Some people live in this world
Like a cookie cutter.
Never being more than
What everybody else is
Never doing more than
What everyone else does
Never venturing out to discover a beautiful world
Beyond their mold.
I wrote this poem when I was in high school. I rediscovered it today when I was cleaning out some papers. At the end of the poem, I had written the following in bright red ink. “I pray that is not my fate. It would be very sad if as a really old 40-year-old I wake up with gray hair and realize that I am a cookie cutter person without a single spark of Amee left in me. Oh, how very tragic indeed.”
At first, I laughed. I am now that really old 40 year-old with a few gray hairs starting to appear out of nowhere. 40 just doesn’t seem as old as it used to be. Then, I got reflective. Have I turned into that cookie cutter person that I feared so much? Am I a person who just lives her life, checks off her to-do list but has forgotten she was going to change the world? Am I still me? ”
It was a hard question to ask and an even harder answer to accept.
Sometimes, I am that cookie cutter person. Life. Work. Family. There are molds you accept in order to get a job done. You can call it growing up or you can call it the great tragedy. It really depends on your perspective. Other times, I am still the sparkling soul who loves greatly, grieves greatly and wants to leave her mark on this spinning planet in some heroic way. There is one thing for certain. I must never stop being Amee.
An idea is born. A powerful, creative, joyful idea. I hold it close to my heart afraid that it will somehow die if I let it go into the cruel world. But an idea left in my hand will also die. So, I release the idea to the world knowing that some ideas live and some must die. The creation process can be cruel at times. I blow life into the idea’s little wings so it can fly while it is still young. Some day it might have power to fly on its own or it might sink to the bottom of the ocean after being struck by a fiery dart. I don’t know when I first get an idea if it will be a success or a flop. There’s so much hope and so much fear looking at the idea in my little hand. I’d rather keep it safe with me but risk is needed in the process of creation. So, I let the little idea go. And wait. Will into it turn into project and perhaps ignite movement? It’s a beginning and I am the artist.
That’s the power of creating something new.
It’s time. I can feel it in the air and in my head. It’s time for me to pause, to put down the Facebook feed, to stop looking at recipes I never cook from the internet, to step away from the day-by-day play of the political drama, to live my own life instead of mindlessly following other people’s adventures. Yes, it is time. It’s time for another no social media challenge. I did it six months ago for a week and it was a wonderful experience. I wrote a poem and went to lunch with an old high school buddy. I had time to hear my own thoughts. I did this same challenge a year ago and for two weeks I didn’t use Facebook or read other people’s blogs. I heard the whispering of Heaven as I spent my evenings on projects and other good causes. It’s kind of funny that my social media fast is turning out to be a semi-annual event. I guess once you sit with yourself for a while, you really do crave the quiet found in just being yourself.
The same rules will apply to this Social Media Fast Challenge that I used on my last challenge. No Facebook. No blog reading. No internet except for what is required by my job and the college class that I’m taking right now. The challenge will go from October 3rd to October 17th.
When I emerge from creative cocoon, I hope to have many good things to report about on my blog. And if I do nothing for two weeks…at least I will have more time to do the dishes that are currently sitting in the sink.
See you in two weeks.
Last night, I dreamed I was a hero trying to slay a dragon who was threatening to destroy a cute village. In the middle of the battle, I pulled out my cell phone and started updating Facebook about the battle. The entire village burned to the ground.
I know what the dream means. It’s time for me to take another technology fast. Last June, I did a challenge where I took a week off from social media and all blogs. It was a great week. I thought deep thoughts, read books, wrote a lot in my journal, spent time with friends, rediscovered my CD collection and found out that the world does not revolve around me commenting on every issue. I’m doing my technology fast again. I will be offline from June 3-June 10. The only exception is that when I go to work I have to use e-mail and web-based tools. I’m actually looking forward to my technology fast. Last year, it was like my brain reset itself after my fast. I came back energized and so creative.
At the least, I hope this fast will convince my dreaming brain that the next time dragons decide to invade a cute village that warrior Amee needs to leave her cell phone at home.
I’m having fun with Mason Jars right now. I’ve made salads in a jar to take to work for lunch. They really do last five days in the refrigerator.
I’ve made yogurt in a jar for breakfast. They really do last three days in the refrigerator.
Just for fun, I made money in a jar. It makes me smile every time I see it.
I don’t think it will last five days though.
About a month ago, I got a brilliant idea. It sounded so easy. I’d make an app and every one would pay me a dollar to put it on their phones. I only had to get a million people to buy it and then I would be financially set for life. I identified two challenges to my bright future. Challenge #1: I don’t know how to write in code or make an app. Challenge #2: I don’t own a fancy phone that can have apps so I couldn’t even buy my own app once I made it. At eleven o’clock at night, I can do anything so neither challenge sounded too hard to overcome. The next day I went to the library for how-to-books, watched a bunch of YouTube videos and started working.
Three frustrating weeks later, I finally got the app to the point where I could submit it to the store for people to buy it. Guess What? I got an e-mail back letting me know that my app does not meet the minimum specifications to be fully functional. Translation: It’s so bad that it doesn’t work and we don’t want it here. I felt sorry for myself for a bit, but then I realized what a truly awesome story I am creating by adding another challenge to my list. Challenge #3: The computer people think my app is horrible.
I’m back at the beginning trying to rebuild my app. It may take a few more weeks before I’m able to resubmit it again. Last night I thought of a lovely ending to my app adventure. After overcoming challenges 1, 2 and 3, my app goes crazy and every one wants it. It is amazing how I can do anything at eleven o’clock at night.
In case you have never seen a phone that can’t get apps, here is a picture of mine.
There are times when ordinary events produce beautiful thoughts. I made cookies and I dropped one. I was struck by the way the cookie broke so I took a picture and then I wrote a little poem.
I made my friend cookies today.
She needs some extra love.
I don’t know what to say.
May be cookies will ease the pain.
I dropped the plate
I tried. I tried. I tried
To put the pieces back together.
I gave my friend a shattered cookie today
And a story about my failed attempt
To ease her pain.
She is hurting in a way
Only You can heal.
My challenge has been to create more stuff. I decided to make an all-organic homemade face smoothie as part of my adventures this week. The recipe said it would make all acne go away. The idea of beautiful, porcelain skin filled my imagination with such glee that I happily mashed up all the strawberries, oatmeal, creme and honey. It smelled good, and I knew that after 20 minutes my acne would just melt away.
The Accountant was laughing about my latest adventure. His laughter made me laugh which made it hard to keep the stuff on my face.
After several attempts, I was able to cover my entire face with my homemade strawberry-oatmeal face smoothie.
I sat very still for 20 minutes and waited for my acne to melt away. It didn’t. It just made a big mess in the kitchen.
I’m going to be taking a break from the internet for a few days. It is good to unplug every once in a while and spend time with your own thoughts and feelings. I hope to use this technology fast to be creative. If the world happens to fall apart during that time (and I’m stuck not being able to read about it on CNN), I am confident that someone will call me with the details. Wish me luck! I don’t know if I can really go a whole week without using the Internet, but I’m going to try it and see what creative adventures I can create. Let the great unplugging begin.
There is a bowling alley in heaven. I’m sure of it. Today Sophea and I went bowling. She is a very good bowler. I’ve never beat her. Not even once. Not even had a higher score than her for one frame. It happened today. I was so excited. I started dancing, smiling and completely enjoying the moment of victory.
Then, I bowled the fifth frame and Sophea went back to her normal record of beating me. But for one frame, I was the winner. After bowling, we met up with some friends for lunch. We were there for over two hours. There is nothing better than eating lunch with friends.
I ran out of hair conditioner so dear Sophea came with me to Wal-mart. We wandered up and down the aisles telling jokes about the various merchandise. We found these huge marshmallows that are the size of your hand. Sophea learned that she can do yoga in red shoes. We were laughing pretty hard about the hair conditioner. After I got home, I realized we took the photo in front of the feminine products. That made me laugh even harder.
It was an amazing, joyful day. I know there is a bowling alley in Heaven, and there will also be a Sophea, Karen, Sara and all the other dear folks who bring me joy.
When I was 11, I believed I could fly airplanes
Bake cakes, interview world leaders, write poetry
Wear lipstick and hiking boots for fun
Put boys in their place when they misbehave
I was Joan of Arc, Marie Cure and Mother Teresa
All rolled up into one awesome girl. Me.
Then I turned 12.
Oh, to reclaim 11.
How old were you? I was 12. I was at my grandma’s house. Heather had come over to play. We were sister mermaids who had the magical ability to transform into humans. During the day, we had jobs as a doctor and a TV reporter. In the evening, we went on dates with our handsome boyfriends. After our dates, the mermaid sisters would swim in the ocean. The large grapefruit tree was the ocean and the ground was the human world. We had played mermaid sisters many times, but on that day we couldn’t get the game to work. We gave up and went inside. I remember standing at the glass sliding door that separated the outside yard from the inside house. I don’t know what Heather was thinking, but I was overcome by the moment. I looked at the grapefruit tree and whispered. “It is only a tree now. What happened?”