I’m Beautiful (or so they say)


Beauty. What is it?  How do we define it?  What will we do to obtain it?

I think beauty is something you can not hold in your hand. It is silent and ethereal.  It is the soft whisper of a child sleeping.  It is the bright red lips of a beautiful woman.  It is the elbow of your husband.  It is the dog’s bad breath.  It is familiar, it is far. It is unusual. It is aloof and kind.  It cuddles with you as you read an awesome book. It is everywhere. It is within you.

You are beautiful, brilliant, wonderful, and strong.

When I taught 4th grade in California, ten plus years ago, I encouraged my students to say this everyday aloud (“I am beautiful, brilliant, wonderful, and strong.” )  They would chant it.  It was my first year teaching and it was a magical year.  I wonder if those students remember me and if they still say that.  I hope so.  Children are powerful teachers.  I learned so much from that group of students.

I recently was nominated for this award: The Beautiful Blogger.  Thank you Blazing Trail.

This award comes with some rules… (oh rules — you know how I feel about those, but I will play nicely)

1. Thank the person who nominated you and Link to that person

Thank you Blazing Trail.

2. Post the award on your blog.

Check

3. Nominate 7 (or less) blogs and link to them:

  • http://debrasblogpureandsimple.blogspot.com/ I love this lady.  She and I met at a party. We shared a love of literature, wine, and The Sun magazine.  When I was in graduate school and whining about my thesis, she said, “Put your big girl writer panties on.”  She is hilarious and always gives me a dose of honest writing advice when needed.
  • http://cbwentworth.wordpress.com/  I have come to know this writer through the blogosphere.  She is a dedicated teacher, as well as a free spirit, journaler, fiction, poetry, and nonfiction writer. She is a huge fan of Wreck This Journal.  She is highly organized and dedicated with her posts and someday I’d love to meet her.  She is a passionate teacher who goes against the grain.  Public education is lucky to have her, and so are we.
  • http://mezclados.wordpress.com/ This is a good friend of mine.  She is an Aries like me and a bit of a scatter-brain with all her creative projects.  She writes, paints, mothers, works, and appreciates art.  She also has two toddlers she adopted and a teenager she adopted.  She is amazing.  Her blog is about mixed families. Her husband is white, she is black.  Check her blog out.  Her heart is the color of a rainbow.
  • http://peacesofgreen.wordpress.com/  This is another good friend of mine.  I adore her.  We met when I lived in California.  She is one of my best friends on this planet.  She is a nature lover.  She recently moved to Oregon — to a town she had never been to.  She just felt in her heart that is where she belongs.  She followed her dream and wrote extensively about her trip cross-country, as she moved to a new town without a job.
  • http://quinncreative.wordpress.com/  Can you say creative?  Well, this woman is creativity personified. She has several books on mixed media journaling and creating.  She is lovely.
  • http://judesphotography.wordpress.com/  This is one of my cyber buddies. She is delightful.  She is a British woman living in France, who is a writer, photographer, small airplane enthusiast (I love it when she posts photos taken from her airplane) and someone I adore.
  • http://kindnessgirl.com/  This is Kindness Girl.  She is a mom and kindness activist.  Yes, she is an activist and has all kinds of projects designed to pass it forward.  Check out her latest project, The Magic Wand Project, where she leaves little magic wands around Richmond, Virginia encouraging children to do acts of kindness.  Ellen Degeneres follows her blog.  I hope someday to see her on Ellen talking about her contagious kindness campaign.  Her tagline is “Kindness changes everything.”  Indeed, that is true.
  • http://deborahbatterman.com/  This woman is so charming.  I discovered her blog and amazing writing talent through a writer facebook community.
  • http://www.thejadedlens.com/  This blog is amazing!  This woman is a photographer, kind spirit, and a good friend of mine, who I have had the pleasure of meeting through a writer facebook community.  Her photos are beautiful and the prose she writes is gorgeous.  Meeting her and developing a cyber friendship with her has restored my faith in humanity.  I am a big believer in big hearts and I do think everyone has kindness in them and beauty, but she truly shines —  genuine, honest, inspiring, and whimsical.

4. Tell you 7 things about myself that you do not already know.

1.  I tend to break the rules a lot.  I was supposed to post 7 blogs; I posted 9.
2.  I met Michael Jordan when I was 15 at the Michael Jordan Flight School.  He put his arm around my waist when he refereed a basketball game when I lost my balance at the free throw line.  When I lined up to get ready to sink my two free throws, he handed the basketball to me on my right, and I twisted and lost my balance thinking he was going to hand it to me on the left side. In the confusion and enormity of standing next to my idol (and I should mention how breathtaking beautiful he is), I lost my balance.  He caught me in his arms, with his long left arm around my waist and said, “Sorry doll.”  I sunk the two free throws to win the game, but he gave the cute Canadian girl a ride to the mess hall in his Corvette. I cried after the game, alone on the basketball court, from shock and awe.
3.  I could not talk until I was 4.  I had a severe speech disability and had to go to a special pre-school for children with disabilities (I literally rode the short bus and a mean girl on the bus used to pull my pig tails until my older sister and her friend stormed on the bus and told her to stop.  That bully never touched my pigtails again.  Now I won’t shut up.

I think I was destined to be a writer. I’m related to Agatha Christie on my father’s side. (So he says)

4.  I know the exact moment I chose to be a writer.  I was on a bus for a collegiate soccer trip my senior year.  I played Division I soccer.  On the bus, traveling through New York City, I wrote down everything I saw.  It was at that moment I knew something had exploded in me.  I have been writing ever since.
5.  I love pomegranates and it was the one food I craved when I was pregnant.
6.  I went to Catholic school for 5th and 6th grade.  I gave my teacher so much grief that I had to be moved to the back of the room.  I remember thinking, how did you figure out how to silence me?  At the end of the school year, she had two dozen on my pencil top toys in her desk, including my most prized, Odie pencil top.
7.  My father bought a car that had 5 different colored doors.  My sister and I called it the Green Machine.  I was so ashamed of the car; I insisted he drop me off blocks away from my tweenager destinations.  Now that I am older, I know it was a classic car and would be considered cool in my book.  Back then, it was just strange-looking.  What I wouldn’t give to hop in that car and go cruising with my father.

My parents were very eccentric. Both of them were artists in their own way and they were soulmates. My mother claims he visits her often in the nursing home. She has extensive conversations with him. They truly helped each other heal on this planet and I am lucky to be their daughter.

I have another blog where I ask people to sign my journal.  I have been doing this since I started writing on the bus in New York City.  Check it out and submit your original thought.  I’d love for you to be a part of The Original Journal Project.  I also have a tab at the top of this blog titled, “The Original Journal.”  You can read about this project there too.  There is a video link that has some of the journal signatures I have collected over the last ten plus years.  I have my heart set on Chronicle Books to publish this.
Thanks for being beautiful and remember, “You are beautiful, brilliant, wonderful, and strong.”
What do you think is beautiful?