Starting on Monday, September 6, 2010 (at 4:00 in the morning, so technically Sunday, September 5), I started taking a picture of something that made me happy every day. My Project Happiness 365 started as a proactive act on my part to ward off deep depression. It was spurred by heartbreak as an effort to pull myself out of the wreckage, but now it's fueled by gratitude and a desire to find the beauty in everyday, "mundane" life. This is my honest, vulnerable journey from Hot Mess to Winning. I hope this helps. Oh, and if you're in pain, good; that means you put your whole heart into something. And if you think it won't ever get better, I promise it will. Here's my proof.

I can do really pretty things with my face:
 Obviously, Maribeth and I interpret “sexy” very differently. She goes for the classic Stunner look. I, on the other hand, go for the Miranda sexy. I just know that the higher I lift my eyebrows, the higher my sex appeal. I read that somewhere…. and by that I mean: I wrote it just now in my blog and then I read it. Whoa, did I just blow your mind? We’re in the Matrix. 2nd Matrix reference in 2 days. WINNING. But back to the very, very serious point I was trying to make: look at the juxtaposition of our sexiness. It’s truly a piece of thought-provoking art. I’m challenging the boundaries of the definition of sex. I hope you’re taking me seriously. Cuz I’m being a 100% idiota right now.

You know what else is winning? Midday naps. Because it reminds me of so many things. I used to take midday naps with a lot of people I love: Jilly B, Katie. I remember once my sophomore year, Katie and I snuggled up on her bed in her dorm and PASSED.OUT. It was so sweet and glorious and perfect. And Jill and I used to pass out outdoors in the heat of the sun. Ugh. So winning. So today I took a midday nap and I thought of those times. And that made me happy.

ALSO. I finished choreographing “Judas” today. MY FIRST EVER TAP SOLO ALL BY MYSELF!! I perform it this weekend at the Studio One dance recital at Middleton High School. Come one, come all, I may slip a ball. (Win.) But I had this huge sense of accomplishment afterwards. I was like, “Hey, look what I just did! I just made a dance! I made something!” If you know me, you know that I have a “slight” fascination with the art of creation. And today, I created something out of nothing! I made a dance! Wee! And I have a tendency to feel like a failure when I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything but I consider this a major accomplishment. I was talking to my dad about how I feel bad that I still haven’t unpacked all my college stuff after moving home. And he said..
Dad: It’s not a big deal.
Me: But I feel like a failure.
Dad: For not unpacking boxes?
Me: Yeah

And I didn’t realize how silly it was until I said it out loud. I’m not a failure. It’s a box. Who cares about boxes, mothafucka, you made a DANCE! A winning dance!

ALSO: I put a new video of Ava on Facebook. Watch it immediately. It’s presh, I swear.

I love Gavin Degraw so much.  So so much. Like so much that if I have a son, I want to name him Gavin. That’s how much I love Gavin’s music. Yeah. THAT much.

My heart has been having a rough time lately. Just these past few days. And they haven’t been bad days by any means. Not at all. And even as my heart was aching today, I still couldn’t deny how beautiful it was. I went to work out at Anytime Fitness in Waunakee, and on my walk home my heart was just… ouchie. But it was/IS such a beautiful night. And I’m proud of myself for still being able to acknowledge that. The world doesn’t stop being beautiful just because I’m sad. And I think that’s a really important thing to remember. Also, I was talking to myself all the way home. Like.. ALL the way home. Just… giving myself a pep talk. (Pulling myself out, like Deirdre taught me.) Telling myself it’s ok to be sad. And telling myself I didn’t know the answers to the questions I couldn’t even formulate into words. Pep talks. To myself. Made me feel.. better, I guess. It was just nice to get it out of my head. And I didn’t really want to call anyone cuz god damn, it’s the same ol’ shit outta me all the time. And no one has the answers. It’s just: “I don’t know”. And I don’t know either. So. On my walk home, I told myself that it’s hard to really get to know yourself. Cuz when you find a not-so-attractive quality, then you gotta do something about it. Or accept it. And both of those are hard. It’s so much easier to just ignore yourself and not get to know yourself. What I’m doing is hard. So. It’s ok to be having a hard time.

On an unrelated note: I’m really gonna kick my ass, fitness wise. I know the body I want to have, and I just have to push myself. My body is OK now, but I want better. I can do better. So. No bitching. No moping. Just fix it. I see what I want, and I go for it. Deirdre taught me that.

ALSO. Deirdre lessons. So when I used to check out guys, I’d be all coy about it. And when they’d see me, I’d quickly look away. Well, that’s not how Deirdre do. Nor James anymore, apparently. Like today, there was this really cute guy at Jamba Juice. And I just kept staring. And when he looked back to see if I was still looking (which I was), I just smiled. Put my big boy balls on. Coy=not winning. Go for what you want. Next step: talk to the mo’fucker. But observing is… ya know, safe. Damnit.

Also: Taio Cruz acoustic=even better than his original stuff. Especially “Break Your Heart”. Check it out.

“And I know that, although my heart hurts now, I’ll find a way to get up off the ground. Cuz I know one day I’m gonna feel again.”
~”Feel Again” by Taio Cruz

Love,
James.

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