Bongos

So there I was… having a beer, listening to music on the Jukebox, and making mindless conversation with an Elderly man. Not just any man, but a regular at this establishment and one who has somehow endeared himself to me over the last couple of years. His words are often hard to understand, but he asked me what song was playing because he thought it was awful. I looked it up and replied, “It’s called, At Your Funeral, by Saves the Day.”
His response was the clearest I’ve ever heard him speak, “Psshh, I’ll play the bongos at your funeral.”
My mind immediately jumped to the footage of Matthew McConaughey playing the bongos naked a few years back, obviously.
When I came to, I wasn’t sure if I should say thanks or if he had been waiting for the opportunity to tell me just how he would celebrate my death.
Either way, I’m taking it as a way to celebrate the life of someone you liked.
Having said that, if any of you weirdos show up naked to play the bongos at my funeral, I will unfriend you in the afterlife.
Xoxo

Emotional Intelligence

Yesterday, my psychologist told me that I’m very emotionally intelligent. Wow. Really? As evident by my last blog, I very much feel like a mess at times. Well, thanks. Guess I’m not crazy after all. I find her statement to be a compliment of the highest order because I truly feel that having high emotional intelligence is even more important than having a high Intelligence Quotient. Since this feels like an award, clearly I have a speech to make.

First, I’d like to thank my parents for having me and for raising me in an almost perfect way, but while making sure to give me just enough issues to fit in with society.

I actually read the book titled Emotional Intelligence years ago…

goleman3

so thanks, Daniel Goleman, for writing it.

I’d also like to thank the private, Christian school I attended from 1st through 8th grade for the incredible friendships I made and for making sure I will never want to have too much to do with organized religion. Speaking of…thanks for making me wear a skirt once a week on Chapel days and thanks to all the boys in Jr. High for standing under the stairs while us girls walked up to class thus giving me my first taste of sexual harassment.

Thank you to my Interpersonal Communication class in college for teaching me how to communicate with others effectively, no matter how stupid they are.

Thanks to my sense of humor for apparently keeping me fairly sane all these years. I don’t care how irreverent or offensive my humor is…FUNNY TRUMPS EVERYTHING.

I can’t forget to thank Florence and the Machine for the music and lyrics that got me through some dark times.

On that note, shout out to Lil Wayne. I can’t explain it, but he gets me.

Aaaaannnnddd it wouldn’t be a true acceptance speech if I didn’t thank God for everything. I’m not wearing 20 gold chains or winning an award for Best Rap Video, but I’ll thank God just the same. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s define emotional intelligence…

The ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions.

I love that the definition says “and” not “or”. Having the ability to do ALL three of these things is a must. In fact, I would go one step further and add Communicate  in there….but I’m a talker so that’s just my preference.

The ability to perceive emotions means not just our own, but others’ emotions as well. This is tricky because we all view the world differently and take in information differently. Also, since we’re human, we have all been damaged in some way and these scars can change our view. I think of it like this…we all have experiences in life, some negative and some positive. Every experience adds a filter to our view of the world, ourselves and others. This is part of why everyone has a different “point of view”.

The world is not black and white. It is gray. I’m sure there are those that feel it is black and white, that there is always a right or wrong way. To those people, I say…try out a few therapy sessions, take the MBTI indicator test and learn a little about how different we all are and why there can never be just one way in life.

It goes without saying that those who cannot control their emotions are screwed and should seek help.

Evaluating our emotions is only possible if we are aware of our emotions. Awareness is so important because far too many people like to bury their heads in the sand and shove things under the rug instead of dealing with what they’re feeling. Guys, I know it’s a little scary, but excavating what you are feeling and processing it will be much less painful in the long run. I think communication actually falls under the evaluation part of this process. If you have any kind of relationships in life, you will have to be able to evaluate your emotions and effectively communicate what you are feeling to those that are important to you.

Everybody is going to have pain and deal with rejection at some point in life. It is how we deal with these issues that determines how emotionally healthy we will be. It is how we teach our children to deal with these issues that determines how emotionally healthy they will be.

Is it easier to pretend that everything in life is fine when it’s not? Sure, it’s easier…temporarily. I was a person that stayed in a bad situation for far too long for what I thought were the right reasons. Also because change is scary and saying goodbye is tough, but sometimes it is necessary.

Here is a quote from the next book I will be reading….

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The book this quote is from….

yhst-20550167876698_2167_10539471I’m excited to read this one. Yes, I’m aware that I am a nerd.

Look, if you’ve spent any kind of time with me, you know that I would love nothing more than to walk around with blow darts and a taser so as to temporarily incapacitate the stupid people of the world as I come into contact with them. I have been told this is illegal so I have refrained. However, should I ever win the lottery and have an endless amount of bail money at my disposal, I will move forward with this plan. In the meantime, it is clear that we all have to deal with morons so that is why I choose to read and educate myself on how best to interact with others.

Earlier I mentioned the MBTI indicator test. It’s basically a personality test(one that I have given to many people in my life). I find this stuff fascinating. There are 16 different personality types, here they are…

MBTItypeChartSmall

Here’s the population breakdown….

TypePercentagesTable

As you can see, we are all very different. Some of us just don’t mix well together, some of us just fit well together. No matter what though, we all have to deal with each other at some point. In a perfect world, people would all be emotionally healthy and treat each other with respect…but this is not a perfect world. I guess we can settle for, let’s all behave like adults and understand that we all see things differently.

Life is way too short to spend our days unhappy or living with regret. By the way, I’m an ENFP.

Here's What I Know…

Brace yourself, this isn’t a post making fun of any celebrities, fashion or stupidity. I know it’s shocking, but try to pay attention.

I am a few days away from my 32nd birthday. This once seemed to be an ancient age (back when I was 11), however, I’ve made it to this point and still feel like I’m not a complete adult. Not sure when that’s supposed to kick in or if I ever want it to. Anyway, back to being 11. I made 3 decisions that year that I have actually stuck with.

Here they are:

1. I would never change my last name. I didn’t care how great my future husband’s last name was, I found it strange that women gave up that part of their identity. Also, c’mon, Nightengale is an awesome last name. I am proud to come from the family that I do and it just felt wrong for me to change it.

2. I would always be a 49ers fan. I know. Maybe I should have reconsidered this decision.

3. I would wake up every day and ask God to give me wisdom. People can educate themselves to no end, but true wisdom is a powerful gift. It’s more than common sense or logic, it is a deep understanding of yourself and others. It is having an almost unexplainable intuition about people and situations. I believe that having wisdom is seeing people the way that God sees us – with complete unconditional love. I am still working on this.

I don’t love religion, but I love God…you want to call it a “higher power” or “the Universe”? Ok, fine, whatever suits you. I say God. I believe in taking the good out of every teaching and religion. I believe in not judging others for their particular faith or lack there of, that is not love.

Here I am, an almost 32-year-old adult(sort of) and this is what I know to be true. Feel free to disagree, I won’t give a shit…

~Everyone needs to be passionate about something in life.

~Without compassion, we are doomed.

~Forgiving is the most important thing a human being can learn to do. Not just for others, but for ourselves as well.

~People who fight to be right will always lose.

~There is no love like the love a parent has for their child.

~Everything seems worse at night.

~There are few things funnier than when my Dad imitates my Mom.

~I have been blessed with fantastic parents.

~I talk too much.

~We could all use a little therapy.

~Nobody has it all figured out.

~Blood doesn’t make you family, but memories, love, loyalty & trust sure do.

~I will never be able to tolerate disingenuous people. Be real or be gone.

~Laughter truly is the best medicine.

~My Mom believes in me more than I believe in myself.

~The ocean always puts things in perspective.

~I often say what others just think.

~There is nothing like reading an amazing book.

~My brother gets me in a way that nobody else ever will.

~My kids are all way too much like me, God help them.

~I’m wrong about something every single day.

~I’m a damn good cook.

~My Father is the most generous person I know.

~My Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins have shaped who I am more than they will ever know.

~I love my dogs & my cat, but I always hated the fish. RIP.

~My most comforting meal will always be Puerto Rican chicken, rice & beans.

~Music has very often been my therapy.

~It will all work out.

~When I think of how much I miss my Grandma, my heart actually physically hurts. I doubt that will change.

~All good things come from God.

~I have an addiction to magazines.

~I love talking to, texting & laughing with my Dad because he’s like me….but smarter.

~Owls are adorable.

~I am vain.

~All forms of Art are valuable; Dancing, Acting, Painting, Singing….we NEED this in the world.

~It really is all about the little things.

~I am loved.

~Happiness is a choice.

~Golden Oreo ice cream is delicious.

~You can’t change others.

~Being at peace with myself is more important than what others think of me.

~I’m superstitious.

~I was definitely a bird in a past life.

~People that place so much value in material possessions, often don’t value themselves.

~Camping at the beach every year with my family is my favorite childhood memory.

~Nothing seems real until I’ve shared it with my Mom.

~Patience is a virtue I sometimes wish I didn’t have so much of.

~Sharks & Snakes are evil.

~Sometimes insanity has a pretty face and lipstick, be careful.

~I worry.

~I like spooky houses, mysteries & conspiracy theories.

~My children are who they are, my job is to help them love and accept themselves, not change them.

~I’m slightly hilarious.

~The smell of a Nectarine makes me smile.

~I will always dance in my kitchen.

~I have so much respect for my Ancestors.

~Sometimes God asks us to do exactly what we don’t want to do. Do it anyway.

~I will forever be a curious person.

~Embracing our own imperfections allows us to love others in spite of theirs.

~I am my Mother’s daughter.

Most of all…

~I know who I am and will never apologize for it.

Here’s What I Know…

Brace yourself, this isn’t a post making fun of any celebrities, fashion or stupidity. I know it’s shocking, but try to pay attention.

I am a few days away from my 32nd birthday. This once seemed to be an ancient age (back when I was 11), however, I’ve made it to this point and still feel like I’m not a complete adult. Not sure when that’s supposed to kick in or if I ever want it to. Anyway, back to being 11. I made 3 decisions that year that I have actually stuck with.

Here they are:

1. I would never change my last name. I didn’t care how great my future husband’s last name was, I found it strange that women gave up that part of their identity. Also, c’mon, Nightengale is an awesome last name. I am proud to come from the family that I do and it just felt wrong for me to change it.

2. I would always be a 49ers fan. I know. Maybe I should have reconsidered this decision.

3. I would wake up every day and ask God to give me wisdom. People can educate themselves to no end, but true wisdom is a powerful gift. It’s more than common sense or logic, it is a deep understanding of yourself and others. It is having an almost unexplainable intuition about people and situations. I believe that having wisdom is seeing people the way that God sees us – with complete unconditional love. I am still working on this.

I don’t love religion, but I love God…you want to call it a “higher power” or “the Universe”? Ok, fine, whatever suits you. I say God. I believe in taking the good out of every teaching and religion. I believe in not judging others for their particular faith or lack there of, that is not love.

Here I am, an almost 32-year-old adult(sort of) and this is what I know to be true. Feel free to disagree, I won’t give a shit…

~Everyone needs to be passionate about something in life.

~Without compassion, we are doomed.

~Forgiving is the most important thing a human being can learn to do. Not just for others, but for ourselves as well.

~People who fight to be right will always lose.

~There is no love like the love a parent has for their child.

~Everything seems worse at night.

~There are few things funnier than when my Dad imitates my Mom.

~I have been blessed with fantastic parents.

~I talk too much.

~We could all use a little therapy.

~Nobody has it all figured out.

~Blood doesn’t make you family, but memories, love, loyalty & trust sure do.

~I will never be able to tolerate disingenuous people. Be real or be gone.

~Laughter truly is the best medicine.

~My Mom believes in me more than I believe in myself.

~The ocean always puts things in perspective.

~I often say what others just think.

~There is nothing like reading an amazing book.

~My brother gets me in a way that nobody else ever will.

~My kids are all way too much like me, God help them.

~I’m wrong about something every single day.

~I’m a damn good cook.

~My Father is the most generous person I know.

~My Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins have shaped who I am more than they will ever know.

~I love my dogs & my cat, but I always hated the fish. RIP.

~My most comforting meal will always be Puerto Rican chicken, rice & beans.

~Music has very often been my therapy.

~It will all work out.

~When I think of how much I miss my Grandma, my heart actually physically hurts. I doubt that will change.

~All good things come from God.

~I have an addiction to magazines.

~I love talking to, texting & laughing with my Dad because he’s like me….but smarter.

~Owls are adorable.

~I am vain.

~All forms of Art are valuable; Dancing, Acting, Painting, Singing….we NEED this in the world.

~It really is all about the little things.

~I am loved.

~Happiness is a choice.

~Golden Oreo ice cream is delicious.

~You can’t change others.

~Being at peace with myself is more important than what others think of me.

~I’m superstitious.

~I was definitely a bird in a past life.

~People that place so much value in material possessions, often don’t value themselves.

~Camping at the beach every year with my family is my favorite childhood memory.

~Nothing seems real until I’ve shared it with my Mom.

~Patience is a virtue I sometimes wish I didn’t have so much of.

~Sharks & Snakes are evil.

~Sometimes insanity has a pretty face and lipstick, be careful.

~I worry.

~I like spooky houses, mysteries & conspiracy theories.

~My children are who they are, my job is to help them love and accept themselves, not change them.

~I’m slightly hilarious.

~The smell of a Nectarine makes me smile.

~I will always dance in my kitchen.

~I have so much respect for my Ancestors.

~Sometimes God asks us to do exactly what we don’t want to do. Do it anyway.

~I will forever be a curious person.

~Embracing our own imperfections allows us to love others in spite of theirs.

~I am my Mother’s daughter.

Most of all…

~I know who I am and will never apologize for it.

Insomnia, Paranoia and The List

Every time I’m going on a road trip with my family, I wake up somewhere around 3am and begin to imagine every possible terrible thing that can happen. Once I’m in tears and have methodically planned out how I will save each member of my family from an almost totaled car, I begin to talk myself down. I also start to negotiate with God/The Universe/Creator/Goddess, basically whoever can hear my thoughts telepathically. If you let my family and I survive this trip, I will be nicer to the stupid people of the world or only curse twice a day….twice an hour. Then I start suggesting a list of things/people that we could do without here on Earth if His/Her “trigger finger” is feeling itchy.

Here’s the list so far:

1. Biker Shorts  –  I mean, really, does anyone look good in those? You can’t unsee it, people.

2. The older white lady in my neighborhood that walks her black Pug every hour on the hour  –  It’s cool that she’s in an interracial relationship, but we live in a gated community with a security guy that patrols all day. The area is secure, go back inside!! Sure, Skippy couldn’t track a three-legged turtle, but he has a siren and a walkie-talkie. Let him do his job, it’s all he has.

3.  Pincher Bugs  –  Those sons of bitches are evil.

4. Close talkers  –  You do not know me like that, back up.

5. Bumper Stickers  –   I don’t give a shit about your kid being student of the month or who you voted for in 2008.

6. Fox News  –  Because I have a functioning brain, eyes and ears.

7. Mouth Breathers  –  For fuck’s sake, get some Breathe Right Strips and wear them 24/7. Trust me, you will look like less of an idiot than you do now.

You will be happy to know that we survived the trip to Los Angeles and back. Please feel free to suggest other things/people for the list. I’m off to take a Benadryl and call it a night.