"It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things." Theodore Roosevelt

Time heals most wounds. As I progress further into adulthood those words ring true. Much of the things that used to bother me, be on my mind, or take up my time don't anymore simply because most of them are temporary. Temporary issues warrant a proportionate response, oftentimes acknowledging it exists, and minimizing it. Oftentimes issues truly get blown out of proportion when with a little bit of time their impact is short-lived. If things only last a little while then those things really don't need to matter that much. Having more time to focus on what does matter means making the most of that time in the best of ways. Happiness by way of healing I am realizing happens when I'm not paying attention. One day heaviness is on my heart, I process through it, learn from it, and depart from it, but still a bit of weight remains, at …


"An apology offered and, equally important, received is a step towards reconciliation and, sometimes, recompense. Without that process, hurts can rankle and fester and erupt into their own hatreds and wrongdoings." Margaret MacMillan

Stop apologizing for the harm other people cause you. Stop forgiving people before they have done the work to ask for it or to change. Stop letting well-meaning people or “good intentions” dismiss their impact. It’s their job to own their impact; not yours to rationalize it away. Hold people accountable for their actions and their impact. People don't get to barrel through lives or the world without being prompted to look back and see what they've left in their wake. When we don't address the harm and its cause we deny ourselves healing, and closure, and let someone continue their behavior without knowledge of its impact. If we care about people, particularly those close to us, we will hold them accountable. We are obligated to help t…


"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." Maya Angelou
Being perceived as intimidating is an interesting conundrum. Especially as someone who is hyper-aware of the narratives being projected onto, and around the identities I hold are. Much of my conscious time is spent doing all in my power to lessen my "intimidation" factor. Is intimidation necessarily a synonym for fear - not always - but in the context of me, I have found that people have remarked, once they had the opportunity to know me, that they were afraid to speak to me. Read in to that as much as you would like with what identity dynamics be at play. I smile more than I need to, even the pitch of my voice oscillates to a kinder tone for the appeasement of others, and the list goes on and on. As of late though, a new version of intimidation has been applied as an unwanted label to me, and I imagine many of those who share some of my qualities. People will comment that I'm intim…


"Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude." Dale Carnegie

I'm learning how to be happy. I have seen it depicted in so many ways, but all of those never seemed to quite be the right fit for me. People all around me seem happy - seem being the operative word there - but I know happiness can oftentimes be a rarity, or at least a fleeting feeling. Is it supposed to last or be sustained? Is happiness a normal state of being? I don't really know yet. I have found happiness to be a soft smile or a smirk. Happiness for me is a deep breath in that fills my lungs followed by a big exhale. It's being in awe of the world around me for this moment of existential surrealism. It feels like warmth - like wafting aroma of freshly baked bread, the fizz of ginger ale leaping over ice cubes, a gentle breeze billowing through leaves, and the two-tone notes of starting a Netflix binge. Happiness to me is not necessarily excited, joy,…


"Grace has been defined as the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul." William Hazzlitt

People are trying their best, most of the time. Give them grace. That applies to us as well - we deserve the grace that we give to others. If we hold that to be true then that changes the way that we interact with others. Instead of a place of hostility, judgement, and criticism, we get to respond to people with compassion, empathy, and kindness. When we slow down, take a second to breathe, and hold our tongues before responding with haste we create a chance to do something significant - give grace. It's that one moment of pause that makes all the difference. Pausing breaks up the breakneck speeds at which we communicate, or rather talk at one another. Pausing disrupts the instantaneous replies that we have formulated in our heads, it sidetracks the pending rebuttals, and it forces us to be fully present take in what someone has shared with us. Pausing forces us to be th…


“Consistent positive self-talk is unquestionably one of the greatest gifts to one's subconscious mind.”  Edmond Mbiaka

Something amazing has happened. Something about me has changed. Something significant has occurred. The most striking part is that it's slowly happened over time, and I am just now realizing that it has. I am calm. For the first time in my life my normal state is chill. I have spent my life, so long as I can remember, nervous, slightly anxious, and constantly worried about other people; what they thought of me, how I was showing up, and their experience of me. My regular state was always slightly below a panic, heart racing, sweaty armpits, body tense. My inner dialogue was the other me telling me that I was being weird, asking why I was so awkward, questioning if I deserved to be where I was, concerned if someone would figure me out, and afraid that I was not safe. Perpetual fear is not a way to live. My moments of peace were few, and far between. Alone I have…


"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

I am useful. I constantly worry about being useful. I wonder if people only keep me around because I am specifically useful to them. I think about all the messages I received over the years about what makes me worthwhile and what others have seemingly responded most positively to is my utility. It's an odd thing to say but the more I mull it over that's how I feel. I'm a tool to be used to solve issues. I'm a fixer. I make things better. I improve other people's lives. I say what needs to be said. I am the cure. I am a remedy. I am the mirror to reflect on. I am the prompter to ask the questions that create substantive change. I am the secret weapon. I am the one that brings you out a funk. I am the one that you turn to first. I am the one that is dependable. I am the one that drops everything to prioritize peopl…