"Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” Brene Brown

I saw a tweet the other day that stopped me in my tracks and made my jaw drop. How could someone so succinctly summarize this seemingly convoluted concept I had rattling around in my head. She said, "Americans are really good at acute compassion, but pretty bad at chronic empathy. We without questions, haul strangers out a raging flood, give blood, give shelter. But we are lousy at legislating safe, sustainable communities, at eldercare, at accessible streets and buildings. It is the long-term work that makes the disasters less damaging. But we don't want to give to the needy, we want to save the endangered. We don't like being care workers, we want to be heroes. The world does not need more heroes.  We need more care." Sigrid Joy Ellis

We struggle with sustained care. We want to fly in, save…


“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”Fred Rogers

You know who is awe-inspiringly human ... kids. Children are the most remarkable embodiment of what humanity can be. What would our world look like if we sought to emulate the humanity of children? We have our humanity tamed as we grow older. Children are carefree, fearless, and zany. They show affectionate readily, communicate candidly, and ask questions. Their curiosity for the world around them is their greatest asset. Kids are weird. They do things without reason but also have this profound worldview that is less clouded by socialization. They don't hold back for better or worse. They cry, express joy, laugh a whole lot, and feel their feelings. They can be so human it hurts. 

We used to be …


"The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough." Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am tired. I am absolutely exhausted. I am completely depleted. I don't think I have ever felt this tired in the entirety of my life. There's something distinctly about the tiredness I'm experiencing as of late. It's not just that my body feels unrested regardless of how much I sleep, it's the general lethargy that pervades through the days. Life is tiring. Having to be a person all of the time is depleting. Needing to do, needing to be, and needing to know is a whole lot. There's so little room and time for existing without the world or the people in it needing or wanting something from me. I have found myself turning off my phone and disconnecting more and more. I just disappear and pretend to not exist for a little while. It's almost peaceful but I know what awaits me when I return from my few moments of solitude is a bar…


"Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that's life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever." Ray Bradbury

Space - the final frontier. Positing life as a representation of space and all its wonders has come to be a useful metaphor for understanding the world. We are all the center of our own universes, or at least we're supposed to be. Sometimes we aren't. What happens when others in our experiences are centered in our lives or we don't perceive ourselves to be in the middle of our existences? My therapist called it a sort of a blackhole effect where the position that we should be finding ourselves in is instead occupied by a force that seems nearly impossible to overcome. Usually it has to do with children and not being fully positioned in the center of their lives growing up that forces them to take care of themselves sooner than usual, essentially becoming a full-grown star early. It's gravitational pull drawing absolutely ever…


"Self-deprecating humor and brutal honesty is a really freeing thing." Margo Price

Self-deprecation has its place in our communal communicative wheelhouse. And, it's not meant to be the primary way that we share who we are. Lately, I have been noticing that some of the people around me exclusively speak about themselves in the negative, whether facetiously or not. I did not realize how pervasive it was until I started paying closer attention. Right off the bat it's straight to the self-deprecation. That's it. All I know about some people is the things they have downplayed as insignificant, and all the ways that they are inadequate (by some arbitrary standard). I don't actually know who they are because what they are communicating, whether purposefully or by force of habit, is an incomplete blooper reel. Moderate self-deprecation communicates self-knowledge, endears, and encourages others to loosen up. Toxic self-deprecation articulates an unhealthy self-esteem…


"The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it.  Memories need to be shared.” Lois Lowry

Memories are all we have to make life real. Memories are what we cherish to carry all that has come before us. Memories are all that we truly are. What a year. What happened this year? What the actual fuck happened this year? How could this year be real? I have struggled to write this post because life is not some absolute balance weighing the benevolence of this isolated period of time. Simple me wants to say this has been by far the worst year of my life to date. Complex me knows that life not a scale that tips positive or negative. Life has nuance. Life has meaning when we assign it meaning. Life is life. 

I think there is profound meaning in memory preservation, and there is immense importance in memory creation. We are tasked with doing both in our lives - holding on to the remnants of the past, and maneuvering to create our presents and futures. Our …


"Stop holding your truth; speak your truth. Be yourself. It's the healthiest way to be." 
Tiffany Haddish

What are we afraid of? Why do we hold back? How are we stopping ourselves from saying what our hearts yearn to say? So much of life, connection, and relationship is left unsaid. We hold back from sharing what is on our minds for a multitude of reasons. What we don't realize is what we lose in the process of stifling our voices. When we shut ourselves down we teach ourselves that we - all of us, our truths, our stories, our thoughts, are not worth sharing. The more the we do, the more we reinforce that the words we have to offer are unworthy of the air. Smaller, and smaller our voices become until we talk ourselves out of sharing our voices at all. It is wise to be thoughtful in what we share, but intentionality is also sharing bravely. The things that we stop just short of saying often are precisely what we need to say. It's right there. It's just beneath t…