whoa

So I was digging around in an old box I found in the attic last night. I was looking for an old photo album and what I found was a treasure chest of awesome.

Every note written to me by my friends and boyfriends from 9th grade on. Amazing. Wow. Seriously, Amazing.

I found pictures that were better left buried. And I found my memory book from my Senior Year. hehe. Some memories.

I also found a notebook my Drama teacher made us keep. It was filled with questions we had to answer, and letters we wrote to ourselves. We were to seal the notebook, keep it between our mattresses and then in 10 years, read it.

Well, I read it 10 years after high school. And I read it again last night. Wow. Seriously. I was obsessed with my weight! Totally freaking obsessed! I might’ve weighed 135 lbs soaking wet, but in my mind I was a total cow.

That makes me sad. Especially now, as I am working so hard to undo years of self-destructive eating habits and thoughts. I said the other day that my dad put me on a diet in junior high because I had hips and I had pretty much been on a diet ever since. Well, that was not an exaggeration. Again. that makes me really sad.

We need to teach girls to be healthy but to embrace their bodies for what they are and to love themselves for who they are. I was so insecure. I was always being compared to another girl and that’s the goal I set for myself. To have a body like her. To look like her. To be like her. Too bad nobody took the time to say, “Wrong focus. Be yourself and enjoy it.” I was well into adulthood before that dawned on me.

Another thing that hasn’t changed since 1987 according to this notebook? Two things I liked most about myself were my smile and my personality.

From the Universe today:

Are you so sure it’s not the dancer who creates the music she moves to? Or the painter who manifests the mountains he captures? Or the tycoon who builds the empire before there’s a dime?

Whatever you want, Melissa, let it exist first in your mind, imagine every nuance and consideration, let the walls have substance, the halls have depth, and the money have weight in the palm of your hand, and then all that’s necessary to bring it to pass will be drawn to you.

Sneaky, clever, foxy, wry –
The Universe

I’ll be at work. Y’all have a good one!

back at work

Literally. I started a job this week. I’ll be working 3 days a week in accounting. I really like the company and the people I’m working with.

But being back in the corporate environment after taking an 18 month hiatus is a little strange. This is what I’ve discovered so far:

  • New Employee Orientation is the same everywhere. I think it should only be a requirement if you’re a new graduate. I don’t need you to go over every sheet of paperwork with me one-by-one. I’m a big girl. I can figure out how to do my taxes, my 401k, my health insurance. This is not my first rodeo.
  • Office coffee is just bad (apparently except on the 10th floor where HR is. Not sure why, but believe me, I’m making friends with the HR folks for the coffee alone) Thank goodness they have liquid creamer to help ease the pain of bad coffee.
  • Jeans on Friday only. Just. Shoot. Me. I work Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. I’ve been wearing yoga pants or jeans and t-shirts for forever now. Even my last ‘corporate’ job didn’t care what I wore. Now I have to play dress up? Even business casual is hard for me to pull off these days.
  • Cube environment is a strange beast. Thankfully, we have the full-sized cube walls, so there’s no ‘prairie dogging’ going on. But there is a lot of speaker phone calls. That is one of my biggest pet peeves. Ever. Go to a conference room. Please. And if you can’t, pick up the phone. And if you can’t, GET A FUCKING HEADSET. That is all. Yesterday, 2 people were on speaker, with each other. One in an office across from me, one three cubes down from me. Maybe they could’ve just talked in person? Yes…Yes, that would’ve been better.
  • I ♥ office supplies.
  • Another thing about cube-ville? The conversations that go on around you. I’m bringing my iPod today.

I’m actually really glad to be back at work. I’ve missed people. I’ve missed conversation. I’ve also missed the steady paycheck.

Today’s note from the Universe:

It’s the exact same for me, Melissa. My love goes unreturned, I feel completely unappreciated, or some clown starts telling me what’s wrong with the world (my world!). And so, I have to remind myself that I am the Universe, that this is an adventure, and that one day they will come to know the errors in their thinking. And, not that it matters at all, but I secretly hope that on that day I just happen to be carried past them, sitting in my processional throne, followed by throngs of admirers, with all the Angels singing, “We are the champions, my friends…”

Melissa, you are the Universe, this is an adventure, and they will learn.

Tallyho,
The Universe

Seriously, how much do I love the Universe?

comfort food

So did everyone eat their black-eyed peas and collard greens with ham and cornbread yesterday? That’s a huge southern tradition. “Eat poor on New Years, eat fat the rest of the year.”

I haven’t made that meal myself, but my mother makes it every year, without fail. She called me yesterday and admonished me (as she does every year) but I told her I was making my own traditions–which included me not cooking.

Food has always been a source of comfort for me, which is why I have always turned to it in times of emotional turmoil. Eating good food makes me feel better. Period. Now I’m trying to replace that with seventeen-million hours of exercise a week. Sure, I feel good, but damn if I don’t just want to fall into a big batch of biscuits and gravy.

Some of my favorite comfort foods growing up were (and still are)

  • biscuits and gravy
  • fried apple pie (my Mema lived with us for 9 years, this was our after school snack almost every day. It was a seriously good thing I was an athlete)
  • smothered steak
  • salmon patties
  • mashed potatoes
  • fried fish, hush puppies and french fries

Every food listed is accompanied with a great memory. And it is still so tempting to fry a mess of fish, etc when I’m feeling low. Because I was never happier as a kid, than the 2 weeks out of the summer I was at the lake with my daddy: camping, fishing, reading, swimming and flirting with all the boys. I was almost always the only girl there. It was awesome. Also, it was the only time I had my daddy’s undivided attention, which was also awesome.

My favorite memory associated with smothered steak has to do with venison. I hate venison. Have never liked it. And everyone always says it’s because the person who fixed it for me didn’t prepare it right. All that means is that obviously nobody can fix it cuz I still don’t like it. Well, my Mema decided I would like it if I didn’t know it was venison. So she made me smothered venison steak and didn’t tell me. I came home after a basketball game, starving to death. She had my plate already fixed and I sat down to eat it. I nearly threw it up on the spot. It tasted awful but I didn’t know why. Now, I didn’t wanna hurt my Mema’s feelings so when she left the kitchen, I dumped it all into the trash. She came back in and was as giddy as a school girl. She confessed her deed to me with a giggle and claimed victory! I sighed a huge relief and said, “Mema, I just didn’t wanna hurt your feelings. It was the worst thing I ever ate.” Then I pulled out the trash can and showed her. I had finally convinced someone that I did not, nor would I ever, like venison.

What are some of your favorite comfort foods and why? Are they associated with a specific memory?

The Universe has been on fire lately. I’m totally digging the dude right now.

Melissa, today, be the person of your dreams.

See life through THEIR eyes.

Make decisions with THEIR mind.

Let every thought, word, and action come from THEIR perspective, as if you had already arrived, and just watch how 2009 warps into the kind of year you talk and laugh about forever and ever and ever…

Peace, love, and green M&Ms –
The Universe

He even knows I love green M&Ms!

2009: Day the 1st

Wish I had something witty to say, you know, so we can start the year off right. But nothing’s coming to mind. Could be because I was up past 2:00 and the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy night and that you were able to ring in the New Year with the people most dear to you.

I know everyone posts their New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m not really gonna do that. Barbara Samuel suggests that you think of three words to describe the previous year, and three to describe the coming. So I’m going to give that a try.

2008
disconnected
unfocused
challenging

2009
centered
bright
determined

Here are the things I plan to accomplish this year. Not resolutions.

Be a better mother
Be a more disciplined writer
Run the 10K and keep training for a half-marathon
Get a tattoo for my 40th birthday
Laugh every day at least once

What words did you pick? Did you make resolutions or are you refusing?

ETA today’s note from The Universe:

Dearest Melissa, I was about to wish that your every dream for 2009 come true. That you find yourself surrounded by friends, laughter, and good times. I almost wished that your every cup runneth over financially, romantically, spiritually, and creatively. That good health be your faithful companion, peace your guarded ally, and love your perpetual guide. When suddenly, it dawned on me that as an infinite, powerful, fun-loving gladiator of the Universe, with eternity before you and the power of your thoughts to help shape it… it’s you Melissa Francis, who will be granting wishes this year.

10…9…8…7…6…
The Universe

I totally dig The Universe…just so you know.

the bad boy equivalent?

I love a bad boy. We know that. I’ve blogged about it several times. From the books I read to the shows I watch, I am always drawn to the emotionally walled off, and cocky bad boy. (Hello, LOST fans? Team Sawyer! Jack’s a pussy weenie.)And now that Kevin McKidd is on Grey’s Anatomy–yum. He’s the only reason to keep watching. He’s all of the above PLUS he’s a ginger!

These are the men that make fantasizing more fun.

Today, I’m going to talk about a different fantasy–The Naughty Librarian. Is this the male “bad boy” equivalent? Did Sarah Palin Tina Fey bring out this fantasy for nearly every man in America?

I only ask this because I’ve been told by several people since I’ve darkened my hair, that with my glasses on, I look like the “hot” or “naughty” librarian. Now, I’m not complaining. I totally dig that. Calling me a Naughty Librarian is one step closer to my ultimate goal of being Stifler’s Mom.

So what is the obsession with the naughty librarians? I get the school girl fantasy–sorry, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pull that one off. Is it the glasses? The shushing? The fact that if you do it in a library you have to be quiet? The authority figure thing? What makes the Naughty Librarian such a turn on?

I’m also talking about Sports Movies over at Fictionistas today. Click the banner and stop by!
Fictionistas

Today’s note from the Universe:

2009, Melissa, will not be just another year.

It’s the absolute richest I’ve ever imagined, with the most possibilities I’ve ever created, for the coolest people I’ve ever known, to do the greatest things that have ever been done.

Don’t feel any pressure.

Let’s do this,
The Universe

I have a very good feeling The Universe has this one right.

conversations

I love blogging. I always try to do it first thing in the morning, before I’ve had time to really wake up. I blog about whatever pops into my head and I rarely preplan. Preplanning makes it feel more like an essay and less like a conversation.

(though I will admit to preplanning for tomorrow. I have a busy day and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to fit it all in! And I hate missing Monday blogs.)

Blogging really fulfills the social butterfly part of my life. I need communication, attention (surprised?), stimulation, and challenges. And laughter. I need a lot of laughter. And sometimes, I crack myself up and I have to tell someone who will appreciate it.

So I tell the Universe. Cuz surely someone out there gets me.

That’s actually a pretty cool feeling. Knowing that no matter what I say, someone out there will get it. They’ll relate to it, laugh at it, shake their head…whatever. They’ll get it. They’ll get me. And this will keep me from having Schizophrenic Conversations inside my own head. 🙂 (I bet I could work a Staind song into every blog post if I wanted to. LOL)

Some people think of blogging as a marketing tool–they don’t enjoy it. They do it because they want to promote their work. Even if I had nothing to promote, I think I would keep blogging. It keeps my mind mostly clutter free. (Okay, that’s not true, but maybe one day it will be).

finding your way


When I was 18, I wanted to become an actress. I wanted to follow in Meg Ryan’s footsteps and go to NY first and land a role on a Soap Opera, where I could kiss all those hot actors (of course, I would’ve probably been cast as the maid LOL), get famous for being so cute and land a great movie role.

I daydreamed that a lot, but I didn’t go for it because I was too scared. As oppositional as I was (okay, still am) in nature, hearing my mother explain to me in practical terms why it was a bad idea and I would never find the success I was looking for seeped into my brain. I went to college and got a job delivering pizzas instead. (Still one of my favorite all time jobs to this day.)

It took me a long time to find my way to writing. I worked in Daycare for 10 years off and on, thinking one day I would become a teacher. I managed a Bath and Body works for a couple of years, I was a fraud analyst at a telecommunications company where I caught bad guys who cloned phones (this is before digital) I’ve served enough food and drink as a waitress to feed a 3rd world country. We moved to Oxford and I fell into a job doing HR and Travel, and that eventually led me to a job in Accounting. (Yes, accounting. Stop laughing. Seriously. Stop.)

By the time we moved to Oxford, I was writing. I had started 2 books, both that should and will remain unfinished. Very. Bad. Stuff. But writing them gave me the fever. Because of the way I write, I see the books as movies, so I’m kinda getting my acting fix. And I get to daydream all day. Which I’ve always done anyway. Bonus!

This was the first time in my life that I pursued something I wanted to do. On my own–with no real idea if I would be successful. Fishdog would work long hours and I would write after the kids were in bed. I wrote on the weekends a lot. It became a passion. I got better at it. And in 2007 I sold my first book. (BITE ME! hits the shelves Oct. 2009. Don’t forget!)

It took me a long time to find my path. I was 29 years old when I started writing. I have no idea if I should’ve gone to NY and pursued my acting career. Maybe my insecurities then were in place to keep me searching until I could find my confidence and find my path. I’m glad I finally did. If you haven’t found yours yet, the good news is, it’s never too late to start looking.

BTW: The Universe was deep again today:

Melissa, nothing is ever lost. Not time; for what seems to have passed, lives on in the wisdom of future decisions. Not money; for what seems to have been spent, was only invested. And not love; for what seems to have vanished, has only moved so close you must look within your heart to see it.

Here and now, Melissa, whether or not it’s obvious, you are the best you’ve ever been.

So proud,
The Universe