Categories
Musings

2020, The Loss Of Nuance, and The Callousness of Selfish Gain

I was not ready for what this year became. I suspect you, reader, were not either. 

This year was hard. Though like many others I tried to make do with what was dealt. I spent more time alone than usual and wrote about feeling the need to be cared for as a single person. Travel was mostly nonexistent, save for one coordinated trip to the South for a week in June to see & quarantine with close friends. The April marathon I trained for was canceled. Yet I continued running throughout the year and almost logged 700 miles. Neighbor Bob and I masked up and replaced the basement and stair tile. I completed a year at my not-so-new job. I also made some new friends while nerding out over stationary. So not all was lost.

However,  I also found 4 gray hairs. That is not acceptable. Thanks a lot, 2020!  

Categories
Musings

Truthful Words (Should) Matter

How much does truth matter to you? 

Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, that you only meant well
Well of course you did
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, that it’s all for the best
Of course it is
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, that it’s just what we need
You decided this
– “Hide and Seek”, Imogen Heap

It’s a cliche at this point to say American culture is at a crossroads. Each generation says and feels that “it’s never been like this before.” And they would be correct. Our moment is no different; how we talk and write about it is, however.

Categories
Musings

Best Supporting Actor

Be the best supporting actor role in everyone else’s story

Me, Me, Me

American culture has an odd obsession with celebrity and being a star and unique. We are taught to see ourselves as important and as the center of our universe. Individually we are each the point from which all things revolve and rotate around. We each matter, probably more than the next person! It’s ok for goals, personal freedoms, and desires to take precedence over any unexpected repercussions in our ongoing quest for self-gratification. It’s self above all else. 

Categories
Opinion

How to Care for Singles During a Quarantine

Let us remember to look after one another

Life is rarely easy. No matter how independent or self-sufficient or introverted we are or say we are, we need other people. For interaction, companionship, to love & be loved, for help, and so much more. In-person interaction is vital to our existence. However, that’s not something we all have easy access to, currently exacerbated by the current situation with COVID-19/Coronavirus. 

More Americans are living alone than ever before. Almost one third of the population lives alone. (I count myself among that population.) Like many introverts and so many memes, we’ve been “training for this all our lives” because we more often choose those times of solitude from interaction. Mildly funny, but a poor reflection of our current reality. That hasn’t previously excluded being alone in public, like coffee shops, stores, and restaurants. 


Categories
Poems

Look At Me

I go from here to there
did you notice me waving
remove the mirrors blocking your view
to see beyond what’s at arm’s length:
a world of people, some whom don’t feel the focus
of familiar eyes upon them
you only see objects reflecting the elements of self
and nothing more

I’m sitting down, tired of holding my arms up in the air
and internally pretending i’m actually ok
come and look intently, patiently
until your eyes can see within, where hearts connect in silent union
and time pauses momentarily
when i can absorb the fact i am not being ignored
but am seen and briefly known once again

– January 12, 2020

Categories
Musings

Counting Up All The Change

It adds up to something much more significant than expected

“Every moment has led up to this.” 

– Every movie protagonist as they get ready to face their biggest foe

Change adds up

Over the last couple of years, on this blog I have examined questions about identity discovery, living in a space with less built-in promises, and on reliance and trust on people outside myself. Offline in the real world, I’ve been quietly preparing my mind and heart for a big change. What that change would be was very much unknown, but it’s clear through what I’ve felt compelled to share that the status quo wasn’t good enough anymore. In the process, I couldn’t see what that would add up to. I don’t have the final answer yet; I’m actually still doing the math and formula calculations, scratching out notes and numbers because I write in pen and never believed in doing my math homework with a pencil.   

Categories
Musings

On Reliance and Trust

Life has a way of finding new things to surprise us with and to shake things up to keep us on our toes. They can be small and feel inconsequential in the moment. Others are bigger and have an immediate effect on how you see the world. I’m in the midst of one of those bigger life surprises. 

I wonder if anyone has ever said, “This is the perfect time for a big life-altering shake-up?” Maybe, but those people are weird. When a core pillar has been removed from your life, everything begins to feel a bit unstable. For a moment, you can begin to wonder what else may shift out from under you. I, for one, am a big fan of solid ground and stability mixed in with some spontaneity I control the intake of. 

I do not like being in need or asking for help. I don’t mean in the small or obvious things that any sane person would need assistance with (e.g. “can you hold the door for me?” when your hands are full or “can you grab the other side of this huge couch and bring it up those three flights of stairs? Pivot!”) It’s the bigger and less tangible areas where your insides are reaching out for a hand to grasp so as to not fall off a cliff. It’s those moments when you feel weak, helpless, or otherwise lost. 

It’s been rare for me to feel like I truly have to rely on others. No, my life role (as discussed in other posts) is to be the helper, the stable one who people come to for insights, a listening ear, or a helping hand. I don’t feel comfortable needing assistance and not feeling as self-sufficient as I usually do. This side of the table doesn’t feel nearly as safe. 

However, I’ve also learned recently that my reluctance to put myself out there and to rely on friends and family is a habit I need to break. It’s also time that I learn how to take more risks. Earlier this year, I wrote about living in a space with no promises. Right now is an extension of that life lesson I’m painfully learning about. Sometimes we need to be beaten over the head with really big stuff to learn a lesson we’re not picking up fast enough. 

I’m reminded that in the middle of those big changes and transitions into whatever is next while I’m waiting it out, I have enough. No more, no less. I’m not lacking for food or shelter. I have people looking out for me and who care about me, but I also have to ask for that help. Most of them are not mind readers. 

While I take a slight pause to breathe and reflect, I am also reminding myself it is OK to rest. Life will be there tomorrow, with all its worries and concerns. It is OK to process, to check things off the list one at a time. I don’t have to beat myself up for not having figured out what’s next. This in-between phase is messy and a little frustrating. The script isn’t complete, but that’s perfectly fine. The edits and rewrites are coming. I don’t know what will be written when I turn the page. I do know the next chapter will turn out exactly how it needs to. I need to trust in that before I drive myself crazy from worry.

Categories
Musings

No Promises

This is the crux, the core, of so much hesitation in my life. There are no guarantees afforded to us. But I always want more of what isn’t available: More stability, more reliability, no bad surprises. That level of expectation is, of course, is folly and pure madness to chase after such levels of security and predictability. Perhaps it is that excitement, joy, and real living are found at the edges, in that space where we’re taken beyond our comfortable spaces. Those parts we’re afraid to expose to anyone else, maybe even to ourselves.