Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm still alive.

Hello friends.

I realize that I've sucked at blogging this month, and being the overly apologetic and paranoid person that I am, I wanted to briefly explain why and just pop in long enough to share a few things that have been on my mind lately.

First of all, if you've seen my latest Facebook status, you probably know what the deal is. If you haven't, click on over for a few reasons as to why I've been so absent. (Nothing bad! I'm just a bit busy and distracted right now.)

Fall is almost always an exciting and busy month for me...At least it has been over the past few years. In the fall of 2011, I overcame depression and started pursuing my passion. In the fall of 2012, I spent a lot of time being happier, watching little victories unfold, and learning to open myself up to love and friendship again. This fall, I'm releasing my first eBook and also being featured in a print book written by one of my favorite humans (Lori Deschene of Tiny Buddha). I'm also working harder, getting clearer on what exactly I want to accomplish in my life, and working up the strength and courage to get out of my comfort zone so I can start being interesting again. I can only write so many blog posts about how I'm not living up to my full potential before people start to get bored, annoyed and depressed. I hope you're not bored, annoyed or depressed because of me. Sometimes I get really bored, annoyed and depressed with myself. I guess I just want to change that in any little way that I can.

And aside from the fact that I'm preparing for everything going on this fall and the fact that my attention span has refused to sit in one place long enough for me to crank out some adequate content this month, I've also been having a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Internet lately.

I love blogging (when I'm inspired) and being able to work from home. I love all my Internet friends. I love all my favorite blogs and social networking sites. I love how easy it is to connect with people and learn how to do things at the click of a button. I love being able to look up words on dictionary.com when I'm not sure if I've used them in the right context. I love spell check. I love killing time on YouTube.

But I hate all the cruelty I see on a near daily basis...hateful comments and demeaning gossip blogs. I hate how the Internet gives bullies an easy outlet to unleash their rage and envy. I hate stupid Twitter hashtags like #ThingsGirlsDoThatGuysHate. I hate feeling like I'm doing nothing with my life when I read a blog post that tells me I'm worthless if what I do for a living doesn't accumulate a certain amount of money and notoriety. I hate the comparison game...how everybody tries to one up everybody else. I hate spending more time on the Internet than I do with my dogs. I hate spam. I hate Googling answers to questions I don't want to answer myself. I hate that I don't write in my journal anymore. I hate feeling like I honestly have nothing better to do if my Internet is down. I hate getting distracted by Yahoo headlines while I'm trying to work or do research. I hate that I relate to this photo on more days than I care to mention.

So I guess a part of me is just trying to find a balance between sharing my life and actually living it---a balance between relying on the Internet for entertainment and relying on my own imagination and creativity. When my life experience meter is running on empty, it's pretty hard to blog about anything aside from how uninspired I feel.

Thank you for staying with me and for understanding. I hope you'll keep checking back for new posts on the regular and sending me emails when you want to talk. :-)

In the meantime, keep an eye out for my first eBook this fall (yay) and a Q&A with Lori Deschene going up next month.

Talk to you soon.

<3 Madison          


Thursday, August 8, 2013

The green-eyed monster

Reluctant confession of the week: I've been feeling a bit jealous of someone lately---someone I love and think is wonderful. I'm proud of her and happy for her, but at the same time, I've been feeling pangs of jealousy here and there.

It's a really strange feeling to be equally happy for and jealous of someone. And then you feel like a terrible person for being even slightly tempted to write passive aggressive rants on the Internet about how much you hate it when "someone" thinks they're all that and a bag of chips. (Thankfully, I refrained.) 

I really do think this person is awesome. I'm happy for her and excited for her. But sometimes I flare up with jealousy when I hear about how exciting and eventful her life is in comparison to mine. Then I feel guilty for feeling jealous. Then I turn into a grumpy, melancholy, self-hating human for the rest of the afternoon. 

Perhaps you can relate.

So I decided to be proactive for once and work through these feelings. Because the green-eyed monster doesn't exactly cultivate respect and lasting friendships. 

Step 1: Identify which areas of your own life you're dissatisfied with.  

Bonus points if it's something the person you're jealous of has and you don't. For example, you may be jealous of someone who is making more money than you because you're dissatisfied with the amount of money you make. Or you may be jealous of someone who travels all the time because you don't have the means or motivation to travel yourself.   

Step 2: Ask yourself what little steps you can take to be more satisfied in those areas.

These don't have to be big or overwhelming steps. Think of one little baby step you can take, and then go from there. For example, if you want to travel more, figure out how much it would cost to visit and spend a certain amount of time in a place you've always wanted to travel to. Then you could start setting aside a certain percentage of your income each month until you have enough money saved to fund the trip.    

Step 3: Count your own blessings.

Don't be so busy counting someone else's blessings that you forget to count your own. Look around. You always have something to be grateful for. I always feel better about myself and about my life when I take the time to truly notice and appreciate what I have.  

Step 4: Remember that the people you're jealous of are not perfect, have their own battles to fight every day, and may even be jealous of you

Don't be presumptuous enough to assume that the objects of your jealousy have all their shit together. No one ever does. One time I read something online that said something like, "If you threw all your problems in a pile with other people's problems, you'd grab all your problems back." (Something like that. I don't feel like Googling it verbatim.) It is a waste of time to compare your life to someone else's. You never know what is going on behind the scenes.

If you follow these steps, I think your jealousy will be cured. Mine is. 

<3 Madison