Instagram > Reality

I was stupid-ish for thinking I’d be okay post-procedure. Pain that is complex, high fevers, stomach related issues, and where did all these bruises come from? Is life even worth it? I often ask myself this question. I struggle every second of every day to survive in tact. This is NOT the life I signed up for. 😔

How many people will read that and think the polar opposite of what I mean? Don’t think at all; yes, I’m serious. Just listen.

In the past dozen or so years, I’ve been through hell and back. I have the scars (physical, mental, and emotional) and ashes to prove it. I don’t sugarcoat pain, regardless of the form. I’m extremely transparent about it. Mostly because, pretty words don’t make liars any less ugly. Ten people will be analyzing that statement to death; the texts and email accusations will start ten minutes after this is posted. 😒

I’ve questioned everything my entire life. Not important moments or decisions, but the difficult “in between” phases that many women pretend do not exist. Maybe for them, they don’t. 🤷Denial is a coping mechanism for many, but so is alcohol. Who knows, really. We are all different, and for good reason.

I don’t take drugs. I rarely drink. I’m not boring, but I’m also not typical. The things that matter to me don’t matter to 95% of the people I know, and G-d Bless them for being so uninitiated. 🙄 Every person who has preached how enlightened they are is living in such a state of bullshit, it’s not even funny. Why can’t you admit you DON’T have your shit together and that life is not a fairytale? Why is everyone SO committed to “Instagram > Reality”? I’ll never be able to fathom this particular thought process.

A friend of mine recently confessed to “taking a break from social media”. She truly believes that everyone else is “living their best life” and she’s stuck, suffering. I broke it down and explained it to her from an extremely honest perspective. If you’ve got to brag about it via social media; it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I know people who’ve been married 3-4 times since I first became friends with them. I’ve been best friends with each of my best friends longer than all of those marriages combined, yet people are desperate to post photos on a  constant basis.

How many engagement rings do you need to show the world? How many wedding cakes and wedding dresses do you REALLY need to see from the same person in 5-10 years? No, I am not “asking for a friend”, I’m just being honest.

I encourage people to live their lives OFF of social media. I, myself, question whether or not to share a thought, photos, happy moments, positive things, etc. Nine times out of ten, I send the photos to my best friend, we talk about the happy moments (and the bad. We don’t bullshit each other. I talk to her almost daily. My other best friend is going through a LOT at the moment, and I feel like the best thing to do is let her know she’s ALWAYS got my support, no matter what, but I also know she needs to be able to focus. I’ve been there and have lived it, so I take nothing away from her. She didn’t stop being my best friend.), and I don’t publicly share any of those things.

The other day, a lady asked if I’d take a photo of her with her grandson. I was only too happy to oblige. She immediately confessed, “I’m not allowed to show his face.” I said, “There are apps that allow you to have a great photo, and still protect him while he’s so young.” She kept trying to cover his face with her hair, but, like most babies, he was obsessed with me (Have I written about this before?) and wasn’t interested in her hair until the end. She got about five or six great photos for herself and others for social media purposes, but honestly, I’m all for protecting a baby. 👍

Someone stated almost a year ago that I am both a “public figure” AND an extremely private individual. I don’t consider myself a “public figure” at all. The first time a family member used that turn of phrase, out of concern for my physical safety, I nearly laughed until I cried because the expression sounded utterly preposterous. The sentiment was of a genuine nature. She was concerned that I’d be targeted for writing the truth in such an “in your face” manner.. I remember my response was, “They can TRY. I’m trained to take someone out, if need be.” This required further explanation because this person’s fears are SO great, the concept of physically fighting back was not something she had ever considered. It wouldn’t occur to her to fight back with words, either. 😔 As a result, I encouraged her to take some self-defense classes and/or Krav Maga, especially if she was going to keep saying she “doesn’t like guns”. You don’t have to like or love any instrument, tool, or experience that is the difference between your life and death, but you shouldn’t be ignorant, either. Women should know how to protect themselves, and pray daily that you NEVER have to utilize the training. 

I do bite, but I think it’s all in how I’m approached. If you saw someone walking around blatantly publicizing my work (via merchandise, like a t-shirt or phone case), and you wondered if it was me, a normal person would probably just come up and ask. I *almost* ordered a customized case last year as a promotional tool before replacing my phone, but if you’ve got to think about it for six months, it’s okay to pass. I might do it when I upgrade.

I have hundreds of ideas involved with my writing and the expansion of my work, but I know when to make a move and I also know when a promotional move looks completely desperate or pathetic. I’m many things, good and not so good, but I’m NOT an attention seeker.

Weeks ago, I noticed an awful lot of bragging from someone in my acquaintance circle. After rolling my eyes (A LOT. I’m not going to lie. This person gives off SUCH a fake vibe to me, and honestly, I’ve tried figuring out why, but I can’t. Once I detect that a person isn’t authentic, I don’t invest additional time into them. Your first instinct is almost always the right one.), I decided to do a little homework. If it was legit, I would be supportive and cheer this person on (a little), but I ended up having a good laugh, sadly enough. I was utterly wowed by the stupidity. Instead of the “achievement” being 110% authentic, I quickly learned it’s smoke and mirrors. 🙄 I CANNOT support a lie. It’s a costly decision, and to each their own, but that’s not going to be something I will support. It definitely falls into the “Instagram > Reality” mindset. The grass might appear lush and oh, SO, green, but the reality is this, it’s been fertilized with epic amounts of manure. 

I know how easily people fall into the trap of following one over the other. It stems from monotony and unhappiness that, all too often, is not discussed. Reality is something people now think of as “television entertainment”, as opposed to me smacking them in the head and saying, “No. Your LIFE is reality, not an image or having an outlandish imagination.” If I smacked more people, this world would do a total 360 quickly. It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever had. 😉

There will be people who love what I’ve written here, and others will get upset and/ or have hurt feelings. I’m good with both because I know what reality is.

I don’t have time for bullshit. I have time for authenticity, for pausing before I do something publicly, and I have time to say, “This is who I am. I haven’t changed. I’ve grown 🌱, but my core values and message, no, that has not changed.” I’m going to remain my mother’s daughter, and I’m beyond good with that. 💜

Which do you prefer? Instagram or the truth?

© 2019 by Lisa Marino and Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Characters Within A Book

“The characters within a book were, from a certain point of view, identical on some fundamental level ‒ there weren’t any images of them, no physical tangibility whatsoever. They were pictures in the reader’s head, constructs of imagination and ideas, given shape by the writer’s work and skill and the reader’s imagination. Parents, of a sort.” ―Jim Butcher

If you haven’t read any of Jim’s books, start with STORM FRONT.

Aches, Pain, and Shooting Stars


It is unbearably difficult to move today. Everything hurts ten times worse than it did yesterday. 😦 The only non-painful part of my body are my toenails. That is sad, at least from where I’m sitting. Pain like this is torture and no decent human-being should be forced to live like this. I’m not stating that others should live like this, I’m just making a distinction. Unfortunately, some people bring a different set of horrors into their lives through their actions and behavior, but I digress.

I should physically shutdown for the day. I’ve already taken some pain relievers and I am trying to stay out of all rooms that whisper my name and give me packing ideas, or tell me how I’ve failed at completing every single task. I’ve intentionally left the boxes downstairs and the packing tape upstairs, because if they’re not in the same room as one another, it means trekking downstairs to get the boxes and quite frankly, my knee is in deep protest. All I can emotionally and physically manage today is giving myself a break. Maybe I’ll pack a few boxes tonight during the baseball game, but in the meantime, I need to stop.

The back and forth craziness that is the current weather is making my allergies insane. It’s so warm out today, you’d never know it was nearly the end of October. The leaves are changing color at a rapid pace. A few days ago one of my favorite trees was green and lush, but now the leaves are a deep shade of eggplant. That’s the color they’ll remain until becoming a vibrant crimson. I will miss that tree.


Tonight is the Orionid Meteor Shower. Don’t forget to make a wish if you happen to see a shooting star. I still remember the first time I saw one. Growing up in New York City, seeing a sky full of stars was rare, but the first shooting star was an amazing sight. I’ve seen other amazing things since leaving, but I still have a deeply profound respect for shooting stars, and rainbows. They will always be treasured things of beauty.

My birthday is next week, just in time for the Full Moon. I hope I’m able to enjoy one day to myself during all this madness because I guarantee that crunch time will be extra-crunchy. Thankfully, it is boosting my creativity and giving me a multitude of new ideas that I had been waiting to suddenly smack me upside the head. Soon, I’ll be back to filling pages, notebooks, and drying out all the “good pens” as I make huge pots of soup to fuel me through the cold.

Getting there is a battle. I just want to be in one piece when all is said and done.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


10 Things People Say


One of the best things I’ve ever heard (and I mean this in a truly sarcastic way) is “I’ve been out of work for eight years, so I taught myself how to write.” Really? For the record: I was taught better English and sentence structure in nursery school than this person has at 45, which just plain scares me.

Anyone has the ability to put words on paper or words on a computer screen. That’s a simple fact. However, having the talent to tell a story is an entirely different thing.

Writing is writing, but publishing is a business. Some of the best things I’ve read are from self-published authors who, many years later, were able to get published traditionally. Some of the most amazing stories I’ve read were written by people who wrote for the sheer pleasure of writing and never got their story published. Hell, I’ve read 2000 word blog posts that were more intelligently written than a great many New York Times Best Sellers I’ve been tormented by. Chances are, you have too.

Don’t ever let anyone belittle your ideas OR your talent. A word of advice; don’t share your ideas or your work with anyone until it’s finished and always, ALWAYS make sure that your work is copyrighted before you share it. Many people will not hesitate to steal your ideas, re-package them on your own, and be on bookshelves before you’re finished with your final draft. This happens to people, so I cannot encourage other enough to keep things close to their heart if they place true value upon their work.