Brandyn Blaze

Life Between The Scenes

Month: March 2017 (page 1 of 3)

It All Starts With A Dream

Every now and then I spend an entire day lost in a daydream. Quite often, I’m dreaming of the future. What kind of life do I want? What kind of person do I want to be?

I’ve long studied the Law of Attraction, which states that in order to achieve your dreams you must visualize them in the present tense. You must feel in your mind that they are already a reality so that your mind opens up to new pathways to your goal.

imagination is everything albert einstein law of attraction make dreams a reality charity

My dreams are fairly simple. I just want my family to never worry about how to pay our bills or put food on the table, and maybe go on a vacation every now and then.

I dream of buying a secluded piece of land and building an earth bag home. Our power will be solar. A good portion of our water will come from the sky. Our pool will be self-sustaining. We’ll grow our own food.

I dream of owning a record shop with a snack bar, where all the local kids come and hang out. I can be an awesome mentor for kids who otherwise lack parental direction. I’d encourage the youth to create their own clubs and support groups and use the space to better themselves.

I dream of owning a bar and grill that serves great food and provides a venue for local bands, comedians, and other performers to showcase their art.

I dream of running a charity that works to foster a sense of community and give others the resources and information to turn their lives around. We would offer various classes and seminars, which would be “paid” for via donations or volunteer hours. You could even volunteer to teach a class! We would provide clothing, food, and other items to those in need, and offer  cash assistance for things like rent, bills, or other necessities. We would help connect people to other services if their needs are beyond our scope.There would be counselors and life coaches available to help people establish a strategy to break the cycle of poverty. Maybe we’d even have a shelter for those in direct need of a safe haven.

Of course, I’ve dreamed about what it would be like to become famous for my writing or my music or what have you. I’ve fantasized about what it would be like to suddenly have large sums of cash. What would I do if I had so much money that I never had to think twice about it for the rest of my life?

I’ve thought about it extensively, and quite honestly, I can’t imagine why anyone would ever need so much money. You need a roof over your head and food in your belly. Damn near everything else is just frivolous.

take what you need, use all you take, give what you can. It all starts with a dream

I would still build my sustainable family farm. Most of my purchases would still be second hand. I would set aside a small amount for my child(ren) to go to school, but I would still expect them to contribute to the funds as well. I’d set aside a modest emergency fund and a retirement fund. Some of my money would be given to friends and family to help them get ahead. I’d start my businesses and make sure my employees were paid enough to support themselves and their families. I would start the charity mentioned above.

The rest?

It would go into helping people who are homeless or in direct threat of homelessness. I would work on an individual basis and find out what they need to create a stable life. Perhaps that would mean paying for rehab or education (or both). It could mean helping them find a job, or paying for medical bills. Maybe it would mean paying a year of rent in advance and setting them up a stipend to take care of bills and food until they are back on their feet.

I would do what I could with my funds to help others. If I had the fame to go with it, I would use my position to prove to others that you can still live well on a lesser amount of money while directly contributing to the betterment of society.

Of course, helping others doesn’t have to wait until you have obscene amounts of cash. Anything you can give of yourself is a step in the right direction.

This year one of my goals is to step up my game and give more. I’ve always donated clothes and other items to local charities, and helped those around me when I can. Still,  I would like to do more.

That is my dream. To live simply, and do what I can to ensure others can simply live.

What’s your dream? Tell us about it in the comments below!

 

 

I’m Rod Stewart Now: The Story Of A Girl And Her Music

As you probably know by now, I have an insatiable love of music. Much like my compulsion to write, this obsession also began in early childhood. In fact, my dad once told me that I came out of the womb dancing and singing, and I’m pretty sure my mother would agree.

Somewhere in the family archives, there is a VHS tape containing footage of myself as a toddler, miming along to Rod Stewart music videos shot for shot. Before I’d begin this routine, toddler me would announce, “I’m Rod Stewart now,” which my family still lovingly mentions. Around this age, I even demanded to have my hair cut like Rod’s.

rod stewart, passion for music

Of course my baby-fine hair didn’t stand up on it’s own, but it was cute none the less.

In fact, if you’d asked me at that time, I would have told you my best friends were Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck. Around that time, my aunt had a personalized book made for me about my day at the circus with them. What can I say? I was an awesome kid!

For the rest of my youth, it was all music all the time. I was the first grader sneaking issues of Metal Edge magazine into school, scouring the pages for mentions of Motley Crue. In second grade, I would sneak in a copy of Cinderella’s “Night Songs” on cassette. The lettering was artfully scraped off, save for the band’s name. I’d pop it in and rock out while we read books on tape with our little headsets. My Barbies were always in a band. A lot of the time I’d just lie on my bed, listening to music and dreaming of the day I’d make it big. I made my friends pretend to be in bands with me. Eventually, I begged them to learn instruments so we could do it for real.

All through middle school and high school, I’d spend my days sketching out band logos and brainstorming album titles. I’d scratch out lyrics and hum my tunes into an old tape recorder. I’d still spend all my free time just listening intently to my music. I spent hours memorizing the liner notes to my favorite albums and devouring any rock-related biography I could lay my hands on. As far as I was concerned, I was studying for my future.

Around the age of 12, I obtained my first guitar and I just knew I’d be the best some day. Not one to put in too much effort, I flirted with it off and on, progressing a little each time I’d try, but losing interest very quickly. Still, I held onto the dream of one day becoming a rocks star, joining bands here and there and constantly writing music.

Now, I’m just a mom with an almost spiritual connection to The Beatles, an addiction to karaoke, and at least three albums worth of songs that remain unheard by anyone besides my husband and my mother. One day that will change, but for now I’m pretty happy having a small handful of dedicated fans–even if they are people who are required to love everything I do.

A few months ago I made a decision to play my guitar more often. Of course, my dedication to it has waxed and waned like it always has. Recently, I’ve been at it again. As part of my quest for more “me” time, I’ve been making music for at least a half-hour everyday. The Princess is coming to love this part of the routine. She often takes up small instruments or dances and sings as I play. I love watching her interest in music flourish and I love showing her that mommy has many different sides.

A couple years ago, I decided to film myself playing one of my favorite songs. Originally, it was just for me. To my surprise,  I was fairly happy with the outcome and decided to share it online, even if it’s not the most amazing rendition of this tune ever recorded. After all, there’s no such thing as bad art.

I hope that this clip helps to encourage others to take pride in whatever it is that they do, at whatever level of ability they may have right now. Pursue your passions relentlessly and without fear. Be you and you can’t go wrong!

How To Write A Terrible Blog Post In 20 Easy Steps!

So, you’ve decided that you want to run an experiment and create the world’s worst blog, but you keep coming up with quality content. “How can I write the worst possible blog post ever?” you ask, peering over your stylish spectacles whilst scratching your head.

Perhaps you write for a living and have decided you want to get yourself fired.

Or, maybe you’re just kind of a flake and missed your self-imposed deadline and feel pressured to write something–anything–ASAP. It’s okay, I won’t judge you.

Whatever the reason, your quest for suckitude has brought you here. Rest assured that by the time you finish this article you will be armed with the knowledge you need to go forth and write…terribly.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, terrible blogging is the result of hard work. It’s much more than covering the basics (poor grammar, spelling errors, or WRITING IN ALL CAPS), it’s a sophisticated sequence of events, a carefully choreographed dance, if you will.

Follow these steps in order. Do not attempt to switch them around, as doing so may result in accidentally writing something of value.

 

write a terrible blog post in 20 easy steps

 

  1. Spend nearly a full day writing a post you think is actually good. Put it away and have a glass of wine to celebrate, all you have to do is post it the next day!
  2. Re-read the post you wrote yesterday. Decide it needs more work.
  3. Check out some of your favorite blogs. Realize that someone else has recently written something very similar to what you planned to post next. Decide to put it away, fearing a case of accidental plagiarism.
  4. Decide that maybe the posts aren’t really that similar. You’ll just rewrite it to include a link to their post, just in case.
  5. Open the draft and stare at it for 5 full minutes. Feel that knot in your stomach? Congratulations! That’s doubt you feel and it’s a sign that you are well on your way to writing a terrible blog post. Keep up the good work!
  6. Grab a sheet of paper and start brainstorming ideas for a new article. Just write down whatever comes to mind, don’t worry about whether the idea is good or not.
  7. Hear your toddler crying in the next room. Vow to come back to the desk as soon as you find out what her problem is.
  8. Return to your desk approximately 4 hours later, once your child has finally decided to take a nap.
  9. Waste an hour or so researching ways to increase traffic to your blog.

    computer, blog tips, funny

    Or take notes on Youtube videos, I guess?

  10. Waste another 2 hours or so adding your blog to various directories and social sharing networks that may or may not bring you any clicks.
  11. Remember that you haven’t checked Facebook for a while. Waste another half-hour “Liking” everyone’s posts.
  12. Realize that you still haven’t made dinner and that your family likes food.
  13. Come back to your computer and spot the sheet of paper where you began brain-storming ideas.
  14. Realize you hate all of them.
  15. Open a new document and begin free-writing.
  16. Re-read what you’ve wrote, shrug, and say “Good enough.”
  17. Post it to your blog.
  18. Don’t forget to share it on all your social media sites!
  19. Have a glass of wine.
  20. Promise yourself that your next post will be better.
And there you have it. With the proper mix of determination and procrastination, you too can write a worthless blog post!

 

Runaway Brain On A One Way Track: Anxiety At Its Finest

Today, I am going to share an old post from my first blog as I attempt to focus on finishing up the next book and do some adulting.  I hope you enjoy this tale of missing phone numbers, anxiety, and a dash of childhood trauma.
*Originally published on February 7, 2014 at Life. Motherhood, and The Pursuit Of Happiness* 
anxiety, bad teacher

 

As many of you know, I regularly drive Almost-Husband to and from his job in a town 30 minutes away. It’s a pain in the behind, but it’s a necessity at this point. Luckily, we’re getting pretty close to being able to afford to move, so I will effectively gain 2 hours each day. Yay!

Anyways, as I have also made clear, I’m a bit of a space case. Now, add to that chronic sleep deprivation and you’ve got yourself an interesting middle-of-the-night drive.

As much as I hate getting out of bed and losing an hour of sleep each night (granted the baby doesn’t wake up), I’ve come to embrace the “me” time that the ride up provides. Since the Almost-In-Laws are home to listen for the little one, I get to make the trip solo, which means I get to crank the radio as loud as I want and sing along obnoxiously.

The other night I was doing just that and I noticed that I kept speeding as I got lost in the moment. Also, I almost hit an owl, but that’s not the interesting part of the story. The interesting part comes after the 5th or 6th time I caught myself driving just a little too fast, no doubt as a result of all the rocking out I was doing. As I forced myself to slow down, I noticed a pair of headlights in my rear-view mirror. That’s when my brain did what it always does and got all crazy on me.

Suddenly, I’m thinking:  What if that was a cop? What if I got pulled over for speeding?

As always, my anxiety had an answer for me. Not only would a speeding ticket hurt us financially, but it would make me late and Almost-Husband would be left worrying whether I was dead or alive as he stood outside in the freezing cold.

But wait!

The cop would have some kind of personal vendetta against short blondes as the result of a romance gone wrong and I would be thrown in jail on trumped-up charges. Then I’d have to decide how to use my one phone call. The best decision would be to call Almost-Husband. He would need to know that I wouldn’t be coming and he could call someone for help (and possibly bail money).

I smiled to myself for a brief moment, thinking I had solved the imaginary problem my brain spewed at me. Then, I remembered that I don’t know his number from memory. In fact, I don’t know anyone’s number by heart anymore. I don’t need to, they’re all in my phone.

Hopefully they’ll let me get the number from my phone, I thought. But I’m sure they won’t. Oh shit! I’m screwed!

After a mini panic attack, I remembered that I wasn’t going to jail and that it was all just a made up scenario. As I took a deep breath, the memory of a slightly traumatic childhood moment popped into my head.

I was in 5th or 6th grade (although my mother assures me that it was definitely 6th), and my class had gone on a field trip. I couldn’t remember exactly where we had gone to, as all the trauma that ensued afterwords has clouded my memory, but my mother believes it was a trip for those of us who were lucky enough to go to the Young Writer’s Conference, so we’ll go with that.

We departed from the elementary school and were dropped off at the middle school. As I stepped off the bus, I took a look around. My mother’s car was not in my immediate view, so I started talking with some friends.

All the other kids started leaving with their parents and/or guardians, and still there was no sign of my mother. She had never forgotten me before, so I wasn’t entirely concerned. I knew she’d be there. After a while, my school guidance counselor Mrs. D, noticed my mother had not arrived and asked if I knew anyone I could call. I thought for a moment and came up with nothing. This was a time before cell phones were really a “thing” and my grandmother had recently changed her number. Being a kid, I went back to talking to one of my friends. Soon, the girl’s parents were ushering her along.

“Call me later,” she called over her shoulder, walking toward her mother’s van.

“I will!” I replied, rattling off her number.

Mrs. D was not impressed. “You don’t know the number for your mother or your grandma, but you know hers?” Her tone was cold and mocking, her face contorted in disgust.

I shrugged and tried to explain that my grandma had a new phone number and I didn’t know my mom’s work number. Plus, I knew my mom wouldn’t have forgotten me. Something had to be up.

old phone, anxiety
This was back when our house phone looked like this.

Instead of being concerned and helpful, my guidance counselor then went on a tirade about how irresponsible of a mother I had, how she obviously didn’t care about me, and somehow or another it was because she was a single mom. All of this to a child who couldn’t have been more than 12 years old. I was, understandably, more than upset. The more I protested and asserted that my mother loved me, the more she ranted.

Eventually, I was reunited with my mother, although neither of us can remember exactly how we cleared up the misunderstanding. Turns out, she had been early to pick me up, but had gone to the elementary school, since that is where I’d been dropped off. An easy mistake to make. I will probably do the same thing at least once in my daughter’s life, I can almost guarantee it. Things like this happen. I can also guarantee that if anyone ever speaks to my daughter the way I was spoken to that day, I won’t be able to handle it with any amount of grace or class, particularly if the speaker’s job is to nurture a child’s self-esteem.

As I look back on it, I think that may have been a turning point in my development. I think it may have been the final blow to my absolute trust in authority and my childhood belief that all adults have children’s best interests at heart. A harsh truth, but something that one has to keep in mind.

I know that as a parent, I will always be on the look out for any type of danger that might befall my child, be it physical, emotional, or otherwise. I will always be taking steps to prevent any damage and to correct any damage that has occurred. I am lucky and extremely grateful to have had a mother and grandmother who always went to bat for me and who built me back up when I was knocked down.

All that said, I think the real lesson here is that I need to memorize some phone numbers, just in case.

Older posts

© 2017 Brandyn Blaze

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑