iphone

I just got my first iphone. Late to the party, I know. When I emailed my friends with the phone number, one sent back a quick note, “it will change you life.” If I believed that, I would have gotten one years ago. Only two things qualify as potential life changers for me:

1) winning the powerball jackpot or 2) meeting the right guy. Can the iphone help with either of those things? (Mention online dating, and I flush this thing down the toilet).

Honestly, I hate talking on the phone. I’m fine face to face, but on the phone, I’m hopelessly boring. No, really, I’ve been told this before. The problem is that I cannot think of a single thing to say. It’s like a pop quiz. Even if I did the reading, the pressure of the moment makes my mind go blank. When I have to make a call, I write a script to remember why I dialed in the first place. I do this even when calling my family.

So, why did I get an iphone? Actually, I didn’t. My boss gave me his “old” 64GB iphone 4s with the understanding that I would use it. Pretty nice hand me down, but because I’m a contract employee, I foot the monthly bill for minutes, and since I knew I wouldn’t be gabbing away on it anytime soon, I let the thing collect dust. After three weeks, my boss asked about it. That’s when I got the new SIM card. Ten days later he asked again, and now I burn $50 per month while the iphone bumps around the bottom of my purse.

I’ve been testing ways to bond with it. I enjoy the compass feature (for about 90 seconds after I’ve calibrated my location). I considered creating a reminder to call and check in with friends and family once a month, but why set myself up for such predictable failure? Instead, I have resolved to develop a relationship with my iphone through apps hoping that some gizmo I download will meld my standoffishness into dependency, but after hearing all the hype over how great apps are, I’m disappointed to find that most are useless. Why would I need a shopping app? I’m too uncoordinated for games. “To Do” list organizers are BORING, and calorie counters? Depressing.

After Googling “best” apps, here are the ones I’ve chosen:

*Facebook: Duh.

*Flashlight: huge points or being massively practical, but haven’t used it yet

*Bring Fido: the pet friendly info would be more helpful if it wasn’t so outdated

*Kindle: not loving reading on a really tiny screen

*Embark: for navigating NYC. To help me ft in with the zombie tourist mob.

*WordPress: Things are looking up! This pocket sized personal computer disguised as a telephone might be useful after all 🙂

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Evolving or Moulting?

What do Princess Diana, Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, Walt Disney, Sir Richard Branson, Charles Dickens, and Elton John all have in common? Each one of them dropped out before finishing high school, but none of them needed support from Nutrisystem, Tony Robbins, or Garmin to figure out what direction to go in life. How did they evolve into the leagues of the world renowned? People write books, lead lectures, and create reality television shows about the secrets of success, but the real secret is that each path is different.

People change. At least, I believe they are supposed to change as the years slip by. My favorite things to eat as a kid were bacon double cheeseburgers, ice cream sundaes, and donuts. As a teen, I added cheap beer and tequila shots to the list. I played sports through high school, but in college, nothing interrupted my social (drinking) schedule. I developed a temper and felt awful most of the time. Twenty years later, I’m a vegetarian. I don’t drink, and I’ve run three marathons. People find out that I don’t smoke or ingest alcohol or eat meat, but I do run 26 miles for fun and they conjure images of me as a baby knawing on brocolli stalks and running laps around the crib refusing to believe that I wasn’t always this way.

In my case, transformation began as an experiment. By senior year in college, I was actively searching for ways to feel less like crap. To quit staying out until 3am at the bar every night would have been too much to ask, so I gave up fast food. It was amazing how much one small adjustment helped. That step became permanent and the process continued until I subsisted almost entirely on plant matter.

Other issues were handled in a similar fashion:

Problem: 8 hour desk job = extra pounds.

Solution: Tried the gym, didn’t like it. I had friends who jogged, so…after a few weeks, I could shuffle along (I wouldn’t call it running) for three miles, and the pounds started coming off. My sister suggested we run a marathon. I thought she was crazy, but signed on anyway. A year later, I ran across the finish line of my first 26.2 mile race ready to sign up for another. I took to running like I took to eating vegetables. Both did a lot of good with little downside.

My motivation to succeed came from a desire to unearth a better version of myself. But was I evolving or moulting? Did my changes come about because I was expanding into a better version of myself? Or had I begun to shed old layers of crud?

At certain age, we all find ourselves lacking (too ugly, too dumb, too clumsy) and start trying to cover up the bad with clothes or make up, by drinking or smoking, with over eating or under eating, or by trying on identities like Halloween costumes (I’m a jock, I’m a brain, I’m a diva) only to reach a point in life when the costumes don’t fit anymore. Whatever we’ve used to hide our true selves needs to be cast off to find the person we rejected so many years before.

Not everyone gives up fast food and ends up vegetarian. Not everyone starts exercising and becomes a marathoner, and not everyone can be Walt Disney, but everyone has a true self, a better version of you inside that needs to be visited, checked in on, touched base with, tweeted, or IM’d once in a while because that person holds the secrets to success.

10 Things…

 

Inspired by the movie “10 Things I Hate About You” (Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt), I’ve created my own 10 things list:

 

 

I hate it when you lie.

 

I hate that I let you, instead of asking why

 

 

I hate that you left, and went far away.

 

I hate that nothing I said could make you stay.

 

 

I hate that you bring out my worst when you’re near,

 

I hate acting like a brat, but still wish you were here.

 

 

I hate that you won’t talk, or reply when I write,

 

I hate being alone night after night.

 

 

I hate that it’s all decided, and I don’t get a vote.

 

I hate that you will never read what I wrote.

 

Hollow Chocolate Bunnies

Have you ever had a conversation with a person who manages to turn every topic around to be about him/herself? No matter how skillfully you steer the conversation, this person continually reminds you that he/she is the center of the universe. I call this person, “The Hollow Chocolate Bunny” (HCB): a perfectly molded exterior with nothing inside.

HCB aren’t filled up by things like close friends, knowledge, adventures, life lessons, and the most important aspects of self: self sacrifice, selflessness, and self effacement.

HCBs are victims of excess. They may be excessively attractive or excessively wealthy. Perhaps they are only children excessively fawned over by their parents-whatever the trigger, HCBs are showered with so much praise and adoration that they eat, drink, and sleep their own awesomeness. They end up brainwashed into believing that everyone else on earth is meant to revolve around them.

HCBs are surrounded by the subservient (HCB wanna be’s) telling them what they want to hear, so they have no incentive or drive to discover how to earn love and attention which makes the gift of their “specialness” truly a curse. Because no one can be honest with them, they have no real friends. Because the only topic they understand is themselves, they have no real knowledge. Because they are nothing more than a hollow shell, the only thing they can truly feel is emptiness.

Bad skin, modest bank accounts, large noses, mediocre careers, crooked teeth, and lack of charm introduce average Americans to the struggle through awkwardness, insecurity, doubt, stress, and self loathing. Facing the low points, learning to handle them, and figuring out how to get noticed and earn love and respect are rights of passage. The culmination of good and bad experiences fills up the space inside and provides a healthy foundation allowing non-HCBs to care about more than their own DNA. Still, next to the obvious perfections of an HCB, anyone might initially feel lacking. HCBs can get a long way in the superficial circles of American society, but a side by side comparison with an HCB is like the ad comparing the ipad to a windows tablet. The windows tablet displays all its additional features, and the ipad asks, “Do you still think I’m pretty?”

So, the next time you are stuck talking to an HCB (and I know you’ll be thinking “OMG! Hollow Chocolate Bunny!!!”), remember to appreciate your unique filling and try steering them toward an HCB wanna be, or if that fails, a mirror.