feeling like they were VICTIMS.
Upon being asked to leave the Garden of Eden, they suddenly came to their senses and became completely aware of just how good they had it all along.
I thought I was going to make it through to the election
As you know I have been working on being more peaceful and less agitated, and I was hoping to make it through Voting Day, but this last few weeks of the political season has just been too much to take.
It’s not the usual stuff that makes me crazy – people taking other people’s words out of context – or finding one extreme study or survey to support their views and claiming it as fact – hell, this year it seemed people didn’t even need that – they just told lies in as many advertisements they could buy. No, unfortunately I’ve gotten so used to those tactics they don’t make my blood boil like it used to.
No, I think for me what has been hard to watch and caused the most outrage is when whatever group was in power tried to use that power to make decisions or laws for people other than themselves, or tried to hoard or keep power only for those who already had it.
The cases that I talking about have been involving men in power working to legislate decisions for women about issues such as rape, pregnancy and contraception, and people who already having the benefits of marriage legislating to not allow any one else in.
It’s not that I don’t give people the right to have their own opinions. On the contrary.
There is something wonderful as well as powerful when we hear a person say, “here is what I believe with all my heart and soul.” That is passion -the kind of passion that can be contagious. Especially when the person says, “I invite you to join me.”
But when a person changes from saying “here is what I believe” to now say “here is what YOU need to believe” – now that is oppression. Because the nature of the statement goes from invitation to command.
Which is indeed what is happening. Because there are people in power who are not just saying that they believe these things. They are saying that we need to pass laws to make it illegal to disagree with them. But here’s the rub. When it comes to men legislating on issues on rape, pregnancy and contraception, the results of your decisions are ones that need to be borne by people other than you.
And I don’t think you have the credibility or the right to do that.
First of all, I should tell you that I am not afraid of heartbreak. It is my experience that it is, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad, a part of life. Sometimes my heart was broken because I was trying to live or love – and I was out there – vulnerable maybe, but at least out there. Sometimes my heart was broken because I made a mistake – and often the hard way, learned from it. Sometimes it was because someone hurt me, at times badly.
But in this case, at least in the beginning, my heart doesn’t break for me – but for someone else.
Perhaps it is time to explain the title of the blog. Frankly, the title comes from a simple, yet disturbing realization.
I am not who I want to be.
It’s not that I have a deep dark secret (or at least not one I am currently going to reveal in this blog post) or that I have been living a lie or things such as that. It just has come to my attention that the person that I want to be and the person that I actually am are not necessarily in agreement.