Inspiring Me Now

  • "The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy" Dalai Lama

January 31, 2013

Don't quote me on this...

Hi. My name is Jacqueline and I’m a quoteaholic. I can’t seem to get enough. I search them out on the Internet. I have them all over my desk at work, and… even in my bathroom at home!
I don’t know if it’s my love for the written word, or the fact that someone out there verbalized exactly what I couldn’t. Maybe it’s the fact that seeing a great quote lets me know that other people have felt the same way, perhaps a sort of way of connecting to others.
It may seem odd to write a whole blog about a quote, but I came across one today that struck me as absolutely beautiful. It’s from the site Their site’s sort of Mission Statement, if you will, says “HighExistence is a community of conscious individuals centered around pondering, exploring & expanding this wondrous experience called life”. All I can say is that when I read their articles and posts, I feel energized. I feel like questioning my life and my choices. I feel these amazing vibes!
Today’s quote was this: Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer. (Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet).
Have you ever seen something or read something that made you go “DUH!” That’s exactly how I felt after reading that excerpt.  It was like I was literarily being smack upside my head. I’m sure, if you’ve read ANY of my blogs the last month,  you know I’ve been going through a super sucky, sad, angsty, heartbreaking (please insert other synonyms here) breakup. My first day at work AB (after breakup) I took down a picture I had of me and the bf (looking all adorable and happy, I might add) and replaced it with a 5x7 quote that said “If it’s meant to happen, it will” Every time I would lose focus or my mind would wander into that why-is-this-happening-to-me mode, I’d look at those words and slowly and calmly repeat them to myself.
The part of the breakup that was the most frustrating was the fact that it was hinged on a possibility of a scary/hard/uncertain future with me. I was so pissed that a decision could be made on something that may or may not ever happen. So, focusing on “if it’s meant to happen, it will” almost became a sort of meditation. I’d preposition it with a question. “What if I just lost the love of my life?!” answer – If it’s meant to happen, it will. “Will anyone ever want to be with me” answer – if it’s meant to happen, it will. “Am I really meant to marry and have lots and lots of babies with Aaron Rodgers?” – if it’s meant to happen, it will. My little mantra has gotten me through the last, wow, 3 weeks already! (funny how we conceive time, it feels like 3 months)
Anyway, back to today’s little HighExistence gem. “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart” how beautiful is that? It was perfectly wonderful that I should read that tonight. I was feeling anxious again (surprise, surprise, right??). I still haven’t been sleeping (last night was 3 ½ whole hours!) and my over-analytical brain will not shut up for two minutes! Reading this was like a little nudge from something reminding me, “Hey, patience lady! If it’s meant to happen, it will.” And just like that, I felt a little calmer (perhaps a bit sleepy??) I was able to see outside my dark little room and peek at the sunny skies of my future. I’m feeling peaceful and prophetic, almost like reading that was not a coincidence but a foretelling perhaps something fortuitous is about to happen! Either way, it lifted my spirits. It made me grateful for another day that I’ve been able to tell the people I love how I feel, another day that I’ve been able to play with my doggie, another day to listen to my favorite music, another day to snuggle with my piggies, and another day to look forward to what is meant to happen.


January 28, 2013

Haaaave You Met Jacqueline?

I’m trying (very, very hard) to put myself in better spirits. Instead of my “Grace Potter” Pandora station (which by the way, is amazing) today at work I listened to a more lively Trampled By Turtles Pandora station. It also didn’t hurt starting the day with donuts  (and Dairy Queen I later found out ) my boss brought in. A yummy donut and fresh coffee, what more could a girl ask for on a Monday!?

But now I’m here in bed and it’s 10:24 at night and I can’t sleep. I’m restless and anxious. I always feel so much better after I write. I’m like a writing bulimic. I binge on bad feelings all day and then purge them onto a computer screen after I’m done. Normally I have no problem spilling out what I’m feeling or thinking of a topic that I can relate to. For some reason, today is just not one of those days. So I had a conundrum, I need to write but don’t know what to write to make myself feel better…. Solution? A list!!

I love lists. I wish I could clearly delineate my life onto a piece of white ruled notebook paper. Since that seems a bit neurotic , I figured a smaller list with less of my neurosis visible would be a better option. So get your pens ready kids, it’s time to play “Haaaave you met Jacqueline?”

Prepare yourself, as the rest of this blog will consist of a completely self-indulgent quiz-type list of things about me.

Favorite Color: green
Favorite Food:   mashed potatoes and gravy

Favorite Season: autumn

Living Person I'd Most Like to Meet: Nelson Mandella

Dead Person I'd Most Like to Meet: William Shakespeare

Athlete's butt I'd Most Like to Touch: Aaron Rodgers

Musician I'd Most Like to Meet: Bono

Favorite Drink: Jameo and Ginger Ale

Person I'd Pay $50 to watch read a cereal box: Shemar Moore (side note, he'd have to have his shirt off while reading the box)

Cereal Box I'd Like to Watch Shemar Moore Read: Lucky Charms

Woman I Could Trade Places with For One Day: Beyonce

Woman's Body I'd Die For: Jessica Simpson circa Dukes of Hazard

What I Think My Best Feature Is: my eyes

What Other People Say my Best Feature Is: my smile

Currently Most Overused Phrase: "really?"

Most Bizarre Celebrity Crush: Anderson Cooper - not only because he's old enough to be my father but also because he's gay. Well - I guess he's only 45, so him being my father would be a stretch.

Favorite Day of the Week: Thursday

Place I'd Most Like To Visit: Ireland

Place I'd least like to visit: China

Favorite McDonalds Shake Flavor: tie between Shamrock and Eggnog

Person I Most Admire: my momma

College I Wish I'd Gone to: Peperdine

College I went to: UW- Superior

Dream Job: author or professional writer of some sort

Dream Car: Whatever the newest version of the Jeep is. Right now the 2013 Grand Cherokee. Black please.

Dream House Location: San Diego

Favorite Bar in Duluth: The Brewhouse (favorite beer there: Apricot Wheat)

Favorite Bar in the cities: The Lookout

Favorite way to de-stress: listen to music

Favorite Outdoor Activity: reading a book in the sun and/or camping

Favorite Show On MPR: This American Life (I heart Ira Glass)

Favorite Gift to Give: music

If I could go back in time I'd.... : give my dad one more big hug

If I could speed up time I'd... : fast forward to the beginning of my happily ever after

I have a soft spot for: all animals

I can't tolerate: ignorance

Pet Peeve: being late

Phobia: water (drowning)

Favorite way to sleep: with my dog in the room, completely dark, air purifier for noise

TV Show I'd Most Like to Be On: Dateline Murder Mystery - but only if I were murdered. Otherwise The Walking Dead. I think I'd make a good zombie

Can't get enough of: my guinea pigs

Have Had My Fill of:  anything involving the Gun Rights dispute

Kiss on the first date: nope

Favorite body part of the opposite sex: tie between shoulder and hands

Favorite body part on the same sex: legs - I wish I had Carrie Underwood's

Biggest Turn Off: clinginess

Biggest Turn On: sarcasm mixed with just a little bit of cockiness

Best First Date: involved trivia and a motorcycle gang

Worst First Date: involved references to breast feeding

Favorite thing to do at 11:21pm: finish this blog and snuggle with my puppy

January 27, 2013


Anyone who really knows me, knows that when I truly love a song, it's because of the lyrics. Lyrics are the heart in the body of a song. To this day, one of the best gifts I ever received was a mix cd from a guy I was semi-dating. It was like something straight out of High-Fidelity. It had a beginning, middle and end. When I listened to it for the first time I literally laughed and cried.

I will admit, mid breakup = the WORST time to listen to music. Adele, T-Swift and Colbie have been dominating my playlists. Also making several appearances: "On My Own" by Samantha Barks from Les Miserables. Listen to it, then picture me driving down 394 belting it out. It's a sight to behold, I'm quite sure.

Anyway, when I journaled, like actually put a pen to paper and wrote (this was years ago) I used to include the lyrics to songs I felt were poignant at the time. I recently came across one of my old journals. Reading through the songs I had written  was like being transported straight back to 2003. It was awesome! I felt like I was experiencing the same emotions I felt 10 years ago.

So, in the spirit of the good old times, of days gone past, here are the two I currently can't turn off. And who knows, maybe next week it will be "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce

"On My Own" - Samantha Banks (from Les Miserables)

On my own
Pretending he's beside me
All alone
I walk with him till morning
Without him
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me forever and forever
And I know it's only in my mind
That I'm talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there's a way for us

I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone
The river's just a river
Without him
The world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers

I love him
But every day I'm learning
All my life
I've only been pretending
Without me
His world would go on turning
A world that's full of happiness
That I have never known

I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own

"Goodbye My Lover" - James Blunt

Did I disappoint you or let you down?
Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown?

‘Cause I saw the end before we’d begun,
Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won.

So I took what’s mine by eternal right.
Took your soul out into the night.
It may be over but it won’t stop there,
I am here for you if you’d only care.

You touched my heart you touched my soul.
You changed my life and all my goals.
And love is blind and that I knew when,
My heart was blinded by you.

I’ve kissed your lips and held your head.
Shared your dreams and shared your bed.
I know you well, I know your smell.
I’ve been addicted to you.

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.

You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
I am a dreamer but when I wake,
You can’t break my spirit – it’s my dreams you take.

And as you move on, remember me,
Remember us and all we used to be

I’ve seen you cry, I’ve seen you smile.
I’ve watched you sleeping for a while.
I’d be the father of your child.
I’d spend a lifetime with you.

I know your fears and you know mine.
We’ve had our doubts but now we’re fine,
And I love you, I swear that’s true.
I cannot live without you.

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.

You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
And I still hold your hand in mine.
In mine when I’m asleep.

And I will bear my soul in time,
When I’m kneeling at your feet.

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.

You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
I’m so hollow, baby, I’m so hollow.
I’m so, I’m so, I’m so hollow.

January 21, 2013

Be Mine

So today is the ex’s birthday. Even on the off chance I could forget, I wrote it in HUGE red sharpie marker on my work calendar by my desk months ago. That red ink is glaring at me like “see, always write in pencil”. Instead of being able to put my head down and crank out some work, I’m daydreaming about cheesecake factory dinner and birthday presents wrapped with GI JOE paper.
 So it begins. The first of many little landmine dates that trigger a bummer day. The first would be today – B-day. The second would be next month, our 10 months anniversary (I know I sound like I’m in high school – but it was fun to think about “Can you believe 10 months ago was our first date?!”) Then comes the big one, the date most single girls abhor, Valentine’s Day. I haven’t had a date for Valentine’s Day in 5 years. I’ve become one of those jaded girls who make snide remarks while avoiding the red and pink retail madness, when really, I’m just jealous that other people have someone special in their lives to share the day with. Last year I had just broken up with someone (do I have a pattern?!) so I spent Valentine’s Day night at home with my dog watching the most un-valentine thing I could think of, The Walking Dead. Even zombie slaying can be lonely on Valentine’s Day. 

So this had me thinking, If I could choose my perfect Valentine’s Day, it would go something like this: I’d start the day waking to a cute text message from my special someone. We’ll call him Ryan (as in Gosling and/or Reynolds – this is a dream, might as well be a good one!). “Happy Valentine’s Day my beautiful girl” it would say. And I WOULD be looking beautiful that day. My hair would look like I actually put effort into it; my makeup would be smudge-less. I will have magically lost 10 lbs overnight! I will have found just the perfect pink lip gloss to match the adorable red sweater with a pink heart on it I was wearing (might as well go all out, right?). I’d get to work where an email would be waiting for me from my snuggle bunny (that’s the adorable sickening nickname I gave Ryan – aren’t we just the cutest!?) It would say how excited he was to see me that night and then tell me how glad he is that we met X many of months ago. Then before he signed it (xoxoxoxo) he’d have written the lyrics of some random song that reminded him of me. Oh, how I would swoon. Ryan knows I’m a sucker for a good song. 

After work, Ryan would be waiting for me (he’s an entrepreneur – so he can come and go as he pleases). He’d have a bouquet of flowers, not the traditional dozen roses (which by the way are SO ridiculously overpriced on Valentine ’s Day, I feel bad for the men who feel obligated to buy them!) This would be a random assortment of flowers picked up somewhere unplanned like Trader Joe’s or Byerlys (more on why he was there later). He’d have a card that wasn’t overly sappy (I’m not THAT girly of a girl) with a hand written note with just the right amount of sentiment and humor (Ryan is SO funny!). He’d take me to dinner at the place we had our first date. We’d joke and laugh talking about how nervous we were the first time we met and how I almost canceled because I was so anxious. Then after dinner, while sipping the last of our cocktails (Jameson, please) we’d exchange gifts. I would have gotten him a Tag Heuer watch (did I mention I’m filthy rich in this Valentine’s Day dream?). It would be a meaningful gift but also a play on our inside joke (he’s always at least 10 minutes late). He will have gotten me small diamond stud earrings (nothing too flashy, maybe half a carat or so) saying “every girl should have some diamonds”. We’d have a sappy romantic kiss over the last of our drinks and head home. 

At home we’d get into our comfy clothes and cuddle up on the couch to watch one of my favorite romantic comedies, Pretty Woman. We’d make inappropriate jokes about me becoming a high-end call girl while we ate red velvet cupcakes from Byerlys. My absolute favorite dessert! Finally, we’d fall asleep on the couch before the end of the movie only to up to the credit rolling. Then we would head to bed where we’d sleep happily ever after. 

I think I sort of have a crush on Valentine’s Day Ryan! I might just have to start writing about our other dream dates! Stay tuned...

January 20, 2013

Control Freak

If I died tomorrow, what would I want people to know? I’d want them to know that I loved them. I wouldn’t want a single person who I cared for to EVER doubt that. I would want them to know that even though I have my ups and downs and breakups and makeups, I enjoy my life. I don’t feel sorry for myself because I have health issues, I don’t wish I could be someone else (ok, maybe just once in a while). I would want them to know that just because I am an introvert doesn’t mean I’m shy. I would want them to know that I am tolerant, but I won’t put up with ignorance. Most of all, I would want them to know that I am living my life with no regrets.

I wasn’t always like this. I lived a calculated, planned out, listed life. I had this pretty little mental checklist going. Every time I did something on it, a cute little check mark appeared in a box. I was (ok…still am but to a MUCH less dramatic degree) a control freak. I liked things my way because I always figured that was the safe way. You only have yourself to blame when you’re in control. My first real reality check came when I was diagnosed with MS. Multiple Sclerosis, possibly one of the MOST unpredictable diseases. It comes and goes as it pleases; there are usually no warning signs before your next relapse. You can be fine one minute, take a nap and wake up not able to feel your legs the next. It was like the universe said “Ok Miss Planner – plan this!”

I volleyed back with “Challenge Accepted Mr. Scary MS”. At first I obsessed. It was all I could think about, I internally freaked out with every tick or twitch I felt. I planned all my doctor appointments months in advance; I read every website I could find. I waited. And I waited and waited and waited, and nothing happened. “I got this shit licked” I thought. “I’ll plan on this being the worst thing that could happen to me, after all the Universe can’t be THAT unfair, right?” WRONG!

“Oh, you’re still trying to control everything?” the Universe said, mockingly. “Alright, plan this!”, and my dad passed away. Oh what a cruel, cruel way to have to learn. I took notice though. I shaped up fast. I started to let go of the little everyday things I would obsess over, that really didn’t matter. Was the world going to end if I walked into work 2 minutes late? No. Was the world going to end if I didn’t get to take a nap on a Saturday afternoon? No. Little, trivial things other people worried about, became petty annoyances to me. I didn’t care that my friend got a speeding ticket. I didn’t care that my co-worker lost an account. My dad had just died. Fuck your parking ticket, the day will go on!

So maybe I started to swing a little bit too far to the other end of my control spectrum. I became a little jaded. Which is actually normal when grieving, however after some time and great therapy, I began to settle into a comfortable middle ground. I vied to not be late for work, but I wouldn’t induce a panic attack if I walked in a few minutes past eight. I stopped checking my work email on the weekends. The office would still be there on Monday. I started to listen more when my friends talked. Ok, maybe a speeding ticket isn’t as horrible as the death of a parent, but I was not put here to judge where people’s misfortunes rank on my Holier Than Thou scale of rightness and control. I started focusing more on the fact that I had friends that trusted me and cared about me well enough to share their everyday, annoyances and joys. I started a new relationship ok with the fact that I wasn’t going to be married by thirty and probably not by thirty-one either. I stopped talking about (almost all the way) how badly I wanted a family. I started to enjoy the actual days I had versus the days I was hoping to have. It’s nice to have things to look forward to, but you can’t only look forward to things.

I have to check myself sometimes, because my control monster will still creep in now and again, and unfortunately, the universe bitch slapped me again the other day. I have been doing pretty well, I’ll admit, but I was getting a little ahead of myself. I was daydreaming a bit too frequently about my picket fence house and toddler play dates.  When my boyfriend broke up with me, he justified it because of his fear of my future – our future. “Oh, the injustice!” I thought. I was furious that a relationship I had perceived as so good, could end because of something that hadn’t even happened yet, something that wasn’t even planned to happen. I get it now, though (are you listening Universe) I understand how futile it is to pin your hopes and dreams on a maybe. Life doesn’t run on maybes.

So, I’ve been (maybe not so gently nudged) back into the middle ground of control. I’ve made a personal vow to live and love in the now. Life is just too, too short to do anything other than.  So, if you take anything from this blog you’re reading take this: call your mom to say you love her. Email your friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Apologize for the fight you had last Friday. Eat one more cookie. Snuggle for 5 more minutes. Take the dog for an extra walk. Take a few more pictures. Plan that dream vacation for next fall. Give your lover one more kiss. Hug your sibling just a little tighter. Let your crush know how you feel. Tell your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife how fortunate you are to have them in your life. Tell them that though you know the future may be uncertain, you are damn sure glad that you have them here and now. Take a chance, do something that scares you just because you can!

Plan to live, don’t just live to plan.