Even Penguins

Maybe I’ve spent too much time online or maybe… no, that’s probably it.

But have you ever seen penguin videos where the penguins are walking along and, all of a sudden, they fall head over flippers? These creatures, who are so graceful in the water, have such a hard time on land. Granted, it is icy snow that they are trying to walk on. But still.

And then it hit me. Even penguins who spend their life out of the water, walking around and tripping; animals that have lived in the tundra for years upon years, who have readily adapted to this lifestyle; birds who walk and slide, instead of fly…

They still mess up sometimes too.

So, even if you’re really good at something, I mean, really good at it, you can still mess up sometimes. So, try to remember the next time you try something new and it doesn’t go so hot.

Maybe you just shine elsewhere.




I Fell

Let me set the scene for you:

I’m walking to work in a major city…on a hot day with heels on. There are people right, left, and center. I’m not used to walking in heels, so I’m a little off balance to begin with. But then I am trying to get out of someone’s way so I speed up. My foot slips in my shoe, slicked with sweat, knocking me completely off balance until I fall onto my hands and knees. 

I’m frustrated and annoyed. Not because I apparently don’t know how to walk, or because I suddenly feel 5 years old again when I would fall and skin my knee. No. Because not one person asked me if I was okay. Not one. They all let me fall and pick myself back up with no assistance offered. 

Let me remind you, society, that you’re allowed to break the rat race script. If you see someone fall on your way to work, you can ask them if they’re okay. You don’t have to be afraid that I’ll murder your family if you talk to me. Just help me. Help someone in need. 

If we do that, we can make life a little more human. 

Chutes and Ladders

I may be dating myself, but does anyone remember the board game chutes and ladders? (Okay, now think hard. Try to remember. Board games are what you played before you used your cell phone for every form of entertainment.) 

But in case that doesn’t ring a bell specifically, chutes and ladders was a simple board game. You rolled a die and you got to move a number of spaces. This would either allow you to arrive at a ladder where you would go up, and up, and up. Or you’d get a chute, and you’d go all the way back down. Sometimes, you’d have to start back at the beginning, even. 

And now, you probably know what’s coming. This is the part where I say that this is life: a series of chutes and ladders. And you never really know what you’ll get next. Or how far you’ll go or fall. 

And you’d be right. I’d like to say that. But the question I’m left with is what’s to keep you from tumbling all the way down and never rolling the die again? What motivates you when you have to start all over? 

Well. I suppose it’s the same thing that got you to that chute in the first place. Because you didn’t start there. That what if? 

And that’s what it all comes down to: because you could be wrong about all this. 

I mean, personally, today made me want to stop and never start again. 

But I keep going because there’s a chance that I’ll be wrong about what is gonna happen next. 

Ultimately, the crash down is still gonna come and it’s gonna hurt. But we’re all hoping to go higher than ever before. And if you think it hard enough, you just might do it. 

25 Things I Learned At 25

Well, I’m almost 25. Which is why I want to count down some of the most valuable life lessons I’ve learned. You know, from being a quarter century old. That should make me really wise, right? You can be the judge.

25. Spend money on quality clothes. They’ll last longer and be a better investment.

24. In that vein, separate your laundry and check all of your pockets before you chuck it all in the washer. (I learned this the hard way…several times.)

23. Stress will kill you slowly. Find something to channel your energy into.

22. Go with the flow as much as possible. Resistance isn’t futile, but it’s exhausting.

21. Repeat after me: grades. don’t. define. you.

20. Do anything that makes you feel beautiful. Wear make-up or don’t. Do your hair or don’t. Life is too short to not feel like a goddess.

19. You may despise your sibling now, but give it time. You’ll need him/her one day. For everything.

18. Your parents have given you so much. Thank them whenever you get the chance.

17. Talk to everyone and anyone. Learn their life’s story. It’ll make you more empathetic.

16. Indulge in your pity parties. Sometimes that’s the only way to get over things.

15. Read every book from cover to cover. Every author has something to teach you.

14. Don’t feel bad about buying music you like. It’s always a good investment.

13. I’m not saying everyone needs to date their significant other for 10 years but…it worked for me.

12. Remember to be excited about things. Apathy is for people who don’t enjoy life.

11. Sing in the shower as much as possible.

10. Own a soft blanket. Trust me, you’ll need it.

9. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Make a mistake, learn, keep going.

8. Step on all the crunchy acorns and leaves you see. No, this is a rule.

7. Throw some things out once in awhile. You don’t need material possessions as much as you think you do.

6. Be the weirdo. If people aren’t friends with you, they’ll at least remember you.

5. Work out. I promise that you’ll feel better after. Even if you really, really, really don’t want to.

4. Good friends are hard to find. But once you find them, make sure you make time for them regularly.

3. Chocolate will keep the dementors from getting to you. So keep it on hand.

2. If you put out positive vibes, positive vibes will come back to you.

1. Be who you are, no matter what. It’ll make all of your decisions really easy when you know who you are.



Change Happens

Listen. I’m excited for pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin pumpkins (aka fall) as much as the next girl on social media. But does anyone else have the strange sense that we were just eating hotdogs and watching fireworks at our Fourth of July celebrations a couple of days ago? I mean, where did the summer go? It’s like I remember a long heat wave and then it all just goes blank…

And it’s in this strange amnesia that I walk around and notice that people are talking about how they can’t wait for it to be cold, and how they can already feel the crunch of leaves underfoot. (Underfeet??) And still, I’m all like, hold up! We have almost an entire month until that all happens. Why are you showing summer the door when she’s been (relatively) kind to you?

And alright, I admit it, I’m just not ready. I’m not ready for apple cider, and seeing my own breath, and mittens, and trees that look like they’ve been lit on fire, and trying desperately (but failing) to come up with a Halloween costume that doubles as social commentary. I was pretty sure that I could fight against the fall tide for a while, just a couple more weeks.

Until I saw it driving home the other day.

“It” was a small tree, maybe a few years post-sapling, standing quite proudly on the exit ramp. One little corner of her leaves had turned completely red and gold while the rest stayed as verdant as they had been in spring. It was like she was just a tiny bit embarrassed and had just started to blush.

And I thought, Not you too! It’s not even cold! 

But it made me realize something very quickly: change happens. No, really. You may not be ready for it. You may not even think that it should be happening. I surely didn’t think it was time for the leaves on the trees to start changing colors. But there it was, inarguable and steadfast, truly defying whatever internal clock I had been synced to. Change happens, whether you are ready or not. Whether you think it should or not. Whether you want it to or not. Even for that little tree. And especially for you.

So, whether it’s a change in the weather or a change in your life, you need to remember that change is inevitable. But whether you embrace it or resist it will always be up to you.

There’s A Little Fall in All of Us

Something really strange starts to happen around the fall. The sweaters come out of hiding, pumpkin seems to infect every flavor profile, and instead of confetti, we have leaves falling all around us. This change seems to not only affect our surroundings (ya know, those of us with deciduous trees around us) but also ourselves. (Except, of course, department stores. Somehow, they go from August to Christmas…I don’t know who is making that decision.)

But it is such a curious thing that we notice the leaves and the weather changing. We feel the crispness, and we crunch the leaves. Yet, we are loath to see the changes in ourselves. We can’t acknowledge how far we have come in our own lives. Because we do change. We’re changing every day. We’re making progress all the time, even when it feels like we are slipping backwards. But because we don’t feel our change, don’t display it in a vibrant display of colors, it somehow goes unnoticed to us. I, for one, think it is time that we recognize it.

Let’s start small:

Did you know, on average, skin cells live about 2-3 weeks?

2-3 weeks?

That birthmark or freckle you’ve had since you were born, it’s been through a couple of lifetimes since you’ve lived one. And yet, we’re so afraid of change. We’re so afraid of ruining a routine or a lifestyle. We get up everyday, and we try to do things exactly the same, so we don’t get stressed. We don’t like surprises. A step out of place means an entire mind out of align.

But really, we’re living in a constant state of flux, and it doesn’t matter how close we play our cards to our chest. More things change in our lives than stay the same. Many more things. In fact, those leaves changing colors on that tree take more time changing than you do.

So, why don’t we like change? Because it doesn’t taste like pumpkins and it doesn’t wrap us in warmth like our favorite sweaters?

Maybe. But maybe we don’t like it because we can’t predict it like the seasons. Our changes are on some sort of cycle, but one that is unknown to us. We can’t tell when it’s going to happen. But that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for it. The paradox is that we can prepare for it by understanding that change is constant. That the world will not stop moving, spinning on and on. And that we should never try to struggle against it.

So, whether you are seeking change but not finding it or warding against it even when it is there, I simply hope that when you see a new leaf, you’ll celebrate turning one, too.

Also, lay off winter. Just because we don’t hibernate during it, doesn’t mean we should give it the cold shoulder.