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Showing posts from 2019

Deprecate

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"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…

Memory

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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

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 …

Barrier

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"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…

Careless

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"It is not length of life, but depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Death is a natural part of life but that doesn't make it any easier to handle. Death has been part of the human life cycle for millennia, and it's still the worst thing that people can experience. Death comes for all of us, and we can feel its inevitable aftermath as devastating. What is there to say about death besides that nothing and no one prepares us for the despair it leaves us with. It is so beyond the scope of our understanding that we malfunction just trying to wrap our heads around what it means. How can someone we love die? How can they be gone forever? How can I never speak to them, hear from them, or touch them ever again? For the rest of our lives? That can't be real.

How can someone who has been part of all my days be absent from them for the rest of my days? It's not fair. It doesn't make sense. It's unbelievable. It is beyond belief. Things beyond belief do not negate th…

Special

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"Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you." Saint Augustine



There are moments where I don't want to be special anymore. Sometimes I am tired of standing out, being noticeable, and marked as different. Yearning to blend in when you are always visible is a conundrum. In some ways, people want others to take note of them, to recognize them as they are, and to be grateful for their presence. I think we always want those things. In other ways, there is peace in not being at the forefront, having to be "on," or in the mix. I still struggle to balance between showing up with the energy/comfort I'm feeling in any given moment, and the expectation that my personality means I am supposed to be endlessly entertaining lest others worry I am off. Sometimes I just want to dim my light, or to keep its glow for myself. I know I'm suppo…

Mother

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"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
It's been a while since I last wrote here. Life happened. Life changed drastically. Life didn't and doesn't make sense anymore. My mom died. That's the first time I have typed those words out. My mom passed away. My mom was called home. My mom is no longer with me in physical form. I cannot believe it. I am in shock. I feel nothing. I am numb. I am emotionless. It's not apathy, and I have never felt like this in my entire life. It's not a detachment of mind and body, but rather I feel fully present in myself, just suppressed. It's almost tranquil, kind of comforting while being unsettling. I feel empty. I don't feel lost. I feel incomplete. I feel bamboozled. I feel betrayed. I feel like the brightest part of me has been pilfered, and yet still I am still left with light and love. Why am I still full of li…

Connect

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"Connections with other people affect not only the quality of our lives but also our survival." Dean Ornish

Connection, connectivity, connectedness - we're yearning, longing, desperate for it. Existing in places and spaces untethered to others brings us a distinct sense of loneliness and isolation. We reach out to grab hold of anything or anyone that we feel any semblance of connection to. The first person to smile at us, whoever says anything to us, or who looks familiar to us - whatever flimsy connection we have forged is the one we gravitate to when we're left floating in the ether. Every time we enter a new place, have to get our bearings, and ground ourselves, we are looking for connection to anchor us in the unfamiliar. It can be a comfort food, a scent that brings us fond memories, or a symbol that represents sanctuary for us. If all else fails, observational connectivity factors in, and we make comments about things we notice in hopes that someone else also pa…

Centered

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"Home is the center of life. It's the wellspring of personhood. It's where we say we're ourselves." Matthew Desmond

For much of my life I learned I was supposed to care about others more than I did myself. I think I took it to an extreme. I learned how to prioritize other people, to make them feel good, and to ensure their peace. Most my time was spent thinking about how to cater to others, to communicate to them them that they mattered to me, and to gift all that I could to them. In striving to be selfless I lost my self. I lost myself in other people. I lost me in their hardships, heartbreaks, and horror. It wasn't that I didn't know who I was, but my self-definition had been relational. I was me, but only in proximity to others. I was me by connection. I was always so and so's brother, friend, uncle, boss, advisor, confidant, fixer, protector, advocate, ally, activist, and, and on, and on, ad naseum until I was nauseated. It wasn't even that it …