And the Tony Goes To…..

Yep – in true JPK style – I’m a day behind on the prompts but at least I’m writing!  Besides, why mess with tradition?

This #ReverbBroads11 post is based on the prompt – In the movie version of your life, which actor/actress would play you and the significant players in your life? What kind of movie is it (e.g., made-for-TV, action, emo/indie, etc.)? What would be the major plot points, and how will it end?  (courtesy of Emily at warmedtheworld.blogspot.com)

While I love film, my preferred medium has to be the Broadway musical – so I’m using that instead of film to answer the question.  Let me hit these sub-points one at a time:

1. Cast – well goodness, there are so many to choose from?  Generally, I’d say an actress that combines Jeri Ryan’s facial features (we look somewhat alike) with Idina Menzel’s ability to sing and Sara Ramirez’ sass (yes, for those of you who ONLY know her on Grey’s Anatomy – she was a Broadway performer first – and has one hell of a voice!).  For my hubby – he’s an actor so I’ll let him play himself.  Besides, no one could capture the uniqueness that is my partner – he’s just too amazing in his own right.  For my mom – she would have to be played by Kathy Bates – she’s sassy and snarky and has a killer wit, but she’s also smart as anything.  My dad – we’ll cast Dennis Quaid – lots of sports references and movies to draw from.  For my stepdad – George Wendt – but George would have to shave his head.  One of my sisters would be played by Amy Poehler (yep Cherie – that’s you).  For my BFF – I’d say Kathy Bates again – she’s an amazing actress and could pull off a dual role!  I could go on – there are so many cool and amazing people in my life (for instance – my colleague Tina – yep, Tina Fey is playing her.).  I could cast each of my #WLsalt sisters, too – but I digress.

2. This is a flat out, 100%, musical review of my life and future directions.  If I had the time I’d generate an entire set list, complete with dance and musical numbers.  We – of course – would HAVE to have s show-stopping tap dance number with some ridiculous stunts – and why not?  I know the production would have strong themes of feminism, empowerment, whimsy, and social responsibility.  There would also be some number from “Cats” – yes, it’s true, I’m a crazy cat lady – and proud of it!

3. How will it end?  With a big party.  There will be no sad funeral.  Nope – we celebrate people’s lives in my musical – and yes, there would be a showstopping musical number.  What better way to end a life story than with one of those?!

And…..scene.

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Here Kitty Kitty…..

I’m participating in #ReverbBroads11, a month of blog prompts promised to be silly and reflective. Today’s prompt is: How did you become more of a grown-up this year? Or did you pull a Peter Pan and stubbornly remain childlike? via Bethany at  bethanyactually.com

I’ve always believed the sage words of my mother, who always says, “You can always grow older, but never grow up!”  To that end, I’ve always reveled in the beauty and silliness of life around me.  I’m the first to be ridiculous, the first to bust out with my louder-than-life laugh (just thinking about it makes me laugh right now), and the first to jump in – head first – to any project, event, or initiative that I find interesting at the moment.  To me – these things make life fun.  Stopping to look at, admire and photograph a beautiful spring flower (thank goodness for camera phones), riding a roller coaster or Ferris Wheel, eating a fried Twinkie “just because” (it’s gross, I tell you, GROSS), or calling over a stray cat just to give it a little love – all of these things I believe are inherently child-like but also add to the quality of my life.

But this prompt made me think about these things a little more.  Why do I continue to embrace this philosophy?  Is it just to keep me feeling young (as the mirror continues to tell me, the “young looking” days are far behind me!), or is it truly part of my soul?  After some reflection (admittedly, not alot – so more is needed), I believe this is just who I am.  I love the world around me – I love the sights, the smells, and the involvement in life.  To that end, I believe taking those moments to be silly, to spin around until you fall down, to watch “The Sing-Off” in my living room and dance around to the music – all of these things make life worth living for me.

I remember an interview that Mike Myers gave on “Inside the Actors Studio” a few years ago, in which he was asked about being silly.  He said, “I think silliness is the natural state of things.  Serious is something you have to get through in order to be silly again.”  I. Love. This!

So excuse me – there’s a joke that needs telling, a laugh that needs laughing, and a kitty who is adamant that we play – so I’m in!

There Can Be Only One – NOT!

I’m participating in #ReverbBroads11, a month of blog prompts promised to be silly and reflective. Today’s prompt is: What is the stupidest thing you did this year? What about in your whole life? You can take stupid to mean: embarrassing, dangerous, funny, lame, whatever you consider “stupid.”

Oh wow.  This one is tough – not because there’s nothing to write about – but because there’s too much!  So I’ll hit both categories individually:

What’s the stupidest thing I did this year?  

I think the best answer here is not fulfilling the promises I’ve made to myself. Little things, like starting the Spanish language program I wanted to start, calling my Grandma more often, taking guitar lessons and getting that article written – all of these things add up.  The only person I’m disappointing or hurting is myself.  This issue will be the focus of my One Word promise for 2012 (just have to figure out what the heck that one word would be – if anyone has any suggestions – I’m all ears – or eyes, as the case may be).

What’s the stupidest thing I’ve done in my whole life?

Fortunately, there are way too many of these to mention.  However, I think wearing this and allowing myself to be a victim of the “pie-in-the-face” is probably a good start at an answer:

(Note to self:  Republishing this picture is probably another thing to add to the “stupid” file)

In all seriousness, I really believe that from some of my so-called stupidest moments, I’ve learned the most.  So even though they may be embarrassing, dangerous, scary or ridiculous – I’m moved through them and learned so much as a result of their occurrence in my life.  So I celebrate the stupid things – and hopefully I’ll be able to continue to laugh and learn from them for a long time to come!

If not, maybe the photographic evidence of these occurrences will simply serve as a warning to others!

It’s Your Turn

Aside

So maybe I’m a day behind, but in reading the other posts as part of this initiative – I’m putting my hat in the ring and participating in #ReverbBroads11, a month of blog prompts promised to be silly and reflective. Today’s (okay, yesterday’s) prompt is: If the you of today could go back in time and give advice to any of the previous yous, which age would you visit and what would you tell them? So here goes:

Dear 30-year old Julie,

You’ve had a hell of a year there, sister. You know it – and I know it even more completely. The issues you’ve faced have been incredibly difficult. Know that by simply living through it – you’ve become stronger, more confident, and more of who you really are – even when you fall into a heap sobbing on the kitchen floor (and yes, this did confuse the hell out of the cat).

Divorce sucks – plain and simple. It’s hard, it’s painful, and it’s a consistent reminder – at least in your mind at age 30 – that you failed in some way. I’m telling you not to look at it like that. Consider it differently – what decisions did you make that GOT you to this point? When I (your 40-year old self) look at it – this is what I see:

1. You tried to fulfill an image of the woman you THOUGHT you were supposed to be. Your ex-husband is a good man – but he expected this facade of a woman that he married to continue forward – one that said she wanted children, one that tried to be the good hostess, etc.; you know deep down that you were not being true to what you wanted and who you were when you entered into this marriage. You need to own this, and move beyond it. Who you are is VITAL, is PHENOMENAL, and you matter. Take that to the bank and cash it.

2. You never stood up for yourself. Trust me – that’s hard for me to even phathom anymore given how much we’ve grown since then. You went days, weeks, months and even years not speaking up for yourself, expressing what it is that you needed. That’s never okay – because every time you silence yourself – you devalue your needs and your voice. Stop it.

3. You thought that if you didn’t get married, other people would be upset and disappointed in you. Face it, lady, you cannot live your life based on other people’s perceptions about you. At the end of the day – you have to live with you, not with your stepsisters, not with your friends, not with his friends. You make your choices and you learn from them. Trying to live up to other people’s expectations will only cause you more pain – and you will always fall short. Live up to yours.

4. You let others opinions influence your decision. You’ve made a lot of decisions with that perspective in mind. But when you really think about it – the best decisions you’ve made up to this point are the ones YOU wanted to make. You decided to follow your passion of going into Student Affairs instead of following a career in genetics – because it made you happy. You joined a sorority that you loved instead of one that was huge and popular on campus – because it was what you wanted to do. Look at the amazing outcomes that happen when you follow your own voice. Listen to it more, and know that it won’t lead you astray.

I know right now all you can see is the pain and the hurt, and all you seem to be able to do is blame yourself. But please trust me, this will pass. Over the next 10 years, you will experience such amazing things – and your experiences during this time will help shape the woman you will become. I’m damn proud to be her – and I thank you for using this time to reflect, change, grow and shine.

And oh yes, your soul mate is out there – and he’s amazing. He’ll say hello here in about 3 years. Wait for him – he’s totally worth it.

Love,

Dr. JPK