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Showing posts from 2018

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…

Fallout

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"Therefore the great mediator of any community is human morality." Armstrong Williams

Empathy is by far my strongest characteristic and ability. It allows me to understand other people's emotions, perspectives, and rationales, and to respond accordingly. I can quickly pull out of my emotional repertoire the full gamut of feelings to almost perfectly match  those of others around me. In doing so, I get to provide a substantive support for those around me. Meanwhile I am left to deal with the ramifications of taking on the emotions of other people. I'm left alone in the aftermath, exhausted, drained, and emotionally overdrafted. Most of the time I'm able to replenish and recuperate, but there are times where I am emotionally taxed beyond my capacity and in showing up in extraordinary ways for others put myself in danger. When I am listening, striving to understand, reflecting, asking questions, giving guidance, or just being present with other people I have learned …

Unrequited

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"Too many of us are hung up on what we don't have, can't have, or won't ever have. We spend too much energy being down, when we could use that same energy — if not less of it — doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do." Terry McMillan



We cannot convince someone to like us; more importantly we should not have to do so. People should want us, as we are, because of who we are. We should have not sell ourselves, demand recognition, or pine for attention. Let go of people who never reached out to you, those who never attempted to catch you, and those who stood idle as you took a risk. People should be able to see our inherent worth, and to value it as priceless. Anyone who needs convincing is unworthy of your essence, time, energy, or effort. We have to stop wasting our time on those who have no intention of choosing us. Why do we seek the acknowledgement, permission, acceptance, etc. of others knowing that it will never be ours? Why do …

Slow

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"Patience and time do more than strength or passion." Jean de La Fontaine

Patience is not just a virtue, it is THE virtue that all others stem from. Patience gives us the time to be virtuous in all other ways. Many of our frustrations, anxieties, and fears would be quelled if we were patient, slowed things down, and took our time. Do you ever drive without music playing, just the sounds of your times rolling repeatedly on the pavement, the murmur of your car puttering along, and the whooshing sound of other cars passing by? No real destination or at least, no time constraint in getting there. Enjoying the ride - relishing in it - pure revel and adoration. For a few minutes, you're just there. You'll get to wherever you're going when you get there. You have the time to let other people into your lane, you're going the speed limit, and you're cruising. Carefree but never careless. Everything makes more sense because taking the time to slow things down lets …

Quest

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"Part of adulthood is searching for the people who understand you." Hanya Yanagihara


Adulthood can be lonely. In the pursuit of our passions we often sacrifice connection to others, but at what cost. Life is about connection - relationship, proximity, care, love. Without those things what is the purpose of life, and yet still we find ourselves adrift, aloof, and away from all those we've forged connections too before. We're all looking for something, but what could we be searching for that continues to evade us? We are looking for those who understand us, and even more so to be understood. We want to be around people get us, experience us the way we want them to, see us for who we are, and celebrate us in our imperfect actuality. We want those who want to hear our life stories from cover to cover, who will take notes in the margins, and resonate with the characters. We strive for people who see us transparently and yet remain despite what they see. We want people who …

Inquire

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

Lois Lowry's "The Giver" is my favorite book of all time, and whenever I have lost touch with the people of the world I reread it to remind of how people, their stories, and sharing them is what makes life vibrant. There are people in my life who have just been there but I have never taken the time to figure out how they got there. Someone being proximate to me should mean that I take the time, make the effort, and create the space to strive to understand them. People must be more than their utility to me. If I truly believe people are inherently invaluable, why then have I long treated those around me as static characters serving me in my life story instead of dynamic character with their own stories. I have spent so much prioritizing me, my plots, and navigating the chapters of  my life that I have never quite paused to read the stories of oth…

Guest

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"It's not that I dislike many people. It's just that I don't like many people." Bryant Gumbel

No one likes to be disliked. It's sewn into our DNA that we just have a general disposition and a need to be liked. We want people to want us. We want them to like us, get excited when we're around, love us. We spend so much of our time devoted to getting people to like us. We shouldn't have to convince, beg, or plead with people for them to like us. We don't owe anyone ourselves. We don't have to give the entirety of who we are, or pretend to be someone else in a futile search for the approval of others. If we have to persuade someone to accept, tolerate, value us then maybe those people truly are undeserving of all that we are. And, and, and, we ourselves do not have to like anyone if we don't want to. "Like" should an enthused, jovial, and benign feeling we have for another person whether friendly or romantic. We get to reserve to righ…