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Catalyst

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"Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us - and those around us - more effectively. Look for the learning."  Louisa May Alcott
We are all the main characters of our own life stories. What happens when we're not quite the protagonist and instead overrun by the supporting cast, the "Big Bad" villains, or the pervasive locale as its own character? We must be central to our own narratives AND we have to get out of own stories to realize that every single person has a story just as complex, full, and nuanced as ours. That's a bit difficult to wrap our heads around. If we are the center of our solar system with overlapping components from other celestial bodies then everyone else is also positioned as the center to their own galaxy and universes. How do we depart from our home star base to visit those of others around us? What does it take for us to get out of our own heads and to send out a sea…

After

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"Real strength has to do with helping others." Fred Rogers

Cannot believe I'm writing my annual birthday blog post. What a year it has been. What a year it really has been. What a year it has been. This has been the worst year of my life, and there's no spinning it. The loss was too great. The impact was too pervasive. The devastation was too life-changing. It's so challenging to properly weigh the scales on evaluating the most surreal year of my life. My mom passed away. Everything in my head is organized into the before, and then there's the after. It's the jumping off point. It's the reset. If there's no acknowledgement of that, there's nothing for us to talk about. Everything from that morning (5:03AM) forward has been different. Everything from that point on is just the aftermath of the biggest heartbreak of my lifetime to date. 
Everything is just the falling action from a climax that should have never came. How could this be my life story…

Alabaster

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You can love what you see in the mirror, but you can't self-esteem your way out of the way the world treats you.” Gabrielle Union
Who is attractive? Some people might say that attraction is subjective but that's only partially correct. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder AND the beholder is beholden to their own socialization. Attraction then is largely a product of socialization. We live in a world of whiteness. Whiteness is centered, celebrated, and colonizing all around us. We've boarded a runaway train with half-hearted attempts to get off. Ever-since the creation of race (more on that here), whiteness has been the ideal. That's what happens when you arbitrarily select yourself as the permanent "best." That's literally what early white supremacists did. White people gestured at as the most beautiful, the smartest, the strongest, the most advanced, etc. We live in a not quite so different world in 2020 where both white people and people of color alike …

Numb

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"There are times when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don't seem to help." Fred Rogers



I don't feel anything. I should feel more.
Everything is just kind of empty. Ya know, or maybe you don't know. It may be an odd thing to say but I haven't felt the emotion of anger in such a long time. I cannot even the remember the last time I was genuinely mad about anything. There's no rage just beneath the surface. There's no ferocity waiting to come out. There's no burning desire to burn everything down. I'm fine, and that's the problem. I'm just fine. Not great. Not horrible. Just in the middle of meh. To me it's so clear how fundamentally different I am now. After what happened I've changed. I don't know how other people cannot see it. Who I was before no longer exists. I'm a person transformed by, touched by, and most visibly marked by death. I am bathed in it. I smell of it. It's right behind my eyes that hav…

Candid

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"The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile." "Try your best to make goodness attractive. That's one of the toughest assignments you'll ever be given." Fred Rogers


Truth, above all else. I am reminded more and more how often people look to us to set the tone of our conversations. It is only when we "lead" by example that people can do the same. All it takes is us being brave for one moment so the people we're looking to connect with can be empowered to also release their truths. Often what we really want to say is just below the surface, and all of us are well aware of it but hesitate long enough for the moment to pass. The thing is there's not just one moment for us to speak with candor. Those moments can be infinite if we choose them to be.

We don't necessarily have to wait for the right time; we can make our own. Hell, we can even tee-up our "big" moment of vu…

Refresh

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"People who smile while they are alone used to be called insane, until we invented smartphones and social media.” Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Another week of quarantine life. Who would have thought this would be our lives? I went on spring break from my second semester of law school, and just never went back. Suddenly I, along with the rest of the world, was sequestered at home for the foreseeable future. Each day I spend some intentional time grounding myself in reality. This physical distancing still feels surreal in some ways. More and more I'm spending more time in the virtual realities of Zoom class sessions + hangouts, Facetime calls, texts, DMs, social media, video games, and on, and on. The entire concept of limiting screentime has gone out the window. I can't quite be content living vicariously so I do my best to bridge the gap between my two realities. I'm doing what I can to make this mundane. I'm ensuring that I still feel. I'm keeping my head on straight b…

Kenopsia

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"Love is like infinity: You can't have more or less infinity, and you can't compare two things to see if they're 'equally infinite.' Infinity just is, and that's the way I think love is, too." Fred Rogers

Kenopsia - n.  - the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs. (Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows).




This is a weird time. I feel like there's competing feelings raging inside me. I think it's worthwhile for me to share what I've been contemplating. I'm back in remote classes for the remainder of my semester of school. It's been an adventure to say the least, but in some ways I am grateful to have access to education, and to …