12 Days of Blogmas: Top 3 Blog Posts of 2012

Merry Almost Whatever Holiday You Celebrate!

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Blogmas started as my way to celebrate, look back on and dissect my year in blogging here at UrTheInspiration. Therefore it is fitting that we wrap up our 12 days of Blogmas with my 3 favorite posts of 2012!  Maybe not the most popular and perhaps not the easiest to read and probably not featuring the best writing but these three posts represent those rare moments in blogging where I shut my laptop and think, “Nailed it!” Writing sometimes is more about sitting down with a goal and reaching it and these 3 blog posts did that quite nicely.

3.) Can’t Hurt Me Now: I never wanted to sit down and write about my own history with bullying. Our attitude towards the topic often feels misguided, in my opinion and I didn’t really think I had much to add to the conversation. Nevertheless, after a lunch with a pal from high school, this blog poured out of me and I’m glad it did. It turned out to be a healing writing experience and provided some long overdue perspective. Plus there’s Madonna references so how can you go wrong?

2.) It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: The balance of humor and honesty is a tough one for me when writing about my addictions and past disasters. I don’t feel like I usually get it right. Yet this post, rich in A-Spray references and acid wash denim, felt like I got pretty damn close. It made me laugh re-reading and that’s always a good sign.

1.) I Haven’t Got Time for the Pain: Processing pain and tragedy sucks, if we’re speaking bluntly. This post was born of me trying to wrap my head around the tragic Aurora shootings that happened over the summer. I cried when I wrote it. I cried with fellow bloggers who reached out to me afterwards. Writing this blog helped me and reading it today I know that it comes from a honest place which is all I ever really want.

There ya have it! I hope all of you have a great holiday! Thanks for reading over the last year. I’ll be back right after Christmas– I’ve got a laundry list of ridiculous crap we need to talk about.

Happy Holidays!

I haven’t got time for the pain

My rule of thumb when it comes to headline grabbing, locally based tragedies is this: when people I went to high school with are posting their thoughts on everything from Jesus Christ to gun control on Facebook, I officially have nothing to add to the conversation. Seriously, what can I say? I barely know how to ask vegans what they like to eat for breakfast much less have a genius diatribe about peace and understanding ready at the drop of the hat. Instead, I tend to go inward. I look for answers in music. I know it sounds crazy but hello- no crazier than the shit that has went down over the last week. Usually this musical introspection takes me to the 1970’s.

Cat & Carly

Trust me, I wanted to sit down and write a blog about the tragic shooting in Aurora and perhaps even tie in some Greek Mythology all the while having the entire post really be about me and how sensitive I am. This magical blog post would not only explain the messed up events for readers everywhere but it would inspire them to follow me on Twitter or send me fan mail. No such luck. Instead, all I want to talk about is Carly Simon.

The other night I was making brownies (Baking relaxes me. It’s like Bikram yoga for junkies and drunks) I had the Linda Ronstadt Pandora station on. In addition to the ditties of La Ronstadt, the station features songs from “similar artists” who maybe aren’t so similar but were at least popular in the same era. Carly Simon was one of the artists chosen to accompany Linda and me on our musical baking adventure. In addition to learning that Carly was the daughter of Simon of famed publishing house Simon & Schuster (who knew?), I read that she was one of the era’s confessional singers like Carol King, James Taylor and Cat Stevens. The idea of Carly being confessional is one that appeals to me. I think that’s what always appealed to me about 1970s music and even film. The really good stuff (Daniel by Elton John, Woody Allen’s Manhattan, and You’re so Vain by Carly Simon) all felt like your were listening to someone’s diary or watching the real lives of people you knew. It told the truth and for a child of delusion and addiction, artists that could pull that off have always been my heroes. Anyway, Carly’s song “Haven’t Got Time for the Pain” came on as I poured my brownie batter into the pan. The words “Suffering was the only thing that made me feel I was alive. Thought that’s just how much it cost to survive in this world” hit me like a ton of bricks. I can identify with mistaking living in calamity as actually living. I too needed pain or suffering to give me pulse or get me out of bed. That’s an intense realization to have, especially for an old soft rock song they now use on pain reliever commercials.  The power of being confessional, as Carly proved, is that sometimes your truth belongs to other people too.

When horrible fucked up shit like this used to happen, we would all meet at my favorite dive bar, play the jukebox and get really, really loaded. We’d do this when nothing fucked up happened too, by the way. Today, how do I deal? Well I have a cry. I bake something. I sing a long to songs from my childhood. But mainly, I have to stay out of the grudge match. I can’t battle with my opinion anymore or obsessively watch CNN in search of some answer when I know there isn’t an answer.

But maybe there is an answer. On a separate kitchen session in the same week with the same Pandora station, I heard Carly again. In her totally underrated song Coming Around Again from the film, Heartburn; Carly sings and almost chants, “I believe in love.” She sings it over and over again. I needed to hear this message on repeat. Because I do believe in it. I know that awful, hideous occurrences can only be healed with love. I know that it isn’t the easy path. I know that it frankly fucking sucks waiting for love to heal. But I know that it works. Yeah, I believe in love because, as Carly sings in the following line, “What else can I do?”