Head In The Clouds Thoughts from 10,000 feet

1 • 4 •2017

January is where it begins. At least that is what they tell us. New Year, New Me. A fresh start. But as I grow older I don't feel new each year. New Year, same me. Is it something I should worry about? Or something I should rejoice? Every year on my birthday my parents ask, "How does it feel to be (insert new age here)?!" But just as often as they asked, I struggled to answer. How could I know how it truly feels to be something if I have not yet experienced it? As the years passed by, I began responding by telling them how I felt about my previous age. I look at the New Year all the same. How can I know what 2017 brings? I can't. All I can do is reflect on 2016, and how it felt to be Cheyenne in 2016. New Year. Same Me.

1 • 4 •2017

Most of my young adult life I've struggled with self image. Who hasn't? This world is full of people telling us how to dress, how to act. What to eat, and when not to. Today, while traveling to work, I saw a woman editing a picture of herself. Now don't be mistaken, I edit just about every picture I post, but this instance specifically stood out to me. She began by erasing her wrinkles, then whitening her teeth, making her chin smaller, nose more slender. Finally she reached for a tool that erased her laugh lines. I instantly judged her. "Wow, so insecure she can't even look at her laugh lines" but just as quickly as I judged I empathized. I recognized that feeling. I have spent the past couple of years really striving to help myself and those around me feel like they are enough. Pretty enough, Strong enough, Smart enough. I am constantly fighting the voice in my head "YOU are beautiful". I think about the woman erasing her laugh lines and I can't help but wonder, is this what the media has conditioned us to do? Erase something so natural and so beautiful. Erase something that represents happiness and joy. Evidence of the best medication (laughter) is quickly being edited away from our perfectly, imperfect bodies and replaced with plastic medication. Cosmetic surgery at the tip of our fingers. The picture is edited and as she posts it, two teenagers are talking about how they "gained back all the weight they lost" and how they need to go back on their diet this week. This was evidence. This plague of self hate has no predjudice on age. It will spread and infect and mutate whomever it can find. The only cure is to understand that YOU are ENOUGH, laugh lines included.

1 • 5 • 2017

I struggle with execution. I am full of ideas and thoughts and questions, and once I get going, it's really hard to slow me down. I've started businesses, and left them in the dust. I've composed new business plans, and left them as just a composition. I've had what seems like hundreds of jobs that I truly believed would be my career one day, and quit. I've tried school... couldn't sit still. So I look at myself as a failure, "half-assing" my way through my twenties. I'm told I have to pick a job and stick to it if I am not going to go to school. I look like a flake to those around me. Constantly throwing ideas out and months later I'm onto the next fad in the life of Cheyenne. But I've noticed my true problem isn't being flakey or failure, it's execution, and commitment. Is it that I'm scared what will happen if I actually try everything that I conjure in my head? Or is it that I'm so full of ideas, choosing just one thing is almost as hard as picking a favorite kitten. I want to commit to, and execute my goals and dreams... but which one? And will I ever know when I've made the right decision?

1 • 6 • 2017

Today I tried yoga. Again. Yoga is something I am definitely not a master at. But it has always been an outlet. I fall back to yoga when I feel my brain running laps around itself. My thoughts and emotions forget how to breathe, most of the time. And, most of the time... I ignore it. "I just have an active imagination" I say to myself as I continue to ask my mind to hold more and more each day. This trend results in breakdowns. I can't concentrate on one thing, I have terrible headaches, I feel like I need to run away. But in all honesty, I need the exact opposite. To breathe. Relax. Stop letting my mind wander. So today, I tried yoga. Throughout, I was told to pay attention to the sensation of breathing, focus on the present. Two things I am not good at, by any means. I tried. Failed. I began listening to my heart beat, which made me think of a show I watched. There I go again, letting my mind wander. Breathe. I tried again. This time, it worked. I felt my brain slowing down, which in my case is a fabulous thing. I could feel each muscle relax towards the ground. I could feel gravity doing its job. I could feel the oxygen moving through me as if it were light. I vividly imagined my body floating and glowing. Is this what it's like? To be present?

1 • 7 • 2017

Sometimes I wish the world could see what my eyes see. Photographs couldn't even come close to the colors and movement the human eye can capture. I wonder if what I see is what everyone does. Or do we all see our own version of the world? I know each person has a different version of beautiful, when it comes to other people, but how can we all not see nature, and city lights, and water and clouds as impossibly brilliant. As my plane lands in Chicago I feel so small. We have to be thousands of feet above something to see the big picture, and even then, we still have no way of seeing the entire thing. I have to transfer this feeling to life. I am always thinking about what's next for me and where I'll be in 5 years. But I have to remember that it is impossible for me to see the big picture, no matter how many miles above it I think I am. I have to learn to take life one step at a time, wait, and have a little faith. Because this world is so much bigger than I am.

1 • 13 • 2017

I haven't written in nearly a week. I was worried that I was doing that thing again where I start something and don't finish it. But instead I've learned yet another thing about myself. It is nothing entirely new, but I am a very social person. When on a trip or out of town, I have less chances to express myself socially, so in turn, I write. I am very lucky to have people in my life that challenge my thinking. If I have an opinion, I better have a way to back it up,. Not one idea, or thought can be mindless. It is these relationships that have strengthened me, changed me. I remember when I was 15, my view on the world so simple, and as much as I'd like to say, ignorance is bliss, I can't. Ignorance is NOT bliss when you remain entirely blind to the beauty and beasts of the world. Another flashback, my sisters and I really enjoyed watching movies growing up. However, there was a catch., "Don't turn your brain off!" My Dad would say, as he encouraged us to really think of the deeper meaning of the movie. I especially remember being annoyed when he would say those lovely five words prior to watching a Barbie movie. I would think How on EARTH can I find a deeper meaning of a BARBIE MOVIE? I would huff and puff, and in the end I could hardly come up with the deeper meaning. Flash forward: 2017. I cannot imagine watching a movie without my brain very much ON. I think this is where the foundation of my discussion based mind was built. I am now surrounded by friends that challenge nearly everything I say. We may not always agree, but at the end of each discussion, I can honestly say that I have walked away feeling like I learned something. Something about myself, and the world around me. I can only hope that this constant state of learning and growth follows me through the rest of the years.

Created By
Cheyenne Shelby

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