Spiritual Sunday: A Philosophical Sonnenizio on a Line from Dante

You who bear a humble look
as though you have an outlook on life,
Look up at the clouds,
which overlook the heavens,
Where St. Peter stands on lookout
assuring the looks of heaven possess
only light. Look around, what do you see?
Beauty, which you look for in everything.
Yet not in yourself; gaze into the looking glass,
ensure that overlooking shadow
will comes to pass. Take a look
at yourself, an onlooker of life,
looking forward towards rebirth,
while looking for meaning down on earth.

Julia St. Clair, © December 2014.


Gustave Dore’s drawing of Dante and Virgil out of Hell, Canto 34 of Inferno.
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Motivational Monday: Fuggeta’bout it–Let What Breaks You Make You!

Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.

Ovid

In life, people can make or break us. Let’s face it, we’ve all been hurt at least one time in our lives, and broken emotionally much worse than we have physically. Whether it was through bullying; being ostracized and left out; going through a tough living, school, or work situation; a bad breakup; or a crushing betrayal–which can be looped in with any of those options and even crazier ones–our emotional and mental woes can often bring on physical ailments. We ache, we shake, we panic–we cry, we hyperventilate, and we are as lost in our bodies as we are in our minds and in our hearts. However, as comfortable as it is to remain broken and adopt an attitude of “abandon all hope, thee who dares enter or exit my life,” we can’t–by doing this, the only person whom we’re truly hurting is ourselves.

In life, we must do the things we think we cannot do or will never–or not yet–have to confront. When I lost my first–and to this day only–boyfriend six years ago, it deeply impacted my life. I had a hard time adjusting to not doing anything every waking moment with someone, and not having constant strings of texts and calls flooding my phone. Yet I was also granted the chance to learn who I was again after devoting years of my life loving, nurturing, and helping someone else. During the last ten months, the relationship took an abusive turn–something that still affects me to this day. Although I loved my boyfriend so much–at times more than myself–I knew that I had to get out of an increasingly difficult and uncomfortable situation for the sake and safety of my family, my friends, and ultimately myself. It wasn’t my ex’s fault that he was bipolar, but he did make a conscious choice to lie, cheat on, abuse, and taunt me like a solider promising not to murder their prisoner of war, yet loading the gun behind his poor captive’s back.

I left my ex in 2012–it’s now 2018, and I still find that I am continuing to discover and love myself. Here are some ways that helped me move and “fuggeta’bout’it:”

Traveling

Not all those who wander are lost

J. R. R. R. Tolkien

When we place ourselves in a new environment, we can tap into and discover things that we never thought possible. For example, my first international experience was when my family and I went to Mexico when I was 17. The first time, we stayed in Cancun and went to Chichen Itza and Riviera Maya; we stayed at the second one we returned–in Playa del Carmen–and went on a day trip to Tulum. Although we stayed in all-inclusive resorts during both stays, my eyes were opened to a new world around me–new cultures, new atmospheres, new people, new languages, and new surroundings. Having the ability to meet and interact with the native Maya peoples was a once in a lifetime experience, and my only regret was that I could not help them by buying their products. In Mexico, many locals use lead in their paint when they make little chachkis and nick-nacks. As a result, tourists are advised not to buy their products because the lead in the paint will cause security issues at the airport. However, this is a heart wrenching situation to say “no,” because the locals make a living off of the tourism. I felt so bad, one woman haggled the price of a noise maker down to $5 to try get me to buy it–but alas, I could not.

My eyes of the world continued to expand and open when I first traveled to Italy during my senior years of high school, and returned four years later shortly after graduating college. During my first go-round, I visited Catania, Siracusa, Taormina, Marsala, Palermo, and Messina in Sicily, and Napoli, Sorrento, Capri, and Roma on the mainland (except for Capri, which is an island). In 2016, I spent three weeks in Roma, and went on three day trips to Ostia Antica, Capri, and Florence (Firenze). Like Mexico, Italy was an enthralling experience–some days I wish that I could back to waking up in Rome’s Prati neighborhood and grabbing my “take away” cappuccino and croissant from my favorite cafe. What made the second trip to Italia stand out more than the first was that I was no longer with my ex–we were still together when I went the first time and both times I traveled to Mexico–and I felt like I could fully be myself in a far away place. However, I first realized this during the first time I went. I fell in love with a new land, new people, new cultures, new cuisine, and a new way of life. Yes, there are some things we have here in America that are better, but we can also learn so much for other nations abroad. Furthermore, sometimes the sad parts of our experiences cause us to reflect and be grateful for what we have at home. For example, the vendors in Europe are notoriously pushy, mean, and will physically grab and harass you into buying their junk. The best part is that the police won’t do anything–which makes me appreciate being in New York, where no one would stand for something like that. Yet it’s also nice to only pay 3 euros for a round-trip metro trip, and I wish and long for the day when public transportation on the East Coast can become affordable again.

So what is the message in the midst of my reminiscing and ramble? Just go out there–explore, enjoy yourself. Although I haven’t been abroad in two years, I ventured to new places with my best friend and sister two years in a row to southwest Florida and San Francisco on the West Coast. There is so much to see out there, even venturing only an hour from NYC to upstate NY, and we can truly learn a lot from others. Through travel, we forget about our past by using the present to be, realize, and prepare for transforming into our future selves.

Writing

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

Ernest Hemingway

As many of you know, I’ve been writing from a young age, and it’s the one constant in life that’s made me feel most alive and myself. When I graduated college, I was ready to dive head-first into a creative role in the entertainment only–then I discovered that it didn’t want me. I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t not have the talent, and my resume definitely was not lacking–it’s just a competitive field, and for whatever reason that I can’t understand, it was not my time. I’m happy to be where I am now, both life and career wise. There are some good days and some bad ones, but there is always one thing that’s for certain–I’m always writing. Always.

When I felt disheartened, discouraged, and forlorn, I took a break from writing anywhere outside of work–and later–school. However, I know now that in order to truly be a success, I have to constantly be working on my craft, no matter how tired, exhausted, fatigued, etc. I get. When I lost my ex and was in an uncomfortable situation at my first university, the main thing that kept me sane was writing. I began to fully dive into writing prose, honed my poems, and dived head-first into making “fan fiction” soap operas for myself and my friends. I expanded this as I got older and transferred to my alma mater–and current school, since I not only work there, but am back as a student to get my master’s–I began to take more courses to tune my craft. I also learned some difficult things that I coped with my turning them in works for my poetry class. When our final was to make a chapbook, I presented some of the most difficult ones aloud to read for our class’ family and friends. By channeling my grief into my work, I was able to create art–and urge everyone and anyone to do the same.

You don’t have to be a Stephen King or Dante to write–just jolt something down. It doesn’t have to be a long screenplay or epic novel if you don’t want it to. A simple poem, line, or even just admitting “I’m not happy” is a great start. You don’t even have to keep it–rip it up if you feel like you need to “shred your stress.” Yet by putting our thoughts, feelings, and ourselves onto paper, we let part of ourselves loose, and feel light and free.

Work and School

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.

Colin Powell

When you’re a student, an employee, or both, your work life becomes a distraction from your lay being (outside of work/school life). This is a welcome thing when you are going through a rough point in your life because it forces your mind to focus on bigger things. You might not like going to school or be crazy about your current job. Maybe you’re thinking of switching major, or changing industries. Perhaps you haven’t even left the retail work yet. That doesn’t matter–what matters is that you are there, here and now. By focusing your energy on your work ethic in class and at your job, you are preparing yourself for a better and brighter future.

This might seem obvious, but it’s something that get often get overlooked. While I was always an honors student, I never had the “perfectionist” drive that propels my heart and soul until I got to college. When I lost my boyfriend, I had to find something else to harness my energy in. I was away at school for the first year, and even when I transferred, most of my friends were married, in committed relationships, and had their own lives. That’s when my passion for my schoolwork kicked in to overdrive. A’s became something I was happy and grateful for to something that I needed to get to feel alive. By the time I graduated, I had a 3.98 GPA with only one grade that fucked up my 4.0–a B+ in Math. However, I was grateful I passed–it was a horrible class.

Moreover, my work ethic transitioned into the workplace, and I remain a hard worker to this day. If I hand something in before the deadline, it’s on time. If I make it at the deadline, it’s late. And if it’s actually late, than there’s either too much going on at work or I’m dead in a ditch somewhere. These are the standards that I set for myself that may drive me crazy at times, but ultimately keep me grounded and guarded. You don’t have to slave for crazy hours just to feel alive. I, for one, believe that work is during work hours, and nothing more. However, my cancelling your energy into your job performance during a difficult time, you are creating a new life for yourself. And while you may seem stuck now, you will be out later. Find a way to make your job a paradise, even if it may seem like a hell at times. After all, be grateful that you at least have one.

Spending Time with Family, Friends, and Pets

Love overflows and joy never ends in a home that is blessed with family and friends.

Unknown

This one is pretty obvious. We never know what can happen tomorrow–face it, we might get hit by a bus or a penny falling down from the Empire State Building. Ok, that sounds dramatic, but the point is true–unless you’re God or a fortune teller, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Therefore, it’s best to spend as much time with family, friends, and pets as possible.

Even though you may be troubled, the people who love you will be there for you during this difficult time. If they’re not, it’s one of two options–they themselves have a lot going on, or they don’t give a fuck. If it’s the latter, screw them–you’re better off. While you think the latest thing you need is another loss, sometimes you have to go through some more bad in order to fully get to the good. Also, cutting toxic people will make you realize and appreciate those in your life who truly are honest and care.

Make sure you let your family, friends, and pets know how much you love them and appreciate them. I might not have many friends, but there are family–one in a million. Together with my family–including my dog–I don’t know where I would be today without their love and support.

Meditation

The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.

David Lynch

As human beings, we are constantly on the go, and our minds are often focused on two places: the future and the past. It is truly rare that we are ever fully in the present moment like a dog or cat satisfied and at play. We’re like Ariel in “Part of Your World”–we always want “more.” However, when we meditate, we are putting our constantly overactive and overworked minds to rest and focusing on the most important thing in the moment–our present selves.

I didn’t get into meditation until a year and a half ago. I did it everyday for two months, and felt great. Then I stopped–and became insecure because I missed a day and didn’t do it for “enough time.” While at least 5-10–an average of 7–minutes is ideal, even if you meditate for a minute or two, it’s still better than nothing. Also, we don’t have to have elaborate rituals to do this. It can simply be closing our eyes on the train or taking a few moments to focus before bedtime. When we pay attention to ourselves, especially during difficult times, we are helping ourselves by learning and listening to what we need–not what we want.

Working Out

I feel better in my mind when I work out. It makes everything better.

Keri Russell

When I left my ex, I gained weight. I also realized that I liked going to the gym for the first time, and when I shed pounds, I mentally felt better and reborn. Due to time and money constraints, I only went to the gym occasionally for a few years until I joined one at my old job. For six months, I went for at least 40-65 minutes for 3-4 days a week. As a result, I lost 20 pounds–it was the most confident I ever felt in my life.

Yet I cancelled my membership when I switched jobs, and indulged in fast food everyday because I was amazed by all the options downtown. I gained everything back, and felt like a slob–not good. So as the year went on, I became interested in going to the gym again. After taking advance of some temporary free memberships, I made a commitment, and joined Planet Fitness. For a while, I was going five days a week. Now, I’m happy if I get there once with school, and am going to make a 2-4 day commitment once the semester comes to a halt. However, I have been weight training through a class at my job on Mondays for a month that helps–and it’s at a gym.

So what’s the point? You don’t have to “feel the burn” every second of your workout, and you don’t have to master every weight, every dumbbell, every machine. Going to the gym helps you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The feeling one gets after is a sky high–even if you’re tired, there’s that sense of accomplishment, of “I did it!” And that truly helps when you need to distract and calm your mind. Which leads to the second-to-last suggestion…

Yoga

Yoga is the space where the flower blossoms.

Amit Ray

This is sometimes that can either put a smile on one’s face or fear in their heart. The biggest question and insecurity is, “but I can’t get my body to work like that.” That’s where you let your mind rest and body fully take over–you don’t have to be standing on your head, just building up your practice and technique over a period of time.

For years, I was afraid to try yoga because I was afraid I’d look “uncool” compared to everyone else in the class. Also–money. But there is a free, weekly yoga class at my job, and I began to go when I first started last year. Although I “gave up” due to a busy schedule, I began going religiously again last month with the exception of important days where it would be impossible, such as working at a different location or having an important meeting scheduled at the same time. In the wake of this difficult year of realization and self growth, yoga helped me focus on me. It also made me realize that I don’t have to try so hard, and when we focus and let go, we can literally do the impossible. Also, your body and muscles feel great after the session, and you feel so relaxed.

If you’re afraid of the physical pain, don’t–it’s a great substitute from the mental one. It also reminds us that it is only temporary, and that we can not only feel good again, but even better once it’s over. Moreover, yoga reminds us that with hard work and determination, practice makes perfect–not to the world, but to us, and connects us with ourselves and the universe.

Being Alone

It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.

Marilyn Monroe

In life, we are always worried that if we don’t jump at the next person to hang out with, date, or talk to that we will be by ourselves forever. We are so afraid to be alone that we tend to latch onto other people, sometimes the wrong ones. Hens why rebounds–whether they’re as friends or as romantic partners–happen. In order to know what is it that we truly want versus what we don’t, we have to get to the point and stop avoiding the inevitable–be alone.

By being by ourselves, we learn what we want and truly life. Also, we can fully do whatever we want whenever we want, and don’t have to worry about adjusting our plans or lifestyles for anyone. It’s selfish, but in a good way–we are getting to know us after having lost ourselves in other people. I’m advising isolating yourself in your bedroom like a cloistered nun–only a coward would intentionally do that. What is good though is to spend a day by yourself. Do what you want to do, go where you want to go, see what you want to see, buy what you want to buy, wear what you want to wear. Go on the trip. Buy the dress. Eat the burger–don’t give a duck what anyone else thinks, feels, or says. It’s your life, and it’s up to you to live it–no one else is going to do it for you.

Happy Monday and namaste. ☮

Keeping Up With My Writing…and Blog

Hey ya’ll! It’s been a busy, stressful, and eventful year, and I hadn’t had as much time as I planned to keep up with my writing. Compared to the hungry, ambitious, eager go-getter I was in 2017, 2018 saw me drained, depressed, and forlorn. I often questioned if I was going in the right direction, making the correct choices, and–most of all–what I did I need to do to get everyone to like me. I became so stressed that my lisp developed into something worse–a stuttering problem. Every time I open my mouth, I feel like Colin Firth in The King’s Speech. What’s even worse is I’m fine speaking in crowds, it’s “one-on-one” with people where I now get the most anxious. And it’s sad, because there’s so many people whom I truly like and admire, and others whom I’d love to see more often and hang out with, and I cannot tell them because I always get ever so tongue-tied. Yet that ends now–the stutter might not go away overnight, but it’s time for me to kick fear in the ass and drag it to hell. Speaking of hell, a crazy vendor in Rome told me to go there when I yelled at him for harassing and stalking me. Aye, buddy, at least it’s hot down there!

Anywho, I felt like Hercules singing “I Can Go the Distance” in all aspects of my life–family, friends, work, school, romance, et cera. However, I finally “woke up” so to say and realized fuck it–I have to be myself, stand up tall, and yet not let the world around me totally harden by empathic, compassionate heart.

In lieu of doing what I did around this time last year–worrying about why my life and certain aspects of it weren’t going exactly the way I had planned–I’ve decided to keep calm, move on, and focus on the thing that has always made me “the most happy”–writing. Thank God I doing a lot of drafting, writing, editing, and copyediting at my job, because I unfortunately fell behind on my screenplays, novels, and side projects this year. Calling it a “sojourn” would be nice, but I have to admit a sad truth: I became so insecure and lost that I gave up. Each rejection, each criticism, each shade made me stare into the open space of nothingness and internally quote Kennedy Davenport in RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 3–“fuck my drag, right?” Only my drag was my writing–the most pure, innovative, and expressive well for me to, well, express myself.

That’s why things are going to be different from now on–I’ve found the problem, and have confronted–and am confronting–the issue head on. Like a matador getting into the ring after years of retirement, I’m ready to get the ball rolling with my writing again, and one way of doing that is by maintaining this lovely blog each day. Therefore, starting tomorrow, I’ll be doing posts for the following categories each day:

Motivational Monday

Transformation Tuesday

Way-Back Wednesday

Tasty/Thirsty Thursday

Fashionista Friday

Sanguine (Optimistic) Saturday

Spiritual Sunday

They will either be full-on blog posts or poems and prose. Like the past format of this blog, I’ll continue to turn out self reflective essays and writings inspired by real life, dreams, and history. Also, my historical fiction and law of attraction posts can figure into these categories, too.

And so it is–tomorrow, will be the first Motivational Monday. Till then, God bless and namaste 🙂

A Sonnezio on a Line from Dante

By love which moves the sun and other stars,
through love which sets the summer night’s sky.
cast off the shawl of hidden truths, and begin to love
life the way you longed to die beneath the love lost
shadows within the walls of the lovely late nineteenth
century home your parents bought where their love
was tested by hate and love abreast, one hath chose
to settle, the other too mellow, and you, my love, have
lost all sight, abandoned all hope, exterminated love,
shattered your mind, but from a tiny spark, love bursts
the flame, and I, dear love, no longer pine for the day to
gaze upon your haughty faceyou accept and love the pull
towards me, and love how your finger dials the keys, as you,
my love, realize at long lastthe secret of getting things done, is to act!

– Julia A. St. Clair, © 2018, 3:50 p.m.

For a Queen’s Love: The Story of the Royal Wives of Philip II Book Review

At a glance, For a Queen’s Love sets itself up as an amazing book. Having made the story’s focus on the lives of the wives of Philip II of Spain and monarch himself, historical fiction writer Jean Plaidy should’ve had a royal flush. Instead, she presented the world with a lukewarm, overly dry view of one of Spain’s greatest monarchs.

Originally titled The Spanish Bridegroom, the novel falls flat with the simplest thing when it comes to writing and research—language. Firstly, the king was named Felipe, not “Philip,” the latter of which is the Anglicized version of the former. Therefore, since he is the king of Spain, it is best to refer to him as “Felipe,” though most English speaking writers don’t understand this. Yet this insult is but the first throughout the book that demonstrates the fact that Ms. Plaidy had no concept of the Spanish language. In a later chapter, Felipe’s son, Don Carlos—one of the few characters who is addressed by the correct name—is fawning over his fiancée later turned stepmother, Elisabeth of Valois. He decides to call her Isabella “because that’s the Spanish version of her name.” However, the Spanish version of Elisabeth is Isabèl—Isabella is Italian, not Spanish. Coupled with the fact that Isabèl of Portugal is also referred to as Isabella when it was Isabèl in her native land and adopted one, along with Maria Manuela being called “Maria Maneola,” Ms. Plaidy neglected to do basic research on the character’s names and their language of origin. Therefore, this erroneous decision on the part of the author and the editors prevented me from fully enjoying this book.

Yet I must confess that with the exception of names and their language of origin, the rest of the research was good. I enjoyed Ms. Plaidy’s elaboration on Felipe’s relationship with his duenna, Leonor, and his mistress, Isabèl Osorio, which she kept close to history. Additionally, I liked how she portrayed the infamous Juana la Loca by giving her a relationship with her great-grandson, Don Carlos, and how she showed his upbringing alongside his half-uncle, Don Juan de Austria, and half-cousin, Alessandro Farnese. Moreover, it was good to see that Mary Tudor, aka Mary I of England, was not made out to be the cartoon villain that most writers have made her into. Instead, England’s first female sovereign is presented as a sad figure whose physical appearance reflected the anxieties and frustrations that she faced internally. Despite her success in obtaining a husband, the tragic Mary could not fully have him due to her eagerness to rule and “cleanse” a land that had already slipped away from her long before her hysterical pregnancies and burning of “heretics.” Therefore, I commend Ms. Plaidy in these areas.

Yet the book’s title is misleading—it is about “the royal wives” of Felipe, but the last and perhaps most important one is left out—Anna of Austria. The story concludes with Elisabeth of Valois dying in childbirth, completely omits the temporary falling out of Felipe and Don Juan, and forgets to mention Felipe’s most well-matched and notorious wife. Felipe’s marriage to Anna was his longest, and they had numerous, though mostly short-lived, children, including the future Felipe III of Spain. Most importantly, Anna died in childbed in a similar, eerie pattern in the demises of Felipe’s wives, with the exception of Mary Tudor.

History notes Anna as a good queen, a loving stepmother to Felipe’s daughters, and a devoted mother to their children. Yet it is impossible to ignore the juiciest detail of all—Anna of Austria was Felipe’s niece and cousin. Her parents, Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian II and Maria of Austria—Felipe’s cousin and sister—were also first cousins. Therefore, this marriage was the latest and most defining moment in the inbreeding of the the Habsburg dynasty. The pattern of niece/uncle/cousin marriages would continue for another century, ending the Spanish line with Carlos II “the Bewitched.” Carlos II is Felipe’s great-grandson, and it would’ve been great if Ms. Plaidy could have foreshadowed the downfall of the Spanish Habsburgs with the poor health and deaths of Felipe and Anna’s young sons from epilepsy, a common complication from inbreeding. She missed a great opportunity to close on a riveting chapter and final note for Felipe. As a result, the character of the historical Felipe II—and the readers—were cheated of a decent ending and instead subjected to an overly rushed, uneventful death of his third, but certainly not final, wife.

“Set in Our Ways” – How Ambitious People Are Different From Everyday Folk and Why We’re “Better”

“To thy own self be true.” No one puts it better than Polonius [from Hamlet]. Many like to tag and quote this piece, but few seem to realize its true value more then those who are ambitious. Ambitious people are different from ordinary folk; they’re not content with staying in the same place, doing the same thing, maintaining the same habits their whole lives. They don’t lie about everyday wining and complaining about their ho-drum lives; they take action. They know what they want, and they go for it; they don’t let anyone or anything stand in their way. They fall off the horse and leap back on, taking off faster and better than before.

Being ambitious takes has taken me far in life; I graduated summa cum laude with my bachelor’s and landed a full-time job at my alma mata ultilizing the thing I love most, writing. I wanted to work in Manhattan, and my ambitious heart helped get me there. I enjoy my 45-60 minutes to and from work everyday via subway and the Metro North because I am where I love most — la citta. Ambition and maintaining my pride also helped me get rid of fake friends and realize and hold onto my true ones. It showed me also that most of us have the virtue of success in common, some moving faster than others, some in different career fields, and scattered throughout most of our locations. If there’s one thing most of us have in common, it’s pride.

Yet not everyone has that. Some people are content staying home all day doing nothing. Some would prefer the solitude of the inland more than the hustle and bustle of the big city. Sometimes they never get the passion or drive to make something of themselves and leave their ho-drum lives. In some cases, they’re happy staying stuck with they are forever, or making themselves get stuck someplace us. These are the everyday folk; they’re much different than us. That doesn’t make them any worse or better; we’re just different. At least ambitious folk recognize the difference and respect that; everyday folk do not.

“Regular” people don’t view our ambition as a driving point. They label it as “dreaming” and “living in ‘fantasy land.'” They try to discourage and taunt us, saying that we’re being “too thick headed” and are “set in our ways.” To them, we’re haughty, rude beings who think we’re better than everyone else. They don’t view our differences as a good thing; they view us as “bad, picky people who they need to stay far away from.” However, the only “bad, picky people” are the regular folk themselves, and it’s simply for thinking this way, and most of the time, they aren’t even bad people; they just are “set in their ways” of defining what we should do to “settle” and “remain calm.” Yet they’re not hurting us — they’re hurting themselves by putting slits into the belt that unites us in our relationships.

A perfect example is myself — I am a ambitious, driven woman in her 20s. Most of my friends are successful men and women in their 20s and 30s. Some are ambitious, others are not. One of the “everyday folk” and I are at odds, and now I may be on the outs with another one. One views me as “set in my ways,” and I won’t argue her about that; the other is glimpsing into the same. Ma perche — why? Perche — because — I refuse to settle in “love.” O Cesar o nothing — its Caesar or nothing; I’d rather never marry before I compromise my soul and my life for settling for second rate men. But I know it won’t come to that; true love will find me again, and I’ll be with my “Caesar” in no time once I let go and open my heart and mind to who’s out there, what I want, and most of all, what God/the universe thinks and knows is in store for me.

Long story short, I’ve had encounters with friends of friends, both in person and online. Those people are male, and they are romantically interested in me. I, however, have and show no interest in them. They are not on my level; boring, both physically and internally unattractive everyday men who have no ambition or motive in life besides merely getting by. You’d get more laughter from a raindrop then these fellows. I’m not interested — don’t ask me why, I am not. Actually, they should know that I’m not because I both kindly and frustratingly asked time and time again not to be set up with people and not to pressure me into situations with men I don’t want. Sadly, they don’t get it; they just don’t understand. They criticize me, my hopes, my ambition, my dreams; they don’t understand or sympathize with how far dreams can really go. They’re not bad people; they’re wonderful. We’re just stuck in different mindsets, and I have, and show, no shame in living in mine. Time is something precious that we can never get back; why waste it with the wrong one(s) who we already know that we’ll never be attracted to and some whom we’re physically and emotionally repulsed by, just all out creeps. The best part of all, what some “everyday folk” fail to understand is that they are not one to judge us; some are where they are because of their success and pride in certain areas, especially with guy/romantic partners. So why pressure me into being with men as dry as toast when you have handsome/beautiful, successful, and, for some, ambitious partners yourselves? Therefore, they have no right to judge.

The best part of it all is that these everyday folk view themselves as “normal” and us as “different” and “strange,” and they are wrong in doing so. Yet there is no such thing as “normal;” that is a conception in reality that doesn’t exist. This is what makes ambitious people better; we see and share the comparisons, contrasts, and joys and embrace in it. In fact, these are our playgrounds. They share the joy in being different and strange as we are, too; they’re just so stubborn to realize it. And how joyous and ironic it is in life that the ones who preach normalcy are the least “regular” of them all.

Namaste, everyone. Have a Happy Wednesday and get home safe! 🙂

 

Separate Ways

Two little girls sit one by one, two

little girls; only one is the star. A star

of a show of her brand new life, while

little one falls on her knee and cries. Now

she climbs, she rumbles, getting herself

back up. As she rises, that little one comes

tumbling down. And like God and Adam, they

reach their chubby little fingers towards each

other, one to help the other up, until both little

cherubs like Zeus in Alexandria are standing

tall. But soon the path widens, and one little

girl with indifference cries, while the other

packs up, says her goodbye. “Fare thee well,

sweet sister, fare thee well,” she replies. “We

are on the same journey, but different roads. We’ll

meet again, as time due flies.”

  • Julia St. Clair, ©2017, 4:40 p.m.

Thursday, August 31, 2017: Quote of the Day, Meaning & Reflection – Positivity & Light

We boil at different degrees. - Clint Eastwood
“We boil at different degrees” — this means that everyone grows and matures at their own pace. Perhaps you feel different and disconnected from people, places, and things whom you love, but have evolved from. Maybe you’re deciding to build a new life for yourself and your family and friends think differently on it. It could be you or someone else has yet to move on from a traumatic event or want to break free. The message? Descansar — rest, don’t tire yourself. If you’re feeling down because your moment has yet to come, fear not; your time is coming, all you need do is have patience and wait.

I’m one of the most impatient people I know of and can vouch for that. A year ago, I was working in a position that I knew I wanted to get out of when my supervisor informed me that my co-worker and I were getting let go in a month; our department moved to another division, and the funding was no longer available to pay part-time employees. I put on a brave face (I felt worse for my boss than he felt for me, since I could see how upset he was and was more than thankful he was telling me ahead of time), and continued doing what I did the whole summer, going on interviews and scramming to find a position. Words alone cannot express how grateful I was when my present job opened up in the HR division I worked in since I was a student and my boss brought me on board. For the first time in months, I felt like I could finally breathe.

My job in HRIS ended on a Friday, and I started working in Benefits the following Tuesday. Although I was still part-time, I told advantage of my role by getting in as much into our processing and repository systems as possible, including over 600 files at one point, assisting with special events and classes for all the HR departments, and even taking an HR Generalist Certification course in Midtown. I achieved a lot for my co-workers and myself. However, at times, I felt very upset and down when I saw people I knew and went to school with getting full-time jobs, whether in their desired fields or not, and going on to work in big cities and do great things while I was still stuck. It wasn’t that I was doing the wrong thing; after taking 2 and a half months off to think, I started applying to positions galore in November-December (I actually put in my cover letters “getting this job would be the perfect Christmas present”) and went on more interviews, half good, half “eh” to bad. Yet none of these opportunities worked out, and it hurt me a lot, even the ones that I knew wouldn’t have worked out. I had yet to realize that the water wasn’t yet boiled; it simply wasn’t my time.

During the course of this year, I competed in the official Miss New York USA pageant and did background acting on Homeland and an Untitled HBO Project while working part-time. I also went on vacation twice, with my best friend to Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miami Beach and South Beach, Florida and with my family to Rhode Island. I took advantage of every opportunity that came my way and made the most of it. While I can still complete in the pageant again next January (and its official, I am) and go on vacation so long as I double check and use a personal day and vacations days, I know I wouldn’t have been able to do the acting again, and for that I’m truly grateful. The past year and four months have been a time of tremendous growth that I needed to undergo and appreciate before I started working full-time — and “at last” the day came.

“At last” for this is a two-part process; today is my last day in HR, Tuesday I’ll start over in Development and Alumni Relations downtown. I’m still working at the university, with is a dream come true on the HR end since most of my stuff is already in the system, but will be in the city and writing so much more, two important things that I wanted to accomplish when pursuing something full-time. I also get to draft proposals, ghostwrite for the university higher ups, interview and do write-ups on donors of the month. Its everything I loved about journalism before I switched out into communications! Although I have to work evening and weekends for busy times and special events, one of said events is an awards dinner at the American Museum of Natural History — need I say more.

This is a great chance to make a fresh start and begin my writing career full-time — during the day as a development associate, and still in my spare time as a creative writer and screenwriter. Yet now is the perfect time for this all is be working out; a year ago I was too closed minded to think outside the box, refusing to apply to positions that didn’t have “writer/editor” in the job title, yet got interviews for even intern and secretary roles at casting and production companies, and the one time I did get an interview for an “Publishing Assistant” role, it was basically a data entry clerk with a fancy title and little to no writing involved. Forget about creative growth, there wasn’t even room for writing official letters. That experience was a big eye opener for me, since it taught me to 1.) investigate companies further (the HR contact assured me it was a “creative role” prior to my interview, and I had a weird experience before then where they wanted to illegally pay me under the minimum wage on the books — a huge hell no and also begging to get shut down) and 2.) read job descriptions thoroughly with attention to every detail. Its like my favorite Dead lyrics of all time, “once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” Sometimes positions may not seem what you’re looking for by their title, but if you read between the lines and look past the surface, you soon realize that the show might fit. The same can be said with searching for a home, car, or partner. This is a part of life and growing and developing as an individual and intellectual as a whole.

Speaking of “boiling at different degrees,” I’m learning to boil out of my “laissez-faire” (as in translation of “hands off”) romantic dreams and facing reality. I had to fully let go and make peace with my past, and did so the other day; I haven’t heard anything yet. I may or may not, but that doesn’t matter. What counts is that I said everything I needed to say and was aching to get out for years, not placing blame, but instead apologizing on my end, saying there is nothing to forgive because I forgave him a long time ago, and thanking him for all the fun times we had. I was also friendly and invited him to reach out, but if he doesn’t I understand. I feel like years of guilt and doubt are finally lifted off my shoulders, and I’m fully ready for what’s coming. I know now that I need to start dating again — not dating every six months or so and cancelling each other because I don’t want to “waste my time,” but actively going on dates anywhere from every week or so to once a month. Though I’ve dated since my breakup, I’ve only had one official sit down date since then, and nearly five years have gone by; I need to give my potential suitors a chance, just like my ex gave me. We were friends before we started dating, I liking him first and him not reciprocating the feelings, but in time, ironically around the point where I gave up all hope, he told me of his growing feelings and how he wanted us to go out. We didn’t even have our first date when we started dating; all I thought was he was giving me a chance to go out, and the next day he asked me over the phone, “So how was your first day of having a boyfriend?” What? We’re dating already? It was shocking, but great! Yet blurred my mind as I got older, since I saw people dating around, seeing different people at the same time and struggled to differentiate the difference between that and cheating. It took me until this weekend talking with my aunt and best friend to realize that I can date a few guys at the same time and it doesn’t mean I have multiple boyfriends or a boyfriend in general — its ok to have fun and play chess with fate. Not every guy is gonna be like my ex and put the label of “together” on that quick; and that’s a good thing!

So Clint Eastwood’s right — “we boil at different degrees.” Sometimes we make it before others or vice versa. All our friends are in relationships and we’re the only single person in the group or vice versa. Some of them move on faster after a breakup than us or vice versa. The point is what works for us works for us; it might not work for others, but it’s ok. This is all part of the journey of growing up and trusting in the universe and God’s Divine Timing, or whatever you choose to believe in. Everyone moves at their own pace — so let’s move on and take it one step at a time.

For more job searching articles, be sure to check these out!

The 7 Most Disrespectful Things Prospective Employers Do From a Candidate’s Point of View

A Word of Advice to Students and Recent Graduates Going on Interviews

An Epiphany

Also be sure to view these articles on dating and “the single life!”

12 Things I’ve Learned While Being Single for 4 Years
Changes in Self-Discovery and Realization: The Single Life, Good Friends & Tiempo per me
Pursuing the Self: May 2017 Update
Tanto monta, Monta Tanto: The Search for the “Perfect” Partner