Hello my Wendybirds!

I’m excited to be back in Neverland, Ohio – writing for The K-Chron.  My first book “Ask Wendy” was a success and I am now voraciously working on my second.  You can help me out by asking me any questions you’ve got (using the submission form in the sidebar) – I’ll answer some of them in my weekly column every Thursday  – and I’ll even answer some of them in a LIVE A.M.A. scheduled in a few weeks (more info to come.)

ASK WENDY – Excerpt 8

We’ve talked about a lot of things. Success, love, hardship, family, happiness, we’ve covered so much! But there’s one thing that I feel is essential to navigating the ups and downs of all of those: Integrity. Now my dear readers, my Wendigos, we know that getting to know yourself is key. But that self knowledge can give you something more valuable than a path to happiness. It gives you the tools you need to develop your integrity. Personally, I have used my love for my family and my passion for advice to shape mine. I know that I will never stand by and let harm come to those I love. I will speak my mind and offer up the best, most honest counsel I can to anyone looking for help. From years (but not too many years, mind you) of challenging myself to stay consistent with those truths, they have become the core of my integrity. And when I find myself lost at sea, surrounded by fog and uncertainty, that integrity becomes the light that puts me back on track.

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 23, 2015

ASK WENDY Excerpt 7

Have you ever been down and had someone tell you to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”? Well, unless you happen to always be wearing strappy boots…this saying doesn’t help much. Sometimes life won’t be kind my Wendigos. It’s full of break ups, rejections, tragic loss, long lines, and empty pots of coffee. Whether your problems are big or small, it can be easy to draw your curtains, curl up into a ball, and decide you’re never washing your hair again. It’s important to know how to dig yourself out of these tunnels. This comes from a certain kind of self awareness.

Do something for me. List 3 things that always make you smile…got them? I’ll bet simply picturing them in your mind made you smile a tiny bit! It’s important to know what makes us happy. For me it’s moon pies, bookstores, and an A-line dress with a great print. When I’m having a rough time I pull out one of my mood miracles and remind myself that life has downs, but they’re only in between the ups.

Of course a few little life favorites aren’t always enough. It’s important to still apply problem solving skills to whatever your facing. And if you find what your facing is simply too much, know that it’s okay to reach out and find someone to talk to.

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 16, 2015

ASK WENDY – Excerpt 6

“We accept the love we think we deserve” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The best advice I can give when people ask how to find love is to look inside. It doesn’t matter if your profile is 99% compatible, or if you spot them reading your favorite book while drinking your favorite tea. It doesn’t matter if the stars aligned and everything is perfect! If you don’t love yourself, your heart isn’t available to anyone. And your heart knows when you’re faking it. It can sense if you’re thinking “Fine. I’ll love myself just long enough to get a boyfriend, then it’s back to criticizing and self hate.”

If you’re seeking a romantic relationship because you think someone else’s love is going to replace what you deny yourself, you, my sweet friends, are in for a painful ride.

Imagine your heart is a baby kitten. What would happen if you waited for someone else to come along and give it food? Your heart-kitten might starve before you even find a partner! Not to mention, if your boyfriend or girlfriend realizes they’re the only one taking care of it, they could get tired of seeing the neglect and it might make them want to give up.

So before you can even think about getting into relationships with others, you need to start with a good relationship with you and your heart-kitten. Or heart-puppy if you happen to be allergic.

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 9, 2015

ASK WENDY – Success – Excerpt 5

We often think of success as this finish line, this conclusion, an amazing finale with fireworks and cheering and general good times. What we don’t realize is that it isn’t a conclusion at all. I’m sure you’re all expecting me to say “it’s actually a beginning”, but what I’ve realized, my Wendigos, is that it’s not quite that poetic. If you succeed on a Monday, you wake up on Tuesday and life continues. The great, new life you pictured becomes your everyday and even though you thought you never would, you get used to it. This is the stuff that movies aren’t made of, the experience of waking up having achieved a life goal and asking yourself “What now?” I must tell you, I asked myself that question this very morning. And the answer to that, for me personally, is an enthusiastic “Who knows!”. But the dialogue has been opened and I’m excited to see where it leads me.

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 2, 2015

ASK WENDY – Setbacks – Excerpt 4

Life is always amazing and everything goes according to plan and nothing bad ever happens!

If that sounded like the silliest thing you’ve ever read, good! You’re a real person! Life isn’t always amazing, things rarely go to plan, and bad things happen…a lot. It’s important to know what to do when life hands you lemons. And it ain’t making lemonade! When life hands me lemons, I take a good look at those yellow jerks and throw most of them away! Seriously, who needs that many lemons? How much lemonade could one person possibly make!? I keep a few, like a reasonable normal person amount of lemons, and the rest? Chuck ’em.

What I’m trying to say here is that it’s important to know when hard times are useful, and when they’re just keeping you down. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger my Wendigos! And there is knowledge to be gained when life kicks you down. But sometimes, you get knocked down and you just have to get back up. Not every hardship will come with a valuable lesson, but each one will come with the opportunity for you to come back harder! Sometimes after a bad day full of useless lemons, you just need to dust yourself off, put on a power dress, and hit back yelling “You can’t beat me lemons! You’re just fruit!”

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on July 26, 2015

ASK WENDY – Doubt – Excerpt 3

Doubt isn’t necessarily bad, in fact, it’s inherently healthy. It is a bi-product of fear and fear is designed to protect us, to stop us from playing with that seemingly friendly grizzly bear, from eating the wrong color berries. Doubt is essentially a precursor of fear – Is this safe? Is this right? Is this wrong? Doubt is designed to jump start our reasoning, to ask us to examine the situation and weigh the outcomes. It’s like a Stop sign. Doubt gives you pause, asks you to check both ways, and proceed with caution.

The problem is when it becomes a roadblock. We can’t allow doubt to shackle us in place. I experienced this first hand with my move to the city. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we can’t allow doubt to transform to fear and paralyze us. If I had fed into my feelings of doubt I wouldn’t have moved, wouldn’t have met my new friends, many of whom I now care for deeply, and wouldn’t be writing this book! And that would be a tragedy! (Don’t forget to recommend this book to your friends and family)

I’ve seen what can happen when you’re afraid. You plateau. You think convince yourself that the risk isn’t worth it and you deny yourself an entire world of possibilities! Some people claim to want adventure, but only in the abstract. When faced with an opportunity to actually get out there and have experiences, the doubt monster says “Whoa, whoa whoa! We don’t know what’s out there!” And instead of recognizing that that is exactly what makes it an adventure, fear takes hold and says “Let’s just stay here where it’s safe, where it’s comfortable”. When that happens, we run the risk of being left behind. And that would be a true tragedy.

 

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on July 21, 2015

ASK WENDY – Goals – Excerpt 2

Setting goals is the first step to achieving them. I know, I know that sounds utterly obvious, but let me assure you Wendigos – it is harder than it sounds! We all have dreams, and so long as they’re locked safely inside the beautiful dream box in our mind, they’re safe and unattainable. The moment you actually sit down and map out what you want, you have stepped onto the treacherous, rewarding, exhausting path to Goal Achievement.

But before we get into the ups and downs of our achieving our goals, we have to set them. To keep things simple, I like to think of three types of Goals: Short Term, Long Term, and Lifetime. Each type of goal builds and supports the other. Say you grew up wanting to be a ballerina, this is your dream, or in other words, your LIFETIME GOAL. In order to meet that goal you need to get into a great Fine Arts School, this is your LONG TERM GOAL. In order to get into a great school for dance, you need to join a class and start training; here we have your SHORT TERM GOAL.

Lifetime Goals can often seem impossible, or at least improbable.  But by breaking it down all the way to Short Term Goals, you see that getting started is much easier than you think.  Now grab your tutu and chasse’ your way to achieving your dreams!

And remember, if you’re only taking ballet lessons so you’re mother can flirt with Phillipe, the french instructor, you might be living out someone else’s dream.

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on July 14, 2015

ASK WENDY – Introduction – Excerpt 1

Hello Wendigos,

First off, I’d just like to thank you for buying this book. A lot of sweat, tears, and coffee went into it (seriously, I spilled coffee on my laptop like six times and every time I hit the spacebar it smells like a StarShucks is on fire.).

What will you find in this book, you ask? Well, hopefully some laughter, some inspiration, and most importantly some advice. Now, what makes me qualified to give advice? Simple, I make mistakes…lots and lots and lots of mistakes…and through those mistakes I cry, I get angry, I get depressed, I get knowledge. Knowledge I hope can either help you avoid the same pitfalls, or at least let you know that you aren’t alone when in them.

I learned a lot about myself writing this book. There were times where things poured out of me I didn’t know were even there…some were joyful like finding a twenty in an old coat pocket…others were more like finding a bruise on your leg that you have no idea where it came from. I found there were a lot of wounds I thought had healed that were still open, and many old demons hiding behind painting of flowers I’d hung up in my memories.

That may all sound like bad things, but let me tell you something, having finished this book I’ve never felt lighter in my whole life. So here is my first piece of advice, Wendigos, WRITE. You don’t have to be a writer or ever have any intention of putting what you write out into the world, but there is something so freeing about taking what’s inside and putting it on paper. Let the page hold your pain, remind you of your joy, and leave room inside your heart for new and wonderful.

So that’s my first piece of advice…first of many, but before you turn the page I just want to say it one more time…Thank You.

Gratefully yours,
Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on July 1, 2015

Time to Travel

DEAR WENDY DARLING,
I love your videos and I hope I could get some advice from you. What should you do if your family doesn’t approve of your career choice? I want to work in the travel industry because ever since I was a kid, I wanted to see the world. It’s what I love to do. But it just seems like my family doesn’t understand. I know they mean well but it still hurts that they’re unsupportive of your dreams.
-NIGHTSHADE

HELLO MY DARLING NIGHTSHADE,
The travel industry sounds absolutely amazing!  I myself have been traveling a lot recently and let me tell you…the world… is… INCREDIBLE!  There is so much out there to explore, see and EAT! Some of the food I’ve had has made me seriously question if I ever knew what love was before.  I may have gotten engaged to an éclair in France. Our love was short…but delicious.

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But you and I both already agree that traveling and seeing the world is AHMAZEBALLS…the problem is your family doesn’t think so. There are usually 3 main reasons family members don’t support a career choice.

1). They think it’s unstable and you won’t be able to support yourself on it!

This is the problem faced by many people, especially those who want to pursue a career in the arts.)

2). They are worried it’s dangerous.

My brother Michael once said he wanted to join the army…my mother was a hysterical wreck at the thought of her baby boy in harms way.

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Luckily, Michael’s short-term memory is…lacking…and he quickly forgot he wanted to join the army and decided he wanted to be a “guy that trains dogs to do cool stuff like…stuff…that’s cool.”

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3). They think the job will take you away.

Which the job you want will literally do just that!

The travel industry is a pretty stable and decent paying career…so I don’t think it’s #1.  Now, travel can be dangerous, so there could be a bit of #2 in the mix.  However, I’m going to put my money on #3.  I’m betting you and your family are pretty close, and they don’t like the idea of you being so far away so often. In a lot of ways, it’s very sweet…BUT…it’s also not their life.  In their heart of hearts they want you to be happy, and if working in travel makes you happy, then in the end (even if they don’t like it now) they will accept what you do and be proud of you (but in the beginning maybe snag them awesome souvenirs from your travels to let them know you’re thinking about them…and call home regularly!) Remember, life is a short and precious gift, and doing anything less than what makes you happy is a waste of that gift.

Till next time My Darlings!

ALWAYS YOURS,
WENDY

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Posted in Ask Wendy, Dear Darling
Posted on August 15, 2014

Put That Fear On Its Rear

DEAR WENDY DARLING,
Your videos are amazing but I had a question. I am actually afraid of growing up and getting out into the world, and you seem like you are really excited to get out there, so how do you do it?  Have the guts to get out there and try new things I mean?
SINCERELY,
CAT

HI CAT!
Thanks you so much! I’m so glad you like my videos!  Oooh, trust me there is nothing easy about growing up and getting out there and trying new things. In fact, I’ve found that all the biggest decisions in life come with a nice side of doubt and fear.  For me, I use the fear as a motivator, as a challenge, as a dare! Instead of letting it hold me down I let it propel me forward.

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But really, My Darling, in the end it comes down to what makes you happy.  I have people in my life who are completely happy living the same way day in and day out… and they’ve shown me that there is nothing wrong with that because they are HAPPY!  Me, I need to try new things, see new sites, to push myself and experience the unknown to truly be happy.  Life is short and it is precious and you shouldn’t waste it either pursuing or not pursuing things that don’t bring you joy.  If you find something that will make you happy, even if you know it’s a big and scary change, I promise you that you’ll find the strength to go for it.
UNTIL NEXT TIME, MY DARLINGS!

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Posted in Ask Wendy, Dear Darling
Posted on August 5, 2014

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