Appreciate Your Weird 👽

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One of my friends I cheered with in high school posted this adorable and hilarious story about a conversation with her young son on my facebook:  I told her that it made my night that she specifically thought to share this moment with me and how funny it was because let’s face it, kids say the most hilarious things without even realizing it. But it also made me realize something else: I am an open book. About many things. And completely unafraid to talk about things that some close minded people might call crazy. It made me smile, knowing despite how silly I might sound when I talk about aliens or conspiracies or cannabis legalization or who knows what else, there might always be someone who appreciates it enough to reach out to me when the subject comes up, and to me, that’s cool as hell.

When other moms who smoke weed reach out to me and tell me that my thoughts or advice have helped them in any tiny way, shape or form, my heart swells to 10 times its normal size. I am unapologetic when it comes to who I am, so to have someone tell me they appreciate any part of what I have to say is pure gold to me. Instead of being criticized, I’m greeted with admiration. My favorite teacher, Mr. Fulton, once told me something along the lines of my writing had a relatable quality to it that made my words feel really genuine (the best compliment I’ve ever received) and that’s always stuck with me, even when I’m just blasting my opinions about everything from the JFK assassination to what makes a good mother. Even these simple blog posts I write might mean something to someone, and that in turn, means everything to me.

For instance, this casual facebook status from last week:  Now, I always say these kinds of things on twitter. That’s where I can honestly have no fear about what others think, and where my real friends are (even those who live thousands of miles away!) because we all communicate on a truly personal level. As best as you can with 140 characters, anyway. But imagine my surprise when SO many people ‘liked’ this status, told me how funny and accurately I described myself, and that they’ve always appreciated how unique I am. Quite a confidence booster, considering the bulk of crap I usually see on facebook is people’s highly annoying prayer requests, memes about anything from Jesus to Obama to being a redneck, or highly off putting political views. I speak openly about my opinions, no matter how different from my peers here in the Bible Belt, and it makes me happy to have anyone appreciate it. I’ll never be afraid to talk about something I like, no matter how people might see it. Want to know why I sage and use crystals? Want to know if I (obviously) believe in aliens? Want to know why I think weed should be legal? Want to know who I think was responsible for Kurt Cobain’s death? Want to know if I think ghosts are real? Just ask! I’m always game for a weird conversation.

The point of sharing any of this? To encourage anyone to just ‘BE YOURSELF’. Whatever you’re into, own it. Because not only is it part of who you are, but it makes you awesome, no matter how different it may be from the next person. And remember, there’s always someone somewhere that will say “Me too!” or “Same here!”. In a world as weird and unpredictable as ours is today, those little bonds are a necessity. Own your weirdness. Own your geeky. Own your spooky. Own your magic. Whatever your story, there is always someone who will want to read it.

Who We Once Were and Where We Might Go

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I should probably start off by saying that I don’t consider myself a religious person. I was baptized Catholic, but my parents were always open-minded; I have almost zero memories of being at church on Sundays, and our version of saying grace before dinner was the classic “God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food…” rhyme said by my sister or me. I guess we were the kind of people who showed up for the important stuff (I still enjoy a beautiful midnight mass on Christmas Eve!) but church just wasn’t a priority in my upbringing. As I got older, there was never an ounce of pressure from my family to live the way the Lord wished, or to do the ‘godly’ thing and go to church every single Sunday and stay after for a session in the confessional (to this day, I’m extremely thankful for this, and will allow my son to make decisions on his faith in the same manner.) But although my faith isn’t a huge factor in my life, and being Catholic technically means you’re Catholic and ONLY Catholic and ALWAYS will be, as well as your entire family (if you’re a crazy Catholic as well, you know what I’m talking about…) but I would say there’s bits and pieces from various religions or spiritual beliefs that I find very intriguing. And although a lot of the teachings are practically the opposite of what I may or may not have learned being Catholic, I seem to most identify with a lot of the beliefs of Buddhism or Hinduism. I find peace and comfort from the universe, nature, positive vibes and good karma. It actually kind of blows my mind how the messages resonate with me; there’s nothing complicated to the spiritual philosophy ‘When I do good, I feel good and when I do bad, I feel bad type of religion.
I’ve always had a fascination with the concept of a “Past Life”. I think it’s possible that our soul is so much more than the body it happens to reside in: it feels possible to me that I may have existed elsewhere at another time, and may even exist again, even though I’ve got plenty of life left to live, of course. I went through a lot of ‘phases‘ in my younger years; for instance, I basically lived each day for Catwoman. I had a Catwoman theme birthday party, a Catwoman bike, Catwoman footie pajamas and some days even made my mom call me Catwoman at all times. (Oh, for the love of funny memories…I’m chuckling like a school girl thinking about that). I was in third grade when my “hippie phase” hit me. Hard. I loved the Gerry Bears (a Grateful Dead icon) and bought the plushes in plenty of colors. I immediately wanted anything with a peace sign or a VW Beetle on it. I dreamed of rocking at Woodstock and putting flowers in soldiers’ guns while protesting Vietnam. I wanted every T-shirt in my closet to be tie-dye and all my jeans to be flared, with a ying-yang patch on the knee for good measure. I was definitely a suburban flower (very young) child. It was funny to my parents, and went on for quite some time, as did other phases. But then, years later, my dreams started to take on a 60s-like feel. By this time, I had learned a little more about that point in history and felt drawn to the events that unfolded during those times and places. But there was definitely more to it than make-believe: I’d wake up and fully remember my surroundings (including watching Jimi Hendrix play the ‘Star Spangled Banner early in the morning at Woodstock, or exploring the theories of Timothy Leery) and believed whole-heartedly in being ‘Far out, man. But even beyond that, I feel a connection to that time in history. The music, the culture, the revolution, the rebelliousness. Not to mention the weed. Do I one hundred percent believe I was really there? Maybe not, but I don’t think it’s totally impossible, either. Buddhists believe in reincarnation, and I feel I can identify with that (far more than I find myself identifying with Catholicism, anyway). Plus, I’m a big fan of enlightment through experience, instead of ‘repent for all you’ve done, and you might reach nirvana. Ugh.
Plus, I’m a big fan of belief in the unknown. Conspiracies, ghosts among us, aliens-I love to theorize about what goes against the norm (by the way, if you actually think that our tiny planet is the only place with life in the entire gargantuan universe surrounding us, then you are an idiot. I hope someday you have an experience like Christopher Columbus when he did NOT sail off the edge of the ‘flat’ Earth. No offense ☺️) and wondering about the sort of powers the universe holds that those who aren’t looking would never see. I think that’s why I have some disdain towards organized religion: I don’t like the “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality, the “none of this incredible beauty around us would be possible without God” riffraff, or the “This is what the Bible says, therefore it MUST be true!” rantings (If ANYONE thinks I’d be totally down for being “beneath” my husband because that’s the word of the Lord, or that it’s ok to burn books because their content might go against the moral guidance of the Bible, let me tell you: THERE IS SIMPLY NO WAY IN HELL.) I feel connected with a higher power when I see a beautiful night sky full of stars, when I’m quietly meditating and reading something fabulous, or when my son points at the sun and smiles back at me. Heaven means something different to everyone, but especially to those who choose to look at it beyond pearly gates or God perched on a cloud. To me, I see heaven every time the night is clear and millions of twinkling stars shine brightly with the moon, a mere glimpse of the improbable beauty that lies beyond it.
I seem to be rambling, but all that really needs to be said is imagine the possibilities if others weren’t so confined by their particular set of beliefs. Whether you see a higher power is a magestic man watching us from above, or believe that with good karma comes Samsāra (cycles of rebirth), life is what you make it, so enjoy it while you’re here!
…I know my hippie self did, and so shall I! 😄

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