The death of the video store

When I was younger I loved going to the video store. New releases. Popular dramas. Foreign films. Family musicals. Top rated B horror movies about Yeti -- it was all there. The physical action of browsing through a video store was part of the movie night ritual. At some point on Friday, between coming home from school and having dinner I would load into the car with my dad and older sister while my mom made dinner, and we would be whisked off to the local video store. 5 minutes later we would hop out and begin the selection process. My strategy was always the same -  pick 6 movies and then let my sister narrow it down to three. Always three.  Get two release rent one free. Maybe add a bag of microwavable popcorn for an extra 99 cents, if I was feeling inspired. I was always feeling inspired. I would check out with the cute older video store guy, all the while not making eye contact because I didn't want to seem desperate and voila -- my entire weekend was planned. 

The death of the video store is a tragedy. I often think about how millennials will never know the satisfaction of flipping through video after video with a store full of other video renters who are all there for the same reason - to be transported to another land, where lives are more interesting, where the everyman is the hero, where there is a great want and an even greater need, all before heading back to work Monday morning. 

hey jude, whatchoo drinkin'?

Can we just talk about the Beatles for a moment? What were they drinking? Because I want what they're having. It blows my mind. 50 years ago they were making music that caught the frequency, rode it and is still relevant, authentic and plain good in a world where--well, have you heard the radio these days?

Which brings me to my next thought -- destiny. Living in the 'create your own adventure' kind of era that we do, where The Secret and such schools of thought are prevalent and quoted almost as doctrine, puts a lot of pressure on the lowly individual regarding their own place in the cosmos.

'Who am I? What is my purpose?' are burdensome questions.  Is my destiny escaping me because I had a bad day and couldn't tune back into the cheery radio wave? Am I not loving myself, loving others, detaching, attaching, envisioning well enough? I suppose these questions have been plaguing the average Jo and Joanne since the beginning. Decartes seemed to have found some peace with "I think, therefore I am", which unfortunately is now debunked, since 'thinking' as it turns out by the fathers of New Age Spirituality is no longer something to brag about. 

But the Beatles, were just some average dudes from Liverpool who could hum a tune, who happened to stumble onto a life that I'm pretty sure none of them had expected. Which makes me think, that destiny must have a way of finding you, even when you're not sure what you're looking for. Of course hard work, preparation, yadayada has a lot to do with it --  But John Lennon was going to be John Lennon whether he liked it or not. Nelson Mandela was going to be Nelson Mandela. Oprah isn't a dog groomer in Philadelphia - she's Oprah. So there's got to be a big hand playing the chess board, right? No matter how badly we want to go right, if we're meant to go left we will, right? There's some relief about this. There's something about knowing that I'm not the only one who is driving this boat, that relaxes me. Because let's be honest, I don't know a whole lot about boats, and I'm not a great swimmer. I like the idea that I can let go of the wheel for a moment and enjoy the breeze before we head into the deep waters of Babylon.  

the C word

Can I tell you how much this word irks me? Confidence. It's followed me around, annoying me for years.

How many sensitive people in this world have heard this?

"Just be more confident."
Great. Thanks for the advise. I never thought of it. 

If I could put my paralysis into a box and only take it out when useful or convenient to share my vulnerability in a timing appropriate, nice way --  I would. But it's not that easy. Confidence is an obscure and elusive thing. It comes and goes at the oddest times. When you're at the grocery store checkout, talking to the bus driver, or with your neighbor you can be refreshingly charming, honest and authentically yourself. When you're at a meeting, in a class room, or at a black tie event, confidence escapes you. You stand next to the waiter carrying the prawn thingies that no one likes, but even he gets more attention than you do. Because you hide yourself, despite everything inside of you saying I'm here. See me. Hear me. I am more than this. 

But guess what? There is a shift. People are rethinking this confidence thing. Sure sure, it would be great to bathe in a sea of self love and emerge from it like a hairless mermaid, and for those who do - Bravo. You're impressive. 

But for those who don't, take solace.  For, what is better than confidence? Courage. The courage to stand with yourself when every ounce of you wants to crumble. The courage to strike up that conversation with the waiter, or the dude in the tie, or the chick with the mohawk, even though you're not feeling particularly sure of yourself. The courage to go to that interview, that audition, or that date. The courage to laugh at yourself, at the world, at this very moment. 

Courage is what confidence is not -- action. It pushes you to take a step into becoming the person you know you are underneath all the neurotic chatter. While confidence says, 'Yeah, I got this', courage says, "I don't know how to do this, but something inside of me does." Courage is compassionate towards the parts of ourselves that feel crippled. It takes into consideration the bullies, the pitfalls, the broken dreams, the skinned knees and the bruised hearts. Courage kisses those hurt parts of ourselves and tells us to get back up. Courage tells us that it's ok to be scared, and to try again. 


oops. bye bye twitter

Someone forgot to relog into twitter. If you don't log in every 30 days, after disabling's gone. And so it's gone. There goes 9000 followers.  Oh well. There's something refreshing about anonymity. What a luxury these days.  Yes, my vanity has some issue with it. Perhaps my agents do too. 
But we'll all be anonymous in the end. Turn into dust. Blow off into the wind. Off the cliffs and the buildings and settle back into the Earth. The way it should be.