Open Door

Open Door

Friday, October 26, 2012

Building and Tearing Down Relationships

A while back, I heard this story.  From where or who escapes my memory, but the principle remained with me and I wanted to share with you:

There once was a fine architect who could design and build amazing structures.  He would spend years planning and finding the right craftsman to create his masterpieces.  Overseeing every part of development, he would finally begin building.  The entire process would take nearly ten years from start to finish and after construction was complete he would start the tedious, never-ending task of maintenance.  One day a man asked which part of the work was easiest and the architect replied, "Tearing down."  You see, the finest craftsman weren't needed to destroy, in fact, he preferred his breaking crew to be brutal and ruthless.  What takes ten years to build and lifetime to maintain could be reduced to rubble in a single afternoon, but the architect didn't like this part of his work.  Creating was much more rewarding.

You may be asking, "Why is Angela talking about construction in a post tagged to relationships?" and I assure you there is a correlation between the two.  Relationships are much the same as building and tearing down a structure.  To build, they need a sound foundation of respect and trust.  You have to plan and find the best tools to sculpt the camaraderie into something beautiful.  Love can take years to cultivate and a lifetime to maintain, but the benefits can certainly outweigh the labors.  Likewise, careless words can tear a friendship into pieces in the span of a single afternoon.

Baring this in mind, I made a decision this morning--to temporarily deactivate my facebook account.  Lately, it seems like there has been far too much tearing down and not enough building. I have felt myself slipping into unhealthy patterns and I am choosing to put an end to these destructive impulses by eliminating the source.  I want to clarify--this isn't about anyone but me.  I care about every one of you and I hope you will message me within the next few days with your contact information so I keep in touch.  It's been a rough week, and I've found myself reevaluating all aspects of my life.  Right now, I need to trim back and return to the basics again.  In a few months, I will reconsider.  Until then, I wish you all the best <3

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

True Beauty

For the past few weeks, I've been helping a group of friends plan our twenty-year high school reunion.  What an amazing experience!  I am so grateful for this opportunity, simply because of the re-connection with peers who have been missing from my life since graduation. But with every positive experience, there is also a dark side in which I would like to address - an issue with popularity and body image.  Interesting, considering the novel I am currently working on highlights a similar issue.  

In D-Brie, my heroin, Adrienne Morris, is so gorgeous men become preoccupied with the thought of owning her like a possession rather than seeing her as a person.  Blinded by the desire to win their prize, they fall prey to a serial killer's deadly trap.  There are so many twists in this plot that I have been left reeling and truly considering the meaning of beauty.  It is no wonder I am stuck on the coloration between obsession and loveliness when I am faced with the effects in every aspect of my life, both in the real world and fictitiously.  Finally, I had to ask myself; why are we all so preoccupied with obtaining society's definition of perfection? I decided to post my thoughts publicly, where I can reach so many of my classmates at once, because my description of beauty varies so drastically from social perception. 

To explain my view, I must first share a secret.  For as long as I can remember, I have  people-watched.  Looking beyond social and physical masks, I try to see into their true nature. Through many years of observation, I've discovered authenticity to be the most appealing trait in others.  My definition of beauty has little to do with physical attributes, but a glimpse of true-self reflected in another when they are unaware of my notice.  A photographer would call it a candid snap-shot of how they love, and are loved in return.  

In my opinion, true beauty cannot be purchased from a store.  Attractiveness has to be earned through battle scars of stretch marks, receding hairlines, laugh lines, beer bellies, and grey hair. One of the most fascinating discoveries in my never-ending social experiment is how a truly beautiful person grows even more so with age. Some spirits just have a light shining through every fiber of their being.  Their laughter and excitement are so contagious I find myself looking for ways to make them a permanent part of my life.  Through my eyes, they will always be radiant - regardless of their outward appearance.  

Well, there you have it. All of this time, you have been watched and probably didn't even know.  Right now, you should be asking yourself, why would I share my stalker-like behavior and risk restraining orders?  The reason is this - I want every last one of you to know that I think you are beautiful!  There is no one in the world exactly like you, perfectly flawed in every way.  All of us have certain things we don't like about ourselves, but you can't let them stop you from living.  Please don't allow your insecurities to stand in the way of something as important as your twenty-year reunion.  You will regret it for the rest of your life, I promise you.  I am making a plea to the class of '92 to attend at least one of the events.

I moved away from home nearly seventeen years ago.  If I passed most of you on the street, you wouldn't even recognize me, but we were a big part of each other's lives for four years.  We need to honor that time, because those years shaped and molded us into who we are today.  I will be there, with my gigantic thighs and scarred neck.  You'll have to come and hear that story.  You see, I was attacked by this mountain lion... :)