ten years

Ten years ago this summer, I took a massive career risk when I left teaching to become a full-time author.

I only had one book out at the time, with absolutely no idea if my future books would sell, or how many books I would have published. But I refused to let fear prevent me from creating my dream bigger life. Failure was not an option.

And now today, because of you, we have all of this.

Ten years of books by Susane Colasanti

THANK YOU. Thank you for making this life possible. None of this would be possible without my readers, the most dedicated, passionate, caring readers in the world. You are why I write. You are why I keep hope alive every single day.

Whatever your big dream is, don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way from bringing it to life. Never, ever, ever give up.

Much love.

xoxo-
Susane

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the wonder years

The Wonder Years was my truth in high school. My rock. That half hour it was on every Tuesday or Wednesday night at 8:00 or 8:30 was my favorite half hour of the whole week. My happy place. My sacred time to connect with characters who were my people. A time for the brilliant tone and nuances and writing of that show to break down the walls of my loneliness and depression. I felt validated. I felt understood.

Back then there was no Netflix. No binge watching. You had to wait a week for another ep of your show to come on, and the next day at school all your friends were talking about it. While I love a good binge, I appreciate that my lifetime is spanning both realms of technological advancement so I got to experience old-school TV and the freedom to watch more than one ep of any given show at a time. Patience was required back in the day. Instant gratification was not a thing. There was wonder in waiting a whole week for the next ep of your show to come on. There is always a kind of beauty in anticipation.

But. Now it is 2017, and The Wonder Years is on Netflix. And I’m pretty sure I set a world record for fastest binge watch ever.

Mainly because I wanted to see how adult me would react to the show vs. teen me. I wanted to see if the show still felt as powerful as it did 25 years ago. Also because I never saw the last two seasons. I left for college after Season 4 and haven’t had a TV since (I watch Netflix on my laptop). I was beyond stoked that such an old show, my favorite show, had these unseen lost eps which made those two seasons a new show for me. Fresh eps! One of the first details I noticed was everyone’s glasses. Season One takes place in 1968, when everyone was apparently wearing the square and round glasses that are in (back in, dig that cyclical trend) today. So there was that thing when you realize your new glasses in 2017 are straight out of The Wonder Years circa 1968.

The Wonder Years, Paul Pfeiffer

Rewatching those eps that I cherished in high school plus the lost eps I’d never seen before, all those same feels came rushing back at me like it was 1989 all over again. And new things too, like how Kevin’s parents seemed so old at the time, but now they’re my age. Mind. Blown. I mean, I can’t imagine having three kids in high school and college. My life plan in high school was to get married in my early 20s and have two kids before 30. But I’m grateful the Universe guided me down the path I was truly meant to take. Now I feel like I wanted those things because that was my impression of the only acceptable life a person could have to be considered normal. Fortunately I realized that being weird and happy was more important. Like Ellen DeGeneres said, “As long as you stay true to exactly who you are, you will be rewarded in ways that you can’t imagine.”

Out of respect for 1973, the year The Wonder Years world came to an end and the year I was born, I will end with lyrics from “Bookends” from memory. Not googled. Just what my heart remembers. One of the things I adore about this show is the soundtrack. They feature several Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel songs, songs I played in my room constantly in high school. With the exception of a few bands like The Cure and R.E.M., my musical tastes were one generation removed. Paul Simon, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Cat Stevens…that was my music. “Bookends” is a short, poignant song that intensifies with age. This is how I remember it. And them.

Time it was, and what a time it was
It was
a time of innocence
a time of confidences.

Long ago, it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you.

The Wonder Years

the search for everything

Today is the day, John Mayer fans.

The Search for Everything is out in the world.

As John Mayer’s biggest fangirl, my search for everything ended on February 25, 2010 when I scored impossible front row center seats to his Madison Square Garden show. One of my favorite activities is making the impossible possible. And that was the best. night. EVER.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

I’m celebrating today by kicking it old-school with a mix of Room for Squares / Heavier Things combined with the new album. Our attention spans are so short now (8 seconds on average, while the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds) that artists are releasing singles in waves before albums because few us of can handle an entire album anymore. Part of me aches with nostalgia for the days when a new album would be released and everyone would go buy it, then take it home and listen to all the songs together. Hearing those songs for the first time, all of them in an order that meant something, was the biggest rush. An album release was something to look forward to. Something to cherish. Something to share with your friends.

But another part of me appreciates that JM released “Love on the Weekend” first. I grooved to his classic musical sound, euphoric that he was connecting to his roots full-circle. Then Wave One came out with “Moving On and Getting Over,” a super fresh jammer, and Wave Two brought us “Still Feel Like Your Man” and “Emoji of a Wave,” a song that always makes me tear up. John Mayer has been playing the soundtrack of my life since 2001, and The Search for Everything brings that history home.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

Oh yeah. I was pretty much sitting on John Mayer’s lap that night. That thing where there are fifteen thousand people in the room but it just feels like the two of you? Is something I’d never experienced before and probably will never experience again.

Which is why I remember that concert so clearly. The pure euphoria of making my big front row center dream reality. Finally there was nothing between us. No heads getting in the way of my pictures. No arms in the air obscuring my view. Jumping up and down to “Bigger Than My Body” as John smiled right at me, knowing that I totally understood every nuance of that song. The charged rush of “No Such Thing.” The swoony spell of “Assassin.” Putting my camera away during “3 x 5” out of respect. Every time I hear those songs, I am right back there with John again.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

Wondering how I made the impossible possible? You can read my blog post from 2010 here.

Wishing you sweet karma for the ultimate concert experience of your dreams, friendly neighbors. Rock on ❤

big talk

Small talk has never been my thing. Before I forced myself to get better at it so I wouldn’t die of boredom at cocktail parties where I didn’t know anyone, I totally dreaded any situation that would require the meaningless fluff and filler of small talk.

I swore that if one more person asked me the top two small talk questions:

“What do you do?”
“Where are you from?”

I would retaliate with questions that were meaningful and actually interesting to explore, thus encouraging some kind of genuine connection between us, like one of these:

“What’s your biggest dream?”
“On a scale of 1 to 10, how has your week been and why?”

These deeper questions aren’t serious enough to make people run screaming from me at parties, but are authentic enough to actually inspire a real conversation that isn’t a complete waste of time.

I didn’t want to make small talk anymore. I wanted to make big talk. But I didn’t know what to call it until Kalina Silverman gave a super impressive TED Talk. Kalina wanted to go out of her way to meet new people and skip the small talk, to have deeper conversations, and make more meaningful connections with them. So she created Big Talk, an initiative that inspires people to focus on what matters in this world. For her Big Talk video, Kalina asked strangers these big talk questions:

“What do you want to do before you die?”
“What would you do today if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?”

The results were magnificent.

Spread the big talk love, friendly neighbors ❤

serendipity day

Happy Serendipity Day! Every year on December 20, I repost my annual Serendipity Day reflections to celebrate the power of this auspicious day with you. Here’s to positive energy, following your heart, and the magic of soul mates. Much love xoxo

*

Today is Serendipity Day, aka Serendipity Do Da, aka Do Da Day.

You would probably like an explanation.

If you didn’t see the movie Serendipity, then not to be bossy? But you really need to go ahead and do that. It’s all about fate and destiny and positive energy and has some amazing New York City scenes. Films like Serendipity take city love to a whole other level. But even if you did see it, you probably didn’t pick up on the fact that Jonathan and Sara meet on December 20. Being obsessive about those kinds of details, I totally did. Then I immediately made an executive decision that December 20 will always and forever be known as Serendipity Day.

When they meet, Jonathan and Sara are in Bloomingdale’s trying to grab the same pair of gloves. You know how sometimes you meet someone and there’s this instant intense connection? That’s what happens to them. So of course they can’t just go their separate ways. They have to go to Serendipity 3 (which is only a few blocks away – love the accuracy) for frozen hot chocolates. And then they go ice skating in Central Park. It’s one of those magical New York nights, filled with excitement and possibility.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Serendipity

But then.

When Jonathan writes down his number for Sara, the wind blows it away. She thinks it’s a sign that they’re not meant to be together. Or at least, not right now. She’s all about fate and destiny. So she makes him write his name and number on the back of a five-dollar bill, which she immediately uses to buy mints. Sara’s idea is that if the five-dollar bill makes its way back to her, then they’re meant to be together.

Good, right?

If you’ve read Something Like Fate, you can understand why I love this movie. I love it so much that my friend Joe and I used to celebrate Serendipity Day by reenacting the original Serendipity Day’s events. First, we put our names in at Serendipity. There’s usually a three-hour wait for a table around the holidays. I am not exaggerating. Serendipity is a gorgeous winter wonderland right now, all sparkly lights and trees and tinsel. Everyone wants in. But it was perfect because we needed those three hours to reenact scenes from the movie. We would head over to Bloomingdale’s, where we both grabbed a pair of gloves at the same glove counter. That counter doesn’t have gloves anymore so we had to bring the gloves over from the gloves section, but it still counted. Then it was off to Wollman Rink in Central Park. It was always the Coldest Night Ever when we did this. I don’t know how to ice skate, so we would kind of just stand there shivering and watching the glittery skyline and sending positive energy out into the Universe.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Wollman Rink in Central Park

 

Then our table was ready at Serendipity 3 and it was frozen hot chocolate time! In the movie, Jonathan and Sara get red and blue straws in theirs. But we always got regular straws. So I asked about the red and blue ones. I was monumentally disappointed to discover that they don’t have those red and blue straws anymore. But then I got over myself because their frozen hot chocolate is the best in the world, regardless of straw color.

If Joe and I were at a point in our lives where we were single, we would each take out a five-dollar bill and write our name and number on the back (in red pen for accuracy). Then we’d give the bills to the waiter as part of his tip. Not that anyone ever called us. But that’s not the point. The point is that we put positive energy out there. We made a choice to create more possibility for finding true love. Anything is possible here in New York. This city makes magical things happen when you take action to work towards your goals.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager, reunited

How can you celebrate Serendipity Day if you’re not here in New York? Well, if you are already with your soul mate you can make frozen hot chocolates and call it a day. But if you are still searching, send positive energy out into the Universe today. Take some time to write down your goals. Visualize what you want your love life to be like. Then make a plan to take steps every day towards finding your person. All of these actions will help you get closer to turning your big dream into reality.

Oh, and PS? Serendipity 3 is also home of the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, served in a Baccarat crystal goblet (which you get to take home), made with the world’s most expensive chocolate, and covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf. Just in case you weren’t sure what to order.

Golden Opulence Sundae at Serendipity

Happy Serendipity Day, friendly neighbors! Go make magic happen.

help wanted 5 – fear

TGIM! Here’s some Monday Motivation from me to you.

Is there a big dream you want to make reality, but fear is stopping you from following your heart? Do you want to break out of a bad situation you’re stuck in, a negative group of friends, a job you don’t like, or habits that make you feel worse about yourself? My Help Wanted 5 video is all about overcoming fear to create your dream life.

Fear is like an indicator pointing you toward a better life. Breaking out of your comfort zone will allow you to make the big changes necessary to improve your life immensely. Here’s how you can start turning your dreams into reality right now!


Stay gold, friendly neighbors ❤

rock the vote

I want to tell you about my first time.

My first time had issues with mechanics. I didn’t really know how anything worked. But there were instructions in explicit detail. So those helped.

There was too much background noise. It was hard to concentrate. Climate control was a problem. It was too hot…or maybe I was just nervous.

As part of the YA community’s #firstvote16 initiative, I made a video telling you all about my first time…VOTING.


Thanks to E. Lockhart and team
for organizing this fantastic Rock the Vote campaign! You can register to vote here and join the convo about your first time on Twitter with #firstvote16.

Do it. Share how you feel about someone special…with the whole world!