Every year around the sun brings with it a multitude of opportunities, but the most important one to me these last few years is taking the time to understand myself better, explore those things that I connect with, what doesn’t, and express what’s on my mind and heart through outlets like this blog. Intentionally or not, I have often found myself alone on the journey which provides (more than?) ample time to think, reflect, overthink, and act. In a world that creates so much noise, the solitude isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
As it’s been in previous years, I struggle with finding ways to summarize a whole year of my life into one post. What parts should I share about publicly on this platform? What am I comfortable sharing? Can I be vulnerable enough to go deeper than I have before? Is there anything about my life that is useful to others? Was there a common thread tying everything together?
Continue reading “Identity Discovery”
“Presence with others is first about showing up.”
Presence (Amy Cuddy)
Who are the most important and influential people in your life? Growing up, very likely it was the friends and family who you were around and see on a regular basis. They showed up for birthday parties and graduations. You hung out in each other’s homes just doing whatever, sometimes nothing in particular. Simply being around each other was enough. In high school, college, and into your 20s, regularly being around people this was often still the determining factor in who you were close to and you mattered to you. That setting could be a school, church, or your job.
Continue reading “Your Presence is Requested”
Definition: “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded”
(courtesy of Merriam-Webster)
At an undetermined point during my youth, I made a decision. Being an INFP and generally anti-confrontation and avoidant of difficult or painful situations, I became more intentional about trying not to put myself in places where I could be hurt or emotionally wounded by others. What better way to avoid pain than by avoiding activities that could involve pain? So what if some of those same activities also had the opportunity for real connection, warmth, love, and healing? Guess I missed out.
The goal was to protect me from any more pain.
Continue reading “On Vulnerability”
Well before I got interested in photography, I always found myself drawn to empty spaces, to those quiet places. The ones most enticing are those found against the loudest of backdrops. They pull me in with their temptations of possibilities and of unheard and overlooked stories. It’s in the stillness which listening is best done.
Continue reading “Open Seating”
Header image: visual approximation of my feelings in January 2018.
When our daily routines are interrupted, we begin to notice all the things we take for granted. Physical ailments, in particular, remind us that we are not impervious and have limitations. This past month, I’ve been dealing with (a very manageable and mostly pain-free) tooth problem. As soon as the problem surfaced and before I could make it into the dentist for a diagnosis and plan, I took preventative measures in my diet to avoid foods that are crunchy, chewy, sticky or fun in any way. I also only ate on the other side of my mouth. While I’ve slowly regained enough confidence to eat more normally, the first few weeks were taken with tender bites of softer food and filled with non-trivial amounts of yogurt and soup.
Continue reading “Interruption”
4 years of birthday reflection blog posts
Oh, November. It’s that month of the year that brings the heart of autumn, football, and Thanksgiving. Its mere arrival has wreaked havoc on my heart and mind in the last few years as I have grappled with … myself. However, the 2017 version of November has brought with it less trepidation and fear of its arrival and subsequent storm of internal emotions. The month itself was good, highlighted by time with good friends to celebrate
This year, in its entirety, was hard, perhaps harder than I gave it credit for in the small moments. In retrospect, I wonder if I tried to do too much at once at the expense of stretching myself in too many directions and getting distracted by all the possibilities and what if’s. Last year, I said I wanted to “quietly figure it out.” I have spent fair amounts of time on my own, reading, and journaling. But have I come to any conclusions or new revelations? I’m not so sure.
Continue reading “Pressing Forward”
Oh, look at that shiny thing!
Do you ever look back at what you’ve been doing and realize you’ve spent far too much time consumed by stuff that has a lot less worth and long term value than you thought? That’s been my summer for the last week or two, and it’s frustrated me that I have let myself get distracted by distractions. My eyes have been diverted off what’s important. I’m not running in such a way as to win the prize. I’m not giving it my best.
Continue reading “Distracted by Distractions”
“Everything changes and nothing stands still.” – Heraclitus
Change is an energy intensive process. It’s expensive from a time and mental energy perspective. Even the simplest decisions to adjust course require realignment and pause to recenter. It forces us to evaluate the internal status quo. It can ignite feelings of chaos and fear, mostly from leaving behind the current “known.” Things as simple as a new haircut to bigger events like moving across the country or a new relationship status (starting or ending) can all wreak havoc on us. Everything was fine before these things entered our lives; why disrupt it? I was fine!
Continue reading “The Challenges of Change”