Monday, May 18, 2015

D is for We Are All Don Draper

Yes, I know, I've done the letter "D" before but as I stated many blog posts ago, I might repeat the letters as the lessons come in. And what better lesson is there than last night's finale of Mad Men?

We are all Don Draper. And Peggy Olson. And Joan Harris. As I watched the finale of Mad Men I couldn't help but see myself, and my journey in Don Draper, and Peggy Olson and yes, Joan, too.

What I got from last night's finale is that Don finally let go of his past. It has served him, and almost destroyed him, for so many years but to finally detach from what was and become what is is tough, and he had his moment last night. He made peace with all that he had done and decided that he could now move on.

My Life Coach and I work on this a lot. The Robyn I have been, and how she served me, protected me, got me to this point is not the Robyn I am. I am not defined by my past actions or my future endeavors but rather who I am in this one very moment of being. Let me repeat that, my past does not define me at this very moment. And neither does my future. They are all parts of me but not the full me. I am not my failed relationships, my missed opportunities, the next job I don't have yet or the marriage I'm not in right now. I am only who I am at this very moment. Typing away on my laptop, dog on my lap, feeling quite content and ridiculously fortunate to have this moment on a Monday morning to do so. I know this all sounds so very foofy, but it's true. And if Don, the biggest skeptic there is can find his way, so can you. And so can I. 

I wish I had tangible advice on detachment but I don't. My Life Coach and I work on gratitude as way to detach. Thanking my past experiences for getting me to this moment. The good and the bad ones. And we also work on trusting in the unknown for my future. Letting it be an exciting moment, not a anxious one. Why? Because there are no guarantees so why stress over it? Seems so simple, but both are so hard. Hard to thank all the bad things in your life, hard to trust something you can't see or touch. At least for a Type A-er like me. But then again, I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't want to change. 

But Don isn't the only one I see myself in. As a female IN ADVERTISING, I also see a piece of me in Peggy and in Joan. While I wish it was their stunning red hair, it's not. It's their drive, their acceptance of who they are and their ability to go after what they want, even in adverse situations. They are makes and doers and beings. And it was fantastic to watch them grow into the women they became. Peggy let go of her past (her baby) and finally truly accepted it when she shared that moment with Stan. She finally was able to love and realized she is worthy of it, too. Beautiful. She was able to say ok, this is who I am RIGHT NOW. I don't need to be a mother to prove myself. It's ok to have other dreams. What's crazy is even though that show was set over 30 years ago, the reality is still the same. But, I am not here to lecture or inform you on how being a female in advertising has not come a long way, baby. Nope, instead I want the take away to be that people are always struggling with who they want to be versus who they are expected to be. You are not alone in this. I am not alone in this. It's okay to want things but remember, being is way more important. Peggy finally let go of both of those and lived in the moment. And got a boyfriend to boot (I can hear my mother now, "when you're not looking is when you'll meet him. You just never know..." sigh, ok mom!)

And Joan...if she is not determination personified than I don't know what is. Everyone told her no, so many did not take her seriously, but she did and she told herself yes. She believed in herself and loved herself enough to go for what she wanted. My Acupuncturist and Zen Meditation teacher, Dr. Kim, tells us to compliment ourselves 5 times a day. That when we truly love ourselves we do not need approval from anyone else. Joan, thank you for reminding me that.

So, this morning I raise a drink (Zevia—not Coke—hold the Whiskey...for now) to Peggy and Joan and of course, Mr. Draper. To me, while they are all different, they really are just representations of the whole of ourselves. They all live inside of us. Lofty, I know. As we move through this crazy journey of life, know that you are not alone. Whatever judgements or feelings you have, we have all had them. Also know, just like this television series, nothing is permanent. So enjoy it while it is and let go of what you thought it was or will be. As the jingle (the very thought of that word makes me cringe) sings on "I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it's the real thing..."

SIDE NOTE: I also loved this series finale because it's all truth...the creative process is painful yet rewarding, the business is down right bonkers and it will drive you crazy but you'll always come back because it's where you belong, we are inspired by everything around us, and yes, people at work hook up. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Z is for Zac Brown...and other country song lyrics.

Ok, yes, I listen to country music. I never used to but one day when I was freelancing at an agency, the Art Director I was filling in for (she was on maternity leave) had a ton of country songs on her desktop. It became background noise for me and I never gave it much thought. Until I discovered Zac Brown. I loved his music from note one. I hate to sound cliche, but it spoke to me. And not in the drunk sing-a-long kind of way when I first heard him. But as I travel on my own road of discovery, I realize that I connect with people doing the same. Enter, Zac Brown (hell, enter a lot of people but for this purpose, ZB).

Let me back up a bit. For those of you who are new, or have forgotten (since it has been forever since I posted something), last year I wanted to make 2014 the year that I discovered who I really was spiritually, and explored letting go of some of my Type A angst. It's been a crazy ride and in doing so, I've opened myself up to new experiences, new beliefs, new perspectives. And one of those is really listening to people's story. And Zac Brown has an amazing one to tell.

In LA, we do a lot of driving. So, I have a lot of time to listen to Pandora (sorry, not a fan of Spotify). I decided to put Zac Brown down as a channel because it felt right for the drives to and from Mammoth. It matched the landscape. So, as I listened, I learned the words. And as I learned the words, I realized Zac is pretty clued into this whole trusting the universe thing I've been into lately. And, my Life Coach once mentioned to me that as I shift, others around me would shift. Or, if they didn't, I would notice what I didn't like in me—in them, and that i would find people more like me. And she was right. I found Zac. Now, we're not besties or anything. I'm not even a crazy hopeful stalker hoping he'll read this and invite me backstage (or...). I'm just saying, as I change, I find more people like me and it's comforting to know someone else gets it. And put it into words outside of this blog.

As a storyteller I really appreciate the beauty in words and thoughts. And here's a few clips I think you will enjoy.

From Let it Go (not to be confused with Let it Go):
Looking back now on my life I can't say I regret it
And all the places that I ended up not the way Ma woulda had it
But you only get once chance at life to leave your mark upon it
And when a pony he comes riding by you better set your sweet ass on it
You keep your heart above your head and you eyes wide open
So this world can't find a way to leave you cold
And know you're not the only ship out on the ocean
Save your strength for things that you can change
Forgive the ones you can't (forgive not just forget, that's serious stuff people. Be kind to each other, forgiveness is hard but anger is harder)
You gotta let 'em go
Like a sweet sunset in Georgia let it go
And like the fear that grabs ahold ya let it go
Let it go
Let it go

From Quiet Your Mind (which, hello....MEDITATION!)
I feel the change
Goin' on all around me
It's strange
How I'm taken and guided
Where I end up right I'm needed to be (trust the universe. You've heard this from me 25 times now. I know this because this is my 26th post)
Quiet your mind
Soak it all in
It's a game you can't win
Enjoy the ride
At the end of the water
A red sun is risin'
And the stars are all goin' away
And if you're too busy talkin'
You're not busy listenin'
To hear what the land has to say

And because I want to show off some of my other country music knowledge, here's one from Darius Rucker (yes, Hootie...he went and got country on you)
For every stoplight I didn't make 
Every chance I did or I didn't take 
All the nights I went too far 
All the girls that broke my heart 
All the doors that I had to close 
All the things I knew but I didn't know 
Thank God for all I missed 
Cause it led me here to This
I didn't understand it way back when 
But sitting here right now it all makes perfect sense (echem, 27)

Recently, things have been coming together for me. Like all my past experiences are suddenly making sense. That maybe everything has happened to bring me to this point, in LA, first with Maddie and now with Petey, as a Type A-er redefining what that means, doing what I do. It's kinda cool to see it all come together. And to hear it in harmony is amazing. Is it a coincidence it has happened while I've been searching or is it because I have been searching it has come to me? Yes. 

Maybe I hear what I want to hear, or read into it what I want. Isn't that the beauty of music? Or connections? Or finding our way? Making sense of it all and finding what we have in common? Accepting what we don't? 

So that's my alphabet. My spiritual journey from A-Z. There's so much more out there so don't be surprised when I repeat a letter. I'm just proud of the 26 ways my life has changed thus far. And I hope it has helped you in some way as well. 12-step programs might work for others but for this Type A-er, 26 (plus?) has been the way to go.

UPDATE: I can't count, I have 2 more to go. Repeated letters will have to wait. Lucky you!