A simple Google search will solve this question. From what I can tell from a cursory search, all chameleons come out as a base color but then change colors when they’re stressed, angry, and even happy.
And it makes sense that they have developed the evolutionary need to camouflage themselves.
But what about us? We can be different people when we’re angry, stressed, and even happy. So much so that it’s hard to remember who or what is just … us. What is our base color? Our neutral? Who are we when we’re most ourselves?
And then there’s also the way that society shapes us. Which mimics the chameleon’s need to blend in with its surroundings. Our emotions seem to disguise us, but so does our environment.
And while it is beneficial for the chameleon to make these changes, it can also be taxing.
So, I urge you to learn a lesson from the chameleon. To remember who you are at your core. At your base color. Because when you know that, you’ll always be able to get back to the basics.
There is a breeze flowing through my bedroom widow. The world is quiet.
I’m at peace.
Go. Put down your screens (tv, phone, computer, etc.) and find your peace.
I’ll be back tomorrow. You can spare tonight for yourself.
Okay, listen. I HATE the hiccups. I’ve inherited that loathing from my father, who would take walks around the block just to avoid freaking out at us over his hiccups.
And do what you want to cure them: light a match and put it in a cup of water, try to drink from the opposite side of your cup, ask someone to scare the living daylights out of you. Hiccups will go when they want to go.
Which is why hiccups can teach you about patience. About humility (oh yeah, they will take you right down a notch.) And of course, about slowing down (because eating fast is how you get hiccups in the first place, isn’t it?)
The next time you have hiccups, try to take inventory. Why do I have hiccups? What am I doing too fast, and especially, what am I willing to do to get rid of them?
Because the relief you feel when they leave is unparalleled. But for them to leave, you have to acknowledge them first. (Like most problems in life.)
Belief is a very touchy subject. I mean, what you think is easy to share. Everyone’s got an opinion. But belief seems quieter, more fragile, more willing to break. It’s personal.
And don’t worry. We’re not gonna get into the specifics of the “big” question: whether pineapple belongs on pizza or not. (Jk, it’s whether there’s an omnipresent being watching over us. Which is the more controversial topic, again?)
I’ll start: I’m just gonna say that I believe in fairies, unicorns, mermaids, villains, heroes, witches, warlocks, magic, spells, and most importantly, happy endings.
Why? Because I’ve never had a reason not to.
I’ve never looked at this world, with all its treasures and wonders, but also pain and hurt, and said something just can’t be possible. Because it all can. I’ve seen amazing good and horrible bad. And because of that, I believe in everything. I have to so that it all balances out, somehow.
So, while believing in fairies might seem silly to you, to me it’s just acknowledging that we don’t know everything about our world.
And when we do, it’ll be a sad day. Because when things are still unknown, there’s still room for belief.
Las Vegas. Despite being the town with the glitz and the glam and the one and only Britney Spears, not all of its ventures are successes. Believe it or not, there are some casinos that don’t hit the jackpot (what a theory.)
So, what do developers do? They don’t just redecorate. They don’t just turn it into a cool gastropub with slot machine levers to pour beer.
No. They implode the thing and start over. Controlled explosions. Dynamite. Time and time again. Blow it up. Begin anew.
And I think there’s something to be said about that for life. Because in the age of technology where all of your exes (ex-husband, ex-friend, ex-boss) are a click away, I think we have a hard time saying goodbye to some of our old relationships and habits. And while it’s never really advised to burn bridges, I have to wonder why not. Why don’t more people blow up that toxic aspect of their lives and start over?
Because sometimes, leaving a back door open as you leave, can make it feel all so unfinished. And that can push you back into a situation that you shouldn’t have been in the first or second time.
So, don’t tear your life down. But when necessary and in very extreme situations, it doesn’t hurt to control the explosion from the inside and to rebuild it Las Vegas style: bigger and badder.
Tonight, one of my best friends met me for dinner. We have this thing where every few weeks we just meet up and run down the same tracks of conversation that we always do. And we go to the same place and we order the same drinks, and we catch up.
And there’s something beautifully comfortable about that. I can count on her to make me feel better, to listen. And I can count on her to fill me in on every detail of her life so that I feel closer to her even when I’m not.
So I’m not suprised when I start waxing philosophical (like really hard) about life and I’m going on and on about my views on the world, which should make me incredibly vulnerable and make me feel crazy, when she says in the most admiring tone; “I love you.” And we laugh because we get it. We get each other. And in the face of everything, we know that we could say anything to each other, and we know we’d meet again in a few weeks for dinner, to do it all over again.
And I wish that for all my readers, all my friends, and everyone I meet. Not that you have a friend to have dinner with, although that’s nice. But a friend who understands you on a truly deeper level. Who is fully prepared to hear your opinion on the world and love you not in spite of it, but because of it. Because you get it, and so do they.
Because a full heart is so much better than a full belly.
You ever hear of the butterfly theory?
Also known as the chaos theory, it’s the idea that a flap of a butterfly’s wings halfway across the world could alter things that occur in a seemingly unrelated event (like your own life).
And just about every medium that deals with science fiction has explored this theory in some way, shape, or form. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t bear repeating.
Because there’s another theory that goes right along with the butterfly theory: that every choice we make in our lives, even if it’s what to eat for dessert on a Tuesday night, changes the outcome of our entire existence. On a much larger scale, it encompasses every “what if” in life. What if he was “the one”? What if I took that job? What if I ordered tira misu?
The difference here is that I would like to believe in the butterfly theory. I like the idea that small, unrelated events move us across the world like chess pieces. What I don’t like is thinking about a life parallel to the one I’m living that allows me to live out every decision I didn’t make. It’s agony.
Which is why I believe that while our decisions do have great influence on our lives, we do have checkpoints. In short, that we are meant to be in some places, and that we will get there however we get there. That you cannot make a wrong turn. You’ll find your way, even if it’s not the most direct route.
Why do I believe this? Because it would be suicide not to. It would be so painful to believe that I missed all my chances in life to do what I wanted most.
I would really like to know how you could even go on living if you sincerely believed that you could actually make a wrong choice in your life that would impact it forever. (Spoiler alert: you can’t. Mistakes are only more experiences.)
In the end, you have to believe in second chances sometimes, if only to give yourself one.
I don’t like when people tell me what to do.
And no one really does, I know. No one wants to be ordered around. But unlike most, I really show it. Ask my mother: when she tried to ask me to color when I was young, I would throw the crayons and walk away. Ask my fiancée: if he even suggests that I do something, like don’t eat chips before dinner, I don’t listen and I actually do the opposite (eat the whole bag).
I have a little problem with authority.
Why? Where does it come from? That’s the tricky part because it baffles me too. I’m not really a rebel without a cause. I didn’t make trouble in school. I hardly stepped a toe out of line.
I have just always wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it (and still do.) And the devil may take anyone who says otherwise (says me).
But imagine my surprise when now that I’m an adult, I’m the authority for others. And how uncomfortable that makes me. Partly because I know how much I hate authority but also because it scares me. (Want to know your true power? Be placed as an authority figure for kids. Most of them are so unquestioning of you that they’ll walk across hot coals before they notice their feet are burning.)
And I have to wonder if that’s necessarily a good thing. That I resisted authority only to become authority myself. If we shouldn’t all try to resist someone telling us what to do with our lives…well, for the rest of our lives.
I guess in the end we all become a part of the authority life cycle. As we grow, we have to listen to ourselves as authorities of ourselves. (Talk about a catch 22!) And ultimately, decide if we can resist resisting.
I have a really friendly reminder for you tonight.
Be your damn self.
Because in this world of retweets, reposts, and videos on how to make yourself look just like that other person with black magic and make up (same thing in my book), you can lose yourself completely.
You can spend way too long looking at someone else’s pictures trying to figure out why you don’t look like that or why you’re not on a tropical island like them or even why you don’t have a smile on your face.
And I’m not saying don’t be inspired by other people. After all, mimicry is the best form of flattery (especially for writers). But be yourself first.
And if you haven’t found someone that embodies what you’re looking for, be your own. Don’t fit molds. Kick stereotypes in the teeth.
Because if you haven’t found what you’re looking for, it’s because it’s been right inside you all along.
If you could be better than you are today, would you do it? Would you try to be a faster, stronger, and all around better person if giving the opportunity to transform?
Of course you would. Because that’s the human condition. We all want to be better than we are. Why else would we get up in the morning but to see what we could accomplish?
Now, what if I told you that to achieve this better self you had to give up something incredibly vital to you. Would you still do it?
Consider this, for example. You want to get healthy. Fine. So, you go to the gym a bunch of times during the week and you eat healthy and you feel great. But all that gym time cuts into your sleep so you’re staying in on weekends and not seeing your friends or grabbing dinner with them because they eat garbage. What do you do then? Stay the course, and leave your friends? Were they ever your friends if they let you just prioritize the gym over them? Or do you ditch the new you?
I don’t know the answer here. But my guess is that the thing you want most is your new priority. If that’s hanging out with your friends or the gym or whatever. Whatever you can’t live without should be your priority, even if that means you can’t be your best self.
Because, yes, you can pressure carbon into diamonds, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.