on clouds, robins and learning . . . {and stuff}

in case you're like me {not an avid reader}, i added some pictures to this post to look at... just skip the chatty part. i'm in a rambling mood today. however, if you love to read rambles, this is your kind of post!

if you have not figured it out yet, i love clouds. i have been fascinated by them for years. {thus the ridiculous amount of cloud shots in my most recent post.} i don't know why i love them so much. maybe it's because they are new every day—like God's mercies.

the three above are more from my flight to florida. i used the "auto levels" option in photoshop, and it turned them into this dreamy-feeling look that i love!

today was gorgeous. it was in the 80s and ironically, there were no clouds in sight. i should be outside on a walk now, but i have had this post brewing in my head for a while. i'll go out and enjoy it when i'm done.

i wanted to post some shots of this little guy—well, actually it might be a gal. it probably is. i have a feeling it's a momma, because i was seeing her on the roof of my garage almost daily with twigs and such in her beak. then i discovered that we have a nest atop the light fixture on the side of our house. i think this robin {pictured} is the one who built the nest, although i'm not sure.

i got to see her almost every day while sitting at this computer blogging, as my computer is at the dining room window that looks out over the garage. what a treat. i think she is SO pretty, and very kind to visit me every day—like some of you.

okay, that covers clouds and robins. now on to learning.

a couple of weeks ago, i was hit with a thought like a ton of bricks. it was this. life is all about learning. when i was younger, i thought a person learns when they are young and uses that knowledge when they are older. but now i am realizing, we will be learning our entire lives. not too long after i thought about that, i saw a post over at the the blog of my friend, sherah, about what she was learning lately. although she is a bit younger than i am, i was still encouraged to see someone else who was taking the time to think about what she was learning. part of her list was just fun and light-hearted, but it was still an inspiration for me to think about my own list.

i want to be that way. i want to always be aware of what i am learning about myself and learn from what i am learning. i know that sounds redundant, but i think we can learn additionally by stopping AND thinking about what life is teaching us. and i think it might be good to spell it out—to see it in black and white. that's what i'm going to do now.

i am learning . . .

. . . that i want to be a person that follows through and does what i say i will. i have been so disappointed lately by people or things that look or sound promising . . . possible job opportunities that are not followed through even though i express interest, talk of getting together with a friend only to have them not respond {was it something i said?}, not receiving something that i asked for even though i was told i would get it, expectations of a person to reciprocate what i give them but not getting it. i know that you should not give with the expectation of getting back, but when it happens a lot, it is easy to get discouraged. i could be bitter. but instead, it is making me want to examine myself and make sure i am not doing this to others. i know i fail in this area, too, so i have to give grace. but wow, it seems like it's happening in every area of my life lately. i'm learning to accept it. i'm learning to not be crushed by it. i am certain i have a long way to go.

. . . that i am the kind of person that needs feedback and verbal expression of acceptance. not everyone needs this, but i think i am one that does. with that knowledge, i now want to learn that i can be content without it. that i should be confident without it. again, it makes me want to give it more to others, since i expect or hope for it myself. i think growing up in a very accepting family made me need and expect this once i got out into the "real world".

. . . that it's okay to wash my hair and just let it fall, and i can still be beautiful. no need to blow dry and primp. it's funny, but being out of a job has forced me to give up normal maintenance like hair cuts and eyebrow waxes and pedicures and manicures. at first i thought, "oh, my. what will i do?" but now i am realizing, i'm not that much different without all those things. i'm learning i can be beautiful without them. {and less broke}

. . . that i am uber-protective of my identity and individuality—probably to a fault. growing up as an identical twin, i had to fight for my identity, as many people treated my sister and me as one unit. even family members called us "the girlies" and i'm sure this had an effect over time. some called us "gigi and georgie", but we were still always together and were ALWAYS associated with each other. i don't remember a strong sense of individuality growing up. this is why it is hard for me when others start to emulate me in any way. i should be flattered a hundred times over, but instead, i feel it creep in on that very locked up and protected part of me—my identity. i know this is wrong, and i want to change. i only just recently learned that i am this way within the last few years, so i am only just now learning to deal with it and let it go. i long to be different and fear being the same as everyone else. i even wrote a poem about it years ago. it was written out of frustration when a friend found she had to do EVERYTHING i did {which she later admitted to and apologized for}. here is the poem:


copy someone else
please don't copy me
i've already had to fight
for individuality

it's not a selfish statement
for i am a twin, you see.
it's why i push the envelope
with my accessories

there's emulating others—
a form of flattery
but then there's flat out copying—
a social burglary

i know that i am not the first
to do what others see
buy i try to make my blend unique
with originality

i aspire to, in others
their style. . .grace. . .beauty
then i meld it with my own ideas—
this, my personality

so anyone who's not my twin
don't make two into three
let's be content that you'll be you
and then—well, i'll be me

i'm learning to be flattered instead of threatened. i'm learning that no matter what others do, i am still very much my own person.

. . . that things always seem worse before you tackle them. i could go on and on about this one, but i'm sure you get the point. i wish i would learn this to perfection so that i would not stress about the problems i face. these things usually seem more like a giant from far away, but when i actually tackle them, they turn out to be more my size or even smaller. they turn out to be something i can so handle. learning . . . still learning.

. . . that i don't have all the answers. i never truly thought i did. but i think at one point i used to think i had everything figured out. well, i know that's far from accurate now. it's easy to think that way when everything is going your way. but take something out of the mix {like a job} and you'll see that's not true. this is tough one for me. i'm learning it the hard way.

. . . that when the guy at starbucks who makes my drink {who is usually friendly and makes eye contact} doesn't smile or acknowledge me, i should not take it personally—or anyone for that matter. they just might be having a bad day. this happened today, and it can sometimes be the one thing that deflates the small amount of confidence that you have that day. not working is so much harder on the self-esteem than i thought it would be. i'm learning to be thicker skinned. trust me, i have come sooooo far in this area over the last twenty years. trust me, too, that i still have a long way to go.

. . . that nothing lasts forever, and i can't hold on to things. this is a tough one. i nearly weep sometimes at the thought of things i might or will lose, if i have not already—my youth, my ability to have children, relationships. . . i'm learning to accept that i WILL lose things and i can not hold on. i'm trying to learn to look for what might be there in it's place. i don't want to miss out on those things because i spent all my strength trying to hold on to the other things.

. . . that life is what you make it. my mom has been telling me this since i was old enough to understand what it meant. you would think i would have learned it by now. but i'm still catching on. i'll admit it. i'm a slow learner sometimes. why is it that we finally figure things out just about the time we won't need that knowledge anymore? or at least that is the way it seems.

. . . that i need structure. oh, my gosh, do i need structure!

. . . to be patient.

that's it for now. i encourage you to sit down and think about what life is teaching you right now. it's really therapeutic . . . and . . . you might learn something. {wink}


Elaina M. Avalos said...

Your cloud pictures are lovely! I love the Martin Luther quote. I hadn't heard that in a long time. Love it!

I think we should always be soaking up the lessons life has for us. Sometimes we really have to quiet ourselves so we can see/hear them though. Or at least that's the case with me.

Ida said...

Oh my, the clouds are breathtaking.

elk said...

clouds expanse of light and soul

~hello robin , these are a delight to see

your words are a gift to many

Anonymous said...

learning is always a good thing, even when it is painful.

Munted kowhai said...

Oh G, you have SO many blogs! I love this one because it is my inner thoughts written. You are very right, the sooner we learn who we truly are, the easier it is to handle situations or sooth our feelings.
You're right, having the thoughts in your head is not enough, writing them down is totally therapeutic!

Chris said...

Wow, great post. This really made me stop and think for a bit. And I am really encouraged by all the learning and growing you are doing on your own, just so you can be a better person. What a beautiful thing.

As for you, I think you looked prettiest when I saw you on Monday. You looked very natural, tanned, freckly, at ease and laughing. I thought this really showed your inner and outer beauty to its max. Not that you aren't smashing when you're all dolled up, but I think there's something about you looking girlish and natural that appeals to me (hence me not wearing makeup or doing my hair either, lol).

I think you'll find your way soon, and just the fact that you're using this time to stay busy and better yourself is a very admirable and wonderful thing :)

Lisa said...

the cloud photos are so lovely. i love the quote, it is so perfect with the image. very nice! i like the effect you used on the photos, too.

and the robin is just so sweet! and very pretty. great shots!

i love the honesty in the learning portion of this post. it's always good to take time out to actually notice what is going on in your life at the moment. i find myself doing that more often now that i am a little bit older...it's like you just have to start sweeping away the rubble of everything you thought you knew and getting to the foundation of what it's really all about. thank you for sharing your lessons with us! i love it.


Char said...

so many lessons...so much of what I feel. this is the longest I've gone in a while without a haircut, brow wax or even touching up my roots. I don't like it but I'm embracing I can't pamper like I used to, but I'm finding new ways. and the thing about being an individual - wow, that so hit home with me. there is a person in my life that I feel myself creating more and more distance because it feels that everything I do, they feel they have to do it better and crow about it. They have gone through my friend's list and started cultivating the same friends and, well anyway. It was creeping me out a bit. And I wondered was I being flattered or what. Anyway....I felt a twang when you wrote that and apparently I need to examine myself to see why it bothers me so much.

hope you're having a beautiful day

Jaime said...

We are each as unique and beautiful as those ever-changing clouds.
Wonderful words and images.


Peter Tschirhart said...

That was a very thoughtful post, Georgia. You know you do talk an awful lot. I'm glad that there were pretty pictures for me to look at. :) You know I'm kidding right?

~B~ said...

Who knew you could get such lovely shots through those crappy airplane plastic feeling windows.=)

It was not that long to read, and thank you for wanting to share your insight you have started to notice about yourself. I think it is imporant to always be learning, changing, evoling as a person. Not a full 180, but just lil tweaks here and there. Keeps other peoples on their toes.

beth said...

oh no....I loved this post but I hope a smidgen of it wasn't directed towards me....

did you get my last email about us getting together???

I hope you didn't think for a minute that I dropped you or our idea of getting together....NO WAY NO HOW !!!

so let's get back to our planning :)
okay ???

Georgia B. said...

beth, not one iota of this was directed toward you. or to any of my blogger friends.

we talked about waiting until after nashville to meet, so i know where we stand with that. no worries, dear! :)

in fact, none of this is directed at anyone. it's me trying to express what i am learning. that's it.

spread your wings said...

what a thought provoking post for me to read today. it would be a good exercise for anyone to do - write down in black and white those things we are learning - what life is showing us - each and every day.
I admire you so much - you my friend are a delight to know.

Anonymous said...

The robin shots are beautiful. Your post was very thought-provoking. Isn't blogging nice--the way it helps you to focus yourself sometimes, get your thoughts in order? I think it's a very creative outlet and one that can contribute a lot to one's personal growth.

apriliniowa said...

Lovely. Just like you. And I've never even met you! But I know it's true, just the same. I find your hypersensitivity so refreshing, Georgia. With that, we grow until death. That's the beauty of humanity, isn't it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

Toni said...

Excellent post, Georgia. Boy, you sure weren't kidding the other day when you said you wrote a lot and I wrote a little. Somtimes the words just flow and sometimes they...don't. I've never had a hard time of letting go of tangible things, because, after all, they are just things. Easily replaced. Better to be thankful for the intangibles of life and love.

When I was in high school, my two best friends were twins (still are twins). =) They were referred to as a single unit - "where are the twins?" "What are the twins doing?" etc. They finally got their own separate identities when they went off to separate colleges.

Claire said...

learning about you in this post about what you are learning was special as it always is. a part of your thinking, reasoning and a part of your emotions resonates very deep within me.

Sherah said...

Georgia, just read this post on a break at work. Your list is wonderful! (and so much more insightful than mine, indeed!)

Also, I loved your post about Florida feet. It made me smile :)

Dani said...

I think this post is great! I'm always talking about how I want to learn this and that. And I've gotten better at it over this last year. I wish I had been a better student when I was in school because now I want to know that stuff! So now I look at everyday as a learning experience...pictures, writing, being a mom, a friend, a wife, finding out about me and being the best me I can be. Not by what I want to be either, but what God has laid out for me to be...and that's a learning experience all in itself. Thanks for sharing your list with us! It gives me a lot to think about.