Live with the Courage of an Eleven Year Old

These ladies are fans of the anime cartoon Sailor Moon. There was a ‘meet up’ in Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. My friend Annalisa is the adorable eleven year old in the middle. Her Mom is taking the picture. How awesome to have the courage to dress up and meet people who are excited about what you are excited about at age eleven. I’m proud of Annalisa for knowing what she likes and being able to share her passion and excitement with the world. 

When her Mom shared this photo with me I was impressed by Annalisa’s courage and passion. I don’t think I would have done what she did at that age. To have that much gumption and spunk as she starts middle school, imagine what she will be like as an adult. I can’t wait to see…

Do you remember what you were like at eleven? It is the age when you were in sixth grade. You were no longer a child, yet not a teen. You’re not quite blossoming into adulthood, yet too old to be treated like a kid. You have ideas and thoughts about who you might be and are just beginning to realize that you can be anyone you want. It takes courage at any age to exhibit who you are, to show the world what you are thinking and what you value. Dying your hair pink and dressing up like you favorite anime character, then meeting strangers who did the same thing, that takes a whole new level of courage. 

What are you passionate about? When was the last time you exhibited the courage of an eleven year old?  When did you last  show the world what you are made of? When have you put your passion on like a pink skirt and a sailor shirt and parade your enthusiasm for everyone to see? Fearless and so excited that you don’t care what enyone else thinks. I hope you have a day today when the joy you had at eleven invades your veins and you can’t control your smile. I hope you find others who are just as enthusiastic and excited as you are. And I hope you have friends and family that encourage you along your path. Even if you are not eleven anymore, you can still live life full of fun and courage. Just click your heels, raise your hands and smile from ear to ear…your fans are waiting! 

The Nerd Inside You

No matter how you spell it, nerds are the same in all countries. These three sat near us in Akihibara, alias electric town, in Tokyo. We were on the top floor of the SEGA store, waiting for our family to shop until they dropped. So while we waited we experienced for at least a few minutes the life of a nerd. These three sat and played their game for a while. During that timeframe three additional tables became occupied by other groups of young boys. I was the only female to be found. Each group had an obvious plan to hang out together for a while. They enjoyed the space, each other, and a similar interest in anime. 

Anime is a world I must admit I know very little about. There are many characters, stories and way too many things I cannot keep up with. Yet for these ‘nerds’ it is a world they can enjoy together, be passionate about, and build friendships around. They spend time energy and money on this world, and seem to enjoy it immensely. It not only ignites their imagination, it has helped them figure out who they are and what they want. We commonly use the word to describe quirky, overly smart, akward people when in reality they are just passionate about something we do not understand. 

There is a nerd inside of all of us. A person who is passionate about a topic and spends time learning and doing it. Maybe you are a golf nerd, or a fishing nerd, an art nerd, or a movie nerd. Maybe you have a hobby you are a nerd about, or a place you are a nerd for. Maybe you follow a favorite performer or band, or study and produce work from a particular genre. Whatever it is, there is an easy way to tell if you are a nerd. 

Do you spend your time on this topic? Do you find ways to be around people who are also interested in that topic? Have you made friends with them, spend time with them doing something related to this topic? Do you spend money on things related to this topic? Do you spend energy learning about the topic, reading about it, or visiting places related to your topic? Do other people not understand your interest? All of these questions may help you relate to these three teeenagers, or nerds. We all have a little nerd inside us, it just depends on who we show it to. There are those who will understand, and those who will never have a clue. 

I hope today you allow yourself to be a nerd. Be passionate about something you enjoy, no matter who understands. Letting your inner nerd free will make you a better person. It will free you from the confines of living in the box, if only for a short time with friends. 

It’s Not the Size of the Poodle in the Fight

Who needs a security system when you have Poodles! Meet Josie & Dee Dee, the best little security system kibble can buy. They are loudly protecting their front porch and prove a very important point. It is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog. These little ladies do not think about how big they are, they think about being loud and protecting the important place they love. They may be small and easy to pick up, yet they get the job done. The whole scenario changes once you approach them, when you pet them they turn into mush!!! But they are still out there protecting their domicile the best way they know how. 

I have to admire these little girls, they were loud and fierce for about ten seconds…then they became our best friends. They knew their job and responsibility was to protect and serve as an alarm for their Mom. Their instincts told them how to do it, how loud to bark, and how to jump around enough to prevent us from climbing the steps. They melted once we said hello, and they licked us within an inch of our lives, but for about ten seconds they were fierce. 

These two remind me that no matter your size, age, or what people think of you, give it your all. Do what you know how to do with everything you have. If you are good at being loud, then be loud. If you are good at standing your ground, then stand your ground with passion and gusto. If you are experienced in working with a partner, then work it together every step of the way. Bring your best game everyday with all it’s force and every ounce of energy you have inside, even if on the outside you are a toy poodle protecting porch steps. Because again…it is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog. Never let your own estimation or your own negative thoughts prevent you from being you with gusto. Even a barking toy poodle can keep people off the steps for a period of time.