Thursday, September 24, 2009

Because Awesomeness Is Learned....

I want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to awesomeness. (Yes, that is a word. I'd it) Awesomeness is not something that you are born with, contrary to popular belief. It is a skill that is developed through a commitment to personal growth and to becoming a better person. It is also developed in the learning of skills and obtaining of knowledge that we then share with others. Awesomeness must be shared, otherwise it isn't awesomeness at all. Awesomeness by it's very nature is the expression of giving back what you have been given. At least, that's my definition anyway. And since it's a subjective thing, I can feel free to create my own definition. So there. It's my blog, I can say what I want. (That was the bratty 3 year old in me rising up.) Awesomeness takes many forms and today I want to give a shout out to those around me who I consider purveyors of awesomeness. And if you don't know these people, you will just have to take my word for it that they exude awesomeness.

First up (and in no particular order) is my friend Liz Carey. Liz has always exemplified awesomeness to me for reasons FAR too many to mention here, so I am going to highlight just one today. You see, Liz and I are both people who suffer from health situations that (after long journeys and many doctors) have drastically changed our lifestyles and now we both follow mostly raw, vegan diets. But what makes Liz literally drip with awesomeness is that she is a researcher. She reads books, searches the Internet, talks to experts and then (Here is the truly awesome part) she posts her findings plus recipes and "how-to's" on her blog. Which is helpful to me as she lives about four hours away. If I have a question, I check her blog first, and then if my question isn't answered, I call her or text her or email her and she sends me what I need. Folks, it doesn't get more awesome than that! Seriously, check out her blog which you will find here. Even if you don't eat raw, try some of her recipes, they are delicious.

Secondly is my friend Sarah Sumrall. Sarah is the single most creative person I know, and being in the arts, I know a lot of creative people and Sarah tops them all. First of all, she's a hair stylist by profession and she can rock pink streaks and blue streaks and make them seem totally normal and beautiful in a way that I have never seen. And if that weren't enough, she sings, plays the piano, draws, paints, juggles. (OK, made that last one up) She also sews and creates her own unique clothes using a method I can only describe as the Frankenstein method. She buys clothes from thrift shops and then chops them up and makes them into new pieces that look totally cool and hip and unique. And she uses that same method with scraps of material to make these awesome purses that are just the coolest things! She is planning to sell them someday, and when she gets an Etsy account (which I am so trying to talk her into) I will post the link and you all can see her awesomeness for yourself. She also has drawn out and designed my next tattoo. I gave her a random unspecific idea of what I wanted and she thought about it and designed something that is truly representative of who I am and my heart. Now that's awesome!!!

Next up is my friend Nicole whose awesomeness can not be measured or described by words. She cared so much about me that she not only gave of her own time and energy to help get me healthy, but made a way to hook me up with someone who had answers and solutions. I am healthier today than I was 5 months ago. I am living nearly 100% pain free for the first time since 2001. And I'm happier because I feel better. Nicole fought for healing for me, and that is the mark of the most awesome of friends. She never took no for an answer and she supports me everyday in my lifestyle changes and encourages me to keep going when it is tough. And she does this in spite of the fact that we live about 1,100 miles away from each other. Yup, awesomeness is defined in her. I know that someday we will be old and gray, sitting in rocking chairs knitting (because she has asked me to teach her) annoying our children's children by assaulting them with tales of how we used to dance hip hop with "stank faces". And they will think us so uncool. But we will know better.

All these women are very different, but they have a couple of things in common that increase their "awesomeness" factor. Firstly, they are all generous and kind in nature, willing to serve their friends and share of themselves. And they all consider me a friend. I'm not an easy person to love, but these three love me. That is awesomeness right there!

Also counted among the growing ranks of people who possess awesomeness:
Marsha, who shares my love of books, writing and lattes.
Meredith, who puts recipes on Facebook, and taught me about redemption.
Jacquie, who considers me her sister and taught me the importance of shoes.
Betsy, who challenges me and my opinions and keeps me "real".

There are many more, but this post is getting longer than I intended it to be. (I didn't even get into the men in my life who are awesomeness personified!) My point is this, if you want awesomeness around you, first pursue awesomeness yourself, and then appreciate awesomeness in others and tell them that you do! Tell them often. There are too many people in this world who pretend to have awesomeness but are really selfish and vain and all about themselves and what you can do for them. Awesomeness comes from a heart to love people with receiving nothing in return. (Although people who possess awesomeness do like to receive a thank you and an encouragement every now and again.) Awesomeness is birthed by love and kindness and generosity and those are traits that must be cultivated and practiced daily.

So practice some awesomeness today!

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