Tag Archive | perfection

Ugly-beautiful

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“And she’s so pretty cause she will never be…
She’s so pretty to me, to me, to me.
It doesn’t matter what everybody sees.” ~ Jude
 
I’m reading a novel called “My Grandfather’s Eyes.” I don’t know which page I’m on since it’s a Kindle book on my phone and the Kindle books don’t always show a page number. I don’t even know how many pages are in the book. I’m not at the very beginning but not quite to the middle. I know because of the virtual line showing reading progress.

What I read up until now is thoroughly beautiful. The main character, Alexandra or Alex, is something like a psychopath. She’s around thirty-two years old. Alex has no concern, love, affection, care, empathy, or any positive emotion for anyone in the world except for one person, her best friend Lizzy. She loves Elizabeth, or Lizzy, more than anything and anyone else in the entire world and would even die for her if she had to to save Liz’s life. They were best friends since Kindergarten and Alex was always in love with Lizzy but never acted on her romantic interest in her.
Alex was born with a facial deformity, a bump on her forehead and dark moles, some of which are hairy, and grow darker and bigger across the side of her face as the years go on. Alex’s dad took her when she was a little girl, to a cosmetic surgeon to have them removed but Alex refused. She has always loved her moles.

Even as a young woman in college, she cherishes her deformity, she thinks they add to her beauty. But it has always hurt her how most other people would react to her for her whole life, even her own family, her own mom. Many just stare while others say cruel things to and about her.

What I read until now leaves me to believe, for now(i think later she may go on a killing spree or something but not sure), that Alex is more indifferent to people than vicious or cruel, although she does think about and desire killing certain people and she murders her own husband who she was never in love with but he truly loved her. The two loves of her life have always been reading and Lizzy.

She doesn’t care about other people’s pain, she shows no empathy or concern when others come to her with problems or when she witnesses someone suffering. Sometimes she just doesn’t care and sometimes she actually takes pleasure in it. She’s somewhat sadistic.  She has absolutely no regard for human life.

Except Liz’s life. She cries for her when she’s hurt or when she misses her.

Lizzy is a beautiful, thin girl, with long blonde hair, flawless in appearance except for one thing. In high school she made a mistake in chemistry class and burned her hand up her arm which caused severe damage and is now disfigured. She thinks it’s repulsive but Alex finds it beautiful in the same way she knows her own deformity is beautiful. Lizzy is aggressive and funny. She’s intelligent but doesn’t care to display her intelligence. She’s also a thief.

Alex’s facial deformity doesn’t and never has fazed Lizzy. And Lizzy defends Alex when people stare or say rude things. She even kisses Alex goodbye on her “ugliest” and biggest mole.

“As I try to read, there is one thought that overwhelms me: He did not look at my moles. I am sure of this. There is only one other person who does not see them. My Lizzy.” ~ Alex

This may just be the most beautiful line in the book. I just love how she says “does not see them” Instead of “does not look at them” or “does not have a problem with them…” It’s just they don’t see them. They look straight through and see her for her.

The book is Alex reminiscing and telling us about different stages of her life, flashing back and forth.  

What I find beautiful is that the author shows how beauty can be found in ugly things or ugly things can be beautiful themselves. There is beauty in pain and darkness, in sadness, and struggles. Sometimes we can overlook “ugliness” and see the beauty in it or we can actually see “ugly” things, themselves, as beautiful. Maybe something is beautiful because it’s sad or dark or unusual or different.

She loves reading so much that her decision for which university to attend is based on the beautiful library.

“…the Gothic Hall complete with turrets and gargoyles – where I will study English Literature. It is ugly-beautiful and will suit me very well. A fitting place in which to study the works of great authors. I feel the hairs bristle on the back of my neck with the excitement it generates in me.” ~ Alex

It’s beautiful because it’s ugly. It’s dark and aggressive and enthralling.

And even though Alex is like a psycho, her self-love is so very beautiful to me. She’s extremely arrogant but also has genuine love for all that she is in and out. She embraces her ugliness and flaws and refuses to conceal them for what others think and say.

Some people mistake self-love as conceit or arrogance but this character, Alex, with both traits, arrogance and genuine self love, is an embodiment of the sharp difference. Arrogance isn’t love. Someone can be arrogant or act arrogant but have no true love for herself and someone can love herself and not be arrogant. Alex is both. She even admits that she “wears her arrogance like a badge.” But she genuinely appreciates her own physical features and her personality traits. She’s an intellectual with no patience for simple, less intelligent minds and trivial drama.

I also like how Alex isn’t a very beautiful character on the inside but there’s so much beauty to be seen in her anyway. The novel isn’t about a sweet, loving, innocent girl who lives a life of goodness but happens to have a physical deformity where the author plays on our empathy to overlook her physical ugliness but see straight through to her obviously beautiful loving heart of gold and love her anyway.

That would be easy.

This? This is challenging because beneath her physical deformity lies a deformed or ugly heart as well. But it’s impossible not to see incredible traits in her anyway. Like her self love even though she was tormented for being deformed her whole life, her indestructible love for her best friend that she would do anything for even if it puts her out, her passion for literature, the way she appreciates and basks in the simple joys of living like lakes and quietude, the way she bursts out laughing uncontrollably for no reason when she meets the man she’ll eventually marry, her intelligence, and dedication to her goals. We see her humanness as well as her monstrous side. And there are little bits of beauty scattered throughout.

I have felt guilt and various other emotions reading this book. Guilt for judging and guilt for adoring a psycho’s positive qualities and even some of her ugliness. I love when novels provoke uncomfortable as well as beautiful and positive emotions in me, when they force us to question ourselves in awkward ways. I don’t promote what she does but I can’t overlook her beautiful qualities. 

It reminds me to be like that with real people who may not be my favorite, ones with qualities I don’t care much for. I don’t have to be their best friend or be head over heels in love with them but I can still work to see the beauty in them and appreciate it.

Here is a beautiful quote out of the book about her looking at herself in a mirror, by the main character, Alex:

“In the mirror, I see a woman sitting bolt upright in her chair, with her handbag on her lap. She has long mousy hair, parted in the middle, her scalp white in the harsh fluorescent light. There is a large, dark mass spreading across the side of her face. I think her elegantly middle-aged, sensuously beautiful. I cannot identify with her. I see her smile, first with her eyes, which remain young, and then with the whole of her face. We fuse together, and I feel an energy building inside me, so that my reflection seems to disturb the air in the room, like a breeze across the surface of a lake.  It is a lake I have visited many times in my dreams. We are luminous and powerful.”

This is in a hospital after Alex’s husband dies. No one knows she murdered or tried to murder him. She planned to kill him but after she did, she wasn’t prepared for the feeling that would hit her, the reality of his death. She wanted him dead but after hearing those words, it was hard to accept and come to terms with the fact that  her husband is dead, that she killed him. She wasn’t shattered and is ultimately happy with her choice to kill, but she felt awkward, uncomfortable at first. She started to dissociate. 
Like, feeling as if one part of herself is no longer connected to another. Like her body and her mind or inner self, disconnect. Some people feel as if they leave their body when they dissociate,  after a serious trauma like assault of some sort, for example.

People don’t choose true dissociation but this excerpt reminds me of how many of us often hold ourselves to greater standards than we hold others. We judge our bodies and self worth in ways we wouldn’t judge our sister or best friend. “I have rolls or stretch marks, or am not a size 2 or have scars or acne…or whatever…so I’m hideous, fat, worthless, no good, ugly, not beautiful….” But would you ever say or think that about someone close to you? Or even a stranger? Chances are, no! Try to look into a mirror and kind of dissociate, not like a mental illness or result of a traumatic experience but remain unbiased, not shadowed by self critical thoughts. Take a good look at yourself and pretend you aren’t you. 

Look at your beauty with new eyes, with a stranger’s eyes. If you weren’t you and not so judgmental, if you weren’t brainwashed by the media or society’s concept of beautiful perfection, would you think you are ugly, horrible, not beautiful? Would you think you’re beautiful? Now take the beauty you see and feel and know, and become you again, the whole you, let you and the person in the mirror fuse together. Love one another as the whole that is you.

This book is already so thought-provoking and inspiring.

But….

I read some reviews and I think there may be some violence later in the book, maybe violent sexual scenes. Sometimes I don’t read much about a book, reviews or even the basic description, before reading. I like to go into it completely unbiased, not knowing. Sometimes I read a few reviews and for this I did and a couple said something about there being some “uncalled for sexual violence” or something like that, in the book that does nothing for the story but be disturbing. I read so many books and reviews though that I don’t always remember which reviews are for which books. For all I know those reviews are for another book!  I can tolerate extreme violence in books if the book is really good or has a deeper message other than just violence for thrill. It doesn’t thrill me.

 I felt drawn to this book immediately but then read something that contributed to me deciding not to buy it. And I think it’s the reviews that said there’s uncalled for horrific violence. But then I bought it anyway because what I did read about it in other reviews, the love she has for her Lizzy is so beautiful and it pulled me in and I also love the title. Yes I do judge books by their covers. Lol And even if that’s true that there’s unnecessary violence later, I’m happy I did buy it because of the deep insights I have already come to know just by reading what I did. But I can’t actually recommend the book without knowing the rest, especially if it has scenes that can trigger distress in someone who may have experienced trauma of some sort. Empathy while reading a book is one thing for a person who never experienced serious trauma but for someone who has, it can be completely  different, like the person is reliving it, the body can be like literally living it over, causing severe distress and pain. So I am careful recommending books without warnings.

“My moles continue to grow and darken. I take less care to hide the bump on my head, and I wonder whether my deformities will eventually take me over. I am impatient with them, wishing they would stabilize. I think I notice people staring more, and imagine they are whispering to each other but I decide that I will not try to hide myself away. It will be easier if the people who are alienated by such things have the chance to avoid me, and I reason that those who are indifferent to them will not care.” ~ Alex

I love this and completely agree. I would never want friends or people who like me only because they don’t know something about me that if they found out later they would reject me for it, whatever it may be. We don’t have to like everything about a person we like but we can accept, tolerate, or overlook it and love the person as a whole. I don’t necessarily want someone to like every single thing about me, like all of my opinions or anything, and I won’t conceal something just to have them like me or not reject me. It’s like an asshole repellent,if you show your ugliness or controversial views or something right off, you weed out the assholes and the true ones are still standing by your side. Or if you’re the asshole and people are going to reject you for it then they can back off and the ones who don’t mind asshole-ness will still be there. 
I don’t always like people’s opinions but I often appreciate the courage it takes them to stand up for whatever it is and the passion that drives them.

I am what I am whether I conceal it or not and whether someone likes it or not. So why deny or repress it? Instead I will give people the chance to know me and embrace me or know me and reject me.

My love for fiction has deepened dramatically over the last year and one thing I love about it is how the novels can teach us even
 deeper empathy and greater compassion and understanding for real people and real life situations. We can’t always see or know why people do the things they do and it can be easy to judge and direct hostility towards them without any ounce of empathy or understanding but in books, authors bring their characters alive, stripping them raw, so we can hear their every thought and know their motives and intentions, and we can then, have compassion even more and understanding for the characters. We can extend that to real people and situations.

Understanding and empathy do not necessarily entail or require encouragement of or promoting something. I can understand and be empathetic of a person doing something wrong or not good but not promote or encourage it. I love when authors challenge us. This author is clearly brilliant, not just in writing but her deep understanding of life.

The girl’s wedding day is on June 25th in the book and that’s today for real! Lol what a coincidence that I read that today!

Is that something only I would be thrilled over? 

;-D
I hear that a lot “only you, Kim!” or “only you would think or notice that, only you would laugh at that…!”

Xoxo Kim

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton

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Perfectly Imperfect <3

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Everyone must know by now, of my love for Alice Cooper.   And here is another post dedicated to him and one of his lovely songs.

It’s called “Perfect.”.  He is singing about how his girl is not perfect but to him, she is.   She doesn’t have many skills, she can’t sing or dance.   He acknowledges this and loves her just the same.

She’s an overnight sensation
In the mirror on her wall
She gets a standing ovation
At every shower curtain call

And she becomes a pop star
In the safety of her car
And then she falls to pieces
At the karaoke bar”

It’s all good when no one is watching and the lights are low but as soon as she has a large audience, look out! 😉 lol

And she’s perfect
Until the lights go on
And then it all goes wrong
‘Cause now she’s not so perfect

She can shake it just like J-Lo
When the bedroom lights go down
But when she hits the dance floor
She’s a hip-hop hippo clown.”

Lmao this is hilarious.

She’s not perfect
She’s all mine
She can’t sing or dance
She ain’t got a chance
But baby, I don’t mind

She’s perfect
Oh, she’s perfect
Ah, she’s so perfect
You know, she’s so perfect
Ah, ah, ah

Sing baby
Dance, dance, dance
You got it
Shake it down
Oh, that’s bad
That’s bad
I love you baby
That’s just awful
You got it
You got it”

Just beautiful! 

Not only is this just a great song with a sweet tune, it conveys a perfect message. Not everyone will be perfect but we can love and accept those people just as they are.  Look how encouraging Alice is.  He’s supporting her every move even though she sucks at it.  Lol

All the people we know and love probably have some “imperfection” but so what?  We can love, cherish, and accept, always.

And if you can’t sing or dance, sing and dance anyway!  Singing and dancing like an idiot, it’s fun!! ;-D

It it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.

Here is the mobile link to the song which may or may not work for you, I’m using my phone.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RAZF4SKDLh0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRAZF4SKDLh0&sa=X&ei=2IxVUoj-Cbb94AOvoICADw&ved=0CAsQqwQ

Xoxo Kim

Outside the boxes

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In our society we have the tendency to put people, including ourselves,  into boxes – socially constructed boxes or categories. This causes much confusion when someone cannot be molded into one of these boxes.

We often see things in terms of “black & white”, “one or the other”, “This or that.”

But the truth is, we are all so unique, a medley made up of various things that we cannot always be succinctly put into “boxes”. We can stuff ourselves and each other into perfect little boxes but the box will overflow, what about the parts of ourselves that can’t be labeled or identified?

For example, I have been told that it’s “wrong” to have mixed children because the kids won’t know “which world they belong to” or what race they really are. According to some, you have to be one race and only one.  People are confused by the whole concept of Bisexuality, believing a person has to be gay or be straight and that’s that.  Some people who strongly identify with one specific political orientation but have one or a few views that are not typically held by their political affiliation are rejected by others in their political group for not being “true” to the political label they mostly identify with.
I read something written by a yoga instructor who was at one point a vegan but fell deathly ill and had to eat certain meat products temporarily to stay alive and she felt an overwhelming sense of confusion about where she stood. Yoga instructors are often believed to be vegans and thin and fit Or they aren’t “true yogis.”

See how this all has so much potential to cause great confusIon and pain? Some people are mixed races, some are bisexual, some have aspects of male & female, some identify with no gender, some yoga instructors are not vegetarians or vegans, some are not thin, some Liberals are pro- life, some Conservatives are pro -choice…

And we can tolerate & accept & love anyway. We don’t have to be shoved into boxes and be all confused when we meet someone who doesn’t quite fit into the box we so desperately attempt to put that person in.  Labels and categorizing are good to a certain extent, we need them sometimes.   But when we use them to the excess, they do more harm than good.
If you do somehow fit perfectly into a box that’s no problem but if not, it’s best not to force yourself. You don’t have to live up to a label or a socially constructed or even a self imposed box or category. There’s no room to be your true self then, no room for growth. Live up to your own standards, morals, virtues, give yourself room to breath, change when you must, evolve and just be.

I’ll just be me and you just be you. And we can let them just be them.

You do not need anyone’s permission to be your true self.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Honor diversity in all seasons.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Xoxo  Kim

Lifeless & Inspired

I have been so inspired to post here for the last few days. I have been having amazing, inspirational thoughts swirling around in my head like magic and have been wanting to share but I couldn’t. Because of work. I have been working every single day for almost two weeks straight and often very long shifts with no breaks.

We have no breaks like lunch breaks where I work because my boss is generous and let’s us eat & drink whatever we want whenever we want.   So we don’t have scheduled breaks.   And I don’t have a problem with that.   But when it’s busy it’s difficult to get a chance to even take a quick swig of soda! And it sure has been busy. And it’s sucking the life out of me.

My only coworker recently had surgery and has been out for a while and my boss and manager were on vacation for a couple weeks. So I have been practically running the place myself with almost no help. And it has taken a toll on me!

My job itself is not life draining. I love working at the store and it’s generally a very positive environment.   But working almost two weeks with no day off and extremely long hours is life draining.  

And to top it off on Monday, my manager’s first day back after her vacation I had work that night after an eleven hour shift the day before and when I came into work my manager complained to me about the floor. And the sinks. I mopped the floor three times the night before but our mop was old and not so effective anymore. I soaked it thoroughly but it still put gray streaks across the floor. Not bad ones but still noticable.

I did every single thing I was supposed to do. I got out of work a half hour late making sure the place was clean as can be and my manager complained to me!   After I took over the place when no one else could or would! I had to put my own needs and desires on hold and neglect them for work. And it was unpleasant.

I was not expecting an extra pay, or appreciation, or a thank you or anything like that! But I surely wasn’t wanting to get complained to for something so trivial that doesn’t happen often and wasn’t even something I did intentionally or carelessly.

That took the life out of me even more. Even my one day off I was too exhausted to do much. I just mostly slept the whole day.  

It’s not just work though, my new puppy is like a human baby. He wakes me up in the early morning and for the next few hours wants to play literally non stop! He will not let me sleep and I am so exhausted for the rest of the day! Lol. But he is a cutie and I love that boy!

Here’s the little terror right here.  

Parts of my days for the last few I  have felt so lifeless but then it would rain or flowers would bloom or I would look up at the beautiful bright blue sky dappled in pretty whiteclouds and life would surge right through me again.   And I would have the strength and the motivation to keep going.

I absolutely love Nature ‘s sweet gifts.

This is the view outside my bedroom Window! How blessed I am! These perfect purple flowers bloomed on the tree this Spring. A little bit of heaven right here on Earth! Oh yes, how lovely.





I took a pic of this old fashioned looking trolley and then put a vintage effect on the photo to make it look even more old fashioned! I am quite the photographer! Lol jk!

And I just laughed really hard at my own joke. I’m talking about a good belly laugh!


;-p

One of our Septa busses here in beautiful Philadelphia!



This is me.

Me again.

So i’ll end the pictures in this post here.

In this post I will let people know that it’s ok to not always be strong or feel strong or be perfect in everything you do.

Whatever your definition of strong or perfection is, or whatever definition of those you feel the need to live up to it’s ok to sometimes let it go.   It’s ok to have mini “Breakdowns” and get angry, stressed, frustrated, or cry and complain.

You don’t always have to give it your all.

That’s not something we hear often but sometimes it’s best to rest and not try so hard.  

You can slack or rest. Be good instead of great. Or ok instead of good sometimes. That’s ok.


You can collapse into bed and just rest all day when you have nothing to do or even blow off certain things you are expected to do just to care for yourself.

You can skip your exercise routine once in a while or even take a day off work or class.   But don’t skip sleep or rest or food.

It’s ok to feel weak sometimes. 

Also everyone has problems now and then. Some may seem worse than others or more deserving of empathy or sympathy or more “Appropriate” to complain about but just because someone else’s problem seems worse doesn’t mean yours isn’t real or bad or that you should keep yours bottled up inside just because it seems like “Less”. Other people’s problems do not obliterate yours.

If it inspires you to think “There are worse problems so I should feel Grateful.” then definitely think that way! But if it just hurts you and makes you feel guilty then let that thought go and let yourself complain and release and express your emotions in a healthy way.

Your emotions, thoughts, and your problems are valid and deserving of attention.  And you don’t have to feel guilty. Just be.

It’s ok not to feel grateful every second of everyday. In my opinion we should definitely generally live a life of gratitude and develop or strengthen the habit of being grateful and seeing the positive often, even almost always, but it’s definitely ok to sometimes just vent and admit that we don’t always feel grateful or happy.

Negative emotions and thoughts are part of living.   And since you’re a living human you will experience negativity and the desire or need to react to it. So go ahead, let your self.

One thing that is extremely helpful is meditation.

Here is a great website all about meditation with free downloadable mp3’s!!

http://www.meditationoasis.com/

This is good for beginners so if you don’t know much about it you can learn and they also have advanced meditation mp3’s for people who are already acquainted or at ease with it.

I took a meditation course in college where I practiced and learned all about it. The one I’m interested in is mindfulness meditation.   They have so many mp3’s. Ones to help you with gratitude, anger, pain, deep rest, pregnancy, creativity, and so many, many more.

Also check this other meditation page out about mindfulness: https://livingmindfully.org/

When I meditate my whole body feels rested and I feel rested mentally as well.

It’s an amazing experience that cannot really be explained in words, it must be practiced. It’s good to meditate regularly.   I used to morning and then again at night but began slacking! But I intend to begin again!

Xoxo Kim

P.s. Since my new phone is so perfectly compatible with the mobile wordpress app and it allows multiple photos in the same entry, you will be seeing many, many more pictures that Itake as long as you keep checking out my blog! Yay! It’s a dream come true! 😀