Be Awesome: Follow Your Bliss

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When you’re struggling for every dollar, you often have to make tough choices. Sacrifices have to be made so that living can happen. And maybe you end up doing something you don’t really care about because you want to stay in your apartment and cook a decent meal once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with that. But what about your soul?

There are also moments in your life where you have to take risks. I’m not saying you should quit your job right now and become a juggler. That’s insane. But you definitely should spend evenings juggling if that’s what you’re into. Whatever that thing is that you don’t get to do because you’re too busy trying to scrape by, you need to do it.

Joseph Campbell says to follow your bliss. Find the thing that makes you feel more alive and do it. As often as you can. If you are one of those people who gets paid to follow your bliss, consider yourself amongst the most fortunate of humans. Most of us are not so fortunate. But trust me when I say, no matter how tired you feel at the end of the day, nothing can bring you back to life quite like following your bliss. I did it yesterday, and it was terrifying and beautiful.

I auditioned for one of my very favorite musicals, Cabaret. I’ve wanted to be in this show since I was 18. You see, dancing is my own true bliss. I’ve been doing it practically since birth. When life abruptly shoved me off my path to the stage, it took a lot of years before I found the confidence to ignore my fears and insecurities and audition for a show again. But once I was cast, I felt like I was home again.

I still spent a lot of time trying to talk myself out of this audition. I mean, I’m getting way too old for this. When it came time to dance, I was easily the oldest person by 10 years. But then I’d hear Joe whispering in my ear, “Follow your bliss,” and I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be.

I’m not sure if I’ll get cast in this show, particularly because of a conflict which will be a great opportunity for my blog, another passion. I will be sorely disappointed, but at least I’ll never have to wonder. I took the risk. The rest is out of my hands. 

Maybe community theatre isn’t Broadway. I don’t care anymore. I’m doing the thing I love, and the size and scale have become irrelevant. People think it’s crazy when you show up at the office and tell them about dancing with a giant pretzel on your head, or you try to explain why you have to go to work today with finger waves in your hair. But I’m living my own life, not theirs. It makes me wildly happy.

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Please, please, please, don’t give up on the thing that makes you wildly happy. Sometimes the path to it can be so shrouded, you hardly know it exists, but you just have to find it.You simply must. As much as we all need money to survive, it might not actually make the world go around. Find a way to squeeze some bliss into your reality. You will smile more, and fall in love with life every time. It can be frightening, but the risk, once taken, is well worth the reward.

Go be awesome. Take back your power. Follow your bliss and love life.

Be Awesome: Be Social

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If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention, you’ve noticed by now that I’m a socially awkward super nerd. But hey, you’re here, so maybe you’re into that. Maybe, like me, you spend way too much time online because you don’t have any friends in real life. Did I just say that? 

The point is, we should totally hang out more. Let’s meet up on Facebook where I sometimes share random thoughts and the most ridiculous videos. If you’re sense of humor is as odd as mine, we’ll have lots of awesome times.

We should also hang out on Twitter, where I say the most truly ridiculous and random things. Don’t leave me all alone with my random self. There are also plenty of money saving RT’s coming your way because I’m very generous about letting people know how they can be cheap. It’s what I do best.

Want to see what my awesomely cheap life looks like out here in the middle of the ocean? Hit me up on Instagram. It’s not too scary. I promise.

See lots of weird, pretty, and ridiculously yummy things on Pinterest. All the cool kids are doin’ it.

And just in case you’re not getting enough of How to be Awesome, be sure to subscribe by email (in the sidebar) or RSS feed or follow me on Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a cheesy moment.

Okay, was that enough disgusting self-promotion? Seriously, though, the world needs more love, and we all need more friends. Let’s hang out! It’ll be awesome.

 

Awesome in July

July has been an extremely difficult month for us. We’ve had thousands of dollars in extra expenses this year, and not enough work to go around. But this blog is all about keeping it awesome even when the money is tight. We did manage to experience some super awesome stuff in July, all made even better by the very special human we got to share it with.

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Awesomest way to get your Southern food fix in the middle of the ocean: Kiss My Grits

I think my new favorite restaurant in Honolulu is Kiss My Grits on University Ave. in Puck’s Alley. I lived in the South for 12 years, and I learned to love a good biscuit, salty ham, and hushpuppies that will still burn your fingers. Kiss My Grits serves all this and more. I’ve been there twice now, and I still need to go back several more times to try all the things I want to check out on their menu. Except for the things that swim, I pretty much want to try everything on the menu. I also love the bottomless mason jar of sweet tea. So far, I’ve tried two of their cat’s head biscuit sandwiches (as in, biscuits as big as a cat’s head.) They were both a perfect blend of Southern flavors made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. And I didn’t manage to finish either one. It’s not Southern food if you don’t leave the table feeling like you might slip into a coma.

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Awesomest way to see a city destroyed: Pacific Rim

We saw Pacific Rim on $6 movie day, and I think I have a new favorite summer movie. The spectacle of giant sea monsters and giant robots smashing up cities is something you must see on the big screen. This film does a great job of cutting through all the convoluted exposition and blending story and action. They use a great narrative voiceover to keep the story moving forward, and they let the subtext speak for itself without having to make every feeling explicit. Also, there’s Idris Elba. If you just said “Who’s Idris Elba?” you need to rush to your Netflix and watch Luther and become a huge fan. Run out and see Pacific Rim right this minute.

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Awesomest book to fill you with righteous anger: Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

This month, I read Two or Three Things I Know For Surea memoir by the brilliant Dorothy Allison. I’ve also read her beautiful and tragic novel Bastard Out of Carolina. Both of these books were heartbreaking and beautiful. They deal with the difficult subject of sexual abuse of a child. Bastard Out of Carolina is told from the point of view of the child whose courage is remarkable. If you haven’t read anything by Dorothy Allison, please give her work a try. It’s powerful and difficult and necessary. 

Emily

Awesomest kid on the planet

I got to spend the month of July with my baby who is about to become a teenager in just 11 days and is nearly as tall as me. It’s a bit difficult to grasp. I love every moment that she gets to spend with us, which is never enough. We played silly games, had Uno tournaments, took funny and artsy photos all over the island, cooked together, read together, and hugged a lot. My baby is the super awesomest and I can’t wait until she’s back for Christmas. 

Things you found awesome

You were super stoked about double chocolate muffins.

You also love to spice things up with bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers.

And mostly, you love to feed your feathered friends with this DIY chicken feeder.

Exciting things are coming our way in August. I’m not sure what they are yet, but I know it’s gonna be awesome!

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