Friday, October 31, 2008

"We all wear masks...metaphorically speaking."

For those of you who can't quote almost all Jim Carey movies...this is from The Mask. I had this on VHS back in the day and my little sister and I watched it fairly frequently. I don't really know why we liked is so much. It's not that good or that funny. I mean, it has a couple good scenes (hello, Cuban Pete), but it was no Ace Ventura. I think the appeal of this movie is that it's about a normal guy that stumbles across this "mask" and when he puts it on he becomes the person he fantasizes about. He goes from the nice guy that everyone looks over to this charismatic, confident, social enigma that everyone becomes enthralled with. Of course, the moral of the story is that he was better "just the way he was" being the nice guy. He even got the girl...Cameron Diaz (her first the way).

No matter what anyone says I believe that everyone has had the thought cross their mind to what it might feel like to be someone else. Not literally another person, but that person that would be the best version of themselves. I wonder if I found that "mask" what I would become. Scary thought really, when the goals of who I want to be change frequently these days. I'm thinking I might be a 10-15 pounds lighter, slightly more articulate, incredibly well dressed individual standing next to my fiance that I met at church. Then again, I could be on the streets of Europe with no material possessions because I sold them all to have money to travel the world with.

I don't know how I would be different if I could magically be another level of myself...but, oddly this thought has made me reflect on the power of Halloween. For one night, you don't have to think at all about who you are. It's draining sometimes...McCain or Obama...single or married...on the rocks or frozen...constant questioning of how you define yourself. But on Halloween, you can channel yourself into whatever random idea for a costume you came up with. All of the sudden you really don't care about who you are, you simply care about having fun. This has actually been a dangerous thing for me in the past because my version of "having fun" sometimes involves shots of tequila. That's a whole other story. My point is we have the other 364 days to determine who we are and figure out how to actualize our potential. I'm glad there is one day that day that we DO NOT. Hope everyone had a memorable Halloween...

Monday, October 27, 2008


I don't think I will ever forget the day after my 21st birthday. Wretched could be the best word to describe it. Granted I didn't get in trouble with the law the night of my 21st or even do something as crazy as hooking up with a random. (I define "hooking up" as making out...yes, I need to go back the the 1940s, I suppose). But, that day from the moment I woke up after my 21st birthday to the moment I went to sleep is a day I used to want to erase. When the memory would surface, I would grimace and attempt to suppress it like one of those traumatic childhood memories that therapists say the brain won't allow one to remember.

I wish I knew the statistics here, but it has to be a certainty that 98% of Americans don't feel good the day after their 21st. When I say "don't feel good", I obviously mean "painfully hungover". This isn't really fair if you think about it. The French are probably at a casual sit down dinner with friends on their 21rst birthday ordering their favorite bottle of wine...a taste for which they've acquired after years of drinking it legally. The next day, they probably awake feeling invigorated and youthful. In America we attempt to take 21 shots of liquor. The next day, we are suicidal and contemplate joining AA. Isn't it true that Americans are supposed to be the worlds' most progressive leaders in ideologies, foreign relations, politics, etc...? Amazing that we've made it there with most of our brain cells dying on the night of our 21st birthday. Though I'm sure the founding fathers didn't start out this way. Maybe though? Has anyone unearthed the shot book John Adams made for George Washington?? Kidding...Kidding...

The day after my 21st birthday can be defined as one of my "rock bottom" moments for the MAIN reason that I didn't remember the night before and I had to be told what the hell happened....this is a summary of the realizations and the actions taken thereafter:
1. Blacking out. It happened at 10:00 p.m.
2. The last thing I can recall is taking out the "emergency only" credit card from my parents and buying the entire bar a round of shots.
3. I thought it was a genius idea to rent a city bus for this night out, which was a lot of fun for the hour I remembered, but of course, I invited randoms on the bus.
4. The randoms got sick on the bus.
5. I had to pay for the bus company to clean up for the randoms that got sick on the bus. (Scratch parents did.)
6. While driving to the bus company to reconcile the fee I was going to owe, I threw up what seemed to be straight liquor on myself causing me to turn around to go home to change clothes. Sick, I know, but this is what happened.

I will never forget the hot tears running down my face driving back home to change my clothes. I was so disgusted with myself. How did something that was supposed to be fun turn into something that was such a mess? The thought of calling my parents and explaining the situation made me want to get sick again. The guilt was heavy. They were excited to rent the bus for my friends and I to ride around town safely and I can't even remember it. I pulled over my car over to the side of the road and just cried, with my head on the steering wheel. I was alone, it might have been the loneliest I've ever felt. Ironic when the night before I was riding around town with a bus full of people. I remember just taking a couple of deep breaths and driving slowly home, cleaning up and then calling my parents. Luckily, they were and still are more understanding than any other humans that I know. They took care of the situation and even found it hysterical. This is how I know God knew what he was doing when he made them my parents. I am so good at punishing myself that if I had parents that weren't accepting of my mistakes, well, frankly, you might find me in a padded room.

I'm sure that everyone has both hilarious and horrible stories from the nights of their 21st birthdays, but I bring mine up now because I am finding that a lot about being in your 20's is about learning your limits. Your limit for partying, your limit for working, your limit for exercising, your limit for NOT exercising, your limit for relationships, your limit for friendships, your limit for money, your limit for shopping, your limit for indulging and so many more. I guess limit really is just another way of saying boundary. These last couple of years I've began to learn how far is too far and how much is too much in a plethora of ways and sometimes over and over again. I think I've stretched myself to the maximum boundary of almost everything possible. Everyone always hears the "setting your boundaries" advice. I believed knew what my boundaries were. The truth is I didn't, I didn't until I went over my limit and realized the path of my life was changing in a direction that I didn't want. The stress and discomfort emerges at this point because to live continuously beyond one limit or another turns you into a person you don't recognize. It can be ignored for a while and trust me I tried every way to ignore it, but it always tends to surface. The truth always does. This is the best part though, because with the brutal honesty brings a freedom; this makes change less hard because there is a peace that it's the right thing.

Now that I'm offically mid-twenties, 25, 3 months and 3 days to be exact, I am starting to see that my thoughts and opinions are formed by my experiences and THAT becomes who I am. It's not who my parents and friends are any longer. Through every situation we are slowing shaping into the people we are going to be. So, if you think about it, there are no mistakes...none, zero. There are only experiences that make us the people that we are. So, now, I don't want to erase that day after my 21st birthday, actually I'm grateful for it. Yes, that's correct, I'm grateful for the day I threw up on myself while driving....pfffftttttt.
Attempt to live gratefully for every good and bad moment, for every boundary crossed, each has it's perfect purpose in the big picture of life...

I will part with my favorite quote...good stuff for those of us "trying" to grow up...ha.

"Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything." -R.W. Emerson

Friday, October 17, 2008


A term most closely tied with science, but holds many alternate definitions in my head. Then again, I have discovered that within my head lies an odd translation of most things. So just take this for what it's worth...

Wikipedia calls chemistry as " the science concerned with the composition, structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions." Simultaneously, chemistry is also the name of the sister website of, this site is "designed especially for people who are actively seeking meaningful, long-term relationships". I also hear the mention of chemistry from my mother, every time I bake cookies. They always seem to be kind of flat or not quite the right color. It never fails that she says, "Baking is just chemistry." I guess the "baking chemistry", I've yet to master. Oh well.

Regardless of how you define chemistry, I find it to be a marvelous thing. My favorite comprehension of chemistry is the kind of chemistry is the beginning of a great love. For example, the obvious, Romeo and Juliet, the chemistry is electric between these two famous characters in Shakespearean literature. They deserted their families, lied and ultimately died for just the chance to find out what would come from the intense passion they felt in the hours they spent together. More recently, there's Brad and Angelina. Come on. Have you ever seen Mr. and Mrs. Smith? The chemistry practically bleeds through the screen that you're watching it on. Not that I support infidelity, but I am Team Angelina. I do believe she and Brad share a great love. Tom and Katie, hmmm, not so much. I guarantee she doesn't care, she has an adorable daughter and gets to wear alllll those clothes, whew, almost gives me chills. BUT, I don't think Katie gets the same kind of chills that come with the discovery that there could be the possibility to have chemistry with a guy. I barely remember what it's like, but I know that sort of feeling when you physically feel something just by being around another person, is exhilarating. It could just be in one brief moment of eye contact, or you could feel it in the midst of a conversation, but when there is just a hint of potential, you know it. At least girls do, I think.

My own latest interface with this thing called chemistry actually stems from someone else's romance, because the item that attracted the other participant was a pair of sunglasses that were passed out a wedding. Yes, Jamie Judd, I'm talking about none other than the infamous sunglasses that you and your hubby ingeniously passed out at your wedding. See below.

Only a couple with true chemistry would pass out an item at their wedding based on a song by Corey Hart ("Sunglasses at Night). Life changing song in my youth, ("don't switch the blade on the guy in shades, oh no...") and this prop caused me to have a life changing dance party with everyone at a reception. I think I felt invisible, but according to the pictures, I was fully visible in my sunglasses and 80s dance moves. Looking back, that night was a reflection not only Jack and Jamie's chemistry, but their marriage, their commitment to love each other and put the other one first. It's sort of beautiful if you think about it (their love, NOT the pictures of me at the reception. "you just don't take good pictures, Alexis." -my Granny).

Anyway, I had these sunglasses on last Saturday night at a Ghostland Observatory concert. People were wearing lots of weird things. A guy in front of us was wearing a loincloth and an Indian headdress. Just go to a concert, you'll get it. But these would have thought I had a $100 bill taped to my head. Every guy standing around us keep trying to grab and wear them. This actually spurred some sort of a muddled conversation with this redheaded guy behind us. I have a major thing for redheads for those of you that don't know this. All of the sudden this guy and I sharing a Miller High Life beneath the technicolor lights of Ghostland. I can't really hear much that he's saying, but I keep laughing because I assume it's funny. Somehow I give him my number after my concert. I have LOTS of game when I've been drinking since 9 a.m. (fyi: It was OU/TX, not a norm for me). Or maybe he had lots of game? I'm not sure. Unexpectedly, Monday night he calls. I find this weird, only because I was sure he got my number for the sole purpose of just "hooking up" with a random girl during OU/TX. Sooo, there's phone tag back and forth and last night, I finally talk to him. He is actually pretty funny and interesting. Hmmm, could there be chemistry? Doubtful, my track record is not strong for realitionships lately, oh wait, EVER. BUT, if there is I dedicate it to The Judds. May their love and chemistry pass through those sunglasses to every guest at their it forward, Judds, pay it forward.

All for now...happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What do you really really really want?

I found this phrase on a scrap piece of paper that my mother had haphazardly put on our refrigerator. It was almost covered by one of our many souvenir magnets. My parents buy these every time they are somewhere 30 minutes from our hometown. I don't know how one starts collecting these, but, it is completely something my parents would do. Somehow, this scrap paper peeked through all of the Las Vegas, California and Texas cheesy magnets as I was opening the fridge for about the 20th time since I had been h0me. For some reason when I am in the safety of my childhood home, I find it necessary to eat as much as I can. I haven't figured out if it's because I know these people have to love me regardless of how grossed out they are that I've had three bowls of apple crisp or if it's because my mom's food is just that good. When I saw this scrap paper on the magnet, I stopped. Shockingly, the thought of more apple crisp left my brain and I took it off the fridge and stared at it. Underneath, this phrase, scrawled in my mom's handwriting, was, "my mantra". Wow. Does my mom wake up, get her coffee and think about what she "really really really wants". Did she get this from Oprah? She has been sounding very "zen" lately.

Wait....What do I really really really want? What if I asked myself this honestly everyday? Clearly, it would solve some problems. I really really really want to be healthy. Okay, so work out and don't make cookies and eat half the batter in the process. I really really really want to be good at my job. Okay, so try harder, focus, get off gmail. (Well, I'll work on that.) I really really really want to stop being stressed about money. Okay, keep track of it, stop overdrawing your bank account. Yes, I'm 25, and I still overdraw. I really really really want to understand God and my faith. Okay, so read, pray, meditate, surround myself with people and the tools to help me understand. I really really really want to write. I don't know why, I don't know in what capacity, but I know that when I write, I feel different than I do than when I'm doing another activity in the whole world. I feel "alive" if you know what I mean.

Frankly, I rather not quote Rent, but when asking myself what it is I really really really want, I tend to feel that there is "no day, but today". No, I'm not a HIV infected 20 something struggling in the East Village in New York, then again, most who connected with Rent weren't either. The powerful message of "THIS is the only moment we're guaranteed" even rings true in the ears of a 20 something struggling in Dallas living across the street from the West Village trying to figure out what in this life holds true value (yes, a cheesy description of me) .

So, I urge you to ask yourself right now, today...What do you really really really want???

love, alexis

post script: The first of many posts to come, I don't know what the hell they'll be about, but more posting there will be, stay tuned....