September Transformation

I’m not sure what it is about September. For me, it’s always been a time of uncomfortable emotions and tearful soul searching. Now don’t get me wrong. I adore autumn. Especially in its early stages, when it’s still warm without the humidity, and everything is richer to me. The leaves on the trees, the clouds in the sky, the scents in the air, and there even seems to be a golden glow that surrounds everything. It’s a magical time, really. Like winter is coming but not quite yet, and nature is having its last dance before settling in for the long winter ahead.

Although I love these beautiful fall days, it seems to stir something deep inside me, and while I’m sitting on the back porch taking in all of its beauty, my soul seems to be desperate to jump out of my body. Ferociously. Like something inside is saying, “Are you happy, Jodie? Because if you were you wouldn’t be feeling this way. Now you think about that.” And suddenly I feel like drastic changes must be made. What kind of changes though, I have no idea. You’d think I’d figure something out of these seasonal feelings by now, but no. All I’ve noticed is, that they make me think of where I am in my life and where I’d like to be, and all of this thinking kind of steals the magic of the season from me.

So I try to find out what isn’t working. I sit out there. Listening to the creek and watch the dragonflies and the butterflies play, and I listen to the breeze rustle the leaves like paper and what am I doing? I’m thinking. I’m thinking about an issue or issues in my life that may or may not exist, and the only break I’m taking from this is when I notice something around me and say, “That bird/bee/squirrel/duck is really lucky to not have to worry about these things,” or I notice the geese flying in that oh-so-depressing V formation overhead and I get a bit teary-eyed because they are going someplace warm, and I am not. Because most of the time, when I’m done thinking about whatever, the season has changed and it’s time to shift gears to my inevitable winter sadness.

I’d really like to enjoy September this year. It’s almost over, but still. Maybe my annual over thinking fest is trying to teach me something. Over thinking leads to chaos and when I think, I create stories of what my life is and what I haven’t done or will never do. I’m beginning to realize that most of these stories are fiction, and my mind is a very talented writer. All of this soul searching can be done any time. Uncomfortable emotions can be felt any time. Until now, I’ve always decided to tackle them during my favorite season of the year, and also the shortest. I think I do this because summer is over and I’m not ready for it, and winter is coming and I’m not ready for that either. That’s not very in-the-moment of me, is it? I always strive to be in the moment but I rarely ever am. I sure like to pretend I am though.

So, I’m going to get out there and enjoy this last gorgeous week of September. If any changes need to be made in my life, I’m sure the universe will let me know loud and clear. Until I get those messages, I’m going to try to just be. I’m going to be in the presence of this beautiful season in all its glory. In the moment. Finally. Sometimes nothing has to be figured out, and that makes me very happy. It should make me happy. I had to do a lot of over thinking to figure this all out. I guess it had its purpose after all. <3

Madonna Jr.

madonna-bio-03I remember being about 10 years old and hearing Madonna for the first time. I can’t remember the exact song, but I loved it just the same. I didn’t know what she looked like, but I was drawn to her in some way. And then there she was. On the Canadian video hits channel. We didn’t have cable, so no MTV. Just this. This is how I was able to connect to the music I loved so much. It worked. I saw her, and I was in love, I think. I was absolutely mesmerized by this woman and I wanted to be her. Something about her hit me hard. It didn’t have anything to do with how she dressed or what she looked like. It was just her. I remember drawing her from the cover of the TV Guide. And I colored it in with magic markers. I showed this drawing to my dad, and I was beaming with pride. He looked at my drawing, and then looked at me and said, “I think you should find a better role model.” I couldn’t understand this really. Why? What’s wrong with Madonna? It didn’t seem to faze me too much. I’d save my allowance and pick up an issue of “Teen Beat” and rip out her photos and hang them on my wall. I’d look at them and wonder what it was like to be so perfect.

Fast forward a few years to my teens. I was struggling to find my way and she was still there. I listened to her, I dressed like her, and I took her “I don’t care what anyone thinks” attitude as my own. There were times when I wanted to jump out of my skin and into hers, so I could be adored my millions instead of laughed at by millions, or so it seemed anyway. So many times I’d be in a horrible and humiliating situation at school, where I’d be the center of attention and the “popular” kids would be making me the punch line of their joke of the day. I’d say to myself , “what would Madonna do?” And as much as I was hurting, I carried on, because she sure as hell would. I lived as she would have. Fearlessly. I felt horrible inside as she must have, but on the outside, I did what Madonna did. I bought every album. Actual albums. I danced to her music in my room and I forgot the world and my problems. What would Madonna do? She would go on. Fuck what anyone else said. She would go on. So I had to.

As the years went on, her influence on me was less, and as she got older and was still doing the same things, I grew tired. “Music” was the last cd I bought and I started thinking, “That’s enough Madonna, that’s enough.” Her influence in my life was extraordinary. But it was time for me to let it go.

Fast forward again to 2013, and I get a call from my mom, who just came from a family get together to discuss our family tree. “Guess what?” She said. “You are Madonna’s 8th cousin.” I sat there on the phone speechless while I tried to wrap my head around this. I think I may have stopped breathing for a moment, but I came back to life in the most amazing way. How could little me be related to this amazing woman that kept me alive through the most difficult part of my existence? It was a fact, and again, she has helped me go forward. In a different and real way this time.

Admiring Madonna has helped me become the woman I am. I’ve never been afraid to express myself and I’ve always been comfortable with my femininity and my sexuality. I owe these things to her. She’s always been a part of me, but now I know she really is. It’s almost like the teenaged Jodie has come to life again, but more powerful this time. If I have Madonna’s blood in my veins, I can achieve greatness. I hold that ambition, that strength and that beauty inside of me. I guess I’ve had it all the time. I just needed a little nudge. What would Madonna do? Now it’s more like, what would Jodie do? And the answer is, whatever she wants. Thanks for a lifetime of inspiration, cuz 🙂

Old School Love

I remember a time when a relationship didn’t involve technology. No Facebook, no texting, and other forms of social media that I have yet to familiarize myself with. You know what I mean. When you’d call someone and leave a message on their answering machine. Or you might write a letter to someone to tell them how you feel. A hand written letter. Remember those? I miss those days. Now it’s Facebook and texting and beyond. I’ve never had a relationship where texting was a vital form of communication until now, and yet there seems to be no “texting etiquette.” I think there should be. It’s the modern version of returning a phone call, or responding to that hand written letter. What would one do in the “olden days?” Pick up the old phone and call back, maybe? Or write a letter, put a stamp on it and put it in the mail? Somedays, it seems snail mail would be quicker than getting a text back at times.
Our lives are busy. It’s a fact. Yet we take on more and more, and faceless communication is our only way of connecting these days. We must remember however, that there are people on the other end of these devices, and no matter how far technology has come, feelings still remain. No one wants to be faceless in real life. The modern world has given us these alternate ways of communication, but it shouldn’t decrease our importance to the ones we reach out to.
So, the moral of the story is: If someone important in your life sends you a message or a text, go old school and respond. It’s just good manners.