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Showing posts from 2018

Grandpa

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"Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides." Lao Tzu


I write this blog post in memory of my adopted grandfather. I write this to mourn. I write this to process through my emotions. I write this as a thank you to him. I write this for me. As I type these words tears stream down my face. I breathe unevenly. I shudder under my own breath. I shake, my heart races, and my body caves into itself. I sit in silence letting the sounds of the world wash over me. I am saddened. I am distracted. I am distraught. I feel everything and nothing at the same time. The voice of my father telling me that my grandfather had passed away plays over and over in my head. I pulled to the parking of Best Buy and cried for 30 minutes to the point that I nearly threw up. Overcome with emotion, loss for words, and wanting nothing more than to just be with my family. Death is so final. Death is so decisive. Death is so poignant. One day a person is there, and then they are g…

Real

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"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." Salvador Dali
I am a recovering perfectionist. I have spent so much of my life striving to be perfect, and by perfect I mean absent of mistakes, put together, and without flaws. I used to make mistakes and beat myself up about them when in the grand scheme of things they weren't significant to begin with. More and more I have strove to unlearn that yearn for perfection, given myself more grace, and been patient with me. I'm slowly but surely embracing being messy, silly, and less staged. I'm trying to be less calculated, less fearful, and less in my own head. I'm doing by best to be more accessible, relatable, and realistic. It's been a challenge to say the least but one that I'm becoming more okay with. I know that I am not perfect, and that idealizing the world, the people around me, and myself can warp your perception. I'm working to speak to others with more kindness, empathy, and compas…

Know

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"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't know. It's almost become a reflexive habit to utter those words. It's an indecisive cop out. It's a passing off onto someone else. It's a deflection to avoid sharing our thoughts or opinions. It's okay to say I don't know, AND in most contexts we actually do know. We need to reserve "I don't know" for rare occasions. Sometimes we're afraid to say what we want to say because we worry how other people will react, or we're scared that if we utter our real words aloud that it bring them to life. We need to stop saying we don't know. We need to start listening to our bodies. We know what we want. We know what we believe. We know what we think. The only thing stopping us from sharing what we know to be true (at least for ourselves) is ourselves. Why do we hesitate? Stop short? Stumble over ourselves? What are we afraid of? What do w…

Closed

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"Moving on is not closure. It's not neat, and it's not about turning the page. It is about moving on, but it doesn't mean that you've left something behind." Thomas Gibson

Let go. Let go of things out of your control. Let go of people who don't want to hold on to you. Let go of people who you know you should let go of. Let go. Closure is often something we are deprived of. Things rarely have a clear ending. The world is messy. We get left behind. Relationships fizzle, fall out, or fade. Closure gives us peace. Closure is definitive. Closure is final. It gives us that ultimate release to sever all ties, clean house, and move on. Closure can be hard even when we do get it, or better yet, or ensure it for ourselves. Sometimes we avoid closure because we know how decisive it is, and some part of us has hope that things will change or get better. The harsh reality is, patterns continue unless they are changed, cycles remain cyclical unless they are broken, clos…

Expectation

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"Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations" Leo Buscaglia

I wonder if I expect too much of others. In some ways I also question if my expectations are too close to the bare minimum. There doesn't quite seem to be a middle ground of compromise balancing my internal expectations and my external pronouncements. I get frustrated when I behave in certain ways - going above and beyond for others, being present and supportive, showing up, etc. - and don't receive reciprocated energy, effort, or time. The real person to blame though is me for never getting explicit in saying what I need, what I want, and what I'm looking for. Other people cannot read my mind, and I don't get to be petty, hold grudges, or write people off because they couldn't telepathically psychoanalyze me. I'm learning that I cannot be disappointed when people fail me because I never communicated what it would take for them to succeed. How can I be surprised when pe…

Affinity

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"There is an organic affinity between joyousness and tenderness, and their companionship in the saintly life need in no way occasion surprise." William James


One of the most striking human experiences is witnessing the reunion and embrace of people who have not seen one another in a while. To see two people emote that euphoric joy of connection is nothing short of awe-inspiring, and serves to remind us what makes so special ... connection. Two people in proximity, both physically and emotionally, having forged and continuing to reaffirm, invest, and reciprocate with one another. It’s one of the simplest and yet most complex of human relationships. Constantly we are searching, yearning, wanting connection to feel seen, heard, and valued - and to be able to do the same for others. What a gift it is to be able to recognize, validate, and celebrate the humanity of another. There’s something deeply profound of connecting with someone who is willing, able, and readily returns that …

Okay

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"It's okay to be yourself and to love and accept yourself however you are." Dees Rees


It's okay to just be ... okay. Sometimes people ask us how we're doing and we give okay as a response there's a moment of awkward consciousness. Being okay is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not abundantly positive either. It just is. It's an equilibrium. It's a medium. It's fine, not stellar, nor horrible. People often press when we say we're okay, as if that's not enough. They push and prod as if they want us to change our answer to placate them and their insecurity that someone could be having a different life experience than them. That's not our jobs. That's not fair. When we ask people how they're doing, we have to be open to their response, and to validate it. We don't get to choose or police how other people feel. It limits their emotional autonomy. Sometimes, people are just meh. That's okay. It's not a judgement a…

Negotiate

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"You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” Charles Buxton


One of the many myths of adulthood is that work-life balance magically happens to you. Someday you just fall into it or it comes to you naturally. There's no such thing as work-life balance. The fact that we distinguish work as if it's distinct from the rest of our lives instead of incorporated into it is telling. Work is a distinct portion of our lives but the role it plays in that life is up to us. Work-life is not a balance with more weight being given to one than the other like the scales of justice tipping either way. I like the idea of a work-life negotiation better. It's a more active process and speaks to what we're tasked with doing. We have to do our own negotiation. We have the make the life we want. We get to choose the weight we give things. Sometimes we wait for peace or balance when in reality  We don’t just find balance. We have to create our own balance. It’…

Attention

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"When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." George Washington Carver It’s uncanny what we notice when we fully pay attention. Instead of speeding through life, darting from one thing or place to the next, paying attention allows us to notice the subtleties of life. It’s in the subtleties where we can witness the details that make all the difference. Have you ever looked at someone’s face? I mean really looked. Examined it, studied it, learned every facet, nook, and nuance. Memorized it as if you would be tested on it. There is so much communicated on the faces of those we spend time with. The brow furrows, crinkled noses, ear lobes wiggling, and everything in between, they tell us a whole lot when we take the time to pay attention to them. Sometimes it becomes so dear that it almost seems inappropriate. There's noting quite like watching the raw emotion dance across the face of someone else. The way that som…

Absolute

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"We are what we do repeatedly" Unknown
I had a conversation recently where someone described themselves as a good person and I stopped/corrected them. People are not inherently good or bad, they do relatively good or bad things, and have a tendency of those things. It made me think of who gets to be good or bad, whose perspectives are represented, who is typecast as what, and how does the curve of the arc of justice rectify all these imbalances. Who gets to posit themselves as good or bad? Who wins, and who loses? Who saves, and who gets saved? The false dichotomy of good and evil, like most things, plays into our social norms and their implications. People can do or say the same thing and based on how we've learned to interpret them and who they are we react differently. Goodness is not applied evenly. Not everyone gets the chance to be "good." Justice is relative. Proximity changes everything. How can we have absolutes in an uncertain world?

Am I a good person?…

Flimsy

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"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” Ana├»s Nin


Friendships in adulthood are difficult. Not inherently, necessarily, but because we make them so. Time and time again I found myself dealing with flimsy relationships. I mean relationships were the connection is weak. Something comes up, someone gets busy, we stop talking for a couple of days, and we're disconnected. These connections start off strong, and just as quick as they come they dissipate into nothingness. It's frustrating to say the least. These connections don't have enough substance to withstand the daily hardships and obstacles of life. There's not a solid foundation of investment to endure a missed reply, a cancelled plan, or a disagreement. It's these one and done instances where someone says or does something we don't like, and we give up on them. There's merit to that sentiment on occasi…