3-Percent Girl ~ My Life & Thoughts by Lucky Leilani

Desperately Seeking Sunlight

September 30

It’s officially Autumn in my part of the world. There’s now less sunlight as the days get shorter and the nights grow longer. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was someone in my world to spend those longer nights with. Slumber parties with friends only gets me through the night when it gets really bad. I’m not going to complain.

Music helps to soothe my savage heart.

Sometimes a song just touches me and I’m instantly transported to a memory in my mind. In this case, Eric transported me into a future I’ve never experienced but would love to. Dancing without a care in the world because the world is a better place. Eric is a prince and I have my own King.

Lasting-foreverness.

Nothing lasts forever. And even this song has to come to an end. Fortunately, I can click on repeat and the song magically comes to life again. I love how that happens. I wish life was like that – just click on repeat when all the good stuff happens so we can experience it all over again. Isn’t it nice that we were made to have and create memories? They’re a gift to us.

For a moment, I want you to imagine a world where we’re not able to record memories in our minds. I imagined.

Vast emptiness. Meaninglessness.

Stumbling through life without having learned anything. How can we learn if there’s no way to record lessons? The mind is an amazing tool, if you ask me. I wish we could tap into it more – and more often.

The music video has clips from a favorite movie of mine – “Phenomenon” which is about a guy who ends up with a brain tumor but experiences incredible enlightenment because of the change his brain is undergoing during the course of the movie. And, it wouldn’t be as sweet if he didn’t fall in love at the same time.

Did I mention that I noticed the music video was filmed in a train station? That was the icing on my cake.

Frosted.
Sparkly.
Sweet.
Sunlit.
Like Jumping in a pile of leaves on an Autumn day.
or Soaring above the clouds in the arms of a lover… walking hand-in-hand on a rain-soaked sidewalk.

Enjoy! I have.am.do.will.can.

Eric Clapton “Change the World

Hear in My Mined

September 9

Ouch! I was looking for music videos to share with you – the ones playing in my mind a lot lately – when I stumbled across a video of “Maleficent” on the red carpet. Don’t bother watching the whole thing. It’s filled with flaming egos. The only part that really caught my attention happens in the first 12 seconds. Yes, seconds. I’m a body language watcher. I can’t help it. And the two individuals in the first 12 seconds are screaming out their thoughts while the whole world is watching. I couldn’t miss “Angie” shoving her – now husband – out of the way with her right hand and tossing him a look that could have turned him to stone if she wanted to. The article (link) is written as if nothing happened – they’re all just one big happy family – even though the Maleficent footage was captured just 3-1/2 months prior (May 9, 2014). *WatchOut! Landmines Ahead!*

My Thoughts still being held prisoner.

I can really relate to Regina’s words in “Fidelity“.  All thanks, probably, to my iPod. It’s getting a lot of love from me lately. And it’s been returning the favor. No need to push and shove.

Smokey.
Folksy.

Brave.
Sultry.

The music from “The Great Gatsby” (2013) movie is another one of my favorites lately. And all those words I just used describe the mood within. At the moment. I could use a dash more of bravery as we speak, but I’ll just keep pressing forward toward the wind – with hope that I outlast the race into Winter. When my world turns into a bare cave.

Hiber.nation.

So here’s some of the songs playing on repeat in my world lately. Put on some bunny slippers. Make yourself a cup of comfort. And ease into their words. They’re loaded with mines. Diamond mines.  And for the record, I have the antique landmine sign above. Its rust reminds me that I’m next.

Regina Spektor “Fidelity” – A beautiful piece I use to break my own fall.

Ingrid Michaelson “The Way I Am” – I want to be your match, your sweater, your sunshine, and your air. I don’t ask for much. I’ll even buy you Rogaine.

Tori Amos “a Sorta Fairytale” – a fairytale fetish ballad with words that taste like heaven.

And the splinter of ice cream that always bookends my Summer – Joshua Radin’s “Winter

This weekend, a friend of mine shared a list of some “relationship landmines” – the source called them “red flags”.  I want to share with you. I’ve added a few details from my personal life to expand on this list.

S/He wants to know where I am, who I’m with, and What I’m doing
S/He badmouths my friends and family, or badmouths me in front of our friends or family members
S/He criticizes me or the way I do things in a way that feels like their putting me down
S/He talks about himself a lot but doesn’t listen to me, or want to listen to my feelings
S/He abuses drugs or alcohol
S/He doesn’t want to be seen with me or show affection – such as holding my hand – in public places
S/He wants me to spend all of my time with him
S/He spends all of their free time with friends or family members instead of quality time with me
S/He expects me to take care of them – all the time, without reciprocating the same amount of care

What are some landmines in your life that are blowing up in your face?

Seeking Shelter

September 6

GimmieDarlin

Ben Howard’s “Only Love” is delicious… use a spoon and some bread to soak up every last drop.

Geared Up

September 5

It seems I have a lot of thoughts lately but they’re all stuck at the surface of my mind, trapped by a bubble that just won’t burst. Too many – and they get held hostage by an invisible force.

Maybe that’ll change…

I’ve been listening to some amazing music – and I just celebrated my birthday. Passing time. I was listening to Jose Gonzalez sing his “Heartbeats” song (Click HERE to listen to a beautiful version of it). It’s one of my favorites. That’s when I came across Jose’s “Stay Alive” song. I’ve heard it before but I didn’t connect it to the “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” movie – a movie filled with inspiration and dreams of big things – until now.  Seems appropriate to everything circling above my head right now.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie which seemed to steal the show…

Listening to Jose sing and thinking about my birthday and the Walter Mitty movie, it seems to all come together in a neat and tidy little package, wrapped in a bow for my birthday.

A sort of gift to myself. An awakening. A deeper awareness. It’s geared me up for taking on more in life – to accept the challenges I’m faced with and to look deeper into the meaning of that which causes fear within. To accept whatever may come because it could be the biggest adventure, just waiting around the bend… life doesn’t wait for anyone. It happens while we’re busy making plans, as Lennon would say. And I have a lot of plans in place, just waiting for me to give them the “thumbs up”.

A new day will rise… do whatever… the way I feel is the way I write… Dawn is coming, open your eyes…

Jose Gonzalez “Stay Alive

Your Might is Will

August 26

The movie I mentioned earlier that I saw recently was “Good Will Hunting”.

I’ve been wanting to see it since it came out in theatres years ago (1997). I just never made the time to watch it – until now. Sadly, I bought it about a month before its meaning would become much more clear to me. Now, after watching it for the first time, I can see so much irony in it.

Elliott Smith, one of the artists whose music is prominently featured in the film, died after many years of telling friends and family he wanted to end his own life. His death was under mysterious circumstances (Read more about it Here). His music continues to live on.

The message of the movie is one of understanding, forgiveness, love, hope, and about reaching your full potential. If you haven’t seen it in a while, get it out. Dust it off. And watch it.

You missed something.

Someone I respect a great deal is Stephen Fry. I want to share a short discussion with him as he talks about his own battle with depression. It’s real. It’s treatable. And this post may actually save someone’s life. I hope you’ll share the video and the others I’ve posted about depression. There is help. Just don’t lose hope.

Here’s the poem he mentions – by Dorothy Parker

Resume

Razors pain you
Rivers are damp
Acids stain you
And drugs cause cramp
Guns aren’t lawful
Nooses give
Gas smells awful
You might as well live.

~ Dorothy Parker, poet

For Help in the USA:

Elliot Smith “Miss Misery

BONUS: Scene from the movieGood Will Hunting” that talks about the NSA in 1997.
I LOVE it. Hold out for something better.

Miss is Hippie Burning

August 25

If I were smoke, it would be made of this…

My musical Fuel

Margot and the Nuclear So-and-So “Broadripple Is Burning
(Sorry for the rocking boat video. It’s not mine.)

Beneath the Darkest Blues

August 24

Blue Vinyl

When I was young, I remember my grandmother, Mrs. B., had a record one of my great-uncles had recorded. It was made of thick vinyl. And was the deepest blue I’d ever seen.

And it was beautiful.

The color and the sound made me fall instantly in love with it. The uncle paid to have it made, as he played the music it recorded in a studio that was foreign to me. The record was old but it was protected by a love that never allowed it to get scratched, warped, or damaged. My grandmother loved that record. And I learned to love and appreciate it too.

Sadly, after my grandmother died, the record disappeared and was forever lost.

Some things can never be replaced.

Sometimes when something disappears, the only place it can be found is in someone’s heart. Tucked away for a rainy day. I couldn’t sing or play the song for you now, even if I tried. I was too young to realize I would one day never hear it again. What I do remember is that it was a folksy-blues song with instruments so bold, they reached out and touched me and crawled beneath my skin – where they’d stay forever.

It was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Ocean” that I read today that caused the memory of that old, blue record to come flooding back over me like a giant wave. I once heard someone say, “dive into a wave, don’t stand against it, and it won’t knock you down” – or something to that effect.

This is the kind of wave I welcome. Salt, and all.

The Ocean
The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.
The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.
The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves.

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, American writer

And the wine to go with these words? The full-bodied Etta James and “Stormy Weather

Strong Willed

August 23

Finally watched a movie I’ve been wanting to watch for a very long time.
More about that later.
I never got to the theatre to watch it when it was released. That was several years ago.
That’s how it goes.
Life gets in the way and you forget about those little things you were wanting to do. It’s not until something wakes you – and reminds you – of what it was you were wanting to do that you finally get around to doing it.

The movie was dedicated to Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. Two guys who hung out with my favorite author, Jack. I was surprised to see their names at the end of the movie – yet, I knew at the same time it also felt right.

Credit should be given where credit is due.

I recalled reading advice Burroughs once gave. And now I want to share it with you. It’s possibly the best advice you’ll ever hear from a wise man…

Advice for Young People

People sometime ask me I have any words of advice for young people.
And here are a few simple admonitions.

Never interfere in a boy and girl fight.

Beware of whores who say they don’t want money.
In the long run, these are the most expensive whores what can be got.

If you’re doing business with a religious son-of-a-bitch, get it in writing.
Because his word isn’t worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.

If, after having been exposed to someone’s presence,
you feel as if you’ve lost a quart of plasma, avoid that presence.
You need it like you need pernicious anemia.

We don’t like to hear the word vampire here.
We’re trying to improve our P.R.
Interdependence is the keyword.
Enlightened interdependence.

Life in all its rich variety – Take a little. Leave a little.
However, by the inexorable logistics of the vampiric process,
They always take more than they leave.

Avoid fuck-ups.
Fools, I call them.
You’ll know the type.
Everything they have anything to do with turns into a disaster.
No matter how good it may sound.
Trouble for themselves and everyone connected with them.
A fool is bad news. And it rubs off.
Don’t let it rub off on you.

Do not proffer sympathy to the mentally ill – it’s a bottomless pit.
Tell them firmly, “I am not paid to listen to this drivel. You’re a terminal fool!”

And avoid confirmed criminals.
They are a special malignant strain of fool.

~ William S. Burroughs, American writer and artist

William, in his own words

Not Beggin’ for a Pardon

August 21

Maybe I’m as vast as an ocean.
And the rest of the world is just stoned.

Sink.

Or Swim.

We are the moon.

The sky is No man’s land.

A Humble Hand.

Island… Home.

A Mermaid.

You trapped in a net…

Beneath your liquid ice.

Black Flies” by Ben Howard…

One (more) Day

August 20

A beautiful song… Listen. to. the. words.

Kodaline “One Day” – what’s it all about…

One Day lyrics

Ohhh. No.
One day it’s here
And then it’s gone
How are you still holding on?
How are you still holding on?

You’ve felt this way for far too long
Waiting for a change to come
You know you’re not the only one

And life…
Passes you by
Don’t be wasting your time
On your own

You’re always trying to see yourself
Thorough the eyes of someone else
Through the eyes of someone else
Too shy to say that you need help
You and everybody else
You and everybody else

Ohhh,
Life…
Passes you by
Don’t be wasting your time
On your own

As your heart gets bigger
And you try to figure
Out
What’s it all about

And your skin gets thicker
As you try to figure
Out
What’s it all about

Ohhh. No. Ooohhh
One day it’s here and then it’s gone.
How are you still holding on?

How are you
Still holding on.

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Me on my 10th birthday ~ A very sad day

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

~ Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

Knowing that I am about to take a journey of a thousand miles doesn’t make writing this any easier. I am about to share with you things I haven’t made public until now. I have only talked about these things with a few people I have allowed to get close enough to me over the years. I have a lot of friends but I didn’t make really good, true friends until I was much older. Growing up, life was very difficult for me. I was subjected to abuse, neglect, and things no child should have to suffer through.

I am number 7 of 8 children. Only 7 survived; 6 girls and 1 boy. They are all my half-siblings and I have another brother from a step-mother on my dad’s side. My real dad died in a car accident when I was 6 but my parents had divorced long before that. Practically from the moment I was born, my life has been a living miracle. I was raised by my grandmother, “Mrs. B” as everyone called her, for most of my life. It was the time spent with my mother that can fill the pages of a novel and which has brought me to this site, to share my life with all of you reading this.

I have often been told by those who know me and hear my story that I should write a book about my life. I have kept a journal for 31 years and consider it my therapy and believe it’s one of the reasons I have been able to deal with the demons in my past as well as I have. I guess, in a way, by writing about my experiences here, I am finally writing that book. And I am willing to share with you a lot of the things that happened but what I am not willing to share are the specific methods used to torture me as a child since I vowed to myself long ago that I would never disclose that information. I don’t want anyone reading my words to get any ideas on how to torture a child without leaving a mark.

It’s an epidemic in our society ~ One that I believe has gotten much worse since I endured it. Even though I managed to live through all of it, I have often wondered how I managed to turn out so different than my siblings ~ That one in eight ~ who went on to break the cycle of abuse, thrive, live a healthy life, and arrive at a place where I can talk about it with all of you. How is it possible that I didn’t turn out to be a criminal or an abuser? How is it possible that I have managed to be “normal” when my mother and siblings aren’t? How is it possible that I was able to move on and not dwell on what happened? How is it possible for me to talk about it now? And above all, why am I so happy?

I was told by my grandmother (my mother’s mother, Mrs. B.) that I was barely three months old when she and her husband, my grandpa Warren, drove from Idaho to an orphanage in California “to get me” and my siblings. She said they waited and waited for what seemed like hours “for the women to bring me out”. She said she didn’t think they were going to let her have me – that I had already been adopted out and they were too late – until finally one of the women brought me to my grandmother and explained that they couldn’t find any clothes for me to wear and that was the reason for the delay. To hear that I was laying in a crib naked, at three months old, somewhere in an orphanage in California, makes me shudder to this day. Of course, I was too young to remember that.

What I do remember is how happy I was while living with Mrs. B. ~ a “brown-purse-carrying-woman” who only “graduated” from the 8th grade (Girls weren’t encouraged to go beyond that grade in school during the time period she grew up in).  Undeterred by this, she managed to own her own restaurant during one time in her life. She was an amazing woman who lived to be 88 years old and whose words still echo inside my head every now and then when I am searching for wisdom ~ some of the pearls I will be sharing with you.

I’ve always felt like I was lucky and blessed throughout my life. I just didn’t realize how lucky I was until I heard Country Music Singer, Jimmy Wayne, say that only three-percent of kids who are exposed to abuse and neglect grow up to “survive and thrive” (as I call it), becoming productive members of our society ~ I didn’t realize I was a “Three-Percent Girl” until February 5, 2010. I still cannot get the words out of my head. It has taken me a month to overcome the tears and sadness and overwhelming shock I felt when I realized I was only one of THREE-percent. Three lucky pennies who have managed to pay back to society what others have lost.

This site will go on to live long after Jimmy has finished his walk from Nashville, TN, to Phoenix, AZ. I am going to be sharing with you not just what happened to me as a child, but also talk about my mentor, Fred, who is a HUGE reason I believe I survived and became such a well-rounded individual and I will be giving him an opportunity to write, in his own words, what it was like to be a mentor to me and how that happened. I am going to share with you my thoughts as I look at the world through the eyes of a three-percent girl, including articles, statistics, resources, experiences I’ve had in the past, such as volunteer work I’ve done, as well as since Jimmy has begun his Project Meet Me Halfway campaign and the sister site, ProjectMMH.org began. I’ll be sharing some of the fun things I do every day, including some of my recipes, pictures, and ideas. And of course, some good laughs (because those of you who know me from Twitter, know I can hardly keep a straight virtual face!) and since I’m an environmental scientist, I will be talking about the environment ~ which, surprisingly, ties in very neatly with the problems we are having in our world today with teen homelessness and the mission that brought Jimmy and I together, on the same path, where our two worlds collided and helped you and I meet on Twitter (something I knew nothing about until 2 months ago!).

I am new to blogging as well, so forgive me if it takes a little while for me to figure it out – I’ve been on a crash course for a few days now. I also encourage you to post a comment – which, I believe, will be hidden until I can decide how to best manage them – if you have questions. I will be happy to answer them or find the answers for you and post them in upcoming blogs. I hope this will be a two-way channel of communication since I truly believe the only way we can change the epidemic is through education and communication.

This website is a view into my world as a 3-percent Girl ~ A way of sharing with others my past, my present, my thoughts, my questions, my answers, and my adventures. It’s my desire that in some small way it may save a life or inspire “hope”.  Therefore, I hope you enjoy the walk with me… into my future

~ Leilani (who considers herself a VERY lucky girl!)

P.S. For those of you who have stumbled upon my page and want to learn more, click on the hyperlinks I’ve provided in my pages and they will guide you to more resources. Just click the back arrow on your web browser to return to my site. Don’t forget to bookmark my page too! Thanks for visiting and I hope we can one day share a cup of coffee, some good laughs, and a great conversation, face-to-face.

Hope is a waking dream” ~ Aristotle

HOW TO CONTACT ME:
Follow Me On Twitter ~ To send me a personal message, you can ask me to follow you back and then send me a DM.