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Who is this cheerful, exhuberant person who has been saying hi to everyone he sees as if he's happy to see them and has a positive, optimistic outlook? And what has he done with the real Derek, who we all know is whiny and paranoid and reserved? And how long will this new Derek stick around? Is he just riding a wave of euphoria that will soon enough peter out, or is this a more permanent change in his outlook and demeanor?

Speaking of which, I am going to make a determined effort to remove the word "can't" from my vocabulary. Really, I've always quoted the "there's nothing you can't accomplish if you set your mind to it" line, but I guess I haven't believed it enough lately. Well, knowing others have accomplished far more with far greater obstacles in their way, I know I just haven't tried hard enough. So no more "can't"!

I'm going to the New Balance Factory Store tonight to buy a new pair of running shoes. I have been thinking for the past 3 years that I can't run long-distance anymore because of my patellar tendinitis. Bullshit! I certainly can if I am committed enough -- I just have to be smart and dedicated in my approach. So I am going to go invest in a pair of good running shoes and start running again.

And I'm going to go to England and I'm going to sing my best for Pollard. And I am going to have a career in singing, whatever form that may take. And I will leave this job I despise and will make due financially. And I will get out of this rut, and I will start living life again. I just have to shut out all the negative voices -- I cannot afford to make room for the negative -- and allow myself to have faith that I can accomplish that which I feel drawn to.

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